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The Best Android VPN Apps (*UPDATED 2019)

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

Here’s what we compared: Download Speed, Usability on Android, Cost, User Reviews on Google Play, Jurisdiction and Logging Policy.

Protecting your internet connection while you’re at home or on your laptop on the go is important.

But why protect just one part of your internet use?

If you’re using an Android phone, you should be using a VPN whenever you connect to the internet.

Let’s talk about why that’s a good idea, then discuss the best VPNs for Android phones. We’ll go over our selection criteria, then provide our recommendations.

Why Use an Android VPN?

Just like the internet traffic that you send from your home or work computer, the traffic you send from your phone should be protected. A VPN provides that protection.

For a detailed explanation, check out our full beginner’s guide to VPNs. In short, though, using a VPN on your Android:

  1. Hide your IP so you can remain anonymous and private
  2. Bypasses geo-restrictions (especially useful for streaming Netflix, Hulu, Youtube etc…)
  3. Helps keep your personal data safe and secure
  4. Protects your anonymity online and online spying

You might not think that you have any reason to hide the internet traffic coming from your phone, but remember that you send texts, photos, and emails from it. Would you want someone spying on those? Even if you’re not sending anything particularly private, you still don’t want anyone snooping.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recommends using VPNs to avoid surveillance by your ISP. The same is absolutely true of your mobile data provider, and for all the same reasons.

There are certainly other reasons you might use a VPN, but these are the most popular. Protected browsing is crucial for streaming and torrenting from your phone, but the security benefits alone are worth setting up a VPN.

5 Best VPN Apps for Android Devices

Without further ado, here are 5 top VPNs for Android devices that are fast, safe and secure:

1. NordVPN – Most VPN Servers With Different IP Addresses

Best VPN for android (NordVPN)

  • Speed: 74.15 Mbps out of 100 Mbps
  • Users Rating (Google Store): 4.3/5.0
  • Cost: $2.99/mo
  • Logging Policy: No Logs
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Torrenting Allowed

NordVPN is a top contender in every category, but it stands out among Android VPNs for the remarkably high reviews it gets from its users: NordVPN’s app earned a 4.3 ranking on Google Play, one of the highest we’ve seen:

NordVPN review & rating
NordVPN rating on Google Play

In addition to one-tap access to over 5,072 servers in 62 countries, the app also has a built-in adblocker so you can browse the internet more freely and use less data. All you need to do is tell NordVPN where you want to connect, and you’ll be instantly connected to their network.

We also love that they offer a free seven-day trial, so you can check out the Android app to see if you like it. If you don’t, all you have to do is cancel the service.

NordVPN's Android app
Android application as it is after buying

We think you’ll like it, though; with solid speed scores (74 Mbps download on our 100 Mbps connection), industry-standard encryption, and a mind-boggling number of servers, there’s not a whole lot more you could ask for. It’s not the fastest out there, but it should be plenty fast for anything you’re doing from your phone.

Another great feature is NordVPN’s extra-secure Double VPN.

It routes your traffic through two VPN servers instead of a single one to give you doubly encrypted data. This feature might slow down your connection, but if you need to be absolutely sure that no one knows what you’re doing online, you can be confident in Double VPN.

When you top all of that off with a very affordable pricing structure, you get a winner. If you sign up for a two-year plan with NordVPN, you’ll only pay $2.99 per month. Not many VPNs charge less than that.

You can get NordVPN for Android here.

…or read NordVPN review here

 

2. ExpressVPN – Best for Security & Fastest Connections Speeds

fastest VPN for android

  • Speed: 83.15 Mbps out of 100 Mbps
  • Users Rating (Google Store): 4.1/5.0
  • Cost: $6.67/mo
  • Logging Policy: No Logs
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Torrenting Allowed

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest providers that we’ve tested, clocking over 83 Mbps download speed on our 100 Mbps connection.

While the speed you get on your Android phone will vary largely based on your phone and your connection, you can be confident that you’ll get about as fast a speed as possible with ExpressVPN.

Express VPN's android app
Here’s how ExpressVPN app will look on Android

The Android app works with a variety of Android installations, from the latest version, Oreo, all the way back to Jelly Bean. Even if you’re running an old version of Android, your VPN will work and be secure.

One of the great features included in ExpressVPN’s Android app is the recommended location; as soon as you fire up the app, it will recommend servers to you based on where you’ll get the best connections. With a tap, you can connect to their fast servers all over the world. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can also save your favorite servers for faster access.

We also like that the app defaults to OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol. And the 4.1 rating is confidence-inspiring, as well.

ExpressVPN Android app review on Google Play
ExpressVPN rating on Google Play

The only place ExpressVPN falls notably behind its competitors is in price. If you pay for a full year up front, it works out to $8.32 per month. If you pay 15 months upfront, it’s $6.67/mo.

That’s on the more expensive side of top-tier VPNs. That being said, if you’re going to use your Android VPN a lot—which we recommend—it’s worth it.

You can get ExpressVPN for Android here.

…or read ExpressVPN review here

 

3. CyberGhost – Cheap VPN for Streaming on Android

CyberGhost android VPN review
  • Speed: 51.10 Mbps out of 100 Mbps
  • Users Rating (Google Store): 4.3/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: Romania
  • Cost: $2.75/mo
  • Netflix: Working
  • Torrenting: Torrenting Allowed

Despite their average download speed (which you can read more about in our full review), CyberGhost makes a great VPN for your Android device. If you’re not worried about a bit slower speeds than NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it’s definitely worth downloading.

One of the big advantages of CyberGhost is their cheap cost. If you opt in for 3 years, you’ll get it at a monthly cost of $2.75, which sums up to $49.50 for 18 months years. They also use industry standard VPN protocol (OpenVPN) as well as 256-bit AES encryption.

Beyond that, the app has everything you’d expect from a top-tier Android VPN app. Simple server choice, easy kill-switch on and off, the ability to mark certain servers as your favorites, and recommendations for the fastest server from your current location.

CyberGhost app for android
CyberGhost app for android

The 4.3 rating on the Google Play Store is also reassuring; that’s one of the highest among Android VPNs that we’ve checked out.

CyberGhost review rating on Google Play
CyberGhost rating on Google Play

An annual plan will see you paying $5.00 per month, which falls around the middle of VPN prices. It’s certainly not expensive.

But it doesn’t compete with NordVPN’s super-low prices, either. You can also try the mobile VPN with 1GB of data to see how it works in your area.

You can get CyberGhost for Android here.

…or read CyberGhost review here

 

4. Private Internet Access – Most Flexible Android VPN

Private Internet Access review
  • Speed: 81.46 Mbps out of 100 Mbps
  • Users Rating (Google Store): 4.0/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: United States
  • Cost: $2.91/mo
  • Netflix: Not working
  • Torrenting: Allowed

PIA is known for its high speeds. It maintained 81% of our 100 Mbps connection speed when we tested it on a PC, logging one of the fastest speeds we’ve ever seen. So if you’re looking for the fastest Android VPN, you should give Private Internet Access a shot.

The app also has a 4.0 rating in the Play Store—people really like it. It’s not hard to see why, with easy connections, automatic server recommendations, per-app VPN rules, and ad blocking.

PIA rating on Google Play
PIA rating on Google Play

Although we recommend using a VPN for any internet connection on your Android, we understand that you might want more speed when you’re using certain apps. Letting some of them connect outside of the VPN will do that.

PIA android app
Private Internet Access on Android device

PIA has over 3,000 servers, which is staggeringly high. You’ll always be able to find one in the country you want that’s not getting slammed with traffic. And because you can get a two-year subscription that brings your monthly cost under $3, it’s also one of the most affordable VPNs.

You can get Private Internet Access for Android here.

…or read Private Internet Access review here

 

5. TunnelBear – Best Rating on Google Play

TunnelBear for android
  • Speed: 52.26 Mbps out of 100 Mbps
  • Users Rating (Google Store): 4.4/5.0
  • Jurisdiction: Canada
  • Cost: $5.00/mo
  • Netflix: Not working
  • Torrenting: No info

As we mentioned previously, the app itself has to be good for us to recommend an Android VPN. And TunnelBear has a fantastic app—which is one of the reasons why it’s currently rated 4.4 on the Play Store, one of the highest we’ve ever seen for a paid VPN.

TunnelBear rating on Google Play
TunnelBear VPN rating on Google Play

That’s not much of a surprise, considering how fun the app is to use. Like everything else made by TunnelBear, it’s full of fun graphics and cute bears. Which might not sound like it’s worth anything, but if the app is easy and pleasant to use, you’re more likely to use it.

And the VPN itself is great, too. Android, unlike iOS, gets 256-bit OpenVPN encryption, which means your traffic is secure. It’s not the fastest VPN out there (we got 52 Mbps download speed on our 100 Mbps connection), but it is stable and they have a no-logging policy that we really like.

TunnelBear's Android app on phone and tablet
TunnelBear’s Android app

Their paid plans, which start at $5.00 per month, paid annually, are some of the cheapest we’ve seen. And there’s a free plan so you can try the app out to see how it works for you. You’ll be limited to 500MB, but you shouldn’t need much more than that to see if it’s worth paying for.

You can get TunnelBear for Android here.

…or read TunnelBear review here

 

Why We Don’t Recommend FREE VPNs for Android

Lots of people know that they should be using a VPN. But fewer are willing to pay for it. That’s why there are thousands of people out there looking for the best free Android VPN. As you’ll see in a moment, we don’t recommend any free VPNs.

Why not? Because free VPNs come with compromises. First, they’re often not very reliable. Providers of paid VPNs aren’t likely to prioritize the traffic of their free users, and if you aren’t willing to pay, you’re going to get second-rate service.

The same applies to speed. Free Android VPNs just aren’t going to be able to compete with paid options on speed. You’ll get faster, more stable connections from a paid provider, and that’s worth a lot.

Second, providers of free VPNs still have to make money. And if they’re not getting it from you, they’re getting it from advertisers. Free VPN providers are more likely to log your information, sell your data to third parties, and display ads while you’re connected. While ads are annoying, having your data collected and sold is a violation of your privacy.

And because privacy is one of the most important underlying principles of any VPN, that’s bad news.

For all of these reasons, we recommend that you always use a paid VPN for Android. You’ll get a faster, more stable service, and your privacy will be better protected. And with the low costs of many of the VPNs below, you can get those things affordably.

What We Look For in Android VPNs

So what makes a great Android VPN? In most cases, it’s the same factors that make any VPN a good one. High speeds. No logging of any kind (or, at the very least, minimal logging). Solid encryption for security and privacy.

We also prefer that VPNs not be headquartered in countries that have strict surveillance and data retention laws, like the US, Canada, the UK, and much of western Europe. Some VPNs in these places are very trustworthy, but we prefer that they are housed in more lenient jurisdictions. Though any worthy VPN will have servers all over the world.

Simple, straightforward apps are also a big plus. If you have to spend a long time figuring out how to get online with your VPN, you’re much less likely to use it regularly. And that could expose you to security and privacy risks. The easier it is to get online, the better.

We also look at app reviews in the Google Play Store to see how users feel about the app. If a VPN app has more one- and two-star reviews than other apps, it’s cause for a closer look.

And, of course, we look at the price. We know that an expensive VPN doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget, so we try to highlight the options with the best value.

The Best Android VPNs Are at Your Disposal

The five VPNs we listed above are fantastic options for Android users. They’ll keep your traffic private, help you get around geo-restrictions, and keep your ISP from throttling your traffic. And because they’re at least relatively affordable, they’ll do it all without breaking the bank.

  1. NordVPN – $2.99/mo
  2. ExpressVPN – $6.67/mo
  3. CyberGhost – $2.75/mo
  4. Private Internet Access – $2.91/mo
  5. TunnelBear – $5.00/mo

If you’re not using an Android VPN, you should start doing it now. You can’t go wrong with any of these choices, so pick one and start browsing more safely today!

The 7 Best VPNs for Netflix That Still Work

John Mason

John Mason

Here at TheBestVPN.com – we test and try different VPNs. This time, we tested 67 VPN providers against Netflix block. Here are the results:

Last Updated: January 2019

To find the best VPN for Netflix, we tested 67 VPN services using 4 random locations from their server network, including United States, Canada, and United Kingdom

Let’s start off with the ones that do work with Netflix and allow you to stream Netflix without any geo-restrictions.

These should be the best options for people abroad… Or for someone who just wants to stream more movies, like me, ha!

Full disclosure: To compensate our time and money spent testing VPNs against Netflix, we’re using affiliate links. Find our detailed review process here.

7 VPNs That Unblock Netflix in 2019

Last tested: January 2019

Whether you need them to unblock VPN or just bypass geo-restrictions, you can’t go wrong with the following.

Below are the VPNs that still unblock Netflix through their streaming servers:

1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Streaming Netflix USA

6/6 tested servers unblocking Netflix

expressvpn netflix devices In our test, we found the following ExpressVPN servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United States (2 servers)
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom (2 servers)
  • Netherlands

ExpressVPN has a Netflix page on their site detailing why using a VPN is the best choice for accessing Netflix (over a DNS or a proxy).

It’s clear that ExpressVPN still counts themselves among the VPN providers able to circumvent Netflix’s 2016 ban. They’re not wrong.

If you want to be 100% sure to unblock Netflix or get access to the US movie libraries, you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.

Visit ExpressVPN

6 out of 6 tested ExpressVPN servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full ExpressVPN review

2. NordVPN – Cheapest VPN For Accessing Netflix

NordVPN app homepageIn our test, we found the following NordVPN servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United States (New York and Chicago)
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Panama-based NordVPN was launched in 2008 and quickly became one of the most highly rated, often-featured VPNs in rating sites. Located in an independent country with nearly 5,072 servers spread across 62 countries, NordVPN has a lot to offer — including Netflix.

The company’s website features an article that keeps a running tab on which of their servers are working for Netflix. Currently, the countries with working Netflix servers are the United States, France, the UK, and the Netherlands.

All of the three United States servers worked in our testing, although the connections were somewhat slow — possibly because NordVPN is one of the more reliable VPN providers for unblocking Netflix, and therefore has a lot of users.

The U.K. server also worked, but we found it to be slow as well. Our best recommendation is the Netherlands server, which was quick and unblocked the streaming site.

Visit NordVPN

5 out of 6 tested NordVPN servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full NordVPN review

3. GooseVPN – 4/6 Servers Unblocking Netflix

GooseVPN homepageIn our test, we found the following GooseVPN servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Netherlands-based GooseVPN doesn’t mention anything on their homepage about streaming access, but a closer look at their blog reveals a post titled Binge Watch Anywhere in The World, which specifically mentions Netflix and is dated April 2018.

In our testing, we were able to access the site from all four of the servers tested, although we were connected to a special streaming server for all except Canada.

Visit GooseVPN

4 out of 6 tested servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full GooseVPN review.

4. LiquidVPN – 4/6 Servers Unblocking Netflix

LiquidVPN homepageIn our test, we found the following LiquidVPN servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Wyoming-based LiquidVPN makes its stance on Netflix clear: its very first feature in the homepage reads “Unblock Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix, and websites that are only available in specific regions from wherever you are in the world.”

The website also includes an article on how to unblock Netflix using the VPN. Unlike other providers who shy away from admitting that they’re attempting to circumvent the Netflix block, old support tickets demonstrate that the VPN provider is actively trying to bypass the ban. We were able to access Netflix content on every server we tried.

4 out of 6 tested servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full LiquidVPN review

5. PrivateVPN – 4/6 Servers Unblocking Netflix

PrivateVPNWe found the following PrivateVPN servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • United States: Los Angeles
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Stockholm-based PrivateVPN has a custom-built VPN specific for Netflix. According to the provider, the VPN is built specifically to allow access to the entire U.S. catalog of titles.

In addition to the special Netflix server, PrivateVPN has a guide on how to unlock Netflix from your native account, which includes a list of servers which might allow you to access the streaming service — suggesting that while they keep the list updated, it’s possible that it could change any time. We were able to access Netflix from several of the servers on the list, including the two in the U.S.

4 out of 6 tested servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full PrivateVPN review

6. StrongVPN – 4/6 Servers Unblocking Netflix

StrongVPNWe found the following StrongVPN servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • United States: Chicago
  • Canada
  • Netherlands

Originally a PC selling company from South Lake Tahoe, California, today StrongVPN operates one of the most comprehensive VPN provider networks in the industry, with over 660 global servers and customers in 24 countries. Two of the U.S. servers we tried — New York and Chicago — had no trouble accessing Netflix. We were also able to bypass the proxy error in servers in the Canada and the Netherlands.

4 out of 6 tested servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full StrongVPN review

7. VPN.ht – 4/6 Servers Unblocking Netflix

VPN.ht + NetflixWe found the following VPN.ht servers connecting to Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

VPN.ht, a Hong-Kong based provider, is largely focused on protecting privacy and allowing access to blocked content. It’s no surprise, then, that the company calls out the ability to access Netflix specifically on their homepage. And it worked — in our testing, VPN.ht was able to access Netflix from six servers in five countries.

4 out of 6 tested servers unblocking Netflix
Read our full VPN.ht review

 

20 VPNs That Didn’t Work With Netflix

  1. TunnelBear (4/4 servers blocked)
  2. VPN.ac (4/4 servers blocked)
  3. Private Tunnel (5/5 servers blocked)
  4. Kaspersky Secure Connection (4/4 servers blocked)
  5. Avast Secureline VPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  6. F-Secure Freedome (5/5 servers blocked)
  7. Hoxx VPN (3/3 servers blocked)
  8. Anonymous VPN (4/4 servers blocked)
  9. CactusVPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  10. Celo VPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  11. Hide My IP (5/5 servers blocked)
  12. Hide.me (5/5 servers blocked)
  13. Ivacy (4/4 servers blocked)
  14. iVPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  15. OneVPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  16. PersonalVPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  17. ProXPN (5/5 servers blocked)
  18. PureVPN (4/4 servers blocked)
  19. Ra4w VPN (4/4 servers blocked)
  20. SecureVPN (4/4 servers blocked)
Netflix Streaming Error

7 Popular VPN Providers That Don’t Work With Netflix

1. TunnelBear servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

TunnelBear, a VPN provider located in Ontario with the stated goal of bringing “the benefits of privacy to everyone,” wasn’t able to provide a connection to Netflix from their U.S., Canada, U.K. or Netherlands servers.

Read our full TunnelBear review.

2. VPN.ac servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States
  • Canada (2)

Unlike many providers, Romanian-based VPN.ac makes no mention of content unblocking or content access on their features page.

In a blog post published after Netflix’s 2016 announcement, the company said they had “seen [the block] coming” following Netflix’s global expansion, and that they found the lack of Netflix transparency around their regional content offerings to amount to “false-advertising.”

A further statement notes that the reason Netflix blocked VPNs in the first place — and the behest of the content owners — was an “archaic entertainment distribution model.”

3. Private Tunnel servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • United States: Chicago
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom: London
  • Netherlands

Private Tunnel, a California-based VPN provider, wasn’t able to connect to any of the Netflix servers we tested — a limitation the company knows about and isn’t attempting to fix.

Read our full Private Tunnel review.

4. Kaspersky servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom: London
  • Netherlands

Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN is powerhouse antivirus company Kaspersky’s first foray into the VPN space. Users of the VPN service have put in support tickets related to Netflix last year, suggesting that the service may have once worked to unblock streaming; it currently doesn’t.

Read our full Kaspersky review.

5. Avast SecureLine servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States: Washington
  • United States: New York
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in the Czech Republic, Avast is a multinational cybersecurity software company that manufactures everything from VPNs to antivirus protection.

Their VPN, Avast SecureLine, boasts the ability to unblock content — specifically, their website notes that, with SecureLine, you can “Enjoy your favorite TV shows as you choose.” However, we found that Netflix was blocked on all the servers we tried.

Read our full Avast SecureLine review.

6. F-Secure Freedome servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States: East Coast
  • United States: West Coast
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

The tagline for F-Secure, noted directly on their homepage, is “Protect your privacy. Access blocked content.” which makes it somewhat surprising that all the servers we tried — five in total — were blocked.

Digging deeper, we found that the site issued a statement from 2016, following the ban, which they still reference in support forums today. It says in the statement that they have limited ways to prevent third-party blocking, and expect customers to respect third-party terms.

Read our full F-Secure Freedome review.

7. Hoxx VPN servers blocked by Netflix:

  • United States: New York
  • United Kingdom: London
  • Netherlands

Germany-based Hoxx VPN mentioned the ability to bypass blocked websites, and makes reference to “geo-based content,” but doesn’t mention streaming specifically, and we were unable to access Netflix using it.

Read our full Hoxx VPN review.

Conclusion

The war between Netflix and VPN providers following the ban hasn’t been pretty, with VPN users declaring that they’re canceling their Netflix subscriptions as a result of the ban to VPN providers desperately trying to find workarounds only to be blocked again.

Until the licensing model changes — or until Netflix can find a way to make all of their content globally available, the goal they mentioned in their 2016 statement announcing the ban — it’s a war that will continue to rage.Netflix VPN crackdown

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VPN vs Proxy

Kevin Townsend

Kevin Townsend

Kevin Townsend is a writer specializing in cyber security news, views, and issues. He has worked with Wisegate and currently writes for SecurityWeek and TheBestVPN.com.

proxy or vpn confusionIn today’s world security risks are everywhere. This is especially true online. Whether you’re looking to keep yourself safe from cyber attacks, or just browse the web anonymously, there are multiple solutions available.

If you’re concerned about online privacy, both proxies and VPNs will offer you a higher degree of privacy online, but how they accomplish the task is very different.

In this VPN vs proxy showdown, you’ll learn what VPNs and proxies are, how they differ from one another, and which one you should choose to remain anonymous online.

What is a VPN?

using vpn

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) makes it appear as if your online activity is coming from a remote IP address. A VPN creates a private local network that extends across your entire network connection.

To set up a VPN you’ll need to install the software on your local operating system. That way when you connect to the internet, your entire connection is protected. This includes things like web browsing, downloading and uploading files, streaming movies, and a lot more.

Once you select a solid VPN provider and install the software it will establish a secure tunnel with the VPN server. All of your traffic passes through this encrypted connection, adding layers of encryption and security. Any network traffic passing through this connection is secure.

By using a VPN it seems as if all of your browsing data is coming from the VPN server, instead of your personal computer.

When using a VPN, it’s nearly impossible for any third-parties or even your ISP to access any data being transmitted over the network. For example, if you’re using an unsecured wi-fi connection you don’t have to worry about the security of the network, since all of your traffic will be encrypted.

However, with added layers of security and protection you will have to sacrifice speed and computing power, and unlike proxies, a solid VPN isn’t free.

Not all VPNs are created equal. Simply installing and activating a VPN isn’t enough. You must be using a quality VPN provider if you want a fast and secure connection.

When you’re using a VPN you will have to make small sacrifices for your performance and loading speeds, but you should never make a sacrifice regarding your privacy.

Since VPNs are becoming mainstream there are all kinds of VPN providers to choose from, but they all don’t provide the same level of service.

If you’re in a hurry, check out our list of top VPN providers, otherwise keep the features below in mind as you compare providers:

Pros of Using a VPN

  • + VPNs can be trusted to keep you safe and secure (if you choose a quality provider)
  • + Your connection will be secured with high levels of encryption
  • + You’ll be able to remain anonymous online
  • + You can choose a provider whose logging policies match your standards
  • + You’ll get additional security features like private DNS, DNS leak protection, and NAT firewalls

Cons of Using a VPN

  • You’ll have to pay if you want quality
  • Running a VPN will slow down your network connection
  • Some VPNs will use memory and processing power

Read more about VPNs here: VPN Beginner’s Guide: What is a VPN

What is a Proxy Server?

what is a proxy

A proxy is a server that sits in between your computer and the internet. It will hide your IP address, so the website you’re accessing will see the IP address of the proxy server, and not your real IP address. This makes it seem as if your online activities are originating somewhere else.

They’re commonly used for low-stakes online activities like accessing geo-restricted content or getting around IP-based website restrictions.

The only real privacy element of a proxy is that they hide your IP address. However, there aren’t any other security measures involved, like encryption. Just think of it as swapping your IP address for one that’s based somewhere else.

Since there’s little security involved, anyone can access the traffic flowing through the connection.

Finally, a proxy is configured on an application level. This means that you’ll configure certain applications to run a proxy, it’s not system wide.

Here are the most common types of proxies available:

1. Public Proxy

Public proxies seem to be the first choice of most people. Public proxies are free to use, but they also get the most use, which can make them unstable due to user overload.

With a public proxy you don’t know who is running the server, plus with so many users, it does open up some security risks. If you’re going to use a public proxy you should probably only use it to get around website blockers.

2. Web Proxy

Web proxies let you connect to a proxy server from within your browser. Web proxies are generally free and won’t require you to install or download any software. This makes them very easy to use and get around content restrictions when you’re on the go.

However, web proxies usually can’t handle complex websites or websites that run Flash, Javascript, and Java.

3. SOCKS Proxy

SOCKS proxies are much more versatile than both web and public proxies. Instead of trying to interpret the traffic passed through it, it just eases the traffic along. SOCKS proxies can handle much more diverse traffic and are commonly used for torrenting.

Pros of Using a Proxy

  • + Public proxies are completely free to use
  • + They can help you successfully get around web restrictions
  • + The can help you access web content that’s geo-restricted
  • + For simple daily web browsing, they can be enough for a little bit more privacy

Cons of Using a Proxy

  • It’s hard to decipher who’s running a proxy server, so the owner of the server could spy on your private information
  • The owner of the proxy server will know your actual IP address
  • The connection offered by a public proxy server is typically unstable (making streaming difficult)
  • Most proxy servers won’t have encryption, so data can be intercepted
  • Proxy servers can be blocked by certain websites, it’s rare for proxy servers to be long-running
  • There’s a chance someone could be using the same proxy server for criminal activity
  • Data that is being passed through the proxy connection can be tampered with

When Should I Use a Proxy?

Generally, proxies should be used on an “as needed” basis for simple online tasks. Here are the most common scenarios where proxies are used:

  • Basic Levels of Privacy Protection

A proxy offers a basic level of privacy protection. Your web traffic will be routed through the proxy server, so the website you’re trying to access will see the IP address of the proxy, and not your real IP address. This process offers some basic surveillance protection.

However, since proxy servers often keep logs of user activity, your true IP address and other information can easily be discovered.

  • Reduce Targeted Advertising

Maybe you’re trying to get away from all the targeted ads you see on a daily basis. If you use a proxy server for regular web browsing, then these ads won’t be tied to your IP address. However, you have the added security risk of proxy servers injecting their own ads into the sites you visit. This tradeoff might not be worth the risk.

  • Need a Fast Solution

You can use a proxy server from within your internet browser. This makes them much easier to use in an instant. Since you won’t have to install any software it’ll also be less resource intensive. This doesn’t mean that your proxy server will be fast, but instead, it won’t place a strain on your computer.

  • Access Geo-Restricted Content

Probably the most useful feature of a proxy server is its ability to get around geo-restricted content or blocked websites. Just fire up a proxy server and you’ll be able to quickly view the blocked site. However, when getting around geo-restricted content you need to be using a proxy server that’s in the right location. For example, if you’re trying to watch a Netflix series that’s blocked in the UK, then you’ll need to use a US-based proxy server.

Overall, a proxy is a lightweight privacy solution that should be used sparingly. If you have an aging hardware setup that can’t run a VPN, then you could get by with a proxy, but you might be exposing yourself to more security risks. A 2015 study actually found that out of 25,000 proxies, only 14% of of them were safe to use.

If you are going to use a proxy take extra caution to find a trustworthy provider, and never share or transmit any personal information when using a proxy.

When Should I Use a VPN?

If you’re considering using a proxy, then you should probably upgrade to using a VPN instead. Whether you’re concerned about your online privacy, or want to stay secure online, using a VPN is a great option. Here are a few of the most common reasons VPNs are used:

  • Remain Fully Anonymous and Private Online

If you truly want to remain anonymous online and keep your privacy intact, then you’ll want to use a VPN. Most VPN providers have strict no-logging policies, which means they not only keep your IP address anonymous, but they also don’t store it in the first place. Basically, this means there’s no way your web activity can be traced back to you.

  • Access Geo-Restricted Content

With a VPN getting around geo-restriction is much simpler. Since VPNs have a variety of servers scattered across the globe you can easily connect to the one that will help get you around the region block. This will allow you to easily switch up your virtual server environment, no matter where in the world you happen to be.

  • Stay Protected Over Every Connection

A VPN will protect more than just your web browsing. Since a VPN is installed on your computer any type of activity over the network will be protected. This includes downloading and uploading files, installing updates, and a lot more.

Plus, you’ll remain protected even under unstable conditions. Say you’re using a public wi-fi network with a weak connection. A VPN will continue to keep you protected, even if the connection drops. Plus, if someone were to intercept the connection, any information they obtain will literally be unreadable due to high levels of encryption.

  • Stop Torrent Throttling

Most ISPs will throttle network connections if they believe it’s being used for torrenting. By analyzing the data packets being sent over your connection they can determine if you’re using your connection for torrenting, or regular web browsing. But, since a VPN encrypts all data being sent over the connection, they cannot detect if you’re torrenting or not.

VPN vs Proxy: Which One is Right for Me?

99.9% of the time you’ll want to use a VPN.

A VPN will offer you the same benefits that you’ll receive when using a proxy, except you’ll also get higher levels of protection, security, and anonymity. The only difficult thing about a VPN is there might be a learning curve, and it’s a cost investment. Still, there are VPNs like ExpressVPN, which are incredibly easy to use.

The only time you’ll really want to use a proxy is when you need a one-time solution for a simple task, like quickly viewing a blocked website, or getting around a geo-restriction. Remember, if you are going to use a proxy make sure to never send any personal information over the connection.

There are paid proxies available too, but if you’re going to pay for a proxy, you should guarantee your security and pay for a VPN provider instead.

Overall, a VPN will give you the same functionality as a proxy, but with greater levels of security, anonymity, and protection. For those who are actually concerned about their privacy online, then a VPN will be the best choice.

Best VPN for Torrenting Anonymously

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

We carefully read through 70+ VPN policies on torrenting and found out 7 best VPN apps for safe and secure torrenting…

We, at TheBestVPN.com never recommend torrenting without a VPN…

Finding the best VPN torrenting isn’t an easy task.

There are several factors involved when choosing a VPN solely for torrenting. Here are the most important ones:

  • Jurisdiction – Preferably outside the US along with 5, 9 and 14 eyes
  • Logging Policy – Preferably VPN that doesn’t collect ANY logs
  • Speed – a VPN that is fast enough for downloading large files
  • Torrenting Policy – a VPN that allows torrenting (Many VPNs limit and discourage torrenting).

Using a VPN, people using torrents can hide their activity from the prying eyes of their ISP, while also putting up an additional layer of security against cyber criminals who are looking to exploit them.

That’s great, right?

Except, many VPNs we’ve tested don’t allow torrenting. Companies like HoxxVPN and HolaVPN penalize users and ban torrenting, limiting their internet freedom in the process.

That’s why users who are looking to torrent need to know which VPNs will serve their purposes, and which will not. We’ve reviewed 74 different VPNs to date, and here are the best VPNs for torrenting we’ve found based on actual tests.

7 Best VPNs Private & Anonymous Torrenting

Here’s our list of the 7 best VPNs for Torrenting in 2019:

1. ExpressVPN.com – Fastest Speed for Torrenting & P2P

ExpressVPN for torrenting

ExpressVPN often tops most VPN wish lists. Turns out they’re just as strong at torrenting, too.

They provide all-around benefits, from great speed to security, and top it all off with restriction-free torrenting. That means you can use torrents on any of their thousands of servers around the world.

I know what you’re thinking. “It can’t be that good.” I thought the same thing.

Then, we tried it out for ourselves.

First off, they’re located in the British Virgin Islands. This places them outside the jurisdiction of the major surveillance alliances which could force a VPN company to abdicate information about their users.

That, coupled with a strict no-logging policy, make ExpressVPN a trustworthy torrenting partner.

Your private browsing stays private thanks to their OpenVPN protocols, which are backed by government-level AES-256 encryption. Nobody, anywhere, is cracking that connection anytime soon.

Not only does ExpressVPN allow torrenting, they actively encourage it to their users. In fact, there’s an entire page of their support section walking users through the use of uTorrent software coupled with ExpressVPN.

how to use utorrent with ExpressVPN

The company sums up the need for a VPN in a 2017 blog post which highlights the huge amount of data that an ISP can gather on their customers. One important section of this article talks about torrenting.

Visit ExpressVPN.com

…or read our ExpressVPN review

 

2. NordVPN.com – Most Servers For Anonymous Torrenting

NordVPN for torrenting

NordVPN is constantly nipping at the heels of ExpressVPN.

They’re the other legitimate contender you see constantly vying for first position in the best VPN rankings.

P2P services like torrenting are made available on NordVPN’s extensive server park of over 5,000 different servers.

And over 500 of their servers are optimized specifically for P2P. That’s a lot of different choices afforded to their BitTorrent-loving users.

Nord protects the torrenting activity of their users with the same OpenVPN protocols and AES-256 encryption as ExpressVPN. They also take things a step further, combining two servers into one connection for double protection.

Again, add a strict no-logging policy and a VPN killswitch to make this one of the safest and most anonymous torrenting VPNs on the market.

Why is NordVPN the best VPN for P2P

Nord gives users the ability to torrent without limits, placing no cap on their bandwidth.

Also, Nord has a price that can’t be beaten, with monthly costs under $3.

Visit NordVPN.com

…or read our NordVPN review

 

3. Mullvad.net – Best for BitTorrent Users

Mullvad VPN for torrenting

Mullvad is perfect for a truly anonymous experience.

Overall, they come in at number six on our list. But they’re comfortable in the top three for torrenting due to the extreme lengths it takes to protect the privacy of its users.

Mullvad is a Swedish company. They’re the only VPN that we’ve encountered that requires absolutely no information on their clients. Not even an email address.

When you sign up, you’re given a numbered account and that’s it!

They also keep no logs whatsoever, which means your torrenting experience will be completely private. And although Sweden is located within the jurisdiction of the extended 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliance, they can’t turn over information if they don’t have any of it.

All torrenting is protected with that same winning combination of OpenVPN protocols, coupled with AES-256 encryption. To put this in perspective, that’s the security system used by the FBI. If it can protect US national secrets, you can be sure that it will protect your downloads.

On top of that, they encourage anonymous forms of payment like cryptocurrencies. All Bitcoin transactions are private and confidential, adding another layer of security to Mullvad.

Mullvad also employs a VPN killswitch. A killswitch monitors for leaks in your VPN tunnel, and if leaks are detected that could potentially expose you, the killswitch activates and boots you off the service. It’s your torrenting lifeline, and something to always look for when researching VPNs.

Mullvad supports all BitTorrent software, but they heavily push the use of qBitTorrent to their users.

They don’t block BitTorrent clients like uTorrent or BitComet, but they do state that they don’t believe these services are as safe, citing the presence of harmful adware, poor privacy settings, and the lack of open sourcing.

Mullvad is one of those VPNs that doesn’t just allow torrenting, they embrace it. There’s a whole page on their official website that walks users through the process.

 

4. PerfectPrivacy.com – Configurable P2P Port Forwardings

Configurable port forwardings

Perfect-Privacy for torrenting

Our number three overall ranked VPN comes in at number four on this list.

Perfect Privacy encrypts and anonymizes your data. Just like everyone else on this list. But they also offer full support to BitTorrent.

claims to be best option for P2P downloads

While the company encourages torrenting, they come with a few restrictions. Only certain dedicated servers are set aside for P2P because those ones are engineered to allow for anonymous connections up to 1,000 Mbps.

Another factor that bumped Perfect Privacy down our list was their connection speeds. Torrenting requires a high download speed, and our tests revealed that this VPN struggled a bit in that area.

It also comes at a high cost, with some users paying over $15 per month.

But when it comes to anonymity and privacy, Perfect Privacy lives up to its name.

Your information is sealed behind an impenetrable wall of OpenVPN tunneling protocols and AES-256 encryption. Some of the other tunneling protocols offered by Perfect Privacy are IPSec and SSH, plus SOCKS5 and PPTP proxies.

This plethora of options means that users from all walks of life will be able to find something that works perfectly for their device and connection.

no logs

Perfect Privacy does not keep any logs whatsoever. This point is also backed up by Perfect Privacy’s official privacy policy. That is something to celebrate, as many VPN companies lie about their logging policies.

To top it all off, our tests also showed that Perfect Privacy is a leak and virus-free program. The last thing that a BitTorrent user wants is to be compromised by DNS and WebRTC leaks or to have vicious Malware invade their system. That’s precisely the type of vulnerability a torrenting VPN is meant to guard against.

This is another VPN that features a built-in killswitch, so even if leaks were detected, your torrenting security would still be protected. The problem with leaks is that they often go undetected. So an oblivious user would carry on, thinking that they were safe and secure, all the while their ISP is watching every move they make. A killswitch counteracts this vulnerability.

One of Perfect Privacy’s most valuable features is unlimited simultaneous connections. That’s a huge bonus, as it means that you can connect this service to every computer in the house.

 

5. PrivateVPN.com – All Servers Supporting P2P

PrivateVPN for torrenting

PrivateVPN is good for torrenting.

But there are some problematic issues that need to be addressed.

We ranked it #28 overall out of 74 VPNs. This still puts it in the top 50% of the products we’ve looked into so far. It’s a far fall from our first four entries (which were all in the top 10).

So what’s a VPN that is ranked so low doing on our list?

Well, none of the dangers of this product have anything to do with torrenting. In fact, they have laxer torrenting rules than Perfect Privacy.

Torrenting is allowed on any of PrivateVPN’s servers, however, the company recommends using their Swedish-based servers.

PrivateVPN torrenting policy

This is yet another VPN that supports OpenVPN tunneling protocols. This open sourced option is the industry standard because it’s maintained and updated by a global security community as a whole (rather than one singular company).

That means OpenVPN will stay at the front of the line for years to come, constantly being upgraded to the latest and greatest.

They also use AES-256 encryption, which should come as no shock to anyone that’s been paying attention up to now. The important takeaway from that information is that your torrenting activity will be protected should the worst occur.

So, why isn’t this higher on the list then?

It all comes down to logging, which is something that most BitTorrent users should pay careful attention to. According to their privacy policy, they’re not logging any of your activity while connected to the service.

While that’s all well and good, VPN anonymity goes beyond activity.

PrivateVPN collects your IP address and uses cookies. These are both privacy violations that most of our top VPNs do not employ.

The purpose of using a VPN is total anonymity. That’s essential for torrenting as well. But an IP can be used to identify you, and that’s what gives us a pause.

 

6. PrivateInternetAccess.com – Great for Speed and Security

PIA VPN for torrenting

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers over 3,500 servers in 31 countries to choose from.

First off, it’s under $3 per month. That’s a can’t-beat-price. The cost is just one of the reasons we ranked PIA as our number nine overall VPN.

But best of all, PIA imposes no torrenting limits, providing P2P support throughout the entirety of their massive server park.

PIA server network

The company never explicitly says the words torrenting or BitTorrent on their site, but the P2P support speaks for itself. That’s why PIA has a great reputation throughout the torrenting community.

PIA doesn’t let us down with weak encryption and protocol options, either. They provide the best-in-class OpenVPN tunneling protocols, along with AES-128 and AES-256 encryption standards.

While they’re not logging any of your usage information, they are keeping track of your email address and payment info. That’s not a huge deal as you can create a new email address that’s not connected to your personal information, and it allows you to pay with untraceable cryptocurrency.

 

7. TorGuard.net

TorGuard for torrenting

TorGuard, despite its name, has nothing to do with the popular TOR proxy browser.

The “tor” in its name actually stands for torrenting. We ranked it at number 14 on our list of overall VPNs, and its torrenting policies are a big part of the reason why it ranks so high.

Here you have another A-list VPN with some excellent torrenting-related perks. This company actually offers a bundle that includes a proxy which allows users to torrent at higher speeds than their VPN service. They literally have torrenting on the brain.

TorGuard goes out of its way to state on their official website that their servers are optimized for torrenting, and they impose no restrictions on their users.

Anonymize BitTorrent with TorGuard

But is your torrenting activity protected?

Absolutely.

They’re rounding out our list of torrenting VPNs that use OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption. The fact that every product on this list uses that pairing shows how effective and useful they truly are.

TorGuard offers a completely anonymous system that features no logging whatsoever – a fact that they are quick to point out in several areas of their website.

So why is this at the bottom of the list?

Its jurisdiction lies in the United States, which makes it a part of the Five Eyes Surveillance Alliance. So, if Uncle Sam came knocking on TorGuard’s door, they’d have no choice but to comply. Any information the federal government gathers on you would then be shared with the other member countries, which include the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

That’s a huge concern in our view. Especially if you plan on using torrenting activities to download content that has sketchy sources.

 

Comparing VPN Torrenting Policies

Finding the right VPN for your torrenting needs can be difficult, but there are a few key things to remember when deciding on an option. When torrenting, you want a VPN that allows you to torrent with as few restrictions as possible.

Additionally, it’s imperative to use a VPN provider that doesn’t log any of your personal information. That’s important in case user data is requested by government or law enforcement.

You can compare the torrenting and logging policies of all the VPN providers we reviewed in our comparison chart, below.

VPN Provider Torrenting Policy Logging Policy
AirVPN Allowed Strict no logging
Anonymous VPN Allowed Strict no logging
Astrill Allowed Some logging
AzireVPN Allowed No important logging
BTGuard VPN Allowed Grey area
Buffered VPN Allowed Some logging
ExpressVPN Allowed Strict no logging
FastestVPN Allowed Strict no logging
FrootVPN Allowed Strict no logging
Hide ALL IP Allowed No important logging
Hide My IP Allowed Some logging
Hotspot Shield Allowed Some logging
LiquidVPN Allowed Some logging
Mullvad Allowed No important logging
NordVPN Allowed Strict no logging
OneVPN Allowed No important logging
Perfect Privacy Allowed Strict no logging
PIA Allowed Strict no logging
PrivateVPN Allowed Strict no logging
ProXPN Allowed Strict no logging
SecureVPN Allowed No important logging
SlickVPN Allowed No important logging
StrongVPN Allowed Strict no logging
SurfEasy Allowed Some logging
TorGuard Allowed Strict no logging
Trust.zone Allowed Strict no logging
TunnelBear Allowed Strict no logging
VPN.ht Allowed No important logging
VPNTunnel Allowed Grey area
ZoogVPN Allowed Some logging
Ace VPN Allowed on limited servers Some logging
Avast SecureLine Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
BlackVPN Allowed on limited servers No important log files
CactusVP Allowed on limited servers No important log files
Celo VPN Allowed on limited servers No important log files
GooseVPN Allowed on limited servers No important log files
Hide.Me Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
Ivacy Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
iVPN Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
ProtonVPN Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
PureVPN Allowed on limited servers Some logging
RA4W VPN Allowed on limited servers No important log files
SaferVPN Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
Speedify Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
TigerVPN Allowed on limited servers Some logging
VPN.ac Allowed on limited servers No important log files
VPNArea Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
VPNSecure.me Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
Windscribe Allowed on limited servers Strict no logging
Anonymizer Copyrighted material forbidden Full logging
Betternet Copyrighted material forbidden Some logging
BolehVPN Copyrighted material forbidden Full logging
CyberGhost Copyrighted material forbidden Strict no logging
F-Secure Freedome Copyrighted material forbidden Some logging
HideMyAss VPN Copyrighted material forbidden Some logging
ibVPN Copyrighted material forbidden No important log files
IPVanish Copyrighted material forbidden Strict no logging
Private Tunnel Copyrighted material forbidden Grey area
VPN Unlimited Copyrighted material forbidden Some logging
VyprVPN Copyrighted material forbidden Some logging
DotVPN Not allowed Grey area
Encrypt.me Not allowed Some logging
Hola VPN Not allowed Full logging
Hoxx VPN Not allowed Some logging
Kaspersky Secure Connection Not allowed Some logging
Norton Wi-Fi Privacy VPN Not allowed Some logging
PersonalVPN Not allowed Strict no logging
TouchVPN Not allowed Some logging
Zenmate Not allowed Strict no logging

NordVPN Coupon / Discount

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

In this short guide, I’ll explain how to get NordVPN discount without using the coupon…

NordVPN coupon

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs money can buy.

And it’s easy to see why:

  • NordVPN boasts a massive server park of over 5,000 servers.
  • It works with both Netflix and torrenting services.
  • It’s a completely anonymous experience, with a strict no-logging policy and jurisdiction that falls outside the influence of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliances.

You can get all the details in this full-length NordVPN review.

But… that doesn’t mean you have to spend A LOT of money on this product.

In fact, there’s a simple way you can save a ton.

Counterintuitively, it’s NOT by searching endless variations of “NordVPN coupons” for days.

Simply put:

There is no coupon. There are no seasonal discounts.

But we can do you one better. Keep reading to find out how to still save big.

How to Activate a NordVPN Discount

NordVPN does provide a special discount offer. However, it all depends on how and where you can find it.

If your buddy tells you about it and you do a quick Google search and click on it, you’re not going to see any kind of special offer.

But, if you go through a NordVPN partner, like us, you can gain access to exclusive pricing that is offered only to the readers of those sites.

I’ll make it really easy for you.

Simply click on this link and it will take you to a landing page that features NordVPN’s exclusive affiliate savings offer.

You’ll know you’re there if you can see the following image:

nordvpn special deal

Yes, you read that right. $2.99/month.

Once there, click on the button that says “Get The Limited Deal.”

That will take you to a page that will allow you to select which plan you want. Pick the top option, as shown here.

nordvpn pricing 3 year

Once you’ve selected that, simply create your NordVPN account by entering an email address and pick your preferred payment method. Then, you’ll be ready to checkout like any ordinary e-commerce transaction.

What’s more, you can lock-in this incredibly low rate for three full years. Despite your total price being about the same (or less) than barely a year at their competitors.

That’s 1,095 days of anonymous web browsing at your fingertips.

Just how big are the savings of this exclusive promotion?

Glad you asked!

How Much Can You Save With NordVPN Coupon?

The standard base pricing for NordVPN is $11.95 per month. That’s a month-to-month plan, that charges you once every thirty days.

Their second plan is a one-year subscription. That comes out to $6.99 per month. It is billed once per year at $83.88. This saves 41% over the month-to-month option. Not bad, right?

Their third tier of regular pricing comes out to half a year of the service at $9.00 per month. That’s billed once half a year at $54 and carries a savings of 24% off the standard month-to-month rate.

While that’s all well and good, NordVPN’s exclusive affiliate offer is only $2.99 per month, and that comes with three full years of service.

This is billed once every three years at just $107.64. That’s a whopping ~70% savings over the typical month-to-month rate. To put that in dollars, it’s $8.96 off every month for two years, for a total savings of $322.

“Do I Need a NordVPN Coupon?”

Many times, with an offer such as this, companies require some kind of physical coupon or promotional code that has to be entered at the time of check out.

Thankfully, no codes to remember (or forget) in this case.

NordVPN’s exclusive affiliate offer has none of that nonsense gumming up the works. We’re only calling it a ‘NordVPN coupon’ for the sake of convenience. It’s actually not a coupon at all. In order to start taking advantage of the splendid savings wrapped up in this offer, you just need to click on this link and buy.

The affiliate code automatically redirects you to the landing page, where the special promotional pricing is waiting for you.

Are There Any Other NordVPN Discounts?

This is the only NordVPN discount currently offered.

And it’s completely unrestricted.

So your plan will work seamlessly across six simultaneous devices, with applications that work on both your computer and mobile devices for $2.99 per month.

It’s rare to find any legitimate VPN for that price. Let alone one of the top two VPNs in the world.

Occasionally, NordVPN does offer some seasonal promotions, but those come suddenly and can’t be counted on. Especially if you’re itching to up your anonymous browsing game right away.

This is a service that is being offered right now in the present, and VPN promotional prices don’t usually get much better than that.

NordVPN Discount Refund Policy & Payment Options

NordVPN’s three-year deal can be purchased using a number of different payment options.

For starters, you can use PayPal, or a major credit card, such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express.

You can also pay with digital-only cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. NordVPN also supports a few other payment methods, like Alipay, Giropay, or Sofort Banking, among others.

NordVPN payment methods

NordVPN also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, and that extends to this offer as well.

You can read their full refund policy below.

NordVPN refund policy

It’s a fairly encompassing policy, even including a refund on cryptocurrency transactions. Most other VPNs won’t hesitate to stiff anonymous buyers. Very rare.

NordVPN is one of the most impressive VPN systems out there.

And at this price, it can’t be beaten. Literally.

Get NordVPN At a Special Discounted Price Here

Or Read our Official NordVPN Review

The 9 Best Cheap VPNs of 2018

John Mason

John Mason

In this in-depth research, I’ll uncover the 9 cheapest VPNs you can possibly use. P.S. Not all of them are recommended, though. Read why..

nordvpn special deal
NordVPN offers a Cyber Month Special price for only $2.99/mo on the three-year subscription.

The marketplace for cheap VPNs is filled with countless service providers who claim to have the “Fastest and Most Affordable” VPN on the market.

As most of you probably know, 90% of these claims are not true.

Cheap VPNs are often notoriously unreliable, un-secure, and painfully slow, but there are a few hidden gems among the VPNs that are worth your time and money.

To help you find the perfect VPN that keeps your wallet full and your browsing activity secure, I’ve compiled a list of the 9 cheapest VPN providers in 2018.

Without further ado, here are 9 best cheap VPN services you can buy:

The 9 Best Cheap VPNs of 2018

In order to find the best cheapest VPN, we compared their cost, plan options, speed as well as features and logging/torrenting policies.

1. NordVPN

Number of servers: 5068 | Simultaneous connections: 6 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | No logging policy | Torrenting allowed | Works with Netflix

nordvpn pricing options
Current pricing on NordVPN.com

Although NordVPN provides truly premium services (ranked #2nd in our overall best VPN list) they are also one of the cheapest.

NordVPN does not increase the rate of your subscription after the first billing cycle and they allow customers to pay with a card, PayPal or even Bitcoin to ensure that your transaction is completely anonymous.

All purchases are protected by a 30-day money back guarantee and the company regularly runs promotions between $2.99/mo to $3.99/mo.

Customers receive access to all major protocols, a VPN that is fully compatible with all major devices, a true no logging policy, and P2P support.

They unblock Netflix, allow torrenting and keep you 100% anonymous.

Visit NordVPN

30 days money back, best budget VPN
Click here to read our NordVPN in-depth review

2. CyberGhost

Number of servers: 2971 | Simultaneous connections: 7 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | No logging policy | Torrenting allowed | Works with Netflix | Average Speed

Cheap VPN plans on CyberGhost
Current pricing on CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another cheap VPN and they also win the award for “VPN With the Coolest Sounding Name Ever”.

They slid onto this list with a price tag of only $3.50, well under the $5/month mark, CyberGhost brings a lot to the table.

CyberGhost is not the cheapest provider on this list but considering that they offer discounts, they might be the best option for someone on a particularly tight budget.

They offer a much more limited selection of payment options for potential customers and you can only purchase CyberGhost using a card, PayPal, or Bitcoin.

The contents of your CyberGhost subscription are pretty standard fare and include, access to over 2,900+ servers, unlimited bandwidth, 7 device simultaneous connection, no logging policy, and an ultra-strong double encryption.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost isn’t as fast as NordVPN. So you may experience some slow download speeds when torrenting or streaming.

Visit CyberGhost

Click here to read our CyberGhost in-depth review

3. PureVPN

Number of servers: 2000+ | Simultaneous connections: 5 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | Keeps some logs | Torrenting allowed | Does NOT work with Netflix

PureVPN pricing in 2018
Current pricing on PureVPN.com
  • Monthly Plan: 10.95/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $4.15/mo
  • 2 Year Plan: $2.49/mo

Headquartered in Hong Kong, PureVPN is (by far) the cheapest provider on the entire list. Although their one month plan is far from budget-friendly, costing $11.95/mo, they offer an unbeatable 2-year pricing package for only $2.49/month.

The 24-month pricing does require that you pay for the entire 2-year period up front meaning that a subscription with PureVPN will set you back $69.99 for the next two years.

In exchange for this relatively nominal sum, PureVPN customers receive the following features.

2000+ servers including P2P optimized servers in 141 countries, unlimited data and bandwidth, 24/7 365 “Live” customer support, compatibility with all major devices and access to all major protocols.

With no renewal fees and the option to pay with PayPal, Debit Card, Alipay, Paymentwall, Coin Payments, Cashu, and even gift cards, it’s easy to see why PureVPN has become the go-to budget provider.

However, as a drawback, they’ve given log files to FBI (so they keep some log files) and according to our tests, they didn’t seem to work with Netflix. Last, but not least they aren’t as fast as NordVPN.

Visit PureVPN

Click here to read our PureVPN in-depth review

4. Private Internet Access

Number of servers: 3160 | Simultaneous connections: 5 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | No Logging | Torrenting allowed | Only 1 server worked with Netflix

Private Internet Access Plans 2018
Current pricing on PrivateInternetAccess.com

Here’s a complete breakdown of PIA’s pricing plan.

  • Monthly: $6.95/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $3.30/mo
  • 2 Year Plan: $2.91/mo

Although it might be only the fourth provider on the list, they offer some of the most budget-friendly pricing plans that we’ve ever seen regardless of the length of time that you choose to use their services.

With their yearly pricing package coming in at a mere $3.33/mo and 2-year plan at $2.91/mo.

Although PIA does not increase the price for your subscription after the initial billing cycle, it does state in their privacy policy that they reserve the right to alter the fees associated with their services which would be reflected after the initial one, six, or twelve month period.

Unlike PureVPN, PIA doesn’t directly offer coupons and regular discounts on their site and I have yet to see any holiday specials or last minute deals that would significantly affect their price.

For $2.91/month, PIA gives you access to more than 3,000 servers across 25 countries, unlimited bandwidth, P2P support, an ads blocker, SOCKS5 proxy, and access to all major VPN protocols.

At this time, PIA allows payments to be made with all major credit card providers, PayPal, Bitcoin, Amazon Pay, Cashu, OKPAY, Mint, and Z-cash (and even gift cards for staying anonymous).

Visit Private Internet Access

Click here to read our PIA in-depth review

5. Trust.Zone

Number of servers: 134 | Simultaneous connections: 3 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | No logging policy | Torrenting allowed | Works with Netflix

Trust.Zone prices and plans
Current pricing on Trust.Zone
  • Monthly: $6.99/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $3.99/mo
  • 2-Year Plan: $2.99/mo

At only $2.99/month for their 2-year planTrust.Zone is almost as cheap as PIA although the monthly and quarterly plans are a bit pricier.

Like PIA and PureVPN, Trust.Zone doesn’t change the price of your plan once you are locked in, so what you see is what you get, and you get a quite a bit.

  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited server switching

Which is obvious, because it’s not a free VPN.

Although Trust.Zone rarely runs sitewide specials, if you are willing to search the web, they do offer a plethora of discounts and coupons, many of which allow you to enjoy their services for more than 50% off.

Trust.Zone also gives their customers a wide variety of payment methods to choose from including debit card, PayPal, Qiwi Wallet, Bitcoin, WebMoney, and Alipay.

Visit Trust.Zone

Click here to read our Trust.Zone VPN in-depth review

6. SaferVPN

Number of servers:  700+ | Simultaneous connections: 5+ | IKEv2 by default + AES 256-bit Encryption | Questionable Logging Policy | Limited torrenting | Works with Netflix

SaferVPN pricing and plans in 2018
Current pricing on SaferVPN.com
  • Monthly: $10.99/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $5.49/mo
  • 2 Year Plan: $3.29/mo

Israel-based SaferVPN is another great provider that comes armed to the teeth with incredible features and benefits while charging less than $4 a month.

While their monthly and annual pricing packages won’t win them any awards with more frugal consumers, at only $3.49/month, their two-year plan is hard to beat.

Like many of their competitors, SaferVPN does not charge a renewal fee after the initial billing cycle so there’s no need to worry about getting hit with a nasty (and unexpected) upcharge when your service renews.

SaferVPN regularly runs steep discounts and holiday specials (like the one mentioned above) so if you do need to stretch your budget as far as possible and are willing to wait until the next holiday, you can often purchase their services at a 50% discount or higher.

Visit SaferVPN

Click here to read our SaferVPN in-depth review

7. Ivacy VPN

Number of servers:  400+ | Simultaneous connections: 5 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | No logging policy | Torrenting Allowed | Does not work with Netflix

Ivacy pricing
Current pricing on Ivacy.com

Here’s how their pricing plans work out.

  • Monthly: $8.95/mo
  • 6 Month Plan: $5/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $4.08/mo

Charging only $4.08/month for their 2-year pricing plan, Ivacy VPN is too, quite cheap VPN on the market.

After reviewing their ToS I can confirm that Ivacy does not charge a larger renewal price after the initial billing cycle so your prices are locked in until the company decides to increase their service prices sitewide.

Although Ivacy’s basic plans might not be the most budget-friendly options on this list, they regularly run insane specials that allow you to secure your VPN service for a significantly reduced rate.

Ivacy does offer a 7-day money back guarantee to comfort any hesitant buyers, however, this refund is only applicable if you stay under 7 Gb of bandwidth usage and 30 sessions so keep a careful eye on your browsing bandwidth. Like the other providers on this list, Ivacy allows customers to make their purchase using a wide variety of different methods including card, PayPal, BitCoin, Perfect Money, and Payment Wall.

Your VPN subscription includes access to 200 servers (many of which are P2P optimized), unlimited bandwidth, a zero logging policy, a killswitch, and access to all major VPN protocols.

Visit Ivacy VPN

Click here to read our Ivacy VPN in-depth review

8. VPN Unlimited

Number of servers:  400+ | Simultaneous connections: 5 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | Questionable logging policy | Limited Torrenting | Works with Netflix

VPN Unlimited current cost and plans
Current pricing on VPNUnlimitedapp.com
  • Monthly: $9.99/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $5.00/mo
  • Infinity Plan: $149.99

Founded in 2013 under the umbrella of Keep Solid Inc. VPN Unlimited has quickly gone from the new kid on the block to one of the leading budget VPN providers on the market, and it’s easy to see why. 

With VPN Unlimited, you can purchase lifetime access to their VPN service for only $149.99. Considering that their annual pricing plan only costs $5.00/month it should be pretty easy to see why VPN Unlimited has become so popular.

As an added bonus, VPN Unlimited allows you to pay with almost any method imaginable. From cards, to PayPal, to Bitcoin, to Subway gift cards (no I’m not kidding), there aren’t many limits to how you can pay for your subscription.

Luckily, there are no sneaky upcharges or pricing modifications after your first year of service. The prices listed above are locked in as long as you keep an active subscription with VPN Unlimited… Or until they decide to increase the rate across their entire company. 

Your subscription includes access to more than 4,00 servers across 70 countries, compatibility with most major devices, access to all major VPN protocols, and a five device simultaneous connection limit.

Visit VPN Unlimited

Click here to read our VPN Unlimited in-depth review

9. VPNArea

Number of servers:  214 | Simultaneous connections: 6 | OpenVPN + AES 256-bit Encryption | No logging policy | Torrenting Allowed | Works with Netflix

VPNArea current plans and cost

  • Monthly: $9.90/mo
  • 6 Months: $8.33/mo
  • 1 Year Plan: $4.92/mo

Charging their customers a relatively small fee of $4.92/month, VPN Area has a feature rich and affordable service that is sure to delight the budget VPN enthusiast.

There are no upcharges or changes to the original price after your first billing cycle but, as always, you should be aware that the company’s ToS does allow them to change the market price of their services which could result in an increase to your subscription.

At this time, VPN Area allows their customers to pay with only a handful of options including MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Payza.

I haven’t seen the company run very many public promotions, however, I do know that there are numerous coupons and affiliate discounts available to the savvy bargain hunter.

In exchange for your patronage, VPNArea gives their customers access to hundreds of server across 69 countries, a 6 device simultaneous connection limit, a no logging policy, and unlimited bandwidth.

Visit VPNArea

Click here to read our VPNArea in-depth review

What About the Renewal Prices?

While all of the VPNs on this list offer a “What you see is what you get” pricing plan, there are plenty of cheap providers who will enroll their customers in an annual subscription at a discounted rate only to change the pricing agreement right before the renewal period.

If you do find another cheap VPN that isn’t included on this list, be wary of hidden renewal fees and read their Terms of Service very carefully (actually read it) to make sure that you don’t get roped into paying double the agreed upon rate.

The Best VPNs for Netflix and Torrenting

For those of you looking to stream Netflix or anonymously torrent files, you don’t have to purchase an expensive premium VPN in order to do so.

In fact, the following cheap VPNs will suit your needs just fine.

Cheap VPNs that Allow Torrenting:

  1. NordVPN
  2. CyberGhost
  3. Private Internet Access VPN
  4. Trust.Zone
  5. Ivacy

Cheap VPNs that Work with Netflix 

  1. NordVPN
  2. CyberGhost
  3. Trust.Zone
  4. Ivacy
  5. VPNArea

*Please note that due to the nature of using a VPN with Netflix, compatibility can change (literally) overnight so please do your due diligence before purchasing a VPN based solely on its Netflix Compatibility.*

Are These Cheap VPNs Safe?

It’s important to note that just because a VPN is affordable does not mean that it’s safe to use.

The safety (or lack thereof) of a given VPN is typically dependent on two things.

  1. Their jurisdiction
  2. The logging policy of the provider

While the logging policy is pretty straightforward (the fewer logs the better) I want to take a moment to discuss VPN jurisdiction.

Ever since Edward Snowden executed his infamous data breach, leaking hundreds of thousands of classified NSA files, the general public realized that our private lives aren’t quite as private as we’d like to believe.

VPN jurisdiction

In fact, there is a partnership known as the “Five Eyes Agreement” between the U.S., UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada that effectively allows each country to collect, analyze, and share sensitive data with one another, effectively circumventing the privacy laws of each respective nation.

For example, if there is a law that prevents the United States government from legally surveying and spying on one of their own citizens, they can easily sidestep this law and request that one of their partners do the dirty work for them.

Meaning that the privacy laws of each nation are effectively rendered null.

But things don’t stop there.

The five countries created a “Third Party Partnership” with Denmark, France, Holland, and Norway, thus expanding the initial network to “Nine Eyes”.

But wait! There’s more.

If that wasn’t enough, the original five eyes partners expanded their network once again adding Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, and Italy to their list of partners.

The Snowden leaks also confirmed that Singapore and South Korea are also limited members of the new “14 Eyes” partnership.

So what does this have to do with VPN safety?

Basically, if you are using a VPN that is located anywhere within the 14 eyes partnership, the safety and privacy of your information are brought into question.

Although you should have very little to worry about if your VPN provider upholds their no logging policy, it’s important that you are cognizant of this partnership and its ramifications on your personal security.

Should I Choose an Expensive vs. Cheap VPN Software?

As with most things in this world, the answer to this question is far more complicated than it might first appear.

There are numerous factors to consider when selecting a VPN provider and the impact to your wallet is only one of those factors.

One of the most important things that you can remember is that a VPN is about your personal security and privacy.

Choosing the right VPN could be the difference between having all of your banking and personal information stolen and successfully thwarting a would-be hacker.

Choosing the right VPN can mean the difference between having your personal emails sent all over the internet and keeping your sensitive data safe and sound where it belongs.

If you live in or are visiting a country with draconian censorship laws, choosing the right VPN could literally mean the difference between life and death. 

When you take these realities into consideration, it should quickly become apparent that finding the most budget-friendly VPN should never be your goal.

Finding the most effective VPN to suit your goals should. 

While I personally believe that ExpressVPN is the best all-around VPN for 99.99% of consumers, if you do have real budget constraints, something like Private Internet Access or SaferVPN is probably your next best bet.

Cheap VPN Review Conclusion

At this point, it’s my hope that this guide has provided you with all of the information and insight you need to select the ideal budget VPN for your needs.

With every factor taken into consideration, NordVPN is the undisputed champion of the cheap VPNs. If you need something more “premium”, you’d be better off with ExpressVPN ($6.67/mo).

I hope that this guide provided you with everything that you need to find the best and fastest VPN to suit your needs.

Our 13-Step Review Process

Unlike many other VPN review sites, we take things seriously.

When we review the VPN product, we actually buy and use it for a period of 1 week. Here’s what we usually do:

  1. Buy the VPN software from the vendor (we never ask for free accounts)
  2. Install it on our laptop (Windows 10)
  3. Perform 5 speed-tests from different locations (using speedtest.net)
  4. Check for 4 leaks (DNS leak, IP leak, Chrome leak and WebRTC leak)
  5. Test VPN app’s usability and user-friendliness
  6. Fact-check their logging policy and jurisdiction
  7. Check if they unblock/work with Netflix
  8. Check if they allow torrenting and P2P
  9. Test our their customer support
  10. List out the main their main security and privacy features
  11. Test compatibility (TOR, Game consoles, Routers etc..)
  12. Compare the cost vs value
  13. Rank it accordingly on our homepage.

Here’s how we evaluate and stress-test every element of a VPN service:

1. Same computer & network for each VPN

What’s in the box?

Our testing PC

Meet our battle-tested Lenovo IdeaPad 120S-141AP, or “Lenny” for short!

vpn testing laptop

We run every single VPN we test on Lenny to keep the tech consistent. In fact, we bought Lenny just for that purpose!

It wouldn’t make any sense to test these VPNs on a bunch of different networks, so we use a wired cable connection on the same network in our HQ in Estonia. We speed tested our network multiple times across multiple weeks to measure out our average: 98 Mbps Upload, 53 Mbps Download:

vpn speed test benchmark

 

2. Bought and installed 74 VPN apps (ongoing…)

Here’s a look at Lenny’s desktop as of a few weeks ago for perspective:

Lenovo Desktop

This is the part where we pause and use bold type to make sure this is unmissable:

 We do not accept any money, bribes, favors, in-kind donations, exotic pets, crypto currencies, homecooked meals, or ANY compensation in exchange for writing or editing a review. EVER.

In fact, we pay for every VPN service we try out of our own pockets to allow for complete honesty as an actual consumer.

payment for vpn

All of our data is collected first-hand: unlike other reviewers, we don’t rip off numbers from other sites or just make it up. (Which is sadly too common.)

 

3. Read through their logging policy

Have you EVER read a logging or privacy policy in detail? We have. Over 40 times. Until our eyes watered and our heads hurt.

sketchy logging policies

This is the least fun part of our reviews, but the most important: shady companies use tricky language to disguise the fact that they’re tracking and sharing your activity.

We read the fine print to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.

 

4. Check their jurisdiction and history

Background and company name: Who runs the company? Where are they from? Do they have a history of violating user privacy, or leaks? We collect as much info as possible and bring it to you.

Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction a VPN is based in may play a major role in whether or not a VPN could be compelled to hand over your data to authorities if pushed. More on that here.

Jurisdiction

 

5. Run multiple speed tests

It doesn’t matter how secure your VPN is if it takes three hours to download an episode of “Stranger Things.” We use speedtest.net to test Upload and Download speeds multiple times to account for fluctuations in service.

We also revisit these speed tests about once a year to see if anything has changed.

Unfortunately, some VPNs were VERY slow…

slow VPN

 

6. Tested Netflix streaming across 3 to 6 servers

Netflix n’ chill? Only if it works. That’s why we don’t do a one-and-done test: we find out which servers (if any) actually work with Netflix and let you know, saving you time and headaches.

Netflix VPN streaming error
Netflix VPN streaming error

Find best VPNs for Netflix here.

7. Read through their torrenting/P2P policy

Some VPNs crack down on P2P and torrenting. Some advocate for it directly. Others are sneaky about it. We get to the truth of the matter to make sure you can do what you like with the VPN you choose.

torrenting policies

 

8. Test for DNS, IPv4, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks

TL; DR: IP leaks happen when your VPN fails to hide your actual IP as you browse. For example: if you went to load a geo-restricted show on Netflix, and the content was still blocked, your real IP might just have leaked.

We strategically test common points of failure to see how the VPN stands up.

PersonalVPN leaks your DNS

 

9. Graded their usability and user-friendliness

The most secure VPN in the world won’t be much help if it takes a degree in Computer Sciences to use properly. We look for things like setup time, user-friendly interfaces, and ease of configuration to get a sense for how accessible the VPN will be to the average user.

 

10. Evaluate each VPN security and privacy features

Different VPN services are more ideal for different use cases (e.g. business vs. personal), while some “premium” features really ought to be standard on every VPN. We evaluate…

  • Security protocols available
  • Encryption type
  • Kill-switch (instant disconnect if security is lost)
  • # of max connections (How many devices at once)
  • Browser extensions
  • Number and locations of servers

And any unique features the VPN Service brings to the table, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly.

protocols and encryption

 

11. Give their customer support a (real!) test run

NEVER trust a company who promises “best in class” customer service. We submit support tickets, make phone calls, get on chat and more to test response speed and the competence of the support team on the other end when dealing with common VPN issues.

Celo VPN Customer Support

 

12. Test compatibility with routers, TVs, TOR, and consoles

If your VPN Service isn’t compatible with your gadgets, what’s the point? We test multiple different setups for compatibility to help you avoid buying a solution that won’t work on your devices.

We also test whether or not TOR can be used in conjunction with the VPN Service for an added layer of security – important to several power users and those in contentious environments/locations.

available VPN devices

 

13. Compare the cost vs value

Yep, pricing is important. So why evaluate it last? Because there’s no sense in a free product that compromises your privacy, or an expensive product that offers nothing superior to a cheaper one.

vpn ac pricing

 

You can take it from here…

Quite the process, right?

Between reviewing those 13 points for 70+ VPN providers and revisiting past reviews to keep them current, it’s easy to see why we take a little while to put out new reviews.

We hope you appreciate the depth and transparency that goes into the work we do here – and that the information will be helpful to your decision.

Want to help us? Leave your own review here.

Want to leave feedback to our review system, contact us.

Browse 10 Best VPNs

The 5 Best VPNs for Mac

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

In this article, I’ll share 5 best VPNs for Mac users…

There are more than 120+ different VPN apps on the market today.

But how do you know which one is the best VPN for Mac?

Not all VPNs work with Macbook. Even some of the paid ones don’t.

In fact, according to our research, more than 32% of VPNs don’t have stand-alone app for Mac. Meaning they only work with Windows computers and/or Androids.

Luckily, we’ve only listed the ones that do work with Mac.

Our Review Process For Finding Best Mac VPN

As you might know, we, at TheBestVPN.com only focus on testing and reviewing different VPN software.

In order to find the best VPN for Macbook, we compared the following:

  1. Security and Privacy Features (Are there any IP leaks)
  2. Speed (Will they slow down your Internet connection)
  3. Usability on Mac (+ Client Existence)
  4. Netflix and Torrenting
  5. Cost

Obviously, these are not the only factors you should look at when deciding whether or not to purchase a VPN.

However, they are some of the most important, common, and popular pain points that people have.

So, without further ado, here are the top five VPNs for Mac users.

1. ExpressVPN.com

Safe, Secure, and Smooth VPN for Mac

We found ExpressVPN to be the safest, smoothest, and most secure VPN for Mac.

ExpressVPN for macbook
User interface on Mac (very simple & straightforward)

Security and Privacy Features

ExpressVPN’s security is top-notch. It uses some of the most powerful and cutting-edge security features, such as the OpenVPN tunneling protocol coupled with 256-bit AES encryption.

When you look at the best VPNs on the market today you notice almost all of them have one thing in common: the security dream team that is OpenVPN and AES-256 as opposed to obsolete protocols like PPTP.

ExpressVPN also has a strict no-logging policy, meaning that they keep no trace of where you’ve been on the web and what you’ve done while connected to their service. That’s huge for a VPN.

The cherry on top of this security sundae is that they’re based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no local data retention laws and exists outside the jurisdiction of the multi-nation surveillance alliances that pose a serious threat to your anonymity.

You can have total peace of mind with ExpressVPN. Mac users can rest easy knowing that this VPN has their safety in mind at all times.

Speed and Performance

ExpressVPN is not the fastest VPN we’ve reviewed, but it’s far from slow…

It was faster than 92% of other VPN providers. We only a saw a 13% drop in terms of load speed. That’s barely a blip on the radar, and Mac users shouldn’t even be able to detect such a negligible difference.

Some VPNs can slow down your connection by more than 80%. Fortunately, ExpressVPN isn’t one of them.

Usability on Mac

The ExpressVPN for Mac app is incredibly smooth and can be run on three simultaneous devices. Server changes can be done with just one click, and it runs safely minimized behind your browsing windows.

ExpressVPN Mac app VPN is On screen

The user interface is simplistic, straightforward, and easy to use. That’s just one of the many reasons why Mac users can get their money’s worth and more using this quality product.

Netflix and Torrenting

For Netflix fans, we found that all six servers that we tested worked with Netflix. So with ExpressVPN, you can be pretty confident in bypassing the geo-blocking of most of the major streaming services out there.

They also allow torrenting on all of their servers, too. It’s even listed in their torrenting policy.

Cost and Plans

ExpressVPN Plans and costs

ExpressVPN is far from the cheapest VPN on our list. But you can’t deny the incredible all-around service that it offers.

At its cheapest, it’s going to run over $6 per month. Ordinarily, this VPN will fun you over $8 per month, but by clicking our link below, you get access to the special pricing listed here.

Visit ExpressVPN

Read more in our full ExpressVPN Review.

2. NordVPN.com

Best Bang-for-Your-Buck VPN for Mac

NordVPN VPN app on Macbook
NordVPN on Macbook

NordVPN comes in second to ExpressVPN on our list by the slimmest of margins.

This is a well-balanced VPN that hits every major area you’d want. This service actually doubles ExpressVPN’s connection limit, allowing up to six simultaneous devices per account. It also improves on the one area where we feel ExpressVPN falls short: the price.

Security and Privacy Features

What you’ve got here is an air-tight VPN with no leaks, plus a winning security combination.

First off, they’re not logging any of your information.

It’s amazing how some VPNs continue to call themselves private and anonymous while secretly logging your activity in the background. Thankfully, NordVPN isn’t among them.

NordVPN No logs policy

They keep track of some data, like your email address and payment info. But the latter can be overcome by paying them with a cryptocurrency.

They use OpenVPN as one of their tunneling protocols, along with its privacy-ensuring tag team partner, AES-256 encryption. Nord also goes a step further with Double Data Encryption, sending your signal through two VPN servers for additional security.

Speed and Performance

We started off with a speed of around 98 Mbps, and after connecting to NordVPN, we averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 74 Mbps. Still plenty of speed to accomplish all of your torrenting and video-streaming needs.

Usability on Mac

NordVPN has a great MacOS application. It is simple and easy to use, with no learning curve whatsoever.

NordVPN app

You can use NordVPN’s Mac app to connect to more than 5,000 servers in any of the company’s 62 countries. The app comes with a built-in kill switch, which automatically disengages your connection if it senses that an IP leak is present.

We’re happy to report that no leaks whatsoever were found while testing NordVPN.

Netflix and Torrenting

Mac users can rejoice because out of the five NordVPN servers that we tested Netflix on, four of them worked flawlessly.

Netflix homepage

Torrenting is not only allowed, but it’s also encouraged. NordVPN has several P2P servers which are specifically designed for torrenting safely. They also work with the TOR network. TOR is an anonymous browser which lets users peruse the Dark Web undetected.

Cost and Plans

It’s incredibly rare to find a VPN that’s this good and this affordable.

nordvpn pricing 3 year

 

They’re currently running a special where you can get NordVPN for just $2.99 per month with a two-year commitment. But even when they’re not running a promotion, the regular price is just $6.99 per month for a whole year.

When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck out of a VPN for Mac, NordVPN takes the cake.

Visit NordVPN

Read more in our full NordVPN Review

3. CyberGhost.com

Cheap Alternative for Mac Users

CyberGhost VPN of Macbook
CyberGhost VPN of Macbook

Mac users will find CyberGhost to be a well-rounded, affordable VPN with awesome usability.

Security and Privacy Features

The first thing you need to know about CyberGhost’s security is that the company is based out of Romania. This location places it far from the jurisdiction of the three major surveillance alliances that pool the espionage information of 14 different countries.

They also provide the winning combination of OpenVPN and AES-256.

Another amazing benefit of CyberGhost is that it passed our extensive IP leak test, showing that it’s a tightly-run system with no security breaches. Couple that with their strict no-logging policy and you’re good to go.

Speed and Performance

I won’t sugar coat. We weren’t in love with CyberGhost’s speed performance.

We started out at a benchmark download speed of 98.71 Mbps, and here’s what we got while connected to CyberGhost.

CyberGhost download speed
CyberGhost speed is just average…

That’s a pretty hefty drop off, but the speed was still very manageable. According to Netflix, you only need 25 Mbps to stream Ultra HD content, so the speed we’re getting here is more than enough to see you through.

Usability on Mac

CyberGhost’s Mac app is easy to use and has one-click access. That means you just press one button and you’re off to the anonymous-internet races on up to seven simultaneous devices.

CyberGhost screen for one-click access

See that big yellow button? That’s all you need to worry about. Just make your selection from any of their 3,000+ servers and CyberGhost will connect and start hiding your activity.

We loved the way this app worked. It was simple and user-friendly, with no major issues.

Netflix and Torrenting

CyberGhost fully embraces torrenting services. It’s one of their key selling points. They even have a feature where they select untraceable servers for you to give you the best and safest torrenting experience.

CyberGhost Torrent Anonymously tab

As for Netflix, CyberGhost does have servers that work with it. And they take some added measures to help you along.

They have a Netflix unblocking feature that keeps changing IPs whenever Netflix attempts to interfere. We tried it and loved it.

Cost and Plans

One of CyberGhost’s huge selling points is its low price point.

CyberGhost Plans and Costs

Yup. You read that right. Just $2.75 per month.

CyberGhost is living proof that you don’t have to pay through the nose for a quality Mac-friendly VPN.

Visit CyberGhost

Read more in our full CyberGhost Review

4. Mullvad.net

Most Anonymous VPN for Mac

Mullvad app on Mac
Mullvad app on Mac

Mullvad is a Swedish VPN that privacy-loving Mac users will want for their very own.

I’m not exaggerating. Mullvad might be the most anonymous VPN we’ve ever seen. It’s so secure that you can actually overlook its Swedish jurisdiction, which puts it right in the crosshairs of the 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliance.

Security and Privacy Features

Yes, it’s Swedish location can be super problematic. But this just might be the one exception.

You sign up with an email address and you’re giving an account number like something out of a Swiss bank.

That’s it. No addresses, phone numbers, even names! And if you’re paying with Bitcoin there’s absolutely nothing linking you to this account.

It uses our old pal OpenVPN, but it also makes use of an experimental crypto-based protocol known as Wireguard. It has been known to deliver up to 5x faster connection speeds with no delays whatsoever.

Many believe this is the next big thing for the VPN world. We’re eagerly anticipating it.

Mullvad also has a smaller server park numbering 302 active servers.

Mullvad Generate an account number screen

Speed and Performance

Mullvad is a speedy product that can connect to five simultaneous devices.

We started out with a benchmark download speed near 100 Mbps and Mullvad slowed down only a bit – 82.75 Mbps using servers based in the EU.

Their US server didn’t hold out as well, though, with speeds falling to 59.45 Mbps.

Mullvad is actually the 10th fastest VPN that we’ve reviewed, putting it in the upper echelon of quick and efficient systems.

Usability on Mac

Mullvad is a straightforward, easy-to-use app on the MacOS.

Mullvad switch locations screen

You enter in your Mullvad account number and either hit enter or press the green button. It will connect you right away to the server of your choice. You can also switch locations with the press of a button.

It’s a small and easily-hideable app that won’t get in the way of your activity.

Netflix and Torrenting

VPNs that support torrenting are hard to come by in 14 Eyes Alliance countries.

But Mullvad supports P2P file sharing efforts and has even included a helpful guide to make sure users are torrenting safely.

Netflix with Mullvad Streaming Error screen

We tested Netflix on six different Mullvad servers. Four of them came up with nada, but two of them worked perfectly.

That puts Mullvad in the elite company of these seven VPNs that work with Netflix.

Cost and Plans

This product has only one price point. It’s 5 euros per month, which comes out to $5.79 USD.

While not as inexpensive as something like NordVPN or CyberGhost, getting your hands on one of the most anonymous VPNs in the world for under six bucks per month is pretty awesome.

Visit Mullvad.net

Read more in our full Mullvad Review

5. WindScribe.com

Limited Free VPN for Mac Users

Windscribe app on Macbook
Windscribe app on Macbook

If you’re looking for a Mac VPN that has a free option to test drive, look no further than WindScribe.

Windscribe has both a paid plan and a free service. Just keep in mind that free VPNs carry their own risks.

Security and Privacy Features

Windscribe has the duo of OpenVPN and AES-256, proving that these two services must be doing something right since every single entry on our list makes use of them.

When you first start the service up it uses IKEv2 as its default protocol, so you’re going to want to switch over to OpenVPN ASAP.

They don’t log your activity, but they are keeping track of your bandwidth. That’s to keep free users from going over their allotted 14 GB per month. They also hold onto your OpenVPN username, server, connection time, and the amount of data gathered over a three minute period.

It’s also located in Canada, which puts it in the dreaded 5 Eyes Surveillance Alliance, also including the US, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand.

But again, it’s free! What’s more, you can use it with an unlimited number of simultaneous devices.

It’s up to you to decide whether that’s worth more than these red flags.

On the plus side, we found no leaks at all, so it won’t be accidentally bleeding out your IP. It also includes 528 different servers located throughout 55 countries. It’s not a huge server park but it’s respectable.

Speed and Performance

We lost over half of our speed using Windscribe. We started out at 100 Mbps and we ended up with 42.97.

Is this ideal? No. Is it world ending? Also no.

Usability on Mac

We won’t lie to you:

Setup is going to take a few minutes. But once you’re up and running, the WindScribe app is very functional.

Windscribe on Macbook

As you can see, there’s just one button.

It’s a simple on-and-off switch, and the app itself is very small. It can be easily minimized down into your toolbar or hidden behind your browser window so as not to impede your activity.

You won’t even know it’s there.

Netflix and Torrenting

Windscribe will let you torrent to your heart’s content, but it’s not available on every server.

If you see an icon with “P2P” crossed out, that’s a server that will not let you torrent. This has a lot to do with the various countries these servers are located in and their specific stance on torrenting.

The good news is that they do offer a service called Windflix, which is a series of Netflix unblocking servers. We tried two different servers with Windflix and both of them worked.

Just keep in mind that the free Windflix plan caps you at 14 GB per month. So if you’re looking to torrent or stream a fair amount, you might want to fork over some cash and upgrade to the paid plan.

Cost and Plans

Speaking of cash (how’s that for a segue?) Windscribe’s paid plans are decently priced.

Windscribe Plans and Costs

Their lowest tier is $3.70 per month.

Canadian jurisdiction and some limited logging are not things I’m willing to pay for when there are four other VPNs on this list that do much more (sometimes for less money).

Visit WindScribe

Read more in our full Windscribe Review

Quick Tips for Choosing a VPN

When choosing a VPN, you have to ask yourself what you’re looking to do. If you just want to browse anonymously while connected to airport WiFi, then you might be able to get away with one of the many questionable free VPNs out there.

But if you’re looking to really browse the net anonymously, stream blocked content, and torrent the night away, you need to ensure your VPN has a few specific features in place.

These include:

  1. It’s not logging information
  2. It’s not leaking your IP address
  3. It has a jurisdiction outside of surveillance alliances
  4. It’s fast
  5. It fits your budget
  6. It has OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption
  7. It is user-friendly
  8. It runs on a multitude of devices
  9. It allows torrenting
  10. It can unblock Netflix

Use these 10 tips and you’ll be able to find the VPN of your dreams, whether you’re connecting with a Mac, a PC, or via a smart device.

12 Best “Free Trial” VPNs

John Mason

John Mason

We put together a list of “free trial” VPNs that you can test out before you buy!

We have bought, used, and reviewed over 74 VPN services here at TheBestVPN.

These VPN reviews also have over 1,200 user reviews to give you an idea of what other people (like you) think about them.

The vast majority of these VPNs offer a completely-free plan. But some only give you a limited trial for anywhere from one to thirty days. And, others will require a credit card when signing up.

Don’t worry. We’ll uncover all of these loopholes in this article by analyzing the 12 best free trial VPNs, and let you know if there are any catches to worry about. Enjoy!

1. NordVPN (7 Day Free Trial)

nordvpn free trial

NordVPN is a VPN market leader with over 5,100 servers in 62 countries (as well as unlimited data transfer). They offer a free trial that allows you the same access and treatment you will get with a paid plan. Even better, you don’t even need a credit card to take advantage of this free trial! You can also decide to go with a monthly plan, a 6-month plan, a 1-year plan, or a 2-year plan after the trial.

  • Duration of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 5,100+
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 5,100+
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/6-months/1-year/2-years
  • Renewal price after trial: $2.99 – $11.95 per month depending on renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Apple TV, Torrenting, Netflix

Visit NordVPN.com for a 7-day trial

2. VPNHub

vpnhub free trial pageVPNHub is a recent entrant into the VPN game. Launched by Pornhub (yes, you read that right), this new VPN boasts some impressive features: including 826 servers in different locations, unlimited data, and support for all the major desktop and mobile operating systems. However, their free trial lasts just seven days, and you need a credit card to be able to take advantage of the trial.

  • Duration of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: Yes
  • Number of servers in original plan: 826
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 826
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $14.99/month if monthly and $7.49/month if annually.
  • Devices supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS.
  • Best for: Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS

3. HideMyAss

hidemyass free vpn trial 7 days

HideMyAss is one of the oldest and most popular VPN services out there. They’re also one of the best free VPNs because they offer over 750 servers in 280+ locations, an unlimited data cap, and support for every major OS. They publicly offer a 7-day free trial, and we were able to find a secret link that allows for a 30-days free trial.

hidemyass free trial page 30 days

However, you need a credit card to take advantage of this trial. And you will have to renew annually, too.

  • Duration of trial: 7 days and 30 days
  • Credit card needed: Yes
  • Number of servers in original plan: 750+
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 750+
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $83.88
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android.
  • Best for: Apple TV

4. SaferVPN

safervpn free trial page
You can’t go wrong with SaferVPN, getting access to 700+ servers in over 35 locations, unlimited data transfer, and support for most major devices. The only big issue is the 24-hour trial length. However, what gives SaferVPN an edge above the rest is the fact that you don’t need a credit card to try their free VPN service.

  • Duration of trial: 24 hours
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 700+
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 700+
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/1-year/2-years
  • Renewal price after trial: $3.29 – $10.99 per month depending on renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOs, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Netflix, Routers.

5. CactusVPN

cactusvpn free trial page

CactusVPN offers a more limited service compared to the other options on this list (you have access to only 23 servers). But the good news is that they allow you to trial their service for 24 hours without requiring a credit card. Their monthly plans are also cheaper — ranging from $3.25 to $4.99 per month depending on whether you decide to go with an annual or monthly renewal.

  • Duration of trial: 24 hours
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 23
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 23
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Quarterly/Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $3.25 to $4.99 per month depending on renewal duration
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • Best for: Android TV and Amazon Fire TV.

6. VyprVPN

vyprvpn free trial page

VyperVPN offers access to 700+ servers in over 70 worldwide locations, unlimited data transfer, and support for every major device. However, you need a credit card to trial their service and it only lasts three days.

  • Duration of trial: 3 days
  • Credit card needed: Yes
  • Number of servers in original plan: 700+
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 700+
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $5 – $12.95 per month depending on plan and renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Streaming.

7. ProtonVPN

protonvpn free trial page
ProtonVPN has a free limited plan. But, if you’d like to trial their premium service with all the features they have to offer, they allow you to trial their the ProtonVPN Plus plan for three days. You don’t need a credit card for this trial, and you’ll be able to access all of the same features as paying users.

  • Duration of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 299
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 299
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $8 to $10 monthly depending on renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOs, Linux, Android.
  • Best for: Torrenting, Netflix.

8. SmartyDNS

smartydns free trial page

SmartyDNS allows you to trial their premium service for three days — and they allow you the same access a premium user will have without requiring a credit card. They only have 10 server locations, however, which is much smaller compared to most of the other options on this list.

  • Duration of trial: 3 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 10 locations
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 10 locations
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Annually/2-years
  • Renewal price after trial: $5.83 – $5.96 per month depending on renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Gaming and Smart TV.

9. Avast SecureLine VPN

avast secureline free trial pageAvast SecureLine VPN has servers in 55 locations, support for most major devices, unlimited data transfer, and a seven-day free trial without needing a credit card. This offering is good, but not as good as some of the others listed ahead on this list.

  • Duration of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 55 locations
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 55 locations
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: 1-year/2-years/3-years
  • Renewal price after trial: $19.99 – $86.66 per year depending on renewal period and number of devices.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Torrenting.

10. AVG Secure VPN

avg secure free trial page

AVG Secure VPN is offered by the same company behind the renowned AVG antivirus software. They offer a generous 30-day trial that does not require a credit card. It doesn’t even require an email address like most of their competitors. Simply install their software and you are good to go. They only have servers in 55 locations, though, which is much smaller than the other options on this list. But a 30-day trial without requiring a credit card or email address is pretty impressive in our opinion.

  • Duration of trial: 30 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 55 locations
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 55 locations
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $55.99 per year.
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Torrenting.

11. CyberGhost

cyberghost free trial page
CyberGhost boasts over 2,700 servers worldwide, support for every major device, and the ability to connect to up to 7 devices at once. While they allow only 24 hours to trial their service (7-days for Android and iOS users), you get access to all the features premium users have access to and do not need a credit card to try out their service.

  • Duration of trial: 1 day for desktop and 7 days for mobile
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Number of servers in original plan: 2,700+
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 2,700+
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Annually/2-years/3-years
  • Renewal price after trial: $2.75 – $11.99 per month depending on renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux.
  • Best for: Torrenting, Netflix, Kodi, Gaming, Routers.

12. GooseVPN

goosevpn free trial pageGooseVPN also offer a generous 30-day free trial access of their VPN service. However, you need to enter your credit card details to take advantage of their offer. They have servers in 32 locations and support every major device.

  • Duration of trial: 30 days
  • Credit card needed: Yes
  • Number of servers in original plan: 32 locations
  • Number of servers in trial plan: 32 locations
  • Data cap: Unlimited
  • Renewal period after trial: Monthly/Annually
  • Renewal price after trial: $4.99 to $12.99 per month depending on renewal duration.
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Best for: Torrenting, Netflix.

If you’re looking for a VPN which you’d like to test out first, I recommend you go for VPNHub – it doesn’t have any limitations or data caps, you can use their premium service for 7 days without any fees, although they might charge you after the 7 day window passes.

Setting Up a VPN Router: The Ultimate Guide

John Mason

John Mason

In this guide, TheBestVPN covers how to set up Asus and Netgear routers with the ExpressVPN app. We also discuss VPN protocols, different types of routers and what you should look for when searching for a VPN router.

For the average internet user, there are many benefits of using VPN service.

By ensuring an encrypted browsing experience, VPNs allow you to bypass regional internet restrictions, protect your data from hackers, save money on expenses like airfare or car rentals and browse from different locations, among others.

But less people are aware of the benefits of connecting a VPN to their router.

Doing so, allows you to connect all your devices to your private network via your Wi-Fi connection.

But how do you create a VPN router?

Full disclosure: To compensate our time and money spent in testing VPNs, we’re using affiliate links. However, we never recommend a VPN service in exchange for money – find detailed review process here.

Why Router + VPN = WIN?

If you’re still new to VPNs, or are still using a free VPN browser service, then it may seem like a leap to invest in a new router setup for your computer. And that’s understandable: it’s a big investment, and there is a lot to learn if you aren’t familiar with the technology.

To ease your mind, it’s worth noting that once you’ve purchased a router, the cost to maintain a monthly subscription is very affordable (between $5 to $8 a month, even you use a premium VPN like ExpressVPN), which is a small price to pay for your privacy and security.

Nonetheless, it still helps to see what advantages a VPN router provides. Some benefits of installing a VPN to your router are:

1. Keeps VPN service up and running all the time

Downloadable and browser VPNs require you to sign in to the service each time you want to access them. By having a VPN service tethered to your router, the service runs continuously, so logging in is no longer necessary.

2. You can connect multiple devices

Browser-based and downloadable VPNs require you to manually log in each device every time they access your private network. If you’re not using a VPN router, then you’ll need to insert your login credentials each time you want to access your VPN.

When you set up a VPN on your router, you only have to log in the first time, just like a traditional Wi-Fi network. This goes for each device you connect to your VPN router.

3. Provides more security for all devices

Any device that connects to your router’s Wi-Fi receives the benefits afforded by your VPN. That means any time you have friends over, or want to use several devices simultaneously (like your smart TV, smartphone and laptop), all of your devices will be rerouted through the VPN, ensuring private browsing.

The only drawback is bandwidth: With multiple devices connected to the same VPN source, you should expect a slower internet connection. Just how much it will slow down depends on several factors, like who your VPN provider is and your connection speed.

Now that we’ve covered the advantages of buying a VPN router, let’s discuss what you should look for when purchasing one.

How to Choose a Router to Connect Your VPN

How to Choose a Router to Connect to Your VPN
How to Choose a Router to Connect to Your VPN

When searching for a VPN router, what you’re really looking for is a router that can run VPN client software.

As a VPN client, your router — and any device connected to it — has direct access to the VPN server. To determine if a router is compatible with a VPN, you should consult the router’s manual, or simply Google it.

If you use an ISP modem (they usually come as a combined router and modem device), then you most likely can’t use your router as a VPN client. In this case, you would need to purchase an additional VPN-compatible router and connect it to your current router, but we will touch more on this later.

Whatever the case may be, it should be noted that most store-bought routers do not come pre-installed with a VPN, and more importantly, that not all routers can run VPN software. That’s why you need to know what’s out there so you can make an informed choice.

There are several VPN router options that can get the job done, including:

A) Pre-flashed routers

Pre-Flashed VPN Router

The easiest option for both savvy VPN enthusiasts and novices is to purchase a pre-flashed VPN router. Doing so allows you to skip the complicated process of flashing (more on this term below) the proper firmware to your VPN, which varies depending on the type of router and its specs.

Purchasing a pre-installed VPN router will cost you a bit more. That’s because companies  like Flashrouters, which only sell pre-flashed routers, take care of the installation for you. Complete with features like encrypted plug-and-play and added performance enhancements, the price markup is well worth it.

B) Out-of-the-box VPN-compatible routers

Out-of-the-box VPN-Compatible Router

Another easy option is to purchase a router that supports VPN firmware out of the box. These routers come pre-installed with stock firmware that can connect to a range of VPN servers already. With baked in VPN capabilities, you won’t have to flash new firmware or connect such a router to a secondary router.

Most VPN-compatible routers allow you to connect to a wide range of different VPN servers, and they usually support the OpenVPN protocol, which gives you the advantage of using almost any VPN provider you want.

C) Flash router with new VPN firmware

Flash Your Router With VPN Firmware

The last option, and the most complicated, is to flash your router with new firmware. To clarify, the term “flashing” means to install new firmware; “firmware” is the Operating System within your router that determines what its capabilities and/or limitations are.

To enable your router to function as a VPN client, you need to flash it with new firmware. The two most common and established types of firmware out there are DD-WRT andTomato.

DD-WRT and Tomato are open source, third-party firmware that are available online for free, and each has its own pros and cons. But first, let’s see what they have in common. Both DD-WRT and Tomato can:

  • Extend your wireless range
  • Regulate your bandwidth 
  • Improve security 
  • Access multiple VPN protocols 
  • Disable manufacturer backdoors, among others 

Here is where they differ:

DD-WRT is more accessible and available on more devices than Tomato. As far as exclusive features, DD-WRT allows users to adjust the strength of their Wi-Fi signal, manage quality-of-service settings to prioritize specific types of traffic, access your home network from afar, and more.

Tomato offers better bandwidth monitoring options, permits up to two VPN servers to run at the same time, and offers a more user-friendly interface. It also connects better to various VPN service providers, but is not supported on as many routers. To see an in-depth comparison of the two types of firmware, you can view Flashrouter’s article here.

Just to be clear, if you search for DD-WRT or Tomato online, what you find can be misleading, as you will come across results like “DD-WRT router” or “Tomato router.” To clarify, both DD-WRT and Tomato firmware were originally made for specific types of wireless router models.

These models support specific firmware, but they usually need to be flashed with the new firmware to rid the router of its stock firmware first. So, if you want a router that supports DD-WRT, you need to check the DD-WRT database; otherwise, you may purchase a router that is not compatible with the firmware, which will break — or “brick” — your router should you flash it onto your device.

How to Choose a VPN Provider for Router

Choose a VPN Provider
Choosing a VPN provider for router

First things, first.

If you’re already paying for a premium VPN, great! If not, it’s time to do some research.

Most VPNs (like NordVPN and ExpressVPN) can easily be installed on DD-WRT or Tomato routers.

Others, like Hotspot Shield, don’t work so easily.

There are two key aspects to look for in a VPN provider: speed and accessible online support. Your private network will handle everything from streaming to downloading, gaming, etc., so it’s important that you pick a provider that can do the heavy lifting. To make your life easier, it also helps if your provider offers online tutorials to get you started.

In general, you’ll also want to check your VPN provider’s server locations, speed reports and whether or not they maintain logs. Or, if you don’t want to delve into this research yourself, you can read our review about the best VPNs of 2018.

While there are many providers to choose from, we will use ExpressVPN’s service in this article. To be clear, ExpressVPN is not a router manufacturer; they simply provide a VPN service that works in conjunction with select router models.

ExpressVPN’s service streamlines the installation process. For example, rather than going through the trouble of researching and selecting a VPN protocol for your router, ExpressVPN takes care of it for you by choosing the optimum protocol for your setup.

How to Set Up a Router on a VPN

How to Set Up a Router on a VPN
Setting up a VPN on a router

Now that you’ve found a VPN provider, you’ll want to follow any instructions they provide on their website.

In our case, we’re using ExpressVPN’s app. Once you’ve arrived at their homepage, follow our step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Download ExpressVPN firmware

First, create an ExpressVPN account. Then, click “See all devices.”

set up expressvpn on all devices

Next, click “Router” on the Set Up page.

step 2 set up router expressvpn

Copy and paste your Activation Code to a Google Doc or open another tab (you’ll need it later) and select your router model on the right.

step 3 set up expressvpn on router

Once you’ve selected your router model, click “Download Firmware.”

Step 2: Connect your router

Now that you have your firmware downloaded, we need to assemble the router. While your setup will vary depending on your router model, the recommended apparatus for most models is two routers and an internet connection.

To set up both routers correctly, the first thing you need to do is configure your primary router to enable VPN passthrough. By activating this feature, you allow any device connected to your primary router to run VPN client software. Once activated, you need to connect your primary and secondary routers.

The basic setup goes like this:

  • Plug an Ethernet cable into the LAN port on your primary router, and connect it to the WAN (“Internet”) port on your secondary VPN router.
  • Connect your primary router to your computer using another Ethernet cable by connecting its LAN port to your computer’s LAN port.
router vpn wired setup

Or, if you’re using a wireless connection, make sure the primary router is connected to the internet:

wireless vpn router setup

Both configurations allow your VPN router to piggyback on your primary router’s internet connection.

Note: Though it is recommended to use two routers, not all routers require it. For example, some Linksys routers can and should be set up as your sole primary router.

Step 3: Flash your router

Now that you have your routers in place, it’s time to flash them. In this guide, we will cover two types of routers: Asus and Netgear.

However, it’s worth mentioning that there are many other routers supported by ExpressVPN to choose from.

Routers supported by ExpressVPN App
Linksys EA6200
Linksys WRT1200AC
Linksys WRT1900AC(S)
Linksys WRT3200ACM
Netgear R6300v2
Netgear R7000
Asus RT-AC68U
Asus RT-AC87U
Asus RT-AC56R
Asus RT-AC56S
Asus RT-AC56U
Routers requiring manual VPN setup
D-Link
DD-WRT
Netduma
Sabai
Tomato
TP-Link
Xiaomi

How to flash an Asus router

The following steps only work these specific Asus routers: Asus RT-AC68U, RT-AC87U, RT-AC56R, and RT-AC56U.

  • Turn your router on and connect it to your computer via cable or the network name found on the bottom.
  • Access the Asus router dashboard.
  • If it’s your first time accessing the dashboard, enter “admin” and a temporary password.
  • Next, create a password for your SSID (Service Set Identifier). Click “Apply” and then “Complete.”
  • You will be directed to the router admin dashboard.
  • Click on “Administration
  • Next, click the Firmware Upgrade tab and select the firmware you just downloaded. The firmware file name will match your router model name; otherwise, you will get a message saying firmware file is invalid.
  • Click “Upload.”
  • You should see a message reading, “Router update is completed.”
  • After the update finishes, you may need to replug your Ethernet into your router’s WiFi.
  • Now, go to expressvpnrouter.com and login using admin for both username and password fields.
  • Enter the activation code from your ExpressVPN Set Up page and click “activate.”

How to flash a Netgear router

The following steps are specifically for the Netgear R6300v2 and Nighthawk R7000 routers.

  • Get to Netgear router dashboard by visiting routerlogin.net.
  • Skip changing your WiFi name and SSID password for now if you can; the credentials will be reset later when you flash the ExpressVPN app onto the router.
  • Enter admin for your default login and password.
  • You will be directed to the router admin dashboard.
  • Once there, click “Advanced.
  • Select “Administration” and then “Router Update” on the sidebar.
  • Click “Browse” and select the firmware file you downloaded that corresponds to your router model. It should read: expressvpn-netgear-rxxxxx-vxxxx.chk
  • Click “Upload” to flash your router.
  • Now, go to expressvpnrouter.com and login using admin for both username and password fields.
  • Enter the activation code from your ExpressVPN Set Up page and click “activate.”

Now, you should be connected!

Step 4: Additional steps

Here are some instructions for additional steps, such as connecting to a different server location, managing devices and changing your default SSID password.

Change server location

  • First, be sure you disconnect your VPN from the internet.
  • Click “Select another location.”

Manage devices

  • Look for VPN Options on the VPN tab and scroll to find Recently connected devices.
  • Once there, you can select which devices are protected by the VPN.

Change default SSID password

  • Find ExpressVPN Help & Support.
  • Click on the buttons that read Wi-Fi Name, Wi-Fi Password, and Router Dashboard Credentials.

Upgrading to a VPN router might seem like a big leap, especially if you’re used to using free browser VPNs. But, if you’re serious about your privacy and want the most secure browsing experience possible, then the extra cost is worth it.

Although getting set up can be tricky, the greatest resource is the internet. Remember: your setup will vary depending on the factors we covered in the article, like what router you purchase and the VPN provider you choose. Be thorough, proceed step by step and your private network should be up in no time!