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Atlas VPN review Australia
Atlas VPN is an affordable product that doesn’t quite have the goods to topple other fully featured VPN contenders.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are the two big-name virtual private network (VPN) services biffing it out for dominance. But while they both do a great job across multiple key VPN considerations, they’re not the best across every category. There are VPNs that are cheaper, faster, with more simultaneous connections as well as VPNs that handle streaming in a better way.
Atlas VPN doesn’t tick all of those boxes but it does have a comparatively cheap VPN service that’s worth considering, especially if you’d like to try before you buy.
We primarily test VPNs on Windows devices but also test on Android mobile and, where available, Android TV apps.
Atlas VPN pricing and plans
Atlas VPN plan pricing effective as of publishing date. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Compare Atlas with more VPN services
Atlas VPN is one of a growing number of VPNs that offer a free version, alongside Hotspot Shield, TunnelBear, Windscribe VPN and PrivadoVPN. The Atlas VPN free version, impressively, has the same military-grade encryption, unlimited simultaneous connections and doesn’t throttle speeds. Despite limited servers, Atlas VPN free even has decent results with relevant international streaming services.
Monthly pricing is pretty average, though I do like that all subscriptions are offered in Australian dollars so you know what you’re paying for upfront. For cheaper monthly pricing, check in with PrivadoVPN, Windscribe and Proton VPN.
Atlas VPN has the second best annual (second behind PureVPN) and best multi-year pricing (three years) of the 17 VPNs we’ve reviewed. So if you do buy in, opt for the annual or three-year subscriptions. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like the service after signing up.
Number of VPN servers
|View Plans||AU$2.89/mth $75.14 2-year plan||28,429|
|View Plans||US$3.49/mth US$83.76 2-year plan for new visitors||5,224
|View Plans||US$4.99/mth US$59.88 1-year plan||60+
|View Plans||AU$3.87/mth AU$92.98 2-year plan||3,200+|
|View Plans||US$3.99/mth US47.89 1-year plan||1,600+|
|View Plans||US$6.67/mth US$99.95 1-year plan||3,000+|
|View Plans||AU$11.99/mth AU$143.88 1-year plan||1,800+|
|View Plans||AU$3.19/mth AU$124.41 3-year plan||6,000+|
|View Plans||US$4.99/mth US$59.99 1-year plan||500+|
|View Plans||US$2.29/mth US$54.95 2-year plan||6500+
|View Plans||AU$4.99/mth AU$59.99 1-year plan||3000|
|View Plans||US$3.33/mth US$120 3-year plan||500+|
|View Plans||US$4.08/mth US$49 1-year plan||187|
Data effective of last page update. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Atlas VPN connectivity and user experience
The free and premium versions of Atlas VPN look identical on Windows, which is where I did most of my testing (alongside Android). Atlas VPN free is capped at 5GB a month with only Amsterdam, Los Angeles and New York as server options. There’s no need for a password when creating an account; just provide an email address, click on the link that’s sent to you and you’re good to go.
Click the big connect button and Atlas VPN intuitively selects the nearest server in a few seconds, which was Australia for my premium tests and Los Angeles for the free version. Atlas VPN remembers your three recent connections and you can scroll down to select from one of the 38 countries and 46 locations. Note that those numbers are some of the lowest of all the VPNs I’ve tested, as is the small global server count (750+).
This isn’t necessarily an issue if things work as intended all the time, but I did experience an issue during testing where the Atlas VPN network (and website) appeared to be down. I also experienced OneDrive sync errors in the lead-up to this apparent outage. My network-attached storage (NAS) drive was also inaccessible whenever connected to an Atlas VPN server.
On the positive side, most of my time with Atlas VPN was very intuitive. The limited location options makes for less scrolling, plus there are dedicated streaming and Privacy Pro specialty servers: three SafeSwap options for multi-IP servers and two MultiHop+ servers, which route internet traffic via multiple VPN servers for extra security (albeit slower speeds).
I appreciate that Atlas VPN offers in-app updates, meaning you don’t have to manually check for the latest version of the software. Outside of the temporary connectivity issues mentioned above, the rest of my everyday testing of Atlas VPN was smooth sailing. The VPN service didn’t interfere with any websites or slow web browsing, and it worked seamlessly with day-to-day software, including torrents.
Atlas VPN supported devices
Atlas VPN is supported by most major platforms, including:
- Android TV
- Amazon Fire TV
That’s a decent spread of devices, but not as fully featured as those from other VPN providers, including Windscribe and Surfshark VPN. What’s most notably missing from Atlas VPN is web browser extensions. In fairness, this is a personal-preference inclusion, as we guide people towards using a fully featured VPN app rather than a proxy browser plugin that doesn’t offer the same level of encryption.
Atlas VPN speeds and streaming
Unless your internet provider is throttling your speeds, you can safely expect that connecting to a VPN service will impact your latency and download/upload speeds. To highlight this, the table below shows the midday speeds for PrivadoVPN with a Superloop NBN 100/40Mbps FTTC connection.
Atlas VPN server latency and speeds from Australia
|AU VPN (auto, fastest)||73.61Mbps (~6% slower)||35.55Mbps (~6% slower)||7ms (1ms change)|
|US VPN (auto, fastest)||62.35Mbps (~20% slower)||32.15Mbps (~15% slower)||161ms (155ms slower)|
|UK VPN (auto, fastest)||43.12Mbps (~45% slower)||25.56Mbps (~32% slower)||256ms (250ms slower)|
Atlas VPN’s speeds ranged from great to middling, depending on the test. Great results came from a minimal impact on download speeds and latency to Australian servers, as well as upload speeds to Los Angeles.
All other tested results fell closer to the middle for percentage speed changes compared to the other VPNs we’ve reviewed. Given the breadth of Australia, it’s also worth noting that the lack of transparency about where the Australian servers are located likely means faster results for those in Sydney and on the east coast compared to those in Central or Western Australia.
Atlas VPN streaming
For those who don’t mind running the risk of having their streaming services blocked or banned, a VPN can be used to stream content from geoblocked libraries overseas. A VPN that’s great for streaming should work across popular US, UK and Australian streaming services, loading content libraries in a timely way while buffering content quickly and without errors.
Atlas VPN performance with popular streaming services
|Stan (including Stan Sport)||Yes||Fast|
Atlas VPN has mostly impressive results. On the dedicated streaming servers (including Australia)—a nice touch for a smaller VPN provider—Atlas VPN offered speedy buffering speeds for almost every service.
The only exception was Kayo, which came up with a VPN error before even loading the library. Given the lack of location options or manual server switching, there was no way to test a workaround for Kayo. Still, even without using the dedicated streaming servers, Atlas VPN was still a mostly speedy sidestepper of geoblocks, with only BBC iPlayer registering moderate buffering speeds.
Windscribe and ExpressVPN are the two best solutions for global VPN streaming, but Atlas VPN has just as good streaming results as NordVPN.
The table below gives you an idea of how Atlas VPN might work with your NBN connection. It uses the top download speeds from the NBN providers we track in our comparison engine as a starting point. The best-case percentage download speed changes for US and UK servers are then used to give an indication of the kind of speeds you might expect from Atlas VPN.
The three columns on the right offer the number of simultaneous streams per connection. While Netflix has a maximum of four simultaneous streams per 4K account, Hulu and BBC iPlayer have options for unlimited streams. We know these stream numbers get ridiculous for beyond-NBN 100 plans, but they’re a good indication of overall speed degradation.
Atlas VPN speeds for popular 4K international streaming services
NBN speed tier
Max NBN TEDS
Atlas VPN TEDS
Netflix US 4K (25Mbps)
Hulu 4K (16Mbps)
BBC iPlayer (24Mbps)
|NBN 12||12Mbps||9.6Mbps (US), 6.6Mbps (UK)||Too slow||Too slow||Too slow|
|NBN 25||25Mbps||20Mbps (US), 13.75Mbps (UK)||Too slow||1 stream||Too slow|
|NBN 50||50Mbps||40Mbps (US), 27.5Mbps (UK)||1 stream||2 streams||1 stream|
|NBN 100||100Mbps||80Mbps (US), 55Mbps (UK)||3 streams||5 streams||2 streams|
|NBN 250||250Mbps||200Mbps (US), 137.5Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||12 streams||5 streams|
|NBN 500||500Mbps||400Mbps (US), 275Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||25 streams||11 streams|
|NBN 1000||600Mbps||480Mbps (US), 330Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||30 streams||13 streams|
Should I buy Atlas VPN?
Atlas VPN has a robust free version to try before even spending a cent. If you are tempted by Atlas VPN, it offers unlimited simultaneous connections with commendable streaming at a reasonable price. Still, the low number of countries and supported locations (including Australia) impact its overall versatility.