The complete guide to the best free and premium VPN services

Communication

best-free-paid-VPN-comparison

Some VPN services are free for life, while others are subscription-based with sophisticated security features.

In this article, we provide a list of the best VPN services for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android along with a brief overview for each and a comprehensive overall comparison, so you can pick the best for your needs.

The best VPN services for your PC and smartphone

  • TomVPN: the best free VPN for Windows, Android, and iOS.
  • NordVPN – the best VPN for privacy.
  • Surfshark – the best VPN for security and encryption.
  • Private internet Access VPN – the best VPN for Windows.
  • IPVanish – the best VPN for Android.
  • Ivacy – the best VPN for travel.
  • ExpressVPN – the best encrypted connection.
  • PureVPN – the best server base.
  • CyberGhost – the best VPN for MAC.
  • Hotspot Shield – the best VPN for Netflix.
  • ProtonVPN – the best VPN for Zoom calls.
  • Norton Secure VPN – the best VPN with dynamic IP addresses.

The best VPN services side-by-side comparison

best-VPN-comparison-spreadsheet
 TomVPNNordVPNSurfsharkPrivate Internet Access VPN  IPVanishIvacy  ExpressVPN    PureVPN  CyberGhostHotspot Shield  ProtonVPNNorton Secure VPN  
Rating9.8/109.6/109.4/109.3/109.2/109.1/109.0/108.9/108.9/108.9/108.8/108.4/10
Free planTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial PeriodTrial Period
Monthly subscriptionFree11.95$12.95$9.95$10.99$9.95$19.95$10.95$12.99$12.99$19.96$9.99$
Monthly cost for annual subscriptionFree3.29$2.49$2.03$7.49$3.99$8.32$1.99$2.17$8.64$4$1.25$
Netflix supportSome countries
Online Games
Torrent supportVia uTorrent
Number of servers-5100+3200+10,000+2000+1000+3000+6500+7800+3200+1400+2000+
Countries available315965785275947891806330
Maximum number of connected devicesUnlimited6Unlimited10Unlimited5510751010


How to choose the best VPN for your needs

how-to-choose-best-vpn

There are tons of great services, but the best is the one that has you covered in:

  • Streaming support for HBO Go, Netflix, and Hulu.
  • The number of connected devices per account.
  • Split tunneling which is a feature for safe and encrypted connections when connecting to public or shared Wi-Fi networks.
  • Kill switch feature, especially if you want to download torrents in a country that bans it.
  • Safeguarding your data – does the service stores or exchanges the clients’ data to third parties and governments? Make sure the service is not included in Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes.
  • Supported countries – especially if you want a geo-specific IP.
  • The monthly fee if you are budget-restrained. Note that all services are cheaper when you choose the annual plan compared to the monthly plan. Or, you can simply pick a free service.

First of all, you should know how VPN programs work and the types of virtual networks

A closer look at the best VPN services

IPVanish

IPVanish-vpn-review

Pros

✅ Amazing speeds with WireGuard protocol.

✅ Unlimited number of connected devices.

Cons

❌ No access for streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime USA.

❌ The application is somewhat complex.

This service is great if you want a secure and encrypted connection for an unlimited number of devices for a reasonable cost. However, if you want to connect to American livestreaming platforms such as Netflix, unfortunately, this is not a good choice.

 


NordVPN

NordVPN-review

Pros

✅ Good focus on providing high standard protection
✅NordLynx protocol delivers amazing speeds
✅ A large number of servers

Cons

❌ High subscription renewal prices
❌ Some problems appeared recently when watching Netflix

With more than 5000 servers in 60 countries, you will surely get an encrypted, secure and fast connection wherever you are.

Although NordVPN does not have the large number of countries supported, the service is excellent and stable thanks to the NordLynx protocol that offers speeds of up to 780Mbps.

In addition to a Kill Switch feature to keep your connection secure and encrypted with the AES-256 standard, it prevents your connection to the Internet if you lose your connection to NordVPN.

Not to mention other security options like Onion over VPN, dual VPN connection, and Threat Protection to protect against tracking as you surf, malicious websites, malware files, and annoying and malicious ads.

Ivacy

Ivacy-vpn-review

Pros

✅ Great value for the annual plan.

✅ Supports Netflix and other streaming platforms.

Cons

❌ Connection speeds are less than average.

❌ Ads may appear even in the premium version.

Ivacy VPN [CPS] WW


TomVPN

best-free-vpn-for-life TomVPN

Pros

✅ High security standards.

✅ NordLynx protocol provides impressive speeds.

✅ Plenty of servers.

Cons

❌ High subscription renewal fees.

❌ Some issues surfaced lately while watching Netflix.

Despite the excellent service it provides entirely for free, if you are looking for the best free VPN software, you don't usually see TomVPN mentioned! Which is really weird. 

TomVPN is almost the same as paid VPN, with an easy-to-use interface and fast connection without any restrictions.

Surfshark

Surfshark-review

Pros

✅ Unlimited number of connected devices.

✅ Stable, dependable connection.

✅ Excellent for Netflix.

✅ Annual subscriptions offer impressive value.

Cons

❌ Minor issues while watching Netflix.

Surfshark  offers excellent service for a reasonable price that amounts to $2.50 per month for the annual plan.

Among the best of its peers, Surfshark includes many interesting features such as Kill switch, split tunnelling, multiHop, Nexus, and AES-256 encryption.

Private Internet Access VPN

Private-Internet-Access-VPN-review

Pros

✅ Subscription plans are affordable.

✅ Supports Netflix USA.

✅ Good application with kill switch feature.

✅ Practical and efficient browser plugin.

Cons

❌ Average speeds.

Private Internet Access VPN’s official website does not reveal how many servers it includes. Howerver, they are estimated at 10,000 servers at 83 different countries, which makes it the largest service providers in terms of number of overall servers.

If you dig into the application’s settings, you will be greeted by many great options such as port forwarding, kill switch, and a browser plugin that ensures secure internet browsing at an acceptable speed.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN-review

Pros

✅ Supports all platforms with an impressive technical support team.

✅ Super sophisticated anonymity service.

✅ Excellent for torrent downloads.

Cons

❌ Costly fees, it might be worth it but there are alternatives.

❌ The maximum number of connected devices is 5.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost-review

Pros

✅ Tons of servers.

✅ Many options in the application.

✅ High speeds with WireGuard protocol.

✅ Steaming support for platforms like Netflix.

Cons

❌ Windows version is not so great.

❌ The phone app could do with some tweaking.

CyberGhost deserved its reputation as one of the best VPN services due to its high privacy standards and remarkable performance while watching movies and live streaming of series, not to mention the torrent support.

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot-Shield-vpn-review

Pros

✅ The free version is actually good.

✅ Impressive access for blocked sites.

✅ Servers in China and Russia.

Cons

❌ Installation and settings are not straightforward.

This service the next best free VPN after TomVPN and its paid version offers great extra features as well.

However, it uses Catapult Hydra protocol instead of WireGuard and thus its speed is not that impressive at a maximum of 310Mbps.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN-review

Pros

✅ Free plan available.

✅ High speeds.

✅ Netflix and torrent support.

Cons

❌ Costly paid plans.

❌ No browser plugin.