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The Best VPN Services for 2018

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best VPN services currently available as well as some of the best gaming VPNs. We’ll also go into what a VPN is and how you can protect yourself by using one.

Best VPN Services

V PNs have always been the best solution for people who are looking to keep their activity online private and secure. They’re also an integral tool for anyone who is using torrents to download videos, music, and other files on a regular basis. And, if you need to access location-restriction content–such as watching the Olympics live as they happen from another country–then a VPN is your best option.

But how good of an option are VPNs for gamers? Up until recently, VPNs weren’t a great solution for gamers due to the increased in-game lag they caused. Now, though, with services like VyprVPN and Buffered VPNs are becoming a necessary security measures for serious gamers.

And, with the ability to integrate your VPN with your router, you can ensure that you are always browsing safely and anonymously.

The TOP 7 Best VPN SERVICES Compared

Best VPNsIn the past, serious gamers who use VPNs have found that they have to turn their VPN off while gaming. The reason for this is that since a VPN creates another step in the connection process, more in-game lag occurs because of it.

However, with VPN services drastically improving, that extra lag is pretty much mitigated.

There are plenty of VPN options available. Some options are good and others are outright terrible. For the more technically sound, setting up your own VPN might be a good route.

However, if you want something that’s quick and easy to setup, won’t give you any lag, and is affordable, I recommend going with a VPN service like VyprVPN.

VPN Comparison Chart (Click “Read Review” to Expand)

VyprVPN
  • 9.6/10 rating
  • 50+ server locations
  • 200,000+ global IPs
  • Superior speed & performance

$6.77/mo

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“All-in-all, VyprVPN is one of the best VPN services available. While they are a bit pricier than other options, the fact that they keep everything in-house is a huge plus. And, with good speeds, reliability, and plenty of servers across the world, you really can’t go wrong with their service.

Overall Rating: 9.6/10

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Overview

VyprVPN is a Virtual Private Network service provided by Golden Frog, a software developer that focuses on privacy, security, and open platforms. One of the best aspects of VyprVPN is that they keep everything in-house. In comparison, most other VPN service providers outsource some of the features of their product.

VyprVPN provides one of the fastest and most reliable VPN services on the market. With unlimited data, the ability to support of to three devices simultaneously, and plenty of locations worldwide, VyprVPN is an excellent choice for anyone who is seeking a solid Virtual Private Network service.

Pricing

VyprVPN-Prices

VyprVPN Pro ($6.67/MO Billed Annually)

VyprVPN’s Basic package allows you to run a single connection from either your Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android device. While the Pro and Premier packages utilize PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and Chameleon protocols, the Basic package only utilizes PPTP protocols.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for an affordable basic VPN service this package will work for you. However, if you want something a little more secure that can run on multiple devices at the same time, I’d at least go with the Pro package.

VyprVPN Premiere($8.33/MO Billed Annually)

VyprVPN’s Pro package is similar to the Basic package, except your can run two devices simultaneously. Also, the Basic package is limited to the PPTP protocol whereas the Pro package also includes OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and Chameleon.

The Pro package is all-around a solid option for moderate-to-extreme users who want the best of both worlds between features and affordability.

PureVPN
  • 9.6/10 rating
  • 500+ servers/141 locations
  • 80,000+ global IPs
  • Anonymous browsing

$2.08/mo

7-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“PureVPN brings affordability to this list of the best VPNs. If it weren’t for the fact that their service is more difficult to setup than other services, PureVPN would easily be at the top of this list. However, that doesn’t make them a bad choice, and their rates definitely make up for it. So, if you want an excellent VPN provider and a very fair price, then PureVPN is the choice for you.”

Overall Rating: 9.6/10

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Overview

PureVPN is another service that deserves to be considered as one of the best VPNs on the market. Unlike the other VPN services listed here, PureVPN is easily the most affordable. And, it has the features and performance to stack up with the others, too.

While it is a little bit more difficult to setup than other VPN services, it is still a great package. So, if you’re looking for an affordable VPN service that will present you with all the features you need, PureVPN won’t let you down.

Pricing

PureVPN-Prices

PureVPN Month-to-Month ($10.00/MO)

At $6.95/MO, PureVPN makes their month-to-month package cost about the same as others yearly packages (on a month-to-month basis). This, in my opinion, makes PureVPN the best VPN service for users who don’t want the constraints of a year-long commitment.

In the end, you can’t beat $6.95 for a month-to-month VPN service, when everyone else is charging around $10 for the same thing.

PureVPN Semi-Annual ($7.46/MO Billed Semi-Annually)

PureVPN’s semi-annual VPN package is a decent deal. However, I wouldn’t recommend choosing it seeing as how their yearly package costs just $5 more for six months more of service.

So, if you want a long-term solution, skip their semi-annual package and go straight to their yearly package.

PureVPN Yearly ($4.16/MO Billed Annually)

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. PureVPN’s yearly package costs a measly $4.16/MO (payment due up front). That’s easily the best deal of the providers listed here and seeing as how they provide excellent service, this might be the best option for budget conscious individuals.

If you’re looking for a solid VPN and you don’t want to pay a ton of cash, then PureVPN’s yearly package is a phenomenal choice.

IPVanish
  • 9.6/10 rating
  • 500+ servers/60+ locations
  • 40,000+ global IPs
  • Great speeds for gaming

$6.49/mo

7-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“Overall, IPVanish has an excellent offering and is easily one of the best VPNs on the market. With their fast connection and reliable service, IPVanish is an especially good option for gamers and torrent users. If you’re looking for a VPN service you can count on, then IPVanish is a good place to start. While there are many other comparable VPNs out there, you will definitely not be disappointed by IPVanish’s VPN. “

Overall Rating: 9.6/10

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Overview

Another very solid VPN service is IPVanish. Often considered to have the fastest connection, as well as providing logless privacy, IPVanish is very popular among gamers and torrent users.

And, with prices as low as $6.49 a month, it’s somewhat affordable compared to other offerings. Ultimately, IPVanish is a top-flight VPN service with plenty of features and it is definintiely worth your consideration.

Pricing

IPVanish Prices

IPVanish Month-to-Month ($10.00/MO)

At $10.00/MO, IPVanish’s month-to-month payment option is by no means the most expensive VPN option available. Services like ExpressVPN and Hide My Ass! are more expensive. However, if price is your main concern you can do better…

Though, with the cheaper options, you may not get quite as good of service as IPVanish provides.

IPVanish 3-Month ($8.99/MO Billed Every 3 Months)

IPVanish is one of the only few VPN services who offers a quarterly payment plan. A three month payment plan is a great option for anyone who is unsure of whether or not a VPN is right for them. It gives them plenty of time to test the VPN service out, without costing them a fortune.

Unlike a lot of companies six-month offerings, IPVanish’s 3-month package actually makes sense. If you’re unsure about VPNs and their benefits, you might want to consider this package from IPVanish.

IPVanish Yearly ($6.49/MO Billed Annually)

At $6.49/MO billed annually, IPVanish’s yearly payment option is right in line with some of the other best VPNs on the market. While locking in a low price for a year is a great option, it does leave you stuck with the service if you find out you don’t need, or don’t want a VPN service, or in the event a better deal comes around.

However, for those of you who know the benefits of a VPN and need one for your online activities, then paying for a year upfront is a great option.

hideMyAss
  • 9.5/10 rating
  • 600+ servers/90+ locations
  • 75,000+ global IPs
  • Great speeds

$6.55/mo

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“With its large number of servers spread all over the world, its excellent performing VPN service, and its known reputation, Hide My Ass! is an easy VPN service to recommend. While it is a little more expensive than other VPN services and it won’t cover up for you if you’re doing illegal activities, Hide My Ass! is a very solid all-around solution for the average computer user looking for enhanced security.”

Overall Rating: 9.4/10

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Overview

Based in the UK, Hide My Ass! is one of the most popular VPN services on the market. This is thanks to the fact that they offer free web proxy services and privacy tools. Hide My Ass! also ranks second to VyprVPN as having the most servers and IPs of all the VPN providers.

And, they rank #1 in the number of countries their servers are located in. With a total of 613 VPN servers spread across 75 countries, Hide My Ass! has an extremely large network, easily making them one of the top VPN choices for the average computer user.

Pricing

HideMyAss-Prices

Hide My Ass! Month-to-Month ($11.52/MO)

Hide My Ass! doesn’t have different VPN packages for regular consumers. Their consumer-based VPN service is the same across the board. However, they do provide separate VPN services to business and bulk account customers as well.

For the month-to-month package you will pay the most per month. However, you can cancel after the end of the month with no harm done. The semi-annual and yearly plans do cost less per month, but after 30-days you can’t get your money back.

Hide My Ass! Semi-Annual ($8.33/MO Billed Semi-Annually)

At $8.33/MO this plan is an okay deal. You get six months of solid VPN services for a decent price. However, if you’re not happy for any reason with your service you only have 30-days to cancel your subscription and get your money back.

Ultimately, I’d pass on the Semi-Annual package and either go with the yearly package if you’re sure you’re going to use their service, or the monthly package if you just want to try it out.

Hide My Ass! Yearly ($6.55/MO Billed Annually)

The yearly package from Hide My Ass! is clearly the best deal, coming in at $6.55/Mo. While you do have to pay for the whole month up front, you get their rock solid VPN service at a very affordable price.

If you have the money to pay upfront for 12 months of service, then this is definitely the plan to get.

ExpressVPN
  • 9.5/10 rating
  • Servers in 87 countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Extremely fast and secure

$8.32/mo

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“If you’re looking for a VPN with a ton of features, then ExpressVPN is definitely a solid option. However, if you’re looking for something more affordable, then you might want to look elsewhere. Ultimately, though, just like all of the VPN services on this list, ExpressVPN is listed here for a reason. So, if you want a quality VPN provider, you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.”

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Overview

ExpressVPN is another very solid VPN service provide. While it is one of the most expensive VPN solutions on the market, it’s wide range of features makes it one of the strongest VPN options available.

In fact, of all the VPN service providers, ExpressVPN ranks up there in the number of features it offers. And, with support and apps for pretty much any device, ExpressVPN appeals to all computer users. So, if you’re looking for a feature-rich and proven VPN service, ExpressVPN isn’t a bad place to look.

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ExpressVPN-Prices

ExpressVPN Month-to-Month ($12.95/MO)

Just like Hide My Ass! Express VPN offers one consumer-based VPN service, but prices it differently based on how you want to pay. If you want the convenience of paying on a monthly basis, you will have to pay a little more.

At $12.95/MO, ExpressVPN’s month-to-month plan is the most expensive option on the market. So, if price is your main concern, you definitely want to look elsewhere.

ExpressVPN Semi-Annual ($9.99/MO Billed Semi-Annually)

As is traditional with VPN services, ExpressVPN’s semi-annual payment plan is the worst option. Not only do you have to pay more on a monthly basis, but you are stuck with the service for a full six months.

Fortunately, ExpressVPN does have a 100% money back guarantee for your first 30 days of service. So, even if you do choose the six month package, you should have enough time to figure out if the service is right for your or not.

ExpressVPN Yearly ($8.32/MO Billed Annually)

At $8.32/MO, ExpressVPN’s yearly package is by far their best deal. And, while it is definitely the most expensive yearly package on the market, you can rest assured that ExpressVPN’s services are good enough to make up for it.

However, other VPN service providers offer somewhat similar packages at lower costs. So, while ExpressVPN is one of the best services available, if you don’t need all of the features that ExpressVPN offers and you’re looking for something more affordable, you might want to look elsewhere.

IronSocket
  • 9.5/10 rating
  • 141 server locations
  • 80,000+ global IPs
  • Anonymous browsing

$4.16/mo

7-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“With unlimited bandwidth, no activity logs, and some of the best prices on the market, IronSocket is easily one of the better VPN services currently available. While it doesn’t quite match PureVPN in terms of price, it does have a ton of features that make it a very attractive option.”

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Overview

IronSocket has been around since 2005 and is fairly well-established among virtual private server companies. They have servers in 35+ countries, offer unlimited bandwidth, don’t log their users, and provide an easy-to-use interface.

And, as far as pricing goes, their $6.99 month-to-month price is perhaps one of the best offers currently on the market… especially considering that some services don’t even offer that low of a price if you pay for a year upfront.

Pricing

IronSocket Prices

IronSocket 1-Month ($6.99/MO)

At $6.99/MO, only PureVPN offers a better month-to-month rate than IronSocket—and only by a few cents per month as well. Overall, for what you get from the service, $6.99 is a steal considering what the competition is charging on a month-to-month basis.

IronSocket 6-Month ($5.99/MO)

 

For those of you looking to pay 6 months up front in order to save, IronSocket gives you a $1 per month discount for doing so. So, for a total of $35.95 you get half a year of service. Although… for $14 more you can just pay for a full year up front…

IronSocket 1-Year ($4.16/MO)

 

At $4.16 per month, IronSocket’s 1-year plan is one of the best offers currently on the market. For a grand total of $49.95, you can get service for a full year. However, if you’re not sure whether or not a VPN will benefit you, or if you don’t know if you’ll need one for a full year, you’re better off choosing the month-to-month plan to test the service out first.

Buffered VPN
  • 9.5/10 rating
  • Servers in 31 locations
  • IP sharing for anonymity
  • Completely logless VPN

$8.25/mo

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

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Recommendation

“Buffered VPN is relatively new and thus don’t have quite the large number of servers as some of the others on this list. However, they are rapidly expanding, they include IP sharing—which helps keep you anonymous—and they don’t keep logs. Their software is also extremely easy to use and even the most technically-challenged people will have no problem getting Buffered up and running. On top of that, the speed is also amazing. All-in-all, while Buffered may be a newcomer, they definitely have one of the best services currently available.”

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Overview

Buffered VPN is one of the newest VPN providers in the industry, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the better options currently available. Their network isn’t as big as some of the other more established providers, but it is quickly growing.

They currently have servers in 31 different locations and are a logless VPN provider—which means you can rest assured that you can browse safely while connected to Buffered. They also offer unlimited speeds, bandwidth, and server changes, and give you the ability to run 5 connections simultaneously.

Pricing

Buffered Pricing

Buffered Monthly Plan ($12.99/MO)

 

Buffered is definitely one of the more expensive VPNs currently on the market. However, with the service they provide and the amazing customer support they offer, it makes sense to pay a little more for a better service.

Buffered Bi-Annual Plan ($9.99/MO Billed Semi-Annually)

Unlike other VPN providers who offer semi-annual plans that are only a little less expensive than their yearly plans, Buffered actually offers a semi-annual plan that makes sense for anyone who wants to buy in 6-months increments.

Again, $9.99 per month is on the high side, but if you want one of the best VPN services, it’s worth the extra cost.

Buffered Yearly Plan ($8.25/MO Billed Annually)

At $8.25 per month when paying for a year upfront, Buffered has the most expensive yearly plan with exception to ExpressVPN. Of course, as I’ve already mentioned, the service Buffered offers makes up for the higher cost and the fact that you get unlimited speeds, a logless VPN, and amazing support factor into Buffered ranking so highly.

VPN Overview

Maintaining privacy while online is becoming more and more important every day. With all of the cyber criminals stalking the web and with government agencies watching your every move, keeping your data protected is now a necessity.

Fortunately, there is a solution and that is to use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network.

While a VPN isn’t the end-all-be-all of online security, it does offer a pretty powerful option for anyone who wants to reduce their chances of being attacked online.

In this post I will go over what a VPN is, why it’s important, and how you can go about choosing a VPN that will suit your needs.

What is a VPN?

In the simplest of definitions a VPN is a way in which users can securely connect to a specific network from a remote location. While connections to a VPN do travel through a public network, they do so in an encrypted and secure fashion.

VPNs were originally designed to replace leased lines by providing a more affordable and reliable option for organizations who wanted to connect remotely with other organizations.

The goal for VPN pioneers was to provide a networking solution for organizations to act as closely to a hardwired connection as possible.

While VPNs have served their original purpose well (in business settings), they have also become an incredibly powerful security tool for the average computer user. With a VPN you can essentially hide your activity online. By presenting the ability to hide your online activity, a VPN prevents hackers and cyber criminals from being able to monitor your online activity.

The best part about VPNs are that they are very affordable–with some VPN providers offering options as low as $3-$4 a month. And, even the least experienced users will find that setting up a VPN is a pretty simple process.

How A VPN Works

There are three parts to setting up and using a Virtual Private Network. They are:

1. Authentication

This process is fairly easy to understand. Whenever you setup a VPN connection between two networks, you will need to authenticate who you are and prove that you have permission to access the private network.

Typically, authentication is done via username and password. If you provide the correct username and password then you can access the VPN.

2. Encryption

The reason why you want to connect to another network is to send and receive data. The reason why you want to use a VPN is because you want to send and receive data privately.

However, since VPNs utilize public networks, the data you send and receive must be encrypted before being sent out. If VPNs did not encrypt data before sending it, then anyone accessing the public network that the data must travel through would be able to see that data (with the right software and knowledge, of course.)

So, after you’ve authenticated with the VPN, the data you are going to send/receive will be wrapped in a data package–which we’ll talk about in a second–and encrypted, thus securing it. Then, it will be sent to the private network.

3. Tunneling

When you send data over a public network, anyone with the right software and know-how can see what it is. Tunneling is the protocol that wraps data–or, rather, encapsulates, it–in another data package.

Once the data is received on the other side of the connection, it is then unwrapped, or deciphered, therefore completing the transmission of data from one end of the connection to the other.

The Benefits of Using A VPN Service

There are a large number of benefits that come from using a VPN, including the following:

1. VPNs allow you to maintain your privacy while online.

Even though VPNs were designed for use in business settings, personal VPNs are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to allow individuals to use the internet privately.

A VPN will encrypt traffic through various different protocols, including http, ftp, torrents, and VoIP.

2. With a VPN you can get through network restrictions.

While this benefit may not be the most ethical, for those of you who work for a company with a restricted network, or for college students who are limited by the school’s internet policies, a VPN can provide you with a way around those restrictions.

A VPN will change your IP address, therefore allowing you to bypass your work or school’s firewall.

As a warning, though, if caught using a VPN to access restricted sites on your work or school’s network, you may suffer consequences, so proceed with caution.

3. You can protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi using a VPN.

Whether you frequent the local Starbucks, or you’re on a business trip, a VPN will allow you to use a public WiFi in a private and secure manner. Without a VPN, anyone also accessing the public WiFi has the potential to see what you’re doing.

4. VPNs allow you to connect remotely to a private network.

If you have a job that requires you to work from home, or from a remote location, a VPN will allow you to do so. For instance, if you are on a business trip and you need to access data from your work’s server, a VPN will allow you to do so.

This feature–along with a few others–make VPNs a must-have for businesses and large companies.

Businesses Aren’t the Only Ones Who Should Use A VPN

As previously mentioned, VPNs have mainly been used in business settings. However, due to the fact that VPNs are affordable security options for maintaining online privacy, they have become very popular security tools for the average computer user.

By using a VPN you can guarantee that your online activity is private and you can significantly reduce your chance of becoming the victim of a cyber criminal.

And, setting up and connecting to a VPN is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. In fact, VPN service providers have made it extremely easy to gain access to a VPN.

Nowadays, it’s a matter of picking a plan from a VPN provider, setting up your account, installing the software, and letting it run.

So, if you think you could benefit from using a VPN (and, if you’re using the internet, you definitely could), by no means should you be intimidated by the process of setting one up.

WHICH VPN IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

You can never be too safe on the internet and a VPN is probably one of the best online security solutions available.

On top of that, if you’re a serious gamer, using a VPN will protect you from DDoS attacks. And, with VPN services like the ones listed above, you don’t have to worry about suffering from lower ping times.

Ultimately, if you’re not currently using a VPN to protect yourself, you should definitely consider getting one.

Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building computers and writing about building computers for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

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