Top 10 VPN Logging Policies & Verified No-Log VPNs

top VPNs logging policies explained

Most VPNs with a half decent landing page advertise themselves as being log-free or having no logs. But is it really the case?

People subscribe to a VPN for a number of reasons, and in many cases, it’s all about unlocking geo-restricted content (particularly Netflix), etc.

But let’s face it: the reason you subscribe to a VPN is because you want to be hidden and safe. It’s obvious. A VPN must be able to hide all your activities and your identity away from prying eyes so you can do whatever you want away from anyone’s reach – even the government. It should be, after all, your right.

Of course, even if you use a VPN (and no matter which VPN you use), there are digital footsteps. These take the form of logs in your VPN’s server which might be kept or deleted depending on the logging policies of your VPN provider. Which begs the question…

What Exactly Are Logs?

Logs, in general, are bits of information you leave while being connected to the Internet. The data is available to your VPN provider – the websites you visit, when you visit the sites, what you do on those sites, the personal information share, usernames, passwords, other identification details; this might help service providers to track information back to a specific user.

This information stored is referred to as a “log”.

There are different types of logs for different use cases. Your VPN provider may retain some information (that they will eventually wipe off from their servers) or they may choose to record and keep (and sell) everything. This all depends on the nature of the information and the VPN services themselves… so what are the kinds of VPN logs?

Kinds of VPN Logs

In order to further understand no-log policies, you need to have a brief knowledge of the kinds of logs that your VPNs keep.

There are 2 major types of logs – activity and connection logs.

Activity logs, or sometimes called usage logs, are those which contain all your activities on the Internet. These logs pose a great threat to your safety and anonymity.

These include:

  • All the websites and IPs you’ve visited.
  • The applications you have used.
  • Connection times.
  • Metadata.

Fortunately, some of the best premium VPNs do not retain this type of data. Some examples of them are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, VyprVPN, and Private Internet Access.

But free VPNs retain all of this for the sole purpose of selling your data to the highest bidder. This can be advertisers who want to push personalized ads or even governments seeking to track every click. Not cool!

Another kind of logs is connection logs. Connection logs are often called “harmless” logs.

These are already given since the moment you visit a website, your connection is timestamped and traced back to your ISP so you can be identified. It’s a slight snoop in your activity, but it’s not as intrusive as activity logs. However, this can pose as a security risk depending on the extent of the log and the length of time such logs are kept for. In some extreme cases, these logs are never deleted.

Connection logs are often used by VPN providers to make sure their service isn’t being abused by free trial accounts, hackers, and extreme pirates.

Now that you know what kind of logs are being kept, it’s time to fully know what kind of processes your premium VPN providers go through do to ensure your anonymity.

What exactly are they tracking, to what extent, and how do they keep things leak-proof?

Top 10 VPN Logging Policies

Logging policies can also vary on different points.

VPN providers claim that they have no logs yet rent third-party servers. Not only do the third-party services have access to your log, but they also do not have the same level of security as your VPN provider which will definitely leave you vulnerable.

Consequently, you need to choose a VPN that will guard not only your activities on the Internet but your personal information and activity on multiple levels. It’s not easy to discern which VPN is actually protecting you over a “bad” VPN, so we’ve taken the time to review the no log policies of the VPNs we always recommend.

Take the time to learn if these VPNs below are keeping you safe! We’ve marked what each VPN is logging and for what purpose (in parenthesis).

1. NordVPN

“We don’t track, collect, or share your private data. It’s none of our business.”

NordVPN wouldn’t be our top-rated VPN for no reason. It’s natural to think that when you’re looking for a premium VPN and one ranks 1st on the list, you know there would be no privacy issues.

True enough, NordVPN has a strict no-log policy. Consumers are ensured that none of their data, traffic logs, and browsed content is being spied on by third parties or even the government.

NordVPN collects:

  • Email address (Marketing)
  • Cookies (Marketing)
  • Payment data (Payment Fraud Protection / Refunds)
  • Timestamp of last session status (Service Improvements)
  • Customer service information (Service Improvements)

They collect the minimum information with justifications; the data is being used to improve services and prevent account abuse.

The data will all be encrypted and cannot identify you. It’s all for the sake of user convenience so NordVPN’s logging policy is all clear.

Furthermore, NordVPN operates in Panama so it’s away from the prying eyes of any surveillance alliances. There has been no breaches or leaks, or any news around them cooperating with government investigations so far.

Want to know how NordVPN made it to the top of our list? Read more about NordVPN here.

2. ExpressVPN

“Your DNS traffic is your business. Protect it.”

With ExpressVPN being one of the most prominent VPN providers in the market, it’s a no-brainer that it also values the privacy of its customers.

On the website, they state that they do not and will never log IP addresses, browsing history, traffic destination, and DNS queries. While you may feel somewhat secure about this, it doesn’t erase the fact that they collect some information…

ExpressVPN collects:

  • ExpressVPN apps and app versions successfully activated (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Dates (not times) when connected to the VPN service (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Choice of VPN server location (Service Improvements / Optimization)
  • Total amount (in MB) of data transferred per day (Service Improvements / Tracking Abuse)

We do remind you that these particular data are not sufficient to determine the individuality of a particular user, so you can rest your head on this one – you will remain anonymous despite these.

Apart from their no logging policy, they also operate their own DNS on every server, meaning there are no third party DNS. Identifiable data is never stored on any server.

What’s more favorable is that ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. This means that they are far from intrusion by government entities around the world. Talk about independence.

Curious about ExpressVPN? Read more about it here.

3. VyprVPN

“We don’t log VPN user activity. We’re audited to prove it to you.”

Not too long ago, VyperVPN had some issues with its claim of absolute no-log policy.

They stated on their website that they required some logging of VPN service data in the past for the convenience of their customers. It helped them to filter the unnecessary content and optimize the experience of their users.

And with their commitment to being fully transparent, they enumerated the information they formerly logged and retained for 30 days which included:

  • Customer’s source IP address
  • VyprVPN’s IP address assigned to the user
  • Connection start and end times
  • Total number of bytes used

In November 2018, the company made the decision to hire an independent auditor – security firm Leviathan – to strengthen its commitment to being a No-Log Policy VPN.

Subsequently, in March 2019, it changed its policies to further confirm that truly, they keep no activity logs of its users whatsoever.

VyprVPN collects:

  • Personal Data from registration (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Customer support inquiries (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Third-party party payment processors (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Third-party party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)

Way to go, VyperVPN!

Do you want to know more about VyperVPN? Read about it here.

4. CyberGhostVPN

“The only way to secure your data is not to store it.”

But is it really the case, CyberGhostVPN?

The VPN company claims that it fully implements a no-log policy for the activity of its users.

CyberGhostVPN collects the personal and non-personal data of its users from account registrations and support inquiries. The former includes data such as registration information for the proper administration of the accounts of its users. The latter, on the other hand, consists of data which is exchanged between the user’s browser and the company’s affiliates or their server.

CyberGhost collects:

  1. Personal data during registration (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  2. IP address during payment – not connected to VPN (Fraud Detection)
  3. Third-party party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)
  4. Connection attempt, country of origin, CyberGhost VPN version, “etc” (Service Improvements)

This poses no threat if the company could just invite a security firm to run an audit and publish the results.

Data concerning the performance of their services are shared with a third-party called MixPanel. It may not be that alarming because it’s a tool for improving the product with user experience data. It acts as sort of a gauge to determine satisfactory performance but for some users who don’t like third party analytics, they also happen to use VWO, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Bing, Instabug, BugSplat, OpenX, etc.

The two most worrying parts are: they track when and how often you are connecting to their VPN servers which they use to optimize their services by identifying peak hours and such…

…And the usage of “etc” in their list of data collected during connection attempt. Etc? Really? This is a broad statement.

They claim that they don’t track its users’ internet traffic performed using the VPN and identifying information. They don’t quite clearly state what they do track under “etc”…

Need some convincing? Check out our review of CyberGhostVPN here.

5. Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN

Private Internet Access. As secure as the name may sound, can PIA really attest to this fact?

It may come as a red flag for some because of the fact that it’s based in the US, but don’t worry, you’re safe and secure because PIA has proven no intrusion of the government and its no-log policies in court.

Yes, you heard that right. PIA has proven its no-log policies and has protected the privacy of its users in court. And not just once, but twice!

PIA deserves all the praise it receives from the privacy community. After all, it values its customers’ anonymity and security – and has “definitive” proof. They don’t bother spelling it out in their Terms of Service because of this.

If you’re not convinced, check out our review of PIA here.

6. Ivacy VPN

“No data logging to worry about.”

Who would have thought? Ivacy VPN advertises itself as one of the most extremely affordable VPNs in the market.

Some users might think that with cheap subscriptions come faulty security. Well, we hate to break it to you but it’s a misnomer for Ivacy VPN.

It certainly values the privacy of its customers because they seem to collect the bare necessities.

Ivacy collects:

  • Billing information (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Ivacy VPN software and app-related data such as events, failed connection attempts, application, aggregated bandwidth (Service Improvements / Abuse)
  • Support-related emails and chat log (Service Improvements)

Data pertaining to inactive customers is purged after 12 months.

Ivacy also uses a handful of product tools such as MixPanel, Firebase, Crashlytics, Google Analytics, and iTunes. That said, they still promise to protect you from ISP tracking and third party spying.

Need some more convincing? Check out our review of Ivacy VPN here.

7. Trust.Zone

Trust is a very big word, especially for VPN providers.

Trust.Zone is another VPN that claims zero logging. They claim that all their VPN servers do not store log files to keep the privacy of their users secure and safe.

Trust.Zone collects:

  • Billing information (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Support-related emails and chat log (Service Improvements)
  • Third-party payment processors (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Third-party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)

Collecting personal information from the account registration process is the norm. E-mail addresses are used for marketing newsletters and product updates so you can just use a new email account.

We cannot say the same for the third parties who process the payments made on their site. Hence, it’s advisable to use cryptocurrency for payments to keep your information safe.

One thing to note is they mention something about usage data being anonymous. So are they collecting anonymized usage data and how secure is this?

Read our review about Trust.Zone here to see if it’s for you.

8. Windscribe VPN

“Take your browsing history to your grave.”

Some VPN privacy policies lay out all the details necessary for a secure and safe experience – but Windscribe is one of the most transparent when it comes to explaining their log policy.

Their policy breaks down what they collect in various steps:

  • When you visit their website, they use 3rd party tracking and analytics (Marketing)
  • When you sign up, they log your email (Marketing)
  • When you pay, a 3rd party payment processor takes your billing information (Billing / Fraud Detection)

Windscribe collects:

  • Total amount of data transferred within a 30-day window (Free Trial Abuse)
  • Timestamp of your last activity (Free Trial Abuse)
  • Number of connections (Free Trial / Device Limitation Abuse)

And they’re quite honest about what’s being stored in the servers’ memory which is immediately wiped when you disconnect:

  • OpenVPN/IKEv2 username
  • Time of connection
  • Amount of data transferred

As stated in their privacy policy, they keep logs of the bandwidth you consume on their network and a record of your last connection to their servers. A little scary, but they are honest about it.

The deal breaker for some might be the fact that they operated in Canada. In case you didn’t know, Canada is one of the founding members of the Five Eyes Alliance.

All in all, we’re quite happy to see such a transparent no-log policy. But if you are perceptive about total privacy, then you should think twice before subscribing to this one due to their jurisdiction.

If you need more facts, check out our review of Windscribe VPN here.

9. ibVPN

“Will you really be invisible with ibVPN?”

Perhaps, you will. They start off their privacy policy with “We collect personally identifiable information about you…” but goes on to say they don’t collect or log any traffic or use of their VPN service.

ibVPN is based in Romania so you know they aren’t legally obliged to keep logs of the activities of their users.

If you’re looking for further proof, take it from one of the founders himself, Dan Gurghian.

ibVPN collects:

  • Billing information (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Support-related emails and chat log (Service Improvements)
  • Third-party payment processors (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Third-party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)

They store limited data but it’s for the sake of monitoring users who abuse the free trial they provide. It also allows them to stop spamming and to prevent other users from doing things which are not allowed in some of their servers. They also go on to say that they “cannot relate any specific activity with any specific user” in case they do have to comply with the law and share what little information they have.

If you want to know more about ibVPN, you can check out our review here.

10. hide.me VPN

hide.me is a less popular VPN in the market but with its clear no-log policy, it does not disappoint.

They want to stray away from possible legal liability both ways, so they strictly do not log the data of its users.

hide.me collects:

  • Personal data you share during signup (Billing / Marketing)
  • Non-persistent log of connection data which includes customers’ randomly generated usernames and assigned IP addresses (Service Improvements)
  • Third-party marketing and product tools (Marketing / Service)

Do note that they only keep the connection data for troubleshooting purposes and this is wiped clean once the issue is resolved.

Furthermore, they represent that all the possible data they receive on their servers always remain anonymous, so your identity is protected.

One fact worth noticing is that hide.me VPN is based in Malaysia which supports no data retention. It’s a long stretch away from being investigated by any government entities.

If you want to know more about hide.me VPN, check out our review here.

5 Verified No-Log VPNs

Premium VPNs sometimes go to the extent of proving their stance on privacy issues such as logging policies through other methods apart from just the common marketing copy on their website. It’s needed. After all, it’s one of the primary reasons why a customer should subscribe in the first place.

Users, on the other hand, need additional confirmation. For a very meticulous one, just an assertion of not keeping logs will not suffice. There has to be some definitive proof that indeed, a VPN can brand itself as “safe”.

Only a few VPNs have attained a verified status in the Internet community, and each of these can fully attest to the safety of its customers on its platform. Take a look!

1. NordVPN

If you need to verify further whether or not you can trust NordVPN with your browsing activities, then check this out.

In order to strengthen their commitment to being a log-free VPN, they hired an independent audit company just recently. In case you were wondering, the audit was done by none other than PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, one of the big 4 auditing firms in the world.

The audit report wasn’t available at first given the confidentiality of the details, but in January 2019, the company cited that the report is now available to be viewed by NordVPN subscribers and free trial users.

So there you have it, folks. NordVPN is tried and tested to be log-free.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a top-tier VPN for a reason. Its vast number of subscribers and considerable recommendation on the Internet are proof that it also values privacy and security above anything else.

But it’s hard to prove a no-log policy claim unless backed up by some sort of documented evidence – that’s why ExpressVPN has also expressed its willingness to undergo an audit.

Recently, ExpressVPN invited Cure53, a cybersecurity firm to conduct a review of their privacy policies. The inspection ranged from testing the extension in browsers to other issues that possibly needed fixing.

Cure53’s report on its findings is viewable on its website, but you can also find a summary of it on ExpressVPN’s website. The report affirms ExpressVPN’s no-log policy, so you can rest assured knowing that your information won’t be stored or kept.

3. VyperVPN

VyprVPN has had its own fair share of doubts in the past, presumably because of its minimal logging policies which included IP addresses, bandwidth consumption, and others.

When the company sought to prove how it can compete with other VPNs which upheld no-log policies in good light, so they decided to hire the services of Leviathan Security to perform an independent audit.

Fast forward to the present, VyprVPN now boasts itself as the first VPN provider who has been publicly audited – which further reinforced their claim of being log-free.

In case you want to read it, VyperVPN’s audit documents are available here for viewing.

4. CyberGhostVPN

While CyberGhostVPN may not have an independent audit to back its claim of no logs, it’s still a VPN provider that keeps true to its word.

In March 2012, the VPN provider successfully passed an audit conducted by QSCert for the Information Safety Management System (ISMS). The mark signified that the internal processes laid out by the company for its users have passed the industry’s standards.  Additionally, the certification is renewed yearly so you’re certain that it keeps up with current standards.

That being said, it looks like CyberGhost VPN is living up to its reputation of being a no-log VPN by conducting a yearly transparency report.

5. Private Internet Access

If most VPNs had their activities audited for the sake of proving their no-logs policy, Private Internet Access did it in the most convincing way possible.

The VPN provider has proven its no-log policies in court.

If you can’t comprehend what’s amazing about this claim, do take note that PIA operates in the US. For your knowledge, the country is known as being part of the Five Eyes Alliance, an organization which focuses on surveillance and intelligence.

This means that Private Internet Access fully favors the privacy of their users over what the government is demanding.

So it’s no wonder that PIA’s victory is celebrated by its loyal users and the community alike. It’s actually one of the most trusted VPNs in the industry when it comes to privacy, so you can rest assured that PIA is one of the safer choices you can make.

Protect Your Privacy Through a VPN With Proven No-Log Policy

High speeds, geo-unlocks, and smooth UX are a must-haves for VPNs, but privacy and security should be the most important.

Your information being readily available for snooping by third parties is a scary thought. To be safe, always make sure that your VPN doesn’t keep notes about what you’re doing.

And with all these facts we’ve given, you’re ready to make the most educated decision you can make. It’s a matter of preference on your part, but it’s truly up to you to choose which VPN do you want to put your trust on.

Choose a VPN which does not compromise your privacy and security.

Us? We choose NordVPN.

Best VPN for Routers

When you install a VPN on your router, you ensure that all devices connected to your home’s network remain protected with minimal effort and fuss. Instead of downloading a native app for all devices, you can simply configure your router to protect all your devices.

However, not all VPNs are router-friendly, and not all routers support VPNs. That means you need to do two things:

  1. Check to see if the VPN offers router support.
  2. Get a VPN-friendly router.

If you need help on finding a router that can handle a VPN, read our guide on the best VPN routers of 2019. Otherwise, proceed below for the best VPN for various routers.

5 Best VPNs for Routers

How We Chose the Best VPNs for Routers

There are several factors that go into deciding which VPN to use with a router. These include:

  • Router Support: Either the VPN lets you buy pre-flashed routersmeaning a router with the VPN already installed, or you can install the VPN on the router yourself using either native or third-party firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato (more on that below).
  • VPN Speed: Since installing a VPN on your router likely means you’ll be using the VPN on a variety of devices, fast speeds are essential. All the VPNs we’ve picked have fast speeds so you won’t experience slow internet speeds on all your devices–a nightmare!
  • Encryption: If you’re going to rely on a single VPN service to secure all your devices via the router, you better make sure the VPN offers the best encryption. That means the VPN should offer the OpenVPN protocol (the most secure) and AES-256 encryption (military-grade).

We also consider the usual (price, features, business history, etc) as it is part of our review process.

Key VPN Router Terminology: DD-WRT vs Tomato

Two terms you will come across when researching VPN routers are DD-WRT and Tomato—these are both open-source third-party firmware that are available for free online. Simply put, they enable your router to function as a VPN client when it is installed (“flashed”) on one.

DD-WRT and Tomato both improve your security, let you use different VPN protocols, disable router manufacturers’ security loopholes, extend your Wi-Fi range, and regulate bandwidth. They do differ in some areas, though. Here’s how they stack up—

DD-WRT Tomato
Available on more devices. Run two VPN servers at once.
Adjust Wi-Fi signal strength. Better bandwidth monitoring.
Prioritize certain types of traffic. Works better with more VPN services.
Access home network remotely. Supported by fewer routers.

5 Best VPNs for Router Installation—Our Picks

These are, in our opinion, the 5 best VPN services available on the market for use with a router. We have tested each of these services extensively, alongside 100+ others, and tested all their features to arrive at our conclusion.

All these VPNs can easily be installed and used on a router. If you get stuck during the installation phase, each service offers comprehensive guides on their website to walk you through the process. If you still need help, their customer support teams will be on-hand, usually 24/7 through live chat, to provide immediate assistance.

1. ExpressVPN – Our Top Pick!

ExpressVPN is the best all-around VPN service that does just about everything you want it to, and then some.

First of all, for those of you who want the simplest and most seamless installation process, ExpressVPN has their own powerful pre-configured router that you can use out of the box. This is a better choice if you don’t want to do any work at all and want a newbie-friendly VPN router–it costs around $50 more than it would if you bought a regular router and an ExpressVPN subscription.

If you don’t mind doing a little bit of work for yourself though, you can follow their detailed installation tutorial that provides instructions for DD-WRT router installation. With ExpressVPN’s own firmware, installing the VPN on your router and protecting all your home’s devices becomes a painless task.

In addition to this, supplementary features put you in complete control—you can pick and choose which devices’ traffic to tunnel through ExpressVPN and which can remain unprotected. There is also MediaStreamer that you can use to unblock Netflix and other services from devices that don’t natively support ExpressVPN.

In the unlikely event that you run into problems, ExpressVPN’s knowledgebase and support team will be on hand to help in minutes. You can also take a look at some of their guides. ExpressVPN has taken the time to create a comprehensive selection of guides that are tailored to each of their router offerings.

As you can see on the right-hand side, they cover just about every supported router and firmware. You can find this guide and more here in their knowledge base.

An example of ExpressVPN FlashRouter UI courtesy of flashrouters.com

With thousands of lightning-fast servers spread across 90+ countries, ExpressVPN provides everything you could ever need from a VPN at a budget-friendly price point.

ExpressVPN Pricing:

  • From $8.32/month for a 1-year subscription
  • Pre-flashed routers from $174.99 via flashrouters.com

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN – Best Value

Second in our list is NordVPN. Again, it is easy to install NordVPN on a router by following their tutorials.

These explain how you can connect your DD-WRT router to NordVPN by using the OpenVPN protocol. Support is also available for L2TP and PPTP; however, we recommend using OpenVPN for most internet users.

Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers their own pre-configured routers. There are several different versions for you to choose from depending on what level of protection you need or how many devices you want to connect.

(If you do go ahead and purchase a NordVPN router, make sure you use the code NORDVPNROUTER for 20% off at flashrouters.com!)

Everything can be managed from NordVPN’s FlashRouter Privacy App. Using this, you can easily connect to and switch between servers and enable/disable the kill switch for seamless and intuitive use. This is much more preferable to having to navigate confusing router control panels each time you want to connect, disconnect, change a server, or modify other settings.

In terms of performance, NordVPN delivers good speeds across a consistently reliable server network. While there are more servers with NordVPN than ExpressVPN, NordVPN has slightly fewer locations as ExpressVPN. (At the time of writing, NordVPN’s servers are available in 62 countries whereas ExpressVPN’s are in 94.)

NordVPN Pricing:

  • From $2.99/month for a 3-year subscription
  • Pre-flashed routers from $249.99 via flashrouters.com

Try NordVPN

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) – Best for Privacy

PIA is one of our favorite VPNs because they came out on top after two court cases where the authorities were trying to obtain a court order to force PIA to disclose information related to its users. On both occasions, PIA could not produce anything of use to the government.

This shows that their promise to never disclose information holds up in court even though PIA is U.S.-based. PIA doesn’t log anything at all, so even if they were told to hand over information, there would be nothing valuable to give.

In terms of router support, you can either buy a pre-flashed PIA router (the more expensive option) or instead follow their DD-WRT OpenVPN setup guide on their website.

It should be acknowledged that PIA’s setup process is a little more involved than that of Express and NordVPN’s–it requires more manual work and time, making it a less optimal choice for first-time users. There’s no native app for routers either, something both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have.

PIA as a service has been around for a long time now and they have an impressive server network to prove it. They offer what is by far one of the best and most reliable services at one of the lowest price points.

Private Internet Access Pricing:

  • From $2.91/month for a 2-year subscription
  • Pre-flashed routers from $249.99 via flashrouters.com

Try PIA

4. Windscribe

An often-overlooked service, Windscribe may not be as good as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, but it’s still worth considering. The main talking point here is that Windscribe lets you connect an unlimited number of devices to the network.

Judging by Windscribe’s website, we can see that they have put a lot of thought and effort into their router support.

The VPN can be installed on a router or you can get a pre-configured model. However, you won’t have much of a choice if you want a pre-flashed router. We only found one available at the time of this writing.

For users who want to install the VPN client on their own, Windscribe provides three comprehensive guides to walk you through the process: DD-WRT, Tomato, and Asus.

When we tested out Windscribe, we found that the service’s performance varied quite a bit. This isn’t going to be ideal if you need a consistently reliable service that is always fast and on point. In terms of security, Windscribe uses AES 256-bit encryption alongside OpenVPN and we found no leaks.

It is worth noting that Windscribe offers a free version with a monthly 10GB data transfer limited. However, it can only be used with routers when you subscribe to their Pro version as this is the only version that offers OpenVPN.

Windscribe Pricing:

  • From $4.08/month for a 1-year subscription
  • Pre-flashed routers from $349.99

Try Windscribe

5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost has managed to grow its users to almost 20 million in just under a decade and when you look at the service, it is easy to see why.

If you want to install CyberGhost on your router, their website offers lots of useful guidance and tutorials to help you do just that. Their knowledgebase covers every single type of router installation possible and if you get stuck, their support team are on-hand to help 24/7.

For example, this is a part of their knowledge base that teaches users how to configure OpenVPN on one of their pre-flashed routers (CyberGhost doesn’t use OpenVPN by default.)

This guide is very extensive and walks you through the process step-by-step with up-to-date information and screenshots highlighting exactly what you need to do.

With a constantly growing network of servers offering a fast and reliable global reach and router setup that is 100% painless, CyberGhost had to feature somewhere on our list. Again, it’s not as good as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, but their service will probably match your expectations.

CyberGhost Pricing:

  • From $2.50/month for a 3-year subscription
  • Pre-flashed routers from $249.99 via flashrouters.com

Try CyberGhost

Types of VPN Routers

For those of you still deciding on which VPN router to get, here’s a short guide on the three different types of VPN routers.

The general rule of thumb is that most ISP-provided routers are heavily restricted and cannot be flashed with VPN firmware. If your router is the same one that your ISP provided, you will need to swap it out for a different one.

The three options are—

1. Manual configuration

Manual configuration (or manual flashing) is where you configure your own router for VPN installation. This can usually be done with routers made by reputable manufacturers such as Asus and Linksys but not always. It is worth double-checking with the manufacturer whether your router supports VPN installation.

2. VPN-compatible routers

VPN-compatible routers come ready to be set up with a VPN out of the box. They have an easy-to-use interface, support OpenVPN, and can easily have firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato installed on them, meaning you can start the setup process with your chosen VPN client right away.

3. Pre-configured routers

Most of the time, pre-configured routers will come with a VPN already installed on them. This means they can be set up and used with minimal effort. However, they can be more expensive. A good example is ExpressVPN’s own DD-WRT router.

These routers are sold through a third-party vendor known as FlashRouters, a company that takes the very best routers available on the market and loads them with VPN software ready for out-of-the-box use.


To sum up, you can go about it in various ways but it usually breaks down into two things:
1. Are you tech-savvy enough to configure your own router? Then just follow our step-by-step guide on how to install a VPN on a router.
2. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of setting up your router? Then you have plenty of choice, just get ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

How to Install a VPN on a Router


When you are using one of the best VPNs that supports a larger range of devices, you have two options—

  • Protect each of your devices individually by installing the VPN natively; or
  • Install the VPN software on your router and protect every device connected to your home’s network.

Now, of course, we are assuming that you are using a VPN that supports router installation. Most of the VPNs that feature highly in our top list do—ExpressVPN and NordVPN for example—but this is worth checking if you are not sure. If you are using a VPN that doesn’t offer router support, perhaps it is time for you to swap it out for a different provider?

And the other thing is making sure your router supports a VPN installation.

With a VPN installed on your router, the data on all devices connected to the router is protected when it leaves your network. This eliminates the need to protect every device individually. When you are not connected to your router with a VPN installed, your data will not be protected.

Installing a VPN On a Router: Initial Checks

There are two things you need to do first:

1. Check your VPN supports router installation

As we just mentioned, double check that your VPN service provider supports router installation and offers the necessary information and firmware. Not all VPNs are router-friendly.

We are going to be using ExpressVPN in this guide as the example.

2. Check you own a VPN-compatible router

If you are using a standard router provided by your ISP, you probably won’t be able to install VPN software on it or configure it to use a VPN. This isn’t always the case, but most of the time it is.

We highly recommend investing in a router that comes from a reputable manufacturer—e.g. Asus or NetGear—as opposed to using your ISP’s one anyway; they are often much better, faster, and have more features.

There are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing a suitable VPN router, so many in fact that it warrants its own article.

In general, though, these are your three options—

  1. VPN-compatible routers that come ready to go out of the box. They have intuitive firmware and support OpenVPN as standard, meaning all you have to do is configure your VPN connection info and log in. Examples of these are most of Asus’ models.
  2. Pre-configured VPN routers that let you set everything up with minimal effort. These often come pre-configured for a specific VPN. These are often more expensive, though. An example is ExpressVPN’s DD-WRT FlashRouter.
  3. You can also manually configure your own router (called “manual flashing”) and set it up for VPN installation. This can usually be done on routers sold by reputable providers. However, it cannot usually be done on ISP-provided routers.

Manual configuration is a very involved task that requires a lot of research, but don’t worry, it’s not too difficult! It’s simply a case of “flashing” your router by installing firmware such as:

  • DD-WRT, compatible with most routers; or,
  • Tomato, compatible with a more restrictive number of routers but works better with OpenVPN.

Still, we don’t recommend manual configuration unless you are comfortable with a very intense setup process.

Instead, invest in a reputable router brand that supports VPNs as standard such as those offered by Asus. These have integrated VPN functionality and it makes the job a whole lot easier.

Don’t buy a pre-configured VPN unless you are comfortable being tied to one VPN service provider.

VPN Router Installation: Step-by-Step on an Asus Router

Asus is one of the best router brands when it comes to VPN use. Most Asus routers come VPN-ready and can be set up very quickly with most leading VPNs.

Here are a few of Asus’ best models that support VPNs: RT-N66U, RT-AC56U, RT-AC66U, RT-AC68U, RT-AC87U, RT-AC5300, RT-AC3200, RT-AC3100, RT-AC1750, RT-AC88U, RT-AC66R, and RT-AC55U.

Got one of those? Let’s take you through the process step-by-step, using ExpressVPN as an example.

1. Go to Your VPN’s setup page

This can be found once you’re logged in. If you don’t have an account, get one here.

Once there, select ‘Manual Configuration‘ from the device list and then select ‘OpenVPN‘ along with the configuration files for the location(s) from the location drop-downs you want to install on your router.

Once you have done this, download and save the .ovpn files where you can find them later. Also, make sure you have your ExpressVPN username and password ready—the one provided on the setup page, not your login credentials—as you will be asked to enter them later.

2. Log in to your VPN-compatible router

In your internet browser, navigate to your router’s control panel by entering 192.168.1.1 in your search bar. This is the default address unless you’ve changed it. We’re using an Asus router. This will lead you to the Asus web interface.

Type in your username and password for your router. Unless you’ve changed this, both your username and password will be ‘admin‘ without the apostrophes.

When you’ve logged in, click on ‘VPN‘ in the ‘Advanced Settings‘ menu.

After you have done this, click on the tab that says ‘VPN Client‘ and then click ‘Add Profile‘. You are now ready to configure ExpressVPN.

You will see four fields—

  • Description: Type in something memorable such as “ExpressVPN Connection
  • Username: Copy and paste the username provided on your setup page.
  • Password: Copy and paste the password provided on your setup page.
  • Import .ovpn file: Press ‘Choose file‘ then upload the .ovpn file you downloaded earlier.

After you have done this, click ‘Upload‘, ‘OK,‘ and then ‘Activate‘ to boot up ExpressVPN.

And voila – you should now be connected!

3. Check your connection

Before you go ahead and start using your devices, double check to make sure that you are connected to the VPN through your router.

Head on over to leak testing sites and run some diagnostics. In case of testing for IP leaks, you should see a flag and IP address.

If you see your own IP address and home country’s flag (if you are trying to connect to a different country), you are not protected and have done something wrong—go through the steps again and make sure you are doing everything properly.

If you see a different IP address and another country’s flag (unless you have connected to a server within the same country) you are protected and can browse the internet on all devices connected to your router with confidence that ExpressVPN is protecting you.

That’s it—easy!

Best VPNs for Router Installation

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that there’s only a small handful of VPN services that support router installation. Even then, only a few of these are good enough to be considered one of the ‘best’ for routers.

These are our picks—

1. ExpressVPN

Wonder why we used ExpressVPN as our example? It’s simple. ExpressVPN is by far the best all-around VPN. It is a leading provider, if not the leading provider, of VPN services that offers a huge network of fast servers that don’t compromise your privacy.

2,000+ servers from the U.S. to Europe to Africa (94 countries total, which is a huge number) and beyond protect your identity, enable you to bypass regional blocks, censorship, and safely torrent files, along with a host of other features including extensive router support.

ExpressVPN has several custom apps and pieces of firmware for router providers such as Asus, NetGear, and Linksys which makes router installation that much easier. If you’re a hardcore ExpressVPN fan, you can even buy a pre-configured ExpressVPN router. With their VPN router app, you can connect as many devices as you want.

If you ever have trouble setting up your router to work with ExpressVPN, they have a huge knowledge base that contains video tutorials. We can also vouch for their speedy customer support as we found out during our full review.

You can try ExpressVPN for 30 days risk-free with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

Coming in close second to ExpressVPN is NordVPN. They currently offer 5,000+ servers in 62 countries and they’re very fast, secure, and support everything from streaming to torrenting.

If you go with NordVPN, you’ll be able to take advantage of their desktop and mobile apps for VPN routers. This means you can manage your router connection remotely and easily just by logging in to the app. It also comes with a kill switch that automatically disconnects all your devices if the connection drops.

NordVPN lets you connect up to 6 devices at once.

Based in Panama, NordVPN operates an anti-logging policy which means no matter what you do, none of your data or information is ever captured. Even if it were, nothing could be done with it since NordVPN is based in Panama, outside the scope of any agreements between countries such as 5 Eyes.

NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try NordVPN

3. CyberGhost

In less than 10 years since its launch in 2011, CyberGhost has grown in size to over 20 million users. Part of this success is thanks to the fast, reliable, and secure service with 2,000+ servers across 60 different countries.

While CyberGhost doesn’t have its own router app like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, you can find pre-configured routers for CyberGhost. They also have great setup guides for installing the VPN on your router.

You can connect up to 7 devices with CyberGhost. That means if you set up your router, you can stream Netflix, torrent, avoid government censorship, and hide your information on all your devices. All connections are protected by AES 256-bit encryption alongside OpenVPN.

CyberGhost also has some of the best customer support in the industry so, if you do get stuck, help will never be too far away.

You can try their service free for 24 hours with a 14-day money-back guarantee for their monthly plan, or a whopping 45-day money-back guarantee for all other plans.

Try CyberGhost

The Best VPN for Kodi

In case you weren’t aware of it before reading this, Kodi is an open-source multi-platform software that brings the theatre to your living room. It was first released in June 2004 and hit mainstream audiences in December 2016, facing fierce criticism when questions regarding its legality started to surface—Kodi in its unmodified state is 100% legal; it’s simply a software solution designed to stream content across different devices.

Today, Kodi is one of the most popular media players around, something helped by the fact that it’s completely free, open-source, and has a lot of additional functionality and capability thanks to the various add-ons available.

One type of add-on you can add to Kodi is a VPN and this is what we are going to be covering today!

Why Use a VPN With Kodi?

A VPN—virtual private network—adds an entire extra dimension of functionality and usability to your Kodi box… at least, it does if you pick a good one!

When used with Kodi, a VPN encrypts all internet traffic and tunnels it through one of its intermediary servers via the location you’ve connected to. When you do this, you can unblock content that’s geographically restricted—e.g. watch content that’s only available in the U.S. whilst physically located in the UK—and protects you from vulnerabilities that are inherent in third-party Kodi add-ons.

Choosing the best VPN for Kodi is very important, though—choose anything other than the best, and you may find it hard to stream any content at all.

The best ones have lots of servers located around the world that are fast and always being updated. This means that there will always be a server available that’s fast enough to stream content and can get around geographic filters.

Things Look for When Choosing a VPN For Kodi

When it comes to choosing a VPN to use for Kodi, there are factors that are more important than others; for example, it’s not exactly vital you need a kill-switch during your usage, is it? Instead, here’s what you should be looking for in a good VPN for your Kodi usage:

Server Choices

You need plenty of international choices. If a VPN only offers one server in each country, it’s likely to be blocked by Netflix. After all, it’s easy to target one server; it’s not so easy when a VPN has hundreds of servers per country, and regularly refreshes their IP addresses and servers.
Look for VPNs offering such high server counts and such.

Fast Speeds

Good streaming requires good internet speeds. If a VPN throttles your speeds too much, you can say goodbye to any ideas of streaming content via Kodi. Make sure whichever VPN you opt for, its servers are up to scratch.

Strong Encryption

Consider your protection. Ensure whatever VPN you use offers strong encryption; if you’re accessing less-than-legal materials, you don’t want to be hit with copyright infringement notices and the like.
Check out some of our top VPN recommendations below; they all offer extremely strong encryption protections.

Multi-Logins

Got more than one person wanting to use Kodi on your VPN? Or perhaps you simply want to watch multiple things/access multiple files? A good VPN should offer multiple concurrent logins. Does the one you’re looking at not offer the option? Avoid it – there are plenty who do!

These requirements are essentially the same when you’re looking for the best VPNs for Netflix since both products face issues around content restrictions.

5 Best VPNs to Use with Kodi

There are many VPNs available for Kodi and we’ve narrowed them all down to 5 we think are the best.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN tops virtually every list we do, including our general top VPN list. It’s a great all-around VPN that’s suitable for any and all usage, including on Kodi devices for seamless and effortless streaming.

Reliable for unblocking geo-blocked content on services that include BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and HBO, ExpressVPN’s servers are always being updated, with new ones added and older ones that have been geo-blocked removed. We’ve personally never had trouble accessing BBC iPlayer from here in the States—there’s always a server that’s working.

ExpressVPN also scores full marks when it comes security, boasting AES 256-bit encryption used alongside the trusted OpenVPN tunneling protocol with other options available.

There are native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux through a command line. For Kodi devices based on Amazon’s Fire TV, there’s a native app available on Amazon’s own app store. ExpressVPN has plenty of tutorials available, too, for other Kodi devices.

To make the job infinitely easier, consider installing ExpressVPN on your router if you are using one that supports VPNs. When you do this, all devices that are connected to your router, including Kodi, will have their traffic tunneled through ExpressVPN on your chosen server. This eliminates the need to set up ExpressVPN natively on each device.
Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is another great all-rounder that regularly features highly on VPN review lists, including our own.

At the time of writing, NordVPN offers a massive 5,923 servers operating across 62 countries, 1,926 and 681 of which are in the U.S. and UK respectively meaning that NordVPN is by far one of the best VPNs for Kodi and that you will always find a server that’s suitable for getting around geoblocking. All these servers have respectable speeds making them perfect for streaming.

For installation on Kodi, Android users can download an APK file directly from the NordVPN website or use Google Play. At the moment, there’s no Linux version, however, it can be manually configured. Again, just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN supports router installation on models that support OpenVPN which means you can use it with your Kodi device without having to install it natively.

In terms of security, NordVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption alongside the OpenVPN tunneling protocol that provides comprehensive and sturdy protection of your IP address, traffic, and identity. NordVPN doesn’t log any information, either. In addition to a native Android app, there are also apps for Windows, macOS, and iOS.
Try NordVPN

3. IPVanish

When we tested IPVanish ourselves, we found it demonstrated excellent performance levels that are more consistently reliable when compared to others in the same bracket.

So far as Kodi is concerned, IPVanish’s native desktop, Android, and iOS apps will work in the background and provide secure, unrestricted access to geo-blocked Kodi content through add-ons. For Kodi users who have it sideloaded or installed on a smart TV, Fire TV Stick, console, or set-top box, installation requires a little more work.

If you are using a Fire TV Stick, IPVanish’s app is configured and optimized to be seamlessly used with the Fire TV Stick’s remote control, making it much easier to select from over 1,000 different servers that are fast enough to handle streaming video content, alongside up to 9 other simultaneous connections.

IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption alongside OpenVPN and doesn’t log anything, meaning your privacy and security is always protected.

You can try it now for 7 days risk-free thanks to their 7-day money-back guarantee. There are three different plans to choose from, starting from $10 per month when billed month-to-month, or $6.49 when billed for 12 months at $77.88.

4. CyberGhost

Launched in 2011, CyberGhost has managed to grow from relative obscurity to a service used by over 20 million people in just over 7 years. Based in Romania, it falls outside of any international agreements that facilitate the collection and sharing of data and intelligence (e.g. 5 Eyes.)

While CyberGhost doesn’t natively support Kodi installation through Linux (you’ll have to configure it yourself), there’s an Android app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. It cannot be sideloaded or downloaded through an APK, so anybody wanting to use Kodi and has a version of Android without the Google Play Store will need to undertake manual configuration.

CyberGhost categorizes all its servers that support bypassing geoblocking by which video streaming services the server works on. So, if you want a server that’s Netflix or BBC iPlayer-friendly, they can be found easily. All servers are completely secure and offer fast speeds that are more than suitable for the handling of even the most intense video streaming.

CyberGhost offers a 14-day no questions asked money-back guarantee for its month-to-month plan and a whopping 45-day money-back guarantee for plans that have been pre-purchased for 6 months or more.
Try CyberGhost

5. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA is one of our favorite VPN providers. Although they’re based in the U.S., they have come out victorious in not one, but two court cases where they refused to release data and information it held to the authorities. Even if PIA lost their court cases and was forced to disclose information, it would be of very little use to the authorities because PIA has a strict anti-logging policy that it follows to the letter.

For Android and Linux-based Kodi devices, PIA offers a version that works with the OpenELEC Linux distribution (on Raspberry Pi, for example) and an APK file that can be downloaded from the PIA website and installed on Android devices that don’t have a Google Play Store. Both apps are very lightweight and easy to use.

There’s plenty of choices when it comes to servers and locations, and they’re all fast enough to handle streaming HD content. In terms of security, there’s both AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption available, alongside the OpenVPN tunneling protocol.

PIA offers a 7-day money-back guarantee and its monthly rolling plan is a budget-friendly $6.95. Subscribe for two years and pay only $69.95, a monthly price of $2.91.
Try PIA

Unlock Kodi’s True Power With a VPN

When using a VPN with Kodi, it’s not so much about privacy and logging, as it is about fast servers and unblocking content from other countries.

You want to be using one that’s available at a budget-friendly price point, has plenty of choices when it comes to servers that are fast and suitable for streaming, and can be used just as easily with Kodi as it does with any other device.

We’ve highlighted 5 VPNs that we regard as the very best VPNs for use with Kodi. There are others available, however, many of which you can find we’ve reviewed elsewhere on the website. Be sure to have a browse, and see if you find the perfect one for you!

10 Best VPN Extensions for Chrome (Free & Paid)

Whenever you use the internet, your browser is always collecting and sending information about you to every single website you visit.

Some of this information includes data such as:

  • Your IP address
  • Your location
  • Your operating system
  • Your computer hardware
  • Whether any other devices are connected to the same network

While you may not care whether Google knows this information about you, what about other websites that are malicious in nature? When you browse the internet with an unprotected browser, your personal information is ripe for the picking.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though—there are plenty of brilliant extensions for Google Chrome, the world’s most popular internet browser, that you can use to protect your information when you’re online.

These extensions are all offered by leading VPN companies you may have already heard of.

As general consumer awareness surrounding privacy has grown, so has the use of VPNs. There are now several high-quality VPN services out there that you can use to cover your tracks online, hide your information, and unblock regional restrictions through streaming sites such as Netflix.

With just a few clicks on your browser, you can protect yourself from Google tracking your every move.

The 10 Best VPN Extensions for Google Chrome

These are the 10 VPN Chrome extensions that we have come across during our VPN review process and think are the best. Ease-of-use, superior features, and solid privacy protection all factored into our decision.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is by far the best all-around VPN service that delivers fast, secure, and consistently reliable service with its thousands of servers located in over 150 different countries.

With a valid ExpressVPN subscription, you can add their extension to Chrome in a matter of seconds and benefit from comprehensive protection of your Chrome-based internet activity. It’s worth noting, though, that ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension will not work unless you have their desktop app installed.

The Chrome extension itself performs very well, just as you would expect with any ExpressVPN product.

At the time of this review, ExpressVPN boasts having over 501,000 active installs.

Although they do not offer a free trial, their entire VPN product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked. This means you can take ExpressVPN for a spin risk-free and get a refund if you’re not impressed—unlikely!

If you do decide to subscribe, their cheapest plan comes to $8.32 per month for a one-year subscription billed annually at $99.84.

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is almost exactly the same as ExpressVPN, the only difference being that NordVPN is just slightly less expensive.

Just like ExpressVPN, you need a valid subscription to NordVPN in order to use their Google Chrome extension. It can be installed as a standalone extension though—you do not need to have NordVPN installed on your desktop to use it.

Service-wise, there are thousands of servers located across a smaller selection of countries. Performance is consistently great—you don’t lose much speed up or down—and they operate a proven anti-logging policy.

At the time of writing this review, NordVPN has over 236,000 active installs.

You can try out NordVPN with a 7-day free trial. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but go ahead and use their free trial before making a purchase. 7 days is enough time to decide whether you want to buy a subscription or not.

Their lowest price starts at just $2.99 per month on their 3-year plan for a grand total of $107.64.

Try NordVPN

3. Windscribe

Windscribe offers the full and unrestricted version of its service on the Google Chrome store for free. There is a catch, however—you can only use 10GB worth of data per month unless you pay for a subscription.

We aren’t going to pretend that 10GB of data isn’t a lot though, it is a respectable amount of data that you can easily get a lot of use out of. That said, if you’re someone who wants to remain connected all the time and/or stream a lot of content, it won’t be enough.

So far as their service goes, Windscribe offers strong encryption and a decent number of servers while performing at a level that’s good enough for most activities.

Windscribe VPN is quite popular as a freemium VPN – the Chrome web store shows there are nearly 900,000 users.

Windscribe Pro is available from $9.00 per month or $4.08 per month when billed annually at $49.

Try Windscribe

4. TunnelBear

TunnelBear offers a free version of their premium VPN service that offers access to their Google Chrome extension.

The service itself is very good. It has all the features you would expect–it doesn’t log anything, and it doesn’t slow down your speeds.

The Chrome extension is very easy to use… it certainly passes the newbie test so far as we’re concerned! One drawback, however, is that you only get 500MB of free data per month. This may sound like a lot, but it wouldn’t take a regular internet user long to burn through, even if you abstain from streaming content.

Although there’s a cap, it seems over 843,000 users still enjoy this VPN extension on Chrome.

If you like TunnelBear after trying it out, you can buy unlimited data on a month-to-month basis for $9.99, or $59.99 when billed annually.

Try TunnelBear

5. Ivacy

It only takes a matter of minutes, if not seconds, to install Ivacy on Chrome. You don’t need to install their desktop app for it to work either.

Ivacy is renowned for providing fast and consistently reliable service with over 1,000 servers located across 100+ locations. The breadth of locations is nearly as vast as those offered by ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

When you connect via the Chrome app, you are automatically assigned to an optimum server, but you can easily switch to a different one. The app itself is nifty, fast, and simple to use.

The pricing for their premium service starts at $9.95 monthly. But if you usign up for 2 years, you get a crazy 77% discount. The price drops to a mere $2.25 per month if you get it now.

Try Ivacy

6. ibVPN

Don’t let the missing icon fool you, it’s a great VPN!

To install and use Betternet, you need to create an account. Once you’re logged in, you can manage the VPN quite easily; one click connect and even a nice server picker.

You can sign up for ibVPN for $4.95 per month. And you can even try it for free for 24 hours to get a feel for this VPN Chrome extension.

If you want to sign up for a yearly payment plan, it averages to $3.08 per month. Cheap!

Try ibVPN

7. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a free proxy for Google Chrome that installs very quickly and is easy to use—there’s only an on/off button and a menu you can use to switch locations.

While it’s free, fast, and easy to use, you’re very limited in server choice—at the time of writing, there are only four locations available—and the performance isn’t as good as their flagship desktop app. When connected, all your traffic is encrypted, and your information is safe.

CyberGhost says it cannot guarantee that their Chrome extension will protect against leaking when using the free version… this seems like a strange way of persuading people to subscribe to their premium service, but they are quite reputable.

Almost 100,000 users!

Try CyberGhost

8. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs available at a budget-friendly price of $6.95 per month on a rolling monthly basis. This comes down to a tiny $2.91 per month when you purchase a two-year subscription at $69.95.

Their pricing doesn’t mean they compromise on performance either.

We’re big fans of PIA—although they’re based in the U.S., they came out on top of two court cases where authorities failed to force them to disclose information about their users. Given that PIA has an anti-logging policy, the information they did have probably wasn’t very interesting or substantial.

Their Chrome extension is just as fast and simple to use as their flagship desktop VPN, and they use the latest standards in encryption and tunneling to protect your data.

Try PIA

9. Hide.me

For some reason, hide.me doesn’t have their Chrome extension on Google’s Chrome web store. And don’t be fooled by the one being offered by hideme.io – it’s not reliable and is not the same as the one being offered by hide.me.

The nice thing is, hide.me also has a freemium model – you can use hide.me for free. It comes with a 2GB data transfer cap.

You will definitely want to upgrade, in which case, you should remember their monthly subscription cost – $4.99.

If you pay for the most expensive subscription, it’s $9.99 per month.
Try hide.me

10. GoBestVPN Search Extension

To help you in your search for the best VPN products online, we created a simple extension that lets you search for reviews on your Chrome browser.

If you want quick access to unbiased reviews on over 100+ VPNs, simply install the tool and you’re good to go!

Get GoBestVPN Search Extension


DO NOT GET THESE FREE CHROME EXTENSIONS

DotVPN

Nearly 1 million vulnerable users.

DotVPN’s free Chrome extension is very basic and limited. It can still be used as a quick and simple solution when you need to temporarily cover yourself online. It’s by no means restricted to the point where it’s rendered useless, that’s for sure.

You do need to sign up if you want to use DotVPN for free and this means you’ll receive marketing emails with DotVPN trying to get you to sign up for their premium service.

DotVPN’s Chrome extension is slow. Don’t even try to stream anything. Also, it’s worth noting that DotVPN is based in Hong Kong and is subject to China’s questionable privacy laws.

The premium version costs too much  for a slow, non-working VPN – $4.99 monthly.

Read Our DotVPN Review

Hola

8 million+ users who are vulnerable

Hola is a popular Chrome-only VPN that’s free, easy to install, and comes with unlimited usage. The catch is that you need to connect to Hola each time you visit a site you want to be protected on.

It’s easy to use the Hola app to select and connect to a country and the service works well enough. It’s slow but you can’t really complain when you’re using something that’s completely free.

Each time you navigate to a new site, though, your connection to Hola drops. It’s important to keep this in mind as you could accidentally expose yourself.

The VPN is a P2P network, meaning you’re leaving yourself extremely vulnerable as well.

We do not recommend using the free version let alone pay for this VPN.

Read Our Hola VPN Review

Best VPN for macOS

macOS is the second most popular operating system in the world. Although it isn’t quite as widely used as Windows, there are still plenty of options in terms of VPN services out there.

Picking the best VPN for MacBooks and iMacs is no different from picking the best one for your Windows-based machine. At the end of the day, the best VPN services in the market are compatible with macOS; they’d lose out on a huge market if they’re not!

You might think that using a VPN for privacy and safety-related purposes is not necessary on macOS due to the reputation it has for being largely impenetrable. This is far from the case, however—macOS systems are increasingly being targeted by criminals.

As the popularity of Apple products is higher than ever before with more and more people relying on macOS, this is a trend that’s only going to increase.

Simply put, it’s now more important than ever to get the best VPN for macOS if you own an Apple device.

Why Use a VPN?

There are two main reasons why more people are beginning to use VPNs – online security and privacy concerns. VPN usage is now widespread, and no longer a shady practice or niche area for the more technologically savvy.

What’s more, there are plenty of other reasons to use a VPN besides security. Whether you’re trying to access U.S. Netflix from Europe or want to unblock websites that have been restricted by your government, getting a VPN is the right thing to do.

People who own an iMac, MacBook, or any other product that uses macOS need a high-quality VPN service just as much as Windows users. Unfortunately, there are a lot of VPN providers out there who provide a decent native app for Windows and then just reproduce a half-baked version for macOS that doesn’t do a good enough job.

In some cases, this can be dangerous as they can expose your information to people who are watching such as your ISP.

The VPNs listed here have been chosen because they fit a variety of needs, run seamlessly, are easy to use, and well-designed. Given that these are characteristics that make Apple’s macOS-backed products so popular, it’s no coincidence that the five best VPNs for macOS meet these criteria too.

Our Picks: The 5 Best VPNs for macOS

We have combed through virtually every VPN available on the market to not only determine which are the best overall, but also handpick the best options for macOS users.

1. ExpressVPN: The all-around best VPN for pretty much everything

ExpressVPN is easily the clear winner and by far the best VPN for macOS. Often featured at the top of every VPN-related list, ExpressVPN is a leading service that does just about everything… and then some.

You’ve probably heard of ExpressVPN already. We only feature it on every top list we compile!

With over 2,000 servers located across 148 different locations—from the U.S. to Australia and virtually everywhere else in-between—you won’t be restricted by choice or stuck with servers that don’t work.

Connected to a U.S. server that isn’t working with Netflix? Report it to ExpressVPN and move on to a different one. They’ll get it sorted and you’re guaranteed to find a server that works.

The speeds of these servers are nothing to be concerned about, either. You will notice very little in terms of speed reduction when connected to most of their servers; ExpressVPN does not throttle your speeds up or down and their servers are blazing fast.

Torrenting and P2P activities are allowed, and the servers are quick enough to handle it.

ExpressVPN is compatible with all devices through router support and a range of native apps (yes, there’s a dedicated app for macOS!). You can easily protect all your devices. Installation and setup are easy and only takes a couple of minutes once your payment goes through.

Speaking of payment, there’s a whole host of payment methods for you to choose from, including Bitcoin for anonymity.

If you still aren’t 100% convinced, we recommend giving ExpressVPN a spin anyway; they offer a 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked. At $12.95 month-to-month or $99.95 ($8.32 per month) annually, you get true value for money.

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN: Slightly cheaper than ExpressVPN but just as good

Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN always manages to place at the top of VPN lists. As a renowned provider of a trustworthy, robust, and secure VPN service, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the best VPNs for MacBooks and iMacs.

NordVPN has managed to gain trust due to its location in Panama, a jurisdiction that falls outside the scope of interference from authorities such as the U.S. and UK governments and intelligence agencies. They guarantee that no customer information or usage data will ever be collected or distributed to third-party organizations.

The sheer size of its service has also helped to make it hugely popular. No matter what you want to do with your subscription to NordVPN, you can probably do it. Need double security? Use their double VPN servers. Are you based in a country that monitors internet usage? Their obfuscated servers will provide additional protection.

Not only are there lots of different types of NordVPN servers, there are also plenty to choose from. The NordVPN network is huge and they truly provide global coverage. This means you will always be able to find a server suited to Netflix, for example.

As we mentioned above, NordVPN comes with all the same bells and whistles as ExpressVPN but with a slightly lower price point. Their one-month rolling plan is $11.95, but you can save a lot more by subscribing for one, two, or three years.

As you can see in the picture above, if you choose a 3-year plan billed at a mere $107.55, it will only cost you $2.99 per month—that’s less than your average cup of coffee!

It’s slick, packed full of features, and has a great native iOS app. Try NordVPN risk-free by taking advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee.

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3. Hotspot Shield: A brilliant option for the privacy-conscious

You may have heard of Hotspot Shield on social media. They’re famous for using social channels to advertise their service, including on Snapchat and Tinder. It just goes to show you how broad their user base must be.

Hotspot Shield’s premium offering is both affordable and private with strict adherence to current best practices (e.g. strong encryption and use of OpenVPN) alongside their promise not to collect and distribute user data.

They currently offer over 2,500 servers in almost 30 locations around the globe. When we tested them in our comprehensive Hotspot Shield review, they turned out to be fast, responsive, and great on performance overall.

If you want to use a VPN on your macOS device primarily because you want to play games, stream a lot of content, or participate in P2P activities, Hotspot Shield won’t weigh you down.

With a single subscription, you can connect up to five different devices to the Hotspot Shield network at the same time. From MacBooks to iPhones and games consoles, Hotspot Shield works with every device when you set it up on your router.

If you simply want to protect your macOS device, there is a native macOS app.

At $12.99 per month for a rolling subscription, their pricing is similar to ExpressVPN. A 3-year subscription gets you down to $3.49 per month, which makes it one of the cheapest VPNs on the market without losing out on quality.

You can try out Hotspot Shield risk-free with their 7-day money-back guarantee.

Try Hotspot Shield

4. CyberGhost: A VPN service that’s always evolving

Millions of people around the world rely on CyberGhost to deliver a reliable service packed with brilliant features. They are by far one of the best VPNs for macOS and have a native app that installs quickly and seamlessly.

In under 10 years, CyberGhost has gone from a startup known only by a few people to a name known around the world. We love how they’re always keeping up with the times and constantly introducing new features for their loyal users.

Like many leading VPNs, CyberGhost is located outside of the 5, 7, and 14-Eyes agreements that compel nations such as the U.S., UK, and Canada to share intelligence and information with each other.

Rather, it’s based in Romania, a country that does not fall under any of these agreements. It also operates a guaranteed zero-logging policy, as well as using OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption. This means your information is safe and will never be compromised when using CyberGhost.

CyberGhost supports Netflix, torrenting, and P2P, so it’s always easy to find a suitable server—they’re all fast, perform well, and capable of streaming or downloading lots of content.

For as little as $2.75 per month—virtually nothing, really—you can take advantage of all these features and more with a premium CyberGhost subscription. If you prefer to pay monthly and don’t mind spending more, you can pay $11.99 per month.

If you do decide to go ahead and invest in CyberGhost, you can always get your money back within 30 days thanks to their 30-day no strings money-back guarantee.

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5. IPVanish: Blazing fast and designed for macOS

With an app designed specifically for macOS, IPVanish delivers a brilliant service for Apple fans. When we tested IPVanish as a whole, we found that it’s a ridiculously fast and nifty VPN that automatically connects you to the fastest server.

With its blazing fast speeds, you’ll be able to stream media, download files, and participate in P2P activities without those annoying lags.

IPVanish operates its service over three protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP. It doesn’t log any of your information or activities.

The more time you buy, the cheaper IPVanish gets. Their monthly rolling plan starts at $10.00, which makes it the cheapest out of all the VPNs featured on this list. This drops down to $3.74 when you purchase a 2-year subscription.

There’s a 7-day money-back guarantee if you’re interested in taking it out for a spin.

Try IPVanish

So, which VPN do we recommend?

It should come as no surprise that the VPN we recommend for macOS is ExpressVPN. It’s just about the best VPN service going for virtually anything. When in doubt, go with ExpressVPN. It’s a good rule of thumb.

Having said that, any of the VPNs featured on this list will get the job done. What makes the best VPN for you depends on your individual circumstances and what you want to use it for. Some VPNs are great for privacy, while others are better for streaming content and P2P torrenting.

It’s all about doing your research and finding out what works best for you and falls within your budget.

If you want more recommendations, see our top 10 list of the best VPNs.

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