Reviews of Vpn Providers

Reviews of Vpn Providers

The best VPN service in 2022



(Paradigm credit: ExpressVPN)

It’southward no surprise that the best VPN services are becoming more and more than popular. With surveillance and online censorship increasing globally, staying protected and anonymous online is more of import than always – and a quality Virtual Individual Network is the perfect manner of doing so.

VPNs make what you’re doing online invisible to anyone trying to snoop, and tin can also make you appear to be in a different concrete location. That’s perfect for accessing websites your regime, school, or workplace blocks, besides equally watching streaming content that’s only available in sure countries.

While VPNs might sound techy, they’re now incredibly piece of cake to use. They almost all offer uncomplicated, bonny apps for many different devices, and you can get connected in a single click. And then, don’t be intimidated – if you managed to install Facebook from the app store, you can install a VPN as well.

If you just want quick access to the the iii best VPNs of 2022, simply selection from ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark below – they’re our all-time-reviewed providers, and offer a range of price points and features. If you desire more in-depth info, just keep scrolling for our rundown of the xv top VPNs bachelor today, and a detailed FAQ department at the bottom of the page.

What is a VPN?

In short, a VPN is an awarding installed on your device that redirects your internet connection through its ain servers around the world. This allows you to well-nigh change your location online, making y’all more anonymous and tricking sites like Netflix into showing you content that’southward blocked in your land.

A VPN too encrypts your traffic, which means that if information technology’s intercepted, your activity tin’t be seen. That goes for hackers, your government, and even your internet service provider – a VPN lets y’all browse in total secrecy.

This in turn allows you to access sites that might be banned by your Internet service provider – perchance that’s YouTube or TikTok at schoolhouse, or Western news and social media if you’re in Russia or China.

In short, the best VPN makes the internet a freer place, and allows you to do what yous want, when you want to practise it.

What’s the best VPN?

The competition betwixt the best VPN providers becomes stiffer every time we re-review VPNs – and with new features and usability tweaks coming regularly from the developers, modify is always on the horizon.

Still, in our latest round of testing, but one provider earned 5 stars out of five: ExpressVPN.

The simple reason for this is because for the vast majority of users, it offers the best combination of rock-solid privacy, first-class apps on a huge range of devices, some very interesting additional features, plus great streaming performance with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN Plus, and even more than.

To pinnacle it off, you’ll be covered by a 30-twenty-four hours money-back guarantee which means you tin can effectively test out the service and its 3,000+ servers for a whole month risk-gratis before you buy – you can find out all the details in our in-depth ExpressVPN review.

Get an in-depth look at the best VPNs of 2022

ExpressVPN - the best VPN on a range of devices

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)


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1. ExpressVPN















The best VPN on the market

Number of servers:
three,000+ |
Speed:
Up to 560Mbps |
VPN locations:
160 in 94 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
5 |
24/7 alive chat:
Yes |
30 twenty-four hour period money back guarantee:
Yep

Stone-solid privacy features

Apps for simply about everything

Superb for torrenting

Grade-leading 24/seven support

Slightly more expensive, simply well worth it

It’s a big award to manus out, but from our extensive user testing and independent review process we can once again confidently say that ExpressVPN is the very all-time VPN you tin can purchase today.

On newspaper, ExpressVPN already impresses: over 3,000 servers in 160 locations spread across 94 countries around the world, a kill switch, split tunneling and obfuscated servers. While some providers have more servers in total, very few have such a wide spread – meaning that wherever y’all’re based, you lot’ll get swift, reliable connections. Information technology has an particularly impressive range in Asia, which is oftentimes neglected by other providers.

All apps utilize super-secure, manufacture-standard AES-256 encryption, paired with OpenVPN and Lightway protocols. Lightway is the standout here, and the in-firm, open up-source protocol delivers excellent speeds – although in truth, some other providers evangelize college pinnacle speeds when using WireGuard. Unless you lot’re using a 1Gbps+ connection, though, you won’t notice a difference.

ExpressVPN also uses its ain TrustedServer engineering science, which ensures its RAM-but DNS servers retain no information well-nigh you or your activity. In curt, ExpressVPN is fast and secure – and a contempo update has added a well-needed kill switch to iOS. Good stuff.

When everything is tallied up, it all comes together to brand a nigh-unbeatable bundle that’s well suited to experts and newbies akin – and nosotros retrieve that premium toll is well worth what you get.

ExpressVPN’s apps are a pleasance to use and virtually identical beyond the board – once yous’ve used one, you’ve used them all – and the range of devices is huge. Not just tin yous cover your PC, Mac, iPhone or Android, but your router, Chromebook, Linux PC, Fire Tv Stick and a ton more can also enjoy the same protection.

One of the most common reasons to download a VPN is to admission geo-blocked streaming content. Hither, ExpressVPN really delivers. In our testing, it reliably unblocked a number of Netflix locations, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and works impeccably for regional Television channels effectually the world. Only a few other providers similar NordVPN and Surfshark can lucifer this – and Express is nonetheless our #one streaming VPN.

Read:   Best Vpn Review 2022

Of form, improvements can be made with
any
service, and the same is truthful here. For case, if you need a defended IP or port forwarding, a provider similar PIA might be a amend fit. Plus, ExpressVPN’s five-device policy is a petty limiting – although non hard to go effectually by logging in and out.

Finally, a word on client support. If anything doesn’t piece of work equally it should – mayhap you’re having issues unblocking UK Netflix from the Us, for case – the 24/7 live conversation support is always on hand. In our experience they have been quick and knowledgeable, and in general much meliorate than virtually other VPN providers’ alive chat teams. Plus, the on-site assist articles are excellent, too.

When everything is tallied up, information technology all comes together to make a near-unbeatable package that’s well suited to experts and newbies alike – and we think that premium price is well worth what y’all go.

NordVPN on a range of devices


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ii. NordVPN














The large-proper name VPN is one of the very best

Number of servers:
5,500+ |
Server locations:
80+ in 59 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
6 |
24/seven live conversation:
Yes |
thirty day money dorsum guarantee:
Yes

Fantabulous focus on security

Impeccable streaming performance

NordLynx delivers incredible speeds

Tons of servers

Renewal prices are high

Back once again at #2 is NordVPN, and in our total NordVPN review nosotros establish that arguably the biggest name in VPN is even so one of the very best.

With over five,500 servers in a generous 59 countries, NordVPN practically guarantees a speedy server wherever you are – and while it’s not present in equally many locations as ExpressVPN, y’all’ll even so be very well served. You’ll probable be connecting to those servers with Nord’due south own NordLynx protocol, which is a reworked version of WireGuard. In short, information technology’s stable, and delivered searing connection speeds of around 820Mbps in our testing.

You’ll get carve up tunneling, an effective kill switch, AES-256 encryption, and y’all’ll even get some unusual options like Onion over VPN and Double VPN which are designed to keep you
even safer
when browsing the web. Another interesting feature is Threat Protection – but while it’s a nice add-on, dedicated tracker blockers practise piece of work more than effectively.

Nord’s apps are powerful and fairly pleasant to use, but while the map-based interface works well on larger screen such every bit PCs and tablets, on smartphones it can be more of a hinderance than a benefit. An odd recent update also means the PC customer can’t exist resized, and at that place are inconsistencies betwixt platforms – merely despite that, the apps are very capable, and you’ll exist able to install it on a huge range of devices.

You’ll get split tunneling, an constructive kill switch, AES-256 encryption, and yous’ll even get some unusual options like Onion over VPN and Double VPN which are designed to proceed you even safer when browsing the web.

Nord’s most interesting new feature, withal, is Meshnet. This allows users to link devices anywhere effectually the world via encrypted NordVPN connections, creating its own secure network. This has real power, and while Nord hasn’t quite worked out how to make the feature clear to users yet, we’re very excited to meet where information technology goes.

When it comes to streaming, however, NordVPN really impresses. You’ll exist able to unblock Netflix, iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime and more – and in recent months Nord has proved to exist a little more than reliable with Netflix than our top choice overall ExpressVPN. That’due south why you’ll meet it sitting pretty at the top of our Netflix VPN guide.

With a 30-twenty-four hour period money-dorsum guarantee and some bonny deals running throughout the year, NordVPN is a quality service that but misses out on the top spot thanks to some pocket-sized UI quirks and, frankly, the sheer quality of the competition..

Best VPN Surfshark on a variety of devices

(Epitome credit: Surfshark)


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three. Surfshark














Well outperforms its deal cost-tag

Number of servers:
3,200+ |
Server locations:
160+ in 100+ countries |
Maximum devices supported:
Unlimited |
24/7 live conversation:
Yep |
30 mean solar day coin back guarantee:
Yes

Unlimited devices supported

Recent update to over 100 countries

Longer plans are great value

Bully for streaming

Steep price hikes after first term

Support is slightly defective

If you’re looking for a cheap VPN that outperforms products twice its toll, look no further than Surfshark. The services in this guide are ranked past quality, not price, so to see a VPN that costs well nether $ii.50 a month at #3 is seriously impressive.

In our Surfshark review, we found its apps slap-up to use, and offering all the privacy and security essentials such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, carve up tunneling, and the superfast WireGuard protocol. Surfshark’s been hard at work on extra features similar MultiHop, and Nexus – the latter of which is not currently fully formed, but looks promising.

If you’re a hardware hoarder, Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections policy volition exist very attractive. Substantially, you tin install i plan on any number of devices – swell for complete protection, or even sharing with those in your habitation. And, as a Linux VPN, Surfshark is i of the few providers to offering a full GUI – most others are only command line.

In the nigh recent testing, connection speeds rose considerably, and on our 1Gbps connection it maxed out at a staggering 950Mbps. That makes Surfshark i of, if non
the
fastest VPN we’ve e’er tested. Plus, it’s currently proving to be very reliable for streaming. We’ve had some bug earlier, but well-nigh every provider has at some point.

Read:   Best Vpn Reviews Cnet

However, when we put Surfshark’s kill switch through our rigorous testing procedure, nosotros did manage to take hold of it out and get it to reveal united states very briefly. However, the situation in which this happened is unlikely to happen in the existent world. And, unfortunately, Surfshark’s back up isn’t quite equally skillful as ExpressVPN’south or NordVPN’s.

Overall, Surfshark is an first-class budget option, and when you consider its incredibly low price, whatsoever minor problems information technology has seem to fade abroad!

Private Internet Access - best VPN

(Image credit: Individual Internet Access)


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iv. Private Internet Admission














First-class value, and very useful for torrenting

Number of servers:
10,000+ |
Server locations:
84 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
ten |
24/7 alive conversation:
Yes |
30 twenty-four hour period money back guarantee:
Yes

Excellent value

Unblocks The states Netflix

Reliable apps and kill switch

Passed no-log audit

Apps are powerful, just circuitous

Full app inspect still in the works

Private Net Access has been around for a long, long time, but dissimilar other dinosaurs of the VPN game, it’south stayed on an upward trajectory rather than falling to the new guard. In fact, it’s risen another place to #iv since our concluding Private Cyberspace Access review.

While PIA doesn’t disclose its server network size, nosotros believe it to sit at effectually 10,000 servers, which makes it by far the nigh server-rich provider on the market. Combine that with 84 bachelor countries and yous’ve got yourself quite the spread.

PIA actually stands out when you become under the surface a little. Its desktop apps offering port forwarding – a relative rarity – and its kill switch is super reliable. Likewise, its proxy browser extensions are as well very skillful, with updated tech that allows for faster browsing. For newbies and those looking for a simpler experience, though, this could very well be a little abrasive or intimidating.

Information technology’southward slap-up for streaming, with access to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer. Nosotros expanded our streaming testing fifty-fifty further this fourth dimension round, and the only service stopping PIA from scoring a make clean sweep was Aussie streamer 10Play.

Nosotros’re also nevertheless waiting for PIA to complete a total independent security audit, but the expert news is that it’s started the process. The zero-logging policy has been audited and confirmed every bit true, so at present we’re just waiting on the full shebang.

For those looking for a highly featured, reliable service that’south keenly priced, nosotros’d recommend giving PIA a go – it has a 30-day money-back guarantee and so yous can test it out risk-costless.


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Proton VPN - best VPN

(Image credit: ProtonVPN)


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5. Proton VPN














Privacy favorite keeps getting better

Number of servers:
1,700+ |
Server locations:
64 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
x |
live chat support:
Yeah |
thirty day money back guarantee:
Yep

Privacy-focused

Not bad connection speeds

Excellent for streaming

Apps are stable and powerful on all platforms

Support site is complex

Tin can take a while to connect

The Swiss-based Proton brand has had quite makeover recently, and its star product Proton VPN has been given a well-earned scrap of zing. Now that the fresh new look matches its stellar operation, it’due south even easier to recommend.

With good connection speeds when using both WireGuard (510Mbps) and OpenVPN (the latter assisted by Proton’south proprietary VPN Accelerator tech), alongside a comprehensive zero-logging policy and string encryption, Proton VPN will certainly appeal to those looking to use their VPN for absolute online privacy.

What’southward more, Proton VPN also offers its Secure Core servers, which are located in physically secure locations in privacy-friendly countries. You tin choose to use these, and then route to a destination of your choice for added anonymity. Proton Unlimited besides adds the unabridged privacy suite of Proton Mail, Proton Drive, and Proton Calendar for a fairly reasonable cost.

However, it’south non all work and no play for Proton – in our testing for the full Proton VPN review it proved to be a real standout when it comes to unblocking Netflix, reliably accessing a number of useful locations, as well every bit BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. Withal, just like PIA, it couldn’t crack 10Play when we tried.

It’due south getting trickier by the solar day to pick faults with Proton, just in that location are notwithstanding a couple of sticking points. Firstly, while some servers do support P2P traffic, there are relatively few compared to the contest – although if Proton detects P2P action, it’ll seamlessly redirect you to a compatible server. Prices have recently dropped across the board, merely it’due south yet not cheap. Even so, sign up for 2 years and you lot’ll get a decent bargain, with a generous 10 simultaneous connections to kicking.

Overall, Proton VPN is very much on the up, and information technology’s evident the developers are putting in some hard work rather than resting on their laurels. Thanks to that, Proton VPN is a service nosotros can wholeheartedly recommend.


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the Proton VPN website


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Divider line - best VPN

Windscribe - Best VPN

(Image credit: Windscribe)


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Our Windscribe review found the provider’due south gratis VPN that gives users 10GB of data a month very useful, just information technology also offers a fairly-priced paid service that delivers unlimited data and lets you connect equally many devices at in one case every bit you like. Near other VPN services allow only five to 10 at a time.

Windscribe is compatible with many platforms – including routers and Amazon Fire and Kodi Television set fix-top boxes. The service offers a cracking diversity of connection options, has a wide geographic reach with hundreds of servers, and presents an appealing, if minimal, user interface. It’s also good for watching overseas Netflix, and has dedicated ‘Windflix servers’ to enable this – although we couldn’t tap into Netflix Japan this time round.

The service’s Chrome VPN extension is a standout characteristic. As one of the best on the market, it offers tons of features and tin can be used without installing the desktop client – great for piece of work computers of other devices you tin can’t install software on.

For those that do install the desktop client, you’ll notice the make-spanking Windscribe 2.0 software has tidied up the interface and offers a ton of slap-up features – although newbies may exist overwhelmed. Ane such feature is Decoy Mode on Android which, although very niche, could be invaluable to dissidents in truly farthermost situations.

Once of our previous complaints was that Windscribe only wasn’t very fast compared to others, but since and then it’s upped the ante, topping out at a respectable 700Mbps.

Y’all can pay for a Windscribe subscription with Bitcoin, you don’t fifty-fifty have to provide an e-mail address, and the service is based in Canada, which may appeal to users wary of U.s.a. authorities.

Overall, for those looking to examination out a VPN with a free service and so sign up once you know it works, Windscribe is an fantabulous choice.


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CyberGhost - best VPN

(Image credit: CyberGhost)


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seven. CyberGhost













Splendid for torrenting and streaming

Number of servers:
eight,900+ |
Server locations:
91 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
7 |
24/7 alive chat:
Yeah |
45 day money back guarantee:
Yes

Tons of servers

Feature-heavy apps

Slap-up WireGuard speeds

Some useful streaming features

Infrequent app updates

UK Netflix and Disney+ unavailable

CyberGhost is some other long-standing name in the world of the all-time VPNs, and in that time it’s adult a reputation for privacy, streaming performance, and torrent-friendly servers.

With over 8,900 servers, CyberGhost has one of the largest server networks in the industry, and with a spread of 91 countries, there’s plenty of diversity when it comes to picking which to connect to.

In our near contempo CyberGhost VPN review, the Romanian provider delivered swell connection speeds of up to 730Mbps (although this is downward since our last test), and while few users will accept base connections capable of such exciting heights, it’southward nonetheless quite an accolade.

CyberGhost’south apps had an overhaul concluding year, and with the introduction of Version 8, the experience is much more modern and sleek. However, you’ll but be able to install CyberGhost on 7 devices – and after that, you lot’ll need to unregister a device to utilize another, rather than just logging out on one device like almost all other providers allow.

CyberGhost’s apps offer some very useful dedicated streaming features like Netflix and iPlayer-optimized servers. It’s fairly capable when it comes to unblocking, and in our terminal testing we saw it unblock some Netflix libraries (not the UK), iPlayer, and Amazon Prime number Video. Disney+, still, was unavailable.

One of our biggest issues with CyberGhost in our last review was that it hadn’t undertaken a security audit of any kind. This time circular information technology’s still not perfect, but information technology
has
had its no-log policy audited by Deloitte. Permit’s hope a total server and app audit is in the works


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CyberGhost website


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IPVanish - Best VPN

(Image credit: IPVanish)


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8. IPVanish













Feature-packed, but not a perfect streamer

Number of servers:
two,000+ |
Server locations:
75+ in 52 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
Unlimited |
24 alive chat:
Yes |
thirty day money back guarantee:
Yes

Verified as no-logging

Unlimited simultaneous devices

Tons of features

A number of Netflix locations unavailable

Apps are complicated

IPVanish is a U.s.a. VPN that’due south been in the game for a long time, and it’s widely regarded as a safe, reliable, and trustworthy provider. It’s designed for the more techy user, it boasts a bunch of useful additions and powerful apps that display all the data you could wish for.

In our testing for the IPVanish review, we saw the provider deliver respectable speeds of around 720Mbps when using WireGuard, which is comparable to close rivals CyberGhost and Windscribe. Its OpenVPN speeds are poor, at merely 120Mbps in our testing, but most users will be using the new protocol anyway. ‘Scramble’ is an interesting characteristic that allows VPN employ in countries like China, and while it’s not quite as robust equally other specialized China VPN services, it’s still very useful.

When it comes to streaming, it’southward also a mixed bag. Nosotros got access to US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and Prime number (which is an improvement from terminal fourth dimension nosotros checked), but unlike providers further up this listing, we couldn’t tap into whatever other Netflix locations similar Commonwealth of australia or Canada.

Ane of our biggest criticisms in our last review was that IPVanish rarely updated its apps – and it looks similar the devs were listening. The brand new interface looks great, retains many of the in-depth features we loved, while integrating a favorites role too every bit in-app support. Even so, on the flip side, it’s a shame that some niche features have been removed, rather than tucked abroad more neatly.

Overall, though, while information technology’s lost a little basis on the top services, IPVanish is still well worth because, especially if you lot’re a fan of in-depth, techy software.


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IPVanish website


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Divider line - best VPN

Mullvad on a laptop

(Paradigm credit: Time to come)


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nine. Mullvad













Privacy extraordinaire lives up to expectations

Number of servers:
820 |
Server locations:
68 in 38 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
5 |
24/7 live support:
No |
30 day coin back guarantee:
Yes

First-class speeds

Open-source apps

Good impale switch and leak protection

Not designed for streaming

No live chat

Mullvad is a very interesting proffer – it eschews ‘gimmicks’ for truthful privacy performance. Nevertheless, while this certainly endears the Swedish provider with techies and quondam-school VPN veterans, the crowd-pleasing likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN arguably offer a meliorate proposition for the casual user.

With no tricks and a very transparent website, Mullvad’s one of the few providers that avoids making disputable claims of “unblocking annihilation” or

“guaranteed anonymity”.

Rather, information technology leads by example by never taking any personal details, accepting cash payments sent through snail mail, and offering simple, effective and open up-source apps. New additions include the ability to purchase account numbers through Amazon – an anonymity plus point – and a fresh DNS server audit.

It also avoids the incredible complexity of other ‘expert’ VPNs, and while a very minor choice of users will want to tweak endless DNS settings, many will only appreciate the no-nonsense approach to online privacy.

As we said, though, Mullvad does lack in some important areas that many users won’t desire to compromise on. While connection speeds are very impressive, in line with IPVanish, CyberGhost, and the like, information technology’s not able to unblock any streaming services – and likely never will.

The apps likewise lack some fairly commonplace usability features like automatic selection of the nearest/fastest location, and no favorites listing. Plus, if you run into any issues y’all’ll have to rely on electronic mail support or the bare-basic back up site rather than live conversation.

Overall, though, if you’re looking for a transparent, privacy-focused VPN, you could practice a lot worse than Mullvad.


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Hide.me on an Android phone

(Image credit: Hide.me)


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10. Hibernate.me













Superb customization and well-suited for experts

Number of servers:
2,000 |
Server locations:
75 |
Maximum devices supported:
10 |
24/7 live chat:
Yes |
30 day money back guarantee:
Yep

Excellent OpenVPN and WireGuard speeds

Good for streaming

Very configurable Windows app

Free 2TB Internxt cloud storage

Mac app is relatively underpowered

Potentially intimidating design

Hide.me has been effectually since 2011, and in that fourth dimension it’due south developed quite a post-obit and has made quite an impression on the VPN industry.

With around two,000 servers in 75 locations, it’s in the mid-pack when information technology comes to network size – outstripped by PIA, CyberGhost, NordVPN, and others – merely in practice this is more than enough for just about any user. Connections are lightning-fast too, topping out at a mega 880Mbps in our concluding round of testing.

Hide.me’southward Windows VPN apps are powerful and configurable, with plenty of protocol choices, DNS protection, torrenting support, and more. It’s evidently aimed at the advanced user, and those with the noesis and inclination to trawl through the settings will exist greatly rewarded.

However, for many, it’s quite possible that information technology’ll all be too much and won’t evangelize such a seamless experience equally more than welcoming providers similar ExpressVPN – and its Mac offerings are much weaker than the competition.

It’s besides worth noting that nosotros experienced some minor technical issues with the apps, including an issue with the kill switch which could potentially compromise users when changing server.

In our streaming testing, Hibernate.me impressed. It’s able to access a number of Netflix locations alongside BBC iPlayer, Showtime, Amazon Prime number Video, Disney+, and more.

Finally, Hide.me as well has some excellent privacy credentials – although it hasn’t undertaken any kind of inspect since 2015, and even then there’s very little detail. But, overall, it’s a great option, specially if you like to tinker with your software – and the new gratis 2TB cloud storage programme courtesy of Internxt isn’t to exist sniffed at.


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Divider line - best VPN

TunnelBear - Best VPN

(Paradigm credit: TunnelBear)


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11. TunnelBear













Keep your paws clean with this easy-going VPN

Number of servers:
3,000 |
Server locations:
48 |
Maximum devices supported:
v |
24/7 live conversation:
No |
30 24-hour interval money back guarantee:
No (but limited free version)

Extremely user-friendly

Fantabulous security guarantees

Very secure

Piddling in the way of features

Poor for streaming

For those who’ve never used a VPN before – and perhaps are a footling intimidated by options similar Hide.me and IPVanish – TunnelBear could exist the perfect choice. You can start off with a limited gratuitous plan (which absolutely only gives you 500MB of data
a month), or upgrade to the full service which gives admission to over 3,000 servers in 48 countries. Check out the total TunnelBear review for more than detail.

Network operation is much improved since our last review, and is now upwardly to a max of 640Mbps, and prices are par for the course. Yet, the biggest draw is its comprehensive privacy policy and regular audits, which volition appeal to yous if you’re looking for a VPN to genuinely go on your information safe.

TunnelBear’s simplicity, though, is also its downfall. While it’s easy to apply, so are ExpressVPN and well-nigh of the other top-rated providers, only in one case you become used to using them, you’ll have the choice to explore in-depth options if you lot want to. No such luck with TunnelBear, though, equally there’s a dearth of configuration – and what new features
are
being adult are only partially integrated, so there are some considerable inconsistencies.

You’ve also got no choice but to run TunnelBear’s customer software – unless yous use Linux – which may concern some privacy-minded users, and there’s no option to set up TunnelBear connections on routers or other devices. Finally, this tiny Canadian firm is now endemic by Usa antivirus behemothic McAfee, which may mean TunnelBear is subject to US search warrants.

Simply, if y’all’re afterward a VPN to gear up and forget, TunnelBear’south not a bad option.


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Divider line - best VPN

IVPN logo

(Prototype credit: IVPN)

12. IVPN













Another privacy heavyweight worth considering

Number of servers:
700+ |
Server locations:
45 in 32 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
seven |
24/seven live support:
No |
30 day money dorsum guarantee:
Yes

Zero-logging and audited

Open up source

Wide range of features

Expensive

Can’t unblock streaming sites

IVPN is in much the same boat as the preceding Mullvad – it’s a VPN provider that has firmly stuck its flag in the ground of online privacy (good) simply doesn’t bother with some more than modern features like Netflix unblocking nosotros’ve come to expect (bad).

To sign up you don’t need to manus over you email or any other personal details, and with plans starting from just a calendar week long, information technology’s flexible, besides. However, if you lot desire the IVPN Pro program, you won’t exist getting a bargain. In fact, just 1 year of IVPN costs almost twice as much as a two-year program with Surfshark or PIA, and more 1 year of ExpressVPN, widely regarded as one of the about premium-priced services.

For your money, though, you lot do get a lot. WireGuard support comes as standard, as does advert and tracker blocking, and payment via BTC. On the Pro plan you’ll get Multi-Hop connections and port forwarding, the latter of which may appeal to enthusiastic torrenters.

In short, IVPN is an alternative to Mullvad and operates in much the aforementioned infinite – but with a cooler logo. Well worth because if you lot don’t care about streaming.


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Divider line - best VPN

Hotspot Shield - Best VPN

(Prototype credit: Hotspot Shield)


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13. Hotspot Shield












Solid VPN with a tempting gratis plan

Number of servers:
3,200+ |
Server locations:
130+ in eighty+ countries |
Maximum devices supported:
5 |
24/7 live conversation:
Yes |
45 mean solar day money back guarantee:
Yep (Plus limited free version)

Decent free version

Practiced unblocking performance

Servers in Cathay and Russian federation

Some pocket-sized session logging

Tin can’t match rivals’ WireGuard speeds

Oh, how the mighty have fallen… One time ane of the very best VPN services out there, in our latest Hotspot Shield review we establish that the in one case top-five just hasn’t kept upward with the competition. That’south not to say it’s not a decent service, just over the by couple of years other providers have along leaps and bounds, while Hotspot has stayed much the same.

Nevertheless running its in-business firm Catapult Hydra protocol, Hotspot Shield maxed out in our testing at effectually 375Mbps. That’s inappreciably a snail’s stride, simply since the appearance and widespread adoption of WireGuard it’s one of the slower big-proper name providers.

With three,200 servers in 80+ countries, you’ll get a great spread of locations to connect to. And, to its credit, we constitute it very effective for unblocking a wide range of streaming services like Netflix, Prime, BBC iPlayer and more.

Nevertheless, with a below-par support site, more session logging than most other VPNs, a kill switch that has the potential to fail in extreme situations (namely if your router reboots) and no independent audit, it’s not quite up with the best.

And then, Hotspot Shield remains a solid VPN, but due to a number of small app inconsistencies likewise as low peak speeds, some logging and the competition’south steady comeback, information technology needs to keep up, or risks being left behind.


Sign up at present on the



Hotspot Shield website


(opens in new tab)

Divider line - best VPN

Bitdefender VPN best VPN

(Image credit: Bitdefender)


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14. Bitdefender VPN












Antivirus star takes on VPN

Number of servers:
one,300+ |
Server locations:
48 countries |
Maximum devices supported:
10 |
24/7 live support:
Yeah |
30 day money back guarantee:
Yes

Increased server spread

Unproblematic and to the point

Simple P2P car-protection

An absolute bare minimum of features

Reliant on Hotspot Shield

I of the all-time antivirus
(opens in new tab)

providers Bitdefender has launched a standalone VPN product. Bitdefender VPN used to come bundled with the antivirus package, but now it’south bachelor on its own, and for a very reasonable toll.

Built around Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol, Bitdefender VPN offers decent speeds, similar to what Hotspot Shield tin make. However, that reliance on Hotspot Shield does mean Bitdefender doesn’t take much control over its logging policy, and information technology’s also incommunicable to manually set upward as a router VPN, too.

Bitdefender’south app is near as elementary as possible – which will be positive or negative depending on what kind of user you are. You’ll become an on/off button, a pick of thirty or so server locations, a bang-up checkbox you can use to make sure you lot’re protected if you start P2P traffic, and fully-functional kill switch to protect you from drop-outs. That’s it.

The but close to unique feature is Bitdefender’south autoconnect carte du jour. Y’all can prepare the VPN to activate if it detects P2P, banking, mature content, dating, and a number of other kinds of website, which may well exist quite attractive. Across that, though, there’southward little in the way of features that would brand you choose the service over those higher up this list. Read more in our full Bitdefender VPN review
(opens in new tab)
.


Sign up now on the Bitdefender website


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Divider line - best VPN

Ivacy best VPN

(Image credit: Ivacy)


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fifteen. Ivacy












Very inexpensive, but lacking power

Number of servers:
five,700+ |
Server locations:
75+ locations |
Maximum devices supported:
v |
24/vii alive back up:
Yep |
30 solar day money back guarantee:
Aye

Long plans are super cheap

Tons of actress features

Netflix, Prime number, iPlayer, Disney+ unblocked

WireGuard kill switch non-functioning

A number of bugs in our testing

If you lot don’t heed signing upwards for a massive v years, Ivacy is just about the cheapest VPN you can option up. At effectually $1 a month it’s incredibly good value, but you exercise have to ask yourself: will Ivacy have kept upwards with the competition in five years’ time?

Across that, Ivacy is a pretty decent VPN overall, and quite different Bitdefender, its apps are total to the brim with interesting additions. You lot tin filter your servers for the best ones to use with any particular streaming provider, relieve your favorites, choose between a number of protocols, and the app fifty-fifty claims to scan downloaded files for viruses. You’ll too get a kill switch and split tunneling – although disappointingly the kill switch doesn’t work when using WireGuard.

Nevertheless, there are a few usability issues that we weren’t hugely impressed with. Automatic server selection didn’t often give united states the server nosotros’d normally choose, and Streaming Mode threw upwardly a host of issues like subconscious IP addresses and unswitchable servers.

Overall though, Ivacy is far superior than you’d expect from a product that’s just $1 a calendar month, and if toll is your but concern, Ivacy might exist for yous.


Sign up now on the



Ivacy website


(opens in new tab)

^ Back to the height

A router sending out a VPN connection - best VPN

(Image credit: Anton Shaparenko/Shutterstock)

How we test the best VPN services

When it comes to recommending a production that users will entrust with quite possibly every byte of their online life, nosotros take to be absolutely sure that our choices are correct, and thoroughly tested.

Unlike some sites, we don’t but reel off a spec sheet and declare the provider with most impressive claims the winner. Instead, nosotros take a defended team in-business firm that gets hands-on with all the providers listed (and more).

Every vi months, subsequently scouring the website for new claimed features or changes in policy, we sign up to a programme and install it on a range of devices. The Windows app sees the most rigorous testing, and information technology’south hither that we’ll try to suspension the kill switch, ensure any leak protection is working correctly, and mensurate connection speeds.

The other apps, including the Mac VPN, iPhone VPN, and Android VPN also run into comprehensive testing, and we’ll cheque every available setting in every app to brand certain information technology’s functioning as promised by the provider.

Equally we use the apps, if annihilation appears to exist behaving strangely we’ll investigate that. We might dig into the source code, or view the contents of its RAM. This general usage stage is too how nosotros make decisions on aesthetics and ease of apply – although these are admittedly more subjective.

Then comes the streaming testing. We’ll test each VPN with all the large streaming sites from a number of locations to ensure information technology’southward working as claimed. As Netflix is still hugely popular and somewhat troublesome when it comes to VPNs, we exam the biggest providers every calendar month to make sure our recommendations are still relevant.

VPN speed testing – our results

Good connection speeds are incredibly important to VPN users – if a VPN slows your internet to a crawl information technology’southward unlikely to be used regularly, leaving more devices unprotected. And, at present that ane of the almost mutual uses for VPNs is streaming, existence able to load HD and 4K content without buffering is more important than ever.

In our review procedure we test every VPN service on a 1Gbps line. We measure out the speeds with a number of tools, including the Ookla SpeedTest website and CLI, nPerf, Netflix’southward Fast and others. We and then take the average (median) of each tool’s results to generate an accurate range of speeds. We repeat these tests morning and evening to ensure accurateness.

VPN speed results
VPN WireGuard/proprietary protocol OpenVPN
ExpressVPN 420-630Mbps 375-385Mbps
NordVPN 730-760Mbps 220-250Mbps
Surfshark 720-790Mbps 130-140Mbps
Proton VPN 360-670Mbps 200-440Mbps
PIA 320Mbps 170-190Mbps
CyberGhost 830-850Mbps 300-415Mbps
Hotspot Shield 300-310Mbps 200-210Mbps (IKEv2)
Hibernate.me 900Mbps 440-450Mbps
Windscribe 200-490Mbps 120Mbps
IPVanish 880-890Mbps 120-160Mbps
Mullvad 740-820Mbps 480-490Mbps
IVPN 730-810Mbps 140-180Mbps
TunnelBear 310-380Mbps
Bitdefender 350-410Mbps
Ivacy 330-390Mbps (IKEv2)

Which VPNs piece of work with Netflix?

Netflix is still the nearly popular online streaming service, and it also turns out it’s now one of the well-nigh problematic for VPNs.

Netflix shows unlike content in different countries, so The states subscribers will be able to watch different shows to those in the Great britain, Nippon, or Frg. By using a VPN, though, you lot can virtually modify your location, simply recent updates by the streamer ways that its VPN detection and blocking tech is more than effective than ever.

Nosotros exam the top providers every calendar month (at a minimum) to brand sure our recommendations are upward to date. Below, nosotros’ll outline which locations the best VPN services can currently unblock.

  • ExpressVPN:
    United kingdom, United states of america, Australia, Canada
  • Proton VPN:
    UK, The states, Australia (mixed results), Canada
  • Surfshark:
    United states, United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland, Canada, Australia, Japan
  • NordVPN:
    The states, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan
  • IPVanish:
    US
  • Hotspot Shield:
    US (mixed results)
  • CyberGhost:
    Usa

Best VPN FAQ

How practise I choose the best VPN service?

Choosing the best VPN for can be a tricky process – that’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide. However, for most people, nosotros’d recommend our
#i VPN ExpressVPN

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as the best choice.

It works great as a VPN for Netflix, a torrenting VPN, and even an iPlayer VPN, so any yous demand your VPN to do, it’due south got you covered – all the while keeping you protected with its rock-solid encryption.

If you’re subsequently a inexpensive service, nosotros’d also recommend
bargain VPN Surfshark

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as a slap-up option. It’due south not as fully-featured a ExpressVPN, but now bachelor for just $two.49 a month it’s a little more affordable.

Every bit a center basis,
fan-favorite NordVPN

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is also useful. Information technology offers serious security for a decent cost, and has apps for tons of devices.

Is it illegal to have a VPN?

Curt answer – no.

Using a VPN is not illegal, and it’s perfectly legitimate to want to protect your data and activity. Having one on your reckoner and using it regularly in pursuit of watertight spider web security and location spoofing is in no manner unlawful.

However, using a VPN to hide illegal activeness doesn’t make you above the constabulary, so downloading copyrighted cloth is yet illegal even with a VPN. Similarly, using a VPN goes slap bang against Netflix’southward Ts&Cs, and the provider has the correct to terminate your subscription if they take hold of you – although that’s never really happened.

Countries like Red china and the UAE accept made laws against VPN use, simply due to their use in business it’s incommunicable to outlaw VPNs outright. However, in those cases it’s well worth reading up on what you may or may not exist permitted to use a VPN for, and consider if the very pocket-size gamble is worth taking.

What are the VPN dos and don’ts?

The best VPN can make information technology look similar y’all’re located somewhere you’re not. It’s a well-worn practice to evade online censorship, as is done in some countries, or to tap into United states of america streaming services while in Europe or Asia. We’ve used VPNs to read the New York morning paper in Beijing, and spotter The states Tv in London.

Merely in that location are some caveats. A VPN will give you more than privacy, merely not more security. If y’all finish up on a website harboring malware, the VPN tin can’t preclude you from existence infected.

Evading geographical restrictions on streaming content has get trickier in recent years. While a simple proxy will work for accessing overseas prices and written media, sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer have cracked down on VPN users and invested in tech to observe them. If discovered, y’all’ll still be blocked from streaming, so making sure your chosen VPN can admission what you want before you sign up is essential.

What makes a smashing VPN?

The nigh basic qualities you should look for are speed, privacy and ease of use. These might seem like bones attributes, but in reality few providers take plant a happy medium.

Connectedness speed relies on having a broad range of well-maintained servers. This allows the VPN to provide excellent speed and bandwidth to everyone using its servers.

Having splendid security is a fairly bones requirement, but hard to get right. If you’re concerned well-nigh that, make sure your VPN has an airtight privacy policy, and a no-logging policy is fifty-fifty better. Some services similar ExpressVPN and NordVPN have also been independently audited to testify their claims.

Finally, although many users might be au fait with tech, more and more newbies are looking to get-go using VPNs. If that’s you, it’southward definitely worth making sure that your provider has well-designed apps on all the devices you await to utilise with the service.

Are no-fee VPNs any skillful?

Naturally, complimentary services are very popular products because anybody likes to save their money. And, they
can
exist handy $.25 of software if y’all’re not somebody that’s likely to keep their VPN turned on all the fourth dimension and just want it for occasional use for staying safe on public Wi-Fi. Oh, and if you don’t mind ads…

For almost people, though, free services provide a imitation economy. They tend to have limited servers in only a handful of locations, often restrict y’all to a unmarried device and nigh ever have a limit on the amount information you tin utilise per day or month.

Those data limits rule out using your VPN for streaming or torrenting, and if you want to keep your VPN running 24/7 for a permanent privacy layer, a no-fee VPN just isn’t going to work.

What VPN protocols are there?

There are several different VPN protocols, not all of which are used past all of the VPN services nosotros reviewed. Near operating systems have built-in support for at least one of these protocols, which means you tin can use that protocol – and a willing VPN service – without customer software. The full-fledged VPN services accept online instructions for how to do this, equally well as how to gear up up routers to connect directly to the services.

OpenVPN: OpenVPN is very secure, open-source and widely used. Virtually VPN services back up it, just except for Chrome Bone and Linux, few operating systems exercise. This protocol tin can exist used in either TCP (web) or UDP (streaming) mode; the latter is sloppier but faster. You’ll need either the VPN service’s client software or one of the many gratuitous alternatives. Either way, you’ll yet need to pay for the VPN service.

L2TP/IPsec (Layer two Tunneling Protocol with Internet Protocol Security): L2TP is non secure itself, so it’s generally paired with the IPsec secure-networking standard. The combination of the ii was once thought to be very secure when properly implemented, but some VPN services suggest that y’all apply OpenVPN instead. L2TP/IPsec has native support in Windows, OS 10/macOS, Android, Chrome OS and iOS. About VPN services support it.

IKEv2 (Net Primal Exchange version 2, more often than not with IPsec): This is a new-ish standard that is very secure when properly implemented. It has native support in Windows, iOS and recent versions of OS 10/macOS.

SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol): SSTP is a Microsoft protocol with native support on Windows Vista and later versions. It’s thought to be quite secure, simply only Microsoft knows for certain.

PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol): This standard is largely obsolete, with many known security flaws, but it’southward fast. It has native support built into Windows, Android and older versions of Mac Bone X and iOS; Apple dropped support with macOS Sierra and iOS ten. Employ PPTP only for streaming content, as information technology won’t protect your data.

WireGuard: The newest of these protocols, WireGuard combines reportedly first-class security with great speeds. Developed from the ground up, it uses far less code than its predecessors, meaning a meliorate, simpler user experience. Nevertheless, information technology’s not notwithstanding supported by many VPN services, although as it gains traction more and more are beginning to implement it. Some, similar Mozilla VPN, solely use WireGuard.

Read more:

  • Bag a bargain with today’southward best VPN deals
  • Cut to the chase – how to lookout man Netflix using ExpressVPN

Tom's Guide VPN disclaimer - best VPN

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom’southward Guide. 24-hour interval-to-twenty-four hour period he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are authentic and upward to date. When he’s not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you’ve never heard of, you lot’ll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Evidence instead of finally putting up
those
shelves.


Reviews of Vpn Providers

Source: https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-vpn