Different Types of VPNs and Which Is Best for You

Choosing a VPN isn’t like ordering your favorite coffee. Here’s a breakdown of VPN brands so you can choose the best VPN for your needs.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by how many VPNs there are? We don’t blame you—there are hundreds of VPNs out there. Some are free, others are based on paid plans. Some have thousands of servers, others have much less.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve always used a virtual private network or if you’re using one for the first time. We’ve researched VPNs to help you find the best one that works for you. Whether you love traveling, gaming, or are looking for ways to save money, there’s likely a VPN plan that will work well with your needs.

What are the different types of VPNs available?

Without going too deep in the weeds about VPN technology, there are two main types of VPNs on the market. Each type has a slightly different purpose, and we’ll outline that below.

First, there’s something called a remote access VPN.1 This is the VPN you’ll need for personal use. A remote access VPN works by connecting you to a secure server in a different location. Connecting to another server will encrypt your data and help keep your personal information away from cybercriminals.

Next there are site-to-site VPNs.1 These are the VPNs people use when they’re part of a large company and need to access data from their team. Many government organizations or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) end up using site-to-site VPNs to protect sensitive data. Large companies or businesses often use private networks to encourage collaboration and secure their information.

Chances are, if you’re looking for a personal VPN for your own PC or household, you’ll want to use a remote access VPN. Even though there are tons of remote access VPNs available, we’ve organized the top brands to make things easier.

What VPN works best for my personal needs?

While remote access VPNs all function the same, you can narrow down the selection by deciding what you’ll use your VPN for the most. Can VPNs be organized according to their features? Absolutely. Some VPNs are great for travel, others work best for gaming. Here are some charts of the top VPN brands organized by the activity they’re best for.

VPNs for streaming

Best VPN for streaming comparison
BrandPriceSpeed testNumber of VPN serversDetails
NordVPN$11.95/mo.132 Mbps5,500+View Plans
MullvadVPN$5.41/mo.90 Mbps600+View Plans
Hotspot Shield$12.99/mo.83 Mbps3,200+View Plans

Data effective 09/28/2020. Offers subject to change.

If you’re someone who loves Netflix, Disney+, HBO, and Amazon Prime, these are the best VPNs for you. We chose these brands in particular because of the number of servers and the speed your internet runs while using the VPN.

All VPNs slow internet speed slightly. However, the best VPNs for streaming are less likely to affect your internet speed.

If this piqued your interest, check out our best VPNs for streaming review.

VPNs for travel

Best VPN for travel comparison
BrandPriceNumber of serversNumber of countriesDetails
CyberGhost$12.99/mo.6,20089View Plans
NordVPN$11.95/mo.5,50059View Plans
ExpressVPN$12.95/mo.3,000+94View Plans

Data effective 09/28/2020. Offers subject to change.

To find the best VPN for travelers, we looked at VPNs with the highest number of servers and countries. If you want to connect to a server located in the same region you’re traveling in, chances are high that these VPNs have a server ready to go.

If you’ve got that travel itch, learn more about the best VPN for traveling.

VPNs for high-end security

Best VPN providers for high-end security comparison2
BrandPriceSecurity protocolEncryption software2Details
ExpressVPN$12.95/mo.OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and PPTP256-bit AES; approved by security expertsView Plans
NordVPN$11.95/mo.OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec256-bit AESView Plans
VyprVPN$12.95/mo.Open VPN, L2PT/IPSec, PPTP and Chameleon128-bit, 160-bit or 256-bit SSL encryptionView Plans

Data effective 09/28/2020. Offers subject to change.

When it comes to security, two things are most important: the security protocol and the encryption software. All VPNs add encryption, but some are stronger and more private than others. If you’re looking for the strongest form of privacy, the VPNs above have military-grade encryption designed to keep your internet browsing private.

Stay completely private with one of our favorite VPNs for high-end security.

VPNs with free trials

Best VPN free trial comparison
BrandPriceLength of trialEncryption software2Details
NordVPN$11.95/mo.30-day VPN free trialFree malware protection softwareView Plans
VPNSecure$12.95/mo.30-day VPN free trialIncludes a secure search appView Plans
Norton Secure VPN$12.95/mo.30-day VPN free trialUnusual 60-day money-back guaranteeView Plans

Data effective 09/28/2020. Offers subject to change.

If you want an affordable VPN, then you should consider starting with a free trial. The plans above come from high-quality VPN brands that also offer affordable plans. You can always cancel your free trial if you decide it’s not the right VPN for you. The great thing about free trials is you can test the VPN without using your credit card or deciding on a plan right away.

If price is your biggest concern, learn more about the best cheap VPN services.

Recap

Now that we’ve covered the best VPNs for streaming, traveling, security, and affordability, it’s up to you to decide. Each VPN brand comes with slightly different features. If you’re still on the fence and don’t know which one to choose, try visiting their websites and looking over their plans.

It’s important to find a VPN with a “no logs” policy and something to support all your devices. By knowing what activity is most important to you, you’ll be able to find a VPN that fits your needs.

Sources 

  1. Greenburg, Ran. VPNMentor, “Different Types of VPNs and When to Use Them (Updated 2020),” August 10, 2020. Accessed September 9, 2020.
  2. Techradar, “Secure VPN Providers 2020: See Safe Options for the Best Security and Encryption,” March 30, 2020. Accessed July 2020.