6) What’s the Best VPN for the Money?

We occasionally delve back into the world of “which VPN is the best for the money?” This time, it was spawned by a great and long-time friend named Ted who needed to set up VPN accounts for his office staff. Field workers in sensitive places *live* by these things. They basically create a bulletproof shroud around our entire internet experience, from the sensitive area where we live and work — all the way to the homeland. Once our traffic reaches our homeland, then yes — it finally opens up into the free and clear. But everyone in between sees our traffic as a bunch of encrypted code. Does it raise our profile? Not much. It just mainly looks like we’re online with a bank or a credit card interface — because they *all* use built-in encryption anyway.

So what are the best solutions? There are lots. They usually cost anywhere from $5 or $7 per month. The best service in our opinion is

https://strongvpn.com/

Another well-known option is Witopia…

https://www.personalvpn.com/vpn-products-and-services/

If you’ve got a favorite, please comment below the web version of this item. They vary widely as to their core components, their ease of adapting to various environmental variables, and their customer service. The most important factor is — if you’re headed into a sensitive land, use *something*.

12 Responses to 6) What’s the Best VPN for the Money?
  1. John Millstead Reply

    We are testing out NordVPN. So far, so good. They even have a bulk purchase plan for under $3.50 per month. Very easy to use on all devices too!

    https://nordvpn.com/

  2. Charles Cherry Reply

    Have no idea if its the best but I’ve been using CyberGhost VPN and it works very well for me.

    http://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_us#/SectionCompare

  3. Gustavo Reply

    I recommend VyprVPN.
    https://www.goldenfrog.com/pt/vyprvpn
    They also offer a 500Mb free account.

  4. Mark Sequeira Reply

    We use TunnelBear and Cyberghost but note that some websites and banking reject logins from VPNs. we had a recent order cancelled after purchase because we were on our VPN and NetFlix also won’t work with VPN.

    Some are better in certain nations than others.

  5. Trevor Reply

    I’m using the Opera browser for both my laptop and Android phone. Opera comes with a free VPN – and it actually works! And it’s fast! However, Opera was purchased by a Chinese company, so probably not a great solution for those working (or connected to workers) in China. But for the rest of the world…??

  6. Kyle Reply

    NordVPN is excellent with great technologies, but with the disadvantage of being relatively slow. Opera is ‘neat’, but not a great VPN. It will only keep you from being a ‘low-hanging fruit’ for malicious people.

    I use VyprVPN quite a bit, and they seem to be making a lot of progress as a company (Golden Frog). I would probably not put Strong VPN or WiTopia at the top though. WiTopia has generally been tested by many to have relatively slow performance, and besides the StrongDNS for Strong VPN it is very ambiguous what they offer to make it distinctively better than other services (there are hundreds of services, so what makes one better than the other?).

    VyprVPN is *more honest* than most companies. Most companies act like you can have a server with no logs (while they are renting servers and the people from whom they rent have logs, etc). As well, they have a couple of proprietary technologies. One that helps prevent your internet provider and government from detecting VPN usage, as well as their DNS server to help conceal the the website lookups on your device.

    Of course VPNs aren’t perfect and aren’t an end-all-be-all to security. You can get VyprVPN here with three free months for the year: http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/special/vpn-seasonal-special?offer_id=78&aff_id=3581 (FYI, I do web development, so I have affiliate URLs for everything, so disclosure this is an affiliate url as well).

    And they often have the best speed tests. There are many factors in a speed test, so you can never say definitively that a particular service is always the fastest, but generally speaking, in comparison to other services, VyrpVPN is going to do very well with your speed globally.

    • Editor Reply

      For those recommending VyprVPN, we’ll check it out!

  7. Shawn Reply

    This following website has an extensive comparison of many VPNs and their features

    https://thatoneprivacysite.net/vpn-section/

  8. Larry Jones Reply

    We live in a sensitive land and like “Private Tunnel VPN” Our reasons are: instead of a yearly service, we can buy blocks of data encryption that more closely fit our actual use and budget. Secondly, this VPN is watched over by the world community of security minded developers versus one single company who might be tempted to “sell” a users information for a bigger profit.

  9. Kyle Harris Reply

    For a couple years now I have been running a home-brew VPN on a virtual private server (VPS) hosted by digitalocean.com. It costs $5 a month for the server and digital ocean provides very detailed instructions on how to set up the server and install and configure openvpn. Advantages are 1) reasonable cost, 2) very low profile (I have yet to experience problems in East Asia with the great firewall), 3) no limit to the number of simultaneous connections through the VPN and 4) the throughput seems to be significantly better than what I experience with commercial services. The main disadvantage would be the time it takes to set it up (3-4 hours).

  10. zet Reply

    “best” is very much a subjective decision, based on what your priorities are. Remember that there’s a difference between Security, Privacy and Anonymity.

    The reference to That One Privacy Site is useful, but there’s a lot of techie information there.

    Remember that with a VPN, the only thing they can protect you is the connection between you and the provider, and that they have access to everything that goes through the connection. That may be useful in protecting you from snooping from your ISP, but it may only accomplish presenting all that to VPN provider, to do the same kind of snooping. It’s essential to know *why* you consider a VPN to be trustworthy.

    This is also why I consider a free VPN to be unsuitable — they’re not in business for altruism, and they have to have revenue streams that support their operations. One way may be filtering your data (in the same way as other kinds of free services do), so that they can sell ads that are then injected inside the VPN connection. This is also why Privacy Site’s focus on affiliates (the people who are selling and delivering the ads) is important, as is logging. If your activity is logged, the logs may be useful long after the activity being logged.

    One other consideration of VPN is speed. Use of encryption necessarily adds a measure of performance lag, and the number of servers and locations that a provider has is relevant. Also, the number of customers, because everybody is sharing the same bandwidth.

    Thus, if your VPN has servers only in Spain and Singapore, then if you’re in Uruguay, and trying to get to a site in the US, your performance could be pretty slow, especially if there’s other customers using VPN as a way of live-streaming the BBC from outside the UK. (Getting around country/region restrictions is one popular use of VPN, and one that’s not really security-related.)

    Some VPNs are good at proxying (e.g., protecting from your ISP), some for getting content through firewalls (e.g., from inside China), some are focused on protecting anonymity (e.g, in-country activists trying to hide things like dissident activity). There’s also VPNs operated by major security providers (e.g., Symantec), where the intent may not be general purpose use, but as a way of guaranteeing that their stuff gets delivered without corruption.

    In other words, before you start looking for “best” or even “best value”, make sure you know your priorities, of what you expect a VPN to do. There can be a lot of value, but use of a VPN won’t magically make you “safe”.

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