10 best VPN services to use in 2022 (top providers tested and compared)

  • Author symbolSamuel Walker
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We tested every major VPN provider to bring you the list of 10 best VPN services, with speed, apps, security, and more compared.

A VPN is a crucial security tool to keep you safe when using the internet. It masks your IP address and encrypts your data to maintain your online privacy and security. The best VPN service will also unblock geo-restricted content.

It is important to note that a VPN typically adds a bit of load to your network and slows your internet speeds. That is because it has to encrypt your data and route it through secure servers. However, the VPN services on this list offer good speeds with a barely noticeable impact on your connectivity.

Continue reading to find out the best VPN services for 2022, why you need to use a VPN, features to consider when choosing a VPN, and more.

Quick summary of the best VPNs for 2022

VPN NAME
WHAT MAKES IT SO AMAZING?
Nordvpn table
NordVPN

Our top VPN recommendation for all activities. It offers lightning speeds, watertight security features, and unblocks all major streaming sites.

expressvpn table
ExpressVPN

Offers budget-friendly long-term plan, zero logs policy, unlimited bandwidth and data, SmartPlay feature.

protonvpn
ProtonVPN

A Swiss-based secure VPN with full-disk encrypted servers and strict no-logs policy, offers 10 simultaneous connections, NetShield feature, and a free VPN version.

Surfshark table
Surfshark

Unlimited simultaneous connections, SmartDNS feature, CleanWeb ad blocker, camouflage mode; all at an unbelievably affordable subscription cost.

PrivateInternetAccess table
PrivateInternetAccess

Unblocks Netflix, 30-day money-back guarantee, WireGuard protocol, ten simultaneous connections.

VyprVPN table
VyprVPN

Unblocks multiple services, automatic kill switch, NAT Firewall, Chameleon protocol.

IPVanish table
IPVanish

Multiple encryption protocols, a no-logs policy, apps for all platforms, split tunneling, DNS leak protection.

Hotspotshield table
Hotspot Shield

Free password manager, zero-logs policy, robust encryption, 45-day money-back guarantee.

Tunnelbear table
TunnelBear

Well-designed apps, unblocks geo-restricted content, 24/7 customer support, allows P2P connections.

cyberghost round logo
CyberGhost

Expansive server network, beginner-friendly, 7 simultaneous connections, P2P optimized servers.

Top 10 best VPNs in the market – The detailed list

Here we discover the top 2022 VPNs’ reviews following our round of in-depth research and vigorous testing.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN

A well-established VPN provider offering impressive unblocking capabilities, P2P-optimized servers, and robust security features.

Pros Fast speeds across all locations Allows P2P sharing Huge server coverage
Cons Desktop app may be tricky to use for some users

NordVPN is one of the most affordable premium VPNs on the market. The 2-year plan comes with a 68% discount plus three months for free. Luckily, you can try the service risk-free with the 30-days money-back guarantee. The SmartPlay feature is designed to unblock all geo-restrictions while keeping you safe. We tested over 100 servers and unblocked all major streaming sites, including Netflix, ESPN, and Amazon Prime Video.

Does NordVPN support torrenting? Yes, its P2P-optimized servers provide unlimited bandwidth and data, letting you torrent even large files.

Furthermore, NordVPN maintains your security with AES 256-bit encryption combined with perfect forward secrecy, SHA-384 authentication, and a 2048-bit DH key. Hence, no one can intercept your traffic or steal your data with these features.

The provider observes a valid no-logs policy and doesn’t keep any identifiable information. Also, it is based in Panama — a privacy-friendly country that isn’t part of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance.

Besides, comparing the other VPN services like ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN gives the latter an edge — thanks to its Double VPN feature.

Additionally, NordVPN is compatible with the Tor network and even offers dedicated Onion over VPN for additional privacy.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Offers budget-friendly long-term plan, zero logs policy, unlimited bandwidth and data, SmartPlay feature.

Pros Fast speeds across all locations Allows P2P sharing Advanced security and privacy features
Cons Slightly costly

ExpressVPN is a well-known provider in the market. It has managed to stand out from the rest by offering user-friendly apps, a vast and secure network, and amazing features.

With over 3000 servers spread across 160 locations in 94 countries, it lets you access content and services anywhere. Plus, its Smart Location feature will connect you to the most optimal server in one click.

The VPN has impressive unblocking capabilities and bypasses geo-restrictions of popular streaming services. Since the servers are super-fast, you will stream content in ultra HD on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. It is also a reliable option to unblock popular sites often blocked in workplaces and schools, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Google.

Likewise, ExpressVPN seamlessly handles resource-heavy games like the League of Legends. So, you can keep up with your teammates because it offers reliable and consistent speeds.

The company uses advanced security and privacy features to keep you safe online. These include AES 256-bit encryption combined with a 4096-bit RSA key, SHA-512 HMAC authentication, and perfect forward secrecy.

In addition, ExpressVPN supports P2P sharing across its entire server network. Because it offers unlimited bandwidth and data, you can torrent as much as you want without restrictions. Fortunately, it works well with uTorrent, BitTorrent, and other P2P clients.

Also, ExpressVPN provides an automatic kill switch (Network Lock) and robust DNS/IPv6 leak protection for complete anonymity.

3. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

A Swiss-based secure VPN with full-disk encrypted servers and strict no-logs policy, offers 10 simultaneous connections, NetShield feature, and a free VPN version.

Pros Fast speed connectivity with VPN accelerator Open-source apps Offers a free version
Cons Free version has limited features No live chat support

ProtonVPN has made it to this list of the best VPN services owing to its outstanding security and privacy features. This is one of those few VPN providers that take extra care of data security.

At first, they have set up a highly-secure infrastructure with carefully installed data centers not easily accessible. Then, having its headquarters in Switzerland, the provider also enjoys the liberty to implement a strict no-logs policy for its customers. Moreover, ProtonVPN additionally employs full disk encryption on its servers to prevent man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks.

Regarding performance, the VPN works fast enough to handle most bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming or gaming. It also deploys a VPN accelerator feature to further jazz up the connectivity.

Coupled with its huge server network that spans over 60 countries, this VPN is perfect for streaming your favorite media from any restricted library.

Besides, what makes it unique is its freemium model. That is, you can easily use it at no cost by creating a free account without sharing your personal information. Yet, you might get limited features in this case, with support for just one device and only three servers to connect.

Nonetheless, you can always choose to upgrade your subscription. Furthermore, you can even test the tool without stress, as ProtonVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. Surfshark

SurfsharkVPN

Unlimited simultaneous connections, SmartDNS feature, CleanWeb ad blocker, camouflage mode; all at an unbelievably affordable subscription cost.

Pros Intuitive interface Affordable long-term plan 24/7 live chat support
Cons Lacks some advanced functionalities

Surfshark has been in the VPN industry for a while but is already competing with established services. It is a user-friendly VPN with top-of-the-range features and unbeatable value for money.

It boasts a network of 3,200+ servers in 65 countries. Consequently, this vast network ensures less server congestion and improved speed and performance. You also get more options to connect if one of your existing connections gets blocked.

The VPN is powerful enough to unblock significant streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer, and more. It has high-speed servers, so you will continuously stream in high definition even if you connect to an international server. In addition, you can use the CleanWeb feature to eliminate pesky ads and block trackers and malware.

Moreover, it keeps you safe and secure with several high-end security features. They include DNS/IPv6 leak protection, AES 256-bit encryption, automatic kill switch, MultiHop (double VPN), and HackLock.

Also, Surfshark offers “Camouflage Mode” that hides your VPN activities, thus facilitating users in repressive countries. In addition, its NoBorders Mode automatically detects heavily censored regions and presents you with special servers to use.

5. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PrivateInernetAccess

Unblocks Netflix, 30-day money-back guarantee, WireGuard protocol, ten simultaneous connections.

Pros Effective malware and ad blocker Good value for money Dedicated apps for all major platforms
Cons Inconsistent speeds

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-known brand due to its reliability and dedication to privacy. It has a user-friendly interface and supports up to 10 devices at once.

The provider has recently undertaken a huge expansion drive to amass over twenty thousand servers worldwide. This is more than the combination of NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark. Notably, a massive server network is better for speeds as there is less congestion.

PIA is a great VPN for security and privacy. It employs AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, IP masking, and OpenVPN protocol, all of which contribute to better user privacy.

The only downside with this service is that it is based in the United States — a 5-Eyes country. Nonetheless, it employs a strict no-logs policy to protect the users.

6. VyprVPN

Vyprvpn

Unblocks multiple services, automatic kill switch, NAT Firewall, Chameleon protocol.

Pros Great at bypassing restrictions Compatible with all major platforms Responsive customer agents
Cons Does not support anonymous payments

VyprVPN is a Swiss-based vendor that boasts plenty of features you will need in a VPN. Notably, it offers high-quality services as it independently manages and runs its entire network.

The VPN has over 700 servers in 66 countries and over 200,000 IP addresses. It means you will always find an alternative IP address even if one of your connections is blocked.

Also, most of its servers are plenty fast to support smooth streaming. We could unblock multiple services during our review, including Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu using VyprVPN.

One of VyprVPN’s notable features is the Chameleon protocol. It offers extra protection and additional muscle to bypass even the toughest geo-restrictions.

The provider ensures your data and activities are secure with AES 256-bit encryption. There is also a NAT Firewall to block malware and an automatic kill switch to prevent leakage.

7. IPVanish

IPVanish

Multiple encryption protocols, a no-logs policy, apps for all platforms, split tunneling, DNS leak protection.

Pros Allows unlimited connections with one subsription Affordable pricing Easy to use apps
Cons Struggles to unblock some sites

IPVanish is another top contender on our list. It offers fast-speed connections and robust security features at an affordable price.

The VPN has over 2000 servers distributed across more than 75 locations. While it has fewer countries to offer than other more prominent services like NordVPN, it provides more servers within those regions. So, you can access a wide range of international content and services without worrying about VPN bans.

Recently, the provider adjusted its policy to allow unlimited simultaneous connections. In addition, since it supports all major platforms, you can protect all your devices at once.

Moreover, IPVanish can unblock Netflix US and other services such as DAZN, ESPN, and HBO Go. It guarantees to offer consistent connections and the best streaming quality. Unfortunately, it struggles to unblock some other services.

Besides, the VPN supports unlimited P2P sharing, letting you torrent securely and privately. So while your download speeds might drop when torrenting, you will not notice a significant change. Luckily, it also offers 250GB of SugarSync storage to back up your files.

8. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Free password manager, zero-logs policy, robust encryption, 45-day money-back guarantee.

Pros Excellent speeds Bypasses advanced geo-restrictions
Cons Kill switch feature exclusive to Windows only

Hotspot Shield is a good choice among VPNs if you value simplicity. It has decent global server coverage and unblocking capabilities and offers fast speeds.

The VPN app is compatible with all major devices, including macOS, Android, Windows, and iOS. Recently, it also added support for Android TV and routers. Although it only allows you to connect five simultaneous devices, you can install it on your router to add more connections.

Does Hotspot Shield unblock Netflix? That’s something every potential VPN user would ask before subscribing to it. Fortunately, this VPN easily bypasses geo-restrictions of all the major services, including Netflix USA, the UK, and other extensive libraries.

Besides unblocking geo-blocked content, Hotspot Shield supports torrenting. With unlimited bandwidth and fast-speed servers, you will seamlessly download and share torrent files.

Hotspot Shield offers a free version, although it is constrained. For instance, it allows you to access only one server, caps data usage to 500 MB daily, and slow speeds. There also are lots of ads and no live chat support with it. However, it provides a generous 45-day money-back guarantee so that you can try the paid services risk-free.

9. TunnelBear

TunnelBear

Well-designed apps, unblocks geo-restricted content, 24/7 customer support, allows P2P connections.

Pros Beginner-friendly Offers a free version Native apps for all major platforms
Cons Few server locations

TunnelBear offers both paid and free services. However, the free version is limited to only 500MB of data per month, which is only enough to browse anonymously. Nonetheless, its paid subscription is also affordable if you take the 1-year and 3-year plans.

The service operates a relatively small server network in 49 countries. Nonetheless, the offered locations are from all major regions such as Europe, North America, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, and more.

Getting started with the app is easy. It offers native apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. The provider also boasts Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions.

Moreover, the VPN allows you to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. It means you can protect most of your devices on a single plan.

Notably, its GhostBear mode acts as the obfuscation feature to hide your VPN activities and make it look like regular traffic. It is a helpful feature in countries with heavy censorship like Russia, Turkey, and UAE.

Also, its VigilantBear mode is a kill switch that prevents encrypted data from leaving your network if the VPN connection drops.

10. CyberGhost

cyberghost

Expansive server network, beginner-friendly, 7 simultaneous connections, P2P optimized servers.

Pros Strong security measures Easy to use apps Generous money-back guarantee
Cons Some servers are slow

CyberGhost is another formidable VPN to use in 2022. It has a good mix of ease-of-use, reliability, security, and affordability.

The VPN gets around geo-blocks of most popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, etc. Specifically, it has numerous streaming-optimized servers for a smooth experience. But, unfortunately, you cannot use it to access Amazon Prime Videos.

It operates over 7,000 servers in 90+ countries, giving you plenty of options to unblock international content. In addition, the Best Server Location feature lets you connect to the fastest server based on your speed, distance, and latency.

Besides, CyberGhost offers all the essential features you need to stay safe online. For instance, the AES 256-bit military-grade encryption ensures your data and traffic remains protected from third parties. Likewise, its automatic kill switch breaks your traffic if the VPN connection is interrupted.

What is a VPN, and how does it function?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a privacy tool that provides a safe and secure way to connect to the internet. You can use it to access geo-blocked content, protect your data and browsing activities, and more.

VPNs were initially designed to connect business networks over the internet. But nowadays, they are popular with the general public as more people become conscious of their online security and privacy.

But how does a VPN work? We hear you ask.

Well, a VPN routes your traffic through a private server operated by the provider. So, when using the internet, your data will originate from the VPN server instead of your device. Essentially, a VPN is an intermediary between the internet and your computer. It helps hide your IP address and location, thereby protecting your identity.

Why do you need a VPN?

There are many reasons why you should start using a VPN. Here are a few benefits of using a VPN service.

Protection

As long as your device is internet-enabled, you are at risk of cyberattacks. Hence, a VPN comes in handy to protect you online by encrypting the data leaving your device. It creates a secure tunnel that prevents your ISP, hackers, and other third parties from seeing your online activities.

Unblock streaming services

Due to copyright and licensing issues, many streaming services use geo-blocks to restrict their content. As a result, the catalog of movies and TV shows you can watch depends on your location. Hence, some countries such as the US, Canada, and the UK have more content than other regions.

A VPN helps you get past the geo-restrictions and access your favorite media anywhere. For this, it gives you a new IP address, tricking the streaming site that you are within the permitted country, thereby unblocking the desired content for you.

Evade censorship

In some countries, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block certain websites. For example, China uses the Great Firewall to restrict many foreign services like Google, YouTube, Skype, etc.

A VPN will help you evade censorship and access whichever content you want, regardless of your country of residence.

Torrenting safety

When torrenting without a VPN, other users can see your IP address. Besides, your ISP can throttle your internet speed if it finds you torrenting. A VPN will mask your internet activities from your ISP and other snoopers, allowing you to torrent safely and privately.

Features to consider when choosing a VPN

Security

A VPN protects your data and activities when using the internet. Therefore, look out for features in a VPN that will keep you safe and secure.

Some standard VPN security features include military-grade encryption, kill switch, leak protection, and obfuscation.

Speed

Speed is another crucial aspect to consider when choosing a VPN. Although many variables can affect your internet speed, you wouldn’t want a sluggish VPN.

Many providers have a feature that will enable you to connect to the fastest server. Even better, some vendors offer multiple configurations for different purposes. It ensures you get consistent connections, whether streaming, torrenting or gaming.

Accessibility

Some VPNs are only available in certain regions. So, if you want it to access geo-blocked content, you should look out for the VPN’s availability by country. A high-quality VPN will ensure you can connect to servers in different parts of the world.

Ease of use

A VPN that is hard to use is not worth your time. Hence, when looking for the best VPN services, don’t compromise usability.

Since the VPN technology is complicated, the provider should make the interface intuitive.

Compatibility

A good VPN should support a wide range of operating systems and platforms. Although, most premium services offer between 5 and 10 simultaneous connections. Still, some like Surfshark allow you to connect as many devices as you want.

P2P connections

Many ISPs discourage peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing. But, although P2P is a grey area, it is handy in several ways.

So, look for a VPN that supports P2P connections and does not throttle the bandwidth. Ideally, a reliable VPN should offer you outstanding sharing capabilities without any limitations. 

Bottom line

Due to the sheer number of VPNs available, choosing the right one for your needs can be tricky. So, we have made it easier for you by singling out the top 10 best VPNs in 2022. Our research involved value for money, security, privacy, and performance.

Fundamentally, a VPN should safeguard your data and activities from prying eyes. Besides, it should help you to access geo-blocked content.

Gladly, the VPNs reviewed above are all reliable and work well with almost every device. Our top pick is NordVPN, though, as it offers fast speeds, robust encryption, and unblocks all major streaming sites.

We hope that this list will help you narrow down your choices and pick the one that meets your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it illegal to use a VPN?
Should I always use a VPN?
How do I test if the VPN service is working?
Can I use a free VPN?
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What makes a VPN stand out from the rest?
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About the author

Samuel Walker

Sam Walker is a tech-focused writer who has traveled the world but currently lives in Australia. He has a keen interest in digital privacy and security. Sam loves testing new technology and researching the latest security trends to keep others informed (and ultimately safe) online.

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