From the creators of ProtonMail, the world’s largest secure email service, comes ProtonVPN, promising to safeguard your data on the internet from a 1000-meter-underground bunker in Switzerland. This VPN is for privacy-concerned folks and torrent fans out there. But is ProtonVPN as innovative and pioneering as ProtonMail? Not to the degree that we would like.
With its keen focus on privacy, ProtonVPN is very straightforward and has one of the most transparent privacy policies we have seen so far. Thanks to its location in privacy-friendly Switzerland, ProtonVPN follows a strict no-logging policy. Under Swiss law, none of the information about your connection, session bandwidth, IP address, or online activities is stored. The only information kept is a single timestamp of your account’s most recent login as well as your ProtonID, which isn’t enough for even the most skilled surveillance agent to track you down.
Stepping into the security department, we are very impressed with ProtonVPN’s versatile set of security features and solid encryption. With AES 256-bit encryption and support for OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, ProtonVPN makes sure that your internet traffic is never compromised. However, it’s the Secure Core feature that makes ProtonVPN truly unique. ProtonVPN’s Secure Core routes your traffic through multiple highly secure servers before it leaves the provider’s network, giving you absolute anonymity and a better defense against cyberattacks. Other security features include a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, Perfect Forward Secrecy to ensure that your traffic cannot be decrypted, and built-in Tor support, which gives you access to Onion websites and routes your traffic through the Tor network with a single click.
There are other things to look for in a VPN besides exceptional privacy and security, however. So, what more can you get out of ProtonVPN?
Speed is a key consideration for online streaming, gaming, and torrenting. While ProtonVPN delivers stable connections with unlimited bandwidth through high-speed servers (up to 10 Gbps), it isn’t as fast as we expected. The US and Plus servers gave better speed test results than the rest. In comparison, there are faster VPNs on the market with excellent privacy and encryption at cheaper prices.
What if you want to catch the latest Netflix US release, but can’t get around geo-restrictions? With a growing network of over 200 servers in more than 20 countries, ProtonVPN is one of the VPNs that can actually unblock Netflix and other heavily geoblocked sites such as Hulu. However, it couldn’t get us into the BBC iPlayer when we tested it. For torrent lovers out there, ProtonVPN allows P2P and file sharing on its servers, and with all of the security tools mentioned above, you don’t need to worry about torrenting risks.
In addition, ProtonVPN offers smooth, attractive, and user-friendly apps for Windows, Mac OS, and Android. They’re working on releasing an app for iOS soon. You also get 10 simultaneous connections per account with the Visionary plan, so that you can protect your entire family and a few friends as well.
There are other perks to ProtonVPN, including a free VPN service (limited to three servers and one connection), a 30-day money-back guarantee, a 7-day free trial for new Plus subscribers, and the option of paying in Bitcoin. On the other hand, support is slow and needs a lot of improvement. At the very least, it should be expanded to include more communication channels like live chat.
With class-A encryption and proven respect for privacy, it’s clear that ProtonVPN is a top-shelf provider for anyone concerned about staying secure online. It also delights e-streamers and torrent fanatics, but it falls short on a few important aspects, such as diverse support channels, speed, and wallet-friendly prices. It’s a worthy contender, but is it the best VPN in the market? The answer is “No.” There are far more feature-packed VPNs that outshine ProtonVPN at a lower cost.
If you’re wondering how the free version of Proton VPN ranks, you can check our top picks among free VPNs. Meanwhile, many of the best VPNs are currently offering deep discounts, so don’t miss our rundown of the best coupon codes available in 2018!