Best VPN Toplist 2018

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  • Secure, private & encrypted internet browsing
  • Access content blocked in your country
  • Custom-tailored VPN apps for mobile devices

How do we review and rank VPNs?

On our website you will find all kinds of toplists and recommendations of various VPNs. But how do we establish these toplists? What determines which VPN becomes number 1 and so forth?

Read below in order to learn about the criteria we evaluate in order to rank VPNs from best to worst.

Download and upload speeds

The first thing we look at is the download and upload speeds offered by a VPN. We will check most servers provided by a VPN and note down the speeds in key countries as well as the global average.

Our ranking criteria is as follows:

– A VPN needs to have an avg. download speed of at least 40 Mbps to get a score of at least 7 in this category.
– In order to get at least an 8, a VPN has to have at least 50 Mbps global avg. download speeds
– In order to get a 9, a VPN has to have several servers in major countries that achieve download speeds of at least 100 Mbps, and avg. global download speeds should never be below 50 Mbps
– For a 10, a VPN has to have several servers in major countries that achieve download speeds of at least 200 Mbps and avg. global download speeds should never be below 50 Mbps

Speed is extremely important if you intend to stream movies and videos with a VPN. You will need a download speed of at least 40 Mbps to decently stream HD movies. Anything below this will result in low video quality and buffering issues.

This is also why we don’t recommend free VPNs for streaming, as they don’t have high-speed servers due to lack of funds.

For streaming you simply need high-speed servers and as of now only premium paid-VPNs offer this.

For example, we gave ExpressVPN a score of 10 in this category, because all its servers achieve down speeds of at least 50 Mbps but most of their servers can go up to 150-200 Mbps and some even up to 400 Mbps.

Locations

The second criteria we evaluate are locations. More specifically number of countries the VPN has servers in, the number of individual servers and the number of available IP addresses.

– For a score of at least 7, the VPN needs to have servers in at least 30 countries and 500 servers
– For a score of 8, a VPN needs to have servers in at least 50 countries and has to have at least 800 servers
– For a 9, it needs to be present in at least 60 countries and has to have at least 1,000 servers
– For a 10, it needs to be present in at least 90 countries and has to have at least 2,000 servers

Number of IPs is something that can push these scores down or up depending on the number of available IP addresses.

Scores can deviate a bit from this guideline based on the combination of these variables. For example, a VPN with servers in only 85 countries, but 4,000 servers and 40,000 IPs can still be a 10 even if it does not have servers in a minimum of 90 countries. It gets a 10 because of the very high number of servers and IPs.

Locations, servers and IPs is also extremely important if you want to use a VPN for streaming and accessing content only available in specific countries. Streaming services will sometimes ban IPs belonging to a VPN, but the more IPs a VPN has the fewer people will use one IP simultaneously, which means it becomes harder to detect to belong to a VPN.

Privacy

When it comes to privacy we evaluate 3 things: what data does the VPN record; where is it legally registered and what kind of encryption options it offers.

In order to get a perfect 10, a VPN needs to have a true and real zero-log policy (meaning they will log absolutely no user data of any kind whatsoever, not even meta data), needs to be located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction (i.e. not the USA or EU countries) and needs to have several advanced encryption options and protocols available.

As exampled above, a zero-log policy is when a VPN does not log and record any user data of any kind. This means that not even the VPN itself should be able to watch what websites you visit or how much time you spend on a particular website. Zero log should mean truly zero.

A VPN that claims to offer true privacy should never be located in a country such as the US or EU member countries, where the government has the right to ask private companies to provide them with user data.

Such a VPN should always be located in a country that has no data storage laws but also does not have data sharing agreements with other countries. This ensures that there is no legal way for government agencies to request those VPNs to hand over user data.

Ease of Use

In this category we will evaluate the look and feel of the website and mobile applications of the VPNs reviewed. A good VPN should have a modern look and feel and should be very easy to use and to understand.

Other things we look at here are the availability of browser extensions.

In this category we also touch on the special features a VPN has, such as killswitch, split-tunneling and dual VPN connections. Usually for a perfect 10, a VPN needs to be modern looking but also have the advanced features here mentioned.

Customer Support

In this category we will check to see what ways there exist to contact the VPNs support staff. We will then actually contact them and usually ask them a very technical question to see how good they can handle themselves.
If they immediately reply with a correct solution then they get a 10.

Unfortunately, most of the time it seems that many VPNs lack in professional customer care and support. Many times on live chat we are being told to send an email instead with our question. Usually this is a way of deflecting responsibility when a support rep has no clue how to solve our problem.

Fortunately, there are a select few VPNs that have top-notch support departments and will always reply professionally and quickly solve any issues you may have. It’s usually the VPNs we rank on top positions.

Pricing

Last major area we evaluate is pricing. Most VPNs have very similar pricing structures but there can be substantial differences. Generally we look at what’s being provided vs. the money charged.

If a VPN that achieved a 10 or very close to 10 in every other category has prices a bit higher than most other VPNs, we wills till give it a 10 in the pricing category too. This is because we believe that the higher price is fair considering the quality of services and features offered.

Obviously, however, if their price is exaggeratedly higher than that of any other VPNs, then they will get a low score in this category even if all other categories got a 10.

Similarly, if a VPN that does not have maximum scores in the other categories but has a considerably lower price than the VPNs with better features and services, we can still give that VPN a 10 in this category, as we consider it a fair price for the services provided.

And this is how we evaluate a VPN. Every VPN you see listed and ranked on our site is ranked based on these criteria and the scores received in these categories.