In my testing, I used Spotflux installed on a laptop running Windows 10. Spotflux Premium is very easy to set up and use. Just download and install the client software from the Spotflux website, purchase the Premium plan, and you're online. You mostly interact with the service through the Spotflux app, which consists of a white window locked to the bottom corner of the screen. You summon it from the system tray, which is similar to how Private Internet Access works.
Even the is likely to slow down your internet connection, but how much the connection gets degraded varies by provider. To try and get a sense for that impact, I perform a series of trials using the Ookla speed test tool. (Note that Ookla is owned by PCMag's publisher, Ziff Davis.) In my tests, I take the average results from Ookla both with and without a VPN running, and compare them to find a percent change. While network performance can change dramatically depending on the time of day and manner in which the test is carried out, my tests work as a snapshot of how using a VPN could change your experience.
Some VPN services monetize their offerings by injecting ads into your web traffic. Spotflux's representative assured me that Spotflux does not inject ads, nor does it profit from user data. That's a relief, as consumers are becoming more sensitive to the fact that many technology companies sell user data.
That said, I'm disappointed that Spotflux does not allow BitTorrent on its servers. While many (perhaps most) people use torrents to download copyrighted content, it's also a valuable tool with many aboveboard uses. If BitTorrenting is your primary concern, you'll want to look at . This VPN service is all about torrenting, and it includes useful extras like a high-speed 10 gigabit network and static IP addresses.
Fahmida Y. Rashid is a senior analyst for business at PCMag.com. She focuses on ways businesses can use technology to work efficiently and easily. She is paranoid about security and privacy, and considers security implications when evaluating business technology. She has written for eWEEK, Dark Reading, and SecurityWeek covering security, core Internet infrastructure, and open source.
In the past few weeks, I've run these tests dozens of times and had no problems, but my tests with Spotflux simply failed to work when connected to an Australian server. The company determined that this was due to a corrupted DNS entry in their software, and I was able test successfully after reinstalling it. However, the Autoselect feature no longer functioned correctly after that. This is the first time I've had these kinds of issues testing a VPN service.
When PCMag first tested Spotflux, it didn't deliver a stellar product, but was an exciting newcomer that seemed to be making an effort at creating a clean, friendly product before the rest of the competition had grasped the idea. While I'm happy that Spotflux continues to put emphasis on ease of use, and provides unique security features, it's disappointing that the service hasn't otherwise evolved. Other services are simply offering more options for only slightly higher prices, and they offer more robust services to boot. Spotflux is an acceptable product at an attractive price, but if you're looking for an excellent VPN, look to our Editors' Choice Winners: KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, NordVPN, and Private Internet Access.
This means that if you're using a shifty, unsecured wireless network (I'm looking at you, local coffee shop), no one else on the network will be able to peek at your online activities. When VPN companies offer custom DNS protection, they can even thwart a malicious network created explicitly to serve you bogus phishing sites designed to steal your information.
Activating a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server controlled by the VPN service. Your web traffic passes through the encrypted tunnel before exiting out to the wider internet. Assuming that you're accessing sites secured with HTTPS, your data remains encrypted from start to finish.
The paid Spotflux Premium subscription costs $37.99 a year or $4.99 a month. You can, however, opt to purchase the Mobile Only plan for $29.99 a year. This mobile-only plan is unique among VPN services I've reviewed, and it's an interesting option, though most people will probably want to protect at least one PC.
When I first reviewed Spotflux Premium, the company only had servers in the US. Thankfully, that's no longer the case, and you can choose from several access points the world over. But that improvement seems to have stagnated, as the service has only a handful of servers. I was disappointed that the Autoselect feature, which should find the best available VPN server, didn't working in my testing. Your mileage may vary.
That said, when it did work, Spotflux delivered solid and occasionally exceptional speed test results. In the domestic tests, I found that Spotflux increased latency by 20 percent. Hide My Ass VPN has the best score in this test, increasing latency by only 5.6 percent. Spotflux slowed downloads by 5.4 percent, which is again in the middle of the pack. Except for and AnchorFree Hotspot Shield Elite; these services actually improved download speeds, by 346.4 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Spotflux slowed uploads by 7.5 percent, which is in line with the rest of the pack. PureVPN delivered the best results, eroding upload times by only 4.9 percent.