The best VPN service 2023

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a privacy tool that protects your device and information when you're online. The best VPNs encrypt your data and route it through a secure server—giving you a new IP address, and making it appear as though you're in a location of your choosing. This makes it easier to unblock streaming services and restricted content abroad whilst hiding your internet usage from cyber criminals, internet providers, and even governments.

However, there are hundreds of VPN providers to choose from, and unfortunately, most of them don't offer the privacy and security you need. In TechRadar's 15 years online, our experts have tested and reviewed over 100 VPN services. 

To help you decide which VPN provider is worth your hard-earned cash, we compare the technical security, privacy policies, features, unblocking capabilities, server locations, and (most importantly) value for money to curate this list of the top 10 VPNs in 2023. If you're looking for a quick answer, here are the three best VPN services right now: 

1. ExpressVPN: the best VPN service in 2023

1. ExpressVPN: the best VPN service in 2023
ExpressVPN offers easy-to-use apps, lightning-fast speeds, peerless quality, and reliable content unblocking—all with 24/7 customer support. It even comes with a built-in and reliable password manager to make life simpler. 

It's pricier than competitors like NordVPN, but ExpressVPN makes up for it by offering 1 year of unlimited cloud storage and 3 months of extra protection for free on a 12-month subscription. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can put it to the test without risking a penny.

best VPN for torrenting</a>, its greatest strength is streaming, and it currently tops our list as the <a href=https://www.techradar.com/vpn/"https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-netflix-vpn">best VPN for Netflix</a>.&nbsp;Take advantage of NordVPN's, <strong>30-day money-back guarantee</strong> and see how it compares to ExpressVPN totally risk-free.</p>" data-widget-type="deal" data-render-type="editorial">
2. NordVPN: the best VPN security suite

2. NordVPN: the best VPN security suite
NordVPN offers an all-in-one VPN solution with built-in ad blocking and malware protection as standard. Combine that with rapid server speeds, lots of customization, and fantastic features, and you can see why it's a close runner-up to ExpressVPN. 

While NordVPN isn't the best VPN for torrenting, its greatest strength is streaming, and it currently tops our list as the best VPN for Netflix. Take advantage of NordVPN's, 30-day money-back guarantee and see how it compares to ExpressVPN totally risk-free.

3. Surfshark: the best cheap VPN

3. Surfshark: the best cheap VPN
Currently topping our charts as the fastest VPN around, Surfshark keeps giving us reasons to recommend it. It's a high-value, low-cost option that's easy to use, packed with security features, and easily unblocks restricted content abroad. 

With servers in over 100 countries, you can stream your favorite shows from almost anywhere. Best of all, Surfshark costs as little as $2.30 per month, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out.

The best VPN services in 2023

See how our top picks compare in the following analysis and reviews as we discuss reasons to subscribe, reasons to avoid, our test results, what we liked most about each provider, and how they compare with the competition.

The best VPN overall

ExpressVPN, the best VPN, running on Windows, Mac, tablet, iPhone, Android, router, and AppleTVTechRadar Editor's Choice award logo

1. ExpressVPN

The best VPN in 2023 - a quality service with lots of features

Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu | Available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux (command-line only), Routers, almost everything else | 24/7 support: Yes | Refund period: 30 days | Number of servers: over 3,200 | Server locations: 160 | Countries: 94 | Simultaneous connections: 5

Easy to use for beginners
Apps for almost everything
Fast servers in over 94 countries
Ultra-reliable security features
Expert 24/7 live customer support
An expensive choice
Not as fast as NordVPN or Surfshark
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a VPN that you can set and forget: ExpressVPN's auto-connect feature means that you connect once, and you're always protected.

✔️ You're wanting to access content everywhere: with over 160 locations around the world to choose from, you'll be able to access local content no matter where you are.

✔️ You need a VPN you can trust with your life: between ExpressVPN's regular audits and no-logs policy, you can be certain your information is safe from oppressive regimes.

Don't subscribe if:

 You're on a strict budget: in a cost of living crisis, ExpressVPN is an expensive choice. If you can't afford its prices, we'd recommend looking towards NordVPN or Surfshark.

❌ You need a full security suite: ExpressVPN prides itself on being the best VPN, and that's where it focuses its attention. If you need an all-in-one solution with built-in antivirus capabilities, Express may not be the right pick for you.

❌ You want a Linux app: while ExpressVPN supports Linux installations, it only operates a command-line interface. If you need a graphical user interface (GUI), you should consider Surfshark or Private Internet Access.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN strikes the perfect balance between security, usability, performance, and unblocking capability, all while offering exceptional customization. Try for yourself and see why it's our #1 pick with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more?

Check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review for a closer look at the service, and see why it's our top VPN pick for 2023.

ExpressVPN tops our list as the best VPN on the market thanks to its sheer attention to detail, intuitive and easy-to-use apps, and wealth of reliable security of features to keep you safe. I love that it comes with a built-in password manager to keep your security simple when you're out and about and cut out the hassle of remembering countless passwords when you switch from your phone to your computer.

Everything is laid out in a simple and clear design that makes it great for beginners. With one-click connect, you just tap the power button and you're instantly protected. ExpressVPN also shows suggested servers for the fastest connection, as well as your recent connection history and amount of time protected.

Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Be sure to set up the auto-connect and kill switch functions if you want to make sure your device and data are protected at all times. This means that even if your VPN connection is interrupted, your data will still be protected, and you won't accidentally reveal what you were doing online. I use it on my phone so I know I'm always protected when I'm out and about.

If you're looking to access content abroad, ExpressVPN's server library is enormous. With 160 locations across 94 countries, that's more than almost any other provider. Whether you're wanting to watch the latest series on HBO Max or stream your favorite shows on BBC iPlayer, ExpressVPN has plenty of servers in the US and UK. 

It also has servers throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, so you'll always find a nearby server to connect to. It's worth noting that our most recent round of testing showed Express unblocked a large percentage of international Netflix libraries, but NordVPN was slightly better.

ExpressVPN offers some amazing speeds, but it does have its drawbacks. Unfortunately, it's not as fast as NordVPN or Surfshark. However, the speeds it offers are still over 20 times what you'd need for streaming in 4K ultra-high-definition and gaming online. On top of that, despite lowering its prices, ExpressVPN is expensive. In the cost-of-living crisis, not everyone can justify opting for the best of the best, over high-quality, low-cost options like Surfshark or Private Internet Access.

ExpressVPN is our top pick for the best VPN overall because of the sheer quality of its service. For the everyday user, ExpressVPN will go above and beyond your needs to protect your device and data. It's the best VPN for most use cases, and focuses on providing a service that people can trust with their lives—and many of its users do. With so many many high-quality security features, ExpressVPN gives genuine peace of mind while you're using the internet.

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ExpressVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA clean and simple design that gives you everything you need, exactly when you need it⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive apps with auto-connect functionality make life easier⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast enough for anything you could throw at it, but slower than NordVPN and Surfshark⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEffortlessly gives you access to content around the world⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyExpress offers military-grade protection for total peace of mind⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportAlways available, friendly, and helpful⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceMore expensive than leading competitors⭐⭐⭐

The best VPN security suite

2. NordVPN

The best VPN with built in antivirus and ad blocking

Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer | Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (CLI), routers and more | 24/7 support: Yes | Refund period: 30 days | Number of servers: over 5,670 | Server locations: 80 | Countries: 60 | Simultaneous connections: 6

Excellent security tools
Reliable Netflix unblocking
High-speed NordLynx protocol
Meshnet secure network as standard
Apps can be a bit confusing for beginners
Fewer server countries than ExpressVPN
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want an all-in-one security suite: NordVPN comes with ad blocking and malware protection as standard with its VPN subscription.

✔️ Streaming Netflix is your primary use case: NordVPN currently tops our list as the best VPN for Netflix, so you can access streams anywhere in the world.

✔️ You want a blend of quality and cost: NordVPN offers plenty of features, amazing speeds, and additional security tools, all at a mid-range cost.

Don't subscribe if:

 You want to torrent: our recent testing has shown NordVPN can be quite slow with torrenting. If that's your primary use case, we'd recommend ExpressVPN or PIA.

❌ You want a super simple interface: NordVPN's map-style interface can be a lot of fun, but if you want a more plain design without the bells and whistles, our other top picks all have cleaner apps.

❌ You want to access content everywhere: with servers in 60 locations, you get a lot of options, but compared to our other top picks, NordVPN is more limited in countries and locations.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

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