vpn illustration
Tech

VPN Reviews [Updated 2019]

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are considered one of the best approaches for protecting your online privacy. And if you don’t know much about the term VPN, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, you will get to know everything about VPNs, how they work and what are the best VPN options available.

So, What Is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is the technology that enables you to access the web privately and safely, away from snooping eyes of your internet service provider, potential hackers, and the government. It does this by re-routing your connection to the internet and as a result, it is more difficult for someone to steal your sensitive or private information.

A VPN adds an additional privacy layer to your online activity by encrypting your data. In other words, it turns your data into special code so that your private searches, passcodes and other private information become unreadable for others.

A VPN also allows its users to appear that they are browsing in a different country and it means that you can get access to content that isn’t available for your country.

How Does a VPN Work?

Let’s imagine – you start the VPN software (client) from your VPN service. The software then encrypts your data before your internet service provider sees it. Then, the data moves to the VPN and next, from the VPN server to your online destination. This can be anything from a video sharing site to a bank website to a search engine. That online destination then considers your data as coming from the server (VPN) and its location, not from your system or location.

When you connect to the internet without a VPN, your information is  more available, any interested party will have an easier time glancing at what you are sending over your network. The internet is a mixture of servers that store websites and serve them to anyone who would like to view them. Further, those servers communicate with each other day in and day out, which includes sending your data back and forth. No doubt, this concept is ideal for you to surf easily, but not for internet privacy.

Going online can actually reveal a lot of your data, often without you noticing. If you’re visiting an informative website, then there is no need to worry, even if someone tries to see your information. But, if the website is related to online banking, or business email or requires that you login, then it’s a different story as here your sensitive information comes into play.

When you connect to the internet with a VPN service, your data gets encrypted, moves in encrypted form to your internet service provider and then, to the VPN server.

The VPN server is a third-party service that connects to the internet on your behalf. This resolves many security and privacy problems for you in several ways:

  • The destination websites see the VPN server as the traffic origin and not you.
  • No one can identify you and your system and can’t identify what you’re searching and doing online.
  • As your data gets encrypted with VPN, and thus, even if someone tries to see at what you are sending, then they only get to see the encrypted information that can’t be read

The Best VPN Services to Consider in 2019

There are over 300 VPN services available, which includes both paid and free options.

Each one seems to look the same, providing the same features and functionalities and claiming to keep your connection anonymous and secure make it quite hard to decide which one to pick. Well, the best VPN services don’t keep and maintain any record of sites you visit or data you download.

If you would like to reap the benefits that VPN services provide, then here are some reliable VPN services you can consider for your online privacy.

  1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is the ultimate VPN available out there for privacy, unblocking, speed and encryption. It provides excellent performance and outstanding customer support along with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It provides access to 3,000 + servers in almost 160 locations and across 94 countries. Also, it is a VPN service that provides wide compatibility, which means that you can use it on –

  • Mac
  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Blackberry

You will be glad to know that you can even use it on your Android TV, home router or your game console. For beginners to the world of VPN, ExpressVPN is easy to use with one-click startup feature. Those who are looking for more advanced and complex options, ExpressVPN also provides DNS leak protection and kill switch along with industrial-level encryption.

ExpressVPN best plan costs $6.67/month for an annual package and includes three months free.

Pros:

  • Outstanding speeds and performance through the server network
  • Reliable and user-friendly VPN apps
  • Strong encryption method and outstanding security features
  • Works with popular video streaming services like Netflix
  • Outstanding 24/7 live customer assistance

Cons:

  • More expensive as compared to other VPN services available.

Try ExpressVPN

  1. NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the top-performing VPN providers available out there. They allow multiple simultaneous connections, which lets you connect up to six devices to their network. Furthermore, no other service can match its server count (more than 5,000 servers in almost 60 countries). For additional protection, it comes with a feature called double encryption that combines 2 servers into one ultra-secure connection.

It also comes with user-friendly VPN apps that can help you to protect your information from going into the wrong hands. It also provides wide device support, which includes –

  • Android
  • ChromeOS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Router
  • iOS

NordVPN’s most popular plan is a one-year subscription plan that cost $6.99 per month. Other plans also available, which include a 36-month plan that costs $2.99 per month and 1-month plan that costs $11.95 per month. It also provides dedicated IP option for those who are looking for remote access to a specific IP address.

Pros:

  • Easy setup process.
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Great speed and convenience
  • Easy to use and top-rating VPN providers available.
  • Great value pricing

Cons:

  • It isn’t very consistent when it comes to performance and speed
  • Not good user interface

Try NordVPN

  1. IPVanish

IPVanish is another leading VPN service that provides almost 10 simultaneous connections and outstanding assistance for those with a lot of devices. It is a good VPN service that comes with almost 1,300 servers in 75+ countries and 24/7 customer support service. It is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Fire TV
  • Android
  • iOS

The desktop app provides a lot of options that make IPVanish a solid choice for almost anyone. If you are tech-savvy user, then you will be glad to know that they also enable its users to manually set up IPVanish configuration on Window’s phones, Chromebook, and routers. It also provides support to all major VPN protocols and lets users download the free SOCKS5 web proxy.

When it comes to IPVanish subscription plans – you have three options, which include a 12-month plan that costs $4.87, a 3-month plan that costs $6.75 and 1-month plan that costs $7.50. Along with these, it also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee for its users.

Pros:

  • Good performance
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Featured-packed Windows client
  • Split-tunneling support
  • Powerful and configurable apps

Cons:

  • No free trial is available
  • Fails to unblock iPlayer

Try IPVanish

  1. Surfshark

If you’re looking for cheap yet best VPN service for your online privacy, then Surfshark is one you should consider. It provides support for more than 800 servers in almost 50 countries and offers solid encryption. With Surfshark, you can stream Netflix content without any trouble. All of its apps come with all the privacy and security-friendly perks you want, for instance, kill switch for protecting your IP from leaking to the outside world.

In fact, Surfshark is one of those VPN providers that provide unlimited device connections support. The service is available for many devices, including:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS

Surfshark comes with features called “Camouflage Mode” that makes it unique and different from other services available out there.

Pros:

  • Secure and safe to use
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Tormenting allowed.
  • No logs policy
  • Two-year cheap plan
  • Great speed

Cons:

  • Even though it offers great speed, but it is inconsistent.
  • No free trial
  • The app interface is too basic

Try Surfshark

  1. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot shield is another reputable VPN service available out there for internet privacy. Although Hotspot Shield is a good free VPN, the paid version is much better, as is true with most VPN services. Paying a few bucks extra can provide you with unlimited bandwidth and complete access to more than 2500 servers in 80+ countries along with support for connecting up to five devices.

Also, Hotspot shield offers 24/7 customer service support and no ads at all. Another good thing about it is its performance as it delivers outstanding speeds even to remote locations.

The service works on various platforms, including

  • Android
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • iOS

When it comes to its subscription options, there are three including a 36-month plan that costs $2.99, a 12-month plan that costs $5.99 and 1-month plan that costs $12.99. Plus, it offers 45-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Outstanding speed in most locations
  • Easy to use
  • Low price
  • In-built kill switch
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons:

  • Only works with Hotspot shield apps
  • No support for Bitcoin
  • Can’t unblock Netflix

Try Hotspot Shield

  1. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another VPN service that offer great features to its users. It includes more than 3600 servers in 60 countries. This fantastic VPN provider is Romanian and German-based that is easy to use and has almost ten million users. The service is available for a wide range of platforms, including:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

CyberGhost also offers speedy and helpful live chat support. The best thing about it is the task-based app interface. There are a lot of things included in it, for instance, ad blocker, malicious website blocking, and tracker blocking. When you download any of its apps, it will take a few minutes to complete the whole download process. The connection won’t leak your location. If at any point your VPN connection is lost, CyberGhost offers a kill switch to prevent any IP leakage.

There are three subscription options available with CyberGhost, which include a 36-month plan that costs$2.75, a 12-month plan that costs $5.99 and 1-month plan that costs $12.99.

Pros:

  • Powerful windows client
  • Unblocks iPlayer and Netflix
  • Torrents are allowed
  • Good performance

Cons:

  • Some issues with the interface
  • Average speed on some servers
  • Only 24-hour free trial for desktops.

Try CyberGhost

  1. StrongVPN

StrongVPN is the best choice for you if you want up to 12 devices connection at once. It offers outstanding performance and ideal option for bypassing region locks.

The number of servers included in StrongVPN is more than 650 across 26 locations. Plus, you will receive 24/7 customer support. StrongVPN offers decent speed in every server location and that makes it an ideal option for any type of user.

When it comes to its subscription options, there are two: a 12-month plan that costs $5.83 and 1-month plan that costs $10.

Pros:

  • Has built-in DNS service
  • Unblocks Netflix and iPlayer
  • Good performance
  • No logging

Cons:

  • No trial
  • Limited features
  • Basic windows app

Try StrongVPN

  1. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is best for security and performance. It is a Swiss-based VPN provider that has 73 servers across more than 70 locations. It offers high-end features and is a reputable name in the VPN industry. The service has its own DNS service.

Along with wide platform support, the service download speeds are high across different locations. It is also considered one of the most secure VPN services available out there. Now, this service has moved to a policy called “zero-log” to help you keep your data truly secure and private.

There are two plans, including a basic plan that costs $9.95 per month and the premium plan which costs $12.95 per month.

Pros:

  • Live chat support
  • Unblock Netflix
  • Has it own DNS service

Cons:

  • Windows client problems
  • There is no money-back guarantee

Try VyprVPN

These are some top VPN services you can consider in 2019 for your online privacy. If you’re still confused which one to pick, the following tips can help you to choose the right VPN service or provider for you.

Read More: 22 VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy

Tips to Pick the Right VPN:

You know that VPNs have a lot of benefits that range from encryption to anonymous browsing to different IP addresses. There are a lot of people like you who face so much trouble when it comes to choosing a VPN service and that’s why we have provided some tips to help you:

  • Figure out what you’re looking in your VPN – You aren’t going to visit an Apple store and purchase the first computer you see. This same concept applies to VPN services. If you would like to have a VPN for your whole household, you should look for a VPN service that provides support for multiple simultaneous connections. In short, you should determine what you want in your VPN.
  • Find one with a user-friendly interface – if you’re not a tech-savvy person, then you should look for a VPN that doesn’t require you to manually set up or configure VPN.
  • Make sure that your important locations are included – the number of locations and servers can be deciding factor for VPNs. Consider a VPN that covers your important locations.
  • Find a VPN with good customer service – Another deciding factor is customer service. You should consider a VPN that provides you with 24/7 customer service to solve any issues you may have.

Final thoughts…

There are a lot of good reasons why you should use a VPN – it encrypts your data on the internet, it hides your online activity from others, and makes you more anonymous on the internet. In short, VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy.

Read More: The Best VPNs for Privacy in 2019