We’re back with another VPN Review. This time I’ll be looking into the popular VPN service — ProtonVPN. A Swiss-based VPN company with over 1500+ servers in over 61 countries.
Pros & Cons
The pros of ProtonVPN are superior as it performs very well in the following sections:
- No Data Logging: The ProtonVPN has a proper annual track record in security to back up its no-logs policy.
- Torrenting: When it comes to torrenting, ProtonVPN truly supports the process. The combo of unlimited bandwidth and special P2P servers makes ProtonVPN great for torrenting.
- Free Version: Like ProtonMail, the ProtonVPN is also free to use. Meaning you’ll get a restricted version of it.
- Streaming: ProtonVPN can unblock streaming services, including Netflix.
- Simultaneous Connections: The service gives you five simultaneous connections with the plus plan, which is standard across the industry.
The cons of ProtonVPN are less in number but could be annoying for some users.
- Pricing: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly VPN service, then ProtonVPN is not for you. ProtonVPN costs 4 USD a month, which is a little higher than the competition.
- Customer Support: You can only contact their support team through email support tickets, which is disappointing.
ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based VPN service powered by Proton Technologies AG. The motive behind the creation of ProtonVPN is to protect activists and journalists around the globe. To date, ProtonVPN has grown to have 1520 servers in 61 different nations. More servers mean better connection speeds, as your proximity to a server influences your internet speed.
Due to its location, ProtonVPN has strong privacy laws. Meaning your privacy will remain secure once you join their service. Swiss law doesn’t allow VPN providers to maintain user data logs, thus making it an ideal country for VPNs with no data logging policies. Also, Switzerland doesn’t lie outside of the surveillance alliances like the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliances.
In the case of law enforcement requests, what happens? How does ProtonVPN handle the court-approved requests?
Well, ProtonVPN deals with this situation intelligently. To ensure ProtonVPN has a proper transparency report that reveals whenever third parties ask for user information. The latest updated transparency report shows that only one legal request came in 2019. And when the Swiss court ordered ProtonVPN to hand over the data, the company didn’t have any because it does not log customer IP addresses. If you’re looking for the safest VPN out there, then ProtonVPN seems to be perfect.
Moreover, ProtonVPN has its headquarters in Switzerland, a country with privacy laws highly favorable to security.
Does ProtonVPN log my data? No.
If you still want to minimize your data while creating your account, I have a solution for you. For example, If you don’t want to use your personal email, you can create a new one for signing up. Similarly, paying with a credit card allows the service to collect more information about you (including the name on a card and the last four digits). If you wish to avoid this, you can purchase VPN via cryptocurrency, and ProtonVPN will not see your billing information.
When you read through privacy policies for a living, you become acutely aware of what companies mean when they use confusing language. However, Proton’s privacy policies were crystal clear and transparent about the companies practices. I love when companies take such small steps to improve their user experience.
As a plus, you can share as much information you want to share with ProtonVPN. From the Privacy side, I’d say it is the safest VPN you can trust in 2022.
Talking about streaming, ProtonVPN does its job very well. I was surprised to see that ProtonVPN can unblock several streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more. But one issue I found was the long load times when watching a show which makes the streaming experience uninteresting.
For a better streaming experience, ProtonVPN offers several fast servers. But you need the plus plan to access them. Free servers are generally not the best way to unblock streaming platforms. Still, you might be able to access some geo-blocked content with these servers on some platforms.
With the plus servers, I was able to unblock the following popular platforms:
1: Amazon Prime
6: BBC iplayer
9: Hulu, and many others.
Based on my opinion, ProtonVPN is one of those rare VPNs that can unblock all of the Netflix libraries (including US, UK, and Canadian libraries). After ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN earns the second spot as the best VPN for Netflix. Thanks to Proton for their excellent streaming performance.
Express VPN also supports all these platforms. See the Nord VPN review here
IP Vanish VPN also supports all these platforms. See the Nord VPN review here
Security – Bulk Of Security Features Included
Jumping to the security features included with ProtonVPN, I was like, “Wow, that’s awesome.”. It comes with military-grade encryption that hides your IP and protects your sensitive information.
Below I have divided all of the security features into sections:
Currently, the best encryption available is AES-256, which ProtonVPN uses to encrypt all of your network traffic. The term AES-256 means the key that leads to your data is hidden in a combination of 78 numbers, so finding the correct key is nearly impossible.
To build up an extra layer of security, ProtonVPN uses perfect forward secrecy. Basically, this feature protects your data by continuously changing the encryption key when you open the ProtonVPN.
2. Kill Switch
This feature can be handy for those people who care about their privacy. Basically, a kill switch protects and kills all of your internet traffic when the VPN disconnects due to network loss or any other problem.
Without a kill switch, when your VPN disconnects, your ISP would be able to see what you are doing and could get you in trouble. Luckily, the kill switch feature is available for all devices (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux).
3. Tor Over VPN
Another feature that comes with ProtonVPN is Tor over VPN. With this feature enabled, you can access onion sites using a regular browser instead of a Tor browser. During my tests, I succeeded in accessing the dark web without any hassle. But, I experienced the worst speeds while connected to Tor servers.
4. Secure Core
You might be having a question about what is a secure core? Well, it’s an extra security feature that ProtonVPN offers with their “Plus or Visionary” subscription plans. It works like a double VPN that routes your traffic through Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland for added privacy.
Basically, this feature sends your internet traffic through two different servers, making it nearly impossible for your ISP to track your activity.
5. Split Tunneling
This feature allows you to access VPN and local networks simultaneously. This feature is useful when a user wants to access the local network and VPN at once. Like you can torrent files while playing online games with a Wifi connection.
Torrenting – Worst Download Speeds
If you’re looking for a VPN to torrent files only, then ProtonVPN isn’t for you. Perhaps, It allows you to torrent files but with slow speeds. It lacks some features (that other VPNs have) that helps to boost up your torrenting experience, like port forwarding or SOCKS5 proxy. Also, the service offers P2P servers in only 12 countries, due to which you may face problems while finding the server closer to your actual location.
Following are the 12 countries with P2P servers:
- United States
- United Kingdom
If you don’t reside near these locations, you’ll experience even slower download speeds while connected to a P2P server. ProtonVPN can torrent files, but there are much better options available in the market, like NordVPN, Surfshark. If you only want to torrent files, then ProtonVPN isn’t the recommended one.
FAQs About ProtonVPN
Can we access Proton for free? Yes.
You can access ProtonVPN for free. It comes with a completely free plan that provides you with unlimited bandwidth. If you want a faster experience or need to watch Netflix, then you’ll need to switch to ProtonVPN paid plans.
Where Is ProtonVPN Located?
Proton Technologies AG owns the company, and its headquarters are in Switzerland.
These secure core servers are great for protecting your data, but the speeds I experience were quite slow as compared to the normal servers. Also, I wasn’t satisfied with their customer support, they need to introduce the 24/7 live chat system.
In the end, I’d like to recommend this VPN service to every person who is primarily a company and want a great VPN service that can fullfil their day to day needs.