ProtonVPN Free? Thoughts?

I was looking around at different free VPN services, mostly so when I need to upload photos (batches typically over 1GB/day), I can do so at speeds faster than the 0.7-1.3Mb/s that I currently have (lack of options). I came across a PCMag post for 2020 that listed ProtonVPN as the only free VPN that allows you to to have unlimited data. I’m looking into free because I don’t need it that often, but when I do, it would be nice to get the uploads finished quicker, but I can suffer through if need be. lol

Has anyone here had any experience with them? What are your thoughts?

A VPN won’t help you if you have limited upload speeds. If anything, it will make it worse.

Not exactly so. My work laptop gets nearly 7x the upload speed when connected to the work VPN. Of course that’s work, so I cannot use it for personal things.

A VPN reduces throughput, because there are protocol overheads. You will never achieve the same speed as a raw transfer. Unless you ISP is throttling certain types of traffic.

If you are getting 7x the speed through the work VPN, there is a serious problem with your Internet connection.

My upload speeds are more than what is advertised with my internet, so I think they are just fine. (It’s not much of a connection anyway with only up to 1Mb/s advertised upload speeds. I’m getting around 1.2Mb/s on average. VPN puts me at over 7.)

My main question here stands…I’m looking for feedback on ProtonVPN free version.

Your work VPN might have some form of accelerator in it. I wouldn’t compare what you get there with what you will get on your personal equipment.

With regards to ProtonVPN, my comment is you get what you pay for. Make sure to read the terms to see what you are giving up for the free access.


Also keep in mind that your internet connection is only part of the equation. The other part is the server you are connecting to and how it is configured. It may throttle uploads to reduce IO to storage which could impact overall site performance. Or just limit uploads to ensure there is enough bandwidth for other users.


Possibly compression on the VPN which is skewing the figures? Uploading a zip file should go at the 1.2Mbps speed I imagine.

I haven’t used the proton VPN so can’t comment on that unfortunately, but you should check whether it supports compression or not.

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And if it is compression on the vpn, Uploading photos won’t be any faster, as they are already compressed.

This is like saying you’re looking for new laws of physics. Since the VPN operates over the same wires as you’re already using when there is no VPN, and since the VPN adds overhead to do its thing, there is no way a VPN can make anything go faster… it can only slow you down. If you’re finding it seems faster, it might be that your ISP is shaping your traffic, and when you use a VPN the traffic shaping is defeated because it can’t see what kind of traffic it is, so it can’t apply any shaping. If that is indeed the case, then you have a horrible ISP and you should consider paying for quality a VPN full time. (On the assumption that getting a new ISP is not an option.)

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