Astrill VPN Review

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Oct 22, 2020
8.5
/10
Editor's Rating
Page Contents

We’ve reviewed all of the most popular VPNs to see how they work in terms of speed and security, and now, we’re testing out Astrill VPN, a lesser-known option that just might spark our interest. In this review, we’ll go over our entire testing process, breaking it down into pros and cons so you can decide whether Astrill VPN is the right choice for you. We have a ton to go over, and there’s no time better than the present to get started.

Pros and Cons

We’re spelling it out for you in terms of pros and cons, what we liked about Astrill VPN and what can use improvement. Let’s start with the positives.

Pros

Everything has its roses and thorns, including Astrill VPN. Here are the roses.

  • Five Eyes non-member: Since Astrill VPN is based in the Seychelles Islands, the company won’t ever have to hand over our personal data to the government, as these islands aren’t part of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes or 14 Eyes surveillance alliances.
  • Kill switch: Even if Astrill VPN got disconnected somehow, automatically, it would shut down all of our web activity, closing our browsers so that we stay private, a solid Plan B.
  • Some Netflix access: Netflix and VPNs are like oil and water, but some of Astrill VPN’s servers worked with Netflix; you’ll have to try this out on a case-by-case basis, as Netflix tries to block as many VPN servers as it can.1
  • Encryption standards: To encrypt our web traffic and IP addresses, Astrill VPN uses OpenWeb, StealthVPN and Wireguard, solid encryption methods indeed.
  • Multi-hop: On top of that, they encrypted all of our data multiple times through a number of servers, and when it comes to encryption, we say the more, the merrier.
  • Dedicated IP address option: When we connected to Astrill VPN, we got a new IP address, replacing our devices’ private IP addresses. Since they were shared with other Astrill VPN-users, we didn’t have to worry about being tracked online, but wait: some email providers, and other websites, don’t like these shared IP addresses, so we liked that Astrill VPN offered us a dedicated IP address if we pleased. For more information, check out our page on Astrill VPN’s costs.
  • Fast download and upload speeds: We didn’t see huge decreases in speed when we tested out Astrill VPN on our Windows Acer Aspire 5 or our 2011 Macbook Pro, although we did see some pretty large increases in latency, which we’ll go over below.
Astrill VPN for Mac
Astrill VPN for Mac
2011 Macbook ProAcer Aspire 5 (Windows 10)
Ping without VPN (in ms)404
Ping with VPN (in ms)162196
Ping Difference (avg-32%)305%4800%
Macbook Download Speed without VPN (in mbps)6824.19
Download Speed with VPN (in mbps)5921.14
Download Difference13.00%13%
Upload Speed without VPN (in mbps)5422.32
Upload Speed with VPN (in mbps)477.08
Upload Difference13%-68%
  • Decent prices with annual plan: If we signed up for a year of Astrill VPN, the pricing would be pretty affordable at $120 total, which amounts to $10 a month. That being said, Astrill VPN isn’t one of the best cheap VPNs when it comes to their one or six month subscriptions, but again, we’ll get to that. Here, we’re staying 100 percent positive!
Term LengthOne MonthSix MonthsOne Year
Cost Per Month$20$15$10
Total Amount Billed$20$90$120
Yearly Savingsn/a$30$120

FYI: Need a VPN for your business? Astrill VPN has options for businesses ranging from $8 to $9 per account per month for 10 to 200 accounts.

  • Unlimited devices per subscription: Although we could only connect five devices to Astrill VPN at the exact same time, overall, we could connect as many devices as we want, which isn’t always the case; many VPNs only let us connect a finite amount of devices total.
Astrill VPN
Astrill VPN

Tip: Astrill VPN works with routers, so in order to get all of your web traffic hidden on all of your devices, it’s easier to just set up the VPN with the router that your devices are connected to. One and done!

  • Unlimited server switches: We can’t be bogged down with limits on how many servers we can go on, which is why we were glad to see that Astrill VPN let us switch to as many different servers as our little hearts desired. From the U.S to Canada and back, we enjoyed watching Netflix on other countries’ servers, so long as our IP addresses weren’t blocked, that is. Who knew that Canada had so much programming we didn’t know about?
  • Solid iOS and Android apps: The Astrill VPN app has a 4.2 on the Apple store and a 3.9 on the Google Play store. Even better, both apps came with unique subscriptions. The iOS plan would’ve connected one device to their VPN for either $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, lower than their Standard plan subscriptions, while the Android app was completely free for one device, although servers were limited. That may put Astrill VPN up there with the best VPNs for Android!

Note: With both the iOS and Android-specific subscriptions, you won’t be able to select your favorite protocols, unlike with their standard plans in which you can choose from OpenWeb, OpenVPN, StealthVPN, LSTP, SSTP, and IPSec.

  • Free trial: Testing out so many VPNs, we don’t like to sign up for long-term contracts, when we can avoid it, and free trials are even better. Although we ended up signing up for a month and more, we loved that we could try out Astrill VPN for free for a week without even having to put in our credit card. Typically, about 15 percent of users of a free trial that doesn’t require a credit card end up signing up for a service compared to 50 that do require credit cards,2 so we feel good that Astrill VPN isn’t trying to trick us into paying for a service we didn’t know we signed up for.
  • Split tunneling: Sometimes, we don’t want to encrypt all of our web traffic, especially since using a VPN always slows down our browsing speeds. When we wanted to encrypt our email browser but use a public network on some innocent Buzzfeed pursuing, we routed the email through Astrill VPN’s server, but kept Buzzfeed public to lower our bandwidth. Easy as pie!
  • No DNS or WebRTC leaks: When we tested out Astrill VPN for DNS or WebRTC leaks, which essentially translates to whether or not it showed our Internet Service Provider our domain names, or websites visited, or private IP addresses, we found no leaks on either Mac or Windows, keeping our web activity safe and sound.
  • Torrenting: When Netflix didn’t cut it, we turned to torrenting, keeping Astrill VPN connected so that our downloads could remain for our eyes only.
Cons

Mary Sunshine has left the building. Bring on Negative Nancy!

  • Expensive month or six-month plans: For those that don’t want to commit to a year, Astrill VPN is one of the more expensive options around, costing $20 a month or $15 a month with the six-month plan, a one-time payment of $90. Typically, we see $10 a month as an average, so Astrill VPN is certainly over-priced, much to our dismay.
  • Logging policy: We had a huge problem with Astrill VPN’s privacy policy. Although they didn’t keep track of the actual websites we visited while connected, which would’ve defeated the purpose of the VPN in the first place, they did keep a bunch of our information, such as our:
    • Connection times
    • IP address
    • Device type
    • App version.

Although this information was deleted after our VPN session was over, logging our private IP addresses is a big no-no in our book, so Astrill VPN is clearly not one of the best VPNs in terms of privacy.

  • Latency: Although the download and upload speeds didn’t change much when we connected to Astrill VPN, the same couldn’t be said for latency, also called ping. On our Mac, we saw latency increase by over 300 percent, while it increased by a gigantic 4,800 percent on Windows. It’s safe to say that Astrill VPN is also not one of the best VPNs for gamers, as latency is their Achilles heel.
  • Only five simultaneous connections: We could only connect five devices to Astrill VPN at the same time, which may not be enough for some people, as the average household has 11 connected devices,3 this may not be enough for the whole family.
  • No browser extensions: Although Astrill VPN has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Androids and even routers, there are no browser extensions, so you’ll always have to download an app, which will take up more space on your device.

Recap

Overall, Astrill VPN can be a decent VPN choice, but it really depends on what you’re looking for. Confused? We’ll break it down for you as neatly as possible.

Get Astrill VPN if you’d like…
  • Annual subscription: If you sign up for a year with Astrill VPN, you’ll pay only $10 a month or $120 a year, which is reasonable.
  • Netflix and torrenting: Although they can’t guarantee that Netflix will work on all of Astrill VPN’s servers, it’s a good option for someone that wants to stream entertainment.
  • Split tunneling: Lower bandwidth and access public and private networks simultaneously; it’s a win-win!
But don’t get Astrill VPN if you wanted…
  • No logging of IP address: Although they’re deleted at the end of the VPN session, some people want their private IP address to remain private forever.
  • Little latency: Although many factors affect latency, Astrill VPN is not a good option for gamers or anyone that wants to avoid latency.
  • Cheap monthly prices: If you don’t sign up for a year, you’ll pay either $15 or $20 a month for Astrill VPN, some of the highest prices on the VPN market today.

If Astrill VPN doesn’t seem like the choice for you, check out some of our other top picks in our NordVPN review or CyberGhost review. There is more than one way to skin a cat, after all!

Citations
  1. Netflix. (2020). Watching TV shows and movies through a VPN.
    help.netflix.com/en/node/114701

  2. SlideShare. (2012). 2012 SaaS Conversions Benchmark.
    slideshare.net/totango/2012-saa-s-conversions-benchmark

  3. Deloitte. (2020). Build it and they will embrace it: Consumers are preparing for 5G connectivity in the home and on the go.
    deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/6457_Mobile-trends-survey/DI_Build-it-and-they-will-embrace-it.pdf