AirVPN Vs PIA Comparison: A Full Overview Of Pros & Cons

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

While anyone can claim to be special these days, when it pertains to VPN companies, AirVPN shows that it really is.

AirVPN stands apart 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, stating, “A VPN based on OpenVPN and operated by activists and hacktivists in defence of net neutrality, privacy and against censorship”.While anybody can declare to be unique these days, when it concerns VPN suppliers, AirVPN reveals that it really is.

AirVPN Home Page

They have actually been around a very long time, since 2010, when it was begun with the aid of 2 lawyers and a small group of hackers and activists. The satellite communications service provider Iridium previously 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 larger business either.

Across their About Us and Mission pages, the business’s history is explained and information the personal privacy projects that AirVPN has actually developed 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 credentials?

AirVPN’s Key Features

Servers

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

Most servers are in Europe (besides those in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong). A small problem here is that the absence of diversity of servers reduces the number of international AirVPN users who may access geo-restricted services in their home nation while maintaining their personal privacy.

AirVPN Servers

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

They use transparent bandwidth allocation strategies to provide an accurate evaluation of performance, without any overbooking or overselling. Plus, they are completely unlimited, with no 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 safe and trusted method to create encrypted tunnels. It uses more security than the military.

Various ports and protocols are 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. So forget PPTP and other hazardous protocols.

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

The use is OpenVPN is a big plus as it instantly improves users’ personal privacy and security and is highly dependable. The absence of WireGuard as standard may reveal Air isn’t quite keeping up with its rivals. That said, AirVPN says it is testing WireGuard, however it will not put the more recent protocol totally in place up until a few of its technical and privacy concerns are addressed.

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

Switching is unlimited, so if you do not like one server, you can quickly switch servers as frequently 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 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, however because there is no third-party audit, you have to trust that what is being offered will work. But looking at the active community forum or the comprehensive open-source clients puts your mind at ease.

A good feature of this is that you can see what other individuals state about the service prior to registering. 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 business is very clear when it comes to AirVPN’s no-logging policy. Online privacy and security are the absolute top priority, with protection from snoopers, data miners, and other entities that attack personal 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 gathers non-identifiable “technical data” to keep the server running and enhance services, however you can request for this details to be erased at any time. This makes it among the most privacy-friendly VPN services.

As a result, no one can identify you online; not even your ISP can tell what kind 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 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 just see TCP or UDP communication on a single port.

They likewise state they comply with EU privacy regulations and that any servers outside the EU will be treated with the same or greater levels of 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 stay 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 blocks OpenVPN.

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

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 3rd party.

Regarding security, AirVPN’s cryptography is perhaps the best available. It resembles that of some other providers, however still worth pointing out. The first exchange utilizes 4096-bit RSA to accomplish Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) via Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Following the first key negotiation, re-keying occurs 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 details, not even your real e-mail address. That’s fantastic considering that it lets you avoid leaving any sort of digital footprint. 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 countries that share intelligence data). Even if the government asked for user info, AirVPN would have 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, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. In spite of Eddie’s substantial capability with OpenVPN, it does not yet support WireGuard, so performance isn’t rather as great as those suppliers who utilize it as standard.

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 hard to get things working, it does not have the most user-friendly user interface, so it may be a more difficult learning curve for unskilled users.

With Windows, there are a ton of download options. There are builds for various running systems (from Windows XP to Windows 11), in 32- and 64-bit tastes, 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 function on your setup.

After introducing it, choose ‘Connect to a recommended server,’ and the app will connect to your closest location. You just click Disconnect when you’re finished. Easy enough for anyone, however Eddie can do so much more considering that AirVPN provides 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 selected last.

Even though it defines “kill switch” throughout the settings, AirVPN has actually a tab called “network lock” that does the very same thing. The distinction is that AirVPN’s “network lock” stops all traffic that isn’t going through its safe tunnel. Many standard kill switches only do this when the VPN is on, however 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 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 displays all available servers in the network, in addition to comprehensive details about every one, such as the server’s nickname, place, latency in milliseconds from your place, and current users and server load. Remarkable stuff!

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

The Countries page shows the variety of servers readily available in each country at a glimpse, together with a sign of server load and user numbers. Similar to 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 nation will appear on the Servers tab. This whitelist is basically a favorites list; you may select as numerous countries as you like.

If you click the red “x”, that nation will be eliminated, successfully making it a blocklist/denylist. To eliminate the green checkmark from a nation, click the empty box.

By picking a country, you are not immediately connected to a VPN server. To do so, return to the Servers page and pick the server you want in a particular 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 likewise a checkmark, “X,” and blank box icons. There’s likewise a “refresh” button to get updated details on ping times and load times.

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 display your existing VPN server location and IP address at most. Eddie’s Stats page also reveals fine-grained details, such as the server’s location, load, existing user count, protocol, port, encryption algorithm, session start time and length, IPv6 exit address, information uploaded and downloaded, and much more.

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

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

A million and one other settings are hidden in the app’s Settings menu. This enables you to tweak 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 attempt an SSH tunnel through more versatile ports such as 22, 80, and 443. Proxies, Tor support, custom DNS servers, and routes can be modified.

The truly knowledgeable user can go into Advanced and Expert Mode settings, which enable, among other things, sending orders to the OpenVPN Management Interface through the Logs pane.

If the large function list appears scary, even if you are a VPN professional, it might be hard to find out what specific settings do and how to get the wanted outcomes. In addition, it differs from any other service in terms of customization.

Nevertheless, don’t dismiss AirVPN’s Eddie just because of its complexity. Remember that the program usually functions fine on its own, and you’ll never see the settings till you try to find them. If you sometimes 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?

There isn’t any VPN software for iOS, you can use an extremely feature-rich Android VPN app instead. This software offers the very same comprehensive configuration choices as its desktop sibling and useful status info.

Separate pages for nation and server lists are what the Android app does not have that the desktop versions provides. Instead, you can expand a nation and pick a particular city on the same page. Some practical text additions make the information more easy to understand, but it’s still quite tough to understand in some spots.

Android does not have as lots of settings as Windows. That’s not a significant critique; there are still many more than many people will ever require. The software application likewise attempts a little more to help you, with extra text subtitles to discuss what each choice does.

Speeds/Performance

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

Online reviewers felt the connection monitoring was great, with the app finding when the VPN tunnel drops, informing 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 shows that the Network Lock/Kill Switch works well.

Now let’s get to those speeds.

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

However, reviewers have actually reported speeds to be excellent. One said there wasn’t a single nation where they might grumble about the speed. On the contrary, it was truly excellent overall.

While it wasn’t quite on 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, streaming, and video conferencing definitely won’t slow you down.

What AirVPN does not have is a more comprehensive number of server areas. This may restrict the accessibility of nearby servers for some users (which will always result in better speeds). As a result, this VPN is an excellent choice for most people in the United States and Europe, but maybe less so for other regions.

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 work with less-popular streaming apps like Peacock and Sony Crackle.

Another reviewer says services like BBC iPlayer and United States Netflix seldom work, and when they do, discovering the right server needs lengthy experimentation. This is most likely because, unlike other suppliers, AirVPN doesn’t provide servers that are optimised for accessing streaming sites.

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

Streaming is definitely not an area in which AirVPN excels, merely because 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. Merely connect to the VPN server of your option and get going.

Plus, you can use port forwarding to enhance your file-sharing performance. A number of 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 good speeds on regional servers, allows 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 leading torrenting clients like qBitTorrent and uTorrent.

AirVPN’s integrated kill switch, activated by default, will obstruct 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 really convenient, particularly if you need to leave your connection unattended.

Reviewers have actually revealed torrenting to be impressive, smooth running with fast download and upload speeds, and without any issues whatsoever.

AirVPN Plans & Prices

AirVPN uses a larger range of plans than many 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 outstanding choice for individuals who live in a family house or wish to use a VPN on a public network. While 5 should be enough for the majority of people, other VPN suppliers offer 7 or even 10 if you need more.

Pricing differs based on the subscription length, and each plan consists of the same features. Most plans offer good value; however, longer memberships offer the very best offer.

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

The current 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, consisting of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Doge. Lots of worldwide choices are likewise 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 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 throughout that time.

AirVPN Customer Support

AirVPN has a different customer assistance offering than lots of other VPNs. While it does not have live chat, it provides email assistance and frequently asked questions (FAQs) 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 inconsistent with the time it takes to get an action. That stated, the email support is high quality, and the representatives are friendly and valuable, but the comprehensive responses can be quite technical, which may put off those new to VPNs.

AirVPN’s site has a great deal of info, consisting of a large FAQs section that is separated by topic.

AirVPN’s community forums cover various topics, but beginners will have the same troubles comprehending a lot of the tech lingo in the posts.

AirVPN Pros & Cons

Pros:

No logging Whatsoever.

Excellent speeds with minimal loss.

Unrestricted 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.

Solid Customer Service.

Active Community Forums and Detailed Guides.

Great costs, especially for longer-term plans.

Optional block lists protect you from advertisements, adware, trackers, and harmful sources.

Cons:

Only fully supports OpenVPN.

Client app isn’t very 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.

Perhaps there are a lot of advanced options.

Located in 14-Eyes Nation.

Server numbers are relatively low.

Rounding Things Up – Is AirVPN The Best Choice?

The bottom line is that AirVPN is a strong, trustworthy, and safe VPN service with great prices. It’s clearly geared towards more power and advanced users, so those new to VPNs will be much better served by a less, shall we say, specialized VPN company. Even new users could do much, much worse.

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

When it comes 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 exact same level of privacy and anonymity as a service like Mullvad, which assigns you a random account number and enables you to pay in cash, AirVPN is still an excellent alternative for consumers who value their personal privacy.

While it does not 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 excellent option for online filesharing.

Highly recommended!

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AirVPN: Is It Really Worth It? (Up-Dated 2022)