ProtonVPN - Full Review
As a subsidiary of ProtonMail, which happens to be one of the most secure and convenient email services today, ProtonVPN uses existing technology to deliver total anonymity and an impressive emphasis on privacy and security.
In this review, we cover all that you need to know about ProtonVPN, from its speed and pricing to its streaming and torrenting performance, so stick around.
To assess ProtonVPN’s speed, we tested a few of its servers in several locations, having a base download speed of around 60Mbps.
We started our tests by connecting to a nearby U.S server. To our surprise, the download speed was considerably low. This was due to the server having high traffic.
We then decided to connect to another U.S server, but manually this time in order to pinpoint a server with low traffic. As we expected, the download speed was a lot better.
Thereafter, we tested the ProtonVPN’s speed using a few servers abroad. We connected to a server in Germany and another in the UK, with the download speeds being around 20-25 Mbps. Not that great, but still quite functional.
All things considered, ProtonVPN isn’t going to offer you great speeds like Express or Nord, but it’ll be functional enough for most online activities.
Despite prioritizing privacy and security over all other aspects, ProtonVPN displays an excellent streaming performance.
We were able to unlock various Netflix libraries on a host of servers. Further, the platform is able to bypass Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu’s geo-restrictions.
The problem with ProtonVPN when it comes to streaming, however, is that it’s not very fast, as we discussed in the previous section. So, expect some buffering every now and then.
ProtonVPN is actually one of the best VPN services when it comes to P2P activity.
ProtonVPN isn’t one of those VPN servers that have only a few torrenting-friendly servers. All of ProtonVPN’s servers are torrenting-friendly!
Also, since the platform has a strict no-log policy, all of your torrenting activities will be entirely private.
It’s also worth noting that ProtonVPN’s website features various guides and articles on how to utilize the platform in conjunction with BitTorrent.
As a gamer, you need a VPN service that boasts an expansive network of servers with ultra-fast speeds. Sadly, you won’t find that with ProtonVPN.
ProtonVPN’s server network is pretty limited compared to other leading providers. And as we discussed earlier, it’s not the fastest VPN service out there. So, we wouldn’t recommend it for serious gamers.
ProtonVPN doesn’t have a free trial. What it does have, however, is an entirely free version that you can try without any financial commitments.
The free version is quite limited compared to the platform’s paid plans, but it’s still a great way to test-drive ProtonVPN before deciding whether or not it’s worth paying for.
ProtonVPN features three paid plans, in addition to a limited free plan. The Basic Plan is priced very reasonably, but it doesn’t offer advanced features like the other two paid plans.
The Plus and Visionary plans grant the user access to Tor servers, Secure Core servers, P2P support, and many more.
The difference between the Plus and Visionary plans is that the latter, which happens to be comparatively costly, comes with a ProtonMail subscription. If you have no need for ProtonMail, opt for the Plus plan.
All of ProtonVPN’s pricing plans can be billed monthly or yearly. Note that annual subscriptions tend to feature small discounts.
Deciding which plan to opt for can be confusing, so we strongly recommend that you give the free version a go, first. Personally, we think the Plus plan offers the best value for the money.
Note that all of ProtonVPN’s paid plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, if you’re unhappy with your subscription, you can request a refund with no questions asked.
ProtonVPN flaunts one of the most versatile split tunneling systems you can use, allowing you to route traffic to specific applications that are independent of the VPN tunnel. There are native apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, so you can enable ProtonVPN on various platforms.
Further, you get to enjoy a bunch of different startup options, auto-connect settings, and protocol settings, including UDP and TCP.
DNS Leak Results
With ProtonVPN, you can forget all about DNS leaks, as it’s equipped with built-in DNS leak protection.
We tried the feature on several servers, including one in Hong Kong, and we couldn’t detect any DNS leaks.
Other security features that ProtonVPN features include AES-256 encryption, 4096-bit RSA key exchange, and the Perfect Forward Secrecy feature, which generates a unique encryption key every time you connect to a server.
ProtonVPN’s list of protocols isn’t the longest we’ve seen, featuring only IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN, but it’s still enough to ensure a secure connection.
ProtonVPN is owned by Proton Technologies AG, which is an employee-controlled company in Switzerland.
The company was founded in 2014 by a group of scientists that met at the European Center for Nuclear Research of all places.
As mentioned before, Proton Technologies AG is behind the most prominent encrypted email service today, ProtonMail.
ProtonVPN’s server network isn’t the most impressive, featuring around 1,080 servers in 54 countries. This isn’t much compared to the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but it’s still quite satisfactory for the average user.
All things considered, ProtonVPN is an excellent VPN service for the security-minded user. It’s also an ideal option for torrenting and streaming.
If you’re a gamer, however, we recommend opting for a different service like Surfshark, PIA, or CyberGhost, as ProtonVPN’s server network and the speeds it’s able to achieve are mediocre.