5 Best VPNs for Beginners in 2024

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: April 29, 2024
Read time: 16 minutes

Confused about how to choose your first VPN? This guide lists the best VPNs for beginners, with their key features, to let you decide better.


Surfing the internet today poses a few risks to most users. Given this, it’s crucial to comprehend the best ways to protect your security while on the web. VPNs represent a definitive solution for most of the problems related to privacy and security. However, some selection criteria are needed when selecting the best one, especially if you’re a beginner. This article sheds light on the most relevant characteristics to look at and the top five beginner-friendly VPN services.

The internet world, though fascinating, has become a hazardous environment for most users. On the one hand, new hackers appear daily with a trick to rob naive web surfers. On the other, prominent companies play a monopole in our data, making us subject to a bothering ads avalanche.

Think of this, have you ever heard of any identity theft in your social circle? Is your history being tracked by your ISP for marketing purposes? Don’t worry about the answers; it’s all rhetorical! There is clear evidence that this is the day-to-day of every internet user.


Netizens urge a solution faced with this situation, a solution without a doubt VPN services can provide. Nevertheless, at this point, a second problem arises: knowing and choosing the best VPN on the market. Indeed, it’s one of the most complicated tasks considering all the options, even worse, as a novice in the world of VPNs.

So what is the finest VPN in the market in 2024? What’s the best choice for a VPN newborn? Buckle up as we unveil these answers in this comprehensive selection guide. By the end, you will know how to make the right decision while clearing out all your concerns.

Quick list of our top VPNs for beginners

  1. NordVPN: Privacy and security are the pillars of this VPN. NordVPN integrates powerful functions to shield users’ identities while providing first-class speeds. All of this combines with an easy-to-use interface that is ideal for VPN neophytes.
  2. ExpressVPN: The resounding leader in VPNs is ExpressVPN. Users can find in this VPN everything they need to have a secure and private online experience. In addition to being a very intuitive platform, it has the best speed on the market and one of the most prominent networks.
  3. Private Internet Access (PIA): PIA stands out primarily due to its impressive server network. It also complements this with extra functions that protect the user beyond just VPN. Moreover, PIA possesses a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for beginners.
  4. PrivateVPN: Opting for privacy is easy with PrivateVPN. This VPN service offers simplicity for the user in every way. Installing the app takes 3 minutes on average. In addition, muscular features like the 2048-bit encryption protocol make it stand out from the rest.
  5. Surfshark: Privacy lovers have what they need with Surfshark. From one of the most rugged encryption protocols to a truly docile platform, Surfshark has an excellent set of capabilities. In just a few clicks, surfers will have a quality VPN to protect their privacy and security.

The legality of VPNs is often put into question. Nevertheless, using a VPN is completely legal in most countries. VPN use is illegal only in countries with government censorship, for example, in countries such as China, North Korea, Russia, and others.

Although VPNs are legal, infringing any law by using these services is not. For example, consuming pirated content is illegal despite using a VPN.

What to look for in the perfect beginner’s VPN?

VPN features

Selecting the best VPNs for beginners can be difficult if you don’t know the best attributes of a good VPN. For this reason, we have compiled a set of the best VPN features. Each of the following aspects makes up the ideal selection criteria when choosing a VPN service for the first time.

1. Speed

In the world of VPNs, connection speed is essential. Often, the reason to use a VPN service is bandwidth problems or throttling. Issues like this directly affect the web experience, especially when downloading content or streaming.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit bandwidth at certain times of the day to avoid traffic buildup. Even though this strategy intends to ensure users can browse without problems, it is a failed attempt.

With a VPN, this problem vanishes since when you connect to a server in another location, you enjoy the speed of that server. As this, speed problems stop getting in the way of your movie nights.

A good VPN offers speeds of over 100 Mbps. With this figure, any user aiming to watch content without interruptions will achieve their goal. The swiftness required to watch videos up to 8K quality is 50 Mbps.

2. Support efficiency

Efficient customer support is a crucial issue for any service, even more so if you are a first-time customer. A good VPN has excellent customer support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some companies opt to communicate with their customers via email; others have live support via call or chat. Regardless of the means of communication, the company you choose must have a competent communication channel.

A VPN with almost instantaneous response times, willingness to help, and effectiveness is what any beginner needs to take their first steps on the Virtual Private Network path.

3. Usability

As for the internet, usability refers to how simple it is for a user to interact with a website without being an expert or knowledgeable. In this sense, a website with good usability, whether it is a VPN or not, is a site that is intuitive for the user.

Some of the terms or functions related to VPNs can be difficult to understand for novice users. For this reason, a good VPN service is intuitive, with simple processes and even glossaries for better understanding.

What you should look for is an easy-to-use interface with simple language.

4. Device compatibility

Another indispensable aspect when choosing a VPN of value is device compatibility. You want a VPN covering everything, from renowned operating systems to those that are not so mainstream.

For instance, It’s not just a matter of whether you’re a Windows or Mac client. Ultimately, a good VPN can cover the entire spectrum of devices – TVs, tablets, mobiles, Routers, Rokus, Amazon Fire, and Kindles, among others.

Make sure that the VPN you choose covers the majority of devices. As a result, you will ensure that you have secure connections any time.

5. Privacy and security

These characteristics are the two typical features of VPNs. While it is true that VPNs cover these aspects by default, not all services work the same way. Here are some of the privacy and security aspects that a good VPN should count on:

  • Robust encryption protocols: Some encryption protocols are more rugged than others. There are VPN services that use outdated encryption methods. Make sure you choose a VPN that has proven and up-to-date protocols.
  • Protection against DNS or IP leaks: There is no point in having a VPN if it reveals your IP. Make sure you choose a VPN that has protection against this type of filtering; as such, you’ll guarantee complete privacy.
  • Kill Switch function: VPNs protect your identity and deliver quality connections. Yet you may experience sudden internet losses because of a power failure and other technical issues. VPNs with a Kill Switch feature are the best alternative to avoid exposure. This function keeps your data safe while disconnected from the VPN.

6. Vast server network

Vast server networks give you multiple connection options. Because of this, you can avoid location-based blocking and guarantee that you will be connected anytime.

7. Parallel connections

Another unquestionable aspect of a good VPN is the number of parallel connections it allows you to have. Sometimes, you need to be connected to multiple devices at a time. You may even need a family member or friend to use the service.

A good VPN allows you to have at least five parallel connections. Make sure you choose one with this characteristic.

The most prominent beginners-friendly VPNs – Detailed list

1. NordVPN

NordVPN for Streaming

A famous VPN provider that is extremely easy to use, even for beginners. The apps are simple and easy to operate.

servers Has a network of 5,500+ speedy VPN servers scattered in over 60 countries
Ad Blocker feature Reliable threat protection (malware, tracking, and ad blocker)
encryption Industry standard, most secure encryption available: AES-256
Kill switch A user-friendly kill switch feature
Split tunneling feature Split tunneling feature with high efficiency
MultiHop mode Offers multi-hop VPN for double encryption
tor compatible Provides seamless Onion over VPN functionality
Zero-logs policy Ensures that no logging is done
simultaneous connections Users can connect up to six devices simultaneously with each account
money-back guarantee A 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked
  • 369 Mbps connection speed that’s perfect for streaming
  • Supplementary security measures like double encryption
  • Affordable subscription rates
  • Extra features need manual installation

NordVPN is the top beginner VPN. By including several of the most wanted features for new VPN customers, NordVPN ranks on a high note.

It boasts over 5,500 lightning-fast servers spread across more than 60 countries worldwide. Considering location-based unblocking, this is an excellent capability. Additionally, the speed that this VPN offers is outstanding.

With average connections of 369 Mbps, NordVPN is the second-fastest VPN service behind ExpressVPN. Users of NordVPN may easily download files, stream videos, or browse the web at unmatched speeds.

Moreover, NordVPN provides two strong security measures. Double VPN is the first one, which lets the users of NordVPN double-encrypt their data for impenetrable protection.

The Kill Switch button, the second, safeguards data even in the presence of unexpected disconnections.

Lastly, this VPN offers incredibly affordable membership rates. It also includes a 30-day risk-free trial period for users to try the service.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN new features block logo 120 by 120 now

A multi-feature VPN service with a user-friendly interface and easy-to-navigate apps.

servers Has an effective network of over 3,000 servers present in 88 different countries worldwide
Trusted servers nord TrustedServer technology (for enhanced security)
encryption Protects connection with reliable AES-256 data encryption
Zero-logs policy Does not keep log of user traffic usage
Split tunneling feature A split tunneling feature that works fluently
network lock feature Has Network Lock (kill switch) feature
tor compatible Supports Tor over VPN on all servers
P2P optimized servers Peer to peer enabled servers
simultaneous connections Each account can connect up to five devices at once
money-back guarantee 30-day tested pay-back policy
  • Extremely easy to use apps
  • Does not contain users’ data
  • Applies maximum privacy rules
  • Not the most cost-effective VPN

ExpressVPN is the best option on the market for beginners due to its simplicity and the set of impressive features it possesses.

The first aspect that makes ExpressVPN stand out from the rest is the speed. ExpressVPN offers the best connection speed on the market, with no less than 475 Mbps.

Additionally, it complements this with a proprietary “Lightway” protocol that makes connections go at the speed of light. Lightway protocol makes the experience pleasant for any user. In the words of the VPN, with Lightway, users enjoy “faster, more secure, and more reliable” connections than ever before.

Similarly, concerning the number of servers, this VPN has one of the most extensive networks. More than 3,000 servers are available to users in 160 cities around 94 countries globally, so the connection options are rather extensive.

Among its additional functions, ExpressVPN integrates a kill switch button that always protects the user. In a nutshell, regardless of the possibility of losing the connection, users can count on anonymity.

Likewise, the voluptuous device compatibility is another of the advantages of this service. ExpressVPN has Windows, Mac, and Linux applications. The same applies to TVs, routers, mobile devices, Amazon Fire, and browser extensions.

It counts on a 24/7 customer support experience via chat or email. Complementarily, it has an extensive list of helpful articles to solve typical VPN issues.

Finally, ExpressVPN allows up to 5 simultaneous connections per account. Subscriptions start at $6.67 for the annual plan and have a 30-day money-back guarantee, letting you test the VPN for free for a month.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private internet access pros cons block logo

Another easy-to-use VPN provider for beginners that boasts an extensive server network that no other service does.

servers An extensive network of over 35,000 secure VPN servers present in 82+ different countries
P2P optimized servers Peer to Peer connection supportive servers
encryption Secure connection with dependable encryption; AES 128-bits and 256-bits
Ad Blocker feature Robust protection against malware and adware threats with in-built MACE
Zero-logs policy Enforces a policy of zero logs
Trusted servers nord Runs on RAM-only VPN servers (benefits privacy)
Split tunneling feature The split tunneling feature works as expected
Kill switch Boasts a feature-rich kill switch
simultaneous connections Each account allows connection to ten simultaneous devices
money-back guarantee 30 days no-questions-asked money-back guarantee
  • Integrated ad-blocking and anti-malware capabilities
  • More sumptuous than the required average speed for streaming
  • Affordable prices
  • Distant servers exhibit high latency

Private Internet Access (PIA) service is unquestionably worthy of our third place. PIA ranks as one of the most outstanding VPN options in the market because of its exceptional features. Better yet, it is a well-justified reputation, especially for beginners.

The first word that comes to mind to describe PIA’s service is extensive. If it comes to vast server networks, PIA’s net is unmatched. Users count on the unusual yet impressive number of 35,000+ servers.

Furthermore, it offers a respectable speed of 117 Mbps. Although several VPNs propose faster connections, this number is good enough for streaming in a quality definition. For example, 4K contents require a minimum swiftness of 25 Mbps, which PIA surpasses through a lot.

The additional characteristics are another noteworthy aspect of PIA. Users will not only benefit from a substantial VPN, but they will also get ad blocking and protection from dangerous material.

PIA is also one of the least expensive choices. The affordable yearly membership rates and wide range of device compatibility make it one of the beginners’ best VPNs.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN small

A super-reliable VPN service for beginners with a straightforward UI and engaging native apps.

servers Has over 200 server locations across 60+ different countries
encryption 256-bit AES encryption for robust internet data security
P2P optimized servers Peer to Peer-supportive network of servers
protection Dependable web leak protection
Kill switch Provides a kill switch you can rely on
Zero-logs policy Doesn’t keep users’ logs
simultaneous connections Each account allows up to ten devices at once
money-back guarantee Money-back guarantee of 30 days
  • Remarkable security features like the application guard or stealth VPN
  • One of the most cost-effective choices
  • Double protection allowance
  • Doesn’t perform well in China

Another VPN in the running to claim the victory on the top VPNs best for beginners is PrivateVPN. With detailed tutorials and blog posts, PrivateVPN shows why it has one of the market’s most intuitive systems. This VPN offers new customers a painless learning experience. Users need only two minutes to download and install the application.

With only 200 servers, PrivateVPN does not have a significant server network. Yet, it makes up for this by dispersing its servers over more than 60 countries and offering access to quick and close-by servers.

On privacy, PrivateVPN genuinely excels. For instance, the Application Guard function instantly ends programs if the VPN connection drops. This function is unique to Windows and provides double assurance by operating with a conventional kill switch.

Also, the Stealth VPN function hides traffic in the user’s target countries. While using the function, users can smoothly circumvent geo-restrictions. Finally, PrivateVPN is the least-priced option, with prices starting at $6.00 for a three-month subscription.

5. Surfshark


While considered a newcomer to the VPN market, it has already inspired many with its awesome features and user-friendly interface.

servers More than 3,200 efficient VPN servers in 100 different countries
Trusted servers nord Runs on RAM-based servers (best for privacy)
Zero-logs policy Does not contain users’ logs
encryption Robust data AES-256 (industry-grade) encryption
P2P optimized servers Supports Peer to Peer traffic on most servers
Kill switch Security-enhancing smart kill switch feature
Clean web features Functional CleanWeb ad and malware blocking feature
Split tunneling feature Split tunneling with dependable effectiveness
simultaneous connections No limit to the number of connections per account
money-back guarantee 30 days of no-questions-asked refunds
  • Quick streaming capabilities
  • Robust security and privacy features
  • Wide range of device compatibility
  • It requires manual customization for routers

Closing our list is Surfshark, the most inexpensive VPN service in the market. Surfshark has more than 3,200 servers spread across 65 countries. It delivers a seamless experience for new users. Yet, the most striking characteristic is that it provides several security measures in one location.

For example, it has 256-bit encryption and other security measures to prevent IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC breaches. In the same way, it incorporates a kill switch and even a NoBorders capability. Because of this, users don’t experience restraints even in countries with severe restrictions.

Surfshark also stands out because of having no device limitation, which means an entire family may use the same account. Moreover, it has applications for almost every operating system. i.e., iOS, Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux. In contrast, routers need manual customization.

How essential is it to use a VPN?

VPN necessity

Sometimes understanding why it is necessary to use a VPN can be tricky. Yet, this need comes down to two crucial aspects, privacy, and security.

In this section, we have gathered the most common scenarios where using a VPN would be handy to foster anonymity and safety.

1. Preventing virtual hacker attacks

It is an open secret that the internet world is rife with cyber threats. However, one of the most prominent risks involves virtual attacks by hackers.

In this case, the number of attacks is so high that it is challenging to gain protection against them, yet, if there is a way, that is having a VPN.

Having a VPN service, or rather, a state-of-the-art VPN, is one of the few strategies we can use to protect ourselves from cyber-attacks. Most of these attacks seek to steal our personal information to gain profit.

A good VPN such as ExpressVPN keeps our essential data encrypted and inaccessible. Thus, we can be sure our data will be invisible no matter where we connect. In short, hackers, zero, VPN users, one.

2. Access geo-blocked content

Undoubtedly one of the problems we encounter most online relates to location-based blocking. In most cases, these blocks are related to issues such as copyright. Content owners decide to enable it for certain groups depending on their interests.

For example, this is something that happens with streaming platforms around the world. We know that the content of these platforms varies depending on the users’ location and that this action responds to copyright issues.

Although understandable, those who think this is not annoying may raise their hand.

A valuable VPN helps you get rid of this problem. With a VPN, you can connect to a server in a location the website accepts, thus avoiding any content blocking.

Continuing the count, blocked content, zero, VPN users, two.

3. Evade government censorship

It is no secret to anyone that certain countries, especially those where freedom of expression is not a guarantee, have strong censorship laws. In short, they decide what content is or is not permissible for their citizens.

We get it! It can be incredibly frustrating, and worst of all, considering the scope. It could go from blocks on social networks to inaccessibility to audiovisual content. In any case, it is the people who are most affected.

With a VPN, it is reasonably simple to unblock censorship restrictions and thus be able to access the content you want and have the right to interact with. Again, government restrictions, zero, VPN users, three.

4. Fend off advertising bombardment

Private companies are in a constant race for our data. The purpose? To bombard us with advertising that will turn us into their customers. Again, this is understandable, but from a personal point of view, it isn’t pleasant.

A VPN can help you keep your identity wholly shielded from third parties. With a powerful VPN, you can create a virtual tunnel to access websites without them knowing who you are.

As a result, you can search for any product, flight, or service without being subject to multiple offers for months. Once again, the score is zero for companies and four points for those who opt for a VPN.

Watching content from unlicensed portals is an act read by law enforcement as a copyright violation. Despite popular belief, it is not only the website liable for the infringement but also the consumer. In downloading cases, the user is illegally keeping content to their credit.

Using a VPN is an excellent way to avoid links to piracy when you use websites for free movies. Encrypting your data with a powerful VPN protects your information from possible identification.

With this, the calculation is finally complete. Not having a VPN ends up with zero points, while using a strong VPN ends up with five points.

What is the best free VPN for beginners?

Free VPN Risks and problems

As a novice user of these services, it is only natural for you to wonder which is the best free VPN. Yet, as tempting as it may be, using free services is not a good alternative.

Presumably, the positive aspect of a free VPN is being able to change your location in seconds. Also, possibly unblocking some location-restricted websites. However, there are many more disadvantages to consider.

The first issue to take into account has to do with privacy. Most free VPNs log your data and trade it for profit. Because of this, it is likely that when using a public VPN, you will receive thousands of offers and spam from companies.

Also, in terms of security, free VPNs lack encryption protocols. As a result, your data and identity will be exposed and at the mercy of both third parties and hackers.

Security is probably the most fragile aspect of this service; some free VPNs even include malware in their downloads.

Finally, in terms of speed and the extent of the server network, free VPNs offer nothing but disappointment. The connection speeds range from 2 to 10 Mbps, and often only 5 to 10 servers are available.


Counting on a VPN is the best option for users to enjoy privacy and security online. For this reason, it’s crucial to comprehend how to choose the best VPN service, especially if you’re a beginner.

The best VPN for beginners offers an easy-to-manage interface, blazing-fast swiftness, a vast server network, and one-of-a-kind customer support. Additionally, it provides extra security features and is affordable.

Another essential element when choosing a VPN service for the first time is considering the device compatibility and the multiple connections allowed.

Selecting a VPN using these criteria guarantees a smooth experience for new users. Like this, enjoying anonymous and safe connections on the web, more than a possibility, is a reality.


The VPN industry is an ever-growing sector. Nevertheless, despite the several options in the market, ExpressVPN ranks at the top of all tech portals. Outstanding features such as ultra-fast swiftness, a vast server network, security functions like a Network Lock, outstanding device compatibility, the allowance of 5 parallel connections per account, and top-notch customer service corroborate ExpressVPN as the VPN leader. Besides, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month plus three months for free in the annual subscription plan.

A VPN enables a private server in a remote location for users to connect from. In short, it is an intermediary between the user and the internet. All websites users visit receive information about the new connection rather than the original one. As a result, geo-restrictions vanish. Similarly, the VPN encrypts the user data so their identity is anonymous and private.

No. While the basics of VPN functioning are similar for each provider, VPN’s architecture varies from one service to another. For instance, encryption protocols and connection speeds, server networks, and more may vary.

Using a VPN is the finest method existing for safety purposes. Whether protecting your data or shielding your info online, nothing offers a better result than a VPN service. On top of regular security options, users should scrutinize additional features such as a Kill switch, double encryption, antimalware capabilities, etc.

Yes. You can access a global server network with multiple connectivity options with a VPN. Connecting to a server location with no restrictions guarantees to bypass any geo-blocks.

Your ISP collects information regarding your location, device, and time zone. This info won’t be visible on any website you connect to while using a VPN service. Nevertheless, your device can still store information in your cookies. For complete anonymity, you should be mindful of this aspect.

There are several protocols in the VPN world. But, the most robust as of 2024 is the AES 256-bit encryption. Some of the remarkable VPN services using this protocol to protect the data of their users; include ExpressVPN.

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About the Author

Ruheni Mathenge

Ruheni Mathenge

Streaming Expert
201 Posts

Tech researcher and writer with a passion for cybersecurity. Ruheni Mathenge specializes in writing long-form content dedicated to helping individuals and businesses navigate and understand the constantly evolving online security and web freedom worlds. He specializes in VPNs, online anonymity, and encryption. His articles have appeared in many respected technology publications. Ruheni explains complicated technical concepts clearly and simply. He advocates digital freedom and online privacy at every level.

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