From ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, VyprVPN, to BulletVPN, HideMyAss VPN, and Ivacy VPN, VPNs have taken over the market. When it comes to VPN services, we’re spoilt for choice. Connecting to a VPN server whenever you go online has become a necessity nowadays. But which VPN is best? Which ones are reliable enough to use in highly censored countries? I’ve got the answer to that. Here’s a full review of the best VPN services as of 2019.
Best VPN Review 2019
Best VPN Review – Content Index
I’ve done reviews about the best VPNs in certain countries, for specific streaming services, and a lot more. But what if I go ahead and review the top VPNs in the world? That would be challenging and beneficial at the same time, no? Behold, the best VPN services of 2019.
Everybody Wants a Piece of Your Private Data
From big corporations like Facebook and Google to even your ISP; everybody’s after your private data and browsing activities. Government censorship is also on the rise, even if first world countries. There are hundreds of different VPNs you can choose from; some are free, while others come at a premium.
Just like in normal life, you’ll find good apples and bad ones. In this comparison guide, I have reviewed the top VPN providers. I really hope this guide will help you out with choosing a VPN provider that best suits your needs. Whether you are looking to browse the web anonymously, protect your privacy or bypass geo-restrictions, there’s always a VPN for you.
What is a VPN?
If you are searching for the ‘best VPN,’ you probably already know what a VPN is and what it does. In case you need an introduction to what a virtual private network is, read this part. If you’re familiar with what a VPN is and does, skip this part.
- A VPN is an encrypted private tunnel. Once you connect to any of its servers, your data will go through that private tunnel. In such a case, nobody, not even your ISP, can eavesdrop on your online activity. This makes VPN a perfect tool to protect your online privacy.
- Additionally, VPN helps you get around geo-blocks imposed on streaming channels such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime, CW TV, Showtime, Sky Go, Now TV, BeIN Sports, among others. These channels are all geo-restricted outside the USA and UK. Select a server where they’re available, hit connect, and poof, they’re accessible everywhere.
- A VPN is also beneficial for Americans. Blackout restrictions on NFL GamePass, MLB.tv, NBA League Pass, NHL.tv, and MLS are common practice these days. A VPN allows you to avoid these blackouts and watch your favorite team live online.
- If specific torrent sites are locally blocked in your country, you get to access them with ease and also download torrent files without being tracked.
How to Choose the Right VPN Service?
Choosing the best VPN service means going through a number of checklist items that can be used to measure how well the service might perform. In this guide, we’re going to list 7, and hopefully, they will all give an insight into what you should consider:
Make sure that your chosen VPN service maintains connectivity speeds that either meet or exceed the speed cap that has been listed by your ISP. This way, we’ll be sure that your Internet connection is fully utilized whenever you have your VPN service running.
If you’re among users who tend to stream a lot of HD videos, you might want to subscribe to a Tier 1 network VPN. It should cost you a few more pennies, but it’s really good. Looking for a cheaper VPN service as a heavy user might frustrate you due to the slow buffering speeds.
A credible VPN service provider has enough trust in their product to offer users a money-back guarantee. It essentially means that you can get your money back in case you’re not satisfied with the service you’re getting. VPNs like ExpressVPN and BulletVPN have 30-day refund policies. IPVanish, on the other hand, offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.
You want to deal with a service that has more than enough servers scattered across various countries. This pretty important if you’re looking to access geo-restricted content. By that, I mean the likes of BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go, Netflix US and the like.
A minimum of 100 servers is a good number to start with as a threshold for your VPN provider. The more the servers a provider has, the easier it becomes for it to manage a large number of users reliant on its service.
Most users turn to VPN because it guarantees them complete online anonymity. This is made possible through various security protocols such as L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and OpenVPN. I suggest you stick to OpenVPN as it’s the safest amongst all the rest.
There are a good number of VPN services that don’t support peer to peer filesharing. This is because most of the content shared through torrenting is either illegal or pirated. If you’re the type of user that does heavy downloads through torrents, you should look for a VPN that supports P2P sharing. The best service operates without capping your bandwidth, and also allows you to torrent overall its servers.
You’ll find that most quality VPN providers have clients available for a range of device platforms. These include Linux, Mac OS, Windows, iOS, and Android. A few others may offer a Smart DNS feature that covers other platforms, including Apple TV, Chromecast, Smart TVs, and more. Make sure to give their supported list a quick gander to ensure all your devices are compatible before you pay for that subscription.
It is important to hear out what previous users have to say about their experience with a service. That will give you a slight idea about what to expect before you spend any of your money.
If a service has mentioned that it keeps its user logs, then you might want to get back to looking for another ideal service. Try to stay away from VPNs that are located in countries where data retention is present, especially in the US as it’s part of the Five Eyes.
There is also another group of providers that actually store usage data but do so anonymously. They do this to check on the areas of their service that they need to improve on.
5 Reasons Why Everybody Needs VPN
Reason 1: Avoid Surveillance and Censorship
Every country around the world has its rules. Well, that doesn’t exclude the internet. Have you ever been to China or the UAE? Do you know what Russia is like in terms of internet access? Don’t even waste your time. These regions don’t tolerate free internet usage. The chances are that you are not allowed to visit hundreds of websites. In the UAE, for example, you can’t use VoIP services. However, when you use a VPN, you can circumvent such censorship and access what was once inaccessible with ease.
Recommended: How to avoid Internet censorship using VPN.
Reason 2: Avoid Geo-blocks
This part goes especially for travelers leaving everything behind and settling in a new country. Whenever you leave your country, your IP address changes to one valid in the new region. For example, if you used to live in the US and traveled to the UK, your American IP address will become a UK one the moment you connect to the internet.
IP addresses are used to pinpoint your location; that’s how websites and streaming channels determine whether to allow you access to their content or not. This process is what we call geo-blocking. If you live outside the channel’s country, you’ll be blocked instantly. However, with a VPN, you can get around these blocks by changing your IP address (location) to that where the channel is available. As a result, you’ll be able to stream the channel wherever you might be.
Recommended: Cirvumvent Regional Restictions.
Reason 3: Anonymize Your Internet Approach
Whatever website you visit, you’re being tracked, period. The most significant search engines, social media websites, and even your government are always spying on your browsing activities. No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s downloading certain files, visiting sites, or even streaming online, you’re being watched.
When you connect to a VPN server, you’ll encrypt your data and hide your IP address. Thus, you’ll browse the internet anonymously without being tracked by anyone who’s lurking around.
Recommended: How to protect your private data online.
Reason 4: Bypass Blackout Restrictions
American sports fans have suffered for years from blackouts. Blackout restrictions mean that you can not stream your favorite MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS, or NBA matches. That’s because your local cable provider is broadcasting their games. To avoid these blackouts, use VPN to trick US sports streaming channels that you currently reside in a state where the game is not blacked out.
Recommended: How to Avoid Blackouts using VPN.
Reason 5: Use Public WiFi Hotspots Securely
Wi-Fi hotspots are a thing now. Why would you spend your mobile data checking the likes of Facebook and Instagram when you can use free Wi-Fi. You see, most of you just go out to restaurants and coffee shops and connect to their internet.
However, they’re not aware that they are vulnerable to attacks from hackers and cybercriminals. You’re literally putting your personal data at risk. Anyone can get a hold of your emails, password, credit card info, and even your home address.
Be careful and use a VPN every time you connect to such networks. You don’t know who’s waiting to harvest your data.
Recommended: Dangers of Public WiFi Hotspots
Best VPN – In-Depth Review
Before I go into the pros and cons of the top VPN service, here’s a table that summarizes the review below. Keep in mind that all of these VPNs are reliable and trustworthy. If you are looking for freemium VPN services like Hola, I’d advise you not go down that road. Free VPNs are never safe to use. With that said, here goes the best VPN review.
Last Updated Yesterday
- 30-Day Money-back Guarantee
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Apps For All Your Devices
- 24/7 Live Support
ExpressVPN – Top VPN and Editor’s Choice
ExpressVPN – Best VPN
ExpressVPN is basically the number one VPN in the world. This robust provider has more than 3000 servers up its sleeves. That includes 150+ locations in 94 countries.
You’ll find dedicated apps available for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, as well as FireStick. But that doesn’t stop there. Thanks to its MediaStreamer Smart DNS service, you get to expand the experience and unblock content on other platforms not natively compatible with VPNs. I’m talking about PlayStation, Xbox, Chromecast, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TVs, and more.
I’m sure that all these features are getting you confused. Don’t be. Even though the provider’s functionality is way above all, their application is pretty simple to use. It’s a one-click connection. Also if you run into trouble (which I highly doubt), you can always contact their 24/7 live chat support to help you out.
More merits? Alright then. Privacy is what ExpressVPN cherishes the most, even in its payment options. I mean you can use Bitcoin instead of your credit card. Not that it’s not safe to use that with ExpressVPN. What else? Count with me. Netflix unblocking, military-grade encryption, Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection, and one strict no-log policy. The provider doesn’t keep logs of your browsing activities. Your data is completely safe.
- Runs on almost any platform
- High-level encryption
- Speedy VPN servers in 94 countries
- Superb 24/7 live customer support
- Smart DNS feature (Free)
- A bit pricey
- Fewer simultaneous connections than some
NordVPN – Top 5 VPN
Using NordVPN gives you the chance to unblock hundreds of geo-restricted channels courtesy of the 5000+ server network. The provider is well-known to be the largest amongst all on our list covering more than 60 countries. As for security, this one grants you the highest level you could ever dream of. First, you get 2048-bit encryption alongside a Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection, and more.
Now, let’s talk about the unique features NordVPN offers. If you’re very concerned about your private data, you can always use their Double VPN technology. That way, your traffic will be rerouted through not one, but two servers simultaneously. I’m quite sure you understand what that means. I mean double encryption? However, there’s a downside to that as your internet speed also gets affected twice.
Oh, wait, there’s more. Let’s stay on the security side and mention its CyberSec technology. Whatever website you visit, rest assured that your device won’t be infected with malware or any malicious software while this feature is on.
In case you’re not looking for security, but just for the fun of streaming geo-restricted content, there’s always the SmartPlay feature. This one is NordVPN’s own Smart DNS service that will unblock dozens of channels around the world with minimal speed loss.
- Up to six connections
- Good performance
- Reasonable prices
- Great security features
- Large server network
- Unblocks US Netflix
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Speed problems
- Questionable free trial
BulletVPN – Best VPN
BulletVPN hasn’t been around for a long time, but it sure has given us more than we asked for. The service has blazing fast servers around the world, covering more than 30 countries.
Setting up their service is pretty straight forward, and their dedicated application is very simple to use. However, don’t let its simplicity fool you; BulletVPN is one of the most advanced providers out there when it comes to security. BulletVPN does not collect logs of any user activity. Therefore, rest assured whatever websites you visit, won’t get into the hands of your ISP or government.
- Very fast servers
- Free Smart DNS proxy
- Good selection of security protocols
- 30-day refund policy
- Zero traffic logs
- Unblocks American Netflix
- Superb live chat support
- Three concurrent connections
- The server network is quite small
SurfShark VPN Review
Although it’s new and small, there’s no doubt that Surfshark has a substantial set of features. You get 800+ servers in 50 countries. In addition, they offer easy-to-use apps for Windows PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. Users don’t get limited with connections as they have an open number of simultaneous devices that can connect. Not to mention that you have unlimited bandwidth. Moreover, all the top VPNs offer a no-logs policy, and this one is no different. Here are some of SurfShark’s features:
- 30-day cash back guarantee
- More than 800 servers in 50+ countries worldwide
- Blazing-fast speeds
- On the clock live chat support
- Military-grade encryption technique
- Zero-log policy
- Kill switch available
- Unblocks Netflix, YouTube Red, and BBC iPlayer
- Accepts Cryptocurrency payments
- Very expensive when it comes to a monthly subscription
CyberGhost VPN Review
With over 15 million users, you can tell how CyberGhost made my list. The service has more than 3000+ servers up its sleeves, and that covers over 30 countries around the world.
There’s a very cool feature that I like in CyberGhost. If you’re looking to unblock a certain channel, you don’t have to guess where it originated from. For example, think BBC iPlayer. If that’s your choice, you’ll find it in a dedicated list inside the application itself. Just click on it, and CyberGhost will automatically connect to a server in the service’s country; the UK. Did I mention that CyberGhost is also one of the most highly rated VPN apps on Android?
- High-speed VPN servers
- Protection against malicious websites.
- Automatic Kill Switch
- Unlimited Bandwidth and Traffic
- Simultaneous VPN Connections on up to 5 devices
- 256-bit AES Encryption
- Strict No Logs Policy
- DNS and IP Leak Protection
- 30-Day money-back refund guarantee
- No BitCoin payment method
- No servers in South America
IPVanish – Top VPN
IPVanish is mainly known for its excellent speeds. Their no-logs kept policy means that you get to browse the web anonymously. If you’re into Kodi, IPVanish is simply the best VPN to use. However, if you want to watch American Netflix outside the USA, you’re better off using ExpressVPN instead.
IPVanish has more than 1000 servers across 60 countries. Although it doesn’t unblock Netflix, you’ll notice that their app is full of features to tap into. IPVanish grants you more than 40000 IP addresses around the world. Also, IPVanish offers unlimited P2P traffic, ten simultaneous connections, 24/7 customer support, kill switch, and DNS Leak protection.
Let’s talk about the negative for a second. First, IPVanish is based in the United States. This can be worrying as it’s part of the 5-eye association. A while ago, IPVanish was accused of keeping logs. Well, not anymore. As for the other problem, this one goes to non-tech-savvy individuals. The apps are powerful, but that means there’s a lot to learn. They should make a lite version for those who are not that into technology.
- Very good for Kodi
- Operates its own servers
- Ten concurrent connections per account
- 1200+ servers
- No log policy
- DNS Leak Protection
- Kill Switch
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix
- Only a 7-day money-back guarantee
Top VPNs – Notable Mentions
The VPNs below won’t impress you as much as the ones reviewed above. However, these VPNs in no way ‘poor,’ but they do fall behind the likes of ExpressVPN in some aspects.
Most of them do not have a refund policy, let alone a 30-day money-back refund guarantee. Support for USA Netflix is hard to find as well. The more VPN locations a VPN service offers, the faster their servers will be. It is due to the fact these servers will not be overloaded. I’m not suggesting that these VPN providers will not get the job done, but you do feel that ExpressVPN has a truly superior product. That goes specifically to the quality of servers, support, and privacy.
VyprVPN happens to own all their servers, just like IPVanish. This means that they and only they can manage their security and speed throughout the server network. The service offers the four main VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec/L2TP, PPTP and IPSec/IKEv2, and still maintain top speeds throughout its connection. It also has user-friendly apps that can run on Windows, iOS, Mac, and Linux, so you won’t need to worry about compatibility.
VyprVPN allows users to install their service on their router, and this is made easier with the VPN router app. VyprVPN is also an incredible provider to use in countries where high internet restriction is present. Even if the country bans the use of VPNs, their Chameleon protocol will keep you completely unrecognizable by any inspection, especially DPI. To get a sample of all this, you could sign up for their 30-day money-back guarantee and see how well it works to unblock geo-restricted sites.
- Excellent speeds
- Strict zero-logging policy
- Apps for major operating systems
- 700+ servers in 70 countries
- More than 200000 IP addresses
- Chameleon Technology
- Simultaneous connections depend on the subscription.
Ten years ago, we were introduced to ExpressVPN. But before this provider saw the light, we had PureVPN. Ever since its debut back in 2007, PureVPN managed to grant users a lengthy list of features that anyone could wish for.
First, they offer a 2000+ server network across 180 locations. That’s an excellent server expansion in case you’re looking to unblock geo-restricted content. Moreover, you get a wide choice of protocols, OpenVPN is the best so far, so stick to that.
Other “security and privacy” features include P2P torrenting, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, Kill Switch, and the ability to pay with cryptocurrency. Before we talk about their no-log policy, you should know that back in 2017, PureVPN helped the FBI arrest an Alleged Cyberstalker. How did they do that if PureVPN doesn’t store user traffic? Well, according to the company:
“Our servers automatically record the time at which you connect to any of our servers. From here on forward, we do not keep any records of anything that could associate any specific activity to a specific user.”
Also, PureVPN allows split tunneling where you get to decide which traffic goes through the VPN servers and which ones use your ISP’s. Moreover, PureVPN provides five multi logins with one single account. That comes in handy as their applications are compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
- Unblocks Netflix
- Compelling applications
- 2,000+ servers
- 24/7 live chat support
- Five simultaneous connections
- Split tunneling
- Ozone feature (blocks malware)
- Dubious logging policy
- Connection problems with many servers
HideMyAss HMA VPN
Boasting of a network of 900 servers and counting, HideMyAss continues to sustain its demanding clientele of subscribers without compromising on the quality of their service.
What they would need to improve on, however, is their response rate when dealing with customer issues. They take quite a long while to reply to queries, though when they do, it’s with a solution that will completely eradicate the problem.
- Easy to use
- Perfect speeds
- Allows bit torrent
- Hundreds of servers
- P2P + Streaming optimized servers
- 24/7 live chat support
- More expensive than most of the other service providers
- Worrying log policy.
Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA is a solid provider despite not being the fast, that cheap, or that powerful compared to other giants in the industry. However, it made my list for a reason, and I’m going to shed some light on the matter. First, Private Internet Access has servers across 32 countries, which isn’t that bad. It supports P2P and has dedicated apps for Linux, iOS, PC, Mac, Android, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Mozilla, and Opera.
Their application is easy to use even though the Android version doesn’t allow you to mark servers as favorites. The service is also very popular for its file-sharing capabilities since it includes a variety of features and tools that keep you safe whenever you’re torrenting or streaming. This includes an Internet kill switch that shuts down your connection whenever your VPN protection gets interfered with. This way, your privacy is protected regardless of whatever happens.
- Zero Logs
- 3000+ servers
- AES 256 bit encryption
- 24/7 live chat feature
- Easy to use VPN client
- Slow download speeds
- No free trial
Best VPN Compatible Devices
Here’s a list of devices that support the use of a VPN:
- Windows PC
- Mac OS
- Nvidia Shield
- Android TV Box
- Raspberry Pi
- Xbox One*
- Smart TV*
- Apple TV*
* To enable VPN on these devices, you have to set up a VPN connection on your router. See this guide.
You could alternatively turn your PC into a virtual router and share your VPN connection with unsupported devices. If you don’t have a PC but operate a Mac, you can also share a VPN connection easily.
VPN Alternatives – Smart DNS Proxies
Although a VPN is the perfect way to access geo-restricted material, it’s not the only method. Some of you guys don’t really care about the added security a VPN grants. You only want to stream your favorite TV shows from all over the world. That’s why Smart DNS Proxies exist. You should know that Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt your data, it’s only for bypassing regional restrictions.
The good thing here is that you don’t lose your connection speed in the process. Not only that, but it also doesn’t alter your IP address in the process, making it possible to access your local channels at the same time. However, I repeat, you won’t add an extra layer of protection while operating with Smart DNS, you’ll be entirely out in the open.
Best Smart DNS Service
Let’s talk about Smart DNS Proxies a bit more below:
- With Smart DNS proxy, you’ll get more device coverage than you do with a VPN. Yeah, add PlayStation, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, Chromecast, Xbox, Smart TVs, and more to the mix. You can set up DNS on any device.
- Once the DNS settings are changed, you don’t have to go through the process again. It stays the way it is. However, what you get to unblock, relies on your service provider, i.e., you get what the service supports.
- Note that Smart DNS might not be functional if your ISP hijacks your DNS or uses transparent proxies.
Choosing the best Smart DNS service doesn’t differ much from VPNs. You need a credible provider so that you can live the ultimate unblocking experience. Luckily, ever since 2013, Unlocator has been doing a great job with fulfilling users’ wishes. They unblock more than 231 channels around the world and offer a 7-day free trial if you want to take their service for a test drive.
The Best VPN Review Guide – Verdict
ExpressVPN’s 30-day refund period is unrivaled. It means that you can give their VPN service a try with zero risks. You don’t like it? Get your money back. VPN locations in nearly 90 countries, as well as excellent customer support, put ExpressVPN at the top of the best VPN providers in this review. Hopefully, this review guide gave you a better idea of which VPN is suited most for your PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Apple TV, FireStick, Roku, PS4, or Xbox. For further info, please leave a comment below.
Best VPN Review
Description: Although ExpressVPN is a bit pricier than other VPNs, their overall package is unrivaled. If you're looking for a top-class VPN, this is the one.
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