Features and Pricing Summary:
Network: Servers in 16 countries
Software: Windows, Mac, Linux
Refund Policy: 3 day guarantee
Retail Price: $7.77/mo
Discount Price: Save 35% Off
Welcome to our review of AirVPN. The company started out as a free project in 2010, and shortly there after, they opened a commercial side. They make it a point to mention they respect net neutrality laws, and they also mention support for p2p traffic specifically. Their website is minimalist, but they have some nice features. Before we discuss those, we will speak of their pricing first.
Pricing and Discounts
If you are watching your household finances, pricing can be important. AirVPN offers 5 pricing plans, based on different lengths of service. They have a trial account that lasts for 3 days, and is $1.11. A month of service is approximately $7.77/mo. We say approximately because the prices are done in Euros, but they are estimated there. For the 3 month plan, the price is $16.64 or $5.55/mo. 6 months of service is $33.29, which is also $5.55/mo. One year of service is $59.92, which brings the price to $4.99/mo.
AirVPN accepts numerous different types of payment including credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. They also accept other forms of crypto-currency that are in a list on their website and supposedly updated every day. AirVPN offers new members a 3 day money back guarantee, providing you have not exceeded 5 gb of data.
Depending on what you are looking for in a VPN, features can help to make a decision for you. AirVPN has quite a few settings of a technical nature, and in this image, we will show you some of them while we talk about major ones. Be aware if you change the settings without understanding them, you could cause yourself some problems.
For those that want increased privacy, one of the most interesting features of AirVPN is the ability to run Tor software and the VPN at the same time. That is great for providing a good deal of privacy that goes beyond what either technology will do on their own. Additionally, AirVPN offers port forwarding, and 3 simultaneous connections. All of those features, plus the tabs you see on the right may be accessed from the drop down menu on the AirVPN client. One of their good features is the ability to have it kill apps if the connection drops. Additionally, you may have an app only connect if it runs through the VPN. As we mentioned, they are heavily p2p friendly. Much like their website, their interface is minimalistic, but depending on the server you connect to, it works well.
At the time of this review, AirVPN has 119 servers located in 16 different countries. That may not be as many as some providers, but they seem to be strategically placed. Those countries are:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
By far, the area that contains the most servers is the Netherlands. Some of their server locations are interesting, but they have a good mix of countries to select. Most activities you would do online would not require more than the ones listed here. Of course, that depends on your goals.
Another factor in choosing a VPN is speed. As with most providers, different servers generate different speeds. Inside of the AirVPN client, you can sort servers by ping and server load. For our speed test, we used a server that is known to be fast. The speeds you get may not be representative of these numbers. When using a VPN, you can usually expect between 10-25% speed loss. Some servers may be more, some may be less. In this image, you can see it was about a 10% speed loss. That is within the normal levels, but you should test it for yourself.
Make sure you are choosing a server that is using the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol when testing. That is the one we recommend because it has the right mix of speed and security.
Security and Privacy
Under the field of security and privacy, AirVPN offers one protocol, but it is the one we recommend. The protocol they use is OpenVPN, the UDP & TCP versions. Be aware on their website they say they support all protocols, but what they mean is they do not restrict traffic. We would like to see other options offered like IKEv2, and L2TP protocols.
Support options are various with AirVPN. They offer a ticketing system, and a forum section. Additionally, they have setup guides included with their forums. As far as which is quicker, that is unknown. We would like to see more options available to the public.
AirVPN only offers custom clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, they offer setup and config files for the mobile operating systems like Android and iOS, as well as supporting DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT, PFSense, Tor, and the ability to set the vpn up through SSH and SSL tunnels. That covers the lion share of devices available, but if you contact support, they may be able to provide you with others.
The sign up process for AirVPN is simple, but different from most providers. Unlike some where you create the account at the time of the service, AirVPN has you sign up in 3 steps. As you see in the pic, you start by clicking the button that says create your account, then you choose a plan, and your setup.
To create your account, you only need to provide them with an email address and a password. That is not surprising since AirVPN seems to be big on privacy. There are other providers that ask for more information, so it is nice to see that AirVPN only asks for a minimal amount, depending on what method payment you choose.
How to Use AirVPN for Desktop
AirVPN’s client is not flashy, but it is effective. It will assist you accomplishing your goals. As we mentioned, it has some technical settings that you will want to leave alone unless you know what you are doing. For this demonstration, we will use the Windows client.
- Begin by opening up the AirVPN client. As you can see in the image, you can connect to a recommended server, or choose a specific server as shown by the red arrow. That tab will show you all the servers available in a country, and it is listed in alphabetical order.
- By clicking the countries tab, you can see a more condensed version of the servers tab. Both tabs will allow you to view the number of users, as well as the latency on each server. Those may be sorted by clicking on the heading box.
- Once you select a server, just hit connect, and you will be connected to the server you chose.
- Enjoy the benefits of your VPN service.
The Mac and Linux versions of this service look and act very much the same. Whereas sometimes clients can be different depending on the operating system, AirVPN makes them consistent from one to the next.
Using AirVPN for Mobile
AirVPN does not offer specific software for mobile devices, but they have pages to help you set up the devices manually. If you want to set up mobile devices or any other devices, please check their website for instructions.
Favorite features of AirVPN:
- Simple interface
- No logs policy
- Setup guides for routers and other devices
- 3 Simultaneous connections
- 3 day money back guarantee
Thoughts to improve AirVPN:
- Add more countries
- Add more protocol support
- Add more help desk options
- Add mobile apps
AirVPN is clearly designed for users with a more technical background, though you do not necessarily need technical knowledge to use the service. Though it is good for other applications, they make it a point to mention p2p traffic. The bottom line is, they offer some good features for a reasonable price. It will do what you would expect it to do, by providing you ways to get around geo-restrictions and protecting your privacy. The 3 simultaneous connections are nice, and we like that they offer new members a 3 day money back guarantee. That should give you enough time to test their service.