- Speed 90% 90%
- Servers 89% 89%
- User Experience 85% 85%
- Support 88% 88%
- Pricing 77% 77%
Overall Rating: 4.2 / 5
Developed by a team of cryptographers, scientists, and security researchers from CERN, ProtonVPN has its affiliation with the immensely popular encrypted email service Proton mail. It is a Swiss-based VPN service provider, which infers that it is not part of any data surveillance program. In such a case, there is a likely expectancy that Proton VPN renders a trustworthy and transparent service to meet the privacy needs of users.
There is also a mention of a transparency report on their official website, which states that ProtonVPN was compelled by a legal entity to provide users’ information. But they were not able to furnish it, as they retained zero user logs. The same report also explains why Switzerland is a great place to launch a VPN service.
Disclaimer: We were not able to independently verify ProtopnVPN’s claim mentioned above.
It was quite disappointing for us to know that ProtonVPN does not meet the privacy tools.io criteria that encrypts your data against global mass surveillance. But that doesn’t mean this provider is insecure. ProtonVPN comes with robust encryption standards, first-party owned DNS servers, accepts anonymous payment methods, offers a full-system network kill switch and a Double VPN protection.
It is also one of the few VPN providers to offer a free version of their service. So, is this the best Free VPN? What will you miss as a free version user, and what will you enjoy as a privileged premium user? Is it too good to be hyped?
Find out with this hands-on ProtonVPN review.
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Table of Contents
Features of ProtonVPN
- Founded: 2014
- Encryption Standard: AES-256
- Handshake Encryption: RSA 2048
- Automatic Kill Switch: Yes
- Version: ProtonVPN v1.4.51
- Tunneling Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
- IPv6 Leak Protection: Yes
- DNS Leak Protection: Yes
- Ad Blocker: No
- Simultaneous Connections: 5 and 10 (based on your plan)
- Data Logging: Strict No-Log Policy
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Torrenting Capability: Limited
- Split Tunneling: Yes
- Special VPN servers: Tor over VPN and Double VPN servers
- Netflix Accessibility: Unblocks Netflix
- Server Details: 698+ servers, 44+Locations
- Business Headquarters: Switzerland
- Lowest subscription cost: Free/$4 per month
- Desktop and Laptops: macOS, Windows, Linux
- Mobile Phones: iOS and Android
- Smart TVs: Fire TV, Android TV
- Routers: Ausu WRT, Tomato, DD-WRT, etc.
- Web Browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, Opera, Samsung Browser, MUI Browser
- Fully OpenSource VPN Provider
Pricing and Payment Structure of ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN’s subscription packages are categorized as follows:
- Plus, and
ProtonVPN added 8 #Free, 3 Basic, and 5 Plus plan servers in Steenbergen, 3 Basic and 5 Plus plan servers in Madrid, and 3 Basic and 5 Plus plan servers in Paris.
The actual subscription models begin with the Basic plan, which is almost similar to the free version, except that it grants access to servers from all countries.
Users can unlock the comprehensive features of ProtonVPN only with Plus and Visionary plans. Proton email comes free with the high-end Visionary plan, which is a great deal for someone who needs this ecosystem. Otherwise, Plus and Visionary plans are alike.
ProtonVPN has an attractive policy that allows users to change their active subscriptions at any time. With this policy, users can choose any plan and modify(upgrade/downgrade) or cancel the subscription as they wish. By doing this, your amount for the unused subscription days gets refunded to your account based on your package level.
ProtonVPN offers you a 7-day free trial of the pro version that encourages you to try their premium services before going for an upgrade. There is also a 30-day money-back option for users.
Speed & Performance – How Fast is ProtonVPN?
During our ProtonVPN review, we found that this provider offers bare-bones torrenting services. It restricts P2P file sharing to a limited number of 4 servers. Whereas, when it comes to streaming online services, ProtonVPN is phenomenal. It unblocks Netflix US, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more. Unfortunately, ProtonVPN does not work with BBC iPlayer, which is one of its major drawbacks.
Server Coverage of ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN comes with an average number of server count with just 698 servers in 44 countries and 63 locations, while this number is in 1000s for some of its competitors in the marketplace.
Their servers are spread across major countries, some which include:
Servers that support P2P file sharing:
Servers that support TOR:
ProtonVPN has an option called profile that is fully customizable. With this option, you can connect to a specific type of server with a particular protocol in any location you desire. This feature is one of the coolest things we noticed in this VPN provider, as it helps you when you intend to switch to a customized alternative connection quickly. ProtonVPN comes with smart notification settings and also has simple icons that communicate the type and functionality of each server.
On the downside, choosing a specific server location can sometimes be an arduous process. ProtonVPN can try organizing their servers based on states.
Customer Support Service
You can also approach their support team using a contact form, through which you are likely to get a response/resolution within 24 hours. Unfortunately, ProtonVPN does not have a live chat option, which means users don’t get prompt real-time support when required.
Pros of ProtonVPN
- Free version
- Jurisdiction and Log policy
- Great user experience
- Good encryption and security standards
- Works with Netflix
- Good speeds
- TOR and Double VPN servers
- 7 day free trial
- 30 day moneyback option
- Sufficiently good customer support
- Fully open-source and audited VPN
Cons of ProtonVPN
- Limited Torrenting
- Doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer
- Limited server base
- No live chat support
In sum, ProtonVPN ultimately earns our endorsement. It’s a Yes from us!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is ProtonVPN free?
ProtonVPN is a VPN provider that offers both free and paid versions of its service. Though the free version is suitable for your basic privacy needs, users can unlock the comprehensive features of ProtonVPN only with their paid plans.
Does ProtonVPN have a Kill Switch?
Yes, ProtonVPN comes with an integrated kill switch system that protects users against vulnerabilities during unstable connections.
Is ProtonVPN trustworthy?
Yes, ProtonVPN has its Jurisdiction outside of the prying 9/5/14 eyes alliance. Moreover, it scores for its strict no-log policy, which proves that it is a reliable VPN dedicated to protecting your privacy.
Is ProtonVPN encrypted?
Yes, ProtonVPN comes with strong encryption standards, including the high-end AES-256 bit and RSA 2048 Handshake encryptions. It means that your data is safe from the hands of intrusive third parties like hackers, online advertisers, and snoopers.
Does ProtonVPN work with Netflix?
Yes, ProtonVPN has dedicated servers to stream online applications like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Kodi, and more.
Does ProtonVPN work in China?
Who owns ProtonVPN?
A team of scientists, engineers, and Cybersecurity professionals from CERN that developed the renowned encrypted email service Proton Mail, owns ProtonVPN.
- Unlimited devices
- Supports P2P
- 30-day Money Back
- 24/7 expert support
- Automatic Kill Switch
- DNS leak protection
- Use up to 6 devices
- Best for Steaming Events
- DDoS Protection
- Access Any Website
- Secure Wi-Fi
- Connect up to 5 devices
- No Logging Policy
- Split Tunneling
- Easy to use
- Free version available