AirVPN Vs Hotspot Shield Comparison – 6 Pros & Cons You Should Learn In 2022

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Do you wish to stay anonymous while surfing the web? If yes, then AirVPN could be the perfect option for you.

While anyone can declare to be distinct nowadays, when it concerns VPN companies, AirVPN reveals that it genuinely is.

AirVPN sticks out from other VPN services because of its commitment to securing user privacy. Right from the start, the AirVPN site starts with an appeal for your trust, stating, “A VPN based on OpenVPN and operated by activists and hacktivists in defence of net neutrality, privacy and against censorship”.While anyone can claim to be special these days, when it concerns VPN suppliers, AirVPN shows that it truly is.

AirVPN Home Page

They have actually been around a very long time, since 2010, when it was started with the help of 2 lawyers and a little group of activists and hackers. The satellite communications service provider Iridium previously ran it, but AirVPN took over in November 2012. According to the owner’s listing, AirVPN, based in Perugia, is currently owned by Paolo Brini (Italy).

Throughout the last years, it hasn’t been dogged by security scandals like some VPNs have. Nor has it been acquired by a larger organization either.

Throughout their About Us and Mission pages, the company’s history is explained and details the privacy projects that AirVPN has actually established or supported. These consist of an online encryption tool, a net neutrality monitor, and other projects such as Tor, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and WikiLeaks.

AirVPN takes the non-traditional route and breaks the mold by providing a VPN developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

How does AirVPN stack up versus its competitors with such strong personal privacy qualifications?

AirVPN’s Key Features

Servers

AirVPN’s network is much smaller than most, with just 246 servers spread across 23 nations.

The majority of servers are in Europe (aside from those in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong). A small issue here is that the absence of variety of servers decreases the number of worldwide AirVPN users who might access geo-restricted services in their home country while preserving their privacy.

AirVPN Servers

That stated, Air is well known for its outstanding performance across its server network, with lots of countries having high-performance physical individual servers.

They use transparent bandwidth allocation techniques to offer an accurate assessment of performance, with no overbooking or overselling. Plus, they are entirely unlimited, without any speed restrictions or time limits.

To establish a connection between your machine and their servers, they utilize OpenVPN and WireGuard (in beta). OpenVPN is the most safe and trustworthy way to create encrypted tunnels. It offers more security than the military.

Numerous ports and protocols are readily available; they use OpenVPN on the following ports: 80 TCP/UDP, 443 TCP/UDP, and 53 TCP/UDP. Every Air server directly supports OpenVPN over SSH, OpenVPN over SSL, and OpenVPN over Tor. Forget about PPTP and other hazardous protocols.

When it boils down to it, no preference is given to any protocol, application, or service. Net Neutrality is upheld. Notably, you can get rid of web constraints such as avoiding censorship, geographical constraints, and traffic shaping.

The use is OpenVPN is a big plus as it automatically enhances users’ personal privacy and security and is highly trustworthy. Nevertheless, the lack of WireGuard as standard might show Air isn’t rather keeping up with its competitors. That stated, AirVPN states it is testing WireGuard, however it will not put the more recent protocol completely in place until a few of its technical and privacy concerns are attended to.

AirVPN has likewise added a lot for power users and tech-savvy individuals who like to try out things.

Switching is limitless, so if you do not like one server, you can quickly change servers as frequently as you like.

You can keep an eye on the existing load on each server, any existing problems, and a history of previous problems on AirVPN’s network status page (which opens in a brand-new tab).

There is a comprehensive specifications page for AirVPN’s servers, with details like the readily available ports, protocols, DNS server details (AirVPN has its own DNS server), and the IP addresses of each VPN server’s access points.

All of it is nice, however considering that there is no third-party audit, you have to rely on that what is being used will work. But looking at the active community forum or the detailed open-source clients puts your mind at ease.

A great aspect of this is that you can see what other individuals state about the service prior to signing up. You do not have to take their word for it or the word of an audit.

Just How Private Is AirVPN, & Does It Keep Logs?

The company is extremely clear when it comes to AirVPN’s no-logging policy. Online privacy and security are the outright top priority, with defense from snoopers, data miners, and other entities that attack privacy. There is no personal info logged by AirVPN, which has a strong no-logging, tracking, or monitoring policy.

AirVPN doesn’t track what you do when you’re connected to the VPN, date/time stamps, or your IP address. It only collects non-identifiable “technical data” to keep the server running and enhance services, but you can request this information to be deleted at any time. This makes it one of the most privacy-friendly VPN services.

As a result, no one can identify you online; not even your ISP can determine what kind of traffic or protocol you’re utilizing.

There’s no listening in, so you can connect to any wireless network without worrying about your computer and the Wi-Fi hotspot spying on your data.

Even the most ruthless surveillance, censoring, throttling, and traffic shaping techniques will fail versus AirVPN because your ISP and government will just see TCP or UDP communication on a single port.

They likewise state they comply with EU privacy guidelines which any servers outside the EU will be treated with the very same or higher levels of personal privacy and data protection as those in the EU.

You can get a new IP address to conceal your IP so that nobody can utilize it to find out who you are. You’ll stay safe with the high-level protection provided.

You can still connect to an AirVPN server through OpenVPN over SSH, SSL, or Tor if your ISP or country blocks OpenVPN.

Open-source clients and a lively community online forum allow you to get a sense of what present users are saying about the service prior to registering.

All of AirVPN’s software is open-source, which is a huge plus. This suggests that anyone can check out AirVPN’s security. ProtonVPN, Private Internet Access, and Mullvad VPN have open-source apps, however just ProtonVPN’s apps have been inspected by a 3rd party.

Concerning security, AirVPN’s cryptography is probably the best available. It resembles that of some other companies, however still worth mentioning. The very first exchange utilizes 4096-bit RSA to attain Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) through Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Following the first key negotiation, re-keying occurs every 60 minutes, and the user can minimize this value. The primary data channel uses AES-256-CBC encryption.

When creating an account, you are not required to input any personal information, not even your genuine email address. That’s great given that it lets you prevent leaving any sort of digital footprint. However be aware that you will not be able to change your account’s password if you do not utilize one.

Italy, where AirVPN is based, belongs to the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of nations that share intelligence information). Even if the federal government asked for user information, AirVPN would have nothing to offer them.

Who Or What Is Eddie??

The Eddie UI is the name of AirVPN’s primary open-source application, available on all significant platforms and OSes, consisting of Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Regrettably, despite Eddie’s significant ability with OpenVPN, it does not yet support WireGuard, so performance isn’t quite as good as those providers who use it as standard.

AirVPN Eddie Overview

Establishing the app is simple, and it has all the details you need to connect to a VPN.

There are no maps or clearly indicated buttons to direct you. While it’s not difficult to get things working, it does not have the most user-friendly user interface, so it may be a more tough learning curve for unskilled users.

With Windows, there are a lot of download alternatives. There are builds for various operating systems (from Windows XP to Windows 11), in 32- and 64-bit tastes, and in installable or portable formats. In addition, there’s a changelog to describe what’s new and an archive of past releases in case the most current does not work on your setup.

After launching it, select ‘Connect to a recommended server,’ and the app will connect to your closest place. You just click Disconnect when you’re completed. Simple enough for anyone, however Eddie can do a lot more considering that AirVPN provides more fine-tuned complete control over operations than any other VPN app we’ve seen.

AirVPN Eddie Servers List

2 essential AirVPN features through Eddie are its auto-connect and kill switch. AirVPN enables you to connect when your computer system launches, however you can’t select which VPN server it will connect to; it will always connect to the one you picked last.

Although it defines “kill switch” throughout the settings, AirVPN has a tab called “network lock” that does the very same thing. The difference is that AirVPN’s “network lock” stops all traffic that isn’t going through its safe and secure tunnel. Many standard kill switches only do this when the VPN is on, however you can set up the “network lock” to filter your traffic at all times.

Eddie’s design is easy to understand. Along the top, there are 6 tabs: Overview, Servers, Countries, Speed, Stats, and Logs.

The Overview just shows the server to which you are connected, the download and upload speeds, the exit IP address, and the connection time. This is where you log into your account.

The Servers page displays all offered servers in the network, together with comprehensive information about every one, such as the server’s label, area, latency in milliseconds from your place, and present users and server load. Outstanding stuff!

This tab likewise has an amber/green signal that lets you understand whether a server is recommended for you.

The Countries page shows the variety of servers offered in each country at a glimpse, together with a sign of server load and user numbers. Just like the Servers page, the amber/green indicator is likewise revealed. Many servers have up to 1000 Mb/s bandwidth, while some smaller sized ones have a 100 Mb/s connection.

A green checkmark, a red “X,” and a blank box can be discovered on the right rail of the Countries tab. Highlight a nation, click the green checkmark, and the servers for that nation will appear on the Servers tab. This whitelist is essentially a favorites list; you may select as lots of countries as you like.

If you click the red “x”, that nation will be removed, effectively making it a blocklist/denylist. To get rid of the green checkmark from a country, click the empty box.

By choosing a nation, you are not instantly connected to a VPN server. Connect to a server by marking it and clicking on the “sign out” icon on the right-hand side (a right-facing arrow pointing into a square bracket).

The Speed tab displays a basic throughput graph with thin plot lines. Its temporal resolution can be altered, so you can see traffic from the last 10 seconds to one day.

While most apps show your present VPN server location and IP address at most. Eddie’s Stats page also reveals fine-grained information, such as the server’s location, load, current user count, protocol, port, encryption algorithm, session start time and length, IPv6 exit address, information downloaded and uploaded, and a lot more.

Power users, in particular, should value the ability to use a VPN with all the details they might ever desire about the various locations, down to the variety of users on a particular server. It’s a priceless resource.

Lastly, Logs is an in-depth record of connections, routes, and other data.

A million and one other settings are hidden in the app’s Settings menu. This allows you to fine-tune the setup, such as whether it should always connect when opened, which protocol to use between UDP and TCP, and which port number. Or whether to try an SSH tunnel through more flexible ports such as 22, 80, and 443. Proxies, Tor support, custom DNS servers, and routes can be modified.

The truly competent user can enter into Advanced and Expert Mode settings, which enable, to name a few things, sending orders to the OpenVPN Management Interface by means of the Logs pane.

If the vast feature list appears scary, even if you are a VPN expert, it might be tough to figure out what specific settings do and how to get the desired outcomes. In addition, it is unlike any other service in regards to personalization.

Do not dismiss AirVPN’s Eddie just due to the fact that of its intricacy. Remember that the program usually functions fine by itself, and you’ll never ever see the settings till you look for them. Nevertheless, if you sometimes crave power or configurability, the app will supply it.

AirVPN Software Configurations

Suppose you don’t wish to use Eddie. In that case, you can also set up a router or firewall to send all traffic through a VPN tunnel. This works with routers running the open-source DD-WRT and Tomato firmware and the FreeBSD-based pfSense firewall.

How Good Is AirVPN’s Mobile App?

There isn’t any VPN software for iOS, you can use a very feature-rich Android VPN app rather. This software provides the very same comprehensive configuration choices as its desktop sibling and helpful status details.

Separate pages for nation and server lists are what the Android app lacks that the desktop versions provides. Instead, you can expand a country and pick a specific city on the exact same page. Some valuable text additions make the information more reasonable, however it’s still rather challenging to understand in some spots.

Android does not have as numerous settings as Windows. That’s not a significant critique; there are still much more than the majority of people will ever require. The software likewise tries a bit more to help you, with extra text subtitles to describe what each option does.

Speeds/Performance

Utilizing OpenVPN, the Eddie Windows app from AirVPN usually connects rapidly and is ready to enter less than 10 seconds.

Online reviewers felt the connection monitoring was great, with the app discovering when the VPN tunnel drops, alerting us with a desktop alert, and reconnecting us in seconds.

In terms of privacy, leak tests showed that AirVPN’s Windows client didn’t have any DNS leaks, which shows that the Network Lock/Kill Switch works well.

Now let’s get to those speeds.

Due to the fact that AirVPN just supports OpenVPN, it was always going to be slower than the WireGuard-equipped competition.

Reviewers have actually reported speeds to be excellent. Undoubtedly, one stated there wasn’t a single country where they could grumble about the speed. On the contrary, it was truly impressive overall.

While it wasn’t quite at the top tier for VPNs that use WireGuard, it was still more than fast enough for the majority of people, and circumstances like HD video, gaming, and streaming conferencing absolutely won’t slow you down.

What AirVPN lacks is a broader variety of server areas. This may limit the ease of access of neighboring servers for some users (which will constantly result in better speeds). As a result, this VPN is an outstanding option for most people in the United States and Europe, however maybe less so for other areas.

Streaming

Streaming the big services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple Television, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and Discovery+ has actually been a mixed bag for reviewers. Some report that AirVPN is powerful enough to bypass the VPN blocks used by Netflix in the USA, whereas others do not.

Certainly, some report that Air is pretty bad for streaming and doesn’t work with any of the significant streaming services. However, it appears to work with less-popular streaming apps like Peacock and Sony Crackle.

Another reviewer states services like BBC iPlayer and US Netflix seldom work, and when they do, discovering the ideal server needs prolonged experimentation. This is probably since, unlike other providers, AirVPN doesn’t use servers that are optimised for accessing streaming sites.

The good news is, on AirVPN’s website, there is a list of ‘blocked websites’ that users can check to see if the situation with these streaming sites ever changes.

Streaming is certainly not an area in which AirVPN excels, merely since that’s not what the service is about, as they are more focused on personal privacy and security.

Does AirVPN Allow Torrenting?

Yes, it does; every web protocol, consisting of peer-to-peer, is welcome. Certainly, Air supports P2P file-sharing on all of its servers. There’s absolutely nothing to set up, no hoops to leap through. Merely connect to the VPN server of your option and get going.

Plus, you can utilize port forwarding to enhance your file-sharing performance. Numerous applications, such as BitTorrent and eMule clients, would run badly without it, and your computer system’s shares might be inaccessible from the Web.

File sharing has decent speeds on local servers, allows port forwarding for up to 20 ports simultaneously (which lets you connect to more peers for faster speeds), and works with top torrenting clients like qBitTorrent and uTorrent.

AirVPN’s built-in kill switch, triggered by default, will block all traffic from exiting your device if the VPN connection ever drops. That way, you won’t be sending unencrypted packets to the Internet. If you are file sharing, a kill switch is really hassle-free, specifically if you need to leave your connection unattended.

Reviewers have shown torrenting to be remarkable, smooth running with quick download and upload speeds, and without any concerns whatsoever.

AirVPN Plans & Prices

AirVPN uses a larger range of plans than most VPNs. As standard, each plan lets you connect as much as five devices concurrently, so you can connect your PC, phone, tablet, and a couple of other gadgets all at the same time.

This makes it an excellent option for people who reside in a household home or want to utilize a VPN on a public network. While five should be enough for most people, other VPN suppliers provide 7 or even 10 if you need more.

Prices varies based on the membership length, and each plan includes the exact same features. The majority of plans provide good value; nevertheless, longer subscriptions provide the very best deal.

The standard pricing is in Euros. They use the European Central Bank to offer real-time exchange rates for those abroad, so it can be quickly transformed to and paid for in the currency of your choice.

The present plans available are:

Three days- EUR2

One month – EUR7

Three months – EUR15 – works out to EUR 5/month

Six months – EUR29 – works out to EUR 4.83/month

One year – EUR49 – works out to EUR 4.08/month

Two years – EUR79 – works out to EUR 3.29/month

Three years – EUR99 – works out to EUR 2.75/month

AirVPN accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and a whole load of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Doge. Lots of international options are also accepted, such as Alipay and Giropay.

AirVPN offers a three-day totally free trial, which can be obtained by sending a message to the support team and using the discount coupon code they send you.

There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, as long as they haven’t broken the terms of service or used more than 5 GB of data during that time.

AirVPN Customer Assistance

AirVPN has a different customer support offering than many other VPNs. While it doesn’t have live chat, it offers email support and frequently asked questions (Frequently asked questions) and has a very active assistance forum with contributors from both the service itself and the community.

Importantly, AirVPN’s email assistance isn’t contracted out but can be a little irregular with the time it takes to get a response. That stated, the email support is high quality, and the representatives are friendly and handy, however the comprehensive answers can be pretty technical, which might put off those brand-new to VPNs.

AirVPN’s website has a lot of details, including a big Frequently asked questions section that is broken up by subject.

AirVPN’s community forums cover various topics, but newbies will have the exact same troubles understanding a great deal of the tech jargon in the posts.

AirVPN Pros & Cons

Pros:

No logging Whatsoever.

Exceptional speeds with very little loss.

Unlimited P2P allowed with Port Forwarding.

Strong security on apps and servers alike, with advanced protocols and encryption.

Network Lock/Kill Switch.

Split tunneling.

Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile, and routers.

Supports Tor over VPN.

Easy app installation and usage.

Many, many advanced settings and customization options in the client app.

Strong Customer Care.

Active Community Online Forums and Comprehensive Guides.

Good costs, particularly for longer-term plans.

Optional block lists shield you from ads, adware, trackers, and damaging sources.

Cons:

Only fully supports OpenVPN.

Client app isn’t extremely easy to use or attractive like other services.

Client app might overwhelm newer users.

It is very hit and miss with streaming services.

No native iOS or ChromeOS apps.

Perhaps there are too many advanced choices.

Located in 14-Eyes Nation.

Server numbers are reasonably low.

Rounding Things Up – Is AirVPN The Best Choice?

So the bottom line is that AirVPN is a strong, reputable, and safe VPN service with great pricing. It’s plainly tailored towards more power and advanced users, so those brand-new to VPNs will be better served by a less, shall we say, specialized VPN service provider. Even brand-new users might do much, much worse.

While it could be challenging to use if you’re brand-new to VPNs, you’ll receive much quicker speeds and better results than much of its rival VPN competitors.

When it comes down to it, this VPN service is more concentrated on securing your personal privacy than unblocking streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

Although it might not guarantee the exact same level of personal privacy and anonymity as a service like Mullvad, which assigns you a random account number and permits you to pay in cash, AirVPN is still a great alternative for customers who value their privacy.

While it does not hit the speed heights of a WireGuard service, performance-wise, it’s definitely the very best purely OpenVPN service out there. In addition to being an exceptional option for online filesharing.

Highly recommended!

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