Find the Best VPN service in 2020

By Admin user March 6, 2020

In just a few years, VPNs went from being used by a few tech-savvy consumers to being 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 is the best VPN out there? Check out the top picks in our buyers guide.

Here are some of our best VPNs for 2020:

1.
Best alternative to ExpressVPN

NordVPN

4.9
Lowest price:
$ 3.49 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • No-logs policy
  • Kill switch
  • 256-bit encryption

Available on:

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2.
Best VPN for all-around use

ExpressVPN

4.9
Lowest price:
$ 8.39 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Available on all platforms
  • Torrent and Netflix-friendly
  • No logging

Available on:

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3.
Best VPN with a free plan

Windscribe

4.7
Lowest price:
$ 4.08 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Available on all platforms
  • Torrent and Netflix-friendly
  • No logging

Available on:

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4.
Best server-base

CyberGhost VPN

4.7
Lowest price:
$ 2.75 /mo
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Key Features

  • Free plan
  • Advanced security measures
  • Unlimited connected devices

Available on:

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5.
Best value for money

SurfShark

4.6
Lowest price:
$ 1.99 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Free plan
  • Advanced security measures
  • Unlimited connected devices

Available on:

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6.
Best budget VPN

IPVanish

4.6
Lowest price:
$ 6.49 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Automatic IP cycling
  • Up to 10 connected devices
  • Works with torrents and Netflix

Available on:

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7.
Best download speed

HotSpot Shield

4.2
Lowest price:
$ 7.99 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Free plan
  • Many security features
  • Wide choice of servers

Available on:

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8.
Best for new VPN users

TunnelBear

4.3
Lowest price:
$ 4.99 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Secure
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap

Available on:

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9.
Best for privacy-focused users

VyprVPN

4.5
Lowest price:
$ 2.5 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Chameleon protocol
  • Independently audited
  • Guaranteed privacy

Available on:

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10.
Best for torrenting

TorGuard VPN

4.5
Lowest price:
$ 4.99 /mo
Learn More

Key Features

  • Unblocks VPN in censorship countries
  • Great speed
  • Torrent focused

Available on:

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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 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 4.9

Best alternative to ExpressVPN

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 5470+
  • Countries - 62
  • Max number of connected devices - 6
  • Max speed - 110 mbps
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Great privacy policy
  • Huge number of servers
  • Unblocks Netflix and Hulu
  • Dedicated customer support

CONS :

  • Privacy concerns following 2018 breach

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 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 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 even invited several international auditors to verify this claim.

 

Many consider NordVPN one of the best VPN services because of its large number of servers around the world – The company has 5470 servers in 62 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 works with Hulu, but the connection can be very slow.

 

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

The software also 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, this best-rated VPN does not come cheap. A one-month subscription fee is $11.95. But the price goes down if you purchase one of the yearly plans. A three-year plan will cost you only $3.94 per 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 security and ranks as one of the best VPN providers on the market.


2. ExpressVPN 4.9

Best VPN for all-around use

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Specifications

  • Number of servers - 3,000
  • Countries - 95
  • Max number of connected devices - 5
  • Max speed - 106 mbps
  • Malware protection - No

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Huge number of locations
  • Huge number of locations
  • Unblocks Netflix

CONS :

  • Few servers

ExpressVPN is one of the best paid VPNs. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, which is not party to the 14 Eyes intelligence sharing agreement

It’s regarded as the fastest provider in the world. The maximum speed limit is around 106 mbps, and you only lose around 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 around 2,000 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 platforms. It also comes with a 256-bit encryption, guaranteeing your safety and anonymity. Furthermore, ExpressVPN has Tor compatibility and its own Tor website, which is a very rare feature 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 the fastest VPN, but it isn’t cheap. The monthly subscription fee is $12.35. If you sign up for six months, the price drops to $9.99/month, while an annual plan costs $8.32/month. All of these plans come with 30-day money-back guarantees. You can pay via credit card, Paypal or cryptocurrency.

So, if the price is not too high for you, ExpressVPN is definitely an ideal option if you are looking for the best VPN in 2020.


3. Windscribe 4.7

Best VPN with a free plan

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Specifications

  • Number of servers: - 610+
  • Countries - 60
  • Max number of connected devices - Unlimited
  • Max speed - ~100 mbps
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • No limit on connected devices
  • Great free plan
  • Works with torrents and unblocks Netflix

CONS :

  • Slower speed

Windscribe is widely regarded as one of the best free VPNs available. But there has been some concern surrounding its base of operation. Windscribe is based in Canada, a signatory to the 5 Eyes intelligence sharing agreement. Theoretically, this obligates Windscribe to comply with government requests for data. But the company pointed out in a blog post that Canada does not have any data retention laws. As such, Windscribe is not obliged to log any user information. 

Ultimately, Windscribe’s no-logs policy possibly makes it the best free VPN for PC, which should alleviate any fears about the loss of anonymity. 

So, what does their 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 their competitors. The monthly price is $9. It goes down to $4 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 features you choose.

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 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 on Android.

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, it 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 using the free plan as a trial before upgrading to higher bandwidth.


4. CyberGhost VPN 4.7

Best server-base

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 5,900+
  • Countries - 90
  • Max number of connected devices - 7
  • Max speed - 1 gbps (In ideal conditions)
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Comes with malware and AdBlock
  • No logs
  • Streaming and torrent capable

CONS :

  • Expensive

CyberGhost VPN is a Bucharest-based software company founded in 2011. They are the creators of 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 best VPN in 2020 list is its server base. It currently has over 5,900 servers in 90 countries and allows 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 app has separate tabs with specialized torrent and streaming servers. CyberGhost unblocks Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and BBC iPlayer. It has a solid connection speed, and users won’t experience any bandwidth throttling while streaming or torrenting.

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 three-year plan, which will cost you $2.27/month.


5. SurfShark 4.6

Best value for money

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 1040+
  • Countries - 61+
  • Max number of connected devices - Unlimited
  • Max speed - 110 mbps
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Cheap
  • Plethora of safety options
  • Unblocks Netflix

CONS :

  • Slow

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 SurfShark.

SurfShark’s main strength is its affordability. The annual plan costs $5.99/month, and if you choose the two-year package, the price drops to just $1.99/month. We recommend staying clear of the monthly subscription which costs $11.95/month – a similar price tag as most other providers.

A number of features landed SurfShark on our top 10 VPN list. It has over 1040 servers in more than 61 countries and a NoBorders mode that helps you connect to the internet in countries where VPNs are banned.

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 torrent and Netflix, a characteristic of any best VPN in 2020. It doesn’t just unblock Netflix in the US and UK but in several other countries as well. SurfShark supports P2P traffic and works on all popular platforms.

Furthermore, the software includes malware and ad blocking capabilities, 256-bit encryption, and a kill-switch option. And although it slows down the connection speed more than other products, some still consider it to be the most popular VPN.


6. IPVanish 4.6

Best budget VPN

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 1,300+
  • Countries - 75+
  • Max number of connected devices - 10
  • Max speed - ~40 mbps
  • Malware protection - No

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Highly customizable options
  • Decent speed
  • Affordable

CONS :

  • Slow

IPVanish’s recent history may lead some to argue that the software is not the best VPN when it comes to privacy protection. The company was founded in 2012 and is based in the United States. In the years that followed, it supplied at least one user’s data to the US government, revealing that it kept logs.

But since then, IPVanish changed owners, and the new management appears to be fully committed to keeping your information safe. It now has a clear no-logs policy, just like any other best VPN for home use.

IPVanish provides public Wi-Fi protection and allows you to access geo-blocked content. It has 1,300 servers in more than 75 countries. You also get over 40,000 shared IPs at your disposal as well as automatic IP cycling.

IPVanish users can link up to 10 devices to the VPN, which is significantly more than other best private VPN products. The software relies on 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN/IKEv2 protocols. The desktop app might appear intimidating to new users but that is because IPVanish gives you extensive control over its features and settings.

IPVanish also boasts a fairly standard subscription model. The options include the monthly $10 subscription, a three-month plan for $8.99/month, and the annual plan for $6.49/month.

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


7. HotSpot Shield 4.2

Best download speed

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 3,200+
  • Countries - 85+
  • Max number of connected devices - 5
  • Max speed - n/A
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Fast
  • Works with torrents and unblocks streaming services
  • No logs policy

CONS :

  • Privacy concerns

HotSpot Shield is another US-based product in our VPN hosting reviews. The widely-used VPN has both paid and free plans. HotSpot Shield was operated by AnchorFree until 2019 before being taken over by Pango. It was popular among Arab Spring protesters who used it to access social networking tools and upload videos.

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 doesn’t begin to compare to the best lifetime VPN options. You are limited to just 500 MB daily. Your speed is capped at 2 mbps, and you can only access one server, which is 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 2020 lists. The VPN causes only minor losses of your original download speed. It also unblocks streaming services and P2P sharing. Furthermore, you receive malware and identity theft protection, a password manager, and robocall blocking. 

HotSpot Shield has over 3,200 servers, 256-bit encryption as well as the ability to turn on automatically when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network.

But this is not a recommended VPN for all users. The company faced criticism over its privacy policy in the past. If you decide to use the free version, your information will be provided to companies that run ads. However, the company itself does not keep user logs, and the VPN has a number of useful and protective features.


8. TunnelBear 4.3

Best for new VPN users

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 4,200
  • Countries - 20
  • Max number of connected devices - 5
  • Max speed - ~40 mbps
  • Malware protection - No

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Price
  • Privacy Policy
  • Speed

CONS :

  • Does not allow torrenting
  • Doesn't unblock Netflix

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. The monthly plan costs $9.99, which is very affordable for quality VPNs. For an annual subscription, the monthly rate drops to $4.99.

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 its policy is a clear and easy read. The entire service is 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.

Like most other best VPN providers, TunnelBear did well on speed tests. The only trouble is the latency, which might spike at times. The provider significantly increased its number of servers over the years, reaching the 4,000 mark. But it is available in only 20 countries. All of your connections are protected by 256-bit encryption and rely on OpenVPN protocol – both are considered to be the best in the industry.

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


9. VyprVPN 4.5

Best for privacy-focused users

See Price

Specifications

  • Number of servers - 700+
  • Countries - 64
  • Max number of connected devices - 5
  • Max speed - ~60 mbps
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • No logs
  • Accessible in countries that prohibit VPNs
  • Unblocks Netflix

CONS :

  • No the cheapest VPN

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

If you are searching 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 being 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 gives the utmost proprietary to the Chameleon protocol. 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 when it comes to 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 around 700 servers in 64 countries, which is considerably less than some of the competition. Meanwhile, a single payment plan will allow you to simultaneously connect five devices.

But VyprVPN is pricey, costing $12.99/month. At the time of writing, the annual and 2-year plans were on discount for $3.75/month and $2.50/month respectively.

Usability is an important aspect 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 their website for almost any VPN-related problem or setting.

While it may be pricey, VyprVPN’s features will be highly appreciated by privacy-focused users.


10. TorGuard VPN 4.5

Best for torrenting

See Price

Specifications

  • Torrent focused - 3,000+
  • Countries - 68
  • Max number of connected devices - 8
  • Max speed - 60mbps+
  • Malware protection - Yes

Available on:

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PROS :

  • Good performance
  • StealthVPN for bypassing VPN blocks
  • Good for gaming and torrenting

CONS :

  • Problems with Netflix

If you are wondering which VPN is best for P2P/torrenting, look no further than TorGuard VPN.  

This provider has built quite a name for itself, especially with its focus on torrenting, which used to be prohibited on most VPN providers.

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. 

Aside from torrenting, this is the best VPN for anonymity and online safety. Similar to VyprVPN, TorGuard has systems in place that allow you to bypass VPN restrictions in countries with draconian laws. It also comes with 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol.

TorGuard offers four 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/month.

However, if you want to use Netflix, you’ll have to pay an additional $7.99 for a dedicated IP address. For gamers that put a lot of 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, including your consoles.

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, they technically have no information to hand over to authorities.

TorGuard is surely 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.


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 that are focused on security, we recommend TunnelBear and VyprVPN.

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 their free plan.

Is having a VPN legal?

It depends on the country you live in. Some states allow or tolerate VPN usage, while others prohibit them. If you live in states where the technology is prohibited, we recommend using VPNs like VyprVPN to bypass local restrictions.

Does VPN steal data?

It comes down to individual providers.There have been a number of incidents involving breaches and user data being handed over to authorities by VPN providers. The safest option is to go for VPNs that carry out independent audits, such asTunnelBear.

Do I really need a VPN?

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

How much does a VPN cost?

The best VPN services have similar prices. The most expensive ones cost around $12/month, while the mid-range ones are around $10. However, most VPNs have cheaper offers if you subscribe for longer periods of time.