Best Secure VPN Services of 2021
There are hundreds of commercial VPNs out there, which can make it difficult to pick one as they seem to offer identical features. Each buyer has their own preferences which VPN capabilities are most important to them. To make your buying decision easier, we’ve reviewed the best and most secure VPN providers for 2021.
Our ranking criteria
In this review of VPN solutions, privacy and anonymity were very important considerations. Although all of our VPN service providers require strong security protocols and a “no-logs policy”, the best way to ensure safety is to have your VPN data located outside the Fourteen Eyes region. However, our review also includes several providers in the US, UK, and Sweden due to their support for cryptocurrency payments, IP switching, or other less invasive technologies.
On the performance front, we’ve sought VPN connections that really deliver at high speeds with split tunneling or related features. The start of IKEv2 and Wireguard protocol in VPN services is a game changer. We’ve also taken into account consistent and stable server locations.
Having a large number of VPN servers in many countries was another important criterion, especially with as many servers as possible located in the US. Reasonable pricing was a last but important factor: some VPNs are worth the extra cost.
Here are the best and most secure VPN providers:
evaluation: (4.9 / 5)
- Located in the British Virgin Islands outside the Fourteen Eyes, Bitcoin Payments and Wireguard Support, Unlimited Hardware, Split Tunnels, Easily Unwrap Netflix, High Reliable Speeds, Low Prices
Located in the British Virgin Islands, SurfShark is really outside of the “Fourteen Eyes” and has a great no-logs policy that doesn’t require your ID. This means that the VPN provider can help you really hide your identity by not asking for any personal details at the time of registration. It lists almost all of our selection criteria to provide a truly great VPN experience.
The whitelist feature with split tunneling allows you to have specific important applications that bypass the VPN. For example, Mobile Banking: No need to disconnect from the VPN while performing financial transactions. It supports Wireguard and Clean Web for fast and clutter-free malware removal, and with Double VPN, you get extremely strong privacy. It contains more than 15 Netflix libraries, which can guarantee access to the streaming site.
Another excellent feature of SurfShark is its ability to connect to unlimited devices at the same time. Most VPN operators have limitations on the number of devices you can connect to at one time, so Surfshark’s deals are one of the best all-in-one deals, considering it’s very low in price compared to most others.
- Located in the British Virgin Islands outside the Fourteen Eyes, Bitcoin payments, fastest connection speeds, running in China, variety of servers, easy Netflix decoders, split tunneling, IKVe2 support, best customer service
ExpressVPN is a great VPN solution with fast speeds, very reliable and has a reliable no-logs policy since it is located in the British Virgin Islands. With over 3,000 remote servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN delivers consistent performance anywhere you choose. The app’s performance in downloading streaming content is unparalleled. No matter where you live, you will never fail to connect to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or download torrents. Also, ExpressVPN rarely disconnects your connection: when it does, a kill switch will ensure that none of your ISP’s data is exposed.
For faster speeds, you can use IKEv2 which almost gives you back what your ISP offers. If there are any issues, the 24/7 live chat team is always there to help you and based on my own experience they are knowledgeable and quick to respond.
Are there drawbacks? Yes, ExpressVPN does not yet have some advanced features such as WireGuard support, dual VPN capabilities, or IP switching. But those who think there is a lot of focus on VPN speed performance with split tunneling and true privacy might not miss it. Also, it’s an expensive solution, but if you go for a longer plan, it’s even cheaper: ExpressVPN supports Bitcoin payments to completely anonymize.
- Located in Panama Outside Fourteen Eyes Bitcoin Payments Fastest Connection Speeds Operates in China Variety of Servers Wireguard and IKVe2 Support Double VPN Dedicated IP Reasonable Price
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers, which is quite understandable given its breadth of features, especially the strongest security encryption (RSA 4096). Although the company badly faced a server breach loop in 2019, it has now patched the vulnerabilities but it has some issues due to the lack of split tunneling and somewhat confusing customer support. With nearly 5,500 servers in 59 countries, of which nearly 2,000 are in the US, you can get a wide-ranging VPN platform.
NordVPN supports several specialized servers, including dedicated IP, dual VPN, onion over VPN, and select servers for P2P downloads. However, during actual use, some connections may appear broken or unreliable, but they are constantly updated to keep up with sites that block VPN traffic. It has also started rolling out the updated WireGuard protocol as of April 22, 2020, which makes servers significantly faster than before. NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, outside of the “Fourteen Eyes” area, which is a plus for privacy lovers. NordVPN is generally an affordable service based on a longer subscription.
4. Private Internet Access
evaluation: (4.5 / 5)
Why private internet access?
- Huge server selection worldwide with 6000+ US servers, Bitcoin payments, fastest connection speeds, adding apps to VPN, Wireguard support, split tunneling, and micro-packets for faster speeds
With 12,970 servers in 95 locations across 74 countries, Private Internet Access offers a truly extensive VPN network with no less than 6,500 locations in the US. So if you’re looking to keep up with sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Wikipedia, you’ll have a lot more options than other VPN providers. It also offers split VPN where you can add your favorite apps, browsers and IP addresses to navigate through the secure tunnel. Or, if you have sensitive websites like bank accounts, you can choose to bypass the VPN. The service allows you to use up to AES-256 security with an RSA-4096 handshake, which is true military-grade encryption.
The best part about Private Internet Access is its support for WireGuard across all of its servers. You can also choose to split your traffic into smaller packets, ensuring reliability on poor internet connections. Server speeds are fast and reliable, and with a large selection of servers located in the US, Private Internet Access should definitely remain high in your consideration. However, since the company is headquartered in Colorado, USA, those who do not want a US-based VPN provider will have to think carefully.
5. Mullvad VPN
evaluation: (4.5 / 5)
- Best for Firefox Users, Bitcoin Payments, Fastest Connection Speeds, Comprehensive Wireguard Support, Segmented Tunneling, and Small Packages for Faster Speeds
Mullvad VPN is the official partner of Firefox, which makes it worthy of our attention. After downloading, you get a login account number, which allows you to explore its range of features. It is a reliable and high speed VPN with the significant drawback that the company is based in Sweden, within the Fourteen Eyes region. But you can use Bitcoin payments.
The app has some advanced features, such as IPv6 support and your internet connection which always requires a VPN. This is something we wouldn’t recommend, as it can be messy and has been poorly designed. However, its strongest capability is Wireguard support, and you can clearly see which servers it supports.
Mullvad has around 750 servers in 36 countries, which is a slightly smaller number, but there is a huge selection of US-based Wireguard servers that can be used with refurbished keys. The speeds are very reliable.
6. Hotspot Shield
Why Hotspot Shield?
- Bitcoin support, Fastest connection speeds with Speedtest support, Add apps to VPN, Whitelist and blacklist feature, Extensive Wireguard support
With over 1,800 servers in 80 countries, Hotspot Shield is another reliable VPN solution that comes with added benefits, such as malware and phishing prevention and a strict no-logs policy. According to Speedtest.net, it has been voted as the “World’s Fastest VPN”, which, combined with its ability for military-grade encryption, makes it worthy of our attention. The big drawback is that the company is based in Silicon Valley, USA, so those who need a non-US VPN provider may look for other options.
In terms of security and privacy features, Hotspot Shield has a rather impressive profile. It offers a smart VPN feature, which allows specific apps and websites to be whitelisted or blacklisted as per your choice. So if using a VPN in another country prevents you from accessing Google or banking sites, this feature can help you bypass the VPN for those specific services. It has a proprietary Hydra protocol that can ensure fast and secure connections for gaming, streaming, downloading, P2P and related activities.
Hotspot Shield has a Speedtest button to give you reliable values. All of these features make Hotspot Shield a standout recommendation. However, there are some caveats for streaming users: some servers may not unblock Netflix or Amazon Prime Video properly. Hotspot Shield also does not support split tunneling.
- Based in Romania outside Fourteen Eyes Affordable Bitcoin Support Reliable high connection speeds Extensive server pool in many countries Wireguard support
Romania-based CyberGhost is a military-grade VPN provider at an affordable price. CyberGhost currently has nearly 7,000 servers in 90 countries. Connection speeds are fast and reliable for most servers but may leave a lot to be desired compared to our other examples. However, only last month the company made a contribution to WireGuard which should now put it in the top category of VPN providers.
To ensure anonymity online, you can choose not to send usage data and not to have CyberGhost turned on at the time your computer starts up. It has a built-in Wi-Fi security feature to prevent snooping on public networks. Overall, CyberGhost is a good value for money VPN provider due to its modest selection of reliable servers and cheap prices.
- Based in Switzerland out of Fourteen Eyes, Bitcoin Support, Wireguard Support
Switzerland-based ProtonVPN comes from the same family of products as Protonmail, one of the most secure email services out there. It supports more than 700 servers in more than 50 countries, with a large number of servers in the United States and the European Union. Depending on whether you are in the Western Hemisphere or Eurasia, your connection speeds will be very high for a location near you. ProtonVPN guarantees your privacy by not logging user activity or sharing data with third parties. In fact, news owed reporters use this service to remain free of surveillance. This is achieved using the “Secure Core” network feature.
ProtonVPN also connects to Tor for a double VPN arrangement. Supports up to 10…
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