If you’re an active internet user (which let’s face it, who isn’t in 2023?), then you’ve probably heard of Astrill VPN. But as with any VPN, you might find yourself asking: Does it really offer top-notch security? How about encryption? And what about its jurisdiction and data protection principles? These are important considerations in a digital world where personal data protection has become a veritable battlefield.
In this article, we’re going to take a critical look at these aspects of Astrill VPN, the Hong Kong-based VPN that’s been on the market since 2009. Prepare to dive into the nitty-gritty of it all.
Summary of Key Features
|💸 Price||20.00 USD/month|
|📆 Money-back guarantee||7 days|
|📝 Does the VPN keep logs?||No|
|🖥 Number of servers||100+|
|🛡 Kill switch||Yes|
|🛠 Support||Live chat, email, and phone support|
|📥 Torrent support||Yes|
|🎥 Streaming service support||Yes|
|🇨🇳 Bypass GEO-restrictions in China||Yes (As of August 2023)|
Security and Encryption: Is Your Data Safe with Astrill?
Security and encryption form the backbone of any worthwhile VPN service, and Astrill certainly touts its capabilities in this department. But do their claims hold up under scrutiny? Let’s see.
Used Security Technologies
Astrill VPN uses what is known as OpenWeb protocol on desktop and laptop browsers. This is a custom protocol developed by Astrill themselves, designed to bypass internet censorship. It’s particularly handy for those living in or traveling to countries with heavy internet restrictions (Hello, Great Firewall of China?).
The OpenWeb protocol’s security efficacy, however, isn’t as transparent as we’d like. As a proprietary protocol, much of its inner workings remain Astrill’s secret sauce. That’s not inherently bad, but it does mean we’re largely taking Astrill’s word for it when it comes to security.
Beyond that, Astrill employs a host of tried-and-true security technologies. There’s the industry-standard OpenVPN, a fan-favorite for its strong security. Astrill also utilizes the faster, yet still secure, WireGuard protocol. Not forgetting StealthVPN and OpenConnect protocols, intended to break through even the strictest censorship without being detected.
All in all, Astrill’s security tech toolbox is undeniably versatile, although the lack of transparency on its proprietary protocol may raise some eyebrows.
Used Encryption Technologies
Encryption-wise, Astrill appears to go for the gold standard. It uses the 256-bit AES encryption, which for those who aren’t cryptography nerds, is pretty much the Fort Knox of digital security. This type of encryption is essentially uncrackable, providing a high level of security for your online activity.
However, the standard drops to 128-bit encryption on some protocols (like OpenWeb), which, while still secure, isn’t quite the powerhouse that 256-bit is. So while the encryption is generally solid, there is a bit of variability depending on the protocol you’re using.
Principles of Personal Data Protection and Jurisdiction: How Much Does Astrill Really Know About You?
Now, let’s move onto another aspect that’s just as crucial as security and encryption: personal data protection and jurisdiction.
When it comes to data protection principles, Astrill claims a strict no-logs policy, meaning it won’t record or store information about your internet usage while connected to their servers. Sounds good on paper, right?
Jurisdiction-wise, Astrill is based in Seychelles, a country outside of the 14 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. This is a plus for those wary of government surveillance, as it means Astrill isn’t legally obliged to share your data with international intelligence agencies.
However, Astrill’s operations in China, a country with a track record of stringent internet control and monitoring, might offset this advantage somewhat. The exact extent of Chinese influence over Astrill’s operations remains opaque.
To recap, Astrill VPN provides a solid security suite with some variability in encryption strength. Its privacy policies and jurisdiction provide a mixed bag, with the no-logs policy and Seychelles jurisdiction being offset by some data collection and Chinese operations.
Next, we’ll look at Astrill’s server network – but that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned for a deep dive into server count, speed, and more.
Remember, when it comes to your internet security, never settle for less. The devil, as they say, is in the details.
Server Networks and Streaming Capabilities
Is the global coverage truly global, and can you binge-watch your favourite shows seamlessly? We’ve got the scoop.
As we continue our critical review of Astrill VPN, it’s time to shift our focus from security and privacy onto the meat and potatoes of any VPN service – the server network and streaming capabilities. After all, what good is a VPN if it can’t provide the speed and accessibility to enjoy what the internet has to offer?
Let’s delve into the details to find out whether Astrill VPN delivers.
The quality of a VPN can often be gauged by the breadth and efficiency of its server network. The number of servers, their geographical distribution, and their speed all factor into this. So, how does Astrill VPN fare in these areas?
Overview of the Server Network
Astrill VPN boasts over 300 servers in more than 60 countries. From the Americas to Europe, Africa to Asia, and even Oceania, Astrill has a respectable global presence.
But does quantity necessarily mean quality? Not always.
Global Coverage and Availability
Though Astrill has servers spread across the world, their distribution could use some improvement. For instance, Africa, a continent notorious for its lack of VPN server coverage, has only a single server location (South Africa).
Meanwhile, regions like North America and Europe are heavily populated with servers. As a result, users in underrepresented regions might experience slower speeds due to increased latency.
Number of Servers
As of this writing, Astrill VPN offers approximately 300+ servers, a relatively modest number compared to some of the big dogs in the VPN game, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, both of which boast thousands of servers.
Server speed is a crucial aspect of a VPN service. And here’s where Astrill shines. Despite having fewer servers, Astrill manages to provide consistently high speeds. This can be attributed to their servers being well-maintained and less crowded, allowing for speedy and stable connections.
We put Astrill VPN to the test in various countries, and here are our findings:
|Country||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
It’s important to remember that actual speeds can vary based on your location, your base internet speed, and the server load at a given time.
Streaming and Torrenting: How Well Does Astrill Perform?
Another critical aspect of any VPN is how well it handles streaming and torrenting. With an ever-increasing number of people cutting the cord and switching to streaming services, a VPN that can bypass geo-restrictions reliably is key.
Astrill is known for its ability to unblock a plethora of streaming services. Whether you’re an ardent Netflix binger, a BBC iPlayer fan, or a Disney+ devotee, Astrill can cater to your needs.
In our tests, we were able to unblock a variety of services using Astrill VPN. Here’s a table showcasing some of them:
|Service||Unblockable by Astrill VPN?|
|Netflix (Various regions)||Yes|
|Amazon Prime Video||Yes|
Please note that the ability to unblock these services may vary depending on the server and region.
As for torrenting, Astrill does not disappoint either. It supports P2P file sharing on all its servers, a rare feature as many VPNs limit torrenting to specific servers.
We tested Astrill with various torrent clients, and here are our findings:
|Torrent Client||Supported by Astrill VPN?|
Bear in mind that while Astrill allows torrenting, the legal responsibility falls on the user. Always ensure that your activities abide by the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction.
In conclusion, Astrill VPN offers a dependable server network with impressive speeds and commendable streaming and torrenting capabilities. However, the uneven distribution of servers and the modest number of servers compared to its competitors might be something to consider.
Compatibility and User-Friendliness
The best VPNs out there play nicely with a wide range of platforms and come with an easy-to-navigate interface. This is a crucial area to investigate. So, where does Astrill VPN stand?
Compatibility with Different Platforms
First, the good news. Astrill VPN is compatible with a broad spectrum of platforms. Whether you’re glued to your Windows PC, an Apple enthusiast, or an Android aficionado, Astrill has got you covered.
Even Linux users, often overlooked by other VPN providers, can take advantage of Astrill’s services. What’s more, Astrill also supports router installation, which means you can protect all the devices connected to your home network with one stroke.
Here’s a quick table to summarize:
|Platform||Compatible with Astrill VPN?|
On the user-friendliness front, Astrill VPN presents a mixed bag. The setup process is straightforward and the desktop client is intuitive with a clean interface.
However, the mobile application could use some work. It lacks the sleekness of the desktop client and can be a bit clunky to navigate. Also, advanced features like ‘App Guard’ and ‘VPN Sharing’ might be overwhelming for VPN newbies.
Overall, we would give Astrill a 7/10 for user-friendliness.
Pricing and Packages: Affordability Meets Flexibility?
Cost is a significant factor when choosing a VPN. An affordable and flexible pricing structure goes a long way in making a VPN service attractive. Let’s see how Astrill stacks up in this department.
Overview of Prices and Packages
Astrill offers three different pricing tiers – monthly, half-yearly, and yearly.
The monthly plan is priced at $30.00, which is on the steeper side when compared to other VPNs. The yearly plan costs $180, translating to $15.00 per month. The 2-year plan is the most economical, priced at $120.00, which breaks down to $10.00 per month.
While Astrill does not offer a free version of its service, it does provide a 7-day free trial. This trial gives users full access to all of Astrill’s features, giving a comprehensive taste of the service.
In addition to the free trial, Astrill also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. This provides a safety net for those who choose to subscribe but then have second thoughts.
To conclude, Astrill VPN shows broad compatibility with a variety of platforms and offers a user-friendly desktop client, albeit with a less polished mobile app. As for pricing, while it does tend towards the pricier side, the availability of a free trial and a money-back guarantee offer a cushion to the cost.
What has been your experience with Astrill’s compatibility and pricing? Share with us in the comments section below.
The quality of a VPN service is often measured not just by its performance, but also by the support it provides to its users. Prompt and competent customer service can save you from hours of frustration.
Astrill VPN offers these customer support options:
|Support Option||Available at Astrill VPN?|
While it lacks phone support, Astrill’s live chat is available 24/7, providing immediate help for urgent issues. Their support team is knowledgeable and efficient, and our experience with them was positive overall.
Pros and Cons
Every VPN service comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing these can help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. Here’s our analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of Astrill VPN:
- Security: With robust encryption, a plethora of security protocols, and a strict no-logs policy, Astrill VPN is a formidable player in terms of security.
- Speed: Despite having a modest number of servers, Astrill VPN provides impressive speeds, making it suitable for streaming and torrenting.
- Compatibility: Astrill VPN supports a wide range of platforms, including often-overlooked ones like Linux.
- Price: Astrill VPN is on the pricier side, especially when compared to its competitors offering similar features.
- Server Distribution: While Astrill has a global server presence, some regions are underrepresented, which could lead to slower speeds and accessibility issues for users in these areas.
- User-Friendliness: While the desktop client is sleek and intuitive, the mobile app can feel clunky and may be overwhelming for beginners.
As a user, you will appreciate Astrill’s commitment to security, fast speeds, and broad compatibility. However, be prepared to shell out more than you would for many other VPNs. Also, depending on your geographical location, you might not get the best server coverage. Lastly, if you’re new to VPNs or predominantly use your mobile device, Astrill’s interface might present a learning curve.
Here’s a brief summary of the pros and cons:
|Robust security||Higher price point|
|Impressive speeds||Uneven server distribution|
|Wide platform compatibility||Mobile app user-friendliness|
In conclusion, Astrill VPN’s customer support is efficient and responsive, which can be invaluable in times of need. However, when it comes to the service overall, it’s a mixed bag of exceptional security, speed, and compatibility, offset by a higher price, uneven server distribution, and less-than-ideal user-friendliness.
We have now put Astrill VPN through its paces, examining its features, pricing, and customer support. But how does it measure up against some of the industry titans? It’s time to pit Astrill against NordVPN, Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN, and see how it holds its ground.
Comparing Giants: Astrill vs. The Rest
In the world of VPNs, how does Astrill fare against the big players like NordVPN, Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN? Let’s stack them against each other.
Astrill vs. NordVPN
Speed and Servers: While Astrill offers commendable speeds, NordVPN outshines with over 5000 servers globally compared to Astrill’s modest count. This increased server availability could translate to even faster speeds and better connectivity.
Security: Both Astrill and NordVPN offer robust security features. However, NordVPN has been independently audited for its security protocols and no-logs policy, which adds a layer of transparency and trust.
Price: NordVPN is more affordable, with a yearly plan that costs less than half of Astrill’s.
Bottom Line: NordVPN might be a better choice for those seeking an affordable yet secure VPN with excellent global coverage.
Astrill vs. Surfshark VPN
Speed and Servers: Astrill offers impressive speeds, but Surfshark takes the cake in server count, boasting over 3200 servers worldwide.
Security: Both VPNs provide strong encryption and security protocols. However, Surfshark offers a few more bells and whistles like CleanWeb (an ad and malware blocker) and Camouflage mode (makes your VPN usage undetectable).
Price: Surfshark is substantially cheaper, especially for longer commitment periods.
Bottom Line: Surfshark might win over users seeking additional security features at a more affordable price.
Astrill vs. PureVPN
Speed and Servers: In terms of speed, Astrill generally outperforms PureVPN. However, PureVPN has a broader server network.
Security: Both Astrill and PureVPN take security seriously with strong encryption and no-logs policies. However, Astrill provides more security protocol options.
Price: PureVPN’s pricing plans are more budget-friendly compared to Astrill’s.
Bottom Line: If server choice and cost-effectiveness are your priority, PureVPN might be your go-to. However, for speed and security protocol options, Astrill could be a better fit.
Astrill vs. ExpressVPN
Speed and Servers: ExpressVPN offers competitive speeds and a wider server distribution than Astrill.
Security: Both Astrill and ExpressVPN offer top-notch security. However, ExpressVPN has undergone independent audits, reinforcing its credibility.
Price: ExpressVPN is also on the pricier side, like Astrill, although still slightly cheaper.
Bottom Line: If you value a balance of speed, security, and server distribution, and don’t mind paying a premium, ExpressVPN could be your choice.
In conclusion, while Astrill VPN is a solid choice with high speeds, excellent security, and broad compatibility, it falls short when it comes to pricing and server count, especially compared to some of the big players in the VPN market.
Astrill VPN, without a doubt, is a potent contender in the realm of VPN services. It stands its ground with high-end encryption, a range of security protocols, impressive speeds, and broad platform compatibility. These traits make it a worthwhile choice for users prioritizing security, speed, and multi-platform support.
However, it doesn’t come without its caveats. The higher price point, uneven global server distribution, and a less-than-ideal mobile interface are definite thorns in its side. Furthermore, when pitted against NordVPN, Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN, Astrill falls short in terms of pricing and server count.
At the end of the day, choosing a VPN is a matter of personal requirements and priorities. If you value high speed, robust security, and compatibility across multiple platforms, and don’t mind paying a bit extra, Astrill VPN could be a great fit for you.
Yes, Astrill VPN offers robust security with AES-256 encryption, multiple security protocols, and a strict no-logs policy.
Absolutely. Astrill VPN can bypass geo-restrictions, making it possible to stream Netflix from different countries.
Astrill VPN holds its own in terms of speed, security, and compatibility. However, it’s pricier and has fewer servers than some of its competitors like NordVPN, Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN.
Yes, Astrill VPN is one of the VPNs which works in China reliably. Please note, this might change in the future but as of June 2023, it is working fine in China.