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ProtonVPN Review

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated
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ProtonVPN screenshot

ProtonVPN: Ranked #8 out of 99 VPNs that we tested

  1. Fast local speeds - up to 78Mbps down locally
  2. Hassle-free access to popular sites including Netflix
  3. User-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
  4. Secure Core network helps users in high-censorship countries
  5. Minimal logging policy
  6. Connect securely to 33 countries
  1. Server network is fairly small
  2. Best features limited to the Plus Plan
  3. Customer support is limited

Works with

Netflix, Hulu, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux

Price from

Speed & Reliability

Excellent speeds on local and international connections

Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.

Before using ProtonVPN:

  1. DownloadMbps

    92.39

  2. UploadMbps

    97.43

  3. Pingms

    3

When connected to ProtonVPN:

  1. DownloadMbps

    77.75

  2. UploadMbps

    54.39

  3. Pingms

    4

Download speed without ProtonVPN: 92Mbps

Download speed with ProtonVPN: 78Mbps

Our download speed loss when ProtonVPN is running: 16%

ProtonVPN delivers excellent upload and download speeds on local connections, which will satisfy both privacy-conscious streamers and torrenters.

ProtonVPN performs pretty well over international connections too, reaching 40Mbps down connecting to the US East Coast from the UK, and 37Mbps to Japan.

Latency is very low, which is great news for gamers.

Server Locations

Small server network covering 33 countries

Globe with a blue flag33Countries
Image of a city landscape40+Cities
Image of a pink marker350+IP Addresses

ProtonVPN’s server network is a pretty small one, with just under 400 servers spread across 33 countries.

Screenshot of ProtonVPN Server List in App

ProtonVPN covers Western Europe and North America well, but if you need servers in more far-flung locations it may be best to look into other providers – for example, HideMyAss! offers over 190 countries worldwide.

You can drill down to city-level servers in a handful of countries, including in the US, Canada, and the UK, for optimal performance.

Streaming & Torrenting

Good VPN for streaming Netflix and torrenting securely

ProtonVPN is a good choice if you’re looking for quick, hassle-free access to Netflix and Hulu, but many other popular services aren’t currently supported, including Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.

There is a handy article on ProtonVPN’s website telling users which servers are currently working with Netflix – currently access to the service is restricted to Plus Plan subscribers.

Torrenting

Consistently high upload speeds make ProtonVPN great for torrenters, and P2P activity is permitted on many servers for Plus and Visionary subscribers.

If you opt for the ProtonVPN basic plan torrenting is restricted to just a few servers. If it’s something you really need, we’d recommend looking at our roundup of the best VPNs for torrenting.

Bypassing Censorship

Not a good choice for China

ProtonVPN is not a reliable choice for connecting out of China, despite ProtonVPN’s Secure Core servers and servers optimized for use with Tor.

Customer service reported that many users located in China are struggling to use ProtonVPN. If you need a VPN for use in the country, our roundup for the best China VPNs is a good place to start.

ProtonVPN’s limited server network also rules it out for many other high-censorship countries as connecting over such a long distance will poorly affect performance.

Platforms & Devices

Limited range of custom apps, but routers are supported

ProtonVPN’s custom apps are limited to Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, iOS, and Android devices, a far cry from the diverse range offered by the likes of ExpressVPN or Windscribe. There are no apps for streaming devices, nor are there any browser extensions.

It is possible to install it on Linux but this requires you to download the third-party OpenVPN software, which could be a little fiddly for first-time VPN users.

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid
Linux LogoLinux
Router LogoRouter

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV
Chromecast LogoChromecast
Nintendo LogoNintendo
PlayStation LogoPlayStation
Roku LogoRoku
Xbox LogoXbox

If you’re looking to protect games consoles and streaming devices using ProtonVPN, the simplest way to do this is to manually configure your router with the VPN – just make sure it’s compatible by looking on ProtonVPN’s support pages.

Once you’re done, all the Internet-connected devices in your home will be protected.

Encryption & Security

Secure and safe with some advanced features

Protocol

IKEv2/IPSec

OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)

Encryption

AES-256

Security

DNS Leak Blocking

First-party DNS

IPV6 Leak Blocking

VPN Kill Switch

Advanced features

Split Tunneling

TOR via VPN Server

Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.

ProtonVPN is an excellent choice if you’re serious about online privacy.

Screenshot of ProtonVPN Settings Menu in App

The ProtonVPN desktop app exclusively uses OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol, so you can be certain that your web traffic isn’t being compromised. The ProtonVPN mobile apps use IKEv2, which is also very secure. Encryption is via AES-256, a top cipher considered unbreakable.

The VPN kill switch is absolutely essential, as it prevents your true IP address from being leaked should the VPN connection drop for any reason. The same goes for protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, which our independent leak tests proved to be working effectively.

ProtonVPN also offers Secure Core VPN, a mode which forces your traffic through multiple servers before it leaves the network. These servers operate on ProtonVPN’s own dedicated networks in selected countries with strong privacy laws, meaning you’re even further protected against cyber attacks.

Logging Policy

Minimal logging and based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction

ProtonVPN maintains a sensible minimal logging policy, which doesn’t store any personally identifiable information or log your online activities.

ProtonVPN collects only a single timestamp of your most recent successful login in order to determine that nobody else is using your account. This is overwritten every time you use the service, and crucially, it can’t be traced back to you in any way.

Jurisdiction

ProtonVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Switzerland, which allows its users to benefit from some of the world’s strongest privacy laws, outside of EU data laws and the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.

While ProtonVPN will disclose the “limited data” it possesses if faced with a court order, the fact this isn’t personally identifiable means it isn’t something to worry too much about.

Ease of Use

Super simple setup and user-friendly apps

How to Install & Set Up ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN’s desktop apps are incredibly user-friendly, without skimping on detail.

The main screen displays loads of useful information including stats about server load, upload and download speeds, and your new IP address.

The locations are listed alphabetically, making them really easy to navigate. Servers compatible with Tor are clearly labeled, as are those optimized for P2P and torrenting.

The settings are limited to pretty basic stuff but this is where you can switch on the essential VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection.

ProtonVPN’s Android and iOS apps are sleek but they still lack in some features when compared to the desktop clients.

Customer Support

Basic customer support with slow email responses

Email support via an online form

ProtonVPN’s customer support is fairly limited and will only cover the most basic of queries.

The online support center offers a series of FAQs on various general topics, with a handy search feature to look up keywords. There are also detailed set-up guides for devices that need to be manually configured and some simple troubleshooting advice too.

If your questions are left unanswered by the support pages, you’ll have to send an email as there is no live chat option. We found responses to be nowhere near snappy enough, so ProtonVPN will have to up its game if it wants to compete with ultra-customer-focussed top-tier VPNs.

Pricing & Deals

Pricing plans to suit different needs & budgets

ProtonVPN Coupon

ProtonVPN Pricing Plan

ProtonVPN offers a few different service tiers tailored to suit different use cases, each with the option to pay monthly or yearly. Whatever your surfing habits, there will be a combination to suit you.

The Basic plan is the cheapest option at $4 per month on the annual plan, but this limits you to two simultaneous connections, compared to five on the Plus plan.

The Plus plan is $8 a month annually and also comes with ‘secure core’ servers and servers optimized for use with TOR.

The Visionary plan is the most expensive we’ve seen from any provider at a whopping $24 per month, but this includes everything in the other packages plus an extra five simultaneous connections and use of ProtonMail Visionary, which on its own costs $30.

  1. 12 months

    US$8/mo

    Plus Plan - Billed $96 every 12 months
    Save 20%
  2. 12 months

    US$4/mo

    Basic Plan - Billed $48 every 12 months
    Save 20%

All plans have 30-day money-back guarantee

Payment Options

Credit Card
PayPal

ProtonVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee which really is no questions asked, and not subject to any data usage restrictions. Just request a refund by emailing the support team and the money will be back in your account within 30 days.

If you want to test out the service before committing to a paid subscription, ProtonVPN does offer a free plan that you can use for as long as you like. You can read our independent review of ProtonVPN’s free VPN here.

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User Reviews

 100% 
5 out of 5 stars

Based on 4 reviews

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  1.  100% 

    Great VPN for those who put security first

    I've been using ProtonVPN for a year now and I love it. Super easy to use and they are rapidly adding new servers. Also, this is the team who created ProtonMail! You can't go wrong with that

  2.  100% 

    Best VPN!

    Excellent speed on the Plus servers and they have various locations! I use it on both mac and ios, it works perfectly so far. I highly recommend it, 5/5

  3.  100% 

    Most secure VPN

    Large choice of country, very fast, score of charge server, Tor and Secure-core available, UX friendly.

See all 4 ProtonVPN user reviews