ProtonVPN Review (2020): Good but have some Demerits – A comprehensive guide.

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which is known for its strong privacy laws. It keeps no logs, allows up to 10 simultaneous connections (depending on the plan), and runs almost 767 servers in 46 countries around the world.

Its free plan is superb, and if you don’t mind access to just three servers, may provide everything you need from a VPN. Signing up for the free plan also gives you a 7-day free trial of the premium Plus plan.

I have used this VPN service and recommended it for people. Thus, I am well aware of its Pros and Cons.

By the end of this review, you will, without a doubt, know if ProtonVPN is the right option for you.

Let’s Dive right in.

Posts Overview

To walk you smoothly through this review numbered below are the key areas I will be covering.

  1. About the Company (Overview)
  2. Compatible Devices
  3. Features
  4. Speed and Performance
  5. Price (Free or Paid version)
  6. Privacy and Security
  7. Pros and Cons
  8. Conclusion

You can click on any of the subheadings above to jump to that section otherwise, scroll down to read as ordered above.

1. About the Company (Overview)

protonvpn

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which is known for its strong privacy laws. It keeps no logs, allows up to 10 simultaneous connections (depending on the plan), and runs almost 767 servers in 46 countries around the world.

ProtonVPN are in partnership with the well-known, secure email service ProtonMail and have benefitted greatly from them. Although both companies are separated legally for security reasons, ProtonVPN still depend on the email service for both existing technology and security.

ProtonMail is still one of our favorite fully encrypted email services. However, As a VPN experts, if you want the full capabilities and security of a reliable VPN (secure and private browsing, geoblocking, etc.), I can recommend a global provider like CyberGhost.

However, fans of ProtonMail will be happy to hear that ProtonVPN also has a similar focus on security, privacy, and total anonymity.

ProtonVPN is a strong champion for privacy-minded folks and torrent fans, this is to say if you love your security and happens to be a great torrent, this provider is just for you! But what about areas like streaming, speed, and user experience, how does this VPN perform?

To answer that, we carried out tests on ProtonVPN across many different categories to find out. We saw that ProtonVPN allows access to Netflix libraries, including US Netflix. But with lagging speeds, be prepared to wait while your episode loads.

Streaming – Does ProtonVPN Work with Netflix?

Do you wish to use ProtonVPN to catch up on your favorite US Netflix shows? The. You are in luck. We were able to stream US Netflix content on various servers without a problem.

ProtonVPN was also able to bypass the geo-restrictions on other popular US streaming sites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.

Its speeds aren’t the best I’ve seen, which can be pretty frustrating if you’re streaming. It led to buffering and lagging while I was watching Netflix. 

2. Compatible Devices

protonvpn

ProtonVPN can be used on many Known platforms, including routers. Unfortunately, it does not offer native apps for media streamers or Web browser extensions. 

We also tested the ‘Plus’ version of ProtonVPN, which allows you connects to 5 device simultaneously.

In general, when you subscribe, having 5 ’empty slots’ for a single subscription should be enough to meet your needs. Below are the wide range of devices where you can install this VPN.

Platform Compatibility
Desktop PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux.
Mobile PlatformsAndroid, iOS.
Web BrowsersN/A.
RoutersDD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT, and more.
Other DevicesN/A.

In terms of desktop platforms, there are native apps for Windows and macOS. Also, with Linux on board, you can install the OpenVPN package and input ProtonVPN configuration files. When it comes to mobile platforms, Android and iOS are supported.

Before now, ProtonVPN wasn’t available on Apple’s mobile platform, and this was a major drawback, presently it has been solved.

In addition, ProtonVPN can be installed on a wide range of reliable routers. Since it makes use of OpenVPN protocol, there’s a nice array of routers based on DD-WRT, Tomato, and AsusWRT firmware versions. In simple terms, you can install ProtonVPN on any of these.

As we can see here, there are no Web browser extensions. Also, as earlier said, this VPN has no apps for devices such as media streamers, gaming consoles, and more. This is important to note, as this is something that today’s top-rated VPNs offer.

3. Features

protonvpn

ProtonVPN offers plenty of unique features, thus, adding value to what it has to offer. The only thing that’s missing right now is ad-blocking and anti-malware. 

VPNs may look the same on the outside. However, make sure to take a look ‘behind the scenes’ and inspect their features before buying a subscription.

This will tell you how much value you’re getting for your money, and you can easily see if a VPN meets your needs. So, below are the features you should expect of ProtonVPN.

VPN Features Checklist
DNS Leak ProtectionYES
IPv6 Leak ProtectionYES
Kill-SwitchYES
Ad-Blocker, Anti-MalwareNO
Unlimited Server SwitchesYES
Unlimited BandwidthYES
Unlimited DataYES

ProtonVPN uses DNS and IPv4 leak protection when you talk of protecting your online data and preventing leaks, although, this VPN do not fully support IPv6 yet, it comes with servers specifically designed to prevent any form of leaks.

Thus we can say that all IPv6 traffic is rerouted through this specific VPN’s servers and it never leaves them, allowing you to browse the Web like you normally would.

It might also be interesting to note that ProtonVPN comes with a bunch of advanced features. It has a built-in kill-switch, whose job is to prevent any Web traffic should in case your secure connection becomes compromised.

It also features a split tunneling, that gives you a choice to select which applications use VPN traffic and which ones don’t.

This VPN has also developed technologies you won’t see elsewhere. Such as the Secure Core, known to be a system of servers in privacy-friendly countries, giving you another layer of security.

In other words, this system serve as a double layer of security by routing your traffic through several servers before it leaves the ProtonVPN’s network. Apart from the “secure core” it also features what is known as “Forward Secrecy” that automatically generates new encryption keys each time you use the VPN.

protonvpn

This implies that your traffic can’t be decrypted even if for any reason your previously used keys gets compromised. And lastly, ProtonVPN allows Tor over VPN through a selected set of servers.

4. Speed and Performance

ProtonVPN is known as one of the fastest VPNs presently. I was slowed by only 9.8%, on average.

Now, we will tell you what kind of performance you can expect from this VPN. We will get this by connecting to several of ProtonVPN’s servers and running a series of speed tests. So, let’s get started.

protonvpn

We’ll begin by checking our baseline data. So, we checked the speed of our Web connection without this VPN. When we did that, we got 136.31 Mbps for downloads and 9.80 Mbps for uploads. Now, let’s connect to a nearby server.

protonvpn

We moved to Europe where ProtonVPN has a large number of servers. In our case, the closest server was located in Italy, so we connected the VPN to it. Then, we ran another speed test, and this time we got 124.35 Mbps for downloads and 9.12 Mbps for uploads, definitely good.

protonvpn

Finally, we also connected to a server in the USA. Based on our location, this is a remote server. Looking at the above image, you’ll see that we got 121.30 Mbps for downloads and 6.48 for uploads. We were impressed as remote servers usually don’t give such fast speeds.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedSpeed Reduction
Baseline Data136.31 Mbps9.80 Mbps0%
Nearby Server124.35 Mbps9.12 Mbps8.7%
Remote Server121.30 Mbps6.48 Mbps11.0%

Judging from the above result, ProtonVPN made our Web connection slower by just 9.8%. We’ve tested a large number of VPNs so far, and this is one of the best results. We highly recommended it if you care about maintaining the speed of your Web connection.

5. Price (Free or Paid version)

protonvpn

It offers a free plan that gives you access to 3 countries, medium speed, and 1 simultaneous connection, apart from that, ProtonVPN offers 3 premium subscription options available on a monthly or annual basis.

The Basic subscription ($5 per month; $4 per month with the annual subscription) grants you access to all countries, P2P filesharing, fast speeds, and up to 2 simultaneous connections.

The Plus option ($10 per month; $8 per month with the annual subscription) goes one step further and provides you with Plus servers, Secure Core feature, secure streaming, and up to 5 simultaneous connections.

Finally, the Visionary subscription ($30 per month; $24 per month with the annual subscription) also comes with ProtonMail and up to 10 simultaneous connections.

It is a big plus that the company also accepts credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and even cash payments.

Every purchase comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and there is also a 7-day free trial, which gives you more than enough time to test the software and check if it meets your personal demands.

When you download the free version of ProtonVPN, your Plus free trial will activate automatically without you providing the payment information or any additional details.

6. Privacy and Security

protonvpn

It is a nice feature that this VPN has the ability to unblock streaming platforms. However, this wouldn’t matter if your chosen VPN is not capable of protecting your online information. With this said, we’ll let you know of all possible ways that ProtonVPN can make you secure on the Web.

Supported Encryption Protocols

This VPN comes with a military-grade type of encryption that’s well known and available. Of course, it is the AES-256 encryption, with the key exchange method being 4,096-bit RSA, while SHA384 if used for message authorization.

You don’t have to worry about all these numbers and names all you need to know is that AES-256 should keep your data encrypted in the best way possible.

ProtonVPN do not use a less secure VPN protocols and make use of only OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec. Both of these are known as strong protocols with no known vulnerabilities.

Depending on your platform of choice, you’ll either get to use OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPsec and it really doesn’t matter which one you’ll end up with, as both of these provide reliable performance.

Logging Policy

When signing up for a new account, ProtonVPN will collect information like your username, email address, and password as this is needed for you to log-in and use the service itself.

Then, once you start using the application, your timestamps will be collected. This may look strange, but the reason it is collected is that ProtonVPN protects you against password brute-force attacks.

In addition, this information is overwritten each time you log-in to the application, so there’s nothing to be worried about.

There are also two interesting points to keep in mind. As stated in the Privacy Policy, this VPN retains essential data like username, email, and billing information, but this data is deleted from their servers immediately you decide to no longer use their service.

Speaking of data sharing, ProtonVPN works hand in hand with their parent company (Proton Technologies AG – Switzerland) to share data and give support. This is because both ProtonVPN and ProtonMail uses the same user database.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you’ll believe this company or not. We do think that it doesn’t collect any personally identifiable data and we also believe that it’s playing fair overall.

It is also important to note that ProtonVPN’s Privacy Policy was last updated in April 2019, they made amends and removed some of the previously identified vague elements. This legal document is now much more reliable, user-friendly and transparent.

DNS Leak Test

We also conducted a DNS leak test, to ensure that there are no active data leaks. And we can fully boast that ProtonVPN employs effective DNS leak protection measures.

Third-parties on the Net see only what ProtonVPN decides to show them, and this are your virtual IP address, hostname, country of origin, and more.

7. Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Based in Switzerland
  • Strong encryption & protocols
  • No leaks, no logs
  • Secure core servers
  • Acceptable speeds
  • Present in 46 countries
  • Streams Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  • Supports Tor browser & P2P
  • Variable pricing

Cons:

  • Prone to VPN blocks
  • Tends to be slightly gimmicky
  • Limited P2P availability

8. Conclusion

With added security features and proven respect for privacy, it’s transparent that ProtonVPN is a top provider for anyone concerned about staying secure online.

It is attractive, has a user-friendly app that can stand as one of the best designs that we’ve seen.

It falls short on little important aspects. However, It has a diverse support channels, speed, and wallet-friendly prices.

This brings us to the end of this review. I hope you enjoyed reading it….

…. It’s your turn to give me feedback…

Do you have an account with ProtonVPN? If not, what is you say on signing up?

Do you think ProtonVPN is safe and secure? Or

……maybe you have a question.

Either way, let me know in the comment section right away.

Cheers.

ProtonVPN Review (2020): Good but have some Demerits - A comprehensive guide. 1
Follow me

ProtonVPN

7.6

REPUTATION

8.0/10

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

8.0/10

EASE OF USE

8.0/10

TRANSACTION FEE

7.0/10

PAYMENT METHODS

7.0/10

Pros

  • No leaks, no logs
  • Acceptable speeds
  • Streams Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  • Variable pricing
  • Strong encryption

Cons

  • Prone to VPN blocks
  • Tends to be slightly gimmicky
  • Limited P2P availability

27 thoughts on “ProtonVPN Review (2020): Good but have some Demerits – A comprehensive guide.”

  1. The Proton VPN is awesome for individuals who are into more intensive ICT. Base on my understanding, it was built by the developers of ProtonMail and most people would be wondering what it’s all about, it’s similar to a Virtual Private Network for email and used for encrypting emails to prevent hacking and leakage of information in your email, that is, once encrypted, the email would be meant for a particular reader only who may receive an access code or verification to open the email.

    Reply
  2. This was an interesting review. I usually use Express VPN when I need to access certain websites that are available only in selected countries.

    Reply
  3. Wow such an awesome review about ProtonVPN I like the great benefits of it. How I wish this VPN is available to my country thanks!

    Reply
  4. Awesome detailed review. I didn’t know much about VPNs until I read this post. My only questions, can it access Netflix, which is very strong against VPNs.

    Reply

Leave a Reply