A virtual private network (VPN) will help you increase your online security and anonymity.
What is a VPN?
A commercial virtual private network (VPN) is a type of technology that allows you to make a private connection across a less private network by establishing an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the internet. A VPN may be installed on your smartphone or computer just like any other app or program. A VPN allows you to circumvent censorship in your own country or access geo-restricted media content from another nation, while also preventing your internet service provider from invading your privacy by snooping on your online browsing. VPNs accomplish this by allowing you to pretend to be connecting from a different location or country.
A VPN is ideal for anyone who uses public, unprotected Wi-Fi, such as that available at airports, pubs, and coffee shops. Your VPN protects critical information, such as work projects and bank account login details, from hostile actors who scour public Wi-Fi networks. When you visit the internet while using a VPN, your computer will communicate with the website via the encrypted connection provided by your VPN. The VPN will then send your request to the website and provide the response via its encrypted connection.
Why Do I need a VPN?
VPN use will assist people who access the internet through a computer, tablet, or smartphone. By encrypting your internet activity, a VPN service will nearly always improve your privacy. Communications between the VPN server and your device are encrypted, so an internet service provider or someone on your Wi-Fi network who is spying on you won’t be able to see which websites you visit. They will also be unable to view sensitive information such as passwords, usernames, bank or shopping details, and so on. Anyone who want to preserve their online privacy and security should utilize a VPN.
Which Is The best VPN For 2022
The list below ranks our favorites in order of preference.
ExpressVPN: Lightning-fast speeds and unrivaled privacy.
The number of IP addresses is 30,000.
There are around 3,000 servers in 160 locations.
Number of concurrent connections: 5
British Virgin Islands is the country/jurisdiction.
94 or more countries
Three months are included with a one-year plan, as well as a complimentary year of Backblaze cloud backup (limited-time offer)
The VPN company claims that its network is powered by TrustedServer technology, which ExpressVPN developed to assure that no logs of users’ online actions are kept. ExpressVPN has a good track record in the privacy arena, having suffered a server seizure by authorities that showed its zero-log policy to be accurate at the time. We particularly appreciate the high quality of the VPN’s setup directions and the comprehensive information in its FAQ.
While its speeds constantly compete with heavyweight competitors, ExpressVPN produced a 52 percent total loss of our typical internet speeds in our speed testing, marking a considerable slowdown compared to its 2019 result of 2 percent speed loss.
ExpressVPN, like the other top five VPN services we’ve reviewed, has a valuable kill-switch mechanism that stops network data from leaking outside of the secure VPN tunnel if the VPN connection fails. Unlike the others, ExpressVPN earned points from us for accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, something not all of our faves do, but which gives an extra degree of privacy during checkout.
ExpressVPN has been in business since 2009, and it boasts a large network of fast VPN servers located over 94 countries. Its most affordable option is less than $7 a month for an annual bundle that includes three months free.
Surfshark: A speed leader with a multitude of features.
There are almost 3,200 servers.
The number of server locations is 65.
British Virgin Islands is the jurisdiction.
A two-year plan costs $2.21 per month (an 83 percent savings).
While Surfshark’s network is smaller than that of some competitors, the VPN service makes up for it in terms of functionality and performance. Let’s start with the largest benefit it provides: infinite device support. If you want to use Surfshark’s VPN to link your entire house or workplace, you don’t have to worry about how many devices are on or connected. Its software also includes antimalware, ad-blocking, and tracker-blocking capabilities.
It’s also quick. We lost less than 17% of average internet speed during our most recent speed testing, despite having over 3,200 servers in 65 countries. This is faster than the 27 percent performance loss we recorded in earlier tests, and it moves it ahead of ExpressVPN to take the lead in our speed comparisons.
Surfshark scored generally excellent ratings for privacy when its Chrome and Firefox extensions were examined by German security firm Cure 53 (PDF link to full report) – despite the fact that the audit was commissioned by Surfshark.
The company offers a wide spectrum of app support, with apps available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and routers. Surfshark can be setup for additional devices such as game consoles using DNS settings. We particularly enjoy the functionality that allows you to whitelist specific apps and websites to bypass the VPN automatically. This can be significant for some business applications.
Surfshark also has three special modes for people who want to avoid restrictions and more thoroughly conceal their internet footprints. Camouflage Mode conceals your VPN activity, so your ISP is unaware you’re using a VPN. Multihop routes your connection through numerous countries in order to conceal your trail. Finally, NoBorders Mode “allows [you] to use Surfshark successfully in restricted zones.” Just be cautious. Any of these three actions may be unlawful in your country and may result in serious fines. We didn’t see a single IP address or DNS leak during our tests, and we had no trouble accessing Netflix.
Surfshark, unlike many other VPN companies, does not offer a one-year package. Its best deal is $2.21 per month for a two-year contract (you pay around $60 up front). A six-month plan costs $6.49 per month (approximately $39 upfront), and monthly plans cost $12.95 per month. Take advantage of its generous 30-day trial to determine whether or not you enjoy this service (and if you choose the two-year plan, maybe set a reminder in 23 months to see if you can talk it into a continued discount rate).
NordVPN: The most dependable and secure VPN.
The number of IP addresses is 5,000.
Server count: over 5,200 servers
There are 62 server locations.
Panama is the country/jurisdiction.
There are 62 countries.
A two-year plan costs $3.30 each month, plus three months are free.
NordVPN is one of the most well-known VPN companies. It provides a generous number of simultaneous connections across its network, with six simultaneous connections available, when practically all other providers offer five or fewer. For those looking for a higher degree of VPN connection, NordVPN now provides a dedicated IP option. NordVPN has a kill switch and the option to VPN into Tor. During our tests, we found no evidence of privacy breaches.
NordVPN’s performance in our most recent speed testing was comparable to that of many of its competitors, with an average speed reduction of 53%. (which is slower than the 32 percent loss measured in previous speed tests). NordVPN’s speeds were consistently fast. There were no unexpected drops or service outages, and where we expected the VPN to fall short, it excelled.
The company’s two-year VPN subscription plan is presently $3.30 per month ($99 payable all at once). This is less expensive than most competitors, although it increases for the one-year plan ($4.92 per month or $59 overall) and the monthly plan ($11.95 per month). It does, however, offer a complete 30-day refund policy.
While NordVPN has been on this list for a long time, we put it to the penalty box in October 2019 to re-evaluate our recommendation following the discovery of a claim that one of its rented servers was accessed without authorisation in 2018. Following the finding, Nord implemented additional security assessments, a bug reward program, and increased spending in server security.
While we would have preferred Nord to have self-disclosed the issue much sooner, the fact that the breach was restricted in scope and involved no user-identifying information served to confirm NordVPN’s policy of not keeping records of user activity. As a result, Nord remains a recommended vendor on this list.
ProtonVPN: High security with fast speeds
There are 1,259 servers in 55 countries.
Switzerland is the country/jurisdiction.
Money-back guarantee for 30 days
Plus Package: $8 per month ($96 billed annually)
When we evaluated ProtonVPN’s speed, we saw an astonishingly modest 9.6 percent speed decrease when compared to average speeds obtained without a VPN. ProtonVPN’s base speeds propelled it beyond the majority of our tested services and into second position, trailing just ExpressVPN. Even more surprising is Proton’s ability to achieve those speeds while having a very modest fleet of 1,259 servers spread over 55 countries. Proton, like ExpressVPN, is more expensive than the majority of the VPNs we’ve examined. Nonetheless, ProtonVPN’s excellent security standards and transparent history may make this VPN service worthwhile.
Along with the option to route your traffic through a secure bunker of private servers, we appreciate ProtonVPN’s open policies: It’s totally open-source, with regular audits, and it has a built-in route to Tor servers. We’re especially confident in recommending its mobile app because it no longer employs some of the poorer security protocols, like as PPTP and L2TP, that are still utilized by certain other VPNs.
We’d like to see ProtonVPN lower their prices a little. ProtonVPN’s base service, Plus, costs $8 per month ($96 if paid annually). That is more expensive than the Editors’ Choice Award-winning ExpressVPN, whose top plan is $6.67 per month for a yearly bundle. ProtonVPN is also outpriced by NordVPN’s two-year subscription, which costs $3.75 per month ($45 per year), and Surfshark’s two-year plan, which costs $2.95 per month ($30 per year). While ProtonVPN does offer a $4 per month subscription, it does not provide enough important features to compete with NordVPN.
IPVanish: The best VPN for beginners
IP address count: over 40,000
There are over 1,600 servers.
There are more than 75 server sites.
The number of concurrent connections is unlimited.
For a one-year plan, the country/jurisdiction charges US $3.20 per month (a 70% reduction).
The entertaining, flexible interface of IPVanish makes it a perfect client for anyone interested in learning how to comprehend what a VPN operates beneath the hood. Its multiplatform adaptability is also great for those looking for a Netflix-friendly VPN.
The IPVanish VPN’s support for Kodi, the open-source media streaming tool formerly known as XBMC, is a unique feature that has piqued our interest. Any serious media enthusiast has used or built Kodi or XBMC into a media player, and the integrated IPVanish Kodi plug-in allows access to media from anywhere in the world.
At $10.99 per month for its monthly subscription, IPVanish is clearly attempting to entice you to sign up for its yearlong program. We’re a little unhappy that it only provides a seven-day trial rather than a full 30-day period, but it does provide a full money-back guarantee. Having said that, the corporation deserves credit for recently increasing the number of simultaneous connections from 10 to now-unlimited. We particularly enjoyed its connection kill-switch option, which is essential for anyone who wants to remain anonymous when surfing.