Fastest VPNs To Buy In 2023: Tested And Verified
Fastest VPNs To Buy In 2023: Tested And Verified We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy
This is a complete and detailed review of Proton VPN. Before we start, we are an independent site with complete editorial independence, and all the reviews are done by our experts with extreme testing.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become essential for maintaining online privacy and security. As more and more of our personal and professional lives move online, the need for a secure and private internet connection has never been greater. You can read why VPNs are important in 2023 here.
Proton VPN is among the top VPNs in the market, known for its strong security features and commitment to user privacy. In this article, we will take a closer look at Proton VPN and examine its features, pricing, and performance to help you determine whether it’s the right VPN for you.
Proton VPN is among the many products by Proton AG that are all dedicated to privacy and security. The Proton network has a more than 70 million user base, so let’s check and compare with other options.
|Number of Servers||1925+|
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2|
|Data Limit||No data limits|
|Logging policy||No Logs Policy|
|Streaming compatibility||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer|
|Money-back||30 days Guarantee|
Proton VPN offers its users a variety of protocols to choose from, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec. OpenVPN is considered to be one of the most secure and reliable protocols and is widely used by VPN providers. IKEv2 is also a secure protocol and is particularly efficient on iOS devices. WireGuard is a newer protocol that is known for its fast speeds and low overhead and many VPNs are starting to upgrade to WireGuard.
When it comes to encryption, Proton VPN offers industry-standard AES-256 encryption, as well as 4096-bit RSA. AES-256 is considered to be one of the most secure encryption methods available and is widely used by governments, militaries, and financial institutions. Proton VPN also offers a feature called Secure Core, which routes your traffic through multiple servers in order to provide an extra layer of security
Proton VPN’s protocol and encryption options are on par with industry standards, and its user-friendly options and customization make it a great choice for users of all levels of technical expertise.
One of the best things about Proton VPN is its transparency. Proton VPN has 1925 servers in 67 countries. They even tell their total bandwidth Gbps capacity which is 2251 GB at the time of this article. This type of transparency shows that the company has nothing to hide and this creates a sense of trust as VPNs are after all security tools.
Proton VPN has well-managed servers in more than average countries. More countries or locations are better for VPNs as they have even more options to connect and spoof locations. Proton VPN has servers even in African countries where most VPNs are unavailable. This shows the scattering of servers. They also maintain servers in restricted and censored areas like Hong Kong. However, there are VPN services with even bigger server networks Surfshark is in 98 countries while Express VPN is in 94 countries.
Proton VPN calls its 10Gbps servers Plus servers. There are more than 1610 Plus servers which definitely increases the speed to the next level. Not all servers are made for everything, so here all VPNs are marked with their functions like Streaming, P2P, TOR connections, etc.
Virtual servers are those servers that are connected through software and a different IP of the location where it is supposed to spoof. The physical part is somewhere else. This indicates that one physical server can be converted into many virtual servers. This should at least come with transparency if the company doesn’t tell the actual numbers like Private Internet Access, it may be hard to determine. In the case of Proton VPN, all the servers of Proton VPN are ‘bare metal’ meaning all the servers are physical and there are no virtual servers.
Proton VPN does not own all of its servers as some are rented by third parties which can have the risk of data exposure. To prevent this, Proton VPN uses Secure Core servers (discussed below). The VPN has not upgraded its servers to RAM only or diskless like its competitor Nord and Express VPN. Proton VPN should focus on making this change.
Proton VPN uses Secure core servers which can also be said to multi-hop servers. When there is a risk of losing data from servers in a restricted zone or countries with autocratic leadership countries, they use a secure server in the middle so even if the IP is tracked, it can only lead them to another secure server which cannot be seized. Let’s understand with an example:
Suppose a country seizes the Proton VPN’s server in their country. Now when they will trace the IP, they will reach another Proton VPN server which will be at a secure location and fully controlled by Proton VPN. This way you can’t be traced until these servers are standing between and these servers are at secure and privacy-friendly locations and can’t be seized or monitored.
This is a great method to make secure connections to countries with restrictive Internet regulations (China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, etc), or countries with broad surveillance powers (USA, UK, etc). These countries have too much control and by seizing the server can monitor the traffic. The VPNs might not even know, but through this method, privacy is assured.
However, secure core servers come with a cost and that is speed and performance. This is similar to multi-hop and thus when the distance of the request goes through two servers, the speed automatically reduces and so does the performance. There are currently 99 secure core servers.
Read more about secure core servers here.
A VPN receives our request, encrypts it, tunnels it to its destination, inserts the data, and then decrypts it once more. While this procedure is time-consuming and essential for safety, it can take a very long time to perform after each click or search. The VPN must therefore be as speedy as possible. We constantly do speed tests on our VPN to evaluate its performance in terms of speed.
Proton VPN is one of the fastest VPNs we have tested. But remember, it does not give the fast speed in the free plans. These fast speeds are available in the Plus and the Unlimited plan. The Plus servers or the 10Gbps servers give a good bandwidth and hardware for better speed. As the servers are already specified and labeled with their purpose, like streaming is marked, this makes the load really easy.
The downloading speed was reduced by 9% while the uploading speed was reduced by 19%. The downloading speed was not just fast but also reliable and constant. The speed was not fluctuating like some cheaper VPNs and the stream was enough to surf and stream in HD without any buffering.
Proton VPN also has a history of being quick as since the launch of the VPN, the VPN has continued to be a fast and quick provider. This is also because of the makers of Proton VPN who were also the makers of Proton Mail, the largest encrypted mail service in the world. So they have a high experience in encryptions.
The Proton VPN has shown excellent results, however, you can’t judge the quality of a VPN just by its speed. It is one factor but not just one factor. VPNs like Hotspot Shield are even faster than Proton VPN but when it comes to privacy, Proton is way ahead.
Note: Keep the protocol settings to smart and then select the quick connect. Remember you can change the quick connect server to the fastest server.
Proton VPN is one of the best options out there for a streaming VPN. Though it has a bit fewer Netflix libraries that Express VPN, as has special features for streaming in HD without any buffering. The Plus servers have 10Gbps speed which is excellent for streaming.
Explore the best VPNs for Netflix in 2023, that can unblock many Netflix libraries.
Proton VPN claims that all its Plus servers are designed for streaming and thus therefore can access. However, no VPN can access this many countries (60 in this case). But we tested the streaming of the VPN and it was able to access more than 10 Netflix libraries. This was one of the best only beyond Express and similar to Nord VPN.
Proton VPN also has features like a VPN accelerator and no throttling. The VPN accelerator can increase the speed when you are surfing content from a long distance. This can increase speed up to 400% as claimed by the company which is a great speed. The VPN also has no throttling which can save us from the ISP throttling that is common malpractice by ISPs nowadays.
Proton VPN also works on Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and many more streaming platforms. The BBC player is restricted to the UK but it still works from anywhere with Proton. You can also access Disney+ from most of the servers.
A VPN is a medium for our online security and privacy so we want our VPN to be selling or recording our data and activities. Many VPNs out there collect user data and some free VPNs even sell them to advertisers. I don’t consider them VPNs as they are just some other vendors of our privacy.
Proton VPN is a very safe VPN as it has No-logs Policy. This means Proton VPN does not record any user activity or data with them. VPNs that store data may be tracked back to us, so Proton VPN is strictly against data retention. This makes the VPN very trustworthy. Some other VPNs with the same no-logs policy VPN and Mullavad VPN.
Proton VPN however has not yet upgraded to RAM-only servers, but due to no logs, even if the servers are seized by anyone, they won’t be useful as they will have nothing stored in them. As for seizing and tracking, that is where secure core servers come in. So overall, our data is safe with Proton VPN.
Proton does collect some necessary data like email, user id, and password like most of the VPNs to create an account. Your payment information is also stored and this data is only deleted when your account is deleted. These data are collected by most of the VPNs.
Proton VPN does offer anonymous payment methods like Bitcoins but remember, Bitcoin is anonymous for the VPN provider and not your wallet provider. For complete anonymity, we suggest using the cash payment where you can send the money to the headquarters, and after receiving payment, they will activate your account. This method will also require first creating an account. For complete anonymity, you can use IPVN.
Proton VPN also issues transparency reports which show how many times it has been subpoenaed it has only once been subpoenaed in 2019 but it did not have anything to give the authorities.
Read more about no logs policy.
In April 2022, Proton went through a rigorous third-party audit by Securitum, a leading European security auditing company. The audit was to completely check and verify the no logs policy claim by Proton VPN and the reports indicated what the Proton claims to be affirmative. There was no problem and it proved that Proton VPN does not collect any information or store any personal data.
After proving in the legal case in 2019 and then again with a third-party audit in 2022 is proof of the dedication of Proton VPN to users’ privacy. Proton’s founder Andy Yen was already a privacy activist and the whole line of Proton products is made with privacy in mind. This gives a sense of safety.
This is another field where Proton VPN shines. Proton VPN is registered and has jurisdiction in Switzerland. It is a privacy-friendly nation. It is also not a member of any alliance or intelligence treaty like 5 eyes and nor it has any surveillance system like USA and UK. Switzerland is one of the best jurisdictions for privacy.
As a company based in Switzerland, the company only answers to subpoenas and orders from the court of Switzerland. As a privacy-friendly country, Switzerland does not allow any hidden surveillance or monitoring. This means even if the authorities have proper documents and valid warrants to monitor someone, the user will be notified before the monitoring. That is how much strict and safe privacy laws can be, that many countries can learn from.
Switzerland is one of the countries with data retention laws but good for us, the law does not apply to Proton VPN and thus, Proton VPN can legally practice the no logs policy and also enjoys other privacy-friendly laws as Switzerland believes that privacy is sacred.
Read more about the swiss based jurisdiction.
Proton VPN is owned by Proton AG, based in Switzerland. The company was formed by a team of scientists who met at CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research) and created Proton Mail, another service that is also the largest encrypted mail service. After the success of Proton Mail in 2014, the company released its other products like the VPN, calendar, and Drive.
The company is mainly owned by the employees as they hold the vast majority of shares. The remaining shares are owned by a non-profit organization and some users. As the company is not owned by any corporate company, this is one of the safest ownership. As the employees are also the owners, no one can force them to go against their policies which is not true for all VPNs.
Proton AG is a company based around protecting privacy and all of its products are designed for the same purpose. Even the Proton Drive and Calendar are encrypted and thus safe to use. This is the level of privacy we need in the world so our data can be protected from tech companies, the government, and hackers ready to exploit our privacy.
Proton AG has more than 70 million users and businesses signed up for their services, which is one of the highest user bases among any security company. This shows the trust people have in Proton AG and what we can expect from Proton VPN.
Proton VPN also supports P2P transfer or torrenting. However, not all servers can be used for torrenting. There are specific servers from the Plus servers that allow torrenting. This makes the VPN a good VPN for torrenting but still can’t beat some competitors like Nord VPN with mostly all the servers ready for P2P transfer.
Currently, the torrenting servers of Proton VPN are located in 17 countries including the USA, UK, Germany, France, and Hong Kong.
Proton VPN also supports port forwarding to make torrenting even better. This can help in bypassing the firewall on your router and thus can maximize your speed while downloading files.
Read more about torrenting in Proton VPN.
Note: Torrenting is not illegal however sharing copyright content is illegal and you should always avoid it.
Proton VPN is an overall VPN and not based on any particular purpose. This is the reason that Proton VPN offers so many features used for the all-around privacy of the users. It is one of the VPNs that can compete with Nord VPN and Private Internet Access VPN when it comes to features.
The secure core servers help the VPN with the ability to defend against network-based attacks. Secure Core protects your connection by routing your traffic through multiple servers before leaving our network. In case there are attacks or IP tracing from the servers in different countries, they will still lead to another server.
These servers are located in hardened data centers in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden, protected by strong privacy laws, and operated on our dedicated networks meaning they cannot be seized or monitored. Proton VPN considers and treats its other servers like they are in surveillance which gives us even more privacy and security assurance.
Read more about Secure core servers.
VPN accelerator is another great feature of Proton VPN. This is due to the unique technology of Proton. The company claims that it can even accelerate speed up to 400% which is a lot considering we are on a secured encrypted network.
For this technology, the Proton team has re-designed the OpenVPN protocol. Proton VPN distributes the CPU load to multiple processes which do not let one single thread overload. This makes the CPUs work more efficiently without being overloaded. VPN Accelerator splits the path between the VPN server and the destination into shorter paths, resulting in higher combined performance over the entire path.
Read more about the VPN accelerator.
A kill switch is a very important feature in a VPN. The kill switch terminates the internet connection in case of the VPN stops working or gets disconnected. If you are using a VPN, sometimes due to many reasons, a VPN gets disconnected. In this case, your IP and data are immediately exposed and vulnerable. A kill switch automatically terminates the Internet connection and thus securing your privacy and identity.
A kill switch does not affect the speed but works as a last line of defense. The Proton kill switch gives us options to choose from depending on our needs. You can select if you want to secure a particular network by starting the kill switch or you can keep the kill switch on permanently. The always-on feature re-connects the VPN as soon as possible securing the connection again.
Read more about Proton Kill Switch.
Note: We recommend keeping the kill switch always on for maximum security.
TOR is an anonymous network that can be accessed without a VPN. TOR is a free open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. The Onion Router or TOR gives complete anonymity by taking the requests to many servers making it impossible to trace. However, there are many times companies that volunteer as TOR servers and start to keep the profiles and data of users.
The Proton VPN is designed to work with TOR. When worked together, this becomes one of the safest ways to anonymize yourself and use the internet freely without a single worry. Obviously, this would come with a cost of speed and performance though due to the optimization, it might not affect the speech much but it will surely affect it.
Nowadays all VPNs are offering ad blockers but to be honest, they are just a showcase. The same is the case in Proton VPN. The Netshield is an ad blocker and tracker blocker. You can choose to just if you just want to block malware or even ads and trackers.
Proton VPN is an excellent VPN but this is not the work of a VPN and thus there is no reliability. The blocker is nearly poor in our tests and thus cannot work like a real ad blocker.
It did block some malware but that is it. Leave the ads on Youtube, it could not even block some of the targeted ads. This is because VPNs are new in this field and maybe in the future they may improve massively, but right now, it is not worth it.
We recommend only using an established ad blocker and antivirus.
Read about NetShield in details here.
Well the Proton VPN has very confusing plans due to its mix with the other Proton products line. The Proton VPN comes with two types of subscriptions:
In Proton Plus, you get the features of Proton VPN while the Unlimited is a mixture of the VPN and other products like 500GB storage in Proton Drive, Proton Calender, and Proton mail.
We will discuss the Plus package as it is a review of Proton VPN.
The monthly plan costs around $9.99/mo which is still cheaper than the Express VPN plan. The yearly plan costs around $78.88 or $5.99/mo. The 2-year plan costs $119.76 or $4.19/mo.
Proton VPN when compared with the price and features offered, competes with the best VPNs out there. The service and features are worth paying but the question is how much?
Well according to the Cost Analysis of what we spend, the monthly plan is definitely a bit costly, but then again it is just a practice by service providers to shift you to a longer commitment. I would say the yearly and 2 yearly plans are definitely above the notch and worth the value.
If you are looking for a cheaper VPN, you can explore PIA or CyberGhost.
5% off for new users: If you subscribe to the annual plan from here, you can get a 5% discount. Only for new users.
Free trial: You can get a 30-day free trial through this offer. This way you can check if the VPN suits you. If you do not like the service, you can get a refund with no questions asked. this way you can even enjoy a premium VPN for free.
To keep track of discounts, you can sign our newsletter, and don’t worry, we have no intention to spam you.
There are 4 payment methods accepted:
Proton VPN has applications for the following devices:
It can also connect to gaming consoles and other entertainment devices like firestick.
Proton has a version for all devices and OS. We downloaded the windows variant from the dashboard of the official website. The application was easily installed and then we can log in through our email id and password.
Proton VPN changed its theme and color to purple which gives great and different vibes. On the right side, there is a big map while the window and countries options are just a small part on the left side. To minimize the window by removing the map, there is a left-facing arrow on the left side.
On the left side, there is a quick connect button on the top following some quick optimization tools. There are quick setting options for secure core, NetShield, port forwarding, and kill switch. You can also switch to the profile section.
On the top, you can navigate to settings, here you will find three lists, one where you can see general settings, then the connection setting, and at last the advanced setting. Get Proton VPN for Windows.
Proton VPN in android has different graphics but similar visualizations. The app is available on Google Play Store and has a 4.2 rating there. There is the same universal Proton purple color. There are three main pages as we start the app.
Firstly it shows the countries list. Here you can find the servers present. When on the free version, there will only be three servers available. On the top, you can see the secure core which you can start, and then all the traffic will go through the safe server first before going to the chosen server. Here you can see all the countries alphabetically and when clicked, the list of servers will be shown with the load they are handling at that particular time
The second screen map. Here there is a map showing all the servers available. Once connected, the server you connected will turn full purple indicating the connected location. The secure core option is available on all screens. Then there is the Profile section, where you can create a new one for some selective server that you can connect to quickly. Below that you can also see the quick options that are already selected for choosing the fastest or streaming server quickly.
At the bottom, you can see the quick connect button that shows your current connection status. You can go to the settings through the three lines icon on the top-left. Here you can see all the features offered by the VPN.
We tested the VPN for DNS leak test and webRTC and there were no leaks found. The kill switch worked perfectly and even while changing the servers, there was no DNS leak. Get Proton VPN for Android.
The Proton VPN has an iOS version that can be downloaded from the app store of an iPhone. The app however felt a bit laggy and not as optimized as the Windows app.
The icon from the top went to the bottom and the settings option also got added to that bottom list. Rest the VPN is the same as seen in Android. The options are also the same where you will find the countries then the map, and then the quick connect button in the middle. On the right are the profile and settings.
The color and visualization are also the same while you also get the secure core server at the top that will secure your connection. We did the tests to find if there are any DNS leaks and there were none detected. Get Proton VPN for iOS.
Proton in macOS is completely similar to the Windows version. Earlier the mac version used the green color but not it is changed to the company’s universal color, purple. The app can be downloaded from the dashboard.
The app is user-friendly and has a clean interface. We tested the application for any leaks of DNS and none were found. This makes the Proton VPN very trustworthy and secure. Get Proton VPN for macOS.
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We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn a small commission
We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn a small commission
Fastest VPNs To Buy In 2023: Tested And Verified We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may
Best VPNs For Windows In 2023— Complete Guide We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn
Best No-logs VPNs in 2023: Verified and Tested We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn
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How To Watch F1 Online For Free Globally We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn
We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn a small commission to run tests and services.