Best VPN Reviews: Ideal Services for Torrenting, Android, iOS, Kodi, Windows & Mac

Many people use VPNs to connect to the internet without being tied to their real location and information. Each VPN has different features that will suit different users. You need to find ​one that fits your needs, whether that’s security, torrenting, or just Netflix.

For example, you don’t want to pay for a VPN that can’t beat Netflix’s geo-blocks if you want to watch your favorite shows. If you’re after privacy, you need one that doesn't share your data.

We’ve dug deep into the world of Virtual Private Networks and have made this Ultimate VPN Guide to help you find the service that works well for your particular needs!

The 10 Best VPN Reviews: A Thorough Comparison ...

VPN ServiceProsConsPerfect ForOur Rating
Perfect Privacy
CHECK PRICE
OUR REVIEW
• Robust Encryption Methods
• NeuroRouting and MultiHop
• Fast and Reliable Servers
• 7-Day Refund Policy
• Unlimited Connections per Subscription
• Works in Censored Countries
• Many Dedicated Apps
• No Logs Policy
• Doesn’t Work with Netflix
• Expensive
• Journalists, Activists
• Anyone who Needs Guaranteed Security and Privacy
• Torrenting
9.8/10
VyprVPN
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OUR REVIEW
• Audited No Logs Policy
• Unique Chameleon Protocol
• Self-Owned Reliable Servers
• No Third-Party Involvement
• Very Easy to Use
• Automatic Kill Switch Option
• Split Tunneling for Mobile Apps
• Free Trial
• No Cryptocurrency Payment Option
• Unreliable with Netflix
• Unclear Torrenting Policy
• Journalists, Activists
• Those in Need of Secure Privacy and Safety
• Users in Censored Countries
9.2/10
Surfshark
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OUR REVIEW
• Unlimited Devices and Connections per Subscription
• 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
• Very Fast and Reliable Servers
• Minimal Speed Losses
• Works with Netflix
• Dedicated Apps
• Connect to 50+ Countries and 800+ Servers
• No Server Selection, Only Countries• Fast Connections
• Multiple Devices
• Bypassing Censorship
• Torrenting
• Netflix
9/10
Private Internet Access
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OUR REVIEW
• Fast Server Speeds with Minimal Loses
• A True No Logging Policy
• 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
• 10 Connections per Subscription
• Supports Torrenting
• Kill Switch Option
• US Based
• No Netflix Support
• No Server Selection, Only Region
• Staying Truly Private
• No Logging
• Fast Connections
• Torrenting
8.8/10
TorGuard
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OUR REVIEW
• Designed for Torrenting
• 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
• 5 Connections Per Subscription
• Exceptional in Censored Countries
• Bitcoin Payment Option
• No Logs Policy
• Medicore Server Speeds
• $54.99 for a Dedicated Netflix Proxy Server
• Hard to Use for Newbies
• US Based
• Torrenting
• Low Budget
• Custom Configurations
8.5/10
PrivateVPN
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OUR REVIEW
• Fantastic Server Speeds
• Very Affordable
• Works with Netflix, Hulu, Prime and more
• 6 Connections per Subscription
• Extremely Stable Servers
• Very Strong Encryption
• Connect to 60 Countries
• Questionable No Logs Policy
• Only 150 Servers
• No Live Chat Support
• Bypassing Censorship
• Torrenting
• Netflix and Streaming
• Low Budget
8.4/10
NordVPN
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OUR REVIEW
​• Excellent Encryption and Security
• Works with Netflix
• 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
• 6 Connections per Subscription
• Connect to 60 Countries and 5000+ servers
• No Logs Policy
• Easy to Use Apps
• Poor connection with Asian servers
• Lack of transparency from the company
• Families
• Netflix
• P2P Torrenting
• Low Budget
8.2/10
IPVanish
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OUR REVIEW
• Outstanding, Rapid Download Speeds
• The Fastest VPN Available
• Superbly Reliable Servers
• 10 Connections per Subscription
• Works with Netflix
• 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
• Connect to 60 Countries and 1200+ Servers
• US Based
• Evidence of Log Collection in 2016
• No Cryptocurrency Option
• Torrenting
• Streaming
• Fast Connection Speeds
• Netflix
8/10
CyberGhost
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OUR REVIEW
• Fast Server Speeds
• 7 Connections per Subscription
• Works with Netflix, iPlayer and more
• 45 Day Money Back Guarantee
• Dedicated Apps
• Unsafe for users in China and Middle East
• Not safe for those who need privacy at all costs
• Owned by a Data Mining Company
• Netflix
• iPlayer
• Torrenting
• Staying Private on Public Networks
• Low Budget
7.9/10
Windscribe
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OUR REVIEW
• Supports P2P Torrenting
• Works with Netflix
• No Logs Policy
• Works in China
• Useful Browser Extensions
• Robust Domain Blocking Tools
• Super Easy to Use Apps
• Based in Canada (Part of the 5 Eyes)
• Concerns over DNS Leaks
• Families
• Small Teams
• General Browsing
7.7/10

​What Is a VPN?

What is a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a method of connection that hides the user's information and data so they can use the internet privately, and without a trace. 

Effectively VPNs are tunnels. Your connection passes through the tunnel. The tunnel is encrypted so that no one can see what you're up to, and without leaking any data.

The websites you're connecting to can't see your real IP address and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) cannot see your activity. Instead, your IP address appears as the VPN server's. 

This means you can be online anonymously and trick websites into thinking you're located in a different location, by connecting to a VPN server in that location.

It's essential to thoroughly research the service you're considering to use before doing so, as some may leak data to third parties or store data logs.

Why Use a VPN?

There are various reasons why people use them, including:

  • To hide or change your IP address
  • ​To connect to geo-blocked websites, such as Netflix or iPlayer.
  • ​To encrypt data transfers.
  • To access blocked websites in censored countries.
  • To remain anonymous for online browsing and torrenting.
  • To protect yourself while using a public WiFi connection.
  • To create multiple accounts.

Is a VPN Use Legal?

Legality of VPNs

Contrary to popular belief, VPNs are used by regular folk and not just criminals. The specific laws vary in certain countries, but:

  • ​They are legal to use in the U.S.
  • ​They are legal to use in the UK and almost all European nations.
  • ​Activity that is considered illegal outside of a VPN, is still illegal while using one.
  • ​They are banned or restricted in countries (that you’re physically in) including, China, Russia, Iraq and North Korea.
  • ​If their use is discovered, services such as Netflix could claim you breached their TOS and might disable your account (but the best VPN services make this very unlikely).
  • ​Law enforcement can still demand information from VPN providers, which is why it is crucial to use one that has a ‘No Logs’ policy, to ensure there is no information to hand over.

What to Look for in a Secure ​VPN Service?

We believe that every internet user should be concerned about their online privacy and security. However, if you’re an activist, journalist, or anyone in need of reliable privacy and security, then you will need to take some extra steps.

  • ​Do they have a ‘No Logs’ Policy? And is it legitimate?
  • ​Which jurisdiction is it located in?
  • ​Can you pay via cryptocurrency?
  • ​Are payment records kept?
  • ​Are there strong encryption and connection protocols?
  • ​Avoid the five, nine and fourteen eyes.
  • Avoid VPNs based in nations with questionable internet freedom laws.

Jurisdiction 

In recent years, the online privacy community has become severely aware and skeptical of a range of nations that are part of mass surveillance programs. They’re known as the five, nine and fourteen eyes.

These nations spy on their citizens, as well as trading information with each other. If the VPN service you’re considering is located in one of these countries, there is a risk that your data could be handed over to law enforcement under national security laws. 

However, countries outside of the “Eyes” may still have questionable internet freedom, so if you need total security, then be sure to research the jurisdiction of the company and its laws fully.

We also suggest you research who are the owners of the company and where the servers are located. In our comparison chart, we’ve done that for you.

Logging

Logging

If you need security, then it is imperative that you use a VPN with a legitimate ‘No Logging’ policy as they are effectively just a middleman between you and the websites you’re using.

Sadly, some VPNs store your data (or even sell it), and it can end up in the wrong hands.

Some VPN services will claim they have a ‘No Logs’ policy, but you should never trust them just by the copy on their homepage.

Make sure they have evidence of their claims, which may be shown in their privacy policy or through an audit.

Payments and Communication

The ​service you’re using may seem to provide anonymity, but that could all be lost in the payment process. You need ​one that allows you to pay in cryptocurrencies, cash, or through other anonymous payment methods.

If the VPN demands any information other than an email, then forget about them. They don’t need it and it may well get sold.

Some ​of them may offer a PGP key for extra privacy. This is ideal if you want to communicate with the service, without encryption. 

Protocols

OpenVPN

There are various ​protocols available. Sadly, some of these are known to have been compromised and are no longer safe.

The best ones are free and open source, allowing for customization and auditing. We highly suggest that you use a VPN that supports ‘OpenVPN.’ 

No protocol is 100% bulletproof, however, and it’s possible that any protocol could be exploited.

DNS and IPv6 Leaks

Every time you use the internet, your device sends and receives a large amount of data that you can't see. Although you're using a VPN service, you need to ensure that this data doesn't slip through their own servers.

If for example, they're using a public DNS server like Google, your information isn't safe. There is only one way to truly know if leaks are happening, and that's through a test.

Every internet user has their own IP address and connects to another. Usually, IPv4 is used. However, IPv6 is becoming more, which means even VPN users are at risk of data leaks if the VPN isn't configured correctly.

It's easy for remote sites to identify user's ISP and potentially obtain data with the requisite authority. 

You need to use a service that either can block or provide a new IPv6 address, with an IPv6 DNS server that can only be accessed with the use of a VPN. Again, we advise you to carry out a test online.

Encryption

Encryption

Encryption allows users a simple method of ensuring their data and information is secure from anyone who may be trying to spy or take it. It’s crucial that you choose a ​provider that provides strong encryption.

Most VPNs will make it clear what encryption is available and how strong it is. In some cases, it may need to be configured manually, but this can work in your advantage if you know what you’re doing. If not, then see if they offer tutorials on their site. 

You may also want to check if your VPN’s servers allow for Authenticated SMTP (for email) and P2P (for torrenting and file sharing) use. 

Websites and Privacy 

Choose a VPN that cares enough about your privacy to use a minimal amount of tracking cookies on their websites. If you visit their site and they’re already going cookie crazy, then you should quickly look elsewhere. Make sure they have an ​active SSL certificate.. 

Also, try to avoid any VPN that uses CloudFlare, Incapsula, or similar services.

These services have grown in popularity due to their DDoS protection and bandwidth scaling, but may collect your information or have access to your VPN’s website.

Kill Switches 

A kill switch automatically ends your internet connection, if your VPN connection ever drops. That means if the VPN’s server suddenly drops out, your data and real IP address won’t be revealed.

​Without this, there is a realistic chance that your device will connect to an unprotected network and expose what you’ve been attempting to hide. They can be found on services like Private Internet Access, NordVPN, SurfShark and ExpressVPN.

Many experts are skeptical about relying on Kill Switches and advise the use of an independent firewall as well.

What to Look for in a VPN for Geo-Blocking?

Geo-blocking

If privacy isn’t a priority and you’re more interested in overcoming geo-blocking, then you have far less to worry about.

Just make sure the location you want to access is listed in the VPN's server list on their website.

VPNs for Netflix and Hulu 

If you’re trying to access a foreign streaming website, you’ll need a VPN as sites like Netflix deploy rigorous geo-blocks.

Thankfully many ​providers can overcome the blocks.

When you visit the VPN’s website, check if they have servers in the country you want to stream from. The more servers, the better, as sometimes some servers might not work so you’ll need to find one which does. 

The ​​VPNs ​that work with Netflix have designated ​servers, which are made purely to provide a reliable tool to beat Netflix’s blocks. You also need strong server reliability, and speeds with minimal losses, so you’re not frustrated by buffering!

We suggest NordVPN, CyberGhost, IPVanish, PrivateVPN and SurfShark. 

What to Look for in VPNs for Torrenting?

With the high rate of piracy that is attached to torrenting, VPNs have their own torrenting policies. 

​Most of the popular VPNs ​allow torrenting. Others police their users and ban them if torrenting is found.

As a general rule, if the​y have a ‘No Logs’ policy, then you have a green light for torrenting

It’s also important to have fast download speeds; otherwise torrenting is just going to be frustrating and pointless. IPVanish and Surfshark are ideal.

Using a VPN in a Censored Country

The Great Wall of China

Some countries are pushing back hard against the freedom that the internet provides for their citizens.

In China, for example, there is strong internet censorship known as the 'Great Firewall of China.' It has VPN detection and blocks built into it.

Thankfully, many VPNs are robust enough to get around the blocks in countries such as China, Russia and Iran. Services like VyprVPN, Perfect Privacy, TorGuard, SurfShark and PrivateVPN are all considered as reliable in overcoming censorship. 

VPN tools such as TCP port 443, Obfsproxy, Multihop, SOCKS, SSL tunnels, SSH tunnels and more can be highly effective. If you are in a restricted country, it may be helpful to contact support and ask for advice on which configuration is best for you.

Free or Paid VPNs?

First off, don’t just assume you can trust every VPN service, especially if they’re free. If they’re free, then the user is usually the product and their data is likely to be sold. There are also compromises such as ads and cookie tracking that aren’t advertised to you.

We highly recommend paying the relatively low subscription fees that come with paid VPN providers. You’ll get reliable and fast connections, with far more privacy than any free VPN.

Note, however, that we trust WindScribe’s free package as they have a ‘No Logs’ policy.

​Frequently Asked Questions on VPNs:

Do VPNs Work on Android/iOS?

Yes, most high-quality VPNs have dedicated apps for Android or iO​S. They allow you to set up a connection through the settings easily. Be careful of downloading a free VPN service from the app store, as they are often not reliable and will sell your data.

What Is Split Tunneling?

Split tunneling allows you to turn off the VPN for specific apps. For example, if your VPN has split tunneling for iOS, then it can turn the VPN on/off automatically for a designated app.

Do VPNs Work on SmartTVs?

Yes, ​they can be set up for most SmartTVs. This can be done through configuration on the TV itself, or through your home's router.

Are There Any Risks?

There are no risks unless you are committing a crime. VPNs are legal in all countries, except those with high internet censorship such as China and North Korea. The only other risks come from the use of free VPNs, who may sell or share your data.

What Is a No Logs Policy?

When a ​​provider states they have a 'No Logs Policy,' it means they don't store any records of your activity, data, or information. This means there is no risk of your data being sold, shared, or obtained by law enforcement.

Do VPNs Work with Every Internet Provider?

Yes, if you're not in a censored country (in which case you will need to configure your VPN correctly.) 

Can You Install a VPN on a Router?

Yes, and it's a highly effective way of ensuring every device you're using is connected to a secure​ connection. Just make sure your router supports VPNs, and then head over to your ​service provider's website and read their tutorials on router set-up.

Do I Need to Do A​​​​nything with My Router?

No. You can set-up and connect to a VPN solely on one device.

Can You Use VPNs with Tor?

Yes, you'll just need to set-up and connect to a secure VPN before opening the Tor browser. The downside is that the combination of Tor and a VPN results in extremely slow speeds. But you will have extreme privacy.

How Much Does a Good VPN Cost?

Between $3-$10 a month. The features and number of servers will increase the price.

​Should I Always Be Connected to a VPN (​​While Gaming or Shopping)​?

Ultimately, it's up to personal preference over how much privacy or anti-geoblocking you want.

In our opinion, you don't need it for gaming unless if you're trying to log in to a store in a different region. 

Shopping pages that have an SSL are already encrypted. But should you want to rule out the risk of someone seeing your shopping activity, then it can be useful to connect to a VPN.

Keith Waters
 

Hey, I'm Keith Waters, the Lead Editor of this site. It's a known fact that our privacy is a plaything for corporations. My site aims to help you reclaim it. To provide you with a place to learn about the key features of VPNs and if they really match their descriptions.

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