Despite the proliferation of the web in human life, using the web is hardly a simple affair. You can connect to the web through multiple means and at blazing speed, but it is hard to be assured of safety at all times. Along with online risks, you also have to be aware of data privacy-related issues. Hackers, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or even your government could be monitoring everything you do on the internet without your knowledge. Using an antivirus software as your sole line of defence against malicious hackers and prying eyes is not adequate. To bolster defence against multiple online threats, more people resort to using VPN services. Here I am sharing with you a list of the best VPN service with you that can secure your privacy and identity. But first, you need to know what a VPN service actually does for you and how to choose a VPN service provider!
Why use a VPN service?
Using a VPN can be beneficial in multiple ways, whether you are a casual web user or someone whose job requires staying online most of the times! The major advantages of using a VPN service are:
- Using a VPN helps you stay invisible online, and others can’t see your real IP address
- The data transferred between your PC and websites you visit remain encrypted.
- Through a VPN you can access content that can’t be accessed otherwise owing to geographical restriction laws.
- VPN services serve as saviours for people in countries with stringent internet censorship.
Choosing the best VPN service for your needs
While using a VPN service can bring you numerous benefits, picking the apt VPN service is hardly simple! There are hundreds of VPN services, both free and paid ones. Despite the claims made by the vendors, not all VPNs offers the same level of online anonymity, data privacy and speed. Searching for the best VPN service can leave you exasperated!
Checking out the following factors when picking a VPN service will be handy:
- Server locations- Not all VPN services have the same number of servers and in the same countries. The VPNs with more server locations will offer you better speed.
- Purpose of usage- You may want a VPN for anonymous web access or may have specific needs like torrenting or accessing geo-restricted content. Not all VPNs fare same in these aspects.
- Device and OS compatibility- If you use multiple devices and OSes for accessing the web, checking VPN compatibility becomes a prerequisite.
- Ease of use- Not all VPNs have the same ease of use interface and some of them feature really simple interfaces while others have Settings hidden under submenus.
- Support options- It is advisable that you opt for a VPN that has a robust customer support system in place. It is better if the VPN service has live chat based support in place.
- Free trial and refund policy- Almost all VPN services come with a free trial offer though the trial period is not the same for each contender. Some of the VPN vendors offer time-limited money back offer for assuring the customers.
- Data privacy- Some VPNs especially free ones may log user data and there are others that adhere to zero data logging policy. Privacy-aware users should opt for the latter types.
Top 5 VPNs for 2019
Listed below are top 5 VPN services you can try- either for personal or business usage needs:
ExpressVPN outperforms most of the rival VPN services on key grounds, thereby making it a worthy contender for the title of the best VPN service. You get access to over 2000 servers located in 148 locations and platform range support is pretty wide. You get apps for Android, iOS and major PC OS versions. ExpressVPN offers custom firmware for selected router models and VPN browser extensions. The support website is really useful and 24/7 live chat support is there too. You get support for Bitcoin payments, P2P. It overrides Netflix blocking and has DNS leak protection. To top it all, you are offered a zero data logging policy. If you still have any doubt, that will be erased by the company’s 30-day no-questions-asked money back offer. The only downer is lack of trial service and hefty pricing.
- Excellent server networks spanning 94 countries
- Good safety features including DNS leak protection
- Enterprise-level encryption
- 30-day money back offer
- 24/7 live chat based support
Download & Try: ExpressVPN
This is another worthy VPN service you can consider. You get access to more than 5,000 servers located in over 60 countries. The download speeds tend to be good barring a few servers- but nothing that can be deemed as a deal breaker. Safety features are robust with 2048-bit encryption and two kill switches. You also get strong DNS leak protection embedded. Bitcoin and PayPal payment is supported and proxy extensions for Firefox and Chrome browsers are there. A useful addition is the SmartPlay feature that helps in unblocking Geo-restrictions. The only downer is average support options and there is no live chat. You can pick from 4 payment packages. It supports 6 connections at the same time and a 7-day free trial option is there.
- Robust safety features including two kill switches
- SmartPlay feature
- Proxy extensions for browsers
- Good performance overall
- 6 devices supported simultaneously
Download & Try: NordVPN
Another feature-rich VPN service, IPVanish is a good candidate for claiming the spot of one of the best VPN services of the world. The company offers more than 1100 servers spread in over 60 nations, which is impressive. It supports 10 connections simultaneously- which is ahead of what most rivals can offer. Besides, you get unlimited P2P traffic and apps for almost every platform you can think of. The vendor offers 24/7 customer support along with a week-long money-back guarantee. You get good download speeds and support for torrents is there too. The pricing is however on the higher side.
- 10 connections supportably at the same time
- Huge number of servers
- Speedy performance
- 24/7 customer support
- Money-back guarantee for a week
Download & Try: IPVanish
4. Hotspot Shield
This VPN service comes in both free and commercial avatars. The latter one is actually the practical option for serious and heavy users. You get unlimited bandwidth, access to more than 2500+ servers and no annoying ads. There is 24/ 7 customer support and it lets you connect a maximum of 5 devices at the same time. The USP of the app is its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol that helps it outshine almost all rival VPNs in sheer download speed. There are flexible pricing plans. However, you cannot tweak settings manually much and setting it up on routers and consoles is not possible. You get a weeklong trial, though.
- 24/ 7 customer support
- Catapult Hydra protocol offers blazing speed
- 7 day trial
- Supports 5 devices at the same time
Download & Try: Hotspot Shield
This is another VPN service you can consider. It covers the basics pretty well and then packs in some additional and useful features. The vendor offers 3000 plus servers located in 60 countries- to start with. You get apps for most major mobile and PC platforms as well. It has support for torrents and live chat support is speedy. The app has a fluid UI and lets you access geo restricted content in a jiffy without having to tinker with many settings. It also packs in additional features like ad blocker and malicious site blocker. The mobile apps feature Optional data compression. However, the trial is only valid for 24 hours.
- Huge number of servers
- Support for torrents and geo-blocked content
- Data compression for mobile apps
- Automated HTTPS redirection
Download & Try: CyberGhost
A few worthy mentions
Apart from the 5 VPN services listed above, you can also pick from a few more worthy contenders.
- TunnelBear is a Canadian VPN service aimed at users with a low budget and basic VPN usage needs. It supports 5 devices, has over 1000 servers and offers paid plans too. The UI is simple and speed can be average. There are only a few settings to tweak, but you get apps for almost every platform along with extensions for popular browsers.
- VyprVPN- VyprVPN based in Sweden is a worthy candidate here. It packs in cool features like zero-knowledge DNS service and proprietary Chameleon protocol. The platform support is seriously impressive. It also scores well in Download speed and accessing geographically blocked content.