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Astrill VPN review: Is it worth the price?

Verified by Nick Jones

A virtual private network (VPN) can hide your location from your internet service provider (ISP) and the websites you visit. VPNs encrypt traffic between your device and a server controlled by the VPN service provider, so your internet traffic looks like it’s coming from a different place.

VPNs have other benefits, such as making it look like you’re accessing the internet from a country other than your own, allowing you to access content that is unavailable or blocked in your country without your ISP knowing.

Astrill VPN is a service with some unusual features such as a speed test that can be run on as many servers as you wish. This makes it easier to decide which server is right for you based on the speed. There are many benefits to using it on desktop, but there aren’t as many features on the mobile app.

60-second review

Rating: ★★★½

Astrill VPN has a somewhat outdated user interface, especially on mobile platforms, but it performs well. The desktop client is packed with useful features, but the mobile app is lacking. Astrill also comes at a very high price compared to other providers, and there is no option to cancel for a refund. That means it could be an expensive mistake if you’re unhappy with the service.

How we research and rate VPNs

200+
hours performance testing
700+
customer reviews read
450+
hours of research
35
competitors compared
4
VPN experts consulted

Our reviewers are committed to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying a VPN. We will only recommend a provider after hours of testing, extensive head-to-head feature comparisons, and after taking into account verified customer reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our Astrill VPN review score was determined by the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30 per cent)
  • Features and functionality (30 per cent)
  • Reputation and credibility (25 per cent)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10 per cent)
  • Customer experience (5 per cent)

We researched and tested a total of 25 elements within these categories, including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload and download speeds, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are fact-checked by our in-house team of experts, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and up to date as possible.

Astrill VPN overview

  • Lowest price: $12.50 (£9.79) per month for a two-year subscription ($300/£234.96 for 24 months)
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum connected devices: Five
  • Number of servers: 300 claimed (175 counted in app)
  • Encryption: 256-bit AES
  • VPN protocols: OpenWeb, OpenVPN, StealthVPN and Wireguard
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: No
  • Headquarters: Seychelles

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Fast servers The mobile app is outdated and has very few features
The desktop client supports split tunnelling Limited server network
The desktop client has a built-in speed test that can test multiple servers consecutively No independent audits
Very expensive compared to competitors

How does Astrill VPN compare?

Astrill VPN is limited to five devices. The provider claims to allow unlimited devices because it supports installation on a single router. This claim is somewhat misleading, as most wifi routers cannot handle an infinite number of devices, and the devices are no longer protected by the VPN when they are not connected to the protected router.

Compared to its competitors, Astrill VPN is very expensive, particularly when you consider it only provides around 175 servers as opposed to the thousands offered by some of the best providers in the market. It also lacks an independent audit of its no-logs policy, which is something other VPNs have undertaken.

VPN provider Monthly price Lowest price Free version? Number of servers Maximum number of devices Netflix BBC iPlayer Disney+ Amazon HBO Max Audit?
Astrill VPN $30 (£23.50)/m From $12.50 (£9.79)/m (2 years) No 175+ 5 No
ExpressVPN £10.52/m From £5.42/m (1 year) No 3,000+ 5 Yes
NordVPN From £10.39/m From £2.79/m (2 years) No 5,400+ 6 Yes
Surfshark £10.20/m From £1.81/m (2 years) No 3,200+ Unlimited Yes
CyberGhost £10.89/m From £1.85/m (2 years) No 9,700+ 7 Yes
Best alternative to
NordVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers in the world, offering top-notch encryption, incredible speeds, and extra features to make all your online activities more secure.
4.5
Excellent Trustpilot rating
24/7 customer support
AES-256 encryption
VIEW PLANS At NordVPN

How much does Astrill VPN cost?

Astrill VPN comes with a high price tag yet offers very few servers and other features in comparison to every other VPN we’ve reviewed, which is a major downside to the service, in our researchers’ opinion. Worse still, the provider does not offer refunds if you’re unsatisfied with the service. Instead, it recommends users sign up for the monthly plan to start – at a cost of $30 – which can be cancelled after the first month. The provider’s FAQ section claims there is a seven-day free trial available, but some customer reviews have pointed to problems gaining access to the trial version, and our researchers could not find any other mention of the trial on the website, so it is unclear how to take advantage of it.

The provider’s FAQ section claims there is a seven-day free trial available (except in China), but some customer reviews have pointed to problems gaining access to the trial version, and our researchers could not find any other mention of the trial on the website, so it is unclear how to take advantage of it.

Subscription term Cost
Monthly $30 (£23.50) / month
12 months $15 (£11.75) / month ($180/£140.95 up front)
24 months $12.50 (£9.79) / month ($300/£234.96 up front)

Payment options

The website supports the following payment options: Credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express and Cirrus; PayPal; bank transfers; and cryptocurrency payments, including Monero and Bitcoin.

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Astrill VPN features

The discussion of Astrill VPN’s features is based on the macOS app because its mobile apps have very few features.

Astrill VPN has a tiny window that allows you to control whether the VPN is active. The window contains a live chart so you can see what is happening at all times. Because your computer is not always downloading or uploading, the current speeds are shown as zero by default. During testing, watching a YouTube video created spikes of up to 10Mbps while the content was being buffered, but this settled back to zero as the buffered video played. 

Astrill VPN review speed tester
A small docked window allows you to control and monitor your connection to Astrill VPN (Astrill VPN)

Astrill VPN offers another unique and interesting feature: the ability to test the speed of not just one server but as many as you wish. To do this, open the menu by clicking the top left corner of the window, then open the main speed test interface. The screenshot below shows a speed test in which every UK server was chosen after clicking the Test Speed button – Astrill VPN went through them individually and tested the ping and (presumably) the download speed.

Astrill VPN review built-in server speed test
Astrill VPN’s desktop app features a built-in speed test function that allows you to test multiple servers simultaneously to find the fastest one (Astrill VPN)

All the UK servers produced similar speeds, but the app showed the best server in the bottom right. A “Select All” option (bottom left) allows you to test every server to find the fastest one for your location.

VPN sharing allows you to set the gateway and DNS IP address on any device to the one the app provides, and all traffic will be diverted through the VPN, but this is not enabled by default. To use this option, you have to turn your Mac or PC on as the devices on your network connect to it, using it as a VPN client. According to the VPN sharing page on Astrill VPN’s website, this is a useful feature for games consoles such as the PlayStation and Xbox, which don’t have a VPN app.

There is an option to clear cookies every time you connect to the VPN, which will log you out of all websites to ensure your privacy. You will not be identifiable by any website from which you accepted cookies and will therefore become instantly anonymous. There is also an option to clear Adobe Flash cookies, but since Google Chrome stopped supporting Flash in December 2020, it is unlikely you will need this feature.

Server count and countries

Astrill VPN claims to have 300 servers, but only 175 were available in the app when our researcher counted the list. Its network covers 57 countries, including servers in South America and Africa. This includes specialised servers such as Onion Over VPN, which allows users to access the Onion Router without the need to install Tor.

No-logs policy and headquarters

Astrill VPN claims to have a strict no-logs policy. However, its privacy policy states: “Our system keeps track of active sessions – connection time, IP address, device type and Astrill VPN application version during the duration of your VPN session. Once you disconnect from [the] VPN this information is removed permanently from our system.” 

The provider says the data “is solely used to limit the number of devices” and you can remove active sessions by logging into the member zone of your account. However, any logs could cause concern for privacy-conscious users.

Furthermore, the no-logs policy has not been independently audited, so users can only take Astrill on its word. 

The exact location of Astrill VPN is slightly confusing. Its main website says it is incorporated in Liechtenstein, but its Wiki says it is registered in Seychelles. Both countries are considered to be good in terms of data privacy and protection.

Kill switch

The desktop app has a kill switch feature, which ensures users’ connection is always private by disabling all network activity when the VPN fails to connect. This does not block network activity when the user disables the VPN; it merely functions as a failsafe when the VPN encounters a problem during use.

Split tunnelling

The desktop app has an option called “tunnel browsers only”, which allows you to disable the VPN for traffic from certain app types. For example, you might disable the VPN for music apps such as Apple Music or Spotify but enable it for a streaming site such as Netflix. 

A site filter option allows you to specify a single site, such as Netflix, as a VPN site while allowing all others to use your local IP address. This feature can be useful when using Google, which redirects you to a local version of its website. Accessing Google via a VPN server not in your country can be annoying when you want to find local news and businesses. 

Astrill VPN even has an option to activate when visiting international websites.

Encryption and privacy

The Astrill VPN FAQ page reads: “Most of our VPN connections use 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel.” While it’s unclear based on this page when the VPN uses AES-256 and when it uses other encryption types, the provider says it supports the light-weight WireGuard protocol, which often utilises ChaCha20 for encryption.

Other features

One feature of Astrill VPN looked like a bug when our researcher first discovered it.

Services such as whatismyip.com and whatismyipaddress.com would not work. These are the top two results on Google and Bing for identifying your IP address. It was unclear why these services did not work, as several other tools did, including the Astrill IP address checker, BrowserLeaks and DNSChecker.org.

Astrill VPN responded very quickly to a query via the live chat feature on its website, stating the service blocks services from IP2Location because they provide misleading information about the location of Astrill’s VPN servers. IP2Location does not own the services mentioned above; they are independent companies that use IP2Location developer tools.

Astrill VPN’s customer service mentioned that no other domains are blocked, but even so, blocking these services feels like overstepping on the part of a VPN service. The internet is full of misleading information, and a VPN provider should not shield its users from this, even if it relates to its services.

Astrill VPN performance test results

Astrill VPN was tested using an ethernet connection to eliminate the variable of wifi interference or signal from the test. The Fast.com speed test was used to test Astrill VPN.

Download speed (Mbps) Upload speed (Mbps) Percentage of base download speed Percentage of base upload speed
No VPN 50 13
UK to UK 47 29 94% 220%
UK to US 49 14 98% 107%
UK to Aus 48 13 96% 100%

WebRTC leak test

Some browsers use Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), and these browsers can sometimes leak your real IP address. Google developed WebRTC to increase video call performance in browsers, so it is enabled by default in all browsers based on Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome. Most major browsers, including Brave, Opera, Vivaldi and Microsoft Edge, are based on Chromium.

Astrill VPN was tested using the WebRTC leak test from BrowserLeaks, but no leak occurred.

Breaches and audits

Based on the research conducted for this review, Astrill VPN does not appear to have suffered any data breaches or been hacked, and there does not appear to have been an independent audit of its apps or services.

Apps and compatibility

macOS

Mojave (released in 2018) is the oldest macOS version supported by Astrill VPN. 

The following are the oldest devices using that operating system:

  • MacBook Air (mid-2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (mid-2012 or newer)
  • Mac Mini (late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (late 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook (early 2015 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 or mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with Metal-capable graphics cards)

The Astrill VPN app can be downloaded directly from its website, but it is not available through the Mac App Store. This means that Apple has not tested the app in any way, and it cannot be updated automatically. The user needs to be logged into the website in order to download a PKG file, which runs scripts using a traditional installer interface.

The use of this file format may be due to the fact that Astrill VPN is installed without using Apple’s API for VPNs. This means the VPN is not visible in System Settings, and so it can only be enabled or disabled from Astrill’s user interface. 

It can therefore only be removed by uninstalling the macOS client, whereas most VPN configurations provided by other services can be removed using System Settings.

Windows 11

Astrill VPN is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11.

You must log in to your Astrill VPN account to download the Windows client. The app is not available from the Microsoft Store, so there has been no testing by Microsoft to ensure the app is secure and stable. This also means the app will not be automatically updated.

The installation wizard is simple, with only one option: creating a desktop shortcut. You must restart your computer to complete the installation.

Android

Astrill VPN is compatible with all versions of the mobile operating system since Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Well over 50 per cent of Android devices now have Android 12.0 or higher installed, an operating system that was released in 2021.

The app is probably most safely downloaded from Google Play, but it is also available as an APK file directly from Astrill’s website.

iPhone

Astrill VPN review iPhone app
The Astrill VPN iOS app doesn’t offer the best user interface (Astrill VPN)

The iPhone app is built using cross-platform web technology, and it shows. Instead of feeling like a native app, it consists of a frame in which native components are displayed.

While this perhaps goes unnoticed, it has tabs at the bottom that divide the interface into All, Recent and Favourites screens. This tab-based interface is surrounded by a black frame, which looks awful, in our opinion. Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines clearly show the tab bar should occupy the full width of the device and should not be contained within a frame of any kind.

iPad

Astrill VPN review iPad app
Much like the iPhone version, Astrill VPN’s iPad app feels clunky (Astrill VPN)

The poor design of the iPhone app only appeared worse on the larger iPad screen. The native components did not scale to fit the screen, creating margins of empty space around the list, further supporting the idea that the apps were built using web technologies. The space around the server list is framed in black, creating a frame within a frame.

Customer support

The Astrill VPN support page has the option of live chat or a regular contact form. It appears when no customer service agents are available, the live chat also supports leaving a message, which presumably has a similar effect to using the contact form. 

The live chat makes use of LiveZilla, which is a third party tool for customer service. LiveZilla was discontinued in June 2020, and as such the service may not have regular security updates. Trustpilot reviews for the tool show customers have complained of a lack of support since its closure. This isn’t exactly encouraging for a service that is presumably trusted to send customer data, such as the name and email that are required to use the live chat.

What do customers say?

Astrill VPN receives a poor 1.9 out of five stars on Trustpilot with 47 reviews, with 77 per cent of reviews leaving only one star. The majority of complaints centre on poor customer service and connection issues, as well as unease regarding the lack of a refund policy. However, the service gets higher marks on the Apple App Store and Google Play – where there are thousands of reviews – with four and 3.8 out of five stars, respectively. One important note our researchers made is that the majority of the newest reviews on each of these platforms are negative, potentially showing a decline in satisfaction with Astrill VPN over time.

“It’s not a bad VPN in China right now, but the connection hasn’t been as good [recently]. When we first started using it, I think there was a trial and it was absolutely amazing; [it was] fast and I never had any connection issues. Ever since we started paying for the yearly subscription service (have been for a year now), it constantly disconnects, [and] often you’ll have to scroll through and try every single server just to find one that will actually connect. Eight out of 10 don’t work, [and there’s a] 10 to 15 per cent chance it’ll be spotty and slow, and [about] 5 per cent will actually work… Overall not a bad VPN and one of the few that still work in China, but I expect more and better speed for a paid product.”

  • Eman Kacaiana, via Apple App Store

“Inconsistent connection. Especially from China, most servers won’t connect. [I’ve] been a user for over six years, [and it] used to be the best but now it’s on par with free software. [The] most recent update chews through 3o to 40 per cent of my mobile battery in a morning, regardless of settings and Android battery optimisation. There are better options [on the market].”

  • Ashraa, via Google Play

“I used to think the more expensive a service was, the better it would be. The exact inverse is true for Astrill VPN! [I’ve experienced] poor customer service. [I feel they] mislead me on features offered by Astrill VPN. Unlike every other VPN service (I’ve tried 10) out there, they do not offer refunds at all… Also compared to other VPNs their service is five to 10 times more expensive!”

Independent Advisor’s verdict

On desktop platforms, Astrill VPN has many unique features, such as the ability to test the speed of as many servers as you want before choosing one. As a service that has been around since 2009, the strength of Astrill’s age is also its biggest weakness, as the user interfaces are extremely outdated, especially on iOS. With a much-higher-than-average price tag, no refund policy, and a limited server network, paired with potentially concerning logs of usage data and a privacy policy that has not been audited, our reviewers would suggest doing plenty of research on Astrill VPN before purchasing.

Score: ★★★½

Score breakdown

Reputation ★★★
Privacy ★★★½
Performance and features ★★★★
Plans and pricing value ★★★½
Customer experience ★★★½
Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
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Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

Millie is an expert in computer technology and is a Bachelor of Computer Science, graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in 2021. She writes tech reviews and coding tutorials for publications such as Storius and Better Programming

For the Independent Advisor, Millie writes VPN reviews and features.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.