There are plenty of VPNS on the market. With so many options it can be overwhelming deciding which to choose. AirVPN is one with an impressive backing of positive feedback from users. Starting in 2010, AirVPN was a free service in Italy by a small ground of hackers, activists, and lawyers looking to quell online security concerns. It was originally operated by Iridium, a satellite communication provider, before being bought out. Now, it is a paid VPN, accessible all over the globe. However, a slight drawback are the EU’s data retention laws; headquarters in Italy may mean AirVPN is forced to disclose user data with EU law enforcement.
I ran extensive tests on AirVPN, and found that it’s an underrated gem for consumers seeking encryption and censorship work-arounds, all without ridiculous prices syphoning their cash away. I’m happy to report that AirVPN is easy to use, fast, stable (crashing shouldn’t be a problem), and compatible with nearly every major operating system.
If you’re not satisfied, AirVPN has a great customer service team, with feedback and transparent policies as their top priorities. You can also try AirVPN for yourself risk-free, as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
One snag you may find is AirVPN servers are not optimized for streaming services. From what I tested, servers that worked the best for streaming were in the US. Fortunately, speed, pixelated images, and buffering weren’t issues I ran into. The main problem that cropped up with other servers was AirVPN’s inability to connect all together, or my streaming service alerting me that I was using a VPN it doesn’t allow.
Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO are the streaming services that have seen the most luck with AirVPN.
I was able to watch shows and movies on Netflix US, and found that Hulu was also fast and easy to access and stream.
Another promising feature — AirVPN US servers could get past HBO Max’s VPN blocks, and do so without slowing you down during my tests.
I tried using AirVPN to watch Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, but neither streaming site worked with the VPN turned on. My teammate in the UK attempted to access BBC iPlayer with AirVPN’s UK server, and also had no luck. If you want to access these platforms while traveling abroad, I recommend you try CyberGhost’s optimized streaming servers and watch all your favorite shows and movies.
I’m happy to report that AirVPN is virtually unnoticeable, averaging around 44.5 mbps, making it a solid competitor for more mainstream VPNs. It’s no secret that VPNs can decrease the speed of your internet. Encrypting data or spoofing servers adds a few extra steps to the connection process.
For the most part, AirVPN’s processes are negligible; a relief, as I can’t stand when my devices are throttled by any useful extensions or software I have running in the background.
Because AirVPN has a smaller server network than other VPNs, some countries are excluded. If you’re operating out of Australia, you’ll be connecting to recommended servers nearly halfway across the globe. However, AirVPN’s connection speed, and subsequent speeds from streaming, browsing the web, and gaming, wasn’t diminished or lost during my tests. Servers for Europe, North America, and Asia all have minimal slowdown, unless you’re used to internet speeds of 100Mbps or more.
Gamers can expect varying success. Ping spikes are around 18ms. I also noticed a slight lag when playing the same game with multiple devices connected, but found that servers in the US and Europe perform the best. You can try AirVPN yourself risk-free for 30 days and see if the speeds are high enough for your needs.
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
AirVPN has a network of 200+ servers spanning over 20 countries, all with tested, reliable security. Keeping in line with their mission for transparency, users can find any pending issues on their website, as well as maintenance updates and community forums. There are discussion boards around known ISP issues, for example, that I have found to be thorough and successful in helping fellow AirVPN consumers.
The number of servers by continent are: Europe 157, the Americas 72, and Asia with 13. The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany have the most severs of the European countries, with 68, 16, 16, and 15, respectively.
Canada has 38, and the United States follows close behind, with 37. Good news for users fond of the US servers, as it’s clear AirVPN is targeting the market. The number of US cities with servers are listed below, from most to least.
Dallas (10), Atlanta (5), Phoenix (5), Chicago (3), Fremont (3), Los Angeles (3), Miami (3), New York City (3), Jacksonville (1), and Pennsylvania (1).
As far as coverage, Europe is, unsurprisingly, at the top. Asia is limited to Singapore and Japan. There used to be servers in China, but these were pulled following China’s tighter restrictions regarding digital security. As previously stated, some countries aren’t yet included among AirVPN’s servers, like Australia. And, while Canada and the United States are on the board, South America is not.
And, if you’re ever interested in that status of a server, the company’s website offers a Status page, identifying servers that are ideal, as well as any with issues.
AirVPN uses a complex algorithm to encrypt users’ data. Using separate entry and exit IP addresses, and 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman keys, AirVPN is immune to the port fails that have impacted other VPNs in the past. While no person is 100% guarded against cybercrime when they’re on the grid, the sturdiness of the safety net AirVPN provides cannot be understated.
AirVPN is clean when it comes to viruses that may steal your data or damage your computer. Users won’t need to worry about leaks, either. All IP addresses, DNS, and WebRTC activity seem impervious to data leaks. You’ll have protection in the form of First-party DNS, DNS Leak Blocking, IPV6 Leak Blocking, WEbRTC Leak Blocking and TOR.
The final notable feature for AirVPN is its alternative to a “kill switch,” known as a Network Lock. While it functions similarly as a security component, automatically disconnecting you from the service if your connection is no longer secure, the Network Lock differs in that it needs to be activated. Fortunately, this is incredibly easy to do. Whenever you begin to connect to a server, or disconnect, the button to activate the Network Lock appears, ensuring you’ll never forget to use it when you need it.
Now, for the slight downside. AirVPN uses OpenVPN for its UDP, or user datagram protocol. UDP is a standardized way to transfer data between multiple computers within a network. UDPs are fast, and great for time sensitive transfers, like video playback. However, AirVPN only uses OpenVPN for this; no other UDPs are available, so you’re at the mercy of OpenVPN, and all its strengths and weaknesses.
AirVPN is only compatible with OpenVPN and a small list of protocols; AES – CBC or GCM – at 256, 192, or 128 bits, 4096 DHE-RSA keys, and Perfect Forward Secrecy. Secrecy makes sure any past sessions with AirVPN can’t be decrypted, even if your data is compromised. AirVPN’s control channel for encryption is TLS-DHE-RSA-WITH-AES-256-GCM-SHA384.
A no-log policy is an aspect AirVPN is lauded for. Having a VPN record your searches and information clearly defeats the whole intention behind these networks, which is to provide stricter privacy, even while connecting to servers across the globe.
AirVPN has split tunneling as a more advanced security feature to enable. Configuration is a simple 5-step process.
Unlike other VPNs, however, AirVPN only lets you route traffic based on your IP address or hostname. This feature is still useful, but it is limited, compared to other VPN options that offer routing on a per-app basis.
Another factor to consider is AirVPN’s jurisdiction falls under Italy’s 14-Eyes membership. A multilateral agreement for signal intelligence was originally between the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Now it has expanded to include fourteen members; the original five, and Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. This agreement has also shifted to involve the internet. The benefit of this agreement is it requires the members to share intelligence with one another. However, that means that any individuals within these 14 countries can have their information shared among the other nations’ local and federal governments.
AirVPN can promote safer torrenting, helping you avoid malware, trackers, or any other issues your devices may face. Due to proven high-grade encryption, users can rest assured that not even fellow LAN users can connect to you or your torrent client. AirVPN supports P2P sharing across all of its servers. The best part? No configuration required. Once you’re connected to a server, the torrenting can begin.
More advanced torrenters can enjoy AirVPN’s port forwarding, which allows up to 20 simultaneously. For more information on this, look into the Client Area on their website.
Just remember that sharing copyrighted materials is against the law in most countries. To avoid civil and criminal penalties, only torrent content that’s in the public domain, even if you’re using a VPN.
China has notorious and mighty firewalls. Non-government approved VPNs are illegal there, and only a handful of VPNs still work in China. That said, tourists have never been penalized for using them. Instead, Chinese authorities use advanced technology to block them.
To my amazement, there are some manual configurations available to get AirVPN working in China, like using separate entry and exit IP addresses. While TCP organizes your data before it transmits it, AirVPN’s UDP helps ensure it won’t take too long. Even though it’s quick, it is still thorough when weeding out potential viruses or other compromising data between you and the servers or sites you use. On AirVPN forums, users have created thorough guides to assist you.
Countries with internet censorship, such as Iran and Turkey, still don’t seem to prevent AirVPN from working thanks to its access to TOR and additional tunneling through SSH and SSL.
AirVPN allows you to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously, per account. Simultaneous usage is something I am always looking for. Having multiple personal devices for myself, as well as networks I share with family and friends, the ability to use necessary features we pay for without interference is huge. Tests have shown me that using more than one device has no noticeable effect on AirVPN’s performance, nor any effect on internet speeds and streaming. Establishing connections is also easy.
If you need to secure more than 5 devices at the same time, you can try IPVanish instead. The VPN offers unlimited simultaneous device connections, and I never experienced any slowdowns or connection issues while using IPVanish on 9 devices at the same time.
AirVPN gets the job done for coverage — the VPN works on Windows, macOS, most mobile platforms, gaming consoles, and even smart TVs.
All of the listed operating systems are compatible:
As it is right now, AirVPN doesn’t have a native client for ChromeOS or iOS. Given their penchant for user feedback, I’m hoping this is something that is likely to change in 2021.
Currently, these gaming consoles are compatible:
And lastly, AirVPN will work with these streaming devices:
It’s also important to note that configuring your VPN for your router is easy and useful in the long run. You can connect to devices that don’t naturally support VPN connections, improving accessibility. And, you can bypass limits on simultaneous connections. So long as your VPN is running through a router, it’s seen as one single connection.
Where AirVPN lacks in comparison to its competitors is its lack of browser extensions. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox aren’t in the cards.
AirVPN is simple to install, and has an intuitive design for managing and customizing settings. Their website features guides and necessary links for all of the operating systems listed above, as well as the following routers: DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT, and pfSense. I have Windows 10, and my installation took these 4 steps.
Once AirVPN is installed, there are different modes you can choose from. There are whitelist and blacklist settings, which aid in recommending websites and programs that are ideal, and filtering out those that aren’t desired or pose a threat, respectively. DNS and protocols have a multitude of options you can choose from, and the menus are easy to navigate. Compared to other VPNs, it’s easy to see statuses on servers before you pick them. You can switch servers easily, and also view the settings for each server all while you’re connected, which is nice. No exiting out each time you want to tweak something.
The amount of customization is a bit of a double edged sword. Being able to curate a list of settings that you want is great for those comfortable with VPNs and software in general. But, for more casual users, this degree of transparency and alteration these lists of settings offer can be overwhelming. It has more customization than its competitors, but it also has a steeper learning curve.
AirVPN’s staff is consistently involved in their discussion forums, and offer prompt email support. You won’t be relegated to help-line music or radio silence until you inevitably give up. They have a 24/7 Live Chat, as well as a Knowledgebase application for assistance. Their transparency regarding policy changes makes me feel comfortable encouraging users to reach out.
We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.
AirVPN is affordable, whether you’re looking into a VPN for a business trip or vacation, or a long term commitment. There is no free trial, however, a three year plan costs around $3.35 a month. A deal like this may set off the alarm bells, as cheaper prices mean contending with cheaper products. With AirVPN, however, you won’t have to worry.
AirVPN also offers a 30 day-money back guarantee provided you haven’t violated their terms of service, and/or haven’t used 5GB or more of data. If you don’t want to state the reason for cancelation, you must request the refund within 3 days of making the payment.
Fortunately, and smartly given their global reach, AirVPN has one of the most extensive range of payment options among network providers. This includes most credit cards, Paypal, Alipay, Giropay, and even several cryptocurrencies.
I think AirVPN is an underrated choice. This could be due to a rougher launch, solidly competing with other VPNs for visibility among streaming service users or among a broader scope of devices. However, where one of AirVPN’s greatest strengths lies is the brand’s ability to adapt. It has grown where other VPN providers have stagnated.
It gets the core job done, offering additional security, opening up servers and more web access, and reducing censorship.
Yes. It is a contender for a lot of the big-name VPNs on the market, and it is hard to beat the speeds and price.
Unfortunately, no. There is a three day trial for $2, however. If that is still too much, you may want to explore some decent free VPNs. However, these free providers are typically too slow, lack access to popular streaming sites, log your data, and may even infect your device with malware.
If you want to try an affordable VPN without committing to the purchase, I recommend you test out CyberGhost and see how you like it. CyberGhost has optimized streaming servers that unblock most common streaming platforms and its servers are lightning-fast, so you’ll never have to wait for your videos to buffer. What’s more, you can trust CyberGhost’s special NoSpy servers to keep your identity and online activities completely anonymous. The VPN offers a money-back guarantee, so you can try CyberGhost yourself completely risk-free for 45 days. If you’re not happy, simply ask for your refund within the 45 days.
Yes. The analysis of AirVPNs encryption, as well as attempts to thwart its efforts have shown a substantial degree of protection.
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