It’s rare to see a true Chinese VPN — Cheetah Mobile’s CM Security VPN is one of these rarities.
At first glance, this Android-only VPN offers an alluring package. OpenVPN and SOCKS5 protocols, decent server variety, and a bunch of neat features — all for free. What more can a mobile user want?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
One thing this VPN doesn’t provide is guaranteed privacy. Sure, you’ll feel safer on public WiFi, and hackers and ISPs will have a much harder time looking at your traffic, but you’re not as safe as you think.
Cheetah Mobile collects information that ranges from your device’s brand and history to your IP address, photos, personal details, and more.
We’ll put it this way: CM Security VPN will unblock geo-restricted websites and services in your current location and it will encrypt your traffic, but the extensive logging is not a worthwhile tradeoff.
VPNs should be about anonymity and peace of mind. This is their original purpose — anything else comes secondary. Although this one has “security” in the name, we’re not sure how secure we can feel knowing its knack for monitoring our data and activities.
We won’t even talk about the points-earning program of this “free” VPN. Frankly, it has no place in a serious service.
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
CM Security VPN currently has 7 servers in 6 countries.
CM Security VPN looks good, but functionality has a long way to go.
The app is light and optimized, with plenty of features available. You can use the smart location for picking servers, and the speed test offers valuable info on which locations are fastest for you.
However, to keep using this VPN you’ll need to keep logging in, as well as referring friends to the service. Coupled with Cheetah Mobile’s policy on gathering various user data, this raises some eyebrows, in addition to being a usability nightmare.
CM Security’s customer support starts and ends with an email address you can direct your questions towards.
We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.
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