VPNify.me, a browser-based VPN speed-testing website with (unsubstantiated) origins at MIT is a nifty tool for current VPN users or prospective buyers alike. It may well be of exceptional interest those who enjoy freeware often accompanied by stimulating origin stories, or examples of problem-solving ingenuity. In short, VPNify determines the optimal VPN server to your location in terms of speed. Keep reading to find out how.
How does it work – in brief?
VPNify amalgamates then displays real-time (hourly, to be specific) VPN provider server-speed download and upload data, as seen in the illustration above. The number you see on the each blue dot or server location before clicking it displays the highest download speed at that locale, rounded off to the nearest tenth of a decimal.
Clicking on any blue ball then displays the upload speed, server location and address – in addition to more precise download speed (sans rounding), as you can see below.
Keep reading for some more technical information, or skip to the conclusion for a few VPNs we like and a bonus VPN comparison spreadsheet compiled by one of our clever readers (it’s much more glamorous useful than it sounds, I promise).
How it works II – a tad more techieness
Server locations you may test against are sprinkled proportionally throughout the globe, with North America, Europe and Asia well-represented. It’s pleasing to see Australia and Brazil accounted for, as well. There aren’t currently any test servers in Africa, though many VPN providers also, unfortunately, fail to account for the African continent, perhaps due to poor networking infrastructure.
Several intelligent software bots then test VPN provider speeds against each test server location provided by VPNify, on the hour every hour, 24/7. Subsequently, a second bot interprets the data using a proprietary learning algorithm, after which the finalized speed test datasets are then uploaded to the web server. The VPNify team claim data accuracy hovering around 99 percent, as of the end of 2015 while also noting that more data equals more precise results for all users.
Some VPN providers host their own servers, but most rent servers from various hosting companies based in the country any given provider wants to operate. Speeds are often slower on rented servers, as dedicated VPN servers hosted by any given provider are more efficient by the resultant virtue of less traffic.
The VPNify Website
Navigating to the VPNify website, it’s apparent the team of MIT students behind the project went for simplicity, to fit a perceived need while dispensing with traditional advertising models.The VPN provider list isn’t exhaustive, but their entire platform is under constant development. So as to not overwhelm novices, however, a quick six-step pop-up tutorial materializes front and center once the homepage loads.
The piece begins by informing you that the tech behind the service is two years old, and a two-minute tutorial to understand the “nerdy” (their words, not mine!) software will give you a better handle on how to use it effectively. The next notable piece concerns the fact that there is no advertising or affiliate marketing on the part of the VPNify team. The entire platform is donation-based, and the only pseudo-advertising you could count would be found with the host of social media share buttons on the masthead.
On the other hand, if you enjoy a tool and think it could be of use to your network, why not share it (or donate)?
“We are not any affiliate marketer of any VPN Providers, we are here to help you and VPN providers to test the quality of their service. The best names of the tech industry are sponsoring us without any benefit but for an appreciation to do some good.”
For what it’s worth, VPNify make no pretense at hiding the fact that they’re sponsored by PIA as shown below, or that VPN providers do support them. However, this support is voluntary on PIA and any other provider’s part, as there are no affiliate links involved. Any exposure gained is through being featured on the site, though it’s a double-edged sword. Slow speeds would then hypothetically drive users to competing VPN solutions, a plausible inevitability which serves only serves to shed more credibility on VPNify’s business model, if not methodology. Read on for our top VPNs for 2016, and that useful tool promised earlier in the article.
VPNify Conclusion and Added Tools
After exploring this useful service and considering its niche role in the broader VPN landscape, it doesn’t feel presumptuous to say that VPNify is the latest example of the fluid dichotomy between agents of controlled, hazy misinformation, and those that see(k) cooperation and openness as a better way forward for all.
Feel free to look through our table of the 5 Best VPNs for 2016, or browse through our website for a near-exhaustive set of providers and copious resources. You may also take a look at an excel spreadsheet (compiled by one of our clever readers), for a quick and dirty comparison between 86 VPNs (especially useful for you Excel nerds). Happy hunting!