We know choosing a VPN service is difficult, there are just so many options. In this guide we’ll be examining the best options to save you time and money.
We tried to count the number of virtual private network options available but lost count somewhere around the 200 mark.
So we know how difficult it is.
With old and new VPN services to choose from, how do you even begin to know where to start?
It’s why we’ve put together this guide. We’ve tested a whole bunch of the most famous names, the services that others claim are the “best VPNs”, and we’ve tried them head-to-head to find out once and for all which is the best this year.
We ranked the five very best VPN services for 2021, so you don’t need to worry about wasting money on one of those slow, unreliable services. Instead, pick one of these five to keep you secure this year.
Top VPNs for 2021
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ExpressVPN is the number 1 VPN service this year because their overall service offers more and does it better than the competition.
They’ve got VPN servers in 94 countries with multiple cities available to connect to. In our tests, they recorded as the fastest VPN makes downloading or streaming high-quality video easy.
Talking about video, they also work with almost all of the most popular online streaming sites.
It unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ESPN+, Stan, SonyLiv and more works with the service. We found them to be the best for unblocking streaming services.
The range of apps covers every operating system including Windows, Mac OS, Android, Apple iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Linux and more.
Their app range is also straightforward to use and features strong industry-standard AES-256 encryption.
If that wasn’t enough then top it off with their 30-day money back guarantee and you’ve got an unbeatable VPN service.
Number 1 VPN for 2020
If there’s a VPN service to compete with ExpressVPN, then it’s IPVanish.
They don’t have quite as many server locations, although at current count they cover 60 countries which is very respectable. We loved their fast speeds too so you’ll have no trouble downloading or streaming.
One drawback is they don’t work with American Netflix, BBC iPlayer or some of the other more popular streaming services. If you’re looking for a VPN solely for that purpose, then we recommend you stick with ExpressVPN.
IPVanish retains no-logs of what you do while connected.
This means your browsing activity is private and you’re free to use your internet service without fear your actions will be monitored. They also use some super-strong encryption keeping your data safe.
There’s only a 7-day money back guarantee available so make sure you test the service quickly to check it’s suitable for your usage.
NordVPN is the most improved VPN service this year, and they’re chasing the top spots with an all round good quality service.
The service uses strong encryption and keeps no-logs of what you do while connected. They’ve even had their service audited to prove their no-log claim is valid.
We loved their apps as they’re super simple to use, well designed and work right out of the box. There’s no problematic set-up, and if you’re worried about using a VPN, then you don’t need to be – ‘beginner-friendly’ is the word here.
As with ExpressVPN, they’re exceptionally good with streaming services. Almost all services including US Netflix and BBC iPlayer work well. You can connect to any server globally and unblock the US Netflix site.
There’s a substantial 30-day money back guarantee available to allow you to test the service for a range of uses at no-risk to yourself. They’re also offer some great deals on monthly subscriptions when spread over three years.
4. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is another VPN that’s been improving over the years and why they’ve made it into our best of 2021 list.
They’ve got servers in 60-countries across the world, so there’s plenty of choice for connecting to protect your privacy or unblock access to services either at home, work or on public Wi Fi.
They also have the largest number of servers featuring some 6,000+.
We like the CyberGhost apps because they’ve got dedicated modes for streaming. If you want to watch American Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky or any other worldwide services, then their apps will help you get connected to the correct server.
The service also has an astounding 45-day money back guarantee. That’s longer than any other service we’ve seen. If you’re worried about signing up, then this length of warranty certainly has you covered.
VyprVPN is one of the oldest VPN services around, and over the past year, they’ve been massively improving their already good VPN service.
We like their new no-logs feature. Previously VyprVPN retained specific connection logs, but that’s now all gone, and they’ve even had an audit conducted to prove this.
They’ve also got some of the best download speeds we’ve seen. Couple those with the robust connections on VyprVPN and we’ve never been let down by a random loss of connection.
VyprVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee to match that of the competition.
How to choose an excellent VPN?
Choosing a VPN isn’t merely a case of Googling the term ‘VPN’ and metaphorically dropping a pin in a map anywhere.
While there are loads of VPN services out there and they all, in theory, ‘do the same job’ there are some massive differences.
The quality of VPN services can vary widely and what they’re offering in terms of speeds, locations, apps and more is usually different too.
We’ve compiled a checklist of features you should be looking for and considering when choosing a VPN service.
VPN Servers: The amount of and location of VPN servers is going to make or break your VPN usage. It’s one of the most critical features to consider. Does the service have servers in the locations you need (usually physically near) and do they have enough of them to satisfy your needs?
VPN Apps: Having loads of servers is all well and good, but without apps for the devices you use, you’ll have to contend with manual set-up. These days there’s no need for that, and it can be time-consuming especially if you’re a beginner. Choose a VPN service that has apps for the devices you’re going to use it on.
Speeds: The speed of VPN services is one area that varies greatly. Some services are super-fast, others so slow they’re unusable. It’s hard to tell what a service’s speeds will be until you’ve signed up – thankfully though we tested the speeds of all five services listed in this guide and they were some of the best. So you can’t go wrong whichever you choose from above.
No-log policy: These days there’s no need for the VPN service you use to be recording details of your usage. Choose a VPN service that stores no-logs or very minor logs that can’t connect you to your usage.
Money back guarantee: Choose a VPN service that is confident enough in their service to give you a money back guarantee. That way if you don’t like it or it doesn’t satisfy your needs you can get your money back – nothing lost.
Which VPN should I choose?
Knowing some of the features to look out for is only half the battle.
Even though we’ve narrowed down hundreds of options to just the five above you might still have decision-fatigue. That is, you can’t even decide which to choose from five.
Our recommendation is you should choose ExpressVPN; they offer the best overall service. However, you might have specific needs, so we’ve broken it down even further to help you decide.
All-round VPN service. Sign up for ExpressVPN, they offer a good combination of security, speed and apps. They’re also one of the best for unblocking services. You’ll be able to use their service for most purposes.
Beginner’s VPN service. Sign up for CyberGhost VPN. If you’re new to VPNs, then CyberGhost VPN helps you connect to the right server. Their apps will point you in the right direction for your needs.
TV Streaming VPN service. Sign up for NordVPN. If you’re after unblocking TV services from across the world NordVPN is one of the best, they unblock all the most popular services and more.
Money back guarantee. Sign up for CyberGhost VPN. They offer a 45-day money back guarantee which is longer than any other service.
Free trial. Sign up for VyprVPN. They’re one of the only VPN services to offer a free trial. Get three days of unlimited service without paying a cent.
We know that choosing a VPN is not only incredibly complicated but can also be time-consuming with so many options.
Above we’ve rounded up the five best VPN services available this year.
Our number 1 recommendation is ExpressVPN. However, it doesn’t matter too much which you end up choosing because they’re all excellent services.
If you have time to do further research, then check out all five options as one may have a feature you prefer. If you don’t have time and want the best all-round VPN service, then you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.
Number 1 Recommended VPN