The criteria of the best VPN
Before we get down to reviewing the best VPN services, you would probably want to know, what is the best VPN, how do we define it? The answer to that question is simple and complicated at once: the best VPN is the virtual private network that provides the most extensive list of services, ensures the total security of users’ data, has at least relatively affordable pricing as well as user-friendly interface. That is a succinct but a precise definition of the best VPN software that will feature in ours, and maybe some other virtual private network reviews. So, without further ado, let’s begin our review of top VPN services which was elaborated by vpn-service.net .
What is the best VPN service as of this year?
The list of our best VPN services starts with NordVPN. This top VPN was launched in 2012 by four software developers who dreamed of implementing different interesting ideas in the area of information technology, mainly related to a truly free and anonymous Internet that can be ensured by the means of virtual private network. The owner of the service is Tefincom, a company registered in Panama, has full ownership rights for this VPN service. It is possible to say with full confidence that NordVPN successfully implements the notions of the best VPN hider because at the moment, this service is considered one of the most effective, reliable and profitable among other VPN providers in terms of price-to-performance ratio. So, why NordVPN is considered the one of the best VPN services around? It provides it devoted users with an opportunity to use one of 4908 servers located in 62 countries of the world to fully anonymize their Internet activity. Not a lot of top VPN can boast such a vast amount of servers.
It should be mentioned that NordVPN offers its users a choice of as much as six types of specialized servers which is a genuine characteristic of the best VPN 2018.
- Customary servers that conduct the standard anonymization of online activity.
- A server with a dedicated IP address that grants each user of this VPN software a separate IP address that will be permanently assigned to him/her.
- Double VPN protection presumes that all user traffic passes through two servers, providing double encryption of all data. The double encryption is the feature of only the top VPN services.
- Servers-obfuscators is the VPN service used by the residents of countries with the strict Internet censorship, such as Russia or China.
- Onion Router (TOR) provides the means for using any virtual private network, in our case NordVPN, simultaneously with the so-called “onion routing”, particularly the so-called TOR browser.
- P2P-servers are used within the best VPNs for the direct exchange of information with other users without any restrictions of traffic and bandwidth.
NordVPN features three service plans: monthly ($11.95), semi-annual ($9 per month) and annual ($6.99 per month), which can be purchased both through conventional payment systems or by virtue of cryptocurrencies. If the user experience was for some reason unsatisfactory, though it is highly unlikely in case of the best VPN providers, the company undertakes the obligation to refund the user within 30 days.
Being the best VPN NordVPN offers two types of automatic kill switch that blocks only a certain application or completely disrupts the Internet connection.
NordVPN uses SmartPlay technology to open its users to services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, which are limited for many countries. If you compare VPN services, you will see that only the best VPNs feature this particular technology.
The NordVPN team also took a very responsible approach to security by providing the military-grade AES-256 encryption and IKEv2 / IPsec protocols for Mac and iOS.
NordVPN also adheres to the no-log keeping policy which, along with Panamanian registration of the company, protects users from encroachments from various intelligent services and cyber perpetrators. Remember, that the proper jurisdiction is also a chief characteristic of the best VPNs.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN software for secure online activity and anonymous Web surfing. This VPN service has been ensuring the user’s anonymity since 2009. This VPN software supports such operating systems as Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, many popular models of routers, video and game consoles. ExpressVPN offers 145 locations in 94 countries, as well as a wide range of special clients along with the software that is suitable for both mobile devices and personal computers. But that’s not all: it works with routers (they provide their own firmware), VPN extensions for browsers, unlocks content for many streaming media devices and Smart TV; these are the characteristics of the best paid VPN service. Another crucial fact about this fast VPN is that it has many educational materials about this service on the Internet which explain everything regarding its functionality and help solve problems in an accessible form. Being the best VPN 2018, ExpressVPN provides the real-time support for its customers 24 hours a day, so you can get answers to all possible questions about the service. ExpressVPN also supports P2P data exchange and features an emergency switch (to keep your IP masked in case of the disruption of the Internet connection). It employs the military-grade AES-256-bit SSL encryption, the same the majority of other VPN services, however, due to the competent distribution of data streams, the overall speed of data transfer is kept intact. ExpressVPN, as confirmed by this and other VPN reviews works with popular OpenVPN protocols (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP and PPTP.
The company’s headquarters is located on the British Virgin Islands which is a huge plus since all top VPNs are located in the jurisdictions that are out of the 14 Eyes Alliance’s reach. There is a possibility to pay for the service plans in Bitcoin in order to remain fully anonymous. In a sense, ExpressVPN is the most private VPN service in the industry today.
There are some other advantages:
- The user can connect three devices at once with the same license.
- ExpressVPN offers unlimited channels, so you can watch video or talk in video chats without tedious buffering.
- Being among the top VPNs, ExpressVPN copes with the task of unblocking Hulu, Netflix, BBC perfectly, some virtual private network reviews even state that some users experience trouble in that department but it is rather an exception to the general rule.
CyberGhost is a top 10 VPN company that is headquartered in the capital of Romania thus out of reach of transnational intelligence agencies. Over the course of seven years, the CyberGhost team, which currently consists of 45 IT specialists, has managed to significantly expand its client base to over 20 million users worldwide, which is one of the biggest client base among other VPN services. As of September 2018, CyberGhost operates 2,800 servers located in 60 countries which make it one of the biggest and ultimately the best virtual private network in the world. Unlike some services, mentioned in other VPN reviews, CyberGhost does not provide a dedicated IP address but assigns it to all users of a giver server, which, presumably, creates a more profound anonymization. Moreover, CyberGhost wouldn’t be the best private VPN service without the following features:
- A significant level of protection, provided by the AES-256 encryption algorithm.
- A secure connection is established through the tunneling protocols, namely PPTP, Layer 2 TP-IPSec and OpenVPN.
- This private VPN service allows you to use VPN on seven devices at the same time when purchasing only one service plan.
- Provides an extra efficient protection against the DNS and IP-leaks.
CyberGhost has three service plans: the 1-month ($11.99), the 1-year ($59.88) and the 3-years ($99). There is also a possibility to download a trial version, which can be used for 7 days. If, for any reason, the user is not satisfied with the level of provided VPN services, he/she can opt for the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Thanks to the recent technical updates, which were carried out by CyberGhost over the last year, the download/upload speed has significantly dramatically, making it one of the best virtual private network software to date.
TrustZone is next on our list of VPN best service providers. It was launched in 2014 by Trusted Solutions LLC, a company registered in Seychelles. Since this territory does not fall under the jurisdiction of the intelligence alliance called 14 Eyes that consists of special services from the United States, Britain, Australia and some other countries, users can be quite sure that their user data will not be shared under any circumstances. The strict adherence to the no-log keeping policy instills even more confidence regarding the status of TrustZone as the best private VPN.
TrustZone has 128 servers located in 31 countries around the world. Anonymization of user activity is carried out using the state-of-the-art OpenVPN protocol (standard protocol for all providers in the industry), enhanced with the AES-256 encryption algorithm. The L2TP Over IPSec protocol is also available, making TrustZone so versatile that it fully deserves the name of the best private VPN service, as confirmed by other VPN reviews.
Downloading and installing the VPN client takes a few minutes. TrustZone does not impose any restrictions on the amount of traffic or network bandwidth, so you can easily download torrent files of any size, stream your own videos or use popular services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlay, and everything else that is inherent to the best VPN service.
As for DNS and WebRTC-leaks they are virtually non-existent due to the TrustZone’s well-elaborated protection mechanisms which again proves that it is the best private VPN.
TrustZone can be used on all popular operating systems: Windows, MacOS, Android etc. Before downloading the installation program, the system will ask you to provide your email address, but this will probably be the only personal information that you will have to share with this best VPN service.
TrustZone provides the opportunity to use the P2P channels to directly exchange data with other users which the characteristic of the best VPN software.
TrustZone provides four types of packages: a free one (3 days), a monthly ($6.99), the three-month package ($4.95 / month) and the annual ($3.33 / month). All in all, TrustZone can be confidently regarded as the best VPN service among the ones in the same price category.
To finish up the list of the best VPN companies we vpn-service.net present you the Canadian software for anonymous web surfing that is well-adapted to Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android operating systems. The TunnelBear’s peculiarity lies in its original interface, the archaic toggle switch, and a free service plan. It is obviously not the most technologically advanced among the best VPN clients but we have decided to include it in our list of the best VPN providers because it is very beginner and budget-friendly. After all, a lot of people need something simple and affordable, that’s why we have included TunnelBear in our list.
TunnelBear uses OpenVPN protocol with 128-bit Blowfish encryption to protect the user data, as well as the Maul Trackers proprietary system (blocks data that could identify the owner of the computer or smartphone), and IntelliBear function for additional security. TunnelBear is a very flexible and minimalistic VPN service that aims to provide quality service to all users without exception, even for those who do not have special technical knowledge. TunnelBear provides an excellent value for money along with a very attractive and hilarious visual concept. This VPN service doesn’t bombard users with irritating ad banners and works surprisingly quickly works even at the free account level. The free version of the service has a limit of 500 Mb per month, and doesn’t include the IntelliBear algorithm. The withdrawal of all restrictions will cost $5 per month or around $50 per year.
The GhostBear function provides protection against the VPN blockage by governmental agencies and ISP. You can connect up to 5 devices to protect your entire home network.
Unlike many VPN applications, the free version of TunnelBear does not limit the choice of servers. Users of the free version can connect to all 20 server locations, and also switch between servers at their discretion, get the same level of protection and access to all functions. At the same time, the network bandwidth is limited to 500 MB per month. You can increase this parameter by posting tweets promoting TunnelBear’s features.