Best VPN of 2019: Our Top 5

5 Best VPNs of 2019

With so many different VPN services on the market — all promising to keep you anonymous and secure — it can be challenging to find the best VPN that fits your needs.

After countless hours spent testing dozens of VPN services, the 5 services below are the best VPNs I’ve seen so far. Each of them delivers fast speed, online privacy, and unblocks your favorite sites from anywhere in the world.

So, without wasting your time any further, let’s help you find the best VPN service of 2019!

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is my number one pick and here’s why:

They’re one of the higher-end providers. The VPN is simple, speedy, and its features truly justify the price. It’s also lag-free with a staggering network of servers in 94 countries. You will get access to Netflix US, and if you run into any problem, their support system is quite fast and efficient.

The software comes with SmartDNS, OpenVPN support, AES-256 encryption, auto-correct, and a kill switch. Torrenting is easy, and you can also play online. However, you can only install it on three devices, which is a little disappointing if you ask me. That said, the client is smooth and intuitive. While the $13/month plan is expensive, the bi-annual subscription is set at $60, and $100 for the annual.

ExpressVPN keeps no logs or DNS queries. Although it’s beyond the 14 eyes, the headquarters in the British Virgin Islands is somewhat of a gray zone.

Key features — At a glance

  • Simple cross-platform client
  • Good speeds for streaming, gaming
  • Zero logs, OpenVPN, solid encryption, kill switch
  • Unlimited bandwidth for P2P
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • 30-day refund policy

2. NordVPN

If you’re someone like me who prefers privacy over anything, NordVPN is where you should be. It boasts a nicely designed interface and features a nifty search function that makes everything so much easier. I love how they sorted their servers into Ultra-secure and Ultra-fast, making it ultra-convenient.

NordVPN offers maximum privacy with headquarters in Panama, which is well beyond the 14 eyes. This means you can count on zero logs policy. Also, the software is packed with everything that makes a VPN robust — 256-bit AES encryption, OpenVPN, DNS leak protection, VPN into Tor, a kill switch, double encryption — well, you get the point.

It’s fast with 830+ server locations, making it an excellent choice for online gaming, P2P file-sharing, and HD streaming. The double encryption, however, will slow things down a little.

NordVPN has apps for all popular platforms. You can use it on up to 6 devices for $70/annual, $42/bi-annual, and $12/month, which is great value for the money. Also, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Key features — At a glance

  • Panama-based, no logs, reliable encryption
  • Impressive server coverage
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • HD Streaming, P2P, unlimited bandwidth
  • Netflix US/UK

3. PureVPN

With 750 servers in 141 countries and a sheer volume of toggles, tools, and features, PureVPN is among my favorite list of VPNs. There’s a stealth browsing mode, secure FTP access, online banking security, multiple protocols, and more. They’re based in Hong Kong — the no data retention haven.

Furthermore, there’s a transparent privacy policy, OpenVPN protocol, and 256-bit AES encryption — they do log the bandwidth used and the time you connect to a server. Other than that, they log nothing but may leak DNS. You can enjoy up to 5 simultaneous connections and unblock streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. However, speeds may drop during peak hours.

As far as pricing goes, it’s among the most affordable VPNs on the list. You get a 3-day free trial and a 7-day money-back guarantee. There are three plans including $12/month, $9/month on bi-annual, and $3/month for a 2-year subscription.

Key features — At a glance

  • Affordable
  • HQ in Hong Kong
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Supports split tunneling
  • Accepts gift cards

4. IPVanish

IPVanish is an excellent choice for beginners, but I wouldn’t say it lacks in features. It’s robust yet easy-to-install and even has a Simple Mode. The VPN doesn’t log your connection details or data, and its client comes complete with OpenVPN, a kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and SOCKS5 web proxy.

The performance is lag-free for the most part as they have hundreds of servers across the world. When it comes to Netflix US, however, some servers won’t unblock it. Luckily, you can have a brief chat with the tech support, and they’ll fix it for you.

It works great with P2P torrenting, online gaming, and HD streaming as the bandwidth is not capped. You’ll get up to 5 simultaneous connections for $10/month, or $6.49/month for the annual plan. All subscription plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. The only drawback is that they’re US-based, so the surveillance and data retention laws may apply. But they keep no logs, which is a plus.

Key features — At a glance

  • Great support
  • DPI protection
  • Good speeds
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 5 simultaneous connections

5. Buffered VPN

Buffered is a Hungary-based VPN provider, meaning no data retention laws. Besides, you’re getting P2P support, zero-logs policy, sleek apps for Windows, Linux, Mac, and iOS that ship with the DNS leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and OpenVPN — you’re in for the real deal here.

Sadly, the server coverage isn’t that impressive. However, the speeds are quite decent as the servers are located in useful places. I like their Port Discovery Mode. It lets you safely connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a password.

You get a 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions, and the annual plan kicks in at $93, the bi-annual at $57, and the one-month at $12.50.

Key features — At a glance

  • Intuitive UI
  • Post-Discovery Mode
  • No logs
  • Affordable annual plan

How I Picked and Rated the Best VPN of 2019

I follow a number of steps to keep my recommendations on the best VPN up-to-date. These steps include running speed tests, testing access to popular streaming services, trying them out on every app and even reaching out to customers with surveys.

My top picks have features like top-notch privacy, transparent logging policies, easy installation, friendly customer care, and above all, ease of use.

Why You Should Use Paid Service

The answer is straightforward. Free VPNs offer small bandwidth, lesser server locations, restricted speeds, and sketchy privacy rules. They constantly try to convert you into a paid customer. There have been instances of them selling your browser history to advertisers.

On the other hand, a premium VPN invests a fortune in privacy and security. They try their best to retain customers by offering quality services. Therefore, I would always suggest a premium VPN over a free one.

FAQs — How to Choose the Best VPN?

Does it have servers in your desired locations?

The best VPNs will have hundreds of servers in every continent as their performance gets better with the increase in the number of servers and their proximity to your real-world location.

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

Most VPN software are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Some even run on connected devices like streaming devices.

How many connections will it allow at once?

The very best contenders in this field allow more than 5 simultaneous connections. Some don’t even have a limit.

What about the connection, encryption and security features?

Don’t be swayed by military or bank-grade encryption talk. A VPN kill switch is what you should mainly look for as it will come in handy if your connection drops suddenly.

What is its logging policy?

Look for a VPN that doesn’t log your IP address and limits the timestamps to just the dates.

What about the cost and refund policies?

The longer your subscription, the more you’ll be saving. A 12-month plan with a long refund period is just the perfect combo.

Conclusion

VPN helps you stay safe when online and keeps your private stuff away from prying eyes. Picking a VPN service has never been an easy task. With hundreds of available options out there, choosing the best provider means striking the right balance between services, usability, and pricing.

With that in mind, I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I believe my list of top 5 VPNs of 2019 will help you choose the best one for your needs.