Many people use their PCs on a daily basis to browse the internet, stream movies, or perform a million other tasks. However, going online unprotected can be very dangerous. It’s better to use a VPN to ensure your online privacy, security, and freedom. Here are the three best VPNs to use on Windows:
- ExpressVPN: the best VPN with the highest speed
- NordVPN: the best VPN for safely unblocking content
- CyberGhost the most user-friendly VPN
For users who’ve never tried a VPN before, we recommend CyberGhost. This VPN is very easy to install and incredibly user-friendly.
Windows 10 is the most popular operating system in the world and runs on nearly 1.3 billion devices. It’s also one of the most secure releases of Windows by Microsoft. This trend is likely to continue with Windows 11.
However, that doesn’t mean that Windows 11 won’t collect personal data and information relating to its users. In a previous article, we covered at least 6 Windows 10 features that were concerning from a privacy perspective, including Cortana’s ability to track your keystrokes! These features are also likely to be present in Windows 11, which is now available.
Consumers across the world are becoming more aware of the risks to their privacy by operating systems like Windows and other third-party apps. This is pushing them to look for ways to protect their privacy.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) is one of the easiest and most effective options to secure your digital privacy across devices and operating systems.
Windows users are spoilt for choice when it comes to VPNs, as there are numerous Windows VPNs out there. But the sheer number of options can be confusing and intimidating, especially for new users. To resolve this confusion and make the process of choosing a VPN for Windows easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best Windows VPNs.
The 5 Best VPNs for Windows PCs: Our Recommendations
Before we dive into the list of best VPNs for Windows, it’s important to understand the factors that influenced our rankings. Briefly, we considered speed, security, privacy, ease of use, price/quality, and server network as parameters in judging these VPNs. As we explain later in the article, these are the most important factors in picking a VPN. Now, here’s our list.
1. ExpressVPN: fast and secure connections on Windows 11
- High-speed servers in 76 different locations
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
- Open VPN, IKEv2, and L2TP protocols are supported
- The cheapest plan starts at $6.67, for 15 months
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Windows based on our tests. It scored well on the parameters we’ve listed above, though it is a tad bit expensive. For our readers’ convenience, we’ve broken down our assessment of all the VPNs into the different parameters we used.
|Ease of use|
If you’re interested in trying out ExpressVPN, take a look at their website by clicking on the button below:
- Very easy to use VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
2. NordVPN: a secure Windows VPN with many unblocking options
- Military-grade encryption of internet traffic
- Supports the fast and secure WireGuard protocol through NordLynx
- Strict no-logs policy
- Website and apps are easy to use
- Responsive customer service
- Starts at $3.30/month for a two-year subscription
Coming in at number two on our list of best VPNs for Windows is NordVPN. While it’s not as fast as ExpressVPN, it’s extremely secure and very user-friendly. NordVPN was established in 2008 and has gradually emerged as one of the best VPNs for users concerned about their privacy. A more thorough breakdown is provided below.
|Ease of use|
You can use the link below to head on over to the NordVPN website and get yourself a subscription!
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
3. CyberGhost: simple yet effective VPN for Windows
- 7400 + servers; significant presence in the USA
- Great upload speeds on the speed test
- Clean and simple user interface
- 14 and 45-day money-back guarantees
Are you looking for a VPN for Windows that’s easy to work with? Then we recommend CyberGhost, which has slowly become one of the most user-friendly and affordable VPNs for Windows. CyberGhost is owned by Kape Technologies, which is an avid supporter of human rights and online privacy. So let’s look at how CyberGhost fares on our parameters for the best Windows VPN.
|Ease of use|
Get more information on CyberGhost’s feature by visiting its site using the link below:
- Very user-friendly
- High quality for a low price
- Torrents and Netflix possible
4. Surfshark: A premium Windows VPN at an affordable price
- 3200 servers
- Blazing fast speeds on servers located close-by and far away
- Supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols
- Utilizes RAM-based servers; no permanent storage of user data
- A 2-year subscription starts at a very reasonable $2.49
Surfshark was established only in 2018 but has quickly acquired a reputation as one of the best VPNs for Windows. In fact, it got the AV-test’s seal of approval in 2019, which is quite impressive for a new VPN. So let’s see how it fairs on the individual parameters:
|Ease of use|
Use the link below to check out the latest offers on Surfshark:
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
5. Private Internet Access: a hassle-free Windows VPN
- 33,000 servers; strong presence in Europe and the Middle East
- Supports all major encryption protocols
- Offers an affordable monthly plan that starts at $9.95
- Clean interface that’s easy to use
- 30-day money-back guarantee
As the name suggests, Private Internet Access is a VPN for Windows that is specifically geared towards privacy. It’s owned by Kape Technologies, which also owns CyberGhost and has a strong focus on user security and privacy. But how does PIA fare on other factors like speed and usability? Let’s find out
|Ease of use|
Visit pia’s website and check out the latest offers using the link provided below:
- Strong focus on privacy and security
- Good price
- Fast and stable servers
What to Look For When Choosing a VPN for Your Windows PC
If you’re looking for the best VPN for your Windows device, it’s important to identify exactly what you want to use the service for. What do you want out of your VPN? Here are the factors that we used in our assessment of the best Windows VPNs listed above.
- Security: if you want guaranteed security and privacy, choose a VPN with strong encryption and the latest protocols. Some security features you should look out for include kill switch functionality and split tunneling.
- Speed: do you stream a lot? Then it’s best to pick a VPN that offers fast speeds and minimal lag. Be sure to check if the VPN you’re choosing unblocks Netflix and any other streaming services you use.
- Ease of use: if you are new to the world of VPNs, it might be best to start with a simple but well-functioning VPN to get used to it. You should also find out about how responsive the VPN’s customer support service is in case you ever need any assistance.
- Price: a cheap VPN sounds great, but always make sure the service still offers decent quality, so you don’t compromise your online safety for the sake of a couple of dollars. The number of simultaneous connections a VPN offers is also an important factor to consider while selecting the best Windows VPN.
- Server network: a VPN’s server network determines which parts of the internet you can access. If you want to watch German television abroad, for example, the VPN you choose needs to have German servers.
Any VPN you might choose will have its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to these different aspects. We’ve given our own evaluation of many VPN providers in separate detailed reviews already.
Note: Most VPNs these days offer 30-day money-back guarantees, so always make sure to use the offer to try out a VPN before getting a subscription.
Free VPNs vs. Paid VPNs
In your search for the best VPNs for Windows, you’ll probably come across several free VPNs. While free VPNs can seem like a very good choice, they are far from perfect for the following reasons:
- Many free VPNs for Windows don’t provide safety and anonymity at all. They have questionable logging policies, can sell your personal information, or install malware, such as a computer virus, on your device. Their security features are also either suspect or absent entirely.
- Free VPNs for PC usually have a data or speed limit. A data limit means you’ll only be able to use the VPN for a set number of MBs, so only part of your internet traffic will be protected. Speed limits can dramatically lower your connection speed. This is a huge issue if you regularly stream content on Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer.
- The server network of free VPN for Windows is usually pretty limited, which means that users will have only be able to choose from VPN servers in a couple of countries.
If you don’t mind working with these limits, we recommend any of the services in our top list of best free VPNs. If you use one of these, you can be sure they won’t compromise your online security. We’ve given our recommendation for the best free VPN for Windows below.
The Best Free VPN for Windows
Not everyone can shell out a couple of dollars each month to secure their online activity and privacy. To cater to such users, our team tried out several free VPNs for Windows to determine which one is the best.
We used the same parameters that informed our rankings of the best premium VPNs for Windows. And so, the best free VPN for Windows is:
PrivadoVPN is our top choice when it comes to free Windows VPNs. For a free VPN, PrivadoVPN offers great speeds and can unblock Netflix, which is a considerable achievement for a VPN that doesn’t cost a penny.
Of course, there is a 10GB cap on data that can be used in a month. As a result, Privado may not be the best option for people who game and stream quite heavily. But if you’re just looking to add a layer of security to your daily browsing and downloading, then there are few better options than PrivadoVPN.
Why Choose a VPN for Windows 11?
There are several reasons why Windows users might choose to get a VPN. If you want to know about all the advantages in more detail, you can read our full article about the benefits of a VPN connection.
We’ll briefly explain the three biggest benefits here.
- Increased online security: VPNs encrypt your online data so it can’t be read and abused by others. There are many parties who’d like to see what you do online: from websites, companies, and governments to malicious hackers. Without protection, the risk of strangers gaining access to your personal information is very big, especially when your Windows device often uses public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN protects you and keeps your information safe.
- Increased online privacy: a VPN anonymizes your IP address and ensures your internet traffic can’t be traced back to you. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy a higher level of online privacy. You can, for example, safely and anonymously download torrents, although we strongly recommend you adhere to your local laws when downloading to avoid download fines.
- Access to more streams and websites: not all parts of the internet are accessible worldwide. Some countries engage in internet censorship by blocking certain social media and news websites. Some services, such as Hulu, are only available in specific areas. A VPN removes these restrictions and unblocks Netflix and other similar services. A VPN can also help you access YouTube from China and other countries where it’s blocked.
Setting Up a VPN on Windows 11
Setting up a VPN on Windows is quite easy. There are two different ways to do this: via your VPN software or via your Windows settings. If you’d like all your devices to be protected in one go, it’s also possible to set up a VPN on your router.
Setting up the VPN via the installer
Many VPNs provide software that you can easily download from their website. Once you’ve installed this software, all you have to do is log in with your account and activate the VPN. You can install a VPN on Windows following these steps:
Do you need a little more help when setting up your VPN connection? Check out our detailed review page and click on your chosen provider. The review will help you through the installation process step-by-step.
Setup within Windows 11
Some VPNs don’t offer accompanying software. If your boss has set up a VPN network in the office so employees are able to work from home, for instance, you’ll likely have to set up this connection manually using the Window’s built-in VPN settings.
If your VPN does offer software but you prefer not to download this onto your computer, you can also choose to use this method. To make this work, you’ll have to adjust your network settings:
- Make sure you have the correct login details. This can be done by purchasing a VPN and creating an account. If you wish to use a corporate network, for example for working from home, you’ll have to ask the owner of the network (e.g. your boss) for the login details.
- Open the built-in VPN settings in Windows. Go to “Settings”, then to “Network and Internet” and finally to “VPN”.
- Add a VPN connection by filling in the data from step 1.
- Activate the VPN by clicking and connecting to it. The screenshot below indicates what this might look like.
For more detailed information about setting up a VPN on Windows, please read our complete step-by-step plan right here.
Conclusion: The Best VPN for Windows 11
Using a VPN on your Windows computer will enhance your online experience. If you’d like a fast VPN with plenty of options, ExpressVPN might just be the right choice for you. If you prefer a VPN that is focused on online security and unblocking, then we’d recommend NordVPN or Private Internet Access. Finally, CyberGhost is the perfect option if you prefer a low-cost VPN that’s also very easy to use.
If these VPNs don’t quite fit your needs, you can check out our complete list of best VPNs on this page.
Do you have a question about the best VPNs for Windows? Click on one of the frequently asked questions below to read the corresponding answer.
ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN for Windows because it offers fast connections and has numerous options that’ll satisfy any VPN user.
CyberGhost is a great pocket-friendly alternative to ExpressVPN for Windows users.
For more information on how we determined the best Windows VPNs, check out this article!
A good VPN allows you to browse the internet safely and anonymously without negatively affecting your speed too much. Some factors you should look out for while picking a VPN for Windows are:
- Ease of Use
- Server Network
For more info on why these factors are important, check out our article on the best VPNs for Windows.
A VPN protects your internet connection and allows you to surf the web more securely, anonymously, and freely. A VPN might allow you to easily access your work network from your Windows computer at home, for example.
Windows does offer an in-built service that you can use to connect to a VPN server. Of course, you will need to know your login and serer details to use this functionality.
We’ve put together this guide to help you through the process of installing a VPN on Windows 10.