8 Best VPN Services in 2022

Hundreds of VPNs are available out there - so, how to find and pick truly the best VPN service available today? How to know if you’re investing your money wisely, getting everything your chosen VPN claims via its marketing messages? Well, you can rely on our advice!

After testing more than 60 VPN services (and spending hundreds of hours doing that), we know which ones deliver on their promises (as well as which ones don’t) - and we’re here to share our knowledge. We'll give you valuable information to help you find the best VPN services in 2022 based on your budget, specific needs, and priorities.

As you can imagine, not every VPN is the same. And in this article, you’ll find the 8 best VPN services recommended by our editorial team after having tested those VPNs hands-on. Still, that doesn’t mean that all of the following VPNs are equally capable when it comes to different purposes - so make sure to read this guide very carefully.

You will find that some VPN services are more suited for streaming, playing online games, downloading torrents, and similar. That means that you must pay attention to their sets of features, check out what's unique, as well as read the fine print.

Of course, let’s not forget about the primary purpose of any VPN - to protect your privacy and identity. With this said, you can be sure that the following are highly reputable and trustworthy VPNs that also come with no-logs policies.

Make sure to read this entire guide, as we did our best to explain what to realistically expect, as well as how to find a VPN that will help elevate your experience of using the Web.

How to Choose the Best VPN Service for Your Needs?

Without a clear plan or checklist, you'll be overwhelmed as soon as you start comparing different VPNs. So, to find a reliable and capable VPN, here's what you need to look for:

  • Native Software (Across the Board): When it comes to VPNs, you can forget about configuring them manually. Instead, any reputable VPN will bring native software for desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux) and mobile (iOS, Android) devices. Aside from that, there are VPNs for streaming devices (Android TV, FireOS) and even routers. So, make sure to inspect if you'll get native software for any Web-connected device you own.
  • Generous Limit on Simultaneous Connections: In general, VPN services come with a limited number of simultaneous connections. So, think about how many devices you'll want to protect. And then, make sure to find a VPN that works for you. Also, keep in mind that a very small group of VPNs (more on that below) offer unmetered simultaneous connections.
  • Privacy-Focused Features & Capabilities: There's a set of so-called "standard" features that you can expect from any VPN service. Among those, you'll find support for OpenVPN, AES-256 encryption, and native software for any desktop or mobile platform. However, when it comes to more advanced features, you'll want a kill switch, split-tunneling, as well as support for WireGuard (a new, innovative, and highly secure VPN protocol).
  • Ease of Use / User-Friendliness: Not everyone wants an overly complex VPN with hundreds of options and features. Of course, if you have some prior experience with VPNs, you will appreciate a more comprehensive VPN service. That way, you'll get to fine-tune even the smallest "parts" of your connection. Still, if you've never used a VPN before, you will appreciate an application that's ready out-of-the-box, without any customization.
  • Sizeable Server Network: It's crucial to know how many servers you'll get, as well as in what countries or locations those servers are found. For example, you should pay attention to how many servers you'll get in the United States if you want to stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, FXNOW, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and similar. Also, VPNs with plenty of servers tend to bring faster performance, which is an important thing to keep in mind.
  • Speed & Throttling: When it comes to any VPNs, you can expect some throttling. However, the very best VPN services make that drawback close to unnoticeable. This is an important aspect that separates great VPNs from mediocre ones. However, don't trust any marketing messages. Instead, rely on hands-on reviews to check what kind of performance to expect.
  • Pricing & Money-Back Guarantees: We have tried to bring a list of affordably priced VPNs in this guide, suitable for all kinds of budgets. However, since VPNs tend to change their pricing structures often, do your own research as well. Aside from that, you'll always get money-back guarantees. That means that you'll make your investment risk-free, as you'll reserve your right to change your mind.
  • Customer Service: Last but not least, the best VPN should have impeccable customer support that includes 24/7 live chat. That way, in case something goes wrong, you'll be happy to have picked a VPN that can resolve your issue in no time.

Tip

In case you’d like to know more about how to choose a VPN, we’ve prepared a handy buyer’s guide to VPN services. So, feel free to take a look.

The Best VPN Services in 2022

After having spent countless hours testing VPN services, we’re ready to show you those that are worth your time and money. These are the 8 best VPN services in 2022.

  1. ExpressVPN – Our #1 Recommendation (Best VPN Overall)
  2. NordVPN – Best for High-End Privacy & Security
  3. Surfshark VPN – Best Fully-Automated VPN
  4. CyberGhost VPN – Best for Streaming, Gaming & Torrenting
  5. Private Internet Access – Best for Advanced VPN Users
  6. ProtonVPN - Best for Privacy-Obsessed VPN Users
  7. Ivacy VPN – Best Budget-Friendly VPN
  8. IPVanish - Best for Inexperienced VPN Users

If you need a VPN suitable for a specific platform/device, digital service, or for use in a specific country, take a look at the following recommendations:

1. ExpressVPN - Our #1 Recommendation (Best VPN Overall)

Editor's Pick
Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, Lightway, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2.
Data Logging No data logs (regular independent audits).
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and plenty more).
Torrenting Support YES (all servers optimized).
Expected Slowdown Up to 21.5% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

ExpressVPN sets the standard of what an incredibly powerful VPN should be. There may be VPN services out there that can beat it on individual points, but none of its competitors can offer a complete package as this VPN does. With this said, we firmly believe that ExpressVPN is the best VPN money can buy right now.

With this VPN, you get 5 simultaneous connections, which seems generous enough. Aside from that, it works on any platform out there (here's how to install it across 60+ supported devices). That means you'll find native software for computers (Windows, macOS, Linux), mobile devices (iOS, iPadOS, Android), streaming devices (Android TV, Fire TV), smart TVs, and routers.

You'll also find ExpressVPN recommended in our guide to the best VPNs for Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and a vast range of other streaming services. That's because this VPN works excellent for unblocking any website out there, even if incredibly strong anti-VPN systems are in place (like those in China, for example).

When it comes to its speed, this is yet another side of ExpressVPN that doesn't disappoint. You can count on fast speed even without any tinkering. However, if you're willing to use custom options, you can choose from a range of VPN protocols. In combination with highly optimized servers, that means that you'll get fast and stable performance overall.

Let's also not forget to mention ExpressVPN's unique features. This VPN offers an anti-tracking system on iOS (soon to reach other platforms). Aside from that, ExpressVPN features its own protocol called Lightway (combining great speeds and high-end security). It also comes with independent audits proving its no-logs policies.

Finally, know that ExpressVPN is also a great example of how reliable customer support should look like. Support agents are available 24/7 and accessible via live chat (via the VPN's website).

We're sure many of you will be intrigued by this VPN. With that said, if you need more info, turn to TechNadu's in-depth ExpressVPN review.

PROS

  • No data logging involved.
  • Independently audited policies.
  • Highly polished native software.
  • Very easy to install and use.
  • Unblocks any website out there.
  • Great for any purpose or use.
  • Reliable and stable performance.
  • Responsive customer support.

CONS

  • No in-depth customization possible.
  • Safari extension no longer available.

2. NordVPN - Best for High-End Privacy & Security

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, NordLynx, IKEv2.
Data Logging No data logs (regular independent audits).
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and plenty more).
Torrenting Support YES (all servers optimized).
Expected Slowdown Up to 36.8% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

NordVPN is, without a doubt, one of our favorite VPNs. It has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most technologically advanced VPN services. Therefore, it’s not surprising to know that NordVPN was the recipient of numerous awards in the past.

From an ease-of-use perspective, NordVPN has one of the best software clients we’ve seen. It’s clean, attractive, and simple to use. We can positively see people of any technical skill level having no usability issues. Aside from numerous apps, this VPN also gives you up to 6 simultaneous connections.

NordVPN also offers a substantial number of servers, with more than 5,000+ servers spread across 60 countries. Many of those are specialized, such as Onion-over VPN, double VPN, and obfuscated servers. You can also use many of those to unblock websites (including streaming services), download torrents, and more.

In terms of its performance, it brings speeds comparable to other top-rated VPNs. That means that you'll encounter some slowdowns unless you go into NordVPN's settings and try different protocols (you can choose from OpenVPN, IKEv2, and NordLynx). And since this VPN offers plenty of servers, that gives you another option to optimize your VPN connection.

You should also know that NordVPN is very quick to evolve. This VPN receives new features every couple of months, making its long-term subscriptions even more valuable. Among some of the recent notable additions, there's a dark web monitor (on iOS), as well as the introduction of a colocated server network. Besides that, this is an audited no-logs VPN service.

As you can expect out of any reputable VPN, NordVPN also offers 24/7 customer support. In addition to plenty of self-help resources, you'll find live chat on offer as well.

Don't forget to read our NordVPN review if you want additional information.

PROS

  • Very polished (native) software.
  • Plenty of high-end features.
  • Sizeable selection of VPN servers.
  • Specialized servers for online privacy.
  • Suitable for media streaming.
  • Responsive customer support.

CONS

  • Requires some optimization.
  • Streaming servers aren't labeled.
  • Somewhat agressive VPN terminology.

3. Surfshark VPN - Best Fully-Automated VPN

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2.
Data Logging No data logs (regular independent audits).
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and plenty more).
Torrenting Support YES (all servers optimized).
Expected Slowdown Up to 37.7% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

The truth is that Surfshark is a relatively new VPN. However, it has already managed to attract a considerable number of loyal users from all around the world. It’s easy to see why since this VPN works as advertised (we wish to see more of those), it brings plenty of exciting and some unique features, and it’s also quite user-friendly.

First and foremost, Surfshark VPN doesn’t have any limitations on how many devices you can connect. It means that you can use a single subscription to cover all your Web-connected devices and protect your entire household. Aside from that, Surfshark offers a whole range of simple-to-use apps, available on any platform or device out there.

If you want a VPN for media streaming, torrenting, or unblocking websites, you'll have an easy time using Surfshark. Just open its interface, connect to any of its numerous servers, and that's it. This VPN unblocks even the most difficult-to-unblock websites.

In terms of its performance, know that Surfshark isn't the fastest VPN out there. However, you can switch between OpenVPN and WireGuard, so you have some freedom to fine-tune this VPN. If you make an effort, faster speeds are reachable.

Let’s not forget to mention that Surfshark has numerous tricks up its sleeve. It comes with a feature called CleanWeb, blocking ads, trackers, and malware. Then, it brings a powerful kill-switch, multi-hop technology, and has zero-knowledge servers. It even offers a real-time identity theft alert service, as well as GPS spoofing (on Android).

In the end, we'll highlight that Surfshark offers 24/7-available customer support. That includes live chat, with support agents willing to tackle even the most difficult questions.

With all of that said, it's easy to see why this is one of the best VPN services in 2022. All there’s left is to check our Surfshark VPN review.

PROS

  • Works "out of the box."
  • Suitable for first-time VPN users.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • Highly suitable for media streaming.
  • Plenty of unique features.
  • Plenty of value overall.

CONS

  • No in-depth fine-tuning available.
  • Slower than its competitors.

4. CyberGhost VPN - Best for Streaming, Gaming & Torrenting

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2.
Data Logging No data logs.
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and plenty more).
Torrenting Support YES (specialized servers available).
Expected Slowdown Up to 58.7% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 45 days.

CyberGhost VPN is a seriously capable application that will keep you safe on the Internet without a single issue. Aside from pretty much any "standard" feature you might expect, it also comes with a whole range of advanced options. So, here's what to expect precisely.

This VPN gives you up to 7 simultaneous connections, which is quite generous. Aside from that, it comes with modern-looking apps for any desktop or mobile device, including streaming devices, routers, and more. To better understand what to expect, check our guide on installing CyberGhost VPN across all of its supported devices.

You'll also find a whole range of specialized servers here (with more than 7,000 servers on offer, in total). CyberGhost gives you servers optimized for streaming, download files (and yes, that includes P2P as well), and gaming (available on Windows). Based on our tests, this VPN unblocks any website out there, with ease.

We also need to note that CyberGhost doesn't bring the best speeds. Still, even though it's slower than its competitors, you can optimize its performance. That's where its supported protocols come into play, as well as its large selection of (optimized) servers. In other words, you'll need to dive into everything this VPN offers to reach the fastest speeds possible.

Then, you'll also find an antivirus app (for Windows only at the moment), which can be added to your subscription. The same applies to dedicated VPN IP addresses, which we don't see every day.

It would also be fair to mention CyberGhost's reliable customer support. There's live chat available, with support agents being there 24/7. And if you want to fix any issue (which you'll hardly encounter) on your own, there are plenty of support articles to check.

You can learn more about all of the features described above in our CyberGhost VPN review.

PROS

  • Ultra-secure VPN protocols.
  • Sizeable selection of servers.
  • Plenty of specialized servers on offer.
  • Wide range of cross-platform apps.
  • Suitable for media streaming.
  • Responsive customer support.

CONS

  • Missing a more recent audit.
  • Requires speed-related optimizations.
  • Gaming serves available on Windows.

5. Private Internet Access - Best for Advanced VPN Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPsec.
Data Logging No data logs.
Streaming Support YES (Netflix and Disney+).
Torrenting Support YES (specialized servers available).
Expected Slowdown Up to 61% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

Private Internet Access is one of the longest-standing VPNs, with over a decade serving users worldwide. During that time, this VPN has developed its features in a big way, offering a level of customization you won't find elsewhere. So, here's a glimpse at what to expect.

First of all, PIA supports a lot of devices. There’s nothing you can’t get to work in one way or another. You also get up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is quite generous. That makes us sure that all your Web-connected devices will be protected.

PIA’s server count is quite substantial, coming in well over 30,000+ servers. All of those are equipped to support a range of protocols, including WireGuard. Also, they all allow you to customize your level of protection. You can fine-tune your VPN protocol, increase or decrease its level of encryption, and even force your data to be broken down into small packages (helpful in avoiding detection).

In the past, this VPN proved in a legal case that it's a no-logs VPN service. And just recently, it open-sourced all of its apps. That means that Private Internet Access has nothing to hide, as well as that it's dedicated to providing the most effective data protection possible.

Aside from privacy protection, this VPN is suitable for torrenting. However, the same can't be said for media streaming. Even though it can unblock some services like Netflix and Disney Plus, that's where its streaming capabilities end.

We'll also add that PIA can bring unbelievably fast speeds. However, since this VPN comes with strong privacy-protecting measures out of the box, you'll encounter very limited performance. That's why we think PIA is one of the best VPN services for more advanced users, as you'll get the best speeds only if you fine-tune this VPN.

You can learn more via our hands-on Private Internet Access review.

PROS

  • Ideal for more advanced users.
  • Works on any device out there.
  • Flexible encryption options.
  • High-end VPN protocols on offer.
  • Suitable for torrenting.
  • Great for privacy protection.
  • Responsive customer support.

CONS

  • Can be slow (unless optimized).
  • Not the best option for streaming.
  • Requires at least some VPN knowledge.

6. ProtonVPN - Best for Privacy-Obsessed VPN Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2.
Data Logging No data logs (regular independent audits).
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video).
Torrenting Support YES (specialized servers available).
Expected Slowdown Up to 61.6% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

ProtonVPN is one of the rare VPNs built around data privacy from the ground up. It comes from Switzerland, utilizing various technologies to hide your online activities. So, if you're obsessed with your privacy, here's why this VPN should be your pick.

In terms of supported platforms, ProtonVPN brings native software for any desktop and mobile device. However, know that you won't find Web browser extensions here. That's not a big downside, as you'll get up to 10 simultaneous connections. And also, using ProtonVPN's native software, you can access all of its advanced features from a single place.

Speaking of its features, ProtonVPN is powered by OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. This is one of the first VPNs to have eliminated less secure protocols like SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP. Then, all of its servers support AES-256 encryption and 'Perfect Forward Secrecy,' which is a special encryption cipher suite.

If that's not enough, know that ProtonVPN offers 'Secure Core' servers. That means that you can use two servers at once, including one in a country with favorable laws related to privacy. Those end nodes are found in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden. Learn more about that in our guide to ProtonVPN's features.

As you can guess by now, ProtonVPN is great for privacy. However, the situation isn't that great when it comes to media streaming. This VPN unblocks Netflix, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer. It might work with other streaming services as well, but your mileage will vary.

We'll also add that you'll encounter some slowdowns due to its high-end protocols and encryption. That's why we recommend this VPN to those who have a faster Web connection.

If you want to hear what else we have to say, check our ProtonVPN review.

PROS

  • High-end privacy protection.
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections.
  • Easy-to-use applications.
  • Special 'Secure Core' servers on offer.
  • Plenty of unique features.
  • Open-source VPN applications.

CONS

  • Can be slow (unless optimized).
  • Limited server network.
  • No live chat support available.

7. Ivacy VPN - Best Budget-Friendly VPN

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPsec.
Data Logging No data logs.
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and plenty more).
Torrenting Support YES (specialized servers available).
Expected Slowdown Up to 71% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

Ivacy shows that a good VPN doesn't have to cost a lot. You might not find high-end features here, but you'll find a solid set of capabilities. So, let's see what exactly this VPN offers.

We're happy to say that practically any device is covered. That means that Ivacy has a range of native software available for computers, mobile devices, streaming devices, routers, and more. You also get 5 simultaneous connections, which means the basics are all there.

Even though Ivacy doesn't have the most extensive selection of servers, you'll be happy with their capabilities. There are specialized servers for unblocking websites, downloading torrents, accessing media streaming services, and more. Speaking of streaming, Ivacy gives you access to pretty much any "mainstream" as well as niche streaming service.

In terms of its performance, expect to encounter some throttling. To alleviate that, Ivacy offers multiple VPN protocols. Sadly, WireGuard is still not on board, so you'll be forced to downgrade your protection level to get better speeds.

We'll also mention that Ivacy comes with a few more advanced tools. There's a kill switch, but it's available on Windows and Android only. The same applies to split tunneling. With that said, this could be a good option if you already have a fast Web connection and if you're using Windows. That's how you'll get everything this VPN has to offer.

In the end, we'll add that Ivacy's customer support is very reliable. You can count on chatting live, available on Ivacy's website. And also, there are plenty of additional resources in the form of tutorials, guides, blog posts, and similar.

Find out what else you can expect of this VPN via our Ivacy VPN review.

PROS

  • Incredibly simple to use.
  • Offers specialized servers.
  • Good platform/device coverage.
  • Suitable for media streaming.
  • Plenty of protocols on offer.
  • Support via live chat available.

CONS

  • Limited performance, in some cases.
  • Limited server network.
  • No WireGuard on offer.

8. IPVanish - Best VPN for Inexperienced VPN Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Amazon Fire TV
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption & Protocols Up to AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec.
Data Logging No data logs.
Streaming Support YES (Netflix, Disney Plus, and iPlayer).
Torrenting Support YES (all servers optimized).
Expected Slowdown Up to 68.8% on average.
Money-Back Guarantees Up to 30 days.

IPVanish is a no-fuss VPN service that doesn't require you to dive into VPN terminology. As such, it's great for inexperienced users who don't want to fine-tune anything. However, it also caters to those who want to take a peek "behind the curtain," at least occasionally.

This VPN comes with apps for any desktop and mobile platform. It also offers dedicated apps for media streaming devices and smart TVs. All of those come with a uniform design, with clearly labeled buttons, options, and features. You'll also get unmetered connections, which means that you can install and use IPVanish on as many devices as you want.

In general, this VPN is optimized for protecting your privacy and unblocking a small group of streaming services. Based on our tests, it works with Netflix, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer. So, not a large group, but big enough for those who focus on the most popular streaming services.

We'll also mention that IPVanish isn't the fastest VPN, even though we're starting to see many improvements in that aspect. You'll get a range of protocols (including WireGuard), as well as close to 2,000 servers. By combining different protocols with different servers, you can reach faster speeds. Still, having a Web connection from the get-go will also serve you well.

When it comes to other features, know that IPVanish can protect any public (open) Wi-Fi, fight against DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), as well as bypass Internet censorship. This VPN also allows torrenting via all of its servers, including a SOCKS5 proxy.

Let's not forget to mention that IPVanish comes with helpful customer support. You'll find in-depth tutorials, frequently asked questions, and similar. There's also live chat, but that feature is not available 24/7.

We've only scratched the surface here. So, if you want to keep on reading about this VPN, head over to our IPVanish review.

PROS

  • Very simple to use.
  • Strong encryption.
  • WireGuard now available as well.
  • Native software across the board.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • Works with Netflix and Disney+.
  • Supports torrenting.

CONS

  • Medium-sized server network.
  • Can be slow at times.
  • Live chat not available 24/7.

What Is a VPN?

VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network," which means that VPNs protect your online privacy by routing your Web data safely and securely (by creating a VPN tunnel).

More precisely, VPNs are applications that you can install on your computer (Windows, macOS, Linux), mobile device (iOS, iPadOS, Android), media streaming device (Android TV, Fire TV), compatible routers, and more.

Those applications then route your Web traffic through a chosen VPN server, creating a private network from a public Internet connection. Once your data starts flowing through that tunnel, it becomes invisible to anyone else on the Web (and that even includes your Internet provider).

Aside from protecting your privacy, VPNs can do many other things. That includes securing any public Wi-Fi, bypassing Internet censorship, unblocking digital services not available in your country, and helping you save money when shopping online.

How Do VPNs Work?

VPNs work by re-routing your Web data through secure servers. Those servers also encrypt your data, making you practically invisible on the Web.

Of course, that would be the simplest possible explanation. If you want to dive deeper, know that VPNs use all kinds of protocols combined with different levels of encryption. That means as soon as your data reaches a VPN server, it gets broken down into very small pieces before heading out to the public Web.

Once your data leaves your VPN's server, it does so with a new IP address. That means your original IP address is hidden, preventing websites from knowing your physical location. Instead, websites will see only what your VPN's server shows them, which could be an IP address associated with a different country.

Tip

If you want a much deeper explanation, turn to our guide that dives into how VPNs work. You'll learn about VPNs' history, different types of VPN services/apps, and more.

Is It Legal and Safe to Use a VPN?

Yes, VPN services are legal and safe to use - in most of the world. Still, keep in mind that you must be aware of your country's laws.

You need to know that VPNs are either regulated or made illegal only in a very small group of countries (including Belarus, Iraq, and Oman). VPNs in those countries are either forbidden, discouraged, or made illegal altogether.

However, speaking in general, VPNs are legal in the rest of the world. They preserve your right to privacy, and as such, you have every right to use them. Furthermore, you have every right to pick any commercially available VPN service (based in any country out there) and become a subscriber without meeting any pre-requirements or anything similar.

We'll also add that VPNs are safe to use. Of course, as explained earlier, don't trust just about any VPN out there. After all, your chosen VPN will be in charge of your sensitive data. So, pick one that won't track your online activities or log your information.

Where Are VPNs Illegal?

Currently, VPNs are illegal in Belarus, Iraq, Oman, Turkmenistan, and North Korea. If you're in any of those countries, you should not use a VPN.

Then, know that VPNs are either regulated or blocked in China, Turkey, the UAE, Russia, and Iran. Using a VPN in any of those countries can prove to be challenging, as they face various anti-VPN mechanisms that prevent them from functioning.

Speaking of China, we offer plenty of practical guides. For example, here's how to use a VPN in China without breaking the law. You'll also want to know how to download a VPN in China. And lastly, check our list of the best VPNs for China.

And when it comes to Russia, that country has a long history of implementing Web restrictions. Just recently, VPNs such as VyprVPN and Opera VPN had stopped working there. So, you'll want to check our updated guide to the best VPNs for Russia.

Do You Really Need a VPN?

Yes, you really do need a VPN - if you want to protect your online privacy, hide your digital whereabouts, reach new types of websites, and more.

Keep in mind that VPNs stop online trackers, obfuscate your Web data, and basically make you invisible online. They have no alternative, as VPNs are by far the most effective method to safeguard your sensitive data.

Also, you need to understand that VPNs aren’t a new thing. They come with a rich development history spanning several decades. That means that VPNs are highly sophisticated tools (yet easy to use) designed to route your data through a secure tunnel.

Let’s also not forget about other possible uses of VPN services. They can also "change" your location as they change your IP address. Thanks to various obfuscation methods, VPNs unblock websites, and that includes media streaming services as well.

And finally, in case your ISP is throttling your Web traffic, these applications will help you fight against that throttling - allowing you to use your Web connection up to its full extent.

What Are the Pros and Cons of VPNs?

Even though VPNs do have some downsides (just like any type of software out there), their numerous benefits easily outweigh any drawbacks.

In terms of their pros, know that VPNs keep you safe and protected online, they're cross-platform compatible, and they help you unblock websites. Then, VPNs are essential when it comes to downloading torrents, speeding up throttled connections, and they even help you save money (by hiding your location and your previous purchases).

When it comes to their cons, VPNs can't unblock every single website out there. Then, they will slow down your Web connection a bit, and they're illegal in a small group of countries.

If you want to know more about each of the previously mentioned benefits and drawbacks, make sure to read our in-depth guide to the pros and cons of VPN services.

Can a VPN Be Tracked?

Yes, your use of VPN services can be tracked. However, what you do on the Web while using a VPN can never be tracked.

In other words, when you use a VPN, your data doesn't magically disappear from the Web. As explained earlier, it's kept within a secure VPN tunnel. That's precisely what third parties can see - a data tunnel pointing to your use of your chosen VPN service.

It's crucial to know that no one can see the contents of that data tunnel. That includes your ISP (Internet Service Provider) as well. So, if you're worried about whether your ISP can see your browsing history or what you download, worry not - as your VPN will hide all your data.

Can a VPN Be Trusted?

Yes, you can trust a VPN - as long as that's a reputable VPN that can support its claims via documentation and tangible proof. Here's what that means.

We highly recommend picking a VPN with a no-logs policy. Many VPNs say that they don't collect your personal data, but those are mostly marketing messages. So, you need to find their privacy policies and read those very carefully.

Then, go one step further and find a VPN that isn't afraid to go through an audit. The purpose of audits is to allow third-party cyber-sec companies to inspect source code, privacy policies, and similar. That's how you get assurances that your chosen VPN will respect your privacy.

You can be sure that all of the VPNs recommended above will respect your privacy. If you need more details, here are our reports of the latest audits of ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and ProtonVPN.

How to Use a VPN?

Using a VPN is very simple, even if you have never encountered one before. It all comes down to installing your chosen VPN, launching it, and connecting to a server.

Perhaps you'd like a more in-depth explanation. With that said, here are the steps you need to take to download, install, and then use your chosen VPN:

  1. First, make sure to pick a VPN you'd like to use (our #1 recommendation is ExpressVPN).
  2. Then, go ahead and subscribe to your chosen VPN (via its website).
  3. Once done, log in to your account on the VPN's website.
  4. You can now download apps for all your devices. Proceed to install them as well.
  5. Launch your VPN. Access your account by logging in.
  6. Use your VPN's interface to pick and connect to a server.
  7. After a few moments, you'll see a confirmation that your session is active.
  8. That's it! You can now browse the Web like you usually would.
  9. When you no longer need your VPN, re-launch it and disconnect.

Can You Get In Trouble for Using a VPN?

No, you won't get into trouble for using a VPN - as long as you use it for legitimate purposes. So, be aware of your country's digital laws.

It's true that VPNs will keep you hidden on the Web, and there's nothing wrong or illegal about that. It's your right to choose to disappear on the Internet, preventing anyone from tracking you. Still, that doesn't mean you should use a VPN for something illegal.

More precisely, we're talking about activities such as copyright infringement, for example. Just because you hide behind a VPN doesn't mean that you should download copyrighted files.

Does a VPN Slow Down Internet?

Yes, any VPN will slow down the speed of your Internet connection. However, if you use a capable VPN, you'll get to minimize that throttling.

VPNs reduce your Web connection's speed because they force your data to travel more. More precisely, they send your traffic through a dedicated VPN server. That adds an additional stop for your data before it reaches its destination.

In general, the most capable VPNs will reduce the speed of your Web connection by 10 to 20%. That's not a significant setback, especially if you already have a relatively speedy connection. To check what to expect from each VPN protocol, here's our guide that explains how much a VPN slows you down.

How to Speed Up a Slow VPN?

The fastest way to speed up a slow VPN is to pick a different protocol. Aside from that, you can try to find a server near your physical location.

Each VPN protocol has a different and unique way of handling your data. So, if there's heavy encryption involved (which is great for your privacy), more noticeable throttling will be present. Differently said, you pick a less secure protocol (like IKEv2, which still protects your privacy reliably), you can reach faster speeds.

When it comes to VPN servers, know that you'll get the fastest possible speed if you connect to a server that's close to your physical location. If you pick a server on the other side of the planet, you'll force your data to travel more, slowing down its speed.

Tip

Remember that there are many ways to find out why your VPN is slow. And also, there are many ways to speed up a slow VPN. Use the provided links to learn more.

What's the Most Secure VPN?

As per our findings, the most secure VPN right now is ExpressVPN. It comes with pretty much any security- and privacy-related feature you could need.

ExpressVPN is a proven no-logs VPN service built upon TrustedServer technology. That means that your private data is never collected at any point in time. Aside from that, you get OpenVPN and Lightway, both of which are highly secure protocols. And then, there's AES-256 encryption, which is practically uncrackable.

When it comes to other secure VPNs, you won't make a mistake if you pick any of our recommendations. They're all capable of blocking trackers and handling your data with care.

What's the Fastest VPN?

As per our hands-on tests, the fastest VPN right now (overall) is ExpressVPN. It comes with very fast and reliable performance, even without any optimization.

Without fine-tuning ExpressVPN, our Web connection's speed decreased by 20%, which is a great result. However, once we started to switch between Lightway and IKEv2 protocols while trying out different servers as well, we managed to keep that throttling down to 5% to 10%.

If you need more options, we can recommend Surfshark VPN and NordVPN. Both of those are fast, with plenty of customization options, which is important for speed. In fact, Surfshark is the speediest option for WireGuard-backed VPN connections.

What to Do When a VPN Is Not Working?

There are several things to try when your VPN doesn't work, like trying a different protocol, different server, or checking for software conflicts. Find more info below.

  • Switch to Another VPN Protocol: In general, VPN servers are optimized for multiple protocols. Still, technical issues may arise, causing your chosen VPN server to stop working with a specific protocol. In that case, you'll want to pick another protocol, done by visiting your VPN's settings.
  • Switch to Another Server: Servers in countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK are quite popular, in general. So, they can get overcrowded at times, reducing their performance. To bypass that, simply pick a different server.
  • Update Your App & Operating System: VPN apps receive regular updates that enhance their performance and bring all kinds of improvements. So, make sure to update your VPN app. Aside from that, you'll want to keep your device's operating system up-to-date as well.
  • Check for Software Conflicts: VPNs belong to the cyber-sec group of software, just like firewalls, antivirus apps, and similar. However, if you have several of those on your device, that could lead to a software conflict. So, remove any apps you don't use or "whitelist" your VPN in your firewall or antivirus app.
  • Contact Your VPN's Support Team: If nothing else helps, contact your VPN and explain the issue you're having. Try to be as precise as possible, which will help you get a solution without exchanging multiple messages and wasting time.

If you'd like to check additional solutions, we have a guide that explains why your VPN doesn't work. So, don't forget to use the provided link. You'll find more resources just below.

Should You Use a Free VPN or Premium VPN?

Without any doubt - you should use a premium VPN. Free VPNs might be tempting, but you need to avoid them at all costs, and here's why.

All of the currently available free VPNs are limited in one way or another. For example, they keep the speed of your Web connection limited, come with strict data allowances, let you connect to a couple of servers only, and similar.

There are also reports of free VPNs leaking data, which means that a free VPN can actually endanger your privacy. So, it’s safe to say that free VPNs aren’t safe to use.

To learn more, you can check our guide that explains the difference between free, paid, and free trial VPNs. Make sure to read it carefully before you make up your mind.

Tip

You can pick a premium VPN even if you're on a tight budget. To see your options, check out the best cheap VPN services. And also, it's always worth checking the best VPN deals (we make sure to keep that article up-to-date at all times).

Dear readers, this is where we conclude our article on the best VPN services in 2022. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. We’ll do our best to provide a timely response.

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