Have you heard of Atlas VPN? If not, it’s because this provider just hit the market in Jan’2020. It strives to be one of the best and most secure free VPN services with a premium version. But, how can you tell? I’ll be covering all you need to know in this Atlas VPN review, so keep reading!
How do you choose the best VPN? Is a free VPN even reliable? Are VPN services that offer both free and premium versions secure? These are all the questions you’ll need answers to if you’re interested in Atlas VPN. However, apart from these questions, there’s so much more to look into, regarding the safety and reliability of a VPN.
You’re going to need a little insight on its premium plan prices, the logging policies, device support and whether or not the free version can be used for streaming. I mean, Atlas VPN does claim to offer the best safety and privacy measures all at zero-cost. So, let’s do a little digging to see if it all adds up?
What it claims to offer
|Price||Free & $1.39/mo. for premium plan|
|Servers||500+ servers in 17 countries|
Every VPN provider offers a couple of basic features on the main homepage of its website. If you look at the chart above, you’ll note the price, server coverage and minimal information on the logs policy. In this Atlas VPN, I’ll be reviewing more than just mentioned.
To test a VPN’s capabilities, you need to look into every nook and cranny of the app and all it has to offer and then test the app.
To test Atlas VPN, I’ll be following a set criterion that I use for all VPN testing, but before getting into that, here’s what Atlas VPN has to offer:
- It’s a US-based VPN. This means it’s either good for unblocking US streaming services from abroad, all while being in a 14-eyes region. (Discussed further)
- Has around 500+ servers in 17 countries in the premium app and servers in 3 locations on the free app.
- Servers optimized for streaming and torrenting. (Tested)
- Device support is limited. Only has apps for Windows, Android and iOS. Does Atlas VPN support simultaneous device connections? (Discussed further)
- Claims to have fast connection speeds even on the free app. (Tested further)
- Limited security features on all apps.
- No live chat, but covers other mediums. (Discussed later under reliability of the app)
Atlas VPN review 2020 – The rating guide
There are many VPN services that are circulating in the market. Some are old, some new, others are free and only handful are top VPN services. But, how do you determine whether they’re safe and authentic? How do you test if Atlas VPN is worth your time and investments?
To put Atlas VPN to the test, I ran the app under a strict review of all the features it offers using a set criterion. In this way, I can truly know if Atlas VPN ticks all the right boxes, and where it falls short. Here’s how I tested it:
Pricing – How inexpensive is Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is quite affordable.
When going through a VPN provider’s features, always make sure you first check its affordability. The Atlas VPN price is as important to review, compared to its other attributes. How else will you see what it’s worth and what kind of performance you’re getting for the price?
So, taking a look at the Atlas VPN prices should give you a clearer idea of what to expect. Here’s what the prices are like:
- $4.99/mo. for the monthly plan
- $2.49/mo. for the 1-year plan
- $1.39/mo. for the 3-year plan (72% DISCOUNT)
Atlas VPN free trial review
Atlas VPN doesn’t actually offer a free trial typically but does offer a free version of the app. Yes, there’s a difference. In a free trial, you’ll have access to the VPN’s premium services for a limited time (servers, speed, security, app support, etc.)
Atlas VPN however, offers a free version of its app that comes with limited coverage of 3 servers, slower speeds, and unblocks only a couple of streaming services.
Does Atlas VPN offer a refund?
Yes, it does!
Atlas VPN payment methods
Payment methods are also equally important to review, and in this case Atlas VPN doesn’t have many methods to offer. Well, considering the fact that this provider is still fairly new, it’s understandable. Atlas VPN offers payment methods in:
- Credit Card
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
The payments made through the website are encrypted with TLS protocol. But, there’s no surety about how anonymous and safe the payments are, made through Google and Apple Stores.
Location – Atlas VPN jurisdiction safety review
The location of a VPN is very important to go through. There are some providers located in countries with extreme surveillance laws, or located with the 14-eyes alliance . The alliance is a group of countries that surveillance online user activities, steal data, store them, or steal to other members of the alliance.
However, there are some cases where the VPN provider is within 14-eyes regions, but is pretty sound on its logging policies. Keeping that in mind, let’s review how safe the Atlas VPN jurisdiction is.
Atlas VPN is located in the United States. It does fall under the 14-eyes alliance. However, if you take a look at its logging policy (which I’ll discuss later), it does mention that it doesn’t log user data. But, there were still a few things that were very unclear.
Another view would be that since Atlas VPN is located in the US, it would be the great for unblocking US streaming services from anywhere in the world.
Atlas VPN server coverage
There’s another aspect to look into where location is concerned, and in this case it’s discussing the Atlas VPN server coverage. A VPN can cover a huge list of servers or a small one, but what’s important is placement and how effective each is.
Atlas VPN covers servers in 3 locations and 2 countries on its free app. These are good enough for unblocking a few streaming services in the US and access to online privacy in the Netherlands.
The premium Atlas VPN app has around 500+ servers in 17 countries.
The only thing I feel is lacking is server location placement. It could do with a couple more European or Asian servers.
Does Atlas VPN work in China?
There are only a few VPN services that can unblock international services in China. and bypass the many restrictions and censorship laws within the country. Not many make it to that list. I did contact the support team via. Email, and asked about the functionality in China. Here’s what they had to say:
This is completely alright since the app is still under construction. You can’t expect a new VPN to possess the best features. Not yet, at least. However, there are other user-reviews that mention that they were able to access a few platforms in China, probably by connecting to the Singaporean and US servers.
Security – Atlas VPN security features review
The security features of a VPN need to be of the highest degree, securing not just your device, but your data, which is also inclusive of how well it privatizes your online activities.
To review the security structure of Atlas VPN, I broke down each and every component that makes it. This includes the encryption, protocols, and if or whether it comes with other advanced features.
Let’s take a look at what Atlas VPN has to offer, starting with:
Atlas VPN encryption
One thing I don’t quite appreciate is the extremely tiny bits of information provided by the Atlas VPN website. It only mentions enhanced privacy and safety, but no information on the kind of encryption standards it runs on. I contacted the support team and placed a few questions. They mentioned that they operate on AES 256-bit encryption. This is the highest standard, allowing secure connections and more.
Most VPN users aim for providers that offer OpenVPN. However, Atlas VPN only offers one encryption protocol for all apps; IKEv2. It’s still one of the fastest and most secure. The team did mention that they’re still working on adding more in the future.
There doesn’t seem to be a Kill Switch enabling the feature on the Windows and iOS app and only offers the option to manually add it to the Android device. To add this feature, you’ll have to go to your Settings and click on Network & Internet. Then click on VPN and then on the Atlas VPN wheel icon.
If you’re willing to leave your VPN on throughout, you should enable it. There’s also an option to “Block Connections Without VPN”, click on it to jet start the Kill Switch.
This feature can be enabled on the app, and serves as a Firewall or protector against malicious websites.
Apart from these, there don’t seem to be any other advanced features like Split Tunneling, Ad-blocker, nor DNS servers. But, that’s probably because this provider is still well on the way of development.
On the Android premium app, all you’ll find is:
Invisibility – Does Atlas VPN leak IP/DNS and webRTC?
No, and yes.
As part of a VPN’s security system, you need to test whether the provider leaks data. You can check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks by connecting to any server, and following the steps mentioned below:
For the IP leak test
I connected to the US Miami server and conducted the IP leak test on ipleaks.org. The results were leak-free:
For the DNS leak test
I connected to the US Miami server and conducted the DNS leak test on dnsleak.com. The results were leak-free:
For the webRTC leak test
I connected to the US Miami server and conducted the webRTC leak test on browserleaks.com. The results were negative. It leaks my local IP.
Streaming – Can Atlas VPN unblock the US Netflix library?
Yes, it can.
Where Netflix is concerned, there are only a few VPN services that can unblock it, and grant access to many streaming services worldwide. There are services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney Plus that aren’t easy to access from geo-restricted regions.
I did contact the support team, and they mentioned that these services are easy to unlock, but you should always test it out on your own for accurate results.
Considering the fact that Atlas VPN is still new, I managed to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus.
I faced a few issues with BBC iPlayer. However, the results may vary from user to user, depending on where you’re physically located.
Does Atlas VPN allow torrenting or P2P file sharing?
Yes, it does. However, make sure you’re on the premium subscription. The website doesn’t really mention anything about using the app to torrent, but after a few tests, it does work. Although, because there aren’t many servers that guarantee the best speeds, make sure torrenting is done at a minimum. If torrenting is your main focus, there are other torrenting VPNs that are worth looking into.
Speed – Atlas VPN speed test review
Streaming is completely pointless without great speeds. The average for streaming HD on Netflix requires a 13Mbps. The stability of the speed that a VPN can offer depends on your local connection speeds.
A VPN won’t drastically or even miraculously make it faster, but rather make it consistent. To understand a little more on how to test VPN speed, you should go through this blog where I conducted the ExpressVPN speed test.
I tried testing the Atlas VPN speeds on speedtest.net, but before that tested the speeds without connecting to the VPN. Here are the results:
I then connected to the VPN, using the US, UK, and CA servers. Here were the results:
Speed test using the US server:
The CA server:
Using the UK server:
The speeds will solely depend on what you’re already working with and considering my connection speeds were high, the results after connecting to the VPN should’ve high too. However, the results were still very good, considering it’s consistent enough for HD and 4K streaming.
Compatibility – Atlas VPN device support review
Investing in a top VPN means maximum protection for all your devices, and not just one. Testing out a VPN’s device compatibility means checking to see whether it offers multiple device connections, or whether or not it supports your operating system. The most commonly supported devices include Windows, Android, and Firestick, macOS, iOS, Linux, and apps for secure browser extensions.
However, since Atlas VPN is still new, it only supports a few platforms:
- macOS (coming soon)
- Chrome (coming soon)
There are no simultaneous connections added to its list of features yet. Each subscription scores protection over just one device for now.
Atlas VPN Android app
Since there aren’t many platforms to test Atlas VPN on, I conducted the review using the Android app, which has more use of the simple features it encompasses. The Android app is extremely user-friendly. When you sign in, you’ll see a power button, with a drop-down menu on the left side of the app. You either choose which server you like, or auto-connect to the best one according to your location.
Reliability – Is Atlas VPN safe?
After going through the entire Atlas VPN review, the last component left to scrutinize is the app’s reliability. This means tapping into its logging policy, and customer support, etc. We know that Atlas VPN is located in the US, but do determine whether or not the provider is safe, you need to see if it logs user data.
So, let’s take a look at that first:
Atlas VPN logging policy
This provider claims it doesn’t log any user data, but after going through the policies, turns out minimal information is stored, which you can ask to wipe out when you cancel your subscription.
Here’s an excerpt from its logging policy:
They mention to only store minimal information required to make your experience better. This is what most VPN services collect usually. However, considering that this VPN is still in the works, and doesn’t include many advanced security measures yet, I wouldn’t be too quick to invest just yet.
Customer service is essential for great user experience. It also shows the reliability of the provider. There’s no live chat, which is most required. There is, however, an:
- Email system
- Ticket system
The email support is the most useful, but you’ll probably have to wait an entire day like I did, for a response. So, make sure you ask a bunch of questions in one go for quicker results.
Conclusion – Do I recommend Atlas VPN?
No, I do not. I would recommend it only if the VPN is fully equipped with the best features and performance.
At the moment, the apps are still under development. It has extremely basic security features but operates on the best encryption. The speeds are good and unblocked Netflix, but the server coverage is very minimalistic compared to other providers.
This VPN, does, however, offer a free version of its app that doesn’t require you to sign up with the service. Always review every aspect of a VPN, in this case, Atlas VPN, for a better picture.
So, if you’re in need of a free app, I recommend Atlas VPN. If you’re looking for something a bit more on the advanced side, I recommend another inexpensive but superior provider called Surfshark that also offers multiple simultaneous device connections.