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ProtonVPN Review 2022: Security insights after privacy scandals

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ProtonVPN
Provide strong encryption
Unblock Streaming Channels
Access Netflix, BBC, Hulu
Fast & secure Torrenting
Private Email Access
Fastest servers list

30 Days Refund Policy

NordVPN has been a popular name in the VPN industry. It is an all-rounder VPN provider that has gained popularity over a decade and continues to grow. It offers solid encryption, fast and reliable speeds, and belongs to the safe jurisdiction of Panama. The VPN has a verified no-log policy, and intuitive apps packed with advanced security and privacy-boosting features. The table below gives a quick overview of the VPN:

ProtonVPN is the product of Proton Technologies, the same company behind ProtonMail. The VPN provider has improved its services and features and is now rated among the best VPN providers. However, the company was under fire when ProtonMail gave authorities the French activist’s IP address.

This event also makes people question the credibility of ProtonVPN; and whether its claims of providing robust online protection to the users are valid?

Before you start looking for the answers’ it is best to have a quick overview of ProtonVPN:

Security and Privacy:

Encryption
  • AES-256 bit encryption
  • ChaCha20 encryption 2048 bit RSA key
  • SHA-384 authentication key
Jurisdiction
  • Switzerland
Log Policy

Follows a no-log policy and has audited the apps

Security Features
  • Kill switch
  • Alternate Routing technology
  • NetShield
  • VPN Accelerator
  • Secure core servers

Streaming and Torrenting

List of Compatible Streaming Platforms 
  • YouTube
  • Amazon
  • PrimeDisney
  • PlusHBO Max
  • Netflix
  • ESPN Plus
List of Torrenting Features

User-friendliness 

No. of Servers 
  • More than 1600 servers in 63 countries
Pricing
  • Free version
  • Basic Plan $4/ month
  • Plus Plan $8/m
  • Visionary Plan $24/m
Customer Support 
  • Email
  • Online resources
Compatible Devices 
  • Android iOS
  • MacOS
  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Streaming devices
  • Gaming consoles

To dig out more about the VPN’s claims, keep reading this ProtonVPN review and get answers to all your questions.

How ProtonVPN Deals With Privacy and Security!

A VPN ensures user privacy and security by using strong encryption protocols, having a secure jurisdiction and a strict no-logs policy. It is, therefore, crucial to look into these aspects of a VPN provider to gauge the security it provides. 

– Encryption Standards

ProtonVPN uses modern encryption to boost your online security. The VPN uses the industry’s highest AES-256 bit encryption or ChaCha20 to encrypt your internet traffic. In addition, it uses an RSA-2048 handshake for establishing connections and an SHA-384 hash key for authentication.

The VPN provider also uses the Diffie-Hellman key exchange for generating session keys. It enables the server and the client to agree on a key without communicating.

ProtonVPN makes it impossible for any snooping eye to intercept your data traffic and learn about your online activities with such high encryption.

– Jurisdiction

ProtonVPN belongs to a safe jurisdiction that isn’t a global alliance country member state. The VPN provider has its headquarters in the privacy-heaven jurisdiction of Switzerland. The country is not bound by any formal agreement to collect and share users’ browsing data with international agencies. 

Moreover, Switzerland respects users’ privacy and has strong privacy laws that don’t require VPN providers to retain your data. Also, the data retention laws introduced by BUPF are not applicable to ProtonVPN and Proton Technologies because they are not major telecommunication operators. 

 Thus, you can trust ProtonVPN and use it without worrying about your activities getting recorded. 

– Logging Policy

ProtonVPN is a no-log VPN provider that promises from recording and share users’ browsing data and other sensitive information like IP address and connection timestamp. Here’s a look at ProtonVPN’s privacy policy:

ProtonVPN Log Policy

But, the VPN provider does collect a minimal amount of information, such as:

  • Email address
  • Support requests
  • Payment information

The company collects this information for account creation and makes its service better. Since this information can’t expose your actual identity and activities, there is no need to get worried. 

To make people believe that their stance on being a no-log VPN is true, the VPN provider issues an annual transparency report. The report highlights how users’ data is untraceable. For instance, in 2019, the Swiss court approved a foreign country’s request to provide users’ logs. But the company didn’t give any data because they don’t store data on their servers. 

Moreover, the VPN, instead of auditing its log policy, has undergone an audit of its apps. The ProtonVPN apps are open-sourced and the code is available for review on GitHub. The entire audit process was built in partnership with Mozilla, and for this job, the company hired a third-party audit firm SEC Consult.

The audit report highlights the issues and flaws found in each app. The report further revealed that the macOS app was the most secure and found no bugs. The iOS app had problems using the hardcoded credentials and other data in the memory, while the Windows app discovered issues related to jailbreaking. The least unsecure app was Android, as it had logout issues. 

But, soon, these problems were fixed, and now all apps are safe to use. As a whole, ProtonVPN is a genuinely private VPN that neither logs nor shares your data, and even its apps are free from any vulnerability. 

– Tunneling Protocols

ProtonVPN uses secure tunneling protocols that protect your internet connection like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2

The WireGuard is a lightweight and open-source protocol that is much faster than the traditional VPN protocols. It utilizes the ChaCha20 encryption cipher that protects your VPN connection and boosts your online security. Moreover, it enables perfect forward secrecy, ensuring new keys are generated every session. You can use this protocol on all platforms except for Linux. 

In addition, the VPN also deploys the OpenVPN protocol and allows UDP or TCP transmission protocols. OpenVPN uses the OpenSSL library to encrypt the data traffic and is implemented with perfect forward secrecy. The protocol is compatible with all major operating systems and devices. 

Similarly, ProtonVPN also uses the IKEv2 protocol that uses a range of cryptographic algorithms like AES, Blowfish, and Camellia and thus is fast, secure, and reliable. Since it uses the Diffie-Hellman process to exchange keys, the perfect forward secrecy is automatically implemented. The Android, iOS, and MacOS apps can use the IKEv2 protocol to establish an encrypted VPN tunnel to keep your connection and activities private. 

Depending on your preferences and activities, you can choose the protocol of your choice.

– Bypasses Censorship

ProtonVPN is among some of the best VPN providers that circumvent censorship and helps you to browse the web safely. You can easily defeat censorship and access any website, service, or app by switching to the OpenVPN protocol. It uses the same port as HTTPS, secures all the sensitive data, and makes it impossible for anyone to know about your activities. 

ProtonVPN recently launched an advanced alternative routing technology feature in 2020. It bypasses censorship and allows users to access any website or service blocked by the government and ISP. The VPN also introduces a Smart Protocol, an impressive anti-censorship feature. It looks for the best VPN protocol configuration needed to bypass censorship. 

Because of advanced anti-censorship features, you can even use ProtonVPN in countries that follow extremely high censorship, like China, Russia, and UAE. But these features are available on iOS and MacOS devices. If you’re an Android or desktop user, you can still bypass censorship with OpenVPN. 

The best thing about ProtonVPN is that it even allows you to bypass censorship in the free version. The free version of the ProtonVPN will enable you to access blocked content like social media, news sites, and YouTube, regardless of your location. 

Past History of VPN Provider

A VPN’s parent company might significantly impact its credibility; hence, the company and the owner mustn’t have a bad track record like involvement in violating users’ privacy. ProtonVPN doesn’t have a shady track record, but the company does experience severe backlash during the past few years which is enough to question its credibility. 

 A team of scientists who met at the CERN founded Proton Technologies. Before introducing the VPN, the company introduced ProtonMail, the largest encrypted email service. The fundamental purpose of this email service was to allow activists and journalists to communicate over the web privately. 

But in 2021, the company, especially ProtonMail, is under fire as they gave the French climate activist IP address. The event also raised questions and speculations on the credibility of ProtonVPN, whether they are honest with their claims or not. 

Later, the company CEO issued a statement and said that since the company uses encryption, it helps prevent the authorities from viewing the contents and identity of the ProtonMail account. But there is no proof that shows that encryption prevented content from being reviewed. ProtonVPN should audit its log policy to win its trust. 

Extra Privacy and Security Features

ProtonVPN offers a range of privacy and security-focused features. However, accessing those features depends on the VPN subscription plan. The VPN provider also offers a free version, but you can’t access any advanced features. 

Selecting ProtonVPN plus and the visionary plan allows you to benefit from the following features:

NetShield

It uses the DNS filtering method to block privacy-invading ads and allows you to browse the web without any interruption. Moreover, it prevents your device from unnecessary loading and improves your page loading and overall browsing speed. You can even block trackers, cookies, and malware and enjoy an anonymous browsing experience. 

Full Disk Encryption

The VPN uses full disk encryption to secure its servers from man-in-the-middle attacks. This feature is rolled out on the Russian servers, but soon it will upgrade to other servers. The disk encryption feature won’t change your overall experience, and you can still benefit from all other features. 

Tor Over VPN

Another impressive feature offered by ProtonVPN is its built-in support for the Tor browser. The VPN provider has Tor servers in various countries that safely connect you to the Tor network. Also, by connecting to the Tor servers, you can access the hidden onion sites without compromising your security. 

Perfect Forward Secrecy

ProtonVPN uses a perfect forward secrecy feature that ensures that your browsing history remains secure even if the encryption keys are compromised. Each time when you connect to ProtonVPN, it generates a new encryption key to keep your VPN connection secure. 

Kill Switch

ProtonVPN offers a built-in kill switch or the Always-on VPN feature. It blocks the VPN traffic when you lose the connection and later when the connection is resorted it establishes the connection with the VPN server. This way it also protects the IP address and DNS queries from getting exposed and ensures a private browsing experience.

Split Tunneling

It allows you to route some connections via the VPN tunnel while excluding others. This feature proves useful during torrenting and also improves the downloading speed. 

As a whole, ProtonVPN ensures a private and secure web browsing experience with all these features. 

Streaming and Torrenting Features

Streaming and torrenting without a VPN might cause you to experience frequent buffering and connection lags. It’s all because your ISP is throttling your connection for taking up much of the bandwidth. Also, because of geographical restrictions, you might not be able to unlock the websites for downloading and watching the blocked streaming content.  Another area where ProtonVPN remains on the top is streaming and torrenting. The VPN provider consistently has fast connection speeds and features that ensure a fantastic streaming and downloading experience. 

Compatible Streaming Platforms

If you’re looking for a reliable VPN for streaming, then ProtonVPN won’t disappoint you. Though the VPN doesn’t offer dedicated servers for streaming nor has a SmartDNS feature, still it’s an excellent option to use. ProtonVPN’s vast server network, fast connection speeds, anti-censorship feature, and ability to work on all major streaming platforms make it the best option. 

The VPN provider works on several streaming platforms like:

  • YouTube
  • Amazon Prime
  • Disney Plus
  • HBO Max
  • Netflix
  • ESPN Plus

ProtonVPN’s fast speed ensures that you can watch your favorite streaming content in HD quality without any buffering. The VPN gives off exceptional results on Netflix. You can unblock major Netflix libraries like the US, Australia, and Canada. By default, the VPN allows you to access the US Netflix catalog. Whenever you’re accessing Netflix with ProtonVPN, always make sure you connect to plus servers (labeled as P). It’s because they help in bypassing the Netflix block.  

However, you can enjoy a seamless streaming experience only if you’ve subscribed to a plus and visionary plan. ProtonVPN’s basic plan does allow streaming but with a limited server network, so choose wisely. 

Is ProtonVPN Good For Torrenting?

ProtonVPN is the perfect choice for torrenting because it supports P2P file sharing and works well with the BitTorrent client. However, the VPN doesn’t support downloading and sharing any copyrighted content. 

The VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and 140 optimized servers denoted by a two-arrow icon for P2P file sharing. You can enjoy a fast torrent downloading experience by connecting to the servers. In addition, it comes with an impressive VPN accelerator feature that increases speed up to 400% even if you’re not connected to a P2P server. 

Moreover, ProtonVPN also offers P2P protocols that help download legal content and guarantee safe downloading. The VPN provider belongs to a safe jurisdiction and follows a strict no-log policy, your data will be shared with anyone. You can also connect to the secure core servers located in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden to route your traffic behind two layers of encryption and enjoy greater online security during torrenting. 

 ProtonVPN also uses a kill switch and split tunneling feature that boosts your online security while torrenting. Besides this, the VPN provider also protects from DNS and torrent IP leaks and keeps your torrent activities private.

Overall, ProtonVPN is among the best VPN for torrenting. However, remember that the VPN allows unlimited torrenting in basic, plus, and visionary plans. If you’re using the free version, you won’t be eligible for downloading torrents. 

How Fast Is ProtonVPN?

ProtonVPN’s speed has improved significantly from the past. Previously, it offered average speeds, but now the speeds are super-fast, and hence the VPN is often rated among the fastest VPN providers. The VPN provides blazing-fast speeds on local and remote servers with little lagging. 

When you tap to choose a server, it informs how much load a server can bear. The servers labeled with a green icon are best to select, while the ones labeled with yellow and red have more users connected and might not fit your preferred activities. 

ProtonVPN 10 Gbps server network offers high speed and servers in 50+ countries. You can connect to a nearby server for the best speeds. 

Furthermore, ProtonVPN’s fast connection speed is also because of the WireGuard protocol and unique technologies like VPN accelerators. It is an impressive feature that increases your speed by over 400% when connecting to remote servers. It creates multiple simultaneous connections to get around hurdles that might slow your speed. 

Since ProtonVPN offers limited server access in different subscription plans, you can enjoy the blazing fast connection in Plus and visionary plans. Also, don’t forget to enable the VPN accelerator feature by navigating the connection tab. 

In addition, ProtonVPN also offers an impressive quick connect feature that allows you to connect to the fastest available server. As a whole, ProtonVPN gives remarkable speeds, and it comes with a couple of features that boost and guarantee the fastest connections. 

User-Friendliness

ProtonVPN offers dedicated apps that have a simple and intuitive user interface. The apps are well-designed and offer various customization options. For instance, you can create custom connection profiles and configure the background color, server, and protocols according to your wish.

The Number of Servers ProtonVPN Provides 

ProtonVPN is also among those VPN providers that offer a vast server network. The VPN comprises more than 1600 servers in 63 countries, and they are updating their servers constantly. They have servers on almost every continent and ensure global connectivity. 

The ProtonVPN servers are of the following types:

  • 1080 Plus servers in 63 countries
  •  98 secure core servers in 63 countries
  • 371 basic servers in 40+ countries
  • 127 free servers in three countries

The Plus servers are the ones available in the Plus and visionary plan. They offer numerous benefits to the users, like streaming, downloading, and safe access to the Tor network. Also, they provide an ad-blocker feature and the highest speed, up to 10Gbps. In contrast, secure core servers add an extra security layer while browsing the web. They protect your connection by routing your traffic via multiple servers before leaving the network. These servers are owned and operated by ProtonVPN and located in the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of Iceland or Switzerland. 

Meanwhile, basic servers support P2P file sharing but don’t come with any other advanced feature offered by the Plus servers. The VPN offers 24 free servers available in three locations i.e, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. They provide medium browsing speed but do not provide any advanced features. 

How Good Is ProtonVPN Customer Support?

Like every other VPN, ProtonVPN also has an effective customer support team to assist the users. However, ProtonVPN’s customer support options are pretty limited. The VPN lacks the most impressive 24/7 live chat option that gives responsive and timely answers. You can contact the customer support team via email support, but the replies are not instantaneous, and you might have to wait for a few hours and even for days. 

Besides this, ProtonVPN has a resourceful online website. You can find guidelines, FAQs, blogs, news, and troubleshooting that sound pretty useful to the users.  

What Devices Is It Compatible With?

ProtonVPN is compatible with multiple devices and platforms. You can install and download the VPN within a few minutes on the following devices:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • MacOS
  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Gaming consoles (Xbox, PS4, and PS5)
  • Streaming devices (Android TV)

The VPN offers dedicated apps for these platforms, which are easy to use and ensures the best user experience. 

FAQs

How many simultaneous connections do ProtonVPN allow?

If you’re using the free version of ProtonVPN, you can only connect to a single device, while the basic plan allows up to two devices. In contrast, the Plus and the visionary plan allow up to ten simultaneous device connections. 

Does ProtonVPN offer a free trial period?

ProtonVPN offers a free version, so it doesn’t offer any trial period. But, the VPN provider is backed with a risk-free 30-days money-back guarantee offer. If you’re not satisfied with the VPN’s performance, you can ask for a refund via the support form and will get the refund within 14 days.  

Is the ProtonVPN free version good to use?

ProtonVPN ranks among the few VPN providers that come with a free version. You can consider using the free version of ProtonVPN, but it’s not recommended. The free version has certain limitations and doesn’t guarantee the same user experience as you enjoy in the Plus and visionary plan. Here are a few reasons why ProtonVPN’s free version is not much worthy of use:

  • The VPN offers 127 servers in only three locations, including Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. You might experience slow speeds and frequent connection lags with a limited server network. 
  • You can access the blocked social media and news sites and unblock YouTube, but you can’t access Netflix or any other streaming service. 
  • The free version of ProtonVPN doesn’t allow torrenting and P2P-file sharing. 
  • You can’t access advanced features like alternate routing technology and secure core servers. 

The free version is a good option to consider for short-term use. But for long-term use, you should subscribe to the premium plans. 

Does ProtonVPN block ads?

ProtonVPN offers a NetShield ad-blocker that ensures a private and secure browsing experience. It helps in blocking out intrusive ads. They also block trackers and malware that can infect your device. Also, they improve the overall browsing speed and ensure that you won’t encounter any interruption during browsing. 

Final Verdict

ProtonVPN ranks as the top-rated VPN provider in 2022, and there’s no doubt about this. The VPN provider maintains maximum online security by using robust encryption and VPN protocols. It’s also a private and reliable VPN provider that belongs from a privacy-heaven jurisdiction and doesn’t log users’ data. Also, all its apps are open-sourced and audited, making it a preferred choice for users. 

Besides this, the VPN provider offers outstanding speed and performs exceptionally well on Netflix. You can even use it for torrenting and downloading large files within a few minutes. ProtonVPN offers various subscription plans, including the free version. You can choose the plan according to your preference and budget.  

Overall, the ProtonVPN is best in all areas; however, the VPN provider needs to undergo a third-party log audit process to prove their claims further. 

ProtonVPN Overview

Privacy Level
5 / 5
100%
Security Level
5 / 5
100%
Unblocking
5 / 5
100%
Streaming & Downloading
5 / 5
100%
Anonymity Level
5 / 5
100%

1 Review

Karl
5

easy to use

the best part of using ProtonVPN is free, you can get started without payment.

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