Best VPN for 2020
Keeping your digital identity safe
People this year have been spending more time online, than most likely ever. With this comes new challenges, as for a lot of us – working, studying and socializing has moved to the digital space. Naturally, this means that cyber security threats are at an all time high. It seems that not a day goes by without at least a few headlines about how some company got their user data stolen, or someone exploited a vulnerability to track and steal whatever possible. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate these risks and a VPN is one important part of this cyber security puzzle.
Quick recap: What’s a VPN?
To put it simply – VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a type of software that encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a remote server to hide your data and location. VPNs have many use cases, anything from making it more difficult for hackers to steal your sensitive data, to getting a better deal on an airline ticket. There has been an incredible boom in VPN service providers during the last few years, making the process of choosing the right one for you a real headache. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, save yourself from hassle and choose one of the VPN service providers recommended in this list.
Top 4 VPN providers you should consider
- NordVPN – best all-round product
- ExpressVPN – best premium VPN
- SurfShark VPN – best budget-friendly VPN
- Mullvad VPN – best security focused VPN
1 – NordVPN
Best all-round VPN provider for speed, streaming and security that will not break the bank.
- Latest and greatest security protocols
- 5400+ servers in 59 countries
- Great speeds
- Works with all of the major streaming providers, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, BBC Iplayer and others
- Built-in adblock
- Provides specialty servers (Onion Over VPN, Double VPN and P2P) at no extra cost
- Special obfuscated servers to get around government firewalls
- No log policy proved by 3rd party audits
- Need to commit to a long-term subscription for best price
- No Split tunneling.
NordVPN is our number one pick for 2020, because it is a VPN product that offers a premium experience at a reasonable price. NordVPN is jam packed with the latest technology, premium features and bundled in a slick design that is supported by a friendly and knowledgeable 24/7 support team. The company operates from Panama, a country that does not have any data retention laws, meaning your data will never fall into the wrong hands.
If you purchase the 2-year plan right now, you will win a valuable gift from NordVPN and for limited time only. Gifts are assigned by the system randomly, but you have win one plan for free: 1-month, 1-year or 2 years.
2 – ExpressVPN
Best premium VPN for those not concerned about the price tag
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Great performance
- Top notch security protocols
- Servers run on RAM only
- Supports popular streaming providers, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, BBC Iplayer and others
- 24/7 customer support
- Split tunneling
- Based in the Virgin Islands
- No built in ad block
- One of the most expensive VPN products on the market
- Does not offer speciality servers
ExpressVPN is another VPN market veteran focused on the more affluent customer. It has a great server coverage, excellent speeds and all of the base features you would expect from a well-rounded VPN product. However, it does fall short on the feature side, compared to all of the bells and whistles that NordVPN has to offer. Also, the higher price may discourage a good chunk of people, looking to get a better deal for their hard earned money. All in all, it is a great, solid product that’s been around for a long time. If you don’t mind parting with some extra cash, it can be a great option for you.
3 – SurfShark
Best bang for buck VPN in 2020
- Ability to connect unlimited devices
- One of the best value VPNs on the market
- Split tunneling feature
- Latest security protocols
- Built in ad block feature
- 24/7 customer support
- No logs proved by an independent audit
- Unblocks the popular streaming libraries, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, BBC Iplayer and others
- Based in the Virgin Islands
- The app experience is a bit basic
- You have to commit to a longer subscription to get the best price
- Fewer server options compared to NordVPN or ExpressVPN
Surfshark is the newest contender on this list, but don’t let that fool you, it’s a powerful VPN that wants to prove itself in this highly competitive market. SurfShark’s aggressive pricing structure, no device cap and feature rich app makes it the perfect choice for someone on a tighter budget. Ideal for the younger crowd, someone with a lot of devices that is looking to spend less money, but still get a decent VPN.
4 – Mullvad VPN
For the security conscious, tech savvy customer
- Very reputable in the VPN market
- Prioritises anonymity
- Simple pricing structure
- Very active and helpful community
- Good speeds
- Security proved by an external audit
- Based in Sweden (14 eyes country)
- No 24/7 support
- Least amount of servers out of all of the competitors
- Lacks streaming support
- Some features require technical knowledge
Mullvad is a VPN that’s all about privacy. Although it is based in Sweden (14 eyes country) it has some very nifty privacy features. For instance, you don’t need an email to create an account, Mullvad’s website generates a unique account code for you. Also, paying for Mullvad is pretty unconventional, they give you a discount if you pay with cryptocurrencies and you can even send them an envelope with cash to pay for the service. On the other hand, Mullvad is the most niche out of all of the products on this list. It is primarily meant for people that don’t mind getting their hands dirty configuring the client and following technical guides to get Mullvad working the way they want it to. Definitely not recommended for people who just want to stream a few shows on Netflix, but might fit individuals who like to peek under the hood and see how things actually work.
All of us are spending more and more time online, this makes us fair game for scammers, hackers, price gougers and incompetent service providers. A VPN is not a magic bullet for all of these problems, but it is definitely one of the simplest and best ways to try to mitigate some if not most of these problems. Stay safe and choose a VPN that best fits your needs.