Five Best VPN Service Providers

Five Best VPN Service Providers
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If you have a need to encrypt and secure your internet connection—whether you’re using an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection or are worried about an authoritarian government snooping your data—a VPN service is just what the doctor ordered. Here are the five most popular tools for the job.

Photo remixed from jasleen_kaur.

If you’re unfamiliar with VPN services, the value behind a VPN is this: You encrypt all data from your local computer to the VPN endpoint, adding security to an otherwise insecure situation. A prime example is when you use an unsecured wireless connection (for example, at a cafe or a university) or when your government wants to control or spy on your internet activity (Egypt and China come to mind, but many examples exist world-wide).

VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a service brought to you by Goldenfrog. Goldenfrog partners with Giganews, a well-known Usenet provider which has been around since 1994, and you actually get the VyperVPN service free if you subscribe to a Giganews platinum account. VyperVPN itself costs $US14.99/month for their plain PPTP service and $US19.99/month to upgrade to the professional version which includes L2TP/IPsec. These two protocols allow you to connect to their service from a wide range of devices and operating systems—the two standards work with everything from Ubuntu to Windows and from Android to iOS.

WiTopia

WiTopia’s entry level plan starts at $US39.99/year (PPTP only) and goes up to $US69.99/year, which includes PPTP and OpenVPN/IPSec VPN support. One of the things that makes WiTopia stand out from the crowd is that they have exit servers in an incredible 31 countries. This means that you are able to select which country or even which city your traffic appears to be coming from, which helps to get around some of that unseemly geo-lock content providers often put on their media. They include alternative ports as well as an SMTP relay for email should you need it.

StrongVPN

StrongVPN offers exit points in an impressive 15 countries, though on cheaper packages you may only receive the ability to use one of them. Their plans start at $US7/month, but this restricts you to PPTP and 4 exit cities; to switch countries or add OpenVPN support you’ll need to pay extra fees. You can view all the different options on their packages page. StrongVPN is based in the US.

Ipredator

Ipredator is a Swedish VPN provider with a starting rate of €15 ($20.30 USD) for 3 months. It appears that currently PPTP is the only protocol supported, but OpenVPN support is in beta testing. It appears that their one exit point is in Sweden, which does have strong data and privacy protection laws. Their site is a bit sparse on details on their company and service, but our readers have picked them as one of their favourites so we have to go on their word.

proXPN

The only one of the five contenders with a free option is proXPN. They have a custom Windows client which manages your network settings for you and also allows you to switch exit points, reconnect your VPN on disconnection and have it run on startup. The free account is limited to 1Mbit and only allows a United States exit; the pro account is $US5 a month or $US45 per year. If you upgrade to the pro account, there’s no bandwidth limit and you can choose between a United States or Netherlands exit. PPTP is not available by default but is available upon request. One of the downsides of proXPN is that their client is Windows-only; instructions are available from their support if you are connecting from MacOS X.

Honorable Mentions

Two software products worth mentioning that aren’t strictly services but received a lot of attention in the voting include: OpenVPN is a client which can connect to any VPN service and is a component of popular “roll your own” setups. If you have the technical know-how, you can set up your own PPTP or IPSec service out of your own home or business. Also LogMeIn Hamachi is a free tool and service for creating a point-to-point VPN network between computers. You could use Hamachi to share your internet connection on your home PC with a remote computer and have a very nice and secure connection.

Comments

  • I use strongVPN to watch stuff from Hulu, Netflix(so glad they don’t verify if your card is from the US or not) and the BBC iPlayer. I got their $45/4cities deal and it is great, only down side is I have to manually change between a UK and US location each time I want to watch on BBC iPlayer and vice versa, but I really only do that for Doctor Who and with ABC now showing it within a week of it being shown in the UK, that isnt really an issue anymore 🙂

    • I tried setting up StrongVPN on an android 2.3 and it was a crazy experience . The setup guides, greeting emails and online pages are very poorly coordinated. Might be OK if you don’t have a problem but gets chaotic if you can’t connect first time. I gave up and cancelled.

    • Virtual Private Networks or VPNs work with the basic ‘Virtual Tunneling’ mechanism to enable the users to browse privately through dedicated connections, chosen IP address and server with the intention of protecting personal identity and location data. There are 5 best VPN for UK naming HideMyAss VPN, IP Vanish, Astrill VPN, Express VPN and Vypr VPN.

  • I’ve actually just started using Hostizzle (http://hostizzle.com).

    They use 1024bit SSL/TLS and blowfish, and OpenVPN as client software. Setup is dead easy, with the self extracting wizard to port the config files into OpenVPN.

    The basic service is completely free, and with 100Gb of data allowed at a maximum of 500kbps. Though you do need to renew your certificate every month too if you’re not willing to shell out for a premium account (which also ups your traffic and connection speed).

      • just for the record, hostizzle seem to have gone AWOL leaving users without service and still taking their money. I have had to open a Paypal dispute with them, their web contact and support no longer work and their e-mails bounce.

        Only bothering to mention this as this review is on the first page of google results and didn’t want enyone else to get stung.

        Their facebook page is covered with unhappy people too.

  • Been using Witopia for 3 years.
    They have nodes in the US and UK (so you can watch US TV shows and the BBC as well). They’re friendly and helpful, and the speed varies between good and excellent.

  • WiTopia is where I went a couple of years ago when Conroy began doing the salesman work free for a few censorware vendors and those who would coopt government to close down information flow.
    Their service is stable and doesn’t add significant latency when I’m browsing. Most importantly, their support for email makes their service as transparent as any good ISP.
    The access to censored sites has been invaluable in my research, and the large range of geographical servers makes it a snack to access public broadcasters in many countries.

  • For the guys using Witopia- I bought a year’s worth of it today- but it seems really slow. No matter which European/ US server- I can’ really seem to get to 1Mb consistently.

    What kind of speeds are you getting?

  • I have used Witopia for several years. The speed concern is always there, but I haven’t changed. Witopia says the problems are DNS related rather then with their servers.

    If anybody has used Witopia in past, but have found a better service, please let us know.

    What I like about witopia is the hassle free switching between servers. Which services offer that too?

  • I’ve been using ClearVPN http://www.clearvpn.net for the past 2 years on their dual UK and US plan (switching between the 2 countries is easy simply a click to disconnect from one and connect to the other). They use OpenVPN and I have been able to watch iplayer and netflix without issue from the middle east where I am based.

  • I’ve been using http://vpnv6.com for last 2 mths and they are the only provider so far I have used that can provide me with native IPv6 connectivity. Servers speed are fast and I can connect to VPN from my work behind a firewall and web proxy server.

  • I’m currently in Shanghai, using http://www.vpnninja.com for facebook and blogger for 6$ a month. Three days ago, the government blocked their servers and they immediately sent out e-mails saying they were working on it – a few hours later, everything was back up. The awesome service is why I would recommend this vpn to everyone!

  • Do you know who has the fastest internet connection? I have used other services and noticed that their connection speed was not very good. Usually around 350kbps or slower

  • The author didn’t mention another great vpn service – kebrum.com.
    I use for quite a long time and it never disappoints me. 2 simulteneous connections from one account – one of its features that makes it awesome

  • ProXPN is really good! Ive been using their free account before and my speed is now better after upgrading my account to premium but their free account is more than enough for me. I am also using another free vpn service http://www.yourfreevpn.com/ they just give you their openvpn config so you must know how to use openvpn if you want to try their service just like proxpn, they do not have bandwidth limits.

  • We have just launched our latest update to our vpn servicee that we have called http://www.vpnmessenger.net that offers strong features that your viewers might be interested in using especially since we offer allot more features that a standard VPN provider. We are also very competitive on pricing also offering Prepaid solution that offer VPN for as low as 3 Euro for 120 hours useage. We would very much like that you consider us for you next review and in return if you like and also we would have no issue in providing free credit so you can test our service for your review.

  • I have tried different VPN Service Provider and found Hidemyass as the best vendor in the industry. Though i have got the solution to all my problems related to VPN from Bestvpnservice.com . They are into the business very much professionally and they guide their visitors with the best they can do. Hats off to http://www.bestvpnservice.com

  • something about boxpn is wrong. I can not find where they are located. When you try to purchase, Paypal says non-american and non verified……
    And worst of all…. if you search for boxpn, all you can find is their own Ads or comments about excellent service…. no negative comment at all???

    • They have an online chat and email support services. So why don’t you ask? I just checked their website and it seems to me a pro vpn service provider.

      I’m planning to open an account at boxpn and will share my feedback with you.

      • Just created my boxpn account.

        Very easy and simple to order. No switching needed, you can get access to all of their servers with one account.

        Have been connected to their Washington DC servers for more than 1 hour, no connection drops, it’s good so far. I get about 15-16Mbits speed on my 20Mbit.

        This is very interesting that they also allow unlimited p2p traffic. When I asked the support guy about p2p, they politely asked to stop seeding traffic after download anything.

        As a conclusion http://www.boxpn.com is a quality vpn service provider, with a great price.

  • I have been using Lamnia VPN for awhile now. Simply the best VPN service I have come across. Friendly live support ( an actually very funny guys running it , big Rugby fans! ). I chatted to them a couple of times before I decided to sign up with them, as I have used quite a few VPN’s and wanted to be sure before I signed up. My fav is their video tutorials. I am pretty computer savvy but it just made it so easy to setup.
    I have used their UK and USA servers and found them to be 99% buffering free and very quick to connect.
    I totally recommend Lamnia VPN

  • I have been with vpn networks for more than 3 years now. I like the idea behind being secure and getting my traffic encrypted. I believe internet should be free. At this time I tried many vpn companies and many of them are not professional enough but they are almost trying to do the same. The only two company stand out from the crowd are boxpn and strongvpn.

    I loved boxpn because they are very different in security base like cleaning internet traffic from malwares and having corporate grade firewalls to secure their clients. I think they are the only company paying attention that much on security. They are also very quick on support emails and providing excellent service with very polite responses.

    I liked strongvpn because they have a broad variety of servers and they have live chat support 24/7 everyday. It’s incredible.

    I recommend both vpn service providers.

  • I recommend http://hideman.net/
    Hideman software will the best for anonymous surfing , unblock website, encrypt traffic. I like Hideman, because use very easy. Fast VPN country, maybe because new service))) When I travel in China I use Hideman and don’t have problem. Good software, Thanks developers, i don’t see analogs.

  • I used many vpn service providers before like hma, vypr, etc and I ended up using two of the best vpn services : boxpn and strongvpn.

    boxpn is good because of their extreme security layers. They are mainly good in Europe and USA with speedwise. Price is very great. I asked them how they provide this service with the low price – 5.99 per month – and they replied to me that they own all their own networks. Also they are located in Turkey which is very good for anonymity. The bad thing is they don’t have servers in Australia. I asked them and they say that they are in process of deploying servers in AU, don’t know when they will be live though.

    strongvpn is little better in speed in Australia and Asia. It has a long history company so very trustable also. The only bad thing is they are located in USA.

    I suggest both http://www.strongvpn.com and http://www.boxpn.com to all.

  • I just to point out now to use a vpn service backed up by a company based in US or UK (or by extension in any EU countries). Especially if you wanna use torrents.

    Also, put questions about their logs. If they have any, drop them.
    They don’t even need to know your name (payments done by paypal). If they have complicated register forms, then drop them.

    My 0.02$.

  • I am using Hotspot Shield Free VPN. http://www.hotspotshield.com

    It encrypts your network traffic. HTTPS encryption secures your browsing session, sensitive data and online shopping information protecting your financial transactions.

    HSS VPN is a great tool to access blocked websites and surf anonymously.

  • I’d like to recommend against SuperbVPN. The connection was pretty spotty (used it from East Africa), and there’s a totally hidden autorenewal policy, which I’m categorically against. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

  • I personally prefer http://Adtelly.tv because they are the fastest out there and easiest to use as they have tools to set everything up for you at the click of a button. Both UK and US for one small price of $11.65 which I love and lets me watch my UK tv abroad online which I missed so much.

  • You really need a vpn service when in China. A lot of websites are blocked in China like youtube, facebook, twitter… However, most vpn service are designed for US, the service are very unstable in china. I tried several vpn service and finally got this one: http://www.primovpn.net You can try it and decide by yourself. Good luck!

  • Useless & Trash, Save your money:
    Boxpn is one of the lowest price VPN available, but don’t let that trick you into buying their subscription plans. You just are throwing money in the trash. This is why you should not get Boxpn:
    1 – Unreliable: Disconnection is frequent & between 5 to 20 minutes you get disconnected & you have to reconnect again.
    2- Slow Speed: Servers are slow. Even when you choose a close location, servers are extremely slow (40kb to 90kb at best).
    3- No zip or rar files types can be downloaded: They have Threat Management software running on their servers & if you download a zip or rar file, it opens Microsoft Gateway threat. It first downloads to their server & once it completes you have to press download again to download it to your computer. That means you have to sit in front of your computer & wait for download bar to finish, then download it again to your computer. Of course, if you don’t get disconnected, otherwise you have to start all over again.
    4- Logging: Their web-site is loaded with tracking scripts (Google+, Alexa Metrics, Adroll, Google AdWords and Analytics, Zopim, Pingdom). Is this a privacy site?
    5- No OpenVPN: If you plan to use SSTP, be aware that it is 128bit, but advertised as 2048 bit encryption, L2TP/IPSec as 256 bit (it’s 128 bit with the VPN client software).
    6- Almost No Support: Their support is by email only & next to non-existence. They only read the subject of your case / email & respond with pre-written & form responses that most of the time does not even relates to your problem. The tech support is incompetent & only rely on those pre-written texts.
    7 – Under-developed interface: Extremely primitive & featureless interface to connect to VPN servers.

  • Thanks for the article Dave. I personally use the UnoTelly DNS option. It’s ideal for content streaming because unlike VPNs, there is no internet speed loss when using it.

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