A good VPN service offers more than 700 servers across the globe, with diverse server locations. A robust VPN service has more than 1,000 servers. The kings of the heap as far as servers go are NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TorGuard VPN. NordVPN offers over 4,800 servers, and the other two have over 3,000 servers for subscribers. All three have a good mix of locations to boot.
Active attacks: Placing code or hardware on VPN servers in order to compromise traffic is the most resource-intensive method of attack. “[The] ability to attack VPNs and underlying protocols varies across governments, and even within agencies that are part of the same government. For instance, NSA is far more capable than the DEA or the local police.”
On top of all this security also come the fastest speeds we’ve ever tested, with short-range connections only losing a few percent and even transatlantic ones only dropping by about a third. For the full results, check out our ExpressVPN review. These speeds also put it on our number one spot for the best VPN for streaming, in case piracy is less your style.
Our next pick for best VPN of 2018 is IPVanish. The service permits torrenting and throws in a free Smart DNS service for all customers. The biggest downside is that it’s based in the US —not an ideal location since the NSA is notorious for its intensive and often illegal surveillance. To combat this, IPVanish doesn’t keep logs and does provide DNS leak protection. Despite being a little stripped-down, works very well.
IVPN also performed well in our speed tests. Though it wasn't always the fastest in the 54 measurements we took on each service, it ranked near the top on many servers at different times of the week—especially compared with the most trustworthy services. Private Internet Access, one of the most visible, privacy-focused VPNs, had slower speeds when connecting to most servers and less reliable connections than IVPN. For US servers (which we expected to be the fastest locations because we tested from California), IVPN ranked behind only OVPN and TorGuard. We liked OVPN—especially its speed results—but we thought that company's small team and small selection of servers and locations were too limiting for some people.
We like that the company offers a connection kill switch feature and, for those who need it, there's an option to get a dedicated IP address. VyprVPN is a standout in their effort to provide privacy, and thwart censorship. When China began its program of deep packet VPN inspection, Golden Frog's VyperVPN service added scrambled OpenVPN packets to keep the traffic flowing.