Best VPN services in 2024

A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is a handy privacy tool that keeps your devices secure when you're online. VPNs encrypt your data and send it through secure servers, making it much more difficult to decipher. You'll also get a new IP address that'll make it look as though you're in the location of your choice. This comes in handy if you're trying to unblock geo-restricted sites, and the VPN's encryption prevents invasive third parties from keeping tabs on your browsing habits.

The Android Central team has years of experience putting VPNs to the test—and we're constantly evaluating the industry's top dogs and promising newcomers. Basically, we won't recommend a service unless we're comfortable using it ourselves.

Whether you need a VPN for torrenting, unblocking content from overseas, or protecting your digital privacy, we've got you covered. Check out our guide to the best providers on the market, including what to look for in a VPN, how we test each service, and answers to all your burning questions. To get started, here are our top three VPN picks.

1. ExpressVPN: try the best VPN for up to 49% off + 3 months free

1. ExpressVPN: try the best VPN for up to 49% off + 3 months free
ExpressVPN tops our rankings with military-grade encryption and a strong no-logs policy, meaning you won't have to worry about your sensitive info ending up in the hands of hackers, cybercriminals, or snooping third parties.

You'll have no trouble unblocking geo-restricted content, either, thanks to servers in 94 countries. ExpressVPN isn't quite as quick as NordVPN, but it’s still more than capable of keeping up with HD streaming and torrenting. Try ExpressVPN for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 3 months free if you sign up for a 1-year subscription.

2. NordVPN: speedy, secure, and 66% off

2. NordVPN: speedy, secure, and 66% off
NordVPN is an awesome pick for any avid streamers, seeing as it unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime without any hiccups. It's also the fastest VPN I've ever tested—so you can enjoy your content in crisp HD.

The NordVPN app is fresh and fun, though the map-based interface can be a little tricky to use—especially for VPN newbies. Take NordVPN for a test drive with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and see how it compares to ExpressVPN.

3. Surfshark: a beginner-friendly provider that's real value for money

3. Surfshark: a beginner-friendly provider that's real value for money
Surfshark manages to pack a ton of functionality into inexpensive plans—which is great news for folks with a budget. You'll get blazing-fast speeds and awesome unblocking power, as well as a built-in ad blocker.

The VPN isn't as customizable as ExpressVPN, and its online support could use some TLC, but Surfshark is a user-friendly service with value that can't be beat—and even boasts unlimited simultaneous connections you can use to keep a whole household of gadgets secure.

The best VPN services in 2024

Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Check out our shortlist of the best VPNs in the industry today. We'll dig into how each service compares to the competition, recent test results, and all the features we did (and didn't) like.

The best VPN overall

ExpressVPN, the best VPN, running on PC, tablet, mobile, and more

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)
The best VPN in 2024 - fast and packed with features

Specifications

Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux (command-line only), Routers, and more
24/7 support: Yes
Refund period: 30 days
Number of servers: over 3,200
Server locations: 160
Countries: 94
Simultaneous connections: 8

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding privacy tools
+
Apps for all devices
+
Servers in 94 countries
+
Ideal for beginners
+
Superb 24/7 live chat customer service

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than some competitors
-
Limited to eight simultaneous connections
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a VPN that prioritizes privacy: ExpressVPN's no-logs policy is regularly audited by independent third parties.

✔️ You need access to global content: you'll find ExpressVPN servers in 160 locations across 94 countries—more than almost any other provider.

✔️ Customer service is key: ExpressVPN's agents are friendly, knowledgeable, and available 24/7 via live chat.

Don't subscribe if:

You're on a budget: ExpressVPN is undeniably pricey, and you'll be better off with Surfshark if you're looking for a bargain.

You have lots of devices: ExpressVPN only supports eight simultaneous connections—which might not be enough to keep a whole house secure.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN overall and scores top marks in pretty much every area—it's wickedly quick, unblocks everything, and has sleek apps for your Mac devices (and everything else). See for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to learn more?

Read our ExpressVPN review to see how the service came out on top of our rigorous expert testing.

ExpressVPN has been an industry leader for a long time—and my most recent tests discovered that this hasn't changed at all. It's an awesome high-quality service that really puts your privacy first, with a long list of tools, apps for all your devices, and a strict logging policy. With ExpressVPN, you won't have to worry about leaving a traceable trail across the internet as you go about your day-to-day browsing.

Militaries, governments, and financial institutions use AES 256-bit encryption to keep incredibly sensitive customer and corporate information secure - and so does ExpressVPN. That means that if, unfortunately, your data is intercepted by a cybercriminal, it'll be impossible to decode and essentially useless to them.

Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN isn't interested in keeping tabs on your browsing activity, either, and has the no-logs policy to prove it. What's more, the VPN regularly invites auditing firms to comb through the policy and highlight vulnerabilities. This is what I like to see from today's top dogs, as it means you don't have to take the services' lofty claims on pure trust—there's real evidence, compiled by a third party, there to back them up.

Currently, ExpressVPN boasts a massive network of more than 3,200 servers spread across 94 countries—which is a lot. You'll be able to take your pick of these locations in just a click or two and fool the sites you visit into thinking you're really there, too. The impressive selection of servers means you shouldn't have trouble bypassing geo-restrictions, workplace-imposed blocks, and even instances of government censorship.

You can use ExpressVPN to tap into tv streaming services when you travel. It isn't the best for Netflix. When we tested it we couldn't always unblock Netflix in either the US or the UK. We were never able to access Netflix Canada. All other regions were okay, and we didn't have issues watching shows on other streaming sites. These include Amazon, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+. You can watch on more than one device, too, because ExpressVPN allows up to five simultaneous connections.

ExpressVPN checks most of the boxes when it comes to overall service. While it isn't perfect (no VPN is), it gets pretty close. However, it does charge a premium price for all its services. In fact, it's one of the most expensive VPN services we reviewed. Plus, it gets more costly as the years go by since it advertised prices are usually for the first year and for new users. Renewals jump up, sometimes, by 49%. You do get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out and then change your mind.

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ExpressVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignVery clean with everything placed exactly where you'd want it to be⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useAuto-connect and intuitive apps, plus a true Chrome VPN⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast enough for most uses, but only slightly above average for a VPN⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingNot our top pick for this, especially since it struggles with many Netflix regions⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyMilitary-grade encryption and a powerful privacy policy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportAlways available through live chat⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceOne of the most expensive VPN services out there⭐⭐⭐

Best VPN with antivirus

NordVPN securing multiple devices such as desktop, mobile, routers, and game consoles

(Image credit: NordVPN)
Excellent online security on all fronts

Specifications

Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, Hulu
Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (CLI), routers and more
24/7 support: Yes
Refund period: 30 days
Number of servers: over 5,670
Server locations: 80
Countries: 60
Simultaneous connections: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent security including antivirus
+
Reliable Netflix unblocking
+
Impressive connection speeds
+
Comes standard with Meshnet

Reasons to avoid

-
Not easy for beginners
-
Busy interface
-
Chrome VPN is merely a proxy 
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want added security: NordVPN double encrypts all data routed through it, plus includes antivirus and ad blockers.

✔️ You need a VPN for streaming: this VPN unblocks everything, everywhere, all the time.

✔️ You want to create a network for torrenting: NordVPN comes standard with Meshnet.

Don't subscribe if:

You're new to VPN: this app isn't the easiest to figure out, especially if you're a beginner. Try Surfshark or CyberGhost for an easier experience.

You want a simple interface: the interactive map feature makes it busy and a bit overwhelming for some users.

You need a Chrome VPN: the browser extension is just a proxy.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 NordVPN includes added protections against malware and ad. It's also great for unblocking Netflix in every region, and most other streaming sites.

Want to learn more?

Check out our NordVPN review to learn more in-depth details of its complete security offerings.

When it comes to security, NordVPN is on par with ExpressVPN. It has had to work to get there and hasn't been on top as long as Express has. But we're seeing a positive trend as NordVPN is more consistent in passing our rigorous security tests. NordVPN does add a few tools that Express doesn't have. Firstly, it sends your data through two servers. This double-encrypts the information to make it twice as hard to decode. This also assigned an IP address that is impossible to trace back to you or your device.

Another tool NordVPN adds to its service is an antivirus. This malware protection tool is limited to online threats, and even more specifically to blocking malicious websites known to harbor threats. These could be malware files or phishing schemes. Both are blocked by NordVPN. This isn't as effective as true antivirus software, but it is a definite start. 

▶ Try NordVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN also includes ad blockers. Ad blockers strip websites you visit of advertisements. This helps the page look less cluttered but also cuts down on the risk of a dangerous ad that contains a malicious link.

For unblocking geo-restricted content, NordVPN is one of the best. In fact, it's the best for unblocking all Netflix in all regions. It also lets you watch shows on your Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+ accounts when you're traveling away from home. You don't have to watch on a mobile device or a small laptop screen. NordVPN is compatible with game consoles and streaming devices like Roku, AppleTV, and Amazon Firestick.

We don't recommend using NordVPN's Chrome browser, though. This is a proxy rather than a true VPN client. This means your IP address will change, but it won't encrypt your info. This essentially allows the website you're on to potentially peel back the layers and see where you really are. It can be done if you use the Chrome browser in conjunction with the full NordVPN client. You'll need to be a little tech-savvy to get it to work since the apps already aren't the easiest for new users to figure out.

When signing up for NordVPN, you can opt to pay for just a single month of access or go with a one-year or two-year plan. The cost per month drops significantly as you commit to a longer period of time, with the best pricing being on the two-year plan. 

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NordVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignFun design, but maybe a bit too busy for some⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useThe interactive map is cool, but not every's preference⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest VPNs we tested⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks all Netflix regions and so many other streaming sites⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyEvery bit as secure as ExpressVPN, plus includes malware protections⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportFriendly, professional, and very helpful⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceGood overall value for the level of protection you get⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best cheap VPN

Surfshark VPN works on desktops, laptops, tablest, phones, routers, and more

Best VPN service for those on a budget

Specifications

Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer
Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI), routers, and more
24/7 support: Yes
Trial period: 30 days
Number of servers: over 3,200
Server locations: 143
Countries: 100
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Fast VPN we tested
+
Unlimited device connections
+
Router connections available
+
Servers in over 100 countries

Reasons to avoid

-
Kill switch issues on Windows
-
Not the best for torrenting
-
Hard to navigate online support
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a fast VPN: Surfshark left other VPNs in the dust during our speed tests with a top speed of 960Mbps.

✔️ You travel internationally: this VPN has more than 3,200 servers in an impressive 100 countries.

✔️ You need to save money: Surfshark is cheap without sacrificing service to be the best value.

Don't subscribe if:

You want unwavering security: we noticed some intermittent kill switch issues, especially on Windows.

You need quick access to support: it's hard to navigate the online support library when you're in a hurry.

You need a torrenting VPN: though Surfshark can handle torrents, it's not where it focuses its resources. We recommend PIA for this task.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Surfshark is fast and cheap and has servers in an impressive 100 countries. Just watch out for its kill switch when using it on Windows computers.

Want to learn more?

Read our Surfshark review to learn more about the kill switch issue and the speed tests we conducted.

Surfshark is the fastest VPN on our list. It topped other VPNs with an impressive 960 Mbps. To put this in perspective, you need 14 Mbps to stream Netflix on a single device, and 45 Mbps to run a VPN without experiencing a slowdown to your internet connection. Surfshark's speed means you can have so many devices connected at the same time, which is good since you get unlimited connections with this VPN.

With this much speed, Surfshark can handle streaming tv services. We tested it out with several streaming sites, and it unblocked everything from Netflix in every region to Amazon and Disney+. It also lets you watch the BBC iPlayer from your UK accounts.

▶ Try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

These speeds are also good for torrenting, also known as P2P transfers. However, Surfshark hasn't put a lot of details into this service, so there are some hiccups getting it to work, and we saw some dips in speed when we tested it. 

For international travel, or tapping into geo-restricted content, Surfshark has over travel 3,200 servers in 100 countries. It will be hard to find one in an area you need. There are VPN services with more servers. For example, Private Internet Access has over 20,000 servers worldwide.

Surfshark, like most VPN clients, encrypts your data using the highest level of encryption available. It also has a solid no-log policy. Both of these help keep you both secure and private while using its VPN service. However, when testing Surfshark's overall security, we did notice a glitch with the kill switch on Windows. Usually, the kill switch will turn on when the VPN is compromised. This shields your data from being seen while the VPN connection is reestablished, or your internet connection is severed. We noticed that sometimes the kill switch turned on without notifying us of any VPN issue. Other times it said it was on, but we still detected small leaks. These issues didn't happen all the time, but enough that we feel it important to report on it.

Overall, Surfshark is secure enough and easy to use. Plus, it's the cheapest VPN service on our list, especially if you choose its 2-year plan. You can try it out for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.

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Surfshark test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignSimple, intuitive, and not at all cluttered⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useGreat for beginners, everything you need is well placed⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFaster than any of our preferred VPNs⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingNot amazing, but generally reliable⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacySome kill switch issues on Windows, though it isn't a consistent problem⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportThere are a lot of support documents online, but it's a chore to find the one you need⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceThe best cheap VPN on the market⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best Linux VPN

Use PIA to secure online connections from any device

Best security for Linux users, and good for everyone else, too

Specifications

Streaming sites unblocked: US Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, Hulu, YouTube
Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI), routers, and more
24/7 support: Yes
Refund period: 30 days
Servers: over 20,000
Server locations: over 100
Countries: 84
Simultaneous connections: 10

Reasons to buy

+
Works on Linux
+
Dedicated tools for torrenting
+
Proven no-log privacy policy
+
Tons of servers

Reasons to avoid

-
Not an easy VPN to use
-
Below-average connection speeds
-
Doesn't have advanced security tools
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need a Linux VPN: it has a GUI Linux app, and works on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices, too.

✔️ You want a VPN for torrenting: PIA has torrent-friendly servers, supports port-forwarding, and includes other tools specific for P2P file sharing.

✔️ You need a VPN with proven privacy: this VPN has proven its no-log policy in court, twice.

Don't subscribe if:

You need an easy VPN: it's highly configurable with a rather cluttered interface that's overwhelming for even seasoned users.

You want fast connection speeds: though they are fast enough to support browsing, they aren't the best for streaming, gaming, and other high-speed tasks.

You want additional protections: PIA doesn't have the added tools included with NordVPN, like double encryption.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Private Internet Access is our pick for a Linux VPN, plus it has an impressive 20,000 servers in its network.

Want to learn more?

This in-depth PIA review looks closer at the customization options, how it works on Linux and mobile, and more information on the multiple validations of its privacy policy.

Private Internet Access – or PIA as it is more commonly known – is a good choice if you use a Linux computer. While other VPNs are compatible with Linux machines, PIA uses a GUI, or graphical user interface rather than a command line user interface (CLI). Regardless of the device you use this VPN service on, it is highly configurable, which makes it difficult for beginners. If you're new to VPN, we recommend either Surfshark or CyberGhost. Both have easier apps for beginners.

One area PIA excels is in torrenting. It has dedicated servers just for this purpose and adds additional safeguards to ensure your privacy and a secure connection while downloading or sharing files. One tool includes is port forwards. This helps speed up your connections so file transfers happen quicker.

▶ Try Private Internet Access on unlimited devices

Overall speeds are just okay. They are good for general browsing, but compared to other VPN services we tested, Private Internet Access clocked below-average speeds. You can still watch tv streaming services, but it won't be as good compared to using a VPN with faster speeds.

You will be extremely secure while using this VPN. It has a no-nonsense, no-log privacy policy. This has been challenged in court, twice. Both times, PIA was able to prove that it doesn't in any way keep a history of your online activity, nor does it log personal information. In short, it doesn't have anything on you for companies, law enforcement, or others to trace browser history back to you, or even prove you use the service at all.

If you need a US VPN, PIS is one of the best. For starters, it has over 20,000 servers worldwide. Many of these are located in popular US cities, so you can tap into North American content even if you're overseas. This includes tv streaming services. We checked to see which services PIA is able to unblock. For US content, it did well. We could watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. It struggled a bit with other Netflix regions, and popular channels located in the UK and Australia.

For technical support, you're directed first to the Private Internet Access online support library. There are some good articles there that can help, but not everything is clear or easy to find. You can reach out via live chat to an agent for more personalized assistance. We've found that wait times are about 1-2 minutes and answers are helpful and clear to follow.

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Private Internet Access test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA bit overwhelming and not easy to locate tools⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use