Astrill VPN Review – Is It Any Good?

Review of: Astrill VPN

Reviewed by:
Rating:
1
On 9:06 am
Last modified:6:42 pm

Summary:

This VPN provider claims to be a leader in VPN that offers both personal and business VPN services since 2009. They have servers in 17 countries and clients using almost every operating system. Find out whether you should go with them in this review.

It’s practically impossible to function without a web presence these days. This is easy to see if you just run a Google search for the name of any famous company you can think of – chances are near one hundred percent you’ll find a fully-featured, fully-developed, well-designed website with their products, services, history, and contact information ready to read. It runs deeper than even this, however. We, as consumers, expect everyone and everything to have a web presence. We consider it weird, inconvenient, and strange when we can’t find what we need or want online.

This fact alone should be enough to convince you that, if you want your business or organization to be successful, you’ll need to have a web presence of one sort or another; and if you want to network as well as you need to personally, you’ll need a web presence, as well. But we all know it’s not safe to just put whatever information about yourself on the web. If you’re worried about information getting into the wrong hands – and you should be – consider Astrill VPN, a virtual private network service that helps keep private information private, as it should be.

vpn

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is effectively a way of hiding where you are, who you are, and all other private information that could be used by crackers and other malevolent web presences to do you wrong. The basic process for unencrypted data transmission is this: Your computer maks a request for information to a server, the server receives the requests, and you receive an answer.

This sounds all well and good, but the problem is, nothing is hidden. The server on the receiving end knows who and where you are, which means that if someone intercepts the request, they’ll know exactly who and where you are.

Contrast this with the process as it occurs if you’ve installed and are using Astrill VPN. In this case, your computer sends an encrypted request, which goes to the Astrill servers; the Astrill servers request information using your encrypted request; the answer goes to the Astrill server; and the Astrill server than sends you the information after that.

This sounds complicated, but this way, no one intercepting the request at any level can tell who or where you are. Even if they’re able to get the request you send to the Astrill server, they won’t be able to do anything with it, because it’s heavily encrypted. This means you’ll be as safe as you can possibly be sending requests to and from the web.  If you’re concerned about people reading your credit card data or any other sensitive information, it’s a good idea to always access the Internet with a VPN.

Benefits of VPNs

We discussed the benefits above in general terms, but it’s a good idea to think about benefits vs costs, now that we’ve discussed Astrill’s most important characteristics. The basic question is, does the protection merit the slower Internet and trouble of installation? When it comes to having a VPN, the answer is a resounding yes. This is because when you’re connected via a good VPN, the connection should really be no slower when it is running – at least, not slower in any practical sense.  Most VPN companies like Astrill also provide easy to install programs that are a breeze to setup: Just click a few buttons and type in a few bits of easy-to-find information, and you’re good to go.

How Does Astrill Perform?

Now we know how Astrill works, in theory. So now the question is, how well does Astrill do its job? Well, in our review of the VPN’s function, we wanted to look at a few fundamental aspects: Encryption strength and efficiency, speed, and consistency.

When we looked at strength of the encryption, we were very impressed: There’s absolutely no way we’d be able to decrypt the message without military-level tools. This is no exaggeration, and it should come as no surprise, because Astrill uses military-level encryption. This means your information is practically invincible.

In terms of reliability, we rate it as average at best.  Speed was spotty from time to time, although using the Astrill VPN consistently does slow down your web surfing just a little bit.  Even if you have a reasonably fast Internet connection, this difference is hardly noticeable when everything is working well but many users report that it can be painfully slow at other times.  This can happen even while in the midst of a fast connection.  When these speed problems were reported to Astrill, their tech support simply claim that it is the person’s computer or connection that is the problem.   The constant switching of connections just to find a better or faster one can be a chore in itself.  Asking the customer to restart their computer or reconnect is not a very good solution either.

Why We Don’t Recommend Astrill

The BIG RED FLAG: The number one issue we had with this service is the need for a mobile or cell phone number verification during the account sign up process.  This is akin to storing someone’s ID.  With the mobile phone number, they send you a SMS message with a code to verify that you own it.  With other VPNs, an email is sufficient.  It would seem that they’ve forgotten the number one reason for VPNs – privacy.  We’d rather have a VPN that openly informs you that they log your VPN access because there’s at least a chance of plausible denial-bility if any trouble would come to the doorstep.

Another problem we’ve found is that in one case of a user downloading their software, it was reported to have a trojan infection.  This is certainly not a sign of a professional company we’d deal with.

Lastly, it was reported that Astrill was facing bankruptcy with difficulties meeting its obligations in 2011.  Now, we have no way of verifying this but according to this blogger, the collection agency reports a possible bankruptcy in the works (see screenshot below of the email).  As of now, their website is still functional so maybe it is just a restructuring.  In any case, it would not be recommended to sign up for longer than a month at a time if you want to go with them – just to be sure you don’t have problems with getting your money back.

astrill bankrupt 2011

 

Even previously long-time users are also complaining lately about support and connection reliability issues and bailing as a result:

“11 year china expat and used Astrill for 3 years. I do not recommend their service as the service has become very unstable from dec 2014 to mar 2015 / now – support offers robo replies as solutions as well as a layer of arrogance that i grew tired of.” — Tre, greycoder.com

In conclusion, we’d have to say that Astrill is one of the VPN clients out there that we would avoid, and we’ve reviewed and tested many.

So, What Other Options Do You Have?

With all that said, if you still insist on signing up with Astrill, click here to go to their website.  Given what we’ve found out about the company though, we believe there are better options available.  If you’re looking for a fast reliable connection to watch movies on Hulu and Netflix or simply want to bypass censorship (such as in China where there is the Great Fire Wall – GFW for short) in the country you live in, then we recommend going with IPVanish or VyprVPN which have many servers all around the world that you can connect to.  If you intend to sign up for a VPN service in order to bypass censorship in a country, be sure to do so prior to going there or you may find yourself blocked when you are there.

Comments

  1. Frank says:

    Asrill have the worst customer support, lies and cheating, i was asking them for a discount on 12 month subscription and they told me, „i get 15% if i make a positive review on FB/Twitter“, after i done this, they askes me to do one more review , after i doesn´t this, they tell me, i only get discount of 10 % if i do it on my wall pubilc and positiv to all my friends, on facebook, so i should lies to all my firends after the cheated me 2 times ??

    1. Astrill Email from 8.06.

    Hello,

We apologize for the inconvenience. As you are our valuable customer we are offering you 15% discount. Please do us a little favour, write a small review on twitter/Facebook( Max 140 chars) and send a screen shot of your post. 

Contact us back if you need further assistance.


    We DID is, got nothing!!!

    2. Asrtill E-Mail from 8.06

    Hello,

We’ve extended your account for one day. You can post a review by using astrill and please don’t forget to send a screenshot in .png or .jpg formats 

Contact us back if you need further assistance.

Best regards,
Astrill VPN Support
www.astrill.com

    I open astrill did the review, so now 2 reviews done, als as per your advice, and now u ask me to lies to all my friends about great customer support at astrill after taht experience?

    3. Asrtill Email
    Hello,

You need to post the review on your twitter/Facebook wall (about “140 characters”). Not on Astrill feedback page.

Contact us back if you need further assistance.

Best regards,
Astrill VPN Support
www.astrill.com

    So guys, that cheating. Nothing else, and all Reviews, are not done from happy customers at all looks like Astrill need to press customeres for good feedbacks.
    You adviced me 3 times to di review,s first for 15 later for 10 % and i git nothing at all
    Beware all and get a good service, a product itself is worth nothing if customer service is a mess!

  2. Jambon says:

    Horrible customer support!

    They blocked my account without any warning because I used a marketing software (Screaming Frog, which is not a spamming tool, and the software did about 400 requests within 5 minutes, which isn’t a lot) and refused to unblock my account for this reason. Of course, no refunding and no apologize, nothing.

    So if you use their service, be aware of the tool you use because one wrong decision and you end up with a block account, no refund and no help from customer service whatsoever.

    • Eva says:

      We apologize for the inconvenience. In Astrill VPN, we do not allow using such tools that is why our system automatically detected use of Screaming Frog and suspended the account as per our terms of service.
      You are requested to contact our email support at support@astrill.com and they will certainly provide you with the procedure to reinstate the account so that you can use Astrill VPN services again.

  3. riccardo says:

    they WORST EVER. I paid for a 3 month subscription. when I logged in from Malaysia while on holiday they blocked my account because it fit the profile of a fraud….. needless to say it was not sufficient to having paid them and e-mail from my personal account that I used to subscribe….. they wanted a picture of my credit card…. but they were able to receive only certain type of attachments…. so after i uploaded it it’s been almost a week and I am still waiting for the account to be re-activated. Don’t use it!

    • Eva says:

      We truly apologize for the inconvenience and the delay in response from our side.
      Such issues are dealt by our concerned billing department and they need to verify certain details for security purpose. We would really appreciate your patience and cooperation in this regard.Such accounts are restored easily by our concerned department but sometimes it may take some time.
      We hope to have your understanding regarding this matter.

  4. Ram Shade says:

    DO NOT USE THEM
    when you go behind their VPN you lose speed from %20-%50
    do not believe their testimonials. they even offered me money to write them a good one. no wonder all you see on their site is 5 star.
    they have the worst customer service. they try to tech talk you and when they know you know more than them they just say they do not see a problem

    • Eva says:

      We are sorry if you are facing issues while using Astrill VPN services.
      Please note that speed depends on various factors like ISP, Server selected, port selected and protocol as well. We offer speed test tool in desktop device Astrill application which allows you to connect to fastest server available for your location. If you still face speed issues there could be other reasons as well so please send an email at support@astrill.com so that our support team can check what is causing the speed issue.

  5. Perul says:

    I used Astral for 6 months from China. Service is not stable, good weeks bad weeks. Support is terrible. I didnt renew my subscription. They also reFuse to give any refunds if you want to cancel a subscription early when the service just doesnt work. Terrible customer service.

    • Steve Sanders says:

      Astrill is now known to be blocked by the Great Firewall in China after an update of their systems. Definitely do not use for China if you intend to access any blocked content from within.

    • Eva says:

      We offer refunds as per our Refund policy. Please check our refund policy from this link :
      https://www.astrill.com/refund-policy.php
      If you are eligible, you will be given refund for sure.
      However, we make sure to assist you in order to make Astrill VPN work fine for you.If needed we also provide with remote desktop and fix the issue from our end. We provide 24/7 support so that all customers can contact us either via Live chat, email or call.

  6. Jay says:

    I am very happy with Astrill.
    A lot of the reviews are from China, where VPNS are being blocked, but for me, the average American user, Astrill is perfect.
    They offer so many servers, protocols and features and the price is pretty great. They are also the only provider who can max my connection.
    In contrast to others, my experience with their support has been amazing. They are quick, and helpful, and have solved every issue I have had so far.
    I 100% recommend this to anyone who needs a vpn for privacy and security. Also, they claim it works in china via their stealthvpn protocol and openweb protocol.

  7. wendy van wyk says:

    I wish I had read these reviews before I purchased this product. Astrill is the worst VPN EVER! I used Express VPN before and they were good! A friend of mine is with Astrill so I went with the cheaper option. BIG MISTAKE! WORST CUSTOMER SUPPORT! Its not working. They wont refund my money. When asked how to get it to work they IGNORED my question…. Dont waste your money. I have downloaded a FREE APP “One click” that works better than Astrill VPN. Astrill has wasted my time and money and both are precious to me. My wish is that nobody will ever sign up with them again MAYBE THEN they will support the customers they have. Go EXPRESS VPN 🙂

  8. Jim says:

    I was with Astrill in 2013. Speed and reliability were ok but not very good. One day I couldn’t connect so I contacted support:. Below are my email and Astrills response.
    MY EMAIL:
    Hi Support
    I can’t access my vpn and your chat support tell me my account has been suspended.
    Is this true and if so what is the reason.

    ASTRILL REPLY:
    Hello,
    Our system has detected an unusual activity from your account. In a very short time period there were thousands of requests against Google services. Please note that using any automated SEO/Marketing/Spamming tools through our service is strictly forbidden.

    Your account is terminated due to violation of our TOS. It’s not allowed to use our service for spamming, marketing or any automated request against any web site.

    Please do not try to signup again, we don’t want you as a customer. Every new account will be terminated.

    Best Regards,
    Astrill Antiabuse Dept.

    I was using Google’s keyword tool at the time for my business, so yes I was using an automated tool for a short period. The problem is they cut my service without letting me know AND the arrogance and rudeness of their reply was unbelievable. No refund was given either. I found another and much better VPN provider who have never cut me off for using Google keyword planner.
    Astrill are the worst company I’ve ever done business with.

  9. JT says:

    Signed up with Astrill from June 2015 to june 2017.
    Bad customer service. Bad connection. No Vpn provided since January. Showing is ON but actually not getting any VPN at all.
    Never use Astrill again.

  10. ali ali says:

    dont buy worst vpn ever. almost 2 weeks not working everyone crazy now! Worst vpn ever!

  11. Eric says:

    I have ASTRIL since 6 months. I’m in Singapore. Service is not stable at all. I have at least one minor problem per month and one big problem every 2 months. Again today I can’t connect to ASTRILL VPN and general support wrote me they might answer in 24h. But my children need to have access to internet.
    In February ASTRILL closed my access to my account and its services for several days because they thought the software running my computer was a fake!!! Crazy situation!!!
    I think I’m ready to change of provider.

  12. Eric says:

    60 hours without access to DNS server via ASTRILL.
    ASTRILL support just wrote me a second email with a silly question:
    “Are you sure you’re connected to Astrill network when trying to access the router IP?”
    Great!!!
    Yesterday I tried twice a live chat with ASTRILL support:
    The 1st technician hung up after 10 minutes.
    The 2nd proposed me to download a new version of ASTRILL-WIN.EXE but it didn’t work so he told me ASTRILL had a problem with its server and will contact me when it will be fixed. 14 hours later, nobody contacted me.
    ASTRILL is really bad at everything: Technically and Customer Service!
    Don’t ever try it!

  13. Sadaf Mehreen says:

    I am astonished to check the comments here…
    I am also an Astrill user; me and my family, we all use it. We never came across such things like lies by their support people or false promises.
    The only thing, we have faced so far, is connectivity issues; and most of the time those issues are because of our internet provider…

    I think I should mention it here that I never bought its membership during promotions. This might be the reason of quality compromise for those who are mentioning that they offer bad services.

    It has been our great support since 2012 and I would surely recommend it to others!!!

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