Best VPNs for Windows

Best VPNs for Windows

We tested more VPN services than we care to count. This means you don’t have to test all of them to find the one that is best suited for your Windows.

With a VPN app running on your computer, you will be able to hide your online activity, stream Netflix from virtually 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 VPN services we’ve tried – we came with the following list of best VPN services for Windows users:

1
NordVPN

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

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

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
  • Doesn't work in 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

at IPVanish.com
Our rating:
Price from: $3.33/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

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.

What makes the best VPN for Windows?

Factors that make the best VPNs for Windows, pretty much make them best across the board. And it has little to do with the fact that Windows is still the dominant operating system on computers — it has everything to do with the technology and infrastructure used to deliver the great VPN experience.

But how do you determine that some VPN is good, let alone great, for Windows? First, you/we define criteria and then test multiple VPNs across those criteria. Here’s how we did that:

Streaming
We wanted to see whether a VPN is up for the task with all of the popular streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, HBO MAX, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on. What we aim to test is whether it can deliver a buffer-free experience even if we watch some shows in 4K. Not every VPN is up for the task with every streaming service, but the best ones manage to get us the goods. And so we included them on this list.

Torrenting
Testing for torrenting is somewhat different but here too we looked at the speeds — though this time both download AND upload speeds. The best VPNs should have speeds that are almost as fast as if we were not using a VPN. But you know what – we also know that in some cases a VPN could get you even faster download and upload speeds. This happens with ISPs that throttle the BitTorrent (P2P) traffic and with a VPN running your Windows PC, they have no clue what you’re doing online — so they can’t do anything about it.

Bypassing censorship
Not every VPN can work all across the world as savvy IT staff in high-censorship countries can detect when someone’s using a VPN and block — or throttle — his/her Internet connection. The best VPNs for Windows have thousands of servers that are not that easy to track and can bypass these and many other restrictions — which leads us to the next section.

Unlimited access
High-censorship countries are not the only ones blocking users’ access to the Internet in its entirety. Something similar happens at many workplaces where employers would like to have their staff focused on the task at hand, which would be some Excel spreadsheet or something of that sort. So they block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. And a similar thing takes place in many schools and universities across the world. We don’t like that and would rather use a VPN to browse the world wide web with no limits of any kind.

Speed & reliability
Being able to access all websites and services is useless if you can’t get decent speeds to “enjoy” that access. But again, not all VPNs can provide you with enough speed to do so. Also, there are those that work great one day only to find them slouching the next. Preferably, you want both speed and reliability, no matter what you’re up to online. All services on this page have been thoroughly tested to deliver the “goods” — every single time.

Good for all your needs
Last but not the least, what you want is a VPN that works across the board. Perhaps it’s not the fast demon for torrenting but it gets the job done, and also works for streaming, web browsing and so on. You should not get a VPN for any unique need — rather go for the one that will “cover” all your needs. Such a VPN will “do its magic” in the background of your Windows PC, letting you do whatever you want on the Internet.

Should you try a free VPN?

Well, if you have more time at your disposal, I guess it’s ok to try some app out. We are not in that group and would rather do something else — instead of testing an app only to find it not working properly afterward.

You see, building a solid server network requires a lot of money, which is something free services don’t have. Even if they do, chances are they are getting that cash from selling their users’ data. Is this the compromise you’re willing to take? We’re not and we think it effectively kills the point of getting a VPN in the first place.

Instead, you should get a VPN with a rock-solid track record to work from everywhere, and that’s what this list of Best VPNs for Windows is all about.

Furthermore, you’ll want to get a VPN with a money-back guarantee. So, if you determine that the service doesn’t work for you – there is an option to ask for a refund and try some other VPN. There is no need to throw away money left and right, especially when we know that prices of all VPNs are rather similar – at max, we’re talking about differences of a few dollars per month. Your privacy and unlimited access to the Internet are worth more than that.

Get a VPN for your Windows for everything!

You (all of us, really) need a VPN for many things. 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