After extensive, thorough, and in-depth testing, we’ve shortlisted the 10 best VPNs for September 2021 that offer a perfect balance between speed, streaming, security, and, of course, value for money.
2021’s Best VPN Providers [In-Depth Analysis]
Let’s look at the detailed analysis of the top 10 best VPN providers. Remember that this list is evolving. We are continuously testing VPN providers, so you can expect some providers to disappear, reappear, and experience changes in their ranking throughout the year.
You’ll mostly find the same names you see here with just a few exceptions, but we’ll specifically mention when and where particular traits make for a better choice in a more narrow evaluation.
1. ExpressVPN – Overall The Best VPN
ExpressVPN is overall the best VPN in 2021. It impressed us and became a service that can barely be improved upon, making it the ideal VPN for ultimate online security, privacy, data protection, and unblocking various streaming services.
Is ExpressVPN fast?
Yes, ExpressVPN is consistently fast. Our ExpressVPN’s speed test delivered an impressive speed of 94.52 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection. These speeds are more than sufficient for uninterrupted and 4K Ultra-HD video quality.
So let’s get into the specific first. ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries. The noticeable thing here is the number of countries as the widespread server networks would easily allow you to bypass several geographical restrictions from various parts of the world.
Being one of the best VPN for streaming, we tested ExpressVPN’s unblocking capabilities by accessing 45 geo-blocked streaming services from the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, and even China. Except for just 2, we could easily stream 43 of those streaming services that included Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Channel4, Disney Plus, DAZN, ITV, Sony Liv, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
Suppose you compare it with other top-notch VPN services, such as NordVPN. In that case, ExpressVPN is the only VPN that can unblock multiple regional Netflix libraries, including the U.S, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and more.
To further prove our statement, check out our detailed ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN comparison to witness an ounce of ExpressVPN excellence and dominance over other quality VPN providers. We have also compared other top-tier VPN providers with each other. Do check out our VPN Comparison page to see which one comes out at the top.
What are ExpressVPN security features?
ExpressVPN features include AES-256-Bit encryption, internet kill switch, TrustedServer network, and private DNS. Due to these features, it can easily ensure that your online identity and activities remain anonymous. Also, the provider headquarter is located in the British Virgin Islands, and it is completely secure from the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance.
ExpressVPN also offers multiple secure connection protocols, including L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN UDP/TCP. Recently, it has also rolled out a new proprietary connection protocol called “Lightway.” This protocol was in beta stages a few months back, but it has been included in all applications.
Lightway protocol is designed in an attempt to remove inherent weaknesses and bugs in legacy VPN protocols. After further testing, we found that it is created with a minimal code base, which entails faster connectivity, performance, and easier auditing.
Compatibility & cost
Although very few VPN providers support unlimited simultaneous connections, ExpressVPN supports 5 simultaneous connections, but it provides a simple and user-friendly VPN configuration for almost every major device.
Supported devices include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router, PS4, Kodi, Chromebook, Roku, Smart TVs, Firestick, and Android TV box that easily makes it the best companion for your online needs.
ExpressVPN is slightly expensive than other VPN providers. Of course, it costs $6.67/mo , but because it is unparalleled in providing best-in-class VPN services, it makes it completely worth it.
With reliable and efficient 24/7 customer support, 3 months completely free on an annual subscription, and a 30-day money-back guarantee with every premium subscription, you can never go wrong with this provider, regardless of your online requirement.
To learn more about this provider, check out our ExpressVPN review.
2. Surfshark – The Best Budget-Friendly VPN
Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN service. It is one of the best value swimmers in the ocean of VPN services that can offer decent online privacy, security, data protection, and unblocking for an unbelievable price of $2.49/mo – 81% discount.
Is Surfshark fast?
Yes, Surfshark promises to let you experience a super-fast VPN connection due to its high-speed integrated service network. Surfshark’s speed test delivered an impressive speed of 92.85 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection. In addition, all of our video streaming was carried out 4K Ultra-HD and Ultra-HD video quality.
Surfshark operates a server network consisting of 3200+ servers in 65 countries. While you may feel hesitant towards this provider after seeing that it only offers servers in 65 countries, rest assured it is fully capable of bypassing almost every geo-restriction limitation.
When we were testing Surfshark’s unblocking abilities, we were amazed to know that Surfshark can easily grant access to 16 various Netflix libraries from around the globe. Apart from delivering expectation-shattering results regarding Netlflix, it also opened us to the world of several streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, Channel4, Hotstar, BT-Sports, NBC Live, Spotify, ESPN+, and more.
What are Surfshark security features?
Surfshark offers security features such as AES-256-Bit encryption, internet kill switch, Clean Web, secure DNS, and Multi-Hop to ensure that your identity remains concealed from your ISP and hackers. It also gives you the power to protect your online privacy, control your data, access content safely, and unlock multiple benefits. Its headquarter is also located in the British Virgin Islands, which means “bye-bye surveillance.”
The thing which we liked most about Surfshark’s security tool was the fact it also allows you to control your data. For example, you can easily get notified by Surfshark if your data is leaked online, anywhere when to reset your password if there’s been a breach or choose to receive quarterly personal data security reports.
Unlimited simultaneous connection & cost
Remember we talked about few providers offering unlimited simultaneous connections. Well, Surfshark is one of them. In addition, Surfshark supports an infinite number of devices on its every premium subscription. So even if you set up a single Surfshark account on all of your friends and family devices, you will still be able to set it up on more devices, making it one of the best VPNs for multiple devices.
Like every other top-tier VPN provider, Surfshark can easily be configured and used on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Roku, Kodi, Roku, Firestick, Xbox, Kindle Fire, PS4, router, and many other devices simultaneously.
One can assume that with so much to offer, the service would be very expensive. That’s the best part about Surfshark. It only costs $2.49/mo and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Check out what other VPN discounted deals are currently in discussion.
An affordable price, reliable and efficient 24/7 customer support team, and unlimited simultaneous connection, make Surfshark the second best VPN choice for every purpose.
To learn more about this provider, check out our Surfshark review.
3. NordVPN – The Best VPN for Security Features
If you are a privacy-conscious user, then this might be the best VPN for you. While it can’t quite match ExpressVPN in terms of all-around excellence, it provides one of the best security and privacy-focused experiences.
Is NordVPN fast?
Yes, the connection was relatively fast for a provider that never boasts about connection or streaming speeds. NordVPN speed tests delivered an impressive speed of 91.78 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection.
Ideally, you’d assume that a provider that focuses primarily on security and privacy would deliver below-par VPN connection speeds due to all the robust encryption involved. However, this wasn’t the case with NordVPN. In addition, all of our video streams were constantly in 4K Ultra UD video quality with not a single ounce of buffering.
NordVPN offers 5200+ servers in 60 countries. While the server network coverage may be slightly lower than what we have seen till now, its 5200+ servers beautifully compensate for it and ensure an endless and reliable unblocking experience worldwide.
While the list of streaming services that we could access with NordVPN effortlessly is very long, a few honorable mentions that it can easily unblock include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Channel4, YuppTV US, Sling TV, Vudu, Disney Plus, and more.
What are NordVPN security features?
NordVPN offers AES-256-Bit encryption, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, Obfuscated servers, DNS leak protection, and kill switches (application-specific and system-wide) to guarantee ultimate online security and privacy.
Launched in 2020, NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol was certainly eye-catching. NordLynx is a technology that is built around the WireGuard VPN protocol. It lets you experience WireGuard’s speed benefits without compromising your privacy.
It has helped make NordVPN’s connection speeds even faster and more reliable, even from further afield servers. Right now, NordLynx is available for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux users. All of these state-of-the-art security and encryption techniques have made NordVPN one of the best-encrypted VPNs in the industry at the moment.
Compatibility & cost
NordVPN single subscription supports 6 simultaneous connections. Also, it offers user-friendly applications for devices such as Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, while it supports manual configuration for devices such as PS4, Firestick, Roku, Kodi, Chromebook, and more.
We did find the NordVPN app’s map-based interface is quite useful, but on handheld devices, it’s a bit difficult to navigate compared to a traditional server list.
As for pricing, NordVPN has a few options available included monthly subscriptions and an excellent value two-year special offer of $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE). In addition, if you want to give the service a whirl before you commit, NordVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
While NordVPN may be an ideal VPN companion for privacy-conscious users, it has certainly managed to prove that it is one of the best VPN services for almost everyone.
If you wish to learn more about this provider, we suggest you read our NordVPN review.
4. IPVanish – The Best VPN for High-Speed Connections
IPVanish has been a reliable performer for high-speed VPN connection in our VPN tests for years. After thorough testing, we found IPVanish to be one of the fastest VPN, as it delivered a speed of 95+ Mbps across the board during our testing.
Is IPVanish fast?
Yes, IPVanish promises lightning-fast VPN connection on more than 90% of its servers. IPVanish speed test delivered 95+ Mbps speed on the VPN provider’s network. This allowed us to stream various streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Spotify, CCTN, NHK, Crackle TV, and more simultaneously in 4K Ultra-HD video quality.
IPVanish offers a server network of 1900+ servers in 75 locations with 40,000+ IP addresses.
During our testing, IPVanish’s accessibility of geo-restricted content may have been challenged quite a few times, and its ability to provide bufferless, smooth, and high-definition video streaming has never once been questioned.
What are IPVanish security features?
IPVanish security features include its zero-log policy, AES-256-Bit encryption, secure connection protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and internet kill switch feature to ensure maximum online security and privacy.
IPVanish offers something that isn’t available with any other provider on this list. It offers backup protection and antivirus protection with its subscription at a separate cost. With SugarSync cloud backup, you can now secure your connection with IPVanish VPN and guard your most important data.
Also, protect your computer from malware threats with VIPRE Advanced Security at a price of just $54.99/yr ($4.58/mo).
If you combine all these features, you can ultimately protect yourself from prying eyes, spying efforts, viruses, various online threats on public Wi-Fi, and overcome every geographic censorship.
Compatibility & cost
Like Surfshark, IPVanish also offers unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account. In addition, IPVanish also supports major platforms such as Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Firestick, Kodi, Roku, and some specific router firmware such as DD-WRT v2 and v3, Tomato, Asus-WRT, and Merlin.
While the Android and iOS apps don’t seem to get updated often, there’s probably a good reason for that – they function well. The Android VPN app is a particular feather in IPVanish’s cap, with more settings and options than most of the competition and the ability to configure it to your ideal set-up.
Available right now for $3.75/mo , all IPVanish’s premium subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 reliable support, and a service status page that will keep you informed about the service uptime regularly.
Check out our in-depth IPVanish review for more information on this provider.
5. CyberGhost – The Best VPN with User-Friendly Apps
CyberGhost is known for its user-friendly apps that have been a firm favorite of ours for some time now, and it’s no surprise that it has a user base of a couple of million subscribers. It offers a feature-loaded and user-friendly interface with convenient buttons for streaming media, torrenting files, protecting your Wi-Fi transmission, and evading censorship.
Is CyberGhost fast?
Yes, CyberGhost is fast as during our CyberGhost’s speed test, we received an average speed of 89.65 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection, making CyberGhost the first VPN on our list to deliver the speed of below 90 Mbps. However, it didn’t create any difference in the video quality as we could still watch TV shows and movies in 4K Ultra-HD quality.
CyberGhost offers 7000+ servers in 90+ countries. These servers are carefully categorized in multiple connection modes that guarantees best-in-class streaming, online gaming, torrenting, and even dedicated IP connections.
Thanks to the streaming-specific servers, we didn’t experience geographical restriction or video quality issues when accessing various streaming services such as Disney+, Hulu, ITV, Channel4, Netflix, Voot, Foxtel, Nine, CBS, EuroSports UK, and more.
What are CyberGhost security features?
CyberGhost security features include AES-256-Bit encryption, internet kill switch, secure DNS, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, strict no-logs policy, and obfuscated servers. Operating from a safe jurisdiction such as Romania, CyberGhost security features ensure your online identity and data remain hidden from prying eyes.
CyberGhost VPN lets you pick from several different protocols to make the best out of your secure connection, depending on your needs and the device you’re using. The protocols include OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard.
WireGuard protocol is a fresh-out-of-the-oven protocol that has quickly become the talk of the town thanks to its elite cryptography, top-notch speed, and ease of implementation, which outperforms OpenVPN and IKEv2. It uses a cryptographic key routing process that guarantees double protection and security than AES-256-Bit encryption and delivers faster performance and bandwidth than other protocol solutions.
Compatibility, user-interface & cost
CyberGhost offers 7 simultaneous connections with a single account and can easily support all the major platforms such as Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Firestick, Roku, Kodi, and Android. VPN users that usually use Windows or Mac can enjoy the most out of this provider. Beneath its clean, easy-to-use interface lies a sea of fantastic features and functionality.
The Smart Rules panel shows that CyberGhost has put some thought into the user experience. For example, when you boot up your computer, it allows you to automatically connect to your preferred server launch a particular app (such as your default browser in incognito mode).
Unfortunately, CyberGhost’s performance isn’t quite up there with the best, and the apps are a little inconsistent at times, but it’s still a top-tier VPN that we strongly recommend.
CyberGhost costs only $2.25/mo , also offers a meaty 45-day money-back guarantee that is more than what other providers offer.
To learn more about this provider, check out our CyberGhost review.
6. Private Internet Access – The Best VPN for Torrenting
Private Internet Access is the best VPN for torrenting. It may not be quite the fastest VPN, or the cheapest, or the most powerful, but Private Internet Access (often stylized as simply PIA) is still an attractive VPN provider with various features and a crazy amount of servers to justify a place on your shortlist.
Is Private Internet Access fast?
It isn’t as fast as we’d liked it to be. At the same time, PIA VPN isn’t popular for offering extraordinary speeds, so our expectations were quite realistic. Nonetheless, during the PIA VPN speed test, it delivered 87.23 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection. In addition, it allowed us to easily watch video streams in 4K Ultra-HD video quality with just a few small buffering issues.
One of the standout features has to be the provider’s vast network of servers – over 35500+ servers in 78 countries, to be precise. In short, this is the biggest selection of servers available from any consumer VPN provider.
With such an enormous server network, it was certain that the popular streaming services were easily accessible to us. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, BFI Player, Crave TV, ORF, Nine, and CBS, were among the streaming services we could get unlimited and unrestricted access to.
What are Private Internet Access security features?
PIA VPN’s noticeable security features include military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption, ad & malware blocking, internet kill switch, WireGuard protocol, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. PIA VPN headquarter is also located in the United States, but that has never stopped this provider from honoring the complete zero-log VPN status.
The zero-log VPN policy combined with SOCKS5 proxy service and port-forwarding features makes PIA VPN an ideal choice for safe, secure, and anonymous torrenting. While port-forwarding and zero-log VPN policy ensure that your actual identity remains hidden from everyone, the SOCKS5 proxy service enables you to download torrents at decent speeds.
PIA’s entire source code is completely open-source. It means you can inspect it and remain confident in knowing that PIA VPN is keeping its promise to protect your privacy and anonymity — without logging any of your data.
Recently PIA VPN has also launched its very own privacy-focused antivirus software. PIA’s antivirus software uses a massive database of known viruses and malware to provide robust protection against all kinds of viruses, spyware, rootkits, worms, trojans, and ransomware. It is also designed to provide real-time protection against all types of malware, including ransomware.
Compatibility & cost
PIA VPN offers 10 simultaneous connections with every premium subscription. It is also easily compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Kodi, Firestick, router, and even Chrome and Firefox browsers. You can also set up PIA VPN on your router, and that way, you won’t have to configure it manually on every device.
Available for just $2.08/mo , it offers 24/7 live customer support for all your needs with a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
To learn more about this provider, check out our detailed PIA VPN review.
7. VyprVPN – The Best VPN for China
VyprVPN is a famous VPN provider because it has been reportedly working for users in China. It boasts plenty of the features you’d expect from a modern VPN, including a no-logging policy that’s audited by a third-party security company, instantaneous live chat support, and the speedy WireGuard protocol on its desktop clients and iOS VPN apps.
Is VyprVPN fast?
No, compared to other VPN providers in this life, VyprVPN seemed slightly slow. During the VyprVPN speed test, it delivered 85.78 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps internet connection. However, it did grant us a comfortable, smooth and reliable VPN experience when streaming various content in 4K Ultra-HD quality.
VyprVPN offers 700+ servers in 70+ countries. These servers are spread across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Each server location has top-of-the-line hardware for better speed and streaming quality.
With over 300,000 available IP addresses, we could easily stream various geo-blocked streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, BFI Player, Crave TV, ORF, Nine, CBS, and more. In addition, its dynamic server switching prevents servers from getting overloaded and removes the unavailable servers from the network infrastructure.
What are VyprVPN security features?
VyprVPN headquarter is located in Switzerland. It is also a safe jurisdiction that doesn’t comply with any mandatory data retention laws. In addition, VyprVPN offers a complete zero-log policy, AES-256-Bit encryption, internet kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection to ensure that what you do online is never exposed to anyone.
Apart from the basic security features, VyprVPN is also equipped with three different features known as Chameleon protocol, VyprDNS, and VyprCloud. The Chameleon technology allows VyprVPN to fight back against censorship and keep the internet free and open. Moreover, it is a great VPN protocol for bypassing restrictive networks in countries trying to control internet access, such as China, Russia, and UAE.
VyprDNS is the name of the DNS protection offered by VyprVPN. It helps you keep your network safe from any man-in-the-middle attacks. It also doesn’t store any DNS entries since VyprVPN is a no-logs VPN.
VyprVPN Cloud is a user-friendly VPN server-deployment solution that gives you an added layer of security whenever you’re accessing your cloud servers. They offer VyprVPN Cloud for DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and VirtualBox.
Compatibility & cost
With VyprVPN, you’ll also get wide device support, as it offers plenty of apps for pretty much any device you could ask for, including QNAP, TVs, and BlackPhone, with additional guides for Blackberry phones, OpenWRT, Boxee, Firestick, and others. However, just remember that a single VyprVPN can support only 5 simultaneous connections.
Right now, VyprVPN is offering an impressive 87% discount on the 2-year subscription and giving away 12 months subscription for free. You can avail of this discounted deal for only $1.67/month, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more about this provider, check out our VyprVPN review.
8. TunnelBear – The Best VPN for Simplicity
For those who’ve never used a VPN before – and perhaps are a little intimidated by the prospect – TunnelBear could be the perfect choice due to its simplicity.
Is TunnelBear fast?
No, it produced almost similar speed results that we received from VyprVPN. Although we didn’t have any high hopes from TunnelBear concerning speed, it did manage to deliver an average speed of 84.78 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection during the TunnelBear speed test.
TunnelBear offers servers in 41 countries. With unlimited bandwidth and server switches, TunnelBear lets you browse from 41 countries in its ever-expanding network.
With its server network, you can tunnel home to enjoy the local news, entertainment, and apps you love while you’re traveling or living abroad. We could unblock popular streaming content using TunnelBear such as Netflix, HBO Max, Crave TV, Amazon Prime Video, ITV, BT-Sports, Euro-Sports, TVNZ, and more.
What are TunnelBear security features?
TunnelBear offers a zero-log policy and military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption. It also hired independent specialists to run a public security audit on its servers, systems, and code to ensure that the trust its user’s place on it is never broken.
It also prevents IP-based tracking. It means that TunnelBear prevents those Ad services that use your IP address to track your behavior across sites by assigning you a new IP.
It also offers two proprietary features known as GhostBear and VigilantBear. The VigilantBear features act as an internet kill switch and immediately cut off your network connection if the VPN is disconnected. GhostBear, on the other hand, completely hides the fact that you are using a VPN connection. Thus, it is useful in countries with strict VPN usage restrictions, such as China and Russia.
While TunnelBear is known for its simplicity, it’s also its downfall. While it’s easy to use, so are ExpressVPN and most of the other top-rated providers, but once you get used to using them, you’ll have the choice to explore in-depth options if you want to. No such luck with TunnelBear, though, as there’s a shortage of configuration.
Compatibility & cost
Unlike TunnelBear free subscription, which works on a single device, a premium TunnelBear subscription can be used on 5 simultaneous devices. It is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS (iPad and iPhone), Android, and Chrome and Firefox browsers.
You can subscribe to TunnelBear for just $4.17/month but do remember that it doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. So it’s better if you register for TunnelBear’s free subscription first and test out the service before deciding on the premium subscription. You can also cancel the TunnelBear subscription at any time during the subscription.
To learn more about this provider, check out our TunnelBear review.
9. Windscribe – The Best VPN for Chrome Extensions
Windscribe is the best VPN for Chrome extensions, and it is a trusted name in the realm of VPNs; and it delivers a high-quality product with plenty going for it.
Is Windscribe fast?
No, it is the 2nd slowest VPN out of all of our recommended VPN. On average, we received a VPN connection speed of 83.25 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection during the Windscribe speed test. Fortunately, it was sufficient enough to let us watch various shows and movies in HD video quality.
Windscribe offers 110 servers in 63+ countries. However, its 100+ servers are far fewer than what most other providers have on offer. Nevertheless, even with that handful of servers, we could easily stream Netflix (US, UK, France, Japan, and Germany), Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, YouTube TV, ESPN+, and more.
Without a doubt, it is a sound option for streamers who want to watch overseas content from back home. At the same time, Windscribe seems to have put plenty of effort into maintaining high-speed VPN servers.
What are Windscribe security features?
Windscribe offers strong data encryption such as AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key to ensuring that your actual identity, location, and data are completely secured.
With Windscribe, you can also generate your own OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and SOCKS configs for all your devices. This feature adds a layer of online security and privacy to your digital avatar.
Windscribe is also operating from Canada but don’t worry as the provider doesn’t store any identifying logs. Meaning, no one can personally identify you based on IP and timestamp. Also, it uses
Windscribe also offers a Firewall that is built into Windows and Mac applications. It blocks all connectivity outside of the tunnel to ensure there is zero chance of any leak, including but not limited to DNS leaks, IPv6 leaks, WebRTC leaks, etc.
Let’s talk about R.O.B.E.R.T. A one-of-a-kind customizable server-side domain and IP blocking tool allows users to block ads & trackers, protect themselves from infections, and enable customized access rules for websites, apps, and browse faster.
Compatibility & cost
Windscribe is among the handful of VPN providers that offer unlimited simultaneous connections. That being said, it doesn’t offer compatibility support for almost all of the popular devices. The devices compatible with Windscribe include Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Firestick, Kodi, Roku, Chrome & Firefox browsers, and routers.
That said, unfortunately, there’s no 24/7 support, so any questions you have might not get answered for a while. That seems like a big miss these days, with all of the big competition offering an on-the-spot support agent to answer your queries.
The premium subscription will cost you $4.08/month with no money-back guarantee. However, if you’re looking for a new VPN, use the free plan to discover what Windscribe can do for you. Windscribe free plan limits you to ten locations but gives you a generous 2GB-10GB/month data allowance, and it is easily one of the best free VPN providers in the market.
To learn more about this provider, check out our Windscribe review.
10 – ProtonVPN – The Best VPN for Online Security
ProtonVPN is the best VPN for online security due to the various security features – which we will talk about them in a bit and notable improvements to its clients, apps, and support.
Is Proton VPN fast?
No, it is the slowest VPN on our list. However, the ProtonVPN speed test also delivered a decent average speed of 82.45 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection. We weren’t expecting too much from this provider, so the results were satisfactory for Ultra-HD video quality.
ProtonVPN server network consists of 1200+ servers in 55 countries. In addition, its server network has helped in improving its streaming skills. As a result, it has quickly become a reliable provider for getting around geo-restrictions when you’re abroad.
It breezed past BBC iPlayer, Hulu, BFI Player, CCTN, NHK, ABC Go and netted us access to foreign Netflix catalogs without much trouble at all. However, we do like to mention here that ProtonVPN also offers a very basic free subscription plan that won’t perform anywhere near the capabilities of a premium subscription.
What are ProtonVPN security features?
ProtonVPN offers AES-256-Bit encryption, secure core architecture, forward secrecy, and Full disk encryption to ensure complete online security, privacy, and data protection. Data encryption is carried out via AES-256-Bit encryption. At the same time, the key exchange is done with 4096-bit RSA, and HMAC with SHA384 is used for message authentication.
ProtonVPN’s secure core architecture gives the service the unique ability to defend against network-based attacks. It protects your connection by routing your traffic through multiple servers before leaving our network. This means an advanced adversary who can monitor the network traffic at the exit server will not discover the true IP address of ProtonVPN users nor match browsing activity to that IP.
Secure core servers are located in hardened data centers in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden, protected by strong privacy laws, and operated on their dedicated networks.
The forward secrecy feature swaps the encryption cipher keys at the start of every new VPN connection. This means that your encrypted traffic cannot be captured and decrypted later if the encryption key from a succeeding session gets compromised.
Full disk encryption offers protection from resource-intensive man-in-the-middle attacks of the kind that governments can perform. Full disk encryption secures server certificates and all other configurations and software stored on an exit server so that even if the server is somehow compromised, attackers would not be able to access any data stored on it.
Compatibility & cost
ProtonVPN offers 10 simultaneous connections with a single premium account. Also, all ProtonVPN apps are built to ensure your internet connection is secure and private. The devices that can be easily configured with ProtonVPN include Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Linux, and Android TV.
You can also try ProtonVPN’s free subscription, but until and unless you give its premium subscription a try, you won’t realize what you are missing out on.
The 2-year basic subscription with the limited feature will cost you $3.29/month, and the plus subscription with all the perks and features will cost you $6.63/month. The premium subscription also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can cancel the ProtonVPN subscription and claim a refund.
While it isn’t perfect, it surely is a powerful and trustworthy service. We’d highly recommend you take a look at this provider in detail.
To learn more about this provider, check out our ProtonVPN review.
5 Factor Review Methodology: How We Rank The Best VPN?
Want to learn more about how we review VPNs? Take a look at our 9-factor review methodology, which will truly make you an expert when it comes to Virtual Private Networks.
Here are all the factors on which our testing and reviews are based:
More than 50% of VPN users want to protect their internet traffic composed of domain name servers (DNS) and their respective IP addresses. So it’s only natural that we’d make sure that the user’s DNS entries are not leaking by testing VPNs using DNSLeakTest.com. By comparing your actual IP address and the IP address generated by the test, we can confirm if there was a DNS leak with the VPN or not.
Next up, we look into the VPN provider’s jurisdiction and data logging policies. Usually, VPN providers are non-members of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes, international surveillance alliances that could legally force companies to hand over customer information.
Providers with jurisdiction in countries with no data retention laws (Hong Kong and the Czech Republic), such as PureVPN and Avast SecureLine VPN, would always be preferred over providers operating from countries part of the intelligence-sharing alliance.
We favor companies that only keep users’ account information like their name, email, and payment information. However, we don’t endorse those VPNs that keep any information about VPN usage, such as how long the VPN connection was established or how much data they’ve transferred, etc.
You can check our detailed report on over one hundred VPN provider’s logging policies, so you know which ones you can trust.
We also analyze the VPN’s encryption mechanism and various connection protocols to ensure that they meet the industry standards. Currently, the standard includes military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption and OpenVPN (TCP & UDP) connection protocol.
Lastly, we look for some additional security features such as an internet kill switch that will shut down the complete internet of the device in case of a VPN disconnection.
We tested all of our VPNs on an optimum private network in our New York office. Then, using only one device at a time, we ensure that our internet speed (100 Mbps) without a VPN is an objective control to measure against.
For testing download speed, upload speed, and ping (latency), we use the website SpeedTest.net. While download and upload speed are measured in megabits per second (Mbps), latency is measured in milliseconds (ms).
After we ascertain these figures, we figure out the difference between the two measurements in terms of a percentage, as the natural speeds of Mac and Windows computers differ.
Normally, VPNs have no more than a 40% reduction in speed, but it is essential to remember that speed depends upon several factors. These factors include distance to the server, time, load on the server, operating system, connection protocol, and various other network parameters.
So while we try to be as objective as possible, we also urge readers to take the speed test results with a grain of salt.
3. Server network & unblocking capabilities
A VPN with a decent server network greatly improves the chances of you unblocking various geo-restricted content. Therefore, we prefer a VPN that has servers in all major countries and cities. Also, having multiple servers in a single location is very advantageous in case anyone of them is blocked; you can immediately hop on to the other one.
It isn’t necessary that a VPN provider with a comprehensive server network would be able to grant you access to the majority of the geo-blocked content. We tested and ensured that the providers that made it to our list could unblock popular and most accessed streaming services and content.
4. Compatibility & simultaneous connections
The VPN provider must support multiple simultaneous connections. Five is the bare minimum you should accept, which allows you to have PCs, mobile, and tablets connected simultaneously.
Many VPN providers support multiple simultaneous connections, but they all have fair usage policies to prevent people from consuming all the resources. So make sure you watch out for such VPN providers.
Also, suppose you are looking for a VPN solution for many users at an affordable cost. In that case, you can always opt for VPN providers that offer unlimited simultaneous connections, such as Surfshark and IPVanish.
But supporting multiple devices simultaneously is not the only thing you should be focused on. You should also check whether the provider is compatible with the devices you’d be using at your end. For example, a good VPN provider should support gaming consoles such as Xbox, PS4, and complex devices such as Raspberry Pi, Synology, Smart TVs, and even DDWRT routers.
Nowadays, most VPN providers are easily compatible with popular devices such as Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, router, and more. However, few providers aren’t compatible with the basic devices.
5. Price, money-back guarantee & customer support
Finally, there’s the price. Look for an actual ‘Pricing’ link, read the small print, and if possible, use something like PayPal, where it’s easy to check and cancel a subscription yourself. Always make sure that the subscription you are purchasing doesn’t have restricted features, excludes taxes, applies discount for the first billing period only, and has an option to cancel automatic renewals.
Once you have decided on a VPN provider, there’s no harm in taking it for a trial run. This is where a legit money-back guarantee comes in. Usually, VPN providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee (industry standard) that is more than sufficient to decide whether you wish to continue with that provider or not.
Although VPN companies are not known for their customer support, ideally, they have a live chat feature in addition to their online help center. 24/7 live chat is preferred, and extra points if they also have call support for the users.
7 Reasons Why You Need the Best VPN Service?
Below are the top 7 reasons for which you need one of the best VPN services.
- Online security on public networks: You are vulnerable to hacker attacks if you use public networks. Since your internet traffic and IP address are easily accessible on such networks, you are more susceptible to hacking. However, using one of the best VPN services will replace your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic with military-grade encryption, which will ultimately uphold your online security and privacy.
- Access geo-restricted content: Not every content present on the internet will be accessible to you. Due to various licensing and distribution rights, you won’t access various streaming shows, services, and other content. But by using a VPN, you can swap your actual IP address with the location of your choice. This way, you can easily bypass any geo-restriction limitation set up by the source in question. With just a simple click, you can access streaming services or channels with a VPN.
- Bypass government/school/office restrictions: If you wish to browse social media or torrent websites at any school, office, or government institution’s restricted network. The only way to acquire complete internet freedom regarding accessing any form of the website is by using one of the best VPN services of 2021. Top-tier VPN providers like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark offer features that make it impossible even to detect the use of a VPN.
- Increased security for e-commerce and online banking: Purchasing something online or accessing your online bank account can put your personal information such as credit card number, account details, name, email address, phone numbers, and more at a serious security risk. To keep such information hidden and protected, VPN uses various security encryption and protocols to keep your web activity secure.
- Avoiding ISP throttling: ISPs often throttle your speed if you’re using too much bandwidth. In addition, online activities such as gaming, streaming, and torrenting can lead them to throttle your bandwidth so that the bandwidth is evenly distributed and consumed by all the users. However, a VPN can easily bypass ISP throttling due to its obfuscated servers.
- Torrenting: In many countries, copyright infringement is illegal and also punishable by law. With a secure VPN that fully supports P2P/Torrenting activities, you can download thousands of GB’s worth of movies, shows, and books securely and anonymously.
- Remote Access: VPNs that offer split tunneling features will simultaneously allow you to access public and private networks. You can also use a dedicated IP connection to access any particular device remotely.
Quick Summary of the Best VPNs [September 2021]
Here’s a quick summary of our 10 best VPN services of 2021:
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||The British Virgin Islands||Panama||United States||Romania||United States||Switzerland||Canada||Canada||Switzerland|
|Security||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit|
|Leaks||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC||No IP, DNS & WebRTC|
|Servers||3,000+ in 94 Countries||3,200+ in 65+ Countries||5,200+ in 60 Countries||1,900+ in 75+ Countries||7,000+ in 90+ Countries||35,000+ in 77+ Locations||7,00+ in 70+ Countries||41 Countries||63 Countries||1200+ in 55+ Countries|
|Speed||94.52 Mbps||92.85 Mbps||91.78 Mbps||95.74 Mbps||89.65 Mbps||87.23 Mbps||85.78 Mbps||84.78 Mbps||83.25 Mbps||82.45 Mbps|
|Streaming||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and More|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers|
|Read More||ExpressVPN Review||Surfshark Review||NordVPN Review||IPVanish Review||CyberGhost Review||PIA Review||VyprVPN Review||TunnelBear Review||Windscribe Review||ProtonVPN Review|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
Best VPN FAQs:
What is a VPN?
VPNs, otherwise known as Virtual Private Networks, allow users to use the internet via secure and encrypted tunnels. In other words, it creates a “private” internet connection.
Furthermore, since all of your traffic will be encrypted, no one will be able to see the websites you are visiting or your credentials like their usernames, passwords, financial account information, and other sensitive, personally identifiable information.
To learn more about VPNs in detail, check out our resourceful article on virtual private networks.
Is it worth paying for a VPN?
Yes, investing in a VPN is worth it because VPNs that are “free” typically place various limitations on their account. These limitations include a fixed number of server locations to connect from and the amount of data you can use while connected.
Free VPNs are also known for selling out personal information and VPN connection logs to different advertising agencies. Therefore, it is worth paying for a premium VPN provider if you value online privacy and encryption while surfing the internet.
Are VPNs legal?
VPNs are legal in most of the world, but some countries have either completely or partially banned VPNs.
Also, those bans are more relevant to the people who live there than people who travel there. Countries with VPN restrictions include China, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Oman, Iran, Belarus, Turkey, and Iraq.
Which free VPNs are the best?
The best free VPNs are Windscribe, TunnelBear, and ProtonVPN. Although we don’t recommend free VPNs, the three we just mentioned now are better than the rest regarding security, privacy, and data protection. However, these VPNs are all limited in some way with a free plan.
For example, TunnelBear only offers 500 MB of data on its free option. Windscribe limits free users to 10 GB of data per month, and ProtonVPN’s free option only allows users to connect to three servers without limits on data. So while you can get a free VPN, your best bet is to pay for one.
Can someone track you if you’re using a VPN?
No, you can’t be tracked if you use a VPN since a VPN replaces your actual IP address with its own server’s IP address.
Informative Sources Worth Checking Out
We thought it would be good to share few resources that can help you stay updated with all the latest TV shows and movies on various streaming services.
First off, Streamingrant.com is an excellent source to keep yourself updated with the latest streaming services news, schedule, and of course, TV guide for the best shows and movies out there.
Many streaming websites like Netflix have regional variations in terms of content. Speaking of Netflix, you can check out the completely updated list of movies and TV shows available on different Netflix libraries at bestnetflixvpn.com. I highly recommend checking it out to see what you’ll miss out on if you don’t get access to the right VPN servers.
If you plan to unblock any streaming service from New Zealand, then a guide by Howtowatch.co.nz will help you provide unblocking tutorials.
Howtowatchinaustralia is a great source for Australian readers that covers all the latest VPN-related hacks to unblock any geo-restricted streaming service in Australia.
Last but not the least, Bestvpnfortorrenting.com is a great source for finding the most effective VPNs for P2P filesharing.