Our Review Process
There's a dirty little secret in the world of online reviews (particularly VPN reviews). And that secret is that a lot of the time, the person writing the review has not even used the product/service. They're just rehashing stuff they find online. They do this not because they want to offer a great review but because they want to make money with their website.
Not at vpnsrus.com
We are nerds, and we have a thorough multi-step review process that we follow for all VPN services on the site.
We do not accept any payment or influence for what is written on this site. Everything that makes it to the site is an honest assessment based on our experiences with the VPN.
And here's how we arrive at that assessment:
It starts with our laptop…
We went out and purchased a laptop for the sole purpose of doing these reviews.
We wanted to get a machine that wasn't too over the top and would be comparable specs wise to most of our readers machines.
So we opted for a refurbished HP Probook 430. The specs aren't out of this world by any stretch. It's packing a Core i7-4510U processor, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD and running Windows 10.
Here she is in all her glory, ready to be set up and put to work:
This laptop is used for nothing else other than testing VPN software.
The poor thing will never know the gentle caress of Spotify or the pain and hurt of iTunes being installed on that SSD drive.
Instead, all she knows is VPN software – and lots of it.
We've installed, signed up for and tested a lot of VPNs…
Yep, just check out that desktop.
We've crunched the numbers on all of the biggest name VPN services in the industry:
For a review to end up on our site we have to have used it ourselves on this machine.
Keeping things standard…
So we use the same machine every time we test a VPN.
We also like to keep as many other variables the same, to ensure the tests are as fair a comparison as possible.
This means the internet connection is always the same.
We're on a 50 megabit down 20 megabit up connection and we connect to it via WiFi.
Here's what that looks like on a speed test at 11:30am on a Tuesday:
Ookla Speed Test
Google Speed Test
So that right there is our benchmark for download and upload speeds.
Whenever we test a VPN service, the speeds achieved will be compared against those benchmarks.
And to make it as fair as possible, we test our VPN service during a window of 9am to midday on Monday to Friday. That way, any ISP congestion or peak traffic periods will not unfairly impact on the results.
Every VPN we assess is put through the following process…
In order to fairly review these VPNs, they need to be put through the same process each time.
Now, at the end of the day, picking the best, or the second best or the worst VPN is essentially a subjective thing. We rank them based on our experience based assessment after following the process below – but it is just that, subjective. The VPN we pick as the best for a particular service, another reviewer may have as second best.
However, what we can guarantee is that all VPNs follow this thorough process, and any of the top 2 or 3 VPNs we recommend for a particular use will be thoroughly capable.
Here's the process:
- Identify the VPN we would like to test
- Read their website and all sales material + promises made
- Check their logging policy and which jurisdiction they are based in.
- Buy the VPN subscription.
- Install the VPN app on our Windows 10 testing laptop
- Run multiple speed tests using Ookla & Google
- Check if they unblock/work with Netflix.
- Check if they allow torrenting and P2P.
- Check for DNS, IP and WebRTC leaks
- Test VPN app’s usability and user-friendliness.
- Test their customer support.
- Check compatibility with devices, routers, browsers etc
- List out the main their main security and privacy features.
- Rank the service accordingly.