AirVPN Review (2022) – A Transparent No-Log VPN
“The air to breathe the real internet.” This is AirVPN’s slogan. The service provider is of Italian origin and is run by activists and hacktivists working to protect net neutrality and privacy, while simultaneously pushing back against censorship.
However, Italy, where AirVPN’s headquarters are located, is part of the 14 eyes alliance. The question is: how well does AirVPN protect your privacy? And does the service unblock streaming platforms such as Netflix? We have all the answers for you.
AirVPN Short Review
|Maintains high speed on local servers||Relatively small VPN server network|
|Uses OpenVPN and WireGuard||No 24/7 live chat|
|Strict no-log policy||Not ideal for beginning VPN users|
|Option to buy an account anonymously||Limited amount of languages available|
|Servers meet strict requirements||Does not work with Netflix USA|
|Torrenting is possible|
In terms of appearance, the AirVPN webpage and interface look a bit dated. Additionally, the provider’s approach is technical and less inviting than other providers. This chips away at user-friendliness, but offers good options for personal customization: you can manage many settings yourself.
All in all, AirVPN is a good provider for a more experienced VPN user. If you’re a beginner, we recommend choosing a different VPN, such as Surfshark.
- Torrenting allowed
- Zero logs
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is AirVPN?
AirVPN is transparent about what they offer. It’s possible to check the connection speed of different AirVPN servers at any point. Should the speed drop significantly or otherwise not be to your satisfaction, you can easily notify AirVPN. They make good use of clients’ experiences to improve the quality of their services.
When it comes to speed, we can conclude a couple of things:
- When connected to a local server (close to where our office is located), speed stayed on par with our regular connection.
- When connecting to a faraway server, the download speed was twice as slow.
- During daily use, we barely noticed the VPN running in the background.
Although AirVPN’s speeds weren’t all as fast as we’d have liked, local servers performed really well, earning them a 7.5/10 for speed.
Speed test results AirVPN
To get an objective idea of AirVPN’s speed capacities, we’ve run several tests on speedtest.net. As a baseline measurement, we ran a test without the use of a VPN. We’ll use these results as a benchmark.
Connection speed is dependent on numerous factors. One is geographical proximity to a VPN server. Another is whether you’re connected to Wi-Fi or using a cable. As a result, it’s possible your own speed test results will differ from ours. The results below merely give an indication of the possible overall effect of AirVPN on your speed.
|Server||Download (MBPS)||% Download||Upload (MBPS)||% Upload||Ping (MS)|
|US (New York)||66,08||68,6%||27,92||95,6%||167|
|The US (Los Angeles)||52,54||54,6%||25,32||86,7%||299|
As you can see, the connection keeps its speed when running the VPN through an AirVPN server close to our physical location. Connecting to a faraway server (a US server from the Netherlands) still gave decent results.
However, in comparison to our baseline results, the download speed was reduced by almost 50% with faraway servers. Similarly, the ping shot up, making for a longer reaction time in practice. The upload speed, on the other hand, stayed remarkably stable. Overall, these results are very good for local servers, but less so for faraway ones.
Speed during daily use
Of course, we also tested AirVPN manually. While being connected to a local server, we could easily browse the internet. We didn’t experience any lag in loading YouTube videos, and there was no delay when opening web pages. The same was true when we tried this while connected to the American servers.
Even when downloading files, the AirVPN connection speed didn’t lag. The only thing we noticed is that the computer had to work a little bit harder to stay cool. For regular, daily use, this VPN is certainly a good option.
Safety – How Secure is AirVPN?
Online safety is a very important factor in testing a VPN. The whole point of a VPN is that the service shields and anonymizes your internet use. These are our main findings on AirVPN’s security features:
- AirVPN employs OpenVPN and has a beta version of WireGuard.
- The provider has a strict no-log policy and uses RAM systems to ensure this.
- AirVPN has a kill switch.
- It’s possible to get an AirVPN account completely anonymously by paying for it with cryptocurrency.
The strength of AirVPN is definitely in their focus on privacy and safety, earning them a 9.5/10 for this section.
AirVPN uses OpenVPN. This is a broadly-used VPN protocol that’s considered to be very safe. For their encryption cipher, AirVPN offers 4096-bit DH and RSA keys, AES-250-GCM, or CHACHA20-POLY1305, all of which are solid. Additionally, re-keying is performed every 60 minutes. You can adapt this value if you like.
They also support OpenVPN over SSH, OpenVPN over SSL, and OpenVPN over Tor. These protocols push back against even the strictest censorship measurements. AirVPN has developed its own OpenVPN client which they’ve lovingly called “Eddie.”
In October 2021, AirVPN announced that they also developed a beta version of their VPN that runs on the WireGuard protocol. This version has special apps that run entirely on WireGuard.
Both Eddie/OpenVPN and WireGuard are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
Logging and privacy
In their privacy statement, AirVPN claims that their servers and software generally don’t collect personal information. The only exception is your email address — that is, if you use one that includes personal data. AirVPN itself suggests using an anonymous email address to protect your privacy.
More importantly, AirVPN has a strict no-log policy. They go as far as stating that being pressured by private companies into sharing your data is illegal.
Naturally, the service needs some information to get you online. However, this information is only saved by automatic systems on the random-access memory (RAM). This means IP addresses, activity logs, and any other user data won’t be kept or saved. In short, if you want to stay anonymous online, AirVPN is an excellent option.
AirVPN has a built-in kill switch, which they call their “Network Lock.” This option will keep your data private and secure even if your VPN happens to disconnect for a short while.
You can activate the kill switch by going to the app and clicking “Activate Network Lock.”
What information does AirVPN need?
When you create an account through AirVPN, you have to enter a username, email address, and password. However, the provider itself states a “real e-mail address is NOT mandatory, you can enter a random string.” In other words, you don’t have to submit an email address if you don’t want to.
Naturally, if you use PayPal, credit card, or Amazon Pay as your payment method, you will reveal some private information about yourself. But this information will be processed by the payment system, not AirVPN. The provider will not have any access to your payment info.
What’s more, payment with different types of cryptocurrency is possible. This means you can get an AirVPN account completely anonymously.
Usability – How User-Friendly is AirVPN?
A VPN can be the fastest, most secure option around, but if you don’t know how to use the app, you still won’t be able to access the internet. This is why usability is an important element in our VPN reviews.
We can draw the following conclusions about AirVPN’s user-friendliness:
- The website is well-organized, although a bit old-fashioned, and has an active user forum.
- The installation process is not as easy and straightforward as with most other premium VPN services.
- With AirVPN, you can customize many settings yourself, which can be somewhat overwhelming for new VPN users.
- AirVPN offers many different subscriptions and allows various (anonymous) payment methods.
- Customer support responds fairly quickly, but does not have a 24/7 live chat.
AirVPN has many custom options and features, but is definitely more suitable for tech-savvy VPN users than for beginners. This earns them a 7/10 for usability.
AirVPN website and installation process
AirVPN has a website that offers a lot of information about its service. However, it’s only available in English and gives off quite a technical impression. The homepage is less smooth than that of other providers, but it does have a straightforward menu bar that you can use to navigate to where you want to go.
If you scroll down, you’ll find the VPN features listed in vertical columns. You can also find the different subscriptions as well as the operating systems the apps run on.
AirVPN offers applications for a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. Additionally, you can install the VPN directly on your router. AirVPN is compatible with other technologies, such as the Tor browser, as well.
We downloaded the software (Eddie) on a Windows computer. Here’s how you can do this, step by step:
- Choose a subscription on the official AirVPN website.
- Choose a username and password, then add an email address. Keep in mind that you can use an anonymous address or fill in something random.
- Select a payment method and fill out your information. Opt for crypto if you want to create a completely anonymous account.
- Download the Eddie client that’s compatible with your operating system, then choose the specifics that apply to you. For example, our download was suitable for Windows 10, 64-bit.
- Open the downloaded file and go through the installation process.
- Log in with the email or username you signed up with when you created your account.
- Click “Connect to a recommended server” to be connected to a VPN server right away. You can also select a server from the “Servers” tab.
Optional: If you want, you can use the software without a client. However, we only recommend this for VPN users with more experience who want to have more control over their VPN connections.
If you’d like to do this, you can follow the steps above until step 5. Then, instead of downloading Eddie, opt for either OpenVPN GUI or OpenVPN Prompt/Terminal and set up the VPN from there.
The installation process is more complex than is the case for other VPN providers. This is partly because AirVPN offers many different options and features. Even so, for a starting VPN user, this process would be quite cumbersome.
AirVPN appearance and ease-of-use
AirVPN’s Eddie app has a relatively simple design but offers many features. Unfortunately, the look of the interface is not the most inviting. In comparison to the slick designs of NordVPN or Surfshark, AirVPN looks rather basic. However, in terms of organization, the menu makes navigating easy enough.
You can check your VPN connection speed and examine all available servers. Additionally, you can also customize many of the settings. You can access this option by clicking the settings button in the left bottom corner.
If you’re not familiar with VPN software, we don’t recommend you change the settings manually. It can be a bit overwhelming, and the default settings already give you more than enough protection to go online. Even so, if you like tinkering with these options and have the technical know-how to do so effectively, AirVPN provides the perfect platform for it.
Pricing and payment methods
AirVPN has many different subscriptions to choose from. These plans all offer the complete set of AirVPN features and the option to connect up to five devices at the same time. The price of a software package depends only on the length of your subscription. At the time of writing, AirVPN offers the following plans:
- Three days for $2.26
- One month for $7.92
- Three months for $16.97 ($5.66 per month)
- Six months for $32.82 ($5.47 per month)
- One year for $55.45 ($4.62 per month)
- Two years for $89.40 ($3.72 per month)
- Three years for $112.03 ($3.11 per month)
Be aware that AirVPN uses Euros as its main currency for subscriptions. This means that the price in US dollars may vary from day to day, depending on the exchange rate.
It’s possible to request a free trial period with AirVPN. You have to create an account and fill out the contact form on the website to receive it.
There are many different options for payment:
- Credit cards
- Amazon Pay
- Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Doge, Monero
As you can see, it’s possible to buy your VPN subscription completely anonymously by using cryptocurrency.
AirVPN’s customer service is easy to reach. All you need to do is send them a message through the contact form on the AirVPN.org webpage. They’ll get back to you as soon as possible. When we asked a question, we received a response within half an hour.
Unfortunately, AirVPN’s customer support does not have a live chat. This is a conscious decision on AirVPN’s part. They do not wish to share any customer data with third parties. To keep hold of the reins themselves, they do not hire external customer support employees to be available for questions 24/7.
To compensate, AirVPN does have an FAQ section as well as a Community tab. Here, you can find other users and VPN enthusiasts to talk to. This way, even when no one on the AirVPN support team is available, there’s still a good chance someone can help you out.
AirVPN Server Network
If you’re looking for ways to get around censorship, it helps when a VPN provider has IP addresses in a wide range of countries. When you’re outside of your home country, you might run into trouble trying to connect to local sites. In general, using a VPN allows you better access to location-specific content.
For AirVPN’s server network, we noted the following things:
- AirVPN has a relatively small but well-functioning server network.
- AirVPN servers have to meet a strict set of requirements.
- You can get a dedicated IP address with AirVPN if you contact them for a custom plan.
- AirVPN allows you to suggest additional servers yourself in order to circumvent geo-blocked content.
Since they have a small, but highly curated network, we gave AirVPN a 7.5/10 for their VPN servers.
Number of servers and locations
AirVPN has almost 250 servers in 22 different countries. The provider also has an additional eight internal servers they only use for double-hop. These are located in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This is a complete overview of all server countries where they offer VPN servers and IP addresses:
|Asia and Oceania||Japan, New Zealand, Singapore|
|Europe||Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom|
|North America||Canada, United States|
AirVPN has a smaller server network than other reputable names in the VPN world, like PIA. They claim this is a conscious choice: they don’t want to add any server locations “just to have one more country flag.”
Instead, all their servers have to hold up against several strict conditions when it comes to privacy, bandwidth, peering (data exchange between internet service providers), net neutrality, and usage policy.
AirVPN is very transparent about the servers it employs. Under the “Servers” tab on their website, you can instantly see which servers are online, how fast the connections are, and whether any servers are having issues.
Although this dashboard can be slightly confusing and overwhelming at first sight, it does give a detailed overview of exactly what’s happening with AirVPN’s servers.
Dedicated IP address
AirVPN uses shared IP addresses as a default, meaning that the exit IP address of each server is shared among all those connected to that server. If you want your own static IP, you can request it as part of a custom plan. To arrange this, you’ll have to contact AirVPN directly. They do not state what a custom plan like this entails exactly.
With a dedicated IP address like that, you’ll get an unchanging IP address that only you can use. There are some advantages to having a dedicated IP address, but also some disadvantages, the most important one being that it reduces your privacy.
Suggest new servers
It’s possible to suggest new servers to AirVPN by sending them a request. They will test any server they consider adding to make sure it meets all the requirements. This way, they can ensure the high standard they have for their server network.
However, if you need to get access to a VPN in a specific country just for unblocking purposes, AirVPN takes a slightly different stance. The provider states that servers only meant to get around geo-restrictions don’t have to adhere to all requirements. They will assess these servers on a case-by-case basis.
Naturally, VPN providers want to beat their competition. AirVPN makes itself competitive through its strict focus on privacy and online freedom, fields in which they certainly excel. Moreover, they are a community-based VPN that truly values user input.
For the average VPN user, however, it’s important that a VPN works well with Netflix and that downloading is safe and anonymous. How well does AirVPN perform on these fronts? Here’s what we found:
- Netflix doesn’t always work with AirVPN: it worked well for a local server, but AirVPN didn’t give us access to Netflix USA.
- Torrenting is possible, although it is slightly slow.
AirVPN and Netflix
AirVPN doesn’t guarantee access to Netflix and other streaming services with their servers. Occasionally, it might work, but you’ll often find yourself blocked, instead.
When we tried to access Netflix through a local server, AirVPN allowed us to stream movies and films with optimal quality. We didn’t even experience any delay while loading. However, when we tried to get access to Netflix USA through a United States server, this caused problems. We tried several servers, but were unable to connect.
AirVPN and torrents
Downloading torrents is possible with AirVPN. The provider gives access to The Pirate Bay, despite the fact that many countries worldwide block this website. The download process was slower with AirVPN than with other VPN providers, but apart from that, the service works well for torrenting.
Of course, you should keep in mind that using a VPN does not make any illegal activity legal. Always behave with common sense and according to the jurisdiction of the country that you’re in. Make sure the torrents you download are legal.
Our Experience With AirVPN
AirVPN is a very safe and privacy-focused VPN provider. Despite the fact that their headquarters are located in a 14-eyes country, they have a strict no-log policy. When it comes to their protocols, AirVPN supports the OpenVPN protocol and a beta version of WireGuard. We had decent speeds while browsing and streaming, though local servers clearly performed better than distant ones.
In terms of appearance, the AirVPN website and interface aren’t particularly flashy. They’re a technology-focused provider that offers many customizable features. This can be overwhelming for someone who is new to using a VPN. For expert users, however, AirVPN is certainly a good choice. AirVPN’s community forum, in particular, is a great place for those who are enthusiastic about VPNs.
Do you have any questions about AirVPN that you want the answer to right away? Check out our FAQ below.
Yes, AirVPN is a safe and anonymous VPN provider. They offer strong encryption protocols, work exclusively with OpenVPN, and have a strict no-log policy. Because they use RAM, they can actually ensure this no-log policy: your data won’t be visible to anyone and it will be automatically deleted from AirVPN’s servers as well.
Not always. From our location in the Netherlands, we were able to connect to Netflix when connected to an AirVPN server. However, when we tried to get access to Netflix USA through an American server, we couldn’t connect.
If you are looking for a VPN that specifically unblocks Netflix, you can check out our list of providers that work best with Netflix.
Yes, you can download torrents anonymously with AirVPN. The provider supports P2P and gives you access to all major torrenting websites. We do advise you to make sure you only download legal torrents.
AirVPN does not offer a free service, but it is possible to get a subscription at only $3.10 a month. If you want to try out the service first, you can also pay $2.26 to try the software for three days. You can also try requesting a free trial period by filling out the contact form on the website.
Free VPNs often have limitations. There are some good options, though. If you’re interested, you can read about them in our article on the best free VPN services.
AirVPN offers subscriptions at different prices. Each one grants you access to all features and the possibility to connect up to five devices simultaneously. The cheapest option is a three-year subscription. This will only cost you $3.11 a month. Read our complete review to see all subscription prices.
Personal opinions experts VPNOverview