vpndeck.com’s complete guide to choosing the best VPN service…

There is a very good reason why VPN services are becoming more and more popular. As surveillance, online censorship and digital crimes continue to increase around the world, staying secure online is more important than ever before.

And choosing a quality VPN service is one of the best ways to get started with securing your online activities.

This is because VPN services make it look like you are at a completely different physical location, thanks to the thousands of servers worldwide that they operate.

This helps you with bypassing blocked websites and also allows you to stream content that is usually available only in certain countries, and it will help you protect yourself (at least a bit) from government snooping.

While using VPNs may seem complicated, especially if you are a non-techie, then worry not. VPN services nowadays are incredibly intuitive and easy to use, with most providers offering attractive apps which are incredibly simple. It will take a couple of clicks to get connected to a VPN server and secure your connection.

If you are in a hurry and just need to pick one VPN out of the top 3 then choose NordVPN, ExpressVPN or Surfshark. These are the leading VPN services that are available on the market and offer a significant number of features.

However, if you need more information, keep scrolling to learn about each VPN service in detail.

The Best VPN Services – Key Summary:

NordVPN

Great option for everyday use

NordVPN is a prominent VPN provider based in Panama and was launched in 2012. It is safe to say that they are one of the best VPN providers thanks to a combination of factors like competitive pricing, features, and secure infrastructure.

One of the reasons that NordVPN is incredibly secure is that Panama doesn’t have any data retention laws in place. This means that NordVPN is not obliged to retain any data about its users’ activity. On top of that, NordVPN operates a good number of servers around the world, so they can provide as much coverage as possible. Plus, they provide a bunch of additional tools that will help you improve your online privacy and security. 

NordVPN has been known for offering strong encryption, impressive connection speeds, and reliable connectivity. This, as well as many other reasons, is why NordVPN has an incredibly strong global reputation.

In addition to that, NordVPN offers the Threat Protection feature. This is an additional security feature that blocks suspicious ads and also protects your devices from threats such as malware, phishing, etc. Also, the tool is effective at stopping DDoS attacks as well. Another reason why this tool is useful is that it enables you to surf the Internet without a trace as it disables the various online trackers that track your online activities.

It should also be mentioned that NordVPN is incredibly easy to use. And this is despite the various advanced options that it offers. First, NordVPN’s website is straightforward to understand and very well organized, which can help you find what you are looking for in seconds. Next, the download and setup process is straightforward. Also, the UI is incredibly simple, modern and easy to use.

Overall, NordVPN is a great VPN option for both beginners and advanced users and is perfect for everyday usage.

ExpressVPN

Best VPN if budget is not a concern

ExpressVPN can be considered the best VPN if your budget is not an issue. It is a multi-purpose VPN that provides lightning-fast speeds and top-notch security. This is because ExpressVPN operates their own Lightway protocol, which is faster and less demanding than the competition. Besides Lightway, you can use all the other major protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2 and L2PT/IPSec. And the best part is that ExpressVPN can choose the best option for you if you are not sure which one to pick.

If you are looking for a VPN that is suitable for streaming on all major devices then look no further. ExpressVPN operates over 3000 servers in 94 countries, which means you can easily access content from everywhere. Also, the large number of servers they operate means that there will be less overcrowded servers that could ruin the experience by causing a slowdown.

Also, ExpressVPN is incredibly user-friendly and easy to use VPN. It takes less than a minute to install it on all devices. And all it takes afterwards is to just click on the “connect button” to get connected to a server. The browser extensions are really functional as well and actually allow you to use the full VPN unlike the competitors that offer just some of the functions.

The VPN also offers some very useful features like split tunneling and P2P sharing across the entire network. For example, you can use split tunneling to filter out which apps should pass through the VPN and which can run on their own.

Another strong benefit of ExpressVPN is that their no-logs policy has been audited and verified to be true. This means that you will never to worry about data being leaked and exposed. Not only this, but the legal entity behind ExpressVPN is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, which is not included in the major surveillance alliances. This means that the company is not required by law to store your data.

If there is something negative about ExpressVPN that has to be pointed out is the fact that the VPN offers very few simultaneous connections and that it is a bit more expensive than the rest.

Surfshark

surfshark home page

Incredibly fast VPN service with a great price-quality ratio

Number of Servers 3200+
Server locations 160+ in 100 countries
Maximum devices supported Unlimited
24/7 live chat Yes
30 day money back guarantee Yes

Surfshark is a VPN service that offers incredible value given its’ price. It regularly outperforms other VPN services that can cost at least twice that. Also, we focus on ranking VPN services by their quality and not by the price, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see such a cheap service being ranked so high.

First of all, Surfshark’s apps are a pleasure to use and are fully-loaded with all the security and privacy feature that you want and need from a VPN service. Not only that, but their team has been working hard on adding extra features such as Multihop, Nexus and more.

If you own more than one or two devices then Surfshark is really a great option. This is because you can run an unlimited simultaneous connections with a single subscription. Also, if you own devices that run on Linux then Surfshark is also a great option because it is one of the few VPN services that offer GUI unlike most of the others, which are only command-line-based.

Also, Surfshark is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, VPN services on the market. It regularly boasts incredible speeds that put the competition to shame. On top of that, Surfshark is very suitable for streaming.

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The kill switch is one of the most important features and reasons to have a VPN service. When it comes to Surfshark’s kill switch, it turned out that in rare instances it will let some of the traffic slip through. However, this is not likely to happen in real-life situations due to the nature of the tests we performed. You can read more about it in our detailed review.

And last but not least, let us talk about customer support for a bit. Unfortunately, Surfshark’s customer support is a bit lacking behind most of the other VPN providers.

In conclusion, it can be safely said that Surfshark is an excellent VPN tool that is both budget-friendly and also well performing. And when you take this into consideration all the minor issues will become meaningless.

Private Internet Access

One of the best VPN services when it comes to torrenting

Create a table for this:

Number of servers: 10,000+ | Server locations: 84 countries | Maximum devices supported: 10 | 24/7 live chat: Yes | 30 day money back guarantee: Yes

Private Internet Access has been operating in the VPN industry for a very, very long time. However, unlike the majority of their old-time competitors, they have not fallen into obscurity and have continued onto their growth trajectory.

One of the first things you will notice is that, unlike most of the competition, PIA doesn’t disclose their server network size. However, there have been reports that the number of servers they operate is at least 10 000. Combine this with the fact that they operate in over 84 countries and you have one of the largest and widespread VPN server networks available.

PIA is a VPN service that really makes an effort to stand out from the competition. For example, you can find a port forwarding feature in the desktop apps, which is quite rare. Also, the kill switch feature is very reliable as well. Besides that, PIA offers proxy browser extensions that are very good as well. However, these features are mostly made for more advanced users as beginners could find them a bit more complicated to set up.

One of the best things about PIA is that it is very good for streaming. It works with the major streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and more.

Currently, PIA is going under an audit that aims to verify whether they security claims are true. For example, the no-log policy has been confirmed to be true, but the full version of the audit is not yet published.

Overall, PIA is a great service that has a good amount of features, competitive pricing and an easy-to-use interface.

Proton VPN

One of the most-secure VPN providers

Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: 64 countries | Maximum devices supported: 10 | live chat support: Yes | 30 day money back guarantee: Yes


Proton is a famous Swiss-based company that focusses on building secure, privacy-focused software products. They are well-known for the namesake VPN tool as well as a bunch of other tools like a calendar, cloud storage and more. Recently, the VPN service went through quite a serious redesign, which makes their products even easier to use and more pleasantly looking.

ProtonVPN’s speeds are very good when both WireGuard(510Mbps) and OpenVPN(which is assisted by Proton’s own VPN Accelerator tech). On top of that, they operate under a strict no-logging policy and strong encryption technologies. If you are in need of a VPN tool that can provide you absolute online privacy than ProtonVPN is one of the best VPN services you can use.

One of the things that makes ProtonVPN so secure is the Secure Core servers they own and operate. These servers are located in secure locations within privacy-friendly countries. If you want to make your web traffic extra secure, you can choose to use these servers and then route to destination of your choosing for extra anonymity and security.

ProtonVPN is one of the best VPN services when it comes to unblocking as well. The service easily unblocks the popular streaming providers like Netflix, BBCiPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime and more. However, 10Play is one of the very few streaming services it wasn’t able to unblock.

When it comes to downsides, ProtonVPN has few to almost no issues that deserve to be pointed out. For example, some servers support P2P traffic but overall the service doesn’t provide that much P2P-oriented servers when compared to the competition. However, Proton compensates this by doing automatic redirection to a P2P-friendly server if they detect P2P traffic. Also, ProtonVPN is considered to be one of the more expensive VPN providers even though the prices have dropped recently. But still, it is a bit more expensive than the competition. However, they compensate for that by a generous two-year deal that offers 10 simultaneous connections.

All in all, ProtonVPN is definitely one of the best VPN services around. The team is passionate about their work and constantly try to improve their products and services. And this is we can be assured that ProtonVPN will continue to stay relevant with consistent improvements and will not fall into obscurity.

CyberGhost

Great choice for torrenting and streaming

Number of servers: 8,900+ | Server locations: 91 countries | Maximum devices supported: 7 | 24/7 live chat: Yes | 45 day money back guarantee: Yes

CyberGhost is a name that has been in the VPN market for many years now. They have managed to build a decent reputation for themselves over the years because of their privacy, streaming and torrenting-friendly servers.

They operate 8900 servers spread across 91 different locations, which means you will have plenty of server types and geographical locations to choose from based on your needs.

CyberGhost is one of the fastest VPNs available on the market and can sometimes achieve speeds of around 730Mbps. Now, we are aware that in reality very few people have such connection speeds so they can get full advantage of CyberGhost’s speeds, but still, it is quite an impressive speed.

CyberGhost went through a complete redesign last year that made its UI much more modern and appealing.

One of the downsides of the VPN is that you will be able only to install it on 7 devices. If you have more devices you will need to unregister one device if you want to register another one.

CyberGhost’s apps provide some very useful streaming features such as streaming servers that are optimized specifically for Netflix and iPlayer. It is quite an efficient service when it comes to unblocking. During our tests we were able to unblock a number of Netflix libraries, but not the UK ones. However, the VPN failed at unblocking iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.

Also, one of the biggest issues with CyberGhost is that they have not gone through a security audit. However, their no-log policy has been audited and verified by Deloitte, which is one of the largest consulting firms in the world.

IPVanish

Feature-packed but not that good of an option when it comes to streaming

Number of servers: 2,000+ | Server locations: 75+ in 52 countries | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | 24 live chat: Yes | 30 day money back guarantee: Yes


IPVanish is a leading US-based VPN provider that has been around for a long time. They have been able to build a decent reputation for themselves by providing a safe, reliable and trustworthy VPN service. It should be noted that IPVanish’s target customers are more tech-savvy and this could not be the best choice for the casual user. However, one of the biggest benefits of this VPN providers is that they offer tons of useful features and powerful apps that provide a ton of data on your connection.

Our tests showed that IPVanish can deliver very good speed that reached around 720Mbps when we used the WireGuard protocol. This comes pretty close to their competitors CyberGhost and Windscribe. However, the OpenVPN protocol speeds were quite low and came at around 120Mbps during our testing.

One of the cool features IPVanish offers is called Scramble. This is a very useful feature that allows VPN usage in countries like China. It should be noted that this feature is not as effective as using a specialized VPN service for China, but it is still quite good.

As for streaming, the results we got were quite mixed. During our tests we managed to open the US Netflix library, BBC iPlayer and Primer. However, we were unable to open the Netflix libraries for other countries such as Australia and Canada. This is something that other VPN providers handle with ease and IPVanish should definitely work on this.

One of the biggest criticisms in the past was that IPVanish rarely updated their apps. However, it seems like they monitor what is said about them online, took notes and delivered. Their new interface is very well designed. Many of the in-depth features were kept, while a favorites function, as well as in-app support, were added. One of the downsides of the redesign is that some more advanced features that some users could have enjoyed were completely removed instead of simply being organized in a separate section.

In conclusion, it can safely be said that IPVanish is quite a decent VPN service, especially if you are a tech-savvy user and know how to use their advanced features.

PrivateVPN

Budget-friendly and streaming-capable

PrivateVPN is a surprisingly good choice if you are looking for a VPN service that is both budget-friendly and capable of unblocking a good variety of streaming platforms.

First, PrivateVPN is very capable when it comes to unblocking the popular streaming platforms in the US, UK, Italy and Australia. The tests were performed with Netflix US, Sling TV and BBC iPlayer. The results were that PrivateVPN successfully unblocked the content and also had good speeds during streaming.

Another reason to choose PrivateVPN is the strict privacy policy and the extra security features that they offer. The VPN’s headquarters are based in Sweden and even though Sweden is a part of the 14-eyes alliance, it still maintains a strict no-logs policy. This means that the company can’t provide the authorities with your data even if it wants to, simply because they don’t have it.

In terms of security, PrivateVPN operates the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption and offers 5 different security protocols to choose from. The VPN also offers a kill switch and DNS leak protection. Another great feature is the so-called stealth mode, which is designed to bypass VPN blocks and DPI firewalls.

ZenMate

ZenMate operates over 4700 servers in 81+ countries. This means that the VPN will be effective at unblocking content from all around the world.

One of the big benefits of the service is that it offers specialized servers for certain streaming platforms and torrenting. Simply click on the “For Streaming” button and you will see a list of the most popular servers for each platform.

Our tests indicated that ZenMate is able to open the US Netflix library without any problem. Also, several other libraries were tested just to make sure it works and, surely, it worked without any issues. On top of that, if you prefer some other streaming platform like Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer and more.

As for the torrenting servers, they are displayed with their distance and load percentage, so you can easily find a server, which is both close to your location and is also less-crowded. These servers are optimized for safe and fast downloads.

One of the things ZenMate is well-known for is the vast speeds that they offer. As already noted, this makes the VPN good for both torrenting and streaming. The average connection speed of ZenMate is about 23Mbps. Of course, the farther-away the server is from you, the slower the connection speed will become.

Another strong benefit of ZenMate is the fact that they offer unlimited simultaneous connections. This can come very useful for large households or businesses.  Also, this means that you can use ZenMate for multiple activities at once. For example, you can download torrents on your computer, you can watch Netflix on your TV on another device and you can browse the Internet on your smartphone at the same time without any lag or disturbance in the connection.

To top it off, ZenMate offers top-notch security. To begin with, they offer the industry standard AES-256 encryption as well as DNS/IP leak protection and a kill switch. Besides this, ZenMate has built-in malware blocker on its browser extensions. This means that you will be protected from malicious attacks and also will prevent websites from recording your activities. ZenMate operates under a strict no-logs policy, so your traffic and data won’t even be recorded.

Hotspot Shield

Great combination of speed and security

Hotspot Shield is another top VPN brand that provides strong security in combination with incredibly fast speed thanks to their proprietary protocol called Catapult Hydra. This protocol is similar to OpenVPN in a sense that it also uses AES 256-bit encryption, but tends to be much faster. Our tests indicated that the speed only drops by about a couple of Mbps when we connected to a nearby server via the Catapult Hydra protocol. Overall, this didn’t have any effect on the connection’s quality.

The distant servers also seem to perform well. We tested several global locations and the speed averaged out at about 49Mbps and we were still able to stream in Ultra HD quality even though the servers were far away from us.

Hotspot Shield is loaded with a variety of security features that keep your data protected. The basic features include DNS/IP leak protection as well as a kill switch feature. However, you should be aware that the kill switch will have to be manually activated from the app’s settings. Also, Hotspot Shield offers excellent forward secrecy. This prevents your past and future data from being decrypted in case your current session key is compromised, which happens in extremely rare circumstances. Also, there are built-in malware and phishing protection for extra security.

As for streaming, Hotspot Shield is quite capable when it comes to unblocking. Our tests indicated that the VPN is able to open almost every major streaming platform with the exception of Hulu.

Overall, it is a very decent VPN provider that is loaded with a good variety of security features. Also, Hotspot Shields offers very affordable long-term plans.

The Best Free VPN Services

You don’t have to pay a top dollar for a quality VPN service because there are more than enough options that are both free and of good quality. No matter the reason you need the VPN for, we have done the research for you.

However, please be aware that using free VPNs may not give you the most optimal experience. But still, they too can be an excellent option. We researched many of the free VPN providers in order to find the safest and most effective ones.

Check out the articles below so you can find the best free VPN based on your needs.

The Best VPN Services For a Specific Device

There are VPN services available for a variety of smart devices, not just computers and phones. These devices include smart TV boxes, smart TVs, Wi-Fi routers and many more. And you will need a device-specific VPN if you want to secure your traffic on these devices.

Use this section to find the best VPN service providers for each type of device below.

The Best VPNs for Specific Operating System

If you are looking for the best VPN for certain operating system then this is the place.

No matter if you are looking for a VPN for Windows, Mac, Android,iOS,macOS,Linux etc – we got you covered!

After tons of hours of researching and testing, we put together lists of VPN providers for various operating systems. This also includes a list of the best VPNs for Linux. We highlight this because there are still not many good options when it comes to Linux VPNs.

The Best VPN Service for a Specific Service or Purpose

Are you a gamer who is looking to improve their gaming experience? Using a VPN might be one of the best ways to achieve this. Or perhaps you are into binging stuff on Netflix and the other popular streaming services like Disney+? Or maybe you want to be able to login into your online banking when you are abroad?

Use this section to find out about the best VPNs for a variety of purposes.

The Best VPN Services for a Specific Country

Using a VPN can be a crucial tool when you are abroad, especially in certain countries like China and Russia where the Internet is heavily regulated and monitored. You will have to keep in mind that the regulations and monitoring types can vary from place to place as governments take different approaches to maintain control.

Basically, a VPN that is best to use in Russia, for example, may not be as good if you want to use it in China.

And if you happen to have an upcoming trip to such a country then feel free to take a look at the guides below and prepare yourself well in advance.

Best VPN Services During Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas

Purchasing a good VPN is awesome, but what is even more awesome? Getting a good VPN at a great discount!

Fortunately, most of the best VPNs available on the market offer some incredible deals during these highly-intensive shopping periods.

Typically, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have the best discounts. The great thing about these discounts is that they usually tend to stick throughout the holidays and Christmas.

More often than not, VPN providers will offer some incredible deals that include unbelievably cheap subscriptions plus some extras like password managers or even antivirus software.

Overall, it is safe to say that this is one of the best times of the year to purchase a great VPN deal.

Use the articles below to find some great current deals                 on the best VPN software available on the market.

VPN Comparisons

There are dozens or even hundrends of available VPNs on the market today. So how do you decide which one is better than the other?

Well, lucky for you, we put most of the well-known VPNs in an epic battle between each other. Basically, we did a thorough research on how one VPN performs against the other.

We took a look at variety of metrics that make a VPN good such as: basic functions, number of servers and locations, privacy, how easy it is to use, customer service and more.

So, if you are having trouble deciding, which VPN to pick just take a look at the VPN comparisons we put together for you.

How to choose the right VPN Service for you?

What is the best VPN?” is not an easy question to answer. This is because each VPN service is suitable for different application and offer different functionalities. For example, you might pick one VPN if you need to unlock streaming services, but you might need a totally different one if you are abroad.

Therefore, the best VPN for you will be determined by your situation and needs.

Also, you have to keep in mind that different VPN services will prioritize different things. For example, one VPN provider may choose to focus on having as many servers as possible, while another one may prioritize having as many features as possible. Another thing you have to keep in mind will be the price, which depends on things like servers, features, security, customer support, on-going promotions and more.

Why comparing VPN services is important?

The VPN industry continues to grow. According to Statista, the overall VPN market has grown from around 25 billion dollars in 2019 and has reached 44.6 billion dollars in 2022. It is also projected to grow to over 77 billion dollars by 2026.

And it is only natural that VPN services would be popping up left and right given how much money is there to be made in the space.

Which is where independent review websites like vpndeck.com come in.

Our mission is to help you navigate the VPN world and help you make the right choice when it comes to choosing a VPN provider. We achieve this by providing both individual reviews, top 10 lists and brand vs brand comparison.

Doing brand vs brand comparisons is hugely important because it helps you differentiate between the offerings of the various brands. Such comparisons can help you find the VPN which has the exact features you need. Also, given that we are unbiased review provider, we will aim to write balanced reviews that showcase the negativities as well. This is very important because some VPNs claim they don’t keep logs while in fact they do. And this is just a small example.