VPNs are super useful tools for keeping your information private for any reason. If you’re on coffee shop WiFi and need to do some banking (tho I’d advise strongly against doing this) you should do that on a VPN. A VPN is not a miracle solution for online security, and there are many security holes in even getting your data to the machine. If you have a virus or some other horrible thing on your machine, a VPN won’t help you. If you’re doing superduper sketchy stuff, you should probably just stop doing that stuff instead of thinking you’re crafty with a VPN.

That said, there are a couple of recommendations I have for VPNs, one easy and commercial, one slightly less easy and DIY.

ProtonVPN, free - $24/mo

An excellent commercial option with decent clients on all major mobile platforms. They are very serious about security and privacy, though being a commercial option, you’re still routing your traffic to someone else’s servers, there’s risk in doing that. ProtonVPN is from the same good ex-CERN Swiss folks that brought you ProtonMail.

Algo, choose your price

The slightly more difficult but more secure option. This tool lets anyone with some command line knowledge set up their own IPSEC VPN on a server of their choosing. Works with iOS, Android, Mac, anything with an IPSEC VPN client. I strongly recommend going this route, even with the added complexity of setup. I’ve used Algo without issue for a long time. For those not entirely sold on setting something up yourself, they have a great article on why you’d want to

For those wondering

What about all of the other options out there like Nord or anything else? I think my ISP or cell carrier has one.

If that accomplishes what you’re after, go for it, but I would refer you to the aforementioned TrailOfBits article I mentioned. Commercial VPNs aren’t necessarily as private as you think they are.