ProtonVPN Review 2022

Want to know how fast download and upload speeds are with ProtonVPN? How good it is with torrenting? Whether it is secure or covers a wide range of countries?

We will discuss all of this information about ProtonVPN and more in this review.

We performed multiple speed tests such as connection tests, download and upload speed tests, and ping, in addition to extensive research to evaluate the devices applicable with the VPN provider, usability, and cost, among other things. More testing included streaming, browser extensions, etc., We also contacted customer service to understand how effective and prompt their support is.

Our key findings of ProtonVPN

🌍Country of RegistrationSwitzerland
🖥️Number of Countries63
🖥️Number of Server Location90+
🖥️Number of Servers1,668
💰Price4 € per month
⤵️Download SpeedAvg. 66.76 Mbps
⤴️Upload SpeedAvg. 24.93 Mbps
Dedicated IPYes
📱Multiple Devices10 with Plus & Visionary Plans
📺NetflixYes
📥TorrentingYes
💻Operation SystemiOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS, Chromebook
🌐Browser ExtensionChrome, Edge, Safari, Opera and Firefox
Does it Work in ChinaNo
🆓Free TrialYes, full refund within 30 days of purchase
👩‍💼Live Chat SupportEmail only

Servers and Locations

With a free version of the service, ProtonVPN attracts a wide range of customers. In addition, the company operating this VPN service is based in Switzerland, which imposes some of the strictest privacy laws and is not part of the international data sharing alliances (5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 Eyes alliances), allowing the company to provide more security to its users as it does not need to store activity data. ProtonVPN has 1,668 servers worldwide, with 98 Secure Core servers, 1,112 Plus servers, 386 Basic servers and 59 Free servers, operating in 63 countries, and dispersed across 90+ locations. Even though these numbers are not very high compared to the industry average, ProtonVPN has various features that make it very user friendly, more secure and accessible than other VPNs. Moreover, its servers are distributed across all continents, reaching a higher number of users while maintaining a relatively high speed.

 ProtonVPNIndustry Average
Number of Countries6360
Number of Server Locations90+120
Number of Servers1,6681000

Speed Test

ProtonVPN believes in global connectivity and strives to ensure security for its users, which is why the company provides different types of servers in all continents. For instance, Plus Plan users can access the 98 Secure Core Servers operating in 63 countries, which are owned by ProtonVPN and connects network traffic through servers in privacy-friendly countries. There are also Plus Servers, Basic Servers, and Free Servers, all of which will be discussed later in the review. ProtonVPN offers compatible download and upload speeds, while with ping, speeds vary greatly based on server location and country.

We tested download, upload and ping speeds for 63 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa. Upload and download speeds were measured in Mbps., while ping speed was measured in milliseconds (ms). We measured our internet speed without the VPN to compare it to test data.

Download Speed

Our speed tests covered 10 countries in the Americas, 34 in Europe, 16 in Asia Pacific, and 3 countries in Africa as shown in the table below.

ProtonVPN Regional Comparison of Download Speed

Header LabelAmericasEuropeAsia Pacific and Africa
Number of Tested Countries103419
Average Download Speed67.58 Mbps68.19 Mbps64.50 Mbps
Lowest Download Speed4.72 Mbps (Argentina)2.32 Mbps (Poland)3.39 Mbps (Russia)
Highest Download Speed118.77 Mbps (Canada)108.75 Mbps (Germany)140.65 Mbps (Australia)
No VPN134.15 Mbps134.15 Mbps134.15 Mbps

The average download speed for the Americas was 67.58 Mbps. For Europe it was 68.19 Mbps, which is the highest regional speed, and for Asia Pacific & Africa it was 64.50 Mbps. These results do not vary much, with low deviation from the average of all countries which was 66.76 as shown in the table below. However, these speeds are significantly lower than downloading without a VPN.

ProtonVPN Download Speed

Header LabelCountryDownload
FastestAustralia140.65 Mbps
SlowestPoland2.32 Mbps
OverallAll Tested Countries66.76 Mbps
No VPN Connected134.15 Mbps

We recorded the lowest download speed at 2.32 Mbps in Poland. While the highest download speed was recorded in Australia at 140.65 Mbps, higher than no VPN download speed. The average of all the countries we tested is 66.76 Mbps.

Upload Speed

Although uploading is not as relevant to users as downloading, we conducted upload tests for the same number of countries, because such feature is very important for streaming. We also conducted tests without VPN usage for comparison. The following table represents regional differences of upload speed.

ProtonVPN Regional Comparison of Upload Speed

Header LabelAmericasEuropeAsia Pacific and Africa
Number of Tested Countries103419
Average Upload Speed26.87 Mbps24.12 Mbps23.81 Mbps
Lowest Upload Speed13.68 Mbps (Mexico)6.05 Mbps (Poland)0.77 Mbps (israel)
Highest Upload Speed36.51 Mbps (Puerto Rico)37.18 Mbps (Italy)35.11 Mbps (Thailand)
No VPN35.02 Mbps35.02 Mbps35.02 Mbps

The average upload speed for the Americas was 26.87 Mbps, counting as the fastest, yet relatively close to other regions. For Europe it was 24.12 Mbps, and for Asia Pacific and Africa it was 23.81 Mbps. Moreover, the highest upload speeds for each region are comparatively very close to each other.

ProtonVPN Upload Speed

Header LabelCountryUpload
FastestItaly37.18 Mbps
Slowestisrael0.77 Mbps
OverallAll Tested Countries24.93 Mbps
No VPN Connected35.02 Mbps

The maximum upload speed among all countries was 37.18 Mbps in Italy, slightly higher than no VPN usage. The average upload speed as a result of all our upload tests throughout the globe was 24.93 Mbps, which is slower than when no VPN is connected.

Ping

Ping measures the cycle of exchanging data, by means of measuring the minimum time required to send a small amount of data and receive a response. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). A VPN usually increases ping speed, yet a mobile connection is almost always worse for ping. In general, we are aiming for low ping, because the faster the data is exchanged, the better.

ProtonVPN Regional Comparison of Ping Speed

Header LabelAmericasEuropeAsia Pacific and Africa
Number of Tested Countries103419
Average Ping Speed283.3 ms225.64 ms203.57 ms
Fastest Ping Speed190 ms (Canada)180 ms (Italy)49 ms (Malaysia)
Slowest Ping Speed344 ms (Brazil)292 ms (Greece)430 ms (Hong Kong)
No VPN16 ms16 ms16 ms

The average ping speed for the Americas was 283.3 ms, which is the slowest regional speed. For Europe it was 225.64 ms, and for Asia Pacific and Africa it was 203.57 ms, being the fastest average speed. The results are highly deviant from the no VPN usage result, which is as high as 16 ms.

ProtonVPN Ping Speed

Header LabelCountryPing
FastestMalaysia49 ms
SlowestHong Kong430 ms
OverallAll Tested Countries237.50 ms
No VPN Connected16 ms

The best ping speed among all countries was 49 ms in Malaysia, not much lower than no VPN usage. The average ping speed as a result of all our ping tests all over the world was 237.50 ms, which is much slower than when no VPN is connected, yet much sharper than the slowest ping speed of 430 ms, in Hong Kong.

DNS Leak Test

DNS can be very dangerous in exposing user online activities to third parties. It is therefore necessary for VPN providers to offer security solutions that minimize or eradicate such leaks. When browsing, domain name system (DNS) requests are exerted to locate what we are looking for, during which DNS translates used domain names into IP addresses, which are then used by internet service providers to track user activities. ProtonVPN runs its own DNS servers, with strong encryption protocols and IPv6 leak prevention. Furthermore, all 63 countries have at least one Secure Core server option. ProtonVPN also set in place an Adblocker (NetShield), which is a DNS filtering feature working to safeguard malware and block ads that may help sites track online activities.

No VPN ConnectedVPN Connected (ProtonVPN)DNS Leak Test
172.217.43.195
(Taipei, Taiwan)
156.146.51.65
(Chicago, United States)
Good
172.253.237.5
(Central, Hong Kong)
172.253.5.1
(Hong Kong)
172.253.6.2
(Hong Kong)
172.253.6.5
(Hong Kong)
74.125.41.1
(Taipei, Taiwan)

Our DNS leak test was successful with VPNhub. NO DNS leaks were detected.

Streaming

ProtonVPN has server speeds that are compatible with large downloads and HD video streaming. It is one of the few service providers that unblocks U.S. Netflix, with a variety of other streaming platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO Max, Spotify and more. The official site of the VPN provides detailed guidelines on unblocking these platforms and streaming using ProtonVPN. After testing ProtonVPN for Netflix streaming in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea, we found it works only in the U.S. and UK, both with Ultra HD (4K) streaming quality, and a streaming buffer of only 1 second for both countries, being extremely favored.

In general, each country can have different access to different streaming platforms, with limited services depending on your content selection. Regardless, one of the best features of ProtonVPN is its server extension, permitting access to a wide range of Geo-blocked content. Streaming is available for Plus and Visionary users, which means Free or Basic plan users will not be able to stream videos.

Netflix

Netflix is usually on high demand; this is why most VPN users look for Netflix streaming options before making a purchase, especially because a good portion of its content is Geo-restricted. ProtonVPN allows access to such restricted content from any country where its servers can be reached, making streaming Netflix content or torrenting much easier. It is also compatible with a variety of devices. The service provider excels in this subject, as shown in the table below of Netflix streaming in terms of Library, Streaming Buffer, and Streaming Quality results. We selected four countries to test Netflix streaming, however, it is available in almost every country. In addition, when connecting to a Plus server in the US, UK, India, Italy, Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, France or Switzerland, it is possible to access local Netflix versions.

Netflix Streaming in Different Regions

Header LabelProtonVPN – LibraryProtonVPN – Streaming BufferProtonVPN – Streaming Quality
Americas
United StatesYes14K
Europe
United KingdomYes14K
Asia Pacific
JapanNo
South KoreaNo

We successfully unblocked the U.S. and UK libraries, while South Korea and Japan were blocked.

Torrenting

ProtonVPN has different types of servers including servers that combine VPN and Tor use, as well as P2P optimized servers, in addition to applying a no-logs policy, and engaging the Tor anonymity network, all of which enhances safe and reliable torrenting. This is one of the key features marketed by the VPN service provider, as more users value their privacy, the company is also trying to secure internet activity with strict regulations, such as encrypting P2P traffic, setting anonymous IP addresses, and more. All with a transparent approach, thus, all ProtonVPN apps are open-source, granting users code inspection rights to verify safety.

ProtonVPN adopted a Secure Core network that operates in privacy-friendly countries, through which internet activity passes in order to avoid server surveillance. As well as uses ciphers that prevent encrypted traffic from being decrypted. On a negative note, ProtonVPN torrenting is relatively slower than leading VPNs, with limited location access for P2P optimized servers that are only available in 10 countries.

ProtonVPN is supported by all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, IOS/iPadOS, Android, Chromebook, Android TV and Linux.

Torrenting – BitTorrent

To identify ProtonVPN performance levels, we tested torrenting by use of BitTorrent to download certain content. The file size was 1.42 GB, which had a download speed of 39 kB/s with 0.357 seeders. Thus, the download time consumed 1D 2h, which is very bad compared to the industry average time; being 11 minutes only. This data is presented in the table below.

ProtonVPN BitTorrent Test in Comparison with Other VPNs 

Header LabelFile SizeSeedersDownload SpeedTime
ProtonVPN1.42 GB0.35739 kB/s1D 2h
Other VPNs1.85 GB0.8782.1 Mbps11 min

Torrenting – uTorrent

The uTorrent test was conducted under the same conditions, using the same file size to determine torrent performance. The downloaded file size was again 1.42 GB, with 0.384 seeders. The download speed was 50 kB/s, completed within 10h and 3m. This result was similarly disappointing, given the industry average of 22min.

ProtonVPN uTorrent Test in Comparison with Other VPNs 

Header LabelFile SizeSeedersDownload SpeedTime
ProtonVPN1.42 GB0.38450 kB/s10h 3m
Other VPNs1.85 GB0.2192.1 Mbps22 min

Router

Maintaining privacy is important for most users, which is precisely why many adhere to using VPN services, however, all VPN providers allow a limited number of devices to be used simultaneously with a VPN subscription. And although ProtonVPN permits the use of up to 10 devices with one VPN plan purchase, it is more efficient to install VPN on a router and then connect to as many devices as needed, including devices that do not support VPNs. ProtonVPN is applicable with routers that support OpenVPN as a “Client” (instead of as a “Server”), as well as routers that support IKEv2. L2TP routers are not supported by ProtonVPN.

Best Router for ProtonVPN

One of the best routers for ProtonVPN is InvizBox 2 Router, which the service provider partnered with to create a customized router. With an open source and an easy to use connecting process, the router is highly compatible with your Proton account.

Other routers supported by ProtonVPN include:

AsusWRT router

DD-WRT router

OpenWRT router

pfSense router

Tomato router (legacy)

FreshTomato router

Vilfo router

The official website provides a detailed “Guide to installing ProtonVPN on different routers”.

ProtonVPN Router App

Setting up ProtonVPN on your router will safeguard your entire network. It can easily be installed through different means that include; installation on an existing router with a built-in VPN client, adding VPN support to the router, or purchasing a router with pre-VPN-installation. And as mentioned earlier, the InvizBox 2 Router is configured for ProtonVPN.

Router Manually Setup for ProtonVPN

A router with VPN will ensure data security, however, the process will require technical knowledge and should be done carefully. ProtonVPN is compatible with various routers, making it easier to install, and the guidelines for VPN-ready routers, flashing a router, and installation, are described on the official site, in regard to the following router types:

  • ProtonVPN on Tomato routers
  • ProtonVPN on DD-WRT routers
  • ProtonVPN on Vilfo routers
  • ProtonVPN on AsusWRT routers

Browser Extension

ProtonVPN has a diverse browser extension including the following old versions of supported browsers (any older version is not supported, while all newer versions are):

    Firefox: 78

    Chrome: 84

    Safari: 13.1

    Edge: 85

    Opera: 70

    iOS Safari: 12.2

    Chrome for Android: 85

    UC for Android: 12.12

    Samsung browser: 12.0

The service provider uses technology supported by the latest versions of the above mentioned browsers, thus, outdated browser versions such as Internet Explorer are not supported by ProtonVPN, in effort to maintain security.

Devices and Operating Systems

ProtonVPN is supported by multiple platforms from social media to smart TVs, helping you protect your browsing on different devices that include; iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, Fire TV Stick, Chromebook, Android TV, and more.

You can use up to 10 devices with the Plus Plan, while maintaining a speed of up to 10 Gbps. And connect to a single device with the Free Plan.

ProtonVPN provides access to its VPN app in the following devices and operating systems:

    Windows

    macOS

    Android

    Android TV

    iOS (e.g. iPhone, iPad)

    Apple TV

    Chromebook

    Chromecast

    Linux

    Debian

    Ubuntu

    Mint

    Fedora

    Firestick

    Amazon Fire TV

    Nvidia Shield

    Xiaomi Mi box

    Kodi

    Roku

    Flashrouters

    OpenWRT router

    Invizbox router

    AsusWRT router

    DD-WRT router

    pfSense router

    Tomato router

    Fresh Tomato router

    Vilfo router

    PlayStation (PS4, PS5)

    Xbox (Xbox One, Xbox Series)

    Nintendo Switch

    Sonos

TV

ProtonVPN is compatible with many different streaming devices as well as Android TV, which can be accessed by downloading the app to the TV set. The app provides access to content from 50+ countries available only on paid subscriptions, including access to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, while the free plan permits access from only three countries. This feature is extremely practical because Android TV can both be built into certain TVs, as well as be installed on various streaming tools, which can be plugged into any TV with an HDMI port. Furthermore, the VPN app for Android TV works on any TV that uses Google TV interface.

Another option would be to install your VPN on a supported router, which will allow for VPN connection sharing to devices connected to the router, including your Smart TV. In the absence of a supported router, a virtual router can be a good substitute.

China

In its efforts to block as many VPNs as possible, the Chinese government succeeded in blocking ProtonVPN from China as of September 18, 2019, with plans to censor more content and limit internet freedom by setting technical tools in place such as DNS filtering, URL filtering, and deep packet inspection, which also have the capability to block VPN servers.

With this information in mind, a Tor bridge or an unlisted Tor server is people’s gate to blocked content. Being unlisted will prevent detecting their IP addresses and will thereby not be blocked.

Price

ProtonVPN offers 4 different subscription plans:

Free Plan – 0 € per month, with access to 76 servers in 3 different countries and 1 VPN device connection. This plan has a medium speed and maintains a no-logs policy, with limited access to blocked content.

Basic Plan – 4 € per month, with access to 450+ servers in 40+ different countries and 2 VPN device connections. This plan has a high speed and maintains a no-logs policy, with access to blocked content, P2P/BitTorrent support, and Adblocker (NetShield).

Plus Plan – 8 € per month, which is the best available offer, with access to 1600+ servers in 63 different countries and 10 VPN device connections. This plan has the highest speed (up to 10Gbps) and maintains a no-logs policy, with access to blocked content, P2P/BitTorrent support, Adblocker (NetShield), Streaming service support, Secure Core VPN, and Tor over VPN.

Visionary Plan – 24 € per month, with access to all the features on the Plus Plan, in addition to the ProtonMail Visionary account.  

Discount

ProtonVPN offers discounts on all Plans except the Free Plan. For instance, the Basic Plan is 4 € per month, billed at 48 € per year, saving 12.00 €. The Plus Plan, which costs 8 € per month is billed at 96 € per year, saving 24.00 €. The Visionary Plan costs 24 € per month, billed at 288 € per year, saving 72 €. The last two plans also offer ultra-fast 10Gbps servers, 10 VPN connections, and access to servers in all 63 countries.

Free Trial

ProtonVPN previously offered a 7-day premium free trial, however, this service is now eliminated given that the VPN service provider offers a Free Plan where all basic features can be tested and used. In addition, all premium features can be examined with the 30-day money-back guarantee deal, ensuring full refund.

Customer Service

ProtonVPN allows users to contact customer service through email only, with an unknown reply speed and a relatively low answer quality since email replies do not come fast in accordance with our testing.

Header LabelProtonVPNIndustry AVG Difference
Connect to an Agencyemail only10 secondsN/A
Reply Speedemail only15 secondsN/A
Quality of the Answernot fastGreat

FAQ

1. How to use ProtonVPN?

ProtonVPN can easily be installed through the original app on various devices. It incorporates the OpenVPN protocol, which ensures more security. Setting the Proton account is very simple, and can easily be set up either for a Free Plan or through purchasing another Plan.

The official website provides guidelines on installing the VPN on different operating systems. The following steps are very general installation:

  • Download the ProtonVPN app
  • Open the protonvpn.exe installation file
  • Press Agree and then Next then Install
  • When installation is complete, the application will start automatically

2. How good is ProtonVPN?

According to our tests and investigation process, ProtonVPN is as claimed to be, very secure compared to other prominent VPN providers, however, there are pros and cons to each service. For instance, ProtonVPN has a no data logging policy and issues annual reports to provide its customers with transparency.

Moreover, it incorporates unlimited bandwidth and special P2P servers, making the service provider excellent for torrenting purposes. At the same time, ProtonVPN has download and upload speeds lower than the industry average as well as many other VPNs.

3. Where is ProtonVPN based?

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, with its headquarters in Geneva, and is run by Proton Technologies AG. The company is known for its dedication to user privacy and securing data, as they are responsible for ProtonMail, which is the world’s largest encrypted email service.  

4. How secure is ProtonVPN?

Users have access to ProtonVPN’s code as it is open-source and can be reviewed by anyone, as well as expert assessments, given that the VPN provider is transparent and strives to secure its users’ activity traffic as much as possible.

The company claims that various journalists and activists use their service precisely for this reason. These claims are also backed by the systems and tools incorporated in ProtonVPN, such as providing special servers to avoid DNS leaks. In addition, the company has strict security protocols including; OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. As well as a NetShield Ad-blocker, which enhances browsing safety.

5. How to use ProtonVPN for Netflix?

ProtonVPN allows you to stream Netflix with high speeds, no IP address blacklisting, and while accessing Geo-blocked content, including the U.S. library. Furthermore, the company’s server network encompasses a performance-enhancing proxy that provide Netflix streaming from anywhere in the world.

To watch Netflix however, you must purchase a Plus or Visionary Plan, then install the VPN app according to your operating system, after which you can connect to a Plus server located anywhere in the world and stream. In order to stream a local Netflix, which is only available for certain countries, you must connect to a Plus server in that country.

6. What countries does ProtonVPN offer?

ProtonVPN operates in 63 countries, with more than 1,672 servers spread worldwide in every continent, including 98 Secure Core servers, 1,103 servers for the Plus Plan, exclusive to Plus users and operating in all 63 countries. 386 Basic Plan servers in 40+ countries. And 80 Free Plan servers in 3 countries.

7. How to get ProtonVPN free trial?

Instead of a free trial, you can benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee deal, ensuring full refund. In addition, you can create a free VPN account with limited access to different benefits, by following a few simple steps.

8. Downloaded ProtonVPN but don’t know how to access the internet.

When experiencing difficulties in connecting to the internet with ProtonVPN, you can try one of various solutions that include:

  • By trying to connect to a different server because this may be caused by servers under maintenance.
  • Resetting the clock on your device as this could be due to a mismatch in system time and the time on the SSL certificate, or even existing restrictions on the network.
  • Ensuring internet connectivity as this may be due to lack of access to the internet while attempting to connect ProtonVPN.

9. What jurisdiction is ProtonVPN in?

As the company is based in Switzerland, it follows the business jurisdiction of the country. ProtonVPN is therefore able to provide its users with high browsing security given that Switzerland is not part of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliances. However, the company’s Secure Core servers are located in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden, held under strict privacy laws.

10. What is ProtonVPN Secure Core?

ProtonVPN has a Secure Core feature, which improves security, especially against network-based attacks. This feature is able to route activity traffic through multiple special servers before leaving the network, thereby, monitoring the network to avoid IP address identification and avoiding matching browsing activities to the corresponding IP.

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