Turn back now if you are looking for something simple. AirVPN is one of the most complicated VPNs out there. Their site makes it difficult to find help that’s easy to understand, while their support is far from great for those who aren’t technically minded. If you can get past the mountains of jargon, then it becomes your best option if security and privacy are your number one concerns. They go the extra mile in all aspects, with heavy encryption, no logs and a very customisable client. If you want to be invisible at a very reasonable price, AirVPN is the number one choice. Read on for our full AirVPN review.
AirVPN is based in Italy, so it’s in a reasonable position as far as data laws go. Not the best, but at least away from the UK and the US. It was set up by self-described hacktivists and activists with privacy and security as both a passion and concern. They don’t take any logs and have some of the best encryption and security measures out there. They are absolutely fine with users torrenting, which makes it a good choice for many of the pirates out there.
One of the greatest security aspects is that you can use VPN through Tor. If you pay with a cryptocurrency, connect through Tor and then AirVPN, there is simply no way for AirVPN to know who you are because they can’t see your IP address. They also have a great trick using DNS routing to get you through geo-restrictions that block most other VPNs.
The website is bad, just plain bad. At a time where most sites are moving towards simplicity and lots of whitespace, it harks back to the old days of the internet when it was a more exclusive community for those with technological know-how. It’s neither visually appealing or terribly easy to find things. If their security is one of the best in the business, then surely the website is one of the worst.
Plans and Pricing
The first thing about their pricing is that it’s in Euros, so I had to go to the trouble of finding the weird E symbol. Apart from me being petty and you having to use their currency converter, it’s not really a good reason to hate on them. I’m just childish. Strangely enough, you can sign up for one day for €1. Committing to a month brings it up to €7. Three months works out to €15 total, at €5 per month. A six-month subscription will set you back €30, so it’s at the same rate as three months. For one year, it works out to €4.50 per month, at a total of €54. They don’t offer a money back guarantee, but I suppose if you can sign up for just one day, you don’t really need it.
AirVPN have a ridiculous number of payment options, a lot that I didn’t know existed. I’ll just go through the major ones. They accept pretty much every credit card in existence, PayPal, and thankfully Bitcoin. My favourite part is that they accept Dogecoin, which I’m still waiting for my grocery store to catch on to.
Support from AIrVPN isn’t the best. It mainly comes through their forums, where you can ask other users for information or to help you out with your problems. A plus side is that there is an extensive amount of discussion in there, so most problems have already been solved and there is a lot of general and specific information available. The people behind AirVPN also put a lot of detailed information about how their operation works and the technical specifics behind it. A lot of the conversation can be complex and difficult to understand if you don’t have a high level of technical knowledge and aren’t a more advanced VPN user.
Thankfully, they do also have a ticket support system, but it can take a day to reply. Ultimately, the support is fine if you’re a highly motivated and technically minded user, but if you are new to the VPN world, the whole ordeal might be too difficult and off-putting.
Privacy and Security
Not too many competitors come anywhere close to AirVPN in terms of privacy and security. This is their number one concern and they do it very well. Their product may be complicated and difficult to understand, but they go above and beyond with their security measures. To start with, they don’t take any logs and use shared IP addresses. They use Perfect Forward Secrecy with 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman keys that are refreshed every hour. This makes their service immune to Logjam attacks.
They include a killswitch in their desktop client, offer DNS leak protection and also protect users against the WebRTC bug. Their acceptance of cryptocurrencies is another element that helps users remain anonymous.
Getting signed up is simple. All you need is valid email address and they are completely fine if you use a burner email. If you pay with cryptocurrencies, that’s all they’ll need from you, however other payment methods will obviously require your personal details.
Their client is completely open source, but it’s not pretty and it can be much more complex than clients from other providers. They call it Eddie, and the good thing it is that it is super customisable. More so than any other provider that we have tried. If you are an advanced user, this really is the client for you. Eddie has DNS leak protection, dynamic server selection and way more statistics than you’ll ever need.
We tested out the speeds and here’s what we got:
|No VPN||UK Server||NL Server|
|Download Speed (Mb/s)||54||32||39|
|Upload Speed (Mb/s)||2.9||2.7||2.7|
As you can see, this are pretty great results. There’s nothing to complain about here, especially when you consider how heavy duty the encryption is. As expected, there were no DNS leak problems.
AirVPN have detailed instructions to set up their client on iOS and Android, as well as DD-WRT and Tomato routers. It has very similar advanced options and works just as well as on Windows.
In a lot of ways, AirVPN is the best that you can get. If you are planning on doing something highly illegal or you just have an overwhelming sense of paranoia, you want AirVPN. The main problem is that it’s just really complicated. It feels less like a service and more like work. It’s far less intuitive than other clients and everything is a lot more difficult. They have trouble describing things in simple terms and it’s really not the prettiest thing to look at. In saying that, it has the best security and privacy available. They accept cryptocurrencies, don’t keep logs and have very strong encryption. Get it if you don’t want anyone to know what you’re up to, just be warned that it might come with a few headaches.
Are you an AirVPN user? Leave an AirVPN review below with your thoughts on the service, and help others out when making their decision.