Best VPN service 2023

Our choice for the best VPN is ExpressVPN, but we have an overview of nine providers to help you find the right one to suit your needs.

ExpressVPN on an iMac, one of the best VPN providers today

A VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) is a privacy tool that can help to protect your information when you’re browsing, streaming, or gaming online. The best VPN providers encrypt your data safely and route it through their servers, and can also change your location to access websites and content abroad like streaming services when you’re on holiday, or gaming lobbies in other countries.

VPNs are big business and have become increasingly popular as we become more aware of our security on the internet. Thankfully, as our internet privacy has eroded more and more over the years, the best VPN services have risen to challenge the invasive nature of certain algorithms and cookies. Nowadays, if you’re looking for a VPN provider, you’re almost spoiled for choice, with so many options and each of them provides a slightly different package.

If you’re struggling to figure out which VPN is best for you, you’ve come to the right place. We give ExpressVPN our highest recommendation for reasons we’ll get into below, but we’ve reviewed ten other top picks for you too, including the best cheap VPN and the best free VPN. Skip to the bottom of this guide if you need advice on how to choose the best VPN.

Here are our top three best VPN providers, if you don’t have time to read through the whole guide.

The best VPN services in 2023:

Best VPN: ExpressVPN. Image shows the logo of ExpressVPN.

1. ExpressVPN

The best VPN overall for service and features.

ExpressVPN overview:

Server totals 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
Compatible services/games Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, FIFA, Minecraft, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
Free trial No free trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 5
Router support Yes


  • Servers in 94 countries
  • TrustedServer system gives extra privacy
  • Lightway protocol provides speed


  • Slightly more expensive than other providers
  • Fewer individual servers than other providers
  • Fewer simultaneous connections allowed

With servers in 94 countries around the world, compatibility with most major streaming platforms, superb download speeds, and countless other benefits, ExpressVPN is our choice for the best VPN service overall. As it is a giant of the VPN world, there’s no doubt that many readers will already have heard of it.

It’s great for gamers trying to find better lobbies, it’s great for movie fans who want to access the libraries of their favorite streaming platforms while abroad, and it’s excellent for keeping all of your internet activity private and discreet. The main drawbacks are that it doesn’t allow quite as many simultaneous connections as some other providers and it’s definitely one of the most expensive VPNs, but all things considered, it’s a great service and you get what you pay for.

If privacy is a top concern, is TrustedServer system will appeal. What this does is prevent servers from being able to write any information about your browsing habits when ExpressVPN is on. It’s a good reassurance that it’s not guzzling your data to the same extent as your internet service provider (ISP).

Read our ExpressVPN review.

Best VPN: CyberGhost. Image shows the company's logo.

2. CyberGhost

The best streaming VPN.

CyberGhost overview:

Server totals 7,400+ in 94+ countries
Compatible services/games FIFA, PUBG, GTA Online, Overwatch, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Vide, Hulu, and more
Free trial 24 hours
Money-back guarantee 45 days
Simultaneous connections 7
Router support Yes


  • Low price
  • Broad streaming service compatibility
  • 45-day money-back guarantee


  • No third-party privacy audit
  • Slower than some other top providers

Fans of streaming services know the pain of region-locked content – thank goodness CyberGhost gives you a way to get around that. With more than 7,400 servers in over 91 countries, you can potentially gain access to a lot of film and movie content that would otherwise not be available.

CyberGhost is compatible with all the major streaming platforms, including Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, so you shouldn’t have any trouble accessing these services when your VPN is switched on. On top of that, it has a 45-day money-back guarantee, so if there’s one show you really want to watch and that’s it, you could watch it within those 45 days and then get your money back.

This is also one of the few major VPN providers that let you test it out with a free trial. Admittedly, it only lasts for a day (and the other providers with a trial give you longer), but that’s still an opportunity to take CyberGhost for a spin and make sure it does what you need it to.

Best VPN: NordVPN. Image shows the company's logo.

3. NordVPN

The fastest VPN service.

NordVPN overview:

Server totals 5,300+ servers in 60+ countries
Compatible services/games Dota 2, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, GTA Online, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Prime Video, and more
Free trial No free trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 6
Router support Yes


  • Fastest VPN
  • Works with most streaming services


  • Servers in fewer countries than other providers
  • On the slightly more expensive end of the price spectrum

Like ExpressVPN, you’ve probably heard of NordVPN before, as it is easily one of the biggest names in the VPN arena. When tested on the OpenVPN encryption (with the ProPrivacy VPN Speed Testing Tool), it had an average server download speed of 65.79Mbit/s, making it the fastest VPN on this list.

When a certain activity uses a lot of bandwidth, your ISP will artificially slow down the connection speeds for it. Not only will NordVPN mask your activities and stop your ISP from being able to slow things down, but you might even find things generally run a bit faster when you have it switched on.

With over 5,000 different servers across 60 countries, you’ve got tons of connection points, and with its WireGuard protocol, it encrypts data much more quickly than many of its competitors too. Whether you use Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android, you’ll find that it offers dedicated support to your platform of choice, making NordVPN a great all-around choice for anyone seeking a speedy VPN.

Read our NordVPN review to find out more.

Best VPN: PureVPN. Image shows the company logo.

4. PureVPN

PureVPN is our choice for the most trusted VPN.

PureVPN overview:

Server totals 6,500+ servers in 78+ countries
 Compatible services/games  New World, Counter Strike: GO, League of Legends, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and more
 Free trial  $0.99 seven-day free trial
 Money-back guarantee 31 days
 Simultaneous connections  10
 Router support  Yes (PPTP and OpenVPN only)


  • Undergoes third-party privacy audits
  • Allows up to ten simultaneous connections


  • No free trial
  • Router supported limited

While every VPN on this list is a trusted and respected business, we picked out PureVPN as the most trusted for one key reason: privacy audits. While every provider here has a no-logs policy, PureVPN goes a step further by willingly submitting themselves to third-party audits so that it can be conclusively proven that they aren’t making tabs on their customers. For the more privacy-conscious internet user, this will be particularly appealing.

Additionally, these audits help to ensure that the business stays up to date with threats to privacy in the ever-evolving internet landscape. If and when the auditors identify any areas in which the service could be any more privacy-focused, they then make any appropriate changes to rectify the issues.

Annoyingly, there isn’t a free trial for this VPN (only a paid one) so you’ll just have to rely on the 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out (which we appreciate won’t be for everyone). On the other hand, though, PureVPN lets you have up to ten simultaneous connections (enough for most households) which, short of having no cap at all, is one of the most generous allowances you’ll find.

Best VPN: Private Internet Access. Image shows the company logo.

5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best cheap VPN.

Private Internet Access overview:

Server totals 35,000+ servers in 78+ countries
Compatible services/games League of Legends, Halo Infinite, Valorant, PUBG, YouTube, Disney Plus, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
Free trial None
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 10
Router support Yes


  • Low prices than most
  • Largest selection of servers
  • Up to ten simultaneous connections


  • One of the slower providers on this list
  • No third-party privacy audits

If you’re on a tight budget, but don’t want to go for a free VPN, then Private Internet Access might be a good choice. We’ve partnered with them in order to provide PCGN readers with an exclusive deal: for $79, you get 38 months’ worth of VPN cover, which works out as just $2.03 (£1.67 in the UK) a month, and then you don’t need to worry about internet privacy again for over three years.

You can also enjoy up to 10 simultaneous connections, the security of a kill switch, and a no-logs policy, plus built-in ad-blocking functionality. The only real downside is that its download speeds aren’t quite up to the level of the speedier providers on this list.

The VPN service itself is pretty great too. Private Internet Access has an enormous selection of 35,000+ servers in 78 countries and it’s compatible with all the major streaming platforms. Although the range of countries is rivaled or surpassed by other providers, its sheer number of servers puts it quite far ahead of any other providers when the overall total is considered.

Best VPN: Surfshark. Image shows the company's logo.

6. Surfshark

Surfshark is the best VPN for multiple devices and families.

Surfshark overview:

Server totals 3,200+ servers in 65+ countries
Compatible services/games Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter Strike: GO, Overwatch, YouTube, Hulu, Prime Video, Netflix, and more
Free trial One week
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Router support Yes


  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connection
  • Lower price
  • Offers a free trial


  • Smaller server selection
  • Fewer server locations

If you live in a household with lots of children and other family members, all of whom access the internet from different devices, then Surfshark will be an appealing option due to the fact that it allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

It is compatible with a number of streaming services, including Amazon Prime and Netflix. If you need to keep the kids occupied, this lets you access the regionally exclusive content from 65 different countries, meaning plenty of content to binge on, and with speeds of 2x10Gbps per server, you won’t have them moaning about buffering either.

If you want to take Surfshark for a spin, then you’ll be pleased to hear that it has a week-long free trial, which should give you plenty of time to make sure that it does everything you need it to.

Best VPN: PrivadoVPN. Image shows the company's logo.

7. PrivadoVPN

PrivadoVPN is the best new VPN on the market.

PrivadoVPN overview:

Server totals Hundreds of servers in 46 countries (paid)
12 servers in 8 countries (free)
Compatible services/games GTA Online, Minecraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, Overwatch, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more (paid)
 Free trial Free plan with limited servers and 10GB monthly allowance available
 Money-back guarantee  30 days
 Simultaneous connections 10 (paid)
1 (free)
Router support  No


  • Free plan available indefinitely
  • Allows up to ten simultaneous connections


  • No router support
  • Smaller server selection
  • Fewer server locations

While it isn’t as well established as some of the other businesses on this list, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge PrivadoVPN. With its no-logs policy and IP leak protection, it does a fantastic job of keeping all of your private data, well, private.

Meanwhile, being able to use it with up to ten simultaneous connections means that it should be able to protect the privacy of most households. Even the bigger, well-established providers often only allow up to five or six connections at a time.

If you don’t use the internet all that often, you might want to give the PrivadoVPN free plan a go. Its biggest limitation is only allowing you to use 10GB of data a month, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you only want to use it for certain sensitive searches, or if you don’t go online too often. It might be more limiting than the paid packages, but it’s certainly worth a look if you’re working on a tight budget.

Best VPN - Ivacy VPN, An image shows the Ivacy VPN logo on a white background.

8. Ivacy VPN

Ivacy VPN is the most private VPN.

Ivacy VPN overview:

Server totals 5,700+ servers in 100+ countries
Compatible services/games Dota 2, Call of Duty: Warzone, Minecraft, Overwatch, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, and more
Free trial $0.99 week-long paid trial
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections 10
Router support  Yes


  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption
  • Affordable prices
  • Loads of server locations


  • No Apple kill switch
  • Trial is only available at a cost

Ivacy VPN is another of the less well-known providers that we wanted to cast a light on. Lesser brand recognition does not equal lesser quality, especially not in this instance. In addition to the military-grade 256-bit encryption that will keep your internet search activity as private as possible, Ivacy VPN also boasts an impressive 5,700+ servers in more than 100 countries around the world. It’s an easy choice for the most private VPN.

The only real chink in its privacy armor is its kill switch. If you’re using Windows devices, it will be absolutely fine, but if you’re an Apple user, you’re out of luck. For whatever reason, the kill switch is not available on Apple devices, and that’s a bit of a letdown.

Nonetheless, Ivacy VPN has a no-logs policy, and the optional additions of a dedicated IP and port forwarding for those who need them, providing high levels of privacy and discretion. Founded in 2006, Ivacy VPN builds on top of decades of experience and is a real ‘hidden gem’ of the VPN world.

Best VPN: Atlas VPN. Image shows the logo of Atlas VPN.

9. Atlas VPN

AtlasVPN is the best free VPN.

AtlasVPN overview:

Server totals 750 servers in 37 countries (paid)
3 servers in 2 countries (free)
Compatible services/games FIFA, Overwatch, Dota 2, Halo Infinite, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu, and more
Free trial Free plan with limited servers and 5GB monthly allowance available
 Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited (paid)
Two (free)
Router support  No


  • Free to use indefinitely
  • Allows simultaneous connections on free plan


  • Small server selection even on paid plan
  • No router support available

Though it isn’t the only VPN on this list to offer a free package, it has something that most other free VPN providers fail to offer: the ability to have simultaneous connections. Though it has a small cap (you can only have two) that still sets it quite far ahead of other free plans that only let you use them on one device at a time.

The main limitation of this free version is that it only lets you use 5GB of data per month and that it only has three servers for you to choose from. Even so, if you don’t go online that often, or only want to keep certain searches private, then this is a fine choice.

The most important thing is that it maintains its no-logs policy, and that’s something that AtlasVPN definitely does. Though you might have data limitations, you can still browse the internet with complete privacy without spending a penny – which is a nice contrast when compared to free VPNs that harvest your data like it’s the first crop after a long winter.

Best VPN: IPVanish. Image shows the company logo.

10. IPVanish

IPVanish is the best VPN for encrypted storage space.

IPVanish overview:

Server totals 2,000+ servers in 52+ countries
Compatible services/games Minecraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Roblox, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, and more
Free trial None
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Simultaneous connections Unlimited
Router support Yes


  • Options for up to 250GB SugarSync encrypted storage space
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections


  • Small server selection
  • Limited server locations when compared to others

Have you got a lot of media you want to keep safe on your computer? In that case, you might want to take a look at IPVanish, because it can provide you with up to 250GB of SugarSync encrypted storage and backup – allowing you to protect huge amounts of content.

Though it may not have quite as many servers as some of its competitors (1,600+ in 52 countries), it does allow for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections and is compatible with the majority of streaming services. If you have trouble streaming through your native connection, this VPN might just hold the solution.

IPVanish is also a rare example of a VPN provider that allows its users to have an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. This will definitely be appealing to anybody who has a large household full of devices that need to have their privacy protected.

How to choose the best VPN

Our list of the best VPN services was put together by trying and testing each service, comparing their features and even looking at thousands of user reviews. This is what we considered (and what you should) when choosing the best VPNs:

  • Price: We know everyone is working with a different budget. While some people will want the VPN with the fastest speed, others will want a cheap VPN option. We wanted to ensure that we included affordable VPN affordable options in this mix
  • Platform compatibility: It’s important to decide what you want a VPN for, and to find a provider that’s compatible. For example, the best VPNs use DNS access on multiple devices like your phone, laptop, gaming PC, console, and even browser with browser extensions
  • Ease of use: Most of us aren’t VPN experts, and even if we are we want a provider that’s quick to use. We considered how easy it was to use each VPN provider and to connect to the service
  • Privacy audits: Some VPNs undergo regular third-party audits in order to confirm that they aren’t tracking their customers’ data and are acting in a responsible way. An audit will help you to make an informed decision and it’s worth looking at when a VPN provider last had a security audit and how comprehensive that audit was. Did it cover the provider’s mobile apps, extensions, and infrastructure?
  • Server quality: VPN providers often quote a huge number of servers in their specs, but it’s about the quality of those servers as well as quantity. You’ll get a good VPN experience through the combination of software, hardware, and other factors. Generally speaking, though, the more countries a VPN has servers in, the better, especially if you’re someone who needs to connect through specific regions
  • Server speeds: If the average download speed through a VPN’s servers is low enough, your experience on the internet experience may be significantly hindered

Find out more about how we test VPNs and hardware at PCGamesN.

We’re confident that at least one of these options will cater to the needs of any of our readers. While we would recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN provider, we recognize that not everybody has the same circumstances, which is why we created this list. By carefully weighing up the pros and cons of each service, we were able to identify what we perceived as the unique strengths of each service, and then put this list together.