Promoting itself as a “pro” solution to online security worries, proXPN delivers on simplicity and ease of use but fails in all other areas
Marketing itself as “the easiest to use” VPN around, proXPN starts out confidently right off the bat. Keeping things simple with three premium plans and a 30-day risk-free trial, this VPN certainly makes it easy to download and purchase. But what else does it bring to the table?
First of all, it brings some privacy concerns as proXPN Direct LLC is located in the US, a country which has a well-documented history of spying on its citizens. That’s made easy by the Stored Communication Act which says that if a company stores its users’ communication data, the government can access it. To learn if proXPN would have anything to share about you, continue reading our proXPN VPN review.
proXPN has poor security features:
- Outdated encryption (512-bit BF-CBC)
- OpenVPN and PPTP tunneling protocol
- Kill switch
While most of the competitors have long upgraded to a 256-bit AES military-grade encryption, proXPN is one of the few to still use the outdated 512-bit BF-CBC. It might be secure enough for everyday users, but we cannot recommend a security product that is below industry standards.
When it comes to the protocols, proXPN basically offers no alternative for OpenVPN because PPTP is also outdated.
proXPN supplies a kind of kill switch via its “VPN Guard” tool, which shuts down whatever website you are visiting if the VPN connection drops. To be fair, we didn’t test its reliability thoroughly enough to give a firm opinion, but one should ask if not having a kill switch is a big deal when the VPN cannot be considered safe with or without it.
Does proXPN VPN keep logs?
There are some issues regarding logging to think about. In the terms and conditions, we noticed that proXPN keeps information about every session. While they state that this doesn’t include the ability to see which sites people visit or what they type, the very fact that proXPN keeps these logs is worrying, even if they are routinely purged every couple of weeks.
Furthermore, the company behind this VPN is registered in the US – a prime 5 Eyes country and an overall bad place to own a VPN service. Their Terms and Policies also mention two other proXPN-related companies in the Netherlands (9 Eyes) and England (5 Eyes). And with proXPN doing more than minimal logging, chances are your information can easily be accessed by any of these governments.
To sum up, we found that proXPN is not safe to use. If it had decent encryption and relocated somewhere away from the 14 Eyes, we might as well change our mind.
Speed and performance
Speed is an area where proXPN really tries to sell themselves. But as any VPN veteran will tell you, every provider makes big claims about speed to entice users to sign up. So the question for this review is simple: do proXPN’s claims stack up?
We connected from the US and found that local servers did deliver some impressive speeds. But when we switched to more distant servers (even in the continental US), speeds dipped by 60% or more in some cases. This variability could really be annoying when streaming videos or downloading larger files.
Expect average to poor performance when using proXPN – just a middle of the road service with some speed bumps ahead.
Another thing that irritated us was the fact that proXPN isn’t keen on advertising how many servers they operate. That’s probably because the choice is limited to 19 cities. They do stretch from London and Chicago to Tokyo and Hong Kong, but the lack of transparency before actually seeing the list in the client left us confused and infuriated.
Other services offer much more choice than proXPN VPN does.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
proXPN offers versions of its client for these platforms:
That’s as far as their efforts to supply apps and extensions have gone. They have created neither extensions for browsers nor apps for routers or Linux. It also doesn’t seem there will be anytime soon.
Getting a hold of a proXPN download is extremely easy. All you need to do is head to the proXPN website and click either the Download button in the top right-hand corner or Create account in the middle.
As you sign up for proXPN, you’ll need to provide your email address and choose one of the three plans. Payment can be sent either by PayPal or credit card.
After that, finishing the installation is simple.
Just type your login details into the box and press Login.
Using the client is a breeze. The main system screen lets you choose servers easily, and you can also switch between OpenVPN and PPTP via a drop-down menu.
As we noted earlier, proXPN comes with a kill switch should you lose your VPN connection (you can turn this on or off as you wish), and it also features a diagnostic tool to detect problems and report any issues to the proXPN support team.
However, we are aware that some people run into reliability issues with proXPN. Sometimes, they are forced to reinstall the client multiple times before even using their proXPN account, so be aware of this – it’s far from perfect.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
Over the past couple of years, Netflix has boosted its security systems, implementing formidable blocking measures to counter VPNs and proxies. In response, the leading VPNs have worked hard to find ways around these defenses. Unfortunately, proXPN is not among them.
If you are hunting for a VPN to fuel your Netflix addiction (or to use any other entertainment streaming service), proXPN will do you no good.
P2P and torrenting
P2P downloads are an area where smaller VPNs can really shine because even elite services sometimes fail with torrenting, usually citing legal concerns.
proXPN is a decent option for torrenters. Users benefit from unlimited bandwidth, and proXPN says that they are totally fine with torrenting via their VPN.
We tested this and found that there weren’t many problems. Despite that, we’d still recommend using one of the best VPNs for torrenting instead of proXPN.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
On their front page, proXPN makes some bold claims about defeating governments which are “censoring information in an attempt to keep you in the dark.”
Unfortunately, we cannot recommend proXPN VPN for China. For starters, let’s remember the outdated encryption system and a kill switch that doesn’t seem too reliable. Then upon looking at the available protocols, we’ll see OpenVPN which is heavily blocked in China. Finally, there’s no stealth protocol to help combat China’s DPI (Deep Packet Inspection).
Users of proXPN VPN have the following support options:
- Ticketing system
As you can see, they don’t provide live chat, and neither of the options is 24/7, which seems like cognitive dissonance when reading about a “world-class support” on the proXPN website.
Unfortunately, clicking either on the top Help or bottom Visit our Help Center sends you to proxpnsupportforums.com, which doesn’t load due to a server failure:
The only link that seems to be working is under he World-class support feature description somewhere in the middle of the home page. After reaching their support system, you will be able to open a ticket as a guest or a premium user.
The state in which we found proXPN’s customer support has left an impression that not everything’s so well at their end, and that it might be a signal of impending demise.
proXPN VPN offers three pricing plans:
- 3-month plan for $9.98/month or $29.95
- 6-month plan for $8.33/month or $49.95
- 12-month plan for $6.25/month or $74.95
The shortest three-month option is very expensive for a stripped-down, no-frills VPN. Even the longer ones offer not much of a discount – the best deal saves you 37% and still costs more than many premium VPNs.
While there is no free trial, luckily all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. We’re afraid you’ll need it.
Simple and easy to use, proXPN VPN seems to get everything else wrong. Support is mixed or no-longer-existent, speeds are average at best, security is patchy, and Netflix isn’t anywhere to be seen.
If you’re into torrenting and have a fetish of overpaying, it might be a decent option. But for most users, this half-dead VPN doesn’t quite cut it.