The best VPN service puts customers’ needs first. Even so, finding a VPN service that caters to all your needs is hard work. Fortunately, user and expert reviews make the process much easier.
There are dozens of VPN service providers on the market. Some are new while others have been around for more than a decade. Although the majority of users have similar needs – security, privacy, and access to restricted web sites – some users subscribe to a VPN service only to gain online anonymity. In that case, you would only be searching for a VPN service that guarantees total anonymity.
In the wake of several spying scandals by various governments, many users now have a heightened need for online anonymity. In practice, however, total anonymity is difficult to achieve, but VPN service providers that are serious about protecting users’ privacy implement measures that make it very hard – or even impossible – to track a particular user.
That being said, no single VPN service condones illegal activities. If you want to surf anonymously, ensure that your activities are legal. Even if you are subscribed to a highly anonymous VPN service, there are still chances that you can be traced.
If you are searching for a VPN service that offers a balanced combination of features and is reasonably anonymous, choose from these top five VPN service providers.
London-based HideMyAss VPN has won the hearts of many users because of its large network coverage of VPN servers that enable easy access to the company’s services. With more than 500 servers in 63 countries, users can seamlessly access more than 60,000 IP addresses to achieve online anonymity.
HideMyAss services cost $11.52. $49.99, and $78.66 for a one month subscription, six-month subscription, and a year’s subscription respectively.
HMA offers a robust, easy to access client software that requires no technical knowledge to use, another plus for the VPN service. The software supports OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and a host of other device systems.
HMA offers advanced encryption standards in line with the best online security levels you can get at the moment. However, the service keeps logs for user details and fully complies with UK laws regarding data retention. In other words, it is not a 100 percent anonymous VPN service, but it does score highly in other VPN offerings such as security, access to censored websites, and privacy, among others.
Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA VPN service has gained popularity in recent months due to its commitment to online anonymity. The company is regularly ranked as one of the best logless VPN service providers on the market. Coupled with a well-balanced feature set, PIA has won the affection of an ever increasing legion of loyal customers who value online anonymity more than anything else that VPN service providers offer.
Besides a high commitment to anonymity, Private Internet Access offers excellent online security and fast connection speeds. It’s also the cheapest VPN service among the top five providers, with a plan of $3.33 per month billed yearly at $39.95. The six months plan costs $35.95 while the monthly plan will cost you $6.95.
PIA’s server network is not that expansive, with a presence in only nine countries. However, the VPN service offers a few crucial features with its superior client terminal, including a DND Leak Protection and a ‘Kill Switch’, features that ensure a user’s details are not exposed in the event that the VPN connection is lost.
PIA supports all major protocols on all platforms and therefore guarantees the highest levels of security. The VPN service doesn’t log users’ online activities, one of the signs that it takes anonymity seriously.
ExpressVPN has crafted a reputation as the best VPN service for mobile device connections. The company’s iOS and Android VPN apps offer speed and security 128-bit encryption, and they enable seamless connectivity without a hitch. In addition to the aforesaid mobile apps, ExpressVPN offers dedicated apps for Windows and Mac. They all come free of charge once you’re subscribed to a plan.
Price-wise, ExpressVPN services will cost you slightly more than average: the monthly plan costs $12.95 compared to the $6-$8 monthly average for the majority of VPN service providers. The six month and yearly plan cost $9.99 and 8.32 respectively but are billed for their respective periods. Luckily, all plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee that you can use to try out the service before you commit on a long-term subscription.
Global coverage of their VPN servers encompasses more than 35 countries switching between the different servers is a breeze. The service supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. D apps for the major platforms
Overall, ExpressVPN offers top-notch dedicated apps for the major desktop and mobile apps. While their prices are slightly higher than average, the quality of service is worth every dollar.
StrongVPN has a solid reputation that has been built over the 18 years of the company’s existence in the Internet services business. The VPN service offers a variety of pricing options which can be confusing initially. Truthfully, the company’s pricing options are not very flexible and you need to subscribe to at least three months on any plan, with the cheapest plan available at $21 for the three months. There is a cap on the number of switches you can make each month. What’s more, changing between different servers is not flexible. Nonetheless, the service is markedly high quality.
The company’s 288 server network spans 19 countries, with more than 9000 IP addresses to select from.
StrongVPN takes online security seriously and offers up to 2048-bit encryption to secure your data.
The VPN service offers excellent customer support through a range of channels including live chat, a ticketed email system, and phone support.
Overall, StrongVPN offers high quality VPN services with excellent features. Subscription plans may be somewhat rigid, but that is all to ensure a high quality VPN service.
PureVPN is another top VPN service with solid features and affordable pricing. The VPN service is dedicated to offering total online freedom with secure and anonymous VPN connections. The company caters mostly to US and European customers, with a number of VPN servers in 22 countries.
PureVPN offers three subscription plans including a one month plan at $9.95, a six months plan at $44.95 and a yearly plan at $69.95. With any subscription plan, you get free VPN client software for Mac and Windows, as well as free apps for Android and iOS. Supported protocols include PPTP, SSTP/SSL, and OpenVPN.
Once you’re subscribed to PureVPN, all your online communications will be secure, courtesy of 128-bit SSL encryption. The company’s servers allow up to 1Gbps download speeds, meaning that if you’re on a fast Internet connection, you will hardly notice any delays.
The company claims that they don’t keep user logs, but the truth is that they do keep some user details that they will hand over to authorities when the necessary court orders are in place, in line with relevant US laws. Unless you plan to carry out some unscrupulous activities online, there shouldn’t be a worry with this police.
Now that you know what each VPN service offers of the top five providers, it’s time to choose one that best suits your crucial needs. Regardless of what you are looking for in a provider, all these top five services should be able to offer decent levels of anonymity, online freedom through private browsing, security, and access to restricted content.
Most Internet users have simple needs for a VPN service: to be able to browse the Web without worrying about data theft, malware, intruders, or being tracked. A few users are more specific with their needs (such as complete anonymity) and usually want some guarantees upfront. The best VPN service strives to satisfy every type of user.