AirVPN Review

AirVPN is an Italy-based company that’s earned quite a reputation in the VPN industry.


Founded by a group of “activists and hacktivists in defense of net neutrality, privacy and against censorship,” the company’s core values center on dedication to its customers and protection of their privacies. AirVPN has 138 servers across 16 countries, and each server has its own IP. All users on a particular server share the same IP, which makes user identification difficult and ensures maximum privacy and anonymity.


Pricing and Plans

AirVPN is pretty competitive when it comes to pricing. Subscriptions are available for as short as 3 days and as long as a year. A free 3-day trial is supposedly available if you send their support desk a request, but I waited for 24 hours, and never received my voucher.

The three day plan costs $1.14, which is great because if you're like a lot of people, you prefer subscribing to a short-term plan, and on an as-needed basis. A 1-month subscription comes in at a little under $8, which is pricey in comparison to other VPN’s, but it drops down to $5 per month if you commit to a 12-month subscription. All plans come with the same feature set, so there’s no need to buy a premium, long-term subscription in order to access things like OpenVPN and p2p


Features

AirVPN’s website is well organized and easy to navigate. Unlike some VPN’s, I didn’t have to dig through page after page to find the download link, which was a refreshing surprise. The download and installation process was also quite intuitive and took only a few minutes.

Configuring the software was even easier. The user interface is rather simplistic, with sections for monitoring the statistics of servers across different countries, as well as the speed of your network. Other noteworthy features include dynamic server selection, built-in DNS protection, and several other statistics to help you determine the best servers to connect to.

At the top right corner of the AirVPN user interface is a lock icon. When turned on, it indicates that a firewall is enabled, which will prevent any traffic from entering or exiting a computer outside of the VPN tunnel.​

The logs section is updated in real time so you can monitor all the activities going on behind the scenes. These logs are never actually stored, however, and are there just in case you want to monitor activities on your connection.

The feature that I found most desirable was the transparency of AirVPN when it comes to choosing a server. Using the client software, you can access detailed information about any server, including server load, connected users, and pings. This comes in handy for performance junkies like me.


Tests

To gauge the overall performance of AirVPN, I ran a speed test on www.speedtest.net. Here’s the speed of my connection before connecting to AirVPN.

And here’s my speed after connecting to AirVPN. The ping soared after connecting to the VPN, most likely because of my distance from the server. There wasn’t a major decline in speed, however.

I also checked the security of AirVPN and to make sure that a proper, secure connection was established through their IP. The results were positive.

Unfortunately, AirVPN doesn’t handle ipv6 requests well, so it simply disables them to prevent any DNS leaks. It’s hard to complain about this though, since many providers are unable to properly handle DNS requests.


Privacy

AirVPN doesn’t maintain any logs and since the company’s headquarters are based in Italy, it’s a pretty privacy-friendly VPN. They do strictly abide by EU data privacy laws, however. While Italy is a willing partner for NSA spying, AirVPN bypasses this by not having any servers located in the country itself.


Security

They definitely don’t disappoint on the security front. It’s based on OpenVPN protocol, which is the only protocol supported. This doesn’t present too much of a problem though since OpenVPN is now available on all major platforms - except Windows Mobile and BlackBerry.

Air VPN uses an advanced DNS routing system, which helps to bypass geographic-based restrictions by “double-hopping” your connection through their servers. This means you can access any streaming service that imposes geo-restrictions simply by switching to a server based in the same country as wherever the service is located.


Final Thoughts

AirVPN offers top-notch encryption and smart DNS routing for bypassing most forms of geo-restrictions. It offers an excellent feature set that ensures maximum privacy and security, with a high degree of flexibility and control over the connection. The decline in connection speed is easily compensated for by the overall value offered.

4.4

Pros:

  • 3 day free trial
  • Intuitive, straightforward interface and overall user experience
  • Logs are not stored
  • Emphasis on security and privacy
  • Transparent server statuses

Cons:

  • Limited number of server locations
  • Blocks ipv6
  • No prevention against adware and malware