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AirVPN Review

 Rated 1 out of 5 
1 user reviews
Screenshot of AirVPN's desktop application
Simon Migliano

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more.

Ask Simon About AirVPN

Our Verdict

7.47.4/10
How is this calculated?

Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:

  • Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
  • Speed & Reliability: 25%
  • Security & Features: 20%
  • Streaming: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Ease of Use: 5%
  • Support: 5%

See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.

AirVPN is a great choice of VPN if privacy and torrenting are a priority. It uses tested encryption and runs exclusively on OpenVPN. The apps are fast and secure, but they can be hard to use, especially for beginners. AirVPN is a reliable choice for advanced users, though.

Ranked #28 out of 56 VPNs

AirVPN Category Ratings

  • 1.81.8/10
  • 9.39.3/10
  • 99.0/10
  • 77.0/10
  • 7.57.5/10
  • 6.66.6/10
  • 9.59.5/10
  • 3.33.3/10
  • 7.87.8/10
  • 77.0/10

AirVPN Pros & Cons

  • Fast same-country speeds
  • Works well in China
  • Torrenting permitted on all servers
  • Connect securely to 22 countries
  • Detailed manual setup guides

  • Very small number of VPN servers
  • No access to streaming
  • Based in privacy-unfriendly Italy
  • Complicated desktop app
  • Limited customer support

Why Trust Our Review?

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing 56 VPN services using our impartial review process to recommend you the best VPN software.

Here are some of our key VPN testing statistics:

Total Hours of Testing30,000+
Weekly Speed Tests3,000+
VPN Services Reviewed56
Streaming Platforms Tested Daily12
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed9,500+
How Much We've Spent On Testing$25,000+

An independently-operated VPN founded by activists, hacktivists, and hackers sounds almost too good to be true – or is it?

That’s the backstory of AirVPN, which promises its users “the air to breathe the real internet”, so we decided to put it to the test for ourselves.

In our AirVPN review, we answer important questions such as:

  • Is AirVPN secure?
  • Will AirVPN work in China?
  • Does AirVPN unlock Netflix?
  • How easy is AirVPN to use?
  • Does AirVPN allow torrenting?

You’ll find the answers to these, and many more, below our brief overview of AirVPN.

AirVPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Speed71Mbps
Logging PolicyNo Logs
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionItaly (14-Eyes Member)
Servers200
IP Addresses200+
Countries22
US NetflixYes
TorrentingUnlimited
Simultaneous Connections5
Works In ChinaYes
Support24/7 Live Chat
Cheapest Price$3.69/mo over 24 Months
Free Trial3 Days (No Payment Info Required)
Money-Back Guarantee30-day Money-Back Guarantee
Official WebsiteAirVPN.org

Privacy & Logging Policy

Trusted for privacy

99.0/10
How is this calculated?

We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.

AirVPN has a strong, minimal logging policy which doesn't record any personally identifiable data. It also has a strong record of over a decade without logging or security scandals.

Ranked #29 out of 56 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

AirVPN has been around for over eleven years, formed in Italy in 2010 by a small group of activists and hackers, with the help of two lawyers. In that time it’s never faced any security scandals or been bought out by a larger company.

Originally it was operated by Iridium, a satellite communications company, but AirVPN took over in November 2012. Paolo Brini is listed as the current owner of AirVPN, which is operated from Perugia (Italy).

Even today, AirVPN is operated exclusively by activists and ‘security issues aware persons’. It’s still based in Italy, putting it within reach of EU data retention laws.

Logging Policy

AirVPN’s logging policy is fairly vague, so we contacted customer support for clarification.

After speaking to them we feel confident that AirVPN doesn’t monitor anything you do while connected to the VPN. It only collects ‘technical data’ for server maintenance purposes, but you can request for this to be deleted at any point.

AirVPN also doesn’t log any information that could be used to personally identify you, such as date/timestamps or your IP address, making it one of the most privacy-friendly VPN services out there and mitigating its Italian jurisdiction.

Speed & Reliability

Above-average same-country speeds

77.0/10
How is this calculated?

Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).

We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.

AirVPN is equally as fast on both same-country connections and across longer distances, so you’ll be able to do pretty much anything you want to while connected to the VPN without breaking a sweat.

Ranked #37 out of 56 VPNs for Speed & Reliability

While AirVPN isn’t reaching the exceptional peak speeds of some of the fastest VPN services, it does stand out for the sheer level of reliability on offer.

Local Speed Test results before using AirVPN:

  • Download Speed: 96.6Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 96.44Mbps
  • Ping: 3ms

Local Speed Test results with AirVPN:

  • Download Speed: 71.59Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 74.54Mbps
  • Ping: 18ms

Download speed loss when AirVPN is running: 26%

These speeds are good enough for buffer free streaming.

It’s not an ideal VPN for keen gamers, though, with ping times hovering around 18ms, even when we were connected to a VPN server in the same city as us.

If you’re based in the UK, here are the average speeds you can expect from AirVPN connecting out to a handful of popular locations:

USA: 40Mbps (download) & 47Mbps (upload)
Germany: 55Mbps (download) & 72Mbps (upload)
Singapore: 33Mbps (download) & 16Mbps (upload)
Australia: No server available

To read more about how we test VPNs, you can read our full speed testing methodology here.

Server Locations

38 cities spread over 22 countries

7.57.5/10
How is this calculated?

The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.

We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

AirVPN has good server coverage for Europe and North America, but falls short when compared to other high quality VPN services.

Ranked #31 out of 56 VPNs for Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag
22 Countries
Image of a city landscape
40 Cities
Image of a pink marker
200+ IP Addresses

AirVPN offers one of the smallest server networks we’ve ever seen from a premium VPN service.

AirVPN only provides 200 individual VPN servers, which could lead to server congestion at busier times. Thankfully the ‘server load’ section on the app makes it easy to see which locations are approaching capacity.

Screenshot of AirVPN's desktop app showing the percentage load of each VPN server location

AirVPN has 37 US VPN servers across 10 cities. Users in the US can choose from AirVPN servers in:

  • Atlanta (5)
  • Chicago (3)
  • Dallas (10)
  • Fremont (3)
  • Jacksonville (1)
  • Los Angeles (3)
  • Miami (3)
  • New York City (3)
  • Pennsylvania (1)
  • Phoenix (5)

AirVPN also has three city-level UK VPN servers (London, Maidenhead, and Manchester) and, three Canadian VPN servers (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver). Other countries with city-specific choices include Germany, Spain, and Sweden.

Europe has the best AirVPN coverage with 153 servers spread over 15 countries, while Asia is limited to Japan, and Singapore.

AirVPN used to maintain a Hong Kong server, but this was removed in July 2020 following escalation of China’s digital surveillance in the region.

South America is covered only by VPN servers in Brazil, while Africa is ignored by AirVPN altogether.

Streaming

Great VPN for torrenting but not streaming

1.81.8/10
How is this calculated?

Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately, AirVPN is not a great VPN for streaming. Services like BBC iPlayer and US Netflix almost never work, and when they do finding the right server requires lengthy trial and error.

Ranked #44 out of 56 VPNs for Streaming

While certainly fast enough for buffer-free Full HD streaming, AirVPN doesn’t work with either Netflix or BBC iPlayer.

Because there are no AirVPN servers optimized for accessing streaming sites, it’s a case of trial and error, and we haven’t been able to unblock US Netflix for several months now.

It’s the same story with BBC iPlayer, which has always been inaccessible via AirVPN’s UK-based servers. These VPNs will stream BBC iPlayer, though.

Surprisingly, given the difficulty we’ve had accessing BBC iPlayer or Netflix, AirVPN was one of the few providers to work with Disney+ at its launch. Which is great to see.

Thankfully, on AirVPN’s website there is a list of ‘blocked websites’ which users can check to see if the situation with these streaming sites ever changes.

Torrenting

P2P allowed on every server

9.39.3/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.

Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.

AirVPN has great P2P speeds, as well as key advanced features like port forwarding and a kill switch. All this makes it a great choice for torrenting.

Ranked #5 out of 56 VPNs for Torrenting

AirVPN is, however, a strong choice for anonymous torrenting and P2P activities. One of the best we’ve seen.

Its good download speeds and impressive upload speeds, minimal logging policy and suite of advanced privacy tools (including a VPN kill switch) make it ideal for P2P activity.

Advanced torrenters will also like that AirVPN allows port forwarding on up to 20 ports simultaneously, to speed up transfers even more.

You can do this in the ‘Client Area’ of the AirVPN website. Read more about AirVPN’s remote port forwarding here.

How Does AirVPN Compare to Other VPNs for Torrenting?

AirVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting, but how does it compare to the competition?

We’ve put together this table for you to compare AirVPN on factors like bitrate and advanced features:

Bypassing Web Censorship

Should work in China with some manual configuration

6.66.6/10
How is this calculated?

Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

The VPN offers advanced obfuscation technology, but it requires some manual configuration.

Ranked #25 out of 56 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

Currently, the only way to connect to a VPN server in China is to use the OpenVPN protocol over SSL, which encrypts your OpenVPN ‘fingerprint’ to make it undetectable. This is simple enough to do on desktop but more complex on mobile.

If you want to connect out from China on mobile devices using AirVPN you’ll have to install OpenVPN files and do some manual configuration – there are step-by-step guides on the website to walk you through the process.

AirVPN should work to bypass censorship in Turkey, Iran, and other highly-restricted countries. This is due to its range of additional obfuscation tools such as SSH/SSL tunneling and access to Tor through the VPN.

Its limited server network is bad news for speed, though, as it means you may find yourself having to connect to an AirVPN server far away from your physical location.

Security & Extra Features

One of the most secure VPN services we’ve seen

9.59.5/10
How is this calculated?

Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers.

With AES-256 encryption and the industry-standard OpenVPN protocol, AirVPN meets all our expectations for security.

Ranked #7 out of 56 VPNs for Security & Extra Features

ProtocolsAvailable in AirVPN
IKEv2/IPSecNo
L2TP/IPSecNo
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)Yes
ProprietaryNo
PPTPNo
SoftEtherNo
SSL VPNNo
SSTPNo
TLS VPNNo
WireGuardNo
EncryptionAvailable in AirVPN
AES-128No
AES-192No
AES-256Yes
BlowfishNo
ChaCha20No
SecurityAvailable in AirVPN
DNS Leak BlockingYes
First-party DNSYes
IPv6 Leak BlockingYes
Supports TCP Port 443Yes
VPN Kill SwitchYes
WebRTC Leak BlockingYes
Advanced FeaturesAvailable in AirVPN
Ad BlockerNo
Dedicated IPNo
Double VPNNo
Smart DNSNo
SOCKSNo
Split TunnelingYes
Tor over VPN ServerYes
Tracker BlockerNo

AirVPN is a fantastic choice if pure privacy is your priority. Encryption is via top cipher AES-256 and the software runs exclusively on OpenVPN, which offers the best balance between security and performance.

The VPN kill switch is an essential feature to protect you in case of connection drops, and AirVPN also operates its own DNS servers, keeping your personal information confidential.

Results of AirVPN's DNS and IP leak test on browserleaks

AirVPN’s protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks was also proven to be 100% effective in our latest tests.

You can use AirVPN to access the Tor browser, giving you an extra layer of encryption should you need it. The desktop app also offers ‘doublehop’, a feature that routes your traffic through an intermediate server to help avoid geolocation censorship.

It would be nice to see WireGuard added in the future, but while OpenVPN continues to work very well it’s hard to argue the addition would be necessary

Device & OS Compatibility

Compatible with all major platforms & routers

How is this rated?

A quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.

AirVPN has native apps for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux. Unfortunately, using the VPN on iOS requires manual configuration through a third-party client.

Apps

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. iOS
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  6. Router

AirVPN offers custom VPN apps for:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • macOS
  • Android
  • Linux

There is also an AirVPN setup guide for iOS, however, it requires installation of third-party OpenVPN software. We advise iOS users to use VPNs with custom apps for iPhone or iPad instead.

AirVPN is also supported on DD-WRT, pfSense, Tomato, and AsusWRT routers, but again has to be manually installed and configured. This means AirVPN isn’t a very good choice if you want a plug-and-play VPN service.

You can have up to five simultaneous connections, too. Other providers offer more, but this should cover most people’s devices.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

  1. Apple TV
  2. Amazon Fire TV
  3. Chromecast
  4. Nintendo
  5. PlayStation
  6. Roku
  7. Xbox

AirVPN offers a native VPN app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. It can also be used with a range of other games consoles and streaming devices either by connecting them to a configured router or sharing the VPN connection from another device running the software.

There are no manual set-up or troubleshooting guides for any of these devices, but you can find lots of useful hints and tips in AirVPN’s online forums.

Ease of Use

Apps are cluttered, intimidating, and difficult to use

3.33.3/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the intuitiveness of setup and everyday use.

Device or platform compatibility and customization options are also a factor.

AirVPN’s desktop VPN client, playfully nicknamed ‘Eddie’, is outdated, cluttered, and at times confusing. More tech-savvy VPN users will love the advanced features but even the tech-literate may struggle with its interface.

Ranked #52 out of 56 VPNs for Ease of Use

How to Install & Set Up AirVPN

The Eddie client is one of the least accessible we’ve reviewed.

AirVPN’s settings list is separated into tabs, each with loads of different options. This is where it could get confusing for less experienced VPN users, so we like that there’s an option to reset all settings to default just in case.

VPN server selection is way more difficult than it needs to be – the list is long and there’s no search feature. Even worse, each VPN server is named after a star, which gets frustrating after a while when all you want to do is choose a city and connect.

Customer Support

24/7 live chat makes up for limited resources

7.87.8/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of each VPN’s:

  • Email support
  • Live chat support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all of these, and they often vary in quality and response time.

AirVPN has a different customer support offering to many other VPNs. While it doesn't have live chat, it does have a very active support forum, with contributors from both the service itself and the community.

Ranked #29 out of 56 VPNs for Customer Support

Customer SupportAvailable in AirVPN
24/7 Live Chat SupportNo
24/7 Email SupportNo
Live Chat SupportNo
EmailNo
Email Support via Online FormYes
No Support AvailableNo
Tutorial VideosNo
Online ResourcesYes

AirVPN says that its customer service isn’t outsourced in order to provide “high-quality support,” however a lack of live chat and slow email replies can be frustrating when you just have a simple question.

We like the extensive knowledge base on AirVPN’s website though, which includes a FAQs section divided up by topic. There’s also a whole host of AirVPN community forums covering every topic you could think of, so you may find you don’t actually need to contact the support team very often.

Price & Value

Longest plan is excellent value for money

77.0/10
How is this calculated?

Price & Value for Money receives a rating, but is not factored into our Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

A good rating here isn’t just based on how cheap the VPN is, but for the value it offers overall.

AirVPN offers good value on most of its plans, but to get really good value you'll need to commit to the two year plan.

Ranked #25 out of 56 VPNs for Price & Value

Each AirVPN pricing plan includes the same features but they get cheaper on a monthly basis the longer the subscription you sign up for.

A single month of AirVPN is the most expensive option at $7.76, but this can be reduced by 53% on the 2-year plan, which is just $3.65 per month. You can also opt for the 12-month plan which comes out at $4.52, with a saving of 42%.

  1. Monthly

    US$8.33/mo

    Billed $8.33 every month
  2. 6 Month(s)

    US$5.75/mo

    Billed $34.49 every 6 months
    Save 31%
  3. 12 Month(s)

    US$4.88/mo

    Billed $58.28 every 12 months
    Save 45%
  4. 2 Year(s)

    US$3.92/mo

    Billed $93.96 every two years
    Save 53%

Payment & Refund Options

  1. American Express
  2. Bitcoin
  3. Bitcoin Cash
  4. Giropay
  5. iDeal
  6. Mastercard
  7. Monero
  8. PayPal
  9. Visa

AirVPN offers a three-day free trial, which can be obtained by sending a message to the support team and using the coupon code they send you.

We received it in less than a day, but people have reported on the forums that they were left waiting for a code for over 24 hours.

There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, increased from a stingy three days. It is ‘no questions asked,’ thankfully, and refunds are usually back in your bank within two working days.

AirVPN accepts the largest range of payment methods we have seen from any provider. This includes most major credit cards, PayPal, and a whole array of cryptocurrencies. Lots of international options are also accepted, such as Alipay and Giropay.

The Bottom Line

AirVPN is good - but not for VPN beginners

We do recommend AirVPN, but with one serious warning: AirVPN is absolutely not a VPN for beginners.

In fact, when talking about VPNs that we actually recommend, AirVPN is probably the most intimidating and unfriendly of all. It’s still super secure and produces fast download speeds, but be warned that it takes some getting used to.

Alternatives to AirVPN

The new ExpressVPN logo

ExpressVPN

9.79.7/10

It's our highest-scoring VPN for a reason: ExpressVPN does a lot of things well, but ease of use may be top of the list. ExpressVPN is so simple anyone can use it - and get great performance while doing so, too. Read ExpressVPN review

CyberGhost

CyberGhost

99.0/10

If streaming is important to you then you shouldn't download AirVPN. CyberGhost is a much better alternative, thanks to its unflinching access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more. Read CyberGhost review


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