Best VPN Services of 2021

Best VPN Services of 2021

The number of VPN users around the world as exploded. In the year of the COVID, the proliferation of virtual private networks (VPNs) is in part down to an increase in the number of remote workers.

Long before COVID, though, there has been a massive rise in the number of VPN providers as these networks have increasingly become commonplace. This growth is hardly surprising. A VPN’s ability to hide your IP, change your location, and boost online privacy makes it a key tool.

Whatever your reason for using a VPN, making sure you choose the best VPN services is so important. As we have found, some are good, some are really good and some are downright ugly!

To save you reviewing each VPN, we’ve put together a best VPN review that measures the quality of each VPN using a strict and impartial check list. As new information comes to light, we update the list of the best VPN services of 2021 to ensure you aren’t left stranded.

Do you want to: Torrent Safely? Unlock Netflix’s full video library? Stay secure on public WIFI? Bypass online internet censorship? Or just maintain online privacy at no detriment to your internet speed? Then, this best VPN review will give you an idea of which VPN will best serve your needs.

All of the VPN services we’ve reviewed below are super easy to install and use! So, you can be secure online in just a minute!

Best VPN Services of 2021

1. CyberGhost

  • Fast average VPN speeds
  • Over 6,000 servers spread over 90 countries
  • Dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming
  • Strict no logging policy
  • Ad, malware, and tracking blocker
  • Unlocks streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • User-friendly apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV & Firestick, Xbox, PlayStation, and even for routers
  • Does not allow torrenting on servers in the US and Australia
  • Does not work in China
  • Best Price

    $2.24/month - 3 year + 3 months

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  • Top Speed

    54Mbps

  • Servers

    90 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

A truly global VPN, CyberGhost’s ease of use has helped it gain widespread acceptability, garnering over 10 million users worldwide. Founded about 10 years ago, it is one of the most affordable, reliable, and easy to use VPNs out there.

Privacy & Security

Based in Romania, CyberGhost falls outside of the 5-Eye alliance and similar intelligence sharing organizations. This means your details – whether torrenting, streaming, or banking, have no chance of falling into the wrong hands.

A combination of features goes further to ensure your online security and data integrity. This includes a military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, DNS/IP leak protection , a ,kill switch for protection in the event of a connection drop, and a strict zero-logging policy.

A powerful built-in ad blocker blocks out ads and trackers on the sites you visit – and the apps you open. It also blocks out malicious websites before you access them. While an automated HTTPS redirect feature forces unsecure HTTP web pages to open the HTTPS versions.

Streaming & Torrenting

With over 6,000 servers – and counting – in 90 different locations, CyberGhost covers more ground than any other VPN. The VPN is perfectly optimized for streaming. There are a ton of streaming-optimized servers, labelled for different streaming platforms.

Its ease of use for streaming makes it the perfect VPN service for streaming. Once you click the “For Streaming” section, you’d find servers labelled for different locations and different services, including HBO, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

CyberGhost also boasts a number of P2P torrenting-optimized servers around the world. Similar to its servers for streaming, these are labelled and easy to find. The servers keep your IP address hidden, and are fast enough for heavy torrent downloads.

Connection Speed

CyberGhost isn’t the fastest VPN we’ve ever tested, but it sure comes close. You may take advantage of its selection feature to automatically connect you to the fastest available server at any point in time.

That said, it’s dedicated servers and auto-selected same-country servers easily hit top speeds of 55 Mbps. This is more than enough for streaming 4K and ultra HD content without any buffer or lagging.

Connecting to distance servers, such as UK or Australia from the US could crash your connection speed by as much as 60-70%. But we found that this was still more than enough to stream in HD. No surprise, then, that CyberGhost ranks amongst our fastest ever VPN services.

Support & Ease of use

CyberGhost has dedicated VPN apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also boasts support for routers, streaming boxes, and browser plugins. This versatility – in addition to its excellent performance on all fronts – is one of the biggest reasons why we love it.

The VPN is really easy to use. However, if you run into any issues during installation or usage, you can take advantage of the available 24/7 live chat support. Their response time has been great every time I’ve contacted them with enquiries.

They also offer some of the best VPN deals in terms of pricing, with prices dropping as low as £2.25/month for its 3-year subscriptions, with 3 extra months for as many as 7 devices. This comes with protection in the form of an industry-high 45-day money-back guarantee should you change your mind.

  • 1-month plan: £10.29/month
  • 6-month plan: £5.95/month
  • 3-year subscriptions, with 3 extra months : $2.25/month

2. Private Internet Access

  • Great VPN speeds
  • 3,300+ servers across 32 countries
  • Does not store user logs and no IP/DNS leaks
  • User-friendly apps for major platforms
  • Unlimited P2P activity and torrenting
  • Seamless access to Netflix
  • Slow responses from email support, limited live chat feature
  • Based in privacy-unfriendly US
  • Intermittent access in China
  • Best Price

    £2.19/month - 3 yrs plan

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  • Top Speed

    47Mbps

  • Servers

    52 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a privacy-first VPN which offers complete protection to those looking to enjoy complete anonymity online. A very popular VPN in the US, PIA is extremely reliable, and boasts some of the best VPN price deals on the market.

Privacy & Security

PIA is based in the USA which is concerning, considering the country’s intrusive privacy laws. However, the VPN service keeps no logs, and has gone as far as the courts (not once, but twice) to prove this fact while coming up against US security and intelligence agencies.

It protects user data against hackers and cybercriminals using a secure 256-bit encryption and blocks out adware and malware using its powerful proprietary MACE feature. And, high-level firewalls are broken using a powerful anti-censorship technology.

Streaming & Torrenting

Private Internet Access has a network of just over 3,300 servers in 46 countries. Although it isn’t present in as many countries as most VPNs on this list, it covers most of the territories you might be interested in. This large server network also means it’s able to unblock services in many important locations.

PIA’s unblocking capacity spans over important streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, and more. However, it’s a little disappointing that you’d only be able to unblock Netflix US and UK.

That said, we found streaming speeds to be smooth enough for streaming, with no buffer or lag issues. This was also true of torrenting on PIA’s servers, which were speedy enough for heavy downloads. Importantly, PIA supports torrenting on all of its servers.

Connection Speed

Private Internet Access is surprisingly fast on its day, with only minimal cuts in download speeds on same-country servers. I was able to hit a top speed of 50 Mbps on servers in the US. UK server speeds were also great, allowing for HD streaming.

If you’re looking to connect to longer distance servers, though, you might need to rethink as connection speeds could drop by as much as 80% over long distances.

Support & Ease of use

PIA has native VPN apps for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. It also boasts clients for browsers, routers, and gaming devices, and supports a generous 10 simultaneous connections. These are mostly easy to install. And, while they’re generally easy to use, you may take some time to get a hang of them.

Support is provided in the form of tutorials, setup guides, and FAQs available on the website. Should you need more personalized/direct help, you can get help through PIA’s super-responsive 24/7 live chat support.

Overall, PIS is an excellent VPN for privacy lovers even if it may not seem as robust as the bigger names on this list. It offers some of the best VPN deals, and a 30-day money-back guarantee for extra protection.

  • 1-month plan: £8.09/month
  • 12-month plan: £2.71/month
  • 36-month plan: £2.19/month

3. NordVPN

  • Stable and fast VPN speeds
  • Allows torrenting on many servers
  • Works great with Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services
  • User-friendly apps for IOS, Mac, Android and PC
  • Strong logging policy and no IP, WebRTC, and DNS leaks
  • Massive server networks: over 5,700 servers running in 60 countries
  • Alternative VPN protocols require manual configuration
  • There are no obfuscated servers for iOS
  • Best Price

    £2.86/month - 2 yrs plan

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  • Top Speed

    90.51Mbps

  • Servers

    90+ Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

Considered by some to be the most secure VPN out there, NordVPN’s security features runs it real close to our number one pick for 2021 – CyberGhost. A top-level VPN, this VPN service is one of many that provide great value for money.

Privacy & Security

NordVPN is based in the Central American country of Panama. This means it’s out of the 14-Eye Surveillance region and away from all of its data retention laws. As a result, NordVPN keeps absolutely no logs.

NordVPN assures of your security using a robust AES 256-bit encryption. This is in addition to other high-end encryption protocols, including a 2048-bit DH key, RSA-4096 key, and SHA-512 HMAC authentication standard.

NordVPN also boasts two kill switches, custom DNS settings , as well as leak protection for DNS and IPv6. Its CyberSec feature ensures protection from adware and malware. And, extra features such as DoubleVPN and Onion Over VPN that make your traffic even more untraceable.

Streaming & Torrenting

NordVPN boasts over 5,000 servers in its network spread out over 59 countries, making it one of the best VPNs of 2021 by server network. This makes it really flexible for streaming region-blocked content across the world, with the VPN able to unblock hundreds of streaming services.

The VPN offers dedicated torrenting servers with P2P support, dedicated IPs, and double encryption. Beyond torrenting support, these features make NordVPN great at unblocking a wide variety of services. This includes multiple libraries of Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, and more.

We tried streaming from multiple platforms and found the connections fast and smooth, with no buffer or lag. Download speeds were also excellent for torrenting, with heavy downloads running very smoothly.

Connection Speed

There was barely any surprise when we bore into the connection speeds of NordVPN. Same-country servers proved to be superbly fast, delivering speeds as high as 60 Mbps. This was a drop-off of less than 5% for local servers.

Connecting to Europe from the US was also interesting, with speed losses of no more than 15%. As always, connecting to Australia saw our biggest speed loss. Still, this was no more than a 30% drop off, meaning we could still stream smoothly despite the distance.

To provide and maintain connection speeds of this level, NordVPN employs a proprietary SmartPlay DNS feature. This allows the VPN consistently deliver and maintain top streaming speeds.

Support & Ease of use

NordVPN is available with easy-to-use dedicated VPN apps on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, and browser plugins.

The VPN supports 6 simultaneous devices, which is quite poor at this level. 24/7 live chat is also available should you need help. Surprisingly, it’s amongst the cheaper VPNs on this list. It offers its best VPN deal on its 24-month plan which goes for £2.86/month.

  • 1-month plan: £9.20/month
  • 6-month plan: £6.93/month
  • 24-month plan: £2.86/month

4. IPVanish

  • Very fast VPN speeds
  • Great choice for torrenting
  • User-friendly apps for MacOS, iOS, PC, and Android
  • More than 40,000 IP addresses in 75 locations
  • Compatible with Netflix
  • Zero-logs policy and protection against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks
  • Does not work in China
  • Based in a privacy-intrusive jurisdiction
  • Not compatible with BBC iPlayer
  • Refund period is very short
  • Best Price

    $2.91/month - 1 yr plan

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  • Top Speed

    84.13Mbps

  • Servers

    77 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

Reliable, secure, and fast, IPVanish has maintained its standards and is clearly one of the best VPN services of 2021 for its security levels. Unfortunately, pricing may keep it out of reach for budget seekers.

Privacy & Security

Yet another VPN based in the privacy intrusive United States, IPVanish stores no logs whatsoever this policy has gotten so much tighter since the change of ownership in 2016. This means there’s little to fear as no government injunction can produce non-existent data.

Impressive as that is, we found some of its security systems to be even more impressive. An AES 256-bit encryption protects your data and online activities from intruders, while encryption protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2 help keep you secure.

What we found most impressive, though, was the presence of over 40,000 IP addresses. This vast IP count means there’s more than enough IP to go round regardless of the number of users, and is a major security protection.

Streaming & Torrenting

In addition to its 40,000+ IP addresses, IPVanish boasts a moderate server count of about 1,500 spread out over 75 locations. P2P file sharing and torrenting are supported on all servers. This means you can torrent safely on US servers from within the US – if you have to.

Unfortunately, IPVanish isn’t the best VPN for streaming out there. We were only able to unblock the US and Japanese Netflix libraries. And, while it did unblock Hulu, it struggled to do same with BBC iPlayer – keeping out of the list for our best VPNs in UK.

Connection Speed

Connecting to a server on IPVanish only led to a 10% cut in same-country servers, with speeds sometimes getting past the 70Mbps mark. However, connecting to servers over long distances – such as connecting to a UK server from US – wasn’t as impressive as expected.

Support & Ease of use

IPVansih has VPN apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows, as well as an impressive app for Amazon Fire TV. Although one of our best VPN providers, it isn’t always the easiest VPN to use due to the techy nature of its apps.

IPVanish is also pricey, with its best VPN deal coming in at $6.49/month. However, its fast VPN connections and massive IP address count, coupled with the level of security it provides, makes it a great option for users.

  • 1-month plan: $11.99/month
  • 3-month plan: $8.99/month
  • 12-month plan: $2.91/month

5. ExpressVPN

  • One of the fastest VPNs with same-country speeds
  • Strict logging policy and no IP, WebRTC, DNS leaks
  • A vast network of servers across 160 cities in 94 countries as well as great privacy features
  • User-friendly apps compatible with IOS, Mac, Android, and PC
  • Allows file sharing and unrestricted torrenting
  • More expensive than other VPN services
  • Fires Stick TV can be improved
  • Best Price

    £6.54/month - 12 months plan

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  • Top Speed

    85Mbps

  • Servers

    160 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

When you think of ExpressVPN, you should be thinking of the fastest UK VPN, and one of the fastest in the world. ExpressVPN’s superb unblocking and privacy features, plus its barely rivalled speed makes it one of the best VPN providers in the world.

Privacy & Security

A highly secure VPN, ExpressVPN uses a combination of complex technologies for its security. Encryption protocols like OpenVPN are married with an AES-256 encryption, SHA-512 HMAC authentication, and RSA-4096 key. It has even developed a custom Lightway protocol to boost speed and reliability.

Based in the privacy haven of the British Virgin Islands, the VPN stores no logs whatsoever. No records are kept of the sites you visit, nor is your IP address stored. Additional security features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and Bitcoin for payments, all add to your privacy and security.

Streaming & Torrenting

ExpressVPN boasts more than 3,000 servers in about 160 locations across the world. It also has more than 30,000 IP addresses and a unique Media Streamer feature. All of this form an integral part of its unblocking framework for streaming services, and its privacy framework for torrenters.

We tried the VPN on Netflix and were pleased to find that it unblocked the libraries of more than 15 countries, including the US and UK. We were also able to unblock Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more. And with the split tunneling feature, you can stream locally while remaining connected.

P2P connection is impressively supported on all servers, so your VPN connection covers you when torrenting, regardless of the server you’re on. The VPN also did very well against the Great Firewall of China, getting past it easily for access to censored content.

Connection Speed

ExpressVPN is fast. Its speed places it firmly amongst the top 10 best UK VPNs. Local UK servers yielded drops in speed of no more than 5%. This was also true when we connected to servers in the US from the US. Connecting to longer distances, such as UK or Australia from US was similarly impressive, with drops of no more than 30%.

Support & Ease of use

ExpressVPN supports a variety of operating systems, including Linux, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Blackberry (the latest blackberry models). It also provides routers with custom firmware and VPN browser extensions, making it an all-encompassing VPN service.

It comes with a wide range of simple and easy to use web-based tutorials which is usually helpful as it easily helps you to setup on any device, and get your VPN running in no time.

You also get support for up to 5 simultaneous connections, and a 30-day money-refund policy if you aren’t interested or impressed in the service.

  • 1-month plan: £10.18/month
  • 6-month plan: £7.86/month
  • 12-month plan: £6.54/month

6. Hotspot Shield

  • Fast VPN speeds
  • Compatible with Netflix, iPlayer, and supports torrenting
  • Incredibly user-friendly
  • Decent VPN server network
  • Provides real-time malware protection
  • No IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks
  • Questionable privacy policies
  • Past accusations and controversies around the VPN app
  • Unreliable for bypassing censorship in China
  • Cannot be installed on routers
  • Best Price

    Premium plan - $7.99/month

    Save 38%

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  • Top Speed

    90.63Mbps

  • Servers

    101 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

Hotspot Shield is one of the most sought-after personal VPN’s in the market. Considering its one of only a few VPNs that offer the traditional VPN free trial, this is hardly surprising. However, it is for its reliable connection speeds that it has gained acclaim.

Privacy & Security

Hotspot Shield may not boast the robust technologies of other VPNs on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less secure. Its combination of AES-256 encryption with leak and malware protection, ensure you’re safe online. During our tests, we noticed no IP or DNS leaks.

The VPN does have a super responsive kill switch, but this is limited to its Windows client. We also noticed DNS leaks on browser extensions, so you may need to be wary of this.

This VPN service is headquartered in the US, which piqued our interest. It does state it has a no-logs policy, but goes on to detail a number of logs it does keep, including bandwidth per session and per user, non-personal logs of websites, and approximate location details. This, for us, was a little concerning.

Streaming & Torrenting

Hotspot Shield has an impressive 3200 servers in more than 100 locations worldwide. This helps it put up an impressive unblocking capacity. During our tests, we were able to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

It does support torrenting on all its servers which are P2P optimized. With its ability to properly conceal your activities from your ISP, while concealing your original IP address, you’re sure to avoid speed throttling while torrenting.

Connection Speed

Hotspot Shield’s most impressive feature is its speed. The VPN uses a unique Catapult Hydra protocol to help deliver some of the best speeds over long distances that we’ve ever seen.

Once we set up our VPN connection, we noticed fairly big drop in speeds with our local connections, up to about 20% in some cases. This was still more than enough for HD and 4K streaming, but it was concerning. However, long distance connections stayed within the same 15-20% drops, which was more than impressive.

Support & Ease of use

Hotspot Shield is great on performance and delivers lightning-speed connections every time. You can get your 7-day free trial to see how well it suits you or if you are pleased with it before making a purchase. The VPN allows you secure a lifetime license; it offers private browsing where you can access all restricted content.

Despite our privacy concerns, we have no reason to doubt this Hotspot Shield is among the best VPN providers available. It allows one user to connect with up to 5 devices, and offers some of the best VPN price deals on the market.

  • 1-month plan: $10.99/month
  • 12-month plan: $6.99/month
  • 36-month plan: $2.69/month

7. VyprVPN

  • Decent same-country speeds
  • Strong no-logs policy & no IP, WebRTC, and DNS leaks
  • Allows torrenting and P2P file sharing on all servers
  • Decent server network spread across 64 countries
  • Works with Netflix
  • Works in China
  • Apps are easy to use for Android, iOS, Mac and PC
  • Network speed can be unreliable
  • Online support is limited
  • Best features only available on ‘premium’ plan
  • Best Price

    £2.50/month - 24 months plan

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  • Top Speed

    83.05Mbps

  • Servers

    73 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

VyprVPN is as user-friendly as personal VPNs come, with an easy-to-use interface and impressive connection speeds. Its 1-month price is among the higher tier pricing category, but longer-term subscriptions are very competitive.

Privacy & Security

As with every other VPN on this list, VyprVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to keep your data secure. But it also boasts some high-end security features. This includes a zero-knowledge DNS service and a kill switch to ensure your data doesn’t leak, plus auto-connect feature for every time you connect to a public Wi-Fi.

On the privacy front, VyprVPN is good for those who need adequate security for digital footprints. This is because the service originates from Switzerland which is a country with advanced and stern privacy laws. Indeed, the VPN has gone so far as to have an independent auditor confirm its strict no-log policy.

Streaming & Torrenting

VyprVPN is about the smallest VPN on this list by server network. Its network is only 700 servers heavy, but it makes up for this with the largest IP address count on record, with over 200,000 IP addresses. Torrenting is also fully supported on all servers.

One of the best VPN providers for streaming, it successfully unblocked services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Now. The VPN’s famous Chameleon protocol also made light work of censorship blockades in Saudi Arabia, China and Russia.

Connection Speed

Our speed tests with VyprVPN were a tad disappointing. Although US servers were speedy, they weren’t always steady. VPN connection speeds on servers outside of the US weren’t as reliable, though, which raised some concern. If your aim is to stream or torrent, you might need to do a little searching to find the best server for your needs.

Support & Ease of use

VyprVPN boasts native app support for multiple operating systems and devices, including Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, routers, Blackphone, Android TV and more. These are all intuitive and spontaneous, making them uber-easy to use.

Website resources aren’t as detailed as some other VPN services, but there’s a responsive 24/7 live chat support for users who get stuck. We also liked the assurance of a 30-day money-back guarantee while testing out the service.

  • 1-month plan: £12.95/month
  • 12-month plan: £3.75/month
  • 24-month plan: £2.50/month

8. StrongVPN

  • Very fast and consistent VPN speeds
  • Compatible with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Allows P2P and torrenting on all servers
  • Allows up to 12 simultaneous connections
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Works with popular devices and operating systems
  • Based in privacy-intrusive USA
  • Small server network
  • Best Price

    $5.83/month - 12 months plan

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  • Top Speed

    84.24Mbps

  • Servers

    46 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

StrongVPN remains some distance from the biggest, meanest VPNs on the market, but it’s an ever-improving VPN with a lot of impressive features. Built for strength, it certainly earns its place among the top 10 VPN services.

Privacy & Security

StrongVPN delivers on its name with a large swath of VPN protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, and IKEv2 protocols. This is nothing if not impressive. It also boasts a massive 60,000 IP addresses, adding to the security and anonymity of users. The familiar AES-256 encryption is available. However, your eventual encryption will depend on your choice of protocol.

If you’re a sucker for finding out VPN locations, then StrongVPN’s base in the US will be disturbing. However, its privacy policy reassuringly notes that it follows a zero-logging policy; it doesn’t track or store your data while connected to the VPN.

Streaming & Torrenting

With 950+ servers in 35 countries, StrongVPN has a similar reach to VyprVPN. This is far from the kind of number that’ll wow you, but it may be just enough for your needs. Torrenting is supported on every server, which is great.

We also found its unblocking capacity to be surprisingly effective. We were able to unblock US-based services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ successfully. BBC iPlayer was not as successful. There were also a few issues unblocking Netflix libraries elsewhere.

Connection Speed

StrongVPN is a reliably fast VPN, particularly when connecting within the same location. Local speeds in the UK were particularly impressive, especially when using the WireGuard protocol. It certainly is amongst the fastest UK VPNs out there.

The VPN connection wasn’t as reliable outside of the UK, though. US speeds dropped, but were still fast enough for streaming and torrenting. Connections to servers outside of the UK and US were more erratic, sometimes hitting unexpected heights, only to crash again.

Support & Ease of use

StrongVPN is available across a slew of devices and operating systems, allowing you enjoy secure connections with VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It sure could do with more helpful documentation, but it makes up for this with a responsive live chat support that can be accessed even without purchasing a plan.

A strong personal VPN, users will find the ability to connect to up to 12 simultaneous devices hugely convenient. And, while it doesn’t exactly offer the best VPN deals on its prices, its annual plan offers you a free 250GB of cloud storage, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • 1-month plan: $10.00/month
  • 12-month plan: $5.83/month

9. Perfect Privacy

  • Torrenting support
  • Strict no logging policy
  • Unblocks tough locations like China
  • Works with Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
  • Small server network
  • Doesn’t support torrenting on all servers
  • Pricey
  • Best Price

    €8.95/month - 2 yrs plan

    Save 31%

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  • Top Speed

    16Mbps

  • Servers

    59 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

Perfect Privacy has pushed its way into consideration as one of the top VPN services around. Despite its disappointingly little server count, this is a solid personal VPN for users strictly interested in security and privacy.

Privacy & Security

By its very name, Perfect Privacy sets the bar of expectation high. Founded in 2008, the VPN is headquartered in Switzerland – a well-known privacy bedrock. It further has an office in Panama, yet another privacy haven, which handles enquiries and certain other technical matters.

With both offices located outside of data-sharing jurisdictions, it’s no surprise that the VPN has a no-logs policy. The VPN itself is protected using a 256-bit AES encryption, while offering support for multiple VPN protocols.

Other features like Multi-Hop VPN and the kill switch, this VPN doesn’t leak out your data at any point in its usage. While TrackStop blocks out malware and adware for safe browsing.

Streaming & Torrenting

With just 59 servers in 26 countries, Perfect Privacy has a minute server network compared to the big players on this list. Unfortunately, Perfect Privacy isn’t the best VPN for streaming. It was neither able to unblock Netflix, nor was it able to open BBC iPlayer on UK servers.

However, P2P traffic is supported on every server, except those in France and US. Thanks to its high privacy and security, Perfect Privacy is well placed for torrenters to exploit. Perhaps an even bigger redemption is that the VPN works in China, getting past the >Great Firewall quite consistently.

Connection Speed

Local connections within the UK sometimes led to as much as 30% drops in speed. This is disappointing for same-country connection. It also spells trouble for longer distance connections. While the speeds were generally okay for HD streaming, torrenters will struggle to keep the pace, except for light torrenting activities.

Support & Ease of use

Perfect Privacy has VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux, as well as apps for routers and console devices. However, the iOS is curiously missing from this list, so iPhone users consider any of the best VPNs for iOS instead.

That said, the VPN supports an unlimited number of connections, which is amazing. Its app doesn’t exactly match up with some of the sleeker options on this list, but it won’t be too hard to get a hang of it. With plenty of in-depth guides and FAQs available for support, you shouldn’t have much of an issue setting up.

Although this VPN may not be the best for streaming, it sure is among the top VPN services for privacy. It is quite pricey, though, so be sure to carefully weigh your options.

  • 1-month plan: $12.99/month
  • 12-month plan: $9.99/month
  • 24-month plan: $8.95/month

10. Surfshark

  • No IP/DNS leaks
  • Advanced security and encryption features
  • Fast and responsive live chat service
  • Allows torrenting and P2P activity
  • Email support is almost non-existent
  • Connections can be inconsistent at times
  • Best Price

    £1.49/month - 24 months plan

    Save 84%

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  • Top Speed

    48.99Mbps

  • Servers

    61 Countries

  • Available on

The Bottom Line

Surfshark is a modestly priced, beautifully branded VPN, that has quickly made its way to the top. The VPN’s capabilities are beyond modest, however, with a range of exclusive features that rival the biggest names in the VPN industry.

Privacy & Security

Surfshark has all of the ingredients you’ve come to expect in a secure VPN. This includes a powerful AES-256 encryption, a kill switch for whenever your connection drops, and powerful protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2. But it doesn’t stop at these.

Further security features include an extra security layer in the shape of double encryption feature, as well as split tunneling, a private DNS, and a CleanWeb feature that rids your browsing of unwanted ads (we found this effective even on the most pop-up ridden site we could find) and malware. Camouflage Mode also ensured protection from ISP snooping, thereby reducing potential connection throttling.

Surfshark is based in the privacy hub that is the British Virgin Islands. This translates into a solid no-logs policy that sees Surfshark log only your email and billing address.

Streaming & Torrenting

With just over 1,700 servers in 60+ countries, Surfshark is far from the biggest VPN by server network out there. But this network continues to grow, and is largely encouraging.

To ensure streaming is smooth and seamless, Surfshark comes equipped with the NoBorders mode which improves obfuscation. This helps it get past strong internet censorships like those of China, and complicated geographic blocks on streaming platforms.

The VPN successfully unblocked multiple Netflix libraries, while also unblocking platforms like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Spotify, and SkyTV. Torrenting is also supported on every server. And, importantly, connection speeds are great enough for heavy downloads or streaming.

Connection Speed

Surfshark is clearly one of the faster VPNs we’ve used, with connection speeds dropping by about 6% in the UK and US after connecting to a local server. This speed loss was too minimal to even affect our streaming or torrenting speeds.

This drop-off increased to almost 25% when connecting to servers in Australia, which isn’t a lot by any metric. While connection to servers around Europe were surprisingly fast.

Support & Ease of use

Surfshark is available with VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and more. These apps are incredibly easy on the eye and super easy to use. It may be relatively young, but it is undoubtedly one of the top VPN services in the world.

In all, users will enjoy its versatility, low cost, 30-day money-back guarantee, 7-day free trial for mobile users, network-wide torrenting support, and robust security features.

  • 1-month plan: £9.49/month
  • 6-month plan: £4.79/month
  • 24-month plan: £1.49/month

VPN Meaning

Short for Virtual Private Network, VPN is an increasingly popular means for providing internet security. Essentially a layer of servers and encryption protocols, a VPN aims to maintain the secrecy of your private network and all of the activities it hosts.

Whether you’re using it as a personal VPN, or it’s an integral part of your company’s network protection, a VPN can serve as a “secure tunnel” through which your internet connection passes.

From the moment your traffic request leaves your PC, the VPN connection protects it until it arrives its destination. During this time, the connection can neither be intercepted, nor can any snoopers identify what site you’re visiting.

This highlights the primary purpose of a VPN – online anonymity. Considering the prevalence of cyberattacks, it’s hardly surprising that the use of VPN connections has gone mainstream.

VPN Services: Why you need them

To understand why you need a VPN, you need to consider all of the uses of a VPN. These include:

  • Protection: Cybercriminals are always on the prowl, seeking out personal details of individuals for identity theft, blackmail, or just financial fraud purposes. A VPN protects your personal data from this risk, whether you’re on your home network or an insecure public network.
  • Anonymity: Online anonymity is important for a number of different reasons. Whether you’re shopping, researching, or shopping, you might consider keeping all of your online activities quiet. By concealing your activities and protecting your data, a VPN ensures anonymity.
  • Unblocking: VPNs are super effective at bypassing censorships and getting past geo-blocks. This makes it valuable if you’re looking to access online content not made available for your location, such as foreign Netflix libraries. It’s also great for getting past governmental online censorship.
  • Throttling prevention: Internet Service Providers (ISP) are notorious for slowing down connections when you’re torrenting, streaming, or engaging in any high bandwidth activity. By concealing the sites you visit from your ISP, a VPN protects you from any throttling attempts.

VPN Review Criteria: How we ranked these VPNs

Every VPN on the market claims to be the very best of them all. But, we’re sure not to just take their word for it. To identify the 10 best VPNs on this best VPN review list, we’ve taken the time to review and rank over 100 of the available VPNs in the market.

Our comprehensive tests sweep through every aspect of the VPN, balancing out the scores to identify which is best. These tests consider the following factors:

1. Security & Privacy

At the heart of most personal VPN purchases is the need for increased privacy and security online. Indeed, the security of your VPN is a key determinant in its ability to serve other purposes.

We consider technologies such as an AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and IP or DNS leaks protection as bare minimum provisions. We also test to confirm that these provisions aren’t just available on paper. Likewise, a no-logs policy is critical to ensuring what you do while on a VPN never gets out.

2. Speed

Everything you do online is impacted by the speed of your connection. If you’re on a high-speed connection, extreme speed loss due to a VPN connection can be disastrous and frustrating, particularly if you’re looking to torrent, stream, or game on your VPN.

This is why we take the time to measure the speed quality of every VPN. The fastest VPN services have very minimal impact on your connection speed. They may also help you bypass ISP speed throttling, thereby making you connection even faster.

3. Torrenting & Streaming

A good chunk of persons who turn to a VPN do that to service either their torrenting or streaming needs.

The best VPN providers for torrenting allow P2P connections on their VPN, providing users with a secure tunnel for these connections. The result is the masking of your IP address, ensuring you’re protected from any of the threats of torrenting.

Likewise, VPNs are increasingly employed for streaming purposes. Due to copyright restrictions, streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer make their services/movies/TV shows available to only particular regions. They also deploy strong technologies to ensure this isn’t easily overturned. Nonetheless, the best VPNs are able to get past these restrictions.

4. Censorship

For persons in countries where censorship is high, a VPN is a necessity. However, not every VPN successfully gets past these blocks. Countries like China and Russia have gone out of their way to ensure these online blocks are solid. A number of countries with online restrictions also go ahead to restrict VPN usage.

When conducting best VPN reviews, we take the time to confirm the viability of the VPN in these censorship-heavy regions. We try to find out if the VPN provider successfully gets you past these blocks. Typically, VPN providers provide extra obfuscation settings to make this work.

5. Support

When reviewing available VPN support, we consider everything from the number of devices it supports to the ease of use, and level of customer support. The more devices supported by a VPN, the more useful it’s likely to be to you. These VPN apps should be easy to use.

Similarly, you don’t want to get stuck right after purchasing a VPN. What happens when you need help? We examine the online knowledge base provided, as well as personalized support formats like email and live chat.

VPN FAQs

As with every other business, setting up, running and maintaining a VPN service is expensive. This means that every VPN provider seeks to get returns on their investment. It’s no surprise, then, that most VPNs charge nominal fees for their services.

As enticing as free VPNs may seem, they aren’t always legit. Many offer limited online security and privacy, little or no protection against malware, and mighty few servers that easily get bugged down with too many connections. None of this is safe.

However, we’ve been able to find some top-quality free VPNs on the market. Although these may have certain limitations, they give you a taste of the benefits of a VPN at no cost.

Although VPNs can be used to hide illicit online activities, they aren’t necessarily deemed illegal. As always, using a VPN – just as using the internet – for illegal activities doesn’t make the activity legal, neither does it shield you from the consequences if caught.

That said, although VPNs are legal in most countries, there are some countries where VPN usage is considered illegal. There are also countries where VPN usage is restricted without any outright ban. This includes China, Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Oman, etc.

The answer certainly depends on the VPN. Once designed for the tech-inclined, modern VPNs are very easy to use. The process is typically the same: download and install the VPN app for your device, select a server, and click the ‘Connect’ button.

Our top 10 VPN services certainly fall into the easy-to-use category. Their user-interfaces are friendly, connect buttons are visible, and server lists are easy to find. Some, like CyberGhost, even go ahead to list the best servers for different purposes.

But this raises questions about the VPN service provider themselves. Can they not simply track your online activities themselves and gain access to whatever data they desire? The answer depends on your choice of VPN.

The best VPNs are designed with heavy-duty encryption to protect your personal information, even from themselves. The best VPNs also keep no logs of your browsing history, are uber transparent about their privacy policies, and take steps to fix any identified data leaks.

It’s important to note that paid VPNs are generally safer than free VPNs, but we’ve still been able to identify certain free VPNs with solid encryption systems, strictly enforced privacy policies, and a proactive approach to the security of their systems.

Regardless of your device type, there’s almost certainly a VPN for you. Most VPN providers design dedicated native apps for everything from Windows to Linux, iOS, Android, and Mac. Many also go ahead to provide apps for routers, as well as plugins for browsers, and apps for TV boxes.

The goal for most VPN services is to ensure their VPN is available on every device. This means you can enjoy a VPN connection whether you use a tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop, console, TV box, etc. This added flexibility has come to reflect the versatility of the modern VPN.

VPN prices tend to vary wildly. For the most part, there is a trend among VPNs to make longer-term commitments cheaper than short-term commitments. Hence, one-month subscriptions are typically within the £8-12 range. This could drop to just under £2/month for subscriptions eighteen months and over.

However, every VPN’s pricing structure is different. Some like Surfshark are cheaper than most. VPNs often release coupon codes too, to help you find the best VPN deals – such as this IPVanish coupon. We constantly update our available coupons, so be sure to keep an eye out for these.

Conclusion

You may have come across many VPN services, but deciding the VPN provider to stick with is a lot trickier than finding the flashiest VPN. There are hundreds of VPN services available and not all are the best for you.

This review considered attributes like speed, online protection, streaming and torrenting support, and ease of use to determine the best VPN for your unique needs. Of course, CyberGhost remains our number one recommended VPN for its versatility. However, any other VPN on the list could serve.

For reviews that address your more specific needs, you could check out our best UK VPN reviews, best VPN for streaming, best VPN for Kodi, and more on 10BestVPN.