Whether you’re browsing, streaming, or torrenting, a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) is necessary to protect yourself and unblock content. In today’s online world, anonymity is scarce, and we must take all possible steps to regain it. However, not all providers are suitable for the job.
Our tech researchers have put more than 30 providers through rigorous testing. After ensuring they meet strict quality requirements, we compiled a list of the best VPN services in 2023. Continue reading to find the leading VPN providers and select the most suitable option for your needs.
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Best VPN services in 2023: top 5 picks
- The best and fastest VPN service9.6 / 10
- Cheapest VPN without a device limit9.4 / 10
- Best for beginners9.2 / 10
- Best for bypassing geo-blocks9.1 / 10
- VPN with largest server fleet8.9 / 10
The best VPN services comparison
|Provider||NordVPN||Surfshark VPN||Atlas VPN||ExpressVPN||CyberGhost||PrivateVPN||Proton VPN||IPVanish||PureVPN||Ivacy VPN|
|Editor’s score||9.6 ⭐||9.4 ⭐||9.2 ⭐||9.1 ⭐||8.9 ⭐||8.7 ⭐||8.6 ⭐||8.4 ⭐||8.5 ⭐||8.2 ⭐|
|Jurisdiction||Panama||The Netherlands||The US||The British Virgin Islands||Romania||Sweden||Switzerland||The US||The British Virgin Islands||Singapore|
|Logging policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy||Independently-audited and court-proven no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
|Network||5800+ servers in 60+ countries||3200+ servers in 100+ countries||1000+ servers in 49+ countries||3000+ servers in 105+ countries||10218+ servers in 100+ countries||200+ servers in 63+ countries||3000+ servers in 69+ countries||2200+ servers in 51+ countries||6500+ servers in 71+ countries||5700+ servers in 69+ countries|
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, IKEv2||Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP|
|P2P||Yes (optimized P2P servers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (optimized P2P servers)||Yes||Yes (optimized P2P servers)||Yes||Yes (only where P2P is legal)||Yes (optimized P2P servers)|
|Streaming||Yes||Yes||Yes (streaming optimized servers)||Yes||Yes (streaming optimized servers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (streaming optimized servers)|
Best 10 VPN services in 2023
After testing over 30 VPN providers on the market, we gathered the top 10, starting with the best one. During our research, we looked at security features and privacy measures. We run speed tests to determine how fast these VPNs are. Additionally, we analyzed servers, torrenting capabilities, pricing and other criteria. We also tested if they can unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.
All best-rated VPN services mentioned below have apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS (iPhone), and most offer even more. Even if there’s no app, you can still configure the VPNs on routers to work with smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming peripherals.
1. NordVPN – the best and fastest VPN service
- Great all-purpose VPN
- Top-notch security features
- Fastest speeds in the industry
- No router applet
After extensive testing, we announce NordVPN as the best VPN service in 2023. This provider is not a mere VPN – it serves as a full security suite and stands out in virtually all categories.
Security and privacy. The renowned security powerhouse sets the standard for the most advanced AES-256 encryption. But encryption alone is not enough to keep you safe, so NordVPN supplements it with not one but two kill switches. It also has leak protection, which passed out tests with flying colors. When it comes to privacy, NordVPN ticked all the boxes – privacy-friendly location (Panama), triple audited no-logs policy, and RAM-only infrastructure. So, not only does it not log your data, the provider doesn’t store it either.
Performance. We can’t help but be amazed by NordVPN speeds. Our VPN speed test tool constantly logs it as the fastest provider on the market. It’s all thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol, based on WireGuard, and a fleet of 5800+ servers in 60+ countries. You can even get dedicated IPs from more than 10 countries to boost performance for specific use cases.
Features. As VPN experts, we have to praise this provider for its specialized hardware, such as obfuscated, Double VPN, dedicated IP, and Onion Over VPN servers. There are also more common features, such as Threat Protection, split tunneling, a SOCKS5 proxy, Invisibility on LAN, and even Dark Web Monitoring.
Streaming & P2P. Thanks to its SmartPlay feature, NordVPN can easily unblock various streaming platforms. Without any issues, we gained access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Hotstar, and several other platforms. Similarly, NordVPN works well for file-sharing purposes. It has enabled P2P on its network, with servers optimized for torrenting.
Compatibility. You can use NordVPN with all of your devices. It has apps for all major platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. If you prefer to use the VPN directly in your browser, you can use Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Opera, and Edge browser extensions. The best part is the Smart DNS feature and router applet. These two allow users to set up a VPN on devices that don’t support the apps natively. Plus, there 6 simultaneous connections to cover all of your devices.
Pricing. NordVPN prices start at $2.99/month, but you may find better deals on the coupons page. There’s a 7-day free trial available on Android that works on all devices after activation. Or exercise your 30-day money-back guarantee if 7 days are not enough.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – privacy-oriented VPN without a device limit
- Great price-to-value ratio
- Robust security toolkit
- Superb performance
- Some features cost extra
Surfshark takes an honorable second place on our list due to its high affordability and some of the best features in the VPN market. This gem is a value-based provider with excellent security for unlimited simultaneous connections.
Security & privacy. We tested Surfshark’s security, and it’s clear to us that it’s bulletproof. It implements leading AES-256 encryption as well as a kill switch, which worked never failed us when testing. The provider’s privacy measures are just as efficient. It has been proven with independently audited no logs policy, browser extensions, and server infrastructure. Plus, Surfshark infrastructure runs on RAM-only hardware, proving its no-logs policy is solid.
Performance. Surshark is one of a few VPNs that can compete in the speed category with NordVPN. It is lightning-fast and has stable connections. The reason for it is the leading WireGuard protocol, which is lightweight and secure. To top it off, Surfshark has the largest region selection in the industry – 3200+ servers across 100+ countries. All of these servers are RAM-only. You can also get dedicated IPs from 4 countries to use on services sensitive to IP changes.
Features. Surfshark borders the spectrum of VPN applications with plenty of additional features. You can use Camouflage and NoBorders modes to circumvent censorship. Meanwhile, MultiHop doubles the encryption. If you want to get rid of ads and avoid dangerous websites, you’ll benefit from the CleanWeb ad blocker. Another great feature is the IP rotator which periodically connects you to a different server without dropping the secure connection.
Streaming & P2P. Surfshark is one of the best streaming VPNs. It helped us gain access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other popular streaming services. This VPN streams series on any device, powered with the Smart DNS feature and a router applet. Torrenting enthusiasts aren’t overlooked either – all servers allow P2P, and you can even use a SOCKS5 proxy to stay anonymous.
Compatibility. Surfshark offers user-friendly apps for all major operating systems as well as platforms like Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Furthermore, Surfshark supports Chromebooks and has browser add-ons for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Opera.
Pricing. You can grab Surfshark VPN for $2.21/month or look for a better deal. There’s a free 7-day trial available via the Google Play and Apple App Stores for those who want to test it out. And a standard 30-day money-back guarantee applies to all subscriptions if you ever want to get a refund.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Atlas VPN – top VPN with unlimited devices and a free version
- Begginer-friendly interface
- Unblocks Netflix and more
- Great free version
- Lacks router firmware
Atlas VPN holds its ground on the best VPN service list for its versatility. The provider is still small but features an affordable price, unlimited connections, tight security, and even a free version.
Security & privacy. The provider doesn’t skimp on security. It efficiently safeguards you online with robust AES encryption, a reliable kill switch, and proper leak protection. While the provider is based in the United States, a country known for its data retention laws, Atlas VPN protects users’ privacy with an audited no-logs policy,
Performance. Atlas VPN is another provider with a WireGuard tunneling protocol. The protocol serves its competitive advanced and provides fast speeds. Own a pool of 1000+ servers in 42+ countries. While small in numbers when compared to others, these servers are very efficient. By regularly maintaining and updating its server infrastructure regularly, Atlas VPN ensures great performance.
Features. The VPN comes with SafeBrowse, which blocks trackers and ads, making it a great alternative to a stand-alone ad blocker. Other useful features include MultiHop+, which hides your online activity behind several VPN connections. There’s also SafeSwap – an IP rotating tool and split tunneling.
Streaming & P2P. Atlas VPN is good for unblocking multiple Netflix libraries, including the US. Additionally, you can watch Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Max, and other platforms. With torrenting allowed on all servers, you’ll be able to share files quickly. Although, the provider lacks port forwarding and a SOCKS5 proxy.
Compatibility. The provider comes with efficient cross-platform support. It has apps with apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Sadly, manually configuring a router with this VPN is not an option. There are no browser extensions, either.
Pricing. The best Atlas VPN price is just $1.64/month. However, you can find special deals by visiting the discount coupons page. Although the provider offers a free version, it’s quite limited, with 3 server locations, slower speeds, a 5 GB/month data cap, and no streaming. Picking premium is the way to go, especially since it’s risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. ExpressVPN – performance-focused top VPN service
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
- Stable connections
- RAM-only hardware
- Excellent for China and other restricted countries
ExpressVPN is a secure and powerful VPN for a wide variety of applications. We tried the service ourselves and were pleasantly surprised by great speeds, access to various popular streaming services, and a powerful toolkit.
Security & privacy. With a market standard AES encryption at hand, leak protection, and a reliable kill switch, ExpressVPN ensures advanced security of your online features. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the provider is not subjected to any data retention laws. Furthermore, it has the strongest no-logs policy on the market. Not only is it independently audited, but it also has been proven in court twice.
Performance. While ExpressVPN is not the fastest provider on the market, it is certainly fast enough. It employs proprietary Lightway protocol, which is derived from a market-standard WireGuard. A big part of ExpressVPN’s performance comes from an optimized and efficient fleet of 3000+ RAM-only servers in 105+ countries.
Features. The feature-rich provider comes with a Threat Manager to remove annoying and dangerous ds. You also get MediaStreamer, a tool powered with Smart DNS to bypass geo-restrictions on any device. On top of that, it has a few handy features that don’t often come with a VPN – password manager and secure storage.
Streaming & P2P. Unblocking streaming platforms is no issue for ExpresssVPN. It gave us access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other platforms. When it comes to torrenting, users can benefit from P2P, which is allowed on all servers. Furthermore, there’s a port forwarding feature to boost your torrents.
Compatibility. With Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android apps, ExpressVPN covers all compatibility bases. You can also install it on Android TV, Fire Stick, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire. There’s even an app for routers. Furthermore, there are browser add-ons for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Opera. With a 8 simultaneous connection cap, you’ll be able to run the VPN on several devices.
Pricing. ExpressVPN prices start from $6.67/month, which is a tad expensive, especially compared to other providers listed here. At least you can try getting a special deal.
For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.
5. CyberGhost – effective, no-nonsense VPN
- Large server list
- Good for Netflix & P2P
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- macOS and iOS have fewer features
CyberGhost has a lot of edge over its competitors, but it’s most recognizable for having one of the largest server fleets on the market. Furthermore, this security-minded provider never fails to protect users from common online threats.
Security & privacy. CyberGhost ensures your data is impenetrable with AES encryption, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection. Its no-logs policy is independently audited. The no-logs policy is further enforced with its RAM-only infrastructure. Plus, the provider operates in Romania – a privacy-friendly country.
Performance. While slower in speed than its competitors above, CyberGhost offers decent performance. It comes with a variety of tunneling protocols, with WireGuard as the fastest and most secure one. The best part about CyberGhost is the fleet of 10218+ servers across 100+ countries.
Features. Windows devices benefit from the CyberGhost Security Suite, a robust anti-malware & antivirus tool. Other perks include split tunneling, a free SOCKS5 proxy, and ID Guard Monitoring which alerts about email or password leaks. And besides dedicated streaming and torrenting servers, you also get gaming ones.
Streaming & P2P. We easily access all major streaming platforms. What’s CyberGhost’s secret? The provider has specialized streaming servers. This way, it ensures a fast connection, a full HD experience, and no buffering. CyberGhost lets you watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and other content platforms. Torrenting is on the table, too, with optimized hardware just for P2P. Plus, there’s a SOCKS5 if you need an extra performance boost for torrenting.
Compatibility. CyberGhost is available on all major platforms, including Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick devices. Manual configuration for routers is possible, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Opera offer an added layer of protection. Connect up to 7 devices simultaneously for ultimate convenience.
Pricing. Currently, CyberGhost VPN prices start from $6.67/month, but you may find better deals on the coupons page. Then there’s a 1-day free trial (Windows only) plus an extended 45-day money-back guarantee. Sadly, no free version is available.
For a deeper investigation of CyberGhost, read our CyberGhost review.
6. PrivateVPN – best VPN for low-priced streaming
- Very good security
- Great for Netflix
- 7-day free trial
- macOS and iOS have fewer features
PrivateVPN is a great provider that is often underlooked among the market leaders. Yet, this VPN comes with a versatile set of practical implementations, great security, and usability that gives the edge over some rivals.
Security & privacy. PrivateVPN pairs bulletproof encryption with a kill switch and efficient protection against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. While the provider does not own RAM-only servers, it at least prevents third-party tampering by owning and operating all of its hardware. Furthermore, it ensures your data is safe with a no-logs policy. However, it operates in Sweden, a country that is part of the Fourteen Eyes alliance. Despite that, Sweden prohibits data logging, which allows the provider to cleanse logs without breaching the law.
Performance. The main difference between PrivateVPN and other providers is the server fleet. 200+ servers across 63+ countries, this provider is one of the smallest on the market, yet it has great performance. Despite lacking WireGuard, the trusted OpenVPN protocol facilitates stable, fast connections.
Features. This provider has several features to enhance security. For instance, an Application Guard lets you choose to terminate specific apps you don’t want to open when a VPN stops working. Port forwarding feature, which helps to keep outsiders away from your network. If you need a VPN in a high-censorship situation, PrivateVPN has you covered with a Stealth VPN feature.
Streaming & P2P. Geo-block is not a problem with PrivateVPN. During our tests, it provided access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other geo-restrictions. While there’s no SmartDNS feature, PrivateVPN offers a router applet as an alternative. The VPN allows P2P on all of its servers. Plus, there’s a SOCKS5 proxy feature to keep torrenters anonymous.
Compatibility. The service offers tailor-made applications for major platforms, including Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and a Kodi add-on. It is also compatible with various devices like routers. With one account, users can have up to ten simultaneous connections.
Pricing. PrivateVPN offers competitive pricing, starting at just $2.00/month per month. However, there might be even more attractive deals available. You can take advantage of their 7-day free trial, which you can download directly from the provider’s website. Alternatively, you can subscribe right away, knowing that your purchase is protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
7. Proton VPN – best VPN service for 400% faster speeds
- Amazing security credentials
- Solid free version
- Swiss-based, audited, and open-source
- Few P2P servers
Proton VPN puts all of its efforts into maintaining strong security. It’s not to say that the provider doesn’t have anything else to offer. In fact, it comes with additional features and great cross-platform compatibility.
Security & privacy. Proton VPNs apps are open source. This means that the provider guarantees full transparency since anyone can review its code. Apart from internal audits, the app has passed independent third-party audits with no significant security issues. When it comes to the most important secure features, Proton VPN covers all the basis with advanced encryption, a reliable kill switch, and leak protection.
Performance. Our tests show that the provider is one of the fastest on the market. It employs a WireGuard tunneling protocol as well as VPN Accelerator, resulting in outstanding performance. It also comes with a decent server fleet – 3000+ servers across 69+ countries. Also, almost all of its servers are 10 Gbps.
Features. With this VPN, you also get a solid adblocker, which removes ads, trackers, and even malware when you browse the web. Among other notable features is the Stealth protocol, which conceals anyone from knowing you’re connecting through a VPN. Secure Core is implemented to route traffic via multiple servers, meanwhile, split tunneling routes it through the apps of your choice. Subscribers also get the Tor Over VPN option and port forwarding (but only for Windows).
Streaming & P2P. Apart from being ultra-secure, Proton VPN is also great for streaming. It unblocks Netflix libraries as well as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports, and others. All of its servers are optimized for P2P. However, the provider allows torrenting only in 5 countries.
Compatibility. Proton VPN offers Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Chromebook apps. What’s more, you can manually configure it on routers to extend the range of protected devices. The service also offers Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Opera browser extensions. We do miss the Smart DNS feature, though.
Pricing. Proton VPN’s lowest price is $3.99/month, excluding coupon codes. Or you can use the free version first. It has 3 server locations, unlimited bandwidth, the Stealth protocol, and VPN Accelerator. But streaming and P2P aren’t available. Going premium is risk-free, though, with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Proton VPN, read our Proton VPN review.
8. IPVanish – top-ranked VPN with a free antivirus
- Owns all servers
- WireGuard-fuelled speeds
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- No anonymous payments
IPVanish has a good reputation for security and performance. It also comes with great additional features to boost your VPN application methods.
Security & privacy. The provider comes with all necessary VPN security features – AES 256-bit encryption, strong protection against DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks, and a kill switch. This way, the provider ensures the safety of your data. When it comes to privacy, IPVanish is based in the US. While it could be concerning, the provider earns users’ trust with an independently-audited no-logs policy.
Performance. Among several tunneling protocols to choose from is WireGuard, with it comes fast speed and stable connections. For ultimate speed, you IPVanish allows you to automatically connect to the fastest servers when you don’t need a specific location. As for servers, IPVanishh has a decent fleet of 2200+ servers in 71+ countries.
Features. IPVanish comes with split tunneling features, but only for Android FireOS devices. To increase your security even further, the provider offers Stealth VPN known as the Scramble option. However, it can only be enabled for OpenVPN traffic. Another great feature is VIPRE antivirus, which serves as real-time protection from malware at no additional cost.
Streaming & P2P. IPVanish can unblock various Netflix libraries without any issues. However, for some reason, it struggled with some European libraries. Similarly, IPVanish had issues with BBC iPlayer. While it unlocked the service, the quality was very low. Other platforms it unblocks include HBO Max and YouTube. Torrenting, on ht other hand, proves to be speedy, and you can download and upload without much struggle across any server on the network.
Compatibility. The service includes dedicated applications for all major operating systems. You can also get clients for Android TVs, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and ChromeOS devices. It also supports routers if there’s a need for it.
Pricing. IPVanish costs $2.49/month. Don’t think it can get cheaper than that? Check the dedicated coupons page to be pleasantly surprised. And last but not least, the 30-day money-back guarantee protects all plans longer than a month. Sadly, no trial version is available.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
9. PureVPN – good VPN for P2P, supports many platforms
British Virgin Islands
- Humongous server list
- Good range of supported platforms
- Wi-Fi security
- Weak kill switch
PureVPN never seizes to surprise us with its security and privacy measures. This reliable VPN is one of the best choices if you prioritize privacy above all else.
Security & privacy. The VPN is based in a privacy-friendly country – the British Virgin Islands. It proved its dedication to privacy by implementing an always-on audit. The independent investigation has confirmed that no user log or VPN activity is being recorded. The VPN also uses military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch – all the necessary features you’d expect from a VPN.
Performance. PureVPN owns a sizeable fleet of 6500+ servers in 71+ countries. Most of them are 10 Gbps, with an increasing number of 20 Gbps options. When it comes to speed, PureVPN offers fast and stable connections, thanks t its WireGuard protocol choice.
Features. PureVPN offers split tunneling to route the VPN connection via select apps, but only for Windows and Android users. It also comes with an obfuscation feature to conceal the fact that you’re using a VPN. For added security, you get DDoS protection and Wi-Fi security. Also, a small additional fee gives you a password manager.
Streaming & P2P. We managed to unblock Netflix US and the notoriously stringent Japan library on the first try. However, the provider isnt perfect, as it failed to unblock German and French libraries. Although it works great with other platforms, such as BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, to name a few. The service is a good option for torrenting, too. Just be aware that it’s only available in countries where P2P is legal.
Compatibility. PureVPN supports an extended range of platforms, including a Kodi add-on and a DD-WRT applet. You can also configure it to work with routers, ChromeOS, and Raspberry Pi, among others. Each account gets 10 simultaneous connections, which should be enough even for your extended family.
Pricing. The mind-blowingly low prices start at $2.08/month and have significant discounts, not to mention special PureVPN deals. You can try the service for 7 days, but it will cost extra ($0.99). Subscribing is a better option because you can use the 31-day money-back guarantee later.
For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.
10. Ivacy VPN – VPN with huge discounts and brilliant security
- Great price-to-value ratio
- Decent choice for China
- Suitable for torrenting
- No kill switch for macOS & iOS
Ivacy VPN comes with robust security features, reliable streaming, and an efficient server fleet at an affordable price point.
Security & privacy. Ivacy is excellent at providing efficient security. There’s AES 256-bit encryption, IP & DNS leak prevention, DDoS attack protection, and a kill switch to keep your browsing traffic safe. Even though the provider is based in Singapore, which partners with the Fourteen Eyes alliance, it protects users with a no-logs policy.
Performance. The provider has not yet implemented a market-leading WireGuard protocol. However, it maintains great speeds with OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols. Furthermore, the provider owns one of the largest server fleets. It consists of 5700+ servers across 69+ countries.
Features. Ivacy increases user security with a malware blocker called Secure Downloading. It also features specialized servers placed in a Smart Purpose Selection. This feature allows the best servers for specific purposes, such as streaming or downloading.
Streaming & P2P. Streaming fans can expect HD or even 4K video quality and minimal buffering. Ivacy VPN even offers dedicated servers to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Torrenting isn’t left in the dust, either, with P2P-optimized hardware.
Compatibility. Ivacy VPN has apps for popular platforms, including Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Additionally, there are browser extensions and support for routers, game consoles, Roku, and Raspberry Pi. You can even download a Kodi add-on.
Pricing. $1.00/month is what Ivacy VPN asks, but sometimes special deals become available. For that, you’ll get ten simultaneous connections. There’s a 7-day trial for $0.99 and a free version with unlimited bandwidth and 4 server locations. And while P2P is allowed, streaming isn’t. Finally, a 30-day money-back guarantee insures all plans.
For a deeper investigation of Ivacy VPN, read our Ivacy VPN review.
How we test the best VPN providers
Testing providers’ capabilities is a complex process that requires strict ranking criteria. These are the criteria we evaluated when testing the top VPN providers:
- Security. We picked providers with market-leading AES encryption and advanced tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard and its variations NordLynx and Lightway. We also tested providers’ IP leak protection and kill switch reliability. Other features like RAM-only servers and malware protection have placed providers at the top of our list.
- Privacy features. We looked into where providers are based to get a clearer view of what data retention laws apply to them. We didn’t include any VPNs with shady logging practices. Thus you’ll find here only those providers with audited no-logs policies.
- Server locations. As a rule of thumb, providers with small server fleets or lack physical servers are underperforming. Thus, we picked providers with large server fleets and wide location coverage. This way, we ensure that providers offer fast and reliable service for all use cases.
- Streaming and torrenting. One of the most common reasons for using a VPN is for entertainment purposes. Thus it’s important that providers would be suitable both for torrenting and streaming. We tried each VPN with the most popular streaming platform and evaluated their geo-bypassing performance. We also analyzed torrenting capabilities and features like P2P servers and SOCKS5 proxy.
- Cross-platform support. The best providers ensure that you can use their service even on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps. We picked services that come with SmartDNS and apps for all major platforms. We also take into consideration an unlimited simultaneous connections cap to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your VPN with all your devices.
- Pricing. The best VPNs on the market have a lot to offer, but you may be surprised that the providers on our list are rather cheap. That’s because we filter out VPNs with unreasonable pricing and keep only those with a feature pack to match the price tag.
While most VPNs fail to combine all necessary assets into a single service, NordVPN is an exception. The provider ticks all of the boxes in terms of security, versatility, performance, and pricing. Whether you’re a fan of TV series, a torrenting enthusiast, or a gamer, NordVPN covers all the bases.
NordVPN is the most versatile VPN service. It is great for streaming, torrenting, safe browsing, and other use cases. The provider comes with advanced security measures, the fastest speeds, and an impressive feature pack. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best Top 5 VPN services by speed: US comparison
We gathered the top 5 fastest VPNs to compare their US server speeds side by side:
|NordVPN (NordLynx)||104 ms||464 Mbps||447 Mbps|
|Surfshark VPN (WireGuard)||102 ms||448 Mbps||417 Mbps|
|Atlas VPN (WireGuard)||101 ms||454 Mbps||368 Mbps|
|ExpressVPN||107 ms||383 Mbps||407 Mbps|
|CyberGhost||107 ms||267 Mbps||426 Mbps|
Remember that speeds may vary depending on your internet bandwidth, geographical location, platform, and other aspects.
Other VPNs that we tested
After testing dozens of providers, many didn’t make the cut into our lists, mostly due to a lack of security, inadequate pricing, and lack of valuable features that can make a VPN a versatile security tool.
However, there are still some VPNs left that are worth mentioning. One of them is Private Internet Access. The provider has impressed us with efficient security and a massive server fleet. However, upon closer inspection, we realized that most of its servers are virtual.
Another VPN is Hotspot Shield. While it’s fast and has great unblocking capabilities, the provider missed the mark in terms of privacy. We have a similar issue with Bitdefender VPN. Being a part of an antivirus bundle does guarantee great security. However, the same can’t be said about privacy, especially since the provider does keep logs of your data.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN is a service that encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address from third parties. Those can include hackers, ISPs, and even the government. It also protects your personal information and ensures it’s not being collected.
VPNs can be used not only for security and privacy but for changing your location as well. Many users need them for safe downloading and bypassing geo-blocked services, such as Netflix and other streaming platforms. And those who live in countries with restricted internet access can use a VPN to avoid firewalls, such as the Great Firewall of China.
One of the less-known ways to use a Virtual Private Network is getting better prices. Many online shops use different strategies in each country. With a VPN, you can save money by ordering a cheaper option from another location.
Finally, people often ask how to know if the VPN is working. This article explains everything in detail.
Can you trust a VPN service?
Top VPNs on the market are completely safe and reliable, but that doesn’t mean they all are. However, some lesser-known VPNs, as well as free services, can’t guarantee full security. So, how do you know which services you can trust? We recommend following this criteria:
- Independent audits. An independently-audited no-logs policy is a badge of honor not many services have. It indicates that what you’re doing while connected to the VPN isn’t being logged or stored anywhere.
- Court-proven. Another indication that no funny business is happening behind the scenes data-collection-wise is having a no-logs policy tested in court. If the judge asked for info and got nothing because there was nothing to give, your privacy will be in good hands.
- Reputation. Is the provider transparent about who runs the company? Were there any scandals regarding data breaches, information gathering, product management, or such? For example, did you know that Hotspot Shield is run by the same company that owns Betternet, a notoriously unsafe VPN service. The owner never publicly disclosed this, although they proudly presented the acquisition of JustVPN and TouchVPN.
- Jurisdiction. Ideally, the VPN operates far away from the Fourteen Eyes alliance. Countries that are members of it are known for sharing their citizens’ private data with each other.
Also, make sure to stay up to date with the goings-on of the service market. It’s constantly in flux, and even incredibly popular providers sometimes find themselves in hot water. Or VPNs are acquired by less-than-trustworthy companies. Remember – using a compromised anonymity tool leaves you exposed to all kinds of risks!
Paid VPNs vs. free VPNs: which one is better?
According to our tests, paid VPNs perform much better than their free counterparts. They are also more secure and reliable. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider getting a freemium VPM, such as Atlas VPN. While it lacks features and server locations, its free version is just as secure as a premium VPN. Free versions of paid providers are the only exceptions when considering free vs paid VPNs.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the differences:
|Pros and cons||Free VPNs||Paid VPNs|
|Doesn’t cost a thing||✔️||❌|
|No long-term commitment||✔️||❌|
|Global server fleet||❌||✔️|
|Unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms||❌||✔️|
|No data caps||❌||✔️|
|24/7 customer support||❌||✔️|
As you can see, paid VPNs win almost in every category. We should also mention that many free providers not only log but also sell your data to make money. Others might even inject your device with malware.
We advise taking advantage of a little loophole instead. Many VPNs offer free trial versions that include the full feature set and server list. You can combine it with the provider’s money-back guarantee to use the service scot-free for over a month.
For example, look at NordVPNs free 7-day trial. You can start the trial right after creating an account. Pick a plan, activate it, and enjoy the full service at no cost for 7 days. You’ll be automatically charged if you don’t cancel it before it ends. No worries – use NordVPN for a whole month and utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee to get a full refund. You end up not paying anything.
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, the use of such technology is completely illegal in:
Elsewhere, these services are restricted in some way – China and Russia are prime examples of this. Still, the majority of nations allow VPN usage. 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.
The best VPN services for 2023: video review
Not a fan of reading? No problem! Our spokesperson presents the best VPN services in an informative video review. Happy watching!
How to choose the right VPN for you
While some VPNs, such as the leading NordVPN, are good for pretty much all purposes, you still need to assess your specific needs before purchasing. Be it streaming, torrenting, or gaming, consider the features you’ll use. Then, remember to ensure that the VPN you choose is suitable for your device.
Once you pinpoint what you’re looking for, check out this specific VPN article to pick the best option.
Usually, it will be the best overall VPNs occupying most places. Nevertheless, you will also find some providers that excel in a particular category.
During our tests, we evaluated providers’ security and privacy measures. The top performers come with a no-logs policy, AES-256 encryption, and DNS leak protection. We also tested how versatile these providers are when it comes to various use cases, such as streaming and torrenting.
Compatibility is crucial for a VPN’s effectiveness across various devices and platforms. Seamless integration with different operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, allows you to protect your online presence across all your devices.
Taking into consideration all of these evaluation criteria, it becomes clear that NordVPN stands out as the best VPN option. NordVPN offers a comprehensive suite of security features, including military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and advanced features like double VPN and Threat Protection. Its user-friendly interface and wide range of server locations make it an excellent choice for both beginners and advanced users.
Who has the best VPN services? What do you think – maybe it’s not even included in our list. Share your thoughts about top VPNs in the comments below!
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Do I need a VPN?
We recommend everyone to use a VPN, especially if you need to connect to public Wi-Fi. A VPN will prevent third parties from intercepting your traffic. However, if you’re not concerned about safety, a VPN can also be useful for streaming, bypassing restrictions, gaming, and torrenting, among other use cases.
Who provides the best VPN service?
According to our tests, NordVPN provides the best VPN service. It comes with a wide variety of features and top-notch security at a wallet-friendly price. Furthermore, the provider comes with a 7-day free trial, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and great customer support.
What is the best VPN in 2023?
The best VPN in 2023 is NordVPN. It is the most versatile provider that’s suitable for a wide range of applications, such as streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more. It comes with a large fleet of xx servers and xx locations, as well as the most advanced security features.
What is the best free VPN?
Atlas VPN is the best free VPN in 2023. It also has a strong premium version with more servers, features, and unlimited simultaneous connections. Find the Atlas VPN description in our detailed list of the best providers.
What’s the fastest VPN?
NordVPN is the fastest VPN. It uses the NordLynx tunneling protocol, an in-house version of WireGuard that guarantees unparalleled performance across the globe. Besides, NordVPN uses only bare-metal servers and is already upgrading the fleet to 10 Gbps.
Are VPNs safe?
Most VPNs are safe to use, but there are providers with less-than-stellar reputations you should avoid. Before you commit, we recommend doing additional research to learn whether the VPN service is trustworthy enough for you.
What is the most trusted VPN?
NordVPN is the VPN with the strongest security credentials in the market. It operates from Panama, adheres to a thrice independently-audited no-logs policy, and offers robust applications that have passed security audits. Subscribers get industry-leading encryption, the latest tunneling protocols, and access to a RAM-only server network.
What is the best VPN for Netflix?
NordVPN is the best VPN to watch Netflix. The provider can help you easily change the Netflix region by connecting to a server in another country. Plus, it also bypasses geo-blocking measures of other popular streaming platforms like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.
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