ProtonVPN Review 2022 – Recommended to use in Canada?

ProtonVPN is a product of a Swiss company Proton Technologies, the company behind the popular email service brand ProtonMail. The company has been running its VPN product for quite some time. It promises to deliver impressive VPN features, including strong security and fast speeds.

But we aren’t going to believe it until we put this service to the test! In this ProtonVPN review, we will go through all of its nitty-gritty details, running some speed tests, leak tests, and assessing its security and privacy features. And at the end of this blog, we will announce our final verdict of whether this VPN is the right choice for you.

ProtonVPN-review-Canada

ProtonVPN Review – Specifications and Details

Business Location Switzerland
Number of servers 1520
Number of country locations 61 countries
Encryption type AES-256-bit
Log policy Strict no-log policy
Tor Over VPN Available
Protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard
Customer Support Online ticket system
Simultaneous connections 10 devices
Kill Switch Available
Monthly price $10.00/month
Money-back guarantee 30-days
Free version available

 About ProtonVPN

As we mentioned earlier, ProtonVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN service, meaning it’s not part of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes alliances. While it may sound like a nuclear/chemical company, it claims to have created ProtonVPN to protect “the activists and journalists” worldwide.

Being a tech analyst and a journalist myself, it’s quite thoughtful and appreciated for a profession like journalism that is generally assumed one of the dangerous professions out there.

ProtonVPN-app

Since its inception, ProtonVPN has expanded its server coverage to over 1500 servers in 61 countries, with better speed and connectivity. Let’s dig deeper with our ProtonVPN review analysis and learn about its pros and cons.

ProtonVPN Pros

ProtonVPN Cons

Secure server network Below-average speed
Additional security features (Ad-block, Tor over VPN) A bit expensive compared to competitors
Strict no-log policy Complicated email support system
User-friendly VPN clients
Leaks protected
Great at unblocking

ProtonVPN Server Locations

ProtonVPN has around 1500+ servers across 61 countries, with 3 servers located in Canada. However, free plan users have only access to 24 servers in 3 countries.

Let’s compare to the industry’s leading VPN providers such as NordVPN. The provider offers the maximum number of servers (5500 and counting), while CyberGhost offers 6900+ servers in 90+ regions. Keeping this in mind, ProtonVPN falls short in its server coverage.

ProtonVPN-servers

What is Secure Core on ProtonVPN?

The ProtonVPN plus plan also includes access to multi-hop Secure Core servers (94 servers). These servers are located in countries with robust privacy laws, and it claims to have ownership directly.

ProtonVPN-Secure-Core

So, when you connect to its Secure Core servers, your VPN connection hops twice, one through the Secure Core server and then to the VPN server you’ve selected. Pros? Your data remains safe even if one of the servers gets compromised.

It’s quite similar to Tor, but Tor is much more complex, with plenty of hops in between you and your destination. Any cons? You might experience speed loss since your traffic will be routed through two servers.

Security, Privacy, and Encryption

Security is the most important aspect of any VPN service. A VPN without security is like a human body without a soul – it serves no purpose. Let’s see what ProtonVPN has got for us:

Does ProtonVPN log activity?

No, it does not, at least, what they have been told in their privacy report. This means that even if they are served with a subpoena, the company will have nothing on you to hand over.

ProtonVPN-no-log-policy

It clearly states on their website that “we do not store, collect, or track any information about your connection logs, IP addresses, session lengths, or location.”

However, the only thing it records is your session data, the last time you tried to log in, and any suspicious logins to prevent force sign-ins against your password. Other than that, it also keeps a record of your following personal data:

  • Payment information
  • Support requests or bug reports
  • Email address

ProtonVPN claims to remove all this data when you delete your account, but until then, the company has your personal data stored in its encrypted servers.

Does ProtonVPN have a Kill Switch?

Yes, ProtonVPN has a Kill Switch on its apps for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux devices.

ProtonVPN-kill-Switch

Wait, a Kill Switch? Is it supposed to harm anyone?

Well, the only thing this switch kills is your internet activity when it suspects a connection drop. Okay, why is it important again?

Using a kill switch, otherwise known as the network lock feature, will protect your data from getting exposed during connection drop. Consider it a digital backup plan.

For example, let’s say you’re downloading a huge torrent file. Obviously, it’s going to take some hours, so when the VPN disconnects for even a millisecond, your ISP will not be able to see what you’re doing. You will be safe (literally! In this case, especially).

What is Split Tunneling in ProtonVPN?

Split Tunneling is a feature that splits your device’s traffic into two tunnels; one is VPN encrypted, and the other goes through your regular network. With this feature, you can watch Netflix in your home country and simultaneously surf the web with your VPN connection. More specifically, it is great for enhancing your internet speed.

ProtonVPN-Split-Tunneling

ProtonVPN offers Split Tunneling for Windows and Android users. iOS users cannot benefit from this feature since Apple software doesn’t support this facility.

Does ProtonVPN have an adblocker?

Yes, ProtonVPN has an adblocker, which they call ProtonVPN’s NetShield. This ad-block is designed to:

  • Block privacy-invading ads
  • Prevent malware from infecting your device
  • Stop trackers from monitoring your browsing

When I tested this feature, it worked great at blocking sites and most ads, but YouTube advertisements still come through.

ProtonVPN-NetShield

What Protocol does ProtonVPN use?

ProtonVPN uses some of the most secure VPN protocols like OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) and IKEv2. The protocols are available on Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows apps. However, the macOS app is limited to only IKEv2.

ProtonVPN-Protocols

Just recently, ProtonVPN announced full support for WireGuard. This new cutting-edge VPN protocol deems to be much safer and faster than the existing ones. However, the protocol is still in the experimental stage. Therefore, it requires using it with another protocol to minimize its shortfalls.

Does ProtonVPN have DNS leaks?

ProtonVPN claims to have built their entire apps DNS-leak protected. But we’re going to test ourselves to see how effective their protection is.

ProtonVPN-apps-DNS-leak protection

As you can see above, my IP indicates that I am from France, but actually, I am testing it in Canada. Since that’s not my actual IP address, and I was nowhere near France at that time, our test proved that ProtonVPN is indeed DNS leak protected.

Does ProtonVPN have a WebRTC Leak?

We tested ProtonVPN for WebRTC leaks, and the test came out negative, meaning it did not leak my IP or any other information. Running a WebRTC leak test is important if you plan to use your VPN with web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Opera.

ProtonVPN-WebRTC-leak-Test

WebRTC, also known as Real-Time Communication, is a bundle of technologies enabling web browsers to communicate with each other directly without any intermediary. This feature makes for faster speed during video calls, live streaming, and file transfers.

However, it needs to know your IP addresses to establish communication between two devices. So, in theory, a website or app could use WebRTC to detect your actual public IP address. That’s why it is recommended to only go for the VPNs that provide full protection against WebRTC leaks.

Streaming – Does ProtonVPN work with Netflix?

Yes, ProtonVPN works with Netflix, but only if you use its Plus version. Unfortunately, Free and Basic subscription packages don’t offer access to Plus servers, and your internet speed will not be fast enough to allow for streaming services like Netflix.  If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming Netflix, consider subscribing to one of the best VPN for Netflix.

ProtonVPN-Netflix-unblocking

Does ProtonVPN allow BitTorrent?

Yes! With ProtonVPN, you will be able to download P2P files with either a Basic or Plus subscription package. However, we recommend you go for a Plus subscription for fast torrenting as it offers a better torrent experience than the free package. If none of these work for you, have a look at our best VPN for torrenting list.

ProtonVPN Speed Test

Based on our testing, ProtonVPN has a pretty decent speed. We could easily download files and stream videos in HD quality with its Plus version. However, its speed is nowhere close to ExpressVPN, which is faster and more efficient than ProtonVPN. Have a look at its speed results:

Server location Download speed Upload speed Pings
Australia 81.42 Mbps 92.34 Mbps 180 ms
Canada 39.5 Mbps 92.75 Mbps 261 ms
France 60.17 Mbps 28.25 Mbps 366 ms
India 74.59 Mbps 47 Mbps 219 ms
Israel 43.42 Mbps 84.92 Mbps 169 ms
Russia 61.34 Mbps 30.75 Mbps 180 ms
South Africa 69.84 Mbps 96.42 Mbps 293 ms
UAE 87.09 Mbps 94.09 Mbps 50 ms
USA 75.59 Mbps 89.59 Mbps 233 ms

ProtonVPN’s speed varies depending on the subscription plan you signed up for. Of course, Basic will be faster than Free, and Plus will be faster than the other two. We used the Plus package to test the speed rates.

Keep in mind your internet speed will inevitably drop when your traffic routes through the intermediary server. Obviously, advanced encryption and high security come at a price.

Is ProtonVPN good for Games?

Yes. ProtonVPN showed a low ping and latency rate during our testing. This means ProtonVPN could make the best VPN services for gaming.

Technically speaking, any amount below a ping of 10 ms is considered exceptional and ‘low ping.’ This is the ideal ping rate for playing heaving titles like Call of Duty.

However, this rate might differ from one server to another. It’s better to check with ProtonVPN’s customer support and inquire about which of their servers work best for gaming.

ProtonVPN Device Compatibility

ProtonVPN has a dedicated app for all major OS devices, including:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • iOS
  • Android

Unfortunately, it does not have apps for Smart TVs, routers, and gaming consoles, meaning you will have to set up your VPN manually on these devices.

Does ProtonVPN work on Android?

Yes, ProtonVPN has a dedicated application for Android devices. We tested its Android app, and we must say we’re quite impressed. Colors, designs, icons, and navigation are perfect for users of any age.

The Android ProtonVPN app looks quite similar to its Windows app, with the same map graphics, country list, and Profile system.

ProtonVPN-Android-app-interface

The setting menu has almost similar options and controls: you can turn on and off the kill switch, set up split tunneling, enable the malware-blocking NetShield, and more.

However, the app doesn’t allow you to enable setting up a custom DNS server, as it does on its desktop client. Please note that the ProtonVPN app requires Android 6.0 and above. You may also check which are the top VPNs to use with Android devices.

Is ProtonVPN available for iOS?

Yes. You can download ProtonVPN on your iOS devices. iOS app looks a bit more stylish, with neat graphics and colorful flags as markers on the map than the Android app. The app contains the same basic options and settings: OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 protocols, NetShield ad and malware protection; DNS leak protection; split tunneling, and even the facility to change your MTU.

ProtonVPN-iOS-app

Does ProtonVPN have a browser extension?

Yes, ProtonVPN browser extension is available for all major web browsers, including Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more. However, its extensions have limited features than its full-fledged app. You need to install its Windows app first to make its extension work on the ProtonVPN Chrome extension.

What does ProtonVPN cost?

ProtonVPN offers three different subscription packages and one free trial. Starting at $5 per month, ProtonVPN is one of the affordable VPNs we’ve reviewed. Here are the details of its packages and pricing:

Subscription Options Basic Plus Visionary
Monthly plan $5 $7.49 $30
One year plan cost $48 $71.88 $288
The monthly cost of a one-year plan $4 $5.99 $24
Two-year plan cost $79 $119.76 $241
The monthly cost of a two-year plan $3.29 $4.49 $19.96

Since ProtonVPN’s motto is to provide a secure and private internet experience to everyone, its VPN services should be economical enough to meet that goal.

ProtonVPN Free trial offers a bare-bone VPN experience with only basic features. One level up from Free and the basic package gives you access to more servers in different countries.

And then there is a Plus package, which offers faster speeds and access to high-security features. The visionary plan offers the same perks as the Plus package, with the addition of the ProtonMail Visionary account, so it’s a VPN encrypted mail and ProtonVPN accounts.

Here’s the list of features you get with a particular ProtonVPN pricing package:

Features Free Basic Plus Visionary
Number of server locations 3 55 55 55
Server access Free servers only Free and Basic servers All servers All servers
Total number of servers 23 400 1,418 1,418
Access to P2P servers No Yes Yes Yes
Access to Secure Core servers No No Yes Yes
Tor servers No No Yes Yes
Streaming No No Yes Yes
Number of devices 1 2 10 10
Speed priority Medium speed High speed Highest speed (up to 10 Gbps) Highest speed (up to 10 Gbps)

ProtonVPN Customer Support

ProtonVPN offers articles, guides, and email-based customer support. They have a lot of detailed articles and guides, but these aren’t organized or communicated helpfully. We had to scroll all the way through the last page to find speed information; information is clustered and confusing.

ProtonVPN-customer-support

You can contact ProtonVPN customer support through an online ticket system in case of any technical issue. Honestly, we didn’t like this system as it takes ages to resolve one problem. From a technical aspect, live chat or telephone support will be more suitable.

FAQs – ProtonVPN Review

ProtonVPN allows up to 10 devices on its Plus Plan. However, you can connect only one device at a time on ProtonVPN free plan.

No, ProtonVPN does not work in China. The Chinese government is restricting access to ProtonVPN as part of a larger crackdown on internet freedom. So, if you’re residing in China or visiting the country for some reason, you won’t be able to use ProtonVPN within Chinese jurisdiction.

No, ProtonVPN is not a virus. It is a legitimate VPN service with headquarters in Switzerland, providing utmost online security and privacy to its users. However, ProtonVPN was subjected to an online fishing scam where cybercriminals abused its brand image to spread malware.

In November 2019, cybercriminals registered the domain ProtonVPN[.]store, so whoever visited the counterfeit website downloaded what they believed to be the legitimate installer for ProtonVPN. Therefore, it is advised to click only on legitimate sources and not on ads, especially for the products we install on our computers.


ProtonVPN offers a free trial to its users. Its free version includes access to 23 servers in 3 countries, 1 VPN connection, medium speed, strict no-logs policy, access to blocked content, and unlimited bandwidth. We don’t usually recommend free VPNs (Except the best free VPNs, of course), so it’s nice having a free trial from a reliable company that won’t profit from our private data.

Alternatives to ProtonVPN

ExpressVPN – the best and top recommended VPN for online security, privacy, and freedom! ExpressVPN offers access to 3000+ servers in 90+ countries worldwide with fast speed and connectivity. Speaking of speed, it’s the fastest VPN we’ve ever tested, recording an average download speed of 85.6 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.

With ExpressVPN’s fast and consistent speed, you can get around even the most stubborn geofences on streaming sites like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. This allows you to stream geo-restricted content from wherever you are.

ExpressVPN uses military-grade encryption protocol, AES-256-bit, and Kill Switch to ensure maximum security of its users. Its subscription package is available for $6.67/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get further technical details about ExpressVPN in this review blog.

Final Verdict – do I recommend ProtonVPN Canada?

Yes! “a decent VPN service with a generous free package” with this comment, we will wrap up our ProtonVPN review. ProtonVPN passes every test, including DNS, WebRTC, speed, and unblocking. It also works great with Netflix and has a pretty low ping rate for online gaming. Its well-designed apps are now open source and independently audited with the availability of top-notch VPN protocol WireGuard.

However, ProtonVPN does have some drawbacks; it simply does not perform on the level as the industry’s leading VPN services like ExpressVPN.  Server speeds can be hit or miss, depending on the proximity of your selected servers and other factors.

Nonetheless, ProtonVPN remains a decent choice, with impressive online security from a reputable company. So, if you think it’s cut out for you, it doesn’t hurt to give a test drive. And if it doesn’t float your board, check out the alternatives to ProtonVPN above.

We will give ProtonVPN an overall rating of 4/5.