How we decide on VPN ratings
Every user has different needs, therefore, our mission is to generalize. We must decide on VPN ratings of each provider by their utility for a mythical creature – the user who needs every function. With that said, as people, we have our leanings, and it‘s useful to have that in mind when you read our reviews and assessments. It is our firm belief, that VPN service providers must first make their product secure. Only then can we think about all sorts of luxuries – great speed, Netflix, etc. Privacy, security, and anonymity are the life-blood of a VPN. It seems only fair to think of it this way, after all, every VPN provider emphasizes these aspects as much as possible. Only not every one of them is capable of backing promises up with features! After looking at the VPN space for a long time, we have found that very few VPN providers tick all the boxes when it comes to security and anonymity. There are lots of boxes to tick and ticking them can be very expensive or otherwise difficult. Security and privacy require a high level of commitment to a set of principles. Therefore, really strong security credentials mean a lot more than just that – they mean the VPN service provider can be expected to make ethical decisions on a wider scale. But, of course, security is not everything. The VPN still needs to function! Here’s what we look at in terms of functioning:
- How well does it work around the globe? The number of servers means very little without context. Some VPN providers have a lot of them, but they are mostly concentrated in a couple of regions, largely ignoring others. Furthermore, some countries restrict VPN use and not all VPN providers find ways to function regardless of blocking efforts.
- How good is it against geo-blocking measures? (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc.) We recognize that many people use the services of VPN providers purely for accessing geo-blocked content, whatever that may be.
- Is it good for torrenting? Some VPN providers block P2P traffic, others are simply not safe enough for P2P. Torrents are one of the main reasons for using a VPN around the world.
- Is it good to use on a variety of devices? Most VPN service providers offer apps for the 4 main platforms – Windows, Mac, Android, iOS. Some of the stronger tools have additional custom clients – for Linux, routers, and various other device types. However, a VPN may not have an app for a particular platform, but the platform may still be supported.
The next important thing is Support, which we separate into two sections. There are self-help resources – guides, FAQs, forums, etc. Usually, there is also some sort of customer support system in place – live chat, support tickets, etc. Finally, we would consider ease of use – how intuitive is the GUI, how well-structured is the website and other such questions. All these factors combine for a good product or a bad product!
What makes a top VPN provider
Dilettantism is not unique to the list of VPN providers. In fact, it is extremely common, particularly in markets as young as VPN. Over the past decade, we have seen hundreds of tools emerge and fade away. A select few of these honed their craft and became known as the best VPN providers – ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and others. There is a qualitative difference to these companies, which boils down to a lot more than just the number of servers or features. So what makes a top VPN provider? The very best VPN services on the market have one thing in common – they are committed to the vision of a free internet. They believe in the right to do things freely and anonymously, and they believe in the human potential true liberty can unlock. Once you let this maxim guide you, the path is clear:
- Make sure your encryption is unbreakable, and there are no other ways to get to the user.
- Don‘t become the same thing you‘re protecting people from – know as little about them as you can.
- Open all borders, not just the border between Europe and Netflix. The internet should be as free in China as it is in the US.
- Make your service available on as many devices as possible!
If you accomplish this, you can be one of the top rated VPN providers. There are just a few other things you will need. Good support and easy to use apps are two of these. The days have passed when the internet was the privilege of the tech-savvy. Soon enough, the right to have internet access will become universally accepted. This is a powerful thing, but it has the potential of becoming dystopic without strong antidotes for surveillance and censorship. In short, becoming one of the best VPN providers requires a combination of technical prowess, understanding of the context in which VPN exists, and accessibility. However, to be the very best you must add something extra as well – a forward-thinking approach. The digital space is evolving just as much as it is expanding, and all of the most powerful players are shaping it in a way that‘s most beneficial to them. Stepping in front of all these new challenges takes a certain kind of genius. We see signs of it in some top VPN providers! Hopefully, our reviews, comparisons, VPN ratings and other resources can steer you out of harm‘s way and toward a borderless, unlimited digital world!