Comparison of VPN providers
VPN Providers marketed for Internet access are services that tunnel a user's internet traffic somewhere else securely, typically used for censorship circumvention, anonymization, and bypassing geo-blocking. These services differ from the traditional use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology by not creating a true "private network" with anything meaningful on the local network. Typically there is no way for a user's devices connected to the same "VPN" to see each other or other devices on the network. These VPNs can be based on typical VPN protocols (OpenVPN) or more camouflaged VPN implementations like SoftEther VPN, but proxy protocols like Shadowsocks are used as well.
Note, however, that VPNs are not designed to provide anonymity. Users should choose Tor or other similar anonymous networks, if their primary goal is anonymity.
The following definitions clarify the meaning of the column headers in the comparison tables below.
Whether a provider has had its clients and/or server software stack audited for security vulnerabilities by an independent cybersecurity firm (such as Cure53).
Whether a provider has custom clients for all major desktop and mobile operating systems (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android).
Whether a provider's client application (if offered) supports a VPN killswitch functionality (i.e. disconnecting your computer from the network entirely when your VPN connection is severed).
The country a provider is incorporated in, and the set of laws it needs to follow. Operating outside of the Five Eyes countries is not a guarantee of privacy necessarily, and there are other factors to consider. However, we believe that avoiding these countries is important if you wish to avoid mass government dragnet surveillance, especially from the United States.
Any notes found by the PrivacyTools team that made the provider ineligible for recommendation, or any relevant GitHub issues at https://github.com/privacytoolsIO/privacytools.io/issues.
Whether a provider discloses its ownership (parent companies, majority shareholders), as well as the team behind its day-to-day operations.
PrivacyTools recommended providers
PrivacyTools currently recommends IVPN, Mullvad, and ProtonVPN as examples of excellent providers in the VPN space. All of the recommended providers are based outside of the United States, use strong encryption, accept Bitcoin, support OpenVPN, and have a no logging policy.
|Service||Jurisdiction||Technology||Privacy||Trust & Security|
|Based in||Five Eyes||Wireguard Support||Clients||Client Killswitch||Open Source Apps||Accepts Bitcoin||Anonymous Registration||Audited||Public Ownership|
|IVPN||Gibraltar||No||Beta[IVPN 1]||Yes||Yes||Yes[IVPN 2]||Yes[IVPN 3]||Email required[IVPN 3]||Yes[IVPN 4]||Yes[IVPN 3]|
|Mullvad||Sweden||Third Party||Yes||Android client on beta, no iOS client||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes[Mullvad 1]|
|ProtonVPN||Switzerland||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes[ProtonVPN 1]||Existing accounts[ProtonVPN 2]||Email required[ProtonVPN 3]||Yes[ProtonVPN 1]|
This section is in the process of an expansion or major restructuring. You are welcome to assist in its construction by editing it as well. This template was placed by User:Jonah. If this section , please remove this template.
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Contributor note: Some data may be missing or incomplete. Please feel free to complete the table below and add any missing information as needed.
This is a table of other VPN providers that may or may not be considered safe to use. Please feel free to add any VPN provider to the list, but cite all sources when doing so. Do not link to the provider's website outside of references. This is not a space for advertisements, and any attempts to use it as such will have consequences.
|Service||Jurisdiction||Technology||Privacy||Trust & Security||PrivacyTools|
|Based in||Five Eyes||Wireguard Support||Clients||Client Killswitch||Open Source Apps||Accepts Bitcoin||Anonymous Registration||Audited||Public Ownership||Misleading Marketing|
|AirVPN||Italy||Third Party||No||Yes||Yes||Email required|
|AzireVPN||Sweden||Third Party||Yes||Yes||Email is optional|
|BlackVPN||Hong Kong||No||Yes||Yes||Email required|
|Cryptostorm||Iceland||No||No router support||Yes||Email required|
|ExpressVPN||British Virgin Islands||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Email required||No||No||#559|
|FrootVPN||Sweden||Third Party||No||Yes||Email required|
|hide.me||Malaysia||No||Yes||Only on premium||No||Yes||Email required||No||No|
|Njalla||Nevis||No||Yes||No||Yes||Email or XMPP required||No||Yes||No|
|OVPN.com||Sweden||Third Party||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Email is optional||Yes|
|Private Internet Access||United States||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Email required||No||Yes|
|Proxy.sh||Seychelles||No||No||No router support||Yes||Email required||No|
|Trust.Zone||Seychelles||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Email required and log in with social media is possible||No||No|