Atlas VPN Review (2022): A New Freemium VPN That’s Worth It
Atlas VPN is a relatively new virtual private network provider that launched in 2019. In 2021, it became part of Nord Security, which also owns our current top-rated VPNs, Surfshark and NordVPN. We decided to do a detailed AtlastVPN review to see just how good it is.
We tested both the free and premium Atlas VPN apps on key aspects like speed, security, privacy, and more. Keep reading for all our observations and use them to help you decide if you should opt for Atlas VPN.
Atlas VPN Short Review
|Free VPN option||Based in the United States|
|The premium version unblocks Netflix and other streaming services||Not available for Linux or routers|
|No logs of personally identifiable information||Technical issues|
|Affordable premium plans|
Atlas VPN is a completely free VPN that also offers an incredibly affordable premium plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Premium users can have unlimited simultaneous connections.
Both the free and premium versions offer good speeds and security to help you browse safely. However, Atlas VPN free has a daily data cap of 2GB and cannot unblock geographically restricted streaming services. The paid version, on the other hand, unblocks Netflix and other services like Amazon Prime Video. It also supports P2P file-sharing for safe and anonymous torrenting.
The best part is that Atlas VPN does not keep logs of personally-identifiable user data. So, although it’s based in the United States, which does not have privacy-friendly laws, it’s a safe VPN to use that will not track your online activities. Keep reading our full Atlas VPN review below for all the details.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is Atlas VPN?
Nobody wants to sit and wait while a show buffers, a webpage loads, or a download completes. That is why every VPN we review is extensively tested for its speed. Atlas VPN scores 7.5/10 in our speed assessment. Here are our main conclusions:
- Atlas VPN offers pretty decent speeds across most servers.
- Browsing and streaming work well with Atlas VPN.
Speed test results Atlas VPN
The table below summarizes our Atlas VPN speed test results on varied servers. We tested the premium version of Atlas VPN using speedtest.net, running the tests multiple times for each server and then working out the average speed.
|Server||Download (MBPS)||% Download||Upload (MBPS)||% Upload||Ping (MS)|
|US (New York)||32.43||42.5%||44.33||94.1%||212|
As you can see, speeds were pretty good and consistent. We got the best results on the Netherlands and Japan servers, while the France server was the slowest.
Remember that VPN speeds can be influenced by various factors like your location and the time of day. Our results just give a general idea of what to expect.
Speed during daily use
Atlas VPN is not the fastest VPN, but it’s good enough for most use cases. We did not notice any delays when browsing, streaming, and even gaming. Webpages loaded smoothly, and videos played without interruption. We could also download and upload files without any issues.
However, there were some kinks with internet connectivity when the Atlas VPN kill switch was activated. This was a bit frustrating. We discuss this issue in more detail in the kill switch section further down in this Atlas VPN review.
Safety – How Secure is Atlas VPN?
The most important aspect of a VPN is its safety. Secure protocols and strong encryption will keep your data traffic hidden from onlookers. Atlas VPN scores 7.5/10 on safety, and here are our main takeaways:
- Atlas VPN offers the IKEv2 and Wireguard protocols.
- Atlas VPN does not keep logs of any user-identifiable data.
- It has a kill switch on the desktop and mobile apps.
- To create an Atlas VPN account, you need to provide an email address and payment information.
Atlas VPN protects your data with industry-standard 256-bit encryption. At the same time, it offers highly secure IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols. WireGuard will give you the best speeds. You can select the protocol in the “Settings” section of the Atlas VPN app.
Logging and privacy
Since a VPN aims to bolster your online security and privacy, the best providers do not collect any personally-identifiable data that can be linked back to you. We were pleased to find that Atlas VPN honors this and does not keep any sensitive data logs like your IP address, location, or internet usage.
- Data about the app’s use: This includes the changes you make to your settings and the date and time at which you connect and disconnect.
- Data on your device: This data includes what type of device you use, including information about its make, model, and operating system.
- Device identifiers: These IDs are assigned to your device by the OS manufacturer. Atlas VPN accesses these for analytics and marketing purposes.
Furthermore, Atlas VPN is based in the US, a “5 Eyes” country. This means that they may share your information with authorities if asked to. The good news is that the provider will not have much data about you to share, due to the no-logs policy. However, it’s still preferable for VPN providers to be based in more privacy-friendly regions, such as Panama, where NordVPN is based.
A kill switch is a vital security feature for VPNs. This feature automatically “kills” your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. In this way, you remain anonymous and your data can’t “leak” through an unsecured connection.
Atlas VPN has a kill switch on all its apps, but we noticed a strange technical issue with it. Sometimes, when the connection dropped, the kill switch would activate but not try to reinitiate a secure connection. This means that we had to manually reconnect to the VPN to establish the internet connection. This was somewhat annoying and time-consuming.
What information does Atlas VPN need?
To create an Atlas VPN account, you need to provide:
- An email address
- Payment information (credit card, PayPal, or Google Pay)
The provider also accepts cryptocurrencies as payment, meaning it’s possible to buy a VPN more anonymously.
Usability – How User-Friendly is Atlas VPN?
A VPN needs to be easy to use so that even beginners can make the most of it. We were somewhat disappointed with Atlas VPN, because it seems to have several technical kinks. Due to this, we give it a score of 6/10 in user-friendliness.
- The Atlas VPN website is well-designed and easy to navigate but lacks detailed information.
- We could not use the Atlas VPN Windows app, because it got blocked by our antivirus software. The Mac and mobile apps worked pretty well, but we faced some issues with the kill switch.
- Atlas VPN is available for free, and the Premium version is very affordable.
- Customer support can be contacted through email. Premium users can use live chat.
Atlas VPN’s website and installation process
The Atlas VPN website is simple and easy to use. At the top of the homepage is a menu with links to various pages like “Features” and “Pricing.”
Additionally, you can scroll down to see more information and comparisons between Atlas VPN and various competitors, like ExpressVPN.
We found that the information provided on the website is somewhat minimal and lacks clarity. For instance, the information about Atlas VPN features like SafeSwap, Tracker Blocker, and MultiHop+ lacks details about which specific platforms these are available on. This can be confusing when trying to find the features within the apps.
Follow the steps below to install AtlasVPN on your desktop:
- Click the “Get Atlas VPN” button on the homepage.
- Click “Download Free” to get the free Atlas VPN client or “Get Premium” to buy a subscription.
- If you go for the free option, the download will automatically begin for Windows systems. For macOS, you will be taken to the Mac App Store to download the client.
- If you go for the Premium version, you will be redirected to the pricing page to select a plan and enter your email address and payment information.
- Once your payment is completed, you will receive a confirmation email and a prompt to download the Atlas VPN app.
- Open the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the VPN client.
- If you’ve paid for a premium plan, you can sign in to the app using the email address you provided and a verification code that will be emailed to you when you try to sign in.
Note: Each new device you sign in to will require a separate verification code as you cannot set a password to sign in.
Atlas VPN’s appearance and ease of use
Atlas VPN’s app is very easy to navigate. The home screen features the server list and a large “on” button. Click the button to initiate a connection to the nearest server. Alternatively, scroll through the list of servers and select the location you wish to connect to.
The server list has three tabs: All, Streaming, and SafeSwap. Streaming servers are optimized for streaming video content, while SafeSwap servers are the most private, as they allow you to have multiple rotating IP addresses without having to switch between different VPN servers.
So, unlike regular VPN servers that only assign you a single IP address, the SafeSwap servers use a pool of different IP addresses. When you connect to a SafeSwap server, your outgoing traffic gets routed via multiple IP addresses that will randomly switch during your online sessions without any drop in speed. This enhances your anonymity online.
To the left of the Atlas VPN app home screen is a minimalist menu from which you can access the “Settings.” Here, you can customize various options like the kill switch and the protocol.
Pricing and methods of payment
Atlas VPN offers both a free and a premium version of its service. You get 2GB of free daily traffic and access to three server locations with the free Atlas VPN.
Premium gives you access to 44 locations instead of three and has more security features, unlimited simultaneous connections, faster servers, and specialized servers for streaming.
Atlas VPN Premium offers three different subscription plans:
- Two years for just $2.05 a month (billed the first two years at $49,19).
- One year for $3.29 a month (billed yearly at $29,88).
- One month for $10.99 (billed monthly).
The monthly fee is considerably lower when you subscribe to their services for a longer period. That’s why the two-year subscription is the cheapest option: it gives a massive 81% discount on the full price just for the readers who use the link on our website. Do keep in mind that prices may vary slightly between countries due to App Store taxes.
When you opt for Atlas VPN Premium, you can pay via Google Pay, credit card, PayPal, or crypto. Further, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service to see whether it’s to your liking.
Atlas VPN’s customer service can be contacted via email. The average response time for support queries is 24 hours, so it’s not ideal if you have a pressing issue.
If you go to the “Help” section on their site, you’ll find some frequently asked questions and several support articles. We found this section to be somewhat limited, and there’s scope for improving it with more detailed information. Below the support articles, there’s a button to contact the Atlas VPN customer support team.
Premium users can access the “live chat” support by logging into the Atlas VPN website. We tried this out and found that this is not really a “live chat,” but rather a contact form to submit. It would definitely be an improvement if they introduced a live chat feature on the homepage itself.
We submitted several queries, including one about changing the protocol on the Atlas VPN Mac app, and received an email response within a few minutes. The customer support agent was friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, they could not help us with the issue we faced when trying to install the VPN client on Windows. Atlas VPN got blocked by our antivirus software and customer support was not able to resolve this issue.
Server Network Atlas VPN
A new VPN like Atlas VPN doesn’t have thousands of servers, unlike established providers such as Surfshark and CyberGhost. However, it still provides users with sufficient options that offer decent speeds. This earns it a 7/10 in our evaluation.
These are our main conclusions about Atlas VPN’s server network:
- Atlas VPN has 44 server locations in 37 countries. In total, they have over 750 servers.
- Premium users have access to specialized servers for streaming.
- Atlas VPN does not offer dedicated IP addresses.
Number of servers and locations
Atlas VPN has over 750 servers in 44 locations across 37 countries. This small network is a decent start, but we assume it will grow in the future.
The Atlas VPN free version allows access to just three locations:
- The Netherlands
- USA (Los Angeles and New York)
Here’s an overview of all Atlas VPN server locations:
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|United States||Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Dallas, New Jersey, Phoenix, Las Vegas|
Atlas VPN Premium offers specialized servers for premium members. Moreover, it has SafeSwap servers aimed at maximizing privacy. These servers are located in The Netherlands, the USA, and Singapore. Using them means you access the internet from multiple IP addresses that are constantly rotated. This provides an additional layer of privacy and security.
Furthermore, the Atlas VPN mobile apps have MultiHop+ servers in Europe and North America. According to the Atlas VPN website, “MultiHop+ is an advanced network topology with carefully selected locations for optimal latency and speed designed to randomly rotate between various gateways.” As a result, your online activity is hidden behind several VPN locations and encryption layers to boost your security and anonymity.
The MultiHop+ servers are great for when you want to bypass censorship & surveillance. They offer robust online protection for those who want to escape government surveillance in highly restricted countries.
Atlas VPN currently doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses. If you want more information on dedicated IP addresses or how to use them, you can read this article.
Atlas VPN’s Options
Many people use a VPN to watch Netflix content from another country. At the same time, it can be useful for anonymous torrenting. The following section will look at Atlas VPN’s capabilities in these areas. Overall, here are our observations:
- The premium version of Atlas VPN can unblock Netflix and other streaming services.
- Atlas VPN allows torrenting.
- Atlas VPN offers a “Tracker Blocker” feature and allows for split tunneling.
Atlas VPN and streaming (Netflix)
Unfortunately, the free version of Atlas VPN didn’t allow us to watch Netflix content from other countries, even though we were able to view all original Netflix productions. Whenever we wanted to watch a show or movie that’s only available for some countries, we were faced with an error message, claiming we were using a proxy and were therefore denied access.
Atlas VPN Premium did allow us to watch the American version of Netflix and enjoy series such as Legacies and Supernatural with an LA server.
Atlas VPN and torrents
Atlas VPN allows for P2P traffic and will keep you safe while file-sharing. You can torrent anonymously at fairly good speeds while using the Atlas VPN servers. Atlas VPN does underline that the use of P2P should happen responsibly.
The Atlas VPN mobile apps have a Tracker Blocker. This is a feature that stops third-party trackers from gathering insights about your online activities. The Tracker Blocker can be enabled in the “Assistant” section of the Android or iOS app.
Split tunneling is another mobile-only feature of Atlas VPN. With split tunneling, you can channel part of your internet traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel while the remaining traffic is routed outside the VPN. This is especially useful when you want to access local content without disconnecting from the VPN or when you’re facing difficulties using certain apps with a VPN on.
You can enable this feature from the “Settings” section in the mobile apps. Here, you can select which apps can access the internet regularly through your ISP. The rest of your data will continue to be shielded by the VPN. It would be great to see this feature added to Atlas VPN’s desktop apps too.
Conclusion – Our Experience with Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN is a relatively new VPN on the market and offers a great free VPN plus an affordable premium VPN service. We were satisfied with the speeds and security it offers, but found a few technical issues that should be dealt with. For instance, the Windows app got blocked by our antivirus software and customer support was not able to help us with this issue.
Nonetheless, the macOS and mobile apps worked well to unblock streaming services and browse the net safely. We also appreciate that it does not keep logs of sensitive information like IP addresses and browsing activity, so you can trust it to protect your privacy. Keep in mind that Atlas VPN does collect information like device identifiers to help improve its services.
Of course, the free version is quite limited, but that’s true of all free VPN services. We recommend you try the premium version as it’s incredibly affordable at just a couple of dollars per month for a three-year plan. You can also take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the service and get a refund if you aren’t satisfied.
With that said, we hope to see Atlas VPN improve and get rid of the current kinks, like the problems we faced installing it on Windows and the kill switch issues.
Got a question about Atlas VPN? We’ve got you covered with our FAQ section below. Just click on a question to see the answer.
Atlas VPN is a relatively new freemium VPN provider. Both the free and premium versions are quite good, with decent speeds, security, and no logs. The free version has limited features, but the premium version unblocks Netflix and other services. Read more in our full Atlas VPN review.
Yes, Atlas VPN offers a completely free VPN that gives you access to servers in Singapore, the Netherlands, and the United States. It is fast and secure, but cannot unblock Netflix or other streaming services. It’s better to go for the Premium version, which is incredibly affordable at $1.99 a month for a three-year plan.
Atlas VPN is pretty trustworthy, because it does not collect personally-identifiable information about users such as IP addresses or browsing activity. It only collects device identifiers that it claims to use to improve its services. It also has adequate security features and is owned by Nord Security, which also owns other top VPN providers NordVPN and Surfshark.
Both Atlas VPN and NordVPN are owned by the same parent company, Nord Security. Atlas VPN is cheaper and also has a completely free version, while NordVPN does not. However, NordVPN offers better speeds and more features, which makes it the superior choice. Read more in our full NordVPN review.
Personal opinions experts VPNOverview.com