A popular Swiss-based VPN from the same stable of companies as US ISP Texas.net, Data Foundry, and top Usenet provider Giganews, VyprVPN has a decent-sized network with 700+ servers in more than 70 locations across 64 countries. These aren’t solely focused on Europe and North America, either; VyprVPN has 14 locations in Asia, 5 in the Middle East, 7 in Central and South America, 2 in Africa and 5 in Oceania.
Even better, these servers are owned and managed by the company, allowing VyprVPN to point out that it ‘operates 100% without third parties.’
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Welcome features include unlimited data usage, a zero-knowledge DNS service, a customized Chameleon protocol to help bypass VPN blocking, and 24/7/365 support to keep the service running smoothly.
Wide platform support includes apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, the best Chromebooks, along with routers, QNAP, Anonabox, Smart TVs and Blackphone.
If that’s not enough, the website has more than 30 tutorials to help you manually set up the service on Chromebooks, Linux, Blackberry, Synology NAS, OpenELEC, Android TV, Apple TV, and via DD-WRT, AsusWRT, OpenWRT and more.
All this looks good to us, although there is one potential issue: VyprVPN doesn’t have any browser extensions.
The website has the usual ‘no logging’ claims, but unlike most of the competition, you don’t have to take these on trust. In 2018, VyprVPN had an independent audit to verify that it doesn’t log or share anything about what you’re doing online, including session logs, and you can read the report for yourself.
Improvements since our last review include the introduction of Chameleon 2.0, an enhanced version of VyprVPN’s custom technology which should help you get online, even in China and other VPN blocking countries.
VyprVPN claims the upgrade includes ‘VPN cloaking’, making it more difficult for governments to see that you’re using a VPN. Connections should be more reliable, the company says, and Chameleon is now available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
Plans and pricing
VyprVPN has streamlined its pricing structure recently, making it easier to see what you’re going to get, and giving better value.
There’s no need to choose between an underpowered standard plan and a more capable but relatively expensive Premium option, for instance: all plans now include all VyprVPN’s features.
Monthly billed plans are a little expensive at $12.95, up from $9.95 last time.
The annual plan is significantly cheaper at a monthly $3.75, though, down from $5.
Even better, a new two-year plan cuts the price to just $2.50 a month. That’s way better than most providers – even NordVPN’s three-year plan is $3.49 a month – although it still can’t quite compete with Surfshark’s $1.99 a month for two years of service.
Sign up and although you’ll be asked for payment details, the company won’t bill you for three days. Cancel from your web console before the time is up and you won’t be charged anything, so this is effectively a short free trial.
Three free days isn’t long, but it’s three days longer than you’ll get with most providers, so we’re not about to complain. If you decide to carry on after the trial is up, and you run into any major issues, you’re also protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. A few companies give you more – Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost allow 45 days, for example – but 30 days should be long enough to identify any issues.
VyprVPN protects your privacy with well-chosen protocols and industrial-strength encryption. It supports AES-256-GCM and SHA384 HMAC by default, with TLS-ECDHE-RSA-2048 to provide Perfect Forward Secrecy. (That’s a smart technique which ensures that a different key is used for every connection, so that even if an attacker obtains a private key, they would only be able to access data in that particular session.)
IKEv2 is also available, and on more of the apps since our last review (it’s now an option on Windows, for instance).
Following many other services, VyprVPN has now dropped support for the older protocols, PPTP and L2TP.
As we’ve discussed, you can now also choose VyprVPN’s Chameleon 2.0 protocol, maybe allowing you to bypass aggressive VPN blocking and get connected. It’s a new option on the iOS app, too.
We don’t attempt to test access from China, but VyprVPN is far more upfront about issues with its service than most providers, publishing details of any current problems on its Service Status page.
If you’re having difficulties connecting to the service, unblocking particular streaming sites or anything else, the Service Status page usually has more info available. We can’t say whether it includes every problem the company is experiencing, but it seems to be regularly updated with a lot of useful details, and the fact that it exists at all is a major credit to VyprVPN. We wish other providers would be as upfront about their service difficulties.
Back to privacy: VyprVPN provides an encrypted zero-knowledge DNS service, a handy way to avoid ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks, DNS filtering and other snooping strategies. Works for us, although if you’re less happy with the idea, the apps also allow you to switch to any third-party service (just enter whatever IP addresses you need).
Individual clients have their own privacy-protecting technologies, too, including options to defend against DNS leaks and bundled kill switches to reduce the chance of data leaks if the VPN connection drops. Check out the evaluations of the individual apps later in this review for more details.
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Even better, you don’t have to take VyprVPN’s word on this, as in September 2018 the company hired Leviathan Security Group to audit the platform and produce a public report on its logging practices.
The results [PDF] are available to all on the VyprVPN website, and make an interesting read. Experts will find a huge amount of detail on how VyprVPN works, and the in-depth testing performed by the auditors (logging in to servers, inspecting running processes, examining source code, and more).
Everyone else can simply check the executive summary, which explains that the audit initially found a few limited issues (‘from inadvertent configuration mistakes’), but these were ‘quickly fixed’, and ‘as a result, [the audit] can provide VyprVPN users with the assurance that the company is not logging their VPN activity.’
While that’s great news, and still much more than the majority of VPN providers have done, we hope VyprVPN doesn’t stop there. It’s been approaching 18 months since this audit, plenty of time for new problems to have cropped up. TunnelBear now has annual security audits of its service (it’s had three so far), and we’d like to see other providers do the same.
To understand the real-world performance of a VPN, we put every service we review through a series of lengthy tests.
Our VyprVPN checks began by firing up a custom script which connected to a sample of 50 VyprVPN servers via OpenVPN, measured connection times and recorded any connection failures, used geolocation to verify the server location, and then ran ping tests to look for any latency issues.
The service got off to a great start, with not a single connection error from any server. Connection times were consistent at six seconds, and latencies were as we’d expect for all locations.
VyprVPN’s servers all returned IP addresses from their advertised locations. A very few servers may be physically based in other countries – VyprVPN’s Maldives and Marshall Islands servers appear to be in Singapore, for instance – but they’ll still give you Maldives and Marshall Islands IP addresses, and hosting them in Singapore should make for faster and more reliable connections.
Next, we connected to our nearest VyprVPN server from two locations – one UK, one US – and checked our speeds with the benchmarking sites SpeedTest and TestMy.
UK performance was good at around 64-68Mbps on our 75Mbps test line, a huge improvement on the 25-50Mbps we saw in the last review.
Unfortunately, US speeds were slower at just 35-50Mbps, disappointing for our 475Mbps test connection.
Our speed tests were run in April 2020, and with so many in coronavirus quarantine, it’s possible that extra web traffic affected the result. How much that effect might be – well, that’s open to question. VyprVPN results were below average for the last review, too, at 50-70Mbps. And despite the current situation, some VPNs we’ve tested recently have done much better – Windscribe hit 250Mbps and more just a few days ago.
Overall, it looks like VyprVPN performance probably lags behind the best of the competition. But it’s enough for browsing, emails, streaming and most other tasks. You may well see better speeds in your locations, too, particularly in the post-coronavirus world, and it’s worth checking the service out for yourself in this respect.
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VPNs often sell themselves on their ability to access geoblocked sites, giving you access to content you wouldn’t normally be able to view – VPNs for Netflix have become particularly popular.
To test VyprVPN’s unblocking technologies, we connected to UK and US locations, then tried to access BBC iPlayer, US-only YouTube content, US Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The BBC’s iPlayer blocks several VPNs, and with only one location in the UK, we weren’t sure whether VyprVPN would be able to give us access to the site. But it did, and we were able to stream content without any issues at all.
US YouTube is unblocked by just about every VPN in existence, and sure enough, VyprVPN also bypassed its protection without difficulty.
US Netflix is far more challenging to unblock, but VyprVPN got us in immediately. We had success with Netflix Canada, Germany, and UK, too, although – as with our last review – France and Japan were blocked.
Disney+ proved more difficult, although we’re unsure of the cause. The Disney+ site refused to display the login page with VyprVPN connected, something we’ve seen with other VPNs. This doesn’t seem to be location-related, though, as if we accessed a Disney+ movie URL directly, and logged in from that page, we were able stream content without any issues.
Our Amazon Prime Video experience was much more straightforward, and we were able to view content when connected to both US and UK VyprVPN servers.
If you need to know more, VyprVPN has a support page with a lengthy list of the various streaming services it can unblock, and the company invites you to contact customer support if you have any problems connecting.
If you’ve ever used a VPN which promises it can ‘unblock anything’ on the website, but doesn’t have the guts to list its supported services – and indeed tells you that it will not guarantee anything if you have any problems trying to unblock something – then you’ll appreciate how much more helpful VyprVPN is.
The Service Status page we mentioned above is helpful, too (if you didn’t click the link to take a look, do it now).
For example, a February 27, 2020 entry titled ‘Disney+ Streaming Trouble’ reads: ‘Currently, our customers may have trouble streaming with Disney+ on our Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle servers. You should still be able to access Disney+ using our other United States server locations’, and has been updated to say it’s back up.
If that’s typical of VyprVPN’s support, it could be a major time-saver. If you’re having streaming troubles, one glance at the page could tell you that this is a general problem, saving you spending ages tinkering with your setup or contacting support, and giving you advice on an immediate fix (changing server in the above case). It also lets you know when the issue is fixed. Great work all-round, then.
VyprVPN doesn’t try to sell itself on its torrent or P2P support, and at the time of writing, the topic doesn’t even rate a mention on its home or Features web pages – that’s unlike a lot of services that make big of their credentials as VPNs for torrenting and torrents.
Sometimes this can indicate that P2P isn’t supported at all, but digging deep into the support website, we found this promising statement:
“At Golden Frog, we have the utmost respect for your privacy. We do not monitor the content of your internet traffic through our servers or block the use of any ports. Because our service treats all traffic equally, peer-to-peer and torrent traffic is allowed.”
This seems to be a general rule which applies to all locations.
The company used to have a procedure where it could lock your account if your DMCA address is reported for a download, but the DMCA Notices support article now says this:
“When a copyright holder or their agent reports copyright infringement by a user that is using our service through submitting a DMCA takedown notice, we will make every effort possible to assist. As VyprVPN is a no log VPN, meaning we do not log our users’ activities when connected to our VPN service, we are unable to identify particular users that may be infringing upon the copyrights of others.”
In other words, even if someone records a VyprVPN IP address as involved in some P2P-related activity, there’s no way for the company to link that IP back to a specific account.
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Signing up to VyprVPN is easy, and once you’ve handed over your details, the website points you to the company’s Windows, Mac, Android and iOS apps, plus a host of setup guides for other platforms.
These aren’t just links to files or app store pages. The VyprVPN website also gives you useful details on each app, including supported protocols, the minimum operating system version, and even a changelog. That’s more interesting and useful than it might sound, as even if you’ve no development knowledge at all, you can look at something like the Android changelog and get a feel for how often the app has been improved, and when major new features have been added.
Client setup is straightforward, and follows more or less the same process for every other VPN app you’ve ever installed. Download and run the file, or find and install the app, follow the instructions, enter your username and password when you’re prompted, and essentially, you’re ready to go.
Experienced users should find it easy to set up other devices manually. The Android app is available as a plain APK file, for instance. The OpenVPN configuration files are also just a click or two away. These don’t give you the control you’ll often get with other VPNs, so for example there’s no configuration wizard, and no choice of UDP or TCP connections. But they are at least sensibly named. VyprVPN’s Singapore.ovpn will look far more straightforward on a server list than NordVPN’s sg26.nordvpn.com.udp.ovpn.
If you need some assistance, the website has more than 50 tutorials to help you manually set up the service on Chromebooks, Linux, Synology NAS, OpenELEC, Android TV, Apple TV, and via DD-WRT, AsusWRT, OpenWRT and more.
These setup guides are, for the most part, relatively basic. Many are short, with only the bare minimum of text, and no screenshots (the Android TV guide says little more than ‘you’ll need the Android app, get it here or here’). They appear to cover the basics, though, and should get you connected with minimal hassle.
VyprVPN’s Windows VPN client looks and feels much like a mobile VPN app: a simple opening window displays your connection state and preferred location, and you can connect or disconnect with a click.
A capable location picker lists available locations by country and city, includes ping times to give you an idea of distance, and provides a simple Favorites system to save your commonly used servers.
The client support only three protocols: there’s OpenVPN, VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon, and IKEv2 has been added since our last review. The less secure L2TP and PPTP have been dropped.
A built-in kill switch aims to protect you if the VPN drops. That’s the idea, but it didn’t always work that way.
If we killed an OpenVPN connection the kill switch kicked in instantly, blocking internet traffic, displaying a warning and giving us an option to reconnect.
If we manually closed an L2TP connection, though, the kill switch correctly stopped our internet access, but the client froze on a ‘Disconnecting’ screen. There was no notification, and because the interface had disappeared, there was no access to the Connect or Disconnect buttons, the settings or anything else. Which meant that our internet connection was now dead, and there was no way to fix it.
Closing and restarting the app didn’t work (it just launched to the same ‘Disconnecting’ screen), but rebooting our system got us the regular client interface back and we were able to disable the kill switch manually.
While this wasn’t a great experience, keep in mind that the problem shouldn’t happen often (stick with OpenVPN for connections and it’ll never happen at all), and at least VyprVPN got the core privacy issue right: the kill switch works correctly at all times, and your privacy is never compromised.
A capable Settings dialog can configure the client to connect when Windows starts or the application launches. DNS leak protection reduces the chance of others snooping on your web traffic, and the kill switch is joined by an auto-reconnect system to protect you if the VPN drops.
That’s just the start. VyprVPN doesn’t just provide its own zero-knowledge VyprDNS service, for instance – you can switch it to any other DNS service you like. The client can also automatically connect VyprVPN when you’re using untrusted Wi-Fi networks.
VyprVPN has dropped some of the geekier settings available in the older client (you can’t set MTU size any more, for instance), but for the most part, the latest version works very well: it’s fast, has a strong set of features and is generally easy to use.
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VyprVPN’s Android VPN app opens with an identical interface to the Windows build. In a tap or two you’re able to connect to your nearest server, or choose an alternative from the same location picker as the desktop version.
The app has very similar settings to the Window version, too: a kill switch, DNS leak protection, startup and auto-reconnect options and the ability to use custom DNS settings.
Protocol support is more limited, with just OpenVPN and VyprVPN’s own Chameleon to choose from.
Bonus features include optional URL filtering to protect you from malicious websites. Although we didn’t test the effectiveness of the system, we noticed that it gives you more control than most competing services. If you hit a site on the blacklist, for instance, the system doesn’t just block it. Instead, it displays a warning, and you can ignore this and proceed to the site if you’re sure it’s safe.
A Connection Per App feature enables customizing VPN usage by individual app (other services call this ‘split tunneling’). Choose any installed app and you can set it to always use the VPN, or bypass it and use your regular connection.
The app isn’t quite perfect – connection times were fractionally longer than usual, for instance, and we’d like to have IKEv2 support – but it’s easy to use, with a decent feature list, and more capable than a lot of the competition.
VyprVPN’s iOS app shares much the same look and feel as the rest of the range. Use the service on any other platform and you’ll immediately feel at home.
Most operations work just as they do with the other apps. A simple location picker makes it easy to find locations by name or speed, and commonly used servers can be saved as favorites for speedy reconnection later.
The iOS app doesn’t include all the Android features. In particular, there’s no URL blocking, and no kill switch. There are relatively few settings, too, although it is possible to set up the app to connect to the VPN whenever you access an untrusted wireless network, or automatically reconnect if the VPN drops unexpectedly, and you can set a custom DNS.
There’s a major recent addition in terms of support for OpenVPN, as well as IKEv2. If you need more control, the VyprVPN support site has instructions on manually setting up OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 and even PPTP connections.
As with Android, VyprVPN’s iOS app isn’t exactly packing any killer features, but it’s likeable, easy to use, and a simple way to access VyprVPN from your iDevice.
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VyprVPN support starts on its website, where a knowledgebase provides setup instructions, troubleshooting guidance and specific advice for various device types.
Browse the site and this looks impressive, at least initially. There are a lot of articles, including 37 covering issues with the mobile apps, and more than 50 covering manually setting up the service on a wide range of platforms.
However, this isn’t quite as good as it seems. Many articles are very basic, often no more than ‘how do I turn on feature x?’, with a few lines of text to point users in the right direction. And even the setup guides are generally stripped back to the essentials, with few or no screenshots to help illustrate the points they’re trying to make.
Still, there is some decent content here, and an accurate search system did a good job of finding relevant articles for all our test keywords.
If the website can’t help, live chat is available to give you a near-instant response. We only raised one test question, but the support agent was talking to us within a couple of minutes, and gave a helpful and informative response.
Your final option is to send an email. We raised a simple product question and had a clear response within an hour.
VyprVPN support clearly has some issues, and it’s not as thorough or in-depth as top competitors like ExpressVPN. The website does give you basic information on a wide range of topics, though, and with speedy live chat support on hand, it shouldn’t take long to get helpful advice on any issues.
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VyprVPN isn’t the cheapest, or the fastest, or the most powerful VPN. But it’s better than many, and there’s plenty more to like here, from the wide platform support, to reliable website unblocking, and a detailed no-logging public audit which suggests this is a VPN you can actually trust.