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The 10 Best VPN for India (2023 Update)

By Tibor Moes / November 2022

Why do you need a VPN? Your privacy and identity are at risk. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can protect you from hackers and advertisers.

  • Identity theft happens daily: Hackers can use public Wi-Fi networks to steal your personal information, like passwords and banking details.
  • Your internet activities are tracked: Facebook, Google, and your ISP (internet service provider) quietly track your online habits.
  • You do not see all available movies: Streaming services will only show a small selection of their TV shows in your country.

The best VPN for India will unblock foreign TV shows, protects you on public Wi-Fi, and stop advertisers from spying on you.

CyberGhost VPN - The best VPN

CyberGhost VPN

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  • Security and Privacy 100% 100%
  • Speed 100% 100%

CyberGhost is the best affordable VPN of 2023. It’s ultra-fast, private, and secure. And it temporarily offers deep discounts.

✓ Stream: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and more
✓ Torrent: Optimized P2P servers
✓ Return: 45-day money-back guarantee
✓ Privacy: Maximum (no logs)
✓ Servers: 91 countries
✓ Protect: 7 devices

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 45-day return policy.

NordVPN - The most advanced VPN

NordVPN

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  • Security and Privacy 100% 100%
  • Speed 100% 100%

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN of 2023. It has the best privacy technology (RAM-Servers and Double VPN) and a beautiful design.

✓ Stream: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and more
✓ Torrent: Optimized P2P servers
✓ Return: 30-day money-back guarantee
✓ Privacy: Maximum (no logs)
✓ Servers: 59 countries
✓ Protect: 6 devices

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

Ranking of the best VPN services of 2023

We have tested cybersecurity software since 2014. Below, we have selected the top 4 from 30 paid and free VPN services (Virtual Private Networks).

Click the links or scroll down for more.

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN Review

Ranked #1 out of 30 VPNs

CyberGhost VPN Review

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CyberGhost VPN Review

CyberGhost is the fastest VPN in our test. It also has the lowest price and the biggest server network. It's one of the best VPN services you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix US, Disney, Amazon, HBO Max, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on P2P servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 9,000 Servers in 91 countries
  • Connections: 7
  • 1-Year Price: € 47.64
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 45 days

Streaming

CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers for Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and more.

Torrenting

CyberGhost has optimized P2P servers. It is an excellent VPN for torrenting, thanks to its kill switch, IP- and DNS-leak protection, and no logs policy.

Privacy

CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy: It does not monitor or record what you do online, and it does not store your IP address. Therefore, you are completely anonymous when using CyberGhost.

Ownership

CyberGhost is owned and operated by CyberGhost S.A. from Romania. Its parent company is Kape Technologies from the UK, which also owns ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN services:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

CyberGhost applies the most important security and privacy features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling (on Windows and Android)
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP

But it lacks RAM-only servers and Double VPN, which NordVPN does offer.

Censorship

CyberGhost does not use obfuscation technology, which hides your VPN usage. Therefore, it is not the right VPN for high-censorship countries like China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, or the UAE.

Servers

CyberGhost has a huge number of servers: 9,000 in 91 countries.

60 Countries have physical servers within their borders, while the other 31 are virtual servers. Although virtual servers are not located within the indicated country, they will give you a local IP address from that country.

It also offers specialized servers:

  • Servers optimized for P2P
  • Servers optimized for streaming
  • Servers with static IP addresses
  • Servers with dedicated IP addresses
  • Fully owned NoSpy servers

Devices

You can install CyberGhost on 7 devices at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and a range of routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Prices

CyberGhost has the lowest 1-year price in the industry.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is CyberGhost VPN the best VPN software of 2023?

CyberGhost is the fastest VPN in our test and has the most affordable 1-year contract. On top of that, it is secure, private, and has one of the largest server networks. It's excellent.

You can try CyberGhost risk-free, thanks to its 45-day return policy.

NordVPN

NordVPN Review

Ranked #2 out of 30 VPNs

NordVPN Review

NordVPN Review

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN service you can buy. It uses the latest privacy technology, like RAM servers and double VPN, and works in China. It's one of the best VPN providers you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on 80% of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 5,600 Servers in 59 countries
  • Connections: 6
  • 1-Year Price: € 52.68
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

NordVPN unblocks Netflix in 10 countries, including the United States. It also works with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Torrenting

NordVPN allows torrenting on most of its servers. On top of that, it has optimized P2P servers for extra high download speeds.

Thanks to its no-logs policy, kill switch, DNS- and IP-leak blocking, it is a safe choice for torrenting.

Privacy

NordVPN has a strict no-log policy. So it does not record your IP address or online activities. It was the first VPN company to subject its privacy policy to an independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ownership

NordVPN is owned and operated by NordVPN S.A. from Panama. Its parent company, Nord Security, merged with the parent company of SurfShark to form Cyberspace BV in the Netherlands.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN providers:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN in our comparison. It includes both the mainstream security features and the highly advanced ones:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Meshnet (on Windows and Linux)

NordVPN is also available in a bundle, including NordLocker (encrypted cloud storage) and NordPass (password manager and data breach scanner).

Censorship

NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that work in highly censored countries like China, the UAE, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. This is thanks to its obfuscation technology that hides your VPN traffic.

Servers

NordVPN has an extensive VPN server network, with 5,600 servers in 59 countries. They are all physical servers, meaning every server is located within the country's borders.

It also offers specialty servers:

  • P2P servers
  • Streaming servers
  • Static IP address servers
  • Double VPN servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • Obfuscated servers

Devices

You can install NordVPN on 6 devices at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Prices

Considering that NordVPN is the most advanced VPN, it is a bargain.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is NordVPN the best VPN service of 2023?

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN software you can buy, thanks to its RAM servers, double VPN, Onion over VPN, and obfuscated servers.

You can try NordVPN risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

SurfShark VPN

Surfshark VPN Review

Ranked #3 out of 30 VPNs

SurfShark VPN Review

Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark offers the best value for money. It is fast, secure, and affordable. And it allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices. It's one of the best VPN programs you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on all of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 3,200 Servers in 95 countries
  • Connections: Unlimited
  • 1-Year Price: € 47.88
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

Surfshark can stream Netflix in 10 countries, including the United States. It also works with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

Torrenting

Surfshark allows P2P file-sharing on all of its servers and offers optimized P2P servers for higher download speeds. Due to its kill-switch, no-logs policy, and leak-blocking, Surfshark is a safe choice for torrenting.

Privacy

Surfshark has a clear no-logs policy. It does not track what you do online and does not store your IP address. In 2021, Surfshark underwent an independent server audit by Cure53, a German cybersecurity firm.

Ownership

Surfshark BV from the Netherlands owns Surfshark. In 2022, its parent company merged with Nord Security, creating the holding company Cyberspace BV, also located in the Netherlands.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN programs:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

After NordVPN, Surfshark is the most advanced VPN in our comparison. It covers all mainstream and advanced features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Rotating IP
  • Override GPS Location on Android

Next to its VPN service, Surfshark also offers antivirus software, personal data breach alert, and a private search engine. These features are sold separately or together with the VPN in SurfShark One.

Censorship

Thanks to its Camouflage and NoBorders Mode, Surfshark works well in censored countries like Russia, the UAE, Turkey, and Iran. However, it does not consistently work in China.

Servers

Surfshark has an extensive network, with 3,200 servers in 95 countries. However, some of these servers are virtual. That means that although you get a local IP address from the country of your choice, the physical server is located in a different country.

Surfshark also offers specialized servers, including:

  • P2P servers
  • Static IP address servers
  • Double VPN servers (Multihop servers)

Devices

Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Prices

Surfshark's price is excellent. Especially considering that you can install it on an unlimited number of devices.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is Surfshark the best VPN service of 2023?

Surfshark offers the best value for money in the VPN industry. It is advanced, affordable, and allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices. It is one of the best VPN deals out there.

You can try Surfshark risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

IPVanish VPN

IPVanish Review

Ranked #4 out of 30 VPNs

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish: Temporarily get 61% OFF  🔥

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish is an excellent VPN. It's fast, secure, and affordable. And it allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices. However, it's not as advanced as the others in this list and has a smaller server network.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix USA, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu
  • Torrenting: Allowed on all of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 2,000 Servers in 50 countries
  • Connections: Unlimited
  • 1-Year Price: $ 47.89
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

IPVanish is not the best VPN service for streaming. Although it works with Netflix in the United States, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, it has problems with streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max.

Torrenting

IPVanish allows torrenting on all its servers. And thanks to its no-log policy, kill switch, and no DNS leaks, it is a safe option to do so. The kill switch is necessary because it will block the internet traffic if the VPN connection drops.

Privacy

IPVanish has a clear no-logs policy. However, in 2018, it handed user data to the US government. Data it wasn't supposed to have, according to its log policy. Since then, it has changed owners twice, but the reputation remains.

Speed

We test every VPN service on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN connection set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the fastest VPN connections:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

IPVanish is the only VPN in our comparison that owns all of its servers and doesn't rely on third-party server parks, which is excellent. That said, it is not the most advanced VPN in our test.

It includes the following mainstream features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling

But it misses many of the advanced features:

  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers

Censorship

IPVanish does not work in censored countries like China, the UAE, Iran, Turkey, or Russia.

Servers

IPVanish has 2,000 VPN servers in 50 countries. All servers are physically located within the country and entirely owned by IPVanish. Because it doesn't rely on third-party server providers, it has complete control over the hardware and software, which theoretically should increase its security.

Devices

IPVanish allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. But it has no browser extensions.

Prices

IPVanish has a very attractive price, especially as you can install it on an unlimited number of devices.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is IPVanish the best VPN provider of 2023?

IPVanish is fast, secure, and affordable. It owns its entire server network and allows you to install the software on unlimited devices. But it's not the most advanced VPN in our test and not the best option for streaming.

You can try IPVanish risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

Comparison table of the best VPN services 

CyberGhost
NordVPN
Surfshark
IPVanish
Icon
CyberGhost VPN Icon
NordVPN Icon
Surfshark VPN Icon
IPVanish VPN Icon
Ranking
#1 / 30
#2 / 30
#3 / 30
#4 / 30
Logging Policy
No Logs
No Logs
No Logs
No Logs
Operating Company
CyberGhost S.A. (Romania)
NordVPN S.A. (Panama)
Surfshark BV (Netherlands)
Ziff Davis, Inc (USA)
Holding Company
Kape Technologies PLC (UK)
Cyberspace BV (Netherlands)
Cyberspace BV (Netherlands)
Ziff Davis, Inc (USA)
VPN Protocols
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, NordLynx (WireGuard)
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
Encryption
AES-256
AES-256
AES-256
AES-256
US Netflix




Torrenting




VPN Kill Switch




Split Tunneling




Ad & Tracker Blocker



No
Smart DNS



No
First-Party DNS


No

Dedicated IP


No
No
Double VPN
No


No
RAM Servers
No


No
Works in China
No


No
Countries
91
59
95
50
Servers
9,000+
5,600+
3,200+
2,000+
Speed on WireGuard or proprietary protocol
825-850 Mbps
725-800 Mbps
700-800 Mbps
700-725 Mbps
Comptatible Devices
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Number of Connections
7
6
Unlimited
Unlimited
1-Month Price
€ 12.65
€ 10.49
€ 12.95
$ 10.99
1-Year Price
€ 47.64
€ 52.68
€ 47.88
$ 47.89
2-Year Price
€ 74.88
€ 69.36
€ 59.76
-
3-Year Price
€ 82.29
-
-
-
Customer Support
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
Free Trial
1 Day
7 Days
7 Days
No
Money Back Guarantee
45 Days
30 Days
30 Days
30 Days

How we test the best VPN for India

We chose and tested a selection of 30 free and paid VPN services on Windows 11, Windows 10, macOS, Android, and iPhone. Here’s how we ran the tests.

> Test 1: Logging policy

What is a logging policy?

While surfing the internet with a VPN, you would assume that your viewing habits aren’t being recorded. This isn’t necessarily true. Some VPN providers can track your every move since all of your data is routed through their servers. They can also pinpoint which location you’re surfing from, which websites you visit, and what files you download. All of this information could be sold to advertising companies or passed to authorities.

If you’re using a free VPN service, it’s possible that your internet habits and location are being stored and sold to data brokers, advertisers, and others who want this type of personal viewing history. Often this is the reason why their VPN service is free to users. The real income generator is selling your information.

VPN providers should outline their logging policy clearly, regardless of whether they offer free or paid services. However, to gain more users, this logging policy is often hidden deep in the documentation. It can also be written in complicated and confusing ways.

What do we test for?

Each VPN’s privacy and logging policies are read and analyzed thoroughly. We take note of exactly what they are tracking and for what that information will be used. Some types of data logging are necessary and don’t reveal any information about the user. Things like server load data and bandwidth usage don’t provide any value to a data broker, so we find this to be completely acceptable. This type of information can help the VPN provider to improve their product and services.

However, if we find that the VPN provider is tracking and storing your browsing history, this will be unacceptable. Tracking and saving your internet, even if deleted at the end of your session is still questionable. This is sensitive information and should never be monitored.

We also check if the VPN provider tracks your IP address, as this would provide information regarding your location. Any instances of monitoring or saving the users’ locations or ISPs are considered an invasion of their privacy.

> Test 2: Ownership

What do we mean by ownership?

Every VPN service is owned by a company. And sometimes that company is owned by another, so finding the ultimate owner of a VPN service can sometimes be obscure. Depending on the corporate structure, some or all of them could have access to your data. Each company needs to be registered in a country, and things become a bit blurred when they are registered in a country other than your own. Each country has different data retention laws, which can play a role in how your information is kept and for how long.

With a bit of research, it quickly becomes apparent that a small number of companies own most VPN services.

  • Kape Technologies, a company registered in the United Kingdom, owns ExpressVPN, Zen Mate, CyberGhost VPN, and Private Internet Access.
  • Ziff Davis, from the United States, owns StrongVPN, Buffered VPN, IPVanish, SaferVPN, and Perimeter 81, along with several others.
  • Aura/Pango, another United States company, owns JustVPN, Hotspot Shield, and TouchVPN. They also provide VPN technology for a variety of other VPN providers like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Panda, and others.
  • CyberSpace, a Netherlands company, owns NordVPN, Surfshark, and also Atlas VPN.
  • Gaditek, from Pakistan, owns PureVPN, Ivacy VPN, and PureVPN, along with Unblock VPN.

What do we test for?

This test is quite important. We first determine who owns the company and then research to see if there are other companies at also retain rights to the primary company’s data. We then dig deep to discover if the company is following its country’s data retention laws. With further research, we determine if the company has ever broken these laws or has been involved in scandalous and unethical activities.

For example, IPVanish had been tracking and storing user data even though its logging and privacy policy claimed it didn’t retain any data. In 2016, they handed over this data to the Department of Homeland Security, data it wasn’t supposed to have. They’ve changed owners twice since then, but due to their unethical business practices, their current trustworthiness is debatable.

> Test 3: Independent audit

What is an independent audit?

Regardless of what a VPN provider claims, it can be difficult to determine if what they are saying is true. Marketing materials are written to entice new users to try their product or service and therefore could be written in a confusing format.

Independent audits are typically performed by an outside company to analyze a specific function or element of its operation or business practices. For VPN providers, this is often a review of their privacy policy or server infrastructure. An independent audit can prove that a company’s privacy policy is true and correct.

Some examples include:

  • ExpressVPN was audited by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) in 2019 to ensure whether ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology did in fact completely wipe and remove all data every time its server was rebooted.
  • In 2022, Deloitte audited Private Internet Access (PIA) to make sure the server environment was adhering to PIA’s privacy policy.
  • Cure53’s 2021 audit of Surfshark’s server infrastructure was performed to search for any flaws.
  • NordVPN was audited in 2020 by PwC to investigate server infrastructure, configuration, and technical logs. They also personally interviewed NordVPN’s employees.

What do we test for?

Although we don’t personally audit these companies, we do check to see if they regularly get subjected to independent audits. We analyze what these audits investigated and if any flaws were found. If there were any issues, we investigate if they’ve been fixed.

> Test 4: Available VPN protocols

What is a VPN protocol?

A VPN protocol is a structure of rules on how a VPN server and a VPN app communicate. It covers how the two identify each other and how the app logs in to the server. Also included are the details of how data is sent, what the packet encryption methods are, and other factors.

If VPN protocols are changed, this can greatly impact several different aspects of how the VPN operates. Things like connection time, download speeds, and data security can all be affected.

Some of the most common VPN protocols are:

OpenVPN: This fast and secure open-source VPN protocol is the most popular. It’s easy to customize and works with almost every operating system. A majority of VPN services use this protocol.

WireGuard: This newer protocol was designed to improve upon OpenVPN and IPSec. It’s the fastest option available for widespread use.

IKEv2: Designed by Cisco and Microsoft, this protocol’s strength is its reliable security. Unfortunately, our tests revealed that, while very secure, it’s significantly slower than WireGuard and OpenVPN.

L2TP/IPSec: This older protocol is simple and doesn’t have the speed of more modern protocols.

PPTP: Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is one of the oldest and has several flaws and vulnerabilities.

NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, and some others have put forth some time and effort to create their own unique proprietary VPN protocols. Out of all custom designs, only NordVPN is open-sourced. This is an advantage for those who want to inspect its code and improve upon it.

Examples include:

  • Hotspot Shield has created Catapult Hydra.
  • Lightway was developed by ExpressVPN.
  • Based on WireGuard, NordVPN created NordLynx.

Even experts can’t agree on which VPN protocol is the best choice. The most popular one with VPN providers is OpenVPN since it works well with almost all operating systems and is open-source software. Providers also typically offer alternatives. The best alternatives are WireGuard and IKEv2.

What do we test for?

We test to see which protocols are offered by different VPN service providers. Along with the specific protocol, we also determine if the protocol is compatible with all devices and operating systems.

> Test 5: Supported encryption standard

What is an encryption standard?

Data encryption is a key part of how VPNs work. Encryption helps protect data from hackers, scrambling it into an indecipherable mix. The first version of data encryption was developed in 1977 and was known as the Data Encryption Standard (DES). By 2002, it was replaced with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This updated version is much more secure.

The majority of VPN protocols use AES-128 or AES-256 in two versions, either GCM or CBC. GCM is faster and more secure. The reason for this is that GCM can be written in parallel. CBC can only be written in a series and is therefore much slower.

What do we test for?

We check to see which encryption standard is offered and if they offer any alternatives. Our preferred default is AES-128, and if this is their standard, we’d like to see the alternative being AES-128 (GCM) or AES-256.

> Test 6: Basic security features

What are basic security features?

All VPN providers should have some level of basic security features. A VPN should offer:

AES-256 encryption: This virtually unhackable encryption standard is the most secure and desirable. It’s sufficient against most common security threats and hacks.

OpenVPN and WireGuard: Both provide excellent security features. For an open-sourced VPN protocol, OpenVPN is known as the best. WireGuard comes in as a close second but is quickly catching up.

Split tunneling: Its benefit is the ability to allow certain apps and programs to connect directly to the internet while bypassing the VPN tunnel.

Kill switch: This automatically blocks the internet connection if the encrypted VPN tunnel fails to work.

What do we test for?

We test to ensure that the VPN provider uses all of these essential security features. We further investigate the split tunneling and kill switch features to make sure that they work flawlessly.

> Test 7: Advanced security features

What are advanced security features?

There are certain additional security features that can increase your confidence that your data is safe from malicious threats. Here are some of the most important ones:

Ad, tracker, and malicious website blockers: These automatically block unwanted advertisements, tracking cookies, and blocks known URLs that secretly install malware.

Dedicated IP address: This feature allows you to have a static IP address. Constantly changing IP addresses (and associated locations) can cause issues with financial institutions. Another benefit is sometimes avoiding captchas and gaining access to servers that only allow authorized IP addresses.

Double VPN: This will allow you to route your internet traffic via two VPN servers. Also known as VPN server changing, your encryption is doubled, supplies an added layer of IP protection, and ensures a higher level of anonymity.

Obfuscated servers: These can manipulate and change your data which can hide that you’re using a VPN. Obfuscated servers are most beneficial in countries like China or the UAE where the use of VPNs is highly discouraged.

Override GPS location: Great for spoofing your location, this feature makes apps believe you are in a different location.

RAM-only servers: Unlike on traditional devices, the information here is stored on the server’s RAM (Random Access Memory). The advantage is that all of its data is cleared every time the server is restarted. This information is nonrecoverable.

What do we test for?

We look to see if the VPN provider offers these additional security features. If they do, we test them to ensure that they are fully functional.

> Test 8: IP leak

What is an IP leak?

When using a VPN service, your actual IP address is replaced with the IP address of the VPN server to the outside world. This hides your identity and your actual location. A benefit of using a VPN is to keep your IP address private by replacing it with a fake one. Your IP address can reveal your approximate location, usually as accurate as your zip code area. By replacing your IP address, your personal information remains private.

An IP leak occurs when your real IP address is exposed and is no longer shielded by the address of the VPN server. Once revealed, your ISP can track not only your location but also a detailed history of where you’ve visited on the web. The main reason for using a VPN service is to hide your IP address, so IP leaks defeat the purpose.

What do we test for?

We perform a test by connecting to a VPN service and running an IP address lookup. If the results reveal our true IP address instead of the VPN’s, we’ve confirmed an IP leak.

> Test 9: DNS leak

What is a DNS leak?

A Domain Name System (DNS) translates a readable domain name into the IP address for a website. For example, if you type in “SoftwareLab.org” into a browser, the browser will consult a DNS server and translate it to 165.227.148.211, the IP address for the website. This system makes surfing the internet simpler.

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) typically operates the DNS server. However, accessing this service provides your ISP with a history of every site you visit on the internet. For those who consider this an invasion of privacy and prefer to keep this information hidden, a VPN can bypass the ISP with private DNS servers.

For your browsing history to remain private, a VPN needs to route your DNS queries through the VPN tunnel to the VPN’s DNS servers. If it doesn’t, a DNS leak has occurred, revealing your browsing history. This can happen if you are inexperienced with your VPN’s settings or the VPN you’re using doesn’t have its own DNS servers.

What do we test for?

We test for a DNS leak by connecting to a VPN service and running a DNS server lookup. If the results don’t show that they own the DNS servers, we consider this a DNS leak.

> Test 10: WebRTC leak

What is a WebRTC leak?

VPN services block your private information, things like your IP address and web surfing history, but sometimes leaks can occur through WebRTC.

Web Real-Time Communication, or WebRTC for short, allows web browsers to create communication channels with websites in real-time. This comes in handy when streaming live video and audio feeds. When this communication occurs, the website and your browser exchange a lot of information. One piece of data shared is your actual IP address. This is a requirement of WebRTC, so blocking WebRTC requests, even with the help of a VPN, can be difficult.

The best VPN services are built to allow this communication to happen, but they replace your IP with the VPN server’s IP address.

What do we test for?

We test by running a WebRTC lookup. If our original IP address shows up, we know there’s a WebRTC leak.

> Test 11: Download speed via OpenVPN

What is OpenVPN?

First introduced in 2001, OpenVPN is an open-source VPN protocol. Its source code is open for critique and inspection and is frequently used as a base for custom protocols. It’s known as one of the most secure VPN protocols and is used by many VPN services due to its reliable and secure connection speeds. It runs on multiple operating systems.

There are two versions within the OpenVPN protocol. Its default option, OpenVPN UDP (User Datagram Protocol), allows for the fastest download speed. OpenVPN TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), provides more control over data transmission, however, this comes at the cost of slower download speeds.

Now with the WireGuard VPN protocol, OpenVPN may have been bumped to second place. OpenVPN is still quite popular, but more VPN services are switching to the WireGuard VPN protocol.

What do we test for?

We set the Windows app to the Open VPN protocol and test the download speed for each of the best VPN services. We check the download speed on a 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) internet connection.

> Test 12: Supported speed via WireGuard

What is WireGuard?

WireGuard is a less complex and faster open-source VPN protocol than OpenVPN and IPsec. With only 4,000 lines of code compared to 500,000 that the other two have, it’s considerably easier to troubleshoot and perform security audits.

It was initially created to for Linux kernel, however, it now runs on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Our observations of WireGuard have shown that it’s 60% faster than OpenVPN.

What do we test for?

We push the VPN to the limit by setting the app to Windows with the WireGuard protocol and testing the download speed on a 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) internet connection.

> Test 13: (Virtual) VPN servers and locations

What are (virtual) VPN servers?

VPN servers host specialized VPN software to create an encrypted VPN tunnel with VPN clients. Some may have specialized VPN software. Top-notch VPN services such as Surfshark and NordVPN use RAM-only servers which will completely erase any data after a reboot. This is a highly desirable feature.

Most VPN servers are a physical server that’s located in the country that the app indicates. By connecting to one of these servers, all of your internet traffic is routed to the actual server in that country. This gives you an IP address tied to the country you are logged in to.

This isn’t true in all cases. Some smaller or less developed countries don’t have server parks that are located within their country. Located within the confines of Spain, the mountainous country of Andorra does not own any physical VPN servers. However, some VPN providers do offer a server in Andorra.

This is where virtual servers come into play. They can provide you with a local IP address in a country that doesn’t actually have a server located there. You can get a local IP address for Andorra, but the physical server may be located in Spain.

VPN providers with extensive networks typically have servers in approximately 60 countries. Those that have more are usually using virtual servers.

What do we test for?

We inspect to see the number of servers and locations a VPN provider has. We also look to see if servers can be selected on a country or city level, and we take note if they are physical or virtual.

> Test 14: Streaming compatibility

What is compatibility with a streaming service?

A common reason to use a VPN service is to have access to films and content that isn’t available in your country. Popular streaming services limit which titles are available based on the user’s location. Connecting to a VPN located in a country different than the one the user is residing in will provide much different content. For example, Netflix has content that is only available in the United States.

For Netflix users outside of the U.S., they would need to log into a VPN server located within the United States to see this content. This is also true for those within the States who want to watch a popular show in India, perhaps one that isn’t available to Netflix users who aren’t physically in India.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some streaming services check to see if a user is connected to a VPN, and if so, may block access to titles only available to those within the country. Some VPN providers have been working to find ways around this issue.

What do we test for?

We run tests to see if VPN providers can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer in the United States. For Netflix, we also inspect for unblocking in other countries.

> Test 15: Torrenting compatibility

What is compatibility with a torrent network?

Torrenting is a way to share files in a peer-to-peer environment. Users make files available to each other to download. There’s no central server for this, with users downloading directly from one other. For the process to work, users must use torrent client like BitTorrent.

Simply sharing files with other users isn’t illegal. However, due to copyright laws, sharing certain types of files is. One of the most popular files to share are copyrighted movies, which is against the law. The actual process behind torrenting is completely legal, but complications can occur depending on the content you’re sharing or downloading.

What do we test for?

We test to see if the VPN provider allows for downloading peer-to-peer files on some or all of their servers.

> Test 16: Annual price and price per device

What is the annual price and price per device?

Most VPN providers are upfront with their pricing structure. Most have a monthly subscription fee, and the most expensive plans are for a single device, one-month use.

We calculate the price for an entire year and the price per device. Most are comparatively priced, however, ExpressVPN has proven to be much more costly than the others.

What do we test for?

We calculate the price for a one-year contract for each VPN provider. We also examine the price per connection by dividing this price by the number of simultaneous connections permitted.

What VPNs for India have we tested?

We have tested 30 paid and free VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). Proton VPN is the best free VPN service. But if you have the money, we recommend getting a paid VPN service.

In the best case, the free version allows you to protect only one device and doesn’t offer you unlimited bandwidth / unlimited data. And in the worst case, the free VPN providers show you ads or secretly sell your browsing history to advertisers and your internet service provider.

And should you be strapped for cash, don’t opt for an expensive VPN like ExpressVPN. Instead, get a cheap VPN, like Surfshark, that allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices and share the cost with a friend.

  • Astrill VPN
  • Atlas VPN
  • Avast SecureLine VPN
  • Betternet VPN
  • Bitdefender VPN
  • CactusVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • HideME VPN
  • HMA VPN (HideMyAss VPN)
  • Hola VPN
  • Hotspot Shield VPN
  • IPVanish VPN
  • Ivacy VPN
  • IVPN
  • Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection
  • McAfee Safe Connect VPN
  • Mozilla VPN
  • MullVad VPN
  • NordVPN
  • Norton Secure VPN
  • Private Internet Access VPN
  • PrivateVPN
  • Proton VPN
  • PureVPN
  • StrongVPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • Tunnelbear VPN
  • VyprVPN
  • Windscribe VPN

The best are: CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark.

Frequently asked questions

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your online privacy. It creates an encrypted VPN tunnel between your device and a VPN server. This tunnel hides your IP address, restores your anonymity online and makes you safe on public Wi-Fi networks.

Why do you need a VPN?

You need a VPN to restore your online privacy and security. Without a VPN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and advertisers can track everything you read, watch and download online. On top of that, if you don’t use a VPN, hackers will be able to steal your data on public Wi-Fi networks, which can lead to identity theft.

How does a VPN work?

A VPN creates an encrypted connection, called a VPN tunnel, between your devices and a VPN server. This hides your IP address and what you do online. As a result, your ISP won’t be able to see what websites you visit, and advertisers won’t be able to know what your IP address is.

What is the best VPN?

CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the best VPN services of 2022. NordVPN is the most advanced VPN service. CyberGhost has the highest download speeds and the lowest one-year price. And Surfshark allows you to install the software on unlimited devices.

What is the fastest VPN?

CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the fastest VPN services of 2022. Although CyberGhost is slightly faster than the other two, the difference is not noticeable for most users.

About the author

Tibor Moes

Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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