HomeTechnologyNewsVyprVPN Review: Venomous or Fangless?

VyprVPN Review: Venomous or Fangless?

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Ratings:

6/10

?

  • 1 – Doesn’t work
  • 2 – Barely functional
  • 3 – Very poor in most areas
  • 4 – It works, but has numerous problems
  • 5 – Good but leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great and worth buying
  • 8 – Fantastic, approaching the best of its class
  • 9 – Top of his class
  • 10 – Borderline perfection

Price:
From $5/month

VyprVPN is an independent VPN service owned and operated by Swiss-based Golden Frog. It has a strong reputation for privacy and is also at the forefront of efforts to combat Internet censorship. I gave it a spin to see how it works.

Compared to the best VPNs, VyprVPN performs well, but not without a few minor issues. Thanks to its censorship-breaking Chameleon protocol, it’s a great choice for people trying to use the internet from China or similar restrictive regimes. However, it falls short in a few other areas, most notably its inability to unblock Netflix.

This is what we like

  • The price is correct
  • good interface
  • Oriented to evade censorship

And what we don’t do

  • I can’t figure out Netflix
  • No anonymous registration
  • turn off by default

How-To Geek’s expert reviewers get right down to business with every product we review. We put each piece of hardware through hours of real-world testing and benchmark it in our lab. We never accept payments to endorse or review a product and we never add other people’s reviews. Read more >>

VyprVPN interface

Let’s start this review by taking a look at how VyprVPN is handled. Like many VPNs, it uses a small, mobile-sized app, regardless of operating system. It is currently available for Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android. It can also be installed on QNAP NAS, Blackphones, and a wide selection of VPN-enabled routers.

For this review, I tested VyprVPN on a Windows 10 laptop and I have to say that I quite like the interface. Like most other VPNs, it has a simple layout with just a handful of buttons: one that turns on the VPN, another that lets you choose a location (the one that says “fastest server” on the screenshot below), and then some more below that for settings and the like.

Vypr VPN main interface

I really like this approach, I also commend ExpressVPN for it as it basically makes it so you don’t know what to do on your end. For example, as much as I like Proton VPN, its interface is a bit of a nightmare for anyone new to VPNs with too many switches and dials. VyprVPN avoids this type of problem.

Vypr VPN connected

The setup menu is just as simple and intuitive. However, for some reason, two important features are disabled by default. The first is the kill switch, which many VPNs have disabled by default despite the fact that it is an extremely important security measure.

VyprVPN Setup

The second is what VyprVPN calls its public Wi-Fi protection. I’m not exactly sure what this is supposed to do, as VPNs by their nature protect you while on public Wi-Fi, but VyprVPN advertises this feature very frequently on their website, so I was It’s surprising to see that users need to turn it on themselves. Then again, I wouldn’t worry too much about it, especially since public Wi-Fi isn’t the security issue it used to be.

VyprVPN Servers

VyprVPN has a large number of servers available in 70 locations, though it should be noted that you cannot choose individual servers in those locations. Spread is pretty decent, with locations around the world well represented, though as usual the center of gravity is in Europe and North America.

VyprVPN Server Selection

Server selection is fairly easy; Just scroll down the list and choose the location you want. My only problem here, aside from not being able to choose individual servers, is that there are no submenus. So a country like the United States has several entrances. It makes the list longer than necessary, but it’s not a deal breaker.

VyprVPN US Servers

VyprVPN and Netflix

VyprVPN doesn’t exactly advertise itself as a VPN that can crack streaming services, but it mentions here and there that it can. In my experience, this is false. I tried five servers with Netflix, and none of them managed to communicate. I usually try 10 or so, but five times the goose egg was daunting enough that I gave up. If you’re looking for a streaming VPN, VyprVPN isn’t it.

Speed

VyprVPN speeds are pretty good. I tested the VPN speeds the way I normally do, first determining what my unprotected speed was from my home in Cyprus, and then connecting to four locations around the world. I try to always use the same locations at staggered distances. The results are below.

Location Ping (ms) Downloads (Mbps) Uploads (Mbps)
Cyprus (no protection) 5 104 42
Israel 129 94 38
United Kingdom 125 88 37
NY 262 90 36
Japan 680 17 12

As you can imagine, I was pretty impressed with VyprVPN until I came to Japan. My connections to Israel, the UK and the US showed great results, on par with IVPN, but then failed once I connected to Tokyo. This prevents VyprVPN from calling really fast, though, at the same time, it could also be a nasty fluke. After all, there are a lot of things that can influence the speed of a VPN, though subsequent tests didn’t show much of a difference.

That being said, overall the performance was pretty good and VyprVPN seems to be one of the few services that has good servers in Israel. Usually my results there, despite being only a few hundred miles away, are terrible. The latency, or ping, is terrible of course, but I have yet to find the VPN that can fix that problem.

Prices

VyprVPN’s pricing is simple and offers a single plan that includes all the features. The only choice here is whether you want to go month to month and pay $10 per month or sign up for a full year and pay $60.

VyprVPN Pricing

At $60, VyprVPN falls squarely in the middle of the market, making it easy to compare with its competitors. For example, it’s $40 per year cheaper than ExpressVPN but costs the same as two of my favorites, Mullvad and IVPN.

Compared to those two, VyprVPN is a good buy: it doesn’t offer the same speeds as Mullvad or IVPN, for example, though neither is particularly good for connecting to Netflix. If that’s a priority, you can always pay $10 per year more and get Windscribe. Although it’s not as fast or as easy to use, it does a better job of streaming.

At $5 a month when paid annually, seriously never go month to month with VPN, that’s a terrible value, VyprVPN is a good buy. However, if it was a dollar or two cheaper, it would be even better.

security and privacy

When it comes to security and privacy, VyprVPN seems like a solid choice – the only good yardstick is whether or not a VPN has had any scandals in the past. Fortunately, VyprVPN doesn’t have skeletons like that in its closet, but there are a few things consumers should be aware of.

For one, VyprVPN requires your full name when signing up. Although few VPNs will allow you to sign up anonymously, I think this goes beyond what is absolutely necessary. On top of that, you can’t pay with cash or cryptocurrency; okay, cryptocurrencies are pseudonymous, but the point still stands, so it’s not like you can use a fake name either. If anonymity is important to you, VyprVPN is not a good choice.

Sign up for VyprVPN

Other than that though, VyprVPN dots all your i’s and crosses all your t’s. The privacy policy is a concise and clear document. VyprVPN is a no-logs VPN, which means that all records of your activity are destroyed. However, the company makes no secret that it will operate with law enforcement when presented with a court order. While this is nothing new, VyprVPN knows your name, so there’s a chance it might be shared if you’re caught doing something illegal, like torrenting.

Security and Protocols

When it comes to security issues, the picture is a bit better: you have everything in place for a safe browsing experience, though you do have to make sure you turn the kill switch yourself.

When it comes to VPN protocols, VyprVPN uses WireGuard by default, which is one of the best out there. As a secondary option, it offers OpenVPN, which is also very good, IPSec, which is not so great, and of course its proprietary Chameleon protocol.

Vypr VPN protocols

The latter is interesting as it was designed as a way to get through the Great Firewall of China by disguising your VPN connection as normal traffic. It’s not the only VPN to do this – Proton VPN, for example, recently introduced its Stealth protocol – but VyprVPN was definitely one of the first.

The only bad news in this section is that I feel like VyprVPN dwells a bit on the wrong things in their marketing material. For one, it talks a lot about how it can be used to protect you while you’re using public Wi-Fi, which seems a bit outdated if I’m honest. It also claims that it “protects online activity,” a common claim, but then doesn’t explain exactly what this protection entails.

However, this seems more like a problem for the marketing team than for the security manager. As far as I can tell, VyprVPN is perfectly safe to use, although I do worry about the lack of anonymity.

Should you sign up for VyprVPN?

Looking at the big picture, there’s a lot to recommend VyprVPN, but I have a nagging feeling that it could do a lot better, too. For example, if bypassing Internet censorship is your top priority, VyprVPN seems like the ticket. The Chameleon protocol, along with its other security features, should make it ideal for breaking through the defenses of China or Russia, to name just two.

However, personal experience and reports from other sources show that, well, any good VPN does a similar job; is not a reason to buy VyprVPN. At $60 a year, which is a reasonable price, you can get faster VPNs. Pay a few bucks more and you can get one that can even crack Netflix.

While there is certainly a niche for VyprVPN (I really like the interface, for example), I would recommend Mullvad, IVPN, or even ExpressVPN over VyprVPN.

Ratings:
6/10

Price:
From $5/month

This is what we like

  • The price is correct
  • good interface
  • Oriented to evade censorship

And what we don’t do

  • I can’t figure out Netflix
  • No anonymous registration
  • turn off by default

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