Whatever you do on the web, be it browsing, streaming, or torrenting, you need a good VPN to protect yourself and unblock your favorite content.

Choosing the best overall VPN isn’t easy. That’s why after checking hundreds of different services, we’re providing you with the top ten best VPN services in 2020.

Picking any VPN from this list, you can be sure that it meets strict quality requirements and has all of the advertised features. If we’re saying a VPN is good for Netflix, that means we’ve tested it ourselves so you don’t have to. Basically, we’ve tried to make sure that all you have to do is choose the one VPN that seems right for you.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN service logo
  • Location: Panama
  • Price: starts at $3.49/month
  • VPNpro rating: 9.6

Compared to the competition, NordVPN stands out for its security. This is the best protection on the market and easily meets our quality standards for the best VPN service:

  • it’s based in a privacy-friendly location – Panama
  • it has one of the widest networks with servers in 58 countries
  • it offers an extensive list of awesome features

NordVPN boasts bank-level encryption, malware protection, and two types of kill switch that will keep your IP protected. This provider also has user-friendly apps for all popular devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It also supports routers and provides manual setup instructions.

This VPN allows torrenting and will unblock various streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. Finally, because of the Obfuscated Servers feature, users will be able to enjoy an unrestricted web even in China.

2. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN service logo
  • Location: British Virgin Islands
  • Price: starts at $1.99/month
  • VPNpro rating: 9.4

Surfshark VPN is the only premium VPN that comes with unlimited simultaneous connections. What’s more, it does so for an absurdly low price. There’s not much that Surfshark can’t do, so getting it is a real steal.

This VPN offers great security features: military-grade encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and multi-hop (cascading connections through two VPN servers) are just some of them.

Surfshark VPN is super fast, has a great server list (1000+ servers in 60+ countries), lets you torrent as much as you want, and unblocks Netflix. The service even has a Camouflage Mode, making it a good choice in high-censorship countries, such as China.

The worst thing you could do is wait until Surfshark VPN raises its prices.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN service logo
  • Location: British Virgin Islands
  • Price: starts at $6.67/month
  • VPNpro rating: 9.3

ExpressVPN is secure enough for both sensitive purposes and simple entertainment. The service offers stellar traffic encryption, a sturdy kill switch, no leaks, and a no-logs policy proven in the wild.

Despite the high level of security, ExpressVPN offers high-octane performance and is one of the fastest VPNs on the market today. This is unsurprising, considering ExpressVPN has 3000+ servers in 90+ countries, including some very exotic locations.

ExpressVPN offers user-friendly apps for most of the main platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers). Any issues you may have with the service can be addressed by reaching out to customer support via helpful and responsive 24/7 live chat.

This VPN is a very reliable service for Netflix and torrenting. Also, you’ll be able to connect 5 different devices simultaneously

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost service logo
  • Location: Romania
  • Price: starts at $2.75/month
  • VPNpro rating: 9.1

CyberGhost stands out from the crowd with its super-sleek and easy to use client that should be clear even for first-time VPN users. Under the hood, you’ll find military-grade encryption, modern tunneling protocols, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection.

At 6200+ servers in 90+ countries, CyberGhost has almost unbeatable worldwide coverage. All these numbers translate into good speeds too.

You can do most things with CyberGhost – unblock Netflix, use torrents, bypass most geo-blocking measures, etc. In case you run into some issues, CyberGhost has great 24/7 live chat support. One of the potential problems, shared by many VPNs, might be getting the service to work in China.

5. Astrill VPN

Astrill VPN service logo
  • Location: Seychelles
  • Price: starts at $10.00/month
  • VPNpro rating: 8.9

The stealth protocols and high percentage of servers located in Asia make Astrill VPN the best performing VPN service on the continent. Yet the seemingly compact 320+ server list spread out over 60+ countries gives some of the best speeds anywhere in the world.

Astrill VPN offers military-grade encryption, an assortment of secure tunneling protocols, and a kill switch.

Unfortunately, it’s the most expensive VPN on this list and logs more data than we would consider optimal. Additionally, Astrill doesn’t have the most aesthetically-pleasing or user-friendly VPN apps.

The Seychelles-based Astrill VPN is torrent-friendly, has great customer support, and unlocks Netflix US along with most other streaming platforms. You can get it on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers.

6. TorGuard

TorGuard service logo
  • Location: USA
  • Price: starts at $4.17/month
  • VPNpro rating: 8.8

Contrary to its title, TorGuard can do much more than just guard your torrents. It has 3000+ servers and in 50+ countries and the speeds are among the fastest you can get. Also, this VPN works well in China and has many weapons against the Great Firewall.

TorGuard has amazing security features, including AES-256 encryption, no leaks, a kill switch, and all the important security protocols.

TorGuard has apps for all major platforms and also supports routers. And with eight simultaneous connections available, one account should suffice for the whole family.

7. Ivacy VPN

Ivacy VPN service logo
  • Location: Singapore
  • Price: starts at $1.38/month
  • VPNpro rating: 8.7

Ivacy VPN has brilliant security features, including a great selection of tunneling protocols and encryption levels. It also has no leaks and protects your connection with an in-built kill switch.

Its only weaknesses is its curious relationship with PureVPN and its developers in Pakistan (Gaditek). With that said, Ivacy has a strict no-log policy, making these issues not that relevant in the end.

Although Ivacy doesn’t have a stealth protocol, its great server list (1000+ servers in 50+ countries) makes it a decent choice for users in Asian countries, such as China.

8. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN service logo
  • Location: Sweden
  • Price: starts at $1.89/month
  • VPNpro rating: 8.5

At 150+ servers across 60+ countries around the world, this is a smaller VPN than any on this list. However, given these numbers and its price, PrivateVPN’s performance is quite admirable.

PrivateVPN has strong security credentials and few blemishes. Their encryption is sound, the service has a reliable kill switch, proxy servers, and a good selection of security protocols.

This provider allows torrenting and will bypass Netflix restrictions. PrivateVPN offers its own “stealth mode” (stealth protocol), which makes it a very good choice for users in China as well.

PrivateVPN has custom apps for the main platforms and also a Kodi addon. It supports other devices as well (such as routers), but you will need to set them up manually.

9. Windscribe VPN

Windscribe VPN service logo
  • Location: Canada
  • Price: starts at $1.00/month
  • VPNpro rating: 8.4

With over 480+ servers in 60+ countries, Windscribe VPN provides great speeds across a wide geography. You’ll be able to test those by streaming Netflix, gaming, or torrenting.

It has military-grade encryption, a good selection of tunneling protocols, no leaks, and a solid anti-malware feature.

Windscribe is on the cheap end of the spectrum and has flexible pricing plans, including a “Build A Plan” option, allowing you to pay $1.00/month per location. There’s a limited free version as well.

10. VyprVPN

VyprVPN service logo
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Price: starts at $2.71/month
  • VPNpro rating: 8.3

This provider owns all of its 700+ servers in 60+ locations. VyprVPN has done a lot to optimize them, achieving brilliant performance and increasing security to the next level.

VyprVPN has strong encryption and a good selection of protocols, including its very own Chameleon protocol. This proprietary technology was created specifically to bypass blocking efforts in places like China, Russia, or Iran.

VyprVPN is good for bypassing Netflix’s geo-blocking measures. However, this VPN service is against violating copyrights, so torrenting might get your subscription revoked, at least in theory.

It also has top-notch customer support, brilliant apps for a wide range of platforms, and is reasonably priced.

How we rank VPN services

We have already reviewed well over two hundred VPNs based on these factors:

  • Privacy and security features
  • Performance
  • Entertainment
  • Ease of use and customer support
  • Reliability against firewalls and censorship
  • Price

The criteria can certainly be contested, but these are the ten best VPN services we value the most.

VPN FAQ

What does VPN stand for?

“VPN” is the abbreviation of “Virtual Private Network.” It’s a set of technologies that allows linking computers to create a private network as if they were nearby, but their actual locations could be thousands of miles apart. This means that you’re not connected to the Internet directly, but through intermediary means, i.e. a server in a foreign country as if you were there. Hence, it offers anonymity by hiding the user and making it very hard for anyone to track them.

What is a VPN used for?

There are plenty of reasons to use a VPN:

  • With governments spying on our online selves, corporations profiling users for targeted ads, and copyright warriors keeping an eye on our torrent traffic, VPNs are one of the few ways to take back your privacy.
  • People who find themselves using public wifi hotspots rely on encryption to keep sensitive details out of the hands of hackers.
  • Activists and journalists under oppressive regimes depend on privacy for their lives, while businesses use VPNs to protect valuable information.
  • The overwhelming majority of VPN users are mostly concerned with accessing geo-blocked entertainment platforms, such as Netflix, or censored websites, such as YouTube in China.

This multitude of reasons people use Virtual Private Networks for has caused VPN services to flourish and become ubiquitous. Virtually anyone can benefit from them in some way.

How to get a VPN?

To get VPN protection up and running, you may tinker settings to your home router or set it up through built-in means on your OS. However, the least time-consuming way for a common user to use a VPN is to pick a third-party provider that has an app for your device type, install it, launch it, and just pick a server from the list.

How to choose a VPN service?

Learning how to choose a VPN service is essential because making a mistake can cost you both financially and in terms of online security.

If you’re on the lookout for a secure and reliable VPN service, there are multiple factors to consider. Here are the main criteria we use to evaluate VPN providers:

  • Server count and global spread: the more servers, the merrier
  • Speed and performance: good VPNs tend to have a smaller impact on your connection speeds
  • Encryption and tunneling protocols: look for AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec protocols
  • Jurisdiction: be wary of VPNs based in Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes countries
  • Geo-unblocking capabilities: the best providers can reliably unblock Netflix
  • Multi-platform support: if you plan to use your VPN on more than one device, make sure it’s compatible
  • Value for money: pricier doesn’t necessarily mean better – always check the feature list
  • Customer service: solid and established VPNs always offer live chat support

For a more detailed look on how to choose a VPN, see our comprehensive guide to VPN selection.

Are VPNs legal?

Mostly yes, but the legal status of VPN services depends on the laws of each country and other contextual factors. For example, VPN use is completely illegal and punishable by law in Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Belarus. Elsewhere, VPN services are restricted in some way – China and Russia are prime examples of this.

Most countries allow VPN use. However, some actions people use these tools for can be illegal. Copyright infringements or hacking, for example, will get you into trouble regardless of country.

If you’re not sure whether VPNs are legal in your country, take a look at our global VPN legality guide and find out if your country is on the VPN prohibition list.

Should I trust VPN service providers?

Be careful, because you cannot trust all VPN services! The VPN market is all about trust – we can never be fully aware of what happens in the data centers around the world. As such, you should rely on the available facts to determine whose trustworthy and who isn’t.

Also, make sure to stay up to date with the goings-on of the VPN market – it’s constantly in flux, and even incredibly popular VPN providers sometimes get involved in privacy scandals or are acquired by less than trustworthy companies.

Independent audits, tests of “no-logs” policies in the wild, and independent research are invaluable sources of information to make an informed decision. Remember – using a compromised anonymity tool leaves you exposed to all kinds of risks!

Can I use a VPN to watch Netflix?

Absolutely – the ability to stream your favorite Netflix TV shows and movies from anywhere in the world is probably the best reason to use a VPN.

Whether you’re on vacation abroad or happen to live in a country with a different Netflix library, you’ve definitely seen your favorite show disappear from Netflix at least once.

A VPN will help you bypass such geo-blocking measures and stream whatever, wherever, on whichever devices you own. By changing your IP address, the best VPNs for Netflix manage to reliably fool the platform, which is notorious for its tireless proxy detection efforts.

What is the best VPN for streaming?

If watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or other geo-blocked platforms is the reason you’re looking for a VPN, our recommendation is to get NordVPN as the best VPN for streaming.

NordVPN works with a wide variety of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other popular services. It also offers the largest selection of specialized streaming servers and supports a whopping six simultaneous devices, which means you can use NordVPN on any desktop or mobile device you own, including Android TV.

NordVPN is a great VPN for Kodi as well and will let you stream safely, no matter which Kodi add-on you choose.

Here are some simple step-by-step guides for streaming the most popular geo-blocked TV shows and sports events:

Can you set up a VPN on a router or Smart TV?

If your VPN supports routers or Smart TVs, you can set it up on your device. Some VPNs that don’t have native support for routers or Smart TVs can provide you with manual instructions to do so.

That said, it’s always better to use a VPN that has a native app for the device in question.

Setting up a VPN on your router is a smart move. That way, you no longer have to worry about your VPN’s limitations on simultaneous connections and extend the protection to all the devices you own. If you’re thinking about pairing your router with a VPN, here’s an in-depth guide on how to do just that.

Setting up a VPN on your Smart TV is also a good idea. This will let you effortlessly stream geo-blocked shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming platforms. We have a guide for that, as well. You’re welcome.

Does a VPN protect my online privacy?

Yes – besides being great for streaming, VPNs also enhance the security of your online connection. When you connect to a VPN server, it acts as a secure and encrypted tunnel between your network and whatever online service you’re using.

This means that potential attackers (or your ISP) can’t intercept or identify your online traffic, which makes VPNs some of the safest and most reliable tools for protecting your connection while you’re browsing, shopping online, or even torrenting.

What is the best VPN for privacy and security?

All of the ten VPN services on this list are great at protecting your privacy and security since they all offer military-grade encryption, safe tunneling protocols, and have no leak problems.

With that in mind, the most advanced tool in the shed security and privacy-wise is NordVPN. There are many reasons why NordVPN is considered the most secure VPN service on the market:

  • NordVPN is based in Panama, which doesn’t belong to any intelligence-sharing alliances.
  • The provider has an independently-audited no-logging policy, which means that your online traffic data remains yours and yours alone.
  • NordVPN’s security and privacy package is unrivaled in the industry and includes advanced features like Double VPN (multi-hop), Onion over VPN, Obfuscated servers, CyberSec browser security suite, as well as an automatic killswitch and watertight DNS and IP leak protection.

For these reasons and more, we consider NordVPN as the best VPN service for privacy and security.

Can a VPN help me fight online censorship and harassment?

Yes! If you live in a country or community known for restricting human rights – both off- and online – a VPN can be your best bet in terms of protecting yourself from government surveillance, internet censorship, and cyberbullying.

VPN security and privacy measures offered by top-notch VPN services help to bypass geo-blocking and online traffic scanning. These techniques are often used by both individual predators and organized government agencies alike.

To learn more about how a VPN can help you stay safe and regain your freedom online, check out our guides on the following subjects:

Best VPN comparison table

Just to reiterate, the following table lists the best VPN services for 2020 that scored the best on these factors during our tests:

  1. Offers top of the line privacy and security features
  2. Has great performance and low speed drop-off percentage
  3. Reliably unblocks entertainment and streaming platforms
  4. Offers easy to use apps and helpful customer support
  5. Can reliably bypass firewalls and online censorship
  6. Has a good price and/or value for money
BrandPriceRating
NordVPN.com$3.499.6
Surfshark.com$2.759.4
ExpressVPN.com6.679.3
CyberGhostVPN.com$2.759.1
Astrill.com$10.008.9
TorGuard.net$4.178.8
Ivacy.com$1.388.7
PrivateVPN.com$1.898.5
Windscribe.com$1.008.4
VyprVPN.com$2.718.3