Search
Close this search box.

Table of Contents

BEST VPN DEALS

Affiliate Disclosure
Best VPN Services

Best VPN Service 2024 - Expert Opinion On Top VPNs

The best VPN service is crucial for safeguarding your online activities, offering encryption for your internet traffic and ensuring online privacy. VPNs shield you against cyber threats, preventing your internet service provider (ISP) from monitoring your online activities. Moreover, the best VPN services excel in bypassing regional content blocks, granting you access to restricted content on platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. When choosing a VPN, consider factors such as encryption strength, server locations, and speed, to ensure you choose the best VPN service that suits your needs.

At Utopia VPN Guide, our skilled team of experts thoroughly test different VPNs to identify those that offer top-class privacy, strong security features , fast speeds, and value for money. After testing over 124 VPNs, we have compiled a list of the 10 best VPN services of 2024. All these VPNs have shown stellar performance in terms of speed, encryption, server coverage, and overall user satisfaction. However, NordVPN performed the best overall.

NordVPN combines advanced encryption, privacy, ultra-fast speeds, and user satisfaction better than any other VPN on the market. We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone who is looking for the best VPN in 2024. NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try them risk-free for 30 days.

Try Our #1 Recommended VPN

The Best VPNs in 2024

  1. NordVPN: Best overall VPN service with advanced security, reliable streaming, and fast speeds
  2. Surfshark: Unlimited device connections for a budget-friendly price.
  3. ExpressVPN: Reliable streaming with lots of server locations
  4. CyberGhost: Easy-to-use VPN service
  5. ProtonVPN: Best freemium VPN with solid features

Best VPN Services of 2024: An In-Depth Look

All VPN recommendations on our list address different needs, from strong security for businesses to fast streaming for entertainment fans.

1. NordVPN – Best Overall VPN with Advanced Security, Reliable Streaming, and Fast Speeds

NordVPN

Servers:              Over 6000 servers in 100 countries
Devices:              Up to 10 connections
Streaming:           Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu
Compatibility:       Linux, Windows, Max, Android, or iOS
website:              www.nordvpn.com

Grab a 69% OFF Discount on NordVPN

NordVPN is the best VPN of 2024, providing strong security features, exceptional speeds for streaming, and top-notch privacy protection.

NordVPN prioritizes security and privacy, striking a fine balance with optimal performance. The VPN service operates seamlessly on various devices, including Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome, Firefox, and routers. Its extensive network comprises over 6,000 servers across 100 countries, featuring specialized servers for Fast TV, Tor, Anti-DDOS, Standard VPN, and Double VPN.

Notably, NordVPN employs military-grade AES-256 security protocol with a Double hop VPN option, particularly beneficial for users in heavily censored locations like China. The VPN also facilitates secure connections to popular streaming services and allows simultaneous connections on up to 10 devices, all while adhering to a zero-logging policy.

Beyond security measures, NordVPN includes DNS leak protection, Onion Over VPN for enhanced online security, browser proxy extensions, a kill switch to prevent exposure in case of accidental disconnection, and Threat Protection guarding against malware, adware, and scams. The user-friendly client interface further enhances its appeal, making it a top choice for users seeking a good VPN with robust security measures and a variety of features.

In terms of streaming capabilities, NordVPN uses Smart Play technology to secure access to popular streaming websites. Whether you need to watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, Sky Go, RTE Player, Hotstar India, or bypassing the Great Firewall of China, NordVPN proves to be a reliable choice for those looking to enjoy unrestricted content access.

Additionally, the VPN supports P2P, excels in gaming and torrenting, and is backed by one of the best customer support teams in the industry.

The implementation of NordLynx, based on the WireGuard protocol, enhances both speed and security. The inclusion of RAM-only servers ensures that no user data is stored on the servers, adding an extra layer of protection. NordVPN goes the extra mile by offering obfuscated servers, facilitating users in restrictive regions to access the internet freely.

Additionally, support for SOCKS5 and Dark Web Monitoring adds another layer of security, addressing potential threats proactively.

The VPN’s next-gen features also include a map-based interface, providing users with an intuitive and interactive way to connect to servers globally. NordVPN extends its compatibility to various platforms, including Android TV, Raspberry Pi, and Fire Stick, catering to a diverse range of users.

NordVPN has undergone an independent audit, emphasizing its commitment to transparency and accountability, further instilling trust among its users.

NordVPN offers a cost-effective 2-year plan starting at $3.79 per month. Alternatively, they have a monthly plan at $12.99. You get 69% discount with the 2-year plan.

NordVPN Coupon

2. Surfshark VPN – Unlimited Device Connections for a Budget-Friendly Price

Surfshark VPN

Servers:            3200 servers in over 100 countries
Devices:            Unlimited number of devices
Streaming:         Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu
Compatibility:      iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Mac device
Website:             www.surfshark.com

Visit Surfshark VPN

Surfshark is the second-best VPN in our list of the best VPNs, offering a multitude of features to enhance your online security and privacy. With RAM-only servers and the Nexus network, Surfshark ensures a high level of data protection. The use of OpenVPN, known for its robust security protocols, further strengthens Surfshark’s commitment to user safety.

Surfshark excels in unblocking geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. This makes it a versatile choice for users looking to access a wide range of content across different streaming services.

Surfshark employs industry-leading AES-256-GCM encryption to safeguard your personal data. With a strict no-logs policy, the VPN ensures that your online activities remain private. The kill switch feature adds an extra layer of protection by disconnecting your internet if the VPN connection drops.

Private DNS, leak protection, and the camouflage feature contribute to Surfshark’s comprehensive privacy package. While the default protocol is WireGuard, users have the flexibility to switch to OpenVPN according to their preferences.

In addition to these security features, Surfshark offers unique benefits such as GPS spoofing, an ad-free search engine, and incognito mode. The inclusion of a dedicated IP address and Alternative ID options caters to users with specific privacy needs.

In our speed tests, Surfshark performed exceptionally well, making it suitable for gaming, streaming, and peer-to-peer (p2p) activities. The VPN provides obfuscation, double VPN, and CleanWeb functionalities, adding layers of protection to your online experience. Notably, the speed was good, maintaining around 81% of connection speeds on average. Split tunneling and whitelisting features give you greater control over your internet traffic.

For those interested in streaming and sports, Surfshark has you covered with Smart DNS. The VPN is compatible with major operating systems, including Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, and supports smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, and other streaming devices. Remarkably, Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, making it an excellent choice for families.

Pricing is another compelling aspect of Surfshark, starting at an affordable $2.29/month with an 80% discount. The 1-year plan is priced at $3.99/month, saving you 64%, and the monthly plan starts at $10.99 with no savings.

Surfshark Coupon

3. ExpressVPN – Reliable Streaming with Lots of Server Locations

ExpressVPN

Visit ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is among the top choices for the best VPN services in 2024. The VPN stands out in various aspects, especially in our comprehensive speed test where it retained an impressive average speed of 83%. This makes it an ideal choice for a seamless online experience, particularly for activities like streaming and gaming.

In terms of security, ExpressVPN prioritizes user protection with advanced features such as the Lightway protocol and ChaCha20 encryption. The Lightway protocol is designed for optimal speed and security, offering a lightweight solution for a faster and more efficient VPN connection. ChaCha20 encryption, coupled with Poly1305 authentication, enhances the security of data transmission by providing robust encryption and integrity verification.

The VPN upholds a strict no-logs policy, undergoes independent audits, and employs ultra-secure AES-256 encryption to ensure the utmost transparency and safeguarding of user data. The VPN offers Split Tunneling that allows users to route specific traffic through the VPN while maintaining direct internet access for other apps or devices.

ExpressVPN excels in device versatility, allowing users to connect up to 8 devices simultaneously. It seamlessly integrates across various operating systems, including Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, making it accessible and user-friendly. Additionally, the inclusion of browser extensions enhances the overall experience for users on different platforms.

For streaming enthusiasts, ExpressVPN has proven compatibility with popular services such as Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more, as confirmed in our comprehensive speed test. Features like MediaStreamer, stealth servers, Threat Manager, and Network Lock contribute to an enhanced and unrestricted streaming experience.

Media Streamer provides flexible content access on devices without native VPN support. Stealth servers enhance privacy by making VPN traffic less detectable, especially in regions with strict censorship. The Threat Manager actively monitors and defends against potential threats. Network Lock, serving as an internet kill switch, promptly cuts off the connection during VPN drops to prevent data leakage and protect user privacy.

ExpressVPN’s commitment to customer service is notable, and the provision of its .onion dark web address adds an extra layer of privacy for users seeking anonymity.

ExpressVPN offers a 12-month plan at a discounted rate of $6.67/month, providing a 49% savings. Users can also opt for a 6-month plan at $9.99 per month or a monthly plan at $12.95. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN Coupon

4. CyberGhost – Easy-to-Use VPN Service

CyberGhost

  • Apps for all major platforms
  • Incredible speeds
  • 3796 servers in 60+ countries
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • strictly no logging of your online activities
  • P2P friendly
  • 7-Days Free Trial

Visit CyberGhost

Operating out of Romania, a privacy-friendly country, CyberGhost is shielded from data retention laws and surveillance alliances, further enhancing user privacy.

CyberGhost undergoes regular audits to maintain a ‘no-logs’ policy, ensuring it doesn’t store any user data. Operating exclusively in RAM adds an extra layer of security, as all data is wiped upon each reboot. The service proudly upholds a ‘NO-SPY’ ethos, emphasizing its dedication to user privacy.

Supporting the cutting-edge wireguard protocol for improved speed and security, CyberGhost also offers dedicated IPs for users requiring a consistent, unique IP address.

When it comes to security, the VPN includes a ‘kill switch,’ crucial for disconnecting the internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing any potential data leakage. They also have an ad blocker that enhances user privacy by blocking intrusive advertisements and potentially harmful content.

For advanced users, CyberGhost provides split tunneling, allowing customization of traffic routing through the VPN. Their smart rules feature enable users to define specific conditions for automatic VPN connections.

CyberGhost supports various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices. Additionally, it offers browser extensions for popular browsers, adding convenience to the user experience.

During our speed tests, we observed some buffering, and while certain apps may lack compatibility with some CyberGhost VPN feature, the overall performance is commendable.

The pricing structure includes a 2 Years + 4 Months FREE plan at $2.03/mo, a 6 Months plan at $6.99/mo, or a 1 Month plan at $12.99/mo. All plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

5. Proton VPN – Best Freemium VPN with Solid Features

Proton VPN

  • Strict No-Logs Policy
  • Strong Encryption Protocols: AES-256 encryption, and advanced protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec
  • 3142 network of servers across 71 countries
  • Bitcoin Payment Option
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS

Visit Proton VPN

ProtonVPN stands out as one of the best VPN service providers, operating from Switzerland, a country renowned for its stringent privacy laws. With a steadfast zero-logs policy, ProtonVPN ensures the utmost privacy for user activities.

ProtonVPN employs high-level security features, including AES-256 encryption, and supports protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec, ensuring a secure and private web browsing experience.

ProtonVPN has a kill switch, ensuring that internet activity is immediately cut off if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing any data exposure. IPv6 Leak Protection and Alternate Routing are integral components, enhancing privacy by preventing potential leaks of user information.

In addition to these security measures, ProtonVPN provides a suite of features such as the split tunneling feature that allows users to route specific internet traffic through the VPN while keeping other traffic direct. They also have a double VPN that routes user traffic through two different servers, adding an extra layer of encryption. Tor over VPN is another of their innovative feature that integrates the Tor network with ProtonVPN, offering enhanced anonymity and privacy for users.

While ProtonVPN offers an impressive server network of 3142 servers across 71 countries, there might be occasional buffering issues. However, the VPN accelerator helps retain 84% of initial speeds on average, contributing to a reasonably fast and reliable connection.

ProtonVPN provides access to geo-blocked content through its extensive server network, enhancing the streaming experience. Notable streaming services compatible with ProtonVPN include Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

The user-friendly interface of ProtonVPN ensures ease of installation on various devices, making it accessible for users across different platforms. Beginners will find the VPN accommodating, and the quick connect feature enhances usability.

ProtonVPN offers free VPN services, but important features such as the Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, and access to specific server options are unavailable in the free version. Users of the free version may experience reduced server options, slower speeds, and lower priority for customer support.

ProtonVPN’s pricing plans  start at 24 months with a 50% discount at $5.39 per month, 12 months at $6.45 per month (40% savings), and a monthly plan at $10.75. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Private Internet Access VPN – Best VPN for Linux

PIA VPN

Private Internet Access, popularly known as PIA, stands out as one of the top VPN services, offering a reliable and robust platform for users seeking enhanced privacy and security online. While it may not boast the most extensive feature set, PIA VPN excels in providing essential features that contribute to a solid VPN experience.

Key features of PIA VPN include a comprehensive privacy suite, a crucial aspect for users looking to safeguard their online activities. This includes 256-bit encryption, which ensures that your data remains secure and unreadable to potential intruders or malicious entities. The presence of a kill switch adds an extra layer of protection, automatically disconnecting your internet connection if the VPN connection is compromised, preventing any data leaks.

PIA VPN also supports split tunneling, allowing users to choose which traffic goes through the VPN tunnel and which does not. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for users who want to optimize their internet speed or access region-restricted content selectively.

The multi-hop feature further enhances privacy by routing your connection through multiple servers, making it more challenging for anyone to trace your online activities back to your original IP address. Additionally, PIA VPN provides obfuscated servers, which can be crucial in bypassing network restrictions and censorship, making it an excellent choice for users in regions with restricted internet access.

One notable strength of PIA VPN is its impressive server network, boasting 35,000 servers spread across 91 countries. This extensive server infrastructure contributes to faster connection speeds and ensures that users can access geo-restricted content from a wide range of locations.

PIA VPN’s dedication to user convenience is evident in its generous policy of allowing unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that users can protect multiple devices simultaneously without compromising on security or having to juggle different accounts.

For those interested in streaming content from various platforms, PIA VPN proves to be a reliable choice. In our speed tests, it demonstrated 27% speed loss, highlighting its ability to maintain a secure connection without compromising internet speed significantly.

Its server network, combined with features like obfuscated servers, makes it suitable for bypassing geographic restrictions and ensuring a seamless streaming experience.

The subscription plans include a monthly option at $11.95, a one-year plan at $3.3 per month, and a three-year plan at $1.98 per month. Opting for the three-year plan not only saves you 83%, but it also includes an additional 4 months free. PIA VPN stands behind its service with a 30-day money-back guarantee across all subscription plans. 

7. Private VPN

Private VPN

Private VPN is one of the best VPN services, earning its reputation through a harmonious balance of security, global reach, and cost-effectiveness. Operating under the jurisdiction of Sweden, a member of the 14 Eyes alliance, Private VPN addresses potential concerns by enforcing a rigorous no-logs policy, assuring users that their online activities remain confidential.

The service boasts an expansive network of 200 servers spread across 63 countries, offering users a diverse array of connection options. This global reach, coupled with the ability to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, provides users with flexibility and convenience in accessing a secure connection across various platforms.

Private VPN prioritizes user security through the implementation of robust encryption mechanisms, utilizing a 256-bit key and supporting protocols such as IKEv2, IPsec, OpenVPN, and WireGuard. Additional features, including a Kill Switch, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, contribute to a comprehensive security suite, safeguarding user data from potential vulnerabilities.

The service extends its functionality beyond security with support for streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Private VPN’s ability to seamlessly facilitate content access from different regions enhances its appeal, particularly for users who prioritize diverse entertainment options.

In our speed tests, Private VPN exhibited an average drop of 40%, maintaining reasonable speeds across various online activities. Advanced users will appreciate the inclusion of features like port forwarding and support for SOCKS5, providing customization options for their internet connection.

Private VPN takes customer support seriously, offering 24/7 live chat assistance to address user queries and concerns promptly. However, it’s worth noting that the service does not provide smart DNS or browser extensions, potentially limiting some user preferences.

In terms of pricing, Private VPN offers competitive plans, including a 36-month option at $2.00 USD per month (saving 85%). Monthly and 3-month plans are also available at $9.90 and $6 per month, respectively, with all plans backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to test the service without financial risk.

8. IPVanish VPN- Protects and Supports Torrenting

IPVanish VPN

Visit IPVanish VPN

IPVanish has gained recognition as a prominent VPN service, offering a robust network of over 2,200 servers across 75+ locations. Despite its impressive global reach, a noteworthy incident in 2016 raised concerns about user privacy, as the arrest of a child predator revealed that IPVanish had logged user data. This incident, unfortunately, highlights the vulnerability of VPN services based in the USA, subject to legal requirements and potential data access.

However, IPVanish has taken steps to address privacy concerns. Private firms conduct audits to ensure the service adheres to a strict no-logs policy, aiming to rebuild trust in their commitment to user privacy.

In terms of performance, our testing on a Windows laptop showed a 15% speed drop, which, while noticeable, remains within acceptable limits for many users. The service offers essential features like a kill switch, 256-AES encryption, and protection against DNS and WebRTC leaks, enhancing overall security.

IPVanish is not limited to desktop use, as it provides mobile apps for on-the-go protection. One notable feature is the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, catering to users with multiple devices or those who wish to share their subscription with family members.

The VPN service positions itself as an ideal choice for streaming and torrenting, assuring users of a secure and unrestricted online experience. Additionally, IPVanish provides reliable phone support, adding an extra layer of assistance for users encountering issues.

Pricing options are varied, with a monthly plan at $12.99. For those seeking long-term commitments, IPVanish offers a yearly plan at $4.33 per month, providing a substantial 66% savings. The two-year plan comes at an even more attractive rate of $3.25 per month, offering a 75% discount. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try the service risk-free.

9. TorGuard VPN

TorGuard VPN

  • 3000+ servers in 55+ countries
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • OpenVPN encryption
  • Allows peer-to-peer (P2P)
  • 10mb free private email

Visit TorGuard VPN

TorGuard VPN, despite its name, is an independent service not affiliated with the Tor Project. It boasts an extensive network of over 3000 servers spanning 50+ countries. The platform supports a wide range of devices, offering dedicated applications for Android, iPhone, Linux, macOS, and Windows, ensuring seamless compatibility across various platforms.

Noteworthy is TorGuard’s impressive capacity to connect 8-30 devices simultaneously, providing flexibility for users with multiple devices or households requiring comprehensive protection. The VPN service excels in ensuring maximum anonymity for torrent seeders and leechers, making it a favored choice for those engaged in secure file-sharing activities.

One of TorGuard’s standout features is its Stealth VPN, designed to bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) firewalls, including the notorious Great Firewall of China. This capability ensures uninterrupted access in regions with stringent internet censorship. The inclusion of a Shadowsocks proxy further enhances TorGuard’s ability to deliver secure and fast internet access, particularly in regions with restricted online content.

TorGuard also offers a dedicated IP address option, providing users with a more personalized and secure online experience. With a high-speed 10GB network, the VPN prioritizes performance, minimizing lag and delivering high-speed connectivity. It supports various protocols such as OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, L2TP, and IPSec, giving users flexibility in choosing the protocol that best suits their needs.

Despite these strengths, TorGuard has room for improvement. It lacks some additional privacy features offered by competitors, including multi-hop and split tunneling. Additionally, while it provides an App Kill feature, some users may prefer the option of completely switching off network activity if the VPN is disconnected.

In our speed tests, TorGuard showed a 50% drop in performance, which could be a consideration for users seeking top-tier speed. Nevertheless, the VPN demonstrated the capability to access popular streaming services like Netflix.

TorGuard offers monthly and yearly plans for both standard and pro options. The standard plan is available at $9.9 per month, with a yearly subscription priced at $59.90, providing a 50% savings. The pro plan is priced at $12.99 per month, and the yearly subscription is $69.99, offering a 42% discount. All plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

10. VyprVPN

VYPRVPN for best vpn

VyprVPN, based in Switzerland, benefits from the robust privacy laws of the country. This location ensures a strong foundation for the protection of user data and privacy. One of VyprVPN’s standout features is its Chameleon protocol, designed to bypass restrictive networks and censorship, making it an excellent choice for users in countries with strict internet controls such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Vietnam.

The chameleon protocol works by scrambling OpenVPN Metadata thereby evading deep packet inspection (DPI).

With a network infrastructure comprising 700 servers across 73 locations and 70 countries, VyprVPN offers a diverse and extensive coverage, allowing users to connect to servers globally. A notable convenience is the ability to mark favorite servers, streamlining the connection process for users who frequently access specific locations.

VyprVPN supports up to 30 simultaneous connections, an advantage for users with multiple devices or those seeking to share their VPN connection with family or friends. The application, available on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS, is designed with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind. It incorporates the latest technologies, including WireGuard, ensuring users have access to cutting-edge security protocols.

The VPN’s commitment to privacy is evident in its strict logging policy, reinforcing the assurance that user data is handled with the utmost confidentiality. VyprVPN includes essential features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and support for torrenting, catering to a broad spectrum of user needs.

In our speed tests, the average drop measured at 41%, providing users with acceptable performance levels for various online activities. Additionally, VyprVPN proves itself capable of unblocking popular streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, adding to its versatility.

While the overall performance of VyprVPN is commendable, it does not particularly excel in any specific area except for its distinctive Chameleon protocol. Its iOS app also lacks a kill switch, a minor drawback in an otherwise comprehensive suite of security features.

Pricing options include a monthly plan at $10 and a yearly plan at $5 per month, offering a 50% savings.  

What Is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN, is a technology that provides a secure and private connection over the internet. It achieves this by creating a virtual encrypted tunnel between your device and a server, allowing you to transmit data securely.

In practical terms, a VPN can be accessed through various platforms, including a mobile app, desktop app, or browser extension. These applications enable users to establish a VPN connection effortlessly, adapting to different devices and preferences.

One of the key functions of a VPN is encryption, a process that transforms data into a secure code to protect it from unauthorized access. This feature ensures privacy online, preventing hackers or other malicious entities from intercepting sensitive information.

By using a VPN, you can protect your online activities from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This added layer of privacy is particularly important in avoiding data monitoring or throttling restrictions imposed by ISPs.

A VPN also helps bypass regional content restrictions, which is important for accessing streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Hulu. Users can connect to a server in a different location, allowing them to access content that might be geographically restricted in their own region.

When selecting a VPN, it’s crucial to consider its effectiveness in bypassing these regional content restrictions and providing smooth streaming experiences. The best VPNs are those that not only offer robust encryption for privacy but also efficiently bypass geo-blocks for popular streaming services.

Do I Need A VPN?

If you want to enhance privacy, secure your connection on public Wi-Fi, access geo-restricted content, ensure a safe remote work environment, or bypass censorship, a VPN is beneficial. It encrypts your internet connection, providing anonymity and protection against potential threats.

What Is the Best VPN in 2024?

When considering the best VPN options available, NordVPN stands out as our best VPN in 2024. With a stellar 9.9/10 rating in our tests, it excels in various aspects such as privacy, usability, unmatched transparency, fast speeds, and robust security features. Choosing NordVPN ensures a comprehensive and reliable VPN experience that prioritizes user privacy and delivers impressive performance.

Following closely in the rankings is Surfshark, securing the second position among our top picks. Boasting an impressive 9.7/10 rating, Surfshark distinguishes itself by offering unlimited device connections and a budget-friendly option for users. While it may not quite match NordVPN’s commitment to privacy, Surfshark’s affordability and versatility make it a compelling choice for many.

In the third position, we have ExpressVPN. While ExpressVPN is a reputable service, it trails behind NordVPN in terms of privacy and lags behind Surfshark in terms of value. Though it may not claim the top spot, ExpressVPN remains a solid option for users seeking a balance between privacy, security, and overall performance.

How to Choose the Best VPN Services

Finding the best VPN service requires consideration of some fundamental factors which includes:

Location of the VPN

The location of a VPN can affect the kind of privacy you get from it. Some of the best VPN locations include Romania, Panama, Switzerland, and the British Virgin Islands.

Countries that are members of the Five Eyes Alliance (FVEY) and which includes the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand should be avoided if possible.

If you’ve never had about the Five Eyes Alliance, just know that the countries are party to the UKUSA Agreement. UKUSA is a multilateral treaty for sharing intelligence that conspires to spy on you. They intentionally spy on citizens and share the collected information. But why? Simple, to circumvent stringent domestic laws on spying.

While the Five Eyes are the main actors, you also have those I would refer to as “enablers” who also happen to spy on each other. The list grows to 9 Eyes: France, Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway. And further to 14 Eyes: Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Sweden. In 2013, leaked NSA and GCHQ documents (thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) laid bare the extent to which governments spy on their citizens.

VPN services based in the 5 EYES region mitigate this issue by having a strictly no logs policy. This means that even where they are slumped with a subpoena to release your logs, they won’t have any.

They also employ the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption which is arguably the perfect solution for your data security.

Some great locations for the best VPN Service include Romania, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Panama.

Number of servers and server locations

If you are intending to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC, etc. You will require an IP address from the specific country where the service is accessible.

To access the Netflix USA library, you will require a US IP address. The same goes for Amazon Prime Instant.

In the case of BBC iPlayer or ITV on demand, a UK IP address will suffice. A VPN with servers in your location means fast speeds. Proximity to servers generally reduces latency and helps in achieving faster data transfer rates.

Protocols used by the best VPN services

The best VPN service should give you multiple protocols. Some of the best VPN protocols include OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, and IKEv2. While OpenVPN is often recommended for its security features, having flexibility in protocol selection ensures that users can strike a balance between security, speed, and compatibility across different devices and platforms.

OpenVPN is an open-source software tunneling application that uses SSL/TLS for exchange purposes. The protocol is famed for fast speeds even on connections with high latency and also for its ability to traverse Firewalls. OpenVPN is stable and reliable on Wi-Fi hot-spots as it creates secure point-to-point connections in bridged configurations.

Speed and bandwidth

VPN speed is a topic in its entirety. In brief, you need to know that a VPN encrypts and decrypts your traffic. Honestly, this requires some extra processing power which results in a deep in your internet speed.

So when you’re looking for the best VPN service, consider a VPN service like NordVPN that gives a perfect balance between privacy and performance.

Another factor that is proven to affect speed and which I have discussed above is the location of the VPN servers. The further the server you access the slower your traffic.

However, also remember that the bandwidth is equally essential. If you connect to an overcrowded server, even though it’s near your location, your speed will be disappointing.

Before I forget, a VPN protocol can also affect your internet speed. Protocols with high encryption will provide you with a secure connection but will also slow down your connection. In case your online activity does not require robust security but needs high speed, I’d recommend you use the PPTP (128-bit encryption).

Can the best VPN services increase your internet speed?

I guess your answer is “hell NO!” But let’s indulge a little bit. You’ve heard of “internet throttling” by your ISP, right? Here is where your ISP deliberately slows down your internet speed.

Video streaming sites like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, file sharing sites, and online gaming sites are mostly targeted by ISP’s because they want to regulate and minimize bandwidth congestion.

That’s where the best VPN services come to your rescue. The VPNs mask your real IP address making it difficult for your ISP to track your online activities so that they can’t know when you’re connecting to services that are on their throttling list.

Can the best VPN services increase your internet speed? A good VPN prevents your ISP from slowing down your speed so you can enjoy blazing-fast speeds while streaming, gaming, or file sharing.

Logging policy

When searching for the best VPN services, it is essential you go for a provider that does not log your online activities. Going by the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden revelations, our online activities are continually monitored by the NSA.

And so, using a VPN service is more of a necessity.

But even then, it is not safe to use a VPN service that logs your online activities. Not logging means that your online activities remain anonymous because they are not stored on any server or any database.

This also means that even if your VPN service provider is under pressure from government agencies to produce your traffic history, they won’t have any.

DNS leaks and the internet kill switch

Be careful to ensure that the best VPN service you use has an inbuilt DNS leak protection tool.

Whenever you use a VPN service, it is of utmost importance that all your traffic routes through the VPN. That way, your traffic does not leak outside of the secure VPN tunnel.

VPN services that do not provide DNS leak protection might be a threat to your anonymity because they might be giving you a false sense of protection while your data leaks and thus provide the opportunity for third parties to log your online activities.

You can use some of our tools to find out your real IP address before connecting to the VPN service, and after that, run a simple test at www.dnsleaktest.com to establish whether your DNS requests are being leaked.

An internet kill switch is another important feature that you should look for in the best VPN services. The internet kill Switch will block your internet connection whenever the VPN is disconnected. It ensures that you never connect to the internet without the VPN protection.

Pricing and payment methods

We all want to get a VPN service at an affordable pricing. And so, we are naturally inclined to choose a VPN based on pricing.

But just think about it, would you rather have a cheap VPN that gives you below par service or a premium service like NordVPN that offers you tight security, anonymity, unblocking Geo-restricted content, and bypassing censorship, including the notorious Great Firewall of China?

When it comes to payment methods, apart from PayPal, and major credit cards, an anonymous payment option like Bitcoin is important for those who want complete anonymity.

When using credit cards, you must provide your private information such as your full names and billing address. In the case of PayPal, your email address is normally exposed to the VPN service provider.

The problem is that such links can enable your VPN account to be traced back to you.

So where your safety or security depends on absolute anonymity, I’d recommend you use untraceable payment methods such as cryptocurrencies and the popular ones being Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Other untraceable methods would be to pay using the store’s gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Bestbuy, etc.

Simultaneous connections allowed

The number of devices that you can connect to a single VPN account is among the leading factors that can affect your choice of the best VPN service.

You might want to set up your VPN access on various devices like a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and even a desktop or router. In fact, in a family set up the more simultaneous connections allowed by the VPN, the better.

NordVPN provides you with up to six simultaneous connections, CyberGhost allows up to seven connections, IPVanish and SurfShark provides unlimited devices.

Cross–browser compatibility is also a feature to consider. The best VPN services should work with any web browser.

Support

The kind of support a VPN service provides will undoubtedly determine the kind of user experience that you get from a VPN service.

Whenever I’m reviewing a VPN service, my team and I make sure to get in touch with their customer support severally so that I can gauge and rate their support services.

It’s frustrating and utterly annoying when you experience challenges with your VPN connection, and no quick assistance is forthcoming.

Are VPNs Legal?

A VPN is legal in most countries and is widely accepted as a legitimate tool for enhancing online privacy and security. It allows users to encrypt their internet connections and route them through servers in different locations, making it harder for third parties to monitor online activities. However, the legality of VPNs can vary depending on the jurisdiction, with some countries imposing restrictions on their use to control internet access or prevent the circumvention of censorship.

It’s crucial for users to be aware of the laws and regulations in their specific locations and ensure that their VPN usage complies with local regulations. Engaging in illegal activities with a VPN, such as hacking or distributing copyrighted material without permission, is against the law.

Additionally, users should be mindful of any terms of service violations on specific platforms or services they use, as some may prohibit the use of VPNs. Overall, when used for legal and legitimate purposes, VPNs are legal and valuable tools for enhancing online privacy.

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

The cost of a VPN can vary based on several factors. One common pricing structure involves monthly subscription plans, with costs typically ranging from $2 to $15 per month.

If you’re looking for a longer commitment often find annual plans, which come with discounted rates, ranging from $30 to $100 or more. For those willing to commit to a multi-year subscription, some VPN providers offer additional discounts, with prices spanning from $50 to $200 or more.

It’s crucial to note that while free VPN services exist, they often come with limitations, such as slower speeds, fewer server locations, and potential privacy concerns. You should carefully consider not only the cost but also factors like the provider’s reviews and reputation, features, and privacy policies when selecting a VPN.

Moreover, some providers offer money-back guarantees or free trials, allowing users to assess the service before committing to a long-term subscription.

Free Vs. Paid VPNs – What You Need to Know

The purpose of using a VPN service is to secure and protect your online privacy. There are many Free VPN services. However, it would help to be careful ow do they sustain their operations and maintain their infrastructure? There must be a monetizing angle. The free VPN service could be selling your data to third parties. Most VPNs are just like your ISP: it can see and track the traffic sent through its network. That’s why you need to choose your VPN wisely.

Premium VPNs do offer high quality limited free VPN options aimed at luring you to subscribe to their premium options. Another issue is the quality of service you get with a free VPN option. Since the VPN has to make money to maintain their service, your browsing experience is riddled with ads, low speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and monthly caped data use. That’s why it’s advisable to spend some money on a premium VPN service for maximum protection.

How to Use a VPN

Using a VPN is typically a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a VPN:

1. Choose a VPN provider

Select a reputable VPN provider. Consider factors such as server locations, speed, security features, and privacy policies when making your choice.

2. Subscribe to the service

Visit the VPN provider’s website and sign up for an account. Choose a subscription plan that suits your needs, whether it’s a monthly, annual, or multi-year plan.

3. Download and install the VPN app

Once you’ve subscribed, download the VPN app from the provider’s website or an app store. Most VPNs offer applications for various devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chromebook, and more.

4. Install the app

Follow the installation instructions provided by the VPN app. This usually involves running the installer and accepting the terms and conditions.

5. Launch the VPN app

Open the installed VPN application on your device.

6. Log in

Use the credentials you created during the subscription process to log in to the VPN application.

7. Choose a server location

Select a server location from the list provided by the VPN. The server you choose affects your virtual location and can impact speed and accessibility.

8. Connect to the VPN

Click the “Connect” button within the VPN application to establish a secure connection to the chosen server.

9. Verify connection

Once connected, verify that your internet traffic is now being routed through the VPN server. Some VPN applications display a green icon or provide other indicators to show an active connection.

10. Adjust settings (optional)

Explore the VPN application’s settings to customize options such as protocol, automatic connection on startup, and kill switch features.

How to Check If Your VPN Is Working

To ensure that your VPN is working properly and effectively protecting your online privacy, you can perform a few checks. Here’s a guide on how to check if your VPN is working:

1. Check your IP address: Before connecting to the VPN, note down your public IP address. You can find your IP address by searching “What is my IP” on a search engine. After connecting to the VPN, check your IP address again. If it has changed, it indicates that your VPN is successfully masking your original IP.

2. Verify location: After connecting to the VPN, check your virtual location. Many VPN providers have tools on their websites that show the location of the server to which you are connected. Confirm that the displayed location matches the server location you selected.

3. DNS leak test: Perform a DNS leak test to ensure that your DNS requests are not being leaked outside the VPN tunnel. There are various online tools and websites that can help you conduct a DNS leak test. If your DNS requests are leaking, it could compromise your privacy.

4. WebRTC leak test: Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a browser feature that can potentially leak your real IP address. Conduct a WebRTC leak test using online tools to check if your VPN is properly handling WebRTC requests.

5. Speed test: Run a speed test with and without the VPN to assess the impact on your internet speed. While using a VPN may slightly reduce your speed due to the encryption process, a significant drop could indicate issues with the VPN connection or server.

6. Check VPN client for connection status: Most VPN clients have a visual indicator to show the status of the connection. Ensure that the VPN client displays a connected status when you are actively using the VPN.

7. Visit blocked content: If you are using a VPN to access geo-restricted content, try accessing a website or service that is typically blocked in your region. If you can access the content with the VPN connected, it indicates that the VPN is effectively bypassing geographical restrictions.

Popular Uses of These Top-Rated VPNs

VPNs serve a variety of purposes, catering to different needs of individuals and businesses. Some popular uses of VPNs include:

Enhancing privacy and security

VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, converting data into a secure tunnel, which protects sensitive information from potential threats like hackers, cybercriminals, and even government surveillance. This is particularly important when using unsecured networks, such as public Wi-Fi.

Bypassing geographic restrictions

You can use VPNs to access content that may be restricted in your region. By connecting to a server in a different location, you can mask your actual location, making it appear as though you’re accessing the internet from a region where the content is freely available. A VPN can help you to bypass robust censorship systems including the great firewall of China.

Anonymous browsing

VPNs mask your IP addresses, providing a level of online anonymity. This makes it challenging for websites, advertisers, and other entities to track your online activities and behaviors.

Secure remote access

Businesses use VPNs to establish secure connections for remote employees accessing company networks. This ensures that sensitive company data remains protected, even when employees are working from different locations.

Public wi-fi security

VPNs add an extra layer of security when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. By encrypting the data transmitted between the device and the VPN server, you can protect yourself from potential threats and unauthorized access on less secure public networks.

Circumventing censorship

In regions with strict censorship, individuals use VPNs to access an open and unrestricted internet. By connecting to servers in locations with more lenient internet policies, you can bypass censorship and freely access information. Hence, a VPN can help you to bypass robust censorship systems including the Great Firewall of China.

Secure file sharing

VPNs create secure and encrypted tunnels for data transmission, making them suitable for secure file sharing. In a business setting, this ensures that sensitive files are transmitted securely between employees or teams.

Gaming

Gamers often use VPNs to access game servers that may be region-restricted. VPNs can also reduce latency and improve the gaming experience by connecting to servers with lower ping times.

Torrenting and P2P sharing

VPNs provide a layer of privacy for users engaged in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or torrenting. By masking their IP addresses, users can prevent their internet service providers (ISPs) from monitoring or throttling their P2P activities.

Avoiding throttling

Internet Service Providers may throttle certain types of internet traffic, such as streaming or gaming. VPNs can help you bypass throttling by encrypting your data, making it difficult for ISPs to identify and selectively slow down specific activities.

FAQS:

What is the number 1 best VPN?

There are several reputable VPN providers. However, NordVPN is our number 1 best VPN thanks to its ultra-fast speeds, advanced security, strong performance and privacy features.

Which VPN is more safe?

In terms of safety, a reputable VPN prioritizes security by employing robust encryption protocols, a no-logs policy, and other privacy features. NordVPN is known for its commitment to user privacy and security.

Is there any 100% free VPNs?

While there are free VPNs available, it’s crucial to approach them with caution. Many free VPNs have limitations, such as slower speeds, data caps, and potential privacy concerns. Additionally, some free VPNs may monetize by displaying ads or even collecting and selling user data, compromising the privacy benefits of using a VPN.

Which VPN is best and free?

If you’re looking for a free VPN with reasonable privacy and security features, ProtonVPN offers a free plan with no data limits and a strong focus on user privacy. However, keep in mind that free plans often come with fewer server locations and may not be suitable for high-bandwidth activities.

If you are on a budget, you could still utilize the best cheap VPN services to secure your online activities.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest