Virtual Private Network, or VPN, have many uses, both in business and for personal use. The main reason why anyone uses a VPN service is to secure their data transmissions over the internet.
How VPN Service Protects Your Information Online
A VPN service is an internet based VPN provider that lets you use their VPN for a fee. In turn they provide you with security and privacy on any* internet device. This keeps all your communications secure. In most cases, it also lifts country restrictions as the service connects you to a location outside of your present country. Countries such as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and a couple of others regularly top the ten most censored countries list by CPJ whereas countries such as UAE, UK, US, Pakistan, India, Russia, Syria are the enemies of the internet list.
If you’re asking youself how to pick a reliable VPN, we thought of it and decided to give you a small and quick checklist so you can compare VPN services and pick something that is more suitable for you.
What to look for in a VPN Service
Besides the most obvious: price point and payment methods available, here’s what you need to look for when choosing a VPN service:
- Check server locations and restrictions. The more locations the better and there shouldn’t be any restrictions on browsing.
- Check security. Encryption should be 256bit, DNS leak protection, kill switch etc.
- Make sure they state that they don’t log user activity.
- Check max simultaneous connections. This is important if you have number of devices and plan to share your account with family members.
- Look for apps and make sure your devices are on their list. All services mentioned below have apps for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.
We also have a nifty, easy-to-follow guide on what to look for in your ideal VPN provider.
Best VPN Services
ExpressVPN used to be the best all-round VPN service for speed, privacy and unblocking. Besides running on ultra fast servers, ExpressVPN also guarantees internet security.
It has a built-in kill switch (to keep your IP concealed if network drops), split-tunneling, IPv6 leak protection and DNS protection to prevent any leak of your online activity. These added features are however not common features in a standard VPN.
ExpressVPN also uses AES 256-CBC military-grade encryption to enhance popular protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and SSTP. They also takes your privacy and anonymity very seriously.
Possessing an unlimited bandwidth and a global connectivity of over 2000 servers spread across 148 cities in 94 countries, ExpressVPN remains the one of the fastest in comparison to other VPN service providers. With this ultra speed, you can easily stream blocked content on the web such as YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and WhatsApp, etc.
ExpressVPN also supports P2P/torrenting and works with the Tor Network which most VPNs are unable to do.
ExpressVPN offer apps for major operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Blackberry (albeit a couple of models). It further provides extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and a separate configuration for routers.
There are a vast number of tutorials to help you get started. Their website also provides highly effective and responsive live chat support, with agents staffed 24/7 to assist you with any problems you might encounter.
Bit expensive when compared to other VPN services, but they have a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case you are not satisfied with the service.
Use TechVise special link and get 15 months of service when you signup with a 12 month plan.
Ivacy is the pioneer of split tunneling and have been around for over 10 years. Last year, they were ranked no.1 in terms of speed over a VPN connection, beating out ExpressVPN. In the age of streaming, gaming and privacy concerns, Ivacy VPN has you covered. They provide 256 bit encryption, kill switch, split-tunneling, IPv6 leak protection and secure DNS. They also support multiple protocols and provide 5 multi logins with each subscriptions.
Ivacy VPN allows you to select the purpose of your connection thus ensuring the maximum speed and benefits to your vpn connection. You can choose from secure downloading, streaming and unblocking. What we love about Ivacy is their variety of app selection includes Kodi, Amazon FireStick and Android TV. Besides these, they also have extensive guides for Xbox, PS3 and PS4 gaming consoles.
Ivacy VPN has servers in 54 countries. They give a 30 day money back guarantee and have 24×7 support via live chat. You can pay for services via PayPal, Credit / Debit cards, Cryptocurrency, Bitpay, Paymentwall, Perfect Money and AliPay.
NordVPN being the most popular VPN provider offers one of the best VPN services on the market at the moment with a combination of top notch security, detailed attention to privacy and swift support at the click of a button. While possessing double data encryption, they help to encrypt your data twice as opposed to just once.
In terms of security, despite having the regular features, like 256 bit AES encryption, military grade security and a kill-switch, it also has double VPN (encrypts your traffic twice), Onion over VPN and a strict no-logs policy.
NordVPN servers are located in 60+ countries around the globe. There is a SmartPlay feature to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock an immense number of streaming services.
NordVPN also has platforms and apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android and certain routers. The service enables you to make 6 simultaneous connections; in other words, you can use it on all your devices at the same time. The mobile app makes it convenient to choose the right server by suggesting the most suitable server based on the user’s needs. NordVPN is generally neck to neck with ExpressVPN mentioned above. You should check out Tim Uittenbroek’s article for the reviews about NordVPN vs ExpressVPN.
They accept all major cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Paymentwall (multiple payment options there). All plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
Use the code “topdeal” to avail a special offer on a 2 year NordVPN subscription plan
PrivateVPN is packed with great features, including competitive pricing plan, high speed, privacy, top notch security, and a strict no-log policy. It possesses a kill switch, IPv6 leak protection, 2048-bit encryption with AES-256. They also support a wide range of VPN protocols including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2 and IPSec.
With unlimited bandwidth and impressive speeds, it is located in 56 countries around the globe and also provides with the ability to unlock geo-restricted media. PrivateVPN offers you the ability to make 6 simultaneous connections, all to unique IP addresses.
It also provides apps for operating systems like Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux and Routers, installation only takes a few minutes. These apps allow you to surf unrestricted and at high speeds.
They offer a 13-month plan that comes to $3.88/month, a 3-month plan at $5.25/month and 1-month plan charged at $7.67/month. All plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee and are charged according to their duration.
Private Internet Access
Basic features include: unlimited bandwidth, kill switch, ad-blocking, Ipv6 leak protection, P2P support, encrypted WiFi, and AES-256 encryption. PIA also offers multiple VPN gateways, SOCKS5 Proxy and port forwarding.
With over 3,300 servers, it is located in 30 countries around the globe. Private Internet Access is also available on devices such as Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android in addition to online browsers.
Although the speed isn’t incredible, it is however consistent. PIA supports up to five simultaneous connections.
Plans are charged according to their duration and come with a 7-day money back policy.
When it comes to awesome torrenting and other P2P traffic, IPVanish is the VPN provider to look out for. Robust, with good security, no logs policy, lots of servers, and access to blocked websites, IPVanish is a popular VPN service.
In terms of security, it possesses PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv. It also uses 256-bit encryption, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switching, unlimited P2P traffic, and anonymous torrenting.
They have over 1000 servers in 60 different countries around the world. Its high speeds, choice of locations and excellent clients are hard to beat.
IPVanish has applications for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. With IPVanish, you can connect up to 10 devices on a single license.
The plans include a 7 day money back guarantee and is charged as per the duration.
HMA has easily the world’s largest network of servers with over 940 VPN servers in over 350 locations around the world. It allows you to conceal your e-tracks swiftly and consistently. It works on almost all devices including Macs, Windows, iOS, Androids, gaming consoles and TVs.
HMA provides a fast file uploading service which allows you to share large files for free. In addition, it bypasses regular email providers and ftp websites. It offers a ‘one subscription pays all’ feature where you can simultaneously use just two devices with the same subscription.
You can get a 7 day free trial or signup directly and avail their 30 day money back guarantee. Their 24-month plan comes to $5.99/month, 12-month plan for $6.99/month and 1-month plan for $11.99/month. You pay once for the duration of the plan and recurring fees according to your billing cycle.
In addition to those listed above VPNTunnel also offers highly impressive service.
VPNTunnel only has servers in a few European countries at this time and is a somewhat limited also, as it only accepts PayPal & Payson and allows one active connection on any device at any time. It, however, logs data in countries outside of Sweden.
We have covered some superb DNS services which will lift the Geo-Restrictions, so Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer is no longer out of your reach. Use them if you’re only interested in streaming.
If you have used a VPN service which is great and offers competitive plans, let us know in the comments so we can review it and mention it here. We aim to keep this list updated and current.