Compare VPN

From cost/features and reputation to customer support and payment methods, we research everything you need to compare vpn and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of vpn below.
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How we Compare VPN

Cost/Features - 25%
Reputation - 25%
Terms of Service - 20%
Security/Logging Policy - 10%
Customer Support - 10%
Payment Methods - 10%

Cost/Features

Most of the top VPN companies offer price points roughly in the same neighborhood. Some offer the same plan and give you the opportunity to pick the length of the subscription. Longer durations usually end up being cheaper than going month-to-month. Others offer increasing levels of service where the more expensive plans get you more simultaneous connections, bandwidth, etc. 

It's important to note here that almost every VPN provider will set your plan to auto renew as a default. Say you purchase a year term up front, it is in the terms and conditions of most VPN providers that they will automatically charge the same payment method for an additional year at the end of the initial term. Some providers allow you to deselect auto-renewal upon signup (the best option), some allow you to simply notify the company that you do not wish to auto-renew, and still some require you to cancel your subscription altogether in order to avoid being charged. There are also companies who will quote you a low promotional rate, not specify the length of the promotional period, then auto-renew you for the standard, higher rate. We suggest you read all the fine print and enroll slowly and carefully, paying specific attention to what you are agreeing to. If there is any ambiguity, contact the company to clarify.

Here we are looking at the cost of a particular service compared to the features you get.

1) Performance/Speed- In almost all cases, because of the extra security and encryption a VPN is going to be slower than your IP. In determining this we consulted independent speed tests, the average upload/download rate across different servers located in different countries.
2) Encryption Protocols- We like providers that use OpenVPN as the default protocol. L2TP/IPsec works as well, but PPTP should be avoided at all costs as it is the least secure.
3) Connections- How many simultaneous connections do you get with your subscription
4) Servers- How many servers does the company operate and are they 3rd party maintained.
5) Countries- In which countries does the company operate serviers? Essentially, how many options do you have for changing your apparent location.

 

VPN with the Best Cost/Features:

ExpressVPNVyprVPNPureVPNHide My AssTorGuardHideIPVPNInvisible BrowsingOverPlayPrivate Internet Access
Number of Countries Served7840+141221425394818
Number of Servers1000+700+500+9181287Not Stated 95623400+
Number of IPSNot Stated 200,000+80,000+124,00020,098Not Stated 2,000+62Not Stated
Number of Devices525355225
BandwidthUnlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Free Trial
Money Back Guarantee
1 Month Plan$12.95$5.00$6.95$11.52$5.95$5.99$4.95$9.95$6.95
3 Months PlanNoNoNoNo$14.95$15.99$10.95$27.95$14.95
6 Months Plan$49.99No$4.99$8.33$29.95No$19.95$52.95No

Reputation

To determine a given VPN provider's reputation score we look at several things:

1) History- Length of time in business.
2) 3rd Party Rankings- We pooled together reviews from independent, unaffiliated websites.
3) BBB Accreditation- Where applicable
4) Customer Reviews- We tried to cast as wide a net as possible over web resources with the highest number of customer reviews. We also measured how often (if at all) companies personally responded to complaints and resolved issues.
5) 100% Security- No VPN can guarantee this. At best, a virtual private network protects you from mass data gathering and unscrupulous individuals randomly vacuuming up data. If a government or other determined entity is hell-bent on finding out what you are doing they will. Companies that claim this will get points against them in this category.

VPN with the Best Reputation:

Terms of Service

A VPN provider will usually have their terms of service and privacy policies on their website.

1) Availability- Can you access the terms you are agreeing to? Are they easy to understand?
2) Third Party Ads- Does the provider's ToS require you to accept they will deliver third-party advertisements? These can come in the form of unwanted toolbars, links, inline & popup ads, external trackers, etc.
3) Charging Structure- Is the company up front about it's renewal policy or is it confusing or buried in the fine print? How easy does the company make it to choose between auto renew and manual renew? Is it perfectly clear whether you will be paying in advance for the whole term or month to month?
4) Contract Length- Does the company offer multiple contract length options?
5) Cancelation/Refund Policy- How easy does the provider make it to cancel? Within how many days will they provide a refund?
6) Free Trial

VPN with the Best Terms of Service:

Security/Logging Policy

Most VPN providers will claim they have a "no logging" policy. This needs to be explored more deeply.

Logging is keeping information regarding a customer's sessions using the VPN. Since the whole idea of a VPN is that it is supposed to be private why would a provider do this? The truth is most companies will not keep any logs of your activity (the sites you visit). Some, however, will claim they do not log but keep records of the times you used the system, bandwidth, or your IP address. A few truly do not retain any logs of your usage whatsoever.

Furthermore, a company must obey the logging laws of the country in which they are based. For example some European countries employ counter-terrorism measures that require VPN providers to retain and hand over certain usage information on demand. When looking at security/logging we consider these factors:

1) Stated Logging Policy- We look in depth to see if a company claiming no logging is still technically retaining some information, like connection logs and timestamps.
2) Country of Operation- What is the security policy?
3) Shared IPs- Can multiple users use the same IP for added security?

VPN with the Best Security/Logging Policy:

Customer Support

A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Customer service acts as a link between the company and consumer. VPN is not merely a product but a service, so ensuring its availability is paramount for VPN providers.

  • Email
  • 24-Hour Telephone Support
  • Live Chat
  • Social Media
  • FAQs

VPN with the Best Customer Support:

ExpressVPNVyprVPNPureVPNHide My AssTorGuardHideIPVPNInvisible BrowsingOverPlayPrivate Internet Access
Email Support
24 Hour Telephone Support
Live Chat
Social Media
FAQs

Payment Methods

Most VPN providers accept credit cards and PayPal. Some, considering the international customer base and desire to remain as anonymous as possible, accept a wide variety of payment methods including Bitcoin and even mailing cash. Still others are so flexible in their accommodation of anonymity they will even accept gift cards or vouchers from other companies.

VPN with the Best Payment Methods:

Full VPN Comparison

Cost/FeaturesReputationTerms of ServiceSecurity/Logging PolicyCustomer SupportPayment Methods
ExpressVPN9.09.59.89.59.59.2
VyprVPN10.09.29.09.010.08.5
Windscribe VPN8.59.89.59.59.59.0
PureVPN9.59.08.59.58.59.5
ZenMate VPN8.88.29.59.59.010.0
Hide My Ass VPN10.08.08.08.57.58.5
Hotspot Shield Elite VPN7.58.59.08.08.08.5
TorGuard VPN8.08.08.08.08.08.0
IPVanish VPN7.58.07.58.09.07.0
Cyber Ghost VPN7.07.07.07.07.07.0
HideIPVPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
Invisible Browsing VPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
OverPlay VPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
Private Internet Access VPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
SaferVPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
NordVPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
Buffered VPN5.05.05.05.05.05.0
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Latest Reviews

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with VPN
Kevin L
Matawan, New Jersey
1/23/2017
I purchased this about a year ago and it has been great. How do I know it's working? From time to time, when I am browsing, I will come across a news story with an accompanying video that will not play, because as is stated in place of the video, they cannot verify my location. They know that they are being blocked by SaferWeb and that is just fine with me.

U
Ulrich B
Alblasserdam, South Holland
12/24/2016
Great description! Without a doubt one of the best current VPN! Uses cutting-edge encryption OpenVPN with PFS and IKEv2 support for mobile devices. Sensational! I am a paying user and really recommend to test the Windscribe.

M
Martin
12/4/2016
I started out first using this vpn with the free version. Used it for couple months and fell in love with the straight forward nature and simple usage of it. Kill switch and a hefty layer of protection are a must as well, which this vpn provides. The browser extension has some nice features and the chrome extension has connection leak prevention that many vpn's miss). Hence, decided to upgrade it to the pro version, so that I can support the development as well. I've been using this vpn for 3 months now and I do not have anything bad to say about it. I use 10 mbit connection and at least I have not noticed any noticeable drops in my connection speed. Now I keep it on constantly when ever I use my computer or browse the internet. And the best part is that it is still constantly getting better as it is only a young vpn service.

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with VPN