Whatever You’re Looking For, These are the Best VPNs for 2018
Ever since Congress voted to repeal The FCC’s rules about data privacy in April, 2017, keeping your online life to yourself has got a lot more serious—and a lot more difficult. The previous laws meant that ISPs could not sell your data to any third parties without your express permission. Those days are gone.
That’s right, since the law was signed, your Internet Service Providers can now harvest any information you input online, and sell this on. There’s usually no malicious intent here, and sometimes it can even be helpful. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered how Facebook knows what you were looking for on Google, you’re probably used to this kind of behavior online.
But this is slightly different. While you can choose to stay off social media like Facebook, and you could use a different search engine such as Yahoo or DuckDuckGo, there’s not a lot of ways to get around your ISP, which is your entry point to everything on the internet.
Because of this, many people are choosing to purchase a VPN, a Virtual Private Network. Simply put, a VPN is a tunnel which you take, bypassing your own ISP, through any number of servers and coming out at your desired website. Your ISP will not see your data, and your IP address will appear to be that of the VPN, rather than your own.
But not all VPNs are created equally. We’ve put together a definitive comparison of the best VPNs for the best in privacy, security, speed and spoofing.
ExpressVPN would be high on the list of any guide to the best VPNs in the US, as it is one of the largest and most trusted companies on the market. You can use your VPN to cover multi-device, which will include not just your desktop and laptop computers, but smartphones and even routers, on multiple operating systems, which is useful if for example you have an Android device and a Mac computer. For security purposes you’ll need multiple login codes for each device.
The pricing is very simple for ExpressVPN, it just depends how long you want to commit for. Unfortunately there is no free trial, but if you want to test the 1-month subscription, there is a 30-day money back guarantee.
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It’s worth checking the website for special offers, as they have been known to give almost 50% off the full price at times for new customers.
The customer service is 24/7 which for many is essential when it comes down to your internet usage, and it is one of the fastest VPNs out there, which makes it great for streaming video, or heavy gamers for example. If speed is your primary concern, then ExpressVPN is exactly what it says on the label.
Where NordVPN stands out from the competition is in its extra security features. It offers military grade double encryption, which means your internet traffic is hidden twice over, giving you an extra layer of safety online. It also has some extras like an automatic kill switch. If for any reason your VPN stops working, your internet will be automatically stopped, to prevent any leaking of data.
But that’s not all, NordVPN also has a feature called CyberSec which works a bit like an antivirus component. It blocks both suspicious websites and annoying advertisements.
NordVPN also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but the pricing is slightly cheaper from the outset.
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One of the best things about CyberGhost is the amount of devices it works on. It offers apps for iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows, and you can create your own custom connection to secure your internet wherever you are.
One of the signs of a strong VPN is that it keeps no logs of customer activity. This is crucial; you need a VPN that never sees your user data in the first place, as legislation changes mean that third parties could be asked to hand over your information.
CyberGhost is a top choice if you have specific types of devices you want to be covered, from regular iOS and Android, to more specific options such as Linux. You can even be simultaneously protected on up to 5 devices.
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The pricing structure is very simple at CyberGhost, with only 2 modes to choose from, and it also has the recognizable 30-day guarantee.
The best thing about PureVPN is its broad offering. It goes without saying that the service has great speed, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 customer service, strong encryption and a money-back guarantee. But not all VPNs offer as much in the way of extras to complete the package.
Some of the options we’ve seen with other VPN solutions, such as strong antivirus support, similar to how NordVPN has its CyberSec feature. PureVPN also has a content filter to block unwanted advertisements. But it takes this a step further. PureVPN includes extensive web filtering, so that you can set up parental controls for your kids, or improve your own productivity at home or for staff in the office.
We also can’t speak highly enough about the PureVPN App Blocker, which controls which apps and services can even access the internet on your device. It also has Split Tunneling, allowing you to choose exactly what traffic you want to go through your VPN, and which you’re happy to pass through your ISP.
The money-back guarantee at PureVPN is less than your average, with only 7 days to decide if you’re happy. But the prices are amongst the most competitive out there for such as extensive VPN solution.
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For bells and whistles, PureVPN is the ultimate choice.
HideMyAss has a very clear USP, to help users hide their location so they are free to travel to any sites they choose. Whether it’s streaming from a geographic location, or buying something online from abroad, you can actually set your own location from a list of virtual nationalities. This is a perfect VPN if you need to access geographically specific websites for your work as well.
However, HideMyAss doesn’t offer a lot of the other options you might see from VPNs, such as antivirus or fancy privacy tools. It’s a stripped down, bare bones solution to hide your location, and have freedom of movement around the web. The most negative part of HideMyAss is that it does not have a zero logs policy, in fact it does log records on what their users are browsing.
If that doesn’t bother you, it’s ideal for hiding your location in the most specific of ways.
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HideMyAss has quite standard pricing for the VPN industry, complete with the 30-day money back guarantee we expect to see.
The levels of encryption offered by SaferVPN would rival most banks,with 256-bit encryption, from any device. It also has Smart WiFi Protection means that whenever your device accesses an unsecured hotspot, the VPN will automatically turn on, keeping you protected at all times.
Remember that to get the top level security your VPN will need some manual configuration, so it isn’t the easiest option to get started if you want to be up and running with top level security ASAP. It also is pretty limited when it comes to peer to peer sharing.
However, under testing, it scored highest on latency, and has a strong business solution to boot, so it definitely makes our round-up of the top VPNs.
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SaferVPN feels like it has the professional touch from the moment you arrive on the home page. It also has something quite unique in the business, a completely free 24-hour trial, no risk at all, as well as the 30-day guarantee.
PrivateVPN is all about keeping your internet behavior open and easy. It is known for being the best for anonymous torrenting, being very peer-to-peer friendly. PrivateVPN has strong and simple iOS and Android mobile apps that work seamlessly in the background; they won’t get in the way of your cell phone performance in any way.
Unfortunately there’s no mobile app for Windows Phone or other devices, so keep this in mind when you consider your choice. Other cons to this VPN are that you can’t choose a dedicated IP address,
We would definitely recommend this VPN for anyone serious about torrenting and p2p sharing, as it has unlimited bandwidth and an incredible 99.8% uptime.
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One of the great things about PrivateVPN is the way it takes payments. Rather than pay upfront for the whole term, which is usual, you will pay in the final month of each subscription. That means that effectively if you buy a one-year plan, you have nothing to pay until the 12th month.
VyprVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, TV and router. It has over 70 worldwide server locations, and manages its own data, so there are no third parties involved.
It’s also notable to discuss the VyprVPN Business VPN, which starts at around $300 a year. You get multiple user management, global business servers and your own dedicated account manager. You can even access your own dedicated server and dedicated IP. It’s great for remote workers or distributed workforces, and allows you to access business tools from restricted geo-locations. As it’s a cloud-based solution, the setup is minimal, allowing you to be up and running in just minutes.
The way the pricing works at VyprVPN is a little different. You pay per month for how many simultaneous connections you want.
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With top of the range security and tons of business tools, VyprVPN is the best of the bunch for business VPN.
Norton’s WiFi Privacy solution was built for mobile, literally. It is a purely mobile solution which does not work on laptops or routers at all. It’s all handled via the mobile apps. This product offers 24-hour live support, plus bank grade security for ultimate peace of mind.
The way you sign up to Norton WiFi Privacy is by choosing how many devices you want covered. You can have 1, 5 or 10.
Norton also has an industry leading 7-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee, plus even more savings it you buy it alongside Norton Security, so it can’t be beat in terms of fair pricing.
With its reputation, and great pricing, this is the best option for mobile VPN.
As well as the virtual locations and VPN services, Hotspot Shield gives you access to ad-free browsing, and a dedicated customer support team. Your data is encrypted and you’ll even be given malware protection.
If you’re looking for a free VPN, with the option to upgrade for more features and a better user experience, then Hotspot Shield is definitely the right choice.
Hotspot Shield has 500 million users, and is one of the most popular VPN solutions on the market. One of the top reasons is that it offers an entirely free version, as well as its paid Elite solution.
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You can also unlock a 2 year subscription for $119.99.
Ultimately, whichever VPN you choose to use, there are a variety of features on offer for whatever you're looking for. Whether you're just testing the waters or seeking something much more all-encompassing, varying levels of strong protection and attractive pricing means you’ll certainly find the VPN which is best for you.