ProtonVPN Review- Introduction
In this, ProtonVPN review the VPN is tested and it’s performance is compared with other free VPN
providers. ProtonVPN comes both with ProtonVPN Paid mode and ProtonVPN free vpn version. In short,
it’s not that bad at all. ProtonVPN comes from the same CERN Scientist and Harvard Physics PhD
brains behind ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email network. So they’ve already created a
free-to-paid, encrypted internet privacy service in one space. Surely they can do it in the VPN space, too?
That’s what we’re going to find here out. Over the past few months, we’ve been comprehensively testing
their OpenVPN protocol, encryption connection standards, speed, security, pricing, and more. So, in
this review, you’re sure to find out the good and bad both about this VPN server.
ProtonVPN Review- Pros
ProtonVPN was founded on the back of security experts. So you know the protocol and
encryption standards will be top notch. Despite being a free vpn, they also don’t disappoint in a
few other key areas that needs mention in this ProtonVPN Review, like customer service and a rock-solid
connection. Let’s have a glance through all its features.
Exceptional Security & Privacy Standards
ProtonVPN comes equipped with OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) protocol, with the super-secure AES-256
encryption. This is bank-grade, state-of-the-art encryption standards. If you are going to suffer a
hack, it won’t be because they broke through this encryption. Because it’s never been done.
Instead, most hackers will cut their losses and go after other methods of breaking in, like
guessing your password reminders.
So in terms of security, we can conclude in this ProtonVPN Review that this mentioned VPN is
retains its user’s privacy quite strongly.
Strict No-Logging Policy
We’ve analyzed 118 VPN logging policies over the past few years. This is often boring,
painstaking work. But it’s very important. Because pouring through this many terms and privacy
policies have taught us where VPNs like to bury their privacy bodies. For example, we’ve found
that 7% of VPNs commonly log your connections data. And more than 30% of VPNs have
suspicious (not straightforward) logging policy. These ones often use vague, technical jargon or
legal terms to allow for ‘gray’ areas that might come back to haunt you. Now, ProtonVPN has a
solid reputation based on their past work. But we’ve also confirmed that when they say “no
logging,” you can actually trust it. Thus we can safely conclude in this ProtonVPN Review, this VPN
has a strictly No Log policy.
Decent Customer Support
Ticket-based support systems usually make us cringe. It’s because all have experienced the
several day delay between each email, which requires a week-long back-and-forth process to
answer even the simplest of questions. That initial thought flashed through my head when I laid
eyes on Proton’s support options. They do reply to mails but it just needs to be relatively fast
and direct. But overall a pretty good experience that requires mention in this ProtonVPN review.
DNS and Web-RTC leaks can accidentally expose your true IP address. These are typically
caused by connection conflicts that open a teeny, tiny hole for your data to seep through.
Sounds minor. But it isn’t. It allows your ISP, governments, and even two-bit hackers to spot
you from a mile (or more) away. So it completely undermines your use of a VPN. All without
you even realizing what’s going on. ProtonVPN’s connection came out leak-free in every test
that was run before writing this ProtonVPN Review. We also ran their install files through VirusTotal.com
and found them to be completely free of malicious software.
ProtonVPN for Netflix- Worked On One Server
ProtonVPN says on their site that Netflix will work on “certain servers. We were able to
successfully stream content on a Netherlands Netflix server. Unfortunately, I have no clue what
shows licensed under the Netherlands. Two U.S. servers failed, as did one in Canada and
another in the UK. So ProtonVPN for Netflix worked only on one server and failed in all the rest
ProtonVPN gets high marks in this ProtonVPN review for their attention to security detail.
However, there are still a few drawbacks we uncovered. Let’s take a look at each of them in-depth.
They are located in Switzerland
Switzerland has a history of being a ‘neutral’ country. One that protects the privacy of its
citizens and doesn’t like to get involved in domestic conflicts. And all of that is true. Swiss laws
do protect privacy. Generally speaking. The issue, though, is that Switzerland is also a
cooperating member of the extended Eyes security alliance. This is a worldwide agreement that
essentially helps government agencies to spy on each other’s citizens in the name of “worldwide
safety.” But, nothing is new in this as such things have already been happening for decades. So
a Swiss-based location means you’re mostly good. Your privacy is mostly safe.
The good news is that ProtonVPN doesn’t keep a lot of their customer data on file. But just
keep in the back of their mind that their government might force them to cooperate.
Server Speeds are Too Slow for the Price
Speed is the great equalizer. All else being similar — pricing, features, security protocols, etc. —
you’re going to go with the fastest option. Because speed makes all things possible (streaming,
torrent downloads, or just a dozen tabs up while you’re bouncing around between browsing
sessions). Unfortunately, ProtonVPN’s combined speed score only put them at 48th out of 74
VPN companies. When their speed was tested at SpeedTest.net to get a reading before composing
this ProtonVPN review. It showed 97 Mbps download and 53 Mbps upload at the same time. Then
it was connected to different ProtonVPN servers and random servers were selected and connected
to just get an unbiased reading. Finally, the difference was calculated and a combined score was given
that gets ranked against all of the other reviews we’ve previously done. So, let us check out each server
test in detail now.
U.S. Servers (East & West)
Ping: 190 ms
Download: 24.6 Mbps (75% slower)
Upload: 36.4 Mbps (31% slower)
ProtonVPN’s U.S. servers started extremely slow. The download speed, especially, would make
most torrenting activities slow to a crawl.
EU Servers (Switzerland)
Download: 54.46 Mbps (44% slower)
Upload: 37.86 Mbps (29% slower)
The EU servers, on the other hand, didn’t disappoint. This probably also had something to do
with our closer proximity to these servers. Even something as simple as the physical distance
between you and the connected server can impact performance. But credit where credits due.
Asia Servers (Hong Kong)
Ping: 317 ms
Download: 16 Mbps (84% slower)
Upload: 6.4 Mbps (88% slower)
We thought the U.S. server speeds were bad. Until we saw the Asian ones out of Hong Kong.
85% slower across the board.
Download: 52 Mbps (46% slower)
Upload: 47 Mbps (11% slower)
And last but not least, a UK server feels somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on
the ‘good’ side of the middle. These results were disappointing across the board. Consistent,
yes. But consistently slow is not good. Companies like ExpressVPN, PIA, and Trust. Zone all offer
better speed (at only a fraction of the price).
Limited Device Compatibility
The best VPNs we’ve reviewed all provide pre-built apps for every device imaginable. This way,
all you have to do is point and click. No technical experience required. No manual labor needed.
ProtonVPN provides pre-built apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android devices.
Unfortunately, that’s all they provide. Which means they do not have a native app for iOS
clients at this time (July 2018). Instead, you’ll have to do a manual config using the OpenVPN
app. But even worse, it means there’s no pre-built option for routers, smart TVs, or gaming
consoles. No native router option also limits your ability to connect unlimited devices.
ProtonVPN’s paid plans provide up to ten simultaneous connections — this is on the higher end
from what we’ve seen which adds a silver lining to all its flaws.
Limited Torrenting Available
Unfortunately, ProtonVPN doesn’t allow unlimited torrenting. It’s not allowed at all on free
plans. The reasoning is that “P2P would increase the load on our servers due to torrenting and
this would put more pressure on us, ultimately not allowing us to subsidize the free accounts
from the paid ones.” It is allowed on paid ones, but only on certain servers. Again, the
reasoning is that they channel P2P traffic through neutral “safe countries.” However, they also
take this moment to bring up Swiss law: “File sharing is only permitted for personal, non-
commercial use.” So yes, they allow it. But there are several restrictions which might make it
impractical for you.
Limited Protocols (OpenVPN Only)
This last one is on the border as ProtonVPN only offers the OpenVPN protocol. Technically
speaking, this is a GREAT thing. It’s the state-of-the-art industry standard. Almost everyone
everywhere should use ONLY use OpenVPN. You might be wondering why is this showing up
under the Cons section? The answer is because not everyone has the choice of only using this
Many older devices, or even some less expensive new ones like some Chromebooks, don’t offer
OpenVPN support just yet. Instead, you’ll have to connect through a different (albeit, less-
desirable) protocol like L2TP or PPTP. These other options aren’t nearly as secure. And in most
cases you wouldn’t want to use them. But you don’t always have that choice. Sometimes you
gotta do what you gotta do. And for that reason, ProtonVPN might not work for large cross-
section of potential customers.
ProtonVPN For China
ProtonVPN doesn’t work in China. Although the provider claims to work in China but it does not offer
any servers in the country. Some users also reported troubles in bypassing geo-restrictions on foreign
websites. Therefore, ProtonVPN for China doesn’t work.
How To Unblock ProtonVPN for China
Before we could dive into the unblocking tricks of unblocking ProtonVPN for China, we must first
understand what actually is the Great Firewall of China doing to the VPN services. Basically, China
is blocking the domain on a DNS level so all we need to do is exchange the domain with
Follow these steps towards unblocking ProtonVPN for China:
- Download a ProtonVPN OpenVPN configuration file corresponding to the server you like to use. As
the TCP configuration file which ProtonVPN has to offer. is blocked I would suggest accessing it through the Tor network. Ensure to download
- Open the .ovpn file with any text editor and search for the line
remote xxx.protonvpn.com 443
and copy the domain.
- Go to lookingglass.level3.net and click on “Ping from Level 3 sites”. Then paste the domain in the
“Ping to” field and click submit.
- When it’s done loading, copy the IP address.
- Replace the domain with the IP address in the .ovpn file.
- Save it, then use your preferred OpenVPN client to connect with the new profile. Now the connection
Note: This is currently not possible with the native ProtonVPN windows client and Android App. A client
that uses .ovpn files is required. Just use the official OpenVPN client and for Android the Arne Schabe
ProtonVPN Pricing, Cost & Payment Methods
Let us now look at ProtonVPN Pricing in this ProtonVPN Review
ProtonVPN has four plans to choose from, with optional discounts for paying annually. So the
prices below include the annual 20% discount and free vpn plan of $0/month. Yes, Proton has a
free VPN plan. But yes, it’s also pretty bare bones. The service comes with only three server
locations: The Netherlands, USA, and Japan. It doesn’t come with any extra features.
But it does help you unlock a free seven-day trial of their paid plans. So that might be a good
way to dip your toe into ProtonVPN’s waters without spending a single cent.
Basic: $4/month i.e Rs 283.6/ month (many bought this)
Proton’s Basic plan is a marginal upgrade on the free one, to be honest. You do get
access to all countries, but not Plus, Secure, or Tor servers. Your speed access is “high”
but not the “highest.” Plus, you only can connect two simultaneous devices. So kinda a
bummer to be honest. Skip over this option.
Plus: $8/month i.e Rs 567.19/month
Proton’s Plus plan increases your connection limitation up to five devices. Speed is the
“highest,” and you get access to Plus, Secure Core, and Tor servers. This is probably the
only plan you should go with, to be honest.
The fourth plan
Visionary, it is kind of the same as the Plus, but with a cross-sell for their ProtonMail
offering. So that’s also a decent option at $24/month i.e Rs 1701.58/month (paid
annual) if you were already considering both encrypted options. Otherwise, you can pay
for all of these plans with either credit card or PayPal. Nothing else (cash, bitcoin, etc.)
from what we’ve seen.
ProtonVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, you only get a prorated
amount of the “unused portion.” In other words, if you use it for 10 days, you’ll get a refund for
20 days worth. That’s not a great refund policy compared to others, like CyberGhost, which
offers a full “no questions asked” money-back guarantee. Refunds in the original currency or
payment method you used will be given, too. You’ll have to send an email to
[email protected] to get your prorated share.
So, Do we Recommend ProtonVPN?
No, we don’t. ProtonVPN features an awesome connection with the highest security
considerations. Their customer service was good and ProtonVPN for Netflix even worked on
one server. Unfortunately, it’s a few other areas that let it down in the end. A Switzerland home
base is generally a good thing for privacy. But they are cooperative with other aggressive government
agencies around the world. Honestly, the server speeds were not good. Device options are
limited. And the ProtonVPN pricing, even with a 20% annual discount, is still on the high end for what
you’re getting in return. There are just so many better options available, with the same
connection strength, faster performance, and more devices, for far less.