VPNs (virtual private networks) have many different functions and benefits, including keeping your browsing behaviour private, disguising your geo location, bypassing blocked websites and accessing online streaming services. But when comparing VPN services, what are the most important factors one should look into? We have researched and compared a number of VPN providers according to the most essential factors, such as: privacy & security, speed, number of servers and locations, streaming and torrenting, supported software, and pricing plans. We’ve put together a comparison list and detailed reviews of our best VPN services to help you find the ideal VPN service for your needs.
- Best forExcellent speed
- No. of servers/locations3000+in 160 locations
- Price$6.67per month
ExpressVPN is a frequently-heard name around VPN circles. It’s been around for over 10 years, has a solid reputation for unwavering security and fast servers, and is super simple to use. With the built-in speed test, you can choose the fastest servers around, and since ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 spread over 94 countries, there’s plenty to choose from.
ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support, a huge benefit when your VPN goes down, or you need help fast. Plus, you can select to run only partial device traffic through the VPN with the split tunneling feature. ExpressVPN also has top rate security features including anonymous browsing, zero-knowledge, private DNS encryption, and 256-bit AES encryption. The price tag is higher than most for ExpressVPN plans, but they are running a sale right now that gives you 50% off and 3 extra months free. So, you can get superior quality protection for a lot less than usual.
- Trusted name in the industry
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Easy-to-use app
- More expensive than other services
- Only 3 simultaneous devices
- Best forGood quality at a reasonable price
- No. of servers/locations5,500+in 61 locations
- Price$2.99per month
NordVPN is a secure VPN service based in a privacy friendly location—Panama. This VPN service is known for its excellence in complete privacy, advanced security, and internet freedom. NordVPN does not keep any logs, and given its territory, the laws of the land do not require it to do so.
NordVPN has the largest VPN server network—5,500 servers in 59 countries around the globe. This top-notch VPN packs various security and privacy-oriented features that include; a double VPN, military-grade encryption, stealth mode, a CyberSec feature, dedicated P2P servers, and dedicated IP addresses. Its servers are optimized to deliver lightning speeds suitable for streaming and speed intensive tasks. It boasts fantastic customer service and 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN clients are aesthetically pleasing as they offer a bigger and more detailed interface with a map.
- Double-hop VPN servers
- One of the cheapest plans around
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Some servers aren’t as fast as others
- No live chat
- Best forSecure surfing at a good price
- No. of servers/locations1,700+in 64 countries
- Price$2.21per month
Surfshark VPN is relatively new and has earned its place among the elite services. Located in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark enjoys the perks of a territory with no data retention laws and favorable data protection laws that ensure user information is safe. Furthermore, it has a strict no-logs policy, and no identifying information about users is collected.
Besides being based in a favorable jurisdiction, Surfshark uses top-of-the-line encryptions to ensure the VPN connection is always secure. It also has a camouflage mode feature that makes your VPN connection go undetected. It has 1,700 plus servers in 64 countries. These servers offer unlimited bandwidth, and P2P traffic is allowed.
Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Although Surfshark possesses a high speed connection, sometimes it’s inconsistent. Surfshark VPN clients present a clean interface that is easy to use.
- Whitelister, multihop, and camouflage mode
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
- Extremely resilient privacy and security features
- Email support could be faster
- No free trial
- Best forClients looking for a VPN that’s easy to use
- No. of servers/locations6,000+in 90 countries
- Price$2.50per month
CyberGhost is a fast, secure VPN service owned by a privacy-focused company based in Bucharest, Romania. This VPN service has been around since 2011, and it has a comprehensive grasp of what the digital world needs—internet freedom and privacy.
CyberGhost VPN is more of a privacy solution, and it follows a strict no-logs policy. It packs many features to showcase its capabilities.
CyberGhost has over 6,000 VPN servers in 90 countries that offer unlimited bandwidth with the highest speeds possible. Some of its servers allow P2P traffic. CyberGhost uses military-grade encryption coupled with other security features such as a malware blocker and a kill switch. Like most of the top VPNs, CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee and friendly customer support.
CyberGhost also sports a minimalistic interface that offers basic connection functionality. However, despite its size, it’s easier to navigate.
- Easy to use platform
- Works with Netflix US
- Low pricing plans
- Not as solid a reputation
- Not all servers work for torrenting
- Best forBasic security protection
- No. of servers/locations1,100in 280 locations
- PriceFrom $2.99per month
As the name implies, Hide My Ass offers a simple, easy-to-use VPN service that focuses on privacy and user experience. On the technical side of things, Hide My Ass has over 1,100 servers, and they’re spread across all 6 major continents (280 locations). This means the connections are fast and smooth. And since HMA lets you torrent, file share, and unblock Netflix, you’ll really appreciate these speeds.
HMA has good DNS leak protection to keep you protected too. The mobile app is as simple as they come. You can choose auto-connection for servers or switch the location manually, and that’s it. Super simple. Hide My Ass comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always cancel without regret.
- Consistently fast speeds
- 24/7 support
- No ad blocking
- Collects some logs
- Best forPeople who want a ton of device connections
- No. of servers/locations2000in 180 locations
- Price$3.33per month
PureVPN is a top performer when compared to other services. This is due to its unbeatable features. It has more than 2,000 servers in over 140 countries. These servers are optimized to provide ultra-fast speeds with unlimited bandwidth. PureVPN uses dedicated servers for streaming purposes, and P2P is allowed. PureVPN uses military-grade 256-bit encryption to protect your data, and it has a 24-hour live chat support.
PureVPN clients are easy to use, but the interface can get complicated as you dive into more settings.
- Kill switch
- NAT firewall add-on
- 80,000+ IP addresses
- Download speeds aren’t great
- DNS leak issues
- Best forFast streaming and unblocking
- No. of servers/locations100+in over 55 locations
- Price$3.75per month
UltraVPN is an ultra-fast, secure, and anonymous service owned by Network Protect Limited—a UK- and US-incorporated company. With this kind of jurisdiction, UltraVPN has limited data protection as the US and UK are part of the 5-eyes and 14-eyes countries. This means it’s subjected to mass surveillance and must obey the laws of the land regarding data retention. Despite the unfavorable territory, UltraVPN has a zero logs policy to protect its users. Although, some VPN-related data is shared with trusted third parties.
UltraVPN has over 1,000 servers in over 100 locations. The servers offer unlimited bandwidth and are optimized for streaming speeds. Most of the servers support P2P traffic. UltraVPN uses 256-bit encryptions for security, provides 24/7 customer support, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
UltraVPN clients feature a well-designed interface that looks similar to that of most popular VPN services.
- Unlimited bandwidth / unblocks Netflix
- Speeds optimized for streaming, no buffering
- Supports P2P traffic
- Only basic features
- Doesn’t work in China all the time
- Best forUnwavering privacy and top security features
- No. of servers/locations1800+ in 22 locations
- PriceFree/$4.99per month
Tunnelbear has got to be one of the cutest VPN brands out there. But don’t let that cuddly exterior fool you. Tunnelbear is no-nonsense when it comes to VPN services. With high level encryption, automatic kill switch, and the ever-active GhostBear that lets you stay hidden from governments, businesses, and ISPs everywhere, Tunnelbear provides users with the ultimate in online security and privacy. Whether you’re streaming videos, trying to unblock geo restricted content, doing a little online retail therapy, or hiding from snooping marketers, Tunnelbear has the tech to keep you hidden.
Tunnelbear doesn’t just take privacy seriously; it puts you completely in charge of your personal data. At any given time, you can hop on your account, review your data, and delete it from the site completely. That’s unheard of. What’s more, Tunnelbear is the only VPN service in the industry that runs independent security audits of the software and publishes the results for the public to see. That’s a brand that is confident with its product.
- User-manned logs and annual audits published
- Free trial account
- Ad-blocker, kill switch, ghost VPN, and more security features
- Not available for routers or smartTVs
- Fewer server locations than competitors
Norton Secure VPN
- Best forStreaming Netflix
- No. of servers/locationsServers in 29 countries
- Price$7.99per month
Norton Secure VPN comes attached to the Norton name, which means that you get the infrastructure and customer service associated with an experienced industry heavyweight like Norton. But how does the VPN service stack up to others in the field?
Most importantly for many users, Norton’s VPN has been shown to successfully unblock Netflix. This could balance out what’s been reported by some users as a tendency to bog down speeds and performance, making this VPN a solid choice for casual users or those most interested in VPNs for entertainment purposes. A unique feature is the ability to choose plans with 1, 5, or 10 simultaneous connections. This makes it an especially attractive VPN for users who know how they’ll use the VPN, whether it be limited to a single device, or used by a larger family on vacation, who then have the choice to pay according to their usage.
Norton Secure VPN is seamless on desktop and mobile devices. The server count is lower than the competition, but features such as unlimited bandwidth, OpenVPN protocols, a no-logging policy, and a 60-day money-back guarantee show that Norton Secure VPN has more to it than just a recognizable name.
- Has been known to successfully unblock Netflix
- Includes unlimited bandwidth
- Backed by a 60 day money back guarantee
- Fewer server options than the competition
- Strict no-torrenting policy
- Best forSolid online security
- No. of servers/locations3200in 26 locations
- Price$2.99per month
Hotspot Shield is currently the leading service in the VPN industry, and a number one choice in our ranking. The VPN’s success can be traced to its outstanding features, blazing fast speeds, best-in-class security, and overall reliability.
Owned by a California-based company—Anchor Free GmbH—Hotspot Shield sports both a free version and a premium VPN service. It performs well because it uses a proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. This protocol is optimized to deliver consistent speeds even from the furthest servers. The only downside is that it’s not compatible with other accessories such as routers and gaming consoles.
Hotspot Shield has more than 2,500 servers in over 80 countries. The premium version gives you unlimited bandwidth, supports the connection of up to 5 devices, and has 24/7 customer support. It is compatible with popular computing systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
The Hotspot Shield VPN clients for desktop and mobile are straightforward to use without any technical difficulties. They generally support the same features and offer the same functionalities.
- 2,500 plus servers in 80 plus countries
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
- 24/7 customer support
- Ambiguous logging policy
- Relatively pricey monthly package