Virtual private networks (VPNs) are experiencing a boom thanks to massive marketing budgets and influencer partnerships. But navigating the ever-growing market can be difficult, and claims of benefits and features aren’t always correct. Consumer Reports’ online security expert Yael Grauer recommends looking for open-source software, reproducible builds, and up-to-date support for industry standard protocols.

CyberGhost has a strong argument for its zero-logs policy that promises to never record your online activities or IP address. apps are available for all major operating systems and feature an encryption of 256 bits and a kill switch. It also offers leak protection, and the capability to connect via an unspecified port. It also scored better than other VPNs in our speed test, but this could be due to the shaping of traffic by your ISP. It also provides additional tools, such as Threat Protection, Onion Over VPN and Double VPN.

Nord is another option that has a high score in our tests, including an impressive score in our tests of geoblocking and streaming. Its apps are powerful and quite easy to use however a mapping-based interface can be a bit difficult to navigate on smaller screens. It is compatible with a broad range of routers, Kodi TV set top boxes and has the most coverage of any of our picks. It’s a great option for watching Netflix abroad and also has dedicated Windflix servers specifically for this for this purpose. Recently, it added a feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy which protects your data with a new key each session that makes it harder for hackers to decrypt your previous activities.



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