Best VPN Services For 2019

No doubt you’ve done your research and have learned why it’s important to have a VPN for travel, especially internationally. Or perhaps you’ve already learned the hard way and have experienced first-hand what it’s like not having a reliable VPN service while traveling. Either way, you’ve been led here because now you’re ready to purchase one of the best VPN services available.

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Finding the best VPN service is a tough one because there are so many to choose from. And there are too many claiming to be the best. But it’s a good thing for you that we’ve done all of the heavy lifting and have narrowed down your search to the best VPN services on the market right now. We’ve also listed the pros and cons of each to hopefully make your final decision easier.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is lauded as one of the top providers available today, ExpressVPN seems to offer it all. There are apps for a whole load of platforms and devices, a wide network of servers and a privacy policy that covers most of what you need covered.

ExpressVPN has worked hard to outsmart censors in many countries. It has developed proprietary security protocols and paired them with well-tested favorites within the industry, and the results have proven very useful in breaking through high-level blocks in Iran, Turkey, China and Saudi Arabia.

Security is high with ExpressVPN. It uses a variety of security protocol including the mighty OpenVPN, ensuring your browsing data is secure and anonymous, encrypted with a nearly unbreakable code. There is the all-important kill-switch that preserves your data when there is a sudden connection break too.

ExpressVPN does not fall under the probing ’14-eyes’ surveillance alliance, being a British Virgin Islands company. It has full jurisdiction over its data regulations. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and will fully refund all plans, no questions asked. Right now you can pay $12.95 monthly, $9.99 monthly billed every six months, or $6.67 monthly billed annually and the first year you get 3 months free for a total of 15 months for $99.95.

Pros

✅ ExpressVPN is easy to use, a real no-brainer, even for the non-tech-savvy among us. Set-up is instant on any device.

✅ ExpressVPN offers secure connections to 94 countries.

✅ ExpressVPN is fast and reliable. Speeds go up to an average of 65Mbps around the world.

✅ ExpressVPN also boasts split tunneling that keeps your data safe when you are connected to your network.

✅ IP or DNS leaks are prevented by ExpressVPN, and there is a tight no-logs in place.

✅ With ExpressVPN, P2P and torrent use are guaranteed to be fast, safe and unrestricted.

✅ ExpressVPN gives you seamless Netflix and BBC iPlayer access.

Cons

⚠️ ExpressVPN is on the pricey side if you’re only looking at short-term plans.

⚠️ You’re only limited to 3 simultaneous connections at a time with ExpressVPN.


2. Surfshark

Deceptively simple, Surfshark is really a VPN shark. It gives you access to unlimited connections at the same time, making things easy for you. Fantastic speeds help things along the way, and you are assured privacy with their strict no logs policy.

Surfshark stands out from the crowd by making its privacy protection default so a newbie doesn’t have to worry about fiddling around. Privacy is assured by the built-in ad, malware, and tracker blockers and MultiHop features give users an extra layer of protection.

Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is a British Virgin Islands company. Browsing activity is left alone, allowing the VPN to enforce its strict no-log policy. OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols are Surfshark’s go-to protocols and the encryption is also top-notch. Mobile apps benefit as the batteries are not drained as quickly. Right now you can pay $11.95 for the monthly plan, $5.99 per month billed annually, or $1.99 per month billed for two years, that’s 24 months for just $47.76.

Pros

✅ Surfshark has a simple user interface which intuits the user’s needs. It’s easy to access, easy to understand and easy to use.

✅ Surfshark offers over 500 servers in 50 countries, and more are being added every day. Every continent is covered, save Antarctica, so its speed is  virtually unparalleled.

✅ Surfshark, unlike other VPNs, lets one account be used on unlimited devices, so several family members or employees can use it at the same time.

✅ Surfshark is open to P2P sharing and, thanks to it’s great speeds, this is the VPN favoured to torrent anonymously.

✅ Surfshark’s speed guarantees uninterrupted Netflix and BBC iPlayer access.

Cons

⚠️ Like most VPN plans, going for Surfshark’s longer-term plans is more economical.


3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost lives up to its name with solid zero-logs and good privacy features. It is a favorite amongst avid streamers. CyberGhost’s zero-logs policy ensures that your ISP, third parties or cyber criminals have no access to your data, search history and all other online activities.

CyberGhost is subject to EU data retention laws and intelligence sharing, being in Romania, but this doesn’t compromise privacy too much as the data shared isn’t anything interesting thanks to the zero-log policy. Right now you can pay $12.99 for the monthly plan, $5.25 per month billed annually, $4.13 per month billed for two years, or $2.75 for the three year plan. And CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee on all plans except the month-by-month plan which comes with a 15-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

✅ Setting up CyberGhost is simple on most devices.

✅ CyberGhost offers secure connections in 60 countries.

✅ Download speeds are fast with a global average of 60Mbps with CyberGhost.

✅ CyberGhost’s servers are optimized for P2P and torrenting.

✅ Netflix and other sites are easily accessible with CyberGhost.

✅ CyberGhost has a user-centric approach with 24/7 live support ready for users in need.

Cons

⚠️ It gets pricey if you’re only signing up with CyberGhost’s short-term plans.

⚠️ CyberGhost’s individual servers and IP addresses are limited which might cause congestion amongst the servers and reduce performance.

⚠️ CyberGhost is not very effective against the Great Firewall of China as it doesn’t have any obfuscation tools, but it’s effective in other countries.

⚠️ Torrenting on U.S. and Australian servers aren’t possible. And you can only torrent on Windows and Mac OS devices.


4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield boasts 5 simultaneous connections, as many server switches as you need and great data encryption. Hotspot Shield doesn’t retain user’s activity logs, but it does retain their connection logs and certain personal information for quality-control purposes.

The jurisdiction of Hotspot Shield falls under US, so privacy and safety might not be top-notch. It is bound to share its user’s information if required to by law, and it might be mined for intelligence to analyze and share. Right now you can pay $12.99 for the monthly plan, $8.99 per month for the six month plan, $5.99 per month for the annual plan, or $3.49 for the three year plan. And Hotspot Shield also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

✅ With a set-up time of 9 minutes, Hotspot Shield is easy to use for even the most uninitiated.

✅ Offers a good and consistent speed.

✅ The encryption for Hotspot Shield is strong, offering the height of security for your data.

✅ Hotspot Shield allows torrenting and P2P activity, but doesn’t safeguard against copyright laws.

✅ You can get seamless Netflix and BBC iPlayer access with Hotspot Shield.

Cons

⚠️ As with other VPNs Hotspot Shield can get expensive in the short-term.

⚠️ There is only one protocol – OpenVPN, which is great, but more options means more opportunity to find the right fit.

⚠️ Only 20 servers locations can be reached by Hotspot Shield, including India, Mexico, Turkey and the US.


5. PureVPN

PureVPN has been deemed a reliable friend to turn to when streamers need privacy to watch whatever they want. Its large global server network means that they can do just that mostly wherever they go.

Right now you can pay $10.95 for the monthly plan, $4.08 per month for the annual plan, or $3.29 for the two year plan. And PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee on all of their plans.

Pros

✅ PureVPN is also a breeze with its user-friendly apps and easy set-up on mostly any device.

✅ Users can get secure connections to more than a whopping 140 countries around the world with PureVPN. It even reaches less-covered countries like Cambodia, Kuwait, Venezuela and Cape Verde.

✅ PureVPN’s speeds are reliable at up to an average of 35Mbps anywhere you go.

✅ PureVPN encrypts your data securely and features many advanced features like DNS leak protection, split tunneling and a kill-switch.

✅ PureVPN’s privacy policy has recently been reworked and now they collect anonymous connection logs for technical assistance purposes only.

✅ PureVPN is under Hong Kong jurisdiction, so it isn’t affected by the jurisdictions of the EU and US. There are no compulsory data retention laws in Hong Kong.

✅ PureVPN’s streaming servers are optimized for no-fuss viewing of most popular streaming channels.

✅ PureVPN allows P2P and torrenting on most servers.

Cons

⚠️ PureVPN’s speed is not as optimal as that of other VPNs.

⚠️ At start up, PureVPN automatically chooses the protocol for you and you have to manually change it. OpenVPN is strangely not flagged as the most secure option, which might confuse inexperienced users.

⚠️ While PureVPN has an app specifically dedicated to circumventing firewalls in China, it is very basic and its job is becoming increasingly difficult to do.


6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is known to be speedy and its zero-log policy is rated one of the best. The name PrivateVPN says it all. PrivateVPN ranks amongst the top in secure VPNs, with startup opening on OpenVPN and encryption via the virtually unbreakable AES-256 cipher.

PrivateVPN is stealthy enough to bypass the Great Firewall of China despite the VPN crackdowns in the last few months, thanks to its propriety stealth protocol that gives you an extra obfuscation level. This masks your VPN traffic to look like a normal HTTPS browser. PrivateVPN’s software also offers access to Tor to get to content that might be blocked by the governments of certain countries.

A VPN kill-switch is definitely in place within PrivateVPN, as is an extra stringent zero-log policy. DNS and IPv6 leaks tighten the security seal even further. Tor also helps shield extra sensitive information, and obfuscation befuddles.

PrivateVPN is under Swedish jurisdiction, so it does have to adhere to EU intelligence-sharing agreements and data retention laws. The zero-log policy cancels this out, however, in that there is actually nothing to share.

Right now you can pay $7.67 for the monthly plan, $4.88 per month for the three month plan, or 3.82 per month for the annual plan and you get an additional month for free. PrivateVPN offers a 3o-day money-back guarantee on all of their plans.

Pros

✅ PrivateVPN is also a no-brainer to set up on various popular devices.

✅ PrivateVPN gives you secure connections to 57 countries.

✅ PrivateVPN’s download speeds average at 64Mbps around the world, one of the fastest available.

✅ PrivateVPN is under Swedish jurisdiction, so it does have to adhere to EU intelligence-sharing agreements and data retention laws. The zero-log policy cancels this out, however, in that there is actually nothing to share.

✅ With PrivateVPN, P2P and torrent use are allowed on all servers.

✅ PrivateVPN helps you access Netflix, iPlayer and many more sites easily.

Cons

⚠️ There aren’t many individual servers provided by PrivateVPN.

⚠️ PrivateVPN doesn’t offer many security features on the iOS app.

⚠️ PrivateVPN doesn’t offer browser extensions.

These are just a few of the top VPNs we felt are worth exploring. As with everything in the wonderful world of technology, things move fast and changes can happen in a blink. If you come across something better, let us know! Meanwhile, happy exploring!

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I've narrowed down your search for the best VPN service in 2019. If you're looking for the best VPN service for travelers, click to learn more!

Finding the best VPN service is a tough but I've made it easy I have the top 6 VPN services with both pros and cons. Click to learn more!

Author: Geneva B.

Geneva Bell is a digital marketer and business coach. She enjoys traveling and considers herself a foodie. **THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

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