Our testing and selection process

How we test and score
How we select the winners
Title 1

Our best VPN list uses objective and data-driven tests for scoring, and it assesses the factors and sub-factors that we believe are most important for anyone considering using a VPN. These tests include 320+ speed tests across MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices. In addition, we consider a number of key aspects when comparing VPNs. The breakdown is as follows:

Our VPN tests compare performance across eight critical factors: privacy & security, speed, pricing, content access, usability, features, customer service, and the company. Our overall scores are calculated using mathematical formulas and equations derived from our data-driven testing.Each factor has various subfactors. For instance, when looking at privacy & security (25%), we consider whether the service has a kill switch for all devices, run IP leak tests, test encryption, look for any previous security incidents, consider the company’s jurisdiction, examine the company’s data retention practices, and much more. We similarly thoroughly examine each of the criteria listed above.Wherever possible, our VPN tests and reviews use objective and quantifiable data to inform scoring. We also use expert subjective assessment supported by data to round out our testing process.You can see our testing and scoring process here.
Title 2

Our best VPN list uses objective and data-driven tests for scoring, and it assesses the factors and sub-factors that we believe are most important for anyone considering using a VPN. These tests include 320+ speed tests across MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices. In addition, we consider a number of key aspects when comparing VPNs. The breakdown is as follows:

Our VPN tests compare performance across eight critical factors: privacy & security, speed, pricing, content access, usability, features, customer service, and the company. Our overall scores are calculated using mathematical formulas and equations derived from our data-driven testing.Each factor has various subfactors. For instance, when looking at privacy & security (25%), we consider whether the service has a kill switch for all devices, run IP leak tests, test encryption, look for any previous security incidents, consider the company’s jurisdiction, examine the company’s data retention practices, and much more. We similarly thoroughly examine each of the criteria listed above.Wherever possible, our VPN tests and reviews use objective and quantifiable data to inform scoring. We also use expert subjective assessment supported by data to round out our testing process.You can see our testing and scoring process here.

When selecting the best VPNs, we looked at their overall scoring, as well as specific results relating to speed, streaming, security, and more. This data was used, along with our established best VPN framework, to inform the listings.

When selecting the best VPN overall, we looked at a combination of overall scoring in terms of speed, reliability, content access, pricing, privacy & security, usability, features, customer service, and the company itself. The best provider should excel in all areas. Factors like server numbers were considered but didn’t contribute to the overall scoring.

The top VPN (by overall score) was selected for each use case below.

VPN Best for Overall score
NordVPN Best overall VPN 8.80
Surfshark Best VPN for speed 8.49
ExpressVPN Best VPN for streaming 8.46
Proton VPN Best VPN customer service 8.44
Private Internet Access Best VPN for MacOS features 8.15
IPVanish Best VPN for speedy iOS connections  7.90
CyberGhost Best refund policy  7.82
Mullvad Best VPN for anonymity  7.57
Windscribe Best free VPN  7.43
PrivadoVPN Best VPN for pricing 7.26

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Test Multimedia Grid Block

Winkbed Performance

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10

Cooling Test

Sinkage Test

9.6

Motion Transfer Test

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5.4

Bounce Support Test

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2.7

Edge Support Test