Best VPN For Streaming: Surfshark
- Access to blocked streaming services.
- Risk-free privacy.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you are looking for a secure VPN to use, then Surfshark is a perfect choice. It is a secure VPN service made for people who want to stay anonymous, have a high-speed connection, unlimited devices that they can connect to and use on their phone or laptop, anti-tracking features, and much more.
This VPN also has an easy-to-use interface with digital camouflage mode to not get tracked while browsing the Internet.
Surfshark has numerous servers in different countries and has a strict zero-logging policy, which means that nothing is logged on your activity online. This VPN also offers unlimited simultaneous connections at super fast speed, and its among the fastest VPN services you can find.
The VPN is easy to use and doesnt have issues with streaming or torrenting. The advanced features of this VPN are very useful, such as the kill switch the option to bypass certain streaming sites like Netflix or Pandora, where you cant stream certain content at all.
VPN Protection: Can I Hide My Ip Address
A VPN encrypts and protects your data connection online. What you do online is open to prying eyes, but you can protect and hide your IP address and data by using a VPN. A VPN secures data between you and your business, or you can obtain anonymity and protection for your personal information.
There are loads of VPNs to choose from, and quality is on the rise. The process of choosing a VPN starts with a realistic assessment of your needs: if for example – you only use Apple products, you must find the best VPN for Mac and Apple products.
Fastest VPN 2021 Faqs
The speed you lose with a VPN depends on multiple factors, including your ISP, your proximity to the server location, the current load on the server, etc. In general, you lose 30% to 40% of your speed when you connect to a server close to you, whereas the number can rise to as much as 70% for distant servers.
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The 5 Fastest VPN Services
Looking for a fast VPN but don’t want to pay too much for it? Here are the fastest VPN services that we’ve tested.
Getting online anonymously is vital in an age of open Wi-Fi networks and trackers. The solution is a VPN, which can also help overcome various online challenges, from region-blocking and ISP throttling to local government censorship.
Virtual Private Networks improve privacy by encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through a secure server. Signing up to a VPN is simple, but not all VPNs are equal. For instance, some are slower than others. To save you from browsing the web securely but slowly, we’ve found five fast VPNs for you to consider.
What Is The Fastest VPN 2021
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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:
Other Reasons We Like Cyberghost
Speed is the only blemish on CyberGhost, and considering the results are still worthy of a spot in this guide, that says a lot. CyberGhost comes packed with features, from streaming servers to automation settings, such as its kill switch. There are also some privacy settings that can force HTTPS in your browser and block ads, among other things.
Furthermore, CyberGhost is cheap. The monthly rate isnt great, at around $13, but the multi-year discounts are unmatched. For instance, the three-year plan costs less than $100, bringing the monthly rate down by around 80 percent.
Theres no risk in signing up for the three-year plan, either. With a 45-day money-back guarantee, you have plenty of time to get a refund if you dont like the service.
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What’s The Best VPN For Working From Home
If you’re working from home, you may be sharing your internet connection with multiple devices and family members or roommates. That’s a lot of simultaneous connections to a VPN and a lot of drag on a network. Pick a VPN that lets you use one subscription on as many devices as possible and has excellent speeds so your Wi-Fi isn’t bogged down. If your job involves handling sensitive information like financial or medical records, however, your priority VPN criteria is security. Our top three VPN picks are the most secure we’ve found, and each has a different number of connections they’ll allow for a base-level subscription. There are a few other factors worth considering for a home-office VPN, though, so check out our guide to picking the right VPN now that you’re working at home.
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Surfshark is another VPN that now supports the WireGuard VPN protocol and has been putting up seriously fast speed test results. This VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and did well in all of our tests for the review. Like our other top-rated VPNs, Surfshark is a no-logs service with an excellent track record. It offers secure apps with build-in leak protection for all major devices and operating systems.
On the speed front, Surfshark has a network of 3,200 fast servers located in 65 countries around the world. It now supports the WireGuard VPN protocol, along with OpenVPN and IKEv2 on certain devices. With VPN protocols, one drawback we noted is that WireGuard is not yet supported with Linux, but this is coming later in 2021.
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What Are The Limitations Of A VPN
VPN services, while tremendously helpful, don’t protect against every threat. Using a VPN can’t help if you unwisely download ransomware or if you are tricked into giving up your data to a phishing attack. We strongly recommend that readers use local antivirus software, enable two-factor authentication wherever available, and use a password manager to create and store unique, complex passwords for each site and service you use.
There are also limitations to how anonymous you can be with a VPN. Advertisers have many tactics at their disposal to gather data on you and track your movements. This ranges from online trackers to browser fingerprinting. We recommend taking advantage of anti-tracking features in your browser, and installing dedicated tracker blockers like the EFF’s Privacy Badger.
Many VPN services also provide their own DNS resolution system. Think of DNS as a phone book that turns a text-based URL like “pcmag.com” into a numeric IP address that computers can understand. Savvy snoops can monitor DNS requests and track your movements online. Greedy attackers can also use DNS poisoning to direct you to bogus phishing pages designed to steal your data. When you use a VPN’s DNS system, it’s another layer of protection. Secure DNS is improving privacy already, but a VPN goes a step beyond.
VPN Speed Vs Security
As mentioned in our testing methodology, everything revolves around the protocol. Lightweight options like WireGuard almost always lead to faster speed, and lower encryption usually helps, too. Speed and security are two sides of the same coin, and finding a balance between them is crucial.
In addition to the extra networking involved in a VPN connection, theres overhead from the protocol and encryption. You can read our VPN protocol breakdown and description of encryption to learn why on a technical level, but in short, the higher your security, the slower your speeds.
Theres a lot that goes into determining how secure a VPN is, though. For example, take IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Technically, the two protocols offer the same level of protection, that being 256-bit encryption. Plus, IKEv2 is much faster. However, OpenVPN is still the better choice for security.
IKEv2 is susceptible to blocks because it handles things in the IP layer, whereas OpenVPN handles them in the transport layer. Technically, the protocols are equal in terms of security. However, IKEv2 can be blocked more easily, so its not a great choice for high-risk situations .
The balance between security and speed is entirely dependent on your situation. If you just want a VPN that works to torrent a few files or stream Netflix from a different country, IKEv2 is a fine choice. However, if youre more concerned about security, OpenVPN is for you, even if it takes more of a speed tax.
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Downsides To Using Free VPNs
Many tech-savvy users don’t trust free VPNs. After all, when somebody offers you something for free, you should always be skeptical. Why would they do such a thing?
True altruism is rare when services are concerned. Here are some of the more common risks to weigh.
- Data caps. Most free VPNs will cap you to a certain amount of data transfer every month. This data usage includes browsing the web, playing games, downloading files, calling VoIP, etc. A data cap is extremely reasonable and is usually a sign that the service is genuine.
- Speed caps. If you aren’t capped by data, then you’ll be capped by speed. Avoid these services if you want to stream videos, play multiplayer games, or download large files.
- Unreliable performance. Some free services are known to suffer from regular outages, especially during peak times. Even if the service itself doesn’t go down, you may experience deteriorated speeds during peak times.
- No privacy guarantees. One way a free service can make money is by selling your personal information. Not all free services do this, but it’s impossible to know either way.
- Fewer server locations. Free services usually limit which of their servers you can use. For example, you might want a server outside America due to the EARN IT bill. This might be because it’s easier to consolidate all free users to a handful of servers. Alternatively, they just want to nudge you towards buying a paid plan.
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.
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How Can I Increase The Speed Of My VPN
There are several factors that determine your connection speed, including the location and capacity of the server youre connected to. The further your data has to travel, the higher the latency and the longer your traffic will take to get to its destination. You can reduce latency by connecting to a server thats close to you, or thats located close to the website or streaming platform youre connecting to.
If a particular server is slow, it may be because too many users are connecting to it at once. Try switching to a different server with a lower server load.
Other Reasons We Like Expressvpn
On speed alone, wed recommend ExpressVPN any day, but the system that surrounds its performance is where ExpressVPN shines. It uses a smartphone-like application that minces no words. Connecting is a matter of clicking a very obvious on button, with everything already set up in the backend.
If you want to tweak some settings, though, ExpressVPN has a few options, including a speed test and split tunneling. It also provides security features, such as a kill switch, and has a long list of server locations in 94 countries, to boot.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around, and wed recommend it on that alone. However, the features and ease of use are why we gravitate to it so much.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy, works in China and even took the crown in our best VPN for streaming guide. You can learn more about it in our ExpressVPN review, or give it a shot with a 30-day money-back guarantee. There isnt an ExpressVPN free trial, but ExpessVPNs refund policy has always worked for us.
- Server selection could use further tweaking
NordVPN could have easily taken first place, and if we could award two winners, it would be right beside ExpressVPN. Although it was slower in New York City, NordVPN showed better performance in Amsterdam and Japan. Furthermore, it had great consistency across server locations, which is a nice change of pace from its previous round of testing.
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Local VPN Speed Test Results
Here are our VPN speed test results when connecting to a local server with our 100Mbps internet connection:
Only three VPNs recorded a download speed loss of below 5%.
As the graph above shows, Hotspot Shield is the fastest VPN on local connections. 80% of VPNs sustained speeds of over 90Mbps, though, which is an extremely impressive result.
CyberGhost performed the worst registering slowdowns of up to 15%. This is still fast enough for most tasks, but you may struggle to perform high-bandwidth activities with this VPN.
How VPN Connections Benefit You
Not everyone has the same priorities or uses the internet in the same way. If you want to improve anonymity online, VPN providers give you a way to discreetly access the Internet through a tunnel service. This type of access masks your communication and displays the VPNs IP address when you connect to a website, instead of your own.
This means that your private home IP address is hidden when browsing different websites. Using a VPN service will likely impact your computer speed as well. If you are looking for a high-performance VPN, make sure that it also keeps your privacy through data encryption between your computer and the target server. With ExpressVPN, you can improve the protection of your data, and stay anonymous on the internet all while browsing at top speeds.
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How The Speed Tests Are Run
Every VPN service I look at is tested using a Windows 10 laptop hardwired into my internet modem using a Cat6 ethernet cable. I use a fiber optic 500 Mbps down and 150 Mbps up internet connection.
Those download and upload numbers are higher than what any VPN provider can currently match. This means the speed test results are not capped by my own internet they reveal the actual performance of each VPN server.
Imagine, for example, that I used a 50 Mbps down connection instead. 50 Mbps would be the absolute maximum download speed any VPN provider could give me. We would never know whether 80 Mbps downloads are possible.
But, by testing with a faster internet connection, we can find that out.
Each test consists of two speed tests. One runs over a VPN connection, the other without one.
The former shows the performance of the VPN. The latter confirms the results were not capped by my internet connection which, in theory, could be possible at more distant server locations.
I run multiple speed test pairs at various times during the day and using different servers. Doing so accounts for possible periods of heavy network and VPN server load.
WireGuard is my protocol of choice if its available. Because it rarely is, more often than not, I end up using OpenVPN over UDP.
The quickest results of the runs are what I use.
International VPN Speed Test Results
Here are the results when connecting to international servers with our 100Mbps internet connection:
Only two VPNs recorded an international download speed loss of below 20%.
The results from our speed tests are clear: Hotspot Shield is the fastest VPN service.
Hotspot Shield is faster than all other VPNs, on both nearby and far-away servers. With this VPN you can stream, torrent, and game without worrying about your network speed slowing down.
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