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Best Password Managers – 2020

Best Password Managers - 2020

Security experts advise that everyone should compose complicated, secure passwords that are difficult to guess. It is also advisable to create a different password for every protected software package and website. Those passwords should not be written down anywhere that they can be discovered by a thief.

Who is going to be able to remember a long list of complicated, unique passwords? No one. That’s why everyone needs a secure password manager to store passwords as part of identity theft protection. Companies that hold the personal data of others and need to protect corporate secrets are particularly in need of password managers.

What is a password manager?

A password manager is a secure listing of all passwords used by an individual to replace the need to hold passwords in memory. The user enters all usernames and passwords needed for all of the software and websites that he uses. The password manager stores these credentials in an encrypted file. The user can get access to the password manager by entering a username and a strong password.

How do password managers work?

The password for the password manager should be strong, and therefore, hard to remember. Only having one password to remember makes life easier. With the password manager active, the user will get all credentials fields filled in automatically for all of those systems that were logged in the password manager. When the password manager detects a new application for which it doesn’t have the credentials stored, it will prompt the user with the option of storing these new credentials. Another useful feature is a password generator, which creates complicated, strong passwords including a long series of random characters.

Businesses can control password managers for many users centrally. They can use a control dashboard to enforce policies, such as password rotation and the use of a password generator.

How secure are password managers really?

The best password managers are very secure. However, there is one weakness in the system, which is the secrecy of that master password that unlocks access to the password manager and its vault. If that password gets disclosed, the entire security system is vulnerable. Many password managers resolve this weak spot by imposing multi-factor authentication. The second check in this process can be a push notification to a mobile device or a biometric test, such as a fingerprint scan, or voice recognition.  

Which are the best password managers?

To help you choose a new password manager either for home use or for business, we have created a list of the five best password managers available today.


1. LastPass

LastPass is available in both personal and business versions. The service is also offered as a free version for individual users. The personal versions of the tool include a password vault with one master password and syncing to multiple devices. The software is only valid for one user, but as it is free, each family member can open an individual account. The system includes the option to create a one-time password to share a resource.

The Premium plan allows password sharing with an unlimited number of people. This allows an account holder to create photo albums and allow friends and family access without making those photos public to the world. The Premium version includes 1 GB of secure file storage space on the Cloud, which makes file sharing easier. The Family plan is a discount on six Premium plans. It includes a management console for one member of the family to organize the access rights of all of the other linked accounts.

The business plans of LastPass are all priced for a minimum of five users and are charged per user. There is a standalone package that implements multi-factor authentication (MFA) without all of the other password management features of LastPass.

Price

Personal Plans

  • Free: $0
  • Premium: $36 per year
  • Families: $48 per year

Business Plans

  • Teams: $48 per year per user
  • Enterprise: $72 per year per user
  • MFA: $36 per year per user
  • Identity: $96 per year per user

Operating systems

  • Windows
  • Apple MacOS
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Browser extensions

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera 
  • Safari

Security

The user gets access to a cloud-based password vault, with an email address as the username and a strong password. The system then generates random passwords for all applications and sites that the user accesses and stores these in the vault. The vault is protected by 256-bit AES encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes.

The Premium and Family editions offer multi-factor authentication through the YubiKey and Sesame systems and also via a fingerprint scanner – the fingerprint scanning hardware isn’t included in the package. Multi-factor authentication isn’t included in the Free personal plan. The two lower business plans include two-factor authentication but the high plans can add more layers. Authentication channels in the business plans include push notifications to a mobile device, SMS, and biometric scans.

The facility will autofill all password fields so users do not need to ensure those passwords are memorable.

Star rating

5 stars

Pros

  • Free version available for personal use
  • Additional security checks in higher plans
  • A standalone multi-factor authentication tool available for businesses
  • Free cloud storage included in paid personal plans
  • Cross-device syncing
  • Available for every major operating system
  • Available for all well-known browser types
  • Autofill of credentials fields

Cons

  • The browser extension had a known vulnerability in the past that could have led to data breaches.

2. Dashlane

Dashlane has a free version but it has limited functionality. It only covers one device and is limited to storing 50 passwords. The two paid versions of Dashlane are an edition for personal use and one for businesses. They both sync password usage across devices. All versions will autofill credentials and credit card information in registered software and websites.

All versions include two-factor authentication and password sharing features. The Premium plan includes a VPN service for protection during wi-fi access and dark web monitoring, which searches for credentials theft.  The Business plan includes separate storage for personal and business passwords, called Smart Spaces. This plan doesn’t include a VPN service, but subscribers for more than 50 users get access to a Customer Success Manager.

Price

  • Free: $0
  • Premium: $39.96
  • Business: $48.00

Operating systems

  • Windows
  • Apple MacOS
  • Android
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Browser extensions

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera 
  • Safari

Security

The password vault is accessed by a master password, which is forced to be complex. All of the passwords stored in the encrypted vault can be generated automatically, making them too complex to remember. The vault will also store payment card information. The tool will autofill credentials on all sites that have been registered in the vault and also bank card details wherever they are demanded.

The software and its related password vault are protected by 256-bit AES encryption. The system has a patented secure architecture and includes built-in two-factor authentication, which can work with well-known mobile authenticators.

Star rating

4 stars

Pros

  • Free version for personal use
  • Two-factor authentication in all editions
  • Free wi-fi protection in Premium plan
  • Cross-device syncing in the paid versions
  • Plugins for all well-known browser types
  • Autofill of credentials fields

Cons

  • Doesn’t have biometric authentication methods

3. 1Password

There isn’t a free version of 1Password, however, all of its five editions are available for a 30-day free trial. There are two versions for home users and three for businesses. The two home use plans include 1 GB of cloud-based secure file storage space. Team plans also include 1 GB of cloud storage per user, while each user gets 5 GB of storage on the Business plan.  Two-factor authentication is included with all plans. Apple Mac users can deploy Touch ID and a Face ID application is available for 2FA on iOS devices.

Another interesting option available with all plans is the Travel Mode, which removes all password vaults on a device that you want to take away with you. When you return to base, the local password vault is restored. A local version of the password vault is available to protect device-resident applications while offline.

The secure password vault is stored on a remote server and can be accessed across all devices. Each account on all plans gets protection for unlimited passwords on unlimited devices.

The Family plan covers five users and extra users can be added for $1 per user per month. This plan includes a central console that manages all user accounts in the group, while each person’s passwords are held in a separate secure password vault.

Each user on the Business plan gets a Family plan subscription for free. It is possible to create shared passwords and guest accounts to convey information, such as alarm security codes. The Enterprise account is a tailor-made package.

Price

Personal Plans

  • Personal: $35.88 per year
  • Families: $59.88 per for up to five users

Business Plans

  • Teams: $3.99 per user per month
  • Business: $7.99 per user per month
  • Enterprise: By custom quote

Operating systems

  • Windows
  • Apple MacOS
  • Linux
  • Chrome OS
  • Android
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Browser extensions

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Opera 
  • Safari

Security

All storage, both on the device and on the cloud, including password storage vaults and file storage space is protected. The 1Padsseord system encrypts all stores with 256-bit AES ciphers. The user sets up a master password that is needed to unlock access to the entire security system. Each device used by an account holder gets a secret key, which needs to be present in order to unlock a password vault.

Star rating

4 stars

Pros

  • A 30-day free trial
  • Unlimited passwords on unlimited devices
  • Free Family plan accounts for Business plan users
  • Free secure file storage
  • Password generator
  • Extra identity theft protection
  • Two-factor authentication

Cons

  • No free version

4. KeePass

KeePass is a free password manager. In fact, this is a whole category of free password management products. This is because KeePass is an open source project. There are a number of variants adapted from the core code and made into specialist secure password services for different operating systems. There are also a number of web browser plugins that are not part of KeePass but were produced under other names using the KeePass code. The best known of these free versions of KeePass are KeePassXC, Tusk, KeeWeb, and BrowsePass.

Price

KeePass is a free password manager.

Operating systems

  • Windows
  • Apple MacOS
  • Linux
  • BSD Unix
  • Chrome OS
  • Android
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)
  • BlackBerry
  • Windows Phone
  • Palm OS
  • Sailfish OS

Browser extensions

  • Google Chrome (Tusk, KeeWeb, BrowsePass)
  • Firefox (Tusk, KeeWeb)
  • Internet Explorer (KeeWeb)
  • Opera (KeeWeb)
  • Safari (KeeWeb)

Security

The central database of KeePass will encrypt and store passwords in a secure password vault. Password storage is protected by AES encryption with a 256-bit key.

Star rating

3 stars

Pros

  • A free and secure password manager
  • Free versions for a long list of operating systems
  • Random password generator

Cons

  • No two-factor authentication
  • User interface lacks ease of use

5. Bitwarden

Bitwarden is an open source free password manager. There are higher plans for individuals, families, and businesses, which are paid versions. The Free version can be shared between two people. The Premium plan has a password generator and extra two-factor authentication systems, including YubiKey, FIDO U2F, and Duo. The Family plan is available for five users. The two business plans are called Teams and Enterprise. The Premium plan, Family plan, and the Teams version include 1 GB of cloud-based secure file storage.

The Teams plan includes five users with extra user accounts available for $2 per person per month. The Enterprise plan is priced per user per month.

Price

Personal Plans

  • Free: $0
  • Premium: $10 per year
  • Families: $1 per month

Business Plans

  • Teams: $5 per month
  • Enterprise: $3 per user per month

Operating systems

  • Windows
  • Apple MacOS
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Browser extensions

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Vivaldi
  • Brave
  • Tor browser

Security

Bitwarden encrypts your passwords before they leave your device. Its secure password protection is implemented with 256-bit AES encryption.

Star rating

3 stars

Pros

  • Available for free
  • Two-factor authentication
  • A password generator

Cons

  • Support not so great

Choose a secure password management tool

There are many good password management systems available, but few people have the time to give all of them a trial. This is why we decided to create recommendations for the five best password managers.

Getting the list down to five was a tough job. We think that RoboForm, Enpass, and Sticky Password all deserve honorable mentions. Try out several of the tools on our list because those that aren’t free to use have a free trial. Whichever of these five you choose, you will have strong password security and with all of the data breaches and identity theft attacks going on, you really need to tighten up your cybersecurity defenses.

CyberGhost vs Hotspot Shield

CyberGhost vs Hotspot Shield

Read the websites of CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield and you’ll see a lot of bold claims. Both VPN providers promise users fast speeds, total privacy, and a reliable connection to geo-restricted content from services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC.

So how are you supposed to choose between these two great VPN services? We’ve put CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield head to head to help you decide. 

Pricing

CyberGhost

Hotspot Shield

1-month plan

$12.99 per month

$12.99 per month

1-year plan

$71.88 (equivalent to $5.99 per month)

$95.88 (equivalent to $7.99 per month)

2-year plan

$88.56 (equivalent to $3.69 per month)

N/A

3-year plan

$99 plus two months free (equivalent to $2.75 per month

N/A

Refund period

45 days

45 days

First off, It’s worth noting that Hotspot Shield also offers a very popular free VPN, however this comes with some serious restrictions in terms of speed and data. This review is about the premium version, which provides unlimited bandwidth and many other benefits.


A good tactic when signing up to a VPN plan is to pay as much as you can afford up-front. Almost every VPN provider provides big discounts on its longer subscriptions. 


CyberGhost is a good example — customers can pay month-by-month, or up-front for one, two, or three years. There are unbelievable discounts available on these longer subscription periods.


Hotspot Shield is less impressive when it comes to pricing. While Hotspot Shield’s monthly plan costs the same as CyberGhost, there’s a smaller discount on the one-year plan. Hotspot Shield doesn’t offer any longer-term plans, so no further discounts are available.


There’s no risk involved when committing to a longer subscription with either VPN provider. If you’re willing to try out CyberGhost or Hotspot Shield, there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee across all plans.

CyberGhost


While both VPN providers charge the same amount for a monthly subscription, CyberGhost offers some incredible discounts on its longer plans that Hotspot Shield can’t match.

Features

CyberGhost

Hotspot Shield

Connections

7

5

Operating systems

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire

Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

Browser extensions

Chrome, Firefox

Chrome

Split tunneling

Android only

Yes

Bonuses

Free anti-malware and ad-blocking software

Built-in malicious site blocking

CyberGhost lets users connect up to seven devices on one license, while Hotspot Shield only allows up to five. Of course, this won’t be a problem unless you have more than five devices, or you plan to share a license among family members.


CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield both offer user-friendly PC, Mac, and mobile apps that work extremely well. However, Hotspot Shield is weaker in this area. Unlike CyberGhost, it doesn’t offer apps for Linux or Amazon Fire. CyberGhost also offers a Firefox extension, whereas Hotspot Shield does not.


Hotspot Shield offers “split tunneling” across various operating systems. CyberGhost only allows split tunneling on its Android app. This feature lets you split your network traffic so that some goes through your VPN and some through your regular ISP or Wi-Fi connection.


CyberGhost offers free anti-malware and ad-blocker software as a bonus feature. Although Hotspot doesn’t offer extra software as such, it will block malicious sites that appear on its blacklist.

CyberGhost


CyberGhost wins our “features” round due to the greater number of simultaneous connections it allows, plus its wider range of desktop apps and browser extensions.

Security

CyberGhost

Hotspot Shield

Protocols

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec

Catapult Hydra

Data/control-channel encryption

AES-256-CBC, RSA-4096

AES-128 or AES-256, RSA-2048 

Killswitch

Yes (always on)

Yes

Most VPNs allow users to connect via several different protocols. Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of security, reliability, speed, and compatibility. Almost every VPN provider supports the OpenVPN protocol, but Hotspot Shield is different.


Hotspot Shield uses its own proprietary VPN protocol called “Catapult Hydra.” Catapult Hydra encrypts data to AES-128 or AES-256 (OpenVPN uses the latter standard). However, unlike OpenVPN, Catapult Hydra is not open source, so we don’t have a clear understanding of how it works.


CyberGhost is more conventional, providing access to the “usual” set of VPN protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2 and L2TP. CyberGhost also has a higher standard of control channel encryption than Hotspot Shield.


Both CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield feature a “killswitch,” which prevents accidental data leaks by cutting all connectivity if the user’s VPN drops out. CyberGhost’s killswitch is “always on.”


Hotspot Shield suffered a major security incident in 2018. A cybersecurity researcher alleged that the service was “riddled with bugs” that exposed users’ IP addresses and other personal information. Hotspot Shield patched these security issues within a week of the investigation. There’s no record of any such security incidents involving CyberGhost.

CyberGhost


When it comes to security, CyberGhost beats Hotspot Shield hands-down. 

Speed & servers

CyberGhost

Hotspot Shield

Number of Servers

Over 6100

Over 3,200

Countries

88

70+

Speed is Hotspot Shield’s “thing.” Some VPNs prioritize security or anonymity, but Hotspot Shield prioritizes speed. That’s why it uses its own proprietary VPN protocol, Catapult Hydra.


It’s difficult to measure a VPN’s overall speed because so much depends on where the user is located and what they’re trying to do online. However, it is fair to say that Hotspot Shield is a very fast VPN.


CyberGhost is fast, too — considerably faster than some other VPN services. It can handle streaming, torrenting, and other high-bandwidth activities without any issues. However, Hotspot Shield works extremely hard to ensure its connection speeds are as fast as possible, and it has an excellent reputation for speed.


Both VPN providers also have a lot of VPN server locations. CyberGhost has nearly twice as many servers as Hotspot Shield. Despite this, Hotspot Shield still manages to provide a speedy and reliable service.

Hotspot Shield


Hotspot Shield claims to be the fastest VPN provider available — and there certainly seems to be some truth in this. If you only care about speed, Hotspot Shield could be the best VPN for you.

Privacy

CyberGhost

Hotspot Shield

Logging policy

No logs except optional diagnostics data

Claims to keep “no logs”

User info required

Email address

Email address

Cryptocurrency payments accepted

Yes

No

Home jurisdiction

Romania

United States

Many people use a VPN because it can provide privacy and anonymity. The best VPN providers shield your online activity from your Internet Service Provider, third-party advertisers, and the state.


That’s right — the state can’t spy on your online activity if your VPN provider doesn’t keep any record of it. So, when a court tells a VPN provider to provide the personal information or browsing activity of one of its users, the response should be: “We don’t have that information.”


Both CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield claim that their users are anonymous and that they keep zero logs of user activity. CyberGhost does have a diagnostics feature which transfers some aggregate data to its tech team, but this is optional. 


Privacy is a very difficult area for Hotspot Shield. In 2017, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Hotspot Shield. The CDT claimed that Hotspot Shield keeps logs of its users’ activities and sells them to third-party advertisers — despite promising complete anonymity.


CyberGhost lets users sign up anonymously using Bitcoin and other anonymous payment methods, whereas Hotspot Shield only accepts credit cards.


If you want a VPN that you can be sure is private and anonymous, Hotspot Shield is not a good option.

CyberGhost


CyberGhost easily wins this round — it makes a great effort to maintain its customers’ privacy, whereas there are some serious questions about Hotspot Shield’s privacy practices.

Content unblocking

CyberGhost

Hotspot Shield

Netflix

Yes

Yes

BBC

Yes

Yes

Amazon Prime Video

Yes

Yes

Hulu

Yes

Yes

For many people, content unblocking is the whole reason they use a VPN. Want to watch British TV from the United States? A VPN should allow you to connect to a UK-based VPN server and access BBC iPlayer.


In reality, not all VPN providers provide reliable access to geo-restricted content. Some VPNs struggle to access popular streaming services or only offer access to content from a very limited range of regions.


But CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield excel in this area. These are two of the best VPNs on the market when it comes to accessing censored or restricted online content.

Tie


Both VPN services are extremely good at unblocking geo-restrictions from around the world.

Our pick

CyberGhost


CyberGhost is a great all-round VPN provider. It has earned its place at the top of the VPN market alongside others such as ExpressVPN, IPVanish VPN, and PureVPN.


Hotspot Shield is fast and good at unblocking restricted content. If that’s all you care about, it’s definitely worth trying it out. However, if you care about privacy, Hotspot Shield is probably not the VPN provider for you.


Either way, both CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield offer a 45-day money-back guarantee period, so you can try them both with no risk attached.

CyberGhost vs PureVPN

CyberGhost vs PureVPN

CyberGhost VPN and PureVPN are both excellent VPN providers, offering fast speeds, reliable connections, and a private and secure user experience. 

But which is better? 

To help you choose the right VPN provider for your needs, we’ve put CyberGhost VPN and PureVPN head to head.

Pricing

CyberGhost

PureVPN

1-month plan

$12.99 per month

$10.95 per month

1-year plan

$71.88 (equivalent to $5.99 per month)

$69.95 (equivalent to $5.83 per month)

2-year plan

$88.56 (equivalent to $3.69 per month)

$79.95 (equivalent to $3.33 per month)

3-year plan

$99 plus two months free (equivalent to $2.75 per month

N/A

Refund period

45 days

31 days

Both cost and flexibility are important factors when assessing a VPN provider’s pricing.


Comparing pricing between CyberGhost VPN and PureVPN is actually a little complicated.


Across its monthly plan, one-year plan, and two-year plan, PureVPN is cheaper. However, CyberGhost VPN also offers a three-year plan, which PureVPN does not. CyberGhost’s three-year plan works out cheaper than any of PureVPN’s plans on a monthly basis.


While these longer plans might seem like a long-term commitment, and a large up-front cost, remember that both brands offer a money-back guarantee across all plans. It’s worth noting that CyberGhost VPN’s 45-day money-back guarantee is nearly 50 percent longer than PureVPN’s, which stands at 31 days. 


Also, CyberGhost VPN allows seven simultaneous connections per subscription — two more than ExpressVPN. If you need to use your VPN across more than five devices then CyberGhost VPN will work out a lot cheaper.

Tie


Both these VPN services are great value — and while PureVPN is cheaper across most plans, CyberGhost VPN offers an amazing discount on its three-year plan.

Features

CyberGhost

PureVPN

Connections

7

5

VPN apps — operating systems

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Browser extensions

Chrome, Firefox.

Chrome, Firefox.

Manual install on routers

Yes

Yes

Split tunneling

Android only

Yes

Bonuses

Free anti-malware and ad-blocking software.

Free anti-malware and ad-blocking software.

CyberGhost VPN allows up to seven simultaneous connections, allowing you to access the VPN seven different devices on one account. PureVPN only offers up to five simultaneous connections.


CyberGhost VPN and PureVPN offer native desktop and mobile apps. These apps work perfectly on every platform. Both companies offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Mac users should note that neither brand offers a Safari extension.


PureVPN offers “split tunneling” across platforms, whereas CyberGhost VPN only offers it on Android. Split tunneling enables you to separate your network traffic so that some apps route data through the VPN while others bypass it. This allows, for example, torrenting via your VPN while browsing the web via your normal ISP.


Both CyberGhost VPN and PureVPN provide free anti-malware and ad blocker products. These applications are a nice bonus — and, in both cases, they work better than many of the free antivirus software products available online.

CyberGhost


CyberGhost wins this round, due to the generous number of simultaneous connections it allows. However, if you’re interested in split tunneling, and you don’t have seven devices on which you need to install a VPN, consider PureVPN instead.

Security

CyberGhost

PureVPN

Protocols

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2  L2TP/IPSec

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP

Data/control-channel encryption

AES-256-CBC, RSA-4096

AES-256-CBC, RSA-2048 

Killswitch

Yes (always on)

Yes

Both VPNs let you connect via several different VPN protocols, which offer different levels of speed, reliability, and security. PureVPN offers a greater number of options, including PPTP and SSTP. However, these particular protocols are somewhat outdated and are not recommended. Both brands use industry-standard 256-bit encryption.


CyberGhost VPN encrypts its “control channel” a higher standard than PureVPN. The control channel protects certain authentication and connection data. There’s nothing wrong with PureVPN’s RSA-2048 algorithm, but some people believe that CyberGhost VPN’s RSA-4096 algorithm is literally uncrackable.


Both companies provide a “killswitch,” which cuts your internet connection if your VPN drops out, preventing you from accidentally exposing your online activity to your ISP. CyberGhost VPN’s killswitch is always on, which provides an extra layer of protection against accidental data leaks.


PureVPN did suffer a worrying incident in March 2018, when IP address data stored on the company’s servers was compromised. As far as we know, CyberGhost VPN has never suffered a data breach.

CyberGhost


CyberGhost beats PureVPN in terms of security, due to its higher control channel encryption level and flawless data protection record.

Speed & servers

CyberGhost

PureVPN

Servers

Over 6100

Over 2000

Countries

88

140+

Both companies provide a very fast VPN connection. But whose is the fastest? Well, that’s a tricky question. Many different factors that determine the speed of a VPN connection, including your location, the VPN server’s location, and the host website or resource’s location.


CyberGhost VPN and PureVPN are two of the fastest VPN providers on the market. It’s very hard to say which is fastest on a given day, in a given place. 


PureVPN lets users connect to servers across more than 140 countries — over 60 percent more countries than CyberGhost VPN. However, CyberGhost VPN has over 6100 servers. This is a lot of servers, which could mean a faster and more reliable connection — particularly if you live in a country such as the United States, which contains a lot of CyberGhost VPN’s servers.

CyberGhost


Both of these VPN services provide fast speeds and a wide range of virtual locations. However, mostly due to its extremely large number of servers, CyberGhost wins this round.

Privacy

CyberGhost VPN

PureVPN

Logging policy

Optional diagnostics data

None

User info required

Email address

Email address

Crypto payments accepted

Yes

Yes

Home jurisdiction

Romania

Hong Kong

VPN users expect total privacy — both from their ISP and from state interference. But using a VPN means putting a lot of trust in the VPN provider, which could — in theory — view all the network traffic passing through its servers.


Neither CyberGhost VPN nor PureVPN maintains activity or connection logs. This means that they don’t store data about individual users’ online activity, IP address, or location when using the VPN.


Officially, PureVPN has a total “no logs” policy. However, in 2017, PureVPN allegedly handed over logs to the FBI, that were then used as evidence in a cyberstalking trial. This brought PureVPN’s Privacy Policy into doubt at the time.


CyberGhost VPN has an optional diagnostics reporting feature which lets its tech team diagnose connectivity issues. It’s hard to see how this could reveal any individual user behavior, but it is important to opt out of this process if you’re

concerned.


Both companies require an email address at signup, but you can pay via Bitcoin if you wish to maintain anonymity. PureVPN also accepts a wide range of “altcoins.”.


CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania. Despite being within the EU, Romania has stood firm against the EU’s data retention laws. There is ongoing tension between Romania and the EU on this issue, and it is possible that Romanian VPN providers will be forced to retain user data in the future.


PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. This is also a privacy-respecting jurisdiction. However, it would be wise to consider the growing influence of China, which could have a detrimental impact on online privacy in Hong Kong.

CyberGhost


Both companies offer a highly private VPN service. However, the 2017 “cyberstalking” case damaged PureVPN’s privacy reputation, and so the winner of this round is CyberGhost.

Content unblocking

CyberGhost

PureVPN

Netflix

Yes

Yes

BBC

Yes

No

Amazon Prime Video

Yes

Yes

Hulu

Yes

Yes

VPNs let you redirect your network traffic via a server in another country. This “tricks” websites and online services into believing you are physically located in that country. This can be helpful for accessing online content that is unavailable in your actual location.


Trying to access streaming services via VPN can be a little “hit and miss,” because companies such as Netflix try to block commonly-used IP addresses. The best VPN providers have a lot of servers and can usually offer their users reasonably reliable access.


CyberGhost and PureVPN both have very good unblocking capabilities. But CyberGhost VPN is exceptional in this area. It consistently unblocks a wide range of content in many different regions. PureVPN cannot reliably access certain stubborn platforms such as BBC iPlayer. 

CyberGhost


CyberGhost wins this round — it’s easily one of the best content-unblocking VPNs on the market.

Our pick

CyberGhost


CyberGhost emerges as the clear winner of its head-to-head with PureVPN. CyberGhost VPN offers a great value three-year plan, an unblemished privacy record, and top-of-the-range unblocking capabilities.


However, remember that PureVPN is still an excellent product — one of the best VPN providers on the market. PureVPN is also cheaper than CyberGhost VPN.


If you want to try either — or both — of these excellent VPN services, you can do so without risk as both companies have a no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee period.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

ExpressVPN and NordVPN have established themselves as two of the best VPN providers in the world. Both companies have earned the trust — and subscription payments — of millions of users.

We’ve put these brands head-to-head to help you decide which VPN provider is right for you.

Pricing

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

1-month plan

$12.95 per month

$11.99 per month

6-month plan

$59.99 (equivalent to $9.99 per month)

N/A

1-year plan

$99.95 (equivalent to $8.32 per month)

$83.88 (equivalent to $6.99 per month)

2-year plan

N/A

$119.76 (equivalent to $4.99 per month)

3-year plan

N/A

$125.64 (equivalent to $3.49 per month)

Refund period

30 days

30 days

There are two things to consider when assessing pricing — cost and flexibility.


Both brands offer flexible pricing, with monthly plans and longer-term subscriptions available. ExpressVPN offers one-month, six-month, and one-year plans. NordVPN offers one-month, one-year, two-year, and three-year plans.


Those longer-term plans may sound like a big commitment, but both brands offer a 30-day money-back guarantee across all plans. 


As for cost, NordVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN across all plans. The price difference between these two brands is small when paying monthly. However, the gap widens with longer subscriptions, and NordVPN offers its two-year plan and three-year plan at a huge discount.

NordVPN


NordVPN wins on price — it’s cheaper and offers huge savings for those who can pay up-front for a longer subscription. 

Features

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Connections

5

6

VPN apps — operating systems                                  

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, various routers including ASUS, Linksys, and Netgear models.

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Browser extensions

Chrome, Firefox, Safari.

Chrome, Firefox.

Manual install on routers

Yes

Yes

Split tunneling

Windows, macOS, Android, routers.

No

Bonuses

Speed Test

CyberSec (anti-malware and ad blocker software)

NordVPN allows up to 6 simultaneous connections, whereas ExpressVPN only allows 5.


Both providers offer native apps for desktop and mobile devices. ExpressVPN also offers apps for several common models of router. This allows you to route the traffic from all devices on your home Wi-Fi network through the VPN. 


Both VPN providers have browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. ExpressVPN also offers an extension for Safari, which gives it a significant advantage for Mac users.


ExpressVPN offers split tunneling, whereas NordVPN does not. Split tunneling allows you to split your network traffic so that certain apps connect via the VPN and others bypass the VPN. This can be helpful if, for example, you want to download a file at high speed via your regular connection while browsing the web in private via your VPN connection.


NordVPN comes with “Cybersec,” a free anti-malware and ad blocker software product. Cybersec’s ad-blocking capabilities are no more impressive than many free ad-blocking browser extensions. However, as a free anti-malware product, it’s worth checking out.


ExpressVPN includes an in-built speed test. As a bonus feature, ExpressVPN’s Speed Test is not as good as NordVPN’s CyberSec, but it’s worth having.

ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN wins our “Features” category due to its easy-to-use router apps, split tunneling feature, and Safari extension. 

Security

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Protocols

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2  L2TP/IPSec, PTPP.

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP

Data/control-channel encryption

AES-256-CBC, RSA-4096

AES-256-CBC, RSA-2048 

Double encryption

No

Yes

Killswitch

Desktop apps

Desktop apps, iOS app

Both VPNs offer the same broad selection of VPN protocols — and both provide high-grade AES-256 data encryption to ensure that your browsing activity remains private. 


ExpressVPN offers a higher grade of control channel encryption on the OpenVPN protocol. The control channel is responsible for encrypting certain connection data on the way to the VPN provider’s servers. While NordVPN’s RSA-2048 algorithm is still highly secure, ExpressVPN uses the superior RSA-4096 algorithm.


Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer a killswitch for their desktop apps. A killswitch cuts your internet connection if your VPN drops out to ensure your device doesn’t automatically connect to your regular ISP.


NordVPN includes a killswitch with its iOS app, whereas ExpressVPN does not. Neither service offers a killswitch on Android. NordVPN’s killswitch is also slightly more sophisticated, allowing users to apply the killswitch to certain apps and not others.


Unfortunately, NordVPN suffered a data breach in 2018 that left some users very worried about their privacy. A hacker was able to penetrate one of NordVPN’s 5200+ servers, exposing the IP addresses of connected users. NordVPN quickly cut all ties with the server provider, but this incident has damaged its reputation.

ExpressVPN


Both VPN providers are extremely secure, but NordVPN’s recent data breach means that ExpressVPN wins this round.

Speed & servers

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Servers

Over 3000

Over 5200

Countries

94

58

First, which VPN provider is faster? Well, that’s not actually a straightforward question. 


There are many variables determining the speed a VPN provider can achieve, including actual location, server location, broadband speed, etc. 


Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are among the fastest VPN providers on the market. On any given day, either one of these two brands might give you a faster download speed than the other. There’s little point declaring which is faster “overall.”


As for server locations, ExpressVPN has servers in more countries than NordVPN. This means you can access geo-restricted content from a wider range of countries. However, NordVPN has more servers, which can bring an advantage in terms of speed and reliability.

ExpressVPN


There’s little difference between these two VPN providers in terms of speed, but ExpressVPN wins this round due to the huge range of countries in which it offers a VPN connection.

Privacy

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Logs policy

Logs certain data about the apps you use and the servers you connect to

None

User info required

Email address

Email address

Crypto payments accepted

Yes

Yes

Home jurisdiction

British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Panama

A VPN should keep your online activity private from your ISP and the government. However, using a VPN means routing all your network traffic through the VPN provider’s servers. Therefore, it’s crucial that you can trust the VPN provider itself to respect your privacy.


Neither ExpressVPN nor NordVPN maintains activity or connection logs. This means that they don’t store data about individual users’ online activity, IP address, or connection history.


NordPass has a strict “no logs” policy. It doesn’t keep any records of user activity at all. ExpressVPN logs certain aggregate data regarding the apps a person uses, their user ID, and which servers they successfully connected to from which country on which day. ExpressVPN claims that it would be impossible to link this data to any individual.


Both companies require users to provide an email address at signup. Neither brand requires users to pay by credit card or PayPal — they both accept anonymous cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. NordVPN accepts a wider range of “altcoins,” including Ethereum and Monero.


Both brands are based in countries that respect individual privacy. ExpressVPN is based in British Virgin Islands (BVI) and NordVPN is based in Panama. Neither country requires VPN services to maintain logs of user activity. Neither country is part of any data-sharing agreement such as the “Five Eyes” alliance.

NordVPN


Both of these VPN providers can guarantee near-total user privacy. However, NordVPN’s stricter logging policy means it offers a marginally more private service than ExpressVPN.

Content unblocking

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Netflix

Yes

Yes

BBC

Yes

Yes

Amazon Prime Video

Yes

Yes

Hulu

Yes

Yes

A VPN lets you connect to servers all around the world, which means you can access online content available in your “virtual” location. Many people use this function of a VPN to access online streaming services that are unavailable in their region.


Companies like Netflix will attempt to block incoming traffic from VPN providers, and so there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to access the content you want on a given day.


However, ExpressVPN and NordVPN both have excellent unblocking capabilities and can provide a reliable connection to many streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Tie


When it comes to allowing users to access geo-restricted content, there’s no clear winner — both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have excellent reputations for providing a fast and reliable service across a range of virtual locations.

Our pick

ExpressVPN


It’s not easy to choose between these two excellent VPN providers. Both offer powerful security features, near-total user privacy, and fast, convenient access to streaming services all around the world.


However — with its easy-to-use apps, incredible range of server locations, and spotless security record — ExpressVPN beats NordVPN in our head-to-head.


If you want to try either brand — or both — remember that they offer a 30-day, risk-free, money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN

ExpressVPN and PureVPN are two reputable brands at the very top of the highly-competitive VPN market. Both brands claim to be among the fastest, more secure, and most reliable VPN services available.

To help you decide which VPN provider is right for you, we’re putting ExpressVPN and PureVPN head to head. 

Pricing

 

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

1-month plan

$12.95 per month

$10.95 per month

6-month plan

$59.99 (equivalent to $9.99 per month)

N/A

1-year plan

$99.95 (equivalent to $8.32 per month)

$69.95 (equivalent to $5.83 per month)

2-year plan

N/A

$79.95 (equivalent to $3.33 per month)

Refund period

30 days

31 days

When assessing pricing, we consider both cost and flexibility.


Both brands have flexible payment options. ExpressVPN offers one-month, six-month, and one-year plans. PureVPN offers one-month, one-year, and two-year plans.


If you’re worried about committing to one of these longer plans, remember that both brands offer a money-back guarantee (30 days for ExpressVPN, 31 days for PureVPN) across all plans.


Cost-wise PureVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN across all plans. This difference isn’t huge on the monthly plan. But over longer subscription periods, PureVPN offers huge discounts.


PureVPN


PureVPN is the cheaper of the two VPNs. The really good value deals are available on the long-term one and two-year plans. 

Features

 

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Connections

5

5

VPN apps — operating systems      

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, various routers including ASUS, Linksys, and Netgear models.

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Browser extensions

Chrome, Firefox, Safari.

Chrome, Firefox.

Manual install on routers

Yes

Yes

Split tunneling

Yes

Yes

Bonuses

Speed Test

Free anti-malware and ad blocking software.

ExpressVPN and PureVPN both allow 5 simultaneous connections, allowing you to access a VPN across up to 5 desktop and mobile devices on one account.


ExpressVPN and PureVPN offer native desktop and mobile apps. These apps work perfectly on every platform. Both companies offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Mac users should note that ExpressVPN has a Safari extension, whereas PureVPN does not.


Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN offer split tunneling. This lets you split your network traffic, so that some apps automatically bypass the VPN. This means that, for example, you can stream HD video at high speed via your regular connection, while privately browsing the internet via your VPN.


PureVPN provides a free anti-malware and ad blocker product. It works better than many of the free antivirus products available online, but can’t compete with the best premium cybersecurity products.


ExpressVPN includes a built-in speed test, which allows you to check your upload and download speeds. This can be helpful when hunting for a server that is suitable for streaming HD video or torrenting. 

ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN wins our “Features” category due to its easy-to-use router apps, split tunneling feature, and Safari extension. 

Security

 

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Protocols

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2  L2TP/IPSec, PTPP.

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP

Data/control-channel encryption

AES-256-CBC, RSA-4096

AES-256-CBC, RSA-2048 

Killswitch

Yes

Yes

Both VPNs offer a broad range of different VPN protocols. Notably, however, PureVPN offers SSTP — a somewhat outdated protocol that is not recommended for secure and private internet use. Both brands provide “military-grade” AES-256 data encryption on the OpenVPN protocol.


ExpressVPN offers a higher grade of control channel encryption. This means is can protect certain connection data better than PureVPN. PureVPN’s RSA-2048 algorithm is still highly secure, but ExpressVPN’s RSA-4096 algorithm is almost certainly impenetrable.


Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN provide a “killswitch.” This feature will cut your internet connection if your VPN drops out, ensuring that you don’t accidentally switch over to your regular ISP and expose your online activity.


PureVPN’s security was called into question in March 2018 when hackers discovered they could access IP address data on the company’s servers. As far as we know, ExpressVPN has never suffered a data breach.

ExpressVPN


Due to its ultra high-grade control channel encryption and flawless data protection record, ExpressVPN beats PureVPN in terms of security.

Speed & servers

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Servers

Over 3000

Over 2000

Countries

94

140+

Both companies claim to be the fastest VPN service. Who’s right? It’s actually hard to say. There are multiple factors that determine how fast your VPN connection will be. It depends where you are, which server you’re connected to, and how fast your regular broadband speed is.


It’s true that ExpressVPN and PureVPN are two of the fastest VPN providers. Because they’re both at the very top of the market in terms of speed, it’s too simplistic to say that one is faster than the other “overall.” 


PureVPN has servers across more countries worldwide than ExpressVPN. More countries means a broader range of online content. If you live in a remote location, it also means there’s a greater likelihood that a PureVPN server is nearby. However, ExpressVPN has a higher number of servers overall, meaning that you’re more likely to find one that works for you.

Tie


In terms of fast speeds and high availability of servers, it’s too close to decide who fares better out of ExpressVPN and PureVPN. Both of these VPNs offer fast upload and download speeds and a great range of server locations.

Privacy

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Logs policy

Logs certain data about the apps you use and the servers you connect to

None

User info required

Email address

Email address

Crypto payments accepted

Yes

Yes

Home jurisdiction

British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Hong Kong

VPN users expect total privacy — both from their ISP and from state interference. But using a VPN means putting a lot of trust in the VPN provider, which could — in theory — view all the network traffic passing through its servers.


Neither ExpressVPN nor PureVPN maintains activity or connection logs. This means that they don’t store data about individual users’ online activity, IP address, or connection history.


PureVPN has a “no logs” policy. It claims not to keep any records of user activity. However, in 2017. data from PureVPN was used as evidence in a cyberstalking case — throwing doubt on PureVPN’s Privacy Policy (which the company has since updated).


ExpressVPN collects “aggregate data” about app versions, user IDs, and some broad data about server connections. ExpressVPN states that it anonymizes this data.


Both companies require an email address in order to create an account. Both brands accept anonymous cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. PureVPN also accepts a wide range of alternative anonymous cryptocurrencies.


ExpressVPN is based in British Virgin Islands (BVI) and PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. Neither of these jurisdictions requires either service to retain user data, and neither is part of the “Five Eyes” or “Fourteen Eyes” data-sharing arrangements. However, PureVPN users might be uneasy about the growing Chinese in Hong Kong.

ExpressVPN


Both VPN providers offer a high level of user privacy, however ExpressVPN wins this round due to its perfect track record and its base in the privacy-respecting British Virgin Islands.

Content unblocking

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Netflix

Yes

Yes

BBC

Yes

No

Amazon Prime Video

Yes

Yes

Hulu

Yes

Yes

A VPN lets you set a “virtual” location by connecting to servers around the world. This allows users to access streaming services, and other online content, that would otherwise be unavailable in their region. 


Some streaming services, such as Netflix, are constantly battling against VPN users “spoofing” their location. They can attempt to block incoming connections from the most popular VPN providers. This means you can never be quite certain if Netflix or other websites will be available via your VPN.


While ExpressVPN and PureVPN both have great unblocking capabilities. However, when it comes to accessing geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN is easily one of the best VPN providers. PureVPN can struggle to access content on certain streaming services such as BBC iPlayer. 

ExpressVPN


When it comes to allowing users to access geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN is the best of the best, and can reliably unblock pretty much whatever you want to watch.

Our pick

ExpressVPN


There’s a lot to love about ExpressVPN and PureVPN. They’re both fast, reliable, and secure VPN services that are well worth paying for.


PureVPN is the cheaper of the two services and offers fantastic discounts on longer-term plans. It also offers servers in a wider range of countries, and — on a good day — it can easily match ExpressVPN in terms of speed.


However — ExpressVPN has ultra-secure control channel encryption, a great range of user-friendly apps, and a flawless, data leak-free security record. 


That means  ExpressVPN beats PureVPN in our head-to-head.


Remember that both VPN providers offer a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee (or 31 days in the case of PureVPN), so you can try both services and see which one you like best.