If you haven’t purchased or downloaded a VPN client yet, that might well be one of the best things you will do in 2017: VPNs are available on desktops, mobiles and even on other devices like routers or a smart TV.
We’ll be sure to regularly update this page as we get new VPN offers coming through from our global network of 220+ VPN providers. Most will be live at the time of writing but may be expired by the time you look at them.
Note that they are valid worldwide and not all providers offer pound sterling as a transaction currency. We update this article a couple of time a week as we get new VPN offers coming through from our global network of 220+ VPN partners.
Choose the best VPN service
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) work by creating a secure, encrypted connection between your devices and a VPN server from a service provider (there are dozens of them to choose, from all over the world).
Anything you do online – sites you’re visiting, emails you send or receive, files you download, web forms you complete – passes through that secure tunnel and can’t be intercepted by anyone else (unless one of these servers – or your own computer – is compromised, but that’s another story).
Below are the top five VPN services that we’ve picked out for you. This list is regularly updated so is subject to change.
If you want to try these VPN services before or don’t want to pay (but still need to use that service), then check our guide to best free VPN services.
Best VPN for China: Our 5 top choices
Best VPN for Mac: Our 5 top choices
Best VPN for torrenting: Our 5 top choices
Best VPN for Android: Our 5 top choices
[57% Off] IPVanish (Official Promotion) – Get up to with IPVanish’s Top-Tier network delivering some of the fastest speeds in our tests. Zero logs gives you total privacy.
While many VPN providers try to stand out with their free plans and cheap commercial products, IPVanish talks more about service quality. It’s “the world’s fastest VPN” says the website, boasting 40,000+ shared IPs, 500+ VPN servers in 60+ countries, unlimited P2P traffic, five simultaneous connections, no log policy and more.
The price is still going to be an issue for some – it is more expensive than the average VPN, but IPVanish’s high speeds, choice of locations and excellent client are hard to beat. If you’re after quality, take the plunge with this VPN, and if somehow you end up unhappy with the service there’s a 7-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish has three service options available and it is, unsurprisingly, its 1-year subscription that wins the day. Note that you will be billed in USD and the price displayed on the right is the approximate Pound Sterling conversion at the time of publishing. Other packages are available below:
If you want the absolute best VPN service, check out AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield Elite. It is, in our view, the one that manages to provide all the necessary features at an attractive price with the option of getting a lifetime license. It supports private browsing, virtual locations, allows “access all content”, and supports up to five devices.
Performance results in our tests were excellent, with latency showing only a marginal increase, and both upload and download speeds were a little faster once connected.
We’d like more configurability and a wider range of locations, but Hotspot Shield Elite’s high speeds and low prices have a lot of appeal, and the 7-day trial makes it easy to test the service for yourself.
Anchordesk has only one service option available and it is a 1-year subscription. Note that you will be billed in USD and the price displayed on the right is the approximate Pound Sterling conversion at the time of publishing. Other available packages are listed below:
Some companies take a one-size-fits-all approach to VPNs, offering the bare minimum of products, but KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited is different. Very, very different. Forget the usual two or three plans: VPN Unlimited offers six, plus there’s a 7-day free trial to get you started (and also a 7-day money-back guarantee for a little extra security).
VPN Unlimited’s PC client opens with a clear overview of the service state. Your real and virtual IPs are displayed as addresses and plotted on a map, and the number of days left on your current plan is visible at a glance. Its choice of servers is less than some but for a more general purpose VPN, the service does very well.
Keepsolid’s VPN Unlimited has a whopping six service options available, ranging all the way from 7-day to Infinity (i.e. VPN for life).
Note that you will be billed in USD and the price displayed on the right is the approximate Pound Sterling conversion at the time of publishing for its best value-for-money package, the 1-year subscription offer. Other packages are available below:
> Exclusive NordVPN offer: Get a massive discount off RRP when you buy two years worth of Nord VPN service for only $79, that’s only $3.29 per month. Get this .
Despite being based in a country located in Central America – hardly a tech hub – NordVPN’s current products match or beat the competition in just about every area.
685 servers in 52 countries, 2048-bit encryption, 6-device support as standard, strong DNS leak protection, automatic Kill Switch, handy security extras, optional dedicated IP addresses, and payment options including Bitcoin, PayPal and credit cards.
Performance was good, too, with download speeds around 95% of our typical rate. Latency and upload speeds weren’t as impressive at 197% and 40% of the regular rates, but overall our system still felt relatively snappy and responsive.
NordVPN has three service options available and its most popular and by far best value offer is the 1-year subscription.
Note that you will be billed in USD and the price displayed on the right – for the 1-year subscription – is the approximate Pound Sterling conversion at the time of publishing. Other packages are available below:
> Exclusive Pure VPN deal: Only for Techradar readers is PureVPN’s jaw dropping VPN offer. Buy one year of PureVPN service with a 40% discount (effective price is $49) and get another additional year for free. Get it now at: .
PureVPN’s PC client stands out immediately for the sheer volume of connection options and tools it makes available. Its policy on logging is unusually clear: the company records the time you connect to a server and the total bandwidth used, but otherwise there are no logs of the websites you visit, the files you download or anything else.
PureVPN did well on our performance tests, where amazingly it managed to improve most of our download speeds. Latency was a mere 5% higher than normal, upload speeds actually increased by 4%, while downloads were a very surprising 80% up on our normal speeds.
The provides offers three service options but it is its two-year package which is the best value for money across board. It doesn’t sell one-year subscription bundles.
Note that the company offers a 5% discount if you pay by credit card and you will be billed in USD and the price displayed on the right is the approximate Pound Sterling conversion at the time of publishing. Other packages are available below:
What is a VPN?
VPN is one of those tech terms and has gained a lot of traction in recent years as the internet has diversified and grown to even bigger levels. However, the premise is actually quite simple, and there are some great use cases.
It stands for ‘virtual private networking’, which is a popular internet security method. The latter involves technologies that aim to add a layer of security to both private and public networks. These include broadband and internet hotspots.
If there’s one worry when it comes to using technology and the internet, it’s privacy. By using a VPN, you can, in theory, prevent your internet service provider (ISP) and government from seeing your internet history.
VPNs have also emerged as a popular tool in the freedom of speech movement. You’re able to avoid censorship within organisations and from third-parties. For example, if you have a view that goes against the priorities of your employer, you don’t have to worry about them finding out.
People also use VPN technology to “geo-spoof” their location. This results in users customising their location settings to be able to use overseas services. A great example of this is watching a TV programme or online product that’s only available in a specific country, perhaps due to legal or licensing issues.
You can resort to a VPN to protect yourself from hackers too. If you’re outside and sign up to use a public internet hotspot – perhaps in a cafe or library – there is the chance someone could try to break into your device. This can lead to you losing valuable data, such as passwords.
This technology is also emerging as a popular force in the world of business. When you’re traveling around for meetings all the time, it’s normal to connect to third-party networks. With a VPN, you can access your firm’s intranet without the worry of being targeted by cyber criminals.
Proxy vs. VPN
Proxies are also popular, and there’s always the question about how they differ from VPNs. The aim of both methods is to protect users’ identities or to spoof a location. While they are different technologies, many VPN providers also offer proxies.
A proxy is type of computing system that functions as a go-between for your connected device and your web connection. These servers also have their own IP addresses, so transfers can’t be traced directly to your computer.
They may share common aims with VPNs, but typically, they only secure a torrent client or browser. Using a VPN, you can encrypt 100% of your internet connection, so there’s more protection.
Free vs. Paid VPN: Which is better?
VPNs used to be a premium product, but you don’t have to spend big money on them anymore. Some companies now offer a basic service that won’t cost you anything at all.
As you’d expect, there are catches, and they typically start with a data cap. Avira Phantom VPN’s free plan limits you to 500MB a month, PrivateTunnel offers 2GB, whereas ZPN has a generous 10GB allowance – not bad at all.
Free products also typically have usage restrictions. Most companies don’t want you to soak up all their bandwidth on torrents, so ZPN is typical in blocking P2P.
Hide.me’s 2GB free plan also has some common limits. There’s “best effort” bandwidth, which means paying customers have speed priority and you get what’s left. And the choice of locations is limited to three: Canada, Netherlands and Singapore.
Hola’s free-for-personal-use plan doesn’t have the same kind of restrictions, but even here there’s a catch. The service routes traffic through its free users rather than dedicated servers, so signing up allows others to (securely) share a small part of your bandwidth and resources.
Then there’s the adverts and the session limits (CyberGhost) and the general lack of service level agreement: free means that it doesn’t come with any implicit warranties.
Free plans are fine for simple needs, then – maybe protecting your laptop’s wireless hotspot traffic on the occasional trip – but if you’re looking for anything more advanced, a commercial product is best.
The immediate benefit is that you know your personal data remains safe, even if you’re on a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Local snoopers might be able to see the connection, but there’s no way to find out what it is or where it’s going.
VPNs also give you a new digital identity in the shape of an IP address from another country. This makes it harder for websites or anyone else to track you, allows some people to bypass government censorship, and helps the rest of us avoid those “not available in your country” messages on YouTube or other streaming sites.
Best of all, despite the low-level network technology involved, you don’t need to be any kind of expert to make VPNs work. For the most part, all you have to do is choose the country where you’d like an IP address, click Connect to start, Disconnect when you’re done – and that’s it.
How to choose a VPN: Here are 6 tips
There are several factors to consider when you’re choosing a paid VPN.
1. Does the plan have servers in every country and region you need? Having more than one server in a country can help spread the load, but doesn’t guarantee improved performance, so don’t assume a plan with 500 servers will automatically beat another with 100.
2. Check the number of simultaneous connections supported. Typically, this is 3-5, which allows you to have a PC, mobile and tablet connected at the same time. But beware, many companies say this is for a single user only, and they all have fair usage policies to prevent people hogging resources. If you let the entire family download and stream videos separately then you’ll run into trouble.
3. Some providers list the connection protocols they use. OpenVPN and IKeV2 are good choices, fast and secure. You might see SSTP and the older PPTP, as well as protocol options (TCP or UDP for OpenVPN). You don’t need to understand the low-level details, but having the extra choice can help the service make faster and/or more reliable connections.
5. It’s important to consider the client, the software which handles your connections. These all have a list of servers and a Connect/ Disconnect button, but could you use more? Some clients display server load and ping time in the interface, helping you choose the right server. Regular users might appreciate a “Favourites” system to save and recall specific servers. If you know what you’re doing, having access to low-level network settings will help you tune the whole system.
6. Finally, there’s the price. Beware of apparently cheap deals: these may have restricted features, exclude taxes, be discounted for the first billing period only, and renew automatically, so that apparent one-off £3.99 might become almost £10 next month. Look for a ‘Pricing’ link, read the small print, and if possible use something like PayPal where it’s easy to check and cancel a subscription yourself.
Once you’ve found what looks like a good VPN candidate, be sure to take it for a trial before you spend any big money. But a short trial can only tell you so much, so once that’s expired, pay for a month, run as many tests as you can, then upgrade to a better value plan (usually yearly) if you’re still happy.
How to test a VPN
Our comparisons started by looking at each provider’s range of plans. We were looking for features, value, and clear and honest pricing. Free ways to learn more about a service – free plans, trial periods, refund periods – were important, and we also looked for companies which maintained your privacy when you signed up (no email address required, trials available without credit cards, Bitcoin available as a payment option).
VPN performance is difficult to measure as there are so many variables, but we used multiple techniques to try and get a feel for each service’s abilities. We first used speedtest.net to measure the latency, upload and download speeds for a distant connection (typically UK to California), repeated the test immediately with the VPN turned off, and looked at any changes.
We followed this up with a much shorter connection (typically UK to Netherlands) to see a more typical peak performance, ran a second benchmark to confirm our results, and ran some general browsing tests – including streaming HD video – to look for other problems.
VPNs will always give you a new IP address, but some services may have DNS or other leaks which give clues about your identity. We visited IPLeak.net and other privacy sites to look for problems.
In terms of the client and interface, we were looking for good server selection tools (by country, region, server, speed, with filters, a Favourites system, perhaps with server load or ping time displayed), with plenty of configuration options, but also a client which stays out of the way until it’s needed.
Finally, we weighed up these individual factors, came up with an overall score, and narrowed these down to the 10 best VPNs around. All the software in the top five scored at least 70 points out of 100.
- [57% Off] IPVanish (Official Promotion) – Get up to 57% Off Tech Radar’s #1 Rated VPN Service. IPVanish’s Top-Tier Network Delivered the Fastest Speeds in Our Tests. Zero Logs Gives You Total Privacy.
- Exclusive NordVPN offer: Get a massive discount off RRP when you buy two years worth of Nord VPN service for only $79, that’s only $3.29 per month. Get this exclusive VPN offer from NordVPN.
- Exclusive VyprVPN Deal: For TechRadar readers only, get 40% off VyprVPN annual plans ($60 USD for 1 year). VyprVPN is a fast, highly secure VPN without third parties.
- Exclusive Zenmate deal: Just for Techradar readers is ZenMate’s mega VPN deal offer. Buy one year of Zenmate service with a 40% discount (effective price is £29.99). Get it now at: Zenmate.
- Exclusive Invisible Browsing VPN deal: Crafted for the Techradar audience, IBVPN will give 70% off to those who buy its Ultimate VPN package (VPN + SmartDNS+ Proxy) for one year for a mere $29.95. Get it now at: Invisible Browsing Ultimate VPN.
- Exclusive Private Internet Access deal: Techradar readers get some steep discounts when they opt for a monthly, 6-monthly or a 2-year plan for $5.45, $29.95 and $59.95 respectively. Get it now at: PIA.
- **Ending 28/2** PrivateVPN is offering up to 60% off all its VPN plans when you use the coupon code PVPN50.
- **Ending 31/3** TrustZone is offering an extra 10% discount for TechRadar users who use this exclusive coupon code TECHRADAR10.
- **Ending 31/12** WiFimask has a special treat for Techradar readers. A 20% discount forever when you use the link or coupon code TECHRADAR.
- **Ending 28/2** TigerVPN has crafted a roaring offer. Take an additional 10% off from our already discounted monthly and bi-annual plan – exclusively for techradar using the voucher code TECHR10.
- **Ending 28/2** Get a 60% discount off the first year package with bVPN with prices as low as $2.99 per month.
- **Ending 30/04** OneVPN is providing our readers with a 50% straight discount on Monthly Plan exclusively for Techradar. Use the code 6W0R3VA6GD.
- **Ending 31/12** Shellfire : We here at Shellfire are thrilled to participate by offering a whopping 50% discount on all of our vpn deals exclusively for TechRadar readers.
- **Ending 4/2** On February 4th Facebook celebrates its 13th birthday. On this occasion, KeepSolid is giving away free subscriptions to VPN Unlimited. All users, who login to the VPN Unlimited app with their Facebook accounts will get 30 days to their subscriptions for absolutely free. Bonus will be added automatically on February 3rd-4th.
- **Ending 28/2** Private VPN has dolled a 60% discount on all purchases when using the code PVPN60.
- Hide.me is running a promotion today for 48 hours, offering a whopping 45% off ALL its VPN plans. Get it now at Hide.me.
- VPN.SH has an exclusive offer for Techradar readers. A whole year of VPN goodness for £15. Get it now at: VPN.SH.
- **Ending 28/2** SecureVPN is giving two years of Premium VPN at the price of one. Enjoy your 100% Discount. SecureVPN provides quality connection, high speed and many countries to choose from.
- **Ending 1/3** Torguard is offering 50% off all TorGuard services when you use the coupon code TGLifetime 50.
- **Ending 15/3** With SaferVPN , Get up to 80% OFF on the fastest and simplest VPN today! This winter, pay only $3.49/mo for automatic Wi-Fi security, easy-to-use apps for every device and unlimited speed, server switching and bandwidth.
- **Ending 1/5** IntelliVPN is an optimal solution for ensuring security, privacy, and anonymity on the Internet. Enter VLBPZEJ30 at checkout to get a 30% discount.
- **Ending 31/12** VPNArea is offering a special deal for Techradar users that use the coupon code techradar at checkout. Get 1 year of VPNArea.com membership for as little as $50.15. Use on up to 6 devices at the same time. Account sharing is allowed.
- **Ending 31/12** Getfoxyproxy has an exclusive Techradar deal. 80% off any plan ($1.99 for 1 month, $9.99 for 6 months, $17.98 for 1 year). Over 3000 servers and 10,000 unique IP addresses in 60 countries. Protocol Support: IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP; Proxy: SOCKS, HTTP, and SSL proxies. Use the code tech-radar-2017
- **Ending 31/12** Shellfire is offering a whopping 50% discount on all of VPNdeals. Shellfire is based in Germany, where very strong data protection laws exist, so reader’s data is super secure with them. Contrary to popular belief, they are not forced by law to log any usage data of our customers.
- **Ending 31/12** HideIPVPN has an exclusive Techradar deal. 80% off any plan ($1.99 for 1 month, $9.99 for 6 months, $17.98 for 1 year). Over 3000 servers and 10,000 unique IP addresses in 60 countries. Protocol Support: IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP; Proxy: SOCKS, HTTP, and SSL proxies. Use the code tech-radar-2017
- Save 40% on any IronSocket VPN subscription, exclusive to Techradar Users when they use the coupon code TECHRADAR40 at checkout.
- Have a VPN plan for life and get up to 20% off at LiquidVPN. Use the voucher code radar20 at checkout to make your VPN package more affordable.
- Get 50% recurring discount for the yearly plan and 33% off for the 6 months plan from VPNBaron! Use the link on this page to get +1 device with every subscription!
- Enjoy 20% discount on all our subscriptions when you use the voucher code TECHRADAR20 at checkout. Get more than just a VPN service, get a Firewall as a service that also includes all the VPN features! Join the community at Uppersafe now and start to be peace of mind.
- Get a massive 50% off regular and yearly price from VPN provider Windscribe.
You might also be interested in:
- How to set up and maintain a VPN
- How to make your VPN more secure
- How to build a dedicated VPN router
- How to use VPN on Android
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