Best VPN Service Providers (Buyers Guide and Review) for 2019

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A VPN or a virtual private server, as it is defined, enables you to transmit data over an encrypted network, from your home. In a sense, one of the main purposes of a VPN is to provide you with the security you require, when transmitting or accessing important information online.

Given the fact that there are countless reports of hacking trickling in, each year and the resultant cost running in billions, it makes sense to go in for a VPN, when using public networks such as Wi-Fi to connect online.

When you try to connect online using your desktop or your laptop, your server would essentially send out a request via the Ethernet and the modem. Once the data request reaches the modem, it is transmitted via the cable network or Wi-Fi to the respective servers, where it is processed and the information is sent back to your IP address. All of this happens in a matter of seconds and is mostly instantaneous.

When you try connecting online via public networks such as Wi-Fi, it is very easy for someone else connected to the same Wi-Fi network to access the data or information package. In simple terms, your data would not be secure.

This is why it makes more sense to use VPN, along with your Wi-Fi or net cable, as it can help provide you with the security you need. Furthermore, with the help of a VPN, you can change your location and access data that you may have not been able to access to, at the current location.

Contents

  • What does a VPN do?
  • How do VPNs work?
  • How to use a VPN?
  • What can I use them for?
  • How to choose the right VPN?
    • Cost
    • Free vs Paid
    • Security
    • Reliability
    • Server locations
    • Privacy policies
    • Data cap
  • Benefits of using a VPN
  • Best VPN for your exact needs
  • What devices work with a VPN?
  • How to get the best speed and performance from a VPN?
  • CyberGhost VPN (Editor’s Choice) – review
    • Getting started
    • Creating an account
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Setup and settings
      • Windows
      • Android
    • Ease of use
    • Security and privacy
    • Speed
    • Key features
    • Final thoughts
  • ExpressVPN (Editor’s Choice) – review
    • Getting started
    • Creating an account
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Set up and settings
      • Windows
      • Android
    • Ease of use
    • Security and privacy
    • Speed
    • Key features
    • Final thoughts
    • Button line
  • Hide My Ass (HMA) VPN review
    • Getting started
    • Creating an account
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Set up and settings
    • Windows
    • Android
    • Ease of use
    • Security and privacy
    • Speed and performance
    • Key features
    • Final thoughts
    • Bottom line
  • IPVanish VPN review
    • Getting started
    • Creating an account
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Set up and settings
    • Windows
      • Logging in
      • Server
    • Android
      • Connection and settings
      • Ease of use
    • Security and privacy
    • Speed
      • Key features
    • Final thoughts
    • Bottom line
  • NordVPN review
    • Getting started
    • Creating an account
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Set up and settings
    • Windows
      • Log in and connect
      • Specialty servers
      • Settings
    • Android
      • Ease of use
      • Security and privacy
      • Speed
      • Key features
    • Final thoughts
    • Bottom line
  • PureVPN review
    • Getting started
    • Logging in
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Set up and settings
    • Windows
      • Logging in and connecting
      • Stream
      • Internet freedom
      • Security/ privacy
      • File sharing
    • Android
      • Ease of use
      • Security and privacy
      • Speed
    • Key features
    • Final thoughts
    • Bottom line
  • SaferVPN review
    • Getting started
    • Creating an account
    • Payment and pricing
    • Installation
    • Set up and settings
    • Windows
      • Logging in
      • Server
    • Android
      • Ease of use
      • Security and privacy
      • Speed
    • Key features
    • Final thoughts
    • Bottom line
  • Verdict

What does a VPN do?

A VPN keeps you safe and secure. Think of it is a secure tunnel, one that is encrypted between your computer and the VPN’s servers. And while you are connected to the VPN’s servers, all your information requests and all data packages pass through the VPN’s servers located elsewhere.

And, what makes it more attractive is the fact that no one can see or hack into your data traffic, not even your ISP (internet service provider) until you close the connection with the VPN. A VPN can help keep you safe, and your information secure; it can protect you against massive data breaches.

And, if you take care to log only to HTTPS sites, then all your information would continue to be encrypted even after exiting the VPN.

How do VPNs work?

VPNs essentially help mask your IP address, and the information blocks that had been assigned to your request would carry the IP address of the VPN server rather than your home location. This provides you with an extra layer of security especially when transacting or accessing sensitive information.

So, you would like to set a VPN account, right? That’s great, the first thing that you need to do is to choose a VPN provider. After you have paid and got your credentials, you would have to set up the VPN manually or use a program or App for the same.

Your VPN provider will provide you with detailed step by step directions, which you can use to set it up. You can also easily do it with your Android by heading over to settings on your phone, and clicking on “internet and connections”. Just follow the directions listed there and you should be able to set up your VPN connection.

How to use a VPN?

Most VPNs require you to sign up using a verified email address and once you have made the payment, you should receive your credentials. Nearly all VPNs are compatible with all devices and operating systems.And furthermore, all VPNs provide you with detailed guides to help you with the installation and configuration of the VPN.

Once you have properly downloaded and configured the VPN on your system, you should be able to log into your VPN using the credentials that you were provided with earlier. And, inside the VPN panel, you can click on ‘connect’ and it will connect you with the VPN server closest to your current location. Or in most cases, the ones with the lowest latency and the highest speed.

You can also tweak the settings on your VPN and opt for OPEN VPN protocols as it is much more secure. Once you have connected to the VPN server, all your data and information is encrypted from the moment your information leaves your computer, until it reaches the VPN server. It also provides you with DNS resolution which can help provide you with an additional layer of security.

What can I use them for?

Whether you are looking to access your online bank account or want to access geographically restricted websites, a VPN can help you do just that. Rather than depending on the odd chance that someone is sharing the Wi-Fi network would be able to steal your data, it is better to depend on a secure VPN to connect online and stay connected.

Moreover, the VPN will utilize the same Wi-Fi for internet connectivity with your real IP address being masked as well as your current location. You can use the VPN for more security as well as to access various networks and websites over a secure, encrypted channel.

See also: EaseUS MobiSaver for Android review: WORTH buying?

How to choose the right VPN?

When it comes to selecting the right VPN, it can be easier said than done, as there are so many VPN providers out there. Moreover, most of these VPN providers realize that security is one of the main concerns of most of their customers. As a result, most of these VPN providers often advertise their product as one of the most secure ones in the market.

That’s why you may want to check out the below listed metrics, which you can use to evaluate each VPN. By testing them out for a week or so, you should be able to know as to which VPN is a good fit for you.

Cost

You may want to check out the cost of the VPN package and determine if it is the right one for you and whether it comes with any perks or add-on packages.

Free vs Paid

As surprising as it sounds, some of the VPNs are free to use but yes, there is a catch. A few VPNs do provide free packages but would also run several ads in the background.

And, when it comes to a question of free vs paid, it is always better to opt for the paid option, as it can offer you better security and keep your data safe.

Security

It is a good idea to try out the VPN on a trial basis to check and see if it does offer you the encryption you require.

Determine if the VPN in question allows you to set the required security protocol, such as OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP and automatic.

Reliability

You also need to determine if the VPN in question is reliable and can be depended on, which is why we suggest that you take advantage of the free trial offer.

You need a VPN that can be reliable, round the clock and can provide you with the services you require.

Server locations

Most VPN services often list the countries that their servers are located in. Some of the VPNs often list the IP addresses and home location of their servers.

You can use various online services such as “What is my IP address”, after connecting through the VPN to determine if this is for real.

Privacy policies

You may want to check with the VPN providers in regardsto their current policy on privacy. You may want to do this to ensure that your data and information remains both private and confidential at all times.

Data cap

Some of the VPNS offer tiered packages and offer data cap on their most basic packages. You need to determine if the VPN has indeed instituted something along these lines.

Benefits of using a VPN

Choosing the right VPN may require a bit of grunt work on your part, but it should be well worth it, given the added benefits that you accrue as a result.

Here are some of them, listed below for your reference:

  • Mask your current IP Address: With the help of an effective VPN, you should be able to mask your IP address from everyone including your ISP.
  • Security: With an effective VPN, you can view, review key data and information over a secured and encrypted server. This can help provide you the security that you require.
  • Access restricted data: With VPN, you should be able to access restricted data and websites, in your current location.
  • Bypass censorship: By using the VPN, you should be able to surf online securely and at the same time, not have to worry about censors.
  • Download files: With a good VPN, you should be able to download the files you need, at high speed.

Best VPN for your exact needs

Granted that you could be using VPN for various requirements, which is why you need to sort through the various VPNs depending on your current requirements. For example, you can choose the best VPN for streaming online movies, videos, etc.

It should be pointed out that most of the free VPNs offer a data cap restriction, which may prevent you from streaming most of the online content. However, with a premium subscription and with a reliable VPN provider, you should be able to stream any content online without any hassle.

You can even check out VPNs which provide similar service for your Android and secure any and all communication on your phone with a good VPN.

The fact remains that all VPNs allow you to stream content such as Netflix, which you can stream onto your laptop or any other device. In fact, these VPNs should work on any device, including Mac, and on any OS, including windows and Chrome. So, when reviewing out the various VPNs, make a list of your requirements and see if there is a match.

What devices work with a VPN?

Actually, all devices work with a VPN. In fact, most VPNs often advertise the same. Naturally, you can connect the VPN with your laptop, your Android as well as other digital devices including Fire Stick, TVs, routers, and more.

In fact, you can connect various digital devices at the same time, to the VPN and in the process, provide your family and friends with secured net connectivity.

How to get the best speed and performance from a VPN?

Let’ clear something up, VPNs aren’t an anonymization service, but what they do is provide you with a secure and encrypted tunnel, which they do, effectively. And data encryption can affect the performance and speed of your laptop or your desktop if the VPN is not that good.

In a sense, you are subscribing for VPN services for safety and security, without having to deal with low speeds and server issues. And, no matter if a VPN advertises that they can provide you with great speeds, the fact remains that your net connection will slightly slow down and there will be a slight latency.

The only question that needs to be answered is how the speed at your end will be affected by subscribing to a single VPN as opposed to another one altogether.But the good news is that a few VPNs have started to offer high bandwidth servers, which in turn should help provide you with better speed and performance at your end when using the said VPN.

For example, you can use the Ookla speed test or some other highly recommended online speed test to test and check out the VPN at your end. Once you have an idea of how fast the VPN is and whether it will affect speed and performance at your end, you can make the selection. Just remember to take into account the various metrics, and evaluate each VPN after considering all the requirements.

Now that we have discussed all the details regarding VPNs, how they work, and how they can help protect your data and provide security; let’s move on to discuss some of the best VPNs available out there in the market.

Here, we bring to you a list of all the top-class VPNs that are best of all the rest. We will review each one of them in detail, so you can make the decision of selecting the best VPN for yourself by being completely informed about these excellent VPNs.

So, let’s get started.

  •   CyberGhost VPN – 10/10
  •   ExpressVPN – 9.8/10
  •   Hide My Ass VPN – 9.6/10
  •   IPVanishVPN – 9.4/10
  •   NordVPN – 9.2/10
  •   PureVPN – 9/10
  •   SaferVPN – 9/10

CyberGhost VPN (Editor’s Choice) – review

Today’s turbulent internet landscape has made VPN services become more and more of a necessity. Companies want to know everything about your online habits and preferences. Hackers want to get their greedy hands on your card details or social security information. Governments want to keep their citizens in check by cutting out access to websites that they deem unsafe. Streaming services apply preferential treatment to users from certain countries.

All this played a big part in the rise of dozens and dozens of VPN service providers. And all of them claim to be #1, the best, the fastest, the most trusted, etc. It may be hard to believe, but all this does is create confusion for the regular user. Confusion that leads to action-paralysis. Hopefully, this short article will help you get some clarity and eliminate that confusion.

Getting started

CyberGhost is a German-born VPN company that now has its headquarters in Bucharest, Romania. The reason is simple: Romania is one of the most privacy-friendly locations in Europe. In fact, Romania’s Constitutional Court was the first institution to oppose EU’s Data Retention Directive back in 2009. And it happened again in 2014 when it declared the infamous ‘Big Brother law’ unconstitutional. 

All this goes hand in hand with CyberGhost strict no-logs policy. The company’s credo is that anonymity can only be guaranteed by keeping ZERO logs on its user’s browsing history, traffic destination, data content or search preferences. Check out  CyberGhost’s Transparency Report for more info.

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