5 VPNs that Achieve the Best Balance Between Security, Speed and Cost
People look for VPN services for various reasons, so it's not surprising that this blog’s title caught your attention. We aim to make your life easy. A lot of effort goes into testing and researching the best VPNs on the market to determine which ones are the best for certain needs.
In this case, you’re likely planning to use the VPN for a wide range of purposes such as:
- Accessing your business network while traveling
- Accessing your home network while traveling
- Hiding your online activity from your ISP or local network admin
- Accessing Geo-blocked websites and services such as Netflix
- Getting around Internet censorship by oppressive governments
- Downloading torrents safely
If you’re planning to use a VPN for more than one of the above purposes, then it is imperative that you find a VPN that achieves the optimal balance between security and speed performance because each of those activities prioritizes different aspects of VPN technology. For example, accessing your business network from abroad prioritizes security above all, whereas streaming HD content from Geo-restricted websites such as Netflix prioritizes speed.
The best VPN service in terms of security, speed, and cost
Based on our tests and research, the best all-round VPN currently available is ExpressVPN. Although it may be pricier than most other well-established services, it ranks highest in terms of privacy, speed and unblocking Geo-restricted websites, so it’s worth the investment. IPVanish comes in as a close second, especially when it comes to torrenting and P2P file sharing. VyprVPN comes third followed by NordVPN and Hotspot Shield.
Let’s take a closer look at these services.
As mentioned, this is the best provider for privacy, speed and unblocking Geo-restricted websites such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix among others. It has thousands of servers in its global network which spans 94 countries. ExpressVPN provides native apps for all device platforms: Android, iOS, Mac and Windows, as well as select routers, BlackBerry and Linux systems. Additionally, the provider has its own routers, browser extensions, and DNS services. It can also be manually installed in Smart TVs and gaming consoles.
Installing the VPN is easy thanks to numerous easy to understand online tutorials. The provider’s website offers a 24/7 live chat customer support service in case you encounter issues while trying to connect. Included in the package is an automatic kill switch (it prevents your information from leaking by disabling the entire Internet connection in case the VPN connection is lost), P2P support and DNS leak protection.
The only downside of this service might be the price, which may be out of reach for some users. However, considering the level of security, privacy, and performance offered by the provider, the price is justified. Not to mention that you get a 30-day hassle-free money-back guarantee to test the services.
As is the case with ExpressVPN, the price of IPVanish may be a deterrent for some, seeing as it’s more expensive than many of its closest competitors. This notwithstanding, few can match the provider’s excellent apps, choice of locations, and exemplary performance. Granted, we noticed that its Windows client was prone to occasional network issues. To test the service, you can take advantage of its 7-day money-back guarantee.
This provider ranks highly, especially in terms of security and performance. It is based in Switzerland, where online privacy laws are favorable, and has an impressive global server network that provides unlimited data usage and numerous server locations. The package comes with some excellent features, including an automatic kill switch, the company’s proprietary Chameleon Protocol for bolstered security, and VyprDNS. The provider keeps some logs of IP addresses and connection times.
VyprVPN provides VPN clients for a variety of device platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, all of which are easy to operate even for beginners. Do note, however, that this provider does not offer a money-back guarantee. It is, therefore, imperative that you take maximum advantage of VyprVPN’s 3-day free trial to determine whether the provider’s features suit your unique personal needs.
The fact that this provider is based in Central America—which is hardly known for bleeding edge tech innovations—can be misleading, because NordVPN is among the most powerful and well-established VPN providers in the industry, and is best known for its top-tier security. With this provider, you have at your disposal 2048-bit encryption, 3,500+ servers in more than 60 countries, powerful DNS leak protection, 6 simultaneous connections, an optional dedicated IP addresses, an automatic kill switch, Bitcoin as a payment option, and encrypted proxy extensions.
The premium package offered by Hotspot Shield manages to deliver all the primary VPN features at competitive rates, which also include a lifetime plan. The service supports private browsing and allows up to 5 simultaneous connections.
In our tests, it demonstrated excellent performance in which latency increased only marginally and upload/download speeds were actually faster than regular non-VPN speeds. While it certainly needs improvement in terms of configurability and location range, its top speeds, competitive pricing, and 7-day free trial offered by Hotspot Shield have earned it a place among the best contenders.
To get the best value from the service, go for the annual subscription plan. We don’t recommend going for the lifetime plan because, among other reasons, it is never a good idea to commit to receiving products from any company for a lifetime given the unpredictable nature of the online business environment.