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Astrill is a Seychellois VPN service that positions itself as a technology leader in VPN services. Located in a privacy respecting location, Astrill offers a variety of features that you would expect from a typical VPN, such as a kill-switch and OpenVPN tunneling. However, they also include the latest WireGuard protocol and their own proprietary protocol – StealthVPN, which is perfect for more restrictive countries like China.
The VPN can also be customized extensively by choosing what apps or websites should be filtered through the secure connection. This is a handy feature if you only need a VPN to unblock specific geo-restricted websites.
Sadly, this self-proclaimed technology leader does not come cheap. But is the huge price tag even warranted? After all, they have a strict no-refunds policy. Such confidence in their product is commendable, so let’s have a closer look at Astrill VPN and see if it can live up to our high expectations.
|Rank||#15 out of 216 providers|
|Support||24/7 live chat|
|Logs||Minimal data collection|
|Free version or trial||Free version for Android|
Astrill VPN is no slouch when it comes to providing good speeds. It’s not blazing fast, but you shouldn’t notice much difference when doing your daily tasks.
This was my baseline internet speed before connecting to Astrill VPN:
And here’s what I found after performing several Astrill VPN speed tests in different locations around the world:
London, United Kingdom
New York, United States
As you can see, Astrill VPN download speeds are pretty good.
While low upload speeds might be concerning to some, most users won’t see that as a deal-breaker. Low latency and high download speeds are routine, however, which should accommodate streamers and torrenters pretty comfortably. I was especially surprised by the fact that the US New York server managed to overtake the UK server, even though I’m located much closer to the latter.
If you put all VPNs in line and ask the one with the highest number of servers to step up, Astrill would probably hide behind the backs of NordVPN and CyberGhost. Both have 5,000+, while Astrill has just over 320+ servers in 59+ countries, making its network more than fifteen times smaller.
Some users might start doubting my math skills after visiting Astrill’s website or logging in because these lists are noticeably shorter. I contacted the support, and they kindly explained that these are the server location lists. All servers are grouped for load balancing, meaning there’s usually more than one server under one location.
What’s more, the website’s Astrill server list mentions only those servers that can be reached using common protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2. There are others, dedicated to their in-house OpenWeb and Stealth VPN protocols, seen only on the client list.
Finally, there are VIP VPN servers for $10/month, providing a serious speed boost, especially in the Asian region. So while the first impression can be negative, it’s better than it looks.
Astrill assures us that all their servers are physical and usually on 1 Gbit or 10 Gbit lines. This means that even though the amount of servers is small, their quality is extraordinary and your connection should be solid.
|Africa, Middle East, and India||7+|
|Asia and Oceania||10+|
Astrill VPN pricing varies by package, and prices decrease with longer contract terms:
Payment options for an Astrill VPN subscription include credit cards, UnionPay, AliPay, Perfect Money, cryptocurrencies, and bank transfer. Each plan also provides you with 5 simultaneous connections per account.
Unfortunately, even the annual plan is still extremely expensive. To make things worse, Astrill VPN has ditched their 7-day free trial, so you no longer have a chance to feel it out before committing. But the last nail in the coffin is the strict no refund policy. Astrill VPN plainly recommends taking the shortest plan to see if you like their service or not. There is also a possibility to try out Astrill VPN with their free Android version if you’re from Europe or North America.
On top of those packages, Astrill VPN offers a VIP service for an extra $10/month, which drastically increases speeds. It’s targeted at gamers and Asian customers, but the price tag is pretty hefty. They also offer Private IPs ($5/month) and flashed routers (starting at $39) letting you connect multiple devices.
Astrill VPN’s security features are actually quite impressive. And there’s some real technical expertise behind what Astrill VPN has on offer. After all, it was Astrill staffers who created the popular OpenVPN and StealthVPN protocols. Now that’s a tell-tale sign that they know what they’re doing when it comes to security and privacy.
Astrill VPN uses the military-grade encryption cipher – the gold standard for encryption among premium VPNs. That’s as safe as encryption can get these days.
Currently, Astrill VPN supports the following tunneling protocols:
Astrill VPN has one of the widest ranges of available tunneling protocols I’ve seen. With so many options on offer, it might be difficult to decide which protocol to use. While most Astrill VPN users should stick to the default OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec protocols, those with different needs can increase their privacy at the cost of speed with the StealthVPN protocol. Alternatively, they can use the modern WireGuard protocol for an even greater boost in speed.
With that said, make sure to avoid SSTP and PPTP protocols unless you know what you’re doing. These are obsolete and unsafe tunneling protocols that should only be used in rare cases, if at all.
All in all, Astrill’s protocol options are very impressive, which is a big plus for any VPN service.
Astrill VPN features a kill switch that will automatically disable your internet connection in case your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. That’s an essential feature for any premium VPN service to have. With the kill switch feature enabled, Astrill VPN will keep your connection encrypted and your IP address masked at all times.
I’ve tested the Astrill VPN kill switch on my desktop the results didn’t disappoint – it worked consistently each time I disconnected the VPN.
They’ve also improved on the kill-switch formula and allow you to choose which applications should stop working if the VPN connection fails, while everything else works as usual. This new feature is called App Guard and works even when the Astrill software isn’t running.
Astrill VPN showed no signs of DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leak issues. This means that Astrill VPN is safe to use for hiding your actual IP address.
Astrill VPN provides all desktop and router software with the port-forwarding feature. This allows you to access your personal internet-connected devices remotely and securely and provides you with more options to customize your network.
If you need the VPN to run only with specific apps then the Application Filter feature is just for you! It allows you to choose if all apps should run through the VPN, or which ones should be included or excluded in the tunneling process. This feature is available only on the OpenWeb, OpenVPN, StealthVPN, and Wireguard protocols.
You can also use their Website Filter feature to choose what domains or IP ranges should be included or excluded from VPN traffic. Last but not least – you can utilize the Tunnel Only International Sites feature – it will help you keep up with local news while also potentially unblocking sites that are restricted in your home country.
Astrill VPN is headquartered in Seychelles, a country that doesn’t require businesses to store or report any customer data. The privacy-friendly attitude, along with the fact that the country doesn’t belong to the Fourteen Eyes surveillance network, makes Seychelles a logical destination for any cybersecurity business.
That’s certainly not something to gloss over, but then again – at least it’s not personally identifiable. Overall, Astrill VPN’s no-logging policy isn’t perfect, but it’s not so bad. After all, Astrill VPN is based in Seychelles, which means it isn’t subject to data retention laws and harmful intelligence-sharing agreements, such as those of Fourteen Eyes alliance members.
Astrill VPN has an impressive array of features that will assist you no matter what your threat model may be. However, all these features might be a bit overkill for average users so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of buying this VPN.
Astrill VPN has dedicated apps for:
In addition, your router can be configured to run Astrill VPN and secure your entire LAN. However, there are no dedicated apps for other internet-connected devices and no browser extensions.
The user interface on Astrill’s desktop apps is efficient and simple. Just enter your username and password, pick a protocol, and log onto their servers.
It’s a standard VPN desktop app, with a selection of servers and a few handy, widely-appealing features. For instance, you can easily specify which apps you’d like to funnel into Astrill VPN, and which should stay separate.
Astrill VPN can be used in a variety of other ways, not just as a personal privacy tool. For example, they also offer a business package which is targeted at smaller companies. If you need to add a security layer to work emails, find ways of maintaining security while working remotely or carry out discreet market research – Astrill has the solution.
The Astrill VPN Mac app is pretty much identical to its Windows counterpart – it’s just as secure and just as simple. While macOS apps offered by many other VPN providers tend to have fewer security features, that’s not the case with Astrill VPN.
Astrill VPN offers an app for Linux users as well. You’ll have to set up the Astrill VPN Linux app manually, but you’ll get the full (if somewhat spartan) Astrill GUI with most of the VPN functionality.
Astrill VPN iOS and Android apps pretty much what you’d expect, which are mobile versions of the desktop versions, with some minor changes. What’s important here is that the Astrill iOS and Android apps do their jobs, and do them well.
Astrill for Android has a free version for users in North America and Europe.
The free version for Android works on one device, doesn’t allow to choose a protocol, and limits server selection to 20+ countries. But given that some of them offer more than one location (there are more than 30 in the US alone!), that’s far from the worst free Android VPN option.
The paid version gives access to the full server list and also allows you to choose between OpenWEB and StealthVPN protocol. The latter is tailored to combat geo-blocks and firewalls, including the Great Firewall of China. The last difference from the free version is the option to invite friends. If one of them purchases Astrill, you get 30 days for free.
You can also set up Astrill VPN on routers. This is especially useful in households with multiple devices, like Xboxes, PlayStations, Smart TVs, and smartphones. If you use Roku, for instance, you can route your traffic through the VPN via your desktop, adding a layer of protection.
However, most premium VPN services also have at least a few apps for Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Apple and Android TVs, or game consoles in case you don’t have a router.
Astrill VPN is really good for Netflix, even though that’s hardly the main selling point of this VPN.
Yet even if Netflix is your sole reason to use a VPN, you should consider other features, such as pricing and trial period. Astrill is one of the most expensive VPNs that has neither a free trial nor a money-back guarantee.
I connected to Astrill VPN’s USA – New York 1 server and the results on the Netflix homepage were encouraging. Plenty of content that wouldn’t normally be available was now ready to stream.
There’s no doubt that users will be able to get past Netflix blockers, but just don’t expect every Astrill VPN server to do the job.
When you do connect, speed isn’t an issue. I found that Netflix movies and TV shows were delivered in good resolution at a tolerable speed, with only very slight stutters every now and then. It definitely isn’t enough to criticize Astrill VPN.
In addition to Netflix, Astrill had no problems accessing the content of other US streaming platforms like Hulu and Amazon Video. And if you’d prefer to watch something from the UK instead then BBC iPlayer had no issues as well when connected to the UK servers.
Yes, Astrill VPN supports torrenting.
Being able to ensure private, fast torrenting is a real sign of a solid VPN, and it’s an area where seemingly great services sometimes fall down.
In fact, Astrill VPN has factored torrenting into their software in a way that few other VPNs have. When you select your server, choose a P2P VPN server from the drop-down list. Not all Astrill VPN servers are torrent-friendly, but plenty are and seem to deliver good speeds. There’s also a port-forwarding option available, but be careful when doing this – it’s not the best security decision.
When it comes to customer support, Astrill VPN seems to do pretty well. There’s plenty of options to resolve potential problems. This includes contact forms, 24/7 live chat, setup manuals, FAQ, and even video tutorials.
Astrill VPN 24/7 live chat, introduced not that long ago, is a handy resource that every premium VPN provider should have. It’s backed by the contact form where you should get an answer in a few hours. Finally, there’s a handful of manuals and tutorials, along with an extensive FAQ.
I tested their live chat feature and was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I got a representative assigned to me. I didn’t even need to log in with an account. The answers I got were satisfactory and I didn’t have to wait long for them.
Even though Astrill is secure and feature-rich, it also comes with an appropriate price tag and no refund policy. As such, it may not be suitable for everyone’s needs. Instead here are a few cheaper alternatives that offer similar features.
NordVPN is one of the leading VPNs in the market right now. At $3.30/month, NordVPN offers a fast and secure connection for up to six devices, a 30 day money-back guarantee, 59 countries, 24/7 customer support and much more for a secure and unrestricted internet.
If your budget is especially tight, but you have a great number of devices that need securing – Surfshark VPN is the ideal choice. With a small price of only $2.49/month and having no limitations on device count makes Surfshark the perfect pick as a budget-friendly alternative.
After all that, what do I make of Astrill VPN? Well, the security and privacy setup is solid, although there are some questions about logging. It’s not a deal-breaker, as long as you trust Astrill VPN to act ethically. With their excellent support services, they come across as a reputable outfit.
The speed is good, and the VPN works well both with torrent clients and Netflix. I also appreciated the easy to use, if slightly outdated, client. On the other hand, all packages are ridiculously expensive, and there’s no way to try Astrill VPN on anything but Android without paying at least for one month.
The verdict? While I wouldn’t call Astrill VPN the “number one” by any means, it’s still among the best VPN services.
Yes, Astrill VPN is safe because their jurisdiction is in Seychellois, which is not part of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. Additionally, they do not log any personally identifiable information and use a variety of strong encryption protocols.
Astrill VPN works in China when you use the more secure, but slower connection protocols, such as StealthVPN.
You can download Astrill VPN in China by visiting https://astrillcn.com/download
Astrill VPN pricing varies by package, and prices decrease with longer contract terms: