This is a list of my BEST VPNs in 2021. If you want a more detailed and comprehensive list, click to read this other post on Top VPNs. VPNs are much talked about nowadays since apps like Netflix, Hulu and the rest became popular – and we need to stay even more secure. This will be a simple, straight to the point post. Let’s dig in.
Best VPNs in 2021.
What is a VPN?
A VPN ensures that the information traveling between your connected device (computer, smartphone, tablet) and the VPN’s server is encrypted — and therefore secure from hackers, cyber criminals, and data thieves. As an added bonus, with your VPN connected, you can also access restricted websites and apps from anywhere in the world.
How do VPNs work?
Without the security of a VPN, your web traffic is exposed. This means that cyber criminals can intercept your personal data and your ISP can see what you do online.
When you connect to a VPN, your web traffic is routed through our secure VPN servers, where it is then encrypted. This acts as a ‘tunnel’ for your data to travel through, keeping your sensitive information secure.
Features a VPN Must Have
Given the large number of VPN services available, it can be challenging deciding which one to sign up for. This quick list will help.
- Plenty server locations: Any good provider will have a healthy spread of coverage across a wide range of countries, giving you more options overall.
- A great mobile app: Most providers have apps for at least Android and iOS, but check out the setup instructions in the Support pages, too.
- A kill switch: As the name suggests, it kills the connection, preventing unencrypted data from being transmitted (and your true IP from being leaked).
- Anonymous DNS servers
- No log policy
- Router support: Rather than installing the VPN on all your individual devices, an alternate strategy is to just install the VPN directly on the router of your home network, and then every device connected to the network will have VPN protection. Not all VPNs do this though.
- Reasonable pricing
Now that you know what VPNs are, how they work, and the features they should have, here’s our list of 5 best VPNs in 2021.
Let’s start with the cheapest.
1. Surfshark VPN
With top streaming performance and intuitive apps on just about every device, Surfshark is makes it to my number one of the best VPNs in 2021 – on a budget at just $2.49 a month – and its unlimited connections policy will cover all your devices.
Surfshark is a very good VPN and very safe to use – which is why it is on our top 5 best VPNs in 2021, with AES-256 bit encryption, a kill switch, split tunneling, Netflix and torrenting access. And with over 3,200 servers in 65 countries, it can work for users around the world with fast speeds, particularly on Macs.
It also has a lot of strong security features that the average VPN doesn’t offer, and is very user-friendly. There is still room for improvement in some areas though, especially considering its server network is pretty small compared to many other VPNs.
Pricing starts at $12.95/month and $6.49/6 months.
2. Nord VPN
Arguably the biggest name in the VPN industry, it’s quite likely you’ll have heard of NordVPN. Thankfully it’s not all hot air, as Nord delivers a premium service that’s hugely secure and great for streaming – and at just $3.30 a month plus three months free, it’s decent value, too.
NordVPN is one of the best all-around VPNs on the market, not just on our list of top 5 VPNs in 2021. It offers top notch security features, strict no-log policy, fast speeds, and a lot of servers. Whether you’re torrenting, streaming, or need double security, NordVPN offers a good way to maintain your privacy.
The 1 month plan starts at $11.95/month while the annual plan starts at $4.92/yr. There are 2 year plans but why would anyone want to commit to any one company for 2 years?
We think ExpressVPN is the best VPN on the market, with great performance in just about every area.
There’s a reason it is on our 5 best VPNs list – It’s really great. ExpressVPN positions itself as a premium VPN service: It costs a lot because it’s worth the price. Tests have confirmed that it is indeed a high-quality VPN when it comes to security, features, and support. It offers a great mobile app as well.
ExpressVPN offers unbeatable security, one of the most essential elements of a good VPN. It’s also feature-rich, giving users the flexibility they need to stay protected.
Their most popular plan goes for $8.32/month for 1 year, $12.95/month and $9.99/month for 6 months.
4. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is a secure VPN ideal for streaming. It has a ton of location options, is great at unblocking, and pegs very fast speeds. Plus it works in China.
Hotspot Shield is also one of the few VPN services that offers a free subscription tier. That comes with limitations, however. The free Basic subscription of Hotspot Shield restricts you to only US VPN servers, one simultaneous connection, and 500MB of bandwidth per day.
A subscription with Hotspot Shield goes for $12.99/month, $8.99 monthly/6 months and $5.99/yr.
CyberGhost has a feature-loaded, user-friendly interface, with convenient buttons in the Windows client software for streaming media, torrenting files, protecting your Wi-Fi transmissions and evading censorship.
It boasts the largest network of VPN servers we’ve yet seen and allows a generous seven simultaneous connections – some allow only five. It has also expanded its reach beyond VPNs with other security tools. With CyberGhost VPN, you can stream Netflix on any device, if you’re at home or on the go. (Not all VPNs do this.)
A subscription with CyberGhost starts at $12.99 per month. The annual plan costs $47.88.