The best VPN service in 2024

A good VPN will improve your online privacy, give you access to streaming content that’s blocked in your country, and won’t slow you down in the process. In this guide I’ve rounded up the 4 best VPN services for most people, all of which are super secure and easy to use.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a VPN is the privacy protection it offers, and I trust every one of the providers here to keep you safe when you’re browsing online. Meanwhile, if you’re into TV and movies, a VPN that can unblock extra content on Netflix, Disney+, and regional TV sites is a must. If you pay for ultrafast Wi-Fi, making sure your VPN is as fast as possible is a priority.

1. NordVPN

Plenty of security tools, simple apps, and amazing performance

NordVPN is the best VPN right now. With easy-to-use apps and some of the fastest speeds I’ve seen from a VPN, it covers all the bases—and it also unblocked every streaming service in every region. 

It’s excellent value at $3.09 per month, and you can also add a password manager, cloud storage, and even cyber insurance. Try it out risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee and get a free month of protection.

  • Packed with great features
  • Reliable Netflix unblocking
  • One of the fastest VPNs around
  • Customizable pricing plans
  • Easy to use
  • Not great for advanced users
  • Fewer server locations than ExpressVPN

NordVPN tops my chart as the best VPN in 2024 thanks to its perfect blend of high-quality features, easy-to-use apps, reliable performance, and exceptional prices. Take advantage of one of the best streaming VPNs, and see for yourself why it’s my go-to pick right now.

With automated connections and simplified user interfaces, you simply pick where you want to connect to, and NordVPN instantly finds the best connection for you—meaning you don’t have to manually configure your servers. On top of that, NordVPN also offers its NordPass password manager, data breach scanner, and NordLocker secure cloud storage to users on the Complete plan.

2. ExpressVPN

High-quality, and perfect for anyone new to VPNs

If you just want a VPN that does everything for you, ExpressVPN’s apps are super simple and easy to get up and running. However, that ease of use comes at double the cost of NordVPN, starting at $6.67 per month

With one-click connect, you automatically get the fastest, most secure connection. If you want to see how the two big names compare, take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee to trial it.

  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Apps for almost everything
  • Fast servers in 105 countries
  • Ultra-reliable security features
  • Expert 24/7 live customer support
  • An expensive choice
  • Not as fast as NordVPN or Surfshark
  • Recent DNS leak (now fixed)

ExpressVPN previously topped my list as the best VPN because of the way it automates all of those complicated configurations that most other apps would have you do manually. However, its high price point, limited toolkit, and a recent DNS leak (now fixed) meant that NordVPN was able to dethrone them after six years in first place.

Everything is laid out in a simple and clear design that makes it great for beginners. With one-click connect, you just tap the power button and you’re instantly protected. ExpressVPN also shows suggested servers for the fastest connection, as well as your recent connection history and amount of time protected.

3. Surfshark

The best cheap VPN – amazing speeds and a premium service

If you want a VPN that’s as budget-friendly as it is high-quality, check out Surfshark. It’s the fastest service out of all the VPNs I’ve tested, and it unblocks every leading streaming service. 

Best of all, Surfshark costs just $2.29 per month, which includes an alternative ID and email generator. If you want, you can upgrade to get real-time credit card, email, and data breach alerts. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Incredibly fast
  • Unblocked everything in our tests
  • Unlimited connections
  • Pause VPN feature
  • Unclear virtual server locations
  • Windows kill switch is still buggy
  • No notification if your VPN drops

Surfshark isn’t just the best cheap VPN, it’s a whole security suite. With built-in ad-blocking, antivirus, tracker-free web browsing, and even a data breach notifier built in, it’s premium protection without the price.

Surfshark recently launched its latest innovation, Incogni: a service that automatically requests the deletion of personal data stored by data brokers. I love this tool because it finally gives us the tools to reclaim our digital privacy from invasive data-tracking practices and companies.

4. Proton VPN

A VPN that continues to advocate for internet freedom everywhere

Proton VPN is a big-name brand that regularly advocates for digital privacy rights around the world. With servers in 95 locations around the world, you can access your favourite streams with dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Chromebook. 

  • Open-source apps
  • Free plan with unlimited bandwidth
  • Improving speeds and coverage
  • Lots of free tools
  • Not the best value for money
  • Customer support needs improvement
  • WireGuard Windows connection time is slower than most

Trust is important when you’re choosing a VPN provider, and Proton VPN does more than most to reassure you that your privacy is safe in its hands. You can pay anonymously via Bitcoin, even cash. Proton VPN’s apps are open-source, allowing anyone to inspect the code, and they’ve been independently audited, too.

What is a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is “a mechanism to establish a secure remote access connection across an intermediary network, often the internet” (Stewart and Kinsey, 254, 2021). To do this, the VPN software encrypts your internet connection and makes it illegible to anyone who doesn’t have the key to decrypt it. Put simply, this means that no one can see your data or what you’re doing online, and improves your security, privacy, and anonymity online.

In doing so, a VPN replaces your IP address (your device’s digital signature) to make it appear as though you’re accessing from a different device elsewhere in the world. This lets you unblock foreign content while hiding your identity behind the sheer volume of users among VPN services.

Note: choosing the right VPN is essential. There are so many services that aren’t secure enough, and using them could give you a false sense of security. Some of the more suspect VPN services will even track your activity and sell your information to third parties—unravel the privacy aspect of using the VPN in the first place.

Choosing the Right VPN for You

The world of VPNs can be overwhelming, but hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down your options. The “best” VPN depends on your individual needs. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Need for speed? Look at ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
  • Value-conscious? Surfshark offers great features at a budget-friendly price.
  • Prioritizing privacy? Check out ProtonVPN or Private Internet Access.

Remember: Before you commit, many VPN providers offer free trials or money-back guarantees. Take advantage of these to test out the service and make sure it meets your expectations.

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