AirVPN Vs Hotspot Shield: Discover The Key Differences

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Do you wish to remain anonymous while surfing the web? AirVPN might be the ideal solution for you if yes.

While anybody can declare to be unique these days, when it concerns VPN service providers, AirVPN shows that it really is.

AirVPN sticks out from other VPN services because of its commitment to protecting user privacy. Right from the start, the AirVPN site begins 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 anybody can claim to be unique nowadays, when it pertains to VPN providers, AirVPN reveals that it truly is.

AirVPN Home Page

They’ve been around a long time, since 2010, when it was started with the aid of 2 lawyers and a small group of hackers and activists. The satellite communications company Iridium formerly 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 bigger business either.

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

AirVPN takes the unconventional route and breaks the mold by providing a VPN designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

How does AirVPN stack up against its rivals with such strong privacy credentials?

AirVPN’s Key Features

Servers

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

Most servers are in Europe (other than those in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong). A small problem here is that the absence of variety of servers lowers the number of international AirVPN users who may access geo-restricted services in their home nation while keeping their personal privacy.

AirVPN Servers

That said, Air is well known for its exceptional performance throughout its server network, with numerous nations having high-performance physical individual servers.

They use transparent bandwidth allocation methods to offer an accurate evaluation of performance, with no overbooking or overselling. Plus, they are completely unlimited, without any speed constraints or time limits.

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

Various ports and protocols are readily available; they use OpenVPN on the following ports: 80 TCP/UDP, 443 TCP/UDP, and 53 TCP/UDP. Moreover, every Air server directly supports OpenVPN over SSH, OpenVPN over SSL, and OpenVPN over Tor. So forget about PPTP and other unsafe protocols.

No choice is given to any protocol, application, or service when it comes down to it. Net Neutrality is maintained. Notably, you can get rid of web constraints such as avoiding censorship, geographic constraints, and traffic shaping.

The use is OpenVPN is a big plus as it instantly enhances users’ personal privacy and security and is highly reliable. Nevertheless, the absence of WireGuard as standard may show Air isn’t quite keeping up with its rivals. That said, AirVPN states it is testing WireGuard, however it will not put the more recent protocol totally in place till some of its technical and personal privacy concerns are attended to.

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

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

You can monitor the present load on each server, any existing concerns, and a history of previous issues 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 offered ports, protocols, DNS server details (AirVPN has its own DNS server), and the IP addresses of each VPN server’s gain access to points.

All of it is nice, however because there is no third-party audit, you have to rely on that what is being provided will work. Looking at the active community online forum or the in-depth open-source clients puts your mind at ease.

A good thing about this is that you can see what other people state about the service prior to registering. You don’t have to take their word for it or the word of an audit.

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

When it concerns AirVPN’s no-logging policy, the company is really clear. Online privacy and security are the absolute priority, with defense from snoopers, data miners, and other entities that invade personal privacy. There is no individual information 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 gathers non-identifiable “technical information” to keep the server running and enhance services, however you can request for this information to be deleted at any time. This makes it among the most privacy-friendly VPN services.

As a result, nobody can identify you online; not even your ISP can tell what sort of traffic or protocol you’re using.

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

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

They also state they abide by EU privacy guidelines and that any servers outside the EU will be treated with the very same or greater levels of personal privacy and data protection as those in the EU.

You can get a brand-new IP address to hide your IP so that nobody can utilize it to learn who you are. You’ll remain safe with the top-level protection offered.

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

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

All of AirVPN’s software is open-source, which is a huge plus. This means that anybody can check out AirVPN’s security. ProtonVPN, Private Internet Access, and Mullvad VPN have open-source apps, but only ProtonVPN’s apps have been inspected by a third party.

Regarding security, AirVPN’s cryptography is arguably the very best available. It’s similar to that of some other providers, but still worth discussing. The first exchange uses 4096-bit RSA to accomplish Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) via Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Following the first key negotiation, re-keying takes place every 60 minutes, and the user can reduce this value. The main data channel employs AES-256-CBC encryption.

When creating an account, you are not required to input any personal info, not even your real e-mail address. That’s fantastic because it lets you prevent leaving any sort of digital footprint. Be aware that you won’t be able to alter 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 countries that share intelligence information). Even if the federal government asked for user details, AirVPN would have absolutely nothing to give them.

Who Or What Is Eddie??

The Eddie UI is the name of AirVPN’s primary open-source application, offered on all significant platforms and OSes, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Regrettably, regardless of Eddie’s substantial capability with OpenVPN, it does not yet support WireGuard, so performance isn’t quite as good as those service providers who utilize it as requirement.

AirVPN Eddie Overview

Setting up the app is easy, and it has all the information you need to connect to a VPN.

Regrettably, there are no maps or clearly indicated buttons to guide you. While it’s not hard to get things working, it doesn’t have the most user-friendly user interface, so it might be a more tough learning curve for inexperienced users.

With Windows, there are a lot of download options. There are builds for various operating systems (from Windows XP to Windows 11), in 32- and 64-bit flavors, 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 doesn’t work on your setup.

After introducing it, choose ‘Connect to a recommended server,’ and the app will connect to your closest location. When you’re ended up, you just click Disconnect. Simple enough for anybody, but Eddie can do a lot more given that AirVPN uses more fine-tuned complete control over operations than any other VPN app we have actually seen.

AirVPN Eddie Servers List

Two key AirVPN features through Eddie are its auto-connect and kill switch. AirVPN enables you to connect when your computer system starts up, but you can’t pick which VPN server it will connect to; it will always connect to the one you selected last.

Despite the fact that it defines “kill switch” anywhere in the settings, AirVPN has a tab called “network lock” that does the same thing. The difference is that AirVPN’s “network lock” stops all traffic that isn’t going through its safe tunnel. A lot of basic kill switches just do this when the VPN is on, but you can establish the “network lock” to filter your traffic at all times.

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

The Overview simply 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 shows all available servers in the network, together with in-depth details about each one, such as the server’s label, location, latency in milliseconds from your location, and current users and server load. Impressive stuff!

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

The Countries page displays the number 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 sign is likewise shown. Lots of 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 country, click the green checkmark, and the servers for that nation will appear on the Servers tab. This whitelist is essentially a favorites list; you might select as numerous countries as you like.

If you click the red “x”, that country 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 country, 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 an easy throughput graph with thin plot lines. Its temporal resolution can be changed, so you can see traffic from the last 10 seconds to one day.

While the majority of apps show your existing VPN server location and IP address at most. Eddie’s Stats page also shows fine-grained information, such as the server’s location, load, present 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 utilize a VPN with all the details they could ever desire about the different locations, down to the number of users on a specific server. It’s a priceless resource.

Lastly, Logs is a comprehensive record of connections, routes, and other information.

This enables you to tweak the setup, such as whether it ought to always connect when opened, which protocol to use between UDP and TCP, and which port number. Proxies, Tor support, custom DNS servers, and routes can be modified.

The really skilled user can go into Advanced and Expert Mode settings, which permit, among other things, sending orders to the OpenVPN Management Interface by means of the Logs pane.

If the huge function list appears frightening, even if you are a VPN expert, it might be hard to find out what particular settings do and how to get the desired results. In addition, it differs from any other service in regards to personalization.

However, do not dismiss AirVPN’s Eddie just because of its intricacy. Remember that the program generally functions fine on its own, and you’ll never ever see the settings till you look for them. If you periodically yearn for power or configurability, the app will offer it.

AirVPN Software Configurations

Suppose you do not want 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?

Although there isn’t any VPN software for iOS, you can utilize an exceptionally feature-rich Android VPN app rather. This software application provides the exact same extensive setup options as its desktop sibling and handy status details.

Different pages for country and server lists are what the Android app does not have that the desktop versions provides. Instead, you can expand a nation and choose a specific city on the same page. Some valuable text additions make the details more understandable, but it’s still quite difficult to understand in some spots.

Android does not have as numerous settings as Windows. That’s not a significant critique; there are still a lot more than most people will ever need. The software application also attempts a bit more to assist you, with extra text subtitles to describe what each choice does.

Speeds/Performance

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

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

In regards to privacy, leak tests revealed that AirVPN’s Windows client didn’t have any DNS leaks, which reveals that the Network Lock/Kill Switch works well.

Now let’s get to those speeds.

It was always going to be slower than the WireGuard-equipped competition because AirVPN only supports OpenVPN.

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

While it wasn’t quite on top tier for VPNs that utilize WireGuard, it was still more than fast enough for many people, and scenarios like HD streaming, video gaming, and video conferencing certainly won’t slow you down.

What AirVPN does not have is a broader variety of server locations. This may limit the availability of nearby servers for some users (which will always result in better speeds). As a result, this VPN is an outstanding choice for the majority of people in the United States and Europe, however possibly less so for other regions.

Streaming

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

Some report that Air is pretty bad for streaming and does not work with any of the major streaming services. It appears to work with less-popular streaming apps like Peacock and Sony Crackle.

Another reviewer states services like BBC iPlayer and US Netflix rarely work, and when they do, discovering the ideal server needs prolonged trial and error. This is most likely because, unlike other providers, AirVPN doesn’t provide servers that are optimised for accessing streaming websites.

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

However, streaming is absolutely not an area in which AirVPN excels, just because that’s not what the service is about, as they are more concentrated on personal privacy and security.

Does AirVPN Permit P2P?

Yes, it does; every web protocol, including peer-to-peer, is welcome. Air supports P2P file-sharing on all of its servers. There’s absolutely nothing to configure, no hoops to jump through. Simply connect to the VPN server of your choice and get going.

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

File sharing has decent speeds on regional servers, allows port forwarding for up to 20 ports at once (which lets you connect to more peers for faster speeds), and works with leading 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 will not be sending out unencrypted packets to the Web. If you are file sharing, a kill switch is very hassle-free, especially 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 issues whatsoever.

AirVPN Plans & Rates

AirVPN provides a broader range of plans than the majority of VPNs. As standard, each plan lets you connect as much as 5 gadgets 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 choice for individuals who reside in a household house or wish to use a VPN on a public network. While five should suffice for many people, other VPN suppliers provide 7 or even 10 if you require more.

Rates varies based upon the membership length, and each plan consists of the exact same features. A lot of plans use good value; however, longer memberships provide the best offer.

The standard pricing is in Euros. Nevertheless, they utilize the European Central Bank to provide real-time exchange rates for those abroad, so it can be quickly converted to and paid for in the currency of your option.

The existing plans offered 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 worldwide alternatives are likewise accepted, such as Alipay and Giropay.

AirVPN offers a three-day complimentary trial, which can be obtained by sending out a message to the support team and utilizing the coupon code they send you.

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

AirVPN Customer Assistance

AirVPN has a different customer assistance offering than lots of other VPNs. While it doesn’t have live chat, it provides email support and frequently asked questions (FAQs) and has an extremely active assistance online forum with contributors from both the service itself and the community.

Notably, AirVPN’s e-mail support isn’t outsourced but can be a little irregular with the time it takes to get a response. That said, the email support is high quality, and the agents are friendly and practical, however the detailed responses can be quite technical, which may put off those brand-new to VPNs.

AirVPN’s website has a great deal of information, including a large Frequently asked questions area that is separated by subject.

AirVPN’s community forums cover many different topics, but novices will have the very same difficulties understanding a great deal of the tech lingo in the posts.

AirVPN Pros & Cons

Pros:

No logging Whatsoever.

Excellent speeds with very little loss.

Unlimited P2P enabled with Port Forwarding.

Strong security on servers and apps 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 Support.

Active Community Forums and Comprehensive Guides.

Good rates, particularly for longer-term plans.

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

Cons:

Only fully supports OpenVPN.

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

Client app may overwhelm more recent users.

It is very hit and miss with streaming services.

No native iOS or ChromeOS apps.

Perhaps there are too many advanced choices.

Found in 14-Eyes Country.

Server numbers are reasonably low.

Rounding Things Up – Is AirVPN The Best Choice?

So the bottom line is that AirVPN is a strong, reliable, and safe VPN service with good pricing. It’s clearly 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 company. Even brand-new users could do much, much worse.

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

This VPN service is more focused on securing your privacy than unblocking streaming services like Netflix or Hulu when it comes down to it.

It may not ensure the very same level of personal privacy and privacy as a service like Mullvad, which assigns you a random account number and enables you to pay in cash, AirVPN is still an excellent choice for consumers who value their personal privacy.

While it doesn’t 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 outstanding option for online filesharing.

Highly recommended!

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