Before we begin our review of the best VPN, it’s important to understand the functionality of a VPN and the benefits of using it. The abbreviation of the word VPN stands for “VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK”, or virtual private network. As its name suggests, the VPN gives you access to a virtual private network between your computer and a secure server, thus hiding your identity and real IP address from your internet provider and the website you are visiting. It’s like a virtual shield to protect your online identity. Long used by large companies, the VPN has been available to the general public for several years. The main idea of using a VPN is to access blocked websites in your country, and remain anonymous online while establishing a secure connection thus protecting your data.
VPN – also known as ‘virtual private network’ is a software which is usually used to hide your activity and change your location. However, the best services can go beyond these things nowadays. Moreover, VPN has many advantages that people can benefit from, especially for those who learn or work online.
There is so much more to VPN than you could imagine apart from protecting your personal data and steer clear of trackers to overcome content blocks which can be a source of Netflix. Apart from this, the top sources can make you feel like you are in safe hands because they provide apps for any device, so it doesn’t matter what you use.
The best VPN is the one which works through your connection with the help of its own encoded servers which keep your activity concealed from your ISP and any other party which may be watching you whether it is the government or criminal hackers. What’s more is that you can also gain access to controlled sites, stream more shows and at the same time, avoid suffocating your network.
For instance, your VPN lets you have access to certain apps like Facebook or YouTube if they are banned at your school. Or, if you’re traveling to countries like China or UAE, VPN lets you access controlled sites and apps such as WhatsApp or Gmail. Besides, when traveling overseas, VPN also lets you have access to your favorite Netflix shows.
Although there’s an ongoing battle over who the best VPN service is, the clear winner proves to be NordVPN.
The main advantage of NordVPN is that it’s simple to use on any device whether it is your phone, PlayStation or PC. Apart from this, this service has proven to be successful in the streaming examinations by ignoring the geo-restrictions of apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu with no trouble whatsoever. And because it is so effortlessly quick with connections, it makes it possible for you to watch videos in HD or 4K.
To add more to it, NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee through which you can try and test the service along with its 3,000+ servers for an entire month before you decide to purchase it. For more details, you can check out our NordVPN review.
You’re most likely familiar with NordVPN if you happen to come across this page – and also, the gigantic security on TV is indeed one of the best VPN services. Although NordVPN is not a compatible match with ExpressVPN when it comes to overall quality, it does however contain a very secure and privacy-concentrated experience which once again, you can learn about it in our NordVPN review.
As a disguise to cover you up, the military-grade encoding together with the basic additional features such as a safety switch and a variety of contracts, will lend you the option to choose whether you want more speed or protection. Moreover, a variety of apps will be available for you to choose according to the device you want to use.
However, those apps are a disadvantage of NordVPN’s because while the map-based configuration is very practical on desktop and bigger screens, it is the opposite on handheld devices which means it’s less practical than a server list. Yes, you can approach one with a swipe, however, we prefer to identify one right away.
Don’t worry though because that’s just a minor complaint. Other than that, NordVPN gives you access to an amazing experience. It includes streaming Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer when you’re overseas with the addition of its exceptional connection which won’t diminish your speed at any time.
Nord has made a great accomplishment to recover from a data report violation that happened in 2018 by creating a second complete independent survey in two years of its internals and no-file system. These helped in creating a remarkable VPN service and the only reason why NordVPN is not in the top spot is because of some small app issues and because they are in an ongoing competition.
Our Surfshark review proved to find out that the BVI-based VPN provided a very strong product and what’s even more great is that this VPN goes by half the price than some top competitors do. While it’s true that it doesn’t have everything you might think of, it does provide you with a valid internet protection and the speed is quite good because it allows you to stream, so pretty much this has the basic elements you need in a VPN.
Surfshark’s apps are decent and effortless to use, but they don’t provide you with a thorough experience. In order to disconnect from it, you simply touch the connect button – it’s that easy. Apart from this, you can get apps for various devices too, such as iOS, Android, Mac, Linux and Windows.
This being said, Surfshark has the capacity to secure every device of yours due to the fact that it grants limitless synchronized connections with one subscription. And yes, because it offers simultaneous connection, this means that you can cover 10 to 50 devices with a single subscription.
When it comes to the privacy part, Surfshark doesn’t hold back because it has a safety switch, split tunneling and AES-256 encoding. Keep in mind that if you want a stronger configuration in your VPN, then Surfshark will probably not meet your expectations, however, it will keep you safe, otherwise why would we include it in this list?
So, what makes Surfshark stand out? Its value. If you sign up to Surfshark now, you will get a 24- month plan along with additional three months at just the price of $2.21 per month and you can also use it on every device you own by a one subscription. That’s how effortless it is.
The VPN tree has had ExpressVPN as its main network for too long now, and there are many reasons behind this. Moreover, it can’t be improved anymore because it has conquered every test which is why it deserves 5/5 stars.
Now, let’s start discussing some facts. Right away, as a user, you will notice that ExpressVPN offers you the ability to choose more than 3,000 servers, and this includes 160 locations around 94 countries.
ExpressVPN uses 5 connections that work simultaneously and they can suffice for the majority of the subscribers, even though other VPN services can allow more than 5 connections. In addition to this, it offers a variety of apps which can be found on Windows, Linux, iOS, Android as well as Mac (and certain additions for Chrome and Firefox) which means that it’s very simple especially when it’s when used on the likes of Amazon Fire Stick, Smart and Apple TV, certain game brands (PlayStation, Xbox) or even routers.
The industry-standard encoding had been used by ExpressVPN already, along with different protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec which are used to keep your personal information secure. However, its most thrilling fact is that Lightway protocol has started to grow its credibility and speed even more.
Numbers and specifications aside, the real-life testing is what makes ExpressVPN stand out. For beginners, it’s very fast and it has a great connection and speed within servers in many countries. This great speed and connection were made through using OpenVPN, but if Lighway would be used, its improvement would grow even more.
Its effortless use is what makes us enjoy this service very much. One might think that this is an obvious element, however, not every VPN provider has found out how to make its appliances intuitive, no matter the device that’s being used on. Regardless of the device (mobile, desktop, TV streamer, additional browsers), ExpressVPN is a huge helper for setting up and guiding beginner users as well as professional ones.
When picking the right VPN, most people usually take into consideration the service’s ability at unblocking forbidden services/websites which also helps with the TV streaming problems that may occur. ExpressVPN is able to unblock geo-restrictions that every streaming device such as Netflix, Amazon, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ overseas has.
When it comes to its extra features, ExpressVPN is limitless. Such features include a safe switch, P2P support, DNS lead security, bitcoin payments, strong and valid performance as well as a no-logging principle which is usually confirmed by independent authorized people.
The customer support that this VPN provider has is also additional information that we can mention because of how great it is. Their website includes tutorials and detailed help to help you get started with ExpressVPN. And what’s even better is that
, if by any chance you experience difficulties, there’s also a 24/8 live chat support agent which can answer with no hesitation right after you post your concerns.
Another substantial performer that takes part in our VPN tests is IP Vanish. The system’s statistics are quite profound with 40,000+ distributed IPs, endless concurrent connections along with a 24/7 customer support, limitless P2P traffic and with over 1,600+ VPN systems that can be found in more than 70 locations. While we’re at the issue of support, what we like the most is the fact that you can have access to the system straight from your mobile app whether you have an iOS or Android. IPVanish has the feeling of reassurance when you begin to use it. Perhaps, the reason for this might be the comforting charts and graphs that appear on the app screen. However, it’s not all about physical appearance, because apart from that, IPVanish also exceeds average speed, although it may not be as fast as some other ones we mentioned earlier. Aside from speed, IPVanish also includes safety smarts such as a safety switch, AES-256 encoding, IPv6 leak security and DNS which are the best options for the awareness of privacy.
You might be thinking as to why the apps on your phone (iOS or Android) don’t have frequent updates and the reason for this is that because their function is quite good, they don’t need to get updated too often. The VPN app in Android is an accomplishment of IPVanish because it has a variety of alternatives and settings that are different from the other competitors as well as the alternative to customize it according to your preferences.
The reason why IPVanish is starting to look outdated nowadays in terms of speed and modernization is the fact that Express, Nord and Hotspot along with their likes are spreading their exclusive security protocols. So far, IPVanish doesn’t include WireGuard, and apart from this, our most recent test found out that unblocking BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime still proves to be a struggle for its users. Altogether, these make it difficult for us to fully recommend it to you if you’re interested into discovering a brand-new world of streaming content.
However, above everything else, if you take the VPN service, you’re also taking along with you its unsecured simultaneous connections or the ability and the configurations of the apps. If, by any chance you want to return this VPN service then they provide you with a 30-day money-back guarantee
PIA – also known as Private Internet Access, proves to be a decent VPN provider because it has sufficient features to gain a place on your shortlist although it may lack in speed, price and power.
PIA’s most recent worthy assertion marks a big expansion in its server count because it has taken common things from around 2,000 to an over 30,000 in an obscure way. In regards to the pure server numbers along with the constant growth of network, that puts PIA in the lead against the rest.
Although this might sound very imposing, everything would go to waste if it weren’t for its accessibility and security features. Don’t be alarmed though, because PIA offers a diversity of security features and protocols (even WireGuard). This type of diversity allows for PIA to increase its first-rate Chrome expansion that helps with blocking third-party cookies, gives access to hide location or certain internet addresses.
Whatever device you want to use your VPN on – whether it’s on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android or Linux (you can even combine them), all of them have a variety of features, they’re effortless and valid of course. Don’t take our opinion into consideration only, because if you read the reviews on the Play Store and App Store, overall, they’re very positive reviews. One single subscription offers you to have 10 connections which can work simultaneously and on all of your devices which is what makes this VPN decent.
VPN service CyberGhost has more than 10 million users which is why it is practically everyone’s favorite service, and we take part in this group too. CyberGhost is great with the basics, it has over 6,500 servers which operate in 90 countries; apps for Windows, iOS, Android and Mac, and it has a live chat customer support that works at all times.
If you’re one of those people who prefer to use your VPN on a Windows laptop or desktop, then CyberGhost will be ideal for you. Although it’s simple to follow, there’s much more to that; it has multiple features and functions and it’s so quick that is will connect the right server for you without you having to do so, (for instance if you want to stream or torrent). It has additional elements too, such as the Smart Rules panel which portrays the engineers’ efforts to give its users the best experience. Apart from this, it also lets you automatically connect to whatever server you want to, a certain app (for instance when you want to go incognito mode) in order to start up your computer which is certainly considered to be an extra bonus.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that mobile apps are not worth it, it’s just that they have yet to improve. Additionally, this mostly correlates to the iOS app because it feels almost too crushed to make an advance on the best iPhone VPN launches. Here, the majority of streaming services (Netflix too) allows website unblocking, however, this can happen in special regions only and it’s also worth mentioning that both UK and Canadian exclusives have caused some problems in regards to this. Despite all this, CyberGhost’s speed that was conducted in our current tests deserves a closer look. Way before we started with the WireGuard protocol, we noticed a few connection speeds which give ExpressVPN and NordVPN’s likes a difficult time. However, in places like in New Zealand, they actually fall behind. Because CyberGhost has a 45-day guarantee about giving your money back, this is another reason why it deserves a second glance. Moreover, this is also useful when you don’t plan on using it on an iPad or iPhone. And although you can use many functionalities that are within the service, the price for that it’s decent which is why it’s worth taking a second look at it
VyprVPN is one of the most prominent names on the list and it’s also the second Switzerland-based provider. Common features of a modern VPN also belong to this type of provider as well, such as a no-logging policy which is supervised by an outside security agency, on-the-spot live-chat customer support as well as WireGuard protocol and its speed both on its desktop users and VPN apps on mobile. Similar to Windscribe, VyprVPN also has less servers than most providers nowadays – around 700, however, they stream in across more than 60 countries. Besides this, these servers are completely owned by VyprVPN which makes the whole process feel much more protected because it means there’s no need for you to depend on third-party web hosts. When it comes to unblocking websites, while conducting our test, VyprVPN provided us with access to US Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and so on. Some problems did occur with Amazon Prime Video but that was expected to happen since it’s a more challenging service and not all VPNs can control it If an Android user is aware of you using VPN often on your phone, then VyprVPN is great for that. Once you open the app, you will notice that it’s similar to Windows user (no worries because it’s supposed to look like that) and it includes important features such as DNS leak security, safety switch, activate and auto-reconnect options and URL filtrate. There are some differences between the iOS and Android versions because the iOS version doesn’t include a kill switch, however it’s enjoyable. Apart from Android, VyprVPN also works great on Windows too, although there were some minor inconveniences here and there. By applying OpenVPN as default, the connections speeds proved to be a problem because they were below the average, although this can easily be avoided by using WireGuard. While VyprVPN is not perfect by any means, it does have a lot of features that you can benefit from which is why it’s an essential VPN service shortlist.
In addition to the VPNs tree, Windscribe is also considered to be significant to this because it has a top-quality product. Browser additions for Chrome, Opera and Firefox, users for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and even Linux are some of the elements and costumers that you can get. Moreover, one subscription works in every device and it’s limitless and this is where Windscribe comes in handy.
The speed of VPN’s server connections is supervised by the secret boys at Windscribe HQ, especially since their efforts are profound. When we conducted a test through a UK location with default OpenVPN protocol, the speeds surpassed the likes of both CyberGhost and Surfshark. But it’s worth mentioning that this happened before we got to try out the WireGuard protocol which indicates a lower interval response.
Furthermore, what makes the provider a great option for streaming is that its users can now watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube abroad all through Windscribe.
The network has 400 servers in total, which are a lot less than what other providers offer, however, it has a great expansion of locations, with over 60 countries and 110 cities across the world.
While one might say that Windscribe doesn’t have it all, its service actually has plenty of exciting features, especially if you want to get a new VPN from which you can use Windscribe’s free plan to know more about its features and what it can do for you. This free plan is limited though because you can only use ten locations, however, it provides you with 2GB-10GB data per month.
At the moment, ExpressVPN is at the top of the list and the reasons for this are countless which will be explained in-depth later on. For now, we will mention some of them: it delivers valid and quick server connections; it’s loaded with safety smarts; great to use on different devices (desktop, mobile); ability to unblock restricted websites or streaming services; and if you happen to have any difficulties, they have a 24/7 customer support with an on-the-spot person to help you.
It has a 30-day money-back guarantee which is ideal if you want to try it out. If you subscribe for an annual plan, you get a year of secure, limitless cloud storage all thanks to Backblaze.
A VPN’s main idea is to make the internet a more secure, private, and suitable place for you to use it. How a VPN does this is by creating a safe connection between you and the website or the service you want access to and everything is encoded, so no one can have access.
Although it does give you a more secure connection, that’s not all it has to offer because it can also hide your IP address. This means whether you’re using different devices (smartphone, computer, games, or tablet) in London for instance, through using a VPN you could also be connected from New York or any other city.
VPN helps with ‘’geo-blocking’’ as well because it secures your privacy when a website or streaming service uses your location information in order to allow you to see or hear what you want on your device.
Our full guide ‘’How does a VPN work’’ can help you discover more about the internal functions of this software.
VPN uses: 10 handy ways you can use your VPN The majority of VPN services speak about safety as their primary concern on their websites, however, there’s much more than that nowadays. Some of the most well-known VPN functions include:
What is a VPN?
Are you still confused as to what a VPN is? Well, a VPN a type of software through which you can use the internet in a safe and encrypted way. Your personal information is safe from getting spied on and it also has the function of allowing you to change your IP address to somewhere abroad which is great for streaming games or unblocking blocked websites.
Why do I need a VPN?
The reasons why one might need a VPN are many. Perhaps, one of the most important reasons might be security as we mentioned above. Can you recall how many times you were in public and connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot? Although Wi-Fi hotspots are not the safest thing in the world, a VPN can actually help you make sure that no one is spying on you when you do your personal activity on your phone (online banking, secret things).
There are fake hotspots that resemble real Wi-Fi hotspots and they usually steal your personal data or information, however, if you use a VPN, it can protect you from all this and even if you’re connected to such a fake hotspot, your data is safe.
VPN are also great to hide your location too. For instance, it can stop the ever-present trackers to follow you when you’re using the internet, and it also allows you to get rid of geo-blocking when you’re abroad and you don’t have the same subscription. Other benefits of VPN include avoiding restricted communications that certain countries block. Another thing is that whether you visit a website or upload something, VPN can actually help you hide that or make it more difficult to identify the sources.
Should I pay for a VPN?
There are paid as well as free VPNs. You’re probably wondering if free VPN services have the same qualities as the paid VPN services do. Actually, they don’t. Obviously, with a free service, there can be disadvantages, the first one being a data cap. Additionally, there’s a free plan for 500MB per month from TunnelBear VPN.
And as it comes with any free service, they don’t offer limitless usage. ZPN is able to block P2P when certain companies don’t allow you to spend all their data rate on torrents. Moreover, there are also ads, session limits as well as the overall shortage of service level agreement. Basically, this means that a free service doesn’t have any implicit guarantee.
If you’re looking to secure your laptop’s wireless hotspot in public then free plans can do the job since this is something fairly simple. However, if this doesn’t suffice you and you need an advanced service then perhaps a paid VPN is the best.
How do I get a VPN?
Installing your VPN is way more uncomplicated than understanding how a VPN works. The best VPNs make it easy for you to install them on Play Store or Apple store (mobile devices) but also on desktop as well.
Even though they have their prices according to a monthly cost, you need to pay the full amount in advance.
After you download it, web browser extensions can then be added according to your preferences and then including functionality for your different devices such as mobile phones, computers, TV, tablet, games console or internet router as well.
Are VPNs legal? There are countries that have censored VPN or have restricted them; however, most countries allow VPNs. Those censorships apply to people who actually live in those countries because for people who travel, they can use a VPN. Although there haven’t been people who have been caught for doing so, we’d advise to be cautious if you’re in certain countries like the ones mentioned above.
Even in countries that restrict the use of VPNs, there are differences between permitted and non-permitted VPNs. For instance, VPNs should be approved by the Chinese government in China which makes them useless if you want to hide your personal data or activity from the government. On the other hand, if you use a non-permitted VPN, then there can be consequences and you can be punished.
In addition to this, in UAE you can get charged with more than half a million dollars and you can even go to prison for using a VPN and this applies to Russia too. Moreover, non-permitted VPNs can send you to jail in Iran as well; in Uganda, the VPN services are restricted by ISPs; Oman bans non-permitted ones whereas North Korea, Iraq, Turkmenistan, and Belarus ban all types of VPNs.
How to choose your VPN
We will give you six tips if you want to get a paid VPN:
Consider if the plan has services in every country or location you need.
Before you spend a huge amount on VPNs, make sure to try them out first as a trial. After the trial, you can then start to pay for a month first, conduct many tests on it and then upgrade yearly if you’re content with that.
VPN services and what you can use them for
The biggest concern of everyone who uses technology is perhaps the privacy. VPNs can stop your ISP and government to spy on your internet search history.
VPNs have now been used in social movements like the freedom of speech. With VPN, you can now steer clear from censorship and third-parties. For instance, your personal views can be protected since no one can find out about them.
‘’Geo-spoof’’ is also used within a VPN to change your location settings according to your preferences if you’re somewhere abroad. For instance, you can watch a TV program (on Netflix) that’s may not be available in your country for different legal reasons.
VPN also helps to protect you from hackers and access your company’s websites if you’re abroad and connected to third-party networks or experience any cyber criminals.
Around 400 VPN services on all devices provide advantages and disadvantages. That’s why, if you want to stream BBC iPlayer or Hulu from a different location, you need to call into your office network or just stay secure online in order to find someone to help you with your concerns.
Considering what Verizon is doing in the US, throttled connection is a big issue nowadays, however, VPN can help you avoid such troubles. Internet Service Provider (ISP) has limited Netflix streaming at only 10MB along with restrained video on its limitless plans which means that mobile phones (smartphones) users can’t watch something over 480p quality.
Online attacks still remain a big concern, especially phishing. However, with VPN this can easily be avoided because it works against virus and spywares during web browsing.