Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (2024)

For anyone who uses the internet regularly (which is, let’s face it, most people), signing up for one of the services in our best VPN list is essential.

At this point, there shouldn’t be too many people out there who don’t yet know what a VPN is. Aside from being a regular topic of discussion in the tech space, they’re also advertised a great deal online so you’d really have to go out of your way to avoid them completely.

A VPN (virtual private network) allows you to establish a connection to the internet without using the identifying IP address of the device you’re using to get online. Instead, it allows you to remain anonymous (and out of the view of bad actors) by using an IP address from a completely different location. You can even go so far as to use an IP address located on the other side of the world.

One reason why VPNs have exploded in popularity over the last few years is due to the ever increasing levels of cybercrime taking place and the tech being developed to harvest your data. Because of this, VPNs are no longer a simple tool for bolstering your online security – they’re an essential requirement for anyone looking to keep their data safe, especially if you regularly use public Wi-Fi networks.

In 2024 however, there’s no shortage of VPNs to choose from so to make sure that you can invest your hard earned money in a service that works as intended, we’ve tested and vetted all of the major options for key features like speed, availability of access points and more.

We also have a rundown of the best free VPN services for those who have a limited budget. If you want to expand your cyber security beyond your IP address, you can also check out our guides for the best antivirus, best free antivirus and the best password manager too.

Which is the best VPN?

How we test

Learn more about how we test VPNs

We carry out speed tests to get a general feel for how each service performs. We test all services using their clients’ default settings.

We run tests from a London-based connection that typically sees speeds between 500Mbps and 700Mbps, which means that we’re able to get a good idea of what each VPN’s maximum speeds currently are. We test multiple endpoints from each provider in three locations: the UK, the Netherlands and the US.

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (1)

NordVPN

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  • Large number of servers
  • Wide range of security features and endpoints
  • Clear, audited no-logging policy
  • Great for streaming

  • Relatively expensive
  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (2)

ProtonVPN

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  • Unlimited-bandwidth free tier
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Paid version is great for streaming
  • Quick download speeds

  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (3)

Surfshark

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  • Blisteringly fast
  • Good for streaming
  • Great value subscription
  • Unlimited devices

  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate
  • You have to interact with a human being if you wish to cancel your subscription

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (4)

Perfect Privacy

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  • No-logging policy, proven by server seizure
  • Unlimited devices
  • Extensive security features

  • Generally slow transfer speeds
  • Unsuitable for video streaming
  • Expensive

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (5)

Mullvad VPN

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  • Fast speeds
  • Low, consistent price of €5 a month
  • Great range of cross-platform clients

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (6)

ExpressVPN

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  • Fast HTTPS transfer speeds
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • No price increase on renewal

  • Significantly more expensive than many rivals

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (7)

Surfshark

Best VPN overall

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (8)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (9)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (10)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (11)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (12)

Pros

  • Blisteringly fast
  • Good for streaming
  • Great value subscription
  • Unlimited devices

Cons

  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate
  • You have to interact with a human being if you wish to cancel your subscription

Surfshark VPN has regained its place at the top of our rankings following the latest round of VPN testing. Its move to RAMdisk servers has addressed our concerns with the VPN’s security, as users can be rest assured that their data cannot be permanently stored.

Surfshark can be connected to an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, which we found very useful if you have multiple phones, tablets and laptops or are looking for a VPN for the whole family.

The VPN also saw some of the fastest speeds in our group performance test and proved effective when streaming video. We were impressed with its competitive pricing, with a two-year subscription working out to be as little as $2.30/£2,40 per month and undercutting the majority of its rivals, giving it the edge over NordVPN.

We think Surfshark has the best balance of performance, security and price of all of the VPNs we’ve tested, and so deserves a place at the top of our list.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: Surfshark Review

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (13)

Save 81% on a VPN with SurfShark

Surfshark has dropped the price of its VPN to £1.94 a month. Head over to Surfshark now to pay a one time price of £46.44 for 24 months of Surfshark and save 81%.

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Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (14)

NordVPN

Best VPN for features and performance

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Pros

  • Large number of servers
  • Wide range of security features and endpoints
  • Clear, audited no-logging policy
  • Great for streaming

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs you can subscribe to, with incredible speeds and a plethora of security features, but we think its high renewal fees mean you can find slightly better value with Surfshark.

There are still plenty of great reasons to subscribe to NordVPN though. During testing, we were impressed with the large number of available endpoints, a huge range of security features and its ability to keep your data private even when streaming video. Our research shows NordVPN has a clear no-logging policy, which has been verified by independent audits.

You can also connect up to six devices simultaneously, working across an impressive range of platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux and Android TV.

Besides the high cost and harsh renewal rates, it’s difficult to find a flaw with NordVPN, as it offers such a great all-rounder experience. ProtonVPN and Surfshark are both worth checking out if you’re happy to sacrifice a few features for a more affordable subscription.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: NordVPN Review

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ProtonVPN

Best free VPN

Pros

  • Unlimited-bandwidth free tier
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Paid version is great for streaming
  • Quick download speeds

Cons

  • Subscriptions renew at a higher rate

ProtonVPN ranks number one in our best free VPN list since it offers unlimited bandwidth, allowing you to use it as much as you want every month as long as you’re happy to be restricted to three countries’ endpoints.

But focusing solely on the free tier would be doing ProtonVPN a disservice, as its Plus Tier is excellent too. During the review process, we were impressed with having servers in 63 different countries, as well as additional features such as P2P/BitTorrent support and an AdBlocker.

Our performance test demonstrated that both the free and paid-for tiers offer incredible speeds, with only NordVPN and Surfshark beating ProtonVPN in a 15-VPN group test.

But while ProtonVPN’s Plus tier is undoubtedly excellent, we weren’t impressed by the steep renewal fees. The free tier is arguably the most compelling option, and is well worth checking out due to its unlimited bandwidth. And if you want a free VPN that offers even more endpoints, check out Windscribe too.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: ProtonVPN Review

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (27)

Up to 50% off on ProtonVPN

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Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (28)

ExpressVPN

Greatest range of countries

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Pros

  • Fast HTTPS transfer speeds
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • No price increase on renewal

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive than many rivals

If you want a VPN that can connect to a server in a specific country, then ExpressVPN is our top recommendation. It has high-speed servers across 94 different countries, giving you the most flexibility of all of the VPNs on this list.

Our tests showed it to offer above-average performance speeds too, while also supporting a wide variety of different devices. It has a no-logging policy to please those concerned with security, although it hasn’t been tested under the new ownership just yet, making Perfect Privacy a more appealing option for such use cases.

ExpressVPN also offers plenty of features, including a kill switch, split tunnelling and browser extensions. It is admittedly a little more expensive than other options, but there’s at least no price increase on renewal, making it a great long-term VPN.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: ExpressVPN

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (34)

ExpressVPN – Save 49%

Save 35% with ExpressVPN, now from just £5.43 per month for 12 months + 3 months free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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  • £5.43 per month

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Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (35)

Perfect Privacy

Best VPN for security

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Pros

  • No-logging policy, proven by server seizure
  • Unlimited devices
  • Extensive security features

Cons

  • Generally slow transfer speeds
  • Unsuitable for video streaming
  • Expensive

We found Perfect Privacy to be one of the leading VPNs for security. It has a no-logging policy that has been proven by a real-life server seizure and a huge selection of security features, including Multi-Hop connections, a Stealth VPN mode to hide the fact you’re using a VPN and flexible kill-switch settings.

Just like Surfshark, it can be loaded up on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, making it ideal for families and those with loads and loads of gadgets.

However, Perfect Privacy does have a major flaw in that its server speeds are downright sluggish compared to rival VPNs – the United States endpoint was barely usable during our tests. We suggest looking at NordVPN or Surfshark if you crave fast server speeds.

Perfect Privacy is also relatively expensive, although we think that’s a price worth paying if you want the most reliable VPN currently available. Still, it’s a shame there’s no free tier, with ProtonVPN being a superb alternative if you’re not willing to spend any money.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: Perfect Privacy Review

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (41)

Perfect Privacy VPN – Save 23%

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Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (42)

Mullvad VPN

Best VPN for month-to-month subscription

Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (43)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (44)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (45)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (46)Best VPN 2024: Stay protected online with these top services (47)

Pros

  • Fast speeds
  • Low, consistent price of €5 a month
  • Great range of cross-platform clients

Cons

  • No use for streaming

Most VPNS offer the best value when you sign up to a long-term contract spanning between one and two years. Mullvad VPN takes a different approach, offering the same great value but on a month-to-month basis. This means you can easily change your mind at any point without having to pay a penalty.

Our performance tests showed Mullvad offers above-average speeds on average, and while our tests show it’s not hugely effective for streaming TV, the split-tunnelling feature means you don’t have to deactivate your VPN for browsing the web while watching the likes of Netflix.

Mullvad also uses RAMdisk servers throughout its infrastructure, which means it’s impossible for the company to permanently store your browsing data, making it a great option for the privacy conscious.

NordVPN is admittedly faster, while Perfect Privacy offers a greater wealth of security features, but Mullvad VPN remains a solid option if you want a great-value VPN without committing to a long-term subscription.

Reviewer: K.G. Orphanides
Full Review: Mullvad VPN Review

We also considered…

VyprVPN

A reliable VPN with a high monthly fee

Windscribe

One of the best free VPN options

We’ve reviewed

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Internet, VPN & Web Software

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FAQs

Which is the best VPN for free?

ProtonVPN is our favourite free VPN, since it offers unlimited monthly bandwidth. Windscribe is another great option if you want more country endpoints.

Which VPN is most trusted?

Many of the VPNs on this list have a verified no-logging policy, but Perfect Privacy is arguably the most trusted since it’s proven its no-logging policy in a real-life server seizure.

Which VPN is fastest?

NordVPN was the fastest VPN in our performance group test, with Surfshark and ProtonVPN not too far behind.

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