Best VPN: 16 of the best for Netflix-binging and security

We review the Best VPNs on the market, rating them for speed, features and price – Private Internet Access, Windscribe, and Kaspersky and come out on top in our latest round of testing.

A good VPN is an essential purchase these days. As well as letting you access geo-restricted content, like US Netflix, the services can help protect you from cyber criminals, snoops and general bad people that want to track your web habits.

The services use robust encryption to stop people siphoning your personal information when web browsing or siphoning messages and personally identifiable data.

This is important as, even if you’re not visiting a compromising site – like the 1.2m at risk after the ‘Wife Lovers’ hack earlier this week – the data can be used to craft phishing campaigns.

But knowing which VPN to get can be tricky, given the sheer volume of services currently running. Getting the decision wrong is also dangerous as some of the services are snake oil that don’t actually do anything to protect your data.

If you’re trying to access geo-restricted content, you’ll also want to try before you buy as Netflix is currently in a game of whack-a-mole with VPN vendors to stop them letting users access different versions of its services remotely.

Here to help we’ve created a definitive list detailing the best VPNs we’ve reviewed.

Currently, our best overall recommendation goes to Private Internet Access, which boasts a well-established privacy record, a large number of servers and fast speeds.

Also worth consideration is Windscribe. For your money you’ll get fast speeds, streamlined access to popular streaming services via dedicated endpoints, an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, and the ability to share your encrypted connection (if your wireless router supports this). Kaspersky Secure Connection proved to be a little faster than Windscribe and its subscription rates are a little more generous, too.

How we test VPNs

While it’s not possible to carry out conclusive performance testing on VPN services due to the wide range of factors that can affect the speeds users see, we carry out speed tests to get a feel for how each service performs. We test all services using their clients’ default settings.

We run tests from a London-based connection which typically sees speeds of over 10MB/s (equivalent to 80Mbit/s). We test multiple endpoints from each provider in three locations: the UK, the Netherlands and the USA.

Our tables show the best results we are able to obtain by carrying out large file downloads via both FTP and thorough a web browser using HTTP. However, it’s important to note that these figures are a snapshot of performance at a single point in time, rather than being fully representative.

While UK and Dutch endpoints typically have only a moderate impact on speed with most providers, connection speeds to the USA were universally poor, with most VPNs clocking download speeds of less than 3MB/s (24Mbit/s). A handful of services with highly optimised network actually improve on our VPN-free reference speeds.

We also test whether we’re able to view region-locked streaming video content from three key providers: Netflix, YouTube and BBC iPlayer. Once again, this isn’t fully representative as, with the exception of YouTube, streaming video services work hard to identify and block IP addresses associated with VPN endpoints.

Following a change to EU law that requires streaming media services to make European users’ home content available to them when they travel anywhere else in the EU, it is no longer possible to access other European Netflix services, so we have ceased testing European Netflix support.

A screenshot of the Private Internet Access client running on Windows 10.

Private Internet Access (PIA)

Pros:

  • Extremely large number of servers
  • Wide range of privacy and security features
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Provides international access to Netflix US

Cons:

  • Relatively slow US speed test results
  • Detected by BBC iPlayer

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the easier VPNs to use. There are clients for Windows, macOS and Linux, plus instructions for setting up connections on other operating systems and devices. A complete list of the 3000 endpoints in 33 countries is displayed with a simple click, and features like the VPN killswitch, are easy to set up.

IPv6 leak protection, which temporarily disables IPv6 to prevent unwanted identifying data from being transmitted and DNS leak protection, which routes all DNS requests through a non-logging DNS service, can also be set up.

What’s more, PIA has a clear no-logging policy, which has been proven to be reliable. When served with an FBI warrant to hand over VPN logs, PIA had nothing to show, making it one of the few VPN providers whose no-logging claim is known to have been tested.

Speed-wise, we racked up FTP and HTTP download speeds of over 10MB/s (80Mb/s) via endpoints in the UK, and 9.5MB/s (76Mb/s) over FTP and 7.7MB/s (61.6Mb/s) via HTTP in the Netherlands. In the U.S. speeds were in line with what we’ve previously seen at 3.3MB/s (26.4Mb/s) over FTP and 2.9MB/s (23.2Mb/s) over HTTP.

Prices are also pretty low. Expect to pay £63.58 for a year (equivalent to £5.29 a month), or £53.48 for a two year subscription (equivalent to £2.23 a month). Based on current rates, the standard monthly fee works out at £5.33, so if you want to save, the two year option is your best bet. Alternatively, you can pay using Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash or gift cards.

Buy now: Private Internet Access (PIA) from $2.91 (£2.20) a month

A screengrab of the Windscribe desktop client running on Windows 10.

Windscribe

Pros:

  • Generous free tier
  • Clear data security policy
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Provides international access to Netflix and iPlayer

Cons:

  • Extremely variable connection speeds

Windscribe is a popular VPN based that offers a very generous free tier, which sees you get 10GB to play with every month, and a clear logging policy which states that only total bandwidth consumption and the time your account was last used stored long term.

With servers located in over 55 countries and 100 cities, Windscribe gives you a great range of choice – but note that only ten of the available endpoint countries are available in the free version. Countries included in the paid version include Russia, Turkey, Taiwan and Vietnam.

As well as this, Windscribe has dedicated endpoints for BBC iPlayer and Netflix and we are pleased to report that in our latest round of testing, we were able to access both services, as if we were streaming from the UK and the U.S. without hindrance.

Other features include a kill switch, which will shut down your Internet connection if you lose access to the VPN for whatever reason, and the ability to share encrypted connections as a secure wireless hotspot, if your router supports the feature. Windscribe also supports anonymous payment via Bitcoin and gift vouchers, and you don’t to provide an email address in order to sign up.

Perhaps best of all, we were very pleased to see that the variable speed results recorded in previous tests were no longer present, with Windscribe offering some of the fastest VPN services we tested.

In the UK, both HTTP and FTP downloads came in at around 9.5MB/s (76Mbit/s). Our FTP tests in the Netherlands were a zippy 10.6MB/s (84.8Mb/s) and HTTP downloads were a little slower, but still quick at 7.3MB/s (58.4Mb/s). Windscribe’s U.S. connection speeds were among the fastest we’ve seen at 6.9MB/s (55.2Mb/s) over FTP and 5.6MB/s (44.8Mb/s) via HTTP.

Prices are also very nice too. You can choose to pay £6.88 monthly or £37.47 per year, which is equivalent to £37.47 a month. There’s a two year option which costs £68.05 up front, which works out at a low £2.84 per month.

Buy now: Windscribe from $3.70 (£2.80) a month

Screenshot of Kaspersky Secure Connection running on Windows 10.

Kaspersky Secure Connection

Pros:

  • Generous free tier
  • Blisteringly fast performance in transfer test speeds
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Limited device support, configuration and privacy options
  • Failed to stream US Netflix or BBC iPlayer

Kaspersky Secure Connection is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested to date. We recorded UK speeds of 12.13MB/s (97.04Mb/s) via FTP and 10.27MB/s (82.16 Mb/s) via HTTP and 10.5MB/s (84Mb/s) and 9.39MB/s (75.12Mb/s) respectively for FTP and HTTP. The US VPN connection was so fast that we repeatedly re-tested it in case of errors or anomalies, because it more than tripled our non-VPN’d connection speed with 9.57MB/s (76.56Mb/s) downloads over both FTP and HTTP.

With endpoints in 18 countries, Kaspersky Secure Connection can be set up so that it connects automatically, connects to an endpoint in a certain country by default, or seeks to establish a connection whenever you connect to an insecure Wi-Fi hotspot. You don’t, however get an automatic killswitch, so if your VPN connection goes south, you won’t be automatically disconnected.

Kaspersky Secure Connection may be the anti-malware firm’s virtual private network product, but it actually uses infrastructure supplied and run by the United States-based AnchorFree, which has a no-logging policy.

Prices are also very reasonable. In addition to a £19.99 annual subscription (which works out at a very cheap £1.67/month) for unlimited use across five simultaneous connections (Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices are supported), there’s also a free version where you can burn through 200MB a day.

The free version won’t give you much mileage for streaming mind, which is perhaps just as well. Frustratingly, both BBC iPlayer and U.S. Netflix clocked that we were using a VPN, and stopped us from getting the goods. But if streaming isn’t why you’re seeking out a VPN, and you mainly need one for anonymised web browsing and downloads, then Kaspersky Secure Connection is ideal.

Buy now: Kaspersky Secure Connection from £3.99 a month

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine running on Windows 10.

Avast SecureLine

Pros:

  • Simple client
  • US Netflix accessible

Cons:

  • Limited device support and security features
  • Relatively expensive
  • Below average speed test performance

Avast SecureLine is easy to use and it provides VPN endpoints in 34 countries, including the U.S. and the Netherlands, as well as some uncommon ones: Russia, Taiwan and Brazil. If you’re looking to access geolocked content or talk to people in these countries, it could be useful.

That said, your mileage may vary. In our most recent round of testing, we were able to access US Netflix no sweat, but BBC iPlayer detected that we were using a VPN, and shut us out.

Speed-wise, Avast SecureLine did well in our European speed tests, with us recording over 9.83MB/s (78.64Mbit/s) in our file transfer tests to the Netherlands. Its US performance was a little below average but still decent at 3.22MB/s (25.76Mbit/s), although UK performance was a bit slower than in our last round of tests, at 6.5MB/s (52Mbit/s) via FTP and 5.8MB/s (46.4Mbit/s) for an HTTP download.

Avast SecureLine is also expensive, and based on current speed results for the UK and U.S., you’re probably better off shopping around for a better deal; SecureLine works out at £49.99 a year for a single device (equivalent to £4.17 a month). If you want to connect more than one computer or mobile device, a five-licence account will cost you £64.99 a year.

Buy now: Avast SecureLine from £14.99 a year

A screenshot of AVG Secure VPN running on Windows 10.

AVG Secure VPN

Pros:

  • Provides international access to US Netflix

Cons:

  • Limited security features
  • Requires a separate licence for each platform
  • Only one connection per licence at a time
  • More expensive than many rivals

AVG Secure VPN is easy to use – the home screen shows you your location and you get a big button to easily enable and disable the VPN. Despite using the same backend as Avast’s SecureLine product, Secure VPN has just 20 endpoint locations, compared to the 34 offered by Avast.

Bonuses include the option to automatically have the VPN connect when you join an unsecured Wi-Fi network, which is useful for people working on the go. You can also have AVG Secure VPN send you notifications when the VPN is enabled/disables and have it connect automatically on boot.

Speeds in our tests were generally good. Our UK tests yielded 6.5MB/s (52Mbit/s) in FTP and HTTP downloads via UK endpoints, a very quick 9.83MB/s (78.64Mbit/s) from the Netherlands and useable, but below-average U.S. download speeds of 2.7MB/s (21.6Mbit/s) via FTP and 2.6MB/s (20.8Mbit/s) via HTTP.

As with Avast SecureLine, we again were able to access American Netflix from abroad, but BBC iPlayer showed us the door. At £49.99 a year for a single device licence, it’s not the cheapest VPN we’ve reviewed, which makes it hard to recommend.

Buy now (UK): AVG Secure VPN from £49.99 a year

Buy Now (US): AVG Secure VPN from $63.99 a year

A screenshot of AVG Secure VPN running on Windows 10.

CyberGhost

Pros:

  • Large number of servers
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Provides international Netflix and iPlayer

Cons:

  • Poor performance in speed tests
  • Relatively expensive unless you buy a two or three-year subscription

CyberGhost is one of the better VPNs out there by virtue of having a number of helpful features, such as a killswitch, which will halt all traffic if the VPN tunnel is suspended for whatever reason, ad blockers and tracker blockers, and built-in shortcuts to sites and services which are either geo-locked or the likes of Twitter and Wikipedia, which are frequently censored by authoritarian goverments.

Nicely, CyberGhost’s VPN provides specific settings for users who want to watch TV overseas – the Netflix and BBC profiles are particularly good at avoiding streaming services’ VPN detection measures.

UK FTP and HTTP performance with CyberGhost hovered just under 5MB/s (40Mbit/s). Testing endpoints in the Netherlands yielded around 7MB/s (56Mbit/s), while in the United States, we managed just 2MB/s (16Mbit/s). This is passable for standard web browsing and video streaming but could be a bottleneck if you have a fast internet connection and want to download large files while connected to your VPN. These scores are slightly slower than they were earlier in the year – remember that any speed test only provides a snapshot of a brief period of time.

CyberGhost itself is headquartered in Romania, where EU data retention laws have been declared unconstitutional. This means nothing is logged as standard. If you want an extra layer of security, you can pay for your CyberGhost VPN subscription in bitcoin.

CyberGhost’s monthly and yearly subscription rates are expensive, however. It’s £10.99 for a month, or £53.88 for the year, which is equivalent to £4.49 a month. The two and three year deals (£81.36 and £90) work out at £3.39 or £2.50 a month, respectively.

While it’s got a very user friendly interface, it’s stuffed with features, and is especially good for streaming, CyberGhost’s overall performance and prices can’t match those of its rivals.

Buy now: CyberGhost from £4.65 a month

Screenshot of ExpressVPN running on Windows 10.

ExpressVPN

Pros:

  • Good transfer speeds
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Detected by Netflix and BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN scored well in our recent round of testing in terms of speed – we recorded around 8.5MB/s (68Mbit/s) via both FTP and HTTP in the UK, while Dutch endpoints gave us 6.3MB/s (50.4Mbit/s) via FTP and 7MB/s (56Mbit/s) via HTTP, more than enough for general browsing, streaming and downloading. US connection speeds, as you’d expect, were rather slower at 2.5MB/s (20Mbit/s) via FTP and a good 3.2MB/s (25.6Mbit/s) over HTTP.

Sadly, this time around, both Netflix and iPlayer picked us up, stopping us from accessing their geo-locked content libraries.

ExpressVPN is crammed with good features including an auto killswitch, its own speed test and connection diagnostic tools, so you can monitor performance in real-time, and the option to automatically connect to the best available endpoint or pick up where you left off and use the last one you selected.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which, although a British Overseas Territory, isn’t beholden to the strict data retention laws of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act. If you’re after anonymous payment options, you can buy your subscription with bitcoin if you wish – and if you don’t want to, then ExpressVPN has a clearly stated no-logging policy. This has been put to the test by the Turkish authorities, who seized endpoint servers last December, and found no logs.

Buy now: ExpressVPN from $8.32 (£6.29) a month

Screenshot of HideMyAss running on Windows 10.

Hide My Ass! (HMA)

Pros:

  • Large number of servers
  • More endpoint countries than any rivals

Cons:

  • Failed to stream BBC iPlayer
  • Expensive

Hide My Ass! (also known as HMA) proudly boasts that it runs over 700 servers in over 190 countries and territories. This means that, if you need to  “be” in a specific location to access a given service, or make sure that your own web services are accessible in certain parts of the world, this is probably going to be your VPN of choice.

Sadly, in our most recent VPN test, we weren’t able to access BBC iPlayer, but, unlike last time, we were able to stream U.S. Netflix content.

Other features include an automatic connection to the VPN as soon as Windows launches, SOCKS5 proxying and a Secure IP Bind feature, which lets you block applications on your computer from connecting to the internet until an encrypted VPN connection is established.

In terms of general performance, Hide My Ass! around the average mark with a quick and stable 6.4MB/s (51.2Mbit/s) for FTP to 6.9MB/s (55.2Mbit/s) HTTP via UK endpoints, and 8.8MB/s (70.4Mbit/s) for FTP and 7.2MB/s (57.6Mbit/s) HTTP in the Netherlands. In other words, pretty good going. VPN connections to the U.S. are almost invariably slower than those to closer geographic endpoints, as you’d expect, the 2.12MB/s (16.96Mbit/d) we got with Hide My Ass this time around was definitely below average.

Hide My Ass! is one of the more expensive VPN providers going. On a rolling monthly basis, you’ll be paying £7.99 a throw, while a £59.88 annual subscription is equivalent to paying £4.99 a month. As we said above, if you need a VPN service with a huge number of endpoints across the globe, then Hide My Ass! is the VPN for you. Otherwise, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Buy now: Hide My Ass! (HMA) from £2.99 a month

Screenshot of IPVanish sitting on the Windows 10 desktop screen.

IPVanish

Pros:

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Stated no-logging policy

Cons:

  • Poor UK speed test results
  • Failed BBC iPlayer test

IPVanish is one of the easier to use VPNs and features clients for macOS, Android, iOS as well as Windows, and there are event clients for Amazon Fire TV, inf on how to connect Linux PCs, routers and even Windows Phones, if you’ve still got one of those kicking about.

The Windows client is nicely designed and features traffic and speed graphs and connection options which let you choose endpoints for your chosen country or city manually, or have IPVanish pick one automatically.

U.S. performance was also very good in our recent test, doubled our previous results, providing a faster connection to our New York reference servers than our standard internet connection, with speeds of 4.3MB/s (34.4Mbit/s) via FTP and 3.8MB/s (30.4Mbit/s) over HTTP.

IPVanish’s endpoints in the Netherlands fared well, too, with us consistently getting speeds of between 8.5MB/s (68Mbit/s) and 9.5MB/s (76Mbit/s). UK speeds however fell way short of expectations – we recorded a relatively feeble 3.2MB/s (25.6Mbit/s) via FTP and 3MB/s (24Mbit/s) via HTTP. We were also unable to connect to BBC iPlayer this time around as well.

IPVanish has a clear no-logging policy and is based in the USA, which doesn’t legally require logging of user activity. By the same token, there’s few data protection requirements and, in 2016, when it was owned by its previous parent company Highwinds, IPVanish handed over detailed connection information for use as evidence by the US Department of Homeland Security, even though it claimed to keep no logs at the time. Current owner StackPath says it intends to honour its no logging policy, but it’s not clear whether any technical changes have been implemented to ensure this.

The standard annual subscription fee of £59.63, works out at a relatively pricey £4.97 per month, which compares well with the £7.61 monthly fee, but that’s not as generous as other VPN providers.

Buy now: IPVanish from $6.49 (£4.97) a month

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited running on Windows 10.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

Pros:

  • Wide range of supported devices
  • Good range of endpoint countries
  • Typically fast performance

Cons:

  • Limited device support, configuration and privacy options
  • Failed to stream BBC iPlayer

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited is a new entry to our round up of the best VPNs, and it’s a strong one, offering decent speeds, a good range of endpoints and for those who can or want to pay for a long-term contract, generous rates.

In our tests, UK endpoints racked up 9.2MB/s (73.8Mb/s) in our FTP download test and 10.2MB/s (82Mbit/s) via HTTP. Its the Netherlands, the KeepSolid VPN Unlimited servers gave us around 10MB/s (80Mbit/s), while the U.S. endpoints improved on our no-VPN reference speeds, with FTP download at 4MB/s (32Mbits/s) and HTTP ones at 3.6MB/s (28.8Mbit/s).

KeepSolid boasts of having endpoints in 54 countries and specialised servers designed to allow you access to geo-locked streaming services undetected. While this allowed us easy access to American Netflix, the UK iPlayer endpoint was actually too slow to actually load any BBC’s content, while using the other UK endpoints were invariably detected by the website. Hopefully this will improve over time.

As we said, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited is also good value, if you’re prepared to dig deep. Paying £76.45 for three years use is equivalent to paying £2.12 a month, or, if you’re really made of money, then £152.92 will net you a lifetime subscription. The standard monthly price of £7.64 doesn’t compare as well, but £45.88 for 1 year (equivalent to £3.82 a month) is slightly better than others.

Buy now: KeepSolid VPN Unlimited from $2.78 (£2.12) a month

Screenshot of the Windows 10 NordVPN client running on the desktop.

NordVPN

Pros:

  • Large number of servers
  • Wide range of privacy and security features
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Typically fast performance in transfer speed tests
  • Provides international access to Netflix and iPlayer

Cons:

  • More expensive than some rivals

While some VPNs have fallen afoul of content providers’ blacklists, we pleasedto see that NordVPN still gave us access to BBC iPlayer and Netflix unimpeded.

Generally speaking, transfer speed tests via NordVPN’s UK endpoints continue to impress, with FTP downloads clocking 10.4MB/s (83Mbit/s) and HTTP downloads at 10MB/s (80Mbit/s). However, we saw unusually slow FTP results from our Dutch reference server, at an anomalous 5.1MB/s (40.8Mbit/s), compared to an HTTP download at 9.9MB/s (79.2Mbit/s). That said, U.S. speeds have improved on previous tests, coming in at around 3.5MB/s (28Mbit/s) for both FTP and HTTP transfers.

On top of this, there’s a wealth of extra options, including the ability to choose your endpoint from the desktop client, which also gives you shortcuts to endpoints with specific extra security features, including double VPN, DDoS protection, Onion routing via the Tor network, or support for peer-to-peer torrenting.

As with a lot of VPNs on this list, you can also set NordVPN to automatically connect to a VPN when Windows starts and pick from customisable list of applications that you can apply a killswitch to, so if your VPN connection dies, those programs will cease trying to connect to the internet.

Prices aren’t the cheapest. Two years of NordVPN costs £73.21 (which works out at £3.05 per month), while the annual and monthly subscriptions cost £9.11 a month or £109 for a year.

A three-day free trial is available so you can ensure that NordVPN provides all the services you need before you commit for an extended period, and you can also pay in bitcoin, for extra anonymity.

Buy now: NordVPN from $6.99 (£5.32) a month

A screenshot of the Norton WiFi Privacy desktop client for Windows 10 running on the desktop.

Norton WiFi Privacy

Pros:

  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Typically fast performance in transfer speed tests
  • Provides international access to Netflix US

Cons:

  • Lack of advanced features and broad device support
  • Becomes more expensive after first year

Norton WiFi Privacy performed very well in our latest round of speed tests. In the UK, we got FTP and HTTP download speeds of around 9.5MB/s (76Mb/s). Using endpoints in the Netherlands, that HTTP speed went up to 10.1MB/s (81Mbit/s). U.S. speeds were also very good, exceeding our non-VPN reference download at 5.8MB/s (46.4Mbit/s) for FTP and 4.8MB/s (38.4Mbit/s) for HTTP downloads.

While UK endpoints no longer gave us access to BBC iPlayer, we could access Netflix U.S. unimpeded.

In terms of features, for your money you get automatic VPN connections from boot time, with the software picking the best endpoints in terms of speed. Norton WiFi Privacy shows your connection status, endpoint IP address and apparent location. A Virtual Locations tab allows you to select an endpoint in any of the 29 countries available.

Price-wise, Norton WiFi Privacy is pretty generous, too. A one-year subscription (for one device only), costs just £19.99 for the first year, and a 5-connection account costs £29.99 per year. However, the price jumps up after the first year, to £39.99 for 1 device and £59.99 for 5 devices. That’s still better than some, mind, but you may want to disable auto renewal, just in case.

Buy now: Norton WiFi Privacy from £19.99 a year

A screengrab of the Private Tunnel client for Windows 10 sitting on the desktop.

Private Tunnel

Pros:

  • Clear information on connecting a wide range of devices
  • Low cost, particularly for monthly subscriptions

Cons:

  • Limited range of endpoint countries
  • Limited range of configuration and privacy options
  • Slow speed test performance
  • Detected by US Netflix

Private Tunnel only has endpoints in 12 countries, including the UK, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, where it’s based and it’s terms of service also state that it collects also log files “for monitoring server performance, identifying software bugs, identifying any potential security breaches, and for the purpose of identifying abusive users”.

Speeds are also unremarkable, with UK FTP and HTTP downloads came in at around 4.6MB/s (37Mbit/s), while endpoints in the Netherlands gave us FTP download at 6.6MB/s and HTTP downloads at 5.3MB/s (42.4Mbit/s). U.S. FTP downloads arrived at a rate of 2.1MB/s (16.8Mbit/s) with FTP downloads at 1.7MB/s (13.6Mbit/s), some of the slowest we’ve seen.

While we were able to fox BBC iPlayer, a rare feat in this round up, we weren’t able to access U.S. Netflix overseas through Private Tunnel.

So why get Private Tunnel? It’s relatively cheap at £4.59 a month and £26.76 per year, which is good for three simultaneous connections.

Buy now: Private Tunnel from $6 (£4.57) a month

A screenshot of the TunnelBear Windows 10 client, showing off various European endpoint destinations, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Romania, Italy, and Spain.

TunnelBear

Pros:

  • Free version available
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Wide range of privacy and security features

Cons:

  • Poor FTP performance from UK endpoints
  • More expensive than many rivals

TunnelBear is a strong performer, offering subscribers the ability to manually select endpoints, enable a killswitch that’ll halt your connection if the VPN drops, and connect automatically whenever you’re using a Wi-Fi hotspot that’s not on a pre-approved list.

We recorded FTP download speeds of 10.9MB/s (87Mbit/s) and HTTP speeds of 8.6MB/s (68.8Mbit/s) via UK endpoints, and a similar performance from Tunnelbear’s Netherlands endpoints – 10.5MB/s (84Mbit/s) FTP and 8.7MB/s (69.6Mbit/s) HTTP. U.S. speeds were considerably fast at 6.1MB/s (48.8Mbit/s) and 5MB/s (40Mbit/s) for FTP and HTTP respectively.

Sadly, TunnelBear isn’t great for streamers – it failed both our Netflix and iPlayer tests. Standard BitTorrent ports are blocked too, but rather than be put in the position of having to log subscriber’s activity, TunnelBear chose to block BitTorrent, following complaints from content providers.

Money-wise, expect to pay £7.64 a month on a rolling contract or £45.87 per year, which is equivalent to £3.82 a month. There’s also a free version which caps daily use at 500MB, or, if you want to pay in Bitcoin, you can.

Buy now: TunnelBear from $9.99 (£7.60) a month

A screenshot of the VPNHub client for Windows 10 sitting on the desktop.

VPNHub Premium

Pros:

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Typically fast performance

Cons:

  • More expensive than most rivals
  • Doesn’t support less common devices & operating systems
  • Free version only works on Android and iOS
  • Failed to stream BBC iPlayer

It’s impossible not to point out that VPNHub is run by Appatomic, a subsidiary of MindGeek, which owns PornHub. MindGeek just so happens to be helping the UK government develop age verification solutions for adult content access.

Aside from a moral quandary, what does VPNHub offer subcribers? A selection of endpoints in 50 countries, including less common locations like Cyprus, Costa Rica and the Philippines, the option to connect to VPNHub on booting up your system, a killswitch that’ll nerf your connection whenever the VPN fails, and ‘Scramble’, a feature that attempts to hide from your ISP the fact that you’re using a VPN.

Speed-wise, when connected to VPNHub’s UK and Netherlands endpoints, our FTP and HTTP downloads came in at around 10MB/s (80Mbit/s). Connecting to U.S. endpoints gave us 4.8MB/s (38.4Mbit/s) via FTP and 4.2MB/s (33.6Mbit/s) via HTTP. While that’s good enough for everyday browsing and streaming, your results may vary – we connected to U.S Netflix no problem, but, as with many VPNs on this list, BBC iPlayer promptly showed us the door.

Prices for VPNHub are also above what the competition offers, with the rolling monthly price coming in at a steep £11.46. An annual pass cost £68.72, which works out at £5.73 a month – much more reasonable, but still, more than what others will ask for.

A seven-day free trial is available but, unlike most VPN providers, VPNHost demands your payment information upfront. Perhaps knowing their target audience a little too well, the VPNHub free trial is only available for iOS and Android users. Desktop users (Windows and macOS only) have to pay up.

Buy now: VPNHub Premium from $7.49 (£5.70) a month

The VyprVPN client for Windows 10, sitting on the desktop.

VyprVPN

Pros:

  • Wide range of privacy and security features
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear data security policy
  • Provides international access to Netflix and iPlayer

Cons:

  • Poor US transfer speeds

VyprVPN is a VPN that focusses on speed and range, which is reflected by endpoints in 63 countries and fast (if not the fastest we’ve seen in this test) connection speeds.

Our testing consistently recorded FTP and HTTP speeds above 10MB/s (80Mbit/s) from VyprVPN’s endpoints in the Netherlands and peaks of 8.33MB/s (66.64Mbit/s) from UK endpoints. U.S. connection speeds however slumped to 2MB/s (16Mbit/s) for FTP transfers, plus a below average US speed of 3MB/s (24Mbit/s) in our new HTTP test.

That said, we’re happy to report that we were able to access both BBC iPlayer and U.S. Netflix from outside the UK and United States with VyprVPN.

The VyprVPN client is simple and easy to use. It connects to the fastest available server by default and gives you the option to pick geographical endpoints and even save favourite endpoints. You also get a traffic and speed graph, which gives you an idea of how your connection performs at a glance.

Other VyprVPN features include automatic connection on startup, automatic reconnection, and a kill switch to stop traffic from being sent over unsecured connections. Premium users can also enabled Chameleon mode, which tries to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all, a cloud VPN server image that you can deploy to hosted servers on AWS, DigitalOcean and VirtualBox.

There’s two flavours of VyprVPN subscription available. The standard subscription costs £43.50 for a year (equivalent to £3.62 a month) and gives you cover for three simultaneous connections, while the Premium subscription, which comes with extra security features costs £57.50 per year  (equivalent to £4.79 a month).

Buy now: VyprVPN from £3.63 a month

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