The VPN industry is a fast-paced one that’s constantly evolving.
Consumers can now choose between a plethora of service providers. However, not all of these VPNs are created equally. Some are better than others, which is why you must be an educated consumer that knows everything there is about their provider.
So what are the best VPN services? Here’s our take on the matter:
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
In this in-depth guide, we’re going to discuss each one of these providers. Furthermore, I’ll also talk about everything else that you may need to know regarding VPNs. That way, you shall easily be able to decide if you need a VPN at all and if so, which provider should you get.
The Best VPN Services
NordVPN is a VPN that needs no introduction.
You’ve probably heard of it already thanks to the very aggressive marketing campaign that it has launched. You will certainly stay safe with NordVPN as it has a massive RAM-based network that masks your IP address and all your online activities from parties that might secretly be monitoring them.
All NordVPN subscriptions entitle you to every one of the VPN’s features. Here are a few examples of what the VPN has to offer:
Onion Over VPN – This exclusive NordVPN feature optimizes the VPN provider for usage with the Tor Browser. With it, you’ll be able to seamlessly navigate the onion network.
Double VPN – Double VPN was once a security feature that was only offered by NordVPN. Now with that being said, it helps you double down on security. How? By routing your internet traffic through two servers, making it harder for malicious entities from pinpointing your real location.
NordLynx – NordLynx is a VPN protocol that was developed in-house by the people behind NordVPN. It’s basically a modified version of WireGuard that’s said to perform better.
- Among the fastest VPN service providers
- Has a RAM-based server network
- 5,400 + servers across the globe
- Works well with most streaming platforms
- Has very user-friendly applications
- Zero port forwarding
- Got hacked a few years ago
- More expensive than your average VPN
Surfshark can be considered as a new player in the VPN industry. After all, it was established in 2018 when other providers like NordVPN were already dominating. Despite that, the VPN has managed to carve out an excellent reputation. Today, it’s considered by many to be the best.
Surfshark isn’t a VPN that’s lacking in features. Unfortunately though, some of these features can only be accessed if you pay an additional add-on fee.
That said, here’s what everything Surfshark’s subscriptions provides access to:
Cleanweb – Cleanweb is the name of Surfshark’s proprietary ad & malware blocker. Because of it, you’ll be able to have a safe and seamless browsing experience that’s free of any ads.
Whitelister – This feature is great from a convenience perspective. It lets you pick out apps and websites that may circumvent Surfshark’s protective restrictions.
Multihop – With the help of Multihop, you will get to double down on privacy. How come? The feature routes your web traffic through 2 servers, making you almost impossible to detect.
HackLock (Paid Add-On) – HackLock is a paid add-on feature that’s dedicated to keeping your device protected from the misdeeds of hackers and other types of cybercriminals.
BlindSearch (Paid Add-On) – The second paid add-on feature of Surfshark is BlindSearch. It’s a proprietary search engine that doesn’t collect data unlike Google, Microsoft Edge, or Safari.
- Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
- Maintains a massive RAM-based network
- Is proven to have blazingly-fast servers
- Comes with a plethora of useful features
- Has simple applications that are easy to use
- Pricier than a lot of its major competitors
- Not all features are free-to-use
ExpressVPN is a top dog in the VPN industry for good reason.
For many years, it’s been able to safeguard its subscribers from online threats. While doing so, it doesn’t slow down internet connection speeds. Moreover, it’s capable of granting you almost unlimited access to geo-restricted websites and apps.
Sad to say, the people behind ExpressVPN haven’t made much of an effort to develop exclusive features that would set their service apart. Suffice to say, ExpressVPN does have features that are worth talking about. An excellent example of this is Lightway which we’ll discuss below:
Lightway – Lightway is a proprietary VPN protocol developed by ExpressVPN. It was created to serve as a WireGuard alternative. Now if you’re wondering, the general consensus of experts regarding this protocol is that it’s both fast and safe, meaning it will surely serve its purpose.
Kill Switch – A kill switch is something that nearly all VPNs have. To put it simply, it’s a feature that disconnects your device from the web if its connection to your VPN’s server gets cut.
Split Tunneling – Like many of its rivals in the industry, ExpressVPN lets you access selected apps and sites freely. I personally find this feature useful for managing my finances online.
- Excellent security thanks to a large RAM-based network
- Has itself regularly subjected to independent audits
- Maintains wonderfully-crafted applications
- A breeze to download, install, and utilize
- Is fast and has superb unblocking capabilities
- Don’t have many features to offer
- Lacks a kill switch for iOS devices
CyberGhost is a VPN based in Romania. The provider is considered to be among one of the world’s best. Needless to say, it has excellent applications, loads of features, and more than 7000 server locations scattered across the globe.
CyberGhost plays host to a multitude of features. Although most of them are free, some need to be paid for to be accessed.
Now with all that being said, here are CyberGhost’s exclusive offerings:
NoSpy Servers – CyberGhost has special NoSpy servers that are dedicated to security. These servers are all privately-owned and RAM-based.
Data Compression (Android Only) – The Android app of CyberGhost has data compression. It is this feature that helps this app run so smoothly even on older Android phones.
Secret Photo Vault (iOS Only) – iOS users who subscribe to CyberGhost shall be entitled to a secret photo vault where you can store your private images.
Dedicated IP Address (Paid Add-On Feature) – For an additional fee, CyberGhost allows you to create a dedicated IP address to further increase your security level.
Password Manager (Paid Add-On Feature) – Managing passwords can be hard. CyberGhost is aware of this and has developed a password manager as a paid add-on feature.
- Comes with a plethora of features
- Has very user-friendly apps
- Supports all major VPN protocols
- Maintains over 7000 servers globally
- Easily gets around geo-restrictions
- Is not the most budget-friendly option
- Protocol support varies from platform to platform
- Not all features are freely available
- Unable to bypass China’s Great Firewall
- Can be quite slow sometimes
Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access (PIA) is the only US-based VPN that’s a solid option. Even if it is based in a Five Eyes country, it has never compromised the security of its users. If anything, this alone is something that stands as a testament to the provider’s dedication to securing your digital life.
With PIA, you’ll be getting all the standard features that come with a VPN:
PIA MACE – Quite interestingly, Private Internet Access boasts one of the best ad & malware blockers in the industry. With it, you’re sure to avoid intrusive ads and viruses.
Kill Switch – As you might’ve already guessed, PIA has a kill switch that keeps you protected from unwanted online exposure.
Split Tunneling – The developers of PIA knew the importance of split tunneling. Because of that, they integrated the feature into all of their VPN’s applications and extensions.
- Support WireGuard
- Is excellent for torrenting
- Comes with a superb ad & malware blocker
- Has thousands of servers around the world
- Makes sure that you remain secure
- Based in a Five Eyes Alliance member state
- Subpar unblocking capabilities
- Can be rather slow at times
How We Test VPNs: Our Methodology
So how did we come up with our rankings for the best VPN services? Continue reading to find out the methodology that we utilized. That way, you’ll know full well what VPN provider to get.
Ease of Use
A VPN needs to be user-friendly on all the platforms it’s available on. After all, if a VPN provider is too complicated to utilize, many won’t get to take advantage of it. Because of that, all of our top VPNs are sure to boast wonderfully-made applications as well as extensions.
All VPNs that we’ve talked about use AES-256 encryption.
The reason why is because it is the best type of encryption that’s currently available to the public. Also, you should know that most militaries, financial institutions, and intelligence agencies use this kind of encryption too.
Number of Servers
Did you notice that all of the VPNs we talked about operate thousands of servers?
The reason why is because a VPN that’s got more servers is better. After all, it is equipped with the necessary infrastructure that’s required to keep you under the radar. Moreover, it’s also capable of providing you with more connectivity options, which is always a good thing.
No Logging Policy
Every single one of our top VPN providers has a solid zero-logging that guarantees that all your private data will remain private. In fact, some of our recommended providers utilize RAM-disk-enabled severs that completely cannot keep logging info.
Nothing is more annoying than a slow internet connection. With that in mind, VPN providers are notorious for making your connection speeds slow. However, some services have servers that don’t affect internet speeds. Meanwhile, others boast servers that can improve your connection.
For many, price is the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to choosing VPNs. Of course, this is only natural because nobody has an unlimited budget for their online security.
Putting It All Together
On the surface, it may seem like all VPNs are the same. However, each provider has its own set of quirks and features that differentiate it from all other VPNs. Naturally, some providers are better than others. Again, below is a list of our top VPN service providers this 2022:
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
Though every one of these VPNs is unique, it’s guaranteed that none of them shall leave you disappointed. After all, they’re equipped with the necessary specs and features to make sure that you are going to stay safeguarded whenever you go online on your computer or phone.