From Astrill to VyprVPN
If there is one thing I do not like about life in China, it is the internet. Since my work has a lot to do with the internet and I use it daily, I need to have a solution – a solution for the great firewall of China. For years (since 2009 to be exact), it was Astrill, but never again!
For a long time, Astrill VPN was a solid solution and it still is for many people. In fact, it’s probably still the most popular solution in China, which is the problem. Unfortunately, it has been blocked quite often during the last one or two years. China is becoming stricter about this whole area of internet censorship and one VPN they were really focused on was Astrill (I do not have any proof – it is just my impression from various web articles, discussions and my own experience). The Astrill team has always been great and they have come up with some solutions. The even made a free Stealth VPN (of their own protocol) for my basic premium subscription, which was working ok for a while.
This month as I was redesigning and remaking my webpage, I spent most of my days on the internet and on Astrill. Every day I had to take a few shots of whisky to calm myself down. It was driving me crazy. Everything was super slow, disconnections occurred every ten minutes, my account was blocked a few times because of suspicious activity, etc. In the end, I have decided to give a try to another VPN provider.
So, I have started my research. To my great surprise, Astrill didn’t even get a mention in most of the “best of“ reviews on the internet. It is simply not the best solution anymore. I think it is possibly one of the worst solutions now. After reading many articles and reviews, I had two potential winners: VyprVPN and Express VPN. VyprVPN offers a three day trial so I started with that. Outcome: I do not even have to try Express VPN.
I am watching 1080HD video on Youtube for the first time in China! I could never have done that with Astrill. With Astrill, I was super happy when 420p was working, but with VyprVPN I can watch 1080HD without interruptions! I have streamed an HD movie with PopcornTime over bitorrents with no problems! I have uploaded hundreds of MBs in minutes. The whole world has changed for me!
VyprVPN’s Mac application is on a whole different level. The Astrill application for Mac is a basic solution. It is unstable, and I had to restart it a few times a day; sometimes I even had to restart my Mac because of Astrill. There were times when it acted like I was logged out of my account, but in reality it didn’t log out, making it impossible to log in again (because I was actually logged in even though the app was showing I was logged out). It made my internet speed unusable. VyprVPN is a clean, stable, well-working app and it is also beautiful. Speed tests are available in one click. You can also see your speed history, which is great. They also have a great application for the iPhone as well. I have never succeeded in making the Astrill application for the iPhone work.
VyprVPN now offers three kinds of subscription: Basic one, Pro and Premiere. I do not think basic is enough for China so I bought Pro. The Pro subscription offers a special VPN protocol that is especially designed for China and countries with heavy censorship. They call it Chameleon. And the best part? With the Pro subscription, you can get 25GB cloud storage for free! How awesome is that?
The Pro subscription with VyprVPN costs USD8.33 for one month if you buy it in a yearly subscription; Astrill costs USD5.83 a month, but if you want to add the NAT firewall (which is included in VyprVPN), you have to add another USD5. I am not sure if StealthVPN is now included or not; they say it both ways on their websites. They gave it to me for free, but it is +USD2 if you want to buy it. So, if you want to have Astrill on the same level as VyprVPN (with the NAT firewall and their own protocol StealthVPN), you have to pay USD12.83 a month. For a lower price with VyprVPN, I get speed, reliability, and a stable app for Mac and the iPhone (and other devices if I wish) and
25GB of free cloud storage(canceled). My world has literally changed – changed to a much brighter one. I will not have a drinking problem anymore because of all this stress that Astrill was causing me.