Security is a top priority for many people purchasing a VPN service. In a world where data hackers and government institutions are increasingly skilled at getting hold of your information, protecting your web activity is more important than ever.
Using a VPN can help you create a secure tunnel that protects your information and web history from intrusion.
But with so many VPNs on the market claiming to be secure, which ones can you trust to actually keep your data safe? To help you answer this question, I performed extensive research and found the answer. These are the best, most secure VPN providers:
- NordVPN (Affordable service with high-end security features)
- ProtonVPN (Designed by data security experts with international recognition)
- ExpressVPN (Offers secure VPN services with an extensive country list)
- IPVanish (Strong performance and additional features)
Prices start at: $2.99/month
If you're looking for a well-known VPN service, NordVPN is one of the most popular options in the industry. But there's a reason for this VPN's popularity - it has tons of excellent features.
While NordVPN is known for its fast speeds and large server collections, it has some other important components as well - one of NordVPN's primary benefits is its security features, and it's my top most secure VPN choice on this list for a reason.
NordVPN is currently headquartered in Panama. This Central American location is well out of the reach and influence of major Western countries. So, if you want a VPN that can help you avoid intrusion from government data sharing agreements, NordVPN is a reliable option.
Additionally, this is the fastest VPN on this list.
With speed retention of almost 90%, NordVPN tops this list with highest download speeds.
No logs and strong encryption
NordVPN is one of the few VPNs on the market that offers a true no-logging policy. Because NordVPN doesn't log any of your data, even if a government did ask to see your internet records, this VPN provider wouldn't be able to help. You can read this extract from NordVPN's on policy to find out more (click to expand).
While it's offshore location helps avoid intrusion from government organizations, its no-log policy is an extra layer of security that prevents governments from obtaining your personal data.
You'll also benefit from world-class encryption standards that keep your data safe when you're connected to public internet hotspots. Creating an encrypted tunnel to prevent intrusion is one of the best ways to ensure your online traffic and information is secure.
NordVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to prevent your data from being hacked. And when I say military-grade, I mean it. The US Military used to use this encryption standard to keep its data and sensitive documents secure.
Another great security feature is DoubleVPN - a NordVPN's exclusive service that comes with all its packages. With DoubleVPN, NordVPN will double-encrypt your data to make it twice as secure.
While its normal encryption standard is strong enough to avoid cyber-attacks, DoubleVPN adds an extra layer of security that helps ensure NordVPN is one of the most secure platforms on the market.
Excellent reputation and affordable pricing
Aside from its strong encryption, safe jurisdiction, and effective no-log policy, NordVPN also has an excellent reputation in the VPN industry. It currently offers over 5,000 servers around the world and provides an easy-to-use interface for its clients.
It also happens to be one of the most affordable VPNs on the market - it's the cheapest VPN on my list of best secure VPNs. If you're willing to pay for a three-year subscription, you can obtain NordVPN for just $2.99 per month!
- A true no-logging policy
- Military-grade encryption standards
- Industry-leading DoubleVPN for double encryption
- Over 5,000 different servers
- One of the cheapest price points in the industry
- If you want to get the $2.99 price, you have to pay for a three-year subscription
Prices start at: free!
ProtonVPN is another fan-favorite in the VPN industry. This VPN has developed a reputation as a secure VPN provider for several reasons.
ProtonVPN founders are security experts
If you've been looking for a secure email providerProtonVPN has an eerily similar name to ProtonMail. This is no mistake - both companies were started by the same team of data security experts.
If you don't already know, ProtonMail is an email service that provides users with end-to-end email encryption. It's grown into one of the most popular security-minded email providers in the world.
One of ProtonMail's founders, a particle physicist name Dr. Andy Yen, was inspired to start the email service after he learned of Edward Snowden's leaks. His ProtonMail and ProtonVPN products are intended to keep people secure online.
With ProtonVPN, you can rest assured the founders and operators of the company make security a top priority.
No-logs, strong encryption standards, great performanceLike NordVPN, ProtonMail isn't just all talk - they have a true no-log policy that prevents the retention of any of your browsing or IP data.
If you want to use a VPN provider that isn't putting you at risk, a water-tight no-log policy is essential.
ProtonVPN also uses AES 256-bit encryption. Meaning that hackers would have to bypass a currently un-hackable encryption standard to get access to your data.
At present, researchers believe there is no feasible way to hack AES 256-bit encryption without prior knowledge of the encryption keys.
While there are plenty of free VPNs available to modern consumers, many of them sacrifice your security or sell your browsing data.
My speed test showed that this VPN was able to retain almost 74% of my download speed. After connecting to ProtonVPN, my connection speed fell from around 80Mbps to 58.6Mbps.
The speed retention is high enough not to cause any inconveniences when browsing or streaming.
ProtonVPN offers a basic free service which provides you with access to three server locations on one device. While this package isn't nearly as capable as the full ProtonVPN service, it still provides the same security features.
If you don't want to spend any money on securing your data, ProtonVPN is a reliable option!
However, if you want to take advantage of ProtonVPN's full set of features, you'll need to pay for its services. While ProtonVPN has some of the best features on the market, its prices are still very reasonable. If you're willing to sign up for a longer subscription, you can get a hold of ProtonVPN for as little as $4.00 per month.
- A free plan available
- Strong encryption standards for users
- A true no-log policy
- Safe jurisdiction - Switzerland
- Affordable price points - especially if you purchase a longer subscription
- Fewer country locations than some of the other VPNs on this list
Prices start at: $8.32/month
ExpressVPN is another high-end VPN provider that currently headquarters itself in a data-friendly offshore location - the British Virgin Islands.
With the speed retention rate of 76%, it's definitely one of the fastest VPN providers I've tried up to date. My download speeds were reduced from 80Mbps to just 61.1Mbps.
If you're looking for a provider that will not slow down you much - ExpressVPN is a good choice.
Rock solid encryption and no data retention
ExpressVPN also provides you with access to AES 256-bit encryption.
As with every VPN on my list, ExpressVPN also avoids logging any of your data.
While all VPN providers advertise to keep no logs of your information, many of them don't uphold the same standards as ExpressVPN and the other VPN companies on my list.
Outside of its security features, ExpressVPN also offers one of the most extensive server and country lists in the market.
If you're looking to access points from around the globe, ExpressVPN is your best option on this list.
This VPN provider offers its customers access to servers in over 90 countries.
However, the strong security measures, great speeds, and huge server list come with a price tag.
While ExpressVPN is definitely one of my favorite VPN products, it's also the most expensive VPN provider on my list. With prices starting at $8.32, even a long subscription of this service doesn't make the cost very affordable.
- Strong encryption to keep your data secure
- Offshore location outside of the influence of Western nations
- A valid no-log policy
- Extensive server list
- Much more expensive than the other options on my list
Prices start at: $4.12/month
IPVanish is the last VPN on my most secure VPN list - but this isn't to say it doesn't provide the same excellent security features as the other top providers.
IPVanish offers the same AES 256-bit encryption standard as the rest of my favorite secure VPN providers. This VPN provider also provides a strong no-log policy that prevents retention of your data or web traffic.
You'll also have access over 70 different server cities and a range of additional features such as fast performance speeds and P2P support.
Jurisdiction and Performance - IPVanish's Only Let Downs
The one unfortunate part about IPVanish is its jurisdiction. Because the company is currently located within the United States, it may have to comply with government orders to hand over your information. While its no-log policy should prevent too much exposure, this is still a concern for those who prioritize a secure VPN provider.
While this is definitely not the lowest number I've seen when testing VPNs, it might cause noticeably slower downloads, streaming, and browsing experiences.
- Rock solid encryption protocols
- A true no-log policy to keep your data secure
- Plenty of servers and additional benefits
- Strong performance speeds
- US Jurisdiction leaves you exposed
- Price points are a little higher than some of the other top performers on this list
Which Secure VPN is the Best Fit for Me?
If you're looking for the best secure VPN that also has features geared towards your preferences, it's essential to look closely at all your options. No two VPNs are alike - each service has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Below, I'll take a look at key features that make each VPN on this list stand out from the crowd:
- NordVPN is best for those who want a VPN that's affordable, fast, and secure.
- ProtonVPN is best for those who want a VPN designed by reputable and transparent security experts.
- ExpressVPN is best for those who want access to a secure VPN with an industry-leading server location list.
- IPVanish is best for those who want strong performance coupled with secure connections.
If you have used any other VPN services, feel free to comment below about your experiences and your opinions about its security features!