Best VPN Reviews 2018 – Your Guide to a Safe and Secure Internet
Get the most unbiased and impartial reviews of the many VPN service providers in the industry. We write best VPN reviews of 2018 to determine the top VPNs in the market. Our reviews are based on offerings & service claims of a VPN provider.
To deliver the most accurate findings to our readers, we rigorously test the best VPN providers while evaluating their speed, server performance, features, level of encryption, reliability and plans.
We update our reviews on daily basis to keep them as fresh as possible.
With 2000+ servers in 141 countries, PureVPN is an efficient tool to unblock all the geo-restricted websites and channels. This service supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and SSTP protocols to provide you foolproof online security. PureVPN is compatible with all the leading platforms including Windows, Android and iOS. It offers a 24/7 Live Chat to assist the customers.Read Full Review
Nord VPN has currently 4800+ VPN servers that are responsible for providing you the access to blocked and geo-restricted content. Nord VPN is compatible with Windows, Android, Linux, Mac and iOS. Nord VPN tunnels your traffic through PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN protocols and provides double VPN encryption support. Nord VPN does not keep the record of your online activities.Read Full Review
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers to unblock all the restricted and blocked websites from your home country. ExpressVPN is also considered as the best security tool to equip your devices with. ExpressVPN tunnels your data through L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN and SSTP protocols and gives you 97+ VPN servers all over the world. ExpressVPN provides 24/7 Live Chat Support.Read Full Review
IPVanish provides 1000+ servers across the globe to all its users to access the blocked websites and channels. IPVanish uses OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec protocols to tunnel your traffic and to keep it safe from cyberattacks. IPVanish provides a 7-day money back guarantee and also provides a top notch 24/7 active Customer Support to all its users. It works on all the devices.Read Full Review
Ivacy VPN offers some fantastic features for an affordable price. It has 450+ servers in 100+ locations and it provides OpenVPN, PPTP and IPSec protocols. In addition, the service is compatible with all the major operating systems. The most notable aspect Ivacy VPN is its cheap prices. Amazingly, you can avail the service for up to 5 years by paying $72.Read Full Review
SaferVPN offers 700 servers from 35 countries. It supports OpenVPN, L2TP and IPSec protocols. The service provides 24/7 live support to assist the users. In addition to this, the provider offer customized pricing plans to meet the privacy requirements of the netizens. There are three dedicated servers for P2P and torrenting activities provided by the service.Read Full Review
Goose VPN has over 100 servers spread across 28 countries. It uses OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2 and IPSec tunneling protocols to secure your connection. GooseVPN encrypts your connection with a military grade AES-256 bit cipher. It is the most advance encryption system available. The VPN has custom clients for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS platforms.Read Full Review
Astrill VPN is a service based in Seychelles that was founded in 2009. It provides 344 servers in 62 countries. Impressively, this VPN service supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, Cisco, IPSec, StealthVPN, SSTP and IKEv2 as tunneling protocols. With that, you get a powerful AES 256-bit to protect your connection from hackers, malwares and vigilant agencies.Read Full Review
Getflix is a SmartDNS and VPN provider which specializes in unblocking geo-restricted streaming content. It provides around 91 servers from 39 countries. Many of these server support P2P activities. Furthermore, the service supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP protocols. The strongest encryption it provides is AES-256 bit. You can buy this service for as low as $2.25 a month.Read Full Review
Private Tunnel is the brainchild of the team behind the OpenVPN technology. It offers 23 servers from 12 countries. These servers are some of the fastest VPN servers available. As expected, this VPN only supports OpenVPN protocol to secure your connection. As for compatibility, you can use the VPN on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS platform.Read Full Review
Buffered VPN started out in 2014 and since then, it has expanded its service rapidly. The VPN service offers servers from 45+ countries. It provides OpenVPN, PPTP and IPSec protocols along with AES-256 bit encryption and RSA 2048 handshake. Also, you get a NAT firewall, Auto reconnect, port discovery and in-built kill switch in Buffered VPN’s client.Read Full Review
Hide.me VPN provides 150 servers from 34 countries. It provides a military grade encryption with OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv1/2 and SoftEther protocols. In addition, it has a generous free version that provides P2P optimized servers along with unlimited bandwidth. Most notably, the service is based in Malaysia which has no mandatory data retention laws.Read Full Review
Avira Phantom VPN is a familiar name to anyone who has ever looked free internet privacy. It is a service that provides 36 servers from more than 20 countries. Moreover, it supports OpenVPN protocol with AES 256 bit encryption which is the most advance of its kind. There are, however, some concerns related to the efficiency of this VPN service.Read Full Review
ZenMate provides 30 servers locations. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Most importantly, it has browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome that are available free of cost. The service provides a Kill switch and a NAT firewall to protect your connection from malicious entities. With this, the customer support provided by the service is minimal.Read Full Review
What is a VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is like an extension of an internet and allows you to create a secure private network over public networks. The purpose of a VPN is to secure your connection and shield it from different threats lurking over the internet. A VPN allows you to hide your true location, encrypt all your Internet traffic and route it through secure tunnels while making you anonymous in the process and protecting all your confidential data.
In other words, VPNs protect your sensitive information and keeps it away from hackers, surveillance agencies and other cybersnooping entities.
Another important function of a VPN is to help you get past geo-restrictions. With a help of a VPN, you can access content limited to a particular location.
Hence, VPNs have benefits for users who desire digital privacy and a more open browsing experience.
Which VPN Protocol Should I Use?
A VPN offers multiple protocols to secure your data from various online threats. However, each of these protocols differs from one another and offer different levels of security. Our VPN reviews provide in-depth information about the protocols offered by each of these VPN providers. That said, here are the strengths and weaknesses of protocols:
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP):PPTP is known VPN protocol which has been around since the 1990s. Unlike some of its alternatives, PPTP does not encrypt the data. It tunnels the data packets. However, secondary protocols such as TCP or GRE can be used with PPTP for encryption purposes. It is considered the least secure VPN protocol and can be breached easily by surveillance agencies and hackers. However, PPTP is best for streaming as it does not compromise your internet speeds and allows fast performance.
IPSec operates in two modes. The tunneling mode encrypts the data packet in entirety while the transport mode encrypts only the data packet message. Typically, this protocol is used with various other protocols for an additional layer of security.
- L2TP/IPSec:The combination of L2TP and IPSec’s individual features provide highest level of online security. In this combination, L2TP creates the tunnel while the IPSec performs encryption. It is more secure than PPTP and offers reliable security to all VPN users. L2TP/IPSec works well on all iOS devices and platforms that don’t support OpenVPN. On the downside, L2TP/IPSec can hamper your performance and can be a bit tricky to setup.
- OpenVPN:Despite being relatively new, OpenVPN is the most popular open-source technology. This technology uses SSL/TLS for key exchange, which creates secure site-to-site and point-to-point connections. It is considered the most secure protocol and also delivers great performance. Due to its open source nature, OpenVPN does not have backdoors for governmental agencies such as NSA.
- SSTP:SSTP is a VPN tunnel that sends PPP and L2TP traffic through the SSL 3.0 channel. Here, SSL assists in transmission and data encryption while also performing traffic integrity checking. This allows SSTP to pass through firewalls and proxy servers. However, it is only available on Windows platform. That said, SSTP does offer reliable security and privacy. However, due to its limited compatibility, not many VPN providers offer SSTP protocol.
- Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2):An IPsec based tunneling protocol, IKEv2 main purpose is to provide a VPN communication channel that is highly secured. It is also a strong protocol that can protect your privacy and security against greatest of threats if implemented through open source. IKEv2 is really useful for mobile users, incase OpenVPN is not supported.
Who Needs VPN?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an economical & top-grade solution for robust online protection and superior data privacy. Considering the privacy & unblocking needs of a modern day user, VPN has proven to be an affordable option. In addition to this, following user types find VPN to be the most suitable solution for desired proposes:
When we talk about entertainment channels, not all countries are served the same. Various hit channels like HBO Now, Fox GO, Channel 7, Nine Network, Netflix, 4oD, Cinema Now, ESPN and more channels are geo-restricted in many parts of the world.
To get around with the geo-restrictions, fanatics find VPN as a one-stop solution to instantly access thousands of blocked channels from anywhere in the world.
Tourists and travelers use public WiFi networks (Coffee Shop, Hotel, and other public places) as a prime solution to get connected with friends and family members located in different regions of the world.
However, various state-sponsored agencies, hackers, identity thieves, data phishers, and other cyber goons are searching ways to intrude into users’ data privacy. A VPN, in this case, provides first-grade data encryption, while ensuring robust data privacy and online security to users.
VoIP & Instant Messenger Subscribers
Gone are the days when users relied on over-priced carrier packages for calling their loved ones. The VoIP and instant messaging services (IMO, Skype, Viber, Line, Messenger, WhatsApp) with their free plans have now become users’ top choice for communication.
However, ISP monitoring and unauthorized surveillance have left users with no other option except to compromise on their privacy and let ISP poke nose in their private calls and messages. To get around with unauthorized surveillance, a VPN encrypts your entire traffic and makes you anonymous to almost every person on earth who wants to eavesdrop on your privacy.
Online Transactions & Crypto Currency Users
Securing one’s financial information holds prime importance for the majority of users. Various hackers, identity thieves, and cyber criminals are seeking ways to get access to users’ credit card information, bank balance and more sensitive information. To secure your online transactions, a VPN offers military grade protection to your network connection, while keeping the cyber criminals at bay.
In addition to this, various users have reported facing issues while accessing online banking from abroad. A VPN in this situation allows you to spoof location to the desired country, so you can access your account and perform secure transactions from any corner of the world.
Cloud Storage Subscribers
Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and other cloud storage services have taken the place of traditional hard drives and USBs. With the revolution of technology, users have adapted the new technology to store personal pictures, videos & documents, without considering the associated threats.
To stay safe and protect your passwords from hackers, users choose VPN for a top-notch password encryption and reliable online protection.
Why Do You Need a VPN?
The internet is a dark place and full of dangers. There are numerous threats that can compromise your privacy and security one way or another. That’s why you need a VPN. It is a tool that can defend against these threats and also provide additional benefits. Here are 4 main reasons to use a VPN:
- Protection Against State Surveillances:There are different governmental agencies such as NSA & GCHQ that spy on netizen’s internet activities, communications, and record their metadata. A VPN makes you anonymous and protects your data from being recorded. It stops your privacy from being breached by keeping such spy agencies at bay.
- Stay Safe from Cybercriminals:When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network at an airport or a coffee shop, you are exposing yourself to hackers, spammers, phishes, snoopers, and other cybercriminals. This is where a VPN safeguards your data by encrypting it and tunneling it through secure protocols.
- Unblock Websites & Bypass Censorship:You will find that there are numerous websites such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Hotstar, ITV, and Pandora that only work within certain countries. Anyone trying to access these websites will be blocked off and see a geo-restriction message. Similarly, some web services such as Google is censored in China. Using a VPN, you can easily unblock and access any website from any corner on earth.
- Save Money on Tickets & Deals:If you are planning on traveling anytime soon or are about to purchase a pay-per-view event, remember that the prices vary from region to region. You can avail cheap airfares, hotel reservations, pay-per-view events, and other deals at discounted prices by changing your location through a VPN service.
How Do We Conduct VPN Reviews?
At VPNRanks, we conduct in-depth VPN reviews and evaluate each provider based on different criteria so that you get the best and most valuable VPN services. Here are our VPN review criteria:
- Performance:We measure a VPNs performance through speed tests, IP leak test, and DNS leak test. Speed tests allow us to gauge the internet speeds offered by a VPN on different servers and protocols, while IP and DNS leak test show how secure the VPN really is.
- Prices:Different VPN providers offer different pricing plans. We evaluate whether the VPN’s price matches the quality of service and performance.
- Servers:A top-notch VPN service will offer multiple servers spread across the world. While conducting VPN reviews, we test different servers from different regions.
- Customer Support:Hallmark of a great VPN service is how it facilitates its customers. We test different customer support access points such as email ticketing system, live chat, and also evaluate the knowledge base offered by the VPN provider.
- Protocols & Encryption:Using different protocols and encryption levels is how a VPN secures your privacy and provides you online security. Our VPN reviews cover detailed analysis of the protocols and encryptions provided.
- Compatibility & Tutorials:In today’s world, it is important that a VPN is compatible on multiple platforms. We evaluate the compatibility of each provider in our VPN reviews and also check whether they offer setup tutorials to guide their subscribers.
- Security Features:
We examine any additional security features a VPN provides. This may include a Firewall, Kill switch, DNS leak protection and other such tools.
- Payment Methods:
We check if a VPN service provides secure and reliable payment options to the customers.
- P2P Support:
Keeping in the torrent lovers in mind, we evaluate whether a VPN service is P2P friendly or not.
- Netflix Compatibility:
We test VPNs on the popular streaming site to see if it unblocks restricted content.