If you’ve heard of VPNs but haven’t used one before, you might be wondering if it’s worth looking into using one.
As computers have advanced and hackers have become more common, VPNs have become more of a necessity for companies and individuals who wish to protect their identity anywhere on the Internet.
What is a VPN?
VPN services (short for Virtual Private Network) are used for protecting your security and keeping your privacy to yourself on the Internet.
Put basically, they connect two computers securely and privately on the internet. When using the internet you never know if someone is stealing or spying on your data, especially when accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots which are usually unprotected and have little to no security. Using a VPN helps you do your online work through a secure tunnel so hackers can’t have access to important and confidential information you want to protect.
If you only use your phone instead of a desktop or laptop computer, that too tends to contain a lot of personal information worth protecting on average.
Generally, most people have them synced to their emails and use them to access a variety of other personal data such as photos, messages, bank accounts, etc. So even if you don’t use a computer, using a VPN still isn’t a bad idea for protecting your information. Especially if you have any accounts like the ones mentioned above.
So here are the best VPN services in the market:
1. Nord VPN
Nord VPN allows up to 5,000 IP addresses and has over 5,200 servers with 62 locations in different countries for up to $3.71 every month on a two-year plan. It works with Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, and many other streaming services while also being available on Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Firefox, Chrome and routers.
With a strict no-log policy when it comes to data logging and a 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s easily one of the number one recommendations and provides great features with great performance at a price that’s hard to come by. On top of all that, because it’s registered in Panama, NordVPN is far away from surveillance and data retention laws whereas other countries may be obligated to share your data with other countries.
In every country it’s been tested in, Nord VPN has been shown to have great speeds which fall by only 5% locally which can be considered almost nothing! Its slowest, however, was shown to be when connecting from the UK to Australia. Even then though, it only dipped down to a loss of 30% which allowed nearly 38 Mbps download speeds.
Pros: Great value all around, decent speeds and away from surveillance laws.
Cons: Not the best for mobile apps.
2. Surfshark VPN
With the Surfshark VPN, headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, you can have access to over 1,700 servers in 63 locations for up to $2.49 a month on a two-year plan. Supporting streaming with Spotify, Fox Go, SkyTV, Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and more, it’s available on Apple TV, FireTV, Firefox, Chrome, Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Surfshark has a 30-day money-back guarantee and has a strict no-logs policy like Nord VPN. Unlike other VPN providers though, Surfshark offers a very rare unlimited connections bonus that makes it especially great for multi-device households on top of it being serious about providing access to the internet without limits at super low prices.
Tested with dozens of other servers for speed, it is known to be capable of staying fast and steady for services such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, multiple Netflix libraries, and many other streaming services.
Pros: Unlimited apps with great value.
Cons: Its apps are considered fairly simple.
Cyberghost is a VPN with over 7,100 servers worldwide in over 90 different countries.
Headquartered in Romania with a UK parent company, they allow up to 5 simultaneous connections for $2.75 a month on a 2-year plan. Known to work well with services like Crunchyroll, Vudu, Kodi, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and more, it comes available on various browsers, streaming devices, routers, Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows.
Although it is not recommended if you need a VPN that works in China, it is still a highly recommended VPN otherwise that does a great job all around elsewhere.
This VPN has a money-back guarantee that goes up to 45 days and is considered one of the most user-friendly VPNs for its ease of use. On top of that, it has basic and advanced settings you can customize and set smart rules for. Like other vpn providers, it has a strict no-logs policy and a dedicated torrenting profile for guaranteed reliability.
Along with all that, it even has an extra kill switch and leak-proof apps for good measure so it is considered both stable and secure.
Pros: Many features with widespread servers.
Cons: Irregular performance with an interface that could be improved on.
Managing a compact network of over 150 servers available in 60 different countries, PrivateVPN remains another great choice for streaming and downloading content from various locations around the world.
Although they are based in Sweden which falls under 14-Eyes Alliance jurisdiction, they are strongly committed to protecting your anonymity and privacy. PrivateVPN is available on Android, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Linux, and Windows, and unlike some other VPNs, allows a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s known to work well with BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu, Fox Go, Sling TV, and Netflix.
Although it doesn’t have a dedicated torrenting profile, it does allow P2P traffic on all servers and has a strict no-logs policy. Adding to that, because they don’t log any data, they can’t turn any over despite being subject to the 14-Eyes jurisdiction as mentioned above. Its speeds run great when connecting to nearby servers, however, it is not recommended if you need fast speeds beyond HD streaming and high browsing speeds over longer distances.
Pros: Good for streaming and doesn’t log data.
Cons: Not good for higher speeds over long distances.PrivateVPN
5. Express VPN
Express VPN allows up to 30,000 IP addresses and has over 3,000 servers with 160 locations in at least 94 different countries and more. With a 1 year plan, you can get 3 months free and you’ll have a 30 day money-back guarantee. It works with Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, HBO NOW, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and other popular streaming services while being available on Kindle Fire, Chromebook, iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and routers.
They have a strict no-logs policy but lack a dedicated torrenting profile. Still, all servers support P2P activity with speeds that make Express VPN easily one of the fastest VPNs tested. With a combination of privacy and performance that surpasses its competition in many areas, its only major flaw is its price which can be twice as expensive as many of the other VPNs you might come across that could be just as suited to your needs.
Pros: Great speeds and performance all around.
Cons: A higher price than most other VPNs.Express VPN
Supporting Bitcoin payments and being confirmed as part of the “no log” movement, PureVPN has 300,000 IP addresses with 2,000 servers in 180 locations. They are based in Hong Kong and have a 1 year plan for $3.33 a month and a 5-year plan for $1.65 a month. As part of the “no log” movement, verified recently by a third-party audit by Altius IT, they have a strict no-logs policy which means they do not store any of your online activity.
PureVPN is known to work with Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming services while having Chromebook and Kodi solutions accessible as well. P2P file sharing is as secure and fast as possible with specialized servers and dedicated torrenting profiles.PureVPN offers a 31-day refund policy in addition to all of this, making it a fairly reasonable deal.
Pros: Supports bitcoin while being both quick and secure.
Cons: Inconsistent speeds.PureVPN
With VyprVPN, headquartered in Switzerland, you can have access to over 700 servers in 63 countries for up to $2.50 a month on a two-year plan. VyprVPN supports streaming with Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu, Netflix, Sky Go, Sling TV, HBO NOW, Netflix and more. It’s available on smart TVs, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and routers with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN has a lot going for it starting with its no-logging policy that’s been publicly audited. It’s also famous for its proprietary Chameleon protocol which makes it better for bypassing geo-restrictions which researchers in Saudi Arabia, Russia and China have tested and confirmed to work. Its speeds in the US were among the best, however, its results when connecting from the US to areas of Europe seemed they could use improvement.
It’s not recommended if you plan to pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and it can cost significantly more than other services, but unlimited data and bandwidth can make this service worth it depending on your needs.
Pros: Works in China and has apps for everything.
Cons: Does not support cryptocurrencies and can have slower speeds.Vypr VPN
If you’re new to the world of VPNs or less tech-savvy than others, TunnelBear could be a great option for you.
TunnelBear has 1,000 servers in 23 locations and supports up to 5 devices with a free version and excellent security guarantees. At $3.33 a month for its 3-year plan, its extreme user-friendly UI and simplicity is almost unbeatable for those less experienced. It’s known to work with HBO Go and Spotify and is available on Opera, Firefox, Chrome, iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.
TunnelBear has a strict no-logs policy and provides speeds that are easily fast enough to stream videos in HD and allow lag-free browsing. Unfortunately, aside from HBO and Spotify, it seems to have trouble accessing many other popular streaming services despite its speed. It also lacks in features that could otherwise make it more complicated in exchange for its ease of use.
Pros: Simple and user-friendly for the less tech-savvy.
Cons: Lacking in features and is US-based.TunnelBear VPN
9. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is another great VPN provider with over 3,200 servers throughout over 80 different countries. This VPN is headquartered in the United States but is considered one of the most well designed visually and is still considered to be among the best VPN services around. It offers some of the fastest speeds available at a relatively low cost and is user-friendly while also providing a free version which it’s best known for.
In the past, it has had some controversy regarding its logging policy and software flaws that exposed information of users, but these issues have been fixed since then and it’s not going to be an issue for people who just want to stream content overseas. This does, however, mean it might not be the best choice if you’re looking for only the most secure online privacy.
With the concerns in the past and device support that’s limited, it remains lower on recommendation lists despite its useful UI and excellent speeds.
Pros: Good performance and has a decent free version.
Cons: Has had controversy in the past with exposed information.Hotspot Shield
High speeds and high standards with security, but at a fairly higher price as well, ProtonVPN has over 800 servers in 50 countries. This VPN is based in Switzerland and has a basic plan for $4 a month and a plus plan for $8 a month. It is exceptionally great at unblocking TV streaming services when abroad such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Vide, BBC iPlayer, etc. but streaming support is only available on its plus plan.
On the other hand, it has a free option worth trying and its longest-term contract would cost the same as it would be for ExpressVPN. Its Android and iPhone apps are great and easy to use as well. When tested, ProtonVPN’s base speeds easily go past the vast majority of other tested services, only rivaled by ExpressVPN. When it comes to security, ProtonVPN also has high standards with a strict no-logs policy and robust features to protect you and your information.
Pros: Free option available and is one of the best all-around with high-quality apps.
Cons: One of the most expensive VPNs and has lacked support with no live chat.Proton VPN