If you’re looking for a VPN, chances are that you value the security and privacy of your data and personal information.
The fact of the matter is, however, that not all VPN providers offer the same amount (and type) of security - some have absolutely amazing safety in place, while others undermine safety and concentrate on the “additional feature” department. Today, we’ll try to figure out the most secure VPN to use in 2019.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top 6 contenders for this list. We’ll go further in-depth with each one of them, as soon as we establish a clear idea of what the “safest VPN” actually means.
What Does the Most Secure VPN Look Like?
Before we actually get into the “Most secure VPN” review, we should define what a secure VPN actually looks like.
First of all, data encryption. The VPN industry has tons of various different choices when it comes to the way that VPNs encrypt your data. However, as with every other aspect, there’s an industry standard - tools (not only the ones that relate to data encryption, but with everything else, too) that are considered to be the best out of the best.
When it comes to encrypting your information, that would be AES 256-bit encryption together with the OpenVPN protocol.
AES 256-bit data encryption is used by the safest VPNs (and even some of the most secure free VPNs) out there. It is a virtually unbreakable system, and an upgrade to the still-often-used AES 128-bit.
OpenVPN is an open-source (that’s important!) software designed for safe peer-to-peer connections on specific networks. It ensures that the information that you send and receive is protected and secure - this is crucial for people who like to torrent files and participate in other, similar file-sharing activities.
Another important point when we’re talking about the best VPN for privacy is the “no data logging” policy.
Whenever a VPN logs your data, it tracks all of the things that you do online while you’re connected to the VPN. Whether it be your browsing history, your purchases or sales, your IP and other personal information - anything and everything can be logged by the service provider.
There are two things that can happen with your information afterwards - it can either be sold off to advertising agencies or handed over to the government.
Data logging is an extremely serious topic and an almost unforgivable offense in the VPN industry. This means that, if you’re looking for the most secure VPN, you should look at providers who do not track any of your sensitive information (some logging, like the one used for technical support or billing information, is normal).
Finally, we have the DNS, IP and WebRTC leaks. A very common issue in the VPN world, these leaks mean that, while you’re using the VPN, third parties (i.e. your internet service provider) can see your activities (in other words, the VPN becomes ineffective).
So, the criteria for the “most secure VPN of 2019” are pretty simple: no data logging, no leaks (DNS, IP or WebRTC) and it has to use the most advanced form of data encryption. With that said, let’s take a look at the very first contender on the list.
1. NordVPN - No Logging / No Leaks
Ranks #1 out of 6 VPNs
First off on our list, we have NordVPN.
If you’re a fan of YouTube, you might perfectly well be familiar with NordVPN - it seems like every single huge YouTuber has advertised this VPN provider, especially after Article 13 has been approved by the European Union.
In all of the advertisements, though, one thing is emphasized more than anything else - Nord’s security.
NordVPN deserves a spot on the most secure VPN list mainly because it has everything that a secure VPN should. You want AES 256-bit data encryption? You’ve got it! What about the OpenVPN protocol? Sure thing! All of the top data encryption and security features go hand-in-hand with NordVPN.
Furthermore, the VPN provider has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to information logging. This means that you won’t only be safe from outside threats and possible breaches, but will also be able to rest assured that your information isn’t sold off to third parties or - worse yet - handed over to the government.
Pricing-wise, NordVPN is one of the cheapest alternatives when it comes to the most secure VPNs out there. The most popular 3-year plan costs $2,99 USD per month (converted from EU into USD). People who are looking for a free secure VPN will be happy, too - NordVPN offers its users a 7-day free trial!
So, if you’re in the market for the safest free VPN, NordVPN might be a pretty good contender!
2. ExpressVPN - AES 256-bit Data Encryption
Ranks #2 out of 6 VPNs
Equally as well-known as NordVPN, ExpressVPN is an industry behemoth that’s famous for being almost unreasonably fast and secure.
Express utilizes the industry standard AES 256-bit data encryption together with the OpenVPN protocol, but has a ton of additional security features, too.
People who are looking for the most secure VPN will be happy to know that Express uses an advanced form of negotiation between the VPN and your device (better-known as a handshake), a message authenticator, and many more interesting, security-ensuring tools.
In addition to all of that, ExpressVPN is also very straightforward with their logging policies. The company does not log any of your sensitive data - you can rest assured. Also, ExpressVPN is somewhat special in that it manages to balance two of the most important aspects for a VPN - security and speed.
Quite frankly, you might not even feel the difference between using ExpressVPN and keeping it off.
Express is a tad bit pricier than NordVPN. To add to that, people looking for the most secure free VPN might be a little disappointed - this VPN provider offers no free trial.
The most popular 12-month plan would cost you $8,32 USD per month. In addition to that, though, you’ll receive the standard 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. IPVanish - SHA256 Hashing Algorithm
Ranks #3 out of 6 VPNs
IPVanish is one of the less-known names in the industry. Don’t get me wrong - it’s a huge VPN provider, but it’s not as popular as, say, ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Straight off the bat, let me just say that if you’re looking for a free secure VPN, IPVanish ain’t one of them. This VPN provider has no free version in place.
That being said, however, it does have a refund policy - if you don’t enjoy your experience with the VPN, you can get your money back in 7 or less days from your initial purchase.
Same as its contenders, IPVanish offers top-tier security features and employs the SHA256 hashing algorithm together with the AES 256-bit data encryption. Protocol-wise, you’ll find that the company has a pretty good pool of software to choose from - it supports quite a few different protocols.
The fact that IPVanish belongs in the “most secure VPN” lists is further emphasized by the fact that the company utilizes multiple additional security features. A good example of this would be the kill switch - a tool used to terminate all of your processes in case of a connection loss.
IPVanish also offers pretty decent prices - the 12-month plan would cost you $3,24 USD per month, and you would even get an additional year, as well!
4. AirVPN - Absolutely No Data Logging
Ranks #4 out of 6 VPNs
If you’re not really a huge VPN fan yourself, chances are that this might be your first time hearing about AirVPN. Well, let me tell you - it’s definitely a VPN worth paying attention to.
AirVPN was created in Italy (which isn’t necessarily a good thing). Even though the jurisdiction doesn’t provide much comfort, Air is actually a community project created by people who believe in net neutrality and are extremely opposed to things such as Article 13.
Why should this matter when we’re talking about the most secure VPNs? Well, for starters, AirVPN is based on the OpenVPN protocol - that’s already a good sign. Furthermore, even though Air isn’t at all that well-known, an increasing amount of people are talking about the VPN’s no logging policy - it’s actually one-of-a-kind.
Most VPN providers around the world offer “no data logging” policies - we’ve already established that. These policies tend to exclude thing like technical support information, bug logging, billing information, and so on - we know that, too. Depending on the provider, these criteria could be more or less flexible. So, what’s so special about AirVPN?
It does not log ANY of your information. And I do mean ANY.
Even when it comes to payment, if you decide to pay via Bitcoin, you will remain 100% anonymous. Air literally has 0 clue of who you are and what you’re doing on their VPN - and that’s the way they like it, too. It’s amazingly refreshing to come across such a transparent and data integrity-honoring VPN provider.
Yet again, however, people looking for the most secure free VPN will be disappointed - AirVPN is definitely a secure VPN, but it’s not a free secure VPN. However, the pricing plans that the company offer are still rather interesting.
- 3 days - $2,26 USD
- 1 month - $7,89 USD
- 3 months - $5,64 USD per month
- 6 months - $5,44 USD per month
- 1 year - $3,69 USD per month
- 2 years - $2,96 USD per month
- 3 years - $2,48 USD per month
The closest that you’d get to the “safest free VPN” would be their 3-day plan - it would come out to be approximately $2,26 USD. The longest-lasting plan that you can purchase (and the one that offers the best deal) is the 3-year one, coming out to be around $2,48 USD per month (with the current promotion). A pretty solid price!
5. Surfshark - OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2
Ranks #5 out of 6 VPNs
SurfShark is a rather young VPN when compared to its competitors, but it has already skyrocketed to the top of the “most secure VPN” lists. Why? Well, to put it simply, it has nailed the ratio of quality VS price pretty well.
Security-wise, Surfshark walks hand-in-hand with the industry giants - super-strict no logging policy, all three of the main data encryption protocols (OpenVPN, IPSec and IKEv2), doesn’t have a history of leaks or other security breaches, etc.
Furthermore, same as ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based out in the British Virgin Islands. Security experts will tell you that this is one of the best places to locate a VPN - the islands are independent and do not belong to any of the intelligence-sharing alliances of the world.
Remember when I mentioned the “quality VS price” thing? Well, I wasn’t joking - while not necessarily being the safest “free” VPN, Surfshark has one of the most (if not the most) competitive prices in the game.
A 24-month subscription will only cost you $1,99 USD per month - now that’s a competitive price! All in all, with top-notch security and a great location, Surfshark definitely deserves a spot on the Most Secure VPN list.
6. VyprVPN - No DNS Leaks
Ranks #6 out of 6 VPNs
VyprVPN is one of the more commonly-encountered VPNs when people talk about “the most secure VPNs in the world”. Let’s take a look at why that’s the case.
First of all, Vypr offers some really cool security features for anyone that purchases the VPN. In addition to the standard kill switch, Vypr provides its users with a DNS leak protection, some extra protocols (in addition to OpenVPN), and so on.
One of the cooler of these features would be the Chameleon protocol - it aims to ensure that websites have a harder time detecting whether or not you’re using a VPN. This is super-beneficial if, for example, you want to access Netflix’s region-locked content without getting caught by their systems.
As it relates to the best VPN for privacy, Vypr enforces all of the standard measures that you would expect out of the safest VPN - no logging, top-tier data encryption, etc.
A nice addition to all of that security is the fact that Vypr has some pretty neat speed statistics - it’s one of the faster VPNs that you’ll come across, which is rare when we’re talking about the most secure VPNs (high amounts of security tend to slow VPN connections down).
VyprVPN does offer a 3-day free trial for anyone wanting to test the VPN out. After that, if you want to receive all of the benefits listed above, you’ll have to purchase Vypr’s premium plan - this will cost you $6,67 USD per month, billed annually.
With 6 of the top secure VPNs laid out in front of you, one question remains - which ones if the best VPN for privacy?
Honestly, each of the above-mentioned VPNs will give you some great amounts of security and data protection. The one that you decide to choose depends on your own preferences - maybe the price is an important factor when it comes to making your mind up? Or the speed of a particular VPN provider?
Whatever the case might be, just know that each of the VPNs mentioned in this article have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they are all fully dedicated to keeping your information secure.