Being new to anything is always a scary prospect, from going to your first school, learning to drive, getting a new job. Everything unknown always has a level of apprehension about it.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) need not be a scary affair, though, because over the past few years they've been made so incredibly easy to use that even if you have no idea about the technology, you can still get protected within seconds.
Virtual Private Networks are now essential to protect your online privacy, much like running a virus-checker. As much of our technology use relies on the internet, a VPN should be considered the first line of defence.
If you've been put off from getting a VPN service because you fear they'll be too complicated, then don't. In this guide, we're rounding up the five least-scary VPN providers for people like yourself, beginners.
They're all quick to set-up and most importantly, easy to use for beginners.
How to choose a Beginner's VPN
Knowing how to select a Virtual Private Network can save you a lot of hassle and headache in the long run. There are more than 500 VPN companies available now, so it's a confusing landscape.
Unfortunately, they're not all as good as each other, which makes things even more complicated. Strangely they all cost roughly the same price.
There are a few essential features you should be looking for both as a beginner but also as a regular shopper for a VPN service. Below we've listed them. Taking these into account when searching will ensure you end up with a reliable VPN service.
- Apps for your device – You can set VPN service providers up manually, but it's more common to see apps these days that do all the work for you. As a beginner, you should ensure the service has easy to use apps (with a good interface) for the types of devices you want to use it on. Most leading VPN providers now offer apps for Android and iOS, Windows and Mac and some TV devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
- Money-back guarantee (refund policy) or trial – It's more common to see a VPN service offering a money-back guarantee, although one or two do offer trials. These give you peace of mind that you can test the service without risk.
- Suitable for your needs – Consider why you need a VPN. We should all be using a VPN provider to protect our data, but you may have other requirements. Do you want to unblock American Netflix, for example? Make sure you find out first.
- Fast speeds – If you're browsing the web, reading emails and chatting to friends then internet connection speeds won't be much of a concern. However, if you like to stream videos on YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer or other similar services then internet connection speed is critical. Check out our VPN reviews section, where we speed test each service we review.
- Security – Having a VPN that provides top-quality security features will ensure your information is safe and secure.
Top 5 Beginner-friendly VPNs
After our experts extensively tested the features and ease of use, the following five VPN providers are our recommended best choices for beginners.
Check out the individual services sections below to find out how each performs. You can also click on the names above to go straight to details on that service.
- Very straightforward interface
- Easy navigation
- Quick connect options
- Connect and forget ability
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Not the fastest
Without question, if you're searching for a secure VPN as a beginner, then check out NordVPN.
In our tests we found them to be one of the easiest to use VPNs, with an excellent user interface. They have secure VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS and Amazon Fire TV devices and because of the simplicity of their layout, it makes them one of the most accessible services to use.
From the main screen of all of their apps, you can press ‘Quick Connect'. The quick-connect option will connect you to the nearest server protecting your internet traffic on public wifi or at home.
You can, if you wish then minimise the app and continue using the internet like normal. You wouldn't need to have any further interaction with it – it can't get much more straightforward.
As NordVPN claims to be a no-log VPN service, this means it will protect you with minimal fuss, they also have great security.
They offer a money-back guarantee of 30 days (their refund policy), which is standard for a VPN money-back guarantee.
NordVPN is the best VPN provider for beginners.
Our recommended VPN for New Users
30-day money back guarantee
2. CyberGhost VPN
- Large range of servers
- Supports most devices
- 45-day money back guarantee
- Multiple payment methods
- Layout more indepth
- Unaudited no-log policy
CyberGhost VPN has been created with users like yourself in mind. Their range of apps are some of the easiest to use that we've seen.
They're available for all devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS and Amazon Fire TV devices.
One of the standout features is its VPN servers selection area. It's split into categories such as ‘For torrenting' and ‘For streaming'.
The streaming section is split further into individual options for specific streaming websites like Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Sky Go, Crunchyroll and more. If you're an avid TV fan, then you'll love this option.
The CyberGhost app and its user interface are great for beginners, with a minimal learning curve.
Just like the top secure VPN app for beginners, NordVPN, you can connect with the click of one button only, which will connect you to the ‘Best server location'.
The service also offers a money-back guarantee of 45-days (refund policy), which is one of the longest available as far as refund policies go. They lead the way with their money-back guarantee. So you've got an extended period to test the service risk-free.
VPN users love CyberGhost, and you should too. They're one of the best VPN apps around.
- Very clear interface
- Quick connect options
- Uncomplicated usage
- Reliable connections
- Not the fastest
- No more free trial
VyprVPN's apps are some of the best designed that we've seen. Nothing is intimidating or complicated-looking here.
As with the other providers, you can press the ‘Connect' button and let the app do the work for you. If you need more choice then there's an extensive list of countries available to connect to. Their interface is very easy to use.
We liked the ‘Fastest Server' option which will speed test their entire network and find the one that's fastest from your location.
In our recent review of their service, we found their speeds to be some of the best in the industry, so you'll have little interference from the VPN while you're carrying out your daily internet use.
Unfortunately, there are no more free trials but the service does offer a money-back guarantee refund policy (30 days) like many providers which gives you time to test it risk-free.
VyprVPN is a great provider for beginners looking to secure their online activity, not even your internet service provider will know what you're doing.
- Very fast downloads
- Uniform apps
- Strong privacy protection
- Works on most devices
- Paying monthly costly
- Not the best layout
ExpressVPN have got an enormous range of apps so if you've got many devices then they'll be the best VPN service you'll want to consider.
While their secure VPN apps are not visually as appealing as the other services, they're easy to use and have a user-friendly interface with great security.
Their VPN apps have the ability to launch other apps once connected. For example, on their Amazon Fire TV app, once you've connected, you can then open apps like Disney+ from within the ExpressVPN app itself.
ExpressVPN is easy to use if you're a beginner.
There's a 30-day money-back guarantee (refund policy) so you've got plenty of time to get to grips with the service.
Exclusive: Get 3 months free using the link below
- Straightforward layout
- Easy to learn
- Great for Netflix
- Newer unproven provider
- Audited no log policy
Surfshark is the new kid on the VPN block but doing everything right from the start has earned them a legion of fans worldwide.
Not only is their website simple to navigate and sign-up but their range of secure VPN apps for mobile devices, tablets and desktops follow suit with an excellent user interface.
No complicated set-up is required and there's a one-click connection available.
They have great security VPN features like 256-bit encryption and a built-in kill switch to help protect your data and online privacy.
The stand-out feature is its ability to unlock over 15 regions of Netflix. If you need a secure VPN simple for binge-watching movies, then you'll find tons of extra content when using Surfshark.
Couple all this with their refund policy, a 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee and it's easy to see why plenty of users love this service. They even have brilliant customer service who love helping VPN beginners.
All of the above makes Surfshark one of the best secure VPN clients to use for beginners.
Are all VPN services the same?
It's easy to think that all VPN services are the same, but this is not the case.
For example, ‘free' VPN providers don't offer the same level of protection that paid VPN services do. Also, different VPNs often have different policies about what types of data they retain.
The five we've listed above are considered some of the most reputable in the industry. However, that's not the case for all providers, even paid ones, so it pays to do a little research even if you're not entirely sure of what everything means.
All of the VPNs in my list have a great refund policy for each VPN subscription and offer a money-back guarantee for all VPN users. Refund policies are essential as it removes any risk for you.
Is a VPN necessary?
People often say, ‘I've got nothing to hide so nothing to fear‘.
Yet, we all have something to hide. It's the reason you won't share your bank account details with us or upload revealing photographs to the internet for all to see.
A better way to think of ‘something to hide' is that we all value our privacy. A secure VPN is a way of retaining your control over your private data in a world that is determined to know everything about your life.
If you're new to VPNs, it can seem like an intimidating place but like everyone, you have to start somewhere.
Our top recommendation is NordVPN because their VPN apps are quick and easy to use and there's no complicated set-up.
They also have VPN apps with an easy to use interface for almost all types of devices. So no matter what equipment you want to use a secure VPN on, you are covered.
Don't forget they've also got a substantial 30-day money-back guarantee (refund) too so even if you get stuck, you can get your money back without question.