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10 Best VPNs in 2022 for PC, Mac, & Phone – 100% SECURE

Too busy for the full read? Here's the BEST VPN for 2022

ExpressVPN - The fastest VPN available. It's super-secure, is easy to use, great for streaming, and affordable. Get 49% off with this special discount.

Finding a VPN that performs well feels impossible. While some VPNs are great for streaming, they lack strong security features. Some VPNs are super secure, but slow your connection down so much that even browsing becomes frustrating. Not to mention the dozens of untrustworthy VPNs that track your online movements or fail to encrypt your traffic properly.

To save you time and hassle, our team spent months testing over 300 VPNs to determine the overall best ones. These VPNs are all great for accessing geoblocked content, securing your connection (without slowing you down), and keeping your online movements private. Some of them are powerful enough to work in internet-restrictive countries like China and Russia, too.

TLDR; Our top choice is ExpressVPN because of its industry-leading security features and impressive speeds for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. But it also stands out because of its strong commitment to keeping your online presence private. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee as well, which allows you to try ExpressVPN out yourself before committing to a subscription. If you’re not impressed, you can easily claim a full refund.

Try Our #1 Recommended VPN Today!

Short on time? Here’s a summary of July 2022's best VPNs

  1. ExpressVPN - Safe, fast, and reliable for all your internet needs, including browsing, streaming, and torrenting
  2. CyberGhost - Good server coverage easily helps you get around geoblocks so you can enjoy a more unrestricted internet
  3. Private Internet Access - Reliability and ease of use make this a solid choice
  4. IPVanish — Strong security features and impressive speeds.
  5. PrivateVPN — Small but reliable network with good speeds to keep you safe online

And 5 more of the best VPNs | VPN Features Comparison | Our Research Methodology | FAQs

The Best VPNs - Full Analysis (Updated July 2022)

Our team is spread throughout more than 40 countries around the world, and we conducted hundreds of tests over several months to find which VPNs offered the best speeds, security, and reliability. We browsed, downloaded, streamed, and torrented for weeks on end to bring you these confirmed results.

1. ExpressVPN — Lightning-Fast, Reliable, and Secure

  • Proprietary Lightway protocol, superfast speeds, and unlimited bandwidth
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Sign up using PayPal, debit/credit, money transfer, or Bitcoin,
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, game consoles, smart TVs, streaming devices (including Fire), routers, and more
ExpressVPN Offer July 2022: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN I've tested, thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol. You can enable this in the app's settings — OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec are also available. Using Lightway, I tested 5 nearby servers with a base speed of 53.34 Mbps — I found an average of 48.95 Mbps. This is about 2x what you need for Ultra HD streaming. I was even more impressed when I tested its London server; although this is thousands of miles from me, my speed never dropped below 45 Mbps.

ExpressVPN's speed test results from 4 worldwide server locations

I could even watch BBC iPlayer in 4K, using ExpressVPN's London server

It has 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, so you can enjoy content from around the globe. The large server network is also beneficial as it prevents slowdowns caused by overcrowding. During my tests, I could access Netflix in the 10 different countries I tested it with, including the US, the UK, Japan, and Australia. It worked just as well with the other sites I tried, including Disney+, which is known for its super-tough geoblocks.

To help you stream on more devices, it offers a Smart DNS feature called MediaStreamer. Some devices don't support VPNs, like gaming consoles and smart TVs. However, with MediaStreamer, you can overcome this simply by tweaking your device's DNS settings. I was able to access Netflix US, Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer using it. There are device-specific tutorials on its website, but MediaStreamer is easy to set up. I got it working on my PS4 within 5 minutes.

The apps are easy to use and install. I set it up on my Windows PC, which took less than a minute. I also like how sleek and simple the browser extensions are — and the fact that they're full VPNs, not just proxies (like most VPN browser extensions). You can secure your online traffic in seconds using its 1-click connect feature.

Split tunneling is available, which lets you select which apps and services are encrypted. I tested it by streaming my local Netflix library in my browser while making sure BitTorrent was set up to run through the VPN. It took only a moment to set up and helped me maximize my torrent download speeds.

Another benefit for torrenting is that P2P sharing is supported across its entire network. I used its Houston server to download a 790 MB movie in about 3 minutes. Since torrenting servers aren't limited, you'll have no problem finding an uncongested and fast connection.

With its industry-leading security features, ExpressVPN keeps you safe from online threats. It offers protection against DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks — I even tested for leaks using an online tool. The results verified that my traffic was successfully routed through the VPN, and my real location was not exposed. In case your connection fails, its automatic kill switch (Network Lock) prevents your data from leaking. It cuts you from the network until your connection is restored.

Leak test results showing ExpressVPN does not reveal user IP

Changing your IP helps protect you against hackers, trackers, and other serious cyberthreats

ExpressVPN uses the strongest encryption available (256-bit) paired with SHA512 hashing and a 4096 bit RSA key. This makes it nearly impossible for even the most skilled hacker to get ahold of your data. As an additional layer of security, it offers perfect forward secrecy. This way, even if the encryption key was discovered, it wouldn’t decrypt anything because it’s changed regularly. You can rest assured that your personal information is safeguarded.

For ultimate privacy protection, it uses TrustedServer technology. These are RAM-only servers that wipe your data after every reboot. Most VPNs store user information on hard drives, which are more difficult to keep updated with the latest security software and information needs to be manually erased. Each of ExpressVPN’s RAM servers loads the same secure, up-to-date software — greatly reducing security risks.

What's more, ExpressVPN follows a strict no-logs policy that's been verified by third-party auditors. This ensures that you'll never have to worry about it storing or handing over your data. Plus, ExpressVPN is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, which is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances. This jurisdiction has no data retention laws, so it isn’t even required by law to store your data.

Our researchers in Asia also tested out its ability to work in strictly-censored locations. I was impressed to learn that unlike many VPNs, it works reliably in China. That being said, we don't condone breaking any laws — so be sure to read up on the law in your location to avoid using a VPN illegally.

The only downside is that it's a bit more expensive than some VPNs. The cheapest you can sign up is for $6.67/month. Short-term plans are also available, offering the same features, but at a higher price. However, ExpressVPN usually offers discounts — sometimes even free months of service. When I signed up for its 1-year plan, I got an additional 3 months for free.

You can even try ExpressVPN for yourself risk-free since it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you find it's not for you, it's easy to claim a refund. After 27 days of testing, I requested my money back using its 24/7 live chat feature and the process was simple. The agent asked me a few user-experience questions, then instantly approved the return. I saw the money back in my account after just 2 days.

Try ExpressVPN Now

2. CyberGhost — Perfect for Streaming With Strong Privacy Protection

  • 7,793+ servers in 91 countries, including specialty servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming
  • Fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 7 device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, game consoles, smart TVs, streaming devices (including Fire), routers, and more
July 2022 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 82% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

With its dedicated profile of optimized servers, CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for accessing streaming sites. Each of the specialty servers is labeled according to the platform it works best with. You can find these listed in the left panel of the app under "For Streaming". During my tests, I used its "Netflix US" connection, which let me access the site without issue. I watched 3 episodes of Ozark with a stable connection and zero buffering the entire time. It also worked seamlessly with Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

CyberGhost's Windows app displaying where to find its specialty servers

You can even "favorite" specialty servers for quick and easy access later

On top of this, it offers specialty servers for smooth gaming and torrenting. The gaming connections are optimized for low ping and reliable speeds, while its torrenting servers give you strong security and fast downloads. Each of the torrenting servers displays its distance to your location, making it easy to find a nearby option. I used its Panama connection (the closest to me) to download a 790 MB file in less than 3 minutes.

CyberGhost ensures that your privacy is safeguarded — it's based in Romania, which is outside of 5,9, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction. In other words, it doesn't fall under any data retention laws. However, your information is never collected anyways since it follows a strict no-logs policy. What's more, it offers its own private servers (NoSpy) that you can find easily within the app. NoSpy servers are located in Romania and are only accessible to CyberGhost employees. Using these helps eliminate the possibility of third-party meddling.

In addition, it offers a combination of security features to protect you from hackers and other cyberthreats. This includes 256-bit encryption paired with perfect forward secrecy — plus, DNS/IP leak protection, and a kill switch. I tested it by suddenly switching servers while playing a YouTube video. As soon as I did, I was disconnected from the network. There was a notification telling me that CyberGhost was temporarily blocking my traffic until my connection was restored. This way, your data won't be leaked, even accidentally.

There are user-friendly apps available for the most popular operating systems. They each have features you can tweak to get the security you need. One of which is a built-in content blocker that prevents malicious ads and trackers from compromising your device. I also found its Smart Rules feature particularly helpful — it lets you customize how and when the app protects your traffic. For example, I enabled a setting that automatically turns the VPN on when I join an unsecured network. Another function found in Smart Rules is split tunneling.

CyberGhost's Windows app displaying how to enable the built-in adblocker

All of its other security and privacy settings are just as easy to adjust in the app

It offers the most reputable security protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard. OpenVPN is ideal for providing you with strong security — it's open-source and regularly updated to eliminate vulnerabilities and fix bugs. That being said, my personal favorite for balancing security and speeds is WireGuard. I found it to be about 15% faster than OpenVPN, while providing the same level of encryption.

CyberGhost is superfast, allowing you to stream, game, and torrent without interruptions. When I tested 3 nearby servers (Miami, Atlanta, and Chicago), I found an average of 45 Mbps. I even used its Miami server to play Call of Duty: Warfare online and didn't encounter any lag the entire hour I played. Next, I tested 3 long-distance servers — Germany, Australia, and Japan. While Japan and Germany maintained over 39 Mbps, Australia produced 18 Mbps, which is quite a bit of speed loss. Luckily, CyberGhost offers tons of servers, so I could easily find a faster Australian connection.

One minor con is that CyberGhost does not work in countries with strict online censorship, like China and the UAE. However, this is only a point to consider if you plan to visit one of these countries.

Subscriptions are affordable — you can sign up for CyberGhost for as low as $2.29/month with its long-term option. It also offers short-term plans including the same features, but they are a bit pricier per month. So I recommend going with the long-term subscription to save you the most money.

The long-term plans also offer a generous 45-day money-back guarantee — and it's one you can trust. I made sure by requesting my refund after 30 days using its 24/7 live chat feature. The support rep was not pushy, and only asked 2 quick questions regarding my experience. Right after, they approved the return, and I saw the money back in my account in 4 days.

Try CyberGhost Now

3. Private Internet Access - Secure Global Network

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No (P2P is allowed on all servers)
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, HBO Now, Disney+, Hulu, Showtime, and SkyTV
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, PS4/Xbox, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
July 2022 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

Offering exceptional security for a low sticker price has seen Private Internet Access increase in popularity in recent years.

With Private Internet Access, you’re in safe hands thanks to military-grade encryption and support for multiple VPN protocols, keeping your data and identity firmly out of reach of hackers, trackers, and other third parties. It also doesn't store any info about you, so you're free to surf the web with complete anonymity.

Private Internet Access is a simplistic VPN, so you won't find a ton of additional security features but it does have a malware blocker. The VPN's built-in malware blocker MACE promises to protect against adware and other viruses. We tested it by visiting some ad-heavy torrenting sites and other sketchy locales, and we're happy to report MACE worked beautifully.

While we were on these sites, we tested the VPN's torrenting capabilities. As it has a network of over 29,650+ servers in 84 countries, we expected fast speeds for hassle-free downloads—and the VPN delivered.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed UK server 10 ms 54.83 Mbps 11.21 Mbps
Recommended UK server 12 ms 53.74 Mbps 11.30 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 13 ms 34.52 Mbps 11.47 Mbps
Recommended US server 142 ms 22.98 Mbps 11.34 Mbps
Manual connect US server 130 ms 18.07 Mbps 11.31 Mbps
Manual connect FR server 45 ms 16.95 Mbps 11.34 Mbps
Manual connect CAN server 171 ms 26.78 Mbps 11.42 Mbps
Manual connect AU server 227 ms 12.93 Mbps 6.95 Mbps

Not only are these speeds fast enough for speedy downloads, but they're also quick enough to maintain HD streaming with minimal or no buffering and lag. Private Internet Access' geoblock-busting technology allowed us to watch Netflix US and UK, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and a few more streaming sites.

You can connect up to 10 devices at once with a Private Internet Access subscription, and it's compatible with all major platforms. We found its apps to be user-friendly, but if you do need extra help, it's available via live chat—which we found responsive and helpful every time we tried it. You also have access to a huge knowledge base of FAQs, tutorials, and setup guides.

Don’t use if:

You want a VPN with several advanced security features.

Overall, Private Internet Access provides excellent value for money and is a great choice of VPN for the privacy-conscious. Test out Private Internet Access risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access offers lots of ways to save. Check out our coupons for current discounts.

Try Private Internet Access Now!

Want to know more? Explore our Private Internet Access review to see the full results of our research and testing.

4. IPVanish — Robust Security Features

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No (P2P is allowed on all servers)
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, Showtime, and SkyTV
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, PS4/Xbox, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
IPVanish July 2022 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 77% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

IPVanish has top-of-the-line security features, which makes it ideal for streaming, gaming, and even torrenting.

It keeps you safe with AES-256 type encryption — the strongest available and allows you to choose between 6 security protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, L2TP, IPSec, and PPTP. This way, it keeps your computer safe and your identity completely anonymous.

It’s not a complex VPN service and has limited settings. However, it’s very easy to use. You can just choose a location, and then IPVanish will find you the best server in the best city. It has no problem unblocking the most popular streaming services out there, and bypassing regional blocks is an easy process.

I tested 7 servers of its entire network of 2,000 spread across 75, and the results were impressive.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed 3 ms 43.98 Mbps 58.43 Mbps
Recommended UK server 49 ms 22.56 Mbps 30.33 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 71 ms 10.40 Mbps 29.59 Mbps
Recommended US server 158 ms 13.02 Mbps 16.71 Mbps
Manual connect US server 161 ms 17.60 Mbps 26.81 Mbps
Manual connect FR server 241 ms 22.14 Mbps 51.86 Mbps
Manual connect CAN server 124 ms 40.27 Mbps 62.85 Mbps
Manual connect AU server 242 ms 18.35 Mbps 26.55 Mbps

The lowest speed I got during my tests was 10 Mbps. This is more than enough to stream in HD and maintain a bufferless connection. It successfully unblocked Netflix US, UK, and Canada, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ with all the servers I tested.

It offers an unlimited number of connections, and it’s compatible with all the mainstream operating systems. This means that you can keep all your devices protected at the same time. Best of all, IPVanish is easy to use — just choose your desired location, and it will find you the best connection. If you encounter any problems, you can reach out through its live chat or call-in support.

Don’t use if:

You want to pay for a subscription with cryptocurrencies.

IPVanish offers high speeds and excellent security features, and all for a great price. You can even test it out using its 30-day money-back guarantee before you commit.

When you’re ready to subscribe, take a look at its latest deals and save up to 77% on your plan.

Try IPVanish Now!

5. PrivateVPN - Test It Out With a Free Trial

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No, but P2P traffic is allowed on all servers
  • Works with: Netflix, Sling TV, Fox Go, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

PrivateVPN manages a compact network of 200+ self-owned servers in 63 countries, but it remains an excellent choice for accessing content from around the world. Our researchers tested servers from the US, the UK, Italy, and Australia to see how PrivateVPN did with geoblocking. We tried Netflix US, Sling TV, and BBC iPlayer, and it unlocked them all.

When we ran speed tests, we found that PrivateVPN performs best when you connect to nearby servers. The further out you go, the most drastic the speed loss. However, it's important to note that despite the speed losses, our connections were still fast enough for high-speed browsing and HD streaming.

This Sweden-based provider is committed to ensuring its users’ privacy and security. Although subject to 14-Eyes jurisdiction, PrivateVPN can’t turn over your data because it doesn’t log any. The simple, easy-to-use apps come with AES-256 encryption and support for OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, and PPTP protocols.

As well as a kill switch, PrivateVPN offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection. It also has a Stealth mode designed to bypass VPN blocks and DPI firewalls, giving you unlimited access to global content. We know the Stealth mode works because our researchers in China confirmed it.

Don’t Use If:

You need the fastest speeds over longer distances.

If you’re hunting for a provider with great deals on both short- and long-term plans, PrivateVPN could be what you need. Its 7-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee give you enough time to test this VPN yourself.

Try PrivateVPN Now!

Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

6. ProtonVPN — Basic, Reliable Workhorse

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Android TV, and routers
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

ProtonVPN has 1,772 servers in 63 countries and can unblock some geo-restricted websites and streaming platforms, like Netflix and Hulu. It has P2P support on all of its servers, meaning that you can use it for torrenting.

It uses AES-256 encryption along with the OpenVPN protocol, which is the security standard in the industry. This means that your activity and identity are hidden from the websites you visit, your ISP, and authorities.

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland and has a strong no-logs policy. It doesn’t store any information about you or your online activity — and even if it did, the government wouldn’t be able to request any info due to the country’s data protection laws.

You can connect up to 10 devices to one account. This means that you can keep your gadgets protected and access your favorite movies and shows from all around the world.

During the tests, ProtonVPN unblocked some of the most popular streaming platforms, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max, without problems. However, it couldn’t unblock Disney+ and ESPN, so keep this in mind if watching international movies and shows is your main goal.

You can give ProtonVPN a try using its free version — it has unlimited bandwidth, and you don’t need to watch ads to use it. However, you can’t access geo-restricted content with its free plan, and the speeds aren’t great.

Don’t Use If:

You need a VPN to access Disney+ or ESPN.

ProtonVPN is a stable service that provides proper encryption and unblocks a handful of streaming platforms. If you want to give it a try, use its 30-day money-back guarantee and see if it’s for you.

Try ProtonVPN Now!

Want to know more? Explore our ProtonVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

7. ZenMate — Specialty Servers Let You Stream and Torrent With Ease

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: Yes
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Vudu, and more
  • Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, game consoles, smart TVs, routers, and more
  • Data logging: strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

ZenMate offers specialized servers for specific streaming sites and torrenting. These are easy to find in the app. When you click "For Streaming", you'll see a list of site-specific connections for the most popular platforms. When I tested the Netflix US connection, it allowed me to access my account within seconds. It also worked seamlessly when I tried it with Disney +, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer.

The torrenting servers are displayed with their distance and load percent, so you can easily choose a fast connection. Each one is optimized for safe and fast downloads. I tested out its US specialty server by downloading Night of the Living Dead from uTorrent. The file is 1.2 GB and only took about 9 minutes to finish downloading.

Not only could I watch Netflix US, but it also worked with all of the other 5 Netflix libraries I tried it with (including the UK and Japan). ZenMate has 4,600 servers in 81 countries, so it's easy to find a reliable connection to unblock streaming sites.

Another feature making ZenMate ideal for streaming (and torrenting), is its fast speeds. First, I tested a couple of nearby servers (the US and Canada) and found an average of 32 Mbps. The long-distance servers I tested were slightly slower, averaging about 23 Mbps. While it's not as fast as ExpressVPN, you can still stream in HD with these speeds.

It's also a great option for large households since it gives you Unlimited simultaneous device connections. During my tests, I had my PC laptop, tablet, and mobile phone connected to ZenMate. I watched Netflix on my tablet while downloading a torrent on my laptop — the entire time, I didn't encounter any lag or interruptions.

With 256-bit encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, and a kill switch, your personal data will be protected. I used an online leak detection tool to see if you can rely on this — it found none, whatsoever.

On top of this, it has a built-in tracker and malware blocker to prevent malicious attacks and limit websites from recording your activity. Even ZenMate won't have access to your data since it follows a strict no-logs policy.

Unfortunately, ZenMate doesn't offer 24/7 live chat support. Luckily, I found that its website offers very helpful information in support articles and FAQs. You can also send a contact form with your questions or concerns — when I sent a question, I received an answer within 24 hours.

Don’t use if: You need really fast speeds with long-distance servers.

Subscriptions are very affordable; you can sign up for ZenMate for as low as $1.51/month. There are short-term plans available, which offer all of the same features. However, they will end up costing you much more, so the best value is in the long-term plans.

You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee when you sign up. This policy is one you can rely on, too. When I tested it, I just sent in a contact form requesting my refund. The agent emailed back quickly, and asked for my reason. After I replied, I got confirmation that my return was approved by the end of the day. The money was back in my account after just 6 days.

Try ZenMate Now!

8. Hotspot Shield — Catapult Hydra For Security at Top Speeds

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No, but P2P is allowed on all servers
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Sky Sports, and more
  • Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, game consoles, smart TVs, routers, and more
  • Data logging: No identifiable logs
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days

To keep your speeds lightning-fast, Hotspot Shield offers its proprietary protocol called Catapult Hydra. Like OpenVPN, it provides 256-bit encryption, but I found it to be significantly faster. When I tested it, I started with a base speed of 49 Mbps. After connecting the VPN to a nearby server (using Catapult Hydra), my speed only dropped to 48Mbps. I didn't notice any affect on my connection.

Even its distant servers maintained impressive speeds. I tested 3 global servers — Australia, Japan, and Germany and found an average of 42 Mbps. Even though these locations are thousands of miles from me, I still had more than enough speed to stream in Ultra HD. You can enjoy streaming, browsing, gaming and torrenting without annoying interruptions.

Hotspot Shield uses strong security features to protect your personal data. This includes DNS/IP leak protection and a kill switch to help keep your information hidden from prying eyes and hackers. The kill switch is easy to find in the app's security settings and is enabled with one click. Plus, it comes with built-in malware and phishing protection — so even your device will be kept safe while you browse.

As an additional safety layer, Hotspot shield combines 256-bit encryption with perfect forward secrecy. This feature prevents even your past and present data from being decrypted — in the extremely rare event your current session key is compromised.

It's also a great option for streaming since it works with the most popular platforms. Since Hotspot Shield offers 1,800 servers in 110, you'll have no problem finding a reliable connection for unblocking content. While testing, I used it to access Netflix US, the UK, and Japan. It also worked with Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. The only site I tried to access and could not was Hulu.

You can even enjoy shows and movies from your smart TV or game console by setting Hotspot Shield up on your router. I found some easy-to-follow instructions on its website — within a few minutes, I had it set up on my Asus router. This allowed me to use the VPN on my Apple TV so I could watch global content on the big screen.

With P2P support on all of its servers, Hotspot Shield is ideal for torrenting. During my tests, I experienced fast downloads. I didn't encounter overcrowding since it gives you plenty of connection options.

The only complaint I have is that Hotspot Shield's privacy policy is a bit vague. However, upon further research, I found out that it doesn't collect any logs that can be used to identify you. While it does temporarily collect your IP address to prevent fraud, it’s immediately encrypted and then deleted after your VPN session.

Don’t use if: You want a VPN to access Hulu.

With a 3-year subscription, you can sign up for Hotspot Shield for just $2.99/month. There is also a monthly and yearly plan offering the same features. However, they're significantly higher in price. So you're best off going with the 3-year plan. It also offers a free version, but there’s only 1 server location in the US, and your data is limited to only 500MB per day.

It also comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try Hotspot Shield out for free. I tested this to make sure it's trustworthy — all I had to do was contact an agent via 24/7 live chat. After a short conversation, it was approved, and I had the money back by the next week.

Try Hotspot Shield Now!

9. hide.me — Private DNS Servers to Protect Your Devices

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No, but all servers support P2P traffic
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Vudu, Showtime, Discovery Plus, and more
  • Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, game consoles, smart TVs, routers, and more
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Since hide.me's entire network runs on private DNS servers, you won't have to worry about your online safety. Many VPNs rent servers from third parties, but hide.me manages all its DNS servers, which are protected with 256-bit encryption and can’t log any of your online activity. That means you can be sure that your data won't fall into the wrong hands.

Your privacy is well-protected since it adheres to a strict no-logs policy. Plus, hide.me is based in privacy-friendly Malaysia which is outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction. Even better, I found out that you can pay with cryptocurrency which is ideal for privacy-conscious users.

It also uses top-notch security features to ensure your location and personal information are hidden at all times. This includes DNS/IP leak protection, as well as its unique feature called StealthGuard. During my tests, I found this option in the app's settings. StealthGuard lets you choose which sites and apps are only accessible through the VPN, so you don't accidentally reveal sensitive information.

If speeds are of greater concern for you, its Bolt feature can give your connection a boost. With this enabled, hide.me avoids the use of UDP for your TCP traffic — in other words, it helps prevent ISP throttling and slowdowns. I tested this feature while streaming Red Notice on Netflix and didn't encounter any lag or interruptions the entire time.

Bolt's fast speeds also make hide.me a great option for torrenting. Plus, you can avoid overcrowding while downloading torrents since it supports P2P on all of its servers.

Its network offers 2,000 servers in 75 countries, including a selection of streaming-optimized servers. I tested hide.me with Netflix US and had no problem accessing my account. You can even use it with Disney +, which is notoriously difficult to unblock. Unfortunately, I could not get it to work with BBC iPlayer or HBO Max.

I found the apps to be super easy to navigate, making it perfect for VPN beginners. All of the security features and protocols are organized and can be enabled with one click. Plus, each setting offers a clear and concise description to give you a better understanding of its functionality.

Don’t use if: You want a VPN to access BBC iPlayer or HBO Max.

One downside to hide.me is that its short-term plans are pretty pricey. However, its long-term plan is the best value at just $4.16/month. I was also impressed that it offers a free version that supports torrenting, but it’s pretty limited — you only get 10GB of data per month and there are only 5 server locations available.

Fortunately, you can try it out for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee that comes with every plan. When I tested it, all I had to do was write an email to request my refund. There were no questions asked. I was approved for the return within 24 hours. The next week, I got the money back in my account.

Try hide.me Now!

10. TunnelBear - Secure and Easy-to-Use

  • Dedicated torrenting profile: No, but servers support P2P connections
  • Works with: HBO Go, Spotify
  • Available on: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
  • Data logging: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: No

A high-speed VPN with servers in over 48 countries, TunnelBear has intuitive apps that I found simple to install and easy to navigate.

Although TunnelBear doesn’t have the extensive device compatibility of some of the larger VPNs, with browser extensions available and the apps are supported by the major platforms, you should be able to connect to the VPN on most of your gadgets. Your TunnelBear subscription allows 5 simultaneous device connections.

With a large, widespread server network, I was expecting fast speeds and I wasn’t disappointed. Although there was a significant drop of around 60% when connecting to a US server, speeds were consistently over 5 Mbps, more than fast enough for lag-free browsing and smooth video streaming in HD.

Unfortunately, you man not be using these speeds for much streaming as I was unable to unblock any of the major streaming services. The only platform I could access consistently was HBO, so if you do want a VPN for streaming, I recommend one of these VPNs.

TunnelBear is independently audited, employs unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption, and guarantees no data logging. Plus, an ad-blocker is available as a free browser extension and proved effective in eliminating mid-roll ads on YouTube.

TunnelBear doesn’t currently offer a money-back guarantee on its paid plans, but it does have a limited free version that allows you to test out the service. However, you’re limited to just 500 MB of data a month - you can tweet them for an extra 1 GB - which is only enough for 30 minutes of standard definition streaming.

Don’t Use If:

You want a VPN for streaming as TunnelBear is unable to access all the major streaming platforms

Although TunnelBear does have some drawbacks, it’s easy-to-use, has great connection speeds and useful privacy tools.

Want to know more? Explore our TunnelBear review to see the full results of our research and testing.

Best VPNs - Quick Comparison Table

Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee Compatible Streaming Services
ExpressVPN - 30 days Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, BBC iPlayer, and more
CyberGhost - up to 45 days Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and more
Private Internet Access - 30 days Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, Showtime, Disney+,Hulu, and more
IPVanish
- 30 days Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, Showtime, and SkyTV
PrivateVPN 7 days 30 days Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more
ProtonVPN - 30 days Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer
ZenMate 7 days 30 days Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Vudu, and more
Hotspot Shield 7 days 45 days Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Sky Sports, and more
hide.me - 30 days Netflix, Disney+, Vudu, Showtime, Discovery Plus, and more
TunnelBear - - HBO Go, Spotify, and more

Why You Need a VPN

Online dangers are taking your freedom and choice:

  • Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for your personal details so they can steal your money or even your identity, using more advanced tools
  • Companies are tracking you and reaching into your wallet with dynamic pricing that suits them, while the cheaper prices are kept hidden
  • ISPs are slowing down your connection speed when you want to run torrents
  • Governments are censoring what you can or can not see online

A VPN is a valuable tool for protecting yourself and taking back your Internet freedom. It allows you to:

  • Access content on streaming services that's only available in certain countries. For example, if you travel abroad, you can connect your VPN to a server in your home country and continue enjoying the Netflix library you're used to.
  • Protect your personal data so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of hackers, advertisers, or other third parties
  • Get complete anonymity every time you go online, whether you’re catching up on the news, torrenting files, shopping, or doing research
  • Increase your connection speeds, especially if your ISP is currently throttling it

During our most recent tests, we found that there are over 300 VPN services available. While many of them can do some of the above—and plenty promise to, just to fall flat—only the best VPNs can do it all.

Research Methodology: How We Ranked & Compared These VPNs

With hundreds of VPNs all claiming to be the best, how do you choose the right one? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve tested over 300 of them and compiled the very best VPNs here. Our in-depth reviews give you all the information you need, covering all the important criteria you need to make the right choice.

My rigorous tests included many trials, and each of the 300 VPNs I tested were analyzed bit by bit. My research also includes field tests by our researchers in over 30 countries who tested every VPN against local geoblocks, ISPs, government censorship, and tracking. All tests are done periodically to make sure the results you see here are current. Here are the key factors in determining each VPN's rankings:

Security

Two crucial aspects of a top VPN are privacy and security. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a provider that doesn’t offer them on paper—but things can be different in reality.

A VPN with a verified no-logs policy ensures that your digital footprint is secure. No-logs policies mean none of your data is collected, stored, or shared while you’re browsing. It protects you from prying eyes and preserves your privacy, making it one of the leading criteria in our VPN rankings.

Speed

Another must-have ingredient in the recipe for the best VPN is speed. Using a VPN means your traffic is sent through additional servers, affecting your speed. Every VPN will slow you down in some way; the real question is by how much. The fastest VPN services have the smallest impact on your connection quality. They’ll let you browse, torrent, and stream without annoying lag or buffering.

A really fast VPN can also help you overcome ISP throttling. You may end up with faster speeds than you started with.

Our tests included remote intercontinental connections with limited bandwidth to offer a real challenge to each VPN.

Streaming

Speaking of streaming, VPNs are a popular solution for accessing the full range of content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and DAZN. Such platforms limit their service depending on your region, but connecting to the right VPN server can open the door to your favorite shows.

Torrenting

VPNs are also useful for torrenting fans—especially in countries where torrents are prohibited. Even if you follow the rules (we recommend you do), torrenting without extra protection can expose you to greedy copyright trolls and hackers.

P2P connections aren’t secure, but you can change that with a good VPN for torrenting. By masking your real IP address and hiding your traffic behind a layer of encryption, you’ll avoid all the threats that come with downloading torrents while enjoying the benefits. In our VPN comparison, we checked out torrenting features like P2P profiles, SOCKS5 proxies, and easy setup with torrent clients.

Censorship

Last but not least, let’s talk censorship. You know you’ve landed on a reliable provider when your VPN works in a country that actively tries to block it. During our research, we looked at special features and settings for extra obfuscation. The top VPN services in our overall list have proven themselves in censorship-heavy regions like China, Iran, and the UAE.

Many other factors played a significant part in our final rankings. These include server network size, encryption, security features, ease of use, and of course—price. We spared no expense in exploring every detail for our VPN reviews and tests.

FAQs

Are VPNs legal?

People sometimes think that VPNs may be illegal because they’re occasionally used for illicit purposes. However, in most countries around the world, VPN use is completely legal—though there are important exceptions you need to know about. The only countries where using a VPN is a grey area (and in some cases, forbidden) are China, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Oman, and the UAE.

Those things that a VPN does—encrypting data, combatting geoblocks, and providing anonymity—are not illegal. But remember: Anything you do that’s illegal without a VPN is still illegal with a VPN. We do not condone using a VPN for any illegal activities.

Are VPNs safe?

VPNs are safe to use in most countries. However, it’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the rules and stay out of trouble.

However, you may be taking a risk if:

  • You use a non-government-permitted VPN in a country where the government mandates which VPNs are allowed.
  • You torrent copyrighted material with a VPN that keeps logs or doesn’t have a kill switch.

Are VPNs hard to use?

The best VPNs are very easy to use. In most cases, you just need to download the appropriate app for your device, install, and launch.

The top VPN services we’ve recommended above have user-friendly interfaces that even beginners can easily figure out. Lots of times, you can use a quick-connect button to instantly connect to a nearby server. If you’re trying to get around a geoblock, just choose a server in the location of your choice.

Tip: If you’re new to VPNs and want to learn more about what they do, check out our VPN guide for newbies—it’s packed with info about VPN features, uses, and benefits.

How much does a VPN cost?

After hearing about all the wonderful things that VPNs can do, you might wonder what kind of price tag they come with. All the VPNs I’ve recommended above are extremely affordable, with some costing less than $2 per month.

If you’re ready to make a purchase, first head to our VPN coupons page. You’ll find exclusive discounts that will save you money.

Are there free VPNs?

There are free VPNs available, but our advice is simple: It’s best to stay away.

Getting something for nothing is enticing, no doubt. However, with the wrong free VPN, you might pay nothing upfront—but you may pay later in the form of ridiculously slow connection speeds, a malware infection, or even a stolen identity.

Not all free VPNs are scams. We recently researched dozens of services to find those free VPNs that truly are legit. They all come with limitations, such as data caps or restricted access to features, but they’re safe to use if you really need them.

Can I Use Tor or a Proxy Instead of a VPN?

Tor, proxies, and VPNs are three completely different types of software that sometimes serve the same use. Let’s take a closer look.

Tor (short for The Onion Router) utilizes an anonymizing network that bounces your connection through several volunteer servers. While this process makes you (and your data) much harder to track, it will slow you down. Tor is a very complex topic, so check out our ultimate guide to Tor if you’re curious for more info and tips.

Compared to VPNs, Tor has its drawbacks. While it’s free to use, it provides weaker encryption and slower connections. The best move is to use both Tor and a VPN together and reap all the benefits. A stable VPN removes Tor’s weaknesses, while Tor improves your privacy even further.

That said, not all VPNs are compatible with Tor. To make it work, you need a VPN like ExpressVPN that offers its own.onion site in the Tor network.

Proxy services have one advantage over VPNs: they offer fast speeds (and hide your IP address). However, they have no other security features, don’t encrypt your data, and don’t even offer an interface.

These features mean proxies are not secure or easy to use. However, they can improve your connection speeds if privacy isn’t a concern for you.

There are hundreds of proxies out there, so it’s important to choose the right one. Better yet, invest in a fast, cheap VPN and benefit from extra protection and privacy on top of great speeds.

Note: We at vpnMentor provide a free proxy tool! Feel free to use it if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to pick and choose.

Should I use a VPN on my phone?

Ideally, you should use a VPN on every internet-enable device you use. After all, every connection to the internet is an opportunity for hacking, surveillance, and tracking.
Many VPNs, including all the services that make up our best VPNs list above, offer apps for a variety of devices, including smartphones. Would you like to know more? Check out our best VPNs for Android and best VPNs for iOS research articles.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs in 2022...

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