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The 10 Best VPN for Singapore (2023 Update)

By Tibor Moes / November 2022

Why do you need a VPN? Advertisers track your browsing habits, and hackers intercept your data on public Wi-Fi networks. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) keeps your digital life safe.

  • Stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks. By using a VPN, hackers cannot steal your personal data, like credit card details and passwords.
  • Stop advertisers from tracking you. With a VPN, advertisers like Facebook cannot monitor your browsing history to send you ads.
  • Stream all movies. Through a foreign VPN server, you can watch movies and sports-events that are blocked in your own country.

The best VPN for Singapore protects you from hackers, hides your IP from advertisers, and unblocks foreign movies.

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 Singapore

The VPN providers tested in this list include free and paid services. Additionally, they run on multiple major operating systems. These include Windows 10 and 11, iOS, macOS, and Android. Here are the detailed descriptions of the 16 tests we conducted on each service.

> Test 1: Logging policy

What is a logging policy?

A VPN service is bound to secure your data. However, a logging policy will tell you if the provider tracks your logging information and why it uses it.

Every VPN service routes your data through its server. This concept works just like your Internet Service Provider (ISP), meaning that your VPN provider has the same insight into what you’re doing online.

Be wary of the logging policies when you’re choosing a VPN provider.

Many VPNs offer their features for free, but there’s a reason for it. Many free VPN providers, such as HolaVPN, store your IP and log data to sell it to advertisers and data brokers.

Unfortunately, this is a standard business practice of many services. When signing up for free products, take caution not to become a product yourself. Around 30% of VPNs keep your originating IP address, and the devastating 5% are known for tracking logging habits.

What do we test for?

A reliable VPN should state which kind of data they track in its logging policy. We examine each VPN provider’s policy and ensure that they do not keep sensitive information about you. These include your originating IP address and your browsing habits.

Some types of information are acceptable to store, such as server load data and bandwidth allocation, as it helps the provider improve the service quality. However, keeping an IP address is unacceptable since it reveals your geolocation and ISP provider. A good VPN logging policy explicitly states that they delete the logging data at the end of every VPN session.

We also ensure you understand the logging policy thoroughly before deciding which VPN provider you will use. Many logging policies intentionally use vague language, so we clarify possible misconceptions.

> Test 2: Ownership

What do we mean by ownership?

VPN services often belong to corporate holding structures, meaning they belong to another, more prominent company, which another company owns. This type of hierarchy allows companies to access your data on multiple levels, often more than you’d like. Moreover, the data retention laws of each provider may differ depending on who owns the VPN provider’s company.

For instance, your chosen VPN provider may reside in the United States, but their owner company’s headquarters are elsewhere. Another possibility is that the VPN provider is based in a different country than yours. These situations affect the VPN experience and logging policies.

Before choosing your VPN provider, ensure you find as much as possible about your VPN provider’s parent company. This information lets you know about your VPN’s aims and potential risks for your logging usage.

The VPN market is extensive. However, many companies are owned by the same clusters of parent companies.

  • Aura (or Pango) – A U.S.-based company that owns multiple VPNs that prominent companies use. Some VPNs that fall under their cluster are Panda, Kaspersky, JustVPN, Hotspot Shield, and Touch VPN.
  • CyberSpace – A company with headquarters in the Netherlands. A parent company to many massive VPN providers like Surfshark, Atlas VPN, and Nord VPN.
  • Gaditek – Based in Pakistan. Owns Unblock VPN, PureVPN, and Ivacy VPN.
  • Kape Technologies – A big-name company with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Some of the VPN companies it owns include ZenMate, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost VPN
  • Ziff Davis – Comes from the United States. An owner of several large VPN providers, including StrongVPN, Perimeter 81, IPVanish, and several others.

What do we test for?

We examine the chosen VPN provider’s parent company for the following criteria:

  • The geolocation of the owner
  • Comparative analysis of the data retention policies, including the country of the VPN provider and the laws in the owner company’s state
  • The parent company’s history, including investigation of misconduct in the past

These examinations have brought up a batch of intriguing information. Here are some examples:

Our research found that IPvanish was the subject of a logging policy violation scandal in 2016. While vehemently re-iterating their “strict zero-logs policy,” they handed over a user’s logging history to Homeland Security. This incident caused considerable damage to IPVanish’s reputation, leading to ownership changes multiple times after the scandal.

Another instance we found regarded Kape Technologies’ malware and ad injection negligence in 2018. Kape Technologies operated under the name Crossrider until then and was well-known as a development platform for browser extensions. The issue arose when the platform was used by cybercriminals, leading to a damaged reputation and name change.

> Test 3: Independent audit

What is an independent audit?

Independent auditors examine VPN companies’ infrastructure and inspect if they back up their claims. VPN companies often use declarations like “Zero-Log Policy” or “Military Grade Encryption” that generate marketing buzz among users. However, those claims often turn out inaccurate. A company then undertakes an audit to verify if the claims are facts.

Some examples of prominent VPN audits include:

  • Surfshark’s 2021 audit had Cure53 investigate server infrastructure flaws.
  • In 2019, PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) examined ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology. The issue was due to the suspicion that the technology removed all data on each server reboot.
  • Deloitte audited Private Internet Access (PIA) ‘s server environment in 2022 regarding PIA’s privacy policy.
  • In 2020, PwC audited NordVPN for technical log issues, server infrastructure, and configuration checks. The audit also did interviews with NordVPN’s employees.

What do we test for?

We inspect if the VPN provider underwent an official audit. This test includes examining information about the audit topic and if auditors found any significant issues.

> Test 4: Available VPN protocols

What is a VPN protocol?

A VPN protocol defines the communication between the VPN app and its server. Protocol choice affects the VPN experience, including connection speed and security features.

Among many things, the protocol states the following items:

  • How the app and the server recognize each other
  • How the app reaches out to the server
  • How they send and receive data
  • How they encrypt protocols etc.

New VPN protocols emerge on the market all the time. They improve the existing ones and offer new features. There are a few classic protocols many top-notch VPN services use, and you can explore them in the list below.

  • KEv2: An offspring of Microsoft and Cisco, it’s well-known and respected for being extremely secure. However, it maintains solid cybersecurity at the expense of connection speed.
  • L2TP/IPSec: One of the oldest protocols on the list, it’s basic but slow compared to other protocols.
  • OpenVPN: As the most common VPN protocol, it’s a VPN provider favorite because it is open source and highly customizable. It offers fast connection speeds and top security.
  • PPTP: A relatively standard but old one with some considerable security problems.
  • WireGuard: This one is OpenVPN’s next-gen heir. It’s open-source with fewer code lines, allowing easy customization and excellent download speeds.

OpenVPN is a gold standard for most VPN providers. Services often offer choices, most commonly IKEv2 and WireGuard. Additionally, some VPNs have introduced their original protocols.

  • ExpressVPN created Lightway, the only original open-source protocol on this list.
  • NordVPN’s NordLynx is inspired by WireGuard.
  • Hotspot Shield designed Catapult Hydra.

What do we test for?

We inspect the VPN provider’s protocol choice and if that protocol is available on all operating systems. Testing this is mandatory, as some providers restrict specific protocol use to a limited number of operating systems.

> Test 5: Supported encryption standard

What is an encryption standard?

An encrypted VPN tunnel is a requirement for secure surfing, meaning hackers can’t intercept the data transfer through the VPN as long as it’s encrypted both ways.

An encryption standard is an algorithm key that determines the coding rules. The first standard encryption key was introduced in 1977 and named the Data Encryption Standard (DES). The United States government designed it to use the same algorithm key on both ends of the encryption tunnel. The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) was released in 2002, soon replacing the DES. The new encryption standard was a variation of the Rijndael block cipher, using a 128-bit block size. The key sizes vary between 128, 192, and 256 bits.

Most VPNs use SE-128 or AES-256 in the CBC or GCM versions as standard encryption keys. We believe that GCM is the better option since it allows independent block encryption. This feature provides an extra layer of security to the VPN tunnel. This version lets you write code in parallel instead of in a series, increasing throughput.

What do we test for?

We check whether the VPN service uses AES encryption standards. Ideally, the provider should opt for one of those as their default standard. Additionally, we check if the service offers any alternatives.

> Test 6: Basic security features

What are basic security features?

Every VPN on which we conduct tests is bound to have the following features:

  • AES-256 encryption: This is currently the strongest encryption standard because it uses the latest digital technologies. It’s brute-force resistant and designed to repel hacking attempts.
  • Split tunneling: This feature allows you to split encrypting permissions. The VPN enables selected programs to bypass the tunnel and straightforwardly connect to the web.
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard: These are top-notch choices of VPN protocols, ensuring that the fast download speeds are balanced with solid security features. While OpenVPN is the classic choice, WireGuard is the MVP of the new-generation VPN protocols.
  • Kill switch: This feature cuts off the internet connection if a VPN tunnel fails.

What do we test for?

We ensure that the VPN providers include these features in their offers. Additionally, we verify whether the kill switch and split tunneling function is as the service claims.

> Test 7: Advanced security features

What are advanced security features?

Besides the core security features, a full-package VPN provider ideally offers the following features to ensure robust security:

  • Ad trackers and malicious website blockers: These features secure the VPN connection from malicious intrusions. They block website cookies infested with tracking malware, ads, and URLs that could be the carriers of potential phishing threats.
  • Dedicated IP address: Your VPN provider generates a dedicated IP address to allow you access to restricted servers. This IP address also helps you bypass captchas and blocklists.
  • Double VPN: VPN chaining routes your web traffic and allows an extra layer of IP security. It’s a feature that improves encryption by doubling the VPN tunnels. That way, it provides more privacy while surfing.
  • Obfuscated servers: This feature hides that you are surfing via VPN. It’s advantageous in regions like the UAE or China that restrict VPN use.
  • Override GPS location: The feature uses GPS spoofing to hide you from GPS-based tracking by Google Maps and similar apps. This feature masks your actual IP address with the VPN server IP location.
  • RAM-only servers: Many newer VPNs root their servers on RAM-based hard drives. This feature offers excellent security benefits as it removes all data anytime the server is reset. If the server gets confiscated, there won’t be any data on it.

What do we test for?

We inspect if each VPN service offers these features and if they work as claimed in the offer.

> Test 8: IP leak

What is an IP leak?

The IP address of our local device is like our online ID, and every device has a pair. If left unprotected, it can be a target of various cybersecurity issues and cause harm to our privacy. These problems arise for two main reasons:

  • A visible IP address implies your geolocation (zip code or neighborhood level)
  • Allows access to your logging history, revealing your identity based on your surfing habits

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns you the public IP address. All your devices share this address when on the same router. It’s also the address you use when connecting to the web. Most public IPs are IPv4 addresses. However, some ISPs opt for IPv6, an alternative to IPv4.

The role of a VPN is to replace your public IP address with a server-generated one. This feature benefits your cybersecurity configuration in multiple ways, the two most important being the following:

  • The fake IP address hides you from the ISP, so they cannot track your browsing habits. They’re only allowed to see that you are using a VPN.
  • Web locations such as websites or pages only see the VPN-generated IP, meaning they can’t figure out who or where you are.

VPN leaks occur when the VPN service lets the public see your originating IP instead of the server’s address.

What do we test for?

Once we connect to a VPN service, we inspect the IP address configuration. If we discover that our IP address shows instead of the VPN’s, it’s most likely an IP leak.

> Test 9: DNS leak

What is a DNS leak?

DNS is short for “Domain Name System,” a server-based feature that transcribes website URLs into their IP address. For instance, if you type SoftwareLab.org into the browser, the DNS server will convert it to 165.227.148.211 and welcome you to the website.

The DNS system is often called “the internet’s phonebook.” When you insert a query into your browser, the DNS server will redirect you to the destination. An Internet service provider (ISP) usually operates the host servers, giving them insight into your browsing history. The DNS servers are the messengers of your queries, and all your web traffic routes through them.

This concept, logically, compromises your privacy. To avoid privacy issues, many VPNs have original DNS servers. However, a DNS leak happens when a VPN lets your queries route through the ISP’s DNS server instead of the VPN’s. These failures are often manual, caused by adjusting the VPN incorrectly.

Additionally, DNS leaks occur if the VPN doesn’t have an original DNS server.

What do we test for?

We run a DNS server check once connected to a VPN service. If the test runs our queries through the ISP’s server, we determine that the VPN service doesn’t have its own DNS servers.

> Test 10: WebRTC leak

What is a WebRTC leak?

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a feature of modern browsers which allows them to interact with content in real time. In short, it lets you stream media like video and audio or play video games without additional software. Google Chrome and Firefox are best known for integrating this feature.

WebRTC requires a data transfer, including your public and local IP address, to work correctly. Unfortunately, you can’t bypass this requirement using a shortcut. It’s a functionality of WebRTC, and blocking it can often lead to browser slowdowns and losing functionality.

However, there’s a way to protect your privacy using a VPN.

A solid VPN will replace your IP address with the server’s and send it to WebRTC. Authorized WebRTC connections will continue anyway, and your originating IP will not be at risk.

WebRTC leaks happen if the VPN server fails to replace your IP with its own.

What do we test for?

We inspect whether our IP address is visible when we perform a WebRTC connection via a VPN server.

> Test 11: Download speed via OpenVPN

What is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is the best-known open-source VPN protocol and our top recommendation for VPN services. It has an excellent reputation among most top-notch VPN services for being the most secure. Its code is open for edits, meaning any user can inspect it and suggest changes. This feature led to its constant improvements since its release in 2001.

OpenVPN has two versions currently available:

  • OpenVPN UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is the default choice of the VPN, as it allows for the fastest download speeds.
  • OpenVPN TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) allows for more data transfer control at the expense of the download speed.

Many VPN providers also opt for WireGuard because it offers considerably higher download speeds. However, OpenVPN has solidified its position as the first choice of the best VPN services because it’s verified as the most balanced protocol. Even those providers that choose WireGuard offer OpenVPN as an alternative.

What do we test for?

We set the Windows app to OpenVPN, then tested its download speed. We push the connection to its upper limit using a 1Gbps (1,000 Mbps) rate to get the most out of the protocol.

> Test 12: Supported speed via WireGuard

What is WireGuard?

WireGuard is the new-generation VPN protocol. It’s simpler and leaner than OpenVPN and IPsec and allows much faster download speeds. VPN providers striving for a contemporary approach to VPN practices opt for this solution because it’s now the leading open-source protocol on the market.

The protocol has many apparent advantages compared to older ones. It’s exceptionally flexible, considering it has only 4,000 lines of code, making it almost 60% faster than OpenVPN, according to our tests. This leanness is a considerable advantage compared to the nearly 50,000 lines of OpenVPN’s protocol.

It also allows for faster debugging and security audits, making it a big contender of the praised classic OpenVPN.

WireGuard runs on all major operating systems initially designed for the Linux kernel. These include Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS.

What do we test for?

Once connected to the VPN using the WireGuard protocol, we push the connection to the limit. We set the connection speed to 1Gbps (1,000 Mbps) to experiment with the top speed limit.

> Test 13: (Virtual) VPN servers and locations

What are (virtual) VPN servers?

A virtual VPN server (Virtualized Private Network) is a particular router that hosts and delivers VPN services. VPN servers are typically hardware-based, as many VPN services use RAM-only servers to create encrypted VPN tunnels. Providers like Surfshark and NordVPN are examples of these, as their RAM-hosted servers wipe out data after every reboot.

Many VPNs offer their services in foreign countries. However, these countries sometimes lack original server infrastructure. VPNs fix this issue by creating virtual machines that emulate physical servers and provide assistance to those regions.

Virtual VPN servers work by providing users with an IP address that appears to be from the country where the physical server is located. When you use a VPN, you connect to a physical server likely rooted in another country. The VPN server will then provide you with a local IP synced with the server’s location.

Take Andorra as an example country. It doesn’t have original server parks. However, you can use a Spain-based VPN service, despite the physical server not being in your country of residence. The VPN will provide an Andorran IP address since Andorra uses Spain’s server infrastructure.

With extensive server infrastructures, most prominent VPNs often have virtual VPN servers. Even the most widespread ones have up to 60 physical servers, and the rest of the network consists of virtual servers.

What do we test for?

We examine the number of servers and locations the VPN provider clusters. Once we determine the count, we will inspect if you can pick these servers based on country or city level. We also check whether these servers are virtual or physical.

> Test 14: Streaming compatibility

What is compatibility with a streaming service?

VPNs are helpful when you want to access geo-restricted content on streaming services. It’s common for popular services like Netflix that make specific shows available only in the U.S. Unfortunately, that leaves countries such as the United Kingdom and other overseas regions with access to Netflix copyright-restricted from watching.

Some streaming services can be bypassed using VPN.

A VPN service will provide you with a local IP address, which masks your actual IP and lets you access U.S.-only content. However, some prominent services, including Netflix, are usually one step ahead and can see when you’re using VPN. If they identify your attempt with a VPN, they’ll block you until you have turned the VPN off.

Luckily, some VPNs have hacked their way around the services’ restrictions. A good VPN service updates its software regularly to overcome these streaming service restrictions. That way, users can always access the shows and movies, regardless of location.

What do we test for?

We test if the VPN can unlock the following streaming services:

  • Netflix (Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Japan, and UK versions)
  • Hulu
  • Disney Plus
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • HBO Max
  • BBC iPlayer

> Test 15: Torrenting compatibility

What is compatibility with a torrent network?

Torrent services do not require servers since they’re based on peer-to-peer sharing. Users create torrent files and upload them to torrent websites for other users to download. However, this data transfer method requires a torrent client, such as BitTorrent or μTorrent. Some clients, like Popcorn Time, have streaming features that allow you to play media directly from the client.

While torrenting as a concept isn’t illegal by default, it is often associated with piracy. This issue is due to the copyrighted content that finds its way s onto torrent websites, such as movies, music, or games.

What do we test for?

We run a torrenting client using a VPN service and try to download files. Then we check if the VPN allows that on all its servers.

> Test 16: Annual price and price per device

What is the annual price and price per device?

As mentioned before, be careful if you use a free VPN service.

The best and most verified VPNs charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee. The single-month subscription is often the most expensive, and the price falls with a more long-term commitment.

We determine the best offer by comparing the VPN’s price for a one-year contract. Then, we look at the price regarding how many devices you can use with the VPN simultaneously. Services like Surfshark and IPVanish allow unlimited devices per subscription, which makes them an ideal choice. In contrast, services like ExpressVPN are costlier than the competition.

What do we test for?

We divide the yearly subscription fee with a price-per-device to calculate the best choice for your VPN investment.

What VPNs for Singapore 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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