Most of the people require a VPN service to access what's restricted in their region without giving out their network information. Be it a businessman or a general user, a reliable VPN service is what we all want, right? In the search to settle for nothing less than an excellent VPN service, I decided to give a shot to ProtonVPN. In the past, I had tried NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but I wanted to keep my option pool open, so I decided to experiment with ProtonVPN before finalizing the best VPN service. Here's my ProtonVPN review, which details my experience when I used it.
ProtonVPN is a company that boasts 560 servers in over 40 countries based out of Switzerland. If you feel that there's a ring to its name, then let me tell you that ProtonVPN is the sister-company of ProtonMail that offers encrypted email services.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I want to start by listing the pros and cons first. It will clear the coastline for many readers in the beginning. After that, we will get down and dirty as we will take upon its features, customer support, performance, and subscription plans. Let's get cracking!
|* Doesn't acquire log files|
* Free version available
* Netflix compatible
* Quality protocol & encryption
* Fast download speeds
|* Customer support limited to email ticket|
* Full features accessible only for highest plans
ProtonVPN has clients for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. I had no trouble getting ProtonVPN's macOS app installed on MacBook Pro running the latest version of macOS Catalina.
I was impressed by the smooth, well-designed, and user-friendly app that doesn't shy away from being features-rich. Both Mac and Windows clients for ProtonVPN have vibrant charcoal + green interface that looks comfortable to eyes. You can choose countries right from the main page. You can also pick one of the pre-generated optimal usage profiles.
The endpoint list is a nifty addition to the mix as it allows users to choose any particular endpoint servers. This list also shows each endpoint's busy level so that you can pick the less busy one. One feature that stood out for me right at the beginning of my usage cycle was the Secure Core for endpoints, which defends your network against external attacks alongside P2P for torrent users.
There's also a traffic graph that allows users to monitor the performance levels of their connection along with data upload. I found these features interesting and helpful. My next task was to explore the VPN settings to get more of an inside-look into ProtonVPN. In the client's Settings, you get a chance to enable several features, including a VPN kill switch that cuts off all the traffic.
One can make a slew of changes to customize ProtonVPN as per their needs. You can enable it to load at boot, run at launch, TCP and UDP switching, and more.
As with most of the VPN service providers out there, it's a given that free subscription will have slower speeds than paid subscriptions. The case was similar for ProtonVPN too. I used the ProtonVPN Plus plan to gauge the optimal performance.
I have Macbook Pro running macOS Catalina, and I have used the “Quick Connect” option in the ProtonVPN app to latch onto the optimal server in my area. I got the initial download speed of 80 Mbps, which later settled on 65 Mbps that is decent for streaming.
The second task was to check the upload speeds on my Mac. I got a decent upload speed of 70 Mbps. After reviewing the upload speed, I moved to test the ping, or latency in milliseconds, to my surprise ProtonVPN performed exceptionally well at only 1-millisecond ping on Mac. This means that this VPN service could come super handy when I'm gaming. For locations like Asia, you may see a drop in the download and upload speeds, but it is still workable.
I also tested Netflix connectivity, wherein one out of five servers worked continually well for me. The issue between VPN and streaming services like Netflix is ongoing, with the latter blocking out most of the servers. Amid that, it was quite decent to have ProtonVPN connect one server without Netflix locking me out.
ProtonVPN has got four types of plans – Free, Basic, Plus, and Visionary. The free one won't cost you a buck but will sure limit your feature and speed usability. The Basic plan will set you back by $4 but would bring you plenty of features like 2-device access, P2P, all countries, and more. The Plus plan costs $8 but gives you access to up to five devices, highest speeds, P2P, Plus servers, secure core, Tor servers, and secure streaming. Last but not least, the Visionary plan gives all the same features as Plus plan, but with extra goodies like access to up to ten devices and ProtonMail.
In my opinion, the Plus plan at $8 a month is a win-win deal. What makes the deal even sweeter is the 60-day money-back guarantee, so there's no harm in putting your money into it as you can get it back if you don't find the service satisfactory. If you're a cryptocurrency user, ProtonVPN also accepts Bitcoin as payment.
Like I wrote in the beginning, in the crowded marketplace of VPN service providers, there's no reason not to get your hands-on ProtonVPN. I found it to be an excellent alternative to NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Of course, there are specific pain points like restricted customer care and lack of some particular features for power users, but the product is still in the evolving stage. Although the free version of ProtonVPN won't disappoint you, it is better to go for a paid version to get the optimal performance.
If you are one of the regular VPN users, do give a try to ProtonVPN. You may like it as much as me or come out with a different experience. This ProtonVPN review is personal. What may look like a small glitch to me may seem like a deal-breaker to you. So, do test out ProtonVPN yourself and let me know if I skipped any major pain points.