15 anonymous VPNs compared · Jan 2017

VPNs always add a layer of anonymity to your Internet activity but it won't always give you complete privacy. With some VPNs your identity can still leak, so on this page I compare features important for staying anonymous online. DNS protection, kill switches, log files, mass surveillance and Bitcoins are covered here.

For a VPN to be truly anonymous I look for several things. First, does the VPN company keep log files? Sometimes it is necessary to keep simple logs - hopefully without compromising your identity - other providers have a "zero log policy" which we highlight here. Next are protections within the VPN client software. Does the VPN include private DNS servers to prevent third parties from sniffing DNS requests? Does it include an Internet kill switch in case the VPN is disconnected in the background?

If it's possible to pay with Bitcoins, prepaid cards or SMS then I consider that a bonus. Anonymous payment methods are really the only way to fully protect your identity (with a correctly configured VPN). Another important, but often overlooked consideration - what country is the VPN provider operating in? They will be subject to that country's laws and jurisdiction which may include sharing customer information or taking part in surveillance. Companies from countries with oppressive governments and/or those known to have "cyber warfare capabilites" receive a ranking penalty.

Finally if the VPN client has built-in support for VPN obfuscation (to make it impossible to detect that you're even using a VPN) I approve of that, but in many cases OpenVPN can be configured in this way regardless of VPN service.

#1 VPN.ac

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Romania
Romania

Privacy

82%
privacy rating

VPN.ac focusses on security, speed and reliability developed by a team of security professionals, and skilled support staff with fast replies. Servers are pen-tested and audited for security. Each pla…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Strong encryption
Look out for...
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#2 IPVanish

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

IPVanish is designed to be 'the world's fastest VPN', as well as circumventing censorship filters (by employers, universities or governments) and boasts an impressive number of servers and shared IP a…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • 60 countries to choose from
  • Includes private DNS servers
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#3 ZenVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

This is the Unlimited plan. ZenVPN claim many features - fast, secure, anonymous, affordable, simple. Simplicity is assured with the bespoke VPN client - just a few clicks and you should be up and running. ZenVPN offer two plan …

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Long moneyback guarantee
  • Accepts Bitcoin payments
Look out for...
  • Not strong encryption
  • May not allow P2P file sharing
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#4 ZenVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

This is the 5GB/day plan. ZenVPN claim many features - fast, secure, anonymous, affordable, simple. Simplicity is assured with the bespoke VPN client - just a few clicks and you should be up and running. ZenVPN offer two plan …

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Long moneyback guarantee
  • Accepts Bitcoin payments
Look out for...
  • Not strong encryption
  • May not allow P2P file sharing
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#5 NordVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Panama
Panama

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

NordVPN is one of the few 'advanced' VPNs which can back up their claims by using exclusive double data encryption. The DoubleVPN encryption system uses a two-node server link with dual 256-bit AES CB…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • 57 countries to choose from
  • Includes private DNS servers
Look out for...
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#6 LiquidVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

This is the Road Warrior plan. LiquidVPN focus on speed, primarily. They claim to provide 'insanely fast' servers for quick downloads, torrents and streaming video without buffering. I like the ability to choose between shared IP a…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Strong encryption
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • Only 9 countries to choose from
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#7 Private Internet Access

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

I first joined PIA back in 2012 and was a long-standing customer for many years. The service is simple, straightforward and reliable. The VPN client has come on great and minor bugs were smoothed out …

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Strong encryption
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#8 LiquidVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

This is the Ultimate plan. LiquidVPN focus on speed, primarily. They claim to provide 'insanely fast' servers for quick downloads, torrents and streaming video without buffering. I like the ability to choose between shared IP a…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Strong encryption
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • Only 9 countries to choose from
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#9 LiquidVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

This is the Sidekick plan. LiquidVPN focus on speed, primarily. They claim to provide 'insanely fast' servers for quick downloads, torrents and streaming video without buffering. I like the ability to choose between shared IP a…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Strong encryption
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • Only 9 countries to choose from
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#10 ExpressVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

73%
privacy rating

High speed, ultra secure, and easy to use - ExpressVPN describes itself as the fastest VPN on Earth. Watch video from anywhere, unblock websites and regain your online privacy. Setup is easy, whether …

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • 87 countries to choose from
  • Includes private DNS servers
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • May not allow P2P file sharing
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#11 FrootVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Sweden
Sweden

Privacy

69%
privacy rating

A friendly group from Sweden, FrootVPN aims to be a low-cost VPN provider with good features. They boast over 300,000 users of the service. I liked the Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) support using a Di…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Supports video stream unblocking
Look out for...
  • No native IPv6 support
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#12 AceVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

64%
privacy rating

This is the Ultimate plan. With a focus on unblocking video streaming and TV channel websites, as well as general private web browsing, AceVPN offers fast gigabit servers and intelligent routing for geo-unblocking without slowi…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Strong encryption
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • May not allow P2P file sharing
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#13 CrypticVPN

Log policy

No
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

USA
USA

Privacy

55%
privacy rating

CrypticVPN offer a general privacy/security service, and website unblocking as part of the package, with local server locations for fast browsing. They offer free port forwarding so you can accept inc…

Things we like...
  • Zero log policy
  • Has own VPN client software
  • Supports video stream unblocking
Look out for...
  • Operated from USA (5 eyes)
  • Not strong encryption
  • No moneyback guarantee

#14 UPPERSAFE

Log policy

?
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Privacy

47%
privacy rating

This is the High Speed - 10 Mbps plan. Recently rebranded from NolimitVPN, UPPERSAFE provides VPN accounts and hardware VPN routers for home and business. I like the VPN's built-in firewall for security, but I suspect they keep activity lo…

Things we like...
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Supports video stream unblocking
  • VPN settings can trade security for speed
Look out for...
  • No moneyback guarantee
  • Payments don't auto-renew

#15 UPPERSAFE

Log policy

?
Logging

Own DNS servers

own DNS

DNS leak protect

leak protect

Kill switch

kill switch

Jurisdiction

Privacy

47%
privacy rating

This is the Low speed - 1Mbps plan. Recently rebranded from NolimitVPN, UPPERSAFE provides VPN accounts and hardware VPN routers for home and business. I like the VPN's built-in firewall for security, but I suspect they keep activity lo…

Things we like...
  • Includes private DNS servers
  • Supports video stream unblocking
  • VPN settings can trade security for speed
Look out for...
  • No moneyback guarantee
  • Payments don't auto-renew

Still deciding?

We also compare most secure, best, private and easiest VPNs or jump back to the homepage to compare all VPNs.