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The Best VPN Services

Rob Mardisalu

Rob Mardisalu

To date, we’ve bought and used over 78 VPN services and published 1,400+ user-reviews.
Find safe, well-performing VPNs below:

Best VPN comparison

There are approximately 300+ VPN services (free and paid) that come and go.

Each one looking the same, sounding the same, offering the same features and promising to keep your connection completely secure and anonymous.

But how do you find the best VPN?

With so many biased VPN reviews filling the web, it can be difficult to discern fact from profit-driven fiction.

At the TheBestVPN.com we’ve been testing and reviewing more than 70 popular VPN services to date. Each review contains background information on the VPN, in-depth look, speed test, and cons/pros.

Here are the most important factors of a VPN that we’ve compared:

  • Download speed
  • Privacy and security features/flaws
  • Jurisdiction and logging policy
  • Torrenting and Netflix availability
  • Usability and support
  • Cost

Find the detailed review process here.

Best VPNs for Online Privacy and Security

The best VPNs don’t keep any record of the websites you visit or the files you download. They mask your IP address at a budget-friendly price. And they offer tons of restriction-free servers across the globe so you can stream Netflix content or use torrenting freely.

Without further ado, here are the 10 best VPNs in 2019:

1. NordVPN – The Best “All-Round” VPN ($2.99/mo)

Ranks #1 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+
Fast Servers (5,000+)
+ Torrenting/P2P allowed
+ Works with Netflix
+ Strict no logs policy
+ Easy-to-use VPN apps
+ Double data encryption
+ No IP/DNS leaks found

Things we didn’t like:
Discounts for longer subscriptions only

Compatible with:

Located in Panama and packed with top-notch security features, NordVPN wins the best all-around VPN award.

No other VPN can match NordVPN’s server count – 5,000+ servers in 60 countries are the highest we’ve seen among VPN providers. For extra protection, NordVPN also uses the “double encryption” feature that combines two servers into one ultra-secure connection.

Their user-friendly VPN apps come fully loaded with a kill switch to protect your data from dropping into the wrongs hands.

The Panama City location puts this VPN in a privacy-friendly territory – while some VPN providers keep some logs of your activity (like IP address or timestamps), NordVPN doesn’t.

They also excelled in our series of hands-on tests.

It’s safe to say that the connection is rock-solid as zero leaks (no IP/DNS/WebRTC) were found. The service also works well with torrenting and bypassing geo-restrictions and certain sites like Netflix. Five out of six servers unblocked Netflix.

You can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously on almost any platform imaginable, including Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, or even your router. A long-term commitment will even bring the cost down from $11.95/month to only $2.99.

Only downside? The discounts only work with longer subscriptions. Luckily, they have the 30-day “no questions asked” money back guarantee.

Visit NordVPN.com
…or read our NordVPN review

 

2. Surfshark – Best “Cheap” VPN ($1.99/mo)

Ranks #2 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+
Strict no logs policy
+ Unlimited devices
+ Torrenting allowed

+ Unblocks Netflix geo-restrictions
+ Safe and secure
+ Addons: Multihop & Ad-blocker

Things we didn’t like:
Average speed
Small server network

Compatible with:

Surfshark’s 800+ servers in 51 countries provide top-of-the-line encryption and protocol options: AES-256-GCM across OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec.

All of tested six servers worked perfectly to stream Netflix content. All of the apps are loaded with all the privacy friendly perks, like a kill switch to protect your true IP from leaking to the world and Multihop.

Surfshark is also one of the few providers we’ve seen that offer unlimited device connections. That means there aren’t any artificial caps that would force you to purchase more than one account.

Torrenting and P2P are fully allowed and the app is very light-weight and simple to use.

The service is available nearly every device that’s used today. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. We ran Surfshark through six different leak tests and we didn’t find any leaks.

Surfshark’s “Camouflage Mode” feature also makes them unique compared to other VPNs; when turned on, Camouflage Mode makes your use of a VPN so stealth that even your ISP won’t be able to tell that you are using a VPN.

Finally, the price that you’re paying for a two-year plan is the cheapest we’ve found – See if the $1.99/mo discount is still valid.

However, no VPN service is 100% perfect. Speeds were inconsistent during our tests, plus their service network is significantly smaller compared to many competitors.

Visit Surfshark.com
…or read our Surfshark review

 

3. ExpressVPN – Best Streaming Performance ($6.67/mo)

Ranks #3 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ Supports ALL devices
+ Fast servers (minimal speed loss)

+ Unblocking Netflix USA
+ Torrenting and P2P allowed
+ No DNS/IP leaks found
+ Very simple and easy to use
+ No logs

Things we didn’t like:
3 simultaneous connections
More expensive than rivals

Compatible with:

Located in the British Virgin Islands and founded in 2009, ExpressVPN is another great VPN to choose.

A single subscription gets you to access over 3000+ fast servers in 94 countries.

They provide a variety of protocols (OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2) with the latest-and-greatest encryption standards (AES-256), perfect for almost any device.

We couldn’t find any IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks, and their installation files were clean from malware or viruses.

ExpressVPN’s app is easy-to-use and comes with kill-switch. Their log-free policy truly means no logging. Plus, their British Virgin Islands location puts them outside any intelligence-sharing agreements.

Both torrenting and Netflix works smoothly, without sacrificing performance or speed. In fact, they are one of the fastest VPNs we’ve reviewed to date.

The only downside? It’s a little on the pricey side, with monthly plans starting between $6.67 and $12.95/mo. But it’s a small price to pay for excellent performance in almost every category.

Visit ExpressVPN.com
…or read our ExpressVPN review

 

4. PerfectPrivacy – Unlimited Connections ($10.00/mo)

Ranks #4 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ No logs policy
+ Switzerland jurisdiction
+ Work with Netflix
+ Torrenting is allowed
+ Unlimited devices

Things we didn’t like:
 Most expensive VPN we’ve reviewed
Average download speed

You know exactly what you’re getting from a product called “Perfect-Privacy.”

Their logging policy is legit: None of your personal data is monitored or stored.

Perfect-Privacy also offers a leak-free connection with best-in-class AES-256 encryption and protocol options that include OpenVPN, IPSec, and SSH.

But the best part?

Unlimited connections. Most other competitors will only allow a small handful, like three to five, device connections at any given time. This means you can connect anything that runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, IPTV, or even routers. That could make it perfect for teams or organizations, too. Torrenting is completely allowed. As is Tor. And Netflix worked on one out of five servers we tried (A UK one).

There were a few drawbacks, though. Speeds were average. Not as fast as the first two options. They are under Switzerland jurisdiction which is generally good for privacy (and logs). However, they are known to cooperate with countries under the five eyes jurisdiction. Last but not least, they have only handful of servers in 26 countries only.

And the ~$10.00 – $14.75 monthly cost is on the higher end of the spectrum. (Although, it does look a lot better when you can connect dozens of devices.)

Visit Perfect-Privacy.com
…or read our Perfect Privacy review

 

5. IPVanish – Secure & Fast, US-Based, No Live Support ($6.49/mo)

Ranks #5 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ Good download speed
+ No logging policy
+ Works with Netflix and allows torrenting
+ Support all devices
+ 10 Simultaneous connections

Things we didn’t like:
 Belongs to StackPatch (Big US-based company)

 Slow customer support
High cost

IPVanish offers customers access to over 1,300+ servers in 75+ countries.

They support all major protocols with bank-grade AES-256 encryption. And you can use IPVanish on up to five Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android devices at a time. They also offer up to 10 simultaneous connections.

Netflix worked on one of the four servers we tested. Servers were fast, too, clocking in at the 26th position overall on our list, out of over 70+ reviews so far.

Here are a few of the biggest cons we noticed.

IPVanish pricing comes in a little high for long-term plans at $4.50 – 10.00 per month.

They don’t support Tor and discourage torrenting. So don’t count on either. Their customer service was unreliable during our tests.

And they’re located in a Five Eyes-friendly jurisdiction, meaning authorities can demand your personal information and share it among the U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Visit IPVanish.com
…or read our IPVanish review

 

6. Mullvad – Most Anonymous Signup Process ($5.69/mo)

Ranks #6 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ Anonymous signup process

+ No logging policy
+ Good speed

+ Industry standard encryption (256 AES)
+ Built-in kill switch

Things we didn’t like:
No iOS/Android app

Not a very user-friendly app
Mediocre customer support

Mullvad offers log-free website browsing for any Windows, Mac, or Linux device (up to five simultaneous connections)

Their AES-256 encryption with OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols were also IP & DNS leak-free across each of our six tests.

Mullvad’s server speeds even locked down the 10th spot. Impressive, considering their VPN software will only set you back ~$5.69/month.

Unfortunately, the app was slightly confusing to use. And there was no live chat to get fast answers from customer support.

The server park includes 370+ servers in 31+ countries, which is a little on the low side.

Their Swedish homebase also puts them under the extended 14 Eyes intelligence community. So even if they don’t have your website data, if the authorities come calling, your personal info might end up in a shared intelligence database somewhere.

Visit Mullvad.net
…or read our Mullvad review

 

7. CyberGhost – Great Features, Average Speed ($2.75/mo)

Ranks #7 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ Affordable pricing

+ Very simple to use application
+ No log files
+ Torrenting/P2P is allowed
+ Works with Netflix

Things we didn’t like:
Questionable parent company
Average download speed

Unresponsive customer support

CyberGhost reaches more than 3,600+ servers across 60 countries.

Their deadly-combination of Romanian location with strict ‘no logging’ means your private data will stay private.

As of last year, CyberGhost was sold to Kape Technologies, formerly knows as Crossrider Plc – which is infamous for creating and distributing malware.

Downloading one of their apps on your Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, or router only takes seconds. We confirmed the connection won’t leak your true location, after putting it through a barrage of six different tests. While the kill switch also gives you a perfect plan B in case anything happened to your connection.

On the plus side, they’re fully Tor compatible. But on the downside, not all servers are torrenting friendly.

Two out of four servers streamed Netflix content successfully. And they support most major protocols, including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec. The $2.75 to $12.99 average monthly cost means you can land a great deal by committing to a longer term.

The only other drawbacks we noticed were average server speeds (tested on two chosen at random). And customer service was also a little spotty, too.

Visit CyberGhost.com
…or read our CyberGhost review

 

8. Trust.Zone – Fast VPN w/ Small Server Network ($2.88/mo)

Ranks #8 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ Fast server network

+ Torrenting allowed + Works with Netflix
+ Strict no logs policy
+ Cheap cost
+ Affordable pricing
+ No leaks found

Things we didn’t like:
Limited device support
Small server network
Poor customer support
Average usability

Trust.Zone’s $2.88 – $8.88 monthly cost is one of the lowest ranges we’ve seen. Especially among the other top competitors at the top of this list.

Their performance doesn’t indicate some spotty, low-priced service, either.

Trust.Zone server speeds were similar to NordVPN (#1 on our list) in 15th place overall.

The parent company is based in the privacy-haven (and stunningly-beautiful) Seychelles. Which means they won’t hand over your data to the U.S., U.K. Australia, or any other country for that matter.

Their app compatibility ranges from iOS to Android, Linux, Windows, Mac, and even routers. Each native app also comes fully loaded with a kill switch.

Their servers offer restriction-free torrenting, and Netflix worked on two of the five we tried.

Trust.Zone also offers a host of encryption standards, including AES-256-CBC cipher, SHA256 authentication, RSA-2048 handshake.

If we had to gripe about a few things, it would be the slow-ish customer service (no live chat available). And the server count is pretty low (170+ in 30+ countries) – especially compared to the first few behemoths on this list. They also have only 3 simultaneous connections.

Visit Trust.Zone
…or read our Trust.Zone review

 

9. ibVPN – VPN, Proxy & Smart DNS All In One ($4.84/mo)

Ranks #9 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ No logs policy

+ Torrenting and P2P allowed
+ Unblocking Netflix
+ Many useful features
+ Fast support

Things we didn’t like:
Confusing pricing

Average speed
Small server network

ibVPN’s zero logging and Romanian location mean your privacy remains double secured.

Their easy-to-use app is compatible with a MASSIVE list of devices.

Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Boxee Box, Chromecast, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, LG WebOS Smart TV, PS4, Playstation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, DD-WRT VPN, and Tomato USB routers.

You can connect up to five devices simultaneously across those platforms.

Their servers are locked-down with AES-256 encryption. And they offer protocols that will work on most devices and networks, including OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, IPSec, SSTP.

Our customer service experience was excellent. And it didn’t cost us substantially more, with their monthly averages hovering around the middle in the $4.84 – $10.95 range.

Now, for the cons.

Their combined server speeds were only good enough for 46th place (out of 78 reviews). Firmly middle of the park. Torrenting is limited to only a few servers. So not ideal if downloading massive files is a priority. Their 180+ server network in 57 countries is relatively low, too.

Visit ibVPN.com
…or read our ibVPN review

 

10. Private Internet Access – Fast, US Based, But Limited Streaming ($3.49/mo)

Ranks #10 out of 78 VPNs

Things we liked:
+ Large server network (3300+)

+ Very affordable
+ Torrenting is allowed
+ Above average speed
+ No logs policy

Things we didn’t like:
Based in the US (5 eyes)

Live chat only for paying customers
1/6 servers work w/ Netflix

Private Internet Access (or PIA for short) came in as the fourth fastest VPN overall.

Their combined server score was actually the fastest out of all the other competitors ranking here in our top ten, too.

One of the reasons PIA is able to offer such good speeds is because they give you the option to purposefully downgrade the security encryption from AES-256 to AES-128. So if you know you’re on a safe network and want to emphasize speed, you can easily push the limit.

That’s awesome news for people who want to use P2P file sharing because torrenting is also unlimited.

You can connect up to ten devices through OpenVPN, IPSec/L2TP, PPTP, or Socks5 proxy protocols. Device compatibility covers all the big bases, like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux (+ Chrome extension).

PIA is also one of your cheaper options on this list. Their monthly ranges go from $3.49 to $9.95, along with the option to get your money back after seven days if needed.

It’s too bad they only offer live chat for paying customers. Although they provide an astonishingly-high total number of servers (3300+), they’re only spread across 32 countries.

That’s great if you’re in one of those countries – you’ll have plenty of options. But if you’re not, you might have trouble getting access to those same stellar server speeds.

Visit PrivateInternetAccess.com
…or read our Private Internet Access review

78 VPNs We’ve Tested + Reviews

Here’s the full link to our testing spreadsheet:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits of Using a VPN?

Hides your IP address, encrypts your traffic and allows you to remain anonymous.

You might know that a VPN delivers privacy and anonymity. But how, exactly, does it do that?

First, it masks your IP address to conceal where you’re sitting. That’s no small feat, considering many VPNs leak your DNS or IP address.

Appearing like you’re somewhere else allows you to bypass geo-blocked content or uncensor websites. It also helps journalists and privacy activists under authoritarian regimes escape backlash, jail time, or worse.

VPN’s create a secure tunnel around your entire internet connection (mostly using OpenVPN tunneling protocol), protecting not just your browser, but also your app activity, too. Most VPNs use 256-bit AES encryption that makes it virtually impossible for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to track which websites you’re visiting.

But it also means your personal data stays protected.

Further reading: What is a VPN? (Beginner’s Guide)

Is a VPN Fully Legal?

Yes, in 97% of countries.

Using a VPN is completely fine in most countries around the world.

However, we fact-checked 196 VPN country laws to confirm that some countries control VPN use, while others ban them outright.

Only “Government Approved” VPNs are supposed to be used in:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates

Getting caught using one that’s not sponsored could mean fines, jail time, or both.

Beware when in these countries, though. Because you can pretty much assume that “government approved” means they share some (if not all) data with each government when called upon.

Can You Use VPN to Stream or Watch Netflix?

Yes, you can…

Every VPN we reviewed says their service will work with Netflix. But not every VPN actually does work.

We found that roughly 70% of the VPNs we tested will fly under Netflix’s geo-blocking radar, including our two favorites: NordVPN and Surfshark.

Those numbers are pretty good, considering Netflix has aggressively gone after VPN connections and proxy servers in the last few years.

Their licensing restrictions are under extreme pressure, so they’re doing anything necessary to prevent people in the U.K. from streaming U.S. content (and vice versa).

The fact that our tests revealed both Surfshark and NordVPN work flawlessly on multiple servers was amazing.

It means they’re proactively avoiding detection from Netflix. And it means you can count on them working successfully in the future, too.

Besides Netflix, people also use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions, watch sports channels or even HULU.

Further reading: Best (Working) VPNs for Netflix (2019)

Are VPNs Safe for Torrenting?

Yes, they’ll keep your P2P activity anonymous.

The only problem is that not all VPNs will allow torrenting on their servers.

We’ve compiled the best VPNs for torrenting and found that most fall in one of four categories:

  1. Allow unlimited, unrestricted torrenting
  2. Allow limited torrenting only on specific servers
  3. Allow but don’t encourage and don’t
  4. Don’t allow

Torrenting connects you to peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing to download massive files at lightning speeds. Without a VPN, you leave yourself exposed from the other people on that same connection.

The problem is that torrenting is most well known for bypassing copyright laws to illegally download content.

And many VPN companies shy away from the potential blowback from authorities.

Do VPN Providers Keep Log Files?

Same VPN services collect and store your log files.

After going through 118, we found that 26 will collect three or more important log files that would easily reveal your personal actions.

They all say they “don’t log.” But pretty much all of them do. The trick is to dig into their privacy policies and terms of service to see what, exactly, they’re logging.

For example, pretty much all of them will track aggregate bandwidth usage so they can monitor their own server performance. That stuff is no problem.

It starts to get a little tricky when they track when you log in or out of their service. And you’ll want to run for the hills when they track individual websites you visit.

To make matters worse, a lot of them use overly-complicated legal mumbo-jumbo to confuse the issues.

They’ll word it in such a way that makes it sound innocent. It doesn’t seem like they’ll track the files you download.

Further reading: 15 free VPN services that can sell your data to 3rd parties

Can You Set Up a VPN on a Router, SmartTV, Game Consoles?

Yes, you can.

IF the VPN supports those devices. OR if they offer a workaround (like through manual OpenVPN setup).

Ideally, go with a VPN that natively supports the platform you have in mind.

Let’s say that’s a router. Setting up a VPN connection at your Internet source means you can lock-down your entire connection. But it also means you can effectively add as many devices to a secure network as you’d like, too.

If you do need to do a little more manual labor, click here to read our full guide on setting up a router VPN.

Win-win.

Additionally, setting it up on your Smart TV will help you more easily stream geo-blocked content on Netflix, Hulu, and others.

You can change server locations right from the device itself and simply cycle through the best options to finally access whatever content you desire.

What About FREE VPNs?

We never recommend free VPNs, here’s why:

You know what they say about “free” services…

YOU are the product.

Shady free VPNs will commonly track your data and sell it to the highest third-party bidder.

Many have even been caught doing far worse, like injecting ads or referring affiliate traffic to boost profits on your behalf.

Check out this one example from CSIRO research and FTC complaint against Betternet.

free vpns

Scary, right?

So be sure to do your homework.

Does VPN Impact Speed?

A little, expect a 30% drop…

But it depends a lot on the VPN.

Think about it:

Sure, they’re adding another layer of security. However, that also means they’re adding more hoops for your traffic to jump through.

Those additional speed bumps mean you can always expect a slowdown of some sort.

The key is to find a VPN that doesn’t completely derail your traffic, either.

We repeat the same speed test for each VPN we review.

First, we get the benchmark reading without a VPN so we can compare.

benchmark VPN speed test

Then, we connect to a few different servers to try and compile an unbiased, combined rating.

Throughout this process, we’ve seen some that might only dock your connection a few percentage points. Chances are, you wouldn’t even notice it.

But we’ve also seen some awful ones, too.

Some of the providers we’ve reviewed have slowed our connection down by over 100%!

That would make streaming content virtually impossible. Even answering emails would be a struggle.

We’ve ranked each VPN from first to the last place. So reference the ranking on each if you’re concerned.

How Much Is The Average Cost For a VPN?

A good VPN might set you back somewhere between $3 – $8/month…

Pretty affordable, right?

Usually, month-to-month options will cost you the most. We’ve seen some as high as $18 bucks per month.

But if you’re willing to prepay for a year (or even longer), you can expect to find something in the $3-7 range.

I’d recommend the following:

See if the VPN you’re interested in offers a free trial. Many do.

If not, go ahead and sign up for the month-to-month option. Almost every (good) VPN we’ve reviewed will give you somewhere between seven and 30 days to get your money back if you’re unhappy.

In fact, if you seek around, you’ll find out that we also offer a NordVPN coupon.

Then, once you’ve been able to try it out for a few weeks, commit to the long-term option to lock-in an awesome rate.

Can a VPN Help With My IPS Throttling?

Usually, yes…

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will ‘throttle’ your connection to intentionally slow it down.

Crazy. Shouldn’t be legal. But it is.

If you’re using a ton of bandwidth, streaming HBO or Netflix, they might purposefully slow down your connection to indirectly force you to stop.

Using these services mean two things:

  1. Fewer resources are available for their other customers, and
  2. You’re not watching their own services or shows

Many times, they’ll use sophisticated methods like ‘peering’ to basically spy on your traffic data. The problem is that it’s not always possible to escape throttling.

A VPN can help, though. It will encrypt your device, and help hide it from these peering-type activities.

It’s not foolproof. But it can help obfuscate your data packets buried below the surface that would identify you as you.

Are There Any Risks of Using a VPN?

Only when you are doing something very illegal…

VPNs are mostly safe. Using them is mostly legal.

So you shouldn’t run into any problems or risks.

Unless…

You’re doing one of a few things:

  • Using a non-government sponsored VPN in a country that requires one
  • Downloading copyrighted information through a VPN and torrenting
  • Performing other illegal activities while under a VPN connection.

Obviously, any of those questionable details can land you in hot water no matter what type of connection you’re running.

But for everyone else, you’re mostly risking time and money.

You’re wasting money on a VPN with terrible performance, for instance. So it might take forever to stream something until you eventually abandon it and can’t get your money back.

We’ve already highlighted some of the ‘spying’ and malware risks with free VPNs, too.

Fortunately, these are pretty rare. But it definitely does happen. So we’ll let you know if we found any potential red flags in each of our reviews on this site.