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Top 10 Best VPN Services in 2021

As surveillance and cyber-attacks become more commonplace, VPNs offer the most reliable protection.

Reasons to look for a good VPN service provider

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many individuals to shift to a work-from-home model. There are also more people shopping online and just being more digitally connected than before.

Although there are many positive things that have come from this shift, there’s also one massive challenge that we face: data breaches.

Essentially, cybercriminals have seen this shift as a splendid opportunity to ramp up their activity, not just in frequency but also in the scope of attacks. And while you may think that cyber-attacks only happen to large corporations, research shows otherwise. Statista reports that a whopping 155.8 million internet users encountered data exposures in 2020.

Question is, what’s the best way to protect yourself when using the Internet? Three words, Virtual Private Network (VPN). In the following, we’ll explain what a VPN is, how it works and why it makes sense to get one.

Best for PC, Mac and Netflix streaming

ExpressVPN VPN Service

ExpressVPN VPN Service

Its ability to provide more than 3000 servers in 160 locations makes it stand out from other paid VPNs.

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Read our full review here

If you’re looking for a paid VPN that checks all the boxes, ExpressVPN is your best bet. With a network server that spans across 94 countries, this VPN never disappoints: be it in speed, ease of use or reliability.

When it comes to protecting your data, ExpressVPN delivers an unmatched performance. This is thanks to the 256-bit AES encryption, offering one of the most advanced technologies for encrypting data.

Its zero-logging mechanism is another feature that guarantees safety of data. This shows that it doesn’t keep tabs on your login time, your IP or any details relating to the websites you visit.

Best app for iPhone & Android

NordVPN VPN Service

NordVPN VPN Service

Powered by the latest VPN technology, NordVPN provides top-notch protection and a range of privacy features.

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Read our full review here

As mentioned earlier, the number of servers a VPN provider offers is crucial. The higher the number of servers, the greater the flexibility you have when deciding which one to connect to.

In return, this increases the likelihood of finding a fast and stable connection. Now, NordVPN has 5,400 servers, which are spread across 59 countries.

Its double VPN feature is another one of its strong points. It operates by routing your connection via a second server as opposed to just one. This ensures that if one connection stream is compromised, your connection through the second server will remain secure.

Best affordable & great for Fire Stick

SurfShark VPN Service

SurfShark VPN Service

Surfshark boasts rarely seen features on a budget VPN like multi-hop VPN, split tunneling and tamper resistant RAM-only servers.

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Read our full review here

For those who don’t want to spend too much on their VPN, Surfshark is the perfect option. Its network comprises at least 1,700 servers, which are spread across 63 countries.

One of its more impressive features is a kill switch, which is designed to hinder Internet access, and protect the user from identity leaks in case there’s ever a failure in the connection. Moreover, each of its servers has a private DNS; hence, minimizing the likelihood of unauthorized parties ever spying on your activities.

Best for speed

Hotspot Shield VPN Service

Hotspot Shield VPN Service

Its premium plan provides unlimited data transfer, gets rid of ads, and allows access to all Hotspot Shield’s features and locations.

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Read our full review here

Don’t want your VPN slowing you down when you’re browsing the Internet? If so, you’ll want to invest in a VPN with an impressive speed, like Hotspot Shield.

It achieves this by employing a unique feature called Catapult Hydra protocol. This works by amending any latency issues in the OpenVPN and IPsec, which are known to reduce speed significantly.

Furthermore, this VPN conceals your P2P activity from your Internet service provider. Like Surfshark, it also has a kill switch, although this only works for Windows users.

Best for multiple connections

IPVanish VPN Service

IPVanish VPN Service

It’s a good value VPN with a robust collection of servers and shared IPs (40,000) in 75+ locations

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Read our full review here

Looking for a VPN that allows you to make multiple connections? If you are, IPVanish is an excellent choice.

It lets you make up to 10 connections, which is great for a large household. It means one individual can watch comedy films on a tablet, another can stream movies on a laptop while another checks their Facebook feed on a different device.

This VPN’s compatibility with several OS systems is another plus. It works seamlessly with Windows, Mac, iOS, Windows, Linux, Android and more.

Best for privacy

Private Internet Access VPN Service

Private Internet Access VPN Service

With the standard AES-128 encryption, data authentication methods and patented DNS all your online activities are safe

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Read our full review here

The primary function of a VPN is to protect your privacy when you’re browsing on the Internet. But as you’ll come to find out, some VPNs offer better privacy than others. Private Internet Access is a good case in point.

This platform employs only the most recent and advanced secure protocols, guaranteeing you better privacy. For instance, in the case of OpenVPN, it uses AES-128. But with a single click or two, you can quickly activate AES- 256, as well as data authentication and handshake techniques.

Better yet, this VPN offers its own DNS, which reduces the risk of leaks. And, it has a kill switch, which automatically disables your access to the Internet in case the VPN fails.

Best for gaming

CyberGhost VPN Service

CyberGhost VPN Service

It has excellent performance thanks to its dedicated streaming features, fast-growing server network, and split tunneling capability.

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Read our full review here

Ready to pay for a VPN that has all the bells and whistles? If you are, Cyberghost fits the description perfectly.

For starters, it allows for multiple connections, up to 7 devices. While it’s a lower count than IPVanish, it’s definitely higher than the industry standard of just 5 devices.

Secondly, Cyberghost offers detailed instructions on how to set up a router on their service. This is a handy feature because incorporating VPN protection on a router makes traffic for all your gadgets secure.

Another welcome feature is the fact that it does not log users’ activity. In fact, it doesn’t even know the specific clients connected to any one of its servers, which contributes to its ability to offer top-notch privacy.

Best for security

ProtonVPN VPN Service

ProtonVPN VPN Service

The most comprehensive VPN puts enormous efforts in protecting user privacy.

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Read our full review here

It can be difficult to find a VPN that has every feature under the sun, but ProtonVPN comes close. It uses some of the most secure VPN protocols, namely OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) and IKEv2.

It also has a decent coverage with servers spread across 54 countries. In fact, it’s crucial to note that some of its servers are located in areas with repressive internet regulations, such as China, Turkey and Russia.

Better yet, all of its servers are multihop Secure Core. This typically means that they offer a level of advanced protection from network attacks, which you wouldn’t get from other VPNs.

Best coverage

HideMyAss (HMA) VPN Service

HideMyAss (HMA) VPN Service

A reliable VPN for escaping censorship and streaming video content. With 1100+ servers, it is available in areas that are often ignored.

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Read our full review here

HideMyAss (HMA) tops the list when it comes to geographic diversity. The platform touts to have servers in at least 190 countries, which exceeds the coverage offered by top contenders like ExpressVPN.

It’s important to take note of this because HMA has servers in regions, which are often overlooked by other VPN providers. These include South America, Africa, and Vietnam.

Another thing you’ll love about HMA is the fact that you can use it on almost any operating system. It includes personalized apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also supports multiple devices and offers tutorials to enable you to configure it on routers, consoles, and smart TVs.

Best for blocking ads

WindScribe VPN Service

WindScribe VPN Service

WindScribe is committed to keeping all your internet activity safe. It limits IPv6 traffic, redirects DNS requests and uses a firewall to block internet access

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Read our full review here

One of the benefits of investing in a paid VPN is that the majority don’t come with ads. But this is not always guaranteed. If you’d like a completely ad-free browsing experience, consider WindScribe.

In addition to the seamless surfing experience, we like how generous it is with its free tier. The free plan affords you a decent 10GB of data. Upgrading that to its paid version lets you access unblocking capabilities, and this includes a free Netflix VPN.

One more feature you’ll love about WindScribe is its unparalleled security. It employs professional-grade AES-256 encryption, which comes with SHA512 authentication guaranteeing you maximum protection of privacy.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

As with most things relating to tech and network, the nitty gritty details of how a VPN works can seem a little sophisticated.

In simple terms though, a VPN is a system that creates a secure connection between you and the Internet.

The way this works is that it encrypts any data coming from your device- including your IP address – so that nobody can read it. Encrypt here simply means that it converts the data into a series of numbers and letters or codes. Once the data reaches its destined location, the server then decrypts it.

In doing so, VPNs ensure that no unauthorized parties can access your IP address or know the information you’re surfing on the internet. In summary, a VPN hides your identity, the location of where you’re browsing from, and your online activity from prying eyes.

Are paid VPNs worth it?

The short answer to this is a resounding yes. But, perhaps, you’re not entirely convinced about paying for a VPN. If this is the case, it might help to weigh the pros against the cons.

When it comes to advantages, a VPN falls in the same category as an antivirus in terms of how well it protects your data from a breach.

But to get a really good idea of how much you can expect to get, let’s compare the different levels of services offered.

For instance, Hotspot Shield offers buyers a free package. However, this tier only gets you 500MB of data usage daily. This works fine for most online activities. But if you’re planning to watch dozens of videos or send attachments, you’ll probably need more than that.

The good news is paid packages offer so much more for just a small fee. For instance, in the case of ExpressVPN, it charges slightly over $5 a month, to afford you unlimited access at a much faster speed. And it gives you access to more than 3,000 servers, which increases your chances of finding a secure connection.

The main takeaway here is that with VPNs, you will often get what you pay for. Although there are a couple of free VPNs, or free tiers on some of the paid VPNs, these don’t offer much.

With a paid VPN, you’re guaranteed of getting the highest level of protection, and then some. For example, a lot of paid VPNs come with an additional safety feature called a kill switch. It works by automatically disconnecting you from the internet in case the VPN fails.

What to look for when choosing a VPN

Speed

This is one of the factors that separates a paid VPN from a free one. Providers that offer paid VPNs have advanced configurations that help you enjoy a fast and stable connection. Unpaid ones, however, do not give much thought to this so you will often experience a sluggish connection.

Level of security

Although it’s an important factor, speed is not the only thing you should consider when picking a VPN. You should also examine its level of protection. More specifically, look for those extra features that enable the VPN to provide a higher level of security. These include a zero-logging policy, anonymity, IP hiding and kill switches.

Accessibility

A quality VPN is one that you can access with ease regardless of where you are. In that regard, you should check the number of servers the VPN has, and where these servers are located. The more the servers, the better. It means you’re more likely to find a server in the location/country you are in.

Connectivity

As soon as you understand the significance of a VPN, chances are, you’ll want to connect all your devices to it to secure your data and personal information.

Unfortunately, almost all VPN providers have a limitation on the number of devices that can be supported. In some cases, this depends on the tier or package you subscribe for. If you intend to connect multiple gadgets, look for VPNs that have a higher maximum limit.

Pricing

This is one factor that really sets VPNs apart from one another.

Want to test the waters before going all in for a particular VPN? Then, look for ones that offer a free trial. This way, you can try out their services and see how good they are before paying for them. Alternatively, you can opt for pocket-friendly VPNs like SurfShark.

FAQ

Can I use VPN on my router?

Depending on the VPN you choose, you should be able to connect it to your router. This is a handy feature because it ensures that all your Internet devices are secure.

What type of data is protected when I use a VPN?

Any information that you transmit to and from your laptop or other device is protected. This means that in addition to your web browsing activity, your instant messages, emails, and others are also protected.

Final verdict

If you use public networks often, the best way to secure your connection is to invest in a paid VPN. These software enable you to access information from different websites or streaming services while retaining complete anonymity. This is particularly important considering the rising number of cyberattacks and increased surveillance by governments.

But before you spend several hundreds of dollars on any VPNs, remember to check its speed, ease of accessing it, level of security, connectivity, and price.

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