Tech

The best VPN services 2020 – PC-WELT


VPN services offer privacy protection, help against geo-blocking and can protect against DDoS attacks. The market is confusing – we provide an overview of the most important providers and their services.

Most Internet users in Germany currently manage without a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or only occasionally rely on this option. One reason for this could be that VPN is unknown territory to many. There are good reasons for using it. They range from better protection of privacy and the ability to bypass IP blocks to defense against distributed DoS attacks. We explain the technology behind VPN and provide an overview of the market. We have brought the latter up to date and expanded it.

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network is an encrypted connection tunnel between two networks or parts of a network. Any data traffic through this tunnel cannot be seen by third parties, cannot be tracked or read. A distinction must be made between a direct VPN connection between two computers or networks for purposes such as remote maintenance and the use of a VPN service for Internet use. We focus here on the second aspect.

Via VPN to the Internet

The use of a VPN service requires an existing internet connection and does not replace the access provider. This applies both at home (landline) and on the go (cellular network), as well as when using third-party WiFi hotspots. If the installed VPN software of the provider is started with an existing online connection, it sets up an encrypted tunnel to a server (also VPN gateway) somewhere on the Internet. Mostly you can choose where that should be. Only its IP address (and not that of your router or mobile device) is visible to online services such as web servers, search engines, social networks or streaming services. Any tracking of usage behavior by an online service based on the IP address ends at the VPN gateway, which is used by many people.

Why VPN?

For many Internet users, especially in countries with restrictive regimes, protection from government spies is very important. You use a virtual tunnel to a third country to access websites that are blocked or forbidden in your country. Dissidents and foreign journalists can gain access to uncensored information or post their own content online.

Related to this is access to content that is restricted to a certain region by so-called geo-blocking. If a web server determines from your IP address that you are not in the relevant region, it denies access to certain content. This could be the media library of a television station, for example. The VPN service allows you to connect to a gateway in the desired region so that you seem to be using an IP address from this country and thus get unlimited access. In this way, you can also watch the latest crime scene while on vacation in South America or watch a new series of series at home, which Netflix has so far only offered in the USA.

Online gamers are sometimes faced with the problem that they are being harassed by troublemakers with DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service). If this is successful, the entire household’s Internet access is paralyzed. With a VPN service you direct the attacks on the VPN gateway. Its operator has better options to protect its servers in order to ward off attacks or simply to withstand them. Trouble with the roommates can be avoided.

Public Wi-Fi hotspots, including those in hotels, generally offer insufficient protection against spying attempts by other users in order to transport confidential data, for example during online banking. Attacks are possible even if the data traffic with the bank runs via HTTPS, i.e. is encrypted. With a VPN service, you first set up a tunnel to a server in Germany and then connect to your bank’s website.

Market overview of VPN services

There are now several dozen providers of such VPN services on the market. Depending on the size of the company, they operate 20 or several thousand VPN gateways worldwide. The marketing of some providers likes to claim that their company is the only service that operates its own server, offers access to all streaming services, or simply the largest, best, fastest, most popular provider on the market. Since several people always claim this, it can hardly be taken seriously. We will first compare more than 30 of the most important VPN services in one overview. In a second step, we picked out individual providers and examined them more closely.

The information provided by the companies on the essential key data is often incomplete and seldom clearly arranged in one easy-to-find place. To make it easier for you to get an overview, we have summarized important information in a table. Almost all of them state that they would not log any user data and consequently could not give them to authorities and warning letters. Some limit this again by admitting that they have to adhere to the legal requirements of the country in which they reside. Companies based in Germany emphasize this to emphasize how important data protection is to them.

Trial offers

Many VPN services offer a free version or a limited trial offer with a money-back guarantee. The free variants are usually subject to considerable restrictions. The data volume is often limited to 50 to 500 MB per day. This hardly allows potential new customers to get a meaningful picture of the performance of a VPN service. This is probably one of the reasons why many providers prefer to rely on a time-limited money-back guarantee. The free services are only suitable for less data-intensive purposes in the long run. They often offer no or only a greatly reduced selection of international gateways.

In order to use a service without restrictions on bandwidth and data volume, you need to invest money. Annual subscriptions are often cheaper than monthly billing. Some providers bill in US dollars, but most of them in euros. You can pay with credit card or PayPal, sometimes other payment options are also offered, such as direct debit, Giropay or Bitcoin. We have not included short-lived specials in the table.

VPN software

To use a VPN service, you usually have to install its VPN software. These are mostly available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Some companies also support Linux or routers that work with the open source firmware OpenWRT. Relatively new are extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browsers, with which VPN use is restricted to the browser. Some companies have taught their software this functionality in a different way and call this “split tunneling” or something similar. Practically all companies offer instructions for installing and configuring the software, but many only in English.

We have not listed some special solutions as they only cover part of the functionality. That’s how it is

Tor network
a good tool for maintaining privacy, but not suitable for data-intensive applications like streaming video. The in

Opera
Integrated VPN service is naturally limited to this browser. After all, both solutions are free.

VPN services: our favorites

According to the information provided by the company, have

NordVPN
and

Cyberghost
currently most of the servers, HideMyAss and

PureVPN
offer the largest selection of countries. F-Secure Freedome,

Kaspersky
, Private Tunnel / OpenVPN and Zoog are currently the cheapest providers in this overview. Please also note exclusive price offers that you can only access via the links in this article. If you don’t just look at the price, but prefer instructions in German, you will find it for example at Avira, Shellfire, Steganos and VyprVPN.

VPN services at a glance – Part 1: providers, prices

(Note: You will find another table below with all technical information about the providers)

providers

Price / month

Annual subscription

Headquarters

Free version / test

manual

Website

Astrill VPN

$ 15.00

$ 120.00

Seychelles

yes * / 7 days

de / en

To the provider

Avast SecureLine VPN

€ 79.99

Czech Republic

7 days trial / 30 days money back

de

To the provider

AVG Secure VPN

€ 79.99

Czech Republic

yes * / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Avira Phantom VPN Pro

€ 7.95

€ 59.95

Germany

yes * / 30 days money back

de

To the provider

Buffered / Encrypt.me

$ 9.99

$ 99.00

Gibraltar / USA

14 days test / 30 days money back

en

To the provider

BullGuard

€ 73.49

Great Britain

30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

CyberghostVPN

€ 12.99

€ 71.88

Romania

1 day * / 45 days money back

de

To the provider

ExpressVPN

$ 12.95

$ 99.95

British Virgin Islands

30 days money back

The End

To the provider

F-Secure Freedome VPN

29.90 €

Finland

5 days / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Goose VPN

€ 12.99

€ 59.88

Netherlands

30 days money back

de

To the provider

hide.me VPN

€ 12.99

€ 99.99

Malaysia

yes * / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

HideMyAss

€ 10.99

€ 71.88

Czech Republic

7 days trial / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Hotspot Shield

€ 12.99

€ 95.88

United States

Yes * / 45 days money back

en

To the provider

IPVanish

$ 5.00

$ 39.00

United States

7 days money back

en

To the provider

Ivacy VPN

$ 9.95

$ 42.00

Singapore

1 day / 30 days money back

en

To the provider

Kaspersky Secure Connection

4.95 €

29.95 €

Russia

Yes*

de

To the provider

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

$ 9.99

$ 59.99

USA + Ukraine

7 days money back

en

To the provider

mySteganos Online Shield VPN

€ 7.95

€ 49.95

Germany

yes * / 30 days money back

de

To the provider

NordVPN

€ 10.63

€ 74.65

Panama

7 days / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Norton Secure VPN

€ 69.99

United States

60 days money back

de / en

To the provider

oVPN

€ 11.00

€ 39.95

Sweden

10 days money back

en

To the provider

Panda Dome VPN

€ 10.99

€ 61.74

Spain

Yes*

en

To the provider

Private Internet Access

$ 9.95

$ 119.40

United States

30 days money back

en

To the provider

Private tunnels / OpenVPN

$ 6.00

$ 36.00

United States

7 days

en

To the provider

Pure VPN

€ 9.60

€ 61.92

Hong Kong

7 days test / 31 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Shellfire VPN

€ 10.95

79.95

Germany

yes * / 14 days money back

de

To the provider

StrongVPN

$ 10.00

$ 69.99

United States

30 days money back

en

To the provider

Surfshark

€ 9.89

€ 59.88

British Virgin Islands

yes * / 30 days money back

en

To the provider

Tunnelbear

$ 9.99

$ 59.88

Canada

Yes*

en

To the provider

VyprVPN

€ 12.95

45.00 €

Switzerland

3 days

de

To the provider

Windscribe

$ 9.00

$ 49.00

Canada

yes * / 3 days money back

en

To the provider

ZenMate

€ 10.99

€ 39.96

Germany

7 days trial / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

ZoogVPN

€ 7.99

€ 29.99

Greece

yes * / 7 days money back

en

To the provider

providers

Price / month

Annual subscription

Headquarters

Free version / test

manual

Website

Astrill VPN

$ 15.00

$ 120.00

Seychelles

yes * / 7 days

de / en

To the provider

Avast SecureLine VPN

€ 79.99

Czech Republic

7 days trial / 30 days money back

de

To the provider

AVG Secure VPN

€ 79.99

Czech Republic

yes * / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Avira Phantom VPN Pro

€ 7.95

€ 59.95

Germany

yes * / 30 days money back

de

To the provider

Buffered / Encrypt.me

$ 9.99

$ 99.00

Gibraltar / USA

14 days test / 30 days money back

en

To the provider

BullGuard

€ 73.49

Great Britain

30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

CyberghostVPN

€ 12.99

€ 71.88

Romania

1 day * / 45 days money back

de

To the provider

ExpressVPN

$ 12.95

$ 99.95

British Virgin Islands

30 days money back

The End

To the provider

F-Secure Freedome VPN

29.90 €

Finland

5 days / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Goose VPN

€ 12.99

€ 59.88

Netherlands

30 days money back

de

To the provider

hide.me VPN

€ 12.99

€ 99.99

Malaysia

yes * / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

HideMyAss

€ 10.99

€ 71.88

Czech Republic

7 days trial / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Hotspot Shield

€ 12.99

€ 95.88

United States

Yes * / 45 days money back

en

To the provider

IPVanish

$ 5.00

$ 39.00

United States

7 days money back

en

To the provider

Ivacy VPN

$ 9.95

$ 42.00

Singapore

1 day / 30 days money back

en

To the provider

Kaspersky Secure Connection

4.95 €

29.95 €

Russia

Yes*

de

To the provider

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

$ 9.99

$ 59.99

USA + Ukraine

7 days money back

en

To the provider

mySteganos Online Shield VPN

€ 7.95

€ 49.95

Germany

yes * / 30 days money back

de

To the provider

NordVPN

€ 10.63

€ 74.65

Panama

7 days / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Norton Secure VPN

€ 69.99

United States

60 days money back

de / en

To the provider

oVPN

€ 11.00

€ 39.95

Sweden

10 days money back

en

To the provider

Panda Dome VPN

€ 10.99

€ 61.74

Spain

Yes*

en

To the provider

Private Internet Access

$ 9.95

$ 119.40

United States

30 days money back

en

To the provider

Private tunnels / OpenVPN

$ 6.00

$ 36.00

United States

7 days

en

To the provider

Pure VPN

€ 9.60

€ 61.92

Hong Kong

7 days test / 31 days money back

de / en

To the provider

Shellfire VPN

€ 10.95

79.95

Germany

yes * / 14 days money back

de

To the provider

StrongVPN

$ 10.00

$ 69.99

United States

30 days money back

en

To the provider

Surfshark

€ 9.89

€ 59.88

British Virgin Islands

yes * / 30 days money back

en

To the provider

Tunnelbear

$ 9.99

$ 59.88

Canada

Yes*

en

To the provider

VyprVPN

€ 12.95

45.00 €

Switzerland

3 days

de

To the provider

Windscribe

$ 9.00

$ 49.00

Canada

yes * / 3 days money back

en

To the provider

ZenMate

€ 10.99

€ 39.96

Germany

7 days trial / 30 days money back

de / en

To the provider

ZoogVPN

€ 7.99

€ 29.99

Greece

yes * / 7 days money back

en

To the provider

->

* limited access

VPN services at a glance – Part 2: Technical information

Provider (link to website)

data volume

Bandwidth limit

Server / countries

Logging

Operating systems

Number of devices **

Astrill VPN

n / a

No

n / a / 62

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

unlimited

Avast SecureLine VPN

n / a

No

55/34

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

1/5

AVG Secure VPN

n / a

n / a

n / a

n / a

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

Avira Phantom VPN Pro

n / a

No

46/34

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

unlimited

Buffered / Encrypt.me

unlimited

No

n / a / 70

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS,

unlimited

BullGuard

unlimited

No

n / a / 16

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

6th

CyberghostVPN

unlimited

No

> 5900/89

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

7th

ExpressVPN

n / a

No

> 3000/94

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

F-Secure Freedome VPN

unlimited

No

29/23

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

3/7

Goose VPN

unlimited

No

n / a / 25

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

unlimited

hide.me VPN

unlimited

No

> 1560/38

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

10

HideMyAss

unlimited

No

> 1000/190

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

Hotspot Shield

unlimited

No

3200/80

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

n / a

IPVanish

unlimited

No

> 1300 /> 75

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

10

Ivacy VPN

unlimited

No

> 1000 /> 100

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

Kaspersky Secure Connection

unlimited

No

n / a

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

unlimited

No

> 400 /> 80

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

mySteganos Online Shield VPN

n / a

No

n / a

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

NordVPN

n / a

No

> 5900/59

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

6th

Norton Secure VPN

n / a

n / a

n / a / 29

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

oVPN

unlimited

No

89/15

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

4th

Panda Dome VPN

unlimited

n / a

> 1000 / n / a

n / a

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

Private Internet Access

n / a

No

> 3300/31

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

10

Private tunnels / OpenVPN

unlimited

No

50/12

n / a

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

3

PureVPN

unlimited

No

> 2000 /> 140

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

10

Shellfire VPN

unlimited

No

n / a / 37

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

1

StrongVPN

n / a

No

> 950 /> 50

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

12th

Surfshark

unlimited

No

> 1000 /> 60

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

unlimited

Tunnelbear

unlimited

No

n / a / 23

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

VyprVPN

unlimited

No

700 /> 70

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

3/5

Windscribe

unlimited

No

n / a / 63

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

unlimited

ZenMate

n / a

No

> 2000/74

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

ZoogVPN

unlimited

No

> 50/27

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

Provider (link to website)

data volume

Bandwidth limit

Server / countries

Logging

Operating systems

Number of devices **

Astrill VPN

n / a

No

n / a / 62

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

unlimited

Avast SecureLine VPN

n / a

No

55/34

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

1/5

AVG Secure VPN

n / a

n / a

n / a

n / a

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

Avira Phantom VPN Pro

n / a

No

46/34

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

unlimited

Buffered / Encrypt.me

unlimited

No

n / a / 70

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS,

unlimited

BullGuard

unlimited

No

n / a / 16

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

6th

CyberghostVPN

unlimited

No

> 5900/89

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

7th

ExpressVPN

n / a

No

> 3000/94

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

F-Secure Freedome VPN

unlimited

No

29/23

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

3/7

Goose VPN

unlimited

No

n / a / 25

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

unlimited

hide.me VPN

unlimited

No

> 1560/38

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

10

HideMyAss

unlimited

No

> 1000/190

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

Hotspot Shield

unlimited

No

3200/80

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

n / a

IPVanish

unlimited

No

> 1300 /> 75

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

10

Ivacy VPN

unlimited

No

> 1000 /> 100

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

Kaspersky Secure Connection

unlimited

No

n / a

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

unlimited

No

> 400 /> 80

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

mySteganos Online Shield VPN

n / a

No

n / a

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

NordVPN

n / a

No

> 5900/59

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

6th

Norton Secure VPN

n / a

n / a

n / a / 29

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

oVPN

unlimited

No

89/15

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

4th

Panda Dome VPN

unlimited

n / a

> 1000 / n / a

n / a

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

Private Internet Access

n / a

No

> 3300/31

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

10

Private tunnels / OpenVPN

unlimited

No

50/12

n / a

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

3

PureVPN

unlimited

No

> 2000 /> 140

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

10

Shellfire VPN

unlimited

No

n / a / 37

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

1

StrongVPN

n / a

No

> 950 /> 50

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

12th

Surfshark

unlimited

No

> 1000 /> 60

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

unlimited

Tunnelbear

unlimited

No

n / a / 23

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

VyprVPN

unlimited

No

700 /> 70

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

3/5

Windscribe

unlimited

No

n / a / 63

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

unlimited

ZenMate

n / a

No

> 2000/74

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS

5

ZoogVPN

unlimited

No

> 50/27

No

Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

5

->

n / a = no information | ** usable at the same time

All information according to the information provided by the provider (as of April 2020)

Tags

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close
Close