The best VPN services come with solid performance & security to offer an overall effective online shield for the best in digital privacy, without breaking your bank!
Who is the #1 VPN provider in 2021? It’s NordVPN by far – with double VPN, worldwide access, 24/7 support, at great prices!
We’ve been buying VPNs and using them extensively. To help you make the best choice, we mainly looked at their connection speed, security measure, and server coverage – and narrowed down to the 7 best VPN providers you should totally consider in 2021.
Price shown is lowest based on plans available from each VPN service provider.
To me, NordVPN was a little bit of a difficult decision. On my first go-around, I felt that everything was going a little too smoothly. It was fast, easy to use – basically like a well-oiled machine.
Then I realized that was because everything I was seeing was basically an idiot-proof setup. Just click and go, that’s all. For the pros, tweakable features still exist, so don’t worry about that.
Some of the highlights of NordVPN include:
With such a huge spread of servers, a few hiccups isn’t surprising. What makes it annoying is that slower servers can be remarkably so. For example, their Malaysia server is local for me and it’s practically unusable.
Read our full NordVPN review to learn why it’s our #1 VPN!
Surfshark may be quite new – it was only introduced in late 2018 – but it certainly is a service provider to keep a close eye on. Maintaining an excellent entry price point of only $2.49 per month for their two-year plan, it poses a serious challenge to industry veterans.
Some of its highlights include:
In the field of security, reputation means a lot since you need to be able to trust the provider who you are hoping will keep you safe. Being relatively new in the market, Surfshark simply hasn’t the street cred yet to buy it an automatic pass into trust.
Find out more at our complete Surfshark review!
ExpressVPN is one of those services that is simply reliable. By labelling it as one of my top choices, I’m not saying it is perfect or performs the best in all areas, but rather that it is stable and a very strong offering with a solid reputation.
What I like about ExpressVPN includes:
If there is a downside to ExpressVPN I have to say it is in pricing. Even for a one-year sign-up period, the cost is always an edge ahead of the others. If you’re serious about a VPN though, you can’t really quibble over nickels, can you?
See our ExpressVPN review to learn why it’s one of our top VPN!
CyberGhost offers a service that is pretty solid all-round. This ranges from their technical specifications to the very attractive price it goes for. To top it all off, performance has also increased remarkably over the years.
Some highlights include:
Similar to NordVPN, having such a massive server pool can be a bit of a double-edged sword. It takes a huge amount of dedication to upkeep this equipment to the maximum, so at times you may find some slower connections on CyberGhost.
Hop over to our CyberGhost review to learn more!
The IPVanish of today is a bit different from what it was in the past. A longstanding name in the business, it once had its reputation tarnished and we can’t say it wasn’t their own fault. However, since then it has come under new management – which has kept its nose clean for the time being.
Great things about IPVanish include:
Having fallen so badly in the past is bad enough, but IPVanish committed the cardinal sin for a privacy service. This really is a bit difficult to look past, and paying them to show your fault can be a bit hard to swallow.
Learn more at our detailed IPVanish review!
ProtonVPN is a bit of an outsider. It’s been around for ages and seems like a pretty decent service, but has still struggled. Part of that lies in its previously poor marketing, but the ProtonVPN of today seems to be emerging like a Phoenix from the ashes. In fact, it has a number of other outstanding services as well.
For their VPN service we enjoy:
This is a little unfortunate, given how well it does overall. Sadly, I did note that certain websites are especially sensitive to their technology and tend to block access. To their credit, they do try to resolve this, but it takes really long.
Find out more at our in-depth ProtonVPN review!
FastestVPN, honestly speaking, is kind of an outsider on this list. Compared to most of the other top-tier service providers, it does pale in comparison. The main reasons it is here is because of two things. The first is that it’s quite new, and the second is that they’ve improved remarkably in a short span of time.
What’s to like about FastestVPN:
While I never really had an issue with it, we did spread the joy around to see if others did. Sadly, getting FastestVPN to work can be a challenge for some, with a few users complaining it simply refused to work.
Read our FastestVPN review for more information!
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, take a look at these other VPN brands. We’ve gathered a list of other high-quality service providers for you to check out:
If you are looking for a specialty VPN, here are some “Best VPN” lists that you might find handy:
To give you an idea of the overall testing, we mainly look along five key areas. These include speed, availability, anonymity & security, customer service, as well as user experience.
The entire testing process looks at:
In order to get a realistic framework for all our performance tests, they always include a baseline speed as well. This serves as a benchmark for each VPN service, to see how much speed it can produce based on actual data.
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, are private networks of servers. They help users increase digital privacy while adding additional layers of security at the same time. They can be used by both businesses and individual consumers.
In a major business context, most VPNs are built and run by the companies themselves, or customized by special service providers. This allows them to offer off-site employees to access confidential information safely.
We mainly look at VPNs from an individual consumer or small business context. Part of this is due to the fact that consumer VPNs are significantly easier to access and use. However, they are also priced for the consumer market – more affordably so.
The main objectives are still the same though – privacy and security. By routing your data connection through secure VPN servers, you adopt the physical characteristics of those servers in some way.
Your point of origin is masked, along with many other details of your own device and internet connection. What you’re showing to the outside world is essentially your representation online – the VPN server.
While all this is going on, VPNs also help by encrypting your data. If somehow data is lost or stolen during transmission, that encryption will prevent anyone else from being able to read and use the information.
Today, there are literally a million and one reasons to use a VPN to increase your online security and privacy. The digital world is expanding greatly, and accompanying its rise are threats as well.
Cyberspace is littered with hackers flooding it with attempts to steal data, compromise systems, or otherwise wreak havoc – not just on businesses, but aimed at us, individual consumers as well.
To make things worse, legitimate companies online are doing their best to extract this information from us as well. On the surface, it’s to provide us with a better user experience. In reality, it helps them target us for advertising and sales.
Because of this, we need to take out digital privacy more seriously and into our own hands. The best way of doing that is by starting with a VPN. From blocking snoops to safeguarding our points of origin, VPNs can help us in so many ways.
By their very nature, VPNs are intended to help mask your identity and secure your data. However, they also come along with many other redeeming capabilities. Let’s consider how they can be used:
There are many web services that restrict access based on where in the world you come from. One major culprit that behaves in this manner are media streaming services such as Netflix. All of us pay the same fees to Netflix, so why should we not get equal access?
Using a VPN will help you bypass the geo-blocks that most of these services put into place. For example, by connecting to a US server, a good VPN service will give you access to US-region Netflix content.
We don’t all live in free countries. Some governments are more oppressive than others. The more totalitarian among them may attempt to curb digital freedom. This is generally done by issuing instructions to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telling them what sites to block.
Since VPNs encrypt our data and route information through their own servers, ISP-implemented blocks generally fail. Using them, you can regain your digital freedom and access any sites which may have been blocked.
The problem with the Internet today is that everyone wants a piece of you. Data has become a much-wanted source of currency and companies and hackers all chase after it. Some tracking is even done more legitimately, but at the end of the day – they know who you are and what you do.
VPNs help avoid this and for regular folks, it helps that you know people can’t follow your data trail.
Torrenting has become a very touchy subject in today’s world. The problem isn’t with the technology itself – it’s simply for file sharing. However, copyrights and intellectual property laws intervene.
Because of this many countries have imposed various laws on torrenting or file sharing. The situation can be very murky sometimes. Using a VPN can help you ease your worries since you can torrent safely – and no one will know where you’re doing it from.
The use of a VPN secures your connection, no matter where you link to. This ability makes it perfect for business use. Anyone who is outside the office can easily and quickly access information on company servers.
This process helps you protect the information you’re getting to, such as invoices, customer information, billing details, and more.
While VPNs are awesome, there do remain some limitations that you need to pay attention to. They aren’t blank cheques that will allow you to do anything you want online without heed. For instance, they:
While aiming to achieve many similar things, VPN, Tor, and Proxies are not really the same thing. You might be able to get away with using either for some purposes, but the technology is fundamentally different.
The Onion Router, or TOR, is more of an anonymizer that works by routing packets of data though a massively conflagurated network of hubs and nodes. It does this in the hope of making things as difficult as possible to trace the origins of the data.
It’s free to use, but the way it’s built makes it very slow to use. At the same time it does not offer the same level of protection to either the source or the data itself that a VPN service does.
Proxies only serve to route your connection through a third party server. It doesn’t mean your data is safe, especially since the provider of the proxy server itself can be shady at the best of times.
It is possible to combine these services with a VPNs service to improve your overall security profile. Honestly though, in most cases, simply using a VPN is sufficient.
To recap, here is our top 3 VPN services for 2021:
As you can see by now, there are so many situations where VPNs can play a part in our online safety. In fact, thanks to their nature, we can use them for many other things as well. Yet when choosing a VPN, we don’t necessarily have to find one which can do everything.
Each VPN provider is bound to have an edge in one area or another. The ones which have made it onto our Best VPN list, all have some strong points to recommend. Make your choice following your needs, with this list as a guideline.
Take charge of your online privacy and security now, before it’s too late.