We can recall the experience of being in school, where we would frequently move between lecture halls, libraries, dorms, coffee shops, and even a few bars. Given all this movement and the use of public Wi-Fi networks, it’s crucial for students to safeguard their online identity and web traffic using a VPN. Recognizing that students often have limited funds, the VPN providers listed below offer discounted prices to students. They share our belief that web security should be accessible to everyone, regardless of cost.
What students typically look for in VPNs for schools
|Access blocked sites||✅|
We understand that students are often busy with classes, assignments, and extracurricular activities and don’t have the time to deal with a complicated VPN. As individuals who prioritize internet security and have recently been students ourselves, we have conducted a thorough analysis of all VPNs to determine which ones best meet the needs of modern students.
Our evaluation criteria include speed, security, customer support, privacy, and the effectiveness of each VPN’s iOS and Android apps for use on the go. Essentially, we have done the hard work of researching and testing VPNs, so you don’t have to spend time searching and clicking. This frees up more time in your day to focus on studying.
Best VPNs for Schools
NordVPN – Best Overall VPN For Schools
NordVPN has earned the second spot in our ranking of all VPNs, and it’s no surprise given its popularity worldwide. The standout feature of NordVPN is its impressive speed, which we found to be exceptional in our tests. We were able to perform high-bandwidth downloads and stream HD content without experiencing a significant slowdown. Additionally, NordVPN is based in Panama, which means the company isn’t legally obligated to share our data with the government if requested.
|Not being a part of the surveillance alliances known as Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes. The provider is not legally required to share user data with the governments of these countries. Moreover, the provider enables access to Netflix content from multiple countries, and its mobile applications have received high ratings. Additionally, the provider offers a 15% discount for students.||Firstly, it doesn’t offer a split tunneling feature. Secondly, its kill switch may not work consistently on macOS. Additionally, the provider assigns static IP addresses to its users. Finally, the VPN runs slower on Mac operating systems compared to Windows.|
After completing a big paper, there’s nothing better than spending a day binge-watching TV shows. With NordVPN, accessing Netflix on all our devices was simple. Although Netflix can only be accessed through NordVPN’s servers in the U.S, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, this was sufficient for our needs. It’s worth noting that NordVPN’s highly-rated apps are particularly useful for streaming Netflix on mobile devices, which account for 30% of all Netflix streaming. Additionally, we were able to watch content that was blocked in the U.S by using servers located in other countries. If you’re interested in exploring other options, check out our list of the best VPNs for Netflix.
Strict Logging Policy
NordVPN has a strict policy of not collecting any personally identifying information, such as IP addresses, servers used, and websites visited or files downloaded. Moreover, the company is headquartered in Panama, which means it’s not subject to the international surveillance alliances of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes. This gives us confidence that our data is secure when using NordVPN.
Strong double encryption
One thing that sets NordVPN apart from other VPN providers is its use of a double VPN. This feature encrypts our web traffic twice through multiple servers, providing an extra layer of protection. While it’s not strictly necessary to have a double VPN to ensure a secure connection, we appreciate NordVPN’s commitment to safeguarding our data. For students interested in pursuing careers in journalism, activism, or entrepreneurship, NordVPN can provide peace of mind both in and out of the classroom.
SurfShark – Best Mobile Phone VPN for School
For students, Surfshark is a great VPN option that offers huge discounts (83% off), unlimited simultaneous connections, and highly-rated mobile apps. Although Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, it has a wide network of servers located in 65 countries worldwide. This means that no matter where you are studying, whether it be in the U.S. or abroad, there is likely a Surfshark VPN server available for you to use.
|An 83% discount on its servicesStrong performance from its mobile appThe ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneouslyA 30-day money-back guarantee||There is no phone support available.Additional features, such as antivirus protection, require extra payment.The connection process can be slow at times.Split tunneling is not available on macOS and iOS devices.|
Discount for students
Surfshark offers a generous 83% student discount, recognizing the financial constraints of students. By entering the code “SharkStudent” during checkout, you can avail of the discount and also receive an additional three months of free Surfshark subscription.
A Solid Smartphone VPN
During our testing of Surfshark on different desktop and mobile platforms, we found that it worked exceptionally well. However, we were particularly impressed with its performance on mobile devices. The mobile interface is user-friendly with a clean layout that is easy to navigate, and connecting for the first time requires minimal setup. Additionally, switching between VPN servers is a simple process. As a result, we found Surfshark to be one of the easiest mobile VPNs to use. It has received high ratings of 4.5 and 4.4 on iOS and Android, respectively.
We conducted a free trial of Surfshark on our mobile devices for one week before deciding to purchase a subscription. We were able to use the same account on both our phones and laptops. However, we felt that one week wasn’t enough time to make a final decision. Fortunately, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which gives us plenty of time to evaluate the VPN. This shows how confident Surfshark is in its service. One downside we found is that there’s no phone support, and it would be better if the Antivirus package was included in the subscription without extra cost.
CyberGhost – Best VPN for Study Abroad
CyberGhost is a VPN company based in Bucharest, Romania that offers robust services that can compete with larger providers. They are not subject to government surveillance alliances, and emphasize their ability to operate covertly. CyberGhost offers VPN servers in a vast number of countries, with a total of 5,544 servers across 90 countries, which can be particularly useful for students studying abroad.
|CyberGhost is not under the jurisdiction of the international surveillance alliances of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes.The VPN service performs excellently on Mac computers with great speeds.CyberGhost provides top-notch customer service to its users.A student discount of 79 percent is available for CyberGhost.||Running Windows slowlyNot allowing split tunnelingHaving a loose logging policyUsing static IP addresses are all potential factors that can affect the speed of your system.|
In our review of CyberGhost, we posed the question, “If I were to move to Japan tomorrow, would I still be able to watch The Office on Netflix?” This is a common concern among students who plan to study, travel, or work overseas after graduation. Fortunately, CyberGhost offers a vast number of servers and locations, with 5,544 servers located in various countries such as the U.K., Australia, Germany, Spain, and the U.S. This can give any traveling student peace of mind knowing that they can access their favorite shows even when they’re away from home.
It’s great news for the majority of college and graduate students who prefer Mac over Windows that CyberGhost functions exceptionally well on Mac products. In fact, we were impressed by the minimal difference in download speeds (-2.9%) and upload speeds (-7.6%) compared to not using a VPN. As individuals who seek out VPNs to avoid any issues with slow loading times, CyberGhost was a perfect fit for us.
Free-trial and money-back guarantee
CyberGhost recognizes the value of test-driving a product before making a commitment, and they offer a 24-hour free trial to allow users to experience what their VPN service has to offer. This way, users can determine whether CyberGhost meets their expectations before committing to a long-term plan. Additionally, CyberGhost offers a 14-day money-back guarantee for monthly package buyers and a 45-day money-back guarantee for those who opt for an annual package. This demonstrates the confidence that CyberGhost has in their product, which can be particularly useful for students studying abroad. For more information on CyberGhost’s pricing, please refer to our dedicated page.
Ivacy VPN – Best VPN for streaming Netflix at School
Ivacy VPN is an affordable option that meets the three essential criteria of safety, speed, and security in the VPN world. It’s worth noting that Ivacy VPN stands out as one of the few VPNs that maintain a complete no-logging policy of all web traffic, which gave us confidence in its ability to protect our browsing. In terms of safety, Ivacy VPN passed our DNS and WebRTC leak testing, effectively hiding our IP addresses and domain names from any potential threats. We found that while Ivacy VPN may not be the fastest option on our list, we still had enough bandwidth on our Mac and Windows devices to stream Netflix without any issues. Therefore, Ivacy VPN ticks all three boxes for safety, security, and speed.
|Great access and fast speed for streamingNo torrenting blockersNot a part of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen EyesOffers a 20% discount for students||No provision for a free trialLacks a kill switch featureCustomer support services are not satisfactoryDoes not support multi-hop feature|
Top Tier Data Security
Ivacy VPN successfully meets both important aspects of personal data security. Firstly, by adhering to their stringent logging policy, they only retained minimal information regarding our browsing activities. They did not track our location, browsing history, or any data regarding our uploads and downloads. Ivacy VPN only stored our names, email addresses, and payment information. Moreover, as a Singapore-based company, Ivacy VPN is not bound by any data retention laws.
Servers and streaming
One of the basic principles of internet browsing and VPNs is that the closer you are to a server, the quicker your connection will be. Ivacy VPN has over 1,000 servers located in more than 100 locations, providing ample coverage for students in the United States or overseas. Additionally, certain streaming services restrict VPN connections from specific providers, but Ivacy VPN remained undetected. Therefore, even if we were in a remote location such as a farm in Ireland after a night out in France, we would still be able to stream content such as the Real Housewives, just as if we were at home.
It’s not always easy for schools to detect whether or not a VPN is being used, but even if they can detect it, the IT administrators can only identify when a device is connecting to their network, without having access to the specifics of the user’s online activity.
Although Netflix blocks several VPNs from connecting to their servers, it is still possible to access any streaming service by using a VPN that is effective in bypassing these restrictions.
It is crucial to use a VPN while traveling, particularly because travelers who don’t have access to cellular service overseas often have to rely on public Wi-Fi networks, which can make them vulnerable to data theft. Moreover, a VPN may be necessary to bypass governmental restrictions that may prevent access to certain websites or online services.
In conclusion, choosing the right VPN for school and college can be crucial for protecting your online privacy and accessing restricted content. After researching and testing various VPN services, we have identified several top options, each with its own unique features and benefits.
Whether you are a student, teacher, or staff member, using a VPN can help you stay safe and secure while browsing the web, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. By considering factors such as server locations, connection speed, and security features, you can select the best VPN for your needs and enjoy a safer online experience.