Atlas VPN Review 2023: a decent new entrant
Atlas VPN. A new name that has quickly become very popular in the Virtual Private Network industry. But is it worth all the hype? Well, that’s what we want to find out in this comprehensive Atlas VPN review.
At first glace, the VPN appears perfect on paper. It ticks all the right security boxes, it’s fast, and you can use it on unlimited devices.
But how well does it perform in real life? Can you depend on it to unblock streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, ITVX, and BBC iPlayer? And how good is Atlas VPN when it comes to other scenarios like online security and privacy?
To find out, we tested the VPN in various situations and compiled our finding in this Atlas VPN review. Let's kick things off with a general overview.
|🥇 Overall rank:||#3 out of #32|
|📖 No logs policy:||Unaudited|
|💵 Price:||from $1.82/month|
|🖥️ Servers:||1000+ servers in 42 countries|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more|
|🔥 Coupons:||Atlas VPN coupon 85% OFF|
Atlas VPN Pros and Cons
Atlas VPN plans & pricing
Atlas VPN is available in three plans and, as with all VPNs, you get the best value for your money when you purchase a long-term plan. The plans are:
- 1-month plan - Billed for the first month at $11.99month
- 1-year plan - Billed for the first year at $3.29/month ($39.42 in total)
- 3-year plan - Billed for the first two years at $1.82/month ($49.21 in total)
With each plan, you get all the premium features of Atlas VPN, such as Data Breach Monitor and SafeBrowse, the latter of which protects you against various online threats while surfing the web. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee. If Atlas VPN doesn’t meet your expectations, you can ask for a refund before the 30 days are over.
You can also use our coupons to get the best Atlas VPN deal.
Atlas VPN accepts numerous conventional payment methods, such as:
- Credit cards
- Google Pay
For increased anonymity, you can also choose to pay via cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Ripple. Atlas VPN has also introduced a new payment method, Klarna, that allows users in the US to buy the VPN in instalments.
Payment will automatically be charged after 7 days and auto-renewed once your first subscription term expires.
Atlas VPN free plan
One distinguishing feature of Atlas VPN is that it has a completely free plan – no need to enter payment details or other personally identifiable information. The freemium option is one of the best we have tested, especially when it comes to speed. Our speed tests on the free plan were similar to the premium plan, meaning the provider does not throttle your internet.
However, there are a few limitations. For starters, you only get 5 GB of monthly data. This makes the free Atlas VPN plan only suitable for basic streaming. Additionally, you only get access to three servers located in the Netherlands, New York, and Los Angeles, which can impact connectivity and foreign content options.
Features like SafeBrowse and data breach monitoring are also unavailable on the free plan, and you can’t customize the Quick Connect options. Finally, we tried unblocking streaming services like Netflix and Hulu with the free plan, but all our efforts were unsuccessful.
Security and privacy of Atlas VPN
Here's a breakdown of what Atlas VPN has to offer in terms of privacy and security. Keep in mind that some perks are included in every app, while others aren't implemented everywhere.
Atlas VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, which has proven to be unbreakable using brute force by malicious hackers. It ensures that not even your ISP or the government can see what you are doing online. The only way anybody can decode your internet traffic is if they hack into the VPN company and steal the decryption key. However, chances of that happening are almost impossible, especially considering that Atlas VPN has conducted a third-party security audit of its iOS and Windows app to ensure there are no exploitable vulnerabilities.
Atlas VPN is compatible with the modern and open-source WireGuard protocol to guarantee stable and fast connections. It also supports IKEv2. Unfortunately, the VPN does not support the OpenVPN connection protocol, which is a downside for anybody that prefers the age-old connection protocol used on many routers.
Atlas VPN operates on a strict no-logs policy, meaning the company doesn't monitor, collect, or log information about applications, services, or websites you visit while using the VPN. This is critical considering the VPN is headquartered in the US, a founding member of the Fourteen Eyes alliance.
Should the government present the company with a court order demanding customer data, Atlas VPN won’t have any information to give. That said, it would be an added advantage if Atlas VPN had undergone an independent audit to verify its zero logs policy.
We are certain it’s only a matter of time before the company is audited. After all, Atlas VPN was acquired by Nord Security, which has proven its commitment to transparency through multiple audits of its other VPN services, NordVPN and Surfshark VPN.
Atlas VPN has a working kill switch to automatically disconnect your internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This is critical to prevent leaking of unencrypted data, which can compromise your security and anonymity.
There are three essential types of leak protection that should be included in a VPN.
Thankfully, Atlas VPN grants all types of leak protection in every dedicated app, allowing you to enjoy complete anonymity and protection no matter what you do online.
As the name suggests, MultiHop+ is a feature similar to NordVPN's Double VPN and Surfshark's MultiHop. However, Atlas VPN does not let you choose specific countries that you want your traffic to pass through. Instead, you get a general selection between Europe and North America. Another key difference is that your exit server changes periodically, making it even more challenging to track you online.
This is a unique privacy feature which, when enabled, periodically rotates your IP address without interrupting the connection. Normally, you would have to connect to a different server to get a new IP address. Tracking your online activity is already hard enough with a single shared IP address, now imagine if your IP address changes every so often. At the moment, only servers in the Netherlands, USA, and Singapore support SafeSwap.
SafeBrowse is a handy extra security feature that protects you from 3rd party cookies, trackers, and malware when connected to Atlas VPN. It also guards you against known malicious websites by leveraging a database of blacklisted sites. This feature is disabled by default and you’ll need to enable it in the settings menu.
Data Breach Monitor
Atlas VPN can also be used to notify you when your data has been leaked online through its Data Breach Monitor. Just enter the email address that you want to monitor and the service will notify you whenever accounts tied to that email are compromised. This feature is also not active by default and requires that you enable it after paying the subscription plan.
This feature is only available on mobile apps and it lets you choose specific apps that you want to tunnel through the VPN connection. For instance, you can choose to only tunnel your torrent client so that you can securely download a file while accessing the web normally on your browser.
Atlas VPN server speed and performance
We ran speed tests to find exactly how Atlas VPN affects our connection speeds. Our average download speed before connecting to Atlas VPN was 97 Mbps while the average upload speed was 45 Mbps. These were the results.
|Country||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
It’s always expected that your internet speed will drop when you connect to a VPN. This is because your internet traffic now has to pass through an extra intermediary location before reaching its destination. Naturally, the best VPNs on the market utilize cutting-edge technologies to ensure this process doesn't impact your speeds too severely.
The last time we did speed tests on Atlas VPN, it cut our speeds by almost 50% regardless of the server we connected to. Meanwhile, In our latest tests, we only experienced a slight dip in speeds even when connected to servers in Japan, which is furthest from us.
However, it makes sense since the last time we tested the VPN it hadn't implemented the WireGuard tunneling protocol. Conversely, Now you can enjoy buffer-free streams, and fast downloads even if your baseline speeds are already small. Server ping averaged at 20-30, which is higher than the standard but still suitable for lag-free gaming.
Note that this is not the exact representation of how Atlas VPN will affect your speeds. That will depend on your distance from the VPN server, overall server load, and numerous other variables at a particular time.
Atlas VPN server locations
|Region||Number of countries|
|Europe||Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK|
|North America||Argentina, Brazil, Chile|
|South America||USA, Canada, Mexico|
|Asia||Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore|
|Oceania||Australia, New Zealand|
|Africa and the Middle East||South Africa, Israel|
Atlas VPN has 1000+ servers distributed across 42 countries. This puts the VPN significantly below long-standing providers like NordVPN. but that's not a huge issue because Atlas VPN passed the most important test – connection speed quality.
Even with its minimal server fleet, Atlas VPN guarantees optimum speeds for streaming and downloading. The VPN has also been gradually changing from regular servers to 10 Gbps servers, which helps prevent the issue of server congestion.
Still, the limited server locations may lead to increased latency when you are located far away from the server you are connecting to. This is especially true if you are using the free plan that provides access to only three servers in the US and the Netherlands.
Streaming: can Atlas VPN unblock streaming platforms?
|Streaming service||Does it unblock?|
You can use Atlas VPN to access geo-restricted content on all popular platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max. The VPN has set aside servers specifically for streaming in multiple countries, such as the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, France, and Spain. So, for instance, to watch BBC iPlayer or ITVX outside the United Kingdom, you just need to connect to a streaming-optimized server in the UK.
When unblocking Netflix, Atlas VPN helped us access the libraries of multiple countries including the US, Australia, Germany, Spain, and France. However, we couldn’t get it to unlock Netflix UK. However, keep in mind that it’s common for VPNs to get detected and blocked by streaming providers. But by the time you read this Atlas VPN may already be back to unblocking Netflix UK.
In all our tests, we streamed our shows in HD and didn’t experience any buffering.
How to watch Netflix with Atlas VPN
Netflix has different content libraries for different countries, with the US carrying the most tremendous variety of them all. Atlas VPN will help you unblock not just Netflix US but other countries such as Spain, Australia, Canada, Germany, and Japan. Here is how to watch Netflix with Atlas VPN.
- Choose your subscription plan. Options range between one month and two-year lasting plans.
- Download and install Atlas VPN on your streaming device. The VPN is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
- Launch Atlas VPN and connect to a server in the country you wish to stream Netflix. Connect to a US server to watch Netflix US.
How to stream Hulu with Atlas VPN
Hulu is a top streaming service with a huge library of entertainment content. Unfortunately, the platform is only available in the US and Japan. Here is how to stream Hulu when outside of these countries using Atlas VPN.
- Choose your subscription plan. The free plan can’t unblock Hulu. You’ll need to get a premium plan.
- Download and install Atlas VPN on your streaming devices. Currently, the VPN does not support smart TVs and gaming consoles.
- Launch Atlas VPN and connect to a streaming-optimized server in the US. These servers have been set to only receive bandwidth from streaming services to ensure buffer-free streams even in UHD.
- Launch Hulu on your device.
Is Atlas VPN good for torrenting?
Torrenting comes with risks, such as an exposed IP address and legal action from your ISP or the government. Naturally, Atlas VPN protects you from these risks by replacing your actual IP address with a new shared IP address and encrypting your internet traffic.
Consequently, your ISP cannot throttle your internet or give you a legal notice because they do no know you are torrenting. Unsurprisingly, this shouldn't be a reason to download pirated content, though.
Additionally, if torrenting sites are blocked in your country, Atlas VPN will help you unblock them. And while the VPN doesn't have dedicated servers for P2P sharing, it supports torrenting on all servers, and as we’ve already established, it has minimal effects on your download and upload speeds.
However, the VPN lacks two key features that could improve your torrenting experience. First, it doesn’t have port forwarding. This can lead to abysmal download speeds on torrents with a few seeders. Still, setting up port forwarding is a technical process I wouldn’t recommend for beginners since it could expose your network to external attacks.
Also, Atlas VPN doesn’t have a SOCKS5 proxy which is a feature that lets you download torrents anonymously but without encryption.
Atlas VPN interface
In this section, we will report on our experience using Atlas VPN on all the supported devices. We wanted to determine which features are available on each app and if they are user-friendly. Currently, you can get a dedicated Atlas VPN app on these platforms.
- Android TV
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
Unfortunately, Atlas VPN does not work with smart TVs, gaming consoles, routers, or any other device without a dedicated app. It also doesn’t come with browser extensions.
Atlas VPN for Windows
The Atlas VPN Windows app has all the premium features, including some that are missing on the macOS app. When you launch the app it opens up on the Home section where you have a Quick Connect button, a list of all servers, and a side panel with other sections that are available on the app.
The server section is subdivided into three categories to help you find the best server. Under All, you will find all Atlas VPN servers arranged in alphabetical order depending on their continent. Then there is the Streaming category for the streaming-optimized servers and a Privacy Pro category for SafeSwap and MultiHop servers.
To access Atlas VPN settings, click on the Settings section on the side panel. Here you will find the kill switch and other security options like connection protocols.
The Windows app also has an Assistant section on the side panel where you will find the SafeBrowse feature, Data Breach Monitor, and the one-click option to secure all your devices using Atlas VPN. These features are unavailable on the macOS app.
Atlas VPN for macOS
The Atlas VPN app for Mac has been built off the Windows app, but it lacks some key features, such as the Data Breach Monitor and SafeBrowse. The Home section is entirely similar to the Windows version in that it has a Quick Connect button, a list of all the different types of servers, and a side panel.
However, the settings tab takes a different layout. While the Windows version is divided into categories like security protocols and connectivity, the Mac version features everything in one section. Just scroll down to enable/disable the kill switch or to change the connection protocol.
Under settings, you can also enable the option to share in-app analytics, which the company says will help it improve the VPN’s stability and user experience.
Atlas VPN for iOS
The iOS version of Atlas VPN is as intuitive as the desktop version. Everything is well labeled, so you always know what to click. When you launch the app it opens up the home page with a Quick Connect button and a server drop-down menu.
At the bottom of the section, you’ll see different icons for different areas of the app. The Shield icon takes you to the SafeBrowse feature, where you can also access the Data Breach monitor and the Protect my devices feature.
Meanwhile, the gift box icon allows you to invite friends for free access to the premium plan. Under settings, you will find all the other options, including the kill switch, connection protocols, and split tunneling, which is only available on mobile applications.
Atlas VPN for Android
The Android app is the longest-existing Atlas VPN app and is identical to the iOS app. To begin with, it opens up to the Home section with the Quick Connect button and a drop-down menu of all servers.
Then at the bottom of the section, it has icons for different areas of the app. The Android app also has the option to refer friends to get free access to the premium plan and it also has split tunneling.
Atlas VPN has a command line app for Linux and has released dedicated Android and Amazon Fire TV Stick apps. Unfortunately, the VPN doesn’t include the Smart DNS feature and can not be installed on Smart TVs or gaming consoles. It’s also currently not compatible with routers.
How do we rate Atlas VPN customer support
Atlas VPN customer support is available 24/7 via live chat and email. However, only premium subscribers can access the live chat option, which responds in minutes. Their customer support is technically versed with their product, so you can expect prompt solutions to any problem you might be experiencing.
If you are on the free plan or you want to make a query before purchasing Atlas VPN, you’ll need to submit a ticket via email. Unfortunately, their response time on email is slow and you may have to wait for hours, sometimes a day or two, before you can get a response.
On the upside, Atlas VPN has a comprehensive knowledge base comprising FAQs and detailed articles highlighting solutions to some of the most common problems. You’ll get all the answers you want regarding supported devices, bandwidth limitations, privacy/security features, and billing questions.
You’ll also find troubleshooting guides and step-by-step guides on how to set up the VPN on different devices and how to unblock streaming devices. You can leverage these resources to solve the issue independently instead of waiting for support.
Do Reddit users recommend Atlas VPN
We combed through Reddit to find unbiased Atlas VPN reviews from real-life users. Speed and customer support were some of the significant strengths that most users loved about the VPN. To reiterate what we had mentioned, one user said he got surprisingly fast torrent speeds with Atlas VPN. He got almost twice the speeds he was getting with a previous VPN service.
The VPN doesn’t have dedicated P2P servers and it doesn’t support port forwarding. However, it still provides speeds better than some of the top torrenting VPNs. Another user was full of praise for customer support.
The user got the help he needed promptly and without having to wait for the support team to consult with the technical team. That’s usually a big problem when a company’s customer support isn’t well acquainted with the product.
Verdict: Is Atlas VPN worth it?
Atlas VPN may be a relatively new solution in the market, but it has our vote. The VPN will provide complete security and anonymity without compromising your speeds. Moreover, you can rely on Atlas VPN to unblock different content libraries for all popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. What else do you need in a VPN?
It gets better. Atlas VPN is incredibly cheap if you choose the 3-year plan. Afraid to commit for that long? Don’t worry; it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to request a refund if you don’t like what you get.
How trustworthy is Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN has everything you want from a private and secure VPN. It doesn’t store user data and encrypts your internet traffic using industry-leading AES 256-bit encryption. Most importantly, there’s not been a case of Atlas VPN handing over customer data to any government agencies.
Where are Atlas VPN servers in USA?
Atlas VPN USA servers are distributed across Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and New York. If you are using the free plan you can only access the servers in Los Angeles and New York.
Who runs Atlas VPN?
Nord Security. Atlas VPN was recently acquired by Nord Security, the company that owns NordVPN – one of the most trusted VPNs in the industry. You can, therefore, expect the same level of integrity from Atlas VPN.
Does Atlas VPN hide your IP?
Yes. Atlas VPN hides your real IP address and replaces it with a shared IP address that can’t be connected with you. Your ISP will still know your real IP address, but they can’t see what you are doing online since your internet traffic is encrypted. Atlas VPN also has an option to randomly change your IP address periodically without disconnecting you from your current server.