AirVPN Review 2020
|Price||$2.75/mo. (On a 3-Year Plan)|
|Servers||240+ servers in 20+ countries|
|Works in China||Yes|
|Compatibility||Windows, Android, Apple, Desktop, Chrome, Firefox|
Based out of Italy, the service offers users the robust protection that GDPR guarantees. Additionally, thanks to its 240+ servers spread across more than 20 countries; users will find it easy to unblock most of the geo-restricted content on the internet.
Unlike most other VPNs, AirVPN offers incredibly user-friendly support for P2P sharing via split tunneling while also providing user detailed guides on how to optimize their torrenting needs. To further ensure that users are safe while torrenting, the service uses the military-grade AES-256-bit encryption that guarantees users don’t have to worry about any vulnerabilities.
However, its logging policy stands starkly in contrast to Italy’s national law on data protection casting doubt on whether it practices what it claims. Furthermore, it is as good as useless when it comes to unblocking Netflix, while its Chinese server is both unreliable and unstable.
In short, the service may seem promising at first but it quickly becomes evident that it fails to live up to that early promise. This detailed AirVPN Review looks at all the pros and cons of this provider and why users would be advised to go for a more consistent VPN provider like PureVPN that would be an ideal alternative owing to its transparency and dependability.
- Jurisdiction: Where Is AirVPN Located?
- Security: Is AirVPN A Safe Option?
- Leaks: Are Your IP, DNS & WebRTC safe?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does AirVPN Have?
- Streaming: Can AirVPN Unblock Netflix?
- Speed: How Fast Are AirVPN Servers?
- Compatibility: What Devices Can I Use AirVPN On?
- Pricing: Is AirVPN An Affordable Option?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Other Users Say About AirVPN?
Jurisdiction: Where Is AirVPN Located?
AirVPN operates out of Italy. The country is a full member of the European Union; hence it follows the robust pro-privacy GDPR legislation. However, its national interpretation of the law ominously allows several loopholes that compromise the complete anonymity of users online.
Additionally, the country is also a member of the notorious 14 Eyes alliance, making it a party to the intelligence-sharing agreement that further endangers the safety of users in Italy. Keeping all these factors in mind, Italy is not a safe location for a VPN service to be based in.
Security: Is AirVPN A Safe Option?
No, primarily because the exact info about their logging policies is so vague. While the service clears all our major leak and virus tests, it is based out of a 14 Eyes country. There are several national Italian laws that require companies to keep a log on all its users’ activities.
The service maintains that it does not keep any logs, so we’ll have to take their word on it. Still, I would recommend users to steer clear of this service and find more secure alternatives.
Deceptive Logging Policy
Activity traffic and/or traffic content and/or IP addresses of the customers or users are not inspected, logged or stored into any mass storage device.
However, I have my doubts on how thoroughly the service is able to follow this claim as the country is part of the 14 Eyes and most companies operating inside the country have to ensure they have data regarding the activities of their users online. Additionally, there are several clauses added into Italy’s national interpretation of the GDPR that make it necessary for phone and internet companies to retain data for up to 6 years on all their users.
With all that in mind, I have strong enough reasons to believe that AirVPN is not being honest and upfront with their exact logging policy.
AirVPN Encryption & Protocols
The service comes with the industry-standard military-grade AES-256-CBC encryption along with a 4096-bit RSA key encryption.
This combination ensures that users are safe from any vulnerabilities. Additionally, all AirVPN servers use the impressive OpenVPN protocol, creating an impressive and impenetrable layer of protection that keeps users safe 24/7.
AirVPN VirusTotal Test
While a VPN service is meant to keep a user’s location anonymous online, it is also important that the service itself be safe and free of any malware. Hence, I conducted a virus test on the service itself using Virus Total.
Here is the result:
As users can see, the service is free from any hidden viruses or any form of files that may harm a user’s device.
Leaks: Are Your IP, DNS & WebRTC Safe?
The primary purpose of a VPN is to obfuscate a user’s connection and protect their location online. To see how well AirVPN performs on that front I conducted IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks tests while being connected to a Czech server.
Here are the results:
As users can see, my actual location remained hidden and all three tests showed my Czech address.
Servers: How Many Servers Does AirVPN Have?
AirVPN offers 240+ servers spread across 20+ countries. Impressively, the service specifies on its pages about which ones are best for torrenting or which ones provide the best speeds.
Does AirVPN Support P2P/File Sharing?
Yes, the service offers complete support for all P2P sharing. AirVPN explains its policy regarding P2P sharing in greater detail in their FAQ section. I was particularly impressed with the detailed “how-to” guide and the instructions on how users can make the most of their torrenting needs.
The set of instructions are written in a user-friendly manner and makes it easy for users to optimize the service and select the best servers to maximize their torrenting experience.
Does AirVPN Work in China?
Yes, the service appears to have a Chinese server, making it easy for users to access all restricted content to and from China.
However, upon visiting the troubleshoot section I noticed that while a lot of users were able to connect to the Chinese server, there were constant problems that made a seamless connection impossible. These problems included speed throttling as well as frequent disconnections.
For expat trying to watch their favorite geo-restricted content from outside China, these problems could be particularly troublesome. This AirVPN review would have been a lot more positive if this service could have solved this issue but I had similar problems while trying to connect to the Chinese server.
Streaming: Can AirVPN Unblock Netflix?
Considering how the service has a Chinese server as well as offers support for torrents, I thoroughly expected that the service would be able to unblock Netflix with ease. However, it turns out that it doesn’t.
Despite multiple attempts, I could not connect to the US library of Netflix or any other library for that matter. I attempted to unblock all the other major streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ but had no luck either. Hence, I would advise you to keep looking for a different VPN if streaming is of utmost importance to you.
Speed: How Fast are AirVPN Servers?
AirVPN offers an acceptable number of servers that should be good enough for most users. However, to be completely objective, I conducted a speed test on a 100 Mbps connection connecting to 5 random servers in Russia, France, Spain, Canada, and Japan.
Here are the results:
Compatibility: What Devices Can I Use AirVPN On?
Users will be able to use the service on their Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS without any major issues. Additionally, the service is good for use on up to 5 simultaneous devices making it easy for users to use it across multiple devices and platforms seamlessly.
The service also has Chrome and Firefox extensions making it easy for users to stay protected straight from their browsers.
Pricing: Is AirVPN An Affordable Option?
This is probably the best part of this service. While most VPNs provide the 3 traditional payment plans i.e. weekly, monthly, and yearly. However, AirVPN offers an incredible range of plans that fit every budget and time frame that a user might want.
The three most popular plans are the 1-Year, 2-Year, and 3-Year plans.
AirVPN Payment Methods
AirVPN a decent amount of support for payment methods. Users can opt to pay via the traditional VISA/Mastercard credit and debit cards as well as through PayPal and Bank Transfers.
Interestingly, the service also offers complete support for Bitcoins and other popular cryptocurrencies.
AirVPN Refund Policy
I had to recheck this several times but it seems that AirVPN only offers a 3-day money-back guarantee. As I have stated in several other VPN reviews, a 30-day guarantee is a minimum benchmark.
Considering how AirVPN falls short of the industry standards, I suspect the service has serious flaws that it intends to mask by eliminating the chance of users availing a discount after 3 days. This is a major discredit to any service’s claim to being a user-friendly option as it effectively denies users the chance to opt-out of their service if they feel it isn’t up to their expectations.
Trustworthiness: What Do Other Users Say About AirVPN?
The best way to truly judge whether a service delivers on all its promises is to ask the people that have used it for an extensive period. Hence, I headed over to their Trustpilot page, as well as seeing what the Reddit community had to say about the service. In the end, I also reviewed their customer support to see exactly how user-friendly are they.
AirVPN Trustpilot Review
AirVPN has a highly respectable 4-star rating on Trustpilot. Furthermore, 67% of the reviews appear to be Excellent. However, 21% of the reviews are rated Bad.
In any case, I would advise users not to give too much weight to these reviews as this 4-star rating is a result of just 24 reviews. It is hard to objectively evaluate a service based on such a meager number of reviews; hence I recommend not relying too much on these ratings.
AirVPN Reddit Review
Redditors are renowned for their raw or unabridged opinions on almost any topic, VPNs aren’t any exception.
Multiple users complained of their extremely rude and discourteous customer service. The representatives are either unable or incapable of properly addressing the issues of users. There were also instances of users calling the service a bunch of frauds because of the way they desert their users after they’ve bought the service.
However, there were also some users that seemed to praise the service’s P2P support as well as port-forwarding as it stands out as being among the best in the VPN market.
AirVPN Customer Support
Having read some of the Reddit comments, I did not have any high expectations from their customer service. I was disappointed to see that the comments correct as the service appears to have a complete unprofessional attitude towards customer service.
The lack of a 24/7 live chat support turned out to be the least bad thing about their customer support as I later found out. The only way to directly contact the service itself is through the ticketing system. The ticketing system requires a substantial amount of info about a user.
The FAQ section is thorough but lacks answers for some technical issues that users might have. In case users have questions that may not be typical or common, users might feel a little isolated and all on their own.
I found some surprising positive as well as some disappointing negatives about this service. There are a lot of areas where AirVPN could improve its service and become an even better option. However, it falls short in several important categories that a lot of users consider pivotal for any VPN provider.
For instance, the service is based out of Italy, a country known for its role in the 14 Eyes alliance. Additionally, there is the question of its shady refund policy that seems to restrict the users’ ability to back away from the service if they’re not satisfied.
Keeping all these factors in mind, I would advise users to go for a service like PureVPN. Not only is it one of the fastest VPN providers on the market, but it is also one of the most affordable. Operating out of Hong Kong, users will have the assurance of being away from any prying eyes that further adds to its already remarkable reputation as a robustly pro-privacy VPN service.
Do I Recommend AirVPN?
No, the service comes across as far too ambiguous on multiple crucial fronts for me to recommend it. While the service states that it does not store any logs on any of its users, it is based out of Italy that has strict regulations requiring all online companies to keep track of all users’ online activities.
Similarly, the service fails abjectly when it comes to unblocking the major streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. While there is a Chinese server to make it easier to evade the tough restrictions, multiple users have complained of the service being severely below par and underwhelming, to say the least.
While there are some decent features like support for P2P sharing and a flexible choice of payment plans, it may not be quite enough to sway most users. In such a case, I would highly recommend PureVPN. It ticks all the essential boxes that qualify it as an extraordinary VPN service such as unblocking Netflix, a stable Chinese server plus much more.