Astrill, Australian VPN has some stand-out qualities, both positive and negative.
Pros: Unlimited switching over 48 countries - Good discounts on 3 month, 6 month or 1 year pacakges - P2P / torrents allowed on the servers with port forwarding - Very helpful technical support (Twitter Astrill) - Uses OpenVPN connection - Speed optimizer - Installation assistant for Astill on DD-WRT router - VPN for China and other expatriates (StealthVPN) - NAT Firewall - RouterPro VPN - Private (Dedicated) IP
Cons: Too much information required on opening an account (more later) - No connection guard for connected programs - No monthly rate - If you choose from the many extra options, the cost quickly increases.
After signing in you will find all the details of the service and the options chosen on subscription.
Open an account - software installation
Astrill is not shy about asking for personal information when you sign up. Other services do it too. So much so that Astrill asks for a mobile number to send you an SMS with an activation code. When we asked technical support, they stated that this is in order to fight against online fraud.
We also noted that on opening an account users often receive an error message instead of the “register” page. In this case you need to contact the technical support who will send a link with an activation code.
We tried in vain to get around the SMS requirement. If you prefer not to give out your number, then this service is not for you.
Step 2: choose your rate.
Step 3: download software according to operating system
Installation is easy (just in case, disconnect your antivirus). Finally, enter your connection information: Login / password (choose “remember me”) and just connect.
Their basic technology is OpenWEB : a very fast connection
We would advise the classic connection: OpenVPN.
The connection program is not very intuitive – they really need a smoother interface. It mixes the best (Site Filter Application Filter - Port Forwarding) with the least useful (Site Filter - Ads Blocker - Media Recorder - Video Accelerator - Youtube Burst Mode) while some options are missing, like IP Guard - Ping Test - Speed Guide – or an easier Country selection.
The Port Forwarding option needs to be configured for P2P and torrenting applications for the most efficient connection (HighID). Don’t forget to link Astrill up to VPNLifeGuard to protect your programs in case of VPN disconnection.
In your user account you have a list of authorised servers for this kind of traffic – marked with a star *
First, we want to underline the positives of Astrill.
The best thing about Astrill is is large number of servers. Astrill is part of the elite in this regard. 48 countries are offered, including rare ones like Brazil. Astrill is only just beaten by HydeMyAss (56 countries)
Users are spoiled for choice if they want to watch foreign TV whether in the United States or in the UK. What’s more DDL and streaming platforms that limit the use of their service by time or quotas are easy to get around.
Astrill is according to its slogan, a “VPN service for Expats & Travellers.” Because of course many countries including China censure internet use and limit or block certain sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Astrill offers a service especially for those expatriates and travellers who need VPN: Web access whatever the location or country in order to stay in contact with family and friends or just to stay informed. It's StealthVPN add-on, Brings better security with 2-layer encryption. Works on Windows/Mac/Linux. Works even in countries with high censorship, like China, UAE, Syria, etc.. This is a 7 day free trial option – after which it will cost you $5/month.
Astrill also offers dedicated IP addresses
Astrill also offers dedicated IP addresses (with shared and dynamic IPs) one or more dedicated IPs (Private IP) and Full Open Port at $5/month. This is a rare and generous offer among VPN services, and worth your attention.
I personally tried a Swedish IP to configure my NAS Synology. I used my private IP to download on a P2P network while maintaining access to my NAS from the outside with the service My DS synoloy.Finally, the negatives:
Information required on sign-up. Apart from a name and address, which is already limiting, Astrill needs a mobile number to activate your account. By doing so, apart from the anti-fraud argument, Astrill seems to be directed towards a certain type of user: for surfing, for viewing videos, for sites blocked in some countries (like Facebook).
No Connection Guard. For the use of p2p tools - Torrent is allowed for starred servers (*). In any case it is better to avoid Anglo-Saxon countries and use others like Sweden, Holland and Denmark. Without a connection guard, as soon as the VPN disconnects, your IP will be visible. However we assume that Astrill is made for surfing in general, and other activities through a web browser. (DDL - Streaming - VOD - Youtube)
No Month access. The shortest subscription available is 3 months. It would however be nice to have the option of a month just to try it out. In combination with all the other options (some of which are excellent, like the dedicated IPs) then the final cost does quickly add up!OVERALL
Astrill’s VPN conforms mostly to the conventional usage of VPN: the Internet is a space for freedom and should remain that way.
Data confidentiality, respect for user information and no tracking of cookies are also bonuses guaranteed by VPN.
So Astrill is ideal for surfing, for protecting a home network thanks to one installation on DD-WRT and for expatriates abroad.