There is currently a huge demand for the best Windows VPN, and the competition to be the best VPN for Windows is as stiff as ever. Windows is used on more than a billion devices worldwide and is stable, versatile, and well-known – perfect for developing powerful VPNs that deliver the goods. From streaming and torrenting to protecting your daily browsing habits and personal information, Windows 10 VPNs are more popular than ever and have become mainstream software. The biggest question is which one is right for you.
To help you make that decision, we’ve tested virtually every VPN we could find to narrow the selection down to the five very best.
Best Windows VPN
So, if you’re in the market for the best VPN for Windows, read on to find out which providers work best with the operating system and offer the best value for money. We’ve rated ExpressVPN as the best Windows VPN, but other options might suit you better. So, without further ado, let’s stop there.
The best VPN for Windows
ExpressVPN is at the top of this list of Windows 10 VPNs because it is almost the complete package. Not only is the software nice to look at and easy to use, but it also includes serious configuration options and some handy extra features. At its core, ExpressVPN uses proven AES-256 encryption on its servers to ensure that your data is as secure as possible. On your side, you can choose between several protocols to customize the VPN’s performance for speed or ultimate security.
All this is the client, all neatly packaged into a clean, straightforward UI that is super intuitive to use – and this Windows version is the basis of all the others. Out of nowhere, you will have a complete list of servers plus a quick-connect option, as well as a history of your recently used locations. Something many VPNs miss is the ability to switch servers without disconnecting – but Express can do that.
If you look through the list of servers, you’ll see locations in over 94 countries, which means if you want to explore the Netflix libraries of the world, you’re in luck. In that respect, Express also has access to virtually any streaming service – from NBC’s Peacock to Crunchyroll to Hulu -, and its incredible connection speeds allow you to watch in HD (although iPlayer is currently unavailable).
However, it’s at the top of this list because the Windows client is full of extra features that are not often seen together. These include a kill switch, a handy split tunneling function (which routes some apps via the VPN and others not), and the silly Smart Connect button, which sets you up on the best server in a single click.
Excellent security-focused Windows 10 VPN
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for security, with many security features such as Double VPN and Onion over VPN. Combine that with strong DNS leak protection, two kill switches, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols, and excellent connection speeds, and you have indeed a very impressive Windows 10 VPN. The Windows client is P2P friendly and offers a nice simple interface, making it an excellent torrenting choice. Moreover, the connection speeds are above average, so whatever you do, you will not be held up by Nord.
That all sounds pretty technical, but we know most people want to be able to plug and play – and Nord can too. You can easily open the Windows client and be secured with one click. It’s also super easy to switch servers and activate all the extras you want. The interface can be done with a bit of work, but it’s much better on Windows compared to mobile devices.
NordVPN is one of the most famous and popular Windows 10 VPNs – excellent privacy, tons of servers worldwide, and clients who get the job done. If you care about the security of your data, NordVPN is the best Windows VPN for you. Here is our NordVPN Review.
Excellent value with outstanding Windows performance
If you want to spend as little as possible on your Windows 10 VPN but still want the first-class service, look no further than Surfshark. For less than $2.50 per month, you can get most of the features available in VPNs that cost twice as much. The first thing you will notice is the simple, cheerful Windows client. Admittedly, there is not as much configuration available here as with ExpressVPN, but Surfshark is by no means undersized and still has some excellent features.
You get a kill switch to protect you if your connection fails, a good selection of protocols, double VPN hop, and a handy quick-connect button. However, in our tests, we noticed that the kill switch was not perfect. If activated, you essentially need to have the VPN on; otherwise, your connection will be disconnected. This should only be the case if the VPN fails. If you have the kill switch inactive, the app will not let you know that your connection has been disconnected.
However, just like ExpressVPN above, Surfshark is also great for streaming, unblocking virtually any available streaming service. That, along with impressive connection speeds, makes it the best Windows VPN. Surfshark also offers a 24/7 live chat support service if something goes wrong, and in reality, the slight limitations only make the process of using this Windows 10 VPN easier. Everything you need for $2.21 a month? That really can’t go wrong. Read more in our Surfshark VPN review.
The fastest Windows 10 VPN on the market
If you want speed on a budget, Hotspot Shield is a great Windows 10 VPN. Using its proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol, it can reach speeds over double what virtually any other VPN can deliver. If you want to make the most of that speed, Hotspot Shield can give you access to just about any streaming service, anywhere – that includes Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and even more.
If you’re tied up for cash, Shield Hotspot offers one of the best free VPN services on the market – learn more here – but although its 500MB-a-day allowance in free terms is generous, it’s nowhere near enough to put the Katapult Hydro protocol to work. Paying customers will be able to cover all their devices with Hotspot’s five simultaneous connections and the full suite of apps, and you’ll also be able to use the SmartVPN option – which works the same way as to split tunneling.
There are a few drawbacks. The Windows client doesn’t offer many configuration options – you usually turn it on and select your server, which will be great for many, but advanced users may feel limited. Also, Hotspot Shield logs a bit more than its competitors, with data recorded including bandwidth used, your ISP, plus devices and servers used. However, we are comfortable to say that this cannot be linked back to the user in terms of online activity.
Hotspot Shield is probably not the best choice for those looking for the best Windows VPN with a tremendous configuration and in-depth features. However, if you’re looking for a reliable, super-fast option that will get the job done, then this Windows 10 VPN may be the answer. Read more about it in our Hotspot Shield VPN review.
The best Windows VPN for getting in-depth
U.S.-based IPVanish is an excellent Windows VPN and has a great reputation to match its impressive performance. With 1,500 servers, you’re sure to find a fast connection wherever you want it, and no matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to torch thanks to IPVanish’s full P2P support.
IPVanish’s Windows client stands out from the crowd – compared to most other providers’ minimalist offerings, IPVanish’s app is packed with data and additional features. You get a scrolling graph that shows your connection speed, plus a display of your IP address, data up and down, and the time connected.
In addition to all this, you also have a kill switch in the Windows client (although missing in the iOS app), split tunneling, and a handy ‘Scramble’ feature, which hides the fact that you are using a VPN – convenient if you also want a VPN for China. However, the interface is also a slight downfall of IPVanish’s – for those new to VPNs, it can seem quite intimidating. Although it’s plug-and-play, confronting all that information is very confusing for newcomers, and the amount of configuration can seem like you’ve been dropped into the deep end.
However, if you’re comfortable with that, IPVanish is one of the most powerful options on the market today and seems to be the best Windows VPN for those who want complete control. Check our IPVanish VPN Review.