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Best VPN Services of 2019

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated
Podium with First, Second, and Third Positions

Not all VPNs work well and are safe to use. We’ve tested 98 VPN services and the five VPNs below are the best we’ve seen.

They are fast, protect your online privacy, and unblock your favorite websites and apps from anywhere.

Continue reading for our honest review of each VPN, including their pros and cons. If you were looking for a free VPN, these are our best free VPNs of 2019.

Here are the Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN

  1. Works with Netflix
  2. Reliable and fast speeds
  3. Useful privacy features
  4. Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
  5. Well-designed and easy to use apps
  6. High quality customer support

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

See More Detailed Information on Our Top 5 Best VPN Services

Ranked #1 of 98 VPNs

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds: 61Mbps (global average)
  2. Works with Netflix, iPlayer & more
  3. Unrestricted torrenting/P2P traffic
  4. Very easy to use, instant setup on all devices
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  6. Chrome, Firefox & Safari browser extensions
  1. Price could be lower on shorter plans
  2. Three simultaneous connections only
The Bottom Line

Our testing has determined ExpressVPN is the best all-round VPN on the market. As a whole package it simply can’t be beaten.

Its consistency is remarkable, with consistently fast speeds around the world. It also unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more.

It’s private, with advanced features, and one of the most user-friendly interfaces out there. At a premium, yet affordable, price, it’s our clear favorite.

Ranked #2 of 98 VPNs

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds: 69Mbps (global average)
  2. Works with Netflix, iPlayer & more
  3. Torrenting/P2P allowed on many servers
  4. Easy-to-use apps, simple setup on all devices
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  6. Dedicated servers optimized for individual needs
  1. Slow email support
  2. Browser extensions are proxies
  3. Extra protocols require manual configuration
The Bottom Line

Very fast and very secure, NordVPN gets most things right. At a very affordable price it’s the ideal alternative to ExpressVPN.

Streaming fans will be happy to hear that it reliably works with BBC iPlayer and Netflix, and peak download speeds of 226Mbps means no buffering.

Customer support isn’t the best, but its advanced privacy features and impressive speeds make up for it.

Ranked #3 of 98 VPNs

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds: 54Mbps (global average)
  2. Works with Netflix
  3. Strict zero-logs policy
  4. Unrestricted torrenting/P2P
  5. Simple setup on all popular devices
  6. Connect securely to 61 countries
  1. PC app could be a little more user-friendly
  2. Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
  3. Short refund period (7 days)
The Bottom Line

IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs around, making it an excellent choice for torrenters, Kodi fans and streamers alike.

Its choice of locations isn’t the best, but the number of servers in each of them is huge – the only downside is that it can’t unlock BBC iPlayer.

Perhaps the most off-putting factor is its comparatively high price, but it’s worth it if you value speeds and privacy above all else.

Ranked #4 of 98 VPNs

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds: 64Mbps (global average)
  2. Works with Netflix
  3. Optimized torrenting/P2P servers
  4. Simple setup on most popular devices
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. Not all servers allow torrenting/P2P traffic
  2. Doesn't always work with BBC iPlayer
The Bottom Line

Cyberghost is one of the best budget VPN services on the market. Not only is it cheap, but it competes with its pricier rivals for streaming and privacy.

Its fast and dedicated streaming servers work brilliantly, although BBC iPlayer doesn’t always work. Its torrenting/P2P optimized servers work well too, but it’s a shame not all of their servers allow torrenting/P2P traffic.

First-party DNS servers (they own many of their servers) and a zero-logs policy make it a superb choice for privacy, and its low price sees its few flaws easily forgiven.

Ranked #5 of 98 VPNs

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Fast download speeds: 71Mbps (global average)
  2. Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  3. Unrestricted torrenting/P2P
  4. Simple setup on a range of devices
  5. Connect securely to 59 countries
  6. Advanced privacy features such as Tor over VPN
  1. No browser extensions available
  2. Live chat availability is inconsistent
  3. Small number of individual servers
The Bottom Line

Cheap with reliably fast connections all around the world, PrivateVPN also lives up to its name with a suite of robust privacy features.

Its low pings and high upload speeds make it a great pick for gamers, while the zero-logs compensates for its Swedish jurisdiction, too.

Its mobile apps are not as good as the desktop client unfortunately, but it balances privacy and performance very well.

How We Picked the Best VPN of 2019

We are constantly testing every VPN provider on our site to make sure our reviews and recommendations are as up-to-date as possible.

We regularly run speed tests to give our readers the latest VPN speeds. We test access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other top streaming services so you can be sure you’ll get access when you need it.

We try out every feature of every app. We even evaluate customer support by reaching out with real questions and queries, the answers of which you’ll often see in our reviews.

Our top picks have the securest set of privacy features, while their logging policies are the most transparent, fair and privacy-focused.

Their apps are well-designed, quick to install and, above all, easy to use.

Free VPN vs Paid VPN: Should You Pay for One?

There are hundreds of free VPN apps out there, and the allure is undeniably tempting – why would you pay for something you can get for free, right?

Unfortunately there’s a ton of limitations and risks with using a free VPN service. Most offer tiny bandwidth allowances, limited server locations and even capped speeds as they want to convert you into a paid customer to unlock the full product.

What’s worse, free VPN providers may try to profit from you and your data in other ways. There have been reports of selling usage history to advertisers, secretly redirecting users via sponsored links to earn commissions, and even adding devices to a massive botnet.

One of our biggest independent investigations ever unearthed some shocking facts about free VPNs, including non-existent privacy policies and seedy links to China. You can read the full free VPN report here.

A good, premium VPN will heavily invest in privacy and security measures. It will also have to compete to deliver the best possible service in order to attract and retain your business.

If you’re still keen on using a free VPN, don’t take any risks. Take a look at the top options out there with our curated list of the best free VPNs of 2019.

How to Choose the Best VPN: 8 Tips

  • Does it have servers in every location you need?

    The closer the VPN server to your real-world physical location the better the performance. More servers will generally mean less congestion and improved speeds. Look for the speed test results in our reviews to get the best idea. Watch out, though – free plans almost always limit the number of available server locations. The very best premium providers will have options on every continent.

  • Will it work with your computer, smartphone or streaming device?

    Almost all VPN software will work on Microsoft Windows, MacOS and Linux machines, along with iOS and Android mobile devices. However, some are also compatible with other connected devices, like routers, games consoles and streaming devices. If, for example, you game on an Xbox One or watch TV on an Amazon Fire TV Stick then you’ll definitely want to look out for a VPN that can protect them, too.

  • How many connections does it allow at once?

    Just covering your smartphone or desktop computer can sometimes be enough, but do you want to protect every device on your network? Look for a VPN that allows as many connections as you are likely to use at any one time. A cheap VPN can become poor value very quickly if it turns out it wil only protect one device. The very best options will allow upwards of 10 simultaneous connections, with some not even limiting it at all.

  • Will it work with your favorite websites and apps?

    Do you watch Netflix or BBC iPlayer? Not every VPN will work with these apps. We continuously test whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other apps and share the results in our VPN reviews.

  • Check connection, encryption and security features

    The sheer amount of VPN jargon can be overwhelming, even if you are pretty tech-savvy. Do look out for OpenVPN though, as this connection protocol offers the best overall blend of speed and security. Ignore talk of military or bank-grade encryption and just look for AES-256, as that’s the gold standard. Unless you know your DNS from your IPv6, a VPN killswitch is the main thing to look out for among security features as it will protect you from exposing your real IP address should your connection drop unexpectedly.

  • What is its logging policy?

    Every VPN will tell you it is doesn’t track your internet activity, often throwing around the term ‘zero logs’ when describing itself.

    In reality, delivering high performance across an extensive global network is all but impossible unless at least some user connection details are being monitored. You could waste hours reading through reams of privacy policies and terms of service to find out exactly what’s collected and for how long it’s stored – or you could let us do the boring stuff for you.

    Just check the logging policy section of our review to have it all explained in plain language. You should aim for a VPN that does not log your IP address at all and limits timestamp logging to just the date of your connection.

  • Are its apps and programs easy to use on every device?

    No-one likes a clunky, confusing app. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed you’ll be much more likely to use it all the time. We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review. We spend all day testing VPN apps, so we know just how good (and bad) they can be.

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    Even the most expensive VPN plans can be made affordable by taking out a longer subscription.

    Don’t bother with a one-month plan – 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing one with a long refund period.

    We’d advise a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee – they essentially act as a free trial period.

    Make the right choice, though, and you hopefully won’t be thinking about a refund at all.