You’ll be overwhelmed by the number of VPNs available. There are so many that it’s easy to pick one that isn’t good. Our site has reviewed some of the best. If you’ve read our articles before, you’ve probably wondered how we do this. There are 9 steps to the process, and we’re very honest with them.
We Purchase It
Not all VPNs are free – the very best are paid. We have a dedicated account to pay for them, and we continue with subscriptions for a couple of months. This lets us see how VPNs fair in the long-run. We recently spent almost $3000 on them. We also review free ones, but mostly to compare with paid VPNs.
We Use It on All Devices
When we review a virtual private network, we make it mandatory to use it on as many devices as possible. Some VPNs aren’t compatible with a lot of operating systems. As of now, we mostly use our Apple TV, iPhone XR, Samsung S9, Lenovo Yoga C470, and Amazon Fire Stick for reviews.
When testing private networks on devices, we look to see if they have dedicated apps. This makes it easier to use. After the devices are tested, we make them clean slates by getting rid of the data.
How Easy It Is to Use
You’ll be surprised by how many VPNs have buttons that are not labeled properly, and a server list that is a mess. When we try a VPN out, we examine how long it takes to find its servers. If it hasn’t been customized for the device being used on, it’ll generally take a while. It’ll also take a while if it has not been updated.
How Secure It Is
When using a virtual private network, you stop your data from being sent to your ISP. This hides your IP address. However, it can leak. This is a result of DNS, IP, and WebTRC leaks. Unless you test specific things, you won’t know if your location is being exposed or not.
Wireshark is a favorite amongst VPN review sites. It lets you test the 3 leaks, and we’re happy to say that we’ve been using them for a while.
Whether You Can By-Pass Censorships
If you didn’t know, the internet in certain parts of the world is restricted. China is well known for this, having blocked Facebook and Twitter. When you use a VPN, your data is not sent to your ISP, so you can access restricted sites. The thing is, not all virtual private networks can do this. It’s common knowledge that free ones aren’t that powerful.
We work closely with VPN testers in China. They’re part-time members of our team. They log into whatever VPN we’re testing, to see if it can overcome China’s “Great Firewall”. Testing China’s restrictions are enough as they’re so tough, but we have part-time members in Dubai too. They test whether our VPN can overcome the UAE’s restrictions.
Whether You Can By-pass Geo-blocks
If you’re from a certain country, you might not be able to access sites. This is not due to your government but due to geo-blocks. The sites know you’re from that location due to your IP. Streaming services are notorious for doing this, due to licensing agreements.
We make note of all the popular web services, like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. We test whether we can access them or not. We also make note of how the sites work with specific servers. For example, accessing Netflix from America should give you a better content library.
How Fast It Is
There’s no point overcoming a geo-block only to be met with internet buffers. We first evaluate VPNs by visiting sites without using one. We then compare how fast sites are with the VPN, in several sever locations. We usually test speeds with American, Australian, British, German, Singaporean, and Indian servers.
Its No-Logging Policy
Not only do VPNs channel your connection to a server abroad, but they hide everything you do. This is called their “no-logging policy”. You can’t test their policies, but you can research them. That’s how we found out ExpressVPN was investigated by the Turkish police. They found no user information in the server investigated, which is good news. Through our research, we also found that IPVanish – a leading name in the game, unfortunately, handed the user logs over to the FBI.
We keep track of the virtual private networks reviewed and check how their no-logging policies hold up over time. When we edit our articles, we include any new information.
We also look at the VPN’s headquarters. If it’s in a location that has mandatory data retention laws, the chances of your data being stored are high. This is also true if it’s a part of the 14 eyes. They are an organization that monitors and shares citizens’ information.
The Availability of Features
Virtual private networks come with a range of features. Our favourites are kill switches, double VPNs, and split tunneling. We also test how secure a VPN’s encryption is – hopefully, its 256-bit as it’s the best.
How Useful Customer Support Is
Even if your issue is small, you’ll have a hard time if the support team you’re contacting isn’t the best. If you’re a fan of e-mail or call centers, the team needs to provide factual information. More importantly – not be rude. We found that VPNs with 24/7 live-chats are the most useful
Like other review sites, we go through a standard procedure for our reviews. We first purchase the VPNs. Most VPNs are purchased as the free ones are not that good. We then check them on all our devices. We have a range of Apple, Windows, and Android VPNs.
We also assess if the VPNs are easy to use. This is important as people who aren’t the most tech-savvy might struggle. Another important thing is how secure your connection will be. VPNs hide your IP, but due to leaks, they can be exposed. We use Wireshark to assess this, like most review sites.
Many people use VPNs to hide their IP, but most individuals use them to bypass geo-blocks. That’s why it’s mandatory that we web services from all over the world. We also have part-time team members to check whether the private network can overcome country censorships, like China’s.
With all of that out of the way, you know how thorough we are with our reviews. So, go back and read them again, you’ll see why!