A great VPN for the security-minded; VyprVPN Review
Golden Frog’s VyprVPN has some tough expectations to stand up to, given the stance that Gold Frog has on personal privacy and security, but the product doesn’t disappoint. Not only does it have strong encryption and security protocols, but VyprVPN also offers download and upload speeds on the high side of the average range, and if offers a minimalist design with an easy-to-use interface. The price, however, might be more than some users are willing to pay.
What We Like
- Publicly audited zero-logs policy
- Live chat support available 24/7
- Excellent privacy features
- Strong encryption protocols
What We Don’t Like
- No anonymous payment capabilities
- Basic plan doesn’t include Chameleon
- Some slow to extremely slow connections
Setup Process: Fast and easy
The setup process for VyprVPN is as straightforward as most other VPNs; download a file, install the app, and get connected. We tested VyprVPN on multiple platforms found that from download to first connection takes only minutes to complete. There are no confusing configurations or unclear instructions to worry with if you’re new to using a VPN. For more advanced users, however, there are some customizations that may be useful, including port configurations, the ability to switch between VPN protocols, and an option to use a third-party DNS if desired.
It’s also worth noting that VyprVPN is available on numerous traditional platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, but it’s also available for other devices such as routers, Android and Apple TVs, and others. In all cases, the setup process is relatively simple and straightforward, but if you do run into trouble, the online support documentation is easy to use, and there is 24/7 support available through Live Chat as well.
Premium subscribers also have access to VyprVPN Cloud, which adds an additional layer of security when you access a public or private cloud. However, that’s a feature that may be more suited to advanced users, and it only works on a few platforms, including DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, and VirtualBox.
Design: Informative but minimalist
VyprVPN, like many VPNs on the market, has a minimalist design that’s easy to navigate. One nice feature of the user interface is that it offers a few basic stats about your connection, at a glance. For example, you can quickly see the VyprVPN IP address that is attributed to your connection, how long you’ve been connected, and what VPN protocol and encryption level is protecting your connection.
Navigating VyprVPN’s options is also mostly intuitive. The connection button is obvious and includes the option to choose a different server location. It connects to the fastest server by default. You cannot, however, drill-down and choose a specific server to connect to, and to find some of the more advanced features of VyprVPN, you’ll need to click the Settings icon in the upper right corner and go to Options. There, you can choose how you want to connect, what protocols you want to use, and what DNS you want to use, among other options.
One area of performance where there’s no question that VyprVPN is at the top of its game is security.
Performance: Slower than most
As part of Golden Frog, a company that’s well-known for its commitment to privacy, VyprVPN comes with a certain expectation of performance, and for the most part, it doesn’t disappoint. From the super simple set-up and connection process through actually using the VPN, it’s an easy process, and there are over 700 servers in 70 countries to connect to, so it’s never hard to find a connection in the location you want.
Where you might experience some difficulties is with those server connections that are not close to home. We conducted numerous speed tests on several platforms running VyprVPN, and most of them were in the average to low range when you compare them with other premium VPNs.
The maximum downstream speed we were able to achieve was just 83.26 Mbps on our 1 Gbps connection, which is significantly slower than competitors like NordVPN. It’s fast enough for most purposes, but still much slower than other VPNs.
We also encountered a few servers that were significantly slower than others in locations further away from where we were connecting. Notably, the UK and Hong Kong both saw severe speed decreases, no matter what time of day we connected.
One area of performance where there’s no question that VyprVPN is at the top of its game is security. Relying on multiple VPN protocols and encryption technologies such as OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, and EAS-256 Encryption, there’s little question that you’re protected as you move around the web.
Streaming: Works with Netflix
We were able to stream Netflix when connected to US, and UK based servers, but not Japanese servers. We were also able to stream Hulu and Amazon Prime Video when connected to US-based servers. We were also able to get through to the BBC iPlayer when connected to UK-based servers, so Vyper clearly has most of the bases covered here.
Vypr has a no log policy, and they don’t log any of your activity when connected to the service. However, they have a problematic history of logging information like your personal IP address and timestamps. This seemingly harmless information has been used by law enforcement in cases that didn’t involve Vypr, and Vypr no longer logs that type of information.
If you’re concerned about dealing with a VPN that has exhibited less than ideal logging practices in the past, Vypr provides regular transparency reports.
Security Features: VyprVPN goes all out
Not only does VyprVPN employ some of the best technology available for security, but it also takes security so seriously that it’s gone several steps further. First, there is the strict no-logs policy that VyprVPN takes so seriously that it allowed an independent security audit to be conducted by Leviathan Security Group, and made those results available to the public. Also, since VyprVPN is based in Switzerland, the company collects no personally identifiable information associated with a VPN connection.
The company also owns and manages all the servers that it uses, no matter where in the world they are. That makes this a Tier 1 VPN Platform, but VyprVPN takes it one step further and writes all its own DNS servers, so there is no third party involved at any point in the process that could compromise your information.
Of course, VyprVPN also offers all the security features that you would expect, including a kill switch that will stop all internet traffic if you lose connection to ensure that none of your data is compromised. There is also a DNS Leak Prevention feature that stops Windows from leaking your IP address when you’re connected with VyprVPN. We performed several DNS leak tests and found no leaks.
VyprVPN also has a proprietary security feature called Chameleon. Chameleon is a protocol that uses OpenVPN 256-bit encryption to mask your VPN traffic so it doesn’t look like VPN traffic. This is useful in countries that block VPNs like North Korea and China. Unfortunately, the Chameleon capabilities are only available for Windows, Mac, and Android users. iOS users are out of luck because the technology is blocked by Apple.
VyprVPN owns and manages all the servers that it uses, no matter where in the world they are.
VyprVPN doesn’t have any peer to peer optimized servers, but they don’t block torrenting activity. The service also includes a kill switch, which is a must-have feature if you’re going to torrent through a VPN. If you lose your connection to the VPN while torrenting, the kill switch immediately closes every connection and prevents any previously-connected seeds or peers from gleaning your actual IP address.
Ad Blocking: Not included
VyprVPN doesn’t include a built-in ad blocker, so you won’t have protection from malware or overzealous ad trackers when connected to the service. Some VPNs include this feature, because the ability to block ad trackers at the DNS level provides a nice extra layer of security and ensures that ad trackers won’t inadvertently learn any compromising information about your system or connection. If that sounds like a useful feature, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Customer Service: Difficult to locate
Golden Frog doesn’t make it easy to get customer service or support for VyprVPN. There appears to be a ticket system, but we only assume that based on the presence of a cryptic “submit a request” link.
The support page also has a web chat interface, but it doesn’t put you in touch with a real customer support agent. Instead, this interface allows you to interact with a customer support bot.
Price: On par with more sophisticated VPN services
One aspect of setup that may cause users to pause is the cost of the VyprVPN service. Comparatively speaking, it’s a little high. First, there is a Standard plan and a Premium plan. The Standard plan costs $9.99/month if you purchase it on a month-to-month basis or $5.00/month when you purchase a full year at $60.00. Unfortunately, that allows for only three concurrent device connections and it blocks out the Chameleon feature and the VyprVPN Cloud.
The Premium option is more expensive than many other premium VPNs, at around $12.95/month when purchased on a month-to-month basis or $6.67/month when purchased annually for $80.00/year. With the Premium subscription, users do get access to the Chameleon protocol and VyprVPN Cloud, and they also can have up to five devices connected at the same time.
Competition: VyprVPN vs NordVPN
For what it costs, some users may struggle with purchasing VyprVPN over a service like NordVPN, and with good reason. While VyprVPN has excellent security and encryption options, the swings in speed can be off-putting for users who are mainly interested in connecting through those countries that are affected.
Furthermore, VyprVPN has some difficulties with connections to streaming services. Users will be able to stream Netflix through most servers, but during our testing, we did encounter a few that were blocked, even when using the Chameleon protocol. BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime content were also blocked. NordVPN overcomes those issues and can be used with Netflix and other streaming services.
Torrenting is another area where VyprVPN and NordVPN go head-to-head. While VyprVPN claims users are entitled to their privacy while using the VPN, the company’s Terms of Service expressly prohibit copyright infringement and sharing illegal content, and some users have reported having their accounts disabled due to torrenting.
On the other hand, NordVPN offers specific servers to users who want to participate in P2P file sharing.
For averages users, it’s great, if you’re a heavy user, it might not be enough.
VyprVPN offers top-notch security and reliable speeds for downloading and streaming or gaming, which makes it good for average users who don’t mind paying a little extra for publicly audited security features. However, heavy VPN users looking to participate in P2P sharing or who might want consistently high speeds and a better likelihood of accessing Netflix in geo-restricted areas may prefer a higher-rated VPN.
- Product Name: VyperVPN
- Price: $9.99
- Speed: (Fastest Observed)83.26 Mbps (Tested on a 1Gbps connection)
- Operating Systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
- Server Locations: 64 Countries
- Number of Servers: 700+
- Streaming: Yes, tested Netflix (US, UK), Hulu (US), iPlayer (UK)
- Torrenting: Yes, with a kill switch
- Encryption: EAS-256 OpenVPN , PPTP, IPSec, L2TP
- Log FilesNo logging
- Jurisdiction: Switzerland