Article updated on January 15, 2021
There are thousands of VPNs on the market, some are paid, some are free, and they all claim to be the best VPNs. But what’s the truth?
In order to find really the best VPN, we professionally assessed hundreds of mainstream VPNs, got a better understanding of them, and figured out their advantages and disadvantages.
We mainly assess VPN from the following aspects:
- Privacy and security (pros and cons)
- VPN speed
- Support for streaming and P2P
- VPN server performance
- Ease of use
- Customer Support
- VPN price
Here are the 5 best VPNs we selected from hundreds of VPNs:
The best VPN should have the following characteristics: powerful privacy and security features to ensure that users will always remain anonymous on the Internet. True Zero log does not collect and save any user logs. Provide a large number of unlimited servers worldwide, provide ultra-fast connection speeds, support streaming media such as Netflix, and allow users to carry out P2P unlimited. Friendly price, simple and easy to use APP, perfect customer support.
Here are the 5 best VPNs in 2021 :
ExpressVPN ranks first among hundreds of VPNs that have been tested.
ExpressVPN Advantages / Features:
- Military level of encryption, support all VPN protocols
- Jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands (No data retention laws)
- Strict “zero log” strategy
- Built-in Kil Switch
- Built-in IP and DNS leak prevention
- Built-in “split tunnel”
- 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
- The fastest VPN with stable connection
- No traffic and bandwidth restrictions
- Compatible with all devices (including Browser Extension)
- Can unlock Netflix, Hulu, BBC and other streaming media platforms
- All servers support P2P
- Allow 5 devices to log in at the same time
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 customer support
- Available in China (one of the best VPNs in China)
- ExpressVPN website: ExpressVPN.com
- ExpressVPN price is above average
- Do not provide free trials (but it has a 30-day money-back guarantee)
ExpressVPN has become the most popular VPN due to its fast speed and high security.
ExpressVPN uses the military level of AES-256-bit encryption by default, and supports multiple VPN protocols (including: OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, SSTP, L2TP / IPsec, and PPTP). For beginners, ExpressVPN will automatically detect your device and choose the best VPN protocol for you.
In addition to strong encryption, ExpressVPN also adopts a strict zero-log strategy, and does not collect and record any logs of users. Moreover, ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, and there’s no limitation by Data Retention Laws in the region. This means that no one will ask ExpressVPN to hand over user information.
In addition, ExpressVPN also has many powerful built-in functions in its APP, such as Kill Switch, Split tunnel, IP and DNS leak prevention, and advertisement blocker.
ExpressVPN has over 3000 fast servers in 94 countries / regions around the world (all servers have no traffic and bandwidth restrictions). No matter which country you are in, ExpressVPN can provide you with super-fast connection speed. In addition, with its servers all over the world, ExpressVPN can unlock all contents restricted by geography, such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
If you love downloading torrents, then ExpressVPN will be your best choice. As for those who love to download torrents, privacy security and speed are very important, while ExpressVPN in privacy, security, and connection speed are excellent.
For the convenience of customers, ExpressVPN provides dedicated APP for each device, including: Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, BlackBerry, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Router, etc. These dedicated apps are very easy to download, install, set and use. Even if you are new on VPN, you also can get started quickly according to the guide provided by ExpressVPN.
In the process of using ExpressVPN, no matter what problems you have, you can get help through 24/7 customer support.
The only regret is that the price of ExpressVPN is higher than the average. Even for the 12-month plan, it will cost $ 6.67 per month. Compared with PureVPN ($ 1.32/month), Ivacy VPN ($ 1 / month) and Surfshark ($ 2.21 / month), ExpressVPN is more suitable for high-end people.
- $ 6.67 Per Month – 12 months plan ( 49% OFF )
- $ 9.99 Per Month – 6 months plan
- $ 12.95 Per Month – 1 month plan
In addition to the price is above average, ExpressVPN has another disadvantage that it does not provide free trials. However, ExpressVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that within 30 days, no matter what you are not satisfied with, you can apply for a full refund. (Equivalent to a 30-day free trial)
In addition, if you are in mainland China, ExpressVPN is also one of your best choices. ExpressVPN can bypass the blockade of the Great Wall firewall and provide Chinese VPN users with fast and stable connections. 更多中国VPN: 中国VPN推荐
Or visit our ExpressVPN Reviews
PureVPN is a established VPN service provider that provides powerful services (AES 256 encryption, zero logs, IP / DNS leak prevention, Ads blocking, port forwarding, split tunnel, allowing P2P activities, unlocking Netflix / BBC / Hulu, Compatible with all devices, 2000+ servers in 180+ countries ) and super- low price (1.32 USD). PureVPN is considered to be the most cost-effective VPN.
PureVPN Advantages / Features:
- Military-level Encryption
- Support Multiple VPN Protocols (OpenVPN, L2TP / IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2)
- Zero Log (Hong Kong No Data Retention Laws)
- DNS and IP Leak Prevention
- Built-in Ads Blocker
- Port Forwarding
- Dedicated IP Address
- Split tunnel
- Built-in Kill Switch
- Support TOR and NAT Firewall
- Allow Torrenting/P2P
- Best for Netflix, Kodi, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu etc
- 2,000+ Servers and 300,000+ IPs in 180+ Countries
- Compatibility for All Devices: Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, Router, Smart TV, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire
- Support 10 Devices to Connect at the Same Time
- Provide Unlimited Bandwidth and traffic
- 31-day Money-back Guarantee
- PureVPN Website: PureVPN.com
- Average speed
PureVPN was established in 2006 and the company’s headquarters is located in Hong Kong. As we all know, Hong Kong is known for its free and no data retention laws. For users who value privacy, jurisdiction is also one of the factors they consider.
PureVPN defaults to bank-level AES-256-bit encryption and supports multiple VPN protocols, including PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, SSTP, and OpenVPN. Users can freely choose the VPN protocol that suits them according to their needs.
In addition to strong encryption, PureVPN also provides many other useful features that can provide users with additional privacy protection. Such as, built-in Kill Switch, split tunnel, DNS and IP leak prevention, ads blocker, port forwarding, etc.
PureVPN has more than 2,000 servers in 141 countries around the world. PureVPN’s huge server network is comparable to ExpressVPN. With its huge server network, PureVPN can unlock all contents restricted by geography worldwide. All PureVPN servers also support P2P sharing, and most of its servers have been optimized for Torrenting, making it an ideal VPN for Torrenting.
For Chinese VPN users, PureVPN can bypass the restrictions of the Great Wall firewall and allow Chinese VPN users to freely access Google, Gmail, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Telegram, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, ShowTime, sling TV, DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, CBS, ESPN, Hotstar and other platforms.
In addition, PureVPN has deployed servers in China, which means that you can access China’s Tencent Video, iQiyi, QQ Music, Youku Video, Himalayan, etc. through PureVPN.
Therefore, PureVPN is also the best VPN for China.
In terms of compatibility, PureVPN supports all major platforms, such as Windows, Android, Mac, Linux and some other popular platforms, and allows 10 devices to connect at the same time.
Like ExpressVPN, PureVPN does not support free trials, but it supports a 30-day money-back guarantee. In the process of using PureVPN, no matter what problems you encounter, you can get help through its 24/7 customer support (customer support responds quickly).
Or visit our PureVPN Reviews
Why is Surfshark the most “cheap” VPN? Because Surfshark’s “24-month plan” only requires $ 2.21 / month, and Surfshark’s account allows countless devices to connect at the same time. This means that if you spend $ 2.21 per month, you can connect dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time. This is more competitive than ExpressVPN (5) and NordVPN (6). So Surfshark is the most “cheap” VPN.
Surfshark Advantages / Features:
- Allow countless devices to connect at the same time
- Strong encryption (AES 256 encryption)
- Support multiple VPN protocols (OpenVPN, IPsec and IKEv2)
- Strict “zero log” strategy (Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands)
- Built-in Kill Switch
- Built-in IP / DNS leak prevention
- Built-in split tunnel
- CleanWeb security suite (ads blocker)
- More than 1,000 servers in more than 60 countries / regions
- Unlock streaming media, such as Netflix, BBC, Hulu, etc.
- P2P and Torrenting support
- Easy to use
- 24/7 live chat
- Surfshark Price: $ 2.21 / month
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Surfshark website: Surfshark.com
- The server network is relatively small.
Although Surfshark is the most “cheap” VPN, the services it provides is not worse than any other top VPN.
Like ExpressVPN, SurfShark is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. The area is far from the “5/7/9/14 Eye Group” and there is no data retention laws, which is good news for users who are pursuing privacy.
SurfShark uses AES 256 encryption and strict zero-log strategy, and it also has built-in Kill Switch, IP / DNS leak prevention, advertisement blocker, split tunnel and other functions in its APP. These powerful functions can effectively protect the privacy of users.
During our test of SurfShark, we did not find any IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks. We also did not find any malware or viruses in their installation files.
SurfShark has more than 1,000 servers in more than 60 countries around the world. Compared to ExpressVPN (3000+ servers in 94+ countries) and PureVPN (2000+ servers in 141+ countries), SurfShark’s server network is relatively small, but this number is growing rapidly. After all, SurfShark belongs to a relatively young company and needs a growth process.
Although SurfShark’s server network is relatively small, it is outstanding in unlocking geographic restrictions. SurfShark can unlock most geographically restricted streaming media, videos, files and websites. We successfully opened Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and other streaming media through SurfShark, and there is no delay or buffer when watching 4K HD movies.
In addition, SurfShark allows users to conduct P2P activities on all their servers without any traffic and bandwidth restrictions.
In compatibility, SurfShark is compatible with all mainstream devices, including: Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, FireTV, Linux, Chrome browser and Firefox browser. SurfShark provides dedicated apps for these mainstream devices, and these dedicated apps are very simple and easy to use.
Like other top VPNs, SurfShark does not provide free trials. At the same time, they also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that you can also try SurfShark free for 30 days.
In the process of using SurfShark, if you have any questions, you can also get help through its 24/7 customer support.
Or visit our SurfShark Reviews
Although Ivacy VPN is little known, we find that Ivacy VPN is the most worth trying VPN after we did test. Ivacy VPN provides services similar to ExpressVPN, but much cheaper than ExpressVPN. Even ExpressVPN’s 12-month plan requires $6.67 / month. The five-year plan of Ivacy VPN only costs $ 1 per month.
Ivacy VPN Advantages / Features:
- Military Grade 256-Bit Encryption
- Supports All Major VPN Protocols
- Internet Kill Switch
- Malware Protection
- Split Tunneling
- Smart Connect Feature
- Port Forwarding
- No Browsing Logs Policy
- 1000+ Servers in 100+ Locations
- Works With Netflix / BBC iPlayer / Hulu / Amazon Prime / ESPN / HBO
- P2P Support
- Dedicated Kodi App
- Compatible With All Major Devices and Platforms
- 10 Devices Simultaneous Logins
- Easy To Use APP
- 24/7 Customer Support
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Ivacy Website: ivacy.com
Ivacy VPN Disadvantages:
- Singapore has exchanges of information with the “Five Eyes Group”
Ivacy is a VPN service provider in Singapore. The company was established in 2007 and has a history of more than ten years.
IvacyVPN supports all major platforms, including: iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Kodi, Raspberry Pi, xBox, PS4, Blackberry, Roku, router, smart TV, etc., and allows 10 devices to connect at the same time.
IvacyVPN has more than 1,000 servers in more than 100 regions around the world. Ivacy VPN can unlock most geographically restricted content, including Netflix in 7 regions (US, France, Japan, UK, Australia, Germany and Canada). If you also love streaming media, then you can use IvacyVPN to access any streaming media in the world.
On customer support side, Ivacy VPN provides online customer service 24/7, no matter you have any questions, you can always get in touch with their customer service.
If you are a Chinese VPN user, or plan to travel and work in China, or you want to access content restricted by China, then Ivacy VPN will be one of your best choices.
If you are a VPN user in China, Ivacy VPN can meet the special needs of you. You can use Ivacy VPN to visit Google, Gmail, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype and other websites to work and study.
If you are a big fan of American TV dramas, you can use Ivacy VPN to break Netflix’s geographical restrictions and watch American TV dramas anytime and anywhere, no matter you are in China, Hong Kong, or any country in the world.
If you want to access content restricted by China (such as WeChat, QQ Music, Tencent Video, Netease News, etc.), then you can make it by connecting two servers of Ivacy VPN in Beijing and Shanghai.
In addition, Ivacy has no traffic and bandwidth restrictions. When you watch American movies, there will be no buffering or stuttering. All Ivacy servers support P2P, which is also a benefit for those who love to download torrents.
Ivacy VPN Price：
Ivacy VPN has become the most worth trying VPN with its powerful functions and super preferential price ($ 1 / month). Hurry up!
Or visit our Ivacy VPN Reviews
NordVPN has always been a leader in the VPN industry and has been a major competitor of ExpressVPN. It is one of without a doubt the best VPNs.
NordVPN Advantages / Features:
- Military-level AES-256 encryption
- Support multiple VPN protocols: OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), PPTP, L2TP / IPSec, IKEv2 / IPSec
- Strict zero log strategy
- Jurisdiction in Panama (no Data Retention Laws)
- Built-in Kill Switch
- 5000+ servers in 62+ countries
- Unlock Netflix and other streaming media
- Provide dedicated APP
- Support P2P
- Allow 6 devices to connect at the same time
- 24/7 customer support
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
- Can be used in China
- NordVPN website: Nordvpn.com
- NordVPN had a data leak in 2019 (Now the problem is solved)
In terms of security, NordVPN uses military level AES-256 encryption and supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), PPTP, L2TP / IPSec, IKEv2 / IPSec. Users can freely choose the VPN protocol that suits them according to their needs.
NordVPN also has a Kill Switch built into its application, which means that when your VPN connection is accidentally disconnected, Kill Switch will automatically cut off all your network connections to ensure that your data is not leaked. In addition to Kill Switch, NordVPN has many other useful features, such as Ads blocker, malware prevention, and IP / DNS leak prevention.
NordVPN provides more than 5565 servers in 59 countries, covering almost all mainstream countries and regions. With NordVPN’s servers all over the world, you can unlock all mainstream streaming media and websites, including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV.
In addition, NordVPN also provides users with optimized dedicated Torrenting, Streaming and Game Servers. When you turn on Netflix or other streaming media, NordVPN will automatically select the corresponding server to provide the most stable and fastest access.
The NordVPN client is also very simple and easy to use, very suitable for novices. If you are an advanced VPN user, you will also get many manual configuration options.
In addition, NordVPN also allows users to connect 6 devices at the same time.
Or visit our NordVPN Reviews
What is VPN?
The full name of VPN is “Virtual Private Network”.
In simple terms, VPN service providers will buy or rent a lot of servers around the world. When users connect to these servers, they will establish a specially encrypted tunnel between the user’s equipment and these servers. All interactions between users and the outside world will be transmitted to overseas VPN servers through this mysterious tunnel, and then connect to the outside Internet through these servers.
Because this tunnel is encrypted and specially processed, the government, hackers, ISPs, or copyright owners do not know what is transmitted in the tunnel, or even the existence of this tunnel.
In this way, VPN users can access the content they want to access while hiding their real IP, and no one knows what content he has accessed.
VPN was originally used for internal communication between large enterprises or groups. With the continuous development of the Internet, the use of personal VPNs has become more and more popular. The VPN can establish a secure channel between the user’s device and the Internet to protect the user’s online traffic from monitoring, interference, and censorship.
Therefore, anti-tracking, data encryption and protection of user data security are the first and most important duties of VPN. In some countries where Internet censorship is strict, such as China, UAE, Iran, Russia, Iraq, Turkey, etc., VPN is not only used for encryption, but also used to cross firewalls.
Why Should We use VPN?
As we mentioned above, the first priority of VPN is anti-tracking, data encryption and protection of user data security. It means that VPN creates a very secure tunnel between your device (computer or mobile phone) and the accessed server (the website server you visit), and all your network traffic is transmitted through this secure tunnel , So that your ISP, WIFI owner, hacker, etc. cannot see what you transmit. They only know that you are on the internet, but they do not know which website you are visiting and what content you are talking with your friends. Also don’t know the account and password you use to log in to a certain website.
If you don’t use VPN, then when you connect to the network (mobile phone network, wired network, unlimited WIFI), your network operator, WIFI owner, hacker all can easily know which website you are visiting, what you talk with your friends and the account password you use to log in to a website, etc. If they want to restrict you, or want to steal your private information, it becomes very easy.
This is why VPN is important. Before VPNs are widely used, people’s privacy security awareness is relatively weak, so the cases that social account password, game account password and bank account passwords are frequently stolen. After using VPN, it will effectively reduce the cases that private information is stolen.
Therefore, anyone who concerns about their online privacy must use a virtual private network (VPN).
After you use a VPN, you will be able to:
- Hide your real IP and identity
- Transmit interactive information in encrypted form.
- Bypass geographic restrictions and access restricted content: watch streaming media (such as Netflix and Hulu), and secure P2P activities
- Prevent snooping from governments from governments, ISPs, hackers and copyright owners
If you are in China, using a VPN can not only hide your IP and encrypt your data, but also help you bypass the Great Wall firewall and freely access Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other websites.
How To Choose VPN?
When we recommend the best VPN to people, we generally follow the following points:
1, Well-known VPN service providers:
These VPNs certainly do a good job in terms of security, privacy, and ease of use.
2, A large number of servers can unlock all the mainstream streaming media in the world, and support P2P:
Only have a huge server network, VPN can provide ultra-fast connection and unlock more restricted contents.
3, VPN is fast and stable:
No one wants to wait endlessly when you visit a webpage or watch a movie. If VPN connection is unstable and there is always a disconnection, then the user’s privacy and Internet data will definitely be leaked. This also violates our original intention of using VPN.
4, Simple and easy to use:
For many VPN beginners, the complex VPN APP is a huge trouble. This means that you need to spend a lot of time to explore it.
5, Strong customer support
For a VPN beginner, strong customer support is very important. This means that when you download, install, or set up a VPN, no matter what problems you encounter, you can immediately get help through customer support.
6, Preferential price and high cost performance:
A powerful and cheap VPN will definitely be loved by everyone.
7, Support multiple devices to connect at the same time:
Supporting simultaneous connection of multiple devices means that one account can protect all your devices. Especially for some small company, it will be great if one account can serve all employees.
When we choose a VPN, in addition to the above points, there is another point that is particularly important, that is, “choose the VPN that suits you”, such as:
If you are a big fan of streaming media or a game fan, or have high requirements for VPN speed, you can choose Express VPN. Because it is the fastest, there is no waiting and delay when you watch streaming or play games.
If you are a home user with multiple devices, or you are running a small company and want to find a VPN that can satisfy multiple people at the same time, then you can choose Surfshark, because it allows unlimited devices to connect at the same time and provides very powerful functions and services. Most importantly, its price is very favorable, as low as $ 2.21 per month.
If you have a limited budget and want a powerful VPN, PureVPN will be your best choice, because it can not only provide powerful functions, but the price is as low as $1.32.
If you have used other brands of VPNs before and now want to change to a new VPN service provider, then Ivacy will be your best choice. Although it does not have a high reputation, it is powerful and the price is as low as 1 USD / month, which is the most worth trying VPN.
If you have high requirements for VPN, you can choose Nord VPN. It provides powerful functions and supports manual configuration. You can configure it according to your needs.
Should I use a Free VPN or Paid VPN?
There are many free VPNs on the market, and free things generally have great appeal, so many VPN beginners will choose free VPNs.
But we need to remind everyone here that we must be cautious when we choose free VPNs, because most free VPNs are full of various traps. such as:
- Some free VPNs will collect user privacy and online data, and then resell it to third parties for profitable purposes.
- Some free VPNs will embed some viruses. When our device is poisoned, they will steal our bank account and password.
- Some free VPNs will have a lot of pop-up ads, which seriously affect our normal access to the Internet.
- Some free VPNs may have only one server, which will make your network connection very slow.
- Some free VPNs are completely unable to prevent snooping from governments, ISPs, hackers and copyright owners.
As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of our VPN is to protect our privacy and prevent ISPs and hackers from stealing our private information. If there is a problem with the VPN we use, not only will it not serve the purpose of protecting privacy, but it will also resell our private information to third parties.
If you only use VPN occasionally, you can take a look at the five purely free VPNs we recommend (they are really free VPNs, and they are very safe and reliable):
1, Hide.me Free VPN – 10 GB of free data per month
2, TunnelBear Free VPN – Free Servers in more than 22 countries
3, Hotspot Shield free VPN – 15 GB/Month, Free servers in 15 countries
4, Windscribe Free VPN – 10 GB of free data per month
5, Proton Free VPN – Unlimited Free Data
If you only need to use a VPN at specific time, and the requirements for the VPN are very high, then you can try the following five top VPNs (they all provide a 30-day money-back guarantee) (free use for 30 days):
During the money-back guarantee period, these top VPNs will provide you with the most powerful security protection and the fastest connection, and they don’t have any traffic and bandwidth restrictions.
It is worth noted that you need to register an account and pay first, and then you will enjoy the top service and the fastest internet speed. When you use them for nearly 30 days, you need to contact their customer service to request a refund. They will give you a full refund. This operation is equivalent to saying that you don’t spend a penny, but you enjoyed the world’s top service.
Finally, if you need to use VPN frequently and care about your privacy and security, then we recommend that you buy a reliable VPN.
Is It Illegal To Use VPN?
It is legal to use a VPN in most countries in the world, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia.
But using VPN in the following countries where the Internet censorship is very strict may violate the law:
If you use a VPN in the above countries, you are likely to face a fine or even go to jail.
Of course, if you use a reliable VPN, neither government nor ISP will know that you use the VPN, and you will not be fined or put into jail.
What is Kill Switch?
Kill Switch is an advanced feature built into the VPN. When your network connection is suddenly disconnected due to some unexpected circumstances, this function will immediately cut off all your Internet connections to ensure that your private information is not leaked.
Kill Switch is a very useful function that can effectively protect the privacy of users.
Kill Switch is now standard on top VPNs.
What is Split Tunnel?
Split tunnel is also an advanced feature built into the VPN. The Split tunnel function allows users to define which traffic passes through the VPN and which traffic does not pass through the VPN.
For example, when you want to unlock Netflix, you must use a VPN to make it.
But when you connect VPN and visit online bank, the bank may refuse you to log in because it shows that your IP is abroad and it will even lock your bank account.
If the VPN you use has the Split tunnel function, then you can use the local IP to access some local services without disconnecting the VPN.