- Buyer’s Guide
Proton VPN Review (June 2023)
A quality VPN service facilitating ownership of data
Fees: $4.99 - $9.99/mth
Best For: Privacy-Oriented Users Looking for a Comprehensive Offering
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When evaluating what Proton VPN has to offer, there is a clear theme throughout its offering – your data is yours, and yours alone. By continually building out its platform, Proton VPN has become a well-rounded service boasting crucial privacy tools, and speed to go with it.
- Data ownership
- Extensive Server Network
- Free-Variant for Curious 'Newbies'
- Comprehensive Suite of Services
- Expensive Month-Month Plans
- 'Secure-Core' Servers only for Plus-Plan Subscribers
Without a broad reach among operating systems, even the most impressive VPN service will struggle to gain a foothold in what is an increasingly competitive market. With this in mind, Proton VPN has worked to extend its reach, offering support for the following.
- Android TV
In addition to offering support on a wide array of operating systems, Proton VPN is particularly accessible compared to many of its competitors as it offers both a paid and free variant of its service. In doing so, it is no doubt an appealing offering for those new to VPN’s, and just looking to experiment with what one can offer.
At the end of the day though, free is free – meaning unless you decide to purchase its full service, one should expect a pared down feature-set and lower performance.
For its free offering, Proton VPN allows for a single connection from a crop of over 100 servers from the United States, Netherlands, and Japan. In addition to a smaller grouping of servers, its free offering also restricts speeds to what Proton VPN calls ‘medium’.
For its paid offering, Proton VPN not only ramps up its speed, but offers access to over 1700 servers spanning across over 60 countries. In addition to this, the service becomes significantly more flexible, as up to 10 connections can be live at any time.
Most importantly, Proton VPN maintains its ‘strict no-logs policy’ throughout both its paid and free offerings.
Those interested in utilizing a VPN while traveling to circumvent geographical restrictions on streaming services, rest assured that Proton VPN is a solid choice. The company indicates that it supports all of the major services (Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, etc.).
In an age of data-harvesting, hacks, and ransoms, security measures are of the utmost importance. This means offering DNS leak protection, WiFi protection, AES-256 encryption, and more. Thankfully for users of Proton VPN, each of these (and more) are built in to its paid services.
For those placing high importance on security, out of its crop of servers Proton VPN boasts 96 which it fully owns and operates. These are referred to as ‘Secure Core’ servers, and are only available to ‘Plus Plan’ users.
Accessibility and security features are great, but irrelevant if a VPN service isn’t offering full privacy. Thankfully for users of Proton VPN, this is exactly what the company indicates is its priority.
Some of the features incorporated throughout its suite of apps include,
- Kill Switch to disable internet connection in the event of a disconnected VPN
- Access to privately owned servers for its ‘plus’ clients
- No-log policy
- Open-source and audited
- OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
In addition to its built in features, Proton VPN benefits from being based in Switzerland – a country which boasts some of the worlds best privacy laws, and is NOT a ‘fourteen eyes country‘. This combination of features and geographical location mean that not only is the company not obligated to collect data, there wouldn’t be any even if it was.
On the performance front, users can expect no issues with Proton VPN. Not only does the company boast individual connections up to 10Gbps, its network as a whole has a claimed capacity of over 2,000Gps.
With servers located in over 63 countries, users can rest assured they access to a low-latency, high speed connection point is always available.
An additional benefit to utilizing a VPN is circumvention of ISP throttling in regions where this takes place – meaning that one stands to potentially experience even fast speeds while connected.
Unique to Proton VPN is what it calls a ‘VPN accelerator’. The company states that it has, “…re-engineered OpenVPN to properly distribute the CPU load between multiple processes, greatly reducing the possibility of a single thread becoming overloaded.” In doing so, Proton VPN claims that users will experience not only less network congestion, but lower latency, improved packet forwarding, and speeds up to 400% faster.
Proton VPN also supports the increasingly popular WireGuard protocol, which typically provides faster speeds than OpenVPN.
A premium VPN service means a premium price. While not the most expensive on the market, Proton VPN comes in at $9.99 on a monthly basis, with promotional offers available for long-term subscriptions which can bring this down to as little as $4.99 on a two year plan.
Like most VPN offerings nowadays, Proton VPN is quite flexible in its methods of payment, supporting,
- Bank Transfer
For those interested in paying for their subscription with Bitcoin (BTC), Proton VPN indicates that a free account must first be made before the option is accessible.
As it stands, Proton VPN is one of the most comprehensive and compelling services of its kind on offer. Not only does it boast strong security, privacy, and performance, it operates out of a privacy-friendly country.
Combined with its easy accessibility, and pared down free subscriptions, be sure to give Proton VPN consideration when determining which VPN service is right for you.