10 Best VPN Services – Tested and Reviewed
10 Best VPN Services in 2021
1. NordVPN – Our Best Pick
+ Can unblock all the biggest streaming services
+ Offers unparalleled speeds
+ Plenty of features for better privacy
+ Broad geo coverage
– Lower price for longer plans only
NordVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs available in 2020, and it offers high-level encryption in addition to protecting and securing internet traffic. With NordVPN, users can stream or torrent on any of over 5000 servers, with no interruption or region blocking. NordVPN unblocks almost all streaming services and gives users access to fourteen regional Netflix Libraries. Not only is NordVPN one of the best overall VPN services, but it also offers all of these features at an unbeatable price.
Out of all the trustworthy VPN options available today, NordVPN is hands down one of the best VPN services available today – it’s the fastest, safest, and most reliable. Its simplicity makes it easy for practically anyone to use. Nord offers unbeatable encryptions, an iron-clad no-logs policy, and numerous advanced security options, including adequate leak protection, double VPN, as well as split-tunneling technology.
In addition to outstanding security features, NordVPN was also ranked as one of the most popular VPN services worldwide. In fact, since its launch in 2012, Nord has surpassed an incredible 12 million VPN subscribers.
This versatile VPN is easy to use and works with practically any device. It will unblock the US region in Netflix, it allows completely anonymous torrenting on its services, and it even has its own app in the amazon FireTV store. The app, which is also available on iOS and Android devices, is user-friendly and loaded with features. This is the perfect VPN for advanced users looking for high-security encryption or a beginner who is just looking to unlock regional streaming content. All of these features are available for only $3.71 each month if you choose to sign up for the two-year plan.
However, in order to provide a genuine review, it should be noted that there are still a few areas in which NordVPN could improve. In 2019, the tech world was shocked to learn that there was a server breach at Nord headquarters. Many began to question the security of the VPN service and whether users’ information was being protected. Since then, NordVPN has implemented numerous security measures and improvements; however, the breach caused many users to second-guess their service.
In this detailed review of the NordVPN service, we will look at how this VPN performs in terms of logging, connection speeds, region unlocking, and many more. We will also take a look at how Nord stacks up compared to other VPNs, so you can make an informed decision before you subscribe.
2. ExpressVPN – Great User Experience
+ Jack of all trades
+ Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee
+ Very fast speeds
+ Works even in China
– Pricier than competitors
ExpressVPN often receives a lot of praise in VPNs’ ever-expanding world as one of the best and easy to use VPNs on the market. While ExpressVPN is one of the more popular VPN choices available today, it is also a little more pricey than its competitors. What makes this VPN more expensive, and is it worth the price when analyzing its features? Does this VPN offer something that the others do not?
If you are familiar with VPN technology, you know that most VPN companies utilize the same underlying tech and operations. So what could make ExpressVPN worth more than PIA, NordVPN, Cyberghost, or IPVanish?
In order to find out if the benefits of ExpressVPN outweigh the larger price tag, we analyzed the speed service, unblocking abilities, safety and privacy, and features compared to the competitors.
For those in the market for a new VPN, you might have read some reviews that refer to ExpressVPN as a “jack of all trades“. This is a reasonably accurate description of the VPN service as it is relatively versatile for most uses. It can unlock restricted content from streaming services. It can get around the Great Firewall in China, it makes you anonymous and it’s often the best VPN for torrenting or downloading files.
Most users claim that ExpressVPN offers a delightful user experience and more performance than its competitors when it comes to streaming content. The platform provides state of the art security and a simple and straightforward interface for users of all skill levels.
ExpressVPN also has several security features that are attractive to many users who are looking for anonymity. These features are appealing to those who might be in a country that monitors and blocks certain websites or those who need to avoid surveillance.
In this review, we will take a look at what makes ExpressVPN tick and whether or not it is worth paying more than other VPNs. We will also take a look at the interface and an in-depth look at the security features. Lastly, we will compare the speeds of ExpressVPN to its competitors so you can make an informed decision before you crack open that wallet.
If you are ready to invest in a VPN, this review will tell you everything you need to know to make the best decision regarding ExpressVPN. While many VPNs are similar, not all are created equal, and knowing the difference can save you a lot of time and money.
3. Surfshark – Affordable AND Good
+ Located in British Virgin Islands
+ Very good prices
+ No limit for number of devices
+ Perfect for streaming
– OpenVPN speeds are rather low
It may be one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, but that doesn’t mean that Surfshark sacrifices any quality or services. In fact, quite the opposite. Surfshark is consistently rated as one of the most reliable and trusted VPN platforms available today. This VPN service offers a wide variety of advanced features and also functions in almost any location.
Unlike other “budget” VPNs, it also offers clients all of the most popular operating systems and uses some of the most advanced technology in the market. That’s right, Surfshark uses both WireGuard and AES-256-GCM encryption to keep you safe. This low-priced option is an excellent tool for any VPN user, regardless of their budget.
Additionally, Surfshark doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect at the same time. This feature alone beats even some of the most significant market leaders, who put a cap on how many users can connect simultaneously.
If you have ever shopped around for a VPN, you are well aware that most companies usually offer shorter plans at a higher price. Conversely, if you sign up for a more extended plan of one, or two years, you end up paying a fraction of the standard monthly price. The same holds with Surfshark, which offers its two-year plan for just $2.49 each month. They also have regular discounts and deals, so if you are budget conscious, be sure to keep an eye out for those.
Surfshark covers all the bases with features such as industry-standard encryption and access to over 3,000 servers. You also get additional features such as MultiHop, which will allow you to route your internet traffic through multiple servers at the same time for extra protection.
Another premium feature that is included with Surfshark is split tunneling. This feature is excellent for torrenting since it can separate your connections so you can browse under the VPN and your regular connection at the same time. It also comes with an included ad blocker and a kill switch in case you ever lose your connection.
Surfshark also maintains a no-log policy, and their company is conveniently located in the British Virgin Islands. They even allowed an external audit of their browser extensions in 2018; however, it would be great to have a recent version of that audit as well.
When using WireGuard, Surfshark’s speeds remain impressive and can stay consistent over several different server locations. Even when their server load becomes a bit crowded, they can maintain acceptable rates. Our team was a little disappointed in the OpenVPN speeds; however, even those speeds were sufficient for torrenting or gaming. In most cases, standard users will be using the default WireGuard settings anyway.
Where Surfshark shines is its ability to handle streaming services. With this VPN, you will have no trouble unlocking Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer. While they don’t put many advertising dollars into touting their torrenting ability, you will also have no issues in this area.
Their controls are intuitive and straightforward. However, their simplicity might leave something to be desired for hardened VPN users. Their layout is comfortable and inviting for average users, and their features are not difficult to control. They also offer stable and elegant mobile apps with friendly interfaces.
In a more detailed review, we will break down all of the notable features of the Surfshark VPN and how it will work for you. You will determine if this budget-friendly option is cutting corners or if this price is just a great value. If you are interested in learning about the Surfshark VPN before you crack open that wallet, you came to the right place.
4. CyberGhost VPN – Many Features and Great Price
+ Can be used for most bigger streaming services
+ Very easy to use
+ Strong security measures
+ 45-day money-back guarantee
– Doesn´t work in China
Whether you are trying to access your Netflix account or hide from the prying eyes of a nosey government agency, almost everyone has a use for a VPN these days. While there are many to choose from, it is challenging to select the VPN that will best fit your needs. Most conscientious VPN shoppers are looking for a VPN that is not only safe and secure but also fast and reliable. So, where does CyberGhost VPN fit in?
Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of CyberGhost so you can make an informed decision before you open your wallet.
CyberGhost VPN is based in both Germany and Romania and currently provides a wide variety of VPN services to over 10 million users. CyberGhost has impressive 6,638 servers in 110 unique locations across 89 countries. While impressive, this amount still falls shy of other mega VPNs on the market.
With CyberGhost, torrenting is available on most servers but not all. The company also offers custom apps for Mac, Windows, and iOS, among other devices. In addition to standard VPN functionality, this VPN comes with a handful of useful extras. It is also capable of blocking and preventing malicious connections, trackers, and even ads.
The automated HTTPS redirection function is useful to ensure that your connection is as safe as can be on any website you visit. It also features an optional data compression function that can reduce the amount of bandwidth that you use. This feature is great on mobile devices.
Additionally, CyberGhost VPN allows connections on up to 7 devices simultaneously. That is more than even the more popular VPNs allow; however, specific devices can only make these connections. You have the option to connect from a phone, a game console, a smart TV, only once, as it fills up one of your available slots. Of course, it is possible to log out and back into a separate device, but that can become burdensome.
If you ever need any help with this VPN, there is a wealth of knowledge on their site, and they even have a chat and email support if need be.
One of the best features of the CyberGhost VPN is the recently added dedicated IP. You will need to pay an extra 5$ each month, but you will be able to use your own protected and unique address each time you sign on.
This is great if you are on a local network or need access to your business system while still being connected to the VPN. This also helps when you are trying to access your streaming accounts. If you ever need to change, you can easily switch back to a dynamic IP address as well.
With all these features, CyberGhost VPN sounds great but is it right for you? Let’s take a more in-depth look at all of the features of this VPN.
5. IPVanish – Easy to Use
+ Good for torrenting
+ Great discounts
+ 30-day refund period
– Not the best for streaming
If you are searching for the perfect VPN, you have probably come across the aptly named IPVanish. This VPN is one of the most affordable options on the market today, but what options does it come with, and is it worth the price?
You can now buy access to the IPVanish service for just $2.62 per month for the first month and $3.49 per month after that on the yearly plan. While this price seems relatively moderate, IPVanish is known to fluctuate in price and could change at any moment. Additionally, some of their add ons, such as SugarSync, are not included as gifts anymore.
Technically speaking, IPVanish offers various protocol support and some handy customization features such as DNA leak protections, a functional kill switch, and access to OpenVPN ports. They also have a zero log policy; however, it would be great to see them provide an external audit to back this claim.
When connected to a US server, the connection speeds are quite fast, even compared to some of the more prominent VPNs out there. However, we did find that connecting to a European server tends to offer lower speeds. This by no means makes it a slow VPN, though.
There were no issues or interruptions in service when using streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and Disney+. However, we did have some problems with other services such as Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer, which were both able to block the VPN workarounds. If you are a torrenter, there is good news as the torrent support is excellent. This VPN offers a SOCKS5 setup and a kill switch, which works with any of their numerous servers. With these features, it is a perfect option for any P2P sharing you might be doing.
IPVanish also offers excellent apps that are available for both mobile and desktop users. Both of these options come with a solid amount of extras and interface options for more advanced users. For those VPN novices, this interface might appear a bit daunting; however, with just a quick tour of the app, any user should be able to get the hang of it in no time. One of the only issues that we found with these apps is that they are not updated quite often as we would like; however, both versions appear stable.
Lastly, the IPVanish customer support is quite extensive, and they offer plenty of helpful articles on their site, as well as a live chat service if you have any issues. Overall, IPVanish is a great choice not only for its powerful service and small price tag, but it also has plenty of features for any level of VPN user to take advantage of.
Many avid VPN users might recognize IPVanish as a solid player in the VPN game. However, they might not be aware of some of its most recent updates.
The most significant update is the introduction of their unlimited connections policy, which allows their users to connect any number of devices without restrictions. This elevates them to the same levels of Surfshark and CyberGhost as a truly premium and unlimited service. This new feature is perfect for larger households with many devices that need protection, and it is a great selling point for IPVanish.
Additionally, IPVanish has made several changes to its price offerings. Much like other similar services, they have done away with their quarterly options. Now, you are only able to select between the one month option or the yearly plan. The prices are lower for their first month of service but will increase once you conclude the introductory period.
If you are interested in learning more about the IPVanish VPN service, this review will take an in-depth look at the features and limitations of this rising star in the VPN world. Just like every VPN, there are some pros and cons, so we will take a deep dive so you can make the right choice before you buy.
6. PrivateInternetAccess – A Solid VPN Service
+ Great coverage
+ A very high number of servers
+ Unlimited bandwidth
+ Competitive pricing
– Hard to get working in China
– Is headquartered in the US
Private Internet Access, also known as PIA, is a virtual private network and software company based in the US. Since their launch in 2010, they have become one of the most popular VPN’s available today.
PIA is famous for its strict and no-nonsense zero logs policy. Their company claims that its goal is to bring total privacy to its users without compromise. They have a full server load and offer over 10,000 servers based in 70 different countries across the globe.
They also offer an easy-to-use app that is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms. In addition, they have convenient browser extensions for Opera, Chrome, and Firefox.
One of the most significant selling points of the PIA VPN is its use of military-grade encryption. They offer this encryption through the industry-standard OpenVPN protocol, which allows user to protect their identity and hide their details. They also have a host of security features that you can customize within their app. Most notably, they offer DNS and IP leak protection and have a kill switch for quick shutoff. Additionally, the app includes Mace, a tool that will block any domains from known advertisers.
PrivateInternetAccess is so popular for a reason. It´s definitely a solid VPN you should consider, but like every other VPN it also has its flaws. If you want to find out more, you can read our detailed review.
7. ZenMate VPN – Offering Handy Features
+ Unblocks Netflix
+ Good for torrenting
+ Offers a free version + a 7-day trial
+ 3-year plan is very affordable
– Doesn´t work in China
– Has problems with smaller streaming services
Many VPNs on the market today cater to the more tech-savvy crowd, with a great deal of technical experience. However, for ZenMate VPN, this is not the case. ZenMate seeks to attract users less experienced with VPNs’ technical side and is just looking for a simple and easy way to browse the internet safely. The ZenMate website details many of the benefits, but one of their main attractions is their simplicity in both design and use.
Overall, ZenMate is a no-nonsense, straightforward VPN service that offers an impressive lineup of 3,800 servers in 78 unique countries. When taking a look at this fact alone, that puts ZenMate right up with the more effective, more popular VPN services as far as their server loads.
While ZenMate is a decent VPN for novices, it lacks in a few key areas. For instance, there are reported issues with their customer service, there are less than desirable connection times, and their security raises a few concerns.
Without question, a simple VPN also has its benefits. While ZenMate is aimed at less technical people, the simplicity angle means that users deal with less technical jargon and detailed feature lists. The service offers a quick and painless VPN experience that focuses on a VPN service’s core elements.
For a medium-sized company, they offer more server locations than Windscribe, NordVPN, and Public Internet Access and fall just behind ExpressVPNs offerings in 94 countries.
In addition to the simple design, ZenMate also offers apps for all major operating systems, including Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. It also features browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Edge browsers as well.
ZenMate is another VPN in a long list of properties owned by Kape Technologies, which also owns CyberGhost and Public Internet Access. Actually, many users comment that the ZenMate client for Windows is simply CyberGhost with a new frontend.
Considering their aim for simplicity, ZenMate isn’t precisely crammed to the gills with features, but it does offer a built-in DNS leak protection, as well as a kill switch feature that will help to hide your browsing from any would-be snoopers. One of the ZenMate service’s best features is that you are not beholden to any annoying connection limits. That means you can connect any amount of devices you wish to this VPN.
Currently, ZenMate has plans to upgrade its server load, which will offer more reliable and faster connections, but they are not planning on providing any additional features.
This review will take an in-depth look at the ZenMate VPN service, performance, features, and overall value to see how it compares to other big players on the market. This review will give you everything you need to make an informed decision about your purchase before you ever open your wallet.
8. Perfect Privacy VPN – Newcomer With Premium Servers
Perfect Privacy positives
+ Headquarter in Switzerland
+ Works with Netflix
+ Unlimited simultaneous connections
+ Supports torrenting
Perfect Privacy negatives
– No iOS app
– No free trial
– Minimal discount for longer plans
If you are in the market for a new VPN service, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of available services. Before you decide, it is essential to do your research to make sure that the VPN you are considering has all of the features you are looking for. In a market that is full of quality choices, that is easier said than done.
One name that does not quite recognize the more prominent VPNs on the market is Perfect Privacy. This Swiss-based VPN service is a relative newcomer, but they offer an exciting product with a great mix of features.
One example of such features is their no limit to devices that are connected simultaneously. They also offer port forwarding, multi-hop VPN servers (which means you can pass your internet traffic through multiple servers to make it harder to trace), torrent support, and even IPv6 IP addresses on their servers. Though these features are becoming more and more standard, it is still a great mix of offerings from Perfect Privacy.
Other areas of their service are a little more basic, however. They offer VPN services from over 40 different locations in 26 unique countries, but many other VPNs offer far more options. They also have apps for Mac, Windows, and Android but do not provide support for any iOS app at the moment. Additionally, the Android app has not been updated in over a year, which can be cause for concern.
They also do not offer any free trial. That means you will need to pay in order to test their VPN service. However, if you are unhappy, they do cover that in their 7-day money-back guarantee.
However, just when we were becoming overwhelmed by the negative aspects, Perfect Privacy offers up an exciting glimmer of hope. For the past few years, big companies like Nord VPN have been discussing moving their servers entirely to RAM operations like Surfshark. This means that there is no way for them to store permanent logs of their user’s activity. This is something that Perfect Privacy has already done and one reason why they are impressive to those concerned about their security.
Another catch that Perfect Privacy throws our way is in their pricing model. Their monthly plan is reasonably average and runs at $12.95 per month, but there is a minimal discount when the plan goes to longer terms. If you are interested in the one-year plan, that will run you $9.99 each month, and the two-year plan is set at a bulky $8.95. For comparison, SurfShark’s two-year program runs at just $1.99 per month.
With the more expensive pricing system and a slew of advanced options, Perfect Privacy VPN is not for the beginner crowd searching for a bargain. However, if you are a more experienced VPN user looking for more advanced options, this VPN is worth a look.
9. Trust.Zone VPN – Middle of the Line
+ Headquarter in Seychelles
+ Affordable plans
– Average speeds
– No split-tunneling
– Some issues with streaming
– No 24/7 support
If you are familiar with VPNs, you probably have a pretty good idea about what to look for in a VPN. For those who are less experienced or just curious about finding a VPN that works for them, this review will take an in-depth look into the Trust Zone VPN and how it fares in the crowded VPN market.
At first glance, Trust Zone is a fairly standard VPN with pretty much everything that most users are looking for in a proxy. They have a useful and easy navigation website, user-friendly applications, and work around geo-blocks for Netflix services. Our initial tests found that it is not as fast as a widely used VPN such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but it does offer most features at a usable speed.
One of the most significant issues that we noticed right out of the gate is the lack of 24/7 support services. Additionally, they are a bit lacking in their support of different VPN protocols. However, the protocol they use is OpenVPN, which is usually the default favorite of most users anyway. This VPN allows users to connect up to five devices simultaneously, yet it is not compatible with a router setup.
One of the more impressive Trust Zone features is that they offer 206 different servers in 44 countries. Even though they aren’t able to boast one of the largest networks on the market, they provide reasonable speeds, with access to apps like the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Hulu.
Security is also taken seriously by Trust Zone. They offer a VPN kill switch and operate under AES-256 bit encryption. OpenVPN offers L2TP over IPSec, and they also provide a warrant canary. Additionally, they will protect your network from intrusive DDoS attacks by only allowing necessary traffic and filtering out any malicious traffic.
Trust Zone VPN has also recently started to offer their DoubleVPN feature, which gives your traffic an extra layer of encryption by sending your data through multiple servers.
Trust Zone doesn’t do much promoting the fact that they allow P2P applications and torrenting on their servers; however, it is a feature that many users would be interested in knowing about.
Overall, it is a pretty reliable VPN that protects your identity well and connects to any of the content sites many users are looking to use.
Lastly, the price of their VPN service is relatively affordable as well. They even offer an online discount if you pay using your Bitcoin.
If you are interested in learning more about the Trust Zone VPN, read on. This review will go into great detail about the benefits and shortcomings of this VPN, so you can make an informed decision before you buy.
10. Ivacy VPN – An Entry-Level Premium Service
+ Cheap two-year plan
+ Great server distribution
– Lack of server options
– Average speeds
– Only standard features
Ivacy is a cost-effective VPN solution based out of Singapore, but how does this service stack up to others on the market? Is it a situation where you get what you pay for, or is it a diamond in the rough affordable service with lots of extras? While Ivacy might offer some of the lowest prices around, that doesn’t mean you should crack open that wallet just yet. Let’s take a look at what the Ivacy VPN service has to offer.
In addition to considering how much bang you get for your buck, there are also many aspects of the VPN service that consumers should be aware of before purchasing. For instance, with Ivacy, there has been a public discrepancy with the number of servers that the company claims to have and how many it lists. Additionally, this company has not yet had its services audited by a third party. While this might matter to many, the most important thing to consider when purchasing a VPN is how you plan to use it.
Let’s start with a quick look at Ivacy pricing plans.
They offer a short-term plan for just $9.95 a month, but the real value lies with their more extended commitment plans. A five-year plan is only $1 each month, one of the lowest prices we have ever seen.
As you will see in our speed tests, the Ivacy isn’t the fastest or most reliable around, but it should be fast enough to satisfy the needs of most. After all, it is challenging to expect blazing fast speeds at such a low price.
The service is decent for most streaming applications; however, we did experience a small issue when trying to unlock the Netflix service in an Australian region. With other services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, we had no issues streaming content in any region.
The company also offers a desktop app that comes complete with a filtering tool that helps you to choose the best server for the application you are using. For instance, some users might want to access a specific region to unblock a particular library of content.
While Ivacy offers both a Mac and a Windows version, it seems that they put a lot more effort into the Windows version and left Mac users to more or less fend for themselves. The macOS version has no killswitch, any protocol options, or even split tunneling features.
It is a similar situation with the Android app compared to the rather barebones iOS option. The Android version has all the powerful Windows client features; however, the iPhone app is lacking. One difference being, you can choose your protocol with the iPhone app.
Lastly, if you ever have any issues with Ivacy, you will be able to chat with a support staff member live, 24/7. This is an excellent feature, as many other companies keep you in suspense with email support.
At a glance, Ivacy is a reliable VPN that offers a budget-friendly price without sacrificing too much. If you would like to learn more about what exactly Ivacy has to offer, read our detailed review below, which covers the ins and outs of the Ivacy VPN services.