Sonics VPN Review 2024 — Is It Worth Your Time?

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Sonics VPN Review

Sonics VPN is a personal privacy tool launched in 2022 by Sunrise Privacy Inc. 

It promises great functionality, but does it deliver? 

Keep reading for a detailed overview of its features, performance, and pricing.

Server count5,000+ (unconfirmed)HQUnited States
Network40+ locationsPricing modelFreemium and paid monthly subscription
ProtocolsUndisclosedCustomer supportEmail, Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and VK

Features

Sonics VPN markets itself as a reliable service for streaming, torrenting, gaming, and social media.

Let’s go over its feature set to test that claim.

Cross-platform compatibility

Currently, Sonics only supports three operating systems — Windows, iOS, and Android.

That said, the VPN vendor promises to introduce apps for macOS, Linux, Android TV, and Fire OS and browser extensions for Chrome in the future.

For the time being, you install this VPN on:

  • Windows 11/10/8/7
  • iOS 15 or later
  • Android 6 or later

Furthermore, Sonics VPN has a downloadable APK file

That means you can sideload and set it up without Google Play. This installation option is useful when you’re in a jurisdiction that restricts access to certain services.

Smart location

This feature immediately connects you to a random VPN server.

Most VPN service providers offer a similar one-tap connection button that sends your data to the nearest or faster private hardware.

However, it’s unclear whether Sonics VPN’s Smart location is designed to route your traffic to the best server available. 

On the other hand, it always links your device to one of its free VPN servers so you can use it as a guest user.

Auto-connect on startup

Disabled by default, you can activate this option to automatically mask your IP address and encrypt your traffic upon launching the app.

That can come in handy if you don’t want to do it manually every time.

Unlimited bandwidth

Sonics VPN doesn’t limit the amount of data you can transmit to its servers if you’re a paying subscriber, so it’s suitable for data-intensive online activities.

Therefore, you can use it as much as you want without getting billed extra.

However, its free version only allows 5GB per month.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is a feature that allows you to determine which apps or sites to bypass the encrypted tunnel and connect to the Internet normally.

The problem is that this feature is nowhere to be found in Sonics’ Android app. Apart from the auto-connect, its Settings window is empty.

Sonic VPN Android app settings

Tracker blocker

This VPN prevents sites from tracking your online activity, allowing you to browse the Web more privately.

In fact, Sonics VPN generates a connection report every time you disconnect to show you how many Web traces it has neutralized.

Sonics VPN blocked Web traces report

Data breach monitor

Sonics VPN comes with a built-in email address scanner that checks whether your sensitive information is compromised. 

Then, it keeps your account information on file for monitoring, so it can alert you if your personal data is exposed.

Sonics VPN data breach monitor

This VPN vendor doesn’t specify how it does this, though. Most likely, it’s scouring the Dark Web for leaked sensitive data, but the company doesn’t reveal details about the process.

No simultaneous connection cap

Sonics VPN has no limit to the number of devices you can connect to its service. 

That means you need a single subscription to install it to as many supported technologies as you want.

Once this service becomes compatible with more systems, you’ll be able to set it up on all of your electronics at no extra cost.

Server network

On paper, Sonics VPN advertises to offer 10,000+ IPs from 5,000+ servers across 40+ locations. In reality, its server fleet is much smaller.

Have a look at its Android app’s selection.

Sonics VPN server locations on Android

As you can see, this VPN actually just has servers in 32 countries. And so far, only the US has multiple city-level server locations, with ten options.

What’s more, Android users should be able to connect to Ukraine servers, which was not possible during our tests.

Sonics VPN advertised server locations

Sonics VPN speed

By industry standards, an Internet connection speed drop of 10% to 20% is considered normal. 

To see how Sonics VPN fares, we connected to its servers in Australia, the UK, and the US from the Philippines.

Here’s what we found:

Results from Internet Speed test with Sonics VPN on

In percentage terms, this is how Sonics VPN performed:

Australia:

  • Download speed: -97.96%
  • Upload speed: -99.99%

UK

  • Download speed: -85.05%
  • Upload speed: -98.58%

US

  • Download speed: -56.87%
  • Upload speed: -92.25%

Based on the evidence, Sonics VPN speeds are way below industry standards. 

So, your base Internet speed needs to be high to compensate for such significant decreases and still have a decent online experience.

Curiously, we saw the biggest drop in Australia, which was the geographically nearest to us. It could be because of the hardware quality or the use of virtual servers.

Unfortunately, Sonics VPN doesn’t provide information about its infrastructure. So, it’s unclear how much of its network is capable of 10Gbps connectivity.

Protocols

This VPN service describes its tunneling protocols as multiple and advanced. However, that is open to interpretation, so we reached out to its help desk for clarification to no avail.

What we know for sure is that Sonics VPN supports basic and military-grade encryption. The former is reserved for guest users and the latter for paying subscribers.

Establishing VPN tunnels with non-military-grade encryption implies that it’s not AES-128 or -256, or ChaCha20. 

So, whatever basic cipher Sonics VPN uses, it might be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

That said, basic encryption doesn’t rule out reliable tunneling protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN since they’re compatible with rather outdated ciphers.

As long as Sonics VPN’s protocols remain unknown and unverified, we can’t definitively say how secure this service is.

Privacy

According to this VPN’s privacy policy, it doesn’t collect information related to users’ activity. 

So, it doesn’t log the following:

  • Traffic data
  • DNS requests
  • Connection timestamps
  • Client IP addresses
  • Account activity (other than active simultaneous connections)

Sonics VPN only keeps your email address for communication purposes. 

If you agree to subscription auto-renewal, its third-party partners (Braintree and PayPal) may keep your payment data on file.

Unlike widely acknowledged credible VPN services, Sonics VPN hasn’t commissioned an independent audit to verify its claim.

Furthermore, Sonics VPN is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, so it’s under the jurisdiction of the US. That means it’s part of the international intelligence-collecting and sharing network called the Fourteen Eyes Alliance.

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau profile yet.

No information about Sunrise Privacy Inc on BBB

But we were able to verify that it’s registered in Buckeye State, lending more credence to its legitimacy.

Sunrise Privacy Inc registration information

However, our McAfee WebAdvisor sniffed something malicious in Sonics VPN for Windows installer. So, be cautious if you decide to download it.

Virus detected in Sonics VPN for Windows EXE file

Is Sonics VPN safe?

Our Sonics VPN review wouldn’t be complete without IP and WebRTC leak tests.

Fortunately, the service successfully passed them. The following is our real IP address.

Philippines IP address

And these are the masked IPs:

Masked IPs with Sonics VPN on

On the other hand, the DNS leakage test was a failure. Our real DNS IPs are as follows:

DNS leak test results

And they all appeared when we tested this VPN’s Australia, UK, and US servers, indicating DNS query leakage. Take a look:

DNS leak test with Sonics VPN connected to Australia
Sonics VPN Australian servers’ result
DNS leak test with Sonics VPN connected to the UK
Sonics VPN UK servers’ result
DNS leak test with Sonics VPN connected to the US
Sonics VPN US servers’ result

Is it good for streaming and torrenting?

As mentioned, Sonics advertises its optimization for streaming and torrenting. But how accurate is this claim?

Streaming

This VPN says it supports 4K streaming and has optimized servers for these platforms:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Disney+
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Peacock
  • Vudu
  • YouTube

But its server location list on Android shows it doesn’t have dedicated hardware for most of them.

Plus, its US servers failed to change the Netflix content library from the Philippines.

Sonics VPN unable to unblock Netflix

Torrenting

Sonics VPN promises to have servers designed for P2P file sharing

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to verify that because its Windows app contains a virus.

Sonics VPN pricing

Sonics VPN is freemium software you can try at no charge.

With this free version, you can access the following:

  • Smart location
  • Basic encryption
  • Monthly data limit of 5GB

To get your hands on Sonics VPN’s premium features, you can choose from four subscription plans:

  • Two years — $2.92/month
  • One year — $4.16/month
  • Six months — $5/month
  • One month — $9.99/month

To place your order, you can use PayPal or any credit card powered by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB.

Although this vendor’s privacy policy mentions a seven-day money-back guarantee, all of its subscriptions are fully refundable within 30 days.

However, that doesn’t apply to in-app purchases.

If you want to get a taste of this VPN’s premium version without subscribing, you can watch an ad for 15-minute unrestricted access.

Sonics VPN ad pop-up

In addition, you can participate in its referral program to unlock the premium features for seven days.

Conclusion

The research for our Sonics VPN review revealed that this privacy tool has some fundamental issues and boosts false claims.

The company also has a transparency problem it must address to set everyone’s expectations accordingly.

While it has some undeniable perks, we still recommend taking its promises with a pinch of salt.