Having cumulated multiple user-reviews and mingled with my personal testing, let’s see if ProtonVPN is one of the better choices for 2020 in my detailed VPN review.
In the age of online freedom, the internet can be a very dark place to be on; especially without protection. I feel a VPN is the most reliable; if not the ultimate, solution to all of your surfing needs.
However, not every VPN is suitable.
For this, I’m going to be conducting a couple of tests in my ProtonVPN review, which will later reveal whether this really is the most relevant choice for you. ProtonVPN claims to have strong encryption protocols, a no-logging policy, DNS leak protection, high speeds, and more with a starting price of $4/mo.
But…is it true?
ProtonVPN – An outlook
|Servers||900+ servers in 50+ countries|
ProtonVPN According to My Rating Criteria
So, the thing is, when I think about why cybersecurity is important and all the necessary precautions that need to be considered, a VPN comes to mind.
But, of course, there are many VPNs in the industry, and choosing them means overlooking each and every detail required, even if it means testing it out on your own.
As for ProtonVPN, I will go through its entire performance in my review, based on the following:
- Streaming and torrenting
Pricing – ProtonVPN affordability review
When we usually talk about a VPN; about how safe it is, what kind of features it provides, you’re probably going to be more interested in the money you’ll have to invest in it?
Yes, the product may be good, but again is it really going to be worth every penny?
Let’s take a look at what you’ll be investing into and whether it”s still worth it:
The great thing about ProtonVPN is the fact that it branches into 3 pricing quotas which are:
- Yearly (Saves 20%)
There are differences in price within each package, with the yearly plan being the most affordable. Let’s break up the three plans and see exactly what they give us.
The yearly plan is said to be the most reasonably priced out of all 3 plans. It includes:
Its two-year plan seems to be a little over-priced, branching into 3 portions:
Apart from all the plans including high-speeds and simultaneous connections up-to more than 1 device, P2P optimized servers, its Plus and Visionary plans include much more.
It is inclusive of ProtonVPN’s own servers, applicable towards streaming platforms, and on its Visionary plan includes the perks of ProtonMail’s secured mailing services.
All-in-all, I believe the pricing plans in the yearly segment are a little bit more reasonable as compared to the other packages. But, I still feel that as compared to other VPNs in the market, it’s still a little overpriced.
However, on the brighter side, to make up for that and to provide beginners with the simple perks of a VPN, ProtonVPN provides a free trial and a free version of its app.
The good thing about ProtonVPN is that it offers a free version. However, the only downside is that the free version is limited towards servers in just 3 countries (US, NL, and JP).
It offers unlimited bandwidth with connection to one device, delivering medium to low speeds. I guess this is pretty alright for just limited or testing purposes, especially since not many VPN providers offer any free services and even if they do, it’s limited towards 1 month or with limited bandwidth.
Yes, ProtonVPN is a little overpriced as compared to many other service providers. However, as I’ve already brought to your notice, ProtonVPN does offer both a free version and a free trial.
The trial version is a little different as compared to the free bit. It extends its services towards 7-days of usage with the full advantage of the Plus subscription plan without having to provide any credit card details.
This is great for anyone who wants to give the VPN a test run for review purposes.
To sign up you can follow this link, which will show you exactly how you can get started. On a serious note, I understand the perks of free things, but you should always go through every policy thoroughly before tipping into the product.
ProtonVPN payment method review
The ProtonVPN method of payment breaks into 4 options:
- Credit Card
Its refund policy
ProtonVPN also shapes up a 30-day refund policy for its paid subscriptions. However, the refund is only applicable to the number of days you use the VPN services, within the 30-day mark. To avail of your refund, just start by emailing the support team at [email protected]
Location – Is ProtonVPN safe?
Yes, it is!
Have you ever heard of the 14-eyes alliance? A hand full of the major countries like the US and others within the EU are a part of the alliance, which makes you doubt its safety.
Luckily, since ProtonVPN is located in Switzerland, away from the alliance, automatically marks it as a safe jurisdiction.
So, yes, ProtonVPN checks out as a safe option to look into.
Proton VPN servers – What’s served?
ProtonVPN currently has around 900+ servers in 50+ countries, with most of its servers based in the US and EU.
If I’m being honest, I believe that ProtonVPN should definitely have more server locations, especially for the prices being paid. Secondly, not all are P2P or streaming compatible, which makes it a little difficult to sort out servers that can fulfill both these tasks.
I believe that much bigger or well-known providers in the VPN industry have a cheaper rate and provide a wide platform of servers, even in their free versions.
On the other hand, this VPN has also sprung up its own servers, enveloped in a feature called “Secure Core”. To learn more about it, give this link a little visit.
Security – ProtonVPN encryption protocols and other features
What’s the first thing you look for when buying a phone? Is it the price? Is it the color or do you look for one that carries the best features, most suitable for the rate it holds?
In a similar way, a VPN is best when it provides good speeds and its ability to mask your IP by spoofing your location. So, moving on, let’s check out everything that ProtonVPN has to offer.
ProtonVPN encryption review
ProtonVPN uses military-grade AES 256-CBC cipher paged together with 4096-bit RSA key exchange and HMAC with SHA-512 authentication. Basically, if you ever feel like someone is trying to hack into your system and steal all your data, you should know that you’re in safe hands.
ProtonVPN protocols review
ProtonVPN uses 2 types of VPN protocols; OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. However, not all apps have similar bearings. Windows and Linux support (OpenVPN protocol) and macOS, iOS, and Android support (IKEv2 protocol). But hey! Rumor has it that all apps will soon support both protocols.
Basically, the second thing I look for in any VPN. ProtonVPN scores a fully functional and inbuilt Kill Switch, protecting your IP or data from ever leaking if ever your VPN connection drops midway.
Mentioned above along with the list of VPN servers, we have ProtonVPN’s exciting feature called Secure Core. This basically acts as a double-hop feature, sending your traffic through a double-encrypted tunnel with both servers from Secure Core and the VPN.
If ever your connection gets compensated or interrupted, this feature protects further connections by providing you with a new encrypted key, every time you connect to a different server.
If speaking about double encryption, ProtonVPN comes with in-built TOR support only on limited servers, allowing you to visit extremely restricted .onion websites.
The app for all its clients is fairly simple to use. The interface colors may scare you a little with all its dark appeal, but the entire make is pretty decent for both beginners and professionals alike.
Invisibility – ProtonVPN leak test review
When I said you need to be able to test each and every detail mentioned about the VPN, I was being serious. To check if ProtonVPN would leak out my IP, DNS, or WebRTC in the future, I tested it out, while connected to a Japan server. Check it out!
For my IP leak test, I used https://ipleak.org/. The results were: (N0 LEAK)
For my DNS leak test, I used http://dnsleak.com/. The results were: (N0 LEAK)
For my WebRTC test, I used https://browserleaks.com/webrtc. The results were: (N0 LEAK)
Streaming – Can I Netflix with ProtonVPN?
Yes, you can.
Not many VPNs nowadays are capable enough to unblock major websites like Netflix, which gives me hope for ProtonVPN.
Yes, ProtonVPN does unblock the US and UK Netflix, but, this is only applicable to certain servers. But, of course for Netflix, it advisable to connect to a US server, which ProtonVPN seems to have a wider platform of.
But again, the results of accessing Netflix from almost any VPN provider always seem to vary. Some reviews mention a success rate in accessing it, while others failed to.
Other streaming services
Besides Netflix, there are quite a handful of popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hotstar, HBO Now, and Hulu that people all around the globe are desperately trying to gain access to.
However, luckily for you, some of the ProtonVPN servers do work well to unblock all. For more insight, you could look up ways on how to unblock these services with ProtonVPN.
As for Amazon Prime, and Kodi, there seems to be a scarcity of luck in unblocking either. But who knows, things might just change a little later; opening up room for improvements.
Does it work in China?
Yes and no.
There has been some news by a Reddit user of its functionality in China.
If you’re wondering why I said no, is because China, among other countries, observes strict censorship laws and block out any VPNs from being accessed. So, if ProtonVPN wouldn’t work in China, I wouldn’t be surprised.
However, since it does not have any servers in China, makes it very difficult for anyone out of China to access content from within the country.
On the other hand, I completely admire ProtonVPN for being completely real and transparent in this matter.
Torrenting – can we torrent securely with ProtonVPN?
Yes. You can.
Unlike ProtonVPN’s streaming abilities, another great part about this VPN is that all its servers; apart from the Secure Core, are fully optimized for torrenting or P2P file sharing.
Apart from the free version, it doesn’t matter what plan you choose, all are applicable towards P2P. The website also holds a bunch of tutorials on how to get started or connected with the VPN for BitTorrent.
However, since torrenting in certain parts of the world is against the law due to censorship or copyright issues, and since VPNs are being blocked, you should always tread lightly and continue with your activities in a safe way.
Speed – Is ProtonVPN fast?
So far, ProtonVPN seems to be a reasonably good VPN. It measures up in good security but falters behind in the quality of features in comparison to its price. Now, let’s move on to its speed.
To test this out, I checked out the speed before and after connecting to the VPN, based on my connectivity to the US and Japan server on speedtest.net.
The result before connecting to the VPN was:
I’m not particularly pleased with the speed test results. But again, they did say that we should expect slow speeds on the free version.
Compatibility – does ProtonVPN make all the right connections?
Now we know that ProtonVPN does allow simultaneous connections up-to more than one device depending on the plan you choose, but, the question is what kind of devices or apps can you use?
Where support towards devices is concerned, ProtonVPN fills me with mixed emotions. I really don’t know what to feel towards this agenda, mainly because it supports all the main devices like
So, if you’re using one of these devices, ProtonVPN allows multiple connections from 2-10 devices per subscription, depending on which one you choose.
And the other part is just that the list doesn’t go on more than this. No browser extensions, no Smart TVs, routers, and other consoles. However, when I looked into it a little further, there was news that ProtonVPN will soon be shaking hands with Mozilla to up the game in securing your online experiences.
Reliability – Is ProtonVPN reliable?
We know that its location adds to it as being a reliable VPN, which is far from the watchful eyes alliance. So, let’s discuss its policies and overall report as being user-friendly.
What I like about VPNs is a constant 24/7 customer support that will be available to you at any time, assisting you with every need. This is important because there are times when beginners to the VPN world, don’t quite know how to get started, so immediate assistance might be needed.
Sadly, ProtonVPN doesn’t have 24/7 customer support. You can contact them through email, which might take an entire day to get the answer that you need.
Besides that, there’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Another good part about ProtonVPN is the fact that it has tutorials for a number of problems that you might face when connecting to the VPN. Probably, to make up for not having live chat support.
For instance, when I tried to download the Windows client, I was faced with a pop-up that said my logger credentials didn’t match up, even though I entered the right password:
In cases like this, you could check out a tutorial on how to run the ProtonVPN app smoothly on the Windows client.
ProtonVPN review – What a Reddit user had to say
In Conclusion – ProtonVPN review
Yes, I do recommend it.
Let’s weigh out the pros and cons of everything I’ve discussed in my ProtonVPN review in detail.
- Firstly, the price. It seems to be slightly overpriced as compared to other VPN providers but does have a good discount in its 1-year plan.
- Then moving on to its jurisdiction, it’s completely safe, with origin and base in Switzerland.
- Its features seem simple but strong at the same time with military-grade encryption protocols.
- It did not leak my IP, DNS, and WebRTC.
- Servers optimized for P2P and streaming
- Good speeds on premium plans
- Supports major devices
- Poor speeds on the free version
- Does not work in China
- Lack of features on the basic plan
- No live chat support
All-in-all, it’s a pretty decent and safe VPN, considering the fact that it also unblocks many restricted streaming websites, that otherwise don’t work with most VPN providers. It may have only a limited amount of servers, but for something so restricted, it works smoothly.
So, along with its premium services, it ships up a more than the decent free version with servers in 3 countries, which work flawlessly as compared to other free VPN services. It provides unlimited bandwidth and tight security. The free version makes it a good alternative for when your subscription runs dry.
I feel ProtonVPN is a reliable VPN but needs to work on improvements for the future. All-in-all, a great app for simple or free usage.