Best VPN Services in December 2019

Which VPN should you use? Trying to figure out the best VPN services is not easy. Read about our top choices & what to look for when choosing the best VPN for your needs. 

best vpn services image

Which are the best VPN services? Let's unmask them. 

Everyone seems to have an opinion about which VPN service is "the best", but a lot of the information available is dodgy and should be treated with suspicion. 

Relying on a VPN service to act as a shield and protect your Internet activities requires a high degree of trust. This is especially true for sensitive online activities such as torrent file-sharing, avoiding online tracking or browsing websites you’d rather keep private. 

Plus, free VPN services may say they keep you “anonymous” and claim not to keep any logs of your activities that could be traced back to you, but how can you know for sure? 

Your online privacy is not something you should mess around with. This is why you should only use reliable and trusted VPN services. Below, we recommend the best VPN services on the market today. But we also encouraged you to conduct your own research and decide for yourself. For that, the last half of this post outlines how to choose the best VPN service provider for you


Best VPN Services & What to Look for

Not all VPNs are created equal. Some deserve a place in your privacy tool arsenal while others are best avoided. Here are the best VPN services in December 2019: 

RANK

VPN SERVICE

FEATURES

BEST PRICE

MORE INFO

1

NordVPN best secure VPN service

• best VPN overall
• no-logs & P2P allowed
• 60 countries & 5,589 servers

$3.50/mo
$11.95/mo

save 80%

Try risk-free for 30 days

2

Private Internet Access VPN best value VPN service

• best VPN for privacy
• zero-logs & torrent-friendly
• 32 countries & 3,341 servers

$3.33/mo
$9.99/mo

save 67%

Try risk-free for 7 days

3

ExpressVPN best overall vpn service

• excellent VPN for speed
• no-logs & allows torrenting  
• 94 countries & 3,000 servers

$6.67/mo
$12.95/mo

save 49%

Try risk-free for 30 days

check-square

VPN Checklist

Here are some of the main things you should consider when choosing a VPN:

  • check
    Security and Privacy: You need a VPN service that won't disclose your personal details if/when the snoops come knocking on their door. You need a no-log VPN with a proven zero-logs track record of protecting its customers.
  • Speed and Reliability: You may have to sacrifice a little Internet speed when using a VPN, but it shouldn’t be excessive. Pay attention to speeds at different times of day and when doing different tasks to see how your VPN performs.
  • check
    Servers: How many servers are there? Where are they located? Are there any in or near your country, and how fast are they? Do they have servers in torrent-friendly countries?
  • check
    Features: Not all VPNs have the same features – and they don’t perform the same either. Play with the UI (user interface) and give the different features, like Kill Switch, Stealth VPN or Double VPN, a spin to see how well they work.
  • check
    DNS/IP Leaks: Some VPNs are better at protecting your IP and DNS than others. One way to test your current VPN is with this handy tool, https://dnsleak.com/
  • check
    Customer Support: Whether you have any problems with the service or not, you may want to try giving customer support a shout just to see if they’re on the ball.

Our VPN recommendations on this page are based on the above criteria. We go into more details about these in the last half of the post after the summary below.


Top 5 Best VPN Services

Here are our carefully selected picks for the best VPN services December 2019. 

1) NordVPN

NordVPN is passionate about the privacy of its customers and it shows.

Screenshot of NordVPN homepage.

NordVPN is the #1 best VPN service.

  • fast & easy-to-use
  • based outside the USA
  • no logs of any kind (confirmed by audit)
  • 100% allows p2p torrent file-sharing
  • connect 6 devices at the same time 
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • value priced longer-term plans 
  • recommended by C|net and PC Mag
  • join 8 million users! 
  • 5,400 servers in 61 countries
  • unique features including Double VPN and Onion Router over VPN 

Try it 30 days risk-free (money-back guarantee). 

Why choose NordVPN? In a few short years, NordVPN has become the leading VPN service in the world. NordVPN "ticks every box" when it comes to what to look for in an ideal VPN service: low prices, no-logs, a long money-back guarantee period, a big server footprint in a decent amount of countries, and 100% torrent-friendly. No wonder you will see it rank 1st or very high on most trust-worthy VPN review websites, including PC Mag and C|net. 


2) Private Internet Access VPN

Private Internet Access (or PIA as it is known) is a legendary VPN for a reason. 

Screenshot of PIA VPN homepage.

Private Internet Access VPN is our #2 best VPN service.

  • no-log VPN (proven in court!)
  • no leaks (confirmed)
  • fully allows torrent file-sharing
  • use on 10 devices at same time
  • pay with anonymous gift cards
  • rated "Great" on Trustpilot
  • MACE technology blocks ads, trackers & malware
  • 3,341 servers in 32 countries
  • 7-day money back guarantee 
  • based in the USA

Try it 7 days completely risk-free.

Why Choose Private Internet Access VPN? PIA has been a household name in VPN services for many years. Eventually, other VPN services caught up to it, but in March 2019 PIA underwent a big update. These changes mean that PIA is back among the best VPN services. Most importantly, it has been proven in court cases to be a no-log VPN. This is very important because it is based in the USA which makes some people nervous. But because it is zero-logs, you have nothing to worry about. This is why it is among the best VPNs for torrenting too. 


3) ExpressVPN

The Swiss army knife of VPNs. A true “go to” VPN for all online activities.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN homepage.

ExpressVPN is our #3 choice for the best VPN services. 

  • easy-to-use
  • based outside the USA
  • no-log VPN (audited as keeping no logs)
  • no leaks (proven & here)
  • split tunneling NEW
  • allows torrent file-sharing
  • consistently fast download speeds
  • works with Netflix USA, UK, India & Canada
  • famous 30-day money back guarantee
  • built-in speed test 
  • 3,000 servers in 148 cities & 94 countries
  • 30,000 IPs
  • "only" 5 simultaneous logins

Try it for 30 days risk-free.

Who Choose ExpressVPN? ExpressVPN is as near a perfect VPN service as exists today. However, it has the price tag to match. This is why we rank it a little lower down our list of the best VPN providers. But if you don't mind paying more and are looking for the fastest VPN speeds, wide global server coverage, confirmed zero-logging & leak protection, a long money-back guarantee period and the ability to access Netflix & other streaming services out-of-country, ExpressVPN is the one to choose. 


4) VyprVPN 

VyprVPN has always been among the most honest VPNs and recent changes now make it a great choice. 

Screenshot of VyprVPN website.

Recent changes to VyprVPN leapfrog it into one of the best VPN providers.

  • check
    700 servers in 70 countries
  • check
    200,000 IP addresses
  • check
    use on 5 devices at the same time
  • check
    fully no-log VPN NEW
  • its Chameleon proprietary protocol can beat deep packet inspection (works in China etc)
  • 24x7x365 live chat support
  • check
    based in Switzerland
  • check
    most honest VPN service
  • 3-day free trial
  • 1 million customers

Try it absolutely free for 3 days without risk. 


5) PureVPN

One of the first, biggest and still one of the best VPN services. 

Screenshot of PureVPN's homepage.

PureVPN is the #5 best VPN provider.

  • easy-to-use
  • based outside the USA
  • no leaks
  • allows p2p torrent file-sharing
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 31-day money back guarantee NEW
  • 2,000 servers in 140 countries
  • 300,000 shared IP addresses
  • 3 million customers milestone 

Try it for 31 days without risk.  

Act now and you can participate in PureVPN's 12th Anniversary Celebration. Sign-up for any PureVPN plan and you can gift 12 monthly accounts to anyone you want absolutely free! 


Best Free VPN Services

NONE!

Don't be tempted to use a free VPN service, no matter what they try and tell you. There have been plenty of scandals involving free VPN services, from Hola to Onavo to the dozens of China-based free VPNs that turned out to be not-so-safe.

Just. Don't. Do. It.

Read more about why using a free VPN is a bad idea.


How to Choose the Best VPN Service

Emotions run high when talking about which VPN services are the best. It's a subjective assessment anyway and everyone seems to have an opinion. But remember, the evaluation depends on many factors and everyone’s situation is different.

You should consider the following criteria and factors when choosing the “best VPN” for your needs.  

What Will You Use the VPN For?

First off, you'll need to know what you want to use the VPN for. If that has you asking, "What can I use a VPN for?" you may be surprised to learn that a VPN has many uses.

This means your choice of VPN will depend a lot on what your major uses of it will be.

For example, the needs of a person wanting a VPN to keep his or her torrent file-sharing safe is different from a business person wanting a VPN for protection when using Wi-Fi hotspots and different still from someone wanting a VPN to stream TV and live sporting events from all around the world. Still others want to curtail the increasingly widespread practices of online tracking and profiling.

Top Tip – If your focus is on finding a torrent VPN for anonymous file-sharing there is even more criteria to keep in mind when choosing the right VPN. We have grouped these specific torrent VPN criteria.

How Easy is the VPN Service to Use?

Your quest to find the best VPN service will also depend on your level of experience and your comfort level with technology.

If you are completely new to VPNs and concepts such as IP addresses, proxies and encryption, your priority may be a user-friendly VPN with an easy interface – for example, check out ExpressVPN or PureVPN.

More advanced users might be in the market for a VPN with extra features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection and different encryption & protocol options – check out NordVPN.  

How Much Does the VPN Service Cost?

The price each VPN charges is an obvious factor in your choice and a personal one. Some people can afford or are willing to spend more, others are not.

Prices range from about $2 to 10 per month (about £2-7 or €2-9) depending on the length of the signup period you choose.

Always keep an eye out for special deals as the best VPN services sometimes have time-limited promotions or exclusive discounts, and almost always offer discounts for longer signup periods.

For example, a popular option now is 2-year, 3-year and even "lifetime" sign-ups for deep discounts.

Does the VPN have a Money-Back Guarantee or Free Trial?

Before signing up to a VPN, especially any longer-term plans, check to see if they offer a money-back guarantee or offer a free trial. This way, you can make sure that everything works well for you.

Any reliable VPN service will have a money-back guarantee. These guarantee periods can range from 3 to 31 days.  

How Fast is the VPN Service?

Take any speed ratings you see with a grain of salt, whether stated on the VPN service provider’s website or in reviews on other websites.

These speed ratings don’t often mean much because a VPN’s download speed will vary for many reasons. These include:

  • your distance from the VPN's servers
  • the path your Internet traffic takes
  • what you are doing online
  • the load on the VPN (the number of total users at the same time) 
  • the quality of your ISP connection 
  • and even the time of day, just to name a few.

This is why one person’s experience with the speed of a VPN can be very good, while another person’s is much less satisfactory. This can especially be the case across continents.

The best way to determine if the VPN’s speed is good for you is to sign up with a VPN that offers a money-back guarantee or free trial and put the VPN through its paces to thoroughly test download speeds.

How To Pay for the VPN Service?

Payment options may also be important to you. Some people are not comfortable paying by credit card and want to use PayPal or other payment options instead.

A small, but passionate, minority of VPN customers will want to pay anonymously for their VPN services in a way that they don’t have to share any information that could potentially be traced back to them. This is possible by paying with Bitcoin which is widely accepted by the best VPN services.

Another way to avoid sharing your personal or financial information when signing up with a VPN is to use prepaid store gift cards that you have bought in person with cash. This is only offered as a payment option by a select handful of privacy-conscious VPN services, including Private Internet Access

Where are the VPN Servers Located?

Most VPNs will allow you to choose the location of where your Internet connection exits the VPN service when it is activated. These are sometimes called "exit gateways".

These are the countries in which the VPN’s various proxy servers are located. Having this choice gives you control over which country your IP address will appear to be coming from. This is handy for accessing geo-restricted content, playing or speeding up online games or spoofing your location to get better prices when making online purchases.

For example, if you want to access Netflix content that is only available to people based in the US and you live elsewhere or are travelling outside the US, you could choose a US-based exit gateway offered by your VPN to access the Netflix library that you would otherwise be blocked from accessing.

You will want a VPN that has exit gateways in many different locations. The more country server locations, the better.

Country server locations are also important for torrent file-sharing. You will want to see a VPN with exit gateways located in “torrent friendly” locations such as (in alphabetical order) Belgium, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Turkey (this list is a good indicator.)

Anyone snooping on your Internet traffic (whether monitoring your p2p torrent activities or just generally tracking you online) will think you are based in the location of the exit gateway and detect the VPN’s IP address, rather than your actual location and true IP address. If the snoop traced back the traffic or IP address to the VPN’s servers, this would lead them only to the VPN service and not you.

Top Tip – If you want to make sure that the trail ends there and cannot be further traced back to you, make sure you choose a VPN service that does not log its customer (your) activities. Read more about providers that have been confirmed as no-log VPNs

What about the VPN's Technical Specifications

Sometimes you will see a VPN feature a long list of various technical specifications. These technical terms may include:

  • PPTP
  • L2TP
  • IPSec
  • SSTP
  • OpenVPN
  • SSL
  • TLS

Don’t let this technical jargon confuse you.

Whether you need to get wrapped up in these different specs depends on your needs. Each one has its intricacies, but they will all adequately protect you for day-to-day web browsing and media streaming.

Also, all the technical specifications listed above will hide your true IP address, masking it with a decoy one.

However, for more sensitive activities – whether torrent file-sharing or accessing censored websites (for example inside China) – use one of the more secure protocols such as OpenVPN or SSTP.

What’s important is that the VPN’s available technical specifications serve your needs.

If you need more information about VPN protocols, please see our post VPN Protocols Explained.

What Kind of Customer Support does the VPN Have?

Customer experience and support should also weigh on your choice of which VPN service to buy. While the VPN service's website will tout lots of satisfied customers and glowing testimonials (what else would you expect?), do some independent research.

Seek out and search for information about customer experiences with the VPN. However, make sure that the information is from a trustworthy source of VPN information such as the VPN Reviews subreddit, Cogipas.com, TorrentFreak, Lifehacker or MakeUseof.


A BIG Word of Caution about VPN “Reviews”

When researching VPNs, you will notice that there are lots of websites purporting to ‘review’ the best VPN services for 2018.

Keep in mind that many of these websites are not objective and unbiased as they claim.

Too often, these sites act unethically and pose as independent reviewers without disclosing their affiliations to the VPN services they are ‘reviewing’, all in an attempt to earn commissions.

Ethical practice (and the law in many places including the US) dictates that reviewers should expressly and prominently disclose that they employ affiliate links, as we do (above-the-fold no less in our sidebar) on every page.


Recap of the Best VPN Services of December 2019

RANK

VPN SERVICE

FEATURES

BEST PRICE

MORE INFO

1

NordVPN best secure VPN service

• best VPN overall
• no-logs & P2P allowed
• 60 countries & 5,589 servers

$3.50/mo
$11.95/mo

save 80%

Try risk-free for 30 days

2

Private Internet Access VPN best value VPN service

• best VPN for privacy
• zero-logs & torrent-friendly
• 32 countries & 3,341 servers

$3.33/mo
$9.99/mo

save 67%

Try risk-free for 7 days

3

ExpressVPN best overall vpn service

• excellent VPN for speed
• no-logs & allows torrenting  
• 94 countries & 3,000 servers

$6.67/mo
$12.95/mo

save 49%

Try risk-free for 30 days

Last updated: December 3, 2019

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: