We’re back with the latest review, this time, It is Atlas VPN, it is FREE and one of the best VPN out there from out VPN list. We tried it out for weeks and here is our genuine review of their service.
What is Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN is a free VPN service on a mission to make the internet truly open for everyone while also protecting your data and privacy. Launched in January 2020, it is a fairly new player in the VPN market but has enough to show for itself already. With no-ads, a no-logs policy, and no data cap, it is unlike any free VPN you have ever seen.
Atlas VPN features
Atlas VPN has all the essential features that one wants from a VPN and then some. What is more, it packages them into a beautiful and simple-to-use interface.
One of the most pleasantly surprising things about Atlas VPN is that it is completely free to use, yet it has no annoying ads. Typically free VPN services make money by implementing ads or collecting and selling users’ data to 3rd parties. Atlas VPN, however, relies on its premium version for revenue.
There is no mandatory sign up before you can begin using the service. All you have to do to start using Atlas VPN is download the app, select your preferred server location and click or tap the ‘switch’ button to turn the VPN on.
The company claims to have a strict no-logs policy, meaning they do not collect any information that would allow them to trace internet activity on Atlas VPN to individual users. The Atlas VPN team also says they only collect a bare minimum amount of data needed for service to function and comply with applicable laws.
Moreover, the company also offers the possibility to remove any of the collected data. All you need to do to get your data removed is to contact their support team at [email protected].
Technology-wise, Atlas VPN offers AES-256 encryption, which is also called ‘military-grade’ encryption as the same technology is used in financial and military institutions. At the moment, AES-256 encryption is considered the strongest and is used by big VPN players, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
When it comes to protocols, Atlas VPN supports the IKEv2 protocol. Currently, IKEv2 is considered one of the safest and fastest protocols in the market, even compared to the widely popular OpenVPN. One of its unique benefits is the auto-connect feature meaning that it resumes your VPN’s connection even when your internet connection is interrupted.
For further enhanced security, Atlas VPN has a ‘Kill Switch’ feature, which automatically stops your internet traffic if you lose connection to the VPN server. It helps ensure that your private data is never exposed when you are online, even in the case of unforeseen disturbances.
Another Atlas VPN feature worth mentioning is the ‘SafeBrowse’ feature. When enabled, it protects users from entering malicious websites by using special DNS servers that do not resolve malware-containing addresses.
The Kill Switch and SafeBrowsing features are currently only available for Android and iOS apps. However, the team is working on integrating the functionalities into the desktop apps soon.
Android users can make use of the ‘Always-on VPN’ functionality. The feature ensures that your connection is protected at all times when you are online without having to turn the VPN on manually.
iOS users have access to the ‘Improve Me’ feature. When the feature is enabled, the application sends aggregated anonymous data reports to the Atlas VPN team in order to help improve the app further.
Premium users can also take advantage of their ‘Assistant‘ functionality. It allows users to scan their email addresses and check whether their data has been breached. If it was, they would receive information on how many times their passwords have been leaked.
While the app still lacks some essential privacy features, like Multi-Hop or Split-Tunneling, the team is continually expanding the range of functionalities, and we might see them integrated soon.
Talking about the premium services, one of Atlas VPN’s strongest points is streaming. A premium Atlas VPN version offers the possibility to connect and switch between more than 500 servers in 17 locations worldwide (free version is limited to servers in three areas).
It means you can browse websites, access apps, play games, and watch shows on Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, YouTube, BBC Player, and other platforms that are available in those locations.
While the selection of servers and locations is not too broad, Atlas VPN service is relatively new, and we are excited to see how the company is going to expand these options in the future.
Most importantly, Atlas VPN offers unlimited bandwidth, so you can stream without worrying that you will run out of data. A premium plan also supports 4K streaming, meaning you will not only be able to bypass local restrictions and access content in a particular location, but you will also be able to enjoy it in the best streaming quality possible.
Those looking for a VPN for torrenting can also try Atlas VPN. P2P traffic is permitted across all servers. Coupled with no bandwidth limits, you are free to torrent as much as you like.
Last but not least, even though Atlas VPN is genuinely very simple to use even for VPN beginners. If you happen to have some questions or run into some issues, the service offers 24/7 support.
Is Atlas VPN good?
Just like any service, Atlas VPN has both pros and cons. However, in our opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to this product.
First of all, Atlas VPN has put much thought into the design of the app. The VPN application features a modern and clean interface with all functionalities only a click or two away.
While currently, the app does not have many settings for a customized experience, which might be a turn off for some of the more experienced users, it is ideal for those who are only starting with VPNs or those who appreciate a straightforward approach.
Furthermore, the service uses the latest advanced technologies to protect your data and privacy, including AES-256 encryption, IKEv2 protocol, and a number of security features. Atlas VPN also has a no-logs policy, meaning they do not track your actions online or store your private information in their service, which you should be looking for in VPN providers.
Those primarily interested in streaming will also not be disappointed as the premium version is optimized for streaming — the service supports 4k streaming, unlimited bandwidth, and a decent server selection.
When it comes to speed, users with the free version get a lower speed prioritization than premium users. While it is sufficient for browsing, it might be slightly annoying for those primarily interested in torrenting. However, while speed is not one of Atlas VPN’s biggest strengths, it is still manageable.
The main downside of the service at the moment is its limited support for different platforms. While mobile versions of the VPN for Android and iOS have a user-friendly interface and a fair selection of features, the Windows app slightly disappoints as it lags behind with functionalities.
Atlas VPN also does not have a macOS or the Linux app at the moment. While the macOS application is scheduled to come out soon, it is still unclear whether the Linux application is in the team’s plans.
Who owns Atlas VPN?
Quick research revealed that Atlas VPN is owned by the company Peakstar Technologies Inc., which is located in Delaware, United States. Hence, their Terms of Service were written in accordance with the law of Delaware state. Atlas VPN trademark was registered fairly recently in October 2019. The CEO of Atlas VPN is Jim Roberts, while the COO is Rachel Welsh.
Is Atlas worth getting?
Yes, you should definitely give Atlas VPN a go. There are many good things to be said about Atlas VPN: it respects your privacy, it is optimized for streaming, and it does not bombard you with annoying, interruptive ads like many free VPNs do. While Atlas VPN is completely free, if you decide to unlock more features and locations with the premium version, the price is also well worth it.
Yes, the service still lacks in some departments. However, for such a young and affordable product, we are pleasantly surprised by the quality of the service and expect to see many more improvements in the near future.
Is VPN 100% safe?
The answer is not a straight yes or no, because many people think that a VPN will protect them from many more threats than it was designed to. A VPN will not catch viruses, malware, and many other cyberattacks. However, a VPN is a great tool for changing your IP address and encrypting your browsing traffic, which can protect users from other threats.
Firstly, let’s figure out what is an IP address, and why is it worth hiding it.
An IP address (internet protocol address) is a numerical representation that uniquely identifies a specific device on the network. The IP address is tied to a specific device, as well as the current user’s locations. Meaning, if hackers intercept a user’s connection, they can figure out where the user is located based solely on the IP address.
Hiding IP addresses is a necessary step for any privacy-conscious internet user. It’s especially important for individuals working on sensitive topics and sharing them online, or anyone else who’s concerned about their location being discoverable online.
Even if you are not talking about sensitive topics and wish to keep yourself anonymous online, changing your IP address is a must. Why you ask? It is actually legal in the US for your ISP to track your browsing data.
As a side-note, some geo-restricted streaming services use IP addresses to determine users’ location. Since connecting to a VPN server changes the device’s IP address, it often allows to stream content from other regions.
Now, let’s get back to the topic of safety.
The second part of the equation is the browsing traffic encryption. After connecting to a VPN server, the data between you and the VPN server gets encrypted. If anyone were to intercept your connection, they would only see a bunch of scrambled letters, words, and symbols.
This protects people from things like man-in-the-middle attacks. Say you’re at some public space, which gives you an internet connection (e.g. you’re sitting in a Starbucks and using their internet over their WiFi). Since this is public, any computer connected to that same WiFi can see one another and (in theory at least) spy on one another’s connection data. If you then connect to the VPN, all the connection data going across that public WiFi (or whatever) is encrypted. So someone sitting in the same shop cannot read your transmissions.
Are you completely anonymous online with a VPN?
You might be wondering – if I connect to a VPN server, is everything I do online wholly hidden? Is my identity behind many walls and encrypted tunnels?
Well, once again, it depends. For example, law enforcement can legally require a VPN provider to give all the data they have on a particular individual. And, in most countries, a VPN provider will be obliged to provide whatever information they have.
The good news is that if the provider has a no-logs policy, then they won’t have anything to provide, since they do not store any data on their side. But this is where things get tricky.
Some VPN service providers advertise that they have a strict no-logs policy – meaning they don’t save what websites you visited or any other data. Sadly, this is sometimes not true. There have been numerous court cases where VPN providers did give out user data when requested by authorities, even though they advertised a no-logs policy.
Without a third-party audit, people should be very cautiuos when trusting no-log claims by VPN providers.
Pros and Cons of Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN is a relatively new VPN provider, as it was only launched at the start of 2020. It does have a unique selling point, which is an entirely free service option. Yet, Atlas VPN does provide an option to purchase their premium service.
Looking at the positives of the service itself – it is user-friendly from the get-go. Installation and setup take just a few minutes. After that, one tap and you are being protected.
What surprised us the most is the fact that the difference in speed was barely noticeable. Their free service option does have fewer servers, but that does not make it unusable in terms of speed.
Finally, for those who feel that the service is not fit for their purposes, Atlas VPN offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
As a side-note, users will not be able to access Netflix or other geo-restricted streaming services with the free version.
Next up, let’s talk about the drawbacks of Atlas VPN.
By far, the biggest drawback of Atlas VPN is the fact that they do not have an application for Mac as of yet. They do state that it is on the way and should be available by the end of October 2020.
The other drawback is that features are seriously lacking inside the application. Some basic options mentioned previously are available, but not much more than that. Compared to their competitors, Atlas VPN is at the bottom of the list in this aspect.
Finally, there is no option to purchase a dedicated IP-address, which is a must for some users.
Atlas VPN Premium
While Atlas VPN offers a forever-free version, its premium service does have significant advantages.
First up, the server numbers in the premium service are much wider. Atlas VPN states that it has more than 500 servers in 17 different countries. Users are able to choose from 20 locations since there are four servers in the US, which means that users in the US will have great speeds no matter where they are located.
In addition, the premium offer includes servers optimized for streaming services. For many people, having a VPN that unblocks geo-restricted content is a must. If you are one of those people, then you will have to opt-in for their paid service.
In the next section, we will look at the technologies that Atlas VPN uses.
Technologies that Atlas VPN uses
First off, it wasn’t easy to find detailed information about the technologies that all of Atlas VPN applications use. After some digging, we found out that Atlas VPN is mainly based on the IKEv2 protocol.
IKEv2 is regarded as one of the safest protocols available, together with the OpenVPN protocol. Non-tech-savvy people might be confused by different protocols and what all of that means. In short, the IKEv2 protocol offers military-grade encryption, which is practically unbreakable.
Moving forward, Atlas VPN also offers a strict no-logs policy and does not keep data about their user’s browsing history. Many other VPNs are full of advertisements, but it is not the case for this service.
Atlas VPN offers the option to purchase a premium subscription, which is how they are able to sustain their service.
Currently, all readers have a chance to retrieve a special discount for the Atlas VPN 3-year plan. The 3-year plan costs only $1.39 per month for the 3-year period. Worth noting that the sum for the 3-years is charged fully upfront.
We urge our readers to take out the deal as it is a limited-time deal. Moreover, the plan does include a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.