Virtual private networks (VPNs) are getting attention due to huge marketing budgets and influencer partnerships. However, navigating this burgeoning market isn’t easy, and claims of benefits and features aren’t always the truth. Consumer Reports’ online security expert Yael Grauer recommends searching for open-source software, reproducible builds, and up-to-date support for industry-standard protocols.
CyberGhost’s zero-logs policy is a major selling feature. It claims that it will not keep track of your online activities or IP address. The apps are compatible with the majority of operating systems, and include 256-bit encryption with a kill button leak protection, as well as the option of connecting via a random port. It also scored higher in our internet speed tests than most of the other VPNs we tested, however it could be a fluke or the result of the shaping of traffic by your ISP. It also provides a variety of additional tools such as 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 test and streaming testing. The apps are highly efficient and user-friendly. However, a map-based user interface may be a bit difficult to navigate when used on smaller screens. It’s compatible with a variety of routers, Kodi TV set top boxes and has the biggest geographic reach of our picks. It’s a great choice for watching Netflix outside of the United States and also has dedicated Windflix servers specifically for this for this purpose. Recently, it added a feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy that protects your information with an updated key each time you log in that makes it harder for hackers to crack past activity.