Maintaining a safe and private online presence is a challenging undertaking nowadays. Using a VPN is the best way to keep a low profile on the Internet without missing anything. That said, with several hundred VPNs in the market, choosing the best one for your individual needs is not a simple task. Each VPN claims to be the best in the industry, but the truth is that most of them aren’t worth your attention and money.
Looking for Quick Answers? – Here Are The Top 5 VPNs in 2021
- NordVPN – The fastest and most reliable VPN on the market, backed up with excellent privacy and security features.
- PrivateVPN – user-friendly and affordable VPN service with Port Forwarding
- Surfshark – Packed with great in-house developed security features that make it uncompromisingly safe.
- ExpressVPN – Excellent all-encompassing performer across all crucial categories.
- Private Internet Access – Veteran VPN with a massive server network.
After extensively testing all of the best VPNs in the industry, we’ve narrowed down the list of the top 10 best VPNs. Our thorough, objective and honest reviews don’t shy away from highlighting all of the positive and negative aspects of each VPN service.
The services featured on our list have what it takes to provide you with a safe and secure online experience, along with unbridled speed for streaming and torrenting. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at each of the top VPN services in 2021.
Best VPNs In 2021 – 100% Secure
With over 5400 servers in 59 countries worldwide, NordVPN covers every corner of the globe with its powerful RAM-servers. This well spread-out network provides excellent speeds that can hardly be matched by any other VPN in the industry. None of their servers are virtual ones, while a good part of their infrastructure comprises colocated servers, which are entirely controlled in-house.
In terms of safety, NordVPN is packed with useful security and privacy features that leave a lot of room for the user to customize his experience. NordVPN customers can count on solid DDoS protection, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and many more. There are also some unique features such as CyberSec (Ad-blocking, protection against malware and phishing) and Onion over VPN (Routing through Tor).
The service also displays excellent speeds and overall performance for activities such as streaming and torrenting. NordVPN’s obfuscated servers can bypass even the most sophisticated geo-restrictions, allowing you to enjoy unlimited content from any streaming platform of your choice. When it comes to torrenting, you can easily find dedicated P2P servers in their “Specialty Servers” tab and enjoy fast downloads and maximum privacy.
NordVPN’s service is available across a long list of supported apps, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. With that in mind, you’ll have no problem setting up this VPN on your device. Plus, NordVPN also offers a massive knowledge base covering everything you need to know about this service when using it. Their live chat support is available around the clock, and you can get in touch with them within minutes.
On top of all of this, NordVPN is also known for its very affordable price plans. Despite its packed to the very top with great features, NordVPN remains one of the best budget-friendly options on the market. Plus, you can take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. NordVPN is suitable for every online user, no matter how novice or advanced.
With a little over 150 servers in 62 countries, PrivateVPN might not boast the most diverse network in the industry. But, in the case of this VPN service, quality trumps quantity by far. From the USA to Russia, from Turkey to Japan, you can count on high-quality and blazing-fast servers regardless of your physical location.
Using the top-standard 256-bit encryption, you can also count on IPv6 leak protection, DNS leak protection, and a very reliable kill switch. The service supports several protocols, allowing you to tailor your connection to best suit your network’s needs. The available protocols in PrivateVPN’s apps include OpenVPN with UDP/TCP, L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2.
PrivateVPN is very adept at unblocking all major streaming platforms without any consistency problems. We were able to access several Netflix streaming servers, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video each on the first try. This process was made easier thanks to PrivateVPN’s user-friendly apps, which precisely label what server is suitable for a specific streaming site.
The VPN’s speeds are fast and reliable, although not among the fastest in the industry. That said, paired up with unlimited bandwidth, PrivateVPN performs very consistently and is an excellent choice for users looking for a reliable VPN for torrenting.
One thing that may deter certain users from opting for PrivateVPN is that this service is based in Sweden, a part of the 14-Eyes Alliance. However, this VPN has proven over the years that it’s maximally dedicated to user privacy and protection. It employs a strict no-logs policy that applies to all traffic and usage data.
PrivateVPN stays true to its name and provides a very private and secure service suitable for novice users and VPN experts. It offers dedicated apps for all major software platforms, comes with many security features, and offers solid and reliable performance at all levels. Plus, the prices are very reasonable. All of this deservedly books PrivateVPN a spot on our list of the best VPNs in 2021.
Surfshark has a relatively average-sized VPN server network of a little over 3200 servers in 65 countries. But, aside from numbers alone, all of their servers are equipped with private DNS, Camouflage Mode (traffic obfuscation), and support P2P activities without any restrictions.
The VPN protects its server networks with AES 256-bit encryption, combined with asymmetric authentication. Moreover, it also comes with perfect forward secrecy, meaning that it’s very effective in preventing security breaches by frequently exchanging encryption keys. Besides this, Surfshark’s apps come with many useful security tools that make this VPN one of the safest ones around.
Some of Surfshark’s most notable features include CleanWeb (Malware and ad blocker), a kill switch, Whitelister (split tunneling and inverse split tunneling), Multi-Hop (routing through two VPN servers), and NoBorders Mode (Proprietary bypassing solution).
In addition to all of these convenient and very reliable security features, Surfshark is also an excellent performer when it comes to streaming. It can surpass any geo-block it comes across. Its features, such as Camouflage Mode and NoBorders Mode, allow for smooth streaming on even the most uncompromising platforms like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer.
Although Surfshark doesn’t support a port forwarding feature, it’s one of the best VPNs in the industry when it comes to torrenting. Our extensive tests have shown that it not only maintains high download speeds on torrenting platforms but even helps improve upload speed by over 50 percent.
Surfshark supports a substantial selection of protocols. These range from standard protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN (TCP vs. UDP) to more modern ones such as WireGuard and Shadowsocks. The last one is particularly interesting, as it’s designed to work and bypass restrictions in even the most heavily-censored and authoritarian countries.
Despite having so many diverse security and privacy traits, Surfshark is very straightforward to install and even easier to use. It supports all major desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also set it up on routers, browser extensions, and a long series of other devices.
The service maintains a zero-log policy and only keeps information on the user’s email address and billing data. When it comes to the latter, Surfshark is regarded as one of the most budget-friendly VPNs on the market. Moreover, since it comes with so many excellent features, it’s arguably one of the best value-for-money VPNs you can subscribe to.
ExpressVPN always finds its way to all of the top VPN lists, and for a good reason. It’s a high-quality VPN capable of providing a reliable and powerful service across the board. With over 3000 servers in 160 VPN server locations across 94 countries, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for VPN users worldwide.
A small fraction of ExpressVPN’s servers are virtual servers, which may raise some eyebrows, but there’s no reason to worry about this aspect. This is because ExpressVPN utilizes a standout TrustedServer technology. It prevents any data from being written on the hard drive. Instead, all servers run exclusively on RAM.
In terms of security and privacy, ExpressVPN is one of the safest services around. It comes with 256-bit encryption and includes split tunneling, DDoS protection, and ExpressVPN’s in-house developed kill-switch, called NetworkLock.
ExpressVPN ranks as one of the top VPNs for streaming, as it can bypass any geo-block it comes across. Besides being able to unblock all of the major streaming services, you can also count on it to work in every country, even those with heavy censorship like Russia and China.
Torrenting with ExpressVPN is a breeze, as this service supports P2P activities on all of its servers. The user experience is very intuitive. You can easily browse between servers or use the Smart Location feature to let the app connect to the most suitable server based on your location.
As one of the top VPNs in the industry, ExpressVPN maintains a very high standard when it comes to user data protection. The service doesn’t log any data and has confirmed it’s dedicated to privacy by undergoing an audit from PwC, one of the world’s most stringent auditing firms.
However, although ExpressVPN is undoubtedly one of the best in the market, it’s not for everyone. This service’s main downside is the hefty subscription price, which can’t be avoided even if you opt for their longest plan. If you’re ready to pay up to a dozen bucks per month, ExpressVPN certainly offers a feature-packed service that will meet all of your expectations. But, if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to choose another VPN from our list.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is known as the VPN with the most comprehensive server network in the world. Their server base keeps continuously growing and currently numbers over 29,000 servers in 77 countries worldwide. But, aside from pure numbers alone, PIA’s servers are certainly among the top ones in the industry.
If you’re a privacy-conscious VPN user who wants to enjoy a wide variety of features, PIA has got you covered. Some of the most notable features you can count on when using PIA include custom DNS configuration, dedicated IP settings, port forwarding, split tunneling, a kill switch, and PIA mace. The latter is the VPNs unique take on the classic malware, ad, and tracker blocker, which comes in handy when streaming.
Speaking of PIA’s streaming capabilities, this VPN has endured its fair share of struggles over the years. It’s reasonably successful in unblocking all streaming platforms, though you might encounter some hiccups from time to time, mostly in the form of unblocking inability.
On the other hand, this VPN has proven to be arguably the top service when it comes to torrenting. With no bandwidth limitations, a massive server network, and features such as port forwarding, P2P with PIA is blazing fast. Plus, since torrenting is supported on each server, you can enjoy a very convenient experience when downloading and uploading files through PIA’s network.
PIA is based in the US, which arguably isn’t the ideal location for a VPN service. However, this shouldn’t deter you from choosing this VPN service, as it guarantees a 100% zero-log policy for all of its customers.
This VPN is also one of the most advanced in the market, as it allows users for a high level of customizability. You can set up PIA on every major platform ranging from phones and computers to routers, TVs, and consoles.
Befitting a top VPN service, PIA offers around-the-clock customer support and a very reliable and detailed Help section. Overall, all of this comes at a very affordable price, as you can get Private Internet Access for around two bucks per month if you opt for one of their long-term plans.
- Allows Port Forwarding setup on specific servers
- Supports Torrenting and P2P traffic
- No Traffic or Request logs
- Can be used with 10 devices simultaneously
- Unlimited Bandwidth and good speeds
- 3200+ Servers in 29 Countries
- 30-day money-back guarantee
CyberGhost numbers 6800 servers in 112 locations across 90 countries globally. The service is very transparent regarding its servers and their capabilities. You can find detailed information on all of their server locations before ever connecting to one. For example, you can see whether or not the server you want to connect to is physical or virtual or whether it’s suitable for P2P activities.
CyberGhost uses 256-bit military-grade encryption backed up by a kill switch, DNS, and IP leak protection to all of its users. Plus, those who want to enjoy enhanced protection from CyberGhost can also opt for a dedicated IP only available to them.
With above-average speeds and unlimited bandwidth and traffic, CyberGhost is an excellent choice for streaming and torrenting. It’s capable of unblocking all Netflix regional platforms, as well as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney +, and dozens of other popular streaming sites.
The VPN offers apps for all major desktop and mobile platforms, two browser extensions, and apps for various TVs and consoles. It’s also worth noting that CyberGhost offers one of the longest money-back deals, worth up to 45 days.
It allows up to seven simultaneous connections and provides 24/7 customer support, so you can always rely on them to promptly fix any issues you come across. Overall, CyberGhost is a solid all-around choice that combines an affordable price plan, reliable security features, and user-friendly apps, all in one service.
PureVPN is one of the pioneers in the VPN industry and a name that’s been around since 2007. Over years, it has amassed an excellent server network over the years, which currently numbers over 6,500 servers in more than 180 locations across 140 countries worldwide.
Although speeds certainly aren’t among the very top in the industry, you can count on above-average speeds. More importantly, their servers are always consistent and stable across the board.
PureVPN provides a robust security service backed up by a kill switch, split tunneling, port forwarding, DDoS protection, and a dedicated IP address. However, the latter three are only available as add-ons at an extra monthly subscription price. Furthermore, the service supports a limited number of protocols, as you can only choose between UDP, TCP, and IKEv2.
With close to a third of its servers optimized for smooth streaming, PureVPN can unblock any major streaming platform. Besides this, it is also one of the very few services that can reliably and consistently bypass the Great Firewall of China. The VPN also performs well for torrenting, as you can expect only a minimal speed dropdown compared to your base downloading speed.
The VPN is based in Hong Kong, so there’s no reason to worry about privacy-invasive laws. PureVPN explicitly states that it doesn’t log or collect any identifiable data. What’s more, they have an “always-on” audit policy. This means that they accept to undergo random and unscheduled audits at any time, which is something you can’t come across with many VPN services.
The most significant disadvantage of PureVPN is that some of its best features are hidden behind a paywall. As mentioned above, essential security components such as DDoS protection and port forwarding are only available if you’re ready to add a couple of dollars to your price plan each month.
If you don’t want to do so, you’ll be left with a relatively basic and barebone service. With this in mind, PureVPN is suitable for casual VPN users and beginners but not the best choice for users looking for plentiful advanced features.
VyprVPN has over 700 servers across more than 70 locations around the world, numbering over 300,000 available IP addresses. Numbers aside, each of their servers uses the latest hardware to ensure maximum network speed and reliability.
The VPN also has several proprietary in-house technologies that allow for enhanced user privacy and security. Most notably, this includes their unique Chameleon protocol, created to ensure reliable and effective bypassing in any restrictive country.
Aside from this protocol, VyprVPN has also introduced the VyprDNS protection feature and the VyprVPN Cloud. The latter is a user-friendly VPN server-deployment solution that adds an extra layer of protection to Vypr users accessing cloud servers.
During our extensive tests, VyprVPN has shown to fare very well in terms of torrenting and streaming. When it comes to the second of the two, it has proven to be an excellent choice for unblocking all streaming services we could think of. Though its speeds may falter on the remote connection, VyprVPN stands its ground as one of the top ten VPNs for streaming in 2021.
As a VPN service that likes to keep everything in-house, VyprVPN has a very strict no-third-parties policy. They write all of their code and own and manage all of their servers and hardware. This means that all data is protected end-to-end, with no 3rd parties involved in the service.
When coupled with their rigid no-logs policy, this means that no one, even VyprVPN staff themselves, cannot see any of the traffic data or user information that’s shared through their servers. Plus, when we consider that the service is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, Vypr is undoubtedly one of the best choices for those aiming for maximum online anonymity.
The VPN suffered in the past from a fairly poor reputation in terms of its customer service, though it seems things have turned around in the past couple of years. Nowadays, you can find a detailed FAQ page, troubleshooting, and setup guides without much effort. In addition, their customer service is available at all times and is very responsive and helpful.
In general terms, VyprVPN certainly has a lot to offer. Its unique in-house technology and air-tight privacy features make it one of the most exciting services for privacy enthusiasts. The VPN also ranks among the top ones in the industry when it comes to streaming, torrenting, and the ability to bypass region locks.
TorGuard is one of the most comprehensive VPN services in the industry. It offers multiple price plans for VPN users, businesses, and those who just want to get the most performance and security from their email services and streaming sites. Focusing on the part of their service aimed at individual users, TorGuard’s “Anonymous VPN” subscription plan comes with over 3000 servers in more than 50 countries.
Their service includes state-of-the-art encryption and offers its users over half a dozen protocols and open-source applications they can use to connect to TorGuard’s servers. This includes OpenVPN (UDP vs. TCP), L2TP, IPSec, STunnel, OpenConnect, and Wireguard.
Not many VPN users know that the prefix “Tor” in this VPN’s name refers to torrenting and not anything else. This just shows how important P2P file-sharing support is to this VPN service. TorGuard supports torrenting on all 3000+ servers in its network. It also comes with the port forwarding feature, which you can use to improve your torrenting speeds.
When it comes to streaming, the situation with TorGuard is a bit more complicated than with torrenting. This is because you won’t find much success in unblocking streaming sites with TorGuard’s base subscription plan. If you want to access Netflix and other major streaming platforms, you’ll need to purchase their streaming package for an additional monthly fee.
One of the most significant downsides of TorGuard is that it’s based in the US, a country that’s a part of all major international surveillance alliances. While this shouldn’t matter, as TorGuard claims not to collect any user data, this is something to keep in mind if you want to avoid a US-based VPN service.
Still, due to its robust features and exceptional performance for torrenting in particular, TorGuard deserves to be mentioned as one of the top VPNs in 2021. It can’t quite compete with the very best in the industry but is more than suitable for any beginner and average VPN user.
Perfect Privacy operates a fairly small network of a little less than 60 servers spread across 25 countries. Most of their servers are based in Europe, though you can also find a few of them in convenient streaming locations such as Japan and the US.
Security-wise, Perfect Privacy comes with many useful features such as Multi-Hop (up to four VPN tunnels), NeuroRouting, TrackStop (malware and phishing blocker), deep packet inspection, IPv6 support, and a kill switch.
It also offers configurable port forwarding options, allowing for a more customizable experience based on the user’s unique needs. And, probably most important of all, we should mention that Perfect Privacy does not log any user information or traffic data.
The majority of their servers support up to 1000 Mbps bandwidth, though there are no limits on the maximum speed and volume of the user’s connection. This makes the service the right choice for streaming and torrenting, as you can expect fast and reliable speeds when connected to a server with a small number of users.
Perfect Privacy has been in the business since 2008 and is one of the oldest VPNs in the industry. That said, the service has only started to experience popularity in the past couple of years. All in all, it deserves the attention it’s getting, as it’s definitely one of the top 10 VPNs currently in the industry.
Best VPNs in 2021 – A Quick Speed Comparison Test
Most users can argue that connection speed is the single most crucial aspect of every VPN service. If you highly emphasize VPN speed, take a closer look at our direct comparison test and determine which VPN service is the best choice for your needs:
How To Choose the Best VPN For Your Needs
Even with the list narrowed down to just ten options, picking the most suitable one for your needs can be a challenging task. However, there’s no reason to worry, as all of the VPNs we’ve highlighted on this page are capable of delivering a reliable and top-quality service.
We’ve rigorously tested these services to make sure they meet all of our stringent criteria and that they can provide you with good value for your money. With that in mind, all that’s left for you is to pick a VPN you find the best for your liking and enjoy a smooth and safe online experience!
Are VPNs Legal?
Yes, VPNs are completely legal if you don’t use them to mask your illegal activities. In most countries, VPN use is legal, as the main purpose of these tools is to provide anonymity, encrypt data, and access geo-restricted platforms. But, keep in mind that any illegal activities you engage in through a VPN are still illegal.
I Have Nothing to Hide. Why Should I Use a VPN for Privacy and Security?
Even if you don’t have any shady online activities you’d want to hide, losing your data to hackers can still hurt you. Using a VPN is a simple but very effective way of preventing anyone from getting a hold of your banking information, online business login details, or anything else you’d want to keep private.
Can I Use a VPN for Streaming?
Yes, a VPN is the best way to access any streaming site, regardless of where you live. Since it allows you to change your IP address and trick any site into thinking you’re in its region, a VPN can provide you with unlimited and unrestricted access to any streaming platform around the globe.
What’s the Best Free VPN?
There are a lot of free VPNs that advertise their service as the best on the market. However, we strongly recommend avoiding using any free VPN service and stick only to those with premium subscription plans. Free VPNs simply can’t provide you the same level of privacy and security as paid services. Moreover, most free VPNs are downright scams that harvest user data to sell it to the highest bidder.
Is a VPN Difficult to Use?
The top VPNs nowadays have streamlined their services so much that setting them up and using them doesn’t differ much from downloading and signing up with any other app. Even if you don’t have any prior VPN experience, you can still enjoy a smooth service by sticking to the app’s default settings and protocols.