ProtonVPN Reviews

about ProtonVPN · · Helpful Not helpful 4 Helpful Report as spam

ProtonVPN is a VPN service run by the creators of ProtonMail. It's part of their wider efforts to give people options for protecting their online privacy and anonymity.

The Good

  • Easy and intuitive to use clients for Windows and Mac
  • Support for Linux via configuration files for use with OpenVPN
  • Connections made on Linux (which I've tested more than others) are rock solid stable for days
  • Open source software (more trustworthy)
  • Company based in Switzerland (not subject to US/Five Eyes problems)
  • Killswitch option (prevents leaking data in case the connection fails)
  • Broad range of countries to choose from, including places that support torrent downloading
  • Option to pass through two VPN servers, e.g. connect to USA via Iceland. This makes it harder to trace and offers extra security in case a server has been compromised

The Bad

  • In contrast to other companies, ProtonVPN records timestamps of when connections are made

  • Unlike Private Internet Access (PIA), ProtonVPN has not been tested, legally. PIA have had their servers seized in Russia and they did not contain user logs, as promised. The FBI have also found PIA's no-logging policy frustrating. That shows PIA do what they say they do, which ought to enhance the level of customers' trust. ProtonVPN have not been through the same experiences (at least yet), which is also the case for many other VPN companies. This isn't a bad thing per se but it puts ProtonVPN at an inferior position because there is less evidence that they are doing what they promise, and trust is hugely important in the VPN world. That said, ProtonVPN are unlikely, in my estimation, to be betraying user trust.

  • ProtonVPN has put out misleading information about their competition. For example, they claimed PIA was being dishonest about where they are based:

Private Internet Access is operated by a company known as London Trust Media, which sounds like it is based in Europe, but it is actually based in the US (one of the Five Eye countries) and could be legally compelled to spy on users. This type of jurisdiction obfuscation is very common in the VPN industry.

This is untrue. Firstly, PIA openly say they are based in the US > https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/helpdesk/kb/articles/where-are-you-located and did even at the time of ProtonVPN's blog post. Secondly, it's not true that PIA could be legally compelled to spy on their users (read more about that here), since there is no US law that could compel a company like PIA to keep logs of user activity.

If all this sounds like I'm focussing too much on ProtonVPN vs PIA, then I'm sorry, but it's ProtonVPN that started with all the inaccuracies about their major competition, and they singled out PIA. I work for neither company, and I'm a paying customer of both.

  • ProtonVPN is expensive compared to their competition. Although if you buy ProtonVPN together with a ProtonMail package, you get a substantial discount, depending on which payment plan you choose and if you pay monthly or yearly.

  • ProtonVPN's connections through the Mac client have not been as stable as when I connect using OpenVPN in Linux. That might be something, that might be nothing. Just my experience. On Mac it's trivially easy to activate the Kill Switch function (no internet until VPN re-connects). That works very well.


Overall

ProtonVPN is very probably a perfectly trustworthy service. It's implemented well, and it works for everything I tried except BBC iPlayer. If you want more internet privacy (from your snooping ISP or government surveillance) then in my estimation it's a good choice. It's just not the only one.

reply
about ProtonVPN · · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

I've been using ProtonVPN (basic plan) for about 6 months now and I can definitely recommend it. It works perfectly right upon installation in both Windows and Android, with some extra configuration steps if you are on Linux but these are well detailed in their website. Clear and easy to use interface, connect to multiple servers manually or with a one-click button, create multiple profiles (default server to connect to) and there's a kill-switch feature in case you drop your connection so you won't leak any data. It's open source and has a no log policy which is really good privacy wise. Last but not least their support is good as well, I contacted them twice and they replied within 24hours.

It's not the cheapest VPN out there, and I will certainly try others later on but I'm quite happy with the product all things considered. Some room for improvement though:

  • Basic plan doesn't include some servers which means your speed is affected.
  • Basic plan will give you only 2 simultaneous connections.
  • Routing traffic through Tor network only available on 'premium' plans.
reply