In today’s hyper-connected world, having a VPN for multiple devices has become essential for ensuring privacy, security, and access to geo-restricted content. As more devices join our daily lives, the need for a reliable VPN that can accommodate all of them increases.
This in-depth guide will explore the best VPNs for multiple devices, their key features, and how to set them up, ensuring a seamless and secure experience for all your devices.
For those short on time, we’ll first cover the best VPNs for multiple devices, and then dive into more details further below.
Top VPNs for multiple devices
- NordVPN – NordVPN is the best VPN for multiple devices. It performed the best in our tests with the fastest speeds, secure apps, and great support for streaming (with a 68% off coupon).
- Surfshark – Surfshark is an excellent budget VPN for multiple devices and offers an unlimited number of connections.
- ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is a reliable and secure VPN for multiple connections.
- Proton VPN – Proton VPN is a great VPN for multiple devices and can be bundled with secure email.
Why you need a VPN for multiple devices
As we use more and more internet-connected devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, we present ever more targets to hackers, government surveillance, and other potential threats. From emailing to online banking and streaming Netflix, we entrust a variety of sensitive data to various services. It is essential to protect our privacy and security with a VPN for multiple devices.
A VPN that provides multiple simultaneous device connections permits you to protect all your devices at the same time. It is the only way to be sure that all your devices can connect to the internet securely and privately without constant monitoring of who is using the internet at any moment.
Access geo-restricted content with every device
Another essential aspect of using a VPN for multiple devices is the ability to access geo-restricted content. With a VPN, you can bypass geographical restrictions, allowing you to enjoy streaming services and online content from around the world. This feature is particularly useful if you need a VPN for travel or you are an expat who want to stay connected to their home country’s entertainment.
When we selected the best VPN for multiple devices we considered factors such as compatibility, performance, and the number of simultaneous connections offered. While some VPN services provide unlimited device connections, others may limit the number of devices that can be connected to the same VPN server.
In the mini-reviews that follow, we cover all of those crucial “multiple device” characteristics. We also point out special features and potential drawbacks to using each of the profiled VPNs. By choosing a VPN that caters to your needs, you can ensure a hassle-free and secure experience on all your devices.
Top VPNs for multiple devices: our recommendations
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top VPNs for multiple devices, each offering unique features and benefits. These VPNs have been carefully evaluated based on factors such as the cost of subscription, simultaneous connections, global server coverage, and ease of use.
Let’s dive into our top recommendations, including NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and ProtonVPN.
NordVPN: Best overall VPN for multiple devices
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NordVPN stands out as the best overall VPN for a multi-device situation, offering up to 6 simultaneous connections, excellent security features, and compatibility with various platforms. NordVPN can also be installed on many types of routers, a capability that is particularly important in multi-device situations where some of the devices do not support VPN functionality. One example of this is using a VPN for Apple TV.
When the VPN runs on a router, every device connected to that router is protected by the VPN. Below is a screenshot of the NordVPN Windows client we tested out for this guide.
With over 5,600 high-speed, diskless servers spread across 60 countries, NordVPN provides a vast network to choose from, ensuring both speed and reliability. The network is not only large. It is fast and contains many specialized server types, such as double-VPN and Tor over VPN servers for additional security, Obfuscated servers for evading internet censorship, and Dedicated IP servers for situations where you need a static IP address plus the security and privacy of a VPN.
Performance Note: In our latest speed test results for the NordVPN review, we hit over 600 Mbps download speeds on nearly every NordVPN server tested. This makes NordVPN the fastest VPN we have tested to date.
NordVPN supports the NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 VPN protocols, and offers an array of security features, including:
- VPN kill switches to protect your privacy if the VPN connection fails
- Split tunneling to control which traffic passes through the VPN server, and which goes directly to the internet
- Meshnet allows you to create your own private, encrypted connection to communicate securely with trusted sites
- Dark Web Monitoring to see if your personal information is mentioned in any web traffic
- Threat Protection is an advanced security tool that adds extra security and privacy capabilities like ads, trackers, and malware blocking.
This VPN provider is compatible with multiple operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also supports Amazon Firestick and various smart TVs, in addition to providing browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Additionally, NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature lets you use the VPN on devices that don’t have native VPN software support, such as smart TVs and game consoles.
NordVPN excels in every test we put it through. In our most recent tests, it ranked among the :
- Best VPNs for streaming, able to unblock popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
- Best VPNs for torrenting, thanks to high-speed, P2P optimized servers with excellent security
- Fastest VPNs, turning in the fastest speed we have ever recorded in our labs
- Best No-Logs VPNs, with multiple third-party audits of their no-logs policy and performance
- And many more accolades
Combine this VPN’s superior performance with a cheap VPN price level thanks to our discount coupon, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 24/7 live chat technical support, and there is no reason not to try NordVPN today.
Want to learn more about this VPN service? Check out our complete NordVPN review.
Surfshark: Unlimited simultaneous connections
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Surfshark is an ideal choice for households with numerous devices, as it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that no matter how many devices you have, Surfshark VPN can accommodate them all under a single subscription, ensuring strong security and performance for all users.
Compatibility is also a strong point for Surfshark, with apps available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, alongside browser extensions for Firefox, Edge, and Chrome. Moreover, Surfshark’s Smart DNS feature allows you to use the VPN on devices that do not support native VPN software, such as smart TVs and gaming consoles.
Besides its unlimited connections, Surfshark also excels in providing access to geo-restricted content. The service has over 3,200 servers located in 100 countries. Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Netflix, and you can use it to enjoy other popular streaming services such as Disney+, and BBC iPlayer without any restrictions.
Note: Like NordVPN above, Surfshark also offers a dedicated IP. A VPN with a dedicated IP address can be useful in some situations, but it’s an additional cost as well.
With its robust security features and unlimited simultaneous connections, Surfshark is an excellent choice for protecting all your devices. And if you use our discount coupon, you can get Surfshark for an incredibly low price.
You can get more information in our complete Surfshark review.
ExpressVPN: Reliable speeds and wide device support
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|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 live chat|
ExpressVPN is another top choice for multiple-device situations. While it only supports up to 5 simultaneous connections, it offers excellent router support, up to and including a high-performance router with ExpressVPN preinstalled.
With 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries, ExpressVPN provides an extensive network to ensure fast and reliable connections. ExpressVPN is compatible with a wide range of devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers, as well as dedicated apps for major operating systems, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Furthermore, ExpressVPN’s security features include the Network Lock kill switch, split tunneling, and Threat Manager, ensuring a secure connection on all your devices.
Unlike NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN does not support the WireGuard VPN protocol. Instead, ExpressVPN offers its own self-developed Lightway protocol, which is very similar to WireGuard. Nonetheless, it’s not quite as fast, as you can see in the ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison report.
The ExpressVPN router we referred to earlier is called Aircove. We aren’t going to go into the specifications of this device here. But let’s talk about how it empowers a multi-device environment. As you can see in the photo below, the router has multiple antennas for efficient WiFi connections to your devices.
But like most WiFi routers, the Aircove also has connections for non-WiFi devices. This shows that non-WiFi devices can also be protected when you install a VPN on a router.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than the other VPNs profiled in this article. But its ease of use, good speed, and support for a wide range of devices do make it attractive. And if you need to support a lot of devices at one time, and are willing to invest in a specialized router for your network, ExpressVPN could be the fastest, easiest way to support your multi-device environment.
Note: Like NordVPN and Surfshark, ExpressVPN gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee and has an excellent support staff accessible through their 24/7 live chat system.
Follow this link to learn more in our detailed ExpressVPN review.
Proton VPN: Highly-secure VPN with multiple device support
Proton VPN emphasizes user privacy and device security, allowing up to 10 simultaneous device connections, compared to the 5 or 6 connections most VPNs support. The increased number of simultaneous connections makes Proton VPN worth considering in circumstances where you need between 6 and 10 simultaneous connections, and do not want to (or are unable to) install a VPN on your router.
Proton VPN employs strong VPN protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN, as well as IKEv2/IPsec, along with the company’s Secure Core feature to protect against online threats. Secure Core is the company’s name for its special double-VPN server configuration, which they claim provides better security than standard double-VPN configurations.
In terms of performance, Proton VPN is not too bad, but it’s not on par with Surfshark and ExpressVPN. And it really lagged behind Nord in the ProtonVPN vs NordVPN comparison with big speed differences. Nonetheless, it is faster than most VPNs, on average, but also not the fastest.
While not primarily used for streaming, Proton VPN can unblock geo-restricted content on platforms like HBO Max, Hotstar, F1 TV, BBC iPlayer, and Peacock TV. This ensures a plethora of content while maintaining your online safety.
For those prioritizing strong security across multiple devices, Proton VPN is worth considering. The company provides a limited free version of the VPN you can use to test the service before subscribing. If you do subscribe they provide a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can get started with Proton VPN by clicking the button below.
For a more detailed description of this VPN service, please read our complete Proton VPN review.
Comparing key features of VPNs for multiple devices
When selecting the best VPN for multiple devices, it’s essential to compare the key features offered by each provider. One of the most critical factors to consider is the number of simultaneous connections allowed. While some VPNs like Surfshark offer unlimited simultaneous connections, others like NordVPN and ExpressVPN allow up to 6 and 5 connections, respectively.
Device compatibility is another vital factor, as you want a VPN that supports all your devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and even smart TVs. All the top VPNs mentioned in this guide offer extensive device support, with native apps available for major operating systems and browser extensions for popular browsers.
Security features should also be taken into account when choosing a VPN for multiple devices. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and ProtonVPN all provide robust security features, including kill switches, split tunneling, and various encryption protocols, ensuring a secure connection on all your devices.
Finally, it’s essential to consider the VPN’s performance, including connection speeds and server coverage. NordVPN and ExpressVPN are known for their fast speeds and extensive server networks, while ProtonVPN offers a more security-focused experience. By comparing these key features, you can choose the best VPN for your multiple devices’ needs.
How to set up a VPN on your devices
Setting up a VPN on your devices is a straightforward process that typically involves signing up for a VPN service, downloading and installing the VPN app, and connecting to a VPN server. The steps are pretty simple:
- Choose a VPN provider from our recommended list, such as NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, or ProtonVPN. Once you’ve selected your preferred VPN service, follow the registration steps on their website.
- Find the VPN app for one of your devices on the VPN service website, then download and install it.
- Repeat the process for each device you wish to connect to the VPN. Most VPN providers offer native apps for a wide range of operating systems and mobile devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Be sure you download the correct app for your device’s operating system to avoid annoying delays and confusion.
- Launch the VPN app on each device and log in with your VPN account credentials. Once logged in, connect to a VPN server of your choice. You don’t need to connect each device to the same VPN server. For example, you might be using one device for general internet browsing, and another to watch a show on BBC iPlayer. For general use, you might let the VPN app automatically choose the best (fastest) server, while to view BBC iPlayer, you would need to connect to a VPN server in the UK.
By following these steps, you can set up a VPN on all your devices, ensuring a secure and private connection.
Note: If you are a fan of the BBC, you should check out our guide to the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
Connecting multiple devices through a VPN router
Connecting multiple devices to a VPN through a router is an efficient way to secure all devices on your network, as it counts as a single connection to the VPN provider. This method is especially useful if you have devices that do not support native VPN software, such as smart TVs and gaming consoles. With router support, you can ensure a seamless connection for all your devices.
To connect multiple devices to a VPN through a router, you must first configure your router with the desired VPN provider’s settings. Most VPN providers offer tutorials on their websites on how to configure your router for their VPN service. Make sure to follow the instructions specific to your router’s firmware version.
Once your router is configured with the VPN settings, all devices connected to the router will have their data routed through the VPN server. This ensures that all devices on your network are protected by the VPN, regardless of their native VPN support.
Keep in mind that the VPN connection speed may be slightly reduced when connecting multiple devices to the same VPN server. If you experience a significant decrease in speed, consider switching to a different VPN server or upgrading your internet service plan.
Streaming and gaming with a VPN on multiple devices
Using a VPN for gaming and streaming on multiple devices can provide numerous benefits, including bypassing geo-restrictions, improving online security, and delivering a smooth streaming and gaming experience. By connecting your devices to a VPN, you can access geo-restricted content from streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, regardless of your location. This is particularly useful if you’re traveling abroad and want to access content from your home country, or if you’re looking to explore content from other regions.
A VPN also enhances online security while gaming, protecting your personal information and preventing DDoS attacks. By encrypting your connection, a VPN ensures that your data remains secure, even on public Wi-Fi networks.
To achieve the best streaming and gaming experience with a VPN on multiple devices, choose a VPN provider that offers fast connection speeds, a wide server network, and compatibility with various platforms. NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are excellent choices for this purpose, as they provide reliable performance and extensive device support.
Free vs. Paid VPNs for multiple devices
While free VPNs may seem like an attractive option for connecting multiple devices, they often come with significant limitations and risks compared to paid VPNs. Free VPNs typically impose restrictions on simultaneous connections, data caps, and bandwidth, resulting in a less reliable and slower connection.
Additionally, free VPNs may lack essential security features, such as strong encryption and kill switches, which could leave your devices vulnerable to cyber threats.
Proton VPN offers a free version that has some of these kinds of limitations. But this free VPN is backed by a reputable company and has relevant security and privacy features. You should treat the free versions of Proton VPN as a limited free trial version with no time limit.
There is another thing to watch out for with free VPNs (again, we’re not talking about the free Proton VPN version). The free services often generate revenue through intrusive ads or by selling your personal data to third parties. A 2019 study found that 1 in 5 apps from the top 150 free VPN Android apps posed potential risks of malware. Moreover, a quarter of them had harmful user privacy-breaking bugs such as DNS leaks.
Instead of relying on a free VPN, consider using a paid VPN service that offers a free trial or a 30-day money-back guarantee, like NordVPN or Surfshark. This way, you can test out their premium features without any risk and decide if the service is worth the investment.
Troubleshooting common VPN issues on multiple devices
Common VPN issues on multiple devices can include failure to connect, blocked ports or outdated VPN software, VPN connection rejection, firewall blocking VPN, and streaming or email issues. By identifying and troubleshooting these issues, you can ensure a smooth and secure VPN experience on all your devices.
If you’re having difficulty connecting to a VPN, first confirm that your internet connection is working properly. If your internet connection is stable, ensure that your VPN software is up to date and check your firewall settings, as they may be blocking the VPN connection.
If you’re experiencing streaming or email issues, inspect your VPN settings and verify that the required ports are not blocked. Some VPNs offer features such as split tunneling, which allows you to route specific traffic outside the VPN connection, potentially resolving streaming or email issues.
To guarantee a smooth and secure VPN experience on multiple devices, choose a reliable VPN provider, keep your VPN software up to date, and use a VPN router to connect multiple devices. Additionally, ensure you are using a secure connection and remain mindful of any potential security risks.
In conclusion, using a VPN for multiple devices is essential for maintaining privacy, and security, and accessing geo-restricted content. By selecting a reliable VPN provider such as NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, or ProtonVPN, you can enjoy a seamless and secure experience across all your devices. Remember to consider factors such as simultaneous connections, device compatibility, and security features when choosing the best VPN for your needs. Happy browsing!
Ready to invest in a VPN for multiple devices, but not sure which to choose? Here are some quick recommendations:
If you have 6 devices or less, you can’t go wrong with NordVPN. It is our #1 pick in this category.
If you have lots of devices to protect, and you don’t want to deal with installing a VPN on your router or buying a router that has a VPN preinstalled, Surfshark can fill the bill.
Proton VPN might also work in this situation, but unless you really want Proton VPN’s Secure Core technology or some feature unique to Proton VPN, you will probably be happier with Surfshark.
If you like the idea of having the VPN installed on a router so you don’t have to mess around installing VPN clients on all your stuff, ExpressVPN with the Aircove router should do the trick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the same VPN on multiple devices?
Yes, you can use the same VPN on multiple devices depending on the service’s connection limit. Some VPNs offer as little as 5 simultaneous connections while others don’t restrict the number of devices connected.
What is the recommended number of simultaneous connections for a VPN for multiple devices?
For optimal performance when using a VPN on a multitude of devices, at least 5 simultaneous connections are recommended.
Can I use a VPN on devices that do not support native VPN software?
Yes, you can use a VPN on devices that don’t have native software support by configuring it on your router or using features like NordVPN’s SmartPlay.
Are free VPNs a good choice for connecting multiple devices?
Due to the limited connections and features, free VPNs are not ideal for connecting many devices. Many free VPNs are also security risks and/or make their money by selling your data. It’s best to use a paid service that offers a trial or guarantee.
How do I set up a VPN on my devices?
Sign up for a VPN service, download and install the VPN app on each device, and connect to a VPN server to set up your VPN on all your devices.
Once you have done this, you will be able to securely access the internet from any of your devices. You will be able to browse the web without worrying about your data being intercepted or monitored. You will also be able to access geo-restricted content.
This multiple-device VPN comparison was last updated on August 31, 2023.