Visit VyprVPN’s homepage and you’re told that you’re checking out the “World’s Most Trusted VPN” – a lofty claim, to be sure, not to mention its performance, design or reliability. We’re here to put it to the test!
Because you shouldn’t have to endure endless trial-and-error experimentation to find a VPN provider, our VyprVPN review will uncover all the details for you. From privacy policies to encryption to pricing, we’ve got you covered – just read on and find out how VyprVPN stacks up to the competition.
History of VyprVPN
VyprVPN is just one of many products and services offered by its parent company, Golden Frog, which is dedicated to the development of privacy- and security-enhancing software. The company was founded in 2009 in response to the public revelation that the NSA was covertly monitoring the AT&T network; after the government ignored its citizens’ outcries, founders Carolyn and Ron Yokubaitis decided to take matters into their own hands.
Ten years later, VyprVPN is one of the most popular VPNs around, boasting over 1,000,000 users (according to its website) and an ever-expanding suite of privacy-protecting features.
Golden Frog’s main product is VyprVPN, which is intended to provide both devoted techies and average surfers with a simple, convenient way to protect their personal data and web activity. The company’s other products include VyprVPN for Business, a VPN with enhanced functionality for corporate use; Outfox, a speed- and performance-enhanced gaming network; and Cyphr, an encrypted messaging app for iOS and Android.
There’s a trend among VPN providers to deck out their websites with flashy graphics and bold fonts to make up for a lack of informative, easy-to-find content regarding their product and VPNs in general. Eye candy is nice, but not when there isn’t any substance behind it – a good VPN website should balance information and appearance.
While VyprVPN’s site is certainly easy on the eyes, it’s not lacking for content, either. Overview pages for topics like features and general VPN education give users all the basics at a glance before linking to more in-depth pages on each subtopic.
It’s always a good sign when a VPN website provides visitors with these extra resources rather than just rattling off a list of features. Whether or not you sign up for VyprVPN, the company wants you educate you on internet privacy and security; profit’s not the only goal here.
One of VyprVPN’s main selling points is that it’s easy to use, and its suite of apps certainly substantiates that claim. Rather than requiring you to manually configure the VPN on each device, VyprVPN’s apps provide a plug-and-play solution that anyone, regardless of technical ability, can use.
The Windows app supports all versions of Windows from Vista onward, while the Mac app supports OS X 10.10 and higher. Linux users don’t get a native app, but VyprVPN provides configuration guides for both PPTP and OpenVPN connections as well as a command-line interface on Ubuntu and Linux Mint; these guides are a little tricky to find, though, as they’re hidden in the FAQ rather than linked to from the Apps page.
Android and iOS apps are available, as is an app for Blackphone, a privacy-oriented smartphone. Though there isn’t a Blackberry app, VyprVPN offers a detailed configuration guide for Blackberry 10.
Native apps are also available for Android smart TVs, QNAP NAS systems, Anonabox routers and routers running on the Tomato MIPS/ARM framework. Detailed configuration guides are provided for routers running ASUSWRT, DD-WRT or OpenWRT as well as for Synology NAS systems.
When you boot up one of VyprVPN’s desktop apps, you’re greeted with a clean and organized home screen that shows you all the information you’d need at a glance: your connection status, your chosen server location, a speed graph, your VyprVPN IP address and a few quick toggles for settings like NAT Firewall, Malicious Site Blocking and Kill Switch. The mobile apps spread these modules out over a few screens, but it’s all just a swipe away.
VyprVPN apps automatically suggest the closest server for you to connect to, but you can easily switch locations in the Settings menu. Servers are organized by region; within regions, you can sort locations alphabetically or by ping time. You can also save your preferred servers to your Favorites list for easy access.
The Settings menu also houses controls for DNS, VPN protocols, notifications and user account preferences. Advanced users can perform additional configurations within each VPN protocol if desired, but the average user will find VyprVPN’s straightforward apps perfectly adequate without digging deep into the settings.
Usability Score: 9/10
Overall, we’re impressed with the user experience provided by VyprVPN. Its website is easy to navigate and the apps provide just enough at-a-glance functionality without overloading you with settings and options right off the bat; we especially like the speed graphs and server sorting functionalities.
It’s always nice to see a VPN that provides native apps for platforms other than the standard Mac/Windows/iOS/Android OSes, and VyprVPN’s NAS offerings are particularly unique. This is an excellent VPN if you have a RAID array or a router with custom firmware – you’ll barely need to lift a finger to get VyprVPN up and running on your system.
If there’s room for improvement in terms of usability, it’s in the “hidden” setup guides for devices without native apps, such as Linux computers. The guides themselves are well-written and easy to follow, but you have to do a bit of digging to find them in the FAQ section.
While a full Linux app would be nice, it’s not a necessity if the setup guides are easily accessible. As it is, some users might take a look at the Apps page and (mistakenly) think that Linux isn’t supported, since it’s not mentioned there at all.
But that’s a minor complaint that doesn’t detract from the bigger picture, which is of an attractive, versatile and user-friendly VPN.
Servers and Locations
In a world where just about anyone could rent out some space on a server, slap some software on it and start a VPN business, VyprVPN stands out for its all-in approach to server security and maintenance. The company owns and operates all of its 700+ servers without any third party involvement; even the server architecture and DNS were completely written by VyprVPN’s coding team.
Because the servers are used and accessed exclusively by VyprVPN, they’re extremely secure; there’s no chance of any third party stealing user data or physically damaging a server. Servers are monitored both virtually and physically 24/7 to ensure that they’re never accessed without authorization.
It’s a testament to the company’s commitment to security – few VPN providers go to such great lengths to protect user privacy.
VyprVPN’s servers are located in over 60 countries around the world, although some regions are covered much more extensively than others. Africa, for instance, has just two server locations, one in Egypt and one in Algeria; South America has a total of four, located in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay.
By contrast, Europe is home to 30 server locations, while Asia has 14 and North America has 10. It makes sense that VyprVPN has chosen to cluster its servers in these regions since the majority of VPN users reside in them, but if you’re in Africa or South America, you may experience slow speeds due to the scarcity of servers.
You can switch servers as often as you want, unlike with some providers that impose daily or monthly limits on server switches. If you’re using a VyprVPN app, you can take advantage of dynamic server switching, which seamlessly transfers your connection to a faster server should your current one get overloaded.
In total, VyprVPN manages a pool of over 200,000 IP addresses and is continually adding more – a good indicator that you’ll be able to stay a step ahead of streaming sites and others who ban IPs associated with VPNs.
Internet speeds are highly variable, especially when you’re using a VPN. Time of day, your location, your computer, your VPN software, your VPN server, encryption strength and even the weather all play a part in determining transfer speeds and latency – your connection will only be as fast as the slowest part of the equation.
So as much as we’d like to, we can’t tell you exactly how fast your VyprVPN connection would be. But we can give you a pretty good idea: it won’t be as fast as your regular internet connection, but if you pick the right servers, you’ll barely notice a difference.
The closer you are to your VPN server, the faster your speeds will be. With VyprVPN, choosing a nearby server will result in a 5% to 20% drop in download speeds and a negligibly higher ping; if your chosen server is far away, expect a download speed decrease of 50% or more, with latency increasing as distance does.
Regardless of your location and server choice, you’re not likely to see speeds drop below 10Mbps. It’s not lightning-fast, sure, but it’s perfectly capable for browsing the web, watching YouTube videos and performing other everyday tasks.
If you choose a nearby server and your home internet connection is strong (80Mbps+ download speed) you can expect speeds of 60-80Mbps when using VyprVPN. At these speeds, streaming HD video and gaming online should be no problem at all; you may not even notice you’re using a VPN.
It does seem that some of VyprVPN’s servers are inherently faster than others. Its European servers deliver consistently high speeds even when connected to from outside of Europe.
On the other hand, servers from Asia and Oceania deliver speeds that are up to 90% slower than a non-VPN connection.
This is likely due to infrastructure – ultra-fast internet connections are commonplace throughout Europe, and with so many servers situated so close together in the region, it’s probably much easier for VyprVPN to distribute the bandwidth load among them.
As far as app speeds go, connection times are excellent all around. Connecting to the VPN server on a desktop app takes around two or three seconds, while connecting via a mobile app takes only a bit longer – not bad considering all the encryption and authentication that takes place, not to mention the distance all that data travels.
With just about every streaming site imposing geo-restrictions on its content, VPN use has been on the rise. But as these sites catch on, more and more VPN users are being met with error messages when they try to access Netflix, Hulu or BBC iPlayer.
Is VyprVPN able to evade these VPN bans and access international streaming content? The short answer is yes – but it may take some experimentation and you may need to switch up your strategy every so often.
VyprVPN’s US servers are able to reliably fool Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and YouTube; this is always subject to change as technology on both sides improves, but for now it seems that VyprVPN is an excellent choice for those who want to stream US content. Non-US servers, on the other hand, are more hit-or-miss.
The UK server can access BBC iPlayer with no issues, but some attempts to access Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are successful while others are blocked. It seems that some of the IP addresses associated with the UK server have been blacklisted but others (likely recent additions) have yet to be detected; you’ll need to give it a few tries before you get a fresh IP.
The VyprVPN FAQ has an entire section dedicated to helping users access various streaming sites, including information about which servers to use and which settings need to be changed. For the most part, it recommends using only the US and UK servers for streaming purposes, as the other servers have very low success rates.
Streaming sites don’t just rely on IP addresses to identify and block VPNs – they also use deep packet inspection (DPI), which analyzes the metadata that accompanies all internet traffic and can contain signs of VPN use. One of VyprVPN’s most unique features, Chameleon, is designed to prevent DPI and expand your access to international streaming sites.
We’ll go over it more in the “Security” section, but the gist of it is that Chameleon scrambles your packet metadata so that this inspection can’t take place. They can’t prevent you from using a VPN if there’s no way for them to know if you’re using one!
Performance Score: 8/10
VyprVPN doesn’t boast the highest number of servers, but that’s fine with us, since all the ones they do offer are owned and operated solely by VyprVPN. Providers that offer thousands of servers are generally able to do so because they rent space on shared servers from third parties, leaving their users’ data – and their servers’ condition – in the care of someone else.
Since VyprVPN’s servers are only used for VPN connections, they’re a lot less likely to get overloaded with unrelated traffic; this is a frequent problem with providers that rent server space, as there simply isn’t enough bandwidth to handle all their connections plus those from other tenants. Because they’re self-owned and maintained, VyprVPN’s servers have excellent uptime, and connections are rarely dropped thanks to the intelligent load distribution algorithms used by the system.
So although VyprVPN offers fewer servers than other providers, their enhanced capacities and exclusive infrastructures more than compensate for it, plus new servers are being added all the time.
Some countries, like Canada and India, are home to just one VyprVPN server location, which is a little surprising given their size and population. It would be nice to see a few more servers in these countries to increase their coverage – a server in, say, Vancouver would be a real boon to users in western Canada whose sole domestic server option is thousands of miles away in Toronto.
We’d also like to see a few more server offerings in regions like Africa, South America and the South Pacific. They may not be as populated as Europe and North America, but people in these underrepresented regions are often the ones who need a VPN the most due to restrictive laws and egregious internet censorship.
Speeds range from acceptable to excellent depending on how well you optimize your connection; at no point are they so slow as to be unusable, and in some cases they’re just as fast as your regular internet connection. Most aspects of a VPN’s speed are out of the provider’s hands, but VyprVPN appears to have done a commendable job on their end.
We’re satisfied overall with VyprVPN’s streaming capabilities, which (again) are largely out of their hands – US servers reliably connect to Netflix, Hulu and other sites, while the UK server handles BBC iPlayer with no hiccups. It’s also nice that VyprVPN provides how-to guides for connecting to the various streaming sites, since many other providers decline to do so despite advertising their services for such purposes.
But it would be nice to get other countries hooked up to streaming sites as well. It’s a task that’s easier said than done, to be sure, but we hope that VyprVPN continues expanding its streaming capabilities into Canada, Australia and mainland Europe, which aren’t currently supported at all.
VPNs all operate in basically the same manner, but the nitty-gritty details – encryption strength, ports, authentication methods – are dictated by your chosen VPN protocol.
We won’t get too technical here, but essentially the protocol you choose determines your security and connection speed; your choices are impacted by your device and by your VPN provider. VyprVPN offers four protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN and the company’s own Chameleon.
PPTP is the weakest of the four VPN protocols offered by VyprVPN, which is not to say that it isn’t any good. It uses basic 128-bit encryption, which is a step up from an unencrypted connection but shouldn’t be relied upon for transferring sensitive information.
The upside is that PPTP is fast, since it doesn’t need as much time and computing power to encrypt your data. This makes it a good choice if you’re connecting to a distant server, streaming HD video or simply prioritizing speed over security.
VyprVPN’s Windows and router apps support PPTP out of the box. You can use it on the other desktop and mobile OSes, but you’ll need to configure the VPN manually rather than using the app.
A step up from PPTP, L2TP/IPsec uses 256-bit encryption for double-strength security. It also takes extra steps to protect your data by encapsulating it twice, but this comes at the cost of a bit of speed and processing power.
L2TP/IPsec is the only protocol that’s natively supported by the VyprVPN iOS app (other protocols require manual configuration). The Windows and Mac apps also support this protocol.
It’s the only protocol available to Chromebook and Blackberry users, who will need to set their VPN up manually.
OpenVPN is a newer protocol that’s optimized for both speed and security. You can choose between 160-bit and 256-bit encryption depending on your security needs, but regardless of which one you pick, OpenVPN’s extra layer of authentication ensures that all your data is safe and fully intact.
Regardless of latency and connection strength, OpenVPN is fast and stable. It’s far less prone to connection hiccups caused by unreliable networks, weak signals and distant servers than other protocols.
VyprVPN’s Windows, Mac, Android, Anonabox and router apps let you set up an OpenVPN connection with just a couple of clicks. Most other OSes, custom router firmwares and NAS systems allow you to set it up manually, though you may need to use some third-party software; iOS, for example, has no native support for OpenVPN and requires the use of a special app.
Chameleon is VyprVPN’s exclusive protocol, created in-house and offered by no other provider. It takes the open-source OpenVPN codebase and builds upon it for enhanced security.
In addition to the standard 256-bit encryption provided by OpenVPN, Chameleon scrambles packet metadata to prevent websites, ISPs and governments from detecting your VPN usage via DPI. Metadata from other protocols includes subtle indications that a VPN is in use, so sites like Netflix and oppressive governments like China use DPI to analyze and block traffic based on metadata – a tactic that’s defeated by Chameleon’s metadata scrambling.
Streamers and users trying to circumvent government VPN bans can make great use of the Chameleon protocol, as can those whose ISPs use DPI to throttle bandwidth when VPN use is detected. Chameleon is supported by VyprVPN’s Windows, Mac, Android and router apps, but as it’s a proprietary protocol, no manual configuration is available for any OS.
Chameleon is only available to VyprVPN Premium users; if you choose the less-expensive basic tier, you won’t be able to use Chameleon.
DNS services act as a phonebook for the web, translating the URLs you type in into IP addresses that tell computers exactly where to connect to. Most people use either their ISP’s DNS or a publicly-available one from companies like Google.
However, these DNS providers usually keep logs that can be used to identify you and track your activity even if you’re using a VPN. ISPs and governments can also use DNS to prevent you from visiting certain sites, redirecting you or returning an error message when the DNS detects an attempt to connect to a blacklisted IP address.
VyprVPN attempts to avoid this by providing its own DNS service, VyprDNS, to all VyprVPN users. VyprDNS encrypts all DNS requests so they’re impossible to decipher if they’re intercepted, and requests are deleted as soon as they’re fulfilled; no logs whatsoever are kept.
VyprDNS eliminates the DNS leaks that plague other providers – often, DNS requests aren’t routed through the VPN, leaving them vulnerable to logging and monitoring. Since VyprDNS is built into VyprVPN, there’s no chance of a DNS leak.
Some apps and programs have unused or unsecured internet connections that can be exploited by hackers. They attempt to send data through known security holes in popular programs; if they’re successful, they use the hole to weasel into your computer and compromise your files, damage your computer or steal your personal information.
VyprVPN’s servers utilize a built-in NAT firewall to prevent this from happening, regardless of whether your apps themselves are secure or not. By blocking any unrequested traffic from reaching your device, the firewall locks down your connection and stops these exploits from occurring – a feature that’s especially important on phones and tablets, which don’t typically have strong firewalls of their own.
When a VPN connection drops, you may not notice right away and just keep doing your thing, meaning that data you think you’re transmitting securely is actually being sent over your regular unsecured internet connection. VyprVPN utilizes a Kill Switch to prevent this; when it’s enabled, your internet connection is blocked when the VPN is disconnected, so you won’t accidentally send out sensitive data.
Security Score: 9.5/10
It’s not often that you see a VPN provider so dedicated to developing new security tools. For many, security stops at the encryption provided by the various VPN protocols, but for VyprVPN, security appears to be an ongoing project to be improved and innovated.
The built-in NAT firewall and VyprDNS are both excellent features, especially for those who are forgetful or inexperienced when it comes to personal firewall configuration and DNS leak testing. In an ideal world, we’d all remember to test for DNS leaks regularly, but realistically, that’s about as likely as checking each of our car blinkers every time we go for a drive – VyprDNS can’t do the latter, but with it, you’ll never have to worry about the former problem again.
VyprVPN’s Kill Switch isn’t exactly unique, but it’s still a great feature and it’s nice to have it easily accessible in the apps.
The Chameleon protocol is impressive, to say the least; OpenVPN is already regarded as the most secure of the widely-available VPN protocols, but Chameleon’s DPI-defeating capabilities kick it up a notch. It’s handy for streamers and those who like their privacy, but it could literally be a lifesaver for users in oppressive countries where VPNs are banned.
VyprVPN would get a perfect score here were it not for the fact that Chameleon is closed-source and only available to Premium subscribers. We understand why, but from a security standpoint, open-source code gives you the opportunity to see exactly how your data is being handled; it also allows for the pooling of knowledge from the wider coding community, which expedites the process of bug finding and fixing.
VyprVPN Privacy and Policies
VyprVPN is headquartered in Switzerland, widely considered one of the best countries in the world when it comes to internet privacy and personal data protections. Switzerland is not a member of the EU nor any surveillance cooperatives such as Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes, and it doesn’t comply with international requests for user data without first going through a lengthy court process.
There are some common misconceptions about Swiss privacy laws, specifically that they require companies to keep detailed user data and activity logs for government monitoring purposes. The truth is that the law applies only to major telecommunications companies; VPN providers and other smaller companies are exempt and are not required to log any data whatsoever.
Additionally, Swiss law requires that any person whose data is requested by law enforcement must be notified in advance and given the opportunity to appeal the request. Unlike countries like the USA and the UK, Switzerland does not permit companies to hand over your data behind your back; in the extremely unlikely event that your data is requested from VyprVPN, you’ll be informed about it (and be able to fight it) before anything happens.
And as you’ll see in the next section, there wouldn’t be anything to hand over anyway.
Previously, VyprVPN engaged in some data logging and retention for troubleshooting, billing and legal purposes. Logs of user IP addresses, the VyprVPN IP addresses used by each source IP, connection timestamps and transferred byte totals were stored for 30 days.
However, in September 2018, VyprVPN ceased all of its logging practices; it now keeps no logs whatsoever of any user activity. VyprVPN enlisted Leviathan Security Group to perform a complete third-party audit of the company’s privacy practices; the results, which are available in full on the VyprVPN website, confirmed that the no-logging policy is legitimate.
This transparency is refreshing – so many providers claim to keep zero logs but have no proof to back up their statements.
However, VyprVPN can no longer see or log any user activity, so it’s impossible for them to know if you’re torrenting – and impossible for them to associate any DMCA notices with your account. The copyright violation clause is standard-issue for any VPN provider’s TOS, but in VyprVPN’s case, it’s unenforceable.
This is great news for torrenters. Nobody but you will ever know what you’re downloading – or that you’re downloading anything at all.
Privacy and Policies Score: 10/10
VyprVPN has really turned over a new leaf with its revamped privacy policies. Going from logs to no logs is a big step in and of its own, but VyprVPN’s independent audit demonstrates a real commitment to user privacy – ironically, the more a VPN provider is willing to reveal about its practices, the more confident you can feel that it’ll protect your data.
Switzerland’s strict privacy protection laws work hugely in VyprVPN’s favor; the chances of any government getting its hands on user data from a Swiss company are minuscule. And with no logs, there’s nothing to hand over anyway.
Bottom line? With VyprVPN, your data doesn’t even exist, and if it did, it would be protected by some of the world’s most user-friendly privacy laws.
VyprVPN Service and Value
The VyprVPN FAQ is extensive and provides detailed troubleshooting and setup guides. These range from basic installation guides to detailed configuration walkthroughs to instructions for using the VPN with streaming sites – a comprehensive knowledge base that should answer the majority of your questions.
There’s no phone number to dial if you need help with VyprVPN, but the company offers 24/7 live chat support and email assistance via a support ticket system. Live chat inquiries receive a response within minutes, while lengthier support tickets are typically replied to within hours.
Pricing and Payment
VyprVPN offers new users a free trial, but it’s limited to three days – enough to test out most of the VPN’s features but markedly shorter than the free trials offered by other providers. You do need to enter payment information in order to get the free trial.
After the free trial ends, you have your choice of two service tiers.
The basic tier costs $9.95 per month when billed monthly or $5.00 per month when billed annually. There are no speed or bandwidth caps and you can have up to three devices connected to the VPN simultaneously.
The Premium tier costs $12.95 per month when billed monthly or $6.67 per month when billed annually. As with the basic tier, there aren’t any speed or bandwidth caps, but the extra money raises your simultaneous connection limit to five devices and allows you to use the Chameleon protocol for added security.
Additionally, VyprVPN Premium gives you access to VyprVPN Cloud, a VPN server that you can set up on your public or private cloud server. Cloud servers from Amazon Web Services, VirtualBox and DigitalOcean are supported.
VyprVPN accepts major credit and debit cards, PayPal and AliPay. Although the company doesn’t store any payment information, it’s still a bit disappointing that they don’t offer an anonymous payment method like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.
Service and Value Score: 7.5/10
VyprVPN’s responsive customer support lines should be perfectly adequate for most people, but if you’re the type of person who prefers phone calls to live chat, you’ll be out of luck here.
Prices are reasonable, especially with the annual payment discounts, but VyprVPN’s simultaneous connection limits seem a little on the restrictive side. Three devices isn’t a lot, especially considering that many competing VPN providers allow five or more simultaneous connections with their lowest service tiers.
Given VyprVPN’s admirable privacy practices, it’s a bit surprising that there’s no way to pay anonymously. VPN users tend to be very privacy-conscious and may be turned away by the lack of cryptocurrency support; adding an anonymous payment option would go a long way towards advancing VyprVPN’s mission to provide trustworthy and secure service.
Final Score: 8.8/10
Overall, we’re thoroughly impressed with VyprVPN. Despite a few minor quibbles with payment methods, server locations and streaming compatibility, we found a lot to like about this VPN provider.
Privacy is by far the big selling point here. Few other VPN providers have undergone an independent privacy audit, and of those that have, even fewer have publicized the results.
VyprVPN’s dedication to security also won us over. From the 100% company-owned server array to the Chameleon protocol, VyprVPN’s exclusive features aren’t just gimmicks – they’re real boons to user security.
The advanced technical features don’t detract from VyprVPN’s usability; just about anyone could boot up the VyprVPN app, start the connection and get back to browsing within seconds. With such a low barrier to entry, VyprVPN puts internet privacy within reach of everyone, not just techies.
While we don’t recommend VyprVPN to Bitcoin fans or users with tons of devices, we do recommend it to just about everyone else. Its simple yet comprehensive approach to privacy and security earns it our seal of approval; give the three-day free trial a spin and see if it wins yours, too.
Whether you use VyprVPN or a different provider, there’s a lot more to learn about VPNs and other privacy tools.
What is ISP Throttling?
Speed throttling shouldn’t be a thing, but it is – ISPs will happily limit your speeds when you’re watching Netflix, downloading torrents or performing other activities they don’t approve of. But with a little know-how and a good VPN, you can defeat ISP throttling and get the speeds you signed up (and paid) for.
What is the Best VPN for Streaming?
Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other streaming sites have caught on to VPN users, leaving many binge-watchers with nothing but an error message in place of the next episode. But some VPN providers, like VyprVPN and ExpressVPN, are trying to get ahead in the game with new technologies that defeat VPN blocks.