A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that cloaks your identity online by replacing your IP address and adding encryption. You can use it to gain more privacy online, stream on Netflix, or download torrents.
Are you looking to buy a VPN service? Need suggestions on the best ones available in the marketplace? Read this guide for recommendations on the top 5 in the industry currently:
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||Hong Kong||British Virgin Islands||Singapore||Romania|
|Security||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit|
|Leaks||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC|
|Servers||1,040+ in 61+ Countries||2,000+ in 180+ Locations||3,000+ in 94 Countries||1,000+ in 56 Countries||5,500+ in 90 Countries|
|Speed||89.99 Mbps average||91.51 Mbps average||85.29 Mbps average||95.50 Mbps average||82.22 Mbps average|
|Streaming||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and More|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers|
|Trustpilot||4.5/5 – Reviews 669||5/5 – Reviews 8,660||4.5/5 – Reviews 3,843||5/5 – Reviews 590||4.5/5 – Reviews 7,781|
|Best For||Best All-Rounder VPN||Best Affordable VPN||Fastest VPN Service||Best for China/Torrenting||Best for Unblocking|
|More Info||Surfshark Review||PureVPN Review||ExpressVPN Review||Ivacy Review||CyberGhost Review|
|Get Surfshark||Get PureVPN||Get ExpressVPN||Get Ivacy||Get CyberGhost|
What’s the Best VPN Service?
1. Surfshark: The Best All-Rounder VPN
Best plan: 2 year- $1.99/mo | Number of servers: 1000+ in 60+ locations | Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands | Multilogins: unlimited
Launched in 2018 and based in BVI, the newcomer “Surfshark” is an all-rounder and incredibly affordable VPN, competing with top players like Nord and Express. It has a verified no logs policy audited by Cure53.
Since October 2019, Surfshark has also expanded its database to over 1040+ servers in more than 60 countries worldwide that deliver an average of 89.99 Mbps in downloads and 86.25 Mbps in upload.
As a unique selling point, the provider also offers unlimited simultaneous connections, along with user-friendly apps for routers, Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Android, Firestick, iOS, smart TVs and more.
The VPN also offers 24/7 live chat support, along with other mediums including separate pages for FAQs, applications assistance, and more. Features include dedicated IPs, split tunneling, and HackLock and BlindSearch.
- Headquartered in BVI
- Unlimited multi-logins
- Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
- No free trial available
As an all-rounder and affordable service, Surfshark is a recommended choice for newbies and tech-y VPN users alike, unblocking all popular VoDs, working in China, and free from all sorts of leakages.
To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed Surfshark review!
2. PureVPN: The Best Affordable VPN
Best plan: 2 year- $2.91/mo | Number of servers: 2000+ in 140+ locations | Jurisdiction: Hong Kong | Multilogins: 5 devices
It has a large server network of over 2,000+ servers in 140 countries and 190+ locations that deliver exceptional performance with average speeds of 91.51Mbps in download 88.59Mbps in the upload.
Users even a list of specialty servers and modes for varied needs; streaming, p2p/file sharing, unblocking, dedicated IP, etc. The best part of all: the VPN follows a no-logs policy, verified by the security firm, Altius IT.
PureVPN even works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+. As a unique selling point, it is the only provider in the marketplace that unblocks all these VoDs directly via its browser extensions.
For support, you have a 24/7 responsive live chat, and features include NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs.
- Dedicated IPs available
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- Torrenting/P2P is allowed
- 2000+ servers in 140 countries
- Basic security features
If you are a budget-hunter in search for a multifaceted VPN service, there is no better option than PureVPN. It handles all your VPN-related needs, minus the paying of high subscription costs.
To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed PureVPN review!
3. ExpressVPN: The Fastest VPN Service
Best plan: 1 year- $6.67/mo | Number of servers: 3000+ in 160+ locations | Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands | Multilogins: 3 devices
ExpressVPN has a large server network of over 3,000+ servers in 140 countries and 160+ locations that deliver average speeds of 85.29Mbps in download and 76.92Mbps in the upload.
In addition to offering native apps for all operating systems and devices, ExpressVPN offers a reliable app for DD-WRT and Tomato routers. It even makes available a split tunneling feature.
On April 2019, ExpressVPN also shifted all servers running on hard drives to the RAM-disk mode, making it impossible to physically store any logs and improving server speeds!
- Verified “no-logs” policy
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- 30-day refund policy
- Prices are a bit too steep
If you want a blazing fast VPN for all your streaming, torrenting, gaming and everyday browsing activities, ExpressVPN is the best option in the marketplace. The costs may be high, but its worth it!
To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed ExpressVPN review!
4. Ivacy: Best for Torrenters/Chinese Users
Best plan: 2 year- $2.25/mo | Number of servers: 1000+ in 100+ locations | Jurisdiction: Singapore | Multilogins: 5 Devices
It even has one the fastest server network in the marketplace of VPNs, extending to over 1,000+ servers in 100+ locations with average speeds of 95.50 Mbps in download 95.10 Mbps in the upload.
For compatibility, you have native apps for all operating systems and devices. Chinese users even offer a native app called “IvacyPrime”, which instantly unblocks Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google.
Ivacy even offers multiple servers for Netflix and other VoDs like BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. Most successfully bypassing the VPN ban, as the VPN uses obfuscation and does not suffer from leakage issues.
Currently, Ivacy is offering an amazing special to those going for their 2-year plan. You only pay a measly $1.99/mo. (billed as $48 once). For support, you have 24/7 live chat, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides too.
- Singapore is a safe jurisdiction
- Strict zero-logging policy
- Automatic kill switch
- Split tunneling available
- Support needs improvement
I highly recommend Ivacy to p2p/torrenters and Chinese residents. The VPN offers excellent anonymity and security for protecting your online activities at all times, minus the high costs.
To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed Ivacy review!
5. CyberGhost: Powerful VPN for Unblocking
Best plan: 3 year- $2.75/mo | Number of servers: 5,700+ in 90+ countries| Jurisdiction: Based in Romania| Multilogins: 7 Devices
Established in 2011 and based in Romania, CyberGhost is a reliable VPN in terms of unblocking VoDs and allowing users to bypass geo-restrictions smoothly on all websites, regardless of your location.
The provider has never been caught giving logs to any government agency and was also among the first to get their audits done back in 2012, conducted by QSCert for their Information Safety Management System (ISMS).
As of 2020, CyberGhost offers the largest network of servers, extending to over 5,800 in 90 countries around the world that deliver amazing speeds with 82.22 mbps in download 80.19 mbps in upload.
CyberGhost offers specialty servers for a myriad of needs. It even lists them based on the channels/VoDs you may want to unblock. For instance, if you want to unblock Netflix, simply search for it in the navigation bar.
The provider is free from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, utilizes a mixture of physical and virtual locations, and uses AES-256 ciphers with an RSA-4096 key and SHA384 for hash authentication.
- Multi-logins on 7 devices
- Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
- 5700+ servers in 89 countries
- Up to 7 simultaneous connections
- Basic security features
If you want a VPN for private browsing that unblocks all websites smoothly, CyberGhost is definitely a great choice. A commitment of 3-years will reduce the costs from $12.99 to $2.75/mo.
To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed CyberGhost review!
How Does a VPN Work?
After connecting to a VPN server, the software you are using will change your IP address and encrypt all traffic, before your internet service provider or Wi-Fi you connected to, sees it.
All the internet traffic that was to pass directly from the ISP to the website you visited, now goes through an added layer of encryption through a different tunnel.
As such, the destination website now sees data from the server you selected via the VPN client. Not your real location and IP address obtained from your ISP, which is invisible to all parties, hence keeping you hidden.
VPN Services: What Can I Use Them For?
VPNs are reliable tools that prevent anyone from intercepting your web traffic during man-in-the-middle attacks. This proves handy for travelers relying on public Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops, airports, hotels, etc.
Binge-watchers can also receive maximum anonymity to access streaming platforms, while gaining the ability to unblock different versions of VoDs via the best VPNs for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime.
Streaming platforms have a different library based on region. For instance, if you are based in New Zealand, you can use a VPN for unblocking more movies/TV shows, as shown on howtowatch.co.nz!
VPNs also cloak your IP address and hide your original IP. This makes it impossible for anyone to detect you, protecting netizens streaming pirated content, working in the government sector, or dealing with sensitive information.
By using a VPN for torrenting, users can also safely download torrent files. If you get a VPN China, you can also bypass the “Great Firewall” and VPN bans in other countries like Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, and Algeria.
Are VPNs 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 cannot be considered safe).
In the UAE, anyone caught using a fraudulent IP address could face imprisonment or fines up to $400,000. Other countries where VPNs are banned include Turkey, Iraq, Belarus, and North Korea!
Which VPN is Best for Security and Privacy?
In terms of security and privacy, Surfshark definitely tends to be the winner. Despite being a low-cost service, it boasts a no-logging policy verified and audited by Cure53.
It uses AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-515 HMAC authentication for maximum security. You even have a MultiHop feature for extra security.
In addition to this, you have the unique WhiteLister™ and CleanWeb features. The former allows you to block or allow specific channels to pass through encryption, while the latter blocks irritating ads/trackers.
What’s the Best VPN for Unblocking VoDs?
If you want to unblock streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus, there is no better option available than PureVPN. The provider offers 2,000+ high-speed servers in 140 countries.
In addition to offering an “popular websites” mode that instantly unblocks all VoDs, PureVPN is the only provider in the marketplace that unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms directly via its browser extensions.
What is the Best VPN Service for iPhone?
For iPhones and other iOS devices, the best VPN app you can get is ExpressVPN. In addition to scoring a 4.6 starts out of 5 in the Apple Store, the app is incredibly slick and user-friendly.
Unlike other providers, ExpressVPN also regularly releases updates for new versions of the iOS. It also easily unblocks VoDs and allows for anonymous torrenting, minus the hassles.
What is the Most Reliable VPN Service for Mac?
The best VPN for Mac is undoubtedly the infamous Ivacy. The Singaporean based provider has the most seamless design for MacOS with a “unblock websites” options that includes social media platforms and VoDs.
Not only does Ivacy release regular app updates for Mac users, but its client works smoothly across all different MacOS versions. These include the Yosemite, Catalina, El Capitan, High Sierra, and Mojave.
What’s the Perfect VPN App for Android?
It has a file size of only 27 MB and even makes available a “popular websites” option, which allows for instant unblocking of streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, and Voot, minus the hassle.
What VPN Service Should I Use for Firestick?
For Firestick, the top VPN service is ExpressVPN. PureVPN has a 3.1-star rating and is ranked #21 in security by Amazon itself. Not only that but PureVPN’s Firestick app is lightweight and has a file size of just 21.9 MB, compared to other Firestick VPNs.
Even though PureVPN offers fewer servers than both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, I still highly recommend using PureVPN because of its price which costs $1.32/mo .
What’s a Good VPN Service for Netflix?
In terms of streaming overall, PureVPN is your best friend. However, if we talk about Netflix unblocking specifically, there is no better option than Surfshark. It unblocks a total of 16 different Netflix libraries.
This includes the UK, JP, DE, and Korean versions of Netflix that host some of the largest libraries. Just connect to a server in the location you want to unblock Netflix’s library and enjoy streaming like never before!
Do VPNs Support P2P and Torrenting?
Yes, VPNs do support p2p/file sharing. In fact, premium VPNs like Ivacy even make features like Split Tunneling, SOCKS5 Proxy, Port Forwarding, and Port Changing available for the very purpose of downloading torrents.
You even have a Kill Switch available on all Ivacy’s apps to protect your identity in case the VPN disconnects. Best part of all: the VPN suffers with no WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages issues at all, cloaking your identity completely.
Do VPNs work on Kodi?
Indeed, VPNs do work on Kodi. The only problem is that not many VPN services offer native add-ons for the open-source, multiplatform media player. The only two providers that do offer an add-on are; PureVPN and Ivacy.
You can download PureVPN’s add-on through the direct-zip method by downloading this file. If you want Ivacy’s add-on, follow the same direct-zip method. You can get the repository from clicking on this link.
Wrapping Things Up
I tried my best providing online users as much info as possible regarding the best VPNs available that are budget-friendly, offer incredibly fast speeds, and tend to be perfect for all your streaming, torrenting, gaming, and unblocking needs.
My rigorous testing on these services reveals that Surfshark is currently the best all-rounder in the marketplace, followed by names like PureVPN, ExpressVPN, Ivacy, and CyberGhost. Do let me know which VPN you found most useful!