Atlas VPN Free Review | Tom’s Guide

0

Atlas VPN is a relatively new service, having been founded in 2019. However, it is part of ever-growing security programs under the umbrella of Nord Security, the same parent company responsible for NordVPN and, recently, Surfshark. However, this Free VPN service operates independently of other parts of the business.

Atlas VPN Free only has three server locations, two of which are in the United States. The third is in the Netherlands. For paying customers, that grows to over 750 servers in 37 countries.

Atlas VPN is compatible with PCs and Macs, Android and iOS smartphones, as well as Android TV and Amazon Five TV. While premium users can unblock all popular TV streaming apps, we were able to unblock Disney Plus with Atlas VPN Free. Some users have even reported successfully accessing Netflix – and while we wouldn’t trust it, that’s a pretty good bonus to have.

Atlas VPN Free Review: Specifications

Number of servers: 3
Number of countries: 2
Supported Platforms:
Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Simultaneous connections:
2
Split Tunneling:
android
Immobilizer:
Yes
Supported protocols:
WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec
Country of registration:
UNITED STATES
Support:
email, knowledge base

Atlas VPN Free review: Privacy and logging

Atlas VPN uses the highest encryption available to ensure that anything you send through its servers is scrambled and difficult to trace back to you. It has DNS protections, which are especially useful when using public internet connections, as it prevents snoopers from hijacking your connection and swiping personal information. Atlas VPN also has a kill switch that quickly disables your internet connection if the VPN drops or is compromised in any way.

We tested Atlas security, and for the most part it worked well. The kill switch blocked our activity when the VPN failed, and we didn’t detect any signs of DNS leaks. However, the kill switch has some hiccups. You must disable it every time you stop using Atlas VPN, otherwise internet access remains blocked even with the VPN inactive.

Atlas VPN has a no logging policy, but there are a few concerning aspects of this company. For example, we tested its ability to detect third-party trackers (which isn’t a feature available with the free version), and it blocked three trackers on its own website, including Google Analytics and Facebook. In addition, the cookies used on its website are not easy to circumvent. The review itself only has an “Accept” option.

It is also important to note that Atlas VPN is based in Delaware, USA. This means that while it may have a strict no-logs policy, it may be subject to information collection based on local laws, although information need not be retained for longer than 30 days. .

Atlas VPN has undergone an independent audit to help find weaknesses and other issues. However, this audit was only performed on iOS devices, so there really isn’t any transparent or third-party information to verify its security on other devices.

Atlas VPN homepage

(Image credit: Atlas VPN)

(opens in a new tab)

Atlas VPN Free Review: Windows and Mac Apps

The free tier of Atlas VPN gives you access to some important features, like a kill switch, P2P capabilities on each server, and the WireGuard protocol. However, you cannot configure the application to connect automatically when you start your computer. It also lacks split tunneling capability. This means that you cannot decide to channel specific data through the VPN without affecting others. It’s not the biggest deal breaker, but it does mean your data limit can be hit faster.

On that note, there’s a monthly data limit, but while it’s 10GB per month for Windows users, Mac users get an excellent 2GB per day. Save for Proton VPN’s unlimited free plan, which is about as generous as any free provider. Another advantage is that Atlas VPN allows you to connect two devices at the same time.

It takes a bit of work to find a free server. This is because locations are listed alphabetically and not with available servers listed first, and you cannot add servers to a favorites list to speed up this process. Also, the dashboard isn’t the most intuitive, so it might take some time to figure out where all the features and functions are.

Atlas VPN mascot ushering in an illustrated globe surrounded by a digital network through the front door

(Image credit: Atlas VPN)

(opens in a new tab)

Atlas VPN Free Review: Android and iOS Apps

The Android app is very, very basic and looks like a clunky version of the desktop program. But being stripped down means it’s easier to find the functions you’re looking for. One of the advantages of the Android app over the other version of Atlas VPN is split tunneling.

The iOS app is much more attractive as it has been well designed for a mobile device. The Connect button is front and center with locations and other important functions clearly marked and easy to find.

With both mobile apps, we’ve found that you still get excellent connection speeds and protection. The kill switch works as it should and there are no indications of DNS leaks.

Atlas VPN Free review: Performance

For a free service, Atlas is a pretty fast VPN. We were able to connect at an impressive 320 Mbps. On average, Internet download speeds of 200 Mbps are considered fast for most applications, so Atlas VPN is good enough to watch high-definition videos without experiencing lag or buffering.

We tested Atlas VPN’s P2P support and were able to verify that it allows this and does it well. We were able to download torrents through each of Atlas VPN Free’s three server locations.

If you need a little help getting started, Atlas VPN offers several options. First, there’s a help section on its website with the most common problems listed under headings to make them easier to find. You also have an email option. When we tried it, we got a fairly quick response – less than 2 hours. The information we got was very detailed and easy to understand and follow. Atlas VPN has a live chat option, but it’s only for paid customers.

Atlas VPN interface on computer

(Image credit: Atlas VPN)

(opens in a new tab)

Atlas VPN Free review: Final verdict

Overall, Atlas VPN Free does a decent job of protecting your privacy, although there are some issues with apps, the kill switch in particular. Additionally, due to its use of third-party trackers on its own website, we are not entirely convinced of its anti-logging policy.

However, you get excellent connection speeds, P2P support, split tunneling for Android devices, and a very generous data cap on Mac. Overall, it’s a decent service that is obviously improving and could be a great choice for a casual user who isn’t looking for advanced features.

Share.

Comments are closed.