Welcome to the VPN Tier List transparency report.
This page will detail how the scores are made within each section of the tier list, and it will also outline the updates made to the tier list.
Recent Tier list rating changes:
Every VPN with a 5/5 reputation score that has denied, not responded to, or otherwise disagreed with the full transparency and accountability of the RVP program, has been lowered by one point including Mullvad VPN, FrootVPN, iVPN, Perfect Privacy, and several others. Only VPNs that meet and join the RVP requirements in the future can get a perfect 5/5 score for reputation.
oVPN was updated and scored much higher in 2020 due to an updated review. App, speeds, and streaming were adjusted in this review.
WeVPN was bumped up a bit due to winning #2 in the community speed test.
Lots of drama on WeVPN’s discord today. Users and owners upset with rating adjustments (Alex). Several users and TSR community members are reporting problems with the app and are upset that their problems are not being taken seriously, and now I have been hearing more and more reports of support requests like customer refunds going unanswered. I am now lowering the support score down to 2.5/5, especially since Jayson got fired (the person who was in charge of support–and a great asset to the team).
After multiple user reports of broken functionalities with WeVPN’s app, the app score has been lowered by 1.5 to a score of 2/5. The app can still work, but Ikev2 is completely broken, and killswitches seem buggy / broken as well. This has been the 4th time this year that WeVPN has had some major bugs in live clients.
ExpressVPN’s score in the speed department has been lowered due to very bad global speed tests with Lightway. While normal speeds with OpenVPN are fine–the fact that ExpressVPN is pushing light way as the newest fastest protocol, seems bad taste to me.
Surfshark and WeVPN’s scores were both updated after filming a comparison video between the two VPN providers. Surfshark’s abysmal speeds were very noticeable, and due to the new pricing scheme they have, the price was also updated. WeVPN’s speeds were dropped a bit but largely the score is the same.
9/18/2020 Reputation Scores For Every VPN
Reputation scores were adjusted on the tier list after reviewing each application’s tracking and permission count on Android. This was done by examining the trackers of each VPN app with the Exodus analysis application. Lots of VPN’s and their reputations were changed based on the stricter adjustment for having android trackers, as seen in this video.
WeVPN’s score was buffed back to its original score, due to them fixing a huge bug that would prevent the app from connecting. This was due to a credential problem with Windows. The speed was also buffed due to my recent tests that show WeVPN is still very capable of attaining 40+ Mb/s with Wireguard during torrent tests. International speeds may still vary in some small cases.
How Each Category is Scored
*Note: each individual score can be found on the VPN Tier List comparison table, which also has notes for each cell when required.
Pricing- Pricing is one of the most important aspects of a VPN. You don’t want to pay that much every month or year. In this category, if something is around $5 a month or $30 a year, it will get 5/5 since that is pretty much the cheapest price you can get from a VPN. Not only that, but I also take into consideration things like fake exclusive pricing sales, limited-time countdown clock timers, refund policies, and payment options as well. An aggregate of these things is what makes up the pricing score. If a VPN offers promo codes, that is baked into the score if they are permanent.
Application- Each VPNs application is run through the application analysis I have made. I make sure to check if a VPN has implemented important things such as WireGuard, kill switches, and other customization/security settings. Not only that, but I also take into consideration the UI, multi-platform use, app stability, and bugs.
Speeds- I test speeds on Fast.com, and I download a ubuntu file with qBittorrent. I also take input from my VPN discord community into the scoring system. I believe my since my speed tests are run live in my videos (lots of online tests can easily be faked if not tested live) and other users in other geo-locations also help me test speeds world-wide, my speed tests present the most honest speed test system for a VPN review ever created.
Reputation- For reputation, I take into consideration a wide variety of things and make an aggregated score; like android trackers, history of security leaks, logging policy, and their c-level employee culture (if they are dicks or not).
Customer Support- Customer support is rated based on if they have live chat or how fast tickets are. Things like support knowledge as well as how much you have to “fight” for a refund is also taken into account.
Streaming- I test a VPN to make sure it works to unblock the USA version of Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Prime Video. If a VPN can do this, it gets 5/5. If not, it gets a point of 1.25 for each service that works.
Final score: 6 sections are added up, then divided by 6 to give the final score. 4-5 is tier 1, 3-4 is tier 2, 2-3 is tier 3, and 0-2 is tier 4.