The Best VPN Providers (2021) Guide
There are a lot of VPN services out there. Counting both free and paid services, you’re looking at over 1,000 different options to choose from. They all have a lot of the same features, many of them look and sound alike, and all of them promise to keep your online connection both anonymous and secure. So how can you possibly find the best VPN for you?
As we said, there are a lot of VPNs out there. But there are also a lot of VPN reviews. With so many biased choices, it can be difficult to separate fact from profit-driven fiction. We’ve tested and reviewed more than 100 popular VPN services to date. Every review includes background information on the VPN, along with an in-depth look at its features, a speed test, and a list of VPN pros and cons.
Here are some of the most important VPN factors that we’ve compared:
- Download speed
- Privacy and security features or flaws
- Logging policy
- Netflix availability
Top 10 VPN Providers in 2021:
Now, let’s get down to business, highlighting the best VPN services in the world.
- Perfect Privacy
- Private Internet Access
Table of Contents
1. NordVPN | The Best | The Best All-Round VPN ($3.71/mo)
+ Fast servers (5,656)
+ Torrenting/P2P allowed
+ Works with Netflix
+ Strict no logging policy
+ Easy to use VPN apps
+ Double data encryption
+ No IP/DNS leaks found
– Discounts are only available for longer subscriptions
Whenever the subject of the best VPN in the world comes up, mentions of NordVPN aren’t far behind. NordVPN is known by many as the best all-around VPN. While many services focus on one particular feature (whether security, speed, anonymity, number of servers, etc), NordVPN manages to check every box that we have.
NordVPN is one of the most private and secure services we’ve encountered. First off, it’s based out of Panama, which exists outside of established international data sharing alliances (5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 Eyes alliances). Panama even has a “no mandatory data retention” law that makes it so NordVPN doesn’t have to store anything about you or your activity.
Why is this important?
Because some countries have privacy laws that run counter to the purpose of a VPN. Every VPN will claim that they don’t keep logs or share information. However, if they’re in a country that has laws which require it, they don’t have a choice. NordVPN uses a service called “Double VPN,” which takes two different servers and merges them into one.
- This gives you twice the encryption and makes for an ultra-secure connection. There’s even a VPN kill switch that will ensure that, should a leak be detected in your browsing session, you’ll automatically be alerted and logged out. Speaking of IP leaks, there are none.
- We tested NordVPN for IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks and found absolutely nothing. This was as secure of a service as has ever existed. It also uses military grade encryption to protect your internet connection. You can choose from IKEv2/IPsec or OpenVPN for VPN protocols.
NordVPN has a truly massive server park, and that’s seriously important when you’re selecting a VPN. You’re looking at more than 5,600 different servers spread out among a whopping 60 countries. That means no matter what corner of the globe you want to establish a connection on, you’re going to find a functional VPN server somewhere nearby.
- You’ve also got a number of specialty servers such as dedicated servers, double encryption servers, obfuscated servers, Tor servers, and P2P servers. NordVPN works on devices for both Windows and MacOS, including mobile phones.
- You’re able to have six simultaneous devices connected for one account. You can also use NordVPN to connect to a router. That means you’ll be able to secure every device that is linked to your WiFi signal all at once, and it only counts as one of your six connections.
NordVPN Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting and P2P connections are supported on certain servers. You can easily find a P2P server using the server recommendation feature. It will instantly provide you with a suggestion based on your needs. We named NordVPN our top VPN for torrenting because of some stellar security features. Among them, a rerouting feature that automatically sends you to servers in either Canada or the Netherlands if you connect to a non-torrenting server with a P2P connection.
NordVPN has three different plans that vary in price based on the commitment period that you choose.
- First off, you have the month to month plan. This is the most expensive option and clocks in at $11.95 per month.
- Then you have a one year commitment plan, which saves you 58%, costing $4.92 per month, all paid in one lump sum.
- Finally, there’s the two year plan, which is only $3.71 per month, with savings of 68%. Again, this is all collected in one lump sum, so you’re paying for the entire two years up front.
- As for payment options, NordVPN takes all major credit cards and payment services. It allows you to pay using cryptocurrency, which would make for a totally anonymous experience.
-> Check NordVPN out right now! <-
2. Surfshark | The Best Cheap VPN ($2.49/mo)
+ Strict no logging policy
+ Unlimited device connection
+ Plays Netflix
+ Secure system
+ Good addons like Multihop and Ad-Blocker
– Average speeds
We ranked Surfshark as our number two VPN service in this top 10. That’s because it’s a powerful yet affordable VPN service with a ton of success in unblocking services like Netflix. It boasts an impressive server park featuring connections all over the world, and uses some of the most advanced encryption protocols out there.
When it comes to your online privacy, Surfshark takes a lot of measures to ensure that you have a secure and 100% confidential connection. It uses top of the line encryption and protocol options, featuring AES-256-GCM across both OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. There is also a special “Camouflage Mode,” which is not something a lot of other VPN providers offer. When this is active, your VPN use will be hidden. You ISP won’t even be able to tell that you’re using one. That makes it one of the most secure and private services in the world.
- One issue we had when researching Surfshark from a privacy standpoint was pinning down its physical location. Jurisdiction wise, they fall under the British Virgin Islands, which does not have an obligatory data retention law.
- That means they don’t have to store logs, which is good news for everyone. However, the lack of transparency regarding an actual location was concerning. Speaking of logging, Surfshark has a strict no logging policy. The only thing that it stores is your login information, which is just an email address and password. We tested Surfshark for IP leaks, and found it to be completely secure.
Surfshark has a ton of high quality servers. You’re looking at a park of about 1,000 servers spread over 60 countries. That means Surfshark is going to give you a lot of options when it comes to relocating your IP. You also have a kill switch installed on the service, which will automatically terminate your connection if an IP leak is detected.
- Whitelister is another interesting feature offered as a part of Surfshark. When using it, you’re able to select websites that will be able to bypass the VPN tunnel. These sites can then work from your normal IP address without you having to turn the VPN off.
Why is this important?
Let’s say that you’re connected to a server somewhere in Asia, but you want to check your bank balance. Your financial institution is going to flag your login attempt as coming from another country and potentially lock you out of your account and freeze your funds.
- With Whitelister, you can be connected to a VPN tunnel in Asia while still accessing your financial information from your home address. It keeps you from having to log in and out of your VPN over and over again.
You’re able to connect an unlimited number of devices to Surfshark, which is rare in a VPN provider. That means one account can protect every device in your home without ever having to spend more. And Surfshark is available on just about every device you can think of, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android capable hardware. The only negative we encountered when testing Surfshark was inconsistent speeds.
Surfshark Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting and P2P are allowed on Surfshark, so you’ll have no issues there when connecting to other people from all over the world. Then there’s Netflix, which was another area where this service truly shined. Netflix can be the bane of a VPN’s existence, with advanced detection programs blocking access to the streaming library. We tested six different Surfshark servers and every one of them fired up the streaming service with no issues. That makes Surfshark one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix.
Surfshark is one of the best priced VPNs we’ve seen, with plans as low as $2.49 per month. Of course, that’s the price for the two year commitment, which means that you’ll have to pay for the entire period up front.
- Then you have a six month plan for $6.49 per month. After that, the one month plan is $12.95.
- They offer a 30-day money back guarantee and accept PayPal, Apple Pay, Alipay, and cryptocurrencies for payment options.
-> Check Surfshark out right now! <-
3. ExpressVPN | Best Streaming Performance ($6.67/mo)
+ Supports ALL devices
+ Fast servers with minimal speed loss
+ Unblocks Netflix in the USA
+ Torrenting and P2P are allowed
+ No IP leaks or DNS leaks found
+ Simple and easy to use
+ No logging
– More expensive than its chief rivals
Our number three VPN is ExpressVPN, which a lot of sites list as their number one service. ExpressVPN could very easily be considered the king of the VPN mountain, if it weren’t for its higher than usual price point. It was founded back in 2009, making it a relative newcomer to the VPN world, with just over a decade in existence. When using ExpressVPN you will find excellent streaming performance, fast speeds, and tight security.
The first thing to note about ExpressVPN’s level of privacy is location, location, location. It is located in the British Virgin Islands, which means that this service exists outside of the 14 Eyes alliance and any other intelligence sharing agreements.
- That’s why when ExpressVPN claims that it is a log-free service, you can actually believe it. The company is not required by any government agency to track usage and report it on demand.
It also uses a ton of high quality VPN protocols to ensure continued privacy. This includes OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, and others. All of these protocols are backed up by AES-256 encryption standards, which has proven to be completely uncrackable. There were no IP, DNS, or WebRTC links present when we tested the connection. On top of that, the installation files were free of any harmful viruses or malware.
ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers spread out among 160 cities in 94 countries. That makes ExpressVPN one of the widest spread VPNs in the world. The user interface is incredibly easy to operate. Installation and activation are quick and painless.
- Connections can be manually configured through OS-level VPN settings, or you can use the Smart Location feature to connect quickly.
- ExpressVPN watches out for your browsing session with a kill switch. If any IP leak were detected during a session, the kill switch would kick in and end your session before you leaked private information before the eyes of your ISP.
It’s also one of the faster VPN services we’ve encountered, making for a seamless experience with very little drop off once you’re connected. You can connect ExpressVPN to five different devices simultaneously, and it has a massive number of compatible devices. This includes Linux, Mac, Window, iOS, Android, wireless routers, Chromebooks, Kindles, browsers, gaming consoles and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN Torrenting and Netflix
This service supports both the Tor network and torrenting. Tor is going to give you the strongest security, as it essentially doubles your privacy. Torrenting was seamless. It worked with uTorrent perfectly. Netflix works on a number of ExpressVPN’s servers, but you’re going to have to go through a bit of trial and error. In the US, for instance, six out of the 30 servers that we tested were able to play the streaming service.
ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than some of its stiffest competition.
- The monthly rate for this service is $12.95 per month.
- Then, you have a six month plan that will cost you $9.99 per month.
- Finally, the 15 month plan is the cheapest option at $6.67 per month.
You can pay with a credit card, or with either PayPal or Bitcoin, depending on your preferences. There’s also Alipay, UnionPay, IDEAL, Klarna, and many more. ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money-back guarantee with every purchase.
-> Check ExpressVPN out right now! <-
4. Perfect Privacy | Unlimited Connections ($8.95/mo)
Perfect Privacy Pros:
+ No logging whatsoever
+ Works with Netflix
+ Allows Torrenting
+ Connect unlimited devices
Perfect Privacy Cons:
– Expensive service
– Download speeds are average
– Swiss jurisdiction
Perfect Privacy is another solid choice for the encryption and anonymization of your internet browsing sessions. Privacy is literally the name of the game, as the title of this service would suggest. It’s an airtight system with a strong server park, unlimited devices, and a strict no logging policy.
Perfect Privacy Privacy
When you’re working with a VPN called Perfect Privacy, you expect its privacy to be, well, perfect. And this is an area where Perfect Privacy lives up to its name. They have an excellent logging policy, wherein no personal information is ever monitored or stored. There is one issue, however.
- Perfect Privacy falls under Swiss jurisdiction. Switzerland is one of the countries included in the 5-Eyes security alliance.
- It’s also incredibly secure. We ran tests on Perfect Privacy and found no IP leaks whatsoever. The installation files were also completely clean, with no viruses or harmful malware found buried within.
And we looked hard for issues, running six different tests on the Perfect Privacy connection, only to come up with absolutely no problem. When it comes to encryption standards, it uses AES-256, which is the best in the industry right now. VPN protocols include OpenVPN, SSH, and IPSec.
Perfect Privacy Features
The first thing that should be pointed out about Perfect Privacy is that it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections through one account. A lot of the services that we review limit the number of active connections that someone could have at a time, but that’s not the case here.
- Any device that runs Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, or IPTV can run with Perfect-Privacy, along with wireless routers. We feel that this is a good option for businesses with large offices and several employees, as the limitless connections will ensure that you won’t have to pay for multiple accounts.
The VPN app itself was easy to use. It was incredibly simple and self explanatory. You’re able to change protocols and switch servers at will, and the VPN client can run from a taskbar if you want it out of the way. They have decent customer service, which can be accessed through a forum, email, and a FAQ section. However, there is no live chat service.
Perfect Privacy Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting is available through Perfect Privacy, but it is limited. You’re only able to torrent using premium dedicated servers, which are also the most expensive. A lot of other services offer unlimited torrenting for the base price, so this was a bit of a letdown. When it comes to unblocking Netflix, we ran tests on five of Perfect Privacy’s servers but only found one that worked. So, you might have to engage in some trial and error if you want to a Netflix capable server.
Perfect Privacy Pricing
The reason why Perfect Privacy is not higher up on this list boils down to its pricing. It’s definitely more costly than some of its major competitors, many of which seem to offer preferable features and privacy.
- A one month membership costs $12.99.
- If you prepay for one year, you’re saving 23% with $9.99 per month.
- The best option for Perfect Privacy is to join for a two year period, which carries a price of $8.99 per month.
The company allows you to pay using Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Bitcoin, Mobiamo, Amex, and UnionPay.
-> Read the full Perfect Privacy review here <-
-> Check Perfect Privacy out right now! <-
5. IPVanish | Secure and Fast ($6.49/mo)
+ Fast service
+ No logs
+ Unblocks Netflix
+ Allows torrenting
+ Works on all devices
+ 10+ simultaneous connections
– Part of a Large US-based company
– Slow customer support response
IPVanish is the next service on our list, coming in at number five. It’s a fast service with no logs that works for both Netflix streaming and torrenting. You get access to more than 1,000 servers that are spread over a wealth of countries. On top of that, it has some good security options that will keep your browsing sessions safe.
IPVanish supports all of the heavy hitting security protocols to make for a private experience. For encryption, they use AES-256, which is one of the best ways to make sure that no one is going to be tracking what you do. The company has a strict no logging policy, which is the claim made by just about every major VPN provider.
- They specifically state that none of the metadata from your session is stored, whatsoever. However, it should be noted that IPVanish is a part of StackPatch, a large US-based company. That puts it under American jurisdiction, which can be problematic from a privacy standpoint.
The United States is a major part of the 5 Eyes security alliance, meaning that not only can authorities demand your personal information, but it can be shared with the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Our connection to IPVanish was totally secure. We ran our tests for leaks and viruses and found nothing.
IPVanish’s app was smooth and straightforward. The user interface is intuitive and you can connect with the click of one button. The VPN uses a kill switch to protect your browsing, which is always nice to see. While we were unable to find any IP leaks, it’s good to know that if one happened to pop up, the system would identify it and shut down your session right away. It’s an added level of protection that doesn’t go unnoticed. You have a 10-device connection limit using IPVanish.
While that’s not as inclusive as some of the services that allow unlimited connections, it’s still way more than the five or six allowed by some of the other top services that we’ve reviewed. IPVanish claims that it offers 24/7 support, but we did not find this to be the case when we reviewed them. It took more than 60 hours to get any kind of response from their supposed around the clock support team.
IPVanish Torrenting and Netflix
IPVanish touts your ability to torrent with 100% privacy while using this service.They allow torrenting and P2P connections and, in many cases, encourage the practice. It’s also compatible with TOR, which allows you to add extra encryption to your session.
- That comes in handy if you’re trying to browse privately in a country with strict internet laws, like China, North Korea, or Russia. When it comes to Netflix, we were able to find connection, but only on one server. We checked servers in Canada, the UK, and The Netherlands, all with no luck. However, a US-based server located in Chicago was able to unblock the streaming service.
In our review, we listed IPVanish as affordable but not overly cheap. Like most VPN services we’ve reviewed, IPVanish offers you discounts if you choose to pre-purchase the service for a specific period of time.
- The base monthly price is $7.50 per month, which is not bad considering most companies want over $10 per month for no commitment period.
- They also have a three month subscription for $6.75 per month and a one year commitment for $4.87 per month.
- They don’t have a two year plan.
IPVanish has a seven day money back guarantee and allows you to pay with a credit card, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, if you’re looking for an untraceable payment.
-> Check IPVanish out right now! <-
6. Mullvad | Most Anonymous Signup Process ($5.45/mo)
+ Anonymous signup process
+ No logging policy
+ Secure encryption
+ Kill switch
– No mobile apps
– Lackluster customer support
Mullvad is best known as the VPN with a mole mascot, but it’s a lot more than that. You have a fast, reliable, and secure VPN with an awesomely secure signup process. While it doesn’t have mobile apps, it still makes it to the number six spot on our list.
Mullvad operates using a strict no logging policy. This is backed up by the VPN assigning you a numbered account, much like a Swiss bank. That means it doesn’t even store your email and password. This service has one of the strongest no logging policies we’ve ever seen, and offers a level of anonymity that exceeds most of the other VPNs out there.
- It uses both OpenVPN and WireGuard for VPN tunneling protocols. OpenVPN is still the industry standard, and WireGuard in an in-development networking tunnel that many are calling the next big thing in the VPN universe. It’s a crypto-based protocol that is said to deliver connections up to five times faster with no delays.
It uses AES-256 encryption standards and had no IP leaks or viruses whatsoever when we tested the connection. Mullvad is based in Sweden, which is not good news when it comes to VPN privacy. Sweden is a member of the 14 Eyes security alliance, which would usually be a dealbreaker. But thanks to Mullvad’s anonymous account number system, it’s not a major problem from a privacy standpoint. We tested the VPN connection for leaks and found no security breaches or viruses whatsoever.
Mullvad is nice and easy to use. It connects with the push of one button and has a minimal and easy to understand user interface. It has 311 OpenVPN servers in 38 countries around the globe. Mullvad also has 60 WireGuard servers located in 27 countries, and 14 Bridge servers in nine countries. That makes for a total of 385 servers across 38 countries in all. Mullvad has no mobile apps, but you can still use it through an Android or iOS device.
However, to operate OpenVPN on your mobile device, you’re going to have to go through a lengthy 15 step process, which isn’t fun. While Mullvad’s customer support department has no live chat function, they got back it is within two hours, which was impressive. Mullvad also has a built in kill switch that will immediately end your session if there is an IP leak or DNS leak detected.
Mullvad Torrenting and Netflix
You’re able to torrent and utilize P2P connections when working with Mullvad, which is rare in a VPN that operates out of a 14 Eyes jurisdiction. Mullvad doesn’t really advertise that torrenting is ok on its servers, but they do have a Bittorrent guide that lets you know that P2P connections are perfectly fine. We tested a number of Mullvad’s servers for Netflix use, and were pleased to find some promising results. Five of the US-based servers we tested were all blocked, but a UK server fired Netflix right up with no issues whatsoever.
Mullvad’s pricing is so simple that it doesn’t even have a pricing page on its website. There are no monthly plans or gated features.
- You have an account number that provides you with 30 days of access for $5.61, or 5 euros.
You can pay with a credit or debit card, or use PayPal. It also accepts Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash.
-> Read the full Mullvad’s review here <-
-> Check Mullvad’s out right now! <-
7. CyberGhost | Great Features, Average Speed ($2.75/mo)
+ Easy to use application
+ No logging
+ Torrenting is allowed
+ Worked with Netflix
+ Massive server park
– Average Speeds
– Questionable parent company
– Alleged security concerns
CyberGhost is next on our list. It touts itself as the truly complete VPN solution. It is definitely a complete experience, with good pricing, an easy to use app, and a positively massive server park.
- That means no government organization can demand information on you or your browsing sessions. We put CyberGhost through the ringer, testing to see if there were any DNS leaks or IP leaks plaguing our connection. We conducted six thorough tests and every single one had the same result.
No leaks whatsoever. There was an alleged security concern that popped up back in 2016 that has dogged CyberGhost ever since. It was alleged that the no logging policy is not upheld, which eroded trust in the service for a lot of people. But that is something that CyberGhost denies. It uses all of the major VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP, and IPSec, coupled with AES-256 encryption.
CyberGhost has over 4,000 servers in more than 60 countries, which is huge feather in its cap. The service is also available on devices that run Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Amazon fireTV. You can have up to seven devices connected at the same time.
- That’s a huge improvement CyberGhost has made over the years. At one time, they had a one device limit, but expanded that in a truly positive change. The company also makes use of live chat customer support and a kill switch to help you get the information that you need an add an extra layer of protection for your browsing experience.
CyberGhost Torrenting and Netflix
CyberGhost once discouraged torrenting, but now it touts it as one of its main selling points. You won’t be able to torrent on every server in the CyberGhost park, however. There are specific servers that are designed for torrenting, and they are easy to find through a tab located in the app.
- CyberGhost also tries to directly tackle the issue of Netflix blocking. It uses a streaming server that continuously changes its IP whenever Netflix identifies it. We tested this out and it worked perfectly. They specifically label the servers that work for Netflix, so you won’t have to look too hard.
Most VPN services offer monthly, yearly, and two year subscriptions. CyberGhost has this as well, but they take it a step further. CyberGhost offers a three year subscription, which is undoubtedly its best value.
- The month-to-month pricing, which is the most expensive, is $12.99 per month.
- Then you have the one year subscription, which drops all the way down to $5.99 per month.
- Two years will cost you $3.69 per month. Finally, you have the three year plan at just $2.75 per month.
- That two year option makes CyberGhost one of the cheapest VPN options out there.
As for payments, you’ve got credit and debit cards, but also BitPay and PayPal. There’s even an option to pay in cash. When it comes to money back guarantees, you have some stingy seven day periods and the more common 30-day money back guarantee offered by most. By CyberGhost gives you 45 days to decide that you want a refund.
-> Check Cyberghost out right now! <-
8. Trust.Zone | Fast VPN with Small Server Network ($2.88/mo)
+ Fast network
+ Unblocks Netflix
+ No logging
+ No leaks
– Limited device support
– Small server network
– Bad customer support
Trust.Zone is a relatively young service, launching back in 2014 by Trusted Solutions, LLC. This is an easy to use service with no logging, that exists outside of information sharing alliances. It uses some of the best encryption and VPN protocols out there while also being one of the more affordable VPN’s we’ve seen. And Trust.Zone server speeds were similar to NordVPN.
From a privacy standpoint, Trust.Zone hits the gate with good news. It’s located in the Seychelles islands, in Mahe specifically. Aside from being a lovely spot, the Seychelles have no information sharing pact with other nations, and exist outside of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance. That means no government agency is going to be requesting your information. Or, at the very least, they could request it and be denied.
They also keep no log files. Usage data is all anonymous and in no way connected with you. Trust.Zone also offers OpenVPN, the industry standard VPN protocol, along with L2TP. That is all backed up by AES-256 encryption, which is uncrackable by modern technology. We ran a test for leaks and viruses and found Trust.Zone to be completely safe and clean.
When you’re using Trust.Zone, you have access to 170 servers spread over 96 different locations. While that’s not the biggest server park we’ve seen, it’s acceptable. There is a kill switch included with the service that will end your session if an IP leak is detected. It’s like an emergency detection system that adds another layer of security onto an already impressive private service.
- Trust.Zone was also super easy to install and ultimately use. The full installation, including download time, took no more than three minutes. Then it’s just one simple click and you’re connected. Once you’re in, it’s also super easy to switch servers whenever you want.
- Unfortunately, device support is a major issue for Trust.Zone. You can connect to iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, and Mac systems, but there is no support for gaming systems and other smart devices.
Customer support was also found wanting. There is no 24/7 help desk. You’re only able to get help through a contact form from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. GMT. You’re able to run five simultaneous connections when using a two year subscription, but only three when you subscribe for one year or on a month to month basis.
Trust.Zone Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting and P2P connections are allowed using Trust.Zone with no restrictions whatsoever. Trust.Zone goes out of its way to state that it does not block or throttle any kind of internet traffic. That means you’re also able to use TOR if you want to add another layer of security and encryption onto your browsing sessions.
We checked five Trust.Zone servers for Netflix functionality, and two out of those five worked like a charm. That means Trust.Zone is a service that works with Netflix, you’ll just have to play around with the servers in order to find one that can slip through the streaming service’s detection system.
Trust.Zone is a well priced service, offering subscription periods of one month, one year, and two years. Each subscription period has the entire server selection, unlimited data transfer, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited server switching.
- It’s rare to find a month to month VPN for under $10, but Trust.Zone only costs $8.88 per month, with no commitment period.
- A one year subscription costs $4.44 per month, which is only $39.95 up front.
- Then you have the two year subscription, which saves you up to 68% at just $2.88 per month. That’s a one time cost of $69.15.
- Trust.Zone also offers a free test period of three days. It limits you to 142 servers and 1GB for data transfers.
Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, PayPro, and Bitcoin. They even incentivize using Bitcoin by offering a 10% discount for anyone that uses it. All Trust.Zone plans offer a 10 day money back guarantee.
-> Read the full Trust.Zone review here <-
-> Check Trust.Zone out right now! <-
9. ibVPN | VPM, Proxy and Smart DNS ($4.83/mo)
+ No logging
+ Unblocks Netflix
+ Allows torrenting
+ Support is quick to respond
– Pricing is confusing
– Small server park
ibVPN is a safe and secure VPN option that uses strong protocols and encryption to safely tunnel your information. It offers Proxy and Smart DNS all in one central system. This VPN has average speed and quick support, with a slew of useful features that make it easy to use.
- That means a government body won’t be able to request your personal information. This leads to better protection and fewer sleepless nights for the users of ibVPN.
- Then you have the actual VPN connection. ibVPN uses OpenVPN, which is an open sourced protocol that has become the industry standard bearer for VPN use. But ibVPN also offers PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP protocols in case you wanted to use something different.
As for encryption, you’ve got access to AES-256 encryption standards, which will seamlessly protect your information from prying eyes. The only thing that could potentially threaten this winning combination would be an IP or DNS leak. Thankfully, we found none of those after running six thorough tests on the connection. There was also no malware to be found in the installation files.
Device support is an area where ibVPN truly shines. You have your basic devices covered like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, but it also works on smart devices, streaming devices, and gaming systems. You can also connect ibVPN to a router in order to protect every device connected to the signal.
- The app installs and starts up in no time at all. Once you’re logged in, you can customize your connections based on preferences. You could, for instance, set your VPN to automatically connect to the fastest server or to start up whenever your computer turns on.
Unfortunately, there are a number of issues we found, which starts with the service’s speed. US-based servers were seeing download speeds slowed by upwards of 84%, while upload speeds slowed by 75%. The basic plan for ibVPN also only allows for one connection at a time. If you upgrade to a more inclusive plan, you can get up to five connections.
ibVPN Torrenting and Netflix
Torrenting is totally allowed on 35 of ibVPN’s servers. You can set your preferences to automatically connect to one of these servers every time you log on if you’re going to be doing a lot of torrenting. TOR is also available, but only through three servers, located in the US, Singapore, and the Netherlands. We tried this service out as well for Netflix, and we found that two out of the five servers that we tested were able to connect and stream content with no issues.
Most of the VPNs that we review have one all inclusive service that varies by price based on the length of your subscription. ibVPN doesn’t do that. Instead, it has four different tiers of service, some of which are priced the same.
- The Standard VPN, Torrent VPN, and IBDNS/Smart DNS subscriptions are all priced at $3.08 per month, if you’re paying for the whole year up front. They’re $4.95 per month on a month to month basis.
- Then you have the Ultimate VPN package, which is $4.83 per month when you pay for an annual subscription or $10.95 month to month.
All packages come with a 15-day money back guarantee. They accept over 50 international payment options. These include credit and debit cards, eWallets, AliPay, bank wire transfers, BitCoin, and many others.
-> Read the full ibVPN review here <-
-> Check ibVPN out right now! <-
10. Private Internet Access | Fast, Average Streaming ($3.33/mo)
Private Internet Access Pros:
+ Massive server park
+ Affordable pricing
+ No logging
+ Fast service
Private Internet Access Cons:
– US Jurisdiction
– Live chat is only for paying customers
– Barely works with Netflix
Private Internet Access is a fast VPN service that is based in the United States. It’s one of the most popular VPN services in the world and rounds out our list of the best VPN services at number 10. It has been around since 2010 and boasts thousands of users at an affordable price.
Private Internet Access Privacy
PIA claims that it does not log any of your information, recording no data points associated with VPN activity. While it confirms that it doesn’t monitor traffic and communication logs, it does hold onto your payment data and email address.
- What’s more, PIA is located in the United States, which is a member of the 5 Eyes security alliance. That means at any time the US government could request your information and then share that data with several other countries. The connection was secure when we tested it.
There were no DNS or IP leaks after a series of six tests. Encryption is done using AES-256 standards for the maximum level of protection. It comes with AES-128 by default but you can up the ante to the more powerful 256. It uses OpenVPN as a tunneling protocol, which is the industry standard. It also uses IPSec/L2TP, PPTP, and Socks5 proxy.
Private Internet Access Features
The first thing to note about PIA is that it’s fast. All VPNs are going to sap some of your speed, but some go overboard with it. With PIA, we noticed very subtle speed reductions while testing servers in the US, UK, Asia, and the EU.
- There’s also a kill switch, which is going to monitor the integrity of your connection and immediately disconnect you if there’s any kind of leak detected. As for device compatibility, you’ve got Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and Firefox.
Extensions have also been created for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers. Routers can be set up as well, though if you want to use OpenVPN, that’s going to take some manual setup time. PIA also supports smart TVs and gaming consoles.
Private Internet Access Torrenting and Netflix
PIA not only allows torrenting, it specializes in it. They won’t restrict of monitor any of your P2P connections. The company doesn’t come out and specifically say that it allows torrenting, so if you’re looking at its website then you might be confused.
- It does, however, say that P2P connections are supported. As for Netflix, it worked but it just worked. We tested five of PIA’s servers and only one of them actually worked when we fired up Netflix. So, is it possible to run Netflix using PIA? Absolutely. But you’re going to have to go through some trial and error.
Private Internet Access Pricing
PIA has a month to month subscription along with one year and two year commitments.
- The monthly version of PIA comes in at just $9.95 per month, and renews monthly.
- This is a good price for a month to month service, as its hard to find one for under $10.
- The you have the one year option, which is paid upfront at $71.88 per year. That boils down to just $5.99 per month.
- Then there’s the two year plan, which costs just $3.49 per month, paid one time at $83.87.
-> Check PIA out right now! <-
Who is The Best VPN Provider?
When trying to determine the best VPN for you, there are a number of key criteria you should be examining. It just happens to be the same criteria that we look for when conducting VPN reviews. Some notable things to watch out for include:
- Logging policy
- Are there any IP leaks?
- How fast is the VPN?
- Does it allow torrenting?
- Will it unblock Netflix?
- How many servers does it have?
- What countries are those servers in?
- How many connections can you have at one time?
- Is there a kill switch?
- Does the VPN parent company fall under the jurisdiction of a surveillance alliance?
What are the benefits of using a VPN?
A VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic so that your session remains completely anonymous. But how does it make that happen? First, the VPN masks your IP address, which is why it’s important to make sure that the service you’re using doesn’t leak your DNS or IP address.
- Appearing like you’re somewhere else allows you to bypass geo-blocked content or uncensor websites.
- It also helps journalists and privacy activists under authoritarian regimes escape backlash, jail time, or worse. VPN’s create a secure tunnel around your entire internet connection (mostly using OpenVPN tunneling protocol), protecting not just your browser, but also your app activity, too.
- Most VPNs use 256-bit AES encryption that makes it virtually impossible for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to track which websites you’re visiting. But it also means your personal data stays protected.
Is a VPN fully legal?
Yes, VPN use is perfectly legal in 97% of countries worldwide. However, we fact-checked 196 VPN country laws to confirm that some countries control VPN use, while others ban them outright. Only “Government Approved” VPNs are supposed to be used in:
- United Arab Emirates
Getting caught using one that’s not sponsored could mean fines, jail time, or both. Beware when in these countries, though. Because you can pretty much assume that “government approved” means they share some (if not all) data with each government when called upon.
Can you use a VPN to stream or watch Netflix?
You can use VPNs to stream content and watch Netflix, but not all of them work with certain streaming services. We found that roughly 70% of the VPNs we tested can fly under Netflix’s geo-blocking radar. Those numbers are pretty good, considering Netflix has aggressively gone after VPN connections and proxy servers in the last few years.
- Their licensing restrictions are under extreme pressure, so they’re doing anything and everything necessary to prevent people in the U.K. from streaming U.S. content (and vice versa). Our tests revealed both Surfshark and NordVPN work flawlessly on multiple servers.
- That means they’re proactively avoiding detection from Netflix. And it means you can count on them working successfully in the future, too. Besides Netflix, people also use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions, watch sports channels, or even other streaming services like Kodi.
Are VPNs safe for torrenting?
Yes, VPNs can keep your connection safe and anonymous when you’re torrenting or using P2P connections. We’ve compiled the best VPNs for torrenting and found that most fall in one of four categories:
- Allow unlimited, unrestricted torrenting
- Allow limited torrenting only on specific servers
- Allow but don’t encourage and don’t
- Don’t allow
Torrenting connects you to peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing to download massive files at lightning speeds. Without a VPN, you leave yourself exposed from the other people on that same connection. The problem is that torrenting is most well known for bypassing copyright laws to illegally download content. And many VPN companies shy away from the potential blowback from authorities.
Do VPN providers keep log files?
VPN companies should not be keeping log files, and all of them claim that they don’t. However, many still do, which is why it’s important to do your research. After going through tons of different VPNs, we found that quite some of them will collect three or more important log files that would easily reveal your personal actions. They all say they “don’t log.”
- But many of them do. The trick is to dig into their privacy policies and terms of service to see what, exactly, they’re logging. For example, pretty much all of them will track aggregate bandwidth usage so they can monitor their own server performance.
- That stuff is no problem. It starts to get a little tricky when they track when you log in or out of their service. And you’ll want to run for the hills when they track the individual websites you visit.
- To make matters worse, a lot of them use overly-complicated legal mumbo-jumbo to confuse the issues. They’ll word it in such a way that makes it sound innocent. Where it doesn’t seem like they’ll track the files you download.
Can you protect routers, Smart TV, or game console with a VPN?
You can absolutely use a VPN with your router, Smart TV, and gaming console, as long as the VPN you’re using has support for those devices. Thankfully, most of them do. If they don’t, they often have a workaround like a manual OpenVPN setup. Ideally, go with a VPN that natively supports the platform you have in mind. Let’s say that’s a router. Setting up a VPN connection at your Internet source means you can lock-down your entire connection, even a VPN for Mac is no issue with most security measures.
But it also means you can effectively add as many devices to a secure network as you’d like, too. If you do need to do a little more manual labor, click here to read our full guide on setting up a router VPN. Additionally, setting it up on your Smart TV will help you more easily stream geo-blocked content on Netflix, Hulu, and others. You can change server locations right from the device itself and simply cycle through the best options to finally access whatever content you desire.
Will a VPN slow down internet speed?
All VPNs will impact speed in some way. You can expect a 30% drop from even the fastest VPN providers in the world. Really, it all boils down to what VPN you’re using. Some of them only slow you down a little, while some absolutely gut your speeds. Why is this? Think about it this way:
Sure, they’re adding another layer of security. However, that also means they’re adding more hoops for your traffic to jump through. Those additional speed bumps mean you can always expect a slowdown of some sort. The key is to find a VPN that doesn’t completely derail your traffic, either.
- We repeat the same speed test for each VPN we review. First, we get the benchmark reading without a VPN so we can compare. Then, we connect to a few different servers to try and compile an unbiased, combined rating.
- Throughout this process, we’ve seen some that might only dock your connection a few percentage points. Chances are, you wouldn’t even notice it.
- But we’ve also seen some awful ones, too. Some of the providers we’ve reviewed have slowed our connection down by over 100%! That would make streaming content virtually impossible. Even answering emails would be a struggle. We’ve ranked each VPN from first to the last place. So reference the ranking on each if you’re concerned.
Can a VPN help with ISP throttling?
Typically, a VPN is capable of helping you with ISP throttling. This occurs when your Internet Service Provider throttles your connection in an attempt to intentionally slow your connection speed. While this shouldn’t be legal, it absolutely is. If you’re using a ton of bandwidth, streaming HBO or Netflix, they might purposefully slow down your connection to indirectly force you to stop.
Using these services mean two things:
- Fewer resources are available for their other customers, and
- You’re not watching their own services or shows
Many times, they’ll use sophisticated methods like ‘peering’ to basically spy on your traffic data. The problem is that it’s not always possible to escape throttling. A VPN can help, though. It will encrypt your device, and help hide it from these peering-type activities. It’s not foolproof. But it can help hide data packets buried below the surface that would identify you.
What are the risks of using a VPN?
VPNs are mostly safe. If you’re doing something very illegal, however, there is a risk involved. There are certain actions that you can take which can cause some legal issues. Make sure you’re not doing one of these things:
- Using a non-government sponsored VPN in a country that requires one
- Downloading copyrighted information through a VPN and torrenting
- Performing other illegal activities while under a VPN connection.
Obviously, any of those questionable details can land you in hot water, no matter what type of connection you’re running. But for everything else, you’re mostly risking time and money. If you’re wasting money on a VPN with terrible performance, for instance, it might take forever to stream something until you eventually abandon it.
Then you’ve wasted money you can’t get back. We’ve highlighted some of the ‘spying’ and malware risks with free VPNs, too. Fortunately, these are pretty rare. But it definitely does happen. So we’ll let you know if we found any potential red flags in each of our reviews.
Is there a totally free VPN?
There are some free VPNs but we do not recommend using them. The old adage of something appearing “too good to be true” blazes like a warning alarm around these services. You know what they say about “free” services, at the end of the day you are the product.
- Shady free VPNs will commonly track your data and sell it to the highest third-party bidder. Many have even been caught doing far worse, like injecting ads or referring affiliate traffic to boost profits on your behalf.
- See if the VPN you’re interested in offers a free trial. Or, if you look around, you can find coupons or discounts like our NordVPN coupon.
Is a VPN safe for banking?
As long as you know what you’re doing, a VPN is perfectly safe when banking. Typically, VPN use can only improve your online security, and who wouldn’t want an added layer of security in place when you’re dealing with your financial information?
- The only issue you might encounter would be the bank’s security system, especially if you’re connected to the VPN through a server located in another country. That would show up as suspicious activity and might get flagged in the bank’s system.
- This could cause a temporary hold to be placed on your account. But if you connect to a server that’s in your general area, the added encryption can be a great boost to your online security. We advice you to not use one of the cheapest VPN’s.
Can a VPN connect to another VPN?
Yes, you can use more than one VPN at the same time, but it’s a complicated process that shouldn’t be undertaken unless you’re a tech savvy individual. Though, it should be noted that while running two VPNs together is possible, it’s really not necessary and doesn’t provide much benefit, especially when you consider the work that it takes.
- When you use two VPNs, one will likely connect while the second will show a routing error. The two services will then duke it out among one another until one takes the lead. That would then be the only one running.
- The best way to have two VPNs working together would be to set one up on your operating system with another running on a virtual machine. To do this, the virtual machine would have to be installed with OpenVPN added.
You’d then use the system on the virtual machine to have two tunnels connected. This routes your IP address through the first computer before being routed through the virtual machine. It should also be noted that this will slow your speeds down by quite a lot. If you want to double up your security, we suggest using the TOR network while connected to a VPN.
How many unique IP addresses and locations can a VPN offer?
Every VPN has a different number of IP addresses and locations for you to connect with. This is one of the features that you should look at when deciding on the best VPN for your personal and business use. Something like VyprVPN, for instance, has 300,000 IP addresses, but that’s not going to be the same with every service that you look at. Do you want to learn more? Then read our guide about what a VPN is.
Can police track a VPN?