Virtual private networks (VPNs) are getting attention due to massive marketing budgets as well as influencer partnerships. It’s challenging to navigate the rapidly growing VPN market, and some of the claims made about its capabilities and benefits aren’t true. Consumer Reports online security expert Yael Grüner suggests seeking open source software, reproducible builds and up-to-date support for industry-standard protocols.
CyberGhost’s zero-logs policy is an excellent selling feature. It guarantees not to keep track of your online activities or IP address. The apps are compatible with most major operating systems, and come with 256-bit encryption, a kill button leak protection, as well as the option to connect using an unrelated port. It also scored higher in our speed tests for internet connections than the majority of other VPNs we tested, but it could be a fluke or a result of the shaping of traffic by your ISP. It also has additional tools like Threat Protection, Onion Over VPN and Double VPN.
Nord is another option which was a top performer in our tests. This includes a solid showing in our geoblocking testing and streaming tests. The apps are extremely powerful and easy to use. However the user interface that is based on maps can be a bit cumbersome when used on smaller screens. It’s compatible with a variety of routers and Kodi TV set-top boxes, and has one of the widest geographical reach among our top picks. It’s a great choice for watching Netflix overseas and also has dedicated Windflix servers specifically for this reason. Recently, it added a feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy that protects data with a different key for each session. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to encrypt the past activities.