Ever get the feeling that someone is snooping on your web traffic? Well, that’s not just paranoia — there’s a decent chance that you’re really at risk. Be it a government agency, your ISP, your employer, or some busybody at your favorite coffee joint, it’s staggering to think about how many people could be watching you.
Maintaining your online privacy can be particularly challenging in today’s environment, but taking your first step towards real privacy is relatively simple. Investing in a VPN is a smart choice right now, but the options are vast. To help narrow things down a bit, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite consumer services.
If your priority is peer-to-peer file sharing, TorGuard is an excellent choice. Not only does this service fully support torrenting, but it also takes privacy and security seriously. No logs are kept, superb AES-256 encryption is available, and the stealth VPN option helps users sidestep deep packet inspection. And with more than 1600 servers in more than 50 countries, you’ll have plenty of flexibility at your fingertips.
• $9.99 per month, $64 per year• Learn more at PCMag• Buy TorGuard VPN
While some VPNs have a reputation for slow, extremely latent connections, it doesn’t have to be that way. The folks at PureVPN take speed seriously, and they’ve built one of the snappiest consumer VPN services we’ve ever seen. Whether you’re trying to stream video from foreign services, download large files over BitTorrent, or simply browse securely, the superb performance here is much appreciated.
• $11 per month, $65.40 per year• Learn more at PCMag• Buy PureVPN
Private Internet Access VPN
Looking for a straightforward VPN solution that will offer protection without much hassle? Private Internet Access is an excellent fit for both first-time users and those of us with advanced needs. It’s affordable, feature-rich, and supports most modern mobile devices to boot. In fact, Private Internet Access is so good, it’s one of three services that have earned the coveted title of PCMag Editors’ Choice.
• $6.95 per month, $39.95 per year• Learn more at PCMag• Buy Private Internet Access VPN
If you’re in need of a truly robust VPN, consider opting for NordVPN. Alongside the typical features you’d expect to see, this service also includes a toolset aimed at those of us most in need of privacy. With optional onion-over-VPN, double VPN, and anti-DDoS connections, you’ll be able to surf safely even under intense scrutiny. And since it reviewed so well, it’s also in the three-way tie for Editors’ Choice at PCMag.
• $11.95 per month, $69 per year• Learn more at PCMag• Buy NordVPN
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
On a tight budget? Worry not! VPN Unlimited is extremely affordable, and doesn’t compromise a bit on functionality. With a user-friendly interface, a dedicated server optimized for video streaming, and included browser extensions, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. And since this service rounds out the PCMag Editors’ Choice picks, you can rest easy knowing that this is a solid investment.
• $5.99 per month, $29.99 per year• Learn more at PCMag• Buy KeepSolid VPN Unlimited