Top VPN Services to Protect Your Data & Identity Online

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Until a few years ago, choosing a VPN was relatively straightforward. There were just three main contenders, and they pretty much offered the same thing. Today, there are hundreds of VPN services, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. We’re here to help you choose which best VPN service ⇣ is the best one.

Key Takeaways:

VPN reviews and testing are critical in selecting the best VPN service that meets individual needs, provides the necessary privacy and security, and performs consistently.

Key considerations include pricing, features, app interface, device connections, and miscellaneous features.

NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, Atlas VPN, IPVanish, PrivateVPN, VyprVPN, FastestVPN, Hotspot Shield, and ProtonVPN are the best VPN services recommended, while Hola VPN and Hide My Ass are two VPN services that should be avoided.

Best VPNs: Our Shortlist

  1. NordVPN - Get The World's Leading VPN Now
    From $3.99/month

    NordVPN provides you with the privacy, safety, freedom, and speed you deserve online. Unleash your browsing, torrenting, and streaming potential with unparalleled access to a world of content, no matter where you are.

    Get Started with NordVPN Learn More
  2. ExpressVPN - Superior VPN That Just Works!
    From $6.67/month

    With ExpressVPN, you're not just signing up for a service; you're embracing the liberty of the free internet the way it was meant to be. Access the web without borders, where you can stream, download, torrent, and browse at lightning-fast speeds, while staying anonymous and securing your online privacy.

    Get Started with ExpressVPN Learn More
  3. Surfshark - Award-Winning VPN Service
    From $2.49/month

    Surfshark is an excellent VPN with a strong focus on online privacy and anonymity. It’s among the best VPN services to use AES-256-bit encryption and offers security and convenience features like Kill Switch and split tunneling. Take control of your online security with Surfshark VPN!

    Get Surfshark VPN Today Learn More

NordVPN is the best VPN service on the market, and if you’re looking to get started quickly then don’t hesitate to sign up straight away. Runner-up is Surfshark, thanks to its cheap prices and it’s super-easy to get started with. If you don’t mind paying a bit more for added extra security and speed, then ExpressVPN is a great choice.

Top VPNs in 2024 for Privacy, Streaming, and Torrenting

With hundreds of VPN options on the market, how do you find the best VPN to use? Let’s have a look at the top virtual private networks in 2024.

Reddit is a great place to learn more about VPNs. Here are a few Reddit posts that I think you’ll find interesting. Check them out and join the discussion!

At the end of this list, I have also included two of the worst VPNs I recommend you avoid.

1. NordVPN (#1 VPN service in 2024)

nordvpn is one of the best vpn services

Price: From $3.99 per month

Free trial: No (but a "no-questions-asked" 30-day refund policy)

Based in: Panama

Servers: 5300+ servers in 59 countries

Protocols/encryption: NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2. AES-256 encryption

Logging: Zero-logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix US, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and more

Features: Private DNS, double data encryption & Onion support, Ad & malware blocker, Kill-switch

Current deal: Get 68% OFF + 3 FREE months


NordVPN’s success stems mostly from its feature-rich network design. NordVPN caters to a wide range of consumers’ demands, including the ability to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer access, Bitcoin support, and even malware protection.

NordVPN Pros

  • Kill switch prevents privacy compromise
  • Incredibly fast upload and download speeds
  • 5000+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Premium design
  • Double VPN protection feature
  • Unlimited number of devices
  • Dedicated IP address (paid add-on)

NordVPN Cons

  • Torrenting is only supported on some servers
  • Static IP addresses
  • Customer service could be made better

NordVPN’s unlimited torrent support is a clear plus, and there are lots to like on the privacy front as well, with a slew of clever features to keep you secure and anonymous online.

The download and upload speeds are excellent, and this is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve ever tested. Consider NordVPN to be a high-end jack-of-all-trades VPN.

nordvpn features

NordVPN is the market leader, it’s legit and safe to use, with a great no-logging audit and a global presence across servers. With a 30-day money-return guarantee available you should definitely give them a shot today!

Check out the NordVPN website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

… or read my detailed NordVPN review

2. Surfshark (The cheapest VPN in 2024)


Price: From $2.49 per month

Free trial: 7-day free trial (incl. 30-day refund policy)

Based in: British Virgin Islands

Servers: 3200+ servers in 100+ countries

Protocols/encryption: IKEv2, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, WireGuard. AES-256+ChaCha20 encryption

Logging: Zero-logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Hotstar + more

Features: Connect unlimited devices, Kill-switch, CleanWeb, Whitelister, Multihop + more

Current deal: Get 85% OFF + 2 Months FREE


Surfshark is a unique VPN that is jam-packed with features, works virtually everywhere, and has one of the finest starting offers available. The network includes around 3,200 servers spread over 100+ countries.

Surfshark Pros

  • Safe & private connection
  • Smooth streaming of geo-blocked content
  • Safe Access to Restrictive Countries
  • Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
  • Shadowsocks support
  • Superb customer support

Surfshark Cons

  • Worries about high focus on marketing and less on product

The service offers strong AES-256+ChaCha20 encryption, WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 support, and Shadowsocks to assist you to get around VPN blocking. This is combined with a no-logs policy, and a kill switch to safeguard you if your connection breaks.

Beyond those fundamentals, though, Surfshark has truly gone above and beyond in terms of features.

surfshark features

GPS spoofing, URL and ad blocking, multi-hop, extensive P2P support, additional password technology that alerts you to leakages, and an ‘unnoticeable to devices’ mode that hides your device from other devices on the same network are all features available.

Overall it’s a lot of features at an extremely low price – it’s definitely, a VPN to try today.

Check out the Surfshark website to see more about their services and their latest deals.

… or read my detailed Surfshark review

3. ExpressVPN (Unbeatable Privacy and Speed Features)


Price: From $8.32 per month

Free trial: No (but a "no-questions-asked" 30-day refund policy)

Based in: British Virgin Islands

Servers: 3000+ servers in 94 countries

Protocols / encryption: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, Lightway. AES-256 encryption

Logging: Zero-logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and more

Features: Private DNS, Kill-switch, Split-tunneling, Lightway protocol, Unlimited devices

Current deal: Get 49% OFF + 3 FREE months


ExpressVPN has a network that is protected by 4096-bit CA-based encryption, which is regarded as the finest in the industry. Users may pick from over 145 VPN locations in 94 different countries for optimal performance.

ExpressVPN Pros

  • Very fast speeds across all server locations
  • No logging policy
  • Fantastic customer support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Unblock streamings sites such as Netflix
  • A huge number of server locations

ExpressVPN Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Limited settings & configurations
  • Slow speeds with OpenVPN protocol

ExpressVPN is a real jack of all trades, capable of unblocking all types of region-locked material, bypassing China’s Great Firewall, and downloading large files rapidly.

expressvpn features

When it comes to streaming, it outperforms the competition. I defy anyone to discover a VPN that offers more sophisticated security while being simple and user-friendly.

Check out the ExpressVPN website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

… or read my detailed ExpressVPN review

4. Private Internet Access (Massive VPN Network & Cheap Price)

private internet access

Price: From $2.19 per month

Free trial: No free plan, but a 30-day money-back guarantee

Based in: United States

Servers: 30,000 fast & secure VPN servers across 84 countries

Protocols / encryption: WireGuard & OpenVPN protocols, AES-128 (GCM) & AES-256 (GCM) encryption. Shadowsocks & SOCKS5 proxy servers

Logging: Strict no-logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix U.S., Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Youtube, and more

Features: Kill-switch for desktop & mobile devices, built-in ad blocker, antivirus add-on, simultaneous connection for up to 10 devices, and more

Current deal: Get 83% OFF + Get 3 months FREE!


Private Internet Access (PIA) is a popular VPN service that gives you unrestricted access on up to 10 devices to more than 30k+ worldwide VPN servers. It delivers fast speeds for streaming, torrenting, and file sharing.

PIA Pros

  • Lots of server locations (30,000+ VPN servers to choose from)
  • Intuitive, user-friendly app design
  • No logging privacy policy
  • WireGuard & OpenVPN protocols, AES-128 (GCM) & AES-256 (GCM) encryption. Shadowsocks & SOCKS5 proxy servers
  • Comes with a dependable kill switch for all clients
  • 24/7 customer support and unlimited simultaneous connections too. It doesn’t get much better than that!
  • Good at unblocking streaming sites. I was able to access Netflix (including the US), Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more

PIA Cons

  • Based in the US (meaning it’s a member of 5-eyes country), so there are concerns about privacy
  • No third-party independent security audit has been conducted
  • No free plan

PIA has 10+ years of expertise in the VPN industry, 15M customers globally and 24/7 live customer support from real experts

It’s a good and cheap VPN provider, but it could do with some improvements. On the plus side, it’s a VPN that comes with a huge network of VPN serversgood speeds for streaming and torrenting, and a strong emphasis on security and privacy. However, its failure to unblock some streaming services and slow speeds on long-distance server locations are major letdowns.

Check out the PIA VPN website to see more about their services and their latest deals.

… or read my Private Internet Access VPN review

5. Atlas VPN (Best free VPN right now)

atlas vpn

Price: From $1.82 per month

Free trial: Free VPN (no speed limits but is limited to 3 locations)

Based in: Delaware, United States

Servers: 1000+ high-speed VPN servers in 49 countries

Protocols/encryption: WireGuard, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec. AES-256 & ChaCha20-Poly1305 encryption

Logging: No logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed (not on free plan)

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Disney+ and more

Features: Unlimited devices, unlimited bandwidth. Safeswap servers, Split tunneling & Adblocker. Ultra-fast 4k streaming

Current deal: 2-year plan for $1.82/mo + 3 months extra


Atlas VPN is a cheap VPN service that gives you the best bang for your buck. It’s simple to use and comes with all the must-have speed, security, and privacy features.

Atlas VPN Pros

  • 100% free VPN
  • Great budget option (one of the cheapest VPNs right now)
  • Excellent security and privacy features (AES-256 & ChaCha20-Poly1305 encryption)
  • It comes with built-in adblocking, SafeSwap servers, and MultiHop+ Servers
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections with as many devices as you like

AtlasVPN Cons

  • Small VPN server network
  • Sometimes the kill switch doesn’t work 

It’s one of the most affordable VPN services on the market. They offer many advanced privacy and security features that go beyond the basic VPN functions. For example, WireGuard, SafeSwap servers, and Ad Tracker Blocker blocks malware, third-party trackers, and advertisements.

atlas vpn features

Atlas VPN offers all the essential features that users can expect from a VPN service and much more. In order to ensure the privacy and security of its users, they use world-class IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard® protocols, as well as AES-256 encryption.

Using such cutting-edge protocols as WireGuard coupled with a wide selection of servers in 37 locations across the world helps them ensure high speed for seamless streaming, gaming, and overall browsing experience.

Check out the AtlasVPN website to see more about their services and their latest deals.

… or read my Atlas VPN review

6. CyberGhost (Best VPN for Torrenting in 2024)


Price: From $2.23 per month

Free trial: 1-day free trial (No-credit card required for trial period)

Based in: Romania

Servers: 7200+ VPN servers in 91 countries

Protocols/encryption: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, WireGuard. AES-256 encryption

Logging: Zero-logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 45-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max/HBO Now + many more

Features: Private DNS & IP leak protection, Kill-switch, Dedicated peer-to-peer (P2P) & gaming servers., “NoSpy” servers

Current deal: Get 83% OFF + Get 3 months FREE!


CyberGhost is a multi-platform, all-in-one VPN service. The program is compatible with not just Windows and Mac computers, but Linux PCs, as well as Android and iOS smartphones.

CyberGhost Pros

  • Free 1-day trial period (no credit card needed)
  • Strict No Logs Policy
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Highest possible VPN speeds
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Multi-platform support

CyberGhost Cons

  • Can be pricey if you do not sign up for a long period
  • Not a good option for highly censored countries

Their NoSpy servers, according to them, are specifically tuned servers at a high-security server facility in CyberGhost’s home country of Romania. Alongside this, CyberGhost offers malware and ad filtering in addition to VPN security.

CyberGhost is a solid VPN service with a highly adjustable Windows client that is plenty of capabilities while being simple to use. 

cyberghost features

The smartphone applications are more standard, but there’s still a lot to appreciate here, from Netflix and iPlayer unblocking to affordable three-year pricing and excellent live chat support.

Overall, especially with their NoSpy servers, CyberGhost is perfect for Torrenting.

Check out the CyberGhost website to see more about their services and their latest deals.

… or read my CyberGhost review

7. IPVanish (Best VPN for Using on Unlimited Devices)


Price: From $3.33 per month

Free trial: No (but no-questions-asked 30-day refund policy)

Based in: United States (Five Eyes - FVEY - alliance)

Servers: 1600+ servers in 75+ countries

Protocols/encryption: IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec. 256-bit AES encryption

Logging: Zero-logs policy

Support: 24/7 phone, live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc (can be hit-and-miss in unblocking popular streaming services like Netflix)

Features: Kill-switch, split-tunneling, SugarSync storage, OpenVPN scrambling

Current deal: Limited offer, save 65% on the yearly plan


IPVanish VPN is perhaps the greatest VPN service in the world. Mudhook Marketing, Inc. produced the VPN app, which is one of the oldest. It provides its users with safe and private connections as well as high-speed connections so that they may experience an open internet.

IPVanish Pros

  • User-friendly apps for all of your devices
  • Zero traffic logs
  • Access to censored apps & websites
  • IKEv2, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols
  • Safeguard any connection to handle personal data with uncrackable security
  • Secure every device you own with no connection caps

IPVanish Cons

  • Lack of optimized servers.
  • Based in the US so “Zero Log Policy” is questionable
  • Only some servers work with Netflix
  • Falsely Advertised 24/7/365 Support

With 10 simultaneous connections and a large number of servers, IPVanish VPN is an excellent bargain. However, everything is hidden behind a complex design, and the firm could utilize a more transparent privacy policy.

ipvanish features

IPVanish offers a comprehensive set of basic features, including a kill switch, strong encryption, and compatibility for a variety of VPN protocols. The desktop programs, on the other hand, do not have a split tunneling function.

Overall, IPVanish used to be a top 3 VPN, however, due to slow developments, they have slipped somewhat. Despite this, it’s still a great VPN service and you should definitely test it out if you would like multiple VPN connections.

Check out the IPVanish website to see more about their services – and their latest deals.

8. PrivateVPN (Best Streaming Option)


Price: From $2.00 per month

Free trial: 7-day VPN trial (credit card details required)

Based in: Sweden (14 Eyes alliance)

Servers: 100+ servers in 63 countries

Protocols/encryption: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2 & IPSec. 2048-bit encryption with AES-256

Logging: No logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and many more

Features: 6 simultaneous connections. Unlimited bandwidth & server switches

Current deal: Sign up for 12 months + Get 12 EXTRA months!


PrivateVPN, located in Sweden, is a top-notch VPN service provider. Having a simple-to-use interface, it provides maximum anonymity, extremely secure connections, and lightning-fast connections. 

PrivateVPN Pros

  • Unblocks Netflix and other sites and is considered the best VPN for streaming.
  • The highest level of security — whether you’re connected at home or on public Wi-Fi
  • Freedom from monitoring and logging; your personal details are never shared with anyone
  • Live chat and remote control support
  • OpenVPN 2048-bit encryption with AES-256

PrivateVPN Cons

  • Small network of servers
  • Kill switch is available for Windows only
  • Performance issues especially with the mobile clients
  • Sweden is a member of the 14 eyes” intelligence alliance

It gives you limitless bandwidth and unlocks geo-restricted material on any secure server, protecting you from the government and hackers with military-grade encryptions.

Private VPN boasts excellent security and privacy features, is simple to use, and offers fast streaming and torrenting speeds. Security features include 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill button, among others.

privatevpn features

Alongside this, Torrenting is supported and they even allow for Tor over VPN. On the whole, somewhat limited, but a fantastic VPN service.

Check out the PrivateVPN website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

9. VyprVPN (Best Security Option)


Price: From $5 per month

Free trial: No (but no-questions-asked 30-day refund policy)

Based in: Switzerland

Servers: 700+ servers in 70 countries

Protocols/encryption: WireGuard, OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IKEv2, Chameleon. AES-256.

Logging: No logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed (not on free plan)

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and many more

Features: Chameleon™ VPN protocal, VyprDNS™ protection, VyprVPN cloud storage. Public Wi-Fi protection, Kill-switch

Current deal: Save 84% + get 12 months for FREE


VyprVPN is a fast, trustworthy, and secure VPN company headquartered in Switzerland, a country with favorable privacy laws that protect internet users’ rights to the fullest extent possible. The platform’s goal is to provide online privacy for everyone, everywhere.

VyprVPN Pros

  • Provides strong security features
  • Offers a 30-day money-return guarantee
  • Good at unblocking services & sites!
  • Torrenting
  • No DNS leaks
  • Proprietary DNS servers
  • Split-tunneling on macOS

VyprVPN Cons

  • Relatively small network of servers
  • Slow connection time
  • Limited iOS app

VyprVPN is a simple-to-use service with a user-friendly interface that crams a lot of features into a compact package. It has an amazing interface that adapts to every device/operating system’s screen without affecting the size or arrangement of elements.

vyprvpn features

VyprVPN is also highly safe and simple to use on any device or operating system. VyprVPN also offers a No-logs policy, Obfuscation, and Perfect forward secrecy, in addition to industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, secure protocols, and a kill switch.

Check out the VyprVPN website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

10. FastestVPN (Best Privacy Option)


Price: From $1.66 per month

Free trial: No (but no-questions-asked 15-day refund policy)

Based in: Cayman Islands

Servers: 350+ servers in 40 countries

Protocols/encryption: OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, OpenConnect, L2TP. AES 256-bit encryption

Logging: No logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat support. 15-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed (not on free plan)

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max and many more

Features: Very fast speeds. 2TB of Internxt cloud storage. Connect up to 10 devices. Kill-switch. No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks. 2TB of Internxt cloud storage

Current deal: Free 2TB of Internxt cloud storage + up to 90% discount


With all of the capabilities incorporated in the fastest VPN software, you can control and safeguard your browser. It circumvents limitations and allows users to access geo-restricted website content from anywhere on the internet, providing a continuous online experience. 

FastestVPN Pros

  • Solid security & privacy
  • Supports anywhere-streaming and P2P
  • No international surveillance alliances or data retention laws
  • Torrenting: You’ll be able to torrent files under FastestVPN
  • Kill-switch: even if your VPN fails, your data will still be protected

FastestVPN Cons

  • Only one connection point for Netflix
  • Takes a long time to connect to VPN servers
  • No Split Tunneling

FastestVPN is one of our top recommendations for privacy. Because the firm is headquartered in the Cayman Islands, there’s no way they can be forced to hand over client information to the government, and its logging policy only maintains the bare minimum of data to maintain your account, excluding your online traffic and activity. Fastest VPN isn’t the quickest VPN available.

fastestvpn features

However, if you have a fast base internet speed, you’ll find it useful. Although its limited server network limits your alternatives, this flaw may not be an issue in the near future.

It may be less competitive than other VPN options due to the lack of a trial period and a very limited money-back guarantee. However, this isn’t always a terrible thing.

Check out the FastestVPN website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

11. Hotspot Shield (Best China & UAE VPN Servers)

hotspot shield

Price: From $7.99 per month

Free trial: 7-day VPN trial (credit card details required)

Based in: United States (Five Eyes - FVEY - alliance)

Servers: 3200+ servers in 80+ countries

Protocols / encryption: IKEv2/IPSec, Hydra. AES 256-bit encryption

Logging: Some logs stored

Support: 24/7 live tech support. 45-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed (not on free plan)

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Disney+ and more

Features: Patented Hydra protocol. Unlimited bandwidth. HD streaming with unlimited data. Includes antivirus, password manager, and spam-call blocker

Current deal: HotSpot Shiled limited offer - Save up to 40%


Hotspot Shield is a premium VPN program that is widely used on iOS, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows. For a more open internet, the program assists users by allowing them to access regional or geo-locked material.

Hotspot Shield Pros

  • Apps are free of IP, DNS & WebRTC leaks
  • User-friendly VPN apps for popular devices
  • One of the fastest VPN in the world
  • Perfect secrecy with AES-256encryption and a kill switch.
  • No-logging Policy
  • Unblocks UAE, China, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Bahrain

Hotspot Shield Cons

  • Free app shares information with advertisers
  • Hotspot Shield is priced at the premium end of the market
  • Adblocker service is not available.
  • Not compatible with gaming systems

Hotspot Shield allows you to browse the web safely and anonymously, as well as change your browsing location to access material that is blocked in your area.

Hotspot Shield VPN looks beautiful and has a tremendous network of servers to match, but the way it monetizes its free subscription tier on mobile complicates its promise of anonymity.

hotspot shield features

There are compromises with any product, but Hotspot Shield has more than the norm. Although it has good speed test results, it does not include WireGuard on the most common platforms. It’s pricey, but there’s a free option. 

Although the free membership option is substantial, it limits data and forces advertising on free Android users.

Check out the Hotspot Shield website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

12. ProtonVPN (2nd Best Free VPN in 2024)


Price: From $4.99 per month

Free plan: Yes (1 VPN connection, access blocked content)

Based in: Switzerland

Servers: 1200+ servers in 55 countries

Protocols / encryption: IKEv2/IPSec & OpenVPN. AES-256 with 4096-bit RSA

Logging: No logs policy

Support: 24/7 live chat and email. 30-day money-back guarantee

Torrenting: P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed (not on free plan)

Streaming: Stream Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Hotstar + more

Features: Built-in TOR support, Kill-switch. Unlimited bandwidth. Up to 10 devices. Adblocker (NetShield) DNS filtering

Current deal: 33% OFF with a 2-year plan - Save $241


Proton VPN has the best free membership levels we’ve encountered, and its premium tiers provide you access to a variety of privacy features for a fair price. 

Proton VPN Pros

  • Strong encryption & protocols
  • Torrenting
  • No leaks and Logging Policy
  • Supports Tor browser & P2P
  • User-friendly
  • Flexible, low-cost plans

Proton VPN Cons

  • Lacks WireGuard support
  • Prone to VPN blocks
  • The servers are sometimes slow

The fact that ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland provides them an immediate privacy advantage over the competition. The country has strict privacy regulations, is independent of the United States and the European Union, and is not a part of the 5/9/14 Eyes intelligence monitoring alliance.

In all of its Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows apps, ProtonVPN says it employs OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) and IKEv2, all of which are great and safe alternatives. Only IKEv2 is supported by the macOS app.

protonvpn features

In conclusion, I would strongly suggest ProtonVPN. It’s difficult to find a free VPN that doesn’t compromise your privacy and offers unlimited bandwidth, but their Free version provides just that.

Check out the ProtonVPN website to see more about their services, and their latest deals.

Worst VPNs (That You Should Avoid)

There are a lot of VPN providers out there, and it can be hard to know which ones to trust. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of bad VPN providers who offer subpar services and even engage in shady practices like logging user data or selling it to third parties.

If you’re looking for a reputable VPN provider, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re choosing a reliable service. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the worst VPN providers in 2024. These are the companies that you should avoid at all costs:

1. Hola VPN

hola vpn

Hola VPN isn’t among the most popular VPN that keeps no logs on this list. And there are some reasons for that. First off, the free version of the VPN isn’t actually a VPN. It’s a peer-to-peer service that routes traffic between its users and not servers. Do you hear alarm bells going off in your head right now? You should! It’s an unsafe service. Because any of those peers could be compromised and might be able to access your data.

In a world where most people don’t even want their data to be on a web server, who would want their data streaming across multiple peer-to-peer users.

Now, although I would never recommend using Hola VPN’s free service for any reason, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t talk about their premium VPN service. Their premium service is actually a VPN. It’s not a peer-to-peer service like the free version.

Although their premium service is actually a VPN service, I wouldn’t recommend going for it for many reasons. If you are buying a VPN subscription for privacy reasons, then you shouldn’t even consider Hola. If you take a look at their privacy policy, you’ll see that they collect a lot of user data.

This throws VPN-based privacy out the window. If you want a VPN for privacy reasons, there are a lot of other providers who have a zero-log policy. Some don’t even ask you to sign up. If it’s privacy you want, stay away from Hola VPN.

One thing to remember about the premium version of the service is that it resembles a real VPN service because it has better encryption than the free version, BUT it still relies on its community-driven peer-to-peer network. So, it’s still not the same as a VPN.

Other VPN services such as Nord have their own servers. Hola lets you use its community network of peers without contributing anything. Not the same as a “real” VPN service. Just something to keep in mind.

And if you think that Hola’s premium service might be good for watching region-blocked tv shows and movies, think again… Although their service can reliably unblock region-blocked websites and content, most of their servers are much slower than their competitors.

So, even though you might be able to unblock a website, it wouldn’t be fun watching because of the buffering. There are other VPN services that have almost zero lag, meaning their servers are so fast you won’t even notice the difference in speed when you connect to them.

If I were looking for a VPN service, I wouldn’t touch Hola VPN’s free service with a ten-foot pole. It’s riddled with privacy issues and isn’t even a real VPN service. On the other hand, if you’re thinking of buying the premium service, which is a little bit of an upgrade, I would recommend checking out some of Hola’s better competitors first. You’ll not only find better prices but also better and more secure overall service.

2. Hide My Ass

hidemyass vpn

HideMyAss used to be one of the most popular VPN services. They used to sponsor some really big content creators and were loved by the internet. But now, not so much. You don’t hear as much praise about them as you used to.

Their fall from grace might be because they have had some bad history when it comes to privacy. They have a history of sharing user data with the government, This is not a problem with some other VPN providers because they don’t log any data about you at all.

If you care about your privacy and that’s why you’re in the market for a VPN, Hide My Ass probably isn’t for you. They are also located in the UK. Trust me, you don’t want your VPN service provider to be in the UK if you value privacy. The UK is one of the many countries that collect mass surveillance data and will share it with other countries if inquired about…

If you don’t care much about privacy and just want to stream region-blocked content, there’s some good news. Hide My Ass seems to be able to bypass region-locking for some sites some of the time. It works sometimes but doesn’t other times for no apparent reason. If you are looking for a VPN for streaming, this one might not be the best.

Another reason why Hide My Ass might not be the best option for streaming is that their server speed isn’t the fastest. Their servers are fast, but if you just look around a little, you’ll find VPN services that are much faster.

There are a couple of good things about Hide My Ass. One of them is that they have apps for almost all devices including Linux, Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, etc. And you can install and use Hide My Ass on up to 5 devices simultaneously. Another good thing about this service is that they have more than 1,100 servers spread around the world.

Although there are some things I like about Hide My Ass, there are a lot of things I don’t. If you are looking for a VPN for privacy concerns, look somewhere else. They have a bad history when it comes to privacy.

Their service is also not the fastest in the industry. You’ll not only face lag when streaming, you might not even be able to unblock regional content that’s not available in your country.

What is a VPN? How Does it Work?

If you’re already reading this article, then it’s likely you already know what a VPN is. So, for this reason, we’re going to keep this section extremely short.

what is a vpn - definition

VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. It means that your device privately connects to a server somewhere around the globe. Until a few years ago their main use case was to allow employees to access company computer systems without risking a data leak.

VPNs are used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Privacy: A VPN can help you protect your online privacy by hiding your IP address and encrypting your traffic. This means that your ISP, advertisers, and other third parties can’t see what websites you’re visiting or what data you’re sending and receiving.
  • Security: A VPN can help to protect you from cyberattacks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdropping. This is because your traffic is encrypted and routed through a secure tunnel.
  • Access to geo-blocked content: A VPN can allow you to access websites and services that are blocked in your region. This is because you can connect to a VPN server in another country and get an IP address from that country.

Here is a simple analogy to help you understand how a VPN works:

Imagine that you are in a public library and you want to send a private letter to a friend. You could simply write the letter and put it in an envelope, but anyone who sees the envelope could see your friend’s address and your own return address.

A VPN is like a sealed envelope for your online traffic. It encrypts your traffic so that no one can see what you’re sending or receiving. And it hides your IP address, which is like your return address.

What Can I Use a VPN For?

When it comes to VPN services, there’s a whole range of uses. Despite being a relatively simple technology, an encrypted connection and access to servers across the globe can provide multiple uses.

However, there are three main reasons that people use a VPN.

Stream Globally

Due to copyright and contractual reasons streaming content varies significantly by country. For example, Hulu is only available to US citizens and BBC iPlayer is only available to UK citizens. Additionally, Netflix libraries vary significantly between countries.

With a VPN you can access all of your favorite streaming services.

Amazon Prime VideoAntena 3Apple tv+
BBC iPlayerbeIN SportsCanal+
CBCChannel 4Crackle
Disney+DR TVDStv
France TVGloboplayGmail
GoogleHBO (Max, Now & Go)Hotstar
KodiLocastNetflix (US, UK)
Now TVORF TVPeacock
Rakuten VikiShowtimeSky Go
SpotifySVT PlayTF1

This means that you could be missing out on a huge range of streaming content. While Us citizens have access to the largest streaming libraries, even they could be missing out on content.

By changing your location using a VPN you can appear to be in a different country, and hence access the streaming libraries to them.

However, there are two small (but luckily fixable) issues with this theory.

Some services are actively trying to block VPNs and proxies. This is to meet their obligations. Luckily, VPNs have better network engineers than these streaming services. Therefore any decent VPN service, including the ones on this list, will be able to overcome such restrictions.

The second issue is that most services require a local payment method. While you’d think they were something difficult to replicate, you’d be surprised.

Protect Your Privacy

By hiding your IP address and encrypting your connection you’ll gain a layer of privacy. This has many benefits but most people like the fact that it makes it harder for governments and corporations to track you. This means that your activities will be more private and secure.

However, do not for one second think that VPNs provide you with complete privacy. Remaining private online is a lot more difficult, and there are a lot more steps involved. So while a VPN doesn’t give you complete privacy, it’s a step in the right direction.

Secure Your Internet Connection

Since a VPN tunnel creates an encrypted connection between you and the VPN server everything in between is protected. This is useful as it helps protect your internet connection and reduces the chances of someone hacking you.

Overcome Local Geo Blocking

VPN providers can also help overcome local blockades.

The most common scenario for this is the infamous Great Firewall of China. The Chinese government blocks access to a lot of content for its citizens. This is how to try and bias their views and control them. While this is the most infamous, they aren’t the only country to do so.

Additionally, your internet service provider could also be blocking access to some content. For example in the UK many of them block porn, and in other countries they block torrenting. By connecting to a VPN server you can overcome blockades such as this.

Must-Have VPN Features to Look for

VPNs, like many online services, aren’t created equal. You wouldn’t want them to be either since we all have different needs. Some want privacy over streaming capabilities, others speed over server locations. Since people’s use cases vary considerably, it’s great that there is a superb range to chose from.

best vpn services to use

So when it comes to the best VPN, here are the features to look out for.

As we stated, use cases will vary. Therefore, you might find some of these more important than others.

Speed & Performance

Regardless of what you’d like to use a VPN service for, speed is important for everyone. A slow connection won’t allow you to stream, torrent, or in fact, use the internet in any useful way possible.

Therefore, speed is paramount. Luckily, all of the best VPN we have listed above have great speeds.

However, bear in mind that VPN speeds do vary on numerous factors. Such as where you’re based, where you’re connecting to, your device, encryption standard, etc. Therefore, if you’re achieving bad speeds it might not necessarily be the VPNs fault and you’ll get a bad connection with other VPNs too.

If a faster speed is your top priority then you can run speed tests using tools such as TestMy.Net and SpeedTest.Net.


In an ideal world, VPNs would be free due to the positive benefits they provide to the population. However, free VPNs are rarely good – more on this later on.

To make your decision even more difficult VPN prices range from $2 to $20 per month and upwards. To assume that a $2 service will provide you with the same level of service as a $20 is outrageous. However, to assume a $20 per month service is automatically superb is also outrageous.

You’ll probably realize that at $8.32/month ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPNs on this best VPN services list. Yet it’s still ranked 2nd. This is because, in my opinion, price is a very small factor. 

Sure at $2.49/month Surfshark is cheaper but drink fewer beers or coffees during the month and you’re in the same place. Additionally, with most VPNs it’s true what they say – you get what you pay for.

With most VPNs, an annual plan will come out the cheapest compared to a monthly plan. However, some do offer two-year and even three-year plans. We’d recommend avoiding these since technology and companies evolve so fast that you’ll never know what the situation will be three years from now.

Luckily, all VPNs also offer a 14- or 30-day money-return guarantee or trial period to try them out. This way you can test a variety of services and decide which one suits you best.

Supported Protocols and Security

When it comes to VPNs security can be extremely important. Of course, if you’re only using it to access geo-restricted content and streaming, then this will be less significant to you. For everyone else, it’s important to check up on the security details of your chosen VPN service.

The most popular VPN protocols are:

ProtocolSpeedEncryption & SecurityStabilityStreamingP2P File Sharing

OpenVPN is the most popular VPN protocol. There are other ones too, such as ExpressVPN’s Lightway (which they have open-sourced).

The biggest and most important factor is the encryption standards. In short, the level of encryption determines how hard it would be for a computer to compute the real data that you’re sending. 

Unfortunately, some companies put costs before the customer and will sell any old garbage. Luckily for you, we’ve tested each of the VPN services on this list and they all have great encryption standards.

A high level of encryption doesn’t guarantee excellent security by default. The VPN company also needs to have up-to-date leak protection. Since a VPN connection is built up of multiple layers there are multiple opportunities for your real IP address to seep out. 

The major culprits are DNS and webRTC leaks. Understandably, your real IP leaking out is not good for security. Luckily, all major VPN services prevent these. However, be careful if you’re using IPv6 as that’s less widely supported.

Alongside encryption security standards and leak protection, it’s also important to see what other security features that VPN has. For example kill switches, multi-hop VPNs, and Tor support. You can read more about these on our site, and in our detailed reviews, we cover what additional security features each VPN has.


One of the reasons why so many people use a VPN is to shield their internet use from unwanted attention. Whether that’s governments, ISPs, or just companies, everyone has a reason. In all honesty, we frown upon the saying of “if you’ve got nothing to hide then why use one”.

So clearly if a VPN kept logs then it would defeat the whole purpose. Luckily most VPN companies only keep connection logs to help improve this service.


Alongside logging, you’re also giving VPN companies access to your name, bank details, and even address. Therefore it’s important that they treat these with respect. Always inspect a companies privacy policies and terms and conditions to see how they handle data. This can reveal a lot about a company.

Supported Devices

If you’re using a VPN for privacy then it’s important that it should always be connected. As we discussed above, there’s a number of security features that are able to help with this.

However, a huge number of security features aren’t going to help you if the VPN only runs on your computer.

Therefore it’s important that the VPN you choose is able to run on your set of devices. Luckily all of the best VPNs we’ve chosen have support for all of the major devices and operating systems. This includes Linux and not just Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. In most cases, not just setup instructions but also native apps.

Additionally, all of them allow you to connect at least three devices at the same time. This ensures that you can connect your computer, phone, and tablet all at the same time. Some even allow unlimited devices to be used at the same time, which if you’re cheeky could mean protecting all of your friends and family with a single account.  

Streaming and Torrenting

As discussed previously, the two most popular uses for VPNs are safe torrenting and unblocked streaming. Clearly then, you’d want the best VPN services to be able to provide this for you.

In short, all of the VPNs on this list will allow you to torrent safely and securely. Some do have limitations on what locations you’re allowed to use for this, so do bear that in mind.

Additionally, the level to that they unblock streaming also varies by not just provider but also date. Therefore, if there’s a dedicated channel or service you’d like to unblock, talk to the VPN services customer support before signing up with them.


Another thing to look out for when it comes to choosing your VPN service is the additional extras that they have on offer. For example, some have now started offering password managers, cloud storage, and similar.

While this is great don’t let this be your deciding factor.

Customer Support

Lastly, it’s worth looking at a VPN service’s support systems. You need to consider the type of support they offer, as well as the timeframe that they offer it in. Having email support that replies to your questions in 3-5 days is not exactly ideal.

Luckily, most VPN services do have 24/7 live chat support. Those that don’t, have an email support service usually reply in a timely manner. In all honesty, during years of testing VPNs, we can only recall a handful of times where live chat was truly necessary.

Some companies even have community forums and Wikis to help you with issues. These are great as you’ll often find help tips & tricks, as well as answers to common issues.

How We Test VPN Services

Unfortunately, there’s a huge number of VPN comparison sites that don’t test any VPN services, and simply regurgitate information from across the website. Even worse, we’ve heard of some that have never even used a VPN service!

We think it’s only fair and just that we test each and every VPN service that we have listed. Therefore you won’t find a single one on our site that we haven’t tested and scrutinized in-depth.

Our testing is relatively simple but at the same time extremely time intensive. We look at all of the features mentioned above in-depth and where possible we don’t only take the word of the VPN provider but also test it for ourselves. To get a better picture of how in-depth we go with our reviews, have a look at one of our reviews.

Free VPN Services

In a world where everyone holds onto their wallets tightly, free VPNs have soared. Unfortunately, as the saying goes you can’t get something for anything. This holds true for VPNs true. However, free VPN services can be split into two categories; “scam” and marketing.

Let’s start with free-of-charge VPNs for marketing as it’s a significantly easier topic to discuss. A lot of high-profile VPNs, including some on this list, have a free VPN. The purpose of this is to draw in customers, and in the long term convert them to paid users.

To limit their cost on these, and have the chance of making a profit from it, these have restrictions. In fact, most of them only allow you to use them for a limited amount of data transfer. Therefore, these can be great if you only need a VPN for a specific task but definitely not in the long term.

The other category of free VPNs is “scam”. We’re using quotation marks because not all of them are scams in the strictest of terms. However, 99% of free VPNs in this category will provide a subpar service and steal your data. Even worse some may even put malware on your device.

A famous example of a bad VPN that is free is Hola. Hola provides you with an unlimited free-of-charge VPN service. What many people didn’t realize is that in return whole was selling your data and using your internet connection for a reverse VPN. Luckily, since then many people have realized that free-of-charge VPNs, in general, aren’t worth it.

What’s the Best Free VPN?

If you are tight on money but really need a VPN, then I would recommend ProtonVPN. It allows for unlimited use but it does have speed throttling. This is perfect in that it means that anyone in need can use this service but it can’t be abused with torrenting and streaming.

ProtonVPN’s free plan offers:

  • 23 servers in 3 countries
  • 1 VPN connection
  • Medium speed
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Access blocked content

VPN Glossary

  1. IP Address: A unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.
  2. Encryption: The process of encoding data to prevent unauthorized access, especially during transmission over a network.
  3. Tunneling: A method used in VPNs to send private data across public networks by encapsulating the data in an encrypted tunnel.
  4. Protocols: Sets of rules that determine how data is transmitted over a network. Common VPN protocols include OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, WireGuard, and IKEv2.
  5. OpenVPN: An open-source VPN protocol known for its security and ability to work on various types of networks.
  6. L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IP Security): A VPN protocol that offers a balance between security and speed, often used for mobile VPNs.
  7. IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2): A VPN protocol known for its fast reconnection capabilities, making it ideal for mobile users.
  8. Kill Switch: A feature that automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops, to prevent data leakage.
  9. No-Log Policy: A commitment by VPN providers not to keep logs of your online activities, enhancing privacy.
  10. Geo-Spoofing: The practice of hiding or changing your geographical location to access content or services not available in your region.
  11. Bandwidth Throttling: Intentionally slowing down internet speed by an ISP. A VPN can help avoid this by hiding what you’re doing online.
  12. DNS Leak: A security flaw that allows DNS requests to be revealed to ISP’s DNS servers, despite the use of a VPN, thus exposing your browsing history.
  13. P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Networking: A decentralized network established for sharing files, often used in conjunction with VPNs for secure file sharing.
  14. Obfuscation: A technique used to hide VPN traffic and make it look like regular internet traffic, useful in countries that restrict VPN use.

Go here for more VPN terms.

Questions & Answers

Our Verdict ⭐

Hopefully, you’ve now got a clear picture of what a VPN is, how it works, and the great benefits it poses.

Additionally, our huge selection of the best VPN services with their descriptions should allow you to choose the perfect VPN for you.

NordVPN is the best VPN company on the market, and if you’re looking to get started quickly then don’t hesitate to sign up straight away. Runner-up is Surfshark, thanks to its cheap prices and it’s super-easy to get started with. If you don’t mind paying a bit more for added extra security and speed, then ExpressVPN is a great choice.

How We Review VPNs: Our Methodology

VPNs play a critical role in safeguarding your online privacy and security and providing reliable, fast internet access. In our testing and analysis, our evaluation is based on these criteria:

1. Privacy:

Our primary concern is how well a VPN protects your privacy. We evaluate VPNs based on their privacy policies and adherence to a no-logs policy, ensuring they don’t track or store your online activities, IP addresses, or connection timestamps.

  • Does the VPN have a strict no-logs policy?
  • What types of data, if any, are logged by the VPN?
  • How does the VPN’s country of origin affect its privacy policy?
  • Does the VPN offer anonymous payment methods like cryptocurrency?

2. Security:

Security is non-negotiable. We assess each VPN’s encryption strength, authentication protocols, and the robustness of their key exchanges. Features like DNS leak protection, WebRTC leak prevention, IPv6 leak prevention, and a reliable kill switch are crucial. We also prefer VPNs that operate their own private DNS servers.

  • What encryption protocols are used?
  • How secure are the key exchanges?
  • Are there features like DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protections?
  • Is there a reliable kill switch in the applications?

3. Leak Testing:

To test for potential leaks, we use tools like and This helps us identify IP, DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, ensuring that the VPNs maintain the highest standards of user privacy.

  • How does the VPN perform in IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests?
  • Are there any known vulnerabilities or past incidents of data leaks?

4. Speed:

Speed is tested comprehensively, considering global averages across different times and locations. We use a systematic approach to test and report download speeds, ensuring our readers get a realistic understanding of the VPN’s performance.

  • What are the average download and upload speeds?
  • How does speed vary with different protocols?
  • Are there significant speed variations at different times?

5. Unblocking Region-Locked Content:

A key feature of VPNs is to circumvent geo-restrictions. We rigorously test VPNs with various streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and others, both on desktop and mobile platforms.

  • Which streaming services can the VPN unblock?
  • Are there differences in unblocking capabilities between desktop and mobile apps?
  • How does the VPN perform with different content libraries?

6. Censorship:

We evaluate each VPN’s ability to bypass government censorship and restrictions, understanding users’ varying needs from different geopolitical backgrounds.

  • Can the VPN bypass strict censorship in countries like China?
  • How does it perform in regions with heavy internet restrictions?

7. Server Network:

Our review process involves assessing the VPN’s server count and locations, with a preference for physical over virtual servers, considering the legal implications of the server locations.

  • How many server locations are available?
  • Are the servers physical or virtual?
  • How does server location impact privacy?

8. Customer Support:

Customer support is crucial. We test each VPN’s response times, availability, and the quality of their support, including tech and billing support.

  • When and how is customer support available?
  • How knowledgeable and helpful is the support team?
  • Do they provide genuine assistance or focus on sales?
  • How efficiently are queries escalated to technical support?

9. App Usability and Features:

We examine the VPN’s compatibility with various devices and operating systems, looking for features like kill switches, split tunneling, and ad/malware blocking. The design and user-friendliness of the apps are also key considerations.

  • Is the app interface user-friendly?
  • What unique features are offered?
  • How does the VPN perform across different devices and OS?

10. Pricing and Value for Money:

Finally, we consider the cost, available payment options, free trials, and money-back guarantees to evaluate if the VPN offers good value for money.

  • What are the pricing plans and hidden costs?
  • What value-added features are included?
  • How does the VPN’s performance justify its cost?

Learn more about our review process here.

List of VPNs we have tested and reviewed:

About Author

Matt Ahlgren

Mathias Ahlgren is the CEO and founder of Website Rating, steering a global team of editors and writers. He holds a master's in information science and management. His career pivoted to SEO after early web development experiences during university. With over 15 years in SEO, digital marketing, and web developmens. His focus also includes website security, evidenced by a certificate in Cyber Security. This diverse expertise underpins his leadership at Website Rating.

WSR Team

The "WSR Team" is the collective group of expert editors and writers specializing in technology, internet security, digital marketing, and web development. Passionate about the digital realm, they produce well-researched, insightful, and accessible content. Their commitment to accuracy and clarity makes Website Rating a trusted resource for staying informed in the dynamic digital world.

Nathan House

Nathan House

Nathan has a remarkable 25 years in cybersecurity industry and he contributes his vast knowledge to Website Rating as a contributing expert writer. His focus encompasses a wide range of topics including cybersecurity, VPNs, password managers, and antivirus and antimalware solutions, offering readers expert insights into these essential areas of digital security.

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