Your Ultimate Guide to VPNs Including Top 10 Best VPN Services

“What you know, don’t know, and did not know you do not know about VPN”

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As this VPN guide for beginners and top VPN services 2019 selection spans over 2,000 words and should take approximately 10 minutes to read from top to bottom, I added a table of contents for your convenience. Select your topic of choice or continue scrolling. This site is free and ad-free* so you are up for a treat.

Best VPNs of 2019 Shortlist (Top 3)

Vypr VPN
From $3.75/m
Large and credible (80 employees)
Regulated in Switzerland
200,000 IP addresses
Exclusive promotional price
From $3.29/m
Cheapest Pricing
4,000+ servers in 60 countries
Best support, available 24/7
No log policy
Express VPN
From $6.67/m
Fastest VPN based on our tests
256 bit encrypted connection
Support via online chat 24/7
Use 6 devices with one license
More information about our top choices with additional detailed information including full reviews is available here. This is just a teaser.

Contents of VPN Guide 2019 By

Quick Links! Just click on the topic you’re most interested in, or simply continue scrolling down.

  1. VPN, oh, what is it good for?
  2. What’s a VPN? (in 100 words or less)
  3. How does a VPN it look like?
  4. What are the downsides of using a VPN?
  5. I’m sold, but why should I use a paid VPN instead of a free VPN?
  6. Which VPN should I choose? What’s the best VPN for 2019?
  7. Top Rated VPN for 2019 – Top 10 List ?
  8. Where can I see a side-by-side VPN service comparison?
  9. Are some VPN software providers better than others for [Country X]?
  10. Are there any good VPN mobile applications out there?
  11. Are there any new VPN sites on the market that are worth checking?
  12. Footnotes
  13. I only care about speed, show me the Fastest VPN comparison please

VPN, oh, what is it good for?

People want to know more about VPN software for a variety of distinct reasons. Some wish to improve their anonymity online and sheer away from the open eye of the government, corporate world and/or illuminati. Some want to stay afoot from the threats of unsecured Wi-Fi routers, whether at home or on the go. Others need to use VPN to access contents which cannot be viewed in their locale, either downloading torrents or accessing restricted materials reserved for people from specific countries.

Whether you came here to learn about VPN for any of the above reasons, or you have another use for a good VPN provider, you have ended up in the right place to get the best guidance on VPN services.

What’s a VPN? (in 100 words or less)

A VPN, Virtual Private Network, is a method to enhance privacy online. In very simplified words, it’s a software that allow you to connect to the internet (send and receive data from remote computers) through a different location in the globe. Your own private IP will be replaced with the VPN’s IP. Why does it matter? IP is like a ZIP Code. If your ZIP Code is not visible, then it is not possible to collect information about you like so many websites do.

How does a VPN it look like in 2019?

It looks, give or take, something like this:

This is a real screenshot I just took of one of the most recognizable VPN services around, named HMA! Or Hide My Ass! (stupid name indeed). I would not say it is the best VPN in 2019, but it’s one of the simpler and better user experiences out there.

Downloading it and using it is dead simple. You download a software, pick the locations you want to be connected from (you can select a random location or ask HMA! To find a nearby location as well), hit the “Connect” button and within 10 seconds, give or take, you’re set.

This is one of the reasons that buying VPN subscription is doing so well nowadays, that sort of streamlined simplicity. It will only take 5 minutes from the time you decide you want to buy a VPN, to the point in which you will register, subscribe, pay, download the software and hit that “Connect” bottom. If you happened to invest some time into VPN reviews and you have managed to find a good cheap VPN provider, then you are likely to pay somewhere around $10 per month.

In the past, before these services ever existed, if you wanted to conceal your footsteps online you needed to buy a remote server somewhere and manually set a VPN connection. It’s not super complicated but it’s too much for the laymen. It was also a lot more expensive than the cheap VPN solutions we have in 2019.

What are the downsides of using a VPN?

I would not say there are many downsides to using a VPN. I mean, if you came to look for information about VPNs or read paid VPN service reviews, you probably need one, right? If that’s the case, then the downsides are very minor in comparison to the benefits. Here is what I could come up with:

  • Although a cheap VPN costs only about $10 a month, it’s still money, and whenever you’re paying money, it’s a disadvantage in my book. With that being said, I would still not recommend using free VPN services (will get to that later on).
  • VPN makes your internet connection slower, depending on your whereabouts and where you want to connect through (if you want to use a nearby location it will be barely noticeable but if you want to connect from the other side of the globe expect some connection lags). It also heavily depends on how fast your internet speed is. If your internet is very slow to begin with, VPNs might not be your thing.

I’m sold, but why should I use a paid VPN instead of a free VPN?

People, being people, are always looking for the cheapest alternative (me included). Since some services boast themselves as free VPNs, people argue that there is no need to pay for something that is handed for free. In this case, that is far from being true. We all want to get the best affordable VPN program but it’s a thin line between good and cheap and pretty hard to find. That’s why we did this post, so people like you don’t try and test every VPN on the market.

Free VPN services are:

  1. Slow, and thus, do not enable you to consume a lot of data (such as downloading files, watching music, or engaging in other normal internet activities).
  2. Often for a limited period – either for 14 days trial or up to a certain (very low) usage.

The bottom line is that a top VPN service requires some investment on behalf of the company building it. They need to code the software, buying overseas servers, hire staff, etc. There is absolutely no reason in which any commercial company would provide its software and services for free. That’s the simple reason why you should go for the best paid VPNs. You don’t have to be necessarily looking for the best VPN for torrenting or any high use VPN to be disappointed with a free VPN!

Which VPN should I choose? What’s the best VPN provider for 2019?

There are a lot of VPN service providers out there in the market, and as many VPN reviews as your eye can see. There are a lot of claims on the best VPN made by both companies and VPN reviewers. In my opinion, the truth is that you cannot really award any one company with the “Best VPN for 2019” award because they all provide pretty much the same service, and the good ones have a very similar offering in terms of pricing, availability and service.

I think the best course of action for someone like yourself is simply to visit several of the providers on the best VPN list, and sign up for free with those offering a trial period. After testing the product, you could go on and sign up for 12 months with a sizable discount.

Top Rated VPN for 2019 – Top 5 List ? Updated January 2019

Below is an aggregation of carefully selected VPN vendors you can find online and are recommended by clients and professional websites. In addition to our picks of the top paid VPN service listed below, we have created elaborated VPN reviews for each of the companies listed here (and a lot more companies). These reviews of top rated VPN plans are geared for people looking for the best home and small business VPN sites – meaning, they are all inclusive and not tailored towards a certain segment of our audience. Note: We always list the cheapest available VPN plan.

#1: VyprVPN

70 Countries

200,000 IP Address

Operating since 2009

No Log VPN confirmed by an audit by the Leviathan Security Group

From $3.75/ month, Free Trial

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Read Vypr VPN Review

Promotion: 3 Months Free – Exclusive for

#2: NordVPN

Best Support Staff 24/7

Most Intuitive Software and User Experience

From $2.99 a month! (On a three year plan)

2,000 Servers in 57 Countries (and growing)

Zero-log policy

Fastest VPN Service!

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Read NordVPN Review

#3: HideMyAss VPN (HMA!)

100,000 IP Addresses – Vast Global Offering

Fast due to large number of IPs available

Best VPN Program: User Interface

Probably the most recognizable VPN provider

No IP Leaks

Multiple Connections at the same time for one license!

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Read HideMyAss Review

#4: Express VPN

94 Countries

256 bit Encryption

Online support by Chat 24-7

Money Back Guarantee After 30 Days

Express VPN reviews online are: highly positive!

Second Fastest VPN Service!

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Read ExpressVPN Review

#5: VPN Area

47 Countries

No Logs, DNS Leak Protected

Most Secure

VPN Area reviews online are: positive!

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Read VPN Area Review

VPN Deals and Promotions 2019

2019’s internet is flooded with various offers for VPNs. With the growing popularity and competition, VPN services have started racing towards lower prices and attractive advertising. VPN deals and promotions are pretty much available everywhere right now. It is, in our opinion, a useful tool to slash off the costs of VPNs and make use of the fact it is such a competitive space. Luckily for you, the reader, as partners of all the best VPN as listed above, you are eligible for special sign up promotions and deals when signing up through our website.

… Additional options – more great VPN providers’ reviews for 2019!


Free trial with 30-day money-back guarantee

Unlimited Speed and Bandwidth

Responsive customer service

High Speed

Highly anonymous

Platform availability: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Routers

Read SaferVPN review HERE


Zero Data Logging Policy

Unlimited Speed and Bandwidth

High Speed for Download and Streaming

Highly Anonymous

Killswitch Feature

Read PrivateVPN review HERE

Goose VPN

30-day money-back guarantee

Servers in 28 countries

Unlimited Speed and Bandwidth

No log policy

Read Goose VPN review HERE

TunnelBear VPN

30-day money-back guarantee

Free trial – 500MB of free data every month

Servers in 22 countries

Unlimited Speed and Bandwidth

No log policy

Read TunnelBear review HERE

NameCheap VPN

One of the biggest internet companies

New “beta” product

No log policy

Sufficient speed

Transparent and fair prices

Read NameCheap review HERE

Cyber Ghost

1000 IP Addresses

Top notch security and encryption

No logs


Cyber Ghost reviews online are: highly positive!

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Multiple Connections at the same time 

Hostspot Shield

Extra Layer of Cloud Security

Super easy to use

Least time to connect to server

Available for: Linux, PC, Mac, Android, iPhone

Multiple Connections at the same time

Where can I see a side by side VPN Comparison

At Ruin My Search History, our ultimate goal is to compare and discover the best online privacy and anonymity services. Our research pertaining to VPN comparison is present below but if you want to get even more detail, please visit our full VPN reviews that are built in the same way and allow our reading to compare the offering of the various services with ease.

VPN comparison parameters #1: VyprVPN #2: NordVPN #3: HideMyAss VPN (HMA!) #4: Express VPN #5: VPN Area
Price/ 1 mo US$12.95/mo US$11.95/mo $11.99/mo US$12.95/mo US$9.9/mo
Price/ 6 mo US$5/mo US$9/mo US$7.99/mo US$9.99/mo US$8.33/mo
Price/ 12 mo US$3.75/mo US$6.99/mo US$5.99/mo US$6.67/mo US$4.92/mo
Number of services 700+ servers 2600 servers 760+ servers 1500 servers 209 servers
Number of server locations 70+ server locations
320+ server locations
Trial period 3 Day 3 Day 7 Days 30 Days 7 Days
Operating system requirements Windows Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, mac, linux, android, ios Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10
Operating system requirements Mac OS X, 10.10 Yosemite OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion mac, linux, android, ios, blackberry, windows-phone mac, linux, android, ios mac, linux, android, ios, blackberry Mac, iOS, Chromebook, Android, and Linux
Number of countries 62 64 190+ 154 70
Connection Speed 10 seconds 9 seconds 8 seconds 11 seconds 10 seconds
Additional options (decyphering, virtual router) NAT Firewall provides an extra layer of security for your VyprVPN connection and offers additional protection on your router or mobile device. Strong Encryption (2048-bit SSL for OpenVPN) First-class security – AES-256 encryption, emergency disconnection from the network, zero DNS disclosure VPNArea continues to work well with Netflix and other streaming services and it is also one of the few VPNs that offer dedicated IP addresses.
Number of IP addresses 200000+ IP addresses
Connection protocols PPTP
IKEv2 (Manual setup and iOS only)
OpenVPN, SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2/IPsec OpenVPN, L2TP/Ipsec, PPTP PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2
Simultaneous connections allowed Three and five (Standard / Premium, respectively) of simultaneously connected devices 6 devices 2 devices 3 devices 6 devices
Logs Yes No Yes No No
Country where company is registered Switzerland Panama United Kingdom British Virgin Islands Bulgaria
Mobile App? + + + + +
Money back guarantee No refunds 30 Day Money Back Guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee (valid until you spend 10 GB of traffic) 30 Day Money Back Guarantee 7 Day Money Back Guarantee
Foundation date 2010 2008 2005 2009 2012
Kill switch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Comparing VPNs – Some Pointers Regarding our Comparison Chart

Why did you compare only these particular VPN services?

Many people have been asking us why do we insist on comparing the most popular VPN service providers in the market instead of casting a wider net and comparing all the VPN program/software available on the market. Our answer is dual faceted – the first part of the answer addresses the “why these particular providers” and the answer is that they are the most popular ones which have been recommended all around so we wanted to get into the nitty gritty of those before moving on to additional providers. The second part of the answer is that we will be definitely improving this page, and our website as a whole, when time permits.

Why is the foundation date any relevant to a comparison?

The best VPN today is not necessarily the one that has been established the longest time ago. Amazon is definitely a better place to buy your books than the mom and pop shop down your street. With that being said, we do care about consistency of service, which cannot be measured over a short period of time. A company that has been servicing its clients and obtaining positive reviews year after year is a sign of quality, to us.

Number of countries and IPs

The number of countries available on each VPN software is what separates a good VPN provider from a top VPN provider, in our opinion. It’s true that most user don’t even need more than a few selected countries, but some users do require that. If you have been using VPN software on your PC to, say, compare prices from various locations, then you will need as many available IPs spread across the globe to do that. Furthermore, the ability to set up remote IPs in as many countries as possible signifies to us that the company has strong connections and is willing to take steps above and beyond to enhance and improve their software.

How do you determine the best VPN for beginners based on this comparison

The most important thing for a beginner, or the basics, are the connection speed, compatibility with as many devices as possible, the user interface, and the pricing. Most of this data is easy to extract from our comprehensive comparison chart, but we recommend reading the full VPN reviews if you are a newcomer – just to get more background on each company and see our assessment of the pros and cons it has.

Does going for a VPN based simply on the pricing makes sense?

  1. There are several distinct monthly rates depending on the length of your subscription.
  2. These rates are ever-changing because of the competitive nature of this industry. Yesterday’s cheapest VPN plan could be today’s most expensive one so choosing a provider based only on a  VPN price comparison is not recommended.
  3. The overall price you are required to pay for a paid VPN subscription as a “home user” is anywhere between 5 and 10 dollars a month (or the equivalent amount in your local currency). For most people a different of 2-3 dollars a month is not going to make a difference.
  4. I wanted to focus on the qualities that a great VPN software should possess, rather than aiming only to find to cheapest VPN in the world. Quality does not equal price. You should aim for the most secure VPNs not the best affordable VPN.

To summarize, all of the our top selection can also fit the query of “best cheap VPN provider” because we stick to VPN plans below $10/mark as a rule of thumb.

Are some VPN software providers better than others for [Country X]?

When it comes to most countries, there is no difference between various top rated VPN services. Every big company in this space is creating its product so it will be apt for global audience and not a specific locale. You can search for the best VPN in the UK and use it freely in the USA, and similarly in countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany or Spain which aren’t actively blocking VPN software.

Unlike the countries listed above, there are some locations in which the governments are actively pursuing ways to block VPN services. These are countries in which a totalitarian regime is trying to gain control of all the inflow and outflow of information, and in which many sites are blocked on the ISP level. VPN is a gateway for users in these countries to access sites which are blocked, and the government is playing cat and mouse with VPN providers to add blacklist or ban them.

Hence, in countries like China, Russia or the UAE / Dubai it is particularly important to stick to the best and largest VPN services. Large VPN vendors will have tens of thousands of IPs available and are able to move their software between different domains and different ports with relative ease to avoid the government bans in these regions, while smaller companies which are not included in our top 10 VPN list are not likely to be able to compete with the government agencies.

To summarize, our list of best VPN is applicable for people who are searching specifically for the best VPN in China, best VPN in the UAE, or best VPN in Russia.

 Are there any good VPN mobile applications out there?

As mobile phones become the main information consumption device across the globe, including China with a 95% mobile penetration rate or India where 78% of all the data is consumed via mobile devices. Accordingly, VPN providers have started making mobile app versions of their popular desktop (PC) programs back in the early 2010’s and nowadays it’s safe to say that any large and recommended VPN company has both desktop and mobile apps.

It doesn’t matter which kind of a mobile you have (iPhone, Android, Xiaomi, LG, Samsung) or Operating System (Android or iOS), it will be absolutely no issue to download the app to your mobile phone and use your subscription there as well. The same logic applies to other types of device. The best VPN for iPad is exactly the same software as the top VPN for PC or Mac.

Updated for 2019: please view our best VPN for Android list or best VPN for iPhone here.

Are there any new VPN sites on the market that are worth checking?

With online privacy becoming “a thing” in recent years as the debate about net neutrality is heating up, and the bitcoin’s rise is taking ransomware to new heights, VPN is absolutely booming. Just look at the search trends over the past 5 years from google (region- China):

As with any other booming businesses, there are more VPN software providers in the market every month. It is not particularly difficult or expensive to set up a VPN. The difficult part is handling unusual loads and making sure all the servers are always live and that the client has a variety of locations available, and of course – make sure the server load isn’t too high so the upload and download speed will be good.

With new VPN sites, it’s hard to make judgement on the above. These sort of things you can only test over a period of time. This is why we did not include any new VPN reviews for 2019 or recommendations in this guide – we don’t feel like people should be choosing new VPNs, but rather stay with the best VPN providers, established brands that have demonstrated great performance over a very long period of time.


* The site is ad-free, but some of the links leading to service provider could be referral links. That means that some of the VPN providers featured on this webpage could be giving us compensation for each client we send their ways. We do not feel like this clouds our judgement in regards to the vendors we choose to present (in this particular case our “Best VPN Sites for 2019 List”) – at the end of the day all the companies offer a referral program and we had dozens or hundreds of secure VPNs to choose from.

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