There are hundreds of VPNs out there, some good, some bad. We’ve tested 99 VPN services to answer the ultimate question: what is the best VPN for 2019?
The five VPN services on this page are the best VPNs we’ve seen. These VPN providers are fast, protect your online privacy, keep you safe, and unblock your favorite websites and apps from anywhere in the world.
Continue reading for our honest review of each of our best VPNs, 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
- Works with Netflix
- Reliable and fast speeds
- Useful privacy features
- Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
- Well-designed and easy to use apps
- High quality customer support
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
See More Information on the Top 5 Best VPN Services
How We Picked the Best VPN of 2019
We are constantly testing every VPN service 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 TV streaming services so you can be sure you’ll get access when you need it.
We try out every feature of every VPN app. We even evaluate a VPN’s customer support by reaching out with real questions and queries, the answers of which you’ll often see in our reviews.
Our top VPN 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, easy to use, and, above all, keep you safe.
Which VPN is the Most Secure?
All of the VPN services listed on this page are 100% secure and will keep you totally safe online.
Any VPN that we recommend will have the most advanced technologies and security features in place – you can learn more about these features in our in-depth guide to VPN encryption.
What is the Easiest VPN to Use?
When we test a VPN service, we really download, set up and use it. We test every VPN app on every platform offered to make sure it’s as easy as possible to use.
Whether you’re a VPN beginner or a tech expert, our best recommendations are intuitive and quick to set up, with lots of advanced features that are clearly labelled and in-depth online support.
Does a VPN Really Protect You?
Yes: a VPN really will protect you and keep you safe online. Good VPNs help guard you against man-in-the-middle attacks, eavesdroppers, and hide your IP address and browsing history from your ISP.
There are some threats that you will need a different set of tools for, though. Some VPN services come with the ability to block pop-ups, but you’ll want to install your own ad-block extension to help with that.
VPNs are not anti-virus software. While a VPN may help prevent harmful or malicious software reaching your computer in some circumstances, you should always use antivirus software.
What Is the Best VPN for Streaming (and Netflix)?
Streaming (Netflix in particular) is one of the most popular uses for a VPN – if that’s something you want to do, then it’s important you pick the right VPN service.
See our best VPN services for streaming, and our recommendations specifically for Netflix and BBC iPlayer. The VPNs we recommend are guaranteed to work consistently, giving you fast and unrestricted access to your favorite streaming services.
The best VPNs for streaming unlock video services in popular locations like the US and the UK, often providing servers specifically dedicated to beating blocks and delivering smooth, buffer-free playback.
What Is the Best VPN for Torrenting?
When it comes to torrenting, there are two necessities: speed and privacy.
A good VPN will make your torrenting much more private, all while having a minimal impact on your download speeds.
If you’re a keen torrenter then take a look at our best VPN services for torrenting. Our top five VPN providers all offer uncapped P2P traffic and speeds free from throttling. Some of these VPN services even have servers designed just for torrenting.
What Is the Fastest VPN?
A VPN won’t make your internet connection faster, and a VPN won’t make a weak internet connection stronger.
In fact, a VPN will actually make your internet connection slower – which is what makes picking the right one so important.
We sit down with every VPN we review and manually test it for speed on a number of its most popular servers around the world, so that you know what you’re getting before you buy.
If you want extra security without sacrificing your download and upload speeds, then you might want to take a look at the current fastest VPN services.
Free VPN vs Paid VPN: Are Free VPNs Safe?
Usually when you have the choice between a free product and a paid product, the free one will be worse. This is absolutely the case with VPNs.
Good free VPNs are few and far between, and unfortunately there’s a ton of limitations and risks with using a free VPN service.
Most free VPN services have 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.
If you can afford the small monthly fee, we 100% recommend that you subscribe to a paid VPN. The five VPN services listed on this page are the absolute best on the market, and have aced our testing.
It is possible to get a free VPN that does a good job, though. Take a look at our selection of top free VPN services.
Are VPNs Legal?
Yes, VPNs are almost certainly legal where you live.
So long as you aren’t using a VPN to break the law then there should be no problem with you downloading and using a VPN.
If you live in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, the EU, South America or Africa then you can freely use a VPN.
Outside of those regions, though, there are a few exceptions where VPNs may be banned or otherwise restricted. You can find out exactly where VPNs are with our guide to VPNs and the law.
Can You Trust Your VPN Service?
Whether or not you can trust your VPN service depends very much on just what your VPN service is.
A good VPN service retains no logs, properly encrypts your traffic, refuses to hand over user data to those it doesn’t belong to, and is based in a secure and safe jurisdiction.
A bad VPN collects extensive users logs, mines and sells data, manipulates your traffic, and can even share your browsing data with governments and third parties.
Can You Be Tracked if You Use a VPN?
A VPN does not make you untraceable – it’s important to bear that in mind and set your expectations accordingly before downloading one.
If someone, be they a hacker or government, want to track you down online then they will be able to.
However, tracking someone who uses a VPN is significantly more difficult than tracking someone who doesn’t.
A proper VPN service will swap your IP address and DNS servers for one of its own, encrypt your traffic thoroughly, and then delete any connection and browsing logs that you leave behind so as to secure your anonymity.
The rule when using a VPN is simple: don’t do anything when connected to a VPN that you wouldn’t do without one.
How to Choose the Best VPN: 8 Tips
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.