Astrill VPN: Is it truly a shining star?
Astrill VPN was founded in the year 2009, and since its inception in the beautiful islands of Seychelles, it has turned out to be one of the top VPN service providers in the industry.
This VPN service provider has plenty of positives to be talked about, so let us discuss whether it is worth the investment.
Is My Privacy Protected with Astrill VPN?
Astrill VPN follows a strict no-logging policy, which talks a lot about the reputation and the quality of service offered by them. They state, “Our system keeps track of active sessions - connection time, IP address, device type and Astrill VPN application version during the duration of your VPN session. Once you disconnect from VPN this information is removed permanently from our system. This information is solely used to limit the number of devices connecting from single account simultaneously. You can check all active sessions from member zone and you can erase them at any time.”
As you can see, the company offers full control to its subscribers to check and erase their session logs when they want. Traffic logs are maintained, but the company states, “we keep last 20 connection records which include: connection time, connection duration, country, device type and Astrill client application version number. This information is only used by our customer support to identify potential issues with VPN connection and provide adequate support. This information contains no personally identifiable information. This information is automatically removed in case of no activity in past 30 days.”
Personal details such as name, email address and, based on the payment method chosen, even the address and contact number might be required. Astrill website visitors are tracked only for internal performance audit reasons. Payment is processed via third party providers and similarly, web analytics is also done using 3rd party software and tools. The personal information collected is not sold or traded to any 3rd party. An automatic kill switch feature is offered by Astrill. Hence, privacy wise, the company ticks all the boxes.
How Much is Astrill VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
- Monthly - $15.90/month.
- Half-yearly - Users have to pay $69.90 for 6 months period, which relates to $11.65/month.
- Yearly - One-time fee of $99.90 for the whole year had to be paid, which comes to around $8.33/month.
From the plans, it is quite clear that pricing is a bit on the higher end. As with most of the VPN pricing models, even here, long-term plans come at attractive discounts. Half yearly plans are cheap by more than 25%, whereas yearly plans are cheaper by almost 50%. Feature specifications remain the same across all 3 subscription plans. There are exclusive add-ons, such as Private IPs, VIP and an Astrill VPN router. Each of these are offered at a price of $5/month, $10/month and a base price of $50 respectively.
PayPal, Credit/Debit cards, Bitcoins, etc. are accepted. A 7-day free trial is on offer, but we are not sure whether it is offered to users of all countries. This 7-day free trial is what turns out to be the money-back guarantee offer as well.
Astrill VPN Speed Test
Astrill VPN has one of the widest server connectivity ranges of all the VPN companies on the market. It has 342 servers spread across 52 countries, and this particular number is only going to increase with time. VPN companies that focus on increasing their server presence do not tend to give importance to the connection speeds, but Astrill VPN is quite the contrary.
Multiple speed tests were conducted on different servers. In general, European servers gave an average download speed rating of around 70Mbps and upload speeds were 54Mbps. US servers had a download speed of 79Mbps and an upload speed of 19Mbps. Considering this level of performance, subscribers will not have any problem streaming videos, movies, TV, torrenting, P2P sharing etc. We experienced only a slight dip in performance at rare instances. Apart from that, the speeds were excellent.
How is Customer Service at Astrill VPN?
When it comes to customer support, Astrill VPN has all the support platforms on offer. There is a 24/7 live chat support, which can be used to reach out to the team for solving all those emergency problems you might be facing. We did find an active representative during our time of contact. Contact form support is also on offer as a standard, like most of the VPN companies. Email support with separate email address details for general support, billing, sales and business specific queries is available. Phone support with contact number for US and HK are available on their official website. Phone support is provided only in English.
Apart from this wide array of support platforms, there are FAQs, setup manuals and video tutorials to guide the user in installing the VPN and make use of all the different features on offer. Response times are pretty amazing and you could also expect a professional response from the support staff. As far as customer service is concerned, we could not find any fault with Astrill VPN.
The Astrill VPN website is clean, plain and simple with all the information readily made available across all verticals. You can literally find all the info you need from the main page menus and tabs.
As far as the smartphone app is concerned, the background is plain blue with all the options falling easily in place. The buttons are too big for our liking and looked a bit outdated as well. They have not made any effort to impart any kind of design into their app, but the sheer simplicity makes it an easy tool to handle even for non-technical users. All the VPN options can be selected easily, and the app is quite simple to navigate. You can setup this VPN on all major OS platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and routers.
Now let us have an overview of all the different features offered by Astrill in points:
- 342 servers in 52 countries.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- 5 simultaneous device connections.
- Unlimited server switching.
- 24/7 multiple support platforms.
- Zero logging policy.
- 7-day free trial.
- Bitcoin payment support.
- Unlimited speed.
- Multiple membership plans.
- Strong encryption.
- P2P sharing and torrenting supported.
- VIP add-on.
- Private IPs.
- Astrill router.
- Kill switch.
The VIP add on gives you the opportunity to enjoy high speed connections with high privacy and also have the option of hopping across connections. The feature package is pretty amazing as well, which this leaves us with the discussion of security alone.
Is Astrill VPN Safe?
Astrill VPN implements a 256-bit AES SSL encryption, which is known to deliver excellent security. Windows client users have multiple security options to choose. OpenVPN, OpenWeb and StealthVPN are the 3 different types of encryption protocols offered by the service provider. All of these are equally good and deliver superior performance and security. Cipher options in OpenVPN protocol are endless, so you can play around in order to achieve maximum protection.
Blowfish 128-bit, 192-bit, 256-bit and 512-bit are available. 128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit AES encryption is also available. CAST 128-bit, 192-bit, 256-bit and 512-bit, and Camellia 128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit are the other options you have. All these options are there for users to select based on the level of security they wish to have. IPv6, IPv4, WebRTC, DNS and Password leak test results were good as well. You can test them out even by using a link available on the Astrill website.
At one point of time during our discussion of the Astrill VPN service, we did start to wonder whether this service provider had a weakness or not. But, we have to mention the truth that we were really happy going through their service quality. The only problem we found with them is the pricey membership plans. However, to deliver all these features in the best way, you need a premium service provider like Astrill. Overall, we would highly insist that our readers sign up for Astrill VPN.