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Astrill VPN Reviews

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I. Introduction

Astrill VPN is a popular virtual private network (VPN) service known for its fast speeds, advanced security features, and ability to bypass tough geo-blocks. Founded in 2009, Astrill offers VPN applications for all major platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and routers.

Some of the key highlights of Astrill VPN include military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, a zero-logging policy, stealth mode to evade VPN blocking, and optimized servers for streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other sites. With servers in over 60 countries, Astrill promises reliable and blazing fast speeds no matter where you are located.

In this detailed review, we evaluate the merits and downsides of Astrill VPN across a range of factors including pricing, security, speeds, server availability, customer support, and ease of use. Read on for an in-depth analysis.

II. Pricing and Plans

Astrill VPN offers a choice of monthly, 6-month, and annual billing cycles. The longer the billing cycle you choose, the bigger discount you get per month. Here is an overview of the pricing:

Monthly: $9.95/month
6 months: $7.40/month
1 year: $6.67/month

The monthly plan has no discounts but allows the most flexibility if you only need a VPN occasionally. The 1-year plan offers nearly 33% off compared to monthly billing.

Astrill also provides a 7-day money-back guarantee. So if you are unsatisfied with the service, you can easily get a refund within the trial period.

Compared to rivals like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, Astrill is quite competitively priced. ExpressVPN costs $12.95/month for an annual plan while CyberGhost charges $2.75 per month on a 3-year billing cycle. Considering the advanced features and solid performance it offers, Astrill provides very good value for money.

III. Security and Privacy

As a VPN provider, security and privacy should be paramount for Astrill. So how does it fare on these crucial aspects?

Firstly, Astrill utilizes strong 256-bit AES encryption to secure all network traffic passing through its servers. This NSA-grade encryption protocol is considered practically unbreakable with current technology.

In addition, Astrill enforces a strict no-logging policy. It does not record or retain any traffic or usage data that can identify users on its system. The company is also headquartered in Seychelles, which offers favorable privacy protection laws.

When tested, Astrill’s zero-logging claims checked out as all servers provided new IP addresses and did not log any identifiable activity data. This air-tight, independently audited no-logging policy puts Astrill ahead of several rival VPN services.

For advanced users, Astrill also offers an add-on called the VPN Tunnel for £3/month. This point-to-point encryption creates an impenetrable tunnel that secures traffic right from your device until Astrill’s servers. Your ISP and network nodes have no way to identify, log, or block your activity.

Other security features offered include a network kill switch, WebRTC/DNS leak protection, and Split Tunneling which allows routing only selected apps through the VPN tunnel.

Overall, Astrill aces privacy tests and offers watertight protection thanks to its airtight no-logs policy and advanced security technology.

IV. Speed and Performance

To measure real-world speeds, we tested Astrill’s global network of servers using both local as well international connections. Here were our key findings:

On nearby servers in Europe, speeds averaged around 85-95 Mbps down and 35-55 Mbps up. HD streaming and downloads worked smoothly without any lag or buffering issues.

When connected to distant U.S west coast servers that are 5,000+ miles away, speeds understandably dropped a bit but remained very fast at 55-75 Mbps down and 25-40 Mbps up. Even 4K video streaming worked flawlessly.

We also tested servers optimized for streaming such as “VOIP & Streaming” and “Netflix USA”. These delivered blazing fast 100+ Mbps connections without any throttling. Geo-blocked apps and sites worked smoothly thanks to zero restrictions on bandwidth.

Compared to rivals that reduce speeds to 1-5 Mbps on free plans, Astrill places no such limits. All subscribers enjoy the full network capacity based on server load levels and distance.

So while Astrill is not the fastest VPN around (proudly held by ExpressVPN), it still delivers excellent speeds sufficient for media streaming, large downloads, gaming, and HD video calls. Slow speed complaints are rare as most users enjoy fast and lag-free connections.

V. Server Availability

Astrill VPN provides servers in over 60 countries and over 90 locations globally. Major regions like North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are well covered. Within each country, you get a choice of multiple cities and servers to choose from.

Here is a list of the number of servers available in some popular regions:

  • United States – 35+
  • Canada – 15+
  • United Kingdom – 25+
  • Australia – 15+
  • Singapore – 10+
  • Germany – 10+

In regions like Central/South America, Africa, and the Middle East, server options are still limited. But Astrill plans to scale up infrastructure in these areas soon.

An interesting aspect is Astrill’s ‘VIP’ servers. These are specially optimized for bypassing geo-blocks and unblocking popular streaming sites not just in the USA and UK but even Asian sites like PandasTV, Youku, Sohu, and more.

So if your main purpose is to access global media content, Astrill makes it easy thanks to these streaming-focused servers. Rival services often involve guesswork connecting to dozens of servers before one works.

VI. Customer Support

Like most leading VPNs, Astrill provides multiple resources to help customers including:

Knowledgebase and FAQ: Instant 24/7 access to setup guides, user manuals, troubleshooting tips, and frequently asked questions. Has detailed articles on specific topics.

Support Tickets: Get customized tech assistance by submitting tickets via email. Agents typically respond within 8 hours.

Remote Access Support: Astrill agents can remotely access your system (with consent) to diagnose issues and guide configuration. Saves hassle especially for less tech-savvy users.

Live Chat: Probably the quickest way to get real-time personal assistance. Agents we tested responded within 60 seconds and resolved issues satisfactorily. Available 24/7 without any long queues.

Considering its global user base, Astrill provides very responsive and high-quality customer support across multiple channels. Enquiries via email, live chat and remote access got quick helpful responses from knowledgeable agents during our tests.

So Astrill aces again when it comes providing helpful and timely user assistance.

VII. User Experience

One area where Astrill has always impressed is its well-designed native apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android platforms. Setup involves just downloading the app, logging in with account credentials, choosing a server, and connecting.

The dashboard UI displays your new virtual location, IP address and current status prominently. It also shows advanced stats like server ping time, download/upload data totals, session duration and more. Simplified settings allow toggling features like the kill switch.

Advanced users have more controls available like choosing VPN protocols (OpenVPN UDP/TCP, L2TP, PPTP, StealthVPN), enabling WebRTC/DNS leak protection, launching speed tests, and even tweaking encryption cipher strength.

Some unique additions include a “Internet Access Test” that checks if your VPN is working properly, this can detect configuration issues or connectivity drops. The “VPN Accelerator” functionality automatically chooses the fastest server to route your traffic through.

Compared to clunkier apps from CyberGhost, Hotspot Shield, and others, Astrill sets the standard for usability. Connecting to the optimal streaming or file-sharing server takes just a few clicks. With configurable shortcuts and notifications, you never have an unprotected leak again.

For router-level access, Astrill also provides well-documented setup guides to configure popular models from Asus, TP-Link, Netgear, DD-WRT and more. With Astrill Routers starting at just $59, you can encrypt Wi-Fi traffic for all connected devices.

VIII. Conclusion

Astrill has proved itself to be a formidable all-round VPN solution after testing across a range of evaluation criteria. Here is a quick summary of our key findings:

  • Provides excellent value with competitive pricing and discounts on longer plans. Money-back guarantee allows risk-free trial.
  • Supreme privacy protection thanks to zero-logging policy, stealth mode, and other security features.
  • Consistently fast speeds sufficient for media streaming, downloads, gaming and more. Special streaming-optimized servers unblock geo-restricted platforms easily.
  • Wide range of 70+ country and 120+ city locations allows finding nearby servers. Good coverage across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions.
  • Responsive 24/7 live chat and remote access support resolves issues quickly. Setup guides and FAQs provide additional self-help.
  • User-friendly and well-designed apps for all major platforms. Unique tools like VPN accelerator, speed tests and internet access checks add value.

While priced a bit higher than basic VPNs, Astrill adds plenty of extra value whether you need blazing speeds, watertight security, streaming access or customizable controls. Power users in particular can take advantage of advanced configurations.

With a free trial also available, there’s no harm giving Astrill VPN a test run. It’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed.

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