Best VPNs in 2021 for PC, Mac, & Phone

Finding the best VPN to keep you safe online feels impossible. There are hundreds of VPNs out there, and each one claims it’s the best.

Our experts have spent months carefully testing over 300 services to determine which ones do what they promise—and do it well. We connected to these VPNs from all over the world, with researchers running tests in internet-restricted countries, including China and Russia, testing their security, their reliability, and the speed of their connections.

We even made some calls to Google and PayPal to investigate rumors surrounding some VPNs. We also delisted several shady VPNs: While they hadn’t yet been caught sharing user data, we’re worried that soon, they will.

Our honest, comprehensive reviews will help you choose the right VPN for you, whether you want to stream Netflix, get around government censorship, or stay completely anonymous online.

It’s not all about size—some smaller VPNs outperformed some of the biggest brands, even though they lack the marketing budget. And, when we put them to the test, we found that some of the popular VPNs were basically worthless—some even dangerous!

We can honestly say that after our rigorous testing and reviewing, our top 10 VPNs will keep you safe, protect your data, and give you lightning-fast streaming speeds.

The Best VPNs – Full Analysis (Updated October 2021)

Our team is spread throughout more than 40 countries around the world, and we conducted hundreds of tests over several months to find which VPNs offered the best speeds, security, and reliability. We browsed, downloaded, streamed, and torrented for weeks on end to bring you these confirmed results.

1. NordVPN – Great Balance of Price and Performance

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with NordVPN.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: Yes, P2P specialty servers available
  • Works with: Netflix (multiple libraries), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, Disney , and many others
  • Available on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

NordVPN is our #1 VPN recommendation. It provides exceptional all-around value, with great features and performance at a price few can beat.

AES-256 encryption and support for OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols keep your traffic secure and hidden. Since it’s registered in Panama, NordVPN is also far away from 14 Eyes surveillance and troubling data retention laws. This allows it to collect zero sensitive user logs—great news for the privacy-conscious.

NordVPN’s CyberSec suite feature provides adblocking and extra malware protection. The VPN’s obfuscated servers allow you to access all parts of the internet, even in heavily-censored countries. Two of our researchers put these servers to the test from Beijing and Shenzhen in China, and they were able to access Netflix, Facebook, Gmail, and every other site they tried. With NordVPN, you also don’t have to worry about VPN leaks as it offers two different kill switches and custom DNS settings to prevent them.

The massive NordVPN network has over 5390 servers in over 55 countries, with regular new additions. It offers specialty servers for P2P, double encryption, and dedicated IPs. This gives this VPN the flexibility to get around geoblocks, get servers tailored to any use case, and have better speeds. We tested it in 12 regions against the restrictions of Netflix, Disney , Hulu, and several other services; it broke every block.

The VPN also constantly showed great speeds in every country we tested. When we connected to a local server, our speeds fell just 5%—that’s nothing! We experienced the greatest speed loss when connecting to Australia from the UK. However, it was only a 30% loss, and we were still at nearly 38 Mbps download.

ConnectionPingDownload SpeedUpload Speed
Starting speed UK server10 ms54.83 Mbps11.21 Mbps
Quick connect UK server10 ms52.03 Mbps11.10 Mbps
Manual connect UK server15 ms46.73 Mbps10.84 Mbps
Quick connect US server149 ms45.84 Mbps10.86 Mbps
Manual connect US server239 ms31.84 Mbps10.74 Mbps
Quick connect FR server39 ms52.05 Mbps11.62 Mbps
Quick connect BR server357 ms23.14 Mbps2.06 Mbps
Quick connect AU server434 ms37.97 Mbps9.64 Mbps

Secure streaming and torrenting are one-click tasks with NordVPN. Thanks to proprietary SmartPlay DNS settings, the NordVPN client automatically provides reliable access and fast speeds when you open Netflix and other streaming services. Best yet, it can unblock over 400 different services—no other VPN comes close.

If you ever need assistance, you can count on the 24/7 live chat customer support to help you out. We connected several times over a few weeks to test the representatives, and we came away with helpful answers to all of our questions. What’s more, NordVPN has a huge knowledge base full of useful info on setups and servers.

Don’t Use If:

You want to pay with PayPal. It does that to protect your privacy, but some people still like PayPal.

The bottom line? We think NordVPN is the ultimate multi-purpose VPN, but we were disappointed that you can’t pay with PayPal—though it does have its own secure payment platform. You can test its intuitive apps and excellent features on six devices with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Heads up—NordVPN is running some great deals! Save on your NordVPN plan with these awesome coupons.

Want to know more? Explore our NordVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

2. ExpressVPN – Speedy, Safe, and Reliable

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with ExpressVPN.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No (but all servers support P2P activity)
  • Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney , HBO NOW, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, and many others
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, browsers, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

ExpressVPN’s latest deal October 2020:Get 3 months completely free on your annual subscription with this current offer! It’s not for certain when this deal will end so it’s best to check the deals page to see if it’s still available.

ExpressVPN may be our second choice overall, but don’t let that fool you. It’s taken a top spot in many tests, including best VPN for iOS devices, torrenting, and routers, because it’s a solid, reliable option.

ExpressVPN has 3,000 high-speed servers at 160 global locations. It’s also one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. We conducted lots of speed tests to confirm this, and we’ve included our UK results below for your review. As expected, connecting to nearby servers yielded the best results. But we were also impressed with the fact that our connections to the US and Australia were also good—just 22% and 35% drops, respectively. This is excellent news for streamers and torrenters around the world.

ConnectionPingDownload SpeedUpload Speed
Starting speed UK server10 ms54.83 Mbps11.21 Mbps
Quick connect UK server12 ms50.03 Mbps10.94 Mbps
Manual connect UK server13 ms49.87 Mbps10.10 Mbps
Quick connect US server142 ms42.64 Mbps6.71 Mbps
Manual connect US server134 ms37.61 Mbps9.24 Mbps
Quick connect FR server41 ms40.39 Mbps11.13 Mbps
Quick connect BR server179 ms38.46 Mbps6.02 Mbps
Quick connect AU server288 ms35.28 Mbps6.13 Mbps

The split tunneling feature allows you to tailor ExpressVPN to your needs by selecting which apps and services are encrypted. I tested it by streaming my local Netflix library in my browser while making sure BitTorrent was set up to run through the VPN. It took only a moment to set up and worked perfectly.

There’s more: ExpressVPN can help you access your favorite content, even on platforms that don’t support VPNs. Thanks to the MediaStreamer feature and the VPN’s ability to blast through geoblocks, our researchers were able to watch Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer from six different countries on smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV sticks, Apple TV, gaming consoles, and other devices

ExpressVPN supports P2P connections on all servers, so you don’t need a torrenting profile. The app’s Smart Location feature chooses the best server for you. It took me just 15 minutes to torrent a movie, so it was fast and easy process.

ExpressVPN offers 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN support across all platforms, providing robust protection. Additionally, you get DNS leak protection and a Network Lock setting—in other words, a kill switch for your connection.

ExpressVPN’s innovative TrustedServer technology guarantees that every ExpressVPN server always loads the exact same secure, up-to-date software, greatly reducing security risks. TrustedServer also allows ExpressVPN servers to operate using only RAM. Because the servers never write to the hard drive, it is impossible for any data to be stored on the server after a reboot—even accidentally. This offers unprecedented levels of security.

We turned to our researchers in Asia again to test out ExpressVPN’s ability to bypass censorship. We’re happy to report that it consistently bypassed the Great Firewall of China, so it’s a top pick for regions with heavy censorship, too.

Customer service is also on point, with helpful 24/7 live chat support and detailed setup guides for the many supported platforms. Every time I tested the live chat feature, I was chatting with a helpful representative in under two minutes.

Don’t Use If:

You’re looking for a cheap VPN. ExpressVPN can be twice as expensive as some of the other VPNs on this list.

ExpressVPN offers a winning combination of performance and privacy, which is certainly worth the money. You can also take it for a risk-free test drive on up to five devices, courtesy of the 30-day money-back guarantee. In short, this VPN can easily satisfy even the most demanding of users.

Don’t miss out on the best ExpressVPN deals around. Get a fast VPN at a discount with our coupons.

Want to know more? Explore our ExpressVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

3. Surfshark – Unlimited Simultaneous Connections and Unique Features

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Surfshark.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No (P2P is allowed on all servers)
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, SkyTV, Fox Go, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Spotify, and more
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, FireTV, Apple TV, and more
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

As you learn about Surfshark, one thing will be very apparent: This VPN is serious about giving you access to an unlimited internet. It does this by offering a host of exclusive features and super low prices.

Surfshark offers a very rare bonus—unlimited simultaneous connections, making it a great deal for multi-device households.

Of course, this wouldn’t matter if Surfshark didn’t provide a good service—but it does. Its features include split tunneling, double encryption, kill switch protection, and a security suite called CleanWeb that blocks ads and prevents malware. To make sure these features worked, we:

  • tried viewing BBC iPlayer from the US while also streaming Hulu (it worked!)
  • turned on BitTorrent and checked what happened when we disconnected the VPN (it paused all downloads, so no data leaks!)
  • went to the most sketchy, popup-ad-ridden sites we could find (no ads, no malware!)

You’ll also find extra obfuscation settings with the NoBorders mode. We gave it a try, and we found it worked okay, but it wasn’t perfect. In China and Iran, our researchers had to do some manual configuration to access the outside world, but ultimately they could.

Surfshark’s growing network includes over 1041 servers in 61 countries. We tried dozens of these servers to test their speeds and unblocking power, and we could access multiple Netflix libraries, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming platforms. Our speeds stayed fast and steady, too.

ConnectionPingDownload SpeedUpload Speed
Starting speed UK server11 ms54.83 Mbps11.21 Mbps
Quick connect UK server15 ms46.13 Mbps11.18 Mbps
Manual connect UK server22 ms51.87 Mbps10.87 Mbps
Quick connect US server134 ms51.64 Mbps9.42 Mbps
Manual connect US server197 ms45.31 Mbps6.92 Mbps
Quick connect FR server20 ms53.01 Mbps10.55 Mbps
Quick connect BR server276 ms42.34 Mbps8.30 Mbps
Quick connect AU server274 ms34.97 Mbps6.71 Mbps

Our speed tests showed that Surfshark isn’t the fastest VPN we’ve seen, but the minimal speed loss we experienced had no effect on browsing, streaming, or torrenting. Even our connection to Australia was unbelievably speedy—and that’s more than 15,000 kilometers away.

Speaking of Australia: Our researcher in AU was a fan of the VPN’s Camouflage Mode, which prevents even your ISP from seeing that you’re connected to a VPN. Her connection speed actually increased a bit as she bypassed her ISP’s throttling.

Don’t Use If:

You want to watch Amazon Prime Video on a mobile device—it only works here on a desktop or laptop.

Overall, Surfshark is an impressive VPN with premium value and simple, stylish apps. It offers great bargains with high discounts on long-term plans and a one-month refund period.

Don’t miss the savings. Pay less with one of our coupons.

Try SurfShark Now!

Want to know more? Explore our Surfshark review to see the full results of our research and testing.

4. CyberGhost – Massive Server Coverage and Strong Security

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with CyberGhost.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: Yes
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Kodi, Spotify, Vudu, Crunchyroll, and others
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, browsers, streaming devices, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: Up to 45 days

CyberGhost is a top VPN that often appears on our recommendation lists. It’s a smart choice for its combination of reliability, security, ease-of-use, and price.

This Romania-based provider comes with all the essentials—solid encryption, zero logging, and an impressive network of 6,100 servers in 90 countries. With leak-proof apps and an extra kill switch for good measure, this VPN is both stable and secure.

CyberGhost boasts one-click setup and use, as well as automatic connection to the fastest server—the first time I tried quick connect, I was connected to a US server in just 15 seconds. It’s also easy to navigate the app’s basic and advanced settings. You can set up smart rules and customize your connection features.

Our researchers in the UK, Australia, the United States, and several other countries tested this VPN against a long list of streaming services and popular websites. With the help of dedicated servers for streaming, we were able to unlock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Crunchyroll, Facebook, and more.

While not as fast as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, CyberGhost offers excellent speeds for buffer-free streaming and more. When we tested various servers from the UK, we noticed some steep drops. For example, our speed dropped to 18.26 Mbps download when we connected to the US—that’s a 66% dive. However, we could still watch Netflix and Hulu in HD. Even our connection to Australia stayed above the 5 Mbps minimum necessary for Netflix in HD.

ConnectionPingDownload SpeedUpload Speed
Starting speed UK server10 ms54.83 Mbps11.21 Mbps
Quick connect UK server16 ms36.01 Mbps10.17 Mbps
Manual connect UK server12 ms16.21 Mbps10.64 Mbps
Quick connect US server201 ms8.75 Mbps7.87 Mbps
Manual connect US server163 ms18.26 Mbps9.36 Mbps
Quick connect FR server39 ms26.73 Mbps11.02 Mbps
Quick connect BR server549 ms7.64 Mbps5.96 Mbps
Quick connect AU server521 ms5.65 Mbps2.00 Mbps

CyberGhost is incredibly easy to use, but if you do run into issues, you can always get help via live chat. I tested the chat every day for two weeks, asking questions about server count, the ability to unlock services, and how to install the software—I was pleased with every response I received.

Don’t Use If:

You need a VPN that works in China. At the moment, CyberGhost is not able to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

We think CyberGhost is a simple VPN that does a great job on all fronts. This makes it another top pick, earning it a deserved fourth place in our overall rankings. It didn’t work for our researcher in China, but it’s hard to find VPNs that can beat the Great Firewall. Try it out yourself on up to 7 devices risk-free, with its 45-day money-back guarantee. CyberGhost has some excellent deals right now. Snag a great price with one of our coupons.

Try CyberGhost Now!

Want to know more? Explore our CyberGhost review to see the full results of our research and testing.

5. Private Internet Access – Secure Global Network

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Private Internet Access.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No (P2P is allowed on all servers)
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, HBO Now, Disney , Hulu, Showtime, and SkyTV
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, PS4/Xbox, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Offering exceptional security for a low sticker price has seen Private Internet Access increase in popularity in recent years.

With Private Internet Access, you’re in safe hands thanks to military-grade encryption and support for multiple VPN protocols, keeping your data and identity firmly out of reach of hackers, trackers, and other third parties. It also doesn’t store any info about you, so you’re free to surf the web with complete anonymity.

Private Internet Access is a simplistic VPN, so you won’t find a ton of additional security features but it does have a malware blocker. The VPN’s built-in malware blocker MACE promises to protect against adware and other viruses. We tested it by visiting some ad-heavy torrenting sites and other sketchy locales, and we’re happy to report MACE worked beautifully.

While we were on these sites, we tested the VPN’s torrenting capabilities. As it has a network of over 3,200 servers in 46 countries, we expected fast speeds for hassle-free downloads—and the VPN delivered.

ConnectionPingDownload SpeedUpload Speed
Starting speed UK server10 ms54.83 Mbps11.21 Mbps
Recommended UK server12 ms53.74 Mbps11.30 Mbps
Manual connect UK server13 ms34.52 Mbps11.47 Mbps
Recommended US server142 ms22.98 Mbps11.34 Mbps
Manual connect US server130 ms18.07 Mbps11.31 Mbps
Manual connect FR server45 ms16.95 Mbps11.34 Mbps
Manual connect CAN server171 ms26.78 Mbps11.42 Mbps
Manual connect AU server227 ms12.93 Mbps6.95 Mbps

Not only are these speeds fast enough for speedy downloads, but they’re also quick enough to maintain HD streaming with minimal or no buffering and lag. Private Internet Access’ geoblock-busting technology allowed us to watch Netflix US and UK, Disney , Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and a few more streaming sites.

You can connect up to ten devices at once with a Private Internet Access subscription, and it’s compatible with all major platforms. We found its apps to be user-friendly, but if you do need extra help, it’s available via live chat—which we found responsive and helpful every time we tried it. You also have access to a huge knowledge base of FAQs, tutorials, and setup guides.

Don’t use if:

You want a VPN with several advanced security features.

Overall, Private Internet Access provides excellent value for money and is a great choice of VPN for the privacy-conscious. Test out Private Internet Access risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access offers lots of ways to save. Check out our coupons for current discounts.

Try Private Internet Access Now!

Want to know more? Explore our Private Internet Access review to see the full results of our research and testing.6. PrivateVPN – Test It Out With a Free Trial

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with PrivateVPN.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No, but P2P traffic is allowed on all servers
  • Works with: Netflix, Sling TV, Fox Go, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

PrivateVPN manages a compact network of 150 self-owned servers in 60 countries, but it remains an excellent choice for accessing content from around the world. Our researchers tested servers from the US, the UK, Italy, and Australia to see how PrivateVPN did with geoblocking. We tried Netflix US, Sling TV, and BBC iPlayer, and it unlocked them all.

When we ran speed tests, we found that PrivateVPN performs best when you connect to nearby servers. The further out you go, the most drastic the speed loss. However, it’s important to note that despite the speed losses, our connections were still fast enough for high-speed browsing and HD streaming.

This Sweden-based provider is committed to ensuring its users’ privacy and security. Although subject to 14-Eyes jurisdiction, PrivateVPN can’t turn over your data because it doesn’t log any. The simple, easy-to-use apps come with AES-256 encryption and support for OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, and PPTP protocols.

As well as a kill switch, PrivateVPN offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection. It also has a Stealth mode designed to bypass VPN blocks and DPI firewalls, giving you unlimited access to global content. We know the Stealth mode works because our researchers in China confirmed it.

Don’t Use If:

You need the fastest speeds over longer distances.

If you’re hunting for a provider with great deals on both short- and long-term plans, PrivateVPN could be what you need. Its 7-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee give you enough time to test this VPN yourself.

Try PrivateVPN Now!

Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.7. VyprVPN – Automatic Protection for Public Connections

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with VyprVPN.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No
  • Works with: Netflix, HBO NOW, Sling TV, Sky Go, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, iOs, Android, smart TVs, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Its worldwide network is made up of 700 servers and over 200,000 IP addresses. During our tests, it broke through the region-locking technologies of services like Hulu, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

Our researchers in Europe found that connection speeds to the US were the best—however, we had inconsistent results when connecting from the US to some European locations. The verdict? VyprVPN’s US servers are speedy, but others could use improvement.

The VPN also gives you a feature it’s famous for—its proprietary Chameleon protocol. It provides additional protection and extra muscle for bypassing geo-restrictions. Our researchers in China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia tested it and confirmed it works.

No matter where you connect from, your data is secured using AES 256-bit encryption and your identity and activity are kept top secret thanks to a strict no-logs policy. It also offers automatic public WiFi protection.

This VPN is by no means a budget service, but you do get unlimited bandwidth and data and can enjoy great discounts if you opt for a longer plan. VyprVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try the service risk-free.

Don’t Use If:

You want to pay with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies

VyprVPN has proven itself as a reliable provider that values user privacy. It’s especially worth a look if you live in or travel to countries with strict online censorship.

Try VyprVPN Now!

Want to know more? Explore our VyprVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.8. HMA – Specialty Servers Optimized for Streaming

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: Yes, designated high-speed P2P servers
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video
  • Available on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

HMA’s server network of 1,000 servers has an impressive global reach with locations in over 190 countries.

Included in the expansive network are five streaming-optimized servers in Germany, the UK, and the US. When testing these servers, we discovered they had the unblocking powers to access a number of the major streaming services including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

The VPN’s speeds also impressed with both local and long-distance connections. The Lightning Connect feature automatically connected me to the fastest nearby server in the UK, which resulted in a loss of just 2% of my base speed. Plus, when connecting to one of HMA’s US streaming-optimized servers, my download speed dipped just 15%, being more than fast enough for smooth streaming.

HMA also supports P2P connections with designated high-speed servers for fast torrent downloads—we tried servers in a number of locations and download speeds were decent.

Stream and download as much as you want on up to five devices at once, courtesy of HMA’s unlimited data and bandwidth.

Whatever you stream or torrent will be for your eyes only, courtesy of military-grade encryption with support for multiple protocols, DNS leak protection, and strict no-logs policy.

HMA also provides a kill switch on its Windows, Android, and Mac apps for an extra layer of protection. Plus, excluding iOS apps, all HMA clients feature IP shuffling which automatically switches you to a new IP address after a certain period, preventing surveillance and tracking.

I’ve found the HMA apps to be easy-to-use on all platforms, but if you do need any help there are a number of customer support options. The HMA website has some very useful resources, including tutorials, and FAQs, and every time I’ve contacted the 24/7 live chat team, I’ve received a response in minutes.

Don’t Use If:

You need a VPN to access Disney , HMA cannot reliably access the service

With advanced security features and great ability to beat geoblocks, HMA offers great value for money, especially on longer-term plans. Find out all HMA has to offer with a 7-free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try HMA Now!

Want to know more? Explore our HMA review to see the full results of our research and testing.9. TunnelBear – Secure and Easy-to-Use

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with TunnelBear.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No, but servers support P2P connections
  • Works with: HBO Go, Spotify
  • Available on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: No

A high-speed VPN with servers in over 20 countries, TunnelBear has intuitive apps that I found simple to install and easy to navigate.

Although TunnelBear doesn’t have the extensive device compatibility of some of the larger VPNs, with browser extensions available and the apps are supported by the major platforms, you should be able to connect to the VPN on most of your gadgets. Your TunnelBear subscription allows five simultaneous device connections.

With a large, widespread server network, I was expecting fast speeds and I wasn’t disappointed. Although there was a significant drop of around 60% when connecting to a US server, speeds were consistently over 5 Mbps, more than fast enough for lag-free browsing and smooth video streaming in HD.

Unfortunately, you man not be using these speeds for much streaming as I was unable to unblock any of the major streaming services. The only platform I could access consistently was HBO, so if you do want a VPN for streaming, I recommend one of these VPNs.

TunnelBear is independently audited, employs unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption, and guarantees no data logging. Plus, an ad-blocker is available as a free browser extension and proved effective in eliminating mid-roll ads on YouTube.

TunnelBear doesn’t currently offer a money-back guarantee on its paid plans, but it does have a limited free version that allows you to test out the service. However, you’re limited to just 500 MB of data a month – you can tweet them for an extra 1 GB – which is only enough for 30 minutes of standard definition streaming.

Don’t Use If:

You want a VPN for streaming as TunnelBear is unable to access all the major streaming platforms

Although TunnelBear does have some drawbacks, it’s easy-to-use, has great connection speeds and useful privacy tools.Try TunnelBear Now!

Want to know more? Explore our TunnelBear review to see the full results of our research and testing.10. UltraVPN- Basic, Reliable Workhorse

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with UltraVPN.

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, HBO Now, and ESPN
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, web browsers, and routers
  • Data logging: Yes, IP address, device information, and device location
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

UltraVPN has you covered with decent encryption, but we found that it collects some of your information, including your IP address, device information, and if enabled, your device location.

However, the VPN does not retain any activity or connection data, so while someone could request your IP address, there would be absolutely no record of what you were doing online—just that you were. If you want total anonymity, we suggest using a truly no-logs VPN.

It has more than 100 servers across 58 countries—while there aren’t tons of connections, the reach is decent and we found speeds to be fast.

During testing, we unblocked several popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu, with minimal buffering. But it did have consistency issues with some services (BBC iPlayer) and simply could not unblock others (Vudu, Disney , and Sling TV), so keep this in mind if you’re a heavy streamer.

Another place where UltraVPN can improve is its allowable simultaneous connections. We were disappointed that we could only connect three devices at the same time.

Don’t Use If:

You need a VPN to access BBC iPlayer outside the UK.

You want a VPN that keeps absolutely no logs

We found several areas where UltraVPN can do better. If its shortfalls aren’t of concern to you—and they shouldn’t be for most people—use its 30-day money-back guarantee to give the service a try.

Try UltraVPN Now!

Want to know more? Explore our UltraVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

Best VPNs – Quick Comparison Table

Free TrialMoney-Back GuaranteeCompatible Streaming Services
NordVPN30 days440 including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and more
ExpressVPN30 daysNetflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, BBC iPlayer, and more
Surfshark30 daysNetflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and more
CyberGhost24 hoursup to 45 daysNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and more
Private Internet Access30 daysNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, Showtime, Disney ,Hulu, and more
PrivateVPN7 days30 daysNetflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more
VyprVPN30 daysNetflix, HBO NOW, Sling TV, Sky Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
HMA7 days30 daysNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video
TunnelBearHBO Go, Spotify, and more
UltraVPN30 daysNetflix, Hulu, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, and more

Why You Need a VPN

Online dangers are taking your freedom and choice:

  • Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for your personal details so they can steal your money or even your identity, using more advanced tools
  • Companies are tracking you and reaching into your wallet with dynamic pricing that suits them, while the cheaper prices are kept hidden
  • ISPs are slowing down your connection speed when you want to run torrents
  • Governments are censoring what you can or can not see online

A VPN is a valuable tool for protecting yourself and taking back your Internet freedom. It allows you to:

  • Enjoy the complete catalogs of Netflix and other streaming services, going around the companies’ movie and series limited-access policies, so you get full value for your subscription
  • Protect your personal data so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of hackers, advertisers, or other third parties
  • Get complete anonymity every time you go online, whether you’re catching up on the news, torrenting files, shopping, or doing research
  • Increase your connection speeds, especially if your ISP is currently throttling it

During our most recent tests, we found that there are over 300 VPN services available. While many of them can do some of the above—and plenty promise to, just to fall flat—only the best VPNs can do it all.

Research Methodology: How We Ranked & Compared These VPNs

With hundreds of VPNs all claiming to be the best, how do you choose the right one? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve tested over 300 of them and compiled the very best VPNs here. Our in-depth reviews give you all the information you need, covering all the important criteria you need to make the right choice.

My rigorous tests included many trials, and each of the 300 VPNs I tested were analyzed bit by bit. My research also includes field tests by our researchers in over 30 countries who tested every VPN against local geoblocks, ISPs, government censorship, and tracking. All tests are done periodically to make sure the results you see here are current. Here are the key factors in determining each VPN’s rankings:


Two crucial aspects of a top VPN are privacy and security. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a provider that doesn’t offer them on paper—but things can be different in reality.

A VPN with a verified no-logs policy ensures that your digital footprint is secure. No-logs policies mean none of your data is collected, stored, or shared while you’re browsing. It protects you from prying eyes and preserves your privacy, making it one of the leading criteria in our VPN rankings.


Another must-have ingredient in the recipe for the best VPN is speed. Using a VPN means your traffic is sent through additional servers, affecting your speed. Every VPN will slow you down in some way; the real question is by how much. The fastest VPN services have the smallest impact on your connection quality. They’ll let you browse, torrent, and stream without annoying lag or buffering.

A really fast VPN can also help you overcome ISP throttling. You may end up with faster speeds than you started with.

Our tests included remote intercontinental connections with limited bandwidth to offer a real challenge to each VPN.


Speaking of streaming, VPNs are a popular solution for accessing the full range of content on platforms like NetflixHulu, BBC iPlayerand DAZN. Such platforms limit their service depending on your region, but connecting to the right VPN server can open the door to your favorite shows.


VPNs are also useful for torrenting fans—especially in countries where torrents are prohibited. Even if you follow the rules (we recommend you do), torrenting without extra protection can expose you to greedy copyright trolls and hackers.

P2P connections aren’t secure, but you can change that with a good VPN for torrenting. By masking your real IP address and hiding your traffic behind a layer of encryption, you’ll avoid all the threats that come with downloading torrents while enjoying the benefits. In our VPN comparison, we checked out torrenting features like P2P profiles, SOCKS5 proxies, and easy setup with torrent clients.


Last but not least, let’s talk censorship. You know you’ve landed on a reliable provider when your VPN works in a country that actively tries to block it. During our research, we looked at special features and settings for extra obfuscation. The top VPN services in our overall list have proven themselves in censorship-heavy regions like China, Iran, and the UAE.

Many other factors played a significant part in our final rankings. These include server network size, encryption, security features, ease of use, and of course—price. We spared no expense in exploring every detail for our VPN reviews and tests.


❓ Are VPNs legal?

People sometimes think that VPNs may be illegal because they’re occasionally used for illicit purposes. However, in most countries around the world, VPN use is completely legal—though there are important exceptions you need to know about. The only countries where using a VPN is a grey area (and in some cases, forbidden) are China, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Oman, and the UAE.

Those things that a VPN does—encrypting data, combatting geoblocks, and providing anonymity—are not illegal. But remember: Anything you do that’s illegal without a VPN is still illegal with a VPN. We do not condone using a VPN for any illegal activities.

⚡ Are VPNs safe?

VPNs are safe to use in most countries. However, it’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the rules and stay out of trouble.

However, you may be taking a risk if:

  • You use a non-government-permitted VPN in a country where the government mandates which VPNs are allowed.
  • You torrent copyrighted material with a VPN that keeps logs or doesn’t have a kill switch.

⚙️ Are VPNs hard to use?

The best VPNs are very easy to use. In most cases, you just need to download the appropriate app for your device, install, and launch.

The top VPN services we’ve recommended above have user-friendly interfaces that even beginners can easily figure out. Lots of times, you can use a quick-connect button to instantly connect to a nearby server. If you’re trying to get around a geoblock, just choose a server in the location of your choice.

Tip: If you’re new to VPNs and want to learn more about what they do, check out our VPN guide for newbies—it’s packed with info about VPN features, uses, and benefits.

? How much does a VPN cost?

After hearing about all the wonderful things that VPNs can do, you might wonder what kind of price tag they come with. All the VPNs I’ve recommended above are extremely affordable, with some costing less than $2 per month.

Even our top recommendation—the powerful but affordable NordVPN—is available for less than $4 per month.

If you’re ready to make a purchase, first head to our VPN coupons page. You’ll find exclusive discounts that will save you money.

⚠️ Are there free VPNs?

There are free VPNs available, but our advice is simple: It’s best to stay away.

Getting something for nothing is enticing, no doubt. However, with the wrong free VPN, you might pay nothing upfront—but you may pay later in the form of ridiculously slow connection speeds, a malware infection, or even a stolen identity.

Not all free VPNs are scams. We recently researched dozens of services to find those free VPNs that truly are legit. They all come with limitations, such as data caps or restricted access to features, but they’re safe to use if you really need them.

? Can I Use Tor or a Proxy Instead of a VPN?

Tor, proxies, and VPNs are three completely different types of software that sometimes serve the same use. Let’s take a closer look.

Tor (short for The Onion Router) utilizes an anonymizing network that bounces your connection through several volunteer servers. While this process makes you (and your data) much harder to track, it will slow you down. Tor is a very complex topic, so check out our ultimate guide to Tor if you’re curious for more info and tips.

Compared to VPNs, Tor has its drawbacks. While it’s free to use, it provides weaker encryption and slower connections. The best move is to use both Tor and a VPN together and reap all the benefits. A stable VPN removes Tor’s weaknesses, while Tor improves your privacy even further.

That said, not all VPNs are compatible with Tor. To make it work, you need a VPN like NordVPN which offers specialized Tor over VPN servers.

Proxy services have one advantage over VPNs: they offer fast speeds (and hide your IP address). However, they have no other security features, don’t encrypt your data, and don’t even offer an interface.

These features mean proxies are not secure or easy to use. However, they can improve your connection speeds if privacy isn’t a concern for you.

There are hundreds of proxies out there, so it’s important to choose the right one. Better yet, invest in a fast, cheap VPN and benefit from extra protection and privacy on top of great speeds.

Note: We at vpnMentor provide a free proxy tool! Feel free to use it if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to pick and choose.

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