VPN, or ‘virtual private network’, is a software that helps you keep your online activity private, and make you more anonymous online by changing your location. VPN also ensures that no one can track you by your IP address or similar clues.
VPN services are quite affordable today, they are easy to use (on PC, Mac or mobile devices) and enable you to protect your information and even bypass the content blocks put in place by some Internet service providers (ISP), or even streaming providers, like Netflix. VPN service is also something you should definitely have along with a good firewall and antivirus/antimalware software.
In case you’re wondering how VPN works, the answer is quite simple. Once you purchase a VPN service, all of your outgoing connections are tunneled through VPN’s own encrypted servers, which hides your activity from your ISP, and even government or hackers. If someone tries to track your activity, they will only see that you have connected to the VPN server through an encrypted tunnel, but they will not be able to see what you did and what data you searched for on the Internet or what was returned to you via the VPN server. In essence, your online activity becomes anonymous.
However, finding the best VPN for online security might seem impossible. There are hundreds of VPNs on offer and each claims to be the best. Here at ViCadia, we have tested dozens of VPN services for months in order to determine which one delivers what they promise. After conducting numerous test, we’ve come up with the following list of the best VPN services currently available for use. Our unbiased, comprehensive reviews will help you choose the right VPN for you, whether you want to stream videos, circumvent content blocks or remain completely anonymous.
Five Very Best VPN Services
- NordVPN – by far one of the best, if not the best, VPN providers out there. Packed with loads of features, and boasting with incredible privacy protection systems, this is the best VPN for streaming videos and playing video games.
- ExpressVPN – a VPN provider that features fast and reliable connections speeds, as well as improved security features, and simple and intuitive app design.
- IvacyVPN – great for torrenting and unblocking Netflix and Hulu, IvacyVPN is a good VPN service which you can get for a very affordable amount of money.
- PureVPN – with wide platform support, plenty of servers, and split tunneling features, PureVPN is a great solution for users who are looking for a reliable and cheap VPN provider.
- Windscribe VPN – probably one of the best new VPN providers that showed up in recent years. Would’ve been higher on our list if it had performed better in areas other than North America and Europe.
- Reasonable prices for a long-term plan
- Renowned and rich content
- Massive network of servers
- High-quality mobile and desktop clients
- P2P is limited to certain servers
- Interface could be more user-friendly
NordVPN is hands-down the best VPN service you can find right now. It provides exceptional all-round value, great features and performance at a price few can surpass.
NordVPN supports AES-256 encryption, as well as OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols that keep your traffic safe and hidden from prying eyes. Given that it is registered in Panama, NordVPN is also far from the worrying data protection laws which allows it to not record data and user activity at all. The CyberSec NordVPN feature provides protection against ads and malware. VPN servers that mask your location give you access to all parts of the Internet, even in countries with content censorship laws. With NordVPN you can even access Netflix and Facebook in China. You also don’t have to worry about VPN data leakage, as it offers two different kill switch options and custom DNS settings.
The massive NordVPN network has more than 5,500 servers in over 55 countries. It offers specialized servers for P2P, dual encryption and dedicated IP addresses, giving this VPN the flexibility to bypass geo-blocking, use servers tailored to a variety of uses, and higher speeds. The NordVPN also consistently showed great speeds in every country our colleagues had the chance to test it. When we connected to the local server, our speed dropped by only 5% – which is nothing significant!
Secure streaming and torrenting is possible with NordVPN with one click. Thanks to SmartPlay DNS settings, NordVPN automatically provides reliable access and great speeds when you open US Netflix and other streaming platforms. Best of all, it can unblock more than 400 different services – something which no other VPN can track it. Also, if you ever need help, you can count on 24/7 customer support via the live chat option to help you.
Overall, we consider NordVPN to be a top-of-the-line multi-purpose VPN, but we are disappointed that it does not have the option to pay via PayPal – even though they have their own secure payment platform. You can test its intuitive apps and great features on six devices at the same time with a 30-day risk-free money back guarantee.
- Huge amount of servers
- Outstanding privacy protection systems
- There are no traffic restrictions and great speed
- Great for streaming videos
- Quick installation and easy to use
- Quite expensive
- Requires browser extensions
- Doesn’t offer ad blocking
From streaming Netflix, to downloading torrents and playing video games, with ExpressVPN you can do it all. Although it’s not perfect, it is one of the best VPN services available out there. ExpressVPN has always been known for its speed and access to content, however, the market hasn’t remained indifferent. Recently, many ISPs added new geographical restrictions and redoubled their efforts to restrict access to content in countries like China.
However, ExpressVPN works everywhere, even in countries like Russia, China or US. With ExpressVPN you can watch US Netflix from anywhere in the world, and other streaming services, like Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Go work completely fine. With ExpressVPN you can also access content on YouTube, Google and Facebook, without having to worry about geographical restrictions.
The ExpressVPN also offers unlimited bandwidth and data transfers for completely unlimited torrent downloads. It also allows torrent downloads and P2P data sharing on any of its servers. Since ExpressVPN does not record logs and its headquarters are located in a location that respects privacy, no one will have access to information about your torrent download activities or your search history. It is safe to use it with uTorrent or any other BitTorrent client, and anonymity is guaranteed.
Even at long distances, speeds with ExpressVPN still remain high, which is why this is one of the best VPNs for streaming HD resolution video content. The packet loss is also extremely small, which makes it perfect for playing online video games with minimal input lag. The ExpressVPN also uses the highest encryption standards. It protects you with 256-bit AES encryption that combines 256-bit AES encryption with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. This makes connection extremely secure, and almost impossible to break. ExpressVPN also uses perfect advanced secrecy (PFS). It is a very advanced feature that changes the encryption key every time you log in so that you are assigned a new one at the beginning of each session.
Overall, ExpressVPN is an impressive VPN service that is worth the money invested. It offers the highest level of encryption, a huge global network, advanced unbundled tunneling, and impressive unblocking capabilities. ExpressVPN is also truly committed to protecting your security and guaranteeing anonymity and privacy online.
- Works on all major platforms
- Allows torrenting on assigned servers
- Ability to unblock Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer
- Automatic shutdown option and separate tunneling
- Windows client app is a bit buggy
- No VPN kill switch or split tunneling for MacOS and iOS
- No security/privacy audit
Although headquartered in Singapore, which sometimes faces its own censorship, Ivacy has proven to be an outstanding VPN. The Ivacy VPN has standard encryption and security with 256-bit military encryption and several protocols, including IPSEC, IKeV, L2TP, OpenVPN, TCP and UD. IvacyVPN has servers in more than 100 locations with 275 servers and 12,000 IP addresses available for use. The list of servers is not expansive, such as NordVPN’s or ExpressVPN’s, but it is definitely larger than the ones we have seen with other VPN services.
Special thing about IvacyVPN as it has an auto-shutdown option, which will shut down your internet connection if any data leaks are detected. While this option works, there have been a couple of setbacks and moments in the past where it didn’t work perfectly. Ivacy also does not store any records of user activities. They only track the logins of their users to their servers.
You can also connect up to five devices at once, and since it supports many platforms, we’re sure you’ll take advantage of them all. In terms of streaming, Ivacy can access Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer, as well as a host of other streaming sites, which is no small feat. The speed is definitely enough to stream content without jamming or long loading. IvacyVPN also allows torrenting on dedicated P2P servers. They also have dedicated servers for Kodi, and since there are no bandwidth restrictions, you can torrent and stream content as much as you want.
But one feature that really sets Ivacy apart from all other VPN services is their 24-hour customer service. Not many VPNs can boast about this, but Ivacy online support service is available in every way possible and will fix your issues quickly and efficiently.
IvacyVPN is now very affordable. We especially like the five-year plan that costs only $1.00 a month. The company also offers a 7-day money back guarantee (although not unconditional) so you have plenty of time to try it out.
Overall, IvacyVPN is a top-notch VPN service that is constantly working on improving its features. This VPN has everything you could need – great security and encryption, an auto-shutdown option, servers in more than 100 locations, access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and dedicated servers for torrenting and Kodi. In addition to all of this, Ivacy provides outstanding customer service that is available 24 hours a day.
- Split tunneling option for individual websites
- Excellent 24/7 support, 365 days a year
- 5 devices connected at the same time
- 750 servers from 141 countries
- Wide platform support
- Desktop app is a bit buggy
- Support site could be better
- Legal situation not clarified enough
PureVPN is one of those rare proxy services that provides all sorts of features, as well as additional options that make it easier to achieve more secure browsing experience. With more than 750 servers located in 141 countries around the world, as well as thousands of available IP addresses, the connectivity options with this VPN are diverse and feature-rich.
PureVPN offers a unique feature called “Split Tunneling” that allows you to specify individual parameters for your applications. For example, if you are outside Canada and need to visit the Canadian Bank of Canada website, you can use the Tunnel Separation feature to assign a Canadian IP address to your computer while your local connection (or a connection from another country) continues to be used for all other applications. Some of the other commendable features of PureVPN include a security switch, an option for assigned IP, a VPN for routers, and bitcoin payments. It also supports PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Stealth protocols. PureVPN’s interface is well polished and easy for users to understand, with many options and adjustment tools.
PureVPN is a quality service that provides versatility, convenience and security. Not only does it provide a lot of customization options, but also secure encryption, as well as some impressive features such as intelligent use, thousands of available IP addresses and 180 secure server locations, with the constant addition of new ones. In addition, PureVPN offers full non-stop customer support. With 24/7 customer support and 365 days a year, an elegant user interface and an eye-pleasing modifications, it is an excellent service and a good choice for most VPN users.
- Free account with 10GB and multiple connections
- Dedicated servers for US and UK Netflix
- Firewall to protect against accidental data loss
- Very stable and reliable desktop and mobile apps
- Speed test results below average in some cases
- No live chat support
Windscribe VPN is a Canadian-based provider that promises to help you browse the internet privately. In addition to the paid service, this VPN also offers a renowned free version, which attracts many users for its generous 10GB of monthly data. The Pro version gives you unlimited access to data traffic on servers in 110 cities in 60 countries. Additionally, Windscribe Pro offers the option of port forwarding.
Overall, Windscribe VPN has a lot to offer – it can help you with torrenting and streaming US Netflix, while also being packed with privacy features. It also makes fans happy with its advanced ROBERT feature, thanks to new updates that allows you to spoof domains to an IP address of your choice, while also blocking IPs and networks that may be unreliable. Unfortunately, Windscribe VPN has a rather big drawback: you have access to US Netflix, but all other countries are inaccessible.
Windscribe VPN is also able to deliver very good download speeds. Our original download speed over fiber optic connection was about 103.01 Mbps, and after we connected to the server located on the East Coast in the United States, our download speed was around 45.65 Mbps. It is also good to know that the dedicated server for accessing Netflix USA, which is only available to premium users, provides pretty fast speeds. Overall, Windscribe provides pretty good download speeds, but it all depends how far you are physically situated from the server you are connecting to.
Overall, Windscribe offers much of what you could want in a VPN, including reliability in terms of security and performance. You will be able to play Netflix USA content and browse the web anonymously on as many devices as you want. Moreover, thanks to its Stealth mode, this VPN also works in China.
How To Choose The Best VPN?
When looking for a online service for your digital device, choosing the right VPN is very important to stay protected online. Here are some things you should consider before purchasing the right VPN package.
Good VPN applications have proven compatibility with Windows 10 and other platforms. Hundreds of VPNs claim to work with this operating system, but make sure that in the case of your VPN this is verified. There is nothing worse than being convinced that a product protects you when it actually exposes you to even more threats.
Secure encryption is another thing you should pay attention to. When you choose a VPN, you should make sure that it uses at least AES-256-bit encryption, otherwise you will be exposed to spying on hackers, your ISP, the government, and other Internet threats.
Good VPNs have strict security policies. For example, some Windows-compatible VPNs monitor and sell user data to advertisers, Facebook, and other spies. Use a VPN that has a verified user privacy history.
Geo-block bypass capability is another important thing. Make sure the VPN you downloaded gives you access to the pages you want to access. Not all services work in all countries and with all platforms because some sites like Netflix use strong geo-blockades to stop VPNs – they can only be bypassed by high quality services like NordVPN.
Speed isn’t everything, but it means a lot. Since some VPNs can slow down your connection, make sure your service offers high speeds enough to access the platforms you want.
Last but not least, good VPNs always have customer support available 24/7. To avoid service interruptions, make sure that the VPN you have selected has service and customer support available.
VPN is key to your security on the Internet. Like all digital devices, even Windows PCs and smartphones have security flaws that put your privacy at risk. Even Microsoft’s and Google’s privacy policies can expose you to unwanted surveillance. In addition, governments, hackers, ISPs, and other spies are constantly finding new ways to monitor users like you.
In addition to protecting you, VPNs on the Internet can provide you more freedom. Premium VPNs can bypass geo-blockades and thus give you access to location-restricted services such as Netflix, online banking and other platforms. Of all the VPNs we’ve tested so far, we recommend trying NordVPN for its secure and fast servers and Windows-compatible apps that are ideal for browsing, streaming and downloading. It also allows you to try it out with a 30-day money back guarantee that allows you to personally test the service completely without risk.
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