ProtonVPN is a VPN provider based in Switzerland (out of the 5 eyes) created by the same company at the origin of the famous encrypted messaging service ProtonMail.
The company has just over 1000 servers (the major vendors have thousands), but they are now spread over 54 different countries since the last expansion.
ProtonVPN manages its own servers, which is an excellent point.
ProtonVPN’s Secure Core technology routes traffic to multiple servers before it leaves the network. Thus, even when monitoring an output server, it will not be possible to identify a user individually.
ProtonVPN has many more common features, such as the ability to download on torrent anonymously, killswitch, DNS leakage protection and built-in Tor support for accessing Onion (tor) websites.
PotonVPN allows (depending on the subscription) up to 10 simultaneous connections.
In addition, native applications for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS now enable ProtonVPN to be used almost anywhere.
Windows and Android applications have recently added support for Split tunneling, which allows all Internet traffic to be routed through the VPN, except for applications and destination IP addresses that you define.
Table of contents
|Conservation of data||No|
|Simultaneous connections||2 to 10 depending on subscriptions|
|Encryption||AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) technology with 256 bit keys (AES-256).|
|Protocols||– OpenVPN with TCP/UDP
ProtonVPN Speed and perfomances
We have checked a large number of servers around the world (see how we perform our tests).
As for all the VPNs we test we checked the performance with 3 different sites Fast.com, Open Speed Test and Ookla.
Our performance tests showed that the connection times were a bit longer than usual but nothing that could prevent it.
From France, the servers in Western Europe and nearby showed excellent throughput.
Servers in North America performed less well, which is the case for many vpn when connecting from Europe because of the geographical distance.
Nevertheless, with speeds reaching 40 Mbps there is no difficulty to watch your programs in HD quality streaming!
Very good surprise, we noticed a remarkable quality of long distance connections.
India recorded an excellent average transfer rate around 40 Mbps, Australia and Singapore around 30 Mbps and Hong Kong or South Korea around 20 Mbps.
These speeds are much better than those of many of its competitors.
Finally, all the servers were in the locations displayed and none of them showed any DNS or WebRTC leaks.
ProtonVPN : unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
As you know, if you’ve already read some of our tests, it can be very difficult to get around the geographic blocking installed by Netflix.
ProtonVPN unblocked Netflix when we connected to the US servers, without even using the specific servers for streaming. However, as always, the conflict between VPNs and Netflix is still ongoing and what works today could be blocked tomorrow.
The BBC Iplayer has been unblocked as well as all French channels (mycanal, rmc sport, beinsport and all tnt channels).
ProtonVPN with torrent
During our tests, downloads on torrent were fast and stable except on the servers available in the free plan due to the overload.
The main features of ProtonVPN
Once activated, Kill Switch, continuously monitors your connection for any change in status or IP address.
If it notices any change (e.g. your VPN connection fails or disconnects), it will instantly shut down your device or prevent the specified apps from connecting to the Internet (torrent client for example) until the VPN connection is restored or you close the VPN app.
ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, a country that has very strict privacy laws and is not under the jurisdiction of the United States, or the European Union, nor is it part of one of the 5, 9 or 14 eye countries.
ProtonVPN is very clear about its data retention policy and states on its website:
ProtonVPN is a VPN service without logging. We do not track or record your activities on the Internet. Therefore, we cannot disclose this information to third parties.
The company only stores the time of your last connection attempt and erases it the next time you connect, so it is not possible for them to know your previous connections.
When you register, they will ask you for an e-mail address, but this address can be a classic, anonymous (like protonMail) or even disposable email address . All email addresses are allowed.
ProtonVPN accepts payment by Bitcoin but if you pay by PayPal or credit card, your payments will be processed by a third party, so ProtonVPN will not have access to any billing details.
- It has made the code of all its applications open-source.
- It has allowed a security audit, carried out by SEC Consult, a leading security firm.
Finally, the Windows application uses OpenVPN, while the MacOS, Android and iOS applications use the IKEv2 protocol.
Ease of use
The Windows application is very pleasant to use and provides a lot of useful information. The map showing the location of the servers displays statistics on session traffic.
Selecting a country will automatically connect you to the fastest server at that location.
Alternatively, you can also select individual servers. These indicate whether they can be used in P2P and/or support Tor over VPN.
They also show the server load to help you choose a fast server.
The killwitch can be selected in the application settings and DNS leakage protection is enabled by default.
Split-tunneling allows you to choose which applications will or will not use the VPN, and to exclude specific IP addresses.
Note that mobile applications are very close to the main application and take over all its qualities.
ProtonVPN Compatible Devices
ProtonVPN does the strict minimum.
ProtonVPN 's technical support
The FAQ support page is not exhaustive, but is still useful.
If you nevertheless encounter problems, please note that you can contact customer support via the Ticket System which, if not the fastest, offers quality answers.
ProtonVPN : Prices and Payment Methods
ProtonVPN offers a free version in addition to three paid subscriptions : Basic, Plus, and Visionary.
Its free version only gives access to servers in 3 different countries, one connection at a time and lower speeds.
Paid subscriptions give you access to all ProtonVPN’s high-speed servers and locations.
Paid subscriptions differ in the number of simultaneous connections possible, and Plus and Visionary subscriptions contain more features than the Basic subscription.
In addition, paid subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For payments, ProtonVPN offers several options:
- Credit Card
Final verdict on ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN turned out to be a nice surprise. Its performance showed very good results, despite a drop in speed on the American servers and a still relatively low total number of servers.
Another positive point, a free version and a basic version at only 4$month!
In the end, ProtonVPN just needs to expand its network of servers to compete with the best VPNs on the market. Here is in any case a VPN provider that we will continue to monitor closely.
- Based outside the jurisdictions of the alliance of the 5, 9 & 14 eyes .
- Overall performance
- Payments by Cryptocurrencies
- Low number of servers
- Low number of simultaneous connections on the “basic” package