Proton VPN 2023 Review
- Rahul Manchanda
- Feb 06, 2023
- 18 min read
ProtonVPN is a really popular VPN service, but is it even worth using in 2023? Does it work with Netflix? Or does it offer decent protection? Find out everything you need to know in this in-depth review.
ProtonVPN is a trustworthy and speedy VPN service provider founded by Proton Technologies AG. The service provider specializes in security measures, ensuring your safety and online privacy, as per our ProtonVPN review.
ProtonVPN offers strong security to its users, thanks to its location in Switzerland, a country that values privacy, its strict no-logs policies, and its hacker-proof encryption technologies. Additionally, it includes a fantastic free version that unblocks Netflix and offers servers in 3 locations. Its premium subscription is a great option for streaming and torrenting as well as staying anonymous and secure online.
In short, ProtonVPN seems to have all the necessary features of a good VPN service. But, if you spend time testing the service as we did in this ProtonVPN review, you’ll see that it not only has an expensive cost of $8.00/mo but only offers OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols for security.
In comparison, ExpressVPN costs only $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan) and offers more advanced features. After much consideration, ProtonVPN scored a 3.4-star rating in 2023.
Yes, ProtonVPN is safe to use. It has a rigorous no-data-logging policy, so even if someone requests your data, ProtonVPN has nothing to provide. It also integrates with Tor and has SecureCore servers if further protection is required.
Moreover, considering that ProtonVPN offers 256-bit military-grade encryption along with a 4096-bit RSA key exchange, ProtonVPN is actually safe.
Now you might be thinking, what is a Secure Core? Well, it’s basically an additional security feature that ProtonVPN offers. This feature basically works as a double-hop server that routes your traffic through Sweden, Iceland, and Switzerland for added privacy and anonymity.
Since this feature of ProtonVPN scrambles your data through multiple server locations, it would become near impossible for any ISP to track you down. That being said, the Secure Core feature is only included in their “Plus” or “Visionary” subscription plans.
If we talk about protocols, ProtonVPN offers OpenVPN along with IKEv2/IPSec protocols. This combination is enough to secure you against pretty much most hacking attempts. Aside from encryption and protocols, let’s go through some of the other features that ProtonVPN comes with.
Yes, ProtonVPN offers a Kill Switch feature. This feature is available on Windows, iOS, macOS, and Linux VPN apps. You also get a built-in kill switch feature on the latest Android versions. However, please note that the native kill switch cannot keep you secure if you disconnect from a VPN server on purpose.
A kill switch works as a safety measure to protect your online identity in case of an abrupt disconnection. Essentially, it prevents your IP address from being exposed to your local ISP.
This feature is necessary when using the internet over public Wi-Fi. Once, we were streaming while using the public internet, and the kill switch helped us keep our real IP and location from getting exposed.
Proton VPN has a specific server type just for you if you want a VPN and the Tor network combination. It means your connection routes through the Tor network before reaching their VPN server. It helps access restricted and Dark Web without using the Tor browser.
We’ve tested this feature to access various restricted sites and encountered no issues. However, we weren’t too impressed by the overall speed.
ProtonMail is a secure emailing app that’s bundled with their premium VPN packages. ProtonMail allows users to send and receive emails via encryption. The servers of ProtonMail are hosted in Switzerland, which is a country known for its privacy-friendly laws. It is a widely used email service and has gained rapid popularity after the recent email leak scandals.
Like other VPNs, ProtonVPN also connects to the server fleet using AES-256-CBC encryption. Therefore, it uses a 256-bit key that is impossible to crack by brute force, even with the most advanced cracking software available today. This means that when you are connected with a VPN, no one can hack your online location and information.
The VPN service offers several other protocol choices, including WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP or UDP variant), and IKEv2/IPSec, to connect your device to the VPN servers.
Yes, ProtonVPN follows a strict no-logs policy. They do not keep any records of your internet activities. So, you can be sure that your browsing history is secure and confidential when using ProtonVPN.
On its official website, ProtonVPN clearly mentions that:
In addition to timestamps, ProtonVPN also logs the following information:
Luckily, ProtonVPN deletes all your data despite collecting connection logs once you unsubscribe or delete your account. It also overwrites all connection timestamps every time users log in.
Yes, ProtonVPN offers excellent IP/DNS and WebRTC leak protection. According to them, they don’t record our users’ IP addresses. All of their apps use firewall rules and other platform-specific procedures to perform DNS leak prevention. They ensure that no user’s internet traffic, including their DNS queries, can enter or leave from their device outside the VPN connection.
We’ve performed multiple tests and found it does not leak any of it. For all of our testing, we connected to their Japan server. Here are the test results:
As you can see from the screenshot below, our original IP address is not visible anywhere. This is a clear sign that the IP is not leaking. Try it yourself from browserleak.com/ip.
For the DNS leak test, we tried connecting to its US server. As you can see, all of my requests are being handled by a US DNS server. Test it yourself from ipleak.net.
Aside from not leaking my IP or DNS information, ProtonVPN also passed our WebRTC leak with zero issues. You can also test it from browsersleak.com/webrtc.
Last but not least, we have also checked for viruses in the ProtonVPN app file from Virustotal.com. Luckily, we did not find any hidden viruses or trojans. Here is the screenshot of the scan result:
No, despite offering 1,800+ servers in 66+ countries, ProtonVPN failed to access Chinese-blocked content. And since you can’t use ProtonVPN in China, you’d have to find other VPN options. In our recent survey, we found out that the Chinese government has blocked ProtonVPN services for the last three years. They have also shared this news on their official website:
If we talk about the servers included in the free version, ProtonVPN only offers three server locations in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands, which is a little disappointing.
ProtonVPN also offers specialized P2P servers that are good for securely downloading torrents. You can select any of ProtonVPN’s Basic, Plus, and Visionary plans to avail of the P2P functionality.
No, ProtonVPN does not support torrenting on its free version. The reason is, according to the company claims, that doing so will minimize server overload and maintain service quality for users who genuinely require it.
So, if you’re using ProtonVPNs free plan and desire torrenting, you need to upgrade to its premium plan. To do this, sign in to your account after visiting account.protonvpn.com, tap the Upgrade button at the top right, and choose your preferred plan.
Any of its Plus servers will allow you to torrent, but since their P2P servers are designed specifically for BitTorrent network traffic, we advise using those instead.
Now that you know which servers support torrenting, you must be wondering: is ProtonVPN good for torrenting? We tested ProtonVPN torrenting using its P2P servers. Although the speed of ProtonVPN was fluctuating, the overall ProtonVPN torrenting experience was good. However, this privilege is only available to premium users.
Pro Tip: If your ProtonVPN not working, it might be because of an unstable internet connection. Try switching from WiFi to your cable net.
Yes, ProtonVPN is quite fast. They have differentiated server speeds with green, yellow, and red colours. This makes it easy to identify which servers will provide a fast connection. Let us define them concisely:
For detailed testing, we conducted a ProtonVPN speed test and recorded some impressive results. For your ease, here’s a brief table with all the speed test results we have compiled recently:
|Australia- Perth (AU#34)
|Canada- Toronto (CA#49)
|Netherlands Amsterdam (NL#41)
|USA – New York (US-NY#18)
|Japan- Tokyo (JP#70)
|UK – London (UK#48)
|South Africa – Johannesburg (ZA#13)
|Spain – Madrid (ES#19)
|UAE – Dubai (AE#9)
We have also compared the speed results on its local servers and long-distance servers. Here are the results:
We connected to its US – New York and Atlanta servers to compare the two-speed tests. Here you can see the difference between ProtonVPN download and upload speed on 100 Mbps connections on its local servers:
We connected to its Japan and Netherlands servers to check speeds on its free servers. You can see the ProtonVPN speed results below:
However, far-away servers were not as speedy as local servers, which might be because of the distance. All in all, there are plenty of VPNs available that are faster than ProtonVPN speed. But, Proton VPN was also failed in NordVPN vs. Proton VPN comparison in the speed tests.
Yes. ProtonVPN works with Netflix. You can access the local Netflix libraries via all of its Plus servers in Australia, the US, the UK, France, Canada, Japan, India, Italy, and Germany. Contact their live chat support if you experience any issues.
In our tests, we could unblock US Netflix with ProtonVPN but didn’t have the same luck when trying to unblock other Netflix regional libraries during the ProtonVPN trial period. Check out the list below to see which platforms are working fine with ProtonVPN Plus:
|Amazon Prime Video
ProtonVPN is a great option if you want a VPN for streaming. Connecting to a standard server is quite simple since it has custom DNS and DNS leak protection.
However, the free version of ProtonVPN doesn’t support Netflix because only the paid (Plus) servers of ProtonVPN unblock Netflix: Simply click to connect to a Plus server in any supported nation and start watching Netflix.
After trying ProtonVPN Netflix, we also managed to unblock both the BBC iPlayer and Hulu without any issues. However, speed was again a bit of an issue while streaming. This made ProtonVPN a great free VPN for streaming BBC iPlayer.
Note: If ProtonVPN not connecting with Netflix, try again after clearing your browser’s cache and cookies.
Here is the list of devices that you can download and install ProtonVPN on:
You can find out how to set up ProtonVPN for Kodi here. Furthermore, you can see ProtonVPN setup instructions for Roku.
As for simultaneous connections, ProtonVPN allows you to connect only one device per account while using the free plan. However, if you’ve subscribed to ProtonVPN Plus, then you’re eligible to connect 10 devices at the same time.
The user interface of ProtonVPN’s Windows app is quite clean. Everything can be conveniently found where it’s supposed to be. We like that its app displays session stats with Up and Down speeds at the bottom of the app.
The iOS app of ProtonVPN is also pretty well built. We like how easy it is to switch different server locations. Also, the iOS app boasts decent customization without any lags or glitches.
Finally, We also played around with ProtonVPN’s Android app and found it to be pretty well-designed. Compared to its iOS app, the Android app does show a bit more information.
Yes, there is a free version of ProtonVPN available to the general public. This is the only free VPN that doesn’t artificially restrict your bandwidth, track you, display adverts that invade your privacy, or sell your data.
ProtonVPN trial allows you to test premium features for 7-days without requiring credit card details. It further offers reasonable VPN deals to its users.
|ProtonVPN trial Free Version
|1 device connection, servers in 3 locations (US, Netherlands, and Japan), Unlimited Bandwidth, decent speed, unblock Netflix, and follows a strict no-logs policy
|ProtonVPN Paid Version (PLUS)
|10 simultaneous connections, servers in 66 countries, audited no logs policy, fast speed, P2P support, NetShield Malware and Adblocker, Secure Core servers, and Tor Over VPN.
All the plans they mentioned come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can easily get a ProtonVPN refund by cancelling your ProtonVPN account within 30 days of purchasing it.
What differentiates these plans is the number of simultaneous connections, ProtonMail subscription, Tor Servers, and a few other features.
As far as payment methods, ProtonVPN only accepts either PayPal or Credit Card/Debit Cards. This can be a bit disappointing for folks looking to purchase through Bitcoins.
Judging by the 2.2/5 star ProtonVPN Trustpilot rating, ProtonVPN is, well, just decent.
But aside from Trustpilot reviews, let us now see what users have to say about ProtonVPN on Reddit:
ProtonVPN mostly has positive Reddit reviews, especially since it announced that it’s now open-source and audited. Here you can see a few user comments praising ProtonVPN for the bold step forward:
And when we searched: is ProtonVPN safe Reddit recommendation? We got this result which was beyond our expectations:
However, even if you find something which is not working for you, you can get a ProtonVPN refund within 30 days or its subscription.
ProtonVPN offers customer support in the forms of:
If you face any issues, you can go to the Proton VPN knowledge center. You can choose from several categories there, such as Download and Setup or Speed and Bandwidth. Each topic will address a specific problem you could be having.
You can also contact their support team via Ticketing System or Contact Form if you still can’t locate the solution. You will receive a response in your email inbox because it will be sent via email. However, paid users can anticipate a response in a few hours, whereas, ProtonVPN free trial users will likely have to wait a little longer.
Overall, we find their customer support team very knowledgeable and professional in our ProtonVPN free review survey.
Just in case your ProtonVPN not working, you can also email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to solve any issue you might have with the service. In addition to contacting their support team, you can also get quick help through ProtonVPN’s Support Center or FAQs section.
Reminder: Issues like ProtonVPN not connecting can be solved if you try to connect it via your ethernet cable.
In case you’re not satisfied with ProtonVPN free trial and paid versions, here’s a quick comparison between ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN:
|94+ in 160 Countries
|1800+ Servers in 66 countries
|Windows, macOS, Linux,
|The British Virgin Islands
|Live Chat & Email Support
|Live Chat, Tickets, Email, Twitter
|Trust Pilot Score
Yes, we will recommend ProtonVPN. It is one of the best VPN services with free plans with unlimited data and bandwidth. The fact that even the ProtonVPN free version can unblock Netflix makes it a fantastic option for streaming. Its premium plans also unblocked HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and other well-known streaming services.
However, the servers can occasionally be congested, so make sure you connect to one that isn’t. Additionally, it is also a decent choice for torrenting. But the P2P file sharing is available on its premium plans. Moreover, the provider is a no-logs, open-source service.
Proton VPN maintains the right to modify its terms and conditions at any moment, despite the fact that this indicates that your online actions are entirely anonymous.
Overall, ProtonVPN is a reliable partner for privacy and a reliable VPN service, particularly if you’re searching for a free VPN. In this ProtonVPN review, the VPN maintained fast speeds in all of our speed tests and offered great security features, including a simple layout.
It also performed really well in all of our leak tests. Furthermore, it used SecureCore servers, 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, a kill switch, and other security measures to protect user data. Additionally, it supports ten simultaneous connections on a single account and has apps for all popular platforms.
ProtonVPN is another excellent choice for torrenting. However, the P2P file-sharing option is only available in its premium version. Furthermore, both its free and paid servers let us unblock local Netflix libraries without any hassle. The premium plans managed to unblock other streaming services as well, such as Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, and others. Just make sure you connect to a server that isn’t overloaded.
Unfortunately, this VPN couldn’t bypass the Great Firewall of China, so if you are looking for one that works in China, we recommend ExpressVPN. It is the best VPN that has 3000+ servers worldwide.
That’s all for our ProtonVPN review!
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