Proton VPN Review — Quick Summary Quick Summary

protonvpn review 2024 banner

Proton VPN is a highly privacy-focused VPN that also has an excellent free plan. I’ve used it on multiple occasions while traveling, and have always had a really enjoyable and safe online experience. For this review, I also ran additional tests to see exactly how well this provider handles things like streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more. 

I can safely say Proton VPN is excellent for privacy and people who are looking for a free VPN. It has high-end privacy and security features, including an audited no-logs policy, transparency reports, audited open-source apps, full leak protection, an excellent ad blocker, and more. Also, it’s one of the only free VPNs on the market that allows unlimited data, which is really impressive. 

In addition, the VPN also comes with other perks — it provides very good speeds on all servers, it works with 40+ streaming platforms, it has user-friendly apps for all devices, and it has 4,500+ servers in 90+ countries. 

Now, there are some drawbacks, but they’re not major — the provider lacks a smart DNS tool (which is helpful for streaming), it doesn’t work in China, and its live chat support is not available 24/7. 

But, overall, Proton VPN is a solid choice because it provides very good value. In addition to its excellent free plan, it also has 2 tier-based subscriptions with several paid plans. Plus, it also backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee (though, keep in mind it’s prorated). You can check out my full list of best VPNs for more.

Quick Proton VPN Review
Rating
4.6
Overall rank9 out of #19
Works with Netflix
Server Network4,500+ servers in 90+ countries
Number of Devices10
Starting Price$3.59/month
Money-Back Guarantee30 days
CouponsProton VPN Coupon 50% OFF

Proton VPN Security Features Security Features

Proton VPN provides access to the following industry-standard security features: 

  • 256-bit AES encryption — This is the same level of encryption the bank and the military use. It prevents anyone from spying on your data by making it 100% unreadable. 
  • Kill switch — This feature shuts down all internet access if your VPN connection drops, so that no data might leak outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel. Proton VPN has a kill switch on all of its apps (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android). 
  • No-logs policy — The VPN service doesn’t store your IP address, so it can’t see your real location. In addition, it also doesn’t collect your traffic (which sites you visit, for example). 
  • DNS leak protection — Proton VPN runs its own encrypted DNS servers to provide DNS leak protection. That way, there’s no risk of your DNS queries leaking outside of the VPN tunnel. If that were to happen, your ISP (internet service provider) would be able to see your browsing traffic even though you’re surfing the web with a VPN.

What’s more, each Proton VPN app provides access to secure VPN protocols. The VPN provides access to OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and Stealth. The first 3 protocols are secure and fast, though WireGuard is by far the fastest one. And Stealth is Proton VPN’s proprietary protocol, which is configured to obfuscate your VPN traffic. I also put together a table showcasing which Proton VPN app has which protocol:

VPN ProtocolsWindowsmacOSLinuxiOSAndroid
WireGuard
OpenVPN
IKEv2/IPSec
Stealth

On top of DNS leak protection, you also get protection against IPv6 and WebRTC leaks. This is really great to see, as some top competitors don’t provide full leak protection — for example, Surfshark only has DNS leak protection. I tested Proton VPN’s full leak protection by running leak tests while connected to servers in 15+ countries, and I’m happy to report I never experienced any leaks. 

creenshot showing leak test results while connected to Proton VPN.

Proton VPN also has perfect forward secrecy (PFS) and full-disk encryption (FDE), which are both advanced security features. PFS changes the encryption key for each VPN session, making it near impossible for a hacker to use a compromised past or future key to spy on your traffic. And FDE ensures that all data on all Proton VPN servers remains 100% secure even if the servers are compromised. 

Finally, the provider also lets you secure your VPN account with two-factor authentication (2FA). This security feature requires you to validate each login attempt with a time-sensitive code. This way, even if a hacker somehow steals your account login details, they still won’t be able to take over it. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN is an extremely secure VPN. In addition to industry-standard security features, it also provides access to secure VPN protocols, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection, advanced security features like PFS and FDE, and it even lets you secure your account with 2FA.

Proton VPN Privacy Features Privacy Features

Proton VPN Logging Policy
📍 IP Address
🌐 Web Traffic
📧 Email Address
⏱️ Connection Timestamps
💽 Bandwidth Usage

Proton VPN provides excellent privacy, as it has a straightforward no-logs policy. The VPN doesn’t store usage logs, which could track your IP address and web browsing. What’s more, it also doesn’t monitor bandwidth usage. It only collects connection timestamps (but only of your last login attempt), payment information to process transactions, and your email address, which it needs to set up your account and communicate with you. 

What’s more, I also like how the provider’s no-logs policy has been independently audited in 2022. Plus, Proton VPN also publishes a yearly transparency report, which details how many requests for user data the provider has received. This makes it much easier to trust this VPN with your privacy.

Also, this is one of the only VPNs (alongside Private Internet Access) that has open-source apps. This means anyone can inspect the code for security issues. However, unlike Private Internet Access, Proton VPN went the extra mile and also had all of its apps’ code independently audited. 

Finally, the VPN is headquartered in Switzerland, which is excellent for privacy. That’s because the country is not part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, which are countries that collect and share surveillance data with each other. And Switzerland has very strong data protection and privacy laws.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN is one of the most privacy-friendly VPNs on the market. It comes with a strict no-logs policy that has also been independently audited, and it also releases transparency reports. What’s more, all of its apps are open-source and audited, and the VPN is also located in a privacy-friendly country. 

Proton VPN Additional Features Additional Features

Proton VPN provides access to the following extra features:

Split-Tunneling

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's split-tunneling tool in its Windows app.

Proton VPN comes with split-tunneling, which lets you pick which apps and sites use the VPN connection, and which apps and sites use your regular internet connection. The provider’s split-tunneling tool is available on Windows and Android — if you were looking for split-tunneling on macOS as well, I recommend trying out Private Internet Access instead since it has this feature on macOS, Windows, and Android, and it lets you split-tunnel apps and sites too.

Split-tunneling is a really useful tool. For example, you can use it to speed up your VPN connection by only routing specific traffic through it (like Netflix or P2P traffic). Also, you can use split-tunneling to exclude sites that block VPN connections (such as some bank sites) from the tunnel.

I’m especially happy that Proton VPN allows you to split-tunnel both apps and sites — some top competitors only allow you to split-tunnel app traffic. Being able to also split-tunnel websites is more convenient, as you don’t need to split-tunnel the entire browser to achieve this. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN provides access to a very good split-tunneling tool on Windows and Android. It lets you split-tunnel both app and site traffic, and it also works very well. 

NetShield

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's NetShield feature in its Windows app.

Proton VPN’s NetShield is a very good ad blocker that gets rid of ads, stops ad trackers from spying on your online browsing, and prevents you from accidentally connecting to malicious websites. NetShield is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. 

I tested NetShield over the course of several hours, and it always worked very well. It stopped all ads from loading on media outlets, and it also got rid of search engine ads — however, it couldn’t block YouTube ads (unlike Private Internet Access’ MACE feature). On the plus side, it’s really good at blocking shady sites, as it always stopped me from accessing unsafe HTTP websites. 

I think NetShield is very good, but if you’re looking for more functionality, consider NordVPN — its ad blocker (called Threat Protection) also blocks ads, trackers, and shady sites, but it’s also able to protect you from malware-infected downloads.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN’s NetShield ad blocker is a really good feature. It gets rid of almost all ads (it only struggles with YouTube ads), it protects your privacy against trackers, and it’s great at blocking shady sites. 

VPN Accelerator

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's VPN Accelerator feature in its Windows app.

The VPN Accelerator tool uses speed-enhancing technology to boost your VPN connection speeds. The speed boost is most noticeable when you use it while connected to distant servers — but you can notice improvements on nearby servers as well. Proton VPN’s VPN Accelerator feature is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. 

I tested this feature on 10+ distant servers, and it always provided me with noticeable speed boosts. On average, I had 40–45% faster VPN speeds when I enabled this feature — most sites loaded much faster, and it also took me less time to download large files. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN’s VPN Accelerator is an excellent way to boost VPN speeds, especially on distant servers. Whenever I use it to surf the web while connected to remote servers, my speeds always increase by about 40–45%.

Secure Core

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's Secure Core servers in its Windows app.

Proton VPN’s Secure Core feature works like a double VPN connection — it sends your traffic through 2 VPN servers, adding an extra layer of encryption to secure your data. However, in this case, one of the servers is located in a privacy-friendly country (Switzerland, Sweden, or Iceland). In addition, each Secure Core server is headquartered in ultra-secure data centers, like a former military base for example. Proton VPN has Secure Core servers in 65+ countries. 

Just keep in mind that Secure Core servers will cause some slowdowns. That’s because your data is encrypted twice — plus, it also gets routed through an additional server location. In my tests, the slowdowns weren’t that bad, but they were slightly noticeable since my VPN speeds decreased by about 20% on average. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN provides additional security and privacy via its Secure Core servers. These servers send your data through 2 servers, one of which is located in a privacy-friendly country and is headquartered in an ultra-secure location. 

Obfuscation

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's Stealth protocol in its Android app.

Proton VPN’s proprietary protocol (Stealth) obfuscates your VPN traffic, hiding it. Basically, obfuscation changes metadata inside the VPN connection to make it look like a regular internet connection. 

Obfuscation is normally useful in restrictive countries, but I don’t really recommend Proton VPN for that. That’s because the provider doesn’t work in China, and it also only maybe works in other restrictive countries. 

That said, you can still use the VPN’s obfuscation to enjoy additional privacy. Since it hides your VPN traffic, your ISP and government won’t know you’re using a VPN. 

The Stealth protocol is only available on macOS, Android, and iOS. The availability is decent, but it feels like a missed opportunity to not include this feature on Windows — most top competitors that have obfuscation, support it on Windows.

To be honest, I think ExpressVPN’s obfuscation is much better — in addition to providing privacy, it also works without issues in restrictive countries like China. Plus, the provider supports obfuscation via all protocols and on all of its apps. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN gives you the option to obfuscate your VPN data with its Stealth protocol. While it’s good for enjoying additional privacy, it’s a shame this tool won’t help you consistently access the web in restrictive countries. 

Alternative Routing

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's Alternative Routing feature in its Windows app.

This feature is intended to help you gain access to Proton VPN’s service when it’s blocked. This includes access to Proton VPN’s website and VPN service. What this tool basically does is try alternative routing methods that are less likely to be blocked (like Amazon Web Services). This feature is available on Proton VPN’s Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS apps. 

But this tool is good for bypassing blocks on restrictive networks, not in restrictive countries. That’s because Proton VPN doesn’t work in places like China, and it only maybe works in other restrictive regions — if this is a deal-breaker, just go with ExpressVPN instead. On the plus side, Alternative Routing might help you access the VPN service on networks that block VPN connections, like workplace and school networks. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN’s Alternative Routing method is intended to help you access the VPN’s service if it’s blocked. While it won’t help you in restrictive countries, it’s still a good option to try on workplace and school networks. 

Tor Support and Tor over VPN

Screenshot showing an .onion website loaded in the Tor browser while connected to Proton VPN.

I like how Proton VPN allows Tor traffic across all of its servers. This means you can connect to the VPN before accessing the Tor network — this way, you encrypt all the data you share with the privacy network, and also your real IP address won’t be leaked if the Tor network suffers a leak.

Just remember that using Tor with a VPN will cause noticeable slowdowns. The Tor network is already pretty slow since it encrypts your data multiple times — plus, there aren’t enough Tor servers for how many people use the privacy network. When I used Proton VPN to access .onion links, it usually took about 13–15 seconds for pages to load.

And it’s great that Proton VPN has Tor over VPN servers, which automatically send your data through the Tor network. Due to that, you don’t need to use the Tor browser to access dark web sites — you can access them directly in regular browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Proton VPN has Tor over VPN servers in 5+ countries. This feature is very similar to NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature.

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's Tor over VPN servers in its Windows app.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN allows Tor traffic on all of its servers, which is great. What’s more, it also has Tor over VPN servers that let you access .onion links in regular browsers. 

Profiles

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's Profiles feature in its Windows app.

Proton VPN’s Profiles feature allows you to customize your VPN connections. You just pick your desired settings, and you can then launch the custom connection with just 1 click from the Profiles tab in the connection screen. The Profiles feature is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. 

This feature provides tons of customization — you can name the profile, color-code it, choose which protocol it will use, pick which country it will connect to, and also select which server it will connect to. There are also predefined profiles for Secure Core servers, P2P servers, and Tor over VPN servers.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN allows you to quickly customize connection preferences via the Profiles feature. This tool lets you set up custom profiles that instantly connect to desired countries and server locations using your protocol of choice. 

Proton VPN Streaming Support Streaming Support

Proton VPN Works With
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Max
HBO Max
Disney+
Hulu
YouTube TV

Proton VPN claims to work with 40+ streaming platforms, so you get really good streaming support. It’s compatible with tons of top platforms, such as Netflix, Max, HBO Max, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. In addition, it also works with other streaming services, including fuboTV, ESPN+, Sling TV, F1 TV, and Blick TV.

Unfortunately, the VPN is missing a smart DNS — this is a streaming feature that allows you to access movies and TV shows on devices that don’t work with VPN apps (like gaming consoles or certain smart TVs). If you were mainly interested in using a smart DNS, I recommend checking out ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, or NordVPN instead.

On the plus side, Proton VPN is a really good Netflix VPN. It works with 10+ Netflix libraries, including popular ones like Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix Germany. So, you get a really good variety. 

Proton VPN Netflix Support
Netflix US
Netflix UK
Netflix Canada
Netflix Japan
Netflix Germany

Bottom Line: Proton VPN provides very good streaming support, as it accesses 40+ streaming platforms (including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more). What’s more, it also works with 10+ Netflix libraries, including many popular ones. The only downside is that there’s no smart DNS.

Proton VPN Torrenting Support Torrenting Support

Screenshot showing a torrent being downloaded in qBittorrent while connected to Proton VPN.

Proton VPN has really good P2P support, as it allows torrenting on servers in 75+ countries. So, it’s pretty easy for users to download torrents on a nearby server location to get the fastest download speeds.

The VPN also provides fast downloads — when I downloaded a 12.74 GB file while connected to a distant server, it took around 30 minutes for the download the finish, which is pretty good. Plus, you also get access to split-tunneling, which allows you to boost your speeds. 

What’s more, Proton VPN supports port forwarding, which lets you connect to more peers to get faster downloads. Whenever I downloaded torrents with port forwarding enabled, my P2P speeds increased by about 10%, which is great. 

Finally, you also get very strong security for torrenting. The VPN comes with a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, and full leak protection. On top of that, it also has NetShield, which protects you from shady P2P sites and gets rid of potentially malicious ads on torrenting platforms. 

That said, I still think Private Internet Access is better for torrenting. It allows torrenting on servers in 90+ countries, comes with port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy servers (change your IP but don’t have encryption to offer very fast downloads), and provides high-end security and privacy for torrenting. Plus, I actually consider it to be the best P2P VPN on the market.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN is a great P2P support — it supports torrenting on servers in 75+ countries, it provides good download speeds, it allows port forwarding, and it provides strong security and privacy for downloading torrents.

Proton VPN Gaming Support Gaming Support

Screenshot showing a match of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive while connected to Proton VPN.

In my tests, Proton VPN provided me with a great gaming experience. I used it to play 5+ matches of Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, and I always maintained stable ping — even when connected to distant servers. 

Also, the VPN protects you against DDoS attacks, as it hides your IP address — this prevents wannabe hackers from using your IP to target your network with DDoS attacks that force you offline. I also asked the provider if its servers have anti-DDoS protection, so that nobody can DDoS your connection to them. Unfortunately, the reps couldn’t confirm that for me, as they said it’s sensitive information. But given how security-focused Proton VPN is, it’s safe to say its servers are secured against DDoS attacks.

Plus, I’m really happy that the VPN has router support — this way, you can use the VPN to play online games on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps, like gaming consoles for example. The VPN also has step-by-step router setup guides, so the whole process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. 

However, Proton VPN sadly doesn’t come with cloud gaming support — this means the provider can’t guarantee its VPN will work with platforms that stream video games to portable devices (like laptops and mobile phones). I was able to game on GeForce Now using it, but I can’t promise you’ll have the same results. If you want guaranteed cloud gaming support, check out ExpressVPN instead.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN is pretty good for gaming, as it maintains stable ping and speeds. What’s more, it also prevents DDoS attacks, and it comes with router support — it’s just a shame it’s missing cloud gaming support (although it worked with a cloud gaming site in my tests).

 

Proton VPN Server Network Server Network

Proton VPN Server Network
Number of Servers4,500+
Number of Countries90+
P2P Servers (servers in 75+ countries)
Virtual Locations
Dedicated IP Addresses (but only for businesses)

Proton VPN has a large server network, consisting of 4,500+ across 90+ countries. This makes it pretty easy for most users to use a server near their location to get the fastest speeds — and it’s also simple for users to avoid overcrowded servers, which cause slowdowns (Proton VPN even displays the server load, which helps you see which servers are overcrowded). Still, if 90+ countries is not enough for you, there are competitors with even larger networks. For example ExpressVPN has servers in 100+ countries, and Surfshark has servers in 95+ countries.

In addition to P2P servers in 20+ countries, Proton VPN also has other types of servers:

  • Secure Core servers — These servers route your traffic through 2 VPN servers instead of just 1 VPN server, providing additional security. And when you use Secure Core servers, one of them is always located in a privacy-friendly and ultra-secure location. 
  • Tor over VPN servers — These servers automatically send your traffic through the Tor network. Due to that, you’re able to browse .onion sites in regular browsers (like Chrome or Firefox) without needing to download and use the Tor browser. 

The provider also uses virtual locations, which are servers that provide you with an IP from the country you connect to, but they’re physically located in a different region. I like how Proton VPN is transparent about its use of virtual locations, as they’re marked with a noticeable icon in its apps. What’s more, I ran tests on 5+ virtual locations, and they always provided me with the correct IP.

And while Proton VPN has dedicated IP addresses, they’re not available to regular VPN users. Instead, only businesses get access to them. Unfortunately, the VPN doesn’t mention what countries it offers dedicated IP addresses in — to find out, you need to contact its customer support team (and be a business owner). If you were mainly interested in using dedicated IP addresses, try NordVPN since it provides paid access to dedicated IPs in 15+ countries.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN has a really good server network, with locations in most parts of the world. It also has dedicated P2P servers, Secure Core servers, Tor over VPN servers, and dedicated IP addresses (but they’re only available to businesses).

Proton VPN Speed Tests Speed Tests

Since I travel very often, I can’t perform the speed tests for my reviews. Because my location changes, so do my original internet speeds — and this, in turn, impacts my VPN speed test results. 

Due to that, I decided to ask my friend from Romania to handle the speed tests in my reviews. He doesn’t travel like me, so his original speeds don’t change. That means he can provide you all with consistent VPN speed test results. He also told me that, for this review, he used the WireGuard protocol in these tests.

My friend first ran a speed test without being connected to the VPN — these are his original speeds: 

Screenshot displaying original internet speeds in Romania.

After that, he tested the speeds on a nearby server in Serbia. His results were really positive — there were some slowdowns, but they were really minor. He was still able to surf sites without having to wait for them to load, and all the HD videos he watched loaded instantly. What’s more, he didn’t experience any lag while playing online games. 

Screenshot displaying internet speeds while connected to a Proton VPN server in Serbia.

Next, he tried out a distant server in the US. He reported very good speeds, and he was pleasantly surprised there were barely any slowdowns. All the sites he browsed continued to load instantly, and so did HD videos. 4K videos took 2 seconds to load, but there was no buffering while skipping through them. 

Screenshot displaying internet speeds while connected to a Proton VPN server in the US.

Finally, he ran a speed test on a distant VPN server in New Zealand. He experienced more noticeable slowdowns, but it wasn’t that bad — websites took around 2 seconds to load, HD videos loaded in 2 seconds and didn’t buffer, 4K videos took 4 seconds to load and there was only minor buffering at the start, and his VoIP calls never dropped or froze.

Screenshot displaying internet speeds while connected to a Proton VPN server in New Zealand.

I can also confirm I always have a similar experience when using Proton VPN while traveling. I generally maintain very fast speeds on nearby servers and on most distant servers — and I only experience some minor slowdowns on very remote servers. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN provides very good speeds across all of its servers. It maintains fast speeds for browsing, streaming, gaming, torrenting, and more — and it only suffers minor slowdowns on connections to very distant servers. 

Proton VPN Censorship Bypassing Censorship Bypassing

Proton VPN Works in
🇨🇳 China
🇪🇬 EgyptMaybe
🇹🇷 TurkeyMaybe
🇷🇺 RussiaMaybe
🇦🇪 UAEMaybe

Proton VPN is not ideal for accessing the web in restrictive countries. Its support reps confirmed the VPN service doesn’t work in China, and they also told me it might only work in places like Egypt, Turkey, Russia, and the UAE 50% of the time. I can also confirm this on my end, as I was never able to bypass restrictions in China with this VPN. 

If your main goal is to freely surf the web in restrictive regions, try ExpressVPN instead. It provides obfuscation across all servers and protocols, it changes its servers’ IP addresses very often, and it’s the best VPN for China on the market.

Bottom Line: I don’t really recommend using Proton VPN in restrictive countries. It doesn’t work in China, and it only maybe works in other places (Russia, the UAE, Turkey, and Egypt). 

Proton VPN Apps and Ease of Use Apps and Ease of Use

Proton VPN has apps for tons of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TV, Fire TV, and Chromebook. It also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and it supports manual router setups. 

I really like how easy it is to install any Proton VPN app. It really doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to install Proton VPN, whether you’re on mobile or desktop. 

Also, the VPN allows 10 connections, which is great since it’s on the higher end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. That said, if you have a really big family or tons of devices, this might not be enough for you — in that case, try Private Internet Access or Surfshark instead, as they both support unlimited connections. 

Android & iOS 

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's Android app, displaying the connection screen, server list, and settings.

I’m really happy with the provider’s iOS app and Android app. They’re very simple to navigate thanks to their intuitive design — and I especially like how each app has a quick-connect option that automatically connects you to the fastest VPN server for your location. 

To be honest, both mobile apps are feature-rich and secure — you get access to WireGuard, a kill switch, NetShield, VPN Accelerator, and the Profiles feature. The only difference is that only the Android app comes with split-tunneling (but this isn’t a huge drawback, as very few VPNs have split-tunneling on their iOS apps). I actually think that Proton VPN is one of the best VPNs for Android and iOS devices.

Bottom Line: ProtonVPN’s apps for iOS and Android are really good. They’re very simple to use, have an intuitive design, and are also feature-rich — the only downside is that the iOS app doesn’t come with split-tunneling. 

Windows & macOS

Screenshot showing the connection window and server list in Proton VPN's Windows app.

Proton VPN’s apps for Windows and macOS are really good for beginners. On top of a quick-connect tool, there’s also a digital map that you can use to quickly connect to your desired VPN server. What’s more, I really like how all settings and features come with short, helpful explanations. 

And both desktop apps are feature-rich — they both provide access to the Profiles feature, a kill switch, the Wireguard VPN protocol, the VPN Accelerator tool, and NetShield. However, only the Windows app comes with split-tunneling, and only the macOS app provides access to the Stealth VPN protocol. If you were interested in using split-tunneling on macOS, try ExpressVPN instead. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN has really good Windows and macOS apps — they’re both very intuitive and beginner-friendly, and they’re also both packed with tons of features. 

Linux

This is one of the best VPN services for Linux on the market — it provides access to both a CLI and a GUI Linux app, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and advanced users. What’s more, Proton VPN supports tons of Linux distros, including Debian, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, Kali Linux, and Elementary OS. 

On top of that, the Linux app is also really secure. For starters, it has a kill switch and DNS leak protection, and it uses OpenVPN. In addition, it also provides access to NetShield, which keeps you safe from shady sites and malicious ads. 

Bottom Line: I think Proton VPN is a great choice for Linux users. It supports 5+ popular distros, it has both a CLI and a GUI app, and the Linux app is very secure. 

Browser Extensions

Screenshot showing the connection screen, server list, and settings in Proton VPN's browser extension.

The provider’s browser extensions are really good — just keep in mind they’re only available on its paid plans. 

The interface is simple to navigate, and it’s also somewhat familiar to the mobile and desktop app interface. There are helpful explanations for all settings, and it doesn’t take more than 5 seconds to find and connect to a server (plus, there’s also a quick-connect tool). 

And the extensions are also really secure — they provide access to Secure Core servers, and they also come with WebRTC leak protection. What’s more, split-tunneling is also available (you can use it to disable the VPN for specific websites). 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN has really good extensions for Chrome and Firefox. They’re only available on the paid plan, but they provide access to all servers (including the Secure Core ones), strong security, and split-tunneling. 

Router Support

The provider has great router support, as it allows manual setups on different router models and firmwares. It supports 5+ types of routers, including Tomato, FreshTomato, AsusWRT, DD-WRT, and pfSense. 

What’s more, the VPN has step-by-step tutorials that make the setup pretty straightforward. All of the guides come with screenshots, so it really shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to finish the setup. 

If you’re willing to pay extra, you can also get an Invizbox 2 router. This is an open-source router that has been specifically configured to easily connect to your Proton VPN account. 

Still, if you’re only interested in using a VPN on your router, you should try ExpressVPN instead. This is one of the only VPN services on the market that comes with a dedicated router app, which is much easier to set up than manually configuring a VPN on your router — plus, the router app is also very user-friendly. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN has good router support, as it works on 5+ types of routers. You also get access to helpful tutorials that simplify the entire setup process.

Proton VPN Pricing and Refund Policy Pricing and Refund Policy

Proton VPN Pricing
Starting Price$3.59/month
Free Plan
Money-Back Guarantee30 days
CouponsProton VPN Coupon 50% OFF

Proton VPN’s prices are affordable, as they start at $3.59/month. I think the price is fair since the provider offers very good value — that said, other top competitors (like NordVPN and Private Internet Access) provide similar or better value, and are much cheaper. 

The provider has the best free VPN plan on the market — that’s mainly because it provides unlimited data (most free VPNs limit you to 2–10 GB per month). On top of that, you also get access to strong security and privacy features. However, you’re limited to servers in 5 countries, and can only connect 1 device. Also, you don’t get streaming and P2P support or access to other features, like split-tunneling and NetShield.

And Proton VPN’s paid version comes with 2 tier-based subscriptions: 

  • Proton VPN Plus — Adds access to all of the VPN’s features, including all of its servers, its NetShield ad blocker, streaming and P2P support, 10 connections, and more.
  • Proton VPN Unlimited — Includes access to the VPN, and also adds access to the company’s other security services: Proton Mail, Proton Calendar, Proton Drive, and Proton Pass. 

The VPN accepts several payment methods, including credit/debit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, Bitcoin, and cash. I’m happy to see Bitcoin and cash payments, as they both provide more privacy than standard payment methods. 

Proton VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, but it’s prorated. So, you’ll be charged for each day you use the VPN until the 30-day limit — for example, if you use Proton VPN for 15 days and ask for a refund, you’ll only get 50% of it. This is honestly weird, as most top competitors provide a full refund. 

Bottom Line: Proton VPN has affordable prices and the best free plan out there. Its paid version comes with 2 tier-based subscriptions, the provider accepts multiple payment options (including Bitcoin and cash), and there’s a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Proton VPN Customer Support Customer Support

Proton VPN Customer Support
💬 Live Chat
📧 Email Support
📚 Support Library
📞 Phone Support

Proton VPN provides access to several customer support channels, including live chat, email support, and a support library that consists of FAQs, setup tutorials, and troubleshooting guides.

The provider has live chat support, but it’s unfortunately not available 24/7 (like it is with ExpressVPN and NordVPN). Instead, it’s only available from 9 AM to 5 PM CET. Also, only paid users get access to live chat support. 

On the plus side, whenever I tested the VPN’s live chat, I had a good experience. I was always connected to a live chat rep in less than 10 seconds, and all reps were able to accurately answer my questions. 

Screenshot showing a conversation with a live chat rep from Proton VPN.

I also tried out the provider’s email support, and it’s really good. I always received a reply in less than 24 hours, and all the answers I received were very friendly, detailed, and helpful. 

And the VPN service’s support library is pretty good as well. You get access to tons of support articles that are really in-depth — so in-depth that I rarely had to reach out to the customer reps with further questions.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN provides great customer support via live chat, email support, and a really detailed support library. My only complaint is that the live chat support is not available 24/7. 

Proton VPN Review 2024 — Final Words Final Words

Proton VPN is excellent for privacy and people who want a free VPN. It comes with tons of high-end privacy features, including an audited no-logs policy and open-source apps that have also been audited. What’s more, it’s one of the only free VPNs out there with unlimited data. In addition, it also has great streaming support, 4,500+ servers in 90+ countries, fast speeds on all servers, and easy-to-use apps.

There are only a few minor issues — the VPN is missing a smart DNS, it doesn’t work in China, and its live chat isn’t available 24/7 (like it is with most top VPNs). 

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick Proton VPN
Server Network4,500+ servers in 90+ countries
Key FeaturesIndustry-leading free plan, high-end privacy
Works in China
Apps
Number of Connections10
Free Plan✅ (unlimited data)
Money-Back Guarantee30 days (prorated)

protonvpn.com

Proton VPN Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Yes, Proton VPN provides excellent security since it comes with all essential VPN security features, including a kill switch, DNS leak protection, military-grade encryption, and a no-logs policy (that has also been audited). In addition, it also provides access to very good VPN protocols, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, full-disk encryption, and two-factor authentication. 

What’s more, it also has other additional security features. It has Secure Core servers that send your data through 2 servers (one of which is located in a privacy-friendly location), and NetShield, which protects you from shady ads and malicious sites. 

Finally, this is one of the only VPNs out there with open-source apps. Not only that, but its apps have also been independently audited (the auditing firm didn’t find any major security flaws). 

Yes, in fact it has one of my favorite free VPN plans on the market. That’s because it allows unlimited data, which means there is no limit on how much you can use the VPN service — most free VPN plans limit you to 2–5 GB of data per month. On top of that, the free plan also comes with strong security and privacy features. 

That said, the provider’s free plan has some limitations — you can only use servers in 5 countries, you can only connect 1 device, and you don’t get streaming and P2P support. So I strongly recommend using the free plan to test the VPN before committing to one of its affordable plans. There’s also a prorated 30-day refund policy in case you’re not fully happy with the VPN after upgrading to the paid version.

No, as Proton VPN has a strict no-logs policy that doesn’t collect your IP address or browsing traffic (what sites you access and what files you download, for example). What’s more, the provider’s no-logs policy has passed an independent security audit, which makes it easier to trust this VPN. 

In addition, all of Proton VPN’s apps are open-source, meaning anyone can inspect the code to make sure there’s no hidden logging going on in the background. Even better, all of its apps have also been independently audited. 

Yes, Proton VPN accesses Netflix without any issues. What’s more, it also provides really good variety, as it’s compatible with 10+ Netflix libraries — including popular ones like Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix Canada. 

On top of that, the VPN also works with 40+ other top streaming sites. This includes popular platforms like BBC iPlayer, Disney+, YouTube TV, Hulu, and HBO max. 

Yes, as Proton VPN has an Android TV and a Fire TV app. So, you can easily download and install its smart TV apps from your device’s app store. Its apps are really well-designed since the interface is intuitive and simple to navigate with your remote. 

If your smart TV runs an OS that doesn’t support VPN apps, you’ll need to set up Proton VPN on your router. Luckily, the provider is compatible with many router models and firmwares, and it also provides access to helpful step-by-step setup guides. Once you finish the setup, all the devices in your home that use your router (including your smart TV) will use the provider’s connection.

Unfortunately, no — I talked with several support reps and they all confirmed the VPN service can’t access the free web in China. In addition, I have also never been able to use Proton VPN to circumvent the Great Firewall while traveling through China. 

If this is a deal-breaker for you, I recommend going with ExpressVPN instead. That provider works in China without issues — in addition, it can also access the free web in other restrictive regions, like the UAE, Russia, and Turkey (Proton VPN only works in those places 50% of the time). 

Yes, the provider has great P2P support — it has dedicated torrenting servers in 75+ countries, provides good download speeds, and it allows port forwarding (which can increase P2P speeds). Plus, it has strong security features for torrenting, including a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and an ad blocker. 

That said, I think Private Internet Access is a better option. For starters, it allows P2P traffic on servers in 90+ countries. And while it too has fast P2P speeds and port forwarding, it also has SOCKS5 proxy support, which changes your IP address but doesn’t encrypt your traffic (so it provides very fast P2P speeds). Plus, it too has a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, and a really good ad blocker.

All VPNs cause slowdowns, but Proton VPN minimizes thembased on my tests, it maintains very good speeds on both nearby and distant servers. You might experience some slowdowns on very distant servers, but they’re not that noticeable.

I believe Proton VPN is able to maintain great speeds due to several factors. First, it has a large server network (4,500+ servers in 90+ countries), so it’s easy to avoid overcrowded servers and use nearby servers to get the fastest speeds. Also, it uses very fast protocols like WireGuard. Finally, it also provides access to features that increase VPN speeds, like split-tunneling and VPN Accelerator.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.4 / 5. Vote count: 433

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Share this on your social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

TREVOR JAMES

Full Time Digital Nomad

About The Author

Hi! I’m Trevor James, a Canadian YouTuber who travels the world full-time. I make videos about food, travel, and cybersecurity. I have been traveling the world and making videos for over 10 years. You can read more about me here.

Proton VPN

Save 50%

Get Deal

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.4 / 5. Vote count: 433

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Share this on your social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?