The best VPNs for private streaming, gaming and trending rated by our expert staff.
What’s the best VPN in 2023?
- Express VPN We rate VPNs according on how well they perform overall in three key areas: speed, security, and cost. Express isn’t the cheapest option, but it is one of the fastest and, as of now, the safest.
- Surfshark of our selections, close second. Due to its affordable first-year price and compatibility for unlimited devices, it also received the CNET Editors’ Choice Award in 2022 for being our VPN value option.
- Nord VPN The final option we have is a real hefty hitter. It boasts a vast network that is always becoming faster and more secure, costs more than Surfshark but less than Express, and is undoubtedly the most dependable service we’ve tried.
Numerous VPN companies have flooded the market in recent years, which has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the variety of reasonably priced VPN solutions now available means that, regardless of how urgent or minimal your privacy demands are, a VPN service is suitable for your needs. However, it also means that users would have to sift through more hyped-up VPN advertising.
How we test VPNs
Our practical testing and assessment procedure is meant to dispel that hype. When we examine each VPN service, we don’t simply seek for technological flaws; we also carefully consider each provider’s unique performance strengths. We’re curious about the strengths of each service. We evaluate each VPN according to over 20 different criteria, and we’re always tweaking our process as we gain more knowledge.
We assess VPNs’ streaming and browsing speeds across different nations, as well as the consistency of their connections and even the tiniest potential privacy leaks. We can determine which VPNs are ideal for gaming versus those that are best for streaming, trending, or sharing sensitive information by testing them across a variety of platforms and devices. Most importantly, we put a lot of effort into conducting the in-depth analysis required to examine each VPN’s past reliability and ownership in a notoriously opaque business.
The VPNs on our list deserve our recommendation for more reasons than just enhancing digital privacy; they also make it simple to stream content to bypass geo-restricted content, have servers that are conducive to trending, and are quick enough to support online gaming everywhere. You’ll notice a few bullet points on each VPN item in our list, outlining its advantages and the applications we suggest it for most frequently, based on those ongoing analyses. You’ll also see that the rankings of each VPN service fluctuate as we gain more knowledge and conduct new tests since we work hard to stay on top of a market that is rapidly evolving.
Best VPN services in 2023
Let’s take a closer look at each of our VPN providers listed below. Expect this list to alter throughout the year as we put each VPN through its paces as we continually update it based on our active testing of VPNs and our examination of the most recent research. In the upcoming months, we’ll update our speed testing with information from 2023.
We’ve compiled a list of our top picks for 2023 so far. When a certain quality makes for a superior choice in a more focused review, we’ll point it out.
The fastest VPN we’ve tested right now is Express VPN, which reduced our internet speeds by less than 2%. Its iOS and Android apps are made with a minimalist design that aims to connect users quickly and painlessly. On its main page, there is only one button that instructs you to connect quickly, and the only other choice is a drop-down server location selection that has your fastest neighboring city already picked by default.
The other of Express VPN’s features, including its account and settings options, security and privacy tools, and support page, are all conveniently hidden under a standard three-bar icon in the top left corner of the screen. They are also worth looking into. A password generator, two leak testers, and an IP address checker are all built into Express VPN.
In the previous year, Express VPN raised the number of independent third-party audits, revealed information on the deployment of its Trusted Server, joined the i2Coalition to demand enhanced ethics in the VPN sector, and launched an open source Light way encryption protocol.
All of our top-rated VPNs are very compatible with a variety of devices and operating systems, but Express VPN has a distinct advantage over the competition thanks to its setup manuals, comprehensive FAQs, and troubleshooting articles. Additionally, it offers a 30-day, no-questions-asked money return guarantee and 24-hour customer service.
Since its founding in 2009, Express VPN has grown to have a sizable network of over 3,000 RAM-only servers dispersed across 160 sites in 94 countries. For $100 a year, Express VPN’s top subscription provides five simultaneous connections (which includes three extra months, for a limited-time deal totaling 15 months of service). Additionally, you have the choice of a $13 monthly plan or a $60 six-month payment. Read our review of Express VPN.