Best Paid VPN Services of 2020

Choosing the right VPN is crucial for your online privacy, as well as for your ability to unlock content and streaming worldwide.

On this page we tested and evaluated the best paid options, hopefully making the choice a bit easier for you.

Key factors for ranking:

  1. Ability to unblock streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and other services with geo restrictions.
  2. Privacy and security
  3. Compatibility with major platforms
  4. General feel and look, and ease of use
  5. Additional safety features like Adblocker, Double VPN, split-tunneling and more.

Here is our list of the 5 best paid VPN services

ExpressVPN — The best overall

Things we liked:

  • Reasonable prices

  • Excellent speeds

  • Massive range of platforms

  • Huge server network

  • Top security and encryption

  • User-friendly interface

  • Supports torrenting

  • Keeps no logs

Things we didn't like:

  • Expensive compared to most of the competitors

  • Discount only applies to longer plans

ExpressVPN is one of the top VPN services today, if not THE best one currently available. This goes for the quality of its security, server speed and coverage, as well as its privacy policy.

The service is based in the British Virgin Islands. Fortunately, the small island nation has its own privacy rules and laws, and it doesn’t have to follow the same laws as the UK, thanks to the fact that it has independence. As such, ExpressVPN can afford not to keep any logs.

This allowed it to become very privacy-friendly, and it is one of the best places to have a VPN headquartered. It is outside of the jurisdiction of the 14 eyes alliance or any other privacy-invading group.

ExpressVPN offers a massive server network, containing over 3,000 servers in 160 locations, and 94 different countries. It also uses the strongest encryption and security protocols available in the VPN industry.

Its prices are still within the realm of average, although maybe on the expensive side. But even so, they are certainly worth the features, such as the ability to unblock Netflix or any other streaming service out there, as well as the rest of the web. ExpressVPN also offers a 24/7 access to professional customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you change your mind.

NordVPN — The richest server selection

Things we liked:

  • Very fast servers

  • One of the largest server networks in the industry

  • It can unblock Netflix

  • The apps are very user-friendly

  • Excellent security and privacy features

  • No leaks of any kind

  • Strict no-logs policy

Things we didn't like:

  • Discount only applies to longer subscriptions

NordVPN is an old and respected service that is based in Panama — another privacy-friendly jurisdiction that is excellent for a VPN to be based there. The service comes with a number of features, such as support for multiple platforms, the ability to protect up to 6 devices simultaneously, double protection, and support for torrenting,

NordVPN also uses excellent-quality security features, such as the industry’s strongest encryption (256-bit AES) and security protocol (OpenVPN). It is also very user-friendly. and its app even has a map of the world with all the server marked, so that the user would always know exactly where they are connected to.

As for the server network itself — it is rather impressive. It contains more than 5,800 servers in 59 different countries around the world. While there are services that cover more countries, it would be difficult to find a service with more servers than this.

Lastly, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you decide that it doesn’t work well for you for any reason. Meanwhile, its prices are reasonable for a VPN of this quality, especially since it provides major discounts for long-term plans.

Surfshark — The best young VPN

Things we liked:

  • Lower prices than other top VPNs

  • Based outside of the surveillance alliance's jurisdiction

  • Keeps no logs

  • Very secure and private

  • Great server network and speeds

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Things we didn't like:

  • Limited P2P servers with unimpressive speeds

Surfshark is a relatively young VPN, founded only in 2018. However, it did things right from the very beginning, which allowed it to quickly rise through the ranks and become one of the top choices today.

It is based in the British Virgin Islands, which makes it the second of the greatest VPNs to come from this country. It Is a very reputable service that keeps zero logs and offers excellent speeds perfect for streaming.

It is capable of unblocking Netflix, and it is known for having servers in locations that not many other VPNs cover, such as Russia.

Apart from that, Surfshark is also known for being rich with security features, such as CleanWeb, MultiHop, Kill Switch, and Whitelister. But, one of its greatest strengths is that it allows its users to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. In other words, you can protect every single device you and your family own with a single license.

Add to that a huge server network that contains over 1700 servers in 63+ countries, and you get a top-notch VPN with low prices.

IPVanish — Very low prices

Things we liked:

  • Good availability

  • Excellent security features

  • More than enough speed for streaming 8k video with no buffering

  • Good price

  • Plans do not lock the user in for a long time

Things we didn't like:

  • Based in the US

  • Customer service is not the best

  • Doesn't work with Netflix

IPVanish is a US-based VPN that offers fast speeds and online freedom. The service is known for being rather old and reputable, considering the fact that it is based in the United States. While the country is terrible for privacy, IPVanish did a lot to ensure its users that it doesn’t keep logs, nor that it ever will.

The service offers low prices, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. As the name suggests, it is excellent for keeping out of sight on the internet and browsing the web without leaving a trace.

It is also well-known for offering up to 10 simultaneous connections. In terms of security, it uses the strongest encryption and security protocols, and it offers unlimited bandwidth and speeds.

IPVanish also has a pretty decent server network, covering 75 locations and offering 1,400 individual servers. In total, it has more than 40,000 IP addresses for users to connect to. Even so, it admits that its current technology is not good for Netflix, although its speeds are good enough for streaming.

CyberGhost — The longest money-back guarantee

Things we liked:

  • One of the longest money-back guarantees in the industry

  • Massive server network

  • Located in a privacy-friendly region

  • Fast and secure

  • Affordable price

  • Old and reputable

Things we didn't like:

  • Only offers 1-year and 3-year plans apart from the monthly plan

Last on the list; we have CyberGhost. This is a Romanian VPN service that was founded all the way back in 2011. As such, it is among the moderately old services, but also one of the best in the industry.

CyberGhost is known for a lot of things, including its top-notch security, excellent privacy, and major price discounts. The service offers dedicated apps for all of the most popular platforms, such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, routers, and even two browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Not only that, but CyberGhost has one of the largest server networks in the VPN industry, spanning through 90+ countries and offering over 6400 servers in total. It offers blazing-fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth, as well as a massive 45-day money-back guarantee.

How we conducted the reviews?

With the number of available VPNs constantly on the rise, we keep checking out the available services. We constantly re-test the services that have already proven their worth to ensure that they are not dropping their guard — or standard.

We also constantly scan the VPN industry for new rising stars, as there are bound to be new services whose approach will beat the existing ones. Here is how we go about conducting the reviews.

Speed evaluation

Speed is one of the most important factors of a VPN, especially today when online censorship and geo-restrictions are the main reasons why people go for VPNs in the first place. With that in mind, we ensure that the VPNs we recommend always have large server networks. That way, chances are that their servers will not get overcrowded and that speeds will not be significantly reduced.

Of course, speeds are bound to go down to an extent, as using the VPN reduces them due to security processes such as encryption. Even so, it is possible to have them improved through server optimizations, so VPNs that do this also get an advantage.

Security and privacy evaluation

Security is another major reason why VPNs are so popular, as online surveillance and hacking threats often lead people to use VPNs. To ensure user safety, we inspect the available security protocols, the strength of encryption, as well as the jurisdiction in which the service is based.

We also conduct tests for data leaks, as well as the functionality of the kill switch.

Of course, VPNs also need to be able to guarantee that they keep no logs. Services that are confirmed not to keep logs through audits are certainly preferable.

Value for the money evaluation

Finally, we also wish to make sure that the users are getting the best for their money. Apart from being fast and secure, a VPN must also be user-friendly, and with plenty of features and options. We require it to support multiple platforms in order to be universally available. We also prefer those who offer multiple different plans and payment methods.

The price and the money-back guarantee are also very important so that the users would have enough time to evaluate the service for themselves. In that regard, we expect at least a 30-day money-back guarantee, or longer. Fortunately, most VPNs do offer money-back guarantees of this length.

What's important in choosing a VPN?

When choosing a VPN, there is a number of aspects that need to be carefully considered. In the end, it all depends on what you need a VPN for. But, in essence, it is important to keep an eye on these aspects:

Speed

Speed is crucial for VPN users, as VPNs tend to slow down the users’ original speed. This is necessary in order to have their data safely encrypted. As a result, it is important to have a fast VPN that would not reduce the speeds too much and still allow the user the ability to stream videos, play games, and alike.

Security

Security is another very important aspect, especially now, due to all of the hacking activity and online surveillance. Users’ online data became one of the most valuable assets for governments, advertising companies, websites that they visit, but also cyber-criminals, like hackers and scammers. Hackers are making attacks to steal data just as much as those targeting money, if not more. Data usually has a lot cheaper security, and it can be sold to those who value it, which is why it is important for you to secure it yourself.

People who tend to travel a lot also often depend on public hotspots, which are notorious for being the hackers’ hunting grounds. With a secure VPN, however, you can ensure that you will not be in danger.

Jurisdiction

The 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliance is a group of 14 countries that are constantly recording every piece of user data that they can get their hands on. After collecting it, they analyze it and share it with the others. While the original idea may have been to increase security, somewhere along the way, it turned into data control, and it involves some of the world’s most developed and advanced countries.

The Alliance is actually split into three groups:

● The original 5-Eyes Alliance, which consists of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
● The 9-Eyes alliance which includes 5-Eyes, joined by Denmark, France, Holland, and Norway
● The 14 Eyes Alliance, including the 9-Eyes and Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Spain.

The 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliance members are among the worst countries from the online privacy standpoint. This is why you do not want a VPN located in one such country, and especially in the original founders of the old 5 Eyes Alliance. Instead, seek out VPNs from privacy-friendly jurisdictions, such as Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Romania, Hong Kong, and alike.

Money-back guarantee

You cannot know the true quality of a VPN and whether or not it will work for you before using it. Also, in most cases, you have to pay for it in order to use it, as not a lot of VPNs offer a free trial. So, if you find that the VPN is not right for you, you will want your money back. With that in mind, you need a VPN that will offer a lengthy money-back guarantee and give you plenty of time to get your funds.

As mentioned earlier, the length of the money-back guarantee can vary, depending on the VPN service you use. The standard length is around 30 days, although there is no law or rule that says that it cannot be longer or shorter. This is simply what most providers offer as fair length. With that said, there are services that offer only 7 days, as well as those that are willing to extend it for a month and a half, and offer 45 days. Anything in between is also possible.

Customer support

No software is perfect, and even VPNs tend to experience issues from time to time. If this happens and you end up confused, or the VPN doesn’t work properly, you need good customer support that you can call upon. It is much better to choose a VPN that offers great customer support which can help you resolve an issue than to have to go through all the troubles of leaving one provider and switching to the other.

The process is not difficult, but it is bothersome. Not to mention that you may end up having to wait for quite a while before your money arrives back, depending on the method of payment you used. It is simpler to have good communication with the support team and resolve any issue you may have run across.

With that in mind, always choose services whose customer support is available 24/7, preferably via live chat or phone support. Tickets are also pretty good, although you should not expect a quick answer. Most services will answer within several hours, although there are also those that will have you wait for longer. This is not a great solution if you are in a hurry.

Platform coverage and simultaneous connections

Most of us have multiple devices that we wish to secure, including PCs, smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and alike. After all, we live in an age where most of our devices are portable, always accessible, and quite convenient when it comes to using. After all, we all constantly have our phones in our hands, browsing the web, tweeting, liking photos on Instagram, or watching videos on YouTube.

This is why it is important to choose a VPN that offers multiple dedicated apps to protect all of these devices. A VPN would not be that useful if it only offered an app for your Windows, while you are mostly using your Android smartphone.

In addition, you want a VPN that allows for as many simultaneous connections as possible, so that you can protect all of these devices at once. This is also very useful if you wish to protect your entire family. Even if there are only three or four people in the family, and everyone only has one phone, that’s four devices already. Not to mention a desktop/laptop or two, tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and alike. This is where VPNs with multiple simultaneous connections really come in handy, as they can help you save up some money while still keeping everyone safe.

Conclusion

These are some of the main aspects to look into when choosing a VPN. Depending on what you need the service for, you might be interested in checking out some other qualities of the VPN service, but more often than not, ensuring that the mentioned criteria are met will likely provide you with a great-quality VPN that will protect you at all times and provide access to the truly open internet.