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16 Best VPNs for Online Privacy in 2023

June 22, 2023

16 Best VPNs for Online Privacy in 2023

Your VPN is your strongest ally. As we move our lives online, privacy and cybersecurity have become an issue, and finding the best VPN solution for your online privacy is extremely important. Whether you're looking to shield your internet activity, access geo-restricted content, or maintain anonymity, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will be there to help you. We've made a list of the best VPNs for online privacy you can choose from. Let's get started.



What are The Best VPNs in 2023?


Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is very important, so let’s go over some of the best VPN services we compiled for you, while going over the pros, the cons and key features of the best VPNs of 2023.





1. NordVPN



NordVPN review

NordVPN is the leading VPN and one of the most well known tools in the world, and has solidified its reputation as a high-quality VPN provider over the years. It has a massive network of over +5,500 servers, ensuring that wherever you are, a fast and reliable connection is just a click away.






NordVPN has a strong commitment to privacy and security. It operates under the jurisdiction of Panama, which is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance. This means it isn't subject to invasive international surveillance cooperation. Additionally, NordVPN upholds a strict no-logs policy, guaranteeing that your online activities remain private. You can read more about NordVPN in our full featured review.




*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


The combination of NordVPN's broad server network, commitment to privacy, and cutting edge security features make it a top choice for anyone seeking a reliable VPN service. Its user-friendly interface and 24/7 customer support further enhance its appeal, particularly for VPN newcomers.


Get started with NordVPN



2. ExpressVPN



ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN is a top-tier well known VPN provider based in the British Virgin Islands, a great location that is outside the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance. ExpressVPN is widely recognized for its fast speeds, robust security, and its capacity to bypass even the toughest geo-blocks. In general this one is widely used worldwide.






With a network of more than +3,000 servers in many countries around the world, ExpressVPN offers one of the widest global coverages in the VPN industry. This guarantees that no matter where you are, you'll be able to access a reliable and fast connection.


ExpressVPN uses industry-leading AES-256 encryption and supports a range of VPN protocols, including its proprietary Lightway protocol designed to increase speed and reliability. It also maintains a strict no-logs policy, further reinforcing its commitment to users privacy.




*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


ExpressVPN's combination of speed, security, and server coverage makes it a top-tier VPN option. Whether you're looking to stream, torrent, or just browse the web privately, ExpressVPN is a powerful and reliable choice. Its user-friendly interface and excellent customer support make it a great option for both VPN veterans and first-time users alike.


Get started with ExpressVPN



3. Surfshark



Surfshark review

Surfshark, is also based in the British Virgin Islands, and it has quickly emerged as one of the most reliable and user-friendly VPN providers on the market. Despite being a relatively new entrant, it has established a network of over +3,200 servers across multiple countries.






Surfshark takes user privacy seriously, operating under a strict no-logs policy and offering robust security measures including the industry-standard AES-256 encryption. It includes a kill switch feature that protects your data in case your VPN connection drops.


What sets Surfshark apart from many of its competitors is its policy of unlimited simultaneous connection options. This makes it an ideal choice for households with multiple devices or small businesses.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


Surfshark's unlimited device connections, robust security, and user-friendly interface make it a standout choice for VPN users. Its commitment to privacy and security, along with competitive pricing and responsive customer support, make it a strong contender in the world of VPNs.


Get started with Surfshark



4. CyberGhost



CyberGhost review

CyberGhost, based in Romania, is a VPN provider with a strong focus on user experience and transparency. It operates a vast network of over 6,600 servers across the world, ensuring that users can always find a reliable connection.






CyberGhost goes beyond basic VPN functionality by offering specialized servers for streaming and torrenting, catering to users with specific needs. It's also known for its transparency, with a detailed privacy policy and regular transparency reports that show its commitment to user privacy. The provider uses top-grade AES-256 encryption to secure your data and has a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities stay private.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


CyberGhost combines a wide server network, user-friendly interface, and advanced features, making it a popular choice for VPN users. Whether you're streaming your favorite show, downloading files, or just browsing the internet, CyberGhost provides a secure and enjoyable online experience.


Get started with CyberGhost



5. Private Internet Access (PIA)



Private Internet Access (PIA) review

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a U.S.-based VPN provider known for its commitment to privacy. Even though being located within the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, PIA operates under a strict no-logs policy and has proven its commitment to this policy in court multiple times across time.






PIA has one of the largest server networks, with over +12,000 servers. It offers reliable performance and robust security features, such as military-grade AES-256 encryption, IP leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. One of PIA's unique features is its customizable encryption settings. This allows you to choose the level of security versus speed that works best for your specific needs.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


PIA is a robust VPN solution that offers a high degree of customization, making it a great choice for users who have specific requirements or want more control over their VPN experience. Its commitment to user privacy and vast server network further enhance its appeal.


Get started with Private Internet Access



6. ProtonVPN



ProtonVPN review

ProtonVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN service that emphasizes privacy and security. Developed by the same team behind the renowned secure email service, ProtonMail, ProtonVPN has a well-earned reputation for its commitment to user privacy.






ProtonVPN operates over +1,000 servers, providing users with numerous connection options. It's known for its robust security features, including strong AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and perfect forward secrecy, which assigns you a new encryption key each time you connect.


What sets ProtonVPN apart is its Secure Core architecture, which routes your traffic through multiple servers before leaving the network. This makes it difficult for an adversary to trace your activities back to you.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


ProtonVPN's unique security features and strong commitment to user privacy make it a standout choice for those with high-security needs. Although it has fewer servers than some competitors, its dedication to privacy and security more than compensates for this shortcoming. It's an excellent choice for anyone seeking a high-security VPN solution.


Get started with ProtonVPN



7. IPVanish



IPVanish review

IPVanish is a U.S.-based VPN provider that's earned a reputation for its high speeds and reliable performance. Despite being in a country that's part of the Five Eyes alliance, IPVanish has a strict no-logs policy and emphasizes its commitment to user privacy.






IPVanish operates over 1,600 servers across many locations worldwide. This robust network, combined with unlimited bandwidth, ensures fast and reliable connections for users. IPVanish is known for its robust security measures, including AES-256 bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. A distinguishing feature of IPVanish is its allowance of unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can protect all your devices with a single account.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


IPVanish's strong security measures, unlimited device connections, and high-speed performance make it a reliable VPN option. Its user-friendly apps and excellent customer support make it a suitable choice for both new VPN users and experienced individuals.


Get started with IPVanish



8. VyprVPN



VyprVPN review

VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN provider known for its strong commitment to privacy and security. With its proprietary technology and owned-and-operated network of servers, VyprVPN has full control over all the data passing through its network, ensuring maximum security and privacy for its users.






VyprVPN operates over 700 servers across 70+ global locations, offering reliable performance and a good spread of countries. It employs robust security measures, including AES-256 bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. 


A distinctive feature of VyprVPN is its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which scrambles VPN traffic to prevent throttling, blocking, and ensure a more seamless internet experience even in places where VPN usage is restricted.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


VyprVPN stands out with its unique security features and commitment to user privacy. Its owned-and-operated server network and proprietary technology make it a solid choice for anyone seeking an enhanced level of privacy and security while browsing the internet.


Get started with VyprVPN



9. Hotspot Shield



Hotspot Shield review

Hotspot Shield is a U.S.-based VPN provider celebrated for its ultra-fast speeds, making it an excellent choice for streaming, gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive activities. It operates a network of over 1,800 servers across 80+ countries, offering users a vast range of connection options.






Hotspot Shield uses a proprietary VPN protocol called Hydra, optimized for speed and security. It's designed to reduce latency and improve the data transfer efficiency, resulting in faster and more stable connections.


Hotspot Shield adheres to a strict no-logs policy, assuring that your online activities are not tracked or recorded. Additionally, the provider uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection to secure your data.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


Hotspot Shield's ultra-fast speeds, coupled with robust security features, make it a popular choice, especially among users who need a VPN for streaming or gaming. While it does lack some advanced features, its speed and simplicity make it a user-friendly choice, particularly for VPN novices.


Get started with Hotspot Shield



10. TunnelBear



TunnelBear review

TunnelBear is a Canada-based VPN provider that's earned a reputation for its user-friendly software and whimsical bear-themed interface. Despite its playful design, TunnelBear takes security seriously and offers robust privacy protections.






TunnelBear's network spans 23 countries, providing users with ample choices for spoofing their location. The provider uses strong AES-256 bit encryption and has a clear no-logs policy to keep your data secure and private. One of TunnelBear's unique features is its "always-on" functionality, which keeps the VPN connected even when your device is not in use. This helps to protect against unexpected data leaks.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


Despite its smaller server network, TunnelBear's user-friendly design and strong security features make it a popular choice for VPN users. Its always-on functionality and security extras like GhostBear and VigilantBear offer an enhanced level of protection, making it a good option for those seeking a secure, user-friendly VPN.


Get started with TunnelBear



11. Windscribe



Windscribe review

Windscribe is a Canada-based VPN provider known for its generous free plan and comprehensive security features. It offers both free and premium plans, making it an attractive option for those on a budget or new to VPNs.






Windscribe operates servers in over 60 countries and 110 cities, providing a decent spread for its users. It employs AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key encryption, ensuring a robust defense against potential security breaches. Windscribe's standout feature is its built-in ad, tracker, and malware blocker called R.O.B.E.R.T. This provides a smoother, faster, and safer browsing experience.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


Windscribe is a solid choice for those seeking a budget-friendly, user-friendly VPN solution. Its generous free plan, unlimited device connections, and comprehensive security features make it a versatile choice for a wide range of users. Despite occasional speed inconsistencies, Windscribe's overall package delivers a compelling balance of price, security, and features.


Get started with Windscribe



12. Mullvad



Mullvad review

Mullvad is a Sweden-based VPN service known for its strong commitment to user privacy. It operates on the principle of minimal information retention, ensuring that no user-identifiable information is stored. Mullvad is also unique for its flat-rate pricing model, eschewing the more common tiered subscription plans.





Mullvad provides an adequate range of connection options for users. It uses robust AES-256 encryption, and its no-logs policy is backed by an external audit, further validating its dedication to privacy. Mullvad's standout feature is its anonymous account system. Instead of using an email address or personal username, users are assigned a random account number, further reinforcing user privacy.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


Mullvad's unique approach to user privacy, combined with robust security measures and a no-nonsense pricing model, makes it a popular choice for privacy enthusiasts. While its server network is smaller than some, its commitment to privacy and security make it a compelling choice for users who prioritize these factors.


Get started with Mullvad



13. PureVPN



PureVPN review

PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based VPN provider known for its expansive server network and wide range of features. With more than 6,500 servers across 140+ countries, it offers one of the most extensive networks in the VPN industry.





PureVPN utilizes military-grade AES-256 encryption, has an automatic kill switch, and supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2, ensuring strong security for its users. It also follows a strict no-logs policy, although it's worth noting that its policy has faced scrutiny in the past.


A notable feature of PureVPN is its split tunneling capability, which allows users to select which data is sent through the VPN connection and which uses the regular internet connection.




*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


With a broad range of features and one of the most extensive server networks, PureVPN is a versatile choice that can cater to various needs. Despite some past controversy, its commitment to user privacy and security, along with its generous simultaneous connections limit, make it a worthwhile consideration for users seeking flexibility and control in their VPN service.


Get started with PureVPN



14. HMA



HideMyAss review

HideMyAss, also known as HMA, is a UK based VPN provider renowned for its vast global server network and user-friendly interface. HMA operates over 1,000 servers across 290+ locations in over 190 countries – arguably the widest network coverage in the VPN industry.





HMA uses AES-256 encryption, the highest standard available, and supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. It maintains a no-logs policy, ensuring your online activity isn't tracked or recorded. One notable feature of HMA is its IP Shuffle, which automatically changes your IP address at set intervals, making it harder for third parties to track your online activity.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


HMA's broad server coverage and user-friendly interface make it an appealing option for those looking for easy access to a wide variety of locations. The provider's unique features, such as IP Shuffle, provide added privacy protections, while their clear no-logging policy ensures user data won't be stored or shared. Despite being based in a Five Eyes country, HMA's commitment to user privacy and its versatile features make it a strong contender in the VPN market.


Get started with HMA



15. Ivacy



Ivacy review

Ivacy is a Singapore-based VPN provider, known for its balanced offering of speed, security, and features. It operates over 3500 servers across 100+ locations worldwide, providing ample connection options.





Ivacy utilizes AES-256 encryption, the highest level currently available, and maintains a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your online activities stay private. It also supports a variety of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2. One of Ivacy's standout features is its Smart Connect functionality, which chooses the best server for you based on your location, purpose, and network.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


Ivacy provides a good balance of speed, security, and affordability, making it a suitable choice for many users. Despite having fewer servers than some competitors, Ivacy's suite of features, such as Smart Connect and Secure Download, help provide a secure, efficient VPN experience. The provider's commitment to user privacy and its no-logging policy further bolster its appeal.


Get started with Ivacy



16. ZenMate



ZenMate review

ZenMate is a Germany-based VPN provider, known for its user-friendly design and affordable pricing. It operates servers in over 79 countries, giving users a good range of options for securing their online activities.





ZenMate uses AES-256 encryption and supports a variety of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec. They also adhere to a strict no-logs policy, providing peace of mind to users concerned about privacy. One of ZenMate's key features is its streaming-optimized servers, which are tailored for specific streaming platforms, enhancing performance and reliability.



*Pricing models may change over time, please be advised


ZenMate is a user-friendly VPN option that provides a solid set of features at an affordable price point. While it may not offer as many configuration options as some competitors, its streamlined approach, streaming-optimized servers, and unlimited device connections make it an appealing choice for users who value simplicity and straightforwardness in their VPN service. ZenMate's commitment to strong encryption and privacy protections further underscore its solid performance as a reliable VPN provider.


Get started with ZenMate



What is a VPN?


A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a crucial tool for securing your internet activity, especially when connected to unsecured public networks. At its core, a VPN encrypts your data, rendering it unreadable to anyone who might attempt to intercept it, such as hackers or even your Internet Service Provider (ISP). But there's so much more to a VPN than just encryption.


When you use a VPN, your online data doesn't travel directly from your device to the websites you visit. Instead, it is first routed to a VPN server, which can be located anywhere in the world. This server will then connect to the website on your behalf and forward the data back to you. Because of this, your actual IP address - a unique number associated with your internet connection that can be used to trace online activity back to you - is hidden, and the websites you visit will see the VPN server's IP address instead.


This feature is beneficial for multiple reasons. First, it prevents your ISP and any other prying eyes from seeing which websites you visit. Second, it can be used to bypass geo-restrictions, such as content that is only available in certain countries, by connecting to a VPN server located in a country where the content is accessible.


A VPN can also protect against various cyber threats. Since your data is encrypted, it is protected against Man-in-the-Middle attacks, where a malicious actor intercepts and possibly alters your data while it is in transit. It also shields against packet sniffing, where someone captures data packets on a network to extract information.


A VPN provides an essential layer of security and privacy for your online activities, protecting your data and masking your online footprint. It enables a secure, private, and unrestricted internet experience, regardless of where you are.


BEST VPN ONLINE

Why is a VPN important for online privacy?


Now, more than ever, preserving online privacy has become a pressing concern for internet users worldwide. A VPN safeguards your internet connection, protecting your personal data from prying eyes and cybercriminals. Whether you're browsing at home or using public Wi-Fi, a VPN ensures you can surf the internet safely and privately. Another important way to insure online security is to use a password manager, but that is. adeffrent topic for another disscussion.



Evaluating VPNs - Factors to Consider


Privacy and Security


The primary objective of a VPN is to protect your online privacy and ensure data security. Thus, a robust VPN should offer advanced security features such as AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy.


Speed and Performance


While a VPN protects your data, it's equally important for it to deliver high-speed connectivity and consistent performance. Nobody wants a sluggish internet connection, and a quality VPN should offer fast and reliable connections for a smooth online experience.


Compatibility with Devices


Your chosen VPN should be compatible with all your devices for a seamless online experience. Whether you're using a smartphone, computer, or tablet, your VPN should offer cross-platform compatibility.


Pricing and Value


While a VPN is an essential tool, it doesn't mean you need to break the bank to afford one. Look for a VPN that offers good value for money, balancing advanced features with a reasonable price tag.



Common Use Cases for VPNs


Bypassing Geo-Restrictions


One of the most popular use cases for VPNs is bypassing geo-restrictions. Whether you're trying to access a foreign Netflix library or a local news website blocked in your region, a VPN can make it appear as if you're browsing from another location, allowing you to access the content.


Secure Browsing on Public Wi-Fi


Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously insecure, making them a playground for hackers and cybercriminals. By using a VPN, you can secure your connection and browse with peace of mind, knowing your sensitive data won't fall into the wrong hands.


Anonymous Browsing


For those concerned about online privacy, a VPN offers a level of anonymity that's hard to match. It masks your IP address, making your online activities hard to trace back to you.


P2P File Sharing


If you're a fan of torrenting, you should know that ISPs often throttle P2P connections, leading to slower download speeds. A VPN can hide your P2P activity, preventing throttling and providing a better file-sharing experience.



Final Thoughts


Choosing a VPN is a deeply personal decision, shaped by individual needs and requirements. As we've explored in this article, VPNs can vary significantly in terms of features, security protocols, server availability, and more. Some may excel in speed, while others prioritize privacy or the ability to bypass geo-restrictions.


For those who stream content frequently, a VPN with dedicated streaming profiles or optimized servers, like CyberGhost or ZenMate, could be particularly beneficial. Users prioritizing privacy might gravitate towards a provider based outside the Five/Fourteen Eyes countries, such as NordVPN or Surfshark. Those in need of extensive global coverage may find HideMyAss (HMA) or PureVPN appealing due to their vast server networks.


The key to choosing the right VPN lies in understanding your personal use case. Assess your needs carefully, whether it's streaming, torrenting, bypassing censorship, securing multiple devices, or simply browsing the internet with more privacy. Once you've done this, refer back to the reviews in this article to identify which VPN services align best with your specific needs.


Remember, many VPNs offer free trials or money-back guarantees. Don't hesitate to use these to test out a service before committing. In the evolving landscape of the internet, it's crucial to find a VPN that provides a safe, secure, and enjoyable online experience.


With the information provided in this guide, you're equipped to make an informed decision about which VPN is the best for protecting your online privacy.



FAQ


Q: Can I use a VPN on multiple devices?


A: Most VPNs allow for multiple simultaneous connections, meaning you can use the VPN on more than one device at a time. The number of connections permitted varies by provider.


Q: Will a VPN slow down my internet speed?


A: Using a VPN can potentially slow down your internet speed because your data has to travel a longer path via the VPN server. However, high-quality VPNs invest in technology to minimize this impact and deliver high speeds.


Q: Are VPNs legal?


A: Yes, using a VPN is perfectly legal in most countries. However, some countries heavily regulate or ban VPN usage, so it's important to check local laws if you're unsure.


Q: Can I use a VPN for streaming services?


A: Absolutely. VPNs can bypass geo-restrictions imposed by streaming services, allowing you to access content that would otherwise be unavailable in your location.


Q: Do VPNs keep logs of my internet activity?


A: This depends on the provider. High-quality VPNs have a strict no-logs policy, which means they don't store any data about your online activities. Be sure to check the provider's privacy policy for specifics.


Q: Is it safe to use a free VPN?


A: While some free VPNs are safe, they often have limitations like data caps, fewer server options, slower speeds, and less privacy. They may also show you ads. It's usually worth investing in a reputable paid VPN for the best protection.


Q: Can a VPN protect me from malware?


A: While a VPN encrypts your data and protects your online identity, it does not protect you from malware or viruses. Some VPNs include additional security features like malware blockers, but a VPN should be used in conjunction with, not instead of, a good antivirus software.


Q: What is a kill switch in a VPN?


A; A kill switch is a feature that automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops. This ensures that your data isn't accidentally exposed. Not all VPNs have this feature, so if it's important to you, make sure to check before signing up.


Q: How do I know if my VPN is working?


A: You can check if your VPN is working by doing a simple IP address test. Before connecting to your VPN, find out your IP address by searching "What is my IP" on Google. Once you have connected to your VPN, do the search again. If the IP address has changed, your VPN is working.


Q: Why is my VPN connection not working?


A: There could be several reasons why your VPN is not connecting. These could include issues with your internet connection, incorrect login details, outdated VPN software, or firewall interference. Try troubleshooting these areas or contact your VPN provider's customer support.

Disclosure: We may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links on our website if you decide to purchase a paid plan or service. You can read our affiliate disclosure, terms of use, and our privacy policy. This blog shares informational resources and opinions only for entertainment purposes, users are responsible for the actions they take and the decisions they make.

This blog may share reviews and opinions on products, services, and other digital assets. The consumer review section on this website is for consumer reviews only by real users, and information on this blog may conflict with these consumer reviews and opinions.

We may also use information from consumer reviews for articles on this blog. Information seen in this blog may be outdated or not accurate at times. Please make an informed decision on your own regarding the information and data presented here.

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Disclosure: We may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links on our website if you decide to purchase a paid plan or service. You can read our affiliate disclosure, terms of use, and privacy policy. Information seen in this blog may be outdated or not accurate at times. This blog shares informational resources and opinions only for entertainment purposes, users are responsible for the actions they take and the decisions they make.

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