First-hand experience with ProtonVPN “Basic” plan, which is not good. Though, ProtonVPN did keep their promise about their money back guarantee. It looks like it’s better to go with their Free plan or jump to their “Plus” plan as they indicated on their pricing page, “BEST OFFER”
If you ever consider using the paid version of ProtonVPN, I would suggest you choose at least the Plus plan. Here are why.
I started using ProtonVPN on their 7 day trial of Plus plan and it’s pretty fast. After seven days passed, I decided to stay on their free plan.
After using their free plan for a while, which had the fair speed for average usage of internet such
- coding on cloud IDE like Cloud9
- streaming music (audio only)
I finally decided to give a try their Basic plan, which is $4/month. Its price is half of that Plus plan.
The first time, it looks fast.
After the upgrade to their Basic plan, I feel the speed is much faster though it still feels slow compared to the Plus. Yet, their pricing page just mentioned that any plans other than Free had “High” speed.
And I just realize later that now the “Free” plan had the “Medium” speed as shown on the screenshot above.
The speed is getting slow.
After several days on the “Basic” plan, which I paid yearly to save $12, I notice the speed is getting slower and slower.
Even worse, I often got disconnected and when I reconnect, it said the server is not available.
I always try to connect to the server with the lowest loads but most of the servers available on the “Basic” plan had the reds indicators almost all the time.
During this time around, I still connect using their ProtonVPN native application on both Mac and Android.
I tried to wait for two weeks to see if it only glitched on their side or probably on my ISP side. Not sure about this.
Decide to get a refund.
But after two weeks passed, the performance of this “Basic” plan seems flat to me, and sometimes it’s even getting worse.
I gave up at this point and try to contact their support for a refund. Their support asked me to downgrade my plan to “Free” first and I’ll get refunded.
And yes, I got refunded in full because it’s still under the periods of their money back guarantee. They refunded me in one or two days later and I saw it on my card statement, which is very good.
I mean, they keep their promise of the money back guarantee without giving me any hurdle and just asked why I want a refund. I just replied that the performance is getting worse and worse and they refunded me.
That was about six months ago.
Now, six months later, I still used their “Free” plan but I used it with the Mac’s VPN native app by setting up IKEv2 manually.
Here’s how to do it on Mac, and I confirmed this works on Mac OS Mojave.
Surprisingly, during these six months on the “Free” plan and using manual IKEv2 set up, I don’t have any slow experience.
Yes, I admit the speed is not that as fast as the Plus, but I am sure its better than the speed when I was on their “Basic” plan.
Indeed, I experienced some glitches, but that’s pretty rare. Even when it happened, when I tried to reconnect, it can get connected easily. No errors.
In the future, I plan to give a try of their Plus plan but this time I will pay for monthly first.
Was it because I connect using the IKEv2 manual set up? I don’t think so. Because I remembered that I also tried to do the same set up on the “Basic” plan and tried to connect to one of the available servers for “Basic”.
Conclusion so far
Though I initially think that I will support them by using their “Basic” paid plan, the performance of the “Basic” plan itself is worse than what I have experienced on the “Free” plan.
This is not acceptable to me.
It just did not make sense to me, to pay $4/month and got a slower connection than the free plan.
Therefore, if you’re going to buy their paid plans, I would recommend to go with their “Plus” plan at minimum. Otherwise, just stick with “Free” tier.