best vpn

The 10 Best VPN Services 2021: Cost, Streaming & Security

If you’re like me, you’ll do anything to help keep your sensitive data and devices safe while online. Hackers, your internet service provider (ISP) and even the government can get hold of your personal information — excuse me while I adjust my tinfoil hat — so it just makes sense to stay secure and anonymous online. The easiest way to do that is by using one of the best VPN services, but which one should you choose?

Well, that’s the problem. There are so many VPN companies jumping out like “pick me, pick me,” it can be hard to distinguish which ones are good and which ones are, well, not so good. Any online privacy nerd will feel like a kid in a candy store, but it’s important to know that some virtual private networks can do more harm than good — I’ll talk more about that later, though.

best vpns candy shop
Hmmm, so much choice. What should I pick?

In this article, I’ll go over what a VPN is, how it works and why you should use one. I’ll then talk about what VPN features you should look out for and list my 10 best VPN services so that you can make an informed choice. 

If that sounds like too much reading, though, I can tell you now that my top pick for pretty much any online activity is ExpressVPN, and you can find out for yourself with the safety net of a 30-day money-back guarantee.


The Best VPN Services: What You Need to Know

First, I’m going to cut to the chase by listing the 10 best VPN services (in my humble opinion) before diving into some VPN basics. That includes how a VPN works, why you need a VPN and what to look for in a VPN service. Then I’ll give more detail about each of the 10 VPNs I’m recommending. Strap in for the ride!

The Best VPN Services

  1. ExpressVPN — Fastest speeds, great security, accesses all streaming services, but pricey.
  2. NordVPN — Top security with added features, best choice for torrenting, inexpensive.
  3. Windscribe — Best free VPN, unlimited devices, access to streaming services, slower speeds.
  4. CyberGhost — NoSpy servers, VPN automation settings, not great for streaming, inexpensive and free trial. 
  5. Surfshark — Great features, unlimited connections, good for streaming, but can be slow.
  6. Private Internet Access — Cheapest VPN, great security, but inconsistent speeds and streaming success.
  7. VyprVPN — Big on privacy and security, good for streaming, variety of native VPN apps, inexpensive.
  8. ProtonVPN — Free version, Secure Core servers, accesses streaming services, but slow speeds.
  9. Hide.me — Free plan, great privacy and security, trouble with some streaming services and slow.
  10. PureVPN — Good security, inexpensive, fast on most servers, but can’t access all streaming services.

What Is a VPN and How Does It Work?

A VPN — virtual private network — is the key to online privacy and anonymity. Using one creates a private network over a regular internet connection, whether that be at home or on public WiFi. Usually, you would connect to your ISP’s servers and be granted access to the World Wide Web. A VPN kind of acts like a middleman — you connect to one of its servers instead, and that ensures your connection is private.

Once you’re connected over that private network, everything is anonymized. Your connection is completely secure and everything that travels along it is encrypted, meaning your sensitive information is protected from anyone, including your ISP. That, coupled with a no-logs policy, means your browsing and search habits stay private, too. The beauty of VPNs is that they can be used on almost any device, too.

Everything about you and what you’re doing online stays safe. Anyone trying to spy on you will only see the VPN details. That’s because your internet protocol (IP) address — which acts as an online identifier — is masked with a new IP address. That not only stops snoopers from tracing it back to you, but it can also help you bypass geoblocks. Snoopers or hackers see whatever you want them to see, via the VPN. 

babies in an elephant and fox costume
I see an elephant and a fox, what about you?

Do I Really Need a VPN?

If the words “hackers” and “snoopers” haven’t swayed you to use a VPN yet, then I’m not sure what will! Seriously, though, while you don’t necessarily need a VPN to browse the web or access online content and services, you really should use one.

Like I said in the last section, a VPN will secure your connection and keep you anonymous. For instance, let’s say I’m inputting my credit card details online while connected to public WiFi. The VPN will stop hackers and scam artists from seeing those details. 

Your identity and online activities are totally secret when you use a VPN, and that can stop hackers, the government and any other malicious entity from snooping on your internet traffic. If you like to torrent, a VPN is essential when it involves copyrighted material, since it’s illegal in most countries. I’m not condoning it, but torrenting with a VPN stops anyone from being able to prove it.

On top of that, a VPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions or censorship. You can choose which country’s VPN server you want to connect to, and doing so will mask your true location and make it appear like you’re somewhere else. 

However, a VPN can’t directly protect you against a virus or malicious software. Even a website with the cutest cats can have malicious software hidden in the background. Plus, downloading anything from the web can result in your computer or mobile device becoming infected — and you can’t fix that type of infection with some antibacterial cream. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have antivirus software installed.

best vpns grumpy cat
Ugh, do these people even know what they’re getting themselves into?

What Should I Look for in the Best VPN Services?

Although a VPN may seem like a one-size-fits-all tool, there’s a lot of features that make up the service, and different use cases to think about when you’re choosing a VPN. In this section, I’ll talk about all the different VPN features there are and what you should look for.

Security

Security strength is one of the most important features — if not the most important feature — I consider when choosing a VPN. When you look at a VPN’s security, there are a few things to note, one being the choice of protocols on offer. Different VPN protocols provide different levels of security, but higher security can affect speed, so it’s good to have a few options available. 

A kill switch is a great security feature because it will cut your connection if the VPN fails, making sure you and your information stay safe. Other features include obfuscated servers, and ad and malware blockers. It’s also important that the VPN doesn’t suffer from IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks. If it does, it’s not doing its job and you should stop using it.

Privacy

Privacy can often be confused with security, but it’s a separate feature that’s just as important. Privacy is upheld in the form of a no-logging policy, which basically ensures that none of your online activities are recorded. Everything you do online is private and cannot be traced back to you.

Many, if not all, VPNs have some sort of privacy policy. It’s important that you actually read it, though — or at least put your faith in me to tell you whether a service is good or bad. Some VPN services do collect some information, though it may not be traced back to you; other VPNs, well, they just don’t honor their own privacy policy!

Number of Servers & Locations 

It’s necessary to look at the number of servers a VPN has, as well as its server locations. Whether a VPN is suitable in this respect will depend on your needs. For instance, some VPNs only cover a small number of countries, whereas others reach farther afield to countries that haven’t been touched by competitors. 

On top of that, there are the types of servers offered by VPNs, such as streaming-optimized or obfuscated servers, which completely disguise the fact that you’re using a VPN, and peer-to-peer (P2P) servers, which are optimized for file sharing, such as torrenting. 

Speed

As I said earlier, having a more secure VPN means that your connection speeds can be compromised. However, that doesn’t mean you’re confined to a life of slow download speeds or poor streaming performance. Many VPNs are capable of providing top security while only affecting performance a teeny bit — so much so that you probably won’t even notice. 

Still, speed can often vary on different servers. The main goal here is to end up with a VPN that closely matches your unprotected speed while also ensuring you have decent security. 

Streaming Capability

I love streaming and often do so with a VPN so I can access geoblocked content. The problem, though, is that VPNs can often struggle to get into such services without getting an error thrown at them. 

To be classed as one of the best VPN for streaming, a VPN needs to be able to bypass errors, such as the Netflix proxy error code, and fool the service when connected to another country’s server. 

I can’t test every single streaming service out there, but by focusing on the main subjects — Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video — I can get a decent look into a VPN’s streaming capability. Here, I want to see consistency with unblocking and a decent streaming performance overall. It’s also a good idea to choose a VPN with unlimited data so you can stream as much as you like.

User-Friendliness

A VPN should not be hard to use. Sure, techies might like to tweak the settings here and there, but in general, the user interface should not be overwhelming. It should be a simple process from sign-up to installation to connection. 

That also means its default configurations should be good enough so your average Joe can simply click “connect” and get on with his day. Choosing a different server location should be simple, too.

Device Compatibility and Simultaneous Connections

Most VPN apps are compatible with the major operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Some also have apps for routers, smart TVs and game consoles, and many have browser extensions. However, only a few offer a dedicated Linux app, so check that the VPN supports your device. 

Another thing to keep in mind is how many devices the VPN lets you connect at a time. If you want to keep your whole household protected, you need to make sure it allows enough simultaneous connections to keep everyone happy.

Customer Support

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thankful for a VPN’s support team. Sometimes problems arise out of nowhere, so it’s handy to have good customer support behind you when you need it. 

Many VPNs have a knowledgebase that you can refer to on the website, and some even have setup guides, FAQs and forums. For straight help, though, it’s good to have a few options, such as live chat, email or ticket support, and perhaps even phone support. Some have chatbots, but they’re not usually great with complex issues. 

Price

VPNs usually offer one plan with multiple durations. The price you pay will depend on the duration you choose, and the longer that is, the cheaper it works out to be in the end. You also want to look at the payment options; for instance, you may want to use cryptocurrency or even cash. 

Plus, most VPNs offer a money-back guarantee, though the length can vary. Some have a free plan, and a few offer a free trial. That said, it’s wise to steer clear of free VPNs unless it’s a reputable company, but I’ll talk more about that later.

Overall, though, you want to measure the features the VPN offers against its cost, because good value is more important than saving a little bit of moolah.


Top 10: Best VPN Services of 2021

In this section, I’ll recommend my top 10 VPNs. Remember that VPNs can differ in performance or features, so some VPNs are better than others for certain tasks. I’ll start the list with my favorite provider, ExpressVPN, which is actually pretty good for any online activity.

1. ExpressVPN

best vpns expressvpn
ExpressVPN is a great all-round VPN that will suit any use case.

PROS

  • Fastest VPN
  • Unblocks all streaming services
  • Top security & privacy
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN of all. It excels in all areas, no matter what you want to do online. It has top security, is free of leaks and has a kill switch, as well as a solid no-logging policy. Something that makes it truly shine above its competitors, though, is its speeds. It’s so fast, it’s like I’m not even connected via the VPN. It has low latency times, too, meaning gamers will experience fewer delays. 

Add ExpressVPN’s fast speeds to the fact that it can get me into any streaming service I want and it’s a top choice for any hardcore streamer. Plus, it has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, so I can easily bypass geoblocks and other restrictions. It’s compatible with almost any device and allows up to five simultaneous connections. Customer service is great, too, and includes 24/7 live chat.

Top-Notch Security

Like I said, ExpressVPN has excellent security which is set at AES 256-bit encryption and uses the OpenVPN protocol right out of the box. That means beginners don’t need to worry if their connection is secure from the get-go. There are other protocols available, though, including ExpressVPN’s own answer to the fairly new WireGuard protocol, Lightway. It’s built with your privacy and security in mind, but doesn’t sacrifice performance. 

Other security features are available, too, such as split tunneling, which lets you choose which apps connect through the VPN, and you can set it to launch at startup. ExpressVPN really does have it all, but it comes at a pretty high price. That said, you get a lot for your money. Plus, you can save some money by opting for the 12-month plan and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.

Check out ExpressVPN’s pricing here.


2. NordVPN

screenshot of the nordvpn desktop client
NordVPN is an affordable VPN that has extra security features.

PROS

  • Excellent privacy
  • Extra security features
  • Huge server network
  • Great for torrenting & streaming

CONS

  • Some servers are slow
  • Switching servers is slow

To be fair, NordVPN isn’t far off ExpressVPN’s highly set bar — and it’s also more affordable. It has a strict no-logging policy and uses the same security level as ExpressVPN — though there are some extra security features included, which I’ll get into in a minute. It’s super easy to use, with its map-style interface, and it can be installed on many device types with up to six connections at a time. 

NordVPN’s server count is huge, with more than 5,000 servers in around 60 countries — not quite the coverage of ExpressVPN, but still great. Its speeds are good overall, but I’ve found some servers to be a little slow. Simply connecting to a different server can sort that issue out, though, and the same goes for accessing streaming services, which it excels at.

On top of that, NordVPN is a top VPN for torrenting due to its obfuscated servers that totally hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. I found downloads to be faster when using NordVPN’s default NordLynx protocol, which is NordVPN’s own take on the WireGuard protocol.

Extra Security Features

NordVPN has some handy security features under its hood. Split tunneling is one of them, and there’s also a kill switch. For the most part, NordVPN’s kill switch is system-wide, meaning that your device will be cut off from the internet if the VPN fails. However, NordVPN offers an app kill feature on desktop, where you specify which apps should be terminated in such a situation.

On top of that, NordVPN has double-hop VPN servers, which basically encrypt your connection twice over if you use them. NordVPN can be enabled at device startup and it passes any DNS leak tests thrown at it. Plus, it also comes with an ad blocker.

Customer service is great and offers a quick response via live chat or email. The live chat option starts with a chatbot that redirects you to relevant sections of NordVPN’s knowledgebase, but you can easily switch to a live agent. NordVPN’s price is much more budget-friendly than ExpressVPN, though most of the savings are seen in its multiyear plans. Plus, there’s a 30-day refund window in place.

Check out NordVPN’s pricing here.


3. Windscribe

Windscribe is a great VPN that has both a free and paid plan.

PROS

  • Limited free plan & cheap build-a-plan option
  • Unlimited devices
  • Great security & privacy
  • Accesses streaming services easily

CONS

  • Can be slow

Windscribe is a bit like a fine wine — it just keeps getting better with age. OK, so it’s not quite in the same bracket as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but it’s pushing for a top-level seat, that’s for sure. A major factor in its rise is the fact that it offers a decent but limited free plan, making it the best free VPN available. 

There’s a 10GB data cap on the free plan, but it’s a great choice if you’re totally strapped for cash. Plus, Windscribe’s total server count isn’t as high as my top picks, but it still covers 63 countries. However, its full network is only accessible on the paid plan. Free servers are available in 10 countries, including the U.S., Canada, the UK, Europe and Hong Kong.

Its security is great, using the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, and there’s a no-logging policy in place too. Windscribe also includes its own take on a kill switch, naming it a “firewall.”

Windscribe’s customer service is OK. It uses a live chatbot called “Garry,” which is pretty good at pointing you to relevant self-help guides, but it’s just not the same as speaking to a real human. Still, you can type “agent” into the chat box and Garry will happily escalate your issue to a human. There’s also a handy Windscribe subreddit.

Free Plan With Streaming Capabilities and Unlimited Connections

Windscribe used to have streaming-optimized servers called Windflix servers, but they were only available on a paid subscription. However, due to Windscribe’s near-constant improvements, I’ve found that it can access the major streaming services on most of its servers — even free ones. That’s a huge accomplishment, especially since that includes Netflix.

That said, the free servers’ speeds aren’t always great and you might need to try a couple of servers before you find a suitable one. Of course, my streaming addiction sucks up that 10GB data cap like a hungry vampire, but you can enjoy unlimited data by choosing the full paid plan or its build-a-plan option.

Windscribe’s build-a-plan option lets you add paid servers to your account for just $1 each per month, and unlimited data can be added on for another $1 per month. So you could potentially pay just $2 per month. 

Windscribe’s easy-to-use app can be installed on many device types, and it lets you simultaneously connect an unlimited number of devices on any of its plans — including the free one. Plus, there’s a three-day refund window.

Check out Windscribe’s free plan and pricing here.


4. CyberGhost

netflix proxy error cyberghost
CyberGhost is a cheap VPN with great security, but it doesn’t cut it for streaming.

PROS

  • Excellent security
  • Dedicated servers for different use cases
  • Smart automation features
  • Free trial

CONS

  • Can’t access all streaming services
  • Some servers are slow
  • Worrisome parent company

CyberGhost is one of the cheapest VPN options with strong security. It has top security features, such as strong encryption, a kill switch, a malware/ad blocker and split tunneling. You can choose from a few different protocols, too, including its fast and secure WireGuard protocol. However, there are some areas that let the service down, which I’ll point out along the way.

First of all, CyberGhost’s server network is massive, with almost 7,000 servers in around 90 countries. Plus, CyberGhost has optimized servers which it handily sorts into categories for gaming, torrenting, streaming and its “NoSpy” servers. 

The NoSpy servers are independently operated with the highest security measures. They’re also located outside the Five Eyes jurisdiction, so they’re perfect for evading surveillance and prying eyes.

However, in my testing, CyberGhost’s streaming servers didn’t work as intended. Speed isn’t an issue for most servers, and although I could access Netflix U.S., it struggled in other areas. It can’t unblock other Netflix libraries or major streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. If streaming is a top priority, CyberGhost isn’t the best VPN for you.

Another concern is that CyberGhost’s parent company is known for writing malicious software. Yep, that’s right, Kape Technologies used to be known as Crossrider. Still, CyberGhost claims it does operate independently and maintains a strict privacy policy.

Smart Automation Features

CyberGhost knows how a VPN should work and proves that in its design and unique features. Its user interface is easy to use, but it still offers enough customization for those who are more tech-minded. CyberGhost also has what it calls “smart rules,” which allow you to automate certain VPN settings, such as connecting to a specific server or launching with particular apps.

You can install it on many different device types and have up to seven devices connected at a time. If you run into trouble, you can use the live chat or email support, and there’s a large knowledgebase with information for setup, troubleshooting and FAQs.

CyberGhost is super cheap, so long as you sign up for one of its long-term plans. If you want to take CyberGhost for a spin first, though, it offers a free seven-day trial on mobile (24 hours on desktop). Plus, there’s a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (14 days on the monthly plan).

Check out CyberGhost’s pricing here.


5. Surfshark

surfshark ui uk
Surfshark offers great security and streaming capability, but it can be slow.

PROS

  • Lots of extra features
  • Unlimited connections
  • Decent server network
  • Accesses streaming services

CONS

  • Speeds can be slow

Surfshark is one of the newer VPNs on the block, but that doesn’t mean it can’t compete with the top providers. I’ve found Surfshark to be reliable in all of my testing, with top-notch security and privacy. It’s also great at getting into any streaming service and has decent speeds to provide a good streaming quality, though some servers can be slow. 

Its server network boasts 3,200 servers in 65 countries, and some of those are in locations that its competitors haven’t touched. Connecting to one of those servers is easy, thanks to Surfshark’s easy-to-use interface. It’s compatible with most devices and — like Windscribe — it allows any number of simultaneous connections on all of its plans. 

Customer service is responsive and provides good advice. There’s a handy knowledgebase, live chat and a ticket system. 

Extra VPN Features and Security

Surfshark implements extra features like an ad blocker, but there are some other features that aren’t available in my top choices. You get the use of CleanWeb, which blocks anything like pop-ups, trackers, malware and more. There’s also a feature called NoBorders, which can help users in restrictive countries to bypass censorship, and its MultiHop is similar to NordVPN’s double-hop encryption feature. 

Pricewise, Surfshark is cheap, especially for a well-balanced VPN that provides a decent streaming experience. However, you only see that “cheapness” if you opt for the 24-month plan. You can also add Surfshark One on to your VPN package, which provides extra features, such as antivirus, security alerts and secure search, for $1.49 per month. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Check out Surfshark’s pricing here.


6. PIA

screenshot of the pia desktop client
Private Internet Access is a super cheap VPN that comes with top security and privacy.

PROS

  • Customizable
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Unblocks Netflix

CONS

  • Can’t access some streaming services
  • Inconsistent speeds

Private Internet Access (PIA) is the cheapest full VPN package you can get — at least that’s actually decent. For the same price as Surfshark’s two-year plan, you could get another year of PIA. 

However, if you want to access multiple streaming networks, I suggest you skip back to Surfshark at least. Although PIA can unblock Netflix, it struggles with other major streaming services like Hulu and BBC iPlayer.

Still, it’s a great choice if you either only want to watch Netflix or don’t want to stream at all with its strong security and honorable privacy policy. Plus, PIA’s server network is pretty good. The server count isn’t as high as its competitors, but it still has more than 28,000 servers across 78 countries (a large portion of those are located in the U.S., though).

PIA’s customer support is solid, offering everything from a knowledgebase and other self-help resources, to a ticket form, live chat and a subreddit.

Ease of Use and Added Features

Private Internet Access is super easy to use, even giving ExpressVPN a run for its money in that area. It can be installed on different device types and also allows up to 10 simultaneous connections. It also comes with an ad blocker called MACE, split tunneling and the use of Shadowsocks proxies, which add another layer of protection to your encrypted tunnel.

Like I said earlier, PIA is cheap. As with many other VPN providers, you only see the savings on longer plans, but with its 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose.

Check out Private Internet Access’ pricing here.


7. VyprVPN

best vpns vyprvpn
VyprVPN is known for its top-notch security and privacy, but its speeds can let it down.

PROS

  • Independently audited no-logging policy
  • Chameleon protocol
  • Gets into Netflix
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • Can be slow

VyprVPN is a great VPN service when it comes to security and privacy, and its parent company, Golden Frog, is always looking to improve it. You’re protected by high security — it’s so focused on privacy that it got its privacy policy independently audited. However, one area that seems to get left behind is speed, but even then, it’s not a total off-put. 

You see, on paper, VyprVPN’s speeds can look terrible. In practice, however, they’re fine. Although VyprVPN sometimes lacks actual speed, its speeds are reliable. So for activities such as streaming, it’s pretty good — plus it can access all the major streaming platforms.

Compared with other VPNs, VyprVPN has a small number of servers, with only a little over 700 servers in just over 60 countries. You should still find one that suits your needs, though. Customer support is good, with a handy knowledgebase, a community forum, email support and live chat available.

Support for Different Device Types

VyprVPN supports a wide range of platforms, with apps for the usual Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, but it also has native apps for less-common devices, such as Android TV and routers. Weirdly, though, there’s no Linux app, so if you’re a Penguin fan, you’ll need to set the VPN up manually.

Whatever app you choose, it’ll be very easy to use and you can have up to 30 simultaneous connections (five if you sign up on mobile). Its price is friendly, too, with its three-year plan working out the cheapest. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out VyprVPN’s pricing here.


8. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN works with netflix
ProtonVPN has a limited free plan, but its speeds aren’t great.

PROS

  • Limited free version available
  • Secure core servers
  • Gets into streaming services
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Slow speeds
  • No live chat

ProtonVPN is similar to Windscribe in that it offers both a free and paid version, but it’s not quite as good in some areas. Still, it has lots of features, its security is excellent and it has a solid no-logs policy, so it’s definitely earned a spot on this list and is a great option if you need free protection.

It has more than 1,200 servers in 55 countries, which isn’t as many as some competitors, but should be enough. That said, how many you have access to will depend on the plan you choose, which I’ll get to in a minute. It’s also easy to use and can be downloaded on many device types.

ProtonVPN’s speeds are what truly let it down, though. It’s not the slowest VPN service I’ve come across, but it’s not great. So although it can access streaming services easily, it’s not great for the task as a whole. Plus, its customer service could be improved. There’s a decent knowledgebase and email support, but there’s no live chat option, and email support takes a while to respond in my experience.

Multiple Plan Options

Something that’s not often seen with VPN providers nowadays is multiple plan options. There are four plans altogether — including the free plan — but as the cost goes up, you get a bigger slice of the cake. On the free plan, you get access to 23 servers in three countries, can have one device connected and the speeds are capped. 

The Basic plan gives access to more than 350 servers in over 40 countries, allows two simultaneous connections, has better speeds and also has an ad blocker and P2P servers. 

Next is the Plus plan, where you get to use all of ProtonVPN’s servers, up to 10 simultaneous connections and you’ll benefit from the best speeds. You also get to use its Secure Core servers and its Tor over VPN option for better protection. 

Lastly, there’s the Visionary plan, which includes everything above and the use of Proton Mail — its own encrypted email service. All of ProtonVPN’s plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, too.

Check out ProtonVPN’s pricing here.


9. Hide.me

best vpns hide.me
Hide.me has a limited free plan and although its paid plan is better, it’s a bit pricey.

PROS

  • Free plan
  • Advanced options
  • Independently audited privacy policy
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Slow speeds on distant servers
  • Trouble accessing some streaming services

Hide.me is a great VPN service. However, it doesn’t quite compete with the likes of ExpressVPN, and its high price makes it difficult to recommend against cheaper VPNs like Private Internet Access and Surfshark. Still, it gets a mention here due to its great service and excellent free plan. 

Its free plan is similar to Windscribe’s in that you get a 10GB per month data cap, but you can only use it with one device. Its paid plan allows 10 simultaneous connections and unlimited data. Hide.me’s speeds are decent if you connect to a server close by, but once you connect to servers farther away, it becomes sluggish. 

Aside from slow speeds, though, Hide.me has issues with unblocking certain streaming services. It can get into Netflix U.S. and even BBC iPlayer, but it struggles with Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Security and Ease of Use

Hide.me has strong security and an independently audited privacy policy, for extra peace of mind. There are more than 1,800 servers available in over 50 countries; however, the free service is limited to five locations. It can be used on most devices and is easy to use. 

There are lots of options available on the interface. It’s not overwhelming for beginners, but more experienced users will enjoy the extra details that have been added. For instance, you have access to leak tests and customer support directly through the VPN app — something I don’t typically see with many providers. 

Hide.me offers a great service, but with its high price, I can’t recommend it above services such as ExpressVPN. Of course, there is the free plan, but Windscribe is a better option for streaming and includes more server locations. If you decide to try Hide.me, though, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.

Check out Hide.me’s free plan and pricing here.


10. PureVPN

best vpns purevpn
PureVPN has been plagued by its past, but it has redeemed itself and is a decent VPN overall. 

PROS

  • Good security features
  • Fast
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • Struggles to unblock some streaming services
  • Customer support could be better

PureVPN is a service that seems to want to be the best, but has cut corners while trying. Overall, it’s a good VPN, but there are some aspects of the service that would benefit from improvement. 

For one, PureVPN’s privacy policy is good, but in the past, it has come under scrutiny. To clear its name, though, PureVPN decided to have its privacy policy independently audited and passed with virtual flying colors. 

Its security is good, too, but its automatic VPN connection doesn’t show you which protocol you’re using. It’ll choose the best protocol based on speed and security, but there’s no way of knowing what protocol you’re connected with. Still, it’s easy to manually set the protocol and stick with that.

It has more than 6,500 servers spread across more than 140 countries. The app will present you with a choice of modes, such as streaming, security, file sharing and so on. It will then show you the best servers for the mode you have chosen, making it easy to navigate. Some of those are virtual servers, though, and testing proved that it’s easy to trace the actual location of the server. 

Plus, although PureVPN has dedicated streaming servers, it has difficulty unblocking some streaming services. Amazon Prime Video is pretty much a no-go, and you’ll need to try numerous servers before having any luck with Netflix. It also has fast speeds, but they’re inconsistent across different locations.

Extra Add-Ons

You can get additional features with PureVPN, but you’ll need to cough up some change to get them. Port forwarding costs $0.99 per month, dedicated IP addresses cost $2.99 per month and DDoS protection is available for $3.99 per month. 

PureVPN allows you to connect up to 10 devices at a time, and the price isn’t bad if you opt for a long-term plan. There’s also a trial available so you can check it out first. You can either purchase a seven-day trial for $0.99 or get a free trial through its browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. You’ll need to cancel it if you don’t want to subscribe, but there is a 31-day money-back guarantee in place.

Check out PureVPN’s pricing here.


Conclusion: The Best VPN

Choosing the best VPN service can be a huge task, but knowing what your main use case will be can help. I’ve recommended 10 top VPN providers in this list, but not all of them are good for the same tasks. Some are better for streaming, some are better for torrenting and so on.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can get, though, because it excels in all use cases. You can stream, stay protected in the strictest of countries and just do anything with the knowledge that your activities are private. Still not convinced? Take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to see for yourself.

Do you agree with my choice of the best VPNs? What’s your best VPN provider? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Thank you for reading.

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