Best VPN Provider

According to 30+ independent VPN experts & reviews from 2021

Our experts gathered all the VPN Experts & Reviews rankings, ratings, and opinions into one ultimate list

If you’re not using a VPN in 2021, you have ZERO privacy when connected to the internet, whether through your phone, tablet, computer, or even Smart TV. 

Your browsing history (even with incognito), locations, habits, interests, and more are being monitored, collected, and sold to companies you’ve never heard of without your permission (legally since 2017). This data is not just used for advertising either — according to a Yahoo article from September 2021, “your credit score may soon depend on your web history”. That’s pretty frightening. 

Imagine your credit card gets declined because you searched the “wrong” thing… or have a habit that creditors don’t like… seriously.  If you’re like us, you’ll want to protect your data, and using a VPN is the best (and easiest) way to do it.

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a service that creates an anonymous, private internet connection for you through one of the VPN’s servers around the world. This means your ISP, phone carrier, or government won’t be able to monitor what you do, and websites and advertisers won’t be able to easily track your online activity.

Why Trust Just One Expert?

If you try to search for the Best VPN, you’ll probably notice every “VPN expert” has a different opinion on what the best VPN is. Who do you trust? If you’re like us, you don’t just trust one expert’s opinion… 

So we put together all of the VPN recommendations from 30+ of the top VPN experts we found on Google and summarized the results below so you can quickly and confidently start using the best VPN service right away.

Best VPNs Overall Shortlist

If you’re in a rush (or have the attention span of a goldfish), here’s a quick rundown of the top 10 VPNs on average according to all the experts, along with a very brief summary. 

  1. NordVPN — The Overall Best VPN according to the average rank among the top 30 VPN experts. 
  2. ExpressVPN — Best VPN Premium VPN, & the best VPN by over 50% of experts. Slightly more $.
  3. SurfShark – 3rd best VPN on average and best for unlimited devices. 
  4. CyberGhost VPN — 4th best VPN on average. Largest global network. 
  5. PrivateInternetAccess — 5th best VPN overall & best cheap VPN provider 
  6. IPVanish — Best US-based VPN service, and the fastest VPN for torrenting. 
  7. ProtonVPN — Best Privacy VPN & Best Free VPN 
  8. VyprVPN — Best Undetectable VPN, Best China VPN & Best To Bypass Censorship
  9. Hotspot Shield VPN —2nd Best Free VPN, Very Fast US-based VPN
  10. TunnelBear VPN — Best Canadian VPN and 3rd Best Free VPN.

How We Find The Best VPN

Don’t just get a second opinion, or even 10 opinions — get them all at once with BestVPNProvider. We don’t just test VPNs, we gather all of the data and opinions of all the other experts and VPN reviewers so you don’t have to worry about which expert to trust — trust no one but all. 

We basically do the same research you would do (or are doing now) except with a mad case of OCD, a full bottle of Adderall and over 1,000 hours of research…  and boy is our OCD satisfied. We compare and collect all of the VPN recommendations and opinions from the top 30 VPN experts on Google, and do some calculations to identify the top 10 best VPN providers on average according to all the top experts, and all the good stuff and bad stuff we discovered along the way.

Number of VPNs tested179
3rd-Party Expert Reviews Researched32
User Reviews Collected48,000+
Maximum monthly cost$12.99

The Best VPN Providers

Get a bird’s eye view of all the VPN that makes the mark on our top-ranked list. Get a quick preview of the VPN’s key features, average ranking score, top recommending experts and what they’re best for. 

#1. NordVPN — The Best VPN Overall

Avg. Top 10 Rank
1.8
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 93% of experts, & Ranked 1st Best VPN by 33% of experts, including:

#2. ExpressVPN — The Best Premium VPN in the World

Avg. Top 10 Rank
2.3
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 93% of experts, & Ranked 1st Best VPN by 57% of experts, including:

#3. SurfShark — Best VPN for Unlimited Devices

Avg. Top 10 Rank
3.8
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 93% of experts, & Ranked Top 3 Best VPN by 53%, including:

#4. CyberGhost VPN — Best Biggest VPN Provider

4.6/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
4.9
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 87% of experts, & Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 52%, including:

#5. Private Internet Access — The Best Budget VPN

4.5/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
5.9
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 66% of experts, and Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 37% of experts, including:

#6. IPVanish — The Fastest Torrenting VPN

4.5/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
6.0
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 63% of experts, and Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 33% of experts, including:

#7. ProtonVPN — Best Privacy VPN & Best Free VPN

4.5/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
6.0
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 47% of experts, and Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 23% of experts, including:

#8. VyprVPN — Best Stealth VPN To Bypass Censorship

4.4/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
7.1
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 50% of experts, and Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 20% of experts, including:

#9. Hotspot Shield — Best Free American VPN

4/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
7.2
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 47% of experts, and Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 17% of experts, including:

#10. TunnelBear — Best Canadian VPN + Free Plan

4/5
Avg. Top 10 Rank
7.6
based on 30 VPN experts & review sites' Top 10 VPNs list
Recommended by 47% of experts, and Ranked Top 5 Best VPN Overall by 13% of experts, including:

Other VPN Services To Consider

Summary of the top 11-20 VPN Services that didn’t make the list, but should be considered as well. 

Best VPN Services Compared

Compare each VPN’s Features & Highlights

Our Methodology

How does BestVPNProvider determine the best VPN service? Well, our methodology is quite different from other VPN Review websites.

Our goal is to find the best VPN services determined by their respective average rankings on the most popular third-party VPN review websites, articles, and guides you would likely find searching through Google. 

This Best VPN list is meant for my OCD peeps that aren’t satisfied with one website or expert’s opinion — and would normally spend hours or days reading and researching across dozens of websites before deciding and choosing the real best VPN provider. 

To keep this Best VPN Provider’s list honest, trustworthy and unbiased — our ranking methodology is straightforward, transparent, and verifiable.

  1. We start by combing through the top 30 Google search results for “Best VPN” to gather data on what each VPN’s website or article (experts) recommended and how they are ranked from 1 to 10 (1 being the best).
  2. We disregarded less popular VPNs that were scarcely recommended(on less than 10% of websites).
  3. We then averaged all of the rankings for each VPN Provider to determine the 10 VPNs with the lowest (best) average rank. This does not include third-party star ratings or user ratings in our rankings (a little overkill and too complex for now) but we do gather and display them.
  4. Finally, we organize and present our research and findings on this beautiful page, so you can save time and confidently move forward in choosing the best VPN for your needs.

 

VPN Experts & Review Sites We Referenced

Our sources are the top search results on Google for Best VPN — we tried to be as diverse as possible. Here’s a list of the top 30 VPN Review Websites, Recommendation Pages, and Articles we referenced:

Mainstream / Tech 

  1. Wired
  2. PCMag
  3. U.S.News
  4. Tier3
  5. Toms Guide
  6. CNET
  7. Forbes
  8. ZDNet
  9. TechRadar
  10. TechAdvisor

VPN Review Websites

  1. VPNMentor
  2. TheBestVPN
  3. VPNPro
  4. Top10VPN
  5. Top50VPN
  6. VPN SERVICE
  7. VPNOverview
  8. BestReviews
  9. Reviews.org

Cyber Security & Privacy 

  1. cybernews
  2. Security.org
  3. SafeHome.org
  4. ProPrivacy
  5. Cloudwards
  6. PrivacyTools.io 

Other Digital Experts 

  1. crazyegg
  2. neilpatel
  3. SPY
  4. ITProPortal
  5. LaptopMag

Compare How Expert’s Ranked These VPNs

Here’s our source data with the top 15 VPN services and their rankings on the top 30 VPN review and recommendation websites. Feel free to sort the list by the different sources to see how they ranked your top VPN picks. 

Best VPN Detailed Review

We analyzed the best VPN providers in detail to further break them down for you with all of the different expert opinions, rankings ratings, collective pros and cons, highlights, which experts recommend it for, and which disagree.

NordVPN — Overall Best VPN According to Experts

  • Official Name: NordVPN
  • Expert Recommendations: 28/30 (93%)
  • Price: $3.67/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Very Fast. Up to 1gb/s. 
  • Streaming: Supports 30+ Streaming services; Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, HBOMax, Spotify, Prime Video, and many others
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers. 
  • Privacy: Strict No-Logging Policy + Privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 5,500 servers in 60 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 6 Devices Max. per Account
  • Kill Switch: Yes
  • Jurisdiction: Panama (Privacy Haven)
  • Ownership: Tefincom S.A (Panama-based)

NordVPN is undisputedly the best VPN with strong recommendations from 93.3% of experts and is ranked #1 in 10 authoritative review sites. It offers top-notch security, privacy, fast connection, and servers in 65 countries. NordVPN is based in Panama and has a strict no-logs policy.

NordVPN supports streaming, torrenting, and unblocking content providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. You can easily install and connect to a NordVPN server thanks to its user-friendly app.  NordVPN works with 6 devices per user, and subscription starts from $3.67/month and comes with a 30-days money-back guarantee policy. 

Why Choose NordVPN

Is NordVPN worth subscribing to? Yes, it is, and here are the top reasons to do so.

Absolute Privacy Guaranteed

NordVPN has a solid reputation for protecting its users’ privacy. Besides a clearly-worded no-logs policy, NordVPN is based in Panama, which is a safe haven for VPN services. This means that NordVPN does not store any sensitive information of its users, and it doesn’t need to comply with data sharing requests. 

You’ll also be assured with NordVPN’s RAM-based server, which wipes off any data upon reboot or power off. Besides, you can also use additional features like Kill Switch, Double VPN, and Obfuscated Server to keep you safe from hackers and government agencies.  

Impressive Connection Speed 

NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs that impressed most experts. You can stream HD videos, download large files, and play MMO games without suffering from drop connections or buffering. In fact, NordVPN is an ideal VPN for streaming.

 You can unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video wherever you are on the planet. This makes NordVPN perfect for users who prefer entertainment on the go with top-notch protection.

NordVPN Offers Specialty Servers

One notable feature of NordVPN is its range of specialty servers. Rather than choosing a server for everything you do online, NordVPN offers dedicated Tor Over VPN, P2P, and obfuscation servers. 

If you’re using NordVPN for torrenting, accessing the internet in China, or the dark web, you can choose from these servers. This helps you gain better protection, stealth, or speed in special circumstances that need more than standard servers. 

Compare ALL Expert NordVPN Reviews & Rankings

NordVPN tops the ranking and is recommended by 93% of experts. It is largely favored for its privacy, security, privacy, and unblocking of streaming sites. Here are what top experts have to say about NordVPN.

PositiveNeutralNegative
28 (93%)1 (3%)0 (0%)

Most Positive Review

"The Best “All-Around VPN"

- Rob Mardisalu, TheBestVPN.com

Ranked: 1st out of 78 VPNs
Rated: 5/5 Stars

“NordVPN has been one of the leading VPN providers with the best security. As you can see throughout this NordVPN review, the reasons for their popularity are valid. It’s secure, fast, and easy to use, with some amazing features to ensure your data and information are always protected. That’s why they take the first place on our list of VPNs.

Also, with a customer support team like NordVPN’s, you’ll never have to feel alone in ensuring you’re browsing securely.

I absolutely recommend NordVPN if you’re looking for a great solution for an even better price!”

Most Critical Review

"A Popular (and Pricey) VPN"

- Leeron Hoory & Adam Hardy, Forbes

Ranked: 4th out of 10 VPNs
Rated: 4/5 Stars

NordVPN has the highest annual cost [among ProtonVPN and CyberGhost]. However, when you sign up for a two-year plan, the cost drops to £31.43 per year. A two-year plan for ProtonVPN totals £33.75 per year. CyberGhost still offers the most competitive pricing, at £29.58 per year for a two-year plan.

When it comes to the maximum number of devices you can use, NordVPN is on the lower end of the market with a limit of six devices. The company outshines the competition with the number of servers as well as operating countries. The company operates under the jurisdiction of Panama, where there are no laws that mandate data retention. Thus, it is able to maintain a strong commitment to privacy and a no-logs policy.”

 

ExpressVPN — The Best Premium VPN in the World

  • Official Name: ExpressVPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking:  2.3 (lower is better)
  • Experts: 93% of experts recommend ExpressVPN.
  • Price: $6.67/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Super fast. Over 1 GB/s
  • Streaming: Yes, works great with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and HBOMax.
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers.
  • Privacy: Strict No-Logging + Non-14-Eyes
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 5 Active Devices at once
  • Kill Switch: Yes

ExpressVPN earns the moniker of the Best Premium VPN in the world, and it’s easy to figure out why. It is easy to use, offers top-notch security, and boasts arguably the fastest connection amongst rivals. However, its subscription plans don’t come cheap, with the monthly fee starting at $6.67, and each account is limited to 5 devices. 

Ranked #1 by 17 experts, ExpressVPN has a solid track record in unblocking geo-restricted services. This includes Netflix, which usually gains the upper hand against VPN providers. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Island, a privacy haven and not involved in any intelligence pact. 

Why Choose ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is not cheap, but there are reasons why you’ll want to sign up for it.

Unrivaled Blazing-Fast Connection

ExpressVPN took its already ultra-fast connection to the next level with its newly-developed Lightway protocol. You will not experience even the slightest lag when connected to any of its servers. This is because ExpressVPN is almost equally fast on all servers, even long-distance ones. 

The superfast speed of ExpressVPN goes well with its ability to unblock streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. You will have a pleasant experience watching TV shows and movies in full HD. 

Solid Security & Privacy Protection

ExpressVPN provides fortress-like security with highly secure encryption and protocol. Your data is protected by AES-256 and protocols like Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. These security features prevent your data from being leveraged by hackers or spies against you. 

ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy on its website. It also engaged PwC to conduct an independent audit to verify its strict privacy protection practices. Furthermore, ExpressVPN uses TrustedServer technology which uses RAM instead of a hard disk. This ensures that no information is permanently stored on its server. 

Supports A Huge Range Of Device

ExpressVPN can be installed on different types of devices, including less common ones. Besides major platforms, you can install ExpressVPN on Chromebook, Amazon Fire Tablet, and select wireless routers. The router support is handy when you want to protect multiple devices at home with a single account.

Besides that, you can install ExpressVPN on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, and Chromecast with Google TV. It’s also possible to configure ExpressVPN manually on consoles like PS4, Nintendo Switch, Roku, and Xbox One. This makes ExpressVPN one of the most versatile VPNs available. 

ExpressVPN offers a risk-free 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

Compare All Expert ExpressVPN Reviews

ExpressVPN is highly recommended by 93.33% of VPN experts. It is favored for its impressive speed, security, ease of use, and diverse platform support. Check what these experts thought about ExpressVPN.

PositiveNeutralNegative
28 (93%)1 (3%)0 (0%)

Most Positive Review

"hands-down the best VPN"

- tomsguide.com

Ranked: #1 VPN Overall
Rated: 5/5 Stars

“We think ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market, with great performance in just about every area. Its 30-day money-back guarantee lets you trial the service risk-free”

Most Critical Review

"Too expensive"

- VPNPro.com

Ranked: Not in Top 10
Rated: 4.2/5 Stars

“No, even though ExpressVPN is one of the best. In today’s VPN market, you can find a secure and transparent VPN service for a much better price.”

SurfShark — Best VPN for Unlimited Devices

  • Official Name: SurfShark VPN
  • Avg. Ranking: 3.8 (lower is better)
  • Experts: 93% (28/30) of experts recommend SurfShark
  • Price: $2.49/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Pretty fast (4/5)
  • Streaming: Yes, works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Kodi, Spotify, Vudu, Crunchyroll, and others
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers. 
  • Privacy: No-Logging Policy + Privacy-friendly jurisdiction
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 3,200 servers in 65 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: Unlimited
  • Kill Switch: Yes 

Surfshark is the 3rd Best VPN overall on the internet with an average rank of 3.75 (1 being the best) and is tied 1st with NordVPN & ExpressVPN as the most recommended VPN (93% of experts). SurfShark claim the spot of the Best VPN for Unlimited Devices, while other top ranked VPNs have device limits of 5 or 6. 

Surfshark is a VPN provider that offers no-logging policies, fast speeds, and unlimited simultaneous connections. They also have many connection points in 65+ countries. Their most expensive plan is $2.49/month, and they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Why Choose SurfShark VPN

Unlimited Devices with One Subscription

Surfshark is the best VPN that allows Unlimited Devices with just one VPN account, one important feature that neither NordVPN (6 devices) nor ExpressVPN (5 devices) can beat.

This feature is perfect if you want to share your subscription with friends or family, or you just have a lot of devices to encrypt (think TV, Router, iPads, Laptops, Desktops, Phones, etc.). You can protect all their devices simultaneously with just one account with SurfShark. 

Optimized For Streaming

One of Surfshark’s main selling points is its compatibility with Netflix and other streaming services. SurfShark has servers in 9 different countries dedicated strictly to unblocking content on Netflix. They are one of the only VPN providers that actually has made some effort to make their interface compatible with streaming services.

Extra Privacy & Security

One other standout point that I want to mention is that Surfshark takes privacy seriously. They are based in the British Virgin Islands which has no mandatory data retention laws and is a well-known privacy haven. You might also want to look at their kill switch which they call the “Scramble” feature. This scrambles your connection so it can’t be intercepted by an ISP or any third party who tries to monitor you. Other notable advanced security & privacy features include MultiHop (Double VPN), Bypasser (Split Tunneling), Camouflage Mode (Obfuscation), and RAM-only VPN servers.

Compare All Expert SurfShark Reviews

SurfShark is the 3rd best VPN service, and highly recommended by over 93% of experts online, mostly praising it’s fast speed, easy to use apps and unlimited devices. Here’s how the expert’s ranked Surfshark:

Most Positive Review

"It may be cheap, but it's the full package"

- Sead Fadilpašić of ITProPortal.com

Ranked: 2nd for best VPN overall
Rated: 5/5 Stars

“If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a VPN but still want online anonymity and access to restricted streaming content, Surfshark is the perfect choice. While it’s not as flexible as more expensive rivals, it’s powerful enough for most, and has been very reliable in our testing.” 

Most Critical Review

"will serve you well if you want a VPN for personal use"

Rob Watts of Forbes.com

Ranked: #8 for Best VPN Overall
Rated: 3.2/5 Stars

Forbe’s editor Rob Watts was critical of SurfShark’s price and lack of dedicated IP option, stating “You won’t find a dedicated IP address add-on with Surfshark, and that limits some of its uses for remote workers and small business owners.”

CyberGhost VPN — Best Biggest VPN Provider

  • Official Name: CyberGhost VPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 4.9 (lower is better)
  • Experts: 87% (26/30) of experts recommend CyberGhost
  • Price: $1.99/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Fast download & upload speeds, but slightly slower-than-average to connect at times.
  • Streaming: Yes, works with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, YouTube & Crunchyroll
  • Torrents: Yes, specialized high-speed torrenting servers
  • Privacy: Strict No-Logging Policy 
  • Refunds: 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 7,100 servers in 91 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 10 
  • Kill Switch: Yes

CyberGhost is a Romanian-based VPN service with an excellent price to quality ratio. They have a no-logging policy, great speeds, and plenty of servers located worldwide. Their software is easy to use and available for all popular platforms – both desktop and mobile. You can connect 7 devices at once with an unlimited bandwidth which makes them perfect for families or multiple connections on your own device.

CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and more so you can stream from anywhere around the world and gain access to your home content library or international content libraries.

They offer the best VPN prices ranging from $1.99 to $12.99/mo with a great 45-day money-back guarantee as well as a 7-day free trial, so you can test the service before getting locked in.

Why Choose CyberGhost VPN?

Why choose CyberGhost VPN instead of another VPN provider? Here are the top reasons that experts expressed:

7-Day Free Trial & 45-day money-back guarantee!

CyberGhost VPN offers an unparallel and industry-leading 45-day money-back guarantee along with a 7-day free trial. If you are not satisfied with the service within that time frame, then you can request your money back – no questions asked. This is far better than the industry norm, which is a 30-day money-back guarantee and no free trial. This makes it an ideal first choice for people that are on the fence and want peace of mind knowing they won’t lose their money if it doesn’t work out.

CyberGhost is Fast (75% of experts agree)

CyberGhost is renowned for its speed. It can handle torrenting, streaming, and regular browsing with ease. Not only are the servers fast but you can connect up to 7 devices with one account at a time. This makes it an excellent option for families or groups on the go who need to be connected. You won’t experience lag or any other issues while using CyberGhost VPN and this is what will make it the ideal service for you.

CyberGhost Unlocks Most Streaming Services

CyberGhost is the go-to for streaming. It has dedicated streaming servers to unblock Netflix libraries in the US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, and Spain. Other streaming services it can unblock are Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. This ensures that you will be able to stream your favorite content from

Compare All Expert CyberGhost Reviews

CyberGhost is the best VPN service recommended by over 87% of experts online, including VPNMentor (2nd), Forbes (2nd), ProPrivacy (3rd) and Top50VPN (3rd), Cloudwards (3rd), Top10VPN (3rd) and SPY (3rd). 

The best praise was from VPNMentor with a 4.8 star rating . The most critical expert review was from RestorePrivacy, which doesn’t recommend CyberGhost due to its new shady corporate owner. 

Most Positive Review

VPNMentor
"CyberGhost is a solid choice"

- Ariel Hochstadt with VPNMentor

Ranked: 2nd for best VPN overall
Rated: 4.8/5 Stars

“CyberGhost is a top VPN that often appears on our recommendation lists. It’s a smart choice for its combination of reliability, security, ease-of-use, and price.” stated Hochstadt. He continued stating “We think CyberGhost is a simple VPN that does a great job on all fronts…. Good server coverage easily helps you get around geoblocks so you can enjoy a more unrestricted internet”

Most Critical Review

"Somewhat of a mixed bag"

- Sven Taylor of RestorePrivacy

Ranked: Not Ranked
Rated: No Star Rating

Taking everything into consideration, CyberGhost is somewhat of a mixed bag. They offer user-friendly VPN apps with secure encryption, but there are lots of drawbacks to consider before signing up for this VPN.” Including “Troubling history with parent company (Kape, formerly Crossrider), Slow to establish connections and below-average speeds, The website uses aggressive tracking, Broken ad blocker for HTTPS sites, Connection logs, Does not work well with Netflix, or in China”

Private Internet Access — The Best Budget VPN

  • Official Name: Private Internet Access VPN (PIA)
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 
  • Experts: 66% (20/30) of Experts Recommend
  • Price: $2.19/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Inconsistent 
  • Streaming: Works with most streaming sites
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers. 
  • Privacy: Strict No-Logging Policy 
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 35k servers in 78 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 10
  • Kill Switch: Yes

Private Internet Access offers decent VPN protection at a very affordable cost. It is recommended by 66.67% of experts and made it to the Top 5 ranking of 11 VPN comparison sites. Private Internet Access, or PIA, is headquartered in the US and has servers in 78 countries.

Private Internet Access has great support for torrenting across all of its servers. It boasts numerous advanced security features such as split tunneling and a kill switch. Private Internet Access is available for as low as $2.19 per month, and its 1-month plan cost only $9.95

Why Choose PIA VPN?

Wonder why Private Internet Access makes it to the 5th spot? Here are some great reasons. 

Low Monthly/Annual Pricing (with 10 devices) 

Private Internet Access offers lower-than-average pricing for both short and long-term packages. Short term monthly renewal plan costs $9.95, which is a couple of dollars cheaper than the premium you pay for ExpressVPN.

Besides being so affordable, Private Internet Access also gives you a generous 10 devices per account. This is almost unheard of in the industry, except for Surfshark’s unlimited devices. You’ll find PIA a good fit if you’re tight on budget and need a VPN to take care of basic security. 

Secure & Fast Torrenting

Private Internet Access is touted as one of the best VPNs for torrenting. Not only are all of its servers optimized for torrent downloads, but it also providesprovider SOCKS5 and its own ShadowSocks proxy that works with P2P client apps.

P2P downloading is a breeze on PIA’s servers as they generally offer above-average speed. While some P2P users are concerned about PIA’s being a US-based provider, it has a solid track record of not storing activity logs and never submitting any to legal requests. 

Assured Privacy & Protection

There are concerns about Private internet Access being located in the US, which is part of the 5 Eyes intelligence-sharing pact. However, PIA has a strict no-logs policy, and it couldn’t submit any historical logs even when legally ordered to. 

Private Internet Access is built with all the security features of a decent VPN. You’ll be protected from cyberthreats with AES-256 encryption and protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. It also has a kill switch in the app, which disconnects the internet in the event of a dropped VPN connection.

Compare All Expert PIA Reviews

Private Internet Access made it to the top 10 list of 18 review sites. Most experts have high praise for its budget-friendly pricing, no-logs policy, and advanced security features. Check out the best compliments and criticism about PIA. 

PositiveNeutralNegative
19 (73%)5 (19%)2 (8%)

Most Positive Review

Forbes

- Name of Source.com

Ranked: 1st for best VPN overall
Rated: 4.5/5 Stars

“Private Internet Access stands out as our top-rated VPN service due to its large number of available servers across 77 locations and competitive pricing. A dedicated IP address add-on (for a small additional monthly fee) and the ability to use 10 devices simultaneously give small businesses and remote workers much to love as well.”

Most Critical Review

"Troubling history with the parent company (Kape)"

- Sven Taylor from RestorePrivacy

Ranked: Not in Top 10
Rated: n/a

“Private Internet Access may be cheap, but it still does not offer much value. On a positive note, it does have good VPN apps that are secure and user-friendly. But even with that, these drawbacks stand out: Slow and inconsistent speeds; Based in the United States; Does not work well with streaming services; Troubling history with the parent company (Kape); Mediocre support that may or may not be available.

In short, we’re not recommending this VPN. There are too many other great alternatives to consider.”

IPVanish — The Fastest Torrenting VPN

  • Official Name: IPVanish VPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 6.0 out of Top 10 VPNs Overall 
  • Experts: 63% (19/30) of experts recommend it
  • Price: $4.00/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Fastest torrenting VPN
  • Streaming: Works with most, but not reliably
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers. 
  • Privacy: No-Logs, but based in the US 
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 1,600+ servers in 55 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: Unlimited
  • Kill Switch: Yes

IPVanish is the best VPN for torrenting. It openly supports torrenting and offers ultrafast servers for P2P downloads. Like Surfshark, IPVanish has no limits to the number of connected devices per account. IPVanish apps are user-friendly, making them an ideal VPN for non-techies. 

IP vanish does not store logs and unblocks major streaming websites. You can download IPVanish on popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. IPVanish has 1,900+ servers spread across 55 countries. The subscription plan for IPVanish starts at $3.96 / month and is backed by a 30 days, risk-free trial period. 

Why Choose IP Vanish?

Why should you subscribe to IP Vanish? Here are our thoughts. 

Superfast Connection Speed

IPVanish server speed is nothing short of impressive. In fact, IPVanish performs above average when it comes to download and upload rates. It passes the speed test with flying colors in almost all of the expert reviews. This makes IPVanish an ideal VPN for activities that demand high bandwidth. 

You’ll find that IPVanish is a superb VPN that lets you stream high-quality video or download large files without disruption. While it has mixed results unblocking Netflix, IPVanish still allows you to stream the likes of HBO, NBC Sports, Sling TV, and ESPN+.

Full Torrenting Support

IPVanish explicitly supports torrenting activities through its VPN services. All IPVanish servers are optimized for P2P transfer. This means you can share or download torrent files on IPVanish without worrying about hackers targeting your IP address. 

Besides the standard servers, you’ll also have access to IPVanish SOCKS5 proxy servers. You can find tutorials that guide you through configuring the SOCKS5 proxy for P2P clients like BitTorrent, uTorrent, Vuze, and Deluge. The SOCKS5 proxy allows you to download securely without sacrificing speed. 

No Limits On Device Connections

There is no limit to how many devices that you can connect to IPVanish with a single account. This puts IPVanish above many top VPN providers in terms of simultaneous connections (most of which limit you between 5 to 10)

As IPVanish supports major platforms, you can have your PC, laptop, mobile phone and tablet protected with just a single subscription. This helps you to get the most value out of IPVanish, which according to some experts, is slightly overpriced.

Compare All Expert IPVanish Reviews

IPVanish is highly favored by ZDNet (#3), Security.org (#3), and VPNMentor (#4). This VPN shines in its P2P support, fast server speed, and generous concurrent device connections. Check out the most positive and critical expert reviews on IPVanish. 

Most Positive Review

"Best VPN for Android"

- Aliza V. & Gabe T, Security

Ranked: 3rd for best VPN overall
Rated: 4.6/5 Stars

“IPVanish worked really well on our Android devices, with strong encryption methods, great download speeds, and split tunneling, which really helped us out when we were working from home. Plus, unlike many other VPN companies on the market, IPVanish has really fantastic customer support, available 24/7 over email, phone, or live chat. This is a rarity, as most VPNs only have email support for a limited number of hours per week.”

Most Critical Review

"few reasons to consider it "

- Nathan Lawrence, Reviews.org

Ranked: Not in Top 10
Rated: 2/5 Stars

“IPVanish VPN isn’t in consideration for our top VPN services and it shouldn’t be near the top of your list for an all-rounder VPN service either. It’s slow to switch servers, connected speeds are middling to terrible, and streaming compatibility with popular international services is basically non-existent. If you want unlimited simultaneous connections, go with Surfshark but, really, there are more than a handful of VPN providers you should look at before considering IPVanish.”

ProtonVPN — Best Privacy VPN & Best Free VPN

  • Official Name: ProtonVPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 6.0
  • Experts: 46.67% (14/30) experts recommend
  • Price: $0-$10/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Very Fast
  • Streaming: Works with Netflix. Limited support for other streaming sites.  
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers. 
  • Privacy: Strict No-Logging Policy + Based in Switzerland 
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 1,300+ servers in 55 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 10
  • Kill Switch: Yes

ProtonVPN is the leading VPN for total privacy. It is also one of the few VPNs that offer a free subscription plan with minimum limitations. This Swiss-based VPN made it to the top 10 recommendations on 14 leading VPN review sites. It works on common platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and Chromebook. 

ProtonVPN has a trustworthy reputation. It is designed by the same team that develops the world’s largest encrypted email service, ProtonMail. It does not store connection logs, employs the strictest protective measures, and easily unblocks streaming providers like Netflix. 

Why Choose ProtonVPN?

Rumors have it that Edward Snowden is a fan of ProtonVPN. Here’s why you should join the fan club too. 

Arguably The Best In Privacy & Security

ProtonVPN’s security and privacy protection is executed at a level unseen in the world of VPN. You’ll enjoy amplified security with the SecureCore servers as it routes your data through multiple VPN servers before heading to the internet. 

ProtonVPN does not store any logs and is reflected in its privacy policy. If that’s not convincing enough, the VPN provider encrypts the entire hard disk of its servers. This prevents hackers from acquiring any information on the disk, logs or not. It also helps that ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, which doesn’t share intelligence with any countries. 

Free Plan With No Catches

Proton VPN is free. Yes, you can use VPN and enjoy most of its features without paying anything. Unlike most ‘free’ VPNs, there are no ads on the free version of ProtonVPN. You’ll get a decent medium speed and access to 24 servers in the free plan. It’s good enough for casual browsing, accessing geo-restricted websites, and there’s no expiry.

Of course, an upgrade to the Basic plan will have a higher connection speed, 10 concurrent devices, and P2P support. If you need the ultimate protection that ProtonVPn can offer, you’ll need to sign up for the Plus plan. On top of existing features, you get an ultrafast speed of up to 10 Gbps, SecureCore servers, and Tor Over VPN.

Unblocks Major Streaming Services

ProtonVPN can unblock streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. But only through its Plus subscription that costs €8 / month. This is a commendable feat as not all VPN can get the better of Netflix geo-restrictive measures, regardless of how much you’re paying for it.

On top of streaming your favorite TV shows and movies, ProtonVPN lets you do so without any lag. This is thanks to its ultra-fast server on the Plus plan that ramps up to 10 Gbps. You can bid goodbye to constant lags or a total disconnect when you stream with ProtonVPN Plus. 

Compare All Expert ProtonVPN Reviews

ProtonVPN comes with high accolades from many leading tech publications, including SafeHome.org (#3), CNET (#4), and Laptop Mag (5).  Find out the good and bad of ProtonVPN from top experts.

Most Positive Review

High-level protection at a reasonable price

- Derek Prall , SafeHome.org

Ranked: 3rd Overall, #1 Best Privacy VPN
Rated: 4.5/5 Stars

“Headquartered in privacy-friendly Switzerland, ProtonVPN is one of the best services on the market for keeping your data away from prying eyes and sticky fingers. And right now, Proton is offering a deal where you can get 33-percent off a two-year subscription.”

Most Critical Review

" I would still choose other alternatives"

- Laura M., Top50VPN

Ranked: 22nd best VPN overall
Rated: 3.6/5 Stars

“Is ProtonVPN good? No. Even though ProtonVPN is not a bad option because it’s leaks-free, has strong security, decent customers support and works with Netflix, I would still choose other alternatives, such as CyberGhost or ExpressVPN, these providers have much better speed and allows torrenting. But if you’re a light user and not looking for the best provider, I recommend you to try the free ProtonVPN version.”

VyprVPN — Best Stealth VPN To Bypass Censorship

  • Official Name: VyprVPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 7.1 (8th on our list)
  • Experts: 50% (15/30) experts recommended VyprVPN
  • Price: $12.95 $1.81 /mo (See Pricing)
  • Speed: Very fast, tier-1 servers
  • Streaming: Works with all streaming sites, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and more
  • Torrents: Yes, fully supported on all servers.
  • Privacy: Audited, Strict No-Logging Policy (Switzerland)
  • Refunds: 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 700+ servers in 65 countries with 300,000+ IP Addresses
  • Simultaneous Devices: 5
  • Kill Switch: Yes

VyprVPN is great for ensuring protection, privacy, features, and most importantly, bypassing censorship. It is highly recommended by 50% of VPN experts we surveyed, including VPN Pros, TechAdvisor, and ProPrivacy. VyprVPN is based in Switzerland and is helmed by internet veteran Golden Frogs. 

VyprVPN works on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, QNAP, Smart TV, Routers, and the lesser-known Blackphone and Anonabox. Subscription to VyprVPN starts at $1.81 per month with up to 30 concurrent device connections. VyprVPN offers a 30-days risk-free trial period where you’ll get a full refund upon canceling the service.

Why Choose VyprVPN?

Should you choose VyprVPN just because it’s recommended by leading experts? Here are some compelling reasons to do so. 

Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ And More…

VyprVPN is the gateway to unlimited streaming services. Besides getting past the strict restriction from Netflix, VyprVPN also unlocks other providers like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and ESPN+. This is made possible by VyprVPN’s proprietary protocol — Chameleon.

Along with its 30 devices limit, VyprVPN makes a good VPN for traveling. You can share connections with friends, family and access hours of entertainment wherever you go. 

Keeps You Secure And Anonymous

VyprVPN is built to keep its users safe and stealthy. You’ll be protected by the same encryption used by banks and next-gen protocols like Chameleon and Wireguard. Moreover, VyprVPN owns all of its network of servers in 70+ locations around the world. This means that none other than VyprVPN has physical access to the servers.

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland, which is not part of the 5 Eyes alliance. It is not subjected to data retention laws, nor does it store any identifiable logs in its servers. You’ll find that VyprVPN has a simple and clearly-worded privacy policy, which is vetted by independent auditors. 

It Works In China

VyprVPN is one of the VPNs that can successfully slip through China’s Great Firewall. It is the perfect VPN for business travelers heading to China. When you’re in China, you can subscribe and use VyprVPN to access websites and apps blocked by the government. 

This means that you can use Gmail, YouTube, Facebook and access websites like Wikipedia, WSJ, and CNN in China is possible with VyprVPN. Again, this is thanks to the Chameleon protocol, making it difficult for China to block VyprVPN. Besides China, VyprVPN also works in other countries with strict internet censorship.

Compare All Expert VyprVPN Reviews

VyprVPN gets the thumbs up from half the VPN review sites we surveyed and makes it to the Top 5 in 6 of them. It earns praise for its ability to outwit China’s internet restriction as well as unblocking dozens of streaming providers. Here’s how leading experts rate VyprVPN.

PositiveNeutralNegative
17 (65%)6 (23%)3 (12%)

Most Positive Review

"Like a snake in tall grass, VyprVPN can’t be caught."

- Jan Youngren, VPNPro

Ranked: 4th Overall, #1 Best VPN for Security
Rated: 4.6/5 Stars

“VyprVPN is one of the best VPNs overall. It offers great privacy and security without sacrificing speed. Implementing WireGuard protocol means that we should see this service among the fastest very soon. This also means that you’re getting great P2P protection without sacrificing speed.

VyprVPN is the best for those living under repressive regimes, such as Russia or North Korea. Even the infamous Great Firewall of China is no match to this VPN.”

Most Critical Review

"I don't recommend VyprVPN

- Usman Hayat, VPNRanks

Ranked: Not in Top 10
Rated: 3.5/5 Stars

“I don’t recommend VyprVPN. Firstly, their pricing strategy is on the higher side. Likewise, they don’t support the torrenting activities of their users. Furthermore, they don’t have any anonymous payment options for their subscribers.

On the other hand, it unblocks US Netflix and offers 700+ servers in 70 countries worldwide. But, few cons, as mentioned above, have forced me not to recommend this VPN to privacy seekers.”

Hotspot Shield — Blazing Fast VPN + Free Plan

  • Official Name: Hotspot Shield VPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 7.2 among 25 Expert’s Top 10 VPN list
  • Experts: 47% Recommend It
  • Price: Free to $19.99/mo (View Pricing)
  • Speed: One of the Fastest VPNs
  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+,  BBC iPlayer, Prime Video and Hulu (3 expert sources)
  • Torrents: Yes,  P2P fully supported on all servers. 
  • Privacy: No-Logging Policy (USA-based, Inside the 5-Eyes)
  • Refunds: 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Network: 1,800+ servers in 80 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 5, up to 25 
  • Kill Switch: Yes

Hotspot Shield is a high-speed, easy-to-use VPN. Despite being a US-based VPN, it gains top marks for its blazing-fast servers. Its impressive speed has earned rave reviews from top publications like Tom’s Guide, Security.org, and TechAdvisor. This makes Hotspot Shield an ideal VPN for streaming, gaming, and heavy downloading. 

Hotspot Shield’s servers are located in 80+ countries. It offers a free plan on top of two paid packages. Premium subscription starts at $7.99 per month with up to 5 devices. You can try Hotspot Shield premium risk-free for up to 45 days. 

Why Choose Hotspot Shield?

Hotspot Shield’s American origin may turn skeptics away, but here is why you should give it a shot. 

‘Incredibly Speedy’ (according to Tom’s Guide)

Hotspot Shield claims that it’s 2.2x faster than other competitors, and it isn’t exaggerating. You’ll find that Hotspot Shield gives you the bandwidth needed for high-res streaming, real-time gaming, and heavy torrenting. 

The secret of Hotspot Shield’s impressive speed rating lies in its proprietary Hydra Catapult protocol. It is developed to deliver better security and a super fast VPN connection. You won’t even notice that you’re connected to a VPN as Hotspot Shield does cause any noticeable delay. 

Perfect For Streaming Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer And More

Hotspot Shield has the upper hand against major streaming providers. Whether you’re watching Netflix US, Disney+, or HBO Max, you can do so without issues on Hotspot Shield. Do note that getting past the geo-restriction of these services is only possible on the Premium plans. 

Complemented by its ultra fast connection, you’ll find that Hotspot Shield is a wise choice for a streaming VPN. You can expect a pleasant experience when accessing international content libraries with the VPN. 

Free Plan And 45-Days Money Back Guarantee

You can try Hotspot Shield for free. Hotspot Shield’s free plan comes with a data limit of 500 MB per day and max 2 Mbps connection speed. If you want to test out Hotspot Shield without limitations, you can sign up for a free 7 days trial. 

During the 7 days, you can push Hotspot Shield to the limit and decide if it’s the right VPN for you. After that, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium plan to continue using the service. However, you’ll still enjoy a 45-days money-back guarantee coverage, which is rather generous in the industry.

Compare All Expert Hotspot Shield VPN Reviews

Hotspot Shield is highly-rated by T3 (#3), TechRadar (#4), Tom’s Guide (#4) and Reviews.org (#3). Most experts agreed that Hotspot Shield is one of the fastest VPNs for streaming.    

PositiveNeutralNegative
9 (36%)10 (3%)6 (0%)

Most Positive Review

"Hotspot Shield VPN has speed, affordability, & great streaming performance"

- Alice Marshall, Tier3

Ranked: 3rd for best VPN overall, #1 for Fastest VPN 
Rated: 4.5/5 Stars

A trusty VPN that continues to offer reliable and consistent performance, Hotspot Shield has speed, affordability, and great streaming performance. It’s also got some nifty features up it’s sleeve to ensure reassurance in terms of security and privacy, though a proper audit certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

 

Most Critical Review

" pretty unforgivable"

- Brian Murray, Cloudwards

Ranked: Not in Top 10
Rated: 3/5 Stars

“Hotspot Shield is a VPN that offers a free plan as well as the option for premium upgrades. Although it doesn’t quite live up to its claim of being the “world’s fastest VPN,” it still reached some respectable speeds”

“Hotspot Shield’s security is questionable due to its use of a proprietary protocol and its abysmal privacy policy. That, along with it selling user information, takes Hotspot Shield out of contention for being a VPN we’d actually recommend.”

TunnelBear — Best Canadian VPN + Free Plan

  • Official Name: TunnelBear VPN
  • Avg. Expert Ranking: 7.6 Overall 
  • Experts: 46% (14/30) recommend it
  • Price: Free – $3.33/mo  (View Pricing)
  • Speed: Average
  • Streaming: No, does not work. 
  • Torrents: Yes, but only on paid plan
  • Privacy: No-Logging Policy (Canada-based, Inside 5-Eyes)
  • Refunds: No refunds (Free Plan offered)
  • Network: 3,000 servers in 23 countries
  • Simultaneous Devices: 5
  • Kill Switch: Yes

TunnelBear is one of most user-friendly VPNs for beginners. It is recommended by 46.67% of tech experts, including PCMag, CNET and Wired. Tunnel bear has all the essential features a VPN needs — strong encryption, no logs policy and a sleekly-designed client app. 

TunnelBear’s server network spans over 46 countries with decent speed. You can install TunnelBear on macOS, Windows, iOS and Android. Premium subscription of TunnelBear starts at $3.33/month with 5 connected devices. It also has a free plan that comes with a 500 MB limit. 

Why Choose TunnelBear VPN?

Here’s why TunnelBear makes a good VPN apart from its cute bearish mascot. 

A Beginner-Friendly VPN

TunnelBear is perfect for users who want to keep it simple when using a VPN. It features a fun and easy-to-use interface that makes TunnelBear look like a cartoonish game instead of a VPN. 

TunnelBear spares you from technical jargon often associated with a VPN. You’re able to connect to a secure connection by toggling an on-screen switch. Also, you can find all the features on the app easily. If you need help, TunnelBear has a comprehensive resource library, or you can reach out to its support team.

Audited No Logs Policy

TunnelBear alleviates concern that it is based in Canada with a strict no logs policy. Not only TunnelBear doesn’t keep a log, but it runs an independent audit for its privacy practice each year. This means that you can use TunnelBear without worrying that your connection logs may be leaked or submitted to authorities. 

Besides a no logging policy, TunnelBear uses industry-standard encryption and protocol to protect your privacy. TunnelBear’s robust security features means you’re totally protected from hackers attempting to snoop on what you’re doing online. 

TunnelBear Is Available For Free

TunnelBear’s premium subscription starts from $3.33 per month. It is not the cheapest option around. However, you can try TunnelBear without paying anything. It has a free plan that lets you try all the features on TunnelBear but with a data limit of 500 MB. This makes up for the lack of a free trial period, which other VPN providers offer. 

Compare All Expert TunnelBear Reviews

TunnelBear is highly-rated by 14 VPN experts, including VPNMentor (#8), ITProPortal (#7), and SafeHome.org (#5). Experts like the fact that TunnelBear is taking its privacy policy seriously with yearly audits and it’s ease of use. Check out the opinions about TunnelBear from leading experts. 

Most Positive Review

"The Best [VPN] for Beginners"

- Neil Patel, NeilPatel.com

Ranked: 4th overall, #1 for Beginners
Rated: n/a

“TunnelBear is a great option for individuals and businesses that want to get started with a VPN but aren’t as knowledgeable as they’d like.

TunnelBear includes the standard features you need to get started with a VPN — AES 256-bit encryption, tunneling (Android only), hashing, and more. Their service is reasonably priced and designed to help inexperienced people get started with a VPN.”

Most Critical Review

"Not recommended."

- Sven Taylor, RestorePrivacy

Ranked: Not in top 10
Rated: n/a

“…it seems that TunnelBear is lagging behind other leading VPN services in many areas. When you consider the price, it’s definitely not what I’d consider to be a “good deal”. At about $5 per month (annual plan), you really aren’t getting much for your money: Slow speeds, No access to Netflix and other streaming sites, No refunds, Extremely small server network (only one server in the US!), Limited customer support.”

 

What is a VPN?

A VPN, short for virtual private network, is a network service that protects your online identity, stays anonymous, fences off hackers, and bypasses restrictions effortlessly. 

A VPN is easy to use (one click to connect), it won’t slow down your internet or computer, and you can use it on various devices (Smartphone, Tablet, Router, etc.). We’ve used them for years because they work – whether we’re at home, in the office, or traveling abroad.

VPN

How Does VPN Work?

Virtual Private Networks act as a middlemen between you and the internet. VPN offers stealth and security by hiding your IP address and encrypting device communication. No one can see what you’re doing or who you are, and thus you gain real freedom on the internet. 

Not only does VPN secure your online activities, but you can virtually change your location, unblock censored websites, access geo-restricted content, and bypass ISP throttling. (making your Internet faster).

How a VPN Works

Do I need a VPN provider?

It depends, but most people would agree to use a VPN when they are aware of its benefits.

If you’re conscious of how unsafe the internet can be, you’ll want to use a VPN. It keeps you from direct threats from hackers. This is even more so when you’re connected to a public WiFi and conduct financial transactions on an unsecured connection.

You will also need a VPN if you’re concerned about the government spying on your every activity online. For example, you’re a journalist working on a sensitive topic, and you don’t want to attract attention from authorities. 

We also suggest getting a VPN if you’re traveling to countries like China and Russia. These countries are known to regulate and censor websites and apps. A VPN with good obfuscation servers is the only way to bypass the censorship.

The same applies if you want to stay connected to local content or access streaming services unavailable in your country. VPNs like ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN are pretty good at slipping through the geo-restriction checks of streaming services.  

What Can a VPN Do?

VPNs are mostly used by people nowadays to access entertainment content, such as blocked videos and using torrents. However, they can do so much more with a VPN:

  • Improved security: The main feature of a VPN is that it encrypts all your network traffic. Therefore, nobody can see your online activities, not even your ISP or the government.
  • Privacy and anonymity: When you connect to a VPN, you are prompted to connect to a server. That server will act as a middle person, using its own IP address and credentials. Your IP address and identity are hidden, and you can browse the web anonymously.
  • Remote access: A VPN allows employees to access their work computers remotely. Ever since VPNs were developed, global companies have been using VPNs to let their employees access files remotely regardless of where they are.

With such obvious benefits, VPN has proven to be a cost-effective and great investment for online security and privacy.

How To Choose The Best VPN Service

With many opinions on what’s the best VPN, choosing one can be a daunting affair. Even with our top 10 lists of the best VPNs, you’ll still need to decide which one is the right one for you. 

Besides reviewing VPNs, we’re also using them for various purposes. As such, we can offer a few tips on what to look for when you’re choosing a VPN. 

    1. Functionality — Will it do what you need it to do? Do they allow torrenting? Can you stream Netflix or Disney+ it?
    2. Network — Does it have servers in countries you need?
    3. Privacy — Does the VPN meet your privacy requirements?
    4. Speed – Important if you’re using it for streaming, gaming or heavy downloading.
    5. Budget — Is the price within your budget? 
    6. Devices — Does it work on your devices?
    7. Payment Methods — Do they support your preferred payment method?
    8. Customer Support — If you need help, how can you reach their support team and how helpful are they?
    9. Money-Back Guarantee — If you don’t like them, will you be able to get a full refund?
 
 

Functional Compatibility

Not every VPN is the same, even the best VPNs. Some VPN providers are better at serving certain purposes better, faster or more reliably than others. For example, ExpressVPN lets you stream reliably on Netflix, but if you’re looking for a VPN that lets you access the dark web easily, you’ll want to go for NordVPN. Meanwhile, IPVanish is ideal for P2P downloads, while VyprVPN works reliably in China. 

Network Compatibility

Do you need a VPN that changes your virtual location in specific countries? If so, make sure the VPN has servers in the countries that matter to you. Want to access Canadian Netflix? Make sure your VPN has servers in Canada that also work with Netflix. Need to connect to a Crypto Marketplace that’s banned in your country? 

Better make sure your VPN has countries that work with it. If you’re not sure which to choose, we recommend CyberGhost, as it has the largest VPN network spanning 93 countries.

Privacy Compatibility

Does the VPN meet your privacy and anonymity requirements? Make sure they have a no-logging policy and, if possible, are based in privacy-minded jurisdictions like Romania or Switzerland.

ProtonVPN, for example, is headquartered in Switzerland. It does not have to comply with data retention laws, nor is it legally required to share data with intelligence agencies.

Does this mean that VPN based in countries with an intelligence-sharing pact is no good?

Not necessarily. It depends on how the VPN provider conducts itself in terms of safeguarding users’ privacy. ProtonVPN, which is based in the US, does not store logs. Also, it has a clean record of not submitting personable data even when requested. 

Speed Compatibility

Speed is not a decisive factor if you’re using a VPN for casual browsing, checking emails, or reading news. However, you’ll want to get a high-speed VPN if you’re streaming, torrenting, or gaming online.

 Some VPNs reduce internet speed substantially, which will disrupt your entertainment experience. ExpressVPN, IP Vanish and HotspotShield are two clear winners in this department. 

Budget Compatibility

Most VPNs are fairly cheap, costing on average at most $12 per month, and on the cheaper end, around $2 to $3 per month if you pay upfront for 1 or 2 years.  Compared to the risk of using a free VPN, paying for the safety and anonymity offered by premium VPNs is worthwhile. 

Device Compatibility

Does the VPN work with your devices? All our listed best VPN services offer apps installable on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Some VPNs, such as ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, support routers, SmartTV, Firestick, and other less common platforms. 

Therefore, ensure that you’re choosing a VPN that works well with your device. It’ll be pointless subscribing to a blazing-fast VPN that doesn’t support your Playstation or Xbox. 

Payment Methods

Does your VPN accept your preferred payment method? If you’re paying with a Credit Card or Debit/Bank Card, you won’t have an issue here. However, if you want to pay with PayPal, Crypto, or an alternative payment method — it’s important to check if your preferred VPN provider supports them..

Top-Notch Customer Support 

Good customer support is essential and extremely important. This is a huge factor when choosing a VPN, but luckily for you, all of the Best VPNs listed above have stellar reviews regarding customer support. 

If you stray outside of these VPNs, make sure their customer support is up to par. Find out how you can reach them, how long they take to respond, and what others think of their support. Preferably, you’ll want a VPN with 24/7 live chat but if that isn’t possible, you’ll need your email replied within a few hours. 

Money Back Guarantee 

Last but certainly not least, is their refund policy. All of the VPNs on our top list offer at least a 30-day money back guarantee. This is by far the most important factor when choosing a VPN. 

The money-back guarantee period gives you ample time to try out the VPN. If you find that it doesn’t perform as promised, or you simply prefer a different VPN, you can request a refund with minimum fuss.

 

What’s the difference between a Logging & No-Log VPN?

A no-logging VPN does not store any personified information on its data center. This means that the no-log VPN does not store your IP address, browsing history, personal detail, and searches you made when you’re using the VPN. 

Meanwhile, a logging VPN is a VPN that stores personified information on its servers. If an authority gets hold of the data stored by a logging VPN, it will compromise the users’ privacy. 

Therefore, it’s essential to use a no-logging or log-less VPN. A no-logging VPN keeps your privacy intact, regardless of whether it is located in a country with an intelligence-sharing pact or not. If it doesn’t store any personified data, it couldn’t give it away even when compelled by law. 

Connection Logs vs Activity Logs

The truth is, all VPN do collect some information when you’re connected to the VPN server. The question is, what type of log does it store and if it affects your privacy.

All VPN providers will store connection logs for administrative, billing, and maintenance purposes. Connection logs are session duration, timestamps, data usage, and type of protocol. They cannot be linked to your real identity and hence, do not affect privacy. 

What you don’t want a VPN provider to be storing is activity logs. Activity log consists of information like IP address, pages you visit, your search term, files downloaded, social media profile, and browser profile. Such information can be used to reveal your identity should the VPN provider decide to reveal them.  

What is the best jurisdiction for a no log VPN?

Even if a VPN does not store logs, privacy-conscious users can get anxious if it is based in a not-so-friendly jurisdiction. In some countries, VPN providers are obligated to comply with laws that jeopardize their users’ privacy.

The law may require a VPN provider to collect, retain and submit data logs upon request. Or in some countries, the government has the authority to spy on VPN usage openly.

The best jurisdiction is one that has no data retention laws, does not cooperate with foreign governments, and respects internet freedom. 

In general, here are the best VPN jurisdiction :

  1. Panama — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws. (NordVPN)
  2. British Virgin Islands — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws. (ExpressVPN & Surfshark)
  3. Switzerland — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws. (ProtonVPN & VyprVPN)
  4. Romania — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws. (CyberGhost)
  5. Singapore — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws.
  6. Bulgaria — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws.
  7. Malaysia — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws.
  8. Seychelles — Non-member of 14 eyes. No data retention laws.

 

The most secure jurisdiction in the world is Panama, due to its lack of data retention laws and no foreign government cooperation. The next best option is Switzerland because it does not have any mandatory data-retention law for VPN service providers. However, it does cooperate with foreign governments in cases where they are under criminal investigation.

The worst jurisdiction in the world for privacy is the United States of America, Canada and Western Europe since they require VPN providers to keep certain logs. 

The U.S. also has a policy of cooperating with foreign governments such as those in Western Europe and North America. Law enforcement agencies may use other means such as ” mutual legal assistance treaties” to bypass local laws and enable multilateral cooperation. For example, the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance that consists of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

What is the fastest VPN?

The fastest VPNs that experts recommend the most, and the ones we’ve tested as well are:

What’s the most legit VPN?

The most Legit VPN services (aka. most trustworthy and transparent) are ProtonVPN, VyprVPN and MullvadVPN

These VPNs take privacy seriously and don’t hesitate to publish independent audit reports on their websites.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a difficult question to answer. The easiest VPN service will depend on who you are, what device you intend to use, which features are important to you, and how much time you want to invest in setting up the VPN. 

That said, if your priority is to protect Internet traffic without any fuss or complexity along the way, NordVPN might be one of the easiest services available. 

  • We’re 100% objective 
  • We’re Unbiased.
  • One-Stop Shop (for VPN reviews & recommendations)
  • 100% Transparent
  • We’re detailed, precise and leave no stone unturned in research. 
  • We use VPN ourselves, which means we know what’s important in searching for one.
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In most countries, VPNs are not illegal. However, what you do after connecting to the VPN is another matter. Some countries have placed restrictions on VPN usage and only allow providers that are licensed by the government. These countries include:  

  • China
  • Russia
  • Iran
  • Oman

There are also countries that have imposed a total ban on VPNs, and they are:

  • Turkmenistan
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • Belarus

The UAE, on the other hand, recognizes the importance of VPNs for corporations but does not allow individuals to use one.

Most devices & operating systems are compatible with VPNs, and we have created dedicated pages for each OS. Under the “Best VPNs” tab, you can see our list of the best VPN service providers for macOS, Windows, Linux, and mobile operating systems like iOS and Android. Each VPN provider is proven and tested to work with the specific OS, and we also keep the lists updated.

Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, 43% of daily VPN users are on mobile, according to The State of VPN Usage. A VPN provides security when users connect to public Wifi hotspots in coffee shops, airports, and hotels. 

Free WiFi hotspots are very convenient, but they also make users vulnerable to hackers because this type of connection is often open and unsecured. Even worse, some hackers connect to free WiFi with the intent of stealing information. 

Some users may find their emails hacked and financial information stolen because they connected their phones to these free public Wifi hotspots. For security and privacy, it’s better to use a VPN on your phone and other mobile devices, especially when you are on the go and rely mostly on public hotspots.

It’s important to emphasize the importance of going for a paid VPN rather than a free one. You should be wondering how the latter, which promise lifetime free VPN services, are earning money. 

According to a CSIRO study, most free VPNs (a scary 75% of them) log your usage and personal data. These providers can sell your details to data brokers and advertisers.  

Moreover, tests performed on 283 free VPNs have led to the following stunning revelations: 

  • 38% contain malware.
  • 19% lack encryption which leads to traffic leaks, despite the promise of encrypted tunnelling.
  • 84% do not tunnel IPv6 traffic, and 66% do not tunnel DNS traffic.
  • 16% use non-transparent proxies to manipulate traffic.

These statistics are quite alarming. That’s why it’s better to sign up with a VPN provider that is reliable and proven to be secure, even if it means you have to shell out some money. You can get a VPN service like PIA for as low as $3.33 per month, and you can even get a discount if you sign up for a longer term.

Normally, when you open a website, your computer sends a request to the web server. The web server then responds to your computer either to allow you to access the website or not. 

However, when you use a VPN, it will act as a ‘middle-person’ between your device and the web server.

This results in the following traffic flow

  1. Data passes through your VPN software, and it gets encrypted. 
  2. Data is sent to the VPN server.
  3. Data goes from VPN server to the web server.
  4. A response is sent from the web server to the VPN server.
  5. Your VPN receives the response data packet.
  6. The received data packet is decrypted and is processed by the browser or app. 

All these steps happen within fractions of a second, but a VPN does add a few extra moments into the process. Most of the time, the difference is unnoticeable to all but those who do frequent speed tests. Nonetheless, the difference in speed is a small tradeoff compared to the security and privacy you can get from using a VPN.

A VPN IP leak happens when a user’s real IP address becomes visible even while using a VPN service. This is usually due to browser plugins, DNS leaks, and even your device’s operating system.

IP leak also happens if you lose your VPN connection while still connected to the network. Your IP address is leaked because, for a few moments, you aren’t protected by the VPN. The best VPN services have developed ways to avoid IP leaks, and the most notable innovation is the Kill Switch feature. 

If a VPN provider has a Kill Switch and you turn that feature on, your network connection will automatically shut down whenever the VPN connection is lost. 

Both VPNs and proxies hide your IP address to provide anonymity on the internet. But that’s where the similarities end. 

A VPN creates a secure encrypted tunnel to protect your data from hackers. This is done through military-grade encryption, authentication, and VPN protocols that offer security and speed.

Meanwhile, proxies transfer data through unencrypted HTTP protocol. This is regarded as unsecured and enables cybercriminals to monitor what you’re doing online easily. For example, your credit card details could be exposed if you’re relying on non-secure proxies.  

VPNs will also have significantly more useful features, and they are easier to set up & use than proxies. We have a full breakdown for you here: VPN or Proxy: Which is better?