At Top10VPN.com it’s our intention to review every VPN that matters. Popularity and reputation aren’t always good things, though, and sometimes some of the most downloaded products on the market are also some of the worst.
Of the dozens of VPNs we’ve reviewed, we’ve taken the five absolute worst and put them on this page. When you pick your next VPN be sure to avoid the providers below.
How We Picked the VPNs to Avoid in 2019
We hold VPNs to the absolute highest of standards – after all, you’re putting your privacy, confidentiality, and personal data in their hands. Some ace our tests, some struggle, and there are some that are a million miles away from where they need to be. These are the VPNs that feature on this page.
We recently conducted an original, in-depth investigation on a number of popular free VPNs. Our findings revealed that a huge proportion of them had questionable links to China, as well as extremely disconcerting privacy policies. A number of the VPNs on this page feature – you can read the report here.
Do I Have to Pay for a VPN?
You may well be thinking to yourself that you have to pay money to get a reliable VPN. The results we found when reviewing the providers in this round-up were depressing, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good free options out there.
Even the very best free options will still have drawbacks, though. From a reduced number of servers to a restrictive data cap, you can’t expect a flawless experience from a free VPN.
If you’re interested in trying one out, though, perhaps as a tentative first step into the world of VPNs, then be sure to check out our guide: the Best Free VPN for 2019.
How to Spot a Bad VPN: 4 Tips
- Watch out for sparse privacy policies
- Be sure it has proper methods of encryption
The very best VPNs we test offer multiple standards of encryption, enabling you to tailor your experience for the level of security you require and the tasks you want to use a VPN for.
On the other hand, the worst VPNs don’t just fail to provide a choice – they often won’t even make it clear what protocol it is it’s using. We’ve even reviewed some that don’t actually encrypt your traffic.
If a product markets itself as a VPN but doesn’t properly protect you then it isn’t really a VPN at all.
- Watch out for restrictive data caps
While it’s practically unheard of for a paid-for provider to limit your monthly bandwidth, it’s commonplace in the world of free VPNs.
The very best will offer you a generous allowance or, even better, won’t restrict you at all. But the very worst will impose a limit so restrictive that there’s little point in using it at all.
When a Full-HD Netflix stream will use roughly 1GB per hour, it’s unlikely a monthly 1GB data cap will do you much good.
- Does it perform reliably?
It can be easy to take reliability for granted. When you pay for a top-notch VPN you never have to wonder whether or not you’ll get the speeds you expect, the server you want or the unblocking that you need.
Some VPNs may appear capable at first, but will then be unable to replicate that level of performance. Rollercoaster speeds dipping up and down at random plus unreliable, hit-and-miss access to your favorite apps and services are common traits of a poor VPN.