**I fixed the prices – I was doing it monthly, but I went back and re-calculated the price based on an annual purchase :) Much cheaper that way!
A while back, I did a review of Astrill’s VPN service and quite a few of you were interested in learning more about other VPN services!
The internet is a wonderful, beautiful place full of friends, libraries, travelers, and fellow photographers. It is also a dark and scary place full of perverts, hackers, and identity thieves. Personally, I want to be able to access the first group while putting myself at less of a risk of the second group! Wouldn’t you agree? :)
Although I now use a VPN regardless of my current location, I call this post “Life in China” for two reasons.
#1, China is a fascinating country with brilliant computer technicians, it is also a place where lots of people are attaching spyware and viruses onto your computer. Even the schools here tend to hook into your laptops via internet connections in order to monitor your activity and send you ads. To stop these advertisers and watchers from slowing down my computer, annoying me, and sneaking into my bank accounts, I need a consistent, dependable VPN here.
#2, China has had an on-again, off-again relationship with VPNs for good reason. A lot of people try to abuse VPNs as they do with so many other things, and use the programs for hacking, visiting illegal websites, and generally covering up bad behavior. This is why often VPNs end up being blocked from time to time, so that many of them don’t work. Understandable, but who wants to pay money for a product that stops working half-way through?
All of this is to say that I’ve now tried a few VPN programs here and there, and I wanted to keep you updated on my findings.
I had heard about VyprVPN before, since quite a few people at my institution like to use the program instead of Astrill. If any of you have been following my updates and the news, you would know that Astrill has been off and on recently. I’ve had a lot of problems where it doesn’t work on my IPad, and it is frequently stopped working on my computer as well. I have days where it is not operating and right now, about once a day I have to turn it off and re-boot the program. Plus, they recently had to put out a warning that a government in Asia had seized their servers in an investigation. While that doesn’t affect me, a lot of users weren’t happy that they were that vulnerable.
So when I recently was given the opportunity to test out VyprVPN, I thought I’d give it a try. The people I know who use it gave it pretty good references through last year, and now here I’ll give you info on my experiences with it. :)
In interest of comparing this with Astrill, I’ve used the same 2+ people on several devices as my basis for both.
Price: $100/year (billed annually).
Review: There is a basic plan ($80/yr) that has almost all the features (minus: the Firewall, some cloud storage, other protocols), but it only allows for 1 simultaneous connection. Given that my family has two people online most of the time, 1 connection wouldn’t be enough. So I need to get the VyprVpnPro system at $100/yr. It comes with everything I need, and includes 2 simultaneous connections. You would definitely want to buy it annually, the price almost doubles if you do it monthly.
You can start with a 3-day free trial, and cancel it if you don’t like it. I like this process, because it lets me see if it will really work before I hand over that much money.
If you do decide Vypr is for you, go through this link for an extra 50% off your first month :)
Installation: Easy (very)
Review: There were no problems with Installation, it downloaded smoothly and started right up. One small confusing thing is that the website for Vypr is called GoldenFrog, so go to http://www.goldenfrog.com to set up an account. You’ll start by setting up the account and getting your username and password. Then you need to download the program.
Download process is easy, just double click to open the installation program and walk through the steps. Unlike with Astrill, there were no problems with the Proxy Settings on my computer, the instant I downloaded it, it went to work!
Use: Easy (pretty much)
Thankfully, the interface of the program is pretty easy to use. If you have a techno-dummy on your hands, they can use this without too much trouble.
When I turn on my computer, I open the program from my desktop. You can set it up to start automatically if you want. The box will look like this:
If you want to just connect right away, just click the blue connect button. If you want to change locations, click the exclamation mark looking blue button.
The little gear in the top right corner is where you can change the protocols (for example, they have a program Chameleon designed specifically for China!
That’s all there is to it! Just click connect and then close the program when you’re done.
First, let me say that this part may be unfair to Vypr. Many people in my school swear by Vypr; they claim that it is tons better than Astrill and works great for them. At least 2 other people though have had the same problem I have – none of the servers connect on our computers.
The technology is easy to use but works sporadically and is highly unreliable for me – remember others say it works fine in the same building. Their website says that if Vypr is not working with a US connection, try hooking in to Netherlands or Hong Kong. I’ve had a lot of problems with Vypr’s connections in the US, so I tend to rely on the Netherlands or Hong Kong system. However, that is still very sketchy in regards to successful connections. Plus, there are several websites that require that you be connected to the US for them to work, such as Hulu.
So far, on my Apple Products, Vypr is more reliable than Astrill. However, Astrill is more reliable on my Windows Laptop. It’s kind of a toss-up there. I have not attempted either on a Mac, but I would presume that Astrill is less reliable on a Mac as well.
Customer Service: Good
Actually, I haven’t really had a reason to talk to their technical support. I have asked questions of my account manager though, and he was incredibly personable and friendly. Vypr has been very gracious when I speak with them, and I haven’t had any problems on that front!
Conclusion: This service isn’t great on my Windows laptop, I have a hard time getting a connection, even through Hong Kong or Netherlands. On the other hand, it’s been pretty stable on my Ipad, so there’s that. Other users have conflicting experiences. Some swear by it and others say it’s not working much.
The program is expensive, more than some competitors, but if it works on your Mac when other programs don’t that might be worth the cost. I don’t have any problems with turning it on and off, it’s incredibly easy to use. I like that I can change servers as often as I want! I also like that there is a program no matter what device I use. There aren’t any add-ons you have to pay for or consider which is pretty sweet; they just come with the program.
All in all, if I could figure out how to make the connection work more often, I would really like this system. Maybe y’all have some tips?
This is my experience with Vyprvpn, anyone want to throw in their opinion of ExpressVPN to give a comparison? How have you done with Apple Products here? Windows? Android?