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Buying Guide

The best VPN Service (2024)

Discover the top VPN services to secure your online presence against scams, viruses, and data theft. Protect your IP and personal data affordably.

Best VPN services logos
Image: KnowTechie

As computing technology advances, so do the associated threats. We tend to take the internet and our daily interactions with it for granted, either purposefully ignorant or unaware of the growing numbers of scams, viruses, and other online evils.

Most of us know we should invest in a good antivirus program and use a password manager to keep track of the unique passwords for every service.

But did you know your web traffic can be seen and sold by data brokers? Or that your device IP address identifies you wherever you are?

Using a VPN can limit your exposure to these threats, as your transmitted data is encrypted, and it also cloaks your real IP address. It also helps you get around geo-blocks on content, which is handy.

The best VPN services are here to protect you, especially if some of your online activity ventures into the murky waters of legality.

Product Image Product Name / Primary Rating / Price Primary Button
Best Overall
  • 4.2
  • From $12.99 per month
Best Introductory Pricing
Best VPN for PC Gaming
Best Looking VPN
Best Server Variety VPN
Best VPN for Business
Best VPN for Streaming
Best VPN for Linux
Best Open Source VPN
Honorable Mention
  • 3.7
  • $9.95 per month
Best Overall
From $12.99 per month
Best Introductory Pricing
From $15.45 per month
Best Looking VPN
$12.95 per month
Best Server Variety VPN
Best VPN for Business
Best VPN for Streaming
Best Open Source VPN
Honorable Mention
$9.95 per month

Find the best VPN service for you

Choosing the best VPN service often comes down to features and price. There is a strange mentality attached to choosing such a piece of software that causes hesitation.

We have no problem subscribing to a billion streaming services for entertainment, but when it comes to our own protection, we hesitate.

It’s worth the cost, which is often cheaper than what we pay for a single streaming service. With a VPN, we can protect more than just our computers; we can protect all the personal data stored within.

It’s also worth mentioning that while we show the per-month cost of subscribing monthly, most, if not all, of these providers have substantial cost savings if you purchase 12 months or more in advance.

Check their sites for the current best deals before you order.

NordVPN (Best Overall)

nord vpn logo on vibrant purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

With over 6100 VPN servers in 67 countries, NordVPN makes it easy to find a safe connection and send spammers into a brick wall.

Most of these servers are ultra-fast and stable, so you won’t notice any difference when connected through a VPN versus your standard internet connection. This keeps all your devices protected, as well as anything on them.

We’re talking military-grade data encryption here, folks. That’s what you’re paying for. And if you have financial or personal data that you really want to protect, there is an ultimate plan that offers identity theft recovery and cyber extortion protection.

The bottom line is that NordVPN is at the top of the data security triangle and consistently provides secure connections.

From $12.99 per month

NordVPN is a leading virtual private network service. It offers top-tier encryption, thousands of global servers, and a commitment to user privacy. It allows users to securely browse the internet and guards against data leaks.

What We Like:
  • Stay secure with AES encryption for enhanced protection.
  • Enjoy cross-platform compatibility for seamless usage across devices.
  • Say goodbye to annoying ads with the built-in ad blocker feature.
  • Keep your passwords safe and organized with the included password manager.
  • Rest assured with a verified no-logs policy for your privacy.
  • Connect up to 6 devices simultaneously for convenience and flexibility.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Multiple pricing tiers
  • High costs after introductory period
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Surfshark (Best Introductory Pricing)

Surfshark logo on vibrant purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

Price is relative when it comes to VPNs, but Surfshark often offers one of the best deals for initial subscribers. Outside of that, you won’t find too many differences between Surfshark and other top VPNs.

You’ll have access to its wealth of security features, such as ad-blockers and hacker protection, across over 3200 RAM-only servers in over 100 countries.

Every file is scanned on the way into your machines, and webcam protection blocks access to your camera from any malicious sources.

And if all the normal protections of a VPN aren’t enough, Surfshark offers access to Incogni to remove your data from data broker sites and Alternative ID in case you just want to start fresh.

Surfshark VPN Surfshark VPN
From $15.45 per month

Protect your online privacy and security with Surfshark VPN and enjoy safe browsing anytime, anywhere, on any device.

What We Like:
  • Unlimited Devices: Connect all your devices and secure your whole household with just one VPN subscription.
  • 24/7 Support: Connect all your devices and secure your whole household with just one VPN subscription.
  • No Information Collected: Browse freely and anonymously, as we never log, collect, or store any of your data or browsing patterns.
  • Total leak protection: Avoid accidents with Kill Switch and turn on your Auto-connect for an unlimited, uninterrupted VPN connection.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Multiple pricing tiers
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Norton 360 (Best VPN for PC Gaming)

Norton logo with pixelated checkmark on purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

There are a few versions of Norton 360, but one of them is specifically designed for gamers. This version of the popular VPN offers things like dark web monitoring for gamer tags, game optimization, 50GB cloud backup, webcam security, and a smart firewall for PCs.

And there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee, double what most VPNs offer.

But the Norton Game Optimizer (Norton GO) is where the true value is. It feeds your PC games the maximum available power while eliminating FPS lags and slowdowns. It also optimizes your system resources to properly allocate power to your games.

All in all, Norton 360’s gaming-specific features make it a great VPN for gamers.

Norton 360 for Gamers | PC Gamer Antivirus & Security Norton 360 for Gamers | PC Gamer Antivirus & Security
$9.99 per month

Norton 360 for Gamers is a security suite specifically designed for gamers. It offers advanced device protection against viruses and malware, dark web monitoring for gamers' tags, a secure VPN for privacy, and optimization tools for seamless gaming.

What We Like:
  • Your privacy matters: benefit from a strict no-log policy.
  • Say goodbye to intrusive ads with the integrated ad blocker.
  • Stay protected from trackers and malware with dedicated blocking features.
  • Count on reliable customer support to address your needs promptly.
  • Experience tailored gaming features for an optimized gameplay experience.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Leans heavily into gamer branding
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

ExpressVPN (Best Looking VPN)

expressvpn logo on purple gradient background.
Image: KnowTechie

ExpressVPN has servers in 105 countries, but that’s not the selling point of this particular VPN. Rather, it’s the UX presented by its apps.

And these apps work across all your devices, whether Apple, Android, Windows, Linux, random routers, and more. You get a consistent and easy-to-use application to keep your data secure.

But aside from the look and feel of the product, it’s very much comparable to other major VPNs with no activity logs and server technology that never writes any of your data to a hard drive.

It protects against everything, such as packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc. ExpressVPN is also great for traveling, thanks to its easy use and smooth UX.

ExpressVPN ExpressVPN
$12.95 per month

ExpressVPN is a leading virtual private network provider that offers fast, secure, and reliable service. With 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, it enables users to browse the internet anonymously and access geo-restricted content. ExpressVPN is known for its strong encryption, user-friendly interface, and 24/7 customer support.

What We Like:
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Threat manager
  • Password manager
  • No activity logs
  • Works on up to 8 devices
What We Didn't Like:
  • On the more expensive side
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

CyberGhost VPN (Best Server Variety VPN)

cyberghost icon on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

CyberGhost VPN has a sleek app with a one-push VPN connection, but it goes a step further if you so desire.

Based on your current needs, whether it be unblocking global content, gaming, or anonymous browsing, you can let CyberGhost choose the best server for your chosen activity. And on one of the hundreds of servers in over 100 countries, you’ll get the best connection possible.

This is especially helpful when connecting to public Wi-Fi, as that’s the most dangerous thing you can do regarding your privacy and security. Being able to connect to a server specifically optimized for anonymous browsing on public networks can literally save you from disaster. That’s the top benefit of choosing CyberGhost VPN for your data protection needs.

CyberGhost VPN CyberGhost VPN
$12.99 per month

CyberGhost VPN is a reliable internet security solution. With its robust network of servers globally, it offers secure and anonymous web browsing. Its features include strong encryption, ad-blocking, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions effectively.

What We Like:
  • Enjoy uninterrupted browsing with unlimited bandwidth.
  • Protect up to 7 devices simultaneously for comprehensive coverage.
  • Compatible across various platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more.
  • Access round-the-clock customer support for assistance whenever you need it.
  • Ensure your privacy with DNS and IP leak protection features.
  • Stay safe online with the automatic kill switch functionality.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Expensive
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Bitdefender (Best VPN for Business)

bitdefender logo on purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

If your VPN needs exceed the personal and are more business-focused, then you’ll want to check out Bitdefender.

This VPN is no slouch when it comes to covering your personal security needs with the standard VPN data protection features, but also offers a robust enterprise security package.

From threat prevention, detection, and response to managed security services, the enterprise side of Bitdefender is nothing to scoff at.

It offers unified endpoint security and analytics, attack prevention, 24/7 expert support, and built-in advanced threat analysis. The gist is that Bitdefender steps up its game to protect your business data fully.

Bitdefender Cybersecurity Software Bitdefender Cybersecurity Software
$6.99 per month

Bitdefender provides advanced protection against a wide range of online threats. It features anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing capabilities, as well as a secure VPN and advanced privacy features that ensure secure internet usage.

What We Like:
  • Benefit from advanced encryption for enhanced security.
  • Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously for comprehensive protection.
  • Keep your passwords secure and organized with the built-in password manager.
  • Safeguard your identity with dedicated protection against theft.
  • Cybersecurity product designed for enterprise-level needs.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Doesn't block ads
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

IPVanish VPN (Best VPN for Streaming)

IPVanish VPN logo on purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

Many VPNs simply allow you to use your streaming services as normal, but IPVanish VPN makes it a priority. It advertises the use of ESPN+ (which is usually blocked by VPN services due to regional restrictions) and is optimized for streaming services.

Secure access to media heightens the security response, and no data transfer caps will keep you streaming forever.

And no matter what your operating system or device is, you’ll be able to access VPN services. IPVanish works with Windows, Amazon FireTV, AppleTV, Android, macOS, iOS, your router, and even Chrome OS.

Best VPN for Streaming
IPVanish VPN IPVanish VPN
$12.99 monthly
IPVanish serves as an entry-level VPN solution, providing brisk, dependable connections and highly configurable applications.

What We Like:
  • Advanced encryption
  • Even works with ESPN+
  • Unmetered connections
  • No logs
  • Proxy web server
  • Servers in over 90 regions
What We Didn't Like:
  • Relatively expensive
  • No Apple TV app
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Private Internet Access (Best VPN for Linux)

Green robot with lock icon on purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

When most VPNs mention the operating systems they work with, they often leave out Linux but not Private Internet Access (PIA). There are other VPNs that do work with Linux, but they probably haven’t been around as long as PIA.

It offers a native GUI for Linux users, along with a server in every state. This is great for getting around state-specific lockouts or draconian laws.

PIA has thousands of servers around the world, offering customers a quick and easy connection. While it’s not the fastest VPN, it has some great customization options, such as proxy browser extensions, and unblocks almost every region-specific streaming service.

Linux or not, Private Internet Access is a great choice for a secure VPN.

Best VPN for Linux
Private Internet Access VPN Private Internet Access VPN
$11.95 per month
What We Like:
  • Supports an unlimited number of devices for ultimate flexibility.
  • Privacy with a strict no-logs policy.
  • Stay protected with the included kill switch feature.
  • Access a vast network of servers for reliable performance.
  • Seamless compatibility with Linux operating systems.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Slightly more expensive than the competition
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Proton VPN (Best Open Source VPN)

Proton VPN logo on vibrant purple background.
Image: KnowTechie

Proton is a Swiss-based VPN, which means it’s subject to some of the strictest privacy laws in the world. What this means for you is that there are no corners to be cut, even if Proton wanted to cut them.

It offers the same type of VPN features you’d expect, such as IP masking, ad blockers, a kill switch, and strong protocols.

Additionally, it takes internet freedom very seriously with its Stealth product to fight censorship, as well as alternative routing.

But guess what? All Proton VPN apps are completely open-sourced, allowing anyone to check the code and perform continuous user audits.

Best Open Source VPN
Proton VPN Proton VPN
$9.99 per month

ProtonVPN is a security-focused VPN service developed by scientists from CERN and MIT. It offers secure and encrypted connections, respect for user privacy, and the ability to unblock various online media services.

What We Like:
  • Swiss-level privacy with robust encryption.
  • Protects against DNS leaks to safeguard your online activities.
  • Ad-free browsing experience with NetShield Ad-blocker.
  • - Mask your IP address for enhanced anonymity.
  • Strict no-logs policy for added privacy.
  • Open-source app for transparency and customization.
What We Didn't Like:
  • No Apple TV app yet (but it's being worked on)
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Ivacy VPN (Honorable Mention)

Ivacy logo on magenta background with shield icon.
Image: KnowTechie

Sometimes, it’s hard to categorize a VPN like Ivacy. That is, it’s hard to pick just one specific service that it offers that other VPNs do not.

Instead, Ivacy is a full-service VPN that even offers enterprise services. If you prefer more specific customization, it has many advanced security features, such as multiple protocols and IPv6 leveling.

If we were to pick out one outstanding feature, it’d be the split tunneling. This allows you, through the VPN, to access both local and foreign content at the same time.

That’s a nice feature, especially if you consume your content on multiple devices during one attention span.

Honorable Mention
Ivacy Ivacy
$9.95 per month

Ivacy VPN provides an enhanced online privacy and security experience with fast connections and a broad server network covering 100+ locations. The service promotes a zero-log policy and boasts features for streaming, downloading, and anonymous browsing.

What We Like:
  • Internet kill switch for added protection.
  • Dedicated IP address.
  • Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously for convenience.
  • Protects against DDoS attacks to keep your connection stable.
  • Download files securely with built-in secure downloading features.
What We Didn't Like:
  • Best price locks you into a 5 year subscription
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Stay safe and secure with a VPN

Choosing the best VPN service often comes down to price and available features, as many offer competitive services. But there are always little things, like Linux compatibility or prioritizing streaming and gaming, that can tip the scales.

The key is to protect yourself and your data from scammers, hackers, malicious actors, and all the other digital evils out there. That’s what we use VPNs for, to keep our digital data and ourselves safe.

Have a favorite VPN provider? Made your own VPN because you don’t trust any of the major services? Drop us a line in the comments below, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. It’s one of the ways we keep the lights on here. Click here for more.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to

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