Proxy.sh is one of the most feature-rich VPN services. It’s also extremely BitTorrent-friendly and makes an emphatic promise not to log user data. It supports all the major operating systems for desktop and mobile. Pricing is competitive but a little confusing, so you should pay close attention to which features come with which plans.
These are the major selling points of Proxy.sh:
- VPN servers located in more than fifty countries
- A “100% non-logging” promise
- Support for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android and Linux
- Solid documentation tailored to different platforms, plus professional support if you need it
- A custom client, Safejumper, for managing connections
- Optional extra features beyond VPN service — these include access to proxy SOCKS servers and a Jabber server for secure messaging
Most VPN providers make strong claims about protecting users’ privacy. But this service stands out by taking a particularly strong stance on privacy. The company vows that it “never logs anything.”
It also says it runs most of its services in RAM. That means that shutting down servers instantly removes almost all traces of users’ connections.
Of course, as with most VPN services, these claims are impossible for third parties to verify without having access to the company’s internal infrastructure. But Proxy.sh has attempted to give users extra assurance. It made headlines in 2013 for issuing what it called the first “transparency report” of the VPN industry.
It’s worth noting that the company has logged data in the past. But that was under special circumstances — to protect against hacking — and Proxy.sh was very transparent about the situation.
Signing up for and using Proxy.sh requires only an email address. The company asks for no other personal information.
The service’s performance varies according to which plan you select. However, even the lowest-cost option provides speeds of up to 1 gigabit. If you want more than that, you can purchase extra bandwidth of up to 50 gigabits as an add-on.
We have nothing negative to say about Proxy.sh’s performance. It connects quickly and supports fast download and upload speeds. Connections were stable. The company does not block any ports or services. It openly supports use of torrents.
If you use the Safejumper app to manage your VPN connection, you can view statistics about available VPN servers in real time before you connect. That lets you choose the fastest connection.
Safejumper also provides a set of advanced options. For example, you can configure the app to connect to the VPN service automatically when you are on an unsecured wifi connection. You can also enable a “kill switch” feature, which shuts down your entire connection immediately if the VPN goes down for some reason. That assures that your real IP address is not revealed.
In addition, as mentioned above, Proxy.sh provides some extra services. These include access to a SOCKS proxy service, which you can use to add another layer of privacy and anonymity to your connection. The company also provides a Jabber/XMPP server for secure messaging.
Neither of these services relates to the VPN directly, and you could set them up separately if you wanted. But since they are bundled free with Proxy.sh, they are a nice bonus for those who want them.
Pricing is where Proxy.sh gets a little confusing. The company offers four plans:
- Quick: $2/month, VPN servers in two countries (the United States and the Netherlands).
- Basic: $5/month, VPN servers in five countries.
- Solid: $10/month, VPN servers in more than forty countries.
- Pro: $20/month, VPN servers in more than forty countries, 50 gigabit bandwidth (but capped at 250 gigabytes of monthly usage).
The prices above are per month. Except for the first plan, the plans are available at discounted rates if you sign up for a year at a time.
You can also purchase additional services individually. Starting at an additional $1 per month, you can get extra bandwidth. For another $5 per month, you can purchase a multi-hop service. That allows different VPN entry and exit locations.
The somewhat convoluted pricing is probably Proxy.sh‘s only major drawback. Paying more won’t necessarily mean better service or cost-efficiency. The more expensive plans come with certain limitations; most notably, the Pro plan, at $20 per month, is capped at 250 gigabytes of total bandwidth, whereas the less expensive plans don’t have bandwidth caps. The more expensive plans also offer lower discounts for long-term contracts than the less expensive ones do.
Proxy.sh’s basic plans are competitively priced at $2 and $5 per month. However, their features are also basic. They include access to only a handful of VPN servers and don’t have multi-hopping built in, which some other VPN providers do at similar price points. Depending on exactly what you want, you may be able to find better value elsewhere.That said, Proxy.sh is fairly priced for a lot of situations — especially if you use BitTorrent extensively and want a VPN provider that is especially emphatic about protecting user privacy and data.