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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
Secure surfing at a good price
Clients looking for a VPN that’s easy to use
Streaming Netflix
Good quality at a reasonable price
People who want a ton of device connections
Budget-conscious users
Cheap short-term plans
Top-grade security
Basic security protection
$6.67per month
$2.21per month
$2.50per month
$7.99per month
$2.99per month
$3.33per month
$2.05per month
$2.99 to $6.99 per monthper month
Free/$2.97per month
From $2.99per month
3000+in 160 locations
1,700+in 64 countries
6,000+in 90 countries
Servers in 29 countries
5,500+in 61 locations
2000in 180 locations
3600 in 74+ locations
116 servers in 61 locationsin over 55 locations
Thousands of virtual servers in 18 countries
1,100in 280 locations
3
Unlimited
7
5
6
5
Unlimited
6
5
5
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Smart TVs, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and more
Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows
Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android
Android, Windows, Mac
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
256-bit AES
AES-256-GCM encryption, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN
256-bit AES
AES-256
256-bit AES, double encryption
256-bit AES
128-bit AES
256-AES
256-bit AES
256-bit AES
Unblocks Netflix US, UK, Canada
P2P and torrenting allowed
Unlimited
No logs
No logs
No logs
No logs
No logs
Connection timestamps
IP addresses
No logging
No logs
License ID, time stamps, data amounts

The Top 10 VPN Services

  • 1
    ExpressVPN

    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
    Surfshark

    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
  • 3
    CyberGhost

    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
  • 4
    Norton Secure VPN

    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
  • 5
    NordVPN

    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
  • 6
    PureVPN

    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
  • 7
    ZenMate

    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
  • 8
    UltraVPN

    UltraVPN

    • Best forCheap short-term plans
    • No. of servers/locations116 servers in 61 locationsin over 55 locations
    • Price$2.99 to $6.99 per monthper month

    UltraVPN offers private and secure internet usage on 100+ servers in 61 countries. In a competitive market, UltraVPN stands out on the price of its short-term plans. For example, its 1-month plan costs just $6.99, about half the price of the biggest VPN providers, while its six month plan costs $4.99, which is also substantially cheaper than its larger rivals.


    The VPN service has clients for Windows and MacOS and apps for iOS and Android. Setup is quick and painless, and it takes only about 30 seconds to download and install the program. Once you’re in, you’ll have VPN connections and a kill switch available to you in a single click. 

    Pros
    • Competitive monthly and yearly plans
    • 30-day money back guarantee
    • User-friendly clients/apps
    Cons
    • No free trial
    • No browser extensions
    • 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
  • 10
    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.

Reviewing the Top VPN Services: Our Methodology

Top10.com VPN reviews are based on objective facts. Our reviews are based on research via the VPN provider’s site, trusted 3rd party sites, customer reviews, and use of the product through free trials, or through paid use in some cases.

It is not always possible to use the product through its entire lifecycle. However, reviewers will try the signup process, make customer service queries to check response times and perform any other possible function within the review period. For the rest of the information, we rely on what the brand says about its own product offering, customer reviews, and complaints, ratings from independent agencies like the BBB, and trusted journalistic publications.

Some of the key features we compared when looking at the VPN services on our list were:

  • Price
  • Number of servers
  • Supported software
  • Netflix access
  • Logging policy

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a VPN

The best VPN is the one you notice the least. So choosing a VPN is a bit different than, say, buying a car. The factors that matter most--security, anonymity, reliability--are things you will only notice when they aren’t up to par. 

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

What will you use a VPN for? Are you planning on streaming Netflix? Downloading torrents? Avoiding intrusive government censors? Make sure the VPN you choose is able to accommodate your intended uses. 

What level of privacy do you require? Different providers have different data encryption types and privacy standards. Some guarantee a no-logging policy, while others may share some of your data with third parties. Determine how important this is to you and find the service that best aligns with your needs. 

How many people will be using it? VPN services can often be used by multiple people, though the number differs from one provider to the next. Whether you have a family, roommates, or will be the sole user, this can help you whittle down your options. 

What Types of VPNs Are There?

Not all VPNs excel at the same things. The best VPN for Netflix, for example, may not necessarily be the best VPN for downloading bittorrents. Some VPNs specialize in streaming, while others may be better for overall anonymity, geo-spoofing, or Android users. 

VPNs and COVID 

COVID-19 has forced us to complete tasks online that we once did in person. These range from online banking and shopping to work, school, and even medical appointments. Though online services are nothing new, they’ve become more ubiquitous in the wake of the pandemic and will likely continue to rise in popularity. 

The convenience of online services is offset by the danger of exposing our sensitive personal and financial information. With more of our information online, we become vulnerable to hackers and other bad actors that can use it for nefarious purposes. 

VPNs help us mask our identities and protect our internet activity and the information we share online. As more of our lives are conducted online, VPNs and other similar tools will become critical in engaging with the internet while keeping our information and privacy intact.    

Are VPNs Safe and Secure?

Yes, though your security is only as strong as the VPN provider you choose. A reliable, well-reviewed VPN is trustworthy and more than capable of protecting you and keeping your internet activity private. There are questionable VPN providers out there, though, and they’re best avoided.

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.

Tips on VPN Providers

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

Look for a service with fast speeds so your connection is smooth, strong security features so your connection is private, and easy functionality so that you can access and use your VPN without any hassles. Also, look for one that offers P2P file sharing, and make sure the price is right. 

Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

Don’t settle for cheap. Listen, we all want to save money. Price is a reasonable measuring stick when shopping for any product or service. But you get what you pay for, and with VPNs in particular, a cheap service might cause you more harm than good. A poor VPN can give you an illusion of safety, causing you to be looser with your internet activity while actually leaving you vulnerable. We’re not saying you need to opt for the most expensive option. But don’t let price alone sway you. Privacy does have a cost, if it’s the difference between an unknown and a well-respected provider, it’s worth the few extra bucks to make sure you’re actually protected. 

Customer service matters. Internet security is an important concern these days, and it’s up to each of us to be proactive in making sure our information is safe. A reliable and responsive customer support team is crucial for when you have concerns about your privacy or need to troubleshoot an issue. And besides, solid customer support is usually indicative of a trustworthy company. Live chat support, 24/7 availability, and stocked FAQs are all positive signs that the provider has your back. 

How Much Does A VPN Cost?

The average price for a legitimate VPN falls around $4 per month. Some start as low as $2.50 and others may go as high as $9.99 per month or higher.

One thing to keep in mind is that the price fluctuates with the length of your subscription. The same company may charge $3 per month if you purchase a long-term subscription and $12 per month if you opt for a single month. Purchasing a VPN for 2 years, for example, can drastically reduce the price, while paying month to month can cause your monthly cost to skyrocket.

There are free VPNs available, though it’s advisable to avoid them or approach them with caution. While a free VPN may be sufficient for extremely rudimentary web tasks, it’s unlikely to have the tech and security measures necessary to protect activities like online banking, downloading, and streaming. 

Other Brands We Reviewed

This list of 10 VPNs is composed of companies that chose to partner with Top10.com. In total, we reviewed over 50 brands when doing our research into VPN providers, with new brands being reviewed on a regular basis. Interested in learning about the prices and features of some big VPNs that don't appear on this list? Check out our in-depth reviews of some of these big names in VPN:

A VPN for Any Occasion

VPN services provide an invaluable service for anyone using the internet. While people will opt to use a VPN for different reasons, it will benefit the whole range of internet users, from casual users to Netflix fans, hard-core gamers, and of course those who do online banking and shopping. Whether you're looking for more privacy or security or you want to access geo-blocked content or download and share files, a VPN provides you with the advantages you are looking for.

Steve Ongaro
Steve writes for top10.com and 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.