- VPN is no more a fashion statement or geek’s world. Every one using internet needs a VPN to protect identity online.
- VPN buying can be really confusing, even if you are from technical background.
- VPN plans are really confusing to understand and buy.
elcome to 2020. While cybersecurity is most relevant in 2020, the role of VPN in normal life is not to be explained again. But finding best and suitable VPN service is not that easy. There are hundreds of VPNs available in the market and everyone claims to be best.
Our leanshelf IT and Cybersecurity team so far tested and analyzed 351+ VPNs for bench-marking different parameters like Security, Safety, Usability, Price and Speed to access. After long run testing and our own benchmark process we have compiled a new list of 10 top VPN services in 2020.
We also analyzed the financial transaction data from interaction with different search engine companies like Bing, Google and financial companies like Paypal for verification our test results. We also blacklisted many VPN services that are not transparent about the data and policy.
We also observed the there are many small VPN also which are good in their infrastructure and services but they are still in the invisible in market while other bigger companies have good marketing budget.
We also found that some VPN providers who claims their strong encryption policy and customer service model in their advertisement are not up to the mark in the real cases. Some of them even not updated their security policy in last some months – that seems quite dangerous.
We can honestly say that after passing lot of checkpoints and quite long testing process, we’re quite confident that top 10 VPNs we mention will help your systems to provide safety, protect data, and give you high speed and fast streaming speeds while using.
Here is list of Top 10 VPN services we are going to cover in this post:
What is VPN?
VPN is acronym of Virtual Private Network. The VPN is basically decentralized software setup. While access the internet this works as a broker. You connect with the Broker which is a VPN and the VPN takes you to the Global Internet. That means the VPN helps you to connect your PC, mobile or tablets connection to a global remote internet which is VPN server. When you try to go to the internet from your web browser or any apps you are using from smart phone or computer, it basically sends all traffic to that remote VPN server. That VPN server takes you to the global internet. If the server is located in a different country, the other website which you are trying to access will see you are coming from that country.
When To Use VPN
You can use VPN whenever you need special security measures while accessing Internet. Basically you can do below things while using VPN –
- Accessing different websites or portals without geographic restriction.
- You can access video and streaming audio or video from different location.
- Watch Netflix or Hulu Services from different country.
- Don’t reveal your data or identity while accessing any other open Wi-Fi networks.
- Don’t reveal your true location to any location aware app while in anywhere.
- Don’t reveal your original IP address or location while becoming a part of torrenting.
- Don’t reveal your identity while accessing the Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin from nywhere in the world.
Why VPN is Must In India for 2020
The internet and app driven technology access are becoming very common in the lifestyle of Indian. The penetration of internet in Indian Society is happening in double digit rate. Bio-metric based user verification is very common these days. Not only that, India is having Aadhar card system, a bio-metric systems which is world’s largest database in world. In recent time during political election etc the Government also started surveillance on Online forums like Facebook, WhatsApp. Also, India is becoming world’s largest digital economy after the demonetization took place in 2016. People are using online bank transaction for doing most of the daily life expenses. So online hackers are also very active in Indian market. Beyond the surveillance incident, there are many websites which are globally available are not accessible in India. You should aware that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can access anything what you are looking. They also sale those data to other companies like Google, FaceBook and other companies. So to protect yourself in this situation, the relevance of the VPN is very prominent. Also, likely if you work as digital marketer, freelance professional, or web service provider then you can prefer to use VPN to monitor the website’s traffic, understand your market from global point of view. Basically you are just one step away from becoming a global citizen and keep your safety while accessing web and digital financial systems.
List of Best VPN Service Providers in 2020
As we discussed earlier, in this post we shall going to give a new, updated list of VPN services. Here is the list below :
Number of servers: More than 3,000 | Supported Speed: Unlimited | VPN locations: 148 cities in 94 countries | IP addresses: More than 30,000+ | Simultaneous Maximum devices : 5 | Live Chat Support: Yes | Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
ExpressVPN is the VPN service provided by the company Express VPN International Ltd. It was established in 2009 and is operated by a British Virgin Islands-based company. It offers a variety of features with a large spread of server locations. ExpressVPN is marketed as a security and privacy tool that helps in masking the IP addresses of the users and encrypting user’s web traffic. ExpressVPN has released applications for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS etc.
Features of Express VPN
- High security
- Variety of platforms supported
- No DNS leaks
- 24×7 assistance
- No logs policy
Pros and Cons of ExpressVPN
Pros of ExpressVPN
1. A huge number of server locations : The ExpressVPN maintains the server in around 148 cities across 94 different countries.
2. Allows torrenting : Peer-to-peer file sharing is allowed through this VPN. Hence this enables the user for torrenting Videos.
3. Payment Methods : The company accepts payment in credit card, debit cards and apart from this cryptocurrency (bitcoin) is also accepted.
4. Presence of a Kill Switch : ExpressVPN has a kill switch which is a network lock that helps in keeping your identity secure while accessing the internet.
5. A major feature- Split Tunneling :This feature helps you to access the internet at the same time use another device on the network.
Cons of ExpressVPN
1. High cost: ExpressVPN has high costs when it is compared with its counterparts.
2. Only 3 Connections: ExpressVPN allows connection of only 3 devices which is lower than other VPNs.
Number of servers: More than 5600 | Supported Speed: Unlimited | VPN locations: 58 | IP addresses: More than 30,000+ | Simultaneous Maximum devices : 6 | Live Chat Support: Yes | Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
It is a personal VPN service provider that helps to create a secure connection to another network over the internet.NordVPN has a desktop as well as a mobile application. It has a desktop application for all types of operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.
The mobile application is used for both Android devices and iOS devices. The NordVPN allows securing up to 6 devices with one account which can include smartTV and routers.
Features of NordVPN
- Ultimate Security
- Access anywhere
- No logs policy
- Compatible with all devices
- Blocks Malware
- Use effortlessly
- 24×7 assistance
- Double DNS
- Multiple Protocol Support
Pros and Cons of NordVPN
Pros of NordVPN
1. Ultimate security and privacy
The headquarters of nordVPN is located in Panama where there are no data retention laws and the government never carries out Internet surveillance. This helps the NordVPN to avoid storing any logs of the users, which is great for your own privacy.
2. Connection using double VPN
The security increases furthermore because the destination IP is encrypted twice. First, your device is connected to one VPN server which is then connected to another VPN server before getting to the required destination. Hence, the protection is doubled.
3. Connects 6 devices present on different platforms
NordVPN allows a simultaneous connection up to six devices per account. Today people use more than one gadget which includes smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets etc. A variety of platforms are supported so you don’t need to worry at all.
4. Great price offer and high speed
The NordVPN provides a higher speed in almost all geographic locations. The plan for monthly and yearly is quite cheap when compared to other VPN. The VAT is charged as per the country you are living in.
5. Variety of payments are accepted
NordVPN accepts cash payments in many countries. Apart from cash it also accepts three variety of cryptocurrency which includes Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple
Cons of NordVPN
1. Slow server and app connection
NordVPN sometimes takes 14-30 secs to establish a connection using its desktop application. This doesn’t include the time the client takes to load.
2. Slow in few geographic locations
The NordVPN had great performance across all the geographic location but the speed recorded in Malaysia and a few other locations was quite slow.
3. Torrenting supported only on few servers
All the servers of NordVPN do not support peer-to-peer file sharing. This part is not at all user-friendly as torrenting was not possible on all servers.
- $3.49/month with 3-year plan,
- $4.99/month with a 2-year agreement;
- $11.95/month when billed monthly;
- $6.99/month when billed annually
CyberGhost is one of the most powerful tools to ensure a secure online life. It has a smart emphasis on video streaming and is backed with a powerful simple app with many strong features. CyberGhost offers a limited trial period after which the charges are on a monthly subscription basis or charged offline. It provides anonymity to its users through a new IP address and an anonymous server to connect to the internet.
Features of CyberGhost
- Access blocked websites
- Allow region-locked gaming
- Unblock streaming services
- Safe peer-to-peer torrenting
- Secure bank transactions
- Protects digital identity
- No logs policy
Pros and cons of CyberGhost
Pros of CyberGhost
1. Servers in all region of the world
It has over 3000 servers in the whole world. It provides a considerable amount of speed in all of them.
2. Unique security features
CyberGhost allows many unique security features such as forced HTTPS, blocks online tracking and ad blocking as well as virus protection.
3. Multiple platform support
CyberGhost can be used in multiple platforms that include Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, etc.
4. Most stable speeds
CyberGhost offers fast blazing speeds and the servers have a lot of potentials to handle all the data traffic coming in their way.
5. Ideal pricing for long term plans
CyberGhost offers the best and the most ideal pricing when it comes to the long-term race. Though it is a bit costly on a monthly basis and has no contract the cost is quite ideal for the long term.
Cons of CyberGhost
1. Lack of additional encryption
CyberGhost lacks in additional encryption sometimes due to which there are security issues. There are a few privacy issues that have been noticed in CyberGhost.
2. Lack of 24×7 customer support
Though the website of CyberGhost mentions that it provides assistance to its customers 24×7, it sometimes lacks in providing instant support when required.
Surfshark is relatively new in the field of VPN. Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands where there are no data retention laws. It is established in 2018 but still has managed to establish an impressive network of servers. It has a high-level encryption and supports many platforms such as windows, macOS, Android, iOS etc.
Features of SurfShark
- Unlimited simultaneous connection
- High-level encryption
- Peer-to-peer and torrenting is allowed
- Support almost all the platforms
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC, and Hulu
Pros and Cons of SurfShark
Pros of SurfShark
1. Strict no-logs policy
Often your internet activity is kept using logs that are stored by the server. Surfshark keeps your internet activity a completely anonymous one.
2. Multiple Hop connections
Surfshark offers the option of routing through two VPN servers simultaneously which increases your anonymity even further.
3. High and stable speed
Surfshark provides high and stable speed in almost all of its servers present in different geographic locations.
4. Strong Presence of global server
Surfshark has more than 1000 servers in more than 61 countries which makes its presence in the global servers an effective one.
5. Easy streaming of Geo-Blocked contents
This is one of the best qualities we look for a VPN that it gives us access to geo-blocked content. This is easily done by Surfshark.
Cons of SurfShark
1. The weak presence among people
Surfshark doesn’t have its presence in social media platforms which makes it quite unpopular
2. Below par Customer service
The customer service of Surfshark is quite dodgy in nature. They sometimes are unable to provide accurate solutions for the problem provided by the customer.
PrivateVPN is a zero-logs VPN provider based in the country Sweden. It has a firewall-based system kill switch and a per-app kill switch too, which is pretty neat. Full DNS leak protection for both IPV4 and IPV6 is built into its client. PrivateVPN allows a seven days trial so you can easily get an idea of how effectively PrivateVPN works. It even supports BBC iPlayer and iTV which most of the other counterparts don’t allow.
Features of PrivateVPN
1. Excellent customer service
2. Presence of HTTPS and SOCKS5 proxies
3. Serves in more than 60 countries
4. Available for multiple platforms
5. Kill switch and auto-connect
Pros and Cons of PrivateVPN
Pros of PrivateVPN
1. No logging policy
As it is a Sweden based company the Swedish government privacy laws help them in keeping no traffic logs
2. 6 simultaneous connection
It can provide a simultaneous connection to 6 devices all having a unique IP address.
3. Servers in more than 60 countries
The global presence of PrivateVPN allows access to geo-blocked content. It has a presence in popular 60 countries around the world.
4. Kill Switch Feature
It automatically suspends the internet connection and prevents any type of data leakage.
5. Torrenting and Peer-to-Peer transfer
They offer one port open for service which is very useful in torrenting. PrivateVPN offers friendly peer to peer transfer of files.
Cons of PrivateVPN
1. Performance issues in mobile clients
The PrivateVPN has many connection issues with the customers using mobile phones and tablets.
2. No live chat available
There is no option of live chat on the website of PrivateVPN. This lacks in solving the problems of the customers.
3. No split tunneling facility
PrivateVPN lacks a split tunneling feature when compared to other VPN service providers.
IPVanish is a commercial based VPN based in the United States. It is one of the unique VPN services that provide a simultaneous connection for up to 10devices. It masks the user’s original IP address through a decoy IP. It provides end to end encryption. It was first released in 2012 but its ownership changed in 2017. It has desktop clients such as windows, macOS as well as apps for android, iOS etc.
Features of IPVanish
- Great customer support
- Own infrastructure
- Good Security
- Kill switch is available
- Available for multiple platforms
- Server availability at remote areas
Pros and Cons of IPVanish
Pros of IPVanish
1. Available in almost all geographic location
It has more than 1000 servers in the world and covers more than 60 countries around the globe.
2. Strict No logs
No internet activity is recorded as the logs are not been stored so officially it has a no-log policy.
3. The kill switch
This feature is active in IPVanish as it disconnects the connection to the internet as soon as the VPN connection is lost.
4. The choice of protocols
IPVanish supports a variety of protocols so it can be used as per the necessity of the user. This makes IPVanish user-friendly
5. Affordable pricing
When we compare IPVanish with other VPN services then we see that the long term, as well as the short-term pricing of IPVanish, is quite affordable and low.
Cons of IPVanish
1. Privacy issue
As reviewed by many customers that though IPVanish has a strict no-log policy sometimes their data had been leaked.
2. Poor Client-side application
The client-side application has a very poor design and that cannot be handled by many users who had no idea about VPN services and though it is not user-friendly at all.
3. The unusual location of servers found
Sometimes there has been noticed that the location in which the VPN services are being provided many strange phenomena has been noticed due to a variety of geo-location.
7. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot shield is a public VPN service developed by AnchorFree in the year 2005. It is used for end to end encryption and is based in Silicon Valley. It was released for Windows and macOS initially and then it was extended for android and iOS. It has many servers across the world and so it helps the users to maintain his or her anonymity. It helps to unblock the contents and get access to those contents which are not available in many geographic locations.
Features Of HotSpot Shield
- Premium VPN Servers.
- Private Browsing.
- Unlimited Content Access.
- Malware Protection.
- Unlimited Bandwidth.
- Personal Data security
- Wi-Fi security
Pros and Cons Of HotSpot Shield VPN
Pros of HotSpot Shield VPN
1. Platform friendly
The Hotspot Shield VPN can be used for many platforms such as Windows, Mac, chrome, android etc.
2. No logs
The data of the users are kept anonymous that is the VPN service offers a complete no-logging policy for the users.
3. High and stable speed
Hotspot Shield provides high and stable speed in almost all of its servers present in different geographic locations.
4. Global Presence of server
The servers of hotspot shields are present globally in almost all the continents and a dozen of countries.
5. Presence of a Kill Switch
The HotspotShield has a kill switch which is a network lock that helps in keeping your identity secure while accessing the internet.
Cons of HotSpot Shield VPN
1. Poor customer service
The customer care service is often not giving clear answers that is though it mentions 24×7 support they are unable to clear many doubts of the users.
2. Privacy issue
There have been cases in which data has been leaked due to the absence of a double VPN.
UltraVPN is relatively young VPN which is owned by Network Connect. Network Connect also has other version of VPNs like Privacy Web or SafeVPN. The UltraVPN comes with basic features like OpenVPN support along with AES-256 bit encryption model. This has a kill switch to terminate internet connection if the VPN drops. This also comes with Zero Logging Policy as they claim.
The UltraVPN today has more than 100+ servers in different parts of world with more than 50 countries.During our testing we found that this can unblock the services like Hulu, Netflix etc. But like Hotspot Shield this also keeps some logs. If your requirement is complete anonymity then you should not choose this VPN.
As we see that the customer service is really good and having many options. You can even contact with customer service agents over telephone.
Features of UltraVPN
- 100+ Servers are available in over 50 countries
- Supports OpenVPN and also AES-256 encryption
- 24/7 live chat support and also telephonic support.
- Supported Apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Firestick
- Killswitch on both desktop apps
- Unblock Netflix US, Hulu.
- 7-day free trial (no card needed)
- 30-day-money-back guarantee
Pros and Cons of UltraVPN
Pros of UltraVPN
- Easy Setup – Anyone can easily setup and use the UltraVPN. You can get supported apps for all major operating systems like Windows 7/10, Mac, Android, iOS.
- High and stable speed – UltraVPN provides high and stable speed in almost all of its servers present in different geographic 50+ locations.
- Global Presence of server – The 100+ servers of UltraVPN are present globally in almost all the continents and 50+ countries.
- Presence of a Kill Switch – The UltraVPN has a kill switch
- Advanced Security Option – UltraVPN comes with option for several proxy setting configurations, this has compatibility with HTTP proxy servers, supports 256-bit encryption and has secure firewall.
- Torrents and Streaming : You can unblock Netflix, Hulu etc services and also this allows Torrenting and P2P connections.
- Good Customer Service – This has good customer service option you can even get help from mobile phone also.
Cons of UltraVPN
- Speed Issue – This can be Can be slow and this depends on the server you are using and traffic
- Limited protection in countries that are part of 5-Eyes and 13-Eyes agreements
- Wall of China – UltraVPN Does not work in China.
If you are looking for VPN service which is based on European region, thne VyprVPN can be good option. The VyprVPN provider is basically based in Switzerland. They claim to provide fast, reliable, and secure VPN to the users.
The VyprVPN has many good features like to support unlimited bandwidth, 73 server locations, secure DNS servers, over 20, 000 IPs, a kill switch, and multiple automatic connect options.
VyprVPN claims to have an excellent proprietary technology and operates on virtually all devices including Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, Android apps, multiple routers, and smart TVs. The platform manages its own hardware, software, VPN networks, and doesn’t rent servers from third parties.
VyprVPN – Features
- Encryption Model – High-end AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data
- Parallel Connection – 5 simultaneous connections in the premium plan
- Global Presence – 700+ servers in 70+ locations
- One KillSwitch – Yes
- Customer Support – Offers 24/7 customer support
- Apps Presence – Mac Family, Windows, Chrome, Linux, Firefox
- Payment Model – Credit cards, PayPal, Alipay
- Free trial – 3 days
- Data usage – Unlimited bandwidth in the premium plan
- No log policy -Yes, it does not maintain Logs
Pros and Cons of VyprVPN
- Good Commitment to users’ privacy and security
- More than 700+ servers worldwide
- Presence of 200,000+ IPs worldwide
- Good quality Chameleon protocol to protect from VPN blocking
- VPN Application support for all devices
- Supports Very Powerful and Strong encryption
- Provides Quite Fast and stable connection
- Presence of Kill switch
- Also Allows media streaming Netflix streaming
- They have their own servers
- Easy to use and User-friendly applications for all devices
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Good and Prompt 24/7/365 customer support
- The trial period is just for 3-days.
- Price is a bit on the expensive side
- The simultaneous connections are less than other competitors in the basic paid plan
- The limited number of payment options
- There no payment gateway with anonymous payment options
10. ZenMate VPN
ZenMate was started to be a free based VPN service provider. In recent years they started to provide Premium grade VPN services also for the customer globally. While we look for features in a VPN service, this may not be as the fully featured VPN service, but this can be considered as very cost effective.
The ZenMate VPN supportd IPSec IKEv2 & L2TP protocols in the free version. The premium version has the support with OpenVPN tunneling protocol.
But whereas most VPNs offer 256-bit AES encryption, but Zenmate has only support of 128-bit encryption. They claim to have 43 million users globally.
Features of ZenMate VPN
- Torrent and P2P allowed: Yes
- Main Head Office location: Berlin, Germany
- Number of servers: 300+
- Number of country locations: 29
- Price: $60 per year
- Supported VPN protocol: IPSec + L2TP
- Supported Data encryption: 2048-bit PSK/ESP
- Model Data authentication: AES 256/HMAC
- Supported Handshake encryption: IKEv2 sha256 with 4096-bit RSA
Pros and Cons of ZenMate VPN
- They provide 7-day free trial of a Premium version to test their product
- They support Cross-platform support
- They support Free browser extensions
- User friendly, Extremely easy to use
- This can unblock steaming services Netflix US and BBC iPlayer
- Has Kill Switch, DNS Leak Protection
- Only 14-day money-back guarantee
- Only Up to five simultaneous connections
- Minimal control of settings
- Quite Average speeds
- Their description is unclear when it comes to encryption and security methods
- Their Customer support is hard to reach
- Don’t support any anonymous payment methods
How do we benchmark and rank the VPN services
In market every VPN companies claim to be the best in world. This is actually very confusing while you planning to buy a VPN for yourself or for your company also. The parameters for checking and benchmark the VPN as a product are not so simple. Most of the VPN parameters are very much abstract to each other. This makes to compare one VPN service to another very difficult. After years of trying different services and also hosting VPN services in house and for our clients our technical team has compiled a list of very comprehensive list of VPNs. They have checked nearly 350+ VPN services which are available globally to create a report and define the basic parameters which everyone can understand to evaluate the VPN for yourself.
Lets look into the different parameters for this.
1. Privacy and Security
The main purpose of VPN is to provide privacy and security. While it comes to security the VPN can be claiming to support the best but in reality the situation can be different. VPN providers can use different hi-tech words around encryption methods for the security provider. But it is difficult to check their capability as user.
The easy way to look into the scenario is to check the “No Logs Policy” of the VPN provider. The no-logs policy is meant for your data and search history are not saved in the VPN providers system. This is what we consider as main and key criteria for the VPN services.
2. Bandwidth and Speed
The service of VPN is provided by adding an additional server or servers to provide you the internet. This may reduce the access speed of the internet but what should be as acceptable as practical scenario. The fastest VPN should not give any impact while the accessing the internet, torrent like P2P services or even for the streaming also. There should not be any lag for the streaming services.
3. Media Streaming
Multimedia streaming from different providers like Hulu, Netflix are major reason people are proffered to use the VPN services.This platforms often provide geographic specific content to the users. But using the right VPN services you should be able to unlock their geographic barrier and access the content from any country or continent without having any barrier.
4. Wall of China/Content Censorship
In many countries like China, UAE the government provides strict censor policy when it comes to access the global internet. There are many VPN providers who claim to be overcome these barriers by their services. In our testing process we carefully checked this parameters also.
There are also different parameters which are important to take consider to make decision to buy a VPN service. There are like Nearby Network availability, Multiple platform access, Easy to install, Easy to Setup and also the main other parameter like Price. We considered all important parameters while making the benchmark the VPNs and making their ranking.
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