Privacy has become one of the most important assets worth safeguarding in recent years. The rapid advancement of the internet, while bringing everyone closer together, has also facilitated privacy violations at an unprecedented level.
We've all heard the stories about people being spied on through their webcams or their data and activity being stored, hacked or tracked online. In the modern age, then, it is vital that you protect your own privacy. While some of these issues can be solved with the implementation of quality and wide-reaching anti-virus software, or with a strong password policy, there are some areas that remain vulnerable. Apps and websites can track your locations, public WiFi can make your data insecure, and certain websites block media to specific countries. If you're worried about privacy and your own anonymity, or you just want to access geo-restricted media, this is where VPNs can help!
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, operates by implementing a secure connection between your PC and another network while online. It does this by connecting your computer to another server online, allowing you to use that server's internet connection. This hides your identity online, so if your VPN is in another country, your computer will appear to be from that same country. In other words, if you log on to Netflix via a USA-based VPN server, Netflix will treat your computer as if it is based in the USA.
While it may be interesting to know that your computer's location can be hidden, you may not be aware of the benefits that this can bring to your online life. It is because of these benefits that VPNs have surged in popularity recently, with most people using a VPN to achieve the following:
- Secure connection while using public WiFi hotspots.
- Access media available to other countries, such as American Netflix and Hulu.
- Access geo-restricted media from your own country while travelling.
- Protect yourself from being tracked while using the internet.
- Hide your location, allowing you to browse the internet anonymously.
The most important advantage of using a VPN is the anonymity involved. A VPN makes use of a secure, encrypted connection in order to hide your computer's identity online. This allows you to make transactions more securely. Public WiFi, while very convenient, is very vulnerable to snooping and people have had their banking information compromised from using open networks such as this. Over a secure VPN connection, this will not be possible - allowing you to use a coffee shop's WiFi connection without fear of hacking. A VPN is even more important for those living in countries with high levels of censorship, such as China. It allows people to share their thoughts online without being tracked by government officials.
However, VPNs also offer more freedom with regards to streaming services. As a VPN affects your geographic location, you can access areas of the internet that would be typically blocked in your country. For instance, if you live in Australia, you will be able to access American Netflix by using a VPN. This will give you access to more content that is not available on Australian Netflix.
If you're interested in VPNs, you may be blown away by the number of VPNs available online. However, you should be careful before deciding which VPN to opt for. There are so many VPNs and there are subtle differences between them all. Some may be slightly faster than others, which would make it a better option for those looking to stream online content over a VPN, whereas some may be more secure than others. So, if you're looking for the best VPNs, check out our list of VPNs. We've compiled a list of VPN reviews and graded them according to price, popularity, security, and so on.
However, if you're still unsure as to which VPN is right for you, do not hesitate to contact us. We will make sure that you understand the pros and cons of any VPN you are considering signing up to, as well as whether a VPN is even right for you. So, feel free to enquire today if you're curious about VPNs and the benefits they bring!
NordVPN is widely considered to be the VPN world leader, and it’s also praised by many experts who understand the VPN sector well. It is extremely popular all over the world, but is based in Panama. NordVPN also goes out of its way for its users in terms of privacy: there is not only a zero-log policy, and a tunnel is established when using NordVPN so that your IP address is hidden. NordVPN has over 3000 servers in over 50 countries, as well.
However, NordVPN does use tracking cookies, although it claims that it does “not track users.” One drawback for some users is that there is no free version. NordVPN also boasts military-grade encryption.
NordVPN allows for access to Netflix, which is a big plus. Also, all Bittorrent and P2P services are supported - another big plus. Many have called NordVPN the best provider for torrenting in the world. NordVPN also boasts some of the best speeds in the world, in terms of VPN services. One unique advantage is that users can actually choose which servers, in specific parts of the world, that you wish to connect to...which is an incredible feature. The pricing is also quite reasonable, and ends up being somewhere around $5 a month with the annual plan.
Even though there is no free version, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee available. NordVPN also has an Adblocker feature. In fact, it can not only block suspicious websites - but it can also block mobile advertisements, pop-ups, and more. There is also an “obfuscated servers” feature that makes it easier to hide user traffic and IP addresses. For users interested in the dark web, there are some servers that are dedicated specifically to TOR.
NordVPN actually works in China, which is a big deal in terms of VPN providers. None of its servers are physically located in China, so the Chinese government won’t be interfering with its operations in any way.
There are a lot of VPN services out there that are praised, but many consider ExpressVPN to be the best VPN provider in the world. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, and it also boasts a complete zero-log policy. If you care about your privacy, like many VPN users, this is a huge plus. The provider also states that they do not store any user data. ExpressVPN has an incredible server network, with over 3000 servers in over 90 countries. For those who are unaware, the legal jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands is favorable for VPN users, as the region is known for supporting online privacy.
ExpressVPN has the word “express” in its name for a reason, and the provider is known for its ultra-fast speed. You don’t have to worry about performance issues or connection failures with ExpressVPN. One of the coolest features of the provider is that there’s a stealth technology feature. Also, split tunnelling is another great feature, and is supported by the provider. ExpressVPN also works in countries like China, Russia, and Turkey, which is pretty rare for VPN providers.
One drawback to ExpressVPN is that their customer support doesn’t offer a live chat option. However, they do offer an information library for users who want to troubleshoot whatever issues that they might have. The monthly plan is a bit pricey, at $12.95 - and the 12-month plan is still somewhat expensive compared to the competition (ends up being around $8.32 a month). However, many may find that the features are worth the price.
ExpressVPN used to allow for multiple payment options. However, these days, it’s only possible to pay for ExpressVPN through Paypal. This can be discouraging for those who want to pay using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Overall, it’s easy to see why ExpressVPN has the reputation it does: it offers incredible speed, reliable security, and can work in many countries that other VPNs cannot.
There are plenty of solid VPN services out there, but Cyber Ghost does have a lot of unique features that might work for specific users. Cyber Ghost is often mentioned among the top VPN providers for an array of reasons. First, it is located in Romania, which is one of the best locations for any VPN service in the world. For those who are unaware, Romania dropped its data retention laws several years ago. If you are concerned about privacy, this should be a huge plus for you.
One drawback of Cyber Ghost is that there isn’t an extensive free trial available. Instead, there is a 1-day free trial for those who might be interested. However, there is a 45-day money back guarantee, which is better than what some of the competition offers.
Cyber Ghost is one of the most respected VPN providers out there, and one of the reasons is because it supports so many streaming services. If you are interested in Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Now, BBC iPlayer - you are definitely safe here, and this alone is a huge advantage over a lot of other VPN providers. In addition, Cyber Ghost allows for concurrent connections on 7 devices! In addition, the provider is also offering a flash sale in May, given the fact that more people are at home than ever thanks to the coronavirus, and might be interested in online entertainment more than ever before.
Like many providers, the monthly plan is overpriced at $12.99 per month. Luckily, the longer plans cut those costs significantly. For example, a three-year plan means that a user will end up paying about $2.75 per month, which is a great deal in terms of value.
Cyber Ghost allows for credit/debit card payment, Paypal, but also accepts Bitcoin. Cyber Ghost thus proves that it is an online privacy champion compared to much of its competition, since Bitcoin transactions can help you stay anonymous.
CyberGhost boasts over 6000 servers in over 90 countries, and it enjoys much more of a global presence than some of the other VPN providers on this list. The speed is also praised, and Cyber Ghost also features many incredible features such as ad-blocking, leak protection services, and an automatic kill switch.
Virtual Shield might not be one of the VPNs on this list with the most name recognition, but it’s still a viable option for those who want a VPN that offers many features but is still affordable. Virtual Shield guarantees total protection for users, and its terms of service are 100% legal, which might bring peace of mind to some users. The platform claims that they were built from the ground up “for privacy protection”, for those who emphasize online security. There is a zero log policy,a s well.
One of the advantages of Virtual Shield is that they offer a 30-day free trial. This allows users plenty of time to decide whether Virtual Shield is a good fit. Many users have found it difficult to access Netflix through Virtual Shield, which could be a dealbreaker for some. There is no free version of the service, and a paid subscription is required.
The personal plan is affordable, at $5.99 per month, but only allows for up to 3 devices. The family plan is certainly a much better option for those with many family members that like to surf or stream content, and it costs $17.99 per month and is available for up to 15 devices.
There are both live chat and e-mail customer support options, which is great for those who might have an issue at any particular hour of the day. The company also uses social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to clear up any questions that users might have. The speed results aren’t the best in the industry, but stack up solidly against the competition. It’s also extremely to use, which might be refreshing to those less proficient with technology. Virtual Shield is also great when it comes to torrenting and file sharing. One of the reasons that Virtual Shield is so popular is because of its usability, which might be the advantage you need to make the decision to use them as your VPN provider.
Hide.Me has been an established player in the VPN space for a while, and it’s a Malaysian-based VPN that has been around since 2011. There are a lot of advantages to the service, but it might not be ideal for everyone. Hide.me boasts over 1700 servers, which is more than many other VPN services out there.
First and foremost, Hide.Me is a zero-logs provider, which can be somewhat rare in the sector. What does this mean? Your personal data will not be logged, which means that your online privacy will remain intact. It should also be noted that this isn’t the VPN service for you if you are hoping to watch specific Netflix shows. The service works with Sony Crackle and Hulu, but not Netflix. Still, over 4 million people use Hide.Me as their VPN. Hide.me also supports P2P connections and boasts military-grade security.
Secondly, Hide.Me allows for all sorts of payment options. You can pay for Hide.me using Paypal or debit/credit cards, but that’s not all - you can pay using Bitcoin! If you are focused on privacy, Bitcoin as a form of payment (it keeps you anonymous) might be a huge plus here.
If you aren’t doing well financially, there’s great news! There’s a free version of Hide.me, although it might not have as many features as the paid plans. The paid plans are a bit more expensive than usual, with the monthly plan clocking in at $12.95. You can pay less than half that rate with a two-year plan, if you are hoping for a more long-term solution.
Hide.me doesn’t work well in China - so that might be a concern if you live there. The service also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a 15-day free trial, which isn’t too bad. Overall, Hide.me is a solid service, and is known most for its customer support and overall security/privacy.
Zenmate might have come into the industry as a free VPN, but it has evolved over the years. The service is now owned by security giant Kape Technologies, based in the UK. Prior to this, Zenmate was owned by Germany-based Zenguard GmBH. Zenmate is quite popular, with over 40 million users around the world. They also have no problem investing in their services, as they boast over 3000 servers in over 70 countries. The VPN service still operates from Berlin, Germany.
The biggest advantage of Zenmate is that you can access pretty much every streaming service you can think of: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Now, and more. It also allows for an unlimited amount of devices, and supports P2P file sharing AND torrenting. Zenmate also supports many different platforms and devices, which isn’t the case for much of the competition.
The monthly plan for Zenmate is quite expensive, so it might not be a great idea to go for their $10.99 a month plan. There is a massive discount if you opt for the 18-month plan, where the VPN service only comes out to a bit more than $2 per month. It should be noted that the prices vary based on country/region. It also comes with a kill switch feature and DNS leak protection.
If you are unsure about the VPN service, you might want to take advantage of the 7-day free trial. There is also a customer support system that features both a ticketing system and live chat support.
You can only purchase Zenmate by using either a credit/debit card or Paypal. Zenmate currently cannot be purchased with cryptocurrencies of any kind. The service also claims that no personal information is “collected, processed, or permanently stored.” Zenmate is not compatible with mainland China, however.
UltraVPN is owned by Network Protect Limited, which is incorporated in both the United States and the United Kingdom. This isn’t an ideal location for privacy, but the provider goes out of its way to make sure that the provider is reliable and protects its users. UltraVPN has over 1000 servers, but there is no free trial period whatsoever. They do offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
One of the great things about UltraVPN is that it is much more reasonably priced than other providers. The monthly plan comes in at around $7.99 per month, which is pretty cheap when compared to other services. The annual plan also clocks in at $3.75 per month, which is quite reasonable. However, there’s one big negative here: UltraVPN only accepts Paypal.
UltraVPN does offer military-grade encryption, despite the fact that the US and UK don’t have laws that always protect online privacy. One reason that many users have flocked to the service is because they have specific Ultraflix servers to access Netflix - which is a huge reason that many users end up using a VPN provider. UltraVPN’s speeds were average when compared to other VPN services. P2P traffic is also supported.
The customer support here is adequate. However, the knowledge base is a bit confusing and hard to navigate, which might be annoying for users. The good news is that there is a live chat and phone support option for anyone with questions or concerns. Another drawback is the fact that UltraVPN doesn’t offer an ad-blocker of any kind. UltraVPN also doesn’t work in China at all.
If you are looking for the best VPN provider that money can buy, UltraVPN might not be for you. However, if you are looking for an affordable VPN that can help you with what you specifically need, you might find that it makes a lot of sense.
One of the great things about Ivacy as a VPN provider is that it understands the sector more than many other services, given the fact that it was founded in 2007. The service has improved dramatically over the years, and it also offers a lot of other incredible features that have cemented its space in the sector. Ivacy is based in Singapore, and it’s known for being very customizable, which could be a huge plus for users who want more control over their VPN service. Many features are available, and a 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Ivacy is incredibly priced, and users can pay $40 per year. This is an incredible value when compared to a lot of the competition. In terms of those looking for an affordable VPN service, this fact alone might be enough for people to call this the best VPN service, in terms of “bang for your buck.” The company also has a zero-log policy.
Ivacy takes personal information seriously. The only information it obtains from its users is their e-mail address. If you are concerned about this, consider that email addresses are dumped after 12 months of inactivity.
You also don’t have to pay one way. You can pay using Paypal, but you can also pay through Bitcoin by using BitPay. If that isn’t convenient for you, you can also pay using other cryptocurrencies through CoinPayments. Ivacy is also an active supporter of torrenting and P2P file sharing, as well.
The speeds aren’t that great, but Ivacy has a lot to offer for what they are charging users. The security might not be the best in the business, but Ivacy does offer a lot in terms of privacy, which might be why the company emphasizes it in its actual name. For $40 a year, it’s hard to beat this kind of VPN service, with these kinds of features available.
When it comes to VPN providers, Torguard has a solid reputation and a huge user base. Torguard boasts over 3000 servers in over 50 countries, which is a considerable network when compared with other VPN services. Torguard also comes with additional features: such as ad-blocking, anonymous VPN IP, and more. Torguard has one main drawback: it isn’t known for fast speeds, which might be a dealbreaker for users hoping for the fastest connections possible.
TorGuard does have a zero-log policy, but its legal jurisdiction is within the United States. This is not ideal for those who want maximum privacy, since the United States does not have the most privacy-focused laws in mind when it comes to data retention. The company has stated that it would not mind moving operations elsewhere if necessary, however. TorGuard uses 128-bit default encryption, which is less secure than many competitors.
One of the great things about TorGuard is that they do offer a free 7-day trial period. However, it should be noted that their money-back guarantee isn’t for 30 or 45 days, but is also for 7 days. This might not be ideal for users who want a bit more time to decide on the right VPN provider.
As with many VPN providers, the monthly option is a bit too expensive, at $9.99 a month. However, there’s good news: TorGuard offers a massive discount on users who make a long-term commitment. For example, TorGuard is currently offering a 2-year membership for only $99.99, which is very affordable when compared to the competition.
TorGuard has so many payment options, which is another reason why it is so popular. You can pay through credit/debit cards and Paypal, but you can also pay using cryptocurrency. In fact, you don’t have to pay for TorGuard with just Bitcoin - you can also pay with Litecoin, another popular cryptocurrency.
TorGuard doesn’t have a live chat option when it comes to customer support, which isn’t helpful for those who want their problems solved as soon as possible. However, they do boast a FAQ section, a ticketing system, a forum, and are known for responding to e-mails quickly.
PureVPN has been established for a long time, considering it was started in 2007. PureVPN enjoys over 3 million users around the globe, and is based in Hong Kong. PureVPN also offers a 31 day money-back guarantee, which is respectable. PureVPN boasts over 2000 services in over 140 countries, and is much more global than many other competing VPNs. This means that PureVPN boasts the best server coverage in the industry! If this is important to you, PureVPN might be a great fit. PureVPN has been praised for its speed, as well.
Like many other VPNs, PureVPN has different tier plans. The monthly plan, like most VPNs, is a bit more expensive at $10.99 per month. However, they do offer a massive discount on a 2-year plan, where the cost is reduced down to a very affordable $2.08 a month. In terms of value, this is very hard to beat - and is one of the reasons that PureVPN has become so popular. If you purchase the 2-year plan, you gain access to a 7-day free trial, risk-free.
It is also important to note that even though PureVPN might lack some great features, you can purchase these additional features as you wish. You can buy port forwarding for only 25 cents, for example, or a dedicated IP for only 99 cents. PureVPN is also easy to use, and has high rankings on Trustpilot.
PureVPN has teamed up with Mcafee Secure to make sure that all payments are secure, and there are all sorts of options here. You can pay using Paypal and debit/credit cards, but that’s not all! You can also pay using Alipay, Bluesnap, and more...and cryptocurrencies are also supported! This is ideal for those who are trying to remain as anonymous as possible.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, PureVPN also offers excellent customer service. There is not only an FAQ section, case study section, and a knowledge base section, there is also a human-supported live chat option, which is great for those who want answers quickly.