The Best VPN Service for 2023

A VPN is a popular solution for surfing more anonymously, sending encrypted data over the internet or bypassing geo-blocking barriers.

Editors Rating:

Take your cybersecurity to the next level with NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature. You don’t need to connect to a VPN server for it to work. Once you enable it in the settings, Threat Protection will always make your browsing safer, faster, and smoother.

  • More than 5,400 servers in 59 countries
  • Military grade security
  • High speed, unlimited brandwidth
  • Up to 6 devices simultaneously
  • 30 days money back guarantee
Editors Rating:

The VPN that just works, Connect reliably from anywhere, to anywhere. Our network of high-speed servers across 94 countries puts you in control. No matter where you are or what devices you’re using, a single ExpressVPN subscription has got you covered.

  • Over 3,000 servers in over 90 countries
  • Live chat support around the clock
  • Setup takes only a few minutes
  • Fast streaming in HD quality
  • No activity or connection logs
Editors Rating:

IPVanish is a virtual private network service, also known as a VPN. A VPN tunnels your internet traffic, masks your true IP address, and shields your data from third parties, cybercriminals, and snoopers. Supported by all major platforms.

  • Manual configuration possible
  • WireGuard speeds are great
  • Server selection and speeds
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • Tons of features
Editors Rating:

Blazing fast speeds with no bandwidth limits, no need to pay up front, then contact us and beg for your money back like every other "free" VPN service. Try our service 100% free for 7 days, and easily cancel with 1-click if you don’t like HotBot for any reason.

  • Speedy connections
  • Kill switch option
  • DNS leak protection
  • Offers a free 7 day trial
  • Unblocks streaming services
Editors Rating:

Whether it’s high-speed streaming, browsing, security, file sharing, or privacy; you get everything with PureVPN! Your privacy is guaranteed with our anonymous VPN IPs, military-grade encryption, and global network of VPN servers.

  • One plan covers up to 10 users
  • Geographically diverse servers
  • Fast WireGuard-powered download speeds
  • Smart, snazzy client design
  • Numerous, affordable add-ons
Editors Rating:

High-speed Swiss VPN that safeguards your privacy. ProtonVPN sends your internet traffic through an encrypted VPN tunnel, so your passwords and confidential data stay safe, even over public or untrusted Internet connections.

  • Best free subscription
  • Excellent Speedtest scores
  • Apps are open source and secure
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • User-friendly

Best VPN for 2023

A virtual private network is a secure connection that allows the user to send and receive data using a public network. You expose yourself to certain privacy and security risks when you connect to the internet with your smartphone, tablet or PC without a VPN. However, VPNs ensure your security and privacy as soon as you go online.

By connecting via a VPN, the data packets to be sent are first encrypted before the public network even sees them. The encrypted data is transmitted to a VPN server, which then forwards this data to the destination. The VPN server ensures your anonymity because your IP address is hidden and the transmission carries the address of the VPN server instead. You can surf the Internet while your VPN shows a different location than where you actually are.

VPN comparison: How we test VPN providers

Providers of high-performance VPN solutions have to set up, manage and finance a globally distributed server infrastructure. The use of corresponding services is therefore usually not possible free of charge, or only to a limited extent. In this respect, subscription models are common, which are mostly cheaper the longer the subscription period. Some VPN providers in the test also offer limited, free versions. We always note this in the test reports. However, this comparison initially refers primarily to VPN offers that are subject to a fee. Often, the 2- or 3-year offers are the best deals.

A VPN service is always used in the background and should support the implementation of other goals. Accordingly, effective, unobtrusive operation of the VPN service is important. Consequently, good server speeds and smooth operability of associated software are of great importance in the test. Only in this way can the service fulfil the supporting role it has. In particular, those who rely on VPN services for the secure transmission of data in public networks appreciate high security standards - so this aspect is of great importance for all VPN providers in the test.

Why Do You Need a VPN?

VPN securityYou may wonder why you should spend money on a Virtual Private Network (VPN) at all. Isn't surfing the web without a VPN just as good? Not quite. When you go online without the protection of a VPN, you leave behind a lot of personal virtual traces.

A simple example is that your Internet provider can see exactly which websites you visit and which data you receive and send via your smartphone, tablet or computer. The IP address that you have been assigned by your internet provider ensures that you can be traced and tracked online by companies, governments, advertisers, websites, hackers and other parties. Even people who use the same (Wi-Fi) network can often see which websites you have visited. Your location, surfing habits and history: everything can be followed by others. A VPN prevents this.

When you use a VPN, intelligence services, websites you visit, Google, Facebook, your Internet service provider, fellow residents and employer can no longer easily monitor you. The VPN encrypts your internet traffic, so that these external parties can no longer see it. This encryption has another advantage.

The encrypted VPN service offers extra protection against cybercriminals who want to steal your data. Think here of log-in data, but also of information from bank transactions or e-mail traffic. With a VPN, you are also safer and more anonymous at public Wi-Fi points.

In addition to online security and privacy, a VPN service also gives you more online freedom. Sometimes, (parts of) websites are only accessible if you are in a certain country. Think of some news platforms and specific content of services like Spotify, YouTube and Netflix.

With a good VPN, like one of the providers in our top 6 best VPNs above, you can still access all these websites and services. Whether you're in the Netherlands, South Africa or Canada, you can unblock global content with a VPN connection.

What can a VPN do and what advantages does it offer?

Due to our technologically advanced world, network security is essential nowadays. By using a VPN, you can protect yourself from intruders and spies during your online activities. However, it has many more useful features. Below are some of the benefits of a VPN:

● Improving security
The main purpose of VPN is to provide a secure connection and not give any chance to hackers or spies. It prevents intruders from gaining access to your private information such as passwords, IP address and even financial data.

● Anonymity
Thanks to the VPN, you can move freely on the internet without worrying about revealing your identity. Anonymity is also extremely important when using websites and apps. There are certain online activities (not fraudulent ones) that we generally do not want to be traced back to us.

● Remote control and access
You can use a VPN for a secure remote connection. This is the ideal solution for businesses as it allows employees to work from home.

● Changing the IP address
You can hide your IP address when browsing the Internet. This function also allows you to access certain websites where IP addresses from certain locations are blocked.

How do I establish a VPN connection?

Following instructions explain how to establish a VPN connection on your mobile phone or PC:

● Search for trustworthy VPN providers. If you are not yet familiar with VPNs, we recommend that you only use trusted top providers at first. In addition, we advise you to opt for paid VPNs. However, the prices should be reasonable. In our list, you will find trustworthy providers that are not expensive.

● Create an account with paid VPNs, there is a chance that a provider will ask you to create an account, which you can then use to make your purchase.

● Download the VPN client and install it on your device. Visit your preferred provider's site and download a VPN client that is suitable for your operating system - Windows, iOS or Android. Log in or activate the VPN. You may need to register to activate the premium version of the VPN. In addition, a paid VPN may require a serial number or licence for activation. Some providers also offer their service for free for a limited period of time.

● Set up other basic VPN settings the VPN can usually be used immediately after registration. However, you may need to make some necessary changes, e.g. by deciding which country your IP address should be.

What are the differences between free and paid VPNs?

Below are some key differences between free and paid VPNs.

● Reliability
A reliable VPN service requires many additional services and features that you cannot simply get for free. This means that a free VPN is either not completely free or only offers limited services with weak security. In this case, you may not be as safe as you think.

● Advertising
Free VPNs are known for their abundance of advertisements, making every browsing experience a nuisance. This is a known problem, as VPNs need to generate revenue to keep their services running. Placing advertisements is one of the most popular ways these providers generate revenue.

● Connection speed
Free VPNs often slow down your internet connection. This is because these providers have very few servers, but they continue to offer them to a large number of customers, even when the servers are already overloaded. Paid VPNs usually have multiple servers in different locations, giving customers a premium connection and speed.

● Additional functions
In addition to essential VPN services, paid providers often offer great additional features to improve users' online security and anonymity. However, the capabilities of a free VPN are extremely limited.