Today, most, if not all, of our vital personal information is digitally stored across an increasing number of devices, and as a result, privacy screen protection is of utmost importance. Technological and storage improvements in all types of devices, from laptops to wearables, have resulted in unprecedented access to a variety of sensitive, personal and professional information. While there have been improvements in advanced data security, as well as in personal computing, the fact remains that the displays we use to consume information remain vulnerable to prying eyes.
As more and more sensitive information becomes digitally accessible, the importance of maintaining control over who can and can’t view your screen has increased. Whether you like to read emails on the train ride to work, or want to be able to check your health data on your smartwatch without the person on the cardio machine next to you also getting a sneak peek, a privacy screen protector can help keep your information private. Furthermore, as offices transition from confined, delineated spaces to open-floor plan environments, the need for professional privacy is also on the rise. Regardless of what you’re looking at and what type of device you use, the best privacy screen protectors will keep your information safe.
— Best Overall: ZAGG InvisibleShield Glass Elite Privacy Screen Protector
— Best Budget: Ailun Privacy Screen Protector 2-Pack
— Best for Apple Watch: Uyiton Military-Grade Privacy Screen Protector
— Best for Laptops: SightPro Laptop Privacy Screen
— Best for Monitors: Vintez Desktop Monitor Privacy Screen
How We Picked the Best Privacy Screen Protectors
We conducted a thorough investigation into the world of privacy screen protectors. Using our previous experience reviewing and testing the best overall screen protectors as a point of departure, we researched a wide range of privacy screen protectors on the market. We also conducted hands-on testing with the Uyiton Military-Grade privacy screen protector for the Apple Watch, and subjected it to a series of stress tests that included deliberately trying to scratch it.
We paid particular attention to the strength of each protector we reviewed, as well as the quality of its privacy tinting. In addition to these two main concerns we accounted for any and all extra features that may be of utility. To make our final recommendations we collected dozens of verified-customer reviews and compared the price of each privacy protector to its performance to ensure that our selections had a beneficial value ratio.
Best Privacy Screen Protectors: Reviews and Recommendations
Why It Made the Cut: This privacy screen protector sets the bar in terms of quality, functionality, and ease of use, which is why it earned the top spot on our list.
— Materials: Tempered glass
— Screen Surface Finish: Matte
— Device Compatibility: iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
— Four-way privacy filter keeps your screen protected at all angles
— Equipped with anti-microbial coating
— Reinforced edges reduce the likelihood of cracks
— Includes Zagg’s proprietary anti-fingerprint coating
— Previous models that are compatible with earlier iPhones don’t feature the four-way filter
Zagg was founded in 2005, two years before the release of the first iPhone, and quickly made a name for itself in the screen protector and phone case industry. Zagg’s privacy screen protectors, like the screens they are designed to defend, have benefited from rapid advancement in digital device technology. Gone are the days of painstakingly applying a screen protector only to find a minefield of pesky bubbles; the ZAGG InvisibleShield Glass Elite Privacy Screen Protector is equipped with Zagg’s unique EZ Apply installation tools so you don’t have to worry about getting the right fit. In fact, the adhesive on the back of the screen protector was specifically developed by Zagg to reduce the likelihood of bubbles forming.
Another standout feature of this privacy screen protector is the fact that the four-way privacy filter provides edge-to-edge coverage from all angles, regardless of whether your device is in portrait or landscape mode. The combination of durability and performance makes the Zagg InvisibleShield Glass Elite Privacy Screen Protector ideal for anyone that wants to protect their information from prying eyes and their screen from unexpected drops.
Best Budget: Ailun Privacy Screen Protector 2-Pack
Why It Made the Cut: With a price of $5 or less per protector, you can’t find a privacy screen protector that offers as much durability for as little money.
— Materials: Tempered glass
— Screen Surface Finish: Glossy
— Device Compatibility: iPhone 13 Pro Max
— Great value
— Highly rated across 5,000+ reviews
— Screen has hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings
— Includes everything you need for installation
— Two-packs are only compatible with iPhone 13 models
— Doesn’t afford privacy from all angles
If keeping a budget is one of your top priorities, the Ailun Privacy Screen Protector 2-Pack is perfect for you. The best part of the Ailun screen protectors is that they don’t compromise on quality in pursuit of a lower price. In terms of protection against scratches and cracks, the tempered glass in these screen protectors is 9H, or a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. For reference, diamonds, which are the hardest known naturally forming minerals, are a 10H on the Mohs hardness scale. It’s safe to say that this screen protector is hard.
You also don’t have to forego premium features, such as fingerprint-resistant coatings, in exchange for affordability if you choose to get the Ailun Privacy Screen Protector pack. However, unlike the Zagg protector, the Ailun Privacy Screen protector doesn’t completely prevent prying eyes at all angles. Because the Ailun protectors rely on the tint just as much as filtration to darken your screen, they only provide 100 percent privacy under bright light. If you’re looking for a budget screen protector for an iPhone model other than the 13, check out our review of the best iPhone screen protectors.
Best for Apple Watch: Uyiton Military-Grade Privacy Screen Protector
Why It Made the Cut: The Uyiton 8-pack of screen protectors offers impressive scratch resistance for everyday users looking to save money.
— Materials: Thermoplastic polyurethane film
— Screen Surface Finish: Matte
— Device Compatibility: Apple Watch Series 7 and 8; Series 1/2/3 also available
— Easy to apply, remove and replace
— TPU film has self-healing properties
— Eight protectors in the pack
— Edge-to-edge protection while maintaining full case-compatibility
— Uyiton doesn’t offer any privacy screen protectors for the Apple Watch Series 4/5/6
— TPU film doesn’t provide as much protection as tempered glass
Using an Apple Watch screen protector, which keeps your watch looking new for longer, is more important than ever thanks to incentivizing trade-in programs. Uyiton privacy screen protectors come in packs of eight, so you don’t have to worry about your screen looking anything but fresh and clean. More importantly though, the Uyiton Military-Grade Privacy Screen Protector provides necessary protection for your screen without adding any bulk or impeding the touch sensitivity. Because your watch is strapped to your wrist most of the time, drop protection is less of a priority than with a phone, which is why the Uyiton’s TPU film is capable of getting the job done just as well as tempered glass would. However, if you’re a frequent outdoor adventurer or weightlifter, the moderate level of protection provided by the self-healing TPU film may not be enough.
I tested the strength of the TPU film and was impressed with its scratch resistance, but did not feel confident in its ability to prevent the screen from cracking under a big impact. Another feature of the Uyiton Privacy Screen Protector that I appreciated was the ease of application; aligning the protector over a screen as small as an Apple Watch isn’t as easy as it sounds, but the forgiving gel adhesive gave me the time to get a bubble-free, edge-to-edge alignment.
Best for Laptops: SightPro Laptop Privacy Screen
Why It Made the Cut: The SightPro Privacy Screen is functional, easy to get used to, and compatible with an astounding array for laptop screen sizes and dimensions.
— Materials: Multi-layered TPU film
— Screen Surface Finish: Matte
— Device Compatibility: 13.3, 14 and 15.6-inch laptops with an aspect ratio of 16:9
— Compatible with multiple laptop brands and screen sizes
— Blue light and UV light filtration
— HIPAA compliant
— Clarity enhancements and glare reduction
— Not optimized for touch screens
— Not designed for protection against drops
Laptops are commonly the epicenter of our personal and professional digital lives, and as such, require the utmost protection at all times. Think about it, there’s no use in paying for expensive data encryption services or a VPN if someone next to you can simply look over your shoulder and take pictures of all your sensitive data. The SightPro Laptop Privacy Screen adds a critical layer of protection between your sensitive information and the general public, which may give you the peace of mind you need to start making use of your time on the train.
With a 60-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle, SightPro Privacy Screens strike a harmonious balance between leaving enough flexibility for the user to get into a comfortable position and blocking the view of people on the periphery. While the SightPro does a great job of protecting your information from being viewed by others, the same can’t be said of its ability to protect your laptop screen from serious cracks or scratches. SightPro Privacy Screens are purpose-built for shielding your screen and maximizing device compatibility, which means they are as thin as possible. While the multi-layered film provides moderate protection against light scratches and stains, don’t expect SightPro Privacy Screens to function like a tempered glass screen protector for your phone, especially since they’re incompatible with touchscreens.
Best for Monitors: Vintez Desktop Monitor Privacy Screen
Why It Made the Cut: The Vintez Desktop Privacy Screen is as high performance as they come, making it an ideal complement to any office setup, whether it be at home or elsewhere.
— Materials: Multi-layered film
— Screen Surface Finish: Reversible: matte and glossy
— Device Compatibility: 19 to 31.5-inch monitors with varying aspect ratios.
— Touch screen compatible
— 30-degree viewing angle for maximum privacy
— Fits all types of screen shapes and bezel designs
— Filters UV light and blue light to protect your eyes
The Vintez Desktop Monitor Privacy Screen is packed with premium features that let you customize your privacy experience to a greater extent than other protectors on the market in this price range. One of the standout features is the fact that you can choose whether you want to prioritize reducing glare or nosy neighbors by choosing between a matte finish, which is good for reducing glare in high-light environments, and a glossy finish that takes advantage of glare to improve visual security. When you switch between matte and glossy versions of the same protector, the color clarity and contrast remains unchanged, which speaks to the quality of Vintez Privacy Screens.
In addition to the multi-layered TPU filtration film, all Vintez Desktop Privacy Screens are equipped with additional scratch-resistant coating that mitigates some of the protection shortcomings associated with film-based protectors, such as the SightPro above. However, all of this fancy technology comes at a fairly steep price.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Privacy Screen Protector
Before investing in one of the best privacy screen protectors, here’s what you should factor into your decision.
Intended Device: First and foremost, whatever screen protector you choose must match the exact make and model of the device you want to put it on. Laptops, smartphones, and other digital devices have experienced rapid technological change in recent years, so even those devices that are only a few years old may have completely different dimensions than new versions of the same model. Check the manufacturer’s website for whatever device you want to use the privacy screen protector on, regardless of whether it’s your Apple Watch or your work computer. Make sure that the size and aspect ratio of the screen is the same as that of the screen protector.
Blue Light Filtration: Although blue light filtration is more relevant to mobile devices than it is for desktop monitors, it’s still an important feature to consider when choosing a privacy screen protector. Devices such as smartphones and Apple Watches emit blue light rays, which have been proven to disrupt sleep. If you frequently use your phone or laptop before bed, you should heavily consider investing in a privacy screen protector with blue light filtration.
Protective Strength: Not all screen protectors are created equally; some offer a much greater degree of protection than others. Plastic screen protectors may have initial appeal because they’re budget-friendly, but they scratch easily. Tempered and other hardened glass types, such as Gorilla Glass, are preferred because they are stronger, clearer, and easier to apply.
Useful Extras: Keep your eyes peeled for screen protectors that offer a great value through functional extras, such as anti-fingerprint coatings. If you’re willing to spend a bit more than average, you can get a privacy screen protector that comes with a clear protector for the rear cameras, which are just as essential as the front screen for many users. Furthermore, many privacy screen protectors come in packs of two, so you can immediately replace them in a pinch.
Q: Can I use a privacy screen protector with a case on my device?
Yes, most new privacy screen protectors are designed to work with the vast majority of cases on the market. The most common exception to this rule is if you choose to use a case that has a built-in screen protector, such as the LifeProof FRE, which is designed for maximum durability and water resistance.
Q: Do privacy screen protectors block blue light?
Don’t let the tint fool you, not all privacy screen protects offer blue light filtration. However, you can expect most high-end privacy screen protectors, such as those made by PanzerGlass, to include blue light filtration technology.
Q: Do privacy screen protectors hide cracks?
Although privacy screen protectors are tinted, they won’t necessarily hide any cracks. However, most are designed to prevent cracks from forming on the actual device screen, which is most important. If you start to see cracks and nicks developing on your privacy screen protector, you can simply change it out for a new one.
Q: How often should you replace a privacy screen protector?
There isn’t a set timeline for changing out your screen protector, and it really comes down to personal preference. If your protector is scratched up and making the screen hard to read, it’s probably time for a new one.
Final Thoughts on Privacy Screen Protectors
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be dealing in secrets and confidential information to justify the need for a privacy screen protector. The Zagg InvisibleShield Glass Elite Privacy Screen Protector is our top pick overall because it combines the universal need for durable protection with the increasingly relevant need for visual privacy. Of all the screens that need protection, your phone is likely the most vulnerable to outside eyes and therefore demands the latest and greatest in protection, which is what the Zagg InvisibleShield Glass Elite provides.
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