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Atlas VPN logo.
Image: Atlas VPN

When VPN providers offer free versions, you may be inclined to stick with that version. However, in some cases, you may be limiting your experience and not taking full advantage of what that VPN can offer through its paid subscriptions. Take Atlas VPN, for example.

Atlas VPN Free is a lifetime-free version of the Atlas VPN service, which allows users to enjoy VPN services in four locations. In comparison, Atlas VPN Premium offers users access to more than 1,000 servers in over 45 locations. The Premium version also comes with extra security features, such as a Data Breach Monitor, SafeSwap servers and allows unlimited data connection.

So, when it comes to Atlas VPN Free vs. Premium, how do you decide which is best for you? In this article, we compare the two versions, looking at their features, pros and cons.

Atlas VPN Free vs. Atlas VPN Premium: Comparison

Features
Free
Premium (starts at $1.70/mo for first 3 years)
Kill Switch
Yes
Yes
MultiHop+
No
Yes
Monthly data limit
5GB
Unlimited
Server locations
4
45
SafeSwap servers
No
Yes
Data breach monitor
No
Yes
Quick-Connect
No
Yes
Simultaneous device connection
Unlimited
Unlimited

Feature comparison: Atlas VPN Free vs. Atlas VPN Premium

Atlas VPN has a unique feature-set — some of which available both in the Free and Premium versions — especially on a fairly new VPN founded in 2019.

See: Atlas VPN Review: Security, Pricing & Features

Kill Switch

This feature is available on both Atlas VPN Free and Premium. A kill switch prevents data leaks by automatically blocking internet traffic when it notices your VPN connection has suddenly dropped. The kill switch acts as a fail-safe mechanism for mitigating the risk of exposing your IP address and online activities during temporary disruptions in the VPN connection. Once the VPN connection is reestablished, the kill switch allows normal internet access to resume, maintaining a secure online environment. This feature can be used on most platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS and Mac.

Atlas VPN kill switch.
Figure A: Atlas VPN kill switch. Image: Atlas VPN

MultiHop+

Atlas VPN MultiHop+ allows users to connect to the internet via multiple VPN servers in Europe and North America. This feature adds an extra layer of security to your real IP address. It’s only included in Premium subscriptions and not available through the Free version. This feature works more like the Tor network, making it very hard to trace online activity to a particular user.

Atlas VPN MultiHop+ servers.
Figure B: Atlas VPN MultiHop+ servers. Image: Atlas VPN

Server locations

Atlas VPN servers span 45 different locations. While the Free version gives you access to servers in 4 locations (Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York and Singapore), Premium allows you to access content across 45 locations through 1,000+ servers. You can enjoy 10Gbps in a few locations — like Amsterdam and London — if you’re on a paid plan. One downside of Atlas VPN is that its server coverage doesn’t measure up to other VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark.

Atlas VPN server locations.
Figure C: Atlas VPN server locations. Image: Atlas VPN

Split tunneling

This feature is available on both Free and Premium versions of Atlas VPN. With split tunneling, you can decide to route some apps through the VPN connection and leave out others. This feature is beneficial to users who want to access local content but don’t want to disconnect from the VPN. You should note that this feature is only available for Android users. Support for Windows 10 and other versions may come soon, according to Atlas.

Atlas VPN split tunneling.
Figure D: Atlas VPN split tunneling. Image: Atlas VPN

SafeSwap servers

This is Atlas VPN’s unique privacy feature, available for Premium subscribers only. The feature allows you to have different IP addresses that rotate every few minutes as you browse. It is also beneficial if you want to avoid unnecessary ads from advertisers who use trackers to profile you based on one location and the sites you have visited. SafeSwap server locations are in three cities—Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Singapore.

Atlas VPN SafeSwap servers.
Figure E: Atlas VPN SafeSwap servers. Image: Atlas VPN

Data Breach Monitor

The Data Breach mMy leaked databases for passwords, emails, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers and financial details connected to your email. It notifies you if they have been exposed.

Data Breach Monitor.
Figure F: Data Breach Monitor. Image: Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN Free pros and cons

Using Atlas VPN Free offers some advantages and drawbacks. Consider these pros and cons before using the service.

Pros of Atlas VPN Free

  • It is free forever.
  • Supports unlimited device connection
  • Supports split-tunneling and kill switch.
  • VPN service in four different locations.

Cons of Atlas VPN Free

  • Monthly data limit is capped at 5GB.
  • Important features like MultiHop+, SafeSwap servers and data breach monitor are excluded.
  • Limited server locations (only four).

Atlas VPN Premium pros and cons

While the Atlas VPN Premium offers more perks than the free plan, there are still some aspects to consider before making a decision.

Pros of Atlas VPN Premium

  • Unlimited device connection.
  • Supports MultiHop+ feature.
  • Includes streaming optimized software to watch Netflix and other on-demand videos.
  • Unlimited monthly data usage.
  • Comes with a Data Breach Monitor.

Cons of Atlas VPN Premium

  • Split tunneling is available only on Android.
  • Offers low number of servers compared to other VPN services.
  • Servers are not RAM-based.

Methodology

For this comparison, I downloaded the Atlas VPN app on my Android, iOS and Windows PC. I utilized the seven-day free trial available on the pricing plans to test the Premium features that I wasn’t able to access using the Free version. During my testing, I noticed that the Free version was somewhat slower than the Premium, especially when used for streaming. I also looked into user reviews on Atlas VPN from Trustpilot to see the opinions of other users.

In our full review, Atlas VPN received 3.5 stars out of 5.

Should your organization use Atlas VPN Free or Atlas VPN Premium?

Both Atlas VPN Free and Atlas VPN Premium are good choices for different use cases. If you’re a casual VPN user without any demand for advanced features or streaming long videos, then going for the Free version may be the right option for you. Atlas VPN Free supports basic VPN capabilities you can enjoy without any financial commitment.

However, if you’re looking for online protection with extra security perks, opting for Atlas VPN Premium should be the way to go. The Premium version gives you internet protection with extra security features, such as a Data Breach monitor, SafeSwap servers and MultiHop+ for a more anonymous internet experience.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to the level of protection you need and the amount you’re willing to spend on a VPN.


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