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Best VPN Service [2019]

With so many VPN providers out there, who is right for your needs? Today, we want to discuss the top ten best VPN service providers we have found for 2019. All of these are safe, reputable companies that can help keep your browsing history private.

With so many data breaches happening each day, there is no reason for you to keep using those insecure hotspots. Instead, you should be using one of these VPN services.

How We Picked These VPN Services

When considering each VPN services, we looked at several factors. Here they are:

  • Security Protocols: Are they using at least 256-bit encryption? If not, they are not worth our time!
  • Simultaneous Connections: How many connections can be made at one time? This is great for torrenting, streaming, gaming, and file sharing.
  • Jurisdiction: Some jurisdictions are not good for privacy. If you need extreme privacy, making sure that you are not using a provider that works in conjunction with the Five Eyes/Fourteen Eyes group is a must.
  • Reliability: Have they been in the news for any leaks? Something worse? If so, they are not on our list.
  • Cost: And finally, price matters! We looked for options that were not extreme, with all of our plans landing under $15 per month.

#1 ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 30,000+
  • Servers Available: 3,000+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 5
  • Country/Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

One of the longest-tenured on our list, ExpressVPN has been around since 2009. As such, they have managed to build one of the largest, most dependable VPN services to date. With more than 3,000 servers and growing, they give you plenty of connection options. In fact, they have more than 30,000 IPs to work with, so you will not get blacklisted and/or blocked.

Pricing is extremely affordable, with the most expensive option landing at $12.95 per month. For the cost-conscious, you can get it for as little as $6.67 per month (if you pay for 12 months) [right now, you can get three extra months when you choose this option]. To pay, you can use credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and a few other methods such as UnionPay, WebMoney, and GiroPay.

Getting started is extremely simple, especially with all the online guides helping you through the process. For instance, to use it with Windows, all you need to do is:

  1. Download and open the app.
  2. Select a server location.
  3. Wait for the “connected” confirmation.
  4. Browse away…

Of course, you are not limited to just Windows. In fact, you use can use ExpressVPN with Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux, Routers, and it even works inside of Chrome and Firefox (as extensions).

Other notable features of the ExpressVPN platform include:

  • AES-256 Security Encryption: Not the highest level of encryption, but the safest when comparing speed and security; most security experts agree that AES-256 is more than enough.
  • TrustedServer Technology: ExpressVPN does not write any data about you on their hard drives, ever!
  • No Connection / No Activity Logs: Most VPN companies have a no activity policy, but not a no connection policy too. This means they could not help anyone track you for any reason, even if they were required by subpoena.
  • VPN Split Tunneling: Maybe you do not want to route all your traffic through a VPN (i.e. Outlook, Spotify). If so, just let the ExpressVPN software know and it will use your standard connection, bypassing the VPN completely.
  • Zero-Knowledge DNS: ExpressVPN hosts everything, including their own DNSes helping to keep you safe while maintaining a higher speed threshold.
  • Network Lock Kill Switch: If for some reason your connection drops, your data will not decrypt. Basically, nothing transfers until you reconnect.

If you want to stay away from prying eyes, ExpressVPN has the servers to help.

What We Like

For us, having so many options make this a no-brainer. The ExpressVPN platform works with multiple operating systems including Android, iOS, and Windows. And if you are not the most “tech-savvy”, the included manuals make getting started a breeze.

Overall

For the price, ExpressVPN is a steal! With more than 30,000 servers to connect to, you will not have to worry about your speeds being throttled back. And finally, the no connection/no activity log is perfect for anyone looking to stay “off-the-grid”.

Key Features

  • Works With Almost Any Platform / Operating System
  • Ability To Choose Which Programs Use VPN Tunneling
  • No Connection / No Activity Log

#2 NordVPN

NordVPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 5,000+
  • Servers Available: 5,000+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 6
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Panama

NordVPN is another tenured VPN provider, having started in 2012. They seem to have a 1:1 ratio of servers to IP addresses, ensuring a fully-functioning, unblocked IP every time you connect. With 5,000 servers available across 61 different locations, there is a good chance you will find a fast, reliable, protected connection quickly.

NordVPN offers four different pricing plans:

  • 1-Month at $11.95
  • 1-Year at $83.88 ($6.99 per month)
  • 2-Years at $95.75 ($3.99 per month)
  • 3-Years at $107.55 ($2.99 per month) [Best Price]

As you can see, they are a little cheaper on a month-by-month basis when compared to ExpressVPN. Of course, the best option is to see if you like them for a month or two and then hit them up for the three-year plan. Payments can be made using credit cards, Amazon Pay, certain Crypto Currencies (using CoinPayments), Alipay, or UnionPay.

NordVPN works on Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome (extension), and Firefox (extension). Using the VPN software is straightforward, but the interface can be “clunky”. When you log in, you are presented with a LOT of options on the left-hand side, with a map full of pins on the right. For most users, this is overkill and should be displayed using an “advanced” feature/option. If you just want protection, there is a “quick connect” button on the bottom right; this is generally the best/fastest option.

Other notable features of the ExpressVPN platform include:

  • AES-256 Security Encryption: Good enough for the military, good enough for you. When you want to ensure your data is protected, there is no reason to use anything less.
  • Double VPN: Because one tunnel is not enough! Seriously, when you really need to hide your tracks, you can engage a second VPN connection to really bury what you are doing.
  • No Log Policy: Since they are based in Panama, they do not have to give out any information or store any information about what you are doing. All that is logged is your email address and connection time.

What We Like

We like saving money, and NordVPN gives us plenty of options while keeping the price low (if you go with a long-term plan). The Double VPN option really enhances the overall feel of protection and the non-compliance with EU and US laws makes this a win for most activities.

Overall

NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers on the market right now. Their pricing is extremely competitive, and they have more than enough servers to ensure you get a fast, reliable connection whenever you need. If you want safety and security, the Double VPN can make sure no one can see what you are doing.

Key Features

  • Does Not Comply With EU Or US Jurisdictions
  • Onion Over VPN Gives You Another Layer Of Security
  • Not Part Of Five Eyes Or Fourteen Eyes Monitoring / Data Sharing Groups

#3 IPVanish VPN

IPVanish VPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 40,000+
  • Servers Available: 1,300+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 10
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

IPVanish VPN is another provider that has been around since 2012. While they only have around 1,300 servers to work with, they have over 40,000 IP addresses to work with. As such, this can be a little draining on their servers, but you will still see great performance while connected.

Pricing is simple with three options to choose from:

  1. 1-Month at $10.00
  2. 3-Months at $26.99 ($8.99 per month)
  3. 1-Year at $58.49 ($4.87 per month) [Best Price]

On a month-by-month basis, they are one of the cheapest VPN options on the market. However, you have probably noticed that they are not the cheapest option for long-term plans. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but it should be noted. Payments can be made using credit cards or PayPal; they do not offer payment options using any other wallet types.

IPVanish works with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Linux, Chrome OS, Routers, and even Kodi (XBMC). Yes, this will work with your Kodi box! As such, you can bypass a lot of restrictions and tracking, even while watching those “paid-for” streams. Of course, setting this up could be “hard”, except IPVanish gives you a step-by-step guide for all the platforms, not just Kodi.

Other notable features of the IPVanish VPN platform include:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth: No matter what you are downloading or streaming, you will not have to worry about limits.
  • Zero Traffic Logs: Unlike some other companies, you completely vanish (thus the name) when you use their networks. They do not store your IP, your email, your activity … nothing!
  • 10 Simultaneous Connections: Whether you are scraping a website, creating links using specialized software, downloading files using a Torrent application, or streaming a video, you can have up to ten connections going at one time.

What We Like

While they do not have the most servers available, it seems like they have some of the fastest servers available. Being able to use ten simultaneous connections makes downloading large files a breeze, especially through torrent and/or FTP connections.

Overall

Even though they are based in the US, they follow a strict “no log” policy that ensures your information is safe. They have three solid pricing plans to work with and they even offer a seven-day money-back guarantee. So, do you want to disappear – at least online?

Key Features

  • Zero Log Policy Means Nothing Is Stored About You Or Your Activities
  • 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Supports Kodi

#4 PureVPN

PureVPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 300,000+
  • Servers Available: 2,000+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 5
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Hong Kong

For those looking for a long-standing VPN provider, PureVPN has been around since 2006 under the GZ Systems parent company. During that time, they have managed to build a HUGE network of servers across the globe, giving you access to over 300,000 clean IP addresses. Being based out of Hong Kong, they are not part of the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes group/agreement, meaning your information is safe.

PureVPN’s pricing is extremely competitive, with one plan as cheap as $3.29 per month. If you want to work on a month-to-month basis, it will cost you $10.95. If you want the cheapest option, you will have to agree to a two-year commitment which will make it $3.29 per month; however, the best option in our opinion is the one-year commitment at $3.33 per month. Payments can be made using credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, PaymentWall (iDeal, GiroPay, WebMoney), or BlueSnap (Skrill, eNETS, PaySafe Card).

PureVPN works with most platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Kodi, Chrome OS, and Linux. Using PureVPN is easy through their downloadable software. Once installed, you open the program, select your country, and that is it – you are protected!

Other notable features of the IPVanish VPN platform include:

  • 256-Bit Encryption: Hackers and spies will not penetrate this military-trusted encryption protocol.
  • Port Forwarding: Use ports that are not traditionally supported by other programs. This makes it even easier to keep prying eyes out as you are not using the same ports everyone else it is using (lower payload).
  • Internet Kill Switch: Even when your connection gets interupted, you are still protected!

What We Like

For the price, having the ability to work with routers, Kodi boxes, and even the Chrome OS makes this a full-featured platform worth the money. The pricing is great, and the terms are not bad either.

Overall

Looking for a Pure VPN solution – then you will love PureVPN. They are one of the most “forward-thinking” companies in the VPN market right now, even accepting Bitcoin payments.

Key Features

  • Works With Almost Any Operating System Or Platform
  • Low Pricing Terms For 1-Year And 2-Year Plans
  • Fully Implements GDPR

#5 SurfShark

SurfShark
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: Unknown
  • Servers Available: 800+
  • Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited
  • Country/Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

SurfShark has not been around long, started in 2018, but they have already carved out a niche in the VPN market. They do not have a lot of servers to work with, but they absolutely crush it when you compare features to other providers.

Before we get into the features, we should discuss the pricing plans. SurfShark has three plans to choose from:

  1. 1 Month at $11.95
  2. 1 Year at $71.88 ($5.99 month)
  3. 2 Years at $47.76 ($1.99 month) [Best Option]

As you can see, the best pricing option is over the course of two years. We thought this was a pricing error, but after a quick email to the company, this is the real price! In fact, this is the best option for those on a budget, though we remain cautious as they are new.

Now, let us talk about the features. There are a lot of reasons to love SurfShark, from:

  • CleanWeb
  • Unlimited Connections
  • Unlimited Devices
  • Whitelister
  • No Logs Policy
  • Kill Switch Protection
  • Private DNSes
  • IP Leak Protection
  • Camouflage Mode
  • MultiHop
  • NoBorders
  • IP Hiding
  • AES-256-GCM Encryption
  • IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN Protocols
  • Ad Blocker
  • Phishing Protector

Is that enough for you?

First off, the ability to connect as many devices as you want, with as many connections as you can make is absolutely astounding. From our research, they are truly “unlimited” as no one can connect enough devices to run into a restriction from them (maybe the server they are pounding; but not the company). Next CleamWeb helps to block ads, malware, and phishing attempts in real-time. Whitelister allows certain apps to work around the VPN, making it easier to handle your normal transactions such as browsing while protecting your torrent traffic. We could go on-and-on about SurfShark, but you should check them out if you want to know more.

What We Like

Even though SurfShark has not been around long, they have a great service that seems to work well. Not only that, but the two-year plan is a “steal”. If you use a lot of devices (i.e. computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, streaming boxes), then you absolutely will love the unlimited connections/devices option.

Overall

Do not let a short tenure scare you away from this company. SurfShark is circling the competition, looking for fresh blood. They may not have many servers, but the features they offer are above and beyond what most of the others on our list can do.

Key Features

  • Unlimited Connections And Devices
  • $1.99/Month Plan With 2-Year Agreement
  • MultiHop Feature Allows You To Connect To Multiple VPNs At The Same Time

#6 StrongVPN

StrongVPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 59,000+
  • Servers Available: 650+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 12
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

For those looking for a strong VPN option, StrongVPN has the muscle to handle your needs. With 650+ servers hosting more than 59,000 unique IP addresses, you will have a safe and reliable connection for whatever you need to do.

Pricing is rather simple with only two plans. You can choose the one-month plan at $10.00 or the one-year plan at $69.99 annually ($5.83 per month). What makes this a unique offering is the fact that you can request a dedicated IP address if you need one (without it costing you more).

StrongVPN completely owns their network, reducing outside influence and bandwidth issues. They are located in the US and under their rules/regulations, but they do have one of the best no log policies for a US-based provider.

What We Like

US-based companies might not be as tight/protected when it comes to logging procedures, but the StrongVPN platform does a great job of keeping your data off of the web. Of course, if you need to do something “not so legal”, you might want to look elsewhere. If you just need a super-strong “web bodyguard”, they have all the muscle you will ever need.

Overall

There is no reason to settle for a ho-hum, weak VPN provider when you can get some real muscle with StrongVPN. They have a simple system/pricing plan that makes it easy to get what you need without the hassle of some of the other providers.

Key Features

  • Can Request A Dedicated IP Address
  • Supports Kodi And Fire Stick
  • Works Great For Streaming

#7 CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 2,800+
  • Servers Available: 3,700+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 7
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Romania

While they have not been around as long as some of the other options on our list such as ExpressVPN, they still have plenty to offer. CyberGhost has been around since 2011, doing what their name says – turning internet users into “ghosts”. In fact, they stand firmly for “civil rights” with an uncensored internet culture. To help achieve this, they have more than 3,700 servers in 115 locations. However, they only have 2,800 IP address to work with, limiting them in comparison to some of the other options on our list.

One of the biggest reasons why they made our list is their budget-friendly pricing. Before we get to the best price, they offer a one-month option at $12.99. If you are willing to agree to one year, you can get the price down to $5.99 per month. But the best price comes when you agree to three years, as it comes down to $2.75 per month. Payment can be made using credit cards, PayPal, or BitPay.

Using CyberGhost is super easy, and if you do run into some problems, check out their helpful resource guides. For those who want a click-and-go option, it does not get much simpler. All you have to do to connect to their VPN is open the program, click on the “power” icon and wait for the “connected” statement – that is it! Plus, it works on plenty of platforms and/or operating systems including Windows, Macbooks, Macs, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, Androids, Chrome (extension), Firefox (extension), FireStick, AndroidTV, Linux, and more!

Other notable features of the CyberGhost VPN platform include:

  • AES-256 Security Encryption: Considered one of the safest security implementations while retaining the best security/speed ratio.
  • Kill Switch Technology: Will continue to protect your information, even if your connection is broken. Nothing will leak while you are “disconnected”.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth: There is no reason to worry about how much you have downloaded with this network; it is unlimited! Plus, bandwidth is through the roof.
  • No Log Policy: There will not be a record of your activities after you have connected to the CyberGhost network. While the connection may be logged, that is it.

What We Like

Obviously, we love the price! While a three-year agreement seems like a LONG time, it really isn’t when you think of the $2.75 per month fee. Honestly, all you have to do is skip a frappe or an energy drink once a month and you are gold.

Overall

This is absolutely our budget-pick! At $2.75 per month, only a few other options even come close. CyberGhost VPN believes in freedom – and they give it to you when you are online. Their name says it all; you’ll become a ghost if you choose them.

Key Features

  • No Activity Logs
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Works With Almost Any Platform / Operating System

#8 Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: Unknown
  • Servers Available: 3,200+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 10
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

While Private Internet Access is not a “big name” company, they have been around for quite a while – since 2010! And they have managed to build one of the largest networks on our list with more than 3,200 servers to work from. They do not detail the number of available IP addresses, though we would assume they have enough with so many servers to work with.

Pricing is rather simple with three plans to choose from:

  • Monthly at $6.95 per month.
  • Bi-Yearly at $5.99 per month.
  • Yearly at $3.33 per month.

As you can, you get the best price on the yearly plan, but the monthly plan is less than the longer terms of some of the competitors on this list.

Now, some of the features available on the Private Internet Access VPN platform include:

  • Peer-To-Peer Support: Use file sharing apps without worrying about your IP leaking.
  • Multiple VPN Gateways: Why use just one when you can use two for added layers of security?
  • No Logs: If you need to hide what you are doing, do not let your logs tell on you. Using this company, your information is safe (i.e. forgotten/never there).

What We Like

For a company to sneak under the radar like this, they have to be good. You get plenty of features for a price that is hard to pass up.

Overall

If you want to hide what you are doing, Private Internet Access VPN can help. And for only $6.95 per month, what do you have to lose. They have been around since 2010 and they have managed to stay out of the news.

Key Features

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • P2P Support
  • No Log Policy

#9 Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: Unknown
  • Servers Available: 1,500+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 1
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

Symantec / Norton products have been around for quite a while, dating all the way back to 1991 with the release of Norton AntiVirus. That means they have plenty of experience with more than just VPN products. So, you would expect the Norton Secure VPN to be a leader in this industry, right? Not exactly. While they do have plenty of servers to work with, they are built more on protecting the standard consumer, not the power-user. They do not have options for P2P or Torrents, TV Boxes, Routers, and even Linux.

Pricing is a little convoluted, with multiple pricing tiers based on the number of computers being used. As such, we will focus only on the plans for one computer. Doing this, we have two options to choose from:

  • 1-Month at $4.99
  • 1-Year at $39.99 [Best Price]

For a monthly rate, this is extremely competitive. But you have to remember what you are NOT getting with this VPN service. For those who just want to ensure their emails and passwords are not leaked, this is a great service at a great price.

Other notable features of the Norton Secure VPN platform include:

  • AES-256 Security Encryption: Military and/or bank-grade encryption for secure online connections and transactions.
  • Easy-To-Use Software: One of the simplest interfaces, designed for the common “non tech-savvy” users. Press a few buttons and you are protected.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth: No matter how much bandwidth you need, you will always have it as they do not use a limit/throttling limit.

What We Like

For users that prefer the month-to-month options, this is a great option. The fact that this is a publicly traded company means you know they have to follow the rules, especially if it is in their “contractual agreement”.

Overall

If you want protection, but do not intend to do torrenting, peer-to-peer sharing, or use any streaming boxes, then you will love Norton Secure VPN. This is one of the longest-lasting technology companies on the market, with a proven track record that you can trust.

Key Features

  • Simple, Clean Interface
  • Extremely Cheap Month-To-Month Plan
  • 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee

#10 Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield
Specs:

  • Available IP Addresses: 50,000+
  • Servers Available: 2,500+
  • Simultaneous Connections: 5
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

Hotspot Shield has had a few “hiccups” in the past years, but they have managed to fix all of them and get stronger with experience. They do have a large subscriber base with more than 650 million worldwide users, but is that enough to prove they are legitimate? They do have more than 2,500 servers and 50,000+ IP addresses, but is that enough to prove they have overcome some of their issues in 2016 and 2017? The CEO addressed the issues and performance problems in 2017, ensuring that they are serious about user safety and network performance.

There are three pricing options to choose from:

  • 1-Month at $12.99
  • 1-Year at $6.99 (per month)
  • 3-Years at $2.99 (per month) [Best Price]

All of these are considered average/standard prices for most VPN services, so it really comes down to the features and accessibility when making your choice. Before we get into the features, we want to point out that this is based in the United States which is a part of the Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes groups. If you are worried that the activities you might be doing could get you in legal trouble, you might want to look elsewhere.

With that out of the way, some notable features of the Hotspot Shield VPN platform include:

  • AES-256 Security Encryption: Protect your passwords and banking information using the same encryption that banks and military institutions trust.
  • Ultra-Fast Platform: With data to back it up (from AV-Test), uploads/downloads will not be throttled due to bottlenecking issues like some of the competition.
  • 5-Device Linkable: Use up to five different devices on one plan without having to pay more just to use your smartphone and/or tablet (even at the same time).

What We Like

If you want privacy without the huge price tag, this is a great start. While they did have a few issues in 2016, they have fixed them (showing dedication to their customers). And with a 45-day money-back guarantee, you will not have to worry about being stuck if you decide to go with another company.

Overall

For the standard user, this is a great VPN option. They do not support peer-to-peer and/or torrent connections, but they do work for most any other application. To speed things up, they even have a proprietary Hydra protocol which is supposed to make them faster than any other service. AV-Test seems to think highly of them, and we think they are a good middle-tier option.

Key Features

  • Lightning-Fast Servers
  • 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Good Privacy Policy Even Though They Are US-Based

Frequently Asked Questions About VPN Services

Q: What is a VPN?

A: A VPN is a virtual private network that gives you the ability to secure your connections/communications over unprotected/less protected networks. Using a VPN can give you a layer of anonymity, blocking networks from seeing what websites you are visiting or files you are downloading – think McDonalds, Public Library, College WiFi. Most free networks are unprotected, meaning your information is free to anyone who is willing to do the work to get it.

When you connect to a public network at McDonalds, all your information can be stored and/or read by one of their technicians (including IP, websites visited, downloaded files, etc.); you are not protected.

When you connect to a public network at McDonalds while using a VPN, all your information cannot be stored and/or read by one of their technicians. Instead, your information would be protected by the VPN, only being accessible to their technicians (if they store information; most do not).

To do this, you will connect to the public network (i.e. McDonalds) using your VPN credentials. A tunnel will be created by the VPN from your computer to their network. All the information will travel inside of this tunnel, even though you are using the public network. Since the information is protected inside of this tunnel, all the public network is doing is providing a connection; they no longer can read your browsing information (they will still have access to your computer name, device id, mac id).

A VPN is a great tool that can help protect your information from prying eyes. They are extremely valuable, especially as more and more data leaks and/or breaches occur each day. Why leave your information unprotected when you can do something about it?

Q: What is a remote-access VPN?

A: We actually touched on this just a moment ago using the public network example. Remote-access VPNs use public networks for the internet connection while allowing users the ability to connect to other websites and/or networks without risking their privacy.

Remote-access, or working from other locations, can be extremely risky, especially for businesses. Leaked passwords and/or downloaded files can cost companies HUGE (just ask Equifax and Capital One). With a RAVPN, any device can be protected from prying eyes. All that is needed is an internet connection, a VPN client and/or proxy, and some credentials. After that, you have a secure line of communication between your company and your public connection, even if they do not have a secured network.

Q: What is a mobile VPN?

A: With so many mobile devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets), having a protected connection is paramount. Think about it like this, we are VERY comfortable connecting our phones and tablets to any network. We do not consider the amount of information that these devices hold. However, you cannot risk leaving any of your devices unprotected.

A mobile VPN service/provider uses different technology to help protect you. Some are as simple as a proxy connection with a username/password authentication where others are apps designed to connect you to their service. In either event, a mobile VPN works almost identically to a standard VPN except for the channels/protocols that they use.

Q: Who needs a VPN?

A: Honestly, this is like asking who needs a car?

If you use the internet for ANY reason, you need a VPN. Especially if you are using a network away from your home. VPNs help to protect your information and/or browsing data from prying eyes and agencies. If you are a business, you should be using a VPN service for all your remote connections, period!

If you do not value your privacy, do not use a VPN. But, if you value your privacy (i.e. you use passwords, screen locks, hide your screen from other users), then you must use a VPN service.

Q: Are VPNs used to access blocked content?

A: VPNs can be used to access blocked content. Companies can block access to certain websites that they do not agree with (i.e. political, guns). When you are using their network, and the search traffic can be analyzed, they can stop your browser from showing this information. Using a VPN, you could protect all your searches and they would be unable to block you from accessing those websites.

VPNs can also be used to access blocked content based on IP and/or Geo-IP. VPNs can provide you with a new IP which could make a previous ban/block impossible to uphold. Of course, whatever you might have done to earn the IP block should be stopped or you could risk getting your VPN IP blocked too.

Q: Are VPNs made for criminal activity?

A: No, VPNs are not made for criminal activity. However, some criminals do use VPNs to help hide what they are doing. VPNs were made to help protect users from man-in-the-middle attacks and leaving their information completely unprotected. We use passwords to protect our information, yet we are okay with all our information being leaked…?

That does not make much sense!

So, VPNs were not created to protect criminals from getting caught, but rather to keep your information from getting into the wrong hands. Imagine you are at a public hotspot (i.e. McDonalds) with twenty other users. When you type in your password, you expect it to be safe. But someone else has created a “fake” hotspot and you did not notice it. Since you are on their network, they are able to harvest all your information while you are connected. If you typed in your banking information, now they have it.

A VPN is designed to protect you from activities just like this…

Q: Are VPNs legal?

A: For the most part, VPNs are legal. However, there is a small portion of the world where VPN use is either restricted or completely against the law. In certain countries (i.e. China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, etc.), you can only use government-approved VPNs. Using anything else could result in HUGE fines and jail time. Of course, there is a reason that they are government-approved – they release information about you to their government.

If you are willing to risk using a VPN in these countries, you could bypass certain restrictions and protect your data. Unless you are doing something nefarious, it is highly unlikely you will even show up on their radar (this is not legal advice; use a VPN at your own risk).

Q: Can I get in trouble for using a VPN?

A: In most cases, using a VPN will not get you in any type of legal trouble. However, there are some governmental regulations that might cause a few problems. If your governmental agency has declared rules about using a VPN and you do not follow them, you could get in trouble for using them.

Some governments block access to certain websites (i.e. China, North Korea) in order to control what is being released about them and others. As such, they frown on the use of VPNs as this allows users to bypass their regulations and/or restrictions. Therefore, using a VPN in one of these countries could have severe repercussions. If you are unsure, you should look into the laws regarding VPNs for your country.

Q: Can VPNs stop me from being tracked?

A: VPNs help to protect your information from being tracked between connections (i.e. computer-to-computer, site-to-site) and on the same network. As far as most information being leaked, a VPN is an added layer of security that can help you stay “anonymous” on the internet. However, you must remember that a VPN is a provider that could be required to release records they have on anyone; however, some are considered “no log” providers and they operate under a different set of rules and regulations (governmental structures) which give you additional anonymity.

Remember, where you are connecting to might be monitored too (i.e. download sites, torrent sites) making the VPN connection moot. If you have malware installed, the information protected by the VPN will not matter. Again, a VPN is ONE layer of added security; there are many other layers needed to truly become untraceable.

Q: Are free VPNs safe?

A: Everyone loves FREE stuff, right? And, why should you pay for something that you can get for free? Well, free stuff generally comes with a few strings attached…

When you use a free service provider, you generally give them the ability to sell any information they know about you to third-party companies. This could be anything from your name, address, date of birth to your browsing habits, downloads, and more.

Remember, people love Facebook … sort of. They loved it until they found out that all their information was available to the highest bidder. Well, Facebook is free, and they have the ability to do anything they want with your information. If you use a free VPN, you are essentially giving them the same permissions that you did with Facebook. If you are using a VPN for protection and security, why would you agree to that?

Even if a free VPN provider promised that they would not do such, what assurance do you have that they will hold up to that promise? A lot of free VPN services are “here today, gone tomorrow”. Could you find them to sue them or take them to court? Do not waste your time using free VPNs – they are unsafe and dangerous!

Q: Will using a VPN slow down my speed?

A: Yes, using a VPN will slow down your internet speed. For the sake of this example, let’s assume that you have an internet download speed of 100Mbps. In most cases, you will see downloads of 95-100Mbps when connected to your ISP. However, when you add another layer (or two) of protection (i.e. a VPN), you create more bottlenecks to work through. When connected to a VPN, you should expect a 20-30% decrease in overall speed.

So, if you had a 100Mbps down speed, you would get between 70-80Mbps when connected to a single VPN. Of course, some VPN services are better equipped for this (i.e. paid, premium) and deliver faster speeds consistently. Look for a good mix of speed, consistency, and protection. While speed is a BIG factor to consider, it should not be the only factor you look at.

Q: What is a good price range to expect for a VPN service?

A: VPN services can cost anywhere from $0 to $30 per month. However, a good VPN will probably cost you between $5 and $15 per month, depending on your needs.

Most VPN providers give you the option to pay per month or per year. The per month option will be the most expensive option as there is no “real” commitment to use the company. The VPN companies will give price breaks to those willing to “commit” for a longer period. Paying annually can help reduce the “per month” cost to between $3 and $10 per month.

Most VPN providers offer a trial period where you can test their services. In most cases, they will give you up to a full month to consider them/their services. After that month, they will start to charge you (if you decide to stay with them). If you like the service, and you know you will use it a lot, pay the annual fee and save yourself some cash.

Conclusion

There you have it!

Our list of the ten best VPN service providers. Surely, one of these peaked your interest. If you are new to the game, SurfShark VPN and ExpressVPN are the best options at the moment. Of course, they may not be cheap enough for you – if not, check out CyberGhost VPN which managed to be our budget pick!

Hopefully we helped you find a VPN solution so that you can stop browsing the web unprotected. So, do you think you found your next VPN provider? Let us know!