- Headquarters: Switzerland
- Servers: 1,700+
- Countries: 64
- Supported devices: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers
- Starting price: $4.99
- Based in Switzerland (privacy haven)
- Unlimited free plan
- A good option for P2P torrenting
- Supports Tor browser
- Doesn’t offer a good value outside Europe and US
- It is expensive
- Poor customer service
ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based VPN provider. It is created by the founders of ProtonVPN – Swiss scientists from CERN. It has good server coverage in the US and Europe and is based in a privacy haven is very good news.
While it doesn’t have as many servers as NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and ExpressVPN, it still performs at high speeds, thanks to the WireGuard protocol. On top of that, there are many security features that make ProtonVPN one of the top VPN services on our list.
The ProtonVPN free version is what makes this provider amazing. It is probably the only VPN provider on the market that offers free VPN services with unlimited monthly traffic and good speeds.
However, this ProtonVPN review will show you if the premium plan is worth your money and which are the strong and weak sides of the Swiss are.
Customer experience is among the most crucial things when comparing VPNs.Let’s see how ProtonVPN compares to the other services.
ProtonVPN gets a very poor score in Trustpilot – 2.3 stars out of 5, which is among the lowest rankings in the VPN world. It receives nowhere as good rates as other VPNs, and although there are around 200 reviews submitted, it doesn’t change the fact that it users don’t like it much.
Some of the reviews are from first-time customers (which look suspicious) but there are many general complaints from frustrated users. The vibe surrounding the bad reviews is negative which is an alarming sign for potential users.
ProtonVPN also lacks 24/7 customer support but at least the documentation is very detailed, and includes screenshots and steps, which helps a lot.
ProtonVPN is generous with the app versions. There is a ProtonVPN Windows app, a version for Mac, as well as a Linux edition. The Swiss-based VPN provider hasn’t forgotten about mobile versions, too. There is a ProtonVPN for iOS and Android. You can also add a router.
Both computer versions works great, although there is no split tunneling for ProtonVPN’s Mac version, which is kind of disappointing. However, ProtonVPN has an amazing user interface for Linux which is rare. From what we’ve seen, only Private Internet Access can offer similar experience. Even ExpressVPN fails to deliver.
As usual, ProtonVPN Android app has most features available. It looks similarly to the desktop version and has most of its capabilities. The same cannot be told about the iOS app which seems a bit stripped.
And while split tunneling isn’t available either on Mac OS or iOS, both support OpenVPN & WireGuard.
ProtonVPN is one of the very few providers that offer free VPN services to its users. Furthermore, the speeds are more than decent, there are more than 150 servers in three different continents (North America – US, Europe – Netherlands, Asia – Japan), and it even supports WireGuard protocol which guarantees high speeds.
The cherry on the cake for the ProtonVPN free forever plan is that there is no monthly limit on data, which makes it a long-term solution for people who want to use VPN services but have no money to pay for them. Of course, some features like streaming and P2P torrenting aren’t included.
If you choose to go with the paid plans, you can find a great deal for the monthly plan – it’s sub $10 ($9.99) which ranks it among the better deals on the market. For those who want to chase better deals, there isn’t many good news, though.
The annual plan costs $71.88 or $5.99 a month, and the biennial plan would see you pay $119.76 (or $4.99 per month). That’s way too much, considering many good VPN providers like AtlasVPN, PrivateVPN, Private Internet Access all offer plans worth around $2.
The good news is that you have access to 10 simultaneous connections which is pretty standard nowadays but still – it’s more than what you’ll get with ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
We have to mention the 30-day money-back guaranteed which is also a common practice in the VPN world nowadays.
ProtonVPN is one of the very few VPNs with open-source code. This has its pros and cons but we have to admit that being open-source means more contribution in securing customers even further.
ProtonVPN security features include the standard OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) and WireGuard protocols, as well as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak blocking, IPv6 leak blocking, and split tunneling.
Some features that might grab your attention are the Tor over VPN server (which enhances your security even more but it is slow). You can also make use of an ad blocker, although NetShield (the name of the ad blocker) performs very poorly.
ProtonVPN doesn’t break the The Great Firewall and we don’t think it is a great choice for people living in countries with VPN bans.
On the other hand, being based in Switzerland, having third-party audits, and a strict no-logs policy are all contributing to a safer experience.
ProtonVPN opens a variety of content platforms. That includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max and others.
ProtonVPN opens several Netflix libraries, including US, UK, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. If you plan to watch Netflix, we’d recommend you to choose another VPN provider, however. PrivateVPN, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN are all better alternatives.
However, it impressed us with how well it streams BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video. It’s certainly within the top 5 VPNs for these two streaming platforms.
Another positive note is that the speeds are fast, so you could enjoy watching Full HD and 4K content without buffering problems.
ProtonVPN will be a good solution if you are a fan of torrenting. It’s among the better VPNs for torrenting. You can use the kill switch and the AES-256 encryption to protect your traffic.
On top of that, WireGuard protocol allows you to download files much faster, and you even have dedicated P2P torrenting servers for even greater speeds.
ProtonVPN supports port forwarding which is a crucial feature if you would like to seed files and improve your rating in torrent websites.Unfortunately, this feature is available only on the Windows app.
Another thing we didn’t quite like is that the dedicated P2P servers are just over 10. While you can utilize all servers for torrenting, these servers often get more congested, and you can’t enjoy great speeds.
Fortunately, being based in Switzerland means you can rest assured that you won’t be targeted that much, since downloading content is not illegal.
ProtonVPN has admirable speeds, and if you’re on the hunt for a fast VPN provider, the Swiss-based company can deliver exactly that!
We recorded between 4 and 6 percent speed loss on local servers which is something that even some top performers like ExpressVPN cannot come up with. This makes ProtonVPN ideal for torrenting and gaming. Despite having less servers than many of its competitors, like PIA and NordVPN, it shows a remarkable efficiency. We didn’t lose more than 40% on distant servers which is a strong result.
That is much better than many VPN services. In fact, some tests placed ProtonVPN higher than NordVPN, PIA, Surfshark and Tunnelbear, and only behind ExpressVPN.
ProtonVPN is arguably the best free VPN on the market, with unlimited monthly allowance and high speeds. However, the premium version is even faster. And while ProtonVPN isn’t the best VPN for streaming you can get on the market right now, it certainly has some qualities for fast and safe browsing, and P2P torrenting.