The Best VPN Service Providers

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The Best VPN Service Providers of 2016

The Best VPN Providers
The Best VPN Providers. D3Damon / Getty


(Continued from 10 Reasons You Want to Use a VPN Connection)

If you are looking to privately browse the web and access streaming media, then these are the VPN providers you will want to consider. These services will cipher your downloads, uploads, emails, messages, and also manipulate your IP address so that you are effectively untraceable.

This list of VPN providers is in random order. This list is populated in part by About.com users who submit their suggestions and offer their personal reviews. If you wish to add to this list, you may submit a recommendation for a VPN service at our Facebook page.

Click to see the first recommended VPN in our list.


Note on VPN speeds: expect your internet speed to be reduced by up to 75% while you are using your VPN. VPN speeds of 2 to 4 Mbps are common for cheaper VPN's. Speeds of 5 Mbps per second are good. VPN speeds over 15 Mbps are excellent.

 

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Cryptostorm VPN

Cryptostorm VPN
Cryptostorm VPN. Cryptostorm VPN

Cryptostorm is absolutely the most preferred VPN for file sharers, privacy freaks, and people who surf the Dark Web.  The service is based in Iceland and Canada, and resists the reach of the US PATRIOT Act and other surveillance.  The service accepts bitcoins as payment, and uses tokens instead of currency transactions to give people access to the service; this token-based payment approach adds more cloaking to the identity of its customers.

The big differentiator is Cryptostorm's plugging of DNS leaks.  Most VPN's do not go this extra mile to prevent authorities from tracing you.  Cryptostorm employs a special DNS utility to ensure that there is no DNS hint of your source location while cloaked.

Cost: tokens are $7 for one month of access, with discounts when you buy more and if you use bitcoins for payment.

Visit Cryptostorm VPN at their site: https://cryptostorm.is/join.html

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TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear VPN. TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear is a very user-friendly and reliable VPN that also provides useful additional protection features.

Cost: Free to $5/month; $50/year. Supports PPTP. Servers are located in UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, and the USA.

TunnelBear is an interesting Canadian VPN service for a couple of philosophical reasons: they believe that 'user logging is evil', and they believe that setup and daily use should be as easy and automated as possible.  To deliver on their first belief, TunnelBear employs a policy of no-logging for all their users, free or paid. To deliver on their second belief, Tunnelbear employs very simple interfaces and automated settings (decorated with cute bears, of course) that make installing and using their VPN software very easy and non-intimidating to the average user.

TunnelBear also offers 3 interesting tech features that users will find helpful for additional privacy protection: 'Intellibear' lets you selectively VPN which websites you want private, while browsing with no-VPN on other sites.   'Vigilant' is a safeguard against those small windows of exposure when your wi-fi or VPN connection drop; Vigilant will block transmissions until the wi-fi or VPN connection is restored.  And 'Maul Trackers' offers ongoing blacklisting of known trackers from ever seeing your signal.   

TunnelBear prices are very good, and TunnelBear speed performance is in the range of 6 to 9 megabits-per-second down speed  (which is quite good for a VPN).  

Definitely try TunnelBear for your privacy and downloading needs. TunnelBear is available for both desktop and mobile devices.

Visit their site: https://www.tunnelbear.com/about/​

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IPVanish VPN

IPVanish VPN
IPVanish VPN. IPVanish VPN


IPVanish VPN is recommended by multiple readers at About.com. Not only does it have L2TP protocol for people in oppressive countries, the speeds for IPVanish are often over 10 Mbps. This service also supports simultaneous connections across multiple devices, so your Windows PC and your iPad can be encrypted at the same time.

Cost: $10/month; $78/year. Servers in 16 different countries make IPVanish an international presence. This service supports OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP (L2TP is harder for authorities to block, so it's a good protocol for people in countries where the government restricts internet use, like China and Egypt).


While IPVanish does promise not to log any of its customers' data or online activity, the company does have offices in the USA. This makes them, unfortunately, open to PATRIOT Act investigation. Nonetheless, the service provides excellent speeds in a very user-friendly manner. Do consider evaluating IPVanish as you shop for a VPN service.

Visit their site: http://www.ipvanish.com 

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VyprVPN by Golden Frog

VyprVPN by Golden Frog
VyprVPN by Golden Frog. VyprVPN by Golden Frog

VyprVPN is a quality VPN service spanning 5 continents and totalling over 700 servers around the world. 

Users with iPads and Android devices will definitely appreciate the Vypr mobile VPN apps. Additionally, being an offshore company incorporated in the Bahamas and based in Switzerland, there is less likelihood of the Vypr server logs being examined under the US PATRIOT Act. Thirdly, Vypr claims to defeat high-censorship controls like in China because of their proprietary Chameleon technology.

Cost: 500MB free trial account (no credit card required to try); $10/month or $80/year for the full subsription. Supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols. Good support for mobile devices like iPhones and Android tablets.


Visit their site: http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/buy-vpn?plan=annual

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Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN

Private Internet Access VPN
Private Internet Access VPN. Private Internet Access VPN

Many readers speak highly of PIA VPN.

Cost: $7.00/month; $40/year. Private Internet Access is a very fast service that will cloak your identity and data transferring. PIA price is also amongst the best-priced services you can get for VPN access. With near-perfect anonymity services, PIA has some very beneficial features, like auto-disconnecting you when the VPN cloaking goes offline, and concealing DNS leaks from hackers and authorities.

One particularly interesting privacy feature of PIA is their 'shared IP addresses'. Because multiple subscribers will be assigned the same IP addresses while they are logged onto PIA, it makes it impossible for authorities to match individual file transfers to any individual on the service.

Overall, Private Internet Access is a highly recommended service for torrent downloaders. Give them a try and let us know how you like the transfer speeds and ease of setup.

Visit their site: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com 

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Viking VPN

Viking VPN
Viking VPN. Viking VPN

Viking VPN is a small U.S. company that charges more than its competitors. But in return, they offer some very fast encrypted connections and they pledge to log only bandwidth, no actual customer activity.

Cost is $15 / month.

There is no free trial with Viking VPN, but there is a money-back guarantee.  Many readers recommend this service.

Visit Viking here: https://vikingvpn.com/

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PureVPN

PureVPN
PureVPN. PureVPN

This virtual private network provider provides good cloaking service, and has competitive prices.

Cost: $10.00/month; $50/year. Supports OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols. PureVPN also supports IKEvs2 protocol for BlackBerry. The servers are in 19 different countries, with no bandwidth limitations for premium subscribers. The price point is very compelling, and is much more affordable than most of its competitors.

PureVPN has won the affection of many users because of its very friendly software client and affordable price. You can split the tunneling, which is helpful for having encryption on specific parts of your web habits, while still using your regular network connection for others (gamers and downloaders will like this splitting feature). PureVPN does log bandwidth usage and your login durations, but deletes that information every 5 days. Speeds on Pure are in the 4 Mbps to 21 Mbps range, which averages faster than most other VPN's.

Be warned, though: some Pure servers do unexpectedly break connection, leaving you exposed for sometimes minutes at a time.

PureVPN can be found here: http://www.purevpn.com/

 

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UnoTelly VPN

UnoTelly VPN
UnoTelly VPN. UnoTelly VPN

UnoTelly VPN is a service that started in Greece, and has grown into a large multinational organization.

Cost: $5.00/month; UnoTelly specializes in giving users access to geographically-locked streaming content, like Netflix USA, Hulu, and Spotify. The UnoTelly service is offered in two parts: UnoDNS and UnoVPN. The UnoDNS feature does not offer cloaking and encryption; instead, it provides very rapid access for your PlayStation or Roku or other media player while unlocking the country of your choice. The UnoVPN feature is a separate offering that does offer the privacy of also cloaking and encrypting your signal.

About.com has been unable to confirm if UnoTelly does do logging. But our  tests on the streaming and download speeds yielded very positive results. If you are not file sharing, and instead are looking to use a VPN for Netflix and other media player streaming purposes, then definitely consider UnoTelly. Outstanding speeds and extremely reasonable prices make this a strong choice for watching and listening to streaming media. 

https://www2.unotelly.com

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WiTopia VPN

WiTopia VPN
WiTopia VPN. WiTopia VPN

WiTopia is a respected name in the VPN arena, although users do say that the software can be frustrating to install and configure. 

Cost: $6/ month; $50/year. Supports OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP.

Speeds that you can expect on WiTopia are similar to other VPN's: in the range of 2 Mbps to 9 Mbps (anything above 5 Mbps is good), depending on your proximity to the WiTopia servers. As added reassurances for those of you seeking to cloak your browsing and file sharing habits: WiTopia promises to never record, scan, disclose, or sell logs of your information. WiTopia comes recommended by several readers who do serious file sharing, so if you're tech savvy enough to install and configure some sophisticated software, WiTopia can be an excellent VPN choice.

Visit their site: https://www.witopia.net/ 

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Overplay VPN

Overplay VPN
Overplay VPN. Overplay VPN

This UK-based service is definitely worth looking at. While Overplay does not have the server pool size of Witopia or HideMyAss, the performance is strong, and readers comment that they average over 6 megabits-per-second speeds. Cost: $5.00/month; $60/year. Supports OpenVPN and PPTP protocols, highspeed servers, and access points in 12 countries.

The basic service is very reasonably priced at $5.00/month. Premium service is $10/month.

Visit their site: https://www.overplay.net/ 

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BoxPN VPN

BoxPN VPN Service
BoxPN VPN Service. BoxPN VPN Service

Box Private Network yields some very fast speeds, especially when compared to other VPN's. Readers report getting over 7 megabits per second, which is very fast for a personal VPN

Cost: $6.00/month; $45.00/year. Servers are available in 10 countries, including Singapore, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Israel, and Egypt. Supports L2TP and PPTP protocols.

The parent company of BoxPN is in Turkey, which helps keep it away from the reach of the US PATRIOT Act. The company also pledges not to log any client activities, which is particularly comforting to people who participate in P2P file sharing.

Visit their site: https://www.boxpn.com/

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Strong VPN

Strong VPN
Strong VPN. Strong VPN

Strong VPN is more expensive than some other choices out there, but readers in Asia and the Pacific Rim say that Strong performs very well for them when compared to its competitors.  

Cost: $8/month; $55/year. Good support for users in Asia. Offers L2TP and PPTP protocols.

The price point varies with your part of the world, but expect in the range of $20USD per month. The Strong VPN owners promise that there is no logging or scanning of their customers' data, and many readers recommend Strong. Try it for a month and let us know if Strong VPN works for you.

Visit their site: http://www.strongvpn.com/

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HideMyAss VPN

HideMyAss VPN
HideMyAss VPN. HideMyAss VPN

HMA used to be the premiere VPN for a few months, but they lost some of their reputation when they caved into the FBI who were investigating one of their customers.

Cost: $11.52/month or $78.66/year. HMA has a tremendous server pool of over 260 servers in over 50 countries, which opens up access to geographically-restricted content in many countries. Supports PPTP, L2TP, IPSec and OpenVPN protocols.

HMA is a UK-based VPN service that is considered the easiest and most user-friendly VPN by some. While their reputation was somewhat marred by the 2011 FBI investigation of a Sony hacker (HMA disclosed logs of suspect Cody Kretsinger's online timeframes), thousands of users still continue to use HMA for their private browsing.

HideMyAss does provides some very slick extra features like: supporting multiple simultaneous computers on the same connection, rotating IP addresses, speed guides, and an extremely convenient client tool. HMA is very easy for beginners to setup, which is another plus. At 12 dollars per month/79 per year, the price point for HidemyAss.com is in the middle of the pack.

NOTE: If you are a file sharer, HMA is not for you. Readers report that HMA frowns upon its members participating in torrent sharing, and it will pressure its members whenever they receive P2P complaints from authorities.

Visit their site: http://www.hidemyass.com