Home » The 5 best VPN services that I have used and trust – 2021

The 5 best VPN services that I have used and trust – 2021

best virtual private network 2021

After reading why you need a VPN or everything you need to know about VPN

Seeking to optimize your online security and anonymity? You are, of course. Virtual private networking can help.

Here is a list of 5 best paid VPN you should consider.

Surfshark A speed leader packed with features.see on surfshark
Nord VPN Best VPN for reliability and security see on Nord VPN
ProtonVPN High-security standards at high speeds. see on Proton VPN
ExpressVPN   Proven privacy and awesome speeds. Check on ExpressVPN
Avira phantomVPNUnlimited devices, even in the free version. Pricing / free version click here

1.     SurfShark VPN

A speed leader packed with features.

PROS

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Rarely seen multihop and split-tunneling tools
  • Well-designed app
  • Excellent speed test scores.

CONS

  • Must complete broader audits of its service

About Surfshark

  • Number of servers: 3,200-plus
  • Number of server locations: 65
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • $2.49 a month (81% discount) for a two-year plan click here

Although the Surfshark network is smaller than others, the VPN service makes up for features and speed. Let’s start with the biggest victory it offers: unconditional support for the system. If you want to run your whole home or office on the Surfshark VPN, you don’t have to think about how many computers you have or are attached to. It also provides antimalware, ad-blocking and tracker blocking as part of its program.

And it’s very fast. With more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries, we lost less than 17 percent of the overall Internet bandwidth during our most recent speed checks. That’s faster than the 27 percent speed loss we’ve seen in previous studies, and it drives ExpressVPN to be the new frontrunner in our speed comparisons.

Surfshark scored generally high marks after its Chrome and Firefox plugins were audited for privacy by the German security company Cure 53 (PDF full report link)—although that audit was commissioned by Surfshark.

The business provides a wide variety of software support, running on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV and routers. Additional machines, such as game consoles, can be programmed for Surfshark via DNS settings. We especially like the function that allows you to whitelist some of the applications and websites to automatically override the VPN. This can be critically important for certain market applications.

Surfshark also provides three special modes tailored for those who wish to circumvent constraints and more deliberately conceal their online footprints. Camouflage Mode hides your VPN operation so that your ISP does not know that you are using a VPN. Multihop can leap your link through several countries to cover your trail. Finally, NoBorders Mode “allows [you] to successfully use Surfshark in restrictive regions.” Just be careful. Doing any of these three activities in your country could be unlawful and could result in serious fines. We didn’t see a single IP address or DNS leak during our testing, and we didn’t have any problems accessing Netflix.

Unlike several other VPN companies, Surfshark does not offer a one-year contract. Its cheapest deal is $2.49 a month for its two-year contract (you spend around $60 in advance). A six-month schedule is $6.49 per month (about $39 in advance), and a month-by-month plan is $12.95 per month. Definitely take advantage of your generous 30-day trial to determine if you like this program (and if you choose the two-year plan, maybe set a reminder in 23 months to see if you can talk it into a continued discount rate).

Click here for more about VPN

2.     Nord VPN

Best for reliability and security

PROS

  • WireGuard VPN technology
  • Multihop and Tor connections
  • Easy to use
  • Numerous server locations
  • Strong customer privacy stance

CONS

  • Expensive

About Nord

NordVPN is one of the most known brands in the world of VPN. It provides a generous simultaneous number of connections, including six simultaneous connections across its network, with virtually all other networks providing five or less. NordVPN also provides a dedicated IP alternative for people searching for a particular level of VPN link. NordVPN provides a kill switch and a VPN capability for Tor. During our checks, we did not find any privacy leakage.

In our most recent speed checks, NordVPN’s results was on par with those of its rivals, reducing our speeds by an average of 53 per cent (which is slower than the 32 percent loss measured in previous speed tests). We found that the speeds of NordVPN were stable high. 

There have never been any abrupt dips or service interruptions, even when we expected the VPN to crash, it proved itself to be up to the challenge.

The company’s two-year payment contract pays $3.71 a month ($89 billed at a time). The price is cheaper than most contenders, but the six-month package ($9 per month or $64 in total) and the annual plan ($11.95 per month) go up. But it has a full 30-day return period.

Although NordVPN has been staying on this list for a long time, we moved it to the penalty box in October 2019 to re-evaluate our recommendation after the investigation revealed that one of its leased servers had been accessed without permission in 2018.

Nord’s follow-up activities included—finally—multiple compliance audits, a bug bounty scheme, and heavier investments in server security.

Although we would have expected Nord to report the problem much sooner, the fact that the violation was restricted in scope and contained no user-identifying details helped to further validate that NordVPN does not retain logs of user behavior. As a result, Nord remains on this list as a preferred provider.

Click here for more

3.     ProtonVPN

High security standards at high speeds

When we checked ProtonVPN, we saw an impressively small 9.6 percent loss of speed relative to typical speeds without a VPN. ProtonVPN’s base speeds have sent it to the second position behind ExpressVPN and beyond much of our variety of services reviewed. Perhaps more remarkable is the potential of Proton to achieve these speeds despite a comparatively limited fleet of 1,050 servers in 54 countries. Like ExpressVPN, Proton still costs more than any of the VPNs we tested. Even so, the high safety levels of ProtonVPN and the legacy of openness could make this VPN worth the expense.

In addition to being able to transfer the traffic into a secure private server bunker, we appreciate ProtonVPN’s openness policy: it is entirely open-source with regularly released audits, and provides an optimized path to VPN to Tor servers. We are also sure that we will suggest your mobile app because it has eliminated the use of some poor security protocols, such as PPTP and L2TP, which are also used by some other VPNs.

We’d like to see ProtonVPN come down a bit on the price. The basic ProtonVPN kit, called Plus, runs $8 a month ($96 charged annually). That price is higher than our VPN Editors’ Pick, ExpressVPN, whose best plan is priced at $6.67 a month for an annual subscription. ProtonVPN also beats the price of NordVPN’s two-year schedule at $5 a month ($60 a year) and Surfshark’s existing $6 a month ($72 a year). Although ProtonVPN offers a $4 per month bundle, the package does not come with enough useful features to make it competitive with NordVPN.

Click here for more

4.      ExpressVPN

Blazing speeds, proven privacy

PROS

  • Large, diversely distributed fleet of servers
  • Strong privacy and information security practices
  • Split tunneling
  • Supports OpenVPN protocol across all platforms
  • Simple interface

CONS

  • Expensive
  • May be challenging to inexperienced users
  • Would benefit from widely distributed audits

About Express VPN

  • Number of IP addresses: 30,000
  • Number of servers: 3,000-plus in 160 locations
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 5
  • Country/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • 94-plus countries
  • 3 months free with 1-year plan

ExpressVPN assures us that its network is operated by the TrustedServer technology that ExpressVPN has developed to ensure that there are no logs of users’ online activities. In the privacy environment, ExpressVPN has a good track record, having undergone a server seizure by authorities that showed their zero-log strategy to be valid at the time. We really like the consistency of the VPN setup guides and the comprehensive details in the FAQ.

Although its speeds are reliably competing with heavy-hitting rivals, our 2020 speed testing saw ExpressVPN deliver a 52 per cent average loss of our regular internet speeds, a major slowdown relative to its 2019 2 per cent speed loss.

Like the rest of the top five VPN providers we tested, ExpressVPN provides a valuable kill switch feature that stops network data from leaking out of its protected VPN tunnel in the event that a VPN link fails. Unlike the others, however, ExpressVPN has won points from us for its support of bitcoin as a payment method—something not many of our favorites are doing, but it provides an extra layer of privacy throughout checkout.

The organization has been in operation since 2009, and ExpressVPN has a wide network of fast VPN servers distributed across 94 countries. Its cheapest deal is priced at less than $7 a month with an annual subscription, which involves three months free of charge.

Click here

5.     Avira Phantom VPN

PROS

  • Unlimited devices, even in the free version.
  • Affordable, flexible pricing.
  • Excellent consumer privacy policy.
  • Botnet protection.
  • Allows P2P and BitTorrent.

CONS

  • Few servers and server locations.
  • Inelegant desktop client.

It’s easy to be sure that nobody is really watching over your shoulder, but on the internet, it’s a lot harder to be sure you’re not being spied on. Through a virtual private network, such as Avira Phantom VPN, you are shielded from a variety of network attacks. This subscription service is inexpensive and allows an infinite range of devices to be paired at once, but it is not ideally fit for foreign travelers or those trying to spoof their location since it provides very few servers.

Avira Phantom VPN secures the web browsing of as many computers as you want, making it very valuable, but provides a limited number of servers and domain ranges, and its software is bulky.

Pricing for Avira check here

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