In the modern world, companies and government agencies across the globe are constantly keeping an eye on our daily Internet activities. Whether it be for advertising purposes, research, or something else, there comes a point that everyone starts to wonder about how safe it is openly present so much of themselves to the world at large. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for those of us that wish to limit how much information about ourselves we expose to the world. VPNs offer users a high degree of privacy and anonymity by relaying all of your Internet traffic through servers that are shared with thousands of other individuals. This makes it impossible for anyone watching your Internet traffic to know what websites you are visiting and what information is being transferred to and from your computer. Below we’ve listed five of the best VPN services available that offer excellent performance and features for your everyday use.
NordVPN is the most highly recommended VPN service in the industry thanks to its extensive feature set. Alongside the typical features you’d expect to see, this service also includes a toolset aimed at those of us most in need of privacy. With optional onion-over-VPN, double VPN, and anti-DDoS connections, you’ll be able to surf safely even under intense scrutiny. Our sister site PCMag reviewed this service and gave it a perfect 5/5 rating as well as an Editors’ Choice award. The service costs $11.95 per month, but the company offers a two year plan for just $89.00, which makes it one of the more affordable VPN plans as well. • $11.95 per month, $59.00 per year • Learn more at PCMag • Buy NordVPN
The Private Internet Access VPN has made a name for itself in the VPN world and it is one of the most widely recognized. It lacks some of the more advanced features that NordVPN offers, and it has fewer servers, but that’s not to say that Private Internet Access VPN doesn’t have its fair share of features. It comes with a built-in ad block function as well as P2P and BitTorrent support, and with each license, you get five simultaneous connections in addition to a host of other features. It’s also more affordable than NordVPN starting at just $11.95 per month, with a two-year subscription costing just $69.95. • $11.95 per month, $49.95 per year • Learn more at PCMag • Buy Private Internet Access VPN
IPVanish VPN lacks the warm fussy exterior of TunnelBear VPN, but it offers an extensive list of features and excellent performance. The company takes a strong stance on security and anonymity by offering 256-bit AES encryption and anonymous torrenting with all of its plans. It also offers 10 simultaneous connections and access to over 1,300 servers in 75 different locations around the world. • $11.99 per month, $39.00 per year • Learn more at PCMag • Buy IPVanish VPN
ProtonVPN is by far the smallest VPN service provider to make this list. It has fewer than 500 servers, the majority of which are in the United States. It’s lacking in features, too, as there’s no built-in ad blocker. To make things worse, it’s relatively slow. By now you are probably wondering why this service is on the list if it’s so bad, and the short answer is because it’s free. ProtonVPN has no data or speed limitations and there are no advertisements embedded in the software. Naturally, as a VPN, the company also doesn’t log your online activity and it’s relatively safe. This makes ProtonVPN an excellent service if you just want to try out a VPN for the first time or if you just want to use it for limited purposes. If you decide you like the service, you can upgrade to an inexpensive monthly plan that supports two devices and better performance for just $4 a month. • Free or $4 per month, $48 per year • Learn more at PCMag • Buy ProtonVPN Now read:
Grant Brunner wrote the original version of this article. It has since been updated with new information.