The Best VPN Service Providers Of 2022

There are now over a hundred VPN providers located across the world. To create this list of VPNs, I test customer service, the reliability of their network, and their commitment to privacy. I also research actual customer feedback posted in online forums.

These providers offer fast servers around the world, reliable apps, and a dedication to privacy:

  • ProtonVPN — a reliable service based in Switzerland

If you wish to unblock sites or torrents, I recommend these providers:

I’ve also created a list of the VPN providers I do not recommend.

If you are technically inclined, you might consider creating your own VPS (virtual private server) and installing OpenVPN. I recommend using a reliable VPS like Digital Ocean. You can purchase their $5 per month plan and follow these instructions to set up OpenVPN.

What Is A VPN?

A VPN (a virtual private network) is a service that encrypts and redirects all the internet connections on your computer. This means all the data leaving your computer is encrypted, which adds a layer of protection against hackers and eavesdroppers. It is also very difficult for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to monitor or block your connections. A VPN service will also allows your computer to appear to be in Europe, the USA, or other countries at will. This is helpful if you want to access blocked media like streaming videos. VPNs differ from web proxies because VPNs encrypt and redirect all of your computer’s outgoing network connections, whereas proxies will only usually redirect particular protocols within an application.

Note that VPNs may slow down your internet connections, but in some cases, they may speed up your connections. VPNs won’t affect direct downloads, but they will affect web browsing and torrenting (basically anything that pulls data in lots of small bursts). Personally, I don’t notice a difference unless I’m connected to a very remote server in Japan or Romania (from the US).

I don’t recommend using free VPNs because they are usually run by untrustworthy companies and tend to sell your private information. If you need an extra layer of privacy when signing up for VPN services, I suggest using a pseudo-anonymous payment method such as Bitcoin and doing a DNS Leak Test when using a VPN. However, for most people, this kind of obfuscation is not necessary.

The Best All-Round VPN: ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a VPN service developed and operated by ProtonMail — an encrypted email service based in Switzerland.

I’ve been testing ProtonMail for a couple of years, and I’ve found the service reliable. So I was pleased to hear that a VPN service was also being launched.

ProtonVPN is operated as a separate legal entity from ProtonMail. This is due to the fact VPNs are often banned in certain countries. For example, ProtonMail can continue operating in China, whereas ProtonVPN is blocked there.

I recommend this VPN service if you want a VPN focusing on privacy.

ProtonVPN passes VPN traffic through a “Secure Core network” in privacy-friendly countries like Switzerland and Iceland. A compromised VPN server will not reveal your true IP address.

ProtonVPN also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy. Even if your encryption key is discovered, your encrypted traffic cannot be captured and decrypted later.

  • WebsiteProtonVPN
  • Business Location: Switzerland
  • Server Location: 698 servers in 44 countries
  • Number of connections allowed: 10 simultaneous connections
  • Cost: $96 USD per year or $8 USD per month
  • Payment Types: Bitcoin, Credit Cards, Paypal, and Cash
  • Trial Account: free accounts are available with “medium” speeds and limited servers
  • Apps available: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux

The Best Budget VPN

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a VPN service that is highly regarded by privacy advocates. It remains one of my top choices for a privacy-oriented VPN service. The company operates out of the United States with gigabit gateways in the USA, Canada, the UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

I’ve been testing their VPN service for about 12 months now, and I find the service quite reliable. They are one of the least expensive private VPNs, with rates at $39.95 per year or $6.95 per month. In regards to logging user activity, the company says:

We absolutely do not maintain any VPN logs of any kind. We utilize shared IP addresses rather than dynamic or static IPs, so it is not possible to match a user to an external IP. These are some of the many solutions we have implemented to enable the strongest levels of anonymity amongst VPN services. Further, we would like to encourage our users to use an anonymous e-mail and pay with Bitcoins to ensure even higher levels of anonymity should it be required. Our core verticals are privacy, quality of service, and prompt customer support. We will not share any information with third parties without a valid court order. With that said, it is impossible to match a user to any activity on our system since we utilize shared IPs and maintain absolutely no logs.

Their VPN service supports all the major platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android. They support the following VPN protocols: PPTP, IPSEC, OpenVPN, and L2TP. You can also configure Private Internet Access to work on a DD-WRT router or Tomato router (via SSL/OpenVPN) for constant security.

Their VPN client also has handy features like DNS leakage blocking and an “internet kill switch” (a feature that shuts off your internet connection if your VPN connection goes down). For payment, they accept credit cards, Paypal, almost any Gift Card, Amazon Payments, CashU, Google Wallet, OKPay, Bitcoin, and Liberty Reserve; the service costs $6.95 per month or $40 per year.

Private Internet Access – Service Summary

  • Website: Private Internet Access
  • Business Location: USA
  • Server Location: 3322 Servers in 31 Countries
  • Cost: $9.95 USD per month, $39.95 USD per year, $69.95 USD for two years
  • Number of connections allowed: 5 simultaneous connections
  • Apps available for: Linux, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android
  • Payment Types: Bitcoin, Paypal and Credit Cards, major brand gift cards, Ripple, CashU, iOS In-App purchase (through our iOS app only) and Paygarden
  • Trial Account: No (only 7 day money back guarantee instead)
  • Platforms Supported: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome Extension,DD-WRT Router, Tomato Router, PfSense Router
  • Terms of Service

The Best VPN For Privacy (based in Europe)

VPN.AC (Romania)

VPN.AC is a VPN provider based in Romania. This service is a good choice if you need to avoid firewalls or another form of internet censorship. The people who run VPN.AC are experts in VPN security and obfuscation.

I recommend this service for use in China, UAE, Iran, Oman, and Pakistan.

They recently rolled out obfuscation for OpenVPN feature. Here are the details:

Obfuscating the OpenVPN protocol makes it look like regular SSL traffic — making it harder to be blocked by Firewalls with DPI capabilities relying on protocol signatures to identify known VPN protocols. This is the case in China, where default OpenVPN implementations are blocked almost immediately. While our AES 256-bit implementation is still stealthy and working in China, we added one more protocol-type to bypass the GFW. It runs on several ports including TCP port 443 (HTTPS), replacing an instance of OpenVPN Blowfish 128-bit we used with port TCP/443. With this method, the handshake packets are obfuscated so it’s not possible to identify the traffic as being part of an OpenVPN tunnel. Encryption relies on RSA 4096-bit + ECDHE for key-exchange, AES 128-bit for data channel.

They also introduced support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography and TLS 1.2 — one of the most secure types of cryptography available today.

VPN.AC has servers in twenty-one countries (US, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France, Romania, Hong Kong, and Canada), each capable of reaching gigabit port speeds.

VPN.AC offers one VPN package, which grants you access to all of its international servers ($9 per month or $58 per year). For payment, they accept Alipay and Unionpay, Paypal, BitCoin, CashU, Paysafecard, and UKash.

VPN.AC (Romania)

Service Summary

  • Website: VPN.AC
  • Business Location: Romania
  • Server Location: Servers in 21 countries
  • Number of connections allowed: 6 simultaneous connections (3 during trial)
  • Cost: $58 USD per year or $9 USD per month
  • Payment Types: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, credit cards, Paypal, Alipay, UnionPay, and others
  • Trial Account: 1 week trial account for $2, also offers a 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Apps available for: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux (in beta)
  • Terms Of Service

iVPN (Gibraltar — a British Overseas Territory)

Service Summary

  • Link: iVPN
  • Headquarters: Gibraltar (a British Overseas Territory)
  • Number of servers: 22 servers worldwide
  • Number of simultaneous connections allowed: 5
  • Apps available for: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • Price: $15 USD monthly, $40 USD per quarter,  $100 USD per year
  • Trial available: 7 days (only available if you signup using a credit card or Paypal)
  • Payment methods: Credit cards, Paypal, Bitcoin, Cash
  • Torrenting allowed: Yes (but not US-based servers)
  • Protocols supported: OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec
  • Advanced privacy features: Logless DNS server, only email address required for sign-up

This Gibraltar-based provider focuses on privacy and anonymity. It has a smaller set of servers that the other providers listed here. Customer service is responsive.

VPNs That I Do Not Recommend

I no longer recommend these VPN service providers:

  • AirVPN: Poor customer service.
  • NordVPN: I was disappointed by their customer service too many times. Also, their VPN connections are sometimes slow. They were also embroiled in a Tesonet/data mining scandal.
  • PureVPN: This provider was found to be logging users; see this article.
  • ibVPN: Does not respond to email requests.
  • These VPNs have DNS or WebRTC leaks: Hoxx VPN, Hola, VPN.ht, SecureVPN, DotVPN, Speedify, Betternet (free version), Ivacy, Touch VPN, Zenmate, Ace VPN, AzireVPN, BTGuard, Ra4w VPN, VPN Gate

HolaVPN

Very shady company, your computer becomes part of a botnet when using their VPN. See details here and here.

VyprVPN

They ask for your bank info during registration. I also did not enjoy my interactions with their customer service representatives. They declined comments about privacy, and locks your account immediately if you get a DMCA notice.

EarthVPN

The service was recently hacked and apparently keeps logs.

BTGuard

Numerous reports of slow connection speeds and poor customer service.

Astrill

Poor customer service. Requires a phone number.

StrongVPN

Fairly expensive, confusing sign-up options, and do not allow P2P and can match an external IP address to their subscribers. They limit the number of times you can change servers and change your username and password each time you do.

Witopia

They don’t support torrenting. Their network can be unreliable. They often don’t respond to questions.

Hotspot Shield

The software constantly generates banner ads and pop-up windows, and it forcibly changes your search engine to Bing. Also, many sites will still be blocked using Hotspot Shield, and the company makes money by tracking your online activities and reselling this information to third parties. They state on their privacy policy page (http://www.anchorfree.com/privacy.html):

AnchorFree allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to serve advertisements within the Hotspot Shield These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to send, directly to your browser, the advertisements and links that appear on the Hotspot Shield. They automatically receive the virtual IP Address assigned by AnchorFree when this happens. They may also use other technologies (such as cookies, javascript, or web beacons) to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and to personalize their advertising content. AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield Privacy Notice does not apply to, and we cannot control the activities of, such other advertisers or other web sites visited by Users. . .

VPNBook

It Keeps logs and doesn’t support torrenting.

IPredator

Customer service is fairly slow and minimal. Some (very limited) logs are kept, slow speeds, and limited servers. It also costs $97.76

StrongVPN

Keeps logs. They say they support P2P but shut down the account as soon as they receive a DMCA notice.

VpnTunnel

Awful customer service and constant disconnection issues.

TorGuard

Requires your personal info when signing up, and doesn’t respond to refund requests.

Private Tunnel

It only supports OpenVPN, a limited number of servers.

335 thoughts on “The Best VPN Service Providers Of 2022”

  1. A couple of thoughts after reading the article and the comments:

    Re: NordVPN and Tesonet. Restore Privacy has a great article on it: https://restoreprivacy.com/lawsuit-names-nordvpn-tesonet/ It also has a very interesting comments section if you want to know more.

    I decided against Nord for several reasons: Slow connections, No split tunneling, No Linux app, Had to make sure I connected to different servers for each different device.

    Re: PIA – I was a happy user for most of 2 years. Last few months have been rough. Speed issues, <3.9M download. Support for those issues non-existent (I'm still waiting for tickets opened days ago). Yes they're cheap. Yes they mostly work.

    I'm currently looking into VPN.AC and IVACY.

  2. Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents about the complains against PIA. I’ve been using them for 4 years now. First on windows, then through OpenVPN on iOS, then their official iOS app, and now their Chrome extension. I used it a TON. I mean A TON. It’s connected almost 24/7. And I’ve never had an DNS leak or my real IP address shown. People complaining about this kind of thing definitely need to look into the numerous resources on the PIA support page and the wealth of knowledge easily found all over the internet to make VPNs even safer. First disable IPv6 in Windows network adapter settings. Then use a good DNS provider like Quad 9 or 1.1.1.1 (even if it’s for everyday non-VPN browsing). Then enable all the proper settings in the PIA app. Since I’m on Windows I can’t speak for Mac users but it’s incredibly simple to find and tweak the settings of their desktop app. The desktop app even allows you to use PIA’s DNS servers or a custom one! Quick side note: it also now lets you use LAN traffic while connected so devices in your house shouldn’t have problems talking to one another (like Plex used to for me). Next turn on killswitch. Finally use the recommended settings of AES-128 GCM as it’s much safer and faster than a CBC encryption. For the price and the feature list, PIA is absolutely incredible. And if you think I’m some sort of marking guy who works for them – use whatever VPN you want I could care less. I just wanted to clear up the (suspiciously similar worded) complaints against this service that’s proven itself time and time again for me

  3. Great list! However, I wonder what you think of Windscribe VPN? I saw they are offering a lifetime subscription and I’m thinking of grabbing one for their Windflix service.

    1. If you have not yet found the perfect vpn for you, then I recommend trying VeePn. It gives full anonymity, there are no problems with speed. You can use it in any country and in the region.

  4. Good read, thanks, I want to share my opinion on a new VPN that is not on your list nor mentioned in the commentaries, – Surfshark VPN. About two months ago due to various scandals, some outlined in your article, some in commentaries, that major VPN players were going through I decided to look for a new reliable provider. I considered VPN hub, Verizon’s safe wifi VPN, but dropped both of them, the latter because of relations to McAfee and the former, well, just didn’t feel like trusting a commercial site for VPN purposes. On the other hand, there were several things I liked about Surfshark VPN so I’ll outline the pros and cons.

    On their website, they advertise unlimited device support, meaning one account can be used for work, home, mobile, even your friends can set it up on their devices. I don’t think that any other VPN provides that, but I might be wrong. There’s a drawback though, the software lacks Linux and macOS clients, so it has to be set up manually. After setting it up I tested speeds and didn’t notice any significant drop, guess that’s because their userbase is still growing and there’s little load on their servers, which is nice. Last but not least, they are based in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction that has no data-retention laws and is outside of 14-eyes countries, and that’s a strong argument to back-up their no logs policies. To sum all this up I think it’s an ambitious new VPN that has a lot to offer, will follow closely the development process. Anybody here heard of them or used their services? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

  5. Do you have any recommendations on mobile-only VPN (e.g., through iOS or Android apps)? My current VPN does not have its own dedicated app for my iPad/iPhone — instead they have downloadable configurations that can be used with the Open VPN app. However, with the recent update to iOS 12 earlier this week, the Open VPN app is no longer compatible with the operating system.

    1. I haven’t tested ProtonVPN. However, I see people calling the service into question, for example this discussion thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17258203.

      The company that ‘’officially’’ operates ProtonVPN is ProtonVPN AG, a Switzerland based company[1]. However, the business is in reality operated by PROTONVPN LT, UAB a Lithuania based company, which has the same office address as Tesonet, UAB. Both company offices are located at: J. Jasinskio g. 16C, Vilnius 03163, Lithuania[2][3]. PROTONVPN LT, UAB is a separate company that ProtonMail outsources the protection of its users information to – ultimately run by Tesonet out of Lithuania[4]. Furthermore, Tesonet is operating a data mining operation out of Lithuania[5]. TesoNet also operates NordVPN[6], which claims to be based in Panama, not Lithuania[7]. This is specifically the type of situation that ProtonMail themselves say not to trust[8]. It’s appalling. In short NordVPN and ProtonVPN are operated by the same people/team/company. It’s likely a joint venture between ProtonMail and Tesonet.

      [1] https://protonvpn.com/about [2] https://rekvizitai.vz.lt/imone/protonvpn_lt/ [3] https://tesonet.com/contact-us/ [4]http://apkforandroid.org/com.protonvpn.android/34784450-prot… [5] http://oxylabs.io.cutestat.com/ [6] https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https:/… [7] https://trademarks.justia.com/871/90/nordvpn-87190896.html [8] https://protonmail.com/blog/trusted-vpn/

      Personally, I’m not impressed by the people who run NordVPN. It seems like a poorly run company with questionable customer support.

  6. Thanks for the reviews. Overall reflective of my own experiences with some of the same vpns. However, I’d like to offer some feedback re: PIA. I’ve been a long time PIA subscriber. They were a good value with fast servers and okay support when I first signed up several years ago. But in the last two years they started going down hill, and in recent months in particular it’s been an utter fiasco. Buggy software with unreliable kill switch. DNS leaks. Mac app takes down your firewall (on purpose). Terrible if not non-existent support that gets worse by the day. Always the same excuse of a “temporary backlog” but in two years they’ve never caught up on the backlog. Hundreds upon hundreds of customer complaints posted on their forums and reddit channel about support tickets never being responded to, including requests for refunds on the so-called money back guarantee. PIA has gone from a good vpn to one of the worst, much of it probably due to poorly managed growth. Way too much money spent on marketing and none on hiring new support people to accommodate all the new customers. Company morale appears very low as evidenced by all the competent support people having quit and those being replaced by ignorant ones. On top of everything else they recently appointed Mark Karpeles as their CTO, the same Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox fame who “lost” $480 million of their customers’ bitcoins, while at the same time $2.3 million mysteriously materialized in his personal bitcoin wallet. Karpeles is under arrest and awaiting trial in Japan for fraud and embezzlement. Even if he’s ultimately acquitted it’s hard to reconcile how PIA could appoint such a bungler (if not a con artist) to be in charge of their security when he presided over one of the biggest online security breaches in history.

      1. I wish you would review the Aloha VPN app for iPad & tell me what you think? I have been using it for a while now & it seems to be working great, I’m thinking about going to the paid version. But one thing concerns me – is that sometimes it ask for my iPad’s device id to configure the vpn connection. Would really appreciate your review.
        Thanks,

  7. Hi there,
    I have been using ibVPN on my laptop.Getting great speed & support from them.I found another great vpn provider which is called NordVPN.Yeap! right now,I’m very much interested to try them out.could you please tell me,is it safe to use nordvpn?
    Great vpn software list 🙂
    Keep it up.Good job man

      1. Speaking of which ones you recommend, how about Kaspersky’s VPN, or the built in one in the Opera browser? Do you have any info on those ones? Thank you 🙂

    1. Nord VPN – their privacy policy:

      NordVPN.com customer data

      E-mail address. We ask for your username and password as part of your registration. That ensures that we can communicate with you when we have any exciting announcements to make, service updates to advise or errors to report.

    2. NordVPN.com customer data (from their privacy policy)

      E-mail address. We ask for your username and password as part of your registration. That ensures that we can communicate with you when we have any exciting announcements to make, service updates to advise or errors to report.

  8. Nice list. It comes with good information such as VPNs with free trials and for how long. Free trials is a way for us subs to figure out if a certain provider is worth paying for or not. I had the 7-day trial from http://www.nicvpn.com and it was great.

  9. To the author:

    I submit information to you regarding future article of VPN. It describes The five eyes, nine eyes and the fourteen eyes, these are ordered from greatest surveilance to least surveilence. These countries are best avoided to use services from especially vpn. Also included on the page are recommended vpns located in safe countries that have a no log policy.
    ” privacytools io” also probably the extensive data sheet available for over 100 vpn is located here “thatoneprivacysite vpn-comparison-chart”

    Your efforts are appreciated and this is only suggested in case you find it useful and no problem if you decide to delete the comment or links.

    Thank you for the great service to the net community!

  10. In my recommendation, the best VPN service I’ve used for torrenting is Express VPN. The VPN connection is stable, and Express VPN offers both paid and free trial services. Besides, Express VPN has launched VPN for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You may visit its official website for more information.

  11. I have tried a few VPN’s championed by the GreyCoder. My favorites, in current use in a very difficult country, are ExpressVPN and VPN.ac. Both have excellent server choice, high reliability, and great customer service. Express’ strong points are speed, excellent UI and the auto feature which halts all outgoing connection if it detects a dropped VPN, and then auto reconnects. VPN.AC is generally a bit slower, but has been 100% reliable and my feeling is that it’s more secure for a U.S. resident. It also includes a great feature for Firefox – a Proxy extension with a connect button in the Firefox toolbar, useful for quick tasks not requiring serious anonymity/encryption. You can run the Proxy and VPN simultaneously for added security.
    Both install/uninstall easily with no drama. And one more thing – ExpressVPN even works on my Windows Phone!

  12. Private Internet Access didn’t respond to my customer service requests regarding slow speeds and disconnections.

  13. I am an Astrill user and so far their service is good hence I cannot really say if their customer service is that bad. I haven’t had a problem with them hence I never needed their number 😉

  14. PureVPN is also a best option.
    You can check out their protocols that provide extra layer of security and anonymity
    PureVPN Protocols
    PPTP
    SSTP
    OpenVPN
    Socks5 Proxy
    OpenWeb
    L2TP over IPSec
    Just confirm their speed by using trial and they offer 7 days money back guarantee so you can easily go ahead with it.

    1. after reading some positive review I purchased a pureVPN two years service but I am very disappointed about the service, difficult connections (usually 8 or more attempts are required), no possibility to select the exact server location (there is a random server per country) etc.

  15. what about VPNs offering lifetime subscriptions? Can they be trusted?
    Do you know of any that works well with popcorn time?

    1. We are about to launch a comprehensive VPN search tool. For now, you can check out the VPNs listed at the top of the page under the heading “VPNs For Privacy” — these providers have minimal logs.

      Note that every VPN provider does some logging, because they need to stop network abuse.

    1. I generally advise people to avoid any free VPN offers, because they tend to be run by untrustworthy companies.

    1. I agree 100%. I’ve been using ExpressVPN since May 2015 and renew my subscription every 6 months. On ExpressVPN am talking from my experience; they have very fast servers and excellent service, live online chat support that responds very quickly. They can also unblock Hulu and BBC iPlayer.

  16. PIA does not unblock Netflix, and offered no help when I asked customer support. I’m in Sweden and need to unblock US Netflix, any suggestions?

    1. These are my recommend VPNs for unblock Netflix:

      IPVanish (USA)
      UnblockUS (based in USA — Smart DNS)

      (See links in the article above)

  17. PIA is no good. Used their services and had DNS leaks. My sessions would drop for no apparent reason and exposed my real IP. No longer used their services.

  18. Your website has been tremendously helpful. I like you to know that I have used PIA and have had DNS leaks and my connection dropped on many occasion for no apparent reason exposing my real IP. I no longer used their service. Thought you should know since you recommend their services quite a bit.

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