NordVPN review
  • Advanced security features like Double VPN and Onion over VPN. Utilizes next-generation encryption to ensure data security. Private DNS to reduce the risk of third-party spying. Non-VPN privacy tools like Dark Web Monitoring and Threat Protection


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ExpressVPN review
  • Kill switch, split tunneling, and MediaStreamer DNS for enhanced user security and streaming experiences. Effective unblocking of various streaming services. User-friendly app design across various platforms. Lightway protocol for swift connectivity speeds and reduced power consumption.


130 Votes

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Private Internet Access review
  • Extensive app customization for both beginners and power users. User-friendly settings, detailed advanced settings, and split tunneling. Strong commitment to user privacy with a proven no-log audit.


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When it comes to protecting your online privacy, not all VPNs are created equal. Choosing a safe VPN is critical for safeguarding your digital identity. However, with numerous options available, how can you ensure you’re selecting a VPN service that offers real security and privacy? This article cuts to the chase, bringing you leading safe VPN choices, key features they must offer, and transparency you should expect, so you can browse with confidence, knowing you’re well-protected.

Key Takeaways

  • When evaluating the safety of VPN services, key factors include the strength of encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and the strategic locations of servers.
  • Top-rated VPN services offer advanced security features such as kill switches, multi-hop connections, and DNS leak protection to further enhance online privacy and security.
  • While VPNs are vital for online privacy, they should be complemented with antivirus software for comprehensive protection, as VPNs do not protect against malware or phishing attacks.
VPN Service Best For Price Key Features Pros Cons Overall Rating LEARN MORE
NordVPN Security $3.71/month (2-year plan) Double VPN, Onion over VPN, Advanced Encryption Military-grade encryption, robust security Concerns about transparency, intermittent Kill Switch 4/5 Check offer

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ExpressVPN Overall Performance $8.32/month (1-year plan) Kill switch, split tunneling, MediaStreamer DNS Wide privacy features, strong customer support Higher price 4/5 Check offer

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Surfshark Budget Shoppers $2.49/month (24-month subscription) Multi-hop connections, Kill Switch Budget-friendly, strong encryption Inconsistent P2P speeds 4/5 Check offer

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Evaluating the Safety of VPN Services

Three key criteria to consider in evaluating the safety of VPN services are encryption, no-logs policies, and server locations. Let’s delve into the details of each.

First, encryption plays a vital role in VPN safety. When you browse the internet, your internet service provider (ISP), hackers, and even government agencies can potentially view your activities. However, a secure VPN service encrypts your internet traffic, making it almost impossible for anyone to peek into your online activities. A VPN without robust encryption leaves you vulnerable to exposure and potential cyber attacks.

Next, no-logs policies are also crucial for VPN safety. A no-logs policy means that the VPN provider doesn’t store any data related to your online activity. This ensures that even if the VPN provider is compelled by law enforcement agencies, they will have no data to hand over. However, not all VPN providers follow a strict no-logs policy, which can put your privacy at risk.

Finally, server locations can significantly impact the reliability and capabilities of a VPN connection. The geographical placement of servers can influence the speed and reliability of your VPN connection. Moreover, some VPN services use virtual server locations to enhance security and bypass ISP restrictions.

The Importance of a No-Logs Policy for Secure VPN Usage

Within VPNs, a no-logs policy forms a vital privacy and security feature. Let’s understand what a no-logs policy means and its importance.

A no-logs policy means the VPN provider refrains from storing any data related to your online activity, such as your IP address, browsing history, or DNS queries. This lack of data retention ensures that even if the VPN provider is compelled to hand over data by law enforcement agencies, they won’t have anything to give. Norton Secure VPN is one such provider that offers a no-logs policy.

However, not all VPN providers have a no-logs policy. In the absence of such a policy, a VPN provider could potentially expose your usage logs and sensitive information to authorities or other entities, leading to privacy and security concerns.

Keep in mind that although VPNs aim for a no-logs approach, they might retain minimal user information for operational tasks like billing. But a strict no-logs policy can provide a high level of security as they refrain from storing any user data, ensuring your online activities remain private and inaccessible to unauthorized parties.

Advanced Security Features of Top-Rated VPNs

Besides encryption and no-logs policies, top-rated VPNs pack additional advanced security features. These features further enhance your online security, making it even harder for cybercriminals or prying eyes to breach your privacy.

One such feature is a VPN kill switch. A VPN kill switch is designed to disconnect your device from the internet if your VPN connection drops. This ensures that your online activities will never be exposed, even if there’s an issue with your VPN connection.

Another advanced security feature is multi-hop connections, also known as double VPN. This feature routes your online traffic through multiple servers, providing an additional layer of privacy and security. In contrast, split tunneling allows for selective routing of traffic, giving users more control over their online activities.

Lastly, DNS leak protection is another critical security feature offered by top-rated VPNs. This feature prevents your internet traffic from being routed through unauthorized DNS servers, thereby ensuring your privacy and security.

Recognizing and Avoiding Unsafe VPN Providers

Despite the abundance of reliable and secure VPN services, some providers might jeopardize your privacy and security. Recognizing the red flags and avoiding such providers is key.

Red flags to look out for when choosing a VPN provider include:

  • Being headquartered in a country with lenient privacy laws

  • Keeping records of user activity

  • Having ambiguous terms of service

  • Not offering OpenVPN or other secure protocols

  • Failing leak tests

  • Providing free services

  • Not supporting anonymous payment methods

  • Lacking an established reputation

A VPN provider’s privacy policy should comprehensively outline:

  • Operational practices

  • Logging policies

  • The legal jurisdiction they operate under along with its data protection laws

  • The security measures implemented to safeguard user data.

A VPN provider’s jurisdiction significantly influences the data protection laws they must adhere to. Hence, a VPN located in a jurisdiction with strong privacy laws guarantees improved user privacy and legal protection.

Unsafe VPN providers like Hola, HotSpot Shield, and HideMyAss may compromise the security and privacy of VPN users, sell user data, offer inadequate features, or contain malware, making them unreliable choices for safety-conscious users.

Ensuring Your Internet Connection is Secure with VPN Protocols

VPN protocols form the foundation of VPN services, creating a secure pathway for data transmission, thereby preserving the privacy of online activities and corporate data. Let’s examine how VPN protocols work and their function in internet connection security.

A VPN protocol, also known as a virtual private network, establishes an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server. This ensures the security of data transfers over the internet, protecting your data from prying eyes.

WireGuard is one such secure tunneling protocol. It’s designed to be user-friendly and easily deployable, utilizing advanced cryptography to guarantee the security of internet connections. WireGuard offers:

  • Simplicity

  • Security

  • Speed

  • Openness

However, it’s worth noting that it may present some security challenges. For example, WireGuard does not have support for tunneling over TCP, which could impact network performance. Moreover, it does not have the capability to assign users different IP addresses, which could potentially compromise privacy.

Trusted VPN Companies That Prioritize User Privacy

When selecting a VPN, prioritize providers that emphasize user privacy. There are several VPN companies known for their commitment to user privacy, including:

  • ExpressVPN

  • Mullvad

  • CyberGhost

  • Private Internet Access (PIA)

These companies are known for their transparent privacy policies. They clearly outline how they handle user data and adhere to strict no-logs policies, ensuring your online activities remain private.

Other providers, such as:

  • NordVPN

  • IVPN

  • Mullvad

  • ProtonVPN, which is also known as proton vpn

have demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting user data. They implement robust security measures to safeguard user data and maintain a clear and transparent privacy policy.

The Role of Antivirus Software in Conjunction with VPNs

VPNs are significant for online privacy and security, but they aren’t a one-stop solution. Complementing your VPN usage with other security tools, like antivirus software, is essential.

Antivirus software and VPNs provide complementary protection. While a VPN encrypts your online traffic and conceals your IP address, antivirus software specializes in detecting and preventing malware infections. Some VPNs even offer additional features like ad-blockers or threat protection, which can assist antivirus software in blocking access to malicious websites.

A common misconception is that a VPN is all you need for online security. However, a VPN does not provide protection against malware or phishing attacks. By incorporating antivirus software, you can ensure comprehensive online protection.

Selecting the Most Secure VPN for Different Online Activities

Different online activities require different levels of security and privacy. Depending on whether you’re streaming, working remotely, or seeking maximum privacy, the ideal VPN for you may vary.

Let’s delve into the specifics and provide recommendations for each scenario.

For Streaming Enthusiasts

Streaming enthusiasts often face geo-restrictions and bandwidth throttling. A VPN can help bypass these obstacles and provide a smooth streaming experience. When choosing a VPN for streaming, look for one that enables access to geo-blocked TV shows and movies, while also providing strong encryption for privacy and a hidden IP address.

NordVPN and ExpressVPN are recommended for unblocking streaming content. NordVPN, in particular, is recognized for its fast streaming speeds. A VPN allows access to geo-restricted streaming content by altering your perceived online location, effectively circumventing regional content restrictions.

In addition to unblocking content, VPNs for streaming use robust encryption standards, like 256-bit AES or AES-256-GCM, and provide improved streaming safety and privacy through web threat protection.

For Remote Workers and Business Use

Remote workers and businesses have unique security needs. A VPN can enhance the security of remote workers by encrypting their online activities, thereby protecting their data and privacy from potential threats. For businesses and remote workers, NordVPN, Golden Frog VyprVPN, and NordVPN Teams are recommended VPN choices. Essential VPN features for remote work include shielding online activity, managing access control, ensuring productive teamwork, strong encryption, a no-logs policy, speed, reliability, server availability, ease of use, customer support, and maintaining data privacy.

Additionally, some VPNs offer the option for multiple simultaneous connections. Surfshark, IPVanish, and Atlas VPN, for instance, allow you to connect multiple devices under a single subscription. This feature can be beneficial for businesses as it allows them to share the connection among multiple devices.

For the Privacy-Conscious Individual

For privacy-conscious individuals, choosing a VPN that prioritizes anonymity and advanced security features is crucial. Such VPNs protect your online activities and ensure that your personal data remains private.

When selecting a VPN for maximum privacy, it’s crucial to look for features like:

  • A kill switch

  • Router and protocol support

  • Security and privacy measures

  • Strong encryption

  • Easy setup and use

  • Simultaneous connections

  • A widespread server network

Surfshark VPN and NordVPN are examples of VPNs that provide advanced security features. These include a strict no-logs policy, kill switch, private DNS & leak protection, and secure encryption.

VPNs with advanced security features play a crucial role in achieving online anonymity by offering a different IP address, concealing the real IP address, and altering the online location.

How to Set Up a Safe VPN Connection

Although setting up a safe VPN connection might appear challenging, it’s quite simple. Here’s a stepwise guide to assist you in establishing a secure VPN connection.

First, choose a trustworthy VPN provider. When selecting a VPN, consider factors such as:

  • Security and privacy

  • Speed

  • Strong encryption

  • Easy setup and use

  • Simultaneous connections

  • Number of servers and server locations

  • Logging policy

  • Customer support

  • Price

  • Reputation

  • Reviews

Next, install the VPN application on your device. You can download a VPN app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, install the app, and open it.

Once you’ve installed the VPN application, you can set up a VPN connection by following these steps:

  1. Open the settings app on your device.

  2. Navigate to Network & Internet.

  3. Select Advanced.

  4. Tap VPN.

  5. Add the VPN connection.

Last but not least, select the appropriate server for your VPN connection. Consider the following factors when choosing a server:

  • The speed of a VPN can be influenced by the server location, as certain locations provide faster internet speed.

  • Physical proximity to the server can improve performance.

  • Consider safety aspects as well.

The Fastest VPN Services Without Compromising Safety

Speed significantly impacts your VPN experience. No one prefers buffering while streaming their favorite show or slow download speeds while downloading files. However, remember that speed should not compromise security.

Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN are recognized for being some of the fastest VPN services while also prioritizing safety and privacy. These VPNs uphold high speeds by optimizing their network infrastructure and utilizing efficient protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN, which provide a balance between speed and security.

The speed of a VPN service is influenced by factors such as:

  • The VPN protocol used

  • Server location

  • Routing

  • Network setup

  • Server bandwidth

  • The user’s overall internet speed

Additionally, the physical distance to the VPN server and the number of people using the same server can impact speed.

The server location can also influence the speed and safety of a VPN. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Certain locations can provide faster internet speed

  • Physical proximity to the server can enhance performance

  • However, it’s also important to consider the safety aspects of the server location.

Price vs. Security: Finding the Best VPN Value

When selecting a VPN, balance between the price and the security features it provides is essential. While there are free VPN services available, they often come with limited features and questionable privacy policies. On the other hand, premium VPNs may be more expensive but offer robust security features and better performance.

VPN prices are usually structured on a monthly or yearly basis, with longer-term plans generally offering better value. However, the cost of a VPN can also be an indicator of its features and quality. Premium VPNs with higher costs often offer:

  • Stronger security

  • Faster speeds

  • Wider server selections

  • Better customer support

Companies like NordVPN, CyberGhost, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access offer high-level security features at an affordable price. These VPNs provide a perfect balance between price and security, making them an excellent choice for users seeking the best VPN value.

Money-Back Guarantees and Free Trials: Testing VPN Safety

It’s advisable to test a VPN service before committing to it. Numerous VPN providers offer money-back guarantees and free trials, letting you evaluate their service prior to subscription.

Money-back guarantees can vary among VPN providers, but they generally include a refund within a specific timeframe, often around 30 days. However, refund policies may vary between VPN providers, so it’s advisable to thoroughly review the terms and conditions.

Some VPN providers offer longer money-back guarantee periods. For instance, CyberGhost VPN offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, one of the longest in the industry.

To cancel a VPN subscription and request a refund during the money-back guarantee period, you can follow specific procedures outlined by the VPN service provider. For instance, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing customers to cancel their subscription within 30 days of purchase and contact their customer service for a refund.

During the free trial or money-back guarantee period, users can test the safety of a VPN by:

  • Verifying if it is functioning properly

  • Avoiding typical security vulnerabilities such as DNS leaks

  • Evaluating the VPN for IP address leaks

  • Checking for WebRTC leaks

  • Testing the speed

VPN Myths Debunked: Common Misconceptions About VPN Safety

Many misconceptions exist regarding VPNs and their safety features. Let’s dispel these myths and shed light on the true capabilities and limitations of VPN services.

One common myth is that VPNs can protect against malware. While VPNs can encrypt your internet traffic and conceal your IP address, they do not provide protection against malware or phishing attacks. That’s where antivirus software comes in.

Another misconception is that VPNs can ensure total online anonymity. While VPNs do enhance privacy by concealing IP addresses and encrypting data, they cannot guarantee complete anonymity. Various factors in the digital environment can still contribute to identifying a user beyond their IP address.

Finally, the reliability of the encryption used by VPNs is often misunderstood. The encryption offered by reputable VPN services is highly reliable. It is specifically designed to safeguard your data from interception, making it extremely challenging for unauthorized parties to access your information during transmission over the internet.

Navigating International VPN Usage: Understanding Legal Implications

Legal implications of VPN usage can differ considerably across countries. While most countries permit VPN use, some have imposed bans or restrictions.

The use of VPNs is permitted in the majority of countries, such as the US, the UK, Canada, and most of Europe. Nevertheless, there are certain countries where the use of VPNs is prohibited or subject to extensive monitoring. Countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, India, Uganda, China, Russia, and Belarus have banned or restricted VPN usage.

Individuals who are discovered using a VPN in countries where it is banned could potentially be subject to fines, imprisonment, or other legal sanctions. The ban or restriction of VPN usage in some countries is often due to national security concerns or to control information access and prevent the circumvention of censorship.

However, there are no overarching international regulations affecting VPN usage. Some countries require VPN providers to comply with specific regulations, but the use of VPNs is regulated differently by each country.

Protecting Multiple Devices: VPNs with Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

As many of us own multiple devices, their protection is critical. Luckily, some VPNs offer unlimited simultaneous connections, enabling protection across multiple devices with a single subscription.

Surfshark and IPVanish are two VPNs that offer unlimited simultaneous connections, enabling a single subscription to cover multiple devices. This feature is particularly beneficial for households with several devices or small businesses with multiple employees. A single VPN subscription usually protects between five and seven devices simultaneously. However, some VPN services, like Surfshark and IPVanish, extend this limit to offer unlimited device protection under one account.

While the unlimited simultaneous connections feature provides comprehensive device coverage, it’s important to be mindful of potential slower internet speeds and performance issues, such as:

  • increased latency

  • decreased download and upload speeds

  • buffering or lagging during streaming

  • longer connection times

This is because the more devices are connected to a VPN, the more bandwidth is consumed.

Day-to-Day Security: Integrating VPNs into Your Daily Internet Habits

To reap the maximum benefits of a VPN, integrating it into your daily internet habits is vital. This means using your VPN every time you connect to the internet, whether you’re browsing the web, streaming content, or working remotely.

To integrate VPN usage into your daily routine, follow these steps:

  1. Choose and connect to a server in your preferred location. This will provide you with a new IP address from that location and should become a regular practice when you go online.

  2. Enhance your experience by selecting a server close to you, with lower load.

  3. Experiment with different protocols when required.

  4. Remember to save data by turning the VPN off when it’s not necessary.

To maintain your privacy and security with daily VPN use, it is important to:

  • Understand how VPNs protect your internet privacy

  • Apply proper data security regulations and procedures

  • Consider using 2FA/MFA

  • Use the OpenVPN protocol

  • Enable a kill switch

  • Enable network-level protection

  • Regularly update your VPN software

  • Avoid free VPNs

  • Establish a strong password

  • Enable automatic connections on trusted networks

  • Choose a reliable VPN provider.

Using a VPN daily can affect your internet speed and overall performance due to the encryption process introducing latency. It’s important to note that the impact can vary based on server location, VPN protocol, and the overall quality of the VPN service.


Throughout this comprehensive guide, we’ve tackled various aspects of VPN safety, from evaluating the safety of VPN services and understanding the importance of a no-logs policy to debunking common VPN myths and navigating international VPN usage.

In conclusion, a VPN is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your online privacy and security. However, it’s crucial to choose a VPN that prioritizes user privacy, employs robust security measures, and maintains a transparent policy. Remember, your online security is in your hands. Make the right choice, and stay safe online.

VPN Service Best For Price Overall Rating LEARN MORE
NordVPN Security $3.71/month (2-year plan) 4/5 Compare

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ExpressVPN Overall Performance $8.32/month (1-year plan) 4/5 Compare

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Surfshark Budget Shoppers $2.49/month (24-month subscription) 4/5 Compare

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Frequently Asked Questions

1Which VPN is safest?
If you're looking for the safest VPN, consider NordVPN, Surfshark, or Private Internet Access based on tests and assessments. ExpressVPN also retains the CNET Editors' Choice Award for best overall VPN.
2What is the safest free VPN?
Proton VPN's free tier is considered the safest free VPN option available. It provides secure service without limiting speeds, data, or usage time.
3Is VPN safe or risky?
In conclusion, using a reliable VPN can be a safe way to protect your internet traffic and maintain privacy online. However, it's important to be cautious with free VPNs as they may pose security risks.
4What are the key factors to consider when evaluating the safety of a VPN service?
When evaluating the safety of a VPN service, consider the encryption type, VPN provider's logging policy, and server locations. These factors are crucial for ensuring a secure and reliable VPN service.
5How do VPN protocols help secure my internet connection?
VPN protocols help secure your internet connection by creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server, ensuring the safety of your data transfers.