The Downside: Somewhat Spotty Performance
Although CyberGhost adoption of WireGuard has improved speed, the issue of maintaining such a large number of servers remains. At times youll find some servers unavailable or simply under maintenance.
Read our full CyberGhost review to find out more about the pros and cons.
IPVanish had a minor blot on its record in the past, but theyve cleaned house since then. Today, it has become an early adopter of WireGuard, further improving its overall profile.
As an established brand, its network isnt the largest around. However, its balancing act between price, performance, and stability is pretty good.
One central point in IPVanishs favor is that it owns all the equipment it operates. Thats one solid sign that theyre turning things around. Nobody touches IPVanish equipment except their staff, significantly bumping up privacy and security.
Aside from WireGuard, IPVanish also supports most other mainstream options, giving you the flexibility to handle anything. I recommend you simply keep it on WireGuard, though, since thats where the best performance is for now.
Incidentally, IPVanish built a neat speed tracker into their app so you can easily keep an eye on performance. Its simple but effective and stands out among the brands by doing something differently.
What Is The Best VPN For Canada
The competition is tough, but top of our list at the moment is ExpressVPN. You can see from our full guide all the reasons why, but in short its about speed, security, service, streaming, and pure ease-of-use. ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes, with servers in 90+ countries and a 24/7 live chat support team that will come to your rescue in the rare event that you’re having trouble connecting.
Best VPNs In 2021 Safe Fast And Unlimited
After using a premium VPN for years, I was curious if any free services could save me money and offer the same benefits . The short answer is no most free VPNs cant unblock streaming platforms like Netflix, come with slow speeds, and offer limitations that make them almost unusable. They can even be dangerous some have harmful malware embedded in the app, while others have even been caught selling private data to third parties.
However, after testing 100+ free VPNs, my team and I discovered a handful that have strong security features to keep you safe. Some have added benefits and can unblock popular streaming platforms. Unfortunately, all of them come with limitations.
Of all the VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN was the best Its really safe to use and reliably unblocks all major streaming sites. On top of that, it doesnt limit you in any way, so you can surf the web and stream as much as you want. Even though its not 100% free, you can test it out risk-free, as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If youre not impressed, then just ask for a full refund.
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Summarized Tips On How To Choose The Best VPN Server Location In 2021
Tip#1. If you need a VPN for torrenting, choose the VPN server supporting P2P.
Tip#2. If you need high cybersecurity, choose the VPN server compatible with high VPN protocols.
Tip#3. Make sure the VPN service provider you choose wont log any of your data.
Tip#4. If you call for a high speed, then choose the VPN server with a short geological distance.
Tip#5. If you want to unblock restrictions in a certain country, choose the VPN server located in that country.
Tip#6. Choose a reliable VPN service provider that keeps no log of your online data, stops you from ISP tracking and bandwidth throttling.
Tip#7. NO best VPN server will be known unless you try it. The only practice speaks the truth.
What Is The Best Fast VPN
NordVPN is, without a doubt, the best fast VPN. Speed is essential in a VPN, but you cant wholly exclude other factors. Among the top brands Ive reviewed, NordVPN offers excellent speed and complements it with a strong balance of features and an overall move towards better cybersecurity in general.
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How To Choose A VPN Service
The VPN market has exploded in the past few years, growing from a niche industry to an all-out melee. Many providers are capitalizing on the general population’s growing concerns about surveillance and cybercrime, which means it’s getting hard to tell when a company is actually providing a useful service and when it’s selling snake oil. In fact, there have even been fake VPNs popping up, so be careful.
When looking for a VPN, don’t just focus on speed, since that’s the factor you and the VPN company have the least control over. Since nearly all VPN companies offer some mixture of the same technologies, consider value instead. How can you get the most for the least? Look for extra features like split tunneling, multi-hop connections, and so on. You may not need these all the time but they’re useful when you do.
Nearly every VPN service provides its own app with a full graphical user interface for managing the VPN connection and settings, and we recommend that you use it. You might dismiss such things as mere chrome, and instead prefer to manually manage your VPN connections. This works, but doing so is tedious, requires manual updating, and won’t give you access to the additional privacy tools that many VPNs provide. When looking at a VPN, decide whether you can stand looking at it.
The Best VPN Services For 2022
A VPN, or virtual private network, is an easy way to improve your online privacy. We’ve reviewed scores of them, and these are the best VPN services we’ve tested.
- Multihop, split-tunneling, and Tor connections
- Numerous server locations
- Rarely seen multi-hop and split tunneling tools
- Well-designed app
- Static Servers included with subscription
- Allows up to seven simultaneous connections
- Several add-ons, including antivirus
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Which VPN Is Fastest
In our latest round of speed testing, we saw some blistering speeds from a number of providers. But top of the pile in terms of consistently fast VPN connections in a number of different server locations is NordVPN.
Jump on to Nord’s very own NordLynx protocol when in the US, and we recorded speeds that clocked in at 880Mbps on our 1Gbps line. That’s quite extraordinary, and means you can have NordVPN quietly protecting you at all times in the background, knowing that it won’t cause you any lag.
Our #1 favorite service ExpressVPN, also impressed in terms of displaying excellent speeds in a range of territories and protocols. While it was the ever-reliable IPVanish that recorded the very fastest speed – 900Mbps while on WireGuard in the UK – although wasn’t quite so good on OpenVPN.
How Did Zdnet Compile Its Rankings
Let’s start with our own testing. We tested NordVPN, Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost, IPVanish, and StrongVPN. For our tests, we measured download performance from a variety of locations across the world. We also measured ping time and connection time. One interesting observation was that not all services could reach the cities we wanted to test. IPVanish, for example, didn’t have any servers in Russia. StrongVPN didn’t have servers in Russia, Taiwan, or India.
We also found that performance varied drastically by server location. NordVPN had, for example, exceptional connection speed with Russia, but could barely move a byte to India.
The standout in terms of download speeds was Hotspot Shield. As counterintuitive as it may be, average performance while using the VPN increased overall in international connections. We discuss more about how that’s possible in our in-depth Hotspot Shield review. The other VPNs we profiled all lost performance , with CyberGhost and NordVPN rounding out our top three.
When it comes to ping speeds, the results were also counterintuitive. All our profiled providers showed an improvement in average ping speeds compared to use without a VPN. The only reason this makes sense is if you realize that you’re probably reducing server-to-server hops to an international destination when you travel through a VPN. ‘Tis cool.
You can see the raw performance data for each of our profiled VPNs in the following reviews:
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Best For Budget Conscious Privacy Hawks
- Privacy baked into its account system
- Strong stance on transparency
- Powered by privacy hawk Mullvad
- Simple, snazzy design
- Free version throttled, supported by targeted ads on Android
- Gathers significant, but anonymous, data
- No third-party infrastructure audit
- Part of the larger Bitdefender app ecosystem
- The greatest number of server locations
- Handy IP shuffler
- Monthly subscription not available in certain regions
- Unclear where VPN servers are located
- Lacks multi-hop connections and split tunneling
Who Needs A VPN
Anyone who uses the Internet on a public Wi-Fi network needs a VPN. Theyre also ideal for anyone traveling internationally who needs to access a private network in another location, or anyone that wants to bypass government, school or work restrictions on Internet usage. VPNs are ideal for journalists, activists, whistleblowers, and anyone else that wants to be as anonymous as possible online.
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How We Tested The Fastest VPNs
For this roundup, we tested 14 VPN providers, all of which you can find in our speed test spreadsheet . In order to maintain consistency across our tests, we configured every VPN with OpenVPN over UDP and AES-256. There are faster protocols, but this combination is available across all of the services we tested and offers a basis for comparison.
All of our tests were on a wired connection, and although our unprotected speed varied slightly between tests, we were within a few megabits per second of our base speed. We ran unprotected tests between each VPN service in order to maintain continuity throughout our trials.
As for the speed tests themselves, we ran everything through speedtest.net, manually selecting a testing location and using that same location across trials . Our goal was to gather accurate numbers while maintaining consistency, and running a speed test from the same server during each trial helps that effort.
What Is A VPN Server
VPN servers are ordinary servers running based on VPN application and protocol allowing VPN service providers to have access to.
VPN servers can be physical, and they are only applied by VPN service providers when there are multiple physical proxies in different countries. However, most of the time, VPN service providers rent servers from third-party data centers. Naturally, the security of the third-party centers should be guaranteed so that users data wont be logged.
The servers used by VPN service providers are generally ones for exclusive applications, which means they are physical servers and are used by nobody but VPN service providers.
Therefore, as VPN users connect their devices with VPN servers, their own IP address will be replaced by that of a VPN server.
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Which Countries Users Need VPNs Most
VPNs offer a whole range of benefits for anyone using them. But while some people use them to gain something extra, some use best VPNs to gain the basic internet access that should be available to everyone.
These are people who live in countries where the internet is heavily censored and content is filtered on a large scale.
There are quite a few countries that fall in this bracket.
Will I Experience The Quoted VPN Speeds
Yes. The VPN will perform for you in exactly the same way that it performed for us. Your internet speed can only be as fast as your Internet Service Provider allows, however, and a VPN will never increase your internet connection beyond the speeds you pay for.
Wondering why? Well, a VPN has to encrypt your data and send it via an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server on its way to the websites you visit. That data must then be routed via the VPN server as it returns from the website to your device. This process will slow down your internet, but only slightly, and the loss should be nominal if you’re using a fast VPN.
To learn more about how encryption affects your connection speeds, see our VPN encryption guide.
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How Can I Increase VPN Speed
Fortunately, there are a few ways by which you can increase VPN speed if your VPN is acting slowly. Sometimes, speed can be increased by just tweaking a few settings in the VPN client.
In other situations, other steps might be needed. Consequently, take a look at the following solutions, try them in the order presented, and see whether you notice any improvements.
What Is The Fastest VPN
Based on all of our tests, the fastest VPN right now is NordVPN with the WireGuard protocol.
It performed the best in our download speed tests, connection speed tests, and offers consistently fast performance throughout its server network. NordVPN also supports the WireGuard VPN protocol, which we found to be about 58% faster than OpenVPN in our testing.
Lets examine the fastest VPN services in more detail:
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Can I Get A Free Fast VPN
Unfortunately, free VPNs do not provide fast speeds. Providing access to fast servers is costly, which means that free services tend to be slow. Even premium VPNs that provide a free starter plan throttle speeds to encourage people to graduate onto their paid plans.
The best way to get a fast VPN for free is to make use of a money-back guarantee. You can test any of the services in our fast VPN list risk-free thanks to their money-back policies. These differ from provider-to-provider, with some services offering a massive 45-day VPN money-back guarantee. There are also a lot of cheap VPN services out there, so you can even get a high-speed service for less than $2 a month.
How Do I Use A VPN For Netflix
If you live in a country that censors its media or are traveling to one, geo-restricted content is a pain. You can use a VPN to circumvent censorship or access your home country’s normal media content for online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Pick a VPN that lets you manually select which country you want to connect through and has something called obfuscation. If you’re looking to try out other VPNs, choose one with a large number of IP addresses, preferably 10,000 or more. Once you have your VPN installed, connect to the country whose content you wish to view, restart your browser and go to the streaming site. If your VPN is working, the site should treat you as a resident of your selected country and serve you content assigned to that audience.
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Which Is The Best Free VPN
Not all VPN services require that you pay. There are, in fact, many excellent free VPNs. But all the free VPNs we’ve tested have limitations. Some limit you to just a few simultaneous connections or devices on an account. Others restrict your data. Others limit you to just a handful of servers. Still others do all of the above.
Finding the best free VPN is an exercise in balancing those restrictions. TunnelBear, for example, lets you use any server on its network but limits you to 500MB-1GB per month. Hotspot Shield also places no limits on the number of devices, but it restricts you to 500MB per day and only US-based servers. Kaspersky Secure Connection doesn’t limit your devices but doesn’t let you choose a VPN serverthe app does it automatically.
Editors’ Choice winner ProtonVPN has the unique distinction of placing no data restrictions on free users. You can browse as much as you want, as long as you want. You will be limited to just one device on the service at a time and can only choose between three server locations, but the unlimited data makes up for all that. It doesn’t hurt that ProtonVPN, from the same people that brought you super-secure ProtonMail email, is very concerned about security and customer privacy.
Final Thoughts On How To Choose The Best Server Locations
With a VPN, you get things like improved security, anonymity, and greater online freedom as part of the package. Deciding on the best VPN server location really comes into the equation when trying to get the fastest speeds or unblocking region-locked content online.
- For the fastest VPN connections, choose ExpressVPN and let it select the fastest server in your location.
- If youre after internet freedom, use ExpressVPN and connect to a VPN server in Iceland.
- To unblock sports, use ExpressVPN to access the best VPN server location for your stream, such as the UK for BBC iPlayer or the US for NBC Sports.
Since youre assigned a new IP address when you connect to a VPN server, you can always move between VPN servers to access websites that are specific to a certain region or to watch blocked streams online.
If youd like to test out different VPN servers on their speed or security, make sure to try out the tests listed in our VPN test article.
If youve got a question about which IP address to use, we might be able to help. Check out the frequently asked questions below to find answers. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment for us.
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