VPN provides an extra layer of privacy to its users, enables you to access foreign websites, and can even provide secure connections for transferring sensitive business information. While they are typically used by individuals, dedicated business VPNs offer the ability to manage multiple user accounts, block certain types of content and keep your data safe from prying eyes.

In India, however, most cybersecurity companies providing VPN service have shut down their physical servers after the Government of India’s order to store consumers’ personal data in case of cybercrimes. The CERT-In, under the Indian Department Information Technology, has asked all VPN service providers operating in the country to store users’ information—names, email IDs, contact numbers, IP addresses, etc—for a period of five years.

Such a verdict hasn’t gone well for most VPN service providers. They maintain that following the regulation would breach the privacy cover they provide to Indian consumers and hence decided to step back.

Nevertheless, VPN companies assure their Indian consumers that the government’s verdict will not affect its operations. After the data law comes to power, the company has announced plans to introduce virtual servers, which will be located in countries, like Singapore and London, for Indian users to use its VPN service to secure their cyberspace.

There are a number of personal and business uses for VPNs, with a wide range of options available on the market. We’ve analyzed the key features you should consider in order to choose the best business VPN for your needs, and these are our top picks.

Best VPN Providers In India

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Small Business

The Forbes Advisor Small Business team is committed to bringing you unbiased rankings and information with full editorial independence. We use product data, first-person testing, strategic methodologies and expert insights to inform all of our content to guide you in making the best decisions for your business journey.

Our team analyzed 16 VPN providers with 33 factors such as transparent pricing, number of server locations, the number of devices it can cover, access to customer support and customer ratings to organize this list of the 9 best VPN services. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.


Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
Our ratings take into account a product’s rewards, fees, rates and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Dedicated IP address


Number of Devices


Multi-Factor Authentication


Private Internet Access
Buy Now

On Private Internet Access’ Website

Dedicated IP address


Number of Devices


Multi-Factor Authentication


Why We Picked It

Private Internet Access is one of the biggest names in the VPN space, and for good reason. It provides access to servers located in more than 84 countries. Even better, it’s one of the cheapest VPNs on the market at INR 3,009.93 for a year. Other providers may offer more advanced features, we find that PIA is the best choice for most small business users because it strikes a perfect balance of pricing, features, and usability.

PIA uses the gold standard AES-256 encryption, and it offers the new open-source WireGuard protocol. That translates to faster speeds with the same level of security.

It does not provide a dedicated IP address for Indian users. Its antivirus software can be availed by paying an additional INR 345 per month.

With support for unlimited device connections, a massive server network and positive user reviews across all devices, Private Internet Access is a great option for most users. For more details on how PIA can help keep your business safe, check out our detailed review.

Who should use it:  Anyone looking for an affordable, multi-purpose VPN that gets the essentials right.

Learn more: Read our Private Internet Access Review

Editor’s Note: It is worth mentioning that, despite their competitive prices and robust features, some in the cybersecurity community have reservations about CyberGhost, ExpressVPN and PIA, which are all owned by Kape Technologies. Formerly known as “Crossrider,” the company gained infamy for creating and operating a platform that was used for injecting adware. Kape Technologies has repeatedly stood by the integrity of its VPNs, but consumers should keep this information in mind if they are especially wary of privacy.

* Pricing Note: When rating products or services, we consider the publicly available price. However, you may receive a discounted offer through our website.

Essential Features

Speed and performance: Private Internet Access has an average upload speed between 13.73 and 14.05 Mbps and a download speed between 8.69 and 12.72 Mbps.

Type of VPN: Personal and small businesses.

Feature Yes/No
Free Trial Yes, 30 days
24/7 Customer Support Yes
Anonymous Browsing Yes
Browser Extensions Yes, for Chrome, Firefox and Opera
Kill Switch Yes
No-Logs Policy Yes
Split-Tunneling Yes

Server number and locations: Private Internet Access has servers in 84 countries, but does not disclose the number of servers.

Read more: Private Internet Access Review

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Offers dedicated IP add-on
  • Unlimited connections
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • No longer discloses the total number of servers

Summary of Best VPN Provider

Yes6YesLearn More
On NordVPN’s Website
TorGuard VPN4.3
Yes8YesLearn More
On TorGuard’s Website
Private Internet Access4.2
Yes10YesLearn More
On Privateinternetaccess.com’s Website
No10YesLearn More
On ProtonVPN’s secure website
Yes10YesView More
Only for AndroidUnlimitedYesLearn More
On Surfshark’s Website
VPN Unlimited3.8
Yes5YesView More
No5YesLearn More
On ExpressVPN’s Website
Yes7NoLearn More
On CyberGhost’s Website
NoUnlimitedYesView More

What Is A VPN And What Does It Do?

VPNs are virtual private networks that encrypt your data and mask your online activity from snooping third parties. When you do things, such as check your email, chat with colleagues and browse websites, a VPN can help keep you anonymous.

What Does a VPN Do?

When you do just about anything online, your computer connects to the server that hosts whatever website or service you’re using. The website can typically see certain data about you and your device, which isn’t ideal if you don’t like your activity being monitored. A VPN service connects you to a remote server before connecting you to your favorite sites, so that when a website checks for your user information, it only “sees” the VPN and does not trace it back to you.

How VPNs Protect Your Privacy & How They Don’t

You can safely use a VPN on your personal and business devices, and it’s a great way to keep your personal data and browsing habits private. The scrambled data is nearly impossible to decipher, so it’s useless to hackers and sites that want to track that data.

However, VPNs can’t protect against everything you do on your computer, laptop or mobile phone.

A VPN can protect:

  • Your identity online
  • Data you send and receive online

What a VPN doesn’t protect you from:

  • Malware
  • Phishing scams
  • Data on your devices

A VPN protects active transmissions of data online, so it cannot do much for the data that lives on your phone or computer. For physical data protection, you would need antivirus and anti-malware software. It’s also important to be careful which links you click in email and online. Phishing attacks can be cleverly disguised as emails from someone you know.

How To Choose the Best VPN

When it comes to choosing the best VPN, there are a few key factors to consider. According to Michael Gargiulo, CEO of VPN.com, “A great VPN covers employees and contractors automatically on their work devices, especially over Wi-Fi. A VPN that allows easy account/device access management, simplified billing and a robust user experience across all major device operating systems is important for a successful small business VPN experience.”

Taking these features into account can help you find a VPN that offers the protection and privacy you need. Here are some details to watch out for:

Essential VPN Features

  • Security and encryption: A VPN should offer robust security measures, such as AES-256 encryption, to protect your online data and activity from hackers and other malicious actors.
  • Privacy policy: A VPN’s privacy policy should be clear, transparent and not allow any logging of your online activity.
  • Network of server locations: A VPN should offer a wide network of server locations, allowing you to choose the server that best meets your needs in terms of location and performance.
  • Compatibility: Your VPN should be compatible with all your devices and operating systems, such as Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and Linux.
  • Performance and reliability: Your VPN should have fast and reliable connections with minimal lag or downtime.
  • Killswitch: A killswitch is a feature that terminates your internet connection automatically if the VPN connection drops. This helps to protect your online data and activity from being exposed in the event of a disconnection.

Types of VPN Services

There are different types of VPN software that you may use in different situations. The most common of all are personal VPNs, but you may find that you’ll need a remote access VPN, site-to-site VPN or mobile VPN.

  • Personal VPN: A personal VPN (also known as consumer VPN) shields your IP address and encrypts active data transfers (from you and to you). It also spoofs your location, which is how you can access previously inaccessible content from your country.
  • Remote access VPN: The most common use of a remote access VPN might be if you work for a company that requires you to log into a private network when you’re on open/public internet. The VPN protects the connection and the data transfer between the employee and the private network.
  • Site-to-site VPN: A site-to-site VPN is useful for companies that want to establish a single wide area network (WAN) between two or more other networks. A good example of this is a corporation that has multiple branches across the country with employees that need to access data across the combined network, such as AT&T or PetSmart.
  • Mobile VPN: A mobile VPN is similar to a remote access VPN, except it’s designed for those using mobile devices when there’s an expectation that one’s internet service could be on Wi-Fi or a cellular network. So, if you log into a company’s network using Wi-Fi, but the Wi-Fi goes out, your phone may swap over to cellular data, but the VPN keeps the connection going.
  • Zero-trust VPN: Zero-trust VPN is a security model that assumes that all devices and users trying to access a network are untrusted until proven otherwise. This type of VPN is used by organizations with strict security requirements, such as financial institutions and government agencies.
  • Cloud VPN: Cloud VPN is a type of VPN that connects a user’s device to a cloud-based virtual private network. It allows users to access cloud-based applications and services securely and is particularly useful for organizations that use cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Free VPN: Free VPNs are VPNs that are offered for free, usually with limited features and capabilities. They may be suitable for casual internet users who want to protect their data on public Wi-Fi networks, but they may not be as secure or reliable as paid VPNs.
  • Split tunneling VPN: A Split Tunneling VPN allows you to route specific applications or web traffic through the VPN tunnel, while other traffic goes through your regular internet connection. This can be useful for organizations that want to protect sensitive data while still allowing employees to access non sensitive information.
  • TOR over VPN: This type of VPN routes your internet connection through both a VPN and the TOR network. This provides an additional layer of encryption and anonymity, but it can also slow down your internet connection.

Server Number and Locations

Server numbers and locations are important factors to consider when choosing a VPN because they can affect the VPN’s overall performance and the level of privacy and security it can provide.

  • Server numbers: A VPN with a large number of servers is generally considered to be a good thing because it means that there are more options for connecting to the VPN and more servers to choose from. This can help to ensure that you can find a server that is fast and reliable and that is located near your physical location. A VPN with many servers also allows for more flexibility in terms of server switching and load balancing, which can help to improve the overall performance of the VPN.
  • Server locations: A VPN with a wide range of server locations is also considered to be a good thing because it allows you to choose a server that is located in a specific country or region. This can be useful if you want to access geo-restricted content or if you want to ensure that your data is transmitted through a specific country’s jurisdiction. The more server locations a VPN has, the more options you have to choose from and the more flexibility you have to ensure that your connection is fast and reliable.

A VPN service with few servers and few locations is considered bad because it could lead to over-congestion, low speed and difficulty in finding a server near your location.

It is also important that the VPN provider has servers in countries which are privacy-friendly and not part of any surveillance alliance, such as the 5-eyes, 9-eyes or 14-eyes.

Speed and Performance

Speed is an important decision factor when choosing a VPN because it affects the overall performance of the VPN and your ability to use the internet effectively. A VPN that’s slow can cause delays in loading web pages, buffering when streaming video and difficulty using real-time applications, such as online gaming or video conferencing.

Other performance factors include:

  • Latency: Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the VPN server and back. A low latency is important for real-time applications such as online gaming or video conferencing.
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection. A VPN with high bandwidth can support more data-intensive activities such as streaming high-definition (HD) video.
  • Uptime: Uptime refers to the amount of time a VPN server is available and online. A VPN with high uptime will be more reliable and less likely to experience disruptions or downtime.

There may be some differences in speed across devices, as some devices may have faster processors or better network connectivity than others. However, a good VPN provider should be able to provide fast and reliable connections regardless of the device.

To evaluate a VPN’s performance, you can use online speed test tools to measure the VPN’s download and upload speeds, as well as its latency and jitter. They can also look at the VPN’s uptime records and read reviews from other users to get a general sense of the VPN’s performance.

Before subscribing to a VPN service, it’s important to have a free trial or money-back guarantee period. This way you can test the performance and see if it meets your needs prior to committing to a plan.

Explore Our VPN Guides

What Is VPN: How It Works, Types of VPN
10 Best VPNs Of July 2023: Expert-Rated & Ranked
Best VPN for PUBG Mobile & Lite In 2023
Is Using A VPN Safe? What You Need To Know About VPN Security
Is A VPN Worth It In 2023?
Best VPN For iPhone In 2023
Best VPN For Chrome
10 Cheapest VPNs Of 2023

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

VPN pricing ranges from free to about INR 1,067 per month. Free VPNs usually limit you in the number of devices you can connect and locations. The cheapest VPNs generally give you deep discounts for agreeing to pay for a VPN for multiple years in advance. The higher prices are typically reserved for business VPNs, which usually have several devices connected simultaneously (justifying the premium cost).

Factors Impacting the Cost of a VPN

Factors that impact the cost of a VPN include the number of devices that can be connected simultaneously, the number of server locations available, the level of security and encryption provided and the quality of customer support. Michael Gargiulo, CEO of VPN.com, points out that no VPN is truly free. Those that advertise as such are likely not offering the strongest privacy settings and putting your data at risk. It is always preferable to test out a safe, paid service with a money-back guarantee, rather than choosing a free option.

Premium VPNs offer more features and better performance than free VPNs, of course with a higher cost. Pricing plans for VPNs are typically structured as monthly, annual or multi year subscriptions, with longer commitments offering the best prices. Some VPNs offer a free version with limited features, while others offer a free trial period for users to test the service before committing to a paid subscription.

Promotional plans and discounts are often available, especially for new users or during special events, such as holiday sales. Check the provider’s website or subscribe to their newsletter to be informed of any promotions.

How To Reduce the Cost of a VPN

To reduce the cost of a VPN, users can opt for a longer-term subscription, as VPN providers often offer significant discounts for committing to a multiyear subscription. Users can also look for VPNs that offer a free version or a free trial period. Additionally, users can compare different VPN providers to find the one that offers the best value for the features they need.

VPN Speed Comparison

No VPN67.1mbps35.1mbps31ms60msN/A
NordVPN56.3mbps26.1mbps48ms44msLearn MoreOn NordVPN’s Website
TunnelBear62.5mbps40mbps123ms118msLearn MoreRead Forbes’ Review
TorGuard VPN53.6mbps9.66mbps37.5ms378msLearn MoreOn TorGuard’s Website
ProtonVPN59.7mbps25.3mbps125ms435msLearn MoreOn ProtonVPN’s secure website
Private Internet Access54.8mbps25.7mbps21.5ms166msLearn MoreOn Privateinternetaccess.com’s Website
hide.me46 mbps15.3mbps76ms114msView More
Surfshark3.71mbps8.78mbps305ms673msLearn MoreOn Surfshark’s Website
VPN Unlimited68.7mbps27.7mbps46ms29msView More
CyberGhost30.3mbps11.6mbps35.3ms42msLearn MoreOn CyberGhost’s Website
ExpressVPN40.4mbps25.8mbps62.5ms164msLearn MoreOn ExpressVPN’s Website
Hotspot ShieldNo25NoView More

Methodology: Our VPN speed comparison is tested on a Windows 11 machine using Cloudflare’s publicly available speed test. VPN services are connected to the nearest possible server. Speeds are updated weekly (last updated August 7, 2023 at 20:01 UTC).

How to Test VPN Speed

  • Choose a testing website: There are tons of websites that allow you to test VPN speeds, such as speedtest.net, fast.com and vpnmentor.com. Different websites can give you different results based on their testing methods and servers, so when you periodically check your VPN speed, ensure you’re using the same platform each time.
  • Connect to your VPN: Before running the speed test, turn on your VPN and connect to the server you want to test. Most VPNs have a simple “connect” button on the app that will automatically connect you to the closest server. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to choose a server that’s closest to your location to ensure the best possible speeds.
  • Run the speed test: Once you have connected to your VPN, go to the testing website you selected in step 1 and run a speed test. The website will measure your download and upload speeds, as well as your ping (latency), which is the time it takes for a packet of data to travel from your device to the server and back.
  • Record the results: Write down the results of the speed test, including the download speed, upload speed and ping (latency). This will allow you to keep track of the results and compare them later.
  • Repeat the test: It’s important to repeat the speed test multiple times, at different times of the day and on different days, to get an average of the results. This will give you a more accurate picture of the VPN’s speeds, as VPN speeds can fluctuate throughout the day because of factors such as network congestion and the number of users on the server.
  • Compare the results: Weigh the results of the VPN speed tests with your internet connection speed without the VPN. This will give you an idea of how much the VPN is slowing down your connection and whether it’s worth using. You may even find that performing certain tasks, such as streaming or watching videos while testing, will garner varying results.

Many factors can affect VPN speeds, such as the distance between you and the server, the number of users on the same server and the type of encryption used by the VPN. Factors such as these can all impact the overall speed of your VPN connection, so it’s important to test multiple times and on different servers to find the best one for your needs.

Here is a list of popular VPN uses and key features to look for:

General internet browsing: Strong encryption, a no-logging policy and a wide range of server locations.

  • Streaming: Fast speeds, plenty of server locations and the ability to unblock geo-restricted content.
  • Gaming: Low latency, fast speeds and lots of server locations.
  • Torrenting: Strong encryption, a no-logging policy and support for P2P file sharing.
  • Business use: Strong encryption, support for simultaneous connections, no-logging policy and the ability to establish a site-to-site VPN.

Every use case may require different features. For more information on specific use cases, learn more about the reasons to use a VPN.

5 Reasons Why You Need a VPN

Using a VPN at home can keep your data safe from those who want to use your data for targeted advertising. On your mobile device, a VPN can protect your login details and other data you send when you connect to public Wi-Fi. It can be especially useful for businesses that have proprietary information to protect.

Here are five of the most common VPN uses:

1. Keep Your Data Private From Your ISP

Because of the relationship between you and your internet service provider (ISP), it can track what you do online, such as what sites you visit, the time you spend browsing, and more. Depending on the terms of service and what you’ve agreed to, your ISP may even sell your personal data to advertisers. Your stored data is kept confidential otherwise, according to most internet providers.

If the government requests your internet history, an ISP must comply. In fact, in cases of national security, the government doesn’t even need a warrant to access your internet data. Theoretically, with a warrant, local law enforcement can use your data to help convict you of a crime.

Even if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you might not want your ISP documenting every URL you visit. If you use a VPN, you can cover your tracks. At the very least, it can give you peace of mind.

2. Use Public Wi-Fi Safely With a VPN

Whether you’re at an airport waiting for a flight and checking your email or at a local restaurant reading news on your phone, you may be tempted to use public Wi-Fi. It seems safe enough, right? The free internet connection is offered by the airport or business and they mean well.

The good news is that browsing online has become safer in recent years, thanks to most people adopting HTTPS over HTTP. That “S” is a security protocol that comes from a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate and helps protect internet data that’s shared to and from a site. That’s what makes it safer for you to pay for products and services online, for example.

However, most public Wi-Fi connections are open and not password protected, so you might put yourself at risk of your connection being intercepted by a hacker who is trolling the Wi-Fi network.

If you have a VPN service to log into first, you can anonymously connect to public Wi-Fi and essentially remain hidden on the network. A VPN will hide your identity on an open internet connection and encrypt active data, so even if a cybercriminal is on the same network, you’ll be safe.

3. Protect Your Personal Data From Businesses

Lots of retailers offer apps and free Wi-Fi to shoppers and they make it hard to not use them. For one, if you download a retailer’s app, you may get access to exclusive coupons and deals, so that’s tempting. Also, a lot of physical locations block cell phone service simply because of the metal in structures.

Businesses that offer these perks for free or incentives to use their apps and Wi-Fi are doing so to collect your data, which is extremely valuable to them. This is another good reason to use a VPN if you want to protect your personal data. Plus, you’ll still be able to safely access your apps and use free Wi-Fi while you’re shopping at malls or stores.

4. Protect Proprietary Information

Many companies adopted a remote or hybrid work policy recently, which is convenient for a lot of employees. However, there is a security concern about having remote workers log into company servers from home because you don’t know how secure an employee’s connection is. They could be working from home or in a coffee shop. If a connection is intercepted, there’s a concern that active data could go from an employee to a hacker, rather than the Wi-Fi the employee is trying to use.

Providing all employees with remote access and a VPN will help keep your company’s files and projects safe.

5. Access Blocked Content

A VPN does more than protect your data—it can unlock your access to media you can’t get to now. There are benefits here for a few different reasons.

Some citizens in countries with strict governments may not be able to visit websites with opposing views to their politicians. A VPN can make it appear as though you’re located in a different location, so you can access otherwise blocked websites or media. Your connection to the VPN can keep your actual location and IP cloaked, so you can’t be pinpointed.

Another benefit to using a VPN is that you can use it to find media you can’t get otherwise. For example, Netflix and Hulu offer different types of programming per location. If you’re in the U.S., you might not be able to watch what’s available on Netflix in the United Kingdom. A VPN can make it appear as though you’re in another country, thereby unlocking that exclusive content.

These are just a few examples of how a VPN can help protect you or help you access blocked information. There are plenty of other reasons why everyone should use a VPN.

How Do VPNs Work?

To start, a VPN service hosts servers on which the VPNs reside. When you sign up for a service, you’ll get software to log into before you connect to the internet. What the VPN does when you log into your account is encrypt your data before you go online and continue to encrypt and decipher that data until you log off. VPNs do this by following a script or a series of protocols.

VPN Encryption Protocols

A VPN protocol is similar to a set of instructions not unlike “if this, then that” scripts. The protocols tell the VPN to encrypt data if and when a user logs in and to encrypt data that’s sent or received through that connection. These protocols also determine the type of encryption and security to use.

  • OpenVPN: Many VPN providers use OpenVPN, an open-source VPN protocol, to run encryptions. It’s a flexible option that works on transmission control protocol (TCP) or user datagram protocol (UDP) network protocols (TCP is most commonly used for its reliability in data transfer, while UDP is better for fast transfer).
  • SSTP: Microsoft created the secure socket tunneling protocol (SSTP) that works well for any VPN, regardless of the operating system (OS) on the VPN’s server. It is secure with AES-256 encryption, which is a standard secure encryption. However, because it’s a Microsoft product, some users are skeptical of how secure it is and whether there are backdoors.
  • IKEv2/IPsec: One reason to look for a VPN service that uses the IKEv2 protocol is for its ability to maintain your connection to a VPN while swapping between Wi-Fi and mobile data, for example. It uses IP Security (IPsec) to establish secure data transfers (typically on UDP networks). The IKEv2 protocol was also created by Microsoft, such as SSTP, but it’s less versatile—it can only be used on Windows OS.
  • PPTP: Point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) is one of the first VPN protocols that was adopted for the mainstream. It’s unlikely you’ll see VPN services that use this protocol anymore because it’s far less secure than newer protocols. Still, if you want a VPN that runs this protocol, you shouldn’t experience any lag and it works on almost any system.
  • L2TP/IPsec: Layer 2 tunneling protocol (L2TP) is kind of the updated answer to the outdated PPTP. It isn’t an encryption protocol, rather it’s a protocol that helps establish a connection between your device and a VPN.
  • WireGuard: Another open-source protocol, such as OpenVPN, is WireGuard. It’s a tunneling protocol that establishes a connection between a user and a VPN very quickly. However, there are questions about how secure it is, so if you want a VPN that uses WireGuard, be sure it combines this with strong encryption protocols.
  • NordLynx: NordVPN created its own version of a private and secure protocol using WireGuard. The benefit of this blended protocol solution is that you’ll still get secure encryption from NordVPN’s own encryption (it’s proprietary) with WireGuard’s foundation for speed.
  • VPN tunneling: The purpose behind VPN tunneling is to shield prying eyes from seeing your IP address and internet activity when you go online. When a connection is established from a user to a VPN, an encrypted tunnel is created from you to your destination (the internet). Not all tunneling protocols are created equally. The older PPTP tunneling protocol can quickly establish a connection when you log into a VPN that uses it, but it isn’t the most secure method of encryption. Whereas L2TP (with IPsec) provides multiple layers of encryption and thereby a higher level of security.

VPN Servers and Locations

Most VPN services offer a variety of servers and locations for you to use. So, does it matter where a VPN server is located? There are a few different answers to this question and it comes down to why you’re using a VPN. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Speed: If you’re looking for the fastest load times, quick downloads or you’re gaming or streaming online, choose a VPN server that’s nearest to your own location.
  • Unblocking content: If you want to find the U.K.-based television shows on streaming services and you’re located in India, you’ll need to connect to a VPN in the U.K. This also applies to accessing content on websites that your government may require ISPs to block—choose a VPN located in a country where these restrictions don’t apply.
  • Security: Any location should suffice when it comes to security and privacy. There is a caveat, though. If you’re concerned about data collection and retention laws, you may want to choose a VPN server that resides in a country with no data retention laws, such as Switzerland or Panama.

How To Use a VPN

The majority of today’s VPNs are exceptionally easy to use. Once you’ve created an account with the provider, all you need to do is download the VPN app on your computer or smartphone. Once you’ve signed in with your account, you typically choose from a list of remote servers located around the world. Click on the one you’d like and the system should connect you automatically. Once you get confirmation that you’re connected, you can use your device as you normally would without your VPN. You can disconnect or change your server from your app’s home screen.

To set up your VPN manually, you can follow specific steps for your operating system. Many of the apps follow a similar process, as outlined below.

  1. Download and install the app or software.
  2. Click on “Settings” or “System Preferences.”
  3. Choose “Network” or “VPN.”
  4. Fill out fields for “Server Name,” “VPN Type,” “Remote ID,” “Local ID” and your account info (some of the fields may vary depending on the OS).
  5. Connect to your VPN.

How to Check if Your VPN is Working

There are a number of ways to check if your VPN is working, from checking your location or IP address to looking for domain name system (DNS) leaks or WebRTC leaks.

Here are the most common ways to quickly check if your VPN is working:

  • Check your IP address: One of the most basic ways to check if your VPN is working is to check your IP address. If you’re connected to a VPN, your IP address should be different from the one that you see when you’re not connected to the VPN. You can check your IP address by googling “what is my IP address.”
  • Check your location: You can also check your location to see if your VPN is working by visiting a website, such as mylocation.org. If your VPN is working, your location should be different from the one that you see when you’re not connected to the VPN.
  • Check for domain name system (DNS) leaks: DNS leaks can occur when your device is using a different DNS server than the one provided by the VPN. You can check for DNS leaks by using a website, such as dnsleaktest.com.
  • Check for WebRTC leaks: WebRTC leaks can occur when your browser is leaking your real IP address. You can check for WebRTC leaks by using a website, such as browserleaks.com.
  • Check your VPN’s connection status: Most VPN software has a connection status indicator that tells you if the VPN is connected or disconnected. This is a reliable way to check if your VPN is working.
  • Try accessing blocked content: If you are trying to access content that is blocked in your region, you can try accessing it to check if your VPN is working properly. If your VPN is working, you should be able to access the content.

It’s important to note that even if your VPN appears to be working, it does not guarantee that your internet connection is secure. It’s always a good idea to test your VPN regularly to ensure that it’s working properly and to check for any potential leaks or vulnerabilities.

Methodology: How We Evaluate VPNs

Forbes Advisor analyzed 10 primary factors and 20 subfactors to organize this list of the best VPN services. Based on those factors, each VPN provider could score a total of 50 points. We then translated that point system into an easily digestible 5-star rating.

Our criteria includes factors such as device compatibility, user reviews, maximum number of devices, number of servers, location of servers, number of discrete server locations, and pricing for the basic annual plan.

The various pricing systems for VPNs can get confusing. We looked at a VPN’s standard subscription tier, which is typically an annual plan that requires upfront payment.

To account for business and work uses for VPNs, we paid special attention to the ones that allow you to connect numerous devices simultaneously (in case your household, coworkers or employees also need protection).

Do VPN providers offer obfuscated servers?

Most VPN service providers, like mentioned above, offer obfuscated servers, which are designed to hide users’ IP addresses and reroute internet traffic. This feature doesn’t let internet service providers (ISPs) from knowing if users are using the VPN. This is a paid feature that allows users to use an obfuscated server via a server connected via automatic protocol.

Next Up In Business