BEST VPN: Complete Review of Top 5
Each VPN service claims to be the best one. Bright advertising and incredible ratings are confusing, and user reviews
What should you do? How not to get mixed up in it? What to start with? CoolTechZone.com will help you understand.
So, if you are looking for:
- Best ‘’all-round’’ VPN;
- Best VPN to hide IP and unblock sites;
- Best VPN for online security and privacy;
- Best VPN for mobile devices;
- Best VPN for Netflix, other streaming services, and torrenting;
- Best VPN with a free trial version.
… be sure you read this guide. We wrote this guide, using our experience, and want real quality to be more important than marketing.
What VPNs were tested?
Though there are hundreds of VPN services, not all of them work well. Most of them ‘’make a fool of a client’’. Our task is to define the ones that:
- work best;
- have more functions;
- have the best price-quality combination;
- have the best user reviews.
We have selected 50 most active VPN services and conducted in-depth testing, took into account our experience and main user needs, analyzed reviews and compared the prices.
What VPN service is the best?
There is no such VPN that could meet all user needs. Some VPNs are more all-round and can be used for multiple tasks, others perform more ‘’narrowly-focused’’ tasks. Take into account your unique situation when you choose VPN. If you aren’t sure, choose an all-round VPN.
At first, we’ll offer you an honest list of the best VPNs, and finally, we’ll answer your frequently asked questions and provide a reader-friendly table for choosing VPN.
1. NordVPN Review: ‘’All-round'' VPN ($2.99-$11.95 per month)
NordVPN is an absolute leader in the VPN market. It’s the best all-round VPN with the largest number of servers. Upon that, it has an excellent price-quality combination. NordVPN is suitable for any tasks, and it’s especially good for bypassing censorship.
|+ Huge number of servers||- The cons weren't identified|
|+ Very user-friendly apps|
|+ Good for any platform|
|+ No-logging policy|
|+ Unblocking Netflix|
|+ No IP and DNS leaks|
|+ CyberSec (ad-blocker)|
|+ 30-day money-back guarantee|
|+ Tor-over-VPN servers|
|+ Double encryption is provided|
|+ Independent audit|
ServersNordVPN has a record number of VPN servers – more than 5078 servers in 60 countries (Update for 10 April, 2019). It’s amazing, isn’t it? There’s no another big VPN with a similar network. It’s just impossible to check them all, but those we tested were fast, and their IP was as claimed.
AppsStability and quality of VPN apps aren’t a new problem. But NordVPN doesn’t have problems like that. Its software interface is simple and intuitive. Any important connection characteristics are configured by default. You just need to choose a location and turn the VPN on. We believe that NordVPN has the most user-friendly apps.
PlatformsYou can use NordVPN on any platform. We tested their apps on Windows 10, Android, iPhone, and Mac, but NordVPN is also available for older Windows versions (even for Windows XP), and Linux. There are configurations for routers and other internet-enabled devices. Besides, they have Chrome and Firefox extensions.
No-LoggingNordVPN is Panama-based VPN founded in 2008. The service has been successfully running for 11 years. We haven’t found any reports about incidents connected with collecting and disclosing of users’ personal data. NordVPN doesn’t collect logs, and you can trust them.
TorrentingWe tested their P2P servers (you’ll easily find them in the app). We managed to torrent via all those servers, and the speeds were high. You can always use torrents and not to worry about your security. NordVPN reliably hides the fact of torrenting from your Internet Service Provider.
Besides, we didn’t detect that NordVPN would block or compromise its users who download torrents.
NetflixWe say ‘’Thanks’’ for SmartPlay technology to NordVPN. Thanks to it, we have an opportunity to unblock Netflix for the US, UK, Netherlands and Canada. In spite of the tremendous load and constant countermeasures of Netflix, NordVPN copes with the task. Of course, not all servers are good for Netflix, but about 7 out of 10 servers successfully unblocked Netflix. Besides, SmarPlay technology lets unblocking any of geo-restricted streaming services, including Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC, Pandora, and others.
IP and DNS leaksLike most of the paid services we tested, NordVPN doesn’t leak the information about your geo-location, while free services do it. Besides, we tested the efficiency of Kill Switch that blocks your connection if a VPN channel fails. All tests are successfully passed.
CyberSecThanks to this new function, NordVPN can block ads. Without any doubt, you can always use plugins like AdBlock, but the advantage of CyberSec technology is that it blocks ads for all apps. Most users who set up a free VPN, and now they are ‘’tired’’ of advertising, will like this function.
Money refundIt’s a great opportunity to test an excellent VPN free of charge for 30 days. But bear in mind that after you cancel the subscription, you will have to wait for money refund for about a week or month.
Tor-over-VPN and double encryptionThose users who are ‘’crazy’’ about anonymity will love these two NordVPN functions. It seems there aren’t more anonymous ways to access the Internet than TOR over VPN or Double VPN (a chain of two VPNs). But the speeds will be slower, and the number of available locations is a bit limited. Still, if you just want to bypass blocking or unblock Netflix, you won’t need this function.
Independent auditSome VPN services invite third party experts for doing an all-round audit the company’s business to check if the claimed opportunities correspond the real ones. NordVPN is one of them (read TechNadu).
What’s the conclusion of NordVPN review? It’s a powerful modern VPN service that is perfect for any task and will meet any user’s needs.
1 month – $11.95 per month
12 months – $6.99 per month
2 years – $3.99 per month
You can get 75% Off ($2.99 per month) by clicking on the link.
2. CyberGhost Review: VPN for Torrenting and Netflix ($2.75-$12.99 per month)
It’s another dynamic VPN with its history. CyberGhost has recently updated its pricing policy and now a free trial period is not offered (check what VPNs offer a VPN plan with a free trial), but the servers for Netflix and torrenting work far better now.
|+ Large number of servers||- Supports TOR|
|+ User-friendly apps with an opportunity to choose the purpose of VPN||- No independent audit|
|+ Ad blocker|
|+ No-logging policy|
|+ Best for torrenting/P2P|
|+ Unblocks Netflix|
|+ No IP and DNS leaks|
|+ 45-day money refund|
|+ Supports TOR|
ServersCyberGhost has 3783 servers in 60 countries around the world. More than 50 000 people use this VPN simultaneously. All in all, there are about 15 million CyberGhost users. The number is not so large in comparison with NordVPN, but it’s quite enough to assess the extent of this VPN.Still, the speeds of some servers we tested leave much to be desired. It’s not that speed we expect from a paid VPN. But it refers only to a certain number of servers, often located in ''exotic'' countries.
Still, the speeds of some servers we tested leave much to be desired. It’s not that speed we expect from a paid VPN. But it refers only to a certain number of servers, often located in ''exotic'' countries.
AppsAn interesting design of CyberGhost apps leaves a good feeling. The interface is divided in categories and has extended functionality. Depending on the category you choose, you can:
- Surf anonymously on the Internet;
- Unblock streaming services;
- Protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi;
- Torrent anonymously;
- Unblock sites;
- Choose a VPN location.
In early 2019, on Play Market there were complaints of their Android app work.
But now we haven’t found out those problems from the users’ reviews.
Tests on Windows, iOS, and Mac are successful as well.
No-LoggingCyberGhost was based in 2011 in Romania. The service has an active promotional campaign of its no-logging policy. It seems that they tell the truth and don’t keep logs. Anyway, CyberGhost is located out of 14 Eyes, which means your data won’t be passed to the authorities of other countries.
TorrentingIt’s the only large VPN service which is not afraid to claim that the most comfortable conditions for torrenting are created by the provider. They have special P2P servers for unlimited torrenting. There is a button for choosing such servers on the apps’ menu. It makes using torrents easier and saves the time you might spend on searching an appropriate server.
NetflixThe function for watching and unblocking Netflix and other video streaming services works the same way – there is a button that lets you connect to special servers configured for unblocking geo-restricted content. When the servers’ IPs are blocked, the system changes them, and you don’t have to look for a new working server.
IP and DNS leaksThis VPN keeps your confidentiality, by means of hiding your IP (proven – we didn’t find out IP leaks when we tested its servers). DNS, that defines your country and city, was hidden as well.
Money refundThe best money refund policy in the industry. CyberGhost is so confident that will refund you the money after 45 days of your subscription.
TORIf you need maximum anonymity for personal tasks, there’s good news for you – CyberGhost works with Onion browser. You’ll be able to combine the anonymity of VPN and TOR.
SpeedCyberGhost has some difficulties connected with the speeds of VPN servers located in some Asian and ‘’exotic’’ countries.
But it doesn’t mean that it’s too slow like a tortoise. The speed is quite enough for common use. You may feel uncomfortable only when doing specific tasks that require maximum bandwidth of a VPN channel (online gaming, 4K video, and others).
Additional functionsCyberGhost offers quite a wide choice of functions, but some competitors may offer even more. It would be great if they added DoubleVPN, dedicated IP or any new technology.
What to add to this CyberGhostVPN review?
This VPN is not good enough to be an all-round VPN as NordVPN, but it’s better at prices and tasks than the competitor, it is not behind in security, usability and unblocking Netflix.
1 month – $12.99 per month
12 months – $5.99 per month
2 years – $3.69 per month
You can get 79% Off ($2.75 per month) by clicking on the link.
3. Surfshark Review: Best «Budget» VPN ($1.99-$11.95 per month)
Making our list, we didn’t forget to add Surfshark, the cheapest of the best VPNs. All its basic functions are good, however, it is incredibly affordable. It’s a great tool for masking your IP and other tasks.
|+ Price||- Some servers have slow speeds|
|+ No logs kept|
|+ Ad-blocker and Whitelister technology|
|+ Unlimited devices|
|+ Stable software|
|+ Unblocking Netflix|
|+ No IP and DNS leaks|
|+ 30-day money refund|
|+ Independent audit|
PriceSurfshark offers the best pricing policy among the competitors. For $1.99 per month if subscribing for two-year plan, you’ll get a powerful VPN with an excellent speed in most locations.
ServersSurfshark is a startup company, but there have been 800 servers in 50 countries around the world. It’s a good start to become a leader in the VPN market.
Multiple devicesIt is usually allowed to use 5-7 devices simultaneously per one subscription. But Surfshark doesn’t limit your opportunities. Connect everything you want to VPN, even your iron (if you know how to do it).
AppsStable app performance for a long period of time is a difficult task. It’s especially difficult to do for Android. Dozens of apps with good technical characteristics fail to be in top lists just because of software bugs. Surfshark doesn’t have problems with it. Their apps passed our tests on stability.
PlatformsYou’ll be able to set up Sufshark VPN on Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Linux. There are configurations for such devices as a router, Xbox, PlayStation, FireTV, and Apple TV. You will also find plugins for Chrome and Firefox.
TorrentingSurfshark is not the most popular VPN. And that’s good. Thanks to it, the bandwidth of their servers is very high, which is good for torrent speeds.
NetflixThe fact that this VPN is not very popular gives you another opportunity – convenient watching of Netflix. All tested servers in the US, UK, Canada, and the Netherlands worked well with Netflix. That’s incredible!
IP and DNS leaksSurfshark security is good as well. No leaks were detected and AES-256 encryption along with the tunneling protocols like OpenVPN and IPsec (the same are used by other best VPN providers) will protect your data.
Money refundYou will have an opportunity to refund your money after 30 days, but only if you subscribe for a 2-year plan.
SpeedExcellent speeds in all major locations. After testing some servers, they showed even better speeds that NordVPN’s ones. But no all servers were so good. Some unusual locations and Hong Kong servers were a bit slower.
Additional featuresSurfshark is a good VPN with a set of all functions necessary for most tasks. You won’t find special servers Netflix, torrents, Double VPN, but they offer an ad-blocker and Whitelister technology. This technology lets the apps bypass VPN, when it’s necessary.
Finally, is Surfshark really good? We believe it is. It’s the first company that attracted our attention in the last few years. It managed to develop a good reputation and be included in the tops of many 2019’s reviews.
30 days -$ 11,95 per month
1 year -$ 5,99 per month
2 years -$ 1,99 per month
You can subscribe by clicking on the link.
4. Private Internet Access Review: Maximum speed and security ($3.49-$9.99 per month)
ou asked about maximum speed and security? This VPN service is for you. Private Internet Access (PIA) shows excellent results in those locations where other VPNs fail to do it. Besides, PIA provides encryption configurations for incredible security!
|+ Configurations for maximum security||- Bad Netflix unblocking|
|+ Maximum speed||- Torrenting/P2P is not recommended|
|+ Large number of servers||- 7-day money refund|
|+ 10 simultaneous connections||- US jurisdiction|
|+ User-friendly apps||- No independent audit|
|+ Good for any platforms|
|+ No-logging policy|
|+ No IP and DNS leaks|
SecurityIn comparison with the competitors, Private Internet Access offers an opportunity to configure the encryption of your data transferred through the network. In default configurations, we only see AES-128, SHA1 и RSA-2048, but wait… It’s just a basic level for common use. Upgrade your security up to AES-256, SHA256 and RSA-4096 through gateways in Switzerland just in one click! Your data will be out of any supercomputer’s depth!
SpeedThe stronger the encryption, the slower the speed. That’s why the level of security is lower than competitors’ in default configurations. The competitors use stronger encryption for marketing purposes, which leads to slower speeds. But it’s quite enough for 99% of users! But that’s not all. You can turn encryption off and get faster speeds limited just by your Internet.
Servers(Last visit on April 10, 2019)
Multiple devicesYou can use up to 10 devices connected to VPN simultaneously.
Useful tip: When using VPN on devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network, for example, at home, it’s easier to set up VPN on a router. Each paid VPN offers configurations for routers (read how to configure DD-WRT for PIA) and instructions. Thanks to it, all your network devices will access the Internet via this VPN by default.
AppsPIA apps are professional and stable for all platforms. In 2018 users complained about their Kill Switch (drop of connections in case a VPN channel doesn’t work so that user’s IP address is not leaked).
By the moment, we haven’t detected the problem.
PlatformsIt’s compatible with all platforms (Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.11+, Linux, Android 4.1+, iOS 9+), there are plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
No-LoggingPrivate Internet Access doesn’t keep logs, but the US jurisdiction (5 eyes and 14 eyes alliances) doesn’t let us confirm it for 100%, at least, for US and CA servers.
IP and DNS leaksThey passed all our security and anonymity tests.
FirewallInteresting ‘’goodie’’ from PIA. Having set up and started VPN, you launch a firewall that protects you from any undesired interference to your devices. It’s especially important while using public Wi-Fi.
TorrentingPIA allows torrenting, but we don’t recommend doing it because of their US jurisdiction.
NetflixIt is not mentioned on the official website that you can unblock Netflix. It was proved by our tests as well. Only 2 out of 10 servers, unblocked access to Netflix. Here is what Reddit users say about it:
Money refund7 days… It’s better than nothing, but…
What else is worth adding about PIA in this review? They emphasized on security, privacy, and speeds. And they do it 100%.
Their activity is not limited in VPN. Private Internet Access is also a sponsor of 44 companies working in the field of IT technologies and security.
30 days -$ 9.95 per month
1 year -$ 5,99 per month
2 years -$ 3.49 per month
You can subscribe by clicking on the link.
5. Trust.Zone Review: Try 3 days for free ($2.88-$8.88 per month)
Trust. Zone doesn’t have any outstanding technical characteristics, no apps for all platforms, except Windows, but we included it in the top list for the opportunity to try 3 days for free.
|+ Free trial plan||- Small number of locations|
|+ Good speed||- App only for Windows|
|+ No IP and DNS leaks||- 10-day money refund|
|+ Torrenting/P2P||- No independent audit|
|+ Unblocks Netflix (best solution)|
Free trial period3 days or 1Gb of traffic is the terms of the Trust.Zone free trial. We found out that some locations aren’t available during a free trial.
SpeedGood average speed, quite enough for most tasks.
ServersTrust.Zone has 157 servers in 83 ‘’zones’’ (34 countries). We failed to find out the locations of those zones. There is no information about it on the official site. We believe that they are datacenters of hosting companies supporting their servers.
AppsIt’s one app. For PC. Other platforms work through configurations built in their software. Each system has VPN configurations. Trust.Zone offers you to configure them manually. It can be a problem for many users. But you can install free OpenVPN software and configure it.
IP and DNS leaksThe level of privacy on Windows is good. We haven’t tested other platforms for the obvious reason.
TorrentingNeither the jurisdiction (the Seychelles), nor the policy of Trust.Zone doesn’t restrict you in torrenting.
NetflixTo unblock Netflix, BBC, and etc., you can purchase a dedicated IP in the US, UK, Australia or France for $2.27 per month. Here is what Trust.Zone claims:
At first sight, it seems to be difficult, but it can be the best solution for you. It’s far more reliable, than other competitors’ ways of unblocking.
Money refundYou have only 10 days to do it. But let’s add a 3-day free trial, and it’s two weeks of free use.
What’s to add about Trust.Zone? It’s not a popular VPN that will definitely unblock different sites and geo-restricted content. Besides, it has the cheapest prices for a 1-month and 1-year periods.
30 days -$ 8.88 per month
1 year -$ 3.33 per month
2 years -$ 2.88 per month
You can try Trust.Zone for free, by clicking on the link.
Answers to FAQ
How to choose the best VPN?
You aren’t the first who asks this question. Users can’t understand on their own what VPN is the best. In fact, a user doesn’t even know what to look at and what to take into account. That’s why there are so many reviews on the network. ‘’Honest and unbiased’’.
So that we could answer this question, read the next two parts of this section.
Why isn’t free VPN included in your list?
Let’s compare the process of choosing VPN and choosing a rental car. Let’s say that you have never done it before.
What will you start with?
The first thing that comes to your mind is going to a rental place and speaking with its consultants.
When we deal with VPN, that’s us, the authors of reviews. We have long-term experience of using different
So, you will be asked what cars you prefer. You’ll answer: ‘’What’s the difference?’’ They say to you: ‘’In prices and opportunities’’. ‘’Really?'' - you’ll be offended, - ‘’I need a car for free!’’. You’ll be sent to the bus stop. And they will be right.
Now imagine a bus travel on dirt roads; it’s rush hour, and you are constantly shown different ads; the bus stops from time to time. There are few routes, and buses simply don’t go to many locations.
And now imagine you are going in a speedy comfortable sedan along a wide smooth road. You can arrive at any location; the speed is much higher; music is without ads.
The difference between a free and good paid VPN is the same. Using a free VPN, you are limited in speeds, choosing locations, you watch ads, minimum security or VPN simply doesn’t run when you need it.
means of transport VPN is better?
- reliable and secure;
- able to perform your unique tasks;
In reality, we haven’t found such free VPNs (to find out more, read what users say about free VPNs on Reddit).
What tasks does VPN perform?
When choosing an ideal VPN service, you have to define what tasks you need to perform.
Here is the list of all opportunities of VPN services:
- Masking your geo-location (hiding your IP and DNS).
- Data protection – encrypting and tunneling of information to bypass devices that can intercept it. (For example, in public Wi-Fi networks criminals can intercept your logins, passwords, and other sensitive information; your Internet Service Provider (ISP) probably collects and keeps information about all sites you visit; in some countries the authorities can monitor your activities on the Internet).
- Unblocking sites on the Internet (Bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship).
- Bypassing geo-restrictions of streaming services (For example, watching Kodi or US Netflix from other countries, and others.)
- Anonymity when using torrents (P2P).
If you know about these opportunities, you can ask an exact question and make a decision. We’ll answer them one by one.
What VPN is the best for hiding IP address?
Masking IP address is the main opportunity of Virtual Private Network. But the best ones are those VPN providers which have developed apps to prevent:
- IP leaks (via WebRTC technology and IPv6).
- DNS leaks (via DNS requests from your computer to DNS server of your Internet Service Provider and further to the network).
- leaks of your geo-location when a connection to a VPN server is dropped (Kill Switch technology).
The VPNs from our list hide user’s IP to the maximum.
What VPN is the best for data protection?
Another major opportunity of VPN is encrypting of traffic. The best ones are those VPN providers which:
- encrypt data with the most advanced methods (As a rule, it’s AES encryption).
- pass it via a VPN tunnel created based on the best technology (OpenVPN or IPsec).
In this guide we collected VPNs only with AES-encryption and OpenVPN or IPsec tunneling protocols.
You can find more information on how VPN works, encryption methods and protocols on our home page.
What VPNs are better for privacy?
Protection of clients’ personal data is not limited in masking IP addresses. It’s obvious that the VPNs at least know about your geo-location and what sites you visit. Good VPNs don’t have to keep this kind of information about you.
Unfortunately, we can’t directly influence it. In most cases we have to trust everything we are promised. That’s why you need to carefully read the Terms of Service.
Besides, there are 2 factors that influence (but not directly) whether the service keeps logs about users’ activities or not.
Jurisdiction. Depending on the laws of the country where a VPN provider is registered, it may be obliged to collect and hide logs in a transparent or secret way. That’s why if confidentiality is important to you, we don’t recommend using VPN services located in 14 eyes.
Background of a VPN service. Mass media sometimes publish reports about VPNs which are suspected of compromising their users’ data. (Such services aren’t included in our list.)
Important: Free services always collect and keep all possible information about you with the purpose of maximum efficiency of advertising or selling it to advertising networks and other third parties.
What VPN is the best for for unblocking sites?
On the one hand, any VPN that hides your IP can bypass blocking. But in practice, there are 2 factors that are too much for some VPNs.
- There are many resources containing blacklists of proxy servers and IP-addresses of free and some paid VPN providers.
- Sites are often blocked by the authorities, and they use special devices to monitor connections to VPN and block them. There is such a problem, for example, in China and Egypt. It is more difficult to find a VPN that works in China, and similar countries (or doesn’t work, like GreenVPN).
To consider the 2 factors, you need to analyze hundreds of reviews left by users who faced problems with unblocking. We have done it instead of you, but we can’t guarantee that the situation won’t change while the review is published.
What VPN is the best for watching Netflix?
We provided a detailed answer to this question in each of the five VPN reviews from our list.
Almost, all of them can help you, but some of them will do it better, the others – worse.
The conflict between VPN services and video streaming services is quite challenging. Currently, only paid VPN services cope with this task (and some ‘’free’’ of paid tariffs). And the situation won’t probably change in the near future.
The list of streaming services you will be able to unblock (not complete):
- Amazon Prime Video
What VPNs are the best for torrents?
Using torrents is connected with two important factors:
- Possible (even unintentional) copyright infringement;
- laws that ban torrenting in some countries.
You can be unaware of it, or suppose that you don’t break law, but you want to be on the safe side. Anyway, you should always use VPN with torrents.
The services themselves avoid this issue. That’s why there are services that ban P2P via their servers, and there are those that allow it only via the safest locations.
The best ones are those VPNs which either provide special VPN servers for torrenting or allow torrents on most their servers (this variant will be better as speeds will be higher).
In our reviews there is all necessary information on the issue of torrenting.
Is using VPN legal everywhere?
Millions of people and companies have been using VPN for many years. The technology itself is legal and used everywhere, but there are countries where it’s banned to use VPN for bypassing censorship, for example, in the UAE or China.
VPN plays an important role for many companies’ security, including state-owned ones, that’s why this technology is going to be developed and widely used, including the countries where VPN is ‘’banned’’.
In China, the UAE, Oman, Iran, and Russia you can also use VPN approved by the government, but you won’t see the ones with servers located abroad in the list.
In Egypt VPNs aren’t banned, they are technically blocked.
In what countries are there restrictions in using VPNs?
At the same time, in all countries where VPNs are ‘’banned’’ or blocked, people keep on finding the ways out and actively using VPN.
Comparison of VPNs for different tasks
Finally, we provide a table in which we combined the major characteristics mentioned in the guide. 1 – minimal score, 5- maximum.