VyprVPN review

A no logs VPN with apps for almost everything, but look out for the price

VyprVPN Website
(Image: © VyprVPN)

TechRadar Verdict

VyprVPN has feature-packed, easy to use apps, and its custom Chameleon protocol does more than most to get you online in China and other VPN-unfriendly countries. But speeds are below par, it doesn't unblock Netflix, and there's just not enough here to justify the premium price.

Pros

  • +

    Feature-packed apps

  • +

    Chameleon protocol can get around VPN blocking

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    Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus

Cons

  • -

    High prices

  • -

    Doesn't unblock US Netflix

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    Below average speeds

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    Windows kill switch issues

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A popular Swiss-based VPN from the same corporate group as Usenet provider Giganews, VyprVPN has a decent-sized network with 700+ servers in 70+ locations across 60+ 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 a zero-knowledge DNS service, a customized Chameleon protocol to help bypass VPN blocking, WireGuard support to optimize performance, P2P support across the network, and 24/7/365 customer support to keep the service running smoothly.

Wide platform support includes apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Tomato-based 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.

Whatever hardware you're using, VyprVPN supports connecting up to 30 devices simultaneously if you sign up via the website, though only 5 if you sign up from the Android or iOS apps. (We're not sure why there's such a huge difference, but if you do have a lot of hardware to protect, keep in mind that Atlas VPN, IPVanish, PureVPN, Surfshark and Windscribe have no fixed connection limits at all.)

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.

VyprVPN hasn't delivered any major updates since our last review, but we noticed a few small app tweaks. The most significant is a new Connection Details panel which displays the latest stats on your current session (length, data uploaded and downloaded, and so on).

VyprVPN Locations

VyprVPN offers over 700 servers in more than 70 locations worldwide (Image credit: VyprVPN)
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VyprVPN pricing

VyprVPN's pricing scheme has changed completely since our last review, with a couple of notable differences.

The first is it's all very simple, with the previous jumble of plans replaced by straightforward monthly and annual subscriptions.

The second is that it's vastly more expensive. Forget the old 'two months for $12.95' deal; the monthly plan (opens in new tab) is now $15, one of the most expensive products around.

The annual plan (opens in new tab) is a little better, but still costly at $8.33 a month (an upfront $100). And way more expensive than the '3 years for $65' plan we found last time.

Although there are a few providers in the same ballpark price-wise – ExpressVPN asks $8.32 a month, Hotspot Shield $7.99 – most services charge around $4 to $5 a month on their annual plans. You can save even more by signing up for long-term subscriptions. Private Internet Access charges $2.03 a month for the first term of its three-year plan, for instance, and Ivacy's five-year plan is a monthly $1.19 (VyprVPN is seven times more expensive than this).

Payment options are limited to card and PayPal. If you sign up and aren't happy, you're 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 problems.

VyprVPN Protocols

VyprVPN protects your privacy with 256-bit encryption and strong support for a variety of VPN protocols (Image credit: VyprVPN)

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. (The latter is a smart technique which ensures that a different key is used for every connection, so that even if an attacker obtains a private key somehow, they would only be able to access data in that particular session.)

WireGuard is now supported across all platforms, along with OpenVPN and IKEv2. VyprVPN's custom Chameleon 2.0 protocol has been improved to do an even better job of bypassing aggressive VPN blocking (it's a new option with the iOS app, too, which is good to see). Reports suggest this works well in China, although we don't test this and so can't confirm it.

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 apps 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. We'll look at these in more detail later.

VyprVPN No Logs

VyprVPN keeps no logs on its users (Image credit: VyprVPN)
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Logging

Figuring out a VPN's real logging procedures can require spending an age digging through the privacy policy, terms of service, support documents and more, before trying to decide how much you can trust whatever the provider has said.

VyprVPN improves on this immediately with a privacy policy which gets straight to the point, explaining that there's no logging of source or destination IP addresses, connection start or stop times, user traffic or DNS requests.

Even better, you don't have to take VyprVPN's word for this, as in September 2018 the company hired Leviathan Security Group to audit the platform and produce a public report (opens in new tab) on its logging practices.

The results (opens in new tab) [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 more than three years since this audit; plenty of time for new problems to have cropped up. TunnelBear has had four annual security audits of its service, and we'd like to see other providers do repeat runs in this way.

VyprVPN Platform Support

VyprVPN offers clients for most major platforms (Image credit: VyprVPN)

Setup

Signing up to VyprVPN is easy, and once you've handed over your details, the website points you to an Apps page with a host of useful links.

There are downloads for the company's Windows, Mac, Android and iOS apps, the raw Android APK file if you need to install it somewhere manually, and VyprVPN's Chrome browser extension.

Setup is easy, and much the same as every other VPN app you've ever installed. Download and run the app, follow the instructions, enter your username and password when you're prompted, and essentially, you're ready to go.

You're not restricted to the apps either. VyprVPN's website has tutorials to help you manually set up the service on Chromebooks, Linux, Synology NAS, OpenELEC, Android TV, Apple TV, and on routers 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 essentials, though, and should get you connected with minimal hassle.

VyprVPN Windows Client

VyprVPN's Windows client has a clean and streamlined user interface (Image credit: Golden Frog)
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Windows app

VyprVPN's Windows VPN client looks and feels much like a mobile VPN app. It consists of a simple opening window that 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.

Connection times are longer than usual – indeed up to 10 seconds for WireGuard. The best apps average 2-4 seconds, and AtlasVPN managed around a second.

A new Connection Details panel is just a click away, and displays details including your upload and download speeds, the session length, your chosen server, protocol and more. This isn't the most essential of features, but the stats could be useful occasionally, and we're happy to see them here.

VyprVPN Kill Switch

VyprVPN also includes a built-in kill switch in case your VPN connection goes down (Image credit: Golden Frog)

A kill switch aims to protect you if the VPN drops, or that's the idea, but it didn't always work that way.

If we manually closed an OpenVPN connection the kill switch kicked in instantly, blocking internet traffic, displaying a warning and giving us an option to reconnect.

If we did the same with an IKEv2 connection, though, the kill switch didn't appear to work, and our device used its regular internet connection instead. The app didn't display a 'Disconnected' warning to alert us to the problem, either. Fortunately, it did automatically reconnect within a few seconds, limiting our exposure.

We found the kill switch protected us properly on WireGuard connections, which is important as we suspect most people won't use anything else. But we noticed one or two smaller hassles, with the app again warning us of connection troubles via its own window, rather than using desktop notifications as a clearer alert.

VyprVPN's kill switch mostly does its job, then, but doesn't always kick in instantly, and there could be usability issues in some extreme situations.

VyprVPN Report Bugs

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.

If VyprVPN's zero-knowledge VyprDNS service doesn't suit your needs, you can switch it to any other DNS provider you like. And the app can automatically connect to VyprVPN whenever you access untrusted Wi-Fi networks. That's not just a convenient time-saver: if you must connect to a VPN manually, there's always a chance you'll forget, and leave yourself inadvertently exposed to danger.

The kill switch needs just a little work, but otherwise this is a decent Windows app: it's fast, has a strong set of features and is generally easy to use.

VyprVPN Mac App

VyprVPN's Mac client is similar to the Windows software, but adds split tunneling into the mix (Image credit: VyprVPN)

Mac app

Mac VPN apps can sometimes be a disappointment when you discover they only have a fraction of the features available on other platforms. But not with VyprVPN – its Mac app is a very close match for the Windows version, and even better in one area.

The interface is identical, for instance; straightforward and user-friendly. There's the same location list, sensibly organized, with a Favorites system to help speed up accessing the servers you need.

The core settings are the same. There's support for OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2 and Chameleon protocols; auto-connect to automatically protect you when accessing public Wi-Fi; custom DNS options; and a kill switch to protect you if the VPN connection drops.

The Mac app has one major feature you won't find on Windows: support for split tunneling allows you to define which apps use the VPN, and which use your regular connection.

The app isn't perfect – it's also inherited the same lengthy connection times as the Windows edition, for instance. But overall, this is a capable Mac app, easy to use and offering more functionality than we usually see with Mac clients.

VyprVPN Android App

This is 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 Windows version, too: a kill switch, DNS leak protection, startup and auto-reconnect options, and the ability to use custom DNS settings.

Protocol support 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 blocklist, 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.

As on the Mac, there's a Connection Per App feature which 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 internet connection.

The app has its issues. Connection times were fractionally longer than usual, for instance, and we'd like to have IKEv2 support (although that's less relevant now the much faster WireGuard is here).

These aren't major complaints, though, and overall this is an above-average app with a decent feature set, and well worth a place on your Android shortlist.

VyprVPN iOS App

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, IKEv2 and VyprVPN's Chameleon. 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 a likeable, user-friendly, and simple way to access VyprVPN from your iDevice.

Speedtest.net performance benchmark

We evaluate every VPN we review with a variety of speed test benchmarks (Image credit: Speedtest.net)

Performance

To understand the real-world performance of a VPN, we put every service we review through a series of intensive tests.

We use test locations in the US and UK, each with a 1Gbps connection. After connecting to our nearest VPN server, we check speeds at least five times with multiple benchmarking sites and services: SpeedTest.net's website and the command line app, Netflix's Fast.com, TestMy.net and more. Tests are repeated for at least two protocols (where possible), and the full set of tests is repeated across morning and evening sessions, before we crunch the numbers and calculate median speeds.

OpenVPN performance proved disappointing, with speeds peaking at 45Mbps (even poor providers typically average 100-200Mbps).

Fortunately, VyprVPN doesn't just support the OpenVPN protocol, and switching to WireGuard accelerated our downloads to 340-360Mbps in the UK, 270-420Mbps in the US. That's still on the low side – most VPNs reach 400-600Mbps, Hide.me and TorGuard achieved 900Mbps and higher – but it's likely to be enough for many situations.

Netflix menu showing popular shows

VyprVPN failed to get us into US Netflix in our latest round of testing (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix and streaming

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 Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus. Whatever happened, we disconnected, reconnected, checked we had a different IP address and tried again, just to see if the result might vary depending on our IP.

VyprVPN only has a single location in UK, limiting options for unblocking BBC iPlayer, but it successfully allowed us to stream content on all three test connections without any issues at all.

US Netflix is a bigger challenge, and VyprVPN failed to get us access with all three of our test locations.

The service did better with Disney Plus, allowing us to access US-only content from two of our three test locations.

And the results picked up even more as VyprVPN got us into US Amazon Prime Video with every location we chose.

Three out of four is a fair performance, but others go further. CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, NordVPN, ProtonVPN and Surfshark all scored full marks in recent unblocking tests.

VyprVPN Customer Support

VyprVPN's knowledgebase includes some decent content, but some articles are pretty barebones (Image credit: VyprVPN)

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, with plenty of guides covering setting up the service on a wide range of platforms.

Unfortunately, when you eventually reach an article, there's usually not much in the way of content. Setup guides are generally stripped back to the essentials, with few (or no) screenshots to help illustrate the points they're trying to make. FAQs can also be 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.

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.

VyprVPN Live Chat

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.

The final option is to send an email. We raised a simple product question and had a clear response within 15 minutes.

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 service problems.

VyprVPN running on a laptop, tablet and phone

There's a lot to like about VyprVPN, all in all (Image credit: VyprVPN)

VyprVPN review: Final verdict

VyprVPN isn't the fastest, most powerful VPN or generally best VPN out there, and that's a problem when its prices are so high. Still, the apps are easy to use, with more features than most, and if you could benefit from VyprVPN's firewall-bypassing Chameleon protocol then it may be worth a look.

Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.