Recently, we wrote about what VPNs are, and some of their pros and cons. While this is all wonderful information, it doesn’t really help you decide which specific service to choose. There are literally hundreds of competing companies that claim to offer the same product, so which ones are the best?
Here’s a list of our 4 favorite VPN services in no particular order, along with their relative strengths and weaknesses to one another.
At $2.95 a month, ExpressVPN offers the basic suite of VPN services. They’ll encrypt your data, allow you to access location gated content, and not even sacrifice your lightning fast speeds. They claim to operate out of 160 locations in 94 different countries, and to have “unlimited bandwidth.” But what are their true strengths and weaknesses?
Express VPN has some of the best speeds of any VPN service, in addition to providing some of the more secure encryption. This killer combo is further sweetened by their diversity of servers, allowing you to skip around and access content from almost anywhere in the world.
The only cons worth mentioning are Express VPN’s price, and their lack of a solution to ad blocking. Otherwise, they’re a standout option.
Nord VPN undoubtedly has the largest ad campaign of these options, and as a result, the most brand recognition. They boast rapid speeds, secure encryption, diverse server locations, and an intuitive UI. That being said, does it meet expectations?
In short, yes. Nord VPN is top in the line in terms of security, encryption, features, speed, and transparency. All of this is wrapped up in a lovely 11.95$ per month plan, a full dollar cheaper than Express VPN (wow!)
The only cons to speak of are related to the platforms it supports. It’s not nearly as comprehensive as Express VPN in terms of being accessible from different browsers, operating systems, etc.. Additionally, the pricing options are a little rigid, but this is dampened by the volume of YouTube sponsor codes.
Proton VPN stands out by marketing itself as the affordable alternative to its flashier, sexier competitors. While they’re off fighting to offer the most features, the most servers, the best encryption, they’re gunning for the market who’s not quite set on reaching for their wallet. That raises the question, how successful are they in this quest?
In terms of the most noticeable effects Proton will have on your day-to-day operations, they excel. They have very fast speeds, and a perfectly serviceable number of locations. Combined with the reasonable price point of 0 dollars a month, Proton VPN is immediately an attractive option.
Sacrifices must be made, though. Proton VPN lags behind the others in terms of encryption and how many platforms it supports. Additionally, you may find yourself unable to access truly niche content depending on what you’re interested in, even though the vast majority of users are well serviced by its repertoire.
Finally, Surfshark swims onto the scene. In addition to offering a fully functional VPN, they also provide a bevy of additional privacy features, including “scans” for your ID, Credit Cards, and email addresses. We won’t be looking at these options today, but they’re worth considering as we talk about how they compare.
The best thing to be said is the number of platforms (browsers, operate systems, etc) that they offer their protection too. Their speeds are perfectly serviceable, and their encryption is top tier. Additionally, they offer their services at 2.49 a month; however, it’s billed in two year chunks.
That being said, they’re sort of a jack of all trades master of none. You get a lot of bang for your buck, but you aren’t getting the most transparent, fastest, most accessible VPN. With these drawbacks in mind, if you want a wider array of features than just a VPN, this is a wonderful option.