VyprVPN is owned by developers Golden Frog, who are strong advocates of privacy & security for consumers. This VPN service has been on the market for more than two decades now and is a clearly recognized brand. However, its performance does raise questions about whether it has gotten the necessary focus on infrastructure that it needs. Learn more.
August 06, 2020•
VyprVPN has been in the market for a significant amount of time now. It belongs to a company called Golden Frog, a Swiss-based developer, which seems to be focused entirely on the privacy & security market – VPN included.
So far, it sounds all normal. There is, however, an interesting twist to Golden Frog’s background. Apparently, its founders learnt that the NSA was conducting covert surveillance on AT&T networks. When it brought this to the attention of authorities, it was ignored. The incident was an interesting one nonetheless (read more about Room 641a).
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Because of that, Golden Frog founders decided to embark on a mission to help protect Internet users. The company was incorporated in Switzerland in 1994 and has been moving full steam ahead since then.
At this point of time, VyprVPN is one of the core applications built and maintained by Golden Frog which is publicly available.
There are two main variants of VyprVPN and we will be taking a closer look at the consumer version (the other is more aligned towards business users).
The No-Logging policy is perhaps the single most important document that a VPN service provider should have in its inventory. This is basically the reassurance a VPN gives its users about their handling of the user’s data and privacy.
Unlike some service providers, VyprVPN has their No-Logging policy spelt out clearly in black and white on their website. It’s also not an overly long technical description but something anyone could probably read and understand.
The gist of it is; “We do not log information that could be used to identify you, nor do we keep any information that arises from your connection after you’ve logged off”.
The DNS leak test is very straightforward and yet necessary. All it is basically is ensuring that your real DNS isn’t compromised. Visiting a site like DNS Leak Test can help you secure this information quickly and for free.
Likewise, our WebRTC test also confirmed that VyprVPN was safe to use. There’s a lot more information in WebRTC tests usually, so just keep an eye out for flag signs of your origin country to make sure they don’t turn up anywhere in the list.
Similar to many other good VPNs, VyprVPN has its own secure DNS system, predictably called VyprDNS. It was developed and set up from the ground up by Golden Frog. VyprDNS was designed to be a ‘zero knowledge’ system, which means it ensures you of privacy.
The DNS system employed also helps circumvent censorship which in many countries is implemented at the ISP level. VyprDNS is private and not open to the general public – it’s only usable by VyprVPN users.
One thing that makes VyprVPN stand out among others is that it claims to “own, engineer and manage our [sic] VPN servers”. This means that while they might rent space and bandwidth from data centres around the world, the integrity of their VPN system is high.
While this might seem like a common sense move to make given the industry sector they are in, not all VPN providers go to this length. In fact, some are known to work with third-party service providers before and tried to shift the blame when security ended up being somehow compromised.
There aren’t many VPN service providers which come up with their own secure protocols for a good reason. It’s incredibly difficult and the resources they would have to put into it would be immense. That is a lot of time and money not just on R&D but even to maintain it.
What VyprVPN has done with their Chameleon protocol is just to add a bit of spin. It relies on OpenVPN 256-bit encryption as the base, but scrambles the packets before transmission so that they are harder for VPN sniffers to recognize.
According to Golden Frog, this makes Chameleon much better for use in countries known to be extremely VPN-unfriendly, such as China, Russia, or Iran.
Almost without fail, VPNs will include a kill switch with their applications. The kill switch is something that can block data from coming in or going out of your device if the VPN tunnel is somehow down, such as in the case of a service outage or dropped connection.
While kill switches are mostly found at the application and system level, VyprVPN has gone a step further and included a kill at the LAN level as well. This lets it block everything including LAN traffic if there’s a problem with the VPN connection.
VyprVPN is incorporated in Switzerland which is great news for its users anywhere. The Swiss government is known for having some of the best privacy laws in the world (remember that great Swiss banking system?).
This means that not only is VyprVPN free to protect your privacy but in many cases it is actually required to do so by Swiss law! For a VPN service provider, there is no sweeter environment.
Because I’m a massive Netflix hog (both for work and personally) one of the most important things to me about a VPN is their ability to circumvent Netflix’s dislike of VPNs. As many of you might know, Netflix and some other streaming services unlock content based on geographic location.
It isn’t an intended massive scam, but simply the way that licensing works. Unfortunately, they charge everyone the same amount (roughly). For that I feel like we should be getting an equal amount of goodies, hence my focus on VPN for Netflix.
The good news here is that Netflix US works with VyprVPN and I could stream Netflix US content. However, there are a few caveats to this – one which I’ll discuss later in the section covering speed.
Unfortunately, while Netflix US has a ton of content (more than anywhere else in the world), it doesn’t have ALL Netflix content. For example, I wanted to watch “Ronny Chieng – International Student” and that was only available in Australia.
I couldn’t get past the Australian region block with Netflix, no matter what VyprVPN servers I used. It was frustrating and annoying. Then again, the situation isn’t one that is likely to reoccur since most of the time will be spent on Netflix for US content.
Speaking to customer service, I was informed that VyprVPN currently only works with a limited number of Netflix regions, including Canada, Germany, UK, and the US.
Although not terribly well known outside the UK, the BBC has a free streaming service available. You do need to sign up for it though (just spoof a UK address) and then you can watch for free.
The catch is that you’ll need a VPN that actually has a server in the UK or it won’t work. VyprVPN does the job and I haven’t had any problems with the iPlayer so far.
The VyprVPN Windows app is very easy to install and a breeze to use. It runs just like any other Windows app and works seamlessly within the environment.
When launched, the main screen of the app shows your real location as well as your connection status to the service. There’s also a bar showing you the last location you connected to. If you’re launching it for the first time then that will be replaced by a “Fastest Server” button.
The app is single-screen, meaning that the tiny bit of screen space it occupies when enlarged is all you’ll see. Clicking on tabs or option menus will simply move you to those areas using that same app interface.
With each VyprVPN subscription you can connect up to five devices simultaneously. They also have a variety of ways you can connect your devices depending on what you use. Most households today will have a variety of devices running at any one time.
For example, there are apps for mainstream Windows and Linux devices, along with mobile platforms like iOS and Android. VyprVPN is also available for Android-based TVs and some routers.
One thing to note though is that VyprVPN doesn’t seem to have dedicated support for very specialized applications such as Kodi and Roku, or even Firestick. This is something you might like to be aware of before you sign up with them.
Getting in touch with VyprVPN customer support is easy thanks to their dedicated live support team. I sent them a query and was responded to almost immediately (within 10 seconds). As far as customer support goes, that’s top-of-the-line.
I found their very courteous customer support agent to also be knowledgeable in his craft and to offer helpful links where necessary. He was able to quickly point me in the right direction for questions that needed more comprehensive answers.
That brings me to the next point which is their knowledge base. VyprVPN has a pretty decent library of help for those who don’t like live assistance. The articles here are well curated, current, and extensive.
P2P works fine with VyprVPN although you have to keep in mind that speeds will be limited by the VPN server overall. Normally that’s fine but if you read my section on speed below, you’ll realize that torrenting may be an issue overall due to lack of speed on this provider.
However, the streams were consistent and behaved normally. In fact, I did observe that connections were rather more quickly picked up than usual for almost all the torrents. Unlike some providers, VyprVPN does not restrict you to specific servers for torrenting.
I like services that offer money-back guarantees. It shows that they are confident enough in their service that even with a grace period, buyers will remain. VyprVPN offers all users a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Believe me, that is more than enough to make sure that the service you’re on is suitable for you – as long as you actively use it. For anyone who wants a VPN, I recommend you leave it on after buying it, since that is the fastest way you can tell if its right for you.
By doing so, you’ll be able to experience it full time and small flaws will eventually come to light sooner than later. Then, you can decide if you can live with those issues, rather than suffering though it for your entire subscription.
Perhaps due to their standards in setting up their servers, VyprVPN has a more modest network than many other top-of-the-line service providers around today. At around 700 servers, it falls way short of NordVPN (5,800+) or even newbie Surfshark (800+).
That limited number of servers also has to serve a large area since VyprVPN has them in 66 countries around the world. That’s not even counting the multiple sites within North America where it has servers as well.
Overall, this setup has me concerned about the ability of their servers to stand heavy loads, potentially impacting the quality of service that VyprVPN can provide.
Despite my best efforts and the kind assistance of customer services, I was pretty disappointed at VyprVPN speeds. That’s not to say that speeds were awful but compared to many top-notch services I’ve tried – it’s lacking.
As a baseline to everything, I’m running a 500Mbps line from my ISP via which I normally get full speeds.
Connecting to a US-based VyprVPN server, I was at first a little unsettled as the speeds tested were awful. After changing servers a number of times, I finally managed to eke out a usable speed of 37Mbps.
This is fast enough for almost anything, even a bit of modest downloading if you have some extra time. Sadly, this isn’t the norm and you have to put in the work of swapping servers to get a decent speed.
For my Eurozone speed test I selected Germany since it’s closer to my physical location and has good infrastructure.
Speeds here were much better despite the strangely increased latency of the connection. Still, not much of that overhead was caused by VyprVPN.
My physical location is in Malaysia but I normally don’t test here since apparently, VPN providers here use not great servers for some reason. To test Asia region speeds my go-to is a Singapore-based VPN server which normally has excellent speeds.
This time round I was quite surprised to see VyperVPN clock only 50-odd Mbps. Even with a VPN active, I normally observe speeds of over 100Mbps with a Singapore-based server. Customer support basically told me to reboot my modem and use IKEv2, which didn’t really solve the basic question – why did it perform so poorly (comparatively) here?
With no Africa-based servers, I opted to test VyprVPN in the region with a Middle-east based server in Saudia Arabia.
Again, speeds were usable but not great although I was surprised by the good ping rates shown.
Similar to Singapore, Australia-based VyprVPN servers again showed that lacklustre performance I’ve been observing from so many locations.
With this set of speed tests (and a few others) sitting in front of me combined with my chat with customer support, my only possible conclusion is that speed-wise, VyprVPN simply isn’t that great.
For a service provider that has been in the market for so long this is a little surprising. I can only conclude two possibilities, The first is that their VPN is undergoing heavy load due to the current global pandemic. The second is that they’ve not kept up with the times and upgraded their servers where necessary.
In all, a sad performance from a service provider with a long-standing reputation of excellence.
While I was not happy with VyprVPN speeds, this isn’t exactly the same. When in the app, connecting to any server does take a while. I’m not saying minutes-long, but just long enough to be annoying.
I timed it connecting to a few servers and it averaged at around 3 to 5 seconds. While that may sound like a short time, when waiting for a connection, believe me, it feels just so slow.
Starting from $2.50 per month if you sign up for a two-year plan, VyprVPN isn’t the most expensive around that’s for sure. Unfortunately, that also doesn’t make them the cheapest. The sad truth is that as with everything else about VyprVPN, that pricing is simply mediocre.
While it is true that their customer service is quite impressive, as a whole I feel that VpyrVPN is just a barely acceptable service. Perhaps in the past they have seen better days, but today it feels like they are just coasting along.
New service providers have been popping up and some of them show excellent performance. While it remains to be seen over time if that can be maintained, it is still better than looking towards one that seems to have given up.
If I had limited options – then yes, I’d go for VyprVPN. But at these prices, I can do better today and so can you. Still, it does remain a fuss-free service that is reliable (and has shown itself to be so over its many years of service).
Do check out our list of Best VPN to explore other great alternatives!