This Italian-based VPN offers decent protection and stable connection speed. The company was founded in 2010 by a group of “active hackers” and has been working on AirVPN ever since. According to the official statement, its mission is to protect net neutrality and fight against censorship. It is a highly private VPN: you can pay with one of the 22 available cryptocurrencies for extra anonymity.
Another thing that makes this Virtual Private Network stand out is the highly flexible pricing policy with lots of options. Overall, there are seven subscription plans, and the most affordable one will only cost you 2.28 dollars. But how safe, private, and capable is this VPN, exactly? We’ll go over privacy, security, pricing, payment, and more in details in this AirVPN review and help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you or not.
While the server network of only 242 units isn’t particularly big, they are located in 22 countries around the world, and that’s a pro. You’ll be able to connect to all the major European cities, several locations in the US, and more. True, this isn’t nearly as impressive as NordVPN’s 5000+ servers, but the connection speed and stability are still decent.
As for the list of compatible platforms, along with the regular Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android systems, Linux is also supported. Plus, AirVPN is fully compatible with the most popular routers (including Tomato and dd-wrt). Finally, there’s a tiny-yet-effective Chrome extension. With it, you’ll be able to only use the VPN with the browser as opposed to encrypting the traffic from every single app in your OS.
- OpenVPN + AES 256 – strong encryption
- Very user-friendly, straightforward
- Fully support the P2P protocol (torrenting)
- The company accepts 22 forms of cryptocurrency
- Compatible with Linux and routers
- Very flexible pricing policy with lots of options
- Advanced features and settings
- Zero-logs policy
- A limited number of servers
- No free trial; the money-back guarantee only lasts for 3 days
- The HQ is located in Italy (14 eyes)
- Customer support leaves a lot to be desired
- The Windows app is overly complicated
Industry-leading encryption and payment anonymity are the main reasons to consider picking AirVPN over the competition. And while the user interface gives access to some advanced settings, it is very easy to use. Add a flexible pricing policy with some affordable plans and full P2P support, and you’ll see why this VPN is popular among private users.
On the downside – you get access to a very limited server network. Furthermore, there’s no 30-day Money-Back Guarantee (it only lasts for three days), and customer support is even more limited than the number of servers. That’s because AirVPN is an independent company with a strong emphasis on user privacy, not large networks, and generous trials.
Privacy and Security
When talking about a VPN, security and confidentiality are the #1 concern. A company that doesn’t follow the zero-logs policy or can’t provide decent protection shouldn’t even be on your list. Good news: the developers of AirVPN used to be hackers, and they know precisely how cybercriminals and government agencies operate. They chose OpenVPN as the primary protocol, an open-source technology that is continuously updated by third parties.
AES 256-bit is the leader of modern-day encryption protocols, and AirVPN fully supports it. Currently, it is invulnerable to any outside attacks (international armies and big corporations trust it with their data). It will make sure your OS (running on a desktop computer or a mobile device) is safe and sound. Add SHA384 and 4096-bit RSA, and you’ll get one of the most secure Virtual Private Networks on the market.
AirVPN Logging Policy
Based in Italy, a member of the 14 Eyes alliance group, AirVPN is forced to share user data with the government. However, while this would’ve been a significant con in certain VPNs, in this case, it shouldn’t even bother you. The reason – the company strictly follows the no-logs policy. It means that even if the FBI or NSA agents come to collect, there will simply be no logs for them to use against you.
Privacy is a rare commodity in this technological age, which is why people are ready to pay for a VPN to get it. Sadly, some companies keep logs while claiming a zero-logs policy. With this service, you’ll be able to achieve full anonymity and hide your activity from hackers, governments, and ISPs. For the sake of the AirVPN review, our team of experts carefully examined the policy and was very pleased with it.
The users aren’t required to share any data, not even their email addresses. On top of that, the official website doesn’t store any cookies, which further establishes AirVPN as one of the most anonymous and client-oriented products on the market. And with industry-leading encryption protocols at its core, no hacker will ever be able to get access to your private data.
By definition, a VPN will always have a negative effect on your Internet connection speed. That’s because of all the complicated encoding that takes place in the encrypted tunnel. So, it all comes down to how severe speed drop will be with a specific service. As always, we picked servers in the EU and the US to test their performance in real life.
A quick note: testing was done from our EU office – that is why the European servers performed significantly better. Overall, we found both the EU and the US speeds to be acceptable. They can’t compete with the ExpressVPN results in any way, but you can count on an average performance with AirVPN.
Before we begin, it’s important to mention that our original speed was 98Mbps download and 55Mbps upload. And now let us take a closer look at the ping, download, and upload speeds:
Download: 29MB (70% slower)
Upload: 14MB (75% slower)
Download: 67MB (32% slower)
Upload: 33MB (40% slower)
No DNS Leaks Detected
A DNS leak is when there’s a “breach” in your VPN’s encrypted tunnel, and your online activity is open to the public. The second your IP starts to leak, the VPN loses its power, and every hacker out there gets a chance to steal your personal data. They don’t even have to know how to use advanced hacking methods – just some basic tools. That’s exactly why it’s critical for a VPN to be leak-proof.
Our experts ran several tests with AirVPN to see whether it had any leaks or not. It passed all tests with flying colors – we checked its performance on five different websites. There weren’t any WebRTC leaks either, and that’s excellent news. Finally, we used an antivirus to examine its installation files, and the results came back negative (every single file was healthy and virus-free).
Torrenting and Streaming
Streaming geo-restricted content and downloading torrents without throttling are even more benefits of using a VPN. With this service, you can download as many torrents as your heart desires – there are absolutely no limits, and the company won’t tell the local authorities that you’re doing something illegal. Besides, while P2P is an incredible protocol, there’s no way of telling who you’re sharing your files with; so, it would be best to protect yourself with a VPN.
It is important: we don’t support piracy in any way, but numerous people send each other personal torrent files that have nothing to do with copyrighted content. However, when it comes to the authorities, they usually don’t see a difference, and you can get in trouble. With AirVPN, you can stop worrying about who’s on the other side of the line and keep on torrenting.
If you prefer streaming, Netflix and other services like HBO and BBC iPlayer are your best friends. However, they block tons of content based on the user’s location. With a VPN, you can outmaneuver all those restrictions and watch your favorite shows/movies with one single click.
It’s not that simple, though, since these platforms are banning proxy servers and VPNs. And with time, these bans are getting harder to get around, which is why VPNs that do give you access are highly valuable.
We’re happy to say that AirVPN is one of those few services that can outsmart Netflix. While it doesn’t have a massive server network, we still managed to get through. The list of Virtual Private Networks that we had the same luck with is very narrow and only includes ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and a few others. Well, now we can add AirVPN to that list.
How Much Does AirVPN Cost?
AirVPN offers a wide range of subscription plans, and most of them are quite affordable. Here is a full list of the available packages:
- 3-Days Plan: $2.3
- 1-Month plan: $8
- 3-Month plan: $5.7 per month ($17 once you subscribe), 28% discount
- 6-Month plan: $5.5 per month ($33 for the whole thing), a 30% discount
- 1-Year plan: $4.6 per month ($55.8 for the subscription plan), 41% discount
- 2-Year plan: $3.7 per month ($90 once you hit “Buy”), 52% discount
- 3-Year plan: $3.10 per month ($112.7 for the 3-year package), 60% discount
This is a rather versatile and flexible pricing policy that rewards users who are ready to commit with attractive discounts. As you can see from the list, you get to save as much as 60% with the 3-year plan. Even the 6-month plan will drop the price by 30%. The monthly plan could be a bit cheaper, though, but, compared to ExpressVPN (12.95 dollars) and NordVPN (11.95 dollars) it’s quite affordable.
Payment options include not only credit cards and online payment, but also cryptocurrency. The company accepts 22 coins, including Bitcoins, Blackcoins, Ether, Horizen, and more.
You can even see how much each plan will cost you in cryptocurrency, which is rather unusual (but very handy for the potential customers). It is very easy to switch between Euros, Dollars, and Bitcoins on the official website (pricing is located in the right corner).
One of the most disappointing facts about AirVPN is the limited Money-Back Guarantee. Instead of the regular 30 days, you only get three days to try the VPN out. And, if you go over the 5GB limit, you won’t be able to get a refund. There’s no free trial available, which makes the 3-day plan (it costs 2.3 dollars) the next big thing if you want to try it out before committing to a long-lasting plan.
Customer service is one of the weakest sides of AirVPN. You won’t find a Live Chat or even a phone number that you can use to get in touch with the support agents. Furthermore, there isn’t even a knowledge base with detailed, easy-to-understand guides and manuals. Thankfully, there is a decent FAQ section, but you may very well miss it because it’s not in plain sight.
Go to the official website and select Home – FAQ. You can also read the Terms Of Service and the Privacy Terms in the same section. The only way to get an answer from the company is to use the “Contact Us” option in the top right corner of the official website. Once you enter a name, an email address, and write down your question, the site will allow you to send it.
During our test, we immediately received a notification that our email made it to the support team; as for the response, it arrived a couple of hours later. Sadly, that wasn’t the case with all of our requests: sometimes, the system fails to see an email, forcing you to write again.
Besides, the staff isn’t very helpful, and you might have to send several letters to get a proper answer. You could get better help in the dedicated forum, but that would require more time.
Do We Recommend AirVPN?
The short answer is – yes, we do: AirVPN has an impressive list of pros that outweigh the cons. First of all, it is very private and allows you to stay fully anonymous (thanks to cryptocurrency payment). Secondly, it is quite strong on the security front and features all the latest (and most advanced) encryption protocols. This VPN supports Linux and Routers, is fully P2P compatible, and simple in use, which is confirmed by numerous AirVPN reviews (including this one).
Moreover, it offers as much as seven subscription plans, and most of them are affordable. The company owns a rather modest server network for 2019; still, it does provide decent connection stability and speed. The lack of proper customer support, modest servers network and the fact that the HQ is in Italy, a member of the 14-Eyes alliance are the most significant downsides of AirVPN. Plus, you won’t get a 30-day MBG or a free trial like with most rivals.
We highly recommend taking advantage of the 3-day plan and putting it to a real-world test. That will allow you to understand whether you should stick with this product or not. Overall, this is a decent service and will be a good investment for your money, especially if you’re looking for anonymity on a budget.
And what about other options, you might ask – are there any decent alternatives on the market? Well, if you’re looking for a VPN that is just as secure and relatively affordable, NordVPN might be an excellent choice. It’s famous for one of the largest server networks out there (5000+ units) and incredible customer support.
ExpressVPN, in turn, is the most advanced, feature-packed, and simply the best Virtual Private Network of our time. It is also pretty expensive, but with it, you’ll get impressive connection speed-stability, access to streaming platforms, P2P, and more.