Do you want to protect your laptop from digital threats like malware, man-in-the-middle attacks, or government surveillance? Or maybe you need a privacy tool to shield your data while you work in public spaces? If so, you need a high-quality VPN for laptop devices.
But how can you choose a provider you can trust? Not all laptop VPNs score highly on privacy, value, speed, and other key properties. But we know the ones that do, and this list of the top 5 laptop VPNs explains how to find them.
Our top 4 VPNs for laptop owners
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:
Based in Panama, NordVPN is an easy pick for the best VPN for laptop users. Fast, secure, great value, and located in a jurisdiction that’s famously hostile to state surveillance, this VPN elegantly combines all of the features we look for in a laptop VPN.
Customers can choose between NordVPN clients for Linux, Windows, and MacOS, as well as browser add-ons for Firefox and Chrome. So you can protect everything you do online, or focus resources on web browsing if you want to.
P2P downloads aren’t a problem, making NordVPN an excellent choice for torrent fans, and the company maintains thousands of global servers. With so much choice, you can reroute your traffic through Europe, Asia, or wherever you like – making an end-run around corporate filters.
2. Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN is a fresh VPN that offers a huge feature set for a surprisingly small price. Their network offers 1000+ servers across 60+ countries with apps for all major platforms and with no limits on the number of simultaneous connections.
The service doesn’t compromise your security either as it includes AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN and IKEv2 support, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch to protect you if your connection drops. Plus, every server they use has its own private DNS to reduce spying on your activities.
If streaming is important to you, they’re very vocal about Netflix’s support and their site even names the 15 countries where it currently works. Finally, when it comes to the price, the two-year plan looks like a real bargain at $1.99/month, it’s one of the lowest prices we’ve seen for a full-feature VPN.
Offering OpenVPN as the primary tunneling protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, “No Spy” servers that keep user data off-limits to prying eyes, and the ability to install the client on as many as 7 devices, CyberGhost meets most of our criteria comfortably.
CyberGhost is fast, P2P-friendly, maintains 6200+ servers in over 90+ countries, and has a strong record in defeating Netflix geo-blocking. So there’s a lot here for laptop owners to like. And considering the low price, CyberGhost offers great bang for your buck as well.
ExpressVPN offers an excellent level of performance. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the VPN is tucked away from the eyes of officials in the so-called “14 Eyes” alliance, and its logging policies are very reassuring. Your privacy should be safe and sound with ExpressVPN, whatever you do online.
Servers in 94 countries mean that you can anonymize your identity and beat Netflix geoblockers easily, while torrents aren’t an issue either. 256-bit encryption locks away your data securely, there’s a reliable kill switch which can handle any mishaps, and “zero-knowledge DNS”, which makes your browsing activity invisible even to ExpressVPN staff.
In addition, speeds are excellent, you can pay anonymously via cryptocurrencies, and the ExpressVPN speed test lets you know exactly how to find the fastest servers – a sign that the company has total confidence in its technology.
All-in-all, ExpressVPN one of the best laptop VPNs, and won’t let you down.
The Swedish PrivateVPN has a spotless reputation in all regards and the service offers plenty of features. This is one of the best VPN services for streaming and torrenting.
Additionally, it offers military-grade AES-256 encryption, the same that financial institutions use. There’s no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks to speak of and PrivateVPN can be purchased anonymously – with only an email address and a password.
It has only 150+ server locations in 60+ countries but the speeds are fine and we had no trouble bypassing Netflix’s geographic restrictions.
IPVanish is a US-based virtual private network that aims to provide a safe online experience for your usual VPN needs. One of its primary benefits is speed. This VPN is one of the fastest and you’ll barely notice any difference to your usual, non-VPN speeds when you’re connected.
This makes it a great VPN for tasks that require higher bandwidth. If you want to watch videos on streaming platforms or download torrents it should be noteworthy to you. Both of these things work well with IPVanish.
The service also prioritizes privacy with its strict no-logging policy. It also makes use of high-level AES 256-bit encryption and plenty of protocols, including OpenVPN.
IPVanish is available on all the most popular desktop and mobile platforms, as well as Chromebook, Amazon Firestick, and routers.
What makes a great VPN for laptop users?
All of the VPNs above satisfy a few basic criteria that make them well-suited to laptops:
Good Windows, macOS, and Linux clients
These three operating systems dominate the laptop market, so we’ve looked for VPNs that cater for them all.
Encryption and anonymity
Naturally, the best VPN for laptop users should be as effective as possible when it comes to encrypting data and preventing IP/DNS leaks. Both are at the core of what VPNs do.
Torrents and streaming
Laptop users are more likely than smartphone owners to use their devices for watching movies or downloading large torrent files, so we looked for providers that are P2P friendly and deal with Netflix geo-blocking with ease.
Whether you’re using your VPN for gaming or for accessing content on Kodi, speed is crucial, so we’ve eliminated pedestrian VPNs.
We’ve also tried to strike a balance between price and quality. All of these VPNs are 100% secure, but they also offer competitive packages that laptop owners will appreciate.
Most laptop owners will find it handy to have the option to use their VPN on more than one device, whether that’s a PS4 or an Android phone. So we give extra credit to providers that are generous with additional connections.
Why you need to use the best laptop VPNs around
Any of these VPNs will protect your laptop while you use the web, both at home and on the move. And adding them to your defenses is well worth the cost and time.
With a VPN, you can use public wifi without worrying about giving away payment details to cybercriminals. You can access blocked content on streaming platforms, or beat geofilters to find bargain flights. You can ensure access to social media when you travel abroad and generally, feel secure whatever you do.
So pick a strong contender and make it part of your laptop arsenal. You won’t regret it.