Keep in mind, not every VPN in the industry provides the kind of top-notch encryption that can help safeguard your privacy. In fact, since encryption depends on the security protocols and not on the VPN service provider, you should consider choosing VPNs based on the protocols being offered rather than relying on the VPN provider’s name.
So to help you choose the top encrypted VPN for your needs, I’ve rounded up 7 of the most secure VPN services you can use in 2021. During testing, we found out that ExpressVPN is the most secure VPN, combining top encryption with leak protection and a verified no-logs policy.
- 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
- 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
- Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
- 5 Multi Logins
- Zero-knowledge DNS
7 Best Encrypted & Most Secure VPNs [2021 In-Depth Analysis]
I tested 50+ VPNs while prioritizing their security protocols and encryption. Out of them, I came up with the 7 best VPNs for privacy and security in 2021:
1. The Best Encrypted VPN – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is probably the most renowned best VPN for privacy in the industry. This British Virgin Islands-based VPN service offers great privacy features and VPN protocols like OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. Also, ExpressVPN offers 256-bit military-grade encryption for ultimate privacy. And its kill switch feature adds a cherry on top in the security scenario.
Moreover, ExpressVPN offers an RSA-4096 handshake (a type of link affirmation between the device and a particular VPN server). It also offers a PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) and SHA-512 hash message authentication code (HMAC) making it one of the most secure and no-logs VPNs in the industry.
In terms of network coverage, ExpressVPN has 3000+ servers all over the globe. These servers are optimized to offer top-notch security and encryption. The VPN can also protect 5 devices because it allows five simultaneous connections with a single account.
It is also capable of unblocking geo-restricted streaming services from abroad. You can watch Netflix US, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, and more from anywhere in the world with ExpressVPN.
That being said, ExpressVPN starts at a price of just $6.67/mo on its annual plan with a 3-month free subscription. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for users to test the service.
You can read our detailed ExpressVPN review for its complete features.
2. Affordable and Highly Encrypted VPN – Surfshark
Surfshark is another premium yet affordably priced VPN for security that you can use to achieve ultimate protection. It not only offers 3200+ servers across 65 countries but also offers protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, Wireguard, and L2TP. It works with almost all streaming services and offers a bufferless experience.
Aside from these protocols, Surfshark offers AES-256 secure encryption and DNS leak protection. This VPN also offers a kill switch feature and other awesome security features like Cleanweb, Whitelister, MultiHop, and much more.
Surfshark is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox), and more and comes with unlimited simultaneous connections for users.
Moreover, Surfshark’s 24/7 live chat feature is great if you face any VPN issues or if it’s not working for you. It comes at an affordable price of just $2.49/mo and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to users. To know more about VPN for encryption, you can read our detailed Surfshark review.
3. Secure VPN with Strong Encryption – NordVPN
NordVPN is another secure VPN provider known for offering advanced security features. The service offers 5200+ servers in 60 countries worldwide. Not only that, NordVPN offers 256-bit encryption alongside a Nordlynx feature that can encrypt user traffic while offering great speeds.
If we talk about protocols, NordVPN supports both OpenVPN protocol and IKEv2/IPSec. Moreover, its double VPN technology allows you additional security by routing the traffic through multiple VPN servers. It also offers a kill switch feature, making it one of the most secure VPN.
NordVPN comes with 6 multi-logins that you can use to connect up to 6 devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Fire Stick, Smart TVs, Roku, Kodi, and more.
This super-secure VPN comes at a price of just $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) along with a 30-day money-back guarantee for users to test the service. You can read our exclusive NordVPN review to know more about this VPN provider.
4. The Fastest Encrypted VPN – IPVanish
IPVanish is one of the industry’s oldest and fastest VPN service providers. The veteran VPN service provider offers users access to 1900+ encrypted VPN servers in 75+ locations.
IPVanish offers PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 VPN protocols with AES 256-bit encryption with many servers. These protocols make it one of the safest VPNs in the industry right now.
Apart from these protocols, IPVanish also features an internet Kill Switch, port forwarding, split tunneling, IPv6, WebRTC, DNS leak protection. After performing IPVanish leak tests using ipleak.net, I didn’t experience any leaks.
Aside from offering powerful encryption, IPVanish keeps no logs and offers affordable subscription plans. For the cheapest plan, IPVanish only charges $3.75/mo and offers unlimited multi logins with a 30-day refund period as well. To know about encryption VPN in detail, you can read our IPVanish review.
5. User-friendly Encrypted VPN – CyberGhost
Next up, we have CyberGhost, another most secure VPN service. It also features 7000+ servers across 90 countries. For encryption, this VPN offers 256-bit military-grade encryption for total anonymity.
Also, CyberGhost supports three powerful protocols. You can choose from OpenVPN (TCP / UDP), IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec. These protocols make it one of the safest protocols out there.
CyberGhost’s Data channels use AES-265-CBC cipher with SHA256 hash authentication. Similarly, its control channel uses AES-256 cipher, withSHA384 hash authentication, and RSA-4096 key encryption.
If we talk about simultaneous connections, CyberGhost offers 7 multi-logins. Not only that, much like other VPNs in this list, CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. You can read our CyberGhost review to know about this VPN service.
6. Encrypted VPN with Massive Server Network – Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a budget-friendly and one of the most secure VPNs that offer some of the industry’s best security protocols and powerful 256-bit encryption. You can choose between OpenVPN protocol (TCP / UDP), PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEV, and IPSEC. It also hosts a top-notch kill switch feature to protect your online activities at max.
With this military-grade encrypted VPN, you can also choose different data authentication methods, including RSA-2048 and RSA-4096. It also features its own DNS server for maximum security and privacy. However, you are free to change this if you want.
Aside from protocols, PIA offers an extensive server park. You can choose from 35500+ secure VPN servers available in 78 countries. Best of all, Private Internet Access also has great live chat support to handle any queries you have.
You can get PIA at a cost of $2.08/mo and offers a 30-day refund policy for users to test the service out. Moreover, it’s a VPN service that offers 10 simultaneous connections to protect multiple devices at once.
You can read our exclusive PIA VPN review to know more about what this VPN offers.
7. Highly Encrypted VPN with Swiss Security – ProtonVPN
This Swiss VPN is actually a super-secure VPN, offering the best security protocols including military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. When it comes to the best VPN encryption protocols, ProtonVPN offers PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, and the most effective OpenVPN protocol.
Let’s not forget that it also offers the latest WireGuard too which is considered more secure, stable, and one easy-to-use encryption protocol. However, it’s still under development.
ProtonVPN also offers a Secure Core feature that actually runs your online traffic through a Secure Core system that’s located in some countries dedicated to privacy like Switzerland itself. This way, even the most vulnerable or weak VPN IPs won’t leak your actual IP address to anyone.
Let’s not forget that it also offers a feature called Perfect forward secrecy which will ensure that your encrypted data does not get decrypted later even if an encryption key is hacked or compromised.
ProtonVPN offers 10 multi-logins to users, an ad-blocker, and DNS leak protection to all users. It is available at a price of $8.00/mo that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its paid plans. You can learn more about it in our ProtonVPN review.
Our Testing Methodology for Best-Encrypted VPNs
VPNs are meant to protect your online activities and keep you completely using their features. Let’s look at the basic criteria on which I tested the VPNs above:
1. IP leaks: I first tested all the VPNs to check if they leak your IP or not. I mean, if the VPN is giving away your information as basic as your IP address, then getting that VPN is not worth it. All the VPNs listed above have been tested for this and do not leak any user’s IP.
2. Kill switch: A kill switch is yet another significant security feature VPNs offer. The above-listed VPNs offer effective kill switches that you can use to stay secure even if your connection drops.
3. Encryption Protocol/Algorithm: This is the most important factor that you should consider. Your VPN provider should support the strongest encryption. For instance, OpenVPN and IKEv2 offer the most robust standard of encryption and the most secure VPN protocols. The VPNs listed above both these protocols along with many others so you can select the one you need.
4. Server Locations: If you access the internet using a number of servers across different locations, you can make it that much more difficult for your ISP to detect your real identity. Therefore, many server locations mean you can choose any virtual location from anywhere in the world. VPNs like ExpressVPN offer 3000+ servers in the world for you to choose from.
Are Encrypted VPNs Fast?
Yes, all of our recommended encrypted VPNs mentioned above offer fast connection speeds. These secure VPNs can handle tasks like HD streaming, online gaming, and VoIP calls. To help you get an idea about top safe VPN speeds, we ran speed tests to show you which safest VPN is the fastest.
Here is a list of VPN speeds measured for different providers:
Note: All VPN testing was performed on a base Internet speed of 30 Mbps.
|PIA VPN||21.39 Mbps||$2.08/mo|
|CyberGhost VPN||17.10 Mbps||$2.25/mo|
VPN Encryption Algorithms
Before discussing VPN encryption algorithms in detail, you should know what encryption in the VPN industry is all about. You can consider encryption as a lock that secures your online data. Without opening the lock, snoopers and ISPs cannot track your online activities.
The innovative computer ciphers are nearly impossible to crack. It means the latest encryption algorithms are unbreakable even if you use supercomputers to blow the computer ciphers. The more difficult the encryption algorithm, the tougher the cipher is to crack.
Therefore, the AES 256-bit encryption is assumed to be the most secure encryption level compared to AES 128-bit encryption.
How to Choose a VPN with the Best Encryption Service?
When searching for the best VPN for encrypted data transfer and internet surfing, there are a few considerations that you should bear in mind. These are highlighted below:
Most Secure VPN Encryption Standards
When it comes to evaluating different kinds of VPN encryption standards, nothing beats AES’s significance (Advanced Encryption Standard). Here is the list of some of the best VPN encryptions:
- Diffie-Hellman and ECDH
1. AES Encryption
AES is the most efficient online encryption standard that offers security to the users’ information to another level. Moreover, it uses 128 and 256- bit levels of protection that improves your data’s safety straight away and ensures maximum security.
2. Blowfish Encryption
OpenVPN uses the Blowfish-128 encryption standard that you can assume as the second line of defence and security.
Camellia: Camellia is an innovative cipher the users can consider in place of AES cipher. However, it does not offer the level of security AES provides to the users.
3. Handshake Encryption
OpenVPN, a VPN protocol, uses handshake encryption that enables the OpenVPN client and VPN server to create secret keys. These secret keys allow secure communication between the OpenVPN client and the VPN server.
This is a public key you can use to protect your data instantly. Still, if you have the luxury to use 256-bit AES military-grade encryption, you should not opt for RSA because AES-256 provides top-notch security.
5. Diffie-Hellman and ECDH
This is a Handshake protocol alternative that offers key lengths of 2048-bits or 4096-bits. The said encryption standard provides perfect forward secrecy to the users without any hassle.
Which VPN Protocol is the Most Secure?
Let’s look into some VPN protocols and how secure they really are:
1. PPTP – Not considered secure
While this VPN protocol is offered by almost every VPN provider, it isn’t considered the most secure one, and therefore, should be avoided.
2. L2TP – Doesn’t secure data from getting tracked
This is yet another widely-supported protocol that doesn’t protect you completely. It might secure you from the prying eyes of your ISP, but NSA would still be able to track you.
3. IKEv2 – Suitable option for Android and iOS devices
This protocol is technically more stable than an OpenVPN connection. It is usually referred to as IKEv2/IPSec because it is never implemented without an IPSec encryption. However, this protocol is only available over UDP.
4. OpenVPN – Highly recommended security protocol
This VPN protocol is highly recommended to be used and is available on all VPNs above. It is known to be the most secure VPN protocol for users.
Best Free Encrypted VPN in 2021
Fortunately, you can secure your online privacy by using a free encrypted VPN. Meaning there are free VPN services that offer encryption crucial for spoofing your online locations. You can get awareness about the best free VPN that can improve your online security to the next level instantly.
Keep in mind that free VPN services usually do not provide adequate encryption and security. With a free VPN, you might experience data leaks, including your IP address, email address, etc. However, there is one VPN provider that is providing excellent services and encryption for free: ProtonVPN.
ProtonVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN provider that offers unlimited bandwidth and high-security encryption. It uses the AES-256 encryption standard, which effectively secures user data from leaks or interception. This is why I recommend ProtonVPN as the best VPN for encrypted surfing that you can have for free.
Best Encrypted VPNs for Android
There are quite a few VPNs available for Android devices. If you own an Android device, you should consider certain factors before opting for the best VPN for encrypted browsing. First, the VPN provider should have good compatibility with Android OS. Second, it should use the most recent and advanced encryption protocols.
The VPN providers that we reviewed in the list above all have the best encryption features. However, all things considered, NordVPN is the best encrypted VPN service for Android that you can have. Not only does it provide great compatibility with Android, but it also uses additional security features like a double VPN for maximum protection.
Thus, for Android users, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for strong encryption. You can also read our blog on the best VPN to learn more about the leading VPN providers in the market.
FAQs – Best Encrypted VPN
Now that you have an idea about encryption and why is it so important, let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about encrypted VPN:
What is an encrypted VPN?
A VPN creates an encrypted connection between you, the client, and the servers. This encrypted tunnel ensures that the information you share with the client is completely safe, and no one can monitor your activity including your ISP and the government. The best-encrypted VPN would keep you completely safe on the internet.
Does a VPN use Encryption?
Yes, VPNs do use encryption to protect your privacy and ensure security. In fact, the most reliable and secure VPNs offer 256-bit encryption for maximum privacy.
Why do we need an encrypted VPN?
Some of the reasons why you need a VPN are:
- You don’t want hackers to get your personal data.
- You don’t want your ISP to snoop on you.
- You don’t want government agencies to spy on you and get your personal information.
What is the best VPN Encryption?
The best kind of VPN encryption is 256-bit military-grade encryption that makes your data secure from the eyes of online hackers and ISPs. You can learn more about encryption on our page What is Encryption.
Which VPN has military-grade encryption?
ExpressVPN offers AES 256-bit military-grade VPN encryption that encrypts your data so it doesn’t leak to any third party. This efficient industry-standard encryption works the best to keep users safe from any kind of snooping.
Can an encrypted VPN be hacked?
No, an encrypted VPN cannot be hacked so easily. Hacking encryption needs a lot of knowledge and expertise. Even the best of the hackers would only try to break a VPN encryption if the data is extremely significant to them.
Is a VPN connection encrypted?
Yes, if a VPN uses encryption, then your network connection will be encrypted and prevent snoopers from spying on you.
Are all VPNs encrypted?
Yes, any VPN that isn’t free, or is a mere proxy, will offer powerful encryption.
How do I know if my VPN connection is actually encrypted?
You can verify if your connection is encrypted using an encryption protocol like OpenVPN. This security protocol is considered the safest and the most stable one to connect to. OpenVPN consists of control hash auth HMAC SHA-1, forward security DHE-4096, traffic logs, etc. to keep you protected.
Unfortunately, you cannot secure your online privacy in this day and age unless you use a secure VPN to protect your online activities. Fortunately for you guys, VPNs that offer industry benchmark encryption and protocols are easily available for you guys in this guide.
However, my top choice for this is ExpressVPN, thanks to its robust security features and top-notch encryption protocols. along with that, it also offers a 3-month free subscription on its annual plan, which is simply icing on the cake.
I hope you found this blog informative. Do opt for our best-encrypted VPN services of 2021 to achieve maximum online protection and anonymity.
Which encrypted VPN is your favorite? Do tell us in the comments below.