In an era where online privacy is paramount, finding the right VPN (Virtual Private Network) becomes crucial. This article delves into the Best VPNs of 2023, offering a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the digital landscape securely.
Best VPNs of 2024: A Closer Look
What Makes a VPN the Best in 2024?
Embarking on our exploration of the Best VPNs of 2024, it’s essential to understand the criteria that set them apart. From cutting-edge encryption to user-friendly interfaces, these VPNs redefine online security.
Navigating the Cyber Landscape: The Need for Top-Tier VPNs
As cyber threats evolve, so does the importance of reliable VPNs. Explore how the Best VPNs of 2023 shield you from prying eyes, ensuring a seamless and secure online experience.
Evaluating Speed and Performance
Speed matters in the digital realm. Uncover how the leading VPNs strike a balance between robust security measures and lightning-fast performance, ensuring you never compromise on speed.
Security Features: Fortifying Your Digital Fortress
Delve into the intricate security features that make the Best VPNs of 2023 stand out. From military-grade encryption to advanced protocols, these VPNs prioritize your digital well-being.
User-Friendly Interfaces: Making Security Accessible
Navigating a VPN should be as easy as safeguarding your data. Discover how the top VPNs prioritize user-friendly interfaces without compromising on advanced features.
Best VPNs of 2024 – Top Picks
Explore our curated list of the Best VPNs of 2024. Unravel the unique features, subscription plans, and standout qualities that make these VPNs the go-to choices for the digitally conscious.
How does a VPN work and what is its purpose?
With a Virtual Private Network or VPN you can connect securely to the Internet, no matter if you are in a cafe, on vacation or at home. By masking your IP and sending encrypted data, it hides both your identity and location. The majority of these services do not record your online activities. This means they cannot provide your history to a government agency or any other authorities who request it.
- You can download VPN applications for all devices that you wish to use. Many VPN providers offer apps for Mac OS, Windows, Linux and iOS.
- After creating a VPN and logging in, either click on the button to create a secure link or, in certain cases, choose the server.
- Some VPN services let you choose a server, or they will select it for you based on where your computer is located.
- If the VPN dashboard displays green, then you’re connected and your web traffic is going through VPN.
- Your activities, whether you are sending emails, watching movies, or surfing, go through a secure tunnel and reach the VPN server.
- VPN services allow you to exclude specific online activities or networks from VPN use (such as music streaming).
- When you are finished with the Internet, simply tap on the button.
What is the Best VPN Service for Your Needs?
Finding the best VPN for you can be difficult. There are dozens on the market. Joshua Tucker, the COO at Designli app development firm, helped us understand what are currently considered best practices in online security.
According to him, simple VPNs can work well for the majority of people. However, not all VPNs have been created equally. It is therefore important to compare different factors before selecting a VPN. Follow these steps when choosing the right VPN.
Budget and Priorities
Consider whether you prefer to pay annually, monthly, or on a longer term, such as PIA’s 3-year plan. Prepaying annually can reduce the cost of our best-rated VPNs by half. If you choose to pay monthly, the price for PIA is $11.95 a month. However, if you opt to pay annually, this monthly fee drops down as low as $3.33 a month.
The cheapest monthly plans are IVPN and Mulvad VPN. The $5.40 or $6.00 per month fees still total to $64.80 – $72 annually. Both protect privacy but allow for fewer devices, and their speeds are slower than those of competitors.
Assess hardware and connections requirements
Some people don’t need unlimited plans for VPNs on their computers, tablets or phones. Gamers may prefer VPNs that allow them to easily connect with their smart devices and gaming systems.
If you plan to share a VPN with all of your family members, your roommates, or your team at work, VPNs that have device restrictions may not be able to accommodate your needs. Add up the number of devices that will be connected at one time to make sure your VPN can meet your requirements.
Consider if there are any hardware issues you want to address, such as a router that is pre-configured. Pre-configured routers can be a good option for households and businesses who don’t wish to pay unlimited fees.
Consider these VPN must-have features
Best VPNs offer standard features such as anonymous browsing, DNS encryption to protect your data, and kill switches that ensure you are never without VPN protection. The best VPNs offer standard features, such as split tunneling and kill switches that allow users to select which data is sent through the VPN.
expressVPN, for example, supports Windows (except macOS 11 or later). PIA allows users to configure split tunneling on Windows, Linux and Android hardware.
Tucker adds that it’s also helpful to find out how many servers are available and whether they have a good reputation. Many blocklists include some well-known VPN servers.
Consider the importance of each factor.
- Quantity and location of servers
- Speeds of download and upload
- There are several VPN protocols available.
- Operation of the kill switch device
- Sign-on with Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).
- Available in certain regions.
- IP Address Availability
- Monitoring of the dark web
Read our VPN features and definition guide for more information.
Test free versions and trials before you commit.
No matter how much research you do, there’s nothing like a free trial before signing up for a plan. ProtonVPN is one VPN that offers a free trial. Look at the table of prices below to see which VPNs offer a trial version.
You may still be able try VPNs risk-free, even if they don’t have a trial or free version. The money back guarantee is offered by all VPNs, except Tunnelbear. They range between three days for Windscribe to 45 days for Hotspot Shield, and CyberGhost. Read the contract carefully. Pay attention to the details of the refund policy and termination options.
We test VPN Services
We downloaded VPN applications to all of our devices during the weeks we spent testing. These included iPads as well Windows PCs, Android, iPhones, and Smart TVs. We always started by assessing how simple it was to download and install the VPN app.
We connected using public Wi-Fi, mobile hotspots that were slower and cable internet. We then performed common tasks such as browsing and streaming. We shared documents with colleagues and played games on consoles or cloud applications whenever possible.
We also considered errors such as being disconnected randomly or not being able to connect. With different server and VPN locations, we also measured speeds. We could then determine whether rates were consistent across all sites, or had slowed during busy hours.
We also contacted the customer service team of each VPN. When available, we used the online chat or email option. We read customer reviews, app reviews, and rated the apps, and calculated average scores, and how many reviews each VPN received.
VPN Speed Test Results
Upload and download speeds vary among VPNs. Although VPNs may slow down your internet connection, you will notice a less noticeable difference in speed with the best VPNs.
When users download data onto their devices, they can be affected by the speed of downloading. Upload rates affect people who give online presentations or livestreams on social networks. The person uploads large files (uploading) in these cases or others.
The average VPN upload speed of our VPN list is 117Mbps. Tunnelbear is the fastest VPN in terms of download speed, however ProtonVPN has a faster upload rate.
Six VPNs offer faster upload and download rates than the average.
The location of the server and its load (the number of users) are factors that affect VPN rates. According to, the distance between your device’s location and a VPN service can have a significant impact on its speed.
You can enhance your experience by selecting a server that is closer to you and has fewer people. IPVanish, ProtonVPN and other top VPNs display server load on their VPN dashboard.
VPN speeds are also affected by your activities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 11th Report Measuring Fix Broadband states that “video devices in particular can have a multiplyer effect on traffic”. This means a UHD or 4k TV has “approximately 15-18 Mbps, which is about double what HD video bit rates are and nine times as much as standard definition video bit rates.”
Cisco’s Annual Internet Report predicted that by 2023 “two-thirds of flat-panel televisions will be UHD (up from 33%), which is up from the 33% installed in 2018”. So speed may be more important for multiple users than for a single user.
Monthly VPN costs average $10.57. The average monthly cost drops to $5.01 if you pay annually. Müllervad VPN , IVPN, and VPN offer the lowest monthly plans. Subscriptions are $5.40 or $6. ExpressVPN costs twice as much per month than CyberGhost. Hotspot Shield. Surfshark.
Many companies offer steep discounts if you pay annually. Tunnelbear, for example, reduces its $9.99 per month fee to $4.99 if you prepay annually. private internet access, and Surfshark offer the lowest annual prices. They cost only $3.33 per month and $3.99. But PIA’s monthly rate drops to just $2.03 with a 3-year agreement.
The majority of VPNs offer a single subscription plan. Other VPN providers, such as TORguard VPN and IVPN have multiple options for subscription. The higher-priced plans offer extra features like cloud storage or dedicated IP addresses.
Five VPNs also offer a free version. Free VPNs are not recommended for long-term use, but they can be used occasionally or as a test to see if the service is right for you. Tunnelbear only allows free users 2GB bandwidth. Hotspot Shield offers 500 MB per day, while hide.me provides 10 GB per month.
The top VPNs for 2024 are listed below:
- ExpressVPN: For good reason, ExpressVPN has consistently been ranked among the top VPNs in the industry. The VPN offers high speeds and strong security. It also has a variety of useful features such as split tunneling and a money back guarantee.
- NordVPN NordVPN offers a great alternative with an emphasis on privacy and security. NordVPN offers several encryption protocols including NordLynx which is a proprietary protocol. NordVPN has also a no-logs strict policy, and its headquarters is in Panama.
- Surfshark Surfshark, a VPN newcomer has made quite a name. Fast speeds, great security and an affordable price are all features of this VPN. Surfshark has many unique features including an ad-blocker and unlimited simultaneous connections.
- ProtonVPNProtonVPN offers a high level of privacy for users who want a VPN. The company is based in Switzerland which is known for its strict privacy laws. ProtonVPN offers unique features such as a Secure core network, a Tor browser built in and more. Proton VPN opens in a separate window ProtonVPN Logo
- Privat Internet Access (PIA). This VPN service has a solid track record. The VPN offers high speeds and security. It also has a variety of useful features such as split tunneling and a money back guarantee. Opens in a new windowmundovpn.com.br Private Internet Access logo
Your individual preferences and needs will determine which VPN is best for you.
What are the situations where you would need to use a VPN service?
VPNs are used by people for personal and professional use at home or on the road. A VPN is required whenever you want to connect to public WiFI or keep your online identity or location private. A VPN is also useful when you want to hide your data from hackers and encrypt it. This provides an extra layer of security for entering credit or bank card information online.
VPNs allow people to access content that is blocked in some areas and bypass ISP restrictions. A VPN can help you see less targeted advertising and stop third parties tracking your activities online.
Find out more about the benefits of a VPN.
Choosing the Right VPN: Key Considerations
Compatibility Across Devices
A seamless VPN experience extends beyond your computer. Learn how the Best VPNs of 2023 ensure compatibility across a spectrum of devices, from smartphones to smart TVs.
Subscription Plans: Tailoring Security to Your Needs
Every user is unique, and so are their security needs. Delve into the diverse subscription plans offered by the Best VPNs of 2023, ensuring that you find the perfect fit.
Customer Support: A Pillar of Trust
When it comes to online security, having reliable customer support is non-negotiable. Explore how the Best VPNs of 2024 prioritize customer assistance, building trust in their user community.
Best VPNs of 2024: A User’s Perspective
Personal Experiences: Navigating the Digital Realm
Embark on a journey through personal anecdotes, illustrating how the Best VPNs of 2023 have transformed the online experiences of users. Real stories, real security.
Expert Insights: Why These VPNs Reign Supreme
What sets the Best VPNs of 2023 apart? Gain insights from industry experts, highlighting the technological innovations and security paradigms that make these VPNs leaders in their field.
FAQs: Unveiling the Mysteries of VPNs
Are VPNs Legal?
Yes, VPNs are legal in most countries. They are powerful tools for online security, allowing users to encrypt their internet connection and protect their data from prying eyes.
Can VPNs Be Traced?
While VPNs add a layer of anonymity, they are not entirely untraceable. However, the Best VPNs of 2023 employ advanced technologies to minimize the risk of being traced.
How Do VPNs Impact Internet Speed?
VPN usage can slightly reduce internet speed due to the encryption process. However, leading VPNs employ optimized servers, ensuring minimal impact on speed.
Are Free VPNs Safe?
Free VPNs may compromise on security and privacy. The Best VPNs of 2023, with their robust features, provide a more secure and trustworthy option for users.
Can I Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi?
Absolutely! Utilizing a VPN on public Wi-Fi adds an extra layer of security, protecting your data from potential cyber threats on shared networks.
Do VPNs Protect Against Malware?
While VPNs enhance security, they are not a substitute for dedicated antivirus software. It’s recommended to use a comprehensive security approach, combining both VPNs and antivirus tools.