VPN’s, otherwise known as virtual private networks, are becoming synonymous with protecting your personal information online.

With online privacy and data security under constant threat from both bad actors and the very services we use every day, isn’t it time you invested in a VPN? While most people still browse the web openly, a VPN could be the only thing that could save you from having your personal information scrapped, stolen, or sold in 2020.

We've chosen the best VPN services for 2020. Our top 13:

  1. NordVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. Express VPN
  4. VPN Unlimited
  5. CyberGhost VPN
  6. Hotspot Shield
  7. SiteLock VPN
  8. Ivacy VPN
  9. TunnelBear
  10. IPVanish VPN
  11. VyprVPN
  12. WARP VPN
  13. Avast VPN

Read on for the detailed analysis of each VPN, compare them, review their pros and cons and choose the best one that fits your needs.

What is VPN?

Virtual private networks work to enhance the security of your personal information online by blocking unwanted eyes from surveilling your online activity. In other words, a VPN creates a secure and encrypted connection between your computer and a VPN service provider’s own network.

When you’re connected to a VPN, all your Internet traffic passes through the VPN provider’s network, effectively making it look as if you really are using their network.

VPN-2

This protects you from the unwanted scrutiny of data scrapers and even your Internet service provider itself, who are often allowed to sell your browsing history for profit!

By using a VPN service, you can control how your information appears online while protecting yourself from unwanted attention. Even if most people still don’t use VPN’s, anyone concerned with only privacy can get ahead of the curve now by choosing a VPN service provider. So what is a VPN? A VPN is the best way to protect yourself and your data every time you’re online.

"If you’re concerned about surveillance, cybercrime, or data privacy, its time to start using a VPN"

While VPN’s can’t protect you from your own mistakes, such as downloading ransomware or a computer virus, using a VPN can protect you from mass data collection. The best VPN provider can protect your privacy by making it more difficult for advertisers to profile you or figure out where you are.

So long as you continue to browse websites connected via HTTPS, your data will remain encrypted even after leaving your VPN’s service provider’s server. If you’re concerned about surveillance, cybercrime, or data privacy, its time to start using a VPN, but first, you’ll need to figure out how to choose the best VPN for privacy.

How to Choose a VPN Service?

There are many different VPN service providers out there, offering a range of products and services of varying quality and at different prices. Not all VPN’s are created equal, and some are even designed with specific users in mind. Before choosing the best VPN service, you need to know how to evaluate VPNs and what indicators to look for when making your decision.

First things first: if you’re looking for the best personal VPN service, you need to be aware that since the explosion in popularity of VPN’s, impostor companies have popped up selling fake VPN services. Don’t get caught in a scam. Not only will you likely be paying for nothing, but your so-called best VPN provider may also even be the very one selling your personal information online!

While there are free VPN’s out there, the price isn’t the only thing you should consider when deciding on a VPN service. Speed and the amount of allowed simultaneous connections are important too. Other important benchmarks to use when evaluating the best VPN to use are reputation from other users, performance, the type of encryption used by the VPN, transparency, ease of user experience, and support.


1. NordVPN

One of the most popular VPN’s out there, NordVPN offers users access to over 5600 different servers in over 68 countries around the world. While certainly not cheap, NordVPN makes up for its price with its integrity and a wide array of services.

Nord_VPN

As of November 2018, NordVPN was the first VPN to conduct a successful independent audit of its no logging policy. NordVPN’s P2P support, clear no data logging policy, and Panama registration give users confidence that their online activity won't be visible to anyone.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $83.88/1 year
Number of servers: 5600+
Server locations: 68+
Maximum devices supported: 6
Number of IP addresses: 5,000

PROS:

  • Large Number of Servers
  • Wide Range of Privacy and Security Features
  • Wide Range of Endpoint Countries
  • Best VPN No Logs
  • Typically Fast Performance in Transfer Speed Tests
  • Supports Up to 6 Devices
  • Strong Performance
  • Quality Mobile and Desktop Clients
  • Double-hop VPN servers; Tor-over-VPN Servers
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support
  • Works With Netflix, Hulu and Other Streaming Services
  • CyberSec Ad-blocking Feature
  • Panama-based
  • Reliable Encryption
  • P2P, HD Streaming, Torrenting, Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Protection
  • 30-day Money-back Guarantee
  • Works in China (if the case)

⛔️ CONS:

  • Unclear Session Logging Policy
  • Variable Speeds With Some Servers
  • Double Encryption Can be Sluggish

2. Surfshark

Available on all main operating systems, Surfshark lets you to securely browse at high speeds and with no ads. It blocks malware, phishing, and trackers and becomes a great choice for those who want to hide from surveillance and safeguard their online data.

With the NoBorders™ mode, you can use Surfshark in restrictive regions; it works in China and other countries that practice censorship.

surfshark

The drawback of the solution is the lack of a free version. However, the vendor promises a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have enough time to play with Surfshark, and check out all the features in real life.

At the bottom line, Surfshark is a good paid VPN service that supports unlimited simultaneous devices with a single subscription and provides you with high speed, streaming, torrenting, privacy, and security.

👆 SPECS:
Price: $71.88/1 year
Number of servers: 800+
Server locations: 50+
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Number of IP addresses: N/A

PROS:

  • Available on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS
  • Unlimited Number of Devices Supported
  • Netflix Can be Accessed
  • Easy to Use
  • Blocks Malware, Trackers, Phishing, and Ads (Even One on Youtube)
  • A 30-day Money-back Guarantee
  • Has a Strict No-logs Policy
  • Connects via Multiple Countries at Once

⛔️ CONS:

  • Pricey
  • No Ping or Server Load Indicators

3. Express VPN

Express VPN is an excellent product offering a stringent no data logging policy with one of the fastest upload and download speeds on the market. With over 2000 servers located in 94 different countries, Express VPN offers one of the largest and most diverse server spreads. Besides that, Express VPN also offers users unlimited bandwidth across multiple devices.

While some VPN’s do not support torrenting or P2P file sharing, Express VPN has no such policy - it even supports Netflix!

Express_VPN

The only cons when it comes to Express VPN are its high monthly costs and limit to 3 simultaneous connections at a time. Another potential downside is Express VPN’s lack of transparency, but depending on your point of view, anonymity in the VPN business can also be a very good selling point!

👆 SPECS:

Price: $99.95/1 year
Number of servers: 2000+
Server locations: 148 in 94 countries
Maximum devices supported: 3
Number of IP addresses: 30,000

PROS:

  • Simple Cross-Platform Client
  • Zero Logs, Solid Encryption, OpenVPN, Kill Switch
  • Good Speeds for Gaming, Streaming
  • Unlimited Bandwidth for P2P
  • Consistently Unblocks Netflix, so You Never Miss an Episode
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Ensures Complete and Total Privacy as It's Host Country is not Part of the Five-Eyes Alliance
  • Will Protect Your Privacy and Give You Unrestricted Internet Access in China and Russia

⛔️ CONS:

  • No Ad Blocker
  • Logs Non-identifiable Metadata
  • Only Supports a Maximum of Three Devices

4. VPN Unlimited

VPN Unlimited from KeepSolid is a cheaply priced VPN operating out of New York. VPN Unlimited is a highly capable VPN service offering users industry standard AES-256 encryption for maintaining a high-security profile. In fact, VPN Unlimited’s Wise technology scrambles and obfuscates network traffic, allowing users to bypass VPN detection software in countries like China.

VPN_Unlimited

Despite the positives, VPN Unlimited is known for its data logging policies. While many VPN’s have made zero logging their primary mission, VPN Unlimited collects client information such as connection attempt time, connection type, encryption type, device type, and possibly more.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $39.96/1 year
Number of servers: 400+
Server locations: 70+
Maximum devices supported: 3
Number of IP addresses: N/A

PROS:

  • Wide Range of Supported Devices
  • 7-day Free Trial
  • Impressive Speeds
  • Great Range of Clients
  • Bitcoin Supported

⛔️ CONS:

  • Limited Device Support, Configuration and Privacy Options
  • Failed to Stream BBC iPlayer
  • Not Good for Torrent Users
  • Some Session Logging
  • No Kill Switch on Windows
  • Unlimited VPN Collects Client Information Such as Connection Attempt Time, Connection Type, Encryption Type, Device Type, and Possibly More

5. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost is a popular VPN provider who got more than ten million users due to its power and ease of use.

The good thing is that you don't need to guess which server to use to unblock a website (if you need to), but you can choose a geo-blocked service from the list - Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, YouTube and more - the app automatically connects you to the nearest and the best server and opens a browser window at the target site.

CyberGhost

The company supports VPN via routers, has Linux support, and has a solution for the Kodi media player. It also supports VPN via routers, has Linux support, and has a solution for the Kodi media player. They picked up points for preserving anonymity by not logging connection data and support P2P and BitTorrent in most countries.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $63.00/1 year
Number of servers: 5800+
Server locations: 90+
Maximum devices supported: 7
Number of IP addresses: N/A

PROS:

  • Large Number of Servers
  • Wide Range of Endpoint Countries
  • Clear No-logging Policy
  • Provides International Netflix and iPlayer
  • Clients Have Plenty of Smart Features
  • Good Performance Levels

⛔️ CONS:

  • Poor Performance in Speed Tests
  • Relatively Expensive Unless You Buy a Two or Three-year Subscription

6. Hotspot Shield

Launched in 2005, Hotspot Shield has become a VPN for users who really value raw speed, and ease of use.

They support all the main platforms - macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows - but as Hotspot Shield only uses its own Catapult Hydra protocol and no longer supports standards like OpenVPN, you can't manually set it up on your router, games console, Chromebook, or anywhere else you might want to use the service.

Hotspot Shield

Is it totally free? There are two options for HotSpot Shield. The first option is completely free; however, it is supported by on-screen advertisements. The second one offers a 7-day trial of HotSpot Shield Elite, its flagship product.

Hotspot Shield is compatible with every operating system, has a no-logs policy, and offers dedicated tech support. You’ll be able to access geo-restricted content from anywhere, using any device. However, if you're looking for low prices or router support or Netflix access, this VPN service is not an option.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $71.88/1 year
Number of servers: 2500+
Server locations: 26
Maximum devices supported: 5
Number of IP addresses: 50,000

PROS:

  • Great Download Speeds
  • Super-easy to Use
  • 7-day Trial
  • Robust Data Encryption
  • Protection Against Malware

⛔️ CONS:

  • Only Works With the Official Apps
  • The Free Version Limits Users to One Device and 500 Megabytes of Bandwidth Per Day
  • Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Essentially Any Premium Streaming Service Cannot be Accessed With the Free Version
  • On-screen Advertisements Could Inhibit the User Experience as Well

7. SiteLock VPN

SiteLock VPN is an excellent choice for people looking to protect their privacy and keep their devices safe. With a SiteLock VPN plan, you get to take advantage of their super-fast network and unlimited access. There are no data caps or activity logs to track your online history. Set up is quick and easy - you fill out a form, pick your plan, and that’s it. One of the best features of SiteLock VPN is the IP lock, where your device is assigned a new IP address randomly every time you use it. Other desirable features include anti-malware protection, web application firewall, vulnerability patching, DDOS protection, and PCI compliance.

sitelock-vpn

If you run into issues, rest assured their top-notch customer support team can help. You can reach them via email, phone, through chat, or connect by social media. SiteLock VPN uses 256-bit military-grade encryption to keep all your stuff safe and sound.

As a bonus, SiteLock VPN also has a 4+ star rating on Google, BBB, Consumer Affairs, and Trustpilot. Our only gripe with SiteLock VPN is the price. The basic plan costs $9.99 per month.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $71.88/1 year
Number of servers: 1000+
Server locations: 40
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Number of IP addresses: 130,000+

PROS:

  • Unlimited access.
  • High-speed browsing.
  • Quick and easy setup.
  • 24/7 top-notch customer support.
  • IP Lock.
  • DNS leak protection.

⛔️ CONS:

  • Pricey monthly fees.

8. Ivacy VPN

Ivacy is a Singapore-based VPN which – according to its website – offers just about every feature you need for almost no money at all.

They offer 450+ servers spread across more than 100 locations. The service is compatible with almost all devices including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, routers, smart TVs and even Xbox.

Ivacy_VPN

Technical pluses include support for PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols, split tunneling support enables choosing which traffic you route through the tunnel, and the feature list goes on.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $40.00/1 year
Number of servers: 1000+
Server locations: 100 in 50 countries
Maximum devices supported: 5
Number of IP addresses: 125,000

PROS:

  • Advanced IPsec & IKEV Protocols
  • Virus Protection
  • Smart Connect Feature
  • Military Grade 256-Bit Encryption
  • 1000+ Servers in 100+ Locations
  • No Browsing Logs Policy
  • Internet Kill Switch
  • High Speed Downloading
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Dedicated Kodi App
  • P2P Support
  • 5 Devices Simultaneous Logins

⛔️ CONS:

  • No TOR or Proxy Compatibility
  • Zero Out of Four Netflix Servers Worked
  • Doesn't Unblock BBC iPlayer

9. TunnelBear

TunnelBear is a Canadian-based VPN service combining some unique features of other VPNs. It has an extremely user-friendly and good-looking interface, allows you to connect to servers in 22+ countries, and enjoy fair connection speeds.

As for security and anonymity, TunnelBear takes it seriously. The company guarantees no data logging and uses AES 256-bit encryption. This means your data will never be stored and your identity will always stay private.

TunnelBear

A free TunnelBear account provides you with just 500 MB of data every month (although you can tweet them for an extra 1 GB). This VPN doesn’t work with Netflix and other streaming sites, torrent websites so it won’t help you access geo-blocked video content.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $59.88/1 year
Number of servers: 1000+
Server locations: 20+
Maximum devices supported: 5
Number of IP addresses: N/A

PROS:

  • Extremely User-friendly
  • Wide Range of Client Software
  • Transparent Privacy Policy
  • Free Version Available
  • Clear No-logging Policy
  • Wide Range of Privacy and Security Features
  • Good Connection Speeds
  • No Logging and Powerful Encryption
  • No Ads

⛔️ CONS:

  • Long-distance Connections Can be Slower
  • Poor FTP Performance From UK Endpoints
  • Data Limit: 500 MB/month
  • No Streaming
  • Small Server Network

10. IPVanish VPN

The real kicker of IPVanish is the fact that the company keeps zero logs and concerns a lot about privacy. You even can choose to pay in Bitcoin as a payment option.

A unique feature of IPVanish is the VPN's support of Kodi, an open-source media streaming app that was known as XBMC. This means that built Kodi or XBMC with the integrated IPVanish Kodi plugin into a media player, provides access to most media worldwide.

IPVanish_VPN

Their connection kill switch is a useful feature and a must for anyone serious about remaining anonymous while surfing. However, there is no free version, you can apply for a 7-day trial only.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $99.95/1 year
Number of servers: 950+
Server locations: 60+
Maximum devices supported: 10
Number of IP addresses: 40,000

PROS:

  • Use 5 Devices At Once
  • No Traffic Logs
  • High Download Speeds
  • Adjustable Software
  • Owns and Manages It's Own Servers
  • Speedy Live Chat Support
  • Powerful, Configurable Apps
  • Bitcoin Support

⛔️ CONS:

  • High Cost
  • Apps Can be Awkward to Use
  • Doesn’t Unblock Netflix, Hulu

11. VyprVPN

A Swiss-based VyprVPN service has the largest number of IP addresses of any of the VPN services we've checked. The company offers a range of protocols, including its own high-performance Chameleon connection protocol, claims 73 server locations and a bunch of unusual pricey features.

VyprVPN

With its Chameleon protocol, you can get online even in VPN-blocking countries like China and Iran. As for the platform support, it covers everything from Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS apps, to routers, Android TV, QNAP, Anonabox, Blackphone, and more. Thus, if you're looking for website unblocking, with VyprVPN you can get easy access to US Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

VyprVPN is user-friendly, offers excellent speed and uptime but it's not the cheapest option.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $40.20/1 year
Number of servers: 700+
Server locations: 73+
Maximum devices supported: 3-5
Number of IP addresses: 200,000

PROS:

  • Wide Range of Privacy and Security Features
  • Clear Data Security Policy
  • Works With Netflix & Other Streaming Services
  • Very Fast Performance
  • Powerful, Configurable Clients
  • Mobile Apps But no Browser Extensions
  • Unlimited Bandwidth, P2P Allowed
  • Cross-platform Client
  • 3-day Free Trial

⛔️ CONS:

  • Poor US Transfer Speeds
  • Monthly Plans Can be Expensive
  • No Refunds

12. WARP VPN from Cloudflare

Recently launched, Cloudflare's WARP VPN is at last available for everyone and can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play for completely free. The VPN is based on the existing 1.1.1.1 Cloudflare's app, a solution that helps you to encrypt DNS (domain name system) connections, so your service provider can't detect which websites you reach. With WARP added, you can now transit all your Internet traffic through a secure tunnel via Cloudflare servers all over the world, so your journey can be fully encrypted from your device to a web server and vice versa.

warp-vpn

WARP is a great fit for common users who simply want to have a more secure Internet. It's easy to set up and not too much to configure, a turn on and a turn off button is all you can see. The VPN is fast enough and secure, but if hiding your IP address or bypassing country blocks is something you aim for, WARP isn't the one.

The service is free and doesn't limit your speed; however, if you want more by skipping Internet traffic jams and using better routes, an upgrade to WARP+ is needed. Here they use the same Argo technology that Cloudflare uses to make thousand of websites 30% faster.

To get access to WARP+, you can refer a friend and get 1GB of traffic or subscribe to a paid version at $4.99/mo in the US, although, the cost may vary by region.

PROS:

  • It's Free
  • Easy to Set Up
  • No Traffic Restrictions
  • Doesn't Burn Your Battery Life
  • Doesn't Require Your Personal Information

⛔️ CONS:

  • Free Version Isn't so Fast
  • Doesn't Bypass Region Blocks
  • Doesn't Hide Your IP Address

13. Avast VPN

Avast SecureLine VPN offers users one of the most streamlined and user-friendly interfaces on the market. Its clean and simple security tools can be operated by almost anyone, and a wide array of geographically diverse server locations spread over six continents makes it convenient no matter where are in the world.

Avast_SecureLine_VPN

If Avast VPN’s best features are its ease of use and diverse server spread, its downsides are its cost, speed, and limited security options. While all VPN’s reduce speed and performance somewhat, Avast VPN is known for vastly reducing connection speeds in comparison to some of its competitors.

👆 SPECS:

Price: $79.99/1 year
Number of servers: 55
Server locations: 34 countries
Maximum devices supported: 5
Number of IP addresses: N/A

PROS:

  • Trustworthy Brand
  • Well Encrypted And Secure
  • US Netflix Accessible
  • Torrenting Is Allowed
  • Fast Customer Support Through Call Center
  • Great Usability On Both Desktop And Mobile
  • Found No DNS, IP Or WebRTC Leaks

⛔️ CONS:

  • Lacks Advanced Security Features
  • No Killswitch
  • No Router Support
  • High Price

What is the Best Free VPN?

A number of VPN services are offered for free, however, these often come with limitations. Some limit users to only a few simultaneous connections per account, or they limit network traffic at 500MB-1GB per month. Others may limit you to only a few dedicated servers.

While one can hardly complain about freeware such as these, users looking to get serious about protecting their online footprint should consider upgrading to a paid VPN service if they require more data and increased server flexibility.

How to Set Up a VPN

OK, first things first. You’ll need to sign up with a VPN service. You can go with a paid or free VPN provider. They will give you the details you need to set up a connection. Here’s how to use a VPN on your device.

Setting Up a VPN in iOS

You’ve selected the best VPN app from the App Store. Setting it up should be a breeze.

vpn-ios

If you want to do it manually, here’s how to go about it:

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Select VPN
  3. Click on Add VPN Configuration.
  4. Under Type, select a security protocol. This will depend on the VPN you chose.
  5. Go back to Add VPN Configuration. Add the description, remote ID, server, and local ID.
  6. Enter your login details.
  7. Click Done.

Setting Up a VPN in Android

Here’s how to manually set up a VPN in Android.

vpn-android

  1. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced > VPN.
  2. Create your VPN profile by adding the VPN name, type, and Server address. Click Save.
  3. Tap on the name of your VPN. You’ll be prompted to enter your name and password to log in.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. Enter the server address, VPN name, VPN type, username, and password.
  6. Click Save.

Setting Up a VPN in macOS

Your macOS VPN app should help you through the setup. But you can still do it manually.
  1. 1. Go to Start > System Preferences > Network.
  2. 2. Click the Plus button on the bottom left of the screen.
  3. 3. On the drop-down menu, select VPN.
  4. 4. Click on Create.
  5. 5. Fill out the details that came with the VPN. These include the server address, local ID, and remote ID.
  6. 6. Click on Authentication Settings. Here you’ll enter your login details. Click OK and Connect.

Setting Up a VPN In Windows 10

Your VPN provider may have a Windows app that does the setup automatically.

vpn-windows-1

If you have to do it manually, here’s how to go about it:

  1. Click on the Windows button.
  2. Open Setting > Network & Internet > VPN.
  3. Click on Add a VPN connection.
  4. Assign a name to the VPN connection.
  5. Select the VPN type and enter your login details.
  6. Click Save.

Setting Up a VPN in Chrome OS

Download the extension for your VPN from Chrome Web Store or Google Play Store.

nordvpn-chrome

The set-up process should be straightforward with prompts at every step. But here’s how to do a manual set up:

  1. Go to Chrome Web Store and get an extension of the VPN you chose.
  2. Navigate to the lower right corner of your screen and click on Time > Settings.
  3. Click on Add Connection.
  4. Click on OpenVPN/L2TP
  5. Add the set-up details given by your VPN provider. They may include server hostname, service name, pre-shared key, provider type, username, and password.
  6. Click Connect.
    If you have a VPN issued from your workplace, you might need to import a certificate. Here’s how to go about it.
  7. Go to Chrome:// settings/certificates
  8. On the Authorities tab, select the certificate and click Import.

Now that you’ve learned how to use a VPN, you can now access your favorite content without restrictions or worrying about a security breach.

Try a VPN Today

Many paid VPN services offer free trial periods or money-back guarantees. If you are interested in finding the best VPN for you, then it is worth experimenting a little bit by trying a few different providers. Regardless, VPN’s offer users enhanced online privacy and security, giving you the confidence to browse anytime, anywhere.