Proton VPN Review 2023

Proton VPN is a versatile and reliable VPN for privacy-conscious Internet users. Introduced in 2014 by the brains behind ProtonMail and headquartered in Switzerland, a country outside the jurisdiction of the 14-Eyes Alliance, Proton VPN isn't subject to any data-sharing laws. 

This VPN provider offers a strict no-logging policy, and it has been externally audited by a third-party security firm, SEC Consult. Proton VPN has also not had any data leaks since its launch, rightfully deserving its place among the best VPN services overall.

In terms of security, Proton VPN offers a robust suite of features to guarantee your online safety. Also, with 3,000+ servers across 69 countries, Proton VPN boasts smooth streaming, torrenting, and gaming experiences. Its large server fleet helps avoid overcrowding, resulting in faster connection speeds.

Proton VPN offers free and premium plans to ensure everyone can enjoy a private and well-secured online experience with their service. Below is a table with a quick summary of Proton VPN's free and paid features.

Proton VPN Plus Proton Free
Jurisdiction Switzerland.
Logs No logs.
Server 3,000+ servers across 69 countries. 86 servers in 3 countries.
Simultaneous Connection 10. 1.
Supported Devices Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, ChromeOS, routers.
Features 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, P2P support, DNS leak protection, split tunneling (Android/Windows), NetShield, Smart Routing, Tor over VPN, Secure Core servers. 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection, and split tunneling (Android/Windows).
Protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, Stealth.
Supports Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Max, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.
Customer Support Live chat, email support, knowledge base, Proton VPN community, and social media. Email support, knowledge base, Proton VPN community, and social media.
Price  From $4.99/month. Free.
Live Deal 45% OFF (2-year plan)
Our Score 9.0 out of 10.

In this Proton VPN review, we put the service through various tests to determine whether it could live up to its impressively advertised features. We evaluated it based on a number of important criteria, including its speed, reputation, security and privacy, content-unblocking capabilities, pricing, customer support, and more.

We pride ourselves on remaining objective, so our reviews are always factual and fair. You can take a look at how we review VPNs if you are curious about our process. Our reviews are also consistently updated, so you’ll catch the latest and greatest on Proton VPN any time you revisit this article.

Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation

Proton VPN seems to be a reliable and trustworthy VPN service. Being based in Switzerland, it has proactive security measures regarding your privacy protection. Our Score: 10/10 

Knowing where your chosen VPN comes from is more important than you think. That's because VPNs handle personal data. So, you need to make sure that no one collects it. That said, here's what you need to know about Proton VPN and its country of origin.

Where Is Proton VPN Based?

Proton VPN comes from Switzerland. That country is known for its neutral diplomatic stance and efforts to protect its citizens' privacy. In fact, the right to (digital) privacy is a part of the Swiss Federal Constitution, as highlighted below.

  • Every individual has the right to have his/her data corrected or deleted. If you ask any data processing company to delete your personal data (in writing), that company must respond within 30 days. Of course, Proton VPN is considered a data processing company.
  • Your IP address is considered to be your personal information. As ruled by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, your IP can’t be used for tracing your online whereabouts.
  • There’s also the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA). This is a comprehensive set of laws dictating how personal data is processed by individuals, companies, organizations, and federal authorities. Companies based in Switzerland are forbidden from sharing private data with third parties without your explicit consent.

We should also highlight that Switzerland isn’t a member of the European Union. Also, this country isn’t a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, which certainly sounds reassuring.

Lastly, Proton VPN is a product of Proton Technologies AG. They also own ProtonMail, a highly popular encrypted email service, alongside other services that allow their users to store and share files securely. Therefore, Proton Technologies certainly has the required knowledge when it comes to handling confidential data.

Did Proton VPN Leak Private Data in the Past? 

No, Proton VPN hasn't leaked private data in the past. It has a strict no-logs policy in place to safeguard user privacy. However, back in September 2018, a privilege escalation bug was discovered in Proton VPN’s code. Still, the VPN acted before the bug was revealed publicly and patched this vulnerability.

In other words, no users were affected, and this vulnerability didn’t lead to any malicious code being sent through its secure network. Other than this report, we couldn't find anything troubling regarding Proton VPN’s practices.

We'll also add that Proton VPN goes through regular independent audits. The most recent one was done in April 2022 by Securitum, a highly respectable European security auditing company. As per the results of that audit, Proton VPN comes without any problematic vulnerabilities.

Regarding Proton VPN's sibling services, a troubling event happened in September 2021. An arrest of a climate activist in France happened after Proton Mail was forced to provide the IP address of the individual in question.

As explained by ProtonMail's CEO (Andy Yen), Proton Technologies AG is forced to comply with Swiss laws when a crime happens, which is when privacy protections are suspended.

That doesn't come as a surprise, as criminal activities are against any VPN's policies and terms of use. Still, Proton Mail did prove that it uses end-to-end encryption, as it couldn't provide any information about the accused individual's email messages.

Of course, the above applies to Proton Mail, not Proton VPN. Still, that situation acts as a reminder that when a crime happens, even the most secure VPN won't be able to give you total online anonymity.

Is Proton VPN Safe?

Yes, Proton VPN is a safe and very secure VPN provider. It routinely undergoes third-party audits to ensure safety and security.

Proton VPN offers the highest level of encryption (AES-256). For tunneling protocols, the VPN supports IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN, as well as its custom Stealth protocol. The three standard protocols have a strong track record and will certainly protect your Internet traffic.

The Stealth protocol even disguises your VPN connection to bypass government censorship and VPN firewalls.

In addition to its impressive security features, Proton VPN’s application code is all open source. This means anyone can examine it to confirm the apps don’t collect or store any user data. Learn more about that in our guide explaining whether Proton VPN is safe.

Supported Platforms & Devices

Proton VPN can be used on many popular platforms, with routers included. And now, it also works on Web browsers as well. Our Score: 10/10

In this segment of our hands-on Proton VPN review, we'll check this VPN's supported platforms. So, take a look at the following table and then keep on reading.

Desktop Platforms Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS.
Mobile Platforms Android, iOS.
Web Browsers Chrome, Firefox.
Routers DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT, and more.
Other Devices Android TV, Fire TV.

With the Proton VPN Plus plan, you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, and it offers blazing speeds up to 10 Gbps. This means you remain protected no matter which device you switch to.

In terms of desktop platforms, there are native apps for Windows and Mac. Proton VPN also has a Linux app developed with the help of its vibrant GitHub community. 

When it comes to mobile platforms, Android and iOS are supported. This was previously a major drawback as Proton VPN wasn’t available on Apple’s mobile operating system, which changed in November 2018 when Proton VPN finally reached the iOS App Store.

Additionally, Proton VPN can be installed on a range of routers. Since it uses OpenVPN, there’s a nice array of compatible routers based on DD-WRT, Tomato, and AsusWRT firmware versions (and other types of routers as well).

Also, let's not forget that Proton VPN now offers Web browser extensions as well. Just recently, this VPN launched its extensions for Firefox and Chrome.

If you need more details, make sure to check our guide that explains how many devices you can connect to Proton VPN at once.

Installation & Initial Configuration

You shouldn’t have a problem installing Proton VPN, even if you’re a complete beginner. The entire process can be done within minutes of your time. Our Score: 10/10

Getting started with this VPN service is a breeze. Simply download Proton VPN on your desktop or mobile device, and within a few minutes, you'll enjoy secure and private online connections.

How to Download and Use Proton VPN?

To use Proton VPN, you'll first need to subscribe, get the installation file, and then install the app on your device. The entire process is quick and straightforward, taking just a few minutes.

Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started with the Proton VPN app on Windows.

  1. Subscribe to Proton VPN using your preferred Web browser.
  2. Log in to your account to access the dashboard.
  3. Click on the menu item called 'Downloads.'
  4. Select your device and download the installation file.
  5. Run the installation file and follow the screen prompts.
  6. Once installed, enter your username and password.
  7. Choose a server and connect. That's it!

When it comes to the actual process of installation, it should go pretty smoothly. If you've ever installed any software, you'll know what needs to be done. You won't find any bundled software here or any other annoyances.

Once you log in to your account on Proton VPN's site, click on the left-placed menu item called 'Downloads.' You can see the available platforms and access or download OpenVPN configuration files - if you want to avoid installing Proton VPN's applications.

When it comes to platforms such as Android (TV), iOS, iPadOS, or Fire TV OS, installing Proton VPN is even simpler. You'll have to visit your device's app store, from where you can download and install the VPN. That's about it.

Prominent Features

Proton VPN is among the fastest VPN services right now. It has done plenty recently to improve download speeds, which are now blazingly fast. Our Score: 9/10

VPNs may seem similar on the surface. However, you should always check their features before buying a subscription. That will show you how much bang you’re getting for your buck. With that in mind, this section will highlight the most prominent Proton VPN features. Over the years, the service has developed some unique technologies that set it apart from other VPNs. 

Here’s what you can expect from it:

  • Full Data Leak Protection: This VPN protects your data and prevents leaks. Whether you use IPv4 or IPv6, Proton VPN has you covered with IP and DNS leak protection. This means that your online identity and activity are hidden from prying eyes. Proton VPN also uses other technologies to create a strong VPN tunnel that secures your connection.
  • High-End Data Encryption: Proton VPN encrypts your data with AES-256-bit encryption, the highest standard available. This is the same encryption level used by the military and governments to safeguard their information. It also lets you choose from different protocols, such as Stealth, OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IKEv2, depending on your preferences and needs.
Proton VPN app showing the Kill Switch feature
  • Kill Switch: In addition, Proton VPN has a built-in kill switch that automatically stops your Web traffic if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This way, you don't have to worry about exposing your data or location. The kill switch is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS/iPadOS, and Android devices.
Proton VPN app showing the NetShield feature
  • NetShield: One of the newest features of Proton VPN is NetShield, a set of tools that block trackers, ads, and malware across your entire device. It acts as a powerful ad-blocker that works beyond your Web browser. You can also choose from different levels of protection, depending on how much you want to filter out unwanted content.
Proton VPN app showing the Secure Core feature
  • Secure Core: The double hop feature is called Secure Core here. It’s a system of servers in countries with strong privacy laws. The feature routes your traffic through an extra server before leaving Proton VPN's network. This way, no one can trace your online activity or location. However, this feature also slows down your connection speed since data travels through two servers instead of one.
Proton VPN split tunneling on Windows
  • Split Tunneling: To balance speed and security, you can use split tunneling on Windows and Android devices. This feature lets you decide which apps use the VPN and which ones don't. For example, you can use the VPN for sensitive tasks like online banking or shopping while using your normal connection for streaming or gaming.
  • Port Forwarding: This feature directs Internet connections through Proton VPN's protective firewall to keep you safe and your online activities private. It's a handy feature if you download and share files using P2P like BitTorrent. However, port forwarding is exclusively available for paid Proton VPN subscribers through the Windows app.
  • Dedicated IP: Proton VPN offers dedicated IP addresses for business use, ensuring they're always available exclusively for your company. These static IPs remain unchanged throughout your rental period, securing remote access to your business servers. However, you must contact Proton VPN's sales team to get one or more dedicated IPs.
  • VPN Accelerator: Speaking of speed, Proton VPN has a unique feature called VPN Accelerator that boosts your connection performance by up to 400%. It uses advanced technologies to overcome CPU limitations, reduce latency, and optimize VPN protocols. Thanks to this feature, Proton VPN is one of the fastest VPNs around.
  • Simultaneous Connections: Finally, Proton VPN allows you to install and use the VPN on up to 10 devices at the same time. You can also switch between different servers as often as you want and enjoy unlimited bandwidth. With the multi-login feature (available on all platforms), you can protect all your devices with one subscription.

As you can see, Proton VPN isn’t your average VPN. It covers all the basics while also offering some extra features for advanced users. With its extensive coverage and added bells and whistles, Proton VPN stands out from the crowd.

Server Count & Infrastructure

Proton VPN comes with a relatively small number of servers. However, those are spread across 69 countries, so Proton VPN's reach should meet your needs. Our Score: 7/10

Now, we’ll check the situation with Proton VPN servers, helping you compare this VPN to its main rivals in the VPN industry. Check out the following table.

Server Count Info
Number of Servers 3,000+
Number of Locations 94
Number of Countries 69
Specific Cities Selection YES
Unlimited Switching YES

Proton VPN currently offers more than 3,000 servers in 69 countries. That's not the most extensive server network you'll find, as many VPNs provide more than 5,000 servers (while charging less than Proton VPN). Still, it could qualify as a contender among the VPNs with the most servers. Plus, there's something very interesting about Proton VPN's network that you won't find elsewhere.

All of Proton VPN's servers are owned by Proton Technologies AG. They aren't rented from data centers, which means you get the best possible protection for your sensitive data.

We'd also like to mention that Proton VPN offers specialized servers. For example, some are optimized for streaming, downloading torrent files, accessing the Tor network, and more. There are also 10 Gbps servers - if getting the fastest possible speed is what you want.

When it comes to obfuscation, Proton VPN has a protocol called "Stealth." If you use this protocol on your Android, macOS, or iOS devices, you'll be able to connect to obfuscated servers, making your VPN traffic appear like the usual Web traffic.

Keep in mind that some of Proton VPN's servers aren't located in their "end" countries. In other words, we're talking about virtual server locations, clearly indicated via the VPN's interface.

Does Proton VPN Use Virtual Server Locations?

Yes, Proton VPN uses virtual server locations via a feature known as 'Smart Routing.' This technology allows you to connect to VPN servers in countries with limited accessibility without the need for physical server installations.

To use a virtual server, simply connect to one of Proton VPN's Smart Routing server locations. You can easily spot them in the apps because they have a globe icon next to them.

Argentina (via Miami) Egypt (via Bucharest) Myanmar (via Singapore) Taiwan (via Singapore)
Brazil (via Miami) Georgia (via Bucharest) Nigeria (via Madrid) Thailand (via Singapore)
Cambodia (via Singapore) India (via Singapore) Peru (via Miami) United Arab Emirates (via Marseilles)
Chile (via Miami) Indonesia (via Singapore) Philippines (via Singapore) Vietnam (via Singapore)
Costa Rica (via Miami) Malta (via Marseilles) Puerto Rico (via Miami)
Ecuador (via Miami) Mexico (via Miami) South Korea (via Singapore)

UI/UX Design & Ease of Use

Proton VPN comes with a clean and modern UI design, and it’s one of the most polished VPN applications in terms of its appearance and ease of use. Our Score: 9/10

Unlike most VPNs, Proton VPN isn’t forcing a mobile-like UI. Instead, it's a fully-featured VPN application that you can freely resize and reposition. Therefore, it certainly leaves a positive first impression.

How Well Does Proton VPN Work on Desktop Platforms?

Proton VPN works great on desktop platforms. The home screen of the Proton VPN app provides everything you need to get started, with the biggest portion taking an interactive map of the world.

When you connect to a server, the map displays the country you're connected to. You'll also find information about your session's traffic below the map. You can use the map to connect to different countries, but it doesn’t allow you to fine-tune your user experience (which is where the left-placed sidebar enters the game).

To select a server, look at the left side of the screen, where you'll see a sizeable list of servers with icons that indicate their intended use (streaming, torrenting, and more). You can click on any of these to connect automatically, or you can select an individual location.

Underneath the 'Countries' and 'Profiles' tabs (on the left-hand side), you’ll see 4 useful buttons on the Windows app. The first one on the left lets you connect to 'Secure Core' servers (routing your traffic through two servers at once).

Then, you can use Proton VPN's 'NetShield,' enable 'Kill Switch', and turn on 'Port Forwarding.'

How to Enable Proton VPN's NetShield, Kill Switch, and Port Forwarding features

Proton VPN lets you fine-tune your VPN connection by visiting the app's settings. This is where you'll encounter four tabs on a Mac computer. Here's a quick overview:

  • General: This tab also allows you to test new features early, and you can fine-tune the application’s behavior (enable/disable notifications, get messages about unprotected networks, and similar).
  • Connection: Here, you can choose from different protocols. You can also use this tab to control this VPN's 'Accelerator' feature, which comes enabled by default.
  • Advanced: If you're in a country with heavy Internet censorship, you can enable Proton VPN's 'Alternative Routing,' designed to evade anti-VPN systems. There's also 'Moderate NAT' for better multiplayer gaming but with some security trade-offs.
How to enable Moderate NAT on the macOS Proton VPN app
  • Account: This is where you can check your account information, such as your username, account type, and account plan. To dive deeper into your subscription, you'll see a link at the bottom of this window, taking you to Proton VPN's Web dashboard.

How Well Does Proton VPN Work on Mobile Platforms?

When it comes to Proton VPN's mobile apps, they come with a uniform design. That means you can expect a highly polished interface, suitable even for complete beginners. Let's take a closer look at both Proton VPN's iOS and Android apps.

Everything you could possibly need is accessed using the app's bottom-placed menu, letting you connect to VPN servers, use an interactive map, set up profiles, and fine-tune your user experience.

Proton VPN's appearance on Android

When you connect to a server on Android, you'll find information about your VPN protocol, IP address, server location, and session traffic. And when NetShield is enabled, you'll also see data on the number of blocked ads and stopped trackers.

Regarding the settings of Proton VPN on mobile devices, here's what you can tweak:

  • Kill Switch (iOS & Android): This feature is easily accessible on iOS devices, but on the Android app, you'll need to access it through your phone's Settings app.
  • Split Tunneling (Android): You'll have this feature on Android, but unfortunately, not on iOS devices.
  • VPN Protocols (iOS & Android): This is where you can select a different protocol.
  • Alternative Routing (iOS & Android): The alternative routing feature allows you to use the VPN service even when server connections are blocked.
  • Always-On VPN (iOS & Android): The iOS app has the always-on VPN feature enabled by default, while on Android, you need to manually activate it. Android devices can also use the kill switch feature to block all network connections if the VPN connection is lost.
  • VPN Accelerator (iOS & Android): This feature is automatically enabled in all Proton VPN apps. It enhances the performance of all VPN protocols and is accessible to all users.

All in all, Proton VPN is one of the rare VPNs with a highly polished UI design. It’s suitable both for beginners and advanced users, as it allows plenty of customization. Every option and feature is explained nicely, and there are helpful tooltips around the application's UI.

How Well Do Proton VPN’s Web Browser Extensions Work?

Proton VPN has recently introduced a Web browser extension that extends its compatibility beyond the Firefox and Chrome extensions. It's also available on Chromium-based browsers, such as Brave, Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi, as well as Firefox-based browsers like LibreWolf.

However, you can only access these browser extensions if you're a paid user. Here's what a Proton VPN Chrome extension looks like:

These extensions tend to offer the same set of features across all supported browsers. Also, what makes these extensions stand out is that they let you use all Proton VPN server locations. Plus, they work like the full VPN app, meaning they fully protect your Web traffic, just like the app on your computer.

But remember, the extension only secures your browser traffic, so for complete protection on your computer or other devices, we still recommend using the full app.

If you click on the 'Features' icon, you can access the advanced features of these browser extensions.

  • Secure Core: This feature is handy if you have advanced privacy requirements.
  • Auto Connect: You can automatically reconnect to the VPN service whenever you open your browser.
  • Split Tunneling: This allows you to disable the VPN for selected websites.
  • WebRTC Leak Protection: While this feature might impact live streaming and video calls, it prevents your browser from unintentionally revealing your IP address to apps and websites that use WebRTC.

Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support

Proton VPN works with most streaming platforms, offers a range of specialized P2P servers, and provides digital tools to enhance your online gameplay. Our Score: 9.5/10

One of the most popular uses of VPNs is their website-unblocking capability. That's especially useful when it comes to streaming, so let’s see which services work with Proton VPN.

Is Proton VPN Good for Streaming?

Yes, Proton VPN is good for streaming. We had plenty of luck unblocking many mainstream and niche streaming platforms. 

In terms of accessing the US version of Netflix, you’re covered well. Plenty of servers offered by Proton VPN can make that happen. However, we recommend going for US-based servers optimized for streaming to give you the best possible experience. Here are some of the US-based streaming platforms that this VPN unblocks.

Netflix US Disney+ Pluto TV
Hulu Amazon Prime Video HBO Max

You can also expand your streaming options with this VPN, as it unlocks a range of non-US streaming platforms for your enjoyment. Here are some notable examples.

BBC iPlayer (UK) CBC (Canada) RaiPlay (Italy)
ARD (Germany) DAZN (Global) (France)

It's worth mentioning that Proton VPN for streaming wasn't really well-known in previous years. So, it's obvious that plenty of progress has been made in that aspect. Today, you can use it to unblock practically any streaming platform, and we hope that situation won't change in the future.

For more streaming options, you might want to check our article about the best VPN for streaming.

Is Proton VPN Good for Torrenting?

Yes, Proton VPN for torrenting is good - thanks to its dedicated P2P servers, kill switch, and Tor over VPN features. You’ll be happy to know that Proton's P2P servers are optimized for secure and fast torrenting. However, you can only use Proton VPN for torrents with the paid VPN Plus plans.

The service also supports port forwarding, which can improve your download and upload speeds when using P2P protocols. Apart from that, its kill switch feature protects your identity by automatically cutting Internet access if you lose your connection.

On top of that, the Always-On VPN feature automatically reconnects to a VPN server. These measures prevent your true IP address from being leaked during a disconnection. But what makes it the best VPN for torrenting is its unique Tor over VPN feature, which further ensures identity protection via the Tor anonymity network.

Is Proton VPN Good for Gaming?

Yes, Proton VPN is a good for gaming. This VPN doesn’t limit your data usage or bandwidth, so you can play as much as you want. 

Additionally, the service uses strong encryption and multiple protocols to protect your gaming traffic from hackers and snoops. You can even use Proton VPN for gaming with WireGuard, a fast and lightweight protocol that improves gaming performance.

By connecting to one of Proton VPN’s 3,000+ servers in 69 countries, you can access geo-restricted games and servers. The provider has a global, high-speed server network that minimizes lag and latency. With the help of the VPN Accelerator feature, you can also easily boost your VPN speed by up to 400%, even when connecting to distant servers.

But if you want to explore other options, check out our article on the best gaming VPN.

Security & Privacy

It’s clear that Proton VPN safeguards your private data in the best way possible. It also doesn't log your personal information, as proven by a recent independent audit. Our Score: 10/10

Let's not forget that the primary use of any VPN is to protect your privacy. With that said, let's check Proton VPN's protocols and encryption, as well as whether it can create a secure VPN tunnel.

Proton VPN Protocols

While Proton VPN offers a range of VPN protocols, their availability varies depending on the device you're using. To provide you with a clear understanding, the table below will show you the protocols offered by Proton VPN.

OpenVPN WireGuard IKEv2 Stealth
  • OpenVPN: Proton VPN uses strong encryption with this protocol, creating new session keys for each connection. OpenVPN can run on Windows, Linux, and Android, offering both UDP and TCP options for better performance and security.
  • WireGuard: This lightweight and open-source VPN protocol stands out for its speed compared to older protocols. It's available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. It enhances security using the advanced ChaCha20 encryption cipher to safeguard your VPN connection.
  • IKEv2: If you're a Mac user, you'll get this fast and secure protocol. It improves security through the automatic implementation of forward secrecy, achieved via the Diffie-Hellman key exchange process.
  • Stealth: This is an advanced VPN protocol that beats most online barriers. It helps you access blocked sites and social media, even if your government tries to stop you. You can use Stealth on macOS, iOS, and Android with any Proton VPN plan, including the free one.

Does Proton VPN Keep Logs?

No, Proton VPN doesn't keep logs. It collects some data, just like any other VPN. However, it collects nothing that can identify what you do online.

As noted in Proton VPN's Privacy Policy, this VPN retains essential data (username, email, and billing information), which is deleted from their servers once you decide to no longer use this service. Then, once you start using its apps, certain anonymous and aggregate statistics can be logged.

In terms of data sharing, Proton VPN works with its parent company (Proton Technologies AG - Switzerland) to share data and provide customer support. That's because Proton VPN and Proton Mail use the same user database, letting you manage your subscriptions more easily.

All of Proton VPN's apps are also open-source, which means that they're available for inspection by just about anyone out there. Plus, Proton VPN's no-logs policy is backed by numerous independent external audits.

Does Proton VPN Leak/Expose Private Data?

No, Proton VPN doesn't leak any private data. We've also done a round of DNS and IP leak tests to ensure that there are no active data leaks.

As you can see, Proton VPN employs effective leak protection measures. Third parties on the Web can only see what Proton VPN is showing them, and that includes your virtual IP address, hostname, country of origin, and more.

Speed & Performance

Proton VPN showing baseline speed and server performance in the US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, and Italy

Proton VPN is among the fastest VPN services right now. It has done plenty recently to improve download speeds, which are now blazingly fast. Our Score: 9/10

In this section, we'll test how Proton VPN affects our connection speed. Our 'naked' connection, without the VPN, has 202.49 Mbps for downloads and 208.41 Mbps for uploads on a 200 Mbps connection.

Next, we'll connect to different servers around the world and compare the results. Since VPNs tend to slow down your Web traffic by making connections travel longer routes, we want to see how well Proton handles this challenge by testing both nearby and remote servers.

Here are the results of our server tests:

  • US Server: To assess Proton VPN's speed for long-distance connections, we conducted a test on a server located in the United States. The download speed recorded was 164.16 Mbps, while the upload speed measured 0.92 Mbps. These figures indicate a significant speed reduction of 19% when compared to our baseline data.
  • UK Server: For our next evaluation, we opted for a server in the United Kingdom, which is closer to our location. We achieved download speeds of 174.10 Mbps and upload speeds of 3.57 Mbps. This resulted in a 14% speed reduction, which remains unimpressive despite being better than the US server.
  • Canada Server: We initially anticipated similar results to those obtained from the US server. However, our findings were rather surprising, as the download speed clocked in at 152.85 Mbps while the upload speed reached 3.21 Mbps. Regrettably, this translates to a 25% speed reduction, ranking among the lowest scores recorded.
  • India Server: Subsequently, we connected to a server in India, a location on the opposite side of the globe. Impressively, the download speed achieved was 188.38 Mbps, accompanied by an upload speed of 3.58 Mbps. Surprisingly, this only accounted for a 7% speed reduction, an unexpectedly favorable outcome considering the substantial distance.
  • Australia Server: Our evaluation also encompassed a server situated in Australia, another distant location. Downloads were recorded at 160.84 Mbps, while uploads reached 3.13 Mbps. This represents a 21% speed reduction, which, although not as impressive as India, surpasses the results from the Canadian server.
  • Italy Server: Lastly, we conducted a test on a server located nearby in Italy, situated within the same European region as us. The recorded download speed stood at 153.76 Mbps, while uploads measured 5.04 Mbps. This outcome disappointingly indicates a 24% speed reduction, a lackluster performance for such a proximate connection.
  Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline Speed 202.49 Mbps 208.41 Mbps 0%
US 164.16 Mbps 0.92 Mbps 19%
UK 174.10 Mbps 3.57 Mbps 14%
Canada 152.85 Mbps 3.21 Mbps 25%
India 188.38 Mbps 3.58 Mbps 7%
Australia 160.84 Mbps 3.13 Mbps 21%
Italy 153.76 Mbps 5.04 Mbps 24%

According to the table above, Proton VPN slowed down our Web connection by 18.3% on average. However, this still makes it one of the fastest VPN services available today.

This is likely due to the VPN's 'Accelerator' technology, which seems to work very well. Unlike many other VPNs, Proton VPN’s speeds remain consistently high, even for long-distance connections.

On the other hand, we should also mention that Proton VPN drastically reduces your upload speed. Therefore, if you upload a lot of data frequently, you might want to look for a different VPN service.

Customer Support

Since live chat is missing, all you can do is open a support ticket – and hope that someone will contact you back within 24 hours. Our Score: 7/10

VPNs are incredibly complex applications that depend on an extensive network of servers. Therefore, you shouldn't be surprised if something goes wrong occasionally. That's why you should always go for a VPN service that offers reliable customer support, ready to resolve your issues in a timely manner.

Here's what you can count on in terms of Proton VPN:

  • Installation Guides: Installing Proton VPN is simple. However, more advanced users will want to install this VPN on a router, which certainly requires some technical knowledge. Luckily, Proton VPN can help by offering nicely written step-by-step tutorials and guides.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: There’s a whole range of frequently asked questions on Proton VPN's site. Those are related to using the VPN, accessing different types of content, and troubleshooting technical problems. This can be helpful in some situations, even though this customer support section isn’t the most comprehensive.
  • Support Tickets: Finally, you can contact the company by filling out a form on its website. Explain your problem in detail and expect to receive a response within 24 hours.

Unfortunately, Proton VPN doesn’t offer live chat on its website, which is clearly a downside. That means you'll lose some time waiting for Proton VPN's response to your email. We have to say that we’ve expected something better from such a reputable VPN service.


Proton VPN's pricing has recently been lowered, increasing the VPN's overall value. It's now much more competitive, giving you plenty of subscription options. Our Score: 9/10

If you're looking for an affordable VPN for a short time or a long time, you might want to consider Proton VPN. This service has recently updated its plans and prices to make them more affordable and accessible to users. Here's everything you should know about Proton VPN's plans and prices.

How Much Is Proton VPN?

Proton VPN starts at $4.99/month on its 24-month plan. Apart from that, it has three other plans to choose from: free, monthly, and 12 months. 

The free plan is limited in features, and the other three plans offer the same benefits at different prices. You can find out more about the free plan in the next section. In the table below, you'll find the prices for Proton VPN Plus plans, which include the VPN service only.

  • 1 Month Plan: For only $8.99/month, you can enjoy Proton VPN's streaming support, Tor over VPN, NetShield, and access to servers in more than 65 countries. Plus, you can connect up to 10 devices at the same time, along with having access to ProtonMail, a secure email service that protects your privacy and data. This plan is great for testing the service.
  • 12-Month Plan: This plan is a steal at $5.99 per month, billed annually at $71.88. You'll save 33% compared to the monthly plan and get all the same features. It's suitable for users who have already tried and tested the service and are willing to commit for the long haul.
  • 24-Month Plan: If you want to get the most bang for your buck, this option is for you. It costs $4.99 per month, billed every two years at $119.76. You'll save 45% compared to the 1-month plan, and this plan includes everything from the 12-month plan and more.
Proton VPN Plus Plans Total Price Per Month Savings
1 Month $8.99 $8.99 0%
12 Months $71.88 $5.99 33%
24 Months $119.76 $4.99 45%

No matter which plan you pick here, you'll get all its features. But the monthly plan isn't a great deal for its price. It costs more and only lets you use the standalone Proton VPN plan. Choosing the 24-month plan at a 45% discount can significantly lower your overall subscription cost.

If you want more than just a VPN, check out Proton Unlimited's deals. This bundle includes Proton Mail, Calendar, and Drive. Here are the prices for this all-inclusive package.

Proton Unlimited Plans Total Price Per Month Savings
1 Month $12.99 $12.99 0%
12 Months $119.88 $9.99 23%
24 Months $191.76 $7.99 39%

Proton lets you pay with PayPal or credit/debit cards, but if you want to stay anonymous, you'll need a different method. The service used to accept anonymous payments for new accounts, but now it only offers that option for upgrades. That means you have to sign up for a free account first and then use Bitcoin to get a premium subscription. 

Alternatively, you can pay with cash or bank transfer, but that's more complicated. We recommend reaching out to Proton VPN directly for detailed instructions on how to proceed with that.

Is Proton VPN Free?

Yes, Proton VPN has a free version, but it has limited features. You don't need a credit card to sign up for Proton VPN’s free trial.

You can only use medium-speed servers in 3 countries, connect 1 device, and get low-priority customer support without live chat. It also lacks many advanced features.

VPN Connections 1 10
Servers/Countries 86/3 3,000+/60+
Performance/Speed Limited Unlimited
No-Logs Policy YES YES
P2P Support NO YES
Media Streaming NO YES
NetShield NO YES
SecureCore Servers NO YES

Therefore, the Proton VPN free version isn’t suitable for more than basic browsing. If you want to access Proton VPN's full suite of features, you need the VPN Plus plan. This plan lets you unblock geo-restricted content, stream in 4K, and torrent with P2P servers. All paid plans are also fully refundable for 30 days, so you can try the premium plans risk-free.

Final Thoughts - Is Proton VPN Good?

Yes, Proton VPN is more than good - it's one of the rare VPNs with a special emphasis on protecting the privacy and security of its users. It's great that it also offers a decent free version.

Still, this VPN does have its issues. For example, even though it's hugely capable, Proton VPN's network is on the small side. There's also the issue with customer support, as 24/7 live chat support isn't available. Features like those have been the industry standard for VPNs lately.

Overall, we do recommend subscribing to Proton VPN. Whether you want to protect your privacy or unblock news, this VPN will help you achieve your goals.


  • Polished UI design.
  • Works on many devices.
  • Open-source software.
  • Independently audited.
  • Quick to develop new features.
  • Ultra-strong privacy protection.
  • Great for media streaming.
  • Great for torrenting.
  • Among the fastest VPNs.


  • Relatively small server network.
  • No live chat customer support.
  • Not all features are available everywhere.


What Is Proton VPN?

Proton VPN is a VPN created by the scientists behind ProtonMail. It's designed to offer privacy, security, and freedom to Internet users.

Is Proton VPN Legit?

Yes, Proton VPN is a legit VPN service. It offers reliable encryption and a strict no-logs policy, making it a secure choice for online anonymity and data protection.

Is Proton’s Free VPN Safe?

Yes, Proton's Free VPN is safe. It provides strong encryption and privacy features, similar to its paid plans. While it has limitations compared to the premium versions, it's a good choice for basic online privacy.

How Does Proton VPN Work?

Proton VPN establishes a secure tunnel between your device and your intended destination or recipient over the Internet. This secure tunnel ensures that your online activities cannot be traced or monitored, protecting your true identity and location.

Who Owns Proton VPN?

Proton VPN is owned by Proton AG, a Swiss company. It was founded by a group of scientists who also started ProtonMail, a secure email service.

Is Proton VPN Trustworthy?

Yes, Proton VPN is highly trustworthy. It's renowned for its transparent privacy policies, strong encryption, and Swiss jurisdiction, known for data protection.

Does Proton VPN Work with Netflix?

Yes, Proton VPN does work with Netflix. It has servers optimized for streaming, allowing you to access Netflix libraries in different regions.

Does Proton VPN Work in China?

No, Proton VPN doesn't work in China. In late 2019, Proton VPN officially announced that the Chinese government blocked its services.

Review Summary

Proton VPN comes with plenty of strong selling points that can easily persuade any individual into becoming a subscriber. We strongly recommend it!

Overall Score
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
Supported Platforms & Devices
Installation & Initial Configuration
Prominent Features
Server Count
UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support
Security & Privacy
Speed & Performance
Customer Support

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