For a complete run-down on this provider, we advise you to read our full review of their Proton VPN’s software. This review focuses on their free, and limited, service. ProtonVPN is a VPN provider founded in 2014 by the developers of the ProtonMail encrypted email service. The Switzerland-based provider runs 347 servers in 31 countries. The company claims to use a combination of advanced digital and physical security features to give you greater privacy and freedom when surfing the net.
We checked out these security features and found them to work as promised. One thing we like is that ProtonVPN has put a lot of consideration into the physical security of its servers. We also like the built-in Tor compatibility, which gives you another option for anonymous browsing. ProtonVPN’s “No Logs” policy is a standard one but still provides good data protection.
The company has a robust free VPN plan, giving you unlimited data and three servers to connect to. The paid plans are priced slightly higher than competitors, but are still cost-effective. ProtonVPN is a good overall recommendation for those who need a highly secure VPN provider, or those who want a more capable free service, but it’s advisable to step up to a paid option.
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ProtonVPN’s network has its proprietary Secure Core architecture, which the site claims will provide better protection against network-based attacks. The feature works by passing your traffic first through multiple specialized servers before connecting to your desired server. ProtonVPN says these servers are located in countries that have strong privacy laws to safeguard your information against illegal access. The company adds that the servers are housed in secure data centers for increased protection.
Another notable feature is the built-in Tor support. Tor is a network of open source servers that provide a high level of anonymity. Using the built-in support, you can route your traffic through Tor in a single click, giving you an additional security option.
Outside of security, ProtonVPN has other useful VPN features like:
All these features are accessible through ProtonVPN’s app, making it easy to manage your connections.
ProtonVPN outright states that its free VPN plan has slow speeds. You will also only be able to connect to three locations, which doesn’t give you anywhere near the same flexibility as their paid options..
Another major drawback of ProtonVPN’s free plan is that it leaves out the more advanced safety features like Security Core and Tor support. While you will still get a certain level of anonymity, this can be a concern when visiting high-risk sites. It also leaves out the P2P and secure screaming supports, limiting ProtonVPN’s applications.
At just 347 servers with their paid service, ProtonVPN’s network is one of the smaller operators in the market. With just three countries to connect to on the free plan, things can get very crowded very quickly. The company lets you access 31 different countries when you are on the paid plan:
All the accessible countries are displayed on the ProtonVPN app, and you can switch locations just by selecting your desired country on screen.
Users experience different speed qualities depending on the plan they are on. The free plan is the slowest. Users with ProtonVPN’s paid plans experience better great performance because they have many more server choices and bandwidth allocation.
ProtonVPN has these tips for a fast and reliable connection:
The speed of your ProtonVPN connection will depend on many factors, including your own connection speed, how far you physically are from the server, and the VPN protocol that you’re connecting through.
ProtonVPN has four different plans, each offering more features than the preceding one.
To use the free VPN, just sign up with your email. For the paid plans, you can use either PayPal or your credit card.
When it comes to customer questions, ProtonVPN first directs you to its knowledge base page, which contains links to articles on account setup, management, and troubleshooting. The articles themselves are detailed and contain plenty of images for easier reference.
If you can’t find the specific information you need, you can reach the VPN staff using the online contact form. It lets you specify the operating system you use to get a faster response. You can also send your support questions and inquiries via email to email@example.com.
ProtonVPN has a fairly standard “No Logs” policy. The company states that it does not perform the following actions to protect your privacy.
The only thing ProtonVPN monitors during your sessions is the timestamp stating your last successful login attempt. ProtonVPN says this is done to detect any brute force attempt to guess your account password and prevent such attacks.
ProtonVPN says that it still collects personal data related to your account for billing purposes and related promotions. The app might also collect certain personal and non-personal information, which are used for analytics purposes. The site states that this information is stored securely and that you can request for it to be deleted under certain circumstances.
The company has a 30-day money-back guarantee for cancellations. The amount to be refunded is equivalent to the number of unused days in your current billing cycle. Your refund request is processed within 30 days after you made the cancellation. ProtonVPN says it accepts cancellation requests beyond the 30-day period, but will grant such requests based on its discretion.
We like the level of attention that ProtonVPN puts into their security features. The company not only uses plenty of advanced digital security features, but also provides a good amount of physical security for all its data centers. This strong attention to security is a nice assurance that your browsing activities are kept hidden.
ProtonVPN’s free VPN plan is also one of the best ones we’ve come across, giving you unlimited data access. You can also connect to three preselected countries. The only things you need to watch out for with the free plan is the slower speed and the lack of security features.
While their free plan is better than most, it simply doesn’t compare to a paid plan. If cost is a motivating factor, we suggest looking at paid plans for our Top Cheap VPN Providers.
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Our ratings for protonvpn free version review are based on our professional experience and extensive tests with VPN providers between April 2014 – July 2014, taking into account user feedback and reviews we receive. As a friendly disclosure, some VPN providers do compensate us for customers we refer them, but this in no way effects their ranking on our website, nor our reviews.
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