Reviews are everywhere and people actually read them before purchasing a product or service. After all, nobody wants to spend a bunch of money and get ripped off afterward.
Naturally, if you want to buy a VPN service, you will read a bunch of reviews off of Google and pick a service that has the most positive reviews.
But the question is, how do you know that the reviews you just read online are legit?
Because let’s be real for a second, not all VPN reviews are genuine. And this is a serious and expensive problem you might face.
How expensive you ask? Well, according to a study published by Trustpilot, Americans on average wasted $125 last year due to inaccurate reviews in 2019. That accumulates to roughly $25 billion.
In the world of VPNs, reviews are no different. Just search for any VPN service. Let’s say Surfshark review for example. Here’s what your search result should look like:
As you can see, there are so many reviews. Pages upon pages of negative and positive reviews.
But again, who should you trust?
Well, that’s where we come in. But why are our reviews different?
Well, unlike other review sites that get paid to write good reviews, we strictly reject any handouts. We either purchase subscriptions or get trial accounts just like regular consumers to genuinely conduct uninfluenced reviews for you guys.
How do we review a VPN service?
- We Purchase each service or at least get a trial account
- Download the software and set up the client
- We test each service on the basis of important factors (mentioned below)
- Make notes on important findings
- Create screenshots to illustrate results
- Produce content to educate users in making wise purchase decisions
- Keep the review updated with new features and updates
No matter how renowned or new a VPN service might be, it needs to meet the high standards of TheVPNExperts to get recommended. Every VPN gets tested on the exact same features and data points to ensure no bias.
Here’s our lengthy review process.
1- We Purchase each service or at least get a trial account
As we mentioned earlier, we don’t ask for handouts. To ensure no one has any influence over what we say, we mostly buy VPN services with our own money. We spend hundreds of dollars a month to ensure our reviews are never scripted.
It’s not a cheap process, to be honest with you.
Occasionally, we also get trial accounts to conduct our reviews. Doing so allows us to share our real-life experience with you guys. So if a VPN service doesn’t function the way it should, you wouldn’t have to gamble with your money.
We have a complete spreadsheet of all the VPN subscriptions we currently own. New VPNs are constantly added to the list, so make sure to check it out.
2- Download the software and set up the client to begin our VPN review
Aside from paid subscriptions and test accounts, we make sure we have plenty of devices on hand to install and setup our testing VPNs.
Instead of running test VPN apps on a single mobile device, tallying down the performance stats, and calling it a day, we install it on our laptop, casting devices, browsers, and on a whole bunch of other supported platforms.
This gives us an idea of how a certain VPN service performs across the board. Here is all the test equipment we currently own:
- MacBook Pro
- iPhone X
- Galaxy Note 10
- iPad 7th gen
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Linksys – AC2200
3- We test each service on the basis of important factors:
In order to ensure that we’re able to perform rigorous stress tests, we consider a lot of crucial factors. Here’s what we keep in mind when we review any VPN service:
- Support for devices
- IP address leaks (IPv4 and 6)
- DNS leaks
- Speed Test
- Analyzing features such as Kill switch, Server locations, Anonymous DNS servers.
- Ease of use (If the app is user friendly)
- Logging policy
- The truth behind money-back guarantees
- Ease of use
4- Make notes on important findings to strengthen our VPN review
Made it so far? Good…
Next, we make sure to note down every little detail we can find. For instance, we perform extensive testing to see whether a VPN works with Netflix and other popular streaming services or not. We make sure to note every little performance-related information down so we can properly rate it.
We also test a VPN’s torrenting performance and note down what we like or dislike about it. We focus on important data points such as speed drop, connection stability, packet loss, and stuff like that.
5- Create screenshots to illustrate results
We admit, not everyone’s a fan of reading. So, we make sure that we use plenty of tables, graphs, and images to graphically explain what to expect from any VPN service that we review.
For instance, here’s a table covering the network coverage of some popular VPN providers.
|VPN Service||Number of Countries||Number of Servers|
|Private Internet Access||45||3,288+|
With a quick glance, you can find how many servers a particular VPN provider offers in how many locations.
Pretty convenient right?
If you thought that was nice, here’s a graph that we created to illustrate the speed test results of a few VPN providers on our 100 Mbps internet connection.
6- Produce content to educate users in making wise purchase decisions
When writing our reviews we aim to provide legitimate information to help make your purchasing decision worthwhile.
We make sure to focus on the user experience. Like, how easy it is to download and install? Can you use it while traveling? Is it good for unblocking geo-restricted content?
We put ourselves in your shoes to figure out what you care about the most. So if a VPN service is good or bad, you’ll hear it from us.
Essentially, before you purchase any VPN service, we aim to produce such educational content that can help make a planned decision.
7- Keep the review updated with new features and updates.
VPNs evolve constantly. A VPN that sucks today, might actually work unbelievably well in the future. To keep our content fresh, we constantly try to revisit our reviews, reperform all the testing, and look for new features and updates to add to our reviews.
It’s a never-ending cycle. As much as our reviews matter to you, our opinions are what drives VPN providers to improve their service for the better. We have seen multiple VPNs that were initially assigned a bad rating improve significantly over a short period of time.
That’s the power of our reviews.
And Finally, How do we rate VPN Services?
So by now, you must be impressed by our lengthy VPN review process. We put a lot of time and effort into it.
As for assigning ratings, when we finish compiling all the results, we tally down the number of “good”, “average” and “bad” ratings a VPN has received in different categories. Only then do we assign a rating between 1 to 5 stars.
We hope you appreciate the level of depth and hard work that goes into compiling our unbiased reviews. If you have any feedback for us, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.