VPNs provide us a way to utilize the internet without the additional worry of having our information stolen. They also assist us in having a more open access to the web.
But as it happens, VPNs differ in features and capabilities. Best VPN include additional features such as kill switch and DNS leak protection.
Today, I will discuss ProtonVPN, the brainchild of the ProtonMail team.
ProtonVPN’s headquarter is based at the Switzerland. It offers both free and paid VPN services.
But here’s the kicker:
The ProtonVPN free service has no limitations, meaning it has NO BANDWIDTH LIMIT. No 2 GB per month or 500 MB a week. You can use the VPN for long as you like.
In this VPN review, I will let you know about the features and other offerings of freemium service of ProtonVPN.
Of course, I will also tell you why Proton VPN is one of the best free VPN service of 2018.
Strong Points of ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN packs a solid punch with several impressive features accompanied by a reliable service. I have discussed the core strengths of this VPN below.
A VPN without competent security tools is like fries with no ketchup. It is absolutely useless.
There two important tools that help a VPN keep you safe:
ProtonVPN is equipped with OpenVPN protocol that comes with 256-bit military grade encryption by default.
This protocol and encryption combination can secure you against powerful hacking attempts. Until now, no one has been able to dupe these tools.
ProtonVPN provides secure core feature for additional security of the users. Through this feature, users can utilize double-hop servers that are routed through Sweden, Iceland and Switzerland.
In simple words, this feature allows users to access VPN chains from the ten secure core servers of ProtonVPN.
Unlike some other VPN providers, ProtonVPN does allow users to create multi-hop chains by themselves. Instead, the service performs this functions on its own.
In our ProtonVPN review, we found the secure core feature to have a certain disadvantage. Since the entry and exit points of the chain never change, it can be monitored and traced back to the user.
Meanwhile, self-configurable multi-hop features provide users the choice to create their own VPN chains. These chains are difficult to trace due to their inconsistent nature.
Kill switch is in-built in the Windows and Mac clients of the service. It works as safety measure to protect your online identity.
Essentially, it disconnects your device to the internet whenever you lose your connection to the VPN. This prevents your IP address from being exposed to your local ISP and the website you are browsing.
There have been several issues in the kill switch feature of the service. In some instance, the feature fails to block the non-VPN traffic. While sometimes, it kills thee internet even if the VPN is connected.
ProtonVPN has brought several updates to fix this issue but many users are still facing this problem.
Reliable Customer Support
This ProtonVPN review discloses that the provider offers impressive customer section on its official website. By the help of these subsections, you can find the answers of all your queries in a timely manner. The users can contact the support team through support center that includes FAQs about troubleshooting, account activation, general information and accessing content.
Moreover, you can send your concerns and suggestions through email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org too. Similarly, the users may read the blog section to get the latest updates and relevant information about internet privacy and security issues.
However, I would like to see a benefit such as live chat supports that can improve the reputation of the brand to new heights. Thus, the users would be able to get the solutions of their different problems instantly.
Clear Privacy and Logging Policy
When you connect to a ProtonVPN, the service records only timestamp of the last successful login attempt of the users. However, the said information is overwritten every time users log in.
You won’t find much luck trying to unblock Netflix with this VPN’s free service. However, Proton VPN Netflix service works efficiently on the paid plan.
The paid packages offer numerous severs with few being compatible with Netflix. This is extremely impressive especially considering that this VPN is relatively new.
ProtonVPN for Hulu & Amazon Prime
Proton can also unblock Hulu for non-American users. I used it myself to watch an Episode of the Handmaid’s Tale and faced no blackout.
Unfortunately, users wishing to unlock Amazon Prime with this VPN will not find much luck.
Unfortunately, ProtonVPN’s Kodi services are inefficient. This comes as a bad news for users who want to use Kodi on ProtonVPN.
The free service of ProtonVPN does not provide Kodi streaming facility to the users. This is why our ProtonVPN review suggests that the users should opt VPN for Kodi to watch their desired media content.
After connecting to your preferred Kodi VPN, you can access to region blocked content be it movies or TV shows from anywhere. Furthermore, you are able to protect yourself from the eyes of your ISPs and copyright holders.
No DNS and IP Leaks
You are never sure about your online security with free VPN services. Hence, I checked this for any potential DNS and IP leaks.
Thankfully, there were no leaks during my test.
Areas of Concern for ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN is a rising star in the world of online privacy. But it has to improve upon on the following areas.
While conducting the speed tests for this ProtonVPN review, I was disappointed with the results. Apparently, the free VPN service provides less than average speed.
Conversely, if you have a ProtonVPN premium account, the speed and connectivity will improve but not by a lot.
While browsing remains seamless on the VPN, the trouble starts once you stream high quality videos or download heavy content.
This was my speed before connecting with the VPN.
On the same connection, the speed tests for free VPN servers provided the following results.
Only OpenVPN Protocol
Although OpenVPN is a competent tool, many devices do not support this tunneling protocol.
Some devices are only compatible with L2TP, IPsec or PPTP. And even though these options are less secure than OpenVPN, they do provide some level of online privacy.
Hence, to enhance the VPN’s compatibility, the provider should diversify the protocol options.
ProtonVPN Torrenting Capabilities
Readers will be disappointed by this section of the ProtonVPN review. The freemium service does not allow torrenting in any capacity.
However, you can select paid versions of ProtonVPN to accomplish your torrenting desires. ProtonVPN P2P feature is available on Basic, PLUS, and Visionary plans.
But there is a catch.
You can only use torrents on few servers, which are marked safe by the provider.
In large part, torrenting on this VPN has several limitations. Suffice to say, Proton has a long way to go before becoming the best torrent VPN.
ProtonVPN Servers Review
Another disappointing thing to learn in this ProtonVPN review is that the VPN does not have a large server list. The freemium version subscribers have to rely on the servers that are available only in three countries.
However, the paying users on the other hand, are provided access to an adequate range of servers.
When it comes to compatibility, this VPN is a mixed bag. It has apps for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android devices.
But that’s it.
The VPN has no apps for Smart TV, routers and gaming consoles, meaning you will have to manually set up the VPN on these devices.
There is some good news however.
ProtonVPN is partnering with Mozilla, to promote secure browsing. Moreover, its iOS is on the way with a beta version currently being tested.
Is ProtonVPN Safe?
Numerous users are skeptical when it comes to free VPN services. The popular saying goes; “If you are using something for free, you are the product”.
Some privacy advocates believe that free VPNs sell their customer information to third parties. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if this actually the case with a VPN.
Therefore, it all comes down to trust. Whenever you use a VPN service, free or otherwise, you have to put your trust in them.
Hence, I do not believe there are any serious security concerns with the service.
ProtonVPN Review – Pricing & Plans
As per the findings of the ProtonVPN review, the service exclusively offers free version for potential users. In addition, you have luxury to select Basic, PLUS and Visionary pricing plans according to your own terms.
The basic pricing plan is available at the cost of $48 on yearly basis. It means you will have to pay $4 per month to use the plan. Likewise, the same goes for Plus and Visionary plans that you can avail by paying $96 and $288 on yearly basis. The ProtonVPN pricing of these plans suggest you will have to pay $8 and $24 on monthly basis.
If you want to avail the freemium plan of ProtonVPN, you will have to restrict to only three countries. Moreover, you are unable to get the multi-login feature on freemium plan. Still, it is a safe bet to opt freemium version of ProtonVPN for new users.
As I have previously mentioned in the ProtonVPN review, the VPN does not ask any payment for the freemium service. For premium VPN subscribers, the service provides a compelling list of online payment options that includes:
- Credit Card
- Workaround available for paying through ProtonMail
Furthermore, the service is including Bitcoin as an anonymous online payment option for users’ ease soon.
ProtonMail and ProtonVPN
The developers of this VPN are mostly known for ProtonMail, a service that allows users to send and receive email in a secure manner.
It does this by encrypting your emails via an open source technology.
The servers of ProtonMail are hosted in the Switzerland, which means that your data remains protected by the privacy laws of the country.
It is a widely used email service and has gained rapid popularity after the recent email leaks scandals.
The subscribers of Proton’s Visionary plan are offered this service for free.
Compatibility: Setting up the VPN on Different Platforms
When it comes to device compatibility, users have luxury to install the service on their desired platforms. This is because you can install ProtonVPN on your Windows, Mac, Android, Linux and iOS devices instantly.
Above all, the installation guides are understandable and easy to use for the subscribers. Thus, the installation process does not take much of your time and completes within minutes.
ProtonVPN for Windows
ProtonVPN has a slick, easy to use and intuitive software for Windows OS. The ProtonVPN windows client allows you to encrypt your network traffic and camouflage your IP address to hide your location.
All this provides you with superior level of anonymity on the web.
ProtonVPN for Mac
ProtonVPN has recently released a beta app for macOS. As of yet, the app is only available for the paying users of ProtonVPN.
The macOS app of the service uses IKEv2 protocol which provides a superior level of online security. Through this app, you connect to ProtonVPN’s servers with a single click either through the server list or the map.
Furthermore, the app also has a kill switch feature. This feature prevents your IP from being leaked when your connection to ProtonVPN drops
The research for this ProtonVPN Mac review suggests that the provider also offers an OpenVPN client for Mac devices. To achieve your mission, you can take benefit of Tunnel Blick that works as free and open source VPN interface. Through Tunnel Blick, you can connect to the network of ProtonVPN with the help of OpenVPN protocol.
ProtonVPN for Android
ProtonVPN Android app is a relatively new but contains some of the most advanced security features. It comes with an in-built secure core, allowing you to establish a multi-hop connection.
With this app in your device, you can avail online privacy through a single tap.
If for some reason, you do not wish to use Android app on your mobile, you can still deploy any third party OpenVPN client. By doing so, you can obtain your ProtonVPN Android installation objective instantly.
ProtonVPN for iOS
ProtonVPN iOS review explores that the service allows the iOS users to obtain online freedom according to their own terms. For the users’ ease, ProtonVPN offers “OpenVPN Connect” app that enables the iPhone or iPad users to connect to secure servers of ProtonVPN.
According to ProtonVPN’s website, the providers are currently working on an iOS app.
ProtonVPN Download Review
If you are a ProtonVPN subscriber, you can get the installation guides of different platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. By doing so, you are able to make your ProtonVPN Android, ProtonVPN Windows, and ProtonVPN iOS setup process straightforward.
The same goes for mobile clients like iOS that transform your ProtonVPN iOS installation process to another level. ProtonVPN download analysis suggests that the provider is heading in the right direction in terms of download section.
ProtonVPN Twitter Review
Twitter has a fair share of ProtonVPN’s fans and critics.
Some are concerned about the speed of the VPN.
OOF ProtonVPN? Their servers are slow af
— Lewis (@Lewisploit) October 23, 2018
Other users are enjoying the Swiss VPN.
So far so good! I'm loving it!
— Fernando (@iterabyte1) October 19, 2018
ProtonVPN Reddit Review
According to our ProtonVPN review, the provider has strong presence on the famous interactive platform Reddit. However, the service has to improve its performance to another level to grab the attention of Reddit users
On reddit, one ProtonVPN China user suggests that the service works efficiently in the country.
Conversely, some VPN users have nice things to say about the VPN.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can create a free ProtonVPN account by following these simple steps:
- Go to ProtonVPN’s website
- Click the Sign Up button on the upper right corner of the homepage
- Select the free plan
- Enter your desired Username, Password and an email address for recovery.
- Select one of the human verification option: Email, SMS or Donate.
- If you have opted for the donation option, make a payment and your account will be immediately verified.
- If you have chosen email, then enter your email address and you will receive a verification code via mail.
- If you have selected the SMS option, you will receive the verification code on your phone.
- Enter the verification code that you have received.
- Read the terms, condition, and click agree.
As this ProtonVPN review indicates, the service is secure in terms of tunneling protocols. This is because the service offers OpenVPN protocol that protects the users’ data and internet traffic to new heights. Moreover, the ProtonVPN setup is extremely secure since it has implemented the OpenVPN protocol in the best possible manner.
On the other hand, the beta Mac client of ProtonVPN also provides IKEv2 protocol to protect your connection. This protocol is relatively proficient in balancing speed with security.
This ProtonVPN establishes that the freemium version of ProtonVPN is an interesting choice for newbies. Moreover, the freemium service offers limited number of servers to its users that will increase with the passage of time. Furthermore, the provider has different benefits like social media presence on various platforms.
Likewise, you can contact the support team through email to get the answers of your questions related to installation or troubleshooting issues. ProtonVPN provides other features that include secure core, 256-bit military grade encryption, and tunneling protocol like OpenVPN.
However, you can experience the advantages of secure core feature when you avail the premium-pricing plan. Based on my detailed analysis, I recommend the users to opt service if they want to experience the benefits of true online anonymity and protection.
If you find issues while using ProtonVPN on your devices or want to know about our other best VPN reviews, send your feedback in the comments section below.