Atlas VPN Review: How Good Is It In 2023
Although it has only been around since 2019, Atlas VPN has already made a significant impact on the VPN market. Advertising as a budget-friendly VPN with excellent all-around features, Atlas VPN certainly makes an enticing case for itself. But, as it’s still a reasonably young VPN lacking the longevous reputation of some of its competitors, how good is Atlas VPN in 2023?
Atlas VPN possesses some great features, like streaming-optimized servers and P2P support across all servers. It also has a solid network of around 750 servers and allows unlimited connections per one subscription plan. Of course, there are some aspects in which Atlas VPN falls short. Read our thorough Atlas VPN review to find out everything about this VPN, and learn about all of the good and bad sides you should know before signing up.
Atlas VPN Pros and Cons
- Private DNS on every server
- Unlimited simultaneous connections allowed
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Equal-quality apps across all supported devices
- Very affordable long-term plans
- Favorable freemium plan
- No browser extensions
- Monthly subscription plan is still fairly expensive
- Only two supported protocols
Speed: How Fast is Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN claims to offer “supersonic web surfing” with its blazing-fast server speeds. While this does sound good on paper, we wanted to put it to the test to see just how well Atlas VPN’s servers hold up to the service’s claim.
When testing Atlas VPN, we employed a dedicated network we only use for VPN testing. This is a medium-speed network ideal for 1-2 users. More precisely, we’ve prepared base benchmark values, long-distance numbers, and local VPN server connection speed numbers. Here’s a closer look at AtlasVPN’s speeds:
|Connection Type||Ping||Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|Base Connection||25 ms||39.86 Mbps||19.33 Mbps|
|Local Atlas VPN Server||35 ms||33.56 Mbps||16.36 Mbps|
|Remote Atlas VPN Server||136 ms||31.86 Mbps||15.52 Mbps|
As you can see from the table above, the average download speeds when connected to a VPN server were around 20% lower. That said, we were impressed to see that the download and upload speeds don’t fall off too much when switching from local VPN servers to overseas ones. Naturally, with the long-distance connections, we also recorded significantly higher ping, but nothing out of the ordinary.
With all of this in mind, after thoroughly testing Atlas VPN’s server speeds, we determined that it offers above-average speeds. While it’s not one of the fastest VPNs around, it still boasts excellent numbers, especially when using the WireGuard protocol.
What Protocols Does Atlas VPN Offer?
Atlas VPN currently only supports two protocols, WireGuard and the IPSec/IKEv2 protocol. Both options come with distinct advantages. Most notably, the WireGuard protocol is a modern, fast, and light protocol. It’s an excellent choice if you want fast connections without draining too much power from your device. In comparison, the IPSec/IKEv2 protocol is renowned for its security features and connection stability. That said, it’s also a bit slower than the WireGuard protocol.
When you check its apps, you’ll also see that there’s an “Auto” option available. All apps are set to this setting by default. According to Atlas VPN, the Auto VPN protocol setting is the preferred option for most users. This is because it automatically chooses the fastest and more secure protocol of the two above, based on your network’s characteristics.
Privacy and Security
Apart from speed and overall performance, many privacy-conscious users want to know is Atlas VPN safe or not. In short, we think that Atlas VPN is a very safe VPN service overall. Here are some of the most significant privacy and safety features of Atlas VPN:
- Private DNS – Atlas VPN has its private Internet address book. This allows it to offer private DNS on every server, so you can visit any website or service without worrying about anyone logging your search queries.
- Network Kill Switch – This VPN’s apps come with a very valuable kill switch feature. It’s an advanced mechanism that cuts off your connection if the VPN network becomes unstable. This protects you from any potential IP or DNS leaks.
- Strong Traffic Encryption – You can rely on industry-standard military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. This form of traffic encryption is used by the best VPNs in the industry, as it is highly compatible and supports both high performance and great security.
- Split Tunneling – This nifty feature lets you route only a part of your connection through the VPN tunnel while keeping the rest on your real IP address. The main benefit of this is the ability to access local content while at the same time protecting certain apps and services with a VPN connection.
- Tracker Blocker – This three-in-one tool allows you to see who is tracking you, lets you disable third-party trackers, and stop ads and malware. This effectively provides you with an extra layer of protection and prevents anyone from gaining insights into your online activities. More importantly, it protects you from malware and phishing attempts.
Does Atlas VPN Log Any User Activity Data?
To expand on this, Atlas VPN completed its first security audit from VerSprite in 2021. The audit of the service’s iOS app found two medium-level threats and three low-level threats.
While this may sound worrying at first glance, they mainly pertain to the user experience and some basic faults in the app and backend service. More importantly, the audit didn’t determine any high and critical level threats. So, while Atlas VPN certainly isn’t perfect, it’s strong and reliable enough to protect its users’ data.
Lastly, Atlas VPN also keeps a “Warrant Canary” on its site. This statement informs Atlas VPN customers whether or not the service received any legal requests to disclose data. As of writing this Atlas VPN review, the VPN has zero gag orders, national security letters, and warrants.
The ability to bypass region restrictions is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of every VPN service. And, when it comes to this, nowhere is it more convenient than in streaming. Streaming capabilities often separate mediocre VPNs from top-quality ones. Luckily for Atlas VPN, it excels in this regard.
We’ve tested Atlas VPN on Hulu, HBO, and the BBC iPlayer, and it had no problems accessing each of these platforms. Moreover, we also tried accessing several Netflix regions and Atlas VPN delivered good results each time.
In the Atlas VPN app, you can also see that this service offers over a dozen streaming-optimized servers in all corners of the globe. Coupled with the fast and stable connection speeds, Atlas VPN is a very impressive streaming VPN overall.
Apart from being an excellent streaming VPN, it’s also important to consider one more question. Is Atlas VPN good for torrenting? After putting it through strenuous testing, we’ve determined that Atlas VPN is a great choice for users who want to engage in torrenting and P2P file sharing.
Truth be told, this is pretty obvious from the get-go, as Atlas VPN vocally makes it known that all of its servers support P2P activities. So, no matter your physical location, you can conveniently connect to a nearby server and torrent as much as you want without any restrictions. Plus, as Atlas VPN doesn’t have any data or maximum bandwidth limitations, you can enjoy sharing files at great connection speeds.
But, all words aside, we wanted to put this to the test, which is why we tried Atlas VPN for torrenting first-hand. Firstly, we wanted to establish a base value, so we downloaded a file without a VPN connection. Here’s how the torrent client performed:
After this, we turned on our VPN connection, choosing a nearby Atlas VPN server to ensure maximum connection speeds. Here are the results we got when torrenting with Atlas VPN:
As you can see by comparing the two images above, there is a noticeable drop down in both upload and download speeds. That said, this is normal to an extent, as Atlas VPN still offered very good P2P file-sharing speeds. Equally as important, the speeds were consistent for the duration of the download, meaning that Atlas VPN maintained a stable and reliable connection all throughout the process.
Like most other VPN services, Atlas VPN features three subscription plans its customers can choose from. However, the structure of its subscription plans does vary a bit from what you can find with most VPN services. More precisely, Atlas VPN has a one-month plan, a one-year plan, and a three-year plan.
Looking at the price points of these three subscription plans, the monthly plan costs $10.99, which is about the same as any other VPN monthly subscription in the industry. That said, the savings really start amassing if you opt for a one-year or three-year plan.
Moreover, AtlasVPN also offers a free plan for those who want to try it out or don’t want to pay for a VPN service. The free plan offers unlimited bandwidth but limits your options to only three servers.
The one-year plan amounts to $3.29 per month, while the three-year one totals at just $1.99 a month. However, you have to factor in that you’re paying upfront for the entire length of the subscription plan. To put it into numbers, this equates to just under $40 for the one-year plan and just over $71 for the three-year plan.
When it comes to the supported payment methods, you can choose from a solid selection of options. Atlas VPN accepts a handful of credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and the Discover Card, among several others.
Atlas VPN also supports payments through the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Lastly, customers can also use PayPal. With that in mind, the service doesn’t currently allow cryptocurrency payments, although they’ve confirmed that they are working on implementing it in the future.
Each subscription includes the same features. So, regardless of which of the three plans you opt for, you can still use all of the servers, connect an unlimited number of devices, and rely on all of the privacy and security tools. Here’s a visual representation of their three plans, taken from the Atlas VPN website:
As you can see from the screenshot above, each plan also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is a very convenient feature, especially as Atlas VPN always refunds the money upon every customer’s request.
Servers and Locations
Atlas VPN currently offers 750 servers spread across 39 locations worldwide. This number certainly isn’t the most comprehensive one you’ll find in the industry. That said, it offers excellent support that can meet the needs of most online users.
Equally as important, this network is well spread out across most regions. You can find a great selection of servers in Europe and a solid server network in North America and Asia. The service also offers servers in Australia and Brazil. Unfortunately, Atlas VPN doesn’t currently provide any server options in Africa.
Does Atlas VPN Use Any Virtual Servers?
No, Atlas VPN claims that it doesn’t use any virtual servers. It only maintains servers that are indeed physically located in the country they are listed to be located in. This is a nuanced but critical aspect to consider, as physical servers are always the preferred option over virtual servers.
Atlas VPN SafeSwap Servers
The SafeSwap feature enables you to access the Internet from several IP addresses simultaneously. In other words, this feature allows you to have several IP addresses that exchange as you use the Internet, all while connected to a single server.
This constant IP address rotation makes it very hard for anyone to pinpoint your real location and track your online activities. Currently, Atlas VPN offers three SafeSwap servers, one each in the Netherlands, Singapore, and United States.
Atlas VPN MultiHop+ Servers
Atlas VPN’s MultiHop+ feature is a fantastic tool that allows you to tunnel your connection via multiple server locations. This is a unique multi-hop feature with advanced characteristics that allow it to randomly rotate between carefully selected locations.
In return, when connected to Atlas VPN’s MultiHop+ servers, all of your online activities are protected and hidden behind several encryption layers. This provides you with maximum privacy, security, and anonymity that are nearly impossible to crack. The service currently supports MultiHop+ servers in Europe and North America.
Atlas VPN Apps and Programs
Atlas VPN offers fairly good coverage of supported platforms, as you can use it on the most popular platforms. However, before we go more in-depth on this, we should highlight that Atlas VPN doesn’t offer Linux-compatible apps, nor does it currently provide any browser extensions. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at Atlas VPN’s apps and programs:
Atlas VPN For Windows
Atlas VPN’s Windows app feels streamlined and very easy to use. The main section of the app is divided into three sections, Home, Assistant, and Settings. The Home part covers everything server-wise, including specialized streaming servers, SafeSwap, and MultiHop+ servers.
The Assistant part of the app includes two functions, the Tracker Blocker and the Data Breach Monitor. Lastly, the Settings tab covers all of the basic and advanced settings. There, you can tailor kill switch settings, choose between protocols, set auto-start settings, and browse through the analytics, among other options.
Atlas VPN For Mac
Atlas VPN’s macOS app comes with all the features you can find in the Windows app. This is a true refreshment in the business, as most Mac VPN apps tend to be watered down and with fewer features compared to their Windows counterparts.
With that in mind, the interface is also nearly identical, with only a few visual differences. So, if you’re a Mac user, you can rest assured you’re getting the same quality of service that Windows users enjoy.
Atlas VPN For Android
Atlas VPN’s Android app is super popular in the online community. It’s light, fast, and offers plenty of protection features. When connecting to Atlas VPN servers within the Android app, you have the Optimal Location option for easy use. You can also pick the servers manually or use one of the recommended streaming, SafeSwap, or MultiHop+ servers.
The Android app is also packed with some great general features. Most notably, it includes a kill switch and supports split tunneling. Like with other app versions of Atla VPN, the Assistant part of the Android app includes the Tracker Blocker feature and a Data Breach Monitor.
Atlas VPN For iOS
As Atlas VPN is one of the few VPN services that supports the same features across all major platforms, the iOS app has all of the features of the Android one. Much like the Windows and Mac apps, the iOS and Android apps don’t have any discernible differences.
Any visible dissimilarities between the two are primarily visual. Other than that, you can count on the same features on your iOS device as you can take advantage of the Android app.
Atlas VPN For Android TV/Amazon Fire TV
If you mostly want to use Atlas VPN to unblock streaming platforms and ensure fast streaming speeds, you can install it on your Android TV or Amazon Fire TV. Atlas VPN offers apps for both products, supporting unlimited data without any bandwidth caps.
These TV apps are very easy to set up and even feature 4K speed-optimized servers. Atlas VPN’s apps for Android and Amazon Fire TVs come with bulletproof protection and offer very user-friendly layouts. You can easily browse between general servers, streaming-optimized ones, or even connect to one of Atlas VPN’s SafeSwap servers.
Atlas VPN offers two customer support channels, email and live chat. Both support channels are open around the clock, every day of the year. So, no matter when you encounter a problem, you can rely on a speedy resolution.
The live chat staff is very responsive, as you can get through within a couple of minutes. If you contact the staff through the email support channel, you will most often have to wait for an answer for at least a couple of hours.
That said, the live chat option is only available to premium Atlas VPN customers. So, if you want to find out anything or need helpful answers as a free Atlas VPN user, you have to reach out through email and wait for a response. This is a bit impractical but is still understandable, as Atlas VPN wants its premium customers to receive the best and most prompt service.
Additionally, Atlas VPN offers a pretty decent knowledge base where you can find helpful answers to all of the commonly asked questions. It’s not the most comprehensive help center around but covers nearly all of the basic information you need to know of Atlas VPN’s service. It also includes a convenient search bar, allowing you to quickly search your queries based on the keywords that interest you.
Lastly, Atlas VPN also runs its Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social media accounts. The support and marketing staff is very active on all three platforms. You can reach out to them through any of these channels if you need a prompt resolution of a problem. Overall, while it’s far from the best customer service in the industry, Atlas VPN customer support is prompt and reliable, which is very important for every VPN service.
Do Online Users Find Atlas VPN Trustworthy?
Besides evaluating a VPN’s customer support service, we also like to browse through the online review sites and different forums to determine the service’s standing among general consumers.
With that in mind, Atlas VPN maintains an overwhelmingly favorable reputation. For instance, the service has 4.4 stars on Google Play, with over 63 thousand reviews. It enjoys an even better reputation on Apple Pay, with 4.8 stars, albeit with only about four thousand reviews.
Looking into the more tech-savvy part of Atlas VPN’s consumer base, we’ve also browsed through a handful of Reddit threads to gauge this VPN’s popularity. The general consensus on Reddit is that Atlas VPN is a solid service, especially suitable for torrenting and streaming. Although there are some complaints regarding some of its more advanced features, no one alleges any glaring issues with the service.
Taking all of this into account, while Atlas VPN might not match NordVPN’s or ExpressVPN’s online reputation, it certainly ranks in the upper echelon of VPN services and maintains an excellent standing among consumers.
How to Install Atlas VPN
Installing Atlas VPN is very simple, and you can complete the entire process within a couple of minutes from signing up. To help you out, here’s an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to install Atlas VPN apps:
- Pick the appropriate Atlas VPN app for your device and download it
- Follow the installation steps to complete the process (The app will automatically install on mobile devices)
- Open the Atlas VPN app and log in using your credentials
- Pick a server you want to use and connect
- Enjoy browsing in complete privacy and security!
After going into every minute detail in this Atlas VPN review, is Atlas VPN worth the premium subscription? Our answer is a firm yes. It’s an excellent all-around VPN suitable for the average online user. While it does lack some more sophisticated features you can find in other top VPNs, it equally excels as a gaming, streaming, and torrenting VPN service.
What we particularly liked about Atlas VPN is that it provides well-polished apps for all supported devices and platforms. It might not support every major platform out there, but all of its apps are well-rounded and have fairly the same features. In other words, you don’t have to sacrifice usability or certain advanced features when you opt for one software platform over another.
It offers affordable price plans, very good connection speeds, and can unblock more sites than most VPNs out there. Plus, if you’re not sure whether Atlas VPN is the right choice for you, you can always sign up for free or take advantage of the service’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
Atlas VPN FAQs
Is Atlas VPN trustworthy?
Is Atlas a free VPN?
Yes, you can get an Atlas VPN free subscription, as this VPN offers both paid and free plans. Understandably, the free Atlas VPN subscription plan comes with certain limitations. Most notably, you can only choose between three free server locations, one each in Amsterdam, New York, and Los Angeles.
How secure is Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is a very safe and secure VPN service. It uses AES 256-bit encryption and a secure kill switch that cuts off the network in case of any connection drops. It also supports safe protocols like WireGuard and IPSec/IKEv2, making it a totally secure VPN service overall.
How is Atlas VPN compared to other VPN providers?
Atlas VPN is generally regarded as an excellent VPN in terms of its value for money. Compared to other VPN providers, Atlas VPN is a well-rounded service that does well in all fields. It offers fast connection speeds, streaming-optimized servers, and supports torrenting activities.
How many devices can I use with Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is one of the few VPN services in the industry that allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices per one subscription plan. This is a big benefit of its service, as you can set up every device in your household with a VPN connection without worrying about reaching the connection limit.
Does Atlas VPN Work in China?
Yes, Atlas VPN works in China. Although this VPN doesn’t offer servers in restrictive countries like China and Russia, you can still use its apps within these countries to connect to other worldwide servers. Just keep in mind that not servers might work well from the first try when connecting from a restrictive country.
Where is Atlas VPN based?