In this article, we’re going to be featuring 8 of the most well-known VPN brands out there, to determine which of them would be the best VPN buy of 2020. We’ll have a look at the features provided by each service, giving you a good idea of what each has to offer, as well as how they differ from one another.
What is a VPN Service Provider?
The quick answer would be that a VPN Service incorporates several different layers of security and privacy measures that you can’t find with Internet security programs. Also, it’s a means by which you can do just about anything online while remaining anonymous or untraceable. Your real IP address isn’t visible to anyone who sees you online, even your ISP (Internet Service Provider). A nefarious actor online won’t be able to hack into your computer because they think you are in Amsterdam when you are in Phoenix, or vice versa. You can select one of hundreds of different places t0 show as your location. Hackers can’t get into your computer.
Why use a VPN Service?
This is one of those areas where ordinary people look at something such as a VPN service, and think to themselves, “I don’t do anything wrong or risqué online. Why would I need that?” You’d also hear things like, “What are they going to do? I’ve got nothing to hide!”
A VPN service isn’t there to mask undesirable people doing illegal or explicit things online. Instead, it’s to keep ordinary people safe from such types. We are living in a time where information is the new form of gold. Your information is available to the highest bidder when it comes to advertising, and is targeted by cybercriminals- whether you’re rich or poor.
On with the Best VPN buy of 2020
Just a quick note before we begin…
Every one of these companies has a 1-month price, as well as multiple month pricing that has enormous discounts. All are a little different in time and price-cuts from one another.
Because of this, I’ve only included the unaltered first-month pricing for each of them.
- 1 Month Price- $11.95
- 5454 Servers throughout 59 Countries
- No-logs Policy- The policy means that nothing you do is ever saved, collected, shared, or recorded.
- Uninterrupted Streaming
- Next-generation encryption- All your internet data is safe behind a wall of security, including for mobile.
- No Bandwidth Limitations
- Bandwidth Throttling Bypass
- One Account Protects up to 6 Devices
- Personal IP Protection
- IP Masking
- P2P Servers
- Double VPN Encryption- Hides your activity behind two servers instead of one.
- CyberSec- Blocks dangerous websites, malware, and blocks ads. (Can be toggled on or off.)
- Browser Extensions- Can be applied to your favorite browsers.
- DNS Leak Checker- Prevents openings for your traffic to wind up being intercepted by a third party.
- 24/7 Help and Support
NordVPN is based out of the Republic of Panama and was formed in 2012. They currently enjoy a customer base of over 12 million users. They’ve rightfully earned their reputation of being one of the best VPN’s out there today.
The only real complaints that have arisen about NordVPN is that some of their servers differ in speed than others. That said, with over 5,000 servers worldwide, you can always find a server that runs better than others. As far as their overall service goes, NordVPN continues to serve satisfied customers.
- 1 Month Price- $10.95
- 2,000 Servers in over 140 Countries
- High-Speed VPN Servers
- Military-Grade Encryption
- Unrestricted Bandwidth Access- No limitations on your media usage.
- Automatic VPN Kill Switch (Network Lock)- If your VPN service goes down, your internet connection is severed.
- Split Tunneling- Provides more convenience while managing your online activities.
- 24/7 Help and Support Service
- Up to 10 Multi Logins- Protects up to 10 devices under one account.
- Secure Wi-Fi- Places security protocols to protect your home Wi-Fi services.
- Based in Hong Kong, and not required to store any of your data.
- Port Forwarding- Access your service or devices from anywhere in the world.
- Dedicated IP
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and was established in 2006. They’ve served over 3 million customers throughout the years, and continue to run strong. To date, Pure VPN has been deemed to be among the most trustworthy VPN’s available.
Reviews for PureVPN are generally good, but some people find it difficult to work with the customer service reps (possibly due to language barriers or translation software). Also, their app didn’t work correctly on some devices. China presents challenges to this company, so it is a possibility that complaints might spawn from within the Chinese borders.
- 1 Month Price- $11.95
- Over 1,700 Servers in over 63 Countries
- Unlimited Device Support
- 24/7 Help and Support Services
- CleanWeb- This is an ad blocker that eliminates phishing and malware.
- Whitelister- A VPN bypass system for whitelisted sites.
- No-Logs Policy- This means there’s no monitoring or recording of your activity in any way.
- Kill Switch- Kill Switch cuts off your internet connection if your VPN connection is interrupted.
- Camouflage Mode- Your use of a VPN remains a mystery to your ISP.
- MultiHop- This allows you to connect to two different VPN servers simultaneously.
- Private DNS & Leak Protection
- NoBorders Mode- Allows access to restricted areas.
- Hides your IP
- AES-256 – VPN Encryption (Which is used by the US Government.)
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands and launched for business in 2018. Although this is a relatively new company in comparison to its competition, users are impressed by the full range of features. Another thing that causes Surfshark to stick out of the crowd is the lack of limits relating to data use and limitless device usage.
The most significant drawback appears to be its support information, which seems to be more geared toward installation rather than any in-depth problem-solving. However, their 24/7 customer support chat is available to help you out, saving you time looking for articles that aren’t there yet.
- 1 Month Price- $12.95
- Over 700 Servers spread out in over 70 locations around the world.
- Supports up to Five Devices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- IP Address Protection
- Chameleon- With this feature, you gain access to regionally restricted or censored content.
- High-Speed Streaming through Updated Servers- All VyprVPN servers are owned by VyprVPN and updated accordingly.
- VyprDNS- This protects you from any DNS leaks or breaches that might occur.
- VyprVPN Cloud- This opens your own dedicated business VPN server.
- Public Wi-Fi Protection
- Kill Switch- Blocks all traffic from your internet or network if your VPN connection becomes compromised.
- No-Log Policy- VyprVPN will not log any of your activities.
The parent company of VyprVPN is Golden Frog and is based out of Switzerland. The two major products produced by Golden Frog are VyprVPN and OutFox, with OutFox being geared toward gaming network performance.
There have been a few reviews that complain about slow server speeds in the US and UK, but we’re not given detail into any of the factors involved. Though there may not be as many servers available as their larger counterparts, what VyprVPN does, it does well. This is particularly true when you’re talking about their Chameleon feature, which hides the fact that you’re even using a VPN.
- 1 Month Price- $5.99
- Servers in 7 Different Countries
- Ticketed Support System
- No App is required to use this service.
- IP Address Replacement- Changes your IP to avoid tracking to your original IP Address.
- 2048-bit Encryption- This protects all traffic that flows to and from your computer or other devices.
- Public Wi-Fi Protection
- Hidden24 can be used to avoid internet censorship and work around blocked traffic.
- High-Speed Connection
- No-Log System- Though they’re based in a country that can ask for records, none of your information is ever saved. In other words, there’s nothing to show.
- Unlimited Surfing- There is no cap on surfing the web, and no cap on devices.
Hidden24 was launched in 2006 and is currently based out of Sweden. They’ve concentrated on making this a basic and streamlined product, that has found a way to make the most out of the positive end of not using any apps. Hidden24 is the cheapest service in this list of VPN’s.
However, the lack of having any apps available make this product more difficult to use than the larger, more polished VPN’s. That coupled with an outdated ticketed customer support system, makes this a tough product for the novice to make the most of. Also, there are issues with a lack of platform support using Hidden24 on a few popular devices.
- 1 Month Price- $9.95
- Over 2,000 Servers in over 100 Countries
- 24/7 Customer Support
- 256-Bit Encryption
- Public Wi-Fi Security
- No-Logs Policy
- ISP Throttling Bypass
- Geo Restriction Bypass
- Internet Kill Switch
- Dedicated IP- This lets you whitelist IP addresses as an extra layer of security.
- Split Tunneling- This feature grants access to local and foreign content at the same time.
- IPv6 Leak Protection
- Secure DNS- Prevents DNS leaks.
- Multiple Protocols- This allows you to create a military-grade level of protection over your network connection.
- DDoS Protection
- Up to 5 devices can be logged in simultaneously.
- Secure Downloading- Ivacy scans and removes threats from downloads in real-time.
Ivacy VPN was established in 2007 and is currently located in Singapore. They claim to be the first VPN to introduce “Split Tunneling” to the market in 2010. Their software has been deemed easy to use and works well for the majority of their customers.
There are a few complaints about Ivacy that are worth mentioning. Their return policy is sketchy at best. They boast a 30-day money-back guarantee until you read the fine print. Then you learn that it’s a seven-day guarantee- if you meet specific criteria. If you don’t, there’s no money back. Though poor judgment in customer service might not speak to the quality of the software, it does tend to sour the grapes a little.
- 1 Month Price- $12.95
- Over 3,000 Servers in over 94 Countries
- 24/7 Live Customer Support
- IP Address Masking- Change your IP address through their VPN servers.
- VPN Split Tunneling- This lets you allow specific traffic through the VPN and other traffic routed directly.
- TrustedServer Technology- This ensures that all data is wiped with every reboot, no information is written to their hard drive, and their software is reinstalled with every start-up.
- Network Lock- This is a kill switch that blocks any more traffic from getting through if there’s an interruption to your VPN connection.
- Zero-Knowledge DNS- They own and operate their DNS on every server. No third parties and no logs kept.
- AES-256 Encryption
- Public Wi-Fi Security
ExpressVPN was founded back in 2009 and are based in the British Virgin Islands. Managing over 3,000 servers, this VPN is robust and enjoys a good reputation and high ratings. If you’re a world traveler, this would be a good option due to how thoroughly they are spread across the world.
They’ve also received high marks in the customer service arena, providing fast 24/7 service as needed. Customers tend to be satisfied on every front. They seem to be able to make the most out of every feature ExpressVPN incorporates into its software, which isn’t always the case with several other companies in the VPN arena.
- 1 Month Price- $12.99
- Over 6400 Servers in 90 Countries
- Hide your IP- You can hide your IP address with just one click if you choose to do so.
- DNS and IP Leak Protection
- 256-bit AES Encryption- You’ll be protected by military-grade protection at all times.
- Unlimited Bandwidth and Unlimited Traffic
- No-Logs Policy- No activity is tracked, and servers keep no records.
- 7 Device connectivity- You can operate up to seven devices simultaneously.
- 24/7 Customer Support- Live chat or email.
- Servers Optimized for Torrent Sharing
- Throttle Removal- The encryption tunnel removes opportunities for speed throttling by ISP’s.
- Access to Restricted Content- Bypass geo-restricted materials or other blocked media.
- Unlimited Wi-Fi Protection
CyberGhost was founded back in 2011 and is based out of Romania. With over 6400 servers at their disposal, they have the most extensive collection in this list of VPN’s.
What’s a mixed bag concerning CyberGhost is their server speed. Their speed is considered to be better than others when it comes to servers within the same country as the user. But if you’re reaching out across the world, there is a much different opinion. Another point is that CyberGhost has a tough time getting around difficult to breach censorship than other VPN’s.
After a great deal of time researching these 8 VPN’s, it is safe to say one thing. All of these products are similar and provide similar services. As is true with any group of companies within the same industry, all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. These companies differ in their focus of attention on different aspects of online anonymity and security.
All that being said, when it comes down to answering “Who is the best VPN buy of 2020,” I’d have to conclude that the answer would be NordVPN. A close second would be ExpressVPN. These two appear to be the most functional, bearing the most useful features and is customer friendly. NordVPN pulled ahead of Express due to recent updates and fixing speed issues with their servers.
NordVPN has all of the features you’ll need; they have a longstanding history in the industry and has proven to be able to keep up with the changes that come through time. Another reason I chose NordVPN came to me while researching other companies.
Almost all of the contenders above use Nord as their measuring stick. Any comparative review that I could find (that wasn’t the equivalent to a paid advertisement) had Nord in the mix to try and compare itself to. That should say something. If these other companies find it to their benefit to try and outdo Nord, perhaps Nord would be the wisest choice in the first place?
Drop me a note below if you have any input on this subject or the products we’ve discussed today. I’d love to hear from you !