ProtonVPN: An Open-Source VPN for Privacy-Minded Users

ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based multi-platform open-source VPN service popular for its spectacular GUI, convenience for connecting to other routers, and strict no-log policy.

If you are familiar with ProtonMail, then you might be excited to know that it is the same team of scientists, cryptographers, and engineers that is behind both applications.

Unlike a lot of other VPN services, ProtonVPN has security and privacy as its main focus and this is the reason why it learns from working with activists and journalists in the field. It sends all user traffic first through its core network in privacy-friendly countries e.g., Iceland and Switzerland so that even if a VPN endpoint server is compromised, users’ true IP addresses will remain hidden.

ProtonVPN is founded by MIT and CERN scientists who believe in 100% transparency. The code is independently audited and checked to make sure that the Kill Switch always works, and that no DNS leaks occur.

Features in ProtonVPN

  • Open-source with source code available on GitHub.
  • Offers both free and paid plans.
  • Beautiful graphical user interface.
  • Supports work from the command line.
  • Available on GNU/Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • Strict no-log policy.
  • Built-in adblocker.
  • Peer-to-peer servers.
  • Tor over VPN support.
  • full disk encryption servers.
  • Website tracking protection.
  • Forward secrecy.
  • Support for multiple protocols e.g. OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP.
  • Perfect forward secrecy.

ProtonVPN Free Vs. Paid Accounts

With a free account, you can use ProtonVPN on 1 device to browse from 3 countries choosing from up to 23 servers without any limit on your data and without ads. The free VPN service is supported by paid users. Furthermore, data is protected by Swiss privacy laws so you can rest assured that your account information is safe.

The developers believe that privacy and security are fundamental human rights and it is for that reason that just like ProtonMail, ProtonVPN has a free version available for public use. And unlike what can be said about some other ‘free VPNS’, this one has no catches, doesn’t share ads, sell user data, or browsing history.

With ProtonVPN Plus, you get to enjoy several advanced features most notably access to browsing from 55 countries on up to 10 devices, connection profiles, NetShield, and Secure Core server.

Secure Core server is another layer of protection connecting all remote VPN servers through ProtonVPN-owned servers. NetShield enables you to block advertisements and trackers at the DNS level when visiting any websites

Other features include 10 Gbit servers for maintaining swift browsing speed, connecting to onion sites with a single click, secure file sharing via P2P, secure streaming, and exclusive plus servers. The basic plan costs $48 per year or $5 per month when billed monthly. The Plus plan starts at $96 per year or $8 per month if billed monthly.

Install ProtonVPN on Linux

ProtonVPN is easy to set up on Linux because it’s packaged with advanced security features for all popular distros. Download the Linux app and then log into your Proton account.

For a more detailed guide on how to set up ProtonVPN and the different features, check out the manual here.

Whether you decide to start with a free version before upgrading to Plus, both the free and paid plans have a strict no-logs policy. So if the premium packages exceed your budget, try out the free app extensively and you might just decide to become a pro user.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

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