ProtonVPN Service Review (2017)

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Based in Geneva, Switzerland, ProtonVPN is a new VPN service that was launched last June by ProtonMail to provide a more secure and private internet environment for internet users, especially activists and outspoken journalists on the web. In this review, we will dissect all the features provided by ProtonVPN.

Pricing

ProtonVPN offers 3 different paid subscriptions at affordable prices in addition to a free VPN service which we will discuss later on.

I) Basic Plan

  • *Costs $4 per month.
  • *Access to all server locations.
  • *2 Simultaneous connections.
  • *High speed.

II) Plus Plan

  • *Costs $8 per month.
  • *Access to all server locations.
  • *5 Simultaneous connections.
  • *Highest speed.
  • *Access to plus servers.
  • *Secure Core is available.
  • *Access to Tor servers.

III) Visionary Plan

  • *Costs $24 per month.
  • *Access to all server locations.
  • *10 Simultaneous connections.
  • *Highest speed.
  • *Access to plus servers.
  • *Secure Core is available.
  • *Access to Tor servers.
  • *ProtonMail Visionary is available.

protonvpn price plans

Free Plan & Refund Policy

As previously mentioned, ProtonVPN offers a free VPN service for all internet users. However, the free plan comes with restrictions and is currently not available due to the large number of users on the service. If you visit the website and try registering for a free plan, you will revceive a message saying that you will be put on a waiting list until a slot is available to get the free ProtonVPN plan. The free service includes the following features:

  • *Access to 3 server locations only.
  • *Only 1 device can be connected to ProtonVPN.
  • *Low speed.

protonvpn free waitlist

 

As for their refund policy, a generous 60-day money-back guarantee is provided from the day of purchase.

Payment Methods

Both regular and anonymous payment methods are accepted at ProtonVPN. Subscribers can pay for the plan of their choice via credit cards, Paypal or Bitcoin. Though there might not be a variety of payment methods, but we highly recommend using Bitcoin for better security and anonymity of your sensitive payment details.

Privacy Policy

ProtonVPN is a privacy-focused service that aims at protecting an internet user’s right to privacy and anonymity whenever connected to the internet as stated on their website:

“At ProtonVPN we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. Our company’s overriding policy is to collect as little user information as possible to ensure a private and anonymous user experience when using the Service.  Below is a summary of how we deal with information when you use ProtonVPN.”

By law, the company is not allowed to keep traffic logs, which means that your browsing activities will not be tracked or monitored. Moreover, ProtonVPN does not practise any form of speed throttling on the user’s internet connection. However, like many popular VPN service provider, ProtonVPN keeps records of some information for maintenance purposes, such as: timestamps. The reason behind storing timestamps is “to know how many devices are being connected and ensure users do not make excessive number of connections.” Other information, such as: e-mail address and payment details are also collected, unless you are using anonymous payments, like: Bitcoin.

The company’s location is also another factor that contributes to its stern privacy policy. Being located in Switzerland gives ProtonVPN the opportunity to maintain their users’ security and privacy on the web, the company clearly mentions this on the website:

“Because we are based in Switzerland, ProtonVPN is protected by some of the world’s strongest privacy laws and remains outside of US and EU jurisdiction. This means that unlike VPN providers based in a fourteen eyes country, we cannot be coerced into spying on our users.”

ProtonVPN Features

In this section, we will explore the different features provided by ProtonVPN, including: encryption levels, sever locations, bandwidth, platform compatibility, etc. Scroll down for more details.

Security and Encryption

When it comes to security, ProtonVPN is dead serious. The company has developed a sophisticated security method called “Secure Core” to protect a user’s network from all types of attacks that cannot be protected by other VPN providers. Any VPN works by routing the user’s data traffic through an encrypted tunnel within the internet until it reached the destined website which opens a window for any attacker to have control over the VPN server, monitor the user’s VPN activity and even track the user’s real location. ProtonVPN’s Secure Core, however, operates by routing the user’s traffic through more than just one server to be able to bypass any geo-restrictions on the web as well as makin the user’s internet connection practically impossible to track or decipher as it is mentioned on the company’s website:

“Secure Core allows us to defend against this threat to VPN privacy by passing user traffic through multiple servers. When you connect to a server in a high risk jurisdiction like the US, your traffic will first go through our Secure Core servers. Therefore, even if our US VPN server is being monitored, an attacker would only be able to follow the traffic back to the edge of our Secure Core network, thus making it far more difficult to discover the true IP address and location of ProtonVPN users.”

As for encryption, ProtonVPN relies on AES 256-bit encryption with 2048-bit RSA for key exchange and HMAC with SHA256 for authentication to support OpenVPN tunneling protocol. The Swiss VPN service does not support neither PPTP nor L2TP/IPsec since they are considered to be insecure and traceable by several filtration systems.

Servers and Bandwidth

ProtonVPN has a handful of servers (14 server locations in total). However, these servers are carefully and strategically branched out across major locations, including: US, UK, SWITZERLAND, GERMANY, FRANCE, SPAIN, HONG KONG, CANADA, SWEDEN, JAPAN, SINGAPORE, and more.

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As for bandwidth, ProtonVPN users can enjoy unlimited bandwidth and unthrottled speed. This is excellent for media streaming and online gaming.

Compatibility

Cross-platform is supported by ProtonVPN. The VPN software client is compatible with major platforms and operating systems, such as: Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android. This means that ProtonVPN can be used on multiple devices, including: desktops, laptops, smartphones or tablets.

Other Features

ProtonVPN is packed with several other features that are necessary nowadays for any VPN user, such as:

  • *DNS leak protection.
  • *Kill switch.
  • *Tor VPN (to route data traffic through Tor network for extra anonymity).
  • *P2P/torrenting is permitted.
  • *Up to 10 simultaneous connections.
  • *Quick connection.
  • *Auto-server selection.

Customer Support

Unfortunately, live chat support is not available. However, you can reach the support team via e-mail. We have tested the e-mail service and we were not impressed since we have not received a reply yet. In addition, there is a thorough F.A.Q section together with a blog for self-assistance.

Conclusion

We can say that ProtonVPN is definitely worth trying. This Swiss newbie comes with a lot of impressive features and is packed to the grills with a lot of sturdy security tools. For a free VPN service, it is wonderful if you are not planning on carrying out some heavy downloads or HD streaming. We were not impressed, however, by the waiting list idea to use the free service and we find their support floppy.

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