About a third of global online users have used a VPN. If you are reading this, the chances are that you want to boost this number. Whether you want to add an extra layer of privacy, stay safe using public WiFi, or stream your favorite Netflix show just about anywhere, a VPN can change your life and for the better. We tested the best VPN products in the industry. Read our reviews of the leading VPN providers, and how you can find the best ones based on your needs.
We follow a strict evaluation methodology to determine which VPN services to include in our comprehensive list. We want to offer you a diverse choice that varies in both features and pricing to ensure that there will be at least one VPN provider for every reader. Read on to discover everything there is to know about our research process.
Privacy and security features are the first and most important criteria for adding a brand to our best VPN services list. We chose only those VPNs that offer the latest privacy and security protocols while ensuring they are a step ahead of hackers. We know that your privacy is the most important thing for you and that having extra security is never a bad thing, so we selected only the most secure VPN services in the industry.
Running a top VPN service is no way near easy, and doing so without a massive global fleet of servers is almost impossible. That is why we singled out providers that offer thousands upon thousands of servers located strategically to enable access from all corners of the planet. Regardless of your location, you should be able to connect to a safe VPN and have a fast and reliable connection. That leads us to the next point.
The best VPN is also the fastest one. Regardless of how you use your VPN, may that be for browsing, streaming, or gaming, the VPN should have the ability to follow you every step of the way. That means a buffering-free experience for all types of privacy-cautious internet users. Moreover, we ranked higher the services that offer more stable and reliable connections, as well as unlimited bandwidth with their plans.
The top VPN software should protect you across all your devices, so multiple connections are a must. We feel that the lowest acceptable device limit is five simultaneous device connections, but the higher the number, the better. That means that you can be logged on all your devices and continuously protected while using them. We also give special praise to all VPN providers that offer unlimited simultaneous device connections with a single account.
You choose how and where you will use the best VPN solutions for you, so we made sure that, regardless of the brand you choose, you will be able to download and install it on all devices and platforms. Whether that's a Windows PC, a Linux laptop, an Android tablet, or an iOS smartphone — you should have a well-built app ready for you. We also included VPNs that can cover your TVs, routers, Kindles, game consoles, and those that unlock geo-blocked streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
Since we have a limited time to test the top VPNs, we wanted to ensure that our positive experience is not just an exception to the rule. That’s why we read as many customer reviews as we could for each brand included on our list. By reading customer reviews, not only do we learn the strengths and the weaknesses of the VPN software, but we also discover the relationship each company has with its users. That can tell us a lot about the company's reliability and help us pick the most trusted VPN services.
There is no such thing as a perfect VPN solution, so even the best-rated VPN services in the world will eventually show an error. What makes good VPNs stand out from the rest is how the company deals with these issues. To separate the best from the rest, we contacted customer services teams and evaluated their responses. We ensured that the response time was within the industry average, and the same applies to the availability of the support team for urgent matters.
Last but not least is the pricing. When it comes to the best VPN providers, expensive does not always mean higher quality. It’s all about the features that each brand offers, the speed, and the reliability of the connection. We made a list that features VPN services worth the money, and they come in all price ranges to fit everyone’s budget. We also noted which ones offer free trials and money-back guarantees, and discounts to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN products out there, protecting millions of viewers around the globe. With servers in more than 160 locations throughout 94 countries, ExpressVPN is making sure that all its users have fast and reliable connections, as well as unlimited bandwidth. To top it off, the service has a stellar record for unlocking streaming platforms, making it a top choice if you’re looking for the best VPN for Netflix.
The most notable feature of ExpressVPN is its split tunneling, which helped the service secure a top spot in our best VPN list. This feature lets users route some of the device or app traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel. The rest of the devices or apps in use will access the internet directly.
We also believe that ExpressVPN’s kill switch is among the top in the industry, working flawlessly on all apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers. The Network Lock feature will ensure the safety of your data even if your VPN connection suddenly drops by blocking all internet traffic until the connection is properly restored.
The best-rated VPN in the world has a lot to offer, but that comes with a price. Starting at $6.67/month, ExpressVPN offers a 12-month plan, billed at $99.95 with three free months for new users. The company also provides a 6-month plan, priced at $9.99/month, billed $59.95 every six months, and a 1-month plan, priced at $12.95, billed $12.95 monthly.
SurfShark is among the best VPNs for gaming. It offers super-speed connections from anywhere in the world and many advanced security features that will keep you safe while you are leveling up your favorite video game character. SurfShark will also hide you from all search engines, which is another reason it is among the top-rated VPNs worldwide.
With SurfShark, you don’t need to decide between speed and security — the former is backed by some 3,000 servers, while the latter relies on a string of tunneling protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Shadowsocks.
SurfShark also offers protection for all your devices, regardless of their number. It is one of the few VPN services with unmetered connections, which means that you can download the apps to all your devices with a single subscription. And as it should be with the best VPNs, it comes with a no-logs policy.
SurfShark’s pricing starts from $2.89/month, billed $68.36 for the first two years. After that, customers will be billed every year at $68.36, which equals $5.69/month. SurfShark also offers a decent deal with its 6-month plan, priced at $6.49/month, billed $38.94 every six months. The monthly plan of this VPN service, however, is — $12.95 — making SurfShark a costly option if you want a short-term subscription.
If you are looking for the best VPN for beginners, look no further! NordVPN can keep you protected with a single click. The service offers an easy-to-use dashboard throughout all your devices and will keep your data protected non-stop. Moreover, it has over 5,100 servers in 60 countries, making it the top VPN provider for travelers that need protection on the go.
NordVPN is among the top-rated VPN services because it provides complete protection on the go. With seamless one-click encryption for mobile, you will be protected every step of your way. Its CyberSec solution, meanwhile, blocks malware, infected sites, and ads.
We also like NordVPN’s strict no-logs policy, which means that your online activity will be hidden even from the VPN provider. You are protected from your ISP, and you will have unlimited bandwidth for streaming, downloading, or gaming. This is especially true if you are using Amazon’s Fire TV Stick since NordVPN is not just one of the top VPN services overall but also a top choice if you’re looking for the best VPN for Firestick.
NordVPN might be the best VPN service for users willing to commit long-term, thanks to its two-year plan for $3.67/month, billed $99/year. The vendor also offers an affordable one-year plan, priced at $4.49/month, billed $59 annually, and a one-month plan for $11.95.
We continue our VPN comparison with Private Internet Access or PIA, the best VPN for torrenting. PIA supports all popular BitTorrent clients and offers unlimited bandwidth for uninterrupted downloading. It even has its own antivirus that offers real-time malware protection, dast scanning, and complete control over your data. That also makes it the best VPN for Tor.
According to global VPN ratings, PIA is among the top open-source VPNs. It is also among the fastest ones available, making it one of the top VPN choices for streaming. PIA can unblock the geo-locked content on almost all major streaming platforms, allowing you to watch and download your favorite content from anywhere in the world.
Among PIA’s most notable features is its advanced split tunneling, which is available on desktop and Android. The desktop app further features IP bypassing. PIA is also among the top-rated VPN services courtesy of its ad and malware blocking.
PIA is among the cheapest VPN services, with prices as low as $2.24/month, billed at $80.64 with its three-year plan. If you can’t afford to pay for that one in advance, we recommend looking at the one-year and one-month plans, the pricing of which is also at a record low — $3.58/month, billed at $42.96 annually, and $10.70/month, respectively.
Hotspot Shield is arguably the best VPN for privacy, thanks to its military-grade encryption and over 115 virtual locations. In other words, you can be anywhere in the world, without anyone ever finding out about it. Not even Hotspot Shield can see your online activity.
Let’s start with what separates Hotspot Shield from the rest of the top VPNs — its Hydra protocol, which optimizes the VPN to ensure a fast, yet secure connection. It also has military-grade encryption and stores no browsing device logs from you.
Hotspot Shield is one of the few VPNs with a functional free version that is excellent for browsing. Our research shows that it makes Hotspot Shield one of the VPN services that work best with Chrome in particular.
Hotspot Shield offers individual protection with the Premium plan and protection to your entire family with the Premium Family plan. The Premium plan offers VPN service for one member account and is priced at $7.99/month, billed $95.88 yearly, or $12.99/month. The Premium Family plan allows up to five-member accounts for $11.99/month, billed $143.88 yearly, or $19.99/month.
IPVanish is another big name among the top VPN providers globally, protecting the privacy of millions of users. What makes IPVanish stand apart from the rest is its simplified data protection. All it takes is a click or a tap, and your online data will be hidden from the rest of the world.
If you are looking for the best VPN for multiple devices, IPVanish might just be it, courtesy of its unmetered connections. All it takes is to set up the trusted VPN on all your devices, turn it on, and have ease of mind on all your devices.
IPVanish also features a kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak prevention, making this VPN a strong security ally. It further boasts fast and reliable speeds and 1,900+ servers, making it a top VPN for streaming.
This top VPN provider has below-average pricing for new users — $4/month. New users can decide whether to take the one-year or two-year plan, billed at $47.99 or $95.98, respectively. Regardless of your chosen plan, the first renewal will increase the price to $7.49/month. For those unable to afford the long-term plans, IPVanish also offers an affordable monthly plan, priced at $10.99.
PrivateVPN is among the highest-rated VPN services globally, with a plethora of positive user reviews. It is also among the most praised VPNs for unblocking geo-restricted media, making it one of the VPNs best suited for Kodi. Regardless of whether you listen to music, stream movies or TV shows, browse through your photos, or play games with Kodi, your privacy will be protected.
PrivateVPN is among the best VPN services in the world, with a seamless one-click setup for all devices. All you need to do is download the app and connect — everything else will be done automatically. The best part? You can set up PrivateVPN on up to 10 devices and run it simultaneously without any issues.
The VPN software further uses 2048-bit encryption with AES-256 — government militaries use the same encryption protocol to protect sensitive data.
With a starting price of $2.50/month, billed at $59.99/year for its one-year plan, PrivateVPN can be an excellent choice for cost-conscious users. The vendor also offers a three-month plan for $6/month, billed $17.99 every three months, and a one-month plan at $8.99/month.
TunnelBear is another top-rated VPN with a free version and affordable pricing. Its fast connection speeds and 4K quality support make it a stellar choice for streaming, especially if you’re looking for a VPN to use with Popcorn Time. The unlimited bandwidth only enhances this experience.
TunnelBear is among the best VPNs for streaming and gaming because it prevents speed throttling and unlocks content worldwide. Moreover, it helps you bypass local censorship by changing your virtual location. Since TunnelBear is masking your internet trace, not even your local network owners and internet providers can see your online activities.
TunnelBear’s free version is also considered among the top VPN services for browsing on a budget. Note that the free version has a limit of 500MB, so you won’t be able to use the VPN service for anything else but internet surfing.
TunnelBear’s pricing varies depending on whether you need an individual or business plan. With prices as low as $3.33/month, you can have an unbreakable VPN service for three years, billed $120 once. TunnelBear also offers a one-year plan priced at $4.99/month, billed $59.88 yearly, and a 1-month plan priced at $9.99/month.
If you are looking for the best VPN for a team, this VPN provider offers specialized Teams plans starting from two members to up to 200. The pricing depends on the size of your team. If you want to know how much it would cost you, check TunnelBear’s calculator on the vendor’s official website. The company has custom pricing for teams of over 200 people.
We are continuing our VPN services comparison with Windscribe, one of the best VPN software choices for cost-conscious users. Windscribe offers both a functional free plan and affordable premium plans. With Windscribe, all your browsing activity will be fully encrypted, while all the ads will be blocked and all entertainment content unblocked.
Windscribe is among the best VPNs that offer a functional free version. Note that there are some limitations to the free version, such as fewer server locations and limited data, so make sure that there are servers near you before using the free VPN service. If there are no servers nearby, we recommend choosing another free VPN since your connection speed will be very slow.
Windscribe is also among the best VPNs that offer the advanced split tunneling feature, which allows you to select the apps that can access the internet using a VPN and those that can connect directly. The split tunneling feature is currently available for all Windows, Mac, and Android apps, and it’s coming soon to Linux and macOS Big Sur.
When it comes to affordable and simple pricing plans, Windscribe is the best VPN out there. Besides its free plan, it also offers a monthly and yearly plan. The monthly plan is priced at $9/month, while the annual plan is priced at $4.08/month, billed $49 yearly.
In case this seems oversimplified, Windscribe is one of the rare VPN providers that also offer the option to build your own plan. The starting price of this plan is $1/month/location, and the total cost depends on the features you choose.
CyberGhost is among the best VPNs working with a wide range of platforms and devices. It is the overall best VPN provider for everyone owning a variety of platforms and devices since it can offer great apps for each. If you also happen to be looking for the best VPN for Linux, CyberGhost is a top choice.
With an unbreakable 256-Bit AES encryption algorithm, combined with both an OpenVPN protocol and a WireGuard protocol, CyberGhost is among the top VPN software for security. Not only will your online presence be well-hidden, but you don’t have to worry about any sensitive data leaks. Moreover, the WireGuard protocol will keep you safe and, at the same time, optimize your connection speed.
CyberGhost’s strict no logs policy, meanwhile, means that the service will not store any of your data. In other words, not even CyberGhost will be able to monitor your online activity or share data with third parties.
CyberGhost’s two-year deal for new users is priced at an all-time low of $2.25/month (with two free months included), billed $58.5 for the first two years and $58.5/year after, equivalent to $4.87/month. If you cannot afford a long-term plan, the vendor also offers a six-month plan priced at $6.39/month, billed $38.34 every six months, and a one-month plan for $12.99/month.
If you are unsure how to select the best VPN service, our short but comprehensive buying guide can help you out. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll get to your perfect VPN in no time.
The first step is the easiest one. If you use your new VPN for personal matters, make sure to eliminate all business-orientated services. Then, cross out all options that offer fewer simultaneous device connections than the number of devices you have at home since the best personal VPN is the one that will protect you on all your devices. On the other hand, if you are looking for the best business VPN, focus on the brands' advanced security features to protect your company’s most sensitive data.
The next step is to determine the primary use of your VPN. If you want to stay protected during your daily browsing sessions, you should focus on VPNs with military-grade security and a WireGuard privacy protocol.
Alternatively, if you want to watch your favorite shows anywhere, make sure that the provider can unlock your favorite streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Also, focus on the speed of the connection. You will need lightning-fast speeds to watch 4K videos without buffering. The same goes with choosing the best VPN for gaming — high speeds are a must.
Regardless of how you use your VPN, the service needs to offer the specific features to support your most common online activities.
Defining a budget before investing in a VPN can help you save a lot of money. Since there is an unwritten rule that all VPNs must have overpriced monthly plans and very cheap one-year plans, it’s best if you plan ahead. Instead of paying up to $12 every single month for a good VPN, you can pay as low as $2/month (billed annually). Some services offer three-month or six-month plans, so even these plans are better than the monthly plans if you want to save some money. After all, the best VPN is the one you can afford.