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Atlas VPN Review (2022)
- Atlas VPN is a US based VPN
- It has a small network with little coverage, but good speeds
- You can put it on as many devices as you want
- Low cost
- No-log policy
- Comes with a kill switch, but has some problems with it
Table of Contents:
- What is Atlas VPN
- How Does Atlas VPN Protect You
- How Good is Atlas VPN’s Privacy Rules
- How Easy is it to Use
- What Does the Deal with Nord Mean
- What About Atlas’ App Support
- Who is Atlas VPN for
What is Atlas VPN? ➡️
One of the main goals of a VPN is to get as much anonymity as you can. Most internet users misunderstand anonymity. They think of it as a thing they either have or they do not.
But being anonymous on the internet is not like flicking a light switch. It can feel like that with a highly usable VPN, but in most cases, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. This is especially important with sites that are not very secure, to begin with. Atlas VPN recognizes this and has the tools to deal with it.
Atlas VPN is a service that provides incredibly cheap and incredibly diverse tools for making yourself anonymous on the internet and keeping you anonymous. It lets you access streaming services in other countries, particularly services based in the United States like Amazon Prime and Disney+.
It does not have a wide range of servers, with most of them based in its home country of the United States. It has a few in western Europe and East Asia, but not enough to give good speeds.
The most that can be said about Atlas VPN’s server network is that it is appropriately costed.
As a result, Atlas VPN’s internet kill switch option can end up feeling like a drawback more than a selling point for many customers outside the United States.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. To begin with, let’s look at how Atlas VPN protects you.
How Does Atlas VPN Protect You? 🛡️
All VPNs have the same essential goal: To keep your internet activity private. The world wide web is filled with people who have a vested interest in what you say, do, and look at on the internet.
Whether it is mega-corporations trying to track your browser history or viruses trying to log your keystrokes so they can find out your passwords, you have to have a response to them. The question then becomes: What does Atlas VPN do against these threats?
It starts with the virtual private network itself. You can think of the VPN as a wall of encryption. It is a network that stands between your own network and whatever network you are connecting to.
Nothing can pass this wall without being encrypted. That means that any signal a website sends to “call” information out of your computer will be encrypted so that your computer cannot read it.
Similarly, anything that manages to get sent from your computer or network will be encrypted so that no one else can read it. Atlas VPN has above-average encryption for its cost as well.
Does it do More Than Encryption?
Sadly, encryption is not enough to ensure your safety online. That is why Atlas VPN also has an IP address switcher. There are two ways that you can operate this tool: Automatically and manually.
If you set it to automatic, the IP switcher will periodically switch what IP you are representing yourself from. This can be done over time, in between pages, or in response to certain triggers. For instance, if you want to switch your IP every time you enter a password, you can set it up to do that.
Atlas VPN also features an internet kill switch. Internet kill switches are not everyone’s favorite tools. The idea behind an internet kill switch is that they make sure that no virus or program can close your VPN without disconnecting from you. If your VPN goes, then your kill switch will take the internet too.
This is an incredibly reliable safety measure in that it will definitely protect you from certain threats. But as reliable as it is in that sense, it can kind of feel like picking a lock with a shotgun blast.
You see, VPNs are usually transmitted to you through the internet. They can be quite intensive on your bandwidth, especially if you live outside the United States and are getting one based in the US.
That means that your VPN might wax and wane in its connection to you. Should the connection fall through entirely, you might find your internet disconnected where previously it was totally stable.
This is why it is important that the kill switch be capable of turning off. It is not the most important safety feature in the first place (the IP switcher will come in hand much more often).
How Good is Atlas VPN’s Privacy Rules? 🔒️
This is becoming increasingly important to ask in recent days. We mentioned before how the main threats against your privacy are mega-corporations and viruses. But bad VPNs are just as nefarious.
You see, a lot of the money made by social media is made by selling information. All the data that social media platforms gather on what you do when you do it, and where is invaluable to advertisers.
The thing is that there are smaller VPN services that will do the same thing. At that point, they are barely VPNs. But they are not there to really provide a service. They are there to make a bit of money.
That means they will advertise themselves as VPNs, perhaps offer a premium service that connects people outside the US to the US’ Netflix library, and then log all of their user’s internet activity.
Atlas VPN includes a “no-log” clause in its end-user license agreement. These kinds of clauses are critical to doing business with a VPN, as they are the best way to tell the difference between a good VPN and a scam VPN. If a VPN does not promise to avoid keeping logs of you, then they probably are keeping logs.
And not only that, while they may say they are keeping logs (they have to) they are not obligated to tell you what they do with these logs. They can track you, but you cannot track them.
Luckily, Atlas VPN avoids this problem. Because they promise not to take logs, you never have to worry about them selling your information. Nor do you have to worry that they get hacked and have it stolen.
How Easy is it to Use?
There are three factors to Atlas VPN’s ease of use.
- The use of the app
- The consistency of its connections
- The responsiveness of its customer service
On the first point, Atlas VPN is far above average. It strikes a difficult balance between depth and complexity. Never is it too complicated to use, while at the same time having lots of options.
That is what designers are fighting against when they put together an interface. An interface with a lot of tools is hard to use. But one with no tools is hard to maximize, or even get feedback from.
Atlas VPN deals with this by having an interface that is simple, with all of its complexity hidden underneath the surface. If you want to customize it to make it complicated, you can. But for most customers, you can get the most out of it by using it exactly as you get it. This is a good design.
On the second and third points of its ease of use, however, Atlas VPN lags behind. It has servers distributed across 27 countries, meaning that it has a good amount of coverage all over the world.
The trouble is that while its coverage is good, it is rarely high speed in any particular area except for the United States. That means everyone from Europe to Australia is going to have some slow speeds.
It is never so slow that it is a deal-breaker, but just be aware that its slowness is a “thing”.
And finally, its customer service is not highly responsive. There are long hold times that make it impractical to call in. By the time you get a hold of a representative the problem, you were dealing with will either resolve itself or not be a problem anymore (or you will move on to a new problem).
What Does the Deal with Nord Mean? 🤝️
As you might have heard, Atlas VPN was bought out by Nord. For those who do not know, Nord is the company that produces NordVPN. NordVPN is generally considered one of the best VPNs out there.
Why would NordVPN buy Atlas VPN? Well, speculation on that topic is still about. Many people wonder if it was a purely symbiotic relationship, or more of a “political marriage”, so to speak.
What changes have followed in the wake of Atlas’ purchase by Nord? None so far. It really does seem as though Nord bought Atlas in order to take the profits from Atlas’ app sales and nothing more.
Or that would be what it looked like, if not for the fact that Atlas’ price has actually gone down in the wake of the merger. What most analysts read from this is that Atlas might serve as a cheaper alternative to NordVPN, for as strong as NordVPN is it has always been one of the more expensive VPNs.
What About Atlas’ App Support?
One of Atlas VPN’s primary selling points is the fact that it can be loaded onto an unlimited number of devices. But how many devices can it really go on? The answer might surprise you.
Atlas VPN has been ported to all phone platforms as a mobile app, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Not all of these are receiving equal love—Windows’ gets the most updates, while Mac gets the least. Linux is actually open-source, so you can get updates at any time with varying degrees of success.
The Linux customer base is small, and basically, everyone who uses it will know what “open source” means. But just in case you do not: It means that anyone can edit and release a version of Atlas VPN.
There have been no whisperings at all of the mainline Atlas VPN apps going open source, and it is unlikely that they do. Letting apps be open source opens them up to cyber-attacks and hacking.
However, the simple step of having one of its mainline products be open source means that Atas CPN is a company that knows Millennials. Millennials love open source projects and projects you can maximize to death, so many will enjoy their experiment while the rest of the world is content with normal Atlas.
Who is Atlas VPN for? 🤔️
Atlas VPN is best described as an “everyman” VPN. That does not mean it is meant for everyone. But it certainly has something for everyone on top of being incredibly easy to use.
This is because it combines a simple interface with some great privacy tools. You do not have to worry about having your IP tracked, nor is there a concern that Atlas itself might be checking in on you.
On top of all of this is its price, which is far below how much a VPN costs for this many features.
The only drawback is its advanced options, which are quite limited. Indeed, you will not be using Atlas VPN to install a port forward to torrent from. Now, a better idea, if you want something focused on torrenting, is to find one of the many other products that sell that sort of thing.
Atlas VPN will definitely find a way to satisfy you. And if it does not, then give it time. Its price has only gone down, and it just got bought out by Nord. That means that there is likely nothing but bright things for the future of Atlas VPN.
The only real thing you should watch out for is the slowdowns that you will definitely face if you are outside the United States. But that is a problem only the largest firms have solved.
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