Updated September 25, 2022

ProtonVPN Review

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ProtonVPN has a proven track record with online privacy and security. But does it have enough features? Read this review and see how it compares.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Free option
  • No logging policy
  • Secure underground servers
  • Fewer servers
  • Only email support

Bottom Line

Switzerland-based VPN service with advanced security features

ProtonVPN is known for its advanced security features. It has a strict no-logs policy and offers P2P and streaming support. Though it doesn't have as many servers, ProtonVPN could be a good choice if you're looking for the utmost privacy.

It also has a free option for basic browsing privacy. However, if you need stronger features, ProtonVPN could get a little expensive.

Read on to learn about ProtonVPN and if it's worth it.


To put it simply, a VPN hides your identity online and encrypts your data. No one can see your location or your online activities.

ProtonVPN is the VPN service from the scientists behind ProtonMail (the popular encrypted email service). They created the VPN to protect the privacy of activists and journalists who use ProtonMail. Therefore, it has a strong focus on security.

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which has strict privacy laws and is outside the US and EU jurisdiction. It does not store any user information.

You can get a ProtonVPN account by signing up with an anonymous ProtonMail email account. You don't need to disclose any personal identifying information.

Why use a VPN:

  • Keep your online activities private
  • Keep your passwords, banking credentials, etc. from being hacked
  • Securely browse when you're using public Wi-Fi
  • Bypass censorship when traveling in certain foreign countries



  • Strict no logs policy
  • Advanced security features
  • Secure Core servers located in deep underground facilities
  • 7-day free trial
  • Free option available
  • Supports Netflix and other streaming services
  • Supports torrenting and P2P sharing


  • Less number of servers
  • Pricing not the cheapest
  • Does not offer dedicated IP addresses
  • Does not work in China
  • No live chat support

ProtonVPN is best for:

  • Advanced users who need additional security
  • Casual browsers looking for a free VPN
  • ProtonMail users who want VPN from the same provider


ProtonVPN has four different pricing packages, depending on the features you need. There's even a free option if you just need basic security for casual online use.

$0$9.99 per month
($119.88 billed yearly)
3 countries64 countries
1 VPN connection10 VPN connections
Medium speedHigh speed (up to 10 Gbit)
XSecure streaming
XSecure Core & Tor servers
XAd blocker

The Free version can only connect to US, Netherlands and Japan. You can connect only one device and your speed is throttled too. But there's no data cap.

The Plus version is the best deal, as you get all the features with fast speeds. However, the yearly pricing may be a little high compared to other VPN providers.

How to cancel ProtonVPN subscription:
ProtonVPN is billed yearly. You can downgrade your account to the ProtonVPN Free version at any time. ProtonVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee. However, it's not a full refund. You'll only be refunded for the remaining days on your subscription. So the earlier you cancel, the more you'll get back.


Now let's take a closer look ProtonVPN's features.

Security Features

These basic security features are available to all users:

No logs policy
Since ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, it's not required to keep user activity logs. It does not store any information on the sites you visit, your location, or how long you were logged in. You can take a look at their privacy policy.

The only thing ProtonVPN stores is a single timestamp of your account's most recent login. When you log in to a new session, the last timestamp is overwritten.

Automatic kill switch
If your VPN connection randomly drops (which can happen, like if you have unstable internet connection), the Kill Switch feature will automatically block all network traffic. This way, you won't be unknowingly using an unsecured connection.

Forward Secrecy
For every new connection, ProtonVPN generates a new encryption key. The same key is never used for more than one session. That means even if an encryption key gets compromised, your previous sessions can never be decrypted.

DNS leak protection
ProtonVPN does not use any third party DNS provider. They only use servers operated by ProtonVPN. This ensures your DNS queries are never leaked.

Strong protocols
ProtonVPN uses OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols. These are the two most secure and reliable protocols. ProtonVPN does not support PPTP and L2TP/IPSec, which are less secure.

Does ProtonVPN work in China?
Access to ProtonVPN has been blocked in China as of September 2019. ProtonVPN is working on getting around this situation. In the meantime, using a Tor bridge is the best way to access blocked content in China.

Advanced Servers

For more advanced privacy needs, ProtonVPN also offers these server options (for Plus subscription).

Secure Core Servers
This provides extra security. Instead of just connecting to one VPN server, this routes your traffic through multiple servers. This encrypts the information more than once, making it more secure.

ProtonVPN's Secure Core servers are located in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden in super safe facilities. The Switzerland server is located in a bunker underground.

For example, if you want to connect to a US server, your traffic first routes through one of these Secure Core servers before connecting to the US server. This way, even if someone tracks the US server, they can only follow the traffic back to the Secure Core network, not to you.

Tor over VPN
Some servers support Tor, which allows for completely anonymous communication. When using a Tor server, all your traffic is through the Tor anonymity network. This allows you to access onion sites and the dark web.

P2P File Sharing

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing is a popular way of sharing files. Many use it to share free-access data. This includes open-source software, public domain videos, and other large files.

However, the problem with P2P networks is that users who download content from you can see your IP address. In fact, the IP addresses of all users using a P2P network is open and public.

ProtonVPN allows P2P file sharing for all subscriptions except for the Free version. This lets you share your files without revealing your real IP address. You'll have unlimited bandwidth to download as many files as you want.

On the app, you can find servers that have been optimized for P2P. On their site, they also have a guide on how to use ProtonVPN with BitTorrent.


ProtonVPN supports streaming for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO, Sling TV, and others. You'll have to connect to certain servers to access the streaming service you want.

For Netflix, streaming is available on US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, India, and Italy servers. Hulu can be accessed on US servers. For a complete list, ProtonVPN has a streaming guide.

Streaming is only available for Plus and Visionary subscriptions.

Router Installation

You can install ProtonVPN on DD-WRT, AsusWRT, FreshTomato, InvizBox 2, OpenWRT, pfSense, and Vilfo routers. They offer a detailed guide on how to do this on their site, complete with pictures. You can check it out here.

Installing ProtonVPN directly on your router will give you round-the-clock protection on all your devices. This is a great feature if you want to protect your entire household. All devices connected to the wifi network will get VPN protection.

Even devices like your smart TV, smart speakers, and game consoles can be protected.


ProtonVPN does have a few downsides to be aware of:

Fewer servers
ProtonVPN has 1,746 servers in 64 countries, which isn't many. For comparison, ExpressVPN has 2,000+ servers in over 90 countries. If you want more server locations and speed, it's better to go with another provider.

Having more servers in more locations allows you to choose where you want to connect to. It also speeds up your connection because more servers = less congestion.

No dedicated IP addresses
ProtonVPN does not offer dedicated IP. When you connect to a VPN server, you share the IP with other users. If you need a dedicated IP, look at NordVPN.

Doesn't work in China
China blocks access to a lot of VPNs, including ProtonVPN. If you regularly go to China for business or personal reasons, it's best to get a VPN provider that's more reliable there, such as ExpressVPN.

Only email support
ProtonVPN doesn't have phone or live chat support. If there's a problem, you have to send a message through their site or reach out on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.

Their customer service usually replies within 1 day, but you may not be able to get immediate attention.

What Experts Say

As part of our series on cybersecurity and data privacy, CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer some of the readers' most pressing questions:

  • Are VPNs safe to use?
  • Can VPN users be tracked?

Here's what they had to say:


NordVPN is one of the best overall VPNs in terms of security features and price. It offers top notch security features, strict no-log policy, fast speeds, and a lot of servers. It also supports P2P, streaming, and can bypass China restrictions.

The 2-year plan offers amazing value if you're willing to commit that long. If you're looking for a more affordable VPN, NordVPN is hard to beat.

If you prefer quality over price, ExpressVPN is the better choice. In terms of server count alone, it beats ProtonVPN by a huge margin. Additionally, ExpressVPN also works with all security protocols, and they have live chat support.

We compare ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN below:

Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA is based in the US and is one of the cheapest VPN services around. It also has more servers in more countries compared to ProtonVPN (3,000+ servers in 84 countries). However, ProtonVPN has a lower upfront cost compared to PIA.

Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield has a free VPN service for phones and tablets. However, this service comes with ads. Also, those using the free service only have access to the US servers and a 500MB data limit per day. Some content and services are also blocked.

The paid version allows you to connect to servers in 80+ countries. You'll get unlimited data and can link up to five devices to one account. If you'd like to try it, they offer a 7-day trial period.


ProtonVPN may not be the best VPN service out there, but it has a few nice perks. It could be a good option for advanced users who need additional security features. The free version is also great to protect casual users.

But it's not the most budget friendly. The average Plus monthly plan costs more than NordVPN's. However, NordVPN has more servers and better features.

On the other hand, if you're looking for an absolute bargain, PIA offers the cheapest service.

Write to Khairie A at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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