Using the best VPN service for your online privacy and security, for unrestricted streaming, or while traveling abroad, is a very smart move to make.
The best VPNs come with many benefits: anonymous web browsing, torrenting and streaming; unlocking Netflix and other geo-blocked video libraries around the world; bypassing censorship in countries like China; and, protection of your data over unsecured public WiFi connections.
However, not all VPNs can do all of the above. In fact, you will need a fast and trustworthy VPN, or you’ll be left frustrated by the underwhelming experience many VPNs provide.
At Top10VPN.com we’ve been testing VPNs since 2016 to help you find the very best services. We’ve spent over 30,000 hours analyzing and reviewing 73 VPNs for PCs, Macs, iPhones, Android devices, and even Fire TV Sticks.
Scroll down to see which five best VPN services we highly recommend in 2020. We’ve also added useful information further down the page, including our answers to frequently asked questions.
Top VPN Features we review
Read Our Reviews of
five best VPNS
- Express VPN ($6.67/mo)
- Nord VPN ($3.49/mo)
- Cyber Ghost($2.75/mo)
- IP Vanish(5.20/mo)
- Private VPN(1.89/mo)
Our 10-step VPN review
- Buy the VPN Service
- Test its device compatibility
- Assess its ease-of -use
- Test any advanced features
- Run encryption & leak test
- Run multi city speed test
- Test Netflix & Hulu access
- Test status in China
- Analyze its logging process
- Test Customer Support
Best Fast and Safe VPNs
1. Express VPN-best overall
Ranked #1 of 73 VPN services
The Bottom Line
ExpressVPN is an extremely safe and private VPN provider – in fact, it’s currently the absolute best VPN service and our extensive testing proves it.
As a whole package ExpressVPN simply can’t be beaten; its consistency is exceptional, with fast and reliable VPN speeds around the world.
It’s great for torrenting, and it easily unlocks eight Netflix libraries (including the US catalogue), BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO and many other popular streaming services.
Furthermore, it efficiently bypasses aggressive censorship blocks in countries like China, Turkey and the UAE.
ExpressVPN comes with advanced security features like ‘Network Lock,’ a VPN kill switch to keep you protected if your VPN connection drops. This isn’t available for iOS or Android, though, as with many other VPN services. There are workarounds, though.
Based in the British Virgin Islands (a privacy haven), ExpressVPN doesn’t collect any personally identifiable logs. And, we didn’t detect any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks on any of its VPN apps.
In fact, ExpressVPN’s logging policy was put to the test in December 2017 when one of its Turkish servers was seized by the Turkish authorities. They couldn’t find any user connection logs.
Also, we love ExpressVPN’s user-friendly interfaces – all the apps are very easy to use and well designed (apart from the Firestick app).
You can also use its Chrome and Firefox extensions, if you prefer in-browser access to the VPN. And for the more tech-savvy, the pre-configured ExpressVPN router is one of the best around.
While it’s more expensive than the other VPNs in our list, ExpressVPN is still affordable and great value for money considering what you get with it.
For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.
1. Nord VPN-best alternative
Ranked #2 of 73 VPN services
The Bottom Line
NordVPN is one of the safest and most secure VPN services.
Headquartered in privacy-friendly Panama, NordVPN has the second-biggest server network after CyberGhost: over 5,500 secure VPN servers spread across 58 countries.
Unsurprisingly, the NordVPN apps have excellent privacy features, such as a VPN kill switch, Double VPN and AES-256 encryption.
And, NordVPN doesn’t keep any user logs, in case your were wondering.
While it’s not as good as ExpressVPN for streaming, NordVPN still works very well with BBC iPlayer, Netflix (with access to seven libraries), Disney+ and plenty more streaming platforms. Consistent fast download speeds will deliver fast buffer-free viewing in HD and 4K.
However, NordVPN recently stopped working with major streaming services on Amazon Fire TV and through router-level VPN connections.
In October 2018, NordVPN proved its commitment to transparency and privacy by allowing a team from PricewaterhouseCoopers AG (PwC) to inspect its VPN servers and code, as part of an independent audit of its logging policy.
This audit was the first of its kind in the VPN industry, and has paved the way for other VPN services to do the same.
However, we need to make you aware of a security incident suffered by NordVPN. In October 2019 it came to light that a NordVPN server had been breached by a hacker in 2018.
No user information was taken, no data was logged, and the VPN encrypted tunnel wasn’t compromised. That said, the hacker exploited a worryingly simple vulnerability, and we’re disappointed by NordVPN’s delayed response.
Despite this incident, NordVPN remains a very good VPN, but it’s still something to consider. You read more about the security breach here.
Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN has custom VPN apps for a wide range of devices and you can use them on up to six devices at once (one more than ExpressVPN). And it comes with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
NordVPN is a decent choice for China, but its obfuscation tools aren’t as reliable as ExpressVPN’s. NordVPN’s apps usually require some manual configuration to get them to work in highly-censored countries.
Nevertheless, NordVPN is a great alternative to ExpressVPN – and cheaper too.
For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.
1. Cyber Ghost-best Value
Ranked #3 of 73 VPN services
The Bottom Line
CyberGhost VPN is one of the most established VPN services, and currently one of the cheapest – it’s also very safe to use.
CyberGhost’s 6,200+ servers form one of the largest VPN server parks. Its dedicated streaming servers work flawlessly with Netflix (four libraries), BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and much more.
Undoubtedly, CyberGhost is one of the best VPN services for fast and unrestricted streaming around the world.
And all is good on the anonymous torrents front too, thanks to its P2P-optimized servers. It’s a shame that torrenting isn’t allowed on the Australian servers, though.
Moreover, CyberGhost is a super choice for privacy: great security features like automatic WiFi protection and the kill switch, and a robust no-logs policy. And we’ve never detected any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks in our lab tests.
CyberGhost VPN is compatible with all widely-used computers and smartphones, and you can use the VPN on up to seven devices at once – that’s more than ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Overall, CyberGhost is a very strong contender for best VPN service. Just don’t expect it to work in high censorship countries like China, Turkey, or the UAE.
For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost review.
5. PrivateVPN - Best Free Trial
Ranked #5 of 73 VPN services
The Bottom Line
PrivateVPN is a relative newcomer in the VPN world, but in that short time it has become one of the highest-rated VPN service providers.
Its VPN connections are fast and reliable around the world, with unrestricted access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer. This is where PrivateVPN shines: it unblocks an eye-watering 19 Netflix libraries!
Torrenting is allowed on the entire server network, with special servers optimized for P2P traffic. And gamers will enjoy the very low ping times.
But, PrivateVPN’s server network is very small (only 150 servers), however this shortcoming is compensated somewhat by the 7,000 IP addresses available. As PrivateVPN’s subscriber base grows, it will need to invest in its server infrastructure.
Luckily, PrivateVPN lives up to its name: it’s very private and secure. It doesn’t log users’ web activity, it has a working VPN kill switch, and it won’t leak your true location.
PrivateVPN’s apps are available on a wide range of devices, including the Amazon Fire TV Stick. And they’re all really easy to set up and use.
Unfortunately, while all of our other top VPN recommendations have 24/7 live chat support, PrivateVPN’s support is intermittent at best.
Nevertheless, PrivateVPN has a lot going for it and we’ve been impressed it so far. However, it does have some way to go before it can seriously challenge the top four VPNs ranked above it.
For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.