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ProtonVPN review

Last updated on 15/09/2020 by Melvyn and co.

Snapshot

ProtonVPN is a high speed, privacy focussed, zero logs VPN offering Secure Core and strong encryption to keep your online activity private. Packed with a range of premium features, this VPN is an ideal choice for secure everyday browsing, streaming and P2P file sharing. Users taking out their high-end visionary plan can also benefit from their superb email service ProtonMail which offers total anonymous, end-to-end encryption in an easy to use email client.

Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)
Rating

Our score:

4.7

4.7/5
Pricing

Price from:

$4.00

per month

Pros
Cons

Introduction

ProtonVPN is an extremely popular VPN provider which offers both premium and free packages. This review focuses on their paid for packages but should you wish to read our review on their free service, or if you want to try one the best free VPN’s available, please see our best free to use VPN guide here.

ProtonVPN is a ‘high-speed Swiss VPN service that safeguards your privacy’, offering a whole host of smart features that will benefit all users. This no logs VPN promises to keep your activity fully encrypted thanks to its unique Secure Core servers ensuring your true IP address remains hidden at all times. It’s also really fast with its unlimited bandwidth making it an ideal choice for users looking at P2P torrenting or streaming HD content.

With a suite of really well-designed applications, ProtonVPN will suit both beginners and the more advanced users. They have extensively simplified the ProtonVPN interface to make it as intuitive as possible – so you can stay protected every day, hassle free.

Their plus plan will suit most user’s needs allowing for up to 5 devices to be protected, but for those looking for more or for businesses looking to stay super secure with the addition of ProtonMail, their ‘Visionary’ plan allows up to 10 devices.

Pricing

ProtonVPN offers 3 plans to choose from which can be purchased either on a monthly or annual basis. Annual plans represent the best value for money and is currently on offer of 20% off when purchased through our website. For paid users, should you wish to have all the benefits of the plus package along with ProtonMail and 5 extra devices protected, then the visionary plan makes sense but is quite a bit more expensive. You can also try before you buy as all plans come with a to 30-day money back guarantee.

For payment ProtonVPN accept all major credit and debit cards (including American Express), as well as PayPal.

Free plan

$ 0
00
per month
  • Billed $0.00 every month
FREE

Basic Plan

$ 4
00
per month
  • Billed $48.00 every year

Plus Plan

$ 8
00
per month
  • Billed $96.00 every year
BEST VALUE

Visionary Plan

$ 24
00
per month
  • Billed $288.00 every year

Features

The ProtonVPN plus plan is packed with a whole host of great features giving you total online freedom and privacy. Its network of servers are located strategically around the world spanning 33 countries and give great performance for both upload and download speeds. It’s performance is backed up with super secure AES-256 encryption, the best VPN protocols and a zero logs policy… all of which make this a really great offering.

P2P file sharing is accepted on their servers, and ProtonVPN is unique in that it operates hardened data centres in certain locations known as Secure Core. Secure Core allows ProtonVPN to defend against threats to VPN privacy by passing user traffic through multiple servers. When a user connects to a server in a high-risk jurisdiction like the US, their traffic will first go through a ProtonVPN Secure Core server. Therefore, even if an attacker monitors their servers in the US, they would only be able to follow the traffic back to the edge of their Secure Core network, thus making it far more difficult to discover the true IP address and location of ProtonVPN users.

Further security features include a VPN kill switch and always-on VPN ensuring should your VPN lose your connection, you are automatically reconnected without leaking data. Tor over VPN is also included in their plus/visionary packages meaning you can easily route your traffic through the Tor anonymity network and access dark web sites.

Platforms and devices

The ProtonVPN plus package plan enables you to protect 5 devices with just the one account. This is more than suitable for most every day users allowing coverage on all your home and mobile devices.

Their user-friendly apps can be installed on macOS, Windows and Linux operating systems as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. If using a Fire TV (Amazon Firestick) or Kodi is your thing… they’ve got you covered too. It’s also easy to secure your internet connection by pairing your router with a PrivateVPN turbo charging your privacy.

Unfortunately at this moment in time they have no option for Chrome and Firefox browse users but hopefully they will add these in the not so distant future.

Streaming

ProtonVPN is an ideal choice if you want to stream the latest and greatest HD content from around the world. It can consistently unblock the likes of US Netflix, Hulu, and other geo-restricted content so you can enjoy your favourite shows at home or on the move. With their great speeds, you are unlikely to have any problems or buffering issues.

Torrenting​

ProtonVPN is a great choice for those looking at P2P file sharing as it’s permitted across their specially selected servers which are clearly labelled P2P within the application. With no bandwidth restrictions and robust security features, you will find file sharing very straight forward with the protection from Proton. Stay safe online and remember, you should always use a secure VPN when torrenting!

Speed

ProtonVPN was a strong performer for speed in our testing and even when using their Secure Core servers (which routes traffic via an additional server) speed results were pleasing as well as consistent. Their speeds are more than adequate for anyone requiring a VPN for general internet browsing or HD streaming etc.

Both local and international offered us some really fantastic results with download speeds of around 77Mbps and strong upload speeds in the region of 53Mbps. Connecting further afield saw speeds decrease an acceptable amount, with a connection from the UK to USA giving us 39Mbps… which is pretty much their global average benchmark.

Their low latency makes their service a great choice for gamers, and solid upload speeds will suit those wanting a VPN for torrenting.

Security

ProtonVPN is one of the most secure VPNs we have tested thanks to its super strong setup and a host of great security features. When using their VPN, your IP address is encrypted and kept hidden by military grade AES-256 encryption. They also use our favourite OpenVPN protocol as well as IKEv2/IPSec on mobile applications.

All traffic is passed via Secure Core servers located in privacy friendly jurisdictions to give your encrypted traffic an additional layer of protection. Secure Core allows ProtonVPN to defend against threats to VPN privacy by passing user traffic through multiple servers. When a user connects to a server in a high-risk jurisdiction like the US, their traffic will first go through a ProtonVPN Secure Core server. Therefore, even if an attacker monitors their servers in the US, they would only be able to follow the traffic back to the edge of their Secure Core network, thus making it far more difficult to discover the true IP address and location of ProtonVPN users.

Further security features include DNS leak protection and the must have VPN kill switch with means should you lose your VPN connection, you are automatically reconnected without leaking data. Tor over VPN is also included in their plus/visionary packages meaning you can easily route your traffic through the Tor anonymity network and access dark web sites.

Applications

The ProtonVPN apps are some of the best we have seen in terms of design and layout and can be configured to suit individual user requirements. They can be downloaded on a whole host of popular devices such as iOS, Windows and Android, and works perfectly on the Amazon Firestick or Android TV.

For ease of use, users can either ‘quick connect’ which will offer great quick and easy protection for the no hassle users simply wanting to keep their browse data safe, or by selecting based on country. A really nice addition to the country select is once you’ve chosen ‘United States’ for example, all the servers are listed with their current load percentage so you can see which are the least congested.

Servers for Tor over VPN and P2P traffic are also labelled clearly, and users can also view all server locations via a map where you will clearly see most clustered over Europe with the rest strategically spread to give worldwide coverage.

Customer service

At present, support is delivered via email as well as a useful help and support section on the website, but we would like to see ProtonVPN implement a live chat function like most other leading providers these days. In fairness, email responses were quick to be responded to and gave good levels of knowledge and information, but we do feel that they could up their game in this area to keep pace with the very best offered by rivals.

Log policy

ProtonVPN doesn’t log or collect any user data that could be used to identify an individual using their VPN or any activity when connected. Minimal logs are kept which include a timestamp of last successful connection but are overwritten each time you use your ProtonVPN. You can also view this data yourself on the app but we are totally confident that this doesn’t in any way impact on user privacy or anonymity.

Jurisdiction

Well located in the privacy friendly country of Switzerland, it sits outside of EU regulations and any government data sharing schemes. There is therefore no legal reach of the USA or EU, and they can reject any data request from third parties, guaranteeing no online activity can be traced back to any individual user.

The verdict

There is a lot to like about ProtonVPN, but we particularly love its overzealous approach to privacy thanks to its secure Core Servers. It does the basics very well and is also full of premium security features which help keep users safe and away from prying eyes. If you are looking for a robust, highly secure, privacy focussed set-up that doesn’t compromise on speed, this could be an ideal choice.

Its apps are user-friendly and compatible with pretty much all the main platforms and devices, it handles streaming HD content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer with ease, torrenting is permitted on specially selected servers, and gamers will appreciate its really low latencies.

There are significant benefits for opting for the more expensive visionary plan (that include the hugely respected ProtonMail), but it’s pricey in comparison to their plus plan and many other high-quality VPN providers currently out there on the market. If money is no issue… we’d be all over the visionary plan that’s for sure!

Melvyn and the team at comparemyvpn.com rate ProtonVPN highly amongst the other premium providers and would have no hesitation in recommending their service to our readers.

p.s. Remember to read our review on the free version of their service by clicking here.

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Disclosure: CompareMyVPN is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you purchase a VPN through a link found on our website.

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