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What is the most private VPN in 2023?
The best private VPN in 2023, as found in our independent testing, is NordVPN!
The first step you can take towards alleviating your online privacy concerns is picking out a private VPN.
This write-up will guide you right towards it.
The internet is inherently an invasive medium.
Whether you like to casually browse the web, indulge in online shopping, bypass the geographic blocks to access your favorite content, or use the internet for communication purposes, all of your online activities are visible to your ISP and unauthorized eavesdroppers.
Unfortunately, everyone—from hackers to snooping governments—tries to monitor everything you do online.
Whether they sell your personal information to other parties or use it to break into your computer, your privacy is compromised.
The only way to address your privacy concerns and ensure complete digital anonymity is to get the most private VPN you can find.
What is the Most Private VPN in 2023?
Working as the strong pillar of the privacy-providing industry, NordVPN has firmly established a reputation as the most private VPN in the market.
Like all premium service providers, NordVPN claims to have a rigorous no-logs policy.
The fact that it is headquartered in the jurisdiction of Panama, which is a true advocate of the privacy of its citizens, means NordVPN has no data retention laws to abide by either.
This means that its slogan of “nothing to store – nothing to share with anyone” really holds value.
Consequently, the company’s claims of not tracking, gathering, or sharing its customers’ private information are trustworthy.
- NordVPN is the industry leader (by a long way)
- 30-day risk-free trial
- Superfast speeds
- 5,442+ servers in 60+ countries
- Strict no-logs policy
- Next-generation military-grade encryption
- DoubleVPN, double privacy
- 6 simultaneous device connections
- Great for: Safety, security, anonymity & peace of mind
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad & iOS, Linux, routers, Apple TV, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more
The only thing that leaves a bitter taste for some existing and potential users is the data breach incident that NordVPN had to face in the March of 2018.
The server hack in Finland really shook the faith of many users. So, if you want to hold the past against it, we leave it at your discretion.
We would be remiss, though, if we failed to acknowledge how NordVPN went above and beyond to make up for that mishap.
To restore its users’ confidence and regain their status in the industry, NordVPN has undergone two independent audits since then, conducted by the PwC or PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Both of the audits were extremely intrusive, where PwC was given access to NordVPN’s P2P, Double VPN, Obfuscated (XOR) VPN, and Standard VPN servers, along with the central infrastructure.
The results proved that NordVPN’s no-logs policy was entirely adhered to, and no information like timestamps, IP addresses, bandwidth usage, session details, etc., was recorded.
Instilling itself as a top VPN, NordVPN also hosts a massive network of 5400 RAM-only servers.
This means that data cannot be retained on these servers forever, and everything is erased at the end of each session.
Aside from this, NordVPN is also exceptional when it comes to the suite of other privacy and security features.
Using the 256-bit AES encryption through the OpenVPN protocol, a reliable, perfect forward secrecy, and protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 breaches are the data security features that make this service match the level of any standard VPN service.
What makes it stand out from the crowd, however, are the two kill switches (an internet kill switch and an app kill switch), DoubleVPN (which routes user traffic through two servers), and Obfuscated servers (for evading VPN blocks).
If you need more speed than OpenVPN can offer, there is even a unique protocol called NordLynx, which is based on WireGuard.
Through all these features, NordVPN is not only depicting its focus on user privacy and security but also on providing them with a delightful internet experience, where they can get around almost any geo-restrictions and enjoy everything (such as sHD streaming and gaming) at a high internet speed.
Furthermore, NordVPN allows its users to make payments in cryptocurrencies as well so that absolute anonymity can be made certain from the time of purchase to the ultimate use.
If you need more convincing, what’s a better way than to give it a risk-free try yourself by utilizing its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Recognized as one of the budget-friendly alternatives in the VPN space, Surfshark is also one of the top VPN services to opt for.
Aiming to keep your privacy and anonymity intact at all times, Surfshark also adheres to a stringent no-log policy like all other premium service providers.
Recently moving its operational headquarters to the Netherlands, the company promises not to have compromised an of its privacy policies in the process.
Rather, it has reinstated its privacy credentials by having the German cybersecurity firm, Cure53 conduct a complete security audit for the second time.
Such audits are rarely undertaken by firms and tend to demonstrate the real credibility of VPN service providers.
- Surfshark is the best budget VPN
- 30-day risk-free trial
- Strict no-logs policy
- 3200+ servers in 95 countries
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Great for: private browsing on a budget
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iOS, Linux, FireFox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more
For Surfshark, these audits have validated the claims that IP addresses, browsing histories, session-related data, bandwidth use, or network traffic are never logged by Surfshark.
It merely records the user ID and connection time stamps. However, that data is also discarded within the 15 minutes that a session lasts or with the simple flip of a switch.
This is because Surfshark’s entire network of 3200 servers is RAM-based, wiping clean all data with every reboot.
This way, it eliminates all chances of your data falling into the hands of any snoopers.
Making it shine are also other features such as the utilization of ChaCha20 and AES-256 encryption, a variety of various advanced protocols including Wireguard, a solid kill switch, and complete protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks.
Surfshark has also added to its service a few other intriguing privacy features to help you safeguard your identity while using the internet.
The provider’s all-encompassing security package, Surfshark One, comes at an extra price but offers a few unique privacy features.
The basic but useful antivirus tool is the first great thing you’ll receive with Surfshark One.
Additionally, you’ll receive an extremely private search engine that will help you prevent Google from accessing your data.
Finally, the Alert function will play its role in keeping you informed about data breaches that involve your data.
Lastly, but most importantly, Surfshark lets you maintain your privacy even at the time of signing up by accepting payments in cryptocurrencies so that your identity remains anonymous.
The cherry on top is that you can purchase a subscription keeping your identity as private as you want.
Then, use the account to connect and secure unlimited devices simultaneously.
To get the best possible deal, you should choose a longer-term subscription which is cheaper compared to the monthly plan.
3. Atlas VPN
Recently becoming a part of the VPN industry in 2019, Atlas VPN is largely known for being another affordable service that supports unlimited simultaneous connections (like Surfshark).
Despite having its headquarters in a country that is a part of The Five Eyes alliance, i.e., the United States, Atlas VPN takes no pressure of recording any data.
Instead, it went the extra mile to verify its zero-logs policy for its users and had it independently audited in 2021.
- Atlas VPN is the best free VPN
- Privacy Pro servers
- 750 servers in 40+ locations
- Unlimited simultaneous device connections
- Great for: people seeking a freemium VPN
- Compatible with: Windows, MacOS, Android, iPhone & iOS, Android TV, Fire TV Stick
To ensure all its users’ online activities are kept private, hidden away from prying eyes, Atlas VPN offers a huge arsenal of privacy and security features.
It utilizes one of the most powerful AES 256-bit encryption, alongside offering a choice between two of the highly secure VPN protocols (WireGuard and IKEv2).
A kill switch is also included in each Atlas VPN client.
This feature automatically halts your internet access if the VPN connection unexpectedly fails, guaranteeing your anonymity and preventing data leakage over an unsecured connection.
It also provides solid protection against WebRTC and DNS leaks.
Another unique feature that earns Atlas VPN its reputation as a high-end VPN service is called SafeSwap.
In essence, it is an IP rotation tool that assigns a new IP address each time you view a new webpage.
This makes your original IP untraceable, enhancing your online privacy.
Atlas VPN also boasts SafeBrowse, which blocks advertisements and questionable websites, and a data breach monitor, which is an excellent tool for alerting users if their data gets exposed in any data breaches.
However, the most commendable feature and one of the main reasons for Atlas VPN’s name popping up on our list is its feature-packed free version.
Since this free version consists of all necessary privacy features, it is safe to say this is the safest VPN service available for free.
Some people love to refer to it as the most private ‘freemium’ VPN, and now you can see why.
Another key reason for recommending Atlas VPN as a safe VPN is its acquisition by Nord Security.
As the name suggests, it is the parent company of our top contender; NordVPN.
Atlas continues to function independently, but since it is a part of Nord Security, it is subject to the same transparency and reliability standards as the rest of the organization.
TunnelBear is a well-renowned VPN service for beginners.
However, it checks all the necessary boxes to fall into the category of private VPN services as well.
It has a strict zero-logs policy that guarantees your data is never stored when you are connected to one of its servers.
Additionally, the firm conducts external security audits regularly.
TunnelBear has several beginner-friendly features that receive a lot of praise.
For one, it is always on, so forgetting to switch it on is never really a concern.
It automatically and continuously safeguards your data with industry-standard 256-bit encryption.
Additionally, if and when a connection to its server fails, TunnelBear will safeguard your internet traffic before immediately reestablishing it.
A free trial version is also one of the key selling points of TunnelBear because it makes it simple to test it out and see how your speeds are without committing.
Compared to some of our other options, this service provider has fewer server locations available, but that does not bother users who only require VPNs to enhance their online privacy.
Unless they’re traveling across borders or need to get past any particular geo-restrictions, its privacy features are sufficient.
Israel-based SaferVPN is another great contender..
Offering safe and reliable connections, it has several outstanding features to ensure user privacy and anonymity.
It includes perfect forward secrecy, SHA256 authentication, and the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit encryption by default.
All of its apps have a kill switch, and DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection are built-in.
SaferVPN also flaunts a variety of other brilliant features that make it one of the safest VPN services currently available in the market.
For instance, when you connect to an unprotected wifi network, SaferVPN’s automatic wifi protection feature, which is accessible on all apps, instantly connects you to the VPN.
Previously, this provider wasn’t the best choice for torrenting because it stored some metadata logs and disapproved of BitTorrent use.
Now, it also permits torrenting but only in a limited number of server locations.
Also making it a privacy-friendly service provider is the facility of letting its users make payments with bitcoin.
This way, even your signup information cannot be traced back to you.
The Canada-based VPN service provider Windscribe offers both free and premium services.
With the free version, you receive 10GB of bandwidth each month and can connect to any server location within 11 available countries.
However, a staggering coverage of 60 countries and unlimited data delivers a delightful experience for users of the premium version.
Whether you use Windscribe for free or for money, it won’t maintain any identifiable logs and will employ powerful encryption to protect your data.
As you may have realized from our evaluation criteria by now, Windscribe employs 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a highly dependable kill switch.
It can even automatically block advertisements and doesn’t keep any logs of personally identifiable information.
Users can also utilize the famous WireGuard for quicker connections or switch to the stealth protocol to enjoy browsing without restriction (in locations with severe online censorship).
IPVanish has been added to the list not only for its claims of not maintaining any user logs but also because it has undergone an independent audit (by third-party auditors, known as Leviathan) that validated its no-logs policy despite being based in the US, which is a member of the 5-Eyes alliance.
We looked into the service provider and discovered that IPVanish doesn’t record, monitor, or collect browsing data.
Only the user’s email address and billing information are collected as they are essential for payment processing and subscription management.
Additionally, this VPN uses military-grade AES encryption, DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection and a kill switch that can be customized according to preferences.
In short, it guarantees your online privacy by ensuring no one would see your data.
How Does A VPN Ensure Digital Privacy?
As the name suggests, A virtual private network (or VPN) grants you privacy and anonymity online By converting a public internet connection into a private network.
To protect the privacy of your online activities, it masks your IP address, and to boost the privacy and security of the data you exchange online, it offers safe and encrypted connections.
However, it’s easier said than done, and not all VPNs can handle the job as well as their assertions.
You must make an informed decision to make certain that you have chosen a VPN that can reliably safeguard your privacy online.
Reading further will educate you on what are the key features you need to look out for.
What Should I Look for In A VPN?
With so much information available at your disposal, identifying a great VPN is as simple as it can get.
First of all, you should thoroughly investigate the VPN and take notice of where your preferred VPN is located because, with some exceptions, those in the United States and most of Europe are bound by data retention rules.
Then you should inspect the VPN for the following features, which are vital to ensuring online privacy:
A Verified No-Logs Policy
A proper no-logs policy is among the most important elements of a VPN. In practice, most providers, even the best ones, collect logs in some way.
But what matters is what these logs include. To begin, we categorically discourage the use of VPNs that maintain traffic logs.
These are records of real user behavior, such as the websites visited and the files downloaded.
Numerous VPNs that advertise “zero-logs” and “log-free” services are, therefore, mainly referring to traffic logs.
Following that, there are connection logs, which users privacy-conscious users should be mindful of because they can be used potentially to link activity to a specific user.
An individual user could be identified, for instance, using their IP address or even connection timestamps (when conjoined with other data).
However, some metadata logs are deemed safe and harmless.
For instance, the overall amount of bandwidth consumed or the connection date are typically seen as acceptable.
However, the no-log claims of any company should not be taken at face value.
You must make certain that no identifiable logs of your VPN usage are maintained, and they won’t be made available upon request either.
You can do so by thoroughly examining the firm’s privacy policies, reviewing its independent audit reports, or by delving into real-life incidents where it upheld the no-log policy in its entirety.
Comprehensive Leak Protection
Even though VPNs have robust security measures in place, there is always a risk that your IP address or other data may get out of the encrypted tunnel.
IP address, however, is something that you must protect at any cost if you are looking for complete privacy.
Thus, the finest and most private VPN services will aggressively guard against these leaks to ensure that your private data is never disclosed.
A Reliable Kill Switch
To prevent unintentional disclosure of your personal information, a kill switch offers an additional layer of privacy protection.
Although VPN connections are typically dependable, particularly the ones aforementioned, it would be impractical to assume 100% uptime.
The VPN connection may abruptly terminate at any time for a variety of causes.
If it happens and you continue to be online, you may be at the risk of exposing your online activities.
This is where a kill switch plays its role and cuts off your internet connection immediately so that you don’t have to experience unprotected browsing again.
Signing up Requirements
It’s also important to think about the payment options available to you. Does your desired VPN accept cryptocurrency or cash, or is PayPal the only option?
Almost all VPNs need you to use an email, but the most privacy-friendly alternatives will let you keep that private and untraceable, too, for instance, by letting you use a disposable ID or any secure email provider.
Can Free VPNs Be Used for Privacy?
Simply put, no. In reality, many free VPN sites do the absolute opposite and rely on user data collection as their primary source of income.
Some keep track of the websites you visit and store the information to maintain a profile that they can sell off to other people, typically advertisers.
Others bombard you with their recommendations and ads based on what they know about your online activities.
Additionally, many free VPNs don’t provide you with a secure connection by using insufficient or no encryption at all.
As a result, you may be subject to hacking attempts and may even be tracked by your ISP, network administrators, and governmental organizations.
Free VPNs have additional drawbacks that affect the overall user experience, as though privacy and security issues weren’t bad enough.
For instance, too many people trying to connect to a limited number of servers, resulting in sluggish and unstable connections.
There are, however, some ‘freemium’ VPN services available if you really don’t wish to spend any money.
These VPNs may have several limitations performance-wise.
However, their privacy policies and no-logging claims are regarded as reliable as their paid counterparts.
Why Do I Need a Private VPN?
A VPN service is not only needed but is a top priority when you don’t want your ISP or the government prying into your online activities and want to safeguard yourself against hackers and trackers.
It is not an incriminating wish either.
After all, who would want to conduct all of their professional and social interactions in the open?
Private VPNs are, therefore, serving as the window shutters on our computers, just as how we close our curtains at home when we want privacy.
How Do I Use A VPN?
To use a private VPN, the first and most important step is making the right choice.
Once you have chosen a reliably private VPN, you can sign up for it, download the software from its website, and install it on your device.
Next, simply log in and choose the desired server location to get connected.
Will a VPN Cause Speed Drops?
The idea that using a VPN will dramatically slow down your internet connection is only a myth.
It might have been accurate when VPNs initially gained popularity.
However, that is no longer the case with significant advancements in technology.
VPNs now have thousands of servers, preventing clogged and slow servers.
On the contrary, they can sometimes improve your internet speeds.
There are many online activities (such as accessing a famous streaming website) for which an ISP may throttle or reduce the speed for users.
VPNs, on the other hand, prevent your ISP from knowing what you are doing, negating the need for a speed cap.
What Is a No-Log VPN?
VPNs frequently provide no-logs policies to protect user information.
These policies are essentially a promise that when you connect to one of the VPN provider’s servers, they won’t record or distribute any information about you.
As a result, all user information like the websites they visit, how long they stay on a particular website, the files they download from the internet, and the search terms they enter into search engines will remain confidential.
Is It Legal to Use a Private VPN?
Depending on your jurisdiction, the response to this query may vary.
Online freedom is restricted in some nations, including China, Russia, North Korea, Belarus, Turkey, and Iraq.
They have tight rules either prohibiting the use of VPNs altogether or permitting the usage of only the VPNs that have received government approval.
On the contrary, the majority of the world does not consider VPN use to be against the law. Instead, VPNs are deemed a valuable tool for internet protection.
Are Private VPNs Traceable?
Your IP address is concealed while using a VPN, and all data is also encrypted.
Even if someone is attempting to trace you, all they will be able to see is the IP address of the VPN server.
However, this only holds true if you use a reliable VPN that provides solid protection against IP leaks and other key features.
Any VPN that does not uphold its claims can get you into trouble.
Is It Possible to Get Hacked While Using a VPN?
Although it is still possible to be hacked when using a VPN, the likelihood should be substantially lower, especially when compared to the chances of being attacked without the security of a VPN.
A VPN serves as an additional layer of security by utilizing encryption and many others that fortify your connection and spot any unusual online conduct.
Does a Private VPN Also Allow Access to International Streaming Platforms?
Yes, a private VPN can also allow you to access geo-restricted streaming platforms.
However, not all of them will have the right features to do so.
For instance, the VPN will require a large server network and safe, stable connections to power its unblocking ability.
Also, you would want it to have blazing-fast speeds to enjoy HD streaming.
In prioritizing privacy, if the VPN does not skimp on these features, you may be able to enjoy streaming along with enhanced online privacy.
In Summary, the best VPNs in 2023 are;
|Rating||VPN Service||Get Offer|
|#1 Top Rated#1||NordVPN - #1 VPN in the industry||FREE Trial|
|#2 Top Rated#2||Surfshark - top budget VPN||Start Now|
|#3 Top Rated#3||Atlas VPN - best free VPN||Start Now|
There are countless VPNs available on the market that claim to offer complete anonymity, but this is usually just a sales gimmick.
However, that does not imply that purchasing a VPN is not worthwhile.
They are priceless online services that offer the highest level of digital privacy without compromising on performance.
If you’re serious about establishing absolute anonymity, you need to carefully read through and evaluate the best private VPN services listed in this guide above.
NordVPN is frequently ranked as the most private VPN service and is essentially an all-rounder.
It is our top contender because it has everything, from a validated no-logs policy to a plethora of other privacy-protecting features.
In its attempt to focus on user privacy, NordVPN does not neglect other performance features, such as speed and unblocking ability, either.
Suppose you have a larger household or a small-scale business, with a greater number of devices to protect.
In that case, you can benefit from the unlimited connections offered by Surfshark and Atlas VPN.
Since they both now have the same parent company as NordVPN, we can expect them to abide by the same privacy policies.
What is the most private VPN in 2023? It’s NordVPN, without a doubt.