Summary: Connecting through a Virtual Private Network service is one of the best ways to secure your internet connection, bypass localized content restrictions and sidestep surveillance programs.
VPN services help you hide your original location and encrypt the information that you’re sending and receiving while you are connected to the internet.
Unfortunately, some of the best VPN services currently available are also some of the most expensive, which means you may need to find a coupon to use them.
In our experience, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services available, especially when you’re trying to save money. They already offer competitive pricing.
When you use the money-saving coupon we provide, you’ll get three free months with your subscription, bringing the already competitive price even lower.
To keep yourself safe and secure with ExpressVPN and save money at the same time, click here now.
Table of Contents
Best VPN Coupon
How We Tested Each VPN Service
VPN Services You Should Avoid
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
Top Three VPNs with Coupons
Wrapping It Up
Why You Should Trust Us
At SecureThoughts, we have gathered a team of researchers and writers that pride themselves on staying at the forefront of the internet security and technology industries.
Our sole mission is to inform our readers of the hidden dangers when connecting to the internet, and help them overcome those issues with proven solutions.
In 2017, we’ve found nearly 200 different VPN services that all claim they’re the best in the industry. Unfortunately for them, we know that there can be only one “best.”
To ensure you’re not frustrated with the VPN service you’ve chosen, we have compared each of the available services against each other using an extensive elimination and testing process.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To help you overcome issues you’re having related to staying safe, secure and anonymous on the internet, we’ve put 173 different VPN services through our elimination and testing process.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
We began dwindling down our list of services eligible to receive our recommendation by removing any services that participate in invasive surveillance programs.
We moved forward by looking through features offered by each of the remaining services on our list, and removed any service that doesn’t offer the features we deem necessary for proper security.
We then verified that services still on our list have not developed a poor reputation in the industry by utilizing third-party websites that consolidate reviews from previous customers.
Finally, each of the services that made it through our elimination process were compared against each other using extensive testing procedures that were focused on five specific criteria.
Those criteria are:
Price – Pricing is one of the first factors we’ve considered, and we compared each service against the other to determine how much value they offer for the price you’re paying for a subscription.
Setup Process – We’ve also tested each service to determine how difficult it is to subscribe and then install and configure the software that’s supplied with our subscription.
Ease of Use – Then, we tested each service to ensure that getting and staying connected to their network is easy to do and doesn’t create a frustrating experience.
Speed – We also performed speed tests for each service, using different servers located around the world to determine average connection speeds.
Customer Service – We submitted multiple requests to each service’s customer support teams to determine how quickly they respond and how helpful they are when they do respond.
Below are the results we’ve found during our elimination and review process.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
When you’re using a VPN service, staying safe, anonymous and secure while you’re connected to the internet is of the utmost importance.
That’s why we’ve eliminated any services that are primarily based in countries that participate, or can be forced to participate in, the invasive “14 Eyes” agreement.
For those of you unfamiliar with 14 Eyes, it’s an agreement between different governments that forces internet service providers to track what you’re doing online.
During our initial research phase, we’ve found that 123 of the original 173 services are participants in the 14 Eyes program, and so they have been eliminated from our list.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
As we move forward, we’re going to be working through the remainder of the services on our list to dwindle down the total number to something more manageable for our review purposes.
We’ll be verifying features offered by each service still on our list and eliminating those that do not offer the features we believe are a requirement when you’re looking for a quality VPN service.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
Any time you connect to the internet or a VPN service, the service provider is going to use one of many different protocols to manage your connection.
In general, the internet security and technology industries regard OpenVPN as the most secure protocol, which is why we’ve eliminated any services that do not support it.
AnonVPN and Betternet are two VPN services that do not offer support for OpenVPN that we’ve eliminated from our list.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
Any time you transfer files, browse web pages, check your email or watch videos online, you are using data, or consuming bandwidth.
Some VPN services will limit your account access or slow your connection speeds for excessive bandwidth consumption, which is why they have been eliminated from our list of eligible services.
Cloak and Celo are two companies that have a history of limiting accounts for consuming large amounts of data while connected to their network, and they have been removed from our list.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
Some VPN services will utilize your network activity logs to help improve their network and assist you when you contact the customer support team for help with problems that you’re having.
However, we believe that any type of data logging policies is an invasion to your privacy, and we have eliminated services that track what you’re doing while you are connected to their network.
Hola!VPN and Seed4Me are two services that we’ve removed from our list because they actively track what you’re doing when you’re connected to their network.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
If you’re like so many other people, you probably connect to the internet using multiple different devices, each with their own separate operating system.
Most VPN services provide software that supports major operating systems, but there are some services that provide software that’s buggy. They have been eliminated from our review process.
IntelliVPN and SunVPN are two services that provide software that has been proven to be buggy with different mainstream operating systems, and they have been eliminated from our review.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
When you connect to the internet with multiple devices, you need a VPN service that allows you to connect each of those devices to their network at the same time.
Any VPN service that limits your ability to open multiple active connections has been eliminated from our list to ensure you do not encounter problems while using multiple devices.
IBVPN and HotVPN are two services that limit the number of active connections you can have open on their network and they have been eliminated from our review.
Criteria #6: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee
When you are unsure if a service is going to function with your hardware and software, the last thing you want to do is subscribe to a service that doesn’t offer refunds or a free-trial period.
Any service that does not offer a money-back guarantee or a short free-trial period has been eliminated from our review to ensure you have time to properly test the service without risking money.
VPN Shield and VPNBaron are two examples of services we’ve eliminated because they do not offer a money-back guarantee, a free-trial period or have a valid refund policy.
Criteria #7: No Peer2Peer Blocking
Peer2Peer and other filesharing technologies are becoming more and more common in 2017, which means you need a VPN service that allows you to utilize the technologies without causing issues.
Any VPN service that blocks your access to Peer2Peer and other filesharing technologies has been eliminated from our list to ensure you do not encounter issues while downloading large files.
We’ve found that LibertyVPN and VPNJack are two services that limit your access to Peer2Peer and other filesharing technologies, and they have been removed from our list.
Criteria #8: No Mandatory SMTP Blocking
If a VPN service you’re connected to blocks your ability to send emails (SMTP), you are going to be forced to disconnect from the service, send your emails, then reconnect to the service.
To ensure you get a smooth experience that doesn’t require constant disconnecting and reconnecting when you want to send emails, we’ve eliminated services that block SMTP access.
TorVPN and Tunnelbear are two services we’ve eliminated because they do not allow you to send emails while you are connected to their servers.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
To help dwindle down our list of eligible services, we’ve used different third-party websites that consolidate reviews from customers who have used the services we’re considering.
Any VPN service that has consistently received negative reviews and developed a poor reputation in the industry has been eliminated from our list.
Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Connection to the Internet
After working through our list and eliminating services that do not offer the features we believe are necessary, we’ve dwindled down the number of eligible candidates to a total of three.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
Each of the three services that made it through our elimination process have been compared against each other, and we’ve found that there is one very clear winner.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service Available
When you’re looking for the best VPN service that offers coupons to help save money on your subscription, ExpressVPN and our three-month free coupon is a perfect combination.
ExpressVPN offers competitive pricing packages, coming in at $12.95 per month for a 12-month subscription. Couple that with a coupon for three free months, and the price drops even more.
The software that ExpressVPN provides with your subscription is easy to use and configure, making it possible to connect to their network within a few minutes of subscribing.
During speed tests, we found that ExpressVPN topped the charts when tests were performed through servers based in the United States and the United Kingdom.
If there are times you find yourself having issues with your account or your connection to their network, the ExpressVPN customer service team typically responds in less than 60 minutes.
Even though ExpressVPN ranked #1 in every test that we performed, there were still areas we’ve seen that we believe could be improved upon.
For instance, ExpressVPN has a great customer support team that responded quickly in most cases, but there was one occasion we were forced to wait up to three hours for a response.
They also ranked #2 when we performed speed tests through Australian-based servers. This result could be related to the time of day we performed the tests, though.
Summary: After testing each of the three different VPN services, we’ve found that ExpressVPN has the strongest network, best service, fastest connection speeds and competitive pricing.
When you couple their already great pricing with a coupon for three free months, their service becomes an even better deal.
To protect yourself with ExpressVPN and save money at the same time, click here now and use the coupon code “COUPON.”
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service on our list, but there may be times that they’re unavailable for you, either due to your location or the software and hardware configuration you’re using.
For times where you cannot subscribe to ExpressVPN and need to protect yourself while you’re online, IPVanish could be a suitable alternative.
IPVanish is already one of the lowest priced services that we’ve tested, and when you use a coupon to subscribe, their pricing is even more attractive.
The software that’s supplied with your subscription to their service is simple to configure, and we were connected to their network within ten minutes of subscribing.
While verifying their customer service experience and response times, we submitted multiple requests and received a response within three hours, in most cases.
IPVanish offers a strong network, and ranked #2 during speed tests that were performed through servers located inside the United States and the United Kingdom.
IPVanish, like ExpressVPN, performed relatively well during our testing process but, again, there were areas we believe they could address to make their service even better.
Their customer support team, while helpful, did take significantly longer to respond than the team at ExpressVPN. On one occasion, we waited more than eight hours for a response.
They also ranked #3 during speed tests that were performed through Australian-based servers, suggesting room for improvement in the strength of their network for Australian users.
Summary: In every area of our review process, ExpressVPN easily outperformed IPVanish. However, we do understand that IPVanish may not always be available for everyone.
For occasions where you are unable to subscribe to ExpressVPN, IPVanish offers the lowest pricing we’ve seen, making a coupon almost unnecessary.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
HideMyAss may have made it through our elimination process to secure the third spot on our list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are recommending them to our readers.
While testing their service, we experienced numerous different issues in nearly every area we reviewed, and had issues from beginning to end.
The one area that didn’t cause many issues for us happened during the installation of the software that they provided with our subscription.
Installing and configuring the software so we could connect to a server located near us wasn’t nearly as frustrating as testing their service in each of the additional areas we looked at.
When it comes to pricing, HideMyAss is one of the most expensive, even with a coupon. Their standard pricing is $16.99 per month on a month-to-month basis.
We’ve also found that HideMyAss is one of the slowest services we’ve tested, and we had numerous issues trying to maintain a reliable connection to achieve accurate speed test results.
We sent the HideMyAss customer support team multiple different requests for assistance with the problems we were having, and waited more than 24 hours for a response in most cases.
Summary: We can say that there are far better services available than what HideMyAss offers, even if they do offer better coupons than some other services we’ve featured.
During testing, we had significant issues with their service, ranging from poor connection speeds and reliability to slow customer service response times.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
When you want to ensure that your connection to the internet is safe, secure and anonymous, you want to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
Even though many of the best VPN services do not offer coupons to save money on your subscription, we’ve found a couple of quality services that do help you to save money.
After putting each of the three services through extended testing, we’ve found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN service currently available that offers a coupon code to lower the price of your subscription.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself, click here now and use the coupon code “COUPON” to get three free months.