VyprVPN Review 2018
VyprVPN offers a speedy connection at an excellent price. The service boasts fast speeds on both desktop and mobile platforms.
Connections, both domestic and foreign, are solid and provide a good option no matter how much punishment you put your daily internet connection through. As an added plus to security-minded users, VyprVPN also offers an encrypted messaging app.
Ease of use
In this review, I put the VyprVPN service through its paces. This VPN provider is located in privacy-minded Switzerland and provides VPN services for users of almost any desktop or mobile platform.
I work for a large IT firm that keeps on the move around the world, troubleshooting issues for our clients. I am continually on the lookout for better ways to protect myself, my family and my business from prying eyes on the net.
Preferably, I want an easy-to-use solution that also offers comprehensive protection, and one that won’t put a huge dent in my billfold. Let’s see how VyprVPN stacks up.
What is VyprVPN?
VyprVPN gives you the ability to hide your real IP address from prying eyes, while also allowing you to access websites and other online services that might normally be blocked by your local government, or are geo-restricted by the service provider. The service offers P2P and BitTorrent connections.
VyprVPN is based in Switzerland, and as such, it is not subject to the surveillance laws and rulings found in many countries. A definite point in VyprVPN’s favor is that the company keeps no user or activity logs.
VyprVPN offers the OpenVPN protocol on most of their apps. Also available to all VyprVPN users are PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) and L2TP/IPsec. Premium subscribers can also make use of the company’s Chameleon technology, which scrambles OpenVPN packet metadata to ensure it’s not recognizable via deep packet inspection (DPI).
Chameleon allows VyprVPN users to bypass restrictions put in place by governments, corporations and ISPs. The protocol helps users that live in or travel to restrictive countries such as China, Russia, India, Turkey, Iran and Syria from having their internet usage blocked. It’s also designed to help users avoid VPN-blocking and bandwidth-throttling by ISPs.
Chameleon is available via the Windows, Mac and Android apps, as well as the service’s router app.
The service’s iOS app uses the IPsec protocol, which still supplies excellent protection. VyprVPN says the protocol offers a good balance between security and performance.
VyprVPN also offers an additional layer of protection, via their NAT Firewall. By default, it blocks unrequested inbound traffic when you're connected to VyprVPN. Their NAT Firewall automatically protects any device connected to the VyprVPN servers.
Wait, all of that suddenly sounded like just so much “techie jargon” to me. So let’s put it this way: “Don’t worry, you’re protected.”
At the time of this review, the VPN service offered 200,000+ global IPs, with 700+ VPN servers in 70+ countries across 6 continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.
How VyprVPN Works
Like any good VPN service, VyprVPN cloaks your true IP address while you’re accessing the internet via their service. This is accomplished by routing your traffic through one of the numerous VyprVPN servers. Anyone who might attempt to monitor your connection will see one of VyprVPN’s IP addresses in place of the user’s actual address.
This IP address-cloaking provides you with the ability to connect to websites and services that might not normally be available due to geo-restrictions by either the content provider or a restrictive government.
VyprVPN protects your data by encrypting it as it is sent and received over the internet. This ensures the privacy of your data and real identity, protecting both from the bad guys.
P2P File Sharing (Torrents)
VyprVPN does allow the use of P2P and BitTorrent connections over their network. The service does not monitor the content of the internet traffic through their servers or block the use of any ports. Because the service treats all traffic equally, peer-to-peer and torrent traffic is allowed.
That said, VyprVPN users do agree not to transmit or receive copyrighted works through the service without the express permission of the copyright holder. Parent company Golden Frog is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation, so any criminal online content - either unlawfully-obtained copyrighted material or otherwise illegal content - reported by the Foundation will be removed immediately, and the account of the user terminated.
Golden Frog also warns they will terminate subscribers who are repeat infringers of either unlawfully-copyrighted material or otherwise illegal content.
The VyprVPN Website
The VyprVPN website has a clean, easy-to-navigate layout. Links are immediately available to information about features, pricing, available downloads, supports and their free trial subscription.
It should be noted that while VyprVPN does feature a free 1GB trial data plan, it’s only available when signing up for the service via one of their apps. If you sign up via the website, you will be required to supply payment information, although a 3-day money-back guarantee does apply.
The VyprVPN front page provides only short blurbs about why you should use a VPN, what features VyprVPN offers, etc., but they do, in most cases, provide a link to detailed information about the highlighted subject.
Subscription Options and Pricing
VyprVPN offers a free 1GB trial option if you sign up for the service via the VyprVPN app on both desktop and mobile devices. Once you have tried out the service, you can sign up for a regular or premium account. (You are required to submit your email address and a password to get the free 1GB of data. No credit card is required for the trial.)
VyprVPN’s 2 pay-for-play options provide the same unlimited data option, but the Premium service tier allows 5 simultaneous connections as opposed to the 3 offered by the lower-cost tier. The Premium level of service also offers 2 extra features: VyprVPN Cloud and Chameleon Protocol.
VyprVPN Cloud is a highly-secure VPN server deployment solution that allows users to add another layer of security when accessing their public or private cloud servers. VyprVPN Cloud is currently compatible with the following platforms: DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VirtualBox.
Chameleon Protocol is available in the VyprVPN apps for Windows, Mac and Android. Chameleon scrambles OpenVPN packet metadata to ensure it's not recognizable via deep packet inspection (DPI), while still keeping it fast and lightweight. The technology uses the unmodified OpenVPN 256-bit protocol for the underlying data encryption.
As I mentioned previously, Chameleon allows the service’s users to bypass restrictions that are sometimes put in place by governments, corporations and ISPs. This helps users located in restrictive countries such as China, Russia and others from having their internet usage blocked. It also helps users avoid VPN-blocking and bandwidth-throttling by ISPs.
All subscription signup is done via a secure HTTPS connection. VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB and Diner’s Club cards are accepted for payment. Payment can also be made via Alipay and PayPal. iOS and Android users can sign up inside the mobile apps via an in-app purchase via the iTunes Store and Google Play, respectively.
VyprVPN does not offer a Bitcoin payment option, and a customer service representative informed me they have no plans to do so in the future.
As Bitcoin is one of the truly anonymous payment options available on the web, it being unavailable as a payment option means the company will have a record of who you are, which is a definite minus for some users. It’s up to you to decide how important the lack of truly anonymous payment is to you.
Subscription terms and costs are as follows:
Note: Although the VyprVPN website said I would not be charged for a paid subscription until a 3-day free trial period expired, the charge showed up on my credit card within minutes. I wondered if this could be because I had previously signed up for the free 1GB trial membership. I contacted support via the website’s handy Live Chat option and asked about it.
As seen in the screenshots below, I was told that if a user signs up for the 1GB free trial plan via an app, they are not eligible for the 3-day trial, which is only available for users who sign up for the service through the website.
I found the free 1GB plan to offer the same fast connection speeds and features as the paid plans. I eventually signed up for the VyprVPN Premium plan to check out all the bells and whistles of the VyprVPN service.
I signed up for a 1-month subscription with a credit card. As mentioned above, Bitcoin is not available as a payment option, so users who prefer to pay via that anonymous payment option will need to look elsewhere.
The charge for the service showed up as "GOLDEN FROG 888-5325525 DE" on my credit card statement. So, unless there’s a gentlemen’s club by that name in your town, you won’t have any explaining to do to your boss or spouse.
iOS and Android users can sign up on their devices via in-app purchases, which are managed by Apple’s iTunes and Google Play respectively, and the subscription fees will be charged against the user’s method of payment they have on file.
I want to warn iOS and Android users that VyprVPN charges $14.99 per month and $99 per year for subscriptions purchased via their mobile apps. This is not at all unusual, as a number of online services charge more for subscriptions purchased via in-app purchases, due to Apple and Google taking a cut of the action.
Just the same, if at all possible, sign up through the website - you’ll save a decent piece of change if you do.
VyprVPN’s pricing, while not the cheapest of any provider I have reviewed, still offers a good value for the money. However, make sure you don’t sign up for a subscription via the iOS or Android app, as you’ll end up paying more.
Installing the App on Your Computer
VyprVPN features apps for most popular computing and mobile platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Blackphone, Smart TVs, Routers, QNAP and Anonabox. The website mentions a Linux app, but the supplied button is not clickable.
VyprVPN also supports the DD-WRT, OpenWRT, ASUSWRT, Boxee, Synology NAS and BlackBerry platforms.
Windows and Mac apps are available via direct download from the VyprVPN website. iOS and Android apps are available from their respective app stores. An Android APK install file is also available as a direct download from the VyprVPN website, for users that roll the sideloading way.
Streaming boxes and video game systems will work with the service. However, as might be expected, there are no apps available for direct installation on those devices. They will work with the service through a VyprVPN-enabled router or via a shared internet connection from a VyprVPN-enabled computer.
I’ve been a committed Mac and iPhone user for almost 10 years now, so I installed the VyprVPN app on my MacBook Pro. I also installed the VPN app on my iPhone - I’ll share more about that with you later.
To download the Mac app, it was a simple matter of visiting the Mac download page and clicking the download button. The installation file downloaded in just a few moments to my “Downloads” folder. The installation file is in the form of a Mac .dmg file, which is a disk image the macOS operating system mounts as a disk when double-clicked.
Once the download was complete, I opened my Downloads folder and double-clicked the VyprVPN disk image. The image mounted as a hard drive and automatically opened a Finder window, as seen below.
I then dragged the VyprVPN app icon to the Applications folder. The file copied to the Applications folder in a few seconds, and the app was ready to be run for the first time.
Windows users should experience an equally care-free installation process, as the VyprVPN installation app is supplied as an .exe file, which requires merely a double-click of the mouse to begin the installation process.
Installing the App on a Mobile Device
I also installed the VyprVPN iOS app on my iPhone. Installation of the app followed the usual routine of installing an app from the Apple App Store, which consists of downloading and automatically installing the app via the iOS App Store. The download takes a few moments, and then a quick tap of the app’s icon loads and runs the app.
As is usual for an app of this type, the VyprVPN app will ask for permission to install a certificate on your device, which allows iOS to trust the app’s connection to the VPN servers. All that is required of you is to enter your device’s passcode or a quick fingerprint authorization via Touch ID, and the certificate is quickly installed.
Android users will experience a similar installation experience, with a quick download and automatic installation to their device via the Google Play store.
Features & Use
Once the installation was completed on my Mac, I ran the VyprVPN app and entered the login and password combination that I created when I signed up for the service.
As seems to be standard operating procedure for these types of apps, I was presented with a quick look at the available VyprVPN services as well a few tips for using the service.
Another standard feature of Mac VPN apps is the ability to install a helper app for use with the service. When prompted, I allowed the app to install the helper app, which lives up in my Mac’s menu bar, offering quick access to the service’s features.
Once I logged into the app, I found the following screen:
One particularly nice feature of both the desktop and mobile versions of the VyprVPN app is the option to automatically connect to a VPN server when you connect to an untrusted Wi-Fi signal. This provides an extra layer of protection, which is especially nice for those of us who are on the “forgetful” end of the memory spectrum.
Also of value is the app’s kill switch, which offers the ability to stop all internet traffic when the VPN connection is lost. The ability to control the connection on an app-by-app basis is also a welcome sight, as is the malicious website blocking feature. All of these options are turned off by default but can be toggled by the user easily.
As an added benefit, the service also offers a free encrypted messaging app for iOS and Android devices.
Cyphr offers end-to-end encryption of text messages. It’s a zero-knowledge messaging app. This means no one at VyprVPN can read, decrypt or share your messages. The app generates a unique public and private key pair so only you and the recipient can read your conversation.
The Cyphr app is free to download and use, and only requires a free account so you can create your public and private keys to begin messaging.
When using Cyphr, nothing is stored on the service’s servers, except for the encrypted message, the recipient and the timestamp of when the message was received. This information is only stored briefly before it is deleted. For more information about the Cyphr messaging app, visit the Cyphr website.
The app allows you to quickly connect to a VyprVPN server, offering comprehensive protection for your data. Autostart on untrusted Wi-Fi connections is particularly handy. The app’s kill switch feature is also a plus.
Ease of Use:
Connection Quality and Speed
As is my want when testing VPN providers, I did the following while testing the quality of the connections offered by VyprVPN: I tested ping times, as well as download and upload speeds.
I ran speed tests using my normal internet connection, a VPN connection routed to a server in the United States and a connection routed to a server in the United Kingdom. I performed all speed and ping measurements using the Speedtest website.
All VPN connections were made by selecting the desired country and allowing the VPN app to automatically connect me to the best available connection in that country.
Ping, Download & Upload Speed
Local Internet Provider
U.S. VPN Server
U.K. VPN Server
An accepted adage of the internet is “the faster, the better.” (That was possibly coined by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore when he invented the internet - no one is really certain.) However, users must also keep in mind that possibly sacrificing some speed for increased protection can also be a good thing.
Also, keep in mind that any internet connection is only as fast as the slowest point along the line, and any number of factors can affect your connection speed.
Server loads can affect the speed of data as it moves through a VPN connection. A VPN server that has a high number of users connected to it will offer a slower overall experience than a server that isn’t quite so “popular.”
It’s sort of like when Apple releases a new version of their iOS mobile operating server. Everyone attempts to download the update at the same time, and it slows down the download speeds for everyone.
VPN protocols and their associated encryption methods can also slow down a VPN connection. While today’s encryption methods have been developed to be as optimal as possible, it still stands to reason that higher levels of encryption will slow down the data flow a bit.
But, when given the choice of either better encryption or a slightly better download speed, always choose in favor of better encryption! VyprVPN offers PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN encryption to protect customers’ connections. In addition, the provider offers their own proprietary Chameleon protocol, which uses the unmodified OpenVPN 256-bit protocol and scrambles the metadata to prevent DPI, VPN-blocking and throttling.
While not a rule that is set in stone, it’s true that the farther away you are from a VPN server, the higher its ping numbers will be. The farther away any server is from your current location, the longer it will take for data packets to travel between the two locations. (Just like driving from New York to California takes longer than a drive from New York to Maine.) This results in higher ping numbers.
When we’re looking at ping results, lower is better. Most likely, you’re not going to notice any difference in your everyday web browsing and email. However, high ping numbers might mean a “kill or be killed” difference if you’re playing a fast-moving, intense game like Call of Duty.
To give a bit more of a “real world” test to the VyprVPN servers, I performed the following online activities. The results of my testing are noted for each test below.
YouTube performed well, with no visible issues, on both the U.S. and U.K. connections. HD video streamed smoothly on both connections. 1080p video streamed quickly, with no artifacts or long buffering period.
Click here to see the best VPNs for Youtube.
I visited the Netflix website while connected to the internet via a U.S. VyprVPN server on my Mac and attempted to view a video. This is where I usually report that I was met with an error message, and was unable to view a video.
However, Netflix loaded the video, and I was able to enjoy an episode of “Better Off Ted” in all its streaming glory. The video streamed in high quality, and there were no long, drawn-out buffering times, stuttering or pauses in the action while waiting for the stream to catch up.
Sadly, I did not have a similar experience with the U.K. connection to the Netflix U.S. website. I was told that it looked as if I was using a proxy connection, and to please stop doing that. (Or words to that effect.)
It should be noted that there is a streaming chess game that has been going on between VPN services and Netflix over the past few years. VPNs are continually adding new IP addresses for use with their service, while Netflix scans for those new addresses so it can block them.
This means you may occasionally get lucky and be able to access Netflix, but the next time you try to view a video via VPN, you’ll be blocked. My only advice would be to try another VPN server, which may let you stream.
Click here to see the best VPNs for Netflix.
Hulu surprised me, playing with no complaints or issues on the U.S. VPN connection.
However, when I attempted to view an episode of “The Mindy Project” via the U.K. VPN, I was met with the usual “You appear to be using an anonymous proxy tool, you’ll need to disable it to access Hulu,” message. (Hulu is engaged in their own game of one-upmanship with VPN providers.)
Click here to see the best VPNs for Hulu.
Skype and FaceTime
I performed my usual Skype video and voice call tests, and the service handled them quite well on both the U.S. and U.K. VPN connections. The video was smooth, and the audio sounded great.
As a Mac and iPhone user, I actually find myself using FaceTime as much as Skype, as many of my contacts use Apple products. With that in mind, I always make sure to give FaceTime a try when reviewing a new VPN service. Apple’s video chat solution performed well over both VPN connections I tested.
Click here to see the best VPNs for Skype.
My hard-core gaming days are long behind me, but I do enjoy a quick casual game or two when relaxing. In the interest of a complete review, I played a casual game over the VPN connections, via both the U.K. and U.S. servers, and both performed well.
While I didn’t try any first-person shooters or other connection-intensive type games, there was no evidence that VyprVPN’s connections wouldn’t be able to keep up. As usual, your mileage may vary, and I highly suggest gamers try playing their favorite online game via the service before the 3-day trial expires.
Click here to see the best VPNs for Gaming.
General Internet Usage
I used the VyprVPN service as my main internet connection during a normal workday.
During said workday, I usually browse the web, test software and check email. I also spend a lot of time creating and editing spreadsheets, text documents and presentations in Google Docs. In addition, I stay in touch with business associates and clients via messaging apps such as Apple’s Messages, as well as team communication app Slack. In my downtime, I also browse social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
During my workday, I never felt like I was being hindered by the VyprVPN connection. It easily kept up with me, and I didn’t experience any lag while performing tasks.
The iOS VyprVPN app provided a speedy connection both via a U.S. server and a server located in the U.K. The U.S. VPN connection offered ping results only 4 ms slower than my normal one, while the U.K. connection came in 82 ms slower.
Both connections offered download speeds only a few Mbps than my normal Wi-Fi internet connection. Both VPN connections performed within a Mbps of my usual connection when it came to upload speeds.
Ping, Download & Upload Speed
Local Internet Provider
U.S. VPN Server
U.K. VPN Server
I made use of the VyprVPN service while checking email, messages and social networks on my iPhone. The service was more than up to it, performing well on all apps I tried it with.
VyprVPN offers excellent connection speeds. Both U.S. and U.K. server connections came within percentage points of my usual ISP-only connections
Global Server Coverage
VyprVPN currently offers 200,000+ global IPs, with 700+ VPN servers in 70+ countries across 6 continents.
As shown in the server coverage map below, the company does a decent job of covering the globe with their servers. However, they are stretched a little thin in many spots.
Servers are available in Canada (only Toronto), most major cities in the U.S. and Australia, most major countries in Europe and Asia. As always, prospective customers should check to make sure VyprVPN offers servers where they need them.
Global Server Coverage:
VyprVPN offers decent global server coverage, even if it is thin in some spots.
Privacy, Security & Legal
Encryption levels for the service vary according to the type of connection. These include Chameleon - 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN - 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN - 160-bit encryption and PPTP - 128-bit encryption.
The provider does not accept the privacy-friendly Bitcoin encrypted currency as payment for subscription.
VyprVPN’s corporate parent Golden Frog has its offices located in Switzerland, a country known for its favorable privacy laws. That said, Golden Frog complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce, regarding the collection, use and retention of personal information from European Union member countries.
Golden Frog has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access and enforcement. More detailed information can be found by clicking on the link above.
Each time a user connects to VyprVPN, the service retains the following data for 30 days: the user's source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and the total number of bytes used.
They also retain VyprVPN session data for 30 days to use with billing issues, troubleshooting, service-offering evaluation, TOS issues, AUP issues and for handling crimes performed over the service.
Golden Frog (VyprVPN) does NOT do the following:
This provider owns and operates its own server farms, unlike many providers that lease servers from third-parties. This enhances security and privacy, as there are no third-parties handling your data.
VyprVPN does work from within China. However, the company highly recommends that you download the app before visiting the country, as the Chinese government and ISPs there maintain a high level of internet censorship. Downloading the app before visiting the country will allow you to access the VyprVPN services without worrying about being blocked.
VyprVPN offers helpful information about connecting to their service, as well as troubleshooting any connection issues that might arise while in the country, in their Customer Support area on their website.
While Switzerland doesn’t require VyprVPN to keep any logs related to the provider’s customers, they do retain some logs - just none related to the users’ traffic. They own and maintain their own servers, so there are no third-parties involved in providing your VPN service. The lack of Bitcoin as a payment option helped drag down VyprVPN’s overall privacy score.
VyprVPN offers only online customer support for both its free and paid users. Unfortunately, this appears to be an industry trend among VPN providers, as they struggle to hit the sweet spot between providing excellent customer support and keeping costs under control. That said, VyprVPN’s chat support responds quickly and seems well-informed.
I used the service’s online chat feature, which is available from anywhere on the website. I entered my question, which was about the charge on my credit card when I expected to get a free 3-day trial before being charged. Within just a few moments, a customer support rep was providing an answer to my question.
I also tested the turnaround time for the online-support trouble ticket submission form. I submitted a question about service in China at 1:08 p.m. CST on a Monday and received a reply around 2 and a half hours later at 3:43 p.m.
I believe that is an acceptable turnaround time, and certainly better than many customer support departments I have had the “pleasure” of dealing with.
If you have a simple billing question or another type of non-emergency query, I’d say the turnaround time of the trouble ticket submission form would be acceptable to most users. However, for a critical “can’t connect” type of issue, I’d say to go for the online chat every time.
Those who prefer to dig on their own for answers will find the provider’s searchable support library to be an excellent troubleshooting resource.
VyprVPN offers great customer service, with quick and informative replies to both online chat and trouble ticket help requests.
Alternative VPN Options
VyprVPN is one of the highest-rated VPN providers among all of the VPNs I have reviewed. However, while it offers fast speeds, great customer service and decent privacy protections, its global server coverage could stand some improvement.
If you feel more comfortable with a VPN provider that supplies more comprehensive server coverage, I would recommend you take a closer look at Hide My Ass!, PureVPN and ExpressVPN.
Hide My Ass! offers the best global server coverage of any provider I have reviewed. With over 790 servers spread out in 220+ countries, Hide My Ass! provides the best server options I’ve seen.
PureVPN could use some improvement in many of its categories, but when it comes to server coverage, they aren’t lacking. With over 750 servers in 141 countries, you can likely find a server to fit your geographically-related needs.
ExpressVPN provides 1,500+ servers in 94 countries. The provider has done a great job of strategically locating their server farms, so you should be able to find a server in the location you’re looking to access.
VyprVPN is a good value for the money. Signing up is easy, and their free trial options make it easy to try out the service before committing to a paid subscription. I am a bit disappointed there is no Bitcoin payment option. That could be a real deal-breaker for a number of users who rely on Bitcoin to keep their online transactions from prying eyes.
The service provides access to apps compatible with all of the popular computing platforms, both mobile and desktop. They also offer options for a few obscure platforms, as well as those that make the service convenient for use with DD-WRT-based routers.
The service supplies a responsive customer support department, which includes an online chat system, as well as a trouble ticket submission system. In trying both options, I found the support techs to be responsive and able to supply me with competent support.
The VyprVPN website also provides a comprehensive and informative support library, offering information for most of the searches I queried it with. I would suggest checking the library for help with any issues you might have with the service before attempting to contact support.
VyprVPN boasts excellent connections, with excellent speed numbers rivaling any service I have tested. They rank highly on all points when compared with any other service I have tried in the past.
The Cyphr messaging app for iOS and Android users is a nice perk. The encrypted messaging app offers end-to-end encryption and is completely private. Even if you decide not to subscribe to the VyprVPN service, I would still recommend taking a closer look at their Cyphr app.
Any user who is looking for a service to handle their day-to-day business and recreational activities, with an occasional “Netflix and chill” session thrown in for good measure, would do well to take a closer look at VyprVPN. (Yes, I was able to access both Netflix and Hulu content via the VyprVPN U.S. connection!)
If VyprVPN meets your needs, I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the discounts offered by a 1-year option on either tier of service. Users requiring up to 5 connections, or who could make use of the Premium level’s custom Chameleon Protocol or their VyprVPN Cloud option, may want to take a closer look at the Premium tier of service.
For more information about VyprVPN, or to sign up for a subscription, visit the VyprVPN website.