As you’ll already know, privacy on the internet by default is impossible.
- Companies tracking your every move.
- Advertisers following you to every websites.
- Apps tracking your usage.
- Governments snooping on what you do.
The list is endless!
Thankfully it doesn’t need to be like this. In this article, we’re looking at the leading VPN services that will allow you to take back your privacy.
Inside I’ll show you exactly which VPN services honor their claims and which you should definitely avoid.
It is vital for us to strive towards the highest levels of online privacy as possible, and one of the best ways to secure it is through Virtual Private Network (VPN).
With that said, there are many VPN providers, which makes it hard to know which one is the good one and which one is best avoided.
Below you’ll find seven of the best services to help you find the correct one and make sure your online usage is as secure as possible.
Top VPNs for Privacy
On the top of the list, we have ExpressVPN.
This is a VPN service located in the British Virgin Islands, a very privacy-friendly location, which is already an excellent start.
Another thing to note about this VPN provider is that it offers strong security features, such as military-grade encryption, obfuscated servers, a kill switch, a strict audited no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and more.
Of course, there are additional benefits, such as fast speeds, which are always desirable, and an extensive server network that offers over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries.
By using these servers to connect to different locations, anyone can hide their IP address and replace it with another, thus masking their identity.
With all these security features, you will not be leaking any personally identifiable information. And, on top of that, you will also be able to unblock various websites, including streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Disney+, and many others.
- Extremely fast speeds
- Military-grade encryption
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Professional and polite customer support
- Kill switch
- Audited No-logging policy
- User-friendly service
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Many different apps for various platforms
- Split tunneling, and more.
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Next up, we have NordVPN, this is another top VPN service, but this one is based in Panama.
NordVPN offers various privacy features, such as leak protection, a kill switch, no-logs policy, multiple security protocols, such as OpenVPN protocol that create a secure, encrypted tunnel for user data to flow through and be safely out of reach.
They also provide plenty of server locations with different IP addresses that allow you to hide your location from everyone, including your internet service provider.
In fact, NordVPN has over 5,400 VPN servers located in 50 different countries.
On top of that, it has excellent speeds, perfect for downloading large files, accessing restricted sites, streaming sites like BBC iPlayer or Netflix, and it offers plenty of VPN apps. Those include desktop apps, mobile apps, browser extensions, and more.
It was also independently audited to confirm that it genuinely doesn’t keep logs, and it passed the audits with flying colors.
In short, NordVPN offers:
- A 30-days guarantee
- Access to restricted sites
- A massive server network
- Fast speeds
- Leak protection
- A kill switch
- Double VPN
- OpenVPN protocol
- Live chat support
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections plus more
3. CyberGhost VPN
The third on the list is CyberGhost, another VPN with very fast speeds, DNS protection, strong customer support, and plenty of additional features.
In terms of security and privacy, CyberGhost offers strong encryption, the OpenVPN protocol and other security protocols, up to 7 simultaneous VPN connections, no-logs, and more.
It is perfectly capable of hiding your online activities, whether from government agencies or other third parties. CyberGhost also has a massive server network that offers over 6,800 VPN servers in over 90 countries.
It keeps no connection logs, but one thing that really makes it stand out is the fact that it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, essentially granting you a month and a half to use it before you have to decide whether you want to keep it or not.
With a combination of fast speeds, many server locations, and other features, it is also excellent for unblocking streaming sites and other geo-restricted or censored services.
You can use it to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more. Just connect to any of its servers to hide your IP address, and you will be safe.
If your internet connection ever breaks, the automatic kill switch will kick in and protect your privacy.
In essence, CyberGhost offers:
- Many features
- Top-notch features
- Ability to access streaming sites
- Mobile apps, desktop apps, browser extensions, console and Smart TV apps
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- No-logging policy
- Fast speeds and more
4. Surfshark VPN
In the fourth spot, we have another very reliable VPN with fast speeds, and this one also hails from the British Virgin Islands.
This VPN is called Surfshark. And, just like all others, it is more than capable to let you protect your internet connection by connecting through one of the number of servers that it offers.
Surfshark is a younger VPN than most others on this list. However, it still offers all the security features that we have mentioned elsewhere, secure connection through security protocols and encryption, an abundance of servers (over 3,200 of them in 65 countries), plenty of IP addresses, a kill switch, desktop apps, and mobile apps alike, and more.
Surfshark even offers something that most other VPNs don’t, and that is an unlimited number of connections per license. Essentially, you pay for a plan and you get to connect as many devices as you want.
It doesn’t keep connection logs, and it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you have any issue, you can always turn to its customer support for help.
The only negative associated with the service is the fact that it has limited P2P servers with somewhat slower speeds.
To summarize, Surfshark has:
- Strong privacy and security features
- Fast speeds
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Good customer support
- A large number of servers
- The ability to unblock streaming services
- A reliable VPN connection
Up next, we have VPN.ac. This is not a massive service like the ones mentioned previously, at least when we are talking about the number of available servers.
It covers around 20 countries or so, but it offers up to 12 connections, 6 using OpenVPN and 6 using WireGuard protocols.
VPN.ac guarantees that it will not keep any activity logs, it has no speed limits, and it offers a variety of security features, such as the automatic kill switch, multiple encryptions in addition to multiple protocols.
This ensures that your VPN connection will be as secure as possible, and it has a variety of addresses that you can use to replace your own IP address and reach online anonymity.
While its servers are certainly smaller than those of other providers, it is just as capable of hiding your activity from government agencies and other third parties that might be looking for unprotected data.
So, the small network is its biggest negative, with the other being the lack of a free trial. The service has something that resembles a trial period, but it is not free – they still require you to make a $2 payment.
- A stealth mode
- No activity logs
- P2P support
- 7-day money-back guarantee
- It accepts BTC payments
Nearing the end of the list, we have VyprVPN. This is another top-rated VPN service that claims not to keep connection logs and that it can protect users’ online activity, and so far, it did not disappoint.
VyprVPN offers a variety of features, including the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, and DNS protection, and other elements that can secure connection and protect user traffic.
It has a particular focus on streaming, which makes it a good choice for unblocking streaming services like BBC iPlayer, and it has over 700 servers in more than 70 countries around the globe, with its IP address count exceeding 300,000 addresses.
Simply put, this is an old, reputable, and reliable company that has a lot to offer, including very affordable prices.
One thing worth mentioning that might be taken as a flaw is that it doesn’t accept Bitcoin. Also, while its speeds are more than decent, it is not the fastest on this list, which might be important, depending on what you need a VPN for.
Bottom line, VyprVPN offers:
- Acceptable connection speeds
- The ability to protect your privacy
- The ability to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions
- It has a good network, although not one of the largest ones out there
- It is old and reputable
- It is cheaper than many others on this list
Finally, we have IPVanish, as the last VPN on our list.
IPVanish is an old and well-known service, although whether or not you would want to use it may depend. You see, to a lot of VPN users, IPVanish has one big flaw, and that is the fact that it is based in the US.
Now, the US is well-known for having a privacy-hungry government, so many would not put it past the government to order a VPN in its jurisdiction to start collecting data of its users.
However, it should also be noted that IPvanish claims not to keep connection logs, so if that is enough for you, then, by all means, IPVanish is waiting.
The service has all the best privacy and security features, it can access restricted services, prevent snooping by hackers or your ISP, keep your online presence and information private, and more.
It should also be noted that its customer service was reported as not exactly one of the best and that the client application is quite poor. But, other than that, this is a decent and reputable VPN service.
- Good security
- Multiple protocols
- Zero log policy
- Good speeds
- Low price
- It has its own infrastructure
- Usable on almost any device
How we assessed the providers
Selecting the best VPNs for privacy required taking a deep look into what each of the services has to offer and then ranking them based on those findings.
With so many VPN providers out there, here’s how we narrowed down our selection.
1. Privacy features
When selecting the best privacy VPN, privacy features are a must-have, obviously. Otherwise, you can never be sure that your online activity is truly hidden from third parties that may be interested.
We searched for services that had strong encryption and security protocols, and above all, a zero-logs policy.
2. Encryption levels
When your data travels the internet, it needs to be encrypted to be truly secure.
Even if it is protected through other means, it could still leak and be collected by hackers, government agencies, advertisers, or some other data-hungry third party.
In order to prevent that and make your VPN connection fully secure and reliable, it is necessary to use a VPN that has high encryption levels.
256-bit AES is the best encryption on the market right now, and all of the listed VPNs use it. In other words, as far as encryption goes, at least, you won’t get it wrong regardless of which service you choose.
3. Speed impact
When you use the internet, your speed is crucial as it determines how fast websites will load, whether or not you can stream videos, and at what quality, and so on.
Now, it is a well-known fact that VPNs, while applying their security measures, tend to slow down your internet speed. In other words, they have a speed impact.
That is the price of having a protected VPN traffic.
However, some VPNs have a greater impact than others, and it is in your best interest to get a VPN that impacts your speed the least. So, the faster the VPN, the better your speed.
4. Ease of use
Lastly, we looked into the VPN services’ ease of use.
VPNs are not exactly a secret technology, but neither are they well-known among people who do not actively research online security. So, newcomers to the VPN world might not find their way around so easily if they don’t select a service that was intentionally made simple to use.
With more and more people becoming more privacy-aware with every passing day, ease of use was an important factor for us when deciding which VPNs to support and recommend.
Privacy Features Explained
Lastly, allow us to explain some of the features that we looked into, as we understand that they might not be instantly recognizable for everyone.
With that in mind, here is what the following terms mean.
1. No log policy
No log policy is a promise that the VPN service will not keep a record of the users’ activities on the internet while using the VPN.
It is essential for a VPN not to keep logs, as that is the only guarantee that users have that their VPN of choice will not sell their data to third parties, be they advertisers, hackers, the government, or anyone else.
Another important term to understand is jurisdiction.
Essentially, this refers to a territory or region over which a certain government or other ruling body has the authority.
Basically, if you hired a VPN located in Panama and the US wanted to access your data, they would not be able to do it. Panama is not under the US’ jurisdiction, so it doesn’t answer to the country’s government.
Unfortunately, the US is not the only data-hungry nation out there, so it pays to do your research and learn all about you can about the country where your VPN of choice is based, and especially about its privacy laws.
3. Kill Switch
Next, we have the kill switch.
This is essentially a mechanism that all reliable VPNs (should) have. It was created in order to prevent user data from leaking and being exposed. The same is true for the users’ identity.
As you know, no technology is perfect, and that includes VPN, as well. So, as you use it, it is possible that the app might malfunction at some point, and as a result, expose your identity.
The kill switch is there to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Basically, it does it by instantly cutting off your access to the internet if the app ever malfunctions and starts behaving in a way that could expose you.
4. Leak protection
Lastly, we have leak protection.
This is another mechanism that acts as a security measure for your VPN. As mentioned, no app or code is perfect, and leaks can sometimes happen even if you use a VPN.
Leak protections are additional security measures that prevent leaks from happening.
Lastly, we have encryption.
Encryption is a process of securing your data in a way that makes it unreadable to anyone who might see it. VPNs already use security protocols to hide your data from the view, but as we just mentioned, sometimes, leaks may happen, and your data could get exposed.
This is why encryption is used as yet another protective layer if security protocols and leak protections fail.
Essentially, even if someone does collect some of your data, they would be unable to read it or say what you did online.
Are free VPNs suitable for privacy?
Unfortunately, no. Free VPNs are actually very bad for privacy.
Even if we assume that they use good enough technology, it is essential to remember that that technology costs money, and since you are not paying for the use of VPNs, that money does not come from you.
As a result, free VPNs have to turn to other methods of earning it.
While some may employ ads that they proceed to bombard you with, others would simply collect your browsing data and sell it to advertisers.
So, if you are using a VPN for the sake of security, using free VPNs should not even be on the list of things that you should consider.
Online privacy is nothing but an illusion unless you take the necessary steps to secure it for yourself on your own.
The best way to do that, of course, is to use VPNs.
However, not just any VPN will do. Each service comes with its own different features. Some features may be similar or even the same among multiple providers, but they might differ in quality. In contrast, while others may be unique to certain services and not found anywhere else.
After careful consideration and testing, our overall favorite is ExpressVPN. Don’t forget they have a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re unhappy with the service for any reason.
If you have time to do further research, check out the other six providers listed above as they’re all suitable options for increasing your online privacy.
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