With so many VPN companies on the market, it might be difficult to choose one. Numerous VPNs engage in aggressive marketing, which implies that their promises are not always credible. To assist you, our specialists conducted a market analysis and identified the most secure VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a kind of internet privacy solution that is used to shield users from online monitoring. It works by encrypting your internet connection and routing your data via a VPN-managed distance server. Additionally, it manages DNS queries for private servers. This disables the ability of local networks, internet service providers, and government organizations to monitor your online activities. Additionally, it protects your connection from hackers while using public wifi.
Not all VPNs provide enough encryption to safeguard your data. Others have programs with problems or features that are poorly developed, rendering the VPN unsuitable for achieving online anonymity and security. This implies that you must use caution while selecting a VPN service.
How to use a VPN to protect your online privacy
You may follow the tutorial below to configure your VPN and start benefiting from excellent privacy and online security immediately.
- Select a safe VPN service that comes highly recommended. We recommend NordVPN since it is very safe and compatible with all devices and operating systems.
- Install the VPN client on your device. Our suggestions include applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
- Activate any advanced security and privacy options that interest you. Our suggestions include a kill switch, obfuscation, and further sophisticated security measures.
- To update your IP address, choose a server in the desired area and click connect. Connecting to a US server, for example, will provide you with an American IP address.
- Once connected, the VPN encrypts and conceals your internet activity from local networks and your ISP. Always connect to your VPN whenever you access the internet to prevent your data from being intercepted.
The following are some of the most critical parameters we used to determine the best VPN for security:
- A policy of no logging.
- Features include a kill switch, AES encryption, DNS leak prevention, and obfuscation.
- Apps are available on all platforms.
- Fast servers ideal for discreet torrenting and circumventing censorship and geo-restrictions.
- A worldwide server network that enables unparalleled access and dependability.
- 24/7 live chat is available to help you at any time of day or night.
Methodology for evaluating secure VPNs
At PrivacyExplore, we understand the demands of our customers and have developed a rigorous process for VPN testing. We use this methodical technique while evaluating market-leading VPN services. This provides us with critical standards against which we can compare and propose services.
We’ve listed some of the key qualities we looked for while selecting the most secure VPN on the market below.
- No logs policy – Ensures that the VPN never monitors your internet activity, never sells or distributes your data, and never keeps track of what its customers do while connected.
- Applications for every platform – We seek for VPNs that enable you to connect through any device you possess.
- Advanced security – We only suggest VPNs that have military-grade encryption, a kill switch, obfuscation, and DNS leak prevention, as well as a variety of other essential advanced privacy and security features like double VPN, split tunneling, port forwarding, and malware filtering.
- Our picks all offer a fast global server network that allows you to access Netflix, iPlayer, internet banking, banned news and video, and anything else that interests you.
- Excellent assistance – We seek for VPNs that are not only safe, but also provide exceptional customer support. Our suggestions include live chat assistance, which enables you to ask questions at any time of day.
- Value for money – There are over 100 VPN providers on the market, and some of them demand exorbitant prices for subpar service. Our suggested safe VPNs provide all of the capabilities you need, as well as optional options like Smart DNS—all at an affordable price!
Secure VPN FAQs
Are there any free VPNs that are secure?
While there are several free VPNs available online, we do not believe them to be secure. Free VPNs have a history of enforcing restrictive privacy restrictions in order to profit from user data. This enables free VPNs to monitor their users’ activity while connected in order to generate habit profiles. To generate income, this data is subsequently sold to marketing businesses, data brokers, and other third parties.
Additionally, studies have shown that free VPNs are prone to app and server vulnerabilities, significant DNS and IP leaks, and even the presence of monitoring libraries and spyware in their programs. As a result, free VPNs pose a significant danger to the health of your data and are thus utterly unsuited for achieving online anonymity. Ultimately, utilizing a free VPN may result in your data being spread further, the polar opposite of what a secure VPN does.
It’s important to keep in mind that hosting a genuinely secure VPN with trustworthy applications and servers is expensive. Therefore, if you utilize a VPN for free, warning bells should sound, since this almost definitely indicates that the VPN is earning from you in other more sinister ways.
Is it possible to get a secure VPN for my mobile device?
Yes. All of the safe VPNs we’ve suggested in this article offer Android and iOS mobile applications. These mobile applications provide the same degree of encryption and underlying privacy protection as their desktop versions. This features security against DNS leaks and a kill switch.
At times, mobile applications may lack sophisticated capabilities compared to their desktop versions. However, none of the essential capabilities required for establishing a secure VPN connection would be disabled.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that iOS mobile VPN applications may provide encryption choices that vary from those offered by Android and desktop VPN clients (specifically, they may provide IKEv2 rather than OpenVPN). Having said that, the VPN suggested in this article was chosen because it provides robust AES encryption across all VPN applications.
If you’re interested in learning more about VPNs with mobile applications, you may compare our recommended safe VPNs to the best VPN for iOS and the best VPN for Android. These articles will detail how to install and use a VPN on a mobile device.
What is a no-logs policy, and why is it necessary for a safe VPN?
Certain secure VPNs may additionally gather anonymous data, such as the amount of bandwidth utilized and the duration of a VPN connection. They utilize this non-invasive information to monitor server activity and ensure that the VPN is operating at maximum capacity. Bear in mind that these connection records must never be maintained with information that may be used to individually identify the account user, such as their IP address.
Regrettably, some insecure VPNs do maintain connection records alongside an IP address, opening the door to a temporary correlation attack. This indicates that the VPN service is capturing potentially dangerous records, rendering it ineffective for achieving online anonymity. These unsafe VPNs should be avoided at all costs.
Apart from the non-invasive data described above, a safe VPN would never gather any personally identifying information from its users. This is often referred to as a “no-logs” or “zero-logs” policy.
A no-logs policy eliminates the possibility of the VPN monitoring your activity while connected to its servers. As a result, the VPN will never retain any logs containing information about your activities while connected to the VPN (unless it is served with a warrant by government snoops, for instance).
The safe VPN suggested in this article adheres to a strict no-logs policy and never preserves any information that may be used to personally identify you while using the VPN.
What is IP and DNS leak prevention and why am I required to have it?
A VPN must do two things in order to offer you with online privacy. It encrypts and tunnels your data to a distant server, preventing local networks or Internet Service Providers from analyzing it as it goes across their network. Additionally, this hides your IP address from websites and online services that you visit.
Additionally, a VPN forwards your DNS queries to a secure server controlled by the VPN. This disables your ISP’s ability to trace those DNS queries; as a result, it is unable to determine which websites and services you are seeking access to. Due to this protection, your ISP is unable to track your surfing history in order to comply with the required data retention laws.
Secure VPNs include IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak prevention to guarantee they never let you down accidentally. Leak prevention is a critical security feature that ensures that none of your requests ever leave the securely encrypted VPN channel. As a result of this feature, you never have to worry about your ISP snooping on your online activities.
What is a kill-switch on a VPN?
The secure VPN included in this tutorial provides a kill switch. This is a critical security feature that protects you from accidentally leaking data outside the VPN tunnel. We strongly advise you to utilize the kill-switch whenever you connect to your VPN. It works by fully disconnecting your internet connection in the event of a VPN connection failure.
A kill-switch is a critical security component that operates on a system-wide basis. It runs in the background at all times, prepared to immediately disconnect your internet connection if the VPN program fails – or if the encrypted connection to the VPN server is lost for any reason.
Certain VPNs even include an automated reconnect capability that automatically re-establishes the VPN tunnel and disconnects it without the user having to do anything.
Indeed, some secure VPNs provide an auto-connect at startup function that automatically starts the VPN connection whenever your computer boots. This is ideal for forgetful internet users who may begin surfing without first activating their VPN.
Is a safe VPN connection quick?
All of the VPN providers mentioned in this article have been picked for their security and speed. To guarantee a fast and secure connection, we normally suggest either OpenVPN UDP or Wireguard. These protocols are well-suited for data-intensive operations like high-definition streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
Having said that, it’s worth mentioning that several of our suggestions also include secure proprietary VPN protocols optimized for speedier connections. As a result, you may use this protocol to get even quicker speeds if you like.
Which VPN protocols are the most secure?
VPN companies supply their users with a variety of various tunneling technologies. Several of these protocols are not regarded as secure, while others may or may not depend on their implementation.
We’ve provided a list of VPN protocols below. This list illustrates the protocols you should use to create a secure VPN connection that is impenetrable to hackers.
This is a popular tunneling protocol that is not considered secure against eavesdroppers, hackers, or government snoopers.
The protocol was initially discovered to be vulnerable in 1998. By 2012, however, many serious weaknesses had been uncovered that made it trivial to break the encryption.
As a result, this protocol cannot be recommended for creating a secure VPN connection. The sole benefit of PPTP is that it is fast and may be used for location spoofing when the user is unconcerned about data privacy.
This is a commonly used VPN protocol that is generally regarded as safe for daily usage. It is worth mentioning, however, that securing L2TP requires the cooperation of two protocols.
By default, the L2TP VPN protocol does not use encryption. This is why it is often used in conjunction with IPSec to ensure its security against eavesdroppers. The primary disadvantage of L2TP is that it operates over a single port, making it easy to block through a firewall.
Additionally, there have been reports that the NSA had previously cracked L2TP/IPSec. If these reports are accurate, the protocol may not be appropriate for users with a high risk model. Having said that, L2TP/IPsec is likely safe enough for the majority of users.
On the other hand, the majority of secure VPNs give access to far more advanced VPN protocols, thus there is little incentive to continue using the L2TP protocol.
This is a secure VPN protocol that is often used in mobile VPN applications (Android and iOS). Having said that, it is sometimes accessible to desktop clients as well. Internet Key Exchange Version 2 is abbreviated as IKEv2. It is frequently referred to as IKEv2/IPSec due to the fact that it encrypts data using the IPSec protocol.
The most secure VPN uses IKEv2 with extremely secure AES-256 cryptography. It is worth mentioning, however, that IPSec may be implemented using less secure AES-128, DES, 3DES, and Blowfish algorithms.
Thus, it is critical to analyze the way a VPN service implements IKEv2 to ensure its efficiency for data security reasons. Our suggestions all employ secure encryption to implement the IKEv2 protocol, making it a perfectly safe VPN protocol to use as long as you stick to our recommended providers.
OpenVPN is widely regarded as the most secure VPN protocol on the market. As with IKEv2, VPN providers may implement the protocol in a variety of ways. This implies that a VPN that supports OpenVPN is not always secure.
As long as a VPN implements OpenVPN utilizing security standards that surpass the OpenVPN Community’s recommended minimum security criteria (AES-128 or 256 cipher with RSA-2048 handshake key and HMAC SHA1 hash authentication), the protocol is entirely safe against infiltration.
The good news is that all of our VPN options use OpenVPN and adhere to security standards that surpass these very minimal criteria. This contains the AES-256 encryption, which is sometimes referred to as being’military-grade.’
Additionally, all of our proposals use Perfect Forward Secrecy with OpenVPN. This is necessary to protect the protocol’s integrity from hackers by ensuring that a fresh temporary Private Key is used for each connection made. This ensures that even if a key is compromised, no past or subsequent sessions will be compromised.
WireGuard is the most contemporary VPN protocol that consumer-facing VPNs presently support. It is admired for its lean codebase and minimal attack surface. This enables rapid auditing of the protocol. Additionally, WireGuard offers an interchangeable set of extremely safe cryptographic primitives. This makes it simple to update the protocol in the event that a weakness in any of the cryptographic pieces it relies on is discovered.
The greatest feature of WireGuard is that it is incredibly quick in addition to being highly secure and enabling basic obfuscation. This makes it an excellent choice for VPN users searching for a secure VPN protocol that permits data-intensive activities such as HD streaming and torrenting.
Can I do an IP leak test on my VPN?
Yes! At PrivacyExplore, we’ve developed an easy-to-use IP and DNS leak test tool that you can use at any time. Simply follow the on-screen steps to verify that your VPN is correctly tunneling your data to your desired location. This means that you can always verify that the VPN connection is providing you with an IP address in the desired location.
Is it possible for my ISP to identify that I am using a VPN?
Yes, this is possible. When you use a secure VPN, your ISP is unable to monitor your internet activity. However, your ISP may still discover that you are using a VPN to get anonymity.
Fortunately, the majority of our suggested safe VPNs have a feature called VPN obfuscation that circumvents this. Obfuscation disguises your encrypted VPN traffic as standard HTTPS, creating the illusion that it is normal internet traffic destined for a web service.
There are many forms of obfuscation, including Stunnel, XOR, obfsproxy, and Shadowsocks. VPNs may choose to offer these various types of obfuscation in order to enable its customers to disguise VPN usage and circumvent firewalls configured to restrict VPN traffic.