Choosing a reliable VPN service that suits your individual requirements is quite difficult, especially if you have no VPN experience in the first place. The technology may seem complicated, the selection of providers dizzying, and then there’s the recent story about fraudulent VPN services popping up after the FCC privacy rules repeal last month.
Naturally, to find out which services may offer the best Internet protection, users usually turn to various Internet sources. There’s a Reddit megathread on VPN recommendations, over 5 thousand VPN-related questions on Quora, and plenty of comparison sites with in-depth reviews. But which of the VPN comparison sites are the most reliable and provide the most objective opinions?
So, for a change, we’ve prepared a review of the sites that normally review us. Nothing personal, guys!
If you type “VPN comparison” or “best VPN services” in the Google search field, you will get hundreds of thousands, even millions, of results. You could just click on the few first ones, but can they be trusted? There are a few things you should pay attention to.
The VPN market is extremely dynamic – information from 2015 is hopelessly outdated by now. Therefore, the most reputable comparison sites update their reviews at least once a year to reflect the latest features, server locations and general performance. If a site has no dates on its articles, try searching for the relevant article on Google – it sometimes shows the publishing date next to the link.
If someone’s job is reviewing VPN services, they’d better know what makes some providers more secure than others, or why one VPN may work better for a specific purpose than another. They should also be able to explain it in a clear, concise way without relying on the specialist jargon too much. Look for well-written articles with specific points: no rambling, no factual mistakes, no generic reviews that seem to be describing pretty much any service on the market.
Another important factor is how exactly VPN comparison tests are conducted. One thing is to compare different services on paper (that is, check their pricing, ToS, privacy policies, features etc.). It is easy and anyone with a bit of free time can do that. However, running actual tests and checking how a service works in real-life scenarios is another thing entirely.
To get objective results, the tests have to be conducted in exactly the same conditions and environment. That not only includes testing different services by using VPN servers located in the same city, using the same VPN protocol, encryption or device, but also the same time of the day, ISP and so on.
Although the vast majority of review sites accept payments from sponsors, the sites that care about their reputation strive to maintain objectivity, sometimes even relying on independent reviewers. Pay attention to the Disclaimer section of the site – if it doesn’t mention compensation from VPN developers, its owners are either really passionate about privacy or simply dishonest. The About section is also telling: major sites are less evasive about their owners and employees, adding to their credibility.
The behemoth of tech reviews and best picks for anything from antivirus software to drones, visited by roughly 40 million readers a month. Like all other categories, its VPN section is nicely structured and features a convenient comparison table for a quick look at all key parameters.
Another all-rounder with millions of followers, TechAdvisor is more focused on the UK market but popular in other countries too. The VPN comparison section is well researched, regularly updated and easy to follow.
A site specializing on VPN service comparison and heavily focused on reviews by actual users. It’s a good place to start if you want to get a balance between real use cases and professional reviews written by acclaimed tech experts. Also, if you have anything to share about NordVPN or another service, this site will make your opinion count.
A relatively new yet quickly growing comparison site with a great layout. While other small sites often get cluttered with banners, badges, pop-up windows and whatnot, VPN Special is easy on the eye and well organized. You can check full NordVPN review for detailed explanation why we are their top recommendation.
Remember when we said that some comparison sites are all about real passion for privacy? That’s the one. What That One Privacy Guy lacks in manpower and funds, he makes up for in effort, going so far as to create a massive searchable VPN comparison spreadsheet, which covers everything from supported platforms to available obfuscation tools.
Besides regularly refreshed VPN reviews and a host of top 5 VPN lists for any possible occasion, BestVPN posts various articles on cybersecurity and digital rights daily, making it one of the go-to sites for anyone interested in Internet privacy.
Yet another relatively new site focused on comparing VPN services – but with video reviews. These are nice if you want a quick digest of all the key features of each service presented visually.
Unlike sites that focus on testing, reviewing and comparing VPN products only, Comparitech has a wider range of security-related topics, including antivirus, backup, password managing, and more.
We hope this article was useful! Remember that one way to make comparison sites more helpful is to submit your own honest reviews wherever possible. The Internet is great at bringing opinions together, and the more users share their authentic experiences, the more relevant information reaches those still looking for the most suitable VPN service.