It’s the 21st-century.
We mention that because plenty of VPN providers appear to have missed the memo.
In fact, many VPN providers appear to still be using memos to construct their business model.
If you want to be taken seriously as a 21st-century VPN provider, you can’t just provide a single connection to your service. That’s like offering a toy telephone made from two cups and a piece of string and expecting people to run their internet off it.
Any 21st-century person is likely to have at least a laptop, possibly a desktop, a smartphone that’s more capable than both of them, probably a tablet, maybe a smart TV, and more, and more.
Expand that to a household and you’ve got yourself a ball game of connections, all trying to connect to the internet simultaneously.
If you want to be a serious player in the VPN market today, multiple connectivity is the key.
But which are the best VPNs available for multiple connectivity?
It’s tricky to say, because – and we know this is where we start to sound like we’ve been hitting our heads off the desk – there’s more to the question than simply counting up the connectivity options.
If it were that simple, any fool could do it. The VPN operators would just say ‘Connect to 5 devices with us’ and ‘Connect to 7 devices with us,’ we’d choose the one with 7 connections, go home, and that would be the end of that.
It’s really not that simple.
It’s not that simple because you want the VPN to do other things too, besides connect to several devices. So the judgment is actually not just of which VPN connects to more devices. It’s a combination of that criterion and everything it can do when it does connect those devices, and frankly if your head’s not hurting by now, you should probably be one of us.
We’re techno-perverts, we love comparing this stuff.
So come with us. We’ve found the five best VPNs for multiple devices on the market right now, so you don’t have to trawl the internet to identify them for yourself.
How We Picked
When choosing the following products, we wanted to make sure we’d thoroughly researched all of the available options so we could present you with our findings.
We know that when you’re buying online especially, you want to be able to feel confident in your purchases, so we focused our efforts on VPNs with features like high speed maintanence and being able to connect multiple devices at a time without causing a drop in speed, as well as factors like cost, customer services helplines, and streaming capabilities.
We hope you love the following VPN options as much as we do, and that among them, you’re able to seek out the best for for you and your needs.
Best VPN for Multiple Devices in 2021
Five connections, including one for your router, which can do multiple duty, deliver intelligent VPN access
Improvements to gaming speed and smoothness will satisfy the gamers in the family
Easy access to international entertainment storehouses will broaden your horizons
Price – ExpressVPN is expensive for a VPN
ExpressVPN can connect up to five devices simultaneously.
Given our dire warnings of everyone’s horde of connectable devices, that doesn’t sound like many. But ExpressVPN wins points for a little sneaky trick or two. For instance, if you connect your router to your ExpressVPN…erm…VPN, everything you connect to your router becomes connectable via the ExpressVPN too. So arguably, instead of a straight five connections, it’s four connections and then everything you can connect to your router.
What that means is you can use the single connection to your router for most everybody in the house’s devices while they’re connected to the router – and save the remaining four connections for equipment that’s going to be used outside the house, like your smartphone and your laptop.
Cunning. Sneaky. Brilliant.
Does the ExpressVPN stand up in terms of what you can do with it when it’s multiply connected?
It’s number 1 in our list, so we think so.
If you’re a gamer, it offers improvements in your speed and the smoothness of your connectivity, with no loss of speed if you’re already getting, say 100 Mbps from your internet service provider. It also brings a neat touch called MediaStreamer Smart DNS tool, which means you can switch locations on your Playstation or your Xbox with none of the usual hassle.
If you couldn’t care less about gaming but want all the TV and entertainment content from around the world, you’re going to love the ease with which the ExpressVPN baffles regional restrictions. You can catch all the programming you want, torrent what’s not commercially available and stream to your heart’s content with this VPN – and again, you can do it on four out-of-house devices, and your router.
Get stuck? Feel baffled yourself? Don’t panic. ExpressVPN is not by any means the cheapest VPN service on the market, but part of what you’re paying for is the peace of mind that comes with 24/7 live chat support, so in the event of any unforeseen hiccups in your VPN’s actions, you have advisers standing by on the end of a keyboard.
With 160 different locations across 94 countries, ExpressVPN has 160 locations in over 90 countries around the world, meaning it should be robust enough to find you the fastest-connecting server if you’re in it for the speed, and one in the relevant country to slip you past any national restrictions if you’re in it for the entertainment.
That combination of speed, smoothness, entertainment access through a wide server network and 24/7 support is what pushes ExpressVPN to the top of our list.
Connecting up to 6 devices at once – including the home router – gives you more configuration options than the ExpressVPN.
Speeds of 350Mbps will please the family gamers
5,000 servers in 59 countries mean good speed and the likelihood of a pathway around regional blockages
The NordVPN offering feels like harder work to access
“Anything you can do, Nord can do better. Nord can do anything better than you.”
That’s not actually printed on the website for NordVPN, but it feels almost as though it should be. The hard facts are these: NordVPN lets you secure not 5, but 6 devices. And yes, it does the clever, sneaky, brilliant thing with your router, as seen on ExpressVPN too, so you only need to take up one device-slot for your router and connect everything that stays in the house through that.
This is what we meant by the decision on the best VPNs for multiple devices not being as simple as a straightforward count of connections.
NordVPN has more connections, but only makes it to the silver spot on our list.
It brings 5,000 servers to the party too – though they’re spread across just 59 countries, rather than ExpressVPN’s 90.
For the gamers looking for a VPN to boost their speed and smoothness, NordVPN brings and impressive 350Mbps and some especially stable apps, so you can rely on it just calmly, smoothly doing the job you want it to do.
For those in it for the entertainment archives, it’s worth noting that 59 countries figure. We’re not going to lie and tell you you should feel hard-done-by – servers in 59 countries will still get you access to a heck of a lot of siloed entertainment, and it will do it sweetly, with a well-meaning, innocent smile on its location-lying face.
The NordVPN is particularly impressive when it comes to streaming support too, so live and real-time action is no problem for this VPN.
If anything pushes the NordVPN offering into second place, it’s a couple of rough edges about the offering. It’d dogged and faithful, and it will do everything you ask it to do, but if ExpressVPN is a VPN in a business suit, NordVPN is more a casual slacks affair – the world-class professional VPN operation is all there, but it makes you work harder to find it, see it and engage with it than the slicker ExpressVPN offering. That’s why even though it offers more connections, we put the NordVPN in second place.
Unlimited connections mean everyone in the house can connect all their devices
You’ll have access to entertainment vaults from over 60 countries
Extremely attractive pricing means SurfShark is a viable option for lots of people
Speed is not as fast as some VPNs
You thought 5 connections were good. You thought 6 connections were better.
How about unlimited connections? How does that sound?
One of the central struts of the SurfShark VPN is that it doesn’t restrict how many connections you can make to it. Which is crazy, right?
Right. Shouldn’t work in a million years. Should force SurfShark into financial meltdown and panic.
Appears not to be doing that. SurgShark is using its unlimited connections to surge forward, gathering users for its VPN platform on the basis of ultimate connection-freedom.
That promotes a whole other mindset – no longer do you worry about how many connections you have left. You have them all left, always!
Sure, but what’s its server network like?
Pretty decent, actually – 3,500 servers in 65 countries around the world is not too shabby. You’re more than likely going to be able to slip past any local restriction on the entertainment content of your dreams with a set-up like that.
Added to which, SurfShark is one of the least expensive VPN solutions on the market today, so offering an unlimited number of connections is pretty much rubbing the noses of the competition in what can be done without a huge price-point.
What’s the catch?
If you’re a hardcore gamer, it’s true that the SurfShark offering is never going to give you the speeds of an ExpressVPN or a NordVPN. But if you’re only in it for the entertainment, SurgShark may well have your name on, combining unlimited connections, broad access and a budget-happy price-point.
Seven multiple connections simultaneously is a good handful of devices
6,800 servers in 90 countries mean you’ll always find the one you need for local entertainment vaults
Easy operation and smart server suggestions help you navigate the VPN
24/7 live customer support is a reassuring element to the CyberGhost VPN
For gamers, CyberGhost is oddly reticent about the speeds it can help you achieve
You see, before you heard SurfShark’s ‘infinite connections’ pitch, CyberGhost would have sounded much more impressive with its seven simultaneous connections. After SurfShark, less so.
That said, seven connections is still pretty good. And Romania-based CyberGhost also has a staggering 6,800 in 90 countries worldwide.
Streaming galore, and plenty of regional code-beating means all the entertainment options you could want.
AES 256-bit encryption and strict anonymity online at all times, through a strict no-logs policy means if you’re spending money or sending personal data online, it’s safe with the CyberGhost.
One extra cute element about the CyberGhost offering is that it will volunteer you information on the best servers for your needs. For instance, if for some reason you wanted to access German Netflix. You would tick a box saying as much, and CyberGhost would suggest the best server to use to do that. 24/7 live customer service helps ensure you don’t get hopelessly stuck when using the servers too.
Five connections is still a reasonable number, especially if you’re just investing in it for your own use
The world’s fastest VPN’ is great for gaming and streaming
No data limits means you’re likely to use the VPN more
Having no access to the OpenVPN protocol is troublesome
Alone among our VPNs, it collects data
As we began, so we end. HotSpot Shield gives you five connections.
While at the start of our journey, that seemed like quite enough, having seen other options with many more simultaneous connection options, it feels less generous at the end of our exploration.
On the other hand, when you connect to HotSpot Shield, it tries very hard to make it worth your while. It imposes no data limits, so once you’re connected, you can go hog wild in terms of downloads and streaming.
Also for the gamers and streamers, HotSpot Shield has been independently judged to be the fastest VPN in the world. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it ties you into using proprietary HotSpot Shield protocols, rather than the much more widely understood OpenVPN protocols.
And for full-on internet privacy, the HotSpot Shield offering collects and stores an unnerving amount of data – including how much bandwidth you use, how long you use it for, and your device’s ID. That makes it less popular among users who want absolute online anonymity. But for those who want gaming speed or connectivity to a lot of entertainment archives, it’s still very much worth considering.
Things To Consider
When investing in a VPN for multiple devices, keep a few things in mind.
It’s not just about the number of connections
Having higher numbers of devices that can be connected is great in and of itself – but you have to be able to justify the price of the VPN based on what it can deliver to those who connect to it, beyond the simple fact that they can.
A support network is crucial when investing in a VPN – especially if multiple devices (and multiple people) are going to connect to it. Always look for a VPN with a support system in place, so that if the klutziest member of your family somehow manages to break the internet while connected to the VPN, there are knowledgeable people on standby to help you or them fix it again.
Servers with a smile
The more servers your VPN has, spread across more countries, the better. That’s true if you’re getting the VPN to boost your gaming performance, in which case being able to access the fastest server in the blink of an eye helps deliver uninterrupted performance. But it’s also true if you’re aiming to drop in and help yourself to the region-restricted entertainment archive of a particular country, where more servers in more countries are likely to increase your odds of being able to access content in the country you want.
Why can’t everyone have their own VPN?
They can. But that means everyone in the house paying for an individual VPN. By taking advantage of multiple device-ready VPNs, you cut down the costs, but keep most of the benefits.
What if I have more devices than my chosen VPN supports?
Remind us – why are you choosing a VPN that doesn’t support all your devices? Bottom line in this scenario, you either have to opt for a VPN that supports a higher number of multiple device connections, or you have to be selective about which devices you connect to your VPN.
If I share a VPN with my family, will they be able to see my activity?
No. In literally 4 out of 5 cases with the VPNs on our list, there is little or no data stored and logged. Even the information that is logged on the HotSpot Shield VPN can’t be used to identify you, so you should be able to share a VPN with anyone up to and including the Pope without fear of judgment.
While it may not initially astound with its offering of 5 connections, ExpressVPN wins out for our top pick due to its ability to connect additional devices via your router. It’s the advanced choice for gamers and streamers alike, with great customer service support to back it up.
Nord VPN comes in at a close second as it often does, just missing out on the top spot because it is trickier to access. Surfshark may not be as fast, but it’s a more affordable alternative and offers unlimited connections for those busy households.
HotSpot Shield and CyberGhost respectively offer something for those who desperately care about their speeds and those who aren’t that bothered by a slower connection, with gamers often opting for the former, for obvious reasons. Ultimately, however, your needs will determine which is the best VPN for you and your connections.