Overview Top VPN Services 2017
In the table below you will first find a concise summary of our favorite VPN providers. Subsequently we will discuss each VPN service in depth and list the advantages and features they have to offer.
Best premium VPN. Ultra fast, reliable and secure. Easy to use and 24/7 support.
Blazing fast VPN, perfect for downloading. With unlimited bandwidth and interesting privacy extras.
Very affordable VPN, particularly when opting for the 2-year package
Why would you need a VPN?
Every time you use the internet, you unknowingly leave behind a lot of digital traces of your online behavior. A simple example of this is the fact that your internet service provider can see exactly what websites you visited and what data you send or receive on your smartphone, tablet or computer. The IP address that has been appointed to you by the internet service provider facilitates the fact that your online behavior can be tracked by companies, governments, advertisers, websites and hackers. Also other people who are using the same WiFi network could have insights in what websites you visited. Your location, browsing habits and internet history; everything can be traced.
By using a VPN you ensure that intelligence agencies, companies like Google and Facebook, your internet service provider, your co-residents and your employer can no longer monitor your online behavior. The VPN connection encrypts and masks your internet traffic for these external parties. At the same time, the VPN provides extra protection against cyber criminals who intend to intercept certain data, like financial information or e-mails. And finally, a VPN enables you to artificially change your location so geographic restrictions on the internet can be circumvented. Think of limitations and restrictions one may encounter when accessing services like Spotify, YouTube or Netflix. A VPN also circumvents government censorship on the internet, as it allows you to connect to browse the internet as if you were in another country (by connecting to a foreign VPN server).
Choosing a VPN provider
What VPN should I choose? A lot of people struggle with this question, simply because there are so many options. To offer you some guidance in the maze of VPN providers we created a list with the best VPN providers of 2017 according to our review standards. Every single one of the providers on this list has a unique package with associated advantages. When selecting these providers we took into account the reliability, stability of the servers, price, speed and ease of use.
Because VPN providers continuously update their policies, server network, prices and features, we aim to adjust our top 5 VPN list regularly to reflect these changes. We’ll now discuss our top 5 providers in detail. Subsequently we will elucidate the criteria we used to compose this top 5.
The best VPN providers of 2017
When you value online privacy and security in this digital era, then using a Virtual Private Network is absolutely recommended. A VPN connection encrypts and secures your internet traffic and enables you to artificially change your IP address and geographic location. By doing so, you can bypass internet censorship and digital restrictions, whilst surfing completely anonymously. Nobody will be able to see what websites you visit or what you do online. But what are the best VPN providers on the market? And what specific advantages and features do they offer? In this overview we discuss the best VPN services that are currently available in a detailed manner.
1. ExpressVPN | Best all-round Premium VPN
ExpressVPN is one of the largest and known premium VPN providers. Their service offers everything you could wish for in a VPN. You will profit from a huge network of excellent, fast and stable servers, as well as strong 256-bit encryption of your internet traffic. All servers allow anonymous downloading via torrent sites and p2p file sharing networks. And ExpressVPN grants you access to the US version Netflix, anywhere in the world.
The apps for Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac are easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. Customer support is world class. All these features combined have led to ExpressVPN accumulating a user database of hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers. They enjoy a reputation of offering a very solid and reliable VPN service, but we have to remark that the high quality of the service also entails that ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than many competitors. However, ExpressVPN is currently offering a temporary special deal, giving you 3 additional months for free when you sign up for an annual subscription. You can try out this deal without any risk, because there is a 30-day money-back-guarantee. If you wish to cancel your subscription with ExpressVPN for any reason, you will get a complete refund. No questions asked and no justification needed! We can conclude by saying ExpressVPN in our view is currently the best all-round VPN out there.
2. NordVPN | Strongest encryption a VPN can offer
If you are looking for the most secure encryption for your data traffic, then NordVPN is the VPN for you. They offer 256-bit encryption, a double VPN option (routing traffic through at least two VPN servers for additional security) and protection against malware and known phishing sites with a new feature called CyberSec. NordVPN has proven to be a reliable provider with a comprehensive server network, advanced encryption and competitive pricing. The head office is located in Panama, ensuring that NordVPN has no legal obligations to keep any data logs of its users. If you really value privacy, NordVPN might be the best pick for you.
NordVPN is also a good VPN for Hulu and Netflix. And downloading torrents is possible through dedicated servers. You will be able to connect with 6 devices simultaneously on 1 NordVPN subscription, which is a big plus. And NordVPN supports Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iPhone devices. Last but not least, there is also a 30-day refund policy, in case you would change your mind after signing up for a subscription.
3. IPVanish | Blazing fast VPN, perfect for downloading
IPVanish is one seriously fast VPN. Of all VPNs we have tested so far, IPVanish really stands out in terms of connection speed. IF a high download speed is something you particularly value in a VPN, then you’ll probably end up with IPVanish. Adding the large assortment of servers and the advanced encryption and security possibilities, you can conclude that IPVanish is a real premium, tier 1 VPN provider.
One cool feature is that IPVanish allows you to change your IP address whilst surfing the internet. You can arrange for this to happen automatically at certain time intervals. Five people (or devices) can connect at the same time using one IPVanish subscription. IPVanish does not keep user logs, and a 7-day money-back guarantee is offered. There are applications available for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows. The apps look quite similar regardless of the device or operating system you are using, which is a very nice feature.
Only caveat we have to make regarding IPVanish is that Netflix is not supported. If you are intending to use a VPN to watch Netflix, other VPN options, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, are more suitable. But, as said before, if you really value speed, then IPVanish is the VPN for you, beating every other VPN in our top 5.
4. GOOSE VPN | Easy to use and qualitative VPN
How would we describe GOOSE VPN in just a couple of words? Easy, simple, child’s play, piece of cake! GOOSE VPN is really characterized by its ease of use. Everyone will be able to comprehend and use this VPN service. The interface just shows the most important options and information. Within a few clicks you are connected to the VPN server of your choice. Everything functions exceptionally well and intuitive. GOOSE VPN is becoming quite popular, because their service is perfect for the large group of customers who wish for a simple, qualitative VPN without too many complex menus and settings. GOOSE VPN is very suited to download torrents anonymously, for instance with BitTorrent. And Netflix USA works when connected with some of the USA servers.
For customers that value ease of use and simplicity, GOOSE is definitely one of the better VPN options out there. By using the discount code PRIVACY when you subscribe, you can save 30% on the Unlimited packages.
5. PureVPN | Very cheap and decent
PureVPN is a cheap and decent VPN provider, with a large server network in the United States, Canada and England. In total the company owns more than 500 servers in 141 countries. Combining this large server network, the competitive pricing and the ease of use, make PureVPN a very interesting option for those on a tight budget. Downloading with BitTorrent, uTorrent and other P2P programs is supported on the special P2P servers.
PureVPN also offers the option of a firewall and a dedicated IP address. The software is clear and easy to use, and works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. There is 24/7 customer support and the USA version of Netflix worked when we tested it. And you’ll be able to connect with 5 different devices at any one time.
Some considerations: How to determine what’s the best VPN?
Free VPN versus paid VPN
In addition to paid VPN services there are also many free VPN applications available. It is however important to realize that truly free generally does not exist when it comes to VPNs. Companies aim to make money, and there is always a revenue model behind a free VPN service. One way of making money could be to use your personal data for advertisement purposes. In a recent study around 300 free VPN applications were tested. The findings show that free VPN services often demand access to all kinds of unnecessary information on your device, like contact details, media files and social media. Furthermore, the encryption of free VPN services is regularly not working properly. And approximately 35% of free VPN apps contained malware.
Other limitations of free VPN apps include data limits, speed limits, download restrictions, advertisements and waiting times. Taken all of this into account, it is generally recommended to choose a paid VPN service. The prices of VPN subscriptions have decreased the past couple of years. For several US dollars a month you can find a qualitative, fast and reliable VPN service which you can use with the entire family.
Privacy and Logging
Not every VPN has to abide to the same laws and regulations. Some providers are forced to store user logs and information, or to limit certain internet traffic (like torrent downloads). Therefore, it matters where the VPN provider is situated, because the laws, rights and obligations regarding internet and privacy differ per country. ExpressVPN and NordVPN score extra points for instance, since their main offices are located in the British Virgin Islands and Panama respectively. Data retention laws and privacy regulations are very favorable there for consumers who value online privacy. This means these providers are not forced to keep user logs.
When composing our top 5 of best VPN providers we had a thorough look at the pricing of the different VPN services. More expensive does not always equal a higher quality. With most VPN providers, you will get a significant discount if you subscribe for a longer period (e.g. opting for a 1-year subscription instead of a monthly subscription).
Features and characteristics
We paid special attention to specific features when judging the various VPN providers for our top 5 VPN list. The size of the server network and the different VPN protocols offered are important. We also looked at ease of use and the quality of client support. The presence of a kill switch earns a provider extra points, as it cuts internet traffic the second the VPN connection is suddenly lost. This prevents data leaks. Our ideal VPN provider knows no data limits or speed limits, and downloading via torrent networks should be allowed. Finally, we looked at the stability of the servers and the connection speed. By including all these factors we were able to construct our top 5 VPN list for 2017.
Of the dozens of VPN services we have tested, we chose our favorite ones to form this top 5. Fact remains that there is a huge selection of potential VPN providers to choose from. With our overview we intend to assist you in making a well informed choice. Whatever VPN provider you might choose, using a VPN is always a wise decision in order to protect your online privacy and safety. Our top 5 summarized one more time: