ExpressVPN

5 Best VPN Services for 2017

Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are among the most useful and flexible tools available to internet users. They improve your security by helping to protect against hackers, increase your privacy by hiding what you get up to online, and allow you to geo-spoof your location in order to access services that are only available in other countries.

The Best VPN Services 2017

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. IPVanish
  3. VyprVPN
  4. Buffered
  5. VPNArea

Using a VPN service is arguably the single most effective measure you can take to improve your online privacy and security. In addition to making our pick of the best 2017 VPN services out there, this article explains why you need a VPN.

It also aims to give you a clear idea of the limitations of using a VPN. Virtual Private Networks are powerful and important tools, but there is no such thing as a one-stop-shop when it comes to protecting your privacy and staying secure when using the internet. VPNs should, therefore, be regarded as a vital tool in your internet toolbox.

Best VPN Services: Summary

    • Provider
    • Price
    • Features
    • Our Score
    • Visit Site
    • 1
    • ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
      10/10
    • $8.32
      PER MONTH
    • Ultra-fast - great for streaming!
      Ultra Secure - 256-bit encryption
      Unlimited downloading
      5* Customer Support + 24/7 Live Chat
      30-day money-back guarantee
    • 10
    • 2
    • IPVanish LogoIPVanish
      8.8/10
    • $6.49
      PER MONTH
    • 7 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 60 countries
      Ticket Support
      Connect up to 5 Devices
    • 8.8
    • 3
    • VyprVPN LogoVyprVPN
      8/10
    • $6.67
      PER MONTH
    • 30 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 70 countries
      24/7 Live Support
      Connect up to 3 Devices
    • 8
    • 4
    • Buffered LogoBuffered
      8/10
    • $8.25
      PER MONTH
    • 30 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 39 countries
      Ticket Support
      Connect up to 5 Devices
    • 8
    • 5
    • VPNArea LogoVPNArea
      7.2/10
    • $4.92
      PER MONTH
    • 7 day Money-back Guarantee!
      No logs at all!
      Connect up to 5 devices
      Accepts Bitcoin
      P2P: yes
    • 7.2
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

5/5

Best VPN Services

  • ProsPROS
  • Ultra fast – great for streaming!
  • Ultra secure – 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited downloading
  • 5* customer support and 24/7 live chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ConsCONS
  • Aggregate connection logs
  • A bit pricey

ExpressVPN hits our number one spot thanks to offering a feature-filled service that is readily accessible to the more casual user. Its headline act is its ridiculously fast speed performance, but fantastic 24/7 customer support and a generous 30-day, no-quibble, money-back guarantee certainly don’t hurt! Robust encryption, no usage logs (but some connection logs), and servers located in a whopping 94 countries around the world are also big draws.

Users in China will appreciate ExpressVPN’s special “stealth” servers located in Hong Kong, and users everywhere will appreciate the new free Smart Domain Name System (DNS) service that is included with all VPN accounts. Of particular note is ExpressVPN’s easy-to-use desktop software for Windows and Mac OS X, and its funky apps for Android and iOS.

Additional features: three simultaneous connections, peer-to-peer (P2P) permitted.

Try the best VPN service today!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-day money-back guarantee

2nd place

IPVanish

4.4/5

  • ProsPROS
  • No logs at all
  • Client with VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Smart DNS included
  • Accepts bitcoin
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in US
  • So-so support

This high-profile VPN company has good privacy credentials. It keeps no logs (at all), accepts payment in bitcoin, and permits torrenting. IPVanish also throws in a free Smart DNS service for all customers. It is based in the US, which is not ideal if NSA surveillance bothers you. Its client provides DNS leak protection, and despite being a little stripped-down, works very well.

Additional features: P2P allowed, mobile apps for all operating systems, seven-day money-back guarantee.

Visit IPVanish »


3rd place

VyprVPN

4.2/5

  • ProsPROS
  • Very fast due to own infrastructure
  • Over 70 countries
  • Accepts Alipay
  • Port selection
  • Based in Switzerland
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection logs

VyprVPN is notable for being one of the rare VPN services to own and control its entire network infrastructure. The result is fantastically fast connection speeds around the world. Dedicated IP servers are available, but only on the premium package. A free Smart DNS service is also included and customer support is outstanding.

VyprVPN offers “Chameleon” stealth technology specifically designed to defeat the Great Firewall of China. In addition, it uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP) ports in its apps to help defeat port blocking and other throttling issues. Its mobile apps are also very smart, and with a 30-day money-back guarantee (and three-day free trial), there is little reason not to give this service a go. Do please note, though, that VyprVPN does not permit torrenting.

Additional features: no usage logs.

Visit VyprVPN »


4th place

Buffered

3.7/5

  • ProsPROS
  • Fast speeds
  • No usage logs
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • P2P: yes
  • Based in Hungary
  • ConsCONS
  • A bit pricey
  • Some connection logs

This Hungarian VPN provider may be small, but it punches above its weight. Being based in Hungary places it outside the direct reach of the National Security Agency (NSA) and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). In addition to running servers in 16 countries, Buffered offers a unique “port discovery” feature. This allows you to bypass login requirements when using WiFi at airports, hotels, and so forth by searching for open ports in the local area network (LAN) neighborhood. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available, but do read the terms of service, as important conditions apply.

Additional features: three simultaneous connections.

Visit Buffered »


5th place

VPNArea

3.7/5

  • ProsPROS
  • No logs at all
  • Up to six devices at once
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Servers in 47 countries worldwide
  • Excellent technology
  • ConsCONS
  • Works well but isn’t as mind-blowing as some other services

VPNArea is based in Bulgaria and is therefore firmly out of the NSA and GCHQ areas of influence, which makes it a great option for any privacy-heads out there. That focus on privacy is reinforced with a great no logs policy, strong encryption, and accepting bitcoin payments. Speeds are also superb on this VPN and server locations are plentiful (over 60 countries).

Additional features: P2P is permitted, DNS leak protection, per-app kill switch (desktop clients).

Visit VPNArea »


What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

A Virtual Private Network is a technology that connects two computers over the internet using a secure connection. This secure connection is sometimes referred to as a VPN tunnel. VPNs were originally developed to allow remote workers to securely connect to corporate networks in order to access corporate resources when away from the office.

Although VPNs are still used in this way, the term now usually refers to commercial VPN services, which allow customers to access the internet privately through their servers. It is this use of VPNs that we are discussing here.

Commercial VPN services operate VPN servers, which are typically located in various places around the world. When you subscribe to a VPN service, you can securely connect to one of its VPN servers with one or more of your internet capable devices. These include desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets. You are usually free to choose which of your VPN providers’ servers to connect to, and to change servers whenever you wish.

All data traveling between your device and the VPN server is encrypted, making that data secure against anyone who might try to intercept it in transit. This includes your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The VPN server also acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet (that is, it acts as a proxy server). This means that your ISP can only see that you have connected to a VPN server. It cannot see which websites you visit after that.

Using a VPN therefore hides all internet activity from your ISP. It also hides your real Internet Protocol (IP) address (your unique ISP-assigned internet address that can be used to identify you) from any websites that you visit. If your VPN connection is properly configured, a website can only see the IP address of the VPN server, not your personal one.

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How Does a VPN Work?

As discussed above, a VPN is simply a way to connect two computing devices together by means of a secure VPN tunnel. What makes this VPN tunnel secure is encryption. The idea behind a VPN is therefore deceptively simple, but this setup allows you to do some very cool things. A VPN can:

  • Help protect you against NSA-style blanket surveillance.
  • Geo-spoof your location in order to watch streaming services such as Netflix that block access based on your geographic location.
  • Protect you against hackers when using public WiFi hotspots.
  • Bypass censorship (by the government, your workplace, or school).
  • Allow you to torrent download or stream Popcorn Time and Kodi safely (if your VPN service permits this).

In order to use a VPN, you must first sign up for a VPN service. These typically cost between $5 and $10 per month, with reductions for buying six months or more at a time. A contract with a VPN service is required to use a VPN.

Many VPN providers offer custom software known as a VPN client (or VPN app on mobile devices). These make setting up and using a VPN very easy – just download, install, and run! It is also possible to manually configure third-party VPN software, including the VPN clients built in to all major operating system (OS) platforms. Your VPN provider will supply guides on how to do this.

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Are VPNs Safe to Use?

When asking this question, the first thing to do is asses what you mean by “safe.” Safe from what, and from whom? This is known as assessing your threat model. If you are primarily concerned about being caught out when torrenting pirated movies, then your threat model is very different to that of Edward Snowden.

Are VPNs Legal?

Yes. VPNs are perfectly legal almost everywhere (except the UAE and maybe one or two other places). Plus, because VPNs are also routinely used by businesses for secure communication between offices and remote workers, their use is not considered suspicious in any way.

Will VPNs Protect Me When Torrenting or Streaming Pirated Content?

Yes, as long as your VPN provider permits P2P (torrenting). Please see below for more details.

Will VPNs Prevent My ISP from Spying on Me?

Yes. Your ISP cannot look at your internet data because it is all encrypted. It also can’t see what you get up to on the internet, because this is hidden by the VPN server.

Will VPNs Stop Blanket, Un-targeted Government Surveillance?

Yes, for the same reasons as above. Most governments get their surveillance data direct from ISPs anyway. With VPNs, responsibility for privacy shifts away from your ISP to your VPN provider. This means that your government could instead demand that your VPN provider hand over its logs. If government surveillance is part of your threat model, then you should use a no logs VPN based in a jurisdiction as far away from your own country as possible. You should also avoid all Five Eyes countries.

Will VPNs Stop Blanket, Targeted Government Surveillance?

Probably not. If you are doing anything of interest to your country’s police or intelligence services, using a VPN may provide some limited protection. But this should not be relied upon. No VPN provider’s staff are going to go to jail for you, and even a good no logs VPN will start to keeps logs when legally required to do so.

Can I Trust My VPN Provider?

Yes (probably). Most VPN companies’ business model relies on offering privacy. Failure to protect their customers’ privacy would be a commercial disaster. So it comes down to a matter of trust: do you trust your ISP (lol hysterically!) or a reputable VPN company that is in the business of providing privacy?

Is My VPN App Safe to Use?

It depends. Unfortunately, the recent surge of interest in VPNs has led to a glut of “cowboy” mobile VPN apps hitting the market. At best, these are poorly designed and will do little to protect your privacy. At worst, they will actively imperil your privacy and online security by tracking your activities as you surf the web, accessing sensitive data stored on your device, installing malware, and more. For the full gory details, please see here.

It is therefore vital to pick a reputable VPN service that is recommended by a reputable source (such as BestVPN.com, of course!). This almost invariably means using a paid-for VPN.

Understanding VPN Services – an Encrypted Connection

When using a commercial VPN service, you connect to the internet via a VPN server. The VPN server is operated by a VPN provider, and the connection between your computer (or smartphone, tablet, or similar) and the VPN server is encrypted.

    • This means that your ISP cannot spy on what you do online (as your data is encrypted). It will also foil mass blanket surveillance of the kind routinely performed by the NSA and GCHQ.
    • You should be aware, however, that this setup also means your VPN provider can spy on you, should it so wish.
    • The “VPN tunnel” will also help protect your data when using public WiFi hotspots. Even if you connect to an “evil twin” hotspot run by a hacker, or if a hacker is using packet-sniffing software to intercept your wireless data, a VPN will protect you, because all data passing between your device and the VPN server is securely encrypted.
    • VPN providers usually run VPN servers in different locations around the world. This is great for avoiding censorship, as you can simply connect to a server located where there is no such censorship.
    • This feature also allows you to access services that are geo-restricted. A good example of this is BBC iPlayer, which is only available to UK residents.
    • Because you connect to the internet via a VPN server, anyone on the internet will see the IP address of the VPN server, not your real IP address. This means VPNs are a great way to protect yourself when torrenting.

    • It also means they provide some privacy benefits when surfing the web, as websites cannot identify and track you by your IP address. Do be aware, however, that websites use a large number of very sneaky ways to uniquely identify and track visitors. A VPN should be considered an important but incomplete defense against this. It should therefore be supplemented with good browser privacy add-ons.

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Can I Use a VPN for Streaming Netflix?

Although VPNs are great for privacy and security, our research shows that by far the most popular use for them is to stream TV shows from countries that restrict access to their content based on where you live (usually because of licensing restrictions).

The US version of Netflix, for example, offers a much bigger and more up-to-date catalog than is available to international customers. This is despite the fact that international customers pay pretty much exactly the same price as US-based customers!

netflix-december-2017

I live in the UK, but thanks to the miracle of VPN technology I can access the full US Netflix catalog!

BBC iPlayer is also very popular, thanks to the world-renowned quality of its programing. That all iPlayer content is freely available to VPN users can’t hurt either! Many expats use VPN services in order to enjoy a slice of home by streaming national networks when living abroad.

In theory, in order to access these services you simply need to connect to a VPN server located in the correct country. So a US server for the best Netflix experience, or a UK server for iPlayer. Unfortunately, both US Netflix and BBC iPlayer are trying to block VPN users. Implementation of these blocks is patchy, and many providers have founds ways to defeat them. But it is a cat-and-mouse game.

We test to see whether US Netflix and BBC iPlayer are available at the time of writing in all of BestVPN.com’s newer reviews. However, as this situation can change rapidly, we always advise taking full advantage of any free trials and money-back guarantees on offer. That way, you can test whether your chosen VPN works with the streaming service you wish to access.

Is a VPN Good for Torrenting?

All internet data hidden from your ISP + your IP address being hidden from anyone on the internet = torrenting win!

Do please be aware, though, that not all VPN providers permit P2P (torrenting). You should, therefore, check carefully that P2P is allowed before signing up to a service. Torrenting using a VPN service that does not permit it can result in your subscription being cancelled, and some VPN services have been known to hand over customers’ data to copyright holders on receipt of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) warning.

So please only torrent using a VPN service that allows it. These can be relied on to protect your privacy.

The qBitTorrent client

qBittorrent is a lightweight but remarkably fully-featured open source BitTorrent client.

For a list of which VPNs are best for torrenting, plus a discussion on issues relating to it, please check out 5 Best VPNs for Torrents, P2P and File-sharing.

Can I Use a VPN with My Mobile Phone?

Yes indeed! VPNs work well on Android devices, iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) and Windows Phones. Support for BlackBerry phones is much more limited. As with VPNs on desktop devices, they encrypt your data and hide your IP address for all internet connections. When accessing websites through your browser for P2P downloading, you are therefore fully protected when using a VPN.

But (and it’s a big but)… although all data will go through the VPN, individual mobile apps can and do send a great deal of highly personal data back to their publishers. This can include your phone’s unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, Global Positioning System (GPS) location data, your contact lists, your Google Play/iTunes ID, and much more.

To gain the full advantage of using a VPN on a mobile device, you should therefore avoid using custom apps as much as possible. The most private and secure way to access online services using a VPN on your mobile device is via their webpage or web interface, using your mobile browser.

As I have already mentioned, the mobile app space is plagued by rogue VPN apps. Please do some research to ensure an app provider is reputable before installing one. It is also worth noting that you should ignore the star ratings and user-reviews an app receives in the App and Play Stores. These are invariably left by users unqualified to assess the privacy implications of the app they are reviewing.

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How to Set up a VPN

The easiest way to set up a VPN is to download and install the custom software supplied by your VPN provider. Check out our full VPN provider reviews for a detailed look at the custom software available from each VPN service.

In addition to being easy to set up, custom VPN software often includes bells and whistles not available from third-party solutions. The most useful of these are DNS and Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) leak protection and kill switches. Please check out my Complete Guide to IP Leaks for information on these features.

Some VPN providers do not have their own custom software, and no VPN provider has custom software for every platform and VPN protocol they support. They will instead provide setup guides that explain how to manually configure your device for their service. The quality of these guides can vary a little, but they are usually perfectly clear and easy to follow.

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Paid VPN vs Free VPNs – What’s the Difference?

Running a VPN service costs money. A lot of it. Computer technicians need to design the systems used, maintain them, and upgrade and modify them to meet their users’ demands. Technical support must be provided when things go wrong. Expensive servers need to be either hired or purchased, and then housed, cooled, and maintained. Marketing personnel need to be paid, and advertising purchased in order to attract customers. And so on and so forth.

In other words, no-one, and I mean no-one, is going to run a  VPN service for free. If you are not paying for a service in hard currency then it is making money from you in some other way. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” and, “if you aren’t paying for a product then you are the product,” are both appropriate adages here.

Despite this, VPN services claiming to be free do exist. These can be split into two kinds:

Reputable Free VPN Services

Some providers offer a very limited free service in the hope that you will stump up for a premium service once you have tested the service out and are frustrated by the limitations placed on it. These limitations include (usually severe) bandwidth and connection speed restrictions. No reputable free VPN service permits torrenting.

Some people claim that such “free services” are not really fee at all – they are just trials. This may or may not be a fair criticism, but at least these services are transparent about how they can afford to offer a free service in the first place.

Almost all the services listed in 5 Best Free VPNs fall into this category.

Cowboy Free VPN Services

Providers that offer unlimited “free” VPN services must be monetizing those services somehow. Hola steals your bandwidth and sells it. Others log everything you do online and sell that data to advertisers. I’ve also mentioned the malware-infested swamp occupied by free mobile apps a couple of times now.

The bottom line is that free VPNs either suck or are out to scam you. Given that you can buy a good paid-for VPN service for the price of a beer or two a month, is risking a cowboy one really worth the hassle?

More Information

In addition to reviewing and comparing VPN services, BestVPN.com provides a wealth of VPN-related resources. If you would like to learn more about VPNs I suggest starting with:

If your interest in VPNs has been piqued, then you might then like to move on to:

Or just browse our Guides!

Conclusion

If you would like to access geo-restricted content, then you want to use a VPN. If you care about either privacy or security on the internet, then you really should be using a (no logs) VPN. If you want to P2P download without looking over your shoulder, then you absolutely must use a VPN.

For the price of a beer or two each month, you know it makes sense!

Best VPN Providers: Recap

    • Provider
    • Price
    • Features
    • Our Score
    • Visit Site
    • 1
    • ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
      10/10
    • $8.32
      PER MONTH
    • 30 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 87 countries
      24/7 Live Support
      Connect up to 3 Devices
    • 10
    • 2
    • IPVanish LogoIPVanish
      8.8/10
    • $6.49
      PER MONTH
    • 7 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 60 countries
      Ticket Support
      Connect up to 5 Devices
    • 8.8
    • 3
    • VyprVPN LogoVyprVPN
      8/10
    • $6.67
      PER MONTH
    • 30 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 70 countries
      24/7 Live Support
      Connect up to 3 Devices
    • 8
    • 4
    • Buffered LogoBuffered
      8/10
    • $8.25
      PER MONTH
    • 30 day Money-back Guarantee!
      Unlimited downloading and streaming!
      Servers in 39 countries
      Ticket Support
      Connect up to 5 Devices
    • 8
    • 5
    • VPNArea LogoVPNArea
      7.2/10
    • $4.92
      PER MONTH
    • 7 day Money-back Guarantee!
      No logs at all!
      Connect up to 5 devices
      Accepts Bitcoin
      P2P: yes
    • 7.2

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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113 responses to “5 Best VPN Services for 2017

    1. Hi Anthony,

      I am not persoanlly very familiar with TunnelBear, but Katrina wrote a very favorable TunnelBear Review. A quick look tells me that TunnelBear uses great OpenVPN encryption, and that it has a good minimal logs policy (it says “no logs”, but as clearly laid out in ts Privacy Policy, some logs are kept. These are indeed pretty minimal, however, so I’m not going to quibble with the “no logs” claim.

      On the downside, the speed results Katrina achieved are not good, and a Canada-based is not a good choice if governmnet spying worries you.

    1. Hi David,

      To be honest, I have never even heard of Vital Security, and it has not been reviewed by BestVPN.com. I must also say that I can’t even find this service after a quick Google….

  1. looking for VPN (not US based) that works, or has a workaround for Kodi on Fire-stick.
    Tried PIA but the download wouldn’t install.
    Connection via router/hub is I believe not possible as I’m using a Sky hub.
    NO mention of Ivacy, any reason for this?

    1. Hi wilf,

      – Have you tried the steps outlined in this tutorial? Although this tutorial references IPVanish in particular (a US-based provider), it should work for any VPN provider that offers an Android app. You do need to manually download the app’s .apk file, but most providers will happily send you link for this is you ask them.

      – Please see 5 Best VPN Routers. You can always plug a VPN router into your ISP-supplied modem/router (e.g. Sky Box) via a an Ethernet cable, and connect through that.

      – Please check out our Ivacy Review. Reviser Thomas’ main issue with the service is that it is very slow, which certainly puts it out of the running for our top 5 VPN recommendations. As far as I can tell, Ivacy is a white-label customer of PureVPN, which I also persoanlly find rather off putting.

  2. In your review of VPN Area, you stated that the US server speed was pretty slow. Based on your speed in the European area, I’m assuming you’re based somewhere in Europe; nevertheless, have you conducted anymore tests on US server speed to determine if those results were an anomaly or the normality? Also, do you think that it would be appropriate for use on a 15 mbps (about 2.5 Mbps) connection?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Oak,

      Yes, we are based in Europe (we are a UK company, but also have an office in Budapest). I’m afraid that we don’t have the resources to keep retesting every VPN provider’s speeds. The results you see in the published review will be our most recent ones (and which are only around 6 months old). VPNArea offers a 7-day money back guarantee (which it honors), so why not give it a test-run, and see what speeds you get for yourself?

      Hmm 15 Mbps = 1.875 MB/s. You will always get some speed loss when using a VPN. With a good service, and connected to a nearby server, this can be as low as 10% (but can be much higher, especially when connecting to a server on the other side of the Atlantic). A VPN is perfectly appropriate for a 15 Mbps connection.

    1. Hi Robert,

      NordVPN is a no-logs provider based in Panama. Some of its servers are rather slow, but it is otherwise a fully featured service, and with a little trial and error, fast servers are available. BolehVPN is registered in the Seychelles but operates out of Malaysia. It is little feature-light, but has the basics nailed down well.

  3. Hello, this will be my first time using a VPN and I have been doing some research. So far, I think I am leaning either towards ExpressVPN or NordVPN (actually, I would like to know why it wasn’t included on this list) but I am open to other options. I am tempted by Nord’s lower prices and no log policies, but I’m a little turned down by the complaints and cons regarding speed.
    ExpressVPN is said to be faster (right?), but I get suspicious at how perfect it is supposed to be. Also, yes, quite pricey (which I am willing to overlook if guaranteed that it does what it is supposed to).
    These are my priorities:
    I want a VPN that still works on Netflix, and that manages geo-restrictions in other popular sites well. Is any particularly better? Is either one of these more likely to stop working in the future?

    Regarding the speed, honestly, I don’t mind if I get less of it as long as it’s enough to stream in hd, and torrent at, say, 1 Mb. Is NordVPN’s low speed still enough for these?

    Even though I AM interested in privacy, I admit that a little logging like ExpressVPN’s isn’t my biggest concern, only because I’ve read it’s strictly for improving the service. Is that true?

    Also, I’ve read it isn’t that simple, but I would like to connect a router to the VPN so I can access it from other devices such as TV. Is either of the two better for this?

    I am open to other options if there’s any that better fulfills my needs. And obviously I care about a VPN that’s reliable in its performance in general. Also, I live in Mexico, in case that affects anything.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Diana,

      – NordVPN is a good service, but its speed performance is an issue. Please see my recently updated ExpressVPN Review for a detailed look at why we recommend the service so highly. Yes – ExpressVPN keeps a few logs (and they really are very minimal) in order to help ensure it runs a smooth service.

      – From my newly updated artiucle on Best VPN routes (due to be published any time now):

      VPN routers are routers that have been configured to connect to a VPN service. Many modern routers have a VPN client built in, which can usually be configured via the router’s admin page.

      It is also possible to flash routers with third party firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato, which include a VPN client. Indeed, some providers offer pre-flashed routers that have been pre-configured for their service.

      The main advantages of using VPN routers are:

      Every device that connects to the router is protected by the VPN.
      This includes devices that cannot run VPN software themselves, such as smart TVs, games consoles, and Roku boxes. This is very useful for geo-spoofing.
      The router counts as just one VPN connection, as far as your provider is concerned. This means you can connect an unlimited number of devices to the VPN at once via the router.

      All of which is great! The main downside, however, is that encrypting and decrypting VPN data is very processor-intensive (especially when using OpenVPN). Most routers struggle with the job, resulting in poor internet connection speeds.

      This is particularly true of the slew of mini VPN boxes that have hit the market recently, such as the Anonabox or PandaPow WiFi. The hardware in such devices is so underpowered for the job at hand, that you can expect to lose 90% or more of your internet connection speed when using them.

      It is, therefore, important to choose a VPN router with beefy hardware in order to prevent it from slowing down your internet connection.

      – Living in Mexico does not make much difference to your choice as long as your chosen VPN provider offers servers runs servers not too far from you geographically (so don ‘t chose a provider that only runs servers in Europe!). You might want to check our 5 Best VPNs for Mexico

      1. Hi Douglas,

        If I were to buy, say, a Linksys router pre-configured with the VPN and DD-WRT, am I correct in my impression that I wouldn’t need to use one of these services? Or would I still benefit from using both a VPN router as well as a separate monthly VPN service?

        1. Hi TJB,

          – When you buy a preconfigured router you still need a subscription to a VPN service. Pretty much all VPN services that offer routers throw a 1 year subscription in with the price of the router. Once that subscription is over, however, it will need to renewed.

          – Your VPN subscription for the router will almost certainly give you the full benefits of a regular subscription (but do check before purchasing). This will mean that if the provider allows more than one simultaneous connection (as most do), you can also install the VPN on different devices (the router will count as one device). So you will not need a separate VPN subscription.

          – But there is value in installing the VPN software on your mobile devices. This allows them to use the VPN service when away from home (/your router).

  4. I was user of ExpressVPN and frankly speaking I was satisfied with the service but now I feel it is a bit pricey for me.
    My main use case are P2P usage, multiple devices ( mac,iOS,ubuntu) ,privacy and obviously attractive prices.

    Any suggestions would be great ?
    ExpressVPN dont seem to have any promotional campaigns

    1. Hi Iceman,

      VPNArea is a good choice for you, and ticks all your boxes. Although it is not on this list (there are plenty of good services out there, and we can only pick 5 for each list!) Private Internet Access is also a good company that is P2P-freindly, allows up to 5 simultaneous devices, and costs just $3.33/mo if purchased annually (or $6.95/mo/mo). Privacy-wise, it keeps no logs, but is based in the US.

    1. Hi Bob,

      Each reader should only see that offer once. The fact that you are seeing it every time you visit probably means you have cookies disabled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  5. I have the sign VPN on the top of my IPad.Does this mean I am paying for something I know nothing about and did not request.If so can I get this deleted.
    Thank you in anticipation.

    1. Hi William,

      That would suggest that you have a VPN running. Look through your apps list and uninstall anything that looks like it might be a VPN app. An even more worrying possibility is that your iPad has some form of malware that is directing all your internet traffic through a VPN to server where it can be snooped on. Malware is very rare on iOS devices, so this unlikely, but then again, you should not have a VPN running that didn’t install (and iOS malware does exist)! Unfortunately, Apple is so confident that its devices are immune to malware, that it has removed all anti-malware apps from the App Store…

    1. Hi Guy,

      I don’t think there is an easy way to tell (other than by noticing that providers use similar-looking software, etc.).

  6. This website is a joke. You have popups for ExpressVPN, ExpressVPN advertisements directly on this page, and then you predictably have ExpressVPN as your number one recommendation. Freaking ridiculous. ExpressVPN collects data and sends it to third parties.

    1. Hi Shurf,

      We recommend ExpressVPN quite a lot because we believe it to be an excellent service that is also well-suited to the majority of our less-technically inclined readers. Please see my ExpressVPN Review for a full (and honest) discussion on why we believe ExpressVPN is worth recommending. And yes, ExpressVPN does keep some (fairly minimal) connection logs. According to its Privacy Policy,

      “Our software may send diagnostic data to a third party analytics provider for the purpose of identifying connection errors and possible bugs in our application. The information collected is generic in nature and does not contain personally identifying information.” (emphasis mine).

      I 100% agree that ExpressVPN is not the best choice for privacy fanatics out there, but these make up a very small proportion of our readers. For the vast majority of our readers, we believe that ExpressVPN’s ease of use, speed, great customer support, 30-day money back guarantee, large feature-set, etc., etc., are more important than some anonymized aggregated logs being shared with third parties.

      Ramon also chips in with this,

      “aye but its aggregate and non informative, perhaps people need to realize that for something to run well perhaps a little effort on the VPNs part is the opposite of negligence (its actually harder to do something about keeping it running wonderfully than to sit back and do nada because u have no data). for example monitoring people’s aggregate server speeds data – and then talking to the server renting (third party) about the problem with the mexican server AND getting back up to full pelt is hardly a bad thing.”

      I personally think this is a very good point, although I do agree with you that privacy-heads would still prefer no logs to be kept at all. But as I say, most of our readers are not, in fact privacy fanatics, and (we believe) will be happy with the level of privacy offered by ExpressVPN. It is also worth noting that we always list connection logs as a “con” offer ExpressVPN on our lists. So its not as if you are trying to hide anything.

  7. Love the Windows app. Tons of different server locations with great speeds and even better service. Plus, I think they’re one of the only vpn providers to offer a 30 day money-back guarantee.

  8. Expressvpn is the worst Tried it last year had connection problems only one of my devices could connect my AIO Lenovo my laptops, Cellphones and Tablets could not connect was just hanging saying trying to connect. Tried them again this year hoping the problems was sorted but no such luck after they promised that they would fix the problems. Also I use Multiplicity on my computers so I can control all of them with one Keyboard and Mouse Express VPN does not support that and I lose connection through Multiplicity to my other computers as soon as I connect with Expressvpn I’ve spend hours chatting with their support and tried everything they suggested just to be told at the end that sorry Express VPN does not work with Multiplicity installed.
    I was with many VPN services already and Express was the first one that had a problem with Multiplicity. I can supply you with the chat log if you don’t believe me so how you can rate them as the best VPN is a mystery to me.
    Also the amount of devices you can use at the same time only 3 is ridiculous at that price. There is actually nothing good I can say about them and I tried really hard to think of something because even their response to my original complaint got answered about 48hrs later. Them calling themselves the Fastest VPN like most of the things they say on their website is just not true. I’m now with VPNArea and no real problems except some speed issues on some of their servers. Why were they not included in your list I would really like to know maybe there is something I overlooked and needs to change VPN services again. Oh and I’m from South Africa.

    Kind Regards
    Martin

  9. I’ve been using Windscribe for a while now and it does the job and it does it fast and it automatically searches for the fastest connection. Also 1st class encryption.

    For me for instance, living in Belgium the fastest connections are mostly the Netherlands, Belgium(!) and France with an occasional UK server peeping in…. 🙂

    But you can also choose out of a lot of countries from where to start. I also didn’t experience any downtime.

    [Sorry, third party affiliate link removed. I hope you understand].

  10. Very disappointed in express vpn. Limited servers available in menu, speeds slower than expected (30 mb/sec download without vpn engaged, 3 to 8 mb/sec depending on server). So i decided to request cancel refund the next day for a 1 minth subscrip. To my shock 5 to 7 business days just to process! Purevpn on trial issued a refund within minutes of reviewing my account. Nordvpn, which is said to have slower vpn speeds than many was consistently faster at 9 to 10mb/sec. i will be trying ip vanish next.

    1. Hi Bob,

      Hmm. Your experiences are completely at odds with both my own, and (judging by the comments we receive) most of our readers. Curious. I wish you luck with IPVanish.

  11. Hello! I’m a student that likes to use free wifi on my phone and pc.

    I am wondering if having a VPN is worth it, regarding your personal information on your devices.

    I am currently looking at freedome. Would you have some advice and recommendations?

    I mostly surf the web.

  12. It’s almost a Year now using *strill & it’s one of the vpn’s that worked well here in Tsina, i hope they can give me a discount when my plan expires lol.

  13. What are the strengths and weaknesses of PureVPN? I have seen several sites indicating as a good option and a very affordable price.

    1. Hi Petterson,

      Negatives:

      1. Here at BestVPN.com we have received vastly more complaints about PureVPN than about any other VPN service (in fact, complaints about PureVPN number all complaints about services added together!).
      2. PureVPN does not honor its “money back guartentee.”
      3. Keeps connection (metadata) logs
      4. IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks detected

      That’s enough to me off, but please see our recent PureVPN Review for a list of its good points (do note the comments, though).

  14. Por que PureVPN é pior? Estava querendo pegar a promoção dele e grande maioria dos sites que pesquisei o indicam como bom. Afinal quais os pontos positivos (se houver) e quais o negativos, o porque de não usar o PureVPN?

  15. Don’t know if anyone can help me with this but I’m looking for a VPN that has a server in Michigan (US), lower part of the state the better. I’ve looked far and wide with nothing so far. Thank you.

    1. Hi Ray,

      I’m afraid that I don’t know any off the top of my head, but perhaps our readers might help?

    2. Private Internet Access (PIA) has a Chicago node and a Midwest node. Both have good speeds (depending on the load, of course).

  16. Why did you guys list the most expensive NordVPN pricing plan (the monthly rate), but then list the cheapest annual rates for all the other VPN services?

  17. Hi can you tell me which VPNs to avoid?
    I like the lists but there are so many options. Do you have any articles on “bad VPNs” that people shouldn’t get?

    1. Hi Stacia,

      I believe that we are working on a “5 Worse VPNs list”. I am not directly involved, and many of our staff are away for Christmas holidays, so I cannot provide further information at this point in time. Personally, I would include:

      – PureVPN – we have received a huge number of complaints about this service and it does not honor its money back guarantee
      – Hide My Ass (HMA) – UK based and has a history of handing over users’ logs to the police
      – SaferVPN/TotalVPN (same parent company) – not used them myself, but am told they are horrible VPN services in every way
      – Hola (steals users bandwidth and sells it!)
      – VPN book – accusations by Anonymous that this is service is a honeypot are unproven, but I wouldn’t trust it…
      – ibVPN – I found this service too slow to actually use

      (I know that’s six, but there you go…)

  18. Hi,
    I’m just wondering how impartial your recommendation for ExpressVPN is, when I see ExpressVPN advertisements and popups all over this site. ???

    1. Hi Abdahl,

      ExpressVPN advertises with us and (as with all VPN providers) provides us with affiliate payments. This does not, however, affect how we review or rank it in out lists. Please see my recent detailed ExpressVPN Review for an in-depth look at why BestVPN.com recommends this provider so highly.

      1. Anybody with an IQ over 65 can see that this is a conflict of interest.
        How can you write an impartial review when your review is linked to your income?
        That’s just as bad as telecom companies lobbying congressional members to write favorable legislation. You guys are always railing against the government and the evil corporations, but the same exact thing is going on when you accept money from affiliates and then write “reviews.”

        1. Hi Rick,

          And games magazines don’t print ads for games etc.? How else do you propose a VPN Review website raise revenue? There is, however, very little real conflict of interest. Almost every VPN provider out there offers an affiliate scheme, so it doesn’t really matter to us on a financial level which service you pick. We get paid whatever. It is also worth noting that a very few VPN services do not operate affiliate schemes. A good example of this is AirVPN. But despite this, you will see AirVPN highly recommended on this website, purely because we believe it offers an outstanding service. BestVPN.com has built its reputation on writing in-depth and impartial reviews. That is what we do, and is why we are successful.

  19. When am overseas i find it hard to sign into my gmail mail account.I have used vip72 but my ip still leaking to gmail and keep asking me to get codes from my phone.
    which of these VPN would you recommend for me to access my gmail account easily anytime am overseas for business

    1. Hi Dominic,

      If you regularly uses the same VPN server, you should not continually need to prove your identity when you sign-in to Gmail. So any of of the above service should work just fine for you.

  20. Hi, I’m wondering why this article, which has a date published date of December 6, 2016, has comments going back to August 2016?
    Also, the star rating system does not seem to line up with the 10 point score.
    Can you please explain?

    1. Hi Sandi,

      We update our core articles on a fairly regular basis. This insures that the information in them remains relevant and up to date (and also helps with our Google rankings). We used to simply replace older articles with the newer versions (automatically redirecting visors to the newer version). We found that this was less than ideal, however, as often valuable discussions in the comments sections got lost each time. So now, rather than publishing new pages, we update the older pages, and revise the publish date when we do so. This allows us to keep the comments sections intact on updated articles.

  21. Just a quick note for this good review:
    Except Buffered, I used all. I wouldn’t give VyprVPN the 4.5 score, because: 1) they do not support torrent. I based in US and I received an email warning that Im using torrent. 2) Their app logging (vyprvpn service) a lot even when the app is not running.

    Among these, IPvanish is the rock solid and the best IMO. Expressvpn is good but expensive. I would go with PIA which is completely anonymous. You can buy gift cards from stores and activate it (no name, credit card or other hassles). Just remember Expressvpn, ipvanish, vyprvpn and PIA are based in US!

    1. Hi vpnuser,

      Thanks for your thoughts! You are correct that VyprVPN does not permit P2P, but this is not an issue for many VPN users. PIA is good, but please remember that you are not actually anonymous because no matter what payment method you use, it can still see your real IP address (this is true of almost all VPN providers, except those that offer VPN through Tor).

      1. It’s ridiculous that even by purchasing a gift card in cash from the grocery store to use VPN, you are not anonymous at all, at least for the VPN provider. So after paying a lot for various vpn vendors, wondering what is the point itf you can NOT be 100% anonymous!!

        1. Hi vpnuser,

          You are correct. VPNs do not provide anonymity, because the way the technology works means that the VPN provider will always know your real IP address, and can log what you get up to on the internet should it choose to or be forced to do so (the major exception to this rule is if using VPN through Tor). Using a good no logs VPN can nevertheless provide a high degree of privacy, and prevent most forms of targeted surveillance.

          If you require real anonymity, however, then you should use the Tor network or I2P instead. Note that unlike with VPNs, both Tor and I2P provide a sub-par general internet experience (i.e. they are very slow).

    1. Hi Matt,

      Five Eyes (FVEY) is an NSA-led spying alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and which Edward Snowden described as a ‘supra-national intelligence organization that doesn’t answer to the known laws of its own countries.’ Intelligence is freely shared between security organizations of member countries, a practice that is used to evade legal restrictions on spying on their own citizens. Fourteen Eyes is an extended alliance that also includes Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

  22. Hi, Good article. Just a quick question. What criteria exactly did you use to come up with a 3.7 review on IPVanish? When I click “read review” for IPVanish I see it has 5 stars under editor review and I’m confused why it has 3.7 on this specific article. thanks

    1. Hi Sam,

      The star ratings on our 5 best lists are a subjective assessment by the article’s author on the merits of each provider in that category relative to the others. In my opinion this is not ideal, but makes more sense when the list deals with a niche category (such as 5 Best VPNs for Linux) rather than such a general one as this. I have flagged this issue up with our team for further discussion.

  23. I signed up with ExpressVPN, I paid by credit card but was not comfortable giving my full address that they asked for.
    After using it for 24 hours I get an email telling me that they have cancelled my service and I need to send a picture of my credit card albeit they said blur out the numbers except the last for digits .
    I google this and it seems they do this with a lot of people.

    1. Hi Billy,

      I agree that this is not good behavior from a VPN provider. FWIW, ExpressVPN does accept payment in Bitcoins..

  24. I purchased and downloaded NordVPN, it was a disaster in terms of speed and overall function – especially the so-called “kill switch” which shut down everything every 20 minutes. I really don’t understand how Nord even makes it on these lists. It was also listed on PCmag as an “editors choice” – whatever that means. But everywhere you look, the user reviews are terrible. How did Nord make it on your list?

    1. Hi Roger,

      As we acknowledge in out NordVPN Review, poor speeds are an issue with NordVPN. The fact that it is based in Panama is is very privacy-focused, however, recommends the service to us.

  25. Nord has some issues, however they don’t show up until well after their 30 money back guarantee. I found their speeds to be really slow on most servers, and you had to physically hunt for something suitable. I bought the top package and it worked reasonably well – just a few hiccups – and then one day out of the blue, could not connect to the service at all! Their techs never did get the problem fixed and I wound up at the very end using L2TP / PPTP (an absolute nightmare of issues) to even be able to use the service at all! No money back of course! Have no idea where to go from here, as being one of your top picks, I am hesitant to try anything at all. Maybe TOR? But I hear the Government is getting really nasty about TOR users because of the tendency for pedophiles to use it.

    1. Hi Ron,

      i’m sorry to hear that you had problems with NordVPN. Slow servers is a problem with the service. You should be aware, however, that Tor is very slow. ExpressVPN is very good, or for a completely no-logs service, I use AirVPN.

  26. Hi there,

    I just ordered and connected to NordVPN and my download went from 27+ without being connected to VPN to under 2 when connected. Quality of Slingbox image is terrible, internet navigation is extremely slow. Tried several servers from different countries withing Europe and USA and no improvement. Not sure if I should use the 30day money back or change some settings. Although so far I’ve only tested NordVPN for leisure internet use, I work remotely from France for a company located (servers) in Michigan US and my work requires a good amount of download and upload speed. Not sure what to do.

    1. Hi Sophie,

      NordVPN’s speeds can be rather slow (as noted in this article). In the past I have found that I can find a fast servers with a little trial and error. If you cannot find a fast server, however, then I suggest you cancel your subscription and try a different service.

      1. Thank you for your response Douglas, I had to purchase HideIPVPN last night because I could not even connect to any server with NordVPN. At this point I’m waiting for a reply back from NordVPN regarding the 30 days money back guarantee, day 2 waiting. HideIPVPN worked faster I had 10 download and 5 upload.

    1. Hi Dillon,

      First generation Kindle Fire devices required rooting in order to install a VPN client, but more modern devices can run VPN software out-of-the-box if it is installed via the Amazon Appstore. ExpressVPN is a good option.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Simply re-download the software from your VPN providers’ website and install again the same as you did the first time. You were probably sent an email with all relevant links, so you can search your email account for that, or look on your providers’ website. If you are still having problems, then I am sure that your VPN provider will be happy to assist you.

  27. My ISP speed is 180Mbps.
    PIA gives me 130Mbps, on a good day. Never less than 60Mbps
    ExpressVPN gave me 33Mbps.
    Who is calling them the fastest VPN service around.
    Someone’s getting some pennies for porkies!

    1. Hi David,

      A 180Mbps internet connection is very fast. Faster, in fact, than any of our reviewers have the facilities to test.

    1. Hi Alfred,

      Unfortunately iPlayer is trying to block VPN users, so its a game of cat and mouse. You may well find that IPVanish works again soon (or maybe not).

  28. Used ExpressVPN for 8 months. Lousy speed, dropping connection 20 times a day, not to mention it`s the most expensive one. The only thing they have going is customer service – everything else is not worth it

  29. It seems like a glaring omission not to include Private Internet Access here. They keep no logs and are one of (if not the most) popular vpn. Any explanation as to why they were left off or are in your opinion not worthwhile?

    1. Hi Sean,

      Which VPN providers to include in our Best 5 lists is a team decision. This necessary because no one BestVPN team member is familiar with all 100+ providers that we have reviewed. Points against PIA:

      – It is based in the USA, so the NSA must (IMO) be spying on users in some way. The fact that PIA stridently denies this only reduces my trust in the company.
      – I used to use PIA, but disconnections were becoming so common as be a major issue.
      – Apple users (OSX and iOS) repeatedly report dissatisfaction with the service.

      I actually think that PIA is a good service, but factors such as the above led our team to prioritize the providers above.

      1. OTOH, they’re LESS THAN *HALF* the price of your favoured service and arguably offer more features, faster speed, more servers and meet or exceed every criteria you’ve identified in your reviews…

        Basically, you’re saying that you omitted the largest player in the market primarily because of a holistic, though unfounded, belief that the NSA must *somehow* (though you haven’t demonstrated it in any way whatsoever) “be spying on users in some way” (ignoring, of course, that, within the US, the NSA’s primary means of monitoring traffic comes via willing partnerships with the limited number of carriers and NOT through infiltrating an innumerable number of endpoints)…

        This smells fishy…

        1. Hi Bleus,

          I am saying that for reasons outlined in the summaries, the BestVPN.com team have decided that the listed VPNs are better than PIA.

  30. I use VPN to browse .Precisely I use VIP72 ..I disabled cookies and are cleared on my system and dns cache it’s always cleared, I disabled flash aswell and I barely use Java scripts , am not black listed I have 100% anonymity when I check on whoer.net but somehow some websites seems to detect my original location ..telling me they can’t verify my when I call them and I know it’s because of my internet settings .. What do you think is the cause ? And I need s solution ..Please I need a reply ASAP

  31. Any reason why NordVPN wasn’t included? It’s protected by the panama laws. They also keep no connection logs whatsoever. They also have the option to connect via TOR using their VPN, have dedicated IP VPN’s and VPN’s for streaming. They also have SSL 2048bit encryption.

        1. Hi Jerry,

          The tried and tested method is to ask you to choose your own password when you sign-up up for a service (which will be protected using HTTPS). That way, a password need never be sent via plaintext email for all the world to see.

          1. Hi Jerry,

            Yes. Most good VPN companies ask you to choose your own your password during signup. NordVPN instead just sends you one by email, which is not secure (or at least it did last time I used the service).

    1. Hi JaSem,

      Scroll down to the bottom of the VPNArea home page, or go to the Buy Now page. On the chart, look at the 6th entry down. I have posted a screenshot here.

  32. Hi,

    I would like to get a VPN, i am a bit of a technophobe but manage!! I did try one but had problems, I am all Apple and Sky is my broadband provider here in UK (I also go to the Canaries, am assuming it would work out there?) and when I tried to make a call via whatsapp (with VPN connected) iPhone couldn’t connect to internet!
    Is there a VPN I can get that is compatible??

    Regards

    Jane

    1. Hi Jane,

      Yup, a VPN should work wherever in the world you are (unless they are actively blocked, which is unlikely to be the case in the Canaries!). Hmm… using a VPN shouldn’t interfere WhatsApp or prevent your iPhone from accessing the internet! Try another provider – any provider e.g. the ones listed in this article or in 5 Best VPNs for iOS (although I personally do not recommend PIA for iPhone users).

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