The Best VPN for Windows in 2020 | Fast, Safe & Secure VPN Software for PC

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

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 5 best VPNs for Windows.

What is the best VPN software for Windows?

If you're looking for a quick answer, we have summarised the best VPNs for Windows in the list below. However, if you want more information on any of the services, please keep scrolling.

  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 - The cheapest VPN for Windows on our list. From just $1.94 a month, you get loads of server choice for unblocking & great speeds.
  5. VyprVPN - A well rounded VPN option for Windows. Their software offers decent speeds through proprietary servers and decent levels of privacy.

What we look at when testing VPNs for Windows...

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

The Best VPNs for Windows 10, 8 & 7 | In-depth analysis

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
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

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


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 streaming services 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.

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  $2.75 - $12.99
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

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 60 countries, and they 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 - look elsewhere. Finally, CyberGhost permits 10 simultaneous connections, and it has a blindingly generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

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  $2.69 - $11.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

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 a decent number of server locations, 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, 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 the cheapest VPN for Windows on our list. 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  $1.94 - $11.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

Surfshark VPN is only a year or so old, 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
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland, which means it falls 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. 


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.

Which is the fastest VPN for Windows?

All 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, look at the table below.

These results are taken from tests conducted in lab conditions using a dedicated gigabit line. You shouldn't expect similar speeds (because you haven't got a gigabit line). However, these results show you exactly which VPNs are fastest right now.

Place Provider Average Speed Max Speed Visit Site
1. 65.95 Mbit/s 128.45 Mbit/s Visit Site
2. 61.5 Mbit/s 114.72 Mbit/s Visit Site
3. 57.92 Mbit/s 177.45 Mbit/s Visit Site
4. 56.46 Mbit/s 178.16 Mbit/s Visit Site
5. 22.41 Mbit/s 27.48 Mbit/s Visit Site

My internet speeds are slow. Will a VPN help?

No, this is a common misunderstanding. Unless your ISP is throttling your connections, a VPN cannot speed increase your internet speeds. A VPN will actually slightly decrease your current internet speeds because your traffic must travel further (via the VPN server). However, the VPNs we recommend on this page all 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?

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

How we test a Windows VPNs performance

All the VPNs we recommend using on a PC offer a money-back guarantee. You should take advantage of this time when you first sign up to a service to test your VPN and put it through its paces to make sure it fits your needs.

When we test a VPN service, we apply a number of different stress tests to it in order to determine 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 more premium VPN will offer 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 hope encryption, and even VPN into Tor.

How does the VPN perform?

We check the VPNs performance to ensure that it is not leaking data or doing anything else that might put your data at risk. If the VPN is secure, we also check its connection speeds to ensure that it is fast enough to do data-intensive tasks such as 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 an unblemished track record 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 in 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. 

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:

  • Pick which VPN you want to subscribe to from the list above
  • Subscribe to the service by clicking the link provided
  • Download and install the VPN software by following the installation wizard
  • 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 tens of different ways, and many of those implementation methods are not secure.

We would strongly recommend implementing OpenVPN using your VPNs 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.

Can I get a free VPN for Windows?

Yes, there are some Free VPN services that can be trusted. However, 99% of the free providers on the market are dodgy services that steal user data and sell it for a profit - some have even been found that 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 accounts. 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.

Our recommended Windows VPNs all have money-back guarantees, which means you can test all of their features 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!

Visit ExpressVPN >>

 

FAQs

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

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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