Best VPN Services (2019 Update)

Full ranking table

A short summary of the most secure VPNs out of 51+ reviewed services

VPN services give you the privacy you need for browsing at a reasonable price  sometimes even for free...

In this post, we will dive into the best secure VPN services to consider if you’re looking for private browsing or a way to protect yourself from hackers.

The methodology is described here.

#1: ExpressVPN (Best Premium VPN)

expressvpn.com

ExpressVPN is a well-established VPN service operating for nearly a decade.

Labeling itself as “high speed, ultra-secure, and easy to use”, it is generally regarded as one of the highest quality VPNs overall. In fact, TechRadar named ExpressVPN the best VPN software in 2018.

ExpressVPN stands out for its speed, privacy, and unblocking capabilities.

With 148 server locations and more than 2,000 servers, the VPN service offers fast VPN connection in nearly 100 countries. Some of the benefits include higher speeds, a wide range of server locations, and compatibility with both desktop and mobile devices. Users have also noted that the VPN company has great customer service 24/7.

The only major drawback is that the service is limited to 3 devices at a time and of course, the best VPN out there is sure to come with a higher price tag.

ExpressVPN pricing is around $12.99/month,  but users can get a discount by signing up for many months at once. For example, you can pay for 12 months at once for $99.95 (or less than $9 per month).

While ExpressVPN does not offer a free plan or a free trial, they do offer a 30-day refund with no questions asked. Many users find the monthly fee well worth it for a reliable VPN service.

StrengthsWeaknesses
Impeccable history on security & AES 256-bit encryption Premium price
 Fast speeds across the globe
 94 country servers available / 2000+ servers
 30-days money back guarantee
☑ Works abroad in China

#2: NordVPN (Best Low-Cost VPN)

nordvpn.com

NordVPN features everything mentioned above including a handy kill switch which automatically disconnects from the Internet if the VPN service goes offline. This protects users against reprisals from their browsing.

NordVPN is a relatively inexpensive service, considering the offerings.

The paid version starts at $2.75/month, provided that you sign up for 36 months at once ($99 total). By opting for a 1-year contract the price jumps to $6.99 – still relatively reasonable considering the competition.

If you’re still not sure whether NordVPN is right for you, the VPN service also offers a short free trial of 3 days and 30-day money back guarantee.

StrengthsWeaknesses
Editors’ choice Average speeds
 Works with nearly every Netflix server
 5000+ servers in 62 countries
☑ Low price

#3: Astrill VPN (Best “Compact” Android VPN)

astrill.com

Astrill VPN is one of the best VPNs for Android devices let me tell you why.

Astrill may be an unpopular choice for most Internet users and fell out of the top 10 by many reviewers. In fact, it’s fairly poorly ranked by Trustpilot.

However, there’s a wide range of features that distinguish Astrill from other VPNs. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Works in China
  • Smallest high-ranking Android VPN (13 MB)
  • Low CPU usage
  • 5 Simultaneous connections
  • Double-hop
  • Kill-switch
  • Fast speeds
  • Simple user interface
  • Location in Seychelles

Yet one of the main disturbing factors is their logging policy, which indicates that Astrill keeps some logs.

Also, their price is over the average. Pricing starts at $8.33/month 12 months at a time ($99.00 total), or $15.90 if you want to pay month to month.

StrengthsWeaknesses
☑ Fast service speed No double hop
☑ Cryptocurrencies acceptedAbove average pricing
☑ Netflix works with nearly all servers
Lightest top ranking Android application

#4: Torguard (Best “Compact” iPhone VPN)

torguard.com

TorGuard is known as one of the best VPN services for the iPhone. The app takes up only 5.3MB of space and needs less CPU, making it one of the most compact VPN services available for iOS.

The US-based VPN service offers over 3,000 server locations in 55+ countries, supports torrenting, and features a kill-switch. While some users may have difficulty getting used to the interface, many customers note that TorGuard offers OK connection speeds and love the fact that there are no traffic logs (therefore they have more privacy).

Users tend to like how easy TorGuard is to use on their mobile devices and how secure they feel when using it.

TorGuard has similar pricing to its competitors, with a month-to-month plan and the option of paying 1 year in advance.

The 1-year package runs around $59.99, or $4.99/month depending on the discount they are currently offering. This is most likely the best value for TorGuard.

An unlikeable trait is their location. Florida is based in the U.S and therefore is included in the 14 eyes jurisdiction. Also, their e-mail support was unresponsive during the “response time” tests.

StrengthsWeaknessesThe Ugly
No-logs policy No double hop Cooperative with 5 eyes jurisdiction
Light software size Netflix doesn’t work in many servers
5 Simultaneous connectionsIncompatible with routers 
No loggingUnresponsive customer support 

 

What to Consider When Choosing a VPN?

There are a number of factors to consider when looking for the best VPN to use for secure browsing:

  • Some VPN services are free, but utilize your consumer info; others come at a premium, but offer better privacy policies.
  • Any VPN service may slow down your Internet connection. Some do more than others.
  • Server network. Some VPN services allow users to choose their geo-shifted locations while others are random or fixed.
  • User reviews and popularity are a great way to gauge how well the VPN software will work for you.
  • Some VPN services are tailored to mobile users, others not so much.
  • Your use. Depending on the why of your VPN usage, the right option may take different forms. We’ll jump into this more after going through the top VPN services to choose from.

The idea of this ‘best’ list is to give you a range of options as you look for the best VPN for your needs. To meet that goal we include here the highest quality, budget, most popular VPN options, and research results.

The Bottom Line: It’s All About Your Needs

Finding the best VPN service for your needs is all about you.

If all you’re looking for is a simple screen so that you can browse streaming services more freely, a free and basic VPN tool may do the trick.

Some users will need more complexity in the VPN. Advanced users may look for specific encryption,  a VPN kill switch, or zero bandwidth capping for P2P file sharing.

Some beginner users will be looking for the easiest to use (and cheapest!) VPN service out there. Others may want a free trial, a monthly payment plan instead of a lifetime license, or a 100% refund guarantee. Some VPN features to look for include:

      • Safety features and no DNS leaks
      • Top-notch customer support
      • A proven speed test for the VPN in action
      • A straightforward UX for use with streaming services
      • Compatibility with mobile devices
      • Low-cost or high performing VPN services.

All of these are factors that may impact what the best VPN service is for you

The bottom line is that a VPN can either create a private browsing tunnel or let you browse sites otherwise not available in your geographic location.

Take your time doing your research, reading through our in-depth reviews and capabilities of each of the top VPN services outlined above to make the best decision.

Andy Michael

Reviewed over 62+ VPNs. Specialized in network forensics, IoT and big data analytics. Former security consultant at ISC.
Andy Michael

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11 thoughts on “Best VPN Services (2019 Update)

  1. Nord is a great choice. I personally use Nord as a daily VPN, just because the cost is low and the specs are the best. According to our speed tests Nord servers tend to be slightly slower than TorGuard, however, the speed is mainly influenced by your local network speed and geographical location and is barely noticeable. Also, Tor doesn’t support routers, has fewer country servers and lacks double-hop. If I would have to buy another 3-year subscription, the choice would definitely be NordVPN.

    We know the decision-making is tough… Keep us updated on your journey!

  2. It so hard to choose 😀 … I am thinking about buying a VPN, but I’m not ready to pay a big amount of money. After reading your article, I consider Tor and Nord the best options. They both are quite affordable, though Tor is a little bit pricier. Also, what I have highlighted is that Tor is cooperative with 5 eyes jurisdiction and thats actually not very good. They can give your logs and other data if it is requested. I have read elsewhere that Nord for that matter are out of “eye jurisdictions” so no logs. I haven’t decided yet, however, I am leaning toward Nord.

  3. I am glad you like the blog. Thanks!
    Astrill is fine and actually one of the few that passed our China test. You just have to keep your eye on their logging policy.

    Good luck!

  4. Thanks for the great review! I also live in China and have been having a lot of trouble lately (since the congress meetings) with Witopia. I am thinking of switching to a new provider. Have you been having any issues with Astrill in the past month or so?
    Regards

  5. WindScribe actually has a potential Backdoor which appeared after we tested their setup file with VirusTotal. In addition, they confirm to log last activity timestamps and the total amount of bytes transferred in a 30 day period.. And in the end we never know for sure, these are just claims. A VPN gets extra pointsif their HQ is not located in 5 eyes just for security reasons. We think of it as a risk minimalization 🙂

    PS: We did a review on WindScribe as well. If you are looking for specific info https://www.vpntesting.com/reviews/windscribe/

    I Hope it helps!

    Andy.

  6. I would love to know what you think about WindScribe. I know it’s bad that it’s headquartered in a “5 eyes” country though I don’t know why. If they don’t keep logs, what difference does it make?

  7. I think VPN is a must yeah things might be different with various brands but for me, I have been using Express VPN and it seems to be best for me.

  8. Wow.. Thanks Andy!!

    Such an incredible post, yiou have done tons of research.
    It helped me a lot.

  9. I have tried Nord VPN it works well, But only problem I faced is that it is not secure as they said. It also lags because of the servers are used everywhere I tried free membership it doesn’t give full support but it’s nice to have this VPN in system. It uses secure and the best proxy servers.

  10. The biggest issue that I’ve had with VPNs previously is random disconnections or hang-ups which slow down your ability to navigate online. As somebody who works fast, a buffering screen or slow loading webpage is near hell for me. I have experience with several of the VPNs listed in this review and can moderately recommend PIA for ease of use and generally positive connectivity.

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