Best VPN Services (2019 Update)

#5: HotSpotShield (Best Limited/Free Trial VPN)

hotspotshield.com

HotSpotShield is considered by many to be one of the best free VPN services available as an app and desktop software. It’s certainly a popular option with over 500 million users around the world.

According to our research HotSpotShield offers fast connection, a great user interface that is easy to use, torrenting support, and fast installation. If you are looking for a free or low-cost VPN option, this may be it.

Of course, HotSpotShield may not be the best option for those looking for full privacy, like as Ian Paul at PCMag warns. The service works more like a proxy, allowing access to many of the streaming services but lacking in terms of anonymity.

HotSpotShield offers a free version, but it is relatively limited. For instance, the free version is limited to a 500MB bandwidth cap which resets every 24 hours. For those looking for unlimited access the VPN service offers a paid version starting at $3.50/month if you sign up for 36 months at once.

StrengthsWeaknessesThe Ugly
Free service (limited to 500MB) Not working with Netflix Company located in 5 eyes jurisdiction
Fast server speeds No double hop
 Incompatible with routers
 Suspicious logging policy
 Cryptocurrencies not accepted

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.

Go Back « Winner: ExpressVPN

9 thoughts on “Best VPN Services (2019 Update)

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. Wow.. Thanks James!!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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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