AirVPN Vs Hotspot Shield: The Champ Might Surprise You

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Do you want to stay anonymous while surfing the web? AirVPN might be the best option for you if yes.

While anybody can declare to be special nowadays, when it comes to VPN providers, AirVPN shows that it really is.

AirVPN sticks out from other VPN services because of its dedication to protecting user privacy. 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 declare to be distinct these days, when it pertains to VPN suppliers, AirVPN reveals that it truly is.

AirVPN Home Page

They have actually been around a 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 provider Iridium formerly ran it, but AirVPN took control of in November 2012. According to the owner’s listing, AirVPN, based in Perugia, is presently owned by Paolo Brini (Italy).

During 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 business’s history is explained and information the personal privacy projects that AirVPN has 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 non-traditional route and breaks the mold by supplying a VPN created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.

So how does AirVPN compare to its competitors with such strong personal privacy qualifications?

AirVPN’s Key Features

Servers

AirVPN’s network is much smaller than many, with only 246 servers spread out across 23 countries.

A lot of servers are in Europe (other than those in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong). A small issue here is that the lack of variety of servers lowers the number of worldwide AirVPN users who may access geo-restricted services in their home country while maintaining their privacy.

AirVPN Servers

That said, Air is well known for its impressive performance across its server network, with many nations 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 completely unlimited, with no speed restrictions or time limits.

To establish a connection between your machine and their servers, they use OpenVPN and WireGuard (in beta). OpenVPN is the most safe and secure and reliable method to create encrypted tunnels. It uses 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 risky protocols.

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

The use is OpenVPN is a big plus as it immediately enhances users’ personal privacy and security and is extremely trusted. The lack of WireGuard as standard might reveal Air isn’t quite keeping up with its rivals. That stated, AirVPN states it is testing WireGuard, but it will not put the newer protocol fully in place until some of its technical and personal privacy issues are attended to.

AirVPN has actually likewise added a lot for power users and tech-savvy individuals who like to experiment with things.

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

You can keep an eye on the current 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 detailed specifications page for AirVPN’s servers, with details like the available ports, protocols, DNS server info (AirVPN has its own DNS server), and the IP addresses of each VPN server’s gain access to points.

All of it is nice, but since 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 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 before registering. You do not need 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 personal privacy and security are the absolute concern, with defense from snoopers, data miners, and other entities that invade 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 data” to keep the server running and enhance services, however you can ask for 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 determine what type of traffic or protocol you’re utilizing.

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 data.

Even the most ruthless surveillance, censoring, throttling, and traffic shaping strategies will fail against 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 adhere to EU personal privacy policies and that any servers outside the EU will be treated with the very same or higher levels of personal privacy and information protection as those in the EU.

You can get a brand-new IP address to conceal your IP so that nobody can use it to find out who you are. You’ll remain safe with the top-level security supplied.

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 online forum enable you to get a sense of what present users are stating about the service prior to registering.

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

Relating to security, AirVPN’s cryptography is probably the finest available. The very first exchange utilizes 4096-bit RSA to attain Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) via Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

When creating an account, you are not required to input any personal info, not even your real e-mail address. That’s fantastic since it lets you avoid leaving any sort of digital footprint. But understand that you won’t be able to alter your account’s password if you don’t utilize one.

Italy, where AirVPN is based, belongs to the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share intelligence data). But even if the 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 main open-source application, offered on all significant platforms and OSes, consisting of Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Unfortunately, regardless of Eddie’s significant capability with OpenVPN, it does not yet support WireGuard, so performance isn’t quite as good as those providers who use it as requirement.

AirVPN Eddie Overview

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

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

With Windows, there are a ton of download alternatives. There are builds for various running 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 brand-new and an archive of past releases in case the most existing doesn’t work on your setup.

After launching it, choose ‘Connect to a recommended server,’ and the app will connect to your closest area. You simply click Disconnect when you’re completed. Simple enough for anyone, however Eddie can do so much more considering 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 functions 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.

Although it defines “kill switch” anywhere in the settings, AirVPN has actually a tab called “network lock” that does the same thing. The distinction is that AirVPN’s “network lock” stops all traffic that isn’t going through its protected tunnel. Many basic kill switches only do this when the VPN is on, but you can establish 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 merely 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 readily available servers in the network, in addition to in-depth information about every one, such as the server’s nickname, area, latency in milliseconds from your location, and present users and server load. Remarkable stuff!

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

The Countries page displays the number of servers readily available in each country at a glimpse, together with a sign of server load and user numbers. As with the Servers page, the amber/green sign is also revealed. 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 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 numerous nations as you like.

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

By choosing a nation, you are not immediately 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 shows a basic 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 many apps display your present VPN server location and IP address at most. Eddie’s Stats page also shows fine-grained details, such as the server’s location, load, present user count, protocol, port, encryption algorithm, session start time and length, IPv6 exit address, data uploaded and downloaded, and far more.

Power users, in particular, should value the capability to use a VPN with all the details they could ever want about the different locations, down to the variety of users on a particular server. It’s an invaluable resource.

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

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

The genuinely proficient user can go into Advanced and Expert Mode settings, which allow, to name a few things, sending orders to the OpenVPN Management Interface via the Logs pane.

If the huge feature list appears frightening, even if you are a VPN professional, it might be tough to figure out what specific settings do and how to get the wanted results. In addition, it differs from any other service in regards to personalization.

Don’t dismiss AirVPN’s Eddie simply since of its intricacy. Bear in mind that the program generally functions fine by itself, and you’ll never see the settings up until you search for them. If you periodically crave 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 out 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 extremely feature-rich Android VPN app instead. This software offers the same extensive setup options as its desktop sibling and helpful status details.

Different pages for nation and server lists are what the Android app does not have that the desktop versions provides. Rather, you can expand a nation and pick a specific city on the exact same page. Some useful text additions make the info more reasonable, but it’s still rather challenging to comprehend in some spots.

Android does not have as many settings as Windows. That’s not a significant critique; there are still a lot more than most people will ever require. The software likewise tries a bit more to assist you, with additional text subtitles to explain what each alternative 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 finding when the VPN tunnel drops, notifying us with a desktop notice, and reconnecting us in seconds.

In terms of personal privacy, leak tests revealed 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.

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

Nevertheless, reviewers have actually reported speeds to be exceptional. 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 rather at the top tier for VPNs that use WireGuard, it was still more than fast enough for most people, and scenarios like HD streaming, video gaming, and video conferencing absolutely won’t slow you down.

What AirVPN does not have is a broader variety of server locations. This may restrict the availability of close-by servers for some users (which will constantly lead to better speeds). As a result, this VPN is an exceptional option for the majority of people in the United States and Europe, but maybe less so for other areas.

Streaming

Streaming the huge 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 powerful enough to bypass the VPN blocks utilized 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 work with less-popular streaming apps like Peacock and Sony Crackle.

Another reviewer says services like BBC iPlayer and US Netflix hardly ever work, and when they do, finding the ideal server requires lengthy trial and error. This is probably since, unlike other companies, AirVPN does not provide servers that are optimised for accessing streaming sites.

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

Nevertheless, streaming is absolutely not an area in which AirVPN stands out, simply because that’s not what the service is about, as they are more concentrated on privacy and security.

Does AirVPN Permit 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 use port forwarding to improve 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 regional servers, allows port forwarding for up to 20 ports at the same time (which lets you connect to more peers for faster speeds), and deals with top torrenting clients like qBitTorrent and uTorrent.

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

Reviewers have revealed torrenting to be remarkable, smooth running with fast download and upload speeds, and without any problems whatsoever.

AirVPN Plans & Pricing

AirVPN uses a wider range of plans than most VPNs. As standard, each plan lets you connect as much as 5 devices at the same time, so you can connect your PC, phone, tablet, and a couple of other devices all at the same time.

This makes it an outstanding choice for individuals who reside in a household house or want to use a VPN on a public network. While five really should suffice for the majority of people, other VPN providers provide 7 or even 10 if you require more.

Rates differs based upon the membership length, and each plan includes the same features. The majority of plans offer good value; however, longer subscriptions offer the very best deal.

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

The existing plans readily 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, consisting of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Doge. Lots of worldwide options are likewise accepted, such as Alipay and Giropay.

AirVPN offers a three-day complimentary trial, which can be obtained by sending 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 support offering than many other VPNs. While it does not have live chat, it uses e-mail support and frequently asked questions (Frequently asked questions) and has an extremely active assistance online forum with contributors from both the service itself and the community.

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

AirVPN’s website has a great deal of info, consisting of a large Frequently asked questions area that is separated by topic.

AirVPN’s community forums cover several subjects, however beginners will have the exact same troubles understanding a great deal of the tech lingo in the posts.

AirVPN Pros & Cons

Pros:

No logging Whatsoever.

Outstanding speeds with minimal loss.

Unlimited 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 usage.

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

Solid Customer Service.

Active Community Forums and Detailed Guides.

Good rates, particularly for longer-term plans.

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

Cons:

Only fully supports OpenVPN.

Client app isn’t extremely user-friendly or pretty like other services.

Client app may overwhelm newer users.

It is extremely hit and miss with streaming services.

No native iOS or ChromeOS apps.

Maybe there are a lot of advanced alternatives.

Located in 14-Eyes Nation.

Server numbers are reasonably low.

Rounding Things Up – Is AirVPN The Very Best Choice?

The bottom line is that AirVPN is a strong, reputable, and safe VPN service with good pricing. It’s clearly tailored towards more power and advanced users, so those new to VPNs will be better served by a less, shall we say, specialized VPN service provider. However even brand-new users could do much, much worse.

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

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

Although it may not guarantee the 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 choice for consumers who value their privacy.

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

Highly recommended!

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AirVPN Review – 7 Pros & 2 Cons You Ought To Find Out In 2022