AirVPN Vs Hotspot Shield: First-Rate VPNs Compared

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

While anyone can claim to be distinct nowadays, when it concerns VPN service providers, AirVPN reveals that it truly is.

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

AirVPN Home Page

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

During the last decade, it hasn’t been dogged by security scandals like some VPNs have. Nor has it been acquired by a bigger company either.

Throughout their About Us and Mission pages, the company’s history is described and information the privacy projects that AirVPN has actually developed 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 non-traditional route and breaks the mold by offering a VPN created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

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

AirVPN’s Key Features

Servers

AirVPN’s network is much smaller than a lot of, with just 246 servers spread throughout 23 nations.

The majority of servers are in Europe (besides those in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong). A small issue here is that the absence of variety of servers minimizes the number of global AirVPN users who might access geo-restricted services in their home nation while keeping their personal privacy.

AirVPN Servers

That stated, Air is popular for its impressive performance throughout its server network, with numerous countries having high-performance physical individual servers.

They use transparent bandwidth allocation methods to supply an accurate evaluation of performance, with no overbooking or overselling. Plus, they are entirely unlimited, with no 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 protected and dependable way to create encrypted tunnels. It uses more security than the military.

Many ports and protocols are 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 risky protocols.

When it boils down to it, no choice is given to any service, protocol, or application. Net Neutrality is upheld. Significantly, you can overcome web constraints such as avoiding censorship, geographical constraints, and traffic shaping.

The use is OpenVPN is a big plus as it immediately improves users’ personal privacy and security and is highly reputable. The absence of WireGuard as standard may reveal Air isn’t quite keeping up with its competitors. That said, AirVPN states it is testing WireGuard, however it will not put the more recent protocol completely in place up until a few of its technical and privacy issues are resolved.

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

Switching is unlimited, so if you don’t like one server, you can quickly switch servers as often as you like.

You can monitor the present 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 an in-depth specs page for AirVPN’s servers, with info like the available ports, protocols, DNS server information (AirVPN has its own DNS server), and the IP addresses of each VPN server’s access points.

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

A great thing about this is that you can see what other individuals state about the service before registering. You don’t need to take their word for it or the word of an audit.

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

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

AirVPN does not track what you do when you’re connected to the VPN, date/time stamps, or your IP address. It just collects non-identifiable “technical information” to keep the server running and enhance services, but you can request this info to be erased 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 kind of traffic or protocol you’re using.

There’s no listening in, so you can connect to any wi-fi network without stressing over 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 due to the fact that your ISP and government will only see TCP or UDP communication on a single port.

They likewise state they follow EU privacy policies and that any servers outside the EU will be treated with the very same or higher levels of privacy and information protection as those in the EU.

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

If your ISP or country obstructs OpenVPN, you can still connect to an AirVPN server through OpenVPN over SSH, SSL, or Tor.

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

All of AirVPN’s software is open-source, which is a huge plus. This means that anyone can look into AirVPN’s security. ProtonVPN, Private Internet Access, and Mullvad VPN have open-source apps, but just ProtonVPN’s apps have actually been examined by a third party.

Relating to security, AirVPN’s cryptography is arguably the finest available. The first exchange uses 4096-bit RSA to accomplish Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) by means of Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

When creating an account, you are not required to input any personal info, not even your real email address. That’s excellent since it lets you avoid leaving any sort of digital footprint. But be aware that you will not have the ability to alter your account’s password if you do not use one.

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

Who Or What Is Eddie??

The Eddie UI is the name of AirVPN’s primary open-source application, readily available on all major platforms and OSes, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Regardless of Eddie’s substantial ability with OpenVPN, it does not yet support WireGuard, so performance isn’t rather as good as those service providers who use it as requirement.

AirVPN Eddie Overview

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

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 easy to use interface, so it may be a more challenging learning curve for unskilled users.

With Windows, there are a ton of download choices. There are builds for different operating systems (from Windows XP to Windows 11), in 32- and 64-bit flavors, and in portable or installable 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 introducing it, select ‘Connect to a recommended server,’ and the app will connect to your closest location. You simply click Disconnect when you’re finished. Simple enough for anybody, but Eddie can do so much more since AirVPN offers more fine-tuned complete control over operations than any other VPN app we’ve seen.

AirVPN Eddie Servers List

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

Despite the fact that it defines “kill switch” anywhere in the settings, AirVPN has a tab called “network lock” that does the exact same thing. The difference is that AirVPN’s “network lock” stops all traffic that isn’t going through its protected tunnel. Many basic kill switches just 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 displays 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 readily available servers in the network, together with in-depth info about each one, such as the server’s nickname, location, latency in milliseconds from your location, and existing users and server load. Remarkable stuff!

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

The Countries page shows the variety of servers available in each country at a glance, together with an indicator 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 found on the right rail of the Countries tab. Highlight a nation, click the green checkmark, and the servers for that country will appear on the Servers tab. This whitelist is basically a favorites list; you might choose as lots of nations 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 picking a nation, you are not immediately connected to a VPN server. To do so, go back to the Servers page and pick the server you desire in a specific country. 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). There are also a checkmark, “X,” and blank box icons. There’s also a “refresh” button to get updated information on ping times and load times.

The Speed tab shows an easy 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 many apps display 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, existing user count, protocol, port, encryption algorithm, session start time and length, IPv6 exit address, information downloaded and uploaded, and far more.

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

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

This allows you to fine-tune the setup, such as whether it needs to constantly connect when opened, which protocol to use between UDP and TCP, and which port number. Proxies, Tor assistance, custom-made DNS servers, and routes can be modified.

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

If the large function list appears frightening, even if you are a VPN expert, it might be tough to determine what specific settings do and how to get the desired results. In addition, it differs from any other service in terms of personalization.

Do not dismiss AirVPN’s Eddie simply due to the fact that of its complexity. Remember that the program normally operates fine by itself, and you’ll never ever see the settings till you look for them. If you sometimes yearn for power or configurability, the app will supply it.

AirVPN Software Configurations

Suppose you don’t wish to utilize 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 utilize a very feature-rich Android VPN app rather. This software provides the exact same extensive configuration options as its desktop sibling and helpful status details.

Different pages for country and server lists are what the Android app lacks that the desktop versions provides. Instead, you can expand a country and select a particular city on the exact same page. Some useful text additions make the details more easy to understand, however it’s still quite tough 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 need. The software also attempts a little more to assist you, with additional text subtitles to describe what each alternative does.

Speeds/Performance

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

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

In terms of 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 due to the fact that AirVPN just supports OpenVPN.

However, reviewers have actually reported speeds to be outstanding. Undoubtedly, one stated there wasn’t a single nation where they could complain about the speed. On the contrary, it was truly remarkable overall.

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

What AirVPN does not have is a broader variety of server areas. This might limit the ease of access of close-by servers for some users (which will constantly result in much better speeds). As a result, this VPN is an exceptional option for the majority of people in the United States and Europe, but possibly 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 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.

Some report that Air is quite poor for streaming and does not work with any of the major streaming services. However, it appears to deal with less-popular streaming apps like Peacock and Sony Crackle.

Another reviewer says services like BBC iPlayer and US Netflix rarely work, and when they do, discovering the right server requires lengthy experimentation. This is most likely due to the fact that, unlike other companies, AirVPN doesn’t offer servers that are optimised for accessing streaming websites.

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

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

Does AirVPN Allow Torrenting?

Air supports P2P file-sharing on all of its servers. Just 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 poorly without it, and your computer’s shares might be inaccessible from the Web.

File sharing has decent speeds on regional servers, permits port forwarding for as much as 20 ports at the same time (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, activated by default, will obstruct all traffic from exiting your gadget if the VPN connection ever drops. That way, you will not be sending out unencrypted packets to the Internet. If you are file sharing, a kill switch is extremely practical, particularly if you need to leave your connection unattended.

Reviewers have revealed torrenting to be impressive, smooth running with quick download and upload speeds, and with no issues whatsoever.

AirVPN Plans & Prices

AirVPN uses a wider variety of plans than many VPNs. As standard, each plan lets you connect as much as five gadgets all at once, so you can connect your PC, phone, tablet, and a couple of other gadgets all at the same time.

This makes it an outstanding option for individuals who reside in a household house or want to use a VPN on a public network. While 5 really should suffice for many people, other VPN providers offer 7 or even 10 if you require more.

Pricing varies based on the membership length, and each plan includes the same features. Most plans offer good value; nevertheless, longer memberships use the very best offer.

The standard pricing is in Euros. They use 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 current 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, consisting of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Doge. Lots of international choices are likewise accepted, such as Alipay and Giropay.

AirVPN offers a three-day totally free 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 utilized more than 5 GB of data during that time.

AirVPN Customer Assistance

AirVPN has a different customer assistance offering than many other VPNs. While it does not have live chat, it provides email assistance and frequently asked questions (Frequently asked questions) and has an extremely active assistance forum with contributors from both the service itself and the community.

Importantly, AirVPN’s e-mail assistance isn’t contracted out however can be a little inconsistent with the time it takes to get a reaction. That stated, the email assistance is high quality, and the representatives are valuable and friendly, however the detailed responses can be quite technical, which may put off those brand-new to VPNs.

AirVPN’s website has a lot of info, including a large Frequently asked questions area that is broken up by topic.

AirVPN’s community forums cover various subjects, however beginners will have the very same difficulties understanding a great deal of the tech jargon in the posts.

AirVPN Pros & Cons

Pros:

No logging Whatsoever.

Outstanding speeds with very little loss.

Unrestricted P2P permitted 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 setup and use.

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

Strong Customer Service.

Active Community Online Forums and Comprehensive Guides.

Excellent costs, especially 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 user-friendly 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.

Maybe there are too many advanced choices.

Located in 14-Eyes Nation.

Server numbers are fairly low.

Rounding Things Up – Is AirVPN The Best Option?

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

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

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

Although it might not ensure 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 good alternative for customers who value their privacy.

While it doesn’t hit the speed heights of a WireGuard service, performance-wise, it’s absolutely the very best purely OpenVPN service out there. In addition to being an outstanding choice for online filesharing.

Highly recommended!

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