My experience with ProtonVPN Free plan


Several days ago, I wrote my story about using ProtonVPN 7-days trial for their Plus plan. As you may have read it, it was not a smooth sailing though their support is very responsive to direct me solving the problem.

At that time, I decide to subscribe to their Plus or Basic plan once the trial ended. But I'm also curious about their Free plan, which said to be slow on their pricing page.

Once the trial period ended, my account was switched automatically to the free tier plan. This makes sense. Then, I decide to use their free tier plan for a while till today.

Is it slow compared to the Plus plan I had on free trial period? Not really. Honestly, I don't experience any significant downgrade in terms of speed.

The one that I notice is that I won't be able to connect with my VPN account on the two devices at the same time. This also makes sense because they said it themselves that the free plan is only available for one device. 

For example, if I connect my account on my Android tablet, and try to connect again on my Macbook, the one on my Macbook will keep saying "connecting", forever. 

I believe it would be better if the ProtonVPN app on my Macbook is just connected and at the same time disconnect the one on my Android tablet automatically. This did not happen. As developer, I do know it's a bit complicated feature to implement. Thus. I just let it go.

I disconnect my Android tablet first, then I connect to ProtonVPN on my Macbook. When I needed to connect my Android tablet, I just disconnect it on my Macbook first. Luckily, I only have two devices and it's not much of hurdle ( at least for me ).

What about the problems I experience when I am still on the free trial periods? Surprisingly, I did not experience it when I am using this free plan. Not even once though I've used their free plan for six days. Today is the seventh.

I haven't asked them again about this, but this makes me think again if it's really worth to go with their paid plan.

Even if in the following days I decided to upgrade to their free plan, I will consider to go with their Basic plan which is $4/month.

Here are my reasons:

  • I only have two devices, and I only need two of them to connect to ProtonVPN. My tablet also served as my smartphone.
  • I had no idea about "Secure Streaming" but I never watch any streaming video. I prefer to download it first and watch it offline or I prefer to read books than watch videos or movies.
  • I don't need their Plus servers because the current server I connect on free tier plan is already fast (for me)
  • I consider $4/month as my support for them. Not because it's worth, since their free tier plan speed is enough (for me)
  • Sometimes, I need P2P, though it's rare.
  • I don't need their ProtonMail Visionary.
  • It would be nice to have Tor Servers, but I am fine to go without them. 
  • It also would be nice to have Secure Core servers but in the mean time, I am fine to connect to VPN servers without this. In short, this is additional security layer to protect their users when their VPN server is tampered or compromised. This way, the attacker won't be able to trace back to the origin of the VPN users who's connected to that tampered VPN server. You may read more about this on their docs.

Therefoer, if you asked me whether it's worth to pay the paid plan, it will depend on your needs. For my needs, their free tier plan is more than enough. The only hurdle is I need to disconnect my tablet when I need to connect using my Mac and vice versa.

If you're paranoid or obsessed about your privacy and security, then you need to go for Plus plan at the very least. It's $8/month and you need to pay it yearly. Not the cheapest one on the market but their Tor Servers and Secure Core Servers are starting available on this plan.

Take this story with some grains and salts, as always. My experience is my personal experience. That can be difference with yours.