the best vpns of 2023 with Trevor James approved choices

As a long-term VPN user and traveler who's been using VPNs for over 10 years, often through restrictive countries, I know which VPNs actually stack up to their claims. As a personal review site and as an author who writes all of my own content without a big team, I am here to provide you with unbiased advice.

That doesn't mean that the links here aren't affiliate links; they are. I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, but I've decided to be unbiased on my blog and choose the best VPNs as the ones that I can personally recommend and have tested. Let's get right into it!

In a hurry? Here’s the best VPN in 2023:

ExpressVPN: Is by far the best VPN on the market, as it’s excellent for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. It also provides the fastest connection speeds on the market, and it comes with industry-leading privacy and security features. What’s more, it works in restrictive countries, and it has really beginner-friendly apps. It has affordable plans, and it comes with a risk-free 30-day refund policy.

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But wait, maybe you're still wondering what is a VPN? Read that post first.

I've been using VPNs for over 10 years, and found that nearly every VPN says it’s the best on the market, but that’s rarely true. In fact, a lot of VPNs don’t provide enough value to justify the price — they can’t access top streaming sites, have really slow speeds, don’t provide P2P support, have hard-to-use apps, or simply lack essential security features. 

So I decided to test 50+ top VPNs on the market to find the best ones. I closely researched and tested each provider’s security and extra features, streaming and torrenting support, gaming experience, ease of use, speeds, and more. 

After I found the best 10 VPNs, I ranked them according to the value they provide. ExpressVPN ranks #1 on my list because it provides excellent security, privacy, streaming, and torrenting, and it’s also the fastest VPN out there — but all of the other VPNs on my list are also really good picks based on what your needs are.

Quick Look at the Best VPNs in 2023:

  1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN service in 2023.
  2. Private Internet Access — Excellent VPN for privacy and torrenting.
  3. CyberGhost VPN — Beginner-friendly VPN that’s excellent for streaming.
  4. Surfshark — Very good for streaming and securing online data.
  5. NordVPN — Ultra-secure VPN with really fast speeds. 
  6. VPNs #6 to #10. 
  7. Comparison of the Best VPNs in 2023.

How to Choose the Best VPN in 2023

  • Get a VPN with strong security features — For a VPN to protect your data, it needs to come with industry-standard security tools. This includes military-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch to prevent data leaks if the VPN connection drops. All the top VPNs mentioned on this list are really secure. 
  • Pick a VPN with good streaming or P2P support — Make sure the VPN you choose either works with most top streaming sites (like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Disney+), or that it allows torrenting on its servers. Ideally, the VPN you pick should have great streaming and torrenting support. 
  • Go for a VPN that has fast speeds — When you use a VPN, it will always cause some slowdowns. But with a top VPN, the slowdown usually won’t be noticeable. All the VPNs in this article are really fast, but ExpressVPN is definitely the best VPN in terms of speeds.
  • Select a VPN with a large server network — I recommend looking for a VPN with a decent number of servers (at least 100+). In addition, the provider should have servers in at least 50+ countries around the world, so that you can easily use nearby servers to get fast speeds. 
  • Pick a VPN with intuitive apps — You should always go for a VPN that has apps for most major desktop, mobile, and smart TV platforms. In addition, the provider’s apps should be simple to navigate and use. Also, the VPN should let you connect at least 5 devices (some top VPNs, like Private Internet Access, let you connect an unlimited number of devices).
  • Get a VPN that provides great value — You should look for VPNs that have affordable prices and come with generous money-back guarantees. If the VPN also has a free trial or free VPN plan, even better.

The 10 Best VPNs in 2023

1. ExpressVPN: Best VPN in 2023 ExpressVPN

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ExpressVPN provides the best value on the market — it works with 100+ streaming services, has servers in 100+ countries, allows torrenting on all servers, has high-end security and privacy features, is super user-friendly, and comes with a risk-free 30-day refund. 

ExpressVPN is without a doubt the best VPN on the market — it provides excellent security and privacy, it’s extremely good for streaming, gaming, and torrenting, it has super fast VPN connection speeds, and it’s very simple to use. 

And in addition to everything mentioned above, you also get other perks — the VPN provider has a large server network that consists of VPN servers in 100+ countries, it works without issues in restrictive countries like China and Russia, and it comes with tons of useful additional features (including split-tunneling and a malicious site blocker).

screenshot of ExpressVPN's Advanced Protection and ExpressVPN Keys features

ExpressVPN’s prices start at $6.67/month, it has paid monthly and yearly plans, and it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN Security and Privacy Features

ExpressVPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

ExpressVPN provides industry-leading security and privacy features — it has all essential VPN security features, and its no-logs policy has also been proven true in an independent audit and a server seizure. Plus, the provider has DNS leak protection, and it also comes with IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection. Also, I never experienced any leaks in my tests.

I also really like how the provider has advanced security features, including RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy (PFS). With RAM-only servers, data is never written to the hard drive, so each server reset wipes everything. And PFS ensures that the encryption key is different for each VPN session — this way, hackers can’t try to potentially compromise past or future session encryption keys to spy on your traffic. 

And I also like how the VPN service uses very strong protocols. It has OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec, which are both secure and provide good speeds. In addition, it also has Lightway, which is its proprietary protocol that’s designed to provide high-end security and super fast speeds.

ExpressVPN Additional Features

ExpressVPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

ExpressVPN comes with many useful additional features. It has split-tunneling, which lets you pick which apps use the VPN connection and which apps use your local internet connection. In addition, it also has a feature that blocks ads and connections to malicious websites. And it provides obfuscation, which hides your VPN traffic to provide additional privacy, and also helps you circumvent VPN blocks in restrictive countries. Plus, it also has other cool extras, like a built-in password manager on mobile and Shortcuts (lets you set up 1-click shortcuts for apps and sites).

ExpressVPN Streaming Support

ExpressVPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming Services100+
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

ExpressVPN is the best VPN service on the market for streaming. That’s because it works with a whopping 100+ streaming platforms, including top services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Hulu. Plus, you get excellent variety for Netflix, as the VPN can access 15+ libraries, such as Netflix US and Netflix UK. 

I also like how the provider has a smart DNS (called MediaStreamer), which is a good tool for streaming. Essentially, a smart DNS allows you to access streaming content on devices that don’t work with VPN apps (like gaming consoles or certain smart TV models). ExpressVPN’s smart DNS is mostly configured to work with streaming sites from the US and the UK.

ExpressVPN Torrenting Support

ExpressVPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (all servers)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

I think ExpressVPN is the best P2P VPN in 2023 — it allows torrenting across all of its servers, which are located in 100+ countries. What’s more, it provides excellent security and privacy for torrenting, as it has a kill switch and a no-logs policy that has been independently audited. In addition, the VPN also has full leak protection, and it never leaked my P2P data in my tests. 

I also like how the VPN has port forwarding, which is a useful P2P-related feature that lets you connect to more peers to get faster speeds. Just keep in mind that port forwarding is only available via the provider’s router app — if you were interested in having access to port forwarding within the desktop and mobile VPN apps, check out Private Internet Access instead.

ExpressVPN Gaming Support

ExpressVPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers130-142 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers (via router app)
Cloud Gaming Support

ExpressVPN is by far the best option for gaming out there — I really like how it maintains super smooth speeds for gaming across all of its servers. In my tests, I always had stable, average ping on distant servers, and I never experienced lag while gaming. 

I also like how all of the provider’s servers have anti-DDoS protection, which means nobody can DDoS your connection to the VPN server to disconnect you from it. 

And the provider also has great router and cloud gaming support. It’s actually one of the only VPNs on the market with a dedicated router app, which is very easy to install and use — so you can quickly install it to use the VPN on devices that don’t support VPN apps, like gaming consoles. Also, the provider works with cloud gaming platforms (such as GeForce Now) without any issues. 

ExpressVPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
HD Video Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
4K Video Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
Time to Download a 10 GB File5 minutes6 minutes

It’s honestly safe to say that ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market. Both me and a friend from Romania ran speed tests on multiple nearby and distant VPN server locations, and the results were always perfect. 

Basically, we never experienced any noticeable slowdowns in our tests — all websites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly on all server locations, and it only took about 5 minutes to download a 10 GB file on nearby servers (the same file took just 1 minute more to download on distant servers).

ExpressVPN Ease of Use

ExpressVPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsUp to 8
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support (also has a dedicated router app)

ExpressVPN allows up to 8 simultaneous connections, which is pretty good since it’s on the upper end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. Still, if that’s not enough for you, consider getting Private Internet Access or Surfshark instead, as they both allow unlimited connections.

ExpressVPN is an extremely beginner-friendly VPN service. I really like how it has apps for all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Fire TV. Plus, it also allows manual router setups — and on top of that, it’s also one of the only VPN services on the market that provides access to a dedicated router app (which is also very easy to install and use). 

And the provider’s VPN software is very intuitive — all of its apps come with a quick-connect tool (automatically connects you to the fastest VPN server for your location), have a very intuitive interface, and also provide helpful explanations for all settings and features. 

ExpressVPN Pricing

ExpressVPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 6 months, and 1 year
Starting Price$6.67/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days)

ExpressVPN is one of the pricier VPN services on the market, but it provides excellent value so it’s 100% worth the money. It comes with a 1-month, a 6-month, and a 1-year plan, and its prices start at $6.67/month. In addition, the longest plan also often includes additional months of service for free.

Plus, the provider also has a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. You don’t need to meet any requirements to qualify for the refund — just ask for your money back within those 30 days if you’re not 100% satisfied with the VPN service.

2. Private Internet Access: Excellent VPN for Privacy and Torrenting Private Internet Access

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Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN service that provides very good P2P support, really fast speeds on all servers, and excellent security and privacy features. It also allows unlimited connections, is super affordable, and comes with a no-questions-asked 30-day refund.

Private Internet Access (PIA) has high-end privacy features and excellent P2P support — it comes with a strict no-logs policy that has been proven true many times, and all of its apps have open-source code. Plus, it’s also great for large families since it allows unlimited simultaneous connections.

On top of that, you also get other great perks — the provider has great streaming and gaming support, it has servers in 80+ countries, it provides very good speeds, it has great extra features (including an excellent ad blocker), and it’s also really user-friendly.

Screenshot of Private Internet Access' connection screen and server list.

PIA’s prices start as low as $2.03/month, it has paid monthly and yearly plans, and it comes with a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access Security and Privacy Features

Private Internet Access Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

PIA is very good for security and privacy, as it has all essential VPN security features and its no-logs policy has also been independently audited and proven true in court documents. On top of that, all of the provider’s apps are open-source, which means anyone can inspect the code for security issues. Also, the VPN provider comes with DNS leak protection. 

And PIA also has other high-end security perks — it has WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection in addition to DNS leak protection, and it also comes with RAM-only servers and PFS. 

Finally, I also like how the VPN service provides access to secure VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSec. I’m especially happy to see WireGuard present, as it’s both really secure and very fast. 

Private Internet Access Additional Features 

Private Internet Access Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

PIA provides access to tons of cool extra features. It comes with split-tunneling, and I especially like that the provider’s tool lets you split-tunnel both apps and sites — ExpressVPN, for example, only lets you split-tunnel apps. In addition, it has MACE, which is an excellent ad blocker that always got rid of ads (even YouTube ads) and successfully blocked malicious sites in my tests. 

I also like how PIA has obfuscation, though it’s only good for gaining extra privacy — that’s because you can’t use it to circumvent VPN blocks in restrictive countries like the UAE and China, as the VPN service doesn’t guarantee 100% uptime in such places.

Private Internet Access Streaming Support

Private Internet Access Streaming Support
Number of Streaming Services20+
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

PIA is a great pick for streaming since it has streaming servers that work with 20+ streaming platforms, including popular ones like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and YouTube TV. It’s also great for Netflix, as it works with 5+ libraries. Plus, it also comes with a smart DNS.

Still, if your main focus is streaming, you get a better deal with ExpressVPN. That VPN provider is compatible with 100+ streaming platforms, it works with 15+ Netflix libraries, and it has a smart DNS as well.

Private Internet Access Torrenting Support

Private Internet Access Torrenting Support
P2P Support (all servers)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

I think PIA is an excellent choice for torrenting, as it allows P2P traffic across all of its servers, which are located in 80+ countries. In addition, it also provides a very secure torrenting experience since it has a kill switch and an independently audited no-logs policy. On top of that, the VPN provider also has full leak protection (not to mention it never leaked my data in my tests). 

What’s more, I love how PIA supports port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy connections. SOCKS5 proxy support means you can hide your IP address to enjoy privacy while torrenting, but your traffic won’t be encrypted — so you’ll get very fast download speeds. 

Private Internet Access Gaming Support

Private Internet Access Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers129-141 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

PIA is able to provide you with a smooth and secure gaming experience — in my tests, I always maintained average ping while gaming on distant servers, and I never experienced any game-breaking lag. Plus, I also like how the VPN has anti-DDoS protection on all of its servers, and how it supports manual router setups. 

The only thing that’s missing is cloud gaming support. Although PIA worked with platforms like GeForce Now in my tests, I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same results. If this is a deal-breaker, check out ExpressVPN instead since it has guaranteed support for cloud gaming.

Private Internet Access Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
HD Video Load TimeInstantly2 seconds
4K Video Load TimeInstantly2-3 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File7 minutes7-8 minutes

PIA is one of the fastest VPN services on the market — me and my friend from Romania ran 20+ speed tests on various nearby and distant servers, and we generally enjoyed really good speeds. On nearby servers, all sites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly, and a 10 GB file downloaded in only 7 minutes. And on distant servers, sites still loaded instantly, HD and 4K videos took just a few seconds to load, and we downloaded the same 10 GB file in 7–8 minutes. 

While PIA is really fast, I still think it doesn’t come close to ExpressVPN — when we used that VPN service, we experienced zero slowdowns across all servers (both nearby and distant).

Private Internet Access Ease of Use

Private Internet Access Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimited
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps
Router Support

PIA is one of the few VPNs on the market to allow unlimited simultaneous connections. This is great if you own tons of web-connected devices or if you have a large family, as you can secure all devices with just 1 subscription.

The VPN service also has apps for most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Also, it supports manual router setups. Unfortunately, it’s missing an app for Android TV and Fire TV — if this is an issue, check out ExpressVPN instead.

And I really like how simple to use PIA’s apps are — they all come with a quick-connect feature, it’s really simple to manually find and connect to servers, and the interface is very intuitive (so you never feel lost while using the VPN software).

Private Internet Access Pricing

Private Internet Access Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 6 months, and 2 years
Starting Price$2.03/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days)

PIA is one of the most affordable VPN services on the market, as its plans start as low as $2.03/month. It has a 1-month, a 6-month, and a 2-year plan, and the longest plan usually includes extra months of service for free. 

Plus, I like how the provider has a 30-day money-back guarantee — even better, you don’t need to meet any requirements (like not using a certain amount of data, for example) to qualify for it.

3. CyberGhost VPN: Excellent VPN for Streaming and Very Beginner-Friendly CyberGhost VPN

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CyberGhost VPN is a very good VPN for streaming that’s also great for beginners and really secure. It also provides fast speeds on both nearby and distant servers, has good P2P and gaming support, and has very affordable plans. It backs all long-term purchases with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost VPN is very good for streaming and people new to VPNs — it has dedicated streaming servers that work with 50+ streaming platforms (and that can access 15+ Netflix libraries), and it has very intuitive apps, some of which even allow you to automate your VPN connections. 

Other than that, the provider also comes with other cool perks — it has a huge network of 9,000+ servers in 90+ countries, it allows torrenting on servers in 70+ countries, it has very strong security and privacy features, it provides fast speeds, and it comes with useful extras (including split-tunneling and the option to get a dedicated IP address).

Screenshot of CyberGhost VPN's streaming server list.

CyberGhost’s plans start at $2.19/month, it has paid monthly and yearly plans, it comes with a free 24-hour trial, and it provides a 45-day refund for all long-term plans.

CyberGhost VPN Security and Privacy Features

CyberGhost VPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

CyberGhost VPN is really good for security and privacy, as it provides access to industry-standard security features — and its no-logs policy also underwent an independent security audit. The VPN service also comes with DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and I never experienced any leaks in my tests. Plus, it uses advanced security features as well, including RAM-only servers and PFS. 

Like Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN also comes with OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard — I’m especially pleased that WireGuard is present, as it’s the fastest protocol out of the 3 (plus, it’s very secure as well). 

CyberGhost VPN Additional Features 

CyberGhost VPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

CyberGhost VPN provides access to many helpful extras — it has split-tunneling and a feature that blocks ads and shady sites (although it doesn’t block ads as well as Private Internet Access’ ad blocker). In addition, it comes with other additional features, such as Smart Rules, which allows you to automate your VPN connections, and ability to get a dedicated IP address, which is an IP address that’s only assigned to you.. 

However, the VPN service is missing obfuscation, which is a shame. Due to this, it’s not a reliable option for consistently accessing the web in restrictive countries. If this is a deal-breaker, check out ExpressVPN instead since it supports obfuscation on all servers and via all protocols.

CyberGhost VPN Streaming Support

CyberGhost VPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming Services50+
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

CyberGhost VPN is one of the best VPN services for streaming on the market. That’s because it comes with 100+ dedicated streaming servers that are configured to consistently work with 50+ streaming platforms — this includes top sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Hulu. Plus, you also get excellent Netflix variety, as the VPN service works with 15+ Netflix libraries. And I also like how CyberGhost VPN has a smart DNS that’s compatible with sites from the US, the UK, and Japan. 

And if you’re not 100% satisfied with CyberGhost VPN’s streaming variety, I recommend checking out ExpressVPN instead. It’s compatible with 100+ streaming platforms, including all of the ones CyberGhost VPN works with — and like CyberGhost VPN, it also accesses 15+ Netflix libraries and comes with a smart DNS.

CyberGhost VPN Torrenting Support

CyberGhost VPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (9,000+ P2P servers in 70+ countries)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

CyberGhost VPN provides great torrenting support, as it allows P2P downloads on 9,000+ servers in 70+ countries. In addition, it also provides great security and privacy for torrenting, as it has an independently audited no-logs policy and a kill switch — plus, it also comes with strong leak protection. 

That said, I think it’s a shame the provider is missing port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy support, as both features are useful for increasing P2P download speeds. If this is an issue for you, check out Private Internet Access instead, as it comes with both P2P-related tools. 

CyberGhost VPN Gaming Support

CyberGhost VPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers119-128 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

I think CyberGhost VPN is a great pick for gaming, especially since it has dedicated gaming servers — these servers are optimized to provide smooth speeds and low ping. And I can confirm its servers work as intended since I always enjoyed fast gaming speeds on them. I also like how all of the provider’s servers come with anti-DDoS protection, and how the VPN service allows manual router setups. 

However, CyberGhost VPN is missing cloud gaming support. In my tests, it worked well with GeForce Now, but I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same results. If you mainly want to use a VPN for cloud gaming, check out ExpressVPN since it guarantees cloud gaming support.

CyberGhost VPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
HD Video Load TimeInstantly2-3 seconds
4K Video Load TimeInstantly3 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File7 minutes8-9 minutes

CyberGhost VPN is one of the best VPN services in terms of speeds — in our tests, we maintained really fast speeds on both nearby and distant servers. On nearby servers, sites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly, while a 10 GB file downloaded in just 7 minutes. And on distant servers, sites still loaded instantly, HD and 4K videos took no more than 3 seconds to load, and the same 10 GB file finished downloading in around 8–9 minutes. 

That said, if speed is your main focus, I’d go with ExpressVPN instead — it’s by far the fastest VPN on the market, as it maintains super fast VPN connection speeds across all of its servers.

CyberGhost VPN Ease of Use

ExpressVPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous Connections7
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

CyberGhost VPN allows up to 7 connections, which is decent as it’s right in the middle of the industry average of 5–10 connections. But if you don’t think this is enough for you, I recommend getting Private Internet Access or Surfshark instead, as they both allow unlimited simultaneous connections. 

And this VPN is excellent for beginners — it has apps for all major platforms (desktop, mobile, and smart TVs), and its apps are extremely intuitive and simple to navigate. Plus, I love how its desktop apps allow you to automate your VPN connections via the Smart Rules feature.

CyberGhost VPN Pricing

CyberGhost VPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 6 months, and 2 years
Starting Price$2.19/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (45 days for long-term plans, and 14 days for the shortest plan)

CyberGhost VPN is super affordable, with prices starting at just $2.19/month. It has a 1-month, a 6-month, and a 2-year plan, and the longest plan often includes extra months of service for free. There’s no free plan, but the provider has a free 24-hour trial that provides access to all features. 

And the provider also has a generous 45-day money-back guarantee for all long-term purchases. If you only subscribe to the shortest plan, you’ll be covered by a 14-day money-back guarantee instead. 

4. Surfshark: Great VPN for Streaming and Security Surfshark

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Surfshark is great for large families since you can install it on an unlimited number of devices. It also works with 100+ streaming platforms (and lets you match your GPS data to your VPN IP on Android), provides access to very strong security features, has a large server network, and is very fast. It also has affordable prices and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark provides very good streaming support, and it’s also a really secure VPN. The VPN works with 100+ streaming platforms, so you get excellent variety (and it also has a tool that spoofs your GPS data on Android). In addition, it also provides access to very strong security and privacy features. Also, the provider allows unlimited connections.

Other than that, Surfshark also has other advantages — it has 3,200+ servers in 95+ countries, it has good torrenting and gaming support, it has really beginner-friendly apps, and it provides access to useful extras, such as split-tunneling and an ad blocker.

Screenshot of Surfshark's Dynamic MultiHop server list.

Surfshark has affordable prices that start at $2.30/month. It has tier-based subscriptions with paid monthly and yearly plans, and it comes with a 30-day refund policy.

Surfshark Security and Privacy Features

Surfshark Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

Surfshark provides great security and privacy — it comes with all essential VPN security features, its no-logs policy passed an independent audit, and it has DNS leak protection. In addition, it also uses advanced security features like RAM-only servers and PFS, and it provides access to secure protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec). 

The only thing that’s missing is IPV6 or WebRTC leak protection — competitors like ExpressVPN come with full leak protection. That said, I never experienced any leaks in my tests.

Surfshark Additional Features 

Surfshark Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

Surfshark provides access to tons of extras, many of which are great for securing your data. It comes with split-tunneling and CleanWeb, which protects you from ads and shady sites. In addition, it also has a tool that regularly changes your VPN IP address, and it provides access to double VPN connections, which send your data through two VPN servers instead of just one server. 

The provider also has obfuscation, but it’s only good for getting extra privacy. You can’t use it to access the web in restrictive countries, as Surfshark doesn’t work in such places. If that’ s deal-breaker, check out ExpressVPN instead.

Surfshark Streaming Support

Surfshark Streaming Support
Number of Streaming Services100+
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

Surfshark is one of the best VPN services for streaming out there, as it works with 100+ streaming platforms. The list includes popular services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. What’s more, it can also access 15+ top Netflix libraries. Additionally, Surfshark provides access to a smart DNS. 

Also, the provider has a feature on Android that spoofs your GPS data, making it match the location of your VPN IP address. This makes it harder for streaming mobile apps to detect and block your VPN connection (as such apps use both IP addresses and GPS data to determine your real location). 

Surfshark Torrenting Support

Surfshark Torrenting Support
P2P Support (all servers)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

Surfshark is a great VPN for torrenting, as it allows P2P downloads on all servers, which are located in 95+ countries. On top of that, the provider is also great for securing P2P traffic since it comes with an audited no-logs policy, a kill switch, and good leak protection. Plus, its ad blocker can keep you safe from shady torrenting sites.

Still, I think it’s a shame that the VPN is missing support for port forwarding or SOCKS5 proxies. These features are really helpful for torrenting, as they improve download speeds. If this is an issue for you, check out Private Internet Access instead, as it has support for both.

Surfshark Gaming Support

Surfshark Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers135-146 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

Surfshark provides a secure and smooth gaming experience. In my tests, it always provided me with average, stable ping while connected to distant servers, and I never experienced any lag or random disconnects. Plus, I like how all of the provider’s servers have anti-DDoS protection, and how the VPN also supports manual router setups. 

Unfortunately, the VPN is missing cloud gaming support, so there’s no guarantee it will work with cloud gaming platforms (like GeForce Now, for example). If you want to use a VPN for cloud gaming, I recommend getting ExpressVPN instead. 

Surfshark Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
HD Video Load TimeInstantly3 seconds
4K Video Load TimeInstantly3-4 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File8 minutes9 minutes

Surfshark provides very good VPN connection speeds across all of its servers. On nearby servers, both sites and videos loaded instantly, while it only took around 8 minutes to torrent a 10 GB file. And on distant servers, websites continued to load instantly, videos took around 3 seconds to load, and the same 10 GB file took just 9 minutes to torrent. 

Surfshark’s speeds are really good, but ExpressVPN is still much faster to be honest. If VPN speeds matter the most to you, I’d recommend going with ExpressVPN instead since it provides slowdown-free connections on both nearby and distant servers. 

Surfshark Ease of Use

Surfshark Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimited
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

Like Private Internet Access, Surfshark also allows unlimited simultaneous connections. This makes it a great pick if you have a large family, and everyone in your household needs a fast, user-friendly, and secure VPN. 

And Surfshark is also really intuitive and convenient to use. It has apps for all major platforms, it supports manual router setups, and its desktop, mobile, and smart TV apps are very simple to navigate. 

Surfshark Pricing

Surfshark Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 1 year, and 2 years
Starting Price$2.30/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days)

Surfshark is one of the most budget-friendly VPN providers on the market its prices start as low as $2.30/month. The provider has 3 tier-based subscriptions, and each subscription comes with a 1-month, a 1-year, or a 2-year plan. 

And Surfshark has a no-questions-asked 30-day refund policy — this basically means you don’t need to meet any requirements (like not downloading torrents or not going over a certain data limit) to be eligible for a refund.

5. NordVPN: Ultra-Secure VPN with Fast VPN Connection Speeds NordVPN

Try NordVPN risk-free!

NordVPN is one of the most secure providers on the market — it has high-end security features, including malware protection, an ad and tracker blocker, and a data breach monitoring tool. It’s also very good for streaming, torrenting, and gaming, and has very fast speeds. And it backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN is an excellent pick for high-end security and fast speeds. It comes with advanced security features, and it also provides access to other security tools (including malware protection, a malicious site blocker, and a data breach alert tool). Plus, it also maintains really fast speeds on both nearby and distant servers. 

In addition, the provider also has other perks — it provides very good streaming and torrenting support, it has 5,500+ servers in 55+ countries, it’s great for gaming (especially thanks to its Meshnet feature), and it has intuitive apps for all major platforms.

Screenshot of NordVPN's Threat Protection feature.

NordVPN has 3 tier-based subscriptions that start at $3.19/month, it has paid monthly and yearly plans, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN Security and Privacy Features

NordVPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

NordVPN provides excellent security — in addition to having all industry-standard security features, it also has a no-logs policy that has been independently audited and proven true in a third-party data center breach. The provider also has DNS leak protection, and it comes with IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection as well (and it didn’t suffer any leaks in my tests). 

I also like how the VPN uses advanced security features and very strong protocols — it secures your data with PFS and RAM-only servers, and it also allows you to use the IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx protocols (NordLynx is the provider’s proprietary protocol that’s based on WireGuard). 

NordVPN Additional Features 

NordVPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

NordVPN provides access to many additional features, especially security-oriented extras. In addition to split-tunneling, it has Threat Protection, which blocks not only ads and shady sites, but also malware-infected downloads. Also, the provider has double VPN servers and a feature that alerts you if your VPN account details are compromised on the dark web. 

The VPN also has obfuscation, but it’s only good for enjoying additional privacy — that’s because, unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t 100% work in restrictive countries like China and Russia. If you want a VPN with obfuscation that works without issues in restrictive regions, check out ExpressVPN.

NordVPN Streaming Support

NordVPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming ServicesUnknown
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services for streaming. It doesn’t say how many streaming platforms it works with, but it’s compatible with tons of popular sites, such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Plus, it also works with 30+ Netflix libraries, so it provides excellent variety for Netflix users. 

The VPN also comes with a smart DNS and the SmartPlay feature, which mixes smart DNS and VPN technology across all of the provider’s servers — that makes it much harder for streaming sites to detect and block your VPN connections. 

NordVPN Torrenting Support

NordVPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (5,000+ P2P servers in 50+ countries)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

NordVPN has great torrenting support, as it has 5,000+ P2P servers in 50+ countries. In addition, it also provides access to SOCKS5 proxy servers, which allow you to boost your P2P speeds. Plus, you get strong security for torrenting, as the VPN has a strict no-logs policy that has been audited and a kill switch. 

But if you think the number of P2P server locations is limited, try Private Internet Access instead — it allows torrenting on servers in 80+ countries, it provides strong security, and it also has both port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy support. 

NordVPN Gaming Support

NordVPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers135-145 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

NordVPN provides a great gaming experience — in my tests, it always maintained stable ping on distant servers, and I didn’t experience any lag. What’s more, the provider has anti-DDoS protection across all of its servers, and it has router support. Plus, it comes with Meshnet, a feature that allows you to link up devices over VPN connections, which comes in handy for setting up secure virtual LAN parties. 

But the provider lacks cloud gaming support, so you might not be able to use it to access platforms like GeForce Now. If this is an issue, I recommend going with ExpressVPN instead. 

NordVPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantlyInstantly
HD Video Load TimeInstantly3 seconds
4K Video Load TimeInstantly4 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File9 minutes9-10 minutes

NordVPN is among the fastest VPN services on the market — in our tests, we maintained fast speeds for all online activities on both nearby and distant servers. On nearby servers, sites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly, and it took just 9 minutes to torrent a 10 GB file. And on distant servers, websites continued to load instantly, HD videos took 3 seconds to load, 4K videos loaded in 4 seconds, and the same 10 GB file downloaded in 9–10 minutes. 

I’m really happy with NordVPN’s speeds, but ExpressVPN is definitely much faster — it maintains blazing-fast speeds across all of its servers (yes, this means I never experienced slowdowns while connected to distant servers). 

NordVPN Ease of Use

ExpressVPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous Connections6
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

NordVPN allows 6 connections, which is decent but still on the lower end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. If you need to cover more devices (like over 10 devices), I recommend trying Private Internet Access or Surfshark instead, as they both allow you to connect unlimited devices.

And the provider has very intuitive apps for all major platforms. It has apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Fire TV, and it also supports manual router setups. Also, all of the provider’s apps have an intuitive interface and provide helpful explanations for all settings and features. 

NordVPN Pricing

NordVPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 1 year, and 2 years
Starting Price$3.19/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days)

NordVPN has 3 tier-based subscriptions with prices that start at $3.19/month. Also, it has a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan — the longest plan provides the best savings, and it also sometimes comes with additional months of service for free. 

And the provider also has a risk-free 30-day refund policy, so you only have to ask for your money back within the time limit if you’re not happy with the VPN to be eligible for the refund.

6. PrivateVPN: Intuitive VPN for Torrenting and Streaming PrivateVPN

Try PrivateVPN risk-free!

PrivateVPN is a super-affordable VPN that’s great for beginners and people who download torrents very often. It also comes with great streaming support, it’s really good for security and privacy, and it works in restrictive countries. Plus, it backs all purchases with a risk-free 30-day refund.

PrivateVPN is a pretty good pick for torrenting and streaming (plus, it’s also user-friendly). The provider allows torrenting on all servers and supports port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy servers. What’s more, it works with most popular streaming platforms, and it also has really beginner-friendly desktop, mobile, and smart TV apps. 

And the VPN also comes with other good perks — it has servers in 60+ countries, it works in most restrictive countries (including China, Turkey, and the UAE), it’s really secure, and it provides a good gaming experience. 

Screenshot of PrivateVPN's Stealth VPN feature.

PrivateVPN is super affordable, with pieces starting at $2.00/month. It also has paid monthly and yearly plans, a free 14-day trial, and a 30-day refund policy.

PrivateVPN Security and Privacy Features

PrivateVPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy
Advanced Security Features

PrivateVPN provides strong security and privacy, as it comes with all essential VPN security features, and it also provides access to PFS. In addition, it never leaked my data in my tests. Also, the provider uses strong VPN protocols, like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec.

That said, the VPN is missing RAM-only servers and a no-logs audit — If those are important to you, consider getting ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access instead.

PrivateVPN Additional Features 

PrivateVPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

Unfortunately, PrivateVPN is a bit bare-bones when it comes to extra features. It comes with obfuscation, which is good for extra privacy — plus, it also works in most restrictive countries. And on top of that, you can get a dedicated IP address for free, which is really nice (most top VPNs charge for this). 

But the provider is missing other additional tools, like split-tunneling and an ad blocker. If those features are really important to you, I recommend going with ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access instead.

PrivateVPN Streaming Support

PrivateVPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming ServicesUnknown
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

PrivateVPN is decent for streaming, as it works with many popular streaming sites, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention how many streaming platforms it works with in total — also, the provider is missing a smart DNS, and it doesn’t work with several popular Netflix libraries (including Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix Japan). 

To be honest, I think ExpressVPN is much better for streaming — it consistently works with 100+ streaming platforms (including all of the ones PrivateVPN is compatible with), it can access 15+ Netflix libraries, and it comes with a smart DNS. 

PrivateVPN Torrenting Support

PrivateVPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (all servers)
No-Logs Policy
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

PrivateVPN is great for torrenting — it supports P2P downloads on all of its servers (which are located in 60+ countries), it provides good privacy and security for torrenting via a no-logs policy and a kill switch, and it supports both port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxies. 

I would only recommend picking Private Internet Access instead if you want P2P servers in more countries — the provider allows torrenting on servers in 80+ countries. Other than that, it too supports port forwarding and SOCKS5 connections, and it has excellent privacy and security for torrenting (including an audited no-logs policy). 

PrivateVPN Gaming Support

PrivateVPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers133-147 ms
Lag (only minor, not game-breaking)
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

PrivateVPN is a great VPN for gaming — in my tests, it maintained average and stable ping while gaming on distant VPN servers, and I only experienced very minor lag. Plus, I like how the VPN supports manual router setups, and how it also has anti-DDoS protection on all servers. 

However, PrivateVPN doesn’t guarantee compatibility with cloud gaming platforms. I was able to use GeForce Now while connected to PrivateVPN, but I can't guarantee you’ll have the same experience. If this is an issue, it’s better to get ExpressVPN instead, as it 100% works with cloud gaming platforms.

PrivateVPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load Time2 seconds2 seconds
HD Video Load Time1-2 seconds3 seconds
4K Video Load Time2 seconds4 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File11 minutes13 minutes

PrivateVPN provides very good connection speeds. Me and a friend from Romania ran speed tests on both nearby and distant servers, and overall had good speeds. On nearby servers, sites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded in 2 seconds, while a 10 GB file took 11 minutes to download. And on distant servers, sites still loaded in 2 seconds, HD videos took 3 seconds to load, and 4K videos loaded in 4 seconds, and the same 10 GB file finished downloading in 13 minutes. 

But I still think ExpressVPN is the best VPN in terms of speeds — it maintains super fast speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, and gaming on all nearby and distant servers. 

PrivateVPN Ease of Use

PrivateVPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous Connections10
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

PrivateVPN allows 10 connections, which is on the upper end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. This is good, but if the number of connections is still not enough for you, try Surfshark instead since it allows you to connect unlimited devices.

The VPN is also really user-friendly — its apps are really intuitive and make it very simple to find and connect to the server of your choice. Plus, the provider has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Fire TV, and it also supports manual router setups. If you want to use a VPN with a Linux app, I recommend trying ExpressVPN instead.

PrivateVPN Pricing

PrivateVPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 3 months, and 1 year
Starting Price$2.00/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days)

PrivateVPN is among the cheapest VPN services on the market, as its plans start at $2.00/month. The provider comes with a 1-month, a 3-month, and a 1-year plan — I recommend getting the longest plan since it provides the best savings, and it also includes 2 extra years of service for free.

The provider also has a free 14-day trial and a 30-day refund policy. The trial provides access to all features, and the refund policy doesn’t have any requirements you need to meet to be eligible for it.

7. PureVPN: Very Good VPN for Privacy and Security PureVPN

Try PureVPN risk-free!

PureVPN provides access to high-end security and privacy features, including an always-on audit structure, Quantum-Resistant servers, PFS, and RAM-only servers. It also has a larger server network, good streaming support, fast speeds, and user-friendly apps. It backs all plans with a 31-day money-back guarantee.

PureVPN is a solid VPN for high-end privacy and security. It has all essential VPN security features, and it also comes with advanced security features — not to mention it has Quantum-Resistant servers. In addition, it has an audited no-logs policy whose audit structure is always-on. 

Furthermore, PureVPN has other advantages — it has 6,500+ servers in 60+ countries, it has apps for all major platforms that are also easy to use, it has pretty good streaming and torrenting support, and it works in restrictive countries. 

Screenshot of PureVPN's protocol selection submenu.

PureVPN’s prices start at $2.29/month, there are 3 tier-based subscriptions with paid monthly and yearly plans, and there’s a 31-day refund policy.

PureVPN Security and Privacy Features

PureVPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

PureVPN is one of the best VPN providers for privacy and security — it comes with all industry-standard security features, its no-logs policy has passed multiple security audits and also has an alway-on audit structure (it can be audited without prior notice), it has IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection in addition to DNS leak protection, and it also uses RAM-only servers and PFS. And the VPN also uses secure protocols, like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec.

I also like how the VPN has Quantum-Resistant servers, which future-proof your data against potential quantum cybersecurity threats in the future. This is one of the only VPN services on the market that has this.

PureVPN Additional Features

PureVPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

PureVPN provides access to several useful extra tools, including split-tunneling, the option to get a dedicated IP address, and obfuscation. Plus, I like how the provider’s obfuscation tool works without issues in restrictive countries like China. 

However, PureVPN is sadly missing an ad blocker — if this is a deal-breaker, consider getting ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access instead, as they both block malicious sites and ads.

PureVPN Streaming Support

PureVPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming Services10+
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

PureVPN provides pretty good streaming support since it works with 10+ streaming platforms, including popular ones like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. In addition, it’s also compatible with 5+ Netflix libraries. Still, I think it’s a shame the provider is missing a smart DNS. 

To be honest, I think ExpressVPN is much better for streaming since it works with 100+ sites, including all of the ones PureVPN is compatible with. What’s more, ExpressVPN also works with 15+ Netflix libraries, and it has a smart DNS tool as well.

PureVPN Torrenting Support

PureVPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (P2P servers in 30+ countries)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding (paid add-on)
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

PureVPN is decent for torrenting, as it has P2P servers in 30+ countries. It also supports port forwarding, but you need to pay extra for it. Other than that, you get very strong security for torrenting thanks to the provider’s audited no-logs policy, kill switch, and full leak protection. 

That said, I think Private Internet Access is a much better P2P VPN — it allows torrenting on servers in 80+ countries, it provides access to port forwarding for free (and it also supports SOCKS5 proxies), and it provides excellent privacy and security for downloading torrents. 

PureVPN Gaming Support

PureVPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers128-141 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection (paid add-on)
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

PureVPN is a good choice for gaming, as it provides smooth and stable connection speeds — in my tests, I always had average, stable ping on distant servers, and I didn’t experience any noticeable lag. The VPN also supports manual router setups, and it has anti-DDoS protection on its servers (but you need to pay extra for it, which is weird since most top competitors provide access to this for free).

But PureVPN doesn’t offer support for cloud gaming platforms, so there’s no guarantee it will work with services like GeForce Now. If this is an issue, I recommend checking out ExpressVPN instead — it works with cloud gaming platforms, and it also provides free access to anti-DDoS protection on all servers.

PureVPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantly2 seconds
HD Video Load TimeInstantly2-3 seconds
4K Video Load TimeInstantly3-4 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File10 minutes12 minutes

PureVPN is one of the speediest VPN services on the market — in our tests, all sites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly on nearby servers, and it only took 10 minutes to torrent a 10 GB file. And on distant servers, websites loaded in 2 seconds, HD videos and 4K videos took just a couple of seconds to load, and it took only 2 minutes more to download the same 10 GB torrent. 

That said, I think ExpressVPN is still much faster than PureVPN — it consistently maintains blazing-fast speeds on both nearby and distant servers, so you won’t experience even the smallest slowdowns. 

PureVPN Ease of Use

PureVPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous Connections10
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

PureVPN allows you to connect 10 devices, which is on the higher end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. Still, if you think this is not enough for you, I recommend going with Private Internet Access or Surfshark instead, as they both support unlimited connections.

Also, the VPN works on many platforms and is really intuitive. It has apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Fire TV, and it also supports manual router configurations. In addition, its apps come with a very easy-to-navigate interface and quick, helpful explanations for all settings and features. 

PureVPN Pricing

PureVPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 1 year, and 2 years
Starting Price$2.29/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (31 days)

PureVPN is pretty affordable, with prices starting at $2.29/month. It has 3 tier-based subscriptions, and each one comes with a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan (the longest plan offers the best savings).

And the provider backs all purchases with a 31-day money-back guarantee. In addition, its’ refund policy is risk-free, which means you don’t need to meet any requirements to get your money back.

8. Proton VPN: Best Free VPN Plan Out There and Excellent for Privacy Proton VPN

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Proton VPN is a very good privacy-focused VPN that also has an excellent free plan. It also has a large server network, maintains fast speeds on all servers, has great streaming support, and is good for gaming. It has 2 tier-based subscriptions with affordable plans, and comes with a 30-day prorated refund policy.

Proton VPN is an excellent pick for anyone who wants a free VPN and is interested in high-end privacy. The provider’s free VPN plan is one of the only out there that supports unlimited data. Also, the VPN comes with very strong privacy features, including an audited no-logs policy and open-source and audited apps. 

In addition, the provider also comes with other advantages — it has really good security features, it has 3,000+ servers in 65+ countries, it’s great for streaming and torrenting, and it provides access to really intuitive apps for all top desktop, mobile, and smart TV devices.

Screenshot of Proton VPN"s Secure Core servers list.

Proton VPN has prices starting at $4.99/month, it has 2-tier based subscriptions with paid monthly and yearly plans, and it comes with a prorated 30-day refund policy,

Proton VPN Security and Privacy Features

Proton VPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

Proton VPN is among the best VPN services when it comes to privacy and security. In addition to essential VPN security features, it has an audited no-logs policy, it uses secure protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and Stealth (provides obfuscation), and all of its apps are open-source and audited. What’s more, it has full leak protection, and it uses PFS and full-disk encryption (FDE), which keeps all data on a VPN server secure even if the server is compromised. 

Proton VPN Additional Features 

Proton VPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

Proton VPN comes with many useful additional features, including split-tunneling, a really good ad blocker, VPN Accelerator (speeds up VPN speeds), and Secure Core servers, which encrypt your data twice. 

There’s also obfuscation, but it’s only good for gaining additional privacy. That’s because the VPN doesn’t work in China, and it only maybe works in other restrictive countries. If this is a problem, check out ExpressVPN instead since it works without issues in restrictive regions.

Proton VPN Streaming Support

Proton VPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming Services40+
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

Proton VPN is a great pick for streaming since it works with 40+ streaming platforms. This includes top sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. What’s more, it also provides good Netflix support, as it’s compatible with 10+ Netflix libraries. The only thing that’s missing is a smart DNS. 

But I still think ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming — it’s compatible with 100+ streaming platforms (including all of the ones Proton VPN works with), it works with 15+ Netflix libraries, and it also has a smart DNS.

Proton VPN Torrenting Support

Proton VPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (P2P servers in 20+ countries)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

Proton VPN has decent P2P support, as it has P2P servers in 20+ countries. In addition, it supports port forwarding, and it provides good security for torrenting since it has an audited no-logs policy and a kill switch. 

Still, I think Private Internet Access is much better for torrenting — it allows P2P downloads on servers in 80+ countries, it supports both port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxies, and it’s also very secure.

Proton VPN Gaming Support

Proton VPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers126-135 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

Proton VPN is great for gaming — in my tests, it always maintained stable ping and I never experienced random disconnects while gaming on distant servers. Plus, I also like how all of the provider’s servers are equipped with anti-DDoS protection, and how the VPN allows manual router setups. 

Really, the only thing that’s missing is cloud gaming support. If this is a deal-breaker, try ExpressVPN instead since it guarantees support for cloud gaming platforms, such as GeForce Now.

Proton VPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantly2 seconds
HD Video Load TimeInstantly2 seconds
4K Video Load Time2 seconds4 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File12 minutes16 minutes

Proton VPN provides fast speeds for all online activities. We ran several tests, and all sites and HD videos loaded instantly on nearby servers, while 4K videos took 2 seconds to load — and a 10 GB file took around 12 minutes to torrent. On distant servers, sites and HD videos loaded in 2 seconds, 4K videos took 4 seconds to load, and the same 10 GB torrent took 16 minutes to download. 

Even so, the provider is still nowhere near as fast as ExpressVPN — with this provider, we never experienced any slowdowns in our speed tests (not even while connected to very distant servers). 

Proton VPN Ease of Use

Proton VPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous Connections10
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

Proton VPN supports 10 simultaneous connections — this is on the higher end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. This should be enough for most people, but if you have more than 10 devices to secure, consider getting Private Internet Access or Surfshark instead since they both allow you to connect an unlimited number of devices. 

And Proton VPN is also very user-friendly — it has apps for all major platforms (desktop, mobile, and smart TVs) and it supports manual router setups, and its apps come with a quick-connect tool and very easy-to-navigate interfaces.

Proton VPN Pricing

Proton VPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 1 year, and 2 years
Starting Price$4.99/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days, prorated)

Proton VPN is pretty affordable, with prices starting at $4.99/month. It has 2 tier-based subscriptions, and each one comes with a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan. 

Proton VPN also has the best free VPN plan on the market — it allows unlimited data (most free VPNs limit you to 2–10 GB per month), it provides excellent privacy and security features, and it comes with user-friendly apps. However, the free plan limits you to servers in 3 countries (the US, Japan, and the Netherlands) and 1 device connection, and it doesn’t come with streaming and P2P support.

Finally, the provider backs all purchases with a 30-day refund, but it’s prorated — this means you’ll be charged for each day you use the VPN until the 30-day limit.

9. Astrill VPN: Good for Users in Restrictive Countries and Strong Security Astrill VPN

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Astrill VPN is a great VPN for accessing the free web in restrictive countries, and also for securing your online data with advanced features. It also has good speeds on all servers, accesses most streaming sites, is good for gaming, and provides helpful customer support. 

Astrill VPN is a good pick for people in restrictive regions who need high-end security. The provider works without issues in places like China, the UAE, and Turkey, and it also comes with full leak protection, PFS, RAM-only servers, and really secure protocols. 

What’s more, Astrill VPN also has other things to offer — it has servers in 50+ countries, it maintains fast speeds across all of its servers, it works with some popular streaming sites, and it has great P2P support. 

Screenshot of Astrill VPN's protocol selection submenu.

Astrill VPN is pricey, with plans starting at $12.50/month. It has paid monthly and yearly plans, and it sadly doesn’t provide a money-back guarantee.

Astrill VPN Security and Privacy Features

Astrill VPN Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy
Advanced Security Features

Astrill VPN provides very good security — it comes with all industry-standard security features, it has IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection on top of DNS leak protection, and it uses advanced features like PFS and RAM-only servers. Plus, it has secure protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and also OpenWeb and StealthVPN (the provider’s proprietary protocols). 

My only complaint is that the provider’s no-logs policy hasn’t undergone an independent audit yet. If that’s a deal-breakre for you, check out ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, or CyberGhost VPN instead, as they all have had their no-logs policies audited.

Astrill VPN Additional Features 

Astrill VPN Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

Astrill VPN provides good value, as it has many useful additional features. It comes with split-tunneling, a feature that blocks ads, and obfuscation (which works without issues in restrictive countries). Plus, it also has a built-in speed test and multihop VPN connections. 

The only thing that’s missing is a feature that blocks connections to malicious sites. If this is an issue for you, consider getting ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access instead.

Astrill VPN Streaming Support

Astrill VPN Streaming Support
Number of Streaming ServicesUnknown
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

Astrill VPN is only decent for streaming — it works with several top streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, but it can’t access other popular platforms, such as BBC iPlayer and Disney+. Plus, it only works with Netflix US and Netflix Canada, and can’t access other top libraries. In addition, it’s also missing a smart DNS tool. 

I really think ExpressVPN is a much better pick for streaming — it consistently works with 100+ streaming platforms (including the ones Astrill VPN can and can’t access), it’s compatible with 15+ Netflix libraries, and it has a smart DNS.

Astrill VPN Torrenting Support

Astrill VPN Torrenting Support
P2P Support (P2P servers in 30+ countries)
No-Logs Policy
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

Astrill VPN provides pretty good P2P support, as it allows torrenting on servers in 30+ countries. On top of that, it also supports port forwarding, and it provides good privacy for torrenting via a no-logs policy and a kill switch.

Still, I can’t help but feel that Private Internet Access is much better for torrenting — it supports torrenting on servers in 80+ countries, it comes with both port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy support, and it provides high-end privacy for torrenting (plus, it has an audited no-logs policy).

Astrill VPN Gaming Support

Astrill VPN Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers125-133 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

Astrill VPN is really good for gaming since it maintains stable, average ping on distant servers, and I never experienced any lag during my online matches. Plus, the provider also has anti-DDoS protection on its servers, and has support for cloud gaming. 

Astrill VPN also has router support, and it even comes with a router app — but if you’re mainly interested in using the VPN on your router to game, I’d go with ExpressVPN instead since its router app is much easier to set up and use than Astrill VPN’s router app.

Astrill VPN Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantly2 seconds
HD Video Load TimeInstantly3 seconds
4K Video Load TimeInstantly5 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File11 minutes14 minutes

Astrill VPN has really good speeds on all of its servers. On nearby servers, all sites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly, and it only took us 11 minutes to torrent a 10 GB file. And on distant servers, websites took 2 seconds to load, HD videos loaded in 3 seconds, 4K videos loaded in 5 seconds (and there was just minor buffering at the start), and the same 10 GB file took 14 minutes to download. 

But I still think ExpressVPN is the best VPN service in terms of speeds. When me and my friend from Romania ran speed tests with it, we never experienced any slowdowns while browsing online, watching videos, and torrenting large files — even when connected to very distant servers.

Astrill VPN Ease of Use

Astrill VPN Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous Connections5
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps
Router Support (also has a dedicated router app)

Astrill VPN allows 5 simultaneous connections, which is on the lower end of the industry average of 5–10 connections. This might be enough for some users, but if you need more connections, just try Private Internet Access or Surfshark since they both allow unlimited connections.

The provider also has apps for most devices, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It also allows manual router setups, and even provides access to a router app (though it’s not very easy to set up and use). But it’s sadly missing smart TV apps — I honestly think ExpressVPN is a better pick since it has smart TV apps, and it also has a router app that’s much easier to install and use.

And the apps themselves are decent, but the design definitely feels a bit outdated. That said, the interface is still pretty easy to navigate. But I don’t like how the mobile apps are missing a kill switch — all the other top VPNs on the market have a kill switch on their mobile apps.

Astrill VPN Pricing

Asrtill VPN Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 1 year, and 2 years
Starting Price$12.50/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee

Astrill VPN is one of the priciest VPN services on the market, with plans starting at $12.50/month. It has a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan, and it also comes with a VIP add-on that provides access to additional servers (multihop servers and servers in the US and Asia that should provide faster speeds than regular servers).

Unfortunately, the provider is missing a refund policy — this is a shame since most top VPNs offer at least a 30-day refund, while others (like Proton VPN) come with a free plan so that you can test the service before you buy it.

10. IPVanish: Has Intuitive Apps and Is Good for Torrenting IPVanish

Try IPVanish VPN risk-free!

IPVanish is great for torrenting and it also allows unlimited device connections. On top of that, IPVanish offers strong security features, fast speeds on pretty much all servers, great gaming support, and easy-to-use apps for most major platforms. It’s also affordable and has a 30-day money-back guarantee (but only for its long-term plans). 

IPVanish provides access to user-friendly apps and great P2P support. It has apps for most devices that are also really simple to navigate — plus, you can also use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices. And the VPN also supports torrenting on all of its servers, and it provides access to SOCKS5 proxy support. 

On top of that, IPVanish also has a few other advantages — it has a decent number of servers (2,200+ servers in 50+ countries), it works with Netflix, it provides a pretty good gaming experience, and it provides strong privacy and security. 

Screenshot of IPVanish's connection screen window.

IPVanish’s prices start at $2.99/month, it has paid monthly and yearly plans, and it comes with a 30-day refund policy (but only for its long-term plans).

IPVanish Security and Privacy Features

IPVanish Security and Privacy
Military-Grade Encryption (256-bit AES)
Kill Switch
DNS Leak Protection
No-logs Policy (independently audited)
Advanced Security Features

IPVanish is pretty secure, as it has all industry-standard security features — plus, it also has an independently audited no-logs policy. What’s more, it uses PFS, and it also provides IPv6 leak protection on top of DNS leak protection.

That said, the VPN is missing WebRTC leak protection and RAM-only servers. I don’t consider this a major drawback, but if it’s a deal-breaker for you, try ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access instead. 

IPVanish Additional Features 

IPVanish Additional Features
Split-Tunneling
Blocks Ads
Blocks Malicious Sites
Obfuscation

IPVanish has a few useful extras, including split-tunneling and obfuscation. Just keep in mind its obfuscation feature is only good for getting additional privacy, as the VPN doesn’t work in restrictive countries like China and Egypt. 

Unfortunately, IPVanish is missing an ad blocker — if this is an issue, I recommend trying out ExpressVPN instead since it blocks ads and malicious sites, and it also provides obfuscation that works in restrictive countries.

IPVanish Streaming Support

IPVanish Streaming Support
Number of Streaming ServicesUnknown
Works with Netflix
Works with BBC iPlayer
Works with Disney+
Works with Hulu
Smart DNS

IPVanish is decent for streaming — it doesn’t mention how many streaming platforms it’s compatible with, but it works with some top sites, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. Sadly, it doesn’t work with Hulu, and it’s also missing a smart DNS tool. And while it’s compatible with Netflix US and Netflix UK, it can’t access other top libraries.

But I think ExpressVPN is the best VPN service for streaming on the market right now. It works with 100+ streaming platforms (including all of the ones IPVanish can and can’t access), it’s compatible with 15+ Netflix libraries, and it comes with a smart DNS.

IPVanish Torrenting Support

IPVanish Torrenting Support
P2P Support (all servers)
No-Logs Policy (independently audited)
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding
SOCKS5 Proxy Support

IPVanish has really good P2P support. It allows torrent downloads on all of its servers, which are located in 50+ countries. Also, it has SOCKS5 proxy support, and it provides strong security since it has an audited no-logs policy and a kill switch. 

That said, I still think Private Internet Access is much better for torrenting — it supports torrenting on servers in 80+ countries, it too has an independently audited no-logs policy and a kill switch, and it supports both SOCKS5 proxy connections and port forwarding. 

IPVanish Gaming Support

IPVanish Gaming Support
Ping on Distant Servers128-139 ms
Lag
Anti-DDoS Protection
Works on Routers
Cloud Gaming Support

IPVanish is great for gaming — when I used it during my online matches, I always had average, stable ping, and my connections to the gaming servers never dropped. Plus, I also didn’t experience any lag. And I also like how all of the provider’s servers have anti-DDoS protection, and how the VPN supports manual setups on routers. 

But the provider is missing cloud gaming support. If you are planning on using the VPN with platforms like GeForce Now, I recommend picking ExpressVPN instead since it guarantees cloud gaming support. 

IPVanish Speeds

Connected to a Nearby ServerConnected to a Distant Server
Website Load TimeInstantly2 seconds
HD Video Load TimeInstantly3 seconds
4K Video Load Time2 seconds5 seconds
Time to Download a 10 GB File12 minutes16 minutes

IPVanish provides pretty good speeds on both nearby and distant servers. When me and my friend from Romania ran speed tests on nearby servers, sites and HD videos loaded instantly, 4K videos loaded in 2 seconds, and it took us about 12 minutes to torrent a 10 GB file. And when we connected to distant servers, sites loaded in 2 seconds, HD videos took 3 seconds to load, 4K videos loaded in 5 seconds (and there was buffering at the start), and the same 10 GB file took 16 minutes to download. 

But I still think ExpressVPN is the best VPN when it comes to speeds — it maintains super fast connection speeds for all online activities (streaming, browsing, torrenting, gaming, etc.) across all of its servers. 

IPVanish Ease of Use

IPVanish Apps & Number of Connections
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimited
Windows App
macOS App
Linux App
iOS App
Android App
Smart TV Apps (Android TV and Fire TV)
Router Support

IPVanish allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices, which is really great since most top VPNs limit you to 5–10 connections. This makes this provider a good pick for large families or anyone who owns tons of web-connected devices. 

And the VPN also has intuitive VPN software for most devices. It has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and smart TVs, and it also supports manual router setups. Plus, its apps are very intuitive and simple to navigate. The only thing that’s missing is a Linux app — if this is an issue, I recommend getting ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, or CyberGhost VPN instead.

IPVanish Pricing

IPVanish Pricing
Plan Lengths1 month, 1 year, and 2 years
Starting Price$2.99/month
Free Plan
Money-back Guarantee (30 days, long-term plans only)

IPVanish has affordable prices that start at $2.99/month. It comes with a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan — and the longest plan provides the best savings. The provider is missing a free VPN plan (if that’s a deal-breaker, check out Proton VPN instead). 

The VPN also comes with a 30-day refund policy, though keep in mind it only covers the long-term plans. Unfortunately, there’s no money-back guarantee for the shortest plan.

Comparison of the Best VPNs in 2023

Starting PriceWorks WithP2P SupportServer NetworkNumber of DevicesRefund Policy
1. ExpressVPN$6.67/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(all servers)Servers in 100+ countries830 days
2. Private Internet Access$2.03/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(all servers)Servers in 80+ countriesUnlimited30 days
3. CyberGhost VPN$2.19/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(9,000+ P2P servers in 70+ countries)9,000+ servers in 90+ countries745 days (long-term plans)14 days (shortest plan)
4. Surfshark$2.30/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(all servers)3,200+ servers in 95+ countriesUnlimited30 days
5. NordVPN$3.19/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(5,000+ P2P servers in 50+ countries)5,500+ servers in 55+ countries630 days
6. PrivateVPN$2.00/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(all servers)200+ servers in 60+ countries1030 days
7. PureVPN$2.29/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(servers in 30+ countries)6,500+ servers in 60+ countries1031 days
8. Proton VPN$4.99/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(servers in 20+ countries)3,000+ servers in 65+ countries1030 days (prorated)
9. Astrill VPN$12.50/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(servers in 30+ countries)Servers in 50+ countries5
10. IPVanish$2.99/monthNetflix
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
Hulu
(all servers)2,200+ servers in 50+ countriesUnlimited30 days (long-term plans only)

What Can I Use a VPN for?

  • Secure your online data — A VPN encrypts your online traffic, making it completely unreadable. Also, it hides your IP address, which reveals your location. Due to this, nobody can spy on your online browsing when you’re connected to a VPN server. 
  • Access streaming content — When you travel abroad, you might lose access to your favorite streaming sites and content due to geo-blocks. VPNs can help you access your home libraries when traveling abroad, as they spoof your real location. 
  • Enjoy privacy while torrenting — VPNs hide your P2P traffic, so your internet service provider (ISP) can’t monitor or block it. In addition, by hiding your IP address, VPNs stop anyone in the torrent swarm (especially copyright trolls and lawyers) from seeing it.
  • Prevent bandwidth throttling — Because VPNs encrypt your traffic, your ISP won’t be able to monitor it to see what online services you’re using. WIthout that information, your ISP won’t be able to selectively slow down your speeds for certain activities (like streaming or gaming). 
  • Circumvent government censorship — VPNs help people who live in or travel through restrictive countries to access the free web. They do this by allowing users to communicate with the internet via a new IP address, one that doesn’t have any firewall restrictions linked to it.
  • Improve your gaming experience — VPNs might help you enjoy lower or more stable ping by routing your traffic to the gaming server through a more direct route. In addition, VPNs help you avoid DDoS attacks and unfair IP bans by changing your IP address.
  • Save money on flights — By changing your IP address (and thus, your location), VPNs might help you save money when booking flight tickets online. For example, if you use a VPN to get an IP address from a low-income country or the home country of the airline you're flying with, you might get cheaper tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best VPN in 2023? 

ExpressVPN is by far the best VPN on the market at the moment. It provides industry-leading privacy and security features, and it’s also excellent for streaming since it works with 100+ streaming sites. What’s more, it has servers in 90+ countries and allows torrenting on all of them, and it provides the fastest VPN speeds out there. On top of that, the VPN also has really intuitive apps for all major platforms (even routers). And its prices are affordable, and there’s a 30-day refund policy. 

Are VPNs safe?

Yes, as top VPNs always have essential security features that protect your data. This includes military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch (to prevent data leaks if the VPN connection drops). 

At the moment, I think ExpressVPN provides the best security on the market. On top of industry-standard security features, it also has other advanced security tools, such as perfect forward secrecy (changes the encryption key for each VPN session) and RAM-only servers, which only save data to the RAM, meaning every reset wipes everything. Plus, the VPN also has a really good malicious site blocker, a password manager, and obfuscation to hide your VPN traffic. 

Yes, using a VPN is legal in most countries — it only becomes illegal to use a VPN if you’re using it for illicit purposes. But that’s against any VPN provider’s terms of service anyway. 

Still, keep in mind there are countries that restrict VPN usage — these usually include restrictive countries like China and Russia. If you live in or travel through such a place, make sure to always research the local laws to make sure you don’t risk any legal repercussions for using a VPN.

Do VPNs work in China?

Yes, but not all of them since the Chinese government is really good at detecting and blocking VPN connections. In fact, many of the top VPNs on the market (and on this list) either don’t work in China, or only work in that country 50% of the time. 

The best VPN to use in China right now is ExpressVPN — it works in that country without issues 100% of the time, it provides obfuscation (hides your VPN traffic) on all of its servers and via all of its protocols, it has ultra-secure privacy and security tools, and it has the fastest speeds out there.

Are VPNs free?

There are free VPNs out there, but they’re not all good options. Many free VPNs are really subpar, actually, as they don’t work with streaming sites, they have really slow speeds, they don’t support torrenting, they have buggy apps, and some even compromise your privacy by sharing your data with third parties. 

If you do want to use a free VPN, check out Proton VPN — it has the best free plan on the market since it allows unlimited data, it provides really good speeds, and it also comes with strong privacy and security features. That said, the free plan doesn’t have streaming or torrenting support, and it limits you to 1 connection and servers in 3 countries (the US, the Netherlands, and Japan). 

Do VPNs really work?

Yes, as long as you use a top VPN, it should work without any issues. The easiest way to check if a VPN really works is to use a leak test tool, such as ipleak.net — just connect to it without the VPN first and then with the VPN, and see if the tool shows your real IP address and DNS addresses. If it doesn’t, it means the VPN is working well.

I ran leak tests on a large number of servers from each VPN on this list, and I never saw any leaks. Basically, I tested servers in 10+ countries from each VPN. The leak test results always displayed each provider’s IP and DNS addresses, while my real IP and DNS addresses were always hidden.

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TREVOR JAMES

Full Time Digital Nomad

About The Author

Hi! I’m Trevor James, a Canadian YouTuber who travels the world full-time. I make videos about food, travel, and cybersecurity. I have been traveling the world and making videos for over 10 years. You can read more about me here.

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