Golden Frog’s VyprVPN is one of the newcomers in the field, explicitly created after the infamous NSA revelations. VyprVPN is promoted with an interesting motto which aims to provide people with “privacy, security, and access to a free and open Internet”.
The company is no stranger to the Internet, of course. Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis, the pair who founded the company, are as close to Internet veterans as you can get. Their business include Texas.net, lauded as one of the first 50 ISPs in the US, and even Giganews, a name which will be instantly familiar to anyone who was around during the Usenet days.
Today, we have put the company’s motto to the test, along with the actual services it provides. Read on to find out whether VyprVPN deserves a list in one of 2017’s best VPN services or if you should look elsewhere for your VPN needs!
Highlights and quick lists
For those of you in a hurry, let us take a quick look at what you can expect from VyprVPN:
Facts about VyprVPN:
- It has about 70 server locations worldwide.
- Its individual servers number to more than 700.
- It offers a bit more than 200,000 IP addresses.
- There are no third-parties involved, which means that Golden Frog is 100 percent responsible for everything.
- It has a unique technology called Chameleon, which aims to bypass VPN blocking.
- It is one of the fastest VPN services.
- It is also one of the most expensive VPN services.
- There is a 3-day trial.
- There are no refunds.
What it’s good for:
- Bypassing geographical restrictions.
- In many cases, allowing you to watch Netflix despite the streaming service’s attempts to block VPNs.
- Fast and secure internet browsing and legal streaming.
- Using it on almost any device including your router and your Smart TV.
What it’s not so good for:
- Accessing illegal content (e.g. pirated material).
- Privacy-conscious individuals (more on that later).
Pricing plans and trial options
Originally, VyprVPN had three pricing tiers. In a recent update, however, they decided to merge everything into two plans: standard and premium.
Both plans have a 3-day free trial so you can try out the service and see if you like it. The only restriction is that you can use up to 1GB of data in the free trial. For more than that, you will have to pay for a subscription.
There is also no 30-day money back guarantee as that part is covered by the free 3-day trial.
- $9.95/month when billed monthly.
- $5/month when billed annually.
- Unlimited data.
- 3 simultaneous connections.
- $12.95/month when billed monthly.
- $6.67/month when billed annually.
- Unlimited data.
- 5 simultaneous connections.
- VyprVPN Cloud.
- Chameleon Protocol.
Signing up for VyprVPN
There are three different payment options: credit card, PayPal, and Alipay. If you are hoping for anonymous payment options like Bitcoin, then you are out of luck here.
Aside from a payment method, you will also need to provide them with:
- Billing country.
- Billing post code.
- A valid email address.
This is more than what many VPN providers will ask for but you cannot proceed without entering that information.
Setting everything up
While some VPNs are aimed at a crowd that understands technology, others are aimed at casual users who simply want to enhance their online security and privacy. From the very start, VyprVPN makes it clear that it’s aimed mostly at the second category of people.
Downloading and installing the client in most of the supported platforms is a breeze. The client itself is no more than 10MBs so it can be downloaded and installed extremely quickly. The only caveat is that VyprVPN is a resource hog when compared to similar services, though it will hardly be noticeable in most systems.
One of the advantages of VyprVPN is that it’s available in a huge number of devices including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, smart TVs, and even on your router, providing that it is running Tomato firmware.
It’s certainly an impressive list, though some of its features are limited to certain platforms. For instance, Kill Switch (see next section) is only available on Windows, macOS, and Android.
VyprVPN has unique features worth considering
We are not going to waste your time by going over every single feature that VyprVPN offers. Anything that you would expect to find in a standard VPN service is also present here such as the ability to change servers instantly.
What you should know is that while 700 individual servers might seem like a low number, VyprVPN has access to a very decent list of locations including the Middle East, Africa, and China.
Its unique features are also worth talking about. The aforementioned Kill Switch, for example, allows you to toggle an option which will instantly kill your connection if the VPN service cannot be used or has failed to connect. This is a very interesting feature as it aims to keep you secure at all times.
Talking about the settings, there is also an option which will allow you to instantly turn VyprVPN on whenever you are connected in an unprotected network, such as public Wi-Fi. For people as forgetful as myself, this will definitely be a blessing.
This is also particularly useful when combined with VyprVPN’s own DNS service, the aptly named VyprDNS. Despite the fancy name, VyprDNS is simply a custom DNS service, which means that you will be protected from man-in-the-middle attacks and you will be able to access whatever websites you want, no matter where you are.
Chameleon VPN technology
For those who are willing to invest in the Premium plan, the Chameleon Protocol is definitely the star of the show. Chameleon aims to bypass VPN restrictions, which means that you will be able to use a VPN even in regions which would otherwise disallow it, such as China.
It will also let you bypass other kinds of restrictions, such as Netflix’s universal VPN blockade. For those of you who don’t know about it, Netflix automatically prevents VPN users from using its services, but using Chameleon can circumvent that – at least in most cases.
Choosing Chameleon is extremely easy. Simply pop up to the settings and change the protocol from the standard OpenVPN to Chameleon. You will also have the option to choose L2TP/IPsec or PPTP but, unless you know what you are doing, you should probably stick with the first two.
On a related note, Golden Frog’s official website is no longer accessible in China – at least at the time of writing this review. Thanks to these kinds of features, however, its VPN services and its apps still work perfectly fine.
VyprVPN is definitely speedy
Depending on where you are located, VyperVPN is certain to be one of the fastest VPN providers you could possibly hope for.
For servers relatively near you, expect to see speeds corresponding to the full strength of your internet connection. For those quite far away, there are other variables to consider. US servers, for instance, are generally very fast.
In Asia and Africa, however, you should not expect top speeds. Even so, VyprVPN’s African and Asian servers are definitely faster than most of its competitors so there’s nothing to complain about.
If you are a gamer and you are looking for something to help keep your network stable and fast, you should also look into another service offered by Golden Frog: Outfox. To put it simply, Outfox aims to stabilize your connection and thus reduce lag so you can game online uninterrupted.
Let’s talk about privacy
This is where VyprVPN starts to get tricky. As you might already know, many VPNs will store logs of your usage whether they explicitly say so or not. Of course, this is an obvious issue for some people who use VPN precisely to stay anonymous.
With VyprVPN, you at least know what you are getting into. As you can easily see from its FAQ, Golden Frog keeps the following data for 30 full days:
- IP Address
- Connection start and end times.
- Total number of bytes used.
Golden Frog is also upfront about why it retains that kind of session data. It has to do with:
- TOS issues
- AUP issues
- Service offering evaluations.
- Dealing with crimes committed through the service
What does this mean for the average user? If you are a privacy-conscious individual who does not trust any company with your personal information, then you might wish to look elsewhere. With that said, Golden Frog specifically situated its operations in Switzerland so that it can keep its services as free as possible. As usual, take that with a grain of salt.
Also worth noting is the fact that Golden Frog operates its own encrypted messaging service for Android and iOS via an app called Cyphr. It is more or less the same as WhatsApp and similar apps so you can choose where to place your trust.
What about torrenting?
Let us be abundantly clear: if you are planning to use VyprVPN to torrent illegal content, you will most likely lose your money.
VyprVPN does not block P2P traffic, which means that you can technically use it for torrents. However, it is absolutely against the use of its services for anything illegal, including downloading and sharing copyrighted material.
So if it detects that you are using torrents for copyrighted material or if it is issued a DMCA takedown notice, your account will be blocked and you will not be able to get a refund or appeal to them.
Now, if you want to use torrents for legitimate purposes, like downloading a game you have actually paid for through its official website, you will be absolutely fine. In all other cases, you should steer away.
Though it has no phone support, Golden Frog’s email team is 24/7
Golden Frog does not operate a phone helpline so if you want to talk to a real human being, you will have to go through their email system instead. More specifically, their email system acts as a live chat because you’ll get a response right away.
As is usually the case with such services, you need to submit your name along with several pieces of information such as the product you are currently using and your operating system so that you can make the support tech’s life a little bit easier.
The company also operates a very comprehensive FAQ where you will find updated answers to most common questions. That way, you can also learn a little bit about how VyprVPN operates before committing to it.
Conclusion – VyprVPN is perfect for casual users with some extra money
If all you are looking for is a VPN to let you access geographically restricted content and protect your security while connected to public networks and the like, especially while travelling, then VyprVPN is a fantastic choice, albeit a bit pricey.
On the other hand, if you value your privacy and would sometimes like to use VyprVPN for less-than-virtuous activities, the attitudes of Golden Frog concerning log-keeping and copyrighted material should be enough to steer you away for good.