VyprVPN was founded in 2010 under the umbrella company Golden Frog. It’s based in Switzerland, a country that has advantageous privacy laws for internet users. It includes a worldwide server network (that they own & operate exclusively), robust encryption practices, proprietary software, and excellent customer service.
After years of foolishly running my online business via public WiFi (though more secure now than then), I decided to start using a VPN to mask some of my communications and access a bit of out of market sporting events while traveling.
But I found out that – similar to web hosting – there is no such thing as a “best VPN provider”. In fact, it’s like a whole world of confusing information because even trustworthy information is near-useless since it’s so complex.
This VyprVPN review is my notes from trying them out for my own purposes as a privacy-aware, traveling, US-based businessperson who needs good usability and good pricing. I am not a political activist or someone who regularly travels to firewalled countries.
Here’s a good explainer as to whether you actually need a VPN at all…
Whether you are looking for a VPN for privacy on public networks, for website access, for avoiding geotargeting, for masking communications or all the above, hopefully, this VyprVPN review will be useful.
What is VyprVPN?
VyprVPN is a commercial Virtual Private Network (VPN) currently owned by Golden Frog Ltd., a security company based in Switzerland established in 2010. Their software allows you to route all your Internet traffic through their network so that you can mask your destinations, locations, and other characteristics that show up with your Internet connection.
VyprVPN offers all the standard features of a VPN with a focus on security, privacy, quality and product-focus. They have a middle marketshare in the VPN market.
Is VyprVPN Safe?
Yes, VyprVPN is safe*. They are owned by a large, growing company with a straightforward and open business model (aka, the customer pays money for a service) and audited services & financial records by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC). They’ve been around for a while and have high standards of disclosure from many non-profit industry watchdogs. They have a zero logs policy and even own & operate all their data centers to reduce the risk of a 3rd party breach / mistake.
*The asterisk here is that even though VyprVPN has possibly the highest standards of privacy & security of any VPN company – all commercial VPNs suffer from the same group of risks outlined by the US National Institutes of Technology’s Empirical Analysis in 2018.
Is VyprVPN Good?
Yes, VyprVPN is a solid VPN if your focus is on privacy & support. They have tradeoffs for sure, and they aren’t right for everyone. But they offer everything many customers want in a VPN at with an extra layer of privacy that US-based VPNs can’t offer.
So here’s the rest of my VyprVPN review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer so you can figure out if VyprVPN is a good fit for you, or if you want an alternative paid VPN.
VyprVPN Pros / Advantages
Golden Frog positions VyprVPN as the “world’s most powerful VPN.”
It offers more than 200,000 IP addresses and over 700 servers in more than 70 locations worldwide. The company manages its own software, hardware, and networks instead of delegating it out to a third party. That keeps things speedier and more secure.
Every VPN balances inherent tradeoffs between speed & security and/or between cost & features. And every VPN fights the battle for what ultimately matters – trust. Here are the major advantages that I found when using VyprVPN.
Company Structure / Values
Golden Frog is responsible for its own servers. Because of its proprietary development and management, the connections are more reliable and faster than those offered by many other VPNs. You can also trust that your data will be more secure (assuming you trust VyprVPN).
Founders Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis have run internet businesses since the emergence of the public internet in 1994. They’re passionate about respecting the rights of internet users. In fact, Golden Frog was created in response to questionable internet surveillance practices conducted by the NSA.
The company is dedicated to:
- advocating for a free and open internet
- staying on top of the newest technology
- making privacy and security accessible to everyone
- being transparent about its products, practices, and services
Their primary jurisdiction is in Switzerland, which has good/bad tradeoffs. But they explain clearly why they love Switzerland on their About page.
They basically argue that Switzerland’s stability and rule of law are better for privacy than using a developing country like NordVPN or a small ancillary country like ExpressVPN. This argument extends to their server structure where they handle everything (for better or worse) – including DNS.
Speed & Performance / VyprDNS
VyprDNS makes streaming videos (and apparently their entire network) incredibly efficient. If you regularly use Netflix or YouTube, you know how frustrating it is to deal with buffering every 15 minutes. You won’t have to worry about that when you use VyprDNS. It’s built into the service, so you’ll automatically use it when you connect via VyprVPN.
Other VPNs don’t have proprietary DNS servers. Because they route to third-party servers, you’re not necessarily as secure or anonymous. The path that you take when surfing the web could be visible to a third-party DNS server. VyprDNS keeps your browsing history private (err – private between you and them).
VpyrVPN seems to have a robust, balanced network based on my speed tests. I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA – so there’s some geographic bias toward the US.
They had minimal “hops” compared to other servers as seen in my traceroute test –
I never had inconsistent connections throughout testing and had consistent success with international connections.
Usability & Onboarding
A perfect VPN that you never use is worse than a mediocre VPN that you use all the time – sort of like a home security system. Ideally, you’d have good security and good usability, but the point is that usability is critical for a VPN.
VyprVPN does very well with this consideration. Their sign up to activation flow is simple and straightforward.
Their app has a guided tour/setup flow with a click to connect button at the end.
Now that people are using smartphones and tablets to access the internet, it’s important to protect your privacy on networks outside of your home. VyprVPN apps are available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.
You can select your favorite servers so that they’re easy to access every time you connect. If you need to switch servers, the “favorites” make transferring simple. You can also see the real-time status of available servers in their network.
The software connects to the VPN immediately upon launching, so using the VPN is seamless. The apps also offer a kill switch, which cuts your internet connection if you become disconnected from the VPN. This is especially useful when – for example – you’re leaving a torrent download unattended for a while. It also protects your privacy even when you have a spotty VPN connection.
When you use a VPN, your data has to travel further than it does when you have a local server. Companies with fewer servers often have slower speeds because of that distance. Multiple servers that are placed strategically across the globe make VyprVPN faster than most.
Many servers also prevent overload. If several users connect to the same server at once, you might experience diminished performance. VyprVPN also has servers in areas with notoriously restrictive internet laws.
VyprVPN offers a wide range of servers & countries. Vypr VPN even has servers in China and Russia.
But most importantly, they offer a wide diversity of servers. In other words, there are choices within major countries and a selection of servers throughout the globe (ie, not clustered on one continent).
If you need to, you can switch locations. This allows you to get the fastest connection no matter where you are.
VyprVPN really offers unlimited service. You won’t come across any restrictions when connecting to a server. The company doesn’t limit your downloads. There are no fees associated with switching servers.
Security & Encryption
VyprVPN offers AES-256 encryption over OpenVPN along with several different protocols. By all my research, they take encryption & security seriously.
VyprVPN also offers Chameleon and VyprDNs, both of which not only encrypt your information but also allow you to mask your connections and connect even in high-censorship countries.
Chameleon is a protocol that allows you to use the VPN in stealth mode. If you’re in a country that bans users from using VPNs to access the internet, you won’t be detected when using Chameleon. Chameleon is also helpful if your university or corporation has a firewall that censors your internet usage. It makes it look like you’re using a regular SSL.
**Caveat – Note that no VPN is 100% secure. Your traffic is still routing through a company. Any company can go out of business or go rogue. If you are trying to avoid your American ISP – then you are simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter with the trust of your VPN. If you are a political activist where trust is a life or death situation, you need to be using something like Tor. This highlights this section of VyprVPN’s unique features, but the point remains using a VPN does not instantly create security/privacy. That is something you do via aligning company incentives (ie, paying for companies who maintain security) & being proactive.
Judging customer support is tough. So many comments online are either anecdotal or naive. I try to look for indicators that a company views customer support as an investment rather than a cost.
VyprVPN passes this test according to my research with them and other VPN providers.
You can get in touch with a support person 24/7/365 via the live chat feature on the website. When you’re paying more for a service, knowing that the company will address all of your questions in real time is especially reassuring.
Even though they do not have phone support, you can also access customer support via community forums, email, and an FAQ section.
They offer support ticketing direct from the app with the option to automatically include the application logs.
They have a ticket system along with live chat.
Here is their support team involved in their public forum.
My interactions with VyprVPN were positive. Given their transparency on the public forums, it appears that they take customer support seriously.
Pricing & Payment Options
VyprVPN operates at a higher price point than other VPNs – but pricing doesn’t tell the whole story.
They have a single plan (much improved over their old per-device plans) with discounts for extended subscriptions.
Even though their per-month price is above competitors, their discounted and extended signups are right in line.
VyprVPN also offers a business option. There’s a regular version and a cloud version so that you can select the option that’s right for you.
This option is ideal for entrepreneurs, journalists, remote workers and traveling employees. It’s more expensive than the personal plans, but it allows you to give your teams access to multiple servers and even works within the cloud.
VyprVPN Cons / Disadvantages
Like I mentioned in the pros introduction, every VPN faces tradeoffs with their service. Here are some of the disadvantages I found for VyprVPN.
One downside to VyprVPN’s approach to data centers is that they are significantly limited in geographic scope compared to competitors. While competitors are able to sign leases to quickly scale up servers across the world in different countries, VyprVPN’s ownership approach is limited.
If you are looking for full geographic spread around the world, you may want to check and plan around VyprVPN’s server network.
VyprVPN has apps for all the major operating systems and for networks, but they are missing the middle piece of VPN apps – devices and browsers. There is no way to install a VPN on *just* your game console or *just* your Mozilla Firefox. From a security standpoint, their approach makes sense. But from a convenience perspective, it can be annoying.
VyprVPN Review Conclusion
VyprVPN is a fast, streamlined, secure VPN. It’s not the cheapest or the most convenient option, but it offers almost excellent privacy and performance.
If you want a solid, high-performing VPN with excellent privacy, you should sign up for VyprVPN here.
If you want all the data to find a fit for a specific need, then browse this well-regarded spreadsheet.