We’ve scoured the world in search for the safest VPN services available today. Only top VPN services that showed a serious commitment to your privacy made the cut.
Follow the links to visit each VPN provider, or check out our detailed reviews by clicking on each title below.
Since you’re here, you’re probably aware that a VPN service will help you become more private and secure on the internet. But just how important is it to use a VPN?
No matter where or how you access the internet, you are almost certainly being tracked.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), for example, can always see which websites you visit, and in some cases, they can view the contents of your internet traffic and the files you download. They also have tools to inject ads into the websites you visit, sell your browsing history to advertisers, and limit your internet speed based on the websites you visit. In the US and many other countries, ISPs are legally permitted to track you and sell your data in this way without any legal barriers whatsoever.
But ISPs aren’t the only internet snoopers in town. Numerous governments around the world have taken steps to curtail internet privacy rights, from developed democracies like the US and the UK, to repressive states with strong censorship laws, like China, Iran, and Turkey. No matter where you’re browsing, chances are that your internet traffic is being collected and monitored. And since a good portion of internet traffic passes through the US, you won’t be spared from the internet data dragnets of the NSA simply because you live somewhere else.
(If you live in the UK, your situation is even more dire: the Investigatory Powers Act forces ISPs to keep records of your browsing history, and requires them to make these records available to the government upon request.)
Even if you’re okay with governments and ISPs monitoring your internet traffic, you should remember that using public Wi-Fi networks (in places like hotels, airports, and cafes) can put you and your data in serious danger. If you use any of these unsecured networks, anyone else connected to the network (including the network owners themselves) can easily monitor your web traffic and steal sensitive information.
If you’re at all concerned about these threats, using a VPN service is the first and most important step you should take in order to control your privacy and security online.
How does a VPN Work?
A VPN protects you by channeling your web traffic through a network that you trust. Anyone monitoring your internet connection will see that you’re connected to a particular VPN server, but that’s all they will know about you. If the connection is properly configured, it will be impossible for your ISP or a local Wi-Fi snooper to track which websites you’re visiting, or see whether you’re accessing a streaming site or downloading a file via P2P services. You will become, for the most part, invisible.
Moreover, if you live in a country where the internet is censored, or access to certain websites is limited or throttled (i.e. purposely made slow), a VPN can bypass these blocks by making it impossible for the government censors to determine where your internet traffic is going.
A VPN service will also make it easy for you to change your virtual location (known as geoshifting). As you may already know, all of the websites that you visit can easily determine your physical location by matching your IP address with its corresponding geographical area. This enables advertisers to show you targeted ads, and lets governments and corporations track your movements.
This also makes it possible for websites to block access to their content for users in certain countries. If you’ve ever seen the dreaded Netflix or YouTube alert saying “This title is not available to watch in your area,” you’ll know what we’re talking about.
With a VPN service, you can easily bypass these blocks by channeling your internet traffic through a VPN server located in a different country. To the websites that you visit, you’ll look like you’re browsing from country X, when in fact you’re physically located in country Y.
Before you select a VPN service, it’s important for you to understand how a VPN will fit your needs. Many VPN vendors and review sites like to make extravagant claims about their services, but here at BestSafeVPN.com, we like to take an honest and unbiased approach to explaining what you should expect when you subscribe to a VPN service.
The first step is to ask yourself why you need a VPN. Are you a traveler who wants to stay safe when using public WiFi networks? Do you want to be able to change your virtual location to access Netflix and Hulu streams that are blocked in your country? Are you looking to hide your traffic from your ISP? Are you a dissident in a repressive country looking to view or post prohibited information online? Are you looking to engage in P2P and BitTorrent file-sharing safely, without incurring the wrath of whomever might be tracking you?
In cybersecurity circles, this process of evaluating your particular circumstances and requirements is known as creating a threat model. Once you have determined your threat model, it will make it much easier for you to evaluate VPN reviews and decide which service makes the most sense for you.
As you read our reviews, keep in mind that selecting a VPN is merely the first step in securing your online privacy. You should also be taking steps to encrypt your data, follow effective password practices, and protect your physical security. (If you need help understanding how different VPNs might fit your specific needs, check out our VPN cheatsheet).