Proton VPN - Review

Proton VPN - Review

Proton VPN is a Virtual Private Network service that approaches the user in a quite personal and unusual way. If we consider that the VPN market has become extremely competitive and this often translates into a race to the bottom of prices to conquer as many slices of the public as possible, Proton VPN is a bit of a "voice out of the chorus", since it aims all about the variety of their plans, offering a free plan and three paid plans whose cost is not among the lowest in the industry. Nonetheless, the provider offers interesting features and, perhaps, the slightly higher than average price may find its justification. Let's see why.

Read also: The best VPNs of 2022

Proton VPN Plans and Pricing

As we said, Proton VPN offers a completely free plan. It is therefore one of the few companies, including TunnelBear and Windscribe, to focus on a free plan to attract users, and we can immediately say that it is one of the best free VPNs available today. As expected, the no-cost plan has some limitations, with a single connection in only three countries (for a total of 23 servers available), at a slower speed than that of the paid version. However, it's a great way to try Proton VPN and see if it's right for you, without having to purchase an entire plan and then request a refund as with other providers.

The company has recently revamped its Introducing the paid plan, known as Plus, which offers 1700+ servers in over 60 countries, VPN Secure Core technology and access to the Tor network over VPN, for greater anonymity. The VPN service is offered in 1 month, 2 year and 1 year plans, abandoning the previous formula.

It must be said that all plans, including the free one, offer a strict no-log policy and access to blocked content, while P2P and Torrent support and ad blocking system are the exclusive prerogative of paid plans.

Proton Free | Free Proton Plus - 2 Year Plan | € 4.99 per month Proton Plus - 1 year plan | € 5.99 per month Proton Plus - 1 month plan | € 9.99 per month
» Click here to check all VPN offers

Paradoxically, the best value for money version is the third, as the cost of a ProtonMail Visionary account is quite high. By choosing the two-year subscription, you will also save money compared to just subscribing to ProtonMail.


Speaking of privacy, Proton VPN is a company based in Switzerland, therefore it is not subject to the initiatives of the 14-Eye alliance, a consortium of which Italy is also a part that allows severe limitations to personal privacy and preventive interception and archiving of data and files (emails, photos, audio and video) of users, which can then be exchanged between the adhering countries, even in the absence of news of the crime. As indicated by the company on the official website, "Proton is supported by FONGIT (a non-profit foundation funded by the Swiss Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation for the Public Good), and by the European Commission".

In addition to this, still on the official website, the Proton VPN managers pride themselves on enjoying "strong legal protection" and taking their users' privacy very seriously.

Proof of its commitment to privacy, Proton VPN has made public the source code of all its apps (which was made by CERN scientists, as documented on the research body's website) and had it audited by third parties ( including technicians from Mozilla and the European Commission). So, at least on paper, Proton VPN offers greater protection than that of other competitors.

As we said, a strict No-log policy is applied for all plans (free included): the company ensures that not knowing anything and not keeping track of any browsing and activity of its users, once connected.

The guarantee of protection is also strengthened by the cryptographic protocols and by the technical devices put in place by the provider : All user traffic is obfuscated with AES-256 algorithm, but a 4096-bit RSA key-based handshake is required to decrypt it. E-mail and messaging, on the other hand, are treated with the SHA-384 algorithm (developed by the National Security Agency), consistent with the Proton Technologies company profile.

Furthermore, none of Proton's servers use low-security protocols (such as PPTP and L2TP / IPSec), but only IKEv2 / IPSec and OpenVPN. The service also includes a Killswitch in the event of a VPN connection failure and security checks to prevent DNS leaks.

Finally, Proton VPN has native support for the TOR browser and therefore protects you even in case in which you want to put your nose in the maze of the Deep Web, even if limited to the Plus and Visionary plans.


It is important to clarify immediately that, for our test, we used the version free of Proton VPN and not the paid one, so we cannot say that the results of our analyzes have absolute value. The fact remains that, using only Proton VPN, with the fastest connection (Italy), we recorded a speed loss equal to 27%, compared to standard traffic.

The impression was corroborated by the fact that , by connecting a second free VPN (ZenMate), the speed has returned to the usual levels instead of dropping, as would have been natural to expect, with two VPNs connected in cascade.

It is therefore indisputable that Proton VPN, at least in the its free version, is not particularly performing. This does not mean that the Basic, Plus, or Visionary versions do not guarantee much higher speeds, given that the company guarantees up to 10 Gbps to paying customers. On the other hand, free services on the market are always limited, even if in hindsight you could find faster ones.

App and installation

As for apps, Proton VPN succeeds to stand out from the competition.

On the site you will find links to dedicated versions for: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux and Router, detailed instructions for configuring a home or business server and for using regional unlocking services for the main video on-demand services (Netflix, Disney +, Prime, BBC iPlayer, Now TV, HBO, ESPN + and many others).

Downloading, installing and configuring the app are quite basic operations. The app itself is one of the best we've tried: it features a clean and readable interface, which also indicates the volume of traffic produced at any given time and the session total.

Proton VPN has reduced the user options to the bare minimum, which we liked. However, it remains possible to perform some configurations, for example for some applications in particular that require split tunneling, with the consequent exclusion from the VPN protection.

An aspect that we did not particularly appreciate is the absence of some functions, such as the ability to access the Tor network and therefore the Deep Web, in the Free and Basic plans. Just as we would have liked to have seen a more complete knowledge base, especially if we consider that Proton VPN does not have a real-time assistance service, neither via chat nor via telephone. In case of problems, the only option available is to send a message to the support team.

So for anything not included in the knowledge base (for example: how to set up a NAS server) you can only hope for an answer timely and hope that what you need is included in the plan you have chosen, otherwise you will have to do some research outside the site, hoping to have luck.


As in other cases , your judgment on Proton VPN depends a lot on what your priorities are. Proton VPN is definitely worth considering for anyone with a particular focus on security, which makes sense if you are looking for a good VPN service. If, on the other hand, you have budget constraints, there are cheaper and equally if not better performing solutions. However, if you have already decided to adopt Proton Mail services, switching to the Proton Unlimited version could even save you money.

Finally, for those who are particularly attentive to the options offered, Proton VPN offers support for streaming services and file sharing that many other competitors lack. In addition, in the two most expensive plans, you will have access to the Deep and Dark Web. If you are still undecided, it might make sense to download the app and use the free version. On the other hand, not all providers offer this possibility.

Powered by Blogger.