A virtual private network (VPN) is an essential tool for any modern Internet user. Most importantly, a good VPN will keep your Internet activity private and help prevent websites from following you when you surf the Internet. It is also a powerful anti-censorship tool for those who need it.
But these are not all sensible things! A VPN will also allow you to unblock the entire US Netflix catalog and torrent with peace of mind. To find out the best VPN service for your specific needs, read on!
following Beijing's announcement of a new security law that will increase surveillance and introduce censorship in Honk Kong, it is essential to act quickly to get a VPN. See our specific guide to Hong Kong for more information.
What is the best VPN service?
In the list below, we take a look at what we think are the best VPN services on the market:
– one of the most respected names in the VPN industry
– combines excellent performance with a private, fast and secure service
– offers a very complete service with servers everywhere
– is the new child on the block. Based in the British Virgin Islands
– offers a multitude of features and has now been fully audited to verify its privacy statements
Private Internet Access
– voted best VPN by Reddit, PIA is a long-term darling of the privacy community
– is a fast VPN service ideal for gaining privacy and unblocking masses of websites worldwide
The best VPN of 2020: in-depth analysis
No two VPN services are the same, but you can't go wrong with one of the services listed in this guide. The list below is designed to help you make an informed choice. If you would like more information on any of the providers we are discussing, check out our full VPN reviews.
ExpressVPN has always ranked as one of the best, if not the best VPN in several categories. You can't go wrong with them.
They are one of the fastest VPN providers in our official BestVPN speed test. This makes it a fantastic option for streaming HD content. They work with all of the major services you want to unlock, with multiple country libraries, including Netflix, iPlayer, HBO and many more.
If you have any issues, the ExpressVPN 24/7 live chat support team is friendly and very knowledgeable.
You can try ExpressVPN today without risk with a 30 day money back guarantee without any problems.
NordVPN is on our list of best VPN services because it combines excellent performance, a strong focus on privacy and a series of useful bells and whistles. It also won our best overall VPN service at our Las Vegas awards ceremony earlier this year, and for good reason. And that's before we consider its bargain prices if you buy a longer subscription!
NordVPN does not maintain any newspapers and is based in Panama, which is outside of the direct sphere of influence of Five Eyes led by the NSA. It is very effective in unblocking BBC iPlayer and US Netflix and, as a backup, provides full Smart DNS service to all users. Allowing up to 6 devices to connect at the same time is generous, while a 30-day money-back guarantee provides peace of mind.
Xor’s obfuscation makes NordVPN effective in fighting VPN censorship, while features such as Double Hop VPN and Tor over VPN have enhanced its privacy information. CyberSec is a new feature that blocks DNS queries based on a real-time block list of harmful websites that may host malware. As such, it should protect you from malware, prevent botnet control, and block many intrusive web advertisements.
NordVPN offers two Mac clients, which is slightly confusing. The old VPNOnlineFree client is more complete, but we detected a WebRTC leak when using it. We have not detected any such problem with the new IKEv2 client, but it is somewhat lacking in functionality.
CyberGhost is a long-standing VPN, with excellent full service. A newspaperless VPN service based in a privacy-friendly Romania (with software developed in Germany). In addition to a very generous 45-day money back guarantee, you can try CyberGhost for free and without the credit card required for 24 hours.
CyberGhost VPN is unique in that it guarantees access to Netflix US when it is connected to one of its “servers optimized for streaming”. We haven't tested this warranty, but that's because it still seems to be working. They also unblock most other streaming services like iPlayer.
Users can connect up to seven devices at a time and torrent for their enjoyment. CyberGhost offers 24/7 live chat support if you need it.
Surfshark VPN is only a year or two old, but in a very short time it has taken the VPN market by storm with ultra-fast performance and 500 servers in over 50 countries.
As you would expect from today's major VPN providers, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. What is unusual is that it allows you to connect as many devices as you want to the service at the same time!
Add split tunnels so you can choose which apps go through the VPN and which don't, a full smart DNS service, and the fact that Surfshark has unblocked all the services we launched to it, and you can see why he won our coveted Newcomer Award.
Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Islands and easily meets our requirements for a newspaperless VPN. Technical security is also top notch, and we appreciate the wealth of additional privacy and security features on offer. These include double-hop VPN, DNS-based ad blocking, and malware protection.
Surfshark tells us that he uses obfuscation “by default with all servers”. Unusually, Surfshark's iOS VPN app has a kill switch, as do its Windows and macOS clients. Its macOS VPN client is, however, a bit light on functionality.
VyprVPN has always been known for the high technical quality of its service, helped by the fact that it owns and manages its entire CDN network. He has now responded to concerns about his credentials by moving to Switzerland and not using 100% any newspaper.
Indeed, VyprVPN was the first (and still one of the very few) services to have its claims verified without newspapers by a respected independent third-party auditor. Well done.
VyprVPN now allows the torrent on its network, which operates servers in more than 70 countries, and allows up to five simultaneous connections. Finally, VyprVPN offers a generous 30-day money back guarantee, which means you can test the service without risk.
PrivateInternetAccess has long been a favorite of members of Reddit's privacy forums. We don't consider the U.S. as a great place for a VPN provider, but it doesn't have mandatory data retention laws, allowing PIA to be a log-free VPN service.
The encryption used by PrivateInternetAccess is first rate and we never detected an IP leak during the service test. P2P is allowed on all servers, and torrent enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that PIA supports port forwarding through its NAT firewall.
A 30-day money-back guarantee provides peace of mind, while five authorized simultaneous connections should be enough for even demanding users. Oh, and it's also very handy for pockets.
IPVanish is a superb US-based VPN that is known for providing superb, well-balanced service. Although it is based in the United States, which is certainly not always considered the best place for a service based on confidentiality, IPVanish VPN compensates for this by ensuring that it does not run any log service. . This means that once the session is over, there is never a record of what its users do when they are connected.
As a result, even if the US authorities knocked on their door – there should not be any sensitive information anyway. In addition, it is a service that implements strong VPNOnlineFree encryption and has important VPN security and privacy features such as DNS leak protection, VPNOnlineFree encryption, a Killswitch and obscured XOR servers. to hide the use of VPN if necessary. IPVanish is not the cheapest VPN on the market. However, given the large selection of servers it provides and the excellent applications it has for all platforms, it cannot be considered expensive.
And anyone who wants to test the service can do so without risk thanks to this supplier's 7-day money-back guarantee. Regarding unlocking, IPVanish has servers in 60 countries and these servers provide access to popular services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix US. Overall, it's a great VPN service that allows users to install the VPN on up to 10 devices. And because it has live chat support, you can ask questions if necessary.
Why do I need a VPN service?
A VPN connects your device to a VPN server through an encrypted VPN tunnel, the benefits of a VPN are listed below:
- Anyone on the Internet (such as websites you visit or torrent peers) cannot see who you are or who your ISP is because their “view” is blocked by the VPN server.
- Your ISP cannot see what you are getting on the Internet because its “view” is also obstructed by the VPN server.
- Your ISP cannot see the content of your data because it is encrypted between your device and the VPN server.
- VPN servers are located all over the world, which is great for escaping censorship or pretending to be somewhere else.
We cover more on this in our Beginner's Guide to VPNs.
The Benefits of Using a VPN Service
For a few dollars a month, a good VPN service will benefit you in the following ways:
Confidentiality from your ISP or government
Between the encrypted VPN tunnel and the proxy VPN server, a VPN leaves your ISP unaware of what you are doing on the Internet. Since every mass surveillance system on the planet depends on ISPs who hand over their records to their government, a VPN is also a very effective tool to keep the government from spying on you.
Confidentiality when visiting websites
Websites can see your real IP address when you visit them. If you are using a VPN, however, they only see the IP of the VPN server. You must however combine the use of a VPN with browser add-ons that prevent website trackers for maximum privacy.
ISPs block access to websites for all kinds of reasons, for example in China, content is blocked for political reasons. Using a VPN will unblock the content. Just connect to a server located somewhere where content is not blocked.
Unblock streaming services
Using a VPN can unblock many streaming services by allowing you to “spoof” your location so that you appear to be in another country. For example, the American version of Netflix has by far the largest library. With a VPN, you can access US Netflix (and other services like BBC iPlayer) and watch it anywhere in the world.
Stay safe on WiFi hotspots
It is possible for hackers or companies that operate the WiFi network to access user data while browsing a public network. Using a VPN encrypts all data between your device and the VPN server, protecting you from anyone watching your data via public WiFi. You can find more information on this subject in our VPNs for public wifi guide.
Safe P2P download
In order to share torrent files, other torrent users must know your IP address. Unfortunately, it's not just other torrenters who can see your IP address. In order to torrent without the very real risk of getting caught, you have to use a VPN religiously. We recommend that you check out our best torrent VPN guide for a thorough review of what you need to consider before torrenting anything.
New to VPNs? Familiarize yourself with the basics using our helpful guides:
Are VPNs Legal?
The short answer is yes: using a VPN is legal almost everywhere. Even in most places where VPNs are “banned”, they are simply blocked by ISPs rather than being illegal to use. It's usually what you do when using a VPN that is considered illegal rather than the act of using a VPN per se. This is not always the case, so it is worth doing your research.
We take a closer look at the legality of VPNs in our VPNs are they legal? guide.
VPN providers to avoid!
Below, we list the VPN providers that you should definitely avoid. We have reviewed over 150 VPN providers and offer an in-depth analysis of all of them. See our VPN comment hub for more information.
|Provider||Why avoid it?||Additional information|
|Hola||May sell data to third parties * Share e-mails with marketing partners. Sells traffic data to a sister company. Sharing of anonymized data to third parties.||Theft and fraudulent sale of user bandwidth through a sister company Luminati. DNS and WebRTC leaks detected.|
|Betternet||May sell data to third parties. * Allows advertisers to use the browsers of cookie users. Targeted advertising poster. The parent company can access all the data.||Allows advertisers to track and log user data. IP Leak browser extension in Chrome. Contains 14 tracking libraries in total (according to the CSIRO report).|
|Hotspot Shield Free||May sell data to third parties. * Redirects users to affiliate sites when browsing. Displays targeted ads in the app and on websites.||Uses 5 different third-party tracking libraries. Data sharing with affiliates and third party partners. Share all data with the parent company.|
|Psiphon||May sell data to third parties. * Allows advertising partners to follow users. Targeted advertising poster.||Sharing data with their advertising partners. Data sharing with affiliates and third party partners. Share all data with the parent company.|
|HoxxVPN||May sell data to third parties. * Not a VPN (it's a ShadowScos proxy service). DNS and WebRTC leaks. Tracks user activities and works with authorities.||Maintains newspapers and sells them to third party partners. Data sharing with affiliates and third party partners.|
|SuperVPN||Willing to disclose information to authorities. Reports that it is infected with malware. Tracks user activities and works with authorities.||Extensive access to sensitive user information. Stores session logs in the United Kingdom and the United States.|
|ArchieVPN||Reports of a heavy malware infestation.||Performs real-time scanning (claims it's for troubleshooting only).|
|Onavo project||May sell data to third parties. * Uses user information for advertising and marketing. Displays announcements to users.||Belongs to Facebook. Shares and sells user data with third parties.|
|VPN by Apalon||Invasive application permissions. Sharing data with third parties for marketing purposes.||Displays advertisements. Integrated purchasing.|
|Tuxler VPN||May sell data to third parties *. Uses newspapers to target ads to users.||Share user browsing data with advertising agencies.|
|GO VPN||May sell data to third parties *. Admits to use customer data to build their database. Displays targeted advertisements via the platform.||Belongs to the Chinese firm Talking Data. Ready to sell usage logs to third parties and partners. Extremely invasive application permissions.|
|Hexatech||May sell data to third parties *. Allows advertisers to track and log user data. Advertisers can access user data whenever they want.||Created by Betternet (owned by a marketing company). Displays announcements to users.|
|TouchVPN||May sell data to third parties *. Adds cookies, web beacons and web beacons to users' browsers.||Sharing anonymous data with third parties.|
|FinchVPN||May sell data to third parties *. Reports of a heavy malware infestation.||N / A|
|Cross VPN||Reports of a heavy malware infestation.||N / A|
|Free OneClick VPN||Reports of a heavy malware infestation. Obsolete PPTP encryption on Android.||Based in the UAE.|
|Free Flash VPN||Invasive application permissions.||Uses 11 third-party tracking libraries.|
|Fast secure payment VPN||Reports of a heavy malware infestation.||N / A|
|SFly network booster||Reports of a heavy malware infestation.||N / A|
|IP-Shield VPN||Contains third-party tracking software.||N / A|
|WiFi Protector VPN||Uses 5 tracking libraries.||N / A|
|TigerVPNs||Theft and fraudulent sale of user bandwidth.||N / A|
|Private WiFi||Seems to have poor or no encryption.||N / A|
What is the best VPN software?
In an increasingly competitive market space, VPN providers want to stand out by offering additional bells and whistles in their custom software. These additional features can be useful, but should never come at the expense of the basic features that each VPN client should provide:
- Effective protection against IPv4 and IPv6 DNS leaks.
From a privacy and security perspective, just disable IPv6 connectivity.
- WebRTC leak mitigation.
WebRTC leaks are a browser issue and preventing them from using standard VPN software is not easy. However, it is possible to tighten the parameters and use firewalls to minimize their likelihood.
A kill switch prevents your IP address from being exposed in the event of a VPN outage.
- Easy to use.
Although in reality most VPN software is fairly easy to use these days.
Features offered by the best VPNs
As stated above, we believe that effective protection against IP leakage and a kill switch should be a given in any decent VPN software. Other groovy features that the best VPNs offer to stand out from the pack include:
No newspaper policy
Good privacy is achieved through confidentiality from conception. We know that you're not using a VPN to do anything illegal, but a good tool must be designed from the start to be as good as it can be at doing what it does.
In the case of VPNs, a key aspect of fully achieving their goal as a privacy tool is to keep no records of what you do online. Simply put, a VPN provider cannot compromise your privacy by delivering logs to an opponent if they don't have logs to deliver. It's good privacy by design. For a detailed overview of this topic, please check out the best VPNs No Logs.
IP leaks are probably a bigger danger to your privacy when using a VPN than the risk of someone trying to break the encryption used to protect your data. But as we just said, a good tool is good by design, so a good VPN uses strong encryption.
The distance between you and the VPN server will always be the biggest factor determining the speed of your VPN connection, but even taking this into account, some VPNs are faster than others. See a daily VPN speed test for more information.
Smart DNS is an alternative technology to VPNs, used to spoof your location. It does not offer any of the privacy and security benefits of a VPN, and is therefore only really useful for unblocking streaming services. For this, however, it offers certain advantages over using a VPN:
- It's faster because no encryption / decryption is required, which means that buffering problems are less likely.
- Almost all Internet-enabled devices can be configured to use Smart DNS, including many devices such as game consoles and smart TVs that cannot run a VPN client.
- Services that block VPNs are often (but not always) accessible through Smart DNS instead. Standalone intelligent DNS services are often comparable to the cost of a VPN service, but a number of leading VPN services add free intelligent DNS service…
Regular VPN connections can be blocked using a simple firewall, which repressive governments around the world take full advantage of.
Most VPNs allow you to route VPNOnlineFree connections over TCP port 443 to simulate regular HTTPS traffic. This can be effective but does not work against determined efforts to block the use of the VPN. Some providers go the extra mile by offering more advanced ways to overcome VPN censorship. Please see How to bypass VPN blocks for more information on this.
Streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Crunchyroll, etc. are trying to block VPN users. Unless a VPN service takes special measures to escape such blocks, you are unlikely to be able to use it to access those services.
Fortunately, a number of better VPNs specialize in unblocking these and other streaming platforms.
Many VPN services offer additional features such as double hop VPN, DNS filtering, built-in malware protection, etc. We are a little ambivalent about many of them, although they are definitely useful to some.
When considering additional bells and whistles, make sure they are useful to you before allowing them to affect your purchasing decision.
Yes. There are many free VPNs (especially in the mobile apps space), but setting up a VPN service costs a lot of money: servers need rental, maintenance, and staff need care. . If you don't pay for a service with money, you have to pay for it in another way. Many free VPN apps are downright malicious. There are reputable and free VPNs, although they invariably hope that the free service will impress you so much that you will upgrade to a paid level. Please see our best free VPN list for more details.
A proxy server (or “ proxy ”) is a computer that sits between your computer and a larger network. This “extended network” is generally the Internet. A proxy server therefore acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. A VPN server is a special type of proxy, but there are many other types of proxy servers. Unlike a VPN, you usually need to configure each program to work with a proxy. The connection can be encrypted or not, but if it is, non-VPN proxies generally secure the connection with HTTPS.
The Android VPN app space is very interesting because providers are free to innovate and add functionality. We're big fans of the ExpressVPN Android app, but check out our Best VPN page for Android for more interesting options.
IOS VPN apps may be less interesting than their Android cousins, but they work well, and if you have an iPhone or iPad, you should use one. We love the iOS ExpressVPN app, but check out our Best VPN for iPhone for other great choices.
Almost all VPN services now offer a dedicated macOS client. These are sometimes not as complete as their Windows siblings, but are often almost identical. In general, what makes a great The VPN for Macbook or Mac Mini is exactly the same as what makes a good VPN for any other system.
Windows remains the default computing platform and is by far the platform well supported by VPN services. Windows users still benefit from the full range of features offered, and all VPN companies except the youngest offer a custom Windows VPN client. Not surprisingly, our selection of the best VPN services all has great Windows VPN clients.
We summarize the above protocols and examine them in detail in VPN encryption: the complete guide. Although L2TP / IPsec is suitable for most applications, we only recommend VPNOnlineFree and IKEv2. VPNOnlineFree is very secure if properly configured. Indeed, Edward Snowden’s documents have shown that even the NSA cannot break well-implemented VPNOnlineFree. It is also supported by almost all providers. But it's relatively slow. The new IKEv2 is much faster and is considered secure, but has not been tested in combat as VPNOnlineFree has done. It is not as well supported at the moment, although it is becoming more and more popular with suppliers due to its speed advantages over VPNOnlineFree.
A VPN client is software that runs on your device to securely connect it to a VPN server. Toutes les principales plates-formes (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS et Linux) sont livrées avec un client VPN intégré qui peut être configuré manuellement, bien qu'VPNOnlineFree nécessite toujours l'installation d'un client tiers. La plupart des services VPN offrent désormais des clients et des applications personnalisés, qui sont le moyen le plus simple d'utiliser leur service car ils sont préconfigurés avec tous les paramètres corrects. Ils offrent également généralement une gamme de fonctionnalités amusantes et utiles qui ne sont pas disponibles en configurant simplement manuellement le client VPN intégré. Pour dissiper toute confusion, un «client VPN» et une «application VPN» sont exactement la même chose. Traditionnellement, le mot client est utilisé pour les logiciels de bureau et l'application de mots pour les logiciels mobiles, mais il est de plus en plus courant de parler d'applications VPN sur le bureau. Les termes sont interchangeables.
Yes. Bien que Netflix soit désormais disponible presque partout, certains endroits, notamment aux États-Unis, bénéficient catalogue de titres beaucoup plus large que partout ailleurs. Et certaines personnes veulent accéder aux catalogues régionaux. En théorie, tout ce que vous devez faire pour accéder à n'importe quelle bibliothèque Netflix de n'importe où dans le monde est de vous connecter à un serveur VPN et vous pouvez vous connecter à n'importe quelle page Netflix régionale avec n'importe quel compte Netflix actif, peu importe où ce compte est enregistré. Le hic est qu'en raison de la pression de ses producteurs de contenu, Netflix essaie maintenant d'interdire les adresses IP qu'il sait appartenir aux services VPN et proxy. De nombreux services VPN ont trouvé des moyens sournois pour contourner cette interdiction, mais il s'agit d'un jeu de chat et de souris.
Un certain nombre de services VPN offrent différents types de technologies d'obscurcissement qui peuvent être efficacement efficaces pour vaincre le grand pare-feu de Chine. Please look 5 meilleurs VPN pour la Chine pour plus de détails.
Un serveur VPN est un ordinateur qui exécute un logiciel de serveur VPN et agit comme un proxy, assis entre votre appareil et Internet. La connexion entre votre appareil et les serveurs VPN est cryptée. Les services VPN exécutent généralement des serveurs loués dans des centres du monde entier. Idéalement (mais malheureusement pas assez communs), ces serveurs sont des machines nues (à occupation simple) qui utilisent des disques durs chiffrés et sont configurées uniquement par le propre personnel du fournisseur VPN. En d'autres termes, le personnel du centre serveur maintient la machine en marche, mais n'a accès à aucune donnée qui y est stockée.
1. Réduisez la distance que les paquets doivent parcourir (c.-à-d. Choisissez un serveur VPN aussi près de vous que possible).
Un certain nombre de services VPN offrent cette fonctionnalité. Voir notre guide sur VPN IP dédiés pour plus d'informations.
Un VPN ne peut normalement pas être utilisé pour vous pirater, bien que comme avec tout programme, il soit tout à fait possible de cacher les logiciels malveillants dans une application VPN. Les services VPN peuvent voir les sites Web que vous visitez, mais ils ne peuvent pas voir ce que vous faites sur les sites protégés par HTTPS. Cela inclut la plupart des sites Web de nos jours et inclut certainement tous les sites Web traitant de données sensibles (comme les banques et les magasins en ligne). Donc, dans presque toutes les circonstances, vos données sont à l'abri de votre fournisseur VPN.
Cet article devrait vous donner matière à réflexion. Mais comme nous l'avons déjà dit, il n'y a aucune raison de paniquer si cela semble un peu trop. Tous les VPN de notre top 10 sont de bons services, vous ne pouvez donc pas vraiment vous tromper.