Looking for the best VPN services? We’ve researched 16 of the most popular VPNs including NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and IPVanish.
Find out who offers kill switches, fast speeds, and the most simultaneous connections.
Whether you’re trying to protect your privacy or watch your Netflix shows overseas, we’ve got you covered.
What Is a VPN and How Does It Work?
A VPN (or virtual private network) is a secured connection (or “tunnel”) to a server in another location, which allows you to browse the internet using that server’s connection.
After connecting, your online identity appears under a different IP address in another city or country.
Excellent quality VPN services can be obtained for less than $10/month.
Do I Need a VPN?
There are a variety of reasons to use a VPN, but the most common reason is to protect your data and communications while using unsecured WiFi in public spaces such as airports, hotels, or coffee shops.
You might also use a VPN to securely access your business or home network while traveling.
Journalists and political dissidents living in authoritarian regimes sometimes use VPNs to access censored websites, publish content, or communicate on forums.
Travelers should be aware that VPNs are outlawed in some countries including Belarus, China, and Iran.
VPNs, Netflix, and Streaming Considerations
VPNs can also be used to access geographically-restricted streaming content.
For example, if you travel to Italy and want to keep watching your favorite Netflix shows, you could use a VPN to access US-specific subscriber content.
Some individuals seek out VPNs to avoid ISP throttling that slows down streaming.
Always check with your provider to ensure your use of a VPN does not violate any terms of service or subscriber agreements.
16 Top VPN Services
Not sure which VPN service to choose? There are many VPN services, each with their own features, price points, and user interface. Which is the right one for you?
Here is a rundown of the 16 most popular VPN networks, along with their main features and benefits.
This VPN provides a kill switch and allows users to secure up to six devices at a time on a variety of operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux.
Choose from more than 5,700 servers in 60 different countries, all with blazing fast internet speeds. NordVPN also offers an easy-to-launch app so you can protect your mobile browsing in just a few taps.
For the best value, consider locking in for a 3-year plan which can save you up to 75 percent.
Video: Find out what a VPN kill switch is and why it’s valued by users.
This user-friendly VPN is available for all your devices, including Apple, Android, Windows, and Linux. They offer powerful encryption to protect all your information and fast internet speeds.
Choose from 160 different browsing locations, including Bangladesh, Ukraine, the UK, and Switzerland.
Express VPN also offers a kill switch, which will block all internet traffic if the VPN happens to drop.
They also use their own DNS servers, which offers an additional layer of protection versus outsourcing this to a third-party, which might track personal data.
All plans from IPVanish offer user-friendly apps, unlimited server switching, fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, 256-bit AES encryption, and access to 40,000 shared IP addresses and 1,300 VPN servers.
They are competitive price-wise, and each plan allows you to use your account on ten devices at the same time.
IPVanish supports all types of devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Linux, and can be used at the router level.
They offer a 7-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Designed with business users in mind, this VPN provides a flexible platform for securing IoT devices or allowing businesses to secure communications and access local directories while traveling.
Features include cloud-based servers, failover capabilities, local subnet blocking, CRL support, and flexible pricing and Bring Your Own License (BYOL) options.
OpenVPN also offers a separate Consumer VPN for regular users as well.
The reseller program also allows companies to provide VPN access as an OpenVPN partner.
CyberGhost offers high levels of encryption and a strict no-log policy — which means they won’t track anything you do while connected to their servers.
Other top features include access to more than 4,600 VPN servers in 60 different countries, and the ability to protect up to 7 devices on all types of platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Pricing is quite competitive, with the best value for three-year plans. Accepted payments include credit card, PayPal, and BitPay.
This is a user-friendly VPN used by more than 2 million customers around the world.
Features include protection for up to five devices on any platform, a kill switch that blocks traffic if the VPN disconnects, no logs, and high-end encryption for enhanced security.
They have servers in more than 70 different locations, so you have a wide range of options to choose from.
Their easy-to-use app makes it simple to protect yourself while on the go, especially when using unsecured Wi-Fi.
VyprVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than most VPNs.
From the same Swiss company that offers Protonmail, this VPN features a secure core which routes traffic through multiple servers, high-level encryption, and high levels of both physical and digital security.
For example, they use Forward Security, which means they generate a new encryption key with each connection, which protects past traffic from being compromised if one encryption key is deciphered.
They offer a free plan for a single device, and pricing based on device number and speed. ProtonVPN comes with a kill switch.
This VPN features easy-to-use apps for just about any device, including Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices. It comes with a kill switch called “Vigilant.”
Connections are optimized for speed, and they regularly publish independent security audits to show they remain secure.
Features include servers in 22 different countries, protection for up to five devices, a no-logging policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can also try their free plan, which provides up to 500 MB of data a month.
This is one of the more affordable VPNs, but they don’t skimp on the features.
Enjoy protection for unlimited devices, the ability to whitelist specific apps, such as mobile banking, a kill switch, the ability to connect to multiple countries at once, 24-7 support, and high-level encryption.
Rates are incredibly competitive and allow you to protect all your devices with just one account.
Not sure if it will fit your needs? They offer a free 30-day trial.
Hotspot Shield offers protection to allow you to surf the web through a secure and private connection.
Features include a patented VPN protocol with multiple security audits, enhanced Wi-Fi protection, a kill switch, and the ability to hide your IP address.
They offer servers in more than 70 countries and 26 U.S. cities and support most devices and OS.
Their paid plan provides connections for up to five devices, and there’s also a free VPN with more limited features.
This is a Switzerland and Panama based VPN that is easy for non-tech users to leverage.
Features include ad blocking, set up tutorials, and multi-hop capabilities, which allows you to channel your traffic through multiple countries.
Perfect Privacy prevents deep packet inspection and comes with a kill switch.
With this VPN, you can connect and protect up to six devices at once.
They have more than 100 servers in 65 different countries, including Iceland, the US, the UK, Australia, China, and Egypt.
They are dedicated to both speed and security and invest heavily in both.
Features include a strict no-log policy, 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 support, high-level encryptions, and ad blocking and malware prevention.
Users can pay anonymously using Bitcoin.
Looking for an affordable VPN that doesn’t skimp on the features? VPN.ac might be right for you.
Features include fast and reliable connections with no speed limit transfers, cutting edge encryption, shared IP addresses, and self-hosted DNS servers.
This VPN is compatible with all modern OS systems and devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Their site also features a robust tutorial section to help you get set up or troubleshoot any issues.
This VPN with the quirky name is backed by Avant, a fintech company based in Chicago.
Features include military-level encryption, 24/7 support, more than 290 server locations (including one in Guam), and router level protection for IoT devices.
They support most major devices, including Windows, Apple, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Each plan offers protection for up to five devices.
HideMyAss! comes with a kill switch.
Designed with a particular eye to security and anonymity, ZorroVPN has servers in 51 different counties, including UAE, Russia, Germany, and Austria.
Features include a kill switch, coverage for up to five devices, unlimited speed and data, and AES-256 bit strong encryption.
They only offer one plan, but you can choose your contract length from monthly to several years. ZorroVPN accepts payment by credit card, Paypal, and more anonymous forms such as Yandex Mony, Bitcoin, and Paxum.
Made with the less tech-savvy user in mind, this VPN provides secure home internet surfing, protection for smart devices, such as security cams and thermostats, ad blocking, and porn site blocking.
Unlike most VPNs, this is a physical device you install at home and does not charge a monthly fee.
However, it also doesn’t hide traffic from your ISP.
VPN Services Pricing Comparison Table
Below you’ll find all the brands we reviewed, with the best available price for each. Note: the third column displays the term length that must be paid for upfront in order to get the equivalent monthly price listed in the second column.
Since speed is a critical feature, we’ve listed money-back guarantee or free trial information in the last column.
|Brand||Cost per month||Term length||Money-back |
|$1.25/yr||1 year||None listed|
|SurfShark||$1.99/mo||2 years||30-day guarantee|
|CyberGhost||$2.75/mo||3 years||45-day guarantee|
|VPNArea||$2.99/mo||3 years||30-day guarantee|
|OpenVPN via PrivateTunnel (for consumers)*||$3/mo||1 year||7-day trial|
|NordVPN||$3.49/mo||3 years||30-day guarantee|
|VPN.AC||$3.75/mo||2 years||7-day guarantee|
|ProtonVPN||$4/mo||1 year||30-day guarantee|
|HideMyAss!||$4.29/mo||3 years||30-day guarantee|
|TunnelBear||$4.99/mo||1 year||No, but you can try them out for free. (Limit: up to 500MB of data)|
|vyprvpn||$5/mo||1 year||30-day guarantee|
|IPVanish||$6.49/mo||1 year||7-day guarantee|
|HotSpot Shield||$6.99/mo||2 years||45-day guarantee|
|ExpressVPN||$8.32/mo||1 year||30-day guarantee|
|Perfect Privacy||$8.95/mo||2 years||7-day guarantee|
|ZorroVPN||$10/mo||1 year||No, but you can pay $15 and get one month of service to try them out.|
When choosing the right VPN, there is a lot to consider. First, if there is a specific country you want to surf from, make sure the service you selected has a server in that location.
Next, consider the number of devices you want to protect and check to see how many each plan offers.
Keep in mind that some offer router-level protection, which may reduce the number of devices you need access for.
Finally, make sure the service you choose has good reviews for both speed and security. The securest connection in the world doesn’t mean much if you can’t so much as watch your favorite Netflix show.
Have you tried any of the above VPNs? Share your experiences in the comments; we’d love to know what you think!
Here are two of the most popular questions on VPNs. If you have a question of your own, feel free to leave it in the comment space below this article.
Do I need a VPN at home?
Although VPNs are most commonly used in public spaces or when traveling abroad, using one at home can help protect your privacy.
That’s because it’s legal for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell your browsing data. If privacy is a value of yours, using a VPN may make sense.
Note that Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have stated that they do not sell their customers’ data.
Are VPNs legal?
VPNs are legal in some countries, but not all. They are legal in Western democracies and countries that protect freedom of speech and information.
They are outlawed in several countries including China, Russia, Iran, and Belarus.
Furthermore, in countries where VPNs are legal, using torrenting to download copyrighted material that you have no license to use is illegal.