VyprVPN review

A popular no-logs VPN with apps for almost everything

New Hero
Image Credit: Golden Frog

Our Verdict

VyprVPN has many small issues, but it also gets a lot right: it's fast in Europe and the US, 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
  • Unblocked Netflix
  • Zero-knowledge DNS service
  • 30-day money guarantee

Against

  • Various small Windows client 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. Even better, these are all 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.

One major change since our last full review is that VyprVPN has had an independent audit to verify that it doesn't log or share anything about what you're doing online, including session logs. No need to take website 'no logging' claims on trust, any more-- VyprVPN has real evidence that it's doing what it promises.

The company claims other very interesting improvements across the service, including hardware upgrades to deliver up to 2x to 3x increases in speed in some areas, and enhanced and expanded support for unblocking streaming services. .

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.

The company tells us it's about to simplify this scheme by offering a single do-everything plan. Pricing is $11.95 billed monthly, $5.82 if you pay a year up-front, and just $3.75 when spread over two years. That's cheaper than some providers (ExpressVPN's annual plan is $8.32), more expensive than others (NordVPN is $2.99 over three years), but it looks to us like a fair deal for the features you're getting.

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).

If you accidentally carry on after the trial is up, though, don't expect to get any refund later. The VyprVPN website has talked about a 30-day money-back guarantee before, but there's no longer any mention of that or anything similar in the terms and conditions. If you run into trouble and it's genuinely VyprVPN's fault, maybe contacting support will get you a result, but there's no clearly defined protection detailed in the small print.

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).

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 won't necessarily work. For most of this year, VyprVPN customer reviews have been reporting major difficulties getting online in China. The support site confirms this is a real issue, reporting that 'China's firewall has adopted many complicated blocking methods', but that the company will 'continue to debug and constantly adjust to improve your VyprVPN experience.' 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.

VyprVPN

We test the performance of each VPN we review with OpenSpeedTest (Image Credit: OpenSpeedTest)

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 across a couple of tests (that's a total of 146 connections.) Connection times were marginally faster than usual at 2-5 seconds, 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 used speed testing websites including Netflix' Fast, OpenSpeedTest, TestMy and SpeedTest to assess three groups of servers: five in the UK and US, 10 in Europe and 21 in Asia, South America, Australia, New Zealand and more.

Our closest UK server averaged around 65-70Mbps, close to the maximum we would expect from our 75Mbps fiber broadband lines.

US performance ranged from 65Mbps and more on the east coast, down to a low of 50Mbps on the west, very creditable results.

European locations returned solid results which closely matched the UK, with most nearby locations hitting 65-70Mbs, and even the worst performing server (Greece) reaching an excellent 40-50Mbps.

The results from the Asia and more distant servers were more mixed, unsurprisingly. Australia and New Zealand managed 10-20Mbps, for instance, while Vietnam gave us anything from 10-30Mbps, but even these locations were very usable, and most achieved a capable 20-40Mbps. We've seen better, with for example Hotspot Shield's Catapult Hydra protocol typically giving us 60Mbps and more for even the most distant of servers, but overall VyprVPN provides a decent level of performance for the price you're paying.

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.

Netflix is far more challenging to unblock, but VyprVPN got us in with every US server, a real triumph. This can change at any time and there's absolutely no guarantee your experience will match ours, but VyprVPN gives us other reasons to be optimistic.

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

VyprVPN's Windows client offers a clean and streamlined user interface (Image Credit: Golden Frog)

Windows client

If you like your VPN apps to be compact, simple, and with a touch of visual style, then VyprVPN's chunky, text-heavy and dated-looking Windows client will seem disappointing, at least initially.

The interface does at least give you plenty of status information. There's your chosen location, current IP address, preferred VPN protocol and encryption level, NAT firewall status, and even a scrolling chart to display your current upload and download speeds in real-time.

The app is smart enough to detect your nearest server by default, and tapping the Connect button gets you hooked up to that straightaway. To change or use a different server, you must browse VyprVPN's other offerings via its very comprehensive location picker.

This starts by browsing an alphabetical list of all servers. Each of these has an associated ping time to give you an idea of distance, and you're able to sort the list by location name or latency.

A Region tab organizes locations by your chosen continents. If you're only interested in servers in North America and Asia, for instance, you can have the client display just those locations.

Any server can be set as a favorite with a click. It then appears in the Favorites tab, as well as being directly accessible from the main interface and the system tray icon's right-click menu.

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.

A built-in kill switch aims to protect you if the VPN drops. We tested this by forcibly closing the connection, and it worked as advertised, instantly blocking internet access. Unfortunately, the rest of the client didn't always do so well.

In particular, if we manually closed an L2TP or PPTP connection, the kill switch kicked in and stopped all internet access, but the client didn't always notice and often continued to show us as connected. A user would be left unable to use any internet program until they disconnected and reconnected, or shut down the client. That would be annoying, but it shouldn't happen often (stick with OpenVPN 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 comprehensive 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.

There's fine-tuned control over notifications, even down to choosing the sound played on connect and disconnect events (though only WAV files are supported, unfortunately – it's like Windows 3.1 all over again). And you get extensive low-level control of OpenVPN settings, with the ability to define details including the TAP adapter to use, local and remote ports, the MTU size, and more.

There's an unusual highlight in a Contact Support option, where you can post a support question direct from the client. That means there's no need to head off to the website, maybe log in, browse your web console or anything else. You don't even have to give your email address, as the client will send your user ID along with the question, and support can use that to find your account details. Live chat will always be faster, but if you prefer to send an email, this is the way to do it.

VyprVPN

This is the interface of VyprVPN's Android app (Image Credit: Golden Frog)

Android app

VyprVPN's Windows client may have a clumsy and dated-looking design, but the Android app does a much better job of distilling very similar functionality into a simple and good-looking interface.

The opening screen displays your current location and IP address, gives you access to a few key settings (a kill switch, malicious site blocking, whether you'd like to automatically connect to the VPN whenever you access an untrusted wifi network) and allows you to connect to the nearest server with a tap.

In a neat visual touch, the app uses a white background by default, but switches to a dark background when you're connected. That's a very good idea, as it allows you to see whether you're connected at a glance, without even having to read any text on the screen.

Choosing a new location is straightforward. Servers are displayed in a sorted list, each one with a ping time as a measure of speed and distance, and you can add preferred locations to a Favorites list with a tap. Switching locations isn't as straightforward – you must disconnect from the current server before you can choose something else – but generally, the app works very well.

Once you're connected, swiping left on the app displays various panels of information: your current country and IP address, a real-time graph of internet traffic and speeds, a connection log, and various stats on your VyprVPN usage (number of malicious sites blocked, number of times the kill switch was activated, more.)

Settings include a similar 'Connect on Untrusted Wi-Fi' option to the Windows client. This enables specifying networks where you know you're safe – home, maybe work – and then having the app automatically connect to VyprVPN when you access anything else. It's a simple but smart way to protect yourself when you're out and about.

VyprVPN

In the app's settings you can enable a kill switch or even change VPN protocols (Image Credit: Golden Frog)

The app also includes a kill switch, DNS options (use VyprVPN's own DNS or your preferred option), protocol switching (only Chameleon and OpenVPN are supported) and a couple of surprise bonus features.

URL filtering aims to protect you from malicious websites, and although we didn't test its effectiveness, 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.

Put it all together and VyprVPN's Android offering is a good-looking and easy way to protect your internet activities, with some neat touches you won't always see elsewhere. Well worth a try.

VyprVPN

VyprVPN's iOS app looks quite similar to its Android offering (Image Credit: Golden Frog)

iOS app

The VyprVPN iOS app has a similar look and feel to its Android cousin, with a clear status display of your current country and IP address, and simple buttons to connect to the active location or choose another from the list.

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. You're still not able to switch directly from one server to another, though, as the client forces you to close the current connection before you can choose anything else.

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, and automatically reconnect if the VPN drops unexpectedly.

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.

There's an unexpected troubleshooting plus in an easily accessible connection log. The Android log is hidden away, and even if you find it, has minimal useful information. The iOS version is very readable and includes the details you need, including connection time, protocol, server host name and IP, disconnection times and reasons, and more. If you don't want a local record of your VPN usage, no problem – you can turn this off in Settings.

VyprVPN's iOS app isn't exactly packing any killer features, then, but it's 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.

These articles aren't as detailed or as well-organized as usual, and they're not presented as clearly as they could be. Choose the 'VyprVPN for Windows' section, for instance, and these are the top five articles: 'How do I enable port selection on Windows?'; 'Which VPN protocol am I using on Windows?'; 'Error 6021'; 'Error 6022'; 'What is Error 6026?' Meanwhile, the article you're most likely to read (Troubleshooting speed issues on Windows) is 20th on the list, second from bottom.

Still, there is some decent content here, and a Search box enables finding it quickly, without having to navigate VyprVPN's various article lists.

We noticed some dubious advice, too. The VyprVPN Protocols Comparison article, for instance, describes the PPTP protocol as 'fast, easy to use', and 'a good choice if OpenVPN™ isn't supported by your device.' There's no mention of any security issues, despite PPTP being so vulnerable that many VPNs no longer support it.

For comparison, here's what the ExpressVPN website says about PPTP:

"PPTP is also subject to serious security vulnerabilities. Its underlying authentication protocols, usually MS-CHAP-v1/v2, are fundamentally unsecure and have been repeatedly cracked in security analyses since PPTP was introduced.

For this reason, PPTP is NOT recommended except in cases where security is absolutely non-essential."

VyprVPN

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 two 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 in a couple of hours.

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 most, 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.