If you want to hide your tracks on the Internet, any VPN (Virtual Private Network) will suffice in most instances, but the best VPN goes beyond hiding your identity. Whether you’re passing time at the airport lounge waiting to catch a flight or you want to work on the go, the best VPN will ensure that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Even so, you have the daunting task of choosing the best VPN from the multitude of providers, including new entrants offering intuitive pricing plans and features to veterans that have built their reputation on reliability and security.
Generally, most people would agree that the best VPN should offer a solid combination of features, security, reliability, and great pricing options. Some VPN services focus on a particular segment of users while the majority of providers target a broad range of Internet users. Most people that use a VPN do so for privacy to hide their online activity trail and for security to protect their data. But a VPN can also help you access local content from abroad, as well as bypass access restrictions on some websites.
If you are in the market searching for a provider and wondering which is the best VPN, here are the top five VPN providers based on user reviews.
One of the most popular providers around, HideMyAss is a UK based VPN provider with an incredibly large pool of servers encompassing more than 60 countries, making it the ideal VPN for accessing geographically restricted websites.
HideMyAss offers attractive rates starting at $11.52 per month for the one month subscription plan or $78.66 for the yearly plan. They also offer a six month subscription plan at $50.66.
All major protocols are available for encryption, including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and IPSec; so the company does well in the security department as well.
In addition to the aforementioned standard features, HideMyAss offers a series of slick extras including a wide range of rotating IP addresses, a single connection supporting multiple devices, a client tool for increased convenience, and free speed guides.
However, if total anonymity is your major concern, HideMyAss may not be the best VPN for you as the company keeps user logs and can disclose them when requested by authorities as evidenced in the 2011 case of a Sony hacker who was using the service. Nonetheless, it is still one of the best VPN services if you’re looking for user friendliness, affordability, good security and privacy.
ExpressVPN offers a one-month subscription plan at $12.95, a six months plan at $59.95, and a yearly plan at $99.95, with a 30-day money back guarantee to protect your investment.
Their global network of servers spans 34 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Africa (Egypt), and Asia. With this big network, users can freely access any website without worrying about regional restrictions.
The client VPN software and all ExpressVPN for mobile devices including iPhone VPN App are configured to use OpenVPN protocol by default. However, the company also offers seamless configurations for L2TP/IPSec, TCP, SSTP and PPTP protocols. The service supports a wide range of mobile devices (with free iOS AND Android apps), making it ideal for users who want VPN services for their mobile computing devices.
For heavy Internet users, the data transfer rates for ExpressVPN may be a bit high, but casual users shouldn’t be so concerned about rates. Overall, Express VPN offers solid online protection from threats, stalkers, and unscrupulous stalkers. It doesn’t guarantee total online anonymity but the simplicity and no-frills service the company offers has attracted quite a legion of loyal customers and has made ExpressVPN one of the best VPN providers in the market.
VyprVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers on the market. With more than 700 servers in their global network, the company is easily the largest VPN provider for personalized services. A large network such as this one is ideal for unblocking geographically censored websites, regardless of where you are.
Based in Switzerland, VyprVPN guarantees 100% online privacy and anonymity because they are not mandated by any laws to retain user activity logs.
According to self claims, the company offers the fastest VPN service in the world, which is not hard to understand as they own and manage their server network.
For personal use, VyprVPN offers three pricing plans. The cheapest is the Basic plan that costs $6.67 per month but offers limited features and only one protocol to use – PPTP. The Pro VyprVPN plan costs $8.33 per month and allows 2 simultaneous connections plus access to four protocols including PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and the proprietary protocol called Chameleon.
The Premier plan costs $10.00 per month and allows up to 3 simultaneous connections, in addition to everything the other two plans offer.
VyprVPN offers an exceptionally high quality service with a lot of flexibility and unlimited data usage for both personal and business use.
StrongVPN offers some of the most intuitive pricing options of all the top VPN providers. A veteran in the Internet services provision area, StrongVPN is one of the best VPN providers by virtue of its solid reputation that it built over the years as a hosting provider.
The company boasts of more than 400 servers in 19 global locations.
The company’s pricing options are split into three categories: PPTP, OpenVPN, and Premium. The PPTP category comprises a number of packages starting at $7 including Lite, Standard, and Deluxe. Users in this category can make up to a maximum of 25 server switches a month.
Packages in the OpenVPN category offer identical features as those in PPTP but with stronger security of up to 2048-bit encryption.
The Premium package is the standout category as it offers no restrictions on data, server selection and a host of extras that justify its high price.
StrongVPN offers top-notch customer support and is often touted as the best in that area. Its major downside is price; clearly, the company’s rates are some of the highest in the industry, with a minimum subscription period of 3 months at $7 per month.
Although reputation alone is not enough to be on the list of the best VPN providers, StrongVPN offers guaranteed quality, speed, and reliability from a veteran provider, you should seriously consider StrongVPN.
PureVPN is particularly strong on security and privacy, having started out as an online security company back in 2006 offering security against intruders and data sniffers. That being said, the company doesn’t guarantee total anonymity although it is easily among the best VPN services.
The company offers three pricing options, with a yearly plan of $49.95, a six months plan at $44.95, and a one month plan for $9.95. Users are entitled to unlimited server switches regardless of which subscription plan they are on.
The service supports all the key VPN protocols including OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPsec, with the additional IKEvs2 for Blackberry.
PureVPN has more than 300 servers in 22 countries, ensuring that you will access any website you want even in the face of geographic or government restrictions.
Due to its simple VPN client software and ease of use, PureVPN has attracted a large number of clients over the years. Moreover, the tunneling can be split, enabling you to only encrypt the sensitive stuff while using your regular connection for less sensitive work. PureVPN also excels at connection speeds, which average between 4 Mbps and 21Mbps.
While the company stores user logs for login times and bandwidth usage, this information is purged every 5 days. In all, PureVPN is one of the best VPN services offering a good balance between quality and affordability.
IPVanish has a global network of more than 100 servers in 44 countries, with more than 7000 IPs to choose from. Thus, protecting your online identity and accessing restricted websites is pretty covered with IPVanish.
The service offers OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP protocols. More importantly, it offers L2TP in countries with heavy Internet censorship such as China and Pakistan. L2TP is harder to block than other protocols, making it ideal for travelers living in the aforementioned countries.
Speeds are descent on this service, consistently exceeding 10Mbps and there are no bandwidth charges. Speed is one of the key attributes that put IPVanish on the list of the best VPN providers.
There are three pricing plans to choose from: a one month plan of $10.00, a 3 months plan of $26.99, and a one-year plan of $77.99, with a 7-day money back guarantee on all plans. IPVanish VPN is supported on all major platforms for desktop and mobile.
According to the company’s website, they neither monitor nor keep user logs. However, since they have offices in the U.S., they are subject to investigations under PATRIOT act. Nonetheless, the superior speed, security, and access to restricted websites are enough to make the company one of the best VPN providers.
Overall, all the listed VPN services offer a descent service, with above average security features and online privacy. Only one provider can claim to offer 100 percent total online anonymity. Note that by enlisting a VPN service, your connection speeds will diminish by up to 75 percent depending on which provider you subscribe to and the distance between your current location and the server you’re connecting to.
If you’re searching for the best VPN provider, look no further than the aforementioned providers.