Do you worry about your privacy online? When you use the internet, there's always someone watching what you do. Websites gather information about your location and preferences to show you targeted ads. And if you browse in public on unsecured networks, hackers may be able to see everything you send.
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a way of privatizing your connection. All of your information is obscured to keep people from finding it. Hackers can't access the network and see what you send. You get total privacy.
We've compared some of the top VPN services so you can decide which is best.
Top 5: Vpn Service Reviews
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
NordVPN is one of the top VPN options on the market, with a robust suite of privacy features and flexibility that's hard to beat.
One of the most important aspects of a VPN is the country in which it's based. Different countries have different privacy laws. Some governments require network providers to keep information for certain periods of time, and they may also order that information to be turned over for legal purposes.
This particular service is based in Panama, which has some of the most protective privacy measures in the world. Your information is not stored in any place where it can be accessed, it cannot be sold to third parties, and it cannot be turned over to any government entity.
Another big selling point of the service is that it can access Netflix streaming in many different regions. Netflix has certain protections that try to prevent people from using VPNs to access content. But this service doesn't trip any of the red flags. You automatically have integrated technology that bypasses regional restrictions.
You'll even see FAQs and helpful guides for the servers you should be using to stream Netflix, BBC, Hulu, and Amazon Prime content. More than 150 streaming services can be accessed.
There are over 4,600 P2P servers spread across 46 countries that are specifically made for torrenting material. In addition, there's a built-in adblocker that can be enabled with a single click.
The service is even usable in China due to the encryption and obfuscation systems. The only caveat there is that you'll need to download it before you enter China, since it can be hard to get to the website and download it once within the borders.
PureVPN is one of the largest names in the business, with a relatively long history as far as VPN services go. It first began operating in 2007 and has since expanded to include more countries, servers, and features.
Today, there are more than 2,000 self-managed servers across more than 180 locations in over 140 countries. Apps are available for nearly every feature you'd want a VPN for. There's support for torrenting, protection against security leaks, and a wide choice of different protocols.
One of the ideal aspects of the service is that you can connect up to five devices. This makes it great for those who often work from a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other devices. It can also be good for those who want to share their VPN with trusted family members.
Multiple payment methods are supported. If you need to pay through electronic currency, the developers do take Bitcoin.
One major highlight of the service is that it has dedicated multi-platform support. There's integrated software for the following:
If you pay for an annual subscription instead of month-to-month, it'll cost about half as much as the monthly payment plan. This is one of the most highly affordable options.
This ProtonVPN is a very solid VPN offering based in Switzerland. It doesn't keep any data logs of your activities, and it has useful features for your privacy and security.
There are apps available for Mac OS and Windows platforms. When you use the Android and Windows clients, you'll have access to a split tunneling option that lets you route your traffic outside the initial VPN tunnel. There's also protection against DNS leaks and a kill switch.
All of the network connections are run through dedicated physical servers. These have less potential security vulnerabilities than cloud servers. Right now, there are more than 550 servers across more than 40 countries. While this isn't the largest VPN network on the market, it does offer regional diversity.
The apps can be installed across a variety of different platforms and contain a host of different features. You can choose your server location and test your connection speed. There are multiple secure configurations to pick from.
By connecting to servers in the region of your choice, you can watch Netflix and other streaming sites with region-locked content. You can specifically access US, UK, and German Netflix programs that aren't available in other regions. This isn't the widest range of Netflix unblocking available, but is very helpful.
Support is available through email. The support team tends to reply promptly to inquiries, and the company has a good overall track record.
VyprVPN is another Switzerland-based option with a heavy set of privacy features. The entire network is owned by the company rather than being managed by third parties. All information is heavily encrypted, and no data logs are ever kept of user activity.
Apps are available for Android, Mac OS, Windows, and a few other systems. They tend to be reliable and user-friendly.
Each subscription allows you to connect up to five devices simultaneously. Like other multi-connection plans, this is great for those who work from multiple devices or want to offer secure connections to their family members.
Though many VPNs are blocked through Netflix, this is one of the options that continues to allow robust Netflix streaming. With that said, you'll probably have to talk to the support team to find the right US server to connect to for Netflix. There isn't a very helpful in-app guide available, though some users have published third party guidelines.
The service is also compatible with a number of other streaming companies. It has fast enough connection speeds to load content.
The obfuscation feature in the service allows you to bypass blocking in countries like Iran, Turkey, Russia, and China. You can also bypass filtering in schools, universities, and corporate work networks.
The most intense aspect of Ivacy VPN is that it's a VPN service that's made to work with every device. Rather than only working on a handful of popular platforms, the software can integrate with your router, gaming systems, smart TVs, BlackBerry, and any other operating systems you use.
This makes it ideal for those who want to use a VPN when playing Xbox or PS4 games, or developers who need a VPN that can integrate with their Linux system.
The month-to-month pricing package can be a little steep, but paying on an annual basis makes the service extremely affordable.
There are also many different payment options available, including:
Considering how cheap the pricing options are, the servers have surprisingly fast connection speeds. You will generally have slower speeds when connecting to Asian servers than North American or European ones, though.
The service doesn't log any of your activity, and the no-logging policy is upheld much better than with a lot of the competition. The only data that the company has about you is which email is attached to your account.
The customer support team also tends to be very helpful. They're available through chat or email, and they tend to provide quick responses and help with troubleshooting if you have any issues.
For overall versatility and ease of use, we have to go with NordVPN. It's usable in countries all over the world, doesn't keep data logs, and automatically bypasses regional streaming locks. You can torrent through more than 4,600 servers set up in 46 countries, and all of your information is protected and securely encrypted.
For a more affordable option, PureVPN has many of the same features that you get with the top choice for a slightly lower cost. However, there are some potentially worrying security issues when you use the Windows app, so it's better if you're planning to use it through other platforms instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Using a VPN Illegal?
In some countries with stricter censorship laws, it is illegal. Always do your research if you're traveling to a new place.
Can You Be Tracked If You Use a VPN?
It's much harder to track you if you use a VPN, but not impossible. You might still be traced if you give up information to third parties or fail to configure your privacy settings correctly. Take a quick look at some guidelines for how to protect yourself if you want complete online anonymity.