Services
Price
Best VPN For
Privacy Streaming
Security Maximalists
Routers Privacy
Unblocking Websites
Streaming
Torrenting Fanatics
Power Users
General Users
Speedy Torrenting
Brand Loyalists
Supported Apps Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, FireTV Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Kodi Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Firestick Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS Android, Windows, Mac, iOS Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Android, Windows, Mac, iOS Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS
Safe Jurisdiction
No Logs Policy
Simultaneous Connections 100 5 3 7 5 10 5 5 5 5
Server Number 1040 2000 3000 5800 1003 3375 416 100 700 55
Unblock US Netflix
P2P or BitTorrent
Third-party Audit
Works in China
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Surfshark

Starting at $1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan, I highly recommend Surfshark, if you are in search of an affordable all-rounder. The newcomer offers great security and reliability, along with amazing performance.

Read Review

PureVPN

Starting at a budget-friendly $2.95.mo. on a 1-year plan, it offers NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs for personal use.

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ExpressVPN

Starting at a high $8.32/mo. on a yearly plan, ExpressVPN may be expensive, but it is a remarkable universal service. It is a perfect choice for all your VPN needs, hence why it ranks #3 in our listings.

Read Review

CyberGhost

A strict zero-logs policy, AES 256 encryption, access to over 3400 servers, dedicated apps for platforms, all make it a safe enough place to trust your internet connectivity with.

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Ivacy VPN

Ivacy VPN is fast, secure and it even works in China. It's extremely affordable and offers multiple apps. Netflix and Torrenting are both supported. But has it gone from good to great yet, let see in this Ivacy VPN Review!

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PIA

Private Internet Access is a US-based VPN provider offering privacy and security solutions through strong encryption levels and multiple servers located across the world.

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Mullvad

Mullvad VPN will cost you $5.55/month and this is the only subscription plan it offers. This is a very unique feature in a long list of similar peculiarities.

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IBVPN

The most important aspect of any fastest VPN service is how robust its server infrastructure is. ibVPN has seen a remarkable improvement in this regard by growing from just over 100 servers two years ago to a whopping 180+ servers in 57 countries as of today.

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VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a costly service undoubtedly with its best plan costing $6.67/month, much higher than providers with much better features, so it has to be very good in what it does in order to justify this price tag.

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Avast SecureLine VPN

No WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks. P2p/file sharing is allowed on 10 p2p-specific servers. Rare provider that offers users the ability to receive assistance and support via phone calls.

Read Review

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 and leverage security from cybercriminals, government agencies, etc.

There are typically two types available: Remote-Access VPN and Site-to-Site VPN. The former uses dedicated IPs, allowing connectivity to a company’s LAN, whereas the latter uses shared IPs to connect to multiple LANs in different locations.

The technology is also available on smartphones, meaning there are mobile VPNs available too. Although the protocols they use are different, their premise of delivering security and privacy is the same.

These tools are basically responsible for the 87% increase of encrypted traffic in 2019’s first quarter-year alone, according to the Internet Trends Report from the venture capitalist, Bond Capital!

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.

Who Needs a VPN?

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, Amazon Prime, etc.

They 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.

What’s the Best VPN Service?

The best VPN service right now is Surfshark. It’s a newcomer that offers great speed, privacy, and unblocking. PureVPN scores the very close second place, boasting an admirable combination of inexpensive pricing and strong security. The third best VPN for 2019 is ExpressVPN, as it is incredibly reliable and useful for p2p and torrenting.

For more information on these VPN services, continue reading below.

1. Surfshark

A Budget-Friendly Versatile Provider

Trust Pilot4.4 Rating
2 Year Plan$1.99/mo
1 Year Plan$6.99/mo
Monthly Plan$11.95/mo
TorrentingYes
NetflixYes
Servers1040+ in 61 countries
Multi loginsUnlimited
Data EncryptionAES-256-GCM
Websitehttps://surfshark.com/

Launched in 2018 and based in BVI, reviewing the newcomer “Surfshark” took me 20 hours. It is the best budget-friendly VPN in my opinion, competing with top players like Nord and Express!

TL;DR

  • Verified no logs: Surfshark is among the few verified no logs providers that has even undergone a rigorous third-party audit to validate their claims and privacy measures.
  • Audited: In November 2018, Surfshark passed a third-party audit from the reputable cybersecurity firm Cure53, with nothing found, but two “low severity” vulnerabilities.
  • Highly Secure: Surfshark uses the industry-standard AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-515 HMAC authentication for maximum security.
  • Stable Servers: Since October 2019, Surfshark has expanded its database to over 1040+ servers in more than 60 countries worldwide that deliver fast and stable speeds.
  • Apps for browsers: Surfshark is among the few providers that offer apps for all popular platforms/devices including browser extensions like Chrome and Firefox.
  • Apps for all devices: User-friendly apps are available for routers, Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Android, Firestick, iOS, smart TVs and more.
  • Reverse Split tunneling: Surfshark has recently added a new reverse split tunneling feature, which allows users to select what apps use the VPN connection and not.
  • Works with Netflix: Currently, Surfshark can unlock 16 different Netflix libraries, including the infamous Netflix US that hosts over 6,000+ titles.
  • Torrenting: Surfshark offers 1000+ servers in 60 locations worldwide, all of which are P2P-friendly and work with clients like uTorrent and BitTorrent.
  • Safe jurisdiction: Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, which is an independent nation that does not follow the mandatory data retention laws of the British Monarch.
  • Responsive support: Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat support, along with other mediums including separate pages for FAQs, applications assistance, and more.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed Surfshark review!

2. PureVPN

A Feature-Packed VPN Service for Online Browsing

Trust Pilot4.7 Rating
2 Year Plan$3.29/mo
1 Year Plan$2.95/mo
Monthly Plan$10.95/mo
TorrentingYes
NetflixInconsistent
Servers2000+ in 140+ Countries
Multilogins5 Devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-CBC
Websitehttps://www.purevpn.com/

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.

TL;DR

  • Safe jurisdiction: Similar to the above, PureVPN is also located in a safe jurisdiction away from 5/9/14 eyes alliances in Hong Kong.
  • Huge server network: The Hong Kong-based provider has a large server network of over 2,000+ servers in 140 countries and 190+ locations around the world.
  • Apps for all devices: PureVPN offers native apps for all operating systems and devices, including Firestick, Android TVs, and even Kodi.
  • Specialty servers: The provider offers a list of specialty servers and modes for varied needs; streaming, p2p/file sharing, unblocking, dedicated IP etc.
  • Ad/tracking blocker: PureVPN apps come equipped with an ad-blocking feature that stops trackers, malware, and advertising domains at the VPN server level.
  • Dedicated IPs: The provider is among the very few names that offers dedicated/static IPs in over 8 countries for as low as $1.99 to $2.99 with DDoS protection.
  • Verified no logs: PureVPN also has a no logs policy, verified by the security firm, Altius IT. The audit proved that the provider does not store logs anymore.
  • Works with Netflix: The Hong Kong-based VPN is a lone ranger in the marketplace of VPNs that unblocks Netflix and other VoDs directly via its browser extensions!
  • Great value: It offers the most budget-friendly plans to users around the world. If you go for their yearly plan, you will only have to pay $2.95/mo.
  • Responsive support: PureVPN offers responsive 24/7 live chat support, along with other mediums for assistance including FAQs and troubleshooting guides.
  • Myriad of Features: Including NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed PureVPN review!

3. ExpressVPN

A Universal Service for Streaming, Torrenting, and Privacy

Trust Pilot4.8 Rating
1 Year Plan$8.32/mo.
6 Months Plan$9.99/mo.
Monthly Plan$12.95/mo.
TorrentingYes
NetflixYes
Servers3000+ in 160+ Locations
Multilogins3 Devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-CBC
Websitehttps://www.expressvpn.com/

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.

TL;DR

  • Verified no logs: ExpressVPN has a verified no logs policy that even the Turkish authorities could not bypass, despite them seizing a server from the provider.
  • Audited: Similar to Nord and Surfshark, ExpressVPN has undergone a thorough audit. The process was completed by two firms; PWC and Cure53!
  • Strong Encryption: ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit cipherswith a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication to deliver maximum security.
  • Secure servers: In April 2019, ExpressVPN shifted all servers running on hard drives to the RAM-disk mode, making it impossible to physically store any logs!
  • Apps for browsers: ExpressVPN offers open-source browser extensions for Safari, Firefox and Chrome that incorporate the HTTPS Everywhere from EFF.
  • VPN Router App: In addition to offering native apps for all operating systems and devices, ExpressVPN offers a reliable app for DD-WRT and tomato routers.
  • Split tunneling: ExpressVPN enables Split tunneling feature, which allows users to decide on what apps need VPN encryption and not.
  • Works with Netflix: ExpressVPN is among the best Netflix VPNs that successfully bypasses the ban and delivers high-performance streaming.
  • Torrenting: Although the provider does not offer a SOCKS5 proxy, it is still a great choice for torrenting, delivering fast speeds for while downloading files.
  • Safe jurisdiction: ExpressVPN is located in the infamous British Virgin Islands, which is incredibly secure and away from the Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes Alliances.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed ExpressVPN review!

4. CyberGhost VPN

A Powerful VPN for All Your Unblocking Needs

Trust Pilot4.7 Rating
3 Year Plan$2.75/mo
2 Year Plan$3.69/mo
Monthly Plan$11.95/mo
TorrentingYes
NetflixYes
Servers3800+ in 60+ countries
Multilogins7 Devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-CBC
Websitehttps://www.cyberghostvpn.com

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.

TL;DR

  • Verified no logs: CyberGhost has never been caught giving logs to any government agency and was also among the first to get their audits done back in 2012!
  • Audited: In March 2012, CyberGhost successfully passed an audit and verification conducted by QSCert for their Information Safety Management System (ISMS).
  • Highly Secure: Native protocols supported by the service include PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN, while encryption is provided via AES-256 cipher, RSA-4096 key encryption and SHA384 hash authentication.
  • Stable Servers: As of 2019, CyberGhost offers the largest network of servers, extending to over 5,800 in 90 countries around the world!
  • Specialty Servers: CyberGhost offers specialty servers for a myriad of needs. It even lists them based on the channels/VoDs you may want to unblock.
  • Works with Netflix: The provider can unlock 8 different Netflix libraries, including the infamous Netflix US that hosts over 6,000+ titles.
  • Torrenting: I also received good torrenting support with their specialty servers. Users can access them by entering “p2p” in the search bar present in CyberGhost apps.
  • Good Value: 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!
  • Performance: 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.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed CyberGhost review!

5. Ivacy

A Service Ranked as “The Fastest VPN”

Trust Pilot4.8 Rating
2 Year Plan$1.99/mo
1 Year Plan$3.33/mo
Monthly Plan$9.95/mo
TorrentingYes
NetflixYes
Servers1,000+ in 100+ Locations
Multi logins5 Devices
Data EncryptionAES-256-CBC
Websitehttps://www.ivacy.com

Established in 2007 and located in Singapore, reviewing Ivacy took me a good 36-hours, which is a reliable service for unblocking VoDs, bypassing VPN bans, and leveraging anonymity.

TL;DR

  • Safe jurisdiction: Ivacy gains an edge over other providers in the marketplace because its headquarters is located in the highly safe Singapore jurisdiction.
  • Huge server network: The Singaporean-based provider has the fastest server network in the marketplace of VPNs, extending to over 1,000+ servers in 100+ locations.
  • Apps for all devices: Ivacy offers native apps for all operating systems and devices. They are incredibly user-friendly and easy-to-use and configure.
  • Ad/tracking blocker: Ivacy apps come equipped with the ad-block feature that blocks trackers, malware, and advertising domains at the VPN server level.
  • No logs: Ivacy also has a no logs policy. Despite being in the market since 2007, they have not been highlighted even once for providing data to any authority.
  • Works with Netflix: I have tested multiple servers of Ivacy for Netflix and other VoDs like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, etc. Most servers bypass the VPN ban!
  • Great value: 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).
  • Responsive support: Ivacy offers a responsive 24/7 live chat support, along with other mediums for assistance including FAQs and troubleshooting guides.
  • Very secure: The provider is among the most secure, tested to find zero leak and privacy-related issues. This includes their apps for Smart TVs too.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed Ivacy review!

6. Private Internet Access (PIA)

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.

TL;DR

  • Servers: Private Internet Access (PIA) offers a huge listing of 3375 VPN and Proxy servers in 52 locations, across 32 countries in the world.
  • Apps for all devices: PIA offers native apps for all operating systems and devices, including Android TVs and browser extensions like Chrome and Firefox.
  • Ad/tracking blocker: PIA apps come equipped with an ad-blocking feature that stops trackers, malware, and advertising domains at the VPN server level.
  • Verified no logs: For a US-based service, PIA has remarkably defended its no logs policy twice in the past four years. This verifies they record no info!
  • Works with Netflix: PIA does offer the ability to access the US and UK versions of Netflix, but the performance you receive on them is inconsistent.
  • Great value: The provider offers the affordable plans to prospects around the world. If you go for their yearly plan, you will only have to pay $3.33/mo.
  • Responsive support: PIA offers a responsive 24/7 live chat support, along with other mediums for assistance including FAQs and troubleshooting guides.
  • Myriad of Features: 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.
  • Good Performance: PIA does not suffer from any WebRTC/DNS/IP address leak issues and delivers average speeds of 75.99Mbps download and 62.77Mbps upload.

#7 Mullvad

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.

TL;DR

  • Verified no logs: Mullvad has a verified no logging policy. So far, there has been no news of the provider cooperating with any intelligence agency.
  • Audited: On September 2019, Mullvad successfully passed audits by two testers, Cure53 and Assured, who spent 18 days to complete the process.
  • Highly Secure: Mullvad supports OpenVPN and provides encryption via AES-256 cipher, 4096 bit RSA certificates (with SHA512) for server authentication.
  • Stable Servers: As of 2019, Mullvad offers 416 servers in 39 countries and 63 cities around the world. Improvements are definitely needed in this area.
  • Works with Netflix: Mullvad does work smoothly on Netflix and other VoD services. You can connect to their WireGuard servers for efficient unblocking.
  • Torrenting: I also received good torrenting support with Mullvad. They add SOCKS5 proxies to help boost speeds when downloading torrents.
  • Good Value: 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.
  • Performance: The provider is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages and delivers average speeds of 80.55Mbps download and 77.13Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed Mullvad review!

#8 ibVPN

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.

TL;DR

  • Servers: It offers users an assortment of 100+ servers in 47 countries, specified for varied purposes. You have servers for regular browsing, DoubleVPN, and Tor over VPN.
  • Ad/tracking blocker: ibVPN apps come equipped with an ad-blocking feature that stops trackers, malware, and advertising domains at the VPN server level.
  • Works with Netflix: ibVPN does offer the ability to access the US and UK versions of Netflix, but the performance you receive on them is inconsistent.
  • Great value: The provider offers affordable plans to prospects around the world. If you go for their yearly plan, you will only have to pay $3.33/mo.
  • Responsive support: ibVPN offers responsive 24/7 live chat support, along with other mediums for assistance including FAQs and troubleshooting guides.
  • Myriad of Features: Specialty features offered by ibVPN include ShadowSocks Proxy, StealthVPN for access in banned countries, and SmartDNS for instant unblocking.
  • Good Performance: ibVPN is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages and delivers average speeds of 69.68Mbps download, and 71.91Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed ibVPN review!

#9 VyprVPN

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.

TL;DR

  • Servers: 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.”
  • Torrenting/China: VyprVPN also permits P2P/Torrenting, and I encountered no leaks. Thanks to obfuscation, I was even able to bypass the VPN ban in China.
  • Protocols: 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.
  • Performance: VyprVPN is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages and delivers average speeds of 81.03Mbps download and 67.88Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.
  • Good value: A commitment of 12-months will lower the pricing from $12.95 to $6.67, backed by a 30-day refund guarantee.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed VyprVPN review!

#10 Avast SecureLine

Founded in 2014 and based in the Czech Republic, SecureLine is a product of the Avast (a security vendor that also owns HideMyAss and AVG Secure). It gives good value to PC and Android users only!

TL;DR

  • Servers: The VPN offers a limited 55 servers in 34 countries worldwide, but the good thing is you receive excellent performance on them.
  • Torrenting/China: Avast permits P2P/Torrenting, and I encountered no leaks. However, I did not receive good functionality for access in China.
  • Protocols: 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.
  • Netflix: Out of the sixteen servers offered in the US, three of them worked for unblocking Netflix. The rest gave the same “proxy detected” error.
  • Performance: Avast is free from WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages and delivers average speeds of 75.59Mbps download and 77.72Mbps upload on a 100Mbps connection.
  • Good value: SecureLine offers a single yearly plan to customers, costing $79.99 ($6.67/mo.), backed by a 7-day free trial.

To receive more insights into the provider, read this detailed Avast VPN review!

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 where VPNs are completely banned include Turkey, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Belarus, and North Korea!

Which is the Best Free VPN?

Is it even safe to use a free VPN? Well, 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 even a bit.

These “free VPN swindles” use shady practices for coming up with the costs of managing their service. These include app development/updates, bug releases, technical support, server expansion, etc.

Remember when a service offers something for free, you are the one being sold. And in the case of VPNs, this means all your private information and logs that a provider may be recording.

If you still want to go for a free service though, some less risky options from my analysis of 180+ providers include: Hide.Me and Speedify.

How to Choose a VPN Service

With 2019 being  dominated by encrypted traffic, it is evident that the VPN market has expanded significantly. A small competition has turned into an all-out battle.

As such, you can hundreds of VPN services making their way into the market. Of course, not all of them can be considered trustworthy or suited to your needs.

Different platforms may receive better functionality with varied providers. Based on your location, the service could also deliver inconsistent performance.

This  is why you can find so many guides about the Best Android VPN, Best iOS VPN, Best VPN for Mac, Best VPN for Windows, Best VPN for Firestick, and Kodi VPN.

The process is not easy and requires assessing a VPN on numerous factors, excluding pricing, servers availability, apps compatibility, payment methods, etc.

Our Testing Criteria!

I analyzed over 100 domains on the internet; only to uncover that ONLY FEW websites had a rating criterion for their recommendations with most assessing VPNs based on outdated factors (like the above).

While yes, these factors too are vital. There is a lot to analyze and test when it comes to premium VPN services, and this is exactly what I am focusing on: providing users with accurate knowledge.

VPN Jurisdiction

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.

Logging Policies

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!

Leak Testing

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).

Obfuscation

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.

Performance

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.

Transparency

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.

Server Testing

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!

App Permissions

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.

In comparison to their Android counterparts that have an entire manifest of permissions, which include plenty “dangerous” requests too, Apple has only a few permissions for toggling on/off.

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.

Wrapping Things Up

I tried my best providing online users as much info as possible regarding the best VPNs available and some underrated services in the marketplace currently.

With every factor taken into consideration, Surfshark wins the best VPN category. However, if you are looking for an alternative, do consider signing up with PureVPN.

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?