These are the Best VPN providers in Autumn 2021: Mullvad, ExpressVPN, IVPN, and more!
In this day and age, we spend a great deal of time on the internet. But despite all the great things you can do online, the web can also be an unpleasant place. It presents many growing threats, from web tracking to cybercrime. There’s a way to clamp down on these issues, though — installing a virtual private network — or VPN for short. A VPN will not only hide your internet protocol (IP) address but also encrypt your internet connection. You can then access the internet anonymously, protect your data with end-to-end encryption, and ensure cybercriminals can’t compromise your connection.
VPNs are capable of much more than merely keeping you safe online. When you connect to global VPN servers, it’s possible to bypass troublesome geographic restrictions and unblock content across the world. These services can also prevent internet service providers from throttling your internet speeds, as well as improving streaming and gaming performance.
The thing is, you can do far more online by downloading a VPN service on your smartphone, tablet, PC, and other connected devices. With so many VPN providers in the market claiming to be the best in the business, you might be having a hard time picking one. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve ranked the best VPN services of 2021.
Navigate this article:
- Best Overall VPN: Mullvad
- Best Affordable VPN: Surfshark
- Best Free VPN: Windscribe Free
- Best VPN with most servers: Private Internet Access
Best Overall VPN: Mullvad
Mullvad has topped our list of the best VPNs in June 2021, thanks to its security practices, transparency, and wide range of servers. You get access to 771 servers across 37 countries. The service also claims to not 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 others payment modes are also available.
It also supports the WireGuard protocol. 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 euros per month ($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.
Also Great: ExpressVPN
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.
With ExpressVPN, you have over 3,000 servers in 160 global locations at your fingertips. Using ExpressVPN’s fast servers, you can access pretty much any streaming service from any part of the world. It’s 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.
There are lots of 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. But something to keep in mind is ExpressVPN has a somewhat stringent 5-device limit.
Also Great: IVPN
IVPN is another great VPN provider due to its security practices and transparency. The service also claims to not keep any user activity logs. It however falls behind on the number of servers, as it only offers 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 is limited to just two devices, the Pro plan 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.
Best Affordable VPN: Surfshark
VPNs can do some pretty great things, whether it’s making public Wi-Fi networks more secure or letting you access restricted online content. You may automatically 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 lots more) at a cheap price.
For less than $3 per month, Surfshark gives you access to a network of over 3,200 servers spread across 65 countries. 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”, a must-have if you’re planning 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. 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 also excellent for all your security and privacy needs. In fact, it’ll stop malware, phishing, web trackers, and spammy ads in their tracks. 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.
Best Free VPN: Windscribe Free
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 ten 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 their 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 if you aren’t concerned about its presence in a Five-Eyes country and the minimal logs they keep, it’s worth considering.
Also Great: ProtonVPN
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 US, 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.
Best VPN with loads of servers: Private Internet Access
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 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 working out at just $2.69 per month.
As you can see, there are great VPN services for all needs and budgets. Regardless of the provider, a VPN service will give you an extra layer of security and provide uninterrupted access to online content. If we had to choose one provider, it’d definitely be Mullvad, thanks to its wide variety of international servers, easy-to-use apps, transparent policies, and good security practices.
Which VPN service are you planning to get? Do you think we missed any great VPNs? Let us know in the comments section.