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The Best VPN services for 2018

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The Best VPN services for 2018

The Best VPN services for 2018

A virtual private network (VPN) enables users to send and receive data while remaining anonymous and secure online.

The Best VPN services for 2018

Number of IP addresses: 40,000

  • Number of servers: 900
  • Number of server locations: 60
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

A big win for IPVanish is the fact that the company keeps zero logs. Zero. We also like the company’s stance towards privacy. They even provide support to EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit at the front lines of protecting online privacy.

A unique feature of IPVanish, and one we’re very intrigued by, is the VPN’s support of Kodi, the open-source media streaming app that was once known as XBMC. Any serious media fan has used or built Kodi or XBMC into a media player, and the integrated IPVanish Kodi plugin provides access to media worldwide.

At $7.50/month and $58.49 for a year, they’re obviously trying to move you towards their yearly program. We awarded the company points for Bitcoin support, and their money-back guarantee. We’re a little disappointed that they only allow a 7-day trial, rather than a full 30-days. The company is generous, with five simultaneous connections. They also picked up points for their connection kill switch feature, a must for anyone serious about remaining anonymous while surfing

<>See various IPVanish VPN plans

  • Number of IP addresses: 2,000
  • Number of servers: 1087
  • Number of server locations: 61
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Panama

 

NordVPN:

They even offer the most generous simultaneous connection count, with six simultaneous connections through their network, where everyone else offers five or fewer. NordVPN’s network isn’t as large as some of their competitors, so if you’re trying to obfuscate your tracks, you might want a company with more servers. Otherwise, this company is clearly providing a winning offering.

Their best plan is $3.29/month for a 2-year plan. While their monthly price of $11.95 is at the high end of the spectrum (and they did lose a few points for that), their yearly price of $69.00 is lower than most our contenders. And yes, they also have a full 30-day refund policy. NordVPN also offers a dedicated IP option, for those looking for a different level of VPN connection.

>See various NordVPN plans 

ExpressVPN – 4/5

  • Number of IP addresses: 15,000
  • Number of servers: 1,700+
  • Number of server locations: 145
  • Country/Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and has impressive protocol support. While few will use PPTP (unless there are specific needs), the added support of SSTP and L2TP/IPSec may be welcome to some users.

We like the quality of their setup guides, and the detailed information in their FAQ. The ExpressVPN gained points from us for their support of Bitcoin as a payment method, and their reliable and easy-to-use connection kill switch feature.

The company has been in business since 2009, and has a substantial network of fast VPN servers spread across 94 countries. Their best plan is priced at just $6.67 per month for an annual package which includes 3 extra months free. ExpressVPN’s commitment to privacy is a standout feature.

>See various Express VPN plans

Hide My Ass – 4/5

  • Number of IP addresses: 3,106
  • Number of servers: 830
  • Number of server locations: 280
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United Kingdom

We’d give these folks an extra point, if we could, just for the name of their service. The firm has a strong network with a good selection of protocols supported. While they have an extensive (and very clearly written set of policy documents), the company explicitly allows P2P and torrents.

We like how the company offers support on a wide range of devices including game consoles. We gave them extra points for bitcoin support, and their excellent money-back guarantee. We did deduct a couple of points, because they do log connection data. They also offer five simultaneous connections.

While their monthly pricing of $11.52 is at the high end of the spectrum, their yearly pricing is competitive at $78.66 for a full year.

>>See various Hide My Ass VPN plans

 

CyberGhost – 4.5/5

  • Number of IP addresses: 1400+
  • Number of servers: 1300 worldwide.
  • Number of server locations: 115
  • 24/7 support response.

CyberGhost has been around since 2011 and has come out strongly as a supporter of “civil rights, a free society, and an uncensored Internet culture.” We really liked how the company specifically showcases, on their Web site, how folks normally prevented from accessing such important services as Facebook and YouTube can bring those services into their lives via a VPN.

The company has solid Linux support, supports VPN via routers, and has a solution for the popular Kodi media player. They check off all the boxes on protocol support and pick up points for offering a connection kill switch feature, along with supporting P2P and BitTorrent in most countries.

At $11.99 per month and $71.88 for a year of service ($5.99 /mo), the only place they lost points in our evaluation was by being at the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

Still, the few extra dollars are worth it. We liked how the company offers custom app protection, IPV5 support and DNS, IP, and WebRTC leak prevention. CyberGhost also picked up points for preserving anonymity by not logging connection data.

See various CyberGhost plans

 

 VyprVPN– 4/5

  • Number of IP addresses: 200,000+
  • Number of servers: 700+
  • Number of server locations: 70+
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Switzerland
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

VyprVPN has the largest bank of IP addresses of any of the services we’ve examined. The company offers a wide range of protocols, including its own high-performance Chameleon connection protocol.

We like that the company offers a connection kill switch feature and, for those who need it, there’s an option to get a dedicated IP address. VyprVPN is a standout in their effort to provide privacy, and thwart censorship. When China began its program of deep packet VPN inspection, Golden Frog’s VyperVPN service added scrambled OpenVPN packets to keep the traffic flowing.

At $9.95 for a month’s service, and $80.04 for a year, the service is a good deal. So why did we only give VyprVPN four out of five? We had to ding them for two things: a lack of Bitcoin support and logging of connection data.

>See various VyprVPN plans

 

Private Internet Access – 5/5

  • Number of IP addresses: N/A
  • Number of servers: 3,252
  • Number of server locations: 37
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

Speaking of price, if you want a 5/5 rated VPN provider and you want the lowest yearly price anywhere, Private Internet Access is the place to go. At $6.95 a month, their monthly fee is the second lowest of our picks, but at $39.95 per year, Private Internet Access beats even the second lowest yearly price by a full Jackson (a $20 bill).

The company does not release information on the number of IP addresses available, but at 3,252, their server count is more than any of our other picks.

These folks have been around since 2010, and don’t log anything. They provide a generous five connections, a connection kill switch feature, and some good online documentation and security guidance. Our one disappointment is that their refund policy is 7-days instead of 30, but you can certainly get a feel for their excellent performance in the space of a week.

>See various Private Internet Access VPN plans

TorGuard – 5/5

  • Number of IP addresses: N/A
  • Number of servers: 1,600
  • Number of server locations: 50
  • Country/Jurisdiction: United States

Even though the company doesn’t release the number of IP addresses it supports, TorGuard still earned a full five out of five. In addition to basic VPN services, TorGuard offers a wide variety of additional services, depending on your privacy needs.

As with our other 5-rating winners, TorGuard keeps no logs whatsoever. They have a full suite of protocol support, so no matter how you want to connect, you can have your preference. We also like the active blog the company maintains. It’s relevant and interesting to anyone with Internet security concerns.

While TorGuard only offers a 7-day return policy, with a 5/5 review, we’re sure you’ll be able to decide if you’re satisfied within the week period. The monthly price of $9.99 is pretty much at the middle of the range, but the yearly fee of $59.99 is a bargain compared to almost all our other contenders.

>See various TorGuard VPN plans

PureVPN – 4.5/5

  • Number of IP addresses: 95,000
  • Number of servers: 500
  • Number of server locations: 180
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Hong Kong

PureVPN is a monster. It has a large network, excellent protocol support, and top-tier performance. It is, for all intents and purposes, one of the best-in-show VPN vendors from a technical perspective.

There is only one reason the company got a 4.5 rating instead of a full five. That’s because they do log connection information, although kudos for their clarity in explaining exactly what they do and don’t log. We like that they offer a 30-day refund policy. They got bonus points because, important for some of our readers, PureVPN supports bitcoin payments.

That said, if you don’t mind the slight dings on privacy and refunds, you’re going like their blazing fast performance. Also, you can grow with them. If after some time, you need to scale up to business-level plans, the company has offerings for growth. Pricing is middle-of-the-road, at $10.95 per month and $69.00 for three year’s service.

Finally, we like that PureVPN has both Kodi and a Chromebook solution called out right on their Web page.

>See various Pure VPN plans

– 4/5

  • Number of IP addresses: 11,000
  • Number of servers: 800
  • Number of server locations: 46
  • Country/Jurisdiction: Gibraltar

Buffered VPN doesn’t disclose much about the size of its network, but the 30-day money back guarantee means that you can take their service for a test drive and really get a feel for how well it performs for you. The company lost a few points from us because they do keep some connection information. They gained points for their client support, unlimited bandwidth, and generous number of simultaneous sessions allowed.

The company is relatively new, founded in 2013. It’s based in Europe, so those who prefer an EU-based company might prefer Buffered. We like how Buffered has made a strong commitment to Internet freedom, and an equally strong commitment to providing quality customer support.

At $12.99 per month and $99.00 for a year of service, they don’t offer the least expensive plan, but we do recommend giving them a try.

>>See various Buffered.com VPN plans

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