Today, there are thousands of unique VPN options available on the market.
What used to be a niche product for big businesses and tech-savvy individuals is now a must-have tool for anyone who wants to stay safe online.
But how can you tell if a VPN is great? Moreover, how can you find the best VPN service in 2023 for your needs?
Our team has spent the last year thoroughly testing, reviewing, and compiling data on more than 1000 VPNs. We’ve looked at everything from download speed, to price, to features, to how well they work with Netflix!
Over the next few minutes, we’ll guide you through our findings and help you choose the best VPN service for your needs in 2023.
What are the Top VPN Services of 2023?
During our review, we paid special attention to the following VPN factors:
- Ease of use
- Download speed
- Netflix availability
- Privacy & security, and
- Logging policies
Want a full breakdown of our review process? Find it here.
Each of the above factors can make or break your VPN experience, and we used them to sort the VPNs on our list.
In reality, some VPNs are better at specific things – one might have fast download speed but compromise on logging, while another might cost more but be great at torrenting.
We’ve made it easy to see the relative pros & cons of each, and have endeavoured to build the most comprehensive list of high-quality 2023 VPNs so you can find the one that’s best for your needs.
Top VPN Providers
The following is a list of the top VPN services that we’ve reviewed.
What makes a VPN great? For one, they don’t keep records of your sessions. That includes the websites that you visit and the files that you download.
They have to mask your connection without costing an arm and a leg.
They also must offer a wealth of restriction-free servers in countries all over the planet. This opens the door for you to stream Netflix content or torrent with ease.
By the end of this resource, you’re going to be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the most secure VPN?
- What is the fastest VPN?
- What is the cheapest VPN?
- What is the most expensive VPN?
- What is the best VPN?
Each section links to a full and detailed VPN review.
Now, let’s get down to business, highlighting the best VPN services in the world.
1. NordVPN – Best Overall VPN ($3.29/mo)
Ranks 1 out of 78 VPNs
+ Fast servers (5,656)
+ Torrenting/P2P allowed
+ Works with Netflix
+ Strict no logging policy
+ Easy to use VPN apps
+ Double data encryption
+ No IP/DNS leaks found
– Discounts are only available for longer subscriptions
After months of testing, NordVPN is hands-down the best VPN overall. Along with giving you access to restricted information, it also provides you with the highest level of security and privacy. You’ll know you’re getting excellent value for your money because NordVPN is also among the most reasonably priced VPNs available. It is ideal for viewing blocked information or preserving your online privacy since it provides excellent speeds, security, and privacy.
Why NordVPN is #1
The unmatched mix of impenetrable security, lightning-fast connections, and limitless capacity that NordVPN offers sets it apart from other VPNs. The fastest VPN experience in the world is available when using one of the approximately 5500 NordVPN servers available in 59 different countries, from the UK to Australia or Canada. Your internet connection won’t degrade thanks to thousands of VPN servers. In order to browse websites, download files, stream films, and enjoy a quick connection, switch on the VPN.
NordVPN works on devices for both Windows and MacOS, including mobile phones. You’re able to have six simultaneous devices connected for one account. You can also use NordVPN to connect to a router. That means you’ll be able to secure every device that is linked to your WiFi signal all at once, and it only counts as one of your six connections.
NordVPN Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting and P2P connections are supported on certain servers. You can easily find a P2P server using the server recommendation feature. It will instantly provide you with a suggestion based on your needs.
We named NordVPN our top VPN for torrenting because of some stellar security features. Among them, a rerouting feature that automatically sends you to servers in either Canada or the Netherlands if you connect to a non-torrenting server with a P2P connection.
Aside from authorized users, no one else can view the information about our online actions thanks to encryption. We use VPNs because of this crucial aspect, and NordVPN has high standards.
NordVPN uses the IPSec and IKEv2 internet protocols to create secure connections to its servers. IKEv2 assisted in re-establishing our VPN connection in the event that we lost Wi-Fi, but IPSec created secure connections across our numerous devices. When we shifted from Wi-Fi networks to mobile hotspots or utilized our own data, these internet protocols were useful.
Additionally, NordVPN used a double VPN, which meant that your data passed through two or more servers in order to receive several levels of protection. Our security was increased thanks to this innovation, also known as VPN server chaining or multi-hop, so that nobody knew what we were up to.
One of Nord’s best features is the Automatic Kill Switch. If your VPN connection drops at any time, the Kill Switch will automatically block all internet traffic to ensure that your privacy and anonymity are never at risk. NordVPN also has a strict no logs policy, meaning that your activities are never stored or monitored.
It also has DNS leak protection, so you can make sure that your true location is never revealed. DNS leak protection also ensures that your connection is never hijacked. NordVPN also has Onion Over VPN features which encrypts your traffic and sends it through the Tor network, providing an extra layer of security and privacy.
NordVPN is an excellent choice for those who want a fast, reliable, and secure VPN service. It’s one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, and it provides a host of features.
We discovered NordVPN’s price structure to be rather simple; we received the same benefits with each choice, but the costs varied according to the durations of the contracts.
Pricing for NordVPN starts at $3.99 per month, but only if you sign a two-year contract. The initial cost of the two-year subscription, which comes to $95.76, is also your responsibility. This choice offers the most long-term savings if you believe NordVPN is a suitable match.
A one-year membership is also surprisingly painless. In general, it costs $4.99 each month, or $59.88 overall. Because of the shorter commitment period, you can review your options after a year in the event that a better VPN is introduced.
…or read our NordVPN review
2. SurfsharkVPN – Best For Affordability ($2.49)
Ranks #2 out of 78 VPNs
+ Strict no logging policy
+ Unlimited device connection
+ Plays Netflix
+ Secure system
+ Good addons like Multihop and Ad-Blocker
– No phone support
– Average speeds
One of the most well-liked VPN services in 2023 is Surfshark VPN. It is a highly appealing VPN choice for all types of consumers due to its affordable pricing and unlimited simultaneous connections. Additionally, Surfshark provides outstanding connection speeds, tens of thousands of servers globally, and military-grade AES encryption.
Why SurfsharkVPN is #2
You’re able to connect an unlimited number of devices to Surfshark, which is rare in a VPN provider. That means one account can protect every device in your home without ever having to spend more. And Surfshark is available on just about every device you can think of, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android capable hardware.
The only negative we encountered when testing Surfshark was inconsistent speeds.
Surfshark Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting and P2P are allowed on Surfshark, so you’ll have no issues there when connecting to other people from all over the world.
Then there’s Netflix, which was another area where this service truly shined. Netflix can be the bane of a VPN’s existence, with advanced detection programs blocking access to the streaming library.
We tested six different Surfshark servers and every one of them fired up the streaming service with no issues. That makes Surfshark one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix.
When it comes to Surfshark’s privacy, we’re happy to say that the company does very well. They keep no logs and only require an email address to sign up. Payment information is also handled by the third-party payment processor, which means Surfshark never sees your financial data.
Encryption-wise, Surfshark uses the latest and greatest AES-256-GCM with perfect forward secrecy. This is Military Grade encryption, meaning that it would take a very powerful adversary to crack your data.
Additionally, there is a unique “Camouflage Mode” that not many other VPN companies give. Your usage of a VPN will be concealed while this is active. Even your ISP won’t know that you’re using one. As a result, it ranks as one of the most private and secure services available.
There are many reasons to consider Surfshark, but some of the most compelling reasons are its features.
First and foremost, Surfshark has an impressive server network. With over 1,000 servers across 61 countries, you’re sure to find a connection that works for you. Additionally, Surfshark has some unique features that you won’t find with other VPN providers.
These include split tunneling and multi-hop, which allows you to route certain traffic through different servers. This can be incredibly useful for bypassing censorship or avoiding location restrictions.
Another great feature of Surfshark is its whitelisting option. This allows you to specifically whitelist certain websites and services so that they always use your VPN connection. This is perfect for ensuring that your banking information remains confidential or that you can watch region-locked content.
Like the majority of VPN service providers, Surfshark doesn’t make its features dependent on your subscription level. The duration is the sole determining element. The discounts you receive increase with the length of your membership.
The shortest membership lasts for one month and costs $12.95, which is the typical start-up cost for VPNs. The cost is almost constant in this pricing class.
The 1-year option, which costs $47.88 or $3.99/month, offers far higher discounts. Your subscription costs are reduced by more than half. The two-year option, which costs $59.76 in total or $2.49 per month, is the biggest money saver. It’s a great value given that the offer is for two years and costs only $12 more than their one-year alternative.
…or read our Surfshark review
3. ExpressVPN – Best For Streaming ($8.32)
Ranks #3 out of 78 VPNs
+ Supports ALL devices
+ Fast servers with minimal speed loss
+ Unblocks Netflix in the USA
+ Torrenting and P2P are allowed
+ No IP leaks or DNS leaks found
+ Simple and easy to use
+ No logging
– More expensive than its chief rivals
ExpressVPN is a fantastic option since it combines excellent service with a practical, straightforward, and clean design. In 94 nations, there are 3,000 servers, making it one of the best performing VPNs. Speed is great, and they keep no logs.
Let’s take a look at what ExpressVPN has to offer.
ExpressVPN has a massive number of compatible devices. This includes Linux, Mac, Window, iOS, Android, wireless routers, Chromebooks, Kindles, browsers, gaming consoles and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN Torrenting and Netflix
This service supports both the Tor network and torrenting.
Tor is going to give you the strongest security, as it essentially doubles your privacy.
Torrenting was seamless. It worked with uTorrent perfectly.
Netflix works on a number of ExpressVPN’s servers, but you’re going to have to go through a bit of trial and error.
In the US, for instance, six out of the 30 servers that we tested were able to play the streaming service.
Why ExpressVPN is #3
For starters, ExpressVPN has a great server network that covers 94 countries and boasts over 3,000 servers. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want to unblock content from all over the world. In addition, speed is top-notch, so you can stream or download without any issues. This makes ExpressVPN a great choice for those who want to use a VPN for streaming or gaming.
Security is also excellent with ExpressVPN. It uses AES-256 bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy to keep your data safe, and it also features a kill switch in case the connection drops unexpectedly. Plus, their no logs policy ensures that your activities will never be tracked or monitored.
It also comes with P2P connections and built-in DNS leak protection to keep you safe when torrenting. Overall, ExpressVPN provides a great mix of security features that will keep your data safe and private.
ExpressVPN is a secure VPN service that complies with the majority of security standards and criteria. But Kape Technologies, which reportedly has a history of spreading malware and controls multiple VPN services, is the company that owns it.
Recent occurrences involving ExpressVPN’s ownership and management raise concerns about the platform’s security and privacy. Some individuals might have doubts about picking ExpressVPN and believing it to be trustworthy enough given that the company’s chief information officer is embroiled in the cyber-espionage controversy.
Even while ExpressVPN may not have the most features of any VPN, each one that it does have seems to have a specific and significant function. Along with more advanced capabilities like MediaStreamer or Threat Manager, you receive the VPN industry standard features like split tunneling and stealth mode. Let’s examine what ExpressVPN offers in more detail.
Split tunneling allows you to direct your VPN traffic with a great deal more accuracy. This makes it possible to route some traffic through the VPN while leaving other traffic untouched. This is a great way to ensure that you get the benefits of a VPN without compromising your online security or experience.
On the other hand, stealth mode disguises your VPN traffic as regular HTTP traffic. This makes it impossible for someone to detect that you are using a VPN and can be very useful in countries with strict censorship laws.
The quoted prices are expensive even if they are spread out over the course of the subscription. The 1-month plan cost $12.95 and the 1-year plan $99.95 or $8.32/month.
You are still paying twice as much as you would for many other high-quality VPN services, including their major competition, NordVPN, even after the annual membership discount of 35%.
You will be limited to five simultaneous connections, as is common with many VPN providers. It’s important to keep in mind that Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices with any subscription, whereas NordVPN only enables six connections for $3.29/month.
You can pay with a credit card, or with either PayPal or Bitcoin, depending on your preferences. There’s also Alipay, UnionPay, IDEAL, Klarna, and many more. ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money-back guarantee with every purchase.
…or read our ExpressVPN review
4. UltraVPN – Best VPN for Budget-Friendly Gaming ($2.99)
Ranks #4 out of 78 VPNs
+ Ease of use
+ Perfect for gaming
+ Bypasses some streaming services
– Hulu is blocked
Users worldwide may access UltraVPN, a user-friendly and dependable service that offers protection and anonymity. With servers spread across more than 70 nations, Ultra VPN makes it simple to unblock any website or material from anywhere on the planet.
Why UltraVPN is #4
Like all other Aura products, UltraVPN leverages robust encryption as well as the OpenVPN protocol and works on both desktop and mobile devices. UltraVPN is one of the many well-known products owned by the digital security juggernaut Aura, which also powers Hotspot Shield and Touch VPN. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest premium VPNs on the market.
Security and a solid VPN go hand in hand. As a result, we anticipate seeing reliable software and robust encryption. Most internet user reviews of UltraVPN are positive and compliment its robust security mechanisms. Military-grade 256-bit data encryption and an inbuilt kill switch—which UltraVPN refers to as a firewall—help this VPN secure your identity.
By doing this, you can be confident that no unencrypted data will be sent when you move VPN servers or if the connection breaks for any other reason. Turn on UltraVPN and browse the internet without fear if you’re concerned about local censorship or your ISP tracking your data.
A VPN is frequently used by users to access one place or a group of sites. Because of this, VPN companies work to set up and maintain servers in as many places as they can. UltraVPN is a mid-range choice in terms of the quantity of destinations and servers. Although the firm only has 100 or so server facilities worldwide, its network spans all continents.
Therefore, in our evaluation of UltraVPN, we won’t list these figures as a drawback. However, be sure the company has servers in the nations you require by looking at the list of locations on its website.
Also, its sleek UI and easy-to-use website make it a suitable pick for first-timers. The black color scheme is easy on the eyes and provides a soothing background when you’re working. Plus, all the features you need are right there on the main screen. You don’t have to search through different menus or tabs to find what you need.
However, even without lengthy subscriptions, this VPN software is reasonably priced. We were pleasantly pleased by UltraVPN’s price plans, which rank among the most cost-effective choices among personal VPNs. Additionally, you will spend less than you would on most competing services if you decide to go with the yearly plan.
The six-month option lowers the monthly cost to $4.99 from the standard $6.99. The yearly cost, which works out to just $2.99 per month, is probably the most appealing.
There is a major caveat, though. The prices shown above are special introductory deals. When your membership expires, the company will automatically renew it for a new term at a higher price. Therefore, the cost of UltraVPN will increase. Click “normal rate” at the checkout counter to read more about the renewal policy.
…or read our UltraVPN review
5. CyberGhost VPN – Best VPN for Streaming ($2.23/mo)
Ranks #5 out of 78 VPNs
+ Easy to use application
+ No logging
+ Torrenting is allowed
+ Worked with Netflix
+ Massive server park
– Average Speeds
– Questionable parent company
– No split-tunnelling
One of the major VPN service providers available is called CyberGhost. The fact that it allows torrenting and unblocks the vast majority of well-known online streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer is something I truly appreciate. CyberGhost offers these services alongside WireGuard protocol, specialized servers, a dedicated IP option, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Why CyberGhost VPN is #5
The service is available on devices that run Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Amazon fireTV.
You can have up to seven devices connected at the same time. That’s a huge improvement CyberGhost has made over the years. At one time, they had a one device limit, but expanded that in a truly positive change.
The company also makes use of live chat customer support and a kill switch to help you get the information that you need an add an extra layer of protection for your browsing experience.
CyberGhost VPN Privacy
CyberGhost VPN has a strict no logs policy, meaning that it doesn’t keep track of your online activities. That’s great news if you’re looking for a VPN to help improve your privacy and security while browsing the internet. However, because CyberGhost is located in Romania, it falls under the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.
CyberGhost VPN Features
CyberGhost VPN allows you to choose from variety of different server types depending on your needs. Since not every provider uses this, its inclusion is appreciated. Additionally, the function is simple enough to use even for VPN customers who are less tech-savvy.
For downloading, streaming, and gaming, there are specific servers.
Torrenting is optimized for downloading servers. They operate P2P applications like uTorrent and are situated in nations where torrenting is tolerated without risk of severe penalties. The fastest download speeds are offered by the servers. The estimated distance between your location and the server, as well as the server load, are displayed when you view the server list. Because of their slower speeds, servers with heavier loads are quickly filtered out.
Accessing geo-restricted streaming sites is the purpose of streaming servers. You can instantly see which service the server is designed for when you enter the list. Therefore, you obtain a specific server to unblock Disney+ or Netflix.
The servers with the lowest latency are those used for gaming. This roughly describes the response time of your internet connection. Response times that are too slow can cause lag, which will spoil your online game. My latency rose by 10ms while I was connected to their servers compared to ping without a VPN, which is respectable. The connection was also strong.
CyberGhost VPN Pricing
The length of the membership determined how much CyberGhost cost (they all offer the same features). Plans that are shorter cost more, and vice versa. With each choice, you also receive 7 simultaneous connections.
The price of their one-month plan is $12.99, which is not unusual for a plan of that length. The only plan with a 14-day money-back promise has a shorter return policy. It lasts 45 days under all other arrangements.
Given that there is only an $8.25 price difference between the two and three-year options, it would appear that their longest plan offers the best value. The monthly cost of a two-year option is $1 cheaper than a three-year option, so you may as well choose that. It’s more debatable if it’s worthwhile because the price difference between the yearly and two-year options is $14.
However, the pricing page does not include certain other choices. The annual package with no-spy servers will cost you $59.99 per year, or $4.99 per month, according to the NoSPY servers article. Regardless of the choice you make, you can pay an extra $5/month if you want a dedicated IP.
…or read our CyberGhost review
6. Proton VPN – The Safest VPN ($4.00)
Ranks #6 out of 78 VPNs
+ Free option
+ Torrenting is allowed
– Not the best option for Streaming & Torrenting
The creators of ProtonMail also created Proton VPN. You should anticipate only the very best security measures, which will ensure your safety and online anonymity if their previous product is any indication.
Why Proton VPN is #6
Proton VPN is one of the best VPN services available. It supports up to 10 connections, has excellent security protections, is highly user-friendly, has excellent speeds, and works with popular streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. It also offers a free plan. However, it’s not the most affordable VPN service out there, and its customer service is not as reliable as some of the others on this list.
Proton VPN Privacy
It’s difficult to surpass ProtonVPN in terms of security and privacy. ProtonVPN includes extras like double VPN routing, Tor over VPN, NetShield, , VPN Accelerator, and open-source apps that have been independently audited in addition to standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and quick and secure protocols. Additionally, ProtonVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy and is domiciled in privacy-friendly Switzerland, which has stayed out of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances and doesn’t have laws requiring data retention.
Proton VPN Features
As mentioned above, one of its best features is its Secure Core. Secure core servers don’t have anything to do with being more technologically sophisticated than the rest of their fleet, despite what you may infer from the name. Actually, it’s a double VPN capability that enables connections over two VPN servers. Your device makes the connection to a VPN server. It then establishes a connection with another VPN server before arriving at its destination.
Proton VPN Pricing
There are four versions of Proton VPN: Free, Basic, Plus, and Visionary. Even though I’d always love a free version, it has a lot of restrictions. Additionally, because the Free and Basic editions differ like night and day, it is more difficult to decide whether you want to really purchase the service.
The Basic plan costs $4.00 per month, and the Plus plan costs $8.00 per month. Both include unlimited data, access to all servers, and support for up to 10 devices. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee. The Visionary plan costs $30.00 per month and includes everything in the other two plans as well as a ProtonMail account and five years of use.
…or read our ProtonVPN review
7. Private Internet Access VPN – Best VPN For Torrenting ($2.03)
Ranks #7 out of 78 VPNs
Private Internet Access Pros:
+ Allows torrenting
+ Excellent speed
+ Ease of use
Private Internet Access Cons:
– No independent audit
Private Internet Access keeps us secure when torrenting; their AES-256 encryption keeps us safe in the VPN, and their kill switch prevents us from torrenting if the VPN goes down. Overall, PIA is one of the best torrent VPNs available.
As for device compatibility, you’ve got Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and Firefox. Extensions have also been created for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers.
Routers can be set up as well, though if you want to use OpenVPN, that’s going to take some manual setup time. PIA also supports smart TVs and gaming consoles.
Why Private Internet Access VPN is #7
With a full-featured VPN at an affordable price, Private Internet Access is close to the top of our ranking. A kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and a malware filtering add-on are among the privacy and security features it offers, along with access to a fast, worldwide network.
It costs extra to have a dedicated IP address, a convenience feature that not all VPNs provide. Ten devices may be connected at once with Private Internet Access, which is more than some competitors but fewer than unlimited devices. You may access streaming material from various regions of the world and utilize the service for torrenting.
Private Internet Access VPN Privacy
You must choose the degree of encryption when utilizing Private Internet Access with the OpenVPN protocol; if you don’t, it defaults to AES-128 (CBC). So, if you click the Connections tab, these are your options:
- AES-128 (CBC and GCM)
- AES-256 (CBC and GCM)
The CBC mode is not as strong as the default AES-256, but it is still much better than nothing. If you are using a Windows computer, your data will be protected by Microsoft’s built-in encryption. AES-256 is used by the American government for classified information, so you can trust it to be a strong cipher.
You may also completely turn off encryption. Your IP address will still be concealed and your credentials will still be encrypted, but by not encrypting the data itself, you could get faster streaming and gaming, where speed is more essential than security.
Private Internet Access VPN Features
Despite having a wealth of functions, PIA VPN ensures that you won’t be overpowered by them. Everything you require is conveniently arranged into several categories under the Settings menu. They include advanced capabilities that will be highly helpful to seasoned users, as well as extra privacy features.
This includes split tunneling, which lets you route traffic for specific apps through the VPN, while leaving other apps unprotected. You can also use this feature to access region-blocked content. The DNS leak protection and kill switch are turned on by default, but you can tweak these settings if you want more or less protection. You can also set up port forwarding, to gain access to services that are blocked by your ISP.
Private Internet Access VPN Pricing
Private Internet Access VPN has a very straightforward price structure. Every single plan has the exact same features. The only variable that affects the prices is the length of your membership.
The two-year plan, which costs just $2.03 a month or $79 for the whole membership, is the one that will cost you the least. You’ll also receive two additional months for free.
If you choose the yearly membership, it will cost you $3.33 each month, or $39.95 per year. The plan that costs $9.95 for a single month is the priciest, as is typical for one-month VPN plans.
…or read our Private Internet Access review
8. Windscribe VPN – Best Configurable VPN ($4.08)
Ranks #8 out of 78 VPNs
+ Free version
+ Unlimited connections
+ Supports torrenting
– Limited servers
A well-known and well-liked VPN service is Windscribe. It features a solid free version, supports Netflix and other streaming services, allows for an infinite number of simultaneous connections, and is excellent for torrenting. Additionally, it has a fantastic marketing team that consistently sends us a lighthearted email.
Why Windscribe VPN is #8
Windscribe is one of only a handful of VPN providers with a free tier that includes the majority of the paid-for capabilities. And outside of the main VPN program, its applications and browser extensions offer versatile security.
Users may connect an infinite number of devices concurrently under both free and premium programs. As might be expected, the free plan has data constraints and restrictions on the servers you may connect to. Access to servers in more than 100 different locations is included in the premium tier, which costs $9 per month or $49 per year and offers unlimited data use.
Windscribe VPN Privacy
Windscribe is a reasonably secure VPN service. You should be aware of a few worries that have arisen, though.
Two Windscribe servers were taken by Ukrainian police in June 2021. The corporation then admitted that these servers had been stolen, but nothing had been found. Both the OpenVPN server certificate and private key were both installed on both servers, which particularly ran a legacy stack. Prior to the new standard, these legacy servers were used as outdated industry-standard practices; however, they have long since been phased out.
Windscribe asserts that this is an aberration and that there is nothing on the servers to search for due to their no-logs policy. Additionally, Windscribe is still a secure VPN service provider in terms of the functions it offers.
It offers AES-256 cipher with SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key. This is as good as, if not better than, most VPN providers.
Windscribe VPN Features
From Kill Switch to Browser Extensions, Windscribe offers versatile and secure VPN features.
Windscribe offers a kill switch that will automatically disable your internet connection if the VPN drops for any reason. This is an essential safety feature. Windscribe also has a wide variety of applications and browser extensions that allow for versatile security.
Additionally, you can connect to any two servers using the Double Hop capability. In order to properly conceal your true IP address, you will connect through two separate places rather than just one. The second location will be visible to the websites you visit, further enhancing your anonymity.
Installing a desktop program and a Chrome, Firefox, or Opera browser extension is required to use this function. That’s because the extension adds the second location.
Windscribe VPN Pricing
The price of Windscribe VPN is not the highest you’ll find. When purchasing the yearly membership, you may get it for as little as $4.08 each month (which works out to $48.96 per year).
The Windscribe Pro version is also available for a month of free use, but at a cost of $9 a month or $108 per year, it is more than twice as pricey. The annual plan sounds like a much better value.
…or read our Windscribe review
9. StrongVPN – Best For Simultaneous Connections ($3.66)
Ranks #9 out of 78 VPNs
+ Massive server park
+ Up-to-date technology
+ No logging
+ Fast service
– US Jurisdiction
– Live chat is only for paying customers
– Barely works with Netflix
Why StrongVPN is #9
Because StrongVPN can hide your online activity from your ISP and make it more difficult to trace you, it can route all of the traffic on your computer over a secure connection to a server.
You can connect approximately three times as many devices as other VPN services typically allow. Additionally, it features VPN servers in places that other VPNs frequently neglect.
However, StrongVPN’s UI is cumbersome and it doesn’t provide enough privacy or security options to compete with our top VPN picks like NordVPN. It’s also a tad expensive for what it gives.
StrongVPN has a strict no-logs policy that means your identity will never be compromised. It is headquartered in the US. This may seem like a disadvantage because of the country’s surveillance laws, but it’s actually a good thing. The US has more rigorous data retention laws than many other countries, so your data is more likely to be safe from prying eyes.
The only other VPNs that are based in the US are TorGuard and Golden Frog VyprVPN, but both of these have excellent privacy policies.
One of the finest features of StrongVPN is that it supports up to 12 simultaneous connections with a single subscription. StrongVPN can easily accommodate a family’s usage or homes with plenty of devices, while most VPN providers only allow five simultaneous connections per account. However, some VPNs have completely given up on these limitations.
You might wish to set up your router to connect through VPN if you want your VPN connection to cover every device in your home, including those that can’t run VPN client software. Some businesses sell routers that are already set up, whereas StrongVPN provides instructions. We don’t believe this configuration is appropriate for the typical user because it can be more bother than it’s worth.
StrongVPN is one of the few VPN companies that provides applications for streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV.
Strong VPN Pricing
The average monthly cost for StrongVPN is $10.99. The yearly plan’s $3.66 monthly price in the first year seems reasonable, but when it is renewed, it rises to $6.66.
Even if it’s more expensive than most, there’s a major advantage. The yearly subscription also includes 250GB of safe cloud storage from SugarSync, a service that, if purchased directly, costs $9.99 per month.
…or read our StrongVPN review
10. Atlas VPN – Best VPN For Data Breach Protection ($2.05)
Ranks #10 out of 78 VPNs
Our AtlastVPN full review coming soon…
+ Unblocks Netflix & other services
+ Includes web filters
+ 24/7 Chat support
– Small server park
Atlas VPN provides users with online security and privacy. Using Atlas VPN, you can connect to servers in over 30 countries and enjoy unrestricted access to the internet. It comes with a built-in ad blocker, malware blocker, and anti-phishing feature to keep you safe online. Let’s take a closer look at Atlas VPN.
Why Atlas VPN is #10
Atlas VPN is a great freemium VPN with plenty of features and is simple to use. One of the top free VPNs we’ve tested, it functions with torrenting clients and is secure and safe. The quicker, premium version is compatible with Netflix. In general, newcomers who wish to get around internet geo-blocks should use Atlas VPN.
Atlas VPN Privacy
Atlas VPN is positioned in the center in terms of security. It provides the fundamental features you need in a VPN service, such an operational kill switch and AES encryption. The range of tunneling protocols, however, would benefit from an improvement.
Your connection is encrypted once you connect to one of Atlas VPN’s servers, so no one can see what you are doing online. It uses the most advanced security protocols and encrypts your traffic with AES-256 encryption.
Atlas VPN Features
Even if Atlas VPN doesn’t have a ton of functionality, it still has a few things to be proud of. For instance, by blocking websites on blacklists, its dangerous site blocker prevents malware infection on your device. Another interesting aspect of the VPN is IP address rotation. Last but not least, you will likely appreciate its data breach checker, which will tell you if your information is still secure.
SafeBrowse limitlessly unblocks all geo-restricted websites and services. This VPN is one of the most reliable ones in the market with a strict no logs policy and top grade military grade encryption. SafeSwap on the other hand, is a unique feature that lets you keep your identity completely confidential by swapping your public IP address with one from the SafeBrowse VPN server network.
Atlas VPN Pricing
If you enjoyed what you read in our Atlas VPN review, you’ll also be happy to learn that this VPN is among the most affordable options available. especially when you consider that the service allows for an infinite number of concurrent connections.Your money will go a long way because the 2-year plan only costs $2.05 a month, or $49.19 for the whole membership time.
However, you may test out the yearly plan, which will cost you $3.29 per month, if you don’t want to make such a large commitment.
If you only want to try out Atlas VPN for a single month, doing so will cost you $10.99.
11. TunnelBear VPN – Best Torrenting Service ($3.33)
Ranks #11 out of 78 VPNs
+ Independent audits
+ Server obfuscation
– No Wireguard
One of the most talked-about VPN services available online is TunnelBear. It also offers a lot. For instance, it provides a number of features, unblocks different streaming websites like Netflix, and adheres to a no-logs policy. Additionally, TunnelBear offers a free edition, which is an excellent option for people who are unsure about making a commitment.
Why TunnelBear VPN is #11
Popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer are continuously accessible with TunnelBear, and it functions in nations like China and Iran that impose internet access restrictions.=
In addition to split-tunnelling, torrenting servers, obfuscation, and many other capabilities, TunnelBear provides the industry-standard VPN security features including 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch.
TunnelBear VPN Privacy
Safe VPN services like TunnelBear encrypt your connection using industry-standard techniques. The location of their firm, which is not in a nation known for protecting privacy, is the only major issue with their service.
They authenticate using a SHA-256 hash and regular AES-256 encryption. Even the US government has given its approval to use this algorithm on sensitive data. As a user, this implies that your connection will be secure and that it won’t be simple for anybody to keep tabs on your online actions.
Even while naming its security capabilities, TunnelBear uses a lighthearted tone. VigilantBear is their kill switch. When the connection between your device and the VPN server is temporarily lost, its primary purpose is to preserve your privacy.
In order to wait for the VPN server to react, VigilantBear subsequently temporarily suspends your internet connection. If the VPN does come back, data is permitted to transit, allowing you to resume your previous activities. This feature shields you against unintentional location or IP address disclosure.
Currently, only Windows, macOS, and Android apps come with this feature’s support. Keep in mind that if you want to use TunnelBear on your iPhone or iPad, the iOS version lacks it.
TunnelBear VPN Features
Their Android applications offer a unique feature that benefits users in countries with strict censorship. When the government chooses to obstruct VPN services, they may do so in a variety of ways. Blocking at the DNS level is one such strategy.
DNS blocking simply entails adding VPN brand names to a DNS server’s blacklist. One possible IP for a TunnelBear server is us1.tunnelbear.com. You wouldn’t be able to connect to this server if the government blacklisted the word “tunnelbear” at the DNS level.
They also offer server obfuscation. This makes it possible for you to connect to a VPN server even if the government is blocking VPN traffic. Obfuscation changes your traffic so that it doesn’t look like standard VPN traffic. This feature is available on all TunnelBear servers.
TunnelBear also offers split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps send their data through the VPN and which don’t. This can be helpful if you only want to use a VPN for specific activities, like streaming or gaming.
TunnelBear VPN Pricing
The three major price types for TunnelBear are Free, Unlimited, and Teams. Naturally, the Free plan is for you if you’re seeking a cost-effective choice. The Teams plan is only available to corporate customers, whereas Unlimited (From $3.33/month) is the best option if you only require a basic membership. The available price choices are quite simple.
…or read our TunnelBear review
12. IPVanish VPN – Best P2P Service – ($7.49)
Ranks #12 out of 78 VPNs
+ Fast service
+ No logs
+ Unblocks Netflix
+ Allows torrenting
+ Works on all devices
+ 10+ simultaneous connections
– Part of a Large US-based company
– Slow customer support response
Another excellent VPN service that doesn’t compromise user privacy or encryption requirements to attain fast speeds is IPVanish. It is a log-free service, so neither your information nor your browsing history is saved. Only when you register for an account does information get saved.
This makes IPVanish great for torrenting and P2P use as well as streaming. The company owns and manages its own network of servers, which helps keep latency low and speeds consistent.
Why IPVanish VPN is #12
IPVanish offers several features and a user-friendly interface. You may use it to watch Netflix or YouTube or to boost your online security and privacy. All this comes at a reasonable price.
This VPN, which is based in the US, unblocks Netflix, supports a number of torrent clients, and provides quite fast connections using the WireGuard tunneling technique.
To further tempt you, IPVanish is able to provide you with a variety of services, some of which are exclusive to this VPN. With the On Demand functionality, for instance, you may configure your VPN connection to function on your favorite wi-fi or application. Additionally, the SOCKS5 proxy is provided, which is useful if you want to torrent.
IPVanish VPN Privacy
With its robust military-grade ciphers and necessary security features, IPVanish is a reliable VPN. You will be secured against DNS or IP leaks. However, it has certain issues from the past that cast doubt on this provider’s statements about privacy.
Like the majority of suppliers of consumer-grade VPN services, IPVanish employs 256-bit AES encryption. This standard, which was formerly known as Rijndael, is regarded as one of the safest ways to encrypt data. It is frequently utilized in government and financial organizations as a result. Simply said, hackers cannot use brute force against it.
Your login information is transformed into hashes as part of the account authentication process using SHA-512 hash algorithms. Each hash is 512 bits in size due to the SHA-512 algorithm, making it a lot to process.
IPVanish VPN Features
A robust VPN with many features, IPVanish can meet the majority of your demands. For instance, it has split tunneling, traffic obfuscation, automated connection features, encrypted storage (which is rather uncommon in VPNs), and even a SOCKS5 proxy.
You may purchase encrypted storage in addition to your IPVanish subscription for a nominal cost. It functions similarly to Google Drive or Dropbox, with the added benefit that it is AES-256 encrypted. Therefore, the protection of your uploaded files is of the same caliber as that of your VPN connection.
IPVanish VPN Pricing
The monthly cost of IPVanish VPN is $10.99 ($7.49/month for yearly subscription), which is somewhat more expensive than the average cost of the VPNs we’ve reviewed. Many services have higher prices than the industry standard, but if they can justify it with useful features, it’s still a good deal.
No matter how you divide the money, you will be promptly charged for the whole amount up front. However, when viewed in context, their monthly pricing isn’t too expensive. It’s a really decent bargain given the variety of features you receive.
If you need secured storage, SugarSync’s extra fee is more than justified. However, the overall cost becomes fairly expensive once the first-month or first-year deal expires.
IPVanish has a seven day money back guarantee and allows you to pay with a credit card, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, if you’re looking for an untraceable payment.
…or read our IPVanish review
13. Mullvad VPN – Best For Account Creation Anonymity ($5.50)
Ranks #13 out of 78 VPNs
+ Anonymous signup process
+ No logging policy
+ Secure encryption
+ Kill switch
– No mobile apps
– Lackluster customer support
Mullvad is a VPN service with a focus on account creation anonymity. Mullvad does not require an email address or any other personal information when signing up for the service. This makes it an excellent choice for users looking to protect their identity online.
Why Mullvad VPN is #13
Because Mullvad VPN not only has good security features and delivers more than privacy; it isn’t far behind the more expensive VPNs. We were genuinely taken aback by its security features and speeds, both of which have significantly improved since it was first introduced. It still has trouble unblocking many streaming websites, hence it falls short in terms of its streaming capabilities.
You may try out all of Mullvad VPN’s capabilities with the assurance of a refund, should it not work out, if you’re not big on streaming and don’t mind minimal customer support. If that’s the case, you may also pick from a variety of alternative VPNs.
Mullvad VPN Privacy
Mullivad is one of the most secure VPN providers. The application employs cutting-edge technology to ensure that your internet activity cannot be traced, keeps no records, and doesn’t gather any personal information.
What makes Mullvad one of the internet’s safest and most private VPNs is the following:
- Accounts that are entirely anonymous
- Tunnel protocols for OpenVPN and WireGuard
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Proxy SOCKS5
- There are no third-party trackers on the website.
You can even go so far as to pay with cash, which makes it impossible to identify you as the buyer.
Mullvad VPN Features
Your IP address is hidden by every single VPN; that is what they all do. Not all VPN services, though, go a bit farther, enabling you to torrent, utilize port forwarding, or customize the settings.
Fortunately, Mullvad VPN has a robust feature set. There are several options available to you, including:
- Forwarding ports
- Splitting a tunnel
- Shared local network
- Link mode
If you have really specific requirements, you may even modify your feature choices using the Mullvad app’s robust CLI interface, which enables you to write sophisticated scripts.
Mullvad VPN Pricing
The pricing plan for Mullvad is incredibly simplified and uncomplicated. The monthly plan is the sole option. We would rate the price as being fairly average at $5.50.
That’s already significantly different from the price structures of the majority of VPN services. But the account setup procedure is extremely special. Normally, in order to set up your account, a VPN service will need certain personal information from you. Typically, a working email address is necessary as a minimum.
In contrast, Mullvad. Mullvad won’t provide you a login or password and won’t ask you for anything (apart from a payment method). Instead, Mullvad just produces a 16-digit account number. Your username and password are your account number. Your subscription will continue until you cancel it automatically.
You can make a one-time payment and regenerate your old account number when your existing account expires, or produce a new account number each month if you’d like.
We realize that Mullvad is popular among privacy advocates because of this configuration. Setting new accounts in this manner is very reassuring (and confidential).
…or read our Mullvad review
14. Zenmate VPN – Best For Entertainment Streaming ($3.33)
Ranks #14 out of 78 VPNs
We are reviewing Zenmate again at this moment..
Zenmate VPN Pros:
+ 7-day free trial
+ No limit on simultaneous connections
+ Cheap 3-year package
Zenmate VPN Cons:
– Short on features
ZenMate is a budget-friendly VPN service that offers full VPN software for all platforms, a free VPN browser extension, and a paid add-on (Pro) (Ultimate). All three items are safe to use and the VPN software provides a respectable level of security and privacy.
Over five million people have downloaded Zenmate VPN for Chrome, and the service is also available for Android. ZenMate is based in Germany and owned by the same parent company behind ExpressVPN.
Why Zenmate VPN is #14
The ordinary user would find ZenMate VPN to be a hit-or-miss VPN service. It enables torrenting, unblocks some streaming services like Netflix, and offers affordable long-term plans. However, it only offers a small number of tunneling protocols, has unimpressive speeds, and is situated in a Five Eyes nation.
Zenmate VPN Privacy
The AES-256-CBC cipher is used to encrypt your connection in order to keep it secret. Private keys are used in this technique to encrypt and decode communications. In other words, you may send and receive the data, but since outsiders lack secret keys, it would still be nonsensical to them. The SHA-256 hash algorithm is also used to perform authentication when you connect to a server.
Zenmate VPN Features
If you like to watch sports and movies, ZenMate is a great choice because it unblocks Netflix and other streaming services. The VPN software is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can use the browser extension on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Zenmate also has a kill switch that will automatically disable your internet connection if the VPN disconnects.
It also has Smart Locations, which is a feature that automatically connects you to the best server for your current location. This is a great feature for people who travel a lot. It’s like an automatic split tunneling feature that always connects you to the best server.
Zenmate also offers a free trial of its Pro add-on. The add-on gives you unlimited bandwidth, access to all servers, and malware blocking. It’s a great value for the price because it’s only $2.99 per month if you purchase an annual subscription.
Zenmate VPN Pricing
Pro and Ultimate are the two separate price tiers offered by ZenMate. Users of the Ultimate plan only receive support for P2P networks and OpenVPN (i.e. torrenting, etc.).
Ultimate is $10.99 for one month, $32.34 for six months, and $39.96 for 18 months. The sums will be charged at the time of purchase, however choosing longer plans still results in superior discounts.
The Pro plan alters the pricing structure: the longest plan, a year, costs $23.88 while the shortest costs $7.99 a month. Therefore, even if it sacrifices certain essential features like OpenVPN support, it’s an excellent premium value.
15. Hide.me VPN – Best Free VPN ($3.84)
Ranks #15 out of 78 VPNs
Hide.me VPN Pros:
+ Free plan
+ IPv6 support
+ Excellent tunnelling service
Hide.me VPN Cons:
– Mobile app needs work
A modest Malaysian VPN service provider, Hide.me is one of the few VPN companies that offers a good (albeit rather limited) free version to everyone. It allows you to select from a number of locations and includes a kill switch and DNS leak prevention. Even for torrenting, Hide.me’s free version is usable.
Why Hide.me VPN is #15
Hide.me is a Malaysian VPN service provider that has a decent free version available for everyone. What makes Hide.me VPN stand out from the competition is its focus on privacy. The company has a strict zero-logs policy. It also uses the latest security protocols, including AES-256-bit encryption, to keep your data safe.
Hide.me VPN Privacy
As I’ve previously stated, your connection to Hide.me VPN servers is encrypted. All anyone spying on your network will be able to see is meaningless nonsense. AES-256-CBC cryptography is employed by Hide.me to guarantee this.
This service is not unusual, as many secure VPNs employ the same technique to protect a connection. When using a VPN service, encryption is often something that cannot be changed. However, there are tunneling protocol options available. From Wireguard to OpenVPN and IPSec, Hide.me provides a healthy variety of choices to its users.
Hide.me VPN Features
One distinctive feature of the Hide.me VPN is Stealth Guard, which combines split tunneling and the kill switch functionality. You may decide which applications will only function with a VPN enabled or you can choose your whole Internet connection. It goes beyond split tunneling, as the chosen applications will also be disabled in the event that the connection between your device and the VPN server is interrupted.
Consider a scenario in which you are torrenting and your VPN connection drops. If you added your torrenting application to Stealth Guard, both the torrent client and your Internet connection would be terminated.
The SOCKS5 proxy and the VPN connection are integral parts of each other, unlike other VPN service providers. You must thus be connected to a VPN in order to utilize it. It does restrict the possible use cases, but it also fixes one of the fundamental issues with SOCKS5 proxies.
In most cases, SOCKS5 just passes your connection through an intermediate VPN server and doesn’t add any encryption. The obligation to utilize SOCKS5 does, however, further ensure the security of your connection.
Additionally, since authentication is already established during the VPN connection, it is not necessary for you to supply it while connecting to the server.
Hide.me VPN Pricing
At the time of purchase, the full amount will be charged. Therefore, even if choosing a two-year plan for $99.95 ($3.84/month) looks to be the most cost-effective choice, you’ll have to be willing to shell out upfront. Although it may put off potential consumers, this is a pretty common practice in the industry.
Visit Hide.me VPN
…or read our Hide.me VPN review
VPN Frequently Asked Questions
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a service that creates a secure connection over a public network such as the internet. Businesses often rely on VPNs to securely link remote offices and employees, but they can also be used by individuals to protect their privacy online.
How do VPNs Work?
VPNs work by creating a secure connection between your computer and a VPN server. This connection is then used to encrypt all the data that is exchanged, preventing anyone from being able to see your data or track your activities.
Why Use a VPN?
You might choose to use a VPN for any number of reasons. Perhaps you want to access content that is blocked in your country, or you need to keep your data safe and private when using public Wi-Fi. Maybe you just want to be able to browse the internet anonymously.
What are the benefits of using a VPN?
A VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic so that your session remains completely anonymous.
But how does it make that happen?
First, the VPN masks your IP address, which is why it’s important to make sure that the service you’re using doesn’t leak your DNS or IP address.
Appearing like you’re somewhere else allows you to bypass geo-blocked content or uncensor websites. It also helps journalists and privacy activists under authoritarian regimes escape backlash, jail time, or worse.
VPN’s create a secure tunnel around your entire internet connection (mostly using OpenVPN tunneling protocol), protecting not just your browser, but also your app activity, too. Most VPNs use 256-bit AES encryption that makes it virtually impossible for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to track which websites you’re visiting.
But it also means your personal data stays protected.
Further reading: What is a VPN? (Beginner’s Guide)
Are VPNs Legal?
Yes, VPN use is perfectly legal in 97% of countries worldwide.
However, we fact-checked 196 VPN country laws to confirm that some countries control VPN use, while others ban them outright.
Only “Government Approved” VPNs are supposed to be used in:
- United Arab Emirates
Getting caught using one that’s not sponsored could mean fines, jail time, or both.
Beware when in these countries, though. Because you can pretty much assume that “government approved” means they share some (if not all) data with each government when called upon.
Can you use a VPN to stream or watch Netflix?
You can use VPNs to stream content and watch Netflix, but not all of them work with certain streaming services.
We found that roughly 70% of the VPNs we tested can fly under Netflix’s geo-blocking radar.
Those numbers are pretty good, considering Netflix has aggressively gone after VPN connections and proxy servers in the last few years.
Their licensing restrictions are under extreme pressure, so they’re doing anything and everything necessary to prevent people in the U.K. from streaming U.S. content (and vice versa).
Our tests revealed both Surfshark and NordVPN work flawlessly on multiple servers.
That means they’re proactively avoiding detection from Netflix. And it means you can count on them working successfully in the future, too.
Besides Netflix, people also use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions, watch sports channels, or even other streaming services like HULU.
Further reading: Best (Working) VPNs for Netflix (2021)
Are VPNs safe for torrenting?
Yes, VPNs can keep your connection safe and anonymous when you’re torrenting or using P2P connections.
We’ve compiled the best VPNs for torrenting and found that most fall in one of four categories:
- Allow unlimited, unrestricted torrenting
- Allow limited torrenting only on specific servers
- Allow but don’t encourage and don’t
- Don’t allow
Torrenting connects you to peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing to download massive files at lightning speeds. Without a VPN, you leave yourself exposed from the other people on that same connection.
The problem is that torrenting is most well known for bypassing copyright laws to illegally download content.
And many VPN companies shy away from the potential blowback from authorities.
Do VPN providers keep log files?
VPN companies should not be keeping log files, and all of them claim that they don’t. However, many still do, which is why it’s important to do your research.
After going through 118 different VPNs, we found that 26 of them will collect three or more important log files that would easily reveal your personal actions.
They all say they “don’t log.” But many of them do. The trick is to dig into their privacy policies and terms of service to see what, exactly, they’re logging.
For example, pretty much all of them will track aggregate bandwidth usage so they can monitor their own server performance.
That stuff is no problem.
It starts to get a little tricky when they track when you log in or out of their service. And you’ll want to run for the hills when they track the individual websites you visit.
To make matters worse, a lot of them use overly-complicated legal mumbo-jumbo to confuse the issues.
They’ll word it in such a way that makes it sound innocent. Where it doesn’t seem like they’ll track the files you download.
Further reading: 15 free VPN services that can sell your data to 3rd parties
Can you protect a router, Smart TV, or game console with a VPN?
You can absolutely use a VPN with your router, Smart TV, and gaming console, as long as the VPN you’re using has support for those devices.
Thankfully, most of them do. If they don’t, they often have a workaround like a manual OpenVPN setup.
Ideally, go with a VPN that natively supports the platform you have in mind.
Let’s say that’s a router. Setting up a VPN connection at your Internet source means you can lock-down your entire connection. But it also means you can effectively add as many devices to a secure network as you’d like, too.
If you do need to do a little more manual labor, click here to read our full guide on setting up a router VPN.
Additionally, setting it up on your Smart TV will help you more easily stream geo-blocked content on Netflix, Hulu, and others.
You can change server locations right from the device itself and simply cycle through the best options to finally access whatever content you desire.
Will a VPN slow down internet speed?
All VPNs will impact speed in some way. You can expect a 30% drop from even the best VPN systems in the world.
Really, it all boils down to what VPN you’re using. Some of them only slow you down a little, while some absolutely gut your speeds.
Why is this?
Think about it this way:
Sure, they’re adding another layer of security. However, that also means they’re adding more hoops for your traffic to jump through.
Those additional speed bumps mean you can always expect a slowdown of some sort.
The key is to find a VPN that doesn’t completely derail your traffic, either.
We repeat the same speed test for each VPN we review.
First, we get the benchmark reading without a VPN so we can compare.
Then, we connect to a few different servers to try and compile an unbiased, combined rating.
Throughout this process, we’ve seen some that might only dock your connection a few percentage points. Chances are, you wouldn’t even notice it.
But we’ve also seen some awful ones, too.
Some of the providers we’ve reviewed have slowed our connection down by over 100%!
That would make streaming content virtually impossible. Even answering emails would be a struggle.
We’ve ranked each VPN from first to the last place. So reference the ranking on each if you’re concerned.
Can a VPN help with ISP throttling?
Typically, a VPN is capable of helping you with ISP throttling.
This occurs when your Internet Service Provider throttles your connection in an attempt to intentionally slow your connection speed.
While this shouldn’t be legal, it absolutely is.
If you’re using a ton of bandwidth, streaming HBO or Netflix, they might purposefully slow down your connection to indirectly force you to stop.
Using these services mean two things:
- Fewer resources are available for their other customers, and
- You’re not watching their own services or shows
Many times, they’ll use sophisticated methods like ‘peering’ to basically spy on your traffic data.
The problem is that it’s not always possible to escape throttling.
A VPN can help, though. It will encrypt your device, and help hide it from these peering-type activities.
It’s not foolproof. But it can help hide data packets buried below the surface that would identify you.
What are the risks of using a VPN?
VPNs are mostly safe. If you’re doing something very illegal, however, there is a risk involved.
There are certain actions that you can take which can cause some legal issues.
Make sure you’re not doing one of these things:
- Using a non-government sponsored VPN in a country that requires one
- Downloading copyrighted information through a VPN and torrenting
- Performing other illegal activities while under a VPN connection.
Obviously, any of those questionable details can land you in hot water, no matter what type of connection you’re running.
But for everything else, you’re mostly risking time and money.
If you’re wasting money on a VPN with terrible performance, for instance, it might take forever to stream something until you eventually abandon it. Then you’ve wasted money you can’t get back.
We’ve highlighted some of the ‘spying’ and malware risks with free VPNs, too.
Fortunately, these are pretty rare. But it definitely does happen. So we’ll let you know if we found any potential red flags in each of our reviews.
Is there a totally free VPN?
There are some free VPNs but we do not recommend using them.
The old adage of something appearing “too good to be true” blazes like a warning alarm around these services.
You know what they say about “free” services…
YOU are the product.
Shady free VPNs will commonly track your data and sell it to the highest third-party bidder.
Many have even been caught doing far worse, like injecting ads or referring affiliate traffic to boost profits on your behalf.
Check out this one example from CSIRO research and FTC complaint against Betternet.
So be sure to do your homework.
See if the VPN you’re interested in offers a free trial. Or, if you look around, you can find coupons or discounts like our NordVPN coupon.
Is a VPN safe for banking?
As long as you know what you’re doing, a VPN is perfectly safe when banking.
Typically, VPN use can only improve your online security, and who wouldn’t want an added layer of security in place when you’re dealing with your financial information?
The only issue you might encounter would be the bank’s security system, especially if you’re connected to the VPN through a server located in another country. That would show up as suspicious activity and might get flagged in the bank’s system. This could cause a temporary hold to be placed on your account.
But if you connect to a server that’s in your general area, the added encryption can be a great boost to your online security.
Can a VPN connect to another VPN?
Yes, you can use more than one VPN at the same time, but it’s a complicated process that shouldn’t be undertaken unless you’re a tech savvy individual.
Though, it should be noted that while running two VPNs together is possible, it’s really not necessary and doesn’t provide much benefit, especially when you consider the work that it takes.
When you use two VPNs, one will likely connect while the second will show a routing error. The two services will then duke it out among one another until one takes the lead. That would then be the only one running.
The best way to have two VPNs working together would be to set one up on your operating system with another running on a virtual machine. To do this, the virtual machine would have to be installed with OpenVPN added.
You’d then use the system on the virtual machine to have two tunnels connected. This routes your IP address through the first computer before being routed through the virtual machine.
It should also be noted that this will slow your speeds down by quite a lot. If you want to double up your security, we suggest using the TOR network while connected to a VPN.
How many unique IP addresses and locations can a VPN offer?
Every VPN has a different number of IP addresses and locations for you to connect with. This is one of the features that you should look at when deciding on the best VPN for your personal and business use.
Something like VyprVPN, for instance, has 300,000 IP addresses, but that’s not going to be the same with every service that you look at.
Can police track a VPN?
Police are not able to track a VPN, as long as the service is not keeping any log files.
Logs show the IP addresses that you were connected to while using the VPN. It’s then a simple matter for police or other law enforcement agencies to connect the dots and determine who was using that IP.
What is the Fastest VPN?
NordVPN is often considered to be the fastest VPN, thanks to its combination of high-speed servers and strong encryption. It is available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, and can be used on up to six devices at once.
Conclusion: The Best VPN Service 2023
When trying to determine the best VPN for you, there are a number of key criteria you should be examining.
It just happens to be the same criteria that we look for when conducting VPN reviews.
Some notable things to watch out for include:
- Logging policy
- Are there any IP leaks?
- How fast is the VPN?
- Does it allow torrenting?
- Will it unblock Netflix?
- How many servers does it have?
- What countries are those servers in?
- How many connections can you have at one time?
- Is there a kill switch?
- Does the VPN parent company fall under the jurisdiction of a surveillance alliance?
Our choices are:
NordVPN is our overall top pick for the best VPN service. It offers high-speed servers, strong encryption, and a range of features that make it perfect for both businesses and individuals. It is also one of the most affordable VPNs available.
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN scene, but it has quickly established itself as one of the best options available. It boasts a strong encryption protocol, high-speed servers, and an easy-to-use app that makes it perfect for both beginners and experienced users.
ExpressVPN ranks among the most popular VPNs on the market, and it is easy to see why. It offers high-speed servers, strong encryption, and a wide range of features, making it perfect for both businesses and individuals. It is also one of the most expensive VPNs available, but the high quality of its service makes it well worth the price.
If you want to do further research, we’ve compiled all of that information in a special spreadsheet, which we’ve made available for review.
Here is the link to our testing spreadsheet.