There are many good reasons to sign up for a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. VPNs give you a private connection that your Internet provider or hackers on the café’s network you just joined can't monitor you. They also let you connect to nodes in other countries so you can access streaming services that are only available locally.
When choosing a VPN, you need to consider the price, quality of customer support and the relative speed of data transfer. These are our top recommendations.
Our favorite VPN service overall, Private Internet Access offers fantastic speeds at a great price. For just $39.95 per year, you get access to more than 3,000 servers located in 30 countries around the world.
Perhaps because of its wide footprint, Private Internet Access had the fastest speeds when our colleagues at Tom's Guide conducted performance tests in New York City, Germany, The Netherlands and Azerbaijan. The service took an average of 3.3 seconds to establish its initial connection, which is nearly twice as fast as its nearest competitor.
If you want to live, or at least surf, off the grid, you can't find a more private VPN service than Mullvad. The Swedish-based service doesn't even require you to enter an email address in order to sign up, and, if paying with a credit card, Paypal or Bitcoin aren't secret enough, you can send cash in an envelope, along with your account number.
Best Free VPN Service
It's hard to argue with free. If you don't want to pay anything for a VPN, you get the first 10GB of data per month free from Windscribe. For unlimited, protected traffic you can pay a reasonable $49 per year or $69 for a lifetime subscription.
Best VPN Features
With connection points in 60 countries and more than 2,800 servers, CyberGhost has one of the most robust offerings of any VPN service. It also has unique and powerful features such as malicious site blocking and the ability to automatically open a connection when you launch certain programs (ex: Netflix).