How we rate VPN providers

We’ve tried to make our ratings as non-subjective as possible aka we use hard numbers or guidelines instead of our own biases and opinions. Below are the guidelines we use to rate VPN service providers. We rate on a 5 point scale with attempts made to rate as 1, 3 or 5 to make better service “pop” more in the final tally. This may seem unfair, but it allows for ratings all over the scale instead of rating something 3 to 5 all the time and getting final scores that are on top of each other making the reviews useless for comparison purposes.

User Rating
This more refers to the VPN service in general not explicitly the router related aspects, but it gives you an idea how happy people are with their offerings and support. The number is a weighted average of the ratings on a number of high traffic VPN review sites put onto a 5 point scale.

Ease of Installation
This reflects how easy it was for us to set up the demo unit.   Did we have the use the command line or a script or a client side installer?  Easier gets more stars.

Ease of Use
Same deal as installation — to change the server is it a pull down, script or command line string?

Server Locations
We base this on a survey of the provider’s website and their statement as to how many continents they have servers on.   Country count doesn’t come into play.

Server Count
Once again we look to the provider’s website and they get more stars for more servers

P2P allowed
We reward vendors that allow P2P on more servers or optimize servers for P2P use.

Speed Test
We take away stars depending how much the most local VPN server slows down our connection.   Our test lab is located North of Boston MA USA.   Typically the most local server will be located in New York NY USA.

Privacy
This is where we award points for publicly stated or revealed logging practices that are more in-line with user privacy expectations.

4 Responses

  1. I think in rating VPN service easy to use and making secure connections are important points.

    • admin

      Hi Walter,

      In our ratings we roll “easy to use” into our “Ease of Use” and “Ease of Installation” ratings.

      For “secure connections” we rate the “Privacy” and in the review we discuss the protocols offered. If not otherwise mentioned we always test using the OpenVPN protocol since its the most secure. Assuming no logging every VPN provider using OpenVPN will be just as secure as any other using the same set up.

      We discuss the security implications of other protocols in this article: Does protocol matters?.

      Thanks.

  2. I agree that VPN Gates offer a pretty good serivceOne thing to bear in mind is that alot of providers are quite new, as is the serivce they provide. So I recommend paying only for a few months at a time, unless you are quite certain that they will be around in a year’s time.Nice to see others with similar interests blogging.

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