Best VPN providers in 2023

VPNs have become extremely common these days, and there are almost too many options for both free and paid VPNs.

Best VPNs.

We spend a lot of time online, but in this increasingly digital world comes a heightened risk of online threats or cyber criminals that may try to use your information against you. Luckily, there’s an easy way to lock your data down as it travels through your internet connection. With a VPN (Virtual Private Network), you can hide your location by disguising your IP (internet protocol) address and encrypting all the data you share over the internet. Of course, VPNs won’t protect you from every threat (for more on that, check out our piece on common VPN misunderstandings), but some security is better than no security at all.

VPNs can be handy for getting around geographical restrictions on certain websites, so you can, for example, watch a show that’s only available on a streaming service in another country. You can also bypass data throttling, performance restrictions, censorship, and more based on your location. If you’ve got a router that supports VPNs, you can protect all of your devices at once, even if they don’t support VPN configurations, like smart home tech.

Deciding on which VPN to use can be tricky since there are so many on the market. Below, we’re ranking the best VPN services you can use in 2023, whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, gaming console, or other connected devices.

Best Overall VPN: Mullvad

Mullvad VPN

Mullvad has topped our list of the best VPNs since June 2021 thanks to its security practices, transparency, and wide range of servers. At the time of writing, there are 669 servers to choose from in 43 countries. The service also claims not to keep any user-activity logs and even accepts cash as payment for its services, so you can remain anonymous if you want. Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Wire Transfer, PayPal, and other payment modes are also available. Mullvad consistently publishes external audit reports on its blog, so you can verify the quality of the service for yourself.

Mullvad supports common protocols, including WireGuard, which offers higher speeds than OpenVPN. In terms of applications, Mullvad provides official apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. If the Mullvad app is not available for your platform, or you don’t want to use it, you can always use the compatible OpenVPN or WireGuard clients with the downloaded configuration files.

Mullvad also keeps it pretty straightforward in terms of pricing — a flat rate of €5 per month (just under $6). You may, however, be able to score a deal by buying it from a supported reseller or by using Mozilla VPN or MalwareBytes Privacy, both of which use Mullvad’s network.

Mullvan VPN

Mullvad is a trustworthy, fast, and easy-to-use VPN that makes figuring out a plan easy. It also comes with a lot of server locations.


  • Wide variety of payments including crypto
  • Support for the fast Wireguard protocol
  • Low monthly price


  • Only five devices per account

Best Affordable VPN: Surfshark

Surfshark VPN webpage

VPNs can do a lot, so you might assume these tools are going to be expensive. But Surfshark is an excellent example of a VPN service that can do all these great things and more at a cheap price.

For less than $3 per month, when you sign up for 24 months, Surfshark gives you access to a network of over 3,200 servers spread across 65 countries. For 12 months, the price comes in at $3.99, and if you just want a month at a time, that’s $12.95. Each of these servers is not just fast but also protected by private DNS and a strict no-logging policy. Surfshark claims its servers are also “P2P friendly,” which is a must-have if you plan to use your VPN for torrenting or similar activities.

When connecting to one of Surfshark’s speedy servers, you can access streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more, even if they’re not officially available in your country or have a different catalog in other countries. Surfshark is also unique in that it lets you connect as many devices as you want from one account. That’s very useful if you want to stream content on a wide range of devices.

But Surfshark isn’t just a great streaming VPN; it’s excellent for all your security and privacy needs. It protects you against malware, phishing, web trackers, and spammy ads. Furthermore, there’s strong 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, a no-borders mode, a no-logging policy, private DNS and leak protection, a camouflage mode, and secure protocols.

Surfshark VPN logo

For anyone who wants a cheap but effective VPN, your best option is Surfshark. Costing less than $3 per month, it provides an excellent range of features, easy-to-use apps, and impressive performance.


  • Unlimited devices supported
  • Wide variety of payments including crypto
  • Support for the fast Wireguard protocol


  • Month-to-month pricing is high

Best VPN for beginners: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN homepage

ExpressVPN is a good VPN service due to its ease of use, exceptional performance, and wide server network. Simply put, the British Virgin Islands-based company has all the bells and whistles of a top-class VPN service without many complications.

With ExpressVPN, you have over 3,000 servers in 160 global locations at your fingertips. Using ExpressVPN’s fast servers, you can access nearly any streaming service from any part of the world. It’s also available on all platforms, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Its user interface is super easy to navigate, letting you connect to the best available VPN server or choose from a list of global VPN servers. Just load the software up, choose a server location, and click the button. It also makes subscribing easy with just three options. You can pay $8.32 per month for 12 months, $9.99 per month for six months, or $12.95 per month for a one-month plan.

There are many other great features offered by ExpressVPN, including a built-in kill switch, TrustedServer technology, private DNS, VPN split tunneling, a no-logging policy, 256-bit encryption, a speed test, and more. Express VPN even offers its own Wi-FI router with custom software that supports ExpressVPN’s fast Lightway protocol for all the devices in your home. This can be helpful when you remember that ExpressVPN has a somewhat stringent five-device limit.

It offers all the features of a top-rate torrenting VPN, including a large server network, strong encryption, an internet kill switch, a strict no-logging policy, easy-to-use apps, 24/7 support, and more.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use VPN, look no further than Express. It offers great features, outstanding performance, a large global server network, access to top streaming websites, and much more.


  • Strong protocol support including Lightway
  • Wide variety of payments including Bitcoin
  • Tons of servers


  • No Wireguard protocol support
  • Month-to-month pricing is high

Best transparency: IVPN

IVPN service

IVPN is another great VPN provider due to its security practices and transparency. The service claims not to keep any user activity logs, and you don’t need an email to register. It, however, falls behind on the number of servers — only offering around 75 servers across over 30 countries. IVPN offers the choice of WireGuard, OpenVPN, or IPSec protocols, and it can be used with its own apps or with any compatible clients.

IVPN offers two plans: Standard and Pro. While the Standard plan ($2 per week or $140 for three years) is limited to just two devices, the Pro plan ($4 per week or $220 for three years) includes support for up to seven devices and gets extra features like port-forwarding, multi-hop, and anti-tracker support. For payments, you can use cash, Monero, or Bitcoin for anonymity. Credit cards and PayPal are also supported. The service provides official apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.


IVPN logo

IVPN is a great VPN service with transparent policies and no user activity logs. You don’t need an email to sign up, and you can use various payment methods to buy into flexible plans.


  • Supports fast speeds with Wireguard
  • Low month-to-month prices
  • Supports Bitcoin, Monero, and even cash payments


  • Limited to two devices on the cheaper plan

Best Free VPN: Windscribe Free

Windscribe Free VPN

WindScribe is a popular VPN service that provides a pretty decent free option. Unlike most free VPNs, it gives 10GB monthly bandwidth, access to servers in 10 countries, and unlimited connections. WindScribe also claims that it doesn’t keep any logs that can be used to identify you, meaning it only records when you last used its service and the total amount of bandwidth used in the last 30 days.

WindScribe is easy to use and provides decent speeds. It also has apps for pretty much all major platforms and extensions for browsers. Moreover, it works great with Netflix and other streaming services to bypass the geo-restrictions. Windscribe’s paid service is also great and affordable, with flexible payment plans. If you aren’t concerned about its presence in a Five-Eyes country and the minimal logs they keep, it’s worth considering.


Windscribe VPN logo

Windscribe offers a great free VPN option with a decent amount of servers and good monthly bandwidth.


  • A free plan with 10GB per month
  • Add-ons for Teams and static IP are available
  • Custom plans are available


  • Some logging is required to track free usage

Best free VPN with the most bandwidth: ProtonVPN

Proton VPN webpage

If you don’t like restrictions on monthly bandwidth and are willing to sacrifice speed to get rid of them, ProtonVPN’s free plan is an excellent option. You get unlimited monthly bandwidth but paid members’ connections will take priority over your connection, so you can expect to see a speed drop. Also, only three VPN locations are available with ProtonVPN’s free plan — the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands. If privacy is your main reason for getting a VPN, the limited number of locations won’t be an issue for you. But if you want to access content available only in a specific country, you’re better off with a paid VPN.

We also like that its apps are open-source, and Mozilla has audited them. In addition, all critical VPN features, like split tunneling (only on Windows and Android), no-logging, and a kill switch, are available on ProtonVPN. The service also doesn’t bombard you with ads in the free plan. However, you’ll be limited to only one connection. To get access to more of almost anything — countries, servers, speeds, connection — you can pay $4.99 per month for two years.


Proton VPN logo

ProtonVPN’s free plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, but it only gives you access to three VPN locations. There are other paid plans available if you want more from the service.


  • Multi-threaded VPN Accelerator and Wireguard available
  • Payments with Proton credits don’t require a credit card
  • A free plan is available


  • Can be complicated for new users

Best VPN with loads of servers: Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access PIA webpage

When it comes to choosing a VPN service, one of the important things to consider is the number of servers it offers. Usually, the best VPN services provide large server networks, and Private Internet Access has a jaw-dropping 24,364 servers in 77 countries. Thanks to such a large selection of global servers, you should find it really easy to bypass restricted websites and unblock services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and lots of other streaming platforms.

By installing Private Internet Access on your devices, you’ll also be able to protect yourself from malware, web trackers, and unwanted advertisements. You also get a wide variety of VPN protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec.

Other great features provided by Private Internet Access include P2P support, the ability to use up to ten devices under one subscription, unlimited bandwidth, a no-traffic logging policy, a SOCKS5 proxy, and a native app for every major operating system. Premium subscriptions are reasonably priced, with the two-year plan costing just $2.69 per month.

There’s a lot you can do with a large VPN server network, and Private Internet Access offers a huge 24,000 servers around the world.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access

There’s a lot you can do with a large VPN server network, and Private Internet Access offers more than a whopping 24,000 servers around the world. It comes with other great features, including expert support, a 10-device limit, and more.


  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Tons of servers with multi-hop
  • Supports fast speeds with Wireguard


  • Month-to-month pricing is high
  • Speeds may not measure up to competition

When picking the VPN you’ll be using every day, it’s important to pay attention to which devices it supports, how fast it is, how much data you’re given, and whether it fits your budget. Regardless, no matter who you go with, you’ll get that extra layer of security that’s incredibly important in this digital age. We recommend Mullvad for most people since it offers everything you’ll need at a reasonable price. However, there are free VPNs and more complex options depending on your needs.