Best VPN services for 2021 – Virtual Private Network Providers

The best VPN, short for “virtual private network”, is software traditionally used to help you stay anonymous online and virtually change your location. However, as the software has grown in popularity, countless users are finding that VPNs aren’t just about staying private online.

Whether it’s protecting your confidential information and avoiding content block bypass trackers on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and sports streaming sites, you don’t have to be a tech savvy to enjoy. its potential.

The only problem is choosing the best VPN for the job – we’re here to help you strike a balance between speed, streaming, security, and of course value for money.

How do the best VPN services work?

The best VPN works by funneling your connection through its own encrypted servers, hiding your activity from your ISP and anyone else who may be viewing it, including the government and the infamous hackers. It also allows you to access restricted sites, stream a wider range of programs, and bypass network throttling.

Best VPNs in 2021

  1. NordVPN – Best VPN service for all usage cases
  2. Surfshark VPN – Best VPN for a low price
  3. ExpressVPN – Best VPN service with excellent speeds
  4. Private Internet Access – Best cheap VPN for torrenting
  5. VyprVPN – Best VPN against censorship
  6. CyberGhost – Best VPN for new users
  7. PrivateVPN – Best VPN for unblocking streaming services
  8. ProtonVPNBest freemium VPN
  9. Mullvad VPN Most privacy-friendly VPN
  10. IPVanish Excellent and affordable VPN

Get an in-depth look at the best VPNs of 2021

When deciding which VPN service is best for you, it’s important to stop and think a bit about why you need a VPN in the first place.

A decent VPN that unblocks streaming sites may not be enough for a tech savvy user with exotic needs or someone in an awkward position, like a political activist.

The following list of the best VPNs of 2021 includes VPN services that meet different needs and are 100% secure and reliable.

1.NordVPN – Best VPN in 2021

NordVPN balances speed and security while providing access to various streaming services like Netflix.

NordVPN interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:5,500+ servers in 59 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV
Browser plugins:Chrome, Firefox

Security and confidentiality

Based in Panama, NordVPN has no legal obligation to collect information about its users. This is reflected in its no logging policy, which has been independently audited by Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC). This is a crucial factor when choosing a VPN, especially if you want to hide your identity.

NordVPN implements AES-256 encryption, the most widely used encryption encryption today, even used by the US government.These include an ad blocker, Double VPN, and integration with the Tor network (Onion over VPN).

Speed

NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs today thanks to its internal NordLynx tunneling protocol. Our speed tests rank it as the fastest VPN.

So even though your connection speed depends on many different factors, you don’t have to experience a significant slowdown when using NordVPN.

Features

You have security options like CyberSec (which blocks malware, infected sites, and ads) and a kill switch for your internet if your VPN connection goes down. Additionally, NordVPN offers double encryption, split tunneling, and a free SOCKS5 proxy.

Finally, you can combine NordVPN with the Tor network or use hidden servers to take advantage of the service in countries like China, where VPN use is restricted.

Customer Support

NordVPN’s customer support is really good. Write them an email and you will receive a response within a few hours or give your live chat a chance for an almost immediate response.

The most tech-savvy can use the Nord FAQ and Knowledge Base, which includes in-depth articles on a variety of information technology topics.

Price

You can get NordVPN for as little as $ 3.30 per month if you buy the two-year subscription plan. This price is below the industry average, which is quite impressive considering all the features and overall quality of NordVPN.

You can also buy a yearly subscription that would cost you $ 4.92 per month, or just try NordVPN for a month for $ 11.95.

Pros

  • Decent price
  • Excellent speed test results
  • Unblock Netflix
  • Supports torrents
  • Unmatched security features
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Free SOCKS5 proxy
  • Contains an ad blocker.
  • Anonymous payment options
  • Dedicated IPs available
  • Specialized servers
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30 day money back guarantee

Cons

  • No free trial
  • No router app
  • Registration requires an email address

2. Surfshark VPN – Best feature-to-price ratio

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark offers arguably the best value for money of any VPN. It has a strict no-logging policy, a huge feature list, and an ever-growing server list, all for the competitive price of $ 2.49 per month.

Surfshark interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 65 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV
Browser plugins:Chrome, Firefox

Security and Privacy

The team behind Surfshark takes your security and privacy very seriously. This is why all data that passes through the VPN is encrypted with strong AES-256 encryption, with powerful features that add to the overall security. Surfshark has a kill switch, leak protection, and ad blocker to make it as waterproof as possible.

All of your servers are RAM only, which means that every time a server is restarted, all data is completely deleted. Surfshark operates from a privacy-friendly location and does not store user activity data.

Speed

If VPNs often let you down in terms of speed, Surfshark will be a breath of fresh air for you. In terms of download speed, AV-Comparatives ranks it as the # 3 fastest VPN. Surfshark VPN is one of the best options for you if you have internet speed issues.

Features

Surfshark VPN is packed with all kinds of cool features. All of their servers support P2P file sharing (torrents), each with private DNS for even greater protection. Additionally, Surfshark offers a multi-hop feature (double VPN) and a stealth mode to hide the fact that you are using a VPN.

There is also a malware blocker and an advanced split tunnel feature that allows you to exclude apps and websites from the VPN connection.

Android users benefit from another cool feature in GPS spoofing. It hides the physical location of your phone, showing the one that matches your current VPN server.

Customer Support

If you’re having trouble using or setting up Surfshark VPN, you can try to fix the problem yourself (using full guides on their website) or use their 24/7 live chat to get an answer. instant.

Price

If you want the cheapest option, you should consider buying the two-year plan, which would cost you $ 2.49 per month.

Remember that one account is good for all of your devices at the same time. You can also get a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS.

Pros

  • Price as low as $ 2.49 per month
  • Unblock Netflix
  • Good performance
  • Enhanced security features
  • Shadowsocks / Camouflage mode makes it ideal for use in China
  • Supports most types of devices
  • Smart DNS
  • White list
  • Strict no-log policy
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • GPS spoofing
  • Unlimited Devices
  • Free trial for Android and iOS users
  • 30 day money back guarantee

Cons

  • No free version
  • No free SOCKS5 proxy
  • Registration policies have not been audited
  • App design could be better

3. ExpressVPN – Expensive, but worth every penny

Although expensive, ExpressVPN has been a top pick for some time thanks to its impressive speed test results, a wide selection of features, and an impeccable reputation. It offers 160 locations in 94 countries and is an excellent example of security combined with performance.

ExpressVPN interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:3,000+ servers in 94 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV
Browser plugins:Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi

Security and Privacy

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN services on the market with an independently tested no-logging policy. This provider based in the British Virgin Islands has not only conducted a PwC audit of their privacy practices, but has also been tested in real life situations.

In fact, ExpressVPN goes one step further by using RAM-only servers, incapable of storing sensitive user data.

Speed

ExpressVPN offers excellent speeds with its Lightway tunneling protocol.

It even competes with Wireguard, which is considered the fastest.

Features

ExpressVPN offers all the features we would expect from a superior VPN, like IP address masking, built-in speed tests, and a kill switch. However, even advanced users won’t feel left out with the inclusion of features like Split Tunneling or Ofuscated servers.

Customer Support

ExpressVPN has excellent customer support. There are several ways to contact an agent, including 24/7 live chat, email support, and tickets. You will usually get a fairly quick response even when communicating with staff via email.

Price

Compared to many other top VPN software providers on the market, ExpressVPN is expensive. Their cheapest subscription plan starts at $ 8.32 per month. This is an annual subscription, so you will need to commit to the service if you want to save money.

Pros

  • Enhanced security features
  • Flawless reputation
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • Good performance
  • Many applications and extensions
  • Unblock Netflix
  • Supports torrents on all servers
  • Divided tunnels
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Anonymous payment options
  • Good customer support

Cons

  • expensive
  • No free trial
  • Browser extensions require apps

4. Private Internet Access – Best VPN for torrenting

No list of the best VPN services would be complete without Private Internet Access (PIA). This US-based VPN has been a staple in the VPN market for years and has earned the trust of users in the process.

Private Internet Access interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:29,000+ servers in 77 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Browser plugins:Firefox, Chrome, Opera

Security and Privacy

Open source and completely anonymous (because it doesn’t store any logs), PIA VPN gives you a lot of freedom to define your own level of security. Although its default encryption is AES-128, you can upgrade it to AES-256 or even disable it entirely.

Additionally, you have the freedom to choose your preferred data authentication and handshake methods, as well as the VPN protocol (OpenVPN, IKEv2, or WireGuard). Additionally, PIA has its own DNS, which minimizes the risk of DNS leaks, and has a kill switch to protect it from connection failures.

Speed

PIA is known to sometimes struggle with its download speeds (however, its download speeds are generally excellent), but the massive increase in server count and the introduction of WireGuard have largely addressed these issues.

Features

Along with basic VPN features like kill switch, Private Internet Access VPN also blocks ads, trackers, malware, and prevents all kinds of identity leaks. It also offers Split Tunneling and is compatible with DD-WRT routers.

PIA is one of our favorite VPNs for torrenting because it offers a great mix of torrent-centric features. This includes a free SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding to keep that upload / download ratio green.

Customer Support

When it comes to troubleshooting, PIA has a decent knowledge base that may contain the solution you are looking for.

However, if you have a more complex issue, you can submit a support ticket (completing it can be a bit tricky) or use the 24/7 chat option.

Price

The monthly price of PIA VPN varies considerably depending on the plan you choose. Choosing a two-year plan is the cheapest long-term option – you’ll only pay $ 2.69 per month.

On the other hand, PIA VPN’s monthly plan is around the industry average and costs you $ 9.95.

Pros

  • More than 24,000 servers in 77 countries
  • Good reputation
  • Incredible performance
  • Covers 10 devices
  • Great feature pack for downloading torrents
  • Strong and customizable security
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Reasonable prices
  • Shadowsocks to avoid censorship

Cons

  • Based in the USA (Land of the Five Eyes)
  • Not good for unlocking content
  • No Amazon Fire TV app

5. VyprVPN – Top VPN against censorship

VyprVPN is often listed as one of the best VPN apps. Excellent security, fast speeds, and fair prices make VyprVPN a popular choice among all types of users.

VyprVPN  interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:700+ servers in 70 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Blackphone, Anonabox, QNAP
Browser plugins:None

Security and Privacy

It’s hard to find a provider more focused on privacy and security. Located in Switzerland, VyprVPN has an independently audited no-logging policy and owns all of its servers.

To encrypt your data, VyprVPN uses AES with a 256-bit key, which is the current industry standard used by major organizations and departments. It also has a reliable kill switch and has no IP or DNS leaks.

Speed

VyprVPN doesn’t sacrifice performance for security. Thanks to the WireGuard protocol, it is among the fastest services in 2021. If you have a decent internet connection, you should be able to stream in HD or 4K and download large files in a matter of minutes.

Features

VyprVPN has few features and even these are not available on all devices. For example, ad blocking and split tunnel is only for Mac and Android.

There is also the Wi-Fi Public Shield feature which instantly connects you to VyprVPN as soon as you connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network. Plus, this VPN is torrent compatible and doesn’t slow down your traffic.

Customer Support

VyprVPN offers several ways to get help. For example, you can submit a ticket and receive an email response within hours.

There is also a 24/7 live chat if you want to speak to an agent ASAP. Most of the time, they respond quickly and resolve the issue within minutes.

Price

Although VyprVPN is one of the best VPNs of the year, its price does not reflect this high position.

Right now, it starts at $ 1.66 per month (if you buy a 36-month subscription) and covers 30 devices (limited supply). All plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee. Unfortunately, VyprVPN does not offer anonymous payment options.

Pros

  • Excellent security and confidentiality
  • Right price
  • Fast speeds
  • Unblock Netflix
  • Allows you to download torrents
  • Does not keep records
  • Work in china
  • 24/7 live chat

Cons

  • No Linux app
  • Lack of functions
  • No anonymous payments
  • No free version

6. CyberGhost VPN – Truly global coverage

CyberGhost is a great VPN with over 6,800 servers in 89 countries and no monthly data limits.

Its main strengths are its lightning-fast speeds, huge server list, and ability to unblock almost any geo-restricted content.

CyberGhost VPN interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:6,100+ servers in 89 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV
Browser plugins:Chrome, Firefox

Security and Privacy

Like many other top VPN services, CyberGhost VPN implements military grade encryption to encrypt your internet traffic. In addition, it has a permanent circuit breaker and does not leak.

This provider does not keep any logs (including traffic, timestamps, and IP addresses). However, it is owned by a UK company, Kape Technologies, which has an uneven reputation.

Speed

Thanks to its large network of servers and the WireGuard protocol, CyberGhost offers some of the best speeds in the industry. It’s probably not the fastest, but if you have a decent connection, delivery shouldn’t be a problem.

Features

CyberGhost VPN has most of the features that any seasoned VPN user needs. It supports torrenting and split tunneling (Windows and Android), offers dedicated IP addresses and has a free SOCKS5 proxy.

Those who want extra protection will be happy with the Tor over VPN feature. We recommend it to anyone who lives in a place where internet freedom is restricted.

Customer service

Like many other best VPN services of the year, CyberGhost VPN offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, available in English, French and German. Alternatively, you can submit an application form.

Price

There are four plans in total, ranging from one month ($ 12.99) to three years ($ 2.25 / month). For now, the latest plan comes with 3 additional months.

Also, you can buy a dedicated IP for $ 5 / month. The available locations are US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany.

CyberGhost VPN offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, which should be enough for you to decide. There is also a 24 hour free trial for desktop users.

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Large list of servers
  • good prices
  • Excellent security
  • Ideal for broadcasts
  • Live Chat 24/7
  • Allow torrent

Cons

  • The owner has a bad reputation
  • IOS app lacks features
  • No “stealth VPN”

7. PrivateVPN – superb VPN for streaming

Not too long ago, PrivateVPN received a complete UI overhaul. Now it has a new look and is more than capable of competing with most of the top VPN services.

PrivateVPN
Servers/countries:150 servers in 62 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Browser plugins:None

Security and Privacy

PrivateVPN is not in a very privacy-friendly jurisdiction. The company’s headquarters are in Sweden, which is the land of the Fourteen Eyes. On the bright side, the service has a strict no-logging policy, which means your data should stay safe despite these concerns.

You can customize how your data will be encrypted with 128-bit or 256-bit versions of CBC or GCM modes. So if you are very careful, you can achieve strong security.

Speed

Although PrivateVPN mainly relies on the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, the speeds are decent. They are on by with what you might expect from other providers.

Keep in mind that the level of encryption can affect your speeds, so you should adjust the settings accordingly.

Features

Features are where PrivateVPN has a few trump cards up its sleeve. Namely HTTP, SOCKS5 proxies and port forwarding. This isn’t something you can find on any given VPN service, so it helps PrivateVPN stand out from the competition.

Customer service

With PrivateVPN, you can find help in a number of ways. For starters, there’s your knowledge base which should answer most of the basic questions you might be asking yourself.

If you still can’t find a solution, you can reach out to their customer support agents via live chat or email. Most of the time, the responses are pretty quick, so you can expect your issue to be resolved just as quickly.

Price

Besides all the other perks, PrivateVPN is very affordable. The longest plan can be purchased for as little as 2.50 / month. It’s a fraction of what other service providers charge.

Moreover, you can also try their service for free for 7 days.

Pros

  • Unblock many streaming sites
  • P2P compatible
  • Port forwarding
  • HTTP and SOCKS5 proxy
  • Customizable encryption

Cons

  • Limited tunneling protocol selection
  • 14 Eyes Company Location
  • Modest server fleet

8. ProtonVPN – Best freemium VPN

ProtonVPN is open source, does not keep any logs, has a good free version, and offers many useful features for both beginners and advanced users.

ProtonVPN  interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:1,080+ servers in 54 countries
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Chromebook
Browser plugins:None

Security and Privacy

ProtonVPN uses bank-grade AES-256 encryption, which could take millions of years to crack. In other words, it is impossible for someone to steal the data you submit online while using ProtonVPN. Besides that, this service has no DNS or IP leaks.

From a privacy standpoint, this provider looks great. Located in Switzerland, it has no connection to members of the Fourteen Eyes alliance. Also, it doesn’t keep any activity logs and has its open source apps audited.

Speed

All VPNs have an effect on internet speed and ProtonVPN is no exception. However, the fact that this service does not have WireGuard automatically places it on the second level list. There, ProtonVPN is doing quite well.

Features

ProtonVPN is quite a feature-rich service. It automatically blocks dangerous websites and trackers (NetShield) and offers its own multi-hop version, called SecureCore. Tor over VPN is also available, but again, only for Visionary and Plus subscribers.

Customer service

Like many other services on this list of the best VPN software, ProtonVPN has a huge knowledge center with many guides to help you troubleshoot various problems on your own.

However, if you want the help of a real human being, you will need to create a support ticket; no live chat available.

Price

The free version of ProtonVPN enables VPN connection and provides you servers in just three countries. On the bright side, you can use it indefinitely as it has no data limit.

Then there are three paid versions, which cost $ 4, $ 8, and $ 24 per month if you choose the annual plan. The price difference comes from the number of functions and connections allowed.

Pros

  • Free version
  • Excellent security
  • Respectful of privacy
  • Unblock Netflix
  • Allows you to download torrents
  • Tor over VPN
  • Anonymous payments

Cons

  • No WireGuard protocol
  • Can be a bit expensive
  • Speed issues

9. Mullvad VPN – Most privacy-friendly VPN

Mullvad is the VPN of choice for anyone with a focus on security, privacy, and anonymity. This small Swedish VPN has a completely anonymous registration process and does not have third-party trackers on its website.

Mullvad interface in smart devices
Servers/countries:761 servers in 36 countries
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Browser plugins:None

We especially like that Mullvad is open source, does not keep records, and places great importance on business ethics.

Security and Privacy

Mullvad takes your security and privacy very seriously. In addition to a completely anonymous account, Mullvad VPN implements AES-256 encryption to hide your data passing through its servers. It goes without saying that Mullvad also has the usual protections, namely a kill switch and leak protection.

Mullvad allows you to choose between two tunneling protocols: WireGuard and OpenVPN. While OpenVPN is the industry standard for security, WireGuard allows you to enjoy higher speeds while browsing the web or downloading content.

Speed

From our experience of testing VPN services, we can say that Mullvad is one of the fastest VPNs in 2021, especially if you are using the WireGuard protocol.

Depending on the server you choose, you will only experience a minimal decrease in upload and download speed. However, there is a caveat: Mullvad does not cover a large number of countries, which means that your speed may be affected due to your location.

Features

Power users will greatly appreciate Mullvad as it is packed with features that would otherwise be hard to find.

For example, Mullvad VPN supports torrenting, offers port forwarding, a bridge mode feature to merge two or more networks, and split tunneling. Also, it has a SOCKS5 proxy and supports IPv6

Customer Support

If you are an advanced VPN user, you will love all the comprehensive guides that Mullvad has on their website.

However, when you encounter a problem that you cannot solve on your own, you can use Mullvad’s customer service; just write him an email or contact him via Twitter or Facebook.

Price

Unfortunately, there is no free version of Mullvad VPN, so you will need to purchase a subscription to test this service yourself.

Mullvad costs $ 6 / month regardless of the length of the subscription. While that may seem like an inconvenience, we love that Mullvad isn’t trying to pair it with an extended subscription plan.

Pros

  • 100% anonymous
  • Excellent security features
  • Incredible performance
  • SOCKS5 proxy
  • Bridge Mode
  • Forwarding of ports
  • Can be used on up to 5 devices
  • Supports all major types of devices
  • Supports torrents
  • Supports IPv6
  • 30 days money back guarantee

Cons

  • No free version
  • Not good for unblocking geo-restricted content
  • Shorter country list (36)
  • No Amazon Fire TV app
  • Android app seems incomplete

10. IPVanish – Excellent and affordable VPN

IPVanish is one of the most affordable VPN services. However, this is not the only benefit it brings.

Security and Privacy

IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption. This is the industry standard unbreakable encryption. Most banking and military institutions use it for classified documents and other confidential data. Your account credentials are protected by SHA-512 hashes that encode your username and password. No hacker will be able to access it.

Speed

For the most part, IPVanish speeds don’t disappoint. If you choose a closer location, even with protocols like OpenVPN, you will get good speeds. However, if you choose a country on the other side of the world, speeds may be affected. Keep this in mind if you want the best possible streaming performance.

Features

All IPVanish plans come with additional features. You can automate your connections to the On Demand switch and use split tunneling to control which applications connect via VPN and which ones go directly. If you are a torrent enthusiast, there is a free SOCKS5 proxy.

Customer Support

Like many other VPN services, IPVanish has a knowledge center. There you will find a multitude of FAQs, tutorials, and guides. 99% of the time, you will find a solution without having to search for answers.

However, if you need human assistance, you can contact them via email or live chat. While email response rates aren’t very fast, live chat is much faster.

Price

The first year discount is the most attractive. The discount is so high that its price seems like a robbery. You can also get SugarSync cloud storage for a few dollars more. Plus, all of their plans offer ten simultaneous connections, making them a great deal.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest annual options
  • Customizable circuit breaker
  • Good P2P speeds
  • DNS leak protection
  • Automation options
  • Free SOCKS5 proxy
  • Good customer support portal

Cons

  • No Linux application
  • The price increases after one year.
  • Doesn’t work in China

Conclusion

The security of a free VPN will depend entirely on the context. Even in the Google Play Store, you can find a lot of them, although the most popular option is not always the safest. Free VPNs are a notoriously confusing segment.

A much better option is to use reputable VPN providers. Some of them have free versions of their premium products. This often serves as a bait for you to purchase their service later, but some are unlimited and can be used for free forever.

Keep in mind that most premium VPNs offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you pay before the trial ends, you’re essentially getting free service.

Hope you find this article helpful. Please feel free to share your comments below.

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