With remote working being the new normal, it has become more important than ever to make sure your information is safe and secure with a VPN. With the multitude of VPN services floating around this rapidly growing market, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the options to find what fits best for your needs.
We took it upon ourselves to do the heavy lifting for you, and compiled the best VPN options that are reliable, quick and keep your information protected. In building this master list, we researched, tested and ranked a variety of VPN services and made assessments based on security, price, ease of remote access, number of server locations, bandwidth caps, logging, dedicated and dynamic IP, client software and customer support.
(image credit – indexsy.com)
- Number of IP addresses: 30,000
- Number of servers: 3,000-plus in 160 locations
- Number of simultaneous connections: 5
- Country/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
- 94-plus countries
- 3 months free with 1-year plan
Express VPN has been in business since 2009 and has a substantial network of fast VPN servers across 94 countries. Express VPN build TrustedServer technology to ensure that there are never any logs of users’ online activities, which has a strong track record of proving true. The quality of Express VPN’s setup guides and FAQ information also gives it some major pluses.
While this VPNs speed usually tends to hold its own in competition with other top tier competitors, on downside, Express VPN’s 2020 speed tests yielded a 52% overall loss of normal internet speeds, showing a significant slowdown compared to its 2019 score of 2% speed loss.
In comparison to the other VPN services we have reviewed, ExpressVPN offers a useful kill switch feature, preventing network data from leaking outside of its secure VPN tunnel in the event the VPN connection fails. While ExpressVPN did gain points from us for its support of bitcoin as a form of payment which adds an additional layer of privacy during checkout — something not all of our favorites offer.
Express VPN’s best plan costs less than $7 a month for an annual package, including three free months.
(image credit – nordvpn.com)
- Number of IP addresses: 5,000
- Number of servers: 5,200-plus servers
- Number of server locations: 62
- Country/jurisdiction: Panama
- 62 countries
- $3.71 a month (68% discount) for a 2-year plan
- NordVPN in-depth review and hands-on testing (ZDNet)
One of the most recognized brands in the VPN field is NordVPN. It offers six simultaneous connections through its network, where nearly all other providers offer only five or less. NordVPN also offers a dedicated IP option, for those looking for a different level of VPN connection. NordVPN offers a kill switch feature, and the ability to VPN into Tor. No privacy leaks were found during CNET’s testing.
Our research found NordVPN’s speed to be reliable and fast. CNET’s most recent speed tests showed NordVPN reducing speeds by an average of 53% (which is slower than the 32% loss measured in previous speed tests), keeping its performance on par with many of its competitors. It held its own in testing with no sudden service interruptions or dips.
NordVPN remains a contender on the list despite a 2019 matter report stating that one of their rented servers was accessed without authorization in 2018. The breach was limited in nature and involved no user-identifying information served to further verify that NordVPN keeps no logs of user activity. NordVPN’s response included multiple security audits, a bug bounty program and heavier investments in server security.
Still a highly viable and recommended vendor, Nord VPN offers a two-year subscription priced at $3.71 a month ($89 billed at once). The price creeps up for the six-month plan ($9 a month or $64 total) and the monthly plan ($11.95 a month). However, this cost is still lower than most contenders and has a full 30-day refund policy.