ProtonVPN Review & Test

If you have been thinking about subscribing to ProtonVPN, but you are unsure of whether they are worth it, then you have come to the right place. It is really important to find out more information about any VPN service before you purchase a plan from them, so you can find out if it is worth your money.

ProtonVPN is a good option if you are looking for a secure VPN that is compatible with the majority of devices. They are based in Switzerland, and they utilize the powerful encryption technology that has previously been used for ProtonMail, which some of you may be familiar with already.

In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about ProtonVPN, so you can decide if this is the right VPN service for you. We are going to explore some of the features that ProtonVPN has to offer, as well as taking a look at things like its speed, unblocking abilities, and security practices.

What You Need To Know About ProtonVPN

You will be able to access Netflix – ProtonVPM can unblock Netflix without any issues, in addition to several other popular streaming platforms. 

The speeds and availability of servers are decent – The speeds that you can reach through ProtonVPN are neither amazing nor terrible, so you should be able to get decent speeds. All of the servers should be fast enough to stream in HD.

They use military grade encryption – ProtonVPN will not leak your IP address or DNS requests, and they use other advanced security features that will keep your data and privacy safe.

The app is simple and easy to use – The ProtonVPN app is easy to navigate and it has been designed well. It is easy to turn on features and connect to servers quickly.

There is no live chat support – The majority of VPNs usually come with some form of live chat service, but you can only contact VPN via email, which isn’t the best if you need a problem solved quickly.

ProtonVPN Main Features

  • Price – $6.63 a month
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • It doesn;t keep logs
  • There are a total of 1320 servers
  • You can use up to 10 devices per license
  • They have a kill switch feature
  • They are based in Switzerland
  • Email customer support

Can You Stream With ProtonVPN?

Yes, you can stream from various different streaming platforms when using ProtonVPN, and it is able to unblock numerous different streaming services.

However, you will sometimes encounter longer loading times than normal, and you will need to at least have the plus plan in order to access the best servers for unblocking streaming services.

The free and basic servers are not the best for avoiding geoblocks, and you can’t really access anything other than Netflix and Crunchyroll. The streaming quality through these services is pretty good though, and videos will load in HD within 3 seconds.

They will also play without buffering. However, the free locations are limited to Japan, The Netherlands, and the US. 

Something else that you should know is that Netflix will be able to detect your VPN usage with free servers.

This means that no matter what location server you are using, you will still only be able to access content that is available worldwide. For example, if you are using the Japan server, you will not be able to access Japan-exclusive content.

Although, plus servers will be able to unlock a much larger number of platforms and Netflix regions. Some of the streaming platforms that you can access include Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and every other top platform.

You can even unblock Netflix with servers in 7 different countries, including the US, Japan, France, the UK, Portugal, and India . Plus servers will have a capital P next to them in the app.

The quality of the stream will depend on the server that you are using. With servers that are not too far away, the videos will load quickly and play well in HD. With servers that are further away, there will be longer loading times, low resolution picture quality, and buffering.

Does ProtonVPN Give Good Speeds?

ProtonVPN does offer good speeds, but they are much slower with servers that are further away, which is to be expected. Servers that are more than 4000 km away will lose around 22% in download speed. Servers that are closer than this will offer you much better speeds. Some of the best speeds are around 65 Mbps.

Generally, the P2P servers tend to be faster than the Plus servers by around 17 Mbps. The free servers are also around 22 Mbps slower than the basic ones on average. So, overall, the speeds are pretty decent, but the nearby P2P servers will offer you the fastest speeds.

Can You Torrent With ProtonVPN?

ProtonVPN is probably not the best option if you want to torrent, as it will significantly decrease your download speeds. It also does not support port forwarding, which is something that can help you to bypass some of the restrictions on your router.

The reason that it doesn’t offer this feature is because they consider it to be unsafe. If you do try to torrent while using ProtonVPN, your download speed can become up to 75% slower, which isn’t ideal.

Are ProtonVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough For Gaming?

Yes, the speeds that you can get through ProtonVPN will be fast enough for gaming, but only as long as you are using a server that is relatively close to you. You should use a nearby location as they will have lower ping rates. Even if you do manage to get a low ping on distant servers, they still don’t perform very well when gaming.

ProtonVPN Server Network

ProtonVPN does not have the most servers when you compare them to other VPN services, but they do offer more than a lot of cheaper alternatives.

In total, they offer 1320 servers in 50 different countries, covering Western Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and South Africa. It can also offer you servers that are located within certain countries, which are generally faster.

The servers themselves are split into several different categories, which are basic, free, plus, Secure Core, TOR, or P2P optimized. Each of the servers will have a symbol next to it, which will indicate which one they are.

B in an orange box – Basic server. You will need at least a basic plan to use these, and they are often the fastest and best to use for gaming.

P – Plus Server. These servers are optimized for streaming, and they are able to unblock various different platforms. You will need the plus plan to access these servers.

Grey onion – This symbol tells you that these servers allow you to use the TOR network if you have the plus plan or higher.

Alternating arrows – The two arrows pointing in opposite directions indicate the P2P servers. You can use these with a plus plan, and they are optimized for torrenting, but they don’t perform as well as the other servers.

Secure Core servers are in a different section, so they don’t have a symbol. You can activate these servers in the app by pressing the lock icon that can be found above the list of servers.

Another symbol to be aware of is the little wrench icon, which shows you the servers that are down for maintenance. 

The wrench shows you which servers are down for maintenance, which is a great feature as it highlights that the company is aware of and working to fix any issues. Next to the name of the server will be the load percentage, which will tell you exactly how full the connection is. 

ProtonVPN Security

ProtonVPN does excel when it comes to security, and it even features military grade encryption, which works to hide your IP address and protect all of your sensitive information. This VPN also has open-source apps, third-party audits, and a no-logs policy. 

The company even creates transparency reports that inform customers about any requests they have received for information on their customers. You can also make use of additional security features, like secure core servers, split-tunneling, and a kill-switch.

The DNS leak protection will ensure that only ProtonVPN will be able to see what websites you visit, and it also uses OpenVPN, which is the safest VPN protocol. You can also use direct cash payments to purchase the VPN completely anonymously.

In addition to all of this, the company is located in Switzerland, which is a country that has some of the best data privacy laws. All of these things ensure that ProtonVPN will keep your data encrypted and secure.

Encryption

ProtonVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption, which will work to keep your data safe. This encryption means that the key to your data will be hidden through a series of numbers that is 78 digits in length.

Finding the proper key to reveal your information would be almost impossible as there are so many different possibilities. So you can be sure that your connection is anonymous when you connect to ProtonVPN. 

It also features something that is called a 4096-bit key exchange, which will also work to protect your data. A key exchange is when your information is handed over to the VPN server, this key exchange will create various different possibilities in the form of numbers to hide your data.

As well as this, a SHA-384 hash will authenticate any information that is sent through the VPN tunnel, which is an extra feature that will keep your data safe.

For one final measure of security, ProtonVPN utilizes perfect forward secrecy, which is a feature that continuously changes the key that ProtonVPN uses to decrypt or encrypt information. This means that even if someone did manage to discover the key, your information would still be safe as it is constantly changed.

Does ProtonVPN Keep Logs? 

No, ProtonVPN does not keep logs and they do not store any of your important information. The data that they do store is also controlled by you, and they will only keep the data that you give them.

This includes the email and username that you provide them, your payment information, and any questions that you might send over to the support team.

If you do not want ProtonVPN to hold on to your email address, then you can specifically create one to sign up. If you were to pay with a credit card, they will be able to store the name that is associated with the card, and the last 4 digits of it.

You can avoid this if you want to by paying with cryptocurrency. As well as this, there are third parties that will process your payment information, so ProtonVPN won’t see it.

ProtonVPN’s privacy policy is very straightforward to read, and they are very transparent about their company’s practices. They will never share your email or payment information with outside parties, and if you were to close your account with ProtonVPN, they would delete all of your data.

They do not store any of your internet traffic or communications, but information about traffic to their website is logged, so they can perform analytics.

None of your personal data, including your IP address, will be logged. They only retain the information that you provide to sign up, and any questions that are sent to the support team.

Although, you should be made aware that they can share your data, like your email address, username, payment information, and support questions, if they are compelled to by law. Such requests would need to be approved by Swiss authorities, who have some of the best privacy laws in the world. 

Even with this being the case, due to the fact that ProtonVPN does not store any IP data, none of this information can be shared. ProtonVPN does reserve the right to update their privacy policy, but you can turn notifications on to be made aware of any changes as they are happening.

Does ProtonVPN Have A Kill Switch?

Yes, ProtonVPN does feature a kill switch that will keep you protected by disabling your internet if you lose the VPN connection. This is a great feature to have as it ensures that nobody can see your information if a server were to malfunction. It will also keep you protected when you are switching servers.

The kill switch is a necessary feature if you want to keep all of your data secure at all times, and it will protect you by blocking your traffic when the VPN loses connection. However, it is not automatically turned on, so you will need to do this before you connect.

The kill switch is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux apps. It can be activated via a light switch icon if you go to your settings.

Split-Tunneling

For those that don’t already know, split-tunneling is a feature that allows you to send some traffic through the VPN while other apps and IPs are moved through your normal connection.

This is a great feature to have if you need to access things like your bank account or a wireless printer, but you still want to stay connected to the VPN. You can choose which apps or IPs will be included or excluded in the tunnel. Split-tunneling isn’t available for Mac or iOS.

ProtonVPN Protocols

ProtonVPN allows you to switch between protocols, depending on your situation. However, the options will differ depending on the device that you are using. Protocols are a set of rules that are used by VPNs to decide how to send your data to the server.

OpenVPN is an open source protocol, and it is one of the safest protocols that you can use as its source code is available for anyone to analyze.

Android and Windows users will be able to switch between two different versions of this, which are UDP and TCP. UDP is the fastest of the two, which is why it is recommended for gaming, streaming, and P2P file sharing.

TCP is good for when you have a poor WiFi connection, or you are on a network that blocks VPNs. You can switch between these two options in the settings tab. 

Does ProtonVPN Have An Ad-blocker?

Yes, ProtonVPN uses an ad-blocker that is called Netsheild, which is a decent ad-blocker that is also able to protect against things like trackers and malware. The only downside to this feature is that it is only available to use when the VPN is connected, and it cannot stop ads on Youtube.

However, it is very effective when it comes to eliminating pop-ups, and banner ads. This feature is available on Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. You will be able to set it to block malware only, or malware, trackers, and ads. All in all, it is a great feature, and it is one of the better ad-blockers out there.

Does ProtonVPN Work In China? 

Unfortunately, ProtonVPN does not work in China, and it was banned by the Chinese govenments on the 18th of September, 2019. There are some VPNs that have connections in China by using virtualization software, but ProtonVPN only uses bare-metal servers, which is why this is not possible 

 What Devices Can You Use With ProtonVPN?

ProtonVPN is compatible with various different devices, but some have newer features than others. You can use ProtonVPN with Windows, Android, Linux, Mac, iOS, and more. 

With Windows, you will be able to use all of the features that ProtonVPN has to offer, including the kill switch, split-tunneling, and more. It uses the OpenVPN protocol, and you can switch between UDP and TDP.

If you are using a Mac product, you will have access to some, but not all of the features. They recently added the kill switch for Mac users, but they still don’t offer split-tunneling. It will automatically connect without a protocol, but IKEv2 and OpenVPN can be manually installed.

iOs users will also not be able to make use of the split-tunneling feature, but the kill switch is much easier to use than it is with Android. It also allows you to switch between IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, and OpenVPN TDP.

Linux users will have access to all of the features on offer apart from the option to choose between UDP and TDP, and only UDP is available. 

Connecting To Multiple Devices

While ProtonVPN can be used on multiple different devices at once, you will need to have at least the Plus Plan in place to get the most out of this feature. This is because the Free Plan will only allow for one device to be connected.

If you have the basic plan, you will be able to connect to 2 devices at once. However, the Plus Plan will allow you to use ProtonVPN on up to 10 devices.

Is ProtonVPN User Friendly?

Yes, ProtonVPN has a user-friendly interface that only has a few minor issues. The application itself is very easy to navigate, and it has been designed intuitively. The app will display all of the available server locations on the left on the screen, and your current connection status can be found at the top of the screen.

All of the different servers are very easy to find in the search bar. When you do connect, the speed, volume, session length, and your current IP address will be displayed.

The first time that you start up the app, you will be taken through a short tutorial of how to use the app. The only annoying thing is that you will have to enable the kill switch yourself, as it is not automatically enabled.

The installation process is quick and simple to go through, and the app can either be downloaded on the ProtonVPN website, or on GitHub. All you need to do is click the install button and open the app once the installation process is complete.

If you are using your phone, then you will need to either download it from the Apple Story or from Google Play.

How Much Does ProtonVPN Cost?

Annual Pricing Plan

The two year plan costs $6.63 per month, the annual plan costs $8 per month, and the monthly plan costs $10 a month. You can choose the plan that works for you when you sign up.

There is also a free plan that will provide you with access to servers in just three countries. With the free plan, you will only be able to connect to one device, and you will experience slower speeds.

Both the Plus and Visionary subscriptions will provide you with access to Secure Core, Tor, and P2P servers. The only difference between these two plans is that Visionary subscribers will also get a ProtonMail subscription.

All of the plans are available in either monthly or annual subscriptions, but the longer you subscribe for, the more money you will save in the long run.

One of the best plans to choose is the Plus Plan, as it will allow you to connect to 10 different devices, and it will provide you with access to every type of server.

You should also know that ProtonVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, cash, and Bitcoin. If you sign up to the free version of ProtonVPN, you will also get a 7 day free trial to ProtonVPN Plus. 

There is also a 30 money-back guarantee that is offered on all paid subscriptions.However, they only promise to give prorated refunds, which means that you will not get your money back for the days when you have used the service. This makes their ‘guarantee’ seem much less impressive than various other VPN companies.

Summary

ProtonVPM is a great VPN to choose if you are looking for great security and to be able to unblock various streaming platforms. The company has an impressive history, and their privacy settings are customizable, which allows you to have much more control over your data and personal information.

The secure core servers are perfect for keeping you protected, but they can be quite slow at times. Although this company is excellent for bypassing geo blocks. The slower speeds can sometimes impact your streaming ability, which is something to be mindful of.

There is also no 24/7 live chat function for customers to utilize, and nobody really knows exactly when this service is available for you to use.

We would recommend ProtonVPN to anyone that is looking to  get high levels of security and go with a company that is dedicated to protecting online privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know everything that there is to know about ProtonVPN, how it works, what you can expect, and how much it costs, we are going to take a quick look at some of ProtonVPNs most frequently asked questions.

Can I Watch Netflix With ProtonVPN?

Yes, you can use ProtonVPN to watch Netflix, and it unblocks this streaming platform with ease. This service also offers Plus servers that are specifically designed to unblock streaming platforms. Although, you will need at least a Plus Plan to be able to access foreign libraries.

The plus servers are not available on the Basic Plans, and Basic Plans will only be able to access a version of Netflix that has the movies and shows that are available everywhere.

Is ProtonVPN Safe To Use?

Yes, ProtonVPN is very safe to use due to the fact that it has a no-logs policy, reputable parent company, and encryption technology. It even publishes transparency reports, receives independent audits, and is located in Switzerland.

Switzerland has some of the strongest privacy laws, and they do not cooperate with foreign governments that are looking for information on their citizens.

You will also be able to make use of secure core servers that can double-hop your traffic to one of ProtonVPNs highly secure data centers. As well as this, the VPN will use the same encryption technology as ProtonMail, which is the world’s leading encrypted email service.

All of these things and more ensure that ProtonVPN is actually one of the safest VPNs that you will find. Safety and security are certainly two of their biggest priorities, and you won’t be disappointed with the level of security that you receive. 

What Devices Are Compatible With ProtonVPN?

ProtonVPN is compatible with iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, Android TVs, Firestick, Fire TVs, and Chromebook. You will not be able to get ProtonVPN directly onto your Apple TV or gaming console, but it can be manually configured to work on a router that then connects to these devices.

So, even though you can’t put it directly onto the device, you can still use the VPN with the devices if you connect it to your router.

Dale Williams