Top VPN Services

In a world where everyone is trying to steal your personal data and personal information, a VPN can assist you in avoiding this by making your connections secure and private. While sweeping claims of military-grade encryption or complete digital anonymity may entice you, Consumer Reports’ Yael Grauer recommends that you look for more specific indicators that a VPN is legitimate before you sign up.

Begin by checking compatibility. The service must support at least the most popular operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux, Android, and iOS. You should also check the number of devices that the service supports, and the number of simultaneous connections it provides. Also, take a examine the number of servers available and their locations around the world. This can help you pick the server closest to your home or one that provides fast speeds when you’re across the globe.

Certain services provide specialized features, like dedicated ‘Netflix’ servers that unblock geo-restricted websites, or additional security measures like RAM-only servers (which erase data each when the service is rebooted) dark web monitoring and threat protection. Review the ownership structure of the company, and see if it has been involved in privacy scandals or data breaches in the past.

The best overall service we tested was NordVPN which boasts thousands of servers in 94 countries AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption, an effective kill switch, split tunneling and obfuscated servers. It’s also one of the few providers to publish its detailed no-logs policy and engages PricewaterhouseCoopers for annual audits. The prices aren’t cheap, however you get plenty of features for your money and a generous long-term plan comes with a full 30-day money-back guarantee.