Facebook is an incredibly popular social network, with over 2.23 billion monthly active users as of November 2018. Facebook Messenger (for the sake of brevity, I’ll refer to it simply as “Messenger” for the rest of this article) is a free instant messaging service.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of countries that block their citizens from using both Facebook and Messenger, including China, Iran, Vietnam and North Korea. Facebook and Messenger are also blocked by many educational institutions and employers.
In addition, your activity on Facebook and Messenger is open to monitoring by your Internet Service Provider and hackers, as well as local and federal governments.
Thankfully, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can keep your online activities undercover and make it appear that you’re located in another part of the globe. This enables you to avoid virtual roadblocks thrown up by employers, schools, governments and other strict parties.
A VPN encrypts your internet connection, encasing it in a virtual tunnel, which prevents your online activities, including your Facebook activity, from being monitored. (Keep in mind that Facebook will still be monitoring your activities while connected to their service. After all, that’s how they make money.)
Here are the 5 best VPNs to unblock and protect your Facebook and Messenger sessions.
Best VPNs for Facebook & Messenger
I ran numerous VPN providers through rounds of extensive testing, and the following VPNs proved to provide the best Facebook and Messenger features to users. Here’s a summary:
- ExpressVPN: This provider is the optimal choice for protecting and enhancing your Facebook sessions. The provider’s fast download speeds are a perfect match for the social network’s multimedia features, and its top-notch security and privacy features allow users to communicate via Messenger with no worries of being monitored.
- NordVPN: This provider will be an attractive option for Facebook users on a tight budget. The service offers excellent protection and access to blocked services around the globe, without breaking the bank.
- CyberGhost: This provider offers apps that are easy to install and use, making it the best option on this list for first-time VPN users. Facebook users with only a bit of online experience will find CyberGhost to be an excellent protection option.
- IPVanish: When you’re on Facebook, you need all the privacy help you can get. IPVanish owns and operates all of the servers in its extensive global network, keeping third-party contractors away from your data.
- PrivateVPN: PrivateVPN is one of the more recent additions to the VPN industry, but it has quickly become known as a reliable, reasonably-priced provider that delivers fast connections.
All top 5 Facebook VPNs were ranked according to the following factors:
- Global server coverage
- Connection speeds
- Online security
- No-logs privacy protection
- Multi-platform support
- Customer support
Here’s my list of the top 5 VPNs to protect and enhance your Facebook and Messenger activities.
ExpressVPN is the best all-around choice to protect you while you’re using Facebook and Messenger. The provider’s speedy connections are a great match for the media available on the social network, as well as the video chat capabilities of the Messenger app.
While you may be a Facebook fan, you can’t spend all of your time on the social network. You need to take time out for the occasional (and extended) Netflix bingeing session. ExpressVPN’s global server network of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries offers optimal access to geo-blocked streaming services around the globe.
The provider’s connection speeds are best described as “super fast,” offering the fastest downloads in this bunch. You’ll find they come in handy for streaming the multitude of videos available on Facebook. No bandwidth restrictions or data caps spoil the fun.
Your online activities are well protected from prying eyes thanks to ExpressVPN’s military-level encryption and kill switch protections.
Privacy after the fact is well in place too, as ExpressVPN follows a strict no-logs policy, so there are no records of any of your online travels. Use the provider’s Bitcoin subscription payment option to go totally incognito.
Facebook is available on most modern device platforms, so multi-platform app support is an important consideration for any VPN provider. ExpressVPN offers apps for the Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, iOS and Amazon Fire platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.
ExpressVPN allows up to 5 devices to be simultaneously connected to their network using the same login. If that isn’t enough, make use of the provider’s extensive router compatibility. (Pre-configured routers are available.)
ExpressVPN’s 24/7 support chat is available in your time of need. Support is also available in the form of email support, a searchable support library and a trouble ticket system.
- Plenty of global server coverage
- App coverage for all major platforms (and then some)
- Excellent connection encryption
- No logs, no problem
- Around-the-clock customer support
- Costs more than many other VPN services
BEST VPN FOR FACEBOOK AND MESSENGER:ExpressVPN is the best choice to protect your Facebook and Messenger sessions. The provider offers reliable unblocking power when you’re in locations where it might not normally be available. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is the best bet for Facebook users who are watching their pennies. The provider delivers reliable unblocking of Facebook and protects Messenger conversations without draining your bank account.
NordVPN’s global server network includes 5,800+ servers located in 60 countries around the globe. That means you’ll not only have reliable access to Facebook, but also other geo-blocked services and content around the world.
No record-breaking download speeds to be found here, but NordVPN can handle any Facebook-related needs, and most other online activities for that matter. No data caps or connection throttling are to be found.
Online security and privacy are well-protected with this one, thanks to military-level encryption and kill switch protection for your connection, and a strict no-logs policy ensuring there are no logs of your online travels. Bitcoin is also available as a payment option.
NordVPN’s native app support includes offerings for the macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and Android TV device platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.
If you need more than 6 simultaneous connections, or if you need to protect devices not on the list above, you can make use of the provider’s router compatibility. (Pre-configured routers are available.)
24/7 live support chat, email support and a searchable support library are available for around-the-clock support.
- Comprehensive online security
- Excellent privacy protections
- 24/7 support
- Top-notch app support
- Apps could stand to be more user-friendly
BEST FOR BUDGET-MINDED OMEGLERS:NordVPN is a great choice for Facebookians (Facebookites? Facebookers?) who are on a tight budget. The provider delivers top-level VPN service without taking a big chunk out of your credit card limit. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost is arguably the best choice for Facebook devotees who don’t have any experience in using a VPN.
The provider’s global server network includes over 4,000 servers in 60 countries. That not only unblocks Facebook from nearly anywhere you might be, but it can also unblock gaming servers and streaming content from nearly anywhere.
CyberGhost’s connection speeds are some of the best I’ve ever seen, easily up to any online activities you might have in mind. Plus, the VPN provider never imposes on their users’ online enjoyment with data caps or bandwidth restrictions.
CyberGhost has online security covered, thanks to its government-grade encryption that covers its users’ connections. Kill switch protection adds another layer of coverage. A no-logs policy and a Bitcoin payment option have the privacy end of things covered.
All of CyberGhost’s apps are easy to use, making the provider an excellent option for new VPN users. Apps are available for the macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available.
If you have a device that’s not on the apps list, or if you need more than the provider’s 7 simultaneous connections allowance, take advantage of the provider’s extensive router compatibility. (Pre-configured routers are available from FlashRouters.com.)
Live support chat, a support ticket tracking system and a searchable support knowledge base are all available if you have issues or questions.
- Easy-to-use apps
- Fast download speeds
- Users’ privacy well-protected
- Top-notch security protection
- Doesn’t offer some options appreciated by advanced users
BEST VPN FOR NEW USERS:CyberGhost’s VPN apps are powerful, yet aren’t cluttered with numerous options that might confuse users who are new to the world of VPNs. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
Facebook already exposes way too much of your personal information, so a VPN that offers a layer of information protection not available from most providers is a definite plus. Enter IPVanish.
The provider offers plenty of global server coverage, with over 1,300 servers in 50+ countries around the globe. IPVanish owns and operates all of its servers, providing that additional layer of information protection I mentioned above by removing third-party operators from the privacy equation.
IPVanish offers download speeds that are more than Facebook-able. Enjoy all of the Facebook videos you’d like, thanks to the provider’s lack of data caps or bandwidth limitations.
Your security online is well protected, thanks to the provider’s layer of banking-grade encryption and a kill switch option. Your privacy is also covered just as well, thanks to a strict no-logs policy. A Bitcoin option is unfortunately not available.
Facebook is available on most of the popular devices that I can think of, and so is IPVanish. The provider offers native app support for the iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux and Amazon Fire TV operating systems. Unfortunately, no browser extensions are available.
Up to 10 devices can be connected simultaneously using the same login credentials. If that’s not enough, or if you have a device not on the app list, the provider’s excellent router compatibility can come to the rescue. (Pre-configured routers are available.)
Customer support is an around-the-clock proposition at IPVanish, thanks to their 24/7 live chat feature. Email support and a searchable support library are also available to aid you.
- Owns and operates its entire VPN server network
- Excellent app and customer support
- Top-notch security and privacy protection
- Money-back guarantee only 7 days
- No cryptocurrency payment option
EXTRA LAYER OF SECURITY:IPVanish adds an extra layer of security for your data, thanks to their self-owned and -operated server network that keeps third parties out of the loop. It would be nice if they offered more than a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN, which is self-billed as “The Fastest Growing VPN Worldwide,” offers fast connection speeds, but also a global server network that is stretched thin at best.
PrivateVPN’s download speeds grabbed 2nd place in our latest connection speed tests. No data caps or bandwidth limitations are ever placed on PrivateVPN usage.
The provider’s global server coverage amounts to just 150+ servers. While that is a low server count when compared to others on this list, the provider does a great job of making the best of it by stationing them in 60 countries around the globe.
Military-level encryption keeps your online travels safe from prying eyes, while the provider’s no-log policy ensures records of your travels will never be available to outsiders. Use a disposable email address to sign up and pay with Bitcoin, and you’ll be completely incognito.
PrivateVPN’s native app support is limited to the macOS, iOS, Windows and Android platforms, but those options should be adequate for most users. No browser extensions are available from the provider.
Users can also make use of the provider’s router abilities to protect other devices. (Up to 6 simultaneous connections are allowed per username.)
24/7 customer support is available via the provider’s live support chat, a “Contact Us” form and a non-searchable FAQ section.
- 2nd-fastest connection speeds
- Up to 6 concurrent connections
- Outstanding privacy and security safeguards
- 150+ server count stretched a bit thin
- No searchable support library
LOW PRICE/HIGH SPEED:PrivateVPN’s low subscription prices belie their fast connections. Budget-minded users will be pleasantly surprised by the download speeds this provider delivers. However, their server coverage is lacking. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
How to Protect Your Facebook Activities With a VPN
Enhancing and protecting your Facebook and Messenger sessions with a VPN is easy:
- Subscribe to a VPN. (Seems logical.)
- Install the VPN’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Select a VPN server. (The auto-connect feature will likely be sufficient. However, if you’re located in a country that blocks Facebook, be sure to connect to a server in a country where Facebook is accessible.)
- Log in to enable VPN protection.
- Facebook it, baby!
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Protecting my Facebook Activity?
You can likely find a free VPN provider that will work with Facebook and Messenger. However, I believe you’ll quickly find that the overall freebie VPN experience is not satisfying or private.
First, the “not satisfying” part.
Many free VPN providers throttle their users’ connection speeds. Plus, they place daily or monthly data caps on their customers’ usage. That means you could be in the middle of watching a video or chatting with your long-lost cousin and find your connection dropped!
Now for the “lack of privacy” part.
Many gratis VPN providers keep their servers humming by tracking their users’ online travels and selling that information to advertisers and other nosy nellies. They have also been caught injecting unwanted tracking cookies and advertisements into users’ browsing sessions.
Facebook already impacts your privacy more than it should. Don’t make things worse by using a free VPN.
Tips for Improving Your Facebook & Messenger Privacy
Sure, when discussing Facebook and its definite lack of privacy, many folks’ initial reaction is, “why don’t you just delete your account?”
Well, as attractive as that option may be, for many folks, Facebook is the only way for them to keep in touch with friends and family.
So, if deleting your Facebook account isn’t a valid option for you, here are a few ways to improve your privacy when using Facebook and Messenger.
I’ll be mentioning a few highlights in this space. For more in-depth, step-by-step information on restoring your privacy on Facebook, read my Facebook privacy article.
Change Your Ad Settings
Facebook tracks your activities while on their social network, using the information to better target you with ads. That’s because you and your personal information are the real product Facebook sells to make money. By making a few changes in your preferences, you can cut down greatly on how Facebook shares your info with advertisers.
Change Who Can See Your Posts
By default, any of the posts you make to your Facebook timeline can be seen by the “Public.” This means that any Facebook user can read your posts. You can easily change this setting so that your posts will only be seen by your Facebook “Friends.”
Change Who Can Contact You
Facebook is a “social network,” which means that by default, any Facebook user can contact you. Luckily, you can change your profile settings to allow only certain users to contact you. You can also deny outside search engines the right to link to your profile.
App Privacy Settings
If you’ve ever used your Facebook login credentials to log into an app or another website, you’re usually giving that third party access to your Facebook information. Be sure to go through this list of apps from time to time and adjust the apps’ access as needed.
Turn on Messenger End-to-End Encryption
Users can protect Messenger conversations with end-to-end encryption. However, by default, end-to-end encryption for your Messenger conversations is turned off. Go into the Messenger app’s settings and turn it on.
A Virtual Private Network can improve the privacy of your Facebook and Messenger activity.
It can also bust through the virtual roadblocks set up by your school, employer, or even your country. It also has the ability to protect the rest of your online activity and restore access to online content that might be blocked in your region of the world.
ExpressVPN is the absolute best VPN available to enhance and protect your Facebook and Messenger activities. The provider’s top-notch encryption protects your online travels from being observed, while its extensive global server network and fast download speeds allow you to enjoy a world of streaming and gaming entertainment.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.