The virtual private network (VPN) is getting attention due in part to massive marketing budgets and collaborations between influencers. It’s challenging to navigate through the burgeoning VPN market, and many of the claims made about its features and benefits aren’t accurate. Consumer Reports’ online security expert Yael Grauer recommends searching for open-source software, reliable builds and up-to-date support for industry-standard protocols.
CyberGhost’s zero-logs policy is an excellent selling point. It guarantees not to record your online activity or IP address. Applications are available for most major operating systems, and come with 256-bit encryption, a kill button, leak protection, and the option of connecting via an unidentified port. It also scored better in our tests of internet speed than the majority of other VPNs we tested, although it could be a fluke or a result of the shaping of traffic by your ISP. It also has additional tools, such as Threat Protection, Onion Over VPN and Double VPN.
Nord is another alternative that scored highly in our tests, including an impressive performance in our tests of geoblocking and streaming. Its apps are powerful and quite user-friendly however a mapping-based interface can be a bit difficult to navigate on smaller screens. It’s compatible with a wide range of routers, Kodi TV set top boxes, and has the largest geographical reach of the ones we’ve picked. It’s a great choice for watching Netflix internationally and also has dedicated Windflix servers specifically for this reason. Recently, it added a feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy which safeguards your data with a new key each session that makes it harder for hackers to decrypt past activity.