5 Best VPNs for Laptops in 2020

The portable nature of laptops makes them great for work and travel, but connecting to an open WiFi network in a hotel, café, or airport lobby could expose all of your data to a hacker. Using a VPN on your laptop will keep you secure and private on public networks, as well as allowing you to unblock content blocked in your location.

In this guide, we take a look at the best VPNs for laptops and give you some tips on how you can unblock more and stay secure online.

What is the best VPN for laptops

We have listed the best VPNs for laptops below. If you want more information about any of the services in the list, scroll below the list for an in-depth look at each service.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for laptops. It has lightning-fast servers, great software for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and offers rock-solid encryption.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - Great value for money and an easy to use VPN for laptops. It's great for unblocking content and has strong encryption.
  3. Private Internet Access - The most private and secure VPN on the list. Great Mac, Linux, and Windows apps, fast, and, top-notch security features.
  4. Surfshark - The cheapest VPN for laptops on the list. It has Mac and Windows software packed with features and can unblock loads.
  5. VyprVPN - A great all-rounder. It owns all of it's servers making it reliable, and has slick VPN clients for Windows and Mac.

In order to get the most out of VPN for your laptop, it is important to have the following features:

Best Laptop VPNs - In-depth Analysis

We take a closer look at the best VPNs for laptops below. If you still want more information about any of these services, check out our detailed VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN the best VPN for laptops. It has fantastic software for Windows, Mac, and even Linux. It's a well-known service that is consistently the fastest around.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in the world. It is an established service based in the British Virgin Islands, that is known to provide an extremely reliable platform – perfect for accessing censored or geo-restricted content. On top of that, ExpressVPN has some of the best VPN software we have ever encountered, with apps available for all the most popular platforms. What's more, this VPN lets you install and use the VPN software on up to five devices simultaneously.


When it comes to privacy, ExpressVPN is watertight. Robust OpenVPN encryption protects your data from government snoops, local network administrators, and ISP tracking. In addition, this VPN has a zero-logs policy, stealth mode, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. ExpressVPN unblocks Netflix US, Hulu, HBO Go, and BBC iPlayer. And because it has servers in 94 countries, there is nothing that it can't unblock. It is also one of the fastest VPNs in the world. While Express is a bit pricey, it really is true that you get what you pay for. It's a fantastic VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee that is well worth paying for if you can afford it. 


expressvpn laptops


 

CyberGhost VPN is terrific value-for-money. It offers easy to use VPN software for Windows and Mac laptops users, making it ideal for newbies.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.81 - $13.47
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN provider that is both cheap and excellent at its job. This VPN has servers in 90 countries, which makes it fantastic for unblocking content from all around the globe. And this VPN's servers are lightning-fast, meaning that you can stream all the content you want without having to deal with annoying buffering. When it comes to privacy, this VPN does not have quite as many fancy features as some others, but it has the essentials; a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and strong OpenVPN encryption. It also provides a zero logs service, meaning that it is suitable for gaining strong digital privacy.


CyberGhost VPN also provides an excellent value for your money, because it lets you use a single account on up to 7 devices simultaneously. And, if you try it, you can get your money back for up to 45 days, risk-free. And, yes, this VPN has apps for both MacBook and Windows laptops - so it is a fantastic all-rounder.


cyberghost windows app


 

Private Internet Access is the most private VPN on the list. Proven in court that it does not keep logs, it has great security features, and fantastic apps for Windows and Mac.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.84 - $10.51
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based VPN provider that keeps zero logs, a claim it has proven in court multiple times. The VPN was recently acquired by Kape Technologies - a cybersec firm based in London whose primary aim is to help consumers gain protection online. PIA VPN has servers in 48 countries, provides strong OpenVPN encryption, and is one of the most popular VPN services among Reddit users. It also has live chat support and gives you the power to unblock many of the most popular streaming services, including Netflix US.


If you wanted to try it for yourself, you can, thanks to its no-fuss 30-day money-back guarantee.


Private Internet Access Laptop

Surfshark is the cheapest VPN for laptops on the list, costing less than $2 a month. It has fully-featured Mac and Windows apps, that include adblocking software and a smart DNS.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is a no-logs VPN service with great technical security, a bunch of useful features, and superb 24/7 support.


Surfshark is a relatively new provider but is quickly gaining popularity with laptop users due to its ease of use and the overall quality of its offering. When you load Surfshark on your laptop, you'll be protected by military-grade AES 256-bit encryption standards, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and a strict no-logging policy. On top of all that, you'll enjoy blazing-fast connection speeds for seamless streaming and an incredible unlimited simultaneous connections. Try it for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee to fall back on.


SurfShark Laptop software

VyprVPN is a great all-rounder. It offers outstanding security and world-class server speeds for laptop users and has great VPN software for Mac and Windows users.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

VyprVPN is a provider that can truly guarantee its users world-class security standards, thanks to the fact that it wholly owns its entire network of 700+ servers around the world. With VyprVPN, you are getting DNS leak protection, fantastic encryption standards, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. You will also enjoy easy-to-use apps for your MacBook or Windows laptop. Lightning-fast servers, airtight security, friendly and knowledgeable customer care, and a 30-day no-hassle money-back guarantee make VyprVPN one of the best VPN choices for laptop users. 


VyrVPN laptop

Why do I need a VPN for my laptop?

Every time that you connect to the internet, your data is being tracked by your ISP, the local network administrator (such as in a school or at work), and potentially even the government. If you use the internet on public WiFi, the hotspot provider (hotel, coffee shop, etc) will be able to track your web visits. This is bad for your privacy because it means that everything you do online will be placed in a database and potentially sold on to third-party marketing firms, data aggregators, and advertisers. A VPN encrypts your data to stop all of this tracking. 

In addition, every time you visit online services and websites, those services can track your IP address. This lets those websites know when you visit their site so they can track you when you return. This also allows them to monitor what you do (or buy) on their site. A VPN conceals your IP address from the websites you visit, so that they have no idea where you are when you visit the site (unless you log in and actually tell them directly who you are).

Concealing your IP address from the websites you visit also allows you to access more content, giving you masses of added online freedom on your laptop. By connecting to a VPN server in a different country, you can bypass any local censorship imposed by ISPs on behalf of the government. And you can bypass geo-restrictions to access content that is supposed to be unavailable where you live. 

Below, we have included a list of the types of things you can do with a VPN:

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, and not every VPN was created equally. Many VPNs have poor privacy policies that would not keep your online habits private both now and in the future. Other VPNs have badly implemented encryption, unreliable apps, or critical data leaks that make the VPN connection untrustworthy.

For a VPN to be suitable for your laptop, it must provide watertight security, but it must also have certain important VPN features that not all VPN apps have. Below, we explain the features we looked for when curating this list of the best laptop VPNs:

Can you use a free VPN for Laptops?

If you want to use a free VPN with your laptop, then you have to know how to see through the bad ones. Unfortunately, free VPNs that promise the world and offer unlimited speed and data usually have a more sinister ulterior motive. Using these sorts of VPNs could land you with:

  • Weak encryption: leaving you with no real security.
  • Limited server options: having few (if any servers) nearby.
  • Server congestion: lots of people queuing and fighting over the same server (and slowing you down significantly).
  • Awful privacy policies: harvesting and selling on your personal information at every opportunity.
  • Malware: infecting your device with adware and spyware.

The good news is that there are some fantastic free VPNs available. It's worth noting that the best free services tend to be stripped-back versions from premium providers.

A good VPN doesn't have to cost a fortune, and there are plenty of cheap VPN providers that offer top-tier services. Just be sure to do some digging on those providers to make sure they meet your VPN requirements.

If you want to get the most out of a VPN, then we recommend utilizing the money-back guarantees offered by the services listed above. You get to try the VPN service in its fullest, and at the end of it you get your money back – it's a win/win situation.

Laptop Webcam Hacking: A Real Threat

While the notion of laptop webcam hacking may seem like something from a conspiracy website or a Matt Damon movie, it is a real danger that can severely violate your privacy. Even more worrying is that Russian teenage hackers might not even be the biggest threat when it comes to this kind of hacking.

GCHQ (the UK's version of the NSA) has made headlines for the use of snooping tools such as Nosey Smurf and Gumfish.

These snooping methods further increase the distrust between governments and ordinary citizens. Just another reason to set a VPN up on your laptop today!

How to move a current VPN subscription onto a new laptop?

If you are already subscribing to a VPN service, chances are you are entitled to use your VPN on a number of devices simultaneously. So, If you have just purchased a new laptop, simply head over to your current VPN's website, log in using your credentials and download the VPN software you require. When it finishes downloading, install it, and enter your credentials. Now you are ready to start using your VPN on your new laptop. 

Remember that you can use your VPN on a laptop, desktop, mobile devices, and tablets - all at the same time - with a subscription to any of the VPNs in this guide.

Sharing your laptop VPN with other devices

If you own a laptop, chances are you probably own a smartphone, tablet, or PC as well. Using a high-quality VPN service, like the ones we've mentioned above, usually allows you to have the VPN active on multiple devices at the same time. This is great news if you want to secure multiple devices with one VPN subscription.

If you are using a laptop at home or in the office, you can also configure a VPN on your router and cover all of your devices under one VPN connection.

Conclusion

If you want to keep your laptop safe when you're connected to the internet, then a VPN is the best all-round tool for the job. Our chosen VPNs will give you the best possible service, and you can test each one with their lengthy money-back guarantees. Here's a quick reminder of the best VPNs for laptops:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for laptops. It has lightning-fast servers, great software for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and offers rock-solid encryption.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - Great value for money and an easy to use VPN for laptops. It's great for unblocking content and has strong encryption.
  3. Private Internet Access - The most private and secure VPN on the list. Great Mac, Linux, and Windows apps, fast, and, top-notch security features.
  4. Surfshark - The cheapest VPN for laptops on the list. It has Mac and Windows software packed with features and can unblock loads.
  5. VyprVPN - A great all-rounder. It owns all of it's servers making it reliable, and has slick VPN clients for Windows and Mac.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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