11 Best VPN Services in 2022 for PC, Mac, and Phone

Updated Aug 3, 2022.
best-vpn-services

With hackers being able to access your device and steal your usernames, passwords, and bank account information through a Wi-Fi connection easier than ever, you can use the VPN service providers to encrypt your web traffic and replace your IP address so you can safely browse the internet.

But, apart from that, VPNs can help you access restricted or banned websites and get past government restrictions in specific countries with strict VPN policies, enabling you to travel anywhere in the world and have a safe and limitless browsing experience.

You may want a VPN to work under the same conditions as you would from your country while traveling abroad, or you want a seamless lag-free experience while streaming your favorite show or playing an online game.

Whatever the case, you will find a reputable, high-performing VPN service provider for your needs on this list.

Best VPN Services of 2021

1. ExpressVPN

Fastest VPN Service Provider Operating on Local and Distant Servers.

ExpressVPN is the Fastest VPN Service Provider Operating on Local and Distant Servers

ExpressVPN will keep your information private and secure regardless if you are on your phone, tablet, computer, or any other device while allowing you to choose from 160 server locations in 94 countries all over the world that you can switch between as often as you like, with no limits.

Watch, listen, and stream content from censored and blocked websites around the world while changing your IP through one of the secure VPN servers and activating anonymous browsing to pay with Bitcoin and use Tor to browse hidden .onion sites.

Providing simplistic apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, game consoles, and smart TVs, ExpressVPN is accessible to anyone, anywhere, and the 24/7 email and live chat support ensures you receive guidance through the set-up and troubleshooting processes.

With split tunneling, you can route certain parts of device traffic through a VPN while the rest gets channeled through the internet directly, with the software only keeping information on which app and version you use, when you use it, which server you connected to, and how much data you transferred in MB.

ExpressVPN different split tunneling options
Source: Expressvpn

ExpressVPN ensures your connections are safer and faster by running on its private, encrypted DNS and excluding the DNS queries from the activity and connection logs, and protecting your data through advanced mathematics in AES-256, which is the standard trusted by security experts worldwide.

To avoid wasting your time picking the right server location, ExpressVPN will equip you with a built-in speed test feature that displays and lets you choose the fastest server location for your network.

Not only does ExpressVPN provide unlimited bandwidth for you to download as much as you want, but the software helps you defeat ISP throttling whenever content like video slows everything down.

Supporting the high-demanding environments expertly, ExpressVPN lets you install the software on all your devices and allows you to connect five at once, and you can even lower ping and overall lag when gaming with a VPN for cloud gaming and gaming consoles.

ExpressVPN Dashboard
Source: Techadvisor

Pricing

The 1-month plan will cost you $12.95 per month, while the 15-month will drop to $8.32 per month at a special 35% discount.

ExpressVPN Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Straightforward and fast installation on every device
  • Lightning-fast speeds on local and distant servers
  • Highly customizable, top-level encryption
  • Connect up to five devices and extend to more through a router app
  • Credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin payment support
  • Protect your home network with a VPN for your router, smart TVs, game consoles, and IoT devices
  • Download as much as you want and bypass ISP throttling

With far-reaching servers that outclass much of the competition, strong privacy and security practices, split tunneling, and insightful educational features, ExpressVPN is the ultimate data and identity protection solution for anyone across all devices.

2. NordVPN

Best VPN Service Provider for Double-VPN Encryption.

NordVPN is the Best VPN Service Provider for Double VPN Encryption

NordVPN protects your information with double-VPN encryption so that your web traffic is encrypted twice instead of once through multiple servers, which makes the software ideal for activists, bloggers, journalists, workers in surveillance and censorship-heavy environments.

Excellent choice for surfing the public Wi-Fi, NordVPN will allow you to securely access your personal information and work files while encrypting your internet connection, keeping your browsing history private, and hiding your IP address and location.

Block malicious websites and ads with the CyberSec functionality, access 5200+ secure servers in 60 countries across the world, maintain your internet freedom when traveling to more restrictive regions, and connect to your home region and access your social media no matter how far you are.

NordVPN Functionality
Source: Hitechglitz

Ensure your internet connection stays secure with minimal speed loss, regardless if you're binging a Netflix show or playing the latest, most demanding games, and protect your connection from ISP throttling.

Secure your data on up to six devices with one account, accessing the internet through smartphones, computers, routers, or even Amazon Fire TV Stick.

All potentially sensitive personal information is excluded from NordVPN usage logs, and the software doesn't even store connection timestamps, session information, bandwidth usage, traffic data, IP addresses, or anything else.

Stream content from all around the world through the 5224 servers and blazing-fast NordLynx protocol with no monthly caps on network bandwidth and secure access to your favorite streaming sites with the advanced SmartPlay technology.

NordVPN Protocal Menu
Source: Wizcase

Pricing

The 1-month plan is $11.95 per month, and the 1-year plan is $4.92 per month.

NordVPN Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Protect your information twice through multiple servers with the double-VPN encryption
  • Protect your data non-stop with Kill Switch
  • Stream and share with VPN protection while simultaneously surfing the local content with split tunneling
  • Combine the NordVPN encryption with the anonymity of the Onion Router
  • Discounts of up to 75% for the long-term plans
  • Secure our Nord account with Multi-Factor authentication
  • Avoid malware-hosting websites, annoying ads, and botnet control with CyberSec

With NordVPN, you can work, browse, and use social media safely with your data never being compromised, enjoy secure access to hundreds of streaming websites across the world, ensure your traffic is fully protected with no DNS leaks, and much more at a reasonable price.

3. IPVanish

Best VPN Service Provider for Android Devices.

IPVanish is the Best VPN Service Provider for Android Devices

With IPVanish, you can safeguard any connection and handle personal data with uncrackable security, protect the privacy of your daily internet activity to avoid ISP tracking, and connect to online content from anywhere without the risk of blocks.

Protect your public Wi-Fi and broadband network security with advanced encryption standards, keeping your traffic safe from network hackers, ISPs, and advertisers out of your connection.

Make your real IP address disappear and ensure your online activity can't be tracked and increase your anonymity by sharing IPs with other users and self-destructing service diagnostics.

Handle undue restrictions for more internet freedom, accessing censored apps and websites with location control from servers across 75 cities across the world.

IPVanish Dashboard
Source: Comparitech

The software encrypts your connection and reroutes your internet traffic around slow and overly restrictive networks to provide you with true online freedom.

Use your VPN location settings and change your country of origin to avoid your VoIP phone system charging you higher fees for international calls and long-distance communication.

Secure your on-the-go internet connection with IPVanish mobile apps by connecting to a secure server over an anonymous IP address, making any Wi-Fi hotspot safe to use, hiding your location along with your online data.

Prevent data packet inspection by encrypting your internet activity and preventing unauthorized 3rd parties from scrutinizing your activity, so you can browse, download, and message without worrying about invasive throttling.

Pricing

You can pay the monthly fee of $10.99 for the VPN Protection with IPVanish VPN or save up to 65% with the $44.99 yearly fee.

IPVanish Pricing Plan

Pros

  • 40K+ IPs on 1,900+ VPN servers in 75+ locations
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 email, live chat, and phone support
  • Access website and media without restrictions and stop ISPs from interfering
  • Easy and intuitive connection with iOS apps without any bugs or glitches
  • Change your country of origin and prevent the VoIP providers from charging you extra
  • Torrenting and split tunneling

With IPVanish, anyone can browse the internet anonymously and access secure networks regardless of where they are located while staying safe from snooping and spying on the public Wi-Fi and keeping the online presence and information private.

4. PureVPN

Best VPN Service Provider for Travel and Remote Use.

PureVPN is theBest VPN Service Provider for Travel and Remote Use

With more than 6,500 servers in over 140 countries, PureVPN has made it easy for anyone traveling and joining different Wi-Fi networks so that they can avoid any suspicious, compromising environments and get past internet censorships.

Break free from geo-restrictions and censorships with limitless access to websites, videos, live events, p2p-torrenting, and more, and stay protected, anonymous, and on an AES 256-bit encrypted network every time you go online.

PureVPN Servers & Performance
Source: Techadvisor

Utilize the support for 10 multi-logins under one account and make sure your entire team or family are secured, guarantee your privacy remains intact when VPN connection drops with the internet kill switch, and activate a personal IP for maximized security.

PureVPN doesn't and won't at any point keep logs on your activity or DNS requests, and it doesn't log your true IP address or the IP address of the VPN server you use.

Route your internet traffic between PureVPN and ISP connection with split tunneling and access your device or a service from anywhere in the world securely with the part-forwarding add-on.

Pricing

Outside the $10.95 per month 1-month solution, you can purchase PureVPN at 73% off in the $2.91 per month, 2-year plan.

PureVPN Pricing Plan

Pros

Support for 10 multi-logins

Ensure your privacy is intact when the VPN connection drops with the kill switch feature

Over 6,500 servers in more than 140 countries

Based in Five Eyes non-member Hong Kong

Software only collects and logs names, email addresses, payment information, and total bandwidth consumed

Use a 100% unique, dedicated IP address and hide your device's real IP address

Access your device or a service from anywhere in the world through the part-forwarding functionality

Boasting an outstanding network of international servers, PureVPN allows p2p and BitTorrent, blocks ads, and ensures your data is secure on any network across the world.

5. CyberGhost

Best VPN Service Provider for Mac Devices.

CyberGhost is the Best VPN Service Provider for Mac Devices

With over 5,500 servers in 90 countries, CyberGhost can help you stay untraceable and anonymous online with the best-in-class VPN protocols and encryption standards that keep you safe from hackers and snoopers even when you are using unsafe Wi-Fi networks.

Customize your browsing and p2p activities without the risk of losing privacy through their no-tracking, no-logs policy, acquire instant connections at lightning-fast speeds while enjoying a secure VPN connection on up to 7 devices simultaneously.

Hide your IP address in one click and replace it with one from the software's network, spoof your location and make it impossible for websites to track your activity, encrypt all your traffic while browsing on the public Wi-Fi, and secure your private conversations and bank account details from data miners and hackers.

CyberGhost All Servers Feature
Source: Plati.market

Only the CyberGhost team can access, control, and operate their NoSpy servers, which drastically decreases the risks of external exposure and interference.

The NoSpy servers can unleash faster internet speeds by integrating super high premium hardware with a dedicated uplink, and extend the bandwidth for your data-intense online activities.

Ensure your downloads are secure and anonymous with the NoSpy servers dedicated to torrenting and activate the kill switch with even the slightest encryption interruptions, automatically disconnecting from the internet and maintaining anonymity.

CyberGhost NoSpy Servers Feature
Source: Techadvisor

Activate the several VPN protocols available in CyberGhost such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard and deploy top-notch encryption on all your devices with VPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and routers.

Pricing

Purchase CyberGhost for 1 month for $12.99 or save 84% with the two-year $2.25 per month subscription.

CyberGhost Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Guaranteed total data anonymity across all apps and platforms
  • Up to 7 devices protected simultaneously
  • Over 7300 VPN servers worldwide
  • DNS and IP leak protection
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic with the highest possible VPN speeds
  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS apps
  • Open VPN, IKEv2, WireGuard protocols

If you want a large, well-distributed server fleet with outstanding speed test scores and various add-ons such as antivirus, CyberGhost is hard to beat in performance and affordability.

6. Hotspot Shield

Fastest VPN Service Provider for Netflix Streaming.

HotspotShield is the Fastest VPN Service Provider for Netflix Streaming

With unparalleled speeds on Mac and Windows computers and no lags or delays on the Android apps, Hotspot Shield isn't only the best choice for Netflix streaming but gaming as well.

The software's military-grade encryption allows you to protect yourself and access sites and streaming content from around the world, enjoying favorite movies and shows on Netflix, YouTube, Prime, Disney+, and more at blazing-fast speeds, and up to 2.2X faster than the competition.

HotspotShield General Settings Feature
Source: Filecr

Along with encrypting your connection, Hotspot Shield doesn't log any data that can be linked to your identity and allows you to unlock content from 115+ virtual locations with servers across 80+ countries in 35+ cities through the proprietary Hydra protocol that optimizes your VPN and allows secure connections for gaming, streaming, downloading, p2p, and more.

Safeguard five devices from a single account, including laptops, phones, TVs, and everything else, and stay safe regardless if you are using Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, routers, and more.

Many reputable speed tests showcased the software's unrivaled long-distance server speeds, with Hotspot Shield increasing download speeds by more than 26.2% compared to when not using a VPN, while all the other providers decreased their speed by at least 42.5%.

HotspotShield SpreedTest Data
Source: Speedtest

Pricing

Outside of their Free Basic plan, Hotspot Shield offers a Premium $7.99 per month subscription.

HotspotShield Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Secure connections for gaming, streaming, downloading, p2p
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Free plan for secure and private browsing
  • Servers across 80+ countries in 35+ cities with 115+ virtual locations
  • Speeds up to 2.2X faster than the competition
  • Protect five devices from a single account, ranging from computers and laptops to smart TVs
  • Expert-solidified and documented speed tests displaying vast improvement in download and upload speeds

If you want a slick, approachable VPN solution that delivers the fastest speeds in the industry, global internet access, unlimited bandwidth, and foolproof security across all devices and channels, Hotspot Shield is your ideal choice.

7. ProtonVPN

Best VPN Service Provider for Zoom.

ProtonVPN is the Best VPN Service Provider for Zoom

ProtonVPN sends your internet traffic through an encrypted VPN tunnel, safeguarding your passwords and confidential data even in untrusted public internet connections while keeping your browsing history private and not logging your user activity or sharing data with 3rd parties.

The software protects journalists and activists who use ProtonMail and breaks down the barriers of internet censorship so you can access any website or content.

ProtonVPN prevents its servers from being compromised while under surveillance by passing the user traffic through the Secure Core network in privacy-friendly countries like Switzerland and Iceland, so the VPN endpoint server won't reveal your IP address when compromised.

Exclusively using ciphers with Perfect Forward Secrecy, ProtonVPN makes sure your encrypted traffic can't be captured and decrypted later, even if an encryption key gets compromised in the future.

NetShield is a DNS filtering feature that protects you from malware, blocks ads, and prevents website trackers from following you, and you can deploy it on Windows, macOS, or Linux.

Apart from your network traffic encrypted with AES-256, key exchange operations are done with 4096-bit RSA and HMAC with SHA384 for message authentication.

AllProtonVPN servers are protected by full disk encryption, which keeps them safe from resource-intensive attacks performed by governments and secures server certificates and other configurations stored on an exit server.

ProtonVPN Profiles Overview
Source: Protonvpn

Pricing

After the free plan, the next up-the-scale subscription you can purchase is the Basic solution for $4 per month.

ProtonVPN Pricing Plan

Pros

  • No logs policy applies to all users, including those with free VPN
  • Route your DNS queries through encrypted tunnels and prevent any activity from being exposed in leaks
  • Block all network traffic while automatically re-establishing a connection to a VPN server through Kill Switch
  • Route all your traffic through the Tor anonymity network and access dark websites
  • Blazing-fast speeds with 10 Gbps connections
  • Create custom connection profiles that automatically protect your device when you connect to the internet
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Providing foolproof security for up to 10 devices under one account, ProtonVPN will help you establish high-speed connections and ensure that no attackers can eavesdrop on your connections while letting you access websites that are blocked in your country.

8. Surfshark

Best VPN Service Provider for Torrenting.

Surfshark is the Best VPN Service Provider for Torrenting

Surfshark will provide you access to a large collection of privacy tools and an unlimited number of device connections through a superbly designed app, protecting your identity with Surfshark Alert and ensuring real private search results with Surfshark Search.

Encrypt your internet activity utilizing the best VPN protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN & Shadowsocks and adopting the AES-256 VPN encryption so you can secure the files on your computer and the data you send and receive.

Replace your actual IP address with the IP of the VPN server you use and change your location to have fast and unrestricted access to any website, avoiding geo-blocking, government censorships, GDPR, school, or workplace restrictions.

Block ads on browsers and apps, block malware with CleanWeb, load pages faster with pop-ups and ads removed when you are and when you are not on Wi-Fi, and avoid scammers and detect phishing attempts.

Bypass geo-blocking and censorship, unblock streaming services, social media, and news sites and apps, access Facebook in China or Reddit in Indonesia.

Protect your monetary assets with the VPN protecting all your confidential banking information.

Surfshark Id Theft Protection Feature
Source: Techadvisor

Pricing

You can pay $12.95 for one month of use or purchase the 24-month $2.49 subscription plan.

Surfshark Pricing Plan

Pros

  • IKEv2, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks VPN protocols
  • Protect your passwords, bank account details, private messages, and work emails under unprotected Wi-Fi networks
  • Change your location and gain fast and unrestricted access to any website
  • Connect to Surfshark's U.S servers to access the most extensive Netflix library
  • Change servers and hunt for bargain plane ticket, hotel, event prices
  • Protect your entire home by putting the VPN client in your router when a device doesn't allow new software to be installed
  • Block ads on browser and apps
  • Save mobile data and boost browsing speed

With unlimited simultaneous connections, robust multi-hop and split tunneling tools, thorough ad-blocking & malware scanning capabilities in software based on the Virgin Islands outside of surveillance alliances, bulletproof security is guaranteed on all your devices.

9. TunnelBear VPN

#1 Simple and Affordable VPN Service Provider.

TunnelBear is a Simple and Affordable VPN Service Provider

The user-friendly, approachable design of TunnelBear lets you easily access the tools that can help you block hacker attempts of stealing passwords and data over unsecured public Wi-fi while preventing network owners and internet providers from tracking your online activity.

Change your virtual location so you can access region-specific content, assign a new IP and stop the ad services from using your IP address to track your behavior across sites.

Bypass local censorship and unblock popular websites and apps restricted within certain governments, play on new game servers, prevent speed throttling, and unblock apps and websites under the school or workplace restrictions.

TunnelBear Bypass local censorship
Source: Tunnelbear

Allowing you to safely browse the internet from 41 countries, TunnelBear lets you surf and stream from anywhere with no throttling and buffering while the software publishes regular, independent security audits of its apps.

TunnelBear rigorously respects your privacy and will never log, monitor, or sell your browsing activity, and it is the only VPN in the industry that performs annual, independent security audits.

In case you lose your Wi-Fi connection, VigilantBear will block all unsecured traffic until everything is safely reconnected.

Make your VPN-encrypted data less detectable to governments, businesses, and ISPs with GhostBear.

TunnelBear GhostBear Feature
Source: Tunnelbear

Pricing

Apart from the Free plan with 500MB of secure browsing, TunnelBear offers the Unlimited $3.33 per month plan.

TunnelBear Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Change your device's location and access websites, services, and apps blocked in your country
  • Keep your browsing and physical location private from hackers, ISPs, and 3rd parties
  • Block all unsecured traffic until everything is safely reconnected with VigilantBear covering you in case of Wi-Fi loss
  • Hide your VPN-encrypted data from governments, businesses, and ISPs with GhostBear
  • Rigorous privacy policy
  • Strong AES 256-bit encryption
  • Load websites 3-5X faster

Covering everything from multiplatform support, browser extensions, and ad blocking to location & IP address masking, and Wi-fi support, TunnelBear will help you gain control over how and when your information is shared, allow you to browse whatever you want privately, and load many websites 3-5 times faster.

10. Private Internet Access

Best VPN Service Provider for Windows Systems.

Private Internet Access is the Best VPN Service Provider for Windows Systems

Enabling you to enjoy restriction-free browsing, PIA VPN uses the latest and greatest encryption standards and VPN protocols like WireGuard, allows you to take advantage of the unthrottled internet speeds with an extensive server network, and lets you anonymously connect to the internet far out of sight of ads, trackers, and malware.

To keep the hackers confused and unable to track your steps and identity, PIA VPN assigns a new mask in the form of dynamic IP addresses every time you log in, keeping your anonymity intact.

Dynamic Static IP Feature
Source: 1ot

Offering complete transparency with their source code, PIA VPN makes their source code publically available for anyone to scrutinize or verify with no risk of vulnerabilities or backdoors and the opportunity for the community to contribute to code improvement.

Configure PIA VPN on your entire network at once with the VPN router and ensure automatic protection for all internet traffic passing through the router, control the FreshRouter through the Privacy App, and combine with split-tunneling to configure separate rules for different devices.

PIA VPN won't store the information on your IP address, bandwidth consumption, browsing history, connection times & duration, or anything else, allowing you to sign up for the service with only an email address and take advantage of anonymous payment methods.

Private Internet Access Interface
Source: Vpnservice

Pricing

If you want a more longer-term solution than the $9.95 1-month subscription, you can purchase a 3-year $2.19 per month plan.

Private Internet Access Pricing Plan

Pros

  • World-class servers optimized for maximum security and fastest speeds in 78 countries
  • Protect against ads, trackers, and malware with PIA MACE
  • Protect more than 10 devices, IoT gadgets, and other devices without native apps with the VPN router
  • Total network kill switch for network-wide security
  • Combine the router with split-tunneling to configure separate rules for different devices
  • Easily auditable code and streamlined VPN experience with  
  • the fastest VPN protocol WireGuard
  • Anonymous payment methods

Keeping your browsing speeds at peak performance while protecting you against intruders such as trackers, ads, and malware is something PIA VPN excels at while removing all limits at how much data you can send and ensuring untraceable browsing identity with dynamic IP addresses every time.

11. Norton Secure VPN

Best VPN Service Provider for Securing Passwords & Bank Details.

Norton is the Best VPN Service Provider for Securing Passwords & Bank Details

Securing your private information like passwords, bank account and credit card details when using public Wi-Fi on your PC, Mac, or mobile device, Norton Secure VPN will automatically secure your connection if it detects suspicious Wi-Fi networks.

You can safely connect to your favorite websites, videos, or apps while staying anonymous with the data encryption tunnel that masks your activity, and blocks hackers, mobile carriers, and ISPs from accessing your information through Wi-Fi.

In case the VPN connection is lost, the software will automatically disconnect you from the internet and ensure your privacy is kept.

You will never have to worry about information logging as the software doesn't track or store your online activities.

Norton Security Feature
Source: Community

Secure and anonymize sensitive data without losing access to local services with the split-tunneling functionality, enabling you to encrypt your banking, healthcare, and other personal data while letting other apps and services access the internet directly.

Norton will help you shield your internet data and your location from websites, advertisers, and cybercriminals while providing a safe ground for you to track your emails, interact on social media, and pay bills using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Block ad tracking technologies and avoid being tracked online by advertisers and other companies so you can eliminate many of the targeted ads that follow you around the web and utilize bank-grade encryption to make sure the information you send and receive is safe and private.

Norton’s Secure VPN Interface
Source: Vpnmentor

Pricing

If you want to save 40% and not renew your subscription for $7.99 every month, you can purchase the annual $39.99 plan.

Norton Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Integrated into the industry-established Norton ecosystem
  • VPN servers in 79 locations and 30 countries
  • Change your virtual location or auto-select the best region
  • Automatically secure your information on the suspicious Wi-Fi networks
  • Safely connect to your favorite websites, videos, and apps on the go
  • Mask your activities and block hackers, mobile carriers, and ISPs from accessing your information while on Wi-Fi
  • Automatically disconnect from the internet in case of VPN connection loss with the kill switch
  • Split-tunneling
  • Explore Norton 360 plans that include both VPN & Security, plus additional features that help protect your device
  • No-log policy

Offering protection from a respected and trusted name and affordable, flexible pricing, Norton Secure VPN is ready to block annoying ads and hackers, change your location and allow you to benefit from the best regions, and automatically secure your information on any suspicious Wi-Fi network.

Which Features to Look for in VPN Services

1. Number and Location of Servers

For you to establish and maintain anonymity while deploying additional and flashy features of VPN software, you will need to use a tool that is built on a stable, overflowing network of interconnected servers to handle all this traffic.

A larger number of servers means that you should get more bandwidth and faster speeds when connected to the VPN, and you can find examples of this in NordVPN‘s 5200 servers, PureVPN‘s 6500 servers, or CyberGhost‘s 5500 servers.

As far as the server's location goes, having a server located nearby can be advantageous for creating a lag-free, responsive connection, especially beneficial for online activities such as online gaming.

Similarly, a VPN server in another country can be an asset to overcome geo-blocking restrictions, with the software making you appear to be in the same country as the server, helping you access otherwise blocked content.

2. Data Caps

With some VPN service providers offering a limited amount of data in their free plans for the month in the hope that the user will try the service out and use up the data in less than a month, so they become paid subscribers, it would benefit you that you seek a more generous tool.

The limitless ExpressVPN allows you to download whatever you want regardless of the volume, with ISP unable to see what download services you are using and unable to limit your speeds or bandwidth.

With no monthly cap and ISP service throttling, ExpressVPN has proven to have a 135 Mbps average download speed regardless if you are from America, Europe, Asia, or somewhere else.

Another thing to keep in mind here is to make sure that your VPN provider places no obstacles onto P2P (peer-to-peer) sharing, providing you with exceptional file-sharing capabilities instead of restricted ones.

3. Privacy & Logging

While complete anonymity is the main appeal of the VPN software, these tools do have to log some user data for a certain period so they can deliver the product to you successfully.

In case of a crime, VPN companies can be requested to provide usage and connection logs after a police warrant is issued, but even then, the information is most likely to stay anonymous.

Different VPN service providers have different policies on what data they keep with some companies keeping the users' login information and email address and some VPN providers keeping a log of user activities for a certain period.

Some VPN software like ExpressVPN offers a zero-logs policy tested by independent security audits Cure53 and PwC, claiming only to store your email address and payment information, so you don't need to use your personal email.

NordVPN guarantees a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your activities using NordVPN are provided by an automated technical process, and nothing you do is monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to any 3rd party.

4. Support for Additional Devices

While just about every VPN software supports Windows PC, as well as Mac, iOS, and Android devices, more devices are being used than ever, and some VPNs can facilitate a router set-up for your entire home network and all the hardware connected to it.

Same as the routers, some providers support Linux and offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, along with less popular devices such as Blackphone, QNAP NAS, Anona box, and Boxee box.

CyberGhost, for example, will help you deploy top-notch encryption on all your devices with apps for Windows, macOS, Android, routers, but also Android TV, Linux, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick.

5. Static and Dedicated IP Addresses

Dynamic IP address function in a way that you are always assigned a different IP address.

Contrarily, static or dedicated IP addresses are assigned to just one individual and not shared with anyone else.

VPN services typically provide dynamic IP addresses, and some offer the option of the static IP address.

A shared static IP address encrypts your internet traffic and masks your current IP address with the same address each time you connect to a specific server, but it will be shared with the other users.

On the other hand, a dedicated static IP address won't be shared with anyone else.

Not all VPNs offer the option for static or dedicated IP addresses and not all that do necessarily make everything better.

NordVPN offers shared IP addresses with a limit to the number of available addresses on each server, and the software enables you to choose which server you want to connect to, but you won't always get the same IP address.

For an extra charge, you can get a dedicated IP address from the US, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands while simultaneously using the shared IP service.
Some software like Private Internet Access offer both dynamic IP addresses, assigning a new one each time you log in, so you keep the potential intruders confused, and dedicated IP addresses deployed through an innovative token system that doesn't require VPN accounts.

Why Do I Need a VPN

There are multiple reasons for using VPN services, and these include…

  • Avoiding hackers – When you're on a public Wi-Fi network, it becomes more likely you will be a victim of a hacker attack, and VPN software can resolve this by masking your IP address and hiding your web traffic, which makes it much harder for hackers to access your sensitive information.
  • Viewing international content and bypassing censorship – If you are traveling to a country with many web restrictions like China or you want to acquire a streaming service like Netflix, Pandora, Hulu in its fullest capacity, such as the Netflix US, a VPN server can help you access content and avoid government restrictions that would otherwise be unmanageable.
  • Accessing your home network while traveling – You can set up your private VPN to access your own network while traveling, which will allow you to access a Windows Remote Desktop over the internet, use local file shares, and play games over the internet as if you have a connection with the same LAN.
  • Hiding your browsing activity from your local network, ISP, and advertisers – When using a public Wi-Fi connection, your browsing activity on non-HTTPS websites is visible to everyone nearby, and this is where VPNs can steer your traffic through an encrypted tunnel and bypass connection monitoring by your Internet Service Provider. Also, VPNs hide your web activity and the IP address from advertisers and companies looking to bombard you with pop-up ads, cookies, and constant disturbances.
  • Downloading and torrenting – Whether you are downloading completely legal torrents or using the VPN to illegally download movies, TV shows, or music, it is no secret that many people take advantage of the hole in the system the VPN services create, allowing you to even use BitTorrent in case of ISP throttling for faster speeds.

Limitation of a VPN

1. VPNs Can't Guarantee 100% Anonymity

Your browsing behavior can reveal your true identity in ways out of a VPN service's control.

Along with VPNs being out of Google and Facebook's reach when monitoring activity is concerned, there are web trackers and cookies that can store details such as your name and geographic location.

Additionally, the authorities and advertisers can collect the small pieces of information most browsers reveal about you and your sessions through browser fingerprinting that unveils your online presence even when using a VPN.

2. You are Relying on an Unknown Individual: the VPN Service

VPN provider's servers route your whole traffic, which means that if someone from the company wanted to, they could see who you are and what you are doing online.

With your privacy entirely dependent on how trustworthy the VPN service is, you would, ideally, need a VPN service that has had its logging policy independently verified with a third-party audit.

3. VPNs are Illegal in Some Countries

The list of countries that ban or regulate VPN use includes Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Oman, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and United Arab Emirates.

4. VPNs Slow Down Your Connection Speeds

Using a VPN provider will almost always slow down your connection speed because of the connection taking a longer route to the internet than previously via your chosen VPN service.

While top-level VPNs like Hotspot Shield cause minimal, unnoticeable speed loss (0.41%), lesser-quality VPNs can slow download speeds and increase latency to the point of unusability.

If your internet connection is already quite slow, doing anything speed-sensitive like gaming, streaming, or torrenting will be virtually impossible.

5. VPNs Increase Data Consumption

By deploying data encryption and traffic masking, VPNs magnify the amount of bandwidth you use, meaning you will consume data at a faster rate when using VPN through mobile and connected to cellular data.

With research showing that VPNs can increase data usage by 4% to 20%, you will probably reach your contract's monthly data limit much faster and possibly end up paying more in data roaming charges if you're abroad.

6. No Protection Against Malware or Phishing Attacks

While quality VPNs protect against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks, using a VPN will not protect you against malware, such as viruses, spyware, or ransomware, or shield you from being susceptible to social engineering attacks like phishing attacks.
For additional protection against malware, spyware, ransomware, you will need to acquire the services of the best antivirus software and anti-spyware tools.

FAQ

What is a VPN service?

A Virtual Private Network, or a VPN, is a service provided by a VPN software that secures your browsing data and private information in a virtual tunnel between your device and the internet, protecting you from online snooping, interference, and censorship.

VPNs provide the easiest and most effective way for people to protect their web traffic and keep their identities private, encrypting your information from hackers, governments, and Internet Service Providers.

How does it work?

When connected to the internet through a VPN app, the VPN app establishes a secure connection with the company's server, with all your traffic still passing through your IPS, but your ISP can no longer see the content or its final destination.

The websites you visit will only be able to see the IP address of your VPNs server.

With authentication, the VPN client and the VPN server can be sure that they are only communicating with each other.

With each data packet encapsulated inside another data packet, tunneling ensures that no third parties can reach the data in transit.

How much does a VPN service cost?

With most VPN services offering monthly and few different long-term plans, the two and three-year plans make for the best deals with the monthly subscriptions ranging between $8 and $13 on average, and the yearly plans often costing between $6 and $7 per month.

ExpressVPN – $12.95 per month in the one-month plan; $6.67 per month in the 15-month plan

NordVPN – $9.56 per month in the one-month plan; $3.27 per month in the 12-month plan

Surfshark – $11.01 per month in the one-month plan; $2.12 per month in the 24-month plan

When should I use a VPN service?

If your privacy while browsing is important to you, you should use a VPN every time you connect to the internet.

Here are specific instances where VPN providers can be especially useful:

While traveling, a VPN lets you use the internet as securely and privately as if you would in your home country.

If you are on public Wi-Fi via a cafe, airport, park connection, a VPN can keep your private information secured with strong encryption.

Play with friends from other countries, protect your device from DDoS attacks, and reduce ping and lag when gaming by connecting to a VPN server that's closer to the game server.

For keeping your IP address private and being able to download with increased anonymity while P2P file-sharing, your best option will be to use a VPN service.

If you've noticed some online stores showing different prices depending on the buyer's origin, you can get past this and find the best deals in the world by changing your location through a VPN.

How do I get a VPN?

The process is super simple, and we'll demonstrate it by taking ExpressVPN for example.

You just need to visit the order page and select the option the most suitable for you, and like most top-quality VPN providers, you will find all the plans covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Then, you will be invited to download the app for the device you are using, and you can click the ON button to facilitate instant connection to the best location or pick one from the global network.

Are VPNs legal?

Illegal online activity remains illegal regardless of the channel through which you are connected to the internet.

That being said, VPNs are legal and consistently used by individuals and companies around the world, including countries with highly restrictive governments.

Even in the countries where VPNs are banned or regulated, the governments still tactically endorse their use by officials, academics, or business leaders in an attempt to stay competitive in an interconnected world.

What is the best free VPN?

While both Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear offer truly admirable free VPN plans, our pick for the best free VPN service provider is ProtonVPN.

Apart from being the only free VPN that allows you to use unlimited data, ProtonVPN will support a wide range of devices and ensure a zero-logging policy, leak protection, split tunneling, and custom DNS servers to make the most well-rounded free VPN.

Which VPN Service Should I Pick?

An all-around excellent product like IPVanish is also one of the fastest VPNs on the market and an ideal choice if

  • You are a competitive gamer playing foreign gaming servers
  • You are a newbie and looking for an easy VPN tool
  • Looking for a solution with unlimited simultaneous connections

If you are looking for a double-VPN encryption tool with a large and diverse collection of servers that provides a top-notch user experience and is an Editors' Choice winner, try NordVPN.

  • Versatile option with a global reach and first-class digital security
  • Panama headquarters makes it a top choice for the privacy-concerned users
  • Great for watching Netflix and streaming services from other countries

For the best of everything, including a huge network, speed & security, limitless streaming, and torrenting, audit-confirmed logging confidentiality, you will find ExpressVPN as the optimal VPN solution regardless of your background with a rightfully earned stellar reputation.

  • Best for users seeking a VPN service outside of the realm of the Five Eyes & Fourteen Eyes alliances
  • Great for security-conscious consumers wanting a leak-free protection 
  • Excellent for regular torrenting and P2P

Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.