The Best VPNs for Windows and PC in 2019

As Windows is the most used operating system in the world, there are plenty of Windows VPN services out there. Unfortunately, hundreds of those services offer little to no encryption and some even steal your data and sell it to the highest bidder. Our experts have scoured the VPN market to find the best VPNs for Windows, so you can be sure to find a service for your needs.

What are the best VPNs for Windows?

Take a look at the list below to find out our the best VPN for Windows (chosen by our experts) and the four close runners up. Scroll down to our detailed summaries or click through to the provider websites to find out more information about these services.

  1. NordVPN - has everything you need for security and unblocking at a remarkable price
  2. CyberGhost - easy to use and great for beginners who want freedom and privacy
  3. ExpressVPN - mind blowing reliability, privacy, security, and outstanding live chat support
  4. PrivateVPN - A favorite with consumers; this VPN gets glowing reviews
  5. VPNArea - an exceptional all-rounder with an excellent Windows VPN app
  1. NordVPN - has everything you need for security and unblocking at a remarkable price
  2. IPVanish - a great service with fast connections and an excellent Windows client
  3. ExpressVPN - mind blowing reliability, privacy, security, and outstanding live chat support
  4. PrivateVPN - A favorite with consumers; this VPN gets glowing reviews
  5. VPNArea - an exceptional all-rounder with an excellent Windows VPN app
 

5 Best VPN for Windows PC - In-depth summaries

The following in-depth comparison should provide all the information needed about why we recommend these Windows VPNs, and for you to make an informed decision about which one is right for you. The results below are taken from tests conducted in lab conditions using a dedicated gigabit line. You shouldn't expect similar speeds but it provides a strong indication of which VPNs are performing well. 

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is a great VPN to use on Windows, offering plenty of features at a low price

  • Pricing

    From $3.49 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

NordVPN is the best VPN for windows due it's easy to use software, fantastic security features, and consistent fast servers. This VPN includes a killswitch, DNS leak protection, Double-Hop encryption, VPN into Tor, and obfuscated servers are all available with this VPN. And this VPN provides watertight OpenVPN encryption with a zero logs policy. This makes NordVPN perfect for gaining privacy from your ISP and the government. It also means your data will always be safe from hackers on public WiFi. With NordVPN servers are located in over 60 countries, and all those servers are lightning-fast. As a result, you can use NordVPN to unblock everything from Netflix US to BBC iPlayer. It is also great for gaming and other data-intensive tasks. NordVPN lets you install and use the software on up-to six simultaneous devices and it has apps for all platforms - not just Windows. Amazingly, this VPN for Windows is also a bargain starting at just $2.99 per month! We recommend giving it a test run using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is great on Windows, combining ease of use with excellent security

  • Pricing

    From $2.75 / month
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

CyberGhost VPN provides outstanding services at a fantastic price. The VPN is based in Romania, 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 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 does have DNS leak protection and a killswitch. If you require obfuscation - look elsewhere. Finally, CyberGhost permits 10 simultaneous connections, and it has a blindingly generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a great all-round VPN - including for Windows

  • Pricing

    From $6.67 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
  • Features

    • 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 killswitch, 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. OpenVPN encryption is implemented to exceedingly high standards, and this VPN can protect your data both at home and while on public WiFi. Admittedly, ExpressVPN is quite expensive. However, it is also the fastest VPN in the world and it provides unblocking capabilities in a staggering 94 countries. 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.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN can help unblock services on Windows machines

  • Pricing

    From $1.89 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Android
    • Linux
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

PrivateVPN is a Swedish provider that is relatively new to the VPN market. However, it has been around for a few years now and it is proving to be extremely popular with subscribers - who give it glowing reviews. PrivateVPN implements strong OpenVPN encryption, and it has important features such as a killswitch and DNS leak protection. However, it is a bit thin on the ground when it comes to extra features. Nevertheless, if you want a fast VPN that unblocks Netflix US and many other streaming services - this VPN is an extremely good option. Servers are located in 54 countries, and PrivateVPN has a zero logs policy. Their Windows VPN software is secure and easy to use, and we can recommend it for beginners. We suggest testing it thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. VPNArea

VPNArea is a great security focused VPN that works great on Windows

  • Pricing

    From $2.99 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • iOS
    • MacOS
    • Linux
  • Features

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer

VPNArea is a Bulgarian provider has proven time and time again that it is a force to be reckoned with. It is an excellent all-rounder that is particularly suited to Windows users. However, it does have apps for Android and iOS if you need them and you can use it on 5 simultaneous devices with just one subscription. VPNArea has a zero logs policy, and it implements strong future-proof OpenVPN encryption. It also has important features such as obfuscation, a killswitch, auto connect, and DNS leak protection. Servers are located in 70 countries, and although this VPN is not as quick as the VPNs higher in this list   - it is fast enough for streaming. It also unblocks Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. We really like this VPN, and can recommend testing it with its 30-day money back guarantee. 

Best Windows VPNs: Speed Analysis

All our VPN recommendations will provide you fast enough speeds to perform most data intensive tasks online, such as streaming and gaming. However, if you what type of speeds these VPNs can offer, check out the graph below. 

My internet speeds are slow, will a VPN help?

We get asked this question a lot, and unfortunately the answer is no, unless you suspect your ISP is throttling your line for some reason. 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 heavily in their server infrastructure, so the impact on your speeds will be minimal.

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

Why do I need a VPN for Windows?

If you're wondering why do you need a VPN for your PC? And what exactly can a Windows VPN do for you? Without a VPN you are opening 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?

Why are these the best VPNs for Windows?

Firstly... 

We test the VPN 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. 

Next...

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. 

Finally...

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. 

Our VPN recommendations all have VPN apps 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, with Windows 10 compatibility. 

What features do they have?

If you are still wondering why these VPNs are better for Windows than others you can check out the section below. Our recommendations have been carefully picked by our experts because they have the technical characteristics and VPN features you require at an extremely good price.

Privacy

Our Windows VPN recommendations all have outstanding privacy policies that promise never to store logs about what you do online. This means that even if the VPN is served a warrant by the authorities it will not be able to provide any information about what you did online. This gives you 100% peace of mind

Security

Our recommended VPNs have all been tested thoroughly to ensure that they perform securely. We have checked them for IP leaks, DNS leaks, and WebRTC leaks that could ruin your privacy. 

We have also carefully analyzed their implementation of the OpenVPN encryption protocol, to make sure there are no glaring errors or weaknesses in the cryptography. The good news is that you can pick any of our recommended VPNs because they all function as they ought to. 

Connection speeds

Privacy and security is the primary function of any VPN - and it must be watertight. Despite this, most VPN users are actually more interested in what they will be able to do with their VPN - once their privacy is assured. 

For this reason, connection speeds are always a valuable comparison point. Our recommendations have all been selected because they provide lightning fast connections perfect for streaming in HD or doing other data-intensive tasks like streaming. 

You can check out our list of the fastest VPNs to see how our recommendations compare to other market-leading services.  

Extra Features

In the last few years, the VPN market has become more competitive, and the top VPNs are pushing the boat out more and more in terms of extra features. The VPNs that we have selected for Windows have everything you need to gain privacy and freedom online.  

Our recommendations all have important VPN features such as a killswitch, DNS leak protection, and OpenVPN encryption. However, some have added features such as obfuscation, port selection, a choice of protocols, auto-connect, double hope encryption, and even VPN into Tor! So be sure to check out each service carefully if you want specialist features like these.

How to set up a VPN for Windows 10

All the VPNs in this guide have custom VPN apps for Windows 10. That means all you need to do is download and install the software. Following that, you can log in to your VPN for Windows 10 and connect to a server of your choice. As soon as you connect, your data is secure, and you can unblock any content from that location. 

If you do require some assistance, however, 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?

Free VPN services are often cowboy services that are designed to steal your data as it passes through their servers. They collect your web browsing history and sell it to third parties in order to make a profit. For this reason, the vast majority of free VPNs for Windows are a huge risk to your online privacy.

Some free Windows VPN services exist that can be trusted. However, these free plans are only there to advertise the full premium services. As a result, they are highly restricted with few servers to connect to, download limits, and connection speed restrictions. 

While a free VPN for Windows can be a good way to get a sense of how a VPN works, the experience can be slightly off-putting because of those restrictions. For this reason, we strongly recommend trialing a full premium Windows VPN instead. 

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 >>

Compare VPN protocols for Windows

After getting a Windows VPN and downloading the software you will get a number of options inside the software. These VPN encryption protocol options can be extremely confusing. To help you out, here is a list of the protocols and how they stack up:

VPN ProtocolSpeedSecurity
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)FastWeak
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol(L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)AverageAverage
Internet Key Exchange v2 (IKEv2)FastAverage
OpenVPNFastStrong

The best encryption protocol for Windows PCs is OpenVPN as it is fast and secure. However, please be aware that OpenVPN can be implemented in tens of different ways, and, many of those implementation methods are not secure.

All of our recommended VPNs have OpenVPN and that encryption is implemented to high standards - no matter which provider you opt for. That is why these are the top 5 services out of a total of 800 commercial VPNs.


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. Ray is currently rated #4 VPN and #3 internet privacy authority by Agilience.com.

5 Comments

  1. 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?

    1. 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!

  2. 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

    1. 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.

  3. 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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