As someone who has had a lifelong relationship with Windows, I can wholeheartedly say – I know what love is. And indeed, there is very little between true love and intense hatred. Me and Windows – we fight over the little things, so we don’t have to fight over big ones. Did you have to leave that registry item there after uninstalling the program, Windows? Must we do the updates right now, in the middle of this film?…
Anyway, one thing I’ve no doubt about is this – Windows doesn’t need any more problems than it already has. So, if you’ve made the choice to get a VPN for PC, do it wisely and also don’t use the Windows built-in VPN. A bad VPN service can wreak havoc on your system and your world. No one wants that! Which is why we’ve made a “best VPN for Windows” list.
What is the best VPN for Windows?
In our mental map, the North is a place where high-quality products are made. That image is reinforced by NordVPN – one of the best Virtual Private Network services in the world, and the best when it comes purely to Windows.
NordVPN has many selling points, but the most important one is privacy and security. Like most top VPN services nowadays, Nord encrypts data using an AES-256 cipher. This is currently an impenetrable level of encryption, which is why anyone trying to get to your data would try a workaround. Sadly for them, there are no known weaknesses to NordVPN’s security game – it has no DNS/WebRTC/IPv6 leaks, it has 2 (!) types of kill switch, and it offers features that go far beyond what the market offers.
All this makes it an amazing VPN for Windows 10, but there’s more:
- 4,500+ servers across 62 countries give NordVPN some of the best connection speeds on the market.
- It works flawlessly in restricted countries – China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, etc. NordVPN’s obfuscated servers make it a difficult VPN to block
- Gives access to geo-blocked content, including streaming platforms, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more
- No issues torrenting, NordVPN offers specialty servers for P2P and other things
- Awesome bonus security features – multihop (double VPN), VPN over Onion.
- Extensive support resources. From FAQs to a 24/7 live chat.
NordVPN is not the most expensive product for your computer: you can get it for $11.95 a month, $5.75 a month billed annually, or $3.29 a month billed every two years. Included in that is the ability to have 6 simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Cons: not very good on iOS (it’s a better VPN for PC and Android), doesn’t have custom apps on a lot of devices (no router or Linux apps, for example, although both are supported).
Read our full NordVPN Review
Close, but no cigar. ExpressVPN is also an all-around wonderful VPN for PC, which in the grand scheme of things might even be better than NordVPN. Taken as just a VPN for Windows 10, ExpressVPN is second-best in our eyes.
ExpressVPN also encrypts data using the AES-256 cipher and has no leaking issues to speak of. It’s got a kill switch and other nice features, but those in need of maximum security will prefer NordVPN.
The company’s jurisdiction is important to mention – ExpressVPN registered in the British Virgin Islands, a British overseas territory with no data retention laws and not part of either the 5 eyes or 14 eyes country groups. Being based in the BVI, ExpressVPN can confidently state that they have a no logging policy. This means they don’t collect any of your personal data – a fact that has been proven when Turkish authorities seized one of their servers.
If you’re interested in buying ExpressVPN, here are some other things you should know:
- 2,000+ servers in 94 countries translate to some of the best speeds on the market.
- All important security protocols available.
- ExpressVPN has obfuscated servers, making it ideal for users in China, Russia, and other countries where VPN usage is blocked or limited.
- Will let you watch Netflix and other geo-blocked content.
- Great security and speed make it amazing for torrenting.
- Terrific support is available 24/7.
- Awesome VPN software for Windows 10, but also has custom apps for many other device types, including Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers.
- Split tunneling will let you choose which traffic to protect.
ExpressVPN has one big handicap – it’s very expensive. Get it for $12.95 a month, $9.99 a month billed every 6 months, or $6.67 a month billed annually. The subscription includes the ability to use it on (only) 3 devices simultaneously, but at least there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN Review
There’s widespread agreement that CyberGhost is not as good as NordVPN or ExpressVPN and also that it’s better than every other VPN software for Windows 10 on the market. We reckon that’s a fair assessment.
CyberGhost gives the same level of encryption as the others on this list. Realistically speaking, AES-256 is enough to ease anyone’s mind. The issues are elsewhere – CyberGhost reportedly has some leaking issues, both with DNS and WebRTC. It’s not clear whether this is still an issue, but it was until recently. We would advise any future CyberGhost customers to ask the company for an update on the situation.
The company behind this VPN service is located in Romania, which is a pretty good location. Romania has been a staunch critic of data retention laws and is not part of the 5/14 eyes country groups. We are inclined to trust in CyberGhost’s zero logs policy – this is a company whose head is in the right place!
Here’s what else this VPN offers:
- CyberGhost has 1,800+ servers in 60+ countries around the world. The connection speeds are very good, but probably not in the top 5.
- OpenVPN is available, as are a few other security protocols.
- Not the best for users in China and other restricted countries. Users might have to resort to security protocols that offer less protection.
- Bypasses most geo-blocking measures, including those of Netflix. This makes it a particularly powerful VPN for PC users.
- Awesome for torrenting.
- Support is available 24/7 via live chat, but the other resources are not as good
- Usage profiles simplify the process for newbies
CyberGhost offers a lot and doesn’t ask for that much in return: get it for $11.99 a month, $4.99 a month billed annually, $3.79 a month billed every two years, or $2.75 a month billed every three years. One subscription gets you 7 simultaneous connections.
Cons: not the most reliable VPN to deal with serious blocking efforts, doesn’t have custom apps for any devices not in the main 4, some leaking concerns, kill switch can’t be turned off.
Read our full CyberGhost Review
PrivateVPN doesn’t have the fancy server numbers or the huge resources of other VPNs on this list. What is does have is optimization, allowing it to provide a service comparable to some of the best on the market today.
Just like the rest, PrivateVPN will hide your data under an AES-256 shroud. It won’t help to try for leaks, because the program reportedly doesn’t have that problem. Interrupting the connection will also prove useless due to PrivateVPN’s high-quality kill switch. With all that said, PrivateVPN isn’t entirely without fault. Their home base is Sweden – the country that once jailed Peter Sunde of The Pirate Bay. Despite that fact, PrivateVPN claim to keep none of their users’ logs whatsoever and, again, we must conclude that they seem like a trustworthy company.
- PrivateVPN has around 100 servers in 56 countries. That may not seem like much, but the resourceful always find a way – the speeds are excellent!
- Good solution for geo-blocking. PrivateVPN will give you popcorn time with Netflix!
- Their VPN software for Windows offers a decent choice of security protocols, beginning with OpenVPN.
- Will let you torrent all you like.
PrivateVPN is as cheap as befits such a lightweight tool. It’s available for $7.12 a month, $4.50 a month billed every 3 months, or $2.73 a month billed every 19 months. The cost includes the ability to use it simultaneously on 6 devices and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Cons: doesn’t own a DNS network, so you’ll have to set DNS up manually; not that great in China and other restricted locations; doesn’t have 24/7 live chat support.
Read our full PrivateVPN Review
Lastly, we have VyprVPN – a tool for a pro, if the pro doesn’t care for torrenting!
VyprVPN is an excellent VPN for Windows. It has security credentials that rival the best of the best – AES-256 encryption, no leaking issues, a great location (Switzerland), and very strong features (e.g. one of the best kill switches on the market). The only issue is privacy and anonymity. The company behind VyprVPN, Golden Frog, make it perfectly clear that their tool collects some personal data. Additionally, the signup method and payment methods are not exactly anonymous either.
This is troubling, but we appreciate the candor if nothing else!
Here’s what else you can expect from VyprVPN:
- 700+ servers in 70+ locations spread out across 6 continents. VyprVPN own all their servers and have optimized them very well. The speeds contend for the top spot.
- Every important security protocol, including one of their own – Chameleon.
- Chameleon makes VyprVPN one of the best for use in restricted countries – practically impossible to block!
- Great support resources and 24/7 live chat.
- Custom apps for a wide range of devices in addition to the usual Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
VyprVPN is a bit on the expensive side: $9.95 a month or $5.00 a month billed annually for the “basic” package, and $12.95 a month or $6.67 a month billed annually for the “premium” package.
Cons: Golden Frog may cancel your subscription if you get caught torrenting; not the best for geo-unblocking; somewhat expensive.
Read our full VyprVPN Review
Windows is the most important part of the VPN market – and it’s a big market, growing with each passing day. Even porn sites want a piece of the VPN space! That’s both good and bad, because it means an ocean of rubbish software. Fortunately, quantity breeds quality and we have some decent VPN for PC services to choose from. We feel the above choices are the best of the best, but perhaps you have something else in mind. If so, have a look at our VPN reviews!
How we made this list
We have tried using dozens of VPNs, running tests on them, reading responses of other VPN for PC users. This is the list we came up with. Some things to consider:
We want VPN services to do everything they can – versatility is key! Although most of us can never hope to use all of a VPN’s functions, the more you can use it for – the better your money was spent.
Nothing is more important than security and trust.
The selection is not final and will be constantly updated.