AirVPN Review

By Tom Spark on

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AirVPN has a unique name, and a different motto in that it provides “the air to breathe the real internet.” The service branding makes it seem fresh and new. But is it more than a standard run-of-the-mill VPN? Could it feel a little stale? Keep reading, and find out what the verdict is.

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Pricing 10/10

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AirVPN has one of the more attractive pricing models I’ve come across. It offers a small commitment that includes all features for only three days at a low price of $1.07. It seems more like a trial offer, which is a bit odd since the company does provide trials on email request. But for purchasing it here for the review, the pricing worked well for me. I can’t image why anyone would need a VPN for just three days–but nevertheless, it’s an interesting option if not a super useful one.

Next is a more standard but very decently priced option of $7.47, followed by a  three-month commitment at $16.00, a six-month subscription of $32.01, and finally a one-year subscription at $57.62. For all of these payments, AirVPN does accept Bitcoin which is promising.

Overall the pricing model for AirVPN is superb, with a broad range of affordable prices both long and short term, Refunds are available within 30 days via an email request.

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Software 8/10

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AirVPN’s software impressed me. Since their website seems a little bit out of date, I expected a client that may be unresponsive, slow, or hard to use. It’s got the same sort of design of the website, but I didn’t find anything about it annoying, or poorly designed.

Luckily, the team has made connecting to a VPN in AirVPN extremely simple and streamlined. The application does need to install tunnels that slow down the install a bit, but once you launch the application and enter your login credentials, it’s as simple as clicking on “connect to a recommended server”. I used this feature and compared how it would perform against manually selecting a server, and I found that connecting to the recommended server provided better speeds overall.

AirVPN also has a Network Lock feature that could be useful if you don’t want any traffic leaking outside of the VPN. Most VPN’s have features like this that disconnect your internet when the VPN fails–they are just called a named network kill-switch. It’s a good preventive method to prevent standard Internet usage outside of the VPN–usually it’s just a bit more hidden within the settings.

The main tabs inside AirVPN consist of Servers, Countries, Speed, Stats, and logs. Logs are neat to see how the VPN software is working as well as the stats. You can customize your server connection by navigating to the server list, but I found the best results steering clear of manual selection. The speed graph is a little basic, but it shows a fair representation of upload and download speeds.

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Navigating to the preferences of the application gives you the ability to customize a lot of different settings. It’s a little hidden–found under a small arrow icon that blends into the blue background behind it. Here you can change general settings like connecting at startup, starting with windows and minimize behavior.

There is also a protocol tab that gives you the ability to change your contract through various ports, as well as an SSH tunnel. AirVPN advertises the SSH tunnel as being useful in China, but China has started to block these types of connections actively. Click here if you’re looking for the best VPN for China.

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Proxy is available inside another tab, but it requires Tor. It’s nice that AirVPN also included a Routing tab for advanced users to control which is outside or inside the VPN tunnel.

The advanced tab is full of options if you want tweak the general settings (options to change TCP/UDP buffer size, OpenVPN custom path, and driver options. There are also DNS options, options for the Network Lock, logging save options, OVPN directives, and an events tab that lets you browse external shells.

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A lot of these options feel very “extra”, and I doubt many of you will take advantages of all of these settings, but if some of these settings are vital for your VPN use–Air VPN software and thus the service itself could be an excellent choice. AirVPN does provide a link within their initial email that contains instructions on these advanced settings.

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Mobile Software 0/10

AirVPN doesn’t have any custom mobile software, which is a bit disappointing (although from the way their website looks and feels I’m not surprised). You can install OpenVPN software and connect to your AirVPN service that way, which should be okay. Check out the guide to do that here

Extra Services 5/10

AirVPN allows three simultaneous connections which is mid-range for a VPN. They have a fair amount of support on their website for systems including directions on how to install for iOS, Android, AsusWRT, SSH/SSL Tunnels and other popular forms of connection. Most of these guides are all manual tutorials that require more work without native applications.

AirVPN mainly consists of it’s main VPN offering. It doesn’t offer any proxy plans, encrypted email, specially design services to protect against DPI (deep packet inspection), or add-ons like dedicated IPs on checkout. It’s a good basic VPN that feels worth the price, but don’t expect any extra special services.

Website 7.5/10

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AirVPN’s initial setup seems a bit outdated and clunky. A lot of newer VPN’s use an easy checkout system where you simply have to find the “buy” button. AirVPN doesn’t steer you to purchase their software–instead, it’s up to you to figure it out by creating an account, purchasing a subscription within your account, and then getting an email with another link that points you to downloads.

Like the initial set-up, the whole website feels a few years behind. In a lot of ways, I didn’t mind this. It was a bit refreshing just to have a lot of text in a few columns giving information about the service with tabs clearly named like “privacy” or “terms of use” for information. A lot of websites almost hide this information in small text at the bottom.

At the lower part of the site, you can find information about how many servers are active, as well as the status tab at the top of the page. The client area provides a shortcut to your account page, but it can be hard to find the necessary downloads that you need to get started (the link provides it but navigating to it proves less intuitive). It’s actually under the “Enter” tab–which makes sense in a weird sort of way.

While the AirVPN site could use a visual redesign, it provides a lot of tutorials and a simpler approach that feels more genuine and less “salesy.” Some information could be labeled better or easy to find as well (like a number of servers).

AirVPN’s website unique strength is that it has a forum! VPN forums are a great way for the community to share thoughts, guidees, and encourage discussions.

Visit AirVPN

Servers 8/10

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AirVPN provides plenty of servers, and the recommended server I used provided high speeds from Canada. They have a lot of information on the site like top users, checking the route, latest issues, and ping matrix–but I couldn’t find much information how many servers they have in how many countries. High performance is guaranteed in many countries according to the site.

Privacy 10/10

AirVPN’s privacy policy seems pretty air-tight. They only collect cookies from website use, they don’t keep any logs, and only use data required for their service to function. When using their client, you can use OpenVPN with 256 bit AES encryption. If you’re feeling ambitious you can also try out through SSH or SSL tunnel with Tor. 

Speeds 9/10

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I got some impressive speeds testing out the recommended server (connected me to Canada) with an average of 20 Mbps download through a Ubuntu BitTorrent file and 177.21 Mbps download and (a bit slower upload here than normal) a 7.67 Mbps upload speed from a speed test.

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I tested out another server custom selected near my location and got slow speeds with 9.94 Mbps and 4.14 Mbps. For these reasons, I wouldn’t’ recommend straying from the recommended server.

Support 6.5/10

As I mentioned already AirVPN’s website feels a bit outdated–so I wasn’t surprised to find out they don’t have a live chat as a support feature. This is annoying for if you want instant support, but the website still offers a ticket system that is easy to find on the “Contact Us” tab at the top of the page.

AirVPN’s main support system seems to rely on email and the forums. I wanted to find more easily found guides, but in order to do that, you have to dig around.

Verdict

AirVPN might be the most basic VPN we’ve reviewed so far. Both regarding website/app design, application offerings, and lack of extra services. That said, it offers great speeds (if you pick the recommended server) and the client is easy to use with a lot of options to mess with. Payment and setup can be a little confusing at first, but once you get your set-up email, you should be good to go. Overall, AirVPN is worth the low price they ask for, but you might have to sacrifice some premium offerings like live chat and application offerings.

Thanks for reading our AirVPN Review. Comment below with your experiences–head over to our forums to participate in discussion, or rate the VPN yourself to contribute to our community rating!

Visit AirVPN

Good

  • Team seems very dedicated to privacy with no strict logging policy
  • Decent speeds
  • Client works well
  • Good low price point

Bad

  • Account creation on the website is clunky
  • No live chat
  • No extra services
  • No native mobile application
7.1

Good

Pricing - 10
Software - 8
Mobile Software - 0
Extra Services - 5
Website - 7.5
Servers - 8
Privacy - 10
Speeds - 9
Support - 6.5
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