How we compare VPN
.
.
1
Cost/Features – 25%

 Most of the top VPN providers offer price points approximately within the same range. Some offer the same plan and give you the possibility to choose the term of the subscription. Longer durations usually end up being sold at lower rates than having to pay month-to-month. Others offer progressing levels of service where the more costly plans give you more connections, bandwidth, speed, etc.

 It’s important to note here that almost every VPN provider will set your plan to auto-renew as a default. Say you buy a year term up front, it is in the terms and conditions of most VPN providers that they will use the same payment method for an additional year at the end of the initial term. Some services allow you to deselect auto-renewal upon signup (the best option), some allow you to alert the company that you do not wish to auto-renew, and still, some require you to cancel your subscription altogether in order to avoid being billed. There are also those who will quote you a low discount rate, not specify the length of the promotional period, then auto-renew you for the standard, higher rate, a month ahead. We suggest you read all the conditions and enroll carefully, paying particular attention to what you are agreeing to. If there is any uncertainty, get in touch the company to clarify.

 Here we are looking at the cost of a particular service compared to the features you get.

1) Performance- In almost all cases, because of the extra protection and encryption, a VPN is going to be a bit slower than your direct IP connection. In determining this, we performed independent speed tests, the average upload/download rate across several servers located in various countries.
2) Encryption Protocols- We relish providers that use OpenVPN as the default protocol. L2TP/IPsec works as well, but PPTP should be avoided at all costs as it is the weakest in terms of security.
3) Connections- How many concomitant connections do you get with your plan.
4) Servers- How many servers does the company operate and are they 3rd party owned.
5) Countries- In which countries does the company operate? Really, how many options do you have for replacing your current location?

 

2
Reputation – 25%

 To determine a given VPN provider’s reputation score we look at several things:

1) Operational History- Length of time in business.
2) 3rd Party Rankings- We pooled together reviews from independent websites.
3) BBB Accreditation- Where applicable
4) Customer Reviews- We tried to cast as wide a net as possible over resources with the greatest number of customer reviews. We measured how often (if at all) companies personally reacted to complaints and fixed issues.
5) 100% Security- No VPN can guarantee this. At very best, a virtual private network protects you from data gathering and individuals randomly scraping up data. If a government or other determined entity is hell-bent on determining what you are doing, they will.

 

3
Terms of Service – 25%

 A VPN provider will usually have their terms of service and privacy policies on their website.

1) Availability- Can you locate the terms you are agreeing to? Are they easy to read?
2) Third Party Ads- Does the provider’s ToS require you to accept they will pass third-party advertisements? These can come in the form of toolbars, links, popups, external trackers, etc.
3) Billing Structure- Is the company upfront about its renewal plan or is it confusing or buried in the print? How easily does the company make it pick between auto-renew and manual renew? Is it quite clear whether you will be paying in advance for the whole term or monthly?
4) Contract Length- Does the company offer various contract range choices?
5) Cancelation/Refund Policy- How easily does the provider make it cancel? Within how many days will they grant a refund?

 

4
Security/Logging Policy – 15%

 Most VPN services will claim they have a “no logging” system. This needs to be explored more deeply.

 Logging is keeping information concerning a customer’s sessions using the VPN. Since the whole idea of a VPN is that it is assumed to be private why would a provider do this? The truth is most firms will not keep any logs of your actions (the sites you visit). Some, however, will claim they do not log but keep recordings of the times you used the system or your IP address. A few truly do not retain any logs of your routine whatsoever.

 Furthermore, a company must obey the logging laws of the country in which they are based. For example, some European countries employ counter-terrorism actions that require VPN providers to retain and hand over specific usage information on demand. When looking at logging we consider these factors:

1) Logging Policy- We look in depth to see if a firm claiming no logging is still holding some information, like logs and timestamps.
2) Country of Operation- What is the security policy of a specific country?
3) Shared IPs- Can multiple users use an identical IP for continued security?

 

5
Customer support – 10%

 A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Customer service acts as a link between the company and the consumer. VPN is not merely a product but a service, so ensuring its availability is paramount for VPN providers.

 • Email;

 • 24-Hour Telephone Support;

 • Live Chat;

 • Social Media;

 • FAQs.