Numerous individuals are seeking a secure and dependable VPN service without spending a fortune. While there are commendable low-cost VPN services available, it is often true that you get what you pay for. This review of Atlas VPN aims to evaluate whether this emerging budget VPN is a worthwhile option.
Atlas VPN stands out in its own way. It provides a modest free plan with limitations, while they also offering the option to upgrade to paid plans. In any case, you won’t have to pay an exorbitant amount for a basic VPN subscription. Now, let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages before we proceed to examine the test results of Atlas VPN.
Table of Contents
Overview of Atlas VPN Review
- The Atlas VPN apps offer a user-friendly experience and dependable performance.
- Strong encryption and robust security measures are implemented for enhanced protection.
- Complete support for WireGuard protocol, ensuring efficient and secure connections.
- Includes extra privacy features to further safeguard your online activities.
- Atlas VPN offers affordable pricing options, including a free plan for added accessibility.
- Excellently suited for seamless streaming experiences.
- Headquartered in the United States, which may raise concerns about privacy.
- Currently lacks dedicated apps for Linux or routers.
- The server network is comparatively smaller in size.
Atlas VPN history, background, and ownership
When utilizing a VPN, trust becomes paramount as it becomes responsible for ensuring your privacy and security. Consequently, it is crucial to thoroughly examine the VPN provider, as we meticulously do in all our VPN reviews here at SecurityTech.
In 2019, a determined team launched Atlas VPN with a vision to develop cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions that would enhance the digital lives of individuals worldwide. As we fast forward three years to the present, it is evident that this VPN has made commendable strides. (For detailed information about the team members, kindly refer to Atlas VPN’s website in the “About Us” section.)
Based on extensive research conducted for this review, Atlas VPN has demonstrated a commendable history and track record. No unsettling revelations have been uncovered, and it is our hope that this VPN can maintain its exceptional performance moving forward.
Who owns Atlas VPN?
As of October 2021, Atlas VPN came under the ownership of Nord Security, while retaining its original team. Nord Security is a renowned global cybersecurity brand that also holds ownership of NordVPN and Surfshark, along with other cybersecurity products such as NordPass and NordLocker.
Atlas VPN has apps for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS
Atlas VPN excels in ensuring comprehensive coverage by providing reliable and user-friendly VPN apps for all major operating systems. During the review process, the tested Atlas VPN apps exhibited commendable performance, devoid of any bugs or issues. In this section, we will begin by examining the desktop VPN apps offered by Atlas VPN.
Atlas VPN Windows app
Given the widespread popularity of Windows as the leading operating system globally, it becomes crucial for VPNs to provide a dependable, robust, and secure Windows VPN app. In my evaluation, I discovered that the Atlas VPN app for Windows not only meets these fundamental expectations but also offers a range of impressive features. The app is designed with user-friendliness in mind, ensuring a seamless experience for users.
In the provided screenshot, it is evident that Atlas VPN categorizes its servers into three distinct groups:
- All Servers: Encompasses every server in the network.
- Streaming Servers: Specifically optimized for seamless access to streaming sites like Netflix.
- Privacy Pro Servers: Equipped with supplementary privacy features to enhance user confidentiality.
The Windows VPN app includes all of the flagship features you get with Atlas VPN, with the exception of split tunneling, which is only available on the Android VPN app.
Atlas VPN macOS app
In addition to evaluating the Windows app mentioned earlier, I conducted tests on the macOS app for this Atlas VPN review. It is worth noting that the macOS app bears striking similarities to the aforementioned Windows app.
The macOS app provided by Atlas VPN exhibits a consistent look and feel when compared to the Windows app. It utilizes the WireGuard and IKEv2 protocols to ensure secure and efficient connections.
Atlas VPN mobile apps for Android & iOS
Let’s rephrase the line:
Next, we will explore the mobile apps provided by Atlas VPN, available for both Android and iOS devices.
The Atlas VPN Android app encompasses all the aforementioned features we discussed earlier, along with a notable addition: the split tunneling VPN feature. This feature empowers users to selectively route specific apps outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel. It proves particularly handy when you prefer not to utilize the VPN for certain banking or streaming applications on your mobile device.
Displayed below is a snapshot of Atlas VPN’s Android VPN app:
Finally, for the iPhone and iPad users, Atlas VPN also offers an iOS VPN app. Notably, this app has garnered an impressive rating of 4.8 in the Apple Store. With that covered, let’s now delve into the crucial aspects of security and encryption provided by Atlas VPN.
No apps for Linux or routers
Although Atlas VPN impressively provides reliable apps for all major operating systems, it is important to note a notable limitation. Currently, Atlas VPN does not offer support for Linux or routers.
While Linux users may constitute a smaller segment of the market, it would be beneficial if Atlas VPN could extend its support to them in the near future. Similarly, while running a VPN on a router may not be a common practice for most individuals, it is worth mentioning that many other leading VPN services do offer support for both routers and Linux operating systems.
Atlas VPN encryption and VPN protocols
Atlas VPN demonstrates commendable expertise in VPN encryption and security, exhibiting several noteworthy practices. To begin with, this VPN wholeheartedly adopts the WireGuard VPN protocol, which bestows significant advantages compared to traditional VPN protocols. The utilization of WireGuard brings forth the following substantial benefits:
- Faster download speeds
- Faster to establish a connection between your device and the VPN server
- Upgraded security and encryption protocols (other popular VPN protocols are decades old)
- Improved reliability on mobile devices
All the VPN apps discussed earlier leverage the default use of WireGuard, providing Atlas VPN with a performance advantage. In addition to WireGuard, Atlas VPN extends support for the IPSec/IKEv2 protocol, while OpenVPN is not currently supported. The following table presents a concise overview of these crucial details:
|VPN Protocols||WireGuard and IPSec/IKEv2|
|Leak Protection||VPN kill switch (secures traffic)|
The final element mentioned in the aforementioned table is the VPN kill switch, a crucial feature that safeguards your internet traffic by blocking in case the VPN connection is lost. It is worth noting that reputable VPN services, as emphasized in the NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN comparison, universally offer a kill switch.
Within the VPN app settings, you can conveniently select your preferred encryption protocol, as demonstrated in the accompanying screenshot below. For optimal performance in terms of speed and reliability, I highly recommend opting for the WireGuard protocol.
In general, WireGuard tends to exhibit faster performance compared to other VPN protocols, especially on mobile devices. With this in mind, let’s proceed to examine some real-world speed tests conducted for this Atlas VPN review.
Atlas VPN speed test results
In the context of this Atlas VPN review, I conducted speed tests using servers located in the United States and the UK. To establish a baseline, my initial connection speed was set at 500 Mbps, and the official Atlas VPN desktop apps were utilized with the WireGuard VPN protocol.
Location 1: New York (USA)
To commence the Atlas VPN speed test, a server located in New York was selected. The download speed achieved was approximately 232 Mbps, which surpasses the average speed expectations.
Achieving a speed test result exceeding 200 Mbps is considered commendable.
Location 2: Los Angeles (USA)
Moving on to the next speed test location, the Atlas VPN server in Los Angeles, California was selected. However, the speeds observed at this location were not as rapid as those experienced with the New York server.
The observed speeds fall within the average range.
Location 3: London (UK)
Concluding the series of Atlas VPN speed tests, the final location chosen was London.
Considering the increased physical distance between myself and the VPN server in London, which inherently introduces additional latency, it is reasonable to anticipate comparatively slower speeds with this server.
Taking into account all the conducted speed tests for this Atlas VPN review, it can be concluded that the speeds provided by this VPN are generally average. As part of our ongoing review process, we will continue to conduct speed tests and update this review accordingly in the future.
Additional privacy features with Atlas VPN
As mentioned earlier in the review, Atlas VPN presents a diverse array of features, all bundled together at a reasonable price point. Now, let’s delve into each of these privacy features individually for a more comprehensive understanding.
Data breach monitor with Atlas VPN
True to its name, the Data Breach Monitor feature empowers you to stay vigilant against potential data breaches. By entering your desired email address, Atlas VPN conducts a comparison against a private database containing known instances of breached credentials. It is important to note that this process does not expose your email address to any third parties. It functions similarly to the “Have I Been Pwned” tool, offering enhanced security.
Both the Data Breach Monitor and Tracker Blocker features are conveniently accessible within the Atlas VPN apps, as illustrated in the accompanying screenshot below.
The Tracker Blocker feature provided by Atlas VPN goes beyond simply blocking trackers and also prevents intrusive advertisements from loading on your device. This functionality bears resemblance to the CyberSec and Threat Protection features discussed in the NordVPN review, ensuring a secure browsing experience.
SafeSwap and MultiHop+ features
Atlas VPN presents an intriguing feature called SafeSwap, which facilitates the rotation of your IP address while maintaining a connection to the VPN server. In essence, this feature grants you the advantage of having regularly changing or “rotating” IP addresses throughout your VPN session.
Another notable privacy feature offered by Atlas VPN is MultiHop+. This feature encrypts your traffic across multiple VPN server locations, ensuring enhanced privacy. However, in Atlas VPN’s implementation of MultiHop+, the exit server selection is optimized to provide optimal latency and speed, effectively rotating between different gateways.
It is important to note that Atlas VPN does not currently provide the option to purchase a dedicated or static IP address. If you require this specific functionality, there are alternative VPNs available that offer static IP options, which can be found in our list of static IP VPNs.
Now, let’s delve into one of the most appealing aspects of Atlas VPN: its affordable pricing structure.
Atlas VPN prices (plus a free plan)
One of the standout advantages of Atlas VPN lies in its pricing. In a market where prices seem to be constantly rising, it’s reassuring to find VPNs that remain affordable. Atlas VPN presents three distinct paid pricing tiers, with the 2-year plan offering the most economical option at just $1.82 per month.
Atlas VPN easily qualifies as one of the top contenders in the category of the best affordable VPNs. Furthermore, for individuals seeking a VPN solution on a tight budget, Atlas VPN also offers a free plan.
Atlas VPN free plan (restricted)
In addition, Atlas VPN provides a free plan, following a “freemium” business model that allows users to access the service without charge. However, it’s important to note that this free plan comes with certain limitations and restrictions, including the following:
- Fewer servers (only 3 locations available)
- No support for streaming
- Slower speeds (more people on fewer servers usually means less available bandwidth)
- 10 GB of bandwidth per month
For users on the free plan, once you reach the monthly data limit of 10 GB, you have two options: either upgrade to a paid plan or patiently wait until the cap resets for the next cycle.
Number of connections = unlimited
While most VPNs typically impose a limit of around five or six simultaneous connections, Atlas VPN distinguishes itself by offering an unrestricted number of simultaneous connections with its paid plans. This generous policy sets Atlas VPN apart from the norm, although we have also observed a similar approach in our Surfshark VPN review.
Does Atlas VPN work for streaming?
A considerable number of individuals seek to access streaming websites from different regions, yet discovering the ideal VPN for streaming can be quite challenging. This is mainly due to numerous VPN services being blocked by various streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.
If you intend to utilize Atlas VPN with streaming sites, it is crucial to remember to connect to one of the designated Streaming servers available within the application. These servers are specifically optimized to ensure compatibility with a wide range of streaming platforms.
Let’s provide a brief overview of how Atlas VPN performs when it comes to popular streaming services:
- Netflix – At present, Atlas VPN is compatible with numerous popular Netflix regions. In case you encounter difficulty accessing a specific region, it is advisable to reach out to customer support to obtain the exact server recommended. For further tips and tricks, our guide on the best VPNs for Netflix provides additional insights.
- Amazon Prime – Currently, Atlas VPN seamlessly works with Amazon Prime video, ensuring a smooth streaming experience without any complications.
- BBC iPlayer – While I did not personally test this service during the review, user reports on various forums suggest that Atlas VPN successfully bypasses restrictions on BBC iPlayer, the renowned UK streaming service.
The aforementioned list is not an exhaustive compilation of all the streaming services that are compatible with Atlas VPN, as assembling such a comprehensive list would be time-consuming. If you have a particular streaming service in your thoughts mind and wish to verify its compatibility, feel free to inquire about it through the chat support available here. They will provide you with the necessary information.
Atlas VPN with Firestick and Android TV
Another advantage that enhances Atlas VPN’s suitability for streaming is its availability of dedicated apps for Firestick and Android TV. This convenience allows for seamless installation of Atlas VPN on your Android-based streaming devices, enabling effortless connection to VPN servers.
If you are in search of an affordable VPN option for Firestick, Atlas VPN is certainly worth considering.
Atlas VPN boasts several commendable features, as highlighted above. However, it is not without its limitations, which we will now delve into.
Atlas VPN is based in the United States (not good for privacy)
As part of our ongoing commitment to testing and reviewing VPNs to provide our readers with the best recommendations, we carefully assess various factors. One crucial aspect we always take into account is the jurisdiction in which a VPN operates. Regrettably, the United States is regarded as an unfavorable jurisdiction in terms of privacy and data security. Below, we outline a few reasons for this assertion:
- Companies operating in the US can be compelled to log user data, as evidenced by past incidents involving email and VPN services, as discussed in our IPVanish review.
- Furthermore, the US government can issue gag orders to prevent companies from disclosing any privacy or security concerns to their users.
- The US is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, a global surveillance network that conducts surveillance activities and shares data among its extensive network of partner countries.
- In addition, US-based VPNs have faced legal action from copyright holders, leading to the blocking of torrenting on their US servers. This scenario has occurred with TorGuard VPN and VPN Unlimited. It is worth noting that the best VPNs for torrenting are typically not based in the US.
Ultimately, the decision to use Atlas VPN depends on your specific circumstances and the level of security you require. If your primary goal is to have a VPN for streaming purposes and privacy is not a top concern, then Atlas VPN could be a suitable choice for you. However, it is important to assess your individual threat model and consider factors such as jurisdiction, encryption protocols, and additional privacy features before making a final decision.
Small server network
In comparison to larger VPN providers we’ve reviewed, Atlas VPN’s server network is relatively smaller. With 750 servers spread across 34 countries, it offers decent coverage but falls short when compared to the extensive server networks of providers like NordVPN, which boasts over 5,400 servers in 60 countries. It’s important to consider the server network size when evaluating VPN options, as a larger network often provides more options for server locations and potentially better performance.
The significance of having a large server count may not be crucial for most individuals. Ultimately, what matters is obtaining satisfactory speeds with the existing servers. As long as the available servers deliver reliable performance, the total number of servers may not be a primary concern.
Overall, Atlas VPN is a solid VPN service that offers impressive features, reliable performance, and secure applications for major operating systems. It stands out by allowing unlimited simultaneous connections at an affordable price, making it a compelling choice.
However, it’s important to note some significant drawbacks, primarily related to its jurisdiction. Being based in the United States exposes potential risks due to surveillance and data security concerns. While Atlas VPN maintains a strict no-logs policy, operating from a more secure location would enhance its overall credibility.
If you’re interested in trying out Atlas VPN, take advantage of the discount coupon provided below. It’s worth mentioning that all plans come with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, providing you with peace of mind.
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