We review VPNs independently, but we may earn commissions if you buy a VPN via our links.

AirVPN Review

Screenshot of AirVPN's desktop application

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.

Additional Testing by David Hughes

Our Verdict

6.6/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN service’s Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories. Each category is weighted as follows:

  • Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%
  • Speed: 20%
  • Security & Technical Features: 15%
  • Streaming: 15%
  • Ease of Use: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Server Locations: 5%
  • Bypassing Web Censorship: 5%
  • Customer Support: 5%

Learn more by reading our VPN testing and review methodology.

AirVPN is a great VPN if privacy and torrenting are your priorities. It uses robust encryption and runs exclusively on OpenVPN. The apps are fast and secure, but they're visually outdated can be hard to use — especially for beginners. AirVPN is a safe choice for advanced users, but it's not recommended if you're an iOS user or you're interested in streaming.

Ranked #31 out of 65 VPNs

AirVPN Category Ratings

  • 1.8/10
  • 8.8/10
  • 5.9/10
  • 9.2/10
  • 7.5/10
  • 6.6/10
  • 9.5/10
  • 3.3/10
  • 7.8/10
  • 7.0/10

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 Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our ratings are based on our own testing results and are unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs.

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 find out if it’s truly secure, if it works to unblock streaming services, and what it really feels like to use, amongst other things.

You’ll find the answers to these questions, and many more, below.

AirVPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Download Speed94Mbps
Logging PolicyNo Logs
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionItaly (14-Eyes Member)
Servers200
IP Addresses200+
Countries with Servers22
US NetflixYes
TorrentingUnlimited
Simultaneous Connections5
Works In ChinaYes
SupportEmail Support via Online Form
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

A Trusted Service, but Needs Further Verification

5.9/10
How is this calculated?

We analyze and dissect the VPN service’s logging and privacy policy. A VPN should never log and store:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

Headquarters outside of 14 Eyes or EU jurisdictions are also preferable.

AirVPN has a minimal logging policy which doesn't record any personally identifiable data. It's also a trusted VPN service with a strong record of over a decade without logging or security scandals. To improve its privacy rating, AirVPN needs to provide evidence of its zero-logs policy beyond what it claims in writing.

Ranked #34 out of 65 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

Here’s a summary of the information that AirVPN logs:

Data TypeLogged by AirVPN
Account InformationNo
Browsing ActivityNo
Date of Last ConnectionNo
Device InformationNo
DNS QueriesNo
Individual Bandwidth UsageNo
Individual Connection TimestampsNo
ISPNo
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsNo
Originating IP AddressNo
VPN Server IPNo
VPN Server LocationYes

You can read AirVPN’s full privacy policy on its website.

As shown above, AirVPN does not collect any identifying user data. It only temporarily logs your VPN server location which is then deleted once the VPN session ends. This is a far less intrusive logging policy than the majority of VPN services.

Plus, AirVPN’s diskless server network makes it impossible for the VPN to log any activity data beyond the end of the session.

It also supports anonymous payment methods, including Bitcoin, when signing up to the service.

AirVPN Needs Third-Party Verification

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

We were informed it only collects ‘technical data’ for server maintenance purposes, but you can request for this to be deleted at any point.

We currently can’t substantiate this claim as AirVPN has not provided any real-world evidence of its no-logs policy.

Moving forward, we’d like to see AirVPN undertake an audit of its logging practices by an independent cybersecurity company. This would provide the necessary third-party verification and substantially improve AirVPN’s privacy rating.

Implementing a regularly updated warrant canary and publishing any law enforcement requests would also help to improve AirVPN’s transparency.

Trustworthy Ownership, but Troubling EU Jurisdiction

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.

Its EU jurisdiction is particularly troubling and emphasises the need for third-party verification of AirVPN’s logging practices.

Speed

Improved Speeds in Every Location

9.2/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN’s speed rating using our download speeds, upload speeds, and ping (latency) measurements.

We regularly test the VPN’s local and international speeds using a dedicated 100Mbps internet connection in New York, USA.

AirVPN performed well in our latest speed tests, especially compared to previous results. Using our dedicated 100Mbps connection, we recorded an average download of 94Mbps while connected to a same-city server and 92Mbps on a distant UK server. These speeds are fast enough for every data-intensive web activity, including torrenting, 4K streaming, and online gaming.

Ranked #23 out of 65 VPNs for Speed

To determine AirVPN’s speed rating, we recorded the speed of the connection between our location and AirVPN servers around the world. In each instance, we calculated an average result from several weeks of speed testing.

Below is a table displaying AirVPN’s speed test results, in full:

Previously, AirVPN was one of the slowest premium VPN services, especially across longer distances. We can confirm that AirVPN has substantially improved its connection speeds. In fact, its average local download speed increased by 30% and its international connection to Germany by 67%.

While connected to a nearby New York server, our download speed decreased from 100Mbps to 94Mbps on average. This represents a speed loss of just 6% — an excellent result.

Despite its improvement, AirVPN is still not as fast as the leading VPN services. It’s particularly evident over longer distances, with AirVPN recording an average speed loss of 31% connecting to Australia, compared to just 1% for Hotspot Shield.

To make this clearer, you can use the chart below to see how AirVPN’s average international download speeds compare to the best VPNs available:

Comparison bar chart showing AirVPN's average international speed performance against top VPN services.

As you can see from above, AirVPN is almost as fast as the top VPNs but there’s still some disparity on international connections.

Server Locations

38 Cities Spread Over 22 Countries

7.5/10
How is this calculated?

The key factor for calculating this rating is the global spread and coverage of the VPN’s server network.

We also consider the total number of servers, the number of city-level servers, and the number of IP addresses available.

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

Ranked #27 out of 65 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

AirVPN Is a Poor Choice for Streaming

1.8/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is calculated by how many different streaming services and regional content libraries the VPN can unblock, and how consistently it can access them.

We test access to Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms on a weekly basis.

AirVPN is simply not a good VPN for streaming. It almost never works with services like BBC iPlayer or Netflix, and when it does it requires lengthy trial and error to find the right server.

Ranked #47 out of 65 VPNs for Streaming

Here’s a list of streaming services that AirVPN currently works with:

Streaming PlatformWorks with AirVPN
Amazon Prime VideoNo
BBC iPlayerNo
Channel 4No
Disney+Yes
Hotstar IndiaNo
HuluYes
ITVXYes
MaxNo
Netflix USNo

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 launc, 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

8.8/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is determined by the VPN’s torrenting speeds, the percentage of servers that allow P2P file sharing, the service’s privacy and trustworthiness, and useful settings like port forwarding.

For speed specifically, we calculate the VPN’s average download bitrate using our bespoke torrenting setup.

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 #10 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting

Here’s how AirVPN performed in our latest torrenting tests:

Torrenting Attribute Result
Average Download Bitrate 9.7MiB/s
No. of P2P Servers 200
Logging Policy No Logs
Kill Switch Yes
Port Forwarding Yes

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

6.6/10
How is this calculated?

We routinely test if the VPN can bypass strict internet restrictions in China using our remote-access server in Shanghai.

Other important factors we consider include obfuscation technologies and the availability of servers in neighboring countries (for faster connections).

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

Ranked #28 out of 65 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 & Technical Features

One of the Most Secure VPN Services We’ve Seen

9.5/10
How is this calculated?

A secure VPN must offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a working kill switch.

To calculate this rating, we also factor in additional security settings and features.

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

Ranked #5 out of 65 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

In the table below, you can see which VPN protocols, encryption ciphers, and additional security features AirVPN uses:

ProtocolsAvailable in AirVPN
IKEv2/IPSecNo
OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)Yes
SSL VPNYes
WireGuardYes
EncryptionAvailable in AirVPN
AES-128No
AES-192No
AES-256Yes
BlowfishNo
ChaCha20Yes
SecurityAvailable in AirVPN
Diskless ServersYes
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
SOCKSNo
Split TunnelingYes
Static IPNo
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 on OpenVPN or WireGuard, which offer 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.

Device & OS Compatibility

Compatible with All Major Platforms & Routers

How is this rated?

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

Our ‘Device & OS Compatibility’ assessment contributes to 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

3.3/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of setting up and regularly using the VPN.

We also factor in customization settings, as well as device and OS compatibility (see section above).

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 #59 out of 65 VPNs for Ease of Use

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

AirVPN's apps for Windows and macOS

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.

AirVPN's apps for Android and iOS

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

7.8/10
How is this calculated?

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

  • Live chat support
  • Email support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all these support options, and they often vary in quality and response times.

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 #32 out of 65 VPNs for Customer Support

Here’s an overview of AirVPN’s customer support resources:

Customer SupportAvailable in AirVPN
24/7 Email SupportNo
24/7 Live Chat SupportNo
ChatbotNo
EmailNo
Email Support via Online FormYes
Live Chat SupportNo
Online ResourcesYes
Tutorial VideosNo

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

7.0/10
How is this calculated?

While we do assign a ‘Price & Value’ rating, it doesn’t contribute to the Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

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

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 #21 out of 65 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

    $8.33/mo

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

    $5.75/mo

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

    $4.88/mo

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

    $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

Is AirVPN Worth It?

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

9.6/10

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

9.1/10

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