The Best VPN App 2019

VPN apps are perhaps the most important part of a VPN service. A VPN app is software that you will use day in day out, and the quality, ease of use, reliability, and features associated with those apps are how most consumers will judge their VPN experience.

VPN app on mobile

Does your VPN provider have apps for all platforms? Are those apps fully featured with the utilities and settings needed to protect data and unblock content? In this article, we will look closely at VPN apps and let you know which providers are at the top of the VPN software game.

What is a VPN App?

A VPN is an online service that lets people do two important things:

  1. A VPN encrypts your internet connection to stop anybody from watching and tracking what you do online. This digital privacy protects you from ISP and government monitoring and surveillance. It also protects you against hackers (on public WiFi) nosy landlords and other potential eavesdroppers.
  2. A VPN lets you conceal your real location. Not only does this hide your IP address from the websites that you visit, but it also allows you to bypass local censorship or access geo-restricted content from overseas.

The best VPN apps 2019

  1. NordVPN

    NordVPN app

    NordVPN is based in Panama. It has superb apps for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS. All of its apps are heavily featured with top-of-the-range privacy settings, ideal for protecting your privacy. A killswitch is available on all of their apps (on Android you must manually set it up in your OS), which means you never have to worry about leaking data accidentally. This makes this VPN perfect for P2P BitTorrenting. In addition, NordVPN apps provide DNS leak protection, obfuscation, Tor through VPN, double hop encryption, and the ability to toggle various protocols. Where ease of use is concerned NordVPN is at the top of its game; providing a seamless experience throughout. Why not test out its VPN app yourself, by making use of its 30-day free trial?

  2. CyberGhost

    Cyberghost VPN app

    CyberGhost VPN is a service that is based in Romania. It has apps for all popular platforms including Linux. Its VPN apps come fully features with DNS leak protection and a killswitch, which means it is ideal for privacy. Users can toggle through various options including encryption settings. Our recommended protocol OpenVPN is available with both UDP and TCP connections. No obfuscation tech is provided, so users in some countries may prefer to go for NordVPN. However, due to fast speeds and the ease of use of this service, it is a VPN that is often liked by consumers. Additionally, it unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer. You can give it a test run using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

  3. Ivacy

     Ivacy VPN app

    This new service from Singapore has got people talking in the VPN sector. Not only does it have excellent apps for all platforms, but it is extremely affordable. It even has an app for Linux. A killswitch is available, which is perhaps the most important feature (other than encryption). Encryption is military grade, and this app is super easy to use. Considering Ivacy unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and iPlayer; we think this VPN is a steal. Well worth a test run if you want fast speeds and streaming. 30-day money-back guarantee available.

  4. PureVPN

    purevpn app

    This Hong Kong-based VPN is an excellent service that has superb software for all the popular platforms. Those clients are extremely nice looking, updated regularly, and heavily featured with some fantastic settings. Speeds are good enough for streaming, and servers are located in a whopping 141 countries. This VPN has 24/7 live chat support, and it is always available to help you unblock content. Its software has dedicated IPs windows where you can enter an IP provided by its support team to unblock hard to get streams (such as sporting events). PureVPN also allows your computer to be set up as a WiFi hotspot using the VPN! A great all-rounder that is easy to use. We love it, and the price - and we think you will too.

  5. ExpressVPN

    expressvpn app

    This VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. It is a mature VPN service that has proven itself to be popular amongst subscribers. It was recently given the editor's choice award at the industry standard VPN awards in Las Vegas. This VPN has apps for all platforms that are fully featured. A Killswitch is available making this VPN ideal for torrenting. Servers can be selected in 94 countries, and this VPN unblocks popular streaming services. The only drawback with this VPN is that it is quite costly compared to some other VPNs with comparable software. However, if you want something truly excellent, this VPN is worth a look. You can test it using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

How do I get a VPN app?

Getting a VPN app for your device is easy, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a VPN provider with reliable, easy-to-use apps from this list.
  2. Navigate to the VPN provider’s website and subscribe.
  3. Download the VPN software for your platform. The VPN has a downloads area that is made available once you subscribe.
  4. Install and open the VPN software. Use your credentials and password to log in.
  5. You are now ready to use your brand new VPN app. Simply select a location and click connect to conceal your real location and unblock content from around the world.

Troubleshooting a VPN app

If you are having problems with your VPN app for some reason, you can rely on the VPN provider’s customer support team to help you. The VPNs in this guide have 24/7 support, and the vast majority have live chat support that is always on call to help.

What features does a VPN app need?

No matter which platform a VPN app is for, there are certain features that make it optimal:

  • Server location options. A good VPN app lets subscribers quickly and easily pick between server locations. It also clearly displays which servers are optimized for streaming, for torrenting, or for general use. For ease of use, reliable VPNs clearly display when a VPN connection has initiated, whether an IP address has been concealed/replaced, and other data such as the duration of the connection and how much data has been sent via the encrypted tunnel.
  • A VPN Killswitch. A killswitch feature is vital to stop data from leaking to your ISP outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel - should the connection drop out. VPNs tend to have a killswitch on their desktop apps, but the very best may have a killswitch on their mobile apps too.
  • DNS leak protection. DNS leaks can make or break a VPN service. The best VPN apps route DNS requests via the VPN firm’s own servers, and, failing that, proxy all DNS requests via a third party DNS resolver. DNS leak protection (usually IPv4) ensures that no DNS requests are ever leaked to your ISP. WebRTC and IPv6 protection may also be available with your VPN provider.
  • “Stealth” or VPN obfuscation. This feature permits VPN users to get around firewalls that block VPN traffic. Obfuscation (whether it be Stunnel, Obfsproxy, XOR, or TCP over port 443) also stops ISPs from detecting VPN use. This permits VPN users to avoid ISP bandwidth throttling.
  • Encryption settings. The best VPN apps implement our recommended protocol OpenVPN; with the ability to toggle between UDP and TCP. VPNs may also permit subscribers to toggle between other secure protocols including L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, IKEv2, and (the now outdated) PPTP protocol.

Other features are provided only by certain VPN apps. While they aren’t necessarily important to all VPN users, they may be of use to some people:

  • Port selection. Some VPNs may provide the ability to change port settings. This alters the port via which VPN traffic is routed to the internet from your router.
  • Port forwarding. This is an advanced feature that permits people to enable incoming internet connections to reach their device when using a VPN. Some people may use this feature to access their Kodi or to access a home gaming server.
  • Double-hop encryption. This allows consumers to bounces their traffic through two VPN servers to further obfuscate the path of the traffic. This may help to combat time correlation attacks.
  • Tor through VPN. This allows people to join the Tor network via a VPN server. This obfuscates the VPN user's real IP address from the entry node for the Tor Network.

What Can I do with a VPN app?

A VPN app will let you do many things. Here is a quick look:

  • Unblock locally censored content. In many countries, ISPs are forced to blackout access to certain websites. With a VPN you can pretend to be abroad to access those blocked websites.
  • Access geo-restricted content. Copyright restrictions force certain services to be blocked around the world. With a VPN, you can unblock all services from around the globe. This is also useful if you go on vacation and want to access services from back home (internet banking, for instance).
  • Access streaming sites or torrents in privacy. If you have ever watched a movie or TV show on a site like putlocker you were engaging in piracy. Piracy is not good, and it could get you in trouble. You always do it at your own risk. However, with a VPN nobody can tell what you do online.
  • Watch more sport. A VPN is awesome for accessing foreign sports competitions.
  • Gaming. With a VPN you can access gaming servers located overseas.
  • Watch Netflix US. Netflix US has a lot more titles! With a VPN you can watch them all.

Best VPN App - Overview

1. From $2.99 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
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2. From $2.75 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.5 out of 10
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3. From $2.25 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.3 out of 10
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4. From $2.88 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.9 out of 10
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5. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.7 out of 10
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Written by: Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh is the no.1 VPN & no.5 Internet Privacy authority in the world according to rating website Agilience.com. Ray's expert digital privacy opinions have appeared in The Express, the Scottish Herald, Dell Tech Page One, and CNET to name a few.

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