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ProtonVPN review

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Tom xsquidgator 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #57963
    Profile photo of Tom
    xsquidgator
    Participant

    I’m trying a different VPN product, protonvpn, and will post updates on how it’s been going.

    There have been a couple discussions here previously about different VPNs:

    Mullvad VPN Service

    Unseen VPN – initial review

    ProtonVPN is from the same proton as Protonmail, the Swiss-based email and now vpn service. I’ve had great experience for several years using a free protonmail account, and so am glad to give the protonvpn a try now that I see it’s available.

    Proton VPN comes in 4 pricing levels, from Free to Premium.
    https://protonvpn.com/pricing
    Higher level means faster connection and more options.

    I’m trying the Plus level which is one under the Premium level. Higher levels give you faster connection speeds, more connections (for family members or other devices to connect), more options.
    This Plus level lets you use their Tor servers which I’ll have to explore, I’m not yet sure how that’s different or better than just using Tor via a regular internet connection.
    If you pay for a year upfront, there’s a 20% discount. There is also a discount if you have a paid ProtonMail email account.
    I’m just doing month-to-month for now while I try it out.

    First day experience:
    Very good. Paid the first month fee ($10), downloaded the protonvpn app, and was online in just a few minutes.
    (Faster and easier than the unseen.is vpn I tried last year)

    If anyone can point me to a connection speed test, I’ll try it and report the results. Qualitatively, the connection speed seems fine and pretty much just as good as what I normally get. I’ll try using different connections of theirs and see how they go. The ProtonVPN app offers connections (at my pricing level) located around the US.
    It also looks like I can choose ProtonVPN servers in quite a few European and Asian countries.

    CTT 10-2014, CTT 1504, RnG/CQB/FoF October 2016, 2017 Georgia CTT/DA, DCH 2018.

    #57964
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Look forward to your final evaluation. :good:

    If anyone can point me to a connection speed test, I’ll try it and report the results.

    I just grab one I find from a search, just make sure you do a with and without test. One of our more knowledgeable members may have a informed favorite.

    #57978
    Profile photo of Tom
    xsquidgator
    Participant

    Something odd- I’ve been using protonvpn today (successfully- no blocked websites on the wireless public internet that I normally use! MVT is one of those that’s normally blocked because weapons)

    I verified that my IP address is somewhere else, and each time I’ve logged in to the protonvpn, whatismyipaddress.com shows me as being at least several states away. All good and expected.

    What’s odd, though, is that if I open up Google while using the vpn, and hit google maps, it knows where I am despite my IP address being somewhere else. It knew this when I was across town today, and now that I’m back on the other side of the county, it still knows where I am even though my computer appears to be in Oklahoma. I’m guessing that my phone (tied to my google account) is being used as the location for google maps. Are there any other explanations for this?
    This is different behavior than when I use the Tor browser bundle via a normal, unsecured internet connection…

    I will also try to verify that none of my tech-saavy friends can intercept or hack my wireless traffic- that alone is one good reason to use a VPN as far as I understand.

    CTT 10-2014, CTT 1504, RnG/CQB/FoF October 2016, 2017 Georgia CTT/DA, DCH 2018.

    #58007
    Profile photo of jmj
    jmj
    Participant

    Google maps is probably using GPS or cell towers to locate you.

    As for ProtonVPN, I’ve a proton mail fan for a while. I was in on the ProtonVPN Beta and it was great, although a bit harder to set up than my prior VPN service.

    I’ve been using free as a back up for a few months now after my PIA subscription expired.

    My current level is premium and I’ve had no complaints. I really like the company’s philosophy of doing things and it’s jumped up to #2 on my list Mullvad (which I hope to try soon) is the only one on my list that might be higher, just because you can mail them physical cash to set up an account.

    Pros- they have both Open VPN and a customized app that works with most devices. Their own app is easy to use and wife-approved. :yahoo:

    The secure core servers are a very interesting idea and seem to work well. As I understand it, it routes your connection to a server they have physical control over in a nice country, then off to your final destination. I typically use Switzerland-USA, so I’d go USA->Switzerland->USA. Yes, it obviously hurts speed but it adds a layer without going full TOR.

    Oh, and they also have TOR servers in case you do want to go full TOR.

    Very happy with their customer support across their platforms. Pricing seems fair, especially since you’re helping subsidize free accounts (which are not always free riders). Having a few spare free accounts seems like a good idea, and one that ProtonVPN has no problem with.

    #58009
    Profile photo of libertycalls
    libertycalls
    Participant

    There’s something called WebRTC that can be used to leak your real IP address. here’s some more information: https://whatismyipaddress.com/webrtc-test

    #58018
    Profile photo of Hunter53
    Hunter53
    Participant

    Phone location by tower triangulation and Google maps tracking would be my thought.
    We went to a bbq joint last saturday about an hour from home enroute to a weekend in the country. No calls, no web surfing while there, smartphone stayed in my pocket, just bbq and watching the Rockets in NBA game. Next day I had a survey request in my email for the bbq joint. VERY CREEPY, only way that happens is if Google is tracking your location.

    #58023
    Profile photo of libertycalls
    libertycalls
    Participant

    You could turn off your location setting on your phone. I have a feeling Google Maps will ask you to turn it back on.

    #58025
    Profile photo of jmj
    jmj
    Participant

    Faraday bags are your friend.

    #58132
    Profile photo of Tom
    xsquidgator
    Participant

    After the first week of using the Proton VPN, so far so good.
    -no disappointments yet like I experienced with the unseen.is vpn (where it won’t connect or quits working)

    -The app or program is easy to use, and is very clear about the status of your VPN connection. (unlike that other one I was using, which quit working but didn’t tell me it wasn’t providing me with a different IP address until i realized it by accident)
    I have checked the proton vpn a number of times using whatismyipaddress.com and have always gotten the expected result, that is, an IP address corresponding to the proton server.

    -Once the app/program is running, it consistently takes about 10 seconds to connect and create the VPN connection. By comparison, the unseen.is vpn could take several minutes to connect.

    -I did a speed test with Proton VPN connected to a US node
    (http://www.speedtest.net)
    With VPN:
    Ping 74 msec, Download speed 17.1 MBps, upload speed 10.6 MBps

    Without VPN:
    Ping 50 msec, Download 24.0 MBps, Upload 11.8 MBps

    Looks like the VPN reduces the connection performance a bit, by perhaps 30% on the download speed and about 10% on the upload speed. Out of curiosity, I ran the test a couple of times and although I didn’t record the results of all the runs, the numbers had something like plus/minus 20% variation in them over a couple of minutes, for what that’s worth. But, the VPN speeds were definitely a bit less than the non-VPN speeds. Even with the VPN, this is slight enough of a difference that I haven’t noticed it while browsing, playing videos, etc.

    I have no idea how either of these speeds stack up against other internet connections, other than to say qualitatively, this is a typical residential broadband connection through my cable company.

    CTT 10-2014, CTT 1504, RnG/CQB/FoF October 2016, 2017 Georgia CTT/DA, DCH 2018.

    #58147
    Profile photo of jmj
    jmj
    Participant

    I’m getting in the same ballpark depending on what configuration and servers I use. Looks like the guy over at thatoneprivacysite got similar data, too.

    ProtonVPN Review

    Like you, I’ve not noticed the difference. Even when playing with some of the more advanced and remote connection options, it’s waaaaay better than what I could only dream of in the old days.

    #58148
    Profile photo of RonW
    farmer
    Participant

    You could turn off your location setting on your phone. I have a feeling Google Maps will ask you to turn it back on.

    You are correct. I never have my “location on” unless I am using my map for directions to somewhere. Google will ask you if you want it on.

    RonW

    #58719
    Profile photo of Tom
    xsquidgator
    Participant

    One month in, and the experience with ProtonVPN is still very good.
    I can still recommend it without any reservations other than you might be able to get something a little cheaper by looking around.

    Above all, it has remained quick-connecting and reliable. This is what I’d hope for, but is better than what some other VPN services have been able to offer.
    :good:

    CTT 10-2014, CTT 1504, RnG/CQB/FoF October 2016, 2017 Georgia CTT/DA, DCH 2018.

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