The Best 10 VPN Services of 2019

Article written by: Timothy Shim
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  • Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Choosing the absolute best of the best isn’t an easy task. Much depends on extensive tests carried out, but a major portion of it also depends on you – the user. Everyone has different needs when it comes to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service (read our VPN guide here) and like it or not, it isn’t easy to find one that is the best in everything.

In general, though, having gone through a lot of VPNs I have found that there are a few big names that have come up over and again and rated extremely highly in all key categories. This includes privacy and anonymity, speed and stability, customer service levels, technical features and of course, extra features plus pricing options.

Quick Comparison & VPN Plans Review  (Updated July 2019)

For overall excellence in almost all categories, there are three VPN service providers you should be looking at in 2019.

Best PriceLoggingEncryptionServersNetflix SupportP2P SupportDevices
Surfshark$1.99/mo256-bit800+Unlimited
ExpressVPN$6.67/mo256-bit2,000+3
NordVPN$2.99/mo256-bit5,000+6
TorGuard$6.95/mo256-bit3,000+5
FastestVPN$0.83/mo256-bitPartially10
Private I.A.$2.91/mo256-bit3,000+Partially5
Hotspot S.$2.99/mo256-bit2,000+PartiallyUnknown5
Pure VPN$2.87/mo256-bit2,000+Partially5
VyprVPN$5/mo256-bit700+Partially3
IPVanish$3.70/mo256-bit1,100+Partially10

 

Useful Tips for Shoppers

Click brand names to read individual review and speed test results for each VPN service. Also check out use cases for these VPN:

 


 

The Best 10 VPN Services of 2019

1. Surfshark

Website: https://www.surfshark.com/

Surfshark has taken us by storm and for a newcomer to the VPN scene, it is making waves. Surfing to the top of our Best VPN List, the 2018 founded service is fast, powerful and comes at a hard-to-beat price of $1.99 per month.

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark has even now already grown its network to include over 800 servers in more than 50 countries. A point of note is that it also includes the Shadowsocks protocol which helps users in mainland China get past the Great Firewall.

The entire Surfshark experience from signup to sign on was very quick and pain-free. Even if you might encounter potential issues there shouldn’t be cause for alarm as their customer support is on the ball and will quickly resolve any issues that might arise.

Of course, there are also a ton of extras that come with the service which makes it number one on this list.

Learn more about Surfshark in my in-depth review.

Pros of Surfshark

  • Fast and Stable
  • High security
  • Good reputation

Cons of Surfshark

  • Expensive monthly contracts

Surfshark Speed Test 

Surfshark speed test result from Singapore server
Speed test result from Singapore server (see actual result here).

Singapore is normally our fastest VPN connection zone but the speeds Surfshark showed simply blew away the competition.

 Surfshark speed test result from US server
Speed test result from US server  (see actual result here).

The US is far from where I am and that shows in high pings and lower speeds. The downstream is still impressive and more than enough for 4K streaming.

 Surfshark speed test result from Europe server
Speed test result from Europe server (see actual result here).

Europe is sort of a middle ground, but speeds remained high. Slightly concerning were the higher pings as compared to US-based servers.

P2P and Torrenting

Although torrenting was relatively problem-free, I was troubled by how slow the downloads were when compared to regular HTTP performance.

 

 


 

2. ExpressVPN

Website: https://www.expressvpn.com/

Hitting the top of our list for great performance in all aspects, ExpressVPN is simply the king. Based in the British Virgin Islands, this service provider is one of the most secure and stable which I have ever come across.

Hosting more than 2,000 servers in 94 countries around the globe, its extensive network offers users from almost any country blazingly fast access points. The list of capabilities it provides is long and distinguished, including top-notch encryption, access to content on geolocation-limited services such as Netflix and the BBC iPlayer and support for P2P file sharing.

Of course, there are also a ton of extras that come with the service which makes it number one on this list.

Prices start from $6.67 per month onwards.

Learn more about ExpressVPN in my in-depth review.

Pros of ExpressVPN

  • Fast and Stable
  • High security
  • Good reputation

Cons of ExpressVPN

  • Expensive monthly contracts

ExpressVPN Speed Test 

I managed to get 83 Mbps for download speeds on ExpressVPN. This is not always the case on several VPNs.

Speed test result from US server.

The ping rate from Singapore server shows 11 ms, which consider as good quality.

Speed test result from Singapore server.

P2P and Torrenting

Speeds were smooth for torrenting. I think that P2P traffic was able to gain better speeds than usual.

 

 

 


 

3. NordVPN

Website: https://nordvpn.com/

Coming in a very close second, NordVPN is served out of Panama, another ideal location of a VPN hosting service provider. With over 5,000 servers in 62 countries around the world, the NordVPN network rivals almost any in existence today.

One of the reasons why it is such a great option lies in its very stable speeds no matter where you’re connecting from. Sure, many factors affect that, but if you’re getting a slow connection it won’t be the fault of their servers.

Extra features make NordVPN an extremely attractive option such as Double VPN, Server obfuscation and the near giveaway prices it sells long term subscriptions at.

Prices for NordVPN start from as low as $2.99 per month.

Learn more about NordVPN in my in-depth review.

Pros of NordVPN

  • Excellent long-term plan prices
  • Reputable and feature-packed
  • Massive server network

Cons of NordVPN

  • P2P restricted to specific servers

NordVPN Speed Test

US speeds on the NordVPN connection were slightly lacklustre. The ping rate = 251 ms.

Speed test result from US server.

Germany server: Ping=225ms, download=31.04Mbps.

Speed test result from Germany server.

NordVPN Long Term Pricing

NordVPN offers excellent long term plan. $2.99 a month on the three-year plan is seriously hard to beat.

 

 


 

4. TorGuard

Website: https://torguard.net/

This name may not be overly familiar to many of you, but I was probably as surprised as you are feeling now. At first glance the TorGuard client will seem a little old-school and not as polished around the edges as our top two on the Best VPN list.

Yet the multiple feature options it has built into the service plus impressive connection speeds make this easily one of my top choices. The ability to adjust encryption levels may not seem like a great idea but it does allow users to balance security and anonymity according to their needs.

TorGuard is also beginning to offer access to the next-generation WireGuard protocol, which means that it is living on the cutting edge of VPN technology.

Prices start from as low as $4.99 per month.

Learn more about TorGuard VPN in this review.

Pros of TorGuard

  • Excellent network of global servers
  • Stable connection speeds
  • Many user-tweakable features
  • DPI can bypass China firewalls
  • Has WireGuard servers

Cons of TorGuard

  • Interface needs a bit getting used to
  • Priced a bit high

TorGuard Speed Test

TorGuard speed test result: Ping=196ms, download=32.71Mbps.

Speed test result from US server.

Europe server: Ping=167ms, download=33.91Mbps.

Speed test result from Europe server.

Torrenting and Streaming with TorGuard

Torrenting and video streaming on TorGuard were both flawless. The connection speed is stable.

 

 


 

5. FastestVPN

Website: https://fastestvpn.com/

This VPN service provider has one of the most outstanding long-term plans on offer which I have ever seen. If you’re looking to buy in to a VPN and stick with it, FastestVPN comes as low as 83 cents a month on a five-year plan.

Technical specifications are top-notch, and it comes with a 7-day month back guarantee as well if you have a change of heart. The only downside to it which I have seen is that it has occasional issues with overcoming geolocation blockers and there are limited servers.

Pros of FastestVPN

  • Relatively fast speeds
  • Dirt-cheap long-term plans
  • No logging policy
  • High availability and uptime

Cons of FastestVPN

  • Limited number of servers
  • Occasional glitches in geolocation-limited streaming

 


 

 

6. PrivateInternetAccess

PrivateInternetAccess (or PIA) has a surprisingly large network of servers – in fact, more than TorGuard has. This is great news since in many cases, VPN speed is affected by physical distance from VPN servers.

It also comes with a very out-of-the-way client which tried to make itself as unobtrusive as possible on your system. This could make it either fantastic – or very infuriating for you – depending on your disposition towards the matter. Prices start from $3.33 per month on an annual plan.

Pros of PrivateInternetAccess

  • Massive server network
  • Integrates extras such as adblocker and anti-malware
  • SOCKS5 Proxy included
  • Great for media streaming

Cons of PrivateInternetAccess

  • Difficult to get to settings
  • Limited user Interface

 


 

7. Hotspot Shield

Equipping users with military-grade encryption and hosting over 2,000 servers in 25 countries, Hotspot shield is one of the bigger VPN service providers around. It is also decently priced at only $2.99 per month on a 2-year plan (with a 45-day money back guarantee!)

They also support almost all devices available today, from desktops to mobiles so you can go ahead and run it on probably all your dives at home at the same time – up to a limit of 5 per account.

Pros of Hotspot Shield

  • Dedicated, live 24/7 tech support
  • Complete privacy from trackers
  • Very long money-back guarantee period

Cons of Hotspot Shield

  • Does limited logging
  • Uses little-known proprietary protocol (Catapult Hydra)

 


 

8. PureVPN

PureVPN prides itself on its excellence in media streaming and bypassing geolocation blocks. This is great for Netflix and other services of the kind. Interestingly it has also grown past the standard desktop and mobile device support to branch out onto other lesser devices. This includes support for Kodi and even Chromebooks.

It also has a huge server network covering 140 countries worldwide – one of the most prolific around. P2P is also supported along with excellent encryption and highly secure servers. Prices for PureVPN start from $3.33 per month on an annual plan.

Pros of PureVPN

  • Ozone-Ready Servers
  • Dedicated P2P servers
  • Servers optimized for streaming

Cons of PureVPN

  • Headquartered in Hong Kong
  • Contradicting privacy policy

 


 

9. VyprVPN

Based in Switzerland, VyperVPN is a no-fuss, no-muss service provider that has been around for a long time. They also have the distinction of owning (not renting) their own servers, which means they have more control over the security of their services.

For those who are concerned about getting around geolocation limiters on services such as Netflix, this can be an interesting choice. They have developed their own protocol called Chameleon which is specially designed to help you hide the fact that you’re using a VPN service!

It’s easy to use and checks many of the right boxes at only $3.75 per month on an annual plan. Do note though that if you want to use the Chameleon protocol the price goes up to $5 per month.

Pros of VyprVPN

  • Based in Switzerland
  • Full access to Netflix and other location-limited content
  • No third-party-owned servers
  • Easy to use app

Cons of VyprVPN

  • Some level of logging
  • Slow support system

 


 

10. IPVanish

Once a top contender in the world of VPNs, IPVanish has lost a lot of its shine since the logging fiasco of 2016. Today it is owned by a different company and still offers users a chance to run traffic through over a thousand servers in more than 60 countries.

With 256-bit encryption, support for torrenting and free SOCKS5 proxy, they also offer users great agility in service access on their network. Geolocation-restricted services are a bit of a touch-and-go but overall, IPVanish does an overall ok job.

Prices for IPVanish start from $6.49 per month on an annual plan.

Pros of IPVanish

  • TOR Compatible
  • Get access to lower VOIP fees
  • Prevents deep packet inspection

Cons of IPVanish

  • Dubious reputation following logging scandal
  • Not cheap

 


 

VPN Use Cases

1. Surfshark – Cheapest VPN & Best for Businesses

Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN – cheapest VPN and best for businesses (order online).

When it comes to business applications, larger companies will usually have their own in-house VPN networks, but what about smaller businesses that not just single or dual users? A 20 to 30 pax strong company for example, would be stuck in the middle.

They can’t fit on most standard VPN plans and they also won’t be able to support their own VPN network due to cost and complexity.

This is where VPN service providers like Surfshark step in. By allowing unlimited devices, Surfshark offers businesses the flexibility they need to run secure communications for their business. Not to mention Surfshark's “CleanWeb” function allows you to surf Internet with no ads, trackers, and malware; and “Whitelister” function taht allows specific apps and websites to bypass the VPN (which works great with mobile banking apps).

Cheapest VPN

At this point of time Surfshark has the best performance/price point on the market. Its two-year plan also nicely fills in a gap that seems to be mostly missing. Most VPN providers encouraging users to sign up for three or more years to get optimal discounts. If you’re considering using Surfshark on a month to month payment plan, the fees are around the same as any other VPN service on the market. Where it really shines is in their extended two-year plan (24 months) which comes at only $1.99 per month (see comparison table below).

Also, I checked with Surfshark support staff and confirmed that this price that you sign on for will be valid when it comes to renewal as well. This means that if you sign on for the two year plan at $47.70, there is no price hike on renewal!

VPN Services*1-mo12-mo24-mo
Surfshark$11.95$5.99/mo$1.99/mo
ExpressVPN$12.95$8.32/mo$8.32/mp
FastestVPN$10.00$2.49/mo$2.49/mo
NordVPN$11.95$6.99/mo$3.99/mo
PureVPN$10.95$5.81/mo$3.33/mo
TorGuard$9.99$4.99/mo$4.99/mo
VyprVPN$9.95$5.00/mo$5.00/mo
IP Vanish$5.00$3.25/mo$3.25/mo

 

 

2. ExpressVPN – Best for Netflix , BBC iPlayer; and Android users

Use case for BBC iPlayer and Netflix

ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Netflix, iPlayer, and Android mobile (order online).

Some media streaming services restrict content based on location due to various factors such as country-specific laws, censorship laws or copyright. This includes the BBC’s iPlayer and Netflix. To get around this, a VPN service helps but not just any VPN will do.

Some VPNs are better at it than others, since the majority simply rely on server locations. The best will actively rotate server IPs and carry out whitelisting activities on previously banned IPs. In fact, some VPNs know they can’t support Netflix and do honestly state they can’t in their terms of service.

With its excellent speed capabilities and very broad server network range, ExpressVPN is likely the best in the business for streaming media from most sources – not just Netflix. Its speed is able to easily cater to HD video and Netflix is definitely at the top of most people’s ‘want’ lists.

Use case for Android

Android is one of the most prolific mobile operating systems in the market today and the number of users it is gaining increases all the time. This is one of the reasons why there are increasing number of VPN service providers who are supporting this market.

The matter is given even more urgency when you realise that simply because of the nature of Android – it is intended for mobile devices – that a VPN service becomes an even greater necessity. Public Wi-Fi is notoriously dangerous to use

For Android VPNs, ExpressVPN is a great choice because its dedicated app has several excellent features. From a snappy design to power smart location picket, it is designed to make your life as easy and yet secure as possible at the same time.

 

 

Best VPN for Torrenting / P2P : TorGuard

TorGuard – Best VPN service for torrenting, P2P, and businesses (order online).

Some of you may have heard that VPNs make P2P file sharing (Torrenting) faster but that isn’t entirely true.

However, what is true is that torrenting in some countries could get you slapped with significant fines or even jail time if you’re caught torrenting the wrong materials. In many cases there are also Internet Service Providers that frown on torrenting since they claim P2P file sharers are eating up most of the available bandwidth.

A good VPN – such as TorGuard, will help you get around torrent throttling by these ISPs.

 

 


 

Earning Disclosure

We use affiliate links in this article. WHSR receive referral fees from companies mentioned in this article. Our opinions are based on real experience and actual server data. 

About Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.