Best VPN apps – free and premium VPN apps for your PC, Mac, iPhone and Android smartphone
VIRTUAL Private Network (VPN) apps should be the first port of call for anyone looking to protect their data or online browsing history.
We've tracked down some of the best free and paid-for VPNs out there on a host of devices, so read on for our recommendations.
It's important to note that VPNs can be used to get around geo-restrictions that stop you watching videos in certain countries. This is illegal, so it's important not to use them for this purpose. VPNs should only be used to help protect your personal data from snoopers.
More recently, the backlash over Snapchat's app redesign had some utilising a VPN to get around the update – although the company's official Twitter account warns against it, and so do we.
There are plenty of VPN programs popping up online all the time, so we've taken the liberty of finding the best paid and free ones to keep you secure.
The best VPN apps for PC
- NordVPN (£9/month, £52/year) – Get it here
NordVPN offers clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux – plus a Chrome plug-in and Firefox add-on. It's an easy-to-use tool that boasts double encryption to ensure the most secure solution around. The search bar offers quick access to global servers, and there's extra privacy through connection to the Tor onion network (an anonymous web browsing software used by major sites like The New York Times and Facebook).
- ExpressVPN (£10.18/month, £78.6/15 months) – Get it here
One of the best VPNs across both mobile and desktop platforms, ExpressVPN has a vast network of 160 locations in 94 countries. Most of its servers provide excellent speed and client support is known to be one of the best. With several security features and support for torrents and Netflix, ExpressVPN is certainly at the top of this list.
- TunnelBear (free/paid) – Get it here
Like most free VPNs, TunnelBear boasts a premium version that ditches the download limit restrictions. But, if you're okay with a data cap of 500MB of traffic each month, this is a solid free VPN. We'd recommend using it intermittently to get around the constraints, and you'll probably enjoy the cutesy design while you're at it.
The best VPN apps for Mac
- VyprVPN (£6.95/month, £49/year) – Get it here
A lightning-fast VPN for Mac, this Switzerland-based provider owns and operates all of its servers. Auto-selection of the fastest servers is just one of the paid perks, along with auto-encryption of untrusted WiFi networks, and unrestricted connections by IP address.
- Betternet VPN (free) – Get it here
Betternet's free-forever service doesn't come with a data limit. But be warned, it's considered one of the worst for intercepting malware and you won't be able to choose the server you connect to.
- Mullvad VPN (£4.59/month) – Get it here
Mullvad's strong suit is privacy. Most VPN providers try to make their users as anonymous as possible, but Mullvad takes things one step further. The company runs its own VPN network, and users don't need to provide names or email addresses when they register for the service. They can even pay cash if they wish to remain completely anonymous.
The best VPN apps for iPhone
- Opera VPN (free) – Get it here
You may have heard of the Opera web browser, well the company behind it also boasts a VPN app. Its free and unlimited, and also blocks ads and trackers. So what's the catch? It can be slow and unresponsive at times. But you get what you pay for (or in this case, what you don't pay for).
- CyberGhost VPN (£10.28/month, £68.58/year) – Get it here
- KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (£8.57/month, £51.48/year) – Get it here
Balancing a very good speed with flexible pricing options, KeepSolid VPN allows users to pick monthly and yearly plans, as well as a lifetime licence they can get for £171.61. It also has interesting extra features such as BitTorrent support, browser clients and specific streaming services.
The best VPN apps for Android
ExpressVPN (£6.48) – Get it here
Building on the success and features of the PC version, ExpressVPN for Android is super-fast and extremely safe (touting an SSL secured network with 256-bit encryption, for all the privacy buffs). Everyone else can rest assured knowing that it should always have a connection available near you.
- OpenVPN Connect (free) – Get it here
- Private Internet Access VPN(£8.99/month, £34/year) – Get it here
The best VPN apps for unlimited device coverage
If you own multiple devices with different Operating Systems (think an iPhone running iOS, a Windows PC and a Mac-book Pro), or if you're looking for a solution for the whole family, it may be difficult to find a VPN service ticking all those boxes.
Below are some of the best multi-platform VPN solutions offering unlimited device coverage.
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