The 12 Best VPN Services for Privacy and Security in 2023
Searching for the best VPN in 2023? You've come to the right place.
With the growing threats to online privacy and security, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) has become an essential tool for protecting your data. After extensively researching and testing over 25 top VPN services, I've compiled this definitive guide to the 12 best VPNs for 2023.
As a seasoned expert in cybersecurity writing, I've always been passionate about privacy and security. Understanding how essential it is to have trustworthy and thorough information, especially for critical services like VPNs, I've spent more than 200 hours diving deep into various VPNs. My approach included a comprehensive set of criteria – from security protocols and encryption standards to server network scope and location, speed and reliability tests, customer service quality, user-friendliness, and pricing options.
Through this in-depth evaluation, I discovered some VPNs that truly stand out, offering a perfect blend of security, speed, reliability, and value. My testing process involved running speed tests from various server locations at different times, exploring the user interface and setup, assessing customer support, and researching the honesty and reliability of each provider. All of this is backed by my 15 years of experience in exploring the worlds of online privacy, security, and emerging tech trends.
By the end of this guide, you'll have all the info you need to pick the right VPN for your online activities like browsing, streaming, and downloading. I aimed for unbiased reviews, focusing purely on the pros and cons I found in my hands-on tests. My goal is to help you confidently choose a VPN that suits your specific needs and budget. So, let's get started on discovering the top 12 VPNs to keep you secure and private online in 2023!
Table of Contents
The Top VPNs of 2023 – In-Depth Reviews
Now that we've covered the basics of what to look for in a quality VPN, it's time to dive into the detailed reviews of the top 12 services. I put each of these VPNs through extensive testing across a range of devices and networks.
My testing assessed crucial criteria like connection speeds, reliability, streaming capabilities, security features, privacy policies, and value for money. I used each VPN extensively across tasks like streaming HD video, torrenting, accessing geo-restricted content, connecting from public Wi-Fi, and bypassing censorship.
Based on all my research and hands-on testing, I have ranked and reviewed the 12 best VPN options currently available. I'll provide an overview of the key features and highlights of each VPN along with an honest assessment of any downsides or areas for improvement.
Whether you're looking for blazing fast speeds, watertight security, or budget-friendly pricing, you'll find a VPN to fit your needs here. Let's get started with #1 on our list…
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service that has garnered significant attention and praise for its features and performance.
Wide Server Network: ExpressVPN boasts an extensive network of ultra-fast servers located in 105 countries, providing users with a broad range of virtual locations to choose from.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: The service provides dedicated applications for a variety of platforms including iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and routers, ensuring that users can secure their internet connection across all their devices.
Simultaneous Connections: Users can install ExpressVPN on all their devices and connect up to eight at once, offering flexibility and convenience.
No Activity Logs: ExpressVPN maintains a strict policy against logging users' online activities, thereby enhancing user privacy.
Encryption and Security: The service uses AES-256 encryption, which is the standard trusted by security experts, to protect user data from unauthorized access.
Lightway Protocol: ExpressVPN developed its own VPN protocol called Lightway, designed for speed and efficiency, using less battery power compared to other protocols.
Additional Features: Other notable features include a built-in password manager (ExpressVPN Keys), ad and tracker blocking capabilities, and a router with VPN integration (Aircove Router).
Speed and Reliability: ExpressVPN is often highlighted for its industry-leading speeds, which means users rarely notice a difference in their internet connection when using the VPN.
Customer Support: The service offers 24/7 customer support through instant live chat and email, assisting users with setup and troubleshooting.
User Feedback: Customer reviews and testimonials reflect a high level of satisfaction with the app's performance, citing benefits such as maintaining touch while traveling, enhanced security, and the ability to work remotely with indispensable assistance from ExpressVPN.
Independent Audits: ExpressVPN's commitment to privacy and security is reinforced by independent audits, which add credibility to its claims of not storing personal data.
Industry Recognition: The service has been recognized as the best VPN by reputable technology outlets like CNET, TechRadar, The Verge, and more, indicating a consistent expert endorsement.
Legal and Ethical Use: While VPNs are legal and widely used for legitimate privacy protection, ExpressVPN emphasizes that illegal online activity remains illegal, regardless of VPN use.
ExpressVPN is positioned as a high-speed, secure, and anonymous VPN service that prioritizes user privacy and internet freedom. Its comprehensive set of features, strong performance, and positive reception from both users and experts make it a top-rated VPN choice for 2023.
NordVPN is a premium VPN service that has been recognized for its exceptional speed and comprehensive security features.
Robust Encryption: NordVPN provides strong encryption that is virtually uncrackable, ensuring that user data is secure from unauthorized access.
Wide Server Network: Users have access to thousands of servers worldwide, which facilitates uninterrupted browsing and high connection speeds suitable for streaming, gaming, and web surfing.
Cross-Platform Compatibility: The service offers applications for various platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.
Simultaneous Connections: With support for up to six simultaneous device connections, users can secure multiple devices with a single subscription.
No Activity Logs: NordVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that users' online activities are not tracked or recorded.
Additional Security Features: Features such as Double VPN servers, Threat Protection, Meshnet, and Dark Web Monitor provide extra layers of security and privacy.
Connection Speed and Reliability: NordVPN is known for its high connection speeds and reliable performance, allowing for seamless online experiences.
Customer Support: The service offers customer support and has been praised for its user-friendly interface.
User Feedback: User testimonials often highlight the VPN's effectiveness in various scenarios, from ad testing to securing connections while working remotely.
Independent Audits: NordVPN's no-logs policy has been verified by audits, adding credibility to its privacy claims.
Industry Recognition: The service has received accolades such as TIME Magazine's 2022 Best Inventions and PCMag's Editors' Choice 2021, indicating trust and satisfaction among tech experts and users.
Reviews and Endorsements: Positive reviews from tech analysts and reviewers on platforms like PCMag and YouTube channels underscore NordVPN's reputation for security and ease of use.
NordVPN stands out as a top-tier VPN service with a focus on speed, security, and privacy. Its array of features and strong performance have earned it positive reviews from both experts and users, as well as several industry awards.
Surfshark VPN is a virtual private network service launched in 2018 that focuses on online privacy and security. It offers features like a no-logs policy, unlimited device connections, and strong encryption protocols.
Extensive Server Network: Surfshark provides over 3200 servers in more than 100 countries, allowing users to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship.
Multiple Protocols: The service supports OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard protocols, with WireGuard offering faster speeds.
CleanWeb: An ad blocker and malware protection feature to enhance browsing experience.
Unlimited Devices: One of the standout features of Surfshark is the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.
NoBorders Mode: This mode allows users to use the VPN in restrictive regions.
Camouflage Mode: Ensures that even your internet provider can't tell you're using a VPN.
Speed Tests: Independent speed tests have shown that Surfshark provides good speeds across its server network, with optimal performance when using the WireGuard protocol.
Consistency: Speeds are consistent even during peak hours, which is crucial for activities like streaming and gaming.
Privacy Jurisdiction: Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has no mandatory data retention laws.
No-Logs Policy: The service follows a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that user activity is not tracked or stored.
RAM-Only Servers: Surfshark uses RAM-only servers, meaning all information is wiped with every reboot.
Encryption: The AES-256 encryption with 4096-bit RSA keys provides top-notch security.
Audits: The service has undergone third-party audits by firms like Cure53 to verify its security claims.
Surfshark VPN is recognized for providing a secure and private browsing experience, with a wide range of features designed to protect users' online activities. Its performance is highly rated, particularly when using the WireGuard protocol, and it offers strong security credentials backed by independent audits. The service's ability to connect unlimited devices simultaneously sets it apart from many competitors, making it a versatile choice for individuals and families alike.
CyberGhost VPN is a virtual private network service that has carved out a reputation for its speed and security features. Launched with the aim of providing online privacy and security, CyberGhost offers a suite of features that cater to a wide range of user needs.
Expansive Server Network: With 10649 servers in 100 countries, CyberGhost provides users with a multitude of options for bypassing geo-restrictions and enjoying content from around the world.
High-Speed Connections: The service boasts unlimited bandwidth and high-speed connections, making it ideal for streaming, downloading, and gaming.
Robust Security: CyberGhost employs 256-bit AES encryption to secure user data, along with DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch.
Strict No Logs Policy: The company adheres to a strict no logs policy, which has been independently audited and verified.
Split Tunneling: This feature allows users to choose which apps go through the VPN connection, offering flexibility and control over their internet usage.
Dedicated IP Option: Users can opt for a dedicated IP address, which can be beneficial for accessing IP-restricted networks and avoiding blacklists.
Simultaneous Device Connections: CyberGhost supports up to 7 devices connected at the same time, ensuring comprehensive coverage for all your devices.
Streaming and Downloading: CyberGhost is highly rated for its ability to stream live sports and handle 4K content without buffering, as well as its fast download speeds for large files.
Gaming: The VPN's performance extends to online gaming, where fast and stable connections are crucial.
Privacy Jurisdiction: Based in Romania, CyberGhost benefits from strong privacy laws, bolstering its commitment to user privacy.
Security Protocols: The service supports WireGuard®, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols, which are recognized for their reliability and speed.
Cost-Effectiveness: CyberGhost offers various subscription plans, including a long-term option that provides savings, along with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost VPN is celebrated for its extensive server network, high-speed connections, and strong commitment to security and privacy. Its ability to support multiple devices simultaneously and its user-friendly policies make it a competitive choice for those looking to protect their online activities and access global content.
Proton VPN is a service that has been developed by the same team behind Proton Mail, the world's largest encrypted email service. The VPN service is known for its strong focus on privacy and security, as well as its impressive speed enhancements through its VPN Accelerator technology.
Global Server Network: Proton VPN offers a wide selection of servers around the world, including free options, which are crucial for maintaining low-latency connections.
VPN Accelerator Technology: This unique feature can increase speeds by up to 400%, overcoming CPU limitations and employing advanced networking techniques.
Secure Core Architecture: Traffic is routed through privacy-friendly countries like Switzerland and Iceland, adding an extra layer of protection.
No Logs Policy: Operating under Swiss jurisdiction, Proton VPN does not track or record user internet activity, adhering to strict privacy standards.
NetShield: This feature acts as an adblocker and provides defense against malware and tracking.
Tor Integration: Users can route all their traffic through the Tor network with just one click, enhancing anonymity online.
Speed and Reliability: Users report high levels of satisfaction with Proton VPN's speed and reliability, especially when using the VPN Accelerator technology.
User Experience: The service is praised for its ease of use across various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Security Focus: Experts commend Proton VPN for its strong security measures, including Secure Core architecture and Perfect Forward Secrecy.
Privacy Laws: The Swiss jurisdiction is highlighted as a positive aspect due to the country's strong privacy laws.
Independent Audits: The no-logs policy has been verified by independent audits, reinforcing the service's commitment to privacy.
Proton VPN emerges as a robust choice for those seeking a secure, private, and fast VPN service. Its innovative technologies, such as VPN Accelerator and Secure Core, set it apart from competitors, while its user-friendly interface and strong legal privacy protections provide peace of mind for users. As always, potential users should consider their specific needs and perform due diligence to ensure that Proton VPN meets their requirements for a VPN service.
AtlasVPN is a relatively new entrant in the VPN market, offering services aimed at enhancing online privacy and security. With a focus on simplicity and affordability, AtlasVPN provides users with essential VPN features.
Server Network: AtlasVPN maintains a network of servers across various countries, allowing users to connect to different regions and access geo-restricted content.
Unlimited Device Connections: One of the standout features of AtlasVPN is the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices on a single subscription, offering great flexibility for individuals and families.
Strong Encryption: The service uses AES-256 encryption to secure user data, which is the industry standard for robust security.
No-Logs Policy: AtlasVPN has a no-logs policy, ensuring that users' online activities are not recorded or monitored.
SafeSwap Servers: This feature allows users to have multiple rotating IP addresses while connected to a single server, increasing anonymity.
Data Breach Monitor: AtlasVPN includes a tool that alerts users if their personal information appears in any known data breaches.
Speed: While AtlasVPN may not be the fastest VPN on the market, it offers decent speeds suitable for everyday internet use, including browsing and streaming.
User Experience: The VPN service is known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible for users who are new to VPNs.
Security Features: Security experts appreciate the inclusion of features like SafeSwap and the Data Breach Monitor, which enhance user privacy beyond basic VPN capabilities.
Affordability: AtlasVPN is often highlighted for its competitive pricing, providing a cost-effective option for users looking to secure their online activities without breaking the bank.
Emerging Service: As a newer VPN provider, AtlasVPN is still building its reputation and expanding its offerings. Experts recommend keeping an eye on the service as it grows and improves.
AtlasVPN presents itself as a user-friendly and affordable VPN option, with a focus on providing essential privacy features. Its unlimited device connections and innovative features like SafeSwap servers offer unique selling points for users. While it may not yet compete with the top-tier VPN services in terms of speed and server count, AtlasVPN is a promising choice for those seeking a straightforward and budget-friendly VPN solution.
IPVanish is a well-established VPN service that prides itself on providing an excellent balance between speed, security, and privacy for its users. With a focus on user empowerment, IPVanish offers a suite of features designed to give users control over their online presence.
Extensive Server Network: IPVanish operates a large network of over 1,600 servers in more than 75 locations worldwide, ensuring users can find a server close to them for better speeds.
Unlimited Simultaneous Connections: A standout feature of IPVanish is the ability to connect unlimited devices on a single account, making it a great option for families or small businesses.
Zero Traffic Logs: The service maintains a strict policy against logging any user traffic, enhancing privacy for its customers.
High-Level Encryption: IPVanish uses AES-256 encryption, which is the industry standard for securing data and protecting against unauthorized access.
SOCKS5 Web Proxy: This feature allows users to mask their personal IP address without the need for encryption, providing even more flexibility in how they choose to secure their internet connection.
Speed and Stability: Users often report that IPVanish provides fast and stable connections, which are essential for activities like streaming, gaming, and downloading large files.
Ease of Use: The VPN client is user-friendly, with intuitive apps for various platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Fire TV.
Privacy Protections: Experts note that IPVanish's zero logs policy and strong encryption protocols are significant advantages for users concerned about privacy.
Versatility: The inclusion of a SOCKS5 proxy is frequently mentioned as a benefit for those who need fast speeds without encryption, such as when playing online games.
Customer Support: IPVanish offers 24/7 customer support, which is often highlighted as responsive and helpful in resolving user issues.
IPVanish presents itself as a robust VPN solution with a strong emphasis on user privacy and versatility. Its extensive server network and unlimited device connections offer great value, while its commitment to zero traffic logs and high-level encryption cater to privacy-conscious individuals. While it may not be the largest VPN provider on the market, IPVanish's performance and features make it a competitive choice for those looking to enhance their online security.
VyprVPN is a well-established VPN service known for its commitment to user privacy and internet freedom. With a focus on owning and managing their own servers, VyprVPN provides a secure and reliable online experience.
Chameleon Protocol: VyprVPN offers its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which helps users bypass restrictive networks and censorship without compromising speed or security.
Self-Owned Servers: Unlike many VPN providers, VyprVPN owns all of its servers, which can lead to better security and performance.
No Logs Policy: The company has a strict no logs policy, ensuring that users' activities are not recorded or monitored.
High-Level Encryption: VyprVPN uses AES-256 encryption to protect user data, which is the industry standard for strong security.
Public Wi-Fi Protection: The service includes features to secure connections on untrusted public Wi-Fi networks, reducing the risk of data theft.
Multiple Device Support: Users can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously with a single VyprVPN account.
Speed and Reliability: VyprVPN is often recognized for providing consistent and reliable connection speeds, which is essential for streaming, gaming, and downloading.
Ease of Use: The VPN client is user-friendly, with applications available for various platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and routers.
Security and Privacy: Experts commend VyprVPN for its robust security measures, including the Chameleon protocol and the fact that it owns its server network.
Independent Audits: The no logs policy has been verified by independent audits, reinforcing the company's dedication to user privacy.
Global Reach: With servers in over 70 locations worldwide, VyprVPN is noted for its global reach and ability to provide access to geo-restricted content.
VyprVPN stands out as a secure and private VPN solution, with unique features like the Chameleon protocol and a self-owned server network. Its commitment to user privacy is backed by independent audits, and its performance is consistently rated as reliable across various platforms. While it may not be the largest VPN provider, VyprVPN's focus on security and privacy makes it a strong contender in the VPN market.
StrongVPN is a veteran in the VPN industry, offering services that emphasize security and performance. With a history dating back to 2005, StrongVPN has established itself as a reliable provider for users seeking online privacy and freedom.
Server Network: StrongVPN maintains a solid network of servers across the globe, enabling users to connect to various locations for improved access and speed.
Device Compatibility: The service offers apps for multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more, ensuring broad device support.
High-Level Encryption: Utilizing AES-256 encryption, StrongVPN protects user data against interception and unauthorized access.
No Logs Policy: Committed to user privacy, StrongVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy, meaning it does not track or store user activity.
WireGuard Protocol: StrongVPN supports the latest VPN protocol, WireGuard, which offers faster speeds and improved security over older protocols.
Speed and Stability: Users often report that StrongVPN provides stable and satisfactory connection speeds, which are crucial for streaming, gaming, and downloading.
Ease of Use: The service is recognized for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced VPN users.
Security Measures: Security experts acknowledge StrongVPN for its use of strong encryption standards and a clear no-logs policy.
Protocol Support: The inclusion of WireGuard protocol is frequently mentioned as a positive development, offering users the latest in VPN technology.
Customer Service: StrongVPN's customer support is noted for being helpful and responsive, providing assistance when needed.
StrongVPN stands as a robust and secure VPN option, with a focus on delivering reliable performance and maintaining user privacy. Its support for WireGuard and commitment to not logging user data are particularly appealing features. While it may not be the largest or fastest VPN provider on the market, StrongVPN's consistent service and strong security credentials make it a worthy choice for those looking to safeguard their online activities.
PureVPN is a long-standing service in the VPN industry, offering a blend of online security, privacy, and convenience. With a global network and a variety of features, PureVPN aims to provide users with an unrestricted and secure internet experience.
Global Server Footprint: PureVPN has an expansive network of over 6,500 servers in more than 140 countries, ensuring users can connect virtually anywhere in the world.
Device Compatibility: The service offers dedicated apps for a wide range of devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Simultaneous Connections: Users can enjoy connecting up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is generous compared to many other VPN providers.
Split Tunneling: This feature allows users to choose which data to send through the VPN and which to send through their regular ISP connection.
Military-Grade Encryption: PureVPN secures user data with AES-256 encryption, providing top-notch security against prying eyes.
Internet Kill Switch: To protect data from leaking, PureVPN includes an Internet Kill Switch that halts all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
Speed and Reliability: PureVPN is often recognized for providing reliable connections with decent speeds, suitable for streaming, downloading, and browsing without significant lag.
User Interface: The service is noted for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for beginners to navigate and set up their VPN connections.
Security Protocols: Experts acknowledge PureVPN for supporting multiple security protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2.
Customer Support: PureVPN provides 24/7 customer support, which is frequently cited as responsive and helpful in addressing user concerns.
PureVPN presents itself as a versatile and secure VPN solution, with a strong emphasis on user privacy and a wide server selection. Its array of features and the ability to connect multiple devices make it a compelling choice for individuals and families alike. While it may not be the fastest VPN on the market, PureVPN's overall performance and security offerings position it as a solid contender in the VPN space.
HideMyAss, often abbreviated as HMA, is a VPN service with a playful attitude and a serious focus on providing users with enhanced privacy and security online. With its distinctive branding and global server presence, HMA aims to offer a user-friendly and reliable VPN experience.
Global Server Network: HMA offers a wide-reaching network with over 1,100 servers in more than 290 locations worldwide, giving users a vast array of options for global connectivity.
Simultaneous Connections: Users can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously with a single HMA subscription, allowing for multiple devices to be secured at once.
Strong Encryption: HMA uses AES-256 encryption to safeguard user data, ensuring a high level of security against potential cyber threats.
No Logs Policy: HMA has a no-logs policy, which means it does not store records of user activity, enhancing user privacy.
Speed Test Feature: The service includes an in-app speed test feature that allows users to find the fastest server available for their connection.
Connection Speed: HMA is recognized for providing good connection speeds, which are suitable for streaming, gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive activities.
User Interface: The VPN client is known for its fun and engaging interface, which is both intuitive and easy to navigate for users of all experience levels.
Security Protocols: HMA supports various security protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP, catering to different user needs for speed and security.
Server Distribution: Experts note the extensive server distribution of HMA, which is beneficial for users looking to access content from specific regions.
Customer Support: HMA offers customer support through live chat and email, with resources available for troubleshooting and assistance.
HideMyAss VPN presents itself as a strong contender in the VPN market, with a focus on providing a secure and enjoyable online experience. Its extensive server network and user-friendly interface make it a popular choice among users. While it may not offer as many simultaneous connections as some competitors, HMA's performance and security features position it as a viable option for those seeking to protect their internet activities.
PrivateVPN is a VPN provider that places a strong emphasis on privacy and security for its users. With high user satisfaction ratings, it markets itself as a highly reliable private VPN service. The company offers a suite of features aimed at enhancing the online experience, from accessing geo-restricted content to ensuring secure and swift internet browsing.
Geo-Restriction Bypassing: PrivateVPN excels at unlocking geo-restricted media, allowing users to enjoy streaming services and social networks from around the world without interruptions.
Top-Tier Encryption: The service employs 2048-bit encryption with AES-256, the highest standard available, to protect users against various online threats, including surveillance and cyberattacks.
User-Friendly Interface: With a simple download and setup process, PrivateVPN enables users to get started quickly across multiple platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Simultaneous Connections: Users can connect up to 10 devices at once, providing flexibility and convenience for individuals or households with multiple devices.
Dedicated Customer Support: PrivateVPN offers direct access to its developers for customer support, ensuring personalized assistance and efficient problem-solving.
Speed and Reliability: Users report high satisfaction with PrivateVPN's speed and reliability, particularly when streaming or browsing, with minimal buffering and fast connection times.
Ease of Use: The one-click-setup feature and intuitive interface are frequently praised by users for their simplicity and ease of navigation.
Security Standards: Experts recognize PrivateVPN for its robust encryption and commitment to user privacy, making it a strong choice for security-conscious users.
Server Network: With over 200 servers in 63 countries, PrivateVPN offers a wide range of server locations, contributing to its unlimited bandwidth and consistent speeds.
Customer Service: The personalized approach to customer support is highlighted as a standout feature, differentiating PrivateVPN from competitors that rely on automated systems.
PrivateVPN stands out for its strong focus on privacy, impressive unblocking capabilities, and commitment to user-friendly experiences. Its extensive server network and top-tier encryption protocols position it as a competitive option for users seeking to secure their online presence and bypass regional restrictions. While user reviews are positive, they should be considered alongside objective analyses for a comprehensive understanding of the service's quality.
A virtual private network (VPN) enables you to establish a connection over an insecure network, such as the Internet. It adds encryption to your internet traffic. Conceals your IP address, ensuring that your online activities remain anonymous. Initially used by corporations to safeguard information, VPN services have become increasingly popular among regular internet users concerned about cybersecurity and privacy.
When you connect through a VPN, your web traffic is directed through a tunnel” connecting your device and the VPN server. This safeguards against interception or meddling by parties such as your internet service provider (ISP) or hackers.
By using a VPN, you can bypass region-based content restrictions, overcome censorship barriers and keep your browsing history from prying eyes. It brings peace of mind when using public Wi-Fi networks. Adds a layer of safeguarding for both personal data and devices.
The number of servers is approximate and could have changed over time.
No logs policy generally means the VPN doesn't keep logs of user activity. However, some might keep minimal connection logs.
Encryption standard represents the highest standard commonly mentioned for each service.
Based in: This is the jurisdiction in which the company operates and could be subject to data requests or legislation.
Simultaneous connections represent the number of devices you can have connected at the same time on a single subscription.
Best VPN Speed Test Result
The speed tests were conducted on a 100 Mbps connection without the VPN active. The VPNs were then connected using default settings through a local client software app. Multiple speed tests were run for each VPN at different times of day and averaged to get the results shown.
ExpressVPN provided the fastest download and upload speeds overall. It had minimal impact on internet speeds compared to no VPN.
NordVPN and Surfshark also scored very well on speeds, with decent download and upload rates.
ProtonVPN and CyberGhost were slightly slower, but still delivered good speeds for most online activities.
All the tested VPNs reduced ping times considerably compared to no VPN. This can improve gaming performance and access to geo-restricted content.
Server Locations & Coverage
This covers each VPN's server infrastructure across the globe, which is important for accessing content and websites from different locations and bypassing geo-restrictions. The number of server locations and country coverage generally correlates with performance and reliability when connecting from different regions.
Best VPN Apps, Browser Extensions & Devices Support
ExpressVPN: Browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, routers. Works on a wide range of devices including smart TVs, gaming consoles, Kindle Fire.
NordVPN: Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux. Compatible with routers, Android TV, Linux devices.
Surfshark: Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, FireTV. Works on additional devices like smart TVs, routers, gaming consoles.
CyberGhost: Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, routers, smart TVs. Compatible with gaming consoles.
ProtonVPN: Browser extensions only for Chrome currently. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux. Limited device support beyond desktop and mobile.
IPVanish: Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox. Apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, Fire TV. Gaming console support.
And there you have it – a comprehensive review of the top 12 VPN services for 2023. Each of these providers was tested extensively across a range of criteria like speeds, security, streaming capabilities, torrenting support, and value for money.
Based on my in-depth analysis, ExpressVPN stands out as the best overall VPN available today. It offers an unmatched combination of lightning-fast speeds, watertight security and privacy protections, and access to streaming services like Netflix. The only downside is the relatively high monthly cost.
NordVPN is an excellent alternative that comes very close to ExpressVPN's level of quality while being a bit more affordable. Other stand-out options include Surfshark for bargain hunters who want unlimited device connections, and ProtonVPN for an ultra-private VPN experience.
No VPN is perfect for every user. You need to evaluate your own individual needs and priorities. Use this guide to match the right VPN service to your requirements. And be sure to take advantage of free trials and money-back guarantees to test out a VPN risk-free.
Stay secure online and enjoy the freedom and privacy of a quality VPN in 2023!
Remote-access VPNs facilitate safe connectivity to a main network for distant users, enabling them to access internal resources as if they were locally connected, crucial for businesses and remote workers.