Updated November 13, 2018: We have added PureVPN!
Please look below for the added Password Managers review and also take a look at our updated comparison table.
Recently, we focused on the importance of using a VPN. Now we’re going to dive deeper and take a closer look at 7 popular VPN solutions on the market that are both for personal and commercial use: ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, TunnelBear, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access and PureVPN. Note that there is also a vast variety of VPN solutions that are enterprise driven, maybe one day will take a closer look at them too!
Did you know there are over 300 VPN solutions available? Sometimes the differences between them are large and easy to identify. Other times, the differences are much subtler — like trying to tell the difference between a geek and a nerd!
We’ll get to the analysis in just a moment. First, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the key features that influenced our decision making. In addition to the fundamentals — such as download speed, privacy and security, logging policy, torrenting, usability, support and price — here is what we looked at:
Simultaneous Connection: This refers to the number of devices that you can connect to your VPN service at the same time with a single account. It’s very important to keep all your Internet traffic encrypted without compromising security and privacy regardless of whether you’re using a PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and/or video game console.
Availability: It’s also important to know how many servers the VPN offers, and how many country connections it has. The number of servers provides an idea of how much load a VPN can take before slowing down due to overwhelming traffic, while servers in multiple countries means that no matter where you go (well, maybe not Antarctica) you'll be able to find a nearby VPN server. Basically, the closer the VPN server, the better the speed and reliability of the connection.
Logging Policy: A VPN will hide your web traffic, but in some cases your Internet activity can still be logged and stored by the VPN provider itself. To prevent this, make sure that the VPN has a strict No Logs Policy, which means they won’t track or store any of your personal data when you use their product.
Kill Switch: In the unlikely event that your VPN connection drops, you’re at risk of using a regular unprotected connection managed by your ISP — and you might not even know when it happens! A kill switch prevents this by shutting down any apps and preventing access to any websites as soon as the connection is lost.
Payment Method: Remaining completely anonymous is the ultimate goal of having a VPN, but if you pay for your VPN directly from your bank account, then you create a trail that easily leads directly back to you. VPN providers are trying to solve this by allowing users to pay through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN is a highly secured VPN that is simple and intuitive to use. It offers great support and a vast range of features that are good for both beginners and experts.
NordVPN is highly secure, offers strong privacy, and supports tons of rich features including malware protection.
IPVanish lets you surf the web without a trace, providing private connections, fast speed and online freedom.
TunnelBear is a Canadian-based VPN that is now owned by McAfee. It’s a simple and hassle-free VPN that easily brings online privacy to everyone.
CyberGhost is a fast and powerful VPN with strong encryption. It’s easy to use, while still providing plenty of features.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a fast, popular and very affordable VPN service.
PureVPN is one of the largest and oldest VPN providers on the market, offering its users an anonymous, safe and secure VPN.
Here’s a comparative table for a quick glance at some important features and information about each of the reviewed VPNs:
And there you go, folks! Let’s never forget that adding an extra layer of security shouldn’t be seen as optional. We hope that you find this analysis helpful, and that it makes your task of finding the right VPN service much easier.
If you know of any additional advantages and/or drawbacks of any of the VPNs that we evaluated, or if you’d like to highlight a service that isn’t on the list (there are over 300 on the market so there’s plenty of choice!), then please share your insights and advice by posting below.
The above descriptions of ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, TunnelBear, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access and PureVPN provide only a summary of their respective specifications. Please consult their websites for further details.