The Best VPN Services Of 2024: Expert-Tested & Ranked

The Best VPN Services Of

The Best VPN Services Of 2024: VPNs have gained popularity in countries like India where cybersecurity firms store user data. To ensure maximum privacy, it is important to select a reliable VPN provider that prioritizes data safety. Consider factors such as server locations, security protocols, and customer support while choosing a provider. Avoid using free or low-cost VPN services that may sell user data to third parties. Instead, opt for a paid VPN service with a good reputation and reliable security features.Using a VPN can help protect your digital identity and sensitive information from cyber threats. However, it is important to take additional measures to safeguard your online privacy. For instance, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication can add an extra layer of protection in addition to using a VPN. It is also crucial to keep your software and devices up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.Moreover, investing in antivirus software can further enhance your device’s security against malware and other online threats. By following these measures, you can minimize the risk of online attacks and ensure maximum privacy while browsing the internet.

Outlines Of Guide

The Best VPN Services Of 2024

The Indian government’s recent decision has not impacted VPN companies, and they have assured their Indian consumers that their operations will continue seamlessly. VPNs are useful for both personal and business purposes, and there are plenty of options available in the market. However, choosing the best VPN requires careful consideration of various key features.Advanced security features, fast connection speeds, a wide range of server locations, user-friendly interfaces, and excellent customer support services should be taken into account when selecting a VPN that suits your needs. Our top picks for the best VPNs meet all these requirements and can help you make an informed decision.Some additional factors to consider when choosing a VPN include its compatibility with different devices and operating systems, privacy policies, data usage limits or caps, and pricing plans. By researching these aspects thoroughly, you can select a VPN that offers the best value for your money while providing maximum security and performance.

The Best VPNs Of 2024

  • NordVPN: Best Overall VPN
  • TorGuard VPN: Best Customizable VPN
  • Private Internet Access: Best VPN for Customizable Security
  • ProtonVPN: Best VPN for Tor Integrations
  • hide.me: Best VPN for Wi-Fi Security
  • Surfshark: Best VPN for Unlimited Connections
  • VPN Unlimited (aka KeepSolid): Best Multi-Device VPN
  • ExpressVPN: Best VPN For Smoothest App Interface
  • CyberGhost: Best VPN for International Server Locations
  • PureVPN: Best VPN with Reasonable Pricing

The Best VPN Services Of 2024 –Full Detailed list

NordVPN

Why We Picked It

NordVPN is a high-speed and secure VPN service that offers a variety of exclusive features. It is known for its top-notch security, utilizing AES-256 encryption along with ad and malware blocking, as well as double VPN services for multi-hop connections. The standard plan for NordVPN is priced at INR 5,606.37 for one year (with an additional three months free), enabling simultaneous connections for six devices and access to over 5,000 servers in 55+ countries. NordVPN also provides additional add-ons such as NordLocker for file encryption, NordPass for password management, and a dedicated IP address.

NordVPN offers a Team subscription for small businesses, but the pricing is unclear. During our testing of the software, we found that the initial setup and configuration could be finicky. However, once we fully set it up, we did not experience any operational issues like slow connection speeds or dropped servers. This makes NordVPN an excellent option for those who prioritize security and privacy while browsing the internet. Additionally, NordVPN boasts features such as a strict no-logs policy, double VPN encryption, and an automatic kill switch, making it one of the most secure VPNs available in the market today.

Who Should Use It

For individuals who have a more flexible VPN budget and prioritize getting value for their money, there are several options available. Some of the best VPNs for those with a higher budget include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. These VPNs offer a range of advanced features such as high-speed connections, secure encryption protocols, and reliable customer support. Additionally, they provide excellent value for money through their long-term subscription plans and regular discounts. Choosing the right VPN that suits your needs and budget is critical to ensure maximum online privacy and security.

Features

Speed and performance: Check out our VPN speed comparisons for the latest data on NordVPN’s average upload speed of 4.63 to 14.08 Mbps and download speed of 0.55 to 4.58 Mbps.

Type of VPN: Individual, off-site, portable, divided tunneling

Server number and locations: NordVPN boasts a network of 5,000+ servers spread across 50+ countries.

Feature Yes/No
Browser Extensions Yes, for Chrome, Edge and Firefox
Free Trial 30-day money-back guarantee
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Built-in malware and ad blocker
  • Dedicated IP address add-on
  • Can install VPN to router

Cons

Lacks pricing transparency for business tiers

NordVPN Review 2024

TorGuard VPN

Why We Picked It

TorGuard is a VPN provider that offers a range of customizable privacy features and services. Despite its name, TorGuard is not affiliated with the free open-source privacy software, Tor. Its popularity among users can be attributed to its highly flexible subscription tiers that cater to different user needs and preferences. Depending on how you intend to use the VPN service, you can choose from several different packages that offer varying degrees of privacy and security features. Some of the key features offered by TorGuard include anonymous IP addresses, encrypted email services, and access to over 3,000 servers in more than 50 countries around the world. With TorGuard, users can enjoy greater online privacy and security while browsing the internet or accessing geo-restricted content.

  • An anonymous VPN plan
  • A business VPN plan
  • A streaming VPN plan
  • A host of encrypted email services with their own varying subscription tiers

The main focus was on the anonymous VPN plan, providing ample features for everyday protection, priced at INR 4,993.71 ($59.99) for the first year. Additionally, users can opt for a direct IP address add-on at INR 665.11 ($7.99) per month. The basic tier allows unlimited bandwidth for up to eight devices simultaneously. TorGuard is compatible with various operating systems and devices, including MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, with additional manual setup required for platforms like Kindle, Playstation, Xbox, and Chromebook.

Business plans are also available for enterprises needing more than eight simultaneous connections, ranging from INR 2,663.76 ($32) to INR 14,067.96 ($169) per month, and include at least one direct IP address, multiple email accounts, and more. During testing, Torguard VPN required multiple setup attempts and contacting customer support to change login credentials. Although the customer support was responsive and helpful, TorGuard VPN is not recommended for those seeking an easy-to-use VPN option.

Who Should Use It

The term “advanced, customizable VPN features” typically refers to more technical aspects of a virtual private network service. These features may include the ability to configure encryption protocols, adjust server settings, and customize network settings. Users who are comfortable with these advanced features are likely experienced with VPNs and may require greater control over their connection for specific purposes such as accessing restricted content or enhancing security measures. It is important for users to understand the terminology and be familiar with these features before attempting to use them.

Features

Speed and performance: TorGuard’s upload speed ranges from 13.75 to 13.92 Mbps, while its download speed ranges from 9.74 to 13.14 Mbps.

Type of VPN: Personal

Server number and locations: TorGuard VPN boasts 3,000 servers spread across more than 50 countries.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial Yes, seven days
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes for Chrome, Edge and Firefox
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Dedicated IP add-on for INR 332.14 ($3.99)
  • Several plans for various uses, including a separate business tier
  • Very positive user reviews
  • Loads of features and customization

Cons

  • Seven-day money-back guarantee is less generous than some competitors
  • Limited server locations

TorGuard VPN Review

Private Internet Access

Why We Picked It

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a prominent player in the VPN industry due to its wide server coverage in over 84 countries. It stands out for its affordability, priced at INR 4,739.82 ($56.94) for the initial two years, with an annual charge thereafter (including an initial bonus of four free months). Despite other VPN providers offering more advanced functionalities, PIA is the optimal option for the majority of small business users, thanks to its ideal blend of cost-effectiveness and features.

This VPN offers a wide range of features, but the user interface (UI) can be challenging due to the many options available. The connection speeds are average compared to other VPNs on the list. However, for an extra INR 416.21 ($5) per month, you can add a dedicated IP address. This can be useful for business purposes, providing added security and preventing disruptions caused by others sharing the same IP address. Some websites and services may require a dedicated IP address for access or authentication. Your decision to opt for a dedicated IP address will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Who should use it

If you’re on the hunt for a VPN service that is both affordable and versatile, look no further. A multi-purpose VPN can provide you with the necessary features to ensure your online privacy and security. It can also help you bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be unavailable in your region. When choosing a VPN, make sure it gets the essentials right, such as encryption, speed, and a no-logs policy. Additionally, consider factors like server locations and customer support to ensure a smooth experience.

Features

Speed and performance: Private Internet Access offers an average upload speed ranging from 13.73 to 14.05 Mbps, and a download speed ranging from 8.69 to 12.72 Mbps.

Type of VPN: Individuals and small enterprises.

Server number and locations: Private Internet Access operates servers in 84 countries, but does not reveal the quantity of servers.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial Yes, 30 days
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes, for Chrome, Firefox and Opera
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Offers dedicated IP add-on
  • Unlimited connections

Cons

  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • No longer discloses the total number of servers

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN Review

ProtonVPN

Why We Picked It

ProtonVPN, located in Switzerland, is a trustworthy VPN service recognized for its stringent no-logs policy and open-source, audited apps. It offers both free and paid options, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee, providing users with various choices for safeguarding their online privacy and security. Its global server network ensures fast connections and supports up to 10 devices. In our testing, we found ProtonVPN to be remarkably user-friendly, with consistent speeds and minimal lag when connecting to different servers. It is compatible with all major platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux, and includes integration with the Tor network. As it is based in Switzerland, it is not part of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes.

The company provides a complimentary basic VPN plan suitable for occasional use. However, the free plan has limitations. For more dedicated users, the paid plans offer greater value. The paid plans begin at INR 415.38 ($4.99) per month for a 24-month payment period, totaling INR 9913.13 ($119.76). Monthly plans for paid subscriptions start at INR 826.92 ($9.99).

Who Should Use It:

ProtonVPN offers free and paid plans to cater to different user needs. The free plan is suitable for casual users, while the paid plans offer more reliable connections and advanced features like Secure Core servers. Paid plans also include access to servers in more countries, faster speeds, and unlimited data usage. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously with ProtonVPN’s paid plans, making it ideal for families or small businesses. If you’re unsure which plan to choose, ProtonVPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. Customer support is available 24/7 to assist with any questions or concerns.

Features

Speed and performance: Weekly, we conduct tests on VPN speeds and latency. ProtonVPN typically shows an average upload speed ranging from 7.08 to 12.34 Mbps and a download speed ranging from 16.57 to 25.63 Mbps. For the latest data, refer to our VPN speed comparisons. Our speeds are not significantly impacted when using ProtonVPN.

Type of VPN: Personal

Server number and locations: ProtonVPN operates a network of over 1,900 servers spread across 65+ countries, with the free plan utilizing 100+ servers in the United States, Netherlands, and Japan.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial N/A, free plan available
24/7 Customer Support No
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes, for Firefox and Chrome
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • One of the easiest VPNs to use
  • Single-click Tor over VPN
  • Prevents DNS leaks
  • Open source

Cons

  • Free option doesn’t include Tor over VPN
  • Pricing can be confusing

hide.me

Why We Picked It

There are numerous reasons to appreciate hide.me. It provides a high level of online security and privacy through AES-256 encryption and features such as a kill switch to prevent data transmission to potential threats. This allows hide.me to conceal your online activity under multiple layers of security, rendering your personal information nearly undetectable on Wi-Fi hotspots. This is particularly crucial for individuals using public Wi-Fi or businesses that offer network access to visitors. Furthermore, hide.me offers the latest protocols for secure Wi-Fi connections, including IKEv2 IPsec, WireGuard, OpenVPN, SSTP, and SoftEther, which safeguard data on any Wi-Fi network. It also supports mobile devices and home routers, ensuring comprehensive coverage for your network of devices.

When hide.me was tested, we found its straightforward interface and consistent connection speeds across various servers and countries to be commendable. While there was some minor delay in server switching, it was not significant. However, we encountered issues with its kill switch feature, as it occasionally failed to function when changing servers.hide.me is offered in a free version, as well as at a price of INR 823.61 ($9.95) per month for a monthly subscription, and INR 285.57 ($3.45) per month for a 26-month subscription. The 12-month subscription is available at INR 481.75 ($5.82) per month or INR 5790.11 ($69.95) per year.

Who Should Use It:

Hide.me is a VPN service that is perfect for individuals who prioritize privacy and security while using the internet. Its advanced encryption protocols guarantee that your data remains secure from government surveillance or hackers. By encrypting all traffic between your device and hide.me’s servers, it ensures that no one can intercept or read your online communications. This feature makes it an excellent choice for individuals who want to protect their sensitive information while browsing the web, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. With hide.me, you can enjoy a safer and more secure online experience without compromising on speed or performance.

Features

Speed and Performance: On a weekly basis, we conduct tests on VPN speeds and latency. hide.me typically exhibits an average upload speed ranging from 12.05 to 14.09 Mbps and a download speed ranging from 37.68 to 46.49 Mbps. Our usage of hide.me has occasionally resulted in significant decreases in speed.

Type of VPN: Individual, Offsite, and No-Trust

Server Number and Locations: Hide.me operates 1,800 servers across 72 different locations.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial N/A; free plan available
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes for Chrome, Edge and Firefox
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong encryption and privacy features
  • Offers a free plan
  • Consistent connection speeds and performance

Cons

  • Not all servers support file sharing
  • Some lag when switching between different servers

Surfshark

Why We Picked It

Surfshark stands out in a market filled with copycat VPNs due to its unique features, such as split tunneling and multihop connections. It boasts a large network of over 3,200 servers and is reasonably priced at INR 3985.64 ($47.88) for a year. Additional features include CleanWeb, Camouflage Mode, NoBorders mode, and the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Overall, it is an excellent choice for personal use.

Although Surfshark does not provide dedicated IP addresses, it offers manual connection to a few shared static IP addresses for free. This feature can be beneficial for remote work purposes, like accessing work documents from different locations. Though limited, this capability alone makes Surfshark an excellent option for users with specialized workflows. Moreover, by connecting to static IP addresses, you can also avoid being flagged as suspicious by some websites or online services that might view the use of dynamic IPs as a red flag. However, it’s worth noting that using static IPs may result in reduced privacy since your online activity can be traced back to the same IP address.

Who should use it

When choosing a reliable VPN with great features, consider NordVPN for personal use. It offers robust security and privacy features like military-grade encryption and no-logging policies. ExpressVPN is another top-notch option with lightning-fast speeds and user-friendly apps. If you need a VPN for working from home, CyberGhost is ideal with dedicated servers optimized for streaming and torrenting, along with features like automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection. Surfshark is perfect for families or small businesses, offering unlimited simultaneous connections. Evaluate the features of each VPN to find the one that suits your needs best.

Features

Speed and performance: Every week, we conduct tests on VPN speeds and latency. Surfshark typically achieves an upload speed averaging between 14.18 and 14.26 Mbps and a download speed ranging from 13.69 to 14.26 Mbps.

Type of VPN: Personal

Server number and locations: Surfshark operates a network of over 3,200 servers across more than 100 countries.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial Yes, seven days
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes for Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Multiple unique features, such as GPS-spoof and the ability to unblock most streaming networks
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Dedicated IP only works on Android
  • Split-tunneling is only available on Android and Windows

Surfshark One Review

VPN Unlimited (aka KeepSolid)

Why We Picked It

VPN Unlimited, also known as KeepSolid, is a VPN provider based in New York. It stands out for its compatibility with multiple platforms, discreet apps for various devices, positive user experience, and a tailored subscription plan for businesses. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that there are factors preventing it from achieving greatness. The standard plan costs about INR 3,994.80 ($47.99), making it relatively expensive compared to its competitors, and it includes five device “slots.” This system is more restrictive than that of its competitors, as it requires you to assign each device to a specific slot, regardless of whether the device is actively connected to the VPN.

Businesses have the option to pay for devices in increments of five, 10, and 20 users, with the choice of monthly, annually, or a one-time lifetime fee. Additionally, dedicated IP addresses are available, although they come at a relatively high price, with a monthly cost of INR 1,040.53 ($12.50). VPN Unlimited provides a seven-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it a worthwhile option to consider despite potential concerns about the details.

Who Should Use It

VPN Unlimited is an excellent VPN service that works seamlessly across a wide range of devices. It offers robust security features like strong encryption and protocols, ensuring that your online activities remain private and secure. Additionally, it has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to use even for those who are not tech-savvy. With servers in over 70 countries, VPN Unlimited provides fast and reliable connections, making it an ideal choice for those who need access to geo-restricted content. Its affordable pricing plans make it accessible to a wider audience without compromising on quality or performance. Overall, if you are looking for a reliable VPN service that offers great value for money, then VPN Unlimited is definitely worth considering.

Features

Speed and performance: VPN Unlimited’s upload speed ranges from 6.26 to 6.89 Mbps, while its download speed ranges from 2.27 to 8.03 Mbps on average.

Type of VPN: Personal

Server number and locations: VPN Unlimited operates 3,000 servers across over 80 locations.

Feature Yes/No
Security and encryption Yes
Privacy policy Yes
Network of server locations Yes
Compatibility Yes
Performance and reliability Yes
Kill switch Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Dedicated IP address available
  • Tailored business tier
  • Strong privacy features

Cons

  • Wonky device configuration
  • Expensive device upgrades and add-ons
  • Site layout makes it extraordinarily difficult to find the info you need in a single location

ExpressVPN

Why We Picked It

ExpressVPN is highly regarded in the personal VPN market due to its exceptional security and user-friendly interface. It utilizes advanced technology, including the proprietary Lightway protocol, to enhance speed without sacrificing security. While it is suitable for personal use with access to servers in 94 countries, its functionality for businesses is limited as it lacks a dedicated business tier and features like a dedicated IP address. This makes it a strong option for individual users, but may not be ideal for businesses seeking specific features.

ExpressVPN focuses on safeguarding individual VPN users and does not extend its services to companies, which have the ability to monitor their employees’ activities through a corporate VPN. However, it does not provide such features. Its pricing, at INR 8,320.07 ($99.95) per year, is considered high, placing it in the expensive category, despite the common practice of VPNs increasing their prices annually. ExpressVPN’s price remains fixed at INR 8,320.07 ($99.95) per year. Over the long term, this pricing may be more acceptable. In our testing, ExpressVPN exhibited impressive connection speeds compared to other VPNs in our list. It was also simple to set up and use, although we noticed a lack of customization options.

Who should use it

If you’re on the lookout for a personal VPN that is top-of-the-line and willing to invest in it, there are plenty of options available. Paid VPN services typically offer better security, privacy, and faster speeds than their free counterparts. Some of the best-in-class personal VPNs include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark. These VPNs offer features like military-grade encryption, no-logs policy, multiple server locations, and support for various devices and operating systems. Additionally, they provide excellent customer support and offer a range of pricing plans to suit different budgets.

Features

Speed and Performance: Weekly, we conduct tests on VPN speeds and latency. ExpressVPN typically exhibits an upload speed ranging from 13.71 to 13.88 Mbps and a download speed between 13.71 and 14 Mbps. Our usage of ExpressVPN has revealed occasional moderate slowdowns.

Type of VPN: Personal

Server Number and Locations: ExpressVPN operates servers in 94 countries, without specifying the exact number of servers but indicating that there are typically multiple servers per location.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial 30-day money-back guarantee
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes for Chrome, Edge and Firefox
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Proprietary Lightway VPN protocol
  • Easy to use
  • Router app to protect more devices
  • Broad network of servers

Cons

  • More expensive than alternatives
  • Limited business/work functionality

ExpressVPN Review in 2024

CyberGhost

Why We Picked It

CyberGhost stands out as one of the top VPN options available, offering a user-friendly interface and a comprehensive range of features. It provides dedicated server locations for streaming and torrenting, along with privacy-focused NoSpy servers. Utilizing AES-256 encryption, CyberGhost is compatible with various operating systems and offers a dedicated IP for an extra fee. Additionally, it provides a 45-day refund period for long-term plans and a 14-day refund period for monthly plans, allowing users to test the service without a long-term commitment.

In our test, the connection speeds remained stable, even when testing multiple servers in various continents. The user-friendly interface also facilitated quick and painless setup. This VPN is suitable for individuals who need to balance work and leisure, and for those who require a generous refund policy if the VPN does not meet their requirements.

Features

Speed and Performance: Every week, we conduct tests on the speeds and latency of VPNs. CyberGhost’s average upload speed ranges from 12.33 to 13.7 Mbps, while its download speed ranges from 11 to 13.25 Mbps. In general, CyberGhost does not significantly affect performance.

Speed and performance: CyberGhost’s upload speed typically falls within the range of 12.33 to 13.7 Mbps, while its download speed ranges from 11 to 13.25 Mbps.

Type of VPN: Personal

Server Number and Locations: CyberGhost operates 9,701 servers across 117 locations in 91 countries.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial Yes, 24 hours (or seven days on mobile devices)
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes, for Chrome and Firefox
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Dedicated IP add-on
  • Affordable, especially with a multi-year plan
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • NoSpy servers cost extra
  • 45-day refund period only available on terms longer than six months
  • Free trial on Windows and macOS lasts a minuscule 24 hours

CyberGhost VPN Review in 2024

PureVPN

Why We Picked It

PureVPN provides cost-effective packages, making it a suitable option for individuals and small businesses. The company enables Indian users to link up with its virtual servers across more than 6,500 locations in 70 countries. PureVPN is compatible with a wide range of devices, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Furthermore, it offers VPN extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers to maintain user privacy and security.

The cybersecurity firm offers three pricing options. The monthly package is priced at about INR 895 (USD 10.95). However, if you opt for the two-year plan, you will receive a three-month extension at INR 4,077 (USD 49.92), which is equivalent to INR 170 (USD 2.08) per month. The 12-month plan is available for INR 3,253 (USD 39.84).

Who Should Use It

If you’re on a budget and looking for VPN security, there are several options available. One of the most popular is NordVPN, which offers excellent security features such as no-logs policy, AES-256 encryption, and double VPN. Another great option is Surfshark, which is affordable and provides unlimited simultaneous connections. For those who prioritize speed, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice with lightning-fast servers in over 90 countries. Ultimately, the best VPN for your needs depends on your budget and specific requirements.

Features

Speed and performance: PureVPN asserts that its servers are capable of accommodating 10Gbit connection speed to deliver an exceptionally fast connection.

Type of VPN: Personal and business.

Server number and locations: PureVPN operates servers in more than 6,500 locations across 70 countries.

Feature Yes/No
Security and encryption Yes
Privacy policy Yes
Network of server locations Yes
Compatibility Yes
Performance and reliability Yes
Kill switch Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros

Reasonable pricing

Cons

No free plan

PureVPN Review

What Is A VPN?

VPNs, or virtual private networks, are designed to protect your privacy by encrypting your data and concealing your online activity from prying third parties. They offer a range of benefits to users who want to keep their browsing habits hidden, including the ability to check email, chat with colleagues and browse websites anonymously. By creating a secure connection between your device and the internet, VPNs ensure that no one can eavesdrop on your online communications or steal sensitive information like passwords or credit card details. In addition, VPNs can help you bypass geographical restrictions on content and access blocked websites in countries where internet censorship is prevalent. Overall, using a VPN is an effective way to safeguard your privacy and maintain anonymity while browsing the web.

What Does a VPN Do?

Whenever you access a website or online service, your computer connects to the server hosting that site. Unfortunately, this means that the website can potentially gather information about you and your device. If you’re concerned about your online privacy, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service can help. A VPN connects you to a remote server before connecting you to the website or service you want to use. This means that when a website checks for your user information, it will only see the VPN’s information and won’t be able to trace it back to you. Using a VPN is an effective way to protect your privacy and keep your online activity secure.

How VPNs Protect Your Privacy & How They Don’t

It is safe to utilize a VPN on both your personal and business gadgets, providing an effective means to maintain the privacy of your personal data and browsing activities. The encrypted data is highly challenging to decode, rendering it ineffective for hackers and websites attempting to monitor such information. VPNs, however, are unable to safeguard every activity performed on your computer, laptop, or mobile phone.

A VPN can protect

  • Your identity online
  • Data you send and receive online

What a VPN doesn’t protect you from

  • Malware
  • Phishing scams
  • Data on your devices

A VPN safeguards data transmissions online but does not protect data stored on your devices. To secure physical data, antivirus and anti-malware software are essential. Exercise caution when clicking on links in emails and online to avoid falling victim to cleverly disguised phishing attacks.

How To Choose the Best VPN

Selecting the optimal VPN involves considering several important factors. Michael Gargiulo, CEO of VPN.com, emphasizes the significance of a VPN that provides automatic coverage for employees and contractors on work devices, particularly over Wi-Fi. Additionally, a VPN that offers easy management of account and device access, straightforward billing, and a seamless user experience across major device operating systems is crucial for a successful small business VPN. Taking these features into consideration can lead to finding a VPN that delivers the necessary protection and privacy. Here are specific details to keep in mind:

Essential VPN Features

  • Security and encryption: A VPN should offer robust security measures, such as AES-256 encryption, to protect your online data and activity from hackers and other malicious actors.
  • Privacy policy: A VPN’s privacy policy should be clear, transparent and not allow any logging of your online activity.
  • Network of server locations: A VPN should offer a wide network of server locations, allowing you to choose the server that best meets your needs in terms of location and performance.
  • Compatibility: Your VPN should be compatible with all your devices and operating systems, such as Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and Linux.
  • Performance and reliability: Your VPN should have fast and reliable connections with minimal lag or downtime.
  • Killswitch: A killswitch is a feature that terminates your internet connection automatically if the VPN connection drops. This helps to protect your online data and activity from being exposed in the event of a disconnection.

Types of VPN Services

Various VPN software types are available for different use cases. While personal VPNs are the most common, you might also require a remote access VPN, site-to-site VPN, or mobile VPN.

  • Personal VPN: A personal VPN (also known as consumer VPN) shields your IP address and encrypts active data transfers (from you and to you). It also spoofs your location, which is how you can access previously inaccessible content from your country.
  • Remote access VPN: The most common use of a remote access VPN might be if you work for a company that requires you to log into a private network when you’re on open/public internet. The VPN protects the connection and the data transfer between the employee and the private network.
  • Site-to-site VPN: A site-to-site VPN is useful for companies that want to establish a single wide area network (WAN) between two or more other networks. A good example of this is a corporation that has multiple branches across the country with employees that need to access data across the combined network, such as AT&T or PetSmart.
  • Mobile VPN: A mobile VPN is similar to a remote access VPN, except it’s designed for those using mobile devices when there’s an expectation that one’s internet service could be on Wi-Fi or a cellular network. So, if you log into a company’s network using Wi-Fi, but the Wi-Fi goes out, your phone may swap over to cellular data, but the VPN keeps the connection going.
  • Zero-trust VPN: Zero-trust VPN is a security model that assumes that all devices and users trying to access a network are untrusted until proven otherwise. This type of VPN is used by organizations with strict security requirements, such as financial institutions and government agencies.
  • Cloud VPN: Cloud VPN is a type of VPN that connects a user’s device to a cloud-based virtual private network. It allows users to access cloud-based applications and services securely and is particularly useful for organizations that use cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Free VPN: Free VPNs are provided at no cost, typically with restricted features and abilities. They might be appropriate for casual internet users seeking to safeguard their data on public Wi-Fi networks, but they may not offer the same level of security or dependability as paid VPNs.
  • Split tunneling VPN: A Split Tunneling VPN allows you to route specific applications or web traffic through the VPN tunnel, while other traffic goes through your regular internet connection. This can be useful for organizations that want to protect sensitive data while still allowing employees to access non sensitive information.
  • TOR over VPN: This type of VPN routes your internet connection through both a VPN and the TOR network. This provides an additional layer of encryption and anonymity, but it can also slow down your internet connection.

Server Number and Locations

When selecting a VPN, it’s crucial to consider the server numbers and locations as they can impact the VPN’s performance and its ability to offer privacy and security.

  • Server numbers: A VPN that has a high number of servers is typically viewed positively as it provides a wider range of connection options and server choices. This facilitates finding a fast and dependable server in close proximity to your actual location. Moreover, a VPN with numerous servers enables greater flexibility for switching servers and balancing loads, thereby enhancing the VPN’s overall performance.
  • Server locations: A VPN that offers a variety of server locations is beneficial as it enables users to select a server in a particular country or region. This is helpful for accessing geo-restricted content and ensuring that data is routed through a specific jurisdiction. The greater the number of server locations a VPN has, the more flexibility and options users have to maintain a fast and reliable connection.

A VPN service that has a limited number of servers and locations is not recommended because it may result in overcrowding, slow speeds, and challenges in locating a server near you. Additionally, it’s crucial for the VPN provider to have servers in countries that prioritize privacy and are not affiliated with surveillance alliances like the 5-eyes, 9-eyes, or 14-eyes.

Speed and Performance

When selecting a VPN, speed is a crucial consideration as it impacts the VPN’s performance and your internet usage. A slow VPN can lead to webpage loading delays, video buffering, and challenges with real-time applications like online gaming and video conferencing. Additional performance elements comprise:

  • Latency: Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the VPN server and back. A low latency is important for real-time applications such as online gaming or video conferencing.
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection. A VPN with high bandwidth can support more data-intensive activities such as streaming high-definition (HD) video.
  • Uptime: Uptime refers to the amount of time a VPN server is available and online. A VPN with high uptime will be more reliable and less likely to experience disruptions or downtime.

Differences in speed may exist across devices due to variations in processor speed and network connectivity. Nevertheless, a reliable VPN provider should deliver consistent and high-speed connections regardless of the device used. To assess a VPN’s performance, individuals can utilize online speed test tools to gauge download and upload speeds, as well as latency and jitter. Additionally, they can review the VPN’s uptime records and user feedback to gauge its overall performance. Prior to subscribing to a VPN service, it is essential to have access to a free trial or a money-back guarantee period to evaluate its performance and suitability before making a commitment.

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) services offer a range of pricing options, from free to approximately INR 1082.15 ($13) per month. Free VPNs typically restrict the number of devices and locations that you can connect to. The most cost-effective VPNs often offer substantial discounts if you commit to paying for several years in advance. Higher-priced VPNs usually cater to businesses and allow multiple devices to connect simultaneously, which justifies the premium cost.It is important to note that different pricing tiers come with varying levels of security, speed, and reliability. Therefore, it is essential to choose a VPN service that meets your specific needs based on factors such as privacy concerns, internet speed requirements, and geographical restrictions. Additionally, it’s worth checking if your chosen VPN service offers a money-back guarantee or trial period before committing to a long-term subscription plan.

Factors Impacting the Cost of a VPN

Various elements affect the price of a VPN, such as the capacity for simultaneous device connections, the availability of server locations, the level of security and encryption, and the quality of customer support. According to Michael Gargiulo, CEO of VPN.com, there are no completely free VPNs. Those claiming to be free are probably not providing the highest level of privacy protection and may compromise your data security. It is advisable to opt for a secure, paid service with a refund policy instead of selecting a free option.

Paid VPN services provide additional features and improved functionality compared to free VPNs, albeit at a higher price point. VPN pricing models usually include monthly, annual, or multi-year subscription options, with longer terms offering the most competitive rates. While some VPNs have a free version with restricted features, others may offer a trial period for users to evaluate the service before making a purchase. Promotional offers and discounts are frequently accessible, particularly for new customers or during special occasions like holiday sales. Keep an eye on the provider’s website or subscribe to their newsletter to stay updated on any ongoing promotions.

What’s a Good Price for a VPN?

The price of a VPN can differ, but typically, a monthly fee of INR 665.94 ($8) to INR 832.42 ($10) is seen as fair for a high-quality VPN service. Other VPNs may be priced lower or higher, depending on their features and service quality.

Keep in mind that no VPN is truly free. Advertising such claims likely indicates weaker privacy settings and increased risk to your data. Opting for a secure, paid service with a money-back guarantee is always a better choice than selecting a free option.

How To Reduce the Cost of a VPN?

Subscribing to a VPN service can be quite expensive, but there are ways users can reduce the cost. One such way is opting for a longer-term subscription as VPN providers often offer substantial discounts for multiyear subscriptions. Users can also look for VPNs that provide a free version or a free trial period to test the service before committing to a paid plan. Comparing different VPN providers can also help in finding the best value for the features they require. It is also essential to consider factors like server locations, speed, and security protocols while choosing a VPN provider. Furthermore, users should be cautious of free VPN services as they may not provide adequate security and privacy protection, and may even sell user data to third-party advertisers.

How We Test VPN Speed

  • Choose a speed testing website: Many websites allow you to test VPN speeds, like fast.com or vpnmentor.com. At Forbes Advisor, we use Cloudflare’s publicly available speed test for all our VPN tests.
  • Run a speed test without a VPN: It’s important to have a baseline to work off of. So, we always test our Internet speeds without a VPN first to better understand how these VPNs affect our connection.
  • Connect to a VPN: Once we have our baseline, we connect to a VPN. We usually try to connect to the nearest server to our real-world location. Most VPNs will have a simple “connect” button that will take you right to the nearest server.
  • Run the speed test: Once we’ve connected to our VPN, we go to our testing website and run the speed test. The website measures our download and upload speeds, as well as ping (latency), which is the time it takes for a packet of data to travel from your device to the server and back.
  • Record the results: Now that we have our results, we write them down, including the download speed, upload speed and ping (latency). This lets us compare with previous tests. However, we’re not done quite yet.
  • Repeat the test: It’s important to repeat the speed test multiple times, at different times of the day and on different days, to get an average of the results. This gives us a more accurate picture of the VPN’s speeds, as VPN speeds can fluctuate throughout the day because of factors like network congestion and the number of users on the server.
  • Compare the results: Once we have a nice grouping of tests for a VPN, we compare the results of the VPN speed tests with our internet connection speed without the VPN. This gives us an idea of how much the VPN is slowing down our connection; so we can give you the most accurate data possible.

9 Reasons Why You Need a VPN

Employing a VPN while at home can safeguard your data from individuals seeking to utilize it for personalized advertising. On mobile devices, a VPN can secure your login information and other data transmitted when accessing public Wi-Fi. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that need to safeguard proprietary information.

Below are nine of the most frequently encountered VPN applications:

1. Keep Your Data Private From Your ISP

Your internet service provider (ISP) is capable of monitoring your online activities, including the websites you visit and the duration of your browsing, and may potentially sell your personal data to advertisers, depending on your agreement. While most ISPs keep your stored data confidential, they are obliged to comply with government requests for internet history in India, and in certain cases, access to your internet data may be granted without a warrant for reasons of national security. Using a VPN can help conceal your online browsing history and provide you with a sense of security, even if you are a law-abiding individual.

2. Use Public Wi-Fi Safely With a VPN

When you’re at an airport or a local restaurant, you might feel the urge to use public Wi-Fi for tasks like checking emails or reading news on your phone. It may seem safe because the internet connection is provided by a reputable entity, but most public Wi-Fi connections are open and vulnerable to interception by hackers. Fortunately, the adoption of HTTPS over HTTP has made online browsing safer, as it utilizes a security protocol known as SSL to protect shared internet data. To enhance your security on public Wi-Fi, consider using a VPN service to connect anonymously and encrypt your data.

3. Protect Your Personal Data From Businesses

Numerous stores provide apps and complimentary Wi-Fi to customers, making it difficult to resist using them. By downloading a store’s app, you can gain access to exclusive discounts and promotions, which is quite enticing. Additionally, many physical stores have poor cell phone reception due to the metal in their structures.Businesses that offer these benefits or rewards for utilizing their apps and Wi-Fi are doing so in order to gather your data, which is highly valuable to them. This is another compelling reason to use a VPN if you wish to safeguard your personal information. Moreover, you can still securely use your apps and access free Wi-Fi while shopping at malls or stores.

4. Protect Proprietary Information

Recently, numerous companies have implemented a remote or hybrid work policy, offering convenience for many employees. However, there are security concerns associated with remote workers accessing company servers from home, as the security of their connections is uncertain. Whether working from home or in public spaces like a coffee shop, intercepted connections pose a risk of data being accessed by unauthorized parties. Equipping all employees with remote access and a VPN will safeguard the security of your company’s files and projects.

5. Access Blocked Content

A VPN offers more than just data protection — it can also grant access to restricted media. There are several reasons why this is beneficial. In countries with oppressive governments, some individuals may be unable to access websites that present alternative viewpoints. By using a VPN, it is possible to mask your location and gain entry to blocked content. Additionally, a VPN allows users to access media that may be unavailable otherwise. For instance, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have different content libraries based on location. With a VPN, one can appear to be in a different country and access exclusive programming.

6. Data Privacy From Your Government

Although numerous ISPs, applications, and internet data centers claim they do not trade your browsing data to authorities, the data still ends up in their possession. If you are concerned about government intrusion, investing in a VPN is a wise decision to safeguard your data.

7. Security When Working Remotely

A VPN offers the advantage of data encryption, which involves encoding data to keep it secure. This feature allows confidential information to remain safe, making it a valuable investment for individuals considering VPN usage for their company. With remote work likely to continue post-pandemic, a VPN provides a secure way for employees to access sensitive materials from their personal devices while away from the office.

8. Adaptable to Numerous Smart Devices

When initially using a VPN on a laptop provided by the company, most people also discover that VPN services can safeguard other devices like smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. Although each VPN company’s protection plans and device coverage may vary, many providers have plans to ensure safety across multiple devices.

9. Smart Savings

By conducting some research, you can use a VPN to save money by disguising your location. Various businesses, including subscription services and airlines, often provide the same goods or services at varying prices. By altering your virtual location to a region where the same offerings are available at lower prices, significant savings can be achieved. These are just a few instances of how a VPN can safeguard you and enable access to restricted content. There are numerous other reasons why using a VPN is beneficial for everyone.

How Do VPNs Work?

Initially, a VPN service operates servers that house the VPNs. Upon subscribing to the service, you will receive software for logging in before accessing the internet. Upon logging into your account, the VPN encrypts your data before you go online and maintains encryption and decryption of the data until you log out. VPNs achieve this by adhering to a script or a set of protocols.

VPN Encryption Protocols

A VPN protocol functions like a series of instructions, resembling “if this, then that” scripts. These protocols instruct the VPN to encrypt data upon user login and to encrypt data transmitted or received through the connection, while also specifying the encryption type and security measures.

  • OpenVPN: Many VPN providers use OpenVPN, an open-source VPN protocol, to run encryptions. It’s a flexible option that works on transmission control protocol (TCP) or user datagram protocol (UDP) network protocols (TCP is most commonly used for its reliability in data transfer, while UDP is better for fast transfer).
  • SSTP: Microsoft created the secure socket tunneling protocol (SSTP) that works well for any VPN, regardless of the operating system (OS) on the VPN’s server. It is secure with AES-256 encryption, which is a standard secure encryption. However, because it’s a Microsoft product, some users are skeptical of how secure it is and whether there are backdoors.
  • IKEv2/IPsec: One reason to look for a VPN service that uses the IKEv2 protocol is for its ability to maintain your connection to a VPN while swapping between Wi-Fi and mobile data, for example. It uses IP Security (IPsec) to establish secure data transfers (typically on UDP networks). The IKEv2 protocol was also created by Microsoft, such as SSTP, but it’s less versatile—it can only be used on Windows OS.
  • PPTP: Point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) is one of the first VPN protocols that was adopted for the mainstream. It’s unlikely you’ll see VPN services that use this protocol anymore because it’s far less secure than newer protocols. Still, if you want a VPN that runs this protocol, you shouldn’t experience any lag and it works on almost any system.
  • L2TP/IPsec: Layer 2 tunneling protocol (L2TP) is kind of the updated answer to the outdated PPTP. It isn’t an encryption protocol, rather it’s a protocol that helps establish a connection between your device and a VPN.
  • WireGuard: Another open-source protocol, such as OpenVPN, is WireGuard. It’s a tunneling protocol that establishes a connection between a user and a VPN very quickly. However, there are questions about how secure it is, so if you want a VPN that uses WireGuard, be sure it combines this with strong encryption protocols.
  • NordLynx: NordVPN created its own version of a private and secure protocol using WireGuard. The benefit of this blended protocol solution is that you’ll still get secure encryption from NordVPN’s own encryption (it’s proprietary) with WireGuard’s foundation for speed.
  • VPN tunneling: The purpose behind VPN tunneling is to shield prying eyes from seeing your IP address and internet activity when you go online. When a connection is established from a user to a VPN, an encrypted tunnel is created from you to your destination (the internet). Not all tunneling protocols are created equally. The older PPTP tunneling protocol can quickly establish a connection when you log into a VPN that uses it, but it isn’t the most secure method of encryption. Whereas L2TP (with IPsec) provides multiple layers of encryption and thereby a higher level of security.

VPN Servers and Locations

Most VPN services offer a variety of servers and locations for you to use. So, does it matter where a VPN server is located? There are a few different answers to this question and it comes down to why you’re using a VPN. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Speed: If you’re looking for the fastest load times, quick downloads or you’re gaming or streaming online, choose a VPN server that’s nearest to your own location.
  • Unblocking content: If you want to find the U.K.-based television shows on streaming services and you’re located in India, you’ll need to connect to a VPN in the U.K. This also applies to accessing content on websites that your government may require ISPs to block—choose a VPN located in a country where these restrictions don’t apply.
  • Security: Any location should suffice when it comes to security and privacy. There is a caveat, though. If you’re concerned about data collection and retention laws, you may want to choose a VPN server that resides in a country with no data retention laws, such as Switzerland or Panama.

Why Should You Use VPN?

VPNs are used in many different ways. Let’s take a look at how many businesses, gamers, and streamers use VPN:

VPN Uses for Business

Here are some of the most common things VPNs are used for in a business setting:

  • Work From Home Without Worry. It looks like returning to the office may not happen for many people, at least not anytime soon. Utilizing a VPN allows everyone working remotely to securely log into the shared company network, while also providing data protection for projects and files.
  • Keep Your Shared Network Secure. Using a VPN across your shared network will help ensure that business communications remain secure. It will also make your company less susceptible to cyber attacks.
  • Control Access. VPNs also offer access control options, so that confidential information is not accessible by every employee. Users will need to log in and verify that they have authorization before access is granted.
  • Browse Safely on Any Device. Securely connect to your business cloud, no matter what device you are using. Since a VPN is encrypted and remotely hosted, you can log in from anywhere without the risk of a security breach.
  • Bypass Geo-Blocking. When traveling for business, you may encounter locations that block or censor parts of the internet. This can potentially be a huge hindrance, especially if you are not able to access work-related websites. Using a VPN with your home location will help bypass any blocked content.
  • Protect Financial Transactions. It’s essential to know that every transaction is protected. A VPN anonymizes your outgoing traffic and encrypts your connection, ensuring unauthorized tracking of your business transactions or transfers.
  • Connect to Public Wi-Fi Confidently. Nearly everyone connects to the free airport Wi-Fi during a layover or delay, but doing so leaves you wide open to potential theft. Using a VPN before you open that email or check an account balance will help keep your data secure.
  • Avoid Social Media Blocks. Some parts of the world have blocked social media channels such as Facebook. If you are traveling to China or Iran and can’t survive without your network, a VPN can help work around the ban.
  • Maintain Account Access. Banks are on high alert for fraudulent activity, and logging into your account from a foreign country may raise a red flag. Using a VPN that shows you are still at your regular address will help avoid possible account freezes due to suspicious activity.

VPN Uses for Gaming

Outside of the business world, VPNs are also popular with gamers. Here are some of the most common gaming VPN uses:

  • Access a Wider Library of Games. Since using a VPN means your internet connection is re-routed, you have more options when it comes to gaming access, especially regarding cloud gaming services such as Stadia. Depending on the provider, certain VPNs can help you access games available outside your region. Likewise, some countries ban games due to graphic content. With a VPN, you can get around those restrictions by connecting through a server in a different country.
  • Play In Public Without the Worry. It’s great to take advantage of free public Wi-Fi when you’re ready to play, but using an unsecured network carries risks. Keep your gaming devices safe by using a VPN.
  • Protect Yourself From the Trolls. The stakes can get high in multi-player games and occasionally people overreact. Having a VPN protects your identity and IP address, so that if you inadvertently upset someone, they are not able to track your location.
  • Sidestep ISP Slowdowns. Some internet service providers knowingly slow down their network for one reason or another. With a VPN, you can avoid unnecessary ISP lag.

VPN Uses For Streaming

You can also use a VPN when streaming your favorite movies or TV shows:

  • Watch Your Favorite Foreign Films. Some paid subscription streaming services implement “geo-blocking” technology. This means in some geographical locations, you’ll have restricted access to certain content. Using a VPN bypasses this issue and allows you to stream nearly anything you want to watch, no matter where you are.
  • Improve Buffering Issues. Since streaming services are so popular, it’s not unusual for the bandwidth to get overloaded and cause buffering issues. A VPN can help circumvent this, ensuring a smoother viewing experience.

How To Use a VPN

Most of the VPNs available today are very user-friendly. After registering with the provider, you simply need to install the VPN app on your device. Upon logging in, you can select a remote server from a global list, and the system will connect you. Once connected, you can use your device as usual. You have the option to disconnect or switch servers from the app’s home screen.

To set up your VPN manually, you can follow specific steps for your operating system. Many of the apps follow a similar process, as outlined below.

  • Download and install the app or software.
  • Click on “Settings” or “System Preferences.”
  • Choose “Network” or “VPN.”
  • Fill out fields for “Server Name,” “VPN Type,” “Remote ID,” “Local ID” and your account info (some of the fields may vary depending on the OS).
  • Connect to your VPN.

How to Check if Your VPN is Working

There are a number of ways to check if your VPN is working, from checking your location or IP address to looking for domain name system (DNS) leaks or WebRTC leaks.

Here are the most common ways to quickly check if your VPN is working:

  • Check your IP address: One of the most basic ways to check if your VPN is working is to check your IP address. If you’re connected to a VPN, your IP address should be different from the one that you see when you’re not connected to the VPN. You can check your IP address by googling “what is my IP address.”
  • Check your location: You can also check your location to see if your VPN is working by visiting a website, such as mylocation.org. If your VPN is working, your location should be different from the one that you see when you’re not connected to the VPN.
  • Check for domain name system (DNS) leaks: DNS leaks can occur when your device is using a different DNS server than the one provided by the VPN. You can check for DNS leaks by using a website, such as dnsleaktest.com.
  • Check for WebRTC leaks: WebRTC leaks can occur when your browser is leaking your real IP address. You can check for WebRTC leaks by using a website, such as browserleaks.com.
  • Check your VPN’s connection status: Most VPN software has a connection status indicator that tells you if the VPN is connected or disconnected. This is a reliable way to check if your VPN is working.
  • Try accessing blocked content: If you are trying to access content that is blocked in your region, you can try accessing it to check if your VPN is working properly. If your VPN is working, you should be able to access the content.

Methodology How Our Experts Evaluate Best VPNs

Forbes Advisor evaluated 16 top VPNs available, assessing them based on eight main factors and 33 subfactors. These scores were then used to rank the VPNs on a scale of one to five. The primary factors tested encompassed download and upload speeds, pricing, and general features, with input from our Forbes Advisor experts’ practical experience with the VPNs also influencing the overall scores.

General Features (25%): These are the bare minimum features any VPN should have to be worth buying. This includes split-tunneling, anonymous browsing, DNS protection measures, dedicated IP addresses and kill switches.

Speeds (20%): One of the drawbacks of a VPN is how it can affect your device’s performance. Due to routing your connection to another IP address, upload and download speeds will often be slower than if you were browsing with your IP address.

Pricing and Fees (15%): Pricing is an important part of any product, and VPNs are no exception. While the price of VPN plans can vary, you’re generally looking at $3 to $5 per month for an annual subscription from most providers. In scoring this section, we considered the lowest price tier, the highest price tier, whether or not the service had a free version or a free trial, and whether or not the provider made their prices publicly available on their website.

Additional Features (10%): While “general features” covers all the qualities a VPN should have, we also looked at qualities that aren’t necessarily required but are good to have nonetheless. Helpful features include browser extensions, simultaneous device connections, and whether or not the provider has a no-logs policy.

Expert Score (10%): Our experts researched and tested each VPN and graded them based on their hands-on experience with the software. Stand-out features, overall value for your money compared to other VPNs, the VPN’s popularity and ease of use are some of the factors we evaluated as part of this score.

Customer Reviews (10%): Of course, our experts’ experience with these VPNs aren’t necessarily indicative of the average user experience. As a result, we also factored in aggregate ratings from websites like G2, Trustpilot and Capterra as part of our scoring.

Service and Support (7%): A provider’s customer service and support options can be a deciding factor for whether or not we recommend trying a VPN. Factors we considered when scoring this section include if the provider has 24/7 customer support, a live chat feature, phone support, and a knowledge base to answer questions without needing to contact someone directly.

Mobile Apps (3%): Whether or not a VPN has a mobile app is particularly important when trying to access the Internet while traveling. Thankfully, all 16 VPNs we tested had mobile apps. The apps’ ratings on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store were factored into our score for this section.

The Best VPN Services of 2024: FAQs

What is the full form of VPN?

The abbreviation VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and it safeguards your data by concealing your device’s IP address. By encrypting your data, the software directs it through secure networks to servers located in distant states or other countries. With a VPN, your online identity is concealed, enabling you to anonymously surf the web.

What is the best VPN in 2024?

Forbes Advisor has chosen Private Internet Access (PIA) as the top VPN for 2024. PIA VPN is available for as low as INR 3,010 per year and grants access to over 30,000 servers in 78 countries, supporting up to 10 simultaneous connections. In comparison, CyberGhost is pricier at INR 4,590 per year, offers fewer device connections, but boasts an user-friendly interface, strong AES-256 encryption, and a 45-day money-back guarantee. TorGuard VPN caters to advanced users, allowing connectivity for up to eight devices at once. Its pricing ranges from INR 4,942 to 10,627 per year, with various subscription options to suit different budgets.

Are there any good free VPNs?

Certainly, there are some reliable free VPN services accessible, like the complimentary package offered by Hotspot Shield. However, there are constraints that may not justify the offering, such as data limits, restricted device allowances, and fewer location choices..

How do I connect to a VPN?

Connecting to a VPN can vary depending on your device and operating system. Typically, you will need to download the VPN’s application or software, input your login credentials, and choose a server. For more specific guidance, refer to the VPN provider’s website or reach out to customer support.

What’s the difference between a proxy and a VPN?

A proxy and a VPN both have the ability to conceal your IP address, but the key distinction is that a proxy does not encrypt your internet data, while a VPN does.

Does a VPN slow down your internet?

Depending on several factors such as the location of the VPN server, the number of users connected, your device’s processor strength and internet connection, and the VPN’s encryption protocols, a VPN has the potential to slow down your internet connection. The distance between you and the server can also impact speed, as data takes longer to travel back and forth when the server is further away. Additionally, it’s worth noting that in some cases, using a VPN can actually enhance internet speed, such as when accessing geo-restricted content or bypassing ISP throttling.

Are VPNs safe?

Typically, VPNs are used safely by millions of people globally. Most users can anonymously browse the web without any problems. Nonetheless, there have been instances where VPN providers were compromised, resulting in the theft of customer information. It’s important to consider that depending on the provider’s country of origin, the VPN could be subject to government surveillance programs.

Are VPNs legal in India?

In India, it is legal to use VPNs as long as you adhere to certain guidelines to avoid facing any consequences. This includes refraining from using a VPN for illegal activities and accessing prohibited websites.

Can I change my IP address without a VPN?

Certainly, it is possible to alter your IP address without relying on a VPN. Methods for doing this include resetting your router, utilizing a proxy server, connecting to a mobile network, or using the Tor network. Nevertheless, these approaches may not offer the equivalent level of privacy and security as a VPN and could potentially result in a slower and less dependable internet connection.

What’s the difference between a business VPN and a personal VPN?

In brief, personal VPNs provide protection for individual consumers, often at a lower cost or even for free. They are commonly used for secure internet browsing and accessing content limited to specific countries. On the other hand, business VPNs prioritize the security of the company rather than that of the employees. While they safeguard online activities from external threats, the administrator can monitor usage. Business VPNs typically feature user management dashboards and come at a higher cost. For smaller teams, sole proprietors, and independent contractors, a business-tier VPN may not be essential. The list above focuses on personal VPNs with diverse applications.

Can VPNs be hacked?

Indeed, VPNs are not completely secure and, similar to any software, they can be vulnerable to hacking and malware. In February 2021, a number of Android VPNs were compromised, resulting in the exposure of user data for millions of individuals. This occurred because these VPN providers were already monitoring and storing user data. To reduce the risk of hacking and data breaches, it is important to use a VPN that does not gather your data and offers strong encryption. Free VPNs may not provide the most reliable protection.

Can I unlock sites and services using a VPN service?

Certainly—VPN enables users to stream and download their preferred content, ranging from television programs, live sports, cryptocurrency trading, to international channels.

Can I access Netflix using VPN?

Certainly— the majority of VPNs can work with on-demand video streaming services such as Netflix and Hotstar. As a result, if certain shows on Netflix are restricted, individuals can use IP addresses from other countries to watch the shows.

Is VPN ideal for gaming?

For gamers, VPNs are an excellent option as they reduce ping, decrease lag, and improve connectivity. Additionally, they enable users to unblock restricted games such as PUBG for Indian users.

What is a kill switch feature?

In cases of inconsistent internet connection or interruptions, a kill switch will automatically prevent devices connected via VPN from accessing the internet and will resume once the connection is restored. This measure is implemented to safeguard users’ IP addresses and other sensitive information from potential exposure.

What is meant by split tunneling?

By utilizing the split tunneling feature, users have the option to choose which devices need VPN protection and which do not.

Do VPN providers offer dedicated IP addresses to Indian users?

Only a select few, such as Private Internet Access, offer a dedicated Indian IP, with others limiting access for Indian users..

Are VPNs really necessary?

If you care about your data privacy, VPNs offer a simple and affordable way to enhance your internet security. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide online, it’s important to safeguard sensitive information such as passwords and financial data. Think of a VPN as a lock for your online identity, providing essential protection that everyone should prioritize.

How many devices can connect to one VPN?

It is common to have five devices connected to one VPN account, although this may vary depending on the provider. Certain providers may allow up to 10 connections, and a small number offer an unlimited number. To maximize your available devices, you can connect some VPNs to your router, which will then secure all connected devices while using only one device slot.

Do VPN providers offer obfuscated servers?

The majority of VPN providers, as previously mentioned, provide obfuscated servers that conceal users’ IP addresses and redirect internet traffic. This function prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from detecting VPN usage. It is a premium feature that enables users to utilize an obfuscated server through a server connected via an automatic protocol.

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