All VPN Provider Reviews

A list of all VPN providers with a high rating and reliable protection. Choose any VPN and ensure complete anonymity on the network.

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The Complete Guide to Finding a Premium VPN Service

1. Our best VPN providers ranking system

Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are by far the best tools for maximizing online privacy. Overall, a quality VPN service will allow you to:

  • Replace your IP address and location with the address of the VPN server, making it appear as if you are anywhere in the world.
  • Encrypt your internet traffic and make it unreadable to third parties, for example to your ISP, network admin, etc.
  • Keep your devices safe from hackers and cyber attacks.
  • Access restricted content regardless of your location.

With that said, there’s no doubt about the fact that there are plenty of VPN providers to choose from.

However, finding one that checks off all your requirements is no easy task. That’s why we decided to make a selection of the best VPN vendors. Furthermore, we ranked them according to their features, giving them a 1—5 rating according to features, capabilities, affordability, etc.

Additionally, we awarded extra points to vendors with features such as simultaneous sessions allowed, the number of protocols supported, money-back guarantee, as well as affordability. Obviously, the more budget-friendly ones were awarded more points.
However, that doesn’t mean we’re recommending cheap services. When it comes to VPNs, the quality does depend on the price. You’ll notice a significant difference in pricing, and it’s not always best to go for the cheapest or the most expensive option.

Ideally, the best VPNs are the ones with an all-around plan that allows you to remove any features you don’t need. Basically, that helps you reduce the price, and keep the premium features.

2. The best VPN service

Although ExpressVPN is our all-around best performing VPN service, not everyone may find it perfect for their needs.

That’s exactly why we decided to make this guide. In it, you’ll find only the best of the best to choose from!

For some insight, here are our testing criteria:

Each VPN service was tested for:

  • IP address leaks
  • DNS leaks
  • Issues with the connection
  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Proper functioning of features

Data leaks are one of the more serious issues when it comes to VPN services. There are several types of data leaks that can undermine your security and privacy. These include:

  • DNS leaks which occur when your DNS requests leak out of the VPN tunnel and are then processed by your ISP. Overall, that leaves your browsing history, the IP address of your ISP, and your general location completely unprotected.
  • IP address leaks are when your IP address leaks out of the VPN tunnel. The leak can be short-term or continuous.
  • WebRTC leaks are mostly a big issue with Chrome, Firefox, and Brave. This type of leak leaves your IP address exposed through your browser, regardless of the quality of the VPN you’re using.

We also took into account the company policies, logging practices, jurisdiction, and the history of the VPN providers. The final result and overall ranking was a combination of all these aspects.

Obviously, it’s up to you to choose your preferred VPN from our list.

3. What are the benefits of using a VPN service?

Ultimately, if you’re looking to remain unexposed, there’s no better way to do so than with a VPN. In the main VPN guide, we mentioned other benefits of using a VPN service, and it’s safe to say that there are plenty of them:

  • Online anonymity allows you to surf the internet freely without worrying about your IP address or geo-location being revealed.
  • You can reinforce your security by encrypting your internet connection.
  • Thanks to encryption, you can prevent your ISP, network admins, third parties, and government from knowing about your online activities.  
  • You can access and unblock restricted websites with ease.
  • When using public Wi-Fi connections, VPN offers protection from hackers.
  • You can safely download torrents, and stream media.
  • Passwords, credit card information, and other personal information will be protected.
  • You can even save money on online purchases by using a VPN.
  • By getting around regional restrictions, you can bypass censorship.

Surfing the internet without a VPN leaves you exposed, and in many countries, Internet Service Providers can record your browsing history whenever they feel it’s necessary. The websites you visit, social media interactions, comments you make, pages you like and other information are all fair game to third parties.

When you use a VPN, the only information your ISP can actually see is that you’re connected to a VPN server. All your other information is encrypted and secured, and most importantly unreadable to third parties.

Without a doubt, using a VPN is the best way to keep your information safe, as it allows you to surf the internet 100% carefree.

Now the only thing that remains is choosing a VPN that fits all your needs. With our help, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Important terms

Since we’ll be using some terms that you may not be familiar with throughout this guide, here are a few you should remember:

  • A VPN protocol is a method a device uses to create a secure connection to a VPN server.
  • VPN servers are single endpoints in a VPN network that you can connect to and use to encrypt your internet traffic.
  • A VPN service provides you with the ability to use their VPN network, and possibly VPN software. In order to do so, you need to buy a subscription.

4. Keeping your information safe with a VPN

Not many people worry about who has access to their data when they use a public Wi-Fi connection to access the internet. Unfortunately, that can create a big problem. Ideally, everyone should use a VPN whenever they can. However, judging by the BestVPN.dev survey, out of 1000 respondents, a whopping 71% never even considered using a VPN!

Hackers prey on public Wi-Fi networks in search of unprotected personal information. Consider this: You’re at your local coffee shop. You access a Wi-Fi network that doesn’t require a password. After all, it’s more convenient than typing in the long coffee shop password displayed on their wall. That’s all it takes for you to become a target for hackers.

You’d be surprised how many ways there are to lure unsuspecting victims into disclosing their personal information. For example, some hackers create a network that has the same name as a popular free service. By doing so, they create the illusion of safety. You see the name, and you automatically assume it’s safe to use. Also, keep in mind that your ISP has permission to sell your browsing history to third parties.

It’s not my intention to scare you, but rather to encourage you to start using a VPN service. This amazing tool has proven time and time again to be the best way to keep your personal information safe.

5. Does using a VPN prevent you from being tracked?

Although VPNs are not foolproof, they are still by far the best tools to keep your information safe. Basically, a VPN can:

  • Protect you against mass data collection.
  • Make it harder for hackers to find out your geo-location.  
  • Keep third-parties from accessing your browsing history.

A VPN creates an encrypted connection between your PC and the server operated by your chosen VPN service.

Just imagine a tunnel running between your computer and the VPN service. The tunnel allows your network traffic to pass through protected so your ISP cannot see it. Overall, your information is safe until it exits the VPN. However, if you only connect to websites that are secured with HTTPS, any data that leaves the VPN will continue to be encrypted.

This illustration will give you a better idea of what I’m talking about. (There is a picture).

However, you should avoid downloading ransomware no matter what, as it’s still possible for advanced hackers to get a hold of your information. Also avoid giving out your personal information where it isn’t 100% necessary, or else you may end up being a victim of a phishing attack.

6. The best way to choose a VPN service

Over the past few years, the VPN service market has blossomed, and now there are more services than you can imagine!

That, of course, makes the job of finding the best service all the more difficult. Furthermore, there are even fake services, which adds to the overall confusion.

However, don’t despair; there is a way to find a quality VPN service:

  • Read about the service in order to find out what kind of reputation it has.
  • Check out the performance.
  • See what type of encryption it uses.
  • Check out information such as ease of use, transparency, support.
  • Check whether or not it has any extra features.

Most people focus on the speed or the affordability, but, although important, they’re not as crucial as the other factors I mentioned.
In fact, plenty of VPN services offer free trials, so I urge you to take advantage of them. Try out several services and see which one suits you the most.

Furthermore, when you do find a service that you like, consider signing up for a short-term subscription just in case. That way you’ll make sure you’re truly satisfied with the service. Don’t allow yourself to be lured in by the one-year discounts that most services offer.

7. The best VPN for streaming

To be honest, plenty of people turn to VPNs for the sole reason of gaining access to certain content that’s not accessible either because of their location or other factors. A VPN will allow you to access content that is blocked or geo-restricted, such as Netflix. For example, if you live in Europe, you can stream your favorite online shows with ease!

One of the most popular streaming services is CyberGhost. Namely, it has the best overall app lineup, and it has live chat support to help you if you have any problems. Furthermore, CyberGhost is also an excellent VPN for Kodi streaming for those of you looking for a VPN to access blocked Kodi add-ons.

Overall, when it comes to privacy, VPNs are crucial for protecting your browsing data from your ISP.

8. Is using a VPN safe?

Basically, a VPN service will hide your IP address, and encrypt your traffic to the service.  

Ultimately, using a VPN is safe. However, just like with any type of service, it all depends on which one you choose.

Also, there’s still the matter of different VPN scams that you’ll need to be on the lookout for when choosing a VPN. These include lifetime VPN subscriptions, fake reviews, and made-up features. When it comes to choosing a VPN service, you shouldn’t go for the ‘’bargains,’’ or else you’ll end up getting scammed.

That’s why it’s important for you to follow the advice we’ll give you throughout this article. In it, you’ll find useful ways to find the right service for you.

9. Is using a VPN service legal?

You’re probably wondering whether or not using a VPN is legal. Basically, VPNs are legal in 97% of countries across the globe.
In some places, such as China, VPNs are restricted. However, they are used for business all over the world for security and for basic purposes. In fact, businesses rely on VPNs for security reasons.
Overall, China does have a ban on VPN services that don’t go along with the state censorship requirements. On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates also have laws against using a VPN for the purpose of evading state censorship. Namely, only VPNs approved by the Government are allowed to be used in China, Iran, Oman, Turkey, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

With all that said, no, VPNs on their own are not illegal. It’s what you use it for that determines whether it’s legal or not. Obviously, some people are only interested in using a VPN in order to access illegal websites such as the Dark Web.  

You can read more about the VPN regulations in the VPN guide for the USA, VPN guide for Canada, and VPN guide for the UK.

10. Devices that work with a VPN  

When you get a VPN, you can basically use it with almost any device that’s connected to the internet!

Routers

By installing a VPN on your router, you’ll allow all your devices to connect to the encrypted VPN tunnel. That means you won’t need to install the VPN on each device separately, which is a real game-changer!

Moreover, the router counts as only one VPN connection, no matter how many devices are connected.

In our opinion, this is the best, most cost-effective option.

Smart TVs

Obviously, not all smart TVs can work with a VPN. If you want to connect your TV to a VPN, then you’ll need to make sure you have a VPN that supports it. Namely, you can use an Android VPN app for an Android-based smart TV. Similarly, you can use an ExpressVPN Media Streamer feature with a Samsung smart TV.

Computers

You can connect a VPN to your computer regardless of whether you use Mac, Linux, Windows, or Chromebook.

Phones/tablets

You can use a VPN on any phone, regardless of whether it’s an Android or iOS. The same thing goes for tablets.

TV boxes

Using a VPN service Android app, you can install a VPN on your TV box. Just check the instructions with the VPN service you’re using before doing so.

Fire TV/Firestick

Check the Fire Stick VPN guide to see how to install your Fire TV or stick.

As you can see, a VPN can be used with most electronic devices. Just make sure you check the service guide before connecting the VPN to your chosen device.

11. Is it safe to use a VPN for Torrenting?

In short, yes, VPNs are safe to use for Torrenting as they will keep your P2P activities anonymous. However, not all VPNs allow torrenting on their servers, which is why you need to find a VPN that does.

In fact, we’ve established that there are four categories of VPN servers:

  1. VPN services that allow unlimited/unrestricted torrenting.
  2. VPN Services that allow limited torrenting.
  3. VPN services that allow torrenting (but don’t encourage it).
  4. VPN services that don’t allow torrenting.

Basically, torrenting implies bypassing copyright laws in order to download content illegally. That’s why some VPN services don’t allow it.

In the end, although it’s safe, there’s still the question of finding a service that allows torrenting.

12. Is it possible to set up a VPN on a smart TV, game console, and a router?

If you’re considering buying a VPN, then you’re probably interested in knowing what you can set it up on. Well, we’re sure you’re going to be thrilled when you find out that you can easily set it up on your smart TV, game console, and router. The only thing you need to check out is whether the VPN supports the device you’re planning to set it up on.
However, if it doesn’t, don’t give up immediately, Take a look at whether the VPN has another setup available, for example, through a manual OpenVPN setup.

The best thing to do in order to avoid any returns is to check what the VPN supports before you purchase it. Ultimately, if you’ve chosen one that fits almost all your criteria, but it doesn’t support the platform you’re planning on hooking it up to, then there’s no point in buying it.

Which device should you set it up on?

Most people opt to set up their VPN on a router since they can add as many devices as they need to the network. On the other hand, setting up a VPN on your smart TV means you can stream content from Netflix or other media service providers. Basically, you can change the location of your server from the device, and find the best way to access the geo-restricted content.

When it comes to setting up a VPN on a gaming console, most people don’t fully understand the benefits. By setting up a VPN to your gaming console, you are protecting yourself from hackers looking to gain access to your account. It contains data such as your name, home address, date of birth, etc. Furthermore, some of them contain passwords and credit card information. In the end, using a VPN on your gaming console could save you from becoming a victim of some serious cybercrime.

How do you set it up?

The setup depends on which device you’re planning on connecting the VPN to. Luckily, most providers offer straightforward instructions on how to do so.

Generally, the process is more or less the same for most devices:

  • Once you decide which VPN service you’re going to use, download the VPN software for your chosen device.
  • Once installed, log into the VPN service through the VPN app.
  • Connect to a server and browse the internet.

13. Will using VPN impact speed, and if so, how much?

In short, yes, it will impact traffic speed. However, depending on the VPN, the change of speed may be hardly noticeable.
If you think about it, it’s pretty obvious that adding an extra layer of security will have an effect on the overall performance. Basically, your traffic needs to go through all those extra layers, causing the speed to go down about 30%, give or take.

When shopping for a VPN, you need to make sure to find one that won’t bring your traffic to a stand-still. That’s why we have the same speed test for all the VPNs we review. The test has two components:

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Component 1:

The first thing we do is get a benchmark reading without the VPN for comparison.

Component 2:

Next, we make a combined rating by connecting to a couple of different devices.

Once we’ve conducted the test, we’re able to see how much the VPN will slow down your internet traffic.

We’ve managed to find quite a few VPNs that will slow down traffic so little that it’s barely noticeable. Similarly, we've found some that make streaming content impossible, so we advise you to steer clear of those ones. One example of a bad VPN is Hide.Me which slows down traffic by over 100%.

14. Are FREE VPN services dangerous?

If it’s free, you know there’s a catch. Free VPN services are dangerous for a number of reasons, the most important one being that they collect your data for profit.

Ultimately, if you’re interested in trying out a free VPN service, here are some reasons for you to reconsider:

Third parties will have access to your data

When you’re using a free VPN, all your data is open for third parties to view. In fact, a lot of free VPNs have that disclaimer in their privacy policy.

If the whole idea of using a VPN is to protect your personal data, then you can see why using a free one is a bad idea.  

Hidden malware

When it comes to free VPN services, you can count on hidden malware that collects your data.

Traffic leaks

If you’re trying to keep your identity hidden, you should be aware of the fact that free VPNs leak user data.

Browser hijacking

Plenty of free VPNs redirect or hijack your browser to e-commerce sites through partner networks.

Ultimately, using a free VPN completely diminishes the point of using a VPN at all. If you’re looking to keep your identity and personal information hidden, you need to stay away from free VPN services, no matter how tempting the offer may seem.

Furthermore, there are several alternatives that are far safer. For example, if you would like to test out a VPN before you commit to it, then we highly recommend finding one that offers a free trial. That way you can test it out, and if you’re not satisfied, you can always look for a better offer.

15. How much do VPNs usually go for?

Most people dismiss the thought of using a VPN service mostly because they’re afraid of how much it would cost. However, the reality of the matter is that a good VPN doesn’t really cost that much. Still not convinced? Let’s talk numbers.

When choosing a VPN, you have several options available. The main thing you should keep in mind is that the average cost is only $3 – $8 a month.

However, as we mentioned, you have several options to choose from. There are month-to-month subscriptions, 1-year subscriptions, etc.
Basically, the monthly subscriptions usually end up costing the most. Some even come up to $18! On the other hand, if you find a service you truly like, then we recommend you opt for the 1-year subscription. But, how do you know which one is right for you?

Finding the right VPN service

Overall, we’ve come to see that there’s one thing all top-quality VPNs have in common — free trials.

Obviously, when a service is confident that what they have to offer is a premium product, then why not offer a free trial so potential buyers can test it out?

When you’re browsing for the best VPN, find one with a free trial, and give it a try. If you like it, great; if not, move on to the next one.

On the other hand, if you find one that has all the qualities you’re looking for, but it doesn't offer a free trial, then you should bite the bullet and go for the month-to-month subscription. Yes, you’ll end up spending a bit more than you hoped for, but if you don’t like it, you can say goodbye to your subscription once the month is over. What’s more, some VPNs even offer a money-back guarantee which means you won’t have to lose any money at all!

16. Is using a VPN risk-free?

Using a VPN is completely safe and risk-free. That is if you’re using it for the right reasons. If you use a VPN to access the dark web, that’s another story. The bottom line is, if you’re not planning on using a VPN for any illegal activity, there’s no reason to worry. For reference, here is what we mean by illegal:

  • Using a VPN to distribute internet viruses.
  • Accessing other networks or computers with your VPN. That also includes IP spoofing.
  • Torrenting content or illegally downloading copyrighted content.
  • Using a VPN that’s not sponsored by your government.

As you can see, it’s not a question of whether using a VPN is risk-free, but rather what activities are considered risky. No matter what VPN you choose, you need to be mindful of what you’re using it for.

17. Finding a VPN with the best speed and overall  performance

Basically, if you’re using a quality VPN, then the speed-reduction should be barely noticeable. However, that’s not always the case.
Bear in mind that the VPN is encrypting your traffic, which takes some time. Ultimately, if you’re just browsing the internet, then you probably won’t even notice the slower speed.

Furthermore, even if you do notice a decline in speed or performance, there are some solutions that will help:

Connect to a nearby VPN server

If your chosen server is in a far away location, you can expect the traffic to slow down significantly. The simplest solution is to connect to a server that’s located nearest to you.

Disable third-party firewall

Third-party firewall software and antivirus can cause your traffic to slow down. What’s more, some software will add a firewall onto the default operating system and slow it down even more. The best solution is to simply disable the third-party firewall.
Use an ethernet connection

Although using an ethernet connection might not be convenient, it will solve the problem of Wi-Fi interference. Moreover, it will improve the internet traffic speed, and help improve the overall performance of your VPN.

Use a VPN with concealment features

Internet providers can interfere with your VPN connection. Although this interference may not be common, it can still slow down your server. Simply use a VPN that offers the option of concealing your traffic as regular HTTPS.

Try out different VPN protocols or ports

Some VPN protocols don’t work well with some networks. That’s why you should try out different protocols until you find one that works best for you.

Switch devices/upgrade to a higher CPU

Older computers or routers and mobile devices don’t work well with the extra processing power needed for VPN encryption. By switching to a higher CPU, or completely switching devices, you’ll be able to avoid this problem.

Also, keep in mind that even the best servers come with problems. For example, some VPN services work better than others, so the servers are often oversold. That leads to server jamming, low bandwidth, slow speed, etc.

But, don’t worry. We anticipated all these problems. That’s why we tested all the VPNs for speed and overall performance. In the end, we weeded out the ones with unsatisfactory performance, so all of our recommendations are premium VPNs.

18. Which VPN service has the fastest performance?

As we mentioned, choosing a VPN is 100% subjective. There is no universal one that fits everyone’s needs.

When choosing a VPN, there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Do you want an offshore VPN with advanced privacy features?
  • Are you looking for a VPN that works great for torrenting and streaming Netflix?

Basically, in order to find the right VPN for yourself, you need to think about what you’re planning on using it for.

Before purchasing anything, first ask yourself these questions:

  • How much privacy/security do you need?
  • Which devices will you be using it with?
  • Are you planning on streaming content and torrenting?

Keep in mind that most VPN services provide satisfactory traffic speed. What’s more, they can usually stream HD videos without fault. Moreover, most of the services we’ve tested have a tool that connects you to the fastest network available.

Our Ookla speed test tool gives us accurate readings on download and upload speeds as well as for latency.

Overall, we give you the results, and you can decide which one of our best-reviewed VPNs you’re going to choose.  

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Ultimately, our tests show that the fastest VPN is HidelPVPN. However, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s the right one for your needs.

19. Is there anything a VPN cannot do?

Throughout this guide, we’ve talked about all the amazing things VPNs can do. However, we should also mention that there are some things VPNs cannot do. After all, every product has its limitations.
First of all, even though a VPN hides your identity, it only does so to a certain degree. Don’t expect complete anonymity unless you access the Tor network. However, you should keep in mind that doing so will slow down your connection.

Ultimately, the Tor jumps your traffic through different nodes, making it difficult to track. Namely, people who are interested in accessing the Dark Web opt for this solution.

Furthermore, VPNs prevent most DNS attacks, but if you access a phishing page on your own, you can easily become a victim of cyber attacks.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you should never expect a VPN to replace your antivirus. Yes, it can block malicious content, but only if you have quality antivirus software installed on your device.  
Finally, don’t get annoyed if you notice a lot more captchas or security questions when you’re banking online. If you’re using a VPN, your bank will assume you’re accessing your account from another country which may raise some suspicion. Bear in mind that all those security protocols are there for your protection as well for the bank’s.
The bottom line is that VPNs are not miracle products. They work more as a means to reinforce your security and the speed of your internet traffic.

20. Important numbers to look out for when buying a VPN

Although we’ve mentioned several things you need to be mindful of when shopping for a VPN, there are still a few ‘’numbers’’ you need to check out:

  1. Namely, when looking for a quality VPN, check out how many licenses for simultaneous connections are included in the fee.
  2. Check how many servers are available as well as how many locations the company has servers in.

Generally, VPN services allow users to connect up to 5 devices per account. Remember, each device you plan on connecting to your VPN will need to be connected individually. That means you will need more than three licenses.

What should you connect to your VPN?

There are plenty of devices you can connect to your VPN: phones, game systems, smart home devices, etc. That’s why you should consider configuring your router to connect with the VPN.
Also, by using a VPN with your server, you are basically securing the traffic on everything that’s connected to your router by using only one of your licenses.

But that’s not all. Most companies offer software with pre-installed VPN software! That makes adding VPN as simple as you can imagine.

The number and distribution of servers

One of the key things you need to consider is the number of VPNs as well as their distribution. Always keep in mind that, in order for you to successfully fake your location, you need a VPN with plenty of available locations. That way you can find a nearby server no matter where you are in the world.

One common misconception you should be aware of is that using a far away VPN server won’t make your traffic more secure. In fact, it may only slow it down. Always use a server that’s nearest to you.
You can determine how many subscribers a VPN supports by the number of servers it provides. Overall, the more servers a company has, the less likely you are to deter into one that has more users than it should.

Virtual servers

In case you’re not familiar with what a virtual server is, it’s a software-defined server that runs on server hardware. This software can be configured to seem as if it’s located in one country when it’s actually hosted in another one.

Most people find that to be a problem. After all, you’re under the impression that your traffic is traveling to one place when it’s actually going to a completely different location. Fortunately, quality VPN companies use them as a means of support for VPN in regions where it’s risky to house a server.

21. Can Netflix block your VPN?

VPNs can unlock blocked, censored and content restricted in certain geographic areas. Since using a VPN allows you to access any VPN server location across the globe, it goes without saying that it’s perfect for online streaming. Obviously, that means you can stream Netflix through a VPN.

However, don’t expect your VPN to override all the restrictions. Some content simply won’t be available for you to stream.  

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While testing out several VPNs, we found that Netflix has gotten smarter when it comes to detecting VPNs. Overall, you may find that you can access Netflix content one day and it’s all blocked the next day.  

Basically, Netflix is looking to keep their content safe. Just because you’re a paying customer doesn't necessarily mean you can stream their content.

22. Which VPN should you use for Kodi?

When searching for a VPN, most people look for one that works best for Kodi. Kodi is among the most popular streaming apps. Basically, it’s open-source, free software that manages your local collection of TV shows, movies, photos, and music.

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Ultimately, Kodi allows you to access your media over a LAN or from a remote media server.

The device that’s using VPN has a connection encrypted on the local network which may be difficult to connect to.

Here’s what you should consider doing:

  • Install VPN software on your router instead of on other devices.
  • Purchase a VPN that offers browser plug-ins that only encrypt browser traffic.
  • Choose only some applications to route inside the encrypted tunnel.

23. What are VPN protocols?

VPN protocols determine how your data will route between the VPN server and your computer. Different protocols have different benefits. For example, some offer better security, while others are more focused on providing top-speed.

Some operating systems have built-in protocol support, meaning you can use the protocol and VPN service without client software. A quality VPN service should have instructions for how to set up routers and directly connect to the services.

Some of the most commonly used protocols are:

  • OpenVPN
  • L2TP/IPsec
  • IKEv2
  • SSTP
  • PPTP

OpenVPN

OpenVPN is an open-source protocol and is one of the more important ones on our list. An open source protocol allows users to use the code for other projects, and scan it for weaknesses.
When it comes to safety, OpenVPN is one of the most secure protocols available. It uses a virtually impenetrable bit key encryption that protects user data.

OpenVPN is available to almost any platform, including Linux, Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, routers, etc. Furthermore, it allows you to set up your VPN on all your devices, and it’s incredibly easy to use. You can use the protocol in web or streaming mode.

L2TP/IPsec

L2TP/IPsec or Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol is yet another popular protocol. L2TP doesn’t provide any encryption or privacy, but rather uses IPsec security. That makes it one of the top-security VPNs. Basically, the VPN has no weaknesses.

IKEv2

IKEv2 or Internet Key Exchange version 2 is incredibly secure. It’s developed by Microsoft and Cisco. On its own, IKEv2 is just a tunneling protocol. That’s why it’s usually paired with IPSec for encryption and authentication.

IKEv2 may not be as popular as the previous two protocols, but it does have plenty of mobile VPN solutions.

The protocol supports Windows, iOS, Blackberry devices, while open source implementations are available for Android and Linux through third-party apps.

SSTP

SSTP or Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol is a Microsoft protocol. It has one major benefit ㅡ it’s integrated with every Microsoft operating system. That means that you can increase security by using a smart chip.

Overall, SSTP has native support for Linux, BSD systems, and Windows. Furthermore, macOS, Android, and iOS are supported by third-party clients.

PPTP

PPTP or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is flawed but fast. Namely, it’s one of the oldest VPN protocols, having been introduced in 1995.  
In fact, one of the interesting things about this protocol is that it was integrated with Windows 95, and designed for dial-up connections.

Even though it’s not the best one on our list, some people consider PPTP a protocol with the best connection speeds. That’s mostly because of the lack of security features. Overall, PPTP is mostly useful if you’re interested in streaming Netflix content.

Which VPN protocol is the best?

Ultimately, every protocol has its pros and cons. For example, OpenVPN is the most widely recommended open source one; however, it requires third-party apps.

Similarly, L2TP is also pretty popular, but it isn’t open source.

To help you understand the pros and cons of each protocol a bit more, here is a summary of each one:

OpenVPN

  • Pros: it has the strongest encryption, and is suitable for all activities.
  • Cons: it’s a bit slow at times.

L2TP/IPSec

  • Pros: good speed
  • Cons: it’s easily blocked since it relies on a single port

SSTP

  • Pros: great security
  • Cons: works only on Windows Vista SP 1 and Windows 7

IKEv2

  • Pros: mobile friendly, fast, offers several open source implementations
  • Cons: potentially undermined by the NSA

PPTP

  • Pros: widely supported, fast
  • Cons: plenty of security holes, best for streaming and web browsing

Additionally, WireGuard is one of the newer, experimental protocols which offers better security compared to the other VPN protocols we mentioned. However, it’s still under active development which is why we decided not to add it to the list. Ultimately, it hasn’t been audited yet, but there are some VPN providers that are supporting it for testing purposes.

24. Setting up your VPN with Windows 10, Chrome, or Linux

Testing VPNs with Windows offers the best results when it comes to reviewing them. By doing so, we can provide an in-depth comparison of features and affordability. Furthermore, setting up a VPN with Windows is pretty straightforward.

However, Linux and Chrome users should check out our guide on how to set up your VPN with a Chromebook, since it may be a bit more difficult compared to setting up with Windows.

25. Mobile VPNs for Androids and iOS

Nowadays, our smartphones are constantly connected to the Internet. Data exchange, e-mail, and social media syncing, etc. If someone were to intercept that traffic, there’s no telling what information they could get a hold of! Needless to say, your privacy is compromised the entire time you’re connected to the internet. Especially if you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network.

That’s exactly why installing a VPN on your phone is incredibly important.

For example, since mobile banking is quite common, all your credit card information is stored on your device. Albeit banking from your cellular connection is far safer than from a public Wi-Fi network, it still not 100% safe. Ultimately, cell phone towers can be used by hackers to see all your private data.

Here’s how:

LTE and 3G bands are secured with strong encryption. Hackers jam those bands, and by doing so, your device connects to a fake tower, and it is open to attacks.  

(There’s a picture)

Luckily, most VPN services provide apps for both iOS and Android devices which means you don't have to waste time configuring the VPN settings on your phone. Moreover, depending on the service, you can usually connect up to five devices to your VPN account at a time.

In our opinion, NordVPN and Private Internet Access are the top VPN apps for androids. iPhone users, on the other hand, can use an OpenVPN app to connect to the VPN server.

26. Get a VPN and surf the internet safely

In the end, we’re aware of the fact that it takes time to get used to new things. However, the safety of your internet and personal data should be your number one priority. That’s why we highly recommend that you carefully choose a service that meets all your needs, and start using it immediately.

We’re not saying that software providers are incapable of protecting you from hackers. It’s just that if you want to keep your private information private, using a VPN service is crucial.
Remember that antivirus software is incomparably better than the built-in protection you get with your PC. The same thing applies to VPN.

Feel free to check out the review links for the best VPN services, and comment below if you have anything to add. Also, once you’ve picked a service, you can read our guide on how to set up and get the most out of your new VPN.