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Best VPN service 2024

Our choice for the best VPN is ExpressVPN, but we have an overview of nine providers to help you find the right one to suit your needs.

Best VPN service, ExpressVPN on an iMac.

A VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) is a privacy tool that can help to protect your information when you’re browsing, streaming, or gaming online. The best VPN providers encrypt your data safely and route it through their servers, and can also change your location to access websites and content abroad like streaming services when you’re on holiday, or gaming lobbies in other countries.

VPNs are big business and have become increasingly popular as we become more aware of our security on the internet. Thankfully, as our internet privacy has eroded more and more over the years, the best VPN services have risen to challenge the invasive nature of certain algorithms and cookies. Nowadays, if you’re looking for a VPN provider, you’re almost spoiled for choice, with so many options and each of them provides a slightly different package.

If you’re struggling to figure out which VPN is best for you, you’ve come to the right place. We give ExpressVPN our highest recommendation for reasons we’ll get into below, but we’ve reviewed ten other top picks for you too, including the best cheap VPN and the best free VPN.

Here are our top three VPN providers at a glance:

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

ExpressVPN

The best VPN overall.

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ExpressVPN specifications:
Server totals 3,000+ servers in over 100 countries
Compatible services/games Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, FIFA, Minecraft, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
Free trial No free trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 8
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • TrustedServer system gives extra privacy
  • Lightway protocol provides speed
Reasons to avoid
  • Slightly more expensive than other providers
  • Fewer individual servers than other providers

With servers in 94 countries around the world, compatibility with most major streaming platforms, superb download speeds, and countless other benefits, ExpressVPN is our choice for the best VPN service overall. As it is a giant of the VPN world, there’s no doubt that many readers will already have heard of it.

It’s great for gamers trying to find better lobbies, it’s great for movie fans who want to access the libraries of their favorite streaming platforms while abroad, and it’s excellent for keeping all of your internet activity private and discreet. It recently expanded its allowance on simultaneous connections too, upping it from five to eight, and allowing you to install it on as many devices as you like.

If privacy is a top concern, is TrustedServer system will appeal. What this does is prevent servers from being able to write any information about your browsing habits when ExpressVPN is on. It’s a good reassurance that it’s not guzzling your data to the same extent as your internet service provider (ISP).

Exclusive ExpressVPN deal

If you sign up to ExpressVPN via any of the links in this article, you’ll get an exclusive deal that gives you an extra three months of VPN coverage at no extra charge. This deal works out as 49% less than the cost of the ExpressVPN monthly plan. If you fancy getting those extra months but still need a bit of time to try the VPN out, take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can get a complete refund at any point within the first month.

Read our ExpressVPN review.

CyberGhost

The best streaming VPN.

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CyberGhost specifications:
Server totals 11,500+ in 100+ countries
Compatible services/games FIFA, PUBG, GTA Online, Overwatch, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, Hulu, and more
Free trial 24 hours
Money-back guarantee 45 days
Simultaneous connections 7
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Low price
  • Broad streaming service compatibility
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Reasons to avoid
  • Could use more simultaneous connections
  • Slower than some other top providers

Fans of streaming services know the pain of region-locked content – thank goodness CyberGhost gives you a way to get around that. With more than 11,500 servers in over 100 countries, you can potentially gain access to a lot of film and movie content that would otherwise not be available.

CyberGhost is compatible with all the major streaming platforms, including Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, so you shouldn’t have any trouble accessing these services when your VPN is switched on. On top of that, it has a 45-day money-back guarantee, so if there’s one show you really want to watch and that’s it, you could watch it within those 45 days and then get your money back.

This is also one of the few major VPN providers that let you test it out with a free trial. Admittedly, it only lasts for a day (and the other providers with a trial give you longer), but that’s still an opportunity to take CyberGhost for a spin and make sure it does what you need it to. Now that it has started to undergo third-party audits to prove its integrity, it’s a more appealing choice than ever before.

Read our CyberGhost review.

NordVPN

The fastest VPN services.

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NordVPN specifications:
Server totals 6,000+ servers in 60+ countries
Compatible services/games Dota 2, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, GTA Online, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Prime Video, and more
Free trial No free trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 6
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Fastest VPN
  • Works with most streaming services
Reasons to avoid
  • Servers in fewer countries than other providers
  • On the slightly more expensive end of the price spectrum

Like ExpressVPN, you’ve probably heard of NordVPN before, as it is easily one of the biggest names in the VPN arena. When tested on the OpenVPN encryption (with the ProPrivacy VPN Speed Testing Tool), it had an average server download speed of 65.79Mbit/s, making it the fastest VPN on this list.

When a certain activity uses a lot of bandwidth, your ISP will artificially slow down the connection speeds for it. Not only will NordVPN mask your activities and stop your ISP from being able to slow things down, but you might even find things generally run a bit faster when you have it switched on.

With over 6,000 different servers across 60 countries, you’ve got tons of connection points, and with its WireGuard protocol, it encrypts data much more quickly than many of its competitors too. Whether you use Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android, you’ll find that it offers dedicated support to your platform of choice, making NordVPN a great all-around choice for anyone seeking a speedy VPN.

Read our NordVPN review.

PureVPN

The most trusted VPN.

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PureVPN specifications:
Server totals 6,500+ in 78+countries
Compatible games/services New World, Counter Strike: GO, League of Legends, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and more
Free trial $0.99 seven-day paid trial
Money-back guarantee 31 days
Simultaneous connnections 10
Router support Yes (PPTP and OpenVPN only)
Reasons to buy
  • Undergoes third-party privacy audits
  • Allows up to ten simultaneous connections
Reasons to avoid
  • No free trial
  • Router supported limited

While every VPN on this list is a trusted and respected business, we picked out PureVPN as the most trusted for one key reason: privacy audits. While every provider here has a no-logs policy, PureVPN goes a step further by willingly submitting themselves to third-party audits so that it can be conclusively proven that they aren’t making tabs on their customers. For the more privacy-conscious internet user, this will be particularly appealing.

Additionally, these audits help to ensure that the business stays up to date with threats to privacy in the ever-evolving internet landscape. If and when the auditors identify any areas in which the service could be any more privacy-focused, they then make any appropriate changes to rectify the issues.

Annoyingly, there isn’t a free trial for this VPN (only a paid one) so you’ll just have to rely on the 31-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out (which we appreciate won’t be for everyone). On the other hand, though, PureVPN lets you have up to ten simultaneous connections (enough for most households) which, short of having no cap at all, is one of the most generous allowances you’ll find.

Private Internet Access

The best cheap VPN.

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Private Internet Access specifications:
Server totals 35,000+ servers in 91+ countries
Compatible games/services League of Legends, Halo Infinite, Valorant, PUBG, YouTube, Disney Plus, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Free trial No free trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Low prices than most
  • Largest selection of servers
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
Reasons to avoid
  • One of the slower providers on this list
  • No third-party privacy audits

If you’re on a tight budget, but don’t want to go for a free VPN, then Private Internet Access might be a good choice. We’ve partnered with them in order to provide PCGN readers with an exclusive deal: for $79 (£43.94), you get 38 months’ worth of VPN cover, which works out as just $2.03 (£1.57) a month, and then you don’t need to worry about internet privacy again for over three years.

You can also enjoy the added security of a kill switch, and a no-logs policy, plus built-in ad-blocking functionality. The only real downside is that its download speeds aren’t quite up to the level of the speedier providers on this list. The service got even better recently too, with the removal on the cap on simultaneous connections, meaning your whole household, no matter how big, can have it on on all their devices at the same time.

The VPN service itself is pretty great too. Private Internet Access has an enormous selection of 35,000+ servers in 91 countries and it’s compatible with all the major streaming platforms. Although the range of countries is rivaled or surpassed by other providers, its sheer number of servers puts it quite far ahead of any other providers when the overall total is considered.

Surfshark

The best for multiple devices and families.

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Surfshark specifications:
Server totals 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries
Compatible services/games Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter Strike: GO, Overwatch, YouTube, Hulu, Prime Video, Netflix, and more
Free trial One week (mobile and Mac only)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connection
  • Lower price
  • Offers a free trial
Reasons to avoid
  • Has a crack in its no-logs armor

These days, a few of the VPN providers are offering an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, but it Surfshark is one of the OGs and we respect it for that. In addition to being a trendsetter, it’s also a very decent VPN and one that has continuously expanded the range of its services over the years.

It is compatible with a number of streaming services, including Amazon Prime and Netflix. If you need to keep the kids occupied, this lets you access the regionally exclusive content from 100 different countries, meaning plenty of content to binge on, and with speeds of 2x10Gbps per server, you won’t have them moaning about buffering either.

If you want to take Surfshark for a spin, then you’ll be pleased to hear that it has a week-long free trial, which should give you plenty of time to make sure that it does everything you need it to. They only thing that we can say against it is that, though technically a no-logs VPN, it does record your IP address when you use it. This is deleted very soon after you’re done and not a huge issue, but something for privacy purists to be conscious of.

Read our Surfshark review.

PrivadoVPN

The best new VPN.

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PrivadoVPN specifications:
Server totals 500+ servers in 46 countries (paid), 12 servers in 8 countries (free)
Compatible services/games GTA Online, Minecraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, Overwatch, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more (paid)
Free trial Free plan with limited servers and 10GB monthly allowance available
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 10 (paid), 1 (free)
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Free plan available indefinitely
  • Allows up to ten simultaneous connections
Reasons to avoid
  • Smaller server selection
  • Fewer server locations

While it isn’t as well established as some of the other businesses on this list, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge PrivadoVPN. With its no-logs policy and IP leak protection, it does a fantastic job of keeping all of your private data, well, private.

Meanwhile, being able to use it with up to ten simultaneous connections means that it should be able to protect the privacy of most households. Even some of the bigger, well-established providers have a cap on simultaneous connections that’s less than ten.

If you don’t use the internet all that often, you might want to give the PrivadoVPN free plan a go. Its biggest limitation is only allowing you to use 10GB of data a month, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you only want to use it for certain sensitive searches, or if you don’t go online too often. It might be more limiting than the paid packages, but it’s certainly worth a look if you’re working on a tight budget.

Ivacy VPN

The most private VPN.

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Ivacy VPN specifications:
Server totals 6,500+ in 100+ countries
Compatible services/games Dota 2, Call of Duty: Warzone, Minecraft, Overwatch, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, and more
Free trial One day free trial, or $0.99 week-long paid trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 10
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption
  • Affordable prices
  • Loads of server locations
Reasons to avoid
  • No external security audit
  • Free trial could be longer

Ivacy VPN is another of the less well-known providers that we wanted to cast a light on. Lesser brand recognition does not equal lesser quality, especially not in this instance. In addition to the military-grade 256-bit encryption that will keep your internet search activity as private as possible, Ivacy VPN also boasts an impressive 6,500+ servers in more than 100 countries around the world. It’s an easy choice for the most private VPN.

The only real chink in its privacy armor is its lack of third-party security audit. Once upon a time, these audits were more of a rarity and if a VPN did have one, it was a sign of them being especially trustworthy. These days, however, it’s almost standard for VPNs to undergo them, so it’s a shame that this provider has yet to do so.

Nonetheless, Ivacy VPN has a no-logs policy, and the optional additions of a dedicated IP and port forwarding for those who need them, providing high levels of privacy and discretion. Founded in 2006, Ivacy VPN builds on top of decades of experience and is a real ‘hidden gem’ of the VPN world.

AtlasVPN

The best free VPN.

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AtlasVPN specifications:
Server totals 1,000+ servers in 37 countries (paid), 4 servers in 3 countries (free)
Compatible services/games FIFA, Overwatch, Dota 2, Halo Infinite, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu, and more
Free trial Free plan with limited servers and 5GB monthly allowance available
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited (paid), two (free)
Router support No
Reasons to buy
  • Free to use indefinitely
  • Allows simultaneous connections on free plan
Reasons to avoid
  • Small server selection even on paid plan
  • No router support available

Though it isn’t the only VPN on this list to offer a free package, it has something that most other free VPN providers fail to offer: the ability to have simultaneous connections. Though it has a small cap (you can only have two) that still sets it quite far ahead of other free plans that only let you use them on one device at a time.

The main limitation of this free version is that it only lets you use 5GB of data per month and that it only has four servers for you to choose from. Even so, if you don’t go online that often, or only want to keep certain searches private, then this is a fine choice.

The most important thing is that it maintains its no-logs policy, and that’s something that AtlasVPN definitely does. Though you might have data limitations, you can still browse the internet with complete privacy without spending a penny – which is a nice contrast when compared to free VPNs that harvest your data like it’s the first crop after a long winter.

IPVanish

The best VPN for encrypted storage space.

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IPVanish specifications:
Server totals 2,200+ servers in 75+ countries
Compatible services/games Minecraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Roblox, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, and more
Free trial Seven days (mobile only)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Router support Yes
Reasons to buy
  • Options for up to 250GB SugarSync encrypted storage space
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
Reasons to avoid
  • Small server selection
  • Limited server locations when compared to others

Have you got a lot of media you want to keep safe on your computer? In that case, you might want to take a look at IPVanish, because it can provide you with up to 250GB of SugarSync encrypted storage and backup – allowing you to protect huge amounts of content.

Though it may not have quite as many servers as some of its competitors (2,200+ in 75 countries), it does allow for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections and is compatible with the majority of streaming services. If you have trouble streaming through your native connection, this VPN might just hold the solution.

IPVanish is also a rare example of a VPN provider that allows its users to have an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. This will definitely be appealing to anybody who has a large household full of devices that need to have their privacy protected.

How to choose the best VPN

Our list of the best VPN services was put together by trying and testing each service, comparing their features and even looking at thousands of user reviews. This is what we considered (and what you should) when choosing the best VPNs:

  • Price: We know everyone is working with a different budget. While some people will want the VPN with the fastest speed, others will want a cheap VPN option. We wanted to ensure that we included affordable VPN options in this mix
  • Platform compatibility: It’s important to decide what you want a VPN for, and to find a compatible provider. For example, the best VPNs use DNS access on multiple devices like your phone, laptop, gaming PC, console, and even browser with browser extensions
  • Ease of use: Most of us aren’t VPN experts, and even if we are we want a provider that’s quick to use. We considered how easy it was to use each VPN provider and connect to the service
  • Privacy audits: Some VPNs undergo regular third-party audits to confirm that they aren’t tracking their customers’ data and are acting responsibly. An audit will help you to make an informed decision and it’s worth looking at when a VPN provider last had a security audit and how comprehensive that audit was. Did it cover the provider’s mobile apps, extensions, and infrastructure?
  • Server quality: VPN providers often quote a huge number of servers in their specs, but it’s about the quality of those servers as well as quantity. You’ll get a good VPN experience through the combination of software, hardware, and other factors. Generally speaking, though, the more countries a VPN has servers in, the better, especially if you’re someone who needs to connect through specific regions
  • Server speeds: If the average download speed through a VPN’s servers is low enough, your experience on the internet experience may be significantly hindered

Find out more about how we test VPNs and hardware at PCGamesN. If you have any outstanding questions, check out the FAQs below:

Do VPN server totals matter?

Yes, they do, though they are just one of many factors to consider when deciding on a provider. Having lots of individual servers means that there’s a smaller risk of server congestion, which is slowdown caused by too many customers using the same server. Meanwhile, the more server locations a VPN has, the more countries you can connect through, which will always be useful for people who need to connect via certain regions for whatever reason.

Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix?

No, it isn’t. It is against Netflix’s terms and conditions, but it’s not something that it has been known to enforce. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever get strict on it in the future (look at account sharing), but for the time being, there aren’t any really serious consequences to using it in that way.

Can the police track a VPN?

While a VPN stops the police from being able to track your online activity in real time, they can still contact your provider and ask for records of your activities to be turned over, if they believe that you have been doing something illegal. Of course, if a provider has a strict no-logs policy in place, then there may be no chance of them accessing your records. We do not condone the use of a VPN to illegally access exploitive or harmful content, and if that’s what you’re doing, we hope you get caught.

How much does a VPN cost?

Prices vary enormously. You might be paying the equivalent of about $6 (£5) per month, or you might get something that works out as low as $1  (£0.80), though keep in mind that when we talk about the monthly costs (as the providers themselves do) it’s to offer a handy point of comparison. You don’t pay monthly, rather, you pay for the whole duration of the plan (usually one to five years), with it auto-renewing after the plan is over.

Is a VPN safer than home Wi-Fi?

Yes. While the benefit of using one is much larger if you’re on public Wi-Fi, they’re still important for protecting your privacy when browsing the internet at home. Your ISP records everything that you do online, including private interests, medical matters, and more. If that makes you uncomfortable, a VPN can ensure that your private information doesn’t fall into the hands of a huge corporation.

We’re confident that at least one of these options will cater to the needs of any of our readers. While we would recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN provider, we recognize that not everybody has the same circumstances, which is why we created this list. By carefully weighing up the pros and cons of each service, we were able to identify what we perceived as the unique strengths of each service, and then put this list together.

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