ProtonVPN Review – Fast and Reliable VPN
|Number of servers||2000+|
|Maximum devices supported||5|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Supported Client Software||Windows, iOS, Android, MacOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox,
Blackberry, SmartTV, Router, Kodi, AmazonFireTV, Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Raspberry Pi
You may be considering giving ProtonVPN a try. Well, just keep reading this review because we will help you make an informed decision. With that being said, ProtonVPN is owned by Proton Technologies AG, a Swiss tech company. Proton Technologies AG is also the company behind the leading email service ProtonMail.
A brainchild of Dr. Andy Yen, a cybersecurity software developer, ProtonVPN is supported by the nonprofit FONGIT (loosely translated as Swiss Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation) and the European Commission.
Truly, there are lots of features that make this service one of the popular services in the industry today. Just before we look into those fascinating features, we must mention that this Switzerland-based cybersecurity firm provides freemium services to its clients.
By and large, this company offers Free, Basic, Plus, Professional and Visionary plans (to be discussed later). Moving on, you will have to make a choice between going for either the free or paid options. In this review, you will learn about the ideal plan to go for. Yes, we have done the legwork for you. Now, let’s check out other perks this service has in store for you.
Key Features of ProtonVPN
Aside from offering a free VPN to its subscribers, there are other key features you will find interesting about this service. No doubt, you will be glad to know that ProtonVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, access to streaming services (US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video), strict zero-logs policy, robust security network, and user-friendly interface.
Other key features include peer-to-peer file sharing, kill switch, split tunneling, DNS leak protection, open source and audited code, 10 simultaneous connections, the option of crypto payment, and responsive email for effective communication. Indeed, more and more VPN users are looking for service providers that give them real value for their money. From the preceding, this company offers many users exceptional, feeless service.
While you get to enjoy free VPN service from this company, you will certainly appreciate its increasing footprint the world over. In all, ProtonVPN is physically present in 50 countries with over 800 servers. With the free version, you can use 3 of them in Japan, the US, and the Netherlands. These servers are generally divided into secure core and standard servers. Just like the name connotes, secure core servers are much slower because traffic that is routed through them comes from encrypted VPN servers.
Moving on, this company did not give the details of its server distribution, but available information shows that its footprint is spread across many countries. In North America, it is physically present in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. A close look at its coverage of Europe shows that its servers are visible in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, etc.
Well, it does not end there as Asia is also included. In Asia, the firm has servers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and other countries. Lastly, much as the cybersecurity firm is present in South Africa to serve customers there, it also has a presence in Australia and New Zealand.
Considering the overview of how this company strategically spread its footprint, you may start wondering why these firms make efforts to expand their coverage. Well, there are 2 cogent reasons why VPN firms expand their networks. First of all, firms with vast coverage offer better services than those that have limited coverage.
Here is why; Having an extensive server distribution means that customers will experience less congestion when they are connected at the same time. In clear terms, the company that boasts more servers will have no congestion as bandwidth will not be shared among its users.
Conversely, a firm with a few servers may have to throttle some subscribers just to accommodate everyone trying to access the network. Secondly, your actual location will always affect your speed. That is, the closer your physical location is to a server, the better your speed. So, it makes perfect sense when these companies continuously expand their coverage. Every VPN firm that expands its coverage is doing so to improve the speed of its customers.
Privacy and Security
One of the benefits you enjoy when you access the internet using ProtonVPN is that you are sure of having excellent security. So, let’s find out the security features you will enjoy when you use this service.
- Kill switch
One of the features you will certainly appreciate when you subscribe to this service is access to a kill switch. Indeed, a kill switch is a built-in security feature that ensures your data does not leak to prying eyes. Well, it severs your data flow when a VPN connection starts acting up.
It is one of the advanced features of ProtonVPN, which ensures your IP address and your online activities are not exposed to your ISP or the government as it automatically terminates your traffic when something goes wrong with your VPN connection. This is possible because your connection is routed through an encrypted tunnel. Upon suspending it, your traffic will stop, thus preventing your data and IP address from being exposed to eavesdroppers. Without it, your data is not safe.
- Split tunneling
One of the easiest ways we explain the relevance of having split tunneling is your ability to access e-banking. You see, many banks do not allow their customers to access their online services if they are connected to a VPN. In this case, it will become frustrating if you have to always disconnect your VPN because you wish to access your funds or some financial information.
But with the split tunneling feature available on ProtonVPN for Windows and Android OS, you do not have to shut the service down. By definition, split tunneling is a multifunctional feature that allows you to decide how to route your traffic. Put simply, you can determine which traffic routes through your VPN tunnel and which goes through your ISP by selecting the appropriate apps or websites.
As you know, your VPN should not allow you to tunnel traffic through any other server as a way of keeping your identity masked. But then, if it offers this split tunneling feature, the rules change. This is both a feature for improved security and top-notch speed.
- Encryption standard
In 2015, the US National Security Agency (NSA) stopped recommending AES-128 for encrypting top-secret documents. Ever since, the encryption standard has lost its relevance in the industry. As recommended by the US Secret Service, this is one of the VPNs that has embraced AES-256 technology for improving users’ privacy and anonymity. Well, ProtonVPN is one of the very services that have adopted this current standard.
In combination with AES-256, the cybersecurity firm provides an exchange key using 4096-bit RSA, HMAC with SHA384 for message authentication. We must not fail to mention that there is perfect forward secrecy, which ensures that your encrypted message is not cracked if the encryption key is compromised. With regard to the protocol, this service offers a few of them. These are IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN.
Sadly, ProtonVPN does not have any servers that support PPTP and L2TP/IPSec at the moment. But then, we must state here that such servers are much easier to maintain. All these are the measures the cybersecurity company has put in place to guarantee its users excellent security and privacy.
- DNS leak protection
DNS requests run in the background and do not need to interact with you once the requests have been initiated. By using the DNS servers provided by your ISP, the system is able to perform the necessary lookups. This is one of the things that happens when you visit the internet. Put simply, your personal information is exposed to your ISP and the world when you browse the internet directly through your ISP. But when you introduce a VPN, it provides an encrypted tunnel for routing your requests.
The idea is that your ISP and other web users will not be able to view what you do online anymore. Sure, your requests have been encrypted, thanks to DNS leak protection. So, we put ProtonVPN to the test to find out if it is truly leakproof. The good thing is that there are lots of relevant web tools that offer this sort of test.
Upon connecting our computer to the VPN and then to the web tool, we sought to identify our IP address and location. We noticed that with the VPN activated, our IP address and location were hidden. On the other hand, it is an entirely different narrative when we access the internet without ProtonVPN. No doubt, this is a plus to this service.
- Wi-Fi protection
Public Wi-Fi facilities are increasingly becoming dangerous as cybercriminals can easily connect to them. When you connect to them too, you become the prime target of hackers as they see the network as a gold mine. Free Wi-Fi hotspots are readily available at airport lounges, coffee bars, bistros, colleges, hotels, etc. Because it is free of charge, it seems convenient to connect your smartphone, laptop, or other device.
Once you are connected, there are a number of methods cybercriminals use to steal from those like you on the network. These include man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, malicious hotspots, malware, and Wi-Fi sniffing. By and large, they steal private information such as passwords, photos and videos, home addresses, etc.
Make no mistake about it, all public Wi-Fi hotspots are hackable, so they are tagged “untrusted.” However, ProtonVPN channels your traffic through its encrypted tunnel, thus ensuring that your connection remains exceptionally secure. Once you are connected to the Wi-Fi hotspot using ProtonVPN, hackers will only see encrypted data when they try to tamper with your connection. This is one of the unique features you get when you subscribe to this service.
- TOR compatibility
With just a click, you can effortlessly build a TOR/ProtonVPN connection. Just before we dive into what this integration means, it is advisable we break down what The Onion Router (TOR) entails. Well, it is a distributed platform run by a global community of sophisticated techies. If a VPN is connected to TOR, the user is getting an extra layer of encryption.
Although there are sources saying that the NSA has access to TOR, it is generally believed in the cybersecurity field that it is resistant to government meddling. You can use the TOR browser to access the internet and enjoy high-level security.
On the other hand, the technology has some flaws. For instance, it is notorious for playing host to the dark web. Consequently, TOR is illegal in some places. Sure, many authoritarian regimes have publicly outlawed its use in their countries. Despite several claims that the NSA has compromised TOR, many VPN subscribers love to see the TOR over VPN feature. Well, you can create such a connection on ProtonVPN in order to enhance your privacy. This connection is known as Onion over VPN.
However, you can only connect these two networks when you subscribe to ProtonVPN (not the free plan). With the dual connection, your security cannot be compromised because both the government and ISP cannot detect users’ access to TOR.
In spite of the top-notch security you get to enjoy from ProtonVPN over TOR, the dual connection significantly reduces your network speed and overall network performance. This is the sacrifice that comes with this choice. The step-by-step guides for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS are detailed on the ProtonVPN site.
- Ad blocker
One of the perks offered by ProtonVPN is an ad-blocking feature. You may be wondering why this is important in a web browser. You see, if you surf the internet all the time, you will often notice some unusual ads popping up every now and then. Just to get you to click on the ads, they make juicy promises. The fact of the matter is that those ads could include scams, malware, spyware, etc. If it is spyware, it means that someone could track your online activities.
On the other hand, malware like a trojan is capable of causing untold damage to your data. Lastly, ads could be scams that are orchestrated to defraud interested people. Well, ProtonVPN ensures that you do not see those annoying ads when you access the internet through it. By protecting you from these ads, it means you will not be susceptible to the malicious advertisers and cybercriminals who usually own the ads.
If this is your first outing in the VPN world, it must matter to you what the providers do with your personal information. Well, such information is detailed in their privacy/logging policies. We will discuss 3 aspects of logging policy that will help you dissect the concept.
- Policy details
Here, we analyze the policies the company has formulated to protect its users from those who would like to spy on them. If you have not used a VPN service before, what a VPN company does with your personal information should matter to you because some companies are not as careful as others. As a would-be subscriber, these unscrupulous companies are capable of undermining your personal security. Have you ever imagined what happens to your data if the organization sells it to a third-party company?
Guess what, some of them actually sell user data to the highest bidders. The idea is to use the proceeds of such transactions to foot their bills. From our findings, these providers usually collect your name, email address, physical address, payment details, IP addresses, etc.
Here is the catch; While a good number of these companies admit to logging users’ personal information, others do not. The industry’s best practice is that every good VPN company must have a no-logs or zero-logs policy, meaning that they do not log user data.
Besides, you must find out the physical location of your preferred VPN. It should matter to you as there are some jurisdictions that are not good matches for such firms. The reasoning behind this is that they have data retention laws. Moreover, there is a global alliance known as the 5/9/14-Eye Alliance. The 5/9/14-Eye Alliance mandates that its member nations must gather intelligence on internet users within their jurisdictions and share it with the rest when the need arises.
Therefore, if a member nation is able to gather your personal information, the information will be distributed to the intelligence services of all of them. The members include the US, the UK, Australia, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands. If your provider is based in any of these aforementioned countries, you need to change it.
- Track record
Just like every other business out there, the track record of VPN firms means a lot in the cybersecurity landscape. For example, if such a company is involved in shady activities or is working with government authorities, then it has a questionable track record. The truth is that nobody should ever consider subscribing to a service that makes private information widely available to government officials.
Well, there are a couple of VPN firms that have done this in the past. While this could be a commendable move geared toward improving national security, it is an outright breach of trust. Secondly, these services are increasingly embracing the idea of inviting reputable third-party companies to audit their operations. After each audit, the report is made public in order to gain confidence and build trust in its services.
- Getting hands-on with ProtonVPN
First and foremost, we are starting with the logging details. Do you have any reason to be wary of this Swiss company? Yes, and no! Let’s start with the NO. According to its logging policy, the company collects and stores users’ timestamps. On the other hand, it reaffirms to users that it does not collect sensitive information.
The policy reads in part: “ProtonVPN respects its users’ privacy and enforces a no-logs policy. This means your VPN connections remain private and we do not store information about your connections or the websites you visit.”
This is very reassuring as you have absolutely nothing to worry about. With respect to why they keep your timestamp, the policy states that the measure has become necessary as a way of ensuring that you are the same person logging into your account. Yes, it is all about security. Still, the Swiss firm notes that it does not keep any information regarding your location or how long you signed in.
What do we think? Well, just as the VPN provider pointed out, the timestamp does not contain any sensitive information such as IP address and location. In summary, it added that the timestamp is maintained in order to forestall any form of brute force attack.
Here is the catch. According to ProtonVPN, if you opt for the free plan, it will not shield you from annoying ads and may sell your data to third parties and throttle your bandwidth. Now, you should be worried. This is probably the price you have to pay for settling for the free plan. Now, is the free plan really worth the headache? You decide.
Plus, this company is nothing but a hallmark of transparency as it officially opened its doors to the auditing firm SEC Consulting. Today, the independent auditing of cybersecurity firms has become a growing trend in the VPN industry. This is one of the steps it has taken to prove to the world that it runs a transparent firm. Indeed, it shows that ProtonVPN has absolutely nothing to hide.
The 2019 audit saw the Swiss company publish its source code, thus making it easy for the global community of programmers to inspect its encryption implementation. By publishing its source code, the service can now receive vulnerability and software update recommendations.
Speed of ProtonVPN
|Server Location||Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|New York||20.78 Mbps||10.46 Mbps|
|Amsterdam||75.19 Mbps||55.99 Mbps|
|London||52 Mbps||47 Mbps|
|Hong Kong||16 Mbps||6.4 Mbps|
As you know, VPN speed is yet another factor you must consider in your ideal service provider because you need speed to do virtually everything online. For instance, you must have sufficient speed to download and upload files, make and receive calls, chat, and do other necessary and fun things. Because of this, we performed a speed test on ProtonVPN using 4 different server locations. Now, we will briefly explain our findings here.
Well, we began the speed test with the server in New York, one of the key locations of ProtonVPN. We were not impressed with its speeds in New York as the download speed sat at 20.78 Mbps while the upload speed was 10.46 Mbps. In truth, these results were unimpressive when compared to those of premium service providers.
The next stop was Amsterdam. We measured the speed of the Amsterdam-based server, ensuring that the parameters remained constant. Unlike the server in New York, we were startled with the performance of the Amsterdam server as its download speed spiked to 75.19 Mbps. In a similar vein, its upload speed slightly tanked to 55.99 Mbps. In fact, these results are superb and reveal that users would have a great time accessing the internet from the city.
Moving on, we proceeded to London. Gauging the speed of the London server gives us an idea of what it feels like to access the internet from the United Kingdom. Upon carrying out the test, we noticed slight drops of the download and upload speeds. Well, we recorded 52 Mbps and 47 Mbps as download speed and upload speeds respectively. Unarguably, one can say from the speed results that both the download and upload speeds are superb.
Finally, we did a test on the server in Hong Kong, leaving all the parameters constant. From our previous speed results, the Chinese city has always had poor speed performance. So, we were right about Hong Kong as the download speed was 16 Mbps and the upload speed dropped to 6.4 Mbps. For some reason, the servers in Hong Kong do not always have breakneck speeds. This is one of the not-so-good results we got when we performed the tests.
- Summary of speed
At this juncture, we have to summarize the tests with a few takeaways. From our speed results, we can categorically state that ProtonVPN speed is alright but not outstanding because the results we got were inconsistent. Put simply, the speed tests showed some variations among the locations when they were juxtaposed.
While it is a norm for the Hong Kong server to have poor speeds all the time, we were a bit disappointed with the New York server as its speeds left so much to be desired. With respect to the average speed of the four cities we sampled, the average download speed was 40.99 Mbps while the average upload speed was 29.96 Mbps. From these calculations, we can deduce that the speed of ProtonVPN is relatively okay.
Furthermore, we have to underscore the importance of certain factors. You see, user speed is most likely dependent on the server from which a subscriber is accessing the internet and how close the user is to the server. Like we always note here, it is very normal for a VPN to slow down the speed of your ISP (local network) the moment a connection is established. Well, other factors that may affect a network speed include source speed (speed of the ISP), the user’s location, and the computer’s processing speed.
What this means is that you can perform the speed test and get an entirely different result as the parameters may vary. To encapsulate our speed results, we can say that this encrypted service has a relatively fair speed. In spite of that, users can still enjoy lots of online activities with it. Here is the big question. How do we rate it? Well, we will give it 7/10 partly because of its relatively good upload speeds.
|Type of support||E-mail and contact form|
|Free trial period||7-day|
Customer care representatives play pivotal roles in ensuring that customers get satisfactory answers to their questions as well as solutions to their technical hitches. Does ProtonVPN have what it takes to satisfy their customers? Just before we answer that question, we have to explain the 4 yardsticks for measuring helpdesk performance.
- Quick response to messages
A good cybersecurity firm must respond to its messages quickly. Truly, swift responses to messages are crucial to VPN users especially in tech emergencies. Apart from emergencies, some agents provide remote configuration services. So, it is fine for newbies to contact them. You can expect to receive a response in a flash.
Good cybersecurity must have a helpdesk that is capable of proffering solutions the moment complaints come in. This goes to show that they are knowledgeable, helpful, and capable.
- 24/7 availability
Every good helpdesk must be available around the clock. Notice that VPN users are scattered around the world, meaning that the agents must be working all the time to attend to these users. Because the users have different time zones, the provider must be readily available to support them whenever the users need help. So, it should offer online and real-time interaction via its live chat support. Sure, you can share your technical hitches or questions with them and get responses at any time of the day.
- Many communication mediums
A good service provider must be accessible via multiple communication mediums. These channels include email, live chat, contact forms, social media, etc. Lately, some providers are increasingly incorporating telephone calls. We must emphasize that having multiple communication channels is one thing, while being able to respond to messages via those mediums early enough is quite another.
- Rich knowledge base
Lastly, its knowledge base should be rich to answer a good number of questions that the subscribers and prospective subscribers are likely to ask. When that is achieved, it reduces the chances of people contacting the helpdesk a second time.
- Hands-On with ProtonVPN helpdesk
Having discussed the yardstick for measuring customer service performance, the next line of action is to compare it with what ProtonVPN has to offer. So, we carried out an extensive test on this service to ascertain how effective or otherwise its agents are. While it has become a norm for many companies in this space to have 24-hour live chat, we found out that ProtonVPN does not have a live chat yet.
Indeed, this is disappointing because having effective live chat support is one of the ways most VPN firms respond to people’s questions and technical challenges online in real time. Nevertheless, our tests did not end there as we sent out an email to ascertain how good and effective the communication channel is and to have the team confirm certain information available on the website.
The reply came with a detailed explanation of how things work. Keep in mind that this is a provider that has both free and paid plans. With respect to the paid plan, you receive a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, one of the questions we sought to find out the answer to is if they truly honor that cashback policy.
The team said that they do. They also explained that users have the choice of upgrading to the paid plan. The email furnished us with more information on the various plans. So, the table below briefly captures some of the information they shared with us.
|Plans||№ of Users||Bandwidth||Custom Domains||Addresses|
Well, we got a response to our email some 3 days later, reassuring us that their word was their bond. Is 3 days good enough to get a response to our email? Well, our team did not think so. On the flip side, the wait was worth it because we got more than what we asked for. As for our verdict, the lengthy response time was definitely a thumbs down.
It is, however, noteworthy that ProtonVPN has a FAQ page. Upon visiting the page, you will find out that it answers lots of important questions about how its services work. We must commend the rich knowledge base because it contains most of the questions that many prospective users would want to know about the network. A close look at the page shows that its content is broadly divided into these categories.
- Download and Setup
- General Information
- Access Content
- Speed and Bandwidth
After clicking on each subheading, you will find out that it contains lots of articles that discuss related topics. For example, “Account” has about 4 different articles detailing everything you need to know about setting up and running your ProtonVPN account. The same goes for every other subheading on the list above.
By grouping the items, it makes it a lot easier for users to locate the topics of their choice. By and large, we strongly advise that you check the FAQ page for key information about this service. If you are not satisfied with the information on the FAQ page, you can then contact the helpdesk for more information or assistance.
Supported Client Software
Most prospective VPN users want to see a service that supports a wide spectrum of operating systems. Does ProtonVPN support all the popular platforms? Well, let’s find out.
Windows OS users have absolutely nothing to worry about as they are often considered a top priority in the cybersecurity industry. Well, ProtonVPN is not an exception as it has a client for Windows OS. The only condition here is that you must have a computer that runs on Windows 7 or later to use it. You will find out upon downloading this client that its installation is as easy as ABC. This is definitely a plus?
On top of that, we noticed that using this service was pretty convenient. There is also a lineup of apps that you may find useful. In addition to that, you will have access to lots of servers, the IKEv2 protocol, topnotch privacy, either the free or a paid plan, and the ability to browse anonymously. Well, some of the downsides of ProtonVPN for Windows include its lack of global availability, inconsistent speed, lengthy login procedure, etc. However, these drawbacks are not a result of the operating system.
You can join the growing network of users who depend on this service to improve their online security and privacy. To do that, you can download, install, and configure this command-line app on your Linux system. All you need is to complete the setup using the OpenVPN protocol and the right config files, which are readily available on ProtonVPN servers. Just so you do not face any major challenge during installation, we advise that you use the Linux command-line tool that works well with your Linux distro.
If you are struggling with the installation, you may visit the ProtonVPN website to learn how to install it. When you are done, you can disconnect your Linux VPN connection using Ctrl+C or by closing the terminal window. You will also need the latest updates for OpenVPN, Python 3.5 and later, Dialog, and Pip3. It runs on distros such as Arch Linux, Manjaro, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, and other popular distros.
Well, the macOS family is not left out as ProtonVPN is readily available to it. Do you use a macOS computer? If yes, you can get started by visiting the Apple App Store from your computer to download and install this client. It works well with macOS 10.12 Sierra or later. This client offers you TOR over VPN, no logs, perfect forward secrecy, a plethora of servers, all the available plans, excellent security, the IKEv2 protocol, P2P servers, a kill switch, etc.
Note that we also tried the app and found out that it is user-friendly. You should try it too. Lest we forget, you get to send messages to the helpdesk to get answers to your question or get some technical support from the team.
To get started with the ProtonVPN client for Android OS, you will have to visit the Google Play Store from your device to download and install the app. When you have done that, you will launch the app on your mobile device. Unlike many clients where you merely have access to IKEv2, you will certainly enjoy both IKEv2 and OpenVPN here.
It is compatible with Android smartphones and tablets. By using these protocols on Android devices, you can be sure that no one can compromise your data. It is noteworthy that you should disconnect from ProtonVPN before installing the app.
If you are using Android 4.x, you need to upgrade to newer versions (Android 5.0 and later) to download the latest version of this client. Afterward, you will begin to enjoy lots of great features that come with this client.
Well, you can visit the App Store from your device to download and install the ProtonVPN client on iPhone or iPad. When you have this client running on your iPhone or iPad, you can be sure of privacy protection, Wi-Fi security, and unrestricted access to censored content. You will also browse anonymously and have access to lots of servers.
The ProtonVPN client for iOS ensures that your data is not compromised. Unlike the Android app, you can only get IKEv2, which is way faster than OpenVPN anyway. But the good thing is that you can configure the OpenVPN protocol on your iOS device. The guidelines are available on its website. Other cool features include Map, Quick Connect, Countries (for locating servers), etc.
Some devices that do not work with a VPN include your game consoles, such as Xbox and PlayStation. Others are Kodi, Android TV, Apple TV, Kindle readers, etc. Obviously, you cannot connect them directly to the encrypted network.
In that case, you will need a router to connect them. More importantly, this service is not compatible with some Wi-Fi routers as there is certain firmware that must be available for the VPN to work well. While some routers come as preconfigured VPN routers, you will have to configure others yourself.
For instance, you have to configure ProtonVPN on DD-WRT, AsusWRT, and Tomato routers. Importantly, you will have to do the configuration using OpenVPN. The installation and activation processes are straightforward. Also, the installation guidelines are detailed on the site. The only drawback is that you will have to be a techie to be able run this program unaided.
Unfortunately, right now ProtonVPN doesn’t have browser extensions.
Torrenting with ProtonVPN
Are you wondering if ProtonVPN supports torrenting? You have the answer here. But before we leave you with the details, we have to discuss what torrenting is and why it has become a source of concern. Well, torrenting simply means the download of peer-to-peer files via the BitTorrent protocol. These files could be music, movies, TV shows, software, etc.
Over time, torrenting has become controversial because most torrenters share copyrighted materials without the consent of their rightful owners. Today, copyright infringement lawsuits have filled the industry, compelling VPNs to shy away from torrent servers. With that being said, we must establish here that torrenting laws vary from one country to another.
While a couple top-tier VPNs allow unlimited torrenting, the same cannot be said of ProtonVPN because it does not fully support it. Additionally, you do not get to torrent if you are on the free plan. Nevertheless, the company has a reason why it does not support torrenting on the free package.
It simply pointed out that allowing users of the free plan to share P2P files would put the system under immense pressure. Consequently, they would have to throttle many subscribers. Yes, this makes perfect sense.
Although subscribers on the paid plans get to enjoy it, torrenting is only available on some servers. One of the reasons why you could always share P2P files without looking over your shoulder when you use this service is that P2P file sharing is allowed in Switzerland. But then, the law only permits it for personal but not commercial purposes. We strongly advise that you find out your local laws on torrenting as some governments around the world frown on it.
Netflix Access with ProtonVPN
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming company. It allows millions of viewers to access its paywalled service on the go. While the content of the streaming giant varies from one country to another, you will need a VPN to unblock its firewall if you wish to access the US Netflix library outside the country. Yes, you can do that with ProtonVPN. We gave it a try, and it worked perfectly. This is really commendable because many companies spin such marketing gimmicks just to bring in more subscribers.
Interestingly, Netflix is constantly looking out for people who use VPNs to bypass its firewalls just to block such viewers. Despite the efforts put into blocking those viewers, ProtonVPN users can still access the vast content of the US catalog.
Logically, subscribers should be able to access the streaming site from US-based servers. Well, we found out that most of the ProtonVPN servers in the country do not work for this purpose. However, you can always access the streaming site by connecting to the VPN server in Amsterdam.
Here are key drawbacks of this VPN. You will want to take them into consideration.
- Few servers
Although most premium providers have between 3,000 and 5,000 servers across the globe, ProtonVPN still has just over 800 servers. It is even more worrying that users on the free plan just get 3 servers.
- Poor speed
In the quest to assess how good its speed is, we found out that the speed of ProtonVPN is relatively inconsistent. That is, some servers have relatively good speed, but others have abysmal speeds.
- Customer service
Although other companies are increasingly incorporating live chat support, ProtonVPN has yet to do that. This is yet another disadvantage.
To wrap up this well-researched piece, we will quickly round up the features that make ProtonVPN a must-have. These features are excellent security, ability to unblock streaming sites, support for torrenting, up to 10 device connections, easy-to-use apps, ad-blocking capability, robust support for many operating systems, etc. On the flip side, it logs the records of free users, does not have many servers, and offers no live chat support.
So, do we recommend it? Yes, we do but not without a caveat. We do not advise that you start with the free version because they may be logging your records. Just go ahead with the 30-day money-back guarantee. Yes, that is enough time to decide whether it is really worth it or not.
If it does not meet your expectations, you can just walk away. Sure, it is that simple! But if it is worth it, you should subscribe to the service. Truly, we have detailed all you need to know about this VPN. So, just go ahead and give it a try. Lastly, feel free to share your experience with us.