Contributor, Benzinga
November 22, 2022

A VPN is a type of virtual private network that offers a secure connection to the internet. Although security might feel like a given, individuals using public Wi-Fi may not experience a safe connection. Using a VPN promotes security and offers individuals peace of mind about the safety of their personal information. Notable security features for a VPN vary by company but generally include access to a kill switch, top-level encryption and the ability to hide an IP address. When comparing VPNs, consider key features such as built-in security tools and the price. 

Most Secure VPNs

As the number of hackers and cybersecurity risks continue to increase, it’s recommended to have a VPN that makes security a priority. When comparing VPNs, consider key features such as top-level encryption and access to servers in combination with the price. 

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has servers in over 90 different countries to ensure speed around the globe. A server is designed to securely move your data through the internet. The company offers a VPN that’s specifically designed to securely access entertainment such as streaming platforms. Its protocols allow customers to safely navigate social media sites, streaming platforms and messaging platforms while using public Wi-Fi. ExpressVPN uses premium encryption and allows customers the opportunity to conceal personal information such as their IP address. Shielding an IP address helps conceal personal information and can make it more difficult for prying eyes to pinpoint your location. The kill switch feature safeguards your privacy and security by protecting your data during moments when your VPN temporarily stops working such as when changing networks. 

ExpressVPN has a wide range of features intended to promote security. The price of the VPN begins as low as $13 for a single-month subscription. The largest subscription plan extends to 12 months and includes three free months. The annual plan is typically billed once for the first 15 months. The cost of the annual package breaks down to less than $13 per month. All plans include a money-back guarantee. 

NordVPN

NordVPN opened about a decade ago and has since expanded to offer over 5,000 servers in over 55 different countries. The VPN has key features such as double protection, a kill switch, threat protection and competitive encryption. Double protection changes a user’s IP address and ensures that by the time information reaches the second VPN server, no personally identifiable information remains. Double encryption acts as a buffer when using the internet and gives users an additional level of security. The threat protection feature guards against trackers as well as viruses. 

In terms of price, customers can choose between three packages that provide different levels of tools and features. The three subscription options can be purchased as a monthly plan, annual plan or two-year plan. For example, a two-year standard plan typically costs less than $230, which equates to less than $4 per month. NordVPN includes a money-back guarantee. 

Surfshark

Surfshark began in 2018 and has since grown to mark over 12 million app downloads. With over 3.000 servers in 100 countries, Surfshark offers a product that can easily be used internationally to offer security. The company focuses on protecting the digital aspects of a person’s life.

In terms of features aimed at security, the VPN offers strong encryption, two-factor authentication, independent audits and a no-log policy. A no-log policy indicates that Surfshark does not collect or log information such as the location or general online activity of customers. 

Premium VPN tools include a kill switch, auto-connect and a bypasser feature. The kill switch helps safeguard a customer’s internet connection if the connection to the VPN is momentarily lost. Auto-connect helps automatically protect data. The bypasser or split tunneling feature allows users the freedom to decide which data should be encrypted. The feature allows individuals to use two IP addresses simultaneously to promote security.

The prices begin as low as $13 for a monthly subscription. The subscriptions range from monthly to yearly to two years. The maximum subscription for 24 months includes two free months. A 12-month subscription costs less than $60 in total. Surfshark has a money-back guarantee. 

NortonLifeLock

NortonLifeLock offers a VPN that creates a secure connection to the internet when using public Wi-Fi. The anonymous browsing feature assists in protecting data by blocking hackers. A kill switch feature, no-log policy and split tunneling provide an added layer of security. High-quality encryption works to protect information from potential threats. The VPN prevents ad-tracking technologies to ensure a customer is not traced while using the web. 

The subscriptions begin monthly but extend to yearly coverage. Monthly coverage for one device can cost less than $5 per month during the initial year. In contrast, an annual subscription for a maximum of 10 devices can cost less than $100 for the year. With select discounts, it’s possible to pay more affordable prices. The annual membership includes a money-back guarantee. 

5. IPVanish

IPVanish was designed to help customers navigate the internet more securely and shield IP addresses. The company prevents geo-targeting by changing a customer’s real IP address. Additional security features include encrypted web browsing, a no-log policy and a kill switch. The company has more than 2,000 servers in over 75 VPN locations that promote privacy and security. The company allows customers to use multiple devices on a VPN account. 

Subscriptions range from monthly, quarterly and yearly options. A monthly subscription costs less than $11. The plans are automatically renewed. Customers can decide to stop service whenever they deem it necessary. IPVanish offers a money-back guarantee.  

Why Do You Need a VPN for Security?

A VPN bolsters your security when navigating the web by shielding your identity, promoting privacy and increasing safety. 

Secure your Identity: Personal data such as banking content and work-related details can be safely protected from prying eyes. VPNs allow you to securely interact with the web while accessing important emails and accessing various messaging applications. 

Promote privacy: In terms of privacy, VPNs work to hide a user’s online presence. Many VPNs combat hackers as well as ad trackers. Keeping ad trackers away allows for a more private internet experience.

Increase safety: A VPN works to shield relevant and time-sensitive information from the wider web. For example, many top VPNs hide a user’s IP address and even effectively shield location-related information. Keeping your location private from strangers and hackers typically improves safety. 

Considerations With VPNs

When considering a top secure VPN, keep in mind that useful features should simultaneously promote both security and privacy. The exact price of a VPN service per year may change over time.

Price: Before selecting a VPN, examine the company’s price structure. The pricing for a VPN has the potential to increase after the initially agreed-upon period. Companies likely have differing guarantees so it’s recommended to know the specific stipulations before purchasing a subscription. 

Number of devices: Know the maximum amount of devices that a VPN service allows a customer to connect. Some companies allow an unlimited amount of devices, which can prove useful for individuals with more than one laptop or phone. In some cases, the exact number of devices remains closely tied to the price of a product. For example, certain VPNs offer services and prices on a per-device basis.  

Customer reviews: Reviews help paint an accurate picture of company service. If you have questions, consider reaching out to the VPN provider. Reading reviews placed on third-party websites such as Trustpilot also promotes clarity. Be sure to read both the most positive, least positive, and most recent reviews to obtain a more well-rounded understanding of a VPN. While the reviews showcased on company websites can be helpful, it’s also recommended to read the reviews placed on third-party websites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is a VPN 100% secure?

A

A VPN improves security, but it is not completely foolproof. For example, it’s still possible to download compromised files or get a virus. Use your discretion when navigating the web to avoid unwanted information leaks or viruses. 

Q

Can you use a VPN on any device?

A

You can use a VPN on a wide selection of devices. For example, a VPN can work with iPhones, Windows, Androids, laptops and smart TVs.