Virtual Private Networks

Reviewing the VPN Reviewers

Which VPN service providers are worthy of your time and which should you avoid like The Plague?

There are so many VPN providers these days (over 300), and so many "reviewers," it has become difficult for most consumers to identify who is offering truly independent advice and who is promoting a particular vendor for the mutual benefit of the website "review" owner and the VPN provider. Sometimes, they are one and the same.

The purpose of the table below is to inform the reader about who does the best (and worst) job of providing VPN service provider reviews. It is a review of reviewers, if you will. Which sites are a shill and which ones are truly informative?

Full Disclosure: The opinions expressed on this page are mine and mine alone. I have received no compensation from any organization, entity, or person in preparing this information. It is born of my own research. I receive no benefits, praise, income, penalties, etc. from any source for my work, regardless of my perspective and commentary on any of these companies.

Many so-called "review" sites are bogus, thinly disguised marketing sites for the VPN providers and/or their affiliate marketers. Though there are a few truly good sources of information, the average consumer doesn't know which is which, nor how to tell the difference. My goal is to make that task easier.

The chart below is a high-level representation of my analysis. Which VPN Reviewers are worthy of your time? Which should you avoid like The Plague?!

The organizations I have reviewed are comprised of individuals and small corporations that publish reviews of VPN providers and provide advice to the public. This chart is a summary of my collective review of these reviewers. To learn about my methodology, see Reviewer Table Methodology. To learn about my reviewer grading system, see the reviewer Grading System. To understand what the abbreviations in the chart mean, see the Table Legend.

*** Reviewer table is updated periodically ***

Reviewing the Reviewers: Analysis of VPN Provider Reviewers
Site Scores Marketing Reviews Policy Analysis Speed Tests Stress Tests
Grd Raw Aff
$$$ $
Num Cmp Feat
HQ Use T&C Sup Log Pay
Spd No
IP DNS Geo ET? F -9 Yes Yes Yes Yes No 5 No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
BestVPN.org1 C 9 Yes Yes Yes Yes No 37 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No D 1 No No No Yes No 24 No No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
Comparitech D 3 Yes Yes Yes Yes No 34 Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No No
PC Magazine2 C 7 Yes Yes No Yes No 31 Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Pro Privacy B 10 Yes Yes No Yes No 131 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Restore Privacy A 16 No No No Yes Yes 36 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ThatOnePrivacySite A 14 No No No Yes Yes 78 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes
TheBestVPN B 12 Yes No No Yes Yes 10 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TheBestVPNdeals3 F -5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 185 No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Tom's Guide D 1 Yes No Yes Yes Yes 10 Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No No
Top10vpn4 C 8 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 11 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No F -5 Yes Yes Yes Yes No 47 No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
VPN Crew D 1 Yes No Yes Yes No 10 No Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes No No No No
VPN Mentor D 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes No 357 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No
VPNpro5 C 7 Yes No No Yes No 210 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Table Endnotes

1 Some test data is suspicious; example: Ping w/VPN lower than w/out VPN (impossible). Could be inconsistent test environment.

2 Number of reviews conducted determined indirectly. No mention on the site of exactly how many reviews are available.

3 Complete B.S. website; pretends to suggest use cases but takes you to identical content for each use case.

4 "Comparison" is very limited and misleading; only speed tests 11 providers. Only largest, best known providers are covered.

5 A few of their reviews indicate IP/DNS leak info, but I could not find any evidence they perform these tests.

VPNs are complex encrypted containers that have become the subject of intense international scrutiny, and this fact coupled with increased consumer interest has contributed to a perfect storm of fakes, forgery, and lies that run the risk of exposing the very information you wish to protect. Don't choose a VPN provider willy-nilly. Put some effort into it. Make a choice with conviction! Don't allow someone else the opportunity to dissuade you because you were uninformed. Inform yourself and learn!

Reviewer Table Methodology

The table above represents a scoring system of the VPN Review websites. To compile this list and its associated scores, I examined the reviews of VPN providers found at the sites indicated in the table above (under the "site" column). For each reviewer, I awarded a score based on a selection of criteria that you see in the table (abbreviations are explained below). Each scoring factor resulted in an adjustment to the total score for a given reviewer site of +1, 0, or -1 point. The maximum possible score for any given site is +17. The lowest possible score is -11. The benchmark score is 0.

The benchmark score is the minimum viable score. Any value below the benchmark indicates the review site is completely useless, as it contains nothing of value that you could not determine on your own by simply visiting the website of the reviewed VPN provider to begin with. In short, a VPN Provider reviewer with an "F" or failing grade serves no purpose. Any such reviewer should reconsider the purpose of their review site and adjust as necessary to add value for consumers.

I recommend you avoid any sites with a grade of "D" or "F." You should focus your primary attention on sites graded "A" or "B" and follow-up with sites rated "C" if you cannot find the information you are seeking (e.g. a review of a particular VPN) on the A or B graded sites. Only visit "D" rated sites if you absolutely must and the information you seek has been found nowhere else (and you should presume you won't find it on the D-rated sites either, but you might).

Table Legend for Review of VPN Provider Reviewers Table

Following is a list of all terms in the Review of the Reviewers table above, including a brief explanation and scoring criteria for each item.

Reviewing the Reviewers Table Legend
Grd Letter grade (rank) Ranking based on raw score; A rank = best A to F
Raw Raw Score Raw score based on point system described below -11 to +17
Aff Mkt Affiliate Marketing Is the "reviewer" an affiliate for any VPN providers? -1 yes / +1 no
Pop Ads Pop-up Advertising Does the reviewer site have pop-up ads for VPN providers? -1 yes / 0 no
Prv Lng Provider Language Is the provider's own language used in the review? -1 yes / 0 no
$$$ Provider price plans Are cost plans discussed? +1 yes / -1 no
$ Opt Payment Options Are payment options discussed? +1 yes / -1 no
Num Number of reviews Total number of reviews performed by reviewer -
Cmp Detailed reviews? Are reviews comprehensive and detailed? +1 yes / -1 no
Feat List Features Listed? Are the primary features discussed? +1 yes / -1 no
HQ HeadQuarters Do reviews mention headquarters jurisdiction? +1 yes / -1 no
Use Use Cases Are use cases discussed? +1 yes / -1 no
Policy Testing
T&C Terms & Conditions Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy evaluated? +1 yes / 0 no
Sup Support Did reviewer test provider's support system? +1 yes / 0 no
Log Connection Logs Were provider's logging practices scrutinized? +1 yes / 0 no
Pay Proc Payment Processor Did reviewer investigate how payments are processed? +1 yes / 0 no
Speed Tests
Speed Speed Testing Were any speed tests performed? +1 yes / -1 no
No VPN Speed test w/out VPN Baseline speed test performed before VPN tested? +1 yes / -1 no
Stress Tests
Hide IP visibility Does provider hide user IP address successfully? +1 yes / 0 no
DNS DNS Leak Did reviewer test for DNS leaks? +1 yes / 0 no
Geo Geo Fencing Geo-fencing tested (e.g. Netflix blocks)? +1 yes / 0 no
ET? Extra Tests Any extra (other) technical challenges performed? +1 yes / 0 no

Grading System

The Raw Score is calculated by adding up all the points for each website, per the table legend and point system described above. The grades are assigned based on the raw point score, as indicated below. An "A" grade is the highest (most favorable) possible grade awarded, while an "F" indicates the lowest possible score (a failing grade). Review sites with an "F" are void of useful content and should be avoided.

Maximum Score +17 points
Grade Range
A 14+ points
B 10-13 points
C 6-9 points
D 0-5 points
F <0 points
Minimum Score -11 points

Defining the Baseline Standard (Floor)

A baseline is a minimum standard; a floor per se. The point system above is variable, and it helps to ensure reviewers are not assigned a failing grade due to any particular characteristic. Yet it also ensures some modicum of useful information is present, within the context of VPN reviews. Reviewer websites receiving a failing grade typically fail becauase they exhibit most, if not all, of the following conditions:

  • Evidence of affiliate marketing
  • Pop-up ads
  • Cost plans not explained
  • Review is non-comprehensive and lacks details
  • No feature list is included
  • No use case analyses
  • No speed tests
  • Other technical details are absent

The baseline ensures a minimal amount of useful information is present. If a reviewer website falls below the baseline, it receives a grade of F (failing), indicating the information provided on the website falls below this standard, is devoid of useful content, and should be avoided. It's not an exact standard, but I believe I've designed the point system in a manner which eloquently captures most poor reviewers that are so bad, I consider their reports worthless. A reviewer site right at the floor (i.e. 0 points) receives a "D" grade, meaning the site is hardly worth any attention, but is not an outright failure.

VPN Reviewer Analysis

Comments on specific VPN review websites in the chart above. [Avoid]

Site link:

Obvious marketing shill site. It's difficult to find a more blatant example of a site built on pre-existing content and links versus actual content. This website simply aggregates the VPN service providers' own marketing material and regurgitates it. Avoid like the plague. [Neutral]

Site link:

Looks like a hobbyist's site, and I suspect that is what it is. Possibly a run-of-the-mill affiliate marketing site disguised to look like a hobbyist site. I don't think the latter is as likely because the author has written 37 VPN reviews as of my examination (September 2019). [Avoid]

Site link: is a bit odd when it comes to VPN review websites. How? They are the only site I'm aware of that publishes user-submitted reviews! They have "guidelines" for these users and note it's the purview of the website owner(s) to accept a review and publish it or not, but I find the practice and the way they go about it to be odd. The primary concern is there's no way for them to verify whether a user's self-reported review is someone who has legitimately used the service or not. Secondly, there's no way to validate whatever methodology the reviewer used; and even if there were, it's unrealistic to expect consistency between different third-party reviewers. In other words, consistency of testing methodology goes out the window, and that is one of the most important factors of any set of reviews. You'll find the details here under Speed Test Methodology.

What exactly do they mean by "user review?" Is that really a review per se? Does a "review" in their article comment sections count as a user review? I don't see any explanation anywhere for what constitutes a user review in their opinion; nor how to submit one. Via the Contact Us form? Via posting a comment? No idea. No info. Just ambiguity.

The single positive comment I have about is their speed test data and explanation is better than average. First, they provide data from a single source location to multiple servers. Second, they report download speed, upload speed, and ping. And they provide the VPN protocol/server type (e.g. OpenVPN) used in each test. They provide the source-side test application, such as curl or the Chrome web browser, and the operating system. They mention the ISP used. They provide the reported speed via and report on their experience with real file downloads/uploads. And last but not least, they make a point of explaining the fact VPN connections are notoriously fickle due to factors that have nothing to do with the VPN server itself (e.g. how many hops you happen to be to each server, how congested the route of your traffic is, your ISP's network, etc.). So, I give them kudos for doing all these things well when it comes to their speed tests they conduct. Unfortunately, it's not enough to tip the scales to a favorable review of this provider. Overall, it fails to be useful and is often ambiguous in so many other ways. Avoid.

Comparitech [Neutral]

Site link:

Comparitech is an interesting site that publishes tests and reviews on some of my favorite subjects: IT Security topics (primarily anti-virus, VPNs, but a host of other security tool categories as well), audio/video streaming, and data storage. At first glance, it's easy to pass Comparitech off as a brochure site or one of the many affiliate marketing scams for VPNs, but that's not the case. For example, their VPN download tests time downloads of the same file across different server locations. And the author(s) download the same file multiple times from the same server to get an idea of average speeds for burst-traffic. That's really useful because it gives the user an idea of whether or not a particular VPN provider is likely to have consistent connections or not. Most VPNs are going to have quite a bit of variability, which is influenced by a number of factors (e.g. server load, path the traffic takes, etc.), but it's nice to get objective evidence on where to set one's expectations in real-world usage.

Another plus is Comparitech's mix of large and small VPN reviews. It's very difficult to find decent reviews (if any) of the smaller or less-well-known providers, which makes this site helpful by deviating from the beaten path you find on most websites with the usual suspects in the "top 10" or what have you. On the other hand, to their detriment, Comparitech's reviews lack several important technical metrics such as independent DNS leak and IP leak tests. This makes their data less useful than some of the other reviewers.

PC Magazine [Neutral]

Site link:

I like PC Mag's VPN reviews. Seems like it deserves a B-grade, but it doesn't quite make it beyond a "C" using my grading criteria. Why?

Two issues stand out. First, their "Top 10 VPNs for... [fill-in-the-blank]" feel like a typical affiliate site where there's a list without a detailed explanation or summary and the user is being funnelled to the same set of providers regardless of which use case they're looking at. Now, that's not really the case here, but at first glance it has that appearance. Second issue is PC Mag's inconsistency in their reviews. For example, some reviews detail payment options for a particular VPN provider and some don't.

PC Magazine's reviews lack consistency. Its editors have been forthcoming about this, but for whatever reason there are knowledge gaps. I can't tell if it is related to different writers or reviewers, a lack of consistent testing practices, or the company's organizational changes in 2018 and 2019 when its parent company experienced internal restructuring. PC Magazine seems like it ought to recevie a "B" grade, but its inconsistent review formats hold it back from achieving that rank.

It's surprising partly because PC Mag is one of the more transparent reviewers when it comes to their testing methodology, and I give them kudos for this. Here are some select comments derived from their testing methodology explanation.

"We also check to see if Netflix is accessible while connected to a US server on each VPN service."

"We give preference to services with robust offerings in Africa and South America, two areas generally underserved by VPN companies."

That's nice, but I would bet the majority of their readers don't care about the latter in particular. I question whether some of their VPN ranking practices - which seem important to the editors - are truly adding value to their target audience. A number of them come across to me as "nice to have" features that appear to carry more weight in their reviews than they should. While they are obviously of value to people who use those features, it seems likely this would be a minority of VPN users reading their publication. The bottom line is, I question whether or not their ranking criteria are weighted appropriately.

"...we believe it would be unethical to choose a service that would be 'best' for circumventing censorship."

What an odd statement. Why not? Are they comfortable with censorship? Why do you think many people use VPNs? Have you been living under a rock? What happened to this "Privacy" thing? Are they afraid their publication will get banned in China for example? That's just a really odd statement, especially with regards to a review about VPNs.

"When we review VPNs, we go through the setup process for each service. We also take time to poke around settings, and see how easy it is to perform certain functions."

That's good.

"...we give preference to the services that offer OpenVPN."

I don't blame them for that. I agree that is the best protocol to date. WireGuard is still unproven, though promising.

"To find the fastest VPNs, we compare median test results from Ookla with the VPN active, and then when the VPN is inactive, in order to find a percent change. The Ookla test returns results for latency, upload speeds, and download speeds, so those are the metrics we use as well. We run the Ookla tool ten times, with the VPN on and ten times with the VPN off and then take the median of these results."

That's actually their *new* testing methodology which was revamped in 2019. Interestingly, PC Magazine's parent company (j2 Global) also owns Ookla (they are both under Ziff Davis, the company's digital publishing division). I doubt there is any intentional collusion, but one has to wonder if there's possibly any behind-the-scenes influence for that reason. I find that possibility very remote (unlikely).

"We also directly ask VPN companies to explain their policies and to disclose what legal jurisdiction they operate under, how the companies make money, and the name of any parent company."

That's very good.

"In 2019, we've opted to include testing to see if VPN services leak IP address or DNS information. To confirm that the IP information is not revealed, we use the Ookla speedtest tool to see if the IP address and ISP identification information changes when the VPN is in use."

This is one of the changes to their test methods (circa 2019) which has resulted in inconsistencies across their universe of reviews (since the reviews were performed during different time periods). I give kudos to PC Magazine for making this positive change, but it would be ideal if they would revise their old reviews, updating them with these type of tests so all their reviews were at the same level. If they were to do so, it would move them into a "B" grade territory. At least their transparency is noteworthy.

An interesting - and little known - fact about PC Magazine is its parent company (j2 Global) also owns three (3) VPN providers:, IPVanish, and StrongVPN. The company acquired all of them in April 2019.

Pro Privacy [Recommended]

Site link:

Pro Privacy is an interesting site. At first glance, it looks like a typical bloggy affiliate marketing site; or in-other-words, a passive affiliate marketing scheme pretending to be a blog (ala Thankfully it clearly isn't. What differentiates Pro Privacy and makes it good?

  • Multiple writers, multiple staff members
  • They wrote their own VPN speed test tool from scratch
  • Useful, technically accurate content about all sorts of privacy issues, not just VPNs
  • 131 bonafide, real VPN reviews

It's still not quite "A" grade, but it's a good, useful site. I'd like to see them scrutinize service providers' terms & conditions and delve further into payment options and processing. Their liberal use of affiliate marketing and pop-up ads is annoying, though I understand some sites feel the need to do this in order to continue operating. Overall, this is a good site and like VPN Mentor, it also offers worthy advice on other topics besides VPNs.

Restore Privacy [Recommended]

Site link:

Love this website. As with ThatOnePrivacySite (aka T.O.P.S.), the author prefers to remain anonymous, which seems fitting. Articles are well written and informative. The author claims to have reviewed "about 130" VPNs, but only 16 reviews were posted as of this writing (September 2019). I am inclined to believe them based on the quality, depth, and breadth of content on the site, although it doesn't really matter either way for the purpose of my analysis. I count what I see. Either way, this site is an excellent all-around resource for privacy enthusiasts. Highly recommended.

ThatOnePrivacySite [Recommended]

Site link:

My biggest "ding" on this site is that I can't tell if the author performs stress testing during their reviews or not. There is some allusion to it, but it's not clear. Therefore, in the interest of equality, I presume the author does not and they are simply copying the VPN provider's statements. Probably not true (given the calibre of the site overall), but I cannot verify. I only report on what I can see (read). Otherwise, this is hands-down one of the best VPN review sites on the Internet.

TheBestVPN [Recommended]

Site link:

Not as comprehensive as ThatOnePrivacySite, but nearly as good. Superior to the T.O.P.S. site in one important area: stress test reporting. TheBestVPN performs their own stress tests, and is very clear about that fact. If T.O.P.S. does this, they are not clear about it. I'm talking about reviewers explaining their processes and being clear about what their test processes are.

One of the ironies of the VPN world is one of the better websites devoted to VPN reviews, in spite of some flack its author has received over hiding behind a pen name. Furthermore, while the author of that negative article explains why they believe the author(s) of purportedly lied about their industry credentials, the article author (Michael Kan) can't definiteively say whether that is a fact or not (and to his credit, he does present his findings appropriately). I understand Kan's points, but his comments are still speculative. What happened behind the scenes of TheBestVPN? No one knows. Does it matter. Quite frankly, no. What matters is whether the content is true and relevant.

On balance, when comparing the actual content, I find TheBestVPN to be superior to the likes of VPNmentor. Why is this relevant? VPN Mentor is widely known and confirmed to have security experts behind it. Just like Pro Privacy, VPN Mentor is an IT security content aggregation site that uses a consortium of author names. VPN Mentor is frequently recognized, praising its Public Service Announcements on IT security vulnerabilities and data hacks. However, when it comes to VPN reviews, VPN Mentor falls short. Do you see the irony here? It looks as if the "experts" are gaming the system, while the "imposter" is writing in-depth and useful commentaries about selecting a VPN service provider. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Compare the content between these sites and you will find has superior details in their reviews. And you don't find suspicious commentaries on, but you will with VPN Mentor. To wit, see my comments below on VPN Mentor. Many of VPN Mentor's reviews are informative, many of them need to be taken with a proverbial heavy dose of salt. [Avoid]

Site link:

This site is complete garbage. Completely lacking in any useful information at all. Avoid.

Tom's Hardware [Avoid]

Site link:

I like Tom's, and I wanted to like their VPN reviews. But, sadly, they suck. While they're definitely a step above the super-lame and inexcusable junk sites such as and, Tom's reviews also get an "F" grade due to their lack of thoroughness. For example, while a few reviews elude to some sort of speed testing, there are no references to speed testing benchmarks, nor could I find test results mentioned anywhere in the reviews. Stating "we did some" isn't good enough. Your readers deserve to know the details. Where is the evidence? It's not there.

Another example where Tom's falls short: In their Windscribe VPN review, they mention the provider's lack of 24/7 support, yet fail to mention whether or not they actually made contact with the provider's support system, and if so what their experience was like. What I felt like I was getting from Tom's, overall, was a half-ass attempt at explaining providers' marketing materials. Not good enough. I expect more from Tom's.

Another beef I have with Tom's is that just like VPNPro, they talk about IPv6 and DNS leak testing, yet there is no evidence or mention of them conducting any said tests. Are they simply regurgitating the provider's marketing material? It sure sounds like it. And what about IPv4 leak testing, since 99% of VPN traffic is over IPv4???

Tom's Hardware used to be a great website, but it has been steadily declining over the past decade. It appears the site continues to be in need of a course correction. I regret to inform the reader I cannot recommend it for VPN reviews. Avoid.

Top10VPN [Avoid]

Site link:

What do you call a VPN review website that provides you with their "Top 10" best VPN providers list but only tests 11 VPNs? A scam. That's what you call it.

VPNadviser [Avoid]

Site link:

VPNadviser should be banned from offering "advice" to anyone. This is a junk site that simply scrapes marketing info from VPN sites and regurgitates it with poor visual formatting. Seriously, this is one of the worst VPN "review" sites out there. Their so-called reviews are barely more than a consolidation of all the marketing speak from the given provider's website. Avoid.

VPN Crew [Avoid]

Site link:

The entire site is rather odd. There are no dates in any articles or "reviews." Nearly all the information on this site appears to have been copied and pasted from the service provider's marketing materials. There is no evidence of any real testing other than the aforementioned, useless connection timer. Overall, it's disappointing. It does look as if someone has spent a considerable amount of time putting all this together, but the end result is relatively devoid of useful information. I also can't find a complete list of all their VPN reviews, which leads me to suspect what I can see (10) is it.

Does it make sense to trust a website that looks like a aggregate blog put together by an artificial intelligence algorithm?

VPN Crew's website has the look and feel of an automated marketing blog

The author name is suspicious as well. Whatever or whoever the author is, they appear to use a pen name of Jay H. Simmons. A cursory internet search and LinkedIn search reveals no match. If you're going to make a point of using your middle initial on hundreds of blog posts, wouldn't you want people to be able to find you if they like your content?

Is VPN Crew's author a pen name?

Back to the site content (or lack of). There are the usual suspects when it comes to "recommended" providers, and this is another signal the entire site seems likely to be more of a "fire and forget" attempt at passive income generation rather than an earnest effort to inform the general public. The entire website is cluttered with marketing call-to-action words and "best" this and that references that are normally designed to elicit a sense of authoritative validation to a website or author (regardless of any true supporting evidence).

The one silver lining of this site is their section called, "Connection Time Analysis" that is present in some of their reviews. However, I'm not sure why they conducted this test and included the information. Trying to make their reviews look legit? There are many factors that contribute to how long an initial connection takes. The fact is, who cares? It's not a metric most people have any reason to be concerned about. After all, the whole point is connecting to a VPN in the first place. What is important is how the connection performs once it is established. Granted, connection negotiation times are more significant when it comes to mobile users, but that is more of a factor of re-connection since dropped connections are a common problem with mobile devices. Protocols make a substantial difference. So do many other factors, such as the underlying network (e.g. your ISP or your wireless carrier's data network). Regardless, the topic is well beyond the scope of any VPN review. Avoid.

VPN Mentor [Avoid]

Site link:

I'm really disappointed with this site. The minds behind it are some bright and well-respected folks in the IT security world, yet their VPN review site is disappointing. Actually, that is an understatement. Its VPN reviews suck. I mean, information is just plain lacking and it looks and behaves like a marketing shill site for the most part. Linux is completely ignored. For example, under their column of "Best VPNs by Category" (prominently displayed on the left navigation pane) there is no mention of Linux on any screen. The user is constantly hit with a barrage of pop-up ads, and links to "coupons", "Best VPN Deals", and the like are peppered all over the place. This site looks like a giant vacuum cleaner of affiliate marketing.

VPN Mentor's category pages are chock full of affiliate marketing ads

Another issue I have with VPN Mentor - and this is a big one in my book - is their reviews often have blatant inconsistencies. For example, in the body of their reviews they will often mention the number of countries or servers a particular provider has. Toward the bottom of most of their reviews, they have a chart that indicates various metrics, such as number of countries where servers are located and total number of servers. A portion of this issue is perhaps due to VPN Mentor's use of multiple authors (including some with obvious pen names), but that is no excuse for sloppy reporting.

It's not uncommon for the statistics in the body of VPN Mentor's reviews to fail to align with the data in their summary tables. Which one is correct? Sometimes it's a minor difference, and sometimes it is a significant error one way or the other. And it raises the question, can I trust either?

VPN Mentor's report on FastestVPN's range

At times either figure is vastly different from the provider's own data on their website. For example, while writing this article I looked up their review of FastestVPN. The provider says they have 35+ servers. VPN Mentor says they have 150. The VPN Mentor review was written approximately seven (7) weeks before I conducted this research. Did the provider lose over 75% of their servers in that time? Possibly. But, it seems more likely the VPN Mentor review is wrong. Likewise, comparing the same figures, the VPN Mentor review underreports FastestVPN's country presence by 35%. Did FastestVPN suddenly drop over 100 servers while adding locations, at the same time? Over less than two (2) months? I suspect the FastestVPN review was actually written quite some time ago, and may have been updated in some insignificant manner to make VPN Mentor's review appear relevant in the context of time, when it isn't. This is a common tactic of websites that are simply marketing shells trying to goose search engine rankings. Regardless of the cause, this is just one example where VPN Mentor misses the mark on accuracy and useful information for the reader.

Fastest VPN's website version of where it's servers are

Another bone I have-to-pick with VPN Mentor is their subtle and consistent attempts to steer readers toward particular providers by inserting innuendos into reviews of non-favored service providers. To wit, here is a screenshot of their review of (not to be confused with I have highlighted the comments I find questionable.

VPN Mentor publishes VPN reviews written by a variety of authors. Some appear to be VPN Mentor staff and others are clearly guest authors. My gripes about VPN Mentor could be a non-issue with some of these authors, however from a consumer's perspective this doesn't matter. The issues here pertain to the website as a whole.

Now, granted there is nothing wrong with comparing Provider A to Provider B, or making a point to help folks by pointing them toward a Top 10 (or whatever) list of providers. However, VPN Mentor's wording in a number of their reviews makes frequent use of vague language with no supporting facts. I'll use this particular review to illustrate.

Notice the first highlighted statement,

"... there are limitations to SecureVPN that you simply wouldn't need to endure with a premium vendor like NordVPN."

If SecureVPN is so inferior and NordVPN is so fantastic, why not throw us a bone here and explain which features you're referring to? No. Nada. There is no supporting evidence cited here. Perhaps if I click on that handy link to NordVPN, all will be revealed and I'll understand. Or perhaps this is just a way to distract me and funnel my traffic toward VPN Mentor's favored provider. I wonder why Nord is their favorite? Hmm. By suggesting the review I should be reading, this article is subtley guiding readers. Nothing to see here folks. No need to use your brain. We have the answer for you. So convenient.

After praising how great SecureVPN is and simultaneously hinting we ought to look elsewhere, just in case the reader is still er... reading... the conclusion at the bottom makes sure to drive home the fact SecureVPN is trash - after having praised it - as we see at the bottom:

"SecureVPN's packages are no match for these top-rated vendors, who offer maximum security...."

Wait a minute. You just stated SecureVPN's security was really good. I realize part of the comments are covered in the screenshot above, so let's zoom in:

"... their [SecureVPN's] connections rival their top competitors." [emphasis added]

So, is great. But, oh no, it's not. Yes, it is. No, it's not. What is this? A yo-yo review.

Last but not least, just in case I didn't get the message driven home... or perhaps in case I can't read... oh look, when I attempt to move away from the glowing-but-not-so-glowing review of, hint-hint... nudge-nudge... look over here at my superior friend NordVPN, what happens? A pop-up add for NordVPN. Wow. We see who is apparently subsidizing the electric bill at VPN Mentor. This is a great example of one of the tactics I refer to in The Great Global VPN Swindle.

Finally, notice the date of this review. It appears to be current (published less than two months before I updated this article in November 2019). This may or may not be a true review date. Another common tactic on these review sites is to make reviews appear current by either adjusting the article dates periodically or making a minor adjustment and re-publishing to reset the publishing date. I'm not stating that is the case here, but rather pointing out that with the other warning signs in this article, one has to wonder if that is going on here as well.

VPN Pro [Neutral]

Site link:

Good website overall. Lots of useful anecdotal information. Reviews are not as thorough as I'd like, and the site is chock full of ads for VPNs. Heavy focus on geo-unblocking/geo-fencing, such as whether or not you can access Netflix from another country.