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Thinking about getting a VPN?
It’s a smart move. VPNs, or ‘Virtual Private Networks’ are top-level solutions for improving your system security and disguising your internet activity and related data.
You may not know it, but there are countless ways a business, government, or malicious users like scammers can gain access to your personal data (including address, passwords, financial information, and more) via your IP address  — a code that identifies your computer on a network.
VPNs mask a user’s online presence by tunneling your data through an encrypted server under a different IP address in a remote location .
Most VPN services also allow you to choose the location, which also means you can gain access to geo-restricted content like a Netflix or Amazon Prime Video library from a different country.
Beyond that, VPNs keep your data safe online, leaving no trace of your presence or activities behind. This allows you to safely and privately perform activities such as torrenting without worry.
Most cybersecurity experts recommend VPNs as a standard digital security protocol to the average internet user.
In this article, we’ll be performing a rigorous Atlas VPN review. Atlas VPN is a highly secure, freemium VPN platform introduced in 2019 with over 6 million active users. We’ll be discussing Atlas VPN’s history, security and privacy features, speeds, pricing, and alternatives to consider.
What is Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN is a US-based Virtual Private Network service introduced in 2019 by Peakstar Technologies Inc.
Thanks to their great security protocols, high-speeds, and overall positive reputation, they quickly gathered over six million users and were subsequently bought up by digital security giant Nord Security in 2021 .
Atlas VPN is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android platforms.
They aim to provide better online security to those that may be less tech-savvy, in an accessible and affordable way. Accordingly, they offer a free service as well as a paid one with additional features.
Let’s take a detailed look at the most crucial elements of the VPN service to see how Atlas VPN compares to other leading providers.
Servers and locations
Servers are an important consideration when choosing the best VPN service provider.
More servers generally mean faster connections, as proximity to a server will determine speeds, with closer servers offering faster connections.
Additionally, having servers distributed across the globe means you have a wider choice of places to connect to, which means you can access a greater amount of content libraries.
Atlas VPN has 750 servers across 37 locations, including Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia.
Accordingly, with Atlas VPN you can access US, Canadian, UK, and other content libraries for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
Of those locations, only three are available in the free version — Netherlands (Amsterdam), United States (Los Angeles), and United States (New York).
See the table below for the full list of Atlas VPN server locations:
750 servers in 37 locations is a healthy amount that should more than cover the needs of the average VPN user. But, for comparison, Nord VPN (the largest VPN provider in the market) has 5256 servers in 60 countries.
Security Features — Is Atlas VPN Secure?
Security should be the number one priority for anyone looking into using a VPN service.
The quality and number of encryption protocols used, as well as the additional security measures and features offered, will determine the extent to which your data is protected.
Let’s take a look at each security element and feature one by one.
This standard security measure ensures that the authorized account holder is the one logging in by providing two identifying pieces of information instead of one , like a password.
Atlas VPN has two-factor authentication.
An encryption protocol in the context of VPNs is the system through which the VPN cryptographically encrypts (locks and protects) data.
Atlas VPN offers a choice to the user of which encryption protocol to implement via the settings.
The industry standard choices, IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2) and IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) are the most secure. They use the highest level of encryption, AES-256, to protect data, which is virtually invulnerable to hacks and unauthorized decryption.
However, for purposes such as streaming and gaming, they offer comparatively lower speeds which could negatively affect your experience.
This is why Atlas VPN also offers the newer WireGuard encryption protocol. Introduced in 2018, WireGuard is an open-source, standalone encryption protocol. It’s more lightweight than other VPN protocols like OpenVPN, coming in at only 4,000 lines of code compared to OpenVPN’s 70,000.
As a result of this, WireGuard offers much faster speeds. It also makes it easier to audit, which means it’ll stand up better to attacks over time.
However, its ChaCha20 symmetric encryption protocol is less robust than the industry-standard AES-256. And WireGuard does not dynamically assign IP addresses, which is a concern for some.
SafeSwap is a unique server feature that aims to decrease traceability even further.
Where many VPN service providers offer connection to a single IP address, with SafeSwap, Atlas VPN cycles through different IPs on a regular basis. This makes it that much harder for snoopers, authorities, and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to spy on your activity.
At present, however, SafeSwap only cycles through three server locations — Amsterdam, Singapore, and Los Angeles.
Malware and ad blocker
As part of their service, Atlas VPN automatically blocks sites and advertisements that are known to host malicious content such as malware, phishing, or viruses.
Whenever you browse online, chances are there are trackers that identify your movements and habits, which data brokers can sell to advertisers in order to target you better.
Atlas VPN recently introduced Tracker Blocker, an optional security feature that allows you to see in what ways you are being tracked and by whom. Following this, you can switch on a blocker that will prevent all trackers you encounter while browsing the internet from operating.
With a VPN active, all of your data is tunneled through encrypted servers.
This is great for security and privacy reasons but can have some unwanted effects — like disabling access to local content libraries in your region.
Which is where split tunneling comes in.
Split tunneling  allows you to select specific apps to run through or outside of the VPN. As a result, you can maintain the privacy of a VPN for all your other activities, and still access local content under your own IP address.
Atlas VPN has this feature, which you can enable in the settings.
Advanced leak protection
Due to a quirk in the upgrading of IP address systems from IPv4 to the newer IPv6, it’s possible that websites could see your IPv6 address even with a VPN enabled. This is called an ‘IPv6 leak’.
Some VPN providers have what’s known as advanced leak protection, which prevents IPv6 leaks in a number of different ways.
Atlas VPN features advanced leak protection that covers both IPv4 and IPv6 connections.
Privacy features — How Private is Atlas VPN?
While the security of a VPN service measures the extent to which data is locked and protected, privacy relates to the ways in which your online presence is disguised — from websites, your ISP, and indeed the VPN service itself.
Be aware that theoretically, an intervening body like the government could request information from a VPN provider in order to access your information.
Privacy features and measures work to prevent this. Let’s see what Atlas VPN has to offer in terms of privacy.
Data breach monitoring
A data breach is a security incident where sensitive information like emails, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and financial details are accessed, transferred, or stolen without the knowledge or authorization of the owner.
These breaches are often exposed in databases accessible to the public.
Atlas VPN’s Data Breach Monitoring feature constantly scans these databases for credentials connected with your information and sends alerts when they appear in a breach.
–Editor’s Note – Dec, 21-2021: Currently, this feature is only available to the Windows, iOS, and Android platforms, not MacOS.
DNS (Domain Name System) servers perform a transaction that converts a URL into an IP. These transactions are typically not encrypted, meaning someone can intercept them and gain access to your information.
Atlas VPN features a private DNS address book. This encrypts the exchange between your network and the DNS server to prevent third parties from intercepting the data.
As mentioned, it’s possible that VPN providers could collect information about your usage, which could subsequently be accessed forcibly by authoritative bodies or malicious users. Indeed, there are some instances of VPN providers who collect information like timestamps, DNS requests, and bandwidth that have been breached.
Which is why it’s important that a VPN provider maintains a strict no-log policy. Under this policy, the provider will not gather and store any information about your browsing patterns, so they couldn’t give it up to an intervening party even if they were forced, as there is nothing to give.
Atlas VPN operates a solid no-log policy.
Sometimes, VPN connection drops occur. In these moments, it’s possible that your real digital presence is momentarily exposed in the interim between reconnecting to the VPN.
Kill switches instantly sever connection to the internet entirely when a VPN connection drops. This ensures that no one can intercept your data, even when the VPN connection is unstable, and Atlas VPN has this feature.
Atlas VPN Speeds
All VPN services slow your internet speeds, but some more than others.
Atlas VPN features multiple protocols with different performance benchmarks when it comes to speeds.
|Server||Protocol||Download Speed (Mbps)||Speed Loss (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mpbs)|
|wdt_ID||Server||Protocol||Download Speed (Mbps)||Speed Loss (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mpbs)|
Speed tests place Atlas VPN’s IKEv2 protocol at medium speeds on the IKEv2 protocol, at 108Mbps in the US and 198.47Mbps in the UK.
They scored significantly better speeds using the WireGuard protocol, which achieved a speed loss of only -80.37 Mbps in the US and an impressive -14.74Mbps in the UK.
For general use, Atlas VPN offers more than enough speed to easily manage typical browsing activities.
For gaming, Atlas VPN offers relatively good speeds when connecting to a nearby server, but still falls slightly behind leading providers like NordVPN.
For streaming, Atlas VPN offers great speeds, and additionally offers streaming-specific servers that are optimized to reduce buffering.
Streaming and Media
Different VPNs unblock different streaming services’s content libraries with varying degrees of success.
Atlas VPN servers offer access to streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubim Broadway HD, Anime lovers, Crunchyroll, Shudder, Funimation, and Screambox.
However, it was unable to unblock access to the US Netflix library, given their ongoing effort to crackdown on VPN services unblocking.
While Atlas VPN does offer desktop versions of their app, the service is mostly mobile-oriented.
Accordingly, usability on the mobile application is great, but on desktop, not so much.
We saw a lack of any logical sorting system when searching for servers, and no ‘recently used’ or ‘favorite’ sections on desktop. These features can be found on the mobile app, however.
Atlas VPN offers 24/7 live chat support only for premium users.
They do offer a large number of resources and articles to help set up and troubleshoot the service, though.
As mentioned, Atlas VPN offers a free service as well as a premium paid service.
The free version limits you to 400MB per day, limited to three of it’s server locations.
The paid version gives full access to all server locations with no data caps.
Currently, you can sign up for one month at $9.99 per month, one year at $2.49 per month, or three years plus three months free at $1.39 per month with their holiday special discount.
They also offer a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Given their pricing structure and free service, Atlas VPN represents a highly affordable budget option for those looking for a VPN provider.
Atlas VPN Alternatives
Below are a few Atlas VPN alternatives to compare to.
Perhaps the most budget-friendly VPN option. Offers 3000+ servers in 94 locations, AES-256-Bit encryption, and unlimited simultaneous connections for $2.21 per month.
Undoubtedly the most secure but premium VPN service. 5200+ servers in 60 locations, Double VPN, CyberSec, Onion Over VPN, AES-256-Bit encryption and secure DNS. Supports 6 simultaneous connections for $3.29 per month.
VPN provider with excellent security, fast speeds, and overall positive customer reviews. 3000+ servers in 94 locations, an array of security and privacy features, and supports five simultaneous connections. Available for $6.67 per month.
Rugged Recommendation — Should You Get Atlas VPN?
At Rugged Ratings, we score goods and services according to our BIFL (Buy It For Life) system, featuring four key variables.
In the context of VPN services, those variables are:
Rugged — 50% weight of the total score – Security and privacy features and standards
Repairable — 20% weight of the total score – Guarantees and customer support
Upgradable — 15% weight of the total score – Additional features and options through premium services
Multi-purpose — 15% weight of the total score – Applicable to gaming, streaming, and general use
Atlas VPN achieved a BIFL score of 7.0 out of 10, achieving great marks in “ruggedness” thanks to a broad variety of security and privacy features, upgradability for free and paid account options as well as WireGuard protocol options, and multipurposeness for its solid performance in gaming, streaming, and general use.
It’s a reliable free VPN with paid options for those looking for more utility.
It was let down only by its relatively weak customer support and less than ideal privacy measures with it being based in the US, a member of the Five Eyes Alliance .
|+ Unlimited simultaneous connections||– 24/7 live chat support option only for premium users|
|+ No logs policy||– Mobile focused, fewer features on desktop|
|+ Free version||– Relatively small server network|
|+ Solid speeds||– Based in US, which is part of the Five Eyes alliance|
|+ Good for streaming||– Not available on Linux|
Overall, we can confidently recommend Atlas VPN to anyone looking for a basic, mobile-focused VPN utility at a free or very affordable price point.
If you’re looking for a deal or discount on Atlas VPN, head to our Offers.Deals.Discounts page and see if there’s any current special offer. We update this page regularly so be sure to check it often.
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