VyprVPN review | TechRadar
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A popular Swiss-based VPN from the same corporate group as as Usenet provider Giganews, VyprVPN has a decent-sized network with 700+ servers in 73 locations across 64 countries. These aren’t solely focused on Europe and North America, as we often see; 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. That means there’s no reliance on third-party web hosts, unlike most of the competition.
Welcome features include unlimited data usage, a zero-knowledge DNS service, a customized Chameleon protocol to help bypass VPN blocking, P2P support across the network, 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 30 tutorials to help you set up the service on Chromebooks, Linux, Blackberry, Synology NAS, OpenELEC, Android TV, Apple TV, and via DD-WRT, AsusWRT, OpenWRT and more. (VyprVPN doesn’t have any browser extensions, though.)
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 are mostly about performance and protocols. You can now make speedy WireGuard connections on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Android TV. The company’s Chameleon obfuscation protocol has been reengineered to do an even better job of getting around VPN blocking, and the VyprVPN iOS protocol now supports both Chameleon and OpenVPN.
There’s good news on the unblocking front, too, with VyprVPN now claiming to support 64 libraries, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go and more. Does it deliver? Keep reading.
VyprVPN offers over 700 servers in more than 70 locations across 64 countries (Image credit: Golden Frog)Plans and pricing
VyprVPN pricing starts at $12.95 billed monthly, towards the high end of the $10-$13 industry average.
The annual plan is cheap at just $3.75 a month (paid up-front), though, and it plummets to only $2.50 a month on the two-year plan.
This isn’t just special introductory deal, either, where the price doubles on renewal (like at Surfshark.) There are no marketing tricks, no uncomfortable surprises later – just some surprisingly low standard prices.
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 256-bit encryption and strong support for a variety of VPN protocols (Image credit: Golden Frog)Privacy
VyprVPN protects your privacy with well-chosen protocols and industrial-strength encryption. It supports AES-256-GCM and SHA384 HMAC by default for OpenVPN, 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.)
WireGuard is now supported across all platforms. 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.
VyprVPN keeps no logs on its users (Image credit: Golden Frog)Logging
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 two years 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.
We used Ookla’s SpeedTest and TestMy to measure VyprVPN’s performance (Image credit: Ookla)Performance
To understand the real-world performance of a VPN, we put every service we review through a series of intensive tests.
Our VyprVPN checks began by firing up a custom script which connected to all 73 VyprVPN locations via OpenVPN, measured connection times and recorded any connection failures, used geolocation to verify the server location, and ran ping tests to look for any latency issues. (And then we ran the script again, just to be sure.)
We had seven connections errors across our two runs (around 5% of our connection attempts.) That’s a little higher than average, but not bad overall, especially when using third-party software (we expect VyprVPN’s own apps would do a much better job of avoiding connection problems.)
On the plus side, connection times were faster than our last review at around 4-5 seconds, latencies were as we’d expect, and all 73 servers returned IP addresses from their advertised locations.
Next, we connected to our nearest VyprVPN server from two locations – one US location with a 600Mbps test connection, one UK data center – and checked our speeds with the benchmarking sites SpeedTest and TestMy.
OpenVPN speeds were poor everywhere at an average 30Mbps in the UK, 50-70Mbps in the US.
Switching protocol to WireGuard made a huge difference, though, for example increasing our UK speeds from 30Mbps to 140-180Mbps. That’s a capable result which puts VyprVPN in a similar performance area to Surfshark (150Mbps in a recent test) and ExpressVPN (160-170Mbps), although it’s still trailing a long way behind the likes of NordVPN (340Mbps) and Hotspot Shield (360Mbps).
We also checked worst-case performance by measuring download speeds from the UK to New Zealand, the most distant location on VyprVPN’s list. The results were very reasonable at 15-20Mbps, enough for browsing and HD streaming.
VyprVPN was able to unblock Netflix in all of our tests (Image credit: Netflix)Netflix
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, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
VyprVPN only has a single location in UK, limiting your options for unblocking BBC iPlayer, buy VyprVPN successfully allowed us 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.
VyprVPN failed to get us access to US Amazon Prime content from our Amazon.co.uk account (although we could at least still stream UK content while connected to VyprVPN’s UK server.)
The company ended on a high note with Disney+, though, losing the login issues we saw in the last review, and enabling us to browse and stream whatever we liked.
While that’s not quite a perfect performance, it’s better than many, and VyprVPN deserves huge credit for the way it handles problems.
For example, 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.
It looks like VyprVPN doesn’t just bury these reports, either. As we mentioned above, the website has a public Service Status page which lists streaming and other problems, and lets you know when they’re fixed.
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 offers clients for most major platforms (Image credit: Golden Frog)Client setup
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 client offers a clean and streamlined user interface (Image credit: Golden Frog)Windows client
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. Locations are sorted by country initially, but you can also organize them by continent or ping time.
The client supports four protocols: there’s WireGuard, OpenVPN, VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon, and IKEv2. (VyprVPN dropped the less secure L2TP and PPTP some time ago.)
VyprVPN also includes a built-in kill switch in case your VPN connection goes down (Image credit: Golden Frog)
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 IKEv2 connection, though, the kill switch did nothing at all, and the device used our regular connection instead. This isn’t quite as bad as it sounds – the app displays a ‘Disconnected’ alert, so you’ll know there’s a problem, and it reconnected us within seconds – but it’s still clearly a weakness in the system.
After connecting via WireGuard, we forcibly closed VyprVPN’s WireGuard service. Our connection dropped immediately, but this time the app didn’t even notice an issue. It continued to display our status as ‘Connected’, even though traffic was no longer passing through the VPN.
This is a tough test, and it’s very unlikely the service will crash in real world use. But it’s at least theoretically possible, and once again shows the kill switch isn’t robust enough to protect you in every situation.
Bug reports can be made from within the Windows client (Image credit: Golden Frog)
Elsewhere, 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.
This is the interface of VyprVPN’s Android app (Image credit: Golden Frog)Android app
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 has expanded since our last review, and now includes WireGuard as well as OpenVPN and VyprVPN’s own Chameleon.
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 (although that’s less relevant now WireGuard is here) – but it’s easy to use, with a decent feature list, and more capable than a lot of the competition.
VyprVPN’s iOS app looks quite similar to its Android offering (Image credit: Golden Frog)iOS app
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 WireGuard, though, as well as OpenVPN and 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.
VyprVPN’s knowledgebase includes a great deal of helpful information, and it’s even searchable (Image credit: Golden Frog)Support
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 29 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.
Help is just a click away with live chat support (Image credit: Golden Frog)
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.
There’s a lot to like about VyprVPN, all in all (Image credit: Golden Frog)Final verdict
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 above-average website unblocking, and WireGuard available everywhere. We like the detailed no-logging security audit, too, although as this dates from 2018, it’s probably time for another.
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