The 6 Most Upvoted VPN Service Providers
Google offers you quick answers, but if you want raw honesty and no-nonsense responses, go straight to Reddit. This is true for pretty much everything from relationship advice to recommendations, and it’s especially true for technical stuff like VPN recommendation.
NordVPN 🥇 — the all-around best VPN by Reddit
Surfshark 🥈— the best value VPN according to Reddit
ProtonVPN 🥉 — a trustworthy VPN for streaming, free version
PrivateVPN — fast and reliable VPN for general browsing by Reddit
TorGuard — Reddit’s simple VPN for everyday use
Mullvad — the most anonymous VPN according to Reddit community
We don’t expect you to take our word for it, and you need to know more about these VPN services to make the best decision for your situation.
In this article, we explain the criteria that separates these VPNs from the rest and what to expect from each one. We also explain how you can use Reddit to dig deeper into the subject.
What Reddit Users Consider When Choosing a VPN
When Reddit users choose or recommend a VPN (virtual private network), they go beyond a simple online recommendation. While all of these VPNs have a great reputation, it’s important to look at details such as:
The price of the software
How much anonymity it offers (and what is logged)
The ability to bypass certain blockages
How the VPN affects speed
Whether it has dedicated torrenting servers
Depending on what matters to you, your criteria in these areas may differ from the general recommendations.
When shopping around for a VPN, price always comes into question first. You want to know how much a VPN costs, how often you need to pay for that, and what features you get for that price.
The first level to look at are free VPNs. While some of these work well enough, most recommend against them. A free VPN is rarely truly free, and you pay by opening up your device to more ads or even agreeing to sell your data.
Free VPNs tend to have slower connection speeds, and they lack the features you expect from a VPN.
Your other options are:
Pay annually (usually cheapest)
Pay monthly (more costly, but works better for tight budgets in the shorter term)
Pay for a lifetime subscription
The latter may seem like a good deal in the long-term, but it comes with the same issues as free VPNs. They tend to offer a lower-quality and higher risk, and there’s no guarantee they’ll keep security updated.
Expect to pay an average of $5 to $15 per month for a good quality VPN.
Anytime you use a VPN, you’re trusting them to handle all of your sensitive information. Depending on what they log, a VPN service might pay attention to and store details such as:
The more that they log, the less anonymous you are and the more they log to share with third parties. You want a VPN that does as much as possible to keep you anonymous on the internet.
These VPNs make it easy to find out what data they collect, why they collect it, how long they hold onto it, and what they do with it. If you can’t find this information, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
There are certain instances when a VPN with unblocking abilities comes in handy. Whether you want to override geo-restrictions to stream your favorite shows or you need the services for another reason, make sure your VPN software offers this feature before cashing in.
This isn’t a new issue, and most streaming services have already tried to nullify this tool. Finding a VPN with effective unblocking abilities is rarer now more than ever.
Find a VPN that doesn’t slow down your internet service provider speed while you use it.
The best way to do this is by finding reputable speed tests online (searching on Reddit is a great idea). You don’t want to see a comparison table that tests once and calls it quits; look for one that tests under different conditions such as:
Different times of day and days of the week
Different countries (namely your country of origin)
Different usage conditions (i.e. downloading vs. streaming)
Some sites, such as VPNpro, streamline VPN tests by reducing the variables so they can compare different programs with greater equality.
Torrenting and P2P Server
VPNs are essential if you plan on torrenting, and you should look for one that has dedicated P2P servers. Those with a good reputation for this task usually offer the highest levels of privacy and help you maintain your connection speed.
They may also have additional features such as:
VPNs that automatically connect you to a P2P server in your location when they detect torrent prevent you from needing to sift through hundreds of servers that don’t support the activity, saving you plenty of time.
Top VPNs in 2023 Per Reddit User Recommendations
Without further ado, here are Reddits top voted VPN recommendations.
1. NordVPN — The Best VPN service According to Reddit Users
Based In: Panama
Streaming Platforms: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ABC iView, Disney+, and more
Best Price: $2.99/month when you pay for two years
Some of the fastest VPN speeds
DNS leak protection
Transparent no-log policy
Great prices (especially for loyal customers or long-term subscriptions)
Customer service response
NordVPN is not immune to issues, but most Reddit users agree that it’s at the top of the list. In fact, most users are silent about it because they regularly experience good speeds and good prices.
Navigating Nord VPN doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, and it’s one of the best options for those new to VPNs. You usually start here and never leave because there’s no reason to go.
This is also the most popular for users that seek VPNs solely for streaming, and specialized servers draw in those from niche communities.
2. Surfshark — Best Budget VPN
Based In: The Netherlands
Streaming Platforms: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube, HBO MAX
Best Price: $2.30/month (with 24 month subscription)
DNS leak prevention
iOS cannot split tunnel
Limited GPS spoofing
If you want to spend the least amount possible while still snagging a great VPN, Reddit users recommend Surfshark. This is also a great price point for those unsure of paying for a VPN, and the monthly subscription is cheaper than the competition.
Surfshark’s simultaneous connections option is a fan favorite, and it has a great reputation for unblocking streaming restrictions. There are servers all over the world, contributing to reliable connections and fast speeds (many consider it the fastest VPN provider).
Negative comments usually focus on the VPN’s home country. The Netherlands are part of the 15 eyes agreement, but Surfshark VPN has made an official statement on how this doesn’t affect their no-logs policy.
3. PrivateVPN — Reliable Speed
Secure core servers
Based In: Sweden
Streaming Platforms: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more
Best Price: $2/month (with 36 month subscription)
Redditors often recommend PrivateVPN for torrenting, but it’s a great general-use VPN. There have been a few issues regarding IP leaks that were quickly fixed, speaking highly of response time.
While it supports several streaming sites, there’s inconsistency. For example, US and Japanese Netflix doesn’t seem to work, and Redditors are unforgiving of this. This may change in the future, or it may get worse, but it’s something to look out for.
4. TorGuard — Best for Torrenting
Based In: United States
Logs?: No activity logs
Streaming Platforms: YouTube
Best Price: $5/month (with annual subscription)
While US-based VPNs are not a favorite, TorGuard does a lot to make up for it. You’ll find plenty of posts boasting about customer service, security, and connection speed. Download and upload speed are vital for torrenting, and TorGuard keeps everything simple.
Its biggest downside is its reputation. TorGuard has never been audited, and some (not all) users claim it doesn’t work with torrenting at all. This is in direct opposition to other reviews, and may require some more digging before you make your decision.
5. ProtonVPN — Best for Streaming & Visiting Onion Sites
Based In: Switzerland
Streaming Platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SyFy, Hulu, Disney +
Best Price: Free version; $4.99/month with a two-year subscription
If you value your internet privacy and need a VPN solely for streaming, ProtonVPN is the best option. Its VPN accelerator feature provides smooth and blazing fast performance speed. It is also a great choice for those looking to use a VPN on public WIFI or other shared networks.
ProtonVPN might not be as robust as other VPNs yet, but it covers its bases. Reliable upload and download speeds, unlimited connections, and specialized servers are always nice to see.
The free availability makes it a good choice for casual users who are looking to browse the web anonymously without their logs recorded.
6. Mullvad — Best for Anonymity
Based In: Sweden
Streaming Services: YouTube
Best Price: $6/month
Being a no-nonsense, open-source service, Mullvad is one of the best VPN providers that focuses on keeping your information private while offering as much transparency as possible. Users can remain completely anonymous, and you don’t even need to use an email address to create an account.
Payments may be made using crypto or cash to maintain anonymity, and the provider owns a few of its own servers.
As one of the first to implement the WireGuard protocol, Mullvad VPN maintains top speeds. Furthermore, the tunneling protocol was partly funded by Mullvad in the first place, so you can tell what they’re passionate about.
While streaming options are slim, security is high.
What is The Best VPN Reddit 2023?
According to thousands of Reddit comments, top-rated and all-around best Reddit VPN is Panama-based NordVPN. This service is a combination of blazing fast connection speed, high security standards and a good price.
Why We Look to Reddit Users for VPN Recommendations
You can find VPN recommendations anywhere on the internet, but there are a few reasons that we value Reddit user opinions and look to these communities for advice.
Reddit users are relatable; they’re not putting on a front for social media.
Reddit users offer up raw opinions, and it’s easy to discern what’s fake in a community.
It’s easy to notice trends, such as VPNs that work well or VPNs that no one should use.
Professional reviews are nice, but recent trends and influencer scandals make it hard to trust some brands. Word of mouth is commonly abused in these situations, but Reddit users combat the issue with authenticity.
When it comes down to it, the people behind Reddit accounts are just like you and me. Most communities are not welcoming to marketers or gimmicks, and users understand Reddit culture well enough to present themselves authentically.
There are communities for nearly every niche, and you can find the right corner of the internet to ask for recommendations.
This pays off because you’re asking people who are in the same boat as you, not promoters or people who are ushering you to their “link in bio”. This doesn’t guarantee you won’t encounter these people on Reddit, but they stick out like a sore thumb.
Fake or specialized Reddit accounts are easy to spot. If you check into their engagement history and find diverse interactions, it’s usually a real person. Marketing people lack relatability and range, and they’ll only comment about a few specific topics or providers.
Reddit is where raw opinions and brutal honesty flourish. No one is making a recommendation for clout or paid marketing, and it’s fairly obvious if they are.
We’ll explain more about how to spot sponsored comments and fake accounts later on, but the stark contrast between them and the usual comment or account is pretty obvious. Instead of a raw, detailed explanation on which VPN works best for you, you get something flowery and scripted.
Reddit users also don’t hold back on the negatives of a product. They may love it, but they do a decent job of getting in your shoes and trying to figure out what you need to know. They’ll dish out praise and critiques in the same post, and usually more of the latter.
Because of how Reddit is arranged, it’s easy to spot trends with certain VPNs or other products. In fact, there are some subreddits solely dedicated to the problems of certain products.
Otherwise, Reddit users don’t hesitate to point out slip-ups or trends such as:
Data logging scandals
Poor customer service
If one person mentions an issue, they have and suddenly everyone is agreeing with them, it’s not likely slander.
How to Discern Credibility with Reddit VPN Comments
A lot of people will tell you not to trust Reddit because it’s even more anonymous than other networking sites. While this might be true for specific situations (stranger danger always applies), you can discern credibility in this area pretty easily.
Anonymous accounts are easy to spot, and Reddit is proactive in helping you do so.
Usually they have two or more of these features:
An account less than 2 months old
Either nonsensical usernames OR an overly promotional username
Poor language (in some circumstances)
Generic comments with advertisement-esque language
Promotional comments lack the authenticity you expect from Reddit. While other users are answering your question with nuance, marketers try to take the reins and steer the conversation in their direction, only speaking positively of their product.
It’s usually tacky and ineffective.
If you’re unsure from the comment alone and want to believe their comment, check out their account page. You’ll usually see a lack of diversity in account activity, a young profile age, or limited interactions with other promoters.
Exert caution when anyone presents you with a discount code or referral link, even if they’re otherwise trustworthy.
Reddit-User VPNs Recommended for Video Streaming
Video streaming is one of the most common reasons users seek a VPN, and most Reddit users recommend NordVPN for this task. Unfortunately, paying for a streaming subscription doesn’t actually provide full access to their library, and you may not be able to access the software at all in certain areas.
For example, Netflix in the UK has several titles that United States users are unable to access, and vice versa. A VPN can change your location, allowing you to watch those titles without hopping on a plane.
Furthermore, streaming VPNs should be able to:
Unblock the streaming service you need (no point in paying for something that only clears up Hulu if you want those Netflix titles)
More VPN servers (and in the locations you need)
Simultaneous connections (if you share the VPN with others)
Some may also have features like Smart DNS or split tunneling to improve your streaming experience and manage your connection with greater ease.
VPNs to Avoid According to Reddit Users
We’ve shown you the best VPN services to check out first, but what about the ones you should avoid at all costs? Reddit users are pretty unified in that aspect.
The list could expand beyond this, but the three VPNs with the worst reddit reputation include:
Private Internet Access
Reddit users don’t make these claims lightly, and there are several similar complaints for each one.
AirVPN has a lot going for it, including speed, open-source software, and logging policies, but that’s all moot if you don’t have a good relationship with Reddit users.
Long response times
Slow download speeds
There are simply better options out there.
Scandals are never a good thing, especially when sensitive information is involved, and Express VPN isn’t short on them. Even though ExpressVPN advertises itself as a top VPN provider, its safety is questionable.
They were acquired by Kape Technologies, a known malware distributor, and have some poor in-house operations. Paired with random disconnects, leaked IP address, and hiring malpractices, the VPN doesn’t have the reputation you want or need to see.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access has quite a few security concerns, including handing over user data in court. They’re owned by Kape Technologies as well, and throw up too many red flags to merit use.
While they’re one of the cheaper options out there, their poor reputation isn’t worth the risk.
Reddit User Opinions on Free VPN Services
Generally, Reddit users who don’t care about their privacy speak in favor of free VPNs. However, those who are extremely cautious about their privacy choose reputable VPN providers with a strict no logs policy in place.
The risks of a free VPN include identity theft and financial loss, so it’s better to stay safe and pay a few bucks per year to keep your data and money secured.
Some small number of Reddit users recommend the Windscribe, Atlas VPN, IPVanish, PureVPN, and OVPN.
Even though they are not that popular than those services that made it to our list of the best VPNs, all these providers have a vast number of servers, and solid security features. For this reason, they certainly deserve your attention.
VPN Subreddits to Find Recommendations and Assistance
This self-titled Reddit community has over 20,000 members and sits in the top 5 percent of all communities (ranked by size). The rules for the community are simple:
You may only post in-depth, first hand reviews of VPNs. No nonsense or spam.
These posts should be reviews, not rants (meaning more depth in the posts and less “I had an issue and I’m going to throw a fit here”)
No marketing links.
You easily find well-developed VPN reviews and analytics to help you make a decision.
If you need a community of VPN users dedicated solely to torrenting, r/VPNTorrents is what you’re looking for. They include useful links in pinned posts, and moderators enforce rules to cut down on misinformation, piracy, and affiliate programs.
While r/VPNTorrents doesn’t allow off topic posts, they do link up with other communities if you’re looking for more conversation about torrenting.
If you’re at all familiar with (and a fan of) Tom Spark, then r/NetflixViaVPN might be your community. The subreddit focuses on expanding your accessible content on Netflix using a VPN, and it has nearly 80,000 members contributing to the conversation.
Rules focus on keeping everyone civil and cutting down on spam or promotional content, and FAQs give you a quick start.
For those looking for something simple to tackle their VPN questions, r/VPN is one of the largest and most well established communities. Over 125,000 members put the community up in the top 1 percent, and they keep the conversation going.
You can find an elaborate comparison table to get you started, then dig in deeper to learn all you want about VPNs.
Rules are more restrictive but focus on keeping everything fair. Examples of this include:
Not naming specific VPN providers
Not asking for or giving provider recommendations
Requiring proof to back up your claims
This isn’t the place to ask for specific product recommendations, but they can help you troubleshoot and understand what you need.