Astrill VPN review

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

Astrill VPN review: Privacy and logging

The VPN privacy policy is often poorly written, not very informative, with little useful information, but Astrill does much better. The document has been written wisely. Clear headings make it easy to find the areas you need – cookie usage, information collected, how it’s shared – and the headings are simple and without jargon. The ‘Strict policy without logs’ section doesn’t just contain a weak, general ‘we don’t keep logs’ statement, like many competitors. Instead, Astrill takes the time to describe its procedures and what it does.

Astrill VPN review

For example, Astrill says: “Our system tracks active sessions – connection time, IP address, device type and Astrill VPN application version for the duration of your VPN session. Once you disconnect from VPN, this information is permanently deleted from our system.

Astrill retains some information to manage current connections but does not include it for the long term. The document explains that Astrill stores “the last 20 connection records, including connection time, connection duration, country, device type, and Astrill client application version number” to “identify potential VPN connection problems and provide adequate support.” Although this is a persistent log, the company explains that it does not keep IP addresses, so it cannot link these sessions to an Internet action.

So, the good news about logging, but there is another problem. The policy explains that when you sign up, the company not only collects your email and name but “depending on your payment method, we may need your phone number and address. We also confirmed this during previous reviews, when the website asked for a verifiable mobile number before signing up for the trial.

We can understand protecting profiteers from abuse of a trial, but if we only hand over $20 for a month, we don’t expect to be asked for our mobile number and physical address. Astrill then gets a general thumbs up for most of its privacy policy. Still, unlike some of its competitors – TunnelBear, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and others – it hasn’t verified this by running its systems through a privacy or security audit.

Astrill VPN review: Performance

Astrill’s Windows client does not display a warning if the VPN fails, and if you have not enabled the kill switch, you may leave it unprotected without realizing it. However, if you enable the kill switch, our tests show that it works appropriately, blocking Internet access immediately, displaying a warning, and clicking a button to restore access.

As part of this test, we repeatedly drop the VPN and watch the client reconnect. No other VPN provider or client has ever complained about this, but Astrill is different: ‘Error #895: You connect too often’, warned it, severely.

The customer was reconnecting to build a lost connection. Does Astrill have a limit to that? Why does it care? Yes, it was often reconnecting, but we only used one device; if we had five in use, it would usually reconnect in regular use. So what if we did? Sure, when negotiating each new connection, we have to use several server resources, but if Astrill’s monthly rate is 10x higher than Surfshark’s two-year plan, we’ll reconnect as often as we want.

Astrill doesn’t make as much noise about its website unblocking capabilities as it used to, but our tests showed that it’s still a fair player. Okay, it couldn’t get us into BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video, but there was a success with both US Netflix and even Disney+, a platform that beats many other VPNs. Our latest speed tests also started positively, with downloads reaching 66-68Mbps from our fastest local UK server on a 75Mbps test connection.

By moving to a European data center capable of handling 300Mbps, Astrill’s OpenVPN connections managed ‘only’ 110Mbps. Switching to WireGuard gave us everything from 150-275Mbps, but depending on how and when we tested, a reliable performance leaves many competitors in the lurch.

Astrill VPN review: Pricing and plans

Prices have always been high, and they have been up since the last review. Astrill’s one-month plan is an eye-watering $20, pays six months in advance cuts this to $15, and it falls to a still-costly $10 on the annual plan.

In terms of totals, for example, that means you pay $90 to Astrill for the six-month protection privilege. But Private Internet Access charges just $39.95 to cover you for 12 months, and paying only $47.76 to Surfshark makes it possible to protect unlimited devices for two years. It would be best if you didn’t opt for a critical service like a VPN only on price, but Astrill has to work very hard to justify costs like this.

Final words

The WireGuard connections are high-speed, and there’s no doubt that Astrill VPN is filled with high-end and highly configurable features, but there are also some issues, and we’re not sure if it’s worth the very high price. If you are interested, please take the full 7-day trial period before handing over money. If Astrill VPN doesn’t seem to be the choice for you, check out some of our other top favorites in our NordVPN review or CyberGhost review. After all, there is more than one way to skin a cat!

6 Total Score
Our Verdict

It's fast. It is powerful. But it has some usability and other things, and the price - twice the competition, and more - is far too high. Only for nerds with deep pockets (and maybe not even for them.)

PROS
  • Speedy WireGuard connections
  • Extremely configurable
  • Unblocks US Netflix, Disney+
  • Clear privacy policy
CONS
  • Requires mobile phone number on the signup
  • Difficulties connecting to a few servers
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