What is VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a software that uses encryption to make it look as if you connect to the internet from a different location than your physical one. It is a great feature if you want to protect your privacy, browse the web anonymously or access a service that is otherwise unavailable in your country.
There are two types of VPN: paid and free. Both of them involve varying restrictions on speed, data limit, and location. Depending on these interdictions, you may be able to access torrent websites or streaming networks like Netflix. Most VPNs are paid but with a 30-day money-back trial included. Let’s find out which are the top 10 Best VPN services from unbiased reviews!
Best VPN in 2018
ExpressVPN is a highly reliable VPN service that operates over 2,000 servers in 148 cities across 94 countries. It runs on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS systems, and uses a “No Logging” policy that prevents them from storing any of your data from the moment you log on to the end of your connection.
ExpressVPN has one of the juiciest download speeds out there. With a 100 Mbps connection, you can get a Flash-like speed of around 81 Mbps on an EU server and as much as 59 Mbps on a US server. The upload rate is not that bad either, as the service scored a decent 51 Mbps on the European server and 30 on the North American one.
ExpressVPN is located in the no-tax haven that is the British Virgin Islands. The company has kept a low profile operating from there ever since their establishment in 2009.
ExpressVPN has several attractive features like unblocking Netflix or downloading torrents, but its best feature has to be the “Kill Switch” option that automatically stops all software when your connection is lost. This way, your data is permanently protected even if you engage in gambling activities.
ExpressVPN comes with three different packages that all include free trials of 30-day money back guarantees. Their services range from the month-by-month plan of $12.95 per month to the yearly plan of just $8.32 that is charged annually.
PureVPN uses the industry standard 256-bit encryption and supports all major protocols including OpenVPN, PPTP, and IKEv2. The service offers essential features like Kill Switch, DDoS protection, and up to five simultaneous connections. It runs on Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Linux with acceptable performances on each of them.
PureVPN is not one of the front-runners out there when it comes to speed. A simple test on a 100 Mbps server revealed slow rates for both downloading and uploading data. On an EU server the VPN scored a rate of just 36 Mbps for download, and 27 Mbps for upload. Alternatively, on a US server, it managed a maximum of 31 Mbps when downloading and just 28 when uploading.
PureVPN is located in Hong Kong and has over 580 highly optimized server locations across the world. Arguably the best feature of PureVPN is the unrestricted torrenting option that makes it one of the few still reliable torrent-friendly VPNs on the internet.
PureVPN is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market with the lowest charge being for the month-by-month plan that will take $10.95 per month out of your pockets. On an even more positive note, a 2-year plan will cost you just $3.25 every month. All their packages include a 7-day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is a safe VPN service to use for logging in to Netflix or downloading torrents. It offers impressive features like IP hiding, Kill Switch and up to 6 simultaneous connections, which are all available through an OpenVPN tunneling protocol and AES 256-bit encryption (with double data protection).
NordVPN scores impressive results on its tests on a 100 Mbps server. For example, on an EU server, it reached a download rate of 73 Mbps and an upload rate of 49 Mbps. Additionally, on a US server, it got 55 Mbps when downloading and 28 Mbps for uploading.
NordVPN is located in Panama since their foundation in 2008, where the law does not require them to share logging information. The best feature of NordVPN is arguably its double encryption service that establishes a rock-solid connection through two VPN servers.
NordVPN has very appealing pricing options with a charge of just $2.75 per month for the 3-year plan and $11.95 for the 1-month plan. All of their packages include a 30-day trial money back guarantee.
TunnelBear is a VPN service available in both paid form and free limited access for its users. It follows a “No logging” policy and works on multiple devices and operating systems from Mac and iOS to Windows and Android. It uses industry-standard OpenVPN encryption and provides 256-bit AES protection.
In terms of speed, TunnelBear is not the fastest VPN service on the market. While running speed tests on a 100 Mbps server, it managed a download speed of only 33.38 Mbps on a US server and 52.26 Mbps on an EU server. Alternatively, it scored uploading speeds of just 15.04 Mbps on the North American Server and just 27.20 Mbps on the European server.
TunnelBear is a great VPN service if you are only looking to engage in safe actions like Netflix streaming. TunnelBear offers attractive pricing packages that range from the free test of 500 Mbps per month to the $9.99 monthly charge in a month-by-month plan. The most advantageous and popular package seems to be the 12-month plan that charges you $4.99 per month.
CyberGhost is an affordable VPN service that uses AES 256-bit encryption to offer reliable features like Hiding IP, Kill Switch and a "No logging" policy. It runs on both Windows and Mac and allows connections on 5 simultaneous devices.
While it is based in a country that provides some of the greatest Internet speeds in EU, CyberGhost does not excel when it comes to speed. A test on a 100 Mbps server revealed that this VPN service can only reach maximum download speeds of 50 Mbps (EU server) and 19 Mbps (US server). Also, for uploading speeds, it only scored 22 Mbps on the European server and just 8 Mbps on the US server.
CyberGhost is located in Romania and spans its network in no less than 61 countries across the world. CyberGhost is extremely easy to install and use. It also features access to Netflix and torrent websites.
Like many other VPN services, CyberGhost comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Its monthly package is available for $11.99, and the 2-year plan will cost you just $3.79 per month.
Hide.me is one of the newest VPN services to ascend to worldwide fame. This service was established in Malaysia in 2012 and its owners claim to have more than 5 million users already. Hide.me uses 35 servers in 28 countries and a “No logging” policy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Netflix streaming.
Hide.me is one of the slowest VPN services on the market. While testing it on a 100 Mbps server it managed a download speed of only 17.17 Mbps on a US server and 27.60 Mbps on an EU server. The upload speed did not impress us either with just 10.10 Mbps on the US server and 19.92 Mbps on the EU server.
With Hide.me you can opt for a free plan with 1 available connection and a bandwidth limited to just 2GB. Alternatively, you can opt for the Premium package that charges you $9.99 per month but offers 5 connections simultaneously and unlimited bandwidth.
7. HotSpot Shield
HotSpot Shield is one of the most popular VPN services on the market with more than 500 million users worldwide. It provides fast speeds, access to Netflix and torrenting, but it also has a misleading logging policy that might allow for some personal data storage upon your use.
When tested on a 100 Mbps server, HotSpot Shield scored an impressive download speed of 92.28 Mbps (EU server) and 28.66 Mbps (US server). In terms of uploading, it managed a speed of 45.09 Mbps on the European server and 13.74 Mbps on the North American server.
HotSpot Shield is a US-based VPN provider and ha servers in 24 countries across the world. HotSpot Shield is a great VPN service that works perfectly on both Windows and Mac.
Hotspot Shield is one of the few VPN services that offer a 45-day money-back guarantee. Its pricing packages also include a monthly charge of $12.99 and a 12-month plan available at $5.99 per month.
8. IPVanish VPN
IPVanish is a VPN service with a widely spread network across the world. It currently numbers over 1000 servers in more than just 60 countries, a feat that enabled them to the self-appointed title of “The World’s Best VPN Service“.
IPVanish is located in the United States, which makes it vulnerable to the strict data collection laws here. IPVanish uses a strong encryption protocol like AES-256 to keep your personal data under solid protection.
IPVanish charges $10.00 for a month-by-month plan and $6.49 per month as part of a 12-month plan. All their packages come with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN is one of the oldest VPN services on the market, with their parent company Golden Frog claiming that they have been in the business since 1994. This VPN service runs on over 700 servers in more than 70 countries across the world. It offers strong encryption but may save some of your logging data.
VyprVPN scored a download speed of 74.48 Mbps (EU server) and 51.09 Mbps (US server) during tests on a 100 Mbps server. Alternatively, the upload speeds ranged from 35.88 Mbps on the European server to 3.17 Mbps on the North American server.
The company that owns VyprVPN is located in Switzerland. The best feature of VyprVPN is its worldwide access to Netflix streaming services. VyprVPN comes with just 3 days of free trial and money-back guarantee. However, you can choose from various pricing packages that include a $9.95 for a monthly subscription ($60.00/year if you select the yearly plan) with 3 simultaneous connections and unlimited data usage.
VPN services are great for when you want to log in to various websites without revealing your personal data or location. They are also reliable solutions for Netflix streaming and torrent downloading. However, some of these free VPNs may not be as safe as they advertise to be, so every action you take is at your own risk.
To get the best out of a VPN service you need to test a few brands and settle on the one that suits you best. Almost all paid VPNs have 30-day money-back guarantees that you can take advantage of to test their speeds and try free unlimited downloading. In time, you will find the ideal VPN service that will give you access to otherwise unreachable resources from your location.