Most of you are shopping around for a VPN because you want to remain anonymous online. And when it comes to protecting your privacy, the location of a VPN service plays an important role. So, what about a company that is based in the middle of the Indian Ocean? It sounds good, until you realize they could be spying on you.
Well, Astrill VPN was launched in 2009, and it bases itself in the Seychelles.
One major bonus here is that there are no data retention laws in this jurisdiction, which means your information is usually safe here.
But, there’s much more to a VPN service than just its location as we have found with Astrill.
Does Astrill meet our expectations in all the other areas of importance? Let’s find out.
Astrill, like many VPNs, sets out to protect your identity and disguise your IP address while you are browsing online. The best VPNs will have advanced encryption, a kill switch, and a big network of servers spread across the world.
Astrill offers all of these features.
So far, it seems that Astrill exceeds our expectation. You get the privacy you need as well as the features you’d expect from a premium VPN service. But is there a hidden cost?
Features of Astrill VPN
This service comes with a lot of bells and whistles. Astrill is available on all platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Tor, and Android. Plus, you can connect five devices simultaneously per account. However it still hasn’t made any of our best vpns for gaming, iphone or android lists.
Here are some of the most noteworthy features of Astrill VPN:
- 365 servers in 64 countries
- Multi-device compatibility
- Unlimited torrenting
- Connection to Netflix
- Kill switch (for most plans)
- SSL 256-bit encryption on all plans
- A long list of protocols
- Seven-day money back guarantee
- Pay using Bitcoin
Overall, Astrill VPN provides a lot of features paired with supposed security. So far, so good.
How Much Does Astrill VPN Cost?
We don’t want to rain on your parade, but Astrill is more expensive than most VPN services. After its seven-day free trial, you’ll find yourself paying as much as $15.90 per month if you opt for the month-to-month plan.
Here is a breakdown of Astrill VPN’s pricing:
- One month – $15.90 per month
- Six months – $11.65 per month/$69.90 every six months
- One year – $8.33 per month/$99.90 every year
One plus side is that Astrill VPN offers an assortment of payment options that include credit/debit card, PayPal, perfectmoney, wire transfer, wechat, and Bitcoin. If you want to get bitcoin check out our buy bitcoin guide.
Overall we think the pricing is way too high for what it offers. Services like Nordvpn also offer many payment options at a fraction of the price.
What We Like About Astrill VPN
There is a lot to potentially love about Astrill VPN, but the most important thing is privacy. If your VPN does not do an excellent job at protecting your identity, it’s useless. When it comes to outward connections, Astrill seems to do a good job here.
The next big issue after privacy is performance. Some VPNs sacrifice speed for security, which renders their service useless. What good is privacy if it takes four hours to download a video?
During our research, we discovered that most users only experience a 10-20 percent reduction in speed when using Astrill VPN.
Does Astrill VPN Work With Netflix?
One of the most significant problems users have with VPNs is their inability to break through the Netflix restrictions. On the Astrill website, it states that the service allows you to “unblock your favorite websites.”
However, during our research, we found that most people were only able to use the Netflix streaming service with a few specific servers. These include:
- US: Chicago
- UK: London
Kill Switch Included
If you lose your VPN connection while you are browsing, it can leave your real IP address exposed to anyone and everyone. The best VPN services provide a kill switch that drops your internet connection if you lose the VPN connection.
An Astrill VPN connection will very rarely drop, however, if it does, its kill switch does a great job of keeping you protected. Astrill VPN also does a great job of explaining the importance of a kill switch on its website.
Astrill VPN is simple to download and install. If you can follow a prompt and make your way through the steps, you’ll have no problem installing this VPN on your computer or smartphone.
Once you log in, you’ll choose your protocol, pick your server, decide on leak protection, and fire it up.
While it might be easy to use, the client is dated and could probably use a facelift.
What We Dislike About Astrill VPN
Confusing Logging Policy
Part of the policy reads like this:
If it is using your information for personalization and “online shopping,” it makes it sound like it is collecting information for targeting purposes. That is the opposite of what you want your VPN to do; you don’t want your information stored anywhere.
However, upon closer inspection, this only applies to visitors to its website Astrill.com. This is still a cause for concern as users can sign up log in on its website. During the sign-up process, Astrill will collect your name and email address, and depending on the payment method, it may collect your address and phone number.
Actually we have had
However, when using the downloaded VPN application itself, Astrill state that “no personally identifiable information is kept.”
We have heard numerous complaints that users were banned from using Astrill because they had certain programs on their computer. As soon as they programs were loaded up, they were banned without any refund.
We have confirmed that this is in fact true and it is something very worrying. It essentially means they are spying on your personal computer.
This is a massive RED FLAG in our book.
Slow Customer Service?
More and more VPNs are moving away from a ticket system and going with 24/7 live chat. Astrill also has live chat.
During our research, we found that some users experienced a waiting time of approximately three hours for a response in the “live” chat. However, upon testing the live chat ourselves, we received a response almost instantly on all occasions.
We recommend staying far away from Astrill.
The biggest concern with a VPN is the safety of your privacy. If Astrill is logging your personal information during the sign-up process and upon visiting its website, then this is a cause for concern.
If they don’t suit you, check our best vpn list for more.