• VPN Protocols: IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP
  • Connections: You can use up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Streaming: HBO, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many more
  • Torrenting: Allows torrenting (P2P sharing)
  • RAM-disk mode: /

minimum price:

Free plan

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ProtonVPN Review

ProtonVPN Review

minimum price:

Free plan

Visit Website
  • VPN Protocols: IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP
  • Connections: You can use up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • Streaming: HBO, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many more
  • Torrenting: Allows torrenting (P2P sharing)
  • RAM-disk mode: /

works on:

Android Android
Android TV Android TV
Windows Windows
Apple Apple
Linux Linux
Router Router
Chrome Chrome
Mac OS Mac OS

Best For

Security

STRENGTHS

  • Strong Encryption & Protocols
  • No Leaks, No Logs
  • Streams Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  • Supports Tor Browser & P2P
  • ProtonMail bundle

WEAKNESSES

  • Only Email Support
  • Lacks WireGuard support
  • Fewer servers and locations than most

It can be challenging to find the proper VPN provider as there isn’t much detailed information provided online. That’s why we are stepping in with this ProtonVPN Review to help you around.

Is ProtonVPN worth the hype? If you are in search of the safest VPN provider, then this all-inclusive review might come in handy. Let’s see what truly lies behind the allegedly most secure VPN in the world. 

We have listed everything we are going to talk about in this ProtonVPN Review:

  • Services and features offered by ProtonVPN
  • ProtonVPN Prices and Plans
  • Speed and Performance
  • Privacy and Registration Process
  • ProtonVPN Competitors
  • Online Reviews

What is ProtonVPN?

Browsing the internet or making purchases on an unprotected Wi-Fi network exposes your personal information and surfing activities. This is why a virtual private network (VPN) is essential for all those worried about cybersecurity and privacy.

Secure VPN gives the ability to create a safe network link while using public networks. VPNs encrypt your web traffic and mask your virtual profile. This makes it increasingly challenging for third parties to observe online activities and collect info.

This VPN provider’s head office is based in Geneva, Switzerland, a country generally known for having strict personal privacy laws. 

The Proton founding team’s story began in 2014 in CERN, where they created the famous ProtonMail. The ProtonVPN project followed soon after, in 2016.

Services and Features Offered by ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN provides its customers with numerous VPN services and features such as:

  • IP protection
  • Zero activity logs
  • Kill switch
  • P2P support
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • High speed
  • DNS leak protection

This is only a small list of features that ProtonVPN has. Let’s dig deeper and see what the best values of this VPN are.

Security and Protection

Every VPN logs at least some of the data required to run its services, and ProtonVPN is no exception. However, when it comes to genuine VPN protection, it does not record customer connection info, so even if the Switzerland government were to demand it, the corporation would have nothing to give to them.

Kill Switch, NetShield and more

ProtonVPN has a kill switch and a continuous mode that serves as a buffer, stopping traffic until the network reconnects. In addition, the provider defends your DNS requests by encrypting them into their tunnel and preventing data leakage.

Split tunnelling is a standard service that lets you route your device traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel, so is NetShield – ProtonVPN’s newest feature, designed to block advertisements and malware.

However, ProtonVPN doesn’t offer WireGuard– a VPN communication protocol fit for different circumstances. The lack of this protocol isn’t a big problem, given how new their technology is. The company says that it plans to launch WireGuard support by the end of 2021. 

If you need a separate IP address, ProtonVPN will not be a good fit for you because it does not provide that feature. 

Protocols

In terms of ProtonVPN’s strong encryption, this company uses advanced VPN protocols

ProtonVPN encrypts all network traffic with AES-256, exchanges keys with 4096-bit RSA, and uses HMAC with SHA384 for message authentication.

Their Windows client and Linux command-line tool use the OpenVPN protocol (a VPN system that uses techniques for secure point-to-point connections). In contrast, Android, iOS, and macOS applications use VPN encryption protocol responsible for securing internet traffic-IKEv2/IPSec protocol. 

Unlike ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN refuses to use cheaper VPN protocols like PPTP or L2TP/IPSec because it does not meet the company’s standards.

When it comes to simultaneous connections, ProtonVPN provides VPN access to up to 10 devices, depending on which plan you choose, of course. ProtonVPN’s free version, for example, allows access to only one device. More on the plan variants later.

Servers 

As far as it comes to the VPN servers, ProtonVPN has several worldwide server networks that allow users to access a wide range of locations. As of now, this company provides 1240 servers spread over 55 countries. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, covers an incredible 94 countries.

Secure Core servers expand hardware, firmware, and operating system capabilities to help in defending from present and future threats. These protections establish a platform with increased security for critical server applications and data. Access to Secure Core servers is included in the ProtonVPN Plus package. ProtonVPN claims that these VPN servers are only located in countries with strict privacy regulations and directly owns them.

Streaming and Torrenting 

ProtonVPN is an excellent VPN for torrenting. With a firm no-logs policy, the provider allows P2P file sharing on all servers and keeps the torrenting activities secure. This VPN also makes it easy to access content from other streaming platforms.

In the same way, it’s a good choice when it comes to VPN for content streaming. ProtonVPN can stream HBO, HBO max, Amazon Prime, Hulu and the most famous out of all, Netflix itself. 

ProtonVPN is compatible with all devices, including computers, Macs, tablets, and routers. 

ProtonVPN is mobile-friendly, and its native mobile VPN apps are available for Android and iOS.

ProtonVPN Prices and Plans

Below we have listed all plans that ProtonVPN offers: 

Monthly plans Free

0 /mo

Basic

Charging 5 € monthly

Plus (best offer)
Charging 10 € monthly
Visionary

Charging 30 € monthly

Annually save 20%  Free

0 /mo

Basic

Charging 48 € yearly (save 12 €)

Plus

Charging 96 € yearly (save 24 €)

Visionary

Charging 288 € yearly (save 72 €)

Two-year save 33% Free

0 /mo

Basic

Charging 79 € every 2 years (save 41 €)

Plus

Charging 159 € every 2 years (save 81 €) 

Visionary

Charging 479 € every 2 years (save 241 €)

Now let’s see all the features that this VPN’s paid and free plans provide: 

  • Monthly plans 
  • Annually save 20% 
  • Two-year save 33%

ProtonVPN locks additional features under subscription plans, but its method seems to be more preoccupied with availability than offers. With ProtonVPN‘s free program, you can get a perfectly decent VPN experience. You will also have to create an account with ProtonVPN to access even its free category. 

Speed and Performance

ProtonVPN has a somewhat standard average speed (40Mbps) when it comes to other best-rated VPNs.

ProtonVPN‘s free plan downloaded data at an average rate of 47.4 Mbps (73% slower than without any VPN connection). Upload speeds were 22.0 Mbps (37% slower than before a VPN was turned on). 

VPN speeds vary between free, basic, and other plans due to diverse server loads. ProtonVPN offers a limited number of free servers, and those servers tend to have many more users connected, which leads to a slower speed.

ProtonVPN reduced download and upload speed test results by 72.7% and 81.6%. The tests showed ProtonVPN increased latency by 77.8%.

Let’s see how well it did compare to ExpressVPN’s speeds:

Tests  ProtonVPN ExpressVPN
Download speed 157.52 Mbps 62.88 Mbps
Download speed using VPN 91.41 Mbps 39.77 Mbps
Download speed drop 41.97%  36.75%
Upload speed 28.95 Mbps 40.61 Mbps
Upload speed using VPN 27.88 Mbps 30.95 Mbps
Upload speed drop 3.7% 23.97% 

When it comes to downloading speeds, ExpressVPN has a slight advantage in terms of performance. However, with uploading speeds, ProtonVPN outperforms ExpressVPN by reducing the PC’s usual bandwidth by only 3.7 per cent, as opposed to 23.97 per cent for ExpressVPN. 

Privacy and Registration Process

When it comes to privacy features, ProtonVPN enforces a strict no-logs policy. It means that the company doesn’t keep any session usage logs of what you do online, and they do not log data that can put your privacy at risk.  

This level of privacy is possible partly because ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which has some of the most substantial VPN data protection and digital privacy laws worldwide. 

According to the company’s transparency report, ProtonVPN got a legitimate request for info in January 2019. but did not have any to give. All of this is fantastic in terms of privacy and protection.

However, they record the following personal data: email address, support requests, bug reports, payment information. All of the mentioned data will be deleted when you delete your account. Before that, it’s encrypted and stored locally on their servers.

Creating a ProtonVPN account 

If you want to make a ProtonVPN account, you will have to go through the ProtonVPN sign up procedure. We did the registration process, so these simple steps may be helpful: 

  • First, you will go to https://protonvpn.com/ 
  • Then click the signup button on the right side of the site 
  • Choose your preferred option and also the currency you want it in
  • Pick your best plan out of the four available 
  • Create your account by typing in your username, password and email address 
  • After filling in your personal information, you will see on your plan details, on the right side of the same page, as well as the total price for it  (unless you’re getting a free plan)

(Plan details and total price varies according to what plan you select for yourself)

  • Complete human verification procedure 
  • You will receive a verification code which you’ll have to enter 

That’s about it! Your ProtonVPN account is now created. It will automatically take you to the downloads page, where you can download the ProtonVPN client for your platform.

One of the issues is that ProtonVPN does not provide phone or chat service 24/7. Its website has an information base that answers several often asked questions. Still, the list of topics isn’t as long as with its rivals, and several manuals lack screenshots that will better explain the step-by-step instruction.

Your primary source of help is email, and responses will take a while. Suppose you are searching for a VPN provider who will personally walk you through the application procedure and be available whenever you have an urgent issue. In that case, ProtonVPN may not be the right option for you. 

ProtonVPN Competitors

ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN  

The main offices of ExpressVPN are in the British Virgin Islands, while ProtonVPN is in Switzerland, all of which have strict privacy rules. Regarding security, both companies have a strict no-traffic-log policy. Other similarities include: split tunnelling, kill switch and more. Both of them work perfectly with Netflix, allowing users to quickly jump over the globe and see what the UK Netflix has to offer. 

Let’s take a look at slight differences. While ExpressVPN outperforms ProtonVPN in terms of server numbers, ProtonVPN has a distinct advantage; multi-hop technology.  ExpressVPN rotates IP addresses frequently. ProtonVPN, instead, uses a sharing scheme in which many users on the same server share just one IP address. ExpressVPN has Chrome, Firefox, and Safari extensions. ProtonVPN doesn’t have browser support, at least not yet. 

ProtonVPN vs NordVPN

Although ProtonVPN has over 1,240 servers in over 55 countries, NordVPN has a whopping 5388 in 59 countries. Since they are located in Switzerland and Panama, they are not members of a worldwide security coalition or subject to data protection rules. 

ProtonVPN for Windows is faster, but NordVPN fared better than ProtonVPN did on Mac.

ProtonVPN and NordVPN do not log your private session information. Both have kill switches, and both allow you to stream Netflix or torrent. We can say that they have quite a few similarities. Some of the differences include speed performance, number of servers and locations and different VPN prices. Also, NordVPN doesn’t offer split tunnelling, while ProtonVPN does. 

 ProtonVPN vs Surfshark

Surfshark surpasses ProtonVPN when we compare a number of servers and locations. Both use the same VPN protocols, but ProtonVPN has slightly stronger encryption with AES-256, RSA-2048 key exchange and HMAC with SHA-256 authentication, while Surfshark uses AES-256. Kill switch is another feature that both have and support for many streaming services in multiple regions. 

When we compare average speeds, Surfshark has impressive download speed and is great for gaming, unlike ProtonVPN. While ProtonVPN has a free monthly, annual and two-year plan, Surfshark doesn’t offer a free trial. 

ProtonVPN vs Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield has a regular storage limit of 500MB and a connection speed limit of 2Mbps.

ProtonVPN is relatively better since it does not restrict users’ monthly data consumption, but it has’ medium’ speeds, as the organisation explains on its website.

Hotspot Shield allows users to connect to servers easily, and the service is available for free on operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. ProtonVPN also offers apps for multiple platforms. Proton’s applications are packed with many features, so you can quickly sign up with your email. ProtonVPN and Hotspot Shield are both good VPN options for streaming

ProtonVPN Reviews Online

ProtonVPN has an overall score of 6.6 out of 10, according to a recent online review.
It ranked 18th out of 289 VPN providers for its features and services. ProtonVPN has a decent 3.9 rating from the Apple store and a 4.2 from the Google play store. 

Most of the customers are satisfied with the services that ProtonVPN provides. From free servers, great platform support to strong encryption. There will, of course, be some negative reviews, mainly for ProtonVPN’s customer support. As they don’t have a live chat, sometimes it even takes them days to answer via email support. As we all know, opinions and preferences vary, which results in mixed experiences. 

Wrap Up 

A remarkably privacy-focused VPN with a pleasant UI but poor customer support.

With strong security and respect for user’s privacy, documented in this ProtonVPN Review, it’s clear that ProtonVPN is a superior provider for anybody worried about digital safety. 

For ProtonVPN, we cannot say that it is the biggest nor the fanciest VPN provider; still, it is one of the best VPNs we have reviewed so far.

FAQ

Is ProtonVPN safe?

Yes, it is. ProtonVPN free is a safe VPN version that comes with unlimited data and no caps. Meaning you can use it all the time without worrying about spending all of your bandwidth.

Does ProtonVPN give free data?

Yes, it does. All ProtonVPN consumers, even the ones who use a free plan, have unlimited bandwidth and data. However, your connection will likely be slower when connected to a VPN server than when browsing the web without using ProtonVPN.

Does ProtonVPN have a kill switch?

A kill switch is available to all ProtonVPN users on macOS and Windows.

Does ProtonVPN free work with Netflix?

No, it does not. ProtonVPN offers a free version with no time restrictions; however, it does not work with Netflix. Only servers with the PLUS sign do work. If you want to watch Netflix with ProtonVPN, you must purchase ProtonVPN PLUS or ProtonVPN Visionary plan.

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