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VPN Rankings

VPN Rankings

Here’s our updated VPN rankings effective May 17th, 2023.

Approximately twice a year I re-evaluate our VPN rankings.  I examine new features, fixes, download/upload speed, number of connections, app usability, and price for the top VPN services.  If adjustments needs to be made in our top 3 list then I make them.

It’s important to point out that I’m doing my testing on Fire TV and Android TV devices due to the fact that most TROYPOINT fans are here for those systems.  Since this site is geared toward cord-cutters, we focus on those devices primarily.

In this VPN ranking update, I’ve made one change.

I moved ExpressVPN to the #2 spot due to a new Threat Manager feature, working kill switch on Fire TV/Android TV devices, working Netflix geo-location unblocking, and a dedicated router Aircove Wi-Fi 6 Router.

Our ranking system is quite simple.  When VPN companies innovate and release new useful features, they will climb the ladder.  We also take into account the price of each service as this is an important factor when deciding which VPN to purchase.

ExpressVPN Surges to #2 TROYPOINT VPN Ranking

surfshark vs expressvpn express

Here are the reasons why I’ve moved ExpressVPN into the #2 position.

Threat Manager

Threat Manager is a new feature that ExpressVPN has added since our last VPN Rankings update that occurred late last summer.

ExpressVPN Threat Manager
New ExpressVPN Threat Manager

Threat Manager prevents all apps and websites on your device from communicating with a set of third parties known to track activity or engage in malicious behavior. This gives you more control over your online privacy and how your data is being used.

Threat Manager prevents any part of your device from communicating with servers that are listed on ExpressVPN’s “blocklist” of trackers and malicious sites. They update this blocklist regularly with each new app version.

Working Kill Switch on Fire TV & Android TV Devices

If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know what I think about VPN kill switches.

A VPN is pretty much useless without a working kill switch.

Troy from TROYPOINT

A VPN kill switch will terminate the device’s Internet connection if the VPN is ever disconnected.

Unfortunately, there are only a few VPN services who have figured out how to get a kill switch working on Fire TV and Android TV systems.  ExpressVPN is one of them.

ExpressVPN Kill Switch
ExpressVPN Working Kill Switch

Yes, there are free apps such as VPN Monitor Dot that will place an indicator on your screen that will alert you whether or not your VPN is connected.  This is less than ideal as it only takes a second for your identifying IP Address to be logged once your VPN disconnects.

Netflix Geo-Location Unblocking Now Working

The last time that we updated our rankings, ExpressVPN was having problems unblocking Netflix catalogs from outside countries.

My latest testing shows that Netflix unblocking is now working with ExpressVPN.

Unblock Netflix with ExpressVPN
Playing The Office through UK Library with ExpressVPN

By doing this, you can almost double your Netflix catalog by simply connecting to a different country prior to launching the Netflix app.  Some countries carry different movies & TV shows than others and this is a great way to expand your entertainment choices.

Netflix supports many other streaming services that allow for unlocking additional media catalogs.

ExpressVPN Aircove Wi-Fi 6 Router

ExpressVPN launched a dedicated VPN router that will protect all devices that connect to it.  This is the first VPN company to release their own router.

ExpressVPN Aircove Router
ExpressVPN Aircove Wi-Fi 6 VPN Router

One downfall of ExpressVPN is that they only allow their service to be used on five different devices.  Their Aircove VPN Router counts as only one device yet all of the devices in your home could be connected to it and therefore protected with one account.

Don’t want to buy the Aircove Router but want to use their firmware on existing one?  You can do that too!  ExpressVPN offers firmware for popular routers such as Asus, Netgear, and Linksys.  You can find the exact router models that their firmware supports on the official ExpressVPN Website.

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Surfshark VPN Remains at #1

When it comes to available features, both Surfshark and ExpressVPN are pretty much neck and neck.

select login for surfshark jailbreak onn google tv 4k android box
Surfshark VPN Remains #1

Surfshark includes one feature that I really miss in ExpressVPN and that’s ad blocking.  Surfshark’s ad blocking strips advertisements from popular APKs, free streaming sites, and many ad-supported apps on phones and tablets.  I love it!


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There are still two main reasons why Surfshark edges out ExpressVPN and is still crowned the champion in our VPN rankings.  Unlimited devices and price!

Unlimited Devices

Surfshark VPN customers can use their service on unlimited devices when at home or on the road.  One Surfshark account will cover all family members and all of their Internet-connected devices!

This will always be a big determining factor when ranking these VPN services due to the numerous Internet-connected devices that we all use on a daily basis.  Yes, it’s nice that ExpressVPN customers can use the new Aircove VPN Router and count as only one connection but that’s an additional $189 dollars.

Price

ExpressVPN has always been priced more than most other VPN services.  Its loyal fans will tell you that you get what you pay for.

Here are both the introductory and regular prices for both ExpressVPN and Surfshark long-term plans which provide the most savings.

Surfshark VPN Pricing

$83.76 for 26 months, then $79.00 annually (plus tax).

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ExpressVPN Pricing

$99.95 for 15 months, then $99.95 annually (plus tax).

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What About IPVanish VPN?

IPVanish VPN slips to the #3 position.

surfshark vs ipvanish - ipvanish firestick app
IPVanish VPN Still Great for Basic VPN Use

Although it’s still a great VPN, we haven’t seen any notable new features or enhancements in a very long time.

Their last feature release was the VPN Status Indicator for Fire TV/Android TV devices.  This functions similar to VPN Safety Dot that I mentioned earlier where it displays an indicator notifying you if your VPN is connected or not.  I would rather see a working kill switch on Fire TV/Android TV systems due to the reasons mentioned earlier.  Their new VPN Status Indicator seems like a band-aid applied to a problem that they don’t know how to fix.

IPVanish serves as a great VPN for people who don’t need added features such as ad/malware blocking and unblocking streaming services that impose geo-restrictions like Netflix.  IPVanish is a basic VPN that encrypts your connection to the Internet and assigns an anonymous IP Address.

Many people have questioned our demotion of IPVanish in the past due to the fact that they were our #1 ranked VPN for over five years.  We’re not going to keep a service in the #1 position just because they held that spot for a long period of time.  We will gladly move them up the rankings if they can deal with their current shortcomings and provide a better product than Surfshark and ExpressVPN.  We are honest with our fans and provide an accurate VPN ranking system unlike many cord-cutting sites out there.

We hope to see some major enhancements to IPVanish VPN in the future and will gladly report on them if an when they arrive.

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TROYPOINT VPN Rankings with Notable Pros & Cons

#1 Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN 4.9 Sidebar

Notable Pros

  • Zero logs
  • Encryption + anonymous IP address
  • Inexpensive
  • Use on unlimited devices when at home or away
  • Working kill switch on Fire TV / Android TV
  • Beautiful user interface
  • Fast download/upload speeds
  • Gets around most streaming service geo-blocks such as Netflix
  • Clean Web feature with ad-blocking
  • Multi-hop VPN technology

Notable Cons

  • Some network incompatibilities with IPv6

TROYPOINT Surfshark Review

#2 ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN 4.7 Sidebar

Notable Pros

  • Zero logs
  • Encryption + anonymous IP address
  • Fast download/upload speeds
  • Working kill switch on Fire TV / Android TV
  • Threat Manager
  • Gets around most streaming service geo-blocks such as Netflix
  • New Aircove VPN Router (separate purchase)
  • ExpressVPN firmware available for certain router models

Notable Cons

  • High price
  • 5 Device Max
  • No ad blocker

TROYPOINT ExpressVPN Review

#3 IPVanish VPN

IPVanish 4.5 Sidebar

Notable Pros

  • Zero logs
  • Encryption + anonymous IP address
  • Inexpensive
  • Use on unlimited devices when at home or away
  • Fast download/upload speeds
  • SOCKS5 Proxy Support for downloading/uploading torrents

Notable Cons

  • Can’t get around some streaming service geo-blocks such as Netflix
  • No working kill switch on Fire TV/Android TV systems
  • No ad/malware blocker

TROYPOINT IPVanish VPN Review

Summary

All three of the above VPN services perform exceptionally well but they all have their pros and cons as I’ve listed.

We always try to drive home the fact that some VPNs work better than others depending on outside factors such as Internet service provider, network, equipment, etc.  Also, everyone has different use cases for a VPN service.  One size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to choosing the right VPN!

All of our top 3 VPNs provide a 30-day money-back guarantee.  If one of them doesn’t satisfy your needs, simply ask for a refund and try a different one.  Please don’t complain that you got ripped off and one of the services doesn’t meet your standards.  Take advantage of their money-back guarantees and move onto a different VPN that works for you!

We will continually evaluate the best VPN services on the market and in-turn update our VPN rankings when we see fit.

This page includes affiliate links where TROYPOINT may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Many times, visitors will receive a discount due to the special arrangements made for our fans. Learn more on my Affiliate Disclaimer page.

Start the discussion at troypointinsider.com

Historical Comment Archive

27 thoughts on “VPN Rankings”

  1. I have had Private Internet Access for 10 yrs. Never a problem until lately, and it turns out it’s not the vpn . It’s both alldebrid and realdebrid. Every time I chnage vpnservers all my links to bot of them get revoked. Then they tried to feed me a line of %$#, saying that all my devices should have the same ip address because of my router. BAHAHAHA, I can’t stand a moron that thinks he is a god. I have kodi on 2 lptops 2 pi4’s. After hearing all my ip’s should be he same, well, what if I go to starbucks, or a library, or what if I use a server in a dif country? So, I went in search of answers, and all I got was more BS. 1 of them even has a pagge on their site telling us to use a cooperative vpn, and theres a huge list of them. OK, we use the vpn to hide. We search for 1 that has a good price but most important no logs. HOW IN THE HELL CAN A VPN HAVE NO LOGS BUT BE COOPERATIVE WITH SITES THAT WANT OUR IP ADDRESS? oh, I just got alldebrid when real started revoking my devices, but real debrid I have had on this account 8yrs. So I pay these a%^$% good money to cause me grief. Troypoint, you want to publish something good, find out about this cooperative vpn crap and tell people the truth. if using real or all, I’d be willing to bet on it not being the vpn in most cases.

    1. I have used ExpressVPN for years and never not once had a single issue with Real Debrid or the VPN service not one issue. I use to use PIA many years ago and switched because I discovered the VPN service was subpar when it came to the big boys on the block. Private Internet Access speed then was terrible and I always had problems connecting to their servers which was one of the reasons why i switched VPN services. It was the best decision of my life. I switched to ExpressVPN and never looked back. Idk what your experiencing with Kodi. I have never experienced that whatsoever. I can almost guarantee you it’s the VPN that is doing that and the IP address they are given. I don’t use the VPN on router level mine is on the desktop. I don’t use Firstick. I use my PC with the Kodi app no problems connecting with my VPN. You can sit there and blame someone for your illegal free activities but if you don’t know what your doing, stay away. Some VPN’s do not work well with Real Debrid you have to check which VPNs are cooperative with the service and not all are 100% compatible all the time.

  2. I have the PIA vpn, until recently it’s worked fine, but when I log on to kodi using a mecool android tv box after about twenty minutes the vpn keeps disconnecting, this only seems to happen when using kodi. The other app I use a lot is YouTube which never disconnects when I using it. Has anyone got any ideas what the problem is?

  3. I was just wondering, have you ever done a review on proton vpn? It will be interesting to see how they compare to the top two.

  4. More and more Legit sites are blocking VPN’s. If you use a VPN, you can say goodbye to most banks and online savings sites. I cannot count the number of times I have had to lower my VPN just to go to a site. Perhaps you need to start ranking them as to how many sites block the VPN! Also, just because they say they don’t keep records does not always hold true.

  5. I am in my final year with ipVanish which has been fine in the UK but on my first visit to US in 3yrs finding it difficult to get BBC iPlayer to work.
    Is there a better VPN option when renewal comes around?
    Are there any workarounds while here in the US?

    1. I use torguard My loves BBC I Player (2 streaming IPs) 1 for UK one for the States. It’s easy to find a discount code 50% off, I don’t know any but really easy to find.

      1. What do you mean Apollo blocks all VPNs? I am connected with IPVanish and Apollo works fine for me for the most part.

  6. I found two that work great! And they both have a kill switch Mullvad is built in. IVPN and Mullvad being the cheapest both work great on my Android box or my iPhone. Also they don’t want your email or info they actually are the few that don’t ask for it or need it unless you give it to them. I have tried them all and Mullvad being the least expensive is the one I now use.I have great speeds and no lag on either devices. SS is why too expensive In my option and US based is another reason I avoid it even if they keep zero logs. But to each his own. Also I can get a new account monthly which is harder to trace if that ever happens and payment options make it even more untraceable.

    1. Hi Larry, Surfshark isn’t US based. Also, I would be extremely surprised if the kill switch for the two you mention actually work on Fire TV and Android TV systems. I will definitely take a look at them and test them to see if they do. Yes, kill switch will always work on phones and tablets but even though there is an option in settings on Fire TV or Android TV Box, it doesn’t mean that it works. Thanks for posting.

      1. Hi Terry,
        I guess I shouldn’t always trust YouTube as that’s where someone said SS was US based but thanks for clearing that up:) On Android O/S 11 box there is an always on and block all traffic in the settings for both Mullvad VPN and IVPN within the box settings if they happen to disconnect. I tested them both on my Android box 11 and no traffic gets in or out if you set it correctly(hidden settings) and all my other boxes didn’t have this option. Just noticed it in O/S 11. But I can’t confirm for Android TV or Firestick as I don’t own them. But for iPhone & Android box 11 both VPN’s do have a working kill switch. But you do have to fine tune some settings before it’s 100% safe on disconnecting on Android box 11 for the kill switch to work properly for always on and block all traffic on disconnect.
        Have a good weekend

    1. Hi Terry, unfortunately their Fire TV / Android TV app needs some work. Very generic and also doesn’t provide a working kill switch.

  7. It’s nice having killswitch on surfshark but really not needed as I’ve been using it for over two years and not once has it disconnected unexpectedly. Best VPN out there and I’ve tried them all.

  8. IPVanish VPN Status Indicator doesn’t work on older devices. I think it only works on FireOS 7 and up.

  9. I’m surprised ipvanish is still on your list. I wouldn’t say that it fits into a top 3 ranking. ExpressVPN is the best VPN out there, yeah it’s a bit more expensive but it always works.

  10. My download speed with Surfshark doubled after switching from IPvanish. Thanks for the recommendation Troy!

  11. I’ve been with Express for a long time and got their router because I have more than five gadgets I want to protect. It works well but I wish it covered more distance. A tip for any of you who might buy one of these is to put it in the center of your home if possible so all devices can get good signal.

  12. My kids love ad blocking in Surfshark on their phones because they play a lot of games and it blocks the ads. Glad we can use Surfshark on unlimited devices.

  13. I’ve been using Surfshark since Troy started recommending it last year. Something he doesn’t mention in this article is how much better Surfshark is with captchas. Every time I used ipvanish on my computer I was prompted to input captchas when trying to search in Google but I never get that with Surfshark. Extremely happy with Surfshark and glad I switched.

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