Top 5 Free VPN Services in 2019

In this digital era, most of the tasks we do daily involve a lot of data, some of which is sensitive. These tasks rely on the internet and various interconnected networks. When the internet and networks are involved, a lot of caution needs to be exercised. To secure your internet connection, you may need a lot of tools and measures.

The best way to ensure your connection is secure and your information is private while in transit, is to use a Virtual Private Network, a VPN.

In earlier years, VPNs were only cooperate entities. Nowadays many commercial VPN services aim to protect individuals from various internet injustices. In this article, we will look at what is a VPN, how it works and outline the best VPN services to use in 2019.

Pros and Cons of using a VPN

The Pros:

  • Guaranteed online security and privacy
  • Helps in gaining access to blocked internet content
  • Easily bypass geo-restrictions and censorships
  • Bypass ISP throttling
  • Access to discounted prices

The Cons:

  • Can affect internet speeds

What is a VPN, and how does it work?

A VPN is a service that protects your online traffic from prying eyes. It does this by, encrypting your internet traffic and routing it using a secure tunnel via a secure server to the intended destination.

The encryption, usually AES 256 bit, ensures your internet traffic is not susceptible to prying eyes. The VPN server assigns you a virtual IP address that replaces your physical IP address. Services on the internet will only see your virtual IP address, and this keeps you private. A VPN also uses various protocols that determine how encryption and communication is done. Great protocols make a VPN to be reliable, fast and have excellent performance.

Why do you need a VPN?

The primary use for a VPN is to protect your internet traffic against online threats and ensure your privacy is safe. Besides this, VPNs also have other added benefits. Due to the encryptions and privacy involved such as hiding your IP address, you can use a VPN to gain access to geo-restricted content, unblock various blocked content such as websites, and download files safely and privately. You can also use a VPN to reclaim your online freedom by bypassing censorships. In other instances, a VPN can be useful for gaining access to discounted markets. A VPN with added features can be used to block various types of malware and enable you to stream multiple content.

How we choose the best VPNs for 2019?

To protect your online security and privacy, you need an excellent VPN service. To avoid the hassle of picking the wrong VPN, we have made the task easier for you. We have taken time to test various VPN services in the market and using the following criteria, we have compiled a list of the best VPN services for 2019.

  • Jurisdiction: One of the core function of a VPN is to ensure your online traffic is private. To achieve this, a VPN parent company must be located in a jurisdiction with laws that favor privacy. Many jurisdictions have unfavorable laws that tend to be intrusive and allows the government and other foreign agencies to perform mass surveillance on its citizens. For a VPN to protect its user’s privacy, its jurisdiction should not have mandatory data retention laws, and should not allow surveillance by agencies such as the five eyes.
  • Strict no Logs policy: Besides jurisdiction, a privacy-oriented VPN should not keep any logs that can be used to identify users. Users should remain anonymous at all time. A zero log policy that is followed to the latter is one way of assuring users that their online traffic is always private.
  • Encryption level: Encryption ensures that no prying eyes can view your secure online traffic. VPNs use various algorithms to ensure that the level of security will not be broken even by brute force attacks. The best-recommended algorithm is the AES 256 bit algorithm. This is the industry-wide standard for secure encryptions.
  • VPN Protocols: These are a set of standards that govern how a VPN communicates and how data is encrypted. The best VPN protocols offer both reliability and performance. This is in terms of speed and encryptions. The most preferred VPN protocols include OpenVPN with UDP and TCP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and other proprietary protocols that are reliable and offer impeccable performance.
  • Servers: A VPN server network is an essential aspect of its operation. Servers determine the speed, what content can user’s access and the overall performance of a VPN. The more the VPN servers, the better the VPN. At times, fewer optimized VPN servers can also yield the intended performance.
  • Additional security and privacy features and services: Additional features improve the VPN’s reliability and make it offer an excellent service. These features include; ability to bypass censorships, ability to block malware, protection against data leaks, and 5-star customer support.

Best VPNs 2019

Here is our list of the best premium VPN services 2019. Although there are free reputable VPN services, we opted for premium VPN services as they offer excellent services, unbreakable security and offer the recommended level or privacy.

Express VPN – The VPN that just works

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, Android, iOS, and routers.

Express VPN is a trusted VPN service and a favorite among many internet users. This VPN service offers well-balanced performance regarding speed, security, and privacy. It is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a jurisdiction with no data retention laws, and stringent laws concerning information disclosure. If anyone wants to get user details from ExpressVPN, they must have a legal order from the BVI Supreme Court, which is not easy to get.

For security and also other aspects of privacy, Express VPN uses the best in class AES 256 bit encryption coupled with Trusted server technology, a kill switch and zero-knowledge DNS. With a strict zero log policy, Express VPN always keeps your online traffic secure and private. This VPN service has an extensive network of 3000 plus fast VPN servers in 160 locations and more than 94 countries. These servers offer unlimited bandwidth with fast speeds suitable for bandwidth-intensive tasks. Express VPN also supports P2P traffic and has an incredible 24/7 customer support.

To get started with Express VPN, sign up with a valid email and subscribe to any pricing plans. Download and install the suitable client for your device, and lastly connect to a server location and protect your online security and privacy. Express VPN apps are appealing, easy to use, and the features are well organized. Express VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee policy on its subscription plans. You can invoke this policy and get your refund in case you are not satisfied with the VPN. Express VPN allows 3 simultaneous connection.

Pros:

  • High speeds with unlimited bandwidth
  • Larger server network
  • Best in class encryption
  • Allows P2P traffic
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms
  • Great security features
  • Zero log policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • 3 simultaneous connections
  • Expensive monthly subscription

IPVanish – Online privacy made easy

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, iOS, and routers.

IPVanish offers fast and reliable VPN service thanks to its tier-1 VPN server network. Although located in the US – a not so right place for privacy, IPVanish is a strict no-log VPN. This VPN service uses AES 256 bit encryption for security, has multiple protocols and ensure your data does not leak. IPVanish has 1300+ servers in over 75 locations, which deliver unlimited bandwidth and faster speeds with unlimited server switching. This VPN service manages its servers and always optimizes them for speed, uptime and privacy. IPVanish also allows P2P traffic and support up to 10 simultaneous connections.

Being a top-notch VPN service, IPVanish also bypasses several censorship barriers and gains access to a lot of internet content. Getting started with IPVanish is a straightforward task. You need to subscribe to one of the pricing plans, download the appropriate app, log in and connect to your favorite server. IPVanish sports an intuitive interface with easy to use features. Unlike other VPN services, IPVanish provides a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Faster speeds with unlimited bandwidth
  • Larger server network
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Allows P2P traffic
  • up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • zero log policy

Cons:

  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Located in the US

NordVPN – ultimate online security

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, Android, iOS, and routers.

NordVPN is a robust VPN service that focuses on delivering internet freedom, advanced security and complete privacy to its users. This privacy-focused VPN service is also based in an ideal jurisdiction, Panama and is a zero-log VPN. NordVPN stocks tons of privacy and security features. They include, a military-grade AES 256 bit encryption, a double VPN, CyberSec, a kill switch, P2P dedicated servers, Onion over Tor, obfuscated servers for censorship and protects your online traffic from leaks.

This VPN service boasts the largest VPN network of over 5700 servers in more than 59 countries worldwide. These servers offer unlimited bandwidth, incredible speeds for speed intensive tasks and they provide impeccable privacy. Besides having great security and privacy features, NordVPN has one of the best customer services. To completely protect your online traffic and have total privacy, subscribe to NordVPN, download the appropriate app and connect to any server. NordVPN apps feature the same interface that presents features in friendly manner. NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and allows a simultaneous connection of up to 6 devices.

Pros:

  • Biggest server network
  • Great speeds with unlimited bandwidth
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Allows P2P traffic
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms
  • Double VPN and great features
  • Zero log policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Can be slow at times

StrongVPN – Your privacy made stronger

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, iOS, and routers.

As the name suggests, this VPN service is strong, reliable and one of the best VPN services for bypassing the great firewall of china. Although it is located in the US – not ideal for privacy, Strong VPN is a no-log VPN service. StrongVPN uses strong encryptions, various protocols including the WireGuard protocol for speed and security and it also operates its servers.

The server network is made of 950+ servers in 35 countries and 59 cities. These servers offer reliable speeds and are optimized to bypass censorships and support P2P traffic. Strong VPN provides unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 customer support and simultaneous connections of up to 12 devices.

Similar to other VPNs, you need to subscribe to its pricing plans to get started. Its apps are easy to use, and you can customize various settings. StrongVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with their service.

Pros:

  • Reliable speeds with unlimited bandwidth
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Allows P2P traffic
  • Great for china
  • Works with Netflix
  • Simultaneous connections of up to 12 devices
  • No log policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Fewer servers
  • Located in the US

PureVPN – fast VPN service

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, Android, iOS, and routers.

PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based budget-friendly VPN service with a lot of servers. This VPN service provides incredible speeds suitable for streaming HD content and other speed intensive tasks. Similar to other VPNs in this list, PureVPN uses top-of-the-line military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, split tunneling, has leak protection and it is a zero log VPN service.

PureVPN has over 2000 plus servers in over 180 locations optimized for speed and bypassing restrictions. The servers support P2P traffic, offer unlimited bandwidth while maintaining a high level of privacy and security. This VPN service supports simultaneous connections of up to 5 devices.

PureVPN is easy to use, and its interface is similar across all the devices. After a subscription, and installation of the relevant VPN app, you can connect to any VPN server to get started with PureVPN. PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • High speeds with unlimited bandwidth
  • Top of the line military-grade encryption
  • Allows P2P traffic
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms
  • Cheap subscription
  • 31-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Slow connections at times

FAQ

 

Can a VPN be hacked?

Our list of VPNs cannot be hacked, given that they use the AES 256 bit encryption. Even if they are compromised, you don’t need to worry about your data as they keep zero logs.

Will my internet speed improve if I use a VPN?

Generally, VPNs decrease your internet speed by a small percentage due to the encryption overhead. However, in rare instances where your ISP throttles your internet connection, a VPN can increase your internet speed.

What causes a slight speed reduction when I connect to a VPN server?

The slight drop in speed is usually caused by encryption overheads. At times, other factors such as how far the server is, server load and performance can also affect the VPN speeds.

Is there a fastest VPN protocol?

VPN protocols with little encryptions offer fast speeds. However, they are not reliable, as they do not provide the required level of security. To get a balanced performance between speed and security, use the OpenVPN protocol with UDP or the IKEv2. The proprietary protocol also offers better speeds and security.

Conclusion

A VPN is an essential tool for protecting your online security and privacy. A VPN also helps you reclaim your freedom and get rid of various online injustices such as censorships and restrictions. Our list of the best VPNs 2019 offer the recommended security, fast speeds with unlimited bandwidth and also many features to protect your online traffic against prying eyes.

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About justineconnor

A tech wiz with a forte in the Android, iOS, Cord-cutting, Cybersecurity and VPN realms.