Best VPN Services 2020 - Safe and Unrestricted Internet Browsing

Steve Ongaro

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, and every one of them claims to offer you the best service. I collected stacks of data to create fact-based, unbiased reviews.

Check out this list of 10 best VPN services I've tested and ranked:

1. Best overall: ExpressVPN

2. Best for good quality: NordVPN

3. Best for ease of use: CyberGhost

4. Best for secure surfing: Surfshark

5. Best for privacy: Norton Secure VPN

6. Best for fast streaming: UltraVPN

7. Best for multiple operation systems: Tunnelbear

8. Best for security: Hotspot Shield

9. Best for budget-conscious users: ZenMate

10. Best for unlimited streaming: PrivateVPN

Most of these VPN companies offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, sometimes with as much as 80% off, so now's a good time to invest in one. 

Excellent speed
Good quality at a reasonable price
Clients looking for a VPN that’s easy to use
Secure surfing at a good price
Streaming Netflix
Fast streaming and unblocking
Unwavering privacy and top security features
Solid online security
Budget-conscious users
Unlimited streaming and bandwidth
$6.67per month
$2.99per month
$2.50per month
$2.21per month
$7.99per month
$3.75per month
Free/$4.99per month
$2.99per month
$2.05per month
$3.82per month
3000+in 160 locations
5,500+in 61 locations
6,000+in 90 countries
1,700+in 64 countries
Servers in 29 countries
100+in over 55 locations
1800+ in 22 locations
3200in 26 locations
3600 in 74+ locations
80+in 59 locations
3
6
7
Unlimited
5
3
5
5
Unlimited
6
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and more
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Smart TVs, Linux
Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
oid, iOS, Mac, Windows, Chrome extension
Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, Chrome
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux
256-bit AES
256-bit AES, double encryption
256-bit AES
AES-256-GCM encryption, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN
AES-256
OpenVPN, AES-256
OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec/IKEv2, AES 256-bit CBC
256-bit AES
128-bit AES
128 bit CBC encryption for TAP
No logs
No logs
No logs
No logs
No logs
Some logs
No logs
No logs
IP addresses
IP addresses and cookies

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. It's been around for over 10 years, has a solid reputation for unwavering security and fast servers, and is super simple to use. 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. ExpressVPN also has top rate security features including anonymous browsing, zero-knowledge, private DNS encryption, and 256-bit AES encryption. The price tag is higher than most for ExpressVPN plans, but they are running a sale right now that gives you 50% off and 3 extra months free. So, you can get superior quality protection for a lot less than usual.

    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

    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. 

    NordVPN has the largest VPN server network—5,500 servers in 59 countries around the globe. This top-notch VPN packs various security and privacy-oriented features that include; a double VPN, military-grade encryption, stealth mode, a CyberSec feature, dedicated P2P servers, and dedicated IP addresses. Its servers are optimized to deliver lightning speeds suitable for streaming and speed intensive tasks. It boasts fantastic customer service and 30-day money-back guarantee.

    NordVPN clients are aesthetically pleasing as they offer a bigger and more detailed interface with a map.

    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
  • 3

    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.

    CyberGhost has over 6,000 VPN servers in 90 countries that offer unlimited bandwidth with the highest speeds possible. Some of its servers allow P2P traffic. CyberGhost uses military-grade encryption coupled with other security features such as a malware blocker and a kill switch. Like most of the top VPNs, CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee and friendly customer support.

    CyberGhost also sports a minimalistic interface that offers basic connection functionality. However, despite its size, it’s easier to navigate.

    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

    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.

    Besides being based in a favorable jurisdiction, Surfshark uses top-of-the-line encryptions to ensure the VPN connection is always secure. It also has a camouflage mode feature that makes your VPN connection go undetected. It has 1,700 plus servers in 64 countries. These servers offer unlimited bandwidth, and P2P traffic is allowed. 

    Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Although Surfshark possesses a high speed connection, sometimes it’s inconsistent. Surfshark VPN clients present a clean interface that is easy to use.

    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

    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. But how does the VPN service stack up to others in the field?

    Most importantly for many users, Norton’s VPN has been shown to successfully unblock Netflix. This could balance out what’s been reported by some users as a tendency to bog down speeds and performance, making this VPN a solid choice for casual users or those most interested in VPNs for entertainment purposes. A unique feature is the ability to choose plans with 1, 5, or 10 simultaneous connections. This makes it an especially attractive VPN for users who know how they’ll use the VPN, whether it be limited to a single device, or used by a larger family on vacation, who then have the choice to pay according to their usage. 

    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
  • 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.

    UltraVPN has over 1,000 servers in over 100 locations. The servers offer unlimited bandwidth and are optimized for streaming speeds. Most of the servers support P2P traffic. UltraVPN uses 256-bit encryptions for security, provides 24/7 customer support, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    UltraVPN clients feature a well-designed interface that looks similar to that of most popular VPN services.

    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

    Tunnelbear

    Multiple operating systems and browser options
    Tunnelbear
    • Best forUnwavering privacy and top security features
    • No. of servers/locations1800+ in 22 locations
    • PriceFree/$4.99per month

    Tunnelbear has got to be one of the cutest VPN brands out there. But don’t let that cuddly exterior fool you. Tunnelbear is no-nonsense when it comes to VPN services. With high level encryption, automatic kill switch, and the ever-active GhostBear that lets you stay hidden from governments, businesses, and ISPs everywhere, Tunnelbear provides users with the ultimate in online security and privacy. Whether you’re streaming videos, trying to unblock geo restricted content, doing a little online retail therapy, or hiding from snooping marketers, Tunnelbear has the tech to keep you hidden.

    Tunnelbear doesn’t just take privacy seriously; it puts you completely in charge of your personal data. At any given time, you can hop on your account, review your data, and delete it from the site completely. That’s unheard of. What’s more, Tunnelbear is the only VPN service in the industry that runs independent security audits of the software and publishes the results for the public to see. That’s a brand that is confident with its product.

    Pros
    • User-manned logs and annual audits published
    • Free trial account
    • Ad-blocker, kill switch, ghost VPN, and more security features
    Cons
    • Not available for routers or smartTVs
    • Fewer server locations than competitors
  • 8

    Hotspot Shield

    Fastest speeds, solid security
    Hotspot Shield
    • Best forSolid online security
    • No. of servers/locations3200in 26 locations
    • Price$2.99per month

    Hotspot Shield is currently the leading service in the VPN industry, and a number one choice in our ranking. The VPN’s success can be traced to its outstanding features, blazing fast speeds, best-in-class security, and overall reliability.

    Owned by a California-based company—Anchor Free GmbH—Hotspot Shield sports both a free version and a premium VPN service. It performs well because it uses a proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. This protocol is optimized to deliver consistent speeds even from the furthest servers. The only downside is that it’s not compatible with other accessories such as routers and gaming consoles. 

    Hotspot Shield has more than 2,500 servers in over 80 countries. The premium version gives you unlimited bandwidth, supports the connection of up to 5 devices, and has 24/7 customer support. It is compatible with popular computing systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. 

    The Hotspot Shield VPN clients for desktop and mobile are straightforward to use without any technical difficulties. They generally support the same features and offer the same functionalities.

    Pros
    • 2,500 plus servers in 80 plus countries
    • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
    • 24/7 customer support
    Cons
    • Ambiguous logging policy
    • Relatively pricey monthly package
  • 9

    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
  • 10

    PrivateVPN

    Limitless Streaming and Downloading
    PrivateVPN
    • Best forUnlimited streaming and bandwidth
    • No. of servers/locations80+in 59 locations
    • Price$3.82per month

    PrivateVPN is a Swedish-based service with high levels of privacy and security. Despite it being within one of the 14 eyes countries, PrivateVPN does not collect or log any traffic as stated in its privacy policy. This means even if it’s hit by a court order, it will not have anything to give the authorities.

    In comparison to the other top VPNs, it sports a small network of 100 servers in 60 countries, which offer stable connections from anywhere in the world. The speeds are quite fast and favorable for tasks like streaming. Surfshark uses military-grade encryptions coupled with other security features. It has decent customer service, and it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    PrivateVPN bespoke clients make everything simple to use, and their interfaces are aesthetically pleasing.

    Pros
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • 6 simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited speed and server switches
    Cons
    • Logging policy isn’t solid
    • Inconsistent server speeds
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?
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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?
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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.