We’ve decided to put our brains together, and debate all the pros and cons of the various VPN providers we have tested, used, reviewed, published or not, to try and come with a list of the top VPN service providers for 2015. My first argument, was to set a list of requirements in order for a service provider to qualify.
With so many VPN services rising on the web, we’ve had great to very bad performance levels, but beyond speed and stability, ethics on privacy and logs always come to mind. Does this company have an antecedent of divulging subscriber information? A no log policy is a must. While it’s arguable that some non-identifiable meta-data logging can be acceptable, it should be kept at a strict minimum, with no logs of actual data activity whatsoever.
It’s also difficult for everyday individuals to understand the technology and protocols used to connect to private servers. Most of us are just looking to get our privacy back, or protect against unwanted intruders on public connections. In 2015, OpenVPN remains the most accessible protocol that we can consider secure enough for today’s standards. Having SSTP and IKev2 protocols available is a plus, but just PPTP and L2TP is no longer sufficient.
Network size and server locations enable the access to geo-restricted content. Having servers in all key video streaming locations is important, but having local access is always a plus when casually browsing. The more locations the better, just as long as the network remains secure and private.
Next was speed. No one wants to have a VPN that will cut your internet speed down. This can sometimes be impossible to avoid when connecting to extremely distant locations, but a good provider is capable of creating short routes, causing a much smaller effect on speed, in some cases improving it.
Many internet users are interested in downloading torrents, therefore P2P support is required, or you can end up having your account suspended with no refunds. P2P support is provided by all of the services listed here.
Customer service can become an important factor when you first start using a new VPN provider. Depending on what type of hardware you wish to setup VPN services on, good tutorials and step by step setup guides are vital to make the experience as pleasant as possible. But if any problems arise, having a capable support center can make the difference between a happy and angry customer.
Final factors included but we’re not limited to unique features, software, how many devices could use an account simultaneously, alternative private payment methods such as cryptocurrency, price, and ease of use. Here are our best VPN service providers for 2015.
ExpressVPN – Full Review
At the top of the list, ExpressVPN scores high on all factors, so it’s no surprise that we regularly rank them high for various applications and needs, as well as best VPN provider of 2015. They cover close to 100 cities in 78 countries, with key coast to coast coverage of the US and other popular connection points. No logs, P2P allowed, OpenVPN 256-bit encryption available, and great software clients on all platforms. 1 computer, 1 mobile device, 1 streambox or console, and 1 VPN router can simultaneously connect per account.
A beta SmartDNS service is included for stream boxes such as Roku and Apple TV, or game consoles Xbox and PlayStation if all you need is to unlock streaming sites. Easy setup guides are included to get you started.
What really sets ExpressVPN away from the pack, is the quality of customer service to match the quality of their VPN software and servers. A professional team of techs are available at all hours to help you resolve any glitch or difficulty you may face along the way. An unmatched 30-day money back guarantee is their way of standing behind the promise of a superb VPN service. The price is a couple dollars higher than competitors, but you get what you pay for.
IPVanish – Full Review
This company listens to their customers, and have been on a non-stop expansion to build a true global tier-1 network infrastructure completely managed in house. This allows IPVanish to provide the best possible privacy and security of your personal online data. They’ve improved their no log policy to be a full zero log promise on all services. They currently cover over 60 countries and constantly in expansion. Due to having full control of their network routes, they have impressively fast speeds and ping response times for many locations across the globe. Great software on all platforms, simple and easy to use. Up to 2 simultaneous connections can be used per account.
IPVanish’s yearly plan is probably the best valued VPN service you can buy. A 7-day money back guarantee allows you to try it risk free, and customer service is as good as it gets. Quality tech agents are available to help you with any issue you may face setting up your service, and a great online setup portal allows you to configure just about any device. For the past few years, their hard work and expansion has earned them a spot as best VPN service for 2015.
Private Internet Access – Full Review
PrivateInternetAccess – PIA is a trusted name in the consumer VPN field. They have been garnishing positive reviews for years, and have an immense user base likely due to having such cheap prices. The service does not cover as many countries, a total of 17 at this time, but the server list is in constant expansion to handle all the traffic with minimal speed loss. The rest of the service is arguably just as good, with bug free VPN clients, P2P friendly, no logs, and 256-bit OpenVPN encryption availability. To add yet more value, up to 5 devices can simultaneously connect through one account.
Service is really great, with a capable support team available to help, and an extensive knowledge base and setup tutorial section is available on the site. There is not another VPN provider that has similar prices while still delivering the same level of service, speed, coverage and security. If you’re short on funds, Private Internet Access’s yearly package is more than cheap, it’s a steal. A top contender for best VPN service of 2015.
PureVPN – Full Review
Just like PIA, PureVPN also offers extremely affordable service, and allows the same 5 simultaneous connections per device, earning them points as a very good value for money option. They operate a much larger network that covers over 100 countries, giving them an edge on global service. No logs, P2P friendly, and very good software clients. NAT firewall protection is not included with the basic package, and requires an extra fee, which I found to be a bummer, but not everyone needs the extra layer. Speeds are consistently good, and plenty of servers from coast to coast on key locations ensure a good experience for streamers.
If you happen to have very slow internet, PureVPN has an extra service called HDX streaming, which is essentially a special private browser that connects through US or UK gateways, and adds up to 25mbps of stream buffering speed, allowing you to stream full HD on even the slowest of connections, given that you’re located close enough to the US or UK access points.
Customer service is also great, and their agents are very capable of resolving technical issues. A quality knowledge base and tutorials are available online. The low cost of the yearly plan matched with a well-rounded and performing service earned PureVPN a spot with the Best VPN providers of 2015. One thing to note, is that they retain a strict refund policy which only allows you 500MB of data usage in under 3 days, therefore I advise to run speed tests as soon as you purchase the service, to know whether or not your location does well on the network.