The Best VPN Services of 2023

ISPs are able to do this because when you’re streaming, your internet traffic fits certain patterns. Depending on how the data looks, it’s easy to tell if you’re seeding a torrent, watching Netflix, or scrolling through YouTube.

Best VPN according to Reddit in 2023

Finding the best VPN can be overwhelming, with so many providers to choose from. One great place to get an honest opinion is Reddit, where users share their experiences, reviews, and recommendations on VPNs and privacy issues. While there is often disagreement on the best VPN provider, one thing that is clear is that free VPNs should be avoided. Free VPNs may make a profit by exploiting user data, bombarding users with ads, selling user data to third parties, and using users’ devices as an exit node for its other services. If you care about your privacy and your data, it’s best to choose a paid VPN.

When looking for the best VPN, it’s important to consider what you want to get out of it. Speed, streaming experience, privacy, security, and cost are all common criteria that users discuss on Reddit. Mullvad (r/mullvadvpn) is known for its excellent privacy, as it offers completely anonymous accounts (no email needed) and accepts cash and crypto currencies. They are also externally audited and transparent, which has earned them the trust of Reddit users. Surfshark (r/surfshark) is known for its top speeds and has recently reached 100 locations (over 3200 servers), making it great for streaming. According to users, it unlocks many libraries, especially when using the browser extension.

When it comes to cost, it’s important to look for a deal as VPN companies are almost always running promotions, so the cheapest option may change. NordVPN is often recommended on Reddit as the best VPN overall. It may be more costly, but it excels in other criteria. According to NordVPN reviews from users on Reddit, it is mostly valued for its ability to perform well in many different use cases, offering great speeds, protection, and a good streaming experience. NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol, based on WireGuard manual setup, is particularly recommended for its excellent speeds and smooth browsing and streaming experiences.

Other features that contribute to NordVPN’s good performance include a pool of 5400 NordVPN servers in 59 countries, obfuscated servers that help bypass geographical restrictions, strict no-logs policies and two no-logs independent audits, threat protection, and Meshnet, a feature that allows users to access devices or encrypted private tunnels.

PureVPN is another excellent VPN provider that is often recommended on Reddit. It offers a wide range of features, including a large network of servers in 180 locations, optimized streaming servers, and support for P2P file sharing. PureVPN also has a strict no-logs policy, dedicated IPs, and 24/7 customer support. One unique feature of PureVPN is its split tunneling feature, which allows you to choose which apps and websites use the VPN connection and which use your regular internet connection. This can be useful for unblocking restricted content or improving streaming speeds.

If you want to do more research before making a purchase, Reddit’s r/VPN, r/privacy, r/vpncoupons, and r/VPNTorrents (if your main focus is torrenting) are all great places to get insights and compare different VPN providers. The r/VPN subreddit also has a useful VPN comparison table where you can get an overview of all the main providers rated on different criteria.

In conclusion, it’s important to choose a paid VPN provider that values your privacy and security. NordVPN and PureVPN are both excellent options recommended by Reddit users, but be sure to do your own research and consider your own needs and preferences before making a decision. Stay safe online with a quality VPN in 2023!

The Best VPN Services of 2023

Consumer VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, have become an essential tool when it comes to protecting online privacy and accessing restricted services. However, there are literally hundreds of VPNs out there and many of them are mediocre at best. Others don’t work at all, and there are even those that actually compromise your security and privacy by selling your data to third parties.

Even if you find a reputable VPN, it might not meet your requirements. Some providers might offer first-class security or speeds, while others pride themselves on their ability to access region-locked streaming services. In other words, the best VPN for somebody else might not be the best VPN for you.

That’s why we’ve carefully examined dozens of leading VPN providers and whittled our list down to seven that really stand out. No matter your requirements, you will find a VPN below that’s up to the task.

Best VPN services of 2023: Our top picks

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense summary of the best VPNs, we’ve listed them below:

  1. NordVPN: The best VPN service in 2023. A well-known provider that continues to raise the bar in the VPN industry. With unique features like Tor over VPN servers, its recently open-sourced MeshNet technology, and its ability to unblock virtually every streaming service, NordVPN is a clear winner. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: Best budget option. Impressive speed and security, with the option to connect to an unlimited number of devices. Works with popular streaming services and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Includes ad blocking and malware filtering.
  3. ExpressVPN: Quick, versatile, and easy to use, with a network spanning 94+ countries. Includes a custom app for routers, parallel connection technology for faster speeds, and reliable access in China. Unique features include a GUI app for Linux and rotating IP addresses.
  4. CyberGhost: A fast and secure VPN that is easy to use, ideal for streaming, and provides a lengthy 45-day money-back guarantee. Superb value for money.
  5. Mullvad: Fast, privacy-first VPN with a fixed price no matter how long you subscribe for. Better for techy users who need more features.
  6. ProtonVPN: Great for torrenting thanks to its port forwarding feature. Offers a free plan with no bandwidth limits.
  7. IPVanish: Has lots of security tools, a verified no-logs policy, and industry-leading speeds. Allows unlimited connections
  8. Atlas VPN: Newer VPN already offering competitive performance and innovative privacy tools. Includes ad blocking and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The Best VPN: Summary table

No value TEST WINNER No value No value No value No value No value No value No value
No value NordVPN Surfshark ExpressVPN CyberGhost Mullvad Proton VPN IPVanish Atlas VPN
Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Number of Servers 5,400 3,200 3,000 9,308+ 800+ 1,925 2,000+ 750
Number of Countries 60 100 94 88 41 67 75 38
Devices Supported Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux Android TV Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android Amazon Fire TV Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux Android TV, Amazon Fire TV
Streaming Services Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Hub Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Hub Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Hub Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, ITV Hub Netflix, Amazon Prime Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub Netflix, HBO Max Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer
Avg Speed (Mbps) 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps 100+ Mbps
Popular sites Unblocked 95% 88% 86% 85% 50% 87% 70% 93%
Money Back Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Best deal (per month) $3.29
SAVE 63% + FREE months
84% off 2yr plan
Save 49%
SAVE 83%
SAVE 50%
SAVE 77%
SAVE 83%

Selecting just eight VPNs is no small feat, especially when there are literally thousands of providers out there. However, we were able to significantly narrow the field by being ruthless with our inclusion criteria. Here are some of the non-negotiable characteristics we looked for:

  • Has minimal impact on connection speed
  • Offers (at minimum) 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection
  • Refuses to log any personally identifiable information and preferably keeps no logs at all
  • Gives users a good choice of locations to choose from
  • Can securely access popular streaming services
  • Provides a high standard of customer support at no additional cost
  • Works with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
  • In order to qualify for one of the top three positions, the VPN provider must operate a 100% diskless server network
  • In order to qualify for one of the top three positions, the VPN provider must have had its infrastructure audited by a reputable third party

For more information about the criteria we used, check out the testing methodology section later in this article.

Get a risk free trial

NordVPN offers a risk-free 30-day trial so you can sign up here with zero risk. You can use the VPN rated #1 on this list with no restrictions for a full month.

There are no hidden terms – just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here .

Best VPN in 2023: Detailed Reviews

A brief overview is great, but to really understand what a VPN service has to offer, we have to take a closer look. Here’s a more detailed examination of the best VPNs of the year:

1. NordVPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 7.5/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Streaming: 10/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 10/10
Customer Support: 10/10

NordVPN is our first choice, and for good reason: we’ve seen it deliver speeds of over 196 Mbps, which is faster than most people will ever need. Not only that, but it goes undetected by the vast majority of streaming services we’ve tested, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. All of this provider’s 5,000 RAM-based servers are owned outright, and some are even specially optimized for specific tasks. This takes the guesswork out of finding a server that’s suitable for file-sharing, beating digital censorship, or accessing Onion sites.

This VPN uses AES-256 encryption, which would take all of the computers on earth several trillion years to brute-force. That’s a great start and far from the only security feature on offer. There’s also a kill switch capable of disabling specific apps when your connection drops, protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks, and a Threat Protection tool that blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites automatically. New versions of the app also include a monitoring tool that’ll alert you if your email address is ever exposed on the dark web. Most importantly, NordVPN has an independently-audited no-logging policy.

Unlike many other providers, NordVPN has had both its infrastructure and software audited. This shows it’s telling the truth about its logging policies and takes its commitment to transparency seriously. Other VPNs on this list, like Mullvad and IPVanish, have only undergone infrastructure audits.

One of NordVPN’s most intriguing features is called Meshnet – this allows users to create a private point-to-point connection for secure remote file access or long-distance LAN parties. It’s a niche use case, but this flexibility helps put NordVPN head and shoulders above its competitors. This provider also offers its own protocol, NordLynx, which boasts the speed improvements of WireGuard while using a double NAT system to ensure your source IP address is never stored on the server.

NordVPN has an app for just about every device imaginable, as well as plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Its customer support team is on-hand around the clock, too, meaning you’re never more than a few minutes away from assistance. All things considered, it’s hard to put this provider anywhere but first place.


  • Simple enough for beginners yet flexible enough for experienced users
  • Constantly improving security tools
  • Audited zero-logs policy
  • Has over 5,600 servers in 59+ countries
  • Diskless infrastructure


  • Suffered a data breach in 2018

BEST OVERALL VPN: NordVPN takes the top spot thanks to its versatility, ease of use, and consistent performance.

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2. Surfshark

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 7/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Streaming: 10/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 9.8/10
Customer Support: 10/10

Surfshark comes in a close second place and is a great low-cost alternative. It isn’t the cheapest if you opt to pay monthly, but its price falls dramatically on the longer subscriptions. Now, plenty of cheap products promise the world, but here’s the surprising part: Surfshark actually manages to outshine many of its pricier rivals on network scale, performance, and streaming ability. There are more than 3,200 servers spread across 100 countries, some of which provide static IP addresses or two layers of encryption. Surfshark is fast enough for any task you can think of, and unlike most other VPNs, it’s happy for you to connect every device you own at the same time.

The base Surfshark app contains a plethora of interesting security tools in addition to its leak protection, kill switch and AES-256 encryption. For instance, it can rotate your IP address at fixed intervals, making you harder to track. There’s also a CleanWeb feature that automatically blocks malware, trackers, and ads. Surfshark even has a NoBorders mode designed for use in countries with repressive online censorship, plus an easy-to-read privacy policy that breaks down what data it collects (diagnostic info only) and how long it’s kept (less than 15 minutes).

Now, Surfshark has apps for all of the main operating systems, and while these are beginner-friendly, they all devote quite a lot of space to features that are only available with Surfshark One, which is an extra $1.49 per month. One of these features is a tool that’ll notify you if your details are leaked on the dark web, something NordVPN does for free. Another is a privacy-focused search engine that seems a little unnecessary in a world where DuckDuckGo exists. Surfshark One does come with its own antivirus program, though, which might be helpful.

There’s an extensive catalog of support material on Surfshark’s website, covering everything from router installation to SmartDNS configuration. If you can’t find answers here, your best bet is to submit a ticket, send an email, or simply get in touch using the 24/7 live chat service. We’ve used this many times and almost always receive an answer in under a minute.

A final bonus is that Surfshark is often accessible in China. While they will openly admit that Chinese internet restrictions can be a problem, it’s still a lot more reliable than most VPN providers. When services are interrupted, they will let users know and often get them back online (at least in some capacity) in a matter of days. More importantly, in most cases, no manual configuration is required to connect in China.


  • No connection limits
  • Price can go as low as $2.05 per month
  • Audited no logs policy
  • Diskless infrastructure
  • Lots of advanced functionality


  • Monthly subscribers get a raw deal

BEST VALUE VPN: Surfshark boasts an affordable price point and functionality that rivals its more expensive competitors. Additionally, this VPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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3. ExpressVPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 6/10
Value for Money: 6/10
Streaming: 9/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 9.5/10
Customer Support: 6/10

ExpressVPN is one of the better-known providers on the market thanks to it sponsoring just about every YouTuber you can imagine. Believe it or not, though, this is one case where the reality does match the rhetoric. In our tests, ExpressVPN averaged more than 176 Mbps, making it one of the fastest services we’ve tested. What’s more, this VPN operates RAM-only servers in 94+ countries, which are fully wiped every time they reboot for greater protection. Additionally, once connected, you can torrent freely and access a huge range of streaming services, from Prime Video to Netflix, Zattoo, and everything in between.

When it comes to security, this service has all the bases covered. It has DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch to keep your data hidden at all times. Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN has started to use its own protocol, Lightway. This is open-source and extremely lightweight, at just 2,000 lines of code (for context, even the svelte WireGuard has about 4,000). Moreover, Lightway is able to keep your connection secure in the split-second between changing networks or swapping from WiFi to mobile data.

ExpressVPN also boasts an automatic connection feature and the ability to allow certain apps through the VPN. The stripped-back settings menu makes it significantly more welcoming to new users but might not be suitable for veterans hoping for a bit more control. ExpressVPN does log some diagnostic data, such as which server you chose, daily bandwidth consumption, and which dates you used the VPN, but none of this can identify you personally.

This provider has apps for all major platforms and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox that let you connect at the touch of a button. Staff are happy to answer any questions you might have over the 24/7 live chat service, but you can also submit a ticket, search for help in the website’s support library, or check out ExpressVPN’s YouTube channel for short video guides.

One story worth noting is that its former CIO, Daniel Gericke, recently resigned after it came out that he helped the UAE on ‘Project Raven’, which was designed to help the UAE spy on its enemies. ExpressVPN’s parent company, Kape Technologies, also has a bit of a colorful past in AdTech, which some would argue is contradictory to the core uses cases for VPN technology. That said, Kape has evolved and is now a publicly traded company and is therefore open to a lot more scrutiny than it was in the early days. All things considered, ExpressVPN remains one of the stand-out VPN picks and is incredibly hard to beat in terms of features and performance.


  • Strong AES encryption
  • Servers in 94+ countries
  • Audited no logs policy
  • Diskless infrastructure
  • Works to watch around a dozen Netflix regions


  • Can work out a bit more expensive than others
  • Only allows 5 simultaneous connections

BEST VPN FOR BEGINNERS: ExpressVPN is a solid choice for anyone new to VPNs because it just works. Simply connect to a server and start browsing, torrenting, or streaming securely. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re still a little uncertain.

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4. CyberGhost

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Money Back Guarantee: 45 days
Speed: 9/10
Value for Money: 10/10
Streaming: 8/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 9/10
Customer Support: 9/10

CyberGhost VPN is a provider that has been around since 2004. It is based in Romania, which is decent in terms of privacy because of its lack of invasive surveillance agencies or mandatory data retention directives that apply to VPNs. This allows the VPN to maintain a solid no-logging policy.

Apps are available for all popular devices, which means you can install and use the VPN on Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac. You can use those apps to connect to the VPN on up to 7 devices, which is usually enough for most power users. Live chat is also available 24/7, which means you can always get help with setting up and using the VPN on all those devices.

The CyberGhost applications provide a kill-switch, strong encryption, and access to servers in 89+ countries. You can also select between OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, which are both designed to be both secure and fast.

Speaking of speeds, CyberGhost is extremely impressive. We registered average global download speeds of 289 Mbps (top speeds) which gives it more than enough headroom for the average home user to stream in HD and play games. In addition, this VPN works with Netflix US and most other streaming services, which makes it a fantastic option for the average home user who wants to be able to access their home services on vacation.

The main caveat is that this VPN lacks some of the advanced features you get with the services above it. You will not find split tunneling, port forwarding, MultiHop, Tor over VPN, or obfuscation. If you require any of these features, you should consider an alternative. On the plus side, this makes CyberGhost perfect for beginners and average home users who don’t need these extras.


  • Fast for HD streaming
  • Easy for beginners to use
  • Offers a choice of reliable VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard
  • Supports 7 simultaneous connections


  • The settings menu can be a touch confusing.
  • The kill switch cannot be disabled on Mac, Android, or iOS.
  • The VPN causes a large amount of Captchas

PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS: CyberGhost is easy to learn and has all the features that average home users need. Provides privacy at home and on public Wi-Fi. Works with Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and other popular services. Generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

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5. Mullvad

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 10/10
Value for Money: 6/10
Streaming: 4/10
Ease of use: 8.9/10
Privacy: 10/10
Customer Support: 7/10

Mullvad really is something a little bit different. For instance, it breaks with convention by having a single price point that hasn’t changed in over a decade; no matter how long you subscribe, you’ll only ever pay €5 (roughly $5.20) per month. It also throws out the whole username and password combination. Instead, users sign in with a secret account number, allowing them to register without leaving a trail behind. Finally, Mullvad is big on transparency, with regular audits and a dedicated webpage clearly stating which of its 900 servers are owned versus rented and whether they’re running on RAM or disks.

As you might expect, this is not a service that compromises on security. It uses AES-256 or ChaCha20 encryption, depending on whether you’re connecting via OpenVPN or WireGuard. There’s also DNS leak protection, toggleable obfuscation, and an always-on kill switch. Mullvad also includes a couple of features that no other VPN in our list does, like IPv6 support and the option to block all gambling or adult content. This provider doesn’t log any activity or connection details and only records aggregated app data for diagnostic purposes.

Mullvad is a decent choice for day-to-day usage, with reasonable (if not outstanding) speeds and the option to torrent on any server you’d like. That said, it’s not without its shortcomings. Chief among them is that Mullvad struggles to work with popular streaming services, so you may want to look elsewhere if this is important to you. It does allow port forwarding, which makes it good for torrenting.

One of the other differences between Mullvad and its rivals is that there’s no live chat. Users can search the help center for tutorials and troubleshooting advice or send an email to the customer support team. This VPN has apps for all major platforms and even suggests additional browser plugins to help you navigate the web in a more privacy-conscious way.


  • Not afraid to shake things up
  • Lots of customization
  • Tries to educate instead of claiming it’s the best way to stay safe online
  • Supports P2P on any server


  • Not the best for streaming
  • No longer usable in China

A SOLID PERFORMER: Mullvad is a privacy-first service with an attractive price, a good set of safe browsing options, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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6. Proton VPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 9/10
Value for Money: 7/10
Streaming: 8/10
Ease of use: 6/10
Privacy: 10/10
Customer Support: 7/10

Proton VPN is one of the only major providers with a free plan and no bandwidth cap. In other words, you can use this service regularly, without paying a penny. There are tradeoffs, such as a reduced selection of locations (three as opposed to 66), limited security tools, and slightly slower speeds, but all in all, this is an impressive offering for a free service. For what it’s worth, the paid plan costs a little less than the industry average and grants access to streaming and P2P-optimized servers.

If you’re looking to customize your setup, Proton VPN is a great choice. It allows users to create specific profiles so you can, for instance, connect to a P2P-friendly server in Canada over WireGuard in a single click. There’s also port-forwarding and split tunneling functionality, plus the option to use moderate NAT settings, which might help prevent connectivity issues when playing online games. We were particularly intrigued by the “VPN Accelerator” feature, which claims to provide up to 400% faster speeds by allowing OpenVPN to use multiple processor cores. It’s difficult to verify this, but we did record an average speed of over 303 Mbps, which is a significant improvement from prior tests.

Believe it or not, this freemium provider has more to offer. It uses the same AES-256 encryption as its competitors, as well as IPv6 and DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and MultiHop servers, which it calls “Secure Core”. ProtonVPN’s NetShield protects against online threats by blocking malware and persistent tracking automatically. This is a zero-logs provider, and its servers all use full-disk encryption in case a government decides to try seizing them.

ProtonVPN has its own Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux apps, and most features are available on every platform. Unfortunately, there’s no live chat-based support, but if you need help, you can submit a ticket, send an email, or search for answers in the knowledge base.


  • Outright better than most free VPNs
  • Huge amount of flexibility where security is concerned
  • Competitive speed and streaming ability
  • Very reasonably priced premium plan


  • Some important features have been relegated to the bottom of its settings menu and aren’t very clear
  • No live chat, even for paid users

BEST FREEMIUM VPN: Proton VPN has a free tier with everything you need to browse the web securely forever. For better performance and a wider range of functionality, you can upgrade – there’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.

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6. IPVanish

7. IPVanish

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 8/10
Value for Money: 8/10
Streaming: 6/10
Ease of use: 9.5/10
Privacy: 8/10
Customer Support: 6/10

IPVanish has been around for over a decade and has only just started to really come into its own. In the last few years, it’s overhauled its infrastructure, allowing it to provide faster speeds than ever before – in fact, with an average of more than 268 Mbps, it’s one of the quickest VPNs on the market. The service’s capabilities have grown too, with roughly 2,000 self-owned servers in 75+ locations and newfound success in accessing platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and NBC.

This provider uses 256-bit AES encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch to shield your traffic from prying eyes. It can also attempt to reconnect automatically, block traffic from local devices (like printers or other computers on the network), or turn on when you use an untrusted network. IPVanish users have the choice of OpenVPN, WireGuard, SSTP, L2TP, and IKEv2 connections, and while this degree of flexibility might help in some situations, we’d have rather seen some sort of tracker-blocking tool or perhaps MultiHop servers.

It’s difficult to discuss IPVanish without mentioning the elephant in the room. In 2018, the service helped identify a child molestation suspect for the Department of Homeland Security by aiding them in a targeted attack. No other users were affected by this process. Since then, IPVanish is under new management and has been independently audited to prove it doesn’t log any personally identifiable information.

IPVanish offers novice-friendly apps for major platforms and as there’s no connection limit, techies can secure every device they own (or share their account with family and friends). Note that this VPN has to be manually installed on Linux systems; there are step-by-step guides for this in the help section of the website and users can also contact the support team via live chat or email for more advice.


  • Quicker than most other VPNs
  • Versatile provider with no device limit
  • Decent set of security tools


  • Previous company owners lied about logging policy
  • Unreliable access in China

BEST MULTI-DEVICE VPN: IPVanish is fast, great for streaming, and able to protect a whole household’s devices simultaneously. Why not try it using the 30-day money-back guarantee?

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8. Atlas VPN

OS: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Linux
Money Back Guarantee: 30 days
Speed: 8/10
Value for Money: 9/10
Streaming: 9/10
Ease of use: 10/10
Privacy: 8.6/10
Customer Support: 8/10

Atlas VPN provides average speeds in excess of 252 Mbps. That’s pretty impressive, considering it has a free plan, and doubly so when you consider the company is only a few years old. Unlike with ProtonVPN, though, the free offering isn’t quite solid enough to rely on, with a monthly 10 GB data cap. You also can’t use the Linux or Fire TV apps unless you pay, which is highly unusual, especially for a newer service trying to grow its brand.

For what it’s worth, premium subscribers can look forward to even better performance, streaming-optimized servers, the ability to secure all of their devices at once, and access to the full network of 750+ servers in 45+ countries. Naturally, the bandwidth limit is removed when you start paying too. We’ve used Atlas VPN to stream Netflix, play online games, and torrent without any issues, so it should be able to handle whatever you throw at it.

Atlas VPN supports two protocols: WireGuard (with ChaCha20 encryption) and IKEv2 (with AES-256). It’s pretty rare not to see OpenVPN included but with the way the industry is progressing, we could see it becoming absent from more VPNs in the future. This provider includes a no-logs policy, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and automatic connection, as well as a tracker blocker, and a breach monitor that checks leaked databases for your credentials. Users can also choose SafeSwap servers that change your IP address periodically or MultiHop+ servers that route your data through two servers, one of which is random.

This is the only VPN in our list that can’t be installed on routers, so it might not be a great choice for anyone hoping to reroute traffic from games consoles or other devices that don’t support full VPN apps. Premium subscribers can ask questions using the 24/7 live chat service, while free users are limited to a support email address and searchable knowledge base.


  • Speedy servers in 40+ countries
  • Unique MultiHop+ feature
  • Reliable general-purpose VPN


  • Does not work with routers
  • Huge list of limitations on free users

BEST NEW VPN: AtlasVPN isn’t perfect, but it’s off to a promising start and already stands shoulder-to-shoulder with more established services on security. You can try it for yourself thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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What is a VPN?

A VPN is a service that protects your internet connection and privacy online. Normally, when you access a website or any other online service, your Internet Service Providers (ISP) receives your request and redirects you to your destination. A VPN reroutes all your internet traffic to a server that belongs to the VPN provider before sending it over to your destination. Importantly, it also encrypts your data before sending it to the VPN server. This stops local network administrators, your ISP, and government agencies from monitoring your web visits and your communications metadata.

You might be thinking: “But wait, I thought HTTPS encrypted my traffic, so why do I need a VPN?” It’s a good question. both HTTPS and VPNs encrypt your data, but HTTPS only encrypts what is sent via a browser to a server and only if it’s enabled on the site you visit (most respectable sites do use HTTPS now). A VPN will encrypt all forms of internet traffic.

VPNs also provide a host of other benefits. One of the most obvious is preventing websites and services from seeing your IP address. This is because your IP is replaced with the IP belonging to the VPN’s remote server. This removes a significant layer of tracking when you surf the web, which helps to prevent profiling, and IP-based results, such as targeted adverts or region-specific pricing.

Another benefit of being able to connect to an IP address in a remote location is that you can change your geographical location. For example, you can connect to a server abroad to watch foreign TV channels or connect to a VPN in a country of your choosing to access regional services.

A VPN can also help you bypass censorship in countries like China, where many Western services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google are blocked. The same is true in countries like the UAE, where many websites and VoIP services are blocked.

A VPN also provides much more robust protection on public Wi-Fi hotspots. While HTTPS goes a long way to mitigating the risks of public hotspots, you are still vulnerable to certain types of attacks, such as DNS spoofing and Punnycode attacks. VPNs provide an additional layer of security.

Methodology: How we test the best VPNs

It’s easy for someone to say a particular VPN is the best, but we go the extra mile to actually verify it. Our strict criteria ensure that only providers with a strong commitment to digital privacy, usability, and performance qualify. You can find out more by reading our detailed methodology guide. Here are a few of our guiding principles:

  • Your privacy comes first: A user’s online activities are no one else’s business. That’s why we’ll never recommend providers that log personally identifiable data or activity records. We also require candidates to use as-yet uncrackable encryption and show a willingness to progress the field of cybersecurity.
  • Any noticeable impact is too much: Times have changed and slow VPNs are no longer acceptable. Any service that consistently causes a noticeable decline in speed (provided the base connection is reasonably quick) will not be eligible for a place in our list.
  • Getting help must be easy: Most people are not network technicians. In the spirit of ensuring digital security for all, we are only recommending VPNs that have dedicated customer support teams, ideally ones that reply in minutes via live chat or email.
  • Users should not have to disconnect frequently: It’s inevitable that your VPN will be detected by some sites, but forcing users to disconnect often is a sure sign that they’ll eventually forget to turn the VPN back on. Our top services must go undetected by popular VPN-blocking websites or provide split tunneling functionality to work around this.
  • VPNs are for everyone: We celebrate VPNs that champion inclusion. This comes in many forms, from offering free subscriptions in censorship-heavy regions to providing apps for less-commonly-supported devices. Needless to say, providers that alienate beginners with jargon, poor customer support, or unfair pricing will not be featured.
  • Third-party audits: Trust is the foundation of the value that VPNs provide. You are essentially placing more faith in your VPN provider than you are in your ISP. Almost every provider says they are a ‘no logs’ VPN. The only ways to test this claim are either through the courts or through audits. We will only consider providers for our top three positions if they have undergone infrastructure audits from a reputable third party. While this isn’t foolproof, it’s the closest the industry has to a verification process for logging policies.
  • Diskless infrastructure: Again, this is a prerequisite to be considered for one of the top three positions on BleepingComputer. While the data stored on a VPN server should be minimal, it could, theoretically, be accessed if the servers were seized or hacked. Moving processes to RAM means that no information can be physically taken from servers and it is wiped on shutdown. It can also easily be wiped as a part of regular security procedures.

Best VPNs FAQs

Do I really need a VPN?

After years of crypto, NFTs, and Web 3.0 shilling, it’s only right that some people are skeptical of VPNs, especially since they’re tools you pay for on a monthly basis. The reality is that if you only ever use the internet at home, never access sensitive files remotely, aren’t worried about digital privacy, and don’t travel abroad often, you may not need a VPN.

On the other hand, hundreds of millions of people do find VPNs valuable. In a world where our personal data is the biggest commodity going, they add a layer of privacy. Many people use VPNs for specific situations – working remotely, traveling internationally, safely using public WiFi, or avoiding governmental censorship. There’s really nothing to lose by trying a VPN – most decent providers come with a money-back guarantee, and some offer free basic plans.

Can I be tracked while using a VPN?

VPNs are helpful for shielding your online activities from hotspot owners, network administrators, and anyone trying to perform a Man-in-the-Middle attack. However, while many of these services limit the type of information websites can collect about you in addition to encrypting your traffic, they will not make you completely untraceable. Here are just a few ways you can be identified despite using a VPN:

  • You post personally-identifiable information online.
  • Your VPN keeps activity and/or connection logs, which can be leaked or handed over.
  • You sign in somewhere with two-factor authentication.
  • A website logs details of your computer hardware. This isn’t conclusive proof but can strongly imply you visited it since few people will have the exact same PC as you.
  • You register for a website that requires photo ID.
  • You purchase something using a credit card or bank account with your name on it.

If you’re looking to browse the web anonymously, you’ll have to think carefully about what and where you post, how your data might be used by the sites you visit, and how you can limit this type of collection in the first place. A VPN is a great starting point, but ultimately, they’re just one part of a more mindful approach to digital privacy.

Will I get into trouble for using a VPN?

A handful of countries have restrictions on VPN usage. For instance, if you’re in China, Iran, or Russia, you’re only permitted to use government-approved providers. However, elsewhere in the world, there are minimal restrictions on VPN usage, provided you don’t use them to commit crimes. Geo-restricted services may ask you to disable the VPN before allowing you access, but that’s usually as far as the consequences go.

Are VPNs capable of stopping ISP throttling?

Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit customers’ speeds in a bid to discourage excessive bandwidth usage. Of course, it’s up to each provider to determine what constitutes “excessive”, and some are overzealous to the point of simply throttling anyone who streams or torrents semi-regularly.

ISPs are able to do this because when you’re streaming, your internet traffic fits certain patterns. Depending on how the data looks, it’s easy to tell if you’re seeding a torrent, watching Netflix, or scrolling through YouTube.

When you connect to a VPN, however, all of your data is encrypted. This prevents your ISP from analyzing its contents without the use of more advanced technologies like Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). While this won’t outright prevent your ISP from throttling your connection, it does make it less likely that your speeds will be automatically reduced.

Can I get a free VPN?

Some of the VPNs recommended in this guide offer a basic free plan, allowing you to access their security and privacy features without any cost. This is useful if you need a reliable VPN to bypass restrictions imposed by your ISP or local WiFi networks, although the free plan has limitations.

The good news is that the VPNs recommended in this guide with free plans maintain a no-logging policy for both free and paid users. In addition, the free plan includes all the essential security features, such as a kill switch, a choice of protocols, AES encryption, and DNS leak protection, ensuring that your online activities remain protected. This makes them safe to use to gain privacy from your ISP or to gain security on public WiFi.

However, it’s crucial to understand that the free plans offered by these VPNs have significant limitations. They only provide access to a few server locations and do not work for accessing streaming services like Netflix. The free plans also tend to have slower speeds, which can impact data-intensive tasks like torrenting or streaming. AtlasVPN, in particular, imposes a monthly download limit of 10 GB, meaning you may need to upgrade to a paid subscription for regular VPN use.

While there are many free VPNs available online, it’s important to exercise caution. Most of those services have questionable privacy policies, inadequate security, vulnerabilities in their apps and servers, and may even contain hidden spyware. Using these free VPNs poses a significant risk to your device’s health and your online privacy.

For these reasons, we strongly advise against randomly selecting a free VPN from an app store. Stick to our recommendations instead, to get a reliable VPN that provides strong security for your data.

Can I access home streaming services using a VPN?

Yes, you can access your home streaming services and TV broadcasts abroad using a VPN. A VPN enables you to change your virtual location by connecting to a server in a different region or country. This allows you to access streaming platforms as if you were physically present in the location of your choice, including your home region.

A VPN can even allow you to access streaming services in work or at school, with complete privacy – by making you appear to be outside of the local network.

Here’s how it works: When you connect to a VPN server, your internet traffic is routed through that server, and your IP address is temporarily replaced with the server’s IP address. Streaming services often use geolocation to determine where their users are accessing content from. By using a VPN server located in the same region as your home, you can effectively bypass geographical restrictions and access home streaming services while traveling.

VPNs also provide an extra layer of security and privacy. They encrypt your internet connection, making it challenging for your ISP or other third parties to monitor your online activities. This is particularly beneficial when accessing streaming services at work because it prevents your employer from finding out!

However, it’s important to be aware that not all streaming services are VPN-friendly. Some platforms actively block VPN traffic, so it’s crucial to choose a VPN provider that can reliably bypass these restrictions. We have guides for specific streaming platforms, but the VPNs in this guide are all world-class services that should work with most international streams.

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