The COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in an already increasing remote work trend. At the same time, it forced us to spend more of our leisure time at home. That’s why there has never been a bigger demand for a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.
Whether you’re browsing, streaming, or torrenting, you need a good VPN to protect yourself and unblock your favorite content. In today’s online world, anonymity is in short supply, and we should do all we can to take it back.
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.
Best VPN providers: shortlist
- The best and fastest VPN service9.6 / 10
- Inexpensive VPN without a device limit9.4 / 10
- Versatile VPN with robust security measures9.3 / 10
Best VPN deals this month
The VPN prices tend to change quite a lot because of various special deals and discounts. It’s pretty hard to follow all of them. That’s why below you will find the top 5 VPN deals currently available:
- NordVPN – $3.49/month with 59% off
- Surfshark VPN – $2.30/month with 82% off
- PrivateVPN – $2.00/month with 85% off
- Atlas VPN – $2.05/month with 81% off
- PureVPN – $1.33/month with 88% off
You can find more options and discounts on our dedicated VPN coupon pages.
Comparison of the top VPN providers
|NordVPN||Surfshark VPN||PrivateVPN||Atlas VPN||Proton VPN||PureVPN||IPVanish||Ivacy VPN||ExpressVPN||PIA||VyprVPN||CyberGhost|
|Jurisdiction||Panama||The Netherlands||Sweden||The US||Switzerland||The British Virgin Islands||The US||Singapore||The British Virgin Islands||The US||Switzerland||Romania|
|Logging policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy||No-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy||Independently-audited and court-proven no-logs policy||Court-proven no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy|
|Network||5400+ servers in 60+ countries||3200+ servers in 100+ countries||200+ servers in 63+ countries||750+ servers in 37+ countries||1700+ servers in 66+ countries||6500+ servers in 70+ countries||2000+ servers in 50+ countries||5700+ servers in 69+ countries||3000+ servers in 94+ countries||29300+ servers in 84+ countries||700+ servers in 64+ countries||9700+ servers in 91+ countries|
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP||WireGuard, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP||Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||Chameleon, WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|P2P||Yes (optimized P2P servers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (optimized P2P servers)||Yes (only where P2P is legal)||Yes||Yes (optimized P2P servers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (optimized P2P servers)|
|Streaming||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (streaming optimized servers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (streaming optimized servers)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (streaming optimized servers)|
Overview of the 12 best VPNs in 2023
In this section, we will evaluate the key features of each VPN provider. That includes security, privacy, speed, server list, safe torrenting, and price, among other things. We also tested if they can unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.
All VPNs 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 them on routers to work with smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming peripherals.
1. NordVPN – the best and fastest VPN service
- Top-notch security features
- Excellent speeds
- Great for streaming and P2P
- No router applet
Simply put, NordVPN is the best VPN service in 2023. It stands out for its security, privacy, and fastest speeds. In fact, it beats other providers in virtually all categories.
Security & privacy. The service is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly location with no data retention laws. Moreover, it boasts a thrice independently-audited no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t collect your data. This is further demonstrated by the fact all hardware is RAM-only – no info can be logged or stored long-term. And you get essential protection features like industry-leading encryption, 2 kill switches, and leak protection.
Performance. Subscribers get access to one of the widest networks with 5400+ servers in 60+ countries. Thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol, based on WireGuard, NordVPN offers top-notch performance all over the globe. And you can utilize specialized hardware such as obfuscated, Double VPN, dedicated IP, and Onion Over VPN servers.
Features. Besides the mandatory VPN feature trifecta, NordVPN includes plenty of other perks. We’re talking about Threat Protection, split tunneling, a SOCKS5 proxy, Invisibility on LAN, etc. The special SmartPlay feature lets users bypass geo-blocks on devices that don’t support VPN technology natively.
Streaming & P2P. NordVPN easily unblocks various streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Hotstar, and much more. And in terms of file-sharing, P2P traffic is enabled on the whole network. But you’ll have the best torrenting experience while using servers optimized for it.
Compatibility. User-friendly apps are available for all popular platforms, including Windows 11, Mac, Android, and iOS. The provider also has Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Opera, and Edge browser extensions. And if the six simultaneous connections aren’t enough, you can manually install the VPN on your router for full household coverage.
NordVPN prices start at $3.49/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. Or exercise your 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – privacy-oriented VPN without a device limit
- Robust security toolkit
- Superb performance
- Highly affordable
- Some features cost extra
Surfshark is one of the few premium VPNs with unlimited connections per account. What’s more, it does so for a low price with one of the biggest discounts in the industry.
Security & privacy. The provider is registered in the Netherlands, meaning GDPR compliance and zero data retention laws. Furthermore, it adheres to an independently-audited no-logs policy and had its browser extensions and server infrastructure audited by Cure53. Surfshark wouldn’t be able to collect your data even if it wanted you due to RAM-only hardware.
Performance. Surfshark has the largest region selection in the industry – 3200+ servers across 100+ countries. And no matter what you pick, connections remain speedy and stable because of the next-gen WireGuard protocol. Software Defined Networking (SDN), introduced with the Nexus update, also optimizes performance by routing VPN traffic according to its patterns.
Features. A Surfshark subscription nets you several handy features. Camouflage & NoBorders modes circumvent censorship, while MultiHop doubles the encryption. Then there’s Bypasser (split tunneling) for customizing VPN traffic, CleanWeb for keeping malware & ads at bay, and IP Rotator for periodically changing your IP address without dropping the secure connection.
Streaming & P2P. You’ll easily access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more content services. It’s possible even on devices that you can’t directly install a VPN on, thanks to Smart DNS. Torrenting enthusiasts aren’t overlooked either – all servers allow P2P, and you can even use a SOCKS5 proxy to boost downloads.
Compatibility. All popular platforms, including Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, have dedicated apps. Furthermore, Surfshark supports Chromebooks and has browser add-ons. Of course, setting it up on a router is also an optionl if you want to use it on Xbox, PlayStation, smart TVs, and other streaming peripherals.
You can grab Surfshark VPN for $2.30/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. PrivateVPN – best VPN for low-priced streaming
- Very good security
- Great for Netflix
- 7-day free trial
- macOS and iOS have fewer features
This small provider is well-known for its low prices and optimal speeds. But that’s only a part of the story of PrivateVPN.
Security & privacy. The service meets you with bank-grade encryption and a kill switch (not for iOS, though). It also offers protection against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. Privacy-wise, expect a no-logs policy, which negates the issue of Sweden – a Fourteen Eyes country. At least there’s no possibility of third-party tampering since PrivateVPN owns and operates all hardware.
Performance. At 200+ servers across 63+ countries, this is the smallest VPN on this list. However, given these numbers and the price, PrivateVPN’s performance is simply admirable. While it’s hard not to notice the lack of WireGuard, the trusted OpenVPN protocol facilitates stable, fast connections.
Features. Stealth VPN lets you bypass restrictive firewalls and explore the web freely. All plans also come with a SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding, which will surely make torrenters happy. Users even get free dynamic, dedicated IPs by connecting to specialized servers.
Streaming & P2P. PrivateVPN bypasses Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other geo-restrictions that plague streaming platforms today. Although accessing regional content on all devices won’t be straightforward since there’s no Smart DNS feature. A manual router setup will be necessary to achieve this. As for torrenting, easily do it on any available server.
Compatibility. The service has custom apps for the main platforms, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and a Kodi add-on. It supports other devices, such as routers, as well. Finally, one account comes with a limit of ten simultaneous connections.
PrivateVPN prices start at $2.00/month, but you might find even better deals. Take advantage of the 7-day free trial you can download from the provider’s website. Or subscribe from the get-go, protected by the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. Atlas VPN – VPN with unlimited devices and a free version
- Infinite connections
- Unblocks Netflix and more
- Solid free version
- Lacks router firmware
Atlas VPN is a top freemium service in 2023 with a bonus of unlimited simultaneous connections. Let’s see what perks make it a worthy investment.
Security & privacy. This VPN is based in the United States but does have a no-logs policy. Besides, Atlas VPN is owned by the same company that has NordVPN, our #1 provider. You can also expect robust encryption, a powerful kill switch, and proper leak protection to guard you.
Performance. Users are free to choose from a network of 750+ servers in 37+ countries. Connection speeds will never drop below excellent, no matter what time of day it is, thanks to WireGuard. Previously it was only available on Windows & Android, but a recent update finally came with macOS & iOS device support.
Features. The new MultiHop+ feature enables VPN chaining by rotating exit servers, giving you even more protection against censorship and surveillance. Additionally, SafeSwap servers regularly change your IP without disconnecting from the server. There’s also split tunneling (Android) and SafeBrowse for defeating user trackers and malware.
Streaming & P2P. Streaming fans will be happy to unblock multiple Netflix libraries, including the US. Additionally, you can watch Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Max, among other platforms. Torrenting is allowed on all servers, but some users will miss port forwarding or a SOCKS5 proxy.
Compatibility. Atlas VPN has 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.
The best Atlas VPN price is just $2.05/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 5GB/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.
5. Proton VPN – best VPN for 400% faster speeds
- Amazing security credentials
- Great free version
- Swiss-based, audited, and open-source
- Few P2P servers
Proton VPN is best known for its strong focus on security, great free version, and 10 simultaneous connections. If advanced protection is what you’re all about, this is a worthy investment.
Security & privacy. The provider is registered in Switzerland, a great location for their independently-verified no-logs policy. Besides, all apps are open-source and audited, meaning this provider takes things seriously regarding user protection. Furthermore, there’s a reliable kill switch, leak protection, and bank-grade encryption.
Performance. You can choose from 1700+ servers across 66+ countries. Virtually all are 10 Gbps – a rare feature even among the best VPNs. Combine it with WireGuard plus VPN Accelerator (which can increase speeds up to four times), and you get superb performance no matter your location.
Features. Proton VPN includes the Stealth protocol for hiding all tracks of VPN usage. Then there’s NetShield for taking down malware, Secure Core for routing traffic via multiple servers, and split tunneling. Subscribers also get the Tor Over VPN option and port forwarding (but only for Windows).
Streaming & P2P. While security is the provider’s forte, it’s also great for entertainment. You can get plenty of regional Netflix libraries and access to such streaming services as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports, etc. Torrenting is allowed only in five countries, but at least the servers are optimized for the best P2P experience.
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. We do miss the Smart DNS feature, though.
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.
6. 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 is known for its bottom-low pricing and significant steps taken to ensure user privacy. Subscribers who pick this VPN benefit from many perks we cover below.
Security & privacy. This service uses military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch – all the necessary features you’d expect from a VPN. Moreover, PureVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, and has an independently-audited no-logs policy. And it’s the first VPN company to subject itself to an always-on security audit.
Performance. You get access to an impressive fleet of 6500+ servers in 7870+ countries. Most of them are 10 Gbps, with 20 Gbps options sprouting like mushrooms across the globe. The implementation of the WireGuard protocol brought a significant increase in speeds and stability.
Features. Windows and Android users can use split tunneling to route the VPN connection via select apps. PureVPN also includes port forwarding, which P2P enthusiasts can put to good use. Other features worth mentioning are DDoS protection and Wi-Fi security for when you’re browsing on unprotected public networks.
Streaming & P2P. Streaming fans will enjoy Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, to name but a few. And since the speeds are great, everything will be HD or even 4K. 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.
The mind-blowingly low prices start at $1.33/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.
7. IPVanish – top-ranked VPN with a free antivirus
- Owns all servers
- WireGuard-fuelled speeds
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- No anonymous payments
IPVanish provides excellent security and torrenting for a decent price. It’s also known for not having a device limit, which few premium VPNs can offer.
Security & privacy. This provider is located in the US, but it shouldn’t be a privacy concern, thanks to its independently-audited no-logs policy. Bonus reliability points are also added due to the company operating all hardware itself. Besides that, IPVanish offers strong protection against DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks, a kill switch, and AES 256-bit encryption.
Performance. Subscribers get to utilize all 2000+ bare-metal servers in 50+ countries. There are plenty of tunneling protocols to choose from, and WireGuard is also among them, enabling fast speeds. And if you’re not sure which server is best for you, the Fastest Available Server option will help you out instantly.
Features. VIPRE antivirus comes with every plan at no additional cost, boosting your real time protection. Other IPVanish perks include split tunneling (Android and FireOS only), a free SOCKS5 proxy, and Stealth VPN. The latter, known as the Scramble option, can only be enabled for OpenVPN traffic.
Streaming & P2P. IPVanish works fine while unblocking Netflix or YouTube, but it does noticeably struggle with other streaming platforms. Torrenting 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.
IPVanish costs $3.99/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.
8. 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 sets itself apart from the pack with huge discounts and excellent security. It’s one of the best options when evaluating the price-for-feature ratio.
Security & privacy. Ivacy is based in Singapore, a partner of the Fourteen Eyes countries. However, you’re protected by a favorable no-logs policy. Furthermore, there’s AES 256-bit encryption, protection against IP & DNS leaks, DDoS attacks, and a kill switch to secure your online efforts.
Performance. The enormous network of 5700+ servers across 69+ countries gets you access to almost any blocked content. While the absence of WireGuard is noticeable, optimal speeds and stable connectivity are still a true and tested reality. You can thank the OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols for that. And the fact all hardware is bare-metal.
Features. Users will benefit from Secure Downloading as this malware blocker takes care of suspicious files. Ivacy VPN also includes such perks as split tunneling and port forwarding. Another neat feature is Smart Purpose Selection. It helps you connect to the right servers depending on the purpose – Secure Download, Streaming, or Unblocking.
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. The provider has apps for popular platforms, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Additionally, there are browser extensions and support for routers, Roku, and Raspberry Pi. You can even download a Kodi add-on.
$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.
9. ExpressVPN – great VPN with a focus on performance
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
- Stable connections
- RAM-only hardware
- Excellent for China and other restricted countries
- Ownership concerns
ExpressVPN is secure enough and powerful enough for most users. However, it could improve its pricing and clear the doubts about its reputation regarding Kape Technologies.
Security & privacy. The provider offers robust essential features and a privacy-friendly jurisdiction (British Virgin Islands). It has the strongest no-logs policy because its independently-audited and court-proven. However, the current owner company worked with adware-injecting clients, and the CIO, Daniel Gericke, was a hacker in the UAE.
Performance. ExpressVPN gives commendable performance across 3000+ RAM-only servers in 94+ countries. It can primarily be attributed to the proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol. And since all hardware is bare-metal with plenty of 10 Gbps servers, you can expect above-average speeds during your online ventures.
Features. This VPN doesn’t skimp out on perks. Take advantage of Threat Manager, which stops apps from tracking you, or split tunneling (not an option for iOS devices). And port forwarding will boost your torrents, while the built-in password manager provides password creation and secure storage.
Streaming & P2P. You should have no problem watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other platforms. This provider works with Kodi, and its MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) feature unblocks movies and shows on various devices. P2P is also allowed on all servers, letting you download and upload files for easy sharing
Compatibility. The service offers user-friendly apps not only for the main operating systems. You can install it on Android TV, Fire Stick, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire. There’s even an app for routers. Which is great since 5 simultaneous connections are a bit too limiting.
ExpressVPN prices start from $8.32/month, which is a tad expensive, especially compared to other providers listed here. At least you can try getting a special deal. And there’s a free 7-day trial for Android and iOS devices, so don’t miss out on the chance to test it out. Finally, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.
10. Private Internet Access – VPN with possibly the biggest server list
- Good security credentials
- Lots of servers in the US
- Great for torrenting
- Not suitable for China
A VPN service with the largest server count in the United States – that’s Private Internet Access (PIA) for you. Great speeds, an enormous network, and advanced security are its top perks.
Security & privacy. The provider has several things going for it. Military-grade encryption, open-source apps, and a court-proven no-logs policy are just a few of them. So even though Private Internet Access is based in the US, you shouldn’t worry much about your privacy. Besides, there’s a robust kill switch, anonymous payments, and no leaks.
Performance. Sadly, PIA stopped showing the exact size of its fleet. Before, we knew there were 29300+ RAM-only servers in 84+ countries, way more than any other VPN has. You can expect optimal speeds throughout thanks to the bare-metal hardware, 10 Gbps servers, and the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol.
Features. Multi-hop and obfuscation achieve two goals. The former routes traffic through a proxy (adding an extra layer of encryption), and the latter hides all VPN usage. Then there’s Identity Guard (email breach scanner), Boxcryptor License (secure cloud storage), and torrenting-oriented features. The latter are split tunneling, a SOCKS5 proxy, and port forwarding.
Streaming & P2P. This service unblocks multiple Netflix libraries and the US-only Hulu streaming platform. And with the ability to configure Smart DNS, you’ll be able to enjoy it on a plethora of devices. Lastly, P2P file-sharing is quick and easy on the whole server fleet.
Compatibility. There are apps for major platforms, plus an option to configure PIA on routers. Other than that, device compatibility is pretty standard with Private Internet Access. You even get browser add-ons for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. And each account has a generous 10 simultaneous connections cap.
You can get PIA for $2.03/month only. While it doesn’t have a free trial or free version, its 30-day money-back guarantee should be more than enough to test everything. Finally, you can find discount coupons for even better prices.
For a deeper investigation of Private Internet Access, read our Private Internet Access review.
11. VyprVPN – security, privacy, and streaming-focused VPN
- Allows torrenting
- Apps for major platforms, Android TV, and routers
- No anonymous payments
VyprVPN joins the gang with excellent security and privacy credentials without sacrificing much of the speed. But what else is notable about this service?
Security & privacy. This provider operates from privacy-respecting Switzerland and adheres to an independently-audited no-logs policy. And since VyprVPN owns, engineers, and manages all hardware, it eliminates the need to rely on third-party services to run everything. Hence, less risk of tampering.
Performance. A subscription lets you use 700+ servers across 64+ countries. The company has done a lot to optimize them, achieving brilliant performance and increasing security to the next level. And you don’t have to worry about sluggish speeds, not with WireGuard and the in-house Chameleon protocol on the roster.
Features. The aforementioned Chameleon protocol bypasses blocking in China, Russia, and similar internet-restrictive countries. You also benefit from split tunneling, public Wi-Fi security, and enhanced DNS leak protection.
Streaming & P2P. VyprVPN is great for watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other streaming services. Torrenting isn’t out of the question, either. Its jurisdiction and P2P-friendly servers make file-sharing quick and easy.
Compatibility. The service offers dedicated applications for all major operating systems, plus Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV. It even has a router app. Other supported devices include Apple TV, Kodi, Roku, and Blackberry. And finally, 30 simultaneous connections are yours to use how you please.
Keep in mind that VyprVPN is more on the expensive side, with prices starting from $5.00/month. It’s also possible to find better discounts here. Unfortunately, there’s no free version, but a 3-day trial is available on the Apple App and Google Play Stores. Getting a refund is an option with the 30-day money-back guarantee if things don’t work out.
For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.
12. CyberGhost – effective, no-nonsense VPN
- Large server list
- Good for Netflix & P2P
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- macOS and iOS have fewer features
CyberGhost stands out with its super-sleek and easy-to-use client that should be clear even for first-time VPN users. And that’s just one of the great features this service has.
Security & privacy. You’ll find military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection with CyberGhost. There’s also a no-logs policy that was audited by an independent third party and a privacy-friendly jurisdiction – Romania. The provider even releases periodical Transparency Reports. But it’s also owned by Kape Technologies.
Performance. At 9700+ servers across 91+ countries, the service has almost unbeatable worldwide coverage. All these numbers translate into good speeds too. Just pick a suitable secure tunneling protocol from WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.
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.
Streaming & P2P. This provider has dedicated servers for Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and other content platforms. Besides, it’s one of those services that work well with Kodi. Torrenting is on the table, too, with optimized hardware just for P2P.
Compatibility. You can quickly install CyberGhost on all main platforms, plus Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick devices. Manually configuring this VPN on routers is an option as well. Finally, you can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously.
Currently, CyberGhost VPN prices start from $2.03/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.
The fastest VPNs of 2023
Routing internet traffic via an encrypted server naturally slows down your speeds. And it can be barely noticeable or detrimental to the overall online experience. Thus, it’s important to consider the available tunneling protocols of each provider and how they implement them. Currently, you can expect excellent performance with these fast VPN services:
- NordVPN. Offers an upgraded version of WireGuard called NordLynx. Coupled with the massive network of 5400+ bare-metal servers across 60+ countries, it facilitates the fastest speeds in the industry.
- Surfshark VPN. Runs on the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol. Swift loading times and superb connectivity is guaranteed across 3200+ servers in 100+ countries.
- Mullvad VPN. Early adopter of the WireGuard protocol. You can use it or OpenVPN across 858+ servers in 39+ countries.
- TorGuard. Another provider with reliable WireGuard included on the roster. Pick between it, OpenVPN, or OpenConnect for great speeds in 3000+ servers scattered around 50+ countries.
- Proton VPN. This service implements the proprietary VPN Accelerator feature alongside WireGuard. Connectivity won’t be an issue no matter which of the 1700+ servers you pick in any of the 66+ countries.
For a more detailed look into each service, jump into our detailed fastest VPN service article.
How we test the best VPN services in 2023
We have already reviewed well over two hundred VPNs based on these factors:
- Security and privacy features
- Performance and server locations
- Ease of use and customer support
- Reliability against firewalls and censorship
To be on this list, you have to score well in all categories mentioned above.
A secure VPN must offer military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch. Bonus points go to those providers with extra features, such as multi-hop, malware protection, or Stealth VPN.
Privacy-wise, we expect a jurisdiction outside of the Fourteen Eyes countries. Bust most importantly, there has to be a no-logs policy. It’s a big advantage if it’s court-proven or independently audited (one VPN has both!).
The next most important feature is performance, which we check with our in-house speed test. Having a WireGuard tunneling protocol and plenty of server locations helps a lot.
P2P activities should be allowed and protected. Extra points go for split tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy, and port forwarding. A VPN should also unblock not only Netflix but also other streaming platforms.
Most providers have user-friendly apps, while others don’t bother fixing UI/UX issues. And speaking of issues in general, a 24/7 live chat or a phone line is what you should seek.
There should be dedicated clients for the major platforms and other devices, such as Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV. Router support is also essential, just as the Smart DNS feature, which bypasses geo-blocking on smart TVs, game consoles, and similar devices without native VPN support.
Finally, the price should be related to the VPN’s quality. Our reasonable price range is approximately $4.00/month. The same goes for the number of simultaneous connections, with the absolute minimum being 5. In the best-case scenario, your chosen VPN won’t have such a limit at all.
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.
Why do I need a VPN?
The increasing popularity of VPNs stems from the global rise in surveillance, data selling, geo-blocking, and cybercrime. Nearly two decades ago, the biggest threat to online security was viruses, followed by adware and other malware types. Today, staying safe on the web requires more than that.
To start with, VPN is a great tool for accessing the company network from home. Most businesses use enterprise-grade services for that. And if they don’t, you’d better use a personal VPN, especially when using public wi-fi. These are the honeypot for hackers due to their low security.
Even if you don’t care about your privacy, a VPN can help save money. Flight tickets, hotels, and other services tend to charge differently depending on your location. Thus, connecting from another country can result in much better prices.
Furthermore, you can avoid geo-blocking with the right streaming VPN. Netflix content differs in each country, while other platforms like Amazon Prime Video are available in the US only. The same applies to sports events, for example, the English Premier League.
If you’re into torrenting, you should also get a VPN for P2P. It will hide your IP address and help avoid bandwidth throttling, a common method that ISPs use to slow down your connection. Some providers also have the port forwarding feature required for seeding from behind a firewall.
Last but not least is circumventing government censorship. Countries like China, Russia, and India block certain websites and services. So if you want to access Facebook or YouTube, a VPN is your best bet.
The limitations of VPN services
When first introduced to this technology, some people mistakenly believe it offers 100% foolproof protection from every online threat. Well, sorry to burst that bubble, but VPNs can only do so much. Here’s what you should be aware of:
- Malicious software. Your devices can still be infected with all types of malware if you’re not careful enough. Never click on suspicious links or download files from shady websites that aren’t certified. At least Surfshark and a couple of other VPNs come with an antivirus that prevents malware infections.
- Intrusive ads. You won’t get targeted advertisements at best. Still, your browsing experience will be filled with ads. Getting a proper ad-blocker can take care of it, though.
- Internet speed. Users see an increase in performance only if their connection is being throttled by their Internet Service Provider. Otherwise, don’t expect your internet to magically become faster just because.
- Complete privacy. Utter anonymity isn’t possible on the web, and we can only take steps closer toward it. There are ways to track your activities with traffic analysis or such things as browser fingerprinting. Thankfully, such solutions as NordVPN come with ad blockers that combat this.
Can you trust your VPN service?
Be careful because you cannot trust all VPN services! The market is all about trust – we can never be fully aware of what happens in data centers around the world. As such, you should rely on the available facts to determine who is trustworthy and who isn’t. Check out:
- 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 no funny business is happening behind the scenes data-collection-wise is having a no-logs policy that was 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!
Buying guide: how to choose a good VPN
While we put much time into making this list of top VPNs, it’s not intended for everyone. Each user has specific needs, and one service can fit better because its cons are unimportant. While the best do-it-all provider is NordVPN, consider which features listed below matter to you the most and which are just nice to have.
- Do you need maximum protection? If you’re not doing anything sensitive, simple military-grade encryption and a no-logs policy should suffice. However, if you’re planning to browse the dark web and spy on your government, look for the best VPN for privacy and security.
- Do you watch Netflix and sports? If you don’t, choosing the VPN becomes much more straightforward. If you do, get a fast one that unblocks multiple streaming platforms.
- Do you download torrents? Some VPNs allow P2P in certain countries only, which may be far away from you. Also, not every provider offers split tunneling or a SOCKS5 proxy, not to mention port forwarding.
- How many devices do you want to protect? Each VPN on this list offers at least five simultaneous connections, but there are options without limits. On the other hand, most services can be set up on a router. However, if you have a less popular device, such as Roku, make sure it’s supported.
- Is your internet connection fast? All VPNs slow down your connection to some extent due to encryption. If your internet is already slow, look for WireGuard, NordLynx, or Lightway tunneling protocols to minimize the drop-off. Also, remember that Smart DNS does not encrypt your traffic, resulting in excellent streaming speeds.
- Don’t be fooled by the server numbers. There are services with a few hundred servers that perform better than those with ten times more. Always look for the quality, not the quantity. Bare-metal servers are better than virtual ones, especially if they are 10 Gbps or more.
- What is your budget? Contrary to what most think, you can get a cheap but awesome VPN. This should be evident from the prices in the top VPNs list. However, you will still need to pay for two or even three years in advance to get the biggest discount.
- Look for 24/7 live chat. If something stops working, it’s best to have professionals available to help you at a moment’s notice. While email and ticket support are great, not everyone has the time to wait for an answer.
Finally, look for a free trial to test everything before committing. But even if it’s unavailable, a standard 30-day money-back guarantee should be enough.
How to set up a VPN
Top VPN services by category
Sometimes you need a VPN for a sole purpose, be it streaming, torrenting, or gaming. While the best VPN services can cover multiple areas, you can often identify the #1 in each case. Below are the links to our task-specific lists.
Usually, it will be the best overall VPNs occupying most places. Nevertheless, you will also find some providers that excel in a particular category.
Free vs premium VPN – which one to choose?
If you checked our list of best VPNs, you’ve probably seen two providers that have free versions. While we don’t recommend free VPNs for a number of reasons, there are some exceptions if you’re on a tight budget. Let’s compare these two models and evaluate the pros and cons each one has.
|Pros and cons||Free VPNs||Premium VPNs|
|Doesn’t cost a thing||✔️||❌|
|No long-term commitment||✔️||❌|
|Global server fleet||❌||✔️|
|No data caps||❌||✔️|
|24/7 customer support||❌||✔️|
As you can see, premium 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 potentially use the service scot-free for well 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. If you don’t cancel it before it ends, you’ll be automatically charged. 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.
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 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, as well as two kill switches and watertight WebRTC, DNS, and IP leak protection.
For these reasons and more, we consider NordVPN as the best VPN service for privacy and security.
What is the best VPN for streaming?
Is watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or other geo-blocked platforms the reason you’re looking for a VPN? Then 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. That’s why you can use the service on any desktop or mobile device you own, including Android TV.
NordVPN is an excellent VPN for Kodi as well and will let you stream safely, no matter which Kodi add-on you choose.
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.
Does a VPN protect you on public Wi-Fi?
With a VPN, one can use public Wi-Fi services safely. VPN is a secure network that does several things:
- Hides your identity online
- Allows you to operate online without being detected
- Routes your data through another server to anonymize it
- Encrypts your data to prevent it from being readable by third parties
When your traffic is encrypted and your IP address hidden, third parties will have a tough time getting anything out of you and your online activities. And here are the best VPNs for public Wi-Fi.
How can a VPN help me fight online censorship and harassment?
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.
- Hiding your IP address. It’s much harder to harass someone when there’s no way to find that person online. With a VPN, your IP will be changed to that of a VPN server, which won’t say anything about your true whereabouts.
- Encrypting your traffic. Snoopers like to check what and when you’re doing online. Those can include your ISP and your government as well. Good VPNs such as NordVPN use military-grade encryption, meaning there’s no way to do online traffic scanning.
- Bypass geo-blocking. In some countries, like Belarus and Russia, internet access is restricted. A solid VPN will unblock unavailable resources, such as Google or Facebook. The best ones can even bypass the Great Firewall of China.
As you can see, a VPN is a great product that helps against surveillance and governmental blocks. It also ensures that you’re a hard find for the individual predators as well.
Best VPN services: video review
Not a fan of reading? No problem! Our spokesperson presents the best five VPN services in an informative video review.
Should I get a VPN?
Our answer is yes, absolutely. In times when personal data has become an invaluable asset, taking time to protect it should be a priority for all of us. Without a VPN, your location, IP, and traffic are visible to your ISP or even the government.
If you don’t care about your online safety, consider that many ISPs use bandwidth throttling if you’re downloading torrents or streaming Netflix. This means you could have faster speeds with a VPN.
What’s more, VPN is a must if you live in a country where internet access is restricted. Governments such as China use firewalls to prevent citizens from accessing Facebook, YouTube, and many other sites. Many people don’t believe that something like that can happen in their location, but the continuing increase in surveillance shows otherwise.
And keep in mind that some premium services go the extra mile regarding subscriber safety & privacy. Depending on the provider, users additionally benefit from ad & malware blockers, data leak scanners, obfuscation tools that let you break through restrictive firewalls, etc. You get a VPN and a robust security suite in one – and the perfect example of this is NordVPN.
What do you think is the best VPN in the market? Maybe it’s not even included in our list. Share your thoughts about good VPNs in the comments below!
Which VPN is best and free?
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 best providers.
Which VPN is best and fast?
NordVPN is the best and also 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.
Is NordVPN better than ExpressVPN?
Yes, NordVPN is better than ExpressVPN. Both services are great at all tasks, but the key difference is the price and ownership reputation. For a more in-depth look, read our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.
Are VPNs safe to use?
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 strongest VPN in the world?
NordVPN is the VPN with the strongest security credentials in the market. It operates from Panama, adheres to a twice 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.
Can I use a VPN to watch Netflix?
Yes, you can use a VPN to watch Netflix. In fact, this technology can help you easily change the Netflix region by connecting to a server in another country. Reputable services can also bypass geo-blocking measures of other popular streaming platforms.
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