Data and communications security has never been a more important topic, with not a day going by without people falling victim to fraud and identity theft. While computers and mobile devices have become increasingly better at keeping you safe, there are still some areas where you’re open to being attacked.
Once data leaves your phone, tablet or computer, it is a lot easier to intercept that data. And the problem is that hackers can be located anywhere in the world, so you can’t even tell from your surroundings whether you’re in a vulnerable situation. And with so many people using public Wi-Fi networks, that vulnerability only increases.
One of the simplest solutions to keeping your data secure is to sign up to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which creates a highly secure connection between your devices and the Internet. The great thing about VPNs is that they are not just suitable for data security. You can easily use them to stream geo restricted videos from other countries, watch live sporting events from around the world, or to just gain back a sense of privacy in a world where governments are monitoring practically all Internet activity.
The problem you are probably facing is that when you searched for VPN service providers you ended up with hundreds of choices. But which ones are reliable and reputable? Which ones have the best security protocols? And which ones offer additional privacy with no usage log files?
To help you with the process of finding the right provider for you, we have researched hundreds of companies and come up with a list of the 8 best VPN service providers. This article will help you find the right one for your personal needs.
The following is a list of the very best and most reputable VPN providers available right now. We have carefully analysed their service levels and checked thousands of customer reviews to confirm our findings.
Each VPN client can be installed directly on your devices giving you a very simple setup configuration. No advanced IT skills are needed, and if you follow the links below you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.
So, let’s get started and show you what’s on offer.
|VPN Hosting Company||Overall Rating||Price/mo. (cheapest available)||Features||Reviews||Website|
|$4.99 per month||
|$4.99 per month||
|$3.29 per month||
||Reviews||Get Discount Now|
|$3.29 per month||
|$4.17 per month||
|$4 per month||
|$4.8 per month||
|$3 per month||
||Reviews||Get Discount Now|
This is a service that will be of particular interest to those of you who want to stream a lot of video from other countries. ZenMate have some of the fastest connection speeds, and they also provide you with a streaming guarantee.
Basically, you can specify your favourite streaming service and ZenMate will monitor the connection speed. If it isn’t fast enough, then their technical team will make sure the speeds are improved so that you always get to watch your favourite media at full quality.
Also, if you want to enjoy some privacy when it comes to your online activity, then you’ll be glad to know that they don’t track any user data. However, if you prefer using crypto currencies, then that’s not a service they currently offer.
Whether you’re on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android or Linux, you can download a very easy to use app. You simply choose the country you want to connect to and then click to activate. All your connections will then be protected and secure. The only real downside compared to some of the other recommendations below is that you only have 30 countries to choose from. For most people that will be more than enough, but if you have a very specific county in mind, then it’s worth checking out before you sign up.
The most outstanding feature that this humorously named service has is that you can connect to 190 different countries. Chances are that those countries not on the list are probably legally restricted by governments anyway.
With such a large range, you can basically get anything you want streamed to your device and bypass any geo restrictions. Hide My Ass is also part of a company called Avast, which specialises in virus protection and online security. This gives you an additional sense of protection because the technical minds behind this service have over 20 years of Internet security experience.
You can sign up for a free trial first to make sure the speeds and bandwidth match your needs. In addition to that you get a 30-day money back guarantee on a service that will cost as little as $4.99 per month.
From a speed perspective, you get an excellent service. It might not be quite as guaranteed as ZenMate, but for streaming videos it will be more than enough.
Safer VPN is another great option for anyone that requires a lot of streaming services. With unlimited bandwidth you won’t have to worry about reaching monthly limits or getting a large bill. And you won’t have to worry about your connection speeds being limited by the provider because you’re a heavy data user.
One of the really unique features on offer is that the app will automatically detect when you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot. These are some of the most insecure connections you can encounter and yet you’re likely to connect when you find one to save on your data allowance.
Safer VPN also guarantees fast speeds with no bandwidth limit. That means that even if you stream a lot of movies you won’t see your connection speed drop. That is a very annoying thing that happens with many other providers. For enhanced privacy you’ll also be happy to know that the company don’t keep any server connection logs, so there isn’t a trace of your activity.
Overall Safer VPN is an excellent service, but before you sign up just make sure the countries you want to connect to are among the 34 they currently offer.
Nord VPN is a service provider that has been around for a long time, with a great selection of servers in over 4000 locations. You can pick from 62 different countries, which is likely to cover those that most people will be looking for.
The great service they offer is that you can boost your privacy beyond the company’s policy of not keeping log files. You can even sign up and pay using crypto currencies like bitcoin. The benefit is that it doesn’t leave a payment paper trail.
You can also connect up to 6 devices at the same time, which is more than the other services on this list. Basically, you can add the app to your laptop, tablet and phone and keep your partner and kids safe as well. On the downside we should mention that you’ll have to pay for 2 years in advance to get the lowest monthly fee, but the money back guarantee does give you a few weeks to test it out first.
The one thing that stands out with this service provider is that they offer a free subscription which doesn’t require any credit card details. It is limited to 500mb per month, but if you only need it to try out or to turn on occasionally for public Wi-Fi connections then that might well be enough.
But even the paid option is very reasonably priced at just over $4 per month when you pay for a 12-month period. That’s an excellent deal and many other providers require 24-month payments for such low rates. For added privacy you can enjoy the fact that no activity logs are kept and you can pay with bitcoin. Speeds are also fast enough for video streaming and you don’t have any download limits either.
The only real negative is that you only get 20 countries to choose from. Unless you want to connect to a very specific location this may not be a problem. But it’s best to double-check the list before you sign up.
Hot Spot Shield is one of the longest running VPN services that boasts one of the largest number of active users. The fact that they have been in operation for so long and with so many users reflects well on the quality of service and support. Could 600 million user be wrong?
For just $4 per month you can enjoy excellent connection speeds with no bandwidth or download limits. Even if you stream a lot of video.
The app is easy to install on all your devices and you can even set up your wireless router at home. That way you just need one connection and all your devices share it. The service also comes with a guarantee that no IP traffic data is stored or shared with third parties. The main downsides are that you have to pay for 3 years in advance to get the lowest rates, which isn’t very competitive compared to the above. And you aren’t able to pay with bitcoin either.
Overall though a very solid service.
This is a relative newcomer to the VPN world, but the service is excellent quality for download speeds with no data limits. The thing that stands out the most is that they allow you to use one account for up to 6 different devices. That means you can connect your computer, phone, tablet, TV and anything else you might have. No other provider offers this at present.
Encryption is excellent using the latest protocols and technology. And to add to your privacy there are no server logs about your activity. When you add in the ability to pay with bitcoin, then you can truly gain control of your privacy again. At $4.8 per month on a 12-month payment it’s not the cheapest, but for high speed, unlimited downloads and 6 connections at the same time, it’s an excellent deal.
Just make sure the countries you want to connect to are on their list, as you only have 20 to choose from.
The final service that we can recommend is PIA which is by far the cheapest service you can sign up for. For less than $3 per month on a 12-month payment you get excellent connection speeds that don’t reduce above certain download limits.
What’s also unique is that not only can you keep your payment private with bitcoin, but you can also pay with many common retail store gift cards. The company also don’t maintain any server logs, so that there is no trace of your activity.
With 30 countries to choose from you’ll find the right connection you want, but always double-check the list before you make a final decision. The main downside is that support options are a bit limited, but you’re not likely to run into problems with the simple to use app.
Just to make sure that you understand what a VPN will and will not do, we’ve put together this section on the main functions. This is based on some very common questions we encounter with clients and friends.
The majority of the data you send over the Internet can be easily intercepted and read by people with very little monitoring skills. Yes, your online banking connection should be securely encrypted and so should all credit card payments. But you often submit personal data on websites or through email that is not always encrypted. Actually, in many cases there is no encryption at all. What VPN does is fully encrypt all your data from the point of sending it right up to the VPN server. That means that if you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, any hacker on the same network will not be able to read the data you’re submitting.
People are always looking for great deals and freebies. And the same is the case when they look for Internet security and privacy. However, we would caution you about signing up for free VPN services for a few reasons. First of all, providing encryption at the highest grade requires powerful servers and very clever engineers to put it all in place. Expecting to get that for free is a dangerous assumption to make.
Many of the free services out there operate in one of two different ways. Either they provide outdated services, at slow speeds with poor encryption or they bombard you with advertisements to cover their costs. Neither of these is going to give you a good experience. Secondly, your privacy could be very compromised on these free VPN services. Another way that these companies make money is by tracking all your activity and then selling it on to third parties for marketing purposes.
The one exception to this is Tunnel Bear which we recommend above. This service provider offers a free monthly subscription with a data limit of 500mb. It’s not enough for streaming movies on a regular basis but it gives you a strong VPN connection when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots. Bottom line, you get what you pay for, and when you pay nothing you’ll most likely get a poor service or a lot of advertising.
In order to pick the right service for your needs you have to consider what type of benefit is most important to you. All of the above options are very similar in price, so that will probably not be the biggest deciding factor. Yes, some of them cost a Dollar less per month than others, but it’s the detail that’s more important.
Here are some tips on picking the right option:
All of these options are covered in the recommended services above and you won’t regret signing up to them. VPN has become extremely affordable and for the price of a fancy coffee per month you can make sure that you avoid being hacked or falling victim to cybercrimes like identity theft.
Don’t make yourself an easy target and get set up today, by choosing one of the above options.