Watch CBS News

The best VPN in 2022 for cybersecurity, remote work, streaming and more

Getty Images

Using a VPN is a smart way to protect your privacy and keep your online activity more secure. Individuals and businesses have both become increasingly concerned about cybersecurity and privacy in recent years due to global threats, mounting cybercrime and the shift to remote work.

We looked at all the most popular VPN services online to compare service and pricing. Here are the best deals on VPN service.

Top products in this article:

Best-rated VPN: ExpressVPN, $8.32/month and up

Most popular VPN: NordVPN, $3.29/month and up

Best budget VPN deal: Surfshark VPN, $2.49/month and up

Your online activity can reveal a lot about you including sensitive information that may be used for identity theft or hacking. Clicking on the wrong website can also lead to malware or ransomware being downloaded onto your device. A virtual private network can give you peace of mind while browsing the internet by masking your traffic and protecting the data you transmit from prying eyes.

To help you find the right option for securing your data, we've compiled a list of the top VPN options in 2022, including the top-selling NordVPN and the expansive ExpressVPN. Whether you need a VPN for your employees, want to stay secure on public Wi-Fi, or simply want to see what's available on streaming services in a different country, VPNs can be useful tools for private browsing.

Why a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is software designed to protect your devices from cyber criminals and prying eyes. VPNs cloak IP addresses and encrypt your internet traffic, making it all but impossible for snoops to know what sites you've been visiting and what data you've been transmitting.

VPNs are commonly used by those who transmit sensitive information. Some businesses require work-from-home employees to use them. Individuals also use VPNs to increase their level of cybersecurity when using a public hotspot -- public Wi-Fi networks are hunting grounds for cybercriminals. And, of course, people can and do use VPNs to get around government censorship, though, in those countries, using a VPN in that manner is often illegal.

Some people use VPNs to get around region restrictions on streaming sites and access the full international Netflix library. While it's not illegal to do so, it is not allowed by the Netflix terms of use.

Are VPNs hard to use?

VPN services may sound complicated and intimidating, but the truth is that they're really simple. Once you sign up for an account, you download and install VPN client software onto your devices. You enter your account information, click or tap, and that's it -- your privacy and data are being protected.

5 top rated VPNs that will help protect you from cyberattacks

There are many virtual private network services available, and most offer the same basic level of encryption. These five VPN providers stand out, however, as being the most highly rated by industry reviewers while offering the best value for your money.

ExpressVPN: $8.32/month and up


ExpressVPN, hailed by many reviewers as the best VPN provider, gets a lot of commendation for its quality of service and coverage, though it is the most expensive option on this list. ExpressVPN has a network of high-speed servers in 160 locations across 94 countries, giving users reliable connectivity from most areas in Europe, Asia and the Americas. ExpressVPN offers the same encryption standard used by security experts and the U.S government, plus IP address masking, support for up to five simultaneous connections, and 24/7 responsive live chat support. It comes with a 30-day, risk-free trial.

Service plans currently start at $8.32 per month if you're willing to commit to an annual subscription. Month-to-month subscriptions are $12.95 per month.

ExpressVPN, $8.32/month and up

NordVPN: $3.29/month and up


NordVPN is the most popular VPN service in terms of market share. With NordVPN, you get connection speeds of up to 6,730 Mbps, the same advanced encryption standard as ExpressVPN, plus 24/7 live chat support and more than 5,100 servers in 60 countries. NordVPN has extra features like a password manager, cloud file encryption and 10 GB of private cloud storage that you can add to your plan. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously.

If you're looking to pay month-to-month, NordVPN will cost you $11.99 per month. Signing up for a one-year plan drops the cost down to $4.99 per month, while the two-year plan is just $3.29 per month. As a free bonus, you'll get either one extra month, one extra year or two extra years of subscription time (determined by random draw) when you sign up for a two-year plan.

The service comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. For more, read our explainer on Nord VPN, the best-selling VPN option.

NordVPN, $3.29/month and up

Surfshark VPN: $2.49/month and up


With the same advanced encryption standard as its pricier rivals above, Surfshark VPN is among the best value on this list -- ideal for budget-conscious users who want to keep the cost down. While other services limit your VPN usage to only five or six devices, Surfshark VPN protects an unlimited number. It has only 3,200 servers, fewer than NordVPN, but they are spread across more than 65 countries. This service also allows specific apps, website and and streaming services to bypass the VPN for your convenience.

Surfshark costs $12.95 per month, but you can save a lot by choosing an annual ($3.99 per month) or 2-year subscription ($2.49 per month).

Surfshark VPN, $2.49/month and up

Private Internet Access: $2.03/month and up

Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access

The Private Internet Access VPN service is a good value if you're willing to commit to a three-year plan. The network is optimized for 10 Gbps and boasts more than 35,000 servers spread across 84 countries. It uses open-source VPN applications and protocols like WireGuard for encryption. Plans include coverage on up to 10 devices simultaneously, plus a dedicated IP address and an email breach monitor. Private Internet Access offers 24/7 chat support should you need assistance.

A month-to-month subscription to Private Internet Access will cost you $11.99 per month, but again, you can save with a longer-term commitment. The six-month plan is $7.50 per month, while a two-year-and-two-month subscription works out to just $2.19 per month.

Private Internet Access, $2.19/month and up

CyberGhost VPN: $2.29/month and up


With more than 7,500 servers in 91 countries and ultra-fast speeds that rival those of ExpressVPN and NordVPN, CyberGhost VPN is certainly in the conversation when it comes to the best VPN in 2022. The company's plans include the same high-level 256-bit AES encryption as more expensive providers, plus automatic Wi-Fi protection and simultaneous support of up to seven devices. 

A single month of CyberGhost VPN service is priced at $12.99, while a one-year subscription is $4.29 per month. The best deal here is when you sign up for a three-year-and-three-month subscription -- it's priced at just $2.29 per month.

CyberGhost VPN, $2.29/month and up

Related content from CBS Essentials: 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.