VPNs for Multiple Devices: Paid and Free Services (2020).
What to do if you need to install a VPN on multiple devices at once? Are there any services offering apps for all platforms? How many devices can I use per subscription? I chose the answers from services that I’ve tested more than 10 times.
- When to use a VPN on multiple devices?
- Methods for connecting several devices to one VPN
- Restrictions on the usage of multiple devices
- List of VPNs supporting multiple devices
- Free VPNs for several devices
Obviously, in 2020, a few devices are used to access the Internet. The trend of recent years is the introduction of data synchronization, thanks to which more and more information is stored in cloud storage. Access to it is possible from any device at the same time.
Using a VPN in such cases can be a serious problem, as paying for so many subscriptions is simply not practical.
We will look at two main ways to connect almost any number of devices:
- Using VPN services with an extended subscription.
- Configuring the VPN on the router.
- Surfshark: Definitely an ideal option, as Surfshark supports all platforms and allows you to connect simultaneously to an unlimited number of devices. At the same time, it is a powerful provider with an incredibly low price.
- ExpressVPN: If you need the maximum connection speed and a wide selection of countries, then I recommend ExpressVPN. The service supports all platforms and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Allows up to 5 simultaneous connections.
- NordVPN: Advanced VPN service with WireGuard support. The fastest connection and the minimum processor load. Supports up to 6 devices per single subscription.
- PIA: It is great in cases where you need to access the parameters of the VPN channel: configure the encryption standard, DNS, DHCP, and more. Supports up to 10 devices.
- CyberGhost: The largest VPN service offering simultaneous connections from up to 7 devices. Focuses on streaming and has specially protected servers in Romania.
- hide.me: It doesn’t require a signup, so hide.me can be installed on any number of devices. Has limited traffic with a low speed.
- Windscribe: Doesn’t limit the user in the number of devices, but has a limit on total traffic.
- ProtonVPN: ProtonVPN doesn’t allow you to connect more than one device for free, but it is well suited to be set up on a router.
- VPN Gate: It isn’t a commercial project; therefore, it has no limits. It is difficult to use and has an extremely low speed.
- Turbo VPN: Only suitable for mobile devices. No signup needed. It has strict limitations.
*Free VPNs are poorly suited for general usage, as they have a lot of restrictions, low stability, and an extremely limited choice of IP addresses.
There are many reasons for simultaneously connecting multiple devices to a virtual network. The common ones are to unblock sites or circumvent geo-restrictions for a few family members or employees. But also, there are more specific reasons when a VPN is used for anonymous access to a social network from different devices.
There are 6 main reasons in 2020 why people launch VPNs on multiple devices:
- Geolocation masking
- Protection of all devices in public networks, including from local access
- Bypassing censorship
- Unblocking foreign Netflix regions and other video services
- Optimization (speed-up) of the Internet
- Safe torrenting
You may ask why I list the obvious things. The fact is that each of the reasons has its own implementation peculiarities and therefore, before choosing a VPN service, you need to understand what characteristics it should have and in what way it should be used more effectively.
In the following chapters, I’ll show you the easiest way to start using a VPN on several devices.
As I said at the beginning, there are two main ways to use multi-VPN.
The first way is using VPN service apps that support multiple connections. It is suitable in most cases.
Here are the main advantages of using VPN apps:
- Easy to install and use
- Independence of devices from each other and the location
- Minimal impact on the maximum traffic speed
- The complexity of managing a large number of devices
- The VPN’s limits must be considered
The second method involves connecting to a shared router with a VPN.
Advantages of using a router:
- VPN is automatically activated simultaneously for all devices on the Wi-Fi network
- You can connect to platforms that don‘t support VPN
- The more devices, the stronger (and more expensive) router should be
- There is no way to access certain resources bypassing the VPN
- If a VPN server crashes or is overloaded, then Internet access is lost and, as a rule, a router reset is required
- No protection beyond Wi-Fi
In this case, often it’s more expedient to set up a VPN app on each device individually.
So you only need to take into account the limits that the VPN provider sets.
We will talk about those in the next chapter. There I will give recommendations on choosing a VPN service depending on your main goals.
The main restrictions that are of practical importance when using two or more devices on the same VPN service subscription are the maximum number of simultaneous connections from different computers, mobile gadgets, TV platforms, and game consoles.
The hardest thing is to find a service that supports more than 10 devices and it’s easier if the number is fewer than 6.
However, there is no direct pattern between the established limits and the quality of services. Hundreds of tests have shown that this parameter is just a marketing ploy. There is no connection with speed, stability, and the availability of relevant opportunities in 2020.
Therefore, if you plan to use a few devices, then first of all decide the main purpose you will use a VPN for.
For example, many users are looking for VPNs to bypass the geo-restrictions of Netflix, Disney +, and other similar resources. For others, it is more important to provide secure VoIP communications and access to blocked sites. Others still need constant confidentiality and protection of transmitted data.
When choosing a VPN, pay attention to important criteria for you.
In the next chapter, I picked up the 5 most multifunctional powerful VPN services that support 5 or more devices. Also, each of them has some features that may be important for you.
Following are some important features as well as average test results across platforms. All these VPNs support a large number of platforms and have stable apps for all OSs.
Comparison of the main features of VPN services that provide multiple devices
(out of 10)
|Number of devices||Speed, Mbps||Geo-unlocking
|Country selection||Price (monthly)|
- The perfect combination of price and quality
- Doesn’t have a limit for simultaneous connections
- Support of streaming and torrenting
- Confirmed security
- Tracking protection
- No WireGuard support
Surfshark is better than other services for multiple devices. The service doesn’t have a limit on the number of simultaneous connections from one account.
At the same time, it has impressive characteristics and is one of the best VPNs according to the results of our testing.
Surfshark has equally functional apps for all OSs and supports not only computers and mobile gadgets but also TV platforms and routers.
The provider’s speed is considered high and sufficient for most tasks.
If you need a maximum speed of more than 100Mbps, then I recommend ExpressVPN (next on the list).
- Premium VPN
- High speed and reliability
- 5 devices, router support
- Maximum confidentiality
- Best Netflix support
- Support of all platforms
- 94 countries
- Doesn’t support obfuscation (for the UAE and some other countries)
- No cheap plans for more than one year
If you don’t plan to use more than 5 devices at the same time and also you need maximum speed and a 100% guarantee of privacy, then I recommend ExpressVPN.
It is also important that the provider has a very extensive database of guides for configuring routers, which makes it easy to configure it on your home network and use it on an unlimited number of computers.
- 5000+ servers in 59 countries
- 6 devices
- Interactive map of locations
- Double VPN
- No Split Tunneling
Another very convenient VPN provider that is suitable for any task is NordVPN. In 2020, it offers the best WireGuard protocol which is considered the most efficient and productive in comparison with the classic OpenVPN and IKEv2.
The service bypassing the lockouts so the Internet provider can cope with unlocking any regions of Netflix, Disney +, Hulu, and others.
- Impeccable reputation
- High speed
- 10 devices
- Multiple advanced features
- Not suitable for streaming
Private Internet Access (PIA) is popular among experienced users since it has a large number of options and customizable VPN connection parameters. Besides, PIA is known for its strict No Logs policy and is one of the best data protection services.
It recently launched WireGuard support.
- 6000+ servers in 90 countries
- 7 devices
- Traffic flow indicator
- Anti-tracking protection
- Split Tunneling
- If the device limit is exceeded, you must manually delete unused devices in the user panel
- Runs slowly on Windows
- Doesn’t support obfuscation
- No progressive protocols
CyberGhost is interesting because it offers access to a record number of servers in 90 countries, has specialized servers for streaming and torrenting, as well as the fact that it has specially protected NoSpy servers in Romania.
When used on multiple devices, CyberGhost is less convenient than the first four VPNs. This is because it “remembers” all the previously used models of the device and takes them into account in the limit, regardless of whether they are currently being used or not. At the same time, to connect from other devices, you need to log into your account and delete the unnecessary ones.
Before moving on to listing some free VPN services that I managed to run on a variety of devices, I want to describe the problems that I encountered.
- All services have significant speed and / or traffic limits.
- Too small a selection of servers that were often overloaded and didn’t allow normal use of the Internet.
- To use VPN apps with a signup, you need to create several accounts.
- Free VPNs are extremely poor for streaming.
The best free VPN service for multiple devices in 2020 is hide.me. It has a free plan that doesn’t require a signup. Due to this, there is no limit on the number of simultaneous connections.
Hide.me limits the use of the free plan to 10 GB per month. In addition, only 3 countries are available, and connection to them isn’t always successful.
Another VPN service with the free plan, Windscribe, is somewhat different from hide.me. Although it claims to have 10 GB per month available, realistically, only 2 GB per month is available for use on many devices without registration.
To remove any restrictions, including speed and Netflix support, you need to switch to a paid plan. In this case, Windscribe, like Surfshark, can work on an unlimited number of devices at the same time.
Free ProtonVPN doesn’t allow you to run your apps on several devices for free, but this service is well suited for use with a router.
However, it should be kept in mind that the maximum speed is limited (tests showed 1-7Mbps) and will be evenly divided between all devices.
The next VPN is completely free and has no limits. However, it is designed in such a way that instead of servers, computers of other volunteer users are used, because of which the connection often unexpectedly breaks and all devices need to be reconfigured to another location.
I also note that the vast majority of servers are located in the countries of the Asian region.
If you only plan to connect devices running Android or iOS, then you can try free Turbo VPN. This provider doesn’t require a signup.
The main disadvantage is the lack of servers and the abundance of intrusive advertising, which could also potentially lead to the leakage of your location.