The first important note is that the Chameleon protocol is not available for IOS due to Apple restrictions on the VPN function. I had the opportunity to test the Chameleon protocol on a Windows laptop from a corporate network with strong VPN restrictions, an ISP that throttles VPN traffic and from a country that severely slows (painfully) down VPN traffic. In all three of these situations, the Chameleon protocol delivered that it promised.
- It punched through the heavily controlled corporate network
- When used with the ISP that throttles "normal" VPN traffic, it managed to trick the provider and I was able to use a full speed connection
- A friend travelling to a highly restrictive country compared VyprVPN to 3 other VPN providers and VyprVPN with the Chameleon protocol was the only one that seemed to operate at normal speed (aka didn't seem to be artificially slowed down)
With more and more internet traffic being encrypted, many companies, organisations and governments have turned to DNS based control tools. DNS is still an unencrypted means to determine web destinations. DNS be used to prevent a user from accessing certain types of sites (religious, political, pornography, etc) and to log web browsing habits. It can also be used to redirect your traffic (quickly without you even realizing it), to inject your session with malicious code and c compromise your device. VyprVPN offers their own self-managed private "no log" DNS solution to protect their customers from DNS snooping and control.
And they offer a wide range to termination locations.
VyprVPN and leaktests
I setup VyprVPN on a Windows machine configured for maximum privacy. I then ran a battery of tests to determine how well it protected my privacy.
- does not leak DNS queries when in VPN mode (go here to test)
- does hide your actual IP address (go here to test)
- does not leak IP or DNS information via JAVA or Flash ( Go here to test)
- protecting P2P traffic. Although I do not condone or encourage the use of P2P tools to steal protected media, there are dozens of legitimate uses for P2P technology. It is important to ensure your VPN product protects you while using P2P and VyprVPN did. You go to this site and the find the Torrent Address Detection. You download their magnet link into your P2P client of choice then activate the test. If it shows your real IP or DNS, you are not protected. You should only see your VPN address here.
- VyprVPN is not subject to WebRTC leaks when in VPN mode (go here to test
VyprVPN seems well written and does offer good protection.
Beware of the unknown
The only information that we have about the service comes from VyprVPN themselves. Remember that none of the statements about privacy and logging have been reviewed by an independent third party.
They are a US company and therefore they are subject to US data collection laws including the infamous National Security Letter (NSL).
The above caution statement isn't unique to VyprVPN. I am not aware of any consumer VPN services that have been independently audited but it is still an important factor to consider.
Some users may want to use a non-US based VPN provider to ensure the company is beyond the legal reach of US laws. The one I am looking into right now is ProtonVPN (which I will be reviewing shortly).
Other users may choose to roll their own VPN solution (lifehacker instructions using the Algo script or you can use anyone of the other scripts that almost automate the creation of a private dedicated VPN instance you control like OpenVPN Road Warrior, streisand, etc.)
For the casual user that only connects to a VPN when using public WIFI, you may want to look elsewhere because VyprVPN isn't cheap. A prepaid annual subscription costs $6,67 a month (or $12.95 paid monthly).A casual user can buy a lifetime subscription to UnlimitedVPN for $49.99 here or a 3-year subscription for $29.99 here.).
I started testing ProtonVPN recently and will write a review shortly but their offering (plus level) is $8 a month prepaid for 1 year). VyprVPN offers the Chameleon protocol, more servers and their own DNS service (which ProtonVPN does not yet).
So the price is on the higher end but is in no way the most expensive. For the very casual user, you could be better served by another provider, but for the more security conscious user or traveler, this is definitely a service to evaluate.