In an age where we regularly provide sensitive information online, whether we’re shopping, or giving a family member temporary access to our credit cards, security and privacy is of utmost importance. Privacy and security are exactly what VPN (Virtual Private Network) services are made for.
VPN software and services have been for a long time now. It makes sense, since there is a whole bunch of risks one is exposed to when surfing the Internet. Data sniffing, government/agency surveillance and lack of anonymity are some such very real risks.
With the introduction of wireless networks, these risks have increased exponentially, making the Internet more unsafe than ever.
To help you combat these risks, we, at PiFeed, have come up with a list of VPN services and software that we believe you should choose from to protect yourself and your identity online.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a relative newcomer to the VPN scene but it has still managed to outperform market titans. Its client application has almost no footprint. With plans starting from$6.95 a month, PIA is an excellent personal VPN service.
PIA uses OpenVPN SSL to set up its encrypted tunnel, protecting data from the prying eyes of snoopers and sniffers. It offers an option to set up a PPTP connection directly from Windows, in case you want to eliminate the client application from the equation completely.
VPN software might be notorious in the general cyber populace for generally yanking Internet speeds down significantly but it’s not true. In fact, quality VPNs sometimes even end up improving connection quality. Private Internet Access is no exception.
The Runner Up
AnchorFree’ Hotspot Shield is more or less a household name when it comes to VPN software. Hotspot Shield comes in two flavors, the ad-supported Free version, and the ad-free, paid, Elite version. The presence(or absence) of ads is what distinguishes them from each other.
This particular VPN package is the easiest to use out of all the ones we tested. When it’s active, all traffic is tunneled through AnchorFree servers. When it’s not active, no data is tunneled anywhere. AnchorFree also maintains a database of known malicious websites and warns the user if they try to navigate to any of them.
While speed wasn’t an issue, latency (i.e. ping) definitely was. As such, Hotspot Shield does not make for an attractive choice if you’re going to stream or game online.
More, Best VPN Services
PureVPN with 500+ servers in over 140 countries is challenging the mighty VPN services in the world. Geographical tunneling destinations are evenly spread across the globe. As far as performance itself is concerned, PureVPN is the absolute best. It would have been perfect had it gone for a simplified setup and had offered free trials. It is the best VPN if anyone asks my personal recommendation. Simply the best in every-way.
Updated: PureVPN has been offering its VPN service for 4.99/month now since august 2016, which seems best in the market.
HideMyAss is loaded with tunneling locations and the developers’ confidence. Did you know that HideMyAss came with 3 speed testing tools built-in? I didn’t either. It has almost 900 servers spread over 310 different locations! While this particular VPN software does give us the option to choose the server we want to use, there is no mention of server load anywhere in the list, which ruins the experience a fair bit. For all you know, that one server you’re choosing might be the very server out of all the 900 which is overloaded.
The bad? Lousy customer service, no free trial and in fact, everything that is not service quality. Oh and did I mention that the log all your browsing data? Yeah. Yikes.
It’s no secret that Symantec’s Norton series lost its anti-virus market leader a long, long time ago. This paid, private VPN service it is offering right now though, is a completely different story. No bandwidth caps and five users per account are just two features that distinguish it from the its competitors.
It’s available for both Windows and Macs. Symantec does not offer a trial or a free version but it does offer a $2.99 one-day pass. Operation is mostly smooth and Norton is still a trusted name in most circles so we expect Hotspot Privacy to retain its position for the foreseeable future
Express VPN is the best VPN service on this list, period. With servers in 78 different countries, it has enough tunneling locations. A 256-bit encryption ensures that your data is virtually untouchable. Also, no Express VPN does not have a creepy data logging policy. They also have superb support infrastructure. Unlimited bandwidth and ability to use two devices per subscription means that you won’t really have any problems on that end. Honestly, if I were to choose one of these VPN services, I’d choose Express VPN with my eyes closed.
ProXPN comes in two flavors: free and $9.99 per month. The only difference between them is the 300kbps cap on the free version. The creators of proXPN have kept it small and simple. You get 8 different tunneling locations and the ability to connect using PPTP. While Windows and all Apple operating systems are supported, Android is surprisingly not, something the people behind proXPN are working on.
VPN Direct offers no compromise on performance while giving you the ability to tunnel your data through the 4 data servers it has all over the world. While the number of geographical locations offered is a bit on the low side, the consistency in performance more than compensates for it.
HideIPVPN comes with a plethora of features but average performance. If you’re willing to endure a performance hit for nifty features, including support for DD-WRT-based routers, then HideIPVPN is for you. The tunneling locations are a little limited with not a single server in Asia or Australia. With an annual price of $120 it’s not half shabby.
This particular VPN service is useful if you connect to public hotspots often. It’s clean, simple and comes bundled with ClamAV for added protection when the VPN. With the $10 monthly fee though, it’d be a shame if one were to subscribe and then not use it often. Private WiFi is available for Windows an Macs.
VyprVPN is an okay VPN service with an amazing bundle of add-ons. Its price structure makes you question the ability of the marketing and sales personnel behind it. The multi-window design is rather annoying as well.
SecureLine is a part of the avast! Internet Security Suite. A basic, no-frills VPN that is more of an add-on than anything else, SecureLine is fairly unreliable if you find yourself in need of tunneling your data to servers outside the US. It’s handy if you’re already an avast! user and don’t want to clutter your computer up. Otherwise there are some fine (complete) VPN packages you should be looking at.
This is our take on the best VPN packages on the market right now. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do comment. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!