“We spent days reviewing various VPNs before choosing NordVPN as the recommended pick for best VPN. Its easy-to-use, has some of the best features. We also liked that it offers a secure connection, multiple servers, fast connection speed, and excellent customer support.”
-Tim Warner, Tech & Electronics, Director of Testing
Top 5 out of 15 VPNs We Tested
Why buy a VPN Plan
A free VPN typically will not provide the features and service of a paid provider with quality attributes. Moreover, free VPNs are more likely to experience slow connections. This is because a free VPN will be slowed by a plethora of users and networks that are suboptimal, couple this with no customer support, and a small number of VPN server locations to choose from. Finally, free VPNs are more than likely to provide weak cybersecurity. A VPN will keep the real location of its user personal.
How We Ranked the Top VPN Companies
Amount of Servers Available
VPNs may offer multiple servers; however, more is better for most VPN subscription holders. You always want to make sure that the VPN chosen will cover usage requirements. If there are fewer servers, then your internet speed will be slow. Many free VPNs will provide hundreds, however, a paid VPN is likely to offer thousands. While A free VPN can change your IP, it will not provide all that paid VPN’s have to offer.
Encryption is a process in which data is encoded so that sensitive information remains hidden from and inaccessible to unauthorized users. As internet access contains sensitive data the access points by end users ought to be protected from online attackers, and data encryption is a one of the integral tactics to keep personal data safe. Encryption scrambles sensitive data so that unauthorized users without the encryption key will not be able to make sense of the information stored online.
Fast and Stable Connection Speed
Bandwidth ranks high in this comparison and is thought to be one of the more important features especially with so much online content to stream. While the top VPN’s have comparable speeds, the best of the best has the edge on more consistent download and upload speeds. It is never a positive experience to have an unstable connection after filling out online forms or working remote or while working without available auto-save features; time is money and wasted time equals wasted money.
Bandwidth Availablity and Limitation
It is important to find a VPN with the least amount of bandwidth restrictions. With free VPNs, bandwidth must be limited in order to allow more users to connect to the access points and still maintain a good network connection. Otherwise, one user could potentially saturate the connection quality while having a high amount of data transferred on the network by using most of the bandwidth. Thus, it is critical to find a VPN that has little to no bandwidth limits.
Replacement of your IP address
While looking into a VPN, the reader likely understands that it is critical to replace your IP address. Those that do are showing that they care about protecting online privacy or avoiding website bans. Thus with a VPN users will want to change the public IP address. When users are trying to troubleshoot internet issues or hide from other devices who are connected to the same internet connection, a VPN can change the IP address.
No activity logs or connection logs
With a paid VPN, to remain secure, it is important to find a provider that does not store activity logs or connection logs. Find a VPN service with a zero-log policy that guarantees that no information is stored besides login email and password. No activity logs or connection logs mean no timestamps, no usage information, and no identifying data. Even if the information were requested, this type of VPN has nothing to hand over.
Live Chat Support with 24/7 Access
Email or chat live with a support team can be critical while in a bind or during set up of the chosen VPN. A VPN that offers constant live chat support is the kind of service that can not be offered from a free VPN.
Additional benefits of the Best VPNs
Unblock Site Restrictions
If the end-user is looking to free up internet access, then the best VPNs offer a website unblocker app. Some network administrators and governments monitor internet traffic to limit access to certain websites. A VPN acts like a website unblocker by routing the user traffic through an encrypted tunnel, so it can’t be inspected, manipulated, or censored.
The unblocker app is a tool that deregulates censored material in the current country or sites that are blocked by a school, office, or public Wi-Fi network being used. When connect to one of the VPN servers around the world, the user will be able to browse the internet with a new IP address and access sites that might otherwise be censored.
Streaming for all devices
A paid VPN provides a user to get the internet expected, without sacrificing security or privacy. The best VPNs allow the user to stream and download any content with unlimited bandwidth. Moreover, the best VPNs allow access to favorite apps securely anywhere, even on public Wi-Fi, with servers in multiple countries. Bypass content-based throttling, government censorship, and blocking by schools or offices. The benefits are for streaming, social media, messaging, and games.
Know your VPN Companies Additional Services
One of the most important steps of the process for buying a VPN subscription plan is the additional services. The additional services may really make a huge decision in the search to find the best VPN provider. Most free VPNs have limited to no add ons; such as a network lock that keeps data safe even if the VPN connection drops, blocking all internet traffic until protection is restored. Another important ad on is a split tunneling availability. VPN split tunneling lets the user route some device or app traffic through an encrypted VPN tunnel while other devices or apps access the internet directly.