Best Private VPN – To Remain Anonymous Online

Some people don’t pay much attention to their privacy, and the reason for that is pretty straightforward. With so much information bombarding us from every direction, all of it can become a little overwhelming. There is also a certain section of online users who have given up since social media platforms, as our smartphones have the ability to keep tabs on us at all times.

However, it’s not hard to enjoy the freedom of the internet and keep your data safe at the same time.

Government agencies are not just going to stop their privacy-invading surveillance programs, so it’s important to make sure that your online data is safe and secure.

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Free vs Paid VPNs: Which Is Best?

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VPN services are a great way to get protection from hackers, government surveillance programs, third-party advertisers and internet service providers alike. The market offers both free and premium VPNs. Many are under the impression that a free VPN is just like a premium VPN but without the cost.

But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The problem with running a VPN business is that it requires a lot of investment and running costs. A VPN business cannot run without revenue to pay the expenses involved with running/improving the service and gaining profit at the same time.

In other words, free services mostly do the opposite of what they’re supposed to do in order to stay afloat. While paid services invest in high-level security features along with good privacy policies, free services usually invest in nothing.

They often require you to use an OpenVPN client, which in itself is not bad, but it provides a way for these VPNs to skip on building a VPN app that suits their service more than a generic one.

Secondly, free VPNs do not have transparent privacy policies. Most of them actually collect data and sell it to third-party marketing companies to serve you ads. This defeats the entire purpose of a VPN service.

Free services also often have slow servers, which will give you a lot of buffering issues if you try to do anything other than visit Wikipedia. This happens when VPNs share too few servers with too many people, which not good for speed or privacy.

an image of a vpn thumb drive

In short, you cannot trust free VPN platforms. And if there is no trust between the customer and the VPN service itself, then what’s the point of using a VPN?

Paid VPN services, on the other hand, are motivated by the money that their subscribers provide, leading to a higher quality of continuing service. Most paid services have a zero-logs policy that promises not to collect data that identifies a given user, and the small amount of data that they do collect is hidden and deleted within a short timeframe.

We’re here to make the case that no VPN is better than a free VPN if you value your privacy as well as the health of your computer. Free services have been known to inject users’ computers with malware, spyware and malicious ads.

Do yourself a favor and keep away from free VPNs. The cost of a monthly subscription is worth it to protect your privacy.

Are VPNs Legal?

Whenever someone mentions a virtual private network, you might conjure up images of shady websites from the deep web and all manner of illegal activities that one could carry out while being anonymous on the internet.

an image of a woman in glases pointing at a vpn with a marker

But the reality is that VPN services are used for all sorts of things that are 100% legal. Journalists, whistleblowers, activists and average everyday citizens all over the world make use of privacy services like VPNs to protect their identity and guard their data.

With VPN services, citizens in oppressive regions such as Iran, China and North Korea are able to communicate to journalists as sources, without the fear of retaliation. Also, in war zones throughout the world, it is an absolute must to be discrete and not disclose one’s location.

VPNs allow people to hide their location and encrypt their data by changing their IP address to a different region, thereby blocking internet service providers and governments from tracking them.

In other words, there are many ways to use a VPN service for perfectly legal activities. That said, VPN users themselves have the power to choose whether or not they engage in something illegal.

As far as the legality of VPNs is concerned, the problem is that each country has its own laws and regulations. Some countries have outright banned the use of VPNs, while other countries discourage them without an official ban.

If you go to countries like China, Iran, Belarus, Russia, UAE or North Korea (and in some parts of India), you will be very limited when it comes to using a VPN. You also have to consider censorship laws that different country parliaments have enacted to limit VPN access and use.

You may live in a country that fines people for VPN use. In the U.S., each state has its own laws, but as a whole, VPN use in the U.S. is legal as long as you’re not engaging in illegal activities.

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Regardless of what country you live in, you cannot use VPNs to carry out illegal activities. These can include cyberstalking, hacking or downloading and distributing copyrighted material.

Also, if you use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions placed on some apps and streaming services, you could be doing something illegal depending on the country you live in. But in most cases, you may only be going against the Terms of Service of the site/service.

Pro Tip:

The best VPN services in the industry make these things very clear in their privacy policy pages and Terms of Service documents. Hence, it’s always a good idea to give them a good read before you sign up for any service.

What Should I Look for in a VPN?

Price

The first thing that you should look for in a VPN is the price. If a VPN offers the most advanced security features and tons of VPN server locations, it won’t do you much good if it costs so much that you simply cannot afford it.

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This is also where the question of free vs premium VPNs comes into play. Earlier in this guide, we explained why free VPN services are not worth it. The only thing that you get in return for all your data, trust, lack of security and advertisements is the word free.

If typical premium VPNs charge you around $3 or $4 per month when you sign up for their yearly packages, then does it really make sense to save that and put your data at risk?

Usually, when a product is free, it is the user who is the product. So even if you end up saving money by signing up for a free VPN, you will have to pay for it in another currency—and that is your data.

Free VPNs have their own set of pros and cons, but if you aren’t serious about your VPN’s performance levels, your privacy and online security, then perhaps it makes sense to go with a VPN just to access a few websites that you would otherwise not be able to access.

The bottom line is, if you look at how affordable some of the best VPNs have become in recent years, you will come to realize that they aren’t terribly expensive.

Speed

VPNs that offer everything that needs to be offered to privacy-minded users at an affordable price can still go bust if they do not do so quickly. Life may be about survival for the fittest, but sometimes the “fittest” really equates to the fastest.

The modern internet user wants to get things done quickly. They don’t want to wait around for their app to load or their streaming service to beam in the video they want to watch.

an image of a vpn in a circle in the center of the screen

In more straightforward terms, VPNs that don’t offer fast servers and connection times don’t get a lot of customers. The same goes for app speed and launch times.

VPN apps have to be quick and painless to operate. Of course, some VPNs deliberately go for more security while sacrificing a bit of speed, while others do the opposite.

The best VPNs are able to achieve a balance between speed and privacy that attracts a majority of customers on the market.

So in other words, VPNs that offer the most number of VPN connection options, such as different levels of encryption and VPN protocols, get to eat the most of the market share. Most tasks you will perform with VPNs in the online world require more speed and less security, but for more sensitive tasks such as banking or checking your health records, more security is always better than speed. On the other hand, for activities such as torrenting and streaming, you will definitely need speed and a large number of servers to choose from.

Generally speaking, you should go with fast VPNs rather than extra-secure VPNs. But the best VPN services on the market will have a healthy combination of both.

This leads us to security.

Security

Security and speed are perhaps the only two qualities of good VPNs that are hard to compare. Essentially, you need both speed and protection if you’re an average internet user. If you’re someone like a journalist, you should always prefer security over speed; but if you use a VPN just because you want to stream content privately, then you should go with speed over security.

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Regardless, there’s no denying the fact that every VPN must offer a base level of security. Without that, it would simply fail to be a good VPN.

VPNs are meant to keep people safe. Hence, you should always make sure that the VPNs you are interested in are offering industry-standard security features and strong zero-logging policies.

Apart from that, any VPN worth its salt should have no trouble offering a number of features to help users hide their IP address sufficiently.

Modern VPNs also offer advanced security features like a kill switch, double hop, and VPN over Tor.

Granted, very few VPNs offer these features in all countries (yes, location can have an effect on the type of features that a particular service is offering), but this is what you should be looking for.

Location

Regardless of how many features a VPN offers, if it cannot cover the regions that are important to the average internet user, it won’t be of much use. This is especially true for people who have to move from location to location for business meetings and other travel affairs.

A good portion of online users signs up for VPNs because they want to unblock content in other regions. For example, a user in the U.S. can unblock the U.K. version of Netflix, thereby unlocking an entirely new library of movies and TV shows.

If a VPN is not able to perform its best in any given country, then it is essentially useless to you.

The best VPN services available are sure to offer enough server locations to users so that their product experience doesn’t change no matter where they are, whether at home or traveling abroad.

Usability

The thing about apps these days is that no matter how good they are, if they don’t allow the user to do what they want to do quickly, they get shelved. That is why it is very important for developers to make apps that are as user friendly as possible.

You should sign up for VPNs that don’t require you to go to college and get a computer science degree in order to operate the software.

an image of a server room which is connected with the words VPN

We have seen some VPNs take this crucial feature lightly and all of them have gone bust despite having a great product. User experience is not an after-thought anymore. Lucky for the modern user, almost all elite VPNs now have easy-to-use and intuitive app designs, which makes using a VPN as easy as clicking a button or two.

Compatibility

You should also watch out for how many platforms and devices a given VPN supports.

VPNs that don’t support at least all major platforms and devices do not deserve your money.

Moreover, try to go with VPNs that allow multiple device connections per account. You don’t want to purchase a separate subscription for your iPhone and Android and Windows devices. Your money should always go to VPN services that allow at least five simultaneous connections per account.

Static IP Addresses

Try to sign up for VPN services that can support static IP addresses. Most require an extra fee for this. If that’s not possible, you can go with VPNs that have lots of IP addresses to offer.

Static IP addresses are useful for privacy because no one else will be able to use them. Granted, this is for those people who are very cautious about what happens to their data and what activity gets attached to their names.

Pro Tip:

So of course, you don’t need to have access to a dedicated IP address at all times, but for super privacy-intensive activities, it’s a good idea to sign up for VPNs that offer static IP addresses as well as dynamic IP addresses.

P2P

Even if you aren’t a big torrent user, it’s still a good idea to go for VPNs that offer P2P servers. You never know when you might need this useful technology.

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Keep in mind that P2P doesn’t have to be about downloading copyrighted material from the internet. Moreover, it is not illegal to use P2P technologies to download files from the internet. In fact, in some cases (such as open-source software distribution and update rollouts), P2P technologies are more efficient than traditional platforms.

So, just make sure you have that option.

Customer Support

While not as important as some of the other features on this list, you cannot understate the importance of good customer support. Try to find VPN services that have multiple ways for the customer to reach them.

Ideally, you won’t need support while trying to use a VPN, but when that moment comes and your VPN doesn’t have a good customer support department, then you’ll wish you had this area more weight while selecting a VPN that’s best for your needs.

Note:

Elite VPNs offer customer support that is both knowledgeable and useful. Good customer support means that customers get their queries answered quickly and efficiently.

The best VPNs that we have come across provide users with contact options such as ticketing systems, email addresses, forums, contact forms, live chat and a FAQ section, plus tutorials.

If a VPN does not have that, it’s safe to assume it either doesn’t have any interest in what happens to the customer after the sale has been made or the business is running so slow that they simply cannot afford a good customer support department. In either case, you should stay away from VPNs with limited or no customer support.

Payment Options

Payment options are crucial if you are concerned about not breaking the chain of privacy. A VPN service could have all the security and anonymity features in the world, along with a fast and diverse network of servers, good customer support and user-friendly apps.

But if that VPN does not provide you with an anonymous payment method, then your chain of privacy breaks as soon as you enter your credit card number or PayPal information to pay for a subscription.

The VPN service in question would have all your details, and if law enforcement agencies come knocking on their doors, they will have a link to your internet activities. VPNs that genuinely care about your privacy always offer anonymous payment methods such as gift cards or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

How Does a VPN Protect My Privacy?

Companies like Amazon and Google rule the internet. The majority of the top-visited websites in the world make use of Amazon Web Services for their support and infrastructure, and Google has over 90% market share of online searches. With that level of power afforded to just a few big tech companies, you can be certain that your every move is being tracked, stored and then sold to anyone who is willing to offer the most money.

Add to that other player such as advertising companies and social media platforms whose sole purpose to exist is not to let you connect with your family and friends but to collect as much data on you as possible. The connecting and serving part comes second.

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For all tracking purposes, these entities need your location. For your location, they need your IP address. VPNs hide your IP and make it almost impossible for anyone to track you. Advertisers won’t know what you’re doing online and where you are.

So if you don’t want the likes of Google and Amazon to show you insurance plans if you have moved to a new city, then a VPN can change your location to someplace else. Your internet service provider would be powerless in knowing your real IP address to report to different online services.

With your IP address hidden by a VPN, advertising companies won’t even have the opportunity to serve you ads based on your location.

This would also help you get rid of any profiles that they may on you. Since online services usually have a profile on all users based on their browsing habits and history, they won’t be able to make sense of your data since hundreds or thousands of VPN users would be using the same IP address as you at different times.

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VPNs protect your privacy through encryption as well. This may not be important to you if all you want to do is to access US Netflix or another streaming service internationally. But for people that need to ensure the secrecy of their business projects, a VPN is very important since they want to make sure that no one is tracking them or recording their movements on the internet.

But even if you don’t work for such an organization, do you really want your internet service provider or any other entity to record information when you’re in the middle of dealing with your financial records or checking your medical history?

Note:

Remember, with encryption, you also block hackers from stealing your credit card details and other important information.

What Are the Best Uses for a VPN?

There are many uses for VPNs, ranging from streaming to shopping to gaming to communicating with colleagues. Any activity you do on the internet can be made more private and anonymous with a VPN service. Let’s review some examples:

VPNs Improve Online Gaming

While VPNs won’t magically make you a better shooter in an instant, they will reduce your ping times if your ISP is throttling your internet connection. ISPs do that when they detect that customers are eating up too much bandwidth too quickly.

Early VPNs used to slow down users’ internet speed by a significant margin, but modern technology is adapting to new needs.

ISPs are notorious for throttling users’ internet connection without their knowledge. The systems are sophisticated enough to only throttle when you’re gaming, not when you’re browsing or doing other tasks online.

The same can happen if you stream or torrent too much as well. Online gaming or streaming is no fun without a fast connection. So for a consistently fast internet connection, VPNs can help you hide your activity from your ISP. Many of the best VPNs on the market offer unlimited bandwidth, as well.

Online Chatting

Unless you’re using a dedicated encrypted messaging app to chat with friends, family members and colleagues, your communications through traditional texts, emails and Facebook messages won’t be encrypted.

Warning:

Without encryption, any hacker with advanced skills can intercept and access your messages and leverage them against you.

VPNs help you guard against that. They encrypt your data and the path through which the data travels from your computer or mobile device to their own servers. Once that happens, you can rest assured that no one can listen in on your conversations. The same goes for VoIP calls as well.

Keep in mind that even if you use an encrypted messaging app like Telegram or Signal, it can’t hurt to have a back-up encryption system from a VPN to enhance your security on all your devices.

Bypass Censorship To Access Banned Apps

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VPNs help you to unblock apps that your government has banned due to censorship. Citizens in countries like Iran, North Korea and China have to deal with censorship on a regular basis, and VPNs are a way for them to anonymously access news and communicate with people outside of their countries.

Popular chat apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Skype aren’t available in all countries worldwide. China, for example, has banned WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype and other major mainstream messaging platforms. It turns out, sometimes sanctioning an app can make way for another app that makes more money locally and stops money moving out of the country.

If you use a VPN, you can bypass these restrictions and access information freely through a network of international servers.

Protect Your Identity

Virtual private networks protect your data and your identity so you can roam the online world worry-free.

VPNs use different standards of encryption to make sure no one can intercept your information and even if they somehow do, they can’t decipher what it says.

As we’ve covered elsewhere in this guide, ISPs and government agencies have a particular interest in intercepting your data. VPNs form a tunnel that allows your data to travel in a secure environment, then your VPN provider uses a dedicated secure server to send your traffic to its final destination, hiding your original IP address in the process. With no information tying an activity back to you, you are anonymous.

How Does a VPN Work?

Generally speaking, VPNs allow a user to connect to a server owned by the provider themselves. They then re-route the user’s internet data through that server. This removes the internet service provider from the equation.

Also, your connection gives the impression that it originated from the VPN server you’ve connected to, rather than your actual computer/device and location. Thus, your real IP address is hidden and so is your data. No one can read your data except when it completes its journey and reaches the intended recipient.

The tunnel that your data travels through while connected to a VPN server is also encrypted, equipping you with an extra layer of security and privacy.

What Is a VPN?

The term VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and mostly comes in the form of services that allow you to connect to a remote server which provides you extra privacy and security when you connect to both public and private networks for internet access. Some of the locations where you might want to use VPNs are cafes and airports, as they often have free WiFi networks that aren’t properly secured.

VPNs can work either on your home internet connection or with a WiFi Hotspot. But residential home users are not the only ones using VPNs to guard their privacy online. Corporations all over the world use VPNs to protect their sensitive data.

In either case, the use of VPNs is increasing, especially since the Edward Snowden revelations and recent reports regarding how social media platforms and websites collect massive amounts of data on users and visitors. Now, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are limiting their face-to-face interactions and moving towards online communication channels such as Zoom. This is also an area where VPNs can come in and provide privacy to all involved.

VPNs give users a new IP address, hiding their real location.

People who subscribe to good VPNs have the option of choosing their IP address from a network of countries all over the world—or at least the ones that their service supports. Using a VPN service, you can make it look like you live in the U.K. while actually living in the U.S. You can choose any location on earth as long as your VPN has servers near those countries.

Top Best VPNs To Choose From

Whether you want to work from home securely and privately or unblock a website that’s banned in your region, the VPN market has all sorts of options for you. However, not all VPNs are high-quality.

Finding the best VPN service takes some time and research, considering the sheer size of the market. To save you some time, we’ve compiled the best VPN services available right now. To list the best services, we based our selection criteria on the quality, security, speed, network of servers, diversity of server locations, reliability, reputation and price of the privacy-based VPN services we researched.

We expect this list to change as years go by, as some VPNs will improve while others will let their network of servers rot and hence go down the ranking list or even out of the list altogether. Speed and performance metrics may evolve with the industry, as well.

NordVPN

NordVPN logoNordVPN is the current king of privacy services for two reasons. One, it offers the most advanced security features of all VPNs. Two, it is more reliable than all other VPNs. Even if its competitors somehow match the features it offers, they can’t match the speed and reliability that NordVPN brings to the table.

With over 5,000 IP addresses and 5,500 servers in 59 countries and server locations, there are very few that can keep up with NordVPN’s network of servers. The fact that the company is based in Panama, which has consumer-friendly privacy laws, is another plus that many of its competitors can’t offer.

NordVPN Pricing

If you sign up for a two-year plan, you can have the best VPN service for privacy at just $3.71/month. Six-month plans are currently priced at $9/month, while a one-month plan is $11.95.

In terms of brand value, NordVPN is way ahead of its rivals because of the way it presents itself.

Note:

All of its VPN apps are modern and easy to use. The company’s website doesn’t overload you with information but gets straight to the point.

NordVPN allows users to connect up to six devices with simultaneous connections per account. The service also offers dedicated IP addresses for added security. In terms of advanced features, NordVPN offers VPN over Tor, double VPN, a kill switch, and specialized P2P servers. It also follows a zero-logs policy. The service is available on app major devices including iOS, Android, macOS and Windows.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN logoCyberGhost has consistently shown that it can cater to both experienced and beginner VPN users alike. That is something almost all other VPN services struggle with. Either they overwhelm beginners by offering too many features and settings options, or they offer so little that advanced VPN users don’t take the service seriously.

CyberGhost managed to find the right balance and comes with a ton of features on all of its VPN apps, including an automatic kill switch, no logs, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, live chat customer support and more. At the time of writing, CyberGhost offered its services on all major platforms including Linux, Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. Users can have up to seven simultaneous connections per account.

Just like other elite VPNs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it is able to unlock access to streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Netflix. The server network is enormous, with over 6,200 servers in more than 110 server locations and 90 countries.

This provider is based both in Germany and Romania. Since its launch, more than 10 million users have tried the service. The apps have a very straightforward interface and can form a VPN connection with the best available servers as quickly as possible.

If you need technical assistance, CyberGhost has its fast live chat customer support to come to your aid.

Normally, this would be enough for any VPN to call itself a legitimate good VPN. But since CyberGhost wants to compete with the best in the business, it also offers extra features such as an ad blocker, a tracker blocker, and an antimalware component.

Websites and services that do not use HTTPS are automatically forced to do so by CyberGhost VPN. There is also a handy data compression feature that may keep your bandwidth usage under acceptable levels.

CyberGhost VPN Pricing

Most CyberGhost subscription packages, except for the one-month plan, come with a 45-day money-back guarantee. Its 18-month plan costs $2.75/month, while the six-month plan is priced at $7.99/month. Its one-month plan, priced at $12.99, has a 14-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN logoExpressVPN is considered one of the oldest and most experienced best-rated VPNs in the world. It has proven itself over the years quite competently and has been in the best VPN rankings for more than half a decade now. The service has not let up and the constant work that goes on behind the scenes means that no matter when you sign up for ExpressVPN, you will get a good deal.

With fast VPN servers and excellent privacy features, you can’t go wrong with any ExpressVPN package. The company offers more than 3,000 servers located in over 94 countries and server locations with 30,000 IP addresses. That should take care of any overloading issues.

Since ExpressVPN allows up to five simultaneous connections per account at any given time, you can protect all of your devices for the price of one. ExpressVPN is also great for privacy because it operates out of the British Virgin Islands, which is mostly protected from the surveillance programs of the U.S. and the E.U.

There are very few, if any, VPNs out there that have put in so much effort into user privacy as ExpressVPN. Recently, the service introduced its TrustedServer technology, allowing it to offer the most secure VPN server network in the industry. ExpressVPN also keeps zero logs on users and their activities, all the time.

Note:

ExpressVPN’s website contains a detailed FAQ section and setup guides for users to learn how to enhance their privacy by setting up the VPN correctly and exercising basic digital hygiene to keep themselves away from privacy-invading threats.

The service also offers a number of security features, including a kill switch, auto-start, split tunneling and AES 256-bit encryption. These features prevent any data leaks from the service’s secure tunnels, even when the VPN connection drops.

ExpressVPN is one of the few best-rated VPNs that offers anonymous payment methods such as Bitcoin. So if you are looking for a complete chain of privacy from the moment you sign up for a VPN, you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN Pricing

The service’s 12-month plan costs $8.32/month. The six-month plan costs $9.99/month and the one-month plan is $12.95. You can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service out before committing long-term.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access VPN logoPrivate Internet Access is another low-cost and high-performance VPN for people who are looking to use a different mix of VPN protocols and encryption standards.

The service has more than 12,000 servers located in over 70 countries and server locations. Most of these servers are fast enough to deliver the kind of performance an average VPN user would need.

Private Internet Access also offers its own antimalware tool, MACE, which is helpful and easy to use.

It works to access most streaming sites like Disney+, Hulu, US Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and allows users to hook up 10 simultaneous connections per account. Private Internet Access has unlimited bandwidth, meaning you don’t have to worry about server overloading.

Private Internet Access VPN Pricing

Private Internet Access offers apps for all mainstream operating systems and devices including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and Linux. A one-year subscription costs $3.33/month or $39.95 per year. Private Internet Access also offers occasional seasonal discounts on its services, so you may get to pay less depending on when you sign up. You can use the 30-day money-back guarantee as a free trial period before committing long-term.

ZenMate

Zenmate VPN logoCompared to some of the other providers on this list, Zenmate is a spartan privacy product. It doesn’t offer many features but is low-cost, offering both free and paid plans. The “pro” plan, available through web browser extensions, costs $4.49/month.

ZenMate VPN Pricing

The service’s “ultimate” plan costs $2.22/month and offers support for several devices and platforms, including Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Android TV, FireTV and web browsers. The service is good at unblocking streaming services for the vast majority of the time and comes with a seven-day free trial period and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You are free to connect as many simultaneous connections and devices as you like with the ZenMate subscription account. The service offers more than 3,500 servers located in over 70 countries worldwide.

It might not be suited for people who are extra concerned about their privacy because ZenMate has had a few hiccups in that department, with independent researchers finding alleged security flaws.

IPVanish

IPVanish VPN logoIPVanish offers a solid privacy product for the right price. You shouldn’t have any trouble streaming content privately with IPVanish from streaming services such as YouTube, Hulu and Netflix. With more than 1,500 servers in over 50 countries and 75 server locations, you should be covered in any corner of the globe. The service has apps for all major devices, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and Linux.

Having picked up the cue from some of the newer services on the market, IPVanish has gone from allowing users to connect up to 10 simultaneous connections to an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections and devices per account. That way, you can protect as many devices as you want with just one IPVanish subscription.

Combine that with the fact that its servers are among the best in the industry when it comes to real-time performance and offer the most stability in terms of connection times and not dropping secure connections, you have a VPN that is a sure winner.

IPVanish VPN Pricing

A one-year subscription costs $6.49 per month or $77.99 annually, while a three-month package is $8.99/month or $26.99 every three months. A one-month plan costs $10. You can always use the 30-day money-back guarantee to test out the service before signing on completely.

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN logoSurfshark is probably the youngest service in this list, as it is a relatively new player on the scene. The service is affordable and offers all the features you would expect of the best, high-quality VPN services on the market.

The service offers over 1,700 servers in more than 60 countries and server locations. Just like ExpressVPN, the company is also located in the British Virgin Islands, which makes it a terrific VPN option for people looking for extra privacy and data security.

Compared to some of the best VPNs in the world right now, Surfshark’s server network is relatively small. But Surfshark more than makes up for this by offering an unlimited number of simultaneous connections per account. This is great for users who want the best privacy protection products for their office or their entire household.

In addition to its standard best privacy features, SurfShark also offers users security features such as an ad blocker, tracker blocker and antimalware.

Note:

SurfShark is also one of the handful of VPNs that allowed auditors to analyze and study its Firefox and Chrome browser extensions, which were found to be very secure and private for users.

SurfShark currently offers dedicated apps for platforms and devices such as FireStick, iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and some routers. You can configure the DNS settings of consoles to give them SurfShark protection as well.

Surfshark VPN Pricing

The service is very affordable and offers a money-back guarantee for some of its packages. A 24-month plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and costs $2.49/month. Surfshark’s one-month plan is $12.95. And its six-month plan costs $6.49/ month.

VPNs That You Should Stay From

HideMyAss

HideMyAss VPN logoThe problem with HideMyAss is that it doesn’t have anything to compete with good VPNs—at least, not anymore. Even though it has improved in some areas, the enhancements can’t make up for the fact that this service is not serious about user privacy.

Its apps have been found to leak user data. Add to that its slow servers and its base of operations being in the U.K. and you have a recipe for bad privacy.

If you’re still tempted to go for it, HideMyAss does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee to all users.

Earth VPN

Earth VPN logoOne look at Earth VPN’s website and you know something is not right. It looks like it was made in the 90s and doesn’t offer any meaningful information upfront.

That is aside from the fact that the homepage gives you a red-colored error as soon as you visit the site and users have reported that they can’t log in to their accounts. Even worse, some have reported that the service hasn’t worked for months even though the company has charged them.

If you don’t have money to spare on a service that reportedly doesn’t work, then better stay away for EarthVPN. Even if such services offer top of the line features such as kill switch, iOS and Android apps, live chat support, fast speeds, a large number of servers and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you should still stay away from it.

Plenty of VPN providers offer the same and take care of your data as well.

Hola VPN

Hola VPN logoWhere should we start with Hola VPN? At one point, it was a botnet. Then it became a privacy service that used the computing resources of the users who downloaded the service’s Chrome browser extension and used it for privacy.

It won’t unblock any of the many U.S. streaming sites and it won’t provide you any security or privacy, though it will claim that. Apart from that, Hola VPN also lies about its servers. Even though the service list is huge, in our experience, most of the servers are either located in the same region or have the same IP address, meaning they aren’t really different servers.

Conclusion

a businessman using a vpn on his laptop

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to select the best VPN for privacy. Just do your research according to the methods we’ve outlined above or go with one of the many high-quality, best-rated services we mentioned throughout this guide.

If you run into problems or have any other questions, please let us know in the comments section below.

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