ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service provided by Proton Technologies AG, the company behind the email service ProtonMail. ProtonVPN was created to provide a secure, private, and censorship-free internet connection to people all over the world. It encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address, making it difficult for hackers, ISPs, and governments to track your online activity. ProtonVPN is available on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It offers a variety of subscription plans to suit different needs, including a free plan with limited features.

What services are available when you’re connected to ProtonVPN?

Nothing is more frustrating than connecting to your VPN, heading over to your favorite streaming service… Only to find out your connection is blocked. Unfortunately, it’s a never ending cat and mouse game. We decided to test our experience using ProtonVPN servers based in the United States as well as a few random foreign countries. Note: Registering an account while connected to a VPN may be blocked entirely, the tests below reflect establish a connection from an account that’s already logged in (to simulate someone traveling).

ServiceBlocked / Restricted
Amazon PrimeLimited; some IP ranges are blocked
NetflixAccessible
SpotifyAccessible
PandoraLimited; some IP ranges are blocked
YouTube MusicAccessible
HuluAccessible
Disney+Accessible
Google SearchMay encounter CAPTCHA
ChatGPTLimited; some IP ranges are blocked
YouTubeAccessible

When you are connected to ProtonVPN, who’s servers are you really using? I tested over 50 ProtonVPN servers and found that 36% use M247, 27% use Datacamp Limited, 10% use Datacamp Limited UK, 8% use Estnoc Global, 5% use FDC Servers, 5% use GSL Networks, and the remaining servers use Packet Exchange, and Intergrid. In a recent AMA on reddit, ProtonVPN stated the reason they utilize M247 so heavily is due to cost efficiency and being able to support the freemium model:

Comment
byu/protonvpn from discussion
inIAmA

ProtonVPN Network Overview

Stealth Protocol vs WireGuard

WireGuard and ProtonVPN’s Stealth protocol are both designed to provide security for internet users, but they have different features and levels of security.

In terms of security, WireGuard uses the latest encryption standards, including the ChaCha20 encryption algorithm and the Poly1305 message authentication code (MAC). These encryption standards are considered to be highly secure and provide a high level of protection for users’ online activities.

ProtonVPN’s Stealth protocol, on the other hand, uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, which is commonly used to secure connections to websites. It also uses obfuscation techniques to make it appear as if you are accessing a secured website, rather than connecting to a VPN server. This makes it difficult for firewalls and censorship systems to detect and block your VPN connection.

In terms of performance, WireGuard is generally faster than ProtonVPN’s Stealth protocol, as the latter adds an extra layer of encryption and obfuscation that can slow down the connection.

In conclusion, both WireGuard and ProtonVPN’s Stealth protocol provide a high level of security, but they approach security in different ways. WireGuard focuses on fast and efficient encryption, while ProtonVPN’s Stealth VPN provides an extra layer of obfuscation to help users bypass firewalls and censorship systems. The choice between the two will depend on the specific security needs and requirements of the user.

Audits

ProtonVPN has undergone several independent audits to verify the security and privacy of its service. In 2018, ProtonVPN commissioned Cure53, a leading cybersecurity firm based in Berlin, Germany, to perform a security audit of its infrastructure and client software. The audit found that ProtonVPN’s security practices were in line with industry standards, and it did not identify any major security vulnerabilities.

In 2020, ProtonVPN commissioned the independent cybersecurity firm X41 D-Sec to perform a comprehensive security assessment of its infrastructure and client software. The assessment found that ProtonVPN’s security practices were “exemplary” and that the company had “a clear commitment to the security and privacy of their users.”

ProtonVPN has also undergone a transparency report audit by the firm KPMG, which verified that the company does not collect or store any personal information or metadata about its users.

Overall, the independent audits of ProtonVPN have found that the service is secure and privacy-protective.


Comments

One response to “ProtonVPN”

  1. This is the observation for ProtonVPN servers that I have been looking for, thank you so much for sharing these valuable findings! I have always wondered which providers power ProtonVPN and in which countries, this article has done that and beyond.

    I hope that ProtonVPN continues to be more transparent with their partners, as well as emphasize on their Secure Core (servers run exclusively by Proton) for additional protection. I also hope that their partners respect the privacy of users just as well as Proton does.

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