Best VPNs for laptop in 2021

Best VPNs for laptop in 2021

We tested more VPN services than a sane person should. And that’s ok – cause that’s our job, to recommend you a VPN for all kinds of use cases. On this page, we list the best VPNs for your laptop.

With a VPN app running on your laptop, you will be able to hide your online activity, stream movies and TV shows from anywhere, download files via BitTorrent anonymously, encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals, bypass censorship rules, and much more. So yes, you should sign-up for a VPN service and get your privacy back.

Out of many, many different services we’ve tried – we came up with the following list of best VPN services for laptop users, whether they use a PC or a Mac:

1
NordVPN in 2021

at NordVPN.com
Our rating:
Price from: $3.71/mo
30-day money-back guarantee

Pros

Cons

  • 5,000+ servers in the network
  • Easy to use - install it and forget it
  • One license is good for up to 6 devices
  • Strict zero-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Chrome extension is just a proxy
  • You can't pay with PayPal

Summary

There is a good reason why NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services in the world, and one of our personal favorites, as well.

Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.

NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.

We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
2
ExpressVPN in 2021

at ExpressVPN.com
Our rating:
Price from: $8.32/mo
30-day money-back guarantee

Pros

Cons

  • Feature-rich yet easy to use
  • One of the best VPNs around
  • Strong no-logging policy
  • Reliable support you can reach 24/7
  • Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
  • Kinda pricey

Summary

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPS services on the planet. There are a few others that come close — and even outshine ExpressVPN in some specific segments — but as far as the majority of users are concerned, this is the best VPN service they could sign-up for. (alongside NordVPN)

ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.

However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
3
Hotspot Shield in 2021

at HotspotShield.com
Our rating:
Price from: $2.99/mo
45-day money-back guarantee

Pros

Cons

  • It's super fast!
  • Works with Netflix, BBC and others
  • Easy to use apps, browser extensions
  • You can try it for free!
  • Some advanced features are not configurable
  • Not the best for high-censorship countries

Summary

Hotspot Shield could easily be the fastest VPNs out there with its proprietary technology helping the company deliver blazing-fast download AND upload speeds. In fact, it is among our top choices for streaming (Netflix included) and torrenting, and is equally suited for desktop and mobile users.

Furthermore, thanks to the availability of browser extensions - Hotspot Shield is also one of our top choices for Chrome and Firefox VPNs.

Your privacy is equally well protected, with the software only collecting some anonymized that help continually improve its service.

There is one caveat though - it won't work in high-censorship countries like China. If you don't need that in the first place, we highly recommend Hotspot Shield.

As that's typically the case with most VPN services out there, the longer you commit - the better deal you get. However, what makes Hotspot Shield even better is the fact that it offers a 7-day free trial of its service. A few other top VPN providers do the same. Plus, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, making for a risk-free purchase. Cause, you can always get your money back. Sweet and just the way we like it.
4
IPVanish in 2021

at IPVanish.com
Our rating:
Price from: $2.62/mo
30-day money-back guarantee

Pros

Cons

  • One the best VPNs for torrenting
  • Works well with Netflix
  • Simple setup on all popular devices
  • Strict zero-logs policy
  • Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
  • Doesn't work in China

Summary

IPVanish is fast and especially great for torrenters and Kodi fans. It also works with Netflix though the situation is different with BBC iPlayer — for which we've had a hard time finding a reliable server.

Its desktop apps are not among the prettiest ones, but they get the job done. The important thing is that installation is easy and straightforward, and that no logs are kept by the company.

When it comes to pricing, IPVanish is somewhere in the middle — it's not the most affordable option but also not the most expensive one. As noted, it will be most appreciated by heavy BitTorrent users, and — related — Kodi fans.
5
Surfshark in 2021

at Surfshark.com
Our rating:
Price from: $1.99/mo
30-day money-back guarantee

Pros

Cons

  • Reliable download and upload speeds
  • Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Strict zero-logs policy
  • Lets you use it on unlimited number of devices
  • Low number of servers in Africa and Australia

Summary

Surfshark is a solid all-round VPN offering top-notch security and privacy features. It may not be the best option out there, but it's definitely not the worst. And for the price, it offers a hard to beat package that goes well beyond basic VPN service.

You can rely on it for streaming and torrenting, with included extra features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, delivering a that much better — and more secure — experience.

Surfshark, the company, is based in the British Virgin Islands and with its zero-logs policy makes for a powerful combo to anyone looking to keep its web whereabouts under the radar.

The service is easy to use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The elements of the best VPNs for your laptop…

In order to create this list, we first defined some criteria on how to select VPNs for your laptop. And so, we tested the top contenders in various scenarios, including:

Mac and Windows support
We’re not sure which laptop you have, so we made sure that a VPN works great on both Windows- and Mac OS-based devices. Also, we wanted to list only those with well-polished apps that won’t slow down your computer — cause you probably rely on it for both work and entertainment. And neither of those two areas should suffer because of a poorly designed VPN app.

Streaming
We had to check whether you can use a VPN for streaming? Can you get a buffer-free experience every time? Can a streaming service detect that you’re using a VPN? Are there servers dedicated to streaming? Or are all servers in the network “prepared” for the likes of Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, and so on?

Torrenting
How a VPN handles torrenting? Does it have servers dedicated to Peer-to-Peer (P2P) traffic or are all servers in the network up for the task? Both solutions can work, it’s just that in the former case we’d like to see servers dedicated to P2P clearly marked on the list.

Unlimited access
Can you use a VPN to bypass restrictions imposed by your ISP? How about those on a university campus? Can it get the job done without IT admins knowing “every step you take?” You don’t want a VPN that can’t handle the relatively simple school firewall, right?

Bypassing censorship
Somewhat related – can you use a VPN in high-censorship countries such as China, North Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc? The infamous Great Firewall of China is arguably the hardest to bypass, but the best VPNs can “handle” it as well – and we love ’em for that.

Good for everything
Not all VPNs are great for everything, but we wanted to come up with a solid list. So we’ve selected those that are generally good for whatever you throw at them. In other words, the best VPNs let you access YouTube, Twitter, and Netflix from everywhere while offering strong zero-logs privacy — which is really important in our book.

Speed & reliability
Finally, we wanted to test the speeds each of the VPNs can deliver. If the experience is too slow, you won’t be using it to load “heavy websites” despite that being possible. Similarly, we wanted to test whether a VPN delivers reliable and consistent download and upload speeds. From where we sit, reliability is more important than speed.

Are free solutions worth a look?

NO! Simply put, it takes a lot of money to build a solid server network and offer a reliable VPN service. This is something free solutions can’t do except if they sell your data. And that kills the point of getting a VPN in the first place.

What we want is a rock-solid VPN with a proven track record to work from all places around the planet. And that’s what this list is all about.

Now, most VPNs offer money-back guarantees which we take to be as good as free trials. After all, if you don’t like what you’re getting – you can always ask for a refund. In fact, we encourage you to do so if you find that a service you bought doesn’t get the job done.

Get a VPN for all your devices!

Instead of getting a VPN that works great only on your laptop, sign-up for the one that will work on all your devices and for all your needs. In that sense, a good VPN will:

  • Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
  • Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
  • Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
  • Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
  • Download files with BitTorrent anonymously

The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following:

30-day money-back guarantee
30-day money-back guarantee
45-day money-back guarantee