Astrill VPN has a reputation for unblocking restricted websites in China – which surprised me because until writing this review, I’d never heard of it. Since even well-known VPNs often have issues working in China, I decided to run several in-depth tests to determine if Astrill deserves a spot on the top VPNs list.
Unfortunately, Astrill VPN doesn’t work as I couldn’t connect to any of its servers. Despite being able to access the VPN’s website, purchase a month-long subscription, download and install the setup file, the servers did not function. During every attempt, I received an error message that said I was already connected to another VPN and needed to disconnect. I contacted the customer service department, but they were unable to resolve the problem.
The company also does not provide any money-back guarantee, so you will have to pay for a one-month subscription if you want to test the VPN out.
Usually, we test a VPN’s full set of features for our reviews. Unfortunately, I was not able to connect to Astrill VPN and so could not test it. Here is what I can tell you.
I couldn’t test Astrill VPN’s streaming abilities as I wasn’t able to connect to its servers. Despite its claim that it offers super-fast internet, I cannot confirm whether or not this is true.
If you are in search of a VPN that will let you stream Netflix and other streaming services at high speeds, you should consider ExpressVPN. With the help of this service, you will be able to unblock a wide range of streaming platforms with ease. It also allows users to stream content in HD without lag or buffering.
As Astrill VPN did not work, I could not test its speed. There was no way for me to test the VPN despite the fact that it claims to have unlimited internet speeds. My attempts to connect to the service were unsuccessful regardless of how many times I tried.
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.
Astrill’s server network is fairly robust, with many key locations around the globe. The company states it has servers in 107 cities in 57 countries. While this is a network of a fairly large number of servers, I was disappointed that none of them could be tested.
The company also claims to only use fast, dedicated servers instead of the slower virtual private servers that many other VPNs rent from third parties. However, I am unable to verify if this information is 100% accurate since I was unable to test the application. I had connection difficulties with the VPN and its customer support team was unable to resolve my problem.
If you are able to connect, Astrill has a variety of basic and advanced protocols and security features to keep your data safe. It uses super-secure and unbreakable AES-256 encryption and supports both OpenVPN and OpenWeb protocols. The provider also uses WireGuard, a protocol for performance optimization, as well as StealthVPN, a VPN service that hides your VPN usage from your internet service provider, which is particularly useful for countries such as China and Hong Kong.
It also includes DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, as well as split tunneling, which lets you access certain websites without a VPN. There’s also the fact that Astrill runs its own DNS servers, which means there is no risk of the traffic being redirected to less secure third-party servers. Unfortunately, the VPN’s security features could not be tested as I was unable to connect to its servers. I didn’t have any way to test whether Astrill VPN stops hacks and data leaks, so I was left with no protection.
Astrill also offers a kill switch that, when activated, eliminates the chance of IP leaks or unencrypted sensitive data being transmitted in the event that your VPN connection fails. As a matter of fact, there are few other customization options to choose from that go well beyond standard providers and could be quite useful if the VPN were operational.
As far as security goes, ExpressVPN offers exceptional technical security which stands above that of other VPNs. The OpenVPN implementation uses AES-256 encryption, RSA-4096 authentication, and SHA-512 keyed-hash message authentication code (HMAC). Perfect forward secrecy is delivered through ECDH (Elliptic Curve Diffie–Hellman) key exchange for encryption of data channels.
Astrill claims it has a strict no-logs policy, but there’s a little more nuance to the policy than that. Its system keeps track of active sessions like connection time, IP address, device type, and Astrill VPN application version – but all of this is deleted once you disconnect from the VPN. This is supposedly just to prevent too many devices from connecting to a single account.
Furthermore, the company stores information about your last 20 connections, including the time, duration, country, and type of device, which is meant to improve your customer experience. What’s important is that they do not keep IP addresses or the location of the user of the application.
Nevertheless, you can delete this data manually from Astrill’s member zone if you don’t want it stored on its servers. These logs are deleted after 30 days of not using the software.
Astrill claims that some of its servers support torrenting, but I was unable to confirm this because none of its servers were operational. Even so, it is a poor choice for any P2P activity due to its bad logging practices.
My team and I don’t support illegal torrenting in any form. Please check the rules and regulations in your country to ensure you are not in breach of any laws.
Astrill VPN offers StealthVPN, an encryption tool that allows you to access content and services while visiting China. However, it was impossible to use and test the service because the servers did not operate over any protocol that was available.
Traveling to China or other highly censored countries can be difficult but ExpressVPN’s obfuscation technology creates one of the smoothest VPN experiences I’ve had. With this feature, ExpressVPN in China works very similarly to how it does anywhere else, including offering the same wide range of advanced features.
Note that the use of VPNs that aren’t approved by the Chinese government is illegal in the country. However, there have been no reports of Chinese authorities punishing tourists. The common practice is that China is fighting VPNs by technologically blocking them and not by chasing after tourists who use them.
Although Astrill VPN has a compatible app for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and routers, I was unable to get it running despite hours of trying. I tested this by installing it on my Windows laptop, Macbook, and Android phone. While attempting to connect to Astrill VPN on all my devices, I received an error message stating that I was already connected to a VPN.
At one point, my account got suspended for reasons unknown to me. This experience led me to contact support and, although my account was unblocked, none of the solutions offered resolved my connection issue. I went a step further by downloading its OpenVPN and WireGuard configuration files for use with third-party applications, but I still received the same error message as with the Astrill client. So this confirmed that it was a server issue and not a client problem.
The VPN advertises unlimited device connections. Realistically, it refers to how many devices you can install the apps on, not how many can be used simultaneously. Your Astrill subscription only allows you to connect up to 5 devices at once, which would have made the VPN restrictive even if it worked. If you want a VPN that actually works and can be shared with family members or teammates, IPVanish allows you to connect unlimited devices on a single account.
There are a number of customer support options offered by Astrill VPN, including 24/7 chat, contact forms, and e-mail for contacting technicians. If you prefer to find the answer for yourself, Astrill provides an extensive knowledge base, FAQs, and video guides to assist you.
I contacted Astrill’s support multiple times through live chat and was connected in 2 minutes. Astrill’s live chat support first assisted me when I couldn’t access any of its servers, believing it would be a simple fix. I was directed to email support when I was still unable to connect.
The email support representative requested that I send my connection logs to the company’s email address, but the connection issue persisted after I sent the logs. Despite not being able to help me, the support team responded promptly to my email and provided useful troubleshooting suggestions. You can expect an attentive support team that is willing to go the extra mile to assist you if this service ever works for you.
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.
Astrill’s plans are quite expensive in comparison to some of the top VPN providers, and I was unable to get it to work. It isn’t a VPN I’d recommend. The company accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, Maestro, Cirrus, PayPal, AliPay, Wechat Pay, Perfect Money, bank transfer, and Bitcoin.
Unlike many VPNs that offer lengthy money-back periods, Astrill doesn’t permit refunds on any of its plans and it no longer offers a free trial.
With all its features, Astrill VPN would have been a worthwhile purchase if the service was operational. Sadly, I was unable to access its servers and evaluate its capabilities, so I cannot say whether it will live up to its promises.
The fact that my efforts yielded no results especially rubs me the wrong way after paying such a high price. I recommend that you avoid investing your time and money trying out this VPN.
When it comes to speed, security, privacy, and functionality, ExpressVPN is an excellent alternative to Astrill. It offers everything one could possibly want in a VPN service at a reasonable price. The service is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee allowing you to buy with confidence.
No, Astrill VPN doesn’t work. I couldn’t connect to the server to check any of its advertised functions. While the support team was available to answer my questions, none of the suggested solutions worked for me. Due to its lack of functionality, I do not recommend this VPN.
No. Astrill used to offer a free plan but it does not have this option any longer. Unlike most VPNs, it does not have a money-back guarantee period either. Instead, you will have to commit to paying for a one-month subscription to try it out.
I don’t recommend free VPNs because they lack features, present security risks, and compromise privacy. However, if you are looking to test out a VPN without spending any money, these are a few reliable free VPN options.
I am not sure. I could not get Astrill to work and therefore could not test how safe it was. The provider claims to have well-regarded proprietary encryption protocols OpenWeb and StealthVPN. The Openweb protocol is designed for speed and streaming, while StealthVPN provides safe access to open internet in China. Unfortunately, the VPN retains important logs and I was unable to access the servers to check for DNS leaks and IP leaks.
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