WHAT’S IN THIS REVIEW?
VyprVPN has a strong range of protocols, including proprietary Chameleon technology, coupled with an audit to prove their logging policy claims. Connection speeds are nippy enough, while it has no issue when it comes to unblocking a range of streaming platforms worldwide.
So, what’s not to like? We have discovered a few drawbacks, which we’ll get into below in our in-depth VyprVPN review.
VyprVPN has stepped up its game in recent years, clearly understanding what the average user wants from a VPN provider. The desktop app is simple to use, so much so that advanced security features can be selected with a couple of clicks.
The VPN supports WireGuard, while they own, engineer and manage their own servers, eliminating many potential risks. It’s capable of unblocking multiple streaming platforms, and they have a strong anti-censorship standpoint.
In other words, VyprVPN is extremely impressive in many ways, even if it’s not entirely perfect. Read on to find out more.
VyprVPN is an audited provider that has full control over its servers, which are found in 70+ key locations around the globe. They’ve been in operation since 2009 and first offered commercial software in 2010.
The VPN is owned by Golden Frog, who ‘provides consumers and enterprise companies with internet services and application solutions that improve end-user internet privacy and security.’
Golden Frog was founded by Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis, who originally ran the business from the US. It’s now a corporation based in Meggen, Switzerland, hoping to take advantage of local privacy laws which are stronger than the norm.
(This means that all of their customer data is stored in Switzerland & hosted on their own servers, although they still maintain a presence in Austin, Texas.)
Unlike many providers, there are no questions raised by the ownership or physical location of VyprVPN, and they’ve worked to improve the service in recent years.
For example, in 2018, they hired Leviathan Security to perform an independent audit to ensure that no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is collected.
These audits are slowly becoming an industry standard, as companies realise that users would prefer any ‘no-logs’ claims to be backed by independent third-parties, rather than taking them at face value.
VyprVPN has also implemented new technologies like the WireGuard protocol, while their proprietary Chameleon tech is great if you’d like to bypass censorship in a location such as China.
Pros & Cons
In VyprVPN’s case, the pros certainly outweigh the cons, and we’ll give you a quick rundown of each below:
Right off the bat, VyprVPN appears to have a solid VPN service. Here’s what we like best about it:
- Audited No-Log VPN
- Great for streaming
- WireGuard support
- They own everything, with no third-party involvement
- Based in Switzerland
- Proven anti-censorship stance
- Intuitive UI and apps
- Affordable longer deals
If you’re looking for bells and whistles from your VPN service, VyprVPN may not be the choice for you. Check out VyprVPN drawbacks worth noting:
- A lack of features compared to other VPNs
- Expensive for one month
- Not ideal for torrenting copyrighted materials
- Speeds are good, but not amazing
- No free trial to test its service before committing
VyprVPN has a few important features, mostly relating to things that work under the hood, such as protocols or DNS settings. You can block malicious websites, or turn on public Wi-Fi protection from the Customisation tab found within the app.
They also offer cloud server security solutions in the form of VyprVPN Cloud, which could be tempting for any AWS user.
We’ll go through the key VyprVPN features below:
First up is a proprietary VPN protocol called Chameleon. As they explain; “Chameleon is proven to help users that live in or travel to countries that place restrictions or blocks on their internet such as China, Russia, India, Turkey, Iran, and the Middle East. It is also ideal for users around the world that are experiencing VPN blocking and speed issues related to bandwidth throttling.”
It won’t mean much to the average user, but it’s a godsend for anyone who actually needs it. (That’s not to say that VyprVPN doesn’t have connection issues from time to time, and they’re still working to improve connections for users connecting from China.)
In their own words; “VyprDNS is Golden Frog’s 100% owned and operated service available exclusively for VyprVPN users. We developed our zero-logging VyprDNS service to increase user privacy and defeat censorship across the world. VyprDNS is included with all plans and is enabled by default whenever you use VyprVPN.”
The feature is built into VyprVPN and when you connect, you will automatically be using VyprDNS. However, you’re free to switch to any other DNS service if you’d prefer something different.
A typical feature that you’ll find with almost any decent VPN provider, a Kill Switch will block the internet connection whenever VyprVPN is unexpectedly disconnected. It’s available for Windows and Mac apps, and you can customize the settings to adhere to your preferences.
- 1 month: $12.95/mo.
- 12 months: $3.75/mo.
- 3 Years: $1.66/mo.
As you can see, VyprVPN is another provider that relies on heavily discounted rates to drive customers to commit to their longer contracts. Yes, you will have to sign up for three years, but it’s hard to argue with a flat fee that works out to just $1.66 per month.
(Of course, you’ll have to pay for the entire contract up front, so it is more expensive than it seems at first glance.) A one-month plan is also costly at $12.95, so there isn’t much leeway if you were looking for a shorter option with a lower price tag.
VyprVPN does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, while it was easy enough to cancel the service from the desktop website after I had completed the review.
There’s no free VyprVPN trial, as they prefer to take your money first, and use the guarantee as a buffer if you’re not happy within the first month of purchase. It’s not especially user-friendly, while it’s another tactic used to drive up retention numbers.
Then again, $1.66 per month is dirt cheap, and works out to just $20 per year. It’s hard to find many flaws with that price considering the overall quality of their VPN service, and you won’t find much cheaper.
*It’s worth noting that this price was advertised as a limited-time offer, while prices may vary depending on your location.
VyprVPN has a simple logging policy, which was updated in 2018 to state the following:
- We do not log a user’s source IP address (typically assigned to the user by their ISP)
- We do not log the IP address assigned to the user when using VyprVPN
- We do not log connection start or stop time
- We do not log a user’s traffic or the content of any communications
- We are network neutral
- We do not discriminate against devices, protocols, or application
- We do not throttle or rate limit your Internet connection
In the same year, VyprVPN worked with Leviathan Security to perform an independent audit, with a final report which was later released online. They found a few bugs, but they eventually concluded that they can assure that the company isn’t logging any VPN activity.
As three years have now passed, it would be good to get a more recent assessment in the near future, although they’ve worked with organizations such as the Center for Democracy and Technology to provide further ‘signals of trustworthiness’. These include transparent answers to questions about corporate accountability and their business model, as well as any data they do store.
VyprVPN deserves top marks for the steps they’ve taken to prove that they’re serious about the legitimacy of their no-logs claims. Their watertight logging policy is independently verified, and they’ve got nothing to hide, aside from your personal data.
Golden Frog owns and runs the servers, so I was expecting decent connection speeds when factoring in for the lower price tag. They didn’t disappoint, but it wasn’t particularly fast.
As always, I began by heading over to speedtest.net, to check out if VyprVPN is really as quick as they claim to be. To make things fair, I decided to test my average speeds without a VPN connected first. The results are found in the image below.
Next, I clicked on the ‘Fastest Server’ option, which connected me to somewhere in London. Despite being the quickest choice overall, there was a significant hit when it came to download speeds.
Roughly 178 Mbps is fast enough to get the job done, but the connection speed was still down by over a third. The ping and upload speeds were hardly affected, which is good news.
Finally, I switched to the US server location which had the lowest ping. Here are the speed stats I recorded while connected to Washington DC:
Again, speeds took a major hit, down to under 50% when compared to the baseline seen in the first image. Depending on your internet connection, that could be enough to see major lag, so it’s something to consider. (I saw the slightest slowdown while loading web pages, but I was able to stream videos perfectly.)
Their servers are fast enough for most tasks, although users with the quickest connections will probably still be left wanting.
As a budget VPN with a focus on privacy, it was never going to be the fastest provider on the market. However, speeds are still decent, while they have taken a unique approach to maintaining their extensive server network.
Server Locations & Network
The VyprVPN server network speaks for itself. As they explain:
“Our approach is unique in the VPN industry – we own, engineer and manage our VPN servers so we can deliver fast and reliable connections. Other VPN providers use 3rd-party companies to host their VPN servers. We don’t. We are the only company who handles your data so your privacy and security are protected from end-to-end.”
They have clusters in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, totalling 700+ VPN servers and over 300,000 IP addresses. (African servers were added recently, and are found in Egypt and Algeria.)
The major difference is that they actually own the servers they use, which makes for a more secure network in the long-term. Once again, it’s hard to find fault with VyprVPN. They do run into some issues when connecting to regions such as China which actively block VPN traffic, but they offer solutions such as servers located in Singapore.
They also have multiple servers dotted across the US, and you can find a full list of locations here.
It’s worth mentioning that some of these servers are virtual, rather than physical. They explain;
“As a practice, we do not have physical servers in restrictive countries. Instead, we use virtual servers to keep the encryption gateway out of the hands of dangerous regimes, yet still offer access to an in-country IP address.”
Streaming & Torrenting
With VyprDNS, they offer support for a large number of streaming platforms, in Canada, the US, the UK, and Germany. This includes the likes of Netflix and ESPN+, as well as BBC UK, Disney +, and DAZN.
This was tested with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney +. iPlayer and Netflix worked perfectly, although I did encounter some issues with Disney’s streaming service, as seen in the image below.
On their support page, under the question; ‘Can I use VyprVPN with Peer-to-Peer (P2P) or torrent services?’, they say that they “do not log or retain any information from VPN sessions or block the use of any ports. Because our service treats all traffic equally, peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic is allowed.”
However, they don’t support illegal downloads, which has been confirmed by their support staff:
“It is then our policy, in order to stop alleged copyright infringement activity on our network, to validate the time stamps in the notice, lock the offending account, and then forward an email with the original DMCA notice attached to it for the customer’s records.”
It’s best to look elsewhere if you’re planning to sail the seven seas, unless you want potential DMCA notices arriving in the mail.
VyprVPN is vocal about their anti-censorship stance, and they’re backed by the no-logs audit.
They say that the company was created ‘in response to Room 641a, an infamous room in San Francisco where the NSA was spying on AT&T’s networks. Our founders Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis filed papers with the FCC to bring this activity to their attention but were ignored. Instead of waiting around for the government, they built VyprVPN.’
The Chameleon VPN protocol is also another bonus in this regard, and is recommended for users that live in or travel to countries that place restrictions or blocks on their internet such as China, Russia, India, Turkey, Iran and the Middle East.
Platforms & Devices
As you can see, VyprVPN has native app support for an extensive range of platforms, although you’ll only be able to use the WireGuard protocol with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It’s still a large list, and nearly every device imaginable will be covered. They also offer Linux setup guides, in case you were wondering.
You can set it up with a router or a television, while the service allows for five simultaneous connections. This means that you can install the VyprVPN application on as many supported devices as you’d like and log in on them with your account, but only five devices may be connected at one time.
In practice, there were no bugs or issues to report while using the VyprVPN desktop app, which is especially easy to navigate. There are three tabs along the bottom, named Customize, Connection, and Servers.
Each is self-explanatory, and you’ll also be able to see ping information before connecting to a server, which is a nice touch.
Encryption & Security
Given their status as an industry leader in terms of privacy and security features, it’s no surprise to see that VyprVPN offers a list of encryption protocols, which have differing layers of protection;
WireGuard – An experimental protocol that is seen as the future of the industry, only available on selected apps
IKEv2 – A speedy alternative that doesn’t need to be configured
Chameleon – Their patented ‘anti-censorship protocol’, designed to bypass online restrictions
OpenVPN – The industry standard protocol, built on open-source software
L2TP/IPsec – A protocol built into most desktop, phone, and tablet devices
PPTP – One of the oldest VPN protocols still in use today, rendered obsolete by options found above
WireGuard was selected as the default option on my Mac, and the same is true for iOS, Android, and Windows.
Once again, they can lean on the legitimacy provided by being the first VPN to be publicly verified by an independent audit.
The audit confirmed that VyprVPN logs zero personally identifiable information (PII), they own and run their own servers, and they offer all of the popular protocols, including one they made themselves to benefit users facing censorship.
When put together, it makes for a solid security package that is unlikely to leak data.
VyprVPN clearly has a number of positive features that make it one of the better providers on the market. They score highly when it comes to privacy and trust, as they’ve taken a transparent, ethical approach to building their business in the long-term. They also recognized the need for third-party audits, adopting the approach long before it became an industry standard.
It’s extremely usable, up there with the very best when looking at their range of native apps, as well as the protocols they have on offer. You won’t feel left out with their service.
VyprVPN is also cheap if you don’t mind a longer contract, although prices do vary depending on your location. A six-month deal would be a good compromise, but it’s hard to argue with a fee that works out to just $20 per year. On the other hand, a free trial would be nice for the average user, and you could get a month with the likes of ExpressVPN for the fee they charge for 30 days.
Finally, speeds are good enough in theory, although there was some slowdown when I was loading Disney+ pages while connected to a US server halfway across the world. It’s slightly annoying, but at least the service is likely to unblock nearly any website you can throw at it.
If viewed as a budget service that will protect your personal data, you can’t go wrong with VyprVPN. It might not match up to the biggest providers in terms of sheer power, but it does come in at half the price. It continues to improve each year, and they’ve already implemented WireGuard support.
It’s hard to find many faults with VyprVPN, which scores highly in almost every aspect of this review. Unfortunately, there’s no trial version available, but you can use their money-back guarantee to test it out for the first month.