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17th of October 2018

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The best VPN service 2018

Picking a VPN service is a daunting task. With hundreds of different VPN providers out there, choosing the right one means striking the right balance between services, ease of use and pricing.

Those looking for a solid VPN service will obviously want to do their due diligence to find the best match. If that’s you – you’ve come to the right place.

We've surveyed the market and collected our pick of the best VPNs out there, all sorted into different categories. Our guide will also be constantly be updated with all the latest information, providing all the information you need to know.

P.S. Prices are mainly listed in US Dollars due to most VPN services being global and charging in that currency. Some will, however, display the price in your home currency.

1. ExpressVPN

The best offshore VPN for privacy and unblocking

Number of servers: 2000+ | Server locations: 148 | IP addresses: 30,000 | Maximum devices supported: 3

Admirable scope of quality appsGreat customer supportPlenty of serversOnly supports a maximum of three devices

ExpressVPN has long been recognised as one of the world's top VPN providers, with fast speeds and solid customer support. 

With 148 locations in 94 countries, paired with plenty of clients, it’s among the best services out there. Regardless of your platform, you will find a native client, as ExpressVPN offers clients for Mac, Windows, Linux, but also iOS and Android, and even BlackBerry (albeit limited to a handful of models).

ExpressVPN also offers routers with custom fireware and VPN browser extensions, making it an all-around great service.

A wide variety of simple and useful web-based tutorials will make sure you're up and running in no time. This includes P2P support, a kill switch and generally good performance. 

The only negative here is that only three connections can be supported at the same time, and it's hardly the cheapest service out there. There's no demo, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can choose from these packages:

· 15-month deal - $6.67 / month (saves you 49 per cent) - $99.95

· Six-month pack - $9.99 / month - $59.95

· One-month offer - $12.95 / month

2. IPVanish

Great for P2P and torrenting

Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 10

No traffic logsHigh download speedsAdjustable softwareLacks free trial

For IPVanish, its key selling point is the quality of service. 

The company claims to offer “the world’s fastest VPN”, with more than 40,000 shared IPs, almost a thousand VPN servers spread across 60 countries, unlimited P2P traffic, five connections and lo logs.

If the price is your main concern you might want to look elsewhere, but in other case, IPVanish is a serious contender with fast speeds, plenty locations to choose from and a well-built client (even though its latest Windows client could use a bit more work – it suffers from the odd network issue).

Again, it's not the cheapest product out there, but with this service you get what you pay for, and there is a seven-day money back guarantee.

· One-year offer (best buy, $4.87 / month, saves 60 per cent) - $58.14

· Three-month package ($6.75 / month, saves you 44 per cent) - $35.97

· [One-month offer ($7.50 / month, saves you 38 per cent) - $7.50

3. VyprVPN

Best choice for those looking for security

Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 70+ | IP addresses: 200,000+ | Maximum devices supported: 3-5

High performanceCompetitive pricingEasy to use interfaceMonthly plans can be expensive

VyprVPN looks to stand out from the crowd with a useful unlimited data usage offering. 

The service is also based in Switzerland, meaning it can benefit from the country’s advanced privacy laws. There are more than 70 server locations around the world, and comes with cool features like auto-connect or a killswitch.

Clients are very intuitive, especially the Windows offering, and the service includes VyprDNS and the Chameleon protocol to provide extra security.

There are no refunds, but there is a three-day trial. When it comes to subscribing, you can choose either a monthly or an annual plan, be it either Basic or Premium.

Here is what it offers:

·  Basic yearly plan ($5 / month) - $60 

·  Premium yearly plan ($6.67 / month] - $90 

4. NordVPN

Security is its middle name

Number of servers: 5064 | Server locations: 62 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6

Intuitive clients for both desktop and mobileSupports up to six devicesStrong performanceUnclear session logging policy

One would expect such a powerful solution to be located in one of the world’s largest tech hubs, but NordVPN is located in Central America.

Its key advantages are a large pool of servers (5,000+), and more than 60 locations around the globe. It can support up to six devices at the same time, and the data gets a 2048-bit encryption. Features like DNS leak protection, killswitch, dedicated IP address and being able to pay with cryptocurrency are also very worth mentioning.

Even when it came to the most important part – performance – NordVPN stood strong. Its speeds for short connections were commendable, long-term ones – delicious. The downside is the privacy policy – its stance on session logging is somewhat unclear. IT does state a ‘no logs policy’, though.

There are four different packs to choose from, so here is what’s on offer:

·  Two-year deal (Best buy, $3.99 / month, saves you 66 per cent) - $95.75

·  [One-year deal ($6.99 / month, saves you 41 per cent) - $83.88

·  [Six-month deal ($9.00 / month, saves you 24 per cent) - $54

·  Monthly plan - $11.95 / month

5. TunnelBear

Easiest to use VPN

Number of servers: ~1,000 | Server locations: 20+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5

Great user experiencePlenty of clients to choose fromSolid privacy policyLong-distance connections can slow down

Whenever someone mentions TunnelBear, ease of use is the first thing that comes to mind. This Canada-based VPN offers extremely good user experience, but also plenty of clients to choose from on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Its hassle-free approach is clearly visible from the company's website – the language is as simple as it can be. Experts, on the other hand, might not enjoy not being able to get access to all the nuts and bolts of the clients. So if you're a beginner – this one is for you.

TunnelBear comes with servers in more than 20 countries and offers up to five connections at the same time, which is pretty good, all things considered. It has strong privacy measures and clear policies.

It also performed really well in our tests, even though long-distance connections seem to drop in speed.

There is a free plan limiting you to 500MB per month. Paid plans offer unlimited data and are fairly cheap, including:

·         One-year plan (Best buy, $4.16 / month, saves you 58 per cent) - $49.88·         [Monthly plan - $9.99 / month

6. Windscribe

A VPN which gives you unlimited connections

Number of servers: 500+ | Server locations: 100 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited

Unlimited simultaneous connectionsGreat free planTough privacy policyCould be speedier

This service offers four native clients – one for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Be advised that the Android one is still new and could be a bit unstable, so proceed at your own risk. There are also solidly built browser add-ons.

The VPN’s strongest selling point is that it offers unlimited connections with its commercial plans, so it can cover everything, regardless of how many machines you throw at it.

With a clear-cut privacy policy and a simple, powerful Windows client, it’s easy to see why Windscribe made it to this list. Performance might disappoint you a bit as we can only describe it as average.

Still, it offers a free plan with 10GB monthly data (albeit for one device only).

The Pro plan offers unlimited data, and can be bought either as a monthly, yearly or a biennial plan:

·         Biennial offer (Best buy, $3.70 / month, saves you 59 per cent) - $89

·         Yearly offer ($4.08 / month, saves you 55 per cent) - $49

·         Monthly offer - $9.00

7. Hotspot Shield

Awesome solution for online browsing

Number of servers: 2500+ | Server locations: 25 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5

Affordable plansSpeedy conenctionsOffers seven days for freeLacks on the server front

Hotspot Shield Elite is another of the market's top offerings, coming with all the necessities at a competitive price and the ability to purchase a lifetime license. Private browsing, “access all content”, and up to five simultaneous devices – those are the aces up Hotspot Shield’s sleeves.

Performance-wise it lacks for nothing, there’s an ever so slight increase in latency, with both upload and download speeds a bit faster after being connected.

What we’d like to see is more freedom for configurations, and more locations. However, with such high speeds and competitive prices, there’s very little room to feel unsatisfied. At the end of the day, there is a seven-day trial for everyone to see for themselves.

Just as with other VPN services, the two-year subscription is the best overall offer:

·         Two-year plan ($2.99 / month, saves you 76 per cent) - $71.76·         Six-month plan ($8.99 / month) - $53.94·         Monthly plan - $12.99 / month

8. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

The jack of all trades VPN

Number of servers: 400+ | Server locations: 70+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5

Fast speedsWide variety of clientsCryptocurrency payment supportedPoor for torrent users

If you want a VPN service that will not affect your download speeds, consider KeepSolid. It offers a wide variety of clients, covering Windows, mac, iOS, Android, Linux as well as Windows 10 Mobile. Other devices can be set up, too, as the service offers clear instructions for other users.

KeepSolid does not support torrents, so file sharers might want to look elsewhere.

Things could be a bit better in terms of privacy, though. Our testing has shown that the service does some session logging, and there have been a few DNS leaks.

Those interested in giving it a shot will be pleased to see a seven-day trial and a seven-day money back guarantee. There are also four different price plans, with the two-year one being quite competitive. Here’s what it offers:

·         Lifetime offer (Best buy, $0.01 / month) - $199.99

·         2-Year offer ($2.78 / month, saves you 75 per cent) - $99.99

·         Yearly offer ($5.00 / month, saves you 50 per cent) - $59.99

·         Monthly plan - $9.99 / month

9. CyberGhost

Rich clients and awesome configurability

Number of servers: 2900+ | Server locations: 60 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 7

Advanced featuresSolid performanceSupports torrentsInterface needs work

With  multiple clients, rich with different features, it’s no wonder this VPN service handles more than 10 million users. It covers Microsoft’s and Apple’s operating systems, but also iOS and Android. The interface is not the best out there and could definitely use some work, but these disadvantages are easily overshadowed by the awesome features this VPN offers.

One feature in particular, which stands out, is the option of kicking off the VPN when specific apps are launched.

Torrent users will be happy to hear that this service supports them on most of its servers. Performance-wise it is solid. 

It offers a free plan that comes with a few caveats, including just one device at a time, being a bit slower than the commercial version, and ads. Data usage is unlimited, and for those looking to buy, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The service offers four different plans:

·        Three-year plan (Best buy, $2.75 / month, saves you 77 per cent) - $99.00·        Two-Year plan ($3.79 / month, saves you 68 per cent) - $90.96·        Yearly plan ($4.99 / month, saves you 58 per cent) - $59.88·        Monthly plan - $11.99 / month

10. ZenMate

User-friendly VPN

Number of servers: N/A | Server locations: 30+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: N/A

Awesome user experienceTwo-week money back guaranteeUnlimited free accountNot very configurable

Similar to TunnelBear, ZenMate tries to cater to the newbies in the VPN world. The website is stripped clean of technicalities and tries to be as simple in its language as possible.

This idea has been transferred to the software as well, with the Windows client being extremely simple to use and very streamlined. There really isn’t much to it – just a few clicks and you’re done. Setup is also easy, which is always a plus.

Yet, as with all things that cater to newbies, advanced users probably won’t find anything to their liking here. A lack of controls (you can’t choose security protocols – just L2TP) is a major turn-off for expert users.

However, if you’re not in the expert realm, this VPN service will probably be great for you. There is a 14-day money-back guarantee, and a free offering through browser add-ons. Be advised – these are a bit slower than their commercial counterparts.

Those commercial plans are:

·         Yearly plan (Best buy, $5.99 / month, saves you 40 per cent) - $71.99·         Six-month plan ($8.99 / month, saves you 10 per cent) - $53.99·         Monthly plan - $9.99 / month

 Image Credit: Flickr / Mike MacKenzie

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