Based on our independent, expert testing, the safest VPN we would recommend is NordVPN – it's secure, simple to use, and takes your privacy seriously. It also has some excellent deals and regular discounts to make it even more attractive.
Tech.co ran over two dozen VPN services through an intense testing process before culling the list down to NordVPN and several other reliable providers. In this guide, we'll cover the top providers in detail and discuss which security features are most important for a secure browsing experience.
As the table below shows, every single VPN on this list scored top marks in the “privacy” category, indicating that it remained impenetrable during our tests. Some VPNs only earned four stars in our overall category below, but they're all among the most secure VPN services out there.
Our scoring is based on independent tests and assessments of features, privacy settings, ease of use and value.
Lowest price for single month subscription to cheapest paid tier. Other plans are available.
No. of Devices
No. of Servers
Zero Data Logging
Ease of Use
Help & Support
Value for Money
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BEST ON TEST
$3.29 per month
Fast, effective, low-cost and simple – the best VPN we've tested, with risk-free money-back guarantee
Industry-beating good value, with a single low price to cover all your devices, plus great speeds and top security features
Powerful features and security, but a bit technical. Some massive savings currently available.
A safe, simple, outstanding VPN
Outstanding value, with an advanced VPN app
Good VPN privacy at good speeds
A decent option for expert users
Superb features, but at a higher cost
Excellent privacy features for the security-minded
A beautifully simple VPN, with great security provisions
5,000+ (60+ countries)
3,200+ (65+ countries)
1,300+ (55+ countries)
29,000+ (78+ countries)
3,000+ (50+ countries)
1,300+ (61+ countries)
3,000+ (94+ countries)
1,800+ (40+ countries)
What is the Most Secure VPN?
Our tests and assessments have found that if you're after a safe VPN, then the most secure VPN you can choose is either NordVPN, IPVanish or PureVPN. Each of these impressed with their excellent security and privacy features and reassuring approach to how they handle data.
Security is the obvious stand-out feature to consider when buying a VPN. After all, the entire point of using a virtual private network to access the internet is to ensure that your activity remains just that – private.
If you travel for work and do business on unsecured public networks, you'll likely need the most secure VPN available. Even if you just want a VPN to access a website in another territory, an absolutely secure connection can offer peace of mind.
Here, we round up the top 10 most secure VPN options available in 2022, ranking each and explaining what makes it stand out from the herd.
You can click each brand name to jump to our reviews below, or scroll down a tad to see our graph charting every feature and price to expect from our top ten most secure VPNs.
- NordVPN – The best VPN Tech.co has tested; Nord keeps you secure and it's easy to use at the same time
- Surfshark – A cheap, secure and speedy provider with an excellent privacy track record
- IPVanish – A cost-effective VPN choice with plenty of features and rock-solid privacy
- PureVPN– A simple to use VPN with excellent security settings
- Private Internet Access – Great security, features, and ease of use, all available for a good price
- Torguard – A great, flexible option with thousands of servers and video streaming functionality
- ProtonVPN – A higher-end VPN that costs more than some, but stays firmly secure
- Express VPN – Feature-rich, with a strong mobile app as a highlight
- Hide Me VPN – A highly secure service that admittedly sacrifices a little speed
- Ivacy VPN – A stripped-down service that's not as fast as some, but offers strong, server-powered privacy
NordVPN is our top-rated VPN for security and privacy, and it's the best VPN across all of our testing criteria, full stop. From excellent speeds to a superb mobile app, to brilliant value for money, NordVPN has it all – and it has a tempting free trial you can use, to cap it all off.
You may be wondering how NordVPN can be so high up this list, given that NordVPN suffered a data breach in March 2018. In fact, this potential catastrophe perfectly demonstrated the security measures NordVPN has in place. The breach affected a single one of its 3,000+ servers, and NordVPN promptly identified the issue, analyzed the threat, and ensured users remained safe. Above all, no user data was compromised – NordVPN has a strict “zero logging” policy, so even in the brief window where the server was affected, the risk was minimal.
NordVPN Features and Security
We would strongly recommend NordVPN as a safe VPN service. NordVPN takes security seriously, offering its users a hefty 256-bit AES encryption. It's also one of the fastest VPNs on the market, even across transatlantic connections.
What's more, it boasts the most servers out of our top ten most secure VPN services, operating on 3,600 servers across 62 countries internationally.
NordVPN offers a great range of features with granular controls, like the killswitch feature, as well as a Threat Protection tool that scans websites for malicious links and software, and checks files you download too.
Granted, some of the advanced settings might leave you scratching your head if you don't have the tech-savvy to interpret them. Still, top-notch security, features and speed are more than welcome, and everything is wrapped up with a very reasonable price tag to boot.
NordVPN offers both business and personal VPNs, with business plans branded as “NordLayer” (formerly NordVPN Teams). NordLayer comes in three plans: Basic is $7 per user per month, Advanced is $9 per user per month, and Enterprise is custom-priced depending on your business's size and needs.
Unlike the business plans, NordVPN's personal VPN plan doesn't offer different features. Instead, you'll pay a different rate depending on the length of time you're committing to: Billed monthly, it's $11.99 per month; billed annually, it's $4.99 per month; and if you pay a two-year bill at one time, you'll get the best deal, $3.29 per month.
- DEAL: 70% off 2-year plan in February
- Risk-free money-back guarantee
- Excellent mobile app for iOS
- Lightning-quick connection speeds
- Packed with useful security features
- Excellent value for money
- Couldn't unblock some streaming services when tested
- Roughly half of the server network is located in the USA
- Assumes some technical knowledge for advanced features
Surfshark comes a close second to NordVPN, offering users a large server network, excellent security features, and very commendable speeds. The mobile apps are just as easy to use as NordVPN's, and Surfshark runs a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try before you buy.
What's more, Surfshark has recently brought out Surfshark One which, for just $1.49 on top of a Surfshark VPN subscription, will grant you access to Surfshark's antivirus program, a safe search tool that won't track you whilst your browse, and a data breach alert system that will scan breached databases for mentions of your personal information
Surfshark Features and Security
Surfshark doesn't cut corners when it comes to security and has a lot of the same features as NordVPN. Surfshark keeps no logs at all, and uses completely diskless RAM servers that wipe themselves whenever a server is powered down. AES-256 encryption – the strongest around – is used to secure traffic, and a kill switch is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Surfshark – who've never suffered a data breach in their short, four-year history – has a number of additional features you won't necessarily see every VPN provider offering.
For instance, multi-hop will reroute your VPN connection through two servers rather than one, ‘Bypasser' will let you push some of your traffic through Surfshark's VPN tunnels, and keep other traffic separate, and Camoflague Mode will disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic.
Surfshark's a great choice for streaming geo-restricted TV shows from around the world, with over 3,200 servers stationed in 65 countries.
It's also no slouch – its servers are some of the fastest in the game – and it's one of the only top-tier VPN providers to offer unlimited simultaneous connections, which means you can log into the same account on 5, 50, or 500 devices if you really wanted to.
Surfshark is the best value-for-money VPN on the market and a two-year subscription will cost you just $2.49 per month. If you only want to commit to a year, then it'll be $3.99 per month, whereas a month on its own is $12.95 per month.
Surfshark One, on the other hand, is just $3.98 per month for Surfshark's VPN service, a privacy-conscious search engine, antivirus software, and data breach alerts.
- Been around a lot less time than its competitors
- No fully free tier
- Competitors like NordVPN are quicker
- 'Fastest Server' isn't always fastest server
IPVanish is a larger commercial VPN that stands out for a few reasons: It owns all its own servers, a rarity given that many rivals lease their servers from third parties, and it supports peer-to-peer file-sharing. And it has more than 1,000 servers in more than 60 countries, so the selection is very good.
IPVanish's speeds are stellar over short distances and a little above-average when making international connections.
IPVanish Features and Security
IPVanish offers advanced, detailed settings for its features. How detailed? The list of available servers can be searched by country, city, response time, or how heavily loaded that server is currently. It's among the best of the popular brands for professional users.
Power users will also appreciate the mobile app, which gives them the power to change the protocol or activate different types of leak protection at will. You'll get a killswitch and obfuscated traffic to keep sites from detecting a VPN in use.
The price matches this level of advancement, however, and it'll cost a bit above the average. The VPN service starts at $10.99 per month, with a pricer $12.99 per month tier for those who want 500 GB of cloud data backup. Pay for a year at once, and you'll get a great deal — $4 per month — but only for that first year and then you're back to $10.99 a month after that.
There's a 7-day money back guarantee as well. If you really will take advantage of the impressive feature set, it's worth it. But if you're just looking for a secure but simple option, keep scrolling.
- Great Savings: Up to 64% Off
- Controls the entirety of its Tier-1 server network
- Strong privacy and security features
- Decent speeds
- Slightly intimidating user interface
- Hasn't made the switch to RAM servers
- Priced above some rivals
PureVPN is another top recommendation for the best and most secure VPN. It's fast, private, and packaged inside an intuitive, easy-to-set-up interface. The readable interface retains the same layout and features across Windows and Macs, as well as iOS and Android devices.
PureVPN Features and Security
In terms of security, PureVPN includes additional precautions, which are powered by Ozone and Gravity servers. Ozone servers will filter your content for malware, while Gravity gets rid of intrusive ads for a better internet experience. The extra security precautions certainly worked during our vigorous VPN tests, which saw PureVPN nose ahead of the pack overall.
Additional features include the functionality to turn your PC into a VPN hotspot or configure it so only specific apps use the VPN, as well as unlimited data transfer, notifications, a killswitch, split tunneling, AES 256-bit encryption, and IPv6 leak protection.
PureVPN's business VPN plan, Teams, costs $8.45 per user per month, with a dedicated IP option available for $9.99 per user per month.
PureVPN's personal VPN can be paid monthly for $10.95 per month, annually for $2.99 per month, or for two years at $1.99 per month — each version will get you the same features and 24/7 support. That two-year deal is one of the best around for inexpensive VPNs, and you'll get a trustworthy level of security for the price, to boot.
PureVPN's personal plan also offers add-ons: A dedicated IP is another $0.99 per month, DDos protection is $0.99 per month too, and a port forwarding function is $0.25 per month.
- Effective privacy and security features
- Smart Mode-based approach
- Clear notifications
- Excellent value
- Not quite as fast as billed
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix unless you use the browser extension
Private Internet Access
The price is one of the biggest boons of a Private Internet Access (also called “PIA”) plan: If you pick a long-term payment plan, it works out to less than $3 a month. It's secure and private, with over 3,081 servers working across a whopping 78 countries.
The speeds leave a little to be desired, but they're not the worst – especially since any VPN will slow your download and upload speed a noticeable amount.
Private Internet Access Features and Security
This is a great VPN for more advanced users keen to use all the security settings. The text-heavy interface can be a little intimidating, but it lets you access some advanced granular features.
Features include the usual suspects: A killswitch, split-tunneling, and detailed encryption settings. A dedicated IP is included at no extra cost, and the security features include some impressive ad and malware blocking software functions, dubbed “PIA Mace” the advanced settings.
Private Internet Access Pricing
Like PureVPN and a few others, PIA uses a simple pricing method: You'll get the same features on all plans, but you'll save more money if you commit to a longer period of time. Billed monthly, you'll pay $9.95 per month, but billed annually, the price tag is $39.95, which works out to $3.33 per month.
The best deal is the three-year + three months deal, $79, which comes out as a mere $2.03 per month — one of the cheapest prices in VPNs.
- Fully-featured Linux Client
- Twice court-proven no logs claim (rare)
- Huge network of 29,000+ servers
- Reliable malware and ad blocker (MACE)
- PC app isn't very user friendly
- Most of server network is in the USA
- Better-suited to tech-savvy users
- Long-distance speeds suffer
Torguard offers seamless security that held up beautifully during our testing. It also successfully unlocked a number of streaming video sites around the globe, even including Netflix. The service comes with more than 3,000 servers in over 55 countries.
Torguard Features and Security
TorGuard isn't a perfect VPN. The sign-up process felt a little more laborious than it needed to, and some of the UI details make it difficult to read. Still, it's a strong contender for the most secure VPN on this list: It passed all our leak tests while still offering impressive speeds even across international connections.
The company holds that its VPN can bypass Deep Packet Inspection firewalls, letting it access sites, like Netflix, that other VPNs can't. However, you'll need a dedicated IP to access Netflix, which isn't available with the cheapest personal plan.
Features also include a WireGuard tunneling protocol for port forwarding, a Stealth proxy, IPv6 leak prevention, encrypted DNS, and — if you're using an Android device — split tunneling. And since it can be tough to understand, users will be able to access how-to guides as well as email and live chat support.
TorGuard's four business plans are Starter, Small, Medium, and Large, and each one supports an increased number of users, email accounts, and dedicated IPs. Each plan has user cap rather than a per-user price: Starter costs $32 per month for up to five users, Small costs $69 per month for up to ten users, Medium costs $110 per month for up to fifteen users, and Large costs $169 per month for up to 20.
Personal plans are simple: One user can get a VPN for up to eight devices at $9.99 per month, billed monthly, and with an annual bill of $59.99 that cuts that per-month price in half.
There's also a Pro personal plan that supports 12 devices and one dedicated IP (needed to unlock Netflix) at $12.99 per month billed monthly, and $69.99 for a year at once.
Read the full TorGuard review
- Strong global presence
- Great features and control for expert users
- Impressive VPN performance
- Fully-featured Linux GUI
- Not great for less experienced users
- Awkward sign-up process
- Unblocking abilities could be better
ProtonVPN keeps a strict no-logging policy. It also operates with more than 1,200 servers across 55 different nations — not as many as some VPNs on this list, but still more than enough locations to keep users happy. Speeds are decent as well, and the app interface is easy to use.
ProtonVPN Features and Security
ProtonVPN heavily prioritizes security, not just within its service (which passed our privacy tests with flying colors) but also within its company, which operates out of the notoriously privacy-conscious Switzerland and will never log your data or online actions.
Real-time stats are included in the interface, keeping users aware of their download and upload speeds at any given time. Advanced features include customizable profiles that allow you to switch to a predetermined protocol, server type and location when needed. The NetShield adblocker keeps users safe from advertisements. A good service for professionals.
Billed monthly, ProtonVPN's three plans are Basic for $4 per month, Plus (the lowest tier that unlocks streaming services) for $8 per month, and Visionary for $24 per month.
Users will save 20% if they go for an annual bill, and will save 33% if paying for two years at a time. This drops the two-year cost for Basic down to a tidy $3.29 per month.
- Impressive interface
- Powerful features
- Based in privacy-conscious Switzerland
- Free version has no data cap
- Premium plans are expensive
- Can be intimidating
- Average speeds overall
This popular service offers the ease of use, features, and privacy that make it a hit with the general population. It's a similarly great choice for anyone who's new to VPNs and just wants an option that's quick, easy, and keeps their private information private.
The downside? It can make your internet speeds a little unreliable, working quickly at times and slowing to a crawl at others.
ExpressVPN Features and Security
The service's selection of servers lets users connect automatically or manually, with a “Recommended locations” category as well as a list of options all over the world. Features include a killswitch and split tunneling, although it wasn't able to unblock Netflix in our tests. ExpressVPN does excel when it comes to security, however, and recently rolled out a Threat Manager that will prevent your device from communicating with malicious websites and trackers listed on ExpressVPN's blocklist.
Don't pick this option if you're a speed demon: Speeds were up and down in our tests, although the average was an underwhelming speed loss of around two-thirds, across both local and international connections.
ExpressVPN can be bought in three different plans: One month, six months, and a year. Each plan includes all the same features, as well unlimited bandwidth and 24/7 support. One month costs $12.95 for the month, while six months costs $9.99 per month and one year costs $8.32 per month, a saving of 35% over the one-month option.
No matter how you slice it, though, this VPN's prices are a little above the industry average. But like we said, the security is undeniably good.
Read our full review of Express VPN
- Easy to use iOS and Android apps
- Excellent customer support and live chat
- Servers in 94 countries
- Often leads the way with security upgrades
- Pricey on per-month plan
- No port-forwarding
Hide Me VPN
Video streaming sites that Hide Me unlocks include Comedy Central and NBC, but if your white whale is Netflix, you'll have to keep hunting.
The service will keep you and your data secure on any network, but you won't find Hide Me on many shortlists for supercharged VPNs – it was one of the slowest our testers could find. Hide Me VPN is a dependably private service, even if a very slow one. If you value security above your speed, it's a good pick.
Hide Me VPN Features and Security
Security-boosting features include a killswitch, IPv6 Support, split tunneling, and the highly encrypted WireGuard protocol. Our testing found no leaks, so it's safe to say the VPN functions as advertised to keep your internet activity safe and sound.
Hide Me VPN Pricing
Hide Me is one of the rare paid VPN services to include a permanent free plan alongside the paid options. It comes with a few restrictions — users get just five server locations, a cap of 10GB of data transfer each month, and no option for simultaneous connections across multiple devices — but if your VPN needs start and end at staying safe while in an unsecured WiFI hotspot, it'll do the trick.
More serious VPN users should stick with paid options. Billed monthly, that'll cost $9.95 per month, while the annual bill comes out to $6.66 per month and the two-year cost is $3.84 per month (with two months thrown in for free).
- Excellent speeds
- Intuitive, well-designed app
- Excellent free plan, feature-rich paid package
- Squeaky clean privacy record
- Some features missing on mobile apps
- Not the cheapest provider out there
- Speed caps on free version
At this point in our list, it may not surprise you to hear that Ivacy VPN's privacy is strong. The service's focus on security is above average, even if the rest of its offerings are middle-of-the-road, from limited features to a bumpy track record with speediness.
Granted, the security options aren't detailed or flexible. You're getting an effective but stripped-down service here. However, it is priced competitively. If your VPN needs are solely focused on staying secure and keeping costs down, Ivacy VPN is squarely in the center of your Venn diagram.
Ivacy VPN Features and Security
Ivacy's 3,500+ servers are located across more than 150 locations, so users should be kept happy with the range of selection options. Features include the trusty killswitch function to immedately stop all internet activity if the VPN connection drops, as well as split tunneling, five simultaneous connections, and a no-logging policy.
The interface is mode-based, with buttons on the left-hand side that will allow users to switch to the best configuration for specific needs like downloading, streaming, or content unblocking.
Ivacy VPN Pricing
Plans can be billed for one month, one year, or two years at a time. Billed monthly, users will pay $9.95 per month, while the one-year charge of $47.76 amounts to $3.99 per month and the five-year charge of $71.64 comes out to just $1.19 per month.
A dedicated IP address is available for an extra monthly charge of $1.99.
- Low-cost long-term deals
- Simple mode-based interface
- Cheap for a dedicated IP VPN
- Speeds can dip
- Slow to connect
- Inconsistent connections
For the average internet user, the world of VPNs might not make a lot of sense. Why does the number of servers matter? What does that ominous-sounding killswitch really do? If you want to make an informed decision about which VPN is right for you, you need to know what each security feature can do for you.
If you're doing your own VPN security research, or if you're simply trying to better understand the pros and cons of each of the top ten VPNs we've listed above, here's a bullet point list of the terms you should know.
- Number of servers – A wider selection of servers makes for a faster connection; the more countries, the more locations you'll be able to securely access.
- Strong encryption – The stronger the encryption, the lower the likelihood of a breach.
- A killswitch – This is an essential security feature: It's an automated process that blocks all outgoing and incoming traffic if the internet connection happens to drop. Without it, your device might try to reconnect outside of the secured VPN line, defeating the whole point of using a VPN.
- Split tunneling – This feature divides a user's internet traffic, so that only some goes through a VPN while other traffic remains unsecured. It can be useful when using software that won't work through a VPN, although it's best to keep all your traffic secured when possible.
- No-logging policy – Some VPNs will record a log of your online activity data. While this isn't a deal breaker, you'll boost security by opting for a company with a policy not to log anything.
- HTTPS when entering payment details – The extra “S” in your URL means the difference between an encrypted website and an unsecured one.
- Help and support options – Security is all about being proactive. You can have the most secure VPN out there and still be vulnerable if it goes down and the support team isn't available.
A good VPN should have a killswitch, no-logging policy
Yes, any business with employees that regularly connect to the internet could benefit from the privacy and security offered by a VPN. Sensitive emails, financial data, and any software passwords or other login information should all be protected, and a high-quality VPN is one simple way to add another layer of security.
Particularly after the pandemic-spurred shift to remote work, many workspaces are now hybrids: Some employees come into the office while many others remain remote some or all of the time. As a result, businesses rely on cloud-hosted and internet-accessable software, and should use a company-wide VPN. Even a completely in-office team would benefit from a
TV stations, gas pipelines, even dental patients — they've all seen data breaches or ransomware attacks in the recent past. VPNs won't provide 100% security to your business, but they're one of the easiest ways to boost security and should be the first thing a IT team rolls out.
Why Free VPNs Are Rarely Secure
Almost any software subscription service is available somewhere on the internet, and they all have the same issue: You get what you pay for.
Granted, this doesn't mean that a free software can't be useful. It's just a trade-off in which you lose a few features, or use a clunkier interface, in exchange for keeping your budget slim. But when it comes to VPNs, even the best free VPN services are rarely the right choice: The data is limited, and most services will restrict you to just one device or only one browser. In some cases, you'll see an increase in annoying ads and pop-ups rather than a decrease.
More importantly, you can't trust most free services not to log your data, which is the opposite of what anyone on a VPN wants. Sure, some VPN services out there are free, but there's one priceless benefit that a paid service has to offer: True peace of mind that your data is safe.
Verdict: NordVPN is the Best for Security
NordVPN is the top VPN for security and privacy, with great encryption standards, advanced features, and unbeatable server selection of over 3,500 servers across 62 countries. That said, other incredibly secure VPN options include the cost-effective IPVanish and the easy-to-use PureVPN, and neither of them will let down you or your business.
If you'd like to compare these services against all the best VPNs on the market today, try taking a minute to see our condensed ranking of what they have to offer over here: