Based in Switzerland, a country almost synonymous with privacy, VyprVPN bills itself (rather immodestly, we think) as “the world’s most powerful and secure VPN.” Does its performance match those audacious claims? In this VyprVPN review, we set out to find out.
VyprVPN Review- Pros & Cons
- Based in Switzerland
- Proprietary protocol available
- Includes DNS resolving service
- Advanced configuration settings
- Quick, easy installation
- Low simultaneous connection limit
- Patchy record securing Netflix access
- Speeds aren’t outstanding
- No longer subscriptions than one year
- Customer service isn’t top notch
VyprVPN – Setup and Usability
VyprVPN is produced by Golden Frog, an “internet privacy and security solutions” company. The VPN can be downloaded from the company’s website or via VyprVPN.com which redirects to the installation page.
Once we had purchased a subscription and were logged in with our credentials, we found the download links in the VyprVPN tab of the control panel. Those requiring more specialized installations, such as Linux users who can connect via the command line interface (CLI) or OpenVPN tools, have tutorials linked conveniently directly under the main download links.
IMAGE: WINDOWS DOWNLOAD INITIATING
Once we had the correct file downloaded, the installation was done and dusted by the time we had a cup of coffee prepared. Quick and easy we hear you say!
Usability-wise, the program has clearly been built to look like the powerful solution that it is. Unlike many competitors that we have reviewed, the menu and configuration navigation and main connection screen are separated into two windows. This encourages users to really sift through the available options to ensure that the user the software to maximum effect.
Rating: 8.8/10 The easy installation belies the powerful functions within.
- Chameleon Protocol
VyprVPN supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and Chameleon, the company’s own 256-bit proprietary encryption protocol based on OpenVPN.
Chameleon, which is available on VyprVPN Premium only, works by scrambling OpenVPN packet metadata to ensure that it cannot be recognized as VPN traffic by surveillance techniques such as deep packet inspection (DPI). This makes it a perfect weapon in the arsenal for anybody hoping to encrypt traffic to stay ahead of oppressive regimes (political dissidents spring quickly to mind).
Chameleon can be used from the Windows client, Mac, Android, or at the router-level installation. PPTP and L2TP provide support for legacy hardware and situations where encryption strength is less important than connection speed.
- DNS Resolving Services
VyprVPN users certainly won’t feel short-changed by the wealth of online security features that it packs into the software. One such feature is VyprDNS, Golden Frog’s zero-logging DNS resolving service that the company makes available exclusively to VyprVPN users. Adding a DNS resolver to the bundle of tools that the VPN offers helps protect against man in the middle (MiiM) attacks and DNS filtering attempts.
- Simultaneous Connections
VyprVPN supports simultaneous connections from three devices on the basic plan and five on its premium option, VyprVPN Premium. While what the basic plan provides isn’t the most generous connection allocation we’ve come across on the market, it is a useful feature for those hoping to stretch out a subscription that little bit farther.
- Granular User Options
VyprVPN allows users to tinker with a long list of advanced settings that make it easy to get exactly the desired performance out of the software. These include the ability to configure a route delay (in seconds) to allow the network to stability while bringing a TAP device online and a verbosity setting that allows users to set the level of detail they want to see on the connection log. For those trying to troubleshoot a faulty connection, this feature is a great bonus.
- Proprietary Network
Those looking to make a quick buck online might be tempted to start a VPN company by provisioning virtual servers in convenient locations around the world. VyprVPN has opted for a rather more holistic business model. Besides developing an in-house protocol and running their own DNS service, the company actually owns all the server hardware its network runs on. For users, this translates to superior reliability, faster response times, and that intangible benefit of the company taking pride in the network that it runs.
Rating: 9/10: VyprVPN does things a little differently – and well.
Can VyprVPN Unblock Netflix?
Although VyprVPN has previously lost the battle against Netflix’s attempt to block all traffic connecting to it from VPN servers, the company has gained the upper hand thanks to some infrastructural improvements.
The result of our testing, and reports from the field, are that it is indeed possible to stream Netflix through VyprVPN but only certain US servers are currently operable. We would, therefore, advise cautious optimism: while Vypr is one of the few providers that can still provide access, the situation is liable to change at any time.
Rating: 8/10: Some US servers allow Netflix streaming, but Vypr has been successfully blocked by Netflix before.
You can pick up VyprVPN for $5.00/month billed annually (or $9.95 billed monthly).
VyprVPN Premium, which ups the simultaneous connection to five and includes VyprVPN Cloud (a dedicated Cloud VPN server) and use of the Chameleon protocol, is available for $6.67/month billed annually or $12.95/month when paid for on a monthly basis. There’s also a three-day free trial. VyprVPN Free is also available but limits users to data usage and simultaneous connections.
Unlike other VPNs, VyprVPN does not offer a money back guarantee. There seems to be some confusion online with different reviews saying different things. However, a visit to Vypr’s Terms and Conditions page outlines under their Refund Policy:
No refunds will be given under any circumstances. No refunds will be considered for accounts deleted for violation of our Terms of Service.
Is it good value for money? If you’re a user in China for whom the Chameleon protocol is the only means of circumventing government censorship, any price to gain internet access is a good one. But for the rest of us, we think it’s a little on the expensive side.
Rating: 8/10 Above average price, but for some, it’s worth every cent.
How Fast is VyprVPN: Servers and Performance
VyprVPN’s proprietary network features over 700 servers around the world. Location-wise, it’s a very broad spread. While its US footprint is on the thin side (8 cities), it’s also provisioned servers in El Salvador, Cairo, Egypt, and Karachi, Pakistan.
While on the fast side of average, the overall performance of its network isn’t really anything to write how about.
We were able to get 21.61Mbps through the server in Algeria.
Selecting what the Windows client said would be the fastest server that could be offered (in Turkey) resulted in a fairly modest gain to only 24.56 Mbps. From a baseline of approximately 40 Mbps, these are solid connection speeds but certainly aren’t the fastest that we have seen.
What we did appreciate more than the so-so speeds was the user interface, which visually presents each server’s ping-times, helping to weed out options with unacceptable latency times.
Rating: 6.8/10 Wide server network and nice UI but average speeds.
How Secure is VyprVPN: Vypr Logs
On a patriotic ‘about us’ page, Golden Frog points out that Switzerland has a “long history of respecting privacy”. But on the other hand, according to another VPN provider, “Switzerland has some of the most draconian data retention laws in all of Europe.”
While the company has made an educational push to explain that true so-called zero-logs providers may not really offer just that, those seeking maximum privacy will need a stronger argument than being based in Switzerland before choosing to use them.
Is VyprVPN Reliable – Customer Support?
Support is available through live chat, an adequate (but not exemplary) online help center, and through an online ticketing system. Truth be told, none of it is really all that fantastic.
Attempting to initiate a live chat with our test query proved quite a frustrating (and circular) experience. Once we finally managed to get the dialogue window loaded, we had to scroll through a series of automated messages and wait for an agent to join the chat. Not quite the instantaneous help that we’ve come to expect from some of the best providers. Our experience corroborates the experiences of other users.
Rating: 6.2/10: Sufficient channels, but inadequate responsiveness.
VyprVPN Rating By SecureThoughts.com
Our final verdict for VyprVPN is a 7.6/10. While the VPN could use more servers and its customer support is lackluster, the installation was simple, and we really like the addition of their Chameleon protocol.
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