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The Best VPN Services for 2023

Staying safe in today's digital world can feel like a huge task. It feels like your data is never safe and malicious actors are trying to pry into your online activities at every turn. While it can often feel like there's no way to alleviate that, there are some tools you can use.

If you've been on the internet and not under a rock for the last 5 or so years, then you've probably heard the term "VPN" thrown around here and there, but have you ever wondered what they actually are? VPN stands for "virtual private network". We go into detail at the bottom of this article, but put simply it's a tool that allows you an increased blanket of security for your online activities.

With so many VPN providers out there, it can be really difficult to know which one is the best for you. Because we have VPN and tech experts on staff, we've given you a rundown of the best options for this year below to hopefully save you some time. Happy browsing!

TL;DR – These are the Best VPNs


Our Top Pick

Pricing: Beginning at $6.67 | Simultaneous Connections: 5 | Servers: 160 | Regions: 94 | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Amazon Fire TV, AppleTV, Console

From a user experience perspective, ExpressVPN shines. It's apps are intuitive and user-friendly across multiple different platforms and devices. Getting started with ExpressVPN is super easy as well.

The monthly plans for ExpressVPN are on the pricier side when it comes to the suggestions on this list. Prices begin at $6.67 a month. This is the prive for their 12-month plan and is by far the best value for money. If you move on it swiftly, you can get yourself 3-months for absolutely nothing.

One of ExpressVPN's standout features is its extensive server network spread across the globe. This global presence ensures fast and reliable connections, crucial for activities like streaming and seamless browsing on your iPhone. Whether you're accessing geo-restricted content or simply looking for a lag-free experience, ExpressVPN delivers.

How did ExpressVPN hold up during our testing? Pretty well, as it goes. It manages very low latency coupled with a high bandwidth. You can connect to 160 servers across 94 ragions on five devices at the same time. It might be one of the pricier options in our rundown, but it's worth the price tag.


Pricing: Beginning at $3.99 | Simultaneous Connections: 6 | Servers: 5400 | Regions: 59 | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Android TV, AppleTV

NordVPN is a very and credible alternative to ExpressVPN if you want something at a lower price point. It boasts a robust combination of security and user-friendliness. With over 5,000 servers in more than 60 countries, it offers users a wide range of options for anonymous and secure internet browsing.

One of NordVPN's standout features is its strong commitment to user privacy. It employs AES-256 bit encryption and offers various security protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec, ensuring that your online activities remain private and secure. The service also has a strict no-logs policy, meaning it does not keep records of your online behavior, further enhancing your privacy. The built-in Kill Switch feature ensures that your internet connection is cut off if the VPN connection drops, preventing any accidental data leaks.

Prices begin at $3.99 for the two year plan, which is a very attractive price point for the amount of securrity that you get from the service. In terms of speed, it wasn't the fastest during our testing, but it was consistently one of the top performers.


Best Budget VPN

Pricing: Beginning at $2.49 | Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited | Servers: 1700+ | Regions: 63 | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 5

Starting at $2.49 a month, Surfshark is an easy option that can cover a bunch of your devices. It works on so many different platforms and offers you the chance to simultaneously connect as many different devices as you want. Can't say no to that for under $3 can you?

Security-wise, Surfshark offers robust features like AES-256 bit encryption, multiple security protocols, a Kill Switch, and a strict no-logs policy. The CleanWeb feature helps block ads, trackers, and malware, enhancing your online security and experience.

Surfshark's server network covers over 60 countries and offer over 1500 servers that allow users to access geo-restricted content and maintain anonymity effectively.

The VPN's user-friendly apps are available on various platforms, and its intuitive interface makes it accessible for both beginners and experienced users. Surfshark also offers a Camouflage Mode, which disguises your VPN usage, making it harder for ISPs and other entities to detect that you're using a VPN.

Private Internet Access

Pricing: Plans begin at $2.19 | Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited | Regions: 84 | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Some TVs and Consoles

Plans for PIA start at $2.19 a month, this is for their two-year plan and is a similar price point to many of the other budget VPN options on the market right now. You can connect an unlimited amount of devices at once, which is always a huge selling points in our books. The vast majority of platforms are supported, including some Smart TVs and consoles, but you'll need to check which specific models will work.

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a veteran VPN service that places a strong emphasis on user privacy and security. With over 29,000 servers in more than 80 regions, PIA boasts one of the largest server networks in the VPN industry, ensuring fast and reliable connections from almost anywhere in the world.

Security is a top priority for PIA. It employs AES-256 bit encryption, multiple security protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard, and offers features like a Kill Switch and split tunneling. PIA has a strict no-logs policy, which means it doesn't store any data related to your online activities, enhancing your privacy.

Proton VPN

Pricing: Beginning at $4.99 | Simultaneous Connections: 10 | Servers: 3000+ | Regions: 65+ | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 5

ProtonVPN is a privacy-focused VPN service developed by the creators of ProtonMail, a well-known secure email service. Known for its commitment to user privacy, strong encryption, and Swiss-based jurisdiction, ProtonVPN has gained popularity among individuals who prioritize online security.

ProtonVPN stands out for its unwavering dedication to user privacy and security. Operating under Swiss jurisdiction, it benefits from Switzerland's strong privacy laws and a no-logs policy, meaning it does not collect or store user activity data. This commitment to privacy is a significant draw for users seeking anonymity.

The user-friendly apps are available on various platforms and offer a straightforward interface suitable for both beginners and advanced users. ProtonVPN also offers Secure Core servers, which route your traffic through multiple countries for enhanced security.

What is a VPN and When Do I Need One?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a critical tool for safeguarding your online privacy and security. Essentially, a VPN creates a secure and encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server operated by the VPN service provider.

This encrypted connection routes your internet traffic through a server that you choose, masking your real IP address and making it difficult for anyone, including hackers or even your own Internet Service Provider (ISP) from monitoring or intercepting your online activities.

When Do You Need a VPN?

Public Wi-Fi: When using public Wi-Fi networks at cafes, airports, or hotels, a VPN is essential to protect your data from potential hackers lurking on the same network.

Online Privacy: If you value your online privacy and want to keep your internet activities hidden from prying eyes, a VPN is a must.

Geo-Restricted Content: If you want to access streaming services or websites that are blocked in your country, a VPN can help you bypass these restrictions by connecting to servers in regions where the content is accessible.

Traveling: When traveling abroad, a VPN can ensure secure internet access and allow you to access your home country's content as if you were back home.

Working Remotely: For remote workers, a VPN ensures secure access to company resources and protects sensitive data while working from home or public spaces.

Also see: our best VPN for gaming and best wireless routers for more.

Joe O'Neill-Parker is a freelance contributor for IGN, covering sports and tech. Before founding O'Neill Multimedia, he worked as an editor/producer for an international audiobook production company.

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