20 best VPN services to protect your privacy online – Free & premium

20 best VPN services to protect your privacy online – Free & premium

With the digital phenomenon restructuring most of our society, this list of the best VPN services to protect your privacy and compare all the best VPN providers in one place.

Your online privacy should be your primary concern. As time progresses, the virtual world continues to expand itself by attracting a variety of different types of internet users.

While some choose to go about their own business, the same cannot be said for others. A wide variety of users work to breach the security of others in order to gain access to sensitive information.

In fact, a report published earlier in the tech magazine computer weekly showed that 2.7 billion records on identity had been posted online for others to purchase. This is mainly due to password flaws or phishing.

Phishing is a practice used by hackers by sending a malicious code to a user through emails, social media platforms, or any other tools, for taking over sensitive information and stealing the victim’s digital identity, social media accounts, bank details, network authentication data…

The issue is that as time progresses, more and more of our daily duties are shifted to the virtual world. All from bank accounts to tax payments are now completely digitalized in many countries. This means that you cannot cut yourself off from the internet anymore.

So, as an internet user, there is no doubt that you must protect your own privacy when doing any type of activity online such as working online or doing any type of transaction. Luckily, there is no need for you to worry as I have the perfect solution to this issue, that is, a VPN.

Before we jump in to my list of the best VPN services available for you, let cover the very basics of what a VPN is and its benefits.

What is a VPN?

Also known as a virtual private network, one uses VPNs for the purpose of providing a layer of security to all the networks. That too, to both private networks as well as public networks, that you want to connect to.

In fact, you need this layer of security now more than ever. Due to businesses shifting to the digital world, where employees now have to work from home. 

Benefits of using a VPN

By choosing to use a VPN, you will be able to take advantage of a wide variety of benefits. In fact, these benefits work both in the short run as well as the long run. 

Using a VPN goes beyond a simple service to hide your identity on the Internet, although you will also achieve that, these are other benefits of using a VPN:

  • VPN allows you to enjoy the advantages of a local network, but in a much broader way, since each device on this network can even be located in different countries.
  • VPN makes it possible the use of data tunnels, using the VPN server instead of the IP.
  • VPN allows you to hide your identity on the internet, since it disguises your IP, making it impossible for your real data to be violated by computer criminals, platforms, agencies, or others.
  • You can mask your IP and access the content without geographical restrictions.
  • When you connect to WiFi networks other than that of your home, you run the risk of your data being compromised, while when using a VPN it does not matter which WiFi network you connect to, your data and privacy will still be protected.
  • You can avoid speed and bandwidth limitations, since data traffic when using a VPN is kept hidden, you will be able to enjoy higher bandwidth without paying more.
  • You can avoid firewall barriers, especially when you need to make use of a different Wi-Fi connection from your home, which has sites with limited access through firewalls. With a VPN you can avoid these limitations.
  • A VPN allows you to access Torrent content in a safe way, since, by sharing it with other users, your data will be kept safe.
  • A VPN allows you to access higher quality games, offering you advantages of using other countries, for example.
  • Using a VPN can even save you money since you can take advantage of offers on content from other countries without having to find yourself physically in place.
  • As a bonus, you can avoid Netflix country based limitations as you can access unique content only available in specific countries.

IP address

As soon as you launch your VPN program, you will observe an immediate benefit, where your IP address will be changed. The IP address that it will change to is one that the VPN provides itself.

In fact, this newly generated IP address, if needed, won’t be traced back to your city or even country. For example, if you log in from somewhere in East Asia, and chose to connect your VPN to Sweden, your IP address will be that of one that traces back to Sweden. 

Significantly better encryption 

Apart from disabling others from tracking your location, a VPN will also provide you with much better encryption levels. What this does is that it will allow you to send as well as receive signals using a Wi-Fi network that is public. That too, without any fear of outside interference or breaches.

So, you can browse as much as you want privately. You will also be able to enjoy your privacy online and avoid any and all censorship of content. In fact, a better layer of encryption is one of the most major benefits that a VPN provides you with. 

The best VPN serviceS that will protect your privacy online

Going through and understand the benefits a VPN provides you is an easy task; however, the issue arises when you have to find out which are the best VPN services suited for your data privacy needs and requirements.

Now that more and more people understand how important it is to use a VPN while surfing the internet, more and more businesses are entering the market, to the point where it is now clustering. This means that it is harder to filter through the best VPN services in order to find one that will be ideal for you and your business.

Luckily, there is no need for you to worry, as I have done all of that work for you. Following is my list of the top best VPN services when it comes to protecting your data and privacy online. 

1. Express VPN

Express VPN Best VPN services

Visit website: Express VPN

Express VPN was launched in the year 2009 and truly deserves its spot in the top 20 of the best VPN services list. This VPN mainly works as a tool to provide both privacy and security at the same time. It fulfills this purpose by encrypting its user’s traffic on the web and changing the IP address.

The network is quite vast and extensive, where the company runs around 2500 remote servers. These remote servers also work across 94 different countries. This feature will allow you to access 16 different server locations. All in all, with Express VPN, you will be able to anonymously access content online.

Specifically, the content that is either censored or exists on sites that are blocked in your country. You will also be able to use public Wi-Fi without having to deal with any rouge attacks. It ensures your security by not writing your data to your device’s hard drive and preventing activity logs’ connections.

Apart from that, it also features split tunneling as well as a DNS that is encrypted, private, and zero-knowledge. 

Packages and pricing 

Like most of the best VPN services in this list, Express VPN offers three different packages that last for one month, six months, or twelve months. Out of all of the packages, the most you can get at the lowest price is the twelve-month package.

Strengths

Express VPN, when compared to others, provides the best security encryption in all of its classes. It is incredibly reliable and supports usage on all types of devices, which includes game consoles and Smart TVs.

For added protection, Express VPN features a Network lock kill switch. It offers a money-back guarantee that lasts for 30 days. Users can also access live chat support all day, every day. 

Weaknesses

This VPN service has little to no weaknesses. In fact, the only weakness is that there are few options when it comes to settings and configuration options. 

2. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN

Visit website: CyberGhost

CyberGhost has thrived within the VPN service industry for around fifteen years. It is known for its fast and strong services that allow its users to browse the internet anonymously. That too, without any form of data limitations.

CyberGhost VPN provides its users with tools that set them up for privacy online. This allows them to access blocked websites in their country, and even get better deals on the internet.

To secure your data, CyberGhost VPN hides your IP address and protects your identity in the digital world, and even secures all of your bank transactions. In fact, CyberGhost VPN provides you with more than a hundred options of different servers that you would want to opt for.

You can use a single subscription of CyberGhost on seven different devices. Apart from that, CyberGhost VPN features privacy triggers that have been configured manually. It also features a no-log policy, which doesn’t store your data.

It also offers to kill switches that provide foolproof plans that prevent your IP address from showing. 

Packages and pricing

CyberGhost VPN offers its user four different packages that last for a month, a year, two years, or three years. The package where you get the most for the least price is that of the one that lasts for three years, which merely costs $2.75 a month. 

Strengths

There are several features of CyberGhost VPN that users can take advantage of, such as the money-back guarantee, which lasts for forty-five days.

CyberGhost VPN is also known for its speed when it comes to streaming media content, particularly that which may exist on websites that are blocked in your country.

The best part is that the servers are operated independently, which means that they block any type of spying software.

They also provide users with an IP address that is fully-dedicated. 

Weakness

One of the reasons why CyberGhost VPN has secured its place on the top 20 best VPN services list is because of how it has little to no weaknesses. The only weakness that one can observe is that while it is compatible with different platforms, it has mainly been designed for Mac users. 

3. NordVPN

NordVPN

Visit website: NordVPN

NordVPN is featured as one of the best VPN services in this list as it has earned its spot based mainly on its incredible performance. It was launched in the year 2012 and is now operating around 5500 servers that exist across 60 different countries.

NordVPN not only provides the basic services that you would see in any VPN service, but it goes a step further. It also provides services, such as P2P sharing, TOR compatibility that allows users to connect anonymously, as well as double layers of encryption.

In fact, the creators of NordVPN intricately designed it to the point where it’s location has been strategically set to Panama, where there are no data retention laws.

Apart from that, NordVPN also features encryption that is one par with military-grade CyberSec, which automatically allows you to avoid websites that are suspicious, protection from DNS leaks, a no-log policy, kill switches that work automatically, incredibly fast speeds for streaming, and even live streaming, SmartPlay, and more. 

Packages And Pricing

Like several other VPN services, Nord VPN has a total of four different packages that last for a month, a year, two years, or three years. The package that allows you to gain the most at the least cost is the one that lasts for three years, which costs $3.49 a month. 

Strengths

Not only is Nord VPN incredibly reliable, but it is also incredibly straightforward to sign up for and use, which is due to its incredibly user-friendly interface. The company is also well-known for its incredible customer service to the point where it received an award for it in the year 2018. 

Weaknesses

One of the most major weaknesses that Nord VPN users have to experience is the clustering of servers around Europe, which significantly decreases its diversity in terms of location. Apart from that, there exist certain time periods in the day where Nord VPN may not perform at its maximum capacity.

4. IPVanish VPN

IPVanish VPN

Visit website: IPVanish VPN

This is one such VPN service that comes out in the top four in both performance and pricing. It was launched in the year 2012 and started out with merely 32 servers.

Now, IPVanish VPN has around 1300 servers that exist across 75 different locations. It allows its users to gain access to censored content and browse the internet anonymously.

They also provide their users with the ability to switch servers as many times as they want. It also features unlimited bandwidth and AES-256 encryption, which is known to be one of the most robust encryptions.

It is one of the most strong VPN services in terms of online data protection as it features no traffic logs, limitless amounts of P2P traffic, SOCKS5 web proxy, and the ability to run on ten different devices, that too, simultaneously. 

Packages and pricing

This is one of the most reasonable VPN’s out there that is famous for its performance. IPVanish VPN features three different packages that last for a month, a year, or two years. The subscription package with the best value is that of the two-year plan, which only costs $6.49 a month.

Strengths

Apart from being incredibly reasonably priced, this VPN service is easy to install and straightforward in its usage. It is one of the fastest performing VPN services and can be supported on every type of device.

It also has TOR compatibility and provides its users with support 24/7. If users are not happy, they can also opt for the money-back guarantee lasting for seven days.

Weaknesses

Of course, as all services have certain limitations, IPVanish VPN does too. It does not have the ability to offer customer support through live chats, and the servers it supports are mainly designed for users who reside in the US. It is also reported that the third-party review of IPVanish VPN isn’t as promising as it should be. 

5. StrongVPN

StrongVPN

Visit website: StrongVPN

StrongVPN is considered to be one of the oldest VPNs in the world and thus has its strong points and weaknesses. 

Packages and Pricing

It offers an overall of 2 packages to its customers. 

  1. The first plan is a monthly plan where you can pay $10 and have a 30-day money-back guarantee. 
  2. The second plan is billed annually where the monthly bill is $5.83, and the annual accumulation of the bill is $69.99. 
  3. With the second annual plan, you can save up to 42%. 

Strengths

Though this is a very old VPN, there are a lot of benefits to using it.

  • The VPN works exceptionally well with streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu.
  • As it is one of the oldest VPNs, it has services available in almost any part of the world. It is guaranteed to work anywhere.
  • With both the billing plans, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is extremely helpful in case the VPN doesn’t work for you.

Weaknesses

Here are a couple of the weaknesses that this VPN has.

  • Although it is available on almost all servers, its quality of work is slow. 
  • The interface of the VPN is difficult to use and to understand. 
  • The United States government has complete access to this VPN. Thus, it can cause specific privacy issues. 

6. PureVPN

PureVPN

Visit website: PureVPN

PureVPN is Considered one of the best VPN services in the world, it manages to provide over 300,000 IP addresses to its customers. 

Packages and Pricing

There are over three packages provided to the customer. 

  1. The only monthly plan is $10.95.
  2. The 1-year plan is $5.81, where you are saving 47%.
  3. The 2-year plan is $3.33, where you end up saving 70%.

Strengths

  • If you have bitcoin, then this VPN supports bitcoin payment.
  • It is 100% compatible with almost all devices.
  • There is a 31-day money-back guarantee which provides a safety net.

Weaknesses

  • When downloading anything, the server slows down.
  • There can be some difficulty when streaming Netflix in the US.
  • Customer support may not be the best.

7. Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN

Visit website: Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN is Considered one of the best in the world, Norton Secure VPN is excellent in terms of product security. 

Packages and Pricing

There are monthly packages and annual packages available.

  1. The monthly package is available for $4.99 for one device, the package changes depending on the number of devices used.
  2. The annual package is available at $39.99 for one device. The pricing changes depending on the number of devices. 

Strengths

  • The ownership of this VPN is transparent, and nothing is hidden.
  • There is customer support available at all times of the day, and you can get help on any device.
  • There is a 60-day money-back guarantee that you can avail.
  • The pricing is reasonable.

3.7.4 Weaknesses

  • There is no kill-switch feature available at this VPN.
  • You can only make payment through specific places such as PayPal. 

8. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN

Visit website: Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN is a new VPN on the market that has managed to take the world by storm. With servers in almost 45 countries, this VPN is sure to make its mark.

Packages and pricing

There are three packages available for the customer.

  1. The monthly plan available is $11.95.
  2. The annual plan available to the customer is $5.99/month, all the while saving 50%.
  3. For the two-year plan, the package is $1.99/month.

Surfshark, as a new player in town, offers also a price and functionality comparison table which compares its features against the established and more mature VPN services.

Surfshark price and feature comparison

Strengths

  • You can connect to the device in an unlimited capacity.
  • You have 24/7 customer support service at all times.
  • The interface is completely user-friendly.

Weaknesses

  • It is incredibly costly.
  • The speed of the VPN varies from different locations, thus being unreliable. 

9. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Visit website: Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield came to prominence during the Arab Spring where protestors used this VPN to surpass government sanctions. 

3.9.2 Packages and Pricing

There are only three packages offered to the customers.

  1. The monthly plan available costs $12.99.
  2. The annual plan constitutes $7.99/month, accumulating to $95.88 in a year.
  3. Lastly, the third package is a two-year plan where you pay $6.99/month.

Strengths

  • You have a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  • The streaming on this VPN is HD level.
  • It is compatible with streaming services such as Netflix.

Weaknesses

  • There has been a previous accusation of spying on customer data.
  • Customer support is ticketed, which takes time.

10. Private Internet Access VPN

Private Internet Access VPN

Visit website: Private Internet Access VPN

Private Internet Access VPN is very transparent on who owns it, which is a big thing considering a lot of the competition tries not to reveal this type of sensitive information. 

Packages and pricing

There are three paid packages offered to you. 

  1. The monthly package is available at $6.95.
  2. The six-monthly package is available at $5.99/month.
  3. The annual package is available at $3.33/month.

Strengths

  • You have access to online documentation and security.
  • You can anonymously pay.
  • There is a 7-day hundred percent money return guarantee.

Weaknesses

  • The customer service available 24/7 is only for those living in North America.
  • There is no support for live chats.

11. UltraVPN

UltraVPN

Visit website: UltraVPN

This is the newest in the market, and the entire package is attractive to any customer. It offers services in even the most restricted of global locations. 

Packages and pricing

The three packages offered to you are as follows:

  1. For one month the package available is $7.99.
  2. The 6-month package is available at $5.99/month.
  3. The annual package is available at $3.75/month.

Strengths

  • Its interface is extremely user-friendly and thus easy to use. 
  • You can easily unblock Netflix and use it.
  • It also supports live chatting options fully.

Weaknesses

  • The speed of the VPN can vary depending on the strength of the connection. 
  • You can only pay through credit card or PayPal. 

12. TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN

Visit website: TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN is as recent as 2011where it was introduced to the world as a VPN for the corporate world. One of its most prominent features is that it offers 500 MB in the trial version so you can try it out and see the results for yourself. 

Packages and pricing

You have the option of choosing between two packages.

  1. The monthly package is available at $9.99.
  2. The annual package available at $ 4.99/month.

Strengths

  • The set-up process of the VPN is easy and straightforward.
  • The Wi-Fi connection that you are using is safe, and your privacy is protected.
  • The VPN provides you with high-speed streaming services. 

Weaknesses

  • If you decide to use this VPN for long-distance use, then it could cause issues.
  • You cannot set-up a gaming console on this VPN. 

13. VyprVPN

VyprVPN

Visit website: VyprVPN

One of the world’s most potent VPN, the VyprVPN has managed to stay at the top for many years. It has over 200,000 IP addresses all over the world with over 50 destinations. 

Packages and pricing

This VPN offers two monthly and two annual plans to their customers.

Monthly Plan
  1. The standard plan is available at $9.95 and allows three devices.
  2. The premium plan is available at $12.95 with five devices.
Annual Plan
  1. The standard plan is available at $5.00/month.
  2. The premium plan is available at $6.67/month.
  3. They are both billed yearly.

Strengths

  • The live chat feature is readily available to you.
  • You can easily stream high-definition videos.
  • You have a tutorial available to you to understand the VPN set-up.

Weaknesses

  • You cannot pay anonymously.
  • If you wish to have customer support through a phone call, that is not available to you.

14. HideMyAss (HMA VPN)

HideMyAss

Visit website: HideMyAss

As the name suggests, this VPN became famous amongst youngsters. With its home office in the UK, this VPN offers over 8000 servers in almost all countries.

Packages and pricing

There are three packages available to the customers.

  1. The monthly plan is available at $11.99.
  2. The annual plan is available at $6.99/month, and the annual total comes up to $83.88.
  3. The 36-month plan is unique and new. It offers $4.29/month, and in 36 months you are billed at $154.44.

Strengths

  • Available in over 190 countries.
  • You have a guarantee of 30-day money-back policy.
  • The customer support is exemplary.

Weaknesses

  • You cannot torrent at your will. It is limited.
  • The UK government monitors your activity. So, all you do is recorded.

15. TorGuard VPN

TorGuard VPN

Visit website: TorGuard VPN

If you want to escape the government keeping tabs and to monitor your moves, then this is the VPN for you. It has unique popularity in Southeast Asia which makes it interesting.

Packages and pricing

There are four plans available to all customers.

  1. The first package is available at $9.99/month.
  2. The Second package is available at three months with only $19.99/month.
  3. The 6-month plan is available at $29.99/month.
  4. Lastly, the fourth plan is available at $59.99/month and is billed annually.

Strengths

  • You get to have a 7-day free trial to see if this VPN works for you.
  • It has excellent protocols that help you escape detection. 

Weaknesses

  • You can only torrent on this VPN in certain cities.

16. Buffered VPN

Buffered VPN

Visit website: Buffered

Buffered VPN is a new age VPN for newcomers. It lacks the experience which its competitors have but makes up for it in its serviceability. This fantastic VPN offers an un-detected browsing option that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Packages and pricing

There are three pricing plans available for you.

  1. The monthly plan is available at $12.99.
  2. The annual plan is available at $6.59/month with collective billing of $79.
  3. The 2-year subscription plan is the most popular one with the billing at $4.12/month and collectively available at $99 every two years.

Strengths

  • It is incredibly reliable and works fast.
  • You can make payments through bitcoin. 
  • Customer service is 24/7 available with online chat available too. 

Weaknesses

  • There is no option for a free trial.
  • If you are an Android OS user, then this VPN won’t work for you.

17. Overplay VPN

Overplay VPN

Visit website: Overplay VPN

By supporting all types of browsing options and devices, this VPN is considered a great addition to the list of great VPN’s around the world. 

Packages and pricing

You are given two choices in terms of packing.

  1. The standard plan is available at $4.95/month.
  2. The premium plan is available at $9.95/month.

Strengths

  • Has outstanding online security that protects your privacy.
  • The interface is easy to use and user friendly.
  • You have the option of a 5-day money-back guarantee.

Weaknesses

  • You don’t have the option of a free trial.
  • At one point, you cannot connect to more than three networks. 

18. Windscribe VPN

Windscribe VPN

Visit website: Windscribe VPN

With its focus on making sure that the customer’s privacy and data are secure and kept protected, it has earned quite a reputation. 

Packages and pricing

There are three basic packages

  1. The standard is available at $9/month.
  2. The yearly package is available at $4.08/month and billed annually at $49.
  3. The third plan is customizable, which means that you can decide which feature you want to pay for.

Strengths

  • You can block Ads
  • You can spoof up your location, so no one knows where you are using it from.

Weaknesses

  • The speed is below average and not of HD quality

19. Mullvad VPN

Mullvad VPN

Visit website: Mullvad VPN

This Swedish based VPN website is considered to be the most transparent website in the world. 

Packages and pricing

it provides only one package to the customer.

  1. The pricing is simple, 5 GBP/month with a discount of 10% available if you pay through cryptocurrency. 

Strengths

  • By staying clear of data prevention laws, it provides you with the option of browsing anything
  • The interface is easy to use, and it has a no-logging policy that saves you from any trouble.
  • The company owns the server, thus offers transparency.

Weaknesses

  • There is no ad blocking facility or service.
  • You can only get the customer or technical support through email. 

20. Goose VPN

Goose VPN

Visit website: Goose VPN

Goose VPN is a Dutch-owned VPN website that offers high privacy options for its customers along with a promise of a speedy network connection. It is work checking out if need be.

Packages and Pricing

This VPN website offers you three pricing plans.

  1. The standard plan is available at $14.7/month
  2. The yearly plan is available to you at $5.44/month and annually at $65.28.
  3. The 2-year plan is available at $3.26/monthly and billed annually at $78.24. 

Strengths

  • You can use streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon easily.
  • There is no parent company available.

Weaknesses

  • It has the occasional glitch that can be troublesome. 
  • The monthly package is costly.

Final thoughts

Out of all of the hundreds of VPN services that exist, these 20 are truly at the top, particularly when it comes to performance and efficiency in securing your privacy as well as your data on the internet.

However, at this point, all you have to do is deliberate on what is it that you require the most out of your VPN service. You must answer questions, such as are download and streaming speeds the most important or should your VPN service focus mainly on its security features.

Of course, one of the most significant drivers when it comes to any product is the cost. The way to navigate through this is first to set your monthly budget and find which package suits you best, as in all cases, you will be receiving the best performances. 

Dani Thifa
Dani Thifa
kliwo.com/

My name is Dani Thifa and I am a husband to a clumsy wife, dad to two cute spider babies, uncle to triplets, blogger, and digital lead at #CGI.

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