Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom’s Guide & TechRadar

If you’ve been on the internet for long, you likely are starting to see the importance of having a VPN service. A VPN is a tool that lets you mask your IP and personal online information by connecting to websites through a third-party server location. This enables you to keep your IP address private and keeps prying eyes from being able to see your info through your connection, which is extremely important in the digital era.

We know it can be overwhelming to see how many VPN providers are now available with the new popularity behind the service. How can you figure out which is the best one to go with?

In order to help with that decision, we’ve taken a look at some of the best tech product sites, such as CNET, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar, in order to cross-compare their reviews of each VPN to determine the quality of these providers. With this information, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best paid VPN services available for your convenience.

Before we get to each service, here’s a bit of an explanation as to why we chose CNET, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar to look at for this article.

What is CNET?

CNET com

CNET is a US-based media hub that writes articles, editorials, and reviews on plenty of tech, modern culture, and science. It started all the way back in 1994, and since then has made its name on reviewing and writing about all the latest products and services to hit the mainstream.

What is Tom’s Guide?

Tom’s Guide

Tom’s Guide is a media group that showcases, explains, and reviews tech products, as well as writes guides on how to use, improve, or fix them. It began in 1996, and since then has become a major source for tech product reviews.

What is TechRadar?

TechRadar

TechRadar is a UK media group that covers all sorts of articles surrounding modern technology. It started out in 2008, and has quickly made a name for itself as a go-to source for all info on tech, be it digital, automobiles, or otherwise.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

We’re starting things off right with the leader of the pack itself. No matter what tech reviewer or website you look at, nine times out of ten, their top recommended VPN will be ExpressVPN. Despite not being as big of a name as NordVPN, ExpressVPN is undoubtedly the highest quality VPN currently available.

ExpressVPN’s crisp, clean main interface

1 month

$12.95/month

6 months

$9.99/month

1 year

$6.67/month

It has the fastest speeds in the market, only matched by NordVPN itself, and a global range of over 3,000 servers spanning 94 countries with solid connection. They offer software for all major platforms that are all just as well-optimized, easy to use, and reliable. Getting started with ExpressVPN is absolutely painless, with software that is seamless to set up and 24/7 live customer support.

It has been tested to unblock all major streaming sites and never suffers from data leaks or other malfunctions. However, even if it somehow did suffer from one, it has an instant killswitch built into the software just in case.

Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws. The regulation about the use of VPN services varies per country; If the Law of your country forbids or limits its usage, don’t download. Any unlawful behaviour of this software is not permitted. You are solely responsible for any use of the service.

Reviewers TechRadar and Tom’s Guide even sing their praises by calling it the fastest and most secure VPN on the market, period.

Here’s what Atechatwork had to say about it on Reddit:

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download ExpressVPN here.

Pros
yes
One of the fastest VPNs available.
Strict no-logging policy.
3,000 servers in 94 countries.
24/7 helpful live chat.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Maximum 5 simultaneous connections.
Costs $99.95 annually.
NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN

Despite not taking the top spot, NordVPN is a name many people already know. It’s the single biggest, widely-known, and widely-used VPN in the world. No matter who you ask, they’ll all tell you the same thing. NordVPN’s quality more than holds up.

The front tab of NordVPN’s software

1 month

$11.95/month

1 year

$4.92/month

2 year

$3.30/month

NordVPN is the only service whose speeds can stand up to ExpressVPN, and in some cases, even trump them. It has a massive library of over 5,200 servers spanning 62 countries with excellent connection. Their software is minimalistic and runs quickly and smoothly on all major devices. Between the superb performance and the unbeatable network speed, you could easily leave NordVPN running and not even notice.

Despite these reliable speeds, not everyone seems to have the same experiences. Reviewer CNET even stated that within the time span between one review of the service to the next, their connection speed went from a barely noticeable dip to a 50% drop in performance.

It can unblock all major streaming sites besides iPlayer and suffers no leaks or data malfunctions of any kind. NordVPN has an audited strict no-logging policy as well, so you can rest safely knowing that no one will get their hands on your information without your say-so.

NordVPN, of course, comes loaded with all of the extra features you’d assume: killswitch, split-tunneling, browser extensions, and a custom protocol known as NordLynx, which is known to have some of the fastest connection speeds of any VPN in the world.

Even Reddit member Sansp00 was impressed:

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download NordVPN here.

Pros
yes
One of the fastest VPNs available.
Strict no-logging policy.
5,2000 servers in 55 countries.
24/7 excellent live chat.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Maximum 6 simultaneous connections.
Costs $59.04 for the first year but doubles after the initial plan.
Surfshark

Surfshark

Surfshark

Surfshark is the highest quality budget option on the market. It comes at a great price point and offers quality that almost stands toe-to-toe with the other top players.

Surfshark’s extensive settings page

1 month

$12.95/month

6 months

$6.49/month

2 years

$2.49/month

With 3,200 servers spanning 65 countries, Surfshark brings a decent IP selection to the table. While its speeds don’t often compare to Nord and Express, they’re certainly consistent and will keep you reliably connected at solid speeds that often outrank any other budget service’s speeds. CNET even said that between its last two reviews of the service, Surfshark’s connection has improved from about a 30% loss to less than 20% loss in overall speed.

It unblocks major streaming sites, comes loaded with more features than most other budget options, its software runs beautifully, and it even has no limits on simultaneously connected devices! That means as many people as you want can use Surfshark in your household at the same time. This alone is a rare offering for both budget options and premium VPN providers alike.

Besides impressing CNET and TechRadar, JOHN20011887 also had some positive things to say:

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download Surfshark here.

Pros
yes
Excellent speeds.
Costs $59.78 annually.
Strict no-logging policy.
Servers in over 50 countries.
Maximum 10 simultaneous connections.
24/7 helpful live chat.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Hotspot-Shield

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Most websites agree on who the three best services are, but things get messy when it comes to the fight for the following spots. To get things started, we’re putting Hotspot Shield at number four.

Hotspot Shield’s main statistics screen

1 month

$9.99/month

1 year

$7.99/month

3 years

$2.49/month

Despite a pretty hefty price tag for its annual and monthly plans, it offers a massive discount for its three-year plan. For a reasonable price, you get a service that has made leaps and bounds to renovate and improve itself in recent times, with better connections, better speeds, and better service, putting it in line with the top dogs.

With 1,800 servers spread over more than 80 countries, Hotspot Shield gives some solid, steady connections. And, more than anything, it’s known for speed. It might not be able to stand against the likes of ExpressVPN, but we guarantee its lightning-fast speeds will catch many by surprise from this relatively unknown VPN service.

It’s an excellent service for streaming/gaming/torrenting with no stuttering whatsoever. Overall, Hotspot Shield offers plenty of useful features, great quality software, and breakneck speeds that make it an excellent quality, highly versatile VPN service.

Here are some comments from Reddit members:

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download Hotspot Shield here.

Pros
yes
Great speeds.
Strict no-logging policy.
1,8000 servers in 80 countries.
24/7 helpful live chat.
45 days money-back.
Cons
Costs $95.88 annually.
Maximum 5 simultaneous connections.
CyberGhost-VPN

CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost VPN

Speaking of significant improvements, CyberGhost is following in Hotspot Shield’s footsteps with a serious overhaul to its service. This VPN has taken steps toward drastically improving the quality of its connections and security, and it shows.

CyberGhost’s “Favorites” tab, which saves your preferred settings

1 month

$12.99/month

1 year

$3.99/month

3 years

$2.25/month

The flexible service offers a grand total of over 7,000 servers across 91 countries, meaning you’ll get a reliable, rock-solid connection from just about anywhere in the world. Aside from the occasional hiccup here and there, CyberGhost has some pretty great speeds to go with it and software that runs spectacularly well on all devices.

It offers plenty of additional features, especially on its desktop apps. Overall, CyberGhost is a great all-purpose VPN service.

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download CyberGhost here.

Pros
yes
Great speeds.
Costs $47.88 annually.
Strict no-logging policy.
7,000 servers in 91 countries.
Maximum 7 simultaneous connections.
24/7 helpful live chat.
45 days money-back.
Cons
Private-Internet-Access

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Looking for a mind-numbing amount of servers just for that peace of mind of knowing that you can go anywhere in the world and never be further than a few miles from the nearest one? That strange request can be answered readily by Private Internet Access, a surprisingly great, well-rounded service with a ludicrous amount of servers, all for an excellent price!

PIA’s privacy settings

1 month

$11.95/month

1 year

$3.33/month

3 years

$2.08/month

PIA is ready to offer you access to well over 10,000 servers spread across 78 countries worldwide. Yep, 10,000. Will you ever need that many? Probably not. Is it nice to have anyway? Yes, more is better. In all seriousness, PIA offers consistently great speeds and software for all major devices that comes loaded with features like different protocols, killswitch, adblocker, etc.

It should run great for streaming, torrenting, etc., without stutters or issues. Overall, another excellent VPN for versatile use.

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download Private Internet Access here.

Pros
yes
Excellent speeds.
Costs $39.96 annually.
Strict no-logging policy.
10,000 servers in 78 countries.
Maximum 10 simultaneous connections.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Live support isn’t 24/7 and can be difficult to get help from.
ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a fairly trusted VPN service that offers a fully-featured free version to its users, a rarity in the VPN market.

ProtonVPN’s funky, Hollywood hacker-esque interface

1 month basic

$4.00/month

1 month plus

$8.00/month

It’s not the fastest service in the world, but its speeds are at least consistent and rarely suffer from crashes or similar failures. ProtonVPN offers over 800 servers spread across 50 countries. Sure, that might look pretty measly coming from PIA’s count of over 10,000, but that’s unfairly comparing ProtonVPN to a top premium service.

ProtonVPN is very much a budget option, but it’s a good one. It’s rare that free VPN services are recommended, but reviewers like Tom’s Guide and TechRadar both say it's worth a try, and we have to agree with that.

You won’t find a buffet menu of extra features on the ProtonVPN software, but it is fast and easy to use once you get a grasp of its somewhat confusing interface. Unfortunately, without any form of live chat, learning to get around any issues you run into can be a bit of a hassle.

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download ProtonVPN here.

Pros
yes
Multiple price packages, starting at $48.00 annually, with a great free version available.
800 servers in 50 countries.
Maximum 10 simultaneous connections.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Speeds can sometimes fluctuate.
No live customer support.
“No-logging” policy has been questioned in the past.
Windscribe

Windscribe

Windscribe

Windscribe is the other choice on this list that was primarily included due to its excellent free version. Unlike most other paid services, its free version seems to be its primary focus, being fully featured and free of any real limitations besides a data cap. The paid version obviously removes that cap and throws a couple of additional features your way. But overall, the service is trusted and works great.

Windscribe’s delightfully simple interface, with its server drop-down menu

1 month

$9.00/month

1 year

$4.08/month

To no one’s surprise, the speeds aren’t lightning, and their server count is just a bit above 400. However, they’re spread over 63 countries, and TechRadar claims that the connections are absolutely reliable, and the speeds are definitely good enough for torrenting or other similar uses.

Obviously, Windscribe isn’t going to be competing head to head with ExpressVPN and NordVPN up at the top. However, if you’re looking for a humble service that can do its job well and can offer reliable service at the affordable price of nothing at all, Windscribe is hard to ignore.

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download Windscribe here.

Pros
yes
Good speeds.
Costs $48.96 annually for pro (has a free version).
400 servers in 63 countries.
Unlimited simultaneous connections.
Cons
No live customer support.
Some logging.
3 days money-back.
IPVanish

IPVanish

IPVanish

When you’re looking for a VPN, it can be hard to remember that speed isn’t everything. Nowhere is that more true than with IPVanish. They offer an excellent service at a great price, loaded with features, highly detailed software for major devices, and a large server selection.

IPVanish’s detailed, if slightly cluttered, quick connect screen

1 month

$10.99/month

1 year

$3.20/month

IPVanish has 1,600 servers on offer, spread over 55 countries. You can connect as many devices to their service at one time. TechRadar recommends against choosing IPVanish for streaming. While its speeds are usually solid, it seems to tend to struggle a bit for streaming.

IPVanish may be low on this list, but it’s still in our top ten, and for a good reason. It may not be a speed demon, but it’s a reliable, quality service that definitely respects your privacy and your dollar.

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download IPVanish here.

Pros
yes
Excellent speeds.
Strict no-logging policy.
1,600 servers in 55 countries.
Unlimited simultaneous connections.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Live support isn’t 24/7 (however, they were quick and helpful).
Costs $89.98 annually.
VyprVPN

VyprVPN

VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a secure, reliable VPN with decent speeds that works great for most major streaming services.

VyprVPN user interface

2 months

$6.47/month

18 months

$2.50/month

3 years

$1.66/month

VyprVPN offers more than 700 servers spread across 63 countries. Its server count is nothing special, but its connections are solid. Where VyprVPN really stands out is security, with an airtight no-logging policy that has been publicly audited multiple times and great encryption protocols to ensure that your data isn’t going anywhere when you use their servers.

VyprVPN offers lots of handy features with its software and it shines in the streaming department.

Best Paid VPN According to CNET, Tom's Guide & TechRadar

You can download VyprVPN here.

Pros
yes
Good speeds.
Costs $45.00 annually (with an extra six months, and the three-year deal is $60.00, making VyprVPN one of the best prices on the market).
Strict no-logging policy.
700 servers in 63 countries.
24/7 helpful live chat.
30 days money-back.
Cons
Maximum 5 simultaneous connections.

Who Lies Where

These were our standings for the services overall. With reviews and opinions from Tom’s Guide, CNET, TechRadar, and other sites, we compiled a list of the best paid VPNs currently available for you to choose from. There’s no singular champion of VPNs that does everything superior. If you want our opinion on which services do certain things the best, we’ve got three categories here for you, each with their own winner to help you decide which one is best for you.

First, ExpressVPN wins when it comes to speed. While we had some genuine contenders for the speed crown on this list, ExpressVPN just can’t seem to be beaten. Its servers are lightning-fast, to the point where they barely put a dent in your connection speed, sometimes even making no discernible change at all.

Second, Surfshark wins the low-budget battle. Sure, we’ve got cheaper and even free services on this list, but none compare to the quality that Surfshark delivers at such an affordable price.

And finally, Surfshark also wins for convenience. Surfshark’s apps and setup are so simple that someone entirely new for VPNs could comfortably be configuring and using it within a matter of minutes. Their live chat support was swift and helpful, and overall, Surfshark was a completely painless experience that allowed us to use an excellent service.

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