You can choose from three subscription plans and a business plan. The basic plan isn’t recommended, if only because it comes with no firewall, and only the insecure PPTP protocol (no OpenVPN or other protocol options).
Alternatively, both the $7.99 Pro and $9.19 Premium account variations include four protocols, and three or five simultaneous connections in line with how long you sign up. You can also take advantage of the refer a friend program. This gets you a free month for each new user you refer to the service by following the listed directions on the VyprVPN website.
Pricing certainly isn’t the cheapest on the market, though it is in line with the higher-end of the VPN provider spectrum. The decision ultimately rests on your own personal preference and individual user needs. Take a look at a video we put together explaining VyprVPN’s service, or scroll down to dive into some more analysis.
Unique Chameleon encryption
Blazing speed (Tier-1 network)
VyprVPN server (can make your own VPN)
Vague on full encryption epecs
Price is on the higher end
The video above gave a peek into VyprVPN’s extensive functionality, based firstly on a privately owned Tier-1 network covering the main six inhabited continents (sorry, Antarctica). The Golden Frog Internet Privacy Consortium’s – VyprVPN’s parent company – superlative network means you can choose from over 700 servers in 49 countries. Our last review had a country count of 43, so it’s great to see the team behind VyprVPN striving to meet consumer demands. Servers options aren’t only bountiful, either. The sheer scale translates directly into higher speeds and better performance, as we’ll explore further below in the ‘Speed Tests’ section of this review. Click on the jump to give VyprVPN a look.
Golden Frog GmbH is hosted in Switzerland (though its offices are based in Austin, Texas) due to Swiss privacy laws. VyprVPN commented on the situation as reproduced below.
“Switzerland has a long history of respecting privacy and has established a legal framework to protect it. The right to privacy is guaranteed in Article 13 of the Swiss Federal Constitution. Privacy protections for online activities are provided for under Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance (DPO). Unlike the data protection legislation of many other countries, the DPA protects both personal data pertaining to natural persons and legal entities. Switzerland has also established global frameworks and safe harbors with the EU, the United States and other countries, which extend privacy protection beyond its borders. The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland ruled in 2010 that IP addresses are personal information, and under Swiss privacy laws they may not be used to track Internet usage without the knowledge of the individuals involved.”
It’s nice to see that you can choose to have connection logs kept or turn them off completely in the Windows Client (or whichever other platform(s) you happen to be on). More on that in the Windows Client bit further down.
It’s both confusing and disheartening then to see that VyprVPN keeps connection logs for an entire month. That said, however much we’d like to see this form of logging abolished moving forward, the practice isn’t exactly uncommon in the VPN market.
A VPN company named after a deadly snake boasting substandard encryption? No way. VyprVPN is a robust solution for most anticipated needs. Firstly, you may choose from OpenVPN or Chameleon, L2TP/IPsec, or PPTP, listed in order of most effectiveness, with the last option being slightly better than no encryption (though there may be times when streaming needs might call for a faster yet weaker protocol choice).
What’s more, you can choose whether to use the proprietary VyprDNS to route all you traffic through the VyprVPN network and ensure no DNS leaks affect your connection – coupled with the proprietary (sense a theme yet?) Chameleon software (an unmodified version of the OpenVPN protocol, specifically for bypassing deep packet inspection common in censor-happy regimes such as China), with minimal speed hits. Meanwhile, the aforementioned NAT Firewall keeps outside intrusions from penetrating your system.
Unfortunately, VyprVPN is adamantly against P2P filesharing and torrenting, so users who this would pose an issue for might want to look elsewhere. With VyprVPN, there isn’t any ambiguity as to whether torrenting is in some kind of grey area, as some other providers do. It’s plainly covered on the website.
A final note: A VPN requires you to trust your provider being transparent in action and keeping true to any given claims and common practices. In this regard, we’ve had little reason to doubt Golden Frog, though it’s good principle to keep this discussion in mind, whether pertaining to VPNs or other products.
The Client Area (or control panel) is similarly painless to browse through, with products, support and billing all neatly packaged in the menu to the left of your page. Let’s talk about your options if or when things don’t work as they’re supposed to.
Support is a clear hallmark of the VyprVPN experience, and it isn’t tough to see why. Queries were responded to in a timely and professional fashion. Better still, the support team responses narrowed in on my queries as opposed to spouting off general fixes from the written support section which is well above-average in both the scope and effectiveness of the answers provided.
Clicking on the Windows or Mac links further down the FAQ section page (below the image above) brings up close to 30 instructional guides from how to setup and connect, to advanced modifications possible within the VyprVPN client. It was also exceedingly pleasing to see the Golden Frog user forum, which competitors would be wise to implement (provided they don’t copy the style outright!). This way users can brainstorm and cooperate, saving everyone time and energy. Not to mention the fact that random support queries are less likely to get lost in this fashion.
The VyprVPN blog is no slouch, either. In-depth security analysis goes hand in hand with troubleshooting tips and product announcements from across the Golden Frog Conglomerate’s range of offerings.
Sign-up is similar to most online services. First, provide a working email address, then choose your payment method. Afterwards, follow the instructions in the email or the client area of the VyprVPN website to get started.
The VyprVPN Windows VPN client
The VyprVPN Windows client is a winning match between design and effectiveness. Not only is the bespoke client pleasant enough to look at, it also brings some serious tech to the table. Not least in real-time speed stats, which are visible without having to click through a menu. Not that tapping on the little options button (just below the exit control, in the top left of the client) won’t give you choices galore. Let’s start with the bells and whistles. Auto reconnect, boo-connect, and killswitch are all included, as is an option for VyprVPN to start when it detects an unknown Wi-Fi signal. This feature would be immensely useful to business travelers or those frequently on the go, as well as folks using VPN on mobile.
The next tab gives you your pick of protocols. OpenVPN is the best blend of speed and security, and Chameleon drops a bit of speed in order to further obfuscate your data from prying eyes. The latter protocols are better used for streaming purposes – avoid them where possible from a security perspective.
You can also manually configure your DNS, or further configure your client using the Advanced menu. Keep in mind, however, that that’s a much more technical course of action aimed at power-users.
Overall, and in conjunction with the following Performance section below: the VyprVPN client was certainly one of the top clients I’ve tested. If an easy-to-use, yet customizable client to most any level appeals to you, then look no further. Otherwise, let’s talk speed.
Speed tests were conducted using a 30 Mbps connection as a baseline. Results were quite speedy, on the whole. Speeds on both the UK and Netherlands servers averaged a healthy 10 Mbps downstream, which is more than ample for high-def streaming or browsing purposes. P2P is once again a moot point, so now worries on that speed front.
DNS leaks were a non-entity, which is always pleasing to see, as you are more or less paying for an encrypted internet connection – among myriad other benefits – in reductionist terms. Use ipleak.net to check for DNS leaks, and the WebRTC Bug, while test-ipv6.com will show if you’re vulnerable to IPv6 leaks. If you’re really wary, doileak.net is a mixture of sorts using all the tests above. It’s a good idea to run tests every so often to keep your mind at ease, if nothing else.
As mentioned in our last review, VyprVPN excels at translating the user experience across all available platforms – from Windows and OS X, to iOS and Android, to Linux, Chromebook, and DD-WRT – the Apps and settings are identical. It’s frankly a great example of design to have cross-platform functionality in place.
The only thing to keep in mind is that mobile Apps tend to be slower on the whole than their desktop counterparts, as a result of hardware and processing power. Think about streaming anything on a smartphone versus a laptop or traditional desktop.
Other/ Free Services
VyprVPN Server (Beta)
The VyprVPN server is a phased-launch server solution which allows you to setup and run your own VPN and DNS servers – all included with the VyprVPN app, provided you are a Pro or Premium user. The service won’t have normal support while in Beta testing, opting instead for a user-forum-based approach, for open information flow and (hopefully) quicker bug fixes.
There are several options for setup, in roughly increasing orders of technical difficulty. You may opt for the command line, or web admin panel, as well as Amazon AWS. VyprVPN recommends using their partner Digital Ocean, which is the angle we’ll explore following the exact instructions provided in the short setup guide.
You’re initially prompted to register with DigitalOcean, or sign in to your pre-existing account should you already have one. A subsequent email after registration is completed then prompts you to enter a credit card or pay by Paypal, though you’ll only be billed for as much as you use. Once you’ve fully completed registration, it’s time to create a Droplet – the virtual machine by which you can launch your personal server. Don’t worry, the entire process should take you just under 10 minutes, if that.
Simply follow the image, plan, and user data sections as found on the setup page. You then have the option of using SSH keys (and manually setting these up), or using the root password Digital Ocean will send you by email once the server is fully setup. You may then configure the server using the web admin panel or command line. Either way is more or less the same result.
Why use the VyprVPN server you might ask – as in – why is it so special?
The VyprVPN design team came up with the VyprVPN server with the admirable trifecta of simplicity, flexibility and security in mind. Simplicity comes from the same attentiveness to detail that makes the rest of VyprVPN’s App suite, and services resonate well. Not to mention the entire process can be done using only mobile devices. The flexibility aspect surrounds the lack of any hardware (and, currently, software), outlay being necessary on your part. Just fill out the registration and spend a bit of time for a one-time setup. Piggybacking off the last bit, you’re now in charge of your own OpenVPN server, and you can opt for Chameleon encryption if it suits your needs at any time. You’re then fully in control of any logging policies and your IP location depending on where you choose for your server.
The high-ranking sales team member I spoke to gave me a personal, real-world example of the purpose behind her VyprVPN server. She setup the server at home in the US, using Virtual Box, in order to then stream Netflix when traveling around the globe for business. You could potentially deploy the VyprVPN server in the cloud to safeguard that point of attack in your network. It’s also more than handy for businesses wishing to keep workflow at normal levels with employees in different locations without sacrificing security. Just keep in mind that Business accounts may create unlimited servers, while Pro and Premium accounts will have to settle for one.
We’re excited to see what new dimensions the VyprVPN server opens up to the wider VPN experience. The server remains free, despite needing a credit card if you go the least techie route. That said, full-scale roll-outs might see pricing plans implemented, so try it while it’s still cheap. In the meantime, head here for more info, or keep reading for yet another free product and some concluding remarks on the service.
Golden Frog also offers Cyphr, a free encrypted messaging service for Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as desktop usage. We previously reviewed Cyphr and were left impressed with its 256-bit AES encryption (combining both private and public keys), with SSL/TLS to deliver messages end-to-end. The app is entirely in-house, so there’s that ever-present trust element involved, though security from outside intrusion is about as reliable as you might hope for.
In short, you can’t help but love that Cyphr is free to signup, whether you have a VyprVPN account on Golden Frog or not – you’d then have to make one. Open source software would be better and more transparent, but Cyphr is certainly more secure than a simple SMS.
VyprVPN Review Conclusion
I wasn’t so sure about
Some variations in encryption
VyprVPN is a dynamo solution, combining a superlative network with great support and sleek Apps across most major platforms. An element of faith is required on your part, due to the large amount of proprietary software in play, though Golden Frog’s decades of experience in IT security and commitments to privacy speak for themselves, not to mention performance, which has never been in question. Maybe it’s time to see if VyprVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee is right for you by clicking the blue box below!