VPN has been a hot topic in the industry for the past decade. With more stringent laws like GDPR coming in, users still don’t believe they have total privacy when it comes to their browsing habits. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to connect to servers in multiple places around the globe, to ensure your anonymity. This article contains an in-depth review of the Top 10 Best VPN for 2021. such as ExpressVPN – Best VPN Overall. NordVPN – Best Encryption. Surfshark – Best VPN for Torrenting. IPVanish – Best VPN for Android. CyberGhost – Best VPN for Mac. Hotspot Shield – Best VPN for Netflix. Private Internet Access – Best VPN for Windows. Tunnelbear – Best Free VPN.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN creates a protected link between you and the internet. All of your data traffic is routed via an encrypted virtual tunnel through the VPN. When you use the internet, this masks your IP address, making its location invisible to anyone. External attacks are also covered by a VPN link.
To put it in clearer terms, you could be flying from New York to London and wanted to watch one of your favourite TV shows on Netflix, due to geographical restrictions, you’ll be limited to only UK options. This is obviously frustrating, as you have a US subscription, yet can only view UK content. To get around this issue, a VPN allows you to connect to a server in New York, allowing you to watch your favourite US TV show.
Why do I need a VPN?
As more and more companies are getting sophisticated with technological advances, they have the ability to see many aspects of your browsing habits by cookies and a variety of other ways. Use a VPN to help protect your privacy, and in some cases, your identity.
VPN’s also have many other uses including having the ability to unblock Netflix, Hulu and also allows you to view content that may be restricted in your country.
Here we have rounded up the best VPN providers that are currently in the market right now.
Can I torrent with a VPN?
Finding the right torrenting VPN can be difficult, since not all VPN providers are capable of doing the job. However, we strongly advise using one because, while torrenting is a great way to share files quickly without relying on a centralised server, it also poses some specific risks that can only be mitigated by using a VPN for torrenting.
It’s always better to use a safety net when using P2P sharing because it exposes you to hidden and unknowable files from an anonymous source. A dedicated torrent VPN gives you the protection and privacy you need to keep your data and identity secure.
Although it is a real threat, uploading illegal content by mistake isn’t the only risk of torrenting. Your online activity becomes public knowledge when you connect to a P2P network, and anyone with the right resources can track it back to you. The easiest way to ensure that no activity can be tracked or used to identify you is to have a good torrenting VPN installed on your computer.
NB: We do not condone illegal torrenting, and our advice is only intended to assist legitimate torrent users seeking extra security.
The Best VPN Deals This Week
- ExpressVPN (Partner Exclusive) — 49 percent off a one-year plan with an extra three months for free — £5.02 per month (List Price £146.16; Save £75.23)
- CyberGhost VPN — 82 percent off a three-year plan with an extra three months for free — £1.99 per month (List Price £392.04; Save £314.43)
- NordVPN (Editors’ Choice) — 68 percent off a two-year plan with an extra three months for free — £2.86 per month (List Price £220.80; Save £152.27)
- Surfshark VPN — 81 percent off a two-year plan with code surfsharkdeal — £1.82 per month (List Price £227.04; Save £183.36)
- RusVPN — 80 percent off a one-year plan with an extra YEAR for free — £1.49 per month (List Price £71.52; Save £53.64)
- Private Internet Access – Get 2 months free with this months offer – £2.19 per month after
- PureVPN – Save 73% off a 2 year plan with PureVPN – £2.19 per month after
- One of the fastest VPN’s out there
- Support a multitude of devices
- 3,000+ servers; 160 in 94 countries
- 30 day free trial
- 24/7 support
- You can only use it on 5 devices
ExpressVPN has a large number of servers located all over the world, so you’ll be able to find one that’s convenient for you. It has also spent a lot of time and money developing and explaining how it runs a safe and stable company. Although the value of its offering has changed, it is still on the pricey side for what it gives the average customer.
You can get a special deal here with our link: 49% off a 15 month deal.
- Excellent security
- Nordlynx has insane speeds
- A plethora of servers (5,400 and counting)
- 80+ servers located in 59 countries
- Mobile App can be hard to navigate
- Only supports a maximum of 6 devices
NordVPN’s torrent support is a standout feature, and there’s plenty to like on the privacy front as well, with a slew of tools to keep you safe and anonymous online. Performance is fine, and this is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve ever tested, and it unblocked Netflix (and other streaming content) for us (albeit only via the VPN’s browser extension).
You can get a special deal here with our link: 2 year sale, meaning you save 68%.
Don’t forget to also check our article on how to set up NordVPN when you do sign up.
- Pros and cons
- 3,200+ servers
- 100+ servers in over 65 countries
- Supports unlimited devices
- Reliable servers allowing you to connect quickly
- The more loyal you are, the cheaper it is
- Great for your streaming needs
- 30 day free trial
- App is very simple
We were able to torrent and stream movies and TV shows without fear of retaliation thanks to Surfshark. With unlimited devices per subscription, this VPN assigned us a different IP address each time we connected, making tracing much more difficult; however, staying with the same IP address was also an option.
Currently a jaw dropping deal of 81% off here.
- Ultra reliable servers
- Live 24/7 chat support for when you need it
- Unlimited connections
- 1,500 servers
- 75+ server locations in 52 countries
- 30 day free trial
- Based in the US only
IPVanish performed admirably on our Android devices, with tight encryption, quick download speeds, and split tunnelling, all of which came in handy when we worked from home. Plus, unlike many other VPN providers, IPVanish offers excellent customer service, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via email, phone, or live chat. Most VPNs only provide minimal email support, so this is a rare occurrence.
IPVanish is a strong VPN provider with over 1,500 servers in over 75 locations and 24/7 customer service. However, one of the major selling points is that IPVanish recently changed its policies to allow unrestricted simultaneous connections – it’s one of only two VPNs on this list to do so, along with Surfshark.
Save nearly £100 on our special deal here.
- Servers from all over the globe
- 6,100 servers
- 24/7 live support
- 111 servers in 90 countries
- Multitude of features
- 45 money day back guarantee
- Some teething issues with iPlayer
- Could be more user friendly
- Can only support 7 devices
While we only tested it in the United States, CyberGhost has over 5,500 servers in 90 different countries, so you won’t have any trouble communicating no matter where you are in the world. Since CyberGhost is located in Romania, it is not a member of the international surveillance networks we keep mentioning; additionally, Romania has almost no data retention laws of its own, making it an excellent choice.
6. Private Internet Access
- Pricing is very competitive
- 17,300+ servers
- Can be used on 10 devices simultaneously
- 97 servers in 76 countries
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Access to support could be smoother
PIA has recently embarked on a massive expansion campaign, amassing a massive 19,000+ servers worldwide, though under the radar. That’s more than the amount of Express, Nord, Surfshark, and CyberGhost.
Since nearly 9,000 of these are located in the United States alone, and many of the more exotic locations are virtual servers, this expansion has resolved a question mark on their restrictions.
- Lots of features
- Unblocks Netflix and Disney+
- App has a lot that needs to be fixed
- Support is not always up to scratch
- Encryption concern with the Windows app
Based on Hong Kong PureVPN has been providing VPN services since 2007, so it’s no wonder that it has a long list of features: 2,000+ self-managed servers in 140+ countries and 180+ places, with applications for almost everything, a wide range of protocols, torrent support, DNS and IPv6 leak security, a smart kill switch, split tunnelling, and Bitcoin payment if required.
Another highlight is the platform support, which includes dedicated applications for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, plugins for Chrome and Firefox, and additional updates and guides to help you set it up on routers, Kodi, Android TV, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, and other devices.
8. Hotspot Shield
- Best free version currently out there
- 3,200 servers
- 130+ server locations are in 80+ countries
- Great for streaming
- Only allows support for up to 5 devices
- Servers are in China and Russia
- No manual set up for routers
Although its free VPN is perhaps its most well-known feature, our Hotspot Shield review discovered that its paying VPN is indeed very fine. It provides extremely high VPN speeds at a reasonable price, and it’s also fairly simple to use.
While those top speeds come with certain disadvantages, such as the fact that Hotspot’s proprietary protocol Catapult Hydra can’t be manually set up on routers as OpenVPN can, the service has significantly improved since our last test and is now one of our most strongly recommended VPNs.
- 800+ servers
- Audited regularly, indicated quality
- Excellent streaming VPN
- Unblock iPlayer, Netflix, HBO and more
- Can be quite pricy
- No live support
One of the most notable features is the ability to unblock TV subscription channel catalogues when travelling. What about Netflix? It’s no matter. Are you familiar with Amazon Prime Video? It’s easy. What is the BBC iPlayer? It’s a breeze. Proton is a good fit if your key reason for coming here is to find a good streaming VPN.
10. Tunnelbear VPN
- 1,000 servers
- Security is very high
- Secure VPN to ensure your safety
- US owned
- Barely any features
TunnelBear may be the ideal solution for those who have never used a VPN before and are a little overwhelmed by the possibility. You can start with a restricted free plan (which limits you to 500MB of data per month) or upgrade to the full service, which allows you access to over 1,000 servers in over 20 countries.
Whilst there is no conclusive winner as we continue to evaluate their products, there seems to be a clear two way battle between NordVPN and ExpressVPN. We’ll be continuing to do more in depth reviews in the coming weeks so watch this space.