We recently told you why you should have a VPN, and gave you some tips on how to choose the best VPN for you. If you are serious about your privacy or security and want to use your VPN full-time, we would strongly recommend that you seriously consider paid VPNs. While you will have to lay down some cash you will get more exit gateways, better connections and privacy than you would be able to get using a free VPN service.
It should be noted though, that many very bad services masquerade as good ones and simply because a VPN is paid does not mean that a service will protect you adequately. With that in mind, we would like to help you thin out the herd by providing you with our top five picks for a VPN. This list is by no means final and we would encourage you to try out a few different services before buying, and many do offer free trials so you can get a feel for the service before using it.
Before we jump to it, a few words about our criteria. All of the VPNs listed here perform consistently well on speed-checks and our main area of concerns are ease of use, privacy, exit locations and any extra features. We also compare the prices of annual subscriptions as these are by far the best value for money.
With that said, lets look at our top five paid VPNs for 2017.
PIA consistently comes out well in reviews and it’s not without good reason. PIA takes your privacy very seriously they don’t keep any records or logs of your traffic so they don’t have anything to hand over to the authorities. They do however keep track of your meta data, but have pledged not to hand this over to authorities. PIA also offers lots of exit gateways, consisting of 3253+ servers in 25 different countries.
PIA performs admirably thanks to its high server concentration and you are able to use torrenting clients while the VPN is active. On top of all this, PIA will work on just about any OS and comes with PIA mace to help keep you safe from malware.
The bad? If you are into slick design then PIA is going to disappoint you. It takes a minimalist approach to the desktop app and is very bare bones. It also has less countries on offer than many of the others on this list. The client is also based in the US, so you should keep your eye out for any major policy shifts.
PIA won’t cost you too much at $3.33 a month if you opt for a years subscription, this makes it by far the cheapest VPN on our list. There is also a 7 day money back guarantee so you can test it out. You can pay using a number of methods, including bitcoin and even gift cards bought from stores.
Fast, good privacy, extra security features and value for money, let down only by its lackluster interface and lack of a trial. If you want value for money and are happy with a no-thrills interface, then PIA is for you. Either way, it is one of our top five paid VPNs for 2017.
IPVanish is another service that consistently comes out with strong ratings. It keeps no connection or metadata logs and it allows P2P torrenting, although it does request that its users respect the law. They do use “aggregate, anonymous, or de-identified” information for marketing and research purposes. Subscribers have the right to use the VPN on five devices simultaneously. IpVanish offers a large number of exit-gateways with over 700 servers in 60+ countries, including many that would not normally be on offer, such as Egypt or South Africa.
We recommend IPVanish – Check it out here
IPVanish consistently performs well on speed checks. The desktop interface is stylish and simple to use. They have also recently introduced an IP scrambler, a tool that can help circumvent deep packet inspections. It also supports a whole host of different OSes, so chances are it will run on your system no matter how exotic your set-up.
The bad? Well, the most quoted downside of IPVanish is the fact that it is based in the United States. This is perhaps something to be concerned about if you live in the US but as they keep no logs, they would be unable to comply with any potential information requests. Nevertheless, you should keep your ear to the ground for any potential changes in the law that might compromise the VPN service.
IPVanish errs towards the expensive, costing $6.49 if you pay for a whole year at once. You can pay using a number of methods, including bitcoin.
This Swiss based VyprVPN is one of the few services that owns and controls its entire infrastructure, which provides better speeds and privacy protection. While it is based in Switzerland any users should be aware that VyprVPN does keep connection logs for up to 30 days, in order to troubleshoot and catch any terms of service violations. It should also be noted that VyprVPN do not allow any torrenting on their service, period. They have over 700 servers in 50 global locations, giving you plenty of exit locations to choose from.
When it comes to speed, VyperVPN claims to be the best on the market and it is pretty nippy. VyperVPN is shipped with in a slick package and their desktop interface is downright stylish, showing you all of the information you need in an easy to understand package. It also works on a large number of systems
one of VyperVPN’s most interesting features sounds like it is from a Bond Movie. The Chameleon Protocol is specifically designed to by-pass oppressive state firewalls in countries like China, Russia and Iran. It scrambles VyperVPN metadata to ensure that it is unrecognizable by deep packet inspection, allowing it to by-pass restrictive networks so that you can access the Internet at large.
The bad? Well, the elephant in the room is clearly the data-logging policy. While VyperVPN does not keep usage logs they do keep a record of the time connected and amount of data transferred for 30 days. They say that this is maintained for billing, evaluation, troubleshooting and Terms of Service issues. The other major disadvantage of the service is that it does not allow you to use P2P file sharing software, even if it is for legitimate reasons.
VyperVPN is a tiered service and will set you back $5.00 a month if you choose to bill it annually for the standard service. This allows up to three simultaneous connections. If you opt for the premium service you pay $6.67 a month for an annual billing you’ll get five simultaneity connections and access to the VyperVPN cloud and the Chameleon protocol. They offer a 3 day free trial but as of publication you can not pay anonymously.
VyperVPN is great value for money and the Chameleon Protocol is pretty impressive, that being said, if you want to use it to torrent look elsewhere. If you don’t use file sharing services then you should seriously consider VyperVPN and it is definitely worth of being one of our top five paid VPNs.
VPNArea is based in Bulgaria, which makes it a great choice for anybody really interested in their privacy. They have a no-logs policy, which astonishingly, even includes metadata! All of this means that they can’t be compelled to hand over any data to the authorities. You can use it simultaneously on five devices and they have hundreds of servers across 56 countries, including some less common countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Russia.
Like all of the VPNs listed here, VPNArea is going to offer you good download and upload speeds. The desktop interface is stylish, a little quirky and very open to customization. Making it great for a user with a little knowledge who likes to tweak things. It also works on pretty much any operating system. VPNArea comes equipped with a nice selection of security tools and has the optional add-on of a dedicated I.P. address with a private VPN server. While this extra is great for anybody concerned about privacy. It also opens up the possibility of running a dedicated game or mailing server.
The bad? There’s no free trial, so you will have to lay down some cash in order to give VPNArea a decent shot. That being said, they do offer a 7 day money back guarantee which removes some of the risk but you will still have to lay down some cash to give it a go.
When it comes to price VPNArea is pretty competitive for the features on offer, costing only $4.29 a month if you pay in yearly installments. If you want the dedicated I.P. address this will set you back around $15 a year which is great value. There are a number of payment options and the privacy concerned among you can elect to pay with Bitcoin This gives you access to 6 accounts and as a bonus, they even explicitly state that they allow you to share your account with friends, family and colleagues.
This Slovakian based VPN is primarily designed to be simple for a novice to pick up and use. Like most of the VPNs on this list they maintain a no log policy but the small print does allow them to collect session data that they reserve the right to investigate if they believe anyone is breaking violation of their terms and conditions. If you purchase the monthly plan you can only use it with two devices simultaneously, if you get the annual subscription you get access to five devices. They have 63 exit locations in 43 countries.
The real draw of TigerVPN is the slick interface and the fact it can be instantly set up on IoS Windows and Mac. Unfortunately they do not offer a native app for Linux, which is a bit of a drawback. They also allow you to use P2P file sharing services, if you are so inclined.
If you purchase the annual subscription you also get access to a free password manager. If you want to give tigerVPN a try also offer a free trial of up to 500mb a month, which should be enough to figure out if TigerVPN is right for you.
The bad? Well there is a severe lack of features for what you’re paying for and your settings are limited compared to our other offerings. The lack of a native Linux app is also disappointing.
TigerVPN is sitting towards the higher end of our price range, the annual subscription will set you back $6.67 a month and you have a variety of payment options on offer, including bitcoin.
TigerVPN’s slick and easy to install interface make it great for beginners and it allows torrenting services to be used but it does lack some of the advanced features of other choices on this list.
The VPNs we’ve shown you are a great place to start but it is by no means exhaustive. The best way to find a VPN that suits you is to shop around a bit. We encourage you to take advantage of any free trials and money-back guarantees before you commit to any one service.
Do you use something else you’d recommend? Disagree with any of our choices? Let us know in the comments!