Best VPN Services

NordVPN atlas VPN Surfshark
nordvpn atlas VPN surfshark
🏆 VPN Rating: 4,8
🏆 VPN Rating: 4,5
🏆 VPN Rating: 4,5
💳 $3.99 / month 💳 $1.99 / month 💳 $2.49 / month
🎁 Discount: 51% 🎁 Discount: 82% 🎁 Discount: 82%
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Contents

Best VPN Provider

How to choose the best VPN service for work or home? How to understand the tariff plans and all the features that each VPN service offers? What reviews can be trusted not to waste money? We give answers to all these questions on the vpnheroes website.

We have analyzed all the information that each VPN service provides, conducted our own research, and compared them with the ones that are already out there on the web to provide really up-to-date and unbiased information.

What do I need to pay attention to when choosing a VPN service?

  1. Speed. To watch videos or exchange large amounts of information, it is important to buy the fastest VPN with a large number of specialized servers for torrents or with dedicated points.
  2. Encryption protocols. It’s important to use modern communication protocols and long-term plans to secure personal data and keep information private.
  3. Disguise and usability. Stealth protocols and traffic masking and obfuscation are important for bypassing Internet censorship, some of the main criteria when choosing a VPN.

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services by all parameters: high download and upload speeds, reasonable price, a large number of VPN servers in 60 countries, availability of WireGuard for maximum speed, adblocker, refund within 30 days, smart DNS, browser extensions, multi-skip and stealth capabilities, guaranteed “no logs” policy, Netflix support, customer support in online chat and much more.

NordVPN Review

NordVPN

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NordVPN has practically no disadvantages, but still, we tried to find some of them for you.

NordVPN Cons and Pros

WireGuard for maximum speed
Smart DNS
Guaranteed "no logs" policy
Live chat customer support
Netflix Support
P2P/Torrent support
Unlimited bandwidth
Browser Extensions
Dedicated Tor Server
Multi-skip and stealth capabilities
30-day money-back guarantee
Does not work in China
No free version
Not low price

We tested NordVPN and its overall score was: 87 points out of 100. NordVPN was evaluated by the following parameters: download and upload speeds, the number of VPN servers, additional features, technical support (online chat, phone, email), platforms and devices, and the cost of different NordVPN plans.

NordVPN Evaluation

Speed
92
VPN servers
90
Extras
85
Support
88
Price
80
Result
87
Average rating

We have collected for you the main characteristics of NordVPN, which you will need to evaluate this VPN service.

The most important features of NordVPN

NordVPN Options
Security Premium
Speed 6730+ Mbps
VPN Servers 5400+
Country 60 countries
WireGuard Yes
Refunds 30 days
Browser Extensions Yes
Device count 6
Headquarters Panama
Price From $3.99 / month
Discount 51%
Deal Buy on discount

NordVPN Description

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services in the world, offering its users a combination of high speed, reliable encryption, and an independently verified no-log policy. According to our tests and rave reviews online, we also confirm this fact.

An intuitive application with a set of high-class features makes NordVPN the best choice both for beginners and experienced users. The platform’s high speed, a large number of features, online security tools, streaming, and torrenting capabilities make it one of the best on the market.

NordVPN offers you much more than basic security and IP changing. NordVPN has a variety of servers, a big set of rare tools, and strict security methods. NordVPN uses the latest WireGuard technology, so despite its not the lowest cost, it is rightfully at the top of our ranking.

OpenVPN and IKEv2 have long been niche standards, but WireGuard is becoming increasingly popular for VPN services. NordVPN uses NordLynx (an implementation of WireGuard) in its Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS apps. WireGuard is open source (like OpenVPN), but uses newer encryption methods and offers faster speeds. OpenVPN is also available on all of these platforms as a backup.

You can install NordVPN on a variety of streaming devices and set-top boxes. NordVPN is also suitable for torrents – it is one of the VPNs for torrents on the market. Although P2P downloading doesn’t work on all of the product’s servers, there are dedicated servers around the world with fast and reliable performance.

NordVPN has 5,400+ servers in 60 countries, which provides good geographic diversity with its servers. Other services offer even more impressive coverage, for example, ExpressVPN covers 94 countries, but agree that 60 countries are also an impressive number.

Most of the servers are in the US and UK, however, NordVPN has servers all over the world (Asia, South America, and Europe). NordVPN is registered in Panama, which allows you not to store data for a certain period, also the company has other offices in other countries.

You can consider NordVPN as your high-quality all-around VPN helper. It does everything equally well, and although some competitors will be able to offer a more attractive price or better parameters on some of the features if you want everything to work at a consistently high level, then by buying NordVPN you are making the right choice.

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ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services by most parameters: fairly high download and upload speeds, over 3000 VPN servers worldwide in 94 countries, availability of OpenVPN and its own Lightway protocol, P2P/torrent support, ease of use and 30-day money back guarantee.

ExpressVPN Review

Express VPN

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ExpressVPN has quite a few advantages, but there are some minor drawbacks that we have tried to find for you.

ExpressVPN Cons and Pros

Premium security
Easy handling
TrustedServer technology
P2P/Torrent support
Multiple audit certified
Many additional features
Works in China
Browser Extensions
Proprietary DNS Servers
VPN Servers: 3000+
No free version
Quite a high price
Not very fast speed

When testing this service in our ExpressVPN rating, its overall score was: 85 points out of 100. ExpressVPN was evaluated by the following parameters: download and upload speeds, the number of VPN servers, additional features, technical support (online chat, phone, email), platforms and devices, as well as the cost of different ExpressVPN plans.

ExpressVPN Evaluation

Speed
80
VPN servers
86
Extras
92
Support
92
Price
75
Result
85
Average rating

We have collected for you the main characteristics of ExpressVPN, which you will need to evaluate this VPN service.

The most important features of ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Options
Security Premium
Speed 2220+ Mbps
VPN Servers 3000+
Country 94 countries
WireGuard No
Refunds 30 days
Browser Extensions Yes
Device count 5
Headquarters BVI
Price From $6.67 / month
Discount 49%+3 Months FREE
Deal Buy on discount

ExpressVPN Description

ExpressVPN is one of the safest and fastest VPNs in the world, it is a lot of features for its VPN service: ease of use, more than 3000 VPN servers in 94 countries and 160 localities, a high level of encryption, the desire to protect user data from prying eyes of the government and many useful features. It should also be noted that the ExpressVPN interface is very easy to use.

ExpressVPN has the best value on the market and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its plans.

ExpressVPN adheres to a strict “no-logging” policy and has a static IP address, which makes it easy to log in to frequently visited sites. In addition, the limit of five devices connected at a time makes this VPN less than optimal for large families and groups. Your data is secure, such as connection time stamps, session duration, logs of your actual IP address and outgoing VPN IP address remain private.

We should also talk about VPN protocols. It’s a fairly mature technology, so there are many ways to create a VPN connection. OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, and all stakeholders have chosen it given the potential vulnerabilities. WireGuard is the open-source successor to OpenVPN, which claims higher speeds and newer encryption technology.

ExpressVPN does not offer WireGuard and instead uses OpenVPN and its own Lightway protocol. This protocol uses the open-source wolfSSL cryptographic library, which is convenient because trying to create new cryptographic systems is insecure.

One of the advanced features included in the ExpressVPN service is split tunneling, which allows some of the traffic to be routed through the VPN and the rest through a direct line to the Internet. ExpressVPN also offers unlimited bandwidth and an emergency switch that protects your data even if your connection fails.

ExpressVPN is also incredibly fast, allowing you to use it for streaming, gaming, or downloading torrents. ExpressVPN has an unrivaled ability to unblock streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. The Lightway protocol greatly enhances ExpressVPN’s speed and shows great promise in terms of security.

ExpressVPN offers installers for any device for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux distributions, and routers. This allows you to keep your data safe and secure. In addition, ExpressVPN initially supports Fire TV and Kindle Fire, Roku, Chromecast, and other Smart TV systems, as well as Chrome OS through the Google Play Store.

You can also use the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer feature on Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, and other gaming consoles. However, the MediaStreamer feature does not offer the same level of protection.

ExpressVPN is used by professionals and novices alike. ExpressVPN provides stable speeds for everyday use. You won’t have any lag when watching videos on YouTube and using Netflix, as well as when working on your own website.

ExpressVPN is quite a popular service because of its powerful encryption and privacy features, striving to protect user data from prying eyes. This makes it attractive to social media users in countries with limited freedom of speech, journalists, and activists, as well as anyone who has sensitive data or fears being tracked by the government.

ExpressVPN is justifiably considered one of the best VPN service providers on the market. Some of ExpressVPN’s competitors have faster speeds and better prices. But the features that ExpressVPN offers fully justify its cost. Buying ExpressVPN for work and home use is a very good choice.

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Surfshark VPN

Surfshark is among the best VPN providers by all parameters: high download and upload speeds, good security and high transparency, unlimited number of devices per license, multiskipping and stealth capabilities, a large number of VPN servers in 64 countries, 3200+ servers, strict no-log policy, outstanding speed, good streaming performance, security audit only for browsers, WireGuard availability, available for many systems, maximum affordable price, a refund within 30 days.

Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark VPN

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Surfshark has a huge number of advantages and it took us quite a while to find any disadvantages.

Surfshark Cons and Pros

IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard protocols
Browser Extensions
30-day money-back guarantee
VPN 3200+ servers
Netflix Support
Works in China
Available for many systems
High transparency
Great security
Multi-jump and stealth capabilities
Low price
Good streaming performance
No free version
Not the fastest speed
Security audit only for browsers

Далее мы протестировали VPN-сервис от Surfshark, и его общая оценка составила: 85 баллов из 100. Surfshark оценивался по следующим параметрам: скорость загрузки и выгрузки, количество VPN-серверов, дополнительные функции, техническая поддержка (онлайн-чат, телефон, электронная почта), платформы и устройства, а также стоимость различных тарифных планов Surfshark.

Surfshark Evaluation

Speed
80
VPN servers
87
Extras
84
Support
80
Price
95
Result
85.2
Average rating

We have collected for you the main characteristics of Surfshark, which you will need to evaluate this VPN service.

The most important features of Surfshark

Surfshark Options
Security Excellent
Speed 58.46 Mbps
VPN Servers 3200+
Country 65 countries
WireGuard Yes
Refunds 30 days
Browser Extensions Yes
Device count Unlimited
Headquarters USA
Price From $2.49 / month
Discount 82%+2 months FREE
Deal Buy on discount

Surfshark Description

Surfshark is one of the best VPN services, it has one of the best offers, works almost everywhere, offers thousands of servers worldwide, has excellent connection speed and encryption. Surfshark has over 3,200 servers spread across more than 160 locations in 65 countries.

Surfshark offers many useful features such as SmartDNS, split tunneling, GPS spoofing, fast WireGuard protocol and servers optimized for P2P. Surfshark is constantly releasing new updates and features, with recent ones being a Linux GUI and Nexus features. All this makes Surfshark one of the best VPN services available to everyone.

VPN Surfshark is well equipped for streaming, you can use it with the Kodi app and set it up on an Amazon Fire TV flash drive. With Smart DNS – you can set it up on any device, even one that doesn’t initially support a VPN. When Surfshark is enabled, it can unblock geographically limited U.S. content without a VPN.

Surfshark has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux (as of late). There are also extensions for all the popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox and Edge, a website that can unblock Smart DNS for gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Surfshark has no device limitations, so you don’t have to worry about annoying simultaneous connection restrictions, you can install and run Surfshark on different devices: your home and work computer, your own phone and the phones of your family members.

The Surfshark service is excellent in the technical aspects as well. It has WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 support, strong AES-256-GCM encryption, no logging policy and an emergency switch to protect you if your VPN connection fails.

For Android apps that can see through most VPNs asking for your physical location, Surfshark allows it to return the coordinates of your chosen VPN server using the GPS Spoofing feature.

Also among the interesting features, Surfshark has an ad blocker and malicious URL blocker, P2P support on most servers, split tunneling, the company’s own DNS servers with zero disclosure, and 24/7 email and chat support.

Surfshark has a 7-day free trial for Android, iOS and Mac that gives you some time and try the service yourself. Unfortunately there is no such trial for Windows, but many providers don’t have trials at all.

The Surfshark One plan gives you all the same VPN features, as well as Avira-based antivirus, data leakage monitoring, and secure Internet search.

If you are looking for an inexpensive yet high-quality VPN provider, then this is definitely Surfshark. It does everything equally well: it has high speed, modern server hardware, security protocols, provides good speed and stability on any platform, ad blocking and split tunneling. You can maintain your usual speed for tasks where you don’t need protection.

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Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN is one of the least expensive VPN services which also has a completely free version. So if you are a beginner and are choosing your first VPN, pay attention to Atlas VPN. It has more than 750 servers in 34 countries, a great feature set, the WireGuard protocol, unlimited devices and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Atlas VPN VPN Review

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atlas VPN

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Atlas VPN is quite a simple and at the same time functional service, like many products it has its advantages and disadvantages.

Atlas VPN Cons and Pros

Free version requires no payment details
Works with Netflix and other streaming sites
High speed thanks to WireGuard
Works in China
P2P traffic is allowed on all servers
Includes web filters
Live support
Built-in 2FA input
30-day money-back guarantee
Small server network
Free version does not work for streaming
Applications are basic and have no customization
No browser extensions

Next in our review was the Atlas VPN service, which received: 85 points out of 100. Atlas VPN was evaluated by the following parameters: download and upload speeds, number of VPN servers, additional features, technical support (online chat, phone, email), platforms and devices, free plan, and premium plan Atlas VPN.

Atlas VPN Evaluation

Speed
82
VPN servers
75
Extras
82
Support
90
Price
96
Result
85
Average rating

 

We have collected for you the main characteristics of Atlas VPN, which you will need to evaluate this VPN service.

The most important features of Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN Options
Security High
Speed 97Mbps
VPN Servers 750+
Country 34 countries
WireGuard Yes
Refunds 30 days
Browser Extensions Yes
Device count Unlimited
Headquarters BVI
Price From $1.99 / month
Discount 82%+2 months FREE
Deal Buy on discount

Atlas VPN Description

Atlas VPN is a quality VPN provider that offers top-notch services at some of the lowest prices on the market. Atlas VPN has an amazingly functional free level if you don’t want to pay for a VPN. The free version offers robust security features, no ads, and a robust no-logging policy. Meanwhile, the premium plans are really inexpensive, making this VPN a great budget option.

In the free version, many features remain blocked for customers, such as high speed, most locations and servers, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV apps.

Many people use a VPN for streaming video, such as watching movies on Netflix that aren’t available in a certain region. Atlas VPN Premium is able to unblock many services, such as Disney+ and BBC iPlayer. You can also use the service to download P2P and torrent files.

Atlas VPN supports the fast WireGuard protocol. You get apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as an emergency switch to protect you in case the VPN fails, and the service allows unlimited simultaneous connections.

Additional Atlas VPN features include ad blockers, trackers and malware, data leak monitoring, and an alert to detect your personal data online.

The SafeSwap feature regularly changes your IP address as long as you are connected to the same server, ensuring maximum anonymity. Atlas VPN also has an unlimited number of connected devices, making it a true family VPN service.

Atlas VPN is a great VPN that is quite easy to use and has a lot of features. The free version contains a great set of features. With the paid version, you get faster speeds and a set of premium features. Atlas VPN is perfect for beginners who want to bypass internet blockers and get fast service for little money.

If you are looking for an inexpensive yet high-quality VPN provider, then this is definitely Atlas VPN. It does everything equally well: it has high speed, modern server hardware, security protocols, provides good speed and stability on any platform, ad blocking and split tunneling. You can maintain your usual speed for tasks where you don’t need protection.

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PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a simple and reliable VPN service that protects your data transfer with strong encryption and hides your IP address. PrivateVPN has its own applications for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Amazon Fire TV. PrivateVPN is a Swedish VPN service that has a network of its own servers: over 200 servers in 63 countries, a very good choice for P2P file sharing, a simple free plan that gives you 10GB of data per month and a choice of 12 locations.

PrivateVPN does not currently support WireGuard, but there is something you might like: OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2, support for port forwarding, stealth mode to bypass VPN blocking, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and the ability to connect up to 10 devices at once.

PrivateVPN Review

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PrivateVPN, like other VPN services, has advantages and disadvantages, which we will tell you about.

PrivateVPN Cons and Pros

High speed and functionality
10 GB per month for free
Inexpensive plan
7-day completely free trial
Advanced features for torrents
Unlocks Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, iPlayer
Zero logging policy and no IP leaks
Helpful chat support
No browser extensions
Does not support WireGuard (manual configuration available)
Unreliable speed specs
Not a high number of servers
No security audit
DNS leakage with some protocols

When testing the following service in our PrivateVPN rating, its overall score was: 84 points out of 100. PrivateVPN was evaluated by the following parameters: download and upload speed, the number of VPN servers, additional features, technical support (online chat, phone, e-mail), platforms and devices, as well as the cost of different PrivateVPN plans.

PrivateVPN Evaluation

Speed
75
VPN servers
75
Extras
85
Support
95
Price
85
Result
83
Average rating

 

We have collected for you the main characteristics of PrivateVPN, which you will need to evaluate this VPN service.

The most important features of PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Options
Security High
Speed 94 Mbps
VPN Servers 200+
Country 63 countries
WireGuard No
Refunds 30 days
Browser Extensions No
Device count 10
Headquarters Sweden
Price From $2.00 / month
Discount 85%
Deal Buy on discount

PrivateVPN Description

VPN is a simple and inexpensive VPN service, very good for P2P file sharing. It includes dedicated torrent servers, port forwarding features, and a functional disconnect switch in all desktop applications.

The network is pretty deployed, that’s over 200 servers in 63 countries. PrivateVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming. It works great with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

PrivateVPN does not currently support WireGuard in its applications (although you can download configuration files to configure it manually). But you can use OpenVPN. There’s also a stealth mode to bypass VPN blocking, support for port redirection, system-wide and application-specific kill switches, DNS, and IPv6 leak protection.

PrivateVPN gives you the ability to connect up to 10 devices at once, so you can use it as a family VPN or use it on different devices: home and work, as well as on your phone.

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Top-Rated VPN Services

NordVPN

ExpressVPN

Surfshark

VPN Rating: 4,8

 VPN Rating: 4,5

 VPN Rating: 4,5

  • $3.99 / month

  • Premium Security

  • Speed 6730+ Mbps

  • VPN Servers 5400+

  •  WireGuard

  • Device count: 6

  • Discount: 51%

  • $6.76 / month

  • Premium Security

  • Speed 2220+ Mbps

  • VPN Servers 3000+

  • OpenVPN

  • Device count: 5

  • Discount: 49%

  • $2.49 / month

  • High Security

  • Speed 58.46 Mbps

  • VPN Servers 3200+

  • WireGuard

  • Device count: Unlimited

  • Discount: 82%

Options NordVPN ExpressVPN Surfshark
VPN servers 5400+ 3000+ 3200+
Countries 60 94 64
Protocol WireGuard OpenVPN WireGuard
Number of devices 6 5 Unlimited
Max speed 1402.32 Mbit/s 196.13 Mbit/s 1134.40 Mbit/s
Average speed 1227.61 Mbit/s 172.85 Mbit/s 950.79 Mbit/s
Security Premium Premium High
Browser extensions Yes Yes Yes
Netflix Support Yes Yes Yes
P2P/Torrent support Yes Yes Yes
Adblocker Yes No Yes
Multi systems Yes Yes Yes
Headquarters Panama BVI BVI
Refunds 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days
Price Low Medium Low
Max Discount 51% 49% 82%
Get a discount Visit NordVPN Visit ExpressVPN Visit Surfshark

How to choose the best VPN service?

How important is privacy on the Internet to you?

One of the best ways to protect your privacy is to use a VPN (virtual private network). The need to use a virtual private network goes far beyond just your personal life. There are many situations where using a VPN is a necessity for you.

Virtual private networks have long been used for Internet privacy. A VPN gives your devices the security and privacy of a connection, allowing you to bypass blocked websites and protect your computer from hacking.

Using a VPN is also necessary if you want to visit a particular resource that’s blocked in the country you’re in.

VPNs are also used for business when you want to provide access to your local network to remote users without fear of information leakage.

When using public Wi-Fi, you put yourself at risk. A VPN (virtual private network) ensures that your private information, including financial data, is protected. A VPN protects your computer’s Internet connection, ensuring that all the information you send and receive is protected.

This is accomplished by creating a digital tunnel between you and your Internet destinations. Other people can’t see what’s going on in the tunnel, which means they can’t monitor your online activity or even know the location of your computer.

If websites can tell, then you are at the address of one of the worldwide servers through which your encrypted data passes. This way you bypass the geographical limitations and extra costs that can occur when you buy online in other countries. It will appear to them that you are at the address of the nearest server used for your VPN service.

Why use a VPN?

Security is one of the main reasons to use a VPN when accessing the internet. Because all of your information is protected once it gets into the tunnel. But if hackers were trying to intercept your online activities, such as when you enter your credit card number to make an online purchase, encryption could foil those attempts. This is the reason why using a VPN in public places like airports and coffee shops is a great idea.

Using a VPN is necessary to visit various resources, social networks, and video hosting sites6, which for various reasons are prohibited in non-democratic countries. If you have to travel to such countries, then using a VPN is a must.

The next reason for choosing to use a VPN has to do with the privacy aspect. If you like to search for different kinds of information on the Internet, write posts on forums and stream content, it’s your own responsibility. It’s important to remember that using a VPN can protect the information you send from your device to a VPN hub, but it doesn’t stop you from having your data tracked by cookies or other Internet trackers.

Another significant factor in using a VPN is that it can provide you with the virtual location you need. Want to play in an online poker room, but it’s not allowed in your country? OR do you need to search from another country? Just sneak into a country where such activity is sanctioned, and it’s all on. Want to watch a movie that has been banned by your government? It’s probably not banned in other countries, so find a country where you can see it, and infiltrate there. If you’re traveling far from your country but want to watch a show that’s only available on Netflix, you can plug in to watch it. The same goes for banking and financial sites, which may not be available anywhere but in your home country.

Of course, while tunneling into a VPN may allow you to bypass the laws and restrictions of your country, don’t forget that you’re still bound by them. Using a VPN doesn’t make you invisible, just anonymous. If you are surfing suspiciously and get caught by a government agency, they can most likely find you.

The main reasons to use a VPN:

  • To order purchases at online stores from other countries (sometimes it can be very profitable)
  • Watch search engine results from the country you want
  • Connect securely to any Wi-Fi network
  • Avoid detection when watching your competitors
  • Encrypt data to avoid eavesdropping
  • Protect your Skype and IP telephony calls
  • Unblock international services with regionally restricted content (e.g. Netflix)
  • Stream international TV for free
  • Unblock social networks in specific countries
  • Watch YouTube channels that are blocked in specific countries
  • Save money on Skype and VOIP calls.
  • Play online games without fear of slowdowns from your ISP
  • Hide your real location.
  • To protect against identity theft online

How does VPN work?

It creates a secure connection for you, within which all data from your device is transmitted outward. In theory, the ISP cannot see the traffic from your device because it appears to be encrypted for them. You can choose servers in different countries, accordingly, your device will be visible to external users as if you are in the country you have chosen.

For example, with ExpressVPN, you can select dozens of countries and disguise yourself as a user from them.

While surfing the Internet in this secure space, all the information you transmit and receive is protected, which provides a decent level of security. Once you’ve infiltrated a site, your ISP or even surveillance agents can’t know what you’re downloading or browsing.

To that end, your connection is routed through remote servers masking your IP address, often with the addition of encryption and other security features, making it nearly impossible for third parties to identify you, your network, and your computer.

What is the VPN feature?

To be able to connect to the Internet, you need to have an IP address. Your computer’s IP address is the way other computers locate you and provide you with information when you connect to the Internet for email, Web surfing, or any other online activity.

A surprising amount of data pertaining to you is collected every time you are online, even if you do nothing to prevent it from being collected. This includes your online identity, such as data such as the sites you visit, your location, your browsing and shopping preferences, the type of ads or links you click on, and what parts of the site you browse.

Obtaining all this data about you is important not only for Internet marketers but also for employees of various services. Obtaining such data will not only provide you with useful advertising but will also entail risks such as fraud, online scams, and identity theft.

VPN is a method of encrypting any data transmitted and received by your device so that it cannot be accessed and decrypted. VPN services route your data through different servers so that it cannot be tracked and intercepted.

What won’t a VPN do?

  • Will not protect the connection to your home network.
  • Won’t protect your computer from viruses

How to choose a VPN service?

VPN speed

The main aspect that separates good VPN services from mediocre ones is speed. No one likes it when the Internet takes a long time to load. In the case of VPN services, you have to choose those that offer different options for different purposes: for streaming, P2P, or something else.

VPN security

One of the main characteristics of any VPN service is its security – more precisely, the security of the connections it establishes. Be sure to pay attention to service offerings that make the connection even safer, more anonymous and secure – such as no logs, hiding IP addresses, emergency disconnection capabilities, and so on.

Reliability of VPN encryption

Encryption technologies can play a crucial role in the fate of a VPN service. Your privacy is a very valuable asset, and a really good VPN service will make sure that nothing will threaten it. Robust encryption mechanisms will route your traffic through multiple servers, not just one. This is important in cases where maintaining incognito becomes strategically important. Of course, in normal situations, encryption by a regular VPN service will be enough. Nevertheless, outstanding services stand out among other things for a large number of supported encryption options.

VPN availability

If you’re using VPN services to access content blocked in the region you’re in for whatever reason, we advise you to also consider the availability of VPNs by country. This is especially important for those who travel a lot: a high-end VPN service will make sure you can use its services from anywhere in the world.

Platform cross-ability

A VPN service should support a wide variety of platforms and operating systems. Choose a service that supports a wide variety of devices. After all, the best VPN services of today work equally well on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, and at the same time! Do not be limited to a single platform or operating system.

Ease of use

If you need to understand a VPN service for a long time to work with, you should not waste your time on such a service. Modern programs are intuitive and easy to use. So if you can’t figure out the interface of a VPN service in a couple of minutes, just find another service.

P2P support

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing is often blocked by both ISPs and VPN services. Legally, such file sharing is a rather controversial and ambiguous topic, but there are simply thousands of situations in which the use of P2P is absolutely appropriate and effective.

Choose a VPN service that doesn’t limit you in this regard by cutting your bandwidth. Noteworthy VPN services themselves don’t limit the channel, and great services also make every effort to make sure that you don’t have any problems with P2P either.

In this way, you can literally enjoy the process of file sharing, and not suffer from the mere thought of how everything for some reason slow and badly works.

Static IP address

When working with VPN services is very important to have a dedicated IP address. There is a lot of talk about the importance of a static IP address. If you want maximum security and maximum access to Internet resources, having a static IP address that only one person in the world uses – you – becomes a matter of paramount importance.

Support

Sometimes you may have questions about using a VPN service. Choose a VPN with 24/7 support. Since you may be in different countries and time zones, you need an immediate response. Competent and always available technical support is a necessity.

VPN Price

For many users, the price is not the most important factor in making a decision when choosing a VPN service, because it is about data security. However, you don’t always want to overpay for unnecessary features. Determine the price range in which you will be comfortable paying for a VPN monthly and choose a VPN based on this amount.

How do you know if you’ve made the right choice?

We’ve compiled a list of the main aspects that make up a truly quality VPN service. But the choice, of course, is yours. To choose a really worthwhile option, it’s extremely important to study everything carefully and carefully assess your needs and situation in general.

Before you smoke a VPN, ask yourself a number of simple questions:

  • What devices will you be using it on?
  • What speeds are important to you?
  • What additional features do you need?
  • Do you need to use a VPN client on your router at home?
  • Do you need different filters and rules for different applications?
  • How much are you willing to pay for the security of your data?

How we test VPN services

There are two levels of VPN testing:

  1. Basic tests. Anyone can do these tests. It is enough to activate VPN and go to the test sites. Unfortunately, these tests may not be enough to detect all leaks, such as short-term reconnection leaks.
  2. Advanced tests. These tests require some technical knowledge to set things up properly. But they can detect any VPN leaks. ExpressVPN offers the best test suite for detailed leak testing. These test tools are open-source and available for review on GitHub.

Let’s start with basic VPN tests to detect the most obvious problems.

Basic VPN Tests

Simple steps for detection are described below:

  • DNS leaks.
  • IP address leaks (IPv4 and IPv6)
  • WebRTC leaks

With these simple tests, you’ll be able to identify problems with VPN services.

To perform basic tests, we recommend IPleak.net. This is a one-stop testing site created by the AirVPN service. There are also various Perfect Privacy testing tools here.

How do I check for VPN leaks?

To check the existence of active leaks, turn on the VPN service and visit the test site. You can use them to test the VPN if the connection is active and stable.

Here, you can simulate various interruptions to check how well the VPN performs when the connection is down.

For example these:

  • Disconnect the VPN server and load IPleak.net in your browser.
  • Manually disconnect the internet while the VPN client is running.
  • Load a few test sites while reconnecting the VPN. This will detect short-term leaks while reconnecting.

One common problem with many services is IPv6 addresses leaks. Since few VPN services support these addresses, they try to block them in your operating system. In doing so, your real IPv6 address may leak into the network, even if your VPN connection is stable.

Now let’s see what a VPN leak looks like.

Identifying VPN leaks

When using the IPleak.net test site, it’s fairly easy to spot leaks and problems, especially when connecting to a VPN server outside your country. The WebRTC leak test shows your local IP address (which usually starts with the numbers 10.xxx or 192.xxx, and sometimes displays a local alphanumeric IPv6 address). These are not leaks, but your local IP addresses. If you see a real public IPv4 or IPv6 address in the WebRTC section, then it is a WebRTC leak.

leaked

When testing NordVPN, we made sure that it passed the test without any leaks.

The image shows that there are no leaks and the IPv4 address is the same as the VPN address. IPv6 is blocked and there are no leaks, no WebRTC leaks either. NordVPN service’s encrypted DNS resolvers handle all DNS requests. These are perfect test results with no leaks at all.

test nord VPN

Advanced VPN tests

The best method to detect VPN leaks is to create a test suite for your operating system and then run a series of tests to analyze the traffic.

Creating a test suite to capture and analyze traffic can be complicated, depending on your operating system.

If you want to take the time to test the leaks, there is an open test suite on the GitHub site.

https://github.com/expressvpn/expressvpn_leak_testing

This is a project of the ExpressVPN service. This provider uses these tools to check the reliability and absence of leaks of their own VPN servers.

Checking your VPN service for DNS leaks

The Domain Name System (DNS) is needed to convert website URLs into a numeric IP address like 205.251.197.66.

Without a VPN, your ISP handles this conversion process. There can be a problem here because your DNS queries look like text records of the addresses of all the sites you visit. ISPs can record these requests and know which sites their customers have visited. In the US, this data can be sold to advertisers and other third parties. In the UK and Australia, this data is recorded and stored for a maximum of two years. Authorities can get access to this data if they want.

DNS leaks occur when conversion requests go outside the VPN tunnel and your real IP address and location become visible, as well as the history of web pages visited. Many VPN services do not provide good protection against DNS leaks. This means that your DNS requests can go through your ISP and cause them to see your network activity.

Test sites to check for DNS leaks

Below is a list of good sites to test DNS leaks in VPN services.

  • Perfect Privacy DNS Leak Test. This site can find DNS leaks when other tests don’t see them. You can find detailed explanations for DNS leaks below the test results.
  • IP/DNS Test at IPleak.net. Another tool for analyzing DNS leaks also shows IP address leaks.

Check for your ISP’s IP address. If there is one, there is a DNS leak of your VPN service.

To easily check your VPN for DNS leaks, you need to connect to a VPN server outside your country. If you see your country’s IP address and it belongs to your ISP, you have a DNS leak. In the image above, you can see two DNS leaks when you connect to a VPN server in the US.

The DNS leak doesn’t show your IP address, but it does show your ISP’s IP address and location, and they can be linked to you. DNS queries show your browser history.

Eliminate DNS leaks: Find a VPN service that uses its own encrypted, secure DNS resolvers. Below are four VPN services with their own secure DNS resolvers that have not been leaked:

  • NordVPN (based in Panama).
  • Surfshark (based in the British Virgin Islands).
  • ExpressVPN (based in the British Virgin Islands).
  • Perfect Privacy (based in Switzerland).

You can also manually configure your operating system to use third-party DNS providers. There is a list of alternative DNS options from WikiLeaks.

https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Alternative_DNS

You should keep in mind that these services can record requests. For this reason, a reliable VPN provider that does not keep records remains the best option.

Checking VPNs for IP address leakage (IPv4 and IPv6)

IP address leakage is a problem with some free VPN services and some paid services. Below are a few test sites to check VPNs for IP address leaks:

  • IPv6-test.com
  • Perfect Privacy IP Check
  • IPleak.net

The easiest option is to choose a VPN provider that has no IPv4 or IPv6 address leaks. Another option is to set up firewall rules that block all traffic outside the VPN, but this can be difficult. IPv6 can be manually disabled in most operating systems, but the Internet is gradually moving to those addresses.

Testing VPNs for WebRTC leaks

WebRTC leaks can be detected when using Firefox, Chrome, Opera or other Chromium-based browsers. WebRTC problems represent a browser vulnerability. Some VPN providers are able to protect against it. WebRTC leaks occur when your IP address gets through the WebRTC API.

Here are three different WebRTC leak tests:

  • Perfect Privacy WebRTC Test. This tool will show WebRTC leaks and give a detailed explanation of the phenomenon.
  • BrowserLeaks WebRTC Test. Works well and includes useful information on WebRTC.
  • IPleak.net.

Fixing WebRTC leaks: disable or block WebRTC in your browser.

Testing VPN speeds

If you want to test the speed of a VPN service, there are three good options:

  • Speedtest.net
  • Speedof.me
  • Testmy.net

What affects the speed of a VPN?

The speed of VPN services is affected by many factors that must be taken into account during testing.

Among them are the following:

  • The distance from you to the VPN server. This is usually the main factor. The longer the distance, the slower the speed.
  • The number of users on the VPN server. Many services recruit too many clients, which can result in overloaded servers. The speed and stability of the connection can decrease as a result.
  • Regional bandwidth limitations. In many countries, the Internet infrastructure is not developed in the best way, so the speed is limited regardless of the capabilities of the provider and VPN. You also need to take into account how many users from a particular region are accessing the Internet at the same time. High load can reduce the connection speed of each user.
  • Provider. No matter how fast the VPN server is, it can’t be faster than your ISP’s speeds. The only rare exception is if your ISP limits your access speed. Sometimes this happens if you’re doing something the ISP doesn’t like, like downloading torrents. A VPN can help with this by encrypting your connection and hiding your Internet activity from your ISP.
  • Computational power. When you use a VPN, your computer encrypts and decrypts packets of information. It needs computing power to do this. The faster your Internet connection is when using a VPN, the more computing resources are required. Thus, if you have a fast ISP and VPN, your computer’s processor can limit the speed. Admittedly, the speeds have to be very high for this to happen.

The current record speeds for a VPN service are shown below. The record-holder is NordVPN with download speeds up to 445 Mbps.

nord-vpn-speed

NordVPN offers maximum speeds using the WireGuard VPN protocol, which in this service is called NordLynx. It is one of several VPN providers that support WireGuard. Others include Surfshark VPN and VyprVPN.

Malware tests

Malware embedded in a mobile VPN app can be a serious problem. You need to keep this in mind when choosing a free VPN service.

The Google Play and Apple Stores have a rich selection of free VPN apps. Like other free products like Gmail and Facebook, they make money by collecting and selling user data to third parties.

One study found that 38% of VPN apps on Android contain malicious code.

Testing for malware is done by uploading the app file to the VirusTotal service. The database will scan this file in more than 60 anti-viruses. Although there is a chance of false positives, some researchers believe that the malicious application has at least four positive results among the tests conducted.

VPN services with excellent leak protection

Three VPN providers can be singled out that do the best job of protecting their users from leaks in various circumstances, including reconnection, network interruption, and VPN failure.

NordVPN

Located in Panama, it keeps no records and is fast, secure, and feature-rich. This service can be called excellent in all areas. If you need a VPN with maximum privacy and protection, as well as high speed when streaming videos from the internet or downloading torrents, NordVPN gives it all. Having passed security and privacy checks, confirming no user data records, NordVPN gets the highest marks.

NordVPN offers various privacy and security features. There is an ad blocker called CyberSec, blocking trackers, malicious applications, and phishing domains. Dual VPN servers are supported, which encrypt your traffic across two locations and give you a higher level of protection. The image below shows the testing of dual VPN servers.

Surfshark

Located in the British Virgin Islands, it keeps no records, and is fast and convenient.

This service has passed all VPN tests and offers excellent performance. Surfshark and NordVPN now support the WireGuard VPN protocol and are capable of delivering incoming connection speeds of up to 400Mbps or even higher. Surfshark keeps no records and has been audited for security by Cure53. The service is great for streaming and torrenting, it has a friendly user interface and reliable applications.

ExpressVPN

Located in the British Virgin Islands, no records, are reliable and secure. ExpressVPN is not susceptible to leaks either. An audit confirmed no records of user activity. It offers a rich selection of apps for different devices that boast a user-friendly interface and a high level of security. Many streaming services are supported, but there may be problems with access to BBC iPlayer.

Unlike the two services described above, ExpressVPN does not support the WireGuard VPN protocol. Instead, the Lightway protocol was developed with high speeds and fast connections. Still, NordVPN’s speeds are higher.

It’s recommended that you check your VPN service periodically to confirm its reliability. This is especially important after updates, which can cause problems with the VPN and its ability to protect all traffic. From time to time, use the tests described above.

VPN service selection

Why Choose ExpressVPN?

If security is important to you, we recommend ExpressVPN. You can use it for many different devices. Another important feature is the ability to split the traffic when some applications access the network via VPN, while others do not use it.

Why Choose NordVPN?

For maximum download and upload speeds, it is best to use NordVPN. This service has an optimal price to quality ratio of the service.

Why Choose Surfshark VPN?

If you need an inexpensive VPN that has many additional features and is not limited in the use of devices – the best choice for you is Surfshark.

Why Choose Atlas VPN?

Atlas VPN is a fast and not expensive VPN service that has a free version with lots of features. Atlas VPN is great at unblocking streaming services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer and also protects your ad-free browsing with its ad blocking feature and prevents your data from leaking.

Which VPN provider is better?

Please help us be better. Take part in an independent vote for what you think is the best VPN service.

What is the best VPN service?

NordVPN
35%
ExpressVPN
10%
Surfshark
10%
Purevpn
5%
CyberGhost VPN
5%
IPVanish VPN
5%
ProtonVPN
5%
Private Internet Access
5%
Ivacy VPN
0%
TunnelBear
5%
ZenMate VPN
0%
Atlas VPN
0%
PandaVPN
5%
PotatoVPN
0%
Hide.Me
5%
Bitdefender
0%
Avira
0%
Norton
0%
Hola
0%
Browsec
5%
F-secure
0%

TOP VPN service providers

VPN protocol

  1. NordVPN
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. Surfshark
  4. Purevpn
  5. CyberGhost VPN
  6. IPVanish VPN
  7. ProtonVPN
  8. ZenMate VPN
  9. Atlas VPN
  10. Private Internet Access
  11. Hide.Me
  12. Ivacy VPN
  13. PandaVPN
  14. PotatoVPN
  15. PrivateVPN
  16. F-secure
  17. TurboVPN
  18. VPN Nederland
  19. UTunnel VPN
  20. Le VPN
  21. VPN Proxy Master
  22. VPNBuilder
  23. Vuze VPN
  24. VyprVPN
  25. WeVPN
  26. X-VPN
  27. Bitdefender
  28. Avira
  29. Norton
  30. Browsec
About the Author
David
VPNheroes Expert
David has extensive experience in the software niche, having worked as a product consultant for many large companies for a long time.
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