The Best VPNs of 2020

Our experts did the heavy lifting of testing out dozens of VPNs, and these services worked best.

Looking for a VPN? You’ve come to the right place. In this review, I’m looking for the best of the best of VPNs in 2020 for a variety of situations and needs. Whether you are a Mac or Windows-user, whether you want Netflix or access for multiple users, I have the right VPN for you. Of course, I’m not just judging the VPNs on those categories, but on a variety of factors like their privacy jurisdiction, speed, security, customer support, apps— the list goes on. At the bottom of this best VPNs review you’ll find a section on methodology explaining my choices in further detail.

Let’s get started!

Methodology

Want to learn more about how Security.org reviews VPNs? Take a look at our methodology, which will truly make you an expert when it comes to Virtual Private Networks.

First we start with the VPN itself, making sure it has all the features necessary to a VPN and putting it through speed and security tests.

Speed

Like I say in individual reviews, we test all of our VPNs on a private Optimum network in my Brooklyn apartment. Being the only one on the network, I can make sure that my Internet speed without a VPN is an objective control to measure against.

I also test everything on both a Macbook Air and a Windows Vivobook to give useful information to more readers. To test download speed, upload speed, and ping (latency), I use the website SpeedTest.net, performing tests with then without the VPN. While download and upload speed are measured in megabits per second, latency is measured in milliseconds. After I determine these figures,  I figure out the difference between the two measurements in terms of a percentage, as the natural speeds of Macs and Windows computers differ wildly.

Ideally, VPNs have no more than a 40% difference in any of the speed categories, but it’s always important to remember how much speed can vary by a number of factors: distance to the server, operating system, device, etc. So while I try to be as objective as possible, I urge readers to take the speed test results with a grain of salt.

Security

Many people who use VPNs are doing so in order to protect their web traffic, composed of domain name servers (names of websites) and their respective IP addresses.  I also want to make sure that users’ private IP addresses are not being leaked due to WebRTC, which allows browsers to communicate directly with each other and is the default on browsers like Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.

I test for DNS leaks using DNSLeakTest.com. By comparing my computer’s IP address with the IP addresses that come up on the website, I can see if there was a DNS leak with the VPN or not. Next, I tested for WebRTC leaks using the tool available on ExpressVPN’s website. Again, by looking at the local and Public IPv4 IP addresses, I can determine if there were any WebRTC leaks.

Aside from testing for DNS and WebRTC leaks, I also look into a company’s privacy jurisdiction and data-logging policy. Ideally, companies are based in countries that are non-members to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes, international surveillance alliances that could legally force companies to hand over customer information. As far as data-logging goes, I prefer companies that only keep users’ account information like their name, email, and payment information. I do not think that it’s necessary for VPNs to keep any information about when customers use their VPNs, for how long, how much data they’ve transferred, etc.

In my longer reviews, I analyze the VPN’s encryption methods and Internet protocols to ensure that they meet industry standards, which typically includes AES-256 and OpenVPN, the most secure methods around. I also look for private domain name servers and anonymous and dynamic IP addresses, as they are harder to track. Finally, I make sure that each VPN has a kill switch, which will shut down all Internet browsers in the event that the VPN fails.

Performance

As many people use VPNs for media like movies and television, I look for VPNs with Netflix and torrenting access. Keep in mind that Netflix constantly updates its code to block any VPN connections, so there is no guarantee that it will ever work on a VPN.

Another feature I look for is split tunneling, which allows users to access the VPN and the public network at the same time. This allows for lower bandwidth, which can create faster speeds. I also prefer double or multi-hop VPNs, as they encrypt data multiple times through multiple servers.

Subscriptions

Not only do I give readers the most objective information about a company’s subscription options, I also tell them whether or not the price is reasonable, based on competitors’ pricing as well as features offered. VPNs can be anywhere from under a dollar to $15 a month in the most expensive case, mostly falling around $4 a month. I prefer plans that offer monthly as well as annual options, to give users flexibility, and I also point out if they have a trial-period or money-back guarantee, common for VPNs. Finally, I outline what a subscription actually entails in terms of the numbers of server switches, simultaneous connections, and devices allowed. Typically, VPNs allow for unlimited server switches and devices and anywhere from one to unlimited simultaneous connections.

Customer Support

Although VPN companies are not known for their customer support, ideally they have a live chat feature in addition to their online help center. 24/7 live chat is preferred, and extra points if they also have a phone line. I check customer reviews from Amazon, Google, and Trustpilot, focusing on reviews that mention support specifically, as well as judging from my own experience. Ideally, companies have ratings of at least 3.5 out of five stars.

App

Finally, I review the app for both iPhone and Android, as well as its ratings. If an app has a rating below three stars, I cannot recommend the product to the device-owner which the app goes with.

That’s it from me! If you have any other questions or comments, leave them below— I’m happy to help out.

  • What is the best VPN for 2020?

    The best VPN for 2020 is ExpressVPN. There’s very few bad things to say about ExpressVPN. They have a strict no data logging policy and will never keep your IP address, browsing history, traffic, or DNS queries. The VPN offers split tunneling, so you’ll be able to access a public and a private server at the same time. You can use Netflix with ExpressVPN, its app is highly-rated, and most customers rated their customer support to be top-notch.

    Finally, ExpressVPN killed it in my speed and security tests for both my Mac and Windows computer, so overall, it’s a great choice.

  • What is the top rated VPN?

    On our website, ExpressVPN is top-rated, followed by CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, NordVPN, Windscribe and FastestVPN.

  • What are some good VPNs?

    Some good VPNs include ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, NordVPN, Windscribe and FastestVPN.