An updated VyprVPN Review from March 2015 is available.
Over the past 13 days we have been testing the services of VyprVPN to bring you this full and comprehensive VyprVPN Review. VyprVPN offer three different type of packages which each have different features, the more you pay the more features you get access to. We took a look at their “VyprVPN Pro” account for the purposes of the review which is the middle of the three available.
The Website & Packages:
The first thing you notice when visiting the VyprVPN website is the fact that it strikes professionalism from the moment you see their first page. This is certainly no low rent business and the website certainly confirms that tone. Upon entering the site you are presented with images of mobile phones and tablets to suggest that not only is VyprVPN ideal for home use but is also a good solution for accessing the internet on insecure public networks such as the airport or coffee shop. Beneath this is a selection of feedback from Twitter users which is also handily linked to the status itself so that you can verify those are the words of a real person rather than marketing spiel created in house to better the appearance of the company.
Details of the VPN service formation in 2009 is detailed with other pieces of information regarding the service, their apps and other various tidbits. VyprVPN boasts apps for every device including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, something which we will delve in to further on in this review.
Other relevant sections are easily accessed from the top of the site which include areas to sign up, more detailed information and screen shots of their desktop and mobile apps. The usual information regarding what a VPN service can offer you plus access to a wealth of support set-up guides which includes links to the applications for the four main system types plus a mass of manual set up guides for no less than 16 operating system/device types.
As mentioned earlier VyprVPN offer three types of package which include VyprVPN Basic priced at US$9.99 p/m, VyprVPN Pro priced at US$14.99 p/m and finally VyprVPN Premier coming in priced at US$19.99 p/m. The Basic package is the most dissimilar to the remaining two which although offers unlimited data usage, access to all the apps plus 10 GB of “Dump Truck Storage” only allows connection via PPTP and via one connection meaning you will only be able to access the VPN service via your computer, phone or tablet one at a time. The Pro and Premier packages are the ones most likely to appeal to the majority of people and in main due to the fact they both allow connection via PPTP like the Basic package but also add the more secure L2TP/IPsec and most importantly OpenVPN protocol types. The remaining three differences over the Basic packages are the amount of connections allowed at one time with 2 on the Pro package and 3 on the Premium. Both pricier packages include access to their NAT Firewall and extra “Dump Truck Storage”
Dump Truck is a cloud file storage system similar to the services provided by the likes of Dropbox, Mega etc. This is an nice addition to the service which goes some distance to justify the prices that VyprVPN charge.
The prices that VyprVPN charge in comparison to other VPN providers is on the medium to higher end of the scale and due to this may at first glance put off some potential customers, especially those who are on a strict budget. For those who can afford to splash out a little extra cash then VyprVPN might just be the service for you due to the extra features that they provide for the price.
Firstly, as mentioned, you get access to cloud file storage which with the Premier package gives you access to 50GB of storage, something which at a provider like Dropbox would set you back around US$5.00 pro rata on its own. There are also two other important factors to consider and realise why VyprVPN comes in priced higher than other providers. They offer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is ticket support and actual live chat which on the occasions we tried was near instant or answered within a few minutes. The live help provided is by native English speakers or at the very least people who type English well enough to give the impression that English is their first language. Due to this they are easy to understand and also understand the queries that you are asking them. The next and most importantly unique feature about VyprVPN is the fact that they “own and operate 100% of our VPN server infrastructure“. This alone sets them apart from many other VPN providers because the hardware that runs the service is actually owned and operated by VyprVPN and not rented or outsourced from another company.
As part of the middle package that we tested VyprVPN offer connection through PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and the well renowned OpenVPN. The lowest priced package only offers connection via PPTP and for the lack of security this offers unless you can only make connection through PPTP for a particular reason then we suggest avoiding the lowest package and paying the extra US$5.00 to have the added security that L2TP/IPsec and more importantly OpenVPN brings. For those unaware of the differences then we have written a “The difference between PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN” guide to inform you.
VyprVPN Custom Software
One of the initial highlights of the VyprVPN service and something you’ll most likely come across in the early days of taking a service with them is they offer the well loved (by myself) facility of custom applications. Basically this means they offer programs for various operating systems and devices that once installed takes out any of the hard work or hassle of setting any complicated configuration files. These offer a simple one click solution to make connection to the server of your choice. One of the smart things about the software that they offer for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS is with the recent release of their “2.0” series of applications comes a seamless experience across all devices. This is useful because the layout of the desktop software is similar to the layout of the mobile software and so this provides an immense ease of use from a user friendly point of view. Although not complicated to use the fact that all the software acts and looks uniform will no doubt enhance the end user experience and make it easier to grasp for the novice VPN user.
Although custom software for desktop is a godsend for beginners and intermediates and a very welcomed addition, the more experienced users may wish to do the set-up procedure themselves without the need for custom written software. However when looking for OpenVPN configuration files or certificates for Windows I was confused to not be able to find any. I quizzed the live help on this to be told that VyprVPN do not offer direct configuration files for OpenVPN, a little strange considering their custom software makes connection through it directly. For more advanced users this will be disappointing that they don’t offer configuration files although this will be of no concern for beginner users or those who are happy to make use of the easy to use custom software. As a tip for those more advanced users, VyprVPN do offer OpenVPN configuration files for Tunnelbrick, the GUI for OpenVPN on Mac OS X and by downloading these and renaming these configuration files file types to .ovpn allows them to be used directly with OpenVPN on Windows, it is also possible to search the log files generated by the VyprVPN custom software to find the required configuration details. It would be nice if VyprVPN offered these files directly without the need to go through this extra process and I’m not entirely sure why they don’t considering the wealth of other available guides and configuration files for other systems.
For the purpose of the review I proceeded to make use of the custom software that is provided. Installation was a simple enough process although I was slightly disappointed to see once installed that the software automatically pinned to my taskbar without my consent and it would of been more polite if I had been asked if this was required. After quickly unpinning the program I was ready to take a look. The software itself is very slick looking, this as mentioned earlier is a very recent release and compared to screen shots of their previous version is a massive advance in overall aesthetics of the interface. The polish of the interface makes it one of the best looking interfaces of any VPN provider I have previously tested. The upper most area offers a simple connect button with access to the various server selections, below this is a graphical chart depicting the speed fluctuations of your connection. The lower half of the interface is graced with your current IP which changes from your own personal IP to the one of the VPN server you’re connected to on connection. Further details include time connected, the protocol and encryption you’re currently using and the status of your NAT Firewall should you of enabled this option on your account package.
The server selection panel is nicely laid out with countries being sorted in alphabetical order and the added addition of the country flag to make it easier to quickly grasp the country you require plus enhancing the overall eye candy of the software. The possibility to ping all the servers listed is included which is carried out extremely quickly and allows you to gauge which servers will generally offer you the better speeds, the lower values are usually the closest and in the majority of cases likely to offer the better speeds. One feature which was missing and would be a good extra would be the ability to sort the server list based on ping, this would allow the ability to see the list of servers in an incremental fashion. Servers can be easily added to your favourites list by simply clicking the star next to the required server. This then adds the server for quicker access to both the notification area icon menu and the main interface connection button allowing quicker connection to your favourite servers.
The final area of the interface is dedicated to the settings. This allows the usual options like loading the program on boot, connecting automatically when windows loads, connecting automatically when the program is loaded etc. A section to change the connection protocol from OpenVPN with 256 Bit Encryption, OpenVPN with 160 Bit Encryption, L2TP/IPsec with 256 Bit Encryption or PPTP with 128 Bit Encryption is also present. Each option has a small but handy information blurb explaining the protocol which is useful for those who struggle to understand the differences and the affect this may have on your connection speed etc. The notification icon changes colour when connected which is great for quick viewing to see your connection status although the software doesn’t feature any type of kill switch to kill your internet connection should the VPN drop unexpectedly.
Upon checking for DNS leaks while using the custom software I was pleasantly reassured that when using DNSLeaktest.com that no DNS leaks were discovered in the majority of cases although on two occasions when using both their Icelandic and US – Miami servers it was apparent that Google DNS servers were being used. VyprVPN appear to use their own DNS servers in the actual country you’re connecting to for the majority of time for that added security and privacy although the possibility of Google DNS servers appearing on one or two cases needs to be rectified. DNS leaking allows other bodies outside of the VPN provider to record the actual websites that you visit and so ensuring that no DNS leaks are present gives you added privacy.
Overall the custom software provided by VyprVPN is not only pleasing to the eye but also extremely easy to understand and use. All features and areas have been covered, the software has been well thought out and aside from one or two minor features which could improve it further it is definitely one of the nicest interfaces I have seen from a provider.
VyprVPN have a wide range of connection points which currently allow access in 41 different countries. They have a wealth of connections in Europe, with North America, Oceania and Asia also widely covered. This selection covers the major countries for accessing online streaming services such as Hulu in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK. Countries with good privacy and freedom of speech records are covered with access points in Iceland, Switzerland & Sweden plus more and finally those countries considered more “off-shore” locations are available and include the Ukraine and Russia. There are currently no access points in South America and users in that region may wish to consider if access locations in the US and others are suitable to their needs. VyprVPN appear to be expanding at a face pace and have added a good number of new locations within the past two months alone. They are also happy to accept suggestions for new locations on their website so should a number of users from a specific region feel under supported then they can feel free to put forward those suggestions. Globe trotters however are well supported and for those who make frequent trips then VyprVPN offer access in a good range of locations to keep you secure no matter which part of the world you are in.
One of the most interesting and somewhat reassuring facts about VyprVPN is they are owned by the parent company Golden Frog. Golden Frog are the company behind services such as the usenet provider, Giganews, Data Foundry and their more recently launched Dump Truck service. The founders behind the parent company are internet veterans who co-founded the ISP Texas.net back in the early 90’s. This was one of the first 50 ISPs in the US. With this information in mind VyprVPN has a large organisation with plenty of expertise behind it. This fact instantly separates them from many of the other VPN providers available and having such a large and professional organisation running the service gives that added peace of mind that the service won’t suddenly shut up shop and close down over night. A further positive point is that VyprVPN are a Swiss registered company and so fall under the jurisdiction of Switzerland, a country well known for their secrecy laws and independence, this also puts them outside of the EU and for those who like to avoid US and EU VPN providers due to recent revelations about government spying etc. This fact alone may be a deal sealer.
On the package we tested you are allowed two connections at once meaning that not only can you connect via your desktop but also by another device such as a mobile phone or tablet at the same time. Those who require more devices will need to opt for the higher package although the two provided connections were ample for my reviewing purposes and even outside of reviews I have personally not required any more than 2 connections. One of the further positive features of this is unlike some other providers you can connect both devices at the same time using OpenVPN to the same country location, albeit with a different IP. We have had difficulty with other providers in the past who only have one server in each country thus stopping the possibility of connecting more than one device at a time to the same country.
VyprVPN offer mobile applications for both Android and iOS devices. Taking a look at the Android application was a very straightforward affair. After installation directly from the Google Play Store the first noticeable feature is that the layout of the app was very similar to their desktop version. This is a fantastic development by VyprVPN in that across all platforms and devices the custom software is as uniform as possible in both the layout, aesthetics and use. In many cases with other providers the desktop software looks completely different to the mobile variety which for new users might be off putting. No such problem with the custom software here as it looks and acts similar, so once you have mastered the big brother desktop version then the mobile version is a seamless continuation. As with the desktop version the interface looks very smooth and not overly complicated with masses of options. The main screen offers a similar connection button and server list access plus the time you have been connected, the current IP address and your NAT Firewall status given below. Scrolling the middle to the left gives the option of a speed graph and further again presents a connection log which can be enabled/disabled in the settings. Upon connection the background of the app changes from white to black which gives an nice indication of the connection status. Again as with the desktop version the Android application is easy to use and looks the part, no problems here. By viewing screen shots of both the iOS and Mac versions of the custom software they appear visually to be exactly the same so you should suffer no issues if you are using one of those operating systems.
Torrent use is acceptable on the VyprVPN service and they have no specific policy restricting you, so you are free to use them. They do advise that if you are downloading copyrighted material then they will be contacted and not you, as expected. They will inform you of this but they will not pass your details to the complainant unless ordered by a court of law. However those engaging in downloading copyrighted material which is of course against the law will fall under a 5 strikes policy. Should you be reported for infringing on copyright by downloading such material then you can expect to have your account suspended if you fail to stop after 5 reports.
A final nice feature of the service and one not usually allowed by many VPN providers is that outgoing email via SMTP is allowed. This is usually blocked by a lot of VPN providers due to the temptation of spammers to make use of the service to send unsolicited email. This is extremely handy if you have an email account that you access through a desktop client that allows connection from an outside source. It means you don’t have to disconnect from the VPN to send email. Another bonus of this is further security as email clients will reveal your actual IP when sending an email which is visible by the recipient. By sending emails while connected to the VPN the only IP that will be visible is that of the VPN server.
I made use of the service of VyprVPN regularly for every day internet use using the highest level of encryption possible through their custom software (OpenVPN, 256 bit) and also directly using OpenVPN itself and had no issues at all. Browsing websites, Skype usage plus other general internet activity was perfect, no visible slowdown or problems experienced. I also suffered no connection drops even when staying connected for periods of around 8 hours. This smooth access continued regardless of server selected and I made heavy use of a range of the European servers from Iceland, Switzerland, UK, Sweden and Ukraine. No matter which server I accessed including even the servers at further distance such as the US or Asian region ones, at no point did I experience any noticeable slow down or cause for concern.
Accessing services such as Hulu via the US servers was fine and I could easily watch video streams at full quality without any buffering or delay. Although I didn’t make use of the UK servers for such services like BBC iPlayer due to being physically located in the UK myself, I see no reason based on download speeds achieved why it wouldn’t be acceptable to make use of their UK servers for the UK TV streaming services for those located elsewhere.
As with all our reviews we downloaded a freely available 1GB test file from a UK website via each of the VPN servers mentioned below at both on and off-peak times in the GMT time zone. The download was made via a download manager due to the increased speed this provides over downloading directly in a web browser. Our own internet connection speed is 30Mb/s. We are physically located in the United Kingdom and so speeds could vary for yourself depending on your location from the server.
The server speeds listed in order are Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA – Los Angeles & USA – Miami, USA – Texas and can be seen in the far right column.
VyprVPN Peak Speeds
VyprVPN Off-Peak Speeds
As the above results show we achieved consistently good speeds across the range of servers even when making use of the highest level of encryption possible with the service, a brilliant result for VyprVPN.
The Encryption & Policies:
VyprVPN offer all three main connection protocols from PPTP with 128 Bit Encryption, L2TP/IPsec with 256 Bit Encryption and OpenVPN with either 160 Bit or 256 Bit Encryption.
For those further interested in the encryption possible via OpenVPN with VyprVPN, the following choices are available.
OpenVPN 256 Bit
Cipher AES-256-CBC (256 bit key)
HMAC authentication SHA256
2048 bit RSA
OpenVPN 160 Bit
Cipher BF-CBC (128 bit key)
HMAC authentication SHA1
2048 bit RSA
They do keep session logs “for use with billing, troubleshooting, service offering evaluation, TOS issues, AUP issues, and for handling crimes performed over the service. We maintain this level of information on a per-session basis for at least 90 days.”
No information will be released by VyprVPN in regard to Civil Investigations unless they receive a court order from a “competent jurisdiction” so you can be sure you are well covered by them and they will keep your details private unless they are instructed by a court to do otherwise.
It goes without saying that any criminal conduct committed will be assisted with when required by law and of course they are likely to be required to keep this investigation private from you. As said, no big surprises here and something I would expect from any legitimate and well run VPN business.
As part of the review process we would usually send off one or two test emails or create tickets at the provider as this is the usual method of support that most VPN providers offer. Although VyprVPN do offer support via a contact form they stand out from the crowd due to the fact they offer a live chat feature that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Due to this it made any support question I had easier to ask directly at live help rather that creating a support ticket.
VyprVPN have a great live help system, their support staff answer the requests quickly and speak perfect English which makes explaining questions or problems an easy process. I found them to be very helpful even when requesting technical help or more in-depth questions. General queries regarding their policies could also be answered and in general they seemed highly knowledgeable regardless of what you needed to enquire about. The fact that they offer permanent live support is a huge advantage over what some other providers offer, it allows you to resolve any questions or problems you have in real time and you can really understand where the few extra dollars go when paying for their service when you are provided with such a robust support system. For those who prefer to contact directly through the contact form their promise is to respond within 15 minutes so you are covered from all angles regardless of how you wish to access their support.
The Verdict aka tl;dr:
VyprVPN at first glance have one of the more expensive VPN services and looking at price alone may initially put you off. However once you actually try the service you really begin to understand what you’re paying for. An extensive network of servers in a large range of countries is available and all which deliver speeds which are blisteringly fast. The service and servers are reliable and the speeds provided using even the highest level of encryption available on the service offer consistently good results.
General web use and downloading suffer very little, if any speed loss and VyprVPN provided one of the most solid results base for speeds achieved over a good range of their servers. When it is the case that you are physically located in Europe and can achieve near enough your full internet speed through a server based in Hong Kong then you really are on to a winner of a service. Due to the results attained in our tests I see no reason why you won’t see amazing speeds regardless of where you are located in the world.
The applications provided are well thought out from a user perspective and allow even the novice to get to grips with the world of VPN use. All major desktop and mobile platforms are supported with a range of guides for more obscure devices.
Support is top notch and the speed at which you can resolve issues or get support for a range of issues due to the live chat make the higher price tag a worthwhile investment.
If you are happy to pay a more premium price then you will be more than rewarded with the service that is on offer. VyprVPN are one of the most professional outfits that we have seen and there are very little, if any areas that we can fault them on.
A 3 day trial is available which will be more than enough time to convince you that this is an excellent provider and I would definitely recommend their service as it was a joy to use.
|Price:|| (3.5 / 5)|
|Reliability:|| (5.0 / 5)|
|Speed:|| (5.0 / 5)|
|Servers:|| (4.0 / 5)|
|Policy:|| (4.0 / 5)|
|Support:|| (5.0 / 5)|
|Average:|| (4.4 / 5)|
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