Handpicked VPNs for Every Use (Cheapest VPN First)
|Annual Price||Jurisdiction||Recommended Uses|
|ProtonVPN||$48.00 = $4.00/mo||Switzerland||transparent & extra secure VPN, unlimited free VPN|
|Windscribe||$49.00 = $4.08/mo||Canada||free or cheap VPN plus ad blocker, fast streaming|
|VPN.AC||$58.00 = $4.80/mo||Romania||strong tech, China optimized, smaller brand|
|SaferVPN||$65.88 = $5.49/mo||Israel||everyday browsing, safety online, simplicity|
|NordVPN||$83.88 = $6.99/mo||Panama||offshore VPN, 5,550+ servers globally, quick support|
Why Use a VPN?
VPN review sites tend to recommend one-size-fits-all VPNs (virtual private networks). It is true that the main reason to use a VPN is to increase privacy and cybersecurity, particularly by:
- limiting ISP monitoring
- reducing online tracking
- securing your connection, especially on public networks
But most users, including website owners, have a plethora of various specific reasons to rely on a VPN:
- You may need a VPN to stream videos (including on YouTube and Netflix) from a location blocked in your country.
- Alternatively, you may use a VPN for more secure P2P file sharing or torrenting.
- Or you may have no interest in either unblocking websites or peer-to-peer file sharing and need a VPN for a more private everyday browsing.
So, instead of endorsing one best VPN, we list those few that, in our opinion, are great for particular uses. Here is the gist of it:
You may have seen ultra-cheap VPN plans based on a five-year or even lifetime subscription. The main reason not to buy such long-term subscriptions is because VPNs tend to change ownership or be acquired by companies you may not be fond of. A one-year subscription is usually the best option: it ensures a good discount while also giving you the freedom to switch VPNs without regrets should their services deteriorate. If you do have confidence in a VPN company, a three-year plan would be the best way to save on a VPN subscription long-term.
ProtonVPN is a subsidiary of Proton Technologies AG, the company that created ProtonMail, a hugely popular encrypted email service. Besides a free VPN, ProtonVPN offers three VPN plans: Basic, Plus and Visionary (ProtonVPN + ProtonMail). ProtonVPN is the only free open-source VPN with unlimited bandwidth, zero advertising and no logging. The free plan is, however, available in three locations only and is not as fast as ProtonVPN’s paid plans. The Basic plan unlocks all countries and includes high-speed P2P file sharing. Unless you need a VPN to use Tor or streaming services, we recommend starting with the Basic plan.
Windscribe is cheap, fast and feature-rich. It has a free VPN plan with a generous limit of 10 GB of monthly data and access to 10 server locations. You can also build your own plan starting at $2/month (e.g. one additional location and unlimited data). The standard premium plan includes unlimited data, all locations and a tool to block ads and reduce tracking. The main issue with Windscribe is its perceived lack of professionalism when it comes to interaction with customers. Many love this informality, others will be find it unnecessary.
VPN.AC is one of the smaller VPN services that we have used. It keeps a low profile and maintains a fairly small network, with VPN servers in 21 countries and proxy servers in 32. VPN.AC focuses instead on the quality of its service: it uses dedicated servers with gigabit ports, operates several double-hop locations with better connectivity and runs over a dozen of China-optimized servers specifically for those in censorship-heavy locations. Although VPN.AC does not advertise servers for media streaming, it can be used for streaming as well. Besides 7-day refunds, VPN.AC also offers a 7-day trial for $2.
SaferVPN, a NetProtect brand, is probably best suited for anyone who just wishes to browse safely in their everyday activities. If your priority is to easily connect to the closest server or let your VPN app automatically connect you to the fastest server, SaferVPN will work for you. From billing and invoicing practices to customer support, SaferVPN offers a pretty smooth and transparent experience. You can still use peer-to-peer servers in a few select locations, but there are honestly better VPNs for that purpose.
NordVPN is by far the most popular offshore VPN service with the largest number of VPN servers worldwide. An independently audited VPN, NordVPN does not collect or store any logs, including connection date, data transferred and servers used. Its thorough focus on privacy is further strengthened by a variety of specialty servers, including P2P servers, Double VPN (with your traffic encrypted twice), Onion over VPN (giving you a layer of anonymity) and Obfuscated servers (helping you bypass censorship). On top of it all, NordVPN includes a feature called CyberSec, a technology to block ads and malicious sites. NordVPN has the best price on a three-year plan – you get 70% off.