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Secure your online world with all the best VPNs in May 2021

Secure your online world with all the best VPNs in May 2021

Welcome to the wonderful world of VPNs. These popular security tools protect your data and identity, bypass online restrictions, and much more.

If this is all very new to you, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. This is where we can help, because we’ve done the hard work for you and researched these services to provide the information that matters. We’re nice like that.

This is the definitive breakdown of everything you need to know about VPNs.

Why do you need a VPN?

Any sort of activity on an unsecured WiFi network leaves your private information and browsing habits exposed to the world, unless you’re using a VPN. There’s no need to panic, because whether you’re sending important emails, doing some online shopping, or paying essential bills, VPNs make sure that everything remains private and anonymous.

VPNs are primarily designed to provide online security, but there is another reason that millions of people use these services: streaming more content from around the world. By hiding your real IP address and connecting you to a server in another location, you can trick leading streaming services into thinking that you are based in a different country. This means that you can watch all of the shows and films from global libraries, like all the extra content on American Netflix. This is the quickest and easiest way of boosting your content options.

So there are two key reasons to subscribe to a VPN, but what are the most important things to consider before investing in a VPN?

What are the most important VPN features?

There are plenty of things that you should care about when it comes to VPNs, but we don’t have all day. Instead of listing off every feature offered by the best VPNs, we have highlighted a selection of the most important things to consider to get you started.

Before you make any sort of decision, you should look out for connection speed, server network, number of logins, and more important features:

Connection speed: Using a VPN is going to produce a drop in your connection speed, but you shouldn’t accept a significant drop that is going to result in buffering. Be sure to select a VPN that doesn’t negatively impact your connection speed to the point that you can’t watch a film or download a file without frustration.

Number of connections: Some VPNs let you connect an unlimited number of devices with the same account. Others limit you to just a single device. You should look out for a service that offers multiple simultaneous connections, so you can stay protected on all your devices at the same time.

Server network: The very best VPNs provide access to literally thousands of geographically diverse servers. It’s useful if a VPN has a lot of servers in key locations, because you should always be able to find a stable and speedy connection for streaming, shopping, or browsing anonymously. It’s not a straightforward case of more is better, but it’s always good to have options.

Access streaming sites from around the world with a VPN.

Privacy policy: It’s worth paying special attention to the data-handling, storage, and usage practices of the VPN you are planning on using. These practices should be laid out in a privacy policy, and if they aren’t clear, it’s best to avoid. Most VPNs require access to your IP address, online transactions, and browsing history, plus your personal details when you sign up. If privacy is the objective, it’s absolutely essential that your VPN is not going to store these details. If it does, the whole thing is kind of pointless.

Encryption: There are different levels of encryption, and whilst it’s important to take note of the grade provided by your VPN, the best options will all offer powerful protection for your data. You are likely to come across terms like “military-grade” and “enterprise-grade,” which just means that you can rely on it to do its job.

Bandwidth: There are some VPNs out there that place monthly caps on network bandwidth, meaning you can only download a certain amount of data. You should avoid these services, unless you’re on a free trial. If you’re paying for a VPN, you should be able to download and upload as much as you want.

What is the best VPN?

There are lots of VPN providers out there all offering different sets of features, with different pricing structures. We recommend taking some time to carefully access your options, and decide on what you really need from your provider. Once you have established your priorities, you can check out this roundup of the best VPNs.

We have tracked down everything on offer and lined up a selection of the very best VPNs for streaming, shopping, and everything else. We have tried to find something for everyone and every budget, and you can find popular services like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN in this list. All you need to do is weigh up these options against your own set of priorities, and then pick a favourite from the bunch.

These are the best VPNs in 2021.


Connection speeds • Unblocking streaming sites • Attractive interface

If you’re willing to spend a little more to get the best, ExpressVPN is an awesome all-round VPN.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers great connection speeds and a strong server network that really helps with streaming.

  • Monthly:
    £9.80/month
  • Six-month plan:
    £7.56/month
  • 15-month plan:
    £5.05/month
ExpressVPN always seems to be found near the top of VPN roundups, and it’s clear why. It’s one of the best services for speed, security, and streaming, with a wide range of advanced features that should suit almost every user.
It is one of the most expensive VPNs out there, but it makes sense when you consider everything that ExpressVPN offers. Users get strong connection speeds, powerful encryption, and access to a diverse network of servers located all around the world.
What sets ExpressVPN apart from the competition is its ability to unblock sites like Netflix. If you’re investing in a VPN for streaming, ExpressVPN should be at the top of your list.

Privacy policy • Split tunnelling • Simultaneous connections • Large server network

CyberGhost VPN offers a wide range of advanced features with a privacy policy that safeguards your data.

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN has a strong stance on privacy, so you can rest assured that your data is safe.

  • Monthly:
    £10.89/month
  • One-year plan:
    £3.45/month
  • Two-year plan:
    £2.89/month
  • Three-year plan:
    £1.99/month
CyberGhost VPN offers a seriously comprehensive product, but its strong stance on privacy sets it apart from the competition. CyberGhost VPN does not store information on your IP address, DNS queries, browsing history, or session duration, which is reassuring.
Users also get strong server distribution, split tunnelling for a security boost, multiple simultaneous connections, and much more. Connection speeds could be better, but they are still decent.
As an added bonus, CyberGhost VPN is really easy to install and use, with an attractive and intuitive interface that should suit everyone.

Number of servers • Connection speeds • 10 simultaneous connections

Does not offer much beyond VPN protection

This straightforward and powerful VPN keeps things simple.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access lets users connect to an absolutely massive network of servers.

  • Monthly:
    £9.99/month
  • One-year plan:
    £2.71/month
  • Two-year plan:
    £2.19/month
Private Internet Access keeps things simple with powerful encryption, strong connection speeds, and a massive server network. Basically, it covers all of the essentials.
Users don’t get much beyond VPN protection, but what more do you need? If you’re looking for a straightforward service that delivers where it counts, Private Internet Access should be something to seriously consider.
You also get 10 simultaneous connections with Private Internet Access, meaning it’s a great option for large households.

Great server network • Easy to use • Rare security tools

NordVPN is slick and secure, with some impressive security tools that protect your data and identity.

NordVPN

NordVPN is effective at protecting your online data thanks to a range of advanced security features.

  • Monthly:
    £9.20/month
  • One-year plan:
    £3.79/month
  • Two-year plan:
    £2.86/month
NordVPN is one of the most secure VPNs on offer, with a large and diverse collection of servers and a strong set of rarely seen tools like WireGuard technology.
All users get access to over 5,500 servers located all over the world, with the option of connecting six devices at the same time. NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that lets you route your traffic between its own secure VPN servers and the Tor network, which creates an extra secure connection.
NordVPN doesn’t offer the fastest speeds and it’s on the pricey side, but that shouldn’t stop you from investing in this secure VPN.

Unlimited simultaneous connections • Split tunnelling • Attractive and intuitive app

Pricey unless you’re willing to commit

One of the best VPNs for streaming and security, with a bunch of impressive features that should suit everyone.

Surfshark

Surfshark offers an excellent set of features with an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

  • Monthly:
    £9.48/month
  • Six-month plan:
    £4.75/month
  • Two-year plan:
    £1.82/month
Surfshark is probably the best VPN for large households, as you can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously with the same plan.
That’s not all though, because Surfshark offers a wide range of impressive features including split tunnelling and enterprise-grade infrastructure. It’s also one of the best services for streaming.
Surfshark is not the cheapest provider, but if you’re willing to commit to a longer contract, the monthly rate comes down sharply.

Free trial • Ad blocker • Diverse servers • Privacy policy

Not the fastest • Clunky process to get connected

Give PureVPN a try before committing with your cash.

PureVPN

PureVPN is not the most advanced VPN, but its free trial makes this a good option for beginners.

  • Monthly:
    £8.63/month
  • One-year plan:
    £4.26/month
  • Two-year plan:
    £2.44/month
PureVPN is not the best VPN out there, so why does it make this list? PureVPN might be lacking in some departments, but it’s one of the few services to offer a free trial. This means you can try it out before committing with your cash.
The process of connecting to PureVPN can be frustrating, and it doesn’t have as many servers as other options on this list, but that should’t put you off. PureVPN still provides add-on features like Firewall protection and dedicated IP addresses, and it allows P2P and BitTorrent support.
PureVPN also has a strong privacy policy, so your data should be hidden from prying eyes.

Unlimited number of connections • Connection speeds • Strict no-logging policy

Not the most advanced security features

Straightforward and cheap VPN that is well suited to beginners.

ZenMate VPN

ZenMate VPN offers security and high-speed streaming for a lot less than many of its competitors.

  • Monthly:
    £9.49/month
  • One-year plan:
    £3.89/month
  • Three-year plan:
    £1.44/month
ZenMate VPN is not packed full of the most advanced features, but it is an effective and slick option that is well suited to beginners.
Users get a wide range of apps for all leading operating systems, unlimited simultaneous connections, streaming servers, P2P torrent support, and much more. There are also some really cheap subscription plans on offer.
If you’re dipping your toe into the world of VPNs or you just want something to unlock American Netflix, ZenMate VPN might be the best option for you.

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