How to find the best VPN service: Your guide to staying safe on the internet

However, all of those come with pretty severe limitations. ExpressVPN supports up to three connections, but if you don't feel like it's going to fulfil your VPN needs then a 30-day money back guarantee means you can give it a whirl across a couple of devices and see if the performance and features on offer justify the price. The nation has an Internet use rate near 95% of the population that is supported by wide sweeping governmental support of broadband and broadband technology. Still, Iceland has also implemented data retention laws that force telecommunication companies to keep records for up to six months. While I tested these VPNs largely on iOS and Android, all of the ones I chose also support macOS and Windows, and many support Chrome OS and Linux. 5 5 9 Uzbekistan 50. Some services record the day your account logged on, the amount of data you used, and delete anything else when the session closes. Some VPNs also provide Layer 2 access to the target network; these will require a tunneling protocol like Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol running across the base IPsec connection.

The service offers a great variety of connection options, has a wide geographic reach with hundreds of servers, and presents an appealing, if minimal, user interface. If your VPN doesn’t have a server in the UK, you won’t be able to mask your IP address to one in the UK, and you won’t be able to access the content. The combination of the two was once thought to be very secure when properly implemented, but some VPN services suggest that you use OpenVPN instead. Countries that are members of the European Union are sometimes considered less favorable for privacy.

As with most full-fledged VPN services, you can connect directly from your operating system's network settings or use third-party OpenVPN software to do so.

TunnelBear scores plus points for privacy, too, with the company hiring independent specialists to run a public security audit on its servers, systems and code. So, our article on what are VPNs is a good place to start. Additionally, the NSA has been accused of taking advantage of the United States' critical position in data infrastructure, tapping the lines through which global internet traffic flows and allegedly copying it in real-time—perhaps ironically, given that the US makes the same argument against Huawei, as mentioned above. It offers one of the best money-back guarantee we've seen for VPN services, a full 45 days. Outside the US, it depends on what country you're in. One more thing regarding torrenting in the Netherlands is that you are legally not allowed to upload anything on the internet and this is exactly the thing that makes the whole situation rather interesting. Best of all, every one of these features are enabled by default, meaning CyberGhost is perfect for novice users.

They Are Always Watching You

Not to mention a logging policy whereby only your email address and billing information are kept on record. A VPN server is normally a standard server that is configured with VPN server software. First, you need to understand data protection laws; to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of those associated with that data, which means that your rights and freedoms aren’t violated. Switzerland has much more robust legal protections in place than either the US or other European countries.

While performance was generally good, some long-distance severs were very slow. But if you're in need of a serious VPN with deep capabilities, you'll want to look elsewhere in this directory. They may have the leading, state of the art cutting edge technology but without the savvy or experience to use it, and maintain it, properly connections speeds can be reduced dramatically. (06%, this was still a higher figure than quite a few other countries). These automated systems are designed to protect you from fraud, but can rarely tell the difference between a hacker and a user who’s simply on vacation. If you are connecting in order to hide your actual location, choose a server in the location in which you wish to be identified.

Why are your online speeds going to take a hit if you use a server that’s far away?

Looking for a VPN with Decent, Quality Server Locations?

There are generally two types of VPN kill switches. However, people who share something on the internet do not have a financial gain out of it. 95 for a month, only Pocket-lint readers can get it a $6. The first runs in the VPN client app on your computer, so if the VPN connection fails while the VPN client app is running, that VPN client app can turn off the computer or mobile device's internet connection. As you can see, there are legal fine lines involved in the matter and you certainly don’t want to get caught on a technicality here.

Geese, I was told, make excellent guard animals: 693 2 - 15 Bosnia & Herzegovina - 35. Many privacy oriented firms are based in this country, including Start Page, the privacy-focused search engine endorsed by Edward Snowden.

The company does not release information on the number of IP addresses available, but at 3,252, its server count is more than any of our other picks. They're attached to servers located, usually, throughout the world. If there’s one worry when it comes to using technology and the internet, it’s privacy.

Differently said, this country does not respond to other countries or international alliances when asked to hand over sensitive data.


What are the countries with the fastest Internet speeds? For VPN users, it is important to know that in 2020 the country’s officials said that unauthorized file sharing is actually not a problem and that it allows for downloading copyrighted content for personal use. This mobile browser for android lets you use vpn for free. 2020 hidemyass review (hma), that’s not such a big deal for those of us in the States, but for users elsewhere in the world, who want a quick and clean connection option, or if you are traveling the world, this is an excellent way to go. If you want to run your entire home or office on Surfshark's VPN, you don't have to worry about how many devices you have on or connected.

Performance was another highlight, with speedy UK and European servers, solid results from the US, and even the slowest Asian locations managing a very acceptable 20Mbps. 661 3 37 39 Argentina 28. All the information you send and receive online is scrambled and encrypted before it flies through the air and over the wires, keeping it safe from prying eyes. Some of the full-fledged VPN services block known malicious websites, just as some browsers do. If you've been shopping for a VPN service, you've undoubtedly come across a bunch of names like SSL, OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, PPP, PPTP, IKEv2/IPSec, SOCKS5, and more.

But what that doesn't reveal is the performance on show from StrongVPN, with some of the best connection speeds we've seen from any provider. A remote-access VPN uses public infrastructure like the internet to provide remote users secure access to their network. Download best vpn software for windows, we do all the heavy-lifting so you can stop sacrificing your security for convenience. Sweden comes in a distant 2nd in terms of average connection speeds.

Get Directions

The whole thing can be a bit confusing, though, which is why we’re here to demystify it all. Even a zero-logs VPN could be compromised within a nation with warrants and gag orders, and subscribers would never know. With a VPN, you not only prevent your activities from being monitored, but you can also easily bypass any blocking which might be in place. The biggest takeaway from this overview of privacy is that governments often change their policy on privacy protection based on the events that occur in their countries. Privacy and security are important whatever you’re using a Netflix VPN for, of course, with a ‘no logs’ policy and good encryption being definite must-haves. These companies often counter with the argument that the city's special rules make it an excellent location for private data.

If you want to stream movies in HD or even 4K, a slow or throttled connection won’t do the job. Anonymity for the people running a company that is supposed to be all about trust just doesn’t sit well with us. VPN use is legal in most countries, but, according to VPN provider CyberGhost, VPN use is illegal in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Why else might I need an IP address from another country?


This service comes with 256-bit encryption and protection against DNS, IPv6, WebRTC, and port forwarding leaks enabled by default. They have branch offices, departments, and divisions that are geographically dispersed. Many VPN services claim that if you pay their fee, they'll provide you unlimited data transmission and won't throttle your speeds. I managed to establish a downstream speed of around 20Mbps which is decent for the infrastructure there. To make downloads even faster you can use a SmartDNS proxy with VPN which fortunately, Le VPN has ready to go. While low compared to South Korea’s 27. Download speeds are mostly high, too, with only a few of the more unusual and out-of-the-way locations - Taiwan, Macao, the Maldives - lagging behind the rest. The app automatically connects to the best server and opens a browser window at the target site.

If you connect to a VPN server location that’s quite far from your own geographical location, you might experience slower connections. Even if you connect, your data can’t be intercepted. Your IT organization will generally advise you when you should use this feature, but as we've discussed, when away from your home or office, and especially if you're using an open, public Wi-Fi connection, you should.

You have the freedom to switch your servers without any restrictions as long as it takes care of your needs. On my trip to China last October, I relied heavily on ExpressVPN to use Google Maps to check what town I was in, read up on the latest Hong Kong politics, and check Twitch streams. Just choose a geo-blocked service from the list - Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, more - and the app automatically connects to the best server and opens a browser window at the target site. This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Unblock banned apps and software like Skype and enjoy free internet benefits.

Privacy, Anonymity, And Trust

But if you have a specific goal, you need to choose the right one. Some studies show that over 90% of internet users download music via torrents daily. The full-fledged VPN services have online instructions for how to do this, as well as how to set up routers to connect directly to the services. Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether or not a VPN server is the ideal choice or not:

Not everyone gets the fastest Internet and that is a shame. Many travelers mistakenly believe that just because they're not citizens, and all they're doing is linking back to a corporate system, they should be able to have unrestricted use of VPN software. You might be surprised to see Malaysia on this list. Do keep in mind though that this is a ranking list, so my expectations are quite high. Certainly, if you're working on confidential information and connecting to work, you should use a VPN.

5mb/s and 5th with peak average speeds near 82. So if you want something much better than one of the best free VPN choices, Nord would be an obvious choice. What’s important to mention here is that Spain protects data supplied by companies established as well as located outside of this country. In terms of regulation Japan’s Internet is among the least regulated, relying on a system of self-regulation implemented by the businesses that operate across the web. Thanks to more than 400 servers located across 80 locations, and support for five devices ranging from Windows PCs to Android and iOS smartphones, KeepSolid provides a VPN service with solid performance and a decent range of configuration options, without becoming too complex for the average user.


The VPN installation is simple and takes no more than two minutes. What really sets this service apart from the others is its customer support. DSL and broadband over the phone are the number one means of access due to the high cost of fiber optics. What happens if a VPN connection fails while I'm on a remote connection? If you’re in a hurry, just skip to the “Conclusion” part to get a quick summary.

VPN services: what can I use them for?

Windscribe is a capable VPN service which delivers more than you might expect in many areas. This prevents outsiders from monitoring you or stealing your sensitive personal information. It has native support built into Windows, Android and older versions of Mac OS X and iOS; Apple dropped support with macOS Sierra and iOS 10. Others, like SSTP, are proprietary to one company or another.

I have less of a concern with services that just monitor bandwidth usage, as long as they don't store any specifics. Nord's actions following the discovery included -- eventually -- multiple security audits, a bug bounty program and heavier investments in server security. France fell out of the top 5 best countries due to a high rate of computers being infected with malware (over 15%). Free ways to learn more about a service - free plans, trial periods, refund periods - were important, and we also looked for companies which maintain your privacy when you signed up (no email address required, trials available without credit cards, Bitcoin available as a payment option). While there arguably isn’t much mass surveillance in Afghanistan, Panama, or certain nations in the Caribbean or Africa, these locations are not suitable due to the absence of the rule of law and, more importantly, a lack of advanced IT infrastructure and talent.

TunnelBear is also proficient at protecting privacy thank to avoiding logging session data and IP addresses assigned to the account, and applying 256-bit encryption to connections. In countries that do restrict VPN use there’s often a distinction between approved and unapproved ones. H/t to CasperFace for putting together the list and to warlock56 for updating the list. Be aware that not every server will work – it’s best to contact the provider’s customer assistance to see which servers are working on a particular date. 758 5 45 57 Austria 25. First of all, you need to know that Switzerland is not in the European Union and it’s not part of the Five Eyes alliance. L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with Internet Protocol Security):