our opinion on this VPN in 2023

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Written By tsboi team

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ProtonVPN Logo

Based in Switzerland, Proton Technologies is best known for its excellent email service, ProtonMail. It is therefore in this continuity and with the same philosophy that ProtonVPN approaches the world of VPNs. But is this one so convincing?

ProtonVPN essentials in one table

💰Monthly prices €4.99/month (24 months)
💸Refund Yeah
💻🌍 number of servers/location more than 1300 servers in 61 countries
📱Applications Android/iOS/Windows/Mac/Linux/Chromebook/Android/Google TV
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Number of simultaneous connections between 2 and 10
📺 Access Netflix with us Yeah
⏬⏫ P2P mode Yeah
🔐 Conservation of user dataUSER DATA Read the ‘privacy policy’ section

Who is ProtonVPN?

Prior to this VPN project, the Swiss company Proton made a name for itself thanks to its ProtonMail platform. The latter has been defined since 2014 as a healthy and privacy-respecting alternative to the hegemony of web giants such as Google, Apple or Microsoft. ProtonVPN was born from this same philosophy with a focus on protecting activists and journalists who use ProtonMail. Today, ProtonVPN is deployed globally and the company has over 50 million users across all of its services.

Proton VPN has cultivated its difference since its inception by highlighting its teams of engineers and scientists working under the same aegis (ProtonMail and ProtonVPN) to make their ecosystem seamless and complementary. The source code was also made public in January 2020 to show its credentials, leading to inconclusive independent security audits.

ProtonVPN: A very complete interface

ProtonVPN is a compendium of all the good ideas that can be found in other VPN apps. On PC, the ProtonVPN app uses the world map from NordVPN or the speed curve from IPVanish. Whether on mobile or on a computer, the design is dark and highly stylized like a “Hacker” movie, some will appreciate it, others will not. If at first glance, the interface seems loaded, it is ultimately very readable and even allows many relevant elements to be displayed, such as real-time flow information (in numerical and graphical form), the protocol used, and the duration of the current session. .

The originality of the ProtonVPN app comes from the profiles. Instead of looking for a server on the world map every time you start, you can create ” favorite servers — the famous profiles — to which we assign server types (for P2P, for Tor, etc.) and a name and to which we reconnect with one click during our next sessions. It looks pretty good if we have identified servers that are suitable for specific uses.

ProtonVPN allows you to create your own profiles, so you can quickly connect to one or more servers depending on the type of use you want to make of it.  Well seen !

Other options can be accessed without having to create profiles, such as the mode kill switch allowing the connection to be cut at the slightest problem to avoid leaks or the ” secure core which corresponds to a more specific multihop (or double VPN) mode. In concrete terms, this last mode allows the connection to pass through a more secure intermediate server whose location and legislation certify strict privacy protection. This is for example the case of the British Virgin Islands or Switzerland. If this option is activated, the application shows the routing of the connection to the destination server. Be warned, this still has a heavy performance hit, to be used for simple navigation only.

ProtonVPN Advanced Options: SecureCore – Netshield – Kill Switch – Port Forwarding

Other options can be accessed in the settings, starting with choosing the default protocol or activating a custom DNS. In the advanced options, we find thesplit tunnelingallowing the VPN to target a specific application or, more surprisingly, enabling or not enabling hardware acceleration by the GPU, the interface being potentially cumbersome to manage by an older processor.

The ProtonVPN mobile app is just as comprehensive as the PC version.

But if the interfaces are graphically similar on smartphones and PCs, this is not necessarily the case for the functions, some of which remain exclusive to mobile platforms. We think in particular of thenetwork shield” acting as an ad blocker, but especially to the authorization of LAN connections that allow access to your network devices (like a printer, for example) with the VPN activated.

ProtonVPN servers and performance

Now with over 1,900 servers spread across 61 countries, ProtonVPN doesn’t play the server glut card. It doesn’t matter, because the objective of this provider is not so much the performance or the access to foreign catalogs of SVOD platforms as the security of the connection of its users. And yet the speeds are generally very good, as indicated by our tests carried out on the Nperf site from a Parisian fiber connection.

DOWNLOAD (Mb/s) UPLOAD (Mb/s) WHISTLE
SANSVPN 855 691 2
FRENCH SERVER (PARIS) 658 610 3
SERVEUR US (NEW YORK / OPTIMIZE STREAMING) 105 42 111
US SERVER (LOS ANGELES) 46 12 202
JAPANESE SERVER 31 8 246
HONG KONG SERVER 59 26 199
SOUTH AFRICAN SERVER eleven 2 238
FINNISH SERVER 126 129 sixteen

  • The tests were performed with automatic protocol assignment.

Inevitably, the contribution of the Wireguard protocol plays a huge role in the performance that ProtonVPN displays. We are also delighted to see that the latency (ping) is quite controlled despite the thousands of kilometers that separate us from the servers, especially when it comes to American servers.

Instead, we are a little less surprised when we activate the type of specialized servers.from peer to peeror dedicated to accessing the Tor network, which are above all oriented towards confidentiality and security. Inevitably, performance isn’t always there when reliability is the promise.

Another pitfall: if geolocating abroad through ProtonVPN is not a problem, when it comes to accessing Netflix’s foreign catalogs it is another story. Officially, ProtonVPN can bypass the geo-blocking of Netflix’s US, English and German catalogues. Only specialized servers (with a specific icon next to the server name) allow this. In fact, you often have to fumble and find the right server that allows access to Netflix US or UK, because not all of them necessarily work, hence the interest of the profiles. Therefore, it is necessary to have a minimum of information before starting, where other VPNs skip this step to find the server corresponding to their use.

the Privacy Policy practiced by ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN’s data retention policy page is very clear (albeit in English): the provider claims not to retain any information about its users’ use of its VPN servers. The only data ProtonVPN collects is when a user connects to one of their servers (and only the timestamp). ProtonVPN also claims that the company follows Swiss law, where the company is located. Although telcos are required to retain user data for 6 months, the fact that ProtonVPN is a VPN service effectively excludes it from this law.

The firm is also concerned with respecting its commitments not only in its communication, but also, visibly, in the facts. Proof of this, to show its credentials, Proton VPN has even made its source code public so that everyone can do their own security audit, independent company or not. This even led to some vulnerability fixes as stated by the firm Sec Consult in a public report.

ProtonVPN Customer Support

This is certainly the point where ProtonVPN lags behind its competitors, the SAVs. The customer service contact goes only through a form (entirely in English) and then the answers are transmitted by mail “about a day or two on average after the question“. We asked a question in French and the answer came an hour later, written in English.

A very comprehensive and very friendly answer, but one that forces you to wait a little longer than with other VPN providers. Also, no online chat completes the support, where many others already have their own platform, sometimes even in French.

ProtonVPN subscription prices

Proton VPN is arguably one of the only services in our pick to offer a free, ad-free version. However, do not count on a war ray since this free one only gives the right to about twenty servers and only 3 countries depending on your locality. The next tiers are much more provisioned, as the basic offer of 4 euros per month unlocks access to more than 350 servers in more than 40 countries while offering faster transfer speeds and ad blocker activation.

The “Plus” account is probably the most interesting because it powers all the global VPN servers (1900+), transfer speeds up to 10 Gb/s, and all the advanced VPN options like Secure Core mode and Tor access. network for 4.99 euros per month, that is, a total of 71.88 euros in the 12-month plan and 119.76 in the 24-month plan. Here is the list of features included:

  • Protection for up to 10 devices at once
  • Broadband VOD streaming
  • Fast P2P/BitTorrent downloads
  • Double hop mode (multiple server connection)
  • Ad blocking and malware protection
  • Access to the Tor network
  • Priority support and live chat

Finally, the latest subscription, Proton Unlimited, is a bit more specific in that in addition to unlocking all the benefits of the previous VPN, it also offers privileged access to other Proton services with, in particular, a ProtonMail Unlimited account that offers in particular a secure 500 GB online. , up to 15 email addresses and 3 personalized email spaces.

Finally, ProtonVPN’s prices are higher than the market average, no doubt the service wants to justify its prices by providing its advanced features. They also have the advantage of staying fixed, which is far from the case for many players who regularly inflate or artificially lower prices.


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