Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allow users to surf the internet without being tracked by ISPs and other online entities.
Many VPN users seek to improve their online privacy, while others use the services to access region-restricted content.
VPNs range from free versions – which are usually inefficient and offer only basic features and limited bandwidth – to high-quality, speedy solutions which charge a monthly fee.
While different VPNs offer specific features which may make them attractive to different users, ultimately one of the most important considerations when picking a VPN is speed.
PCMag recently performed tests on some of the most popular VPNs to determine which of these offer the best speed to their users.
In these tests, “speed” refers to the percentage by which internet speed is changed when using these VPNs as opposed to the speed without them. This means that a lower percentage is better.
The test was performed on a 1Gbps connection. Here are the five fastest VPNs.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is based in the USA but runs through over 3,000 servers across the world.
Up to five connections are allowed at one time and there are no restrictions on how much traffic may be consumed when using this service.
It also has the ability to block ads from showing during your web surfing sessions.
Private Internet Access offers a seven day money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with the service.
Download speed: –80.7%
Upload speed: –76.3%
Price: $9.95 per month ($5.99 per month if you sign up for a year)
Trust.zone offers 171 servers in 34 countries and claims to be “available on all platforms” – including Windows, iOS, and Android.
Speed and bandwidth are both unlimited, while P2P traffic is also not restricted.
This VPN provider offers a three-day trial which lets users transfer up to 1GB of data on one simultaneous connection.
Once you are on the paid version, however, you can transfer unlimited amounts of data across three simultaneous connections – which increases to five connections if you sign up for two years.
Download speed: –77.7%
Upload speed: –58.5%
Price: $8.88 per month ($3.33 per month if you sign up for a year)
Hide.me claims to offer gigabit speeds and unlimited data transfers across five simultaneous connections.
It has servers in 55 locations worldwide and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hide.me has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even Amazon Fire TV.
Hide.me also offers a free version that lets users transfer 2GB of data on 1 simultaneous connection using servers across five locations world-wide.
Download speed: –75.8%
Upload speed: –68.4%
Price: $5.42 per month
TunnelBear offers a platform that uses AES 256-bit encryption and has its apps audited regularly and independently to ensure they are secure.
It has over 500 servers in 22 countries across the world, and is available on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
TunnelBear allows five devices to be connected at any one time, and offers unlimited data transfers while also blocking ads.
A free version is also available that allows 500mb of data to be transferred each month.
Download speed: -74.7%
Upload speed: -61.0%
Price: $9.99 per month ($4.99 per month if you sign up for a year)
The comprehensive winner of the VPN speed test is HideIPVPN, which delivers gigabit speeds.
HideIPVPN offers features such as DNS leak protection, a no-log policy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
It is supported on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, tablets, Smart TVs, game consoles, and even Wi-Fi routers.
HideIPVPN also offers true unlimited use, including the ability to consume content on an unlimited number of devices.
Download speed: -52.8%
Upload speed: -53.0%
Price: $6.99 per month ($4.99 per month if you sign up for a year)