Best VPN 2019: 18 of the best for privacy, speed and Netflix

We've tested the key paid for VPNs on the market, rating them for speed, security and privacy, price, ability to access streaming services, and performance.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best VPNs for people looking for something more long-term, for personal or business use.

It’s important to note that unlike many VPN comparison sites, we’ve rigorously tested all these products, and we update this list regularly. We’ve selected these products to compare because they are are the most well-known and will tend to be sufficient for most people’s needs. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out more about how we do this.

We’d recommend a paid for VPN over a free one most times, but if money is tight, you’re between paycheques, or you’re thinking of switching provider but don’t want to part with any cash just yet, then you’re in luck – we’ve rounded up the Best Free VPNs here, too. These are typically ‘reduced feature’ or ‘time limited’ versions of the main ones.

If you are still not sure, read the following to check the difference between a free and paid for VPN.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Todays VPN Deals

ExpressVPN

One of the most trusted VPN's on the market, ExpressVPN gives you unrestricted access to Netflix, HBO and iPlayer. Get 49% off on their one year subscription and receive a further three months completely free.

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the fastest and most secure VPN services with unlimited and private P2P. This stellar deal saves you a whopping 80% off your three year subscription as well as three more months free.

Private Internet Access

Equipped with a VPN kill switch and IPv6 leak protection are two of many reasons PIA is rated as our top VPN for security. Get yourself a year subscription and save 67%.

Our recommended best VPNs

  • Best overall VPN: our best overall recommendation this time goes to ExpressVPN thanks to still excellent speeds in our latest group test. Its no-logging claim has also been tested by a court order, making it a good choice for security-conscious subscribers.  
  • Best for privacy: for privacy-conscious buyers on a budget, we recommend Private Internet Access, which has had its no-logging claims tested and offers a wide range of endpoints as well as a VPN kill switch, ad blockers, and support for custom DNS. 
  • Best for pricing: along with Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN earns a mention, as its no-logging claim has been proven and its nicely priced – the free tier offers bandwidth for up to three devices.
  • Best for international coverage: HideMyAss! (HMA) still pips NordVPN in terms of overall international coverage – and indeed all other VPNs here – thanks to its unbeatable number of servers and endpoints, but as it keeps some connection log data, it’s not as private as you might like. 
  • Best for streaming: if you’re after a VPN for streaming, we still recommend Windscribe, which, again, gave us excellent speeds, as well as access to all popular streaming services via dedicated endpoints. VyprVPN is also excellent for streaming, and unlike Windscribe, its logging policy is independently audited.
  • Best for features (with caveats): Nord VPN has slipped down our list due to a significant security breach. It still has great speeds, low prices, a large number of endpoints, and enables international access to streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
  • Best for speed: KeepSolid VPN once again scored highly in our speed tests, and delivered speeds on par with Windscribe, and in some cases faster.

Scroll down for our complete roundup of the Best VPNs and links to our full reviews.

ExpressVPN

1. ExpressVPN

Proven privacy credentials, excellent speeds, and international streaming service access

Pros:

  • Good transfer speeds
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy, demonstrated in court
  • Excellent video streaming performance

Cons:

  • Expensive

There’s no sugar-coating the fact that ExpressVPN is pricey, but you do get what you pay for, namely a fast, secure service that’s accessible from a number of clients including Linux, and browser extensions including Amazon’s Fire TV.

Security features include a VPN kill switch and the ability to have ExpressVPN run on start-up, minimising the chance of you connecting to the internet without everything encrypted. What’s more, ExpressVPN’s no-logging claim that’s been demonstrated both in court and by an external audit.

Recent tests showed ExpressVPN to have a blip on its streaming performance, but that’s all been sorted since, removing all doubt that this is currently the best VPN to go for.

Private Internet Access desktop client

2. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Best VPN for security – excellent features and server choice

Pros:

  • Generally fast transfer speeds
  • Wide range of privacy and security features
  • Clear no-logging policy, demonstrated in court

Cons:

  • Detected by most streaming services

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the easier VPNs to use. There are clients for Windows, macOS and Linux, iOS, and Android, plus instructions for setting up connections on other operating systems and devices. A complete list of the 3000 endpoints in 33 countries is displayed with a simple click, and features such as the VPN kill switch, which protects your data by killing your internet connection if the VPN stops working, are easy to set up.

It’s also possible to initiate IPv6 leak protection, which temporarily disables IPv6 to prevent unwanted identifying data from being transmitted, and DNS leak protection, routing all DNS requests through a non-logging DNS service.

What’s more, PIA has a clear no-logging policy, which has been proven to be reliable. When served with an FBI warrant to hand over VPN logs, PIA didn’t have anything to show, making it one of the few VPN providers whose no-logging claim is known to have been tested.

Prices are also pretty low. Expect to pay £7.85/month on a rolling basis, £56.51 for a year (equivalent to £4.70/month), or £65.94 for a two-year subscription (equivalent to £2.74/month). If you want to save cash then the two-year option is clearly your best bet. Alternatively, you can pay using bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash or gift cards.

A screengrab of the Windscribe desktop client running on Windows 10.

3. Windscribe

Best VPN for streaming and price – high speeds, low prices

Pros:

  • Generous free tier
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Excellent for streaming
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Unproven logging policy

Windscribe is one of the best VPNs out there, offering subscribers fast HTTP and FTP speeds,a transparent data logging policy, as well as dedicated servers for anyone after a VPN for streaming purposes.

The 10GB try-before-you-buy offer is generous as well, and, when you are ready to open your wallet, know that you’ll be enjoying some of the best prices going. In theory, there’s no limit to the number of devices you can project with one Windscribe account, either.

Windscribe is not only fast, it’s also very easy to use, and comes with a good set of security features including a VPN kill switch and an integrated firewall.

The Windows version even lets you easily share an encrypted connection as a secure wireless hotspot with a wireless adapter, should you need to use that. As well as that there are clients for macOS, Android, iOS, and there’s also a Linux client as well, plus Chrome, Firefox and Opera extensions.

On the slightly negative side, while the logging policy claims that only the most basic functional information is retained – and none of that information could be used to identify customers – this has yet to be proven in court, or via an independent audit.

CyberGhost desktop client

4. CyberGhost

Excellent and easy-to-use security features

Pros:

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Excellent streaming performance
  • Extended subscriptions are excellent value

Cons:

  • Disappointing U.S. connection speeds
  • High monthly subscription fees

CyberGhost has proven itself to be a good option for people after a VPN chiefly for accessing streaming services overseas – in the latest round of testing, we were able to access Netflix and Shudder from the U.S. as well as BBC iPlayer and All 4, even though we were accessing them from outside the UK. HTTP and FTP speeds were also good this time around, though not class-leading.

Security and performance-enhancing features include integrated ad blocker, malware filtering, bandwidth compression, and a permanent VPN kill switch. You can also specify how each client behaves, so you can have CyberGhost start up as Windows does, if you prefer always-on encryption.

CyberGhost claims to not keep any customer logs, and while that may well be the case – the company is based in Romania, where such a level of data collection has been declared unconstitutional – this has not been independently verified.

Prices are also generous – if you can afford to shell out for long-term subscriptions. Paying £55.08 for a year’s cover is equivalent to a very pocket-friendly £2.10/month, but the standard monthly rate of £10.29 is exorbitant by contrast.

Nord VPN

5. NordVPN

Previous best, humbled by an undisclosed security breach

Pros:

  • Wide range of privacy and security features
  • Over 5000 servers worldwide
  • Large number of endpoint countries
  • Clear, audited no-logging policy
  • Provides international access to Netflix, All 4 and iPlayer

Cons:

  • Expensive monthly fee
  • Late disclosure of 2018 server breach

NordVPN was one of the few virtual private networks in our latest roundup to grant international access to every streaming service tested. The others were ExpressVPN, Windscribe, VyprVPN, and BullGuard VPN – which, as it happens, uses the same infrastructure as NordVPN.

NordVPN performed well in speed tests too, with only endpoints in the U.S. not being quite so good in our most recent group test. As for security and privacy, you get the option of enabling app-specific or whole connection VPN kill switches, the ability to set custom DNS providers and make use of NordVPN’s obfuscated servers. NordVPN has also been independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, so you can be sure that its claim to store not personally identifiable information about you is, er, watertight.

NordVPN has tumbled from the top of our chart following the news of the server breach. What’s worse, the company didn’t disclose the breach to the public for a long time, which brings question marks over both the transparency and security of the service.

A screenshot of the VPNHub client for Windows 10 sitting on the desktop.

6. VPNHub Premium

Pornhub-affiliated VPN offers fast, albeit pricey, streams

Pros:

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Excellent streaming performance
  • Extended subscriptions are excellent value

Cons:

  • Disappointing U.S. connection speeds
  • High monthly subscription fees

VPNHub Premium is the paid version of VPNHub, which it has to be pointed own, is run by a subsidiary of MindGeek, the company which owns adult entertainment monolith Pornhub.

The VPNHub Premium user interface is simple and easy to use, and you’re offered choice of endpoints in over 50 countries. Speeds are good too, although perhaps not good enough to warrant the high prices VPNHub Premium commands.

Furthermore, while VPNHub says is doesn’t store subscriber’s connection logs, it’s not a claim that’s been proven to be true via a court order, not has it been independently verified, so you’ll just have to take MindGeek’s word for it until we know more.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited running on Windows 10.

7. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

A very fast VPN that’s good for streaming

Pros:

  • Wide range of supported devices
  • Good range of endpoint countries

Cons:

  • Keeps some logs
  • Couldn’t stream U.S. Netflix or All 4

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited wins points for having an easy to use interface which calls up a list of your most used endpoints, as well as lists for specialist endpoints for torrenting and region-shifting for streaming video services.

That said, in our most recent test, we weren’t able to access Netflix’s U.S. library, or All 4 from a UK endpoint, although BBC iPlayer and Shudder gave us no grief this time around. We also enjoyed some of the fastest FTTP and FTP speeds in this testing round, although not quite as fast as NordVPN.

Security features include the crucial VPN kill switch, cutting your connections in the event of the encrypted VPN tunnel failing, and the option to run on start-up, helping to ensure that no traffic is unencrypted.

Privacy-conscious buyers may wish to pause before signing up, however, as KeepSolid collects connection logs, including IP addresses and device information, although it maintains that IP address data is not stored after your connections are terminated.

IP Vanish Windows 10 client

8. IP Vanish

Good for Netflix, but do those no-logging claims stand up?

Pros:

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Fast U.S. speeds
  • Streams Netflix U.S.

Cons:

  • Gave logs it wasn’t supposed to have to US law enforcement
  • Poor UK streaming performance
  • Below-average European HTTP speeds

IP Vanish’s performance has improved since our last round of testing, this time around demonstrating fast speeds from its U.S. endpoints – HTTP and FTP tests yielded speed test scores of 102.8Mbps and 140.7Mbps. That’s just as well, because we were also able to access the U.S. Netflix library with IP Vanish, too.

On the flip side, European HTTP speeds were not great, and BBC iPlayer and All 4 didn’t play nicely with IP Vanish either.

On top of this, questions remain about the veracity of IP Vanish’s no-logging claim. It’s given customer data to the Department of Homeland Security before, and while current owner J2 Global says it will uphold the no-logging policy, this has yet to be independently verified.

Screenshot of Kaspersky Secure Connection running on Windows 10.

9. Kaspersky Secure Connection

Typically fast, Kaspersky was slower this time, buy hey, it’s still cheap

Pros:

  • Generous free tier
  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Low annual subscription fee

Cons:

  • Privacy groups have disputed no-logging policy
  • Limited device support, configuration and privacy options
  • Mediocre video streaming
  • No kill switch

Kaspersky Secure Connection remains one of the most nicely-priced VPN services out there, offering a year’s protection for up to five devices for £29.99, the equivalent of paying £2.49 a month.

While in the past, we’ve recorded some of the best speeds when using Kaspersky, this time around, recorded transfer speeds, while still fast, were closer to the industry average.

Also, for streamers, bad news – in our latest group test, BBC iPlayer, All 4, and Netflix all showed us the door. Other downsides, especially for the privacy-conscious user, include a vague and unproven no-logging policy, and no VPN killswitch, which means you’re not protected if you’re disconnected from Kaspersky Secure Connection.

BullGuard VPN desktop client

10. BullGuard VPN

Good VPN for streaming, uses the same network infrastructure as NordVPN

Pros:

  • Rebranded version of NordVPN
  • Fast performance in transfer speed tests
  • Outstanding streaming media handling

Cons:

  • Limited device support
  • More expensive than many rivals

BullGuard VPN is a relatively new virtual private network service from the antivirus company of the same name. Despite the name, it actually uses NordVPN infrastructure to encrypt your traffic, meaning you benefit from many of the same features you’d have access to with a NordVPN subscription.

In fact, in our recent round of testing BullGuard VPN proved itself to actually be faster than NordVPN. So, if you’re after something that’s ideally suited to accessing streaming services whilst you’re away from home, and want the fastest possible browsing and downloading speeds, then BullGuard VPN is the obvious private network of choice.

BullGuard VPN is more expensive than NordVPN, and most VPNs in fact, so budget-conscious buyers may be better looking elsewhere.

Additionally, while BullGuard claims that it doesn’t keep any logs for its VPN service, this claim has yet to be verified by a court order or an independent audit. While we’d take BullGuard at their word, those who place a premium on privacy may wish to wait to see if this no logging claim stands up to the ultimate test.

Proton VPN desktop client

11. ProtonVPN

Free tier features unlimited usage, great option for privacy-conscious users, great prices

Pros:

  • Unlimited bandwidth free tier
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Quick European transfer speeds

Cons:

  • Unable to stream BBC iPlayer
  • Slow U.S. throughput

Whatever you’re in the VPN market for, ProtonVPN would be worth checking out regardless. This isn’t just because the free option offers unlimited usage (in terms of how much bandwidth you can burn through every month), but because it boasts a no-logging policy as well.

There are some limitations with the free option, though: namely, endpoints. You can only pick from three by default (the Netherlands, Japan, and the United States), with more becoming available if you shell out for the paid option. In our most recent test we found that European endpoints offered far better performance than U.S. equivalents.

There are also tiers of paid service, ProtonVPN Basic, ProtonVPN Plus, and ProtonVPN Visionary. Basic gives you cover for up to two devices and gives you access to all standard servers in 32 countries, as well as some dedicated P2P servers, for a very cheap £3.94/month or £37.81/year (equivalent to £3.15/month).

Plus gets you all the above, as specialist secure core, Tor for greater privacy, and streaming servers for up to five devices, for £7.88/month or £75.62/year (equivalent to £6.30/month).

Visionary, priced at £23.63/month or £226.87/year (equivalent to £18.90/month), is the same but gets you 10 simultaneous connections and includes the top-tier Visionary secure email service from sibling company ProtonMail.

You can pay anonymously using Bitcoin, but have to create a free account and contact support to do so.

The VyprVPN client for Windows 10, sitting on the desktop.

12. VyprVPN

High privacy, low-cost VPN for users with a small number of devices

Pros:

  • Plenty of privacy and security features
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • No-logging policy is independently audited
  • Generally good streaming performance

Cons:

  • Below-average transfer speeds

As with CyberGhost, VyprVPN proved itself to be a good choice for streamers in our most recent group test, with BBC iPlayer and All 4 giving us access via UK endpoints, and Netflix and Shudder doing the same when accessed from endpoints based in the United States.

VyprVPN provides dedicated apps for a wide range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux, and VyprVPN can also be configured to work with routers and NAS devices.

On top of this, security features including an automatic connection on start-up, automatic reconnection, and a VPN kill switch means there’s virtually no chance of any traffic being sent over an unecrypted connection.

There’s also Chameleon mode, which attempts to obscure the fact that you’re connected to the Internet from an encrypted tunnel at all, useful, if you’re trying to access services which actively try to block VPNs, or you’re working somewhere where VPN use is restricted or banned.

Furthermore, VyprVPN’s no-logging claims have been independently verified, so privacy-conscious users have a solid guarantee.

TunnelBear

13. TunnelBear

An easy-to-use VPN with a no-logging policy

Pros:

  • Free version available
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Wide range of privacy and security features

Cons:

  • Can’t stream All 4 or iPlayer
  • Can’t be used for torrenting

TunnelBear’s user interface is bright, colourful, and very easy to use; plus, it has a clear no-logging policy. While its no-logging claims haven’t been put to the test in the courts, TunnelBear is independently audited for security.

As well as offering clients for the main operating systems, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, TunnelBear offers browser plugins for Opera and Chrome, as well as instructions for setting up an OpenVPN client for Linux.

There’s also a kill switch, a feature that will see TunnelBear activate automatically the moment you’re connected to any Wi-Fi networks that aren’t on a pre-approved list, and an experimental feature designed to obscure the fact that you’re using a VPN at all.

That said, standard BitTorrent ports are blocked following complaints from copyright holders. Recent tests saw us unable to access BBC iPlayer or All 4 from UK endpoints, so for content consumption, TunnelBear might not be the VPN you’re looking for.

You can sign up for free, and have 500MB worth of traffic encrypted every month – you can get an additional 1GB per month if you tweet about TunnelBear as well. If you need unlimited usage, TunnelBear costs £7.55/month or £45.26/year, which is equivalent to paying £3.82/month. The company also accepts payment in bitcoin, if you want to sign up without leaving a paper trail.

Screenshot of HideMyAss running on Windows 10.

14. HideMyAss! (HMA)

Unbeatable for server and endpoint choices

Pros:

  • More endpoint countries than any rival
  • Streams Netflix U.S.

Cons:

  • Keeps logs
  • Mediocre performance

Hide My Ass! (HMA) offers subscribers access to a huge number of endpoint locations, so if you’re looking to access websites and services in a specific country, HMA is hard to beat – we were able to tap into Netflix’s U.S. library again, and for some buyers, that will be enough.

That said, as this latest round of testing demonstrates, speeds are generally not fantastic, and while its prices are good, HMA is not the cheapest VPN provider out there.

Also, while you do get access to security features like run on start and Secure IP Bond – which lets you specify the applications that you want to allow online only when the encrypted VPN connection is up and running – it has handed over connection logs in the past, and as it’s based in the UK, despite being owned by Czech-based Avast, it’s subject to UK data retention laws, so perhaps not a VPN to pick if privacy is paramount.

Perfect Privacy desktop client

15. Perfect Privacy

Proven privacy credentials and cover for unlimited devices

Pros:

  • No-logging policy, proven by server seizure
  • Unlimited devices
  • Extensive security features

Cons:

  • Generally slow transfer speeds
  • Unsuitable for video region-shifting
  • Expensive

Perfect Privacy can confidently claim that its no-logging claim is robust – no customer logs were found when police in the Netherlands accessed its servers in 2016.

Perfect Privacy also boasts a flexible VPN kill switch feature, which is handily enabled by default. In addition, the desktop client presents plenty of information about server load and latency, so you can get some idea of the level of performance before you pick an endpoint. As with TunnelBear, Perfect Privacy comes with a setting that lets you try to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all, if trying to access services that attempt to block VPN use.

That said, Perfect Privacy didn’t let play well with BBC iPlayer or All 4 from any UK endpoint, and nor did Netflix work via any U.S. endpoints; Crunchyroll and Shudder worked fine. We also recorded slow speeds with Perfect Privacy in this round of testing, as we did last time.

It’s also the most expensive VPN we’ve tested, with the basic monthly fee setting you back £11.23/month. As usual, it makes sense to pay up front, if you can – annual subscriptions cost £107.82 (equivalent to £8.98/month), while paying £193.16 for two years is equivalent to £8.04/month.

Note that Switzerland-based Perfect Privacy prices its services in Euros, and the above prices are based on current exchange rates, correct at the time of writing.

16. Webroot WiFi Security

Low first year fees combined with a kill switch add up to an attractive offer

Pros:

  • Allowed for international Netflix and iPlayer access
  • VPN kill switch

Cons:

  • Expensive renewal rates
  • Logs some connection data
  • Below average throughput

Webroot WiFi Security demonstrated good speeds in our recent round of tests, but failed to reliably transfer files when we ran our FTP test through UK and U.S. endpoints. Also, BBC iPlayer and All 4 detected that we were using a VPN to access their wares from outside the UK, so perhaps this is not a great one for holidaymakers.

Furthermore, while IP addresses and DNS queries are not kept on file, some data, including session timestamps and the country you’re connecting from, is logged.

While prices are initially good – the basic three-device account costs £35.82 for 12 months, equivalent to paying £2.98/month – they rise sharply after that first year, and automatic renewals are turned on be default, so if you let this go and wonder why you’re on the hook for £53.73 one year on, that’s why.

Norton Secure VPN desktop client

17. Norton Secure VPN

Cheap prices – but only for the first year

Pros:

  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Provides international access to Netflix U.S.

Cons:

  • No kill switch
  • Lack of advanced features and broad device support
  • Becomes more expensive after first year
  • Didn’t work with BBC iPlayer

Norton Secure VPN is a cheap and cheerful VPN that costs just £19.99 for the first year, or £29.99 if you want to protect the traffic of up to five devices.

In the most recent round of testing, it not only delivered excellent speeds via European endpoints, but is also gave us access to international Netflix and Shudder content libraries, as well as BBC iPlayer and All 4 from outside the UK.

Downsides include the fact that speeds from U.S. endpoints were not fantastic – equivalent to 2.8Mbps, so barely enough to stream Netflix – and the fact that there’s no VPN killswitch, so if you’re using a public Wi-Fi access point and Norton Secure WiFi fails for some reason, your traffic isn’t protected.

You’ll want to avoid setting an automatic renewal and – if you don’t get a renewal discount of any kind or find a cheap boxed copy – switch to another service after your first year.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine running on Windows 10.

18. Avast SecureLine

A basic, no-frills VPN

Pros:

  • Simple client
  • 7-day free trial
  • Streams U.S. Netflix

Cons:

  • Limited device support and security features
  • Keeps connection logs
  • No kill switch

Avast SecureLine is a reliable if basic VPN from the famous anti-malware company Avast, and can be bought alongside Avast Antivirus.

Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, but you’re not given much help with setting this up for other devices or operating systems.

While Avast SecureLine VPN is simple enough to use, it’s lacking in features such as a kill switch, which means that in the event the VPN fails, your traffic won’t be encrypted. Its logging policy makes it clear that while user activity isn’t collected, connection logs are – so if privacy is a priority then this probably isn’t the VPN for you.

Furthermore, it isn’t the cheapest VPN out there – price options are limited to an annual subscription, which costs either £49.99 (cover for up to one Windows or macOS device) or £64.99 (cover for up to five devices).

That said, Avast SecureLine performed well in our speed tests, and allowed for international access to all streaming services, with the exception of All 4.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Todays VPN Deals

ExpressVPN

One of the most trusted VPN's on the market, ExpressVPN gives you unrestricted access to Netflix, HBO and iPlayer. Get 49% off on their one year subscription and receive a further three months completely free.

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the fastest and most secure VPN services with unlimited and private P2P. This stellar deal saves you a whopping 80% off your three year subscription as well as three more months free.

Private Internet Access

Equipped with a VPN kill switch and IPv6 leak protection are two of many reasons PIA is rated as our top VPN for security. Get yourself a year subscription and save 67%.

How we test each VPN

While it’s not possible to carry out conclusive performance testing on VPN services due to the wide range of factors that can affect the speeds users see, we carry out speed tests to get a general feel for how each service performs. We test all services using their clients’ default settings.

We run tests from a London-based connection that typically sees speeds of around 10MB/s (80Mbps). We test multiple endpoints from each provider in three locations: the UK, the Netherlands and the U.S.

Our tables show the best results we are able to obtain by carrying out large file downloads via both FTP and through a web browser using HTTP. However, it’s important to note that these figures are a snapshot of performance at a single point in time, rather than being fully representative.

While UK and Dutch endpoints typically have only a moderate impact on speed with most providers, connection speeds to the US are usually a bit slower, averaging around 6MB/s (48Mbit/s). A handful of services with highly optimised network actually improve on our VPN-free reference speeds.

Related: Best Antivirus 2019

We also test whether we’re able to view region-locked streaming video content from five key providers. In this round of tests, we looked at the Netflix, Crunchyroll and Shudder in the US, and All 4 and BBC iPlayer in the UK. Although Shudder and Crunchyroll only do minimal region checking based on IP addresses, Netflix, iPlayer and especially All 4 work hard to identify and block IP addresses associated with VPN endpoints, so what works one month may not the next.

Following a change to EU law that requires streaming media services to make European users’ home content available to them when they travel anywhere else in the EU, it is no longer possible to access other European Netflix services, so we have ceased testing European Netflix support.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor