The Best VPN Providers for Privacy and Security

A top VPN should have excellent connections, robust security & privacy features, and be easy to use. We tested over 100 VPN service providers to find the fastest and most secure VPNs in 2019.

A virtual private network helps you stay safe when online, and keeps your internet activity and personal details away from prying eyes. With a good VPN, you can seal all loopholes and safeguard your security and privacy. The best VPN service providers will also allow you to get around geo-restrictions and access the freshest content on sites like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and YouTube Red as well as view foreign Netflix catalogues.

However, with hundreds of VPN providers out there, each claiming to offer the best service, picking the right VPN service can be a daunting task. To help you out, we went ahead and tested numerous VPN services to find the fastest and most secure options available.

In this guide, we take a look at the best VPN service providers in 2019.  

1. ExpressVPN

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ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers on the market. The VPN has a vast server network, and its ultra-fast speeds are a huge draw. The VPN has a 99% guaranteed uptime, and you’ll get stable connections on all of the provider’s 3000 servers. The VPN bypasses geo-restrictions with ease and has servers in 160 locations across 94 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.

Privacy & Security

Based in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction without data retention laws, ExpressVPN provides a highly secure VPN service. They neither keep activity logs nor connection logs and you can rest easy knowing your privacy is well protected. As for security, the VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption security, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and kill switch.

The VPN also comes with the split tunnelling feature that lets you route some of your traffic through their VPN servers while allowing the rest to access to the internet directly. Tunnelling protocols include PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN with TCP/UDP.

Compatibility

ExpressVPN is compatible with a wide range of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The provider has a custom firmware for routers as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Other supported devices include Apple TV, Fire TV, Smart TV, Android TV box, PlayStation, and many more.

Pricing

Price is the only major downside with this otherwise fantastic VPN. The monthly subscription will set you back a whopping $12.95 per month. However, the yearly and 6-month pricing plans bring the cost down. ExpressVPN currently has special 49% discount on the annual subscription, and you can get an extra 3 months at $6.67 per month. A 30-day money-back guarantee covers all pricing plans.

  • Ultra-fast speeds

  • No logs policy

  • Powerful encryptions

  • P2P file sharing

  • 24/7 customer support

  • 30 day money-back guarantee

  • Expensive monthly subscription

2. NordVPN

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NordVPN is a joy to use. The VPN comes with easy-to-use apps and delivers superb performance. Its security is top-notch, and server speeds are excellent. Moreover, the service provider is based in Panama, a country that’s sits well outside the Five Eyes’ sphere of influence. NordVPN’s powerful encryptions, strict zero logging, and P2P support help make it one of the best all-around VPNs available today.

Privacy & Security

With threats to internet security and privacy on the rise, NordVPN makes it easy to stay safe when online. The VPN uses military-grade encryptions, Double VPN, and CyberSec, which blocks ads and malware. Additional security features include DNS leak protection, automatic kill switch, and Onion Over VPN.

Compatibility

NordVPN has apps for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, Android TV, Linux, and routers. Browser for Chrome and Firefox are also available. The apps are easy to set up, and customer support is available 24/7 should you run into any issues. A single NordVPN account can cover up to 6 devices at the same time.

Pricing           

NordVPN is great on value. The VPN is reasonably priced is currently offering a 75% discount on its 3-year plan which you can get at $2.99 per month. Additional pricing plans include a 2-year plan at $3.99 per month, a yearly plan at $6.99 per month, and a monthly plan at $11.95/month. NordVPN also offers a free trial allowing you to test their services risk-free for 7 days.

  • Excellent server speeds

  • 256 AES encryption

  • No logs policy

  • 7-day free trial

  • Simple intuitive apps

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Servers speeds can vary

3. IPVanish

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IPVanish is another incredible all-around VPN. The provider has a vast server network has over 40,000 IPs in 60+ countries. The Tier 1 network owns all of its servers, and they operate without third parties. IPVanish is fast and is an ideal option for streaming. The VPN is also one of the best VPNs for Netflix and unblocks lots of other sites as well.

Privacy & Security

IPVanish provides secure 256-bit AES encryption on each of their 1200-plus servers. The VPN also boasts advanced security features such as IP/DNS leak protection and an automatic internet kill switch. However, the kill switch feature is only available on Windows and MacOS clients. Although IPVanish is based in the US, IPVanish does not retain any activity or connection logs.

Compatibility

IPVanish works with a wide range of devices, and there are apps for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Windows Phone, routers, and FireTV. The VPN service supports an industry-best 10 simultaneous connections allowing you to cover all your devices with a single subscription.

Pricing

IPVanish offers three pricing plans. The quarterly and yearly subscriptions are moderately priced and will set you back $8.99 and $6.49 respectively. The monthly pricing plan is a little bit costly and is priced at $10 per month. All pricing plans are backed by a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Fast and reliable connections

  • Strong encryption

  • Zero logging

  • Unlimited server switching

  • 10 simultaneous connections

  • 24/7 customer support

  • Limited 7-day money-back guarantee

4. VyprVPN

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VyprVPN is a fast and secure VPN service based in Sweden. What makes the VPN stand out is the fact that they own and manage all of their 700-plus servers. You’ll be impressed by VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon VPN technology which offers excellent geo-unblocking capabilities. With the VPN, you can easily unblock premium sites like Netflix, Hulu, and iPlayer without any hassle. 

Privacy & Security

Security wise, VyprVPN rivals the very best. The VPN uses the powerful 256-bit AES encryption with NAT firewall and perfect forward secrecy. Other security features include Zero-Knowledge DNS and an automatic kill switch. One major drawback with VyprVPN is their retention of connection logs. However, these are kept temporarily and are only used for network optimisation. On the bright side, no activity logs are kept.

Compatibility

VyprVPN offers efficient and easy to use apps, and you can use the VPN on all of Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and smart TVs. VyprVPN also supports QNAP, Anonabox, Blackberry, Blackphone, DD-WRT, and OpenWRT.

Pricing

VyprVPN has some great pricing options. The basic plan is available at $9.95 billed monthly or $5.00 per month billed yearly. Premium plan users, on the other hand, are charged $12.95 paid each month or $6.67 per month billed annually. Although the VPN has an impressive 3-day free trial, its lack of a money-back guarantee is a huge letdown.

  • Excellent speeds

  • 256-bit AES encryption

  • No activity logs

  • Reliable customer support

  • 3-day free trial

  • Keeps connection logs

  • No money-back guarantee

5. CyberGhost

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CyberGhost’s fast and stable connections have made it a popular choice among VPN users. The provider has over 3600 servers in 60-plus countries across the world. With so many servers available, bypassing censorship and geo-blocks is quite easy. CyberGhost’s servers are optimised for streaming, and you can expect a buffering-free experience.

CyberGhost also supports P2P file sharing and thanks to the VPN’s robust encryptions, your ISP won’t be able to detect and throttle your torrent traffic.

Privacy & Security

CyberGhost take online security and privacy seriously. The VPN uses best-in-class tunnelling protocols with 256-bit AES military-grade encryption. Additionally, CyberGhost offers IP/DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. The provider also maintains a true zero logs policy, and you don’t have to worry about your data being logged and sold to a third party.

Compatibility

CyberGhost has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, Android TV, FireTV and Amazon Firestick. The apps are easy to set up and use, and you can connect up to 7 devices at the same time. Customer support is professional and friendly and you can reach out to them via live chat.

Pricing

CyberGhost offers a fully-featured 1-day free trial. No credit card is needed, and you can try it without having to worry about being charged seven days later when the trial period is over. The pricing plans are reasonably priced, and you can save 81% on their 3-year plan.

Additional subscription options include a $12.99 monthly subscription, a $3.69/month 2-year plan, and $5.25/month yearly plan. An unrivalled 45-day money-back guarantee covers all CyberGhost subscriptions.

  • Fast server speeds

  • Robust encryptions

  • Zero logs

  • 7 simultaneous connections

  • User-friendly interface

  • Friendly customer support

  • 45 day money-back guarantee

  • Expensive monthly subscription

Choosing the right VPN service provider

Below are some of the considerations you should make when selecting a VPN service provider.

  • Speed: Speed is arguably the most crucial factor you should consider when picking a VPN service. If a VPN has slow server speeds, it’s not worth your while. You would surely hate to spend on a VPN only to find you’re unable to stream even a standard definition video.
  • Server distribution: How many VPN servers does the provider offer? The more the number of servers, the better. With a vast server network, you’ll have better chances of finding a fast server connection and enjoy easy access to censored and geo-restricted sites. Just make sure the VPN you choose has servers in all your preferred locations.
  • Zero-logging policy: All the data that passes through a VPN’s network can be logged and stored. This includes all your DNS requests and timestamps. If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, it can store this information for a prolonged period which compromises your privacy.
  • Device compatibility: If you want your device to be protected, you’ll need a dedicated VPN client for that platform. The best VPNs offer easy-to-use apps for all the major platforms. A VPN app that requires you to become a tech expert isn’t worth the hassle.
  • Traffic restrictions: Some VPNs block torrent/P2P traffic. With such a VPN, you’ll be unable to download files from sites like The Pirate Bay.
  • Customer support: Even with the best VPNs you can run into challenges. When that happens, reliable and professional customer service can be invaluable.

Free vs Paid VPN services

There are some free VPNs that offer respectable service. However, most free VPNs pale in comparison to paid VPN services. If you are a privacy-focused user, you will be better off with a paid VPN service provider. You will get powerful encryptions and enjoy faster and more reliable connection.

Paid VPNs also maintain a Zero logs policy and you won’t have to worry about the authorities raiding their premises and obtaining your data. On the other hand, many free VPNs are known to log user activities and sell the data to advertisers and other third parties. Additionally, free VPNs impose bandwidth limits and are, therefore, unsuitable for streaming and other bandwidth applications.

Then there is the matter of accessing BBC iPlayer and Netflix. While not always guaranteed, you’ll have a better chance of unblocking the sites with a premium VPN service that offers dedicated IPs and actively replaces blacklisted IPs.

Final word

Ultimately, the best VPN service provider will be the one that matches your needs. If your primary use is streaming Netflix, then you will need a VPN that can reliably unblock the service. Torrenting fans, on the other hand, will need a VPN that accepts P2P traffic. All of the VPN service providers have a 99% guaranteed uptime availability and will ensure uninterrupted connections.

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