Atlas VPN is a relatively new VPN service that launched in January 2020. They offer a VPN that is, and will remain, free of charge. On top of that, they offer a premium version. The difference between these versions is that Premium gives you access to faster servers and servers that have been optimized for streaming.
WHY USE VPN
To make your search for the best VPN provider a little easier, I will try to sum up some issues related to normal internet use and explain their importance in relation to your safety.
First of all you don’t need to be doing illegal stuff on the internet to make you want a VPN, as ordinary users have an even greater risk surfing the internet as they are not always aware of the tricks being used to steal information.
If you’re using Wi-Fi which you probably will, you’re more exposed to the outside world then when using cable-network. Reading a simple online-newspaper which shows you advertisements between the lines always establishes a connection with your IP-address just in order to show the images. Reading your emails which many times include images and links transfer your IP-address to external servers filtering your behaviour. To put it simple ‘YOU’RE EXPOSED‘ to the world. For all doing the wrong-illegal stuff on internet like downloading films and music there’s a simple warning. Stop doing what you do..or get fined …or get a VPN to make yourself invisible to the outside world.
Being invisible, is what all VPN providers claim, but are you really safe and protected ? No way…check :
- ipleak.net(IPv4, IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS)
- Perfect Privacy(based in Switzerland )
- ipleak.org (IPleak, DNS leak, WebRTC leak )
Any VPN which has its base location in the USA is not fully safe proof. They have to deal with severe law regulations regarding logging of users and their use of internet (site visits, search etc.). So the first thing you need is a provider NOT LOGGING any IP or online activity! Simple and safe.
UNDERSTANDING PROXIES vs VPN vs TOR
Follow the link below to make the right decision, it’s important to understand the basic technical differences between the services
HOW DOES VPN WORK
- When you connect to a virtual private network service, it authenticates your client with a VPN server.
- The server then applies an encryption protocol to all data you send and receive.
- The VPN service creates an encrypted “tunnel” over the internet. That secures the data traveling between you and your destination.
- To ensure each data packet stays secure, a VPN wraps it in an outer packet, which is then encrypted through encapsulation. That is the core element of the VPN tunnel, keeping the data safe during transfer.
- When the data arrives at the server, the outer packet is removed through a decryption process.
INTERFACE ATLAS VPN
So Atlas VPN being a true new VPN provider have launched their applications hopefully providing you anonymity all the way. They are the first VPN provider offering truly free VPN protection in a way you only suffer from the best speed-servers available. The interface of Atlas VPN is just okay, and provides an overview of connection locations available.
Once connected you only notice the change in ‘title’ on the interface. There is NO overview of made/used connection protocols or else. This needs to be addressed by AtlasVPN. The preferences of AtlasVPN are almost not there, as I there are no protocols to choose from, no choice in stream priority etcetera. No Open VPN protocols available as far as I can see. Still connection is working very well and stable.
As mentioned above, there is no choice of protocols available which makes it limited compared to other VPN’s . AtlasVPN makes this statement:
We use an industry-standard combination for encryption and encapsulation of web traffic: AES-256 and IPSec/IKEv2. Hence, the web traffic traverses through Atlas VPN and prevents data leaks, connection interception, and tracking.
Hence, it probably uses IPSec and/or IKEv2 depending on auto choice by the software itself. There is an option to activate the Kill Switch which is a good feature but the description of the Kill Switch puzzels me really !
What is a Kill Switch:
A kill switch refers to the technology used to prevent data leaks. When a VPN connection is temporarily lost, the kill switch prevents you from browsing the internet until the VPN connection is restored. Atlas VPN has this feature to guarantee a leak-free experience.
Now read the description on the preferences interface:
It says: The Kill Switch maintains connection in case of disruptions !
Well as stated it actually prevents a connection in case of disruptions ! It is to protect your privacy in case of AtlasVPN dropping out and would continue internet browsing showing your real IP and such.
It kills your DNS and offers you a disconnected internet, in order to guarantee you privacy. Well thats how I understand a Kill Switch, but I am always in for a small lecture.
Atlas VPN currently has servers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. For a starting company this is good and does provide a decent listing. NordVPN is serving loads more, but is around for some time and more expensive.
Privacy is what VPN is all about. The downside of AtlasVPN is its location in the USA. Being a USA company they are legally bound to its law.
Most VPN’s are located on locations not bound to any kind of transparency or law enforcement. Still AtlasVPN claims:
We are no-logs VPN: we do not collect your real IP address and we do not store any information that identifies what you browse, view, or do online via that VPN connection. The only information collected is basic analytics, to ensure great service to all our users. This also means that we do not have any data to share with law enforcement and government agencies who make requests for information about what you were doing through a VPN connection.
Every VPN connection has impact on your speed experience. The location of your chosen server ( distance) does impact the overall speed.
The next images show the difference between a unprotected and VPN connection speed .
These numbers are common for all VPN providers, so Atlas VPN works really well and important very stable. Looking at its pricing it definitely is worth getting as long as you are confident with its USA location.
- Strong encryption
- Kill switch
- Free version
- Unblocks most streaming platforms
- Web filters
- Built-in log in 2FA
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Price from US$ 1,39 per month
- Netflix support Torrenting support
- No live chat support only email [email protected]
- IKEv2 is the only tunneling protocol
- Based in the US ** ( No real privacy !! )
- 17 countries
- 500+ servers world wide
- website not informative for user
- website very limited information
Now, the all important question to answer is: “Should you get this VPN” ? Well Atlas VPN for Mac works really well and provides good speed, and if you have no problem with it being located in the USA and therefore needs to oblige to its law, you can’t go wrong with Atlas VPN . Its pricing is among the best found on the internet . They also provide a fully free version of Atlas VPN which in case you don’t need high transfer speed is definitely a VPN to go for.