19 Best VPN Services in 2020 (Free & Paid)

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Summer Updated: 2020-11-01

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In her annual Internet Trends Report, Mary Meeker - the renowned venture capitalist from Bond Capital - often reveals the most critical topics that business people need to know about.

In 2019, she noted there is a growing concern around privacy and security. In the first quarter-year alone, up to 87% of global web traffic was encrypted, compared to 53% in 2016.

As users seek more privacy, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) become one of the most common ways they use to keep their online communication safe and secure. However, in the ever-expanding market for commercial virtual private networks, choosing the best VPN to suit your specific needs can be difficult.

And that’s where our blog post comes in handy. To help you find the best VPN, we’ve compiled 19 best VPN services in 2020 (free & paid).

To see exactly how we test and evaluate each VPN, check out our full evaluation walk-through right now!

Table of contents

What is a VPN?

As its name implies, a VPN sets up a virtual space for users to operate when they are online. It creates a connection between users and the Internet, and provides them with more privacy, security, and freedom.

Read more: What Is a VPN?

What is a VPN?
What is a VPN?

In reality, VPN was first coined in 1996 by Microsoft as a method for remote employees to securely access the company’s internal network. When it operated effectively, other companies started adopting the practice. Corporated VPNs allowing remote work has become a standard feature of the global business landscape since then.

8 Best Free VPN Services

If you are going to get a free VPN, you need to know its limitations. Free VPN services may cost you nothing, but there’s usually a good reason for that - it means the provider can turn a profit in some way, either with invasive advertising or by selling your own browsing data to third parties. Plus, some free services may limit the amount of data and the speed you can use, making them useless for streaming video or security in your daily online life.

However, if you are dead-set on testing out a free VPN, though, below, we’ve rounded up the best eight for you to choose.

Hotspot Shield Free VPN

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Server location: 1
  • Protocols: Hydra VPN
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • Data limit: 500MB/ day
  • 24/7 live chat: No

We believe Hotspot Shield Free has been one of the best free VPNs for a long time, and that is all down to the fact that it doesn’t make too many compromises that you will notice in day-to-day usage.

HotSpot Shield Free VPN
HotSpot Shield Free VPN

As mentioned above, you’ll get 500MB per day, which comes to about 15GB per month. That may sound restrictive, but when compared to these below, it is actually one of the more generous limits among its competitors.

If security is your sole aim, HotSpot Shield Free VPN is on the same wavelength, boasting its “military-grade encryption” - satisfying if you do your banking and online shopping. Besides, it is also friendly to use. Whether on its desktop version or mobile, you won’t find any hair-pulling user experience.

However, there are a couple of concerns. HotSpot Shield Free VPN has client software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can’t connect without the software, which leaves Linux and Windows Phone users out in the cold. It is also not perfect seeing as it is a US-based company, meaning it is obliged to hand over data should the FBI pay them a visit.

Overall, we think HotSpot Shield Free VPN is one of the most excellent free VPN services on the market. Although it isn’t as fast as its blazing paid-for sibling, the free version is still worth your try, and you won’t find yourself waiting for hours for pages to load.

VISIT HOTSPOT SHIELD FREE VPN

TunnelBear

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Server locations: 20+
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/ IPSec
  • Maximum devices supported: 5
  • Data limit: 500MB/ month
  • 24/7 live chat: Yes

TunnelBear VPN may have something of a cutesy design, but it is a serious free option, especially after its acquisition by the security giant McAfee.

TunnelBear
TunnelBear

The first thing you will notice is its clear, fun, and easy to use interface. The website is simple to navigate, while the installation is quick and straightforward. Besides, TunnelBear has recently tuned up to its privacy, which doesn’t require too much personal information to sign up, just an email. It is great for checking your emails or online banking in privacy.

Even with its free plan, TunnelBear lets you browse from over 20 different servers, including the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, France, etc.

But you can realize the biggest challenge is the data limit, as you only get 500MB each month. That means after several Facebook videos and emails with attachments, you could be nearing your monthly cap.

In general, if you are fine with that and want a secure free VPN, TunnelBear is a great option.

VISIT TUNNELBEAR

ProtonVPN Free

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Server locations: 3
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/ IPSec
  • Maximum devices supported: 1
  • Data limit: Unlimited
  • 24/7 live chat: No

ProtonVPN is another service that offers a free version together with a paid one, but the former has several strong points.

ProtonVPN Free
ProtonVPN Free

The ProtonVPN free version has no data or speed limits. In other words, you’re free to use as much data as you want each month. That’s a huge plus and immediately makes it well worth considering. Another positive point of free ProtonVPN is that it functions well on all your operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and even certain routers.

Although the free plan has no artificial speed limit, the connection speed can sometimes be relatively low. This makes sense as a huge number of people try to use the limited number of free ProtonVPN servers. Moreover, the company doesn’t support torrent downloads. You can’t download files from torrent sites when you’re connected with a free ProtonVPN server.

And, keep in mind that ProtonVPN free version gives you access to servers in three different locations only, including the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, you can use ProtonVPN for free on one device at a time.

If you’re a night owl, or don’t mind slower speeds for the sake of saving money, ProtonVPN can be an excellent option.

Read more: ProtonVPN Review: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

VISIT PROTONVPN

Speedify

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Server locations: 50+
  • Protocols: SSL/ TLS, ChaCha256
  • Maximum devices supported: 1
  • Data limit: 2GB/ month
  • 24/7 live chat: No

Speedify, as its name suggests, has one sole aim as a free VPN service: to ensure that while you benefit from its encryption, your internet connection still remains as speedy as possible. Therefore, the company makes use of all available internet connections to get the best possible performance, potentially combining, let’s say, an Ethernet connection (fixed broadband) with a tethered mobile connection. Even when you have only one type of internet connection, Speedify claims its turbocharging technology can still help speed things up.

Speedify
Speedify

The free version boasts full access to those servers (just as with the paid option). The only restriction of the free plan is that you are limited in the amount of data you can download. Free users can get 2GB of data each month. This is not a huge allowance, and certainly not as much as some other competitors on this list, but it is more than some, and still enough to cover some basic surfing and email duties.

If your primary concern is speed, Speedify’s free service is entirely worth a nice try!

VISIT SPEEDIFY

Windscribe

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Server locations: 10+
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec/ IKEv2
  • Maximum devices supported: 1
  • Data limit: 2GB-10GB/ month
  • 24/7 live chat: No

Most free VPN services have limited server locations, low data caps, or annoying ads, but the free tier of Windscribe service is among the most generous ones.

Windscribe
Windscribe

When signing up, you will get the chance to bag either 2GB per month without handing over any personal information, or 10GB if you provide your email address. We also love the fact that you can choose from a selection of servers, including Europe, North America, Hong Kong, and recently-added Turkey. Of course, you can get a far larger collection, but this is generous for a free service.

Windscribe doesn’t store your connection logs, IP stamps, or visited sites. When you’re actively connected to a server, it saves your name, the server you’re connected to, and the amount of transferred data, but they’re erased within three minutes of the session ending. If it is not enough to tempt you, there is even a built-in ad blocker and firewall.

However, you should be aware that its interface is quite cramped and tricky for you to find settings. Also, neither free nor paid versions get 24/7 support, so you could be left in the maze’s middle if something goes wrong.

Overall, though, Windcribe’s free plan is robust and well worth a look.

You may be interested in: Windscribe VPN Review: Read This Before You Buy

VISIT WINSCRIBE

Hide.me

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Blackberry
  • Server locations: 5
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/ IPSec, SSTP, PPTP, SoftEther
  • Maximum devices supported: 1
  • Data limit: 10GB/ month
  • 24/7 live chat: Yes

Hide.me is a well-known company in the VPN landscape, which offers both a subscription and free option. The free version offers you access to five servers, including Canada, Germany, the USA, and the Netherlands.

Hide.me VPN
Hide.me VPN

Hide.me is a zero-logs VPN that doesn’t store any information regarding your online activities. Furthermore, it also gives users 24/7 access to customer support.

In past years, Hide.me didn’t let free users download torrents, but its policy has changed. This is a huge plus point compared to other free VPN providers. However, please consider the monthly data limitations when downloading.

To be honest, this is a more-than-solid free offering that tries to maintain your privacy, without too many restrictions.

VISIT HIDE.ME

ZoogVPN

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Server locations: 3
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Maximum devices supported: 1
  • Data limit: 10GB/ month
  • 24/7 live chat: No

ZoogVPN provides multiple encryption protocols that allow free users to choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2, and additional protocols for paying users. But for most customers, OpenVPN and IKEv2 are suitable for security and speed.

One outstanding feature of ZoogVPN is its kill switch functionality. It makes sure that all internet traffic is interrupted whenever the secure VPN connection unexpectedly drops. The presence of this feature is pretty impressive for a free VPN, and we believe that it’s definitely worth mentioning here.

ZoogVPN
ZoogVPN

If you’ve got a free package with ZoogVPN, you can use 3 servers only, which are located in the USA, the UK, and the Netherlands. And the free version can be used on only one device at a time.

Even though ZoogVPN isn’t in the first position on our list, please bear in mind that there are over 300 free VPN options on the market. Just the fact that a VPN provider has been included in our list means a specific quality threshold is being met. ZoogVPN has its fair share of limitations, like every free service out there, but the fact remains that it is a great VPN.

VISIT ZOOGVPN

Touch VPN

  • Supported on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Server locations: 25
  • Protocols: PPTP, IPSec, Hydra TCP
  • Maximum devices supported: 1
  • Data limit: Unlimited
  • 24/7 live chat: No

The first thing you should know about this VPN is that its headquarter is located in the United States. As a member of the Five Eyes alliance, the US obligates every single company based in the country to spy on its users and share the information with the government.

Besides, the number of Touch VPN’s supported servers is incredibly low compared to the industry leaders. With only around 30 servers worldwide, Touch VPN won’t be able to provide you with a stable and robust connection. While you can find servers in the US, UK, Russia, and some other EU countries, you won’t have the same luck in New Zealand, or, say, Africa.

Touch VPN
Touch VPN

However, the good news is there is no limit on the number of simultaneously supported devices. As this is a 100% free product, you can use it to secure as many mobile devices/ computers as you want.

Although Touch VPN is not a totally perfect service, it’s a good point to get started when you want something free.

Read more: Touch VPN Review: Free, But Is It Really Safe?

VISIT TOUCH VPN

11 Best Paid VPN Services

Since we’ve mentioned free VPN services, this part is packed only with paid commercial virtual private networks. Unlike free versions, subscription plans often guarantee privacy, security, speed, and other remarkable features.

Keep scrolling and find an option that best suits you!

Turbo VPN

  • Number of servers: 10,000+
  • Number of server locations: 50+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: China
  • Maximum devices supported: 5

Turbo VPN is a China-based and mobile-only service that enjoys a lot of popularity on iOS and Android.

Due to extensive blocking and advanced detection from streaming sites, many VPN services are unable to access platforms like Netflix. To successfully watch your favorite content, you need a really serious provider. And Turbo VPN appears to be one of those, thanks to its special streaming servers. You have multiple options for Netflix, Fox, BBC iPlayer, and many more.

Turbo VPN
Turbo VPN

You can certainly get a full taste of the Turbo VPN service for free with its seven-day VIP trial. That means you can get your money back, but remember to cancel it, or they will automatically charge you when it’s up.

Turbo VPN’s pricing plans:

  • 1-month plan: $11.99/ month
  • 12-month plan: $2.99/ month

Read more: Turbo VPN Review: Is It The Right Choice for You?

VISIT TURBO VPN

Surfshark

  • Number of servers: 1700+
  • Number of server locations: 100+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • Maximum devices supported: Unlimited

While Surfshark’s network may not be as extensive as others, the VPN services make it up on features.

Surfshark
Surfshark

Surfshark has a substantial array of app support, running on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, FireTV, and routers. Additional devices, like game consoles, can be configured for Surfshark via DNS settings. Especially, it lets users whitelist certain websites and apps to bypass the VPN automatically. For some business uses, this feature can be critically important.

The biggest win that Surfshark offers is unlimited device support. If you’d like to run your entire office or home on Surfshark’s VPN, you don’t need to worry about how many devices you’ve connected. The company also offers ad-blocking, tracker-blocking, and antimalware as part of its software.

Besides, Surfshark offers three unique modes designed for those who want to hide their online footsteps more carefully. But just be careful. Doing any of these things could be illegal in your country and could lead to severe penalties.

  • Camouflage Mode masks your VPN activities, so your ISP (Internet Service Provider) doesn’t know how you are using a VPN.
  • Multihop jumps your connection through different countries to hide your trail.
  • NoBorders Mode lets you successfully use Surfshark in restrictive regions.

Surfshark’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $11.95/ month
  • A year plan: $5.99/ month (billed $71.88 every 12 months)
  • 24-month plan: $1.99/ month (billed $47.76 every 24 months)

VISIT SURFSHARK

ExpressVPN

  • Number of servers: 3000+
  • Number of server locations: 160
  • Country/ jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • Maximum devices supported: 5

Since 2009, ExpressVPN has persistently proved itself one of the fastest VPN services on the market, and actively promoted its commitment to security.

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN

The company is powered by TrustedServer technology, which ExpressVPN set up to make sure there are never any logs of customers’ online activities. In the security world, ExpressVPN has a strong track record, having experienced a server seizure by authorities that recognized their zero-log policy at the time. ExpressVPN provides a useful kill switch feature, which prevents user data from leaking outside of its secure VPN tunnel if the VPN connection fails.

And it is really worth mentioning ExpressVPN’s excellent levels of customer support. You can also find detailed information in its setup guides and FAQ pages. In case you have any trouble, 24/7 live chat support is on hand to answer your questions.

ExpressVPN’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $12.95/ month
  • 6-month plan: $9.99/ month (billed $59.95 every 6 months)
  • 15-month plan: $6.67/ month (billed $99.95 first 15 months and 12 months thereafter)

Read more: ExpressVPN Review: Is It The Best VPN Around?

VISIT EXPRESSVPN

NordVPN

  • Number of servers: 5,400
  • Number of server locations: 80+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: Panama
  • Maximum devices supported: 6

NordVPN is considered one of the most recognized brands in the VPN field, which offers a generous simultaneous connection count, with six connections via its network.

NordVPN
NordVPN

The company also offers a dedicated IP option for anyone looking for a different level of VPN connection. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a kill switch feature, which promotes better privacy and security for users.

If we have only one quibble, it would be NordVPN’s user experience. Something like the destination cities not being listed in alphabetical order or searching through menus for specialist task functions make us wonder whether Nord has done enough user testing enough. Though, as we say, these are pretty minor minus points.

Following the recent news that the popular VPN was hacked in 2018, NordVPN appears to have applied all the right steps to up its security measures, and has its privacy policy independently audited by Pricewaterhouse Cooper. Of course, we will be keeping a keen eye on any future developments in this regard.

NordVPN’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $11.95/ month
  • 6-month plan: $9/ month
  • 2-year plan: $3.71/ month ($89 for the first 2 years)

Learn more: NordVPN Review: Details, Features, and Pricing

VISIT NORDVPN

CyberGhost VPN

  • Number of servers: 6200+
  • Number of server locations: 110+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: Romania, with UK parent company
  • Maximum devices supported: 7

CyberGhost is a well-known VPN provider whose mix of power and ease of use has won more than ten million users.

CyberGhost
CyberGhost

The task-based app interface of CyberGhost is a major highlight. It doesn’t leave you to guess which server to use to unblock a website, for example. Instead, you just need to choose a geo-blocked service from the list - Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more - and the app will automatically connect to the best server, and then open a browser window at the target site.

There’re plenty of extras, too. The service can block trackers, ads, and malicious websites. Automated HTTPS redirection makes sure that you’re always making the most secure connection. Plus, its 45-day money-back guarantee is much longer than most of its competitors.

CyberGhost’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $12.99/ month
  • 6-month plan: $7.99/ month (billed $47.94 every 6 months)
  • 18-month plan: $2.75/ month (billed $49.5 first 18 months and yearly thereafter)

Learn more: CyberGhost VPN Review: A Thorough Inspection of the Specter’s Respectability

VISIT CYBERGHOST

Avast Secureline VPN

  • Number of servers: N/A
  • Number of server locations: 60+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: Czech Republic
  • Maximum devices supported: 5

Avast is an IT company that has already been around for more than 30 years since 1988. From its inception, Avast has been focusing on just one thing: cyber-security. In 2014, Avast launched its Secureline VPN, and just like every other product, its VPN service has quickly become one of the most excellent private VPNs available.

Avast Secureline VPN
Avast Secureline VPN

From the user-friendly UI of the app to the top-notch security features like a single IP address for all server traffic, SecureLine VPN has consistently cemented its spot among the best.

Its strict no-logs policy guarantees that no data related to users is collected. Plus, the company provides DNS leak protection, ensuring your website activity remains hidden even if the Internet connection drops.

However, its customer service is less than ideal. Customers often complain that they’re often asked to reach the forum to look for the resolution, but it is heavily focused on anti-virus with little content related to the VPN software.

Avast Secureline VPN’s pricing plans:

  • 1-year plan: $4.99/ month (billed $59.88 for the first year)
  • 2-year plan: $3.99/ month (billed $95.76 for the first 2 years)
  • 3-year plan: $3.99/ month (billed $143.64 for the first 3 years)

Learn more: Avast SecureLine VPN [2020 Review]: The Untold Story!

VISIT AVAST SECURELINE VPN

AVG Secure VPN

  • Number of servers: 57
  • Number of server locations: 36
  • Country/ jurisdiction: Czech Republic
  • Maximum devices supported: 5

There is almost nothing challenging about downloading and installing AVG Secure VPN. The software runs smoothly on all platforms, thanks to its straightforward and intuitive functionalities. You can connect to the most appropriate location for you, or choose a certain one from the server list.

AVG Secure VPN
AVG Secure VPN

AVG Secure VPN offers strong AES-256 encryption, decent download speeds, and trustworthy access to US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. However, the company’s subscription plans are quite expensive, and it is likely to collect too much user data. While this VPN is reasonable for streaming, we don’t recommend it for users with strict privacy needs.

AVG Secure VPN’s pricing plans:

  • 1-year plan: $4.99/ month (billed $59.88 for the first year)
  • 2-year plan: $3.99/ month (billed $95.76 for the first 2 years)
  • 3-year plan: $3.99/ month (billed $143.64 for the first 3 years)

Related topic: AVG Secure VPN Review: Is It As Secure As Its Name?

VISIT AVG SECURE VPN

IPVanish

  • Number of servers: 1500+
  • Number of server locations: 75+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: US
  • Maximum devices supported: Unlimited

A big win for IPVanish service is its fun and configurable interface, making it an ideal choice for anyone interested in learning basic VPN things. Its multi-platform flexibility is also appropriate for those finding a Netflix-friendly VPN.

IPVanish
IPVanish

The app is powerful, but that means there is a lot to learn, and a few small usability issues are noticed. A small number of servers doesn’t appear to be in the advertised locations, and there’s no kill switch in the iOS app.

Overall, if you need its ten simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can give IPVanish a nice try.

IPVanish’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $8/ month
  • 3-month plan: $47.20/ month (billed $21.59 first 3 months)
  • 1-year plan: $5.20/ month (billed $62. 39 first year)

VISIT IPVANISH

VyprVPN

  • Number of servers: 700+
  • Number of server locations: 70
  • Country/ jurisdiction: US
  • Maximum devices supported: 5

Swiss-based VyprVPN is a well-specified service that boasts over 70 server locations and a stack of unusual high-end features.

VyprVPN
VyprVPN

VyprVPN has the most extensive bank of IP addresses of any of the services we’ve evaluated. The company offers a large number of VPN protocols, including its own high-performance Chameleon protocol, which could help you get online even in VPN-blocking countries.

Although its website support resources are much less detailed than other VPN providers, at least they provide 24/7 live chat support on hand if you really get stuck.

VyprVPN’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $12.95/ month
  • 12-month plan: $3.75/ month (billed $45 every 12 months)
  • 24-month plan: $2.50/ month (billed $60.00 every 24 months)

VISIT VYPRVPN

PureVPN

  • Number of servers: 2000+
  • Number of server locations: 140+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: Hong Kong
  • Maximum devices supported: 10

PureVPN is a good choice if you’re finding a service with servers in as many locations and countries as possible, and don’t mind if some of those are virtual servers.

PureVPN
PureVPN

The company operates a strict no-logging policy. It joined the “no log” movement in 2018, which has been recently verified via a third-party audit by Altius IT (though one commissioned and paid for by PureVPN).

We love the fact that the company offers a 31-day refund policy and supports Bitcoin payment methods, to extend anonymous browsing further. Also, PureVPN was the first VPN provider we noted to implement the GDPR fully.

PureVPN’s pricing plans:

  • Month-by-month plan: $10.95/ month
  • 1-year plan: $3.33/ month
  • 5-year plan: $1.32/ month

VISIT PUREVPN

Private Internet Access

  • Number of servers: 1519+
  • Number of server locations: 65+
  • Country/ jurisdiction: US
  • Maximum devices supported: 10

It may not be the cheapest, fastest, or the most powerful, but Private Internet Access is a VPN provider with more than enough features to justify a place on your shortlist.

Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access

The network covers more than 65 locations with P2P supported on all servers (expert-level extras like SOCK55 and port forwarding). Private Internet Access works well on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux, along with browsing extensions such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

While it’s based in the US, it logs nothing literally, so wouldn’t have any data to hand over, even if ordered by a court.

Private Internet Access’ pricing plans:

  • Monthly plan: $9.95/ month
  • Yearly plan: $3.33/ month (billed $39.95 per year)
  • Two-year plan: $2.69/ month (billed $69.95 per year)

VISIT PRIVATE INTERNET ACCESS

The bottom line

As we are living in a connected world, privacy and security are essential to ensure our personal safety from potential hacks. It’s critical to find ways to secure our digital life, and for this reason, VPN services have become increasingly common. We hope that through this guide, you can find a trustworthy and appropriate VPN for yourself.

We’ll be regularly updating this list and keeping a close eye on how each VPN service stands compared with its rivals, as well as any new VPN providers that may hit the market.

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