A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the middle man between your device and the Internet connection, helping you maintain your anonymity and securing your web surfing to the maximum. Of course, the importance of subscribing to a premium VPN service provider has been acknowledged over time, and this is highlighted at the statistic reports that prove the significant increase in the percentage of people using VPN for connecting online.
However, not all of the VPN options available on the market right now can boast of being reliable and offering quality services to the users. This is why we must understand the variables that add to the overall quality of a VPN for it to be recommended as one of the best.
So, join us in our quest to determine the best VPNs to use, as we analyze them and point out their advantages over the other competitors in this challenging sector.
Top 10 VPN Providers
Updated February 2021!
Having taken into consideration variables, such as the protocols offered by such providers, privacy settings and the power of the servers available, the customers’ service and the quality of the encryption used, we present you with the list of the top VPNs below:
Simultaneous Connections: Six
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
On top of our list, having been voted the best service provider in the VPN field is NordVPN. It is the easiest VPN to use on any device, it has a very intuitive user interface, and, with a current 68% discount, it’s also one of the cheapest on the market.
Moreover, it offers a large number of online VPN servers, which provides users with a lot of options regarding locations. It also has a P2P service available and supports a vast array of operating systems. Additionally, both its desktop version and a mobile app are well-developed and ensure proper security regardless of your platform.
Our Score: 9.8/10
Simultaneous Connections: Seven
Money-Back Guarantee: 45 days
CyberGhost constantly gives users plenty of good reasons to choose it without regrets. It offers a huge VPN server network and combines that with a robust set of privacy and security features.
The company places a strong emphasis on privacy. As for their VPN app, it is easy to use and has a standard user interface. Users are allowed to connect up to seven devices per account.
Our Score: 9.3/10
Simultaneous Connections: Ten
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
IPVanish offers all the bells and whistles, such as over 40,000 IP addresses on more than 500 servers in 60 countries, unlimited bandwidth, or no logs so that you can be sure you are not tracked; it allows torrents and, most importantly, it is one of the cheapest options. OpenVPN, PPTP, SSL, and L2TP/IPSec protocols are all in place. The IPVanish mobile app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, while the software is compatible with all devices and operating systems.
Our Score: 9.0/10
Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
ZenMate VPN is a Germany-based VPN service provider that offers thousands of servers in over 35 countries worldwide. Aside from its budget-friendly prices, military-grade encryption, and decent network speeds, ZenMate offers other useful features, such as a kill switch, auto-start, perfect forward secrecy, and identity protection through its browser extension.
Our Score: 8.8/10
Simultaneous Connections: Five
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
Another VPN provides that has proven to be very reliable is ExpressVPN. Its easy-to-use apps for VPN usage make it a friendly option for everyone seeking simplicity without lacking quality in the encryption. Unlimited bandwidth and server switching are included, with a continuously growing network of servers currently in 47 countries. OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP protocols are all available for you.
Our Score: 8.9/10
Simultaneous Connections: 12
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
The next on our list of the best VPN service providers is StrongVPN. This is a solid, reliable VPN with numerous different packages for you to choose from to make sure they can cover the needs of both novices and more technologically advanced users. 128-2048 secure encrypted channels are offered, while the support is of premium quality. The cost starts at $7 per month.
Simultaneous Connections: 5
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
With a generous 30-day full money-back guarantee and with the price rates dropping as low as $6.55 per month, HideMyAss definitely deserves a spot on any list containing the best VPN service providers. They take pride in their 701 VPN servers located in 105 countries all over the globe; this really is quite an impressive accomplishment. They also offer the option to use the VPN on two devices simultaneously, while the speed guide feature can help you find out which server will work better for you at a time. 24/7 support is offered for you to take advantage of.
Our Score: 8.6/10
Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited
Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days
Surfshark has made it in the hyper-competitive world of VPNs by offering users a powerful yet low-priced VPN service. Even though Surfshark doesn’t charge users a lot of money, it does offer them advanced security features. Overall, this VPN service has a decent server network and performance threshold to satisfy any VPN user’s needs.
While it may be affordable, Surfshark isn’t as accomplished in some areas compared to some of its competitors, but overall Surfshark is an excellent VPN package that offers value for your money.
Our Score: 8.5/10
Simultaneous Connections: 8
Money-Back Guarantee: 7 days
Another VPN service provider on our list of high-quality VPNs is TorGuard, and there are several reasons why we have included it within the top 10 VPNs available on the market. 100% server uptime guarantee and 24/7 technical support are always desirable features. The same goes for the no-logs policy, as well as providing the 256-bit AES encryption. Prices start at as low as $5.95 per month, and the flexibility in the payment methods is remarkable.
Our Score: 7.9/10
Simultaneous Connections: 10
Money-Back Guarantee: 30
About Private Internet Access
There is no doubt as to the high quality of Private Internet Access. OpenVPN, PPTP & IPSEC/L2TP protocols are offered to the users to ensure their privacy and security are protected at all times. No VPN traffic logs are kept, and SOCKS5 proxy is included. Yearly VPN tunnel pricing stretches to $39.95, and the monthly fee is just $6.
Our Score: 7.6/10
As you can see, our list includes some genuinely reliable VPN providers that are sure to provide you with high-quality service.
Feel free to share your experiences with us. If you want to let us know which VPN is the best or which has failed your expectations, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section.
We have tried out these services ourselves; that’s how we can conclude that they’re among the best in terms of privacy, speed, effectiveness and reliability, offering additional features and technical support. A solid VPN is of primary value to your online security, and these VPN companies can help you stay immune to online threats.
Are VPNs Dangerous?
By installing the best VPN on your computer, tablet or smartphone, you would increase the security of your device. However, that doesn’t mean every VPN is safe. We recommend reading some online reviews before you decide to download a particular VPN.
Pro Tip:It is not uncommon for free VPNs to contain hidden lines of malicious code. If you would like to avoid downloading malware on your device, it’s best to choose only from well-known and recommended VPN providers.
A recent study discovered that out of 283 free VPN apps available on Android devices, 38% of them contained malware. The results of the study confirm how important it is to find a truly reputable VPN service provider.
If you want to be sure that you won’t inadvertently install any malicious programs on your device, you should stick to the top VPN softwares. Apart from that, if you choose to download the best VPN available on the market, you won’t have to deal with other issues that are common among users of free VPNs.
What Are the Disadvantages of VPNs?
The servers of free VPN providers are usually not of the greatest quality. That’s not surprising, as the company behind a free VPN cannot afford state-of-the-art servers without monthly fees from the users. As a result, even though such a VPN might offer some protection, the internet connection speed is bound to be sub-par.
On the other hand, if you go with a premium VPN, the speed of your internet connection might actually go up. If your internet service provider is throttling your connection, then using a VPN will ensure that you won’t be affected by a slow connection. So, if you want to browse the internet without waiting a long time for websites to load, choosing a premium VPN is a no brainer.
Back to the problem with free VPNs: Without the users’ monthly fees, the developers behind the free VPN will need to try other methods of making money. One of those includes collecting data about users’ browsing history and selling it to third parties.
Normally, if you don’t have a VPN installed on your device, government agencies and your internet service provider can access your browsing history. However, a shady VPN provider might protect your online activity from those entities only to sell it to other groups, such as hackers.
This way, even though the government won’t be aware that you are using torrents or visiting suspicious websites, individuals with bad intentions might gain access to your private data, such as your bank account password or your social security number. Obviously, the consequences would be terrible, which is why it’s better to choose a VPN whose developers don’t have such incentives.
Another way of making money while offering a free VPN is to fill it with ads. There’s a reason why a lot of people are using ad-blockers these days. The internet is filled with ads, and at times it may seriously affect your browsing experience.
Note:Unfortunately, if you choose a VPN that is filled with ads, you’ll be only making the problem more severe. Still, if you only have to deal with a huge number of ads, and there isn’t any malware included, you can consider yourself lucky. You won’t be facing the same problems with the best VPN that you can find reviewed on our website.
Some free VPN companies try other methods to avoid paying for good servers. Some of them do not hide users’ traffic by redirecting it to their servers. Instead, the traffic is redirected to the computers and smartphones of people who use the same VPN.
Although it might be enough if you are only looking to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming platforms, you won’t be informed about the websites that other people might visit using your IP address. This could lead to dangerous situations – you could be accused of illegal activity. You have no guarantee that it wouldn’t happen, so it’s best to avoid free VPNs.
Luckily, the services mentioned in our VPN recommendation list above provide a high-quality experience at an affordable cost.
Are VPNs Legal?
In recent years, the popularity of VPNs has skyrocketed. You can see the ads of different VPN brands not only on the internet but even on the huge billboards in your city. In many countries, VPNs are used in corporate offices so companies can avoid leaks and ensure that the employees, even if working remotely, are connected to secure servers.
Does that mean that it is legal to use VPNs? It depends, as in various countries all around the world, the local regulations concerning VPNs differ.
This is important:In most countries, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN, assuming that you wouldn’t be doing anything illegal, such as torrenting copyrighted files.
In the United States and the entire Western world, you can use VPNs without having to worry about the legal consequences. In countries with authoritarian regimes, such as China, Russia, or Iran, the use of VPNs is banned.
That’s not surprising, given that internet users could use them as a tool to bypass the government’s restrictions or even openly criticize the authorities. However, apart from some countries, users are free to use a VPN if they want to.
However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be prosecuted if you engage in illegal activities using a VPN. We advise checking the laws in your country to see if your government considers VPN usage legal or illegal.
Should I Leave My VPN on All the Time?
There’s no short way to answer this question, as it depends on what you’re using the VPN for.
- If you are using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions, then depending on the streaming platform, it might be possible to turn off the VPN once you’ve started watching a video. That’s the case if you want to watch otherwise unavailable content on Hulu. However, the same trick won’t do in the case of Netflix, and you’ll have to have your VPN turned on throughout the entire movie or an episode of the TV series.
- If you would like to use a VPN while connecting your device to a public Wi-Fi network, you should leave your VPN running at all times. Public Wi-Fi networks are frequently targeted by hackers. That’s because they aren’t usually well-protected and allow hackers to gain access to a relatively broad range of people. The owners of small shops or restaurants that provide their customers with free Wi-Fi might not be security experts. If you really need to connect to public Wi-Fi, make sure that you have a top VPN software program installed on your device.
- If you would like to use PayPal or visit your bank’s website or app, it’s better to turn off the virtual private network, even if you are using the best paid VPN service the market has to offer. Why? PayPal has built-in software that will detect if customers are using a VPN; if so, it will block access. When it comes to your bank account, the security that most banks provide is almost unmatched compared to other consumer services, which means that you wouldn’t be increasing the safety of your savings if you use a VPN to log in to your bank account.
- Besides that, keep in mind that your internet speed will likely slow down if you use a VPN. If your ISP is throttling your internet speed, then theoretically, it is possible that after installing a VPN, your internet will actually become faster, though this could be rare.
Is a VPN Worth the Money?
Due to high-profile data breaches and increased privacy concerns among consumers worldwide, the VPN market is very hot right now.
But will that always be the case? We would argue no, because VPN services can improve the experience of internet users in several ways, not just for privacy protection.
Here are some additional advantages of good VPN services:
After the recent coronavirus outbreak, remote work became possible for the employees who previously did not have such an opportunity. With social distancing measures in place around the world, entire sectors had to transform just to stay afloat. From the perspective of a company, remote work could be slightly dangerous, as employees could do whatever they wanted, including leaking the company’s private data.
As we have mentioned before, connecting to a public Wi-Fi network without a VPN installed on your device is always a bad idea. Every public Wi-Fi network isn’t necessarily infected, but you have no way of knowing it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so install the best VPN software before connecting to Wi-Fi in places such as airports, bars or hotels.
Depending on your location, it might be impossible for you to access some movies or TV series on streaming platforms such as Hulu or Netflix. However, if you install a good VPN, you’ll be able to change your IP address. If you don’t know which VPNs are good, before you make any decision, you should check the range of possible IP addresses that you could use.
The best VPN servers allow their users to change their IP address to that of almost any country on earth. This way, it won’t matter if you live in a country where Hulu or Netflix offer a limited amount of content for their users, or if you are just traveling. A fast VPN service will allow you to watch movies and TV series without any geo-restrictions anywhere you go.
If you are living next to a country’s border, the servers of the closest internet service provider may be located on the other side of the border. In this case, you shouldn’t be surprised if you have an IP address that belongs to the neighboring country.
It might be problematic if the laws regarding porn or online gambling are different in both countries. One way of fixing this situation is to install a VPN on your device and change your IP address.
Your government is spying on you, though depending on where you live, it might be doing so to a varying degree. Western countries like the U.S. and U.K. have powerful surveillance programs in place, but due to the secrecy of these organizations, we don’t always know how they’re being used against citizens.
When it comes to countries that are ruled by authoritarian regimes, even if you are not doing anything illegal, you cannot be entirely sure that your actions will remain unpunished. That’s why you should consider installing the most secure VPN that you can get, as it could save you from severe consequences. There are countries where visiting websites related to your nationality or religion could result in you being thrown to jail for years.
It would be even worse if you are an avid gambler, as, in certain Middle Eastern countries, you could even lose a hand if you are caught visiting online gambling websites, which are illegal there. Sure, many people are using popular VPN services to mask their illegal activity, but in many cases, it’s a tool that allows users to avoid prosecution by the government.
Your online activity could be accessible to government agencies, but what’s more certain is that your internet service provider is collecting the data about your online habits. This information is then used by third parties, mainly companies that are responsible for ads.
This way, they have access to your browsing history, which means that they can choose which ads are the best to show you to increase the possibility of you spending money on a product or service you see online. If you use a VPN though, you won’t have to worry about it, as your ISP won’t know which sites you visit.
What Is the Best and Safest VPN?
It is hard to say which VPN is the best in an objective sense, as internet users prioritize different things. For some, the internet connection speed might be of the highest importance, whereas others might care more about the user-friendly interface and excellent customer service.
We recommend choosing VPNs from our list, as the customer’s satisfaction with those is high.
Remember to focus on the details – although a particular VPN might be excellent if you want to use it for a particular reason, you might find another one that would be better at this role.
What’s a Good VPN?
As we have mentioned before, your definition of a “good VPN” will depend on your priorities. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t common elements shared among the strongest VPN services on the market. The most important thing that you should focus on is whether the VPN is storing usage logs.
So what are usage logs, and how do they differ from connection logs?
That’s why you should avoid using VPNs that store usage logs, as it could have terrible consequences for you. If the government raids the servers of the VPN, they could then prosecute all users who engaged in any type of illegal activity. It might be possible that you won’t get into legal trouble, but it is especially common among providers of free VPNs to sell usage logs to ad companies.
That’s one way of generating revenue if they don’t receive money from their users directly. Even if all other features look really great, you should stay away from VPNs that store usage logs.
When it comes to the connection logs, things are not as straightforward as in the case of usage logs.
This type of data can be used by VPN providers to improve the services. If no such logs are stored, it might be more difficult to deal with users’ issues.
If a third party gains access to connection logs, they’ll know if someone used a VPN during a particular time, but connection logs won’t be of any use when it comes to checking what websites users visit.
It means that if you live in a country where using VPN is illegal, even if you don’t visit any banned sites or order illegal products off the internet, it’s best to choose the most trustworthy VPN that doesn’t store any logs. However, if you live in the United States or any other country where using a VPN is legal, you shouldn’t worry that a government agency will prosecute you based on basic connection logs.
How Much Does a VPN Cost?
As with any app or software program, the price of a particular VPN will often depend on the quality of the service and the features it has. See our list of recommendations above for pricing.
Most VPN subscription packages range from $5 to $10 per month, with some exceptions. While this price might be more than a small cup of coffee but less than a Netflix or Hulu subscription, your privacy and security is worth the money.
Which Free VPN Is Best?
On our website, you can find our reviews of the best VPNs available on the market that are free-of-charge. As we have stated before though, depending on your priorities, you could rank them differently. But if you don’t know which VPN to use, you could start with Hide.ME.
They only offer servers based in three countries, but you won’t have to worry about your data being intercepted by third parties, or even sold to them, as Hide.me doesn’t store any logs. At the same time, users are free to use up 2 GB of data each month without paying any money. As a result, many people agree that Hide.me is the best VPN that offers service for free.