Privacy is one of the vital things in our everyday life, especially with current tech trends. Data privacy is an issue that has raised anxieties, alarming many internet users. Every time we get connected to the internet, we always are at risk of being hacked and worries about data exposure.
However, people who travel frequently or work on open Wi-Fi need to consider the best VPNs to uphold their data safety.
What’s a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) refers to a computing and mobile app that allows users to hide their identity, IP address, and location from the entire internet. The top VPN services encrypt your whole internet traffic and pass it via a private channel to their secure servers. This blocks the government, your ISP, and the hosting VPN service, from viewing what you are downloading or reading.
All internet content is securely disarrayed between your device and the VPN server so no one can access it even if they intercepted it. By so doing, a VPN can safeguard the user data and keep it safe and anonymous. This means that you maintain anonymity when you connect with your favorite retailer and online banking account(s), among others.
Thus, if you want to protect your data, such as your browsing history, bank details, and emails from possible nosy people, a VPN is the most excellent way to do this.
Besides, a VPN’s capacity to alter your location and encrypt traffic to your desired preferences is valuable. It allows the user to bypass restrictions or filters and blocks on their local networks. For instance, if you’re traveling to China soon, a VPN will help you access WhatsApp and Facebook. Both platforms are blocked in this country.
Using a VPN, a US citizen in the UK for a vacation can easily access their usual Disney Plus or Netflix content. Besides, the best VPN applications are currently easy to use without being a computing expert. These apps are transparent and easy to use.
Here are the 10 best VPN services of the year:
Developed in 2012 by Tefincom & Co, under the Panama authority, NordVPN is the globe’s most renowned and impressive VPN service.
NordVPN has more than 5,600 servers, more than 60 server locations, and has no IP address. NordVPN can support up to a maximum of six devices, and twenty-four-hours customer care live chat. Besides, NordVPN provides 30-days money-back guarantee. During this time, you’re allowed to scrutinize the services and decide on whether to subscribe or cancel.
NordVPN’s subscription plans comprise the $11.95 monthly one-month selection, one-year at $6.99 (billed $83.88 annually), and two-year option at $4.99 (charged $119.76 twice-yearly). The cheapest is a three-year subscription at $3.46 monthly (billed $125.64 every three years). It contains the most significant savings.
Subscriptions are payable via credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay, Sofort, and UnionPay. Cryptos such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Ripples are also accepted, and provide greater anonymity. Some payment methods depend on your location.
NordVPN is compatible with many platforms, including iOS, Linux, Android TV, Windows, and Android. Firefox and Chrome can be secured with normal extensions of NordVPN proxy. Further tools and supports are accessible for devices such as BlackBerry, routers, QNAP, among others.
Even for beginners, all the applications are straightforward to use. The browser proxy extensions don't have the complete functionality that many other VPN browser extensions possess. However, they're still useful in blocking ads and malware and providing more protection from IP leakages. Check out our NordVPN review for more info.
Although not all servers are P2P-friendly, NordVPN supports torrenting, and at full-speed experiences. A kill switch is a vital feature to complete a VPN experience. When the VPN connection abruptly drops, the kill switch forcefully barres the entire internet access, preventing leakage of sensitive data. NordVPN also works in China.
NordVPN has two kill switches. The additional (app-level kill switch) shuts down only those applications that the user chooses to in case of an interrupted connection. Also, there're extra features, such as the DoubleVPN option that directs user traffic via two VPN servers.
Besides, the user can turn on the Onion over a VPN. This feature routes the traffic via the Onion network and directing it via NordVPN’s network. It has a CyberSec tech, which is a malware, phishing, ads, and malicious website blocker.
The AES-256-GCM algorithm guarantees military-grade encryption with IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN transfer protocols. If your selected device uses the Android or Windows OS, OpenVPN is applied by default. If it’s an iOS application, then the default setting for you is the IKEv2/IPSec. Mac users can choose between IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN.
PwC, one of the Big Four auditing firms, did a public audit of NordVPN's no-logging claims. All the reviews were reported as accurate.
This British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider is ranked as one of the best. ExpressVPN has numerous pricing options, including one-month and one-year subscriptions. The annual subscription is allocated $99.95 (billed $8.32 per month). The half-year monthly selection costs $9.99 (billed $59.95 six-monthly).
ExpressVPN has a $12.95 monthly subscription option, the most expensive but least advisable. In case the user wishes to cancel the service, ExpressVPN offers a 30-days total refund after the payment. This rule applies to all subscription plans. Also, it’s a reasonable alternative to free test since ExpressVPN doesn’t have one.
ExpressVPN offers a wide choice of payment methods for subscriptions, including credit cards, UnionPay, Alipay, Bitcoin, and PayPal, among others.
This VPN is compatible with Mac, Kindle Fire, Windows, Nook, Chromebook, Android, Linux, and iOS. Besides, it offers firmware, instruction manuals for routers, configuration files, gaming consoles, and smart TVs, among others. Also, ExpressVPN offers Chrome and Firefox extensions.
ExpressVPN has a vast server network globally. It covers more than 3,000 servers in 160 capitals across 94 states. It unblocks the most prevalent streaming channels such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, SkyGO, Showtime, and DAZN. Also, it clears censors done by strict regimes as well as Facebook and Twitter.
For clients who like file exchange through torrenting, ExpressVPN supports it without the risk of exposure to your location and metadata. All the VPN servers are P2P-friendly with zero limitations on speed or bandwidth.
ExpressVPN apps use a kill switch (Network Lock) that immediately terminates the user's internet access in case of VPN interruptions. This prevents data leakages. Also, it’s fortified with the split-channeling feature that splits your applications into two categories. Those the user wants to run with VPN only, and those to leave on the regular internet connection. ExpressVPN also works in China.
This VPN employs resilient AES-256-CBC encryption protocol security mechanisms to protect your confidentiality. Besides, it uses HMAC (Hash Message Authentication Code) for the prevention of actual regular data changes. ExpressVPN apps use transfer protocols such as PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP).
On each server, ExpressVPN manages its zero-knowledge 256-bit DNS, safeguarding your traffic from attackers interrupting and blocking it, among others. Lately, the firm announced, TrustedServer, an innovative VPN server tech.
Instead of relying on hard drives, TrustedServer depends on RAM. It ensures all the VPN servers run the latest software, misconfiguration, and diminishing the risk of exposures. Therefore, this significantly surges VPN security.
ExpressVPN guarantees the strict no-logging strategy. According to the company’s website, they have no intentions of logging any traffic info that’s connected to the user. Besides, it gathers minimal data about its services, like the total daily amount of data transferred.
A conducted company audit exhibited tech privacy and quality. The lack of connection failures improves ExpressVPN performance since the apps connect quickly. Download speeds are super-fast, but it depends on locations.
ExpressVPN customer support has instruction manuals for services set-up, troubleshooting guides, and other assistance options. Besides, the VPN has 24/7 live chat support on its website and excellent window-shopping and customer support. Get more information from our ExpressVPN review.
Based in the United States, IPVanish offers the most robust performance on ten devices simultaneously. The VPN was established by Mudhook Media Inc. in 2012 and acquired in 2019 by the NetProtect business of J2Global. The VPN boasts of being among the tier-1 providers, owning and managing its servers instead of renting from third parties.
This means the company has more control over its installation and running.
IPVanish offers several subscription plans, with a monthly plan priced at $10.00. Its the costliest but cheaper compared to the majority of other similar services. Besides, the quarterly subscription costs $8.99 a month (billed $26.99 every three months). The annual plan reduces the monthly cost to $6.49 (billed $77.99 yearly).
If you become a frequent website user, you may receive the 20% discount on all plans. This reduces the monthly plan price to $8.00, quarterly to $7.20 monthly, and annually to $5.20. The acceptable payment means include PayPal and a wide range of credit cards.
These pricing plans include a seven-day refund guarantee, meaning the user has to try the service within the given seven days. According to the refund policy, cancelation within the given days of your subscription days, using a refundable method, automatically processes it. Thus, iOS app users are unqualified for the refund guarantee, and Apple handles their refund requests.
IPVanish has an intuitive and upfront native client for Android, Windows, Fire TV, Chrome OS, Mac, and iOS. Other supported platforms include routers, Windows phones, and Linux, for which IPVanish vendor has offered files and manual set-up procedures.
IPVanish will connect up to ten devices simultaneously, providing just one connection utilizes L2TP or PPTP. While this is plenty for most households, you can install the VPN on a router to eliminate this restraint. Also, the company (and its partners) sells IPVanish pre-installed VPN routers.
For any subscription plan a user selects, they can access over 40k shared IP addresses, and over 1.3k P2P-optimized servers across over seventy-five countries globally. Currently, the VPN unblocks several prevalent geo-restricted services and websites, including Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Skype, among others. BBC iPlayer is not included.
The vendor supports clients who like sharing files via torrenting without speed or data restrictions. The Android app comprises a split channeling option that enables the user to choose the apps they'd prefer routed via ISP rather than the VPN, providing privacy.
The iOS app lets the user create lists of wireless networks they prefer protected by VPN always, and those that are adequately safe. The VPN kill switch hides the user identity and online events, even if its connection is lost. When triggered, it just closes all internet access on your device. The feature is obtainable on Mac, Android VPN, and Windows clients.
This VPN uses secure 256-bit encryption to provide advanced privacy and security. The encryption works together with IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP transfer protocol. It has a stern no-logging policy that doesn’t monitor, gather or log any info of its service whatsoever.
No independent validation claims have been provided, but IPVanish rivals plan on employing external auditors to prove the firm is trustworthy.
IPVanish offers excellent results in terms of connectivity and speed testing, with a suitable performance for both local and distance servers. However, some regions, such as India, hail feeble (5Mbps) download speeds.
The company has excellent customer support service, reachable through email or live chat, twenty-four-hours a day. Also, it’s available through telephone during office hours (9 AM to 5 PM CT, Monday to Friday).
Headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark provides robust security and a range of fascinating landscapes for a low price.
The VPN’s costliest subscription option is the one-month choice priced at $11.95. The annual plan is priced at $5.99 each month (billed $71.88 twelve-monthly), while the two-year subscription is the cheapest at $1.99 monthly (billed $47.76 every twenty-four months). It's also one of the most inexpensive plans in the whole VPN industry.
The user can permit additional features called BlindSearch and HackLock, for an added monthly price of $0.99. These services are payable via PayPal, Cryptos (Ripple, Ethereum, and Bitcoin), and credit cards.
HackLock analyzes the web and signals you on leaked emails, allowing you to prevent the possible damage in advance. BlindSearch permits private and efficient searching without irritating ads or logs.
Android, iOS, and macOS apps are open to a seven-day trial. To access the test, the user downloads the Surfshark mobile app, install, and click on the free trial. You can select your preferred plan, which is uncharged for the first seven days. If unsatisfied, you can cancel within the same days.
All Surfshark’s subscription plans accompany a thirty-day refund guarantee. Windows has no traditional free trial, but the firm says its refund assurance is risk-free. Thus, the user has to sign up and pay for a subscription. However, you can request a refund within the first thirty days if unsatisfied with the service functionality.
Surfshark is compatible with all major operating platforms, including Linux, iOS, Fire TV Stick, Windows, Android, and Mac. Also, you can connect multiple devices to a single account simultaneously. The provider has Chrome and Firefox extensions. All apps are intuitive and user-friendly for everyone and can be installed on supported Xbox, smart TVs, routers, PlayStation, and many more.
Since most servers are P2P friendly, there are zero obstacles to safe and fast torrenting. Also, you can access online services even in VPN-blocked countries using the NoBorders mode. This mode unblocks geo-blocked websites, allowing you to access your popular streaming services such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Using CleanWeb, clients are actively protected from phishing and malware attempts, removing irritating pop-ups and ads. Besides, it has Whitelister, a split-channeling feature allowing you to eliminate specific apps or websites from the VPN connection. It’s useful in accessing network devices such as online banking and printers.
Whitelister is only available for Android and Windows clients.
The hack-proof 256-bit encryption, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols hide your identity. Surfshark Windows app supports an open-source encrypted proxy, Shadowsocks protocol, mostly used in China, to circumvent the Great Firewall. Also, Surfshark’s zero-knowledge DNS servers decrease the probability of prying from snoopers. Besides, it has MultiHop, a feature allowing users to connect through two different VPN servers, adding an extra security layer.
Surfshark's Camouflage Mode makes it almost impossible for people to know you're using a VPN by viewing your traffic. Its strict no-logs rule spells that the firm doesn’t gather any download, incoming or outgoing IP addresses, network traffic, among other things.
Surfshark has unlocked its doors for Cure53, a German security company that steered an independent security check and found no serious issues. Its connections come without a malfunction, with superb connection times. In terms of download speeds, the performance is reliable, recording 66Mbps on 75Mbps connection.
Its weak speeds are 110Mbps on a 475Mbps line, quite acceptable, only a bit feeble compared to some rivals.
The company has a blog section for additional info, with popular articles. They have a 24/7 live chat customer service.
Founded in 2011, Bucharest, Romania, CyberGhost provides services to clients (over 30 million users) globally. It's operated by IT expert teams in Germany and Romania.
Its subscription options include a one-month at $12.99, an annual plan priced at $5.99 monthly, and a two-year one priced $3.69 regularly. The cheapest is a three-year option at $2.75 monthly. For an extra $5.00 monthly, a user can have their dedicated IP.
They have a free test depending on the platform used in signing up, ranging from twenty-four hours for Mac and Windows, to seven days for iOS. Android platforms don't require a sign-up but include a sevens free test.
The accepted payment plans include Bitcoin, credit cards, and PayPal.
Easy and user-friendly native apps are accessible for iOS, Windows, Linux, Android TV, among others. It also can be set up on other platforms such as Chrome OS, routers, Raspberry Pi, among others. CyberGhost can be operated on seven devices simultaneously. But if low speed is inconvenient for you, keep off this.
This VPN gives the user access to over 5,900 servers in over ninety countries. Also, you can bypass several regional restrictions for online services like Netflix, HBO Now, Crunchyroll, and Hulu, among others.
The applications are fitted with the kill switch, by default, to prevent leaking your sensitive data. A split-channeling option is available for Android clients, giving you the freedom to choose apps that run on VPN and regular internet connection. Whitelist is available for Windows clients. Additional options include ads blocking and online tracking, data compression, and automated HTTPS redirect.
The superior 256-bit AES algorithm encrypts CyberGhost's services, transferring traffic with OpenVPN. Also, it has a protection mechanism preventing IPv6, DNS leak, and Port Forwarding and uncompromising no-logs strategies.
The only recorded data is the daily anonymous account logins, summed up for the month. Consistent with annual transparency reports, deletion happens every twenty-four hours and monthly, respectively.
Customer support is available 24/7 using emails and live chats in French, Romania, English, and German.
6. Hotspot Shield
This is a fantastic, popular VPN service that comes with alluring free option as well, but with a quality premium, paid option.
It has over 2.5k servers in over seventy locations, with five number of supported devices, simultaneously. The VPN’s feature over its rivals is a fantastic cheap price. Unlike other VPN services, the thirty-day money-back guarantee does not apply for Hotspot Shield services.
Hotspot Shield doesn't support the OpenVPN standard, meaning the user cannot set it up on their games console, Chromebook, or router. There are no specific apps for this. If the user wants to try, the VPN offers a free test of the paid service. This includes a week of service at no cost.
Customer support is available 24/7 using emails and live chats.
Windscribe was founded in Ontario, Canada, in March 2016. The VPN has a premium and free version, both with many exciting and quality features.
Windscribe’s premium version is accessible under the monthly plan at $9.00, and the yearly subscription priced $4.08 monthly (billed $49.00 twelve-monthly). Clients have the option of creating their subscription plans under the Build A Plan selection.
The plan lets users select their preferred locations at a monthly price of $1.00 per location, with a minimum of two places. Similarly, every area adds 10GB over the allowed monthly bandwidth. There’s also an option for unlimited data for an extra $1.00 monthly, and the provider's patented ROBERT feature.
ROBERT allows the user to choose specific content you desire to block, such as ads, trackers, malware, porn, fake news, other VPNs, among others.
Acceptable payment channels include PayPal, cryptos, Mint, and credit cards.
In the traditional sense, there’s no free trial. Yet, the free version is adequate to try it out. Full money-back is guaranteed every time, but the request has to be sent within three working days from the subscription payment. Also, the traffic volume has to be below 10GB.
The VPN has applications for all major companies, including Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows. Besides, browser extensions for Opera, Chrome, and Firefox are also accessible. Manuals are available on the websites for installing the service on other platforms such as Kodi, Nvidia Shield, and Amazon Fire TV.
For premium users, Windscribe can be set up on OpenVPN, routers, or SOCKS5-compatible platforms. Alternatively, you can purchase a pre-configured router from its providers. The premium service is usable on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, provided you are not sharing your account.
When you sign-up for an account, the free plan gives you 10GB of data traffic monthly. For users who are unwilling to surrender their email address, the free service comes with a reduced 2GB monthly traffic. For a complete VPN functionality, you can buy one of the paid plans and have access to a network of 110 capitals in more than sixty countries.
With a premium subscription, you have access to content blocked in certain regions such as Netflix. The VPN has explicit servers named Windfliix. Although not all servers are P2P-optimized, torrenting is supported.
Double Hop is an option for clients using a desktop app with the extensions, which allows users to connect to a second location, thus hiding your traffic. The browser extension has precise privacy options for blocking social media, ads, beacons, and trackers from visited websites. Besides, it can prevent browser fingerprinting by rotating the browser’s user agent.
Windscribe protects user's privacy using the AES-256 code with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key. Also, the provider supports perfect forward privacy. The VPN uses many connection methods to its server and ensures user connection in blocked ports.
The Stealth Mode compresses OpenVPN in a TLS channel through Stunnel, while Wstunnel encapsulates it in a WebSocket. The Windscribe kill switch operates under manual, automatic, and always on modes.
Its connection is flawless, although the OpenVPN connection delays (7 to 145 seconds) to establish. It has high download speeds, especially with IKEv2.
Windscribe’s website section provides ample help, divided into various categories. Customer support is available through live chats, though answers are given by a bot named Garry. Email responses are also applicable. All of Redditor's questions are answered via Subreddit.
This Swiss-based VPN is labeled one of the most protected VPN choices in the industry. It offers pricing in basic and premium plans. The premium plan comes with a monthly $12.95 price, while the yearly option is priced at $6.67 monthly, respectively.
Basic plans are available at $9.95 monthly, or annually at $5.00 monthly (billed $60.00 twelve-monthly). These plans have a thirty-day refund assurance in case of unsolvable issues. Payment is accessible via PayPal, UnionPay, and credit cards.
VyprVPN covers all major platforms like Mac, iOS, Android and Windows, routers, and QNAP, among others. The VPN has over 700 servers across over seventy server locations, giving you access to over 200k IP address. The maximum number of devices supported are five simultaneously.
The Chameleon Protocol allows you access online even in countries where VPN is blocked, and DNS service, which aids in deflecting malicious activities. VyprVPN has been audited by the Leviathan Security Group Inc to back its no-logs policy.
Its performance isn’t well-rated, in the UK and US, for it can drop to a low 25-50Mbps locally on a 75Mbps, and a meager 50-70Mbps on a super-fast 475Mbps. Customer care support is available 24/7.
This VPN is an excellent option for users requiring up to twelve devices simultaneously. Founded in California, in 2005, its teams are everywhere globally, including Australia, the US, Malaysia, Japan, and France.
Its pricing is offered in monthly and yearly packages. The one-month option comes at $10.00, and the annual at $5.83 monthly (billed $69.99 annually). Both plans come with a thirty-day refund assurance. When you click on the Save Now button, a monthly $4.37 price is accessible for the annual, as well as a $7.50 monthly.
StrongVPN supports Windows, iOS, Mac, FireTV, and Android, for which it has native users. Other available platforms include Synology NAS, Linux, Chrome OS, among others. With StrongVPN, you gain access to over 950 units in forty-six capitals across over twenty countries.
Torrenting is also likely. StrongVPN provides utmost privacy using military-grade 256-bit encryption, and connections via IKEv2, L2TP, SSTP, and OpenVPN. Also, it has a proprietary WireGuard tech for assembling features.
Its download speeds are connection times exceptional and offer 24/7 customer service support. Besides, they provide a phone line which you can call during its office hours (between 9 AM and 5 PM CT), Monday to Friday.
10. TunnelBear VPN
Founded in 2011, this Toronto, Canada-based VPN service firm offers both free and premium versions. In 2018, however, it was procured by McAfee, a cybersecurity giant.
TunnelBear provides one-month and one-year subscription plans. The monthly version comes at $9.99, and the annual at $59.88 twelve-monthly ($4.99 per month). There are favorable subscriptions for teams, priced at $207 annually (three-member group). The subscriptions come with a seven-day free test.
Acceptable payment methods include credit cards and bitcoin (applicable for purchasing annual plan). According to the company, all the paid amounts are non-refundable unless otherwise.
TunnelBear has restricted platform support, with apps installable on Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS devices, and Linux. The website contains a support document and OpenVPN configuration files the user can use to enable the service on their Linux device.
Protection is extendable to Opera, Firefox, and Chrome by installing the corresponding browser extensions. The five simultaneous connections limit can’t be extended by setting the VPN on a router. Neither can it be installed on a smart TV, nor on game consoles for they're unsupported.
TunnelBear’s free plan gives you a measly 500MB of data monthly and a single connection limitation. Premium options eliminate data traffic cap, provide access to priority customer service, and allow up to five concurrent connections. Its modest server networks cover just twenty-two countries.
Unlike other VPN providers who offer full access to geo-restricted services, TunnelBear offers partial. For instance, it may work on YouTube, but Netflix connections always fail. However, torrenting is accessible without restrictions. Also, the client support team can even propose the ideal servers for such purposes.
You can add supposed secure wireless networks by using the Trusted Networks list, and enable automatic TunnelBear instigation when accessing a non-listed one.
TunnelBear uses AES-256 encryption to provide absolute confidentiality, as well as IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols. iOS and Windows clients use these interchangeably, while Android and Mac apps use OpenVPN by default.
The SHA-256 data verification thwarts harmful doings such as the man-in-the-middle attacks. Also, the VPN has a kill switch called VigilantBear, which shuts down all internet connections if the VPN is interrupted. To guard your data against being noticed, TunnelBear has a GhostBear feature which does so by hiding your VPN activities as systematic internet traffic.
For the UK, it connects effortlessly, offering fast local download speeds and connection times. In the US, it’s not that strong as it peaks at 95Mbps on a 475Mbps connectivity.
Customer service doesn't include a 24/7 response, and it's delayed. However, its blog and website provide helpful information.
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