Best VPN

Simply the best all-purpose VPNs, with a fantastic attitude to privacy.
★★★ Best VPN 2018 ★★★


ExpressVPN Review

Fast and easy to use, ExpressVPN is a great service

In this updated review, Cloudwards.net takes a look at one of its favorite providers, ExpressVPN. It's a fast and secure service that is guaranteed to get you into Netflix as well as other streaming services, while keeping your data away from prying eyes.

By Fergus O'Sullivan20 Feb'172018-07-30 23:39:46

Starts from$ 667monthly
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NordVPN Review

Secure and user friendly, we can recommend NordVPN to anyone

NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers out there, thanks to its ease of use, excellent security and wide server network. Find out more about what we liked and disliked about the service in this comprehensive NordVPN review.

By Fergus O'Sullivan05 Jan'162018-11-02 10:53:47

Starts from$ 127monthly
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Good VPN

You can't go horribly wrong with these VPN.

Torguard Review

A highly secure VPN with some usability issues.

TorGuard is an excellent security-focused VPN that safeguards our browsing habits and keeps your daqta private. It's not the best for streaming Netflix and other services, however, and inexperienced users may have some toruble adjusting to the interface. Read our full TorGuard review for details.

By Jacob Roach05 Jan'162018-10-17 09:25:16

Starts from$ 391monthly
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Cyberghost Review

A user-friendly and affordable VPN.

In this CyberGhost review we're taking a look at a service that has stayed under the Cloudwards.net radar for a long time, to our own regret as it's an excellent service that rightly takes its place in our top three as a Netflix- and user-friendly VPN.

By Fergus O'Sullivan06 Mar'152018-10-10 04:17:33

Starts from$ 350monthly
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Goose VPN Review

A solid service that offers reasonable pricing.

GooseVPN is a fairly new Dutch service that has impressed the Cloudwards.net team with its high security, ease of use and access to Netflix. Though not quite up to spec to market leaders, we feel confident that's not long in coming. Read our full GooseVPN review for the details.

By John Tangney27 Jun'182018-07-05 01:16:20

Starts from$ 299monthly
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Private Internet Access Review

A fast, no-frills service.

If you're looking for a fast, no-frills VPN service, Private Internet Access deserves your attention. It does what it needs to, no questions asked, though we do wish PIA had a little less trouble getting into Netflix and other streaming services. Read our full review to know more.

By Fergus O'Sullivan06 Jan'182018-10-23 22:43:47

$ 291monthly
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Windscribe Review

A good service with a fantastic free plan.

Windscribe is an interesting VPN service that aims to dethrone the best providers out there and almost succeeds. Though it comes with a few issues, generally speaking it's an excellent VPN and definitely has the best free plan out there. Check out our Windscribe review for all the details on this up

By Jacob Roach27 Aug'182018-09-06 22:15:57

Starts from$ 370monthly
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Mullvad Review

The little service that could.

Mullvad is an interesting service that has a high standard for privacy and gets you into Netflix most of the time. It's also unique in that it accepts hard cash as payment. Read all about this quirky service in our full Mullvad review.

By John Tangney05 Jan'162018-09-06 21:58:55

$ 560monthly
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OK VPN

Decent VPN, with few caveats and log files, nothing for the security fanatic.

AirVPN Review

Great security, tough user experience.

An enthusiast-built program, AirVPN has security that rivals that of any of the top providers on the market. Its interface, however, requires a lot of patience and support in nonexistent, making this a poor choice for people just getting to grips with VPNs. Read all the details in our AirVPN review.

By Jacob Roach06 Jan'162018-09-06 06:15:55

Starts from$ 116monthly
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Astrill Review

Fast but expensive, great features but bleh UI.

Astrill is a bit of a mixed bag: it's fast and has great features, but its interface was designed for ants and it's pricey. Still, it's good for Netflix and other streaming and allows torrenting, so we can't ban it from keeping company with our best VPN providers.

By Jacob Roach05 Oct'182018-10-09 08:17:37

Starts from$ 833monthly
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StrongVPN Review

A good service with a bad interface.

StrongVPN has a lot going for it when it comes to the tech behind it, but a user-unfriendly interface plus some minor niggles keep it from breaking through to the upper regions of our VPN rankings. Read our StrongVPN review to find out if it's for you or if it deserves a pass.

By John Tangney06 Mar'182018-06-04 23:18:36

Starts from$ 500monthly
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VyprVPN Review

A good service with a small network.

A good service that would be great if it'd only update the desktop client and add a few more servers around the world. Besides that, users will find an easy to use interface and great security; it also gets into Netflix reasonably well. Read the details in our full VyprVPN review.

By Fergus O'Sullivan05 Mar'152018-04-13 07:19:01

Starts from$ 500monthly
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Perfect Privacy Review

Customizable and costly, Perfect Privacy mostly impresses.

While it's somewhat pricey and doesn't do much to hold your hand, Perfect Privacy packs a slew of features designed to protect your anonymity and offers more configuration options than most VPNs today, if not as many country connections.

By John Tangney24 May'182018-06-15 03:38:05

Starts from$ 037monthly
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Review

A good free plan, and an expensive paid one.

Hide.me is famous for its free plan, and rightfully so: it's probably one of the better ones out there thanks to its decent speed and server network. When you start paying for it, however, is when the cons start mounting up as its plans are expensive.

By John Tangney15 Jun'182018-06-15 03:21:33

Starts from$ 499monthly
Review

ProtonVPN Review

A middle-of-the-road option.

After testing ProtonVPN, the Cloudwards.net team can only conclude that you could do worse, but you could also do better. While it does what it needs to without leaks and can access Netflix, we're left with the nagging feeling the same amount of money buys you more elsewhere.

By John Tangney06 Jul'182018-07-06 00:18:50

Starts from$ 400monthly
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HideMyAss Review

A great UI and network, but keeps logs.

The service with the largest network on the market, HideMyAss has a great interface and decent pricing. However, as you can read in our full review, it doesn't do that great a job of actually hiding your ass as it keeps logs. Read or full HMA review for the details.

By John Tangney08 Aug'182018-10-15 00:46:23

Starts from$ 699monthly
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Speedify Review

A good free VPN, though there are better paid options.

Speedify is a U.S.-based VPN that offers a good free plan, though the Cloudwards.net team feels there are better paid options out there. However, thanks to its great ease of use, some individuals may very much appreciate it, as you can read and see in our full Speedify review.

By Steve Iva22 Oct'182018-10-22 00:13:10

Starts from$ 417monthly
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Avast SecureLine VPN Review

A pricey VPN that does the job less well than others.

Avast SecureLine VPN is but one of Avast's many security products. As VPNs go, it's pretty decent as it gets you into Netflix and uses good encryption, but for the price you can get better. Check out our full review for the details on why we recommend going elsewhere.

By John Tangney12 Jul'182018-10-09 07:38:43

Starts from$ 167monthly
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Buffered VPN Review

A VPN service that doesn't quite live up to the competition

Buffered VPN protects user privacy with OpenVPN tunneling and shared IP addresses. Unfortunately, several key features are missing from its repertoire, such as a speed test, a kill switch and DNS-leak protection.

By Joseph Gildred01 Feb'172018-04-24 11:44:49

Starts from$ 825monthly
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CactusVPN Review

A fast-ish, decent service that still has some growing to do

CactusVPN is a relatively young company that delivers speed and security, which it combines with great customer service.

By JeanLuc Gusmao27 Jul'172018-03-23 04:07:56

Starts from$ 217monthly
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IPVanish Review

Privacy concerns give us pause on this otherwise decent VPN.

IPVanish is a well-established VPN with a strong fan base and a mixed reputation. During this latest round of testing we liked a lot about it, but its track record for privacy, as well as a few other niggles, keep it from being anywhere near the top spot. Read our full IPVanish review for the deets.

By Jacob Roach05 Mar'152018-11-09 02:35:49

Starts from$ 649monthly
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VPN Unlimited Review

A middle-of-the-road service with decent security

VPN Unlimited is a service with good security, but lacking in features. Our overall impression was one of squandered potential, but thanks to its lifetime plans it may be the perfect fir for small businesses that need that extra bit of security. Read our full VPN Unlimited review for the details.

By Fergus O'Sullivan19 Sep'162018-07-31 02:50:58

Starts from$ 500monthly
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TunnelBear Review

A mediocre service with a good free plan.

TunnelBear is probably the best free VPN out there, but that isn't saying much: it won't get you into Netflix, speeds are mediocre at best and we have some doubts about its customer service. Read our full TunnelBear review for the dirty details.

By John Tangney01 Dec'162018-11-01 23:51:54

Starts from$ 499monthly
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VPNArea Review

A decent VPN that's getting better.

VPNArea is a Bulgarian service that seems to be getting better by the day. While in earlier versions of this review we had a few complaints here and there, as it stands now the service gets you into Netflix U.S., no longer leaks your DNS, has recently gotten a face lift and is pretty affordable, to

By John Tangney07 Feb'172018-08-09 08:13:14

Starts from$ 492monthly
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TigerVPN Review

Serious security issues mar an otherwise okay service.

Though it has a lot going for it, TigerVPN just has too many security issues for us to recommend it. That's a shame, because its pricing is reasonable and it will get you into Netflix U.S. Read the details in our full TigerVPN review to see why exactly we recommend you avoid this VPN.

By John Tangney12 Apr'182018-05-07 07:15:17

Starts from$ 275monthly
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BolehVPN Review

Mediocre service plagued by issues.

BolehVPN is a Malaysia-based service that does certain things well, but suffers from mediocre security and a limited server network as well as some interface issues. On the upside, it does get into Netflix most of the time. Read our review for the details.

By John Tangney06 Jan'162018-04-19 00:14:30

Starts from$ 370monthly
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BoxPN Review

The slowest VPN around.

BoxPN is a promising VPN service that utterly fails to deliver when it comes to speed. While its ease of use is impressive, its server switch time is great and it has great pricing, it drops the ball in too many vital areas to be recommended. Read our full BoxPN review for the details.

By Kevin Kassidy31 Oct'182018-11-01 04:17:34

Starts from$ 666monthly
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ZenMate Review

ZenMate plays fast and loose with your data. Avoid.

You may be interested in using ZenMate thanks to its attractive pricing and intuitive interface. This would be a mistake: the service is inherently insecure and you may as well stand on the rooftops and yell your personal information out from there. Check out our ZenMate review for more details.

By John Tangney07 Mar'172018-03-26 05:32:28

Starts from$ 500monthly
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purevpn Review

Improving, but not there yet.

PureVPN has improved a lot since we last reviewed, but still falls short in a few key areas. Though we still have some hopes for the service, right now we can't truly recommend it. Read our full review to find out why and also see some PureVPN alternatives we recommend.

By Fergus O'Sullivan25 Jul'162018-08-24 00:27:05

$ 165monthly
Visit purevpnpurevpn Review

SaferVPN Review

A shaky service that fails where VPNs need to succeed

SaferVPN is a fairly standard, but cheap, VPN service with decent features but slow download speeds and some other restrictions.

By Fedor Karmanov31 Jul'172018-04-13 10:54:25

Starts from$ 349monthly
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PrivateVPN Review

A good service that consistently falls short of greatness

PrivateVPN is a good service that offers a no-frills VPN experience at reasonable prices.

By Fedor Karmanov14 Sep'172018-03-23 04:44:32

Starts from$ 450monthly
Visit PrivateVPNPrivateVPN Review

cryptostorm Review

Good security, but only for hardcore techies.

Cryptostorm is a VPN aimed at hardcore techies, or people who are willing to become one to protect their privacy. It is, without a doubt, one of the most user unfriendly VPNs we've reviewed, but its security is excellent and the price is right. Read our full cryptostorm review for the details.

By Steve Iva01 Nov'182018-11-02 01:05:07

Starts from$ 186monthly
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VPN.asia Review

A deeply mediocre VPN provider

VPN.asia is a badly misnamed VPN provider based out of Central America. Though it has a nice interface and gets into Netflix, customer support isn't very good and speeds are so low that you can't stream properly. Check out our full VPN.asia review to see why you may want to keep shopping.

By John Tangney16 May'172018-05-31 01:02:51

Starts from$ 250monthly
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Not Recommended

These VPN didn't pass our tests and should be avoided.

TotalVPN Review

Bad billings practices, a lot of customer complaints.

By Mauricio Prinzlau01 Nov'162018-04-13 10:58:13

Starts from$ 499monthly
Visit TotalVPNTotalVPN Review

Hotspot Shield Review

A worrying privacy policy mars an otherwise okay experience

A decent service we would happily rate as "good," were it not for the highly worrying privacy policy.

By JeanLuc Gusmao09 Aug'172018-03-23 04:47:44

Starts from$ 500monthly
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Shellfire VPN Review

Slow, insecure and ugly, this VPN rates "pass"

Shellfire VPN is a service that seems to think highly of itself, but once you pop open the hood fails spectacularly. Between the ugly interface, the slow speeds and the iffy security, we recommend that shoppers look elsewhere. Read our Shellfire review for the dirty details.

By John Tangney06 May'172018-04-13 11:00:04

Starts from$ 320monthly
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VikingVPN Review

The client does not work, but the payment page does...

VikingVPN is either defunct or a scam. Do yourself a favor and do not pay money to this service. Not only will your login not work on the client, locking you out, customer support will be entirely unresponsive. We'd offer a full VikingVPN review, but there's nothing to review. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

By Fergus O'Sullivan24 Jul'182018-08-17 07:39:49

VPN Reviews – This Is How It Works

Every business, be it a startup or a multinational corporation, has its own set of challenges, and one of them is security. Concern for security comes in many forms such as the threat from internal employees, hacking, phishing and more.

Among the most critical is how to communicate and exchange information securely between employees sitting at multiple locations. Here is where a VPN or a Virtual Private Network proves to be very handy. It is a fast, reliable, and secure way to exchange information across computer networks, and an excellent, secure mode of communication from remote locations.

However, you will probably be wondering how it fits into your business, how it would benefit you, and who are the top providers. Here, we explain what a VPN is, its advantages, types, a list of the top VPN providers, and the pitfalls every business should refrain from while choosing a VPN provider.

We here at Cloudwards.net, are committed to delivering all the information you need to help make business decisions faster and more effectively, and offer an unbiased overview of the current, top VPN service providers here. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the options available, starting with some basic information.

What Is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network allows a network-enabled device or computer to connect and exchange information within a private network (such as a company’s internal network) using a public or shared network, such as the Internet.

It allows employees to access their company intranet securely while on the go and helps connect geographically separated offices of a business. With a VPN, the entire network traffic remains encrypted and accessible by authorized users only, making it less vulnerable to potential security threats and eavesdropping.

Who is it for?

A VPN is useful for everyone who uses the Internet and is concerned about privacy and security. Here are a few types of users for whom VPN may prove to be a significant resource.

  • Journalists – Confidentiality is of utmost importance for journalists and a VPN fits the bill. It encrypts traffic and enables access to services that are restricted in specific countries, making communication easy and secure.
  • Students – Students often need to access their university or college network from their home or other locations and VPNs make it easier by offering fast and secure communication by encrypting the traffic, preventing unauthorized access to transmitted data.
  • Remote Workers – VPNs can be useful for remote workers and employees who need to access their company network while they are on the move. It enables smooth and secure communication, allowing the transfer of sensitive documents.
  • The Downloader – VPNs are a great option for people who download files frequently over the Internet as they offer great bandwidth and faster speed, all with a robust security system. It lets users remain anonymous while downloading files with zero restrictions regarding bandwidth or speed.
  • The Globetrotter – Using VPNs, any traveler can watch their favorite TV shows as they air and access location-restricted web services easily while they travel.

In a nutshell, a VPN is useful for anyone who wants to secure their network and communication, be it checking your emails over public Wi-Fi or accessing confidential company data.

Types of VPN

There are primarily two types of VPNs: Site-to-site VPNs and Remote-based VPNs. Let’s take a look at each of them in detail.

Site-to-site VPNs

This type of VPN is perfect for businesses that have offices in multiple locations. With site-to-site VPN, employees from one office can easily and securely send and receive data with employees sitting at a different geographical location over the Internet.

There are two types of site-to-site VPNs:

Intranet-based: If a business has multiple remote locations and wants to join them in a single private network, they can create an intranet-based VPN to connect each independent LAN to a single WAN.

Extranet-based: If a business wants to communicate and work together in a secure, shared environment with another organization such as a supplier or partner, they can create an extranet-based VPN by connecting those companies’ LANs.

Remote-access VPN

This VPN enables individual users to connect and communicate securely with a remote computer network. This is mostly used in large-sized enterprises that have a large number of salespeople working in the field who need to access the company network regularly.

Remote-access VPNs come in two forms. One is a network access server (NAS), which is a dedicated server, or an application running on a shared server. In this case, users need to connect to the NAS over the Internet to access the VPN. Users key in their credentials to access the VPN, which is validated by the NAS either by using a separate authentication server or its own authentication process.

The other form is client software installed on the user’s computer or smartphone to access the VPN. The software sets up an encrypted connection to the NAS, which the user accesses by its IP address.

Several types of VPN protocols fall into these two broad categories such as PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, SSL, MPLS, Hybrid, SSTP, and OpenVPN.

The Advantages

There are several advantages of using a VPN; however, the most notable ones are as follows:

  • Keeps data transmission and communication secure, and flexible over the Internet
  • Enables users to browse the web anonymously
  • Allows users to access Geo-restricted or blocked web services or applications
  • Improves network performance
  • Costs lower compared to installation and maintenance of dedicated Internet connections at multiple locations
  • Improve productivity by allowing employees to work remotely or off-site
  • Enables safe browsing and keeps data secure over Public Wi-Fi
  • Keeps user IP addresses hidden, resulting in better protection from identity and data theft
  • Scalable and does not need any components to accommodate growth

The Top Contenders

Choosing the right VPN provider could be a daunting task, so we’ve listed down a few top contenders and their benefits to make your job easier.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is one of the fastest growing VPN providers and has accumulated over a thousand clients globally, in a span of just two years. It is managed by London Trust Media, based in the U.S., and has been featured in several renowned publications such as MSN Money, Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

It offers three subscription plans – monthly, half-yearly, and annual. The monthly plan costs just $6.95, but for the best savings, the annual plan that costs $39.95 is perfect, at a rate of just $3.33 a month.

Some interesting features it offers are:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • DNS leak protection
  • Encrypted Wi-Fi
  • P2P and VoIP support
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSEC
  • Supports Linux, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Private Internet Access Homepage

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is another popular VPN provider and has been in the business since 2009. Currently, it has VPN servers in over ninety-seven cities in seventy-eight countries, and plans to expand to other countries as well.

Like Private Internet Access, it also offers three plans for monthly ($12.95/month), half-yearly ($59.95 at $9.99/month) and annual ($99.95 at $8.32/month) subscriptions. All plans come with a 100% Money-back guarantee for the first 30-days of service.

Here is a quick rundown of the features it offers:

  • Unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switches
  • OpenVPN, SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP-IPSEC protocols
  • Round-the-clock email and chat support
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Supports Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices
  • 256-bit encryption

IPVanish

IPVanish is considered a behemoth in the industry, and has been providing VPN services to thousands of customers globally for the last fifteen years.

It also offers three plans for monthly ($10/month), quarterly ($26.99 at $8.99/month) and annual ($77.99 at $6.49/month) subscriptions.

Some of the features it offers are:

  • Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Prevents deep packet inspection by ISPs
  • Unlimited server switching
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Wi-Fi hotspot protection
  • Encrypts iOS connections
  • OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols
  • Unlimited bandwidth

CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a well-known VPN supplier based in Romania and has a massive user base of more than 4 million. Founded by Robert Knapp, the company has been featured in popular magazines such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, and VPNHero.

It offers both free and paid plans and comes with 7-day money back guarantee. The paid plan is divided into two parts; namely Premium ($6.99/month) and Premium Plus ($10.99/month).

Some of the features it offers are:

  • Quick and easy installation
  • Mobile apps for both iOS and Android
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Anti-fingerprinting system

 

TorGuard

TorGuard is another renowned VPN service provider, based in Panama, with servers in Romania, Ukraine, and The Netherlands.

It offers four plans, Anonymity (starting at $5.95/month), Private Email ($6.95/month), Smart DNS ($5.95/month), and complete VPN services at $9.99/month.

Here is a list of the features it offers:

  • OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols
  • Supports Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • 256-bit AES VPN encryption
  • Private IPs
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switching

AirVPN

AirVPN is based in Italy and was managed and operated by a company named Iridium until 2012.

It has a large user base spread globally, and is considered one of the pioneers of the VPN industry when it comes to privacy. It comes at a price of €7 per month, but the cost can go lower if users opt for  a quarterly, half-yearly, or annual commitment.

The features it offers that make it popular are:

  • Unlimited and free server switches
  • Unlimited speed
  • Strong encryption
  • All major VPN protocols allowed with zero restrictions

BolehVPN

BolehVPN is the brainchild of BV Internet Services based in Hong Kong and has VPN servers in several countries globally such as China, Canada, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and Germany. It offers a free, one-day trial, which is available upon request and comes at a price of $79.99 per year.

Here are some of the features it offers:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Open Door policy where users can directly interact with the founders
  • Multiple support modes such as social media and forums
  • Encrypted with AES algorithms
  • Don’t maintain a user activity log

NordVPN

NordVPN has been providing VPN services for over ten years, and considered one of the best VPN service providers available today.

It has been featured on several magazines such as PCMag, Torrentfreak, and vpncompare.co.uk. Like other VPNs, it also offers a monthly plan that comes at $8 per month, but can cost as low as $4 a month if users opt for an annual subscription.

Here is a list of features it offers which made them a leader:

  • Automatic kill switch
  • No log policy
  • DNS leak resolver
  • Supports all types of computing devices
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • SSL-based, 2048-bit encryption
  • Round-the-clock support with multiple modes such as email, chat, and Facebook

VyprVPN

VyprVPN, a VPN service offered by Golden Frog to both personal and business users, it has a customer base spread out in over 195 countries.

VyprVPN servers are available at 45 locations in five continents. Some of its key customers are Reddit, Canonical, Vipaar, and more. It has three plans, with the base plan starting at $6.67 per month.

Here is a list of some of its features:

  • Unlimited data usage
  • Supports for all major OS
  • NAT Firewall
  • Up to 50GB Dump Truck storage
  • Three simultaneous connections (depending on the plan chosen)

Mullvad

Mullvad is a small VPN service provider based in Sweden and has been acclaimed for its powerful service.

It offers a single plan at a flat rate of €5 per month, providing access to its full range of features. Mullvad also offers a free trial to test their service, but only for three hours.

Some of the features it offers are:

  • It allows up to three devices to connect to it simultaneously
  • Accepts payment through Cash, Bankwire, Bitcoin, PayPal, or major credit cards
  • Mobile apps for both iOS and Android

Before making any purchasing decision, it is very important to compare the features and benefits offered by these VPN service providers, so here, we shed some light on the key features of each, as well as their subscription models to help you find the one that fits your needs best.

Here is a list of parameters we consider to populate our reviews.

  • Pricing and Features
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • The Software
  • Performance
  • The website and customer support

Questions to Ask

Every product comes with its own set of pros and cons, which makes it even harder to evaluate which one addresses your needs properly and to avoid wasting money on a poor service. Here is what you need to ask your VPN provider before subscribing to their service.

  • Do they retain user data logs?
  • Where is the VPN provider based?
  • Where are the servers located?
  • What does it do with the user’s data it does have?
  • Does the provider offer malware or spyware scanners?
  • Does it offer mobile apps?
  • How strong is the encryption algorithm?
  • How do they accommodate any sudden changes in a country’s legal system and policies, where the VPN servers are located?
  • What is their user privacy and anonymity policy?
  • How many servers do they have?
  • How many server locations can you use?
  • What is the number of simultaneous connections allowed?
  • Does the provider limit bandwidth for performing certain activities?
  • Does it offer secure payment options, such as Bitcoin?

 

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