12 Best VPN Services in 2023: Compared (Pros and Cons)
The best way to maximize your online security and anonymity is by using a VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) can help encrypt your internet use, increase your anonymity, and make your mobile device or laptop think that it is in a different location entirely.
A virtual private network comes in handy in many instances, whether you just want to protect your online information or you want to work remotely. With this tool, your digital life will be protected from prying eyes. However, the most common issue many people face with VPN services is choosing the right one.
There are too many virtual private network services on the market today and not all of them are created equal; this makes it difficult for many users to choose the right option. Fortunately, we are here to help you make the right choice. In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best VPN services on the market. We compiled this list after rigorous testing and some expert recommendations. Without further ado, here is a list of the best VPN services on the market today.
Here Are the Best VPN Services
1. ExpressVPN– Overall Best VPN Service
At the top of our list, we have ExpressVPN. If you are looking for the best virtual private network with impressive performance, this is one of the best options to consider. It is undoubtedly one of the best VPN services on the market, if not the best.
This VPN made it to the top of our list because of its great features, functionalities, and performance. The tool offers great speed while helping to keep your online information private. It is a cross-platform VPN service, as it works on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
To begin with, this tool gives you access to more than 3,000 servers in 160 different locations in 94 countries. The vast number of servers means you will enjoy super-fast connections when surfing the web privately. It also allows for five simultaneous connections, which is more than what most subscribers need.
In addition to being available on different operating systems and platforms, this VPN also has a dedicated extension for Firefox and Google Chrome. Thanks to its versatility, you can also use it on Roku, smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, routers, PlayStation, and Xbox. This VPN service uses industry-standard encryption and several other top protocols to ensure you surf the web securely.
One of the most fascinating things about this VPN service is that it has started rolling out its Lightway protocol, and it is designed to enhance reliability and speed. While testing this tool, we were impressed with how fast it was. It boasts of impressive connection speed with servers from different countries. Activating the Lightway option would even make it much faster.
The simplicity of the tool is one of its major selling points. It is very easy to use, and you do not need to be tech-savvy to use it. The tool has an intuitive user interface, and you can connect to any server you want with just a few clicks. The ease of use is the same across all the platforms you can use this tool. The tool is great for both beginners and professionals.
With the geographical-restriction unblocking feature of this tool, you can unblock any ban services or sites. With ExpressVPN, there is no stopping you from watching your favorite movies on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and more. It unblocks all these services and sites with ease. Other fascinating features of this tool include DNS leak protection, Kill switch, no-logging policy, P2P support, and Bitcoin (BTC) payments.
If you have any issues with the tool, you can easily reach out to the customer support team. The customer support of this service is impressive, reliable, and available 24/7 to provide you with the help you need.
- More than 3,000 servers in 160 locations and 94 different countries
- Live, 24/7 customer support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Secure access across the globe
- Available on Windows, Mach, Android, iOS, and Linux
- $12.95 per month
- $9.99 per month when you pay for six months
- $6.67 per month when you pay for 12 months.
- Super-fast connections
- A wide range of servers to choose from
- Very easy to use
- Available for almost any platform
- Excellent customer support
- A few simultaneous connections
- No extension for internet explorer
Next up, we have NordVPN, and it is one of the most reliable VPN services out there. This tool boasts of impressive performance, and it is the number one VPN service for millions of users across the globe. More than 8 million people are using this tool all over the world, making it a highly popular virtual private network.
In addition to being very popular, it delivers great results when it comes to keeping your information private and secure. The speed of the tool is great, as you can use it to stream videos on Netflix and other video services without any issues. It also boasts of great download speeds, as you can pull out large files from torrent sites without slowdowns.
One of the most interesting things about this company is that no one can force it to give out data and other vital information about its users because it is based in Panama, which is not a member of 14 Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Five Eyes. Hence, if you are more concerned about your privacy and data security when surfing the web, this is one of the best tools to use.
If you want to watch Netflix from a different location, you can rely on this tool. The movies and shows available to you on Netflix are based on the location from which you are watching. With this tool, you can watch Netflix on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The tool is also available for smart TVs, iOS, and Android devices.
This tool allows you to connect to up to 5,000 servers in about 60 different countries. Other notable features of this tool include proxy extensions for Firefox and Google Chrome browsers, kill switches, DNS leak protection, and different payment options such as credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. NordVPN also provides its users with series of useful articles on how to use the tool. It also has 24/7 customer support to attend to your needs if you have any issues.
NordVPN recently launched its custom NordLynx protocol, and it helps to make the connection speed much faster and reliable. The downside with this VPN service is that the destination countries are not arranged in an alphabetical order, which makes it a bit difficult to search.
- Fastest VPN and secure internet
- Strick no-logs policy
- Uninterrupted streaming
- Privacy on the go
- Obfuscated servers
- Multiple devices
- Multi-factor authentication
- Protect your data non-stop
- Split tunneling support
- Dedicated IP
- Mask your IP
- Double protection
- Onion over VPN
- Browser extensions
- Block ads and malware
- No data leaks and global access
- $11.95 per month
- $4.92 per month when you pay annually
- $3.67 per month when you pay for two years
- Netflix access
- Global access
- Easy and safe to use
- High-level privacy
- Strict no-logs policy
- Unsorted destination cities
- Static IP addresses
IPVanish is one of the best VPN services out there. If you are looking for a versatile VPN service that you can use on different devices and platforms, this is one of the best options to consider. It is one of the most rated virtual private networks on the market, thanks to its great performance and industry-standard protection.
You can use this tool on different platforms including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can also use it on smart TVs, Fire TV, Chrome, stream services, and more. It has great download speeds, top-quality encryption systems, and split tunneling, which all come in handy especially for remote workers.
The customer support of this VPN service is one of its major selling points. The team is available 24 hours, 7 days a week and you can reach them via live chat, phone, and email. A kill switch is an important aspect of a virtual private network, as it comes in handy in many cases. You can turn the kill switch off and on whenever you want.
The mobile app of this VPN service is super friendly for both Android and iOS. It connects very quickly and it has a simple user interface. The rating of the iOS app is 4.5 out of 5 from more than 45,000 reviews. Another notable thing about this tool is that it has a friendly pricing system. The pricing even gets better when you pay annually.
It has over 1,700 servers in more than 75 different locations across the globe. With this tool, there are no speed limits, as it allows you to download and browse with super-fast connections. There are also no VPN caps, which makes it easy to secure all your devices. This tool has got you covered, whether you need safe file access or a Wi-Fi hotspot shield.
It has anonymous IP addresses that protect your data from prying eyes on the internet. The tool offers powerful internet privacy, and it guards your location data, Wi-Fi connection, and keeps all your online activities private. The drawback of this service is that unblocking Amazon Prime Video with it is a bit difficult. In general, the simultaneous connections of the tool are great, and it provides maximum security and protection.
- Safe access to censored sites and applications
- Servers in more than 75 locations across the globe
- 24/7 email, phone, and live chat support
- No VPN caps
- User-friendly mobile and desktop apps
- Advanced encryption standards
- No speed limits – download and brose with super-fast speeds and connections
- Easy online safety
- Powerful internet privacy
- Online anonymity
- Unmetered connections
- Split tunneling
- IPv6 and DNS leak protection
- Kill switch
- $10.99 per month
- $3.75 per month when you pay for an entire year.
- Configurable, powerful applications
- Reliable security features
- Fast download speeds and connections
- Allows for up to 10 connections at a time
- Not the best for video streaming services
- A bit slow on Windows
If you are looking for the best VPN service that will not leave a hole in your pocket, then you should consider Surfshark VPN. This VPN service has a lot to offer, but its price is one of its major selling points. The monthly plan costs only $2.49 when you pay for two years. Despite its affordability, the tools come with many useful and helpful features.
To start with, it does not restrict the number of devices you can connect at a time. It allows for unlimited connections, which is great for people with multiple devices. This means you can run your entire home through it without any limitation. Some of the top brands in the world trust it, as it delivers impressive performance. This tool has more than 3,200 servers in 65 different locations worldwide.
The network of this VPN service is a bit smaller than some other options out there. However, what this service tends to lack in network, it made up in speed and features. The speed of the tool is impressive, and you will not experience any lagging or crawling internet when surfing the web.
Other great features of this tool that come in handy almost every day are ad blocking, antimalware, and tracker-blocking. These features will ensure you have a super-smooth experience while surfing the web. This VPN tool has a wide range of support, as you can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers, and Fire TV. It also has extensions for Firefox and Chrome, which deliver exceptional performance. It also allows you to configure devices like game consoles through DNS settings.
This tool also gives you the option to whitelist sites and applications to bypass the VPN automatically. Again, this feature will come in handy for many users. This VPN service also has three different modes – Camouflage, Multihop, and NoBorders mode to provide you with different levels of restrictions when surfing the internet.
With the NoBorders Mode, you can use Surfshark successfully in restrictive regions. The Camouflage mode covers your virtual private network activities to make it impossible for your ISP to know that you are using a virtual private network. The Multihop mode helps to jump your connection via several countries to hide your trail. However, you need to be careful to make sure doing any of the aforementioned things is not illegal in your country.
- More than 3,200 servers
- 65 locations worldwide
- 30 Netflix libraries
- Strict no-logs policy
- Industry-leading encryption
- Kill switch
- Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- Available on all platforms
- $12.95 per month
- $6.49 per month when billed for six months
- $2.49 per month when billed for 24 months
- A wide range of servers
- Super-fast speeds and connections
- Available on all platforms
- A bit pricey when you pay for only one month.
Next on the line, we have the ProtonVPN. This Switzerland-based VPN service comes with many powerful features that you can use to protect your online data and privacy. Accessible across the globe, this virtual private network has more than 1,300 servers in 55 different countries over the world. When we compared the speed of this tool, we only experienced a 9.6 percent speed loss, which is highly impressive.
It is very fast, and you cannot tell the difference between when you are using a VPN and when you are not. The VPN tool is faster than most VPN services out there, which is why it is the favorite tool of many people. What is more impressive is that this tool has such impressive speeds even with its small number of servers.
This tool is also worth the price, thanks to the transparency legacy and high-security standards of the company. We like the transparency policy of this tool, and it is 100% open source. The high performance of this tool also extends to its mobile application. The Android and iOS apps of this tool offer great performance, security, and privacy, as they were not designed with weaker protocols such as L2TP and PPTP.
This virtual private network service does not come cheap, but it offers great value for money. It is a bit pricey but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. When it comes to simultaneous connections, you can connect it with up to 10 devices at a time. The cool thing about this tool is that it has a free plan, which offers some basic but useful features.
The tool does not have speed limits or data caps; you can use it to download and surf the web however you want. It has a no-logging policy, which means your online activities will not be logged. ProtonVPN is also a security company that provides meticulous network defense. All the Secure Core servers of this company operate on their own dedicated network. The data center in Switzerland is also situated in a former military bunker.
With this tool, you no longer have to compromise your privacy and security when streaming online. It allows you to access your favorite content and sites regardless of where you are in the world. It also offers IP protection and Wi-Fi protection. Other outstanding features of this tool include forward secrecy, ad blocker, full disk encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch and always-on VPN, Tor over VPN, and more.
- Strict no-logs policy
- High-speed connection
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- All applications are open source and audited
- Secure Core
- Strong encryption and forward secrecy
- Strong protocols
- Full disk encryption
- DNS leak protection
- Kill switch and always-on VPN
- Tor over VPN
- Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously
- Unlimited bandwidth and P2P support
- Multi-platform support
- Quick country selector
- Free Plan: It has a free plan that costs $0 per month. The offerings of the free plan include one VPN connection, 23 servers in three countries, a strict no-log policy, medium speed, and access to blocked content.
- Basic Plan: The basic plan costs $4 per month, charging $48 yearly. It comes with the offerings of the Free plan including 2 VPN connections, over 350 servers in 40 different countries, an ad blocker, high speed, P2P/BitTorrent support.
- Plus Plan: This plan costs $8 per month and charges $96 per year. It comes with the offerings of the Basic plan including 10 VPN connections, over 1,200 servers in 55 countries, Secure Core VPN, streaming service support, highest speed (up to 10 Gbps), Tor over VPN.
- Visionary: The Visionary plan costs $24 per month and it comes with all the features the tool has to offer.
- Free plan with useful features
- Super-fast speeds and connections
- Safe and reliable
- User-friendly, intuitive interface (both desktop and mobile versions)
- A bit pricey
If you are looking for the best VPN service for top speeds, then one of the best options you have is Hotspot Shield. This is a top-level VPN tool that comes with many impressive features. To start with, this tool has a limited free version, which is something you will not find in many VPN services. Another fascinating thing about this tool is that it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee, and this would give you more than enough confidence when purchasing the tool.
When it comes to performance, you can rely on Hotspot Shield. It has more than 3,200 servers in more than 130 different locations. The different server locations of the tool are in more than 80 different countries. Hotspot Shield is very popular for its free VPN. However, the paid version of this tool is incredible, and it would provide you with everything you would need in a VPN service.
It is super-fast, and you will not experience any sluggishness or downtime when using it. This tool uses military-grade encryption to protect your data and privacy while surfing the web. It provides smooth and easy access to streaming services and websites all over the world. The app is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also has a dedicated Chrome extension and you can also use it on smart TVs.
The tool is very easy to use; all you have to do is to download and install it on your phone, computer, or TV, connect and select the location you want to use. With one account, you can link up to five different devices. This is not up to what other top platforms offer, but it still comes in handy, especially for those with limited devices to connect.
While keeping your online activities private, this tool does not record your VPN browsing activity. Hotspot Shield prides itself in providing you with privacy that you can trust. Premium members are also entitled to 24/7 customer support if they have any issues or questions. Their response rate is very fast, and you can reach them via live chat.
We highly recommend this tool for those that are after very fast streaming. It works with almost all streaming services and platforms. You can also use it to download files from torrents quickly and safely. You can get started with the free plan and upgrade to the paid plans to enjoy the full offerings of this tool.
- More than 3,200 servers
- Over 130 server locations in more than 80 countries
- Five simultaneous connections
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 live chat support
- Limited free plan
- Military-grade encryption
- Global access
- Free plan
- $9.99 per month
- $7.99 per month when you pay for a year
- $2.49 per month when you pay for two years.
- Very fast
- Great for streaming
- A free plan with great features
- Privacy you can trust
- Lacks manual setup on routers
- Limited simultaneous connections
Our list of the best VPN services would not be complete without Private Internet Access. After rigorous testing, we found this VPN service to be one of the best on the market today. We were highly impressed with the performance of this tool when testing it. Private Internet Access is the favorite VPN service of many across the globe because of its performance, pricing, ease of use, and versatility.
One of the most outstanding features of this tool is that it has more than 32,000 servers from which to choose. You will hardly find this huge number of servers on other VPN services. It is the largest selection of servers on our list. This means you have a wide range of options to work with, and you will not experience slow connections.
More than 17,000 of those servers are currently in the United States, which means you will not have any issues with connection speeds regardless of where you are in the US. The desktop app of this tool is very easy to set up, and it provides top-notch performance and enhanced privacy.
The tool comes with an Automation Rule for safely changing networks when reconnecting. It also boasts of tighter encryption, ensuring your privacy and safety are intact. The 32,000 servers of this VPN service as spread across 101 locations in 78 countries.
You can use the tool on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. If you have many devices to connect at the same time, this tool has got you covered, as it allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections. Private Internet Access offers a perfect blend of security protocols and privacy features.
It also has an extension for the Google Chrome browser, and it comes with the option of blocking third-party cookies, location access, site referrers, and more. The apps of this tool are also very easy to use – both iOS and Android. From the app reviews on Google Play Store and App Store, the majority of users are impressed and satisfied with the performance of the app.
Private Internet Access is not the fastest VPN service. However, it is also not among the slowest and its speed is optimal for everyday use. This makes it less ideal for those who love gaming online or streaming. If you download very large files off the internet or you hate seeing buffering while streaming, then you should consider any of the options above.
However, this does not mean that you cannot use it for streaming. Some of the streaming sites you can use with this tool include Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube.
- Available on Window, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android
- More than 35,000 servers in over 100 locations in 78 countries
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Ad and malware blocking
- Dedicated IP
- WireGuard protocol
- Command-line interface
- Advanced encryption settings
- Anonymous payment methods
- Split tunneling
- Kill switch
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No logs
- $9.95 per month
- $3.33 per month when you pay yearly
- $2.19 per month when you pay for three years
- Allows for up to 10 devices at a time
- Available on all platforms
- An enormous number of servers
- Feature-rich applications
- WireGuard speed is not consistent
CyberGhost also made it to our list because of its strong security and enormous server coverage. This tool comes highly recommended because it does a great job of keeping your data safe while providing you with a private passage to the web. If you are looking for a secure, easy-to-use, and reliable VPN, then you should consider this option.
The pricing model of this tool is great, and it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee. It has a transparent pricing system, as there are no hidden charges or additional fees. The speed performance of the VPN is also great, as it has more than 7,300 servers in 91 countries.
The headquarters of this company is in Romania, and the tool comes with many useful features. It has zero logging and solid encryption to provide you with maximum security ever. It also comes with a kill switch, which comes in handy in many situations. The mobile applications are leak-proof, and they are both secure and stable.
With just one click, you can set up the entire tool. With the quick connect feature, this tool will connect to the fastest server automatically. Navigating through the app is also easy, even the advanced settings are easy to use. It also allows for easy customization of your connection features and setting up smart rules.
CyberGhost has a very wide coverage, with a presence in Australia, United Kingdom, United States, and more. The speed in these countries is extremely fast and reliable. One of the most notable things about this tool is that it has dedicated servers for streaming. This tool can unblock BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Facebook, Crunchyroll, and more.
The speed of this tool is enough to stream videos without buffering. Whenever you have any challenge, you can rely on the customer support of this company. Their response rate is impressive, and they are knowledgeable enough to answer almost any question you ask them.
One of the downsides of this tool is that it does not work in China. It has not been able to bypass the Firewall of China yet. Besides that, this tool does a great job of protecting your digital information and providing you with fast and reliable connections and speeds. It is available on all platforms, and you can use it on Fire TV, games, and smart TVs.
You can try this tool free of charge for 24 hours before paying for it. You do not even have to worry about the safety of your data due to intrusions from companies, network administrators, governments, and interest service providers, as they operate with a strict no-logs policy. This means they do not keep track of your activity when using the VPN.
- More than 7,300 servers in over 91 countries
- Quick connect and blazing fast servers
- Buffer-free streaming
- Smart Rules
- Strict no-logs policy
- Powerful protection
- 24/7 live support
- DNS and IP leak protection
- Unlimited traffic and bandwidth
- Automatic kill switch
- Up to 7 simultaneous connections
- OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2 protocols
- $12.99 per month with a 14-day money-back guarantee
- $4.8 per month for six months with a 45-day money-back guarantee
- $1.99 per month for one year with a 45-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 45 days money-back guarantee
- Available on all platforms including routers
- Works with several streaming services
- Strict no-logs policy
- Only cheaper when you pay for six months or a year
- Not available in China
Private VPN is another reliable VPN service that helps to keep your online activities and information private and secure. It is not among the most popular VPN services, but it delivers exceptional performance.
This company manages a solid network of more than 100 self-owned servers in over 60 countries. It has very few servers, but that does not reduce its speed or accessibility. You can use this tool to access content from anywhere in the world. It works perfectly in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Italy.
The tool does not have a dedicated torrenting profile, but it allows for P2P traffic on all servers. PrivateVPN also unlocks many streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Fox Go, and Sling TV. When it comes to speed performance, this tool works best when connected to servers nearby.
However, even when you are far away from the servers, you will still enjoy fast connections and high-speed HD streaming and browsing. This company is based in Sweden, and it has put several measures in place to ensure the security and privacy of its users. PrivateVPN is subject to the jurisdiction of 14 Eyes. However, your information is safe with the company, as it does not log any of your data. It has a strict no-log policy, which means that it does not track and keep a record of your activities when using the tool.
The apps of this tool are easy to use and simple. They also feature AES-256 encryption with support for IKEv2, IPSec, L2TP, PPTP, and OpenVPN protocols. With this tool, you will have unlimited access to content across the globe, thanks to its Stealth Mode that makes it easy to bypass DPI firewalls and VPN blocks.
It also comes with other notable features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and IPv6 leak protection. This tool also works in China, thanks to the Stealth mode. It provides a free 7-day trial to come on board as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the services.
- Zero data logging policy
- IPv6 leak protection
- 2058-bt encryption with AES-256
- Six simultaneous connections
- Unlimited bandwidth and speed
- High-speed servers in more than 60 most popular countries
- Kill switch
- Anonymous torrenting / P2P friendly
- Free remote help and installation
- $8.99 per month
- $5.66 per month billed every three months
- $2.08 per month billed every 12 months.
- Relatively cheap
- Free 7-day trial
- Advanced security system to protect your data and privacy
- It provides easy access to content anywhere in the world
- The farther away you are from the servers, the slower it becomes.
If you are looking for the most affordable VPN service in the long run, then you should choose VyprVPN. This is great for those that are on a tight budget and want to pay for a long time. However, despite being cheap, this tool still offers exceptional performance. You can rely on its privacy and safety features, thanks to its top-notch encryption.
VyprVPN is also a popular choice for many users because of its fast speed, exceptional security, high performance, and of course, fair prices. This Switzerland-based VPN company is security and privacy-oriented, and this is a big advantage for its users. This company works with self-owned servers, and it has a no-logs policy, which is audited independently.
VyprVPN uses 256-bit key encryption with AES –industry-standard encryption that provides maximum security. The tool also offers DNS and IP leak protection. It also has a kill switch, which you can easily turn on and off whenever you want.
In addition to being highly secure, this tool is also very fast. When it comes to speed, you can rely on the performance of this VPN. With a nice internet connection, you can use this VPN to stream 4K videos. You can also use it to pull out very large files from the internet in just minutes. This tool does not have many features, and all its features are not available on all devices. Its split tunneling and ad-blocking features are only available for Android and Mac.
We also love the Public Wi-Fi Protection feature of this VPN. This feature automatically activates the VPN whenever your device connects to an unknown Wi-Fi network. It is also torrent-friendly, as it does not affect the traffic. You can use this tool to access different Netflix libraries, including Canada, United States, and Japan.
It also unblocks other streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+. Another beautiful thing about this VPN service is that it has an app for all platforms. There is an app for Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS. Those using Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Smart TVs, QNAP, Anonabox, and Blackphone are also not left out. However, not all its features are available on all these platforms. Interestingly, this tool allows for up to 30 simultaneous connections.
This company also offers different ways to reach its customer support team. You can reach them via 24/7 live chat or submit a ticket. While there are a few complaints about their response rate, it is still better than what most VPN services have to offer.
- Public Wi-Fi protection
- Kill switch
- Over 70 sever locations across the globe
- 30 simultaneous connections
- Access to restricted content
- IP address protection
- Audited no-log VPN
- High-end encryption/NAT firewall
- High-speed streaming
- DNS protection
- $6.47 per month, billed every two months
- $2.50 per month, billed every 18 months.
- $1.67 per month, billed every 36 months.
- Fast connections and speeds
- Excellent privacy and security
- No logs policy
- Works across the globe, including China
- Unblocks streaming services including Netflix
- Not available for Linux OS
- No anonymous payments
- Limited features
11. Mullvad VPN
Up next, we have Mullvad VPN. If you are looking for the best privacy-friendly VPN, this is one of the best options to consider. This VPN does not have a free version, but its paid plans are worth it. This tool does an exceptional job when it comes to keeping you anonymous on the internet. It also has very strong privacy and security, ensuring your data are safe and secure.
The anonymity this tool provides starts right from its website, as it provides a 100 percent anonymous sign-up process. The site is also free from third-party trackers. This VPN is open source with a strict no-logs policy. Privacy and security are serious business for this company.
In addition to providing you with an anonymous sign-up process, this tool uses AES-256 encryption to ensure that your information that passes through their servers is protected. Other advanced security features of this VPN include IP and DNS leak protection and a kill switch. Mullvad VPN also features two tunneling protocols – OpenVPN and WireGuard, and it gives you the option to choose any of them.
When it comes to security, the industry-standard protocol is OpenVPN. The job of WireGuard is to provide you with super-fast connections and speed when downloading or surfing the web. You can rely on the speed of this tool, as it is one of the fastest virtual private networks out there.
The upload and download speeds are both great, but they differ depending on the server you choose. Mullvad VPN has only 779 servers in just 37 countries. With servers in just 36 countries, your speed might depend on your location. This tool is feature-rich, which is something many professional users need.
It supports IPv6 and features a SOCKS5 proxy. The tool also gives you many options when using such as setting it to connect to any server automatically immediately you turn on your device, editing your preferences, and activating a kill switch.
When it comes to streaming, you can watch geo-restricted videos on YouTube. However, this tool has a little difficulty unblocking streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Hence, if these are your sole purpose of looking for a VPN tool, you should consider options on this list.
Besides that little struggle, this tool is great. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. The number of features it offers also differs from one platform to another.
- 779 servers in 62 cities in 37 countries
- Port forwarding
- Supports torrenting
- Split tunneling
- Bridge Mode (merge more than one network)
- IPv6 support
- Available on multiple platforms
Mullvad VPN works with a flat rate of $6 per month regardless of how many months you want to pay.
- Provides complete anonymity
- Come with advanced, useful features
- Exceptional performance
- Multi-platform apps
- No trial or free version
- It does not support Amazon Fire TV
- Limited countries (server location)
The last on our list is the Norton Secure VPN. Norton is one of the few security companies in the world that no longer needs an introduction. Norton is an internet security company, and the Norton Secure VPN is one of the numerous services this platform offers.
This tool is available for only Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. In terms of speed, this VPN service does an impressive job. You will only experience very little speed loss compared to your normal internet speed without a VPN tool.
The pricing model is quite different from other platforms. It has an option for 1 device, 5 devices, and 10 devices, and the price for each is different. This tool will secure your connection automatically whenever you connect to a suspicious Wi-Fi network.
The tool offers anonymous browsing while helping to protect your data via an encrypted tunnel. It helps to block ISPs, mobile carriers, and hackers from accessing your data by mask your online activities. It also comes with the kill switch feature that disconnects from the internet automatically when the connection of the virtual private network is lost.
- Insecure and compromised network detection
- Anonymous browsing
- Kill switch
- Split tunneling
- No-log policy
- Wi-Fi security
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- One Device: $4.99 per month and $39.99 when you pay for a year.
- Five Devices: $7.99 per month and $79.99 when you pay for a year.
- Ten Devices: $9.99 per month and $99.99 when you pay annually.
- Easy to set up
- Strong security and privacy
- No-logs policy
- Fast connections
- Unspecified server locations and countries
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best VPN Service
The VPN market has grown significantly over the past couple of years. Many companies are capitalizing on the increasing concerns of the general population about cybercrime and surveillance. Millions of internet users out there are looking for better ways to protect their data and privacy.
With the hundreds of VPN services out there, it is a bit difficult to choose the right service to rely on, as choosing a service means that you are trusting them with your personal data. Not all VPN service is made equal, which is why some options have stood out of the market, leaving many behind.
When looking for the right VPN services for your needs, there are certain vital things you need to consider. Looking out for these key things will help you choose the right service that will not only provide you with anonymity while surfing the web but also keep you safe from prying eyes and provide you with super-fast speeds and connections. Here are some of the important things you need to look out for when choosing a VPN service.
Logging Policy and Privacy
When looking for the best VPN service, one of the most important things you need to look out for is the privacy and logging policy of the service. You should avoid virtual private networks that log data, as this would leave your digital footprints online. If the VPN logs data, it would tie you to your online activities and this would make it easy to identify you.
A zero-log policy means that the company will not collect, store, or share any of your data and personal information while surfing the web. This feature will protect your privacy and keep you hidden from prying eyes. Some services collect data from users and claim to delete them every 24 hours or at the end of each session.
It is still difficult to trust such companies, as you cannot tell what they do with your data. You should not settle for such companies. Make sure the tool you choose offers a no-logs policy or a zero-logs policy. The service should not even collect your data in the first place. Fortunately, all the VPN services on our list offer a no-logs policy.
Reliability and Speed
After considering your security and privacy, the next thing you want to consider is the speed and reliability of the VPN service. In this day and time, no one wants to go through the hassle of slow internet speeds, especially when they are spending good money on it.
Hence, you want to make sure you choose a VPN that provides great speeds and connections. When using a VPN, your internet will no longer be as fast as it used to be without the VPN. However, you want to make sure the difference is not much. The speed loss should not be more than 20 percent.
Run both automatic and manual speed tests to ensure the speed of the tool is up to par. You should connect to the different servers of the tool to see how they perform. If you want to use the tool for streaming videos on streaming platforms anonymously, then your target should be a very fast VPN tool.
You should not settle for anything less than HD streaming on local connections. For local connections, you should not settle for anything less than a 20 percent speed loss. When it comes to long-distance connections, you should not settle for anything less than 40 percent speed loss.
Security, Encryption, and Features
The features, security, and encryption of the tool are three other vital things you need to consider. Many VPNs come with some sort of AES encryption code. AES encryption with 128-bits is secure enough. However, for maximum security, you should opt for AES encryption with 256-bits.
VPN services use different protocols. When it comes to security and performance, the best protocol is OpenVPN. Hence, if security is your top priority, then you should opt for a tool that has OpenVPN as its default protocol.
Some VPN services also come with WireGuard or their own protocol, and both of them are highly acceptable. The number of servers the company has is also important. While it is difficult to state the exact number of servers that is the right number, we recommend you choose a service with more servers in more locations and more countries.
The server should spread across the globe, as this would give you a much wider reach. The company should have more servers in highly populated and popular places to avoid traffic congestion and lags. Our recommendation is a minimum of 100 servers.
Virtual private networks also come in handy for torrenting enthusiasts, especially in places where the use of torrents is prohibited. When you torrent without additional protection, you will expose yourself to hackers and selfish copyright trolls. However, the best VPN can provide you with high-level security when torrenting.
Nevertheless, you want to make sure the tool you choose supports torrenting. It should be able to mask your real IP address and cover your traffic with a layer of encryption. The tool should enable you to enjoy the benefits that come with torrenting while helping you to avoid the threats associated with it.
You should also consider the maximum number of devices you can connect to with one account. If you have many devices that you want to connect at the same time, then you want to make sure that the number of simultaneous connections of the device is up to what you need.
If you want to use this tool for streaming, you should make sure it is able to unblock the streaming services you use. Not all services can stream from all video streaming services. If you stream TV shows and movies from platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, you should make sure that the service you choose could unblock these platforms.
The type of device you want to use the VPN on is another vital thing you should consider. If you want to use it on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Linux, you should make sure the tool supports the platform of your choice. If you want to use it on your smart TV, ensure the tool supports your TV or device before you enter your credit card details.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Private Network
VPNs are increasingly becoming popular because of the numerous benefits they offer. Here are some of the benefits of using VPNs:
One of the major benefits of using a VPN is that it protects your data. The best VPN services use military-grade encryption, which provides maximum protection and security. They protect the data you send over the internet when surfing the web, making it impossible for hackers to access them.
Protect Your Identity
These tools also come in handy in keeping you anonymous online. They will help to shield your online activities, ensuring there are no digital footprints of you on the internet.
Access International Content
Another key reason for using VPNs is that it gives users full access to content across the globe. If you are in a region where accessing certain platforms, websites, and streaming services is an issue, this tool will come in handy. It helps to mask your IP, making it look like you are not in the restricted country.
Secure Wi-Fi Connections
This tool also does a great job of ensuring that you remain protected even when you connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Airports and hotels offer free Wi-Fi, which is not secure, making you vulnerable to hackers. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening with a VPN.
Most countries allow for P2P. However, that does not mean it is legal to download copyright content. With a VPN, you would be able to torrent safely, as it would mask your location and identity from both the government and your ISP.
Paid vs. Free VPNs
Fortunately, there are many free VPN services out there. Unfortunately, most of those free VPNs are not safe for you to use. Some services have free plans, either for a specific amount of data or for a limited timeframe such as 30 days. However, these free options do not come with many features. VPNs such as Hotspot Shield have a free plan, but with limited features.
If you are looking to use the tool for a very short period and a basic task, you can opt for the free plan. However, if you want the complete package of a VPN service, then you might have to go for the paid version.
We also recommend you stay away from completely free VPNs. Paid virtual private networks are much better than the free options. Free VPNs rely on selling your data and ads, which is one of the things you are trying to avoid. Nevertheless, this does not mean you cannot find a reliable free VPN. If you download and install any free VPN and you see ads popping up, you should uninstall it as soon as possible. Some of the limitations of free VPN include:
- Server: Free VPNs come with limited servers. Even if the premium version has thousands of servers, the free version might have access to only about 10 percent of those servers. Those few servers will also suffer from overload, which would affect your browsing or downloading speed.
- Speed: Free VPNs are also slower than paid versions. They are usually restricted to low to medium speed. This means you might not be able to stream your favorite TV shows or movies in the best quality possible (full HD or 4K). Downloading large files will also take longer than expected.
- Number of Devices: Free VPNs offer limited simultaneous connections. This means you cannot connect many devices at a time. Most free versions allow for only one device. You have to subscribe to the premium version to be able to connect to more devices.
- Data Cap: You might also get a data cap or limit when using a freemium VPN. The tool might restrict you to a certain amount of MBs or GB per day, and it would disconnect you once you exhaust your daily limit.
- Geo-Blocking: Most free virtual private networks will not allow you to use Netflix or other video streaming services. Some of them will also prevent you from torrenting.
If you want to get the most out of a VPN service, you should go for the premium package, as it offers the best security, features, privacy, speed, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a virtual private network?
If you access the internet from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you would greatly benefit from using a VPN. This tool will help to keep all your online activities encrypted and private. It would protect you from prying eyes while preventing hackers and cybercriminals from accessing your data. This tool also comes in handy for those who want to watch or download content that is specific to certain regions.
Do I need to use a VPN for everything I use?
It depends on what you want. If your major goal is to protect your data from hackers and prying eyes, then you would need this tool for everything you use. Fortunately, you can VPNs for almost anything that connects to the internet. You can use it to protect your TV, computer, smartphones, games, Amazon Fire TV, and more.
Is it worth paying for a VPN?
Paid VPNs are the best in terms of everything, so it is worth paying for them. Freemium VPNs have many limitations, and some of them might even steal and sell your data, which is something you do not want.
Are VPNs trustworthy?
Many VPN providers are trustworthy, as no services reviewed in this article log web activity or traffic. Nevertheless, some services are more trustworthy than others. The most trustworthy ones are those that are based in countries that are not members of the Nine Eyes, Five Eyes, and 14 Eyes. You should also look out for services with a strict no-logs policy, as they are more trustworthy.
Are VPNs legal?
Many people think VPNs are not legal because some people use them for illegal purposes. Nevertheless, VPN usage is legal in many countries across the globe. However some countries have restricted or completely prohibited the use of VPNs, some of those countries are China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Oman, UAE, Turkey, and Belarus.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) have proven to be very helpful over the decades. These tools do not only protect our online activities, but they also provide maximum security and privacy. In addition to helping surf the web without leaving a trace, the best VPNs help us to access contents that are locked to certain regions and locations. With the VPN services reviewed in this guide, finding the best VPNs should no longer be an issue for you.
Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, which has consistently proved its worth by providing fast connections with high levels of security while being reliable enough to work seamlessly across all devices including mobile phones, tablets and computers. If these are things that are important to you then check out our Full article here – ExpressVPN Review 2021 – Should you buy it?