Top VPN Services

In a time when there is a constant attempt by everyone to steal your personal data and personal information, a VPN can protect you from this by keeping your online connections secure and private. But while sweeping claims of military-grade encryption or complete digital obscurity might be appealing, Consumer Reports’ Yael Grauer advises you to look for more concrete evidence that a VPN is legitimate before you make a commitment.

Start by checking compatibility. The service should support at least the most popular operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux, Android, and iOS. You’ll want to know how many devices are supported by the service and the number of connections it is able to allow concurrently. You’ll also want to check the number of servers that are available and their locations around the world. This can help you pick one close to your home or one that provides high speeds for those traveling across the globe.

Certain services provide specialized features, such as dedicated ‘Netflix’ servers that unblock geo-restricted websites, or additional security measures like RAM-only servers (which wipe data each time the service reboots), dark web monitoring and security measures to protect against threats. You’ll also want to look into the structure of ownership for the company, and whether it has any previously reported privacy breaches or data breach scandals.

The best overall service we tried was NordVPN, which has thousands of servers spread across 94 countries AES-256 encryption and ChaCha20, a reliable kill switch split tunneling, obfuscated and split tunneling servers. It’s also one of the few providers to publish its detailed no-logs policy and engages PricewaterhouseCoopers for annual audits. It’s not cheap, however, you get a lot for your money. A long-term plan that is generous includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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