Best VPN Services 2021 - Enjoy Safe Internet Browsing, Today

Steve Ongaro

VPNs (virtual private networks) have many different functions and benefits, including keeping your browsing behaviour private, disguising your geo location, bypassing blocked websites and accessing online streaming services. Make sure you have the most up-to-date VPN for your needs so you can be ready for whatever 2021 has in store. 

But when comparing VPN services, what are the most important factors one should look into? We've researched and compared a number of VPN providers according to the most essential factors, such as: privacy & security, speed, number of servers and locations, streaming and torrenting, supported software, and pricing plans. 


Excellent speed
Clients looking for a VPN that’s easy to use
Good quality at a reasonable price
Secure surfing at a good price
Budget-conscious users
Fast streaming and unblocking
Streaming Netflix
Top-grade security
People who want a ton of device connections
Basic security protection
$6.67per month
$2.50per month
$2.99per month
$2.21per month
$2.05per month
$3.75per month
$7.99per month
Free/$2.97per month
$3.33per month
From $2.99per month
3000+in 160 locations
6,000+in 90 countries
5,500+in 61 locations
1,700+in 64 countries
3600 in 74+ locations
100+in over 55 locations
Servers in 29 countries
Thousands of virtual servers in 18 countries
2000in 180 locations
1,100in 280 locations
3
7
6
Unlimited
Unlimited
3
5
5
5
5
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and more
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Smart TVs, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows
oid, iOS, Mac, Windows, Chrome extension
Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Android, Windows, Mac
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
256-bit AES
256-bit AES
256-bit AES, double encryption
AES-256-GCM encryption, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN
128-bit AES
OpenVPN, AES-256
AES-256
256-bit AES
256-bit AES
256-bit AES
No logs
No logs
No logs
No logs
IP addresses
Some logs
No logs
No logs
Connection timestamps
License ID, time stamps, data amounts

The Top 10 VPN Services

  • 1

    ExpressVPN

    High-security standards
    ExpressVPN
    • Best forExcellent speed
    • No. of servers/locations3000+in 160 locations
    • Price$6.67per month

    ExpressVPN is a frequently-heard name around VPN circles. With the built-in speed test, you can choose the fastest servers around, and since ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 spread over 94 countries, there’s plenty to choose from. ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support, a huge benefit when your VPN goes down, or you need help fast. Plus, you can select to run only partial device traffic through the VPN with the split tunneling feature.

    Pros
    • Trusted name in the industry
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Easy-to-use app
    Cons
    • More expensive than other services
    • Only 3 simultaneous devices
  • 2

    CyberGhost

    Serious about security
    CyberGhost
    • Best forClients looking for a VPN that’s easy to use
    • No. of servers/locations6,000+in 90 countries
    • Price$2.50per month

    CyberGhost is a fast, secure VPN service owned by a privacy-focused company based in Bucharest, Romania. This VPN service has been around since 2011, and it has a comprehensive grasp of what the digital world needs—internet freedom and privacy.  CyberGhost VPN is more of a privacy solution, and it follows a strict no-logs policy. It packs many features to showcase its capabilities.

    Pros
    • Easy to use platform
    • Works with Netflix US
    • Low pricing plans
    Cons
    • Not as solid a reputation
    • Not all servers work for torrenting
  • 3

    NordVPN

    Great value for quality VPN service
    NordVPN
    • Best forGood quality at a reasonable price
    • No. of servers/locations5,500+in 61 locations
    • Price$2.99per month

    NordVPN is a secure VPN service based in a privacy friendly location—Panama. This VPN service is known for its excellence in complete privacy, advanced security, and internet freedom. NordVPN does not keep any logs, and given its territory, the laws of the land do not require it to do so. It has the largest VPN server network—5,500 servers in 59 countries around the globe.

    Pros
    • Double-hop VPN servers
    • One of the cheapest plans around
    • 6 simultaneous connections
    Cons
    • Some servers aren’t as fast as others
    • No live chat
  • 4

    Surfshark

    Strong on security, privacy, and speed
    Surfshark
    • Best forSecure surfing at a good price
    • No. of servers/locations1,700+in 64 countries
    • Price$2.21per month

    Surfshark VPN is relatively new and has earned its place among the elite services. Located in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark enjoys the perks of a territory with no data retention laws and favorable data protection laws that ensure user information is safe. Furthermore, it has a strict no-logs policy, and no identifying information about users is collected.

    Pros
    • Whitelister, multihop, and camouflage mode
    • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
    • Extremely resilient privacy and security features
    Cons
    • Email support could be faster
    • No free trial
  • 5

    ZenMate

    Cheap, easy-to-use, file sharing
    ZenMate
    • Best forBudget-conscious users
    • No. of servers/locations3600 in 74+ locations
    • Price$2.05per month

    This is one of the best VPN services for non-technical users—it’s straightforward, simple, fast, secure, and easy to use. Based in Germany, ZenMate is subject to mass surveillance as Germany is one of the countries that make up the 14 eyes. Despite having an unclear privacy policy, ZenMate guarantees its users that it has a strict no-logs policy.

    ZenMate has over 74 server locations with unlimited bandwidth and fair speeds that can be used for streaming. The servers also support P2P traffic. ZenMate uses industry-grade TLS encryption standards to ensure the VPN connection is safe. This isn’t stellar compared to other VPN services, and it may not bypass some restrictions. It offers 24/7 live chat customer support.

    ZenMate VPN clients are easy to use and are very straightforward from installation, to connecting, to servers.

    Pros
    • Zero logs policy
    • Works with Netflix
    • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
    Cons
    • Not highest level of encryption
    • IP address logs
  • 6

    UltraVPN

    Fast and simple streaming and unblocking
    UltraVPN
    • Best forFast streaming and unblocking
    • No. of servers/locations100+in over 55 locations
    • Price$3.75per month

    UltraVPN is an ultra-fast, secure, and anonymous service owned by Network Protect Limited—a UK- and US-incorporated company. With this kind of jurisdiction, UltraVPN has limited data protection as the US and UK are part of the 5-eyes and 14-eyes countries. This means it’s subjected to mass surveillance and must obey the laws of the land regarding data retention. Despite the unfavorable territory, UltraVPN has a zero logs policy to protect its users. Although, some VPN-related data is shared with trusted third parties.

    Pros
    • Unlimited bandwidth / unblocks Netflix
    • Speeds optimized for streaming, no buffering
    • Supports P2P traffic
    Cons
    • Only basic features
    • Doesn’t work in China all the time
  • 7

    Norton Secure VPN

    VPN from an industry heavyweight
    Norton Secure VPN
    • Best forStreaming Netflix
    • No. of servers/locationsServers in 29 countries
    • Price$7.99per month

    Norton Secure VPN comes attached to the Norton name, which means that you get the infrastructure and customer service associated with an experienced industry heavyweight like Norton. Norton Secure VPN is seamless on desktop and mobile devices. The server count is lower than the competition, but features such as unlimited bandwidth, OpenVPN protocols, a no-logging policy, and a 60-day money-back guarantee show that Norton Secure VPN has more to it than just a recognizable name.

    Pros
    • Has been known to successfully unblock Netflix
    • Includes unlimited bandwidth
    • Backed by a 60 day money back guarantee
    Cons
    • Fewer server options than the competition
    • Strict no-torrenting policy
  • 8
    Trusted name, unwavering security
    Panda
    • Best forTop-grade security
    • No. of servers/locationsThousands of virtual servers in 18 countries
    • PriceFree/$2.97per month

    PandaVPN is one of the best privacy-focused services owned, and it’s owned by Panda security; a Spanish multinational that specializes in security solutions. Panda VPN provides private internet access, and it’s reliable in both speed and performance. 

    Panda VPN has over 1000 servers in more than 20 countries around the world that offer unlimited bandwidth. Panda VPN uses its proprietary Hydra VPN protocol, and this gives it a cutting edge performance among other best VPN services in the market. Panda VPN uses military-grade encryptions, keeps zero logs, and allows P2P traffic.

    Pros
    • Reliable internet security provider
    • Fast speeds
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    Cons
    • Not compatible with iOS
    • No server information
  • 9

    PureVPN

    Customizable VPN Experience
    PureVPN
    • Best forPeople who want a ton of device connections
    • No. of servers/locations2000in 180 locations
    • Price$3.33per month

    PureVPN is one of the elite services of 2021. It’s also the world’s fastest VPN service. PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, away from 5 and 14 eyes surveillance. This jurisdiction is favorable for a VPN service, and PureVPN is not required to store any data. Their privacy policy also states that they do not log activities. PureVPN clients are easy to use, but the interface can get complicated as you dive into more settings.

    Pros
    • Kill switch
    • NAT firewall add-on
    • 80,000+ IP addresses
    Cons
    • Download speeds aren’t great
    • DNS leak issues
  • 10

    HideMyAss

    VPN as smart as its name
    HideMyAss
    • Best forBasic security protection
    • No. of servers/locations1,100in 280 locations
    • PriceFrom $2.99per month

    As the name implies, Hide My Ass offers a simple, easy-to-use VPN service that focuses on privacy and user experience. On the technical side of things, Hide My Ass has over 1,100 servers, and they’re spread across all 6 major continents (280 locations). This means the connections are fast and smooth. And since HMA lets you torrent, file share, and unblock Netflix, you’ll really appreciate these speeds.

    Pros
    • Consistently fast speeds
    • Unlimited
    • 24/7 support
    Cons
    • No ad blocking
    • Collects some logs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best VPN in 2020?
-
+
ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN service on the market. It offers a huge network of servers, excellent speeds, and admirable privacy policies that ensure security and anonymity.
Can I leave my VPN on all the time?
-
+
It depends on your VPN provider. If your VPN plan includes unlimited bandwidth, you can leave it on without fear of being charged more. If your plan doesn't include unlimited bandwidth then it's a good idea to turn your VPN off when you're not using it.
Does VPN steal data?
-
+
Traditionally, no. Legitimate VPN providers do not steal data. That being said, there are many free and lesser-known providers out there with unclear privacy policies, so it's always a good idea to research a companies policies and repuation before making your decision.

How Do I Choose the Best VPN?

There are numerous choices when it comes to VPN services. Narrow down those choices by focusing on the most important features, including:

  • Speed
  • Security
  • Strong encryption
  • Ease of use
  • P2P functionality
  • Price 

Look for a service with fast speeds, so your connection is smooth, strong security features, so your connection is private, and easy functionality, so you don't hate your VPN. Also, look for one that offers P2P file sharing, and make sure the price is right.

What are the advantages of using a VPN?

VPN services provide an invaluable service for anyone using the internet. While people will opt to use a VPN for different reasons, some of the main benefits you can gain are:

  • Online privacy
  • Anonymity
  • Unblocking websites
  • Unblocking Telegram
  • Safe torrenting and streaming
  • Bypassing censorship
  • Saving money online by changing your geo-location

Whether you're looking for more privacy or security or you want to access content that is geo-blocked for some reason, share files or stream a game, a VPN provides you with the advantages you are looking for.

Can you trust a VPN?

In a word, yes...and no. A reliable VPN can be trusted, while questionable services are better left alone. How can you know? Look for privacy and encryption standards. A good VPN service will have strong encryption protocols, clearly stated privacy policies (like no logging), and strong security features, like DNS leak protection.

Is using a VPN legal?

Yes! VPNs are totally legal to use in the vast majority of the civilized world. Of course, what you do with your VPN is subject to all laws governing your country. If you are doing something illegal with your VPN, that’s your business. VPN usage though is totally legal.

How can I use a VPN for streaming?

Streaming with a VPN is very simple. 

  • Sign up for the service and plan of your choice
  • After logging into your account, turn on your VPN
  • You can either manually choose a server/country to stream from or let the service choose the appropriate one for you
  • Visit your favorite TV show streaming site, and enjoy your show!

How can I use a VPN for torrenting?

Torrenting is another great use for VPNs. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Get the VPN plan that fits your needs and budget
  • Log into your account
  • Connect to one of the dedicated servers for torrenting, or let the service pick the best server for your location
  • Use your regular torrent site or app like uTorrent, and you'll be completely protected while you download your torrents

Here's the full list of top VPNs for torrenting, tested and ranked for you.

Are free VPNs safe?

Another one-word answer, no. Free VPNs do not have or use the resources to ensure that your connections are secure. This leaves you open and vulnerable to spammers, hackers, government agencies, geo-restrictions, and other issues you are trying to avoid with a VPN. Only a dedicated VPN service with reliable security protocols can be trusted to get the job done. Plus, free sites usually limit your bandwidth, making for sluggish connections.

Can a VPN boost my online security?

When people talk about the benefits of VPNs, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that they mask your computer’s unique IP address to improve your privacy and security online. This is handy if you want to stay anonymous, as your IP address can be used to track everything from your Internet service provider to your physical location. Here are some ways a VPN can boost your online security:

  • Ward Off Fraudsters
  • Stay Safe on Public WiFi
  • Sidestep geographic restrictions
  • No logging policies
  • Avoid Malware

Paid vs free VPNs: Which is better?

When to use a free VPN:

If you use public Wi-Fi for shopping, for example, your credit card and personal details are open for the taking. But a VPN will ensure you remain anonymous. Free VPNs or free trials of the top VPNs on the market are a great way to protect yourself while you go about your business online. They are generally very easy to download and install and shouldn’t slow down your computer too much. With that said, there are a few things a free VPN just won’t handle.

Reasons to choose a paid VPN provider:

If a free VPN won't provide the necessary protection it's smart to start with a free trial of a paid version. Some of the best VPNs have free versions, including ExpressVPN, which has a 30-day money-back guarantee. When you upgrade to a paid version you will immediately see an impact in terms of security protocols and anonymity. With a paid VPN, such as NordVPN, you will have access to the most common types of security protocols, including PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP. This gives you even more freedom and helps ensure that you remain secure and anonymous online. On top of the extra security, a paid VPN will also speed up your computer’s performance and speed. This is especially crucial if you are live streaming an event or gaming online.

Here is a list of additional VPN uses you might want to check:

VPN for Kodi | VPN for Chrome | VPN for Telegram | VPN for iPhone | VPN for Smart TV | VPN for BBC Player

Steve Ongaro
Steve is an informed cybersecurity , and VPN expert with more than 5 years of experience in the field. He is always amazed by the constant change in security trends and loves reviewing the breakthroughs. When he’s not writing, you can find him drooling over new gadgets.