The results of our latest VPN reviews are in, and there’s a familiar face at number one
It’s been a solid two months of speed testing, checking security and privacy policies, streaming Netflix, experimenting with features, installing apps, contacting customer support, comparing prices, and , finally, service review – but we can finally reveal our official pick of the best VPNs of 2022.
And if you were hoping for a shocking new entry or a real shake-up in the rankings, we’re afraid you’ll be disappointed. ExpressVPN retained its number one overall service crown in the market, with household names NordVPN and Surfshark remaining alongside it on the podium.
Beyond that, Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN make up the top five, completely unconcerned with their positions the last time we reviewed them.
You can see our full ranking below, along with quotes from our new reviews to help explain why these really are the best VPN services to download in 2022.
The top 5 best VPNs in 2022
ExpressVPN is the top VPN pops
ExpressVPN may have had a bit of a strange 2021 – the same week in August, it was first acquired by cybersecurity giant Kape Technologies before having a member of the management team embroiled in historic hacking allegations – he still managed to keep doing what he does best.
Mike Williams, TechRadar’s cybersecurity expert and chief VPN tester, said, “There was a lot of competition at the top of the tree, with Surfshark’s WireGuard speeding up 50%, and NordVPN adding malware scanning. Threat Protection and an Edge browser extension while reducing its price.
“But ExpressVPN’s faster speeds, faster connection times, and new ad and malware blocking have kept it ahead of the pack.”
The provider’s proprietary Lightway protocol ensures that speeds are among the fastest on the market, while still performing admirably in our streaming VPN stress tests. That means it’s an ever-useful tool for bypassing geo-blocks promoted by services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Peacock TV, ESPN Plus and many more.
Another thing we love about Express is that it’s so easy to use – and on a range of devices too. It tops this list of Android VPN and iPhone VPN providers, while its desktop clients on Windows and Mac are also second to none. And if you run into any issues, fantastic 24/7 live chat support is ready to help you solve your problem.
ExpressVPN is still a bit more expensive than some competitors (it’s safe to top our cheap VPN chart). But Backblaze’s free year of unlimited secure cloud backup — which it adds when you sign up for an annual plan — helps boost the value of the offer. And of course you can try ExpressVPN for 30 days risk-free (opens in a new tab)thanks to its no-quibble money-back guarantee.
Best VPNs for 2022: Still the Same
The VPN industry is not unique for being one where marketing speaks and big promises are the norm for providers. You’d think that would mean our list of top providers is constantly peppered with promising new entries bringing their A-game to shake up established gamers.
But only provider Hide.me VPN really made an impact this time around, breaking into the top 10 for the first time.
So why is there so little movement at the higher echelons? Williams says, “There’s a lot going on with top providers, both in terms of powerful new VPN features and exciting extras – ad blocking and antivirus taking off everywhere, for example.
“But right now, all the big names are developing their services at a similar rate, and so no one has gained enough momentum to overtake the others.”