Astrill Review (2018)
- Country: Seychelles
- Logging: No (Traffic), Yes (Connection), Yes (IP address)
- Bypass VPN Block (DPI): Open-Web, StealthVPN
- Pricing: $8.33 (per month, in yearly subscription)
- Allows P2P/ Torrent: Yes (some servers)
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Chat Support: Yes
- Native apps: Yes
- Alternative website: astrill-china.com
- Trustpilot rating: 2 stars (out of 5 stars) (9 users)
My First Impression
Astrill VPN, whose name first I heard when I was reading a blog about VPNs working in China. Astrill was added to the list, but then noted as not working in China , so is it true or does Astrill’s Stealth VPn can bypass deep packet inspection?
Astrill is based in Seychelles, which makes it privacy friendly, because Seychelles is not a member of Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes countries.
My first impression about the website is good. The website has nice design, navigation is good and everything is clear. You can find every information on Astrill, easily. And, I love it. Moreover, Astrill offers its website in various languages and offers a live chat support.
Does Astrill keep logs?
Astrill has a very detailed explanation of its logging policy on the FAQ page.
Astrill also keeps users’ name, email address, and also depending on payment method you choose phone number and address. Actually, when I asked for free trial via live chat and representative wanted my phone number as secondary security, in case I lose access to my email address. It maybe practical for users, but definitely not privacy friendly.
As most VPN providers, Astrill tricks potential customers on its main page claiming that “no logs kept”.
Does Astrill bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) or similar VPN blocks?
Countries like China, Turkey, Russia etc. implement firewalls that block access to VPN services. As an example China uses the Great Wall of China (GFW) system to block most VPNs and proxies. Some VPN services use extra protocols so that users in those countries can bypass VPN block.
Astrill offers OpenWeb, OpenVPN, StealthVPN/RouterPRO and Cisco IPSec technologies. StealthVPN is a protocol that provides dual layer protection, and it is hard to get detected and blocked in countries like China, Iran, UAE etc.
On the FAQ page, only StealthVPN is mentioned as ant DPI protocol, however Astrill’s OpenWeb protocol also aims bypassing VPN blocks.
I tried to check whether Astrill can bypass DPI in my country, Turkmenistan. I found out that StealthVPN and OpenVPN protocols are blocked on free trial. Users can test only OpenWeb protocol in 7 day free trial, and the trial is not available for China users. In my own experience I found Android app to be buggy, and was not able to pass processing screen without being connected to another VPN. And, when I was connected, I had trouble allowing Astrill VPN permissions. On my Windows test, I have tried different servers, but Astrill failed open blocked websites.
What is Price Performance Ratio of Astrill? (Pricing & Features)
Astrill offers Personal plan, with annual price of $99,90, and allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. It means you will be paying $8,33 per month, and $1,66 per device. And with this pricing, Astrill ranks 40th in pricing of our VPN list.
Astrill accepts a wide range of payment methods: credit/debit cards, bank wire transfer, Paypal, perfect money, Wechat Pay, AliPay and Bitcoin.
If you want to test Astrill, before buying Astrill offers 7-day trial for free. As I stated earlier, users can test only OpenWeb protocol in 7 day free trial, and the trial is not available for China users. All you need to do is sing up (without making payment) and contact their support. When it comes to refund, on the refund policy it is stated that you can get refund only if you have not used 7-day free trial AND Astrill does not work for technical reasons (not because of your ISP) AND you use supported OS with latest updates AND Astrill cannot solve the problem in 7 days. Also, in FAQ page, it says that the sales are final and does not make refunds.Well, in the market where other providers offer no question asked refunds, it is a big minus for Astrill’s “super hard refund policy”.
What features are offered by Astrill?
Astrill supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Routers. The best part is Astrill has its own application for the platforms. In my own experience, I found that Astrill Android app was a bit buggy, and Windows software was average.
Astrill offers two anti-DPI protocols OpenWeb and StealthVPN, in addition to OpenVPN, Cisco IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and PPTP.
-Number of Servers
AceVPN has more than 300 servers in 64 countries, which makes it to the top 15 VPNs with most servers, in my VPN Comparison Table.
Astrill offers multi-hop feature, which is a nice feature which adds extra layer of security. You can also have prioritized traffic, to have better speed with no slow downs. These features come at a cost, need to pay extra $10 in order to get VIP plan, which includes these extras. Also, if you wish you can have your dedicated IP address, which is not shared with other users and belongs to you only. Having private IP address costs extra $5 a month.
What I liked:
What I didn’t like: