A VPN is arguably the most important tool you could use to protect your privacy on the Internet. It will make it harder for the Tech Giants and various government agencies to keep up with every step you make online.
However, no matter how powerful it is, a VPN is only one piece of the puzzle. After all, no amount of technology could protect you if you constantly share what you’re doing on Facebook. Then, Facebook will know to just ignore your IP address and watch for your words — and it is becoming increasingly good at it.
A similar situation happens if you use many Google services, this time allowing Google to track you down and serve you with “relevant ads.” In this process, in case you haven’t figured it out, you as a user and a human being is turned into a product.
We don’t like that and would prefer to take extra care of our privacy. That being said, here are the best VPNs for privacy:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
How to be anonymous online?
This is very important for everyone looking to protect his/her privacy on the Internet. There are a few things you could do in order to be anonymous online.
As we’ve noted above, it all starts with a good VPN — which will route all of your traffic through one of its servers. As a result of this, the rest of the Internet will think that you’re accessing their website or service from that server’s IP address, rather than the one provided by your ISP. At the same time, a VPN will encrypt all communication, making it impossible for anyone to decipher it.
Again, a VPN alone is not enough. Here are other things you could do in order to protect your privacy online and to be anonymous online:
1. Be careful on social media
As we’ve mentioned above, if you share what you do and where you are on Facebook – they will know it and as a result, you won’t be anonymous. Remember that Facebook is one of the main culprits you want to hide from. It is one of the few companies with a ton of data on all of us and we’ve already seen how that data has been misused in the past.
2. Avoid Google
Use some other search engine that won’t collect every bit of information at all times. And by this, we don’t mean you should use Microsoft’s Bing. Instead, try an anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo. It will not collect any of your personal information to form a digital profile of you. Other anonymous search engines you may want to try out include Startpage and Qwant.
3. Try an anonymous email service
Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail may be the most popular options out there, but all of them are notorious for tracking their users. Instead, sign up for an anonymous email service. Among the best such services are ProtonMail (operated by ProtonVPN), TempInbox and Mailinator. These services typically don’t require any personal information to set up an account, which could be just the thing you’re looking for.
4. Try anonymous file-sharing/storing services
What has been said for email services and search engines also applies to file-sharing and file-storing services. So, instead of Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox or Box – use alternatives like Mega and Onion Share. Again, the major file sharing sites are operated by large companies which are notorious for collecting all the data they can on our behavior.
5. Try a privacy-focused web browser
Forget Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge and use something like Firefox, Opera, Epic or Brave. These alternatives work just as well but won’t log “every step you make” online. For what it matters, some of them will also work with Chrome plugins you may got accustomed to (as they are based on the same Chromium engine).
Additionally, there are a few other things you could do, like turning off location tracking on your phone and perhaps consider paying for stuff with cryptocurrency rather than your credit card. Zcash and Monero are among the most anonymous cryptocurrencies out there — so consider using them.
Beyond helping you protect your privacy…
A VPN offers much more…
It is the tool to keep your web whereabouts under the radar, but it has other things to offer, as well. For instance, a VPN will cover you in different situations, including when you need it for:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following: