VyprVPN is a subsidiary of internet software and services firm Golden Frog, also known for Usenet service Giganews and early ISP Texas.net. The company’s based in Switzerland, which has pretty solid data privacy laws: although ISPs are required to keep some logs, that doesn’t apply to VPN providers.
Note, though, that Switzerland is involved in some shared international intelligence cooperation on computer network exploitation, which may cause some users with specific geopolitical concerns to prefer companies legally headquartered elsewhere, such as Panama-based NordVPN.
VyprVPN is serious about privacy, so much so that it’s had an independent audit carried out to confirm that it adheres to its strict no-logging policy, which it adopted in 2018.
The service has endpoints in over 70 countries, with more than 700 servers and 200,000 IP addresses – this latter fact, in particular, helps to make it one of the most reliable options for video streaming.
Desktop clients are available for Windows and macOS, along with a Linux command line client, apps for iOS and Android, as well as a selection of routers and NAS devices. If you need to connect anything else, OpenVPN profiles and configuration instructions are available for a wide range of other devices.
The Windows desktop client isn’t quite as polished as some of its rivals, but keeps everything you need readily to hand. The main window shows your selected protocol, key settings, a traffic graph, and a button to quickly connect to the fastest or your last used endpoint. If you want to select a specific geographic endpoint, an extra window opens with a searchable list.
An options window lets you enable features including automatic startup and reconnection and a kill switch that’ll immediately cut off all internet traffic, to protect your privacy if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly. Fine-grained VPN connection settings are available – which you generally won’t want to touch – and to help with troubleshooting and security you can choose what logs are taken and disable the sending back of anonymous feature use data to Vypr.
You can also choose your preferred VPN protocol – OpenVPN is used by default, but other options include L2TP/IPsec, lightweight and low-security PPTP and Vypr’s own obfusticating Chameleon protocol – a worthwhile option if you’ll be travelling to countries or connecting to networks that block VPNs.
We had to manually modify the Linux command line application’s system service file to get it working on Ubuntu 18.04 – it’s easy, but an annoying oversight on Vypr’s part. Once installed, the client is extremely easy to use: just tell it which country you want to connect to. Protocol switching – including to the Chameleon protocol – is just as simple. But if you’re on a newer distro and don’t want to fix it yourself, using OpenVPN profiles either via GUI or the command line is arguably easier.
The mobile apps share the key features of their desktop counterparts, although iOS users are, as usual, restricted to the IKEv2 connection protocol. Options include per-app VPN routing, automatic connection when you go onto a public Wi-Fi network and a kill switch.
VyprVPN is competitively priced. Its monthly fee of £7.61 is among the lowest we’ve seen for a top-flight VPN provider and an annual fee of £45.88 is also very reasonable, working out at £3.82 for each month’s use.
Note, though, that that’s for three simultaneous connections. If you want five connections, the ability to deploy your own VPN cloud server or access to the Chameleon protocol, you should instead get VyprVPN Premium, which is still pretty competitive at £57.50 per year or £9.25 per month.
A three day trial is available for both, but you’ll have to register with a credit card and cancel if you don’t want to be moved onto a subscription when it ends.
Vypr’s only major problem is that its transfer speeds compare poorly to almost all of its rivals. Our new test servers, when not connected to a VPN, typically achieve HTTP speeds of between 45MB/s (360Mbit/s) and 59MB/s (472Mbit/s), depending on the location of the reference server we connect to.
In our UK HTTP test, the best throughput we could get from our VyprVPN connection was 8.16MB/s (65.28Mbit/s). That’s fine for day-to-day web browsing and would max out many consumer net connections. The last results from our old test system, on a slower net connection including a UK HTTP speed of 6.25MB/s and we routinely saw consistent speeds of around 8MB/s.
However, when rivals such as PIA and NordVPN clock in with speeds over 20MB/s, it’s safe to say that Vypr isn’t currently the best choice if raw throughput on a very high-speed connection is a priority for you.
Our Netherlands endpoint test produced speeds of 10.48MB/s and we were able to connect to the US at 4.92MB/s. That’s easily good enough for streaming, which is one of VyprVPN’s strong points: we were able to watch a wide range of UK and US streaming services
Overall, VyprVPN is an excellent, privacy-focussed VPN service with security features and apps to suit everyone from novices to hardened IT professionals. It’s very reasonably priced and the privacy audit is very welcome.
The only downside is that VyprVPN isn’t particularly fast compared to its key rivals. If money’s no issue, ExpressVPN hits the sweet spot for privacy, streaming and raw speed – you should go ahead and subscribe to it, but VyprVPN’s competitive annual and monthly subscription fees make it a good option if the likes of NordVPN is a little too expensive for you.
Read the WIRED guide to the best VPN services to see how VyprVPN stacks up.
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