The Best VPN Services Of 2019 – Which Ones Are Best For Your Privacy?
2019 May 23rd at 10:36
A VPN keeps you and your data safe when browsing online.
After all, personal and sensitive information is a source of hackers' income. If you're using public hotspots, you are risking serious data leaks and even financial losses.
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your information by masking your actual IP address, and the data that you send to a website. This way you can browse the internet privately and securely even when using public hotspots. Also, it allows you to access websites and media that would otherwise be banned or geolocked from your existing location.
But with so many choices, which is the best VPN for you?
In order to find the best VPN, we’ve thoroughly tested over 50 top companies and narrowed the list down to the absolute best VPN services of 2019. Here are the best VPN providers out there:
- NordVPN (military-grade security)
- ExpressVPN (a very popular and secure VPN solution)
- Ivacy VPN (VPN for all kinds of devices)
- Private Internet Access (VPN for fast download and upload speed)
- StrongVPN (ultimate VPN solution for Netflix)
- TunnelBear (freemium VPN platform with excellent speed)
- HideMyAssVPN (loads of worldwide servers)
An ultra-secure and fast VPN provider
|Number of servers||5 059+|
|IP Addresses||5 059+|
NordVPN aims to liberate the internet and make it an open place for everyone. It claims to do it fast and in superior quality. In the times of Internet censorship and content control, it’s more difficult than ever.
So how does NordVPN achieve that?
Nord VPN uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256 bit) as well as IKEv2/IPsec. It makes the provider one of the most secure in the industry. In addition to that, a very clear no-logs policy guarantees that NordVPN keeps no information on the users' web activities.
And as of now, there have been no security issues with NordVPN - that's a good sign.
NordVPN prices are competitive as well, starting at just $2.99/month with the 3-year plan. That's just over $100 for 3 years of secure internet. Also, one account allows you to connect up to 6 devices. That makes NordVPN a great option for a whole household or a small business
If a 3-year commitment sounds too big, there are three other options:
- 24 months plan for $3.99 /month
- 12 months plan for $6.99 /month
- 1-month plan for $11.95 /month
And if for some reason you aren’t satisfied by what NordVPN provides, then you can go ahead and take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee.
But what do you actually get for your money?
There are no bandwidth caps to be seen, and you can connect to almost every online streaming service, thanks to the many server locations. So if you want to watch BBC iPlayer or Netflix US from abroad, NordVPN will be your new best friend.
There are a couple of small issues though.
Only a limited number of servers are available for torrenting. Also, the vast majority of NordVPN's servers are located in Europe so American users won't have a variety of close-distance servers. If you really care about whether you connect from East or West coast, there may be issues.
However, from New York servers, NordVPN performed really well.
Our set benchmark was around 87Mbps for download and upload speed without the VPN turned on. NordVPN was only 23.7Mbps slower which is a perfect score with the VPN turned on.
So, NordVPN isn’t just secure and cheap, it’s also fast.
This makes it an excellent choice for P2P file-sharing, HD streaming or online gaming - especially seeing very reputable ping and jitter times.
|Up to 6 synchronous device connections||Majority of servers located in Europe|
|Excellent speed||Torrenting available on a limited number of servers|
|30-day money-back guarantee|
|Works with Netflix US|
|30-day free trial available|
Trusted and powerful VPN for all platforms
|Number of servers||1 800+|
|IP Addresses||1 000+|
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN solutions in the world, and that's for a good reason. The provider offers an incredibly extensive list of solutions.
It supports a wide range of operating systems including Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS and even Blackberry(!).
What’s also great is that there are plenty of web-based tutorials which are easy to follow - they will help you to use this VPN to its fullest potential.
ExpressVPN website offers live chat support with agents staffed to respond 24/7 as well. And they're not only quick to respond, but also
So, how much does it all cost?
ExpressVPN has three plans: they're based on the subscription period. The cheapest monthly price is $8.32 if you sign for a year. With ExpressVPN plans, you can connect only 3 devices simultaneously which makes this VPN plans suitable for personal use only.
If you are not sure, you can try ExpressVPN for 30-days with the offered money-back guarantee or commit to a shorter term. Their prices are like these:
- 6 months: $9.99 /month
- 1 month: $12.95 /month
And while ExpressVPN price is a bit higher, it's one of a few providers offering quality service with server locations even in countries like Belarus, Brunei, and Cambodia.
You’ll also be able to access all of the main streaming services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. And if you ever do run into any issues, ExpressVPN’s incredible customer support team promises to have your questions solved in no time.
But how did Express VPN handle our test?
ExpressVPN was quite a bit slower than our set benchmark of 87Mbps, reaching only 21.9Mbps download speed.
As far as I see it, ExpressVPN does not live up to its speed promises.
But the provider is still popular. So what do you get for the money? Great customer support and complete security - if those are your priorities, this is the best VPN for you.
|Zero logs & great encryption||No ad blocker|
|Simple cross-platform client||Only 3 simultaneous connections|
|Unlimited bandwidth for P2P||Slower speed|
|30-day money-back guarantee|
3. Ivacy VPN
Extensive VPN solutions for secure browsing
|Number of servers||1 000+|
|IP Addresses||100 000+|
Ivacy VPN aims to offer a privacy solution to all sorts of devices. The company has developed applications for all of the main platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
But it didn't stop there. With one and the same Ivacy VPN subscription, you'll also be able to encrypt data of your Android TV, Amazon Firestick, Kodi, or even an Xbox or a PlayStation console.
The setup process on all of those platforms is also user-friendly; plenty of tutorials and troubleshooting guides are available.
As for the VPN itself, it tries to tick off every single box of what's expected from a VPN.
What do you get?
Streaming from Netflix USA, and P2P downloads are both available. And there are more than 100 server locations to choose from.
256-bit security and a strict zero log policy complete the package. The only issue? Location in Singapore. While Singapore doesn't make all your data public, but it's rumored to be in close ties with the Western governments. Unlike the offshore havens like Panama or the Virgin Islands.
So how much does all that cost?
There's only one plan, which allows you to do 5 simultaneous connections. If you want to pay monthly, it's going to cost $9.95. But there's much better value if you pay for 1 or 2 years in advance.
1 year of Ivacy VPN will cost $40 ($3.33/month), and 2 years will be $54 ($2.25/month). It makes it one of the cheapest options on our list.
So if you're planning to purchase Ivacy VPN, long term commitment sounds like a pretty good option. Financial and service wise.
Now, what about the performance?
Actually, it's fairly good.
IvacyVPN is only about 40Mbps slower than our benchmark of 87Mbps. However, the ping isn't all that good.
And it may negatively affect your streaming and gaming experience.
However, by keeping around half of the original Internet speed, you shouldn't feel a significant difference when browsing. So if that's your goal - IvacyVPN is a good choice.
|Available for many devices||Based in Singapore|
|Good multi-year pricing||Monthly fees a bit too high|
|Torrents and P2P both available|
Cheap, unlimited and full of features
|Number of servers||3 300+|
If you are looking for a VPN solution that is fully-fledged and simple to use, then Private Internet Access (PIA) should be a name to consider. It has over 3000 servers worldwide and reliable, lag-free performance.
Deploying the industry standard AES-256 bit encryption and support for the OpenVPN protocol, you can count on PIA to keep your information secure.
PIA is also packed with features. From encrypted Wi-Fi to the SOCKS5 Proxy being included as a standard, it has pretty much every single feature you can think of - and then some more.
Private Internet Access enforces no restrictions on P2P or bandwidth and allows up to 5 simultaneous device connections.
Talking about Private Internet Access pricing, it starts at $3.49/month with a 2-year subscription.
If the 2-year commitment is too big, you can choose a yearly or 1-month plan. However, prices jump a bit:
- 12 months: $5.99/month
- 1 month: $9.95/month
So what can you expect from PIA?
You can stream and play games online as much as you want since there is no data capping. However, you won’t be able to unblock Netflix US.
In addition to these rare shortcomings, it is worth mentioning that PIA is not a very user-friendly VPN. After downloading the application, your login credentials are sent to your email address - and not only that's not very secure, those combinations tend to be quite difficult to remember. Also, the desktop app interface is a bit clunky, comparing to something like NordVPN.
Sadly there is no month-long money-back guarantee, as with PIA you only get 7 days. So you better decide if you like it, quick.
Luckily, out of all reasons to use that money-back guarantee, speed won't be one.
PIA is one of the best-performing VPNs on this list, only 38Mbps slower in downloads compared to our 87Mbps benchmark.
Upload speed are excellent as well. Ping, however, could be lower, as well as the jitter.
So, Private Internet Access will be perfect for fast browsing and downloading. But not so much for a smooth gaming experience.
|Cheap||Doesn’t unblock Netflix|
|Lots of servers||Only 7-day money-back guarantee|
|Up to 5 connections|
VPN with extreme security and excellent support
|Number of servers||650+|
|IP Addresses||59 500|
StrongVPN lives up to its name in more ways than one. Not only does it manage to bypass Netflix US restrictions, but it's one of the few VPN services that can get past China’s great firewall, too.
Located in Texas, USA, StrongVPN offers over 650 servers in 26 countries. Of those, 45 are in different cities.
They also support a good number of platforms. That includes Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, and even some Wi-Fi routers.
Like all of the best VPN services, StrongVPN includes AES-256 bit encryption as a standard, as well as the less commonly seen IKEv2/IPsec protocol.
With both of them, you get the same features, including 12 simultaneous device connections.
So, StrongVPN pricing is nothing exceptional. It can be compared to most of the average-priced providers.
However, with 12 simultaneous device connections, it's one of the most competitive options for businesses wanting to provide VPN security to the employees.
StrongVPN performance, when compared to others, is not that strong.
It's almost 66Mbps slower than our 87Mbps benchmark.
And that might actually slow you down. Fortunately, the ping score is great.
So why StrongVPN is popular and on our list?
This VPN is simple, secure, easy to use, and one subscription allows multiple connections. That, in addition to the China firewall bypass, makes StrongVPN one of the best options for small businesses and bigger families.
|Very easy-to-use||Speed is average at best|
|Multiple device support||Small locations list|
|Gets past Chinese firewall|
|30-day money-back guarantee|
The best free VPN provider
|Number of servers||1 000+|
|IP Addresses||3 500+|
Don't be fooled - TunnelBear may look like nothing but a cute logo, but it's actually an incredibly solid VPN service.
And it takes security very seriously. As a matter of fact, TunnelBear is the only VPN in the world that has published an independent security audit. Needless to say, the audit has approved that this VPN has a solid no-log policy and doesn't store any sensitive customer data.
TunnelBear offers 3 VPN plans. Or to be more exact, two plans with different pricing options.
The first plan is completely free. You get 500MB of data per month, and can use it however you wish.
The next plan costs $9.99 and you'll get charged monthly. It includes unlimited data, and 5 simultaneous device connections.
But if $9.99/month is too much, and you're willing to commit for a longer term, there's a way to save 50% by purchasing the plan for a full year.
Then, you'll only pay $4.99/month.
If you're looking for a quality VPN service, I don't suggest going for a free plan.
A 500MB data limit on the free plan might not sound like much. That's because it isn't.
A simple speed test alone took nearly half of the allowed monthly data. A dozen minutes of browsing on bigger, modern websites, and our allowance was almost depleted.
However, if all you need a VPN for is occasionally checking foreign news sites that would otherwise be blocked, 500MB should be fine.
But even the paid plans have their problems.
For example, the lack of support for both Netflix US and being able to torrent is quite disappointing.
That being said, TunnelBear makes up for its shortcomings with impressive speed.
It's only 45,6Mbps slower than our set 87Mbps benchmark. The upload speed is even better, and there are no issues with ping or jitter.
What does that mean?
You will be able to securely (and speedily) browse, download, and even game. And while a free plan provided data might not be enough, the speed TunnelBear makes the premium plan well worth your money.
|No data logging||No torrenting support|
|Free plan||No Netflix support|
|Works on 5 devices at once||Download speed could be better|
Best VPN solution with multiple worldwide locations
|Number of servers||720+|
|IP Addresses||3 600+|
HideMyAssVPN has a fairly poor reputation - as it's previously worked with governments and handed them over some of the sensitive user data.
Then how in the world is this VPN ranked on our list?
One of the best qualities of HMA VPN is the number of servers located in just about every country possible.
Do you want to surf in Alaska? Or do you prefer North Korea instead?
Well, now you don't have to choose, because HMA! has both. One of my favorite things is definitely the fact there are so many USA locations, you can see what the users from various parts of the country see.
No other VPN service has anything like this scale of network. It may not have the highest number of servers, but the way they are spread out is commendable and gives users many choices.
Probably because of that, HMA is still popular.
Here's how much it costs to start using this VPN:
HideMyAss is not the cheapest. The 2-year plan will cost you $4.99/month, and a monthly plan will set you back a solid $11.99.
Sure, it’s not as cheap as NordVPN or PIA, but it doesn’t fall into the IvacyVPN or ExpressVPN cost territories.
Another good thing about HideMyAss VPN is its speed.
Its downloads speed are only 35Mbps slower than with the regular 87Mbps connection.
Upload speed is not much worse. However, ping could be just a bit lower.
Also, taking security issues into account, HideMyAssVPN might not be your safest choice. Unless you are not doing anything illegal (torrenting licensed TV shows IS illegal, you know).
So when HideMyAssVPN is the best option?
Connecting to the huge number of locations worldwide is a great option for small business that wants to track their performance from all locales. It's also great for secure browsing and Netflix US.
For anything else, scroll upwards and pick some other VPN.
|Huge number of server locations||Hands data to governments|
|Good quality applications||Speed isn't great|
|Netflix US & BBC iPlayer available||No P2P support|
Best VPN Service - our Verdict
VPN choices are huge - and it's not easy to find one that offers great features, supreme security, and perfect value for money. But there are options that do just that.
All of the providers on our list are providing their users with excellent quality. But which one is right for your specific needs? Let's have one final look.
- NordVPN is best for those looking an affordable yet powerful all-in-one solution.
- ExpressVPN is a choice for extra security features and good customer support. If you need a helping hand 24/, this is a good VPN to choose.
- Ivacy VPN will work for those needing the support of a number of platforms and devices. This VPN has solutions for almost everything.
- Private Internet Access is a secure service that is powerful and easy to use. If you're a VPN beginner, this is a suitable choice.
- StrongVPN wins the place on our list for great security and support features. It's not the fastest, but does the job well.
- TunnelBear is our free VPN pick with great and reliable performance.
- HideMyAssVPN offers the biggest amount of servers worldwide.
Do you think we missed something? Share your thoughts down below!