Top VPN Services 2020

top vpn services

In today’s connected world, the safety of your identity online matters a lot. Now, it has become easier to snoop around other people’s business on the Internet. Data about your online activity is readily accessible, and anyone with malicious intent can use these against you.

The greatest threat these days to your privacy cannot be seen. They are in cyberspace, stalking potential victims while remaining entirely unseen. Practically anyone that uses the Internet can be spied on.

However, you are not defenceless. In the fight to regain your online privacy, a top VPN is your best weapon. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN sets up a connection to the internet that is private, which means it cannot be monitored by anyone from the outside.

If legal issues are your concern, there is no reason to worry. Using VPNs to protect yourself is not against the law. So many top paid VPN services are there for you to choose from. The top VPN companies are not dodgy groups from the dark web. Instead, they are legally recognised and properly legitimate businesses whose aim is to ensure you stay safe online.

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Given the gravity of online threats today, it's foolish to let one's guard down. When it comes to your online privacy and security, rely on the best VPN service today: ExpressVPN.

What are the Top 10 VPN Providers Today?

Choosing the best VPN can be a huge challenge. There are just so many VPN providers in the market and VPN service reviews that endorse, sometimes in a self-serving way. Often, the feature sets displayed on their websites are more confusing than straightforward, especially to users who are not tech-savvy. Selecting the top ten VPN that has great value for money adds a level of difficulty as well.

If you read several top 10 VPN review pages, you’ll notice a similar claim. If you’re looking for a VPN that won’t require you to spend a single cent, those are not the best options. They are very basic, not quite secure, and often loaded with ads. Also, their most important features are locked until you get the paid versions. In that case, you might as well go for the paid versions of reputable top 10 VPN makers.

Some paid VPNs are cheap, but cheap does not mean high security and reliability. Pricier ones do give you better service, but it also does not mean that the most expensive VPN is the fastest, most secure, and most reliable. You also need to consider the other features as well when considering a top ten VPN.

Also, consider your purpose for purchasing a top 10 VPN. Is it for work, leisure, or travel? Will you use it at home, in the office, or on the go? How many devices do you intend to connect? Take these into account before making a decision.

Now, here are the 10 top rated VPN services available in the market today.

Top 10 VPN Services

Here are some key features of the top 5 VPN services on the list.

ExpressVPN takes the top VPN spot for the best in terms of all the important criteria. It is easy to use, has advanced security features, supports multiple devices (and routers too), has not a bad price, and good customer support as well.

Next comes top VPN CyberGhost VPN, whose best asset is its great value for money. Their latest offer is at USD2.75 per month for a 3-year plan, with a 45-day money-back guarantee. As for their 1-month-only plan, it is at USD13.

Coming in at number 3 is top VPN SurfShark VPN. Its strength is its UI that puts ease of use at a premium. No need to stress over setting it up. Just turn it on, select a server, and once it connects, you’re good to go. You can go online and not worry about being spied on.

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What are the Important Things to Consider in a Top VPN?

The reasons behind the ranking above have to do with these top ten VPN services rating highly on security features, speed, pricing, ease of use, unblocking features, and customer support.

Security Features

To fully protect your online identity, a top VPN list must have these features. That way, you will have a nigh-impenetrable fortress to protect your information online.

1. IP Address Masking

Think of an IP address as like your home address. If your home address is visible, anyone can just drop into your house uninvited. However, if a ‘dummy’ address is visible instead, no one would know where you live.

The same principle applies to the Internet. A top ten VPN must be able to create a ‘private’ IP address to mask your ‘public’ IP address. As it is a basic feature, all VPNs have this ability.

People who love to download movies, shows, and other content from peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications benefit quite a lot from this feature. As their IP address is hidden, they don’t have to worry about anyone snooping into their activity.

2. Data Encryption

VPNs also encrypt your data as it’s transmitted through cyberspace. In other words, the data is scrambled, which means if anyone tries to catch it, what they see would not make sense.

Different types of encryption levels are available, but the best by far is called 256-bit AES. In layman’s terms, this kind of encryption is tough to crack, even for the fastest computers. Some VPNs use 128-bit AES, which is not as strong, but still gives a good level of security.

If your data is encrypted strongly enough, no one would be able to know your whereabouts on the Internet. This is good news for your online privacy and security, especially when you have transactions involving money.

For those who regularly use public WiFi networks, encryption is absolutely essential. If you connect to public WiFi without a VPN, all information you send and receive is visible to others on that network. So if a hacker is in the vicinity, you are a potential target. More so if you exchange financial data, like logging in to your banking apps, on public networks. Even less skilled hackers can easily intercept passwords, and later on, they can steal your money or make purchases without your consent.

But if you use a top ten VPN, the hacker won’t bother with your data because it’s encrypted. It would take them ages before they can even begin to crack the encryption. By then, you’ll be long gone from the public WiFi hotspot.

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3. VPN Protocols

VPNs connect to their servers through secure links. These are often done through VPN protocols like OpenVPN. Actually, many top VPN services include OpenVPN protocols as standard, which are also commonly used as the default setting.

Modifying VPN protocols are usually available in the respective settings menus, but these are for more advanced users. Most users would not even need to modify these settings at all.

In some areas, though, connecting to a VPN server is not that easy. This is where modifying the VPN protocol would be useful. So if you intend to travel a lot, consider this too when choosing a top VPN.

4. No-Logs Policy

If your IP is well-hidden, but your activity can still be seen, you remain vulnerable. In fact, digging through the things you have done online is one of the scary, yet very real, tactics that are done to get more information about you.

For one, companies use this information to serve you ads. It happens a lot on your Facebook profile. Let’s say you go on the website of a hotel. Later, when you go to your Facebook feed, you then get ads that tell you to book now on that very hotel. This tracking and monitoring is the new normal in Internet-based advertising.

Also, governments can use this to monitor you. If even a small part of your online activity seems suspicious, surveillance teams can scour your records further. These constitute a clear breach of your personal privacy.

The worst part is that nearly all of this is done without your consent. It just happens without you knowing anything at all. You just notice it once the ads start showing on your social media feeds.

This is why you ought to choose a top VPN that doesn’t record any of your activity. This is popularly known as a ‘no-logs policy’. With this, the top VPN services hold nothing about you – not even your real IP address.

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5. Kill Switch

For your connection to remain private, your VPN service must maintain a stable connection with its servers. Sometimes, though, this connection gets severed. When that happens, your real IP address and online activity will end up visible again. To prevent that from happening, a top VPN must have what’s known as a ‘kill switch’.

The kill switch cuts off your connection to the Internet each time the VPN servers become unstable. This measure ensures that your online identity stays hidden all the time.

This measure may seem annoying at first glance. However, if security is your main concern, a kill switch is actually a great thing to have. In turn, you will have zero traces of any activity whenever you come online. Fortunately, the top VPN services have this kind of safety net.

Speed

In many cases, when there is a higher level of security, speed is sacrificed. However, some VPNs also are capable of high speeds while keeping you quite secure. With this, you can breeze through the web as if you were using your normal Internet connection.

Using a top ten VPN that offers good speeds is essential when you do a lot of video streaming, online gaming, teleconferencing, or file uploading. These activities consume a lot of data and require high speed. Otherwise, you cannot do any of these while on a VPN.

It’s a good idea to look for VPNs with more servers so they can give you the speed you need. The more servers there are, the less congested the VPN would be. Think of it as your home WiFi: if everyone in your family is connected to one network, everything slows down. The same thing applies to a VPN. So if it has more servers, it can accommodate more users without slowing down.

Another thing to consider is that the top 10 VPN services have servers in many countries. Not all servers give the same speed. If you have lots to choose from, you can hop around servers to get the best speed. It’s even better if there is more than one server per country.

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Pricing

The best VPNs are not free. The reality is that you’d be hard-pressed to find one that offers all of the security features mentioned above. Moreover, free VPNs are loaded with annoying ads that ruin the experience. Worse still, they have very limited data caps. The servers they use can also be painfully slow. All of these would mean that free VPNs are basically ineffective.

If cost is an issue, be comforted by the fact that even top 10 VPN products will not break your budget. They usually come in subscriptions that range from one month to three years. The longer the plan, the lower the price per month. For the top VPNs, even the highest price is less than USD15 per month. If you take advantage of discount codes and promotions, they can go even as low as $3 a month.

Consider how long you would need to use the VPN before purchasing. If, say, you only need it for a short trip abroad, the one-month plans would be enough. They may be costlier every month, but you’ll only need it for a short time anyway. However, if you need the VPN regularly, then go for the yearly plans. This is ideal if you absolutely need the VPN for work or to run your business.

Most top ten VPN makers also offer money-back guarantees in case you aren’t satisfied with their services. Depending on the maker, it could be 30 days or even as long as 100 days. So in case you change your mind or want to try another VPN provider, you can just cancel your subscription within that period.

Ease of Use

Most users would be too overwhelmed with the technical details surrounding VPNs. You wouldn’t want a VPN whose user interface (UI) looks like the cockpit of an aeroplane. Instead, the UIs ought to have clean, simple designs that only highlight the key features.

For that reason, a to 10 VPN must be easy for the end-user to work with. The VPN app should automatically take care of the nitty-gritty in the background. This, in turn, leaves you to enjoy a safe and secure online experience.

The top VPNs always feature very user-friendly UIs, which mostly include an ‘on/off switch’ for the VPN itself and a way to select servers. The more advanced features are hidden in a separate ‘settings’ menu.

Region Unblocking

Imagine that you’re on vacation in a refreshing, secluded beachfront in Bali, Indonesia. One day, you decide to stay in your hotel room and stream Netflix. You pick your favourite show, only to find out that you cannot watch it from your current location as it is restricted to the US.

These so-called ‘region locks’ are what many people use VPNs for. A top ten VPN can bypass these regional restrictions with ease. This is important, especially if you love streaming movies and shows.

VPNs can achieve this by hiding your IP address and selecting country-specific servers. For example, if you want to watch that US-locked Netflix show in Bali, turn on your VPN and select a US server. That way, Netflix will think that you’re accessing content from the US, so it will let you through.

If your VPN also offers good speeds as well as unblocking, then you can stream with ease. There would be no annoying stints of lagging or buffering.

This region unblocking feature also works great if you intend to travel to countries like China, which have very strict internet censoring. Nearly every world-famous online service is blocked in that country: Google, Facebook, YouTube, and many others. So if you have to go to China or similar countries, having a top VPN with unblocking capability is essential. Not all VPNs can get through this kind of censorship, though. Choose wisely when looking for a VPN that can be used in China.

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Device Limit

Many top VPNs also support multiple devices. If you go online using more than one device, take this into account when choosing a VPN. If you only have two devices, say a laptop and a smartphone, then most VPNs would work for you.

Only the top ten VPN providers support up to seven devices at once. Individually, you may not need this. But if, for example, your whole family needs access to the VPN, then it would be good to consider the maximum number of devices that can be connected.

Several top rated VPN services also can be installed on select models of routers. With a VPN running on a router, every device connected to it will be protected by the VPN. That essentially means many more devices can take advantage of the VPN, regardless of its device limit. This can be a better alternative if you want your whole home to be more secured online.

After-Sales Support

Many good VPNs are subscription services, and as such, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. Because of their stringent protocols, most VPNs are usually ‘fire and forget’ apps that just work in the background. However, no technology is perfect.

At times, you could have software problems. For this reason, your VPN maker must have reliable and helpful customer support channels. It may be through chat support, a hotline, or email; the important thing is responsiveness. Many of them even have support lines available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The goal of any customer support department is to solve people’s problems as quickly as possible. If your VPN provides this service as well, then you are in good hands.

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Final Words of Advice

When choosing a VPN, there is another important thing to take into account. Carefully read what actual users have to say. Independent VPN service reviews would also give you the additional information that may not be present in more formal reviews like this one. If there is a lot of love for the service, then that VPN service may indeed be reputable.

Check the negative reviews as well, as these reveal the weaknesses of each VPN. Even the top 10 VPN services are not without their flaws. Once you have a glance at both sides of the coin, you will then be able to make a wiser buying decision.

And remember, you are not beholden to one VPN provider. You may change your mind in the middle of things. Use those money-back guarantees to your advantage. Just be wary when subscribing to a 1-year or 3-year plan. The fees become non-refundable after the guarantee period has passed.

All in all, the safety of your identity online should be a top priority. The best way to ensure this is through a VPN, so do consider having one. Making the best choice might be a huge task, but once you are protected by a VPN, you can worry less. In the end, you can direct all your energies to the important things you do on the Internet.

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