ProtonVPN Android promises free bandwidth unrestricted service without ads

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 17, 2018
Updated • Jan 17, 2018
Apps, Google Android

Proton Technologies, best known for the secure email service ProtonMail launched ProtonVPN for Android today.

The company launched ProtonVPN to the public last year but had to shut down registration soon after the launch as servers were hitting capacity limits due to a rush of sign-ups for the service.

ProtonVPN promised free and paid tiers, a focus on privacy and security, and no bandwidth limits on all plans. Free users are limited to one device, three countries they can connect to, and have a speed setting of low.

Paid customers get access to additional servers, secure core that routes traffic through multiple servers, and access to Tor servers.

ProtonVPN for Android

The ProtonVPN application for Android, its full name is ProtonVPN - Unlimited Free VPN made by ProtonMail, is available on Google Play.

You need a ProtonMail account, free or paid, to sign in to the Android application. There is no direct sign-up option in the app but a link that redirects you to the Proton Technologies website where you can sign-up for an account.

The free version is limited, but it seems that you enter a trial phase which unlocks paid features as well.

You find the list of supported countries you can connect to on start. A tap on a country lists the available servers, each with the server load and IP address. There is also an option to connect to the fastest server in that country.

You need to allow the app to establish VPN connections on your device the first time you connect to a server this way.

It takes a couple of seconds tops to connect to a server. ProtonVPN for Android switches to a graph view which highlights upload and download speed and volume, the servers' IP address, load and session time.

The app comes with a map view which shows the servers you are connected to on a world map, and a profile creation option which acts as favorites. Settings are basic, but let you start the VPN with the device.

ProtonVPN for Android uses the IKEv2 protocol.

The ProtonVPN Android app also features support for the more advanced IKEv2 protocol which provides the highest speeds and stability even in difficult mobile network conditions (e.g. switching between LTE and WiFi, poor reception, or switching between cell towers). This ensures the best level of protection no matter where you go with your device.

The free version of ProtonVPN offers sufficient bandwidth for browsing the web. While you should not expect it to be super fast, it is completely free. Another difference to most free VPN offerings on Android is that the free version does not display an advertisement to users, that user data is not tracked nor sold. Proton Technologies subsidizes the free version of ProtonVPN with paid subscription revenue.

Closing Words

ProtonVPN is available as a free and paid subscription. The free version is probably the most interesting option as it offers unlimited bandwidth without tracking or ads. While the speed of the connection is limited, it should be sufficient for light tasks on the Internet.

Now You: Do you connect to a VPN server on your mobile?

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  1. TelV said on January 20, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    I use Mullvad VPN (paid for account) on my PC, but they have an Android app as well although I haven’t installed it yet (too lazy).

    But you don’t need an email address to open an account and they don’t even want to know who you are, so complete privacy in that respect.

  2. ULBoom said on January 19, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Maybe they’ll do the same thing for the computer version, what they offer now is far too expensive and the free version is very restricted in numbers of servers and speed, really slow. For my location, the fastest paid version is slow, too. I use their email and it works well, simple, fast interface; if the VPN was faster and cheaper, I’d use that, too. I like Proton in general, seems like they’re getting out of the mountain more often now to better understand their customers; I’d expect the VPN to be much better soon, if the android offering is any indication.

  3. ****** said on January 17, 2018 at 11:26 pm
  4. ***** said on January 17, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Not long ago, there was a guy who misused their Email service ProtonMail for nefarious purpose. They got a report on this from a Twitter user goes by the name x0rz. Soon later they posted a reply saying that they Hacked him(server) and knocked him offline. Like WTF? When they realized what they had posted they told x0rz to delete the reply. Beware.

  5. ShintoPlasm said on January 17, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    When something sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

  6. techamok said on January 17, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    They claim that their products / services / infrastructure is secure and protects your email data / internet privacy etc. Beware of using services such as these, because you never know who stands behind them, who is bankrolling them or for what purpose. Looks to me like another of those tricks to make you give up your data even easier by just voluntarily forwarding it to someone who “guarantees” your security/privacy etc.

    Excerpt from their privacy policy:

    “Under Swiss law, the technical means for lawful interceptions of customer communications is governed by the Swiss Federal Act on the Surveillance of Postal and Telecommunications Traffic (SPTT) last amended in 2012. In the SPTT, the obligation to provide the technical means for lawful interception is imposed only on Internet access providers so the Company, as an Internet application provider, is not subject to this obligation and cannot be compelled to build in the technical means to intercept customer communications.”

    What they don’t mention is that their equipment is hosted in one of those ISP datacenters that are obligated to have Lawful/Legal DPI Inspection/Interception/Sniffing infrastructure.

    For those who understand the technical concepts of how an ISP works, and what it is obligated to provide – if required by law, I would say that they are advertising something that they cannot truly provide or deliver.

  7. Anonymous said on January 17, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    “There is a bug in @getadblock / @AdblockPlus / EasyList which makes it impossible to compose messages in the web version of ProtonMail. Please disable Adblock or whitelist to fix.” Why lying?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 17, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      What do you mean by “lying”?

      1. Anonymous said on January 17, 2018 at 5:23 pm

        They lie about adblock interfering…if there was a problem, Easylist would have it already fixed long time ago. Basically same crap as on TweakTown (

      2. Anonymous said on January 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm

        ProtonMail is lying on their popup on the webmail, on Twitter, no bug.

  8. Sophie said on January 17, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Love what Proton are up to with all their products, and I trust them.

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