Virtual Private Networks are getting increasingly popular and so are their use cases. There has been a growing demand of VPN for almost every operating system. Users making use of VPN tunnels on their Android, iOS, Windows and Mac devices in order to ensure online security, stream US/UK Netflix, download torrents freely and much more.
We have put together a list of top services which are up-to industry standards for the most popular use cases.
Our Recommended 5 Best VPNs for 2019
|#1||Surfshark||A Pocket-Friendly, Multifaceted Newcomer Service for $1.99/mo.|
|#2||NordVPN||A Versatile yet Robust Service for All Your VPN Needs for $2.99/mo.|
|#3||ExpressVPN||A Universal Service for Streaming Netflix, Torrenting and Privacy for $6.67/mo.|
|#4||PureVPN||A Feature-Packed VPN Service for Online Browsing for $2.95/mo.|
|#5||CyberGhost||A Powerful VPN for All Your Unblocking Needs for $2.75/mo.|
The mentioned secure networks charge you only a few bucks monthly, but put your unblocking, privacy, and torrent needs at first, rather than shady services loaded with sponsors and advertisements.
After putting in 480 hours, and researching over 180 VPN services in the light of our,comprehensive 13-step review process every service is explained in detail below.
#1 Surfshark VPN – A Budget-Friendly Versatile Provider
- 30-day refund policy
- Headquartered in BVI
- P2P/torrenting allowed
- Unblocks US/UK Netflix
- Unlimited multi-logins
- Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
- 800+ servers in 50 countries
- No free trial offered
Launched in 2018 and based in BVI, reviewing the newcomer “Surfshark” took me 20 hours, which is the best inexpensive VPN in my opinion, offering good support for unblocking, torrenting, and anonymity.
It provides users with an expansive network of 800+ servers in 50+ countries worldwide, among which the 8 out of 12 servers I tested worked smoothly in unblocking Netflix UK and US.
In terms of p2p/torrenting, I was able to download files anonymously and even stream directly through the new uTorrent web app, after changing the protocol from IKEv2 to OpenVPN first.
There is no support available for other protocols like L2TP/IPSec or PPTP, but you do receive strong military-grade encryption via two different ciphers: AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM.
Advanced features offered by the provider, include CleanWeb (ad/tracker blocker), MultiHop, WhiteListerTM and unlimited simultaneous logins (one of the USPs of the low cost VPN).
For device compatibility, users have access to apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and a client for Amazon Fire TV too!
All apps share a similar appearance and design, offering a smooth and intuitive experience overall, but the Android version does get a little unstable at times, crashing unexpectedly.
The provider is safe from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, utilizes only two VIRTUAL servers, and offers average speeds of 76.22Mbps and upload speed of 66.18Mbps on my 100Mbps connection.
or receive more insights into the provider by reading this Surfshark review
#2 NordVPN – A Service Ranked as “The People’s Choice”
- 30-day money back
- Strict "no-logs" policy
- Dedicated IPs available
- Unblocks US/UK Netflix
- Multi-logins on 6 devices
- Torrenting/P2P is allowed
- 5500+ servers in 60 countries
- No port-forwarding available
Established in 2012 and located in Panama, reviewing NordVPN took me a good 36-hours, which is a reliable service for unblocking VoDs, bypassing VPN bans, and leveraging anonymity.
Ranked as the most trusted VPN in the marketplace, thanks to its secure location, verified no logs policy, and third-party audit, the provider offers 5,480+ servers in 60 countries worldwide.
Almost all servers I tested NordVPN for unblocking Netflix, excluding suggestions from the support team. P2P/torrenting was also quick and secure as hell, thanks to the kill switch feature by Nord.
NordVPN has discontinued its support for PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. Its Windows and Android apps utilize OpenVPN (TCP or UDP), and iOS and Mac apps utilize IKEv2/IPSec (which can be changed).
For encryption, the provider uses AES-256-CBC ciphers with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication, and features include DoubleVPN, CyberSec, Obfuscated servers, and Onion over VPN.
In terms of apps compatibility, you can get NordVPN on Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. There is no app for routers (albeit you do have preconfigured options).
All apps are intuitive and boast a simple user interface for maximum convenience during usage. You can use a single subscription on at least five devices simultaneously.
The provider is safe from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, utilizes ONLY physical servers, and offers average speeds of 80.00Mbps and upload speed 56.68Mbps on my 100Mbps connection.
A subscription of 3-years will drop the monthly costs from $11.95 to $2.99/mo., backed by a 30-day refund. Downsides? Sluggish DoubleVPN performance (which honestly is to be expected).
or check this NordVPN review out for a more detailed analysis
#3 ExpressVPN – A Universal Service for Streaming, Torrenting and Privacy
- 30-day refund policy
- 3-months free from us
- Verified "no-logs" policy
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- Torrenting/P2P is allowed
- Unblocks American Netflix
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- No free trial available
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in the British Virgin Islands (a safe jurisdiction), I invested 48 hours into reviewing ExpressVPN, which is an all-rounder service for streaming, torrenting, and privacy.
Ranked as the best logless VPN with a verified no logging policy that even the Turkish Authorities could not bypass, the provider offers 3,000+ servers in 160 locations over 94 countries.
I could also access Netflix US, UK, and Japan via 13 “working” Netflix Servers in amazing speeds. With kill switch in place, I could torrent anonymously, safe from DMCA notices.
ExpressVPN users get access to multiple protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) and receive encryption via two different ciphers: AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM.
The provider offers Network Lock also known as Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, and Obfuscation, which comes in handy for leveraging anonymity in countries like China, Iran, Iraq, UAE, Turkey, etc.
In terms of apps compatibility, you can get ExpressVPN on Windows, iOS (in all 17-languages), Mac, Android, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and even on your router for home-wide VPN access.
All apps are incredibly user-friendly, boasting neat and clean layouts for ease-of-use. The best part of all: a single subscription works simultaneously on 5 devices.
The provider is safe from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, utilizes both physical/virtual locations, and offers average speeds of 82.45Mbps and upload of 64.13Mbps on my 100Mbps connection.
A commitment of 15-months will bring down the costs from $12.95 to $6.67/mo., backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. Downsides? None that I can think of.
or receive more insights into the provider by reading this ExpressVPN review
#4 PureVPN – A Feature-Packed VPN Service for Online Browsing
- 3-day paid trial
- 30-day refund policy
- Easy-to-use VPN apps
- Dedicated IPs available
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- Torrenting/P2P is allowed
- 2000+ servers in 140 countries
- Inconsistent Netflix performance
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Hong Kong, I invested 30 hours into reviewing PureVPN, which is a feature-rich provider that offers excellent compatibility for bypassing geo-restrictions.
It provides its clientele access to an expansive network of 2,000 servers in 180 locations over 140+ countries worldwide, which sometimes work/may not work for unblocking Netflix.
Mostly, the service offers good support for torrent users, delivering stable speeds for downloading while keeping your identity safe – thanks to the addition of a SOCKS5 proxy.
PureVPN users get access to multiple security protocols (PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN & the revolutionary Stealth protocol and receive encryption via AES-256 and 2,048-bit RSA keys.
Advanced features available include NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs.
For device compatibility, PureVPN offers the most versatility, making apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Mozilla, Android TVs, Firestick, and even an add-on for Kodi.
Desktop apps offer the best performance, extensions work smoothly too, but the TV apps do still need some working to resolve “bugs”, which cause the client to crash sometimes.
The provider is safe from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, utilizes a mixture of physical and virtual locations, and offers average speeds of 72.35Mbps and upload speed of 64.71Mbps.
A subscription of 1-year will drop the monthly costs from $10.95 to $2.95/mo., backed by a 31-day money back guarantee. Downsides? Inconsistent Netflix performance and sluggish TV apps.
or check this PureVPN review out for a more detailed analysis
#5 CyberGhost VPN – A Powerful VPN for All Your Unblocking Needs
- 1-day free trial
- 45 days refund policy
- Unblocks US/UK Netflix
- P2P/File sharing allowed
- Multi-logins on 7 devices
- Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
- 3700+ servers in 60 countries
- Slow responses from support
Established in 2011 and based in Romania, reviewing CyberGhost took me 28 hours, which is a reliable VPN in terms of unblocking VoDs and allowing users to bypass geo-restrictions smoothly.
It gives users access to a listing of over 4,815 servers in 61 countries worldwide, among which 9 out of 12 tested worked in unblocking Netflix UK and US and their content libraries.
I also received good p2p/torrenting support with specialty servers available for the very purpose. Users can access them by entering “p2p” in the search bar present in CyberGhost apps.
Native protocols supported by the service include PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) and encryption is provided via AES-256 cipher, RSA-4096 key encryption and SHA384 hash authentication.
In terms of apps compatibility, CyberGhost is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Amazon Firestick, Android TVs, and even on routers.
Each app utilizes the same beautiful yellow design that blends with the different screen sizes of varied platforms. A single subscription works on seven devices simultaneously.
The provider is free from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, utilizes a mixture of physical and virtual locations, and offers average speeds of 70.22Mbps and upload speed of 59.29Mbps.
A commitment of 3-years will bring down the costs from $12.99 to $2.75/mo., backed by a huge 45-day refund. Downsides? 1-day free trial is to short!
or receive more insights into the provider by reading this CyberGhost VPN review
A Few More Providers that Do the Job – The Underrated and Upward Trending
Where the above listing focuses on the best choices available in the market, here are some underrated and upward trending VPN providers, which also get the job done (based on my research):
#6 PIA – A Good Service with Exceptional Torrenting Capabilities
Launched in 2010 and headquartered in the US, I invested 36 hours into reviewing PIA, which is a great option for p2p torrenters, who want to download pirated files.
For a US-based service, Private Internet Access has remarkably defended its no logs policy twice in the past four years. It offers a vast listing of 3341+ servers in 32 countries, for location switching.
I faced trouble unblocking VoDs like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime, but PIA’s addition of a SOCKS5 proxy helped me download torrent files in fast speeds.
PIA users get access to multiple protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN and receive encryption via AES-256 ciphers, SHA256 for authorization, and RSA-4096 for handshake.
Specialty features offered by PIA include ad/tracker/malware blocker, Wi-Fi protection, port forwarding, auto connect, and a kill switch tool on all platforms/devices.
In terms of apps compatibility, you can get PIA on Windows (32-bit/64-bit), MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and even on Opera.
All apps are free from bugs and irritating errors, but the design could create troubles for those who need hands-on support, particularly for the Linux variant.
PIA does not suffer from any WebRTC/DNS/IP address leak issues, utilizes both physical/virtual locations, and delivers average speeds of 75.99Mbps download and 62.77Mbps upload.
A subscription of 1-year will drop the costs from $9.95 to $5.99/mo., backed by a 7-day refund policy. Downsides? Fails to unblock VoDs like Netflix or BBC iPlayer. Poor Linux app.
Read more Private Internet Access review for a more detailed analysis
#7 Mullvad – A Multitalented Service Perfect for strong Online Privacy
Established in 2009 and based in Sweden, it took me 24 hours to review Mullvad, which in my opinion is an excellent choice for increasing online anonymity, keeping you safe from prying eyes.
It offers 311 OpenVPN servers, 60 WireGuard Servers (as a first in the VPN industry), and 11 bridge servers, each of which provides excellent performance and unblocking capabilities.
Mullvad successfully manages to unblock US/UK Netflix and BBC iPlayer UK, while keeping your identity hidden for p2p/file sharing using OpenVPN (UDP) and WireGuard servers available.
Protocols supported by the provider include OpenVPN, WireGuard, SSL, and SSH Tunneling a.k.a. Stunnel, which works for accessing geo-restricted websites in VPN banned countries.
Encryption is available via AES-256-GCM coupled with HMAC SHA-1 for hash authentication, RSA-4096 for handshake encryption, and perfect forward secrecy through the DHE-4096 Diffie Hellman.
Mullvad also offers a vast list of features like ShadowSocks, Socket Secure (SOCKS5) Proxy, DNS Leak Protection, Teredo Leak Protection, Port Selection, and Automatic Kill Switch.
You even have downloadable apps for Windows, MacOS, Debian, and Fedora, which have a good design and work quite smoothly, but native clients for Chrome, Mozilla, Android, and iOS are missing.
The provider is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages, utilizes only physical servers, and delivers average speeds of 80.55Mbps download and 77.13Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.
Mullvad only offers a single monthly plan, starting at €5, backed by a 30-day refund guarantee. Downsides? Missing apps for Android, iOS, Chrome, and Mozilla.
Get more insights into the provider by reading this Mullvad review
#8 ibVPN – A VPN that Bypasses the Strong VPN Ban in China
Founded in 2010 and located in Romania, I invested a good 20 hours in reviewing ibVPN, which is an affordable no-logs service that works for unblocking VoDs and engage in p2p/file sharing.
It offers users an assortment of 100+ servers in 47 countries, specified for varied purposes. You have servers for regular browsing, P2P, DoubleVPN, and Tor over VPN.
The p2p ones work for both: torrenting and unblocking the UK version of Netflix only, but the DoubleVPN and Tor over VPN allow users to access websites in countries like China.
Protocols supported by ibVPN include PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IPSec, SoftEther, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), while encryption is available via AES-256 cipher and HMAC SHA384 hash authentication.
The provider also offers quite a lot of advanced features, such as ShadowSocks Proxy for P2P/file sharing, StealthVPN for access in banned countries, and SmartDNS for instant unblocking.
In terms of apps compatibility, you can get ibVPN on Windows (32-bit/64-bit), MacOS, Android, iPhone/iPad, while apps for Linux, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera are missing.
Nevertheless, the ones available are quite user-friendly and easy-to-use. They barely give any errors and openly display all countries/servers for instant VPN connectivity.
ibVPN is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages, utilizes only physical servers, and delivers average speeds of 69.68Mbps download, and 71.91Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.
A commitment of 1-year on the “Ultimate VPN” plan will drop the costs to $4.83/mo. from $10.95. Downsides? No apps for Linux, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. Slow speeds.
or check this ibVPN review out for a more detailed analysis
#9 VyprVPN – A Solid Choice for High-Speed Streaming
Launched in 2009 and headquartered in Switzerland, it took me 14 hours to analyze VyprVPN, which is a remarkable option for novice VPN users, who want fast speeds for streaming on VoDs.
It offers an expansive list of 700+ servers spread across 70+ countries worldwide. Using the Chameleon Protocol, I was able to unblock US Netflix and stream “ALI G INDAHOUSE.”
VyprVPN also permits P2P/Torrenting, and I encountered no leaks, which could result in getting a copyright infringement fine. Thanks to obfuscation, I was even able to bypass the VPN ban in China.
The VPN offers the following current protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and Chameleon. I recommend users to go for the last two, as they provide more protection and security.
For encryption, VyprVPN uses the AES-256-CBC ciphers coupled with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication and TLS-ECDHE-RSA-2048 for handshake. Perfect Forward Secrecy via the Diffie-Hellman-2048.
All apps boast a simple and easy-to-understand interface, be it on desktop or smartphones/tablets. They were free from viruses, and I experienced zero connectivity issues.
VyprVPN is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages, utilizes both physical and virtual servers, and delivers average speeds of 81.03Mbps download and 67.88Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.
A commitment of 12-months will lower the pricing from $12.95 to $6.67, backed by a 30-day refund guarantee. Downsides? Missing browser apps. No anonymous payment options are available.
Receive more insights into the provider by reading this VyprVPN review
#10 Avast SecureLine – A Great Product for Desktop and Android Users
The VPN offers a limited 55 servers in 34 countries worldwide, but the good thing is you receive excellent performance on them for unblocking and indulging in P2P/torrenting for downloading files.
Out of the sixteen servers offered in the US, three of them worked for unblocking Netflix. Torrenting was also secure, and I did not receive any copyright infringement notices.
In comparison to other providers, Avast SecureLine keeps things simple by only supporting two VPN protocols: IPSec and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), with military-grade AES-256-bit encryption.
Device compatibility needs improvement, as the provider is only available on limited platforms, such as Windows, MacOS, and Android. These, however, are quite intuitive and easy-to-use.
The VPN is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages, utilizes only physical servers, and delivers average speeds of 75.59Mbps download and 77.72Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.
Check this Avast SecureLine review out for a more detailed analysis
VPNs That You Should Avoid at all Costs – It’s Better Not to take a Risk
You are now familiar with the best and mediocre in the VPN industry, but it is essential to beware of shady names too. Below is a list of providers to avoid. Do not take the risk of signing up with them!
Hola VPN – An FVEY Ally Utilizing User Resources as Exit Nodes
Launched in 2017 and headquartered in the FVEY ally “Israel,” Hola VPN is a product of many controversies, labeled as a botnet and being linked to DDoS attacks.
It offers 220+ servers for connectivity, which offer “okay” speeds, but the security I received was incredibly weak, urging me to disconnect the VPN and close my browser instantly.
You can forget about unblocking Netflix US/UK, BBC iPlayer UK, or Amazon Prime using Hola VPN, or even indulging in P2P/Torrenting, as the VPN failed three of our WebRTC/DNS/IP leak tests.
The only protocol it supports is Peer to Peer Proxy Tunneling, an outdated protocol that offers close to no security whatsoever. The industry standard is to provide AES-256-bit encryption.
You do have apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. The provider even claims to work on Apple TV, but only provides instructions for setting up a DNS.
I tested Hola VPNs performance by conducting a speed test on multiple servers. I only received an average speed of 10Mbps download and 4Mbps upload on a 50Mbps connection.
The VPN is free, but there are paid plans available too. A 2-year plan will cost $3.99/mo., totaling to $95.75, but I would not recommend signing up with the provider.
Check this Hola VPN review out for a more detailed analysis
Unlocator – A Service Loaded with Disconnection Issues
Established in 2012 and based in Sweden (Fourteen Eyes country), Unlocator is a Smart DNS and VPN service, which fails in delivering anonymity online, due to disconnection issues.
They lack an impressing list of servers with numbers extending to 42 only, most of which offer poor performance, showing a packet loss of 100% in my ping tests.
With such poor performance, you can expect that Unlocator does not work on Netflix US/UK, BBC iPlayer, and other VoDs. P2p/torrenting is also risky due to leak issues.
The provider supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 on Windows/Android/MacOS and IPSec/IKEv1 on iOS, and encryption is available via AES-256-bit ciphers, but the security is still weak.
You do have apps available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, but browser extensions are missing for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. All apps are quite basic in their design.
The VPN does leak your DNS, which in itself is a huge problem. As a positive, it uses only physical servers, but the speeds were abysmal; only 12Mbps download and 6Mbps upload on a 50Mbps connection.
The Smart DNS + VPN yearly package starts at $6.58/mo, meaning you pay $78.95 for 12-months access! However, I would not recommend using the provider at all.
Receive more insights into the provider by reading this Unlocator review
Yoga VPN – A Shady Provider with Traces back to China
With over 5 million users, Yoga VPN is a free service, considered as the “best” by many fake reviewers on Google Play Store. In reality, my 20-hour analysis of the provider reveals a dark side.
Yoga VPN says that it offers 500 “Proxy Servers” in 30 different regions, but to access them you need to score 5000 points/day, as it uses an ad-based model which in itself is shady as hell.
A more in-depth analysis into their servers revealed, the provider uses fake locations purchased from https://www.linode.com, based in the US, which is a Five Eyes Alliance (cannot be trusted).
You can not unblock Netflix or engage in p2p torrenting because all servers show an alarming 70-80+ DNS addresses, which gives a clear signal a proxy/VPN is in use and could lead to a ban.
YogaVPN only supports OpenVPN and does offer AES-256-bit encryption, but it is pretty much useless because every website I visited, indicated that I was using a VPN tool.
I would not recommend using the provider at all until they provide precise jurisdiction information, fix DNS leak issues, create a proper website, and remove the tricky points system.
Check this Yoga VPN review out for a more detailed analysis
Betternet – An FVEY Service that Lacks a lot of Features
Launched in 2015 and headquartered in Canada (FVEY Alliance), it took me 30-hours to review Betternet, which manages over 38 million users but falls massively short in delivering an excellent service.
You only have a limited selection of servers in 10 countries around the world, which deliver poor speeds, fail to unblock Netflix US, or even protect you while downloading torrents.
The provider supports only two protocols with the following encryption: OpenVPN with AES-256 bit and L2TP/IPSec with AES-CBC-128 bit (which delivers abysmal security).
Betternet’s only positive is that it offers apps for all popular platforms, such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, and extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
The apps are also quite user-friendly, boasting a neat and clean design, with a mixture of white and blue colors, adopted across all platforms and devices.
Sadly, It does not matter which app you use, as the VPN service does leak your IP and DNS information, which can prove detrimental to your online privacy.
A subscription of 1-year will set you back $2.99/mo., backed up by a 30-day money back guarantee. However, I would not recommend signing up.
Receive more insights into the provider by reading this Unlocator review
Turbo VPN – A Dubious Chinese VPN that Shares Data
Turbo VPN is a Chinese-based VPN service that I took 20-hours to review. It is a mobile-only provider that may have a reputation on Google Play Store but actually delivers a poor service overall.
The free version only gives access to 8 servers, and the paid counterpart has only 26 servers. There are “Netflix servers” available too. Sadly, they provide inconsistent performance.
You can use the VPN for downloading torrents, but I would advise against it cause their servers do leak your IP and DNS information, which hinders your online anonymity.
Turbo VPN only supports two protocols; OpenVPN and IPSec, which uses military-grade AES-256-bit information. Evens so, the security from the apps is weak.
You only have apps available for iOS and Android, and although they utilize a good design, I still found them to be very basic. Disconnection issues were common too.
A yearly subscription with Turbo VPN will cost you $2.99/mo., but I strictly advise against signing up with the provider, as you have better options available.
Check this Turbo VPN review out for a more detailed analysis
How We Picked the Best VPNs – Testing Criteria!
I analyzed over 100 domains on the internet; only to uncover that ONLY FEW websites had a rating criterion for their recommendations! Unlike other VPN websites, BestVPN.co takes on an approach based on hard facts and research with proper testing.
While yes, the factors above assessed by these domains are vital. There is a lot to analyze when it comes to VPN services, and this is exactly what I am focusing on: providing users with accurate knowledge.
Everywhere you go, be it a review website, community, forums – you will notice a pseudo-ID or someone claiming to be a security professional, sharing their experience about a provider.
Nine times out 10, none of these experts bother discussing the offsets, drawbacks, or disadvantages of a particular VPN service. Therefore, to put an end to this problem, my review process involved signing up with 180+ providers, and assessing every one of them based on:
Countries part of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliance indulge in the sharing of intelligence, gathered by imposing mandatory data retention (for telecom, internet, and VPN providers) and mass surveillance laws.
VPNs present in these unsafe internet jurisdictions can’t be trusted one bit. At any time, they can be issued a subpoena with a gag order to cooperate with the government.
So VPN location can prove detrimental to those, who want to keep their identity hidden online. This is why I created an entire guide on “Internet Enemies”, highlighting providers present in such unsafe locations.
Make sure the VPN you sign up with is not based in countries that don’t respect the common man’s right to privacy. If they are, only go for ones with a verified no logging policy.
All VPN providers do indulge in some recording/storing of information. There have only been a few rare instances, where providers were put to test, verifying their LOGLESS claims.
Until an incident occurs concerning a subpoena from the Government, you can’t really tell whether or not a particular VPN is safe. This does not mean you stop using them altogether though.
Some VPNs are transparent about the logging information they record, while others blatantly lie and get caught later. Regardless, you need to be wary in either cases.
Hence, I took out the time to analyze the logging policies of over a 100+ providers. Among them 35 keep dangerous logs, 48 don’t store vital data/info, and only 15 prove to be logless!
When assessing the reliability of a VPN, you need to conduct a proper leak test. The last thing you need is your WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaking, revealing your identity.
IP/DNS leak protection is very important for individuals who indulge in p2p/torrenting or downloading of copyright material. A simple leak can end up costing you thousands in DMCA fines.
While most VPNs that leak are usually “free” there are plenty of paid counterparts that suffer from leakages too, and it’s important to avoid using them. Otherwise, you’re risking your privacy.
I conducted an in-depth leak test on over 105 providers in the marketplace. I’ve created separate listings for VPNs that are dangerous (no leak protection) and secure (leak-free).
VPNs allow your internet connection to pass through a secure and encrypted tunnel. They also hide your location by giving you a new IP address based on the server you select.
Recently though, there has been a massive increase in websites, VoDs, and countries with tough internet laws like China, Iran, Egypt, Russia, UAE, etc. that indulge in blocking VPNs.
They use Deep Packet Inspect (DPI) for blocking targeted apps/protocols, which mandates that providers use Obfuscation. This feature cloaks VPN traffic as HTTPs traffic, making it impossible to block.
For your convenience, I’ve listed some of the best providers that offer Stealth VPN, obfuscation mode, or selected obfuscation servers in different countries.
Next parameter on which I tested VPNs was performance. ISPs may impose throttling of your original IP address. Without a VPN, you will notice that the speeds you receive are not equal to your subscription PLAN.
Therefore, upon connecting a VPN, the endpoint shifts, as you gain access to a separate IP address and DNS, which bypasses any bandwidth caps and removes ISP throttling.
However, not all VPNs can maintain good performance, while offering exceptional encryption to keep your identity hidden. So I conducted a thorough performance test.
In the Speed Test guide, you can find a detailed analysis of the fastest VPN providers in the marketplace currently.
Despite the usage of VPNs increasing worldwide, a lot of users claim that they don’t continue using these services because of the lack of transparency from providers.
Netizens sometimes have little to no idea about the headquarters, owners, investors, the board of directors, warrant canaries/transparency reports, and auditing processes (if any) of VPNs.
This lack of transparency from providers urged me to contact them privately on email and learn more about different VPN services by asking THEM invasive questions.
The process involved emailing around 180+ providers, from which I’ve received responses from 15.
Some VPN services may not be transparent about the kind of servers they offer. Providers may state that they offer physical servers in varied locations, while most of them are VIRTUAL.
What this means is that upon connection to a server in one country, you will receive an IP address from another country. For instance, a server in Dubai could be in the US.
You do get a Dubai IP address, but the traceroute indicates the connection routing from a server in the US. Only a few providers are honest about using virtual locations.
With so much uncertainty regarding physical and virtual servers, it’s only wise that users conduct a proper test for determining the TRUTH. I did the same, and the results were fascinating!
For smartphone users, selecting a VPN is an even tougher task because not many are aware of the complexities concerning these tools and the app “permissions” they require.
Permissions typically fall into two categories: normal and dangerous. The former doesn’t have any risks attached to them, while the latter could be risking your privacy and digital identity.
I conducted a comparative analysis on the 80+ providers, based on the permissions that they request. The goal is to give you a better idea about “Safe” choices.
VPN Comparison 2019 – Over 180 Providers Tested!
BestVPN.co might be a relatively new VPN review site. However, the team behind it has an experience of over a decade serving in this industry. My team and I were there before such privacy protection tools started gaining fame in the marketplace.
During this time, we have successfully directed a whopping 1 million+ users towards relevant VPNs for unblocking streaming sites, P2P/torrenting, receiving maximum privacy online, or bypassing firewalls and even VPN blocks.
To give users a better idea about different services, my team and I also performed an analysis of over 180 providers in the marketplace. The results we scaled from this ginormous analysis have been highlighted in the table presented below.
FAQs from VPN Users
When it comes to finding the best VPN, you may have some questions that need answers. To make the process easier for you, we have compiled a list of the most common questions below:
Is it a safe decision to use a VPN?
Yes, VPNs are completely safe to use and operate, whether it be unblocking websites/streaming services or engaging in P2P/Torrenting activities for downloading pirated stuff.
However, it’s imperative that you choose the right one, as to protect your identity online. You would not want to compromise on online safety.
Therefore, always go for a VPN based in a safe jurisdiction, free from WebRTC/DNS/IP address leakages, does not record logs, and offers a large listing of servers!
Which free VPN is the best in the marketplace?
I always tell my viewers to be wary of signing up with free VPN services, as they are the bane to your digital privacy. You know why? Because they can’t be trusted.
These “free VPN swindles” use shady practices for coming up with the costs of managing their service: app development/updates, bug releases, technical support, server expansion, etc.
If you still want to go for a free service though, some less risky options from our analysis of 180+ providers include: Hide.Me and Speedify.
Is having a VPN legal?
VPNs are completely legal, generally. However, different countries around the world may have exclusive laws, which may place restrictions on using VPN service.
For instance, those located in China, Russia, and Iran, Oman, can only use government-approved VPN services (that definitely can’t be considered safe).
In the UAE, anyone caught using a fraudulent IP address could face imprisonment or fines up to $400,000. Other countries were VPNs are completely banned include Turkey, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Belarus, and North Korea!
Which is the best VPN service in the market?
Declaring a winner in the VPN category is an incredibly hard task as different VPNs have varied strengths and weaknesses. Where some may offer better compatibility for streaming/unblocking, others may be better for P2P/Torrenting or leveraging maximum anonymity online.
When discussing VPNs, “BEST” is subjective. It’s rather more suitable to group the top services in each category and then offer them to users to choose on their own.
I tried my best providing online users as much information as possible regarding the best VPNs available, some underrated services, and those you should avoid at all costs.
However, if you ask me, which ones are my favorite, in the aspects of downloading torrents, unblocking Netflix US, and cloaking your identity online, sign up with NordVPN ($2.99/mo.) or Surfshark ($5.99/mo.)
It is essential that users work on improving their knowledge about digital privacy and VPN tools in the marketplace. After all, that is the only way to increase your online anonymity.
With this, I’ll end this guide. Do let me know what you found most useful and which of these top five recommended providers will you try and why? You can email us at webmaster (at) bestvpn (dot) co.