Proton VPN Review 2024: Fast, Secure, and Private

Proton VPN offers fast speeds and high levels of security and privacy. But it doesn’t have a 24/7 live chat option and it’s not the cheapest VPN available.
4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website

VPN
Proton VPN
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost
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Proton VPN offers a solid VPN product with fast speeds and excellent security and privacy measures. It’s also easy to use, provides a variety of features, and can unblock streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

We like that Proton VPN has a strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court and is backed up by Swiss data privacy laws. Proton’s no-logs policy is further backed up by an independent security audit from Securitum.

We don’t love that Proton VPN is more expensive than average (starting at $4.49/mo), but it’s not a deal breaker because of the quality you get. Check out our Proton VPN review to see in-depth details about speed tests, features, customer support, and more.

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website
VPN
Proton VPN
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Proton VPN overview

Price $4.99–$9.99/mo
Free version Yes
Max # of connected devices 10 (one for free version)
# of servers 4,400+ in 91 countries (100+ for free version)
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, Stealth
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Netflix access Yes (with paid version)
Details Get Proton VPN

All About Cookies Rating
4.9
Editorial Rating
“Proton VPN is a safe and trustworthy VPN provider that’s fast, unblocks streaming content, and offers high-level privacy and security. And its no-logs policy was tested in court, plus Proton VPN headquarters is located in a country with strict data privacy laws. 

But Proton VPN isn’t the cheapest option available. And certain VPNs provide access to more servers.”

In this article
Proton VPN overview
Who is Proton VPN best for?
Proton VPN prices and subscriptions
Proton VPN features
Proton VPN test results
Proton VPN compatibility
Proton VPN customer support
Proton VPN alternatives
Proton VPN FAQs
Bottom line: Is Proton VPN safe?

Who is Proton VPN best for?

  • Recommended for people who want a fast VPN that doesn’t compromise on privacy or security and can unblock multiple streaming services.

Proton VPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service owned by Proton AG, a company that was founded in 2014 by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) scientists who wanted to create an encrypted email service. Proton’s first product was Proton Mail, but other products include Proton Calendar, Proton Drive, Proton Pass, and Proton VPN.

The main focus of Proton products is to provide you with as much security and privacy as possible. This is shown with Proton VPN through its strict no-logs policy and its headquarters in a country with strong data privacy laws.

Proton VPN also strives to offer you an easy-to-use interface and essential features such as a kill switch and split tunneling.

Overall, Proton VPN is an excellent product. We wish it were slightly cheaper to compete with certain other VPNs, but we were impressed with its fast speeds and commitment to privacy.

We weren’t quite as impressed with not having a live chat feature if you’re not a paid subscriber. And the fact that the live chat isn’t 24/7 (and is associated with a European time zone) could be problematic if you need quick support.

ProtonVPN pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • Headquarters in a country (Switzerland) that’s not part of 5, 9, or 14 Eyes Alliances
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming content
  • Apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and more
Cons
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost
  • Live chat support is only available for paid subscribers and is not 24/7

Proton VPN prices and subscriptions

The Proton VPN Plus plan is the paid subscription service for Proton VPN. Details about the Proton VPN Free plan are below.

Proton VPN offers three subscription plans for its paid service depending on how long you want to sign up for. There aren’t any differences between plan features other than the overall cost and the length of the plans.

The cheapest option for Proton VPN: Two-year plan for $4.49/mo

The most expensive option for Proton VPN: Monthly plan for $9.99/mo

Your best bet for getting the lowest Proton VPN price is to choose one of the longer plans. This is often an easy way to save money on a VPN because it lowers your VPN cost per month. But it also locks you into a plan for more time.

Note that Proton VPN isn’t the cheapest service around. In fact, it tends to skew toward being more expensive than many other VPNs. Here’s a look at the lowest monthly options for some of the most popular VPNs:

While not the most expensive VPN provider compared to other services, Proton VPN costs more than double some of the options on this list.

Proton VPN cost

Plan 1-Month Plan 1-Year Plan 2-Year Plan
Lowest Price
Price per month $9.99/mo $4.99/mo $4.49/mo
Price per year $119.88/yr $71.88/yr $59.88/yr

Proton VPN payment options include:

  • Credit card
  • PayPal

You can choose to pay in U.S. dollars (USD), Swiss francs (CHF), or euros (EUR). We didn’t see any options to purchase paid plans with bitcoin or other types of cryptocurrencies.

When paying for Proton VPN, you can choose US dollars, Swiss francs, or euros.

Proton VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for a refund of any unused portion of the service period. In other words, your refund is prorated according to how many days you have left of the original 30. This means you would likely need to cancel your service immediately (the same day) after signing up to receive a full refund.

Proton VPN Free vs. Proton VPN Plus comparison

You have the option to choose between two types of Proton VPN plans: Proton VPN Free or Proton VPN Plus. Here’s how they stack up against each other:

Features Proton VPN Free Proton VPN Plus
Server count 100+ 4,400+
VPN speed Medium High
# of devices 1 10
No-logs policy
Streaming support
P2P & torrenting support
NetShield ad blocker
Double VPN (Secure Core)
Tor over VPN support

The Proton Free plan offers unlimited bandwidth and a strict no-logs policy. But you’re limited to using one device at a time and only have access to about 100 servers in three countries (U.S., Netherlands, and Japan).

The Proton VPN Plus plan starts from $4.49/mo and offers loads more features compared to the free plan. This includes access to over 4,400 servers, faster speeds, and up to 10 simultaneous connections.

Perhaps most importantly for certain users, Proton VPN Plus also provides access to streaming service support. So Proton VPN Plus is the better choice if you want to unblock regional streaming content on services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Proton VPN features

We primarily tested Proton VPN using the Windows desktop app, so the available features could vary depending on the app you use. But most of the features we mention here should be available across a variety of devices.

This includes over 4,400 servers to choose from in 91 countries. You can also expect to have the same no-logs policy across the board.

The interface itself might vary, but we found Proton VPN was easy to navigate and use on the Windows app.

Proton VPN's key features include:

  1. Server count and countries
  2. No-logs policy
  3. Kill switch
  4. Split tunneling
  5. Encryption
  6. VPN protocol
  7. Secure Core
  8. Port forwarding
  9. NetShield
  10. VPN Accelerator
  11. DNS Leak Protection

1. Server count and countries

  • 4,400+ servers in 91 countries

Proton VPN offers access to over 4,400 servers in 91 countries. That’s an average number of servers and server locations compared to popular VPNs. For instance, Proton has a smaller network than NordVPN, but it offers more servers than Surfshark. 

You can find the complete Proton VPN server list on the main page of the Windows app. This includes all the available countries that have dropdown menus for individual servers.

Proton VPN has over 1,600 servers, which is below average compared to the number of servers offered by other VPNs.

Having more servers and countries to choose from is typically better for multiple reasons. This includes having a variety of servers to choose from to meet your needs, whether it's unblocking a streaming service or torrenting some files.

More servers could also help keep your internet speeds (while connected to the VPN) more consistent. A VPN could suffer from slow speeds if it has tons of users and they’re all using the same servers.

You can check server load (how many people there are connected to a server depicted as a percentage) by clicking into a country’s server list and hovering over the circle to the left of the server name. A circle that’s partly green has a relatively low server load and shouldn’t have much effect on your internet speeds.

You can check server load easily on Proton VPN by looking at the color of the circle next to the server name. A partly green circle has low server load, while a red circle is likely overloaded and may have slow speeds.

But a circle that’s red is likely overloaded with connections. For example, Iceland had a bunch of servers at 100% load when we checked. Though, there was one Tor server with a lower load.

Proton VPN servers with red circles next to the server name are overloaded with connections and will likely have slow speeds.

Types of servers

Proton VPN includes icons in its server list to denote possible uses for a specific server.

Proton VPN offers many different types of servers, including P2P/Torrent, streaming, smart routing (optimized for speed and security), and Tor.

Here are a few of the icons you might run into:

  • P2P/BitTorrent: Shown as two arrows, these P2P servers are optimized for torrenting and file sharing.
  • Streaming: Shown as a play button, these servers are optimized for different streaming services.
  • Smart Routing: Shown as a sphere or globe, these servers are optimized for high speed and security in difficult-to-serve locations.
  • Tor: Shown as an onion, these servers are set up to route your online traffic through the Tor network. Tor servers are often slower, but provide higher levels of privacy.

2. No-logs policy and headquarters

  • Proton VPN logs policy: No logs
  • Proton VPN headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Proton VPN has a strict no-logs policy and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Proton doesn’t log or track anything that could compromise your privacy, including the websites you visit, your internet protocol (IP) address, your traffic, or session lengths.

Proton is able to back up its no-logs policy because of its location in Switzerland, which has strong data protection and privacy laws. Switzerland also isn’t part of the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes Alliances, which are global surveillance networks.

The Proton VPN no-logs policy was put to the test in January 2019 when the Swiss court system approved a data request from a foreign country. But since Proton VPN doesn’t keep logs of customer IP information, it wasn’t able to provide any requested information to the foreign party.

Proton has also had independent security audits done of its no-logs policy, of which the most recent was completed in April 2023 by Securitum. Securitum examined Proton VPN's infrastructure and server-side operations to determine if it complies with its no-logs policy and security standards. 

The Securitum security report successfully showed that Proton VPN’s no-logs policy provides high levels of privacy. It confirmed that Proton doesn't keep any metadata logs, doesn't log VPN activity, and doesn't engage in any practices that might compromise privacy.

Not every VPN has done a third-party audit of its no-logs policy, so it’s helpful that Proton has had independent experts review and test its no-logs policy.

3. Kill switch

Proton VPN provides a kill switch feature on the homepage of its app. The icon looks like a light switch.

Proton VPN comes with a kill switch feature that can be toggled on, off, or to permanent status. We tested the Permanent Kill Switch and found it worked well.

You have three options with the Proton kill switch:

  1. Kill Switch Off: Turns off the kill switch feature.
  2. Kill Switch On: Turns on the kill switch feature.
  3. Permanent Kill Switch: Turns on a stronger version of the kill switch feature.

We tested the kill switch by first turning it on (Kill Switch On) and then connecting to the VPN. We then attempted to disrupt our internet connection by turning on airplane mode and by following a set of directions from a customer service representative.

Neither of those strategies seemed to work or we couldn’t tell if they worked because we didn’t receive any notifications from Proton that our internet connection had been paused.

We then tried the Permanent Kill Switch option by turning it on. Note that this feature is supposed to make it so you can’t connect your device to the internet at all if the feature is turned on and you aren’t connected to the VPN.

Proton's Permanent Kill Switch feature doesn't allow your device to connect to the internet at all if you're not connected to the VPN.

We weren’t able to connect to the internet at all while the Permanent Kill Switch was on and we hadn’t established a VPN connection. We were able to connect to the internet once we connected to the VPN.

Keep in mind that manually ending the Proton VPN process by using the Windows Task Manager will bypass the Permanent Kill Switch. We were able to connect to the internet after shutting down Proton VPN with Task Manager even though we originally had the kill switch turned on.

4. Split tunneling

Proton VPN offers a split tunneling feature for Windows and Android that you can find in the app’s advanced settings.

Proton VPN comes with a split tunneling feature, which allows you to exclude certain apps or software from having to use a VPN connection.

Split tunneling is a feature that allows you to exclude certain apps, browsers, or IP addresses from using the encrypted VPN tunnel. You might want to use split tunneling if you’re not worried about the privacy of a specific app and you want the app to run faster.

For example, you might be using a VPN to stream foreign content, but you want to surf the internet with your Chrome browser at the same time. So you could have your VPN bypass Chrome to potentially free up some bandwidth and improve your browsing speeds. In doing so, though, you’d be browsing without a secure connection.

5. Encryption

Proton VPN uses AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption depending on which VPN protocol is being used. AES-256 encryption is used with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec, while ChaCha20 is used with WireGuard.

It would take an extremely advanced computer billions of years to break AES-256 encryption. ChaCha20 is said to be as secure as AES-256, but faster.

6. VPN protocol

Proton VPN uses these protocols:

  • OpenVPN
  • WireGuard
  • IKEv2/IPsec
  • Stealth

All four of these protocols are considered to be secure or very secure. You can manually change the VPN protocol in the app settings, but it’s recommended to leave the selection as “Smart,” which automatically chooses for you.

Proton VPN uses WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPsec VPN protocols.

Note that the available protocols might vary depending on the type of device you use. For example, we could only see options for OpenVPN and WireGuard on the Windows app, but the Proton VPN says it uses IKEv2/IPsec as well. The Stealth protocol, which can avoid detection and let you bypass VPN blocks, is only available on macOS, iOS, and Android apps.

Proton VPN uses encryption and VPN protocols that support the system of perfect forward secrecy (PFS). PFS aims to improve VPN security by never re-using old encryption keys that could end up being compromised.

7. Secure Core

Secure Core is an option on the main page of the Proton VPN app.

Secure Core is Proton VPN's version of a double VPN, which passes your online traffic through two or more VPN servers for extra security.

This is a security feature that passes your online traffic through multiple VPN servers. You might recognize this feature from other VPNs, but labeled differently. For example, “double VPN” or something similar is a common name for what Proton calls its “Secure Core servers.”

The purpose of Secure Core is to provide increased security and privacy for your connection. But you risk having a slower internet connection, so keep that in mind.

8. Port forwarding

Port forwarding is a new feature from Proton VPN that could speed up your torrenting, file sharing, or online gaming while connected to the VPN. You can find the feature in the advanced settings of the app.

Proton VPN's port forwarding feature allows certain apps or software to bypass the VPN firewall and connect through an open port. It could speed up your torrenting or gaming, but also poses a security risk.

The port forwarding process opens a port on your device so that incoming connections can bypass the VPN firewall and connect through the open port. Note that this could present a security risk with someone being able to attack your system through the open port.

9. NetShield

NetShield is an included feature that’s designed to block ads, trackers, and malware on your device. You can find the NetShield options on the main page of your app. You can choose to turn NetShield off, have it only block malware, or have it block malware, ads, and trackers.

NetShield is a Proton VPN feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware on your device. You can choose to have NetShield block only malware or block all three.

We tested NetShield’s ad-blocking capabilities by visiting the ad-ridden Forbes website. We first visited a page without NetShield on and immediately ran into a giant banner ad.

We tested Proton VPN's NetShield ad blocker using the Forbes website.

The ads continued as we scrolled down the page.

We continued to see ads on the Forbes website even as we scrolled down the page.

We then turned on NetShield and visited the same page. Now there was a lovely field of white where the ad usually lived.

We turned on Proton VPN's NetShield feature and it successfully blocked ads on the Forbes site, leaving only an empty white space behind.

We found a similar field of white in the other ad’s position.

As we scrolled down the Forbes page, we didn't see any ads -- only white space where the ads were previously.

As far as ad blocking is concerned, NetShield performed admirably.

10. VPN Accelerator

This is a feature that Proton VPN says can increase your VPN speeds by up to 400%. You can find VPN Accelerator in the connection settings of the app.

Proton VPN offers a VPN accelerator feature that could increase your VPN speed by up to 400%.

VPN Accelerator is also supposed to reduce latency and network congestion. This is typically more noticeable if you’re connected to a high-latency or distant server rather than a low-latency or nearby server.

11. DNS Leak Protection

DNS Leak Protection is a feature that’s always turned on. It’s designed to prevent third parties from accessing your information through DNS queries.

A good VPN doesn't come with DNS leaks, and Proton VPN offers full-time DNS leak protection to keep your data secure.

You can find this feature in the advanced settings of the app, but you can’t turn it off.

Proton VPN test results

We conducted a speed test, DNS leak test, and a WebRTC leak test to see how Proton VPN performs with internet speeds and overall privacy. We also conducted Netflix tests while connected to servers in different regions to see if Proton VPN unblocks streaming services.

Proton VPN passed all of the tests we performed. Check out the details for each test.

Speed tests

  • Proton VPN speed test results: Proton VPN passed its speed tests.

Speed is an important factor to consider when choosing a VPN. While a VPN will always have some impact on your internet speeds, it should be as minimal as possible.

We tested Proton VPN's speed to determine if there were any significant impacts on our internet connection. The test begins by establishing a baseline and testing our internet connection speed without the VPN turned on. Then we connected to VPN servers in the U.S., Europe, and Australia to determine the speed changes.

The speed tests were conducted on a Macbook Air from a physical location in the U.S.

Proton VPN speed test results

Test type No VPN US to US US to EU US to AU
Download speed 641.2 Mbps 529.8 Mbps 500.6 Mbps 431 Mbps
Upload speed 23.4 Mbps 22.4 Mbps 10.3 Mbps 8 Mbps
Latency (ping) 86 ms 82 ms 203 ms 230 ms
Download speed % difference N/A -17% -22% -33%
Upload speed % difference N/A -4% -56% -66%
Latency % difference N/A -5% +136% +167%

Test results as of 10/02/2023.

When we connected to a nearby U.S. server, Proton VPN barely made a dent in terms of speed. This makes Proton VPN a good choice for people looking for encrypted tunnels without necessarily appearing like they’re in a different country.

Proton VPN's speed test results while connected to a server in the U.S.

As you move further abroad, your internet speeds will likely slow down relative to the distance of the testing location which is normal. While Australia saw the biggest decrease in speed and latency due to how far it is relative to us, it was still an acceptable speed for everyday internet usage and streaming.

Overall, ProtonVPN did drop internet speeds but at a rate that’s expected. For example, you should expect it to be more difficult to connect to a server based on the other side of the world compared to one that’s in the same city as your physical location.

Proton VPN Netflix tests

  • Proton VPN Netflix test results: Proton VPN passed its Netflix tests, but there were issues when testing with Canadian servers.

We conducted our test by connecting to servers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia to see if we could watch Netflix with Proton VPN. We also evaluated if there were any lag or buffering issues during our testing.

We didn't have any issues with connecting to a nearby U.S. server. There were also no issues with U.K. and Australia servers.

But then we tested with Canada. Netflix noticed we were using a VPN and blocked our access.

The Netflix website with a pop-up indicating there's an error alongside an active Proton VPN connection to a Canadian VPN server.

However, Proton VPN Plus includes streaming support. Simply find a server with a play icon, and it should work for streaming apps. For example, Canadian servers support BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and DAZN.

Proton VPN dashboard on the Canada - Plus servers page, which are designed for streaming  with Canadian servers.

We retested using two different Canadian servers with streaming support. Unfortunately, both of them yielded the same result of getting denied access to Netflix.

At this point, we switched from using a Macbook Air to a Chromebook. When we tested a Canadian server with Netflix, we had no issues accessing content and experienced no lag.

Due to the mixed experience, you may want to do your own testing to verify if Proton VPN supports your streaming needs in certain countries. If you choose this route, Proton VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you're not happy with the results (but canceling Proton VPN can be a bit of a headache).

Proton VPN Netflix test results

US to US US to UK US to Canada US to AU
Did it work with Netflix?
Test results as of 10/02/2023.

DNS leak tests

  • Proton VPN DNS leak test results: Proton VPN passed its DNS leak test.

The domain name system (DNS) leak test evaluates your internet connection to determine if it's "leaking" any information. When connected to a VPN, it should successfully disguise your IP address, internet service provider (ISP), and general location. Conducting a DNS leak test will prove if a VPN is doing its job or not.

We used BrowserLeaks to test for DNS leaks before and after connecting to Proton VPN. Once we connected to the VPN, the test results showed the VPN server instead of our actual information — the VPN successfully masked our private information.

WebRTC leak tests

  • Proton VPN WebRTC leak test results: Proton VPN passed its WebRTC leak test.

WebRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communications, which enables real-time voice and video connections to be established through your browser. A WebRTC leak test determines if apps or websites like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp expose your real IP address. While you're connected to a VPN, your real IP address shouldn't be leaked when you're using WebRTC-based sites. A WebRTC leak test verifies that a VPN is successfully covering your real IP address and third parties can't identify you.

Once again, we used BrowserLeaks to conduct our WebRTC leak test. Before we turned on Proton VPN, we could see our device's IP address. After we connected to a Proton VPN server, the WebRTC leak test showed the server's IP address instead of the device's IP address — Proton VPN successfully hid our data.

Proton VPN compatibility

Proton VPN can be set up on different devices, mobile apps, and operating systems, including:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Chromebook
  • Routers
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick

Proton has also developed browser extensions for Chromium-based browsers (such as Google Chrome, Brave, Microsoft Edge, Chromium, Opera, and Vivaldi) and Firefox-based browsers (such as Firefox and LibreWolf).

You can find Proton VPN download links in your online account in the “Downloads” section. But I didn’t see any download links when using the Proton VPN Windows app.

This is what the download links look like when logged in to the Proton VPN website through a Chrome browser on Windows:

Proton VPN is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android TV, and more.

Note that all Proton VPN apps — including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android apps — are open-source. This gives transparency and opportunities for peer review to Proton apps, which is an intentional goal to make a more private and secure VPN.

Proton VPN customer support

Proton VPN offers customer support through its support website, social media channels, and email. You can also submit bugs and issues directly through the app or your online account (we were able to see options to report issues through the Windows desktop app and through the online account on a Chrome browser).

Proton VPN social media channels where you can interact with customer service reps include Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.

You can email Proton VPN at support@protonvpn.zendesk.com.

Live chat

Proton VPN only offers a live chat feature for paid subscribers. You can access live chat through your online account.

We had a bit of trouble trying to find the live chat feature, but we eventually found it in a “Get help” part of the online account.

We had trouble finding the live chat feature for Proton VPN, but finally found it in the "Get help" section of our online account dashboard.

After choosing the chat option, you’ll see a chat window pop up. We put in our question about how to test the Proton VPN kill switch feature and we were connected to a live representative (Teodora) in a few seconds. Teodora was polite and easy to understand throughout our conversation.

However, they didn’t necessarily answer our question about how to test the kill switch feature. At least not initially. They sent us a few articles about what kill switches are and how they work, but that didn’t give us concrete steps to take for testing purposes.

We eventually received a specific answer to our question, though the steps may have been a bit too advanced for the average VPN user. Also, they didn’t work when we tested them later.

Our Proton VPN customer support rep eventually gave us the steps to turn on and test the kill switch.

Overall, it was a quick and simple experience, but it’s unfortunate that only paying subscribers can take advantage of Proton VPN live chat. It’s also not a 24/7 feature. According to Teodora, live chat is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CEST, which is 3 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EDT.

It’s nice to see that Proton VPN has a live chat feature, but it seems to be severely lacking in its usefulness if you live in the Western hemisphere because of its time limitations. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost all have 24/7 live chat that’s available to everyone.

Support website

The Proton VPN support center has a search bar for specific questions or you can choose from popular categories.

While it’s helpful to have a support page at all, this support center isn’t the easiest to navigate. Choosing a popular category doesn’t bring you to a page with loads of topics to choose from. Rather, you get a few links to (seemingly) popular pages.

If you’re lucky, the info you’re looking for will be in one of the popular pages. But if not, you’ll have to use the search function. This isn’t a huge deal because the search function seems to populate relevant results.

Proton VPN's support center also has a search function, which seems much. more helpful for quickly finding actual articles and guides.

But having a list of guides and other common support links on the main support page could also be useful.

Proton VPN alternatives

We think Proton VPN is one of the best VPNs on the market, but it's not the only option. If you're looking for cheaper prices, 24/7 customer support, or just aren't sold on Proton, we think you'll find something to like with one of these alternatives:

  • NordVPN: NordVPN does just about everything right. It can mask your IP address, unblock geo-restricted content, maintain fast speeds, and fulfill almost all of your VPN needs.

    Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark: We love that Surfshark is budget-friendly and beginner-friendly. It has affordable pricing plans starting at $2.19/mo (billed every two years), and it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections so you can get the most bang for your buck. 

    Get Surfshark | Read Our Surfshark Review

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost has one of the most extensive server networks we've seen, with over 11,700 servers in 100 countries. It even offers servers optimized for torrenting, streaming, and gaming, as well as other privacy needs.

    Get CyberGhost | Read Our CyberGhost Review

Proton VPN FAQs


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Is Proton VPN actually free?

Yes, Proton VPN is actually free to download and use. But the free version offers average connection speeds and only has servers in three countries (U.S., Netherlands, and Japan). Proton VPN Plus is available for as low as $4.49/mo and offers fast VPN speeds with access to over 4,400 servers in 91 countries.


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Is Proton VPN’s paid version worth it?

Proton VPN's paid version may be worth it if you are looking to access a larger server network with thousands of servers in 91 countries. It also includes additional features like streaming support, Tor over VPN, NetShield (which blocks ads, trackers, and malware), and more.

The free version only allows you to access about 100 servers located in the U.S., Netherlands, and Japan. You may find it undesirable to only have three countries available to you on the free plan, especially if your home country isn't listed. The free version also doesn't include extra security features.


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Is Proton VPN trustworthy?

Yes, Proton VPN is trustworthy. It has a strict no-logs policy and is headquartered in Switzerland, a country that has strict data privacy laws and isn’t part of the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes global surveillance networks. The Proton VPN no-logs policy has been tested in court and undergone a successful third-party audit.


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Is NordVPN or Proton VPN better?

NordVPN is a better option if you want a proven VPN that offers fast and reliable connections at lower prices than Proton VPN. NordVPN also provides access to more servers while maintaining high levels of privacy and security.

We've also compared NordVPN vs. Proton VPN in-depth if you're seeking further details.


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What are the pros and cons of Proton VPN?

ProtonVPN pros include:

  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • Headquarters in a country (Switzerland) with strict data privacy laws
  • Fast and secure connections
  • Easy to use
  • Apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and more

ProtonVPN cons include:

  • Live chat only available to paid subscribers
  • Not the cheapest

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How much does Proton VPN cost?

Proton VPN costs between $4.49/mo to $9.99/mo, depending on which subscription you choose. Here’s the complete breakdown of Proton VPN pricing:

  • Monthly plan: $9.99/mo
  • Annual plan (one year): $4.99/mo
  • Annual plan (two years): $4.49/mo

Bottom line: Is Proton VPN safe?

Yes, Proton VPN is a safe and trustworthy VPN service that does plenty of things right. It’s fast, unblocks streaming content, and offers high-level online privacy and security. And Proton backs up its no-logs policy with the experience of having had it tested in court, as well as being located in a country with strict data privacy laws.

But Proton VPN isn’t the cheapest option available. And certain VPNs provide 24/7 customer support.

Proton VPN does basically everything you want a VPN to do, and it does it well. But NordVPN pretty much matches Proton across the board, and at a cheaper price. Check out our NordVPN review for more details.

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website
VPN
Proton VPN
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost
Author Details
Ben Walker is a security, travel, and credit card writer with a passion for all things internet and technology, whether it's using VPNs while away from home or organizing his life with password managers.
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.