ProtonVPN Review

ProtonVPN review

This is a review we’ve been dying to write.

ProtonVPN was founded by the world’s foremost security experts. And as such, it has a reputation for being great on privacy and encryption. In fact, their secure core servers are located in countries chosen specifically for their strong privacy laws.

On top of that, they have stellar product documentation and a slick product interface–all of which made us want to test this out for ourselves ASAP.

ProtonVPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name ProtonVPN
Leak Test No Leaks
Logging Policy No Logs
Speed Fastest
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Allowed
Netflix Unblocks Netflix
Jurisdiction Outside of Eyes
Servers / Countries 450 / 33
Max Connections 2-10
Kill Switch Has Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Crypto
Free Trial Available
Refunds 30 Days
Customer Support Email, Ticket (Quick Response Time)
Price Starting From $4.00

ProtonVPN Pros

Servers and Locations: Quality over quantity with over 450+ servers to choose from

The quantity of servers is a valuable measurement since a VPN organization can turn up new servers with the end goal to meet clients’ needs. Since our last update, they’ve gone above 450 servers—up from 300.

The more servers an organization offers, the more likely it is to find a fast and stable connection.

ProtonVPN offers its users a gaunt option list for its servers located in 33 different countries. Users all over the world still find it fascinating and worth their money.

It’s probably because of the Secure Core Servers that they offer. Not all servers have this feature. These servers “defend against network attacks that other VPNs cannot defend against.” We studied up on this subject and for the layman, it simply means they have multihop servers. The initial traffic is simply sent to a server out of any censorship and surveillance-heavy countries like China, Russia, or the ones in Five Eyes.

That’s one way to stay ahead of the competition!

VPN Speed and Performance: One of the fastest we’ve seen

When you utilize a VPN to anchor your web activity, your information won’t take the fastest, most ideal course. Going through the motions of a VPN server and the additional information links tends to build latency while lessening transfer and download speeds.

ProtonVPN’s speeds didn’t seem so good when we ran our initial tests in late 2018…

We ran a speed test in 2018 and got some terrible results.

But as we do go back and check in on VPNs from time to time, we found ourselves testing ProtonVPN’s speeds again…

Fantastic news! Our speeds with ProtonVPN on is nearly identical to our baseline speeds without a VPN turned on.

We probably connected to a bad server or was just having a bad day in the previous testing round.

It’s safe to say, ProtonVPN is among the fastest VPNs.

Sign-Up Process: Easy peasy

ProtonVPN has a very simple, user-friendly process.

To sign up for a free trial, simply go to their website, click on any of the plans and fill out the necessary details.

You only need to fill in your email address, username and password to create a free account.

After that, a verification code will be sent to your email. Just type that up and hang tight… you’re almost there!

Once your account is verified, download the application, connect and enjoy the 7-day free trial.

Product Interface: Simply beautiful

ProtonVPN has an eye for clean and straightforward interfaces.

From their website to the actual application itself:

Their layout is neat and functional, allowing users to filter their server options or just freely scroll down through their server list.

It takes a few seconds to initialize the connection and assign an IP but once you’re connected, it should look like this:

There’s so much information packed in this VPN client.

We can start from the top left where it shows your account status. If you’re using a free trial account it will count down until expiration. In our case, we have a subscription so this information isn’t displayed.

Then there’s your session information – the server name, IP and the load it’s under. It also shows a brief upload/download speed.

On the “map” portion of the client, you can see some additional traffic information including the total downloaded and uploaded figures. There’s even a nice graph that visually shows your session activity.

If you have any concerns or issues, you can always click the upper left corner of the application to find settings. Customize according to your preference and you’re good to go!

What we really love about ProtonVPN’s client is the profiles.

You can set a custom profile to use a specific protocol and server(s) you want to use.

The smart thing is to set up profiles for specific purposes. For instance, you can have one profile for:

  • Netflix/streaming
  • P2P/torrenting
  • Visiting the Dark Net
  • Etc.

And it’s all just one-click connect from the lefthand side.

Why haven’t other VPNs caught onto this feature? We don’t know but this is something we’d like to award 10/10 points to. It’s one of the reasons why ProtonVPN is one our top picks.

Torrenting Policy: Torrent away to your heart’s content?

Torrent addicts may rejoice because this VPN allows P2P connections! All you have to do is make sure you’re connected to a server that supports P2P traffic.

In case you’re on a non-P2P supported server, ProtonVPN has a firewall in place to keep your information private. They’ve really thought of everything, so you can rest easy…

The only downside is the speed. We know people love fast download speeds. In that case, check out these best VPNs for torrenting.

Logging Policy: As reliable as a Swiss watch

Swiss law directly exempts ProtonVPN from having to save any user connection logs. Neither can it direct them to perform targeted logging.

What this means for users is that their private browsing history actually really stays private and under no circumstances can be transmitted to any third parties. So you can browse away, free from any worries!

IP and DNS Leak Test: Squeaky clean

There have been some known leaks for ProtonVPN, but we made sure to still try it out for ourselves.

Still, situations may vary from time to time. Don’t forget to test it for yourself to be extra secure!

The results are pretty clean for the IP leak tests. The same can be said for the DNS leak test.

Device Compatibility: Wherever you go, I will follow…

You can use ProtonVPN on desktop and mobile devices like Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. And for iOS users that have been waiting… the beta version just launched, so you’re good to go!

Customer Support: Extremely fast and knowledgeable emails and tickets

What we like about ProtonVPN is their incredible library of support documents, in addition to the resources and tutorials already on the web.

To be honest, we could use some more content on the FAQ page. They’re also reachable through various social media channels, including Reddit and Facebook. One bummer is that ProtonVPN does not have a Live Chat system. Instead, users may email them for inquiries.

One neat feature we’d like to show is the VPN client’s built-in bug report feature. You won’t have to create a new ticket or start composing a new email—you can just do it all straight from ProtonVPN. It will automatically attach your local log files and you’ll have the chance to write your own feedback.

We had a slight technical issue on our end when we were testing various servers (don’t worry, everything works out of the box) and had to contact ProtonVPN’s support this way. Their response was incredibly fast and professional. Not to mention filled with knowledge!

ProtonVPN’s support team is legit!

Even though we didn’t talk via live chat, the whole conversation sort of felt better. We didn’t hold our necks out for a response (because we expected slower response times due to them using a ticket system) but to our surprise, they replied within 5 minutes every single time.

Kill Switch: Keep one handy at all times

Both ProtonVPN’s desktop and mobile applications come with an implicit Kill Switch feature.

We expected as much from a company like ProtonVPN. It’s a simple concept yet so many fail to deliver. ProtonVPN will keep you safe.

ProtonVPN Neutral Points

Netflix Test: USA only

We’ve read that this VPN doesn’t allow Netflix. But with a glint of hope, we tested it out to find out if it truly blocks that precious site that allows us to binge-watch and relax through an Asian server.

With an unwavering spirit to find a VPN that works with Netflix, we decided to try and run another server. We chose the United States of America, the country where this blessed streaming website is based…

And it does work, though not all servers may give you access to Netflix. But hey! At least the USA does.

If you want more options than just the US, we recommend our top picks for VPNs that unblock Netflix. Or just go straight to NordVPN who has Netflix for 5 countries.

Refund policy: 30-day money-back guarantee

In the event that you’ve decided that there’s no use for security in this crippling place called the Internet, you may sever your ties with ProtonVPN through a 30-day money-back guarantee!

However, the company is only obligated to issue a prorated refund in the original currency of payment and only if you’ve signed up through their website. Refunds will be processed within 14 days of the request in the original currency of payment.

They do state they may consider refunds beyond a 30-day window…

Payment Methods: Go classic or go crypto

Users may pay through PayPal and other card services that are generally fuss-free.

It’s safe to say ProtonVPN offers a decent amount of options for users… even for those who own cryptocurrency.

ProtonVPN may accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

It would be a little strange if they didn’t offer Bitcoin payments since they are pushing for privacy.

Product Documentation: A treasure trove of tutorials

ProtonVPN has a great blog where users can learn about basic terms in the VPN industry like hacking and encryption, as well as read tutorials on how to unblock websites such as Youtube, and yes… even porn.

They frequently update users with what’s new in the VPN industry, with lots of tips about how to protect your private data.

In line with this, they also provide information on getting started, how to use the VPN service, basic troubleshooting, and guides for your devices.

Encryption and Protocols: Extra-secure, just in case

As a service, ProtonVPN prioritizes the highest encryption methods and protocols. According to their site, the system activity is encrypted with AES-256, key trade is finished with 2048-piece RSA, and HMAC with SHA256 is utilized for message validation.

They deliberately choose their encryption cipher suites to incorporate ones that have Perfect Forward Secrecy.

Basically, every new connection generates a new encryption key, so even if the key gets compromised, you’ll be safe as soon as you connect to a new session. It’s like changing the lock every time you use the door.

ProtonVPN utilizes OpenVPN standards. On Windows applications, the default is set to the UDP protocol, but you can change it to TCP as well. For iOS, macOS, and Android, you’re stuck with IKEv2 with no option to change protocols. We want more control!

ProtonVPN Cons

Pricing & Plans: Cheaper if you buy in bulk

This VPN allows Netflix (only on the USA server) and torrenting, as well as outstanding privacy protection. ProtonVPN is a premium VPN service in all regards.

Their prices are somewhere in the middle of expensive and affordable, starting at $4 per month with limited features. You’ll save a lot more money if you go with the long-term plan, as usual. The yearly plan takes off a whopping 25% off your bill.

That gives you a solid VPN deal for as low as $48 per year!

If you’re here for privacy, as one should expect from the team behind ProtonMail, you should definitely sign up for the Visionary plan. The Visionary plan includes ProtonMail Visionary and costs $24 per month.

If you don’t require a secure email client and are fine with Gmail or some other alternatives, then the Plus plan is the one to get. Averaging around $8 per month, it’s still not as cheap as some premium VPNs but you are only signing up for a year. Other VPNs can charge low prices because you have to pay 2-5 years in advance with zero promise of good performance for the entire duration.

If you’re still undecided, you can check out their free trial which will get you 7 days of use after one quick sign-up process.

ProtonVPN as a Business

ProtonVPN is a VPN built by the people behind ProtonMail who operate under Proton Technologies AG.

The organization is solid on the security basics. Although it “only” offers servers in 33 nations, a considerable number of these countries are chosen for their strict security laws.

The individual servers are claimed and set up by ProtonVPN and associated with the web utilizing the organization’s own system.

The whole organization builds products around securing communications. Whether it’s email or VPN, they want to encrypt your communications channels so people can’t snoop about. They are in the business of privacy and offer some very capable services.


ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, a country with very strict privacy laws.

You can rest easy knowing that it is not part of the Five, Nine or Fourteen Eyes Alliance, the massive international surveillance operation.

ProtonVPN Conclusion: Strong choice for security

Compared to other options like ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN doesn’t have the same vast selection of servers. That may be a downside for some of you, but the service definitely makes up for the lack of numbers in the quality department. We don’t need 100 different servers in the same area if we can do with 10 that perform at the highest level.

ProtonVPN is a developing VPN service, so it has a lot of great potential to match those at the top of the market. They’ve even tested out a partnership program with Firefox. That said, this VPN has a long way to go for entertainment options (should they want to pursue it).

ProtonVPN has staked its claim on being a security-centered organization. This makes it distinct from other VPNs that underline fastest speeds or having Netflix access, yet they somehow offer lightning-fast speeds and Netflix access better than those who do promise such features.

Another differentiating factor is the VPN’s surprisingly smart layout. Everything makes sense.

All in all, the company’s emphasis on security protocols, a reasonable price range, and a brilliant interface make ProtonVPN a very nice option—especially if your priority is privacy.

For these reasons, ProtonVPN is ranked amongst the best VPNs. We highly recommend using ProtonVPN.

Visit ProtonVPN

Published by

Jamie Cambell

Ethical Hacker. Ph.D., M.S. in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. Technology enthusiast and also a part-time gamer. My goal is liberating the Internet.

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