Under the parent company, Golden Frog, comes VyprVPN, which claims to be the “world’s most trusted VPN.” It must be doing something right as the firm boasts of having over a million users.
Golden Frog’s other related offerings include the commercial-focused VyprVPN for Business, encrypted messaging via Cyphr, and its gaming private network (GPN) Outfox. Golden Frog was started by internet veterans Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis (who also own the popular Usenet provider Giganews) in direct response to ‘Room 641a,’ which was an NSA government surveillance project to eavesdrop on the AT&T network.
The company is based in Switzerland, and not by accident, as the right to privacy is Article 13 of the Swiss Federal Constitution. Additional laws are also in place in Switzerland to extend constitutional privacy protections for online activities. This explains VyprVPN’s obsession with privacy, which stands out even among other competing VPN services.
VyprVPN offers a free trial, although you will need to decide quickly, as it only lasts for a brief 3 days, making it one of the shorter trials out there. The paid plans are simplified to a choice of only two. Both have no download caps, and users are able to log on to any server without any restrictions.
The lower-end plan supports up to 3 devices. The monthly cost is $9.95 (about £8) per month, which is reasonable for a monthly plan, with no subscription or commitment. The better deal is the annual plan, which is $45 (about £34) for the first year, and then $60 (about £46) for each year thereafter, which works out to a dirt cheap $3.75 (about £2.87) per month during the initial year.
Also offered is a higher level plan known as ‘VyprVPN Premium.’ This plan supports more devices for a total of 5. In addition, there is support for the ‘Chameleon Protocol,’ designed to “bypass restrictive censorship,” and the ‘VyprVPN Cloud,’ which allows a user to set up and control their own dedicated cloud VPN server.
This upper tier plan costs $12.95 (about £10) per month. Just like the lower tier, you save money by signing up for an annual subscription, which will set you back a single lump sum payment of $60 (about £46) for the first 12 month period, and then $80 (about £61) for each year thereafter. This amounts to an affordable $5 (about £4) per month during the initial year.
Swiss-based VyprVPN is a well-specified service which boasts over 700 servers, in 70+ locations with 200,000+ global IPs to make sure there is always a connection available. On top of that, you get a stack of unusual high-end features, and the firm claims to run all its own servers, and doesn’t operate with any third-party server hardware.
The company has its own zero-knowledge DNS service, for instance. VyprDNS is located in the same country as the server and doesn’t restrict access at all, so in the provider’s words, you “receive the proper online experience for that country.” It does not inject any ads into the provided content, or otherwise manipulate content. In addition, VyprVPN’s proprietary ‘Chameleon Protocol’ can help you get online even in VPN-blocking countries like China and Iran.
VyprVPN’s platform support covers everything from regular Windows and Mac desktops, through to mobile Android, iOS, and even BlackBerry apps. VyprVPN also supports an additional range of devices including QNAP, Blackphone, Anonabox and even support for Smart TVs such as the Android TV, Apple TV and the OpenELEC/Kodi platforms. When it comes to routers, support is provided for Tomato MIPS/ARM framework routers, DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Asus WRT. This VPN provider even supports the Synology NAS.
There’s more good news if you’re looking for website unblocking, with the service giving us easy access to US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Speaking of streaming media, VyprVPN claims to defeat throttling, with your ISP only seeing encrypted traffic resulting in “faster, unrestricted internet speeds on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and more,” or that’s the claim.
Notable downsides include some session logging (connection times, IP addresses and so on are kept for 30 days), and the possibility that your account will be locked if, say, your IP address is reported for downloading an illegal torrent. (Note: the DMCA agent won’t know who you are, but there’s still a chance your account could be terminated if you’re caught more than once.)
Real-world issues during our tests included four servers which wouldn’t accept connections, and four more which didn’t seem to be in the country VyprVPN claimed they should be (that may have been an issue with the test, but it’s still a concern).
Initial connection times for VyprVPN are solid, and reconnects are infrequent. Download speeds are mostly high, too, with only a few of the more unusual and out-of-the-way locations – Taiwan, Macao, the Maldives – lagging behind the rest, and even they managed around 8-10Mbps in our testing, enough for many tasks.
Verdict and Conclusion
VyprVPN isn’t quite perfect, but there’s a lot to like, and if you can live with the 30 day, time-limited logging, it’s a must for your VPN service shortlist. We feel that the pricing is affordable, especially when it comes to the annual plan which is a good deal, and we also appreciate the wide support with apps for so many platforms.
Client platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, open-source routers, Anonabox, Blackphone, Apple TV, Kodi, Android TV, Synology NAS
Supported protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and Chameleon
No. of servers: About 700+
No. of countries: About 63
Country of registration: Switzerland
Payment options: Credit cards, PayPal, Alipay
Real name necessary? No
Encryption protocol: AES-256
Data usage: Unlimited
Bandwidth usage: Unlimited
Max. no. of simultaneously connected devices: 3 or 5
Customer support: Email, live chat