Looking to maximize your anonymity and security online? Of course we know you are. The best anonymous VPN service can help! The VPN industry has grown immensely over the past few years, with exponential growth projected by 2024. There are many VPN services for privacy out there. Considering both paid and free services, you’re looking at hundreds of different options. They all have many similarities, most of them sound and look alike and each of them promises to keep your connection both secure and anonymous. So, how do you find the best VPN service?
As mentioned above, there are numerous VPNs out there. Also, there are many VPN reviews. So, with lots of biased options, it can be challenging to separate profit-driven fiction from facts. It’s for these reasons our team compiled this hand-picked list of the best VPN services, all backed by a proven review process.
What Is A VPN Software?
“VPN” stands for the virtual private network. Essentially, VPN protects users’ privacy online. By giving you a new IP address and further encrypting your connection, a VPN makes it seem like you are nowhere around the world. Since your connection remains encrypted, network snoopers cannot spy on your sensitive data, either.
VPNs are able to achieve this by connecting users to a remote server before you’re connected to an open market. Normally, you connect to the Internet service providers’ DNS servers. These routes your connection to whatever website you want to access. Since your Internet service provider controls the servers, they can easily see things like the version of your web browser, geographic location, and history.
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Best 5 VPN Services For Improved Internet Privacy
The coronavirus pandemic caused a tremendous spike in the already increasing trends of working from home; it has forced people to spend most of their leisure time at home. It’s for this reason, the demand for the best VPN service has been on the rise. Whether you’re torrenting, streaming, or browsing, you need an excellent VPN service for protecting yourself and unblocking your content.
In the world we’re living in today, anonymity and privacy is in short supply, and we must do everything we can to take it back. Picking the best VPN service isn’t always easy. It’s for this reason, after checking through hundreds of VPN services, we’ve handpicked the best 5 VPN services for you.
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Handy Ways You Can Use Your VPN
You can use the VPN for different things, including access to private networks, security on public networks, increase eCommerce security, activism, bypass government, access to international content, better gaming, better working from home, and more.
ExpressVPN Top Features
ExpressVPN at a Glance
ExpressVPN is our number one VPN. Whenever the topic of the best VPN comes up, ExpressVPN is always at the top. Many people consider ExpressVPN as the best VPN service. Although most VPN services usually focus on a specific feature (whether the number of servers, anonymity, speed, security, etc.), ExpressVPN ticks every box we have.
The first important thing to note about ExpressVPN’s privacy level is where it’s located. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, meaning that it isn’t part of the 14 Eyes Alliance or any other international surveillance alliance. As a result, the company can’t be legally forced by the government to share user data.
Express VPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. This makes it one of the most widespread VPNs around the world. Users can connect ExpressVPN to 5 different devices simultaneously. It’s compatible with a wide range of devices. These include Smart TVs, Gaming Consoles, Browsers, Kindles, Chromebooks, Wireless Routers, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Easy to use, secure and fast, ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN service that does everything in the right way. We haven’t found anything worth griping about throughout the many years of testing it, even after exposing the service to the harshest scrutiny. If you do not have enough time to check out all the VPN services, ExpressVPN is, without a doubt, a sure bet.
ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN and AES-256, which is an excellent combination for VPN security. The only thing that’s missing is the WireGuard support. Also, areas such as customer support are great too. You can also check out our detailed ExpressVPN review for additional details.
Why We Recommend ExpressVPN
We liked ExpressVPN for its speed, the most outstanding aspect. ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN we have tested, and with very low latency times, it’s a great choice if you’re into gaming as we ranked it as the best VPN for gaming. The speed works pretty well for streaming. For this reason, it ranks among the top VPNs for streaming not just because of the VPN’s incredible speeds but also how easy it is to access different streaming platforms across the globe.
NordVPN Top Features
NordVPN at a Glance
We ranked NordVPN as our number two VPN service out of the 5 we’ve reviewed. It’s a powerful and affordable VPN service with lots of success in accessing streaming services such as Netflix. It features an extensive range of servers spread around the globe and utilizes high advanced encryption protocols.
NordVPN has more than 8 million customers across the globe, making it one of the best VPNs. We love the fact that NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, which isn’t a member of 14 Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Five Eyes. Legally, NordVPN cannot be forced to share user data. This means NordVPN is a great option if you’re concerned about privacy.
NordVPN has an extensive range of servers, which is very important when looking for a great VPN. With NordVPN, you’re looking at 5,600+ servers spread out in over 60 countries.
Also, you’ve got several specialty servers like P2P servers, Tor servers, obfuscated servers, double encryption servers, and dedicated servers. NordVPN is compatible with many devices, including macOS and windows, including tablets and smartphones. You can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously.
If you’re looking to commit to a specific VPN service for many years, it’s almost impossible to beat NordVPN. NordVPN offers one and two-year plans, which brings the monthly costs down to just a few dollars, but the wide range of features matters.
Why We Recommend NordVPN
One significant highlight of NordVPN is its rank as one of the top VPN for torrenting. Once you choose to use the latest NordLynx protocol, these speeds can’t be matched, resulting in faster downloads. Furthermore, NordVPN provides a wide range of specialty servers that protect you when trying to escape harsh censorship or torrenting.
Alongside the specialty servers, NordVPN comes with other fascinating features. A kill switch is also available. Moreover, with NordVPN you’ll be able to unlock multiple country-exclusive TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video.
PureVPN Top Features
PureVPN at a Glance
PureVPN is another outstanding VPN service on our list; it comes in at number three. You have a secure, reliable, and fast VPN with an incredibly secure sign-up process. First, PureVPN is headquartered in Hong Kong, which isn’t a member of 14 Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Five Eyes. This means government agencies cannot compel the company to share user data, making it a great option for those looking for privacy.
PureVPN is well known for its impressive series of more than 6,500 servers in over 140 countries, independently audited no logs policy, and excellent security. However, there is more to this excellent VPN service. PureVPN provides incredible speeds, allowing torrenting in different countries and unblocks Netflix. Also, there is speedy 24/7 live chat support, always ready and willing to address all your concerns.
Considering PureVPN’s attractive prices, five devices per account, and a wide variety of support platforms, it’s easy to recommend this VPN service to many users.
Rather than the capability to access streaming services across the globe, the security backup is also great. All PureVPN apps work using the AES 256-bit encryption and sport highly advanced features. Some of these include DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and a kill switch. Also, there are a couple of other features, such as DDoS protection, but you must pay for it.
Again, you can test PureVPN using their 30-day moneyback guarantee. All you have to do is get in touch with the support team and request a refund if you aren’t thrilled with the service.
Why We Recommend PureVPN
We think PureVPN is a great VPN choice. It comes with all the important features. Our speed tests showed that PureVPN is pretty fast. And although they should be more transparent about their data policy, it’s good to see independent agencies have audited them to confirm they don’t keep logs.
IPVanish Top Features
IPVanish at a Glance
IPVanish is another great option for the anonymization and encryption of your browsing sessions. It’s a reliable service with a strict no-logging policy and works for both torrenting and Netflix streaming. Privacy is without a doubt the name of the game; IPVanish is an airtight VPN service with a strict no data logging policy, unlimited devices, and a powerful server park.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that IPVanish is a subsidiary of StackPatch, a US-based company. This puts IPVanish under the US jurisdiction, which can be an issue for those concerned about their privacy. The United States is a member of the 5 Eyes, which means not only can government agencies demand user data, but your personal information can also be shared with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK.
IPVanish app is straightforward and smooth. It has a very intuitive user interface, and you can connect with only a single click. IPVanish worked pretty well on all our Android devices, with split tunneling, incredible download speeds, and robust encryption methods that helped us, especially when working from home. Moreover, unlike other VPN companies available out there, IPVanish has superb customer support, live chat, and telephone.
IP Vanish recently upgraded its network coverage to approximately 1,300+ servers in more than 55 countries. These servers are well optimized for both P2P activities and streaming. Our team tested the split tunneling feature available on the Android application to check whether it works with streaming platforms like passing it via encrypted tunnels.
It worked very smoothly; you can test it utilizing the 30-day refund guarantee to hack the free trial. You can subscribe to different packages or get bigger discounts using the IPVanish coupon. Also, we tested the IPVanish speeds on both fast and slow Internet packages, and the results seemed above average, which is excellent for the UHD streams.
Why We Recommend IPVanish
IPVanish allows unlimited device connection that improves reliability. Large companies and families will find it the most convenient. Nevertheless, this is a high-powered VPN service with a multi-powered VPN with a good multi-connection alliance. Some of the IPVanish security features you can expect; include high-end 256-bit encryption and protocols (L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and IKEv2), the SOCKS5 web proxy, and the OpenVPN scramble feature.
5. Ivacy VPN
Ivacy VPN Top Features
Ivacy VPN at a Glance
IvacyVPN is next on our best VPN services list. It flaunts itself as a cheap VPN solution. It’s without a doubt a complete experience, with an easy-to-use app, reasonable pricing, and superb 24/7-customer support. IvacyVPN is based in Singapore, so they will never be legally forced to share user data with government agencies. With regards to coverage, it has more than 3,400 servers in 100+ locations.
Ivacy comes with many incredible features, including a wide selection of encryption levels and tunneling protocols. It has no leaks, a strict no-logs policy, and uses a kill switch to protect your connection.
Even though Ivacy VPN does not have a great protocol, its incredible server list (over 3,455 servers in more than 100 locations) makes it a perfect option for users in the Asian region, including China. The speeds are more than enough for streaming, while torrenting users will be pleased to find Peer-to-Peer optimized servers in more than 50 countries.
The software protects your information and device from harvesters, hackers, and other types of malicious websites on the Internet. Moreover, IvacyVPN has a strict no-data logging policy. This means no one, including third-party bodies and ISPs, will be spying on your web activities. More importantly, the prices are pretty low, particularly if you get five simultaneous connections.
Why We Recommend IvacyVPN
IvacyVPN is an affordable VPN that unblocks BBC iPlayer and US Netflix. It uses Advanced Encryption Security (AES)-256 encryption, has dedicated torrenting servers, and a minimal logs policy for maximum privacy. Also, it offers a free trial.
How To Use VPN To Protect Your Privacy?
There are many reasons you should consider using a VPN, even though the specific reason you choose one may be different. The VPN is a powerful tool for protecting your online privacy by hiding the IP address at the center. Of course, this means that your government and Internet service provider (ISP) will not see anything you search on the web.
With the availability of the GDPR, the general public has become more aware of different tracking practices on many sites. However, if you aren’t in the loop yet, companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google collect user data and then sell it to promoters. Your gender, age, interests, and preferences have a monetary value to those looking to sell you products or services. Nevertheless, in exchange for services such as Google, you’ll be allowing another person to monetize your data and eventually this results to loss of privacy.
Target The Right Audience
Data brokers, those who compile the data sold by organizations like Google, can use users’ browsing data and connect the information with different property records, medical records, court cases, and more. At times they can even connect users’ information to these records. While a VPN will not protect you from all types of data collection, they utilize the first line of defense against the worst kinds of it and prevent things like identity theft. Also, you can use a VPN for different reasons like streaming and torrenting, but I will get into that soon.
VPN Privacy, What Does A VPN Hide?
If privacy isn’t your thing, there are many other reasons you should consider using a VPN. VPN services provide a great head start to online privacy, although they do not entirely solve the problem. You can even go further with tools such as encrypted email, zero-knowledge cloud storage, and antivirus and password manager. With the best VPN service, Google cannot monitor your web searches; amazon cannot follow your movements around different websites to see the products that you’re interested in most, and Facebook cannot pull your device data or location.
Your Browsing History
Hotels, coffee shops, airports, and other places where people enjoy free Wi-Fi have also become a gold mine for cyber hooligans and hackers. The best thing you can do is to avoid unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots or public networks unless you are using a secure VPN. If you aren’t protected, anyone without any moral standards and very little understanding can steal your passwords, logins, and other personal information that you may be accessing then.
A VPN ensures your privacy remains intact and uncompromised by ensuring all the data that leaves your device is always encrypted. This way, it ensures your sensitive data becomes unreadable pieces of scrambled stuff for any shady cybercriminals. We strongly recommend that you always choose to use A VPN service when traveling so that you’ll never have to worry about connecting to these unsafe public hotspots.
Although the IP address can show your location, it isn’t exactly very accurate information. Essentially, your IP address only displays information that’s provided by the ISP, such as the place or city where Internet servers you connect to are located. Nevertheless, besides your IP address, there are different ways that 3rd parties can easily track you.
For example, most apps do this using your device or PC’s physical location. At times, access to your phone’s GPS is a condition for you to be allowed to use some apps, especially dating apps. Some of these apps can then track everywhere you visit or go. The best VPN service also provides a GPS spoofing feature for Android devices to keep such apps in check. Once activated, GPS spoofing usually overrides your physical location each time an app tries to access your location.
Your IP Address
Maybe you are browsing Reddit or similar forums under a specific pseudonym, or maybe you do not want to have your identity displayed on different social media platforms. Either way, you should always have an option to keep your digital and real life separate. For instance, if you leave your IP address unprotected and on display. In such a case, no amount of aliases or carefulness will guarantee your online privacy.
As a result, you can clearly see the sites that a person is visiting and even some of the online boards they get to post on by just checking their IP address. This is referred to as doxxing, something hackers and online vigilantes do to get information for malicious use about private and public figures.
The best VPN helps protect devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, and desktops, from cybercriminals. Hackers could target your gadgets when you browse the Internet, mainly when using public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN ensures hackers can’t access the data sent or received.
How Does A VPN Help Protect Against Identity Theft?
Identity theft is when criminals steal your sensitive information and use your identity to commit crimes – like buying or renting property, filing taxes, or opening new e-wallet accounts. The good news is that the best VPN can efficiently protect against identity theft. A VPN builds an encrypted tunnel for all the personal data sent or received. This ensures identity thieves cannot access personal data.
A VPN helps protect the data you access or share using your computer or mobile device, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN can protect you against identity theft. The VPN builds an encrypted tunnel for the data dispatched to ensure it’s out of reach for cybercriminals. If your phone’s Wi-Fi is activated at all times, the device might be vulnerable without you even knowing.
How A VPN Protects Your Identity
Cookies utilized to track user identifiable information will not know your location. The VPN fully encrypts data transmission so that your Internet service provider cannot track it. After you’ve established the VPN connection and obscured your location, you can then use other security measures for the best identity theft services.
How We Test VPN Services?
Want to find out more about our reviews? Take a closer look at our methodology and how we test VPN services. This will, without a doubt, make you an expert with regards to Virtual Private Networks. First, we begin with a VPN itself, ensuring it has all necessary features, and then put it through security tests.
Like we indicate in our VPN reviews, we tested all the VPNs on an Optimum private network in our US office. Using a single device at a time, we ensure that the Internet speed without the VPN is an objectionable control that we can measure against. Also, we test everything on both a Windows PC and a MacBook Air to give vital information to the readers. To test the ping, upload speed, and download speed, we use SpeedTest.net, performing tests with and without the VPN. We measure the upload, and download speeds in megabits per second, but latency is usually measured in milliseconds.
Most people who use VPNs do so to fully protect web traffic, including websites (domain name servers) and IP addresses. We also want to ensure that users’ private IP addresses aren’t leaked because WebRTC allows browsers to directly communicate with one another and default browsers such as Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Chrome.
Since many people use VPNs for media such as televisions and movies, we look for VPNs with torrenting and Netflix access. It’s important to remember that Netflix usually updates its code to block VPN connections, so there is no guarantee that it works on the VPN. Another important feature we check out is split tunneling that allows users to simultaneously access the VPN and public networks. This allows for lower bandwidth that can create faster speeds. Also, we prefer multi-hop or double VPNs since they encrypt data multiple times through different servers.
What A VPN Can’t Do?
Most VPNs claim that they can hide and protect your information, but the main question is whether you can trust them. There are different ways through which you can check how legit your VPN security is. Usually, this involves doing WebRTC, IP, and DNS leak tests. The tests can offer you a better understanding of areas that the VPN might be lacking in. That said, below are some of the things that the VPN can’t do:
- Hide your absolute identity
- Already existing cookies, consider clearing them if you’re looking for more privacy.
- It will not hide you from malware and viruses. Although VPNs such as Surfshark offer neat features like CleanWeb that save you from phishing or malware on some infected websites, a VPN cannot save you from accessing malware-ridden sites on the Internet or even download malicious apps.
- It’s also important to note that if you’re engaging in illegal activity, it will remain unlawful even when propagated via a VPN. This is because anonymity and privacy don’t absolve you from legal obligations, and you can still be arrested and prospected.
Overall, a great VPN should properly encrypt all your information; hide your web activity, location, and IP address.
Can You Trust Your VPN Service?
A VPN is meant to hide web traffic, but what if a VPN itself can’t be trusted? Unfortunately, not all companies can be trusted. This is how we exactly determine whether we can trust a VPN service or not.
We take a closer look at where a VPN company is based. Technically, we look for VPN companies based in jurisdictions that are not members of 14 Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Five Eyes, the International Surveillance alliances that legalize governments forcing companies to share user data. In countries such as the United States, a member of the Five Eyes, the US government has in the past forced VPN companies to share user data, like the case with IPVanish. Technically, we want a company based in a country that isn’t a member of any international alliance and without a history of handing over user data to the government. Also, we want a VPN based in a country without any data retention laws.
We choose companies that utilize the most modern encryption techniques, such as AES 256 rather than AES-128.
How Do I Get A VPN?
Getting a VPN is pretty easy, it’s just like downloading an app from the Google play store or apple store. Also, you can utilize a browser extension if that is easier for you. Technically, we strongly recommend thoroughly researching a VPN before you connect, mainly because all of them aren’t created the same. The best place to start is our best VPN services page; scroll down to find the best tried and tested options.
To sign up for the best VPN service, we strongly recommend ExpressVPN because it’s straightforward to use and cost-effective without compromising features, security, or speed.
Download and install – all you have to do is download and install the program onto all your devices. The next thing you should do is launching the VPN and connect to the server. After installation, you can then add extensions to your web browser and ultimately add more functionality to your chosen devices including computers, mobile devices, TV streaming devices, tablets, gaming consoles and more.
Because we live in a connected world, privacy and security are vital to make sure you’re always safe from cyberattacks. From communicating with your colleagues to online banking, we are constantly transferring data on our smartphones and computers.