Atlas VPN review
As the name suggests, Atlas VPN offers to put the whole world at your fingertips. This mobile-focused VPN service is great for beginners, has user-friendly apps, and a useful free version.
It is also amazing at unblocking streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, keeping your browsing ad-free with its ad blocker feature, and making sure your data hasn’t been leaked thanks to its powerful data breach checker.
In addition, the service lets you choose from 700+ servers in 31 countries. It also has a functional kill switch and implements a reliable no-logs policy.
In this Atlas VPN review 2022, I will try to dig into all the strengths and weaknesses of the VPN. Read on to find out about its speeds, features, security, and apps.
|🥇 Overall rank:||#6 out of #28|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs|
|💵 Price:||from $1.39/month|
|🖥️ Servers:||700+ servers in 31 countries|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube|
|🔥 Coupons:||Atlas VPN coupon 86% OFF + 3 Months FREE|
Atlas VPN pros and cons
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Includes web filters
- WireGuard® protocol
- Live support
- Built-in 2FA login
- Free version
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the US
- Small server fleet
Streaming: Does Atlas VPN work with Netflix?
|Platform||Does it work?|
|BBC iPlayer||✅ Yes|
Some VPNs get sold solely on their ability to unblock streaming services. So, for a VPN service, it's one of the most important things to get right. Spoiler alert: Atlas VPN has some pleasant surprises there.
- Youtube. I started the test on YouTube with a geographically restricted NBA highlights video, which is only available to US viewers. This and many other geographically restricted videos became watchable after connecting to Atlas VPN servers. I can conclude that if you want to unblock YouTube, it'll work without problems.
- BBC iPlayer. The next on the list was the infamous British streaming service. Atlas VPN unblocked it as well. I didn't notice any stutters or buffering issues. If you need your UK media fix it, you won't be disappointed.
- Netflix was the third test. Atlas VPN exceeded expectations and unblocked various libraries. So, if you run out of things to watch, you can install it and discover shows available in other countries.
- DAZN. Many services crumble at accessing DAZN, as it's a notoriously difficult service to unblock. Sadly, Atlas VPN is no exception there. So, if you're interested in fighting sports, you'll have to turn to other broadcasters.
Does Atlas VPN allow torrenting?
Atlas VPN doesn't make a big fuss about its torrenting capabilities. They don't have dedicated P2P servers like, for example, NordVPN, nor are they advertising the functionality. However, despite this radio silence, I can confirm first-hand that torrenting does work.
The download speed I got was around 4-6MB/s (32-48mbps). So it took approximately 7 minutes to download a 2.7 GB file. Your results may vary, as the speeds will be affected by the same variables that make VPN speeds hard to pinpoint, plus the seeders/leechers, and other nuances. You'll have to test the service yourself to get an idea of how it performs realistically.
Atlas VPN doesn't advertise this, but torrenting works on their free version, as well. Though, don't expect the speeds to be as fast.
Plans and pricing
If you liked what you’ve already read in this Atlas VPN review, then you’ll also be glad to hear that this VPN is one of the cheapest ones on the market. Especially when keeping in mind that the service offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
Its 3-year plan will save you a lot of cash, as it only costs $1.39 a month, or $50.04 for the whole subscription period.
However, if you don’t want such a long-term commitment, you can try out the yearly plan that will cost you $2.49 a month. Meanwhile, those who would like to try out Atlas VPN just for a single month will have to pay $9.99.
Every plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the paid options out and decide whether you like them enough to justify the purchase. Payment methods include credit cards, Google Pay, and PayPal.
However, if you want to get Atlas VPN for a really cheap price, feel free to check out our collection of the best coupon codes for VPN services.
Atlas VPN is one of the few services that have a free version, and it shouldn't be underestimated. However, it is important to note that there is a 10 GB data limit on this plan – so it won't be your best bet for downloading and streaming large media files.
Atlas VPN continues to be the value king in that regard. As a free user, you're getting access to three locations: Japan, Australia, and the US. While there are no daily data caps, the free version won't give you access to streaming-optimized servers, 24/7 support, unlimited simultaneous connections, and the SafeBrowse feature.
Servers and locations
A large server fleet means good global coverage, wherever you are. It also means that it's easier to find a faster server as the user loads spread out across them evenly. So, this has performance repercussions.
|Rest of the world:||2|
Unfortunately, Atlas VPN doesn't cover too many locations. It only has 700+ servers across 31 countries. Compared to VPN market veterans, these numbers seem low. Atlas VPN was a mobile-only VPN service for a while, so these numbers reflect the variety that's usually available on free apps on mobile app stores. Although the service did catch up by introducing desktop clients, their fleet size has room to grow.
Right now, the server selection is the largest in Europe - you can choose from 23 locations. The coverage in other areas of the world is much poorer, offering only four countries in Asia, two in the Americas, and two in the rest of the world.
When connecting to a server, you can choose a SafeSwap one. Servers with this feature will route your traffic through multiple IP addresses, making it virtually impossible to track you.
Does Atlas VPN work in China?
Atlas VPN is not guaranteed to work in China. That’s because it doesn’t offer traffic obfuscation, which is the main method of fighting VPN bans. Various reviews online support the notion that Atlas VPN might struggle with the great firewall of China.
If you really need a VPN that works in China, you’ll be better off choosing NordVPN or Surfshark.
Speed and performance: is Atlas VPN fast?
While all VPNs will slow your connection down, some do a better job than others. To get the most accurate picture, I'm using the same test unit, measuring its baseline speeds and connecting to identical locations. Then, I calculate the drop-off percentages. Let's see just how fast Atlas VPN is.
|Location||Download speed (Mbps)||Upload speed (Mbps)|
- Baseline: 1 ms/300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
Since the implementation of the WireGuard tunneling protocol, the speeds of Atlas VPN improved drastically. The average download speeds reduced your speed by only around 20%, which is what you'd expect from WireGuard considering it's one of the fastest protocols on the market. As for average upload speeds, the reduction was even smaller, making up to ~6% only. Ping followed reasonable margins and increased proportionately based on your distance.
Overall, Atlas VPN offers solid speeds. While this wasn't one of the provider's strengths before, it is now. That's because IKEv2 was the only protocol that the provider had available but Atlas VPN recently implemented WireGuard, which is much faster and more secure.
Atlas VPN video review
In case you want a shorter (and more fun!) version of this Atlas VPN review, feel free to watch our video about this VPN service. It might help you decide whether Atlas VPN is truly for you.
Interface and ease of use
|Android||Great application, very easy to use|
|iOS||The same as the Android one|
|Windows||Some connection errors, built-in 2FA|
|macOS||macOS Similar to Windows, but runs smoother|
The applications offered by Atlas VPN are easy to use and extremely intuitive. They will especially appeal to those who don’t have much experience using VPN applications.
Atlas VPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Unfortunately, there’s no application for Linux right now.
Surprisingly, The Android app of Atlas VPN has been around much longer than its desktop counterpart. This translates well into the user experience. The mobile app has a much cleaner interface. It doesn't come off as cluttered or basic.
Feature-wise, the available toggles are SafeBrowse and a system-wide kill switch. You can also check if your emails appeared in any data breaches with Data hack detection.
As far as VPNs for Android go, it's a solid app that I'd consider using daily.
You'd have a hard time telling the Android and iOS apps apart. Both apps look and feel absolutely identical. Which is great and is something that companies should do more often.
The only difference between iOS and Android that I managed to find is the different name for the SafeBrowse feature. On iOS, it's called SafeBrowse Plus, while on Android, it's just SafeBrowse. Also, the sharing of usage statistics button is located elsewhere. Still, those aren't really things that would radically change your experience.
Overall, it’s a solid VPN application for iOS.
The Windows VPN app itself borrows the design from the mobile apps (as they were introduced first). There are a lot of rounded corners to make it pleasant to the eye. The app is pretty easy to navigate and find what you need.
Having said that, not everything about this experience went smoothly. The app would occasionally freeze, displaying connection errors. I'm not sure what caused these issues, but it seems like something that will be patched out eventually.
Since there’s only a small number of countries, there is no need for a server search function yet. You can scroll through the list, which isn't that big of a problem.
The login has built-in 2FA. Every time you're logging in from a new device, you must confirm the code sent to your email. Although it may seem frustrating, this adds an additional layer of security.
The experience was smoother on the macOS app. Image and text scaling could use some polish, but overall, the text was readable.
I also found that when you don't explicitly select the server to connect to, the app connects you to the nearest one. The difference is that it's not displayed at the top of the list, so you'll have to scroll through the list to check which location has a green icon next to it.
There's also a switch between light and dark mode, so there are some customization options.
Features of Atlas VPN
Even though Atlas VPN doesn’t offer an incredibly wide range of features, it still has something to boast about.
For example, its malicious site blocker will make sure your device doesn’t get infected with malware by blocking blacklisted websites. The VPN also offers IP address rotation, which is a pretty unique feature. Lastly, you might appreciate its data breach checker that will let you know whether your information is still safe.
You can find the SafeBrowse (or SafeBrowse Plus on macOs and iOS) toggle in the security options tab. It's an optional safety measure that you can enable to block malicious websites. Whenever you're browsing with a VPN on and stumble upon a website that's included in the blacklist, you'll be denied access.
If you've used Cyberghost or NordVPN, you have encountered other variants of the same feature. This is considered a premium feature, so if you want to take advantage of it, you'll have to subscribe.
Recently, Atlas VPN added the SafeSwap feature, which is one-of-a-kind in the VPN market. When you connect to a SafeSwap server, your IP address is being rotated while you're connected.
With other VPN providers to achieve a similar effect, you'd have to disconnect and then connect to a different server. With SafeSwap switching is happening while you browse. So, if you open one page, it will use one IP address, but if you close it and open another one, the used address will be changed.
Each SafeSwap has not one but a multitude of IP addresses assigned to it. These are shared between users, making the IP rotations unpredictable. Unless you check manually, you won't notice that the IP addresses are changed. This doesn't increase speed drops.
There are three SafeSwap locations to choose from: The Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States. I suspect that they're planning to increase the server numbers. Though I don't think this increase will be exponential, considering how many IP addresses the provider has to buy up to set up one SafeSwap server.
Currently, the feature is only available on Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. Though, the developers are also planning to release a macOS version in a short while.
Data hack detection
Although it sounds like some cutting-edge technology, this feature simply checks whether your data has appeared in data breaches. That's a premium feature, so free users won't have access to it.
If your data did end up in such a data breach, you'd get the bullet points with the kind of data that was revealed. So, you can quickly check whether only your email address leaked, or whether passwords were affected as well. This serves as a good tool for reference when you're trying to patch up security holes.
Is Atlas VPN secure?
In terms of security, Atlas VPN sits in the middle. It has the necessary basics that you'd want in your VPN service, like AES encryption and a working kill switch. However, the variety of tunneling protocols could use an upgrade.
It’s important to note that in October 2021, it was confirmed that Atlas VPN will be acquired by Nord Security, which is the parent company of NordVPN. This is great news for the users of Atlas VPN, as the agreement means that Atlas VPN will have to follow the same security standards and practices as Nord VPN, the leader of the VPN world.
Encryption and tunneling protocols
When you connect to one of Atlas VPN's servers, your connection becomes encrypted, meaning no one can see what you're doing online.
Specifically, Atlas VPN uses the AES-256 cipher. This is the current standard for data protection, used by numerous governmental and financial institutions.
As for tunneling protocols, there are two options: IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard. The latter is the newest addition to Atlas VPN, ensuring faster speeds and lower ping. As this protocol update is pretty recent, WireGuard is currently only available on Android and Windows. However, we can expect to see it on other platforms soon as well.
Atlas VPN is based in the United States, Delaware. Unfortunately, the United States is at the forefront of the Five Eyes alliance, and not a privacy-friendly jurisdiction in general, which is why this won't be one of Atlas VPN's selling points.
However, just like other anonymous VPN services, Atlas VPN does have a no-logs policy. The document says that they aren't storing any private information. While this isn't mentioned explicitly, the no-log policy seems to also apply to the free version.
Their policy mentions that you can contact them to have your account permanently deleted. California users can even ask to get a copy of the data companies have on you. It's a step in the right direction.
Atlas VPN has added a safety feature that helps to prevent data leaks. It's called a kill switch and is designed to shut down your Internet traffic if a link to the VPN server is interrupted. We perform two tests to check how it works: by blocking the connection from a router and disabling background VPN processes.
In the first test, the kill switch worked well and killed the connection when access to the server was blocked. The only qualm that I have is that it doesn't notify me that the kill switch is triggered. I liked that the Internet connection can be restored by disabling and enabling the kill switch.
The second test was more complicated than usual, as the service doesn't support OpenVPN. So, the VPN processes are tied to the client. So, I had to disable the client with the kill switch turned on. I found out that the kill switch works even in such circumstances.
You can access the customer support sections directly from the AtlasVPN app. When you click on the FAQ, you get transferred to the website. There are some general explanations and workarounds to solve technical issues.
Email support is available for all users via [email protected] – while the Premium users can use 24/7 live chat support as well. Email requests took a few hours to be responded to, while a live chat connection was instantaneous. Overall, it's a solid showing from Atlas VPN. This is just about as good as VPN support goes.
Is it worth getting Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to try out a VPN. The free version offers strong encryption, while the premium helps unblock Netflix and most other popular streaming platforms. Lighting fast Wireguard protocol and features such as Tracker Blocker will elevate your security to the next level.
In case you’re still not sure if you’d like to get Atlas VPN, or if you’re already using it and have some questions, please feel free to write us a comment. We’ll help you as much as we can!
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Is Atlas VPN free?
Yes. There are both free and premium versions. The free version gives you 10GB of data per month, so you’re better off with the paid one if you need to use a VPN a lot.
How good is Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is a lightweight and straightforward service. Although their premium version seems a bit lacking, their free version is one of the best.
Is Atlas VPN safe?
Atlas VPN uses strong AES-256 encryption, which should add adequate protection and privacy. Their kill switch is also working fine.
How do I use Atlas VPN?
If you're on mobile, you'll have to head to Google's Play Store or Apple's App Store, find the app, and install it. On desktop, you'll have to head to their website and download the app there. From there, it's as simple as clicking "Connect."
How many devices can I use with Atlas VPN?
You can use Atlas VPN with as many devices as you want, as the service offers unlimited simultaneous connections.