Your guide

VPN service (Virtual Private Network) has become an essential tool to keep your online activity and information safe and private. Be it to stay secure when using a public Wi-Fi network, to unblock social media and streaming sites, or to block online tracking, there are numerous reasons why you should use a VPN. There are hundreds of VPN services available, and it isn’t always easy to pick the right one.

Related: Best VPN services to use in India

To help you out, we’ve analyzed some of the best VPN services currently available to help make the decision on who to pick easier!

VPN Service #1 – ExpressVPN – Best all round VPN 2018

best vpn services - expressvpn

ExpressVPN is considered one of the best VPN services around with good reason. It offers everything you would expect from a great VPN, like a zero logging policy, impressive connection speeds, a large number of servers across the world, and necessary security features like the Network Lock, DNS leak protection, and more. The apps are easy to use but don’t compromise on settings and features.  

ExpressVPN also doesn’t skimp on what the VPN is capable of. Everything from P2P file sharing to media streaming, including Netflix, is possible using ExpressVPN. Easy to install apps are available for all major platforms, and helpful guides can be found to set up ExpressVPN on routers, gaming consoles, media streaming devices, and more. 

ExpressVPN can be more expensive than other providers, but it is certainly one of the best VPN services around and worth the cost. The prices are currently at $99.95 for the annual plan ($8.32 per month), $59.95 for the 6-month plan ($9.99 per month), and $12.95 for the monthly plan. However, you can save 49% and get 3 months free if you are a Android Authority reader (only $6.67/month).

What it’s good for

  • Fast speeds
  • Good security features
  • Torrenting is very well supported
  • Netflix and other video streaming access is available 

What could be better

  • Only 5 concurrent connections allowed

VPN Service #2 – NordVPN – Best VPN for security

best vpn services - nordvpn

NordVPN is all about providing the best security features possible. Your online activity stays completely private with its zero logging policy, IP and DNS leak protection, and the best encryption protocols. Beyond that, you can take advantage of specialty servers for P2P and Anti-DDoS. For even more security, you have the option to enable Double VPN that runs everything through two servers.

While a network kill switch is standard, the service also comes with an App Kill Switch which lets you set certain apps to automatically close if the VPN connection drops. The apps also recognize if you are in a restricted location and load obfuscated servers. Finally, you can request a dedicated IP service, which will set you back an additional $70 a year.

Despite the heavy security features, NordVPN manages to offer excellent speeds and low latency. NordVPN features specialty servers for torrenting and Netflix works via select servers as well. NordVPN is also one of the few premium VPN services to offer a free 7-day trial along with a 30-day money back guarantee. 

NordVPN is also quite affordable considering all that it has to offer. NordVPN is currently priced at $79 for the 2-year plan ($3.29 per month), $69 for the annual plan ($5.75 per month), and $11.95 for the monthly plan. With its great mix of security features, speed, useful extras, and reasonable price points, NordVPN is considered by many to be one of the best VPN services currently available. 

What it’s good for

  • Security! Tons of security features are available. 
  • Fast speeds.
  • Good for torrenting- specialty servers are available. 
  • Allows for access to Netflix and other video streaming platforms. 
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections allowed – more than most.
  • 7-day trial available along with 30-day money back guarantee. 

What could be better

  • Apps require a bit of a learning curve, especially when trying to figure out all the security features. 

VPN Service #3 – PureVPN – Best VPN for beginners (ease of use)

best vpn services - purevpn

PureVPN is all about ease of use and completely takes the guesswork out of server selection, which is great for the first-time user. All you have to do is choose between various well-defined modes like Stream, File Sharing, and more, and then pick a specific purpose or the server closest to you. 

The Settings or Preferences menu is simple, and the various security features come with small descriptions to make them easier to understand. Of course, you can leave the default settings in place if you don’t want to worry about these options. 

PureVPN is not without its issues. The fact that it collects connection logs (but no activity logs) may be an issue for some and it has a dodgy 7-day refund policy. The speeds are also about average and could use a boost. However, for those who have no idea about servers, locations, protocols, security features, and more, PureVPN is one of the best VPN services for beginners. 

The best discounts for PureVPN are available with the long-term plans. the 2-year plan is priced at just $69 ($2.88 per month) and the annual plan will set you back $59 ($4.92 per month), while the usual monthly rate is a relatively steep $10.95. 

What it’s good for

  • Ideal for the first-time user. Just pick a mode and purpose and you’re good to go. 
  • Good security features like Internet Kill Switch, VPN Hotspot, and more. 
  • Torrenting is okay. 
  • Access is available for Netflix and a slew of other video streaming sites. 
  • Allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. 

What could be better

  • Zero activity logging, but connections are logged. 
  • Speed is average. 
  • No trial period. 7-day money back guarantee has odd conditions (less than 3 GB data usage or less than 100 sessions).

VPN Service #4 – SaferVPN – Best VPN for speed
  best vpn services - safervpn

SaferVPN claims to be the fastest and simplest VPN service around, and I found it to be one of the best VPN services around during my review. The apps are very simple and with no bells and whistles, and it’s very easy to install one and connect to the VPN. You don’t get a long list or purposes as you do with PureVPN, but specific servers for U.S. and U.K streaming are mentioned. 

The speeds are also as fast, if not faster, than more expensive options like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Of course, VPN connection speeds depend on a lot of factors, so not everybody might have the same experience that I did. The good news is the SaferVPN offers a 24-hour trial period as well as a 30-day money back guarantee, which should be more than enough time for you to figure out if this is the right VPN service for you. 

SaferVPN is currently priced at $78.96 for the 2-year plan ($3.29 per month), $65.88 for the annual plan ($5.49 per month), and a monthly rate of $10.99. 

What it’s good for

  • Really impressive speeds. 
  • Simple apps make it quick and easy to connect to the VPN. 
  • Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more can be accessed via the U.S. Streaming and U.K. Streaming servers. 
  • Up to 5 concurrent connections allowed. 

What could be better

  • Only one server location (Netherlands) can be used for torrenting. 
  • No activity logging, but connections are logged. 

VPN Service #5 – Private Internet Access – Most affordable VPN

best vpn services - private internet access

Private Internet Access, or PIA, is a very popular VPN service mostly because of how affordable it is. However, it doesn’t compromise on key aspects that make for a good VPN. The connection speeds are good, all the necessary security features are available, and its zero logging policy helps alleviate any concern with the fact that PIA is based in the U.S. 

Once you set up and save the various settings and security features, PIA is controlled entirely through a tray icon on Windows, which can definitely take some getting used to. Overall, it isn’t the easiest to use and is recommended for more experienced VPN users who can easily find their way around everything. If you are looking for a fast and cheap VPN service, PIA is the way to go. 

PIA is currently priced at just $69.95 for the 2-year plan ($2.91 per month), $39.95 for the annual plan ($3.33 per month), and a monthly rate of $6.95. While you can still find some VPN services that offer a similar 2-year plan rate, the annual plan and the monthly rate are some of the cheapest plans by far when compared to other best VPN services out there. 

What it’s good for

  • One of the cheapest VPN services around.
  • Good speeds.
  • Lots of security features.
  • Good for torrenting.
  • Zero logging policy.
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections. 

What could be better

  • Barebones Windows client and mobile apps. 
  • Based in the US, but zero logging policy should help alleviate any concerns. 
  • Can be difficult to access video streaming sites like Netflix. 

VPN Service #6 – CyberGhost – Best for torrenting
 best vpn services - cyberghost

CyberGhost is another popular VPN service that ticks all the right boxes as far as what is expected from a premium VPN. The Windows app interface is similar to what is seen with PureVPN, with various modes like Browse anonymously, Torrent anonymously, Stream anonymously, and more. Things aren’t as simple as PureVPN though, with users also getting the option for manual server selection, along with there being a slew of additional security features available. 

The speeds are good but not great. However, that may be because of my location. The speeds are still more than enough to stream high-quality video on sites like Netflix without any lag or buffering issues. CyberGhost is also one of the better options for torrenting. Apart from the Torrent anonymously section, the server list clearly marks the locations that allow for P2P file sharing.  

CyberGhost is running an excellent sale on the annual plan right now, bringing the price down to just $33 ($2.75 per month) for the first year, which is a fantastic price for one of the best VPN services around. You will then be charged $66 per year after that, which is still one of the cheaper annual plans around. The 3-month plan is priced at $29.97 ($9.99 per month), while the standard monthly rate is $11.99. 

What it’s good for

  • Easy to navigate apps.
  • Good for torrenting – clearly marked servers for P2P.
  • Allows access to video streaming sites like Netflix.
  • Zero logging policy. 
  • Good security features and nice extras like ad and malware blocking. 
  • Up to 5 concurrent connections allowed. 

What could be better

  • Speeds could be faster. 

VPN Service #7 – IPVanish VPN – Best VPN for gaming

best vpn services - ipvanish

IPVanish is a simple VPN to use with apps available for every major platform, and support for Wi-Fi routers, Chromebooks, and more. The security and privacy features are fantastic, and beyond what many competing services have to offer. 

See also: Best VPNs for gaming

IPVanish is known for offering some of the fastest download and upload speeds, and its usually low latency makes it an ideal VPN for gaming. The stability and reliability of the connection are impressive as well. Unfortunately, some of the things people use VPN’s for like circumventing geolocation blocks on Netflix aren’t possible here. For almost everything else, IPVanish is one of the best VPN services currently available.

IPVanish is priced at $77.99 for the annual plan ($6.49 per month), $26.99 for the 3-month plan ($8.99 per month), and a monthly rate of $10. 

What it’s good for

  • Good speeds and low latency make it a popular VPN for gaming.
  • Lots of security features.
  • Good for torrenting.
  • Up to 5 concurrent connections.
  • Zero logging policy. 

What could be better

  • Apps could be more user-friendly.
  • Only 7-day money back guarantee available.  Less than most.
  • Based in the US. But zero logging policy should alleviate any concerns. 

VPN Service #8 – Windscribe – Best free VPN
best vpn service - windscribe

We don’t recommend using a free VPN, since paying for one gets you more security features, faster speeds, no data caps, quicker access, and more. However, if you are looking for the option, the free version of the Windscribe VPN is one of the best around. 

With Windscribe Free, you get a generous data cap of 10GB per month. This is fantastic since most other free VPNs limit the monthly data usage to as low as 500MB or 1GB. You can further increase your data cap by tweeting about Windscribe, that will get you an additional 5GB per month. Referring a friend will increase the data limit by 1GB. 

While only servers in 11 countries are accessible with the free version, you are able to use it for P2P file sharing. You can also take advantage of security features like a built-in ad blocker, the same encryption as is available with the premium version, and its zero logging policy. The free version may not be one of the best VPN services around, but it will certainily get the job done in a pinch. 

What it’s good for

  • High monthly data cap of 10GB + which is far higher than most. 
  • Torrenting is allowed. 
  • All security features of the premium version available with the free variant. 
  • Zero logging policy

What could be better

  • A limited number of servers accessible. 
  • Speeds tend to fluctuate. 

That’s it for this roundup of the some of the best VPN services currently available!

Now that you have an idea of the kind of VPN services out there, be sure to check out our guide on how to use a VPN and the best VPN apps. Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive reviews of IPVanish, PureVPN, SaferVPN, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN, and stay tuned for many more detailed VPN reviews in the coming months. 

Read Next: Best free VPNs

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