Do you want to protect the data you transmit online? Compare VPN providers from as little as $4 a month.
Security – that’s the short of it. People use VPNs to secure their data from unwanted viewers when browsing the Internet. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows computers or networks to connect to each other securely over the Internet.
Traditionally, companies used VPNs to create secure, remote connections to an existing network, but many consumer users now utilize the technology to shield their personal data while exploring the Internet. While certain media providers may downplay it, there are many sensible other reasons why someone would want to use a VPN.
Compare VPN services now
|VPN Service||Min. Monthly Price||Annual Payment||Server locations||Sign Up|
|Strong VPN||$10||$69.96||45 cities in 24 countries||Sign up|
|FastestVPN||$10.00||$44.95 ($3.74/month)||13+ Countries, 60+ servers worldwide||Sign up|
|CyberGhostVPN||$5.99||$35.88 ($2.99/month)||57 Countries, 1277 servers online||Sign up|
|EarthVPN||$3.99||$39.99 ($3.33/month)||6 Continents, 54 Countries, 190 Physical Locations||Sign up|
|Getflix||$4.95||$39.90 ($3.33/month)||20+ regions. Every location has multiple servers running for redundancy and speed.||Sign up|
|Hide.Me||Free – $9.99||$119.95 for Premium||35 locations worldwide||Start now|
|IBVPN||$4.95||$58.06||130+ servers in 47 countries||Sign up|
|PureVPN||$10.95||$64.95||141 countries, 180 locations worldwide||Sign up|
|TunnelBear||$9.99||Grizzly: $59.99 ($5.00/month)||20+ countries||Sign up|
|Unblock-Us||$4.99||$49.90 ($8.32/month)||Not specified|
|Iron Socket||$6.99||$49.95 ($4.16/month)||Over 50 servers (High concentration in US and UK)||Sign up|
|NordVPN||$11.95||$83.88 ($6.99/month)||1082 Servers in 61 Countries||Sign up|
|TorGuard||$5.95||$64.00||3000+ servers||Sign up|
|VPN Unlimited||$9.99||$59.99||1000+ high-speed servers across 70+ locations all over the world||Sign up|
|Speedify VPN||$0 to $8.99||$49.99||36 locations worldwide||Sign up|
|Ivacy VPN||$9.95||$40.00||200+ Servers||Sign up|
|Blockless||Free for Basic and $7.50 per month for Premium||$90.00||N/A|
|Hide My Ass||$9.99||$59.88 ($4.99/month)||280+ servers worldwide||Sign up|
|Overplay||$4.95||$99.95 ($8.32/month)||70+ locations in 50+ countries|
|Safer VPN||$8.99||$71.90||400+ premium VPN servers in over 30+ countries||Sign up|
|IP Vanish||$10.00||$77.99 ($6.49/month)||40,000+ IPs on 850+ servers in 60+ countries|
|VyprVPN||N/A||$155.40||Server clusters in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania (700+ servers)|
|Express VPN||$12.95||$99.95($8.32/month)||145+ VPN locations|
|PIA||$6.95||$39.95($3.32/month)||3272+ Servers in 25 Countries|
|VPN Service||Encryption||Mobile Support?|
|Strong VPN||PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN and IPSec Protocols||Yes|
|FastestVPN||PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), OpenConnect, IKEv2, And Xsec||Yes|
|EarthVPN||PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, SSTP, SSH||Yes|
|Getflix||PTTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN UDP||Yes|
|Hide.Me||PPTP, L2TP, IPsec (IKEv1 and IKEv2), OpenVPN, SoftEther and SSTP||Yes|
|IBVPN||Open VPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP supported||Yes|
|PureVPN||OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2||Yes|
|TunnelBear||strong AES 256-bit encryption by default||Yes|
|Iron Socket||OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, HTTP, Socks5 and DNS Proxy||Yes|
|NordVPN||IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP and SSL||iOS, Android and Windows Mobile|
|TorGuard||SOCKS5, SSH, HTTP, SSL, OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP, IPsec||Yes|
|VPN Unlimited||AES-128 and AES-256 encryptions||Yes|
|Speedify VPN||By default, it uses ChaCha20-Poly1305 for data encryption and ECDHE-ECDSA for handshake encryption, utilizing 256-bit elliptic curve keys. (TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256)||Yes|
|Ivacy VPN||PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and IKEv2||Yes|
|Hide My Ass||OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec||Yes|
|Overplay||PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols||Yes|
|Safer VPN||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP||Yes|
|IP Vanish||OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols||Yes|
|VyprVPN||OpenVPN™, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and Chameleon™||Yes|
|Express VPN||OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols||Yes|
|PIA||OpenVPN, IPSec/L2TP, PPTP and SOCKS5||Yes|
|Strong VPN||Automatic setup application for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android||Many report being banned for torrent downloads with no option for a credit refund.|
|FastestVPN||Share files with|
complete anonymity, access blocked content from Anwhere, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switching
|Monthly fee is a bit pricey|
|CyberGhostVPN||Hide your IP, highest encryption, Wifi protection, strict no logs policy, global servers||Speed can sometimes be slow, limited capabilites for non-torrent gaming|
|EarthVPN||Strict no-log policy, offers multiple devices||Unreliable speeds and server connections|
|Getflix||Supports over 200 channels, free signup with our 14 day trial, no credit card required||…website is a little overwhelming|
|Hide.me||Absolutely no log files.||Limited countries and servers.|
|IBVPN||Military Grade Encryption and Advanced Features for Online Privacy and Security||Only works for one device at a time, unless you purchase the Ultimate plan.|
|PureVPN||Enjoy 5 Multi-Logins And 24/7 Support With A Single Account||Short period for money back guarantee: It’s great that there’s a money-back guarantee at all, but three days isn’t enough to make up your mind.|
|TunnelBear||Blocks all unsecured traffic until it’s safely reconnected||Not any advanced features. Other than that, there’s not much to complain about TunnelBear is one of the most impressive VPNs we’ve seen.|
|Unblock-Us||Software can be configured on Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, and many more, all within minutes||…except Linux.|
|Iron Socket||Enhanced Privacy – No Activity Logs||Limited server distribution|
|NordVPN||Available on up to 6 multiple devices linked to one account||…though only allows for 2 simultaneous streams|
|TorGuard||Unlimited data transfer and great connection speeds.||Personal information being stored for promotional reasons is a bit of a concern.|
|VPN Unlimited||Unlimited access and subscription of more than 5 devices|
|Speedify VPN||Does not log IP addresses, data and websites|
|Ivacy VPN||Unlimited bandwidth & Server Switching|
|Blockless||Ultra fast speeds, up to 5 connected devices||Blurry position on data logging|
|Hide My Ass||30-day money back guarantee, AVG integration and amazing customer service||No IPv6, Only 128 bit encryption|
|Overplay||Unlimited region and server switching||US-based, more expensive than other SmartDNS providers|
|Safer VPN||FREE unlimited Chrome Extension||Lacking in features that others within the same price range offer.|
|IP Vanish||User-friendly apps for all of your devices||No 24/7 support.|
|VyperVPN||Online storage and NAT firewall add-on are both neat additions.||Vypr will only allow for one device to be connected on the basic plan.|
|Express VPN||Comes with 30-day no-risk money back guarantee||…but the base fee is a little pricey.|
|PIA||Connect Through VPN Tunnel in Seconds||Many users report very poor tech-support from the company.|
|VPN Service||Does it log usage data?||Payment methods||Killswitch?|
|Strong VPN||No.||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Paypal, Bitcoin, Alipay||2048 Bit Encryption||N/A|
|FastestVPN||No||VISA, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, BitCoins, AliPay||Data not yet available||N/A|
|CyberGhostVPN||No||VISA, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, PayPal, BitCoins, GiroPay, DirectDebit, Sofort Banking, CashU||Data not yet available||N/A|
|EarthVPN||No||VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover via PayPal, PayPal, BitCoins, AliPay, UnionPay, WebMoney, CashU, Ukash, Paysafecard||Data not yet available||N/A|
|Getflix||No||Data not yet available||For security and encryption, we suggest you to select the closest server location to you||N/A|
|Hide.Me||No||Visa, American Express, Mastercard, Paypal, Sofort, Giro Play, CashU, Bitcoins||Recommended connections are IKEv2, OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption/||Yes|
|IBVPN||No||Credit/Debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, Maestro and more), eWallets (WebMoney) and many other (AliPay, Perfect Money, BitCoin, Yandex, Bank Wire Transfer and more)||The 256 Bit Encryption Algorithms||Yes|
|PureVPN||No||Paypal, Alipay, Payment Wall, Coin Payments, CashU, Gift Cards||256-bit AES encryption||Yes|
|TunnelBear||No||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, Bitcoin and Jars of Honey||OpenVPN and AES 256 in CBC mode on Windows, Android and OS X and IPSec with 256-bit AES encryption for iOS.||No|
|Unblock-Us||No||Visa, Mastercard||Data not yet available||N/A|
|Iron Socket||Yes||Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover Network, Bitcoin and Giftcards||The OpenVPN-based Ironsocket VPN network with AES-256 encryption, SHA256 Message Authentication and a 4096-bit key.||No|
|NordVPN||No||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Network, Paypal, Bitcoin, Alipay,||Double VPN with two layers of AES-256-CBC encryption.||Yes|
|TorGuard||No||Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, American EXpress, Payment Wall, Bitcoin||An OpenVPN connection with AES256 with 2048bit RSA encryption.||Yes|
|VPN Unlimited||No||Over 200 different payment options, including PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin, Cash U, Gift Cards.||An OpenVPN connection with AES256 with 2048bit RSA encryption.||Yes|
|Speedify VPN||No||Over 200 different payment options, including PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin, Cash U, Gift Cards.||An OpenVPN connection with AES256 with 2048bit RSA encryption.||Yes.|
|Ivacy VPN||No||Paypal, Visa, Bitpay, Coin Payments, Perfect Money, Paymentwall||An OpenVPN connection with AES256 with 2048bit RSA encryption.||Yes|
|Blockless||N/A||Credit card or PayPal||SmartDNS||N/A|
|Hide My Ass||No||Credit card or PayPal||Data not yet available||N/A|
|Overplay||No||Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Paypal||Data not yet available||N/A|
|Safer VPN||No||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Paypal, Bitcoin, Cherry, Money Online,|
Alipay, Mobiamo, Mint
|256 Bit bank-level encryption||Yes|
|IP Vanish||No||Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, JCB, Delta, Paypal, ideal, giropay, boleto, Bitcoin||An OpenVPN connection with 256 bit AES encryption.||Yes|
|VyprVPN||Yes||Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express, Discover, Alipay, Paypal||Data not yet available||N/A|
|Express VPN||No||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Visa Electron, Delta, Diners Club, Paypal, Bitcoin, Web Money, Union Pay, iDeal, Sofort, Giropay||best-in-class encryption based on a 4096-bit CA||Yes|
|PIA||No||Paypal, Amazon, Google, Bitcoin, Stripe, Stellar, CashU, Ripple, PIA Gift Card,|
|PIA recommends a combination of AES-256, RSA 4096 and SHA1 (or 256-bit)||Yes|
What is a VPN?
When you use a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN, you’re essentially relying on a network technology to establish a secure connection to the Internet. A VPN comes with the functionality and security of a private wide area network (WAN), but at a noticeably lower cost, which is why it finds favor with businesses, organizations, and individuals alike.
To achieve this level of security, encryption protocols are used. Below are some protocols that VPN providers commonly use.
- IP security (IPSec). This protocol relies on transport mode or tunneling to provide secure communication. Many in the industry refer to it as ‘security overlay’ because it commonly provides an additional layer of security for other protocols.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Both these protocols make use of a ‘handshake’ authentication method. The client end and server end store certificates and cryptographic keys.
- Point-To-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP). This protocol’s easy configuration and low maintenance have made it a popular choice with As a remote client, you can use this protocol to connect to a private server via the Internet.
- Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP). You might end up using this protocol if you wish to tunnel communications data between two sites over the Internet. The use of L2TP along with IPSec is common, in which case you can expect the involvement of shared keys or certificates.
Explaining VPN software
The online world comes with its share of hackers, viruses, and eavesdroppers so protecting transmission of online data is of utmost importance, especially if you’re dealing with any kind of sensitive information. Common online activities that require you to handle personal and sensitive information include shopping, banking, social networking, and running your business.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers high levels of security while performing these kinds of activities. Just what you should look for in a VPN provider, though, depends on your specific needs.
Is using a VPN to access geoblocked content legal in the US?
There are many legitimate uses for a VPN. However, the legality of using one to access geographically restricted content is a bit of a grey area. While you’re not likely to attract the attention of the government, you do run the risk of having your VPN or streaming subscription cancelled. There is also the chance that a copyright holder may want to pursue legal action if you’re found to be accessing that content in an unlicensed region.
Keep in mind that the very nature of a VPN masks your IP and hides your online activity, so it’s not for us to say if and how the copyright holders would be able to identify you if you do choose to access their content without the proper licensing. We do not encourage internet browsing activity outside the law, we only aim to compare the services available.
In a Northern District of California Court case (Craigslist Inc. v. 3Taps Inc.), the court held that using a VPN to get past an IP blocking mechanism is in violation of the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFFA). Keep in mind that this does not constitute copyright legislation. Besides, when you sign up with a VPN provider there is a possibility that the terms and conditions of the contract would absolve the provider of all responsibility if you end up accessing geographically restricted content.
If you wish to access American websites when outside the country, laws of the country you’re in would apply. When it comes to accessing US Netflix outside the country, while it is possible using a VPN, Netflix’s official line is that doing so is in violation of its policies.
What is the difference between a VPN service and a SmartDNS setup?
A VPN service creates a tunnel that masks your IP address to make it appear that you are accessing the site from another location. Connection speed may be a bit slower with a VPN, but if you’re looking for encryption and security, VPN is the best option.
A SmartDNS service can be used to re-route traffic required for determining your geographical location. It works by changing your Domain System Name so the site thinks you’re in the correct area to access their content. Because a SmartDNS does not encrypt date, the connection sped will be much faster.
Will a VPN mask my identity while torrenting?
The simple answer to this is yes, a VPN does mask your IP address when you use torrents, but there’s more to it than that. For instance, some VPN service providers give their customers access to torrents in various countries, but not in the US or UK. Not all VPNs offer peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing capabilities and some service providers would reduce your speed if they detect you uploading or downloading a torrent.
The main reason behind the crackdown on torrent websites surrounds the legality of content, where while much of the content is perfectly legal to download and upload, there is much that falls under the purview of copyright infringement.