Best VPN

Best VPN Services (2017 Edition)

Since its inception, the Internet has grown to become an integral part of our daily life. It is now an all-round access point for important day-to-day activity. We use it for online banking, social networking, storing (in confidence) our private multimedia files and communications, for entertainment, for business and for accessing all of that while on the go.

However, there’s little doubt that today’s digital world is mired with controversy surrounding everyday online privacy and freedoms. This is evident when looking at the fact that more governments than ever are pushing through tough data retention laws and are rapidly increasing the amount of content restrictions – directives that are passed down to internet service providers (ISPs), and, in turn, negatively impacting our own security and liberties when accessing the web.

Mass surveillance
Despite NSA officially halting ‘some’ off its mass surveillance programs, other intelligence agencies around the world have increased it using various legal measures.

VPN

As a result, internet users are turning to virtual private networks (VPN) and similar anonymity or proxy tools in their droves in order to avoid getting tracked and to gain access to their favourite websites.

One obstacle that would-be customers encounter when shopping for a VPN service is that there are tons of them; companies that are asking for your money, promising anonymity in return, and yet you have no idea whether they will stick true to their word in keeping your web traffic encrypted and your identity hidden from unwanted third parties.

Luckily, we at BestVPNz specialise in reviewing VPN providers, meaning we do the hard work by researching the companies’ privacy policies, testing their software and applications, running speed tests on their servers to determine how well they perform and, ultimately, coming to a conclusion on whether they are worth subscribing to. This is why we have put together this handy, go-to guide to the best VPN services available on the market today.


Quick summary


Top VPN providers

Provider Features Price Links
1 VPN.AC
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom Apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Zero logs
$9
/month
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Read Review
2 BTGuard
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Zero logs
  • Torrent proxy
  • Custom app
$9.95
/month
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3 ExpressVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Zero logs
  • Live chat
$8.32
/month
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Read Review
4 PureVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Smart DNS
  • Live chat
$9.95
/month
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Read Review
5 IPVanish
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
$10
/month
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Read Review
6 Private Internet Access
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Live chat
$6.95
/month
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Read Review

VPN.AC

VPN.AC
VPN.AC is registered in Romania. It is a relatively smaller company when compared to some of the well-known VPN providers out there. Nonetheless, it has earned the top spot in our guide due to its evident dedication to both privacy and exceptional network performance.

The provider does not maintain traffic logs, but keeps basic connection logs to improve its service for one day. For encryption, it offers OpenVPN with ECC (Elliptic curve cryptography) and XOR obfuscation. OpenVPN is likewise available with standalone 128-bit or 256-bit encryption. Users can also connect with L2TP/IPSec and PPTP protocols.

VPN.AC currently has applications for Windows, Mac and Android. It does not yet offer an iOS app (though the servers can still be manually configured on iPhone and iPad), but it does boast a very useful Chrome and Firefox add-on called SecureProxy, which is designed to change the browser’s IP location and is thus ideal for unblocking geographically restricted websites. Its apps run all HTTP level requests through VPN.AC’s own DNS servers.

Pros

  • Strong encryption
  • Excellent speeds
  • Based in Romania (no data retention)
  • Allows 5 simultaneous connections

Cons

  • No servers in S. America or Middle East
  • No iOS app

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BTGuard

BTGuard

BTGuard is a VPN and BitTorrent proxy service based in Canada. Although its server range isn’t too large, its three locations in Canada, Netherlands and Singapore are strategically covering users in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia.

BTGuard is well known for its consistent ‘no-log’ as well as its torrent-friendly policies, which is why it remains as one of our top recommended providers.

Despite Canada introducing a tough anti-piracy law in 2015, forcing ISPs and VPN companies alike to hand over IP addresses of customers deemed to be copyright infringers, BTGuard has firmly stated that any such legislation would never compromise customer anonymity and will adapt to any new changes to ensure that its users are not affected.

The service supports OpenVPN (with 256-bit keys) and PPTP encryption protocols. BTGuard VPN is configurable through OpenVPN and other third party VPN clients. Its SOCKS5 BitTorrent proxy can be run through its native Windows client or configured manually within a torrent client.

Pros

  • Strict ‘no-log’ policy
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Easy-to-use BitTorrent proxy app
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections from one location

Cons

  • Limited server locations
  • No native VPN apps

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ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN homepage Dec 2015

ExpressVPN is a large and well-known VPN service. The company is officially registered in the British Virgin Islands as a measure to avoid data retention laws. According to its privacy policy, it does not log neither traffic logs nor connection data. ExpressVPN has made a name for itself on the VPN market largely thanks to consistently good server speeds and for its rapid service expansion in recent years.

At the time of writing, ExpressVPN’s server range covers 78 countries on 5 continents. In terms of encryption, it supports OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), SSTP, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP protocols.

The provider offers native software for Windows, Android, Mac OS X and Android operating systems. Its applications come with a built-in ping response test, which helps determine the best available VPN server for performance.

Round-the-clock live chat support is provided on the ExpressVPN website.

Pros

  • No traffic or connection logs
  • Excellent speeds
  • Many server locations
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands (no data retention)
  • Apps for all common platforms

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Only two simultaneous connections allowed

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PureVPN

PureVPN

PureVPN is one of the largest companies on the VPN market. It’s based in Hong Kong – a location also used by several other VPN services as the regional government does not require companies to retain user data. Due to this, the provider firmly states that it does not collect any traffic logs, however does keep some basic connection logs, as per its privacy policy, for a period of 30 days. The company strictly states that this information is used only to process payments, pinpoint spamming and handle other incidents of misuse.

One of the service’s primary benefits is its enormous server range which, at the time of writing, spans across 141 countries and includes over 500 available nodes. For encryption, it supports OpenVPN with AES 256-CBC, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2 and PPTP VPN protocols. The service also comes with DDoS protection, capable of withstanding attacks of up to 3000Mb/s.

PureVPN has applications for Windows, Macintosh, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android systems. Its desktop application features a user-friendly interface which lets you pick server locations based on needs, such as: streaming, geo-unblocking, stronger security and file-sharing. Dedicated IP addresses are also available.

Smart DNS is offered as a premium add-on, though if you catch the provider during one of its regular promotional campaigns, you may find that the add-on is available for free.

Another very useful bonus is that PureVPN allows up to five simultaneous VPN connections per account.

Pros

  • Huge server selection
  • Strong encryption
  • Apps available for all common platforms
  • Based in Hong Kong (no data retention)
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections allowed

Cons

  • Slightly unclear connection logs policy

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IPVanish

IPVanish

IPVanish is based in the United States, and under US law, companies are not obliged to retain user data.

Although there may be some immediate skepticism over the possible interference of government agencies, particularly by the NSA, and potential obstructions to privacy caused by the ever-looming passing of CISA, rest assured, IPVanish is a service dedicated to protecting customers’ privacy. This is outlined within the company’s privacy policy, which states that the provider does not collect any user logs. The only information retained is collected in order to successfully process payments.

IPVanish has servers in over 60 countries, covering Europe, North America, Central and South America, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Concentrated server clusters are located in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia.

For encryption, it offers OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 and PPTP protocols. OpenVPN is available with AES 128-bit and 256-bit ciphers.

IPVanish has custom-built VPN clients for Mac OS, Windows, Android and iOS. Its apps come with useful features such as the option to connect to automatically picked servers, optimised for gaming and streaming.

Pros

  • Large server range
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Strong encryption
  • Good speeds

Cons

  • Only two active connections allowed
  • No live chat support
  • Based in USA (not ideal)

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Private Internet Access

PIA VPN

Private Internet Access (or PIA) is a popular US-based VPN service. Under US law, the company does not have to retain customer data. Over the years, PIA has made quite a name for itself as a provider fully focused on customer privacy. Its privacy policy states that it does not collect any logs which could be associated with individuals.

PIA currently has servers in 24 countries, with large clusters located in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. The rest of the locations come with a minimum of 10 servers per cluster.

The service supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP protocols. OpenVPN can be used with AES 128-bit, 256-bit or 128-CBC encryption keys.

Native desktop clients are available for Windows and Mac OS X. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices. The desktop software offers additional features such as DNS leak protection, an internet killswitch and IPv6 leak protection.

Live chat support is open 24 hours, though customers and potential buyers may have to wait approximately five minutes in a queue before receiving assistance.

Pros

  • Excellent speeds
  • Strong encryption
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections allowed
  • SOCKSS5 proxy included
  • Cheap by market standards

Cons

  • Based in USA (not ideal)
  • Live chat support requires 5-10 minute wait

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Worthy mentions

Although not included in our Top 6, there are several VPN services that we simply could not leave out of this guide.

Here are a few more providers that have been on our radar and that, we believe, have some great features making them well worthy of consideration.

HideIpVPN

HideIpVPN

Top features

  • No logs
  • Very cheap
  • Offers Smart DNS separately or as bundle
  • Torrent-friendly

Visit Provider


VyprVPN

VyprVPN

Top features

  • Reputable parent company (Golden Frog)
  • Large server network
  • Apps for all common platforms
  • Torrent-friendly

Visit Provider


LiquidVPN

LiquidVPN

Top features

  • Strong encryption
  • No logs
  • Good speeds

Visit Provider


StrongVPN

StrongVPN

Top features

  • Partially Tier 1 (owns all US-based servers)
  • Large server range
  • Strong encryption
  • Apps for all common platforms

Visit Provider


Hide My Ass!

hidemyass

Top features

  • Largest VPN server range of any provider
  • Apps for all common platforms
  • Very reputable and well-known service

Visit Provider


ibVPN

ibvpn

Top features

  • Strong encryption
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Apps for all common platforms
  • Based in Romania (no data retention)
  • Cheaper than market average

Visit Provider


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