Comparison of Premium VPN Services
When viruses and malicious code is downloaded with a click of a button, people have are challenged with the dangers of the internet. In a matter of seconds your data could be completely compromised and sold to the highest bidder. Even your most personal photos and reports are shared with people outside of your social circle.
We are in the hyper-information age and having a VPN is crucial to maintaining privacy and safety.
Fun fact: a VPN will let you watch your favorite shows only available in other countries. For example, only the first 2 seasons of “Haikyu!!” are on Netflix and the rest are on Crunchyroll which has ads. The best answer is to get a VPN so you can continue watching anime on Netflix.
Why Do VPN Apps Have Bad Reputation?
While a VPN is a great tool to help separate your location (and in many ways, you) from your data, it doesn’t obscure everything about you. If you take a Facebook quiz or like a post on Instagram, the app you are using while connected to the VPN is still able to use your behavior to tailor in-app ads and content. They might not know where you are browsing from, but they will still know what you are doing on their apps.
Similarly, if cookies are enabled on your computer, companies can follow you while you are on their site—and after. Your full data isn’t obscured with a VPN alone. Combining a VPN’s protection with Tor, an open-source tool that allows you to browse the web anonymously, and other security measures are necessary for a fuller security.
Many VPN services use affiliate marketing to advertise their services. This means that people earn a little bit of money every time they say something positive about a specific service and directly link to the app or check out page. Although this is a quick way to earn some serious cash, it creates biased reviews. Some of the highest rated VPN apps are selling your data. Be careful!
VPN iPhone Apps
- Nord VPN
NordVPN deserves a spot on our best VPN list for a number of reasons. Its status as the virtual private network provider that will deliver the most bang for your buck is probably the first thing you’ve heard about NordVPN, but there’s more: Hands down, you aren’t likely to find a VPN anywhere else that can do more than NordVPN does as cheaply as NordVPN does it. Despite a security breach reported in 2019 (more on that later), you’d still be hard-pressed to find another service that can do what NordVPN does at all.
It’s not shocking that the NordVPN app has racked up more than 218,000 ratings in the App Store for a score of 4.6 out of 5, and over 451,000 reviews in the Google Play Store for a 4.3 out of 5 rating. It’s also not surprising that the VPN client earned my trophy for best value.
NordVPN isn’t bad value, with prices currently starting at $3.29 a month on its two-year plan, and topping out at $11.95 if you want the freedom of a monthly rolling contract. There are a number of options that look like better value on paper, but Nord’s support for PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin, and other crypto payments mean there are plenty of options.
You’ll be covered by industry-standard AES-256 encryption, plus some excellent extra features such as Onion over VPN and Double VPN. Nord’s obfuscated servers also provide great performance in countries like China which restrict VPN use. You also get a kill switch in case your connection drops, and reliable DNS leak protection.
NordVPN’s torrent support is a definite strong point, and there’s as much to like on the privacy front too, with plenty of smart features to help keep you safe and anonymous online. Performance levels are good, and this is one of the faster VPNs we’ve ever reviewed, and for Netflix (or other streaming content) unblocking, it got us into what we needed (although sometimes only via the VPN’s browser extension).
You can think of NordVPN as a high-quality jack-of-all-trades VPN. It does everything to a good standard, and while some rivals may offer better performance in specific departments, if you want everything doing well – and a consistent service above all – NordVPN won’t steer you wrong.
Private Internet Accesss (PIA) Review
When you switch it on, a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic and pipes it off to a server controlled by the VPN company. This ensures no one, not even your Internet Service Provider (ISP), can spy on your traffic and makes it harder for snoops and advertisers to track you across the web. While it’s one of the oldest surviving contenders in the field, Private Internet Access is still a contender for the title of best VPN. Its numerous simultaneous connections provide a great value, it boasts strong speed test scores, it sports an excellent interface, and its advanced network settings let tinkerers tinker. However, it still lacks a third-party audit to validate its privacy protections.
Like most VPNs, Private Internet Access incentivizes longer subscriptions with amazing discounts. A one-year plan costs $39.95, which is significantly less than the $70.06 average we’ve seen across the VPNs we’ve reviewed. Private Internet Access also has a three-year plan for $79. The company changes up its discounted subscriptions frequently, but you should expect most of the deals to hover around those price points. Still, we caution against starting out with a long-term subscription. Instead, start with a short-term plan so you can test the service in your home and see if the VPN meets your needs.
Private Internet Access (PIA) has been a favorite third-party VPN for many users thanks to its excellent pricing and good privacy promises. The company has changed hands since last we reviewed it and is now owned by Kape Technologies. So is it the same service that we’ve been using for the past few years? Let’s dive in and have a look.
Overall, this is a nice design, and PIA organizes this list in two different ways: latency or name. That makes it much easier for people who are only interested in speed versus those who want a specific country. Previously, the app only organized results by latency, which resulted in some quick navigation when looking for a specific country.
Mullvad VPN Review
Mullvad VPN is a niche Virtual Private Network service that deserves much more attention than it’s currently getting. Its strong encryption, strict no-logs policy, and wealth of features like port forwarding, split tunneling, and bridge mode make Mullvad the perfect VPN for people who want to stay anonymous online.
Mullvad is one of the safest VPN services. The program keeps no logs, doesn’t collect any personal information, and uses the latest tech to make sure your internet traffic is untraceable.
If privacy is your main concern, then Mullvad is the right VPN for you. That’s because you can create a Mullvad account 100% anonymously. You don’t even have to provide an email address, as a randomly-generated 16-digit code is all you need to log into your account.
You can pay with a wide variety of methods, including bank write, Bitcoin, credit card, Paypal and other types of electronic transfers. Mullvad also accepts cash—place your payment token that’s randomly generated and cash in an envelope and mail it to the company. Those who pay with eligible cryptocurrencies will receive a 10% discount. However, if you want to pay for a recurring subscription, you’ll need to pay via either credit card or Paypal.
Mullvad has a feature called Bridge mode, its multihop feature. Activating it allows you to route your connection through two VPN servers, adding another level of encryption. Bridge also allows users to bypass the most restrictive firewalls by connecting to two different locations to “trick” censors or the website you’re trying to access.
Using this feature will likely slow down your internet connection compared to a single hop server but will greatly improve your privacy.
Mullvad is based in Sweden. This is not ideal from a privacy standpoint, as Sweden suffers from some government surveillance issues. However, VPN providers in Sweden are not required by law to keep any logs. Add to this the fact the Mullvad has recently endured a full third-party security audit of its apps and infrastructure (by the security firm Cure53), and you have a VPN that is highly trustworthy in terms of the privacy protections it provides.
Mullvad is a VPN provider that it is easy to be a fan of. Very few VPN services can match its dedication to privacy. We find it a good option for people who need to evade censorship or perform online tasks without fear of being monitored by an oppressive government.
TorGuard is a popular cybersecurity company that offers a variety of services, including encrypted cloud storage, encrypted email services, and VPNs for both individuals and businesses. With up to eight simultaneous connections, more than 3,000 servers in over 50 countries, and 24/7 customer support, it’s fairly impressive on paper, and appears to have all the fundamentals down pat.
On the other hand, we didn’t find TorGuard quite as easy to use as some of the best VPN services that we’ve reviewed, nor did it fare as well when we tested it on streaming services like Netflix, iPlayer, and Prime Video. In our in-depth review of TorGuard, we’ll walk you through the best reasons to use TorGuard, as well as the areas in which it falls short. We’ll also see how it stacks up to the competition, all to help you determine whether it’s right the VPN for you.
TorGuard has over 3000 servers at its disposal. These servers are based in 50 countries. Some of them are virtual, but those are located in smaller markets, such as Israel or Taiwan. Some of the servers in the US, the UK, and Canada support 10 Gbps but cost extra, unless you take the Pro plan.
However, TorGuard does not provide any information on how many servers are in a certain location. It just states how many server locations there are and in which countries they’re situated. When I asked their customer support team if they could specify any further, they merely said: “We have 1000s in each location.”
TorGuard offers apps for desktop and mobile platforms, deplorable across Microsoft, Apple and Linux devices. However, aside from that you can also install it on your router. Although the company promotes TorGuard pre-flashed VPN routers, you can set it up on most modern routers.
There might be limitations based on exactly which router you might have, TorGuard does offer a knowledge-base that accommodates manual setup for multiple devices. There are many which are supported, but just double check their knowledge base in case if you’re interested.
In terms of speed, stability and potential, we say that TorGuard ranks highly on my the list of good VPNs.
The best argument for the Firefox browser (besides it just being, you know, a good browser) has always been that it has no profit motive. Mozilla, the company that owns Firefox and associated projects, is a nonprofit and can, in theory, put user privacy first and fight back against surveillance capitalism. That theory is put to the test with Mozilla VPN, a repackaging of Mullvad’s excellent VPN. With Mozilla VPN, you get strong privacy protection, advanced privacy tools, and your fee supports one of the internet’s good guys in the process. The catch is that costs significantly more than Mullvad VPN. Still, if what you need is a guilt-free, solid VPN, Mozilla’s offering is a strong choice.
In terms of functionality, Mozilla VPN does what all VPNs do: It encrypts all your internet traffic and pipes it securely to a remote server. This means that anyone watching your online activities, including your ISP, won’t be able to see what you’re up to. VPNs also help preserve your privacy by hiding your IP address (and thus your physical location), which makes it harder for advertisers to track your movements online.
Note that Mozilla VPN was initially on sale for $4.99 per month, but that price is no longer available. Customers who enrolled before the pricing change can continue to pay that monthly rate, but new customers aren’t so lucky. Mozilla pointed out that the annual subscription works out to $4.99 when divided across 12 months, but it still requires up-front payment for the whole year.
Mozilla VPN is powered by Mullvad’s excellent network. Some companies keep quiet about the fact that they’re reselling someone else’s network, but Mozilla is very open. Click the ‘see our full list of servers’ link on the Mozilla VPN website, for instance, and it takes you to the server list on Mullvad’s site.
Easy to use and very, very fast, Mozilla VPN might appeal if you’re looking for speed and a trusted name. It is similar to apps like ExpressVPN and NordVPN in features, apps, locations, range of plans, unblocking and more. Those who enjoy Mullvad will enjoy Mozilla.
It’s easy to be impressed with how far Proton has gone fighting for security and privacy in both its ProtonVPN and ProtonMail service. Is it the fastest VPN out there? No. Can you use it outside of China? No. Can you game with it? Maybe with good connection. But who wants to send their internet traffic through a cache of privately owned servers hidden in an underground bunker? Perhaps a slightly slower connection is better for privacy.
While its cost is higher than other top VPN competitors, We recommend ProtonVPN for its commitment to transparency and its high-security product standards.
The ProtonVPN Plus plan delivers all the features we’ve described above, covers 10 devices, and can be yours for $10 billed monthly, $8 on the annual plan, or $6.63 over two years. That’s above average, and you can get capable VPNs for much less (Private Internet Access is just $3.33 a month on its annual plan, VyprVPN charges just $1.81 a month over three years).
The company has some cheaper options. The Basic plan doesn’t give you access to the premium servers, won’t stream Netflix, can’t route traffic through multiple servers, and only supports two devices, but it’s just $4 a month on an annual subscription, $3.29 over two years. That’s better, but some of the competition give you an unrestricted service for a very similar amount (and occasionally less).
ProtonVPN owns and manages its own servers, too, and they’re connected to the internet using the company’s own network. Apart from giving ProtonVPN great control over how the service is set up and managed, this also shows us that this isn’t just some shell company making profits from reselling other people’s kit: there are real resources and expertise here.
Elsewhere, the DNS-based NetShield web filter blocks malware, ads and trackers. There are now native apps for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS to enable using ProtonVPN on almost anything. Oh, and they’re all open source and audited.
Overall, we really like that ProtonVPN offers a free option. We wouldn’t touch most free VPNs (except the best free VPNs, of course) with a ten-foot pole, so it’s nice having a free option from a trustworthy company that isn’t out to profit from our personal data. We would recommend ProtonVPN Free to everyone. And to see other savings, check out ProtonVPN Holiday deals.
This year there are many VPN apps to choose from. Narrowing down your choice to the best VPN is a tough decision but worth it in the end. We highly suggest you get a VPN for the safety, security, and privacy of your iPhone. Unless you want the internet to know everything about you going with robust VPN infrastructure companies like Mullvad or Mozilla are surely a strong options. Other VPN services are just as good too. Which one did you choose? Why do you think it is the best?