Atlas VPN provides an affordable VPN service, including a free version with some limitations. While it positions itself as a premium VPN alternative, its smaller server network and technical inaccuracies on its website may raise questions about its professionalism and competitiveness.
To form a comprehensive assessment,you can conduct thorough tests after reviewing various user opinions, which ranged from highly positive to critical. The evaluations covered aspects such as Atlas VPN’s compatibility with Netflix and BBC iPlayer, its speed, security, and privacy features, aiming to provide a well-rounded perspective on its performance.
Atlas VPN is undoubtedly a strong contender. Even though it doesn’t offer many servers or extra security features like other top premium VPNs, and its Windows app is buggy, it excels in many other areas — especially streaming and speed.
- Offers a free version. Although the free app has some limitations, it’s safe, fast, and easy to use.
- Works with major streaming services.You can access every streaming service you have tested with the premium tier.
- Has excellent speeds. The VPN only reduced the speeds by 6% on nearby servers.
- Keeps no logs. Atlas VPN has a firm no-logs policy and doesn’t share your data with anyone.
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections. You can use the VPN on as many devices as you want.
- A small server network. While there are good premium VPNs with an even smaller network, Atlas VPN needs more coverage in some major countries.
- Problematic Windows app. You may experience frequent bugs and other annoying issues with the Windows app.
2023 Update Features Of Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN: Streaming
You can try streaming-optimized servers in Atlas VPN’s free version, but they only work with HBO Max. You also only get 5GB per month with the free subscription, which might not even last until the end of the movie you’re watching. Still, many free VPNs don’t work with streaming services, so this is still impressive.
Both free US streaming servers (Los Angeles and New York) unblocked HBO Max
On the other hand, when you go for Atlas VPN’s premium servers, you can try them with every streaming platform. The only issue you might encounter is with Netflix Germany, where you couldn’t log in after connecting to Atlas VPN’s German server.
Atlas VPN: Unblocks Streaming Platforms
You can unblock all streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, ESPN+, Peacock, and ITV with Atlas VPN. When you try Netflix, it works, but only on some servers. All the streaming-optimized servers in the US work well and unblock the US library. However, when you try Netflix with the UK servers, it doesn’t show the UK library. Unfortunately, German servers don’t work — you can’t even log in.
You’ll have zero issues unblocking BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, and ITV. The experience is the same with regular and streaming-optimized servers, with no drops in video quality.
I didn’t expect to unblock BBC iPlayer, as it didn’t work in the past
Overall, Atlas VPN is the most admirable choice for streaming. The only concern you might have is that the server network is quite small, with many countries offering only one server location. So, if a server gets blocked, you can’t try a different one in the same country.
Atlas VPN: Impressive Speeds
You’ll find impressive speeds with Atlas VPN, whether you’re using the free or premium servers. We test all our VPNs from the same location to ensure fair results using the same connection. When you try Atlas VPN’s speeds, pay attention to the following:
Download speed: This is the time it takes for information to reach your device. Low download speeds can lead to buffering during streaming or slow file downloads. It’s measured in Megabytes per second (Mbps).
Upload speed: Also measured in Mbps, this refers to the time required for sending data, such as uploading a video or sending an email.
Ping: Crucial for online gaming, ping is measured in milliseconds (ms) and shows how fast a system can respond to an action.
On average, I lost 5% of my speed on nearby servers and 15% on distant ones
Atlas VPN has recently started upgrading its infrastructure with 10Gbps servers, currently available in Amsterdam, Netherlands. However, you’ll hardly notice any speed difference between the regular and 10Gbps servers.
I was impressed that Atlas VPN also maintained fast upload and ping rates
The VPN also offers a Quick Connect feature that automatically connects you to the fastest location. This option usually reduces your download speeds by only 5%. Additionally, there needs to be more speed difference between free and premium servers, which is rare. Many VPNs throttle their free locations or face overcrowding issues that can reduce speeds.
Atlas VPN: Gaming Ability
For gaming, you’ll find Atlas VPN to be a great choice. It offers excellent speeds and ping rates, especially on servers nearby. When you try playing games like CS: GO, you’ll notice no issues while connected to your Quick Connect server. This smooth experience extends to all the European servers.
My ping rate was 14ms, which is very impressive for a distant server
However, it’s worth noting that servers in the US may have much higher ping rates. For example, connecting to a Los Angeles server increased your ping rate from 8ms to 142ms. So, if you stick to local servers, you won’t even notice you have a VPN enabled. But you might face challenges with fast-paced games on servers far away with a ping over 100.
One limitation to remember is that you can only use Atlas VPN on your PC for gaming. It can’t be installed on gaming consoles or routers.
Atlas VPN: Server Network
You’ll find that it’s relatively small when you explore Atlas VPN’s server network. With the free plan, you have access to just 3 servers. However, opting for a premium plan will unlock a network of 750 servers across 38 countries. City-level server locations are available exclusively for the UK and the US. It’s worth noting that there are currently no servers in Africa, although the VPN plans to expand its network soon.
With a premium plan, you gain access to various streaming servers and 10Gbps servers for even faster speeds. Additionally, Atlas VPN provides SafeSwap and MultiHop+ servers. SafeSwap periodically changes your IP address as you browse, enhancing your privacy. Meanwhile, MultiHop+ connects you through multiple VPN servers, adding an extra layer of security to make it even harder to discover your real IP address.
Depending on the location of MultiHop+ servers, this can significantly impact your speeds
One notable aspect is that Atlas VPN doesn’t use virtual servers—all its servers are physically located in their respective countries. However, it’s important to mention that all VPN servers are rented.
For improved security, you might hope that Atlas VPN would own its infrastructure. Still, understandably, this can be challenging for a smaller company. Nevertheless, they might transition to RAM-based servers in the future. These servers erase your data with each reboot, providing an extra layer of privacy.
Atlas VPN: Security Features
You’ll find that Atlas VPN offers good protection when you look at security features. Like most premium VPNs, it encrypts your data using virtually unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption. It also includes a kill switch and DNS/IP leak protection to enhance your security. However, its choice of protocols is limited, with the VPN providing IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard. It’s worth noting that many premium VPNs typically default to OpenVPN, considered one of the safest VPN tunnels.
Opting for a premium subscription gives you access to additional options, such as SafeSwap and MultiHop+ servers and SafeBrowse and Breach Scanner. Split tunneling is available only on Android devices, and Tor over VPN still needs support. So, there’s room for improvement in these areas for Atlas VPN. If these features are important to you, keep in mind that Atlas VPN may need to make some enhancements in this regard.
You can utilize the kill switch feature on Atlas VPN, which is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The purpose of a kill switch is to halt your internet traffic if your VPN connection unexpectedly disconnects, effectively preventing any potential data leaks.
It makes this otherwise solid VPN look unprofessional when several of its descriptions are inaccurate
In the past, there have been complaints about the Atlas VPN kill switch not functioning optimally. However, the company appears to have taken measures to address this issue. During your usage, you should try out the kill switch to ensure it works as expected and provides the level of security you need.
Atlas VPN’s protective feature safeguards you from malware, data brokers, and advertisers. If you encounter a webpage with malware, Atlas VPN promptly blocks it from loading. Moreover, it effectively prevents advertisers from harvesting your personal information and even provides insights into those tracking your online presence.
This valuable feature is accessible across various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It’s important to clarify that despite the app’s description mentioning that it “Stop(s) 3rd-party tracking, ads, and malware,” it functions primarily as a data protection tool, not a complete ad-blocker. Consequently, you may still encounter ads on platforms like YouTube. While it offers significant benefits, you might hope that Atlas VPN considers adding a comprehensive ad-blocker in the future for an even more ad-free online experience.
Atlas VPN’s Breach Scanner notifies you if your email address has appeared in any data breaches. If you’re concerned about spam or potential data compromises, you can try this feature with one of your email accounts. It will show you if your data has been intercepted. Breach Scanner was previously available only on mobile but is now accessible on all platforms. After confirming that it genuinely works, you’ll likely appreciate this feature for the added security and awareness it provides.
Atlas VPN: Privacy
You can also ask to receive a copy of the anonymized data Atlas VPN has stored
The VPN regularly updates its Warrant Canary. This report lets you know if there have been any government requests for your data or data breaches. So far, there have been zero of either, so you still need to see what Atlas would do in that case. However, Nord Security, the company behind NordVPN, recently bought it. NordVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers on the market, so this makes Atlas VPN more trustworthy in your eyes.
Does Atlas VPN Service Keep Logs? No
While it’s possible for others to know you’re using Atlas VPN, they can’t monitor your online activities. If privacy is a top concern, you can enhance it by creating an anonymous email account and using cryptocurrency for payments.
Is Atlas VPN Service Audited? Yes
Atlas VPN has undergone two separate audits to assess its security. The first audit, conducted by VerSprite, specifically examined the iOS app. In contrast, the second audit, performed by MDSec, scrutinized the security of the Windows app. In both instances, the auditors found no significant vulnerabilities that could compromise user privacy.
Furthermore, the Windows app underwent a retest, confirming that all the auditor’s recommendations had been successfully implemented.
Atlas VPN: USA Based
Atlas VPN is headquartered in Delaware, USA, which falls within the jurisdiction of the 5 Eyes Agreement. The 5 Eyes Alliance is an intelligence-sharing pact among Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. Consequently, if Atlas VPN receives a data request from law enforcement or the courts, it must comply, potentially making your data accessible to all five nations.
Fortunately, Atlas VPN maintains a strict policy of retaining only minimal logs and does not store any data related to your internet traffic or browsing history. As a result, any personally identifiable information will not be available for the VPN to disclose.
Does Atlas VPN Service Work in China? Not Guaranteed
You contacted Atlas VPN’s customer support, and they mentioned that the VPN may not currently work in China. However, you can use the IKEv2 protocol while connected to Finland, as suggested by their support staff. The premium version also has servers in Hong Kong that you can use to access Chinese content when you’re outside China.
Many VPN websites are blocked in China, so download your VPN before entering the country
Before using a VPN in China, make sure to understand the local VPN regulations. While many VPNs encounter restrictions due to the Great Firewall, remember that the Chinese government mainly focuses on the technology itself, not individual users.
Atlas VPN: Fast & Secure Torrenting
Atlas VPN’s servers, including the free ones, fully support P2P file-sharing. The VPN delivers excellent speeds, so downloading “Captain Kidd” with Atlas VPN only takes 4 additional minutes compared to your base connection. Your privacy is safeguarded thanks to its strict no-logs policy. While it would be a nice addition if the VPN offered port forwarding to enhance download speeds, it’s already very fast, which you may not consider a flaw.
Lastly, keep in mind that torrenting is legal in most countries, but downloading copyrighted files is not. It’s essential to exercise caution to ensure you never download the wrong file and remember that Atlas VPNs no-logs policy continues to protect your privacy.
Atlas VPN: Installation & Apps
Installing and using Atlas VPN’s free app is a straightforward process, and it closely resembles the premium version in terms of appearance. You can translate the apps into several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish, and Russian.
My internet connection was also blocked during this time, which made troubleshooting frustrating
The mobile interface offers a better user experience, but the desktop app is still decent. However, you might encounter stability issues with the apps. They have been known to crash multiple times on Windows laptops, and there have been complaints about the mobile versions as well. While you may face personal issues with the mobile application, it’s reasonable to have optimism that any existing bugs have been fixed. It’s worth mentioning, though, that although all features are accessible, some of them come with descriptions that may not be entirely precise.
Atlas VPN: Setup & Installation
Installing Atlas VPN is a breeze. When you visit their website, it automatically detects your Windows device. It then redirects you to a landing page featuring download links for the Windows application. On this page, you can either purchase the premium version or acquire the free VPN version.
You can also download Atlas VPN by using the Mac App Store
For Linux users, the setup process differs slightly from other platforms. But don’t worry, it’s a routine procedure. Moreover, on its website, you can easily find the detailed procedure and step-by-step instructions for configuring your Linux device with Atlas VPN. Try it now.
Atlas VPN: Device Compatibility
Atlas VPN is designed to run smoothly on the most widely used operating systems, such as Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Linux. Furthermore, it offers dedicated applications for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV. Regrettably, it does not support router setups, and browser extensions are unavailable, distinguishing it from other premium VPN services.
Atlas VPN: Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux Desktop
When you use the Windows and Mac apps, you’ll notice that there’s almost no difference in functionality between them. Both platforms now offer the SafeBrowse and Breach Scanner features. However, there’s a slight distinction in the Windows app. You can pause your VPN for 5, 15, or 60 minutes or set a custom time of your choice. Both Windows and MacOS users can enjoy the convenience of Auto-Connect and Quick Connect options.
However, you may encounter occasional issues when switching between servers using the Windows application quickly. This can result in connection problems to both the VPN and the internet.
It’s important to note that there’s no split tunneling available for desktops, which is useful, especially considering the 5GB data cap on the free tier. Additionally, it would be helpful if the 10Gbps servers were listed separately, as they can be challenging to locate within the app.
Atlas VPN: Android and iPhone (iOS)
When you use the desktop apps, you’ll find that almost all the options are also available on your phone. This means you have access to a consistent set of features across different devices.You’ll benefit from split tunneling if you’re using Atlas VPN on an Android device. It’s a handy feature that lets you choose which apps should or shouldn’t use the VPN. You can tick off the apps you want to exclude from the VPN protection.
What might surprise you is that there’s a kill switch included for iOS. This is not a common feature among many VPNs for iOS, so it’s a valuable addition. The kill switch helps ensure your online privacy and security, even on Apple devices.
Atlas VPN: Other Devices
You can install Atlas VPN not only on your desktop and mobile devices but also on your Android TV and Amazon Fire TV. While no browser extensions are available, this is not a significant problem because system-wide apps are generally considered more secure than browser extensions.
However, Atlas VPN doesn’t currently support gaming consoles and routers. Unlike some premium VPN providers that allow manual installation for routers, Atlas VPN doesn’t offer this option, which means you can’t protect all devices connected to your home network using the VPN. This is a limitation you should keep in mind.
Atlas VPN: Unlimited Simultaneous Device Connections
Using Atlas VPN, you can enjoy unlimited device connections on free and premium subscriptions. This sets it apart because many free VPNs typically restrict you to just one device. At the same time, premium providers often limit you to five. While the free version has a 5GB data cap, which may need to utilize this feature fully, the premium option offers exceptional value.
Connect up to four devices simultaneously to the same server, like two Windows laptops and two Android phones. The good news is that you can use all your devices as usual and shouldn’t notice any significant speed drops. So, you shouldn’t encounter any issues when using multiple devices concurrently with Atlas VPN.
2023 Updated Prices Of Atlas VPN
When considering Atlas VPN’s pricing, you’ll find various options. Long-term subscriptions offer significant discounts, with the cheapest plan starting at just $1.82 per month, making it one of the most affordable premium VPNs.Payment options are flexible, including credit cards, Google Pay, PayPal, and even cryptocurrency for added privacy.Remember that long-term plan discounts apply only to the initial subscription period. Monthly subscriptions are pricier, but all plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee for risk-free testing.
I immediately received a confirmation email stating my refund had been issued
If you decide to request a refund after using the VPN for three weeks, you can easily do so through live chat support. Agents may ask about any issues you face, provide a quick overview of the VPN’s strengths, and promptly process your refund, typically within a few minutes. The refunded amount should appear in your bank account within 4 days.
Atlas VPN: Reliability & Support
When you require assistance with Atlas VPN, you can choose between two options for contacting their customer support: email or live chat. The VPN’s website asserts that customer support is available round the clock. Still, if you attempt to contact them during the weekend, you may need help reaching them. Typically, you can expect to receive an email confirmation acknowledging your inquiry, and you can anticipate a response within 12 hours.
Having to log in every time just to ask a question was a bit annoying
Once you do get in touch with them, you’ll likely discover that the support agents are courteous, helpful, and well-informed. Furthermore, you’ll find a comprehensive knowledge base on the VPN’s website. There, you’ll have easy access to answers to common questions, troubleshooting guides, and general information about Atlas VPN.
Atlas VPN: The Bottom Line
AtlasVPN excels in several crucial aspects that benefit you. It boasts impressive speeds, effectively works with most streaming services, and offers a decent free version. Plus, it’s secure, prioritizes your privacy, remains user-friendly, and allows you to use it on unlimited devices simultaneously.
However, there are a few downsides to keep in mind. Its server network is relatively small, and live chat support is only sometimes available. Moreover, there have been reported issues with its Windows app. Nevertheless, this VPN has shown a consistent commitment to improvement, and you can hope to see these flaws addressed in the near future.
In summary, while this VPN has significant potential, it may still need to match up to the top contenders like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. However, it does come at a more affordable price point. Furthermore, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it a risk-free option for you to try out.
Frequently Asked Questions (Atlas VPN)-
Is Atlas VPN Secure?
Absolutely, Atlas VPN prioritizes your security. Although it may have fewer security features than premium VPNs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it still offers essential safeguards to ensure your online safety. It strictly adheres to a no-logs policy, employs robust AES 256-bit encryption, and supports the secure WireGuard protocol. The previously reported issue with its kill switch has been resolved, eliminating the risk of data leaks.
Can Atlas VPN Bypass Netflix Restrictions?
Yes, Atlas VPN successfully unlocks Netflix when using its premium servers. However, it’s important to note that the free servers, even those optimized for streaming, cannot bypass Netflix restrictions. Furthermore, Atlas VPN’s server coverage is less extensive, so you may encounter limitations in accessing specific Netflix regions. Nevertheless, it excels in streaming overall, working seamlessly with various streaming platforms. Its impressive speed ensures you can enjoy high-quality movies and shows without buffering.
Will Atlas VPN Impact the Internet Speed?
Yes, there will be a minor reduction in your internet speed when using Atlas VPN. This is a common occurrence with all VPNs to some extent. However, Atlas VPN performed exceptionally well in speed tests and can compete with some of the fastest VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. While speed loss may become more noticeable over long-distance connections, connecting to nearby servers typically resulted in only a 6% reduction in speed.
Is Atlas VPN Available for Free?
Indeed, you can acquire Atlas VPN without any cost, and there’s no need to provide payment information during the signup process. Provide your email address to get started. However, it’s important to be aware of the limitations of the free version compared to the premium offering. The 5GB data cap is the most significant restriction, so prudent usage is essential. Additionally, you’ll have access to only 3 server locations with the free version, and streaming services, except for HBO Max, won’t be accessible.