A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows users to connect to the internet securely and privately. The best VPNs protect a user’s identity while browsing or streaming online. They can even give users access to websites in other countries.

In this guide, we’ll review the 15 best VPN services of 2022 to help users find the right VPN for their needs.

The 15 Best VPN Services for 2022

We’ve tested out dozens of VPNs to find the best VPN service of 2022. Here are our top picks:

  1. NordVPN – Overall Best VPN Service of 2022
  2. UltraVPN – Fast and Unlimited VPN
  3. CyberGhost VPN – Best VPN for Gaming
  4. ProtonVPN – Highly Secure VPN with Fast Speeds
  5. StrongVPN – Best VPN for Lots of Devices
  6. IPVanish – Most Customizable VPN Service
  7. Surfshark One – Best All-in-one VPN and Antivirus Software
  8. ZenMate VPN – Best Free VPN in 2022
  9. Atlas VPN – Best VPN for Windows Devices
  10. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Chrome Browser
  11. Norton Secure VPN – Most Trusted VPN Software
  12. VyprVPN – Best VPN for Streaming
  13. Hotspot Shield – Best Free VPN for Android
  14. Private Internet Access – Best VPN for Routers
  15. TunnelBear – Best Free VPN for iPhone

The Top VPNs in 2022 Reviewed

Want to know more about what makes these 15 platforms the best VPN services of 2022? We’ve put together detailed reviews of the best paid and free VPNs to explain why they stand out.

1. NordVPN – Overall Best VPN Service of 2022

Simply put, NordVPN is the overall best VPN service available in 2022. It’s also rated the best VPN according to Reddit, which is a high honor for the service.NordVPN

This VPN offers blazingly fast connection speeds with no bandwidth limits or throttling. The company’s NordLynx encryption protocol enables users to browse the internet in a completely secured environment and can unlock the majority of major streaming services.

NordVPN also stands out for providing excellent security and privacy for users. The platform never logs user activity, so it couldn’t provide information about users even if authorities asked. That makes it one of the best VPNs for torrenting and other activities that users want to keep completely anonymous.

In addition, NordVPN offers advanced features like split tunneling, which enables users to apply their VPN connection only to a browser rather than to an entire device. The platform also offers two-factor authentication, built-in malware and ad blocking, and dark web monitoring.

NordVPN starts from as little as $3.99 per month and the platform supports up to 6 simultaneous connections across your devices. For complete anonymity, NordVPN supports payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple in addition to more traditional payment methods. All users receive access to 24/7 customer support and more than 5,500 servers across more than 80 countries.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
5,500+ 80+ From $3.99/month 6 220-760 Mbps 24/7 email and live chat 30 days

Pros

  • Fast connections with no bandwidth limits
  • No activity logging
  • Supports split tunneling
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Accepts cryptocurrency payments

Cons

  • No free plan available

2. UltraVPN – Fast and Unlimited VPN

For users who prioritize connection speed over all else, UltraVPN is one of the best VPNs available today. This VPN offers an average speed in the US of 765 Mbps when using the popular Hydra encryption protocol. That’s fast enough for gaming, streaming videos, torrenting, and more. Even better, UltraVPN connects in seconds, so there’s no wait while the VPN searches for an available high-speed server.UltraVPN

Compared to some of the other best VPNs on our list, UltraVPN has a relatively limited selection of servers. The platform can connect to 100+ servers in 14 countries, but that includes servers on every continent.

One thing we especially liked about UltraVPN is that the platform doesn’t limit how many simultaneous connections you can have across your devices. That means you don’t have to worry about turning off sessions to free up the VPN for another device. UltraVPN currently supports Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, and we think it’s one of the best VPNs for Android and iPhone devices.

UltraVPN offers an array of handy features, including malware and ad blocking and the ability to switch servers seamlessly during a session. The user interface is simple to use, which is another plus for users looking to get online as quickly and securely as possible.

Pricing for UltraVPN starts at $2.99 per month with a 2-year plan. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
100+ 14 From $2.99/month Unlimited 210-765 Mbps Email 30 days

Pros

  • Extremely fast connection speeds
  • Connects to servers quickly
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Malware and ad blocking included

Cons

  • Limited selection of server locations
  • No software for routers

3. CyberGhost VPN – Best VPN for Gaming

CyberGhost VPN is one of the best VPNs for gaming, in part because it does something few other platforms do: offer dedicated VPN software for XBox and PlayStation consoles. That makes the process of securing a connection while gaming much simpler than it is with many other VPNs.CyberGhost VPN

Of course, CyberGhost is no slouch when it comes to connection speeds, which are also a huge factor for gamers. In testing, CyberGhost was able to reach peak speeds of 850 Mbps, faster than nearly any other VPN in our roundup. The platform also has more than 8,000 servers across 90 countries, so it’s simple to find a server nearby or to spoof a user’s location.

Another thing that’s unique about CyberGhost is that it enables users to set up automated connections. For example, CyberGhost can automatically connect to the fastest available server in a user’s country when they open the Netflix app on their device. Or it can find the closest server when a user opens a peer-to-peer sharing service like Tor.

CyberGhost starts at just $2.23 per month for users who are signing up for a 3-year plan. However, the platform’s month-to-month pricing can be costly at $12.99 per month and there is no free plan available. All plans include 7 simultaneous connections, 24/7 live chat support, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
8,100+ 90 From $2.23/month 7 145-850 Mbps 24/7 live chat and email 45 days

Pros

  • Dedicated apps for XBox and PlayStation
  • Peak speeds of 850 Mbps
  • Automated connection rules
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Expensive monthly plans

4. ProtonVPN – Highly Secure VPN with Fast Speeds

ProtonVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN provider that emphasizes privacy above all else. The platform has a strict no-logging policy and keeps users’ identities completely anonymous while they’re surfing the internet. The platform also protects information about users’ locations by passing their connection through multiple servers and includes a kill switch that turns off a device’s internet connectivity if the VPN connection is dropped.ProtonVPN

Thanks to that focus on privacy and a simple Tor over VPN function, Proton VPN is worth considering as the best VPN for torrenting or other forms of peer-to-peer sharing. The platform also has built-in malware defenses and an ad blocker to ensure your online experience is as streamlined as possible.

ProtonVPN is fast enough for most users, but peak speeds top out at 670 Mbps. So, it’s not the fastest VPN in our review. On the plus side, the platform has more than 1,700 servers across 63 countries, spanning every continent on the globe.

The biggest potential drawback to Proton VPN is its price. This VPN starts at $5.20 per month. However, Proton VPN offers a free VPN with 1 simultaneous connection and access to 100 servers. It doesn’t include all of Proton VPN’s features, but it’s one of the best free VPNs available today.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
1,700+ 63 From $5.20/month 10 200-670 Mbps Live chat and email 30 days

Pros

  • Strict no-logging policy
  • IP kill switch
  • Built-in malware blocking
  • Free VPN for 1 device

Cons

  • Expensive pricing
  • Moderate connection speeds

5. StrongVPN – Best VPN for Lots of Devices

StrongVPN stands out for families or individual users who have a lot of devices to protect. That’s because every StrongVPN plan includes up to 12 simultaneous connections. In addition, users can protect even more devices at once by adding their StrongVPN connection to their WiFi router.StrongVPN

StrongVPN also offers dedicated apps for a wider range of devices than most of its competitors. Users will find apps for not only Windows and Mac computers, but also iOS and Android mobile devices, Chrome operating systems, Amazon Kindle and Fire TV devices, Linux devices, and more. In our opinion, it’s one of the best VPNs for Mac and Windows. The platform’s website has detailed guides to help users get the VPN up and running on all of these devices.

StrongVPN has more than 950 servers across 40 countries, and it does an excellent job of unblocking streaming site geofences in our testing. The platform supports multiple encryption protocols, but we found that top speeds in the US peak at a modest 600 Mbps. This isn’t overly slow for most uses, but it does pale in comparison to the fastest VPNs.

Plans for StrongVPN start from $3.66 per month. Notably, the longest plan term is just 1 year. Support is available by email only.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
950+ 40 From $3.66/month 12 190-600 Mbps Email 30 days

Pros

  • Supports up to 12 simultaneous connections
  • Software for routers available
  • Works well for streaming
  • Servers in 40 countries

Cons

  • No multi-year plans available
  • Modest connection speeds

6. IPVanish – Most Customizable VPN Service

IPVanish is the best VPN app for users who want total control over their security, speed, and devices. The platform stands out for offering 4 different VPN encryption protocols, including the ultra-fast WireGuard protocol. Users can switch between these protocols at any time to balance security and speed, or apply different protocols to different devices.IPVanish VPN

On top of that, IPVanish supports features like split tunneling, DNS leak protection, and an IP kill switch, all of which can be customized in the software’s settings. Users can also set up IPVanish so that the VPN is launched automatically whenever an internet connection is detected – even on mobile devices.

IPVanish supports an unlimited number of devices and the software can be installed on most WiFi routers to protect a wide range of devices, including gaming consoles. In testing, the WireGuard protocol delivered blazing connection speeds up to 930 Mbps – the fastest speeds we saw from any VPN in our tests. All IPVanish plans include unlimited bandwidth, too.

The one thing to watch out for with IPVanish is that it can be pricey. A one-year subscription costs $3.99 per month for the first year, and the price jumps to $7.50 per month after the first year. There’s no free plan available at IPVanish.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
2,000+ 50+ From $3.99/month Unlimited 290-930 Mbps Email 30 days

Pros

  • 4 encryption protocols available
  • Launches automatically
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Ultra-fast speeds with WireGuard protocol

Cons

  • Expensive pricing
  • More complex than other VPN platforms

7. Surfshark One – Best All-in-one VPN and Antivirus Software

Surfshark One is one of the best VPN services for users who want to go beyond just protecting their internet connections. This platform pairs a feature-rich VPN with a powerful antivirus software, effectively putting all of a user’s devices under a comprehensive security umbrella.Surfshark VPN

Surfshark One’s VPN is impressive in its own right, with more than 3,200 servers spread across 65 countries. The platform offers an unlimited number of simultaneous connections and peak speeds up to 790 Mbps. On top of that, the software has apps for Chrome and Firefox browsers and offers split tunneling that can be applied to specific websites that don’t work with VPNs, such as online banking sites.

The VPN also has a strict no-logging policy and an IP kill switch. Surfshark even enables users to change their IP address before connecting, making it even more difficult for users to be tracked online.

The Surfshark One antivirus software supports regularly scheduled scans as well as manual scans that can cover a user’s entire hard drive or only frequently used folders. Surfshark One also includes dark web monitoring, which issues alerts when a user’s data is discovered online.

Surfshark One starts from just $2.49 per month for the first year. All plans include 24/7 live chat and email support.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
3,200 65 From $2.49/month Unlimited 90-790 Mbps 24/7 live chat and email 30 days

Pros

  • Includes a VPN, antivirus software, and dark web monitoring
  • 3,200+ servers available
  • Browser apps for Chrome and Firefox
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Slow speeds when running on a router

8. ZenMate VPN – Best Free VPN in 2022

ZenMate VPN is our pick as the best free VPN available right now. It’s one of the only VPNs that offers a truly free plan with no time limit or maximum monthly bandwidth. Users can take advantage of ZenMate VPN’s browser apps for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge on 1 device with speeds up to 200 Mbps. The free VPN is completely private and comes with a strict no-logging policy.Surfshark VPN

For users who want to take advantage of all of ZenMate VPN’s features, paid plans start at $1.99 per month for browser apps only or $1.51 per month to unlock all of the platform’s apps. ZenMate VPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, and the best VPN routers. The platform offers a 7-day free trial in addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The platform offers smart features like split tunneling and whitelisting for specific websites, automatic connections when an internet connection is detected, and support for peer-to-peer sharing over Tor. It also has an IP kill switch and DNS protection to keep users’ identities completely anonymous.

ZenMate VPN offers access to 4,400+ servers across 81 countries. It works very well at unblocking geofences when using streaming services. Speeds are somewhat limited, however, as we found maximum speeds of around 500 Mbps when using this VPN.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
4,400+ 81 From $1.51/month Unlimited 200-500 Mbps Email 30 days

Pros

  • Free VPN available for browsers
  • IP kill switch and DNS protection
  • Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 7-day free trial

Cons

  • Modest connection speeds
  • Must upgrade to access desktop apps

9. Atlas VPN – Best VPN for Windows Devices

Atlas VPN is one of the best VPNs for Windows because of how simple the platform is to use. Users simply need to open the desktop app and click a button, and Atlas VPN will automatically connect to the optimal server in seconds. Users can also choose from a list of 750 servers across 36 countries to customize their connection.Atlas VPN

This VPN also includes a number of important features for privacy. User activity on the internet is never logged and the platform includes DNS leak protection and an IP kill switch. In addition, Atlas VPN enables users to change their IP address or route their connection across multiple servers in order to better mask their identity.

Atlas VPN offers connection speeds up to 680 Mbps in the US when using the WireGuard encryption protocol. Additional protocols are available, including the widely used IKEv2 protocol. Atlas VPN also supports split tunneling and has a built-in ad blocker that prevents trackers from following users around the internet.

Atlas VPN plans start at $1.99 per month for a 3-year plan. However, note that the price jumps to $10.99 per month after the first 3 years. The platform offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
750 36 From $1.99/month Unlimited 100-680 Mbps Live chat and email 30 days

Pros

  • Very simple desktop app for Windows and Mac
  • Includes WireGuard encryption protocol
  • Route connections across multiple servers
  • Inexpensive 3-year pricing plan

Cons

  • Expensive after introductory pricing
  • Limited selection of countries

10. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Chrome Browser

ExpressVPN is one of the all-around best VPN services for 2022, and the platform especially stands out for its browser apps for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. These apps enable users to launch a new VPN session automatically when a browser is opened, and they support split tunneling and whitelisting so specific sites can bypass the VPN connection.ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN boasts an incredibly wide selection of servers: more than 3,000 spread across 94 countries. In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the only VPN providers that offers servers in numerous countries in Africa and South America. Connection speeds in these locations aren’t always fast, but having them can be a major benefit for some users.

This VPN provider offers a wide range of features for privacy and security, including malware and ad blockers, a no-logging policy, DNS leak protection, and an IP kill switch. ExpressVPN also offers apps for desktop devices, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and more. All of the apps from this VPN are well-designed and it’s one of the best mobile VPN platforms available.

The biggest drawback we found to ExpressVPN is its pricing. An annual plan costs a whopping $8.32 per month, far more than most competitors. In addition, ExpressVPN plans support a maximum of 5 simultaneous connections. So, this VPN may not be worth the cost unless users need its expansive list of apps and server locations.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
3,000+ 94 From $8.32/month 5 375-430 Mbps 24/7 live chat and email 30 days

Pros

  • Excellent browser apps for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Desktop, mobile, and gaming console apps
  • Supports split tunneling

Cons

  • Very expensive pricing
  • Limited to 5 simultaneous connections

11. Norton Secure VPN – Most Trusted VPN Software

Norton is one of the most trusted names in the cybersecurity industry, so it should come as little surprise that the company offers a trustworthy VPN with excellent features for security and privacy.Norton Secure VPN

With the Norton Secure VPN, users can set up secure connections on any Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android device. It’s important to note that this VPN doesn’t support routers, so it cannot be used for other devices like smart TVs or gaming consoles. The VPN offers important features like an IP kill switch and split tunneling, making it easier for users to trust that they’re browsing anonymously and to access sites that aren’t compatible with a VPN.

Norton Secure VPN offers access to more than 2,000 servers across 31 countries. By default, the software will automatically choose the optimal server for a user’s location, but it’s also possible to change location to another country. This makes the VPN suitable for streaming Netflix and accessing other geofenced sites.

Pricing for Norton Secure VPN varies by the number of simultaneous connections needed. Connecting a single device costs $2.49 per month for the first year, while connecting 10 devices costs $4.99 per month for the first year. Norton Secure VPN does not offer a free plan, but it does come with a lengthy 60-day money-back guarantee.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
2,000+ 31 From $2.49/month 10 85-230 Mbps 24/7 phone, live chat, and email 60 days

Pros

  • No logging policy
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Supports split tunneling
  • Easy to change server location

Cons

  • Slow connection speeds
  • Not available for WiFi routers

12. VyprVPN - Best VPN for Streaming

VyprVPN is our top pick for users who want to stream shows and movies from platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. This VPN offers an incredibly wide range of apps, including dedicated apps for smart TVs, home WiFi routers, and even Roku devices. Users can have up to 5 simultaneous connections, which is enough even for busy households with multiple people streaming video.VyprVPN

Another thing that makes VyprVPN great for streaming is that it’s fast. In our testing, US connection speeds reached up to 700 Mbps when using the Chameleon VPN protocol. That’s more than enough speed for streaming 4K video on multiple devices.

VyprVPN offers access to more than 700 servers across 64 countries, making it easy to get around streaming services’ geofences. Users can easily switch server locations at any time when using the VPN, or simply have VyprVPN choose the optimal server based on a user’s current location.

VyprVPN has a strict no-logging policy and offers features like DNS leak protection and split tunneling. The software has been publicly audited, so users can trust that it’s highly secure. Plans start at $8.33 per month, so it’s relatively pricey. On the plus side, the price doesn’t increase after the first year like it does with most other VPNs.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
700+ 64 From $8.33/month 5 140-700 Mbps Live chat and email 30 days

Pros

  • Supports routers, TVs, and Roku devices
  • Servers in 64 countries
  • Relatively fast connection speeds
  • Change server locations easily

Cons

  • Expensive pricing options
  • Max 5 simultaneous connections

13. Hotspot Shield - Best Free VPN for Android

Hotspot Shield is a free VPN for Android, iOS, and desktop platforms that offers up to 500 MB of data per month. While that might not sound like much, it’s more than most users need for day-to-day web browsing. The free plan comes with a no-logging policy and an IP kill switch, but can only be used on a single device with speeds up to 200 Mbps.Hotspot Shield VPN

Hotspot Shield also stands out for families thanks to its unique family plan. This costs $11.99 per month and enables users to create up to 5 different accounts, each of which can have up to 5 simultaneous connections (for a total of 25 maximum connections). It’s hard to beat that pricing, even with VPN providers that offer unlimited simultaneous connections.

Hotspot Shield offers access to more than 1,800 servers across 80+ countries. In testing, the platform’s speeds were modest, topping out at around 310 Mbps. However, it’s more than fast enough for streaming and the service enables users to change server locations easily to get around geofences.

The platform comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support. Users can also try out Hotspot Shield for free for up to 7 days.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
1,800+ 80+ From $7.99/month 5 200-310 Mbps 24/7 live chat and email 45 days

Pros

  • Free plan with 500 MB of monthly data
  • Family plan for up to 5 users
  • Servers in 80+ countries
  • 7-day free trial

Cons

  • Max 5 simultaneous connections per user

14. Private Internet Access - Best VPN for Routers

Private Internet Access is a VPN service focused on - as the name suggests - privacy. It offers comprehensive features like a strict no-logging policy, DNS leak protection, and an IP kill switch. The platform also gives users the ability to change their IP address or route their connection through multiple servers to make tracking more difficult.Private Internet Access VPN

Private Internet Access offers a range of apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices, as well as for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and more. Importantly, the company’s VPN software can also be loaded onto any compatible router, providing security and privacy for any connected devices.

This VPN provider also stands out for its server network. Private Internet Access has an incredible 35,000 servers around the world in 78 countries. That’s many times more servers than most competing VPN providers, meaning there’s more bandwidth in the network to support additional users.

Private Internet Access plans start at $2.03 per month and come with 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Users can have up to 10 simultaneous connections. In addition, Private Internet Access supports anonymous payments using Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
35,000+ 78 From $2.03/month 10 70-320 Mbps 24/7 live chat and email 30 days

Pros

  • Excellent privacy features
  • Can be used on any compatible router
  • 35,000 servers in 78 countries
  • Accepts crypto payments

Cons

  • Modest connection speeds

15. TunnelBear - Best Free VPN for iPhone

TunnelBear is another high-quality VPN service that offers both free and paid plans. The free plan includes up to 500 MB of bandwidth per month, which can be used on as many devices as a user wants. Notably, TunnelBear doesn’t limit connection speeds with the free plan, so it’s ideal for users who only need a small amount of data.TunnelBear

Paid plans at TunnelBear start at $3.33 per month for a 3-year plan, and the price doesn’t increase when renewing. So, it’s one of the most budget-friendly VPNs for those who need more bandwidth than the free plan offers.

This VPN provider offers dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. We think this is one of the best VPNs for iPhone since the app turns on automatically and can run 24/7 without dropping a connection. The map-based interface also makes it easy to find TunnelBear server locations around the world.

TunnelBear doesn’t log any user data and can be used to navigate around geofences like those put up by streaming sites. However, the platform is missing a few features we’d like to see, including DNS leak protection and an IP kill switch. TunnelBear also doesn’t have the WireGuard encryption protocol, and connection speeds top out at a modest 380 Mbps.

Number of Servers Number of Countries Price Max Devices Supported US Speed Range Customer Service Money-back Guarantee
1,000 49 From $3.33/month 5 310-380 Mbps Live chat and email None

Pros

  • Free plan with 500 MB of monthly data
  • Can use free plan on multiple devices
  • Excellent mobile apps can run 24/7
  • No-logging policy

Cons

  • No money-back guarantee
  • Modest connection speeds

Best VPN Providers Comparison

Best VPN of 2022 Cheapest paid plan (renewal price) Free plan? Money-back guarantee Devices supported
NordVPN £2.49 (for a two-year subscription) No 30 days Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux
UltraVPN €2.65 (for a two-year subscription) No 30 days Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
CyberGhost VPN £1.7 (for a three-year subscription) No 45 days  Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, TVs, Linux, gaming consoles
Proton VPN €4.99 (for a two-year subscription) Yes 30 days Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
StrongVPN £2.78 (for the first year of the two-year subscription) No 30 days Windows, Mac, Android, routers
ExpressVPN £5.59 (for a 12-month subscription) No 30 days Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, FireOS and Linux
IPVanish $3.99 (for a 12-month subscription) No 30 days  Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, and FireOS 
Surfshark One £1.79 (for a two-year subscription)  No 30-days Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux
ZenMate £1.59 (for a two-year subscription) Yes + a 7-day free trial for paid plans 30-day  iOS, Windows, Mac, Android, browsers
Atlas VPN £1.46 (for a two-year subscription) Yes 30-day  iOS, Windows, Mac, Android

What is a VPN?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a service that enables an individual to connect to the internet via an encrypted connection.

By encrypting the connection, VPNs make it difficult or impossible for would-be attackers to access the data that a user is transferring back and forth over the internet. This could include files that are being downloaded, sensitive personal information that the user is entering on a website, or details about the device the individual is using to access the internet.

A VPN also offers privacy. Without a VPN, websites can use a visitor’s IP address to determine their location, the type of device they’re using, and other identifying information. Ad trackers can follow individuals around the internet, keeping track of what pages an user visits. With a VPN, a user’s IP address is anonymized and can be changed frequently to prevent tracking. So, individuals can move around the internet anonymously.

How do VPNs Work?

VPNs work by rerouting a user’s connection to the internet through a VPN server, which encrypts the connection.

Normally, when an individual tries to connect to a website, their connection goes from their device to an internet service provider (ISP) to the site. With a VPN, the connection goes from the ISP to a VPN server, and only then to the destination website.

The part of the connection from the user’s device to the VPN server is encrypted. Data coming from the user’s device (their computer or smartphone, for example) is encrypted by the VPN software before it leaves their device. It is then decrypted at the VPN server and sent to the website. Data coming from the website is encrypted at the VPN server, then decrypted on a user’s device by the VPN software.

Importantly, since the user is connecting to a website via a VPN server, the IP address of the user’s device is never revealed to the destination website. That site only sees the IP address of the VPN server. Since this server and its IP address are used by many different individuals, it is impossible for websites or ad trackers to identify any single user.

Why Use a VPN?

Wondering why everyone should have the best VPN service of 2022? The best VPNs offer an array of benefits for security, privacy, and online experience.

Protecting Sensitive Data

Without a VPN, it’s impossible for an individual to be sure that no one is monitoring or interfering with their internet connection. Hackers could be stealing sensitive data from an unprotected connection, or even rerouting a user’s connection to point them towards a spoofed or malicious website. This risk is especially present when using public WiFi networks, as routers can be hacked without other users realizing it.

A VPN encrypts a user’s connection, preventing anyone from tampering with it. That means that users can browse safely and know that any data they transmit or receive can only be seen by them.

Maintaining Anonymity Online

Another advantage of using a VPN is that it offers privacy to individuals while browsing the internet. Normally, an individual can be identified online by their IP address. This is a unique address given to every internet connection and device. So, any website that knows a user’s IP address can follow them around the internet and monitor what pages they visit.

An identifying IP address can be used not only for ads, but also for online harassment or even hacking. A VPN masks a user’s IP address and replaces it with the IP address of the VPN server they are connected to. There may be hundreds or even thousands of different individuals using that VPN server at any given time, so it’s virtually impossible for trackers or hackers to identify any single individual.

In addition, some of the best VPNs enable users to change their IP address even before they connect to a VPN server. This adds an additional layer of convolution to a user’s IP address and makes it even more difficult for a malicious actor to determine their identity.

Keeping Browsing Private

Another advantage of using the best VPN service of 2022 is that it keeps an individual’s browsing history private. With the best VPN app, even a user’s ISP won’t be able to see what websites they have visited.

This is one of the main reasons that VPNs are frequently used for torrenting. The best VPNs for tor also offer their own strict no-logging policies. Since they don’t track users’ activities, these platforms can’t be compelled to turn over users’ browsing or torrenting history by any government agency.

Getting around Geofences

The best VPNs for 2022 can also help individuals get around geofences, like those that are often used by streaming services. For anyone who has ever gone to Netflix only to be told that a specific show isn’t available in their region, this benefit of VPNs will be particularly useful.

VPNs can hop geofences by making it appear to a website like an individual is logging in from a different country than the one they’re actually located in. Say, for example, a user is located in the US, but connects to a VPN server in Germany. To Netflix or another streaming site, the request to access a show will look like it’s coming from an IP address in Germany - not the US. So, the user will have access to the German version of the site.

The best VPNs typically offer servers in dozens of countries for this reason. NordVPN, for example, has servers in more than 80 countries. Even some of the best free VPNs offer access to servers around the world.

Avoiding Tracking-based Ads and Prices

VPNs also enable users to prevent tracking-based ads and variable prices. For example, if a user searches for a flight, but then doesn’t purchase it, they might come back later to find that the price of the flight has gone up because the airline knows that they were already interested in it.

With a VPN, the user is anonymous. So, the airline won’t know that they’ve already looked at the flight once before, and they’ll get the same price each time they search for that flight.

What is the Fastest VPN?

One of the key factors we look at when comparing the best VPNs is how fast their connection speeds are.

Typically, a VPN will slow down a user’s internet connection slightly, simply because the encryption process takes time. However, speeds can vary based on the encryption protocol used, the location of the VPN’s servers, and the quality of the VPN network.

Here’s how connection speeds stack up for the 15 best VPN services of 2022:

VPN Service US Connection Speed Range
NordVPN 220-760 Mbps
UltraVPN 210-765 Mbps
CyberGhost VPN 145-850 Mbps
ProtonVPN 200-670 Mbps
StrongVPN 190-600 Mbps
IPVanish 290-930 Mbps
Surfshark One 90-790 Mbps
ZenMate VPN 200-500 Mbps
Atlas VPN 100-680 Mbps
ExpressVPN 375-430 Mbps
Norton Secure VPN 85-230 Mbps
VyprVPN 140-700 Mbps
Hotspot Shield 200-310 Mbps
Private Internet Access 70-320 Mbps
TunnelBear 310-380 Mbps

Keep in mind that speed isn’t everything when comparing the best VPNs. Individuals may find that one service offers higher speeds in the country where they need servers. Also, once a VPN’s speed is higher than an ISP’s allowed connection speed, additional speed from the VPN server is unlikely to matter.

Are VPNs Safe?

When choosing the best VPN service of 2022, it’s important to look for a VPN provider that has a strong record of safety. That’s because if a VPN server is compromised, any connections that are routed through that server could also be compromised.

That’s why the safest VPNs have comprehensive network security protocols in place. In addition, many VPN providers submit to independent audits of their network. These audits can catch security flaws before they become problems and provide peace of mind to users that a VPN network is as safe as a provider claims.

Another thing the safest VPNs have in common is that they don’t log user activity. This means that there are no records of what websites a user visited or how they moved around the internet. Even if a government or hacker wanted to obtain this information, it simply doesn’t exist at VPNs with strict no-logging policies.

Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs

Both free and paid VPNs offer encrypted connections and online privacy. However, there are some big differences between the best free VPN and the best paid VPN in terms of how they can be used.

The best free VPNs are often slimmed-down versions of paid platforms. They often come with limited bandwidth and connection speeds, so they are more suitable for secure web browsing than for streaming or torrenting.

In addition, a free VPN can often only be used on a single device rather than on 5 or more devices. Many free VPNs also provide access to only a limited number of servers - say, 5 or fewer, and only in the US and Europe. That could be problematic for users who want to use a free VPN to get around a geofence.

Importantly, not all free VPNs are legit. Some free VPNs log user data, which eliminates the privacy benefits of using a VPN in the first place. Others offer servers that haven’t been kept up to date and which may be susceptible to hacks. For users who do decide to use a free VPN, it’s important to make sure that platform is secure.

Are VPNs Legal?

In most countries around the world, VPNs are completely legal. That’s the case in the US, Canada, Europe, and most of South America, Africa, and Asia.

However, there are certain countries where using a VPN is more complicated. In China, Russia, and Turkey,  for instance, individuals are only allowed to use government-approved VPNs - all of the providers that made our list of the best VPN services of 2022 are banned. Of course, these government-approved VPNs allow the government to track users’ browsing activity.

Countries like Iraq, North Korea, and Turkmenistan have banned VPNs entirely. Always be sure to research what’s allowed before turning on a VPN in a foreign country, especially since rules around VPNs can change frequently.

How to Use a VPN

Ready to get started with the best VPN service of 2022? We’ll walk users through how to get started with NordVPN, our top pick for browsing, streaming, torrenting, and more.

Step 1: Sign Up for NordVPN

Head to NordVPN’s website and click ‘Get NordVPN’ to sign up. Choose a 1-month, 1-year, or 2-year plan. Then enter an email address and pay for the plan. NordVPN accepts credit card, debit cards, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, bank transfers, and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.Order NordVPN

Step 2: Install NordVPN

Users should next download and install the NordVPN app on each device they want to use. NordVPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers, Amazon Firestick, Xbox, PlayStation, and more.Download NordVPN

Step 3: Launch a Connection

Open the NordVPN app and click the ‘Quick Connect’ button. NordVPN will automatically find the optimal server for a user’s location and launch an encrypted connection. Users can also search the list of countries to change their server at any time.NordVPN Quick Connect

Conclusion: What is the best VPN Service for 2022?

The best VPN services of 2022 enable individuals to surf the web safely, securely, and privately. VPNs are key for protecting sensitive information, streaming TV and movies from other countries, and preventing online tracking.

Ready to get the best VPN app today? NordVPN offers high connection speeds, servers in more than 80 countries, and apps for a wide range of devices. Head to NordVPN to sign up today and start browsing the web more securely!

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