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Best VPN of 2019

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated

After thousands of hours spent testing 85 VPNs, the five services below are the best we’ve seen.

They guarantee fast speeds, online privacy, and unblock your favorite websites from anywhere in the world.

Even total beginners can get to grips with them, and they’re all affordably and flexibly priced.

The 5 Best VPN Services of 2019
  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. CyberGhost
  4. IPVanish
  5. PrivateVPN
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for 2019
ExpressVPN

Incredibly fast and ultra secure. HD streaming. 24/7 live chat support.

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
Pros
  1. Very fast speeds, average of 64Mbps globally
  2. Reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer
  3. No restrictions on P2P traffic
  4. Very easy to use. Instant setup on all devices
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  6. Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser extensions
Cons
  1. Price could be lower on shorter plans
  2. Three simultaneous connections only
Bottom Line

Our testing has found ExpressVPN to be 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, plus unbroken access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more.

It’s private, feature-packed, and one of the most user-friendly VPNs out there. At a premium, yet affordable, price, it’s our clear favorite.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

2
NordVPN

Very fast zero-logs VPN. HD streaming & extra privacy features.

Best price
$2.99 per month
Special deal
75% off 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
62 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Fast speeds - 67Mbps global average
  2. High speed access to Netflix, iPlayer and more
  3. P2P and torrenting permitted on lots of servers
  4. Easy-to-use apps, simple setup on all devices
  5. Connect securely to 62 countries
  6. Specialty servers optimized for individual needs
Cons
  1. Slow email support
  2. Browser extensions are proxies
  3. Extra protocols require manual configuration
Bottom Line

Very fast and very secure, NordVPN gets the basics spot on. At an incredible, affordable price it’s the ideal alternative to ExpressVPN.

Streaming fans can relax, as it reliably delivers access to BBC iPlayer and Netflix, and peak download speeds of 209Mbps means no buffering.

Customer support isn’t the best, but its extra features and low price make up for it.


Read our full NordVPN review

3
CyberGhost

Fast zero-logs VPN with great privacy features. Good choice for streaming fans.

Best price
$2.75 per month
Special deal
79% off 18-month plan
Money-back guarantee
45 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
60 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
7
Pros
  1. Fast download speeds - 61Mbps global average
  2. Quick, easy access to Netflix
  3. Optimized servers for torrenting and P2P use
  4. Simple setup on most popular devices
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Some restrictions on torrenting
  2. Server network could be bigger
Bottom Line

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

Speedy dedicated streaming servers work brilliantly, with torrenting and Kodi given dedicated servers of their own, too.

First-party DNS servers and a zero-logs policy make it a superb choice for privacy buffs, and its low price sees its few flaws easily forgiven.


Read our full CyberGhost review

4
IPVanish

Super fast zero-logs VPN. Great for P2P. Lots of extra privacy features.

Best price
$3.70 per month
Special deal
69% off 2-year plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
61 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
10
Pros
  1. Fast download speeds - 48Mbps global average
  2. Currently working with Netflix
  3. Strict zero-logs policy
  4. P2P and torrenting permitted on all servers
  5. Simple setup on popular devices
  6. Connect securely to 61 countries
Cons
  1. Apps could be a little more user-friendly
  2. Short refund period (7 days)
Bottom Line

IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, 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.


Read our full IPVanish review

5
PrivateVPN

Incredibly fast zero-logs VPN. Easy access to major streaming services.

Best price
$2.88 per month
Special deal
73% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
Live chat Support
No. of Server Locations
58 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Fast, reliable download speeds - 70Mbps global average
  2. Quick, easy access to Netflix, iPlayer and more
  3. P2P and torrenting permitted on all servers
  4. Simple setup on a range of devices
  5. Connect securely to 58 countries
  6. Advanced privacy features such as Tor over VPN
Cons
  1. No browser extensions available
  2. Live chat availability is inconsistent
  3. Small number of individual servers
Bottom Line

Exceedingly cheap and reliably quick all around the globe, 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.

It’s not reliable for use in China, and its mobile apps can’t match the desktop client, but it balances privacy and performance terrifically.


Read our full PrivateVPN review

How We Picked the Best VPN of 2019

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

We regularly run our speed tests to ensure our VPN performance figures are up-to-date. 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. The best services also offer friendly customer support you can rely on to help you quickly should you get stuck.

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

There are hundreds of free VPNs 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. 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 really still keen on using a free VPN, don’t take any risks. Take a look at the top options out there with our comprehensive round-up 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.

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