Millions of people use virtual private networks to improve their privacy and security online. While these services are often pitched towards people who travel a lot or who work in industries where security is crucial, they're actually great for everyday use. We've taken a look at the best VPN services that are out there, along with our favorite free VPN providers and even mixed the two with all you need to know about the best cheap VPN options.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the absolute best option for most people. In our ExpressVPN review it earned a perfect 5-star rating, and that's no mistake. It provides a great combination of speed, reliability, amazing customer service, and ease of use. Give it a shot today, and if you don't like it you can take advantage of the company's 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bypass geo restrictions
One of the best things about VPNs is that they enable you to avoid geo restrictions. So if there's a Netflix show that you really want to watch and you learn that it's only available in Australia, just connect to an Australian VPN server to steam it. By using a VPN service in your home, you'll have more choice over the TV shows, movies, music and other types of content that you can access.
Check out all of the best VPNs for streaming now.
Improve online security
Another major benefit of VPNs is that they make the internet a much safer place. They do this by securing the networks you connect to and ensuring your internet traffic is always end-to-end encrypted.
While VPNs are great for protecting your data when using insecure public WiFi networks, that doesn't mean they don't offer great security benefits for use in your home. Even though your home WiFi connection may be more secure than public networks, you can still fall victim to a range of cybersecurity threats.
As long as you're using the internet, there'll always be the risk of unwelcome parties watching everything you do online and trying to steal your data. Using a VPN service in your own home will keep you safe online and add even greater security to your connected devices.
Stop bandwidth throttling
If you spend a lot of time at home using the internet, you may notice that your connection is sometimes slower than usual. That's often because of bandwidth throttling, which is when your internet service provider (ISP) slows down your connection on purpose.
Why do ISPs need to slow down your internet, you may be thinking? Well, there are a number of reasons. Firstly, it could be because you use the internet for streaming, downloading large files and other activities that demand lots of bandwidth. Or ISPs may conduct bandwidth throttling during times of the day when people are more likely to be using the internet.
Either way, you're paying for your internet access, so it's extremely annoying when ISPs suddenly make it slower. However, you can get around this issue by downloading a VPN service. Because VPNs hide your IP address, your ISP won't know when you're using the internet and won't be able to target you with bandwidth throttling.
Shop around for the best deals
A lot of people spend their time at home shopping online. If you fit into this category, you'll be happy to learn that VPNs allow you to find the best deals. The prices of products usually vary by region. So by connecting to a VPN server based in another location, you can easily look at different prices and work out which are the best. VPNs are particularly good for accessing the most attractive deals for things like holidays and online goods.
You can also find some great VPN deals to sign up for, which save you money on your new subscription.
Improve streaming and gaming
If you're an avid gamer, then investing in a VPN is a great idea. By connecting to a fast server, you'll experience much faster gaming. And as VPNs prevent bandwidth throttling, you don't have to worry about your ISP slowing your connection just because you game a lot. What's more, you can unblock geo-restricted games and prevent hackers from ruining your gaming experience.
We've rounded up all the best gaming VPN services that you can check out.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.