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What do you need a VPN for?

VPNs

A VPN is an essential tool for anyone who goes online, whether you're a casual browser or a 24/7 internet addict.

By using a VPN, you can ensure that your personal details are protected online, as well as your location. This makes you a lot less susceptible to hacking attempts and having your data stolen. It is especially reassuring when you're using an open network, such as the WiFi in your local coffee shop.

Not all VPNs are created equal, and our testing has shown that some do a much better job of protecting you online than others. While some will hold your hand through the VPN process, others are aimed at experienced users and might be daunting for newcomers.

We've reviewed and rated over twenty popular VPNs, and can help you pick the one that best suits your needs.

VPN Reviews

There are lots of VPN providers out there, some good, and some… not so much. We’ve put over twenty through our extensive testing program, meaning we can tell you exactly which ones are worth your time.

Want a VPN that’s easy to use? Ultra secure? Not too expensive? We can help you find a VPN that ticks one, or even all three of those boxes.

Our reviews will also tell you how much you can expect to pay, as well as offer special discounts for certain VPNs.

Our Top Choice VPN based on our expert testing is PureVPN. Try this great VPN at a discount today

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a piece of software that can hide your real world location and activities when online.

There are many reasons you might want to do this: for security reasons, to access content not available in your region, or to stop others from monitoring your internet access.

VPNs are generally available as a subscription service, costing a few bucks a month. The majority work across your laptop, desktop PC, smartphone and tablet, protecting you no matter how you go online.

Are VPNs Legal?

VPNs are legal in the vast majority of countries, with a handful of exceptions. In the USA, you're well within your rights to use a VPN to go online.

However, the usual laws of your country still apply, and it's illegal to use a VPN to download copyrighted material without permission, hack, or buy and sell on the dark web.

There are plenty of legal and valid reasons to use a VPN, as well as reasons to protect your online identity.

For more, see our full guide – Are VPNs Legal?

Should You Use a Free VPN?

As well as a wide selection of paid-for VPNs, there are also many that claim to be free. However, we have found that these services can be problematic when it comes to protecting your security.

In our testing, we have found that some free VPNs are not secure, while others actually share your bandwidth with other users. With excellent VPNs available for a few dollars a month, it's a service worth paying for.

If you'd like to try a free version to start with though, see our list of the Top 6 Free VPNs (but don't say we didn't warn you.)

Learn More About Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPN

ExpressVPN Review

ExpressVPN is one of the world’s most popular VPN services, enabling you to connect to the internet through a Virtual Private Network link. It’s one of the better VPNs you can choose, as it’s logically designed and easy to get on with even for first-time VPN users.

VPN

Most Secure VPN 2019

There's a single obvious stand-out feature to consider when buying a VPN, and that's security. After all, that's the entire point. We round up the most secure VPN services available in 2019, ranking each one and explaining what makes it stand out from the herd.

VPN

PureVPN Review

PureVPN is one of the best VPN services around, and should definitely be a contender if you’re looking for a secure VPN to protect your online privacy. It bills itself as the world’s fastest VPN service and offers a great mix of cyber-security features and good value plans.

VPN

NordVPN Review

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs we’ve tested, and it has some fantastic value deals if you’re willing to commit to a year or more of service. NordVPN is a well-known VPN service, designed to give you better privacy and security while you’re online.

VPN

Best VPN for iPhone 2019

It's important to be security-conscious when you’re on the move. With VPN iPhone apps you can browse online with privacy and security, and anonymize your online activity from third parties, wherever you are. So what are the best VPNs for iPhone?

VPN

TorGuard vs NordVPN

There are plenty of VPNs out there vying for your bucks, and we're here to pitch two of the best against each other – NordVPN and TorGuard. The winner – by a narrow margin – is NordVPN, which manages to marry a bumper crop of features and a tempting price tag.

VPN

NordVPN vs IPVanish

A VPN is an excellent tool for accessing the internet and protecting your privacy at the same time, but of NordVPN and IPVanish which is the best? We found IPVanish has the edge when it comes to features, but is it worth the extra monthly expense? See our full comparison for more

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Best Cheap VPN 2019

You don't need to spend much to keep your data secure and your internet use private. You simply need to find the best cheap VPN service available today. Here, we'll cover the top ten VPN services to consider when on a budget.

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HideMyAss VPN Review

With its playful name of HideMyAss! and a cheerful donkey visual theme, HMA! Pro is a VPN that doesn’t take itself too seriously, even though it’s up to some serious work. Learn more and see if HideMyAss! is the right VPN for you, with our full review.

VPN

TunnelBear VPN Review

Like bears? Like internet privacy? Looking for more security when you connect to a public WiFi network? Well, TunnelBear might be the VPN for you – or it might not. Take a look at our review to decide for yourself.

VPN

Private Internet Access Review 2019

Private Internet Access is a great quality VPN that doesn’t cost the earth. As the name suggests, Private Internet Access is designed to give you a safe, private connection when you’re browsing the web or working online. All-in-all, this is one of the best VPNs we've tested.

VPN

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN 2019

If you’re concerned about your online privacy, and you should be, then a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an essential. By masking your activities online, your personal data is free from hackers and snoopers. Read our impressions of two of the best, NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

VPN

Ivacy VPN Review

Ivacy VPN protects your privacy when online by routing you through one of its 450 servers. It's a terrific VPN to choose if privacy is your main focus, though we have some reservations around its speeds. Find out if it's worth subscribing to in this review.

VPN

VPN Unlimited Review

VPN Unlimited is a solid VPN that will protect your privacy online, and offers some hefty discounts for those who sign up for long term contracts. It promises fast VPN connections free from intrusive tracking and logging, and will work across five devices at a time.

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Encrypt.me VPN Review

While other VPNs pitch themselves as tools for streaming blocked video services or guaranteeing internet privacy, Encrypt.me puts safety and security first, claiming to protect you from browser leaking, wi-fi eavesdropping and broadband spying.

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Hotspot Shield VPN Review

Hotspot Shield is a blisteringly fast VPN service with some great features and attractive price plans. If you’re looking for a VPN that can give you tight online privacy and maintain your broadband speeds, Hotspot Shield is great, though the free version has lots of adverts.

VPN

F-Secure Freedome VPN Review

There's nothing more important than protecting your privacy online. If you're looking to do just that at a low cost, F-Secure Freedome VPN is a great option, and we've got a full-on review that can help you make your decision.

VPN

Avast Secureline VPN Review

Avast Secureline is an easy to use VPN that is a good fit for new starter who want to protect their browsing and internet use, but are confused about where to start. Capable of excellent speeds, this VPN has plenty going for it, although is missing a couple of key features.

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Hide Me VPN Review

Hide.Me aims to help you ‘take back your freedom’ with advanced security and privacy settings to let you enjoy the web without censorship or other limitations. However, slow connection speeds and high prices mean we'd hesitate to recommend this VPN as highly as others.

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Opera Free VPN Review

With Opera Free VPN, you can enjoy online privacy without spending a dime. It’s not the most sophisticated VPN service we’ve tested, but as a free taster, Opera VPN is a good start and may even persuade you to pay for a VPN later on.

VPN

ProtonVPN Review

ProtonVPN is a quality VPN for experts that know what they're doing. Learn everything you need to know with our handy review before you decide to buy for yourself. We cover features, pros, cons, and everything in between.

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IPVanish Review

IPVanish is one of the best VPNs we’ve tested. It promises to secure your internet connection at all times and lets you to surf the web without a trace. There’s a strict zero-logging policy that means what you do while you're using IPVanish is your business alone.

VPN

Windscribe Review

Windscribe is a great value VPN service that also has an impressive free edition. It works effectively to mask your online identity, though it’s a little technical to use at times. Could this be the VPN for you?

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PureVPN vs NordVPN 2019

PureVPN and NordVPN are two of the best VPNs available. We compare them side by side to see which offers the best protection, as well as the best value.

VPN

AirVPN Review

AirVPN was built by European hackers and activists to protect the internet from spies and censorship. It’s a great value service that lets you opt in for a few days at a time for a small fee. Could AirVPN be the right choice for you? Read our review to make up your mind.

VPN

ZenMate VPN Review

ZenMate VPN works across Windows and macOS PCs and iOS and Android phones and tablets. Like any VPN, it’s designed to set up an encrypted link between your device or computer and a VPN server, which then connects to the wider internet. We put it through our VPN test program.

VPN

CyberGhost VPN Review

CyberGhost is all about the user, making it a brilliant VPN for first-timers. It takes a slightly different approach than most VPNs, focusing really clearly on the tasks you want to do and giving simple settings. Read our CyberGhost review to learn why we'd recommend it so much.

VPN

FlyVPN Review

FlyVPN is a global service, with its servers spread across 40 countries and a presence on every continent – it’s particularly strong in Asia. However, it works out as poor value compared to some better-known VPN services and we don't think it's worth it. Read on to see why.

VPN

VyprVPN Review

VyprVPN is a good all-round choice for a VPN service, and it maintains reasonable speeds as it masks your connection. However, some of its settings may feel unintuitive for novices, and it isn’t the cheapest service around.

VPN

Betternet VPN Review

BetterNet is a free VPN that protects your privacy, on a basic level. However, it isn’t one of the best VPNs we’ve tested. Your internet speeds can feel sluggish when it’s enabled, and the paid-for version has limits too, so we wouldn't recommend it.

VPN

Psiphon VPN Review

Psiphon is a respectable free VPN to choose. Free VPNs usually come with intrusive ads or a massive catch – and often both. But Psiphon is an exception. It’s not the perfect VPN for everyone, but it’s good for adding a layer of security and anonymity while you’re online.

VPN

Hola VPN Review

Hola VPN is a free service that can protect your privacy online. However, with a few notable security concerns, you're definitely going to want to check out our thorough review before you make a decision to install it for yourself.

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TorGuard VPN Review

Torguard is an incredibly secure VPN service, with a host of features and options. The level of access offered could be daunting for VPN newcomers, but the protections it has in place for privacy-conscious users, especially those looking to use torrents, make it very appealing.

VPN

Are VPNs Safe?

Using a VPN doesn't make you invincible online, but pick a good one, and your data and privacy will remain secure. We explain how to go about using a VPN in a secure, data-safe fashion, plus reveal the safest VPN services to use.

VPN

Best VPNs for Torrenting 2019

Looking to torrent and don't have a VPN? You could be exposing your privacy and making yourself traceable. We don’t condone illegal file-sharing carried out with or without a VPN, but there are legitimate reasons to torrent – we round up the best VPNs to use for torrenting.

VPN

Best VPNs for Mac 2019

The best VPNs for Mac will help you stay safe and anonymous online, protecting your digital privacy. We've rounded up and rated top VPN services that run great on a Mac. From free VPNs to paid-for services, this guide helps you pick our the best VPN for your Mac.

VPN

Best VPN for Windows

A VPN is a useful tool for those looking to experience the internet without restraints, such as regional content on Netflix, or protecting yourself when using public Wi-Fi. We pick out the best VPNs for Windows 10, including free VPN tools that you can use on Windows.

VPN

Top 3 Best VPNs for Netflix in 2019

Netflix has an impressively large library, but the choices you’ll see in the U.S. are different to what you’ll see elsewhere. With a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can unlock even more movies, TV shows and documentaries with a click. Here are the best VPNs for Netflix.

VPN

VPN vs DNS and Proxy Servers – Which is Best?

A VPN, Smart DNS and Proxy Server can all provide you with added security to protect your privacy online. But while they might seem similar, each one has unique features that set them apart. So which one secures your personal information best, and how?

VPN

Is It Safe to Use a VPN on a Phone?

VPNs, or “virtual private networks,” can be used safely with phones, but there are risks if you don’t choose a good, reliable service. We explain how a VPN app works on a phone, the legal implications for using one, and everything else you need to know about mobile VPNs.

VPN

Top 6 Best Free VPNs for 2019

We've rounded up the best free VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) for internet users looking for security, privacy and flexibility. Thanks to some great free VPN services, you don’t have to pay for the privilege of browsing anonymously. However, there are some limitations.

VPN

What Is OpenVPN and Should You Use It?

OpenVPN is an open-source VPN protocol allowing secure online access from point-to-point completely free of charge. We explain the pros and cons of using the free OpenVPN protocol, plus whether it’s the best VPN for you.

VPN

Top 10 Best VPN Services for 2019

You can get a brilliant VPN service for just a couple of dollars a month. For this, you can enjoy online security and privacy, plus unlock overseas streaming services. So, which VPNs deserve your money? Read on to find out.

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How To Set Up a VPN

Using a VPN makes your connection to the internet more secure and private. You can anonymize your browsing and access overseas services too. The best VPNs are easy to set up, and will have you connected in moments. Here's how.

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How to Watch the 2018 World Cup Using a VPN

If you’re stuck abroad without access to your usual networks, don't panic, just set up a simple Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will let you access streaming coverage from an overseas service, as if you were at home, and you’ll only have to pay a few bucks a month.

VPN

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great way to boost your online privacy and security by providing an encrypted connection to the internet. Learn more about VPN features, how they work, when to use one, whether you'll need to pay and more FAQs in our VPN Starters Guide.