Virtual private networks (VPNs) are having a moment thanks to huge marketing budgets and influencer partnerships. But navigating the ever-growing market can be difficult, and claims of benefits and features aren’t always correct. Consumer Reports online security expert Yael Grüner recommends looking for open source software, reproducible builds and up-to date support for industry-standard protocols.

CyberGhost’s zero-logs policy is a great selling feature. It guarantees not to keep track of your online activities or IP address. Apps are available for the majority of major operating systems and come with 256-bit encryption, a kill button, leak protection, and the option to connect via the random port. It also scored higher on our speed tests for internet connections than many of the other VPNs we tested, although this could be due to a chance or a result of traffic shaping by your ISP. It also comes with additional tools like Threat Protection, Onion Over VPN and Double VPN.

Nord is a different option that scores highly in our tests, with a strong showing in our geoblocking tests and streaming tests. The apps are powerful and quite easy to use however, a mapping-based interface can be a bit difficult to navigate on smaller screens. It’s compatible with a variety of routers and Kodi TV set-top boxes and has one of the most extensive geographical reach among our top picks. It’s a great choice for watching Netflix overseas and has dedicated Windflix servers for this for this purpose. It recently added a feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy, which secures the data by using a unique key for each session. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to crack past activity.