These VPNs Can Help Improve Your Online Privacy (2024)

StrongVPN blasts onto our list with excellent infrastructure and a decent price. StrongVPN has a strong no-logging policy and picks up kudos for its large base of IP addresses. It has a solid collection of servers and worldwide locations. For those of you who need a dedicated IP, you can get one from the company but you'll need to contact customer support to get help setting it up.

One of StrongVPN's strengths is the company's network. It owns and operates its entire network infrastructure, which means it has no externally dictated limits on bandwidth or the type of internet traffic allowed on the network.

StrongVPN's regular monthly price of $10.99 is in the middle of the pack, but its regular yearly price of $80 is among the lowest of our contenders.

Our hands-on testing and review process is designed to cut through that hype. When we look at each VPN service, we're not just examining them for their technical weaknesses, but we're also scrutinizing their individual performance strengths. We want to know what each service does best. We test each VPN across over 20 factors, and we're continuallyimproving our methodologyas we learn more.

We test VPNs for browsing and streaming speed in multiple countries, as well as their connection stability and even the smallest potential privacy leaks. By testing across multiple devices and platforms, we're able to assess which VPNs are best for gaming versus those best for streaming, torrenting or sharing sensitive information. Most importantly, we focus on doing the deep-dive research necessary to vet each VPN's historical credibility and itsownership in a notoriously murky market.

The VPNs on this list earn our recommendation for more than just boosting their digital privacy strengths -- they enable easy streaming to overcome geo-blocked media, have torrenting-friendly servers, and are fast enough to support gaming globally. Based on those continued evaluations, you'll see a few bullet points on each entry in our list, highlighting each VPN's strengths and the uses we recommend it for most. And because we strive to keep on top of a fast-changing market, you'll notice that the rank of each VPN service changes as we learn more and retest.

This table shows the speeds we experienced in our testing. Your speeds will vary depending on factors like your internet service plan and connection type. The percentage of speed lost is intended as a general indicator of how much the VPN slows down your connection -- lower numbers represent a faster overall connection.

Picking a VPN requires knowing two basic things to start with: What you want to use it for, and what you're willing to pay. The range of VPN offerings is vast, but those two things will help you find a VPN that has the right blend of speed, security and cost.

Below, you'll find specific FAQ sections on picking a VPN based on the most common needs: gaming, streaming media, working from home andprivacy-criticalprofessions. In general, you'll want a VPN that provides sufficient encryption, doesn't log your activity, offers essential security features like DNS leak protection and a kill switch, has server locations where you need them and can give you fast connection speeds. Our top five VPNs have all these features, although connection speeds will vary based on your internet provider and the server you connect to.

For a deeper dive, check our detailed walk-through ofhow we evaluate and review VPNs. If you're looking for some quick pointers, here are universally applicable advice guides for beginners:

Don't use free VPN services: With the exception of Proton, you'll find only paid VPN options on this list above because they're the only ones we can recommend.

Look for a no-logs VPN, but understand the caveats: The best VPNs keep as few logs as possible and make them as anonymous as possible, so there's little data to provide should authorities come knocking. Even "no-logs" VPNs aren't 100% anonymous.

There are limits to the privacy VPNs currently provide to iOS users: Recent independentresearch has surfacedsuggesting iPhones and iPads running iOS 14 or later may be vulnerable to device-only VPN leaks, regardless of which VPN is used. Apple users concerned with potential leaks can take extra precautions by installing their VPN on a home router to ensure their entire Wi-Fi network is encrypted. Some iOS users may potentially reduce the likelihood of leaks while outside of a home network by enabling their VPN's kill switch and selecting OpenVPN protocols. You can also try closing all apps, activating your VPN, and then enabling and disabling Airplane Mode before using your device normally. Apple advises users to activate their device'sAlways On VPNprofile for additional protection.

VPN transparency is important, but warrant canaries are only the beginning: Many services use "warrant canaries" to passively note to the public whether or not they've been subpoenaed by a government entity. This is because many investigations from national security agencies can't be actively disclosed by law. Like the no-logging issue -- warrant canaries aren't always as straightforward as they seem. You should spend more time investigating whether your prospective VPN has cooperated with authorities in the past, and how and when it's disclosed that fact.

Think twice about using a US-based VPN: The Patriot Act is still the law of the land in the US, and that means US-based VPNs have little recourse if and when the feds show up with subpoenas ornational security lettersin hand demanding access to servers, VPN user accounts or other data. Yes, they may have little data to access if the service has a strong no-logs policy, but why not just choose a service that's based outside Uncle Sam's jurisdiction? (If this is a concern for you, you'll also want to avoid countries with which the US has intelligence-sharing agreements.)

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

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StrongVPN Overview

StrongVPN is a VPN service known for its excellent infrastructure and competitive pricing. It is recognized for its strong no-logging policy and a large base of IP addresses. The company owns and operates its entire network infrastructure, allowing it to offer unrestricted bandwidth and support for various types of internet traffic. StrongVPN's pricing is considered reasonable, with a regular monthly price of $10.99 and a yearly price of $80, which is among the lowest in the market.

VPN Testing and Evaluation

The evaluation process for VPN services involves comprehensive testing across over 20 factors, including browsing and streaming speed in multiple countries, connection stability, and privacy leaks. The focus is on assessing each VPN's historical credibility and ownership in a complex market. The VPNs are recommended based on their digital privacy strengths, streaming capabilities, torrenting-friendly servers, and global gaming support. The rankings of VPN services are subject to change as new information becomes available and retesting is conducted.

Factors for Choosing a VPN

When selecting a VPN, it's important to consider the intended use and budget. The key considerations include the blend of speed, security, and cost. Essential features to look for in a VPN include sufficient encryption, no activity logging, essential security features like DNS leak protection and a kill switch, and server locations that meet specific needs. The top VPNs are expected to offer these features, although connection speeds may vary based on the user's internet provider and the selected server.

Additional Considerations and Recommendations

  • Free VPN Services: It's advisable to avoid free VPN services, with paid options being the recommended choice.
  • No-Logs VPNs: While the best VPNs aim to keep as few logs as possible, it's important to understand the limitations of "no-logs" VPNs.
  • iOS Users: Recent research has highlighted potential vulnerabilities for iOS users, and additional precautions are recommended, such as installing the VPN on a home router and enabling the VPN's kill switch.
  • VPN Transparency: Warrant canaries and the cooperation of VPN services with authorities should be thoroughly investigated.
  • US-Based VPNs: Users are advised to consider the implications of using a US-based VPN due to legal considerations and potential government access to data.

This information provides a comprehensive overview of the concepts and considerations related to StrongVPN and VPN services in general. If you have any specific questions or need further details on any of these topics, feel free to ask!

These VPNs Can Help Improve Your Online Privacy (2024)


How does a VPN improve privacy? ›

A VPN creates a secure tunnel between a user's computer and the VPN server, which hides their online activity and location. VPN security enables users to protect their online privacy and prevent their internet service provider (ISP) from tracking their browsing activity.

What is the best VPN to protect privacy? ›

The Best VPN Services of 2024
  • NordVPN - Best VPN for Privacy.
  • Surfshark - Best VPN for Security.
  • Hotspot Shield - Best VPN for Netflix.
  • Private Internet Access VPN - Best VPN for Windows.
  • Norton Secure VPN - Best VPN With Dynamic IP Addresses.
  • IPVanish - Best Customer Support.
  • ExpressVPN - Best Encryption.
Apr 4, 2024

How can a VPN keep you safe online? ›

A VPN connection is made through highly secure protocols at a level of encryption that has never been cracked. This, coupled with the anonymity of IP masking and location spoofing, renders your online presence nearly untraceable. If you or your organization handle sensitive information, then a VPN is a must.

Does a VPN improve your internet? ›

If you're using a legitimate virtual private network (VPN), you probably won't notice changes in internet speed. The amount by which your connection slows down should be so small that it doesn't impact your online activity. In some situations, using a VPN can actually improve your overall speed.

Is A VPN worth it for privacy? ›

It's a common question, especially if you're unfamiliar with the benefits of using a VPN. Getting a VPN is valuable, especially if you prioritize online privacy and want all your internet activity, including communication between devices and servers, encrypted.

What are the benefits of a VPN? ›

What are the main advantages of using a VPN?
  • You can change your IP;
  • Internet connection is encrypted and secured;
  • File sharing is safe and anonymized;
  • Your online privacy is protected;
  • It helps overcome internet access restrictions;
  • Bandwidth is no longer throttled;
  • It helps you save money on online purchases.
Feb 5, 2024

Which VPN is most trusted? ›

Best VPN for Speed

With excellent mobile apps for both Android and iOS/iPadOS, Nord is a solid mobile VPN. At $13 per month, $60 per year or $96 total for two years, NordVPN sets you back less initially than premium VPN rivals like ExpressVPN, but more than budget-oriented companies like Surfshark and PIA.

What is the most hidden VPN? ›

Best no-log VPNs for privacy
  • NordVPN – best no logs VPN for privacy in 2024.
  • Surfshark – no logs VPN with impressive speeds and free trial.
  • Norton VPN – secure no-logs VPN service with a free trial.
  • ExpressVPN – a VPN for fast torrenting with a free trial.
  • CyberGhost – audited no-logs VPN for privacy protection.
Mar 26, 2024

Are free VPNs safe? ›

Weak encryption

One of the primary reasons for using a VPN is to benefit from the strong encryption protocols that keep your data secure. However, many free VPNs employ weak or outdated encryption protocols like PPTP, which can leave you vulnerable to cyber threats, data theft and more.

What does a VPN not hide? ›

While a VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, it does not hide the type of device you are using. Websites can still gather device-specific information (including operating system, screen resolution and browser type) through methods like browser fingerprinting.

Can a VPN be hacked? ›

In theory, all VPN providers can get hacked. But practice shows that it rarely happens to premium VPN providers, with most security issues being caused by free VPNs that simply don't have the budget to maintain a secure infrastructure.

Will a VPN stop hackers? ›

A virtual private network secures your internet traffic by sending it through an encrypted VPN tunnel, which makes the data unreadable. VPN encryption is one of the most effective defenses against hackers because encrypted traffic is more difficult to intercept.

Which free VPN is fastest? ›

▶ Try PrivadoVPN: the best free VPN

With its 900 Mbps average download speeds, PrivadoVPN's free servers are just as fast as its paid-for ones. This knocks Proton VPN's free servers to the curb, pulling in only 520 Mbps.

How much does a VPN slow down internet? ›

The average Internet will experience 10-20% slower speeds while using a VPN. So if you usually get 100 Mbps, you can expect to get 80-90 Mbps with a VPN enabled. For most use cases, that difference won't be noticeable. The VPN server you're connected to.

Why is VPN slowing down internet? ›

A VPN does slow down internet speed because it adds extra steps to your connection by routing your traffic through a VPN server — and encrypting your data also needs some bandwidth. That said, if you choose a good VPN provider, the impact will be barely noticeable.

Does a VPN hide the websites you visit? ›

Though using a VPN hides your search history from your ISP and third parties, it doesn't hide it from the websites you visit. Search engines like Google or Bing can still see, track, and log your search queries if you're logged in — even if you're using a VPN.

What is VPN and what is its purpose in terms of security and privacy? ›

A VPN, which stands for virtual private network, protects its users by encrypting their data and masking their IP addresses. This hides their browsing activity, identity, and location, allowing for greater privacy and autonomy. Anyone seeking a safer, freer, and more secure online experience could benefit from a VPN.

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