Atlas VPN Review 2023
In this article, we will discuss our view and test results of Atlas VPN. Despite being a new VPN, Atlas VPN is growing its fanbase since its release. We will discuss all the essential features, policies, real-life test results, and practical views, so you can decide if it is the right choice for you.
Today, VPNs have transformed from a security tool to a basic need. As cybercrimes continue to rise in the digital age, protecting your online privacy and security has become more crucial than ever before. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, play a significant role in safeguarding your internet connection and shielding your personal data from prying eyes. A VPN also protects us from the surveillance of the government and private sector for their own benefit.
Atlas VPN emerged as a user-friendly and cost-effective VPN option, offering an excellent suite of features designed to cater to both casual and advanced users. Founded in 2019, this VPN is now owned under Nord Sec and is growing its server network daily.
For Readers In A Hurry, Here Is A Quick Take:
Atlas VPN is a newer VPN growing with a clean track record and complete transparency. The VPN has a comparatively smaller server network mostly spread across North America and Europe. The VPN also offers special servers for P2P and streaming.
All the servers are P2P friendly and the VPNs offer magnificent speed. The VPN is compatible with most devices though it does not work with gaming consoles. It offers great customer support and affordable longer plans with 30 days refund policy.
P2P support on all servers
Free servers also support streaming
Works in China
Smaller server network
Not suitable for gaming
Cheaper monthly plans
No browser extensions supported
Protocols and Encryption
The protocols and encryptions of a VPN determine how the VPN transfers the data and requests and how well it encrypts it. If these will not be good, no matter how good a VPN is, they will be useless.
Atlas VPN primarily uses the WireGuard protocol for its connections. WireGuard is a popular choice among VPN providers due to its excellent combination of security and speed. Being light-weighted (only 4000 lines of code), WireGuard is the most emerging protocol choice for users.
Previously, Atlas VPN only offered IKEv2/IPSec protocol. Though the protocol was great for mobile connections and quickly reestablishing WIFI connections, the protocol was still nowhere near WireGuard.
However, it is worth noting that Atlas VPN does not currently support the OpenVPN protocol, which is considered the gold standard in VPN protocols. This may be a drawback for users who prioritize the utmost security and flexibility in their VPN connections.
When it comes to encryption, Atlas VPN employs AES-256 encryption, which is the industry standard for securing data. AES-256 is one of the most secure encryption algorithms that is widely used by governments, militaries, and financial institutions to protect sensitive information. With a key size of 256 bits, it offers a massive number of possible combinations, making it virtually unbreakable through brute force attacks. It would take nearly billions of years for the fastest computer to brute force it.
Atlas VPN uses ChaCha20 for symmetric encryption and Poly1305 with WIreGuard. It is quicker, requires less computational power, and offers better mobile performance.
Atlas VPN also implements Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) as part of its encryption process. PFS is a security measure that ensures that even if a single encryption key is compromised, the attacker cannot decrypt past or future VPN sessions. This is achieved by generating a new encryption key for each VPN session, rendering previously used keys useless.
Atlas VPN is a relatively new player in the VPN market, but it has been quickly gaining traction thanks to its robust server network and affordable pricing.
As of our review, Atlas VPN operates over 750+ servers across more than 42 countries worldwide. This is an impressive number for a relatively new VPN provider, and it indicates that the company is dedicated to expanding its network to provide users with a wide range of connection options.
Atlas VPN’s server network may be said global but not well-distributed. All the server locations span across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia, ensuring that users from these regions can find a server nearby for optimal performance. However, there is only 1 server location in Africa. As a newer VPN, Atlas VPN is mostly focusing on the US and European markets.
Recently. Atlas VPN upgraded its servers to offer specialized servers like its competitors (such as dedicated P2P, streaming, or Tor servers), which specializes in that particular task.
Streaming and P2P-friendly servers
Atlas VPN has special servers for streaming and P2P transfer. The streaming servers are definitely much better and overall very optimized from the past. We were able to stream content in HD without any buffering. While the P2P servers were also good and supported torrenting well, they were still not as good as streaming servers in their task.
Privacy servers: SafeSwap servers
Atlas VPN has developed an innovative privacy feature called SafeSwap, which takes your online anonymity to a whole new level. With SafeSwap, you are provided not just one, but multiple IP addresses that automatically rotate as you browse the internet, all while being connected to a single VPN server. This feature offers an extra layer of privacy by making it even more challenging for anyone to track your online activities.
Atlas VPN introduces MultiHop+, an advanced network topology designed to boost your privacy, anonymity, and security while maintaining optimal latency and speed. With carefully selected server locations, MultiHop+ randomly rotates between various gateways, effectively hiding your online activity behind several VPN locations and encryption layers.
Note that this is not just any other Multihop like Double multihop. A normal multi-hop connection transfers the already encrypted data from one more server, creating double protection. However, the servers remain the same. While Atlas VPN’s Multihop+ servers choose any random servers as a gateway. So, while the data is encrypted twice, the gateway will also keep changing automatically making it impossible to track your connection.
Distribution of servers
North America: 3
South America: 3
Atlas VPN has invested in high-quality servers to provide users with reliable connections and optimal speeds. The servers are designed to handle heavy traffic loads, ensuring that users can maintain a stable connection even during peak usage times.
The free version of the VPN service only offers three servers, and none of them are any special servers. So, the free version can only be used as a regular free VPN.
Privacy and Logging Policy
Atlas VPN does gather some minimal data to maintain and enhance its service. This encompasses anonymized usage statistics, like the total amount of data transferred, the number of connected devices, and the selected server location. This information is aggregated and cannot be traced back to any individual user, guaranteeing your privacy is preserved. This information is collected by most of the VPNs in the market and is nothing to worry about.
Regular Independent Audits
Atlas VPN had its first audit in May 2021 by VerSpite. The audit was through a penetration test on their iOS application. The app did well and what’s even better is the result that Atlas VPN showed on their site. This is a great statement of transparency.
The VPN recently had its second audit in 2022 by MDSec. This was for their Windows application and the result was even better. The VPN is not just proving to be safe but also improving in all aspects.
The VPN service also maintains a warrant canary on its site. Till now, Atlas VPN has not received any gag order, National Security Letter, or Warrants from a government organization. The company is clear to not have any data stored in case of being asked.
Jurisdiction and Parent Company
When evaluating a VPN service, understanding its jurisdiction and parent company can provide valuable insights into the company's dedication to user privacy and potential exposure to government surveillance.
Atlas VPN is based in the United States and is a founding member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. This alliance has now grown into larger 9-eyes and 14-Eyes. These countries cooperate in sharing intelligence and surveillance information, which may raise concerns for privacy-conscious users.
However, it's crucial to consider Atlas VPN's strict no-logs policy, which prevents them from storing any user data that could be shared with authorities or other countries. Despite being located in Five Eyes jurisdiction, their commitment to user privacy helps to mitigate any potential risks associated with government surveillance.
Though the VPN has never experienced a real-world test which is harder than it sounds. Some VPNs like ExpressVPN have proved them, while VPNs like IP Vanish just made a fool out of them.
Atlas VPN was previously owned and operated by Peakstar Technologies Inc., a Delaware-based corporation. The company focuses on developing privacy and security tools, with Atlas VPN being one of its flagship products.
In late 2021, Nord Sec (parent company of NordVPN) acquired Atlas VPN for its expansion plans. It might be both good and bad news for the users. NordVPN is a key player in the industry from the start and is very conscious of their user’s privacy of its users. This will make Atlas VPN even safer and more secure for users.
On the other hand, a single company owning many products in the same market or industry is not considered a good sign. This can lead to oligopoly markets which are not good for the buyers. Other companies like J2 Global, Kape Industries, and ZeffDavis are also acquiring multiple VPNs.
Nord also acquired Surfshark in 2022, making all of their sister companies, however, companies claim this to be a merger and not an acquisition
Streaming and Accessing Geo-Restricted Content
One of the most popular reasons users turn to VPN services is to bypass geo-restrictions and access streaming content from various regions. A large section of users uses a VPN just for unblocking geo-restricted content.
Atlas VPN is an excellent choice for users who want to access content on popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. By connecting to Atlas VPN's servers in different countries, users can bypass regional blocks and access a wider range of content, often including titles unavailable in their home country.
There is a total of 14 streaming servers that specialize in streaming HD content from these countries, however, this is not always true. VPNs and streaming platforms are always at war and thus the results could be very different than expected. For eg. out of the 14 servers, I could only use 6 servers or unblocked only 6 international libraries. Though 6 is not a small number, it is still a novice against VPNs like ExpressVPN.
During our tests, Atlas VPN managed to unblock several international Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. The VPN also successfully unblocked other streaming platforms like Hulu and BBC iPlayer. However, it is essential to note that the ability to unblock streaming services can vary over time, as platforms continually update their VPN detection measures.
Atlas VPN offers a SmartPlay feature that automatically connects users to the optimal server for streaming content. This feature ensures a seamless experience when accessing streaming platforms, as it eliminates the need to manually search for a server that can unblock the desired content. SmartPlay makes it even easier for users to enjoy their favorite shows and movies without any hassle
Streaming on free servers
The best thing I like about Atlas VPN is its compassion towards free users. There is no other VPN that provides specialized servers in the free plan. While Atlas VPN has 2 USA-based servers for streamers who don’t think streaming is worth paying extra. These two servers include New York and Los Angeles. No other free VPNs like Proton VPN or Windscribe VPN offer streaming on the free servers
Speed and Performance
When streaming content, speed and performance are crucial factors to consider. Atlas VPN provides adequate speeds for a smooth streaming experience with minimal buffering. While it may not be the fastest VPN available, it offers a reliable connection for streaming in high definition.
Atlas VPN is offered amazing speed results when connected to the local server which in our case was NewYork. The VPN has a speed of weisf on the New York server. Even though as a new VPN, and currently not employed with city-level servers, this speed is pretty fast. It easily left VPNs like HideMyAss way behind in the tests.
While connecting to the distant servers, the VPN did receive quite a toll on its performance. However, it did still beat many VPNs and gave more than average speed while being connected to the Australian servers.
When testing long-distance servers, the speed decreased more significantly, as is the case with most VPNs. However, the reduction was still within acceptable limits, and we could browse, stream, and game without noticeable lag or buffering. We received the speed of snf on the Australian server.
One of the reasons behind these improved speed results is the server upgrades. Atlas VPN is upgrading its server from 1GBps to 10GBps. This started after the VPN was acquired BY NordVPN as all these sister companies are upgrading their servers.
Speed of the Free version:
As I already mentioned, Atlas VPN’s free version is better than most free VPNs in the market. This gets further proved while testing the speed of the free versions. Though the speed was not as fast as the premium version due to overcrowding, it was still impressive and enough to stream content in good quality. Though it would not be possible to stream HD in the free version.
Atlas VPN: Torrenting and Gaming
Before proceeding, it is crucial to clarify that torrenting or P2P transfers are not inherently illegal activities. Torrenting is entirely legal; however, torrenting pirated content is against the law and is subject to penalties. We do not endorse or promote any form of piracy.
Atlas VPN supports peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and torrenting on its network. The VPN provider does not restrict torrenting to specific servers, allowing users to connect to any server for P2P activities. This is advantageous as it provides more flexibility in choosing a server that offers the best speeds and performance. Atlas VPN also allows P2P transfer on its free servers.
When using Atlas VPN for torrenting, the service masks your IP address and encrypts your internet connection, ensuring your privacy and security. This is particularly important when downloading or sharing copyrighted content, as it can protect you from potential legal consequences and ISP throttling.
During our tests, we found that Atlas VPN provided consistent speeds and reliable connections for torrenting. Though we did notice some reliability issues while torrenting, they were very few and insignificant. Overall torrenting was great.
Online gaming demands low latency and stable connections for a smooth and enjoyable experience. Atlas VPN delivers reliable performance for gaming, reducing the chances of lag and disconnections. By connecting to a server close to the game server, users can benefit from lower ping times and improved overall performance. This is especially needed in case of Internet throttling by ISPs.
Atlas VPN is a great VPN but I would not go on to say it is a good VPN for gaming. In our tests, we noticed the VPN to be a bit laggy as it was increasing our latency.
Atlas VPN is also not compatible with gaming consoles. Though it was not much, why would even use a VPN if it affects our gaming? Thus I would say if you need a VPN for gaming, you should go for Surfshark VPN.
Nowadays, VPNs need to be compatible in relation to the different devices used. Compatibility can be an issue when users have multiple different devices with different operating systems. Thus whenever searching for a VPN, always check the compatibility with your devices.
Atlas VPN supports the following platforms:
Atlas VPN offers a dedicated Windows client, which is easy to install and use. You can download the Windows application from the website.
The app features a simple and user-friendly interface, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users. It offers all the necessary features and settings, including server selection, automatic connection, and customizable protocols.
Atlas VPN also provides a macOS client, which is similar to the Windows version in terms of features and functionality. The app is designed to work seamlessly on Mac devices, offering users a secure and private browsing experience.
The Atlas VPN Android app is available for download from the Google Play Store. It features a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and use. The app offers all the essential features, such as server selection, automatic connection, and customizable settings.
Atlas VPN's iOS app can be downloaded from the App Store. The app is designed specifically for iOS devices and offers a similar experience to the Android version. It includes all the necessary features and settings to ensure a secure and private browsing experience on your iPhone or iPad.
Atlas VPN currently does not offer browser extensions for popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Users who require a browser extension for added convenience might need to consider other VPN options.
Atlas VPN does not provide native support for platforms like Linux, gaming consoles, or smart TVs. However, it is possible to set up Atlas VPN on these devices by manually configuring your router or using a third-party VPN client.
As a freemium VPN, Atlas VPN comes with a free and a premium VPN. The free VPN only requires your Email address and you are good to go without any payment details. The free version does have a bandwidth limit of 5GB per month and offers 3 servers in 2 countries.
The premium version comes with three plans: monthly, annually, and 3-years. Like every other VPN, the longer the plan’s duration, the lesser the pay. The monthly plan starts from $10.99 per month. This plan is the most expensive plan and not worth it.
The annual plan start from $4.08/month or $49.01 billed annually. This plan was previously cheaper and the best option of the three plans, but since the increase in the price, the 3-year plan became cheaper and thus a better option.
The 3-year subscription to Atlas VPN is priced at $1.83 per month or $71.49 billed every 3 years. This is our suggested plan after the cost analysis by our teams. No need to worry about the commitment as you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Nowadays, we are seeing a rise in customer support services from tech companies and VPNs are ahead in the line. VPNs are technical services and thus customer support is essential in their business.
Atlas VPN has multiple support options including a 24-hour live chat. These are the most suitable options and can resolve issues quickly. For the major issues that can’t be solved here or require expert oversight, you can use Email support. This option may take a day or two to get a response making it slower than live chat.
Atlas VPN also has an extensive collection of guides and articles that can be helpful, however, this option is never the first priority.
While testing the live chat, we found that the executives are smart and did resolve issues immediately.
In conclusion, NordVPN is a superb VPN service that offers top-notch security, performance, and privacy features. With more than 14 million users, it is a great option for anyone who wants to access geo-restricted websites, stream material from several areas, and browse the internet anonymously. One of the most flexible VPN services available today, NordVPN offers users a wide selection of alternatives with more than 5,400 servers spread throughout 59 countries.
Moreover, NordVPN offers its users cutting-edge security tools, including double VPN, Onion over VPN, and CyberSec. One of the nicest features offered by any VPN on the market is this one. Additionally, it strictly enforces a no-logging policy, guaranteeing the privacy of your online activity.
Also, NordVPN offers one of the best customer services, including a live chat function that is available around the clock and helps users handle any problems they may experience. All things considered, NordVPN is a fantastic option for anybody seeking a dependable VPN service that provides a great balance of security, speed, and privacy features.