5 Best VPNs According to Reddit Users in 2023
While expert reviews and ratings are undoubtedly valuable, they often come from a technical standpoint and may not always capture the user experience in its entirety. That’s where Reddit comes into play. The beauty of Reddit lies in its active and passionate user base, which is always ready to share its opinions, suggestions, and cautionary tales about different VPN services.
That’s why, for this article, I’ve decided to go to Reddit users and consult them on their insights when crafting the list of the best VPNs in 2023. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best VPN service providers according to Reddit users, and discover which services have earned the trust and recommendation of the Reddit community.
Best VPNs in 2023, According to Reddit
- NordVPN – The best VPN according to Reddit.
- Surfshark – Affordable VPN with great features.
- PrivateVPN – Simple VPN Reddit recommends for beginners.
- ExpressVPN – Premium service with strong security features.
- Mullvad – Open-source VPN that supports user anonymity.
Test Your VPN Knowledge – Take A Quiz!
Common Criteria Among Redditors When Evaluating the Best VPNs
When browsing more technical VPN reviews from Reddit users, we can see that tech-savvy Redditors know precisely what criteria are the most important when evaluating the best VPN services. Here are some key factors that frequently come up in discussions:
- Privacy and Security — Most Reddit users prioritize VPNs with a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don’t retain user activity or connection logs. Strong encryption protocols, such as AES-256, and a privacy-friendly jurisdiction are also highly valued.
- Server Network — The size and distribution of a VPN’s server network are important. Reddit users look for VPNs that offer a wide range of server locations to ensure optimal performance, access to geo-restricted content, and the ability to bypass censorship.
- Speed and Performance — Understandably, Reddit users appreciate VPNs that deliver fast and stable connections, allowing for seamless web browsing, streaming, and gaming experiences. Users often rely on speed tests and real-world feedback to evaluate a VPN’s performance.
- User-Friendly Interface — A VPN with a simple and intuitive interface is preferred, particularly by those who are new to VPNs. That’s why most users appreciate well-designed apps that are easy to navigate and configure, with clear options and settings.
- Customer Support — Responsive and helpful customer support is highly regarded. VPNs that offer timely assistance, either through live chat, email, or support ticket systems are always appreciated in the Reddit VPN community.
- Pricing and Value — While free VPNs are generally discouraged, Redditors often discuss VPN service providers that offer competitive pricing plans and good value for money. Everyone wants to get the best deal for their money. Discounted long-term subscription options or additional features included in the package are seen as beneficial. Also, many users appreciate the flexibility of a money-back guarantee.
- Reputation and Trustworthiness — Redditors rely on the community’s experiences and opinions to gauge a VPN’s reputation. Positive feedback, endorsements from reputable sources, and independent security audits contribute to establishing trust in a VPN.
Top VPNs Reddit Users Recommended in 2023 – our detailed list:
NordVPN is a pretty dominating brand on Reddit, so it can sometimes be difficult to discern between genuine discussions and those that serve a promotional purpose. Most Reddit VPN threads mention this provider in one form or another, praising its great features. Many users rave about its encrypted cloud storage service, NordLocker.
NordVPN has outstanding privacy features and a zero-logs policy. It also helps you maintain a secure connection with features such as split tunneling, a kill switch, obfuscated servers, and Double VPN. It can also access nearly all streaming services, from Netflix to the BBC iPlayer, without any stuttering or VPN connection drops.
All of these features aside, NordVPN is also the fastest VPN provider you can sign up with. It has over 5,700 ultra-fast RAM-based servers. All but one server (the one based in the UAE) support NordVPN’s high-performing protocol, called NordLynx. The servers are optimized for various activities. For instance, you can get streaming-optimized servers for the best streaming performance.
With all of that said, NordVPN is among the more expensive services Redditors recommend. Some Redditors also criticize NordVPN for its lack of port forward support. Consequently, there are some comments complaining about NordVPN’s torrent speeds.
Still, as the best Reddit VPN (and my top pick as well), it’s understandable that NordVPN is on the pricier side. Luckily, the service offers a money-back guarantee on all of its plans, which you can take advantage of within the first 30 days of your VPN usage experience.
Surfshark VPN is the only Reddit recommendation that allows you to connect unlimited devices per subscription. Most Redditors who choose Surfshark do so for the provider’s very fast speeds and the ability to easily access sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video in locations all over the globe.
One of the most common criticisms of Surfshark on Reddit is for its lack of port forwarding support. The lack of this feature means that Surfshark isn’t among the best torrenting picks. That said, this VPN still includes a lineup of advanced features, such as the Bypasser (split tunneling), Camouflage Mode, and reliable kill switch protection.
In addition to its popularity for unblocking streaming platforms, many Redditors find Surfshark a favorable service for its pricing plans. It’s more affordable than both NordVPN and ExpressVPN. And, like all other trusted Reddit picks on this list, it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
According to most Reddit comments, PrivateVPN is a solid and stable VPN for all online activities. One of the most significant contributors to PrivateVPN’s popularity is that it’s one of the few VPNs to support port forwarding. In fact, it’s the only VPN on this list to offer this feature.
Some Redditors find it problematic that PrivateVPN is based in Sweden. However, as this provider has a zero-logs policy and is very transparent, this isn’t something worth worrying about. Other features Reddit users like about PrivateVPN are its kill switch protection, fast speeds, and that it covers 200+ server locations.
On the negative side, some Reddit users report that it doesn’t work with Netflix. However, PrivateVPN can still reliably access streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon, and Hulu. Additionally, unlike the top Reddit picks on this list, it also doesn’t support split tunneling.
PrivateVPN is in the moderate to low pricing range compared to most services on this list. It’s a reputable and cheap VPN that offers monthly plans for under $10/month and long-term plans for only a couple of bucks per month. Of course, it also supports a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans.
Many users see ExpressVPN in the same light as Surfshark. In short, it’s a fast VPN that offers split tunneling but lacks port forwarding support. That said, ExpressVPN is regarded by many users as the better pick for Mac and iOS devices.
Additionally, ExpressVPN’s in-house Lightway protocol has received some praise, although some users find it subpar for unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites. Speaking of unblocking, ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that work in China. However, this can be a hit-or-miss process, as some Redditors report it being unreliable.
In 2021, it was announced that ExpressVPN was acquired by Kape Technologies. Many Redditors met this news with disappointment, as Kape Technologies has had some shady practices in the past. This news caused many Redditors to switch to a different provider, many opting for NordVPN in the process.
Besides these privacy concerns relating to the service’s owner, many users avoid ExpressVPN because of its high subscription prices. While it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, ExpressVPN has unfavorably pricey long-term subscription deals.
Mullvad is one of the more popular Reddit VPNs, mainly due to the fact that it’s another cheap VPN. Mullvad has a unique pricing plan fixed at €5 per month, without any fixed length subscriptions. In other words, it’s not only affordable but also the most flexible VPN in the business. It also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Redditors who use a VPN solely for privacy recommend Mullvad as the best service in this regard. It’s a very transparent service with a zero-logs policy. Mullvad supports a number of anonymous payments and doesn’t require any identifiable info during the sign-up process.
One thing some users have against Mullvad is that it supports fewer servers than some of the other top VPNs. It has under 700 servers, while most of the other VPNs on this list have thousands of servers across a more diverse selection of server locations.
Moreover, many Redditors remark that Mullvad is a bit slower compared to the best VPNs in the industry. So, if fast speeds for activities such as gaming and accessing streaming platforms are paramount, Mullvad might not be the best pick.
Additionally, Mullvad stopped supporting port forwarding in 2023. This caused a negative reaction on the platform, with some users switching to services that support this feature, such as PrivateVPN.
Importance of Reddit Users’ Opinions
The opinions of Reddit users on VPNs hold significant importance for several reasons. Here are some arguments on why Reddit is a great platform for conducting research before deciding on a VPN service:
Diversity of Opinions
Reddit hosts a diverse community of users with varying backgrounds, experiences, and requirements. This diversity ensures you can access a wide range of perspectives and insights on different VPN services.
Redditors share their firsthand experiences with VPN providers, shedding light on various aspects such as performance, reliability, customer support, and ease of use. These experiences offer a more realistic and practical understanding of VPNs.
Reddit encourages open discussions, allowing users to express their opinions freely. This unfiltered feedback provides an authentic representation of user satisfaction, shortcomings, and potential issues with different VPNs.
Use Case Specificity
Redditors often discuss specific use cases such as streaming, torrenting, or bypassing geo-restrictions. Their opinions can help identify VPNs that cater to these specific needs, ensuring an optimal user experience.
Reddit can uncover lesser-known VPN providers that may offer exceptional features or performance. Redditors often share insights on these emerging services, helping you explore alternatives beyond the mainstream options.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Reddit users are vigilant about privacy and security aspects. They discuss VPNs’ logging policies, encryption protocols, and data protection measures, allowing you to gauge the level of trustworthiness and privacy offered by different VPNs. Many Redditors take privacy from Internet Service Providers, hackers, and other third parties very seriously.
Transparency and Accountability
Reddit users actively engage in holding VPN providers accountable for any unethical practices, breaches, or misleading claims. This collective vigilance promotes transparency within the VPN industry and helps users make more informed decisions.
Updated and Current Information
Reddit discussions provide real-time information on the latest trends, updates, and changes in VPNs. This ensures that you have access to up-to-date insights and can stay informed about the evolving VPN landscape.
How To Spot Scammers and Fake VPN Comments on Reddit
Reddit users can provide great insight into VPN providers and help you pick the best Virtual Private Network based on your needs. However, VPN forums can also be the target of scammers and users trying to promote specific VPNs and badmouth other services.
Spotting scammers and fake VPN comments on Reddit requires vigilance and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you identify them:
- Account Age and Activity — Check the age of the Reddit account and its history of engagement in VPN-related discussions. Be skeptical of recently created accounts or those with minimal activity.
- Comment History — Review the user’s comment history. Bots, fake commenters, and trolls may have a pattern of spamming or promoting specific VPN services excessively. Look for diverse participation across various topics, indicating genuine engagement.
- Tone and Language — Be wary of overly positive or negative comments without substantial reasoning or evidence. Fake comments may lack detail, sound generic, or use unusual language patterns. Legitimate user reviews usually provide specific examples or experiences to support their opinions.
- Affiliate Links and Promotion — Watch out for comments that include affiliate links or excessively promote a particular VPN service. Posters may use these links to earn commissions, compromising the integrity of their recommendations.
- Lack of Engagement — Fake users typically avoid engaging in meaningful discussions or responding to follow-up questions. Genuine users are more likely to actively participate, provide additional insights, or clarify their opinions.
- Reputation and Karma — Consider the reputation and karma of the Reddit user. Higher karma and a positive reputation indicate a more credible user. However, scammers can manipulate their reputation, so additional evaluation is necessary.
- Cross-Verification — Verify the information provided in the comment by checking other reliable sources such as professional reviews, user testimonials on other platforms, or VPN comparison websites. Cross-referencing information helps validate the authenticity of the comment.
- Trust Your Instincts — If something feels suspicious or too good to be true, trust your instincts. Exercise skepticism and critical thinking when evaluating comments. If a comment raises red flags, it’s better to be cautious and seek additional information before making any decisions.
VPNs To Avoid According To Reddit Users
1. Hola VPN
A quick Google on Hola’s reputation will produce results that are nearly a decade old. It’s no secret that Hola VPN has faced severe criticism for its questionable privacy practices.
It has been revealed that Hola operates as a peer-to-peer network, using its users’ devices as exit nodes for other users’ traffic. This means that your Internet connection and bandwidth can be used by others, potentially exposing your data to security risks.
What’s even more worrying, Hola VPN has been involved in incidents where it has been used for illegal activities. There have been reports of Hola VPN users unknowingly becoming part of a botnet, which was used for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Even if you were to overlook these issues, Hola simply isn’t a good choice from a practical standpoint. Its free version is known to be quite limited in terms of features and speed, leading to a subpar user experience. Additionally, the paid version is relatively expensive compared to other VPN services that offer more reliable and secure options.
One of the most common complaints Redditors have about AirVPN is the service’s complicated setup and user interface. Many Reddit users have expressed frustration over the difficulty of configuring the VPN and navigating its features, which can be off-putting for those seeking a user-friendly experience.
Its privacy and security features are dubious at best, as many users have reported Trojan viruses in its VPN app installers. Moreover, unlike trustworthy and secure VPN services, AirVPN isn’t audited. So, it’s understandable why many Redditrs are wary of recommending this VPN.
Besides this, AirVPN isn’t really known as a fast and reliable VPN. Many users have reported inconsistent speeds and occasional connection drops while using AirVPN. Many of its IP addresses are blocked by streaming platforms, and the service doesn’t perform any better in terms of torrenting.
While Betternet arguably isn’t as bad as Hola VPN, many Reddit users still recommend avoiding this service. One of the most common issues most users report are slow connection speeds and frequent disconnections when using Betternet VPN.
Betternet is also a very unreliable service in terms of accessing geo-restricted sites. But, the most troublesome issue, and I have to agree with Reddit users on this, is Betternet’s privacy. Namely, the service is based in the US.
Now, while this isn’t inherently bad, the service also has an extensive logging policy. It directly diminishes the privacy of its users and is one Reddit VPN you should undoubtedly steer clear of.
Lastly, there have been many complaints about Betternet’s customer support, with users stating that they often face prolonged facing times. Moreover, even when they manage to reach an agent, they receive generic and unhelpful responses to their queries and issues.
Reddit’s Take on Free VPN Providers
Most Reddit users have the same take on free VPNs as us at CyberWaters. The overall perspective on free VPN service providers is generally cautious and skeptical. Users on Reddit often highlight several concerns and drawbacks associated with free VPN services.
The main concern among users is the issue of privacy. Many free VPNs have been accused of collecting and selling user data, compromising user privacy, and defeating the purpose of using a VPN. Redditors often advise against using free VPNs if privacy is a top priority.
Moreover, there are concerns about potential security risks. Some free VPNs have been found to contain malware or engage in suspicious practices, making users vulnerable to hacking or other cybersecurity threats.
There’s also the ever-present issue of limitations imposed by free VPNs. These include data caps, restricted server options, slower speeds, and limited features compared to paid VPN services. That said, Reddit doesn’t wholly recommend avoiding all free VPNs. There are some exceptions, which brings us to the next key part of this best VPN Reddit overview.
Best Free VPN According to Reddit
Proton VPN is one of the most talked about free providers on Reddit, and for many good reasons. Its free plan has no data or speed limits, no ads, and supports up to ten simultaneous connections.
All of these great traits make Proton VPN the best free VPN in 2023, according to Reddit. The only limitation of its free plan is that you’ll only have three VPN server options.
Atlas VPN, The second-best free VPN is not nearly as frequently recommended as Reddit’s favorite free VPN, but one that can offer a reliable service with decent connection speed. Atlas VPN is a trustworthy VPN that offers you 5 GB of monthly data and three servers on its free plan.
Of course, as Atlas VPN is also a premium provider, you can always unlock a more extensive server network with unlimited bandwidth if you opt for a paid plan.
Another free VPN worth mentioning is Hotspot Shield VPN. That said, the opinions among Reddit users are more divided on this VPN provider. Some users recommend Hotspot Shield, while others advise against using it. In this reviewer’s opinion, it’s certainly not the best VPN available for free, but it is still one of the completely free VPNs that are worth trying out.
Reddit’s VPN Recommendations For Specific Requirements
Most Secure VPNs According to Reddit
Most Redditors use VPNs to secure their private information and protect their networks. The two most secure VPN service providers they rely on are NordVPN and Mullvad. While there’s no clear agreement on Reddit on which one is better, direct user input shows that many pick both services to protect their data.
NordVPN and Mullvad have excellent security features. That said, NordVPN does edge out Mullvad in several aspects. It’s based in Panama, while Mullvad is headquartered in Sweden. Additionally, NordVPN uses only RAM-based servers, while Mullvad still has some classic disk servers in its network.
Most Budget-Friendly VPNs According to Reddit
It’s hard to argue with the numbers when Reddit users recommend Mullvad as the cheapest VPN in the business. Mullvad has a fixed pricing model at €5 (just under $5.5) for every plan. This is impossible to get for a monthly plan with any other VPN.
And, while services like Surfshark, PrivateVPN, and Private Internet Access are affordable, they can’t match Mullvad in this regard. If you, like most Reddit users, care about the monthly costs of your VPN, Mullvad offers great pricing without the requirement of locking you into a long-term deal.
Best Windows VPN According to Reddit
The majority of Redditors agree that NordVPN’s exceptional Windows app is the best VPN you can use on this operating system. Its Windows client supports advanced VPN usage with cutting-edge features, some of which are exclusively available in NordVPN apps alone. Plus, the app is very easy to install, which contributes to its ranking as the best VPN for Windows.
Best VPN for iPhone According to Reddit
This category is one of the most difficult ones to find a winner by going to Reddit comments. This is simply because there are too many recommendations, and no service stands out clearly as the best pick for iPhone.
I’ve filtered information from several of the most trustworthy subreddits on this topic, and names like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and PIA stood out the most. Still, if we were to choose the best VPN for iOS, NordVPN deserves this title the most.
Best VPN for Android According to Reddit
As there are more Android users in the VPN world, you can find lengthy discussions on Reddit VPN forums regarding this topic. Nevertheless, a handful of the same providers dominate, as is the case with iOS apps.
Providers like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark VPN, are among the most frequently mentioned names. Mullvad’s user base is also very passionate about advocating for this VPN but isn’t as widely discussed as the three previously-listed providers.
Best VPN for Mac According to Reddit
It’s interesting to read about the best VPNs for Mac on Reddit, as many users think that you don’t need a VPN for Mac in the first place. Many Redditors would argue that a VPN is a redundant tool for a casual macOS user.
Still, there are a lot of Mac users who do use these services primarily for unblocking streaming platforms and bypassing geo-restrictions. Many of these users lean toward NordVPN as the best VPN for Mac.
Best VPN for Netflix According to Reddit
Most Reddit VPN recommendations for Netflix seem to point to one provider, NordVPN. As someone who tested most of its Netflix locations, I entirely agree with this. NordVPN can easily unblock Netflix and other streaming services in most locations.
Not only that, but its fast connection speeds make streaming content in Full HD quality a breeze. Besides being the best VPN for Netflix, NordVPN is also the top VPN, according to Reddit, for unblocking streaming platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.
Best VPN for Torrenting According to Reddit
For a long time, Mullvad VPN was the best torrenting service, going by Reddit user opinions. However, in May of 2023, Mullvad announced that it was removing port forwarding. This knocked back the service a few pegs in the rankings.
According to the latest trends in torrenting VPNs, most Reddit users tend to stick to three services. These are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost VPN. While Mullvad is still a solid pick for torrenting, it’s not as fast as these three services. Plus, it’s based in Sweden, a country that’s part of the 14 Eyes Alliance.
Best Gaming VPN According to Reddit
To start with, many Reddit users don’t advocate using VPNs for gaming, as they will most likely lower connection speeds. However, those users who do play games with a VPN have a few clear favorites that stand out.
According to most comments, Reddit users recommend NordVPN as the best gaming VPN. However, there are several other services in contention. VPNs like Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and even PIA are among the most frequent gaming recommendations.
Best VPN Reddit Comparison Table
With so much extensive information on this page, it’s easy to get lost in the data and make the wrong decision when picking the best VPN for your needs. That’s why I’ve summed up all of the Reddit VPN recommendations in a concise and streamlined table. Here are the top VPN Reddit picks:
|Vast server network, NordLynx protocol
|Moderate to high
|No-logs policy verified by audit
|Unlimited simultaneous connections
|No-logs policy verified by audit
|Strong focus on privacy, connection stability
|Moderate to low
|200 server locations
|Strict no-logs policy (not verified)
|High-speed connections, great privacy
|No-logs policy verified by audit
|Emphasis on privacy
|No-logs policy verified by audit
VPN Subreddits You Should Keep In Tune With
If you’re interested in staying updated with VPN-related discussions and news on Reddit, here are some VPN-focused subreddits that will help you stay on the pulse of the VPN industry:
- r/VPN — This subreddit covers a wide range of topics related to VPNs, including discussions, recommendations, troubleshooting, and news updates.
- r/privacy — While not exclusively dedicated to VPNs, r/privacy discusses various privacy-related topics, including VPN recommendations, privacy concerns, and discussions on maintaining online anonymity.
- r/NetflixViaVPN — A great subreddit if you’re looking for insight focused specifically on using VPNs to access geo-restricted content on Netflix. Users share their experiences, recommend VPNs that work with Netflix, and discuss any changes in Netflix’s blocking measures.
- r/VPNAdvice — If you’re looking for personalized advice or have specific questions about VPNs, r/VPNAdvice is a helpful subreddit. Users can seek recommendations, share their experiences, and receive assistance in choosing the right VPN for their needs.
- r/VPNTorrents — This subreddit focuses specifically on discussions related to torrenting with VPNs. Users share tips, recommendations, and troubleshooting advice for torrenting safely and anonymously.
- r/vpnreviews — A prime place to find first-hand user VPN reviews and user experiences. It provides a platform for users to share their thoughts, ratings, and feedback on various VPNs.
Best Reddit VPN FAQs
Which VPN service is the fastest, according to Reddit users?
NordVPN is frequently mentioned as a VPN with the best speeds. Users highlight its advanced technology, such as NordLynx, contributing to a smoother and faster experience. Other recommendations include Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and Private Internet Access.
Do Reddit users recommend using free VPN services?
Reddit users generally do not recommend using free VPN services. Most Reddit users emphasize the importance of investing in a reliable and reputable VPN service to ensure strong privacy protection, robust encryption, and a better overall user experience.
What’s the Best VPN for mobile, according to Reddit?
Most Reddit users find NordVPN and Private Internet Access to be the best VPN service providers for Android mobile devices. On the other hand, Surfshark VPN is arguably the most popular pick for iOS users.
Do Reddit users prefer NordVPN or Surfshark?
Going by the Reddit consensus, NordVPN and Surfshark VPN offer very comparable performance. That said, while many users like using Surfshark, NordVPN is still the go-to for most. This is understandable, seeing that it’s the best-performing VPN in the industry.
What is the most reliable VPN, according to Reddit?
NordVPN is regarded as the most reliable VPN service by the majority of Reddit users. Users rate NordVPN as the best-performing VPN in this category due to its excellent server quality, in-house NordLynx protocol, and other advanced security features.
Why look for VPN recommendations on Reddit?
Looking for VPN recommendations on Reddit is beneficial due to its diverse community and real-world experiences. With a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds, users share firsthand insights on VPN performance, reliability, and overall user experience.
Best VPNs According To Reddit – Summing It Up
According to Reddit users, the best VPN providers prioritize privacy, security, server network, speed, user-friendliness, customer support, pricing, and reputation. Of course, seeing that Reddit is such a big platform with many users, it’s generally difficult to get a clear consensus on a particular topic, especially when factoring in all of these aspects.
So, depending on which subreddit or topic you look at, you can get different opinions. That being said, we can single out some picks as the preferred services in certain categories. The VPNs I’ve listed above are those that we’re most frequently discussed in the best VPN Reddit conversations.
If you can’t settle on a particular choice, I suggest NordVPN as the best VPN provider in 2023. It is one of the top Reddit VPN recommendations and an excellent all-around performer great for all online activities.
Cybersecurity and VPN researcher