I’ve examined all the ways a VPN can help secure your data, boost your speeds, provide access to restricted content, and enhance your online activity. This way, you can decide if a VPN is right for your personal or business use. Plus, I’ve reviewed my top 5 VPN choices so can learn which one provides the best overall service for your needs. During my research and tests, I found ExpressVPN is the best choice in 2023, with top-tier security and privacy, blazing-fast speeds, and a global network of servers. Best of all, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free — if you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund. Try ExpressVPN risk-free

Why You Need a VPN

Initially, VPNs were only used for secure connections between business networks or to access your business from home. But personal VPN use has boomed in popularity in recent years due to online safety concerns. As we spend more time online, our data and activity are increasingly being tracked — we’re being targeted by personalized ads, having our information sold to unknown third parties, and being put at risk of hackers and spies. Fortunately, using one of the best VPNs in 2023 can protect you against these threats for a secure and private online connection.

Security at Home and on Public WiFi

First and foremost, a VPN is a security tool that protects your sensitive data and online activity when you’re connected to the internet. It secures your connection by adding AES-256-bit encryption — unbreakable in a brute-force attack — to stop hackers, third-party advertisers, and even your ISP from seeing what you’re doing online. To ensure you choose a VPN with top-tier security like ExpressVPN, check that your service also has the following features:

Data leak protection stops your data from being exposed through IP, DNS, or other leaks An automatic kill switch cuts access to the internet if the VPN connection is unstable Multiple secure connection protocols to maximize speeds and security Split tunneling allows you to choose which apps are encrypted and which use your regular connection Server obfuscation disguises VPN traffic as regular traffic to avoid detection A zero-log privacy policy, preferably audited by an independent company, proves that your data is not retained or shared.

These tools work together to ensure your connections are secure and private when you’re online, either using your home network or public WiFi. Public WiFi in particular is notoriously unsecure and often targeted by hackers looking to steal data. While your home network is safer than connecting to the WiFi at a cafe or the airport, you’re always vulnerable to having your activity monitored. That data is then shared with advertisers and other third parties for profit — Edward Snowden notably exposed that ISPs were sharing user data with the US government. Using a VPN ensures that no one can monitor your online activity, as they cannot break through the secure encryption to see what you’re doing.

Access to Restricted Content

Some governments and networks restrict access to certain content — in China, for example, users cannot access social media sites, adult content, and foreign news sources due to government restrictions. Similar limitations are put in place on school and work networks — your employer may block access to Facebook or YouTube in an effort to maximize productivity. When you encounter restrictive internet regulations, you can use a VPN to easily navigate around blocks and access the sites you want. A VPN will encrypt your connection so the network can’t see what you’re doing, and cannot block access to websites and services. However, sometimes VPN encryption isn’t enough. Networks like China’s Great Firewall are able to block encrypted connections to stop the use of non-government-approved VPNs. Fortunately, top services like ExpressVPN have server obfuscation — this disguises your VPN traffic as regular internet traffic to avoid detection. ExpressVPN is one of the only VPNs that work in China, with obfuscation on every server making it easy to get around tough restrictions.

Prevent ISP throttling

If you engage in a lot of data-intensive activities, like streaming, torrenting, or online gaming, you may experience bandwidth throttling. This is a method used by your ISP most often to free up space on the network for other users, but sometimes it can be used to prompt you to upgrade your service. When you connect to the internet, your ISP can typically see everything you’re doing; the websites you visit, your torrent activity, streaming content, and more. Throttling your bandwidth results in slow speeds and issues connecting to your favorite sites and services. Your activity is securely encrypted each time you connect to a VPN server, so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing, and can’t throttle your connection based on your online activity or how much bandwidth you’re using. Make sure you choose a local VPN server connection so you get the best download speeds and low ping. ExpressVPN has more than 3000 servers in its network so you can always find a nearby connection.

Access Streaming Content while Travelling

Fortunately, it’s super easy to solve this issue with a high-quality VPN. When you travel abroad, simply connect to a VPN server in your home country. Once the connection is established, you can access your local Netflix account, Disney+ subscription, or stream your favorite Hulu shows and movies — your streaming service will detect your IP address as being in the correct location and show you your local content. It’s important to note that using a VPN with streaming services isn’t illegal, but it may go against the Terms of Use you agreed to when you subscribed. This is because some individuals may use a VPN to access content that isn’t available in their own location, breaching copyright regulations. Make sure you’re aware of your streaming service’s Terms of Use before you connect to it with a VPN.

Connect to your Network When Working Remotely

If you work remotely and need to connect to your home network, you can do so securely by setting up your own VPN server. Essentially, you can turn a device like a Windows PC, Mac, or smartphone into a VPN server, which you can then connect to from anywhere in the world — giving you access to your home network whenever you need it. If setting up your own VPN server seems a bit complicated, you can also use a premium VPN that provides port forwarding, like ExpressVPN. This is an easy and secure way to connect to your home network using the protected ports supported by the VPN.

Boost Speeds

Most of the time, a VPN connection will slightly slow your speeds — this is due to the extra layers of encryption added for security. However, if your internet speeds are very slow or being artificially throttled, you could find a VPN that can boost your speed.

User congestion: Sometimes your network is overloaded with users, causing a significant slowdown to your internet speeds. By using a VPN to connect to a different nearby location, you can avoid user congestion to improve your connection speed. ISP throttling: Your ISP may artificially restrict your bandwidth and speed when torrenting, gaming, or connecting to streaming services. A VPN completely masks your online activity so your ISP cannot see what you’re doing and therefore cannot throttle your connection. Online gaming: Popular game servers can experience slowdown due to multiple player connections. You can use a VPN to connect to a different location and game server, avoiding congestion and high ping to enjoy faster, smoother online gaming.

Protection While Gaming

While online gaming isn’t inherently risky, you can inadvertently make yourself vulnerable to online attacks and slow speeds if you don’t connect to a VPN first. This is particularly true for competitive online gaming, in which you could be the target of hackers, DDoS attacks, and even “swatting.” When you connect to a premium VPN before you play COD: Warzone, Valorant, and other games, you secure your data from hackers and malicious competitors. The encrypted VPN connection hides your location so you can’t be tracked. Plus, the VPN server stands between other users and your device, so you won’t be affected by DDoS attacks — the VPN absorbs the attack and reconnects you to an alternative server. Similarly, a VPN will allow you to play securely on public WiFi by masking your data with its encrypted connection. If you’re traveling abroad and the nearby game server is popular and overcrowded, you could find using a VPN boosts your in-game speeds. You can connect to a VPN server in your home country to access your local game server, reducing user congestion to find matches much more quickly. Make sure you connect to the nearest physical server in your home country to keep your ping as low as possible. Some VPNs have dedicated servers to boost your gaming experience — CyberGhost has gaming-optimized servers in 4 locations (France, Germany, the UK, and the US) that guarantee fast speeds and low ping for smooth online gaming.

Safe Torrenting

Torrenting is always risky, as downloading torrent files leaves your identifiable data exposed — other P2P users can see your IP address when torrenting, putting you at risk of being hacked or having your identity stolen. Not only this, but downloading torrents can cause your ISP to throttle your internet connection. Torrenting is data-intensive, so if you torrent frequently you may find your download speeds and bandwidth slow considerably — this is so your ISP can free up bandwidth for other users. A VPN helps you secure your torrenting in 2 ways:

A VPN connection masks your true location and hides your data, ensuring your personal information isn’t exposed when downloading files from other users. A VPN encrypts your online activity so your ISP cannot see you’re torrenting and therefore cannot throttle your bandwidth based on your P2P file-sharing.

Many top-tier VPNs support torrenting — some have dedicated servers for P2P file-sharing, while a service like ExpressVPN supports torrenting on all of its 3000+ servers. By using a server optimized for torrenting, you get high-level security and privacy plus fast speeds to complete your downloads quickly and safely.

Stop Malware and Trackers from Apps and Pop-Up Ads

Every website and app you use wants to track your activity using cookies, making it easier to target you with personalized ads. Some ads contain shady links to phishing sites and malware designed to attack your devices and steal your data. Neither of these things are good for your privacy or security, so some VPNs have a built-in malware and tracker block feature. When the feature is active, your VPN will detect and block tracking cookies and ads containing malicious code. This way, you can avoid clicking on risky links and stop advertisers from following your online activity. Some VPNs only block malicious ads, while a service like PIA has a MACE ad and malware blocker that stops all banner, pop up, and video ads — even on sites like YouTube. However, it’s important to note that VPNs are not designed to stop zero-day attacks, ransomware, or more insidious viruses. Only a standalone antivirus service will provide complete security against these threats.

The Best VPNs to Use in 2023

1. ExpressVPN — Blazing-Fast Speeds and Top-Tier Security Across a Global Network

Key Features: ExpressVPN is the top VPN service in 2023 thanks to its blazing-fast, secure connections worldwide. In my tests, I found ExpressVPN to be the fastest VPN on the market today. I tested multiple servers, both nearby and distant, and was surprised by how little my speed reduced from my regular baseline — I had drops of just 6% on local servers. This is thanks in part to its proprietary Lightway protocol which is designed to maximize speed and security. Reliable servers plus ExpressVPN’s server obfuscation ensures easy access to streaming services, including: All ExpressVPN servers come with the best available security and privacy features to ensure you stay safe and anonymous online. These features include:

Military-grade encryption on all connections to provide security and anonymity Automatic kill switch cuts internet access if the VPN is interrupted, preventing data exposure Data leak protection blocks DNS, IP, and WebRTC leaks and secures your connection Split tunneling lets you choose which apps are encrypted — ideal for secure streaming or torrenting Obfuscation (VPN traffic masking) on every server to avoid proxy detection technology TrustedServer Technology (RAM-based servers that cannot store data and are wiped clean with every reboot) Audited zero-log policy also verified by the real-world seizure of a Turkish ExpressVPN server

To make sure these features really do work, my team and I ran multiple tests and confirmed that ExpressVPN keeps all connections secure. We didn’t experience a single data leak across its global network. I was pleased to find ExpressVPN has easy-to-use apps for multiple popular platforms, including Windows, Mac, smartphones, smart TVs, streaming devices, and more — it even has an app for compatible routers, while most other VPNs require manual connections and configurations. If you want to stream on a device that doesn’t support VPNs (like a PlayStation, Xbox, or older smart TV), ExpressVPN has a MediaStreamer Smart DNS tool that is easily configurable. The only downside to ExpressVPN is its price, as it’s a little more expensive than other VPNs — plans start at $6.67/month for a 1-year + 3 months subscription. However, I think ExpressVPN is worth the extra cost for fast speeds, top security, and guaranteed anonymity when connected. To see if it’s right for you, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. The service is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you don’t like it you can get a full refund. I tested the process myself and it was easy. I spoke to an agent using the 24/7 live chat for less than 2 minutes and my refund was arranged. The money was back in my account 3 days later. Try ExpressVPN risk-free

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Easy Streaming, Torrenting, and Online Gaming

Key Features: CyberGhost’s optimized servers make it a great choice for streaming, torrenting, and online gaming. These servers are regularly tested by CyberGhost staff to ensure you always get a working connection — I never wasted time trying different servers. All locations are easy to access and clearly labeled so you can make the best connection for your online activities. Streaming from a local account can be tricky when traveling, so having access to servers that are optimized for specific platforms saves a lot of time and effort. CyberGhost could connect to local accounts with the following services: During tests I discovered CyberGhost’s optimized servers are faster than its standard connections. My results showed that the optimized connections were on average 10% faster than regular servers, which is particularly useful if your internet speeds are on the slower side (around 20Mbps or less). The optimized servers won’t slow your speeds as much, so I suggest connecting to these and using the WireGuard protocol to keep your connection fast. To protect your data, CyberGhost has the following security and privacy features:

Military-grade encryption keeps your data and devices secure and anonymous An automatic kill switch protects your personal information if the VPN is interrupted unexpectedly Data leak protection secures against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks Split tunneling lets you configure which apps are encrypted and which use your regular connection Malicious ad blocker stops ads containing potentially malicious code (but not safe ads) Audited zero-log policy confirms user data is never logged or stored

During my tests, I was more than satisfied with CyberGhost’s ability to keep my data secure. I had no issues with data leaks and felt reassured that my connections were anonymous at all times. My issue with CyberGhost is that it struggles to maintain fast speeds over long distances. Physical distance causes a speed reduction and an increase in latency, so you could have issues streaming, torrenting, or gaming if you’re using a server more than 10,000km away. Fortunately, CyberGhost’s huge network of 9633+ servers means you can always find a nearby connection. If you’d like to try CyberGhost for yourself risk-free you can subscribe to the 2-year + 2 months plan for just $2.19/month. With the long-term plan you get a generous 45 days to make sure it’s right for you. Otherwise, you can easily get a full refund. I tested the refund guarantee and was pleased to find the live chat agent didn’t ask me to reconsider — my request was processed immediately and I had my money back within a week. Try CyberGhost risk-free

3. Private Internet Access — Huge Server Network Provides Easy Connections Worldwide

Key Features: Private Internet Access (PIA) has an enormous server network that is ideal for accessing locations worldwide. With more than 35000 servers in its network, you can rest assured you’ll always find a nearby location. I also found that this huge network meant I never experienced user congestion or connectivity issues — I had access to a server in less than 5 seconds and my connections were consistent and reliable. My speed test results show that PIA is fast on local server connections (5,000km away and less), with some speed drop over longer distances. This is normal, as physical distance almost always results in a slowdown. My speeds were always fast enough for streaming, torrenting, online gaming, and lag-free browsing. If you need a speed boost, PIA has a couple of tools you can use. First, all of its servers have ping (or latency) listed beside them. Choosing a server with a green ping number will provide better speeds. Second, PIA has customizable encryption levels. You can switch from the standard AES-256-bit to AES-128-bit. While this won’t compromise your security, the lower-level encryption will improve your speeds. To protect your data and anonymity while you’re connected to its servers, PIA has a variety of high-level security and privacy features, including:

Data leak protection secures against the exposure of your information through IP and DNS leaks Split tunneling allows you to encrypt specific apps (like torrent clients or streaming apps) while others are unencrypted Kill switch cuts the internet until the VPN connection is restored MACE ad and malware blocker stops annoying ads and pop-ups to maintain high-level security Audited zero-log privacy policy guarantees no user data is stored on the VPN servers

One downside to PIA is that it’s not always the best option for unblocking streaming services. It had issues making a connection, sometimes giving a proxy error message when trying to stream content on BBC iPlayer and other platforms. This is annoying when a service like ExpressVPN connects to streaming services right away. That said, it could connect to local accounts with the following: I suggest you try PIA for yourself risk-free — it’s a low-price option, with plans starting at $2.19/month for a 2-year + 2 months subscription. Plus, PIA is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, and getting a refund is simple. I contacted customer service using the live chat and had my money back in under a week. Try PIA risk-free

4. PrivateVPN — Stealth VPN Provides Reliable Unblocking for Restricted Content

Key Features: PrivateVPN is a great choice for accessing restricted content and bypassing tough networks. Its Stealth VPN feature provides obfuscation, hiding your VPN traffic to avoid proxy detection — this makes PrivateVPN one of the only services to work in locations like China. Plus, it’s easy to toggle on and comes with every server. As well as Stealth VPN, PrivateVPN has other security and privacy tools to protect your data. These include:

Military-grade encryption on all servers to secure your data and online activity Kill switch to stop data leaks if the VPN connection is interrupted Leak protection protects against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks to preserve anonymity Audited zero-log policy ensures your data won’t be logged or stored by PrivateVPN

During tests, I was satisfied with how well PrivateVPN kept my data secure. I didn’t experience data leaks, and when I tested the kill switch by interrupting the VPN connection, it worked perfectly to block access to the internet. My information was always safe and anonymous. In terms of speed, PrivateVPN is reliably fast on local connections with some slowdown over long distances. My speeds dropped by 30% on average, which was fine for my superfast connection. However, if you have slower internet speeds (20Mbps or less) or need a long-distance connection, you could experience lag or interruptions. My colleagues and I ran tests to see if we could use our local streaming services, and were pleased to find PrivateVPN can access the following: You can check PrivateVPN’s website for a list of the best servers for streaming if you’re having trouble connecting. However, my team and I didn’t have issues accessing our accounts on regular servers. The downside to PrivateVPN is its small server network. There are far fewer servers than premium VPNs like ExpressVPN, and this can cause issues connecting at peak traffic times. I experienced several instances where I couldn’t connect due to congestion, but switching to another option soon solved the problem. On the plus side, PrivateVPN is one of the most affordable monthly VPNs, and its long-term plans start at just $2.00/month. You can see if it’s right for you by testing PrivateVPN for yourself risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund within 30 days. I sent an email to customer support requesting a refund and it was approved the same day — my money was back in my account 4 days later. Try PrivateVPN risk-free

5. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections and Free SOCKS5 Proxy for Torrenting

Key Features: IPVanish provides unlimited device connections on a single account, making it ideal for securing all of your devices without issue. With IPVanish, I didn’t have to worry about signing out of one device to secure another — I could maintain security over all devices at once. I was concerned that multiple devices would slow my connection, but found IPVanish keeps speeds reliably fast across its network. My team and I ran multiple tests and found IPVanish slows speeds by around 30% on average. My connections were fast enough for smooth streaming, torrenting, online gaming, and browsing without any lag or buffering. IPVanish offers a free SOCKS5 proxy, which is great if your speeds are on the slower end (under 20Mbps). This hides your IP address and makes streaming and torrenting much faster. One thing to note is that the proxy doesn’t encrypt your data, so it isn’t as secure as a VPN connection. I found it easy to set up the proxy with my torrent client, as IPVanish has detailed guides available on its help site. To keep your data secure while you’re connected to its servers, IPVanish provides the following security and privacy features:

Military-grade encryption protects and secures your data and online activity with every connection IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection ensures your data won’t be accidentally exposed Strict zero-logs policy guarantees your information and activity aren’t stored on the VPN servers Server obfuscation with its Scramble feature masks your VPN traffic to avoid proxy detection technology (only with OpenVPN protocol)

The downside is that despite fast speeds and top security, IPVanish isn’t ideal for streaming. During tests, my team and I found it difficult to connect to different streaming platforms, often having to try several servers before establishing a connection. If you want instant connections to your favorite streaming sites, I recommend using ExpressVPN. IPVanish was able to grant access to the following streaming services: You can subscribe to IPVanish for as little as $3.99/month, making it an affordable option. You can also try IPVanish risk-free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. If you change your mind, canceling is very easy — just head to the Subscriptions tab in your IPVanish account and click “Cancel Now.” I had my money back within the hour. Try IPVanish risk-free

How to Install a VPN

Windows & Mac

Secure your devices with ExpressVPN

Android & iOS

Downloading a premium VPN to your Android and iOS device is simple, as the top VPNs in 2023 have native apps for both platforms. Just remember to subscribe to the service through the official website rather than the app store — this is the only way you’ll qualify for any money-back guarantee periods. Try ExpressVPN risk-free

Streaming Devices & Routers

Some of your devices won’t support a native VPN app, like a Roku streaming stick or your game console (PlayStation, Xbox, etc.) If you want to encrypt one of these devices with your VPN, the best way is by configuring your VPN with a compatible router. To check if your router is compatible, you can head to your VPN provider’s website and find a list of suitable models. Alternatively, you can purchase a VPN router that has the software pre-installed for easy connections. Try ExpressVPN with your router

Smart TVs

There are a couple of ways you can set up a VPN with your smart TV. If you have an older smart TV, it’s likely you’ll need to set up a router connection — models prior to 2016 are unable to natively support a VPN. You can also configure a WiFi hotspot from your PC or Mac for your smart TV. Newer smart TVs are much easier to set up, as they often have support capability for VPNs. Get ExpressVPN for your smart TV

Do I really need a VPN?

If you want to maintain security and privacy online, yes — you really do need a VPN. As we spend more and more time online, doing shopping, playing games, streaming content, or even just browsing, the threats to our data security increase. Trackers and cookies are used to target you with ads, hackers monitor public WiFi to steal your data, and even your ISP can harvest your online information. A VPN gives you peace of mind that your connections and your data are secure. While it can’t promise you total anonymity, an encrypted connection stops third parties from tracking your online activity, throttling your speeds, stealing your information, and more. Plus, a VPN can give you access to restricted content, boost your speeds, and even block ads and malware in some cases.

Should my business use a VPN?

Yes, a VPN is a valuable security tool for your business. A VPN protects your connections from hackers and spies, plus it also has the following benefits for your business:

Secure remote access for you and your employees from anywhere Get around geographic blocks to access business accounts worldwide Protect your financial transactions Keep business communications secure across your network Safe connections to public WiFi when checking emails and browsing the internet in a cafe or airport

VPNs usually have a dedicated enterprise subscription for businesses, so check with your chosen provider to get the best price for your business VPN.

Can VPNs be hacked?

Technically, yes — but it is extremely difficult to do so. The best VPNs in 2023 have layer upon layer of security to stop hackers from breaching servers and intercepting user data. They feature:

AES-256-bit encryption on every connection — this is virtually impossible to hack in a brute-force attack. Secure connection protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard, that are known to be safe and reliable. Private DNS servers to ensure your data is hidden from everyone, even your ISP. No logs policies, so even if your data is requested by the government, the VPN provider will have nothing to give to them.

VPNs that don’t have high-quality security and privacy features are more likely to be hacked, as are free VPNs. I recommend only choosing a tested and trusted VPN like the services listed in this article.

Is it illegal to use a VPN?

In most places in the world, VPNs are legal to use. You are perfectly within your rights to use a VPN to secure your data and activity from hackers and spies when online. However, some countries restrict the use of VPNs and outright ban those that don’t conform to government standards. Places like China, Russia, and Iran only allow the use of government-approved VPNs — and these services will compromise your security by logging and sharing your data. It’s also worth noting that using a VPN doesn’t make illegal activities legal. It is still a crime to harass and cyberstalk individuals, share copyrighted materials, and more. My team and I don’t condone any illegal activity, so please ensure that you understand your local laws and regulations before connecting to a VPN.

How much does a VPN cost?

The price of a VPN varies, depending on which service you choose and your subscription length. The best VPNs in 2023 range from $6.67/month for ExpressVPN to $2.00/month for PrivateVPN. The price difference here is due to ExpressVPN’s wider range of security features, faster speeds, and more server connections. As a general rule, you’ll get better value for money if you subscribe to a long-term plan rather than month-to-month. For a service like ExpressVPN, this means you can get a discount of up to 49% with its annual plan. I don’t recommend subscribing to any VPN that costs more than $10/month, as you can get a top-tier service for a much lower price.

How many devices can I connect to a VPN?

It depends on the VPN. A service like ExpressVPN allows up to 5 connections, which is pretty standard for a premium VPN. Some VPNs restrict you to a single device connection per account, while others have unlimited connections — IPVanish lets you connect all of your devices at the same time on one subscription. You can also use some VPNs with a compatible router — this way, you encrypt your WiFi connection and, in turn, every device that connects to the WiFi. If you know how many devices you want to secure, check with your VPN provider before you subscribe. You’ll be able to find out exactly how many simultaneous connections are available.

Do I need a VPN on my iOS and Android phone?

Yes, you should protect your Android and iOS phones with a VPN. An encrypted VPN connection will keep your data safe when using public WiFi, your banking or shopping apps, and even when you check your emails with your phone. Many VPNs have the option to automatically encrypt your connection when you use public WiFi, as these open connections are easy targets for hackers and malware — ideal when you take your phone out and about with you. All of the recommended VPNs have native apps for Android and iOS that are easy to download and set up, so you can secure your device in just a couple of minutes. Yes, you can use a VPN to watch your local streaming accounts from anywhere in the world. Instead of seeing proxy error messages due to geographical restrictions, a VPN makes you appear to be in the right location to access the content you’ve paid for — all you have to do is use a premium VPN and connect to a server in your home country.

Will a VPN lower ping to play Warzone on PlayStation and Xbox?

A VPN can lower your ping when you play CoD: Warzone, but in most cases it won’t. A VPN can create a more direct route for your data to travel to improve speeds and reduce ping, but only if your existing connection is very slow or being throttled by your network provider. Otherwise, the extra layer of encryption and distance to the server will likely increase your ping. With the best VPNs, this increase will be minimal and won’t impact your Warzone gaming on PlayStation or Xbox.

Can I use a VPN on Fire Stick, smart TVs, and game consoles?

While some devices don’t natively support a VPN app, there are still ways to configure a VPN with your smart TV, game console, Roku, or other device — namely, by setting up a WiFi hotspot from your Windows PC or Mac or by configuring your VPN with a compatible router. The VPN you choose will have detailed guides available to help you set up a connection.

Can I use a free VPN?

You can, but I don’t recommend it. Some free VPNs are good, but they don’t offer the top-tier security, privacy, fast speeds, and global network of a premium VPN. There are hundreds of free VPNs, all claiming to be the best, but the reality is that most free services won’t keep your online activity and data secure. These VPNs have to make a profit and do so by logging your data to sell to third-party advertisers. Worse still, some free VPNs have been found to contain malware designed to steal your information, putting you at risk of identity theft. While there are some safe and secure free VPNs on the market, these “freemium” services (free VPNs from premium providers) are extremely limited — giving you a preview of the service to entice you to upgrade. They are fine for checking emails or browsing the web, but you’ll struggle to stream content, torrent, or game online with low data caps, a handful of server connections, and restricted speeds. Instead of risking your data or having a frustrating experience, I recommend you test a premium VPN with a long money-back guarantee. CyberGhost gives you 45 days to try every feature, making it ideal for short-term use. If you change your mind about subscribing, canceling and getting a refund is easy. It only takes a couple of minutes to request a refund, and I had my money back within a week.

Start Using a VPN

A VPN is a powerful security tool that boosts your online privacy and anonymity. It’s a valuable addition to your devices and is fast becoming as popular and necessary as antivirus software. Not only does a VPN protect your data, it can enhance your streaming, gaming, and torrenting, boost your speeds, and even give you access to restricted content. But not all VPNs are high-quality. Fortunately, I’ve done the hard work and tested more than 30 services to find the best VPNs in 2023. ExpressVPN is the overall winner, with blazing-fast speeds, best-in-class security and privacy features, and easy-to-use apps on multiple platforms. I recommend you try ExpressVPN for yourself risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you don’t feel it’s right for you, you can get a full refund with no questions asked. Try ExpressVPN risk-free

To summarize, the best VPNs in 2023 are…