Atlas VPN review


Atlas VPN was one of the best freemium VPN services in 2024. It had a solid free plan and affordable premium tiers, making it a top choice for budget-conscious users. Unfortunately, the service was discontinued in early 2024 due to financial reasons. However, we’ll leave this Atlas VPN review up to keep the service’s memory alive.

If you’re looking for a virtual private network service that will remain active for the foreseeable future, check our list of the best VPN services in 2024. NordVPN occupies the number one spot, so try it if you want excellent results in every scenario.

Get NordVPN for the best VPN results in all areas
Go with NordVPN if you want a long-lasting provider that is greater than Atlas VPN ever was. The service employs the proprietary NordLynx protocol to achieve top speeds in the market. It also grants excellent online security and privacy at a reasonable price.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5
⭐ Rating:
4.1
🥇 Overall rank:#11 out of #42
📖 No logs policy:No-logs
💵 Price:From $1.64/month
🖥️ Servers:1,000 + servers in 42 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
🔥 Coupons:-

Atlas VPN pros and cons

What is Atlas VPN?

Atlas VPN was founded in 2019, making it relatively young compared to industry veterans like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Despite this, the service is considered one of the best VPN services available due to its affordable price and excellent feature package.

In fact, the provider is so outstanding that in 2021, it joined the ranks of Nord Security. As of 2023, the service boasts a customer base of over 6 million users worldwide.

Unlike most VPNs, Atlas VPN is a freemium service offering paid subscriptions and a free plan. Both options have pros and cons, although it shouldn’t surprise anyone that going premium is much more worthwhile. It grants blazing-fast connectivity with the WireGuard protocol, supports unlimited device connections, and efficiently unblocks geo-restricted content with its wide-reaching 1000+ server network across 42 countries.

Of course, Atlas VPN is not without its flaws. For starters, its jurisdiction is in the United States, a country with poor privacy protections and ties with the Five Eyes alliance. Additionally, it doesn’t provide router configuration files or the Smart DNS feature, making it impossible to set up on devices incompatible with VPNs. Plus, it lacks an independent audit that would confirm its no-logs claims.

Pricing: How much does Atlas VPN cost?

Atlas VPN is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market. Especially when keeping in mind that the service offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

VersionPrice
1-month plan$11.99/month
1-year plan$3.29/month
2-year plan$1.64/month

The monthly plan will charge the most, it would be up to $11.99/month. Therefore, we never recommend short-term plans. However, already with a year-long subscription, you’d get a huge discount and the monthly price would only be $3.29/month.

The 2-year plan is where Atlas VPN shines with budget-friendly prices. With this subscription plan, you’d only have to pay up to $1.64/month.

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. Users from Netherlands can now also use iDeal, Koreans can use KakaoPay, while those from Germany have the Sofort option. There are also options to pay with cryptocurrency, including BTC, LTC, ETH, and more, as well as QIWI. The latest payment option addition is Klarna, which allows users in the US pay for Atlas VPN in several installments.

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 free version

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 5 GB data limit on this plan – so it won't be your best bet for downloading and streaming large media files.

Atlas VPN free macOS app

Atlas VPN continues to be the value king in that regard. As a free user, you're getting access to four locations: Netherlands – Amsterdam, USA – Los Angeles, USA – New York, and Singapore Singapore.

However, the free version won't give you access to streaming-optimized servers, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, unlimited simultaneous connections, and the Shield feature. Although the two USA locations do have streaming servers, we can't be sure those servers are included in the free plan.

Is Atlas VPN safe?

Yes, Atlas VPN is a relatively secure VPN service, but there are superior alternatives if you want maximum cybersecurity. It has essential security features you’d expect from a VPN, like a no-logs policy, AES encryption, and a reliable kill switch. While the tunneling protocols you can select are reliable, there are only two options – IKEv2 and the market-standard WireGuard.

EncryptionAES-256, ChaCha20-Poly1305
Tunneling protocolsWireGuard, IKEv2
Kill switch✅Yes
RAM servers❌No
Dark web monitoring✅Yes
Privacy policyNo logs
Security auditsiOS app audit by VerSprite, Windows app audit by MDSec

However, there’s still room to grow for Atlas VPN. The provider doesn’t use RAM-only servers. Instead, it keeps data in fully encrypted drives. Additionally, the service’s no-logs policy hasn’t been independently audited, only the security tests that were done for the iOS and Windows apps.

On the other hand, if you’re wondering who owns Atlas VPN – it has been acquired by Nord Security, the owner of the market-leading NordVPN. So, it’s expected that Atlas VPN will follow the same security standards and practices as NordVPN.

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 which is the current standard for data protection, used by numerous governmental and financial institutions. And they have also implemented a ChaCha20 cipher with the Poly1305 authenticator that ensures next-gen security.

As for tunneling protocols, there are two options: IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard. The latter is the marker-standard tunneling protocol and the newest addition to Atlas VPN, ensuring faster speeds and lower ping. And it’s available on Android, Windows, macOS, and iOS devices.

Logging

Atlas VPN is based in the United States, Delaware. Unfortunately, the United States is at the forefront of the 5-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 reputable 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 the company has on them.

Kill switch

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.

Atlas VPN kill switch on Windows

In the first test, the kill switch worked well and killed the connection when access to the server was blocked. The only qualm that we had is that it doesn't notify you that the kill switch is triggered. However, we found it useful 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, we had to disable the client with the kill switch turned on. Even so, the kill switch works even in such circumstances.

Speed and performance: is Atlas VPN fast?

Yes, Atlas VPN is definitely a fast service because it implements the modern and efficient WireGuard protocol. Although it’s not among the top 5 fastest VPN providers, our tests showed that Atlas VPN delivers excellent results and has serious potential. Below are the details of our evaluations.

  • Baseline: 1 ms ping/ 500 Mbps download/ 493 Mbps upload
LocationDownload speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)
US (NY)438
393
UK455416
Germany478
456
Sweden475460
Australia465239

The test results show that Atlas VPN managed to retain around 92% of our initial download speed, which is very impressive. It’s clear that Atlas VPN’s speeds improved drastically since it implemented WireGuard. In the five locations we tested, there were no noticeable connection speed drops with download or upload speeds. So, you’re unlikely to have to deal with buffering or lags.

This is precisely what you should expect from WireGuard, considering it's one of the fastest protocols on the market. However, other factors besides the protocol influence connectivity. So, let’s see how Atlas VPN’s speed retention compares to a few top VPN providers using WireGuard or similar protocols.

AtlasVPNNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhost
BrandSurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEW
Rating
4.1
4.9
4.7
4.3
4.2
Speed retention80%90%86%77%86%
Tunneling protocolWireGuardNordLynxWireGuardLightwayWireGuard

Atlas VPN performance with other protocols

In some situations, you may want to opt for Atlas VPN’s alternative tunneling protocol – IKEv2. Let’s see how it fared in our manual speed tests.

  • Baseline: 1 ms ping/ 500 Mbps download/ 493 Mbps upload
LocationDownload speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)
US (NY)183
309
UK461453
Germany470
450
Sweden459431
Australia425162

As you can see, Atlas VPN’s IKEv2 protocol performed surprisingly well in most countries, except the US. Even download speeds in Australia were practically on par with WireGuard. Overall, the protocol retained around 80% of intitial speed, which I would consider quite impressive.

Atlas VPN servers and locations

Atlas VPN has a solid network of around 1000+ servers across 42 countries. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t as massive as VPN market veterans like NordVPN or Surfshark. On the other hand, Atlas VPN includes specialty servers for specific purposes, such as streaming.

Regions:42
Europe:26
Asia:7
Americas:6
Rest of the world:3

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.

Atlas VPN servers and locations 2023

Right now, the server selection is the largest in Europe. The coverage in other areas of the world is much poorer, there are very few locations in Asia, the Americas, and the rest of the world.

Recently, Atlas VPN introduced 10 Gbps servers. No matter whether you’re simply browsing the web or doing data-consuming activities like streaming, these servers optimize connection speeds. The way it works is that the 10Gbps servers have more bandwidth, so they’re capable of transmitting data faster.

When connecting to a server, you can choose a Privacy Pro feature that includes SafeSwap and MultiHop+. Servers with these features will route your traffic through multiple IP addresses, making it virtually impossible to track you.

Another new update by Atlas VPN is the server maintenance notifications. If some of the servers go through brief maintenance, Atlas VPN will notify you on macOS and iOS devices.

Does Atlas VPN work in China?

Unfortunately, Atlas VPN is not a good choice if you’re looking for a means of breaking through the Great Firewall of China. We tested whether Atlas VPN works in China, and the results were inconsistent. Moreover, it doesn’t offer traffic obfuscation, which is the main method of fighting VPN bans. The best you can do is switch between tunneling protocols and servers.

But keep in mind that not all of the servers and countries work well each time you connect. Therefore, you would need to search for an available one. We have succeeded while connecting to Denmark, Ireland, and a few other countries. And, luckily, the connection was quite stable!

If you are curious about more options for VPNs that work in China, you will always find a list of them on our website.

How does Atlas VPN work?

Like any other VPN on the market, Atlas VPN encrypts your data online and changes your IP address. So, no third parties, ISPs, or government can follow your activity online and log it.

Additionally, a VPN is a great tool to unblock geo-blocked content, securely torrent, and more.

If you’re wondering how to use Atlas VPN, all you need to do is connect to a server. This way, a VPN creates a secure connection tunnel. All of the data coming from your computer is encrypted and routed through the secure tunnel.

When the encrypted data reaches Atlas VPN servers, then it is decrypted and sent to the website you wanted to visit. This way it appears that the request came from Atlas VPN servers, so your data is secure and hidden.

How to download Atlas VPN?

The most trustworthy method of downloading Atlas VPN is through its official website. However, you’ll have no trouble finding the software on various third-party app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices. Here are the necessary steps if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

  1. Go to the Atlas VPN website and press the ‘Grab the deal’ button
  2. Choose your subscription plan. Each option includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
  3. Proceed to checkout by clicking the button at the bottom-right corner
  4. Create an account. For that, you’ll be asked to enter your email address and payment information
  5. Press the ‘Complete purchase’ button and download the app
  6. Install the VPN app by following the given instructions
  7. Sign in, connect to the server, and enjoy Atlas VPN services

How to use Atlas VPN?

Atlas VPN is hailed as one of the most easy-to-use VPNs in the market. That means it’s intuitive, beginner-friendly, and effortless to customize. Still, consider making a few adjustments if you want the best possible experience with Atlas VPN.

  1. Launch the Atlas VPN app once it’s installed
  2. Open the Settings menu that’s located on the left
  3. Visit the Security tab and enable the kill switch and Shield feature
  4. Next, go to Protocol and ensure you’re using Auto or WireGuard for peak performance
  5. Check the App settings tab if you want to change the UI language or color scheme
  6. Go back to the Home page to enable the VPN connection

Is Atlas VPN good for streaming?

PlatformDoes it work?
Netflix✅ Yes
Youtube✅ Yes
BBC iPlayer✅ Yes
Hulu✅ Yes
Max✅ Yes

Yes, Atlas VPN is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a top-quality streaming VPN. This provider will effortlessly unblock the most popular streaming sites using its streaming-optimized servers. So, you can pick from plenty of different global content libraries and not run out of cinema to enjoy.

Additionally, due to the great connection speeds, your streaming experience with Atlas VPN will be seamless and lag-free. And although Atlas VPN lacks router configuration files, it offers specialized apps for Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and even Apple TV, making it suitable for most home theater devices.

Unblocking Netflix with Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN exceeded our expectations and easily unblocked 11 different Netflix libraries. So, if you run out of things to watch, you can install it and discover shows available in other countries.

Atlas VPN unblocking Japanese Netflix

We’ve successfully accessed Japanese Netflix as well as the UK and the US libraries with no interruptions. Likewise, Atlas VPN is definitely a great provider giving you the opportunity to watch anything on Netflix if you find the right server.

Unblocking other streaming sites with Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN also managed to unblock other popular streaming platforms. For example, the famous British media streaming service, BBC iPlayer, was easily accessible, so you won’t have any issues with streaming the most popular shows in the UK without any interruptions.

Atlas VPN unblocking BBC iPlayer

During the tests, we didn't notice any stutters or buffering issues so if you want to watch BBC iPlayer from the USA or another country, this VPN is an excellent choice.

Another success we encountered was Hulu. Atlas VPN easily unblock the site and we were able to try out streaming the content with no interruptions or lags. Same as with HBO Max. This streaming site was accessed easily, the video quality was high and there were no interruptions or lags.

We also tried Atlas VPN when trying to access a geo-restricted NBA highlights video on YouTube that was only available to US viewers. Just like with other streaming platforms, it worked wonders.

So, overall, Atlas VPN is a trustworthy option as a VPN for streaming.

Is Atlas VPN good for torrenting?

Atlas VPN is a decent option if you’re a torrenting enthusiast. It offers good speeds and reliable security even without dedicated P2P servers. Most importantly, Atlas VPN supports P2P traffic even on the free plan, making it an excellent option if you want to secure your activities for free. On the other hand, some torrenters might be disappointed because this VPN lacks port forwarding.

Atlas VPN for torrenting

The download speed we 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.

Besides, torrenting works on the Atlas VPN free version, as well. Though, don't expect the speeds to be as fast as with the premium subscription.

Interface and ease of use

PlatformExperience
AndroidGreat application, very easy to use
iOSThe same as the Android one
WindowsSome connection errors, built-in 2FA
macOSmacOS Similar to Windows, but runs smoother
LinuxNo GUI, works through a terminal

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, iOS, and Linux. For your convenience, Atlas VPN introduced the auto-connect and quick-connect options (on all apps except Linux). The Windows app got a VPN pause option as well. Additionally, you have an option to translate the app into various other languages.

Moving on, with the latest additions to the platform, this VPN now also natively supports Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Apple TV. Atlas VPN has enough options to match the biggest services out there.

Let's have a look at the main Atlas VPN user interfaces.

Android

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.

Atlas VPN Android app interface

Feature-wise, the available toggles are Shield and a system-wide kill switch. You can also check if your emails appeared in any data breaches with Data Breach Monitor.

As far as VPNs for Android go, it's a solid app that is perfect for daily use.

iOS

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.

Atlas VPN iPhone app interface

All the features in Android and iOS apps are the same – the Shield, Data Breach Monitor, and a kill switch. The only difference we found is that the sharing of usage statistics button is located elsewhere. Still, that really won’t radically change your experience.

Overall, it’s a solid VPN application for iPhone.

Windows

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.

Atlas VPN Windows app interface 2023

For a quick country find, there is a search function at the top of the screen. You can also scroll through the list, which isn't that big of a problem, as the number of countries is fairly small.

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 another layer of security.

macOS

The experience was very smooth on the macOS app. Image and text scaling could use some polish, but overall, the text was readable.

Atlas VPN macOS app interface

One thing to note is that 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.

Linux

While there's no dedicated app for Linux as on other operating systems, Atlas VPN introduced a service for Linux. The VPN for Linux now comes with the state-of-the-art WireGuard protocol and specialty servers.

Additionally, Linux users can take advantage of servers optimized for streaming, as well as SafeSwap and MultiHop+ servers for added privacy online.

Atlas VPN Linux app

Even though Atlas VPN doesn't have a graphical user interface for Linux, you can install the service and use the terminal to connect to the servers. It's pretty easy-to-use if you're an experienced Linux guru.

Atlas VPN features

Even though Atlas VPN doesn’t offer an extensive range of features, it still has something to boast about. This includes the Shield (previously known as SafeBrowse) feature for a malware and ad-free browsing experience, an IP rotator, and data breach monitoring. Continue reading to learn more about each feature in depth.

Shield

You can find Shield under the “Assistant” menu toggle. It's an optional safety measure 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.

Atlas VPN Shield feature windows

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.

SafeSwap

Atlas VPN added the SafeSwap feature that you can find under the Privacy Pro tab. When you connect to its server, your IP address is rotated while you're connected.

Atlas VPN SafeSwap feature

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, every 10 minutes or so.

Each SafeSwap server 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.

Data Breach Monitor

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.

Atlas VPN data breach monitor 2023

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.

MultiHop+

You can consider MultiHop+ an improved and more secure alternative to SafeSwap. The first similarity is that both server categories intermittently rotate your IP address. However, as the name suggests, MultiHop+ routes your connection through multiple servers.

Like other double VPN implementations, MultiHop+ can severely impact connection speeds because your traffic has to make numerous detours. And don’t forget that several encryption layers will reduce connectivity even further. However, some users may find this a small price to pay for such one-of-a-kind security.

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.

Customer support

Atlas VPN
24/7 live chat
✅Yes
Email✅Yes
Phone line❌No
Knowledge Base✅Yes
FAQs✅Yes

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 a rising star in the VPN industry that shouldn’t be overlooked by customers seeking an affordable and effective provider. Swift connections are guaranteed with WireGuard, streaming performance is solid, and one account can protect unlimited devices. However, Atlas VPN might not be enough for needier users.

We recommend NordVPN if you want the fastest and overall best VPN available. On the other hand, Surfshark is a worthwhile alternative if you need limitless connections, router support, and loads of extra features for a reasonable price.


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FAQ

Comments

Lenjin
prefix 6 months ago
Excellent vpn. Indeed, it has a great set of premium features for a very reasonable price. Rotating IP addresses, dual rotating servers, kill switch, malicious website and ad blocker, email security monitoring, unblocks Netflix US, very reasonable price, started installing 10 Gbps servers. The only drawback is the RAM servers.
Sharon
prefix 2 years ago
I want to commend the support team behind the Atlas VPN. As a senior with little technological knowledge, when I had an problem with the program they were very efficient and resolved my issue promtly and pleasantly.
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