Many netizens turn to VPN (Virtual Private Network) software to enhance their online activities with impenetrable encryption and IP address obfuscation. However, only the most secure VPN services guarantee flawless performance and protection. They have many reliable tools for keeping digital dangers at bay and masking your identity.
Read on to learn what defines a safe VPN and which providers fit the description. Then you’ll have no trouble picking the perfect service for secure browsing and geo-block bypassing.
5 most secure VPNs: shortlist
- The most secure VPN service9.7
- Safe VPN with unlimited connections9.4
- The best secure VPN for frugal buyers9.0
- Safe VPN with a substantial price tag8.7
- Affordable and reliable VPN8.6
What features are crucial for a secure VPN?
Let’s briefly cover the essential features of any worthwhile virtual private network. You can learn more about the fundamentals by reading our extensive guide about the basics of a VPN.
- Unbreakable encryption. The first step a VPN takes when protecting your data is encrypting it, ideally with reliable 256-bit ciphers. That way, your online activities are unreadable to everyone, including your internet service provider (ISP) and the VPN service itself.
- Absence of DNS and IP leaks. Once you’ve changed your location with a VPN, your true whereabouts should remain unexposed. This is ensured with DNS leak protection, preventing your IP address from seeing the light of day.
- VPN kill switch. A virtual private network app needs a kill switch for the off-chance the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. Then the internet connection will be severed, ensuring that you don’t reconnect to any service without the VPN enabled.
- Secure tunneling protocols. Internet data travels in packets. This data can be delivered using various data transfer protocols, such as IP, HTTPS, SSL, etc. With VPNs, it’s vital to strike a balance between security and speed. Nowadays, WireGuard is the ideal VPN tunneling protocol.
- Apps for the most widely-used devices. Practically all internet-connected devices are vulnerable to hackers. Therefore, your VPN service should have the means of securing your entire household. It can do this with easy-to-use apps or by allowing you to configure your router manually for full network protection.
- RAM-only servers. Conventional data centers use servers with hard drives, which store data long-term. Meanwhile, RAM-only servers rewrite the information whenever the hardware is reset or shut down, leading to significantly better privacy for the end user.
- Stealth VPN. Some websites and networks can block all VPN traffic by utilizing DPI (Deep Packet Inspection). Such restrictions are common in schools, workplaces, and censorship-heavy countries. Thankfully, the most secure VPN services offer tools for masking your activities and making them appear as regular HTTPS traffic.
- No activity logs. A VPN has the potential to collect exorbitant amounts of data about its users. You can be certain that isn’t happening if the provider adheres to a zero-logs policy and conducted third-party audits of its infrastructure.
Most secure VPN services: overview
Besides the essentials mentioned earlier, a top-quality VPN will include some unique tools to set itself apart. Naturally, it may also lack some perks because only a handful of providers have the resources to fulfill every possible criterion. Plus, customer needs can vary by threat model and budget. Thus, we compiled a list of 10 safe VPNs so you could pick the ideal provider for your use case.
1. NordVPN – the safest VPN on the market
24/7 live chat, Email
- Threat Protection for curbing viruses
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Obfuscated servers against censorship
- Only six simultaneous connections
NordVPN is the most secure VPN currently available. Its jurisdiction is in privacy-respecting Panama, it passed multiple independent audits of its no-logs policy, and it’s loaded with excellent features. Here’s an overview of the most cutting-edge security tools you should be excited about.
- RAM-only servers. The entire server fleets run on RAM-only technology to ensure absolute confidentiality.
- NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols. Customers have plenty of protocol options for finding the perfect configuration for security and performance.
- Audited no-logs policy. You’re certainly getting ironclad privacy because various third parties audited NordVPN’s zero-logs policy.
- Threat Protection. This one-of-a-kind tool grants antivirus and ad-blocking capabilities at no extra cost.
- Obfuscated servers. The perfect choice for bypassing VPN restrictions and avoiding surveillance.
- Onion over VPN. These servers pass through the Tor network for improved anonymity and performance when diving into the Dark Web.
- Dark Web Monitor. This tool will immediately notify you whenever you’re a victim of a data leak.
- Anonymous payment. Options include cryptocurrencies, gift cards, and cash at certain retail stores.
Unlock the safest VPN using a NordVPN coupon to access $3.49/month pricing plans. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about buyer’s remorse with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – secure VPN with exceptional features
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Unlimited connections
- Swift connectivity with WireGuard
- Loads of features at a low price
- Some features cost extra
Surfshark VPN offers a mind-blowing price-to-feature ratio, unlimited device connections with one account, and excellent privacy. Give it a shot through the Surfshark free trial on either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. In the meantime, have a look at what features the service includes.
- RAM-only servers. The entire 3200+ server fleet uses RAM technology to ensure privacy-focused data retention policies.
- WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols.
- NoBorders and Camouflage modes. You can pick between two obfuscation methods to tackle VPN restrictions and online censorship.
- Rotating IP. Switch on this tool to keep your IP address in flux while the VPN is enabled.
- MultiHop. This double VPN variant allows customers to pick their entry and exit locations.
- CleanWeb. No need to worry about ads, trackers, or malware while this feature is on the job.
- Surfshark One. This package costs extra and unlocks antivirus capabilities, a secure search engine, and online data monitoring.
- Anonymous payment. Surfshark supports cryptocurrency payments for anonymous sign up.
Snag a Surfshark VPN coupon and subscribe for only $2.30/month. And keep in mind that the 30-day money-back guarantee does not apply when using crypto.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Atlas VPN – one of the cheapest and safest VPNs available
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Excellent free version
- Unlimited device connections
- Solid features at an affordable price
- No router configuration
Frugal security enthusiasts can get the most bang for their buck with Atlas VPN. It’s equipped with an impressive stack of unique features and is useful in various scenarios. Here’s an introduction to the most noteworthy tools.
- WireGuard and IKEv2 tunneling protocols.
- SafeSwap. As the name suggests, this tool intermittently swaps your IP address without interrupting your VPN connection.
- SafeBrowse. This tool is responsible for blocking ads, trackers, malware, and malicious websites.
- MultiHop+. Atlas VPN takes double VPN to the next level by introducing rotating entry and exit locations to the mix.
- Data Breach Monitor. Customers don’t have to worry about data leaks because Atlas VPN continuously scans leaked databases for accounts related to your email address.
- Anonymous payment. You can sign up anonymously with cryptocurrencies with the CoinPayments intermediary.
Get a taste of this service by trying out the free version. If you need more than that, an Atlas VPN deal grants access to $2.05/month pricing plans. And don’t forget about the generous 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
4. ExpressVPN – fast, reliable, and secure VPN with a substantial price tag
24/7 live chat, email
- Diverse app selection
- Ultra-fast with Lightway
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Only five simultaneous connections
Sometimes you have to open your wallet wide to get the best possible results. Such is the case with ExpressVPN. Subscriptions start at a whopping $6.67/month, but that’s a small price for peace of mind. Plus, you’re granted loads of excellent tools to take advantage of.
- Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols. ExpressVPN offers a proprietary protocol in addition to familiar options to suit customer needs.
- RAM-only servers. The service named its implementation TrustedServer technology and retrofitted all server hardware with it.
- Stealth servers. ExpressVPN enables obfuscation automatically whenever it detects deep packet inspection.
- ExpressVPN Keys. All subscriptions include a password management tool for improved cybersecurity.
- Threat Manager. This feature prevents third-party trackers from monitoring your online activities.
- Anonymous payment. ExpressVPN supports many payment methods, including BitPay for Bitcoin transactions.
Don’t forget to grab an ExpressVPN coupon code to ensure access to the most affordable deals. Plus, all plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee to safeguard against regretful purchases.
For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.
5. CyberGhost VPN – budget-friendly safe VPN with a massive server network
24/7 live chat
- Audited zero-logs policy
- Affordable and effective
- WireGuard-powered speeds
- Only 7 simultaneous connections
Another budget-friendly digital security tool is CyberGhost VPN. You can sign up for as little as $2.03/month and unlock an impressive array of benefits.
- WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols.
- Massive server fleet. CyberGhost operates an impressive array of over 9700 servers across 91+ countries.
- NoSpy servers. This server category is completely owned and managed by CyberGhost.
- Block content. When this feature is enabled, you won’t have to worry about malicious ads, trackers, or malware.
- ID Guard Monitoring. All plans include this monitoring feature to keep an eye out for email or password leaks.
- Security Suite for Windows. An optional addition to your subscription if you need antivirus capabilities for your Windows devices.
- Private Browser. You can enjoy an ad-free online experience by downloading CyberGhost’s specialized privacy-enhancing web browser.
- Anonymous payment via Bitcoin.
The Romanian provider offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee to dispel potential customers’ doubts. And be sure to grab a CyberGhost coupon code to lock in the top discounts.
For a deeper investigation of CyberGhost, read our CyberGhost review.
6. PrivateVPN – low-cost and efficient VPN
24/7 live chat
- 7-day free trial
- Versatile features
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Lacks WireGuard
Some may argue that well-established and reliable technologies are better than the new groundbreaking yet unpredictable ones. If you’re like that, consider PrivateVPN. It doesn’t include WireGuard and instead relies on OpenVPN for balanced and reliable connections. Of course, you’re also blessed with other excellent perks for peak online security.
- OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec protocols.
- Stealth VPN. Online censorship and restrictions won’t get in your way because PrivateVPN offers solid obfuscation.
- Application Guard. You can choose which apps should go on the chopping block if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops.
- SOCKS5 and Shadowsocks proxies. You can utilize proxies to bypass unrelenting VPN restrictions.
- Anonymous payment via Bitcoin.
Secure up to 10 different devices simultaneously using a PrivateVPN deal. Pricing plans begin at a mere $2.00/month, but you can try out the service without commitment, thanks to the 7-day free trial.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
7. Proton VPN – security-focused VPN with a free plan
Email, knowledge base
- Most secure free plan
- Swiss-based and audited by third parties
- Fast connectivity over long distances
- Best plan is quite expensive
No secure VPN list is complete without ProtonVPN. Hailing from Switzerland, this provider has an exceptionally reliable free plan and loads of stellar features with the premium version.
- WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols.
- VPN Accelerator. This unique tech significantly improves speeds when connecting to far-away locations.
- Secure Core servers. Use these if you want to reroute your connection through multiple hardened servers for extra security.
- NetShield. Ads, trackers, malware, and other nuisances won’t bother you if you equip this DNS filtering armor.
- Stealth. Sneak around digital blockades with this in-house custom tunneling protocol.
- Audited and open-source software. Tech-savvy users can check under the hood because the source code is freely available to everyone. Plus, cybersecurity experts have conducted thorough audits of the provider’s no-logs claims.
Secure up to 10 different devices simultaneously using a premium account. You can use a ProtonVPN coupon code and unlock affordable $4.99/month pricing. Alternatively, begin your quest for online protection with the free plan.
For a deeper investigation of Proton VPN, read our Proton VPN review.
8. PureVPN – secure VPN with quantum-resistant encryption
24/7 live chat
- Future-proofed against quantum cyberattacks
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- Extensive server network
- Additional features are price-locked
Concerned about quantum computers making conventional encryption obsolete? Get PureVPN and enjoy future-proof security with quantum-resistant encryption keys at an affordable price. Naturally, the service offers plenty of other mouth-watering perks if you’re willing to pay extra.
- WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols.
- Impressive server fleet. PureVPN commands 6500+ servers across 71+ countries. You can also purchase dedicated IP addresses for guaranteed exclusivity.
- PureKeep. Store all your passwords, credit card details, and other vital information in a secure and convenient location.
- PurePrivacy. Take control of your digital information and immediately find out whenever your data leaks.
- PureEncrypt. Protect your files and access them anywhere through encrypted cloud storage servers.
- DDoS protection. You can unlock sophisticated protection against DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks to keep your network running no matter what.
- Anonymous payment with CoinGate.
Use a PureVPN coupon code and unlock $2.08/month starting subscription plans. Or just dip your toes by sparing $0.99 for the 7-day trial version. Either way, don’t hesitate since a 31-day money-back guarantee covers you.
For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.
9. VyprVPN – reliable Swiss-based VPN provider
24/7 live chat
- Audited by third parties
- Fast and confidential
- Dedicated router app
VyprVPN is a veteran of the VPN industry and was one of the first services to conduct an independent audit of its infrastructure and zero-logs policy. Combine that with its home turf in Switzerland, and you have a truly confidential provider. Plus, you also gain a well-stocked arsenal of digital security tools.
- Chameleon, WireGuard, and OpenVPN tunneling protocols. VyprVPN offers familiar options and a proprietary protocol for circumventing online censorship.
- Public Wi-Fi protection. Enable this feature if you want the VPN connection to establish automatically whenever you connect to new networks.
- Swiss jurisdiction and an audited no-logs policy. Confidentiality is guaranteed because VyprVPN operates from privacy-respecting Switzerland and boasts an audited zero-logs policy.
- DNS Leak Protection. No chance of your DNS requests slipping through when VyprVPN is on the job.
Use a VyprVPN discount code and unlock consumer subscriptions for $5.00/month. Meanwhile, business plans are pricier and begin at $299 per year. Either way, a 30-day money-back guarantee has your back if you ever change your mind.
For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.
10. Mullvad – exceptional privacy with one-of-a-kind features
- Unrivaled anonymity
- Fast and secure
- Audited and open-source
- No discounted subscriptions
Users seeking next-level privacy should look no further than Mullvad VPN. This provider is frequently an early adopter of modern VPN technologies that the industry embraces later. For example, Mullvad funded WireGuard in its early stages and implemented it without hesitation. Look at its other boons to see what you should expect from security-focused VPNs.
- WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols.
- Completely anonymous registration. You can sign up for Mullvad without an email address or other personally identifiable information.
- Audited and open-source software. Third parties frequently audit the software, and the code is available for public scrutiny.
- Bridge mode. This feature combines multihop with Shadowsocks proxies to circumvent even the most stubborn online restrictions.
- Ad and tracker blocking. Annoying advertisements and nosy trackers won’t bother you on any Mullvad-powered device.
The provider is a black sheep in the industry with static and discount-free $5.00/month pricing. Of course, you can just sign up for one month and make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee if Mullvad isn’t the right fit for you.
For a deeper investigation of Mullvad VPN, read our Mullvad VPN review.
Top 5 most secure VPN comparison
Here’s a summary of the defining features of the top 5 most secure VPN services. This side-by-side comparison should make picking the perfect provider that fits your needs easier.
|Starting price||Jurisdiction||Tunneling protocols||Security features||Servers||Countries|
|NordVPN||$3.49/month||Panama||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||Kill switch, RAM-only servers, Threat Protection, obfuscated servers, Onion over VPN, Double VPN, Dark Web Monitor||5400+||60+|
|Surfshark VPN||$2.30/month||Netherlands||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||Kill switch, CleanWeb, NoBorders Mode, IP Rotator, MultiHop, Search, Antivirus, Alert||3200+||100+|
|Atlas VPN||$2.05/month||United States||WireGuard, IKEv2||Kill switch, SafeSwap, MultiHop+, Data Breach Monitor, Tracker Blocker||750+||37+|
|ExpressVPN||$6.67/month||British Virgin Islands (BVI)||Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2||Kill switch, Threat Manager, TrustedServer technology||Unspecified||94+|
|CyberGhost||$2.03/month||Romania||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||Kill switch, NoSpy servers, ad blocker||9700+||91+|
Ultimately, we consider NordVPN the most secure VPN because it grants an impressive feature arsenal at reasonable prices. Furthermore, the service is a leading option regarding connection speed, privacy, and utility. In short, NordVPN’s price-to-performance ratio is unmatched.
How we tested the safest VPNs
It’s paramount to perform some manual testing to ensure the VPN’s tools work as advertised. Here’s a rundown of which features got the hands-on treatment.
- Connection speed. As you know, connectivity isn’t a security feature. However, digital protection shouldn’t come at the cost of significant slowdowns. And so, we picked VPN providers with modern tunneling protocols and tested them to ensure the results are satisfactory. Plus, you check up-to-date results using third-party VPN speed tests.
- App ease of use. Cybersecurity shouldn’t be exclusive to tech enthusiasts. Therefore, VPN apps should be understandable and easy to use regardless of your technical expertise. Therefore, we avoided providers with convoluted apps or no dedicated software for the main platforms (PC and mobile).
- IP and DNS leak protection. You’ll be unable to bypass geo-blocking and hide your location if your IP address leaks. Thankfully, you can check for leakage with specialized tools like dnsleaktest.com or ip.me. We used these tools to verify that our recommended VPNs are safe and grant flawless DNS leak protection.
- Ad and tracker blocking. Some online advertisements are riddled with malware, trackers, and other cybersecurity nuisances. We had to confirm that the most secure VPNs leave no gaps and wipe away all digital eyesores from the web.
- Comprehensive data leak notification. A handful of VPNs go the extra mile and scour the web for data leaks with customer names in them. We tested these notification tools with a few compromised emails to verify their effectiveness.
Why you need a secure VPN
You may think you don’t need a secure VPN because no one is out to get you. However, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry and secure your data ASAP. After all, buying a VPN after getting your data leaked is too little too late.
Using the best available VPNs ensures airtight protection against an unfathomable amount of online dangers and nuisances. For example, here are some of the benefits you can reap while using a virtual private network:
- Protection against malicious ads, trackers, malware
- Immunity to online censorship and surveillance
- Secure access to any public network
- Ability to unblock geographically restricted content (movies, TV shows, websites, video games)
- Option to hide your identity and true location
Of course, not every service can do everything, though some are pretty close. That’s why we’ve selected multiple safe VPN options for you to consider.
Most secure VPN protocols
Before enabling or even purchasing a VPN, you should check what tunneling protocol options are available. The most secure VPNs should have a good selection of modern and reliable technologies for various use cases. For example, some are essential for fast connection speeds, while others are better suited for circumventing online censorship.
|WireGuard||Modern and fastest open-source option|
|OpenVPN||Over 20 years old, open-source, widely used|
|IKEv2||Closed-source, lightweight, fast|
|Proprietary protocols (e.g., NordLynx, Hydra, Lightway)||Closed-source improvements over existing technologies|
Arguably the fastest and most reliable open-source protocol currently available, WireGuard released a stable version in 2020 and is incorporated by more providers as time passes. It has a relatively small codebase, uses modern encryption standards, and is compatible with the most widely-used operating systems.
The downside is that this protocol passes traffic over UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and thus won’t work on networks that restrict it. This is why a secure VPN needs to provide other options as well.
Before WireGuard entered the scene, OpenVPN was the rockstar of the VPN industry. It was released way back in 2001 and is still one of the most widely used open-source protocols today. It uses the OpenSSL encryption library and has various other security and control features for circumventing firewalls. Plus, it’s compatible with various devices and is even used on routers.
Unsurprisingly, the codebase grew into a behemoth over the years and left its connection speeds lagging compared to lean protocols like WireGuard. Plus, the age-old technologies that the protocol uses are potentially vulnerable to exploitation. But if WireGuard is unavailable, OpenVPN is still a trustworthy choice for adequate speeds and security.
IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2) is a closed-source protocol developed by Microsoft and Cisco. It’s considered faster, more lightweight, and more stable than OpenVPN and is a common alternative to it. However, the speed isn’t as good as with WireGuard. Additionally, IKEv2 is usually combined with the IPSec protocol.
Meanwhile, an unfortunate similarity to WireGuard is the reliance on UDP and potential issues when circumventing network restrictions.
Proprietary protocols developed by VPN providers
Some of the fastest VPN providers go the extra mile and develop in-house VPN tunneling protocols. Usually, they’re not created completely from scratch and instead upgrade existing open-source software. For example, the NordLynx protocol is based on WireGuard and provides similar or even faster speeds with improved privacy.
Of course, closed-source software is a contentious and polarizing topic in terms of cybersecurity. For starters, it isn’t available for public auditing and scrutiny like open-source tech is. However, proponents argue that security by obscurity is a viable strategy.
We believe that proprietary protocols are an acceptable choice if they have a solid foundation and strong encryption standards.
How to secure your VPN connection
The standard approach won’t cut it if you need extreme digital protection. Unsurprisingly, the most secure VPNs offer ways of enhancing your cybersecurity beyond the default options. However, you should familiarize yourself with these methods well before signing up for a provider for maximum benefits. Follow the links below for further explanation.
- Sign up anonymously
- Enable the most secure tunneling protocol
- Use your provider’s DNS settings
- Turn on the kill switch
- Enable auto-connect on startup
- Connect to double VPN servers
- Always check for DNS leaks
Sign up anonymously
Privacy-focused VPNs support various ways of preserving anonymity during sign-up. For example, you can utilize cryptocurrencies to purchase the service without leaving a trail. If that’s not enough, some providers support cash and gift card payment methods.
Besides that, it’s also advisable to use throwaway emails to avoid any connections with your other accounts.
Enable a secure tunneling protocol
Most VPNs default to automatically picking a protocol suitable for your current situation. Usually, that means enabling the fastest one, not necessarily the most secure option. Therefore, you should visit the settings menu and switch to a modern, security-focused protocol.
WireGuard offers a great balance between performance and security, while proprietary options are better suited for bypassing online censorship.
Use the VPN provider’s DNS settings
Some situations benefit from the option to customize your DNS settings. However, you should let your VPN provider handle things if your goal is peak digital security. Then you can be certain your DNS requests aren’t forwarded and stored by third parties.
Turn on the kill switch
Software doesn’t work perfectly, and VPN apps are no exception. As such, you must enable a kill switch to safeguard against unexpected connection interruptions. The kill switch will immediately cut access to the internet and prevent unintended data exposure.
Enable auto-connect on startup
Free up some headspace and allow your VPN app to boot up on startup and immediately connect to a nearby server. Then you’ll never be caught without complete VPN protection.
With NordVPN, you can even predetermine your desired server specifications.
Connect to double VPN servers
Using two VPN servers sounds like overkill, but in some scenarios, it’s necessary. For example, you’ll remain hidden on the off chance one VPN server is compromised in some way.
Please note that not all providers support this feature. Furthermore, you can’t lifehack out of this by enabling two virtual private network apps simultaneously; it won’t work. Instead, you can combine a VPN connection with a browser extension, a VPN-enabled router, a virtual machine, or a proxy server.
Check for DNS and IP leaks
Finally, you should make a habit of verifying the integrity of your VPN connection. Specifically, you must ensure you’re not experiencing IP or DNS leaks. You can do so via third-party tools like dnsleaktest.com. Read on for detailed information.
How to check if your VPN is leaking
The top VPNs on the market rarely suffer from IP and DNS leaking issues. However, there’s no harm in going above and beyond to ensure everything is in order. In fact, it’s recommended to always check for IP leaks if you’re in a situation where even a crumb of data can endanger you. Furthermore, an absence of leaks is vital for effective geo-blocking removal.
Here are the steps you need to follow to ensure zero DNS leakage and information residue.
- Purchase an extremely secure VPN service. Our most trusted option is NordVPN
- Download and install the VPN software on your intended web-surfing device
- Check the settings menu and enable any extra precautions if necessary (i.e., obfuscation)
- Open a privacy-focused tab on your browser (e.g., Incognito Mode on Google Chrome). Alternatively, clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
- Visit a specialized IP and DNS leak-checking website like dnsleaktest.com. Ensure the displayed IP address matches the address in your VPN app. Perform an in-depth DNS leak check if necessary.
- Voila, you can now browse the net completely anonymously!
VPNs to avoid
You’ll find skeletons in the closets of practically any online service if you dig deep enough. And while no VPN is infallible, some have crossed the point of no return and should be avoided when possible. We have a detailed rundown about the worst VPNs in cybersecurity history. Below is the summary if you’re strapped for time.
- HMA VPN. HideMyAss VPN failed to hide one particular ass back in 2011. The user was involved in hacking Sony, authorities discovered that his IP address belonged to HMA, and swiftly sent a court order to the provider. Since it’s based in the UK, it quickly complied and exposed the user.
- Hola! VPN. Enabling this VPN is like living in a house made of glass and welcoming any passerby to visit. The provider is upfront about collecting vast amounts of activity data, storing it indefinitely, and even using your bandwidth for its benefit.
- VPNBook. Research indicates that VPNBook collects troves of data about its users and sells it to whoever is willing to pay. Plus, you’ll have to deal with abysmal connection speeds and ineffective security features.
- Hoxx VPN. US-based Hoxx VPN oversells its security arsenal, potentially logs excess data, and can’t bypass geographical restrictions. There are loads of better alternatives if you’re looking for a free VPN without data limits.
Naturally, there are arguments for using these VPNs as well. On the other hand, some may think of plenty of reasons for not using our recommended services too. Just remember that these are only suggestions and that you’re free to make your own purchasing decisions.
Are free VPN services secure?
Although free VPNs usually include military-grade encryption and a few security essentials, plenty of other aspects make them completely unreliable. Consider the fact that virtual private networks need funds for continued maintenance. How would any online service manage that without a steady flow of income?
With free services, ad revenue is only part of the solution. The complete story is much more nefarious and detrimental to the user. It may involve:
- Limiting user bandwidth and imposing data caps to reduce network maintenance costs
- Providing a small selection of servers
- Using outdated technologies
- Inability to circumvent geo-restrictions
- Showing ads in the VPN application
- Collecting user data and selling it to data brokers
- Injecting malware or other viruses
Reliable protection doesn’t come cheap, and cybersecurity is no exception. The web is filled with scams and services trying to take advantage of naive or uninformed users. Plus, free VPN services have no incentive to maintain a high-quality service if no one’s paying.
The best zero-cost security you’re going to get is a free plan of an existing premium VPN. Unsurprisingly, it may include some drawbacks, such as monthly data caps and slower connection speeds. But if you can live with that, go with Proton VPN or Atlas VPN.
The online realm is constantly evolving and digital threats are not slacking off either. Cyber hygiene and caution are crucial when surfing the internet and a secure VPN is an essential part of that. And just like regular hygiene, some products are more effective, while others can cause even more issues involving viruses and headaches.
Stay clean online with NordVPN, the most secure VPN currently available!
Which VPN do you use to keep your online activities clean of viruses? Share your digital security tips in the comments section!
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What is the most secure VPN to use?
NordVPN is the most secure VPN provider. It’s based in Panama, went through multiple independent audits, and even grants immunity to viruses via Threat Protection. Besides that, it’s ridiculously fast with the WireGuard tunneling protocol and unblocks geo-restricted content on Netflix and other streaming platforms.
Which VPN is the safest and free?
Proton VPN is the safest free VPN that’s worth using. It isn’t bogged down by data caps or speed limits and maintains the service via premium subscriptions. Naturally, the no-cost plan isn’t perfect either since it can’t unblock geo-restricted content and doesn’t provide all the security features of the paid plan.
Which VPN protocol is the most secure?
For most use cases, WireGuard is the most secure VPN protocol. It’s modern, uses the latest encryption standards, and has a relatively-small codebase for easy maintenance. It’s also ridiculously fast and is used by some of the best VPN services.
Why do I need a secure VPN?
Impenetrable digital security is vital for getting anything done with a VPN. For starters, your online activities will remain exposed without strong encryption. Meanwhile, you won’t be able to circumvent geographical restrictions if the VPN doesn’t have adequate DNS leak prevention.