There are very few VPN companies that truly “stand out” in the China market. I’ve tested quite a few over my decade of time in China and I can tell a dramatic difference between those companies that say they work in China versus those that actually work hard to serve the China market.
After months of intense testing, I believe that VyprVPN is definitely a quality option for China.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Take a look at the video and written reviews below to see the pros/cons and how VyprVPN stacks up against their competition.
Note: The links below here are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you I will get compensated if you sign up to use VyprVPN. This is my honest review, however, and I wouldn’t recommend this if I didn’t use it myself.
VyprVPN Special: Try VyprVPN for 3 days free.
Hopefully that 3-minute video review of VyprVPN gave you a good overview of what the company offers as well as what I consider to be their pros and cons. In short it boils down to this:
|Dedicated iOS, Android, & Windows apps that are both easy to use and beautifully designed. |
Proprietary Chameleon 256-bit encryption that provides even more protection and anonymity, especially here in China.
High speeds from a network of over 700+ servers across the globe.
Free Service Add-ons such as DumpTruck (cloud storage) and Cyphr (secure messaging).
3-day FREE trial of the software and services (an uncommon offer with VPNs nowadays)
|At present, they do not offer the ability to pay with Bitcoin or any other anonymous form of payment.*
Minimal logging of user data (more on this below).
While VyprVPN is an excellent service, their pricing is just slightly above the average.
*Note: a Vypr representative has told me that they are working to accept Bitcoin in the near future.
**Update: VyprVPN has now added an Internet Kill Switch as an option for their Mac and Windows software!
One of the primary advantages of using VyprVPN is the simplicity of their apps. I personally use a VPN for my Mac and iPhone but they also have apps available for Windows and Android devices.
The fact is that almost every VPN worth its salt today has an app of some sort. Not all of them are very pretty to look at but they(mostly) get the job done. With VyprVPN, I saw two particular differences with the apps they offer:
- Design: I’m a firm believer that the design of an app shows how much a company cares about the customer experience. Vypr’s app is easy to use and I particularly like the visual element that shows me a running window of my current upload/download speeds (with AND without the VPN on). They put time into app development and it definitely shows.
The VyprVPN desktop app that I used on my Mac
The VyprVPN mobile app look and functions similarly
- App Connectivity: many VPN mobile apps I run across do nothing more than help you download the connection settings. After that, they’re pretty much useless. Vypr is different in that their app allows you to control which server you use in one place (as opposed to downloading settings for 50 different servers!) and then communicates cross-platform. This means that if you “favorite” a server you like on your computer, it will show up as a “favorite” on your phone as well. Pretty cool.
For me, it took all of 10 minutes to download the VyprVPN app on my Mac and an additional 3 minutes to find the app on my iPhone and input my userID and password. After that, the programs run seamlessly in the background with minimal interruption.
VyprVPN Security (and Logging Issues)
In places like China and throughout the Middle East, where internet censorship is an ongoing battle, VPN services have to stay one step ahead of the censors. Modern technology is such that many VPN connections can be detected and shut down unless they are further hidden. This has happened to me quite a bit when I use many of the cheaper VPNs.
VyprVPN is one of a couple different companies that has come out with a proprietary encryption protocol that is difficult to detect and shut down. They call it Chameleon and it’s basically just a “stealth” 256-bit encryption protocol. Without sacrificing too much speed, it has given me the freedom to use my VPN without constantly being cut off or throttled by my ISP.
Golden Frog, the parent company behind VyprVPN, also owns and maintains all of its servers across the globe, which is a much better option than many of the other services which lease server space just so they can claim a higher number of servers.
Despite the high security that this 256-bit encryption brings, it’s important to note that VyprVPN does admit to minimal user logging. Frankly, this doesn’t bother me since I don’t participate in any illegal downloading, but they clearly lay out in their Terms of Service that they log information in order to provide improved service and customer support.
The bottom line is that if you’re getting a VPN for the purpose of illegal downloading, you should probably look at other VPN options for China. If you’re like me, though, and just want to securely get past internet censorship, Vypr is still a great option.
Note on Logging: I’m going to get on my soapbox here for a moment and warn you against any VPN that gives you a blanket “we don’t log” statement. This is a buzzword around the internet right now and companies not only know this, they also know that there’s no way you can verify their statement. The fact is that every company logs something (it’s virtually impossible not to), it’s just a matter of what they log and how long they keep it. I prefer to work with a company that is open about what they do and don’t log.
Additional Perks | VyprVPN Review
VyprVPN actually began as an ISP in Austin, TX and later started a usenet service known as Giganews, a place where users could exchange large files at high speeds. With this background in mind, it was only natural for them to offer DumpTruck, a Dropbox-like cloud storage service.
Based on whatever service package you get (see below), Vypr offers a certain amount of storage from 10GB all the way to 50GB. That’s much better than what you’ll get with a free DropBox account.
*Update 11/15: Golden Frog (parent company of VyprVPN) has now shut down their Dump Truck service.
The newest addition to the VyprVPN offerings is Cyphr, a secure messaging app that they claim will keep your messages absolutely secure and anonymous. Currently they only have mobile apps but a representative told me they are working on desktop apps that will work in conjunction with the mobile apps.
These perks aren’t worth the price of the VPN itself, but as a free add-on they do add a little bit of value to the entire package.
Basic vs Pro vs Premier?
VyprVPN offers three different versions of its service package: the basic, pro and premier. As I mentioned in the video, I wouldn’t recommend buying the basic package (although it’s cheap) just because they only offer the PPTP connection protocol which isn’t quite as secure as OpenVPN or Chameleon.
As for the Pro and Premier packages, the differences boil down to two factors:
- Simultaneous Connections: this refers to the number of devices that can be connected to the VyprVPN service at the same time. With a Pro account you get two simultaneous connections whereas with Premier you get three. This could potentially save you money if, say, you and your spouse both use a VPN but you don’t want to buy two different accounts.
- DumpTruck Storage: the online cloud storage offers 25GB for the Pro package and 50GB for the Premier. It’s not a selling point but it’s definitely a perk. (Update 11/15: Dump Truck is being phased out so this will no longer be relevant in 2016)
VyprVPN Promo Code and Pricing
As I said earlier, VyprVPN is just a little higher than the average for the industry. Like most other providers, though, they offer steep discounts for those that purchase for the year. The best part is that you can try the service out completely free for 3-days to see if it’s worth continuing further.
In terms of VyprVPN promo codes and discounts, right now you can take advantage of their 40% off year-end offer (which is the lowest price I ever see them advertise) .
All this put together brings the price of VyprVPN on par with the rest of the competition. When you consider how much better VyprVPN works in China, however, they are a no-brainer in my opinion.
Concluding Thoughts on VyprVPN
I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from VyprVPN because I’ve really been happy with a few of the other VPNs I use on a constant basis. They’ve won me over, however, with their beautiful array of apps and their commitment to the China market.
They are actively updating their Chameleon protocol and watching what changes the Chinese censors make to how they block VPNs. For most VPNs this means issues but Vypr has been very good at staying reliable for me.
Give them a try. At the very least you’ll get 3-days of free VPN!
Other VPN Options
Check out reviews for these other services:
Or see these helpful tutorials on setting up a VPN to use: