Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

June 11, 2018

Windows remains by far the most popular desktop operating system on the planet. With so many users, it’s of little surprise that Windows has a large target painted on its back when it comes to malicious activity. Hackers target Windows machines simply because the attack surface is so much greater than that of competing operating systems. A Windows VPN can protect your online activity by encrypting all your web traffic. This means that hackers, your ISP… even the government can’t see what you get up to online. 

Protecting your online security is just one of the many benefits that a Windows VPN offers. A VPN for Windows also lets you conceal your true location by providing you with an IP address in a different country.

We have reviewed more than 150 VPNs over the last five years. Below you will find our expertly selected 7 best VPNs for PC (keep scrolling for more information):

The Best Windows VPNs: Summary

The Best VPN for Windows?

9.8/10.0

Editor's choice

Editor's choice

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No usage logs
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P): yes
CONS:
  • A bit pricey – but worth it!

ExpressVPN is a top VPN for Windows. It has servers across the globe, in 94 countries. The VPN software for Windows provides OpenVPN encryption, which is implemented very strongly and is perfect for security. The company keeps no usage logs and has an excellent reputation for providing security for its subscribers. In addition, the connection logs are aggregated, which means they can never be tied to a single subscriber and are completely safe.

Customer care is fantastic: the VPN has 24/7 customer support that can help you with unblocking anything you are interested in. This VPN for Windows will also keep you secure on public WiFi. Furthermore, this VPN can be used on three simultaneous devices, so don’t think it will only run on Windows – you can put it on your phone and tablet as well.

Connection speeds are lightning fast and P2P is allowed for BitTorrent. This makes the VPN perfect for all data-intensive tasks and means that you will be able to stream in HD. We love this VPN for Windows, and because of its 30-day money-back guarantee anyone can test the service to see juts how great it is. If you want the best, look no further.

Get the best VPN for Windows now!

Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee!

9.4/10.0

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off today!
  • Excellent encryption
  • No logs
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Servers in 61+ countries
  • P2P: yes
CONS:
  • Not much

NordVPN is undoubtedly a very fully-featured service. The fact that it is based in Panama and keeps no logs at all is also a big draw for those who care about privacy. Its software looks good, and works well. Speed performance is now very impressive.

And a three-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee give you plenty of opportunity to ensure that everything works for you as it should.

NordVPN permits torrenting, works with all major streaming services (including US Netflix and BBC iPlayer), and has servers in 62 countries. It even throws in a full smart DNS service for free! What you get with NordVPN is a very fully featured, privacy-friendly VPN service that is also very fast.

8.6/10.0

CyberGhost Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off 1-year plan!
  • Works excellently on Windows
  • Servers in 56 countries
  • Fast connections for streaming
  • Secure encryption for privacy
  • Easy to use and reliable
CONS:
  • Some minimal connection logs

CyberGhost is an excellent VPN for Windows that is perfect for bypassing censorship and unblocking content from all over the world. It is highly secure thanks to a superb privacy policy, great security features, and strong military-grade encryption.

The VPN installs and works seamlessly in Windows, and is extremely easy to use. P2P torrenting is permitted. Customer support is fantastic, though live chat is in UK daylight hours only. Also good news: this VPN can be installed on up to five devices - and can be used on Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS - at the same time if you wish.

Finally, it has a 30-day money back guarantee so that you can test the service. Considering the price of this VPN, it really is hard to beat: well worth a test run!

8.4/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Best value for your money
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Great customer service
  • High streaming speeds
  • Strong encryption
CONS:
  • DNS must be configured manually

Sweden-based VPN provider, PrivateVPN, is an excellent choice for a Windows VPN, especially after winning BestVPN.com’s “Best Value VPN” of 2018. Not only do you get a full service VPN at an affordable price, but you get 54 server locations, excellent customer service, super fast streaming speeds, great encryption, and a user-friendly Windows client interface.

PrivateVPN is particularly ideal for getting into Netflix; supporting 16 different Netflix regions! PrivateVPN also offers six simultaneous connections, WiFi protection, and a 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

8.2/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • No bandwidth limits
  • Solid speeds
  • Free iOs and Android apps
  • Automatic internet kill switch
  • Transparent privacy policy
CONS:
  • Some connection logs for 30 days

VyprVPN is another great VPN for Windows. It runs on a proprietary network of servers that can provide lightning fast speeds. VyprVPN has apps for all platforms, and the software is very easy to use. The VPN is also fully featured with advanced settings such as a killswitch, DNS leak protection and VPN cloaking (Chameleon mode).

VyprVPN has servers in over 60 countries, perfect to unblock content from all over the globe. This VPN also has a strong privacy policy and provides robustly implements OpenVPN encryption. No usage logs are stored, and connection logs are kept for 30 days. VyprVPN does ask users to refrain from using the VPN for illegal torrenting.

Finally, this VPN provides a 3-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service.

7.8/10.0

PrivateInternetAccess Homepage
PROS:
  • No logs – proven in court!
  • Cheap
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Great OpenVPN encryption
  • Client features kill switch and DNS leak protection
CONS:
  • No free trial or money back guarantee
  • US-based company
  • Apple users not so impressed

PIA is based in the US, so is not a provider for the more NSA-phobic out there. However, it keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has proven in court ! It is not common to have such definite proof that the VPN does what it says it does when it comes to logs, so well done PIA!

And although optional, its security can be first rate. Its desktop software supports multiple security options, aVPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding.

Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted. Its Android client is almost as good, and PIA boasts excellent connection speeds. We should, however, note that Apple users seem to have a less positive view of this service. PIA has servers located in 29 countries.

7.4/10.0

VPNArea Homepage
PROS:
  • No logs at all
  • Up to six devices at once
  • Based in Bulgaria with Swiss servers
  • Servers in 47 countries worldwide
  • Full DNS leak protection
CONS:
  • Not much

VPNArea is based in Bulgaria, and is therefore firmly out of the National Security Agency (NSA) and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) areas of influence , which makes it a great option for any privacy-heads out there. This focus on privacy is reinforced with a great no logs policy,strong encryption, and the fact that it accepts payment in Bitcoins. Speeds are good, and there are plenty of server locations (over 60 countries).

Its desktop client offers DNS leak protection, disables IPv6, and provides a per-app kill switch and a firewall-based system kill swtich . The auto Internet Protocol (IP) feature changes your IP every five minutes, which is interesting.

Additional features: P2P permitted.

How we selected the best VPN software for Windows

At BestVPN.com we have industry leading VPN reviewers. Our experts spend their time testing all the world’s best VPNs gathering data for our annual BestVPN.com Awards process.

Factors considered included connection speeds, encryption strength, privacy policy, legal jurisdiction, price, free trial (or money-back guarantee), software, and customer support for Windows.

For more information about how we review VPNs visit our BestVPN.com’s review process overview.

Windows VPN: FAQs

As Windows is one of the most popular operating system available, we encounter many questions about finding the best VPN for Windows 10 & 7. To help, we have put together the guide below to answer some of the more common questions that we get asked. However, if you are new to VPNs, we recommend that you first take the time to understand the fundamentals. To get started, check out our Beginner’s Guide to VPNs – What you Need to Know.

What is a VPN for Windows?

A VPN is a technology that creates a secure and private connection over the internet. There are two residual benefits to this. First, all  of the internet traffic coming and going from your Windows laptop or PC is encrypted. This prevents anyone from tracking what you do online. Whether it’s a hacker, your ISP, the government or your employer, you are free from those prying eyes.

Second, a VPN allows you to conceal your IP address (location). This not only lets you torrent safely but by connecting to a VPN server in a different country you can access foreign (geo-restricted) website services and online video content that would usually be blocked. VPN technology also allows people to bypass restricted or censored content in their home country.

This technique is known as geo-spoofing, and we look at this topic in more detail in our Guide to Geo-Spoofing with a VPN.

Do I need a VPN for Windows?

All over the world, governments are passing legislation that lets them snoop on internet users. ISPs perform data retention on behalf of governments, and in the US they can even sell web browsing histories to third parties. In addition, a number of coalitions between countries – known as 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes – let countries spy on each other to get around local restrictions.

Governments are also censoring more and more websites – and it is not just China and Russia! Western nations are blocking content and services at an alarming rate, taking away people’s freedom of expression and freedom of choice. We believe everybody is entitled to digital privacy and a free internet, which is why we strongly support people in their quest to find a reliable VPN for Windows.

If you’re concerned about your privacy online, check out our most secure VPNs list.

What Can I Do with a VPN?

Most people use VPNs to access geo-restricted online services. If you are on vacation you can use a VPN to pretend to back home and use internet banking or watch TV streams that are blocked. Other people use a VPN to unblock content from other countries such as foreign TV stations like BBC iPlayer. A VPN is also handy for watching foreign sports competitions. Finally, a VPN is also great for unblocking blocked apps like Skype or censored websites in places with a restrictive government.

If you would like to block specific services with a VPN, you’re in the right place. We have specific guides set up that looks in detail at which VPNs work best with which services. Take a look at the more popular guides below for more information.

How to choose a VPN

When it comes to choosing the right VPN, it will largely depend on what you will use your VPN for (and what your budget is). The Windows VPNs in this article are all extremely reliable and highly subscribed services that have happy subscribers living all over the world. These are the best five VPNs, so they do have a lot of similarities.

However, the VPNs higher in the list are slightly faster, so if you want the very best VPN for gaming or a VPN for streaming videos in HD you may want to stick to with one higher in the list. Having said that, every VPN in this guide is fast enough to let you stream in HD. None of the services will let you down.

If you need a VPN for privacy, and you only intend to use it to read the news, do work, send emails, etc., then any of the VPNs in this article will be absolutely fine. However, if you would like more choice, we suggest taking a look at our Best VPN Providers list – as all of these services support Windows.

Setting up a VPN for Windows

All of our recommended VPNs have client software for Windows. Therefore, all you need to do is subscribe, download the software, install it and click ‘connect’. You can also check out our guide to set up your Windows VPN manually.

How to set up a VPN on Windows 7

If you still haven’t updated to the latest version of Windows the best bet is to look on your VPN provider’s guides page for a detailed setup guide. The process will be almost exactly the same as it is for Windows 10 so you can also click through to the guide above if you require this information.

Remember, always download software directly from the provider’s website.

If you’re looking for more information on setting up a VPN for Windows, check out our step-by-step guide to installing and setting up a VPN for Windows

Different types of VPN protocols

When you subscribe to a Windows VPN, you may be presented with a number of VPN encryption protocol options. Here is a rundown of all the protocols.

  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) – provides minimal security and privacy but is fast. Not recommended for privacy.
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) – L2TP/IPsec provides stronger security than PPTP, along with medium speeds.
  • Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) – this is the most widely used protocol for iOS VPN clients. It is secure but not as strong as OpenVPN, and is more often used on Mac.
  • OpenVPN – an open source and highly secure protocol. This protocol provides military-grade encryption when providers implement it correctly. All of the VPNs for Windows in this guide have got OpenVPN (implemented securely).

We believe the best all round protocol is OpenVPN. All of our recommended VPNs support this protocol.

For a more in-depth look at VPN encryption and protocols, check out our Ultimate VPN Encryption Guide.


Conclusion

Whether you want to unblock geo-restricted content from around the world, access censored services or simply protect yourself from prying eyes – a VPN for Windows is the perfect solution.

All of the VPNs in this guide are trusted and reliable services that are at the top of the VPN industry. They all have fantastic reputations, strong privacy policies, military-grade encryption, and large networks of fast servers located all over the world.

Title image credit: hafakot/Shutterstock.com

Ray Walsh
June 19th, 2018

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

5 responses to “7 Best VPNs for Windows in 2018

  1. 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?

  2. 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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