The most secure VPN services in 2022
The fundamentals of a VPN are online security and privacy. And it doesn’t matter whether you need a VPN for casual browsing, online shopping, bypassing geo-restricted content, or torrenting – each online action is naked in front of your ISP without hiding it with a secure VPN.
But again, the VPN market is so wide. When picking a tool, you are forced to juggle between a nice-looking interface, strong security, price, and features. And, finally, you might end up with a cheap but insecure provider.
Having that in mind, we have tested and picked the most secure VPN services in 2022. Continue reading and choose the safest option for you.
Top 5 best secure VPNs:
- NordVPN – incredibly safe and secure VPN
- Surfshark – affordable and extremely secure VPN
- IPVanish – technically secure VPN
- PureVPN – constantly audited VPN services
- Atlas VPN – user-friendly safe VPN
What features does a secure VPN have?
A safe VPN can’t prove its value without a strong suite of security features. If one of the features below is missing from the ones the provider offers, then you should look for another safe option.
- Strong encryption. The best way of making sure that your data becomes unreadable to anyone is by turning your information into intricate ciphertext. For that, the best option is AES-256 (military-grade) encryption.
- DNS leak protection. Make sure your selected VPN provider takes care of your routed traffic by itself. Meaning, a secure VPN will encrypt your DNS inquiries on its servers without letting a third party interfere.
- Kill switch feature. In case your VPN connection drops, this feature will disconnect you from the internet so your data doesn’t get leaked by any chance.
- Open-source VPN protocols. These types of VPN protocols (like OpenVPN) are supported by the worldwide community, meaning any unexpected issue gets solved within a moment. Additionally, OpenVPN relies on the OpenSSL crypto library that makes your tunnel more secure.
- Multi-factor authentication. Implementing an additional step when you’re logging in might keep the hackers away. The most secure VPNs will allow you to enable multi-factor authentication instead of one-step login.
The most secure VPNs in 2022 - our detailed list
Although you already know that you want the most secure VPN possible, it’s a must to review certain details of a VPN and compare it to others to get the best final result.
Each provider differs in terms of implemented encryption, tunneling protocols, and a whole suite of security that must include essential features like a kill switch.
The following list of the most secure VPN services in %%currentyear% includes only those VPNs that will leave your head stress-free and will improve your browsing experience in multiple ways.
1. NordVPN – incredibly strong and secure VPN
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN with 60% OFF!🔥|
NordVPN is the most secure and one of the most popular VPNs in the world. It comes from a company called NordSecurity that is known for developing next-gen cybersecurity programs.
Steadily moving to the security part, NordVPN introduces us to RAM-only servers. They are amazing, as once the server gets restarted, everything gets wiped out leaving no user data. And for transferring your data from your device to the server, NordVPN offers 3 types of tunneling protocols – OpenVPN (UDC or TCP), IKEv2/IPsec, and NordLynx (WireGuard). The latter is an upgraded WireGuard protocol that provides you with high-caliber speed and security.
As NordVPN is so high on the list, it’s no surprise that it uses AES-256-CBC cipher, the most trusted standard on the VPN market. Your online requests are sent straight to its DNS servers and no unfamiliar nose gets to sniff around. And once you get unexpectedly disconnected from this VPN, you are still safe and sound thanks to its kill switch.
To learn more about this VPN, check our full NordVPN review.
- Next-gen WireGuard protocol
- Strict no-logs policy
- Rich suite of security
- RAM-only servers
- Signing up requires an email address
- No router app
- No free trial
2. Surfshark – affordable and extremely secure VPN
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE! 🔥|
If you’re on a hunt for an incredibly secure but also cheap VPN – Surfshark is waiting for you. And not to stop only there, Surfshark is also great at ensuring your privacy.
It’s the Netherlands-based VPN that has a zero-logs policy. And even though you are asked to put in your email address for registration, you can still pay with cryptocurrency anonymously. So it’s still a win.
Now that we’ve found out how privacy-oriented Surfshark is, let’s talk about its security. Surfshark offers you almost unbreakable protection with the implementation of AES-256. Its DNS servers prevent DNS leaks and in addition to that, this VPN has RAM-only servers. This way your data travels and ends the trip safely. And a kill switch feature is also included.
When choosing a tunneling protocol you have two extremely secure options – OpenVPN and WireGuard. The latter will also grant you a faster connection speed.
Furthermore, recently this VPN provider has enhanced its suite of security by adding an antivirus to its product. Surfshark One includes antivirus scan, malware and hackers blocking, real-time alerts, data monitoring, and even more.
One more thing worth mentioning is that Surfshark offers you unlimited simultaneous connections. Therefore, you are able to protect all of your devices and your family as well.
To find out more, check our Surfshark review.
- Audited no-logs policy
- Ability to pay in cryptocurrency
- Privacy-friendly jurisdiction
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Very cheap
- Email required for registration
- No router app
3. IPVanish – technically secure VPN
|Based in:||The US|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 63% OFF IPVanish + an Antivirus!🔥|
IPVanish is a VPN that can promise you more on a technical side of security. This is a US-based VPN, meaning it has a 5-eye alliance breathing to its back. However, it claims to have a no-logs policy and collects only essentials as your email address and payment method.
Once you subscribe to its services, your online traffic gets encrypted with military-grade encryption. And the account’s authentication mechanism supports forward secrecy, meaning that some portion of their encryption system is constantly changing. Consequently, your data remains safe even during a data breach.
IPVanish also offers traffic obfustication by enabling XOR cipher to your traffic which makes it challenging to determine whether you are using a VPN. Its suite of tunneling protocols also goes punch-to-punch with the best VPNs out there as you can use WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and other protocols.
And if that’s not enough, IPVanish has implemented a kill switch feature that can be also customized to block LAN access to shut the device off from the local network devices.
Get to know more from the IPVanish review.
- Customizable kill switch feature
- Supported forward secrecy for account authentication
- WireGuard tunneling protocol
- Traffic obfustication
- One of the cheapest yearly options
- Country of jurisdiction is a member of the 5-eye alliance
- Doesn’t work in China
4. PureVPN – always-on audit VPN
|Based in:||The British Virgin Islands|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get PureVPN 82% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
The British Virgin Islands-based PureVPN does its best to be as secure and privacy-friendly as possible. Just a few months ago, this VPN was located in Hong Kong and has changed its country of jurisdiction for the sake of users' trust. And to earn even more trust, PureVPN has become the first VPN provider that implements an always-on audit. All in all, with this VPN your online privacy would be in good hands.
In terms of security, PureVPN has implemented AES-256 encryption which is known to be used by the military and the government. A kill switch feature is also included and does its job well.
PureVPN offers a wide range of tunneling protocols. You are able to choose from up to 6 tunnels that, most importantly, include the WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2 protocols. Yet, the WireGuard protocol is only available on Windows and Android devices.
Unfortunately, PureVPN doesn’t have obfuscated servers which might affect the possibility of using this VPN in heavily-censored countries. However, you might benefit from its SSTP tunneling protocol which is usually able to bypass the Great Firewall. Just in case, take a look at our best VPNs for China.
Learn more about the features in our PureVPN review.
- Located in a privacy-friendly country
- No-logs policy
- Always-on audit
- AES-256 encryption
- WireGuard is only available on Windows and Android apps
- No obfuscated servers
- Connection issues
5. Atlas VPN – trustworthy everyday VPN
|Based in:||The US|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF!🔥|
Atlas VPN is an all-in-one solution for those who want to have a secure, privacy-oriented, and easy-to-use VPN application.
Atlas VPN matches all the criteria for being an incredibly secure VPN. It uses the most trustworthy AES-256 encryption. And you can choose between two tunneling protocols that include WireGuard and IKEv2.
Moreover, there are more features to boost your online safety. For example, an IP rotator changes your IP address every time you open a new website, making it nearly impossible for your ISP to track you. You can also benefit from the ad blocker, data breach monitoring, and kill switch features.
And, making it even better, you can use Atlas VPN on unlimited devices simultaneously for no extra charge.
Find out more about this provider in our Atlas VPN review
- Free version
- WireGuard protocol
- IP rotator included
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Based in the US
- No Linux support
6. VyprVPN – secure user-friendly VPN
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Blackphone, Anonabox, QNAP|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get VyprVPN, now 44% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥|
This decently looking VPN is capable of keeping you practically untrackable online.
However, VyprVPN doesn’t let you register for its services without an email and, unfortunately, an anonymous payment method is also not available. On the other hand, one detail that might be a selling point is its jurisdiction – Switzerland.
Moreover, the company clearly states that they rely on a strict no-logs policy. And the statement is not just a pointless claim. In fact, VyprVPN’s no-logs policy has been independently audited.
Next – encryption. Once you start using VyprVPN’s services, your traffic gets encrypted with one of the best encryptions on the market – AES-256-CBC cipher. A kill switch feature is also offered, and your quest is not to forget to enable it. And all your online inquiries will be sent only to VyprVPN’s DNS servers (without any third-party interruption) which is called VyprDNS.
This VPN is going to be an excellent security service for those who live in a highly-censored country as it uses the Chameleon 2.0 protocol which successfully bypasses censorship. Thus, VyprVPN offers secure browsing for a wider part of the world.
But if you only need a fast and reliable tunneling protocol for general use, then you might like OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols more.
Learn even more from the VyprVPN review.
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Great for restricted countries
- Strong encryption
- Email address needed for registration
- No anonymous payments available
How we tested these secure VPNs
Testing the most secure VPNs requires taking an accurate look at specific product characteristics. Therefore, VPNs that are displayed as the first ones offer you the best features that guarantee you full-fledged security.
- Security. First and foremost, we prefer military-grade encryption that makes sure that your traffic gets strongly encoded. Then we evaluate other security features: a kill switch, DNS leak protection, multi-factor authentication, and more.
- Logging. How can a company promise you privacy when they collect your data, right? We put those VPNs first that aren’t located in a 5-eye country and have an audited no-logs policy.
- Server list. A large and widely distributed list of servers is a great prevention from people quitting using a VPN because of clunky connection. And it allows you to browse safely from any corner of the world.
- Accessibility. Whether you are a Windows user or an iOS user, all of us need to be secure while browsing. Moreover, your family needs to be protected as well. Consequently, a VPN app should be supported by all major operating systems and offer multiple simultaneous connections.
- Price. Each of us deserves to have high-quality VPN that’s worth the money. Hence, we pick those providers that won’t ask you to overpay but will also keep you protected.
Why do I need a secure VPN?
Put your hand up if you like being stalked and restricted by the government, other third parties, and geo-blocks. No hands? That’s what we thought.
Keeping that in mind, let’s run through the reasons why you need a secure VPN:
- Staying secure anytime and anywhere. With a VPN you can safely use mobile data as well as home, work, or public Wi-Fi. No matter what type of network you must use – a secure VPN will effectively encrypt your traffic.
- Prevention from ads and malware. The most secure VPNs offer an ad blocker feature that won’t allow ads (all sorts of them) to pop up on your screen. And a dark web monitor feature will notify you about data leaks.
- Access to the global content. With the implementation of dedicated servers, P2P file sharing, and split tunneling features, a trustworthy VPN will help you to access worldwide content while remaining private and protected.
- Secure network in highly censored countries. If you are from China, Iran, Russia, or another restricted country, choosing a VPN that offers obfuscated servers will be an icebreaker. With that type of server, your ISP won’t have a clue that you are using a VPN.
- Stay protected even when a VPN connection drops. There is a feature called kill switch. It’s meant to disconnect you from the internet once your VPN connection runs into trouble. Overall, it’s essential for the safest VPNs to have.
Overall, a truly secure VPN is able to open you the gates of possibilities without any risk.
Most secure VPNs compared
Even though all our tested and selected most secure VPNs provide you with the strongest security, it’s still important to take a second look at what exactly a VPN offers regarding your safety.
|Logging:||No logs, independently audited||No logs, independently audited||No logs, not audited||No logs, always-on audit||No logs, audited||No logs, audited|
|Country:||Panama||The Netherlands||The US (Part of 14 eyes agreement, has mandatory data retention)||The British Virgin Islands||The US||Switzerland|
|DNS leak protection:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kill switch feature:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Extra security features:||Double VPN, ad blocker, obfuscated servers||Ad blocker, obfuscated servers, double VPN||Propietary servers, connection on demand||IPV6 leak protection, secure Wi-Fi, WebRTC leak protection||Ad blocker, data breach monitoring, IP rotator||Public Wi-Fi protection, malicious site block, extra layer of security for Cloud servers|
|OpenVPN (UDP, TCP) protocol:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|AES-256 bit encryption:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
We can see that every VPN offers a quite similar suite of security. Yet, each of them differs in ease of use, design, features, and price. That’s why it’s always suggested that you read more reviews about your chosen provider before trusting it with your safety.
What is the most secure VPN protocol?
We all want our packages to be sent in the most efficient way possible. The same applies to our online requests. Thus, we must use the best VPN protocol possible.
This is the shining star of VPN protocols that has been recently “discovered” (more like developed). And this title is here for a reason – it’s the most secure open-source VPN protocol there is.
That being said, the WireGuard protocol’s safety depends on how well it’s configurated. But if everything’s done correctly, then the written codebase should be short which makes it easier to review and make changes to.
Moreover, there are already arranged implementations for a theoretical ”post-quantum era”, which, in a nutshell, means that the encryption the protocol uses can be fairly easily changed to encryption that would hold up against quantum computers trying to knock it down.
OpenVPN is quite older than WireGuard but it doesn’t descend in terms of security and popularity. Plus, it's highly customizable and has two types of modes that can be used – UDP or TCP.
The UDP mode makes OpenVPN much faster, yet it sacrifices some safety as it eliminates additional data verification. On the other hand, in TCP mode, this protocol becomes somewhat slow but steady and secure.
Truth be told, OpenVPN is even considered to be more secure than the WireGuard protocol. Because of all the long time that it has been helping us out, all its issues have been already solved and documented. Basically, there’s a fix for every OOPS.
All in all, if you’re more like a casual user that only wants to be protected but has no clue about coding – then OpenVPN is the VPN protocol that will serve you fantastically. On the contrary, those who surf in the depths of tech topics should only go for WireGuard.
How do I check if my VPN is leaking?
When you are connected to a VPN, all your online queries go through the encrypted tunnel and get checked on your selected VPN server. Yet it might happen that you’ll come across DNS leaking. Meaning, your online actions wouldn’t be private anymore.
Frankly, you can check whether your VPN is leaking in a few easy steps and quickly solve the issue.
- Open your browser and head to the DNS leak test website.
- See if the displayed IP address and location match your actual information. If yes, then you are not connected to a VPN or the connection isn’t properly working.
- In order to check your DNS status fully, choose Extended Test.
- Check whether the test shows servers that don’t belong to your real ISP. If all the servers seem unfamiliar – you are successfully connected to a VPN.
- In all cases that inform you about unprotected connection, contact your VPN provider.
Tips to secure your VPN connection
Your online security isn’t completely dependent on your chosen VPN provider. In fact, there are quite a few ways to additionally protect your VPN connection. Here’s how:
- Use anonymous registration and payment method. Sign up for a VPN using a burner email account and pay with cryptocurrency (for example, Bitcoin). In this way, you remain anonymous and avoid threats of security breaches.
- Enable the most secure tunneling protocol. Some VPN providers include outdated protocols for their customers. So take a moment to check whether you’re connected to OpenVPN or WireGuard.
- Use your provider's DNS servers. Make sure you are always using your VPN provider’s DNS along with their servers, so none of your online requests would go through other parties that might track your online visits.
- Don’t skip the enabling of a kill switch feature. Once your VPN connection surprisingly goes off, this feature kills the internet connection alongside. Thanks to that, you won’t be browsing without encrypting your traffic.
- Enable auto-connect and auto-start features inside your VPN’s app. As a result, there won’t be a day when you forget to connect to a VPN.
- Check for DNS and IPv6 leaks every time you connect to a VPN server. You never know when and what trouble might be waiting across the corner.
- Use double VPN servers. Double VPN servers ensure that if the first VPN server is compromised, all of your traffic is still encrypted.
Are free VPNs safe to use?
No, free VPNs are not really safe to use. If you are all about security and privacy just like we are, then there are several reasons that make you want to stay away from them.
- Firstly, your sensitive data might be collected and shared with the government.
- Secondly, a free VPN allows third parties to interfere with your online activity which results in malware, unwanted ads, or hijacked browsers.
- And lastly, you receive quite poor services that provide you with a small fleet of servers, data cap, limited accessibility, and even more.
In conclusion, not only does your privacy gets disrespected but also you barely receive any safety with the possibility of getting infected while using a strictly limited application.
Overall, the most secure VPN is the most needed one. While the usage of internet never stops increasing, the safety and privacy of a user is decreasing. And a secure VPN is a great partner that will have your back.
Every listed VPN is trustworthy and offers an essential suite of features. Each of them has a kill switch that protects you when a VPN connection is unavailable. DNS leak protection won’t let any third party to interfere with your online requests. Military-grade encryption will treat you as the most important and anonymous person alive. And choosing the WireGuard protocol will bring you excellent security and connection speed while transferring your data.
More VPN guides from CyberNews:
What is the most secure VPN?
NordVPN is the most secure VPN. It’s Panama-based and doesn’t put your personal information at risk at all. You get top-notch encryption and tunneling protocols. Plus, it offers you an essential suite of features that include a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
What is the safest free VPN?
Hide.me VPN is the safest free VPN. Although it also offers paid services, its free version is very secure and offers you all the vital features that make it trustworthy. Starting from military-grade encryption and ending with a strict no-logs policy.
Are VPN services really secure?
Yes, VPN services are secure. However, you should note that paid services are much more secure than free ones. And you must not forget to customize your VPN in the safest possible way.