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VyprVPN review

A popular no-logs VPN with apps for almost everything

New Hero
(Image: © Golden Frog)

Our Verdict

VyprVPN has many small issues, but it also gets a lot right: loads of apps, easy to use, decent value, unblocks Netflix with ease and is one of the few VPNs to confirm its zero-log status with a public audit.

For

  • Publicly audited no logging policy
  • Live chat support
  • Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer
  • Zero-knowledge DNS service

Against

  • Below average speeds
  • Some Windows kill switch issues
  • Support website articles lack detail
  • Recent problems connecting from China

VyprVPN is a popular VPN which is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, and comes from the same stable of companies as US ISP Texas.net, Data Foundry, and top Usenet provider Giganews.

The service has a decent-sized network with 700+ servers in more than 70 locations. These aren't solely focused on Europe and North America, either; 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, allowing VyprVPN to point out that it 'operates 100% without third parties.'

Welcome features include unlimited data usage, a zero-knowledge DNS service, a customized Chameleon protocol to help bypass VPN blocking, and 24/7/365 support to keep the service running smoothly.

Wide platform support includes apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, along with routers, QNAP, Anonabox, Smart TVs and Blackphone.

If that's not enough, the website has more than 50 tutorials to help you manually set up the service on Chromebooks, Linux, Blackberry, Synology NAS, OpenELEC, Android TV, Apple TV, and via DD-WRT, AsusWRT, OpenWRT and more.

The website also 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

You can choose between the baseline version of VyprVPN or VyprVPN Premium

(Image credit: Golden Frog)

Plans and pricing

As we write, VyprVPN offers two plans. The baseline VyprVPN gives you the core service features and supports up to three simultaneous connections, and is cheaper than most at $9.95 billed monthly, dropping to $5 on the annual plan. VyprVPN Premium adds support for the Chameleon protocol to bypass VPN blocking and supports up to 5 simultaneous connections, and can be yours for a relatively costly $12.95 billed monthly, or a more reasonable $6.67 over a year.

Sign up and although you'll be asked for your 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. (When we cancelled, we were offered '50% off a monthly plan'. We don't know how common that offer is, but if you're planning to sign up anyway, try cancelling before you do so, and see what happens).

Three days isn't long, but if you carry on after the trial is up and discover VyprVPN has some issues, you're also protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. That's relatively generous for a VPN with a trial, although some providers - Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost - give you up to 45 days.

VyprVPN

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 strong support for the best VPN protocols and encryption, including 256-bit OpenVPN on Windows, Mac and Android (with manual setup available for other platforms), and the capable IKEv2 available on iOS (though not Windows, or Android).

VyprVPN has a theoretical bonus with its own Chameleon protocol. This scrambles the metadata of OpenVPN traffic, essentially making it more difficult for packet inspection techniques to identify that you're using a VPN. There's no extra encryption functionality – and, unfortunately, Chameleon isn't available on iOS – but it may allow you to get online in countries which actively try to prevent VPN use.

Pay attention to that 'may', because it may not be enough to get you online. The company acknowledged problems accessing China during our last review, and there was another issue this time (the Windows and Android apps couldn't connect, although iOS still worked.) This isn't a criticism - getting connected in China is a challenge, for everyone - but it is a point to keep in mind. If access from China is important to you, check out VyprVPN's Service Status page for the latest.

VyprVPN offers a more conventional and reliable privacy feature in its own 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 a third-party service.

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

VyprVPN keeps no logs on its users

(Image credit: Golden Frog)

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 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 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.'

That's great news. Hopefully other VPN providers will follow suit and replace their 'no logs' marketing spin with real evidence from this kind of independent audit.

SpeedTest.net

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 lengthy tests.

Our VyprVPN checks began by running a custom script which connected to all 73 VyprVPN servers 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.

The service got off to a great start, with not a single connection error from any server. Connection times were typically around five seconds, a little faster than average, and latencies were as we'd expect for all locations.

VyprVPN's servers all returned IP addresses from their advertised locations. A very few servers may be physically based in other countries - VyprVPN's Maldives and Marshall Islands servers appear to be in Singapore, for instance - but they'll still give you Maldives and Marshall Islands IP addresses, and hosting them in Singapore should make for faster and more reliable connections.

Next, we connected to our nearest VyprVPN server from two locations - one UK, one US - and checked our speeds with the benchmarking sites SpeedTest and TestMy.

Our UK performance was below average and surprisingly inconsistent at 25-50Mbps on our test 75Mbps line. Most VPNs manage 60-65Mbps.

US download speeds ranged from 50-70Mbps. That's perfectly adequate for most tasks, but disappointing for our 475Mbps connection, and a long way behind some of the competition (Speedify managed 200-300Mbps, Private Internet Access peaked at 450Mbps.)

Netflix

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.

To test VyprVPN's unblocking technologies, we connected to the single UK and nine US locations, then tried to access BBC iPlayer, US-only YouTube content and US Netflix.

The BBC’s iPlayer blocks several VPNs, and with only one location in the UK, we weren't sure whether VyprVPN would be able to give us access to the site. But it did, and we were able 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 France and Japan were blocked. (Get the current list of supported streaming services on this page.) But if that's a problem for you, don't give up yet - there's still hope.

While some VPNs shrug their corporate shoulders if you can't access a geoblocked website, VyprVPN gives you detailed advice on accessing specific services (Sky Go, iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix), includes a troubleshooting guide, and even recommends you contact the support team with more connection details if you still can't get in.

None of this means you'll necessarily succeed, but that's the same with any VPN. It's just encouraging to see a VPN that is at least offering to investigate any geoblocking failures, rather than denying all responsibility and leaving you on your own.

Torrents

VyprVPN may not mention torrenting on its site but the company's VPN does support it

(Image credit: uTorrent)

Torrents

VyprVPN may not mention 'torrent', 'P2P' or anything else file sharing-related on its website, but dig into the support site and you'll find a promising statement:

"At Golden Frog, we have the utmost respect for your privacy. We do not monitor the content of your internet traffic through our servers or block the use of any ports. Because our service treats all traffic equally, peer-to-peer and torrent traffic is allowed."

The company used to have a procedure where it could lock your account if your DMCA address is reported for the download, but the DMCA Notices support article now says this:

"When a copyright holder or their agent reports copyright infringement by a user that is using our service through submitting a DMCA takedown notice, we will make every effort possible to assist. As VyprVPN is a no log VPN, meaning we do not log our users' activities when connected to our VPN service, we are unable to identify particular users that may be infringing upon the copyrights of others."

That is, even if someone records a VyprVPN IP address as involved in some P2P-related activity, there's no way for the company to link that IP back to a specific account.

VyprVPN

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, and even a full 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

VyprVPN's Windows client offers a clean and streamlined user interface

(Image credit: Golden Frog)

Windows client

VyprVPN's Windows client has had a major revamp since our last review, replacing its chunky and dated-looking interface with something much cleaner and easier to use.

The basic layout is very familiar, with the default location ('Fastest Server' by default) and a Connect button taking up most of the available space. A button displays the client settings, and a menu includes the option to raise a support ticket from within the client.

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.

The client supports four protocols: Chameleon, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP. That's a little behind many competitors, who've typically now dropped PPTP for safety reasons, and replaced it with the speedy and secure IKEv2. (As we write, the VyprVPN support site says 'we will be moving away from the PPTP protocol in upcoming Windows releases', so it looks like the update process is under way.)

VyprVPN also includes a built-in kill switch in case your VPN connection goes down

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 L2TP connection, though, the kill switch correctly stopped our internet access, but the client froze on a 'Disconnecting' screen. There was no notification, and because the interface had disappeared, there was no access to the Connect or Disconnect buttons, the settings or anything else. Which meant that our internet connection was now dead, and there was no way to fix it.

Closing and restarting the app didn't work (it just launched to the same 'Disconnecting' screen), but rebooting our system got us the regular client interface back and we were able to disable the kill switch manually.

While this wasn't a great experience, keep in mind that the problem shouldn't happen often (stick with OpenVPN for connections and it'll never happen at all), and at least VyprVPN got the core privacy issue right: the kill switch works correctly at all times, and your privacy is never compromised.

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 new 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

This is the interface of VyprVPN's Android app

(Image credit: Golden Frog)

Android app

VyprVPN's Android 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 is more limited, with just OpenVPN and VyprVPN's own Chameleon to choose from.

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 - 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 

VyprVPN's iOS app looks quite similar to its Android offering 

(Image credit: Golden Frog)

iOS app

VyprVPN's iOS app has also been updated recently, and now shares the same look and feel as the rest of the range. That works for us; users shouldn't have to learn new tricks for each platform.

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 you can set up the app to connect to the VPN whenever you access an untrusted wireless network, automatically reconnect if the VPN drops unexpectedly, and set a custom DNS.

The app supports IKEv2, but can't handle OpenVPN, much like most of the iOS competition. If that's a problem, the VyprVPN support site has instructions on manually setting up OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 and even PPTP connections on iOS 7 and later.

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

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 37 covering issues with the mobile apps, and more than 50 covering manually setting up the service on a wide range of platforms.

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.

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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 in under three 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.

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 reliable Netflix unblocking, and a detailed no-logging public audit which shows this is a VPN you can actually trust.

  • Also check out the best VPN services of 2019