Here we will soon the best VPN services we have found 2021.
When we evaluate and review VPN services to decide on which ones are the best VPN services 2021 we look at a bunch of different things. Let’s dive in to what we look at.
How we evaluate and review VPNs
- Safety and privacy – Are you really anonymous when using the VPN service? We do a bunch of test that we’ll get into more later in the article.
- Speed – How fast is the VPN? How much does it slow down your internet connection?
- Logs – Are they being saved? That would reveal your private information to the VPN company.
- Usability – Is it easy to use? Is there any recurring bugs like that you can’t connect to a certain server? Also, can you use streaming services like Netflix and HBO. Can you use it in China and other countries with firewalls?
- Terms & Conditions – Is there any trial period? How many months do you need to sign up for?
- Price and payment – How much does it cost? Can you use cards, crypto, Paypal etc?
Let’s dig in!
How we evaluate security and privacy
You might think it is as easy as just masking the IP to be secure but there is much more to it then that. It is also important to understand cookies, which information the web browser shares and things like DNS leaks.
We also check if the VPN is using a “Perfect Forward Secrecy”, split tunneling and ad blocking features.
We use tools like IPV6 Test and IPLeak to check if there is any sensitive information being shared. Then we download a torrent file through the above tools to see if the IP address is being shared there.
Another important thing is to find out where physically and legally a VPN is incorporated. If it is located in the U.S or in EU countries there is an obvious risk that authorities can monitor the information. That might not be a problem in many countries but in countries where the governments want to have full control this is a way to limit this. A lot of VPN companies has therefore incorporated in for example the British Virgin Islands.
Does the VPN save logs?
It is not super easy to get hold of this information but we do the best we can. The problem is that some VPN companies say that they do not save logs but it has later been revealed that they actually do. If we find out that they do, we would never recommend that service.
How we evaluate usability
We test the VPN in different environments. Android, Iphone, Mac and PC. We wanna make sure that it’s easy to use and change settings. It’s not too uncommon that one app has gotten less love than the other and then we wanna take that into consideration for the final score.
Where can you use the VPN?
If you live in a country where the government blocks websites and doesn’t let you access all of the internet then you might wanna use a VPN for that. However, all VPNs does not have global support and have blocked usage in countries like China and Thailand. So it’s important to investigate further into this matter.
How about torrents?
Some VPNs block the use of torrents with their service. We do not recommend using torrents for something illegal but it’s good to know if the VPN is open for that or not.
Does the VPN work with Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus, Hulu and other streaming services?
If you travel a lot some of your services might only work in your home country. But if your VPN supports streaming services then do not need to worry. Just jump in to the pool and watch good ol HBO from Thailand or wherever you are. We test if the biggest streaming services work with the VPN and also read reports online from other users.
This is also good if you wanna try movies from different countries than your own. Just imagine getting cozy in front of the fire watching a nice Italian movie back in Canada.
How we evaluate the speed
Vrooom! This is a big one. We dont wanna have bad flashbacks from the 56.6kbit modem era when it took 10 minutes to download a song from Napster. Whops. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Hypothetically speaking. We’ve never done that.
Anyways, here we bring out the big guns. We wanna make sure that the VPN service is super duper fast.
We start with testing the internet connection to get a benchmark. Then we turn on the VPN and try different servers to compare the speed. We use Ookla speedtest for this.
We also try everyday use like:
-Surf the web
-Watch Youtube movies in 1080p
-Upload and download files to Google Drive
But we do not stop there. Speed is not everything. We also look at ping and jitter.
Ping is the time it takes for a small data set to be transmitted from your device to a server on the Internet and back to you again. The ping time is measured in milliseconds (ms).
Jitter is when there is a time delay in the sending of these data packets over your network connection.
Prices and subscription terms
Does the VPN have money back guarantees? Trial periods? Do you have to subscribe for a long time to get an OK price? Can you use crypto, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Paypal? These are some of the things we look at. For every VPN we review we list the prices, terms and payment options.
How are our tests different from others?
All of us over at MakeITSecure use VPN all the time. If we have a problem we discuss if it should affect the grade. This way we find bugs that others do not find. Like this one from ExpressVPN when the server says “Thailand” but Google recognizes it as Indonesia.
We call them “The Deadly 4”™. They are deal breakers for us. They are so important that we would not even consider reviewing the VPN finding out about them.
The first of The Deadly 4 is the “kill switch. This basically means that if the VPN goes down it automatically blocks all internet traffic. If it doesnt then your IP will leak out during the time the VPN is down.
The second one is encryption. The VPN needs to use at least a AES-256 encryption.
The third of The Deadly 4 is something we already have mentioned is the big L word. “Logs.”
That is a big no.
The fourth one is regarding connectivity problems. If you need to try 5-6 to connect to a server that just make things annoying and we don’t want that. I
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