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The Best VPN Services (ranked by experts)

If you fear someone accessing vulnerable information online or having limited streaming services and search results, you may be in the market for a VPN service.

Here, we will discuss our top choices for the best VPN services in 2021 and how they can benefit you.

best Overall VPN

ExpressVPN logo
  • Access to 160 servers
  • Interface is minimal
  • Solid and proven reputation

Best Encryption

NordVPN logo
  • Privacy on multiple devices
  • 5,500+ VPN servers
  • Dedicated IP address

Best for Torrenting

Surfshark logo
  • Super secure encryption
  • Good overall speed
  • Unlimited device use
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By using a VPN service, you're protecting vulnerable information and allowing yourself the freedom to browse the web without worrying about who can access your personal information.

VPN's don't only allow you access to streaming services worldwide; they also offer you privacy and security; however, it is essential that you understand what to look for when choosing a VPN.

Is the service you choose trustworthy? Does it allow multiple users to access it simultaneously?

Are the costs worth the benefits?

These are all things you'll want to know before choosing the best VPN service for your needs.

Here, we will take a look at the best virtual private networks you can use to keep your internet activity confidential and then explain a little more about their benefits and uses.

The Best VPN Service for 2021

Comparison of the Best VPNs

#1

Unblock sites & protect every device. 24/7 support. VPN for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers & more.

#2
NordVPN logo

Our Partner

Online VPN service that encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP with physical location. Upgrade your privacy and security now.

#3

Surfshark is a great VPN service that has a few unique privacy features - like a kill switch and multi-hop - that make it a worthwhile VPN.

#4

If you're in the market for a VPN provider, IPVanish VPN offers a trustworthy solution with a vast network of high-speed connections and hands-off privacy while browsing the web.

#5

CyberGhost VPN provides a good product for the price, especially considering the company’s strong and demonstrable commitment to their customer’s privacy.

#6

High-speed anonymous VPN Service from Private Internet Access. Protect yourself with our secure VPN tunnel.

#7
HMA VPN logo

Our Partner

An audited no-log virtual private network, HideMyAss VPN offers an extensive network of servers worldwide, rapid speeds, user-friendly interface, and strong security with military-grade encryption.

A Detailed List of the Best VPNs

There are dozens of virtual private network providers out there, so as you search for a VPN, you may feel overwhelmed. 

Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are the best VPNs available to keep your data private.

1. ExpressVPN - Best VPN Overall

We’ve ranked ExpressVPN as the best VPN on the market, but it’s also one of the most user-friendly. You can install this software on your Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Linux device in just three steps. You can even install ExpressVPN directly on your router. 

ExpressVPN is super-fast, which makes it a great option if you regularly download or upload large files. And if you’re new to private networks, you’ll love the library of educational materials on the company’s website. 

With 160 server locations in 94 countries, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. ExpressVPN is priced mid-range but is still affordable for most budgets.

Pros

  • Compatible with most operating systems
  • No connection logs
  • “Kill switch” blocks internet activity in the event of a dropped connection.

Cons

  • Currently no free product trial.
  • Slightly higher priced than other virtual private networks.

2. NordVPN - Best Encryption

NordVPN is the virtual private network we’ve chosen as the “best overall.” It's affordable price point, super-fast connection speeds, and mobile encryption are just a few features that make this a great service. 

With a single NordVPN account, you can link up to six devices. That means your tablet, cell phone, work computer, and personal computer are all protected. Furthermore, you can choose to access the web through servers in 59 countries. 

NordVPN is ad-free, which is a refreshing change from the “free” versions out there. In fact, the service features an ad-blocker to protect you from targeted ads and suspicious websites.

Pros

  • Protect all your devices with just one account
  • Affordable pricing and frequent promotions
  • Fast connection speeds – great for streaming
  • Dedicated IP

Cons

  • The user interface may be confusing.
  • They may still block some streaming services

3. Surfshark - Best VPN for Torrenting

Next on the list of the best VPNs is Surfshark. What’s not to love about a virtual private network that costs just a few dollars each month?

You’ll get no fewer features with Surfshark, plus you’ll enjoy protection from hackers, malware, ISP tracking, and targeted ads. 

Surfshark is compatible with Mac and Windows as well as your television, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. Choose from over 3,200 servers in 65 countries for international protection. 

If you’re unsure about whether Surfshark is right for you, that’s no problem. The company offers a free trial on some operating systems as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Lowest priced VPN
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connection

Cons

  • Reliable speeds, but maybe slower than other networks
  • International speeds may be slower than US speeds.

4. IPVanish - Best VPN for Android

Another of the most reliable virtual private networks is IPVanish. You can configure just about any device to work with IPVanish, including your Fire TV, iOS or Android device, Mac, or PC.

Even your router is easy to configure, thanks to detailed instructions on the IPVanish website. 

Connect unlimited devices simultaneously and experience secure browsing at incredible speeds. The IPVanish plans are in the mid-range, but the value is unbeatable. 

If you need secure storage space, IPVanish offers a plan which features 500 GB of file storage. Your documents and media can be accessed securely, from anywhere, when you chose the storage plan.

Pros

  • No speed limits or throttling
  • Up to 10 devices permitted
  • Easy to configure your devices

Cons

  • Not all streaming services are unblocked.
  • Interface may be confusing.

5. CyberGhost - Best VPN for Mac

If international streaming content is what you want, CyberGhost VPN is the service for you. Unblock content from Disney+, YouTube, Netflix, BBC One, and more with unlimited bandwidth and ultra-fast speeds. 

CyberGhost VPN is relatively inexpensive, and we’ve chosen this service as the best for streaming. This virtual private network is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as your Android or iOS device. 

If you ever have any questions or concerns about your CyberGhost service, 24/7 live support is ready to assist.  

Pros

  • Anti-censorship capabilities
  • Secure up to seven devices
  • Top-rated customer service

Cons

  • China is not yet fully supported.
  • Past instances of ad injection by parent company

6. Private Internet Access - Best VPN for Windows 

Private Internet Access is lauded as the most reliable VPN on the network. Consistently fast speeds, proven no-log access, and unlimited bandwidth are just a few features that make this software invaluable to customers seeking privacy. 

PIA does not log your activity, and you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. While this service only has servers in 77 countries – a small number relative to others – the network is continuously growing. 

Private Internet Access is also one of the least expensive available. Choose a three-year plan for the lowest monthly rate. Setup is instant, and if you’re unhappy, PIA comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Pros

  • Unlimited bandwidth – no throttling
  • Connect up to 10 devices
  • Pay anonymously with popular gift cards.

Cons

  • China is not yet fully supported.
  • American jurisdiction

7. HMA VPN - Best VPN Network

With an incredible 210 countries available to choose from, HMA VPN has one of the most robust server networks. Those servers run at 20 Gbps, too, so you’re guaranteed a fast connection every time. 

Stream movies from Myanmar, watch local news from Yemen, or set up a virtual office in Belize; HMA offers a free trial and affordable plans so you can do any of these things!

HMA is another service that features great educational content. Learn how to unblock websites and unblock TV shows. You can even access a country-by-country guide to the legality of VPNs – great for international travelers!

Pros

  • Great speeds for streaming
  • Strong encryption
  • Apps for major operating systems

Cons

  • Does not work in China
  • One year service term minimum

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is, simply put, a service that protects your privacy online. It acts like a secure tunnel between your computer, phone, or other device and the internet. 

Using a VPN hides your location and encrypts your data, making it almost impossible for hackers, advertisers, and others to view your online activity.

Why You Need to Use a VPN

When you use the internet, your activity is not private. Advertisers can see it, as well as third parties and even hackers. 

The reason you need a VPN might seem obvious when you consider just that fact. But there are other reasons you may choose to use a VPN. 

First, a VPN can change your location. A simple example of why this is useful is if you love streaming services like Netflix. Programming in other countries is likely different from what’s available to you.

Using a VPN, you can make your browser “think” you’re in another country, offering you access to content you couldn’t otherwise access. 

Secondly, if you frequently travel, virtual private networks can protect you from hackers. Public Wi-Fi, like the connection you’d find on a plane, in a hotel, or at the airport, is not secure. A VPN can give you added protection. 

Put simply; a virtual private network can protect your data and offer you access to location-specific or restricted sites.

4 Main Benefits of a VPN Service

Now that you know what virtual private networks do, let’s summarize why you should consider protecting yourself online. 

Increased Speed and Performance

A VPN can increase your internet speed and improve performance. This is especially true if you frequently access the web through a cluttered network like your workplace, school, or local library. 

Using a VPN, you can more easily stream, download content, and just browse the internet.

Security

A virtual private network can hide your location, your identity, your banking information, your browsing history, and more.

Keep your data and your activity safe from prying eyes that aim to hack your computer, steal your information, or target you for advertising. 

Accessibility

A VPN can bypass blockers and filters that prevent you from accessing the content you want. Streaming services are only one example of this; a VPN can also unblock websites and content that may be censored in your area. 

Save Money

Finally, a virtual private network can save you money! Did you know that prices on some products and services are changed depending on your location? 

Tangible products, as well as flights, hotels, and car rentals, may be cheaper if you purchase through a VPN. The same is true for phone service and more.

FAQ's

If you’re new to VPNs, you likely have just a few more questions before you commit. We’ve covered the best services available to you but understand you may have specific needs.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions customers have when choosing to use a VPN. 

Are VPNs legal?

In the United States, using a VPN is perfectly legal. However, if you frequently travel to other nations, it’s best to check the local regulations. Some countries such as China and the United Arab Emirates have banned the use of VPNs.

Of course, it’s important to note that you should never engage in illegal activity while you’re using a virtual private network. These activities are fairly self-explanatory but include:

  • Sharing copyrighted material
  • Cyberbullying
  • Accessing certain adult content
  • Trolling or harassing others
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Are VPNs safe for torrenting?

If you have a quality VPN, torrenting is perfectly safe. As you may know, torrenting opens your computer up to hackers as well as malicious software. Check with your virtual private network provider to ensure that you’re covered.

Again, consider the legality of what you’re torrenting. Copyrighted material is illegal to upload and download whether you’re using a VPN or not.

Are VPNs hard to use?

Using a VPN is remarkably simple. On most devices, it’s as simple as downloading and installing software, then accessing the web. If you’re configuring your router, smart TV, or other devices to your virtual private network, it might take a bit longer.

Before you choose a VPN, ensure the service is compatible with your operating system. Today, you can use most services on Mac and PC, as well as most mobile devices.

If possible, take advantage of a free trial before you commit. Some user interfaces are a bit more complicated than others; be sure you’re comfortable with your VPN before you subscribe.

Can you use a VPN to stream or watch Netflix?

In most cases, yes. If streaming international content is one of your main objectives, be sure to check your VPN’s website to ensure that Netflix is a possibility.

Note that some countries’ content may not be accessible, even with a virtual private network. For instance, if you’re in the United States, you may not be able to access streaming content in Japan, Australia, or Canada.

This will depend upon the VPN you choose.

Conclusion

Now more than ever, it’s critical that you protect your data and your privacy online. A virtual private network can do just that. Not only will you increase your own security, but you can also access online content that wouldn’t be otherwise available to you when you use a VPN. 

These seven are the best private networks for quality, affordability, and reliability. Explore your options, choose the VPN that best suits your needs, then enjoy browsing the internet with peace of mind.

Give any of these options a try today! 

ExpressVPN

Unblock sites & protect every device. 24/7 support. VPN for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers & more.

ExpressVPN icon

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