Are you looking for the best VPN services for 2022? We go through everything you need to know about VPN services and suggest the best ones use.
Choosing a VPN service if you’ve never used one before might be a difficult task. However, we’ll advise you what to search for and which services to choose.
Though we only featured a half-dozen in this list, we reviewed many more that didn’t make the cut. The six listed above are ones that we use on a regular basis.
VPN is useful for a variety of reasons. One of the most prevalent uses is to watch restricted videos, but another is to aid in the privacy of your online activities.
A VPN can be used on a variety of devices, including your phone, laptop, and even some televisions. You can use a VPN on a media streamer like the Amazon Fire TV Stick if you don’t have a suitable smart TV.
Most VPN services have the advantage of allowing one account to be used on several devices at the same time. This increases the value of the modest monthly fee because it can be used by the entire family.
Even if you’re aware of the advantages of a VPN, you might not know which one is the finest. Of course, that’s why you’re here.
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What is the finest virtual private network (VPN)?
Why did we choose these VPN providers?
It’s not as straightforward as you may assume to test and assess VPN services. There are numerous aspects to consider, including the monthly cost, connection speed, the quantity and location of servers, the apps available, the quality of tech support, and other key considerations like privacy and data recording regulations.
There’s also the question of ownership. This should always be transparent, and if it isn’t, it should raise red flags. Certain organizations, for example, own both VPN services and websites that review VPN services. This does not always have to be the apparent conflict of interest, but it can be. (We’d like to stress out that neither IDG nor its parent company, which publishes Tech Advisor, own any VPN services.)
We also examine organizations that control numerous Best VPN services to see if they claim data is shared across them and what other actions they engage in.
Because all of your internet traffic comes through their server first, where it is decrypted before being transmitted to its final destination, when you use a VPN, you’re entrusting that service with all of your data.
That’s why we value independent audits so much: it’s not enough for a VPN to claim they don’t log any data; they have to prove it.
Most VPN services, although not all, rent servers from other companies. This implies that the providers own and have physical access to the servers. VPN services should employ trustworthy datacenters and put safeguards in place to protect your data, which is why the few VPN firms that don’t rent servers benefit from owning and controlling their own infrastructure.
As a result, the services listed below are now the only ones we suggest, and even then, they are sometimes only for streaming video rather than for privacy. They’re also the ones that we’d use.
Many others were reviewed, as you can see if you look through all of our VPN evaluations, but they didn’t make the cut. They may have previously been on this list, but they are no longer.
One example is ExpressVPN. We can no longer recommend an independent provider with a good track record for privacy and the capacity to unblock. This article goes into greater detail on the causes for this.
AtlasVPN, IP Vanish, HMA, Bullguard VPN, Bitdefender Premium VPN, Goose VPN, Hotspot Shield Premium, and ClearVPN are some of the other providers we’ve tested but don’t currently recommend.
Top 9 Best VPN services for 2021
1. NordVPN: Best VPN
NordVPN is simple to use, quick and has a large number of servers throughout the world.
Nord is a good pick for several reasons. It is based in Panama and has a verified no-logs policy. It’s the fastest VPN around thanks to NordLynx (a WireGuard protocol) and has a good range of features, including split tunneling on Android and Windows, which enables you to choose which apps use the VPN connection and which don’t.
At the time of writing, the two-year subscription offers the best value. There’s also a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied. It’s not the cheapest option, but for most individuals, it’s the greatest all-around option.
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2. Surfshark VPN: Best VPN
Surfshark boasts a user-friendly design and a robust feature set. It includes apps for all major platforms (as well as browser add-ons), but one of the most appealing features is that it is less expensive than most of its competitors. Despite enabling an unlimited number of connections, this is the case.
Surfshark’s recent move from the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands to the Netherlands, one of the ‘9 Eyes’ countries that share intelligence with others, is the sole worry.
Because Surfshark has a no-logging policy, no use or user data would be available if Dutch authorities demanded logs or confiscated one of the company’s servers. However, because this policy has never been audited, you’ll have to take Surfshark’s word for it that it doesn’t keep track of that information.
But none of this matters if you just want to use a VPN to unblock streaming services: it’s just a problem if you want to use a VPN for privacy. Surfshark is also adept at unblocking Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services.
However, it did not unblock BBC iPlayer when we tested it in January 2022, although it did allow us to watch UK services such as ITV Hub.
3. VyprVPN: Best VPN
VyprVPN owns and operates its whole network of about 700 servers, and its no-logs policy has been audited. Because it owns the servers, it doesn’t have to rent them from a data center and then install its VPN software on top of them, and datacenter staff doesn’t have access to them.
VyprVPN is a fantastic one to add to your shortlist if privacy is your top priority. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to pay for the service completely anonymously.
As with other VPNs, features differ by device, but the good news is that VyprVPN now supports WireGuard. In general, this is a quick and dependable service.
VyprVPN’s website has the most up-to-date offers.
4. PureVPN: Best VPN
What to look for in a virtual private network (VPN) provider
A good option for streaming, with a large number of countries to choose from and the ability to unblock Netflix, iPlayer, and other services when we checked.
PureVPN has changed its jurisdiction from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands, which is far more privacy-friendly. It should also be congratulated for enabling its no-logs policy to be snap audited’ (an unplanned audit that the firm couldn’t prepare for), and KPMG was able to recertify it as a true no-log VPN when this happened recently.
Another significant enhancement is the removal of practically all virtual servers, resulting in 98.7% physical server locations (67 virtual servers remain), as well as the upgrade of UK and US servers to 20Gbps connection speeds.
Our main gripe is the persistent absence of WireGuard (it’s still in beta in the Windows app, despite being promised for all platforms by the end of 2021).
There’s a solid 24/7 live chat service to help with any issues, and the service is reasonably priced: check out PureVPN’s website for the newest offers.
5. Hidden24: Best VPN
Hidden24 is not like the other services available. First and foremost, it is intended to provide privacy.
As a result, instead of using an app, it uses an entirely different method, relying on the device’s native VPN capabilities. That means it will function on Android, Mac, iPhone, Linux, and Windows, but you won’t be able to change servers as easily as you would with VPN software, and there won’t be a kill switch.
There are presently seven locations to pick from, but while that may seem like a tiny amount, Hidden24 owns and operates all of them, and they’re all built to be as secure as possible.
Even Hidden24’s personnel does not have access to those servers, which run custom code rather than open-source software on top of Linux, as most rented VPN servers in the cloud do.
That’s why, if security and privacy are your top priority (and why it’s good for journalists, who can use the service for free), it’s a great option.
It also successfully unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, and other streaming services, but only in the seven countries available: the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Sweden.
Because Hidden24 does not track anything, including user sessions, you are limited to utilizing only one device at a time, and connecting on a second device will disconnect the first.
Instead, you might use a suitable router to connect to the VPN and enjoy unlimited connections.
This VPN solution isn’t suitable for everyone. However, if you want the most privacy and are willing to sacrifice convenience to achieve it, this is a terrific option. If you simply subscribe for a month, it’s also significantly less expensive than its competitors.
If you want a longer membership, a two-year plan for £3.29 per month is available as an exclusive offer.
Visit Hidden24.co.uk to learn more about the plans offered.
6. Ivacy: Best VPN
Although Ivacy may not have as many servers as some VPN providers, it checks a lot of boxes. These servers provide peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and unblock a variety of popular streaming services (though not Amazon Prime).
Apps are available for a variety of platforms. They aren’t the most polished, and their speeds aren’t the best. WireGuard support is on the way, however, for now, OpenVPN offers the fastest speeds.
There are a few minor annoyances, such as no automatic connection when your phone or laptop connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, and no ability to monitor how busy a specific server is.
However, Ivacy’s five-year deal is excellent value for unblocking websites and video services at a reasonable cost.
7. Hide.me: Best VPN
Overall, Hide.me is a solid VPN service. It has made several adjustments to its service in response to our past critiques, most notably the fact that Netflix and other streaming services are now unblocked.
Hide.me has a completely free version (which is, of course, feature-limited), but even with its cheapest multi-year membership options, it’s more expensive than other rivals if you want to unlock the full range of servers and obtain unlimited bandwidth.
It’s one of the few VPN services that can handle both IPv6 and the WireGuard protocol. It now lets you use ten devices at once, which is twice as many as before.
See hide.me’s pricing and programs on their official website.
8. ExpressVPN: Best VPN
If you’re looking for a premium VPN service that will reliably unblock streaming material, ExpressVPN is the one to select. It’s simple to use and packed with features.
It has a plethora of apps, as well as browser extensions that leverage the VPN service and a router app that is quite capable. There’s also excellent tech assistance if you need it.
Connection times and speeds are both quick because of the unique Lightway protocol.
ExpresVPN, on the other hand, is not inexpensive, costing significantly more per month than competitors.
When you join up for a year of ExpressVPN, you’ll get a 49 percent discount and three months free.
9. CyberGhost: Best VPN
CyberGhost is a well-known Romanian VPN provider.
Unblocking can be hit or miss, as we’ve discovered in our infrequent testing, with some troubles with BBC iPlayer in the past.
However, it is a decent option for unblocking streaming services in general, and it has a large number of servers to choose from, so if one doesn’t work, you can try a few others.
There’s also a selection of ‘NoSpy servers,’ which are owned and maintained by the company at its Romanian headquarters and offer a more secure choice than the other rented servers, which might be useful when you’re not just streaming video from foreign countries. Access to these is included in your membership as long as you’re not on the rolling one-month plan.
CyberGhost is one of the better-value options, with longer memberships and regular promotions, as well as Amazon Fire TV and Android TV apps. Plus, you can connect up to seven devices at once.
What to look for in a virtual private network (VPN) provider
Because Best VPN services vary so much in price, it can be tempting to go with the lowest option. That isn’t generally a bad idea, but you should pick one you can trust and that has the features you desire. When it comes to VPN services, the old saying “you get what you pay for” doesn’t actually apply.
The first crucial decision to make is whether or not you want to use a VPN. If all you want to do is watch videos from HBO Max, Disney+, or another service that isn’t available in your country, you don’t need to bother about any other details: simply choose a reasonably cost provider that provides unblocking for the services you require.
The privacy credentials of a VPN aren’t as vital, but keep in mind that when you connect to a VPN, the VPN provider may be able to monitor all of your web activities across that connection.
Most VPNs provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test them out and ensure that they provide access to the services you require.
If privacy and security are more important to you, choose a VPN that doesn’t log any data and, ideally, owns and operates its servers rather than renting them from a data center.
Simply said, if you want to reduce the chances of your VPN service being hacked and your identity, location, and activity being disclosed, choose one that uses hardware that is solely controlled by it. If your life depends on your VPN connection, using a consumer VPN service is usually not a wise option.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that there are more countries to choose from: it doesn’t mean it’s a better option. What you should seek for our servers in the countries where you need to appear to be or are physically present, as a local VPN server will always provide you with the quickest speeds from any provider.
You’ll almost definitely just use a few of the servers accessible, and you won’t want to connect to a server on the other side of the planet if it slows down your internet connection.
It’s difficult to test a VPN service’s speed because it changes all the time. Reading our evaluations is the greatest way to determine whether or not a service is speedy.
Virtually all VPNs support Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS, but some also provide apps for Amazon Fire TV Stick, Linux, and web browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers.
If your device supports a VPN connection, you can enter your login, password, and other information directly into your NAS, router, or another device. However, switching to a new server is a pain because you have to manually set up a connection for each one.
Plus, you’ll miss out on advanced functionality available only in programs, such as a kill button if your operating system lacks one.
Wi-Fi that is open to the public and is free
When you’re connected to an open public Wi-Fi network in a café, hotel, airport, or on public transportation, it’s a good idea to utilize a VPN. When a Wi-Fi network does not require a password to access (and inputting your email or other information in a web browser does not count), your phone’s connection to the network is unencrypted.
As a result, it’s possible for someone to monitor your activities. Most websites and web services, on the other hand, use encryption by default; a VPN is more of an insurance policy in case sensitive data is transferred in plain text.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is any usage limits – some sites prohibit P2P (file sharing), while others allow it.
What is the collective known as the ‘5 Eyes’ and ’14 Eyes’?
It’s crucial to know where your VPN is based if you’re concerned about privacy. Or, more precisely, the location of the business’s registration and, as a result, the jurisdiction in which it operates.
In recent years, a group of countries has banded together to freely exchange information, ostensibly to improve everyone’s security. Many groups, however, are skeptical of this behavior, saying that it infringes on our rights to privacy.
The Five Eyes is the key group of countries that can openly share information. They stem from a 1941 agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States of America that was only made public in 2005. Five Eyes refers to an arrangement between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
These countries have agreed to gather, analyze, and share information, with most of this intelligence, thought to be tied to current internet use.
The Five Senses:
- New Zealand is a country in the Pacific Ocean.
- United Kingdom of Great Britain
- United States of America
When it comes to VPNs, the Five Eyes has expanded to encompass a total of 14 countries, which is why you’ll hear a lot about the ’14-eyes.’ Over time, third-party countries have been added, including Denmark, France, Holland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Spain.
If your VPN service is headquartered in one of the 14 Eyes countries, it may be asked to divulge user data and will be legally obligated to do so. If your VPN company guarantees not to log any data, you’re generally secure within the 14 Eyes, but if privacy is your primary concern, you should look for a VPN provider based abroad.
What kind of data does a VPN store?
VPN services usually claim that they don’t keep any logs. They rarely log connection timestamps, IP addresses, or bandwidth used these days; instead, they usually just log anonymized information that is “essential to operate and improve the service.”
Each assessment includes a thorough examination of what each service logs, based on the information available to us.
Choose a provider that takes payment in the form of gift cards or Bitcoin if you want ultimate anonymity. This makes tracing any activity back to an individual nearly impossible. Please keep in mind that using a VPN does not make you anonymous online.
China and Russia have implemented VPN bans.
The majority of VPN services claim to be able to connect to China and Russia. The truth is that it’s a cat-and-mouse game in which governments figure out how to block connections if they identify you’re using a VPN, and they’ve gotten quite adept at it.
It means you can’t be sure if a service will let you access Google and other sites on a given day, which is one reason why it’s a good idea to subscribe to a service that offers 24/7 live chat support: they’ll be able to help you choose the best server and settings to get around the blocks at that time.
The same is true for unblocking streaming services: they despise VPNs and pursue them aggressively. When you run into issues, having live chat help is very beneficial. Many VPNs, including well-known brands like ExpressVPN, are currently unable to access BBC iPlayer.
If this is important to you, contact the company first to learn more about the present situation. There is usually a solution: ExpressVPN has a separate Media Streamer service that allows you to access iPlayer content from anywhere in the world.
At Tech Buzzster, we have a lot more information and articles regarding VPNs, which you can find in our VPN hub.