Phone Guardian Review: Quick Expert Summary
Phone Guardian is a free VPN app, but it doesn’t really work like one. It won’t hide or change your IP address, and it doesn’t encrypt all of your internet traffic — something a regular VPN does by default. Instead, Phone Guardian scans your app traffic for unprotected data and encrypts that data if you’re connected to an unsecured WiFi network.
One of its biggest downsides is it doesn’t hide your IP address like a good VPN. This means hackers can use it to target you, all sites you visit will see it and immediately know your general location, so you won’t be able to access your local library when traveling abroad, and advertisers can use it to serve you targeted ads based on your location. That’s why I recommend getting a secure VPN that not only can hide your IP address but will also let you choose what country to connect to. All of the VPNs on our top 10 list do that and more.
You also can’t use Phone Guardian to bypass censorship, since it doesn’t change your IP address. If you need a VPN to get around internet restrictions, I recommend ExpressVPN — it consistently bypasses internet blocks in censorship-heavy countries like China.
Phone Guardian comes with many of the pitfalls of free VPNs, including slow speeds, weak privacy and security, data limits, lack of features, and the risk of your data being collected and sold to third parties.
This provider collects data about your app usage and browsing habits, but you can opt out of sharing your data. But this doesn’t prevent Phone Guardian from collecting your data — it just stops it from sharing that information with others. It’s also concerning to me that the company behind Phone Guardian, data.ai, is a company that provides consumer and market data to other businesses. This presents an obvious privacy risk. For comparison, all premium VPNs, like ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN, have a no-logs policy — this means that they don’t log your IP address and online activities, including which websites you visit and what files you download.
Phone Guardian includes almost no extra features. Besides encrypting your data, it monitors the apps on your phone and tells you if any of them are running in the background or doing things while your screen is off. Its timeline also tracks how much time you’ve spent on each app and how much data each app has used in the past 24 hours. But I don’t think these features are particularly useful as part of a VPN — most phones have built-in features that track screen time and app usage. Top VPNs like CyberGhost VPN and NordVPN come with more relevant extra features like split-tunneling, an ad, tracker, and malware blocker, a smart DNS, and more.
Plus, I was very disappointed by Phone Guardian’s customer support. There is an FAQ section available on its website, but it’s very barebones and includes no visual aids (images or videos). It also has no live chat and the contact email listed in its FAQ section doesn’t work. These issues are made worse by the fact that both its apps and website are frustratingly vague about how Phone Guardian works and what its exact features are. Good VPNs like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have extensive knowledge bases and FAQ sections on their site and also offer live chat support.
I highly recommend opting for an affordable premium VPN instead. There are plenty of options for Android and iOS in 2023 that are secure, fast, feature-rich, and great for streaming. If you’re still set on a free mobile VPN, there are much better free alternatives on the market.