How We Score

While objectivity in our reviews and comparisons is relatively easy to maintain, eliminating subjectivity from our ratings requires additional effort, as no human-generated assessment is completely free from bias. Early on in our work, we identified the need to define a set of objective criteria that would fit the dissimilar offers of VPN services and allow us to base our ratings on facts rather than personal opinion.

The scoring criteria we apply when assessing the quality of each VPN service featured on our website include anonymity, reliability, performance, features, support, and value for money.

The criteria of anonymity, reliability, support, and performance are non-relative in that they let us assign accurate scores without comparing the VPN we currently review with its competitors.

Anonymity scores are primarily based on the jurisdiction in which the VPN provider is located, the privacy policy, the amount of personal information users are required to provide, the availability of anonymous payment methods, and the absence of leaks.

Reliability and performance scores are determined in accordance with the VPN provider’s reputation, average speeds, frequency of disconnections, presence of bugs and glitches, and general smoothness of performance that defines the quality of user experience.

Support scores are determined via customer support testing. We explore the range of ways you can get in touch with the support staff, including phone, contact form, email, and live chat. We assess the staff’s responsiveness and friendliness and determine whether you can rely on customer support to promptly provide useful, concrete, and knowledgeable answers to your questions.

The criteria of features and value for money are relative. We assign scores through comparison among VPN services that cater to the same user profile. That way, we avoid excessive harshness in scoring, such as giving low scores on the feature criterion to VPN services that are designed with beginners in mind or on the value for money criterion to VPN services that are pricier than others because they offer unparalleled service quality.

When assigning the final scores, we first calculate the mean of scores on all 6 criteria. Then, we once again compare the total scores of all VPN services in one category in order to determine whether there is any need to further adjust the scores based on how a service’s overall quality compares to that of its competition.

The end result of our efforts are scores that are fair, precise, and most importantly, free from manipulation and bias.

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