Want more help deciding which is best for you? Read our buying advice for the Best VPN

1. NordVPN

NordVPN
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 16 September 2019

NordVPN is easy to use and has a handy SmartPlay feature that will help you connect to the server best suited to your needs. 

  • 5687 servers across 60 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions

Based in Panama and with an audited no-logs policy, it's great for those concerned about privacy too. There's an ad-blocker and malware protection feature included too, as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox and an app for Amazon Fire TV.

The three year option works out at £2.82/ $3.49 per month (£101.76/ $125.64 upfront) which is a great deal. There's a money-back guarantee in case you're not totally happy too.

All four price plans are available to choose from at NordVPN.com.

Read our NordVPN review.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 26 June 2019

Easy to use, but speedy and comprehensive, ExpressVPN is worth the extra cost if you're looking for a reliable VPN service that will work on all your devices. 

  • 3000+ servers across 94 countries
  • Works with Netflix
  • Kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile & Amazon Fire TV apps, plus browser extensions available

We found ExpressVPN to be reliable with quick and efficient live chat support available when you need it.

No logs are kept, neither connection nor activity, and it's based outside of the 14-eyes. You can get apps for many devices including Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android.

There's a discount if you sign up for a year on ExpressVPN's website - you get 15 months for the price of 12.

Read our ExpressVPN review.

3. PureVPN

PureVPN
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 7 January 2019

A great all-rounder is PureVPN, which is super speedy, very reasonably priced and is situated outside of the '14 eyes'. 

  • 2,000+ severs across 141 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions

PureVPN has a large selection of servers across one of the biggest ranges of countries of all ten services mentioned here. It now operates a strict no-logging policy.

It's easy to install, has lots of features and modes, and offers access to blocked sites and streaming including Netflix US.

It's one of the cheaper options available and there are often great deals to be had if you keep an eye out. Right now there are one year, three month and one month plans available, all of which you'll find on PureVPN's website.

Read our PureVPN review.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 13 March 2019

CyberGhost is a newbie-friendly VPN with an easy-to-use interface. Based in Romania, outside the 14-eyes, CyberGhost offers a good selection of servers optimised for popular video streaming services

  • 3,695 servers+ across 58 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps and browser extensions

CyberGhost isn't the fastest VPN service, and you might be put off by the fact that the servers are mostly rented, not owned. The service's new owners are a concern too. 

However, if you want a way to unblock streaming services and websites for a very small monthly cost, CyberGhost is one of the better-value options, and has handy Amazon Fire TV and Android TV apps.

The month-by-month price of £11.99/$12.99 represents the worst value deal, but the price drops a lot if you commit to one year or three years, which takes it down to as little as £2.10/$2.75.

Find out the latest deals for CyberGhost on its website.

Read our CyberGhost review.

5. Surfshark

Surfshark
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 5 September 2019

One of the newer VPN services, Surfshark has a slick, simple interface and a good range of features. It has apps and extensions which protect popular devices and web browsers and it costs less than most of its competitors.

  • 800 servers across 50 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions available

Based in the British Virgin Islands with a strict no-logs policy and a MultiHop feature, it's great for those concerned about privacy in addition to getting around geo-restricted streaming services.

It's very competitively priced, with the current cheapest option working out at just £1.59/$1.99 per month. You can see all of the price plans on its website here.

Read our Surfshark review.

6. TunnelBear

TunnelBear
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 6 June 2019

Behind TunnelBear's quirky approach lies a reliable VPN service that gets the job done without fuss or overburdening you with options and choices. It's a winner for families and those wanting a simple VPN.

  • 22 countries available
  • Works with Netflix (but not BBC iPlayer)
  • Kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions

There are just 22 countries available via TunnelBear and you don't get a choice of server, but again, this shouldn't matter if you have relatively undemanding needs from a VPN. The same applies to the fact the company is based in Canada: it's no-logs policy means there's no data to hand over to authorities in any case.

There are four pricing tiers to TunnelBear. The lowest is free, and gets you 500MB per month. The monthly plan is £7.35/$9.99 for unlimited data, and the yearly plan is £3.65/$4.99 per month for unlimited data. There's also a two year plan for £3.33/$4.17 per month.

You can sign up for any of those plans on TunnelBear's website here.

Read our TunnelBear review.

7. VyprVPN

VyprVPN
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 4 July 2019

VyprVPN owns and operates its entire network of over 700 servers and has been audited to prove that it sticks by its no-logs policy. If privacy is your top priority, it’s therefore a good one to add to your shortlist. Just note that you can’t pay truly anonymously for the service.

  • More than 700 servers across 70+ countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch & Chameleon protocol
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps but no browser extensions

Features vary by device, as they do with all VPNs, but it’s also important to note that you can’t use Vypr’s proprietary Chameleon protocol on iPads and iPhones. Overall, this is a speedy and reliable service… it’s just not the cheapest.

But you can get a special deal with 25% off if you use this link to VyprVPN's website.

Read our VyprVPN review.

8. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 9 May 2019

Private Internet Access (or PIA as it is more fondly known) is a well-known service with a huge number of servers and some useful features. 

  • 3,307 servers across 32 countries
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions available

There's more to it than meets the eye, though. It has a kill switch for extra security, and lots of advanced security settings. It's just as well suited to P2P downloads as it is to unblocking Netflix. It also has a built-in ad blocker and malware blocker, but do note that it doesn't unblock BBC iPlayer.

It's one of the cheaper options. A one-year subscription costs £2.70 / $3.33 per month.

Even though it's based in the US, it logs literally nothing so wouldn't have any data about you to hand over even if it ordered by a court to do so. 

Find out more and see the plan options on PIA's website.

Read our Private Internet Access review.

9. IPVanish

IPVanish
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 11 January 2019

IPVanish is a VPN that caters to beginners and families, but it has some downsides including difficulty connecting to streaming services and slow support.

  • More than 1,300+ servers across 75+ countries
  • Kill switch
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Mobile apps and Fire TV Stick app

IPVanish is simple to install with its own visual tutorial and it collects no data logs or connection details to ensure that your online activity remains private.

There's a kill switch, and the option to automatically change your fake IP address at regular, user defined intervals.

The downside is the lack of browser extensions, poor support and difficulty connecting to Netflix and BBC iPlayer, as well as the price which is a bit more expensive than others listed here. The cheapest option is a one-year plan that works out at $6.49/£5.27 per month. It's also based in the US so is part of the 14-eyes.

Read our IPVanish review.

10. Hidden24

Hidden24
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings
  • Reviewed on: 2 July 2019

Hidden24 works a bit differently to most of its rivals. It uses each operating system's own VPN capability, so doesn't require you to download and install an app. That means it will work on any device including Android, Mac, iPhone or Linux as well as Windows. It's ideal for tech-minded users looking for a secure VPN solution designed for people who want security and privacy, but the lack of an app might put beginners off.

  • Servers in UK, US, Germany, Italy, France and Spain
  • Works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  • No kill switch
  • One connection at a time unless you use it on a router
  • No app, so requires device to support VPN connections

It's reasonably priced, with a 12-month subscription costing £47.88 / $59.88 year (£3.99 / $4.99 per month), there's also a recurring 3-month option for £13.47 / $16.47. There's an exclusive deal available that'll get you the first three months for just £3.33, too. You can take advantage of that deal here

Find out more about the plans available at Hidden24.co.uk.

Read our Hidden24 review.

In addition to those listed we've reviewed other VPNs that didn't make the cut including: Hide.me, Bullguard VPN, Bitdefender Premium VPN, Goose VPN, Hotspot Shield Premium and Hide My Ass! VPN.

Plus, if you're struggling to choose between our top two, you can check out our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.

Your guide to buying the best VPN

Choosing a VPN can be daunting. They vary in price quite dramatically, and you'll want to make sure you choose one you trust that will offer the features you require. Here, we talk you through what to look for in a VPN to help you make your decision. 

If you're using a Mac, you might want to consider the VPN options in our article about the best VPN services for Mac.

If you're on a PC, you're in the right place. The 10 VPNs above have all been through our review process so you can trust that they're good options that we have tried and tested ourselves here at Tech Advisor.

We'd recommend visiting our article 'What is a VPN' if you're unsure about what exactly a VPN is and what it can do. You can also visit 'How to use a VPN' once you've chosen one to help you get started with using it.

It's important to note that installing a VPN on one device will only protect that device. If you want your media streamer (say an Amazon Fire TV Stick) to use the VPN connection, you'll either need to try and install a VPN app on it, look for VPN settings where you can enter your account details, or install an app for your router that'll cover all devices connected to it. Find out more in our article on how to use a VPN with a Fire TV Stick.

What is the '14 Eyes' collective?

If you're most concerned about privacy, it's important to know where your VPN is based. In recent years some countries have got together to exchange information freely, nominally in a bid to enhance everyone's security. However, many groups are critical of this behaviour, believing that mass surveillance impinges on our freedoms.

The main group of countries that can share information freely is called the Five Eyes. They come from the UKUSA agreement that, although began back in 1941, was only made public knowledge in 2005. The agreement is between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, hence the name Five Eyes. Those countries have agreed to collect, analyse and share information between each other, and much of this intelligence is believed to be related to internet activity these days.

The Five Eyes has grown to include a total of 14 countries, which is why you'll hear a lot about '14-eyes' when reading about VPNs. Third party countries were added over time, and now additionally include Denmark, France, Holland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Spain.

If your VPN provider is based within a country that is part of the 14 Eyes, it can be asked to share data of its customers and will legally have to comply. If your provider promises that it doesn't log any information, you're probably safe within the 14 Eyes, but it is more of a risk if privacy is your main concern and you might want to consider looking for a VPN provider that is based elsewhere.

What information does a VPN keep?

VPN providers have different levels of logging. Some choose to log connection time stamps, IP addresses and bandwidth used, while others log nothing at all. Some will also store basic payment information such as your name and address.

However, those looking for complete anonymity can seek a provider that accepts payment in the form of gift cards or Bitcoin, which makes it near-impossible to trace back to an individual.

What features should I look for in a VPN?

Most VPNs support all the major platforms but some offer more unusual platforms such as Kindle or Google Chrome. Also look out for restrictions on usage – some ban P2P while others are fine with it. Free- and trial versions normally have speed restrictions, while paid-for versions should have none.

Note that encryption can slow down connections. OpenVPN provides more protection, while PPTP is faster but less secure.

Also, if you're connecting to a server that's geographically far away, you are less likely to get the full speed that your ISP provides. Look out for server speed claims and make sure that you conduct tests to check whether you are happy early on, so you can get a refund within the time limit if you're not.

VPN bans in China and Russia

The past few years were rocky for VPNs. China has been cracking down on VPN use and as a result there are many that are no longer available from Chinese app stores. However, there are still VPN options available in China, including NordVPN for Windows

Russia has been following suit, with President Vladimir Putin recently signing a law that prohibits the use of VPNs in the country. The law came into force on 1 November 2017, making VPNs illegal from that point onwards in Russia.

We have lots more information and articles about VPNs here at Tech Advisor, all of which you can find over in our VPN hub.

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