June 19, 2024

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The Best VPN Services of 2023

46 min read

In the current online landscape, VPNs have become a crucial tool for individuals seeking online privacy and security. With the market now flooded with thousands of VPN options, it can be challenging to identify the best one for your needs. To address this, our team spent the past year extensively testing and reviewing over 1000 VPNs, evaluating factors such as download speeds, features, compatibility with Netflix, and pricing. Through our findings, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best VPN service that suits your requirements for the year 2023.

What are the Top VPN Services of 2023?

During our review, we paid special attention to the following VPN factors:

  • Ease of use
  • Price
  • Torrenting
  • Download speed
  • Support
  • Netflix availability
  • Privacy & security, and
  • Logging policies

To provide a detailed evaluation of the VPNs, we took into account various factors that impact the VPN experience, such as download speed, logging, torrenting, and pricing. It’s worth noting that each VPN has its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, one VPN may excel in download speed but may compromise logging, while another may be expensive but great for torrenting. Our list considers the relative pros and cons of each VPN, ensuring that we offer a comprehensive compilation of high-quality VPNs that cater to your needs. By leveraging our list, you can easily find the best VPN for your requirements in 2023.

Top VPN Providers

We’ve compiled a list of the top VPN services that we have reviewed, taking into account several critical factors. Firstly, a great VPN service must not keep records of your sessions, including websites you visit and files you download. Moreover, the VPN should offer a cost-effective way to mask your connection, without burning a hole in your pocket. Additionally, it must provide a vast selection of restriction-free servers located worldwide, allowing you to stream Netflix content or torrent without difficulty. By considering these factors, we present a list of VPN services that are ideal for meeting your requirements in 2023.

By the end of this resource, you’re going to be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is the most secure VPN?
  • What is the fastest VPN?
  • What is the cheapest VPN?
  • What is the most expensive VPN?
  • What is the best VPN?

Each section links to a full and detailed VPN review.

Now, let’s get down to business, highlighting the best VPN services in the world.

1. NordVPN – Best Overall VPN ($3.29/mo)

Ranks 1 out of 78 VPNs

Visit NordVPN.com

NordVPN Pros:
+ Fast servers (5,656)
+ Torrenting/P2P allowed
+ Works with Netflix
+ Strict no logging policy
+ Easy to use VPN apps
+ Double data encryption
+ No IP/DNS leaks found

NordVPN Cons:
– Discounts are only available for longer subscriptions

   After months of testing, NordVPN is hands-down the best VPN overall. Along with giving you access to restricted information, it also provides you with the highest level of security and privacy. You’ll know you’re getting excellent value for your money because NordVPN is also among the most reasonably priced VPNs available. It is ideal for viewing blocked information or preserving your online privacy since it provides excellent speeds, security, and privacy.

Why NordVPN is #1

NordVPN stands out from other VPNs with its unbeatable combination of rock-solid security, lightning-fast connections, and unlimited bandwidth. With approximately 5500 servers across 59 countries, from the UK to Australia and Canada, NordVPN offers the fastest VPN experience globally. Thanks to its extensive server network, your internet connection remains stable, allowing you to browse websites, download files, stream movies, and enjoy a speedy connection. NordVPN works seamlessly on both Windows and MacOS devices, including mobile phones. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously with one account, and it’s also possible to secure all devices connected to your WiFi signal simultaneously by connecting to a NordVPN-enabled router, which counts as only one of your six connections.

NordVPN Torrenting and Netflix

NordVPN supports torrenting and P2P connections on specific servers, which can be easily identified through the server recommendation feature. It quickly suggests a server based on your requirements. NordVPN is an excellent choice for torrenting, thanks to its top-notch security features, including a rerouting feature that automatically directs users to servers located in Canada or the Netherlands if they connect to a non-torrenting server with a P2P connection. Hence, we have recognized NordVPN as the top VPN for torrenting on our list.

NordVPN Privacy

Encryption is a crucial aspect of VPNs, as it ensures that only authorized users can access information about our online activities. NordVPN maintains high standards in this regard.

To establish secure connections with its servers, NordVPN utilizes the IPSec and IKEv2 internet protocols. While IPSec creates secure connections across multiple devices, IKEv2 helps in re-establishing VPN connections in case of Wi-Fi disruptions. These protocols were particularly useful when we switched between Wi-Fi networks, mobile hotspots, or our own data.

In addition, NordVPN offers the double VPN feature, which routes data through two or more servers to provide multiple layers of protection. This innovative feature, also known as VPN server chaining or multi-hop, enhanced our security and kept our online activities private from prying eyes.

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NordVPN Features

NordVPN boasts several impressive features, including the Automatic Kill Switch. This feature blocks all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops, ensuring that your privacy and anonymity are never compromised. The VPN also operates on a strict no-logs policy, meaning that your online activities are never stored or monitored.

NordVPN also offers DNS leak protection, which ensures that your true location remains hidden and your connection cannot be hijacked. The VPN’s Onion Over VPN feature encrypts your traffic and sends it through the Tor network, providing an extra layer of security and privacy.

Overall, NordVPN is an excellent choice for those seeking a fast, reliable, and secure VPN service. It’s also one of the most affordable VPNs available, with a wide range of features to ensure your online safety and privacy.

NordVPN Pricing

NordVPN’s pricing structure is straightforward and easy to understand. Regardless of the plan you choose, you will receive the same features, but the costs will vary depending on the length of the contract.

If you opt for a two-year contract, the pricing starts at $3.99 per month, with an initial cost of $95.76. This is the most cost-effective option for long-term savings if you’re satisfied with NordVPN’s services.

For those who prefer shorter commitment periods, the one-year membership is reasonably priced at $4.99 per month or $59.88 in total. This option allows you to reassess your choices after a year in case you want to switch to a different VPN provider.

Visit NordVPN.com
…or read our NordVPN review

2. SurfsharkVPN – Best For Affordability ($2.49)

Ranks #2 out of 78 VPNs

Visit Surfshark.com

Surfshark Pros:
+ Strict no logging policy
+ Unlimited device connection
+ Torrenting
+ Plays Netflix
+ Secure system
+ Good addons like Multihop and Ad-Blocker
+ RAM-servers

Surfshark Cons:
– No phone support
– Average speeds

  One of the most well-liked VPN services in 2023 is Surfshark VPN. It is a highly appealing VPN choice for all types of consumers due to its affordable pricing and unlimited simultaneous connections. Additionally, Surfshark provides outstanding connection speeds, tens of thousands of servers globally, and military-grade AES encryption.

Why SurfsharkVPN is #2

With its unusual split tunneling and multi-hop features, open privacy policy, and tamper-proof RAM-only servers, Surfshark has established itself as a top VPN provider. Additionally, Surfshark is one of the few VPN providers that does not limit the number of devices that can be connected, which means that one account can secure every device in your household without additional costs. Furthermore, Surfshark is compatible with almost every device you can imagine, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.

However, during our testing, we noticed that Surfshark’s speeds were sometimes inconsistent, which is the only downside we found with this VPN service.

Surfshark Torrenting and Netflix

Surfshark allows torrenting and P2P connections, ensuring seamless connectivity with peers worldwide. Moreover, Surfshark is also excellent for streaming Netflix, a service that has advanced detection programs that block access to its library through VPNs.

During our tests, we connected to six different Surfshark servers, and each one of them successfully accessed the streaming service without any issues. This makes Surfshark an ideal VPN for streaming Netflix.

SurfsharkVPN Privacy

Surfshark boasts strong privacy measures that ensure the protection of its users. The company maintains a strict no-logs policy and only requires an email address for sign-up, with payment information being handled by a third-party processor for added security.

Surfshark also utilizes the AES-256-GCM encryption standard with perfect forward secrecy, which is widely recognized as Military Grade encryption. This level of encryption ensures that your data is protected from even the most powerful adversaries.

One of Surfshark’s standout features is its “Camouflage Mode,” which keeps your VPN usage concealed, even from your internet service provider. This makes Surfshark one of the most private and secure VPN services available.

SurfsharkVPN Features

Surfshark is a VPN provider that offers many unique features that set it apart from its competitors.

One of the most notable features of Surfshark is its extensive server network. With more than 1,000 servers in 61 countries, you can easily find a connection that works for your needs. Additionally, Surfshark has several unique features that are not commonly found in other VPN providers.

These features include split tunneling and multi-hop, which allow you to route specific traffic through different servers. This can be useful for bypassing censorship or avoiding location restrictions.

Surfshark also offers a whitelisting option, allowing you to select certain websites and services to always use your VPN connection. This feature is particularly helpful for safeguarding your financial information or accessing content that is restricted in your region.

SurfsharkVPN Pricing

Surfshark’s pricing model is straightforward, with features that remain consistent across all subscription lengths. The cost, however, varies based on the length of the contract, and discounts increase as the contract duration lengthens.

The monthly subscription costs $12.95, which is typical for VPNs. However, for greater savings, the one-year subscription at $47.88 or $3.98/month is a better option, offering more than half off the monthly price. For even greater savings, the two-year subscription at $59.76 or $2.49 per month is the most affordable, costing only $12 more than the one-year plan and providing two years of service.

Visit Surfshark.com
…or read our Surfshark review

3. ExpressVPN – Best For Streaming ($8.32)

Ranks #3 out of 78 VPNs

Visit ExpressVPN.com

ExpressVPN Pros:
+ Supports ALL devices
+ Fast servers with minimal speed loss
+ Unblocks Netflix in the USA
+ Torrenting and P2P are allowed
+ No IP leaks or DNS leaks found
+ Simple and easy to use
+ No logging

ExpressVPN Cons:
– More expensive than its chief rivals

ExpressVPN offers a wide range of device compatibility, making it an accessible choice for many users. It supports Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, wireless routers, Chromebooks, Kindles, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and even web browsers. This means that you can protect all of your devices with ExpressVPN, regardless of the platform.

ExpressVPN Torrenting and Netflix

ExpressVPN is compatible with both the Tor network and torrenting, making it a great choice for users seeking high levels of security and privacy. When using the Tor network in combination with ExpressVPN, your online activity is doubly encrypted, providing an even higher level of privacy and security.

Torrenting is also supported and works seamlessly with uTorrent.

As for Netflix, while it does work on many of ExpressVPN’s servers, finding a server that works can require some trial and error. For example, in the US, only six out of the 30 servers tested were able to successfully stream the service.

Why ExpressVPN is #3

ExpressVPN offers an impressive server network with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, making it an excellent choice for those who want to access content from all over the world. With top-notch speed, users can easily stream or download without experiencing any issues. This makes ExpressVPN an ideal choice for those who want to use a VPN for streaming or gaming purposes.

ExpressVPN Privacy

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ExpressVPN is known for its excellent security features, including AES-256 bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy, along with a kill switch and no-logs policy. It also supports P2P connections and has built-in DNS leak protection for safe torrenting. However, some users may be concerned about the ownership of ExpressVPN, as it is owned by Kape Technologies, which has been linked to malware in the past and operates multiple VPN services. Recent incidents involving the company’s management have also raised questions about its security and privacy. As a result, some users may be hesitant to trust ExpressVPN completely.

ExpressVPN Features

While ExpressVPN may not offer the most extensive range of features, each one it does offer serves a specific and significant purpose. In addition to standard VPN features like split tunneling and stealth mode, ExpressVPN offers advanced capabilities such as MediaStreamer and Threat Manager.

Split tunneling provides greater control over your VPN traffic, allowing you to route some traffic through the VPN while leaving other traffic untouched. This is a useful way to get the benefits of a VPN without compromising your online security or experience.

Stealth mode disguises your VPN traffic as regular HTTP traffic, making it impossible for anyone to detect that you are using a VPN. This feature can be especially helpful in countries with strict censorship laws.

MediaStreamer is another advanced feature that enables you to access content on devices that do not support VPNs, such as gaming consoles and Smart TVs.

Finally, Threat Manager is a new feature that protects against malware, phishing attacks, and other online threats. With Threat Manager, you can rest assured that your online activities are safe and secure.

ExpressVPN Pricing

The pricing for ExpressVPN is on the higher end, even with the annual subscription discount of 35%. The monthly plan costs $12.95, while the yearly plan costs $99.95 or $8.32/month. This is more expensive compared to many other high-quality VPN services, including its main competitor, NordVPN.

ExpressVPN allows up to five simultaneous connections, which is standard for most VPN providers. However, Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections on all subscription plans, while NordVPN only allows up to six connections for $3.29/month.

Payment options for ExpressVPN include credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other options such as Alipay, UnionPay, IDEAL, and Klarna. The service also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for all purchases.

Visit ExpressVPN.com
…or read our ExpressVPN review

4. UltraVPN – Best VPN for Budget-Friendly Gaming ($2.99)

Ranks #4 out of 78 VPNs

Visit UltraVPN

UltraVPN Pros:
+ Ease of use
+ Perfect for gaming
+ Bypasses some streaming services

UltraVPN Cons:
– Hulu is blocked

UltraVPN is a reliable and user-friendly service that provides protection and anonymity to users worldwide. It has servers located in over 70 countries, making it easy to unblock any website or content from anywhere in the world.

Why UltraVPN is #4

UltraVPN, a product from the digital security company Aura, uses the OpenVPN protocol and robust encryption to provide protection and anonymity on both desktop and mobile devices. Aura is a major player in the industry and also powers other VPNs like Hotspot Shield and Touch VPN. UltraVPN is an affordable premium VPN option, making it an attractive choice for users looking for reliable protection at a lower cost. It has servers in over 70 countries, providing users with access to content from around the world.

UltraVPN Privacy

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Security is a top priority for any VPN service, and UltraVPN delivers on this aspect with robust encryption and reliable software. UltraVPN’s security mechanisms have received positive reviews from users, with military-grade 256-bit data encryption and an inbuilt kill switch, which UltraVPN calls a firewall, to safeguard your identity.

With the kill switch feature, you can be assured that no unencrypted data will be transmitted in case of any connection issues or when switching VPN servers. UltraVPN’s strong security measures ensure that you can browse the internet without fear of local censorship or your ISP tracking your data.

UltraVPN Features

When it comes to server locations, UltraVPN may not have the largest network, with only about 100 server facilities worldwide. However, the company has servers on all continents, making it a suitable choice for many users. To ensure that UltraVPN has servers in the countries you need, check the list of locations on its website.

One advantage of UltraVPN is its user-friendly interface and website design, which is particularly helpful for new users. The black color scheme is easy on the eyes, and all the essential features are readily accessible on the main screen, so you don’t have to navigate through different menus or tabs to find what you’re looking for.

UltraVPN Pricing

UltraVPN offers affordable price plans, even without lengthy subscriptions. The yearly plan, which costs just $2.99 per month, is especially cost-effective. The six-month option reduces the monthly cost to $4.99 from the standard $6.99. However, it’s important to note that these prices are introductory deals, and the company will automatically renew your membership at a higher rate once it expires. Be sure to read more about the renewal policy by clicking “normal rate” at the checkout counter. Despite this caveat, UltraVPN’s pricing remains competitive and accessible.

Visit UltraVPN.com
…or read our UltraVPN review

5. CyberGhost VPN – Best VPN for Streaming ($2.23/mo)

Ranks #5 out of 78 VPNs

Read our CyberGhost review

CyberGhost Pros: 
+ Affordable
+ Easy to use application
+ No logging
+ Torrenting is allowed
+ Worked with Netflix
+ Massive server park

CyberGhost Cons:
– Average Speeds
– Questionable parent company
– No split-tunnelling

CyberGhost is a top player in the VPN market, offering a range of features including the ability to torrent and access popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. The VPN service also utilizes the advanced WireGuard protocol and offers specialized servers, a dedicated IP option, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Why CyberGhost VPN is #5

CyberGhost is compatible with a wide range of devices, including those running on Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Amazon fireTV. The VPN service allows up to seven simultaneous device connections, a significant improvement from their previous one device limit.

Additionally, CyberGhost offers excellent customer support with live chat assistance and a kill switch feature to provide added security to your browsing experience. The kill switch feature ensures that your internet connection is cut off in the event of a VPN connection drop, preventing your online activity from being exposed.

CyberGhost VPN Privacy

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CyberGhost VPN has a no logs policy, which means that it doesn’t track or store your online activities, making it an excellent choice for enhancing your privacy and security while browsing the internet. However, since CyberGhost is based in Romania, it falls under the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance, which could be a concern for some users.

CyberGhost VPN Features

CyberGhost VPN offers a variety of server types to meet your needs, which is a feature not available with all VPN providers. It’s a simple feature to use, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.

The service offers specific servers for downloading, streaming, and gaming. Downloading servers are optimized for P2P applications like uTorrent and are located in countries where torrenting is allowed without the risk of severe penalties. These servers provide the fastest download speeds, and users can see the estimated distance between their location and the server, as well as the server load, to filter out slower servers.

Streaming servers are designed to access geo-restricted streaming sites, and users can instantly see which service the server is intended for on the server list. For gaming, servers with the lowest latency are used to provide a fast and strong connection.

The pricing for CyberGhost VPN varies depending on the length of your membership, with plans that are shorter costing more and vice versa. All plans include the same features and offer 7 simultaneous connections. The one-month plan costs $12.99, while the longest plan (three years) offers the best value with only an $8.25 difference in price compared to the two-year plan.

Additionally, CyberGhost offers a no-spy servers package for $59.99 per year or $4.99 per month and the option to add a dedicated IP for an extra $5 per month. The only plan with a 14-day money-back guarantee is the one-month plan, while all other plans offer a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Visit CyberGhost.com
…or read our CyberGhost review

6. Proton VPN – The Safest VPN ($4.00)

Ranks #6 out of 78 VPNs

Read our ProtonVPN review

ProtonVPN Pros: 
+ Swiss-based
+ Free option
+ Torrenting is allowed

ProtonVPN Cons:
– Not the best option for Streaming & Torrenting

The creators of ProtonMail also created Proton VPN. You should anticipate only the very best security measures, which will ensure your safety and online anonymity if their previous product is any indication.

Why Proton VPN is #6

Proton VPN is a top-rated VPN service that allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections, providing exceptional security measures, intuitive usability, and fast speeds. In addition, it unblocks well-known streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. The company also offers a free plan, but it is not the most budget-friendly VPN available, and its customer service is not as dependable as some of its competitors.

Proton VPN Privacy

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Proton VPN is renowned for its exceptional security and privacy features, making it one of the most secure VPN services available. Its military-grade AES encryption and tunneling technologies are top-notch. What’s more, anyone can verify the safety of its apps since their source code is publicly available. ProtonVPN also guarantees no logs and no user data collection in its privacy policy.

ProtonVPN goes beyond the norm when it comes to security and privacy. It offers advanced features such as double VPN routing, Tor over VPN, NetShield, VPN Accelerator, and open-source apps that have been independently audited. These are in addition to standard security features like a kill switch, quick and secure protocols, and 256-bit AES encryption. Additionally, ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, a privacy-friendly country that is not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances and does not have data retention laws.

Proton VPN Features

As previously mentioned, one of the standout features of ProtonVPN is its Secure Core. Despite what the name may suggest, Secure Core servers are not necessarily more advanced than the rest of the servers. Rather, they offer a double VPN capability that allows for connections to be routed through two VPN servers. When you connect to a VPN server, your device establishes a connection with another VPN server before reaching its final destination, providing an extra layer of security and privacy.

Proton VPN Pricing

Proton VPN offers four versions: Free, Basic, Plus, and Visionary. The Free version has many restrictions and limited features. In comparison, the Basic plan costs $4.00/month, while the Plus plan costs $8.00/month. Both plans come with unlimited data, access to all servers, and support for up to 10 devices. Additionally, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. The Visionary plan costs $30.00/month and includes everything in the other two plans, as well as a ProtonMail account and five years of service.

Visit ProtonVPN.com
…or read our ProtonVPN review

7. Private Internet Access VPN – Best VPN For Torrenting ($2.03)

Ranks #7 out of 78 VPNs

Read our PIA review

Private Internet Access Pros:
+ Allows torrenting
+ Excellent speed
+ Ease of use 

Private Internet Access Cons:
 – No independent audit 

Private Internet Access offers excellent protection for torrenting with its AES-256 encryption and kill switch that prevents any data leakage if the VPN connection drops. This makes PIA a top choice for anyone who wants to download files securely.

PIA VPN is compatible with a variety of devices, including Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and Firefox. Additionally, browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are available. If you prefer to use a router, you can set it up with PIA, but you will need to do some manual configuration if you want to use OpenVPN. PIA also works with smart TVs and gaming consoles, making it an excellent option for streaming on multiple devices.

Why Private Internet Access VPN is #7

Private Internet Access offers a comprehensive VPN service at a reasonable price, making it a strong contender in our rankings. Its security and privacy features include a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and a malware filtering add-on, along with access to a fast and extensive global network.

While some VPNs don’t offer the option of a dedicated IP address, Private Internet Access does provide this for an additional fee. It allows up to ten simultaneous device connections, which is more than some competitors but fewer than those offering unlimited devices. The service also enables users to access streaming content from various regions worldwide and to use it for torrenting.

Private Internet Access VPN Privacy

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When using the OpenVPN protocol with Private Internet Access, you have the option to choose the level of encryption. If you don’t specify, it defaults to AES-128 (CBC). You can select from the following options under the Connections tab:

AES-128 (CBC and GCM)
AES-256 (CBC and GCM)
Null Ciphers

While CBC is not as strong as the default AES-256, it’s still better than having no encryption at all. If you’re using a Windows computer, your data will be protected by Microsoft’s built-in encryption. AES-256 is the cipher used by the US government for classified information, so it’s a reliable and robust cipher.

You can also opt to turn off encryption completely. Your IP address will still be hidden and your credentials will still be encrypted, but by not encrypting your data, you may experience faster streaming and gaming, where speed is more important than security.

Private Internet Access VPN Features

PIA VPN provides an extensive range of features without overwhelming users. All the necessary functions are conveniently organized into different categories under the Settings menu. This includes advanced capabilities that are beneficial to experienced users, as well as additional privacy features.

One of the most useful features is split tunneling, which allows you to direct traffic for specific apps through the VPN while leaving other apps unprotected. This feature can also be used to access region-locked content. DNS leak protection and the kill switch are enabled by default, but you have the option to adjust these settings for greater or lesser protection. Port forwarding can also be set up to gain access to services blocked by your ISP.

Private Internet Access VPN Pricing

Private Internet Access VPN offers a simple pricing structure with all plans having the same features. The only difference in cost is based on the length of the membership you choose.

The 2-year plan is the most cost-effective, priced at just $2.03 per month or $79 for the entire membership, and includes two extra months for free.

For the yearly plan, the cost is $3.33 per month or $39.95 per year.

If you opt for the monthly plan, it is the most expensive option, costing $9.95 per month, as is typically the case with month-to-month VPN plans.

Visit PrivateInternetAccess.com
…or read our Private Internet Access review

8. Windscribe VPN – Best Configurable VPN ($4.08)

Ranks #8 out of 78 VPNs

Read our Windscribe review

Windscribe Pros:
+ Free version
+ Unlimited connections
+ Supports torrenting 

Windscribe Cons:
 – Limited servers 

A well-known and well-liked VPN service is Windscribe. It features a solid free version, supports Netflix and other streaming services, allows for an infinite number of simultaneous connections, and is excellent for torrenting. Additionally, it has a fantastic marketing team that consistently sends us a lighthearted email.

Why Windscribe VPN is #8

Windscribe is a VPN provider that offers a rare free tier with most of the features found in its paid plans. In addition to its main VPN software, Windscribe also offers versatile security through its browser extensions and apps.

Both the free and premium plans allow users to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. However, the free plan has data usage limitations and restrictions on server access. The premium plan, which costs $9 per month or $49 per year, provides access to servers in more than 100 locations and offers unlimited data usage.

Windscribe VPN Privacy

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Although generally considered a secure VPN service, Windscribe has had a few concerns raised about its security.

In June 2021, Ukrainian police confiscated two Windscribe servers. The company later confirmed that these servers were stolen, but no information was found on them. Both servers ran a legacy stack and had the OpenVPN server certificate and private key installed on them, which was a practice that predated the current standard and has since been phased out.

Windscribe maintains that this is an isolated incident and that their no-logs policy means there is nothing to find on the servers. In terms of security features, Windscribe offers AES-256 cipher with SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key, which is on par with or better than most other VPN providers.

Windscribe VPN Features

Windscribe offers a range of versatile and secure VPN features, from a kill switch to browser extensions.

The kill switch is an essential safety feature that will automatically disable your internet connection if the VPN drops for any reason. Windscribe also provides a variety of applications and browser extensions that allow for versatile security.

With Windscribe’s Double Hop capability, you can connect to any two servers to conceal your true IP address. By connecting through two separate locations, the second location is visible to the websites you visit, further enhancing your anonymity.

To use this feature, you must install a desktop program and a Chrome, Firefox, or Opera browser extension, as the extension adds the second location.

Windscribe VPN Pricing

Windscribe VPN offers competitive pricing options for their users. Their yearly membership, which costs $48.96, translates to a monthly fee of $4.08. This plan offers unlimited data usage and access to servers in more than 110 cities across 63 countries.

If you are not sure whether Windscribe is right for you, you can take advantage of the free version of the VPN. While it has limitations on data usage and server options, it still offers a significant amount of the features that the paid version does.

For those who want even more features and options, the Windscribe Pro version offers additional benefits such as access to servers in over 110 cities across 63 countries, unlimited data usage, and the ability to use the VPN on unlimited devices. However, at a price of $9 per month or $108 per year, it is more than twice as expensive as the yearly membership. If you plan on using Windscribe for an extended period, it makes sense to go for the annual plan to save some money.

Visit Windscribe.com
…or read our Windscribe review

9. StrongVPN – Best For Simultaneous Connections ($3.66)

Ranks #9 out of 78 VPNs

Read our StrongVPN review

StrongVPN Pros:
+ Massive server park
+ Up-to-date technology
+ Torrenting 
+ No logging
+ Fast service

StrongVPN Cons:
 – US Jurisdiction
 – Live chat is only for paying customers
 – Barely works with Netflix

StrongVPN offers a strict privacy policy that makes every effort to keep your identity a secret. Unlike other VPNs, StrongVPN enables you to simultaneously encrypt any device you own. You won’t ever have to compromise the security of one device for that of another because it allows up to twelve simultaneous connections. Share a single account with the whole family to keep everyone safe and secure both at home and while traveling.

Why StrongVPN is #9

StrongVPN can help protect your online activity from your internet service provider (ISP) and make it harder for anyone to track you by routing all of your computer’s traffic through a secure connection to a server. With StrongVPN, you can connect up to three times as many devices as other VPN services typically allow, and it offers VPN servers in locations that other VPNs often overlook.

However, StrongVPN’s user interface (UI) can be clunky, and it doesn’t offer as many privacy or security features as our top VPN picks, such as NordVPN. Additionally, it may be a bit pricey for what it provides.

StrongVPN Privacy

StrongVPN’s no-logs policy means that it will not retain any information about your online activity, ensuring that your identity remains safe. Although the company is headquartered in the US, which has strict surveillance laws, this may actually be an advantage as the country has more rigorous data retention laws, making your data less likely to fall into the wrong hands.

Only two other VPN providers, TorGuard and Golden Frog VyprVPN, are also based in the US, but they also have strong privacy policies to protect their users.

StrongVPN Features

StrongVPN is a great choice for those who have multiple devices as it allows up to 12 simultaneous connections with one subscription. This is much higher than the standard five simultaneous connections offered by most VPN providers. However, some VPNs don’t have any such limitations on connections.

If you want to use the VPN on every device in your home, including those that don’t support VPN client software, you may want to set up your router to connect through the VPN. Some companies sell routers that are already set up, but StrongVPN provides instructions on how to do it. However, this may not be suitable for the average user as it can be quite complicated.

Another notable feature of StrongVPN is that it provides applications for streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, which is not offered by many VPN providers.

Strong VPN Pricing

StrongVPN’s monthly cost is $10.99 on average. While the yearly plan’s first-year price of $3.66 per month appears reasonable, it rises to $6.66 per month when it is renewed. Although it may be more expensive than other VPN services, it offers a significant advantage. The yearly subscription includes 250GB of secure cloud storage from SugarSync, which would typically cost $9.99 per month if purchased separately.

Visit StrongVPN.com
…or read our StrongVPN review

10. Atlas VPN – Best VPN For Data Breach Protection ($2.05)

Ranks #10 out of 78 VPNs

Visit AtlasVPN.com

AtlasVPN Pros:
+ Unblocks Netflix & other services
+ Includes web filters
+ 24/7 Chat support

AtlasVPN Cons:
 – Small server park 

Atlas VPN provides users with online security and privacy. Using Atlas VPN, you can connect to servers in over 30 countries and enjoy unrestricted access to the internet. It comes with a built-in ad blocker, malware blocker, and anti-phishing feature to keep you safe online. Let’s take a closer look at Atlas VPN.

Why Atlas VPN is #10

Atlas VPN is a user-friendly freemium VPN that comes packed with features. It is one of the best free VPNs we have tested and is safe to use even with torrenting clients. The premium version is faster and compatible with Netflix, making it a great choice for those looking to bypass geo-restrictions. Overall, Atlas VPN is an excellent choice for beginners looking to access content that is not available in their region.

Atlas VPN Privacy

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Atlas VPN offers essential security features, including an operational kill switch and AES encryption, which are necessary for a VPN service. However, it lacks diversity in tunneling protocols compared to some other VPN providers.

Once you connect to one of Atlas VPN’s servers, your connection is encrypted to prevent anyone from seeing your online activity. The service uses advanced security protocols, and all traffic is encrypted with AES-256 encryption, which is considered one of the strongest encryption standards available.

Atlas VPN Features

Atlas VPN offers a range of useful features, such as a dangerous site blocker that prevents malware infections by blocking websites on blacklists. It also includes IP address rotation and a data breach checker that informs you if your information has been compromised.

SafeBrowse is a VPN that specializes in unblocking geo-restricted websites and services. With its strict no-logs policy and military-grade encryption, it’s considered one of the most reliable VPNs on the market. Additionally, SafeSwap is a unique feature that enables you to maintain complete anonymity by swapping your public IP address with one from SafeBrowse’s VPN server network.

Atlas VPN Pricing

If you’re interested in Atlas VPN after reading our review, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s one of the most affordable options on the market, especially considering that it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. The 2-year plan offers the best value, costing only $2.05 per month or $49.19 for the entire duration of the subscription.

For those who don’t want to commit to such a long period, the yearly plan is also a good option, costing $3.29 per month. If you prefer to try out Atlas VPN for just one month, the cost is $10.99.

Visit AtlasVPN.com

11. TunnelBear VPN – Best Torrenting Service ($3.33)

Ranks #11 out of 78 VPNs

Visit TunnelBear.com

TunnelBear Pros:
+ Independent audits
+ Server obfuscation
+ Affordable

TunnelBear Cons:
 – No Wireguard 

One of the most talked-about VPN services available online is TunnelBear. It also offers a lot. For instance, it provides a number of features, unblocks different streaming websites like Netflix, and adheres to a no-logs policy. Additionally, TunnelBear offers a free edition, which is an excellent option for people who are unsure about making a commitment.

Why TunnelBear VPN is #11

TunnelBear is a popular VPN service that can easily bypass geo-restrictions on popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. It can also work in countries like China and Iran where internet access is restricted.

In addition to standard VPN security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch, TunnelBear also offers split-tunnelling, torrenting servers, obfuscation, and other advanced features.

TunnelBear VPN Privacy

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TunnelBear is a secure VPN service that uses industry-standard encryption techniques to encrypt your connection. However, the location of their company, which is not in a privacy-friendly nation, is the major concern with their service.

They use SHA-256 hash authentication and standard AES-256 encryption, which is approved by the US government for use on sensitive data. This means that your connection is secure and difficult for anyone to monitor your online activity.

TunnelBear has a lighthearted tone when describing its security features. For instance, VigilantBear is their kill switch, which aims to protect your privacy if the connection between your device and the VPN server is temporarily lost. VigilantBear suspends your internet connection while waiting for the VPN server to respond. If the VPN server does come back, data can pass through again, allowing you to continue your previous activities. This feature protects you from unintentional location or IP address disclosure.

However, the VigilantBear feature is currently available only in the Windows, macOS, and Android apps. The iOS version of TunnelBear lacks this feature, so keep that in mind if you want to use TunnelBear on your iPhone or iPad.

TunnelBear VPN Features

TunnelBear provides a unique feature in its Android app that benefits users in countries with strict censorship. When governments choose to obstruct VPN services, they do so in a variety of ways, including blocking at the DNS level. If the word “TunnelBear” were added to a DNS server’s blacklist, for example, you wouldn’t be able to connect to a TunnelBear server with the IP us1.tunnelbear.com.

To combat this, TunnelBear offers server obfuscation, which changes your traffic so that it doesn’t look like standard VPN traffic. This feature is available on all TunnelBear servers, allowing you to connect to a VPN server even if the government is blocking VPN traffic.

TunnelBear also offers split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps send their data through the VPN and which don’t. This can be useful if you only want to use a VPN for specific activities, such as streaming or gaming.

TunnelBear VPN Pricing

TunnelBear offers three main pricing plans: Free, Unlimited, and Teams. The Free plan is a good option if you want a budget-friendly choice, while the Teams plan is designed for corporate clients. If you only need basic features, the Unlimited plan starts at $3.33 per month and is a great option. Overall, TunnelBear’s pricing options are straightforward and easy to understand.

Visit TunnelBear.com

12. IPVanish VPN – Best P2P Service – ($7.49)

Ranks #12 out of 78 VPNs

Visit IPVanish.com

IPVanish Pros:
+ Fast service
+ No logs
+ Unblocks Netflix
+ Allows torrenting
+ Works on all devices
+ 10+ simultaneous connections

IPVanish Cons:
– Part of a Large US-based company
– Slow customer support response
– Expensive

IPVanish is a VPN service that values user privacy and encryption while still providing fast speeds. It is a log-free service, meaning that neither your personal data nor your browsing history is stored. Your information is only saved when you create an account.

This feature makes IPVanish a great choice for torrenting, P2P use, and streaming. The company owns and operates its own network of servers, which helps to keep latency low and speeds consistent.

Why IPVanish VPN is #12

IPVanish offers a range of features through a user-friendly interface, making it an ideal option for watching Netflix or YouTube and enhancing online security and privacy. This VPN is reasonably priced and is based in the US. It unblocks Netflix, supports several torrent clients, and provides fast connections through the use of the WireGuard tunneling technique.

Moreover, IPVanish provides a variety of services, including some exclusive ones. For example, with the On Demand feature, you can configure your VPN connection to work on your preferred Wi-Fi or application. Additionally, the SOCKS5 proxy is available, which is useful for torrenting.

IPVanish VPN Privacy

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IPVanish claims to offer a reliable VPN service with robust military-grade encryption and necessary security features that can protect against DNS or IP leaks. However, the provider has faced issues in the past that cast doubt on its claims of privacy.

Similar to other consumer-grade VPN providers, IPVanish utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, which is considered one of the safest ways to encrypt data and is commonly used in government and financial organizations. This encryption standard makes it difficult for hackers to use brute force attacks.

During the account authentication process, your login information is converted into hashes using SHA-512 hash algorithms, which produce hashes that are 512 bits in size. This makes them difficult to process.

IPVanish VPN Features

IPVanish is a feature-rich VPN that can satisfy most of your needs. It includes split tunneling, traffic obfuscation, automated connection features, encrypted storage (which is relatively rare in VPNs), and even a SOCKS5 proxy.

In addition to your IPVanish subscription, you can purchase encrypted storage for a small fee. It works similarly to Google Drive or Dropbox, but with the added benefit that it’s AES-256 encrypted. This means that your uploaded files are protected to the same level as your VPN connection.

IPVanish VPN Pricing

IPVanish VPN’s monthly subscription fee is $10.99, which is slightly higher than the average price of the VPNs we’ve reviewed. However, if a VPN service offers useful features that justify the higher price, it can still be a good deal. IPVanish’s yearly subscription cost is $7.49/month, which is a better value.

Regardless of how you choose to pay, you will be charged the entire amount upfront. However, when considering the variety of features that come with the service, the monthly pricing is quite reasonable.

If you require secure storage, the additional fee for SugarSync is well worth it. However, once the first-month or first-year discount expires, the total cost becomes relatively expensive.

IPVanish provides a seven-day money-back guarantee and accepts credit cards, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, providing an untraceable payment option.

Visit IPVanish.com
…or read our IPVanish review

13. Mullvad VPN – Best For Account Creation Anonymity ($5.50)

Ranks #13 out of 78 VPNs

Visit Mullvad.com

Mullvad Pros:
+ Anonymous signup process
+ No logging policy
+ Fast
+ Secure encryption
+ Kill switch

Mullvad Cons:
– No mobile apps
– Lackluster customer support

Mullvad is a VPN service with a focus on account creation anonymity. Mullvad does not require an email address or any other personal information when signing up for the service. This makes it an excellent choice for users looking to protect their identity online.

Why Mullvad VPN is #13

Mullvad VPN is a great option that provides excellent security features and impressive speeds, all while maintaining user privacy. Despite being less expensive than other VPNs, it is not far behind in terms of performance. However, it may have difficulty unblocking certain streaming websites, which may impact its streaming capabilities.

If you’re primarily concerned with security and privacy and don’t require extensive customer support, Mullvad VPN is a solid choice. They offer a refund policy if you’re not satisfied with their service. Alternatively, if you require better streaming capabilities, there are other VPNs to consider.

Mullvad VPN Privacy

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Mullivad is one of the most secure VPN providers. The application employs cutting-edge technology to ensure that your internet activity cannot be traced, keeps no records, and doesn’t gather any personal information.

What makes Mullvad one of the internet’s safest and most private VPNs is the following:

  • Accounts that are entirely anonymous
  • Tunnel protocols for OpenVPN and WireGuard
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Proxy SOCKS5
  • There are no third-party trackers on the website.

You can even go so far as to pay with cash, which makes it impossible to identify you as the buyer.

On their website, Mullvad provides a comprehensive Privacy Policy that fully explains what information is collected, when it is collected, how it is utilized, etc. This paper exhibits a degree of transparency that is quite uncommon in the VPN sector.

Mullvad VPN Features

Your IP address is hidden by every single VPN; that is what they all do. Not all VPN services, though, go a bit farther, enabling you to torrent, utilize port forwarding, or customize the settings.

Fortunately, Mullvad VPN has a robust feature set. There are several options available to you, including:

  • Torrenting
  • Forwarding ports
  • Splitting a tunnel
  • Shared local network
  • Link mode

If you have really specific requirements, you may even modify your feature choices using the Mullvad app’s robust CLI interface, which enables you to write sophisticated scripts.

Mullvad VPN Pricing

Mullvad VPN offers a simple and straightforward pricing plan with only a monthly option available at $5.50, which is fairly average compared to other VPN services. However, the account setup process is unique and stands out from others in the market. Unlike most VPN services that require personal information like a working email address to set up an account, Mullvad only asks for a payment method and generates a 16-digit account number. Your account number serves as your username and password, and your subscription will continue until you cancel it. You can choose to regenerate your old account number when your existing account expires, or create a new one each month. This setup is particularly popular among privacy advocates as it is reassuring and keeps your information confidential.

Visit Mullvad.com
…or read our Mullvad review

14. Zenmate VPN – Best For Entertainment Streaming ($3.33)

Ranks #14 out of 78 VPNs

Visit Zenmate.com

Zenmate VPN Pros:
+ 7-day free trial
+ No limit on simultaneous connections
+ Cheap 3-year package

Zenmate VPN Cons:
– Short on features

ZenMate is a VPN service that provides a complete VPN software for all platforms, a free VPN browser extension, and a paid add-on called Pro (or Ultimate). Despite being budget-friendly, all three options offer a decent level of security and privacy.

ZenMate’s VPN software has been downloaded by over five million people on Chrome, and the service is also available on Android. The VPN provider is based in Germany and is owned by the same parent company as ExpressVPN.

Why Zenmate VPN is #14

The overall performance of ZenMate VPN can be inconsistent for the average user. While it permits torrenting, unblocks select streaming services such as Netflix, and offers cost-effective long-term subscription plans, it has limited tunneling protocols, below-average speeds, and is headquartered in a Five Eyes country.

Zenmate VPN Privacy

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ZenMate utilizes AES-256-CBC encryption to secure your connection, which is a strong and widely used encryption method. Private keys are used to encrypt and decrypt data, ensuring that only you and the intended recipient can understand it. Additionally, ZenMate uses the SHA-256 hash algorithm to authenticate connections to servers. While these are all positive security features, the service’s location in a Five Eyes country and its privacy policy may not meet the standards of some users seeking a truly secure VPN.

Zenmate VPN Features

ZenMate VPN is an excellent option for streaming sports and movies, as it can unblock Netflix and other streaming services. The VPN software is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and the browser extension works with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Additionally, ZenMate has a kill switch that automatically disables your internet connection if the VPN disconnects.

One noteworthy feature of ZenMate is Smart Locations, which selects the best server for your current location. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers, and it is similar to an automatic split tunneling feature.

Furthermore, ZenMate offers a free trial of its Pro add-on, which provides unlimited bandwidth, access to all servers, and malware blocking. It is a great value for the price, as an annual subscription costs only $2.99 per month. However, it is important to note that ZenMate’s privacy policy and location might not meet everyone’s expectations in terms of security and privacy.

Zenmate VPN Pricing

ZenMate offers two pricing tiers: Pro and Ultimate. Ultimate is the more expensive option, offering support for P2P networks and OpenVPN for secure torrenting. It costs $10.99 for one month, $32.34 for six months, and $39.96 for 18 months. While the price might seem steep, the longer plans come with a better discount.

On the other hand, the Pro plan has a different pricing structure, with the longest plan (a year) costing $23.88 and the shortest plan costing $7.99 per month. While it may not have OpenVPN support, it’s still an excellent value for a premium VPN service.

Visit Zenmate.com

15. Hide.me VPN – Best Free VPN ($3.84)

Ranks #15 out of 78 VPNs

Visit Hide.me VPN

Hide.me VPN Pros:
+ Free plan
+ IPv6 support
+ Excellent tunnelling service

Hide.me VPN Cons:
– Mobile app needs work

A modest Malaysian VPN service provider, Hide.me is one of the few VPN companies that offers a good (albeit rather limited) free version to everyone. It allows you to select from a number of locations and includes a kill switch and DNS leak prevention. Even for torrenting, Hide.me’s free version is usable.

Why Hide.me VPN is #15

Hide.me is a VPN service provider based in Malaysia that offers a reliable free version for everyone. One of the standout features of Hide.me VPN is its emphasis on privacy. The company strictly adheres to a zero-logs policy and employs state-of-the-art security protocols such as AES-256-bit encryption to ensure that your data remains secure.

Hide.me VPN Privacy

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Hide.me takes encryption seriously and uses AES-256-CBC cryptography to protect users’ connections, making it difficult for anyone to spy on their network. While this method is common among secure VPNs, Hide.me offers various tunneling protocol options, including Wireguard, OpenVPN, and IPSec, to provide users with a range of choices. These protocols determine how the encryption is applied to your connection and can affect speed and security.

Hide.me VPN Features

Hide.me VPN includes a unique feature called Stealth Guard, which combines split tunneling and kill switch functions. With Stealth Guard, you can choose which applications only function with VPN enabled or your entire internet connection. It goes beyond split tunneling because the selected applications will also be disabled if the connection between your device and the VPN server is interrupted.

For instance, if you are torrenting and your VPN connection drops, if you added your torrenting application to Stealth Guard, both the torrent client and your internet connection would be terminated.

Hide.me VPN integrates the SOCKS5 proxy and VPN connection, which is not common in other VPN providers. To use the SOCKS5 proxy, you must be connected to a VPN. This limitation may restrict some use cases, but it solves one of the fundamental issues with SOCKS5 proxies.

Most SOCKS5 proxies only pass your connection through an intermediate VPN server without adding any encryption. The requirement to use SOCKS5 further enhances the security of your connection. Also, since authentication is already established during the VPN connection, you do not need to provide it when connecting to the server.

Hide.me VPN Pricing

When you choose to purchase a plan from Hide.me VPN, the full amount is charged upfront. This means that while a two-year plan priced at $99.95 ($3.84/month) may appear to be the most cost-effective option, you’ll need to be prepared to pay the full amount at the time of purchase. While this approach may deter some potential customers, it’s a common practice in the VPN industry.

Visit Hide.me VPN
…or read our Hide.me VPN review

VPN Frequently Asked Questions

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that establishes a secure and encrypted connection over a public network, like the internet. While VPNs are commonly used by businesses to connect remote offices and employees, they can also be utilized by individuals to safeguard their online privacy.

How do VPNs Work?

VPNs establish a secure connection between your device and a VPN server, which encrypts all data transmitted through it. This encryption prevents anyone from intercepting or viewing your online activities, making it an effective tool for online privacy and security.

Why Use a VPN?

There are various reasons why someone may choose to use a VPN. For example, you might want to access content that is not available in your region, or you need to ensure that your data is secure and private when using public Wi-Fi. Additionally, you may wish to browse the internet without revealing your identity.

What are the benefits of using a VPN?

VPNs ensure your online session is completely anonymous by hiding your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic. This is achieved by creating a secure tunnel around your entire internet connection, typically using the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, which protects not only your browser but also your app activity.

To bypass geo-blocked content or uncensor websites, the VPN masks your IP address, but it’s important to make sure the service you’re using doesn’t leak your DNS or IP address. This feature is also crucial for journalists and privacy activists under authoritarian regimes, who risk backlash, jail time, or worse.

Most VPNs employ 256-bit AES encryption, which makes it almost impossible for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to track which websites you’re visiting, thereby protecting your personal data.

Are VPNs Legal?

Yes, VPN use is perfectly legal in 97% of countries worldwide.

However, we fact-checked 196 VPN country laws to confirm that some countries control VPN use, while others ban them outright.

Only “Government Approved” VPNs are supposed to be used in:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates

Getting caught using one that’s not sponsored could mean fines, jail time, or both.

Beware when in these countries, though. Because you can pretty much assume that “government approved” means they share some (if not all) data with each government when called upon.

Can you use a VPN to stream or watch Netflix?

VPNs are useful for streaming content and watching Netflix, but not all of them are compatible with certain streaming services.

According to our tests, approximately 70% of the VPNs we tested were able to bypass Netflix’s geo-blocking measures.

These are promising results, considering that Netflix has taken aggressive action against VPN connections and proxy servers in recent years. Due to licensing restrictions, they are under tremendous pressure to prevent people from streaming content from one country to another.

We found that both Surfshark and NordVPN worked flawlessly on multiple servers, indicating that they were actively avoiding detection from Netflix. This also means that they will likely continue to work effectively in the future.

In addition to Netflix, people use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions, watch sports channels, and access other streaming services such as Hulu.

Are VPNs safe for torrenting?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can effectively protect your online connection and keep your identity anonymous when you engage in torrenting or use P2P connections.

After thorough research, we have identified the best VPNs for torrenting, and categorized them into four groups:

1.VPNs that allow unrestricted and unlimited torrenting
2.VPNs that allow limited torrenting only on specific servers
3.VPNs that permit torrenting, but do not encourage it and take a neutral stance
4.VPNs that strictly prohibit torrenting

Torrenting is a popular method of peer-to-peer file sharing that allows users to download large files quickly. However, without the protection of a VPN, your online activities become vulnerable to other users on the same connection.

The downside to torrenting is its association with illegal file-sharing and copyright infringement. Many VPN providers tend to distance themselves from any potential legal consequences resulting from their users’ actions.

Do VPN providers keep log files?

VPN providers claim not to keep log files, but it’s crucial to conduct thorough research to ensure their claims are genuine.

In our analysis of 118 VPNs, we discovered that 26 of them collect three or more significant log files that could easily disclose your personal activities.

Although VPN providers may state that they do not log user data, it’s essential to read through their privacy policies and terms of service to determine what exactly they are logging.

For instance, most VPNs monitor aggregate bandwidth usage to ensure server performance, which is acceptable.

However, it becomes problematic when they track login and logout times or individual websites visited. Some VPN providers use complex legal jargon to obfuscate their logging practices, which can be misleading.

They may present their policies in a manner that makes it seem as though they do not log downloaded files, but in reality, they may be tracking them.

Can you protect a router, Smart TV, or game console with a VPN?

Using a VPN with your router, Smart TV, or gaming console is possible, provided that your chosen VPN service supports these devices. Most VPN providers offer such support, and for those that don’t, there is often a manual OpenVPN setup workaround available.

It’s advisable to opt for a VPN that natively supports the platform you intend to use. For instance, if you plan to use a router, configuring a VPN connection at your Internet source can secure your entire network, allowing you to add as many devices as needed.

If you require additional assistance with router VPN setup, you can refer to our comprehensive guide by clicking on this link.

Moreover, setting up a VPN on your Smart TV enables you to stream geo-restricted content on popular platforms such as Netflix and Hulu easily. You can switch server locations directly from the device and cycle through the best options until you can access the desired content.

Will a VPN slow down internet speed?

Using a VPN will inevitably affect your internet speed, even with the best VPN systems worldwide. On average, you can expect a 30% reduction in speed.

The degree to which a VPN impacts your speed depends on the VPN service you’re using. Some VPNs cause only minimal slowdowns, while others severely hamper your internet speed.

But why does this happen?

In essence, VPNs introduce an additional layer of security, which means more hoops for your traffic to pass through. These added speed bumps will inevitably cause some slowdown.

The key is to find a VPN that doesn’t significantly affect your internet speed.

At our review platform, we conduct the same speed test for each VPN we evaluate. First, we measure the benchmark reading without a VPN to serve as a point of comparison.

Next, we connect to several different servers and compile an unbiased combined rating.

During this process, we’ve encountered VPNs that only slightly affect your connection speed by a few percentage points, which you probably wouldn’t even notice.

However, we’ve also come across some terrible VPNs that have slowed down our connection by over 100%! This level of slowdown would make streaming content nearly impossible and even basic email usage would be challenging.

Therefore, we’ve ranked each VPN from best to worst to help you choose the best VPN that suits your needs. Make sure to refer to the ranking when selecting a VPN if you’re concerned about speed.

Can a VPN help with ISP throttling?

One of the benefits of using a VPN is that it can help you avoid ISP throttling. This is when your Internet Service Provider intentionally slows down your connection speed, often because you’re using a lot of bandwidth to stream content from services like HBO or Netflix.

Although ISP throttling shouldn’t be legal, it unfortunately is. ISPs might slow down your connection to ensure that their other customers have access to enough resources, or to encourage you to watch their own shows instead of streaming from other services. They might also use sophisticated techniques like “peering” to monitor your traffic data.

While it’s not always possible to completely avoid throttling, using a VPN can help. When you use a VPN, your device is encrypted and hidden from peering-type activities, making it more difficult for ISPs to identify and target your data packets. However, it’s important to note that using a VPN is not a foolproof solution and may not always be effective in avoiding ISP throttling.

What are the risks of using a VPN?

While VPNs are generally safe to use, engaging in illegal activities while connected to a VPN can certainly land you in trouble. For example, downloading copyrighted materials through a VPN and torrenting, or using a non-government sponsored VPN in a country that requires one, can result in legal consequences.

Aside from legal risks, there are also potential financial risks associated with using a VPN with poor performance. This can result in wasting money on a service that doesn’t deliver, which can be frustrating and ultimately costly.

When it comes to free VPNs, there are some potential risks involved, including the possibility of spying and malware. Although these risks are relatively rare, it’s important to stay informed and aware. In our VPN reviews, we’ll be sure to highlight any potential red flags we come across.

Is there a totally free VPN?

The risks associated with using free VPNs are significant, and we strongly advise against it. Despite being marketed as “free,” these services often come with hidden costs that can put your personal information and online security at risk.

Many free VPNs will collect and sell your data to third parties, which undermines the very privacy and security benefits you were seeking from a VPN in the first place. Some have even been known to inject ads or malware into your browsing sessions to generate revenue.

For example, the non-profit research organization CSIRO conducted a study that found that many free VPNs were injecting unwanted ads and tracking users’ online activity without their consent. In another case, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against the free VPN Betternet for misleading users about their privacy practices and sharing their data with third-party advertisers.

Ultimately, the risks of using a free VPN far outweigh any potential benefits. It’s always best to choose a reputable, paid VPN service to ensure your online security and privacy.

Scary, right?

So be sure to do your homework.

Is a VPN safe for banking?

Using a VPN when banking can actually enhance your online security. A VPN can provide an additional layer of protection for your financial information.

However, there are some potential issues to consider. If you’re connected to a VPN server located in another country, it might be flagged as suspicious activity by the bank’s security system, which could result in a temporary hold on your account.

To avoid this, it’s recommended to connect to a server in your general area. This will still provide the added encryption and security benefits of a VPN, while minimizing the risk of triggering any security alerts from your bank.

Can a VPN connect to another VPN?

While it is technically possible to use multiple VPNs at the same time, it can be a complex and tricky process that is not recommended for the average user.

In fact, using two VPNs simultaneously may not provide much additional benefit and could actually slow down your internet speeds. This is because when two VPNs are running at the same time, they may conflict with each other and compete for control, causing errors and routing issues.

If you still want to use two VPNs, the best way to do so would be to set one up on your operating system and the other on a virtual machine. However, this requires advanced technical knowledge and setup.

Alternatively, you can consider using the TOR network in addition to a VPN for added security. Just keep in mind that this may also slow down your connection speed.

How many unique IP addresses and locations can a VPN offer?

The number of IP addresses and server locations available is an important factor to consider when choosing a VPN for personal or business use. Different VPN providers offer varying numbers of servers and IP addresses to connect to.

For example, VyprVPN has an extensive network of over 300,000 IP addresses and 700 servers in more than 70 locations worldwide. However, this number may differ from other VPN services.

When selecting a VPN, it’s important to consider the number of server locations and IP addresses available to ensure that you can access content from different parts of the world and have reliable connections. Additionally, having more IP addresses available can help to reduce the likelihood of encountering IP blocking or throttling.

Can police track a VPN?

It’s generally difficult for law enforcement to track a VPN user’s activity, especially if the VPN service does not keep any log files. However, it’s important to note that not all VPN providers are equal in their logging policies. While most providers claim not to keep logs, it’s essential to thoroughly check their privacy policy to verify their claims.

Logs can reveal the IP addresses that a user was connected to while using the VPN, making it easy for law enforcement agencies to trace their activity. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a VPN provider that has a strict no-logs policy to ensure your online activity remains private and secure.

What is the Fastest VPN?

NordVPN is a popular VPN known for its fast speeds and robust encryption. It is compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, and allows up to six devices to be connected simultaneously.

Conclusion: The Best VPN Service 2023

When trying to determine the best VPN for you, there are a number of key criteria you should be examining.

It just happens to be the same criteria that we look for when conducting VPN reviews.

Some notable things to watch out for include:

  • Logging policy
  • Are there any IP leaks?
  • How fast is the VPN?
  • Does it allow torrenting?
  • Will it unblock Netflix?
  • How many servers does it have?
  • What countries are those servers in?
  • How many connections can you have at one time?
  • Is there a kill switch?
  • Does the VPN parent company fall under the jurisdiction of a surveillance alliance?

Our choices are:

NordVPN

We consider NordVPN to be the best VPN service overall, thanks to its high-speed servers, strong encryption, and a variety of features suitable for both individuals and businesses. Additionally, it is one of the most cost-effective VPN services on the market.

SurfsharkVPN

Surfshark, while relatively new in the VPN market, has quickly gained a reputation as one of the top options available. Its strong encryption protocol, high-speed servers, and user-friendly app make it a great choice for both novice and experienced users.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a top-tier VPN provider that is widely recognized for its excellent service. It boasts high-speed servers, strong encryption, and a wide range of features that make it suitable for both business and personal use. While it may be one of the pricier options, the quality of its service and the peace of mind it provides make it well worth the investment.

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