Find the Best VPN Service in 2021

By Damjan Jugović Spajić May 27, 2021

In just a few years, VPNs went from being used by a few tech-savvy consumers to becoming a tool that millions rely on to ensure their online privacy. That’s because our growing dependence on internet-based services is making our personal data increasingly vulnerable to hackers.

The best VPN providers offer security and prevent snoopers from collecting private information. But VPNs can also be used to gain access to geo-blocked content and region-specific libraries on platforms like Netflix.

So, what are the best virtual private networks out there? Check out the top picks in our buyer’s guide.

Best VPN services in 2021

  • No-logs policy
  • RAM-disk servers
  • Unblocks Netflix and Hulu
  • Privacy concerns following 2018 breach
Price $3.71/mo
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  • Available on all platforms
  • Split tunneling
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Few servers compared to other similarly priced VPNs
Price $8.32/mo
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  • Split tunneling
  • Blocks domains and IPs of your choice on all devices
  • Port forwarding
  • Slower speed
Price FREE
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  • Top security measures
  • No logs
  • Wi-Fi protection
  • Expensive
Price $2.25/mo
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  • Affordable
  • Unblocks US Netflix
  • Multi-hop and split-tunneling tools
  • Slow
Price $2.49/mo
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  • Lets you access censored apps and websites
  • Public Wi-Fi protection
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
  • Doesn't work in China
Price $3.49/mo
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  • Password manager
  • Works with torrents and unblocks streaming services
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Privacy concerns
Price $7.99/mo
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  • Beginner-friendly
  • Annual independent security audits
  • Unblocks Disney+
  • No dedicated P2P torrenting servers
Price $3.33/mo
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  • Kill switch
  • Extensive worldwide server network
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Isn’t torrenting-friendly
Price $1.67/mo
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  • Unblocks VPN in countries with internet censorship
  • Torrenting-focused
  • Supports up to eight simultaneous connections
  • Problems with Netflix
Price $5/mo
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  • Anonymous payments via cash or cryptocurrencies
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Can’t unblock streaming sites
Price $5.50/mo
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What does a VPN do and will it make me a cybercriminal?

VPN stands for “virtual private network.” The best VPNs turn a public network, through which you normally access the internet, into a private one. This is achieved by tunneling your local network to a remote site. Your internet connection is routed through a private server instead of going through your ISP network.

The process hides your search history from your internet service provider (ISP), protecting your browsing data. In addition, it tricks your device into thinking it’s accessing a site from a different location by connecting to a remote server. This allows you to access online content that is blocked due to your geographic location. It also gives you access to region-specific libraries, allowing you to watch Netflix shows that are restricted to certain parts of the world. The best VPN service also facilitates the safe use of torrents in places where that might be prohibited.

So, are VPNs illegal? In most countries, they are not. However, several states with oppressive internet censorship laws, like China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, have prohibited or limited VPN use.

1. NordVPN

" Best alternative to ExpressVPN "

  • Number of servers
    5,600+
  • Countries
    60+
  • Max number of connected devices
    6
  • Max speed
    110 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $3.71-$11.95/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • No-logs policy
  • RAM-disk servers
  • Unblocks Netflix and Hulu
  • Privacy concerns following 2018 breach

Things we liked / disliked:

  • No-logs policy
  • RAM-disk servers
  • Unblocks Netflix and Hulu
  • Privacy concerns following 2018 breach
  • Number of servers
    5,600+
  • Countries
    60+
  • Max number of connected devices
    6
  • Max speed
    110 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $3.71-$11.95/month

We start our VPN reviews with NordVPN. This Panama-based provider is one of the most popular VPN services available.

Panama has no mandatory data retention laws and isn’t party to the so-called Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes agreements that authorize clandestine government agencies to conduct signals intelligence. This allows NordVPN to maintain its strict no-logs policy. The provider doesn’t store any sensitive user information and has even invited several international auditors to verify this claim.

Because of its large number of servers around the world, many consider NordVPN one of the best VPN services. The company has more than 5,500 servers in over 60 countries.

NordVPN works perfectly with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer, allowing you easy access to region-specific libraries. This provider is among the few that work with Hulu, but the connection can be very slow.

It also allows P2P file sharing, including torrenting. However, keep in mind that you need to use specialized P2P servers, which are optimized for file sharing. NordVPN does not apply bandwidth limits, making it a good VPN choice for avid torrent users.

Moreover, the software performs pretty admirably on connection speed tests. It has a maximum speed of 110 Mbps – more than enough for most regular users, either for gaming, streaming, or torrenting. 

The kill switch feature comes on whenever your VPN goes down for any reason. It immediately shuts down your internet connection until VPN protection is reestablished.

Unfortunately, the service does not come cheap. For a one-month subscription, you will have to set aside $11.95. However, the price of this best-rated VPN goes down if you purchase one of the yearly plans. The one-year plan will set you back $4.92/month, while opting for the two-year package will cost you only $3.71/month. NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re not happy with the service.

Apart from a slightly inflated price, our only concern with NordVPN relates to a 2018 security breach. Thanks to the provider’s no-logs policy, no valuable information was leaked. But the incident undermined people’s trust in the company. NordVPN has since stepped up its security and ranks as one of the best VPN providers on the market.

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2. ExpressVPN

" Best VPN for all-around use "

  • Number of servers
    3,000+
  • Countries
    94
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    106 mbps
  • Malware protection
    No
  • Price range
    $8.32-$12.95/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Available on all platforms
  • Split tunneling
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Few servers compared to other similarly priced VPNs

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Available on all platforms
  • Split tunneling
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Few servers compared to other similarly priced VPNs
  • Number of servers
    3,000+
  • Countries
    94
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    106 mbps
  • Malware protection
    No
  • Price range
    $8.32-$12.95/month

ExpressVPN is another widely praised VPN provider. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, which is not party to the Fourteen Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement.

It’s regarded as the fastest provider in the world. The maximum speed limit is approximately 106 Mbps, and you only lose about 5-10% of your internet speed. Due to this high speed, ExpressVPN is widely regarded as the best VPN for gaming. If you’re playing a multiplayer game and wish to connect to other regional servers, you won’t experience any delay when using ExpressVPN.

It’s also fully compatible with Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services. You can freely access unique regional libraries on these platforms without losing any stream speed or quality.

While this provider has more than 2,500 servers less than NordVPN, its network covers more countries. In addition, ExpressVPN does not keep any relevant user logs.

As is the case with other top VPN software, ExpressVPN’s app is available on all major operating systems. It also comes with 256-bit encryption, guaranteeing your safety and anonymity while you browse the World Wide Web. Furthermore, ExpressVPN is compatible with Tor and even has its own Tor website, which is a very rare sight to see among VPN providers.

The product’s main downside is the limited number of devices that can simultaneously connect to the VPN – only five for one pricing plan.

ExpressVPN might be counted as the fastest VPN, but it comes at a price. The monthly subscription fee is $12.95. If you sign up for six months, though, the price drops to $9.99 per month, while the monthly fee for the annual plan is $8.32. All of these offers come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can pay via various payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and BitPay.

So, if the price is not too high for you and you are looking for the best VPN in 2021, ExpressVPN is definitely an ideal option.

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3. Windscribe

" Best VPN with a free plan "

  • Number of servers:
    500+
  • Countries
    63
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Max speed
    ~100 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $0-$9/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Split tunneling
  • Blocks domains and IPs of your choice on all devices
  • Port forwarding
  • Slower speed

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Split tunneling
  • Blocks domains and IPs of your choice on all devices
  • Port forwarding
  • Slower speed
  • Number of servers:
    500+
  • Countries
    63
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Max speed
    ~100 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $0-$9/month

Windscribe is widely regarded as one of the best free VPNs available. That said, there has been some concern surrounding its base of operation. Windscribe is based in Canada, a signatory to the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement. Theoretically, this obligates Windscribe to comply with any government requests for data. However, the company pointed out in a blog post that Canada does not have any data retention laws in place. In other words, Windscribe is not obliged to log any user information, which should alleviate any fears about the loss of anonymity. Ultimately, Windscribe’s no-logs policy possibly makes it the best free VPN for PC.

So, what does the free plan get you? By signing up with only your username and password, you get 2 GB of bandwidth and access to servers in 10 countries. If you use a confirmed email, the bandwidth jumps to 10 GB. By upgrading to a paid plan, you get access to all locations, unlimited data, and a malware protection/ad blocker.

The prices for subscription plans are considerably lower than those of the competitors, with the monthly price being $9.00. It goes down to $4.08/month if you subscribe for 12 months, making this a pretty cheap VPN. You can also make your own plan by choosing the features yourself. The price of your customized plan is determined by the type and number of features you select.

One of the more attractive features is the ability to connect an unlimited number of clients to one paid plan. This is invaluable for larger households or people that use multiple devices. Windscribe is available on all major platforms, and its extension works with Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. However, if you go with the free plan, you won’t be able to use it as an Android VPN solution.

You also need the paid package to unblock Netflix and other streaming services. The only problem is the speed. Compared to some top-rated VPNs, Windscribe is considerably slower. This probably won’t have much of an impact on your streaming experience but will likely affect gaming.

Aside from the issues with speed, Windscribe has a solid server base, a plethora of security options, and an enjoyable user interface. We recommend trying out the free plan before upgrading.

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4. CyberGhost VPN

" Best for users looking for a large server base "

  • Number of servers
    7,000+
  • Countries
    91
  • Max number of connected devices
    7
  • Max speed
    1 gbps (In ideal conditions)
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $2.25-$12.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Top security measures
  • No logs
  • Wi-Fi protection
  • Expensive

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Top security measures
  • No logs
  • Wi-Fi protection
  • Expensive
  • Number of servers
    7,000+
  • Countries
    91
  • Max number of connected devices
    7
  • Max speed
    1 gbps (In ideal conditions)
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $2.25-$12.99/month

CyberGhost VPN is a Bucharest-based company founded in 2011 that created one of the most popular VPNs on the market.

CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy. It also provides Wi-Fi protection and 256-bit AES encryption, which secures your connection and protects your financial and personal information online.

One of the features that landed CyberGhost on our list is its astounding server base. It currently has over 7,000 servers in 91 countries and allows its users to connect up to seven devices to one VPN plan.

CyberGhost VPN also performs well with torrents and streaming. Its powerful VPN for PC houses an interface that has separate tabs with specialized torrent and streaming servers. CyberGhost unblocks Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and BBC iPlayer. You won’t experience any bandwidth throttling while using the dedicated P2P-friendly servers, which establish both stable and fast connections. Of course, your activity is kept away from trackers, your ISP, or other prying eyes.

A one-month subscription fee is $12.99. It goes down if you choose to subscribe for longer periods of time. CyberGhost is probably the most secure VPN, but it’s also one of the priciest. You get the most value by signing up for a 39-month plan, which will cost you $2.25/month.

5. SurfShark

" Best value for money "

  • Number of servers
    3,200+
  • Countries
    61+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Max speed
    110 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $2.49-$12.95/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Affordable
  • Unblocks US Netflix
  • Multi-hop and split-tunneling tools
  • Slow

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Affordable
  • Unblocks US Netflix
  • Multi-hop and split-tunneling tools
  • Slow
  • Number of servers
    3,200+
  • Countries
    61+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Max speed
    110 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $2.49-$12.95/month

Surfshark is another British Virgin Islands native that operates away from the prying eyes of intelligence-sharing programs. Those searching for the best affordable VPN will likely find everything they need with this provider.

Surfshark’s main strength is its affordability. The six-month plan costs $6.49 per month, and if you choose the two-year package, the price drops to just $2.49 per month. We recommend staying clear of the monthly subscription, which costs $12.95 – a price tag similar to those at most other providers.

The pricing isn’t the only upside to this VPN service; a plethora of features is also what landed Surfshark on our top 10 VPN list. It has over 3,200 servers spread across 65 countries worldwide and a NoBorders mode that helps you connect to the internet in countries that ban the use of virtual private networks.

Surfshark guarantees your privacy with its no logs policy and undergoes an audit by an independent third party to assure consumers that it doesn’t store any data.

Our Surfshark VPN review also found that the software is compatible with both torrents and Netflix – a characteristic of any best VPN in 2021 contender. It doesn’t just unblock Netflix in the US and UK but several other countries as well. Surfshark supports P2P traffic and works on all popular platforms. While you are downloading torrent files or browsing the net, it will also ensure that your traffic information isn’t leaked.

Furthermore, the software protects its users from malware and has ad-blocking capabilities, 256-bit encryption, and a kill-switch option. And although it might slow down your connection speed more than some other products on our list, some still consider Surfshark to be the most popular VPN, mostly due to the above-mentioned affordable pricing plans and valuable additional tools.

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6. IPVanish

" Best budget VPN "

  • Number of servers
    1,600+
  • Countries
    75+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Max speed
    ~40 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $3.49-$10.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Lets you access censored apps and websites
  • Public Wi-Fi protection
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
  • Doesn't work in China

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Lets you access censored apps and websites
  • Public Wi-Fi protection
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
  • Doesn't work in China
  • Number of servers
    1,600+
  • Countries
    75+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Max speed
    ~40 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $3.49-$10.99/month

When it comes to privacy protection, IPVanish’s recent history may lead some to argue that the software shouldn’t be counted among the best VPN providers. The company was founded in 2012 in the US. In the years that followed, it supplied at least one user’s data to the government, revealing that it kept logs.

However, IPVanish has since changed owners. The new management appears to be fully committed to keeping your information safe with a clear no-logs policy, just like any other respectable VPN provider.

IPVanish provides public Wi-Fi protection and allows you to access geo-blocked content. It has over 1,600 servers in more than 75 countries. You also have over 40,000 shared IPs at your disposal, as well as automatic IP cycling.

You can connect as many devices to the VPN as you want, which is why IPVanish is considered the best VPN for home use and beyond. The software relies on 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN/IKEv2 protocols. The desktop app might appear intimidating to new users, but that is only because IPVanish gives you extensive control over its features and settings.

IPVanish boasts a fairly standard subscription model. The options include the monthly subscription of $3.49 for the first month and $9.99 thereafter, as well as the annual plan for $2.62/month (billed $31.49 the first year and $89.99 thereafter). If you want to add storage, you’ll incur slightly higher fees, going up to $10.99 for a monthly plan.

So how does IPVanish stack up against other products on our best personal VPN list? Although it isn’t the cheapest or the fastest option, its mid-range price and highly customizable options make it a great choice for both beginners and more advanced users.

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7. HotSpot Shield

" Best option for users not concerned about privacy "

  • Number of servers
    3,200+
  • Countries
    70+
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    N/A
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $7.99-$11.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Password manager
  • Works with torrents and unblocks streaming services
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Privacy concerns

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Password manager
  • Works with torrents and unblocks streaming services
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Privacy concerns
  • Number of servers
    3,200+
  • Countries
    70+
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    N/A
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $7.99-$11.99/month

Hotspot Shield is another US-based product in our VPN hosting reviews. The provider was operated by AnchorFree until 2019, when Pango took it over. It was popular among Arab Spring protesters who used it to access social networking tools and upload videos.

Aside from the paid plan, the widely used VPN also offers a free version of its software. However, although the free VPN option can be useful, it isn’t ideal for protecting the anonymity of its users. This free VPN for Windows and other platforms also doesn’t begin to compare to the best lifetime VPN options when it comes to some other features. You are limited to just 500 MB daily, your speed is capped at 2 Mbps, and you can only access one server, located in the United States.

However, the paid options come with a far broader set of features. The individual monthly subscription fee is $12.99/month, but we recommend getting the annual plan at a more affordable price of $7.99/month.

Hotspot Shield claims that its impressive speed places it on top of the best-rated VPN 2021 lists, with the VPN causing only minor losses of your original download speed. It also unblocks streaming services and works well with P2P sharing. Furthermore, you receive protection against malware and identity theft, a password manager, and a robocall blocking feature.

Hotspot Shield houses over 3,200 servers, uses 256-bit encryption, and can turn on automatically when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network.

However, the company faced criticism over its privacy policy in the past, which is why this might not be a recommended VPN for all users. If you decide to use the free version, your information may be given to companies that run ads. That said, Hotspot Shield itself does not keep user logs, and if you’re fine with the rest, this VPN can provide you with a number of useful protective features.

8. TunnelBear

" Best for new VPN users "

  • Number of servers
    1,800+
  • Countries
    34
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    ~40 mbps
  • Malware protection
    No
  • Price range
    $3.33-$5.75/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Annual independent security audits
  • Unblocks Disney+
  • No dedicated P2P torrenting servers

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Annual independent security audits
  • Unblocks Disney+
  • No dedicated P2P torrenting servers
  • Number of servers
    1,800+
  • Countries
    34
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    ~40 mbps
  • Malware protection
    No
  • Price range
    $3.33-$5.75/month

Our VPN service reviews revealed that the Canada-based TunnelBear is definitely a favorite among users.

Most cash-strapped users will be happy to hear that TunnelBear offers a free version. It comes with only 500 MB of free protection but is good enough for short-term testing. Of course, TunnelBear’s paid plans have far more advanced features. There’s the Unlimited plan, which starts at $3.33/month, and the Teams option, priced at $5.75/month per user. Both options are very affordable for a quality VPN and let you protect up to five devices with a single subscription.

So why do so many users consider TunnelBear to be the best VPN for the money? For starters, the provider is very transparent with its privacy policy. It keeps no identifying logs, and the policy is a clear and easy read. Furthermore, its straightforward interface makes the entire service really simple to operate, which serves as an added incentive for new users.

The bad news is that TunnelBear does not allow torrenting, nor does it unblock Netflix. The service is mainly focused on providing security and anonymity.

TunnelBear does well on speed tests, much like most other best VPN providers. The only trouble is the latency, which might spike at times. The provider increased its number of servers and locations over the years, but it’s still a couple of hundred short of 2,000 and is available in just over 30 countries. However, all your connections are protected by 256-bit encryption and rely on OpenVPN protocol – both considered to be the best in the industry.

We recommend TunnelBear to those focused strictly on privacy and those still learning how to use a VPN. The VPN can be used on Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS, as well as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

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9. VyprVPN

" Best for privacy-focused users "

  • Number of servers
    700+
  • Countries
    70+
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    ~60 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $1.67-$6.47/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Kill switch
  • Extensive worldwide server network
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Isn’t torrenting-friendly

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Kill switch
  • Extensive worldwide server network
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Isn’t torrenting-friendly
  • Number of servers
    700+
  • Countries
    70+
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    ~60 mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $1.67-$6.47/month

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland – a country where data retention laws don’t apply to VPN providers.

If you are on the lookout for the best VPN for Netflix, you’ll be happy to learn that VyprVPN is capable of unblocking the streaming service in both the US and UK. Although VyprVPN does not market itself as P2P-friendly, its servers do allow torrenting.

But VyprVPN truly stands out when it comes to privacy and anonymity. It has a clear no-logs policy, and it even invites companies to perform security audits. VyprVPN also provides a proprietary protocol called Chameleon. The technology represents the next step in VPN protocol advancements and allows for greater security while making it harder for third parties to detect VPN usage. This is an invaluable feature for VPN service comparison, especially in countries like China and the United Arab Emirates, where VPN usage is prohibited.

VyprVPN performs well on speed tests, but it only has about 700 servers – a considerably smaller number than that of some competitors. Meanwhile, a single payment plan will allow you to connect five devices simultaneously.

VyprVPN is relatively inexpensive, costing $6.47/month if you opt for the two-month plan. At the time of writing, the 18-month and the 36-month plans were on discount for $2.50/month and $1.67/month, respectively.

Usability is another important aspect to consider in any best VPN review, and VyprVPN does not disappoint in this regard. The software is easy to set up and use, and there are many tutorials on the website for almost any VPN-related problem or setting. Also, VyprVPN’s features will be highly appreciated by privacy-focused users.

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10. TorGuard VPN

" Best for torrenting "

  • Torrent focused
    3,000+
  • Countries
    50+
  • Max number of connected devices
    8
  • Max speed
    60mbps+
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $5.00-$12.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unblocks VPN in countries with internet censorship
  • Torrenting-focused
  • Supports up to eight simultaneous connections
  • Problems with Netflix

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unblocks VPN in countries with internet censorship
  • Torrenting-focused
  • Supports up to eight simultaneous connections
  • Problems with Netflix
  • Torrent focused
    3,000+
  • Countries
    50+
  • Max number of connected devices
    8
  • Max speed
    60mbps+
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $5.00-$12.99/month

If you are wondering which VPN is the best for P2P/torrenting, look no further than TorGuard.
This provider has built quite a name for itself, mainly thanks to its focus on torrenting.

TorGuard VPN does not throttle or reduce your original download speed – a crucial aspect for any torrent user. It performed well on most tests, scoring somewhere around the 60 Mbps mark.

Similar to VyprVPN, this provider has systems in place that allow you to bypass VPN restrictions in countries with draconian laws. This makes TorGuard one of the best VPN options for anonymity and online safety, not just for torrenting. It also comes with 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol.

TorGuard offers a variety of paid plans, including a monthly subscription of $9.99, which is slightly cheaper than the competition. The monthly price goes down with longer-term plans. Subscribing to an annual plan will cost you only $5.00/month.

However, if you want to use Netflix, you’ll have to pay an additional $7.99 for a dedicated IP address. For gamers who put emphasis on performance and are looking for the best gaming VPN, TorGuard is worth a look since it performs well with multiplayer games. The VPN can be linked to eight devices simultaneously, including your consoles.

Unfortunately, this provider offers no free plans at this moment. However, we liked that the existing ones are quite customizable.

Although it has a no-logging policy, some privacy-focused users might be concerned by the fact that TorGuard VPN is based in the United States. However, without keeping logs, the company technically has no information to hand over to authorities.

TorGuard is undoubtedly not the best VPN for streaming, as it has problems with unblocking Netflix and requires you to pay for dedicated IP. However, it does perform admirably for torrent fans, and it offers tight security.

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11. Mullvad

" Best for privacy "

  • Number of servers
    760+
  • Countries
    37
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    89 Mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $5.50/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Anonymous payments via cash or cryptocurrencies
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Can’t unblock streaming sites

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Anonymous payments via cash or cryptocurrencies
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Can’t unblock streaming sites
  • Number of servers
    760+
  • Countries
    37
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Max speed
    89 Mbps
  • Malware protection
    Yes
  • Price range
    $5.50/month

Mullvad is hailed as an unsung hero in the world of virtual networks that proved to be one of the most secure VPN providers. When creating an account, it doesn’t require personal details such as your name, country, or even your email address. It simply generates an account number. Mullvad even encourages you to pay in cash or cryptocurrencies so that your identity remains anonymous.

The installation and start-up process is straightforward, and you’ll be up and running in just a couple of seconds. From there, you’ll be required to pay a flat fee of $5.50 per month or top up your account for an entire year. While the three-hour free trial doesn’t qualify as the best free VPN service, it offers you a brief opportunity to test the software and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

What’s the way Mullvad evades hackers and trackers? It adds a layer to your online security with a multi-hop connection that makes sure your data travels through two or more servers before arriving at its destination. When creating a VPN connection, Mullvad uses OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols in all of its apps to prevent potential eavesdropping.

One of the downsides is the provider’s modest number of servers and countries. However, this relatively cheap VPN offers exceptional speeds. With 89 Mbps, speed loss is hardly noticeable. Mullvad has minimal impact on internet performance, beating the competitors from a similar price range. This is an ideal option for users most interested in gaming and torrenting privately and securely. However, if you’re looking to access geo-blocked content on streaming platforms such as Netflix or Hulu, Mullvad will disappoint you. Still, even without these capabilities, there’s a lot to like here.

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Methodology for Reviewing VPN Services

Logging and privacy policy: If you are looking for the best VPN client, you should primarily be focused on privacy and anonymity, of course. However, while most VPNs prevent third parties from collecting your data, some providers store information about their users.

Logging and privacy policies vary from one provider to the next. That’s why our reviews examined each provider’s policies on data collection. Some states have laws that require VPN providers to gather some amount of user data if they wish to operate or promote their product in those countries. However, many trusted VPN providers try to avoid those states and look to take their business elsewhere. Others work around local regulations. They claim that they do not collect any data on their users and therefore cannot know what countries their users operate from.

Some of the data that might be stored includes bandwidth usage and connection logs. This isn’t considered especially problematic since the information is primarily used by providers to improve the service or for bandwidth-based paid plans. However, some of the cheapest VPN providers collect IP and traffic logs, which endanger your anonymity. Any VPN that collects that kind of data should be avoided.

Region-specific libraries: Aside from giving their users the privacy they need, VPNs are used to access region-specific movies, TV shows, and other content on our favorite streaming platforms.

Therefore, we examined whether providers of virtual private networks can facilitate quick access to libraries across the world for widely used services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. With the best VPN software, you should be able to watch anything on those platforms regardless of geographical restrictions that might be in place.

Torrenting: In many countries, torrenting is illegal. In the United States and China, authorities actively shut down torrent sites. In Germany and France, you risk hefty fines for torrenting copyrighted material. Meanwhile, in Greece and much of Eastern Europe, the practice is largely overlooked.

We looked for a number of features to determine whether a VPN provider is suitable for torrenting. The best VPN for torrenting needs to support P2P sharing, which many providers still don’t include in their offer. The right VPN also needs to be reliable and not leak IP information because this can reveal your identity to copyright agents, regulatory bodies, and other parties.

Speed: The last major thing to look out for when it comes to both torrenting and general use of a VPN is the connection speed. What good is a VPN if it slows down your connection?

Even with the top VPN services, though, some loss of speed is unavoidable because of the encryption and tunneling processes that your connection needs to go through to remain masked.

How much of your base internet speed gets throttled depends on the VPN provider. Most companies, especially those behind free VPNs, have a speed cap. Reduced speeds can affect your overall experience with a VPN and make torrenting nearly impossible. That’s why we looked closely at speed limitations in our reviews.

Price: You might be tempted to go with providers marketed as the best free VPN options, but we advise against it. First of all, many free VPN companies earn money by actually logging and selling your personal information. Meanwhile, most have very basic features and are often unable to access many geo-blocked sites, cross-regional streaming libraries, and torrents.

That’s why we recommend paid options. Most providers use the subscription-based model and follow similar patterns when structuring their pricing plans. Consumers usually pay a monthly fee, which goes down with longer subscriptions.
If you check out our list of the best paid VPNs, you’ll also see that many of them have free trials and money-back guarantee periods, allowing you to make sure you’re happy with the product before fully committing to a paid plan.

FAQ

Is having a VPN legal?

It depends on the country you live in. Some countries allow or tolerate VPN use, while others prohibit it. If you live in a country where the technology is banned, we recommend using VPNs like VyprVPN to bypass local restrictions.

Which is the best VPN?

That depends entirely on your needs. If you aren’t too concerned with the price, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are both great options. For users who are focused on security, we recommend TunnelBear and VyprVPN.

Does VPN steal data?

It comes down to individual providers. There have been incidents involving breaches and users’ data being handed over to authorities by VPN providers. The safest option is to go for VPNs that carry out independent audits, such as TunnelBear.

Which free VPN is best?

While there are several best free VPN choices on our list, we believe Windscribe offers the best array of features in its free plan.

Do I really need a VPN?

We believe that using a VPN has become almost mandatory in our society. VPNs help protect your anonymity and ensure your online privacy.

How much does a VPN cost?

The most expensive ones cost about $12 per month, while the mid-range ones are approximately $10. However, most VPNs have cheaper offers if you subscribe for longer periods. Furthermore, the best VPN paid plans will often include additional features and remove bandwidth or connection limitations.