Best VPN in 2021

Most people have anti-virus software to help shield their computers and mobiles from viruses. You may think that this is enough to keep your internet connection secure. Using a Virtual Private Network as well as anti-virus software will provide you with online privacy. However, not many of us employ a VPN service in order to protect our personal privacy.

So, what is a VPN? A Virtual Private Network is the best way to protect your movements online since it is a private network that uses an encrypted service to give you complete online anonymity. Your internet traffic and identity will be hidden, as you will surf the internet on a single shared IP address provided by your VPN server. This means that you will essentially have online visibility since your internet service provider will no longer be able to see your browsing activity.

As well as offering a more secure connection, VPNs also allow people to access censored or geo-blocked websites. When you travel abroad, you sometimes can’t access an important website due to your IP address. Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies devices. A VPN will make sure that you can access any site you wish to, by connecting you to a different server and changing your IP address.

People use VPNs for both personal and business reasons and one VPN service can allow you to make a number of simultaneous connections. This means you can connect more than one device to a VPN and make sure all of your web activity is secure.

Table of content

How Does a VPN Work?

Although VPNs seem complex, they are incredibly easy to use. Once you download a VPN service, it works as follows to help protect your online activity and data:

To sum it up, a VPN works by protecting your online privacy and data and easing your mind when you’re on the web. This is why more and more people are using a VPN service since it offers internet protection that nothing else can match up to.

Best VPNs

Why Is Internet Security Important?

As people’s lives become more and more technological, they share more of themselves online. Almost all shopping, work, and conversations are done over the internet these days. This means that there is a lot of information about each and every one of us out there. Without having some sort of privacy online, people run the risk of their private lives becoming public domain.

Without using a VPN, you are exposing yourself to hackers and internet service providers who can sell your information to third parties. These parties can then do whatever they want with it. Hackers can find out your bank details within minutes and steal your identity. Governments can spy on individuals and dislike what they are doing, which leads to arrests. In certain countries, this is a real risk and affects the lives of people daily.

With so much individual privacy limited due to the advancements of technology, people need to be able to take back some control where possible. A VPN provides this control and allows you to surf the net, work, and chat with friends online without the fear that there is someone watching. Regardless of what you get up to online, you need internet security so that certain parts of your life can stay private.

What Are The Benefits of a VPN?

The benefits of VPNs are endless. Although VPNs were originally used to allow companies to access important documents remotely, nowadays a VPN can be used by everyone.

Each VPN company has different advantages and will provide users with slightly different features. However, there are some aspects that are the same regardless of the service provider you use. These include protecting your data from ISPs, offering more security, and granting you access to censored websites. Here are the main advantages of a VPN:

Use Your VPN Across Several Devices

If you’re a tech-lover or have multiple devices for work purposes, then you’ll need to ensure all of these have protection. A great advantage of using a VPN service to protect your internet traffic is that more VPN providers allow you to use your VPN over a number of simultaneous connections.

Whether you want to have security and privacy on your laptop and iPad or want to protect your family’s online surfing, you can do so with one VPN. Many companies use a VPN to protect their employees’ data and allow them to access a local network from anywhere in the world.

It’s not just desktop and laptop computers that can benefit from using a VPN. Phones do too and there are many VPN providers that are compatible with several operating systems. Most VPNs can be used with both iOS and Android systems so that you’re always protected, even when you’re just scrolling through Facebook on your phone.

What Does a VPN Hide?

As mentioned above, a Virtual Private Network hides your internet traffic so that your ISP cannot log your movements and sell this data. Likewise, hackers cannot see your web activity and easily steal your identity. But what else does a VPN hide?

Is It Illegal To Have a VPN?

Accessing blocked websites. Changing your IP address. Encrypting your data so that no one can see what you’re up to online.

All of the above describes what VPNs do, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it sounds a little shady. Rumors have even floated around online, stating that VPNs are illegal, and this has put people off from downloading them. However, this is completely untrue. VPNs are entirely legal if you’re using them to protect your privacy.

Big corporations and governments make use of VPNs since they need to have the highest online security to protect their business or country’s information. Of course, if you’re using a VPN to participate in dodgy, illegal behavior, then this is not good. Irrelevant of whether your data is hidden or not, crimes are illegal and VPNs should not be used for illicit activities. You can still get in trouble if you do something illegal while using a VPN.

Different countries have specific laws relating to VPNs. In China, for example, VPNs are not illegal as long as they have a license. This means that you can use some VPNs over there to access prohibited sites like Facebook and Google. However, it’s worth checking out the laws of each country you visit beforehand and not take any chances. Depending on where you travel to or where you live, you need to make sure that you’re using a VPN that doesn’t break any laws in that specific territory.

Is a VPN Safe?

When you use a VPN, your data and online activity becomes encrypted inside a VPN tunnel. This means it cannot be read and is completely hidden inside this protected space. Therefore, using a VPN means that your device is very secure and you have complete internet privacy on whichever network you’re using. In other words, no one can see what you’re doing online.

However, like anything, not all VPN services are the same, and different providers have varying levels of security. Free VPNs may be less successful in terms of protecting your privacy and safety. This is because a free VPN provider may use less effective VPN protocols than a more expensive VPN service. This makes it easier for hackers to attack the encryption and view your data.

So, when you’re choosing a VPN, you need to check all of its features and make sure it is using the best protocol. It’s often worth spending a little more money instead of downloading a VPN that’s free since you’ll have access to better security features.

You should also always read the privacy policy of your chosen VPN company before downloading it. Although VPNs protect your information from being logged by ISPs, some may log it themselves, and then sell it on to third parties.

What Are VPN Protocols?

When it comes to a VPN’s safety, protocols are an essential part of this. Protocols are the way in which your device connects to the VPN server and they dictate how secure your connection is. There are several different types of VPN protocols, all of which offer different advantages. Some offer more intense security, encrypting all of your data while others may just hide your web traffic. Other protocols are great for speed, offering a faster connection.

VPNs can either offer users a single protocol or multiple protocols. Depending on which protocol your VPN uses, one protocol can be effective. However, others prefer multi-protocol VPNs since they offer users a wider variety of services.

Some of the most popular VPN protocols are:

Although a protocol may not seem like an important aspect of the VPN you choose, it should definitely be something you look into when selecting a VPN. If you want the safest encryption possible then you need to ensure your VPN uses one, or multiple, protocols that don’t permit decryption.

man using a vpn

How Do I Choose a VPN?

Like any other product, there are multiple VPN providers out there that claim to offer the best VPN services. Although all Virtual Private Networks provide basic services such as enhanced security and the ability to access sites with geo-blocks, some are undoubtedly better than others.

When choosing a VPN it’s a good idea to have a checklist in mind. At VPNSurfers, we know what a good VPN provider should offer and, therefore, what you need to consider when you’re looking for the best VPN for your needs.

Protocols

As already mentioned, protocols are a vital part of a VPN. A quick check of what protocols a VPN provider employs will tell you whether or not it offers what you require. If you’re a gamer, then it’s essential to get a VPN that will provide you with speed and add-ons that you wouldn’t normally have access to.

If you like to download videos, games, and other files, you’ll need a VPN that protects your information from being tracked when torrenting. As well as this, protocols like OpenVPN are essential for individuals who often use public wi-fi networks, since this prevents hackers from monitoring your internet activity. It’s always best to get a VPN that runs the newest protocol since this is likely to work the best.

Number of Servers

The age-old saying goes, ‘quality is more important than quantity’. However, when it comes to VPN providers and the number of servers, quantity is very important!

The number of servers and where they are located will affect how fast your internet access is. When you use a VPN, you’ll use one of its shared servers, along with many other users. The higher the number of servers your VPN provider offers, the better.

Since many users connect to one server at the same time, if there aren’t many servers, then it could slow down your online speed. It’s a good idea to look for a VPN that has a high number of servers. Popular VPN providers like Hotspot Shield and Private Internet Access offer 1,800 and 3000 servers respectively while NordVPN has more than 5000 servers in its network in multiple server locations!

VPN Server Locations

As well as how many servers there are, you should also consider the server locations. Remember, that to access certain sites, you’ll require a wide range of IP addresses. If you’re a businessman who regularly travels for work, then you’ll need to ensure your VPN has server locations in the countries that you frequent most often.

More server locations mean a higher guarantee that you can access any potentially blocked sites while you are traveling to different countries for business. If a VPN doesn’t have a server in Germany for example, but your company’s network is located there, then you should find one that provides IP addresses in this country.

Data Limits

VPNs will have different data limits, and their bandwidths can affect the user experience. If you need a VPN for gaming or torrenting, then a VPN with a low data limit just won’t suffice. It’s vital that you check out a VPN provider’s data limit before purchase. If you use the internet a lot, then purchase a VPN that can adequately cover this.

Operating Systems

Most VPNs are compatible with all major operating systems, which is great if you own both iOS and Android technology. However, it’s worth double-checking that your device will support your VPN of choice before downloading it.

Some VPNs are not compatible with an Android device and others not with an iOS device. You need to ensure that the VPN you choose has both speed and is easy to use on whatever system you need it for, whether you use Windows or Chrome OS.

How Many Devices Can Connect To a VPN

Just as it’s important to find a secure VPN that is compatible with your devices, it’s also worth checking how many simultaneous connections you can make with it. The majority of VPNs can be used across a number of devices.

If you have a work and personal phone, as well as a laptop and desktop, it’s possible to get a good VPN that provides you with privacy and flexibility on all of your devices. Likewise, if you want all of your family members to be protected then you can connect several mobiles to one VPN.

Many businesses also employ VPNs for this reason, so that confidential business information is protected across several systems. Depending on how many devices you want to protect, remember to look for this feature when you’re choosing a VPN provider.

The Cost Of a VPN

With any software or general product, people always want to get the best deal. This means that they’ll often look for the lowest price. However, how many times have you bought something on sale and the quality has been unsatisfactory? Often, the lower something is priced, the less effective it is. The same goes for VPN providers.

Although free VPN services sound like a great idea, they are often not. These VPNs use older protocols, namely PPTP, which provide less security and make your device more vulnerable to attacks from hackers. As well as this, budget or free VPNs may be slower and have lower data limits, restricting what you can do online. When you pay less for a VPN, you’ll be paying for a lower number of servers and fewer server locations.

Luckily, there are many effective and trustworthy VPNs out there that won’t break the bank and will guarantee you better security and privacy. Some of the best VPN providers offer a 30-day free trial so that you can see whether the VPN is appropriate for your needs. The price of a VPN varies on the company, but it’s possible to get a good VPN for as little as $3 per month.

When searching for a VPN, try to find one with a free trial or that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Providers that offer a 30-day money-back guarantee are usually very sure of their VPN’s effectiveness, which demonstrates its quality. A free trial also means that if you don’t like it, you won’t have lost any money!

#1

VPN-Provider: Avast SecureLine VPN

Max Speed: 2000000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: 5 Eyes Member
OS support: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows
hero banner
  • proiconBank-grade encryption
  • proiconApple-approved for best performance
  • proiconBased on open-source technology
  • coniconVery few payment options
  • coniconFew geo-locations
  • coniconNo live-chat support

Avast SecureLine VPN Summary

Avast SecureLine VPN claims to offer users lighting fast speeds and secure connections that enable you to stay safe online and ensure your data movements are fully encrypted. We've put this VPN provider to the test in our Avast SecureLine VPN review, to help readers decide if it's worth downloading or not.

When it comes to servers, Avast SecureLine has a smaller sized network than other VPN providers. Its number of servers is only 700 and it has server locations in 34 countries, and 55 cities overall. Avast claims that users can use its VPN to hide their data and location, and access geo-blocked sites from anywhere in the world.

Avast SecureLine offers decent connection speeds, making it suitable for torrenting and streaming. What's more, the VPN has recently added a kill switch to ensure that VPN users are protected should one of its servers go down. In terms of providing users security, not only does Avast SecureLine offer IP address leak protection, but it also has a transparent privacy policy for users.

This VPN service's subscription plans are good value for money, even if they are a little inflexible as there are currently only two options for US customers. You can either pay $8.99 on a monthly plan or $3.99 per month on a yearly plan which works out to around $47.88 per year. There is also a 7-day free trial, which allows you to test out the VPN software and make sure it's a good fit for you.

Price Starting At: 3.99 $ / monthly 59.88 $ / annually
For New Users: 7 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 700+
#2

VPN-Provider: NordVPN

Max Speed: 115000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Using VPN on Smartphone
  • proiconUltra-fast connection
  • proiconNo-logs policy
  • proicon5400 servers in 54 countries
  • coniconLimited payment options
  • coniconNo Split Tunneling on desktop
  • coniconOnly 6 simultaneous connection

NordVPN Summary

Arguably the most popular VPN available, NordVPN offers its users an extensive range of features, to provide the ultimate security while browsing. NordVPN's solid reputation is mostly based on the strong encryption methods it employs like AES-256 encryption and 4096-bit RSA key.

As well as providing a lot of security to its users, NordVPN has a large server base, with more than 5500 servers in 59 countries. The company has servers in every continent, including one in Africa, a territory VPN providers often ignore. Users can have six simultaneous connections on any plan, using NordVPN on their phone, desktop, and Smart TV. NordVPN is compatible with a range of systems including Android, Windows, and iOS.

NordVPN offers incredibly fast speeds and is great for accessing blocked streaming websites. During our tests for this NordVPN review, we discovered that it can be used to even unblock Netflix in overseas territories. It's perfect for gaming as well since the speed doesn't cause lagging or buffering.

The Panama based company is big on privacy. Due to its headquarters location, the company doesn't have to abide by any strict data laws. NordVPN also has a no-logging policy, which means that none of its customers' browsing data is stored. It also doesn't sell user data to third-parties. You can rely on NordVPN to protect your privacy if this is an important factor for you.

Overall, NordVPN is a first-rate VPN that won't break the bank. With a range of impressive features that are constantly being added to, it's no surprise that it is considered to be one of the best VPNs on the current market.

Price Starting At: 3.15 $ / monthly 50.15 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5400+
#3

VPN-Provider: ProtonVPN

Max Speed: 300000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dynamic
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
VPN on a Laptop
  • proiconNo-log policy
  • proiconUnlimited Bandwidth
  • proiconFree version available
  • coniconNo dedicated IP option
  • coniconOnly 5 simultaneous devices
  • coniconFew payment options

ProtonVPN Summary

A super secure VPN that offers both free and paid plans, ProtonVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market in terms of security. This Swiss-based company believes that everyone has the right to online privacy and this is reflected in its four different ProtonVPN plans, with each one offering users more security features than the last.

ProtonVPN operates 1073 servers in 54 countries, even in locations that are often ignored by VPN providers such as African and Asian countries. Although the number of servers is small in comparison to providers like NordVPN, it is constantly growing. New server locations are constantly appearing around the world, offering users more and more options. There is no bandwidth limit with ProtonVPN, which is great news for streamers and gamers.

When it comes to your privacy, ProtonVPN has a transparent no-logs policy. This no-logging policy ensures that the company will never store or misuse your personal data. Its privacy policy is clear but brief, and since the company is based in Switzerland, it takes advantage of some of the best privacy laws in the world.

The company uses the best and newest protocols, steering clear of PPTP which is commonly found in free VPNs. The ProtonVPN also features DNS leak protection and a kill switch, even in its free version. If you're looking for effective privacy and protection from hackers, ProtonVPN is definitely one to consider.

Price Starting At: 4 $ / monthly 48 $ / annually
For New Users: 7 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 1077+

Does a VPN Respect Your Privacy?

VPNs were created to provide internet users with privacy and security. They encrypt your data so that your internet service provider can’t see what you’re doing, and protect your internet movements from hackers. If one of these two reasons is your main motivation for using a VPN, then you should check a VPN company’s privacy policy before you download it and connect to one of its servers.

All VPN services will have access to your IP address and basic information since when you sign up you’ll enter these essential details into their database. However, the majority of VPN companies will not use these details and will respect your privacy.

Unfortunately, some VPN services, especially free ones, may track and log your data, essentially acting as an ISP. These VPN companies then sell your information to larger corporations. When you download a VPN, it is usually to avoid your ISP logging your data and making a profit from it. If your VPN provider is doing the same, then what is the point of having it?

Before choosing a VPN, it’s vitally important that you check the privacy policy and terms of conditions. This is an integral factor that many users overlook. Ensure that you choose a VPN provider that has a no-logging policy and that won’t use your data for its own use or gain. By doing so, you can ensure that the VPN you’re using is a secure VPN that won’t view, store, or take advantage of your personal data and online activity.

A VPN With a Kill Switch

One essential feature of a VPN is a kill switch. When your VPN’s server drops, the kill switch function will be utilized. When a VPN server fails, your VPN will stop working and will no longer be protecting your internet connection or hiding your IP address.

If this happens, instead of allowing you to continue browsing the internet on an unprotected network, a kill switch will sever your connection to the internet network and stop your internet access completely. This will guarantee that you won’t continue using the internet without your information and data being encrypted.

It’s important to check that your VPN has a kill switch since, without one, you could be sharing and receiving data as well as being open to many security threats should the VPN server go down. Most VPNs offer this feature, but again, it’s a good idea to check before purchase.

How Do I Get a VPN?

Depending on the device you want to install a VPN on, there are various ways in which you can do so. You can download a VPN app from the iOS or Android app store. This means that your VPN will have automatically configured settings. However, you can also manually add a VPN to your phone or computer, should you prefer to do it this way.

Download a VPN app

If you’re using a desktop or laptop computer, then you can download a VPN app online. You can either do this via the VPN provider’s website or if you use Chrome, you can go to the Chrome web store and get a VPN as an add-on extension for your web browser. By using an app, this allows you to easily control your VPN, switching it on and off when necessary.

Manually create a VPN connection

However, if you don’t want to install an application on your device, then you can manually add a VPN to your device’s network settings. If you purchase a VPN that allows simultaneous connections, then you can also manually set these up on other devices using the information that will come with your VPN purchase. You’ll need details like VPN name and type, and other information like the remote and local IDs.

Which method is the best?

If possible, we recommend downloading a VPN app. This makes the process a lot simpler since you will have all the settings set up already for whenever you connect to a new wi-fi network. Plus, you can easily manage your VPN with a few clicks and have all of its information safely stored in one location.

If you’re not familiar with downloading products like VPNs onto your computer or phone, then don’t panic. VPNs are easy to download and even easier to use. Companies are now making VPNs accessible to everyone so that we can all enjoy better internet security. So, even if you’re not a tech-whizz and this is your first experience with VPNs, you shouldn’t be put off. You’ll be able to effectively download and use one to ensure you have complete internet security across all of your devices.

What Are The Best VPNs?

At VPNSurfers, we know a thing or two about what makes a good Virtual Private Network. Our extensive reviews are designed to provide users with complete knowledge about VPNs so that they can enjoy the most secure internet browsing experience.

We’ve tried and tested countless VPNs to create our honest, no-holds-barred reviews. We have reviews on all different types of providers, including NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and Hotspot Shield.

Whether you’re interested in learning about an SSL VPN, need something to access Japanese Netflix, require an easy to use VPN for corporate use, or are wondering what the best VPNs for Android or iOS are, we’ve got you covered. Check out our suggested reviews to find out which VPN is the best for all of your privacy and browsing needs.

Author Madeleine Hodson

I’m Madeleine and an author for VPNSurfers. I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I have lived in several countries, including a two year stay in Hong Kong which incl...
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VPNSurfers » Best VPN in 2021
Last updated: April 22, 2021