Best VPN Apps 2021 – Everything You Need to Know

There are many different Virtual Private Network (VPN) services on the market, each with its own app and functionality. No matter how powerful a VPN is, it will deter most people if it’s challenging to use. There are also plenty of VPNs out there that don’t have dedicated apps for specific devices.

The usability and interface of a VPN app might not even be something you consider when comparing services, but it should be. You should be looking for a reliable VPN packed with features that also prioritize its apps and user experience. That’s where we come in.

In this article, we look at the VPNs that strike a balance perfectly. We’re going to present you with a list of the best VPN apps, all tried and tested across multiple devices with different user levels in mind. We look at things like usability, interface, and compatibility with various devices. Keep reading for our list of the best VPN apps. Show more
#1

VPN Service: NordVPN

Max Speed: 115000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 7
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Boxee Box, Chromecast, ChromeOS, FireOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Roku, Windows
  • proiconFast connection
  • proiconZero-log policy
  • proiconMore than 5000 worldwide servers
  • coniconFew payment options
  • coniconSplit tunneling unavaible
  • conicon6 Devices Maximum

NordVPN

  • Apps available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV
  • Excellent interface for beginners but also plenty of advanced customizations
  • Over 5,000 worldwide VPN servers

NordVPN is one of the biggest VPNs on the market and can be used on every type of popular desktop or mobile device. There is a dedicated Android app and an iOS alternative for iPhone users. In addition, NordVPN has all of the security tools you would expect from a premium VPN, including 256-bit AES encryption, a network kill switch, and split tunneling. All of which can be done quickly on NordVPN’s great VPN software.

VPN beginners will be pleased to know that the NordVPN apps are some of the easiest to use. You don’t need to be intimidated by technology jargon or settings; it’s as simple as getting connected. First, you will be prompted to connect to a VPN server, and there are over 5,000 to choose from. With server locations worldwide, you can choose from many popular places like the USA, the UK, and Australia. Then, all you have to do is select one of the servers from the list, which are conveniently ordered by country, and click connect.

You will see a connection success message once you’re on the server, and this will remain visible in the corner of your screen, even outside of the app itself. This way, you can keep an eye on the VPN connection and ensure that your internet traffic is protected at all times. If you are a more advanced user, you can opt to change the VPN protocol or connect to a specialty server if you want to customize the app to your needs.

NordVPN is powerful, and the apps can be as advanced or simple as you need them to be. It’s perfect for both beginners and power users, and there is a 24-hour live chat on hand if you require any assistance.

Price Starting At: 3.29 $ / monthly 39.48 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5400+
#2

VPN Service: Surfshark VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: Unlimited
Number of Netflix Libraries: 15
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
  • proiconUnlimited simultaneous connections
  • proiconUnblocks streaming services
  • proiconBased in privacy-friendly country
  • coniconNo phone support
  • coniconNo 12 month plan
  • coniconFew payment methods

Surfshark VPN

  • Apps available on all mobile devices, as well as macOS, Windows, and Linux
  • One-click connect makes the app incredibly easy to use
  • 3,200+ VPN servers for browsing, streaming, gaming, and more

Surfshark is the perfect VPN app when it comes to usability. What’s most impressive is that you can protect all your devices for a single subscription, thanks to Surfshark’s unlimited simultaneous connections. It’s great for Android users and iOS users alike, as it has dedicated mobile apps for both devices. You can also install Surfshark on your Windows, macOS, or Linux device or manually configure Surfshark to specific routers.

There are over 3,200 VPN servers available with Surfshark, and it’s as simple as clicking connect to protect your internet connection. Surfshark has one of the most user-friendly apps on the market, and there is no need to adjust any settings unless you are comfortable doing so. It’s as simple as downloading the VPN software, opening the app, choosing a server, and using the quick connect functionality to get started. You can also choose to automatically connect to make the process even easier.

Surfshark blocks ads, lifts geo-restrictions on streaming content, and protects your online activity all in the background. It also doesn’t keep any user activity, thanks to its strict no-logs policy.

In addition, there are some advanced options for power users, including a choice of VPN protocols and the ability to connect to obfuscated servers. The best security tools are all included with Surfshark and perks such as unlimited data and no limits to how many devices you can connect.

Price Starting At: 2.49 $ / monthly 29.66 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 1040+
#3

VPN Service: CyberGhost VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 7
Number of Netflix Libraries: 4
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Windows, Xbox 360
  • proiconLocated in privacy-friendly Romania
  • proiconAccepts Bitcoin as a payment option
  • proiconNoSpy server network
  • coniconLimited Netflix unblocking capability
  • coniconNo phone support
  • coniconUses virtual servers

CyberGhost VPN

  • Dedicated Android VPN app and iOS version
  • Full functionality and features across all devices
  • 7,000+ servers (more than any other on this list)

CyberGhost has the largest number of servers on this list, sporting over 7,000. This means that it has the best unblocking power with VPN servers across the globe. As a result, it is one of the most popular mobile VPNs for streamers who want to access Netflix services without compromising on speed. You can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously with one CyberGhost subscription, and there are no bandwidth limits.

The CyberGhost app comes with all of the best privacy tools to protect you and your internet activity. Unlike certain apps that limit what’s available on mobile, the CyberGhost app gives the same levels of online privacy across all platforms. The 256-bit AES encryption and network kill switch mean it’s impossible to determine your true IP address. In addition, the quick-connect functionality makes it as easy as choosing a server, clicking connect, and getting protected within seconds.

One of the main things that set CyberGhost apart from other VPN apps is the split tunneling functionality. Of course, other VPN providers have the functionality, but it’s often limited to just specific devices, such as computers. With CyberGhost, you can use split-tunneling on your mobile device, too, with the click of a button.

Price Starting At: 2.25 $ / monthly 29.25 $ / annually
For New Users: 45 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 7200+
#4

VPN Service: IPVanish VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: Unlimited
Number of Netflix Libraries: 13
Information sharing: 5 Eyes Member
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, ChromeOS, FireOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • proiconUnlimited simultaneous connections
  • proicon24/7 customer support
  • proiconUnblocks Netflix
  • coniconBased in US (Five Eyes)
  • coniconLimited payment options
  • coniconDoesn't unblock BBC iPlayer

IPVanish VPN

  • Apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows
  • Great for advanced VPN users
  • Advanced security features and privacy tools

IPVanish is a secure VPN that’s all about what it says in the name – hiding your IP address and giving you the highest levels of privacy online. So whether you need a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions, overcome Government censorship, or just to hide your browsing history, IPVanish can do it all. You can even protect all your devices as it allows unlimited connections on a single account.

Although IPVanish might not be the best VPN service for beginners, it’s still reasonably simple to use. The app is easy to navigate once you know how, but this may take a bit of practice for beginners. Advanced users, however, will love the IPVanish app. It’s easy to connect to the servers, but you can also configure additional options, including VPN protocols or specialty server types. IPVanish will also recommend the fastest server available for your activity.

Unfortunately, IPVanish doesn’t have an app for Linux, but can still be used on an Android phone, iPhone, Windows PC, and macOS. There is 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch included, both of which feature on all versions of the app.

Price Starting At: 4 $ / monthly 47.99 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 1600+
#5

VPN Service: Private Internet Access VPN

Max Speed: 373000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 10
Number of Netflix Libraries: 2
Information sharing: 5 Eyes Member
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows
  • proiconLarge server network
  • proiconSupport for torrenting on all servers
  • proiconBitcoin as payment option
  • coniconLimited features
  • coniconBased in US (Five Eyes)
  • coniconNetflix access issues

Private Internet Access VPN

  • Connect up to 10 devices at once
  • A secure VPN with apps for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • 256-bit AES encryption and other premium features

Private Internet Access is at the top of its field when it comes to online security and privacy. It can block ads from third parties and prevent hacking or phishing attempts, keeping you safe as you use the VPN to game, download, or simply browse. It’s one of the easier VPN apps to use, and you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously on a single account.

As you would expect from a VPN called Private Internet Access, the app is packed with security features to protect your browsing. These include AES encryption, a network kill switch, and a no-logs policy. A no-logs policy means that the company doesn’t store a single bit of personally identifiable information.

This VPN service has over 20,000 servers, and there are apps for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. Although not as user-friendly as some of its competition, Private Internet Access has a wealth of tutorials and guides for getting started and using its tools. There is also 24/7 customer support available if you need any further help, above-and-beyond some other VPN services.

Price Starting At: 2.69 $ / monthly 40 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 25170+
#6

VPN Service: ExpressVPN

Max Speed: 58000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
  • proiconPlenty of payment methods
  • proicon24 hours live chat support
  • proicon30 days money back guarantee
  • coniconMore expensive than competitors
  • coniconOnly 5 simultaneous connections
  • coniconNo servers in Russia

ExpressVPN

  • High-speed VPN, ideal for streaming and downloading
  • Quick connect to VPN servers on easy-to-use apps for all platforms
  • Over 3,000 servers, perfecting for streaming on any device

ExpressVPN has built a reputation for providing a super-fast VPN connection. There is very little that this service can’t handle, performing impressively with streaming, downloading, and gaming. It’s often regarded as one of the fastest VPN apps, and it’s easy to see why. There are user-friendly apps available on most devices and operating systems, and users can connect up to five devices simultaneously.

ExpressVPN has also implemented quick connect to make things even more accessible. Connecting to a VPN server takes just a couple of seconds, and your frequent server locations stay on the homepage for even faster connections. In addition, Express is a secure VPN service that can keep you safe even on public wi-fi, blocking, and all adware and malware.

There are over 3,000 servers to choose from, so you will never be out of options. ExpressVPN also has specialty servers for specific activities such as streaming or gaming, all of which can be done using the same app.

Despite being one of the fastest VPN choices on this list, ExpressVPN has affordable packages, and there’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Price Starting At: 6.67 $ / monthly 99.95 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 3000+
Table of content

What is a VPN App?

A VPN app is an application provided by a third-party VPN service provider. It allows users to easily use the VPN software on their devices, without having to manually set up a VPN connection.

The Benefits of VPN Apps

While you can manually set up a VPN connection on your devices, so that you don’t need a third party app, there are benefits to using an app:

The Drawbacks of VPN Apps

Although VPN apps are mostly beneficial there are a couple of disadvantages:

However, the positives of using a VPN apps greatly outweigh the negatives.

Which Are the Best Free VPN Apps?

A free VPN may seem tempting, but they come with several catches. The first is the strict limits you will face. It doesn’t matter how great a VPN app is or how easy-to-use it is if you can barely utilize any of the tools. In addition, a free VPN will only provide a small number of servers and restricted speeds and bandwidth. But this isn’t the real problem. The most significant risk in using a free VPN is the safety of your data. There have been instances of free VPN services selling user data to third parties and advertisers. These are all of the reasons why a free VPN isn’t worth your time.

A few of the best VPN apps listed on this page do have a free version. This is to check them out or to utilize a free trial sometimes on offer. We recommend that you start there and only invest your time and money in a trusted service, avoiding free VPNs. Don’t forget that a money-back guarantee also protects you, as you can claim a refund if you’re not 100% satisfied with a product.

Which is the Best Android VPN?

Every VPN service on this list has a dedicated Android VPN app packed with premium features for subscribers. It’s hard to separate each by the app, so look at your specific usage when deciding which is the best Android VPN for you. So if you use a VPN to unblock content, make sure that there are server locations where you need them. Or, if you use a VPN to download torrents, ensure that it supports file sharing and can maintain fast speeds.

How Many Devices Can I Install a VPN App on?

The number of simultaneous devices supported will depend entirely on the VPN service. We always recommend choosing the VPN with the highest allowance. Both IPVanish and Surfshark allow an unlimited number of devices to connect, which is excellent if you have a busy household and want to keep the entire family covered. However, if you don’t need a massive amount of device connections, any VPN on this will be suitable, as they all allow five or more.

Can I Use VPN Apps for Streaming Content?

Yes, every VPN app on this list is capable of handling streaming and comes with unlimited bandwidth. You will need to connect to a fast server to avoid any lag or delays. If you want to access streaming content from another country, choose a VPN server in that country to get access. These VPN apps will run in the background and keep you protected as you enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies whenever you like.

The Bottom Line

VPN apps are extremely beneficial and make it easy for users to use a VPN. However, they can slow down your devices, especially if you lack storage space. Overall, we'd recommend using a VPN app.
Pros

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • No manual set up required
  • Automatic updates
Cons

Cons

  • Can take up device storage
  • May slow down your device and other programs
  • Can be costly
Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids. I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ...
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PrivacySharks » Best VPN Services 2021: What You Need To Know » Best VPN Apps 2021 – Everything You Need to Know
Last updated: November 16, 2021