The Best VPN Services Of 2023

In a world where data breaches affected 108.9 million people in the third quarter of 2022 alone, taking control of your data has become a necessity. In the always-online world we live in, protecting your online security and privacy is more crucial today than it has ever been. While you can't stop data breaches entirely, you can limit the amount of information an attacker can gather for an attack. One way to accomplish that is with a virtual private network (VPN).

In addition to having antivirus software installed on your computer or phone, having a VPN is a great complementary tool to add to your arsenal of online protection. A VPN can shield your online identity by securing your connection. This secure connection keeps hackers and other bad actors from being able to gain the required information about your and your internet connection. In addition to securing your connection, many VPN services can help keep you protected from accidentally launching a site riddled with malware.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a private and secure tunnel created to send your information through. While it is possible to create your own, a VPN is usually purchased as a service through a company that specializes in this technology. The best part is that VPNs are very easy to use. Very often, all you have to do is download the VPN client, log in with your credentials, and hit connect. The software will take care of establishing a route through the VPN servers. Depending on the company, VPN services can work on computers, phones, routers, streaming devices, and gaming consoles.

Once you hit connect, the VPN creates a private tunnel through its secure network. All of the data that is sent to and from your device will use this secure connection for delivery. Your information will remain private because every bit of it gets encrypted before being sent to its destination. A VPN works at the system level, securing any information being sent from your device through the network. In contrast, services such as proxies can only secure your connection on an application-by-application basis.

Why use a VPN?

Being connected to the internet at all times is a powerful tool that comes at the expense of your privacy and security. Your internet service provider (ISP) can see what you do online because your internet connection is funneled to and from their servers. Your ISP assigns you a public internet protocol (IP) address (via Network World). 

This address is unique to you and follows you around the internet. This allows your ISP, websites, and other companies to track your online activities. Even if you use incognito mode on your browser, your ISP can track your online activity. Using a VPN gives you the power to control your online presence and hide your IP address from your ISP.

In addition to keeping your data and privacy intact, a VPN has other uses as well. A common use for a VPN is to access region-blocked services such as Disney+, HBO Max, or Netflix. Simply selecting a server in a different country will let you access the curated content for that country using your subscription. This is great if you are traveling to another country but would like to access content from your home country. It can also help you escape data-throttling practices from certain ISPs. If it can't see the data coming to and from your device, it won't be able to track the amount of data you are using. A VPN can also help you get around geo-restrictions and censorship when traveling to certain countries.

What to look for in a VPN

There are several things that you should look for when picking a VPN service. VPN services come in free and paid versions. Paid versions are subscription based but give you access to faster connection speeds, a larger selection of servers, and less congested servers.

You want to make sure that the service supports strong encryption protocols, which ensures your data remains secure. You will want to make sure it has a no-logs policy, which means your VPN won't collect or store any of the information you send through its servers.

To ensure a quality experience, you should make sure that the VPN service has a fast connection and make sure to see how many devices can be used at the same time. It won't do you any good if you want to use your VPN service on five devices but are only allowed to have three connections going at a time.

When selecting a VPN service make sure it offers 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week customer support. Check to see if it offers chat or only telephone support and make sure it comes with a money-back guarantee. That way you are free to test it out and make sure it works for your needs.


TunnelBear is a VPN service that offers data protection and a great privacy policy. To protect your data, TunnelBear encrypts your data using AES-256 (advanced encryption standard) by default. It offers domain name service (DNS) leak protection, so you can be sure your ISP will never get your IP address. The service has over 4,700 servers located in 47 different countries.

TunnelBear respects its user's privacy. Its policies state that it doesn't monitor, log, or sell any of your data. It also performs an annual, independent security audit, so you know you can trust its code base. Its privacy policy outlines exactly the type of data it collects — which isn't much outside of your email.

TunnelBear offers three different VPN plans. The free plan has a 500MB data limit and is used to make sure that it works for you. It has an unlimited plan that offers an unlimited amount of devices to use the service simultaneously with no data limits. It also has a plan for businesses, giving you a centralized billing and management center. TunnelBear charges per user for the business plan.


Windscribe is a solid choice for people who frequently torrent or stream content from places like Netflix. It offers servers in 69 different countries spanning 112 cities. To provide the best experience, Windscribe has specialized servers for streaming. The streaming service allows for unlimited simultaneous connections and has a generous 10GB data limit for its free tier. You do have to give your email and confirm it to get the total 10GB. If you choose not to share your email, then it caps you at 2GB.

It offers a military-grade AES-256 encrypted connection and has a no-logs policy to keep all of your information safe. It has DNS-leak protection and a kill switch to ensure your data is never accidentally exposed to your ISP. To further enhance your security, Windscribe gives you access to R.O.B.E.R.T, its spam and malware protector. Its support options are limited, so it may not be the best choice for people who may need a bit more help setting it up or resolving issues.

Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN has over 750 servers located in 45 different locations. It offers a best location detector to automatically connect you to the closest and fastest server available to you. Atlas VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections on an unlimited number of devices. It offers a multi-hop feature with its service. Multi-hop sends your data through an additional VPN server for added protection, but will slow your connection speed. Atlas VPN has a page that shows you which servers to connect to for the multi-hop feature and which one is the best to use for streaming content.

In addition to its AES-256 encryption standard and no-logs policy, it comes with a data breach monitor to keep your data safe. It utilizes a Network Kill Switch to prevent IP or DNS leaks. A Network Kill Switch disables your internet connection in the event you lose your connection to the VPN.

Atlas VPN offers a relatively basic pricing structure. There is no free plan and only one paid plan with different service lengths. You can purchase the service in one-month, one-year, and three-year increments. The longer the duration you pay for, the more you will save.


As a CyberGhost user, you get access to RAM-less servers, a 256-bit AES secure connection, and a solid no-logs policy. RAM-less (random access memory) servers offer an additional layer of protection over traditional disk-based ones because RAM needs power to store data. If the server was ever turned off or seized, any data on it would instantly get deleted. CyberGhost has over 9,700 servers located in 91 countries.

CyberGhost gives you the ability to have a dedicated IP address for an additional cost. This gives you the same IP address every time you connect to the service, allowing you to use the web as you normally would. Sometimes with shared IP addresses, you have to jump through extra hoops by needing to verify your accounts before being able to access them. This is because the IP address is shared with other people and the systems you are trying to access may think you are a bot. CyberGhost gives you all-day support and a 45-day money-back guarantee.


ProtonVPN was built as a tool to aid its secure email client, ProtonMail. Proton developed the VPN so journalists and activists in restrictive countries could use its mail client without being blocked by the country they were in. This produced one of the best VPN services on the market with a great free plan. The free plan may limit your speed somewhat compared to the paid plan, but it doesn't have a data limit. So you could use the free plan indefinitely.

You get strong AES-256 encryption and a no-logs policy. Like all of Proton's services, ProtonVPN is open source. Even though anyone can read the source code, it had the code used in the VPN independently audited. ProtonVPN has over 1,900 servers located in 67 countries. It doesn't have RAM-only servers, but its disk-based servers are fully encrypted. It is also backed by the privacy-focused laws of Switzerland.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has been around for over 10 years and is the best VPN on the market for people in the United States. While Private Internet Access has servers all over the world, it is the only service in this list that has a server in each state.

Not only are you likely to live near a server (especially if you live in the United States), but the servers themselves are RAM-only servers. Private Internet Access has a no-logs policy and its apps are open source, allowing anyone to review the codebase to help fix vulnerabilities. You can choose between AES-128 or AES-256 encryption ciphers. You get a malware and adware blocker with Private Internet Access, and it offers antivirus software for an additional fee if you want additional security. You can also add a dedicated IP address as well. The service can run up to 10 devices simultaneously. While there is no free plan to try it out, it does give you a 30-day money-back guarantee.


IPVanish offers a sizable server base with over 2,000 servers located in over 75 countries. IPVanish has a no-logs policy, but the servers themselves are not RAM-only. It doesn't restrict the number of connections as it allows an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections. If you are a heavy torrent downloader, you will be pleased to know that IPVanish doesn't restrict torrenting on its service at all. It does encrypt all of its traffic using AES-256.

There is no free tier, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It also doesn't offer much in terms of extras. You won't get an ad or malware blocker or just about any other type of protection. IPVanish is a VPN and a VPN only. It completed an independent audit in spring of 2022, but the audit hasn't been released to the public. It offers support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has an app for just about every major platform on the market.


Surfshark allows for unlimited simultaneous connections on its 3,200 servers spread around 100 countries. A nice thing about the Surfshark servers is that every server enjoys the same protocols. It doesn't offer specific servers for a specific purpose. It has a bypasser mode, which enables you to let specific apps skip the VPN connection entirely. This is useful for things like banking apps because otherwise, you will have to prove who you are every time you sign into one with a CAPTCHA.

This VPN has a strict no-logs policy, AES-256 encryption, RAM-only servers, a kill switch, and a camouflage mode. Camouflage mode hides your connection so even your ISP can't tell that you are using a VPN. You also get DNS leak protection, as well as an adware and malware blocker.

If you need an all-in-one solution, Surfshark offers a suite with an antivirus included called Surfshark One. There is no free plan, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.


NordVPN offers all of the security features you could want in a VPN service. You get a no-logs policy, AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, malware protection, adware protection, a dark web monitor, and multi-factor authentication. It comes with DNS leak protection and private DNS, which shields your activities from public DNS servers.

It has over 5,400 servers located in 60 countries and it ranks as one of the fastest VPNs on the market. You will want to connect to a server near you to take advantage of these fast connection speeds. You get up to six simultaneous connections or you can use it on your router for whole-home protection. It offers a dedicated IP address if that is something that you need. NordVPN doesn't have a free plan, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It is available for most platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebooks, Android, iOS, and gaming consoles.


ExpressVPN is a popular and well-rounded VPN. It developed its protocol called Lightway to ensure a stable connection and fast speeds. It has over 3,000 servers in 160 locations spread out over 94 countries. It does well for unblocking streaming video content from around the world. It is also one of the few VPNs that can get you a connection to the outside world from within China.

It offers a strict no-logs policy, RAM-only servers, and AES-256 encryption. The no-logs policy has been independently verified. ExpressVPN has no free plan and the service is on the expensive side. It only allows for five simultaneous connections, which is a bit limiting. You can add it to your home router to get around that limitation, but it's disappointing to see ExpressVPN limiting its users to just five devices at a time. It also doesn't come with any other security features like an ad or malware blocker. It is supported on most major platforms and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.