10 best VPNs for Windows PCs in 2020

Choosing a Windows VPN can be tricky, because there are hundreds of terrible, rip off VPN providers around. To help you, our experts have analyzed the market to find the best VPNs for Windows.

The best VPN software for Windows

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for Windows PCs and laptops. This premium service offers mind blowing privacy, great speeds & solid support.
  2. CyberGhost VPN - A super easy to use VPN for Windows. A great choice for beginners thanks to clearly marked servers and an easy to navigate app.
  3. Private Internet Access - One of the most secure Windows VPNs on our list. It keeps zero logs & is chocked full of privacy features for Windows.
  4. Surfshark - A cheap VPN for Windows. From just $2.49 a month, you get loads of server choice for unblocking & great speeds.
  5. VyprVPN - A well rounded VPN option for Windows. Its software offers decent speeds through proprietary servers and decent levels of privacy.

Try ExpressVPN our top VPN for Windows pick

See full list & analysis

A VPN for your Windows PC stops your ISP, the government, and the sites you visit from tracking what you get up to online. VPNs conceal your true IP address and can give you access to geo-restricted videos on YouTube, or other streaming services like Netflix US or BBC iPlayer. And, because a VPN encrypts your traffic, you can access any website privately – to stream videos or download in secrecy. 

Before we recommend a VPN for Windows, we look at...

With so many VPN software options available on Windows, we make sure that all our VPN recommendations meet the above criteria before we recommend using them on your PC. So, now that you know what we're looking for, let's take a close look at our top recommendations.

The Best VPNs for Windows 10, 8 & 7 in 2020

The following in-depth comparisons explain exactly why we recommend these VPNs. They all offer a great Windows client, fast speeds, and are user friendly... 

ExpressVPN is our #1 VPN for Windows PC & laptops. The Windows client is robust and really easy-to-use and their service has versatile unblocking power on top of fantastic speeds.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
    • Edge
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

ExpressVPN is a provider that is difficult to beat when it comes to finding a Windows VPN. The software is easy to use, and it provides a lot of high-end premium features including a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, port selection, auto-connect, and obfuscated servers. Being based in the British Virgin Islands is also great for privacy, and because this VPN has a zero logs policy, it can be trusted with keeping your data secure.


ExpressVPN windows client


OpenVPN encryption is implemented to exceedingly high standards, and this VPN can protect your data both at home and while on public WiFi. ExpressVPN has been around a long time and is top of the list on a lot of sites for a good reason. It provides unblocking capabilities across 94 countries and can access many popular streaming services from around the world like Netflix and iPlayer with ease. Customer support is second to none and you can give it a test run using its 30-day money-back guarantee. And, if you are a newbie to VPNs, you will love this VPNs 24/7 live chat support to help you with any issues at any time, day or night.

CyberGhost is a great VPN for Windows if you're looking for a simple to use app. It requires very little set up and selecting server locations is quick & easy.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.25 - $13.47
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

CyberGhost VPN provides outstanding services at a fantastic price. The VPN has 110 server locations (90 countries) and it is dedicated to providing privacy and security for its subscribers. The Windows app provides all the necessary VPN features you need to gain digital privacy from your ISP and the government. It also ensures that your IP address cannot be tracked by websites. OpenVPN encryption is implemented to massively high standards, which means you never have to worry about it being cracked.


cyberghost windows vpn


CyberGhost also has a zero-logs policy, which means it can never disclose your habits to the authorities even if they come knocking with a warrant. When it comes to unblocking this service has servers in over 90 countries that all provide excellent speeds for streaming. Admittedly, this VPN does not have quite as many features as NordVPN. However, it has DNS leak protection and a kill-switch. If you require obfuscation, though, you should look elsewhere. Finally, CyberGhost permits 10 simultaneous connections, and it has a blindingly generous 45-day money-back guarantee on subscription plans of over one month.

PIA is one of the most secure VPNs for Windows on our list. Its Windows app is highly customizable and provides the excellent levels of privacy that PIA have become known for.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.59 - $10.51
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based VPN that enforces a robust no-logs policy. This ensures that even if it is approached with a warrant by the authorities, it never has any data to hand over. And PIA has proven its no logs claims in a court on more than one occasion. We like PIA because it has excellent apps for all platforms, including for Windows. Those apps are fully featured with OpenVPN encryption, a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation. The Windows app itself is very easy to use, and it has a lot of customizable options for those who want more granular control.



The kill switch guarantees that you can’t leak data to your ISP if the VPN drops out, which makes this VPN suitable for torrenting. This VPN also has fast Tier-1 infrastructure across 74 server locations around the world, which means it is suitable for streaming and gaming - and it does unblock Netflix US. Finally, you can use this VPN on up to 10 devices simultaneously, which means you can also install it on your mobile and tablet to use it on public WiFi. A VPN worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Surfshark is a cheap VPN for Windows. They are the new kid on the block, but what it lacks in tenure, it makes up for in performance and a super easy to use app.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

Surfshark VPN has only been around for a couple of years now, but in that short time, it has taken the VPN market by storm with blazing fast speed performance and 1700 servers in over 63 countries.


As is to be expected from today’s top VPN providers, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. What is unusual is that it allows you to connect as many devices as you want to the service at the same time!


Surfshark windows VPN client


Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Islands and easily meets our requirements for a no-logs VPN. Technical security is also top notch, and we appreciate the wealth of extra privacy and security features on offer. These include double-hop VPN, and DNS-based ad blocking and malware protection. 

VyprVPN is a great all around VPN option for Windows users. If you are concerned about privacy or want to unblock content on the web, VyprVPN can get the job done.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland, which means it falls safely out of the jurisdiction of 5 Eyes nations. In addition, it now has a solid no-logs policy which has been fully audited. This VPN runs on parent-firm Golden Frog’s proprietary network of servers. That means it can provide excellent speeds and top-notch security. 


VyprVPN Windows client


The Windows client is solid, it has a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, and a proprietary stealth feature called Chameleon for getting around firewalls in countries like China and Iran. Servers are located in over 70 countries, making it perfect for all your unlocking needs. Potential subscribers can try a 3-day free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee is also available.

IPVanish is a feature packed VPN for Windows. Whether you want a VPN for streaming, gaming, torrenting or just for privacy, IPVanish's features, speed and encryption has you covered.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.49 - $10.00
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Chrome
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

IPVanish is a US-based VPN that provides a zero logs policy. This ensures that it never stores any records about what its users do online. In addition to this outstanding privacy policy, the VPN has an advanced Windows app that comes with advanced features like a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, OpenVPN encryption, obfuscation, and a SOCKS5 proxy. This makes the VPN highly versatile and means that you can easily use it to torrent securely or to access and censored content from around the globe.


IPVanish has servers in over 75 countries. This makes it ideal for accessing geo-restricted services and websites from all over the world. And, you can use it to gain access to content from back home on a laptop when you are on vacation. We love that this VPN permits users to connect to the VPN on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. And we are always impressed by the customer support you get with this provider (though it is only available in US daylight hours via email).


We think IPVanish is a superb VPN for Windows, and while it may not be as fast as some of our other recommendations, it is still plenty fast enough for streaming in HD without buffering. Plus, you can test it yourself on your Windows machine for 30 days thanks to its money-back guarantee.

Ivacy is the cheapest VPN for Windows on our list. It provide users with an excellent Windows app that is packed with plenty of features and offers decent speeds for streaming.

  • Pricing

    From  $0.99 - $9.95
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
    • Edge
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

Ivacy is a VPN service based in Singapore that is often praised for providing outstanding value for money. The VPN is low-cost considering the level of premium features offered and the superb apps it runs on. The Windows app comes with a killswitch, DNS leak protection, and OpenVPN encryption. And you do get the option to bolt on a NAT firewall with port forwarding if you want it. This makes the VPN a good option for people who download P2P via BitTorrent clients.


Ivacy has servers in over 100 countries that are ideal for unblocking streams, game servers, and anything else you can think of. And this VPN works with Netflix US, iPlayer, and many other popular streaming services around the world. Admittedly, Ivacy isn’t as fast as some of our other recommendations. However, we've never had any problems streaming in HD with Ivacy.


Well worth comparing to our other options using its 30-day money-back guarantee. A cheap and reliable VPN.

ProtonVPN is a trusted VPN provider for Windows. From the guys behind ProtonMail, it's no surprise that the privacy it offers is second to none.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    From  $3.29 - $5.00
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

ProtonVPN is a superb service based in Switzerland. It is a VPN service that was designed by the developers of ProtonMail, which means that it has fantastic provenance. The VPN has a superb reputation among users and on Reddit. With ProtonVPN you get a choice of apps for all platforms, including Windows. And, the Windows client has all the advanced features you are likely to need. This includes a kill-switch, OpenVPN encryption, Tor through VPN, DNS leak protection, and secure bare metal servers in 50+ countries.


We enjoy using ProtonVPN on Windows because it is easy to use, and it permits torrenting throughout its network (on premium). The free subscription plan is useful if you don’t mind having fewer server locations and slower speeds. However, if you want to unblock Netflix US and other sought-after services you will need to pay for a premium subscription. Perfect for anybody who wants a VPN that has a watertight reputation for protecting user privacy.


You can test it yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

PrivateVPN is a great Windows VPN if you're a streaming fan. It reliably unblocks most major streaming sites and has the speeds on offer to stream HD content without buffering issues.

  • Pricing

    From  $1.89 - $7.12
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux

PrivateVPN is a provider based in Sweden that has a superb reputation among consumers. It is a no-logs VPN with apps for all platforms - including excellent apps for macOS and iOS. The Windows client comes with a kill-switch, port forwarding, obfuscation (cloaking), a choice of encryption settings for OpenVPN, and DNS leak protection. This makes it perfect for doing sensitive online tasks like torrenting, as well as for bypassing government restrictions - or for accessing any geo-restricted content in private.


We enjoy using PrivateVPN on all platforms thanks to its well-designed apps. And because this VPN has fast servers in over 60 countries you can easily use it for streaming. Plus PrivateVPN is one of the few services that provide access to a large selection of Netflix catalogs, iPlayer, hulu, Prime Video, and many other international streaming services. We are always impressed by this provider’s live chat support and love that subscribers can use the VPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously.


A superb service that you can test yourself using its money-back guarantee.  

NordVPN is an easy to use and reliable VPN for Windows. This no logs VPN is packed with features like a kill-switch, OpenVPN encryption, and a whole host of advanced features.

  • Pricing

    From  $3.71 - $11.95
  • Also available for

    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Browser extensions

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
  • Split Tunneling?

    • Yes

NordVPN is a trusted and well-known VPN from Panama. It is a no-logs service that is perfect for Windows users who are in need of advanced VPN features. With NordVPN you get a reliable Windows app that comes with a kill-switch, obfuscated servers, DNS leak protection, double-hop encryption, OpenVPN, split tunneling, VPN over Tor, and browser extensions. This makes the VPN perfect for completely concealing your online habits from your ISP, the government, local network administrators, and WiFi hotspot providers. And, NordVPN permits P2P connections, which means that this VPN is suitable for torrenting (though admittedly it doesn’t provide port forwarding).


NordVPN is a service that provides lightning-fast connections that are great for streaming or doing video calls. And, this VPN provides access to sought after streaming services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. There really is nothing that this VPN does badly, and for this reason, it is worth taking for a test run using its money-back guarantee.


Finally, this VPN has servers in over 60 countries, which means you will always be able to unblock huge amounts of geo-restricted international content. 

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Which is the fastest VPN for Windows?

All of our VPN recommendations provide fast enough speeds to handle data-intensive tasks online, like streaming and gaming. However, if you want to know which Windows VPNs are the fastest right now, check out the table below.

We compute the results via tests conducted in lab conditions using a dedicated gigabit line. You shouldn't necessarily expect similar speeds – seeing as you likely don't have a gigabit line - but the results illustrate which VPNs are currently the fastest.

Place Provider Average Speed Max Speed Visit Site
1. 97.99 Mbit/s 639.24 Mbit/s Visit Site
2. 79.06 Mbit/s 277.81 Mbit/s Visit Site
3. 78.62 Mbit/s 368.72 Mbit/s Visit Site
4. 77.42 Mbit/s 307.03 Mbit/s Visit Site
5. 74.61 Mbit/s 268.41 Mbit/s Visit Site
6. 63.52 Mbit/s 246.00 Mbit/s Visit Site
7. 60.15 Mbit/s 246.91 Mbit/s Visit Site
8. 56.10 Mbit/s 118.25 Mbit/s Visit Site
9. 54.88 Mbit/s 221.60 Mbit/s Visit Site
10. 29.71 Mbit/s 60.31 Mbit/s Visit Site

My internet speeds are slow. Will a VPN help?

No, this is a common misunderstanding. A VPN cannot increase your current internet speeds unless your ISP is actively throttling your connection. In fact, you can expect a slight speed decrease when using a VPN. This is because your VPN traffic is encrypted and must travel further (via the VPN server). All of the VPNs we recommend in this article invest in Tier 1 server networks to ensure that the impact on your speeds is as negligible as possible.

For more information on this topic, check out our guide to VPN speed testing.

Why do I need a VPN for Windows?

When you connect to the internet without a VPN, you open yourself up to both surveillance and hacking. In fact, a Windows VPN is the best personal cybersecurity solution for keeping your data secure. So, how does a Windows VPN client work?

How we test a Windows VPN's performance

All of the VPNs we recommend using on a PC offer a money-back guarantee. You should always take advantage of this offer period (usually around 30 days) when you first sign up for a service to test your VPN and put it through its paces – to make sure it fits your needs. If it doesn't the guarantee means that you haven't risked your cash, and can try a different provider.

When we test a VPN service, we apply a number of different stress tests to it as a way of determining its effectiveness. These tests are:

Do all the advertised features work?

We test the provider’s Windows VPN client software to ensure that the security and privacy features all work. We also check to see what range of features it has and compare this to other services on the market. 

Generally, a premium VPN will offer features such as a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, and OpenVPN encryption. And some have extra features such as obfuscation (cloaking), port selection, a choice of protocols, auto-connect, double-hop encryption, and even VPN into Tor.

How does the VPN perform?

To ensure that a VPN is not leaking data or doing anything else that might put your privacy at risk, we test its performance. If the VPN is secure, we'll also check its connection speeds. This is to figure out whether it is fast enough to do data-intensive tasks like streaming in HD, downloading via BitTorrent or gaming.

Is the VPN secure?

We check the VPNs privacy policy and ensure that it is located in a jurisdiction that will allow it to keep your data secure. We opt only for Windows VPN services that store no invasive logs, and that have unblemished track records of providing privacy for their users.

How compatible is the VPN with Windows?

There are several different Windows operating systems in circulation, so we make sure our VPN recommendations cover them all. The VPN apps on our list have clients for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. They also have software compatible with all recent versions from Windows 7, Windows 8, and, most importantly, Windows 10 compatibility. 

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How to install and set up a VPN for Windows

All the VPNs in this guide have custom VPN apps for Windows 10. That means setup is super simple. All you need to do is:

  1. Pick which VPN you want to subscribe to from the list above
  2. Subscribe to the service by clicking the link provided
  3. Download and install the VPN software by following the installation wizard
  4. Open the software, pick a server & click connect.

That's all there is to it.

There is no real reason to experiment with the settings of your VPN, unless you really want to. All services in our list run OpenVPN as standard, which is the gold standard of VPN encryption for PCs. However, if you want to test some other types of VPN encryption, we cover some alternatives below.

Compare VPN protocols for Windows

After installing your VPN software, you will find several options inside the settings to change which protocol you are using. These VPN encryption protocol options can be confusing and it's useful to know what each one offers before you change your VPN settings.

To help you out, here is a list of the protocols and how they stack up:

VPN Protocol Speed Security
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) Fast Weak
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol(L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) Average Average
Internet Key Exchange v2 (IKEv2) Fast Average
OpenVPN Fast Strong

We recommend using OpenVPN for Windows PCs

OpenVPN is by far the fastest and most secure VPN protocol for PC users. However, please be aware that OpenVPN can be implemented in various ways, and many of those implementation methods are not actually secure – so it's important to configure your VPN properly.

We would strongly recommend implementing OpenVPN using your VPN's app and controlling it within the settings.  

If you require some help in getting set up, we cover the installation process in more detail in our how to install a VPN on Windows guide.

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Can I get a free VPN for Windows?

Yes, you can find some Free VPNs that can be trusted. 99% of the free providers on the market are, unfortunately, not reliable. They can be dodgy services that steal user data to sell for a profit – and some have even been known to contain spyware.

Running a VPN service is expensive, which means it is impossible to run a VPN completely for free. Our recommendations provide a taster service that is limited in certain ways; so that users can access a VPN in an emergency - or to try out the VPN risk-free. 

Free plans are primarily there to advertise the full premium offerings. As a result, they usually provide fewer server locations, monthly download limits, and connection speed restrictions. 

If you have never used one before, a free VPN for Windows is a fun way to get a sense of how a VPN works, and what it can do for you. However, don't be put off if the free VPN seems a little limited; this is by design. 

To test an unrestricted VPN for free, we recommend trialing a full premium Windows VPN from this article.

All of our hand-picked VPNs come with money-back guarantees that allow you to put all of their features to the test without limitations - and still get your money back. This will let you compare all our recommended VPNs before settling on your favorite! So, don’t be shy and try a few.

Top-tip: Get ExpressVPN for Free!

Did you know you can experience ExpressVPN's fully featured service without limitation… for free!

If you're finding free VPNs too restrictive, why not test ExpressVPN premium service? Simply purchase a subscription using the button below and take advantage of the no-nonsense money-back-guarantee. Enjoy the service for up to 30-days, and when you cancel, you will receive a complete refund!

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FAQs

Here we answer some frequently asked Windows VPN questions, sourced from places such as Reddit.

This post available in: German English Spanish French Dutch Portuguese Russian

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. 

5 Comments

Johanne
on June 4, 2018
Reply
I am looking for a VPN client to use with our own VPN servers, not a VPN service. Can you please show how these can be used as VPN clients?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Johanne
on June 5, 2018
Reply
Hi Johanne, We currently have guides for doing tis using CentOS 6 and using PrivatePackets.io, which automates the process. Look out for more in the future!
Jon
on January 20, 2018
Reply
What about Ivacy, did you test them? I would be most interested in your opinion of Ivacy. Regards, Jon
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Jon
on January 22, 2018
Reply
Hi Jon, Ivacy is basically just a white-label re-seller of PureVPN (same software, and uses the same server network). Our Ivacy Review could probably do with an update.
Mozef Kaddas
on August 25, 2017
Reply
Thank you Ray for such an awesome the article, I'm not big fan of Windows since my first MacBook 2008, I shifted to MacOS and I couldn't be any Happier. Regards those VPN, I just wanted to share my humble experience of using their services. All of them are amazing and I think they have their pros and cons. Put from my experience I found that not all of them provide a great speed, with keeping in mind connection could be a bit slow due to the encrypted connection and the location of the servers. I usually my two must favorite locations are U.K. & Netherlands. My connection is 100mbps (12.5 MB/s), and when connecting to those locations I found my connection drops to 15mbps, which led me to try all of them, and I found speed is not satisfactory for me, till I signed up with Hide.me which became my favorite and the only VPN I'm using at the moment. The speed with connection to U.K. Server is 91mbps connection to NL is 95mbps, which is really still good. I still don't understand what can be effecting the connection maybe the load of people connecting to certain server. Yet with providers promising us we are connection to faster server, or maybe connection from Middle East is effecting too. Any how thank you for the awesome article.
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