最後更新時間：2023 年 9 月 5 日
In the past, we used to casually hop onto the free Wi-Fi offered in public places without realizing the hidden risks. Little did we know, public Wi-Fi is a hotbed for potential threats – hackers can easily snatch your data while you're connected. Using a VPN, on the other hand, can encrypt all your online traffic and keep it safe from prying hackers' eyes.
VPN not only safeguards your information but also unlocks regional restrictions on major streaming platforms and games. It even allows you to bypass internet censorship in countries with strict online controls, such as China. VPN has become an essential tool for everyday internet usage.
We've conducted extensive testing and research on the plethora of VPNs available on the market and have carefully selected the top 6 VPN recommendations for 2022. In this article, we provide detailed evaluations and comparisons, highlighting the specific strengths and use cases for each VPN. We believe you'll find the perfect VPN for your needs within this comprehensive guide. As the article is quite lengthy, feel free to utilize the table of contents to quickly locate the information you're looking for.
Best VPN Quick Guide
In 2023, our top pick for a VPN is Surfshark VPN. It excels in every aspect and stands out as one of the few VPNs in the market that lets you connect an unlimited number of devices with a single account. What's even better is that it comes at a pocket-friendly price. It's hands down the best bang for your buck VPN we've come across.
Another option worth considering is NordVPN. It boasts a wide range of features and comes at a wallet-friendly price point, making it a solid choice with excellent value for money. Additionally, if you require blazing-fast internet speeds, we recommend going with ExpressVPN, known for its top-tier speed performance. It's the ultimate choice for gaming and binge-watching, but it does come at a slightly higher price.
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What is VPN?
VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, is a software tool commonly used by individuals and businesses. In the corporate world, it serves the primary purpose of enabling employees to work remotely by connecting to the company's network through a VPN.
For individuals, the most common use of a VPN is often to bypass geographical restrictions. When you connect to a VPN, it can change your IP address, concealing your real one, and encrypt all your internet traffic. All your online activities take place within this encrypted tunnel, safeguarding your personal information from hackers, ISPs, government surveillance, and more.
The Best VPNs of 2023
The following 6 VPNs are our top picks for 2023. The VPN market will continue to evolve, and we'll keep conducting further tests and research to update this list in the future!
Countries: 100 | Servers: 3,200+ | Devices: ∞ | 24/7 support: yes | free trial: 30 days
✔︎ Excellent value for money
✔︎ Stable and exceptional connection speeds
✔︎ unlimited number of devices
✔︎ unblocking streaming platforms
✘ No free version
Surfshark's entry into the VPN market has disrupted the industry. With its combination of high performance and affordable pricing, it quickly became a focal point in the market. Its service is available in 65 countries, with a total of over 3200 servers - impressive numbers indeed.
One of the most attractive features of Surfshark, aside from its affordable pricing, is that with just one account, you can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. You can even share your account with friends and family, which is almost unprecedented in the VPN industry. This unique offering sets Surfshark apart from the competition once again.
In terms of security, Surfshark supports the use of high-strength AES-256 encryption technology and the OpenVPN encryption protocol. It also offers the Double VPN feature, which is a step above the usual VPN encryption. While regular VPNs encrypt your traffic once, this feature encrypts your online traffic twice, significantly enhancing security.
In terms of performance, Surfshark consistently takes measures to optimize its service. Its speed test results are currently at a very high level, and Surfshark is often compared to the VPN giants, ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
In terms of availability, Surfshark supports a wide range of devices, including Windows, MAC, smartphones, browsers, smart TVs, and even gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation. The key advantage is that you can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously with a single account.
Surfshark can unlock major streaming platforms worldwide, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more. Especially when it comes to Netflix, in our testing, it outperforms most other VPNs by unlocking Netflix content in the highest number of countries, putting it on par with NordVPN.
Additionally, Surfshark offers a range of unique features, such as its ad blocker (CleanWeb) to block all annoying ads, as well as features like Bypasser and Camouflage mode.
To sum it up, considering all the mentioned aspects and Surfshark's budget-friendly pricing, it is indeed an impressive VPN with exceptional value for money. If you're wondering which VPN to choose, we highly recommend starting with Surfshark. You can use our exclusive discount link to purchase a 2-year plan, which includes an additional 2 months for free, saving you 82%. Plus, you'll have a 30-day free trial period to give it a try.
Countries: 94 | Servers: 3,000+ | Devices: 5 | 24/7 support: 有 | free trial: 30 days
✔︎ Top-rated overall
✔︎ High-speed connection
✔︎ Extensive country support
✔︎ Powerful encryption technology
✔︎ Exclusive Lightway encryption protocol
✘ higher price
ExpressVPN has consistently been a top performer in the VPN field. It boasts an extensive server network with servers in 94 countries, spanning over 160 regions and totaling over 3000 servers. While some VPNs may have more servers, very few support as many countries as ExpressVPN does.
In terms of security, in addition to the standard AES-256 and OpenVPN protocols, ExpressVPN has also developed its proprietary Lightway encryption protocol. This not only enhances security but also improves overall speed and reliability.
In terms of performance, ExpressVPN delivers very high-speed connections, which are widely recognized in numerous online speed tests. It's recommended to use the aforementioned Lightway encryption protocol for an even better experience.
In terms of availability, ExpressVPN supports a wide range of devices, from computers and smartphones to browsers, televisions, routers, and even gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. It's user-friendly and easy to set up, allowing simultaneous connections on up to 5 devices.
For many users, the ability to bypass geographical restrictions on streaming platforms is a significant requirement. After thorough testing, ExpressVPN can effectively help you unlock regional restrictions on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+, among others.
ExpressVPN also offers a range of additional features, such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, P2P support, and the company continually innovates to provide customers with a safer and more stable environment.
Regarding their no-logs policy, ExpressVPN's third-party auditor verification adds to its credibility. All in all, ExpressVPN is undeniably an excellent VPN. It's worth noting that it may be slightly more expensive than other VPNs, but you can use our discount link to purchase a 12-month plan and get an extra 3 months for free, saving 49%. Plus, they offer a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it risk-free.
Countries: 59 | Servers: 5,200+ | Devices: 6 | 24/7 support: yes | free trial: 30 days
✔︎ Many servers
✔︎ Exclusive NordLynx encryption
✔︎ High security
✔︎ many additional features
✔︎ Budget-friendly subscription plans
✘ Some additional setup required for the mobile version
NordVPN is a well-known VPN brand in Taiwan, with a history of over 10 years. It remains a popular choice for many users, excelling in almost every aspect. In terms of server quantity, it surpasses even ExpressVPN with a whopping 5200+ servers spread across 59 countries and regions.
In terms of security, NordVPN offers not only the standard AES-256 encryption but also, like Surfshark, provides a Double VPN feature. This feature routes a user's internet traffic through two layers of connections, achieving double encryption for added security.
In terms of performance, NordVPN has developed its proprietary NordLynx encryption protocol, which is an enhanced version of WireGuard. In real-world testing, it has significantly improved connection speeds.
In terms of availability, NordVPN similarly supports a wide range of devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, TV, routers, and more. NordVPN is also very user-friendly in terms of setup and operation, allowing simultaneous connections on up to 6 devices.
NordVPN has always been a popular choice for unblocking various major streaming platforms. Users have found it effective for accessing services like Netflix, WhatsApp, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more.
Additionally, NordVPN offers a comprehensive set of additional features. In addition to common features like a kill switch and DNS protection, it provides special features like Onion over VPN and Double VPN, offering multiple layers of security protection, akin to layers of an onion.
Finally, NordVPN is reasonably priced at around 100 NTD per month, making it a high-value VPN. Currently, they offer a 60% discount on their 2-year plan and provide a 30-day trial period guarantee.
6、Private Internet Access
Countries: 78 | Servers: 10,000+ | Devices: 10 | 24/7 support: Yes | free trial: 30 days
✔︎ Tons of servers
✔︎ Comprehensive set of additional features
✔︎ Supports a large number of devices
✔︎ Affordable pricing
✘ Unable to unlock BBC iPlayer
✘ Average speed performance
Private Internet Access (PIA) is also a well-established VPN brand with over a decade of history. In recent years, their most notable focus has been a significant expansion of their VPN server network. Currently, they are estimated to have over 10,000 servers globally, which is an astonishing number and places them far ahead of other VPN providers. Private Internet Access likely boasts the largest server network among VPNs today.
To be honest, Private Internet Access is not the fastest VPN, but it's not slow either. It should suffice for most internet activities. However, if you're a gaming enthusiast who prioritizes speed or you dislike streaming delays, it's advisable to choose one of the earlier options that offer better speed performance.
Private Internet Access supports up to 10 simultaneous device connections, which is relatively more than many other VPNs. It's compatible with various operating systems and devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and more.
Private Internet Access is proficient at unblocking streaming platforms and can bypass regional restrictions on services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. However, it may not be effective at unlocking BBC iPlayer.
Additionally, Private Internet Access has introduced many useful features, such as SmartDNS, a kill switch, and advanced split tunneling capabilities.
All in all, Private Internet Access is still a VPN worth trying, and its pricing is quite affordable, on par with Surfshark. Currently, they offer a 2-year plan with an additional 2 months for free, and they also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Countries: 91 | Servers: 7,800+ | Devices: 7 | 24/7 support: Yes | free trial: 45 days
✔︎ Wide-ranging country coverage
✔︎ A vast number of servers
✔︎ Supports a large number of devices
✔︎ 45-day trial period
✘ Cannot bypass Firewall of China
CyberGhost is a globally recognized VPN brand with over 7800 servers, making it one of the brands with the most servers in the VPN industry. These servers are distributed across 91 countries, providing extensive service coverage. This wide server network offers users a plethora of choices when connecting to VPN servers.
In terms of performance, we conducted speed tests using the WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols, and the data results showed good performance, similar to NordVPN but slightly lagging behind.
CyberGhost is compatible with various devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more. It allows simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices, which is 1-2 devices more compared to some other VPNs.
Unlocking streaming media has always been one of CyberGhost's strengths. It can effectively unlock global streaming platforms like Netflix, iPlayer, Disney+, and more. Additionally, they offer some dedicated features for streaming that can optimize streaming transmission speeds.
In terms of pricing, CyberGhost is similarly budget-friendly, like Surfshark. However, considering overall performance, we would recommend Surfshark. Nonetheless, CyberGhost is still a decent VPN option and offers a generous 45-day free trial period.
Countries: 68 | Servers: 5,700+ | Devices: 10 | 24/7 support: Yes | free trial: 30 days
✔︎ Supports a high number of simultaneous connections
✔︎ Affordable pricing
✘ Privacy lacks independent audit
Ivacy is a VPN based in Singapore, and it may not be as well-known in Taiwan. Their official website states that they have over 5700 servers spanning 68 countries and over 100 regions.
As for Ivacy's speed performance, it depends on which encryption protocol you use for your connection. However, overall, it is above average. It's recommended to choose the WireGuard protocol when using Ivacy, as in most cases, this protocol provides the fastest speeds.
Furthermore, Ivacy has a special focus on bypassing censorship in China. They have developed a feature called "Ivacy Prime," which works exceptionally well for circumventing the Great Firewall of China. In a previous incident when other VPNs failed to bypass Chinese censorship, Ivacy was still able to successfully do so, highlighting the effectiveness of this feature.
Ivacy is compatible with various operating systems and devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Moreover, it allows one account to simultaneously connect on up to 10 devices.
When it comes to streaming media, Ivacy can successfully unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. However, it may face difficulty in unblocking Amazon Prime Video. In terms of streaming platforms, there are other VPNs like Surfshark and NordVPN that may perform better in unblocking various streaming services.
Finally, in terms of pricing, Ivacy offers a 5-year plan that equates to around 30 Taiwanese dollars per month, which is incredibly affordable. However, it's worth noting that this plan requires a 5-year commitment, which may be a point of hesitation for some users. It's something for everyone to consider based on their preferences.
Best free VPNs
There is a plethora of free VPNs available on the market today, but the vast majority of them are not very reliable. According to a research study, 40% of free VPNs on the Google Play Store fail to adequately protect users' privacy.
Therefore, please be cautious about downloading free VPNs from unknown sources. Many free VPNs bombard you with a plethora of ads to generate revenue, and some even collect your data and sell it for profit.
Here are 9 recommended free VPNs that perform relatively well. You can download and try them out.
|Best free VPNs||Data usage limits||Mobile||Computer|
Free VPNs vs. Paid VPNs
No matter what product it is, if there's a free option, it's naturally going to be popular. Free VPNs are no exception. However, there are differences between free VPNs and paid VPNs in various aspects, such as company size, speed, server count, security, and more.
Let's start with a simple conclusion. If you only need to use a VPN for short-term, basic purposes like downloading stickers from Japan or online shopping, using a free VPN should be fine. However, if you require a VPN for medium to long-term use, and you have high-speed and high-traffic needs for activities like streaming or gaming, it's recommended to use a paid VPN. Many paid VPNs are available for as low as $2 to $3 per month.
Below, we'll delve deeper into the differences and comparisons between free VPNs and paid VPNs based on five aspects:
Free VPN companies typically offer a limited number of servers, ranging from single digits to a few dozen. In contrast, paid VPNs provide a much larger server network, usually ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 servers on average. This significant difference in server quantity, approximately 100 times more, is quite noticeable.
Having a large number of servers comes with several advantages. Firstly, it allows for better load distribution among users, ensuring that each user has sufficient bandwidth and reducing the chances of experiencing latency or slow speeds during peak usage times. This results in a more stable and consistent connection quality overall. Additionally, a diverse server network provides users with more options for selecting servers in different locations, enhancing their ability to access geo-restricted content or improve connection speeds based on their needs.
Speed is undoubtedly a crucial concern for most people. Having a high-speed internet connection enhances the overall user experience, especially when it comes to gaming and streaming. However, there are numerous factors that can affect speed.
The number of servers, as mentioned above, is indeed one of the primary factors affecting speed. Additionally, your physical distance from the server can also have an impact. Some free VPNs might limit speed due to resource constraints. On the other hand, paid VPN companies continuously work on improving speed. In overall real-world testing, paid VPNs are much faster on average compared to free VPNs, and they provide greater stability.
3、Data usage limits
Unlimited data is a rare feature among free VPNs. Most free VPNs impose data limits, usually ranging from 2GB to 15GB per month. These limits can be insufficient for activities like streaming videos or gaming. When you exceed your data limit with a free VPN, your service typically gets cut off until the next month. In contrast, paid VPNs don't restrict your data usage, allowing you to use the service without any data caps.
Popular global streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video all have regional restrictions. Due to variations in culture and regulations between countries, the content libraries differ from one country to another. Watching content from another country is often prohibited, which is why many people have a demand for using VPNs to bypass these restrictions and access content from different regions.
Free VPNs, due to their limited number of servers and IP addresses, often suffer from the problem of IP addresses being blocked by various streaming platforms. These free VPNs are commonly used by many people, leading to repeated use of the same IP addresses, which eventually get blacklisted by streaming services. While it's true that paid VPNs generally offer more servers and IP addresses, it's still not guaranteed that every paid VPN will work for bypassing regional restrictions on streaming platforms. However, the paid VPNs we recommended earlier in this conversation have proven to be effective for accessing content across different regions on streaming platforms.
A good paid VPN will support the use of the latest military-grade encryption technology (e.g., AES-256) and powerful encryption protocols (e.g., WireGuard) to complement each other. On the other hand, free VPNs mostly rely on simpler encryption techniques, which can be severely lacking in terms of security!
Furthermore, free VPNs, being free of charge, often bombard their apps with numerous ads to generate revenue. This can be quite annoying and may even include ads of questionable origins, such as malicious advertisements.
Next, let's talk about the crucial no-logs policy. This is the commitment made by VPN companies that they will not collect any of your personal data. Essentially, most paid VPNs have this policy in place. On the other hand, many free VPNs falsely claim to have a no-logs policy, but in reality, they have been caught secretly collecting user data. This is something to be especially cautious about!
Best VPN Selection Guide
In recent years, the VPN industry has experienced explosive growth, with many small and medium-sized VPN companies emerging. When choosing a VPN, it's essential to be more cautious to avoid using obscure VPN services.
When selecting a VPN, speed is a top consideration for many because it's crucial for streaming and gaming. However, besides speed, it's essential to consider other aspects and make a comprehensive evaluation!
In addition to speed, we particularly emphasize "security" and "server count" when choosing a VPN. Security-wise, it's essential to choose a VPN that supports the strongest encryption techniques (e.g., AES-256) and robust encryption protocols (e.g., OpenVPN, WireGuard). The most crucial aspect is a strict no-logs policy, which is paramount for your privacy and security!
Additionally, when it comes to server count, avoid choosing VPNs with too few servers. Having a vast number of servers ensures a more stable connection quality, preventing bandwidth congestion issues caused by a high number of users.
As for other additional features like Double VPN, Whitelister, obfuscated servers, etc., choose them based on your specific needs; they may not be necessary for everyone.
In conclusion, after considering the criteria mentioned above and factoring in your budget, select a VPN with good value for money (CP value). However, the most important step is to try it out to see if it suits your needs. Most paid VPNs offer a 30-day trial period, and if you're not satisfied, you can contact customer support for a refund. If you're still unsure which VPN to choose, you can start with our top recommendation, Surfshark VPN!
How does a VPN work?
Not using a VPN
Without using a VPN, we typically access the internet through our ISP (Internet Service Provider). However, in this scenario, all of our internet traffic is not encrypted, which means that the ISP can see all the content of our traffic. This lack of encryption also makes it easier for hackers to eavesdrop on and intercept our traffic packets, potentially leading to data theft.
In our day-to-day internet usage, we are usually limited to accessing content that is available in our own country. If we want to access websites or content from other countries, we often encounter region-specific restrictions. For example, streaming platforms like Netflix may have region-specific content libraries that are inaccessible from other countries. The same applies to various video streaming services and online games.
Using a VPN
As you can see in the diagram below, when your device connects to a VPN server, the VPN establishes an "encrypted tunnel" between your device and the server. All your online activities pass through this encrypted tunnel, and your internet traffic is encrypted using encryption technology. Hackers can't easily decipher it, and even your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can't snoop on it. It's like having two layers of protection.
By connecting to various VPN servers worldwide, the VPN will change our original IP address to a local country's IP. This allows us to easily bypass geographical restrictions and access content from around the world, effectively unblocking region-locked content on various platforms.
List of VPNs with Chinese ownership
"Chinese-backed" VPNs, as the name suggests, refer to VPN companies that receive financial support from Chinese mainland enterprises. Due to this, these Chinese enterprises may have the power to request or scrutinize user data from VPN companies. Therefore, some people are particularly concerned about whether a VPN has Chinese backing, especially for users in China and Hong Kong, who may need to be more cautious.
Here is a list of VPNs that are currently known to have Chinese backing, primarily funded by the following 6 Chinese enterprises:
1、j2 Global Company
2、AnchorFree Company 公司
Hotspot Shield、VPN 360、JustVPN、VeePee VPN、TouchVPN
3、Gaditek Company 公司
4、Innovative Connecting Company 公司
VPN Master、Turbo VPN、HOT VPN、Snap VPN
5、SuperSoftTech Company 公司
6、Act Mobile Networks Company 公司
Dash VPN、VPN On
Common Uses of 7 VPNs
1、Secure Use of Public WiFi:
Public WiFi networks are often targeted by hackers, making it easy for them to eavesdrop on the data transmitted from your computer or mobile device. Locations like cafes, libraries, and public transportation hubs have certain risks associated with their WiFi networks. Using a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic, providing protection against surveillance by others.
2、Bypassing Internet Censorship in Restricted Countries:
Countries like China, India, and Turkey have stricter internet regulations, where many foreign services and applications (e.g., FB, IG, Youtube) are blocked on their local networks. Using a VPN to bypass these restrictions, commonly known as "VPN for bypassing censorship," has become widespread, especially in mainland China.
3、Unlocking Global Netflix Shows:
Netflix itself has regional restrictions, meaning that you can't watch shows from the U.S. region while in Taiwan. You can use a VPN to bypass this and access Netflix content from around the world.
4、Secure Torrent Downloads:
When downloading P2P torrent files, the closer you are to the file server, the faster your download speed will be. Therefore, you can use a VPN to access servers in the local country and reduce the physical distance, improving download speeds.
5、Shopping Online for Better Deals:
For the same website and product, prices can vary depending on exchange rates and purchasing power in different countries (e.g., flights, accommodations). You can use a VPN to shop in the country where prices are the cheapest.
6、Watching Overseas Live Streams:
For example, sports events like NBA and MLB live streams. If they are not currently being broadcast, we can use a VPN to access them in the respective countries.
Games like League of Legends (LOL), KartRider, Apex, and many others have players who enjoy switching to servers in countries like Japan, Korea, or China. Using a VPN can help you access and play on these different servers seamlessly.
Common VPN Questions
Q: Is VPN legal to use?
VPN is entirely legal in most countries and regions. However, there are a few countries that impose strict controls, such as mainland China and India. In these nations, internet censorship and monitoring are more prevalent.
Using VPNs in mainland China is indeed subject to strict regulations according to Chinese laws. However, in practice, many people in mainland China use VPNs for various purposes, and there have been few reported cases of individuals being penalized solely for using a VPN. As long as you use a VPN for legitimate and non-illegal activities, such as accessing blocked websites or securing your internet connection, and avoid engaging in any sensitive or prohibited content, you should generally be fine when using a VPN in mainland China. Nonetheless, it's essential to stay informed about any changes in regulations or enforcement by local authorities.
Q: Is using a VPN difficult?
Using VPNs is quite user-friendly nowadays. After installing most VPNs, you can simply open the VPN app, choose the country you want to connect to for bypassing geo-restrictions, and click "Connect." It's that easy.
As for other features, you can go to the settings and select the options you want to enable with just a few clicks. All the operations are very straightforward.
Q: Which VPNs work with Netflix?
Netflix has regional restrictions, and the available content varies from country to country. It's also prohibited to cross-border view between different countries on Netflix. Therefore, watching Netflix content from different regions has been a common demand for many people.
Currently, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN are recommended VPNs that work well with Netflix.
Q: Which VPNs can be used to bypass the Great Firewall of China?
A: 中國對於網路的管制日趨嚴格，因此能在中國翻牆的VPN越來越少，推薦可以使用 Surfshark、NordVPN、ExpressVPN 或 IvacyVPN。
Q: What to do if your VPN disconnects or stops working?
When your VPN suddenly disconnects or stops working, it's likely that the server you're currently connected to is experiencing high usage. In such cases, you can try changing to a different server and manually switch encryption protocols to see if the issue is resolved.
If the VPN continues to malfunction, please contact the customer support of the respective VPN service. The VPNs recommended above, such as Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and IvacyVPN, all have 24/7 online customer support with quick responses, and they will be happy to assist you in resolving the issue!
Q: Should I purchase a paid VPN?
As discussed earlier in detail regarding the comparison between free VPNs and paid VPNs, whether you should spend money on a paid VPN depends on your VPN usage needs. If you have simple internet browsing needs, a free VPN may suffice. However, if you want to play games, stream content, or download large files, a paid VPN is more likely to meet your requirements.