We Reviewed the Best VPNs: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Choosing a VPN is about more than just budget, privacy, or features. It’s about determining which combination of features is most important to your specific and unique needs.
We’ve reviewed 5 of the best VPNs on the market to help you determine which VPN is the best choice for you.
CyberGhost VPN is a popular company based in Romania, which falls outside of the spying Five Eye circle. It offers all the high-security standards, including OpenVPN and AES 256-bit encryption. In addition to OpenVPN, they also allow PPTP and L2TP protocols. However, PPTP is not really recommended because it’s the weakest and can be broken easily.
CyberGhost offers DNS and IP address-leak protection to make sure your identity stays secure on the internet. They also offer a kill switch that ensures that you can remain anonymous, even if the VPN connection drops. A kill switch basically shuts down your internet if the VPN connection fails. So, as soon as there’s a chance that your IP address might become visible, your internet connection turns off.
The CyberGhost Kill Switch feature is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
- Apps for all major platforms
- Free trial available
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- P2P allowed
- OpenVPN support
- AES 256-bit encryption
- 6,500+ servers in 90+ countries
- Can secure 7 simultaneous devices on one license
- Ad blocker
- Malware blocker
- DNS and IP address leak protection
- Unlimited bandwidth
CyberGhost offers a free trial to let you try out their services without paying a thing. If you like the service, you can purchase a plan. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
CyberGhost VPN allows you to connect up to 7 devices on a plan so you don’t have to purchase a separate subscription for each device. This helps you save money on VPN costs.
If you need support and can’t find what you need in CyberGhost VPN’s in-depth knowledge base, you can always submit a “request ticket” and wait to get an answer to a specific question. The request form will ask for your email address and some other details regarding your request. You can expect an answer in less than a day. They even have a live chat link, where you’ll get answers in real time, and your problems will be resolved right on the spot.
CyberGhost VPN Pricing
CyberGhost offers three plans: month-to-month, one-year, and two-years. They sometimes run an offer on a 3-year plan, so you may get lucky and get those savings.
All the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Looking to save a bit more? If you refer a friend to CyberGhost VPN and they sign up, you’ll get up to 90 days of free service. (See their website for exact details.)
The prices are pretty affordable and the payment can be made through credit cards, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
Installation and Use
CyberGhost VPN has free apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It can also be configured on Linux, routers, Kodi, and gaming consoles.
When you install CyberGhost VPN on a router, you’re no longer limited to seven devices on a license. You are free to connect as many devices directly through your router.
To install CyberGhost VPN on Windows and Mac, you can download the free apps from the CyberGhost VPN website.
To install it on your phone, you can download and install the app from your app store (iOS or Android).
Note: There’s a 7-day free trial on Android and iOS apps.
To manually configure the VPN on your device, you can get help from the guides on their website. They have step-by-step instructions, along with screenshots. And if you get stuck somewhere, you can always contact their customer care.
CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania, which isn’t a member of “Five Eyes” or “Fourteen Eyes” — that’s a green flag and good news for VPN users who are concerned about privacy.
Because it’s not based in a “spying” country and does not keep any logs, your privacy is assured when you use CyberGhost.
Our Final Word on CyberGhost VPN
When it comes to security, CyberGhost offers AES 256-bit encryption, ensuring that your data is practically unhackable. They offer a wide range of protocols, including L2TP and OpenVPN.
CyberGhost VPN offers a number of extra features, such as DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and ad blocker and malware blocker. With high-grade encryption, the strongest protocol, and a number of additional security features, you don’t have to worry about your online activity being leaked online.
Up until recently, CyberGhost VPN was able to bypass the Great Firewall of China. However, it can no longer help you access the free internet in Beijing. But to be fair, not many VPNs are able to bypass the strict VPN sensors placed by China.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN is a great choice, with only a few drawbacks, primarily their speed. However, if you want anonymity and don’t care a lot about speeds, you can try using it. They have a free trial and affordable plans. And since they also have a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try the VPN without any risks. If you don’t like CyberGhost VPN, ask them for a refund. But you just might love it.
Whether you’re looking for a VPN to stay safe on public WiFi connections or to stream your favorite shows on Netflix, ExpressVPN will help you out.
While their prices are a bit on the higher side, ExpressVPN offers many reliable services. You can always save some money by opting for the one-year plan. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try their services risk-free.
- Apps for all major platforms
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- OpenVPN supported
- Supports up to 5 simultaneous devices
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Over 160 server locations in 94 countries
- Bitcoin accepted
- Split tunneling
- 24/7 live chat
- High speed
- Unblocks Netflix and Hulu
- Works in China
- P2P friendly
ExpressVPN is praised for its superfast speeds, which makes it the perfect choice for streaming movies and shows. It’s also popular among gamers and torrent lovers. There are not many VPN providers that can pass the Netflix VPN radar without being detected.
There are even fewer providers that will work in China. China has a strong firewall that will block almost all social media websites and other popular websites. And since VPNs are not allowed in China, it’s difficult for any VPN to work there. ExpressVPN is among the very few providers whose services will work in China.
ExpressVPN also has a large network and offers you a huge range of IP addresses to connect to. And with 256-bit AES encryption on OpenVPN, you can rest assured that you have a safe connection that is virtually unhackable.
ExpressVPN boasts of 24/7 customer support and they do have a live chat feature. In contrast, many other VPN companies are not always online.
They also have a knowledge base where you can find answers to most of your questions, and they have troubleshooting and installation guides there as well.
ExpressVPN also has a ticketing system and an email address ([email protected]). Most other VPN providers reply to emails and tickets in a business day or so, but ExpressVPN replies in as little as an hour. That’s super fast!
Express VPN Pricing
ExpressVPN doesn’t have the cheapest prices in the VPN industry. They have three plans — month-to-month, 6-months, and a one-year plan. Many users want to go for longer plans because they save money in the long run. However, the one-year plan is the best deal offered.
There are no free-trial periods, but they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to try their services risk-free.
You can make the payment through credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and other payment methods, including Alipay, Yandex Money, and more. Cryptocurrency payments are popular among people who want to stay completely anonymous.
ExpressVPN accepts Bitcoin via BitPay, Ethereum, XRP, USDC, BUSPD, PAX, and GUSD stablecoins.
Installation and Use
ExpressVPN works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and routers. They also have browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux can be downloaded directly from the ExpressVPN website. Linux users will be happy to learn that there’s a dedicated app. Apps for iOS and Android can be downloaded from their respective app stores.
You can configure ExpressVPN on your router. The configuration instructions are given on the website and the entire installation process will take just a few minutes.
Since ExpressVPN can be used on a number of devices. It’s a good choice for almost all types of users.
You can use ExpressVPN on three devices simultaneously. While it’s a great thing that you don’t have to buy three separate subscriptions, there are many other VPN providers that allow you to connect to up to five (sometimes more!) devices on a single subscription.
To connect all your devices on a single subscription at home or in an office, you can install ExpressVPN on your router and then connect all devices to it. This way, you can save money while protecting all router-connected devices.
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, and it also doesn’t log your personal internet-activity data.
They collect only the bare minimum data that is required to run their services. If you pay through your credit card, however, you will automatically give them some identifying information. To make sure you’re more anonymous, you can pay via Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN tears down internet walls, so you can view what you want.
The data collected by ExpressVPN is mostly about the working of apps, dates when you used the VPN (not exact timestamps), the servers you connect to, and the amount of data transferred. Since this doesn’t contain identifiable information, you are pretty much safe when you use ExpressVPN.
Our Final Word on Express VPN
ExpressVPN is one of the leading VPN providers in the market.
It has a number of amazing features including blazing fast speeds, high-grade encryption, and a large VPN network.
ExpressVPN has a kill switch that protects users’ IPs from getting exposed if the VPN connection were to drop. When tested for DNS and WebRTC leaks, it was found that ExpressVPN is indeed safe and doesn’t leak user details online.
If you’re a lover of movies or TV shows, you’ll be happy to know that ExpressVPN is able to unblock Netflix and Hulu. Not many VPNs can bypass geographic viewing restrictions, but ExpressVPN is among the few VPNs that can get around these constraints.
Speaking of bypassing restrictions using VPNs, it’s natural to think of China. ExpressVPN is among the few providers that will help you access the free internet from China. However, make sure that you have already installed it on your devices before landing in China because you won’t be able to download it there.
ExpressVPN allows P2P, which means you can torrent your favorite movies, shows, and games.
They also offer split tunneling, which lets you pass some traffic through an encrypted channel and some traffic through the regular internet connection. It’s a great feature if you want to change your IP address when you’re researching a project, and want to view your social media sites side-by-side.
While ExpressVPN offers several amazing services, it does have a higher price, compared to many VPNs. However, you can save a bit by subscribing to their one-year plan. Also, their multiple-devices-on-a-subscription policy is not as good as those offered by other providers. ExpressVPN allows you to connect three devices at a time, while some providers let users connect up to five devices at a time.
Despite its higher-than-average prices, ExpressVPN remains one of the leading VPN providers in the market…, and that says a lot about its services.
IPVanish is a U.S.-based VPN provider. While the location of this VPN may be of concern to some, IPVanish says that they don’t keep any user traffic logs (although they do keep some data). Also, when it comes to security, they have a number of offerings covering a wide range of protocols (including WireGuard®), as well as military-grade AES 256-bit encryption.
- Apps for all major platforms
- Servers in over 75 global locations
- Open VPN and WireGuard® supported
- P2P allowed
- Customer support 24/7
- 1600+ servers
- Malware blocker
- Unblocks US and UK Netflix
- Unmetered devices
IPVanish has live chat and phone support to help you with any issues you might face. They have apps for all major platforms and for other platforms, there are simple and straightforward configuration files and instructions. IPVanish offers fast speeds that will make your browsing experience more enjoyable.
IPVanish can now unblock Netflix with fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth. You’re free to stream or download as many videos as you want!
They have a large global network that will help you hide your IP address behind the server of your choice. And if you’re not 100% happy with their services, you can get your money back within 30 days of signing up (Yearly plan only), no questions asked.
IPVanish offers a number of options for customer support. They have live chat that’s always available. Depending on your position in the queue, it can take from a few seconds to a couple of minutes for them to reply. Their replies are focused and clear and should resolve your issues promptly.
The second option to connect with them is through email at [email protected]. Their replies can take from a few hours to one business day.
The monthly cost for IPVanish is better than average. Currently, IPVanish offers Yearly, Quarterly, and Monthly plans. They will sometimes offer 2-year plans at special times during the year.
Their payment methods are limited to just credit cards and PayPal. If you want to pay with Bitcoin, you’ll need to look for other VPNs.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee that comes with their yearly plan.
Apart from the general VPN services, IPVanish also provides pre-configured routers that can just be plugged into and used without any installation or configuration. If you want to secure several devices that are connected to a router—perhaps you run a small office—a pre-configured VPN router is a good option. However, keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay for the IPVanish subscription, even if you get their VPN router.
Installation and Use
IPVanish offers simple apps for a number of platforms such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Windows Phone, Fire TV, routers, and Chromebook.
Their app offers several security features that are simple to use, even for novice VPN users. It’s easy to customize the app according to your needs and stay secure as you connect to the internet.
IPVanish’s speeds are good, which makes it ideal for gaming, torrenting, and streaming. It can help you watch Netflix and download torrents of your favorite movies safely.
As far as security, they offer both WireGuard® and the OpenVPN protocol, as well as AES 256-bit encryption, which will keep you protected not just from ISP spying, but also from hackers and other malicious entities.
IPVanish promises that it doesn’t log your data.
Our Final Word on IPVanish
IPVanish provides good speeds and high-grade encryption. They offer multiple plan lengths and allow you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously on one subscription plan (most other VPNs allow up to 5 devices).
They provide the WireGuard® protocol and AES 256-bit encryption, which is enough to keep hackers and spies off your connection. With their high speeds, they’re a good option for Netflix, P2P, and torrenting.
IPVanish offers VPN-configured routers for those who don’t want to go through the process of installing or configuring VPN software on their devices. Their pre-configured routers are almost “plug-and-play.”
Their customer service is excellent and—depending on the communication medium you choose — you’ll get a reply in a few seconds…or a few hours.
While IPVanish is among the top VPN providers in the market and has a huge network, they are based in the U.S. U.S. laws mandate companies to reveal user data they have stored when they are approached by government authorities.
IPVanish has always claimed that they keep absolutely zero traffic logs
, and even had its technology and no-log policy audited and certified by a third-party cybersecurity consulting firm.
Should you go for IPVanish? It depends on the level of privacy you want.
If you are okay with the VPN company keeping partial logs (timestamps only), IPVanish can be a good choice. However, if you’re looking for airtight privacy, you may want to look elsewhere.
NordVPN is a truly secure VPN with military-grade encryption support for OpenVPN, and Double VPN encryption. It also has a feature called CyberSec that blocks websites that are possibly infected with malware. Plus, it blocks ads, giving you a smooth browsing experience.
It’s no surprise that it’s continually ranked high on VPN review sites.
- Allows up to 6 connected device
- Fast speeds
- Kill switch
- Cryptocurrency payment accepted
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 24/7 customer service
- Blocks ads and malware
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Nord offers feature-rich services. They have Onion over VPN to make things extra secure for you. Apart from having apps for all major platforms, they also have browser extensions. With their special DNS leak protection, you can be sure your identity is completely safe online.
NordVPN has an automatic kill switch that will turn off all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops. With their no-logs policy, you can be sure that your activities are not being tracked and your details are safe.
NordVPN offers super-fast servers that are great for gaming and content streaming. And since NordVPN can unblock Netflix and Hulu, it’s a great choice for movie and TV lovers.
With 5400+ servers in 59 different countries, they have servers spread out throughout the world. With high speeds from NordVPN, there will be no buffering and you can enjoy a seamless streaming experience.
And if you’re looking for torrent-friendly services, NordVPN is the right option for you. There are hundreds of superfast servers that let you go torrent-crazy. And there’s a 30-day money back guarantee that lets you try their services risk-free.
They offer dedicated IPs as well and let you connect up to six devices simultaneously on one connection. With 24/7 customer support, you know they’ve got your back if you’re stuck somewhere.
When it comes to customer service, NordVPN has a large repository of information to help you out. Just check their FAQ section and you’ll find useful information related to your questions. Their help center has articles on all the possible problems that their clients might face.
If you can’t find what you were looking for, you can email them at [email protected]. On their website, they have mentioned that they reply within 48 hours. However, their replies are faster than that.
They also have a 24/7 live chat support where your problems will find a solution right then and there.
They have three plans — month-to-month, one year, and two years. And if you’re lucky, you might get a 3-year plan that brings the costs down. However, the three-year plan isn’t always available.
Payments can be made through credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, and cryptocurrencies. If you’re a privacy-conscious individual, you’ll be happy to know that you can pay through Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.
Installation and Use
NordVPN has simple apps for several platforms. You can download NordVPN for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. They also have browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. Nord can also be configured on a number of other devices such as Linux, Raspberry Pi, DD-WRT, Tomato, and Blackberry.
You can configure NordVPN on your router to secure all devices of your home through Wi-Fi.
If you connect using Onion over VPN server, you will be assigned a new IP address every five minutes, making your IP address practically untraceable. Nord VPN has over 1,000 Onion exit nodes, so tracing back to your original IP address is almost impossible — even for a team of seasoned hackers.
NordVPN operates under Panama jurisdiction. Because Panama isn’t one of the Five Eye spying countries, many users prefer Nord. Also, since Panama doesn’t mandate VPN companies to store any user data, NordVPN doesn’t keep logs.
Nord promises that they don’t monitor, log, record, or store any information related to your activities. When you create an account with them, you’ll need to provide your email address and payment information. If you pay through your credit card, you’ll reveal some information. This is why NordVPN has started accepting cryptocurrencies as well.
They don’t log your IP address or session details, so what you do on the internet stays hidden from both your internet service provider and your VPN.
Our Final Word on NordVPN
NordVPN is possibly the biggest provider in the VPN industry. There are many things that make it one of the best VPN services. Fast speeds, low prices, and a lot of usable features make it a popular crowd favorite.
NordVPN offers a range of protocols including OpenVPN. If you’re a privacy-conscious user, you should use only OpenVPN since it’s the most secure protocol. While OpenVPN does make the connection a bit slow, you don’t really have to worry about it since Nord offers superfast speeds.
NordVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption, which ensures that even if a hacker gets hold of your data, they will be unable to decrypt it. And if you still crave more protection, use their Double VPN feature that encrypts your data twice. While single encryption is safe enough, double encryption makes it impossible to hack.
With NordVPN what you do on the Internet stays hidden from both your Internet Service Provider and your VPN.
With over 5,300 servers in 59 countries, they offer a pretty impressive network. In fact, NordVPN offers SmartPlay, which makes sure you get access to hundreds of geo-restricted streaming services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, BBC, and Pandora.
And if you’re not a streaming fan, and prefer downloading content, you’ll be happy to know that P2P is allowed on NordVPN, which means you can torrent all the files you want.
NordVPN comes with a kill switch that shuts down the internet connection as soon as the VPN services drop if it ever did. This way, even if the VPN stops working for some reason, your IP address will stay hidden online.
With apps for all major platforms, NordVPN lets you stay protected when you access the internet on the go. And they allow users to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously. This means that instead of getting 6 licenses, you can pay only once and secure all your devices.
Nord also offers DNS leak protection so you can be sure that your details are completely hidden when you’re online.
Also, since NordVPN is based in Panama and doesn’t log your activities, it is completely safe from outside government intrusion. The only details it keeps are your email address and payment details.
However, if you open your account with a “fake” email address (not your personal one) and pay via cryptocurrencies, you can stay virtually anonymous.
So, to sum it all up, NordVPN is a very popular VPN in the marketplace…and rightly so.
Surfshark is a relatively new VPN in the marketplace, but it has proven to provide top-notch services and has the potential to become your favorite VPN provider. They are recently headquartered in the Netherlands, which doesn’t have strict data retention laws that VPNs follow.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Live chat, 24/7
- All friends and family can use your account
- Cryptocurrencies accepted
- Unblocks Netflix
- Bypasses the Great Firewall of China
- Supports unlimited devices on a single license
- Servers in 65 Countries
Surfshark recently merged with Nord VPN, one of the largest and more popular VPN providers available. According to reports, they intend to keep operations separate from each other.
Surfshark can help you unblock Netflix on several servers, including a few in the U.S. and the U.K. It also supports peer-to-peer networking (P2P), which means you can torrent your favorite movies and shows as well.
They offer connection speeds that are good for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. They give you several VPN protocol options, including OpenVPN and IKEv2, which are very secure.
The best thing about Surfshark is that it allows you to connect as many devices as you like with one subscription. You read that right. While other VPNs are typically limited to about five devices, Surfshark allows customers to connect as many devices as they want.
Surfshark has 95 servers in 65 countries, which makes for a decent-sized network. They have apps for all major platforms and configuration options for several others. Surfshark offers multi-hop connections that allow you to form a double VPN chain for enhanced security.
Surfshark helps you bypass geographic/IP address-based blocks wherever you might be. Thanks to their IP-masking technologies, they can bypass even the Great Firewall of China.
Their customer service is excellent. They are one of the few VPNs that have a live chat system for customers that’s active 24/7. Using their live chat, you’ll get replies to questions within a minute.
They also have an email address and a ticketing system, if for some reason live chat is not for you. You can email them at [email protected] or submit your request through their form and you’ll generally get a reply within a few hours.
Surfshark has a support section that contains answers to the common questions related to billing, account setup, connection, setup guides, and other topics. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can open a support ticket.
Surfshark offers three subscription plans — month-to-month, 12-months, and a 2-year plan. The month-to-month cost is far above average, but you can pay less per month by buying their one- or two-year subscription.
However, there’s an issue. Surfshark offers special features that may (or may not) be included in the normal plan prices. They even had a new “bundled” Surfshark One plan that offers the VPN service, alerts, anti-virus and no-track search feature. But seeing the difference between plans and Surfshark One is pretty impossible. It almost feels like bait and switch.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. However, before they will issue a refund, they’ll try to work with you to solve the problem or issue you’re facing. Payment can be made using credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies. If you’re a privacy enthusiast, you might want to use cryptocurrency to make your VPN purchase more anonymous. Payments through the Google Play store or iTunes store will not be refunded.
Installation and Use
Surfshark has software/apps for PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, Amazon Fire TV and Linux. You can download the desktop apps from their website. The mobile and Fire TV apps can be downloaded and installed from their respective app stores.
Surfshark also offers browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox that are easy to install and use. Just keep in mind that they secure only your activity for that browser traffic. Activity on your other apps and any torrents won’t be protected by the Surfshark.
To get all-around protection, you need to install the VPN app or software.
Surfshark (the apps, but not the plug-ins) come with a built-in kill switch that will terminate your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. This helps prevent the likelihood of suddenly finding yourself on the internet without Surfshark protection.
Surfshark also comes with a “multi-hop” feature that lets you chain two of their VPN servers for double privacy.
As far as access goes, you may know that Netflix sometimes blocks accounts of users, based on their location and IP address. Surfshark has several servers that will help you unblock Netflix, so you can use your account when you’re away from home.
And that’s not all — Surfshark bypasses the Great Firewall of China as well. This isn’t something most VPN companies can do. However, make sure you install the VPN on your device before you land in China, because once you land there, you probably won’t be able to install Surfshark.
Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands, which is part of the Fourteen Eye alliance. What that means is that IF you were doing illegal activities and IF you were being pursued by authorities and IF they provided a subpoena to Surfshark and IF Surfshark kept your data, then MAYBE the authorities might be able to review your online activity. Chances are, the typical VPN user has little to worry about.
They also have a warrant canary on their website, a feature that lets you know if a VPN provider has been served with a secret subpoena from the government. The canary on Surfshark means that they have never received any government warrants related to disclosing their private information. The presence is still seen as a positive sign, but it doesn’t mean that the company someday will not hand over data in some circumstances.
Our Final Word on Surfshark
Surfshark is a relatively new VPN with the potential to stand among the big boys of the industry. It offers good speeds and military-grade, AES 256-bit encryption. They offer the best security protocols — OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Their pricing plans are confusing and frustrating so that it almost seems deliberate. That takes some luster on an otherwise great product.
Surfshark offers active customer support that’s available 24/7. If you’re stuck somewhere, you can contact their live chat support and you’ll get an answer within a minute.
With their easy-to-use VPN, combined with the security and privacy features mentioned above, Surfshark could easily become your preferred VPN provider.