While mobile and tablet use has exploded over the years, there’s still one type of system we still use a lot of.
That’s our desktop and laptop computers.
If you’re a computer user, the likelihood is that you’re one of the 81% who is using Windows.
With Windows being so popular, it means it’s the system you need to secure the most and a VPN is now an essential tool in that security arsenal.
Finding a good VPN for Windows is a somewhat more difficult task. With well over 500 VPN providers out there it’s tough to weed out the bad from the good.
In our personal experience a lot of time and more importantly, money can be wasted if you end up signing up for a poor service.
That’s why we’ve done the research you need and in this guide you’ll learn not only which is the best VPN service for Windows but also the most reliable.
So which Virtual Private Network should you choose for Windows?
It’s a difficult question to answer and one we’ve been heavily testing and researching.
Below we’ve rounded up the top 5 VPN apps for Windows that you should be using to enhance your online security.
Top 5 Windows VPN apps
These are just some features you should look out for when choosing a VPN for Windows.
Now let’s take a look at the top 5 VPN services for Windows.
ExpressVPN couples one of the best all-round VPN services with a feature-rich Windows VPN app making them our top choice.
Connection on the Windows client is quick and effortless. By merely pressing their ‘Selected Location’ option, you’re presented with a whole range of server locations in more than 94 countries. A quick click and you’re connected and secure.
We like the simplicity from opening the app to making a VPN connection which took just seconds and provided fast speeds.
If you’re looking for added features then the Kill Switch, IPv6 and DNS leak protection options plus the ability to choose between 4 different VPN protocols will keep you busy.
The service stands out for it’s strict ‘no-log policy’ which means what you do while connected stays secure and this has been audited to prove it’s true.
If you need further reassurance, then the fact this was tested in a high-profile court case should put your mind at rest and if you get stuck they have live chat to get you sorted.
Our #1 Recommended Windows VPN
30-Day money back guarantee
IPVanish has offered a Windows VPN app for as long as we can remember and after some redesigns, they’ve made protecting your computer usage a breeze.
Countries, Cities and even specific servers can be selected from the main screen of the Windows app and with the tap of the Connect button, you’re protected within seconds. No messing about.
If you’re a beginner, then that’s all you need to do. If you’re after more options then their Kill Switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, VPN protocol selection, obfuscate traffic option and more can be found tucked away in the Settings area.
Download speeds are some of the best we’ve seen and connections using the Windows app are reliable with no random disconnects experienced.
One of the standout features is you can have 10 simultaneous connections. This can be a combination of other device types, including more Windows systems. There’s also a 7-day money back guarantee.
NordVPN offers up one of the best designed Windows VPN apps we’ve seen and if simplicity is what you’re after then you’ll find it here.
Connection can be made from the main app window using a world map. Simply click on the country you want to connect to and the app does the rest. If you need a little more customisation then you can choose specific servers or some ‘Speciality Servers’.
These include servers for P2P, Onion over VPN, Double VPN and Dedicated IP. There’s also a Kill Switch built in and their proprietary ‘CyberSec’ feature that protects you from malware, phishing and other online threats giving you some added security features.
The service has a lengthy 30-day money back guarantee which gives you plenty of time to test it on your Windows device. You can also use the one service on up to 6 devices at the same time across any device type and they have regular VPN offers ideal for grabbing a bargain.
4. CyberGhost VPN
With their recently updated Windows VPN app, you can either use it in a basic mode which you can simply click to connect or expand the window and get a little more help.
The Windows app has server suggestions in groups ‘for Torrenting‘, ‘for Streaming‘ plus ‘Connection features‘. In the ‘Streaming’ section, for example, it tells you what server to connect to for what service making it easy to pick the correct VPN server.
If you need to unblock BBC iPlayer or Netflix, for example, it points you in the right direction. There are loads of other options too.
Behind the scenes you can choose a VPN protocol, enable DNS and IPv6 leak protection and a whole host of other features. The service even offers an unbeaten 45-day money back guarantee and customer support is on hand to resolve any issues.
VyprVPN is one of the oldest names in the VPN industry and their Windows app has been one of the best for the longest time.
They recently launched a brand new interface across their app range including Windows and although it wasn’t needed it again looks as sweet as its predecessor.
Advanced features include a Kill Switch, DNS Leak protection and the option to switch between VPN protocol. This includes their special Chameleon mode which can smash through even the most restrictive internet firewalls (such as in China).
The service recently became a fully audited no-log VPN provider so what you do while connected remains private. VyprVPN allows you to transfer unlimited data and they have a high number of servers across more than 60 countries.
Sadly, there is no more free trial but there is a 30-day money back guarantee to give you plenty of time to try the service.
How to choose a VPN service
Using a VPN on a Windows computer has its own considerations.
What’s suitable for a mobile VPN may not be great for a Windows VPN, for example.
When choosing a VPN for Windows, you should consider these four factors. Considering these will ensure you get the best VPN for your desktop.
- Dedicated Windows app: To make set-up quick and painless you should ensure the service actually has a Windows app. Most do but there are some that only cater for mobile. In this day and age, there’s no need to be setting any VPN up manually – well, not unless you really want to.
- Advanced features: Looking for features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection can enhance your online security. While some VPN apps are thin on features, others add critical security options that come as an added benefit, not an added cost.
- Money back guarantee: It’s not Windows-specific, but it’s well worth having. VPN use can be affected by so many different things. Ensuring you can get your money back if it doesn’t live up to your expectations is critical.
- Suitable for your usage: It’s no good having a VPN if it doesn’t do what you need it to. If you’re simply after unblocking Netflix, for example, then ensure this is possible. If security is your primary need then make sure they have a high level of encryption.
Which Windows VPN is right for you?
Even though we’ve whittled down the choice to just 5 different providers it can often be hard deciding between them. With a raft of different sounding features, it’s easy to be confused.
If you still can’t make your mind up then we’ve listed the most common uses for a VPN on Windows to help you make a decision.
If you want to protect your privacy, choose ExpressVPN. Privacy protection is a critical purpose of VPN usage, grab ExpressVPN and make use of their high-level encryption and added features to keep yourself safe and private online whether you’re transferring p2p traffic or simply browsing the web.
If you want the easiest to use Windows VPN app, get NordVPN. With a straightforward VPN client and a 1-click connection, even the newest VPN users will be able to connect easily.
If you want to try before you buy, opt for CyberGhost VPN. CyberGhost VPN offers a 45-day money back guarantee allowing you to test without risk.
If you want to unblock and stream media, take ExpressVPN. They work with more services than most, including all the popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Sky and more. If streaming content from overseas is your main use then they have you covered.
If you want to use on many devices, choose IPVanish. The service allows you to use it on ten devices at the same time. This isn’t just limited to Windows but includes Mac OS, Android, iOS and even the Amazon Fire TV Stick devices.
Does Windows version make a difference?
VPN apps are extremely backwards compatible and while you should definitely be using Windows 10 by now it won’t make much difference if you’re using Windows 8 or some of the earlier editions of the operating system.
Of course, if you’re using something like Windows 95 or XP you’ll probably run into compatibility issues and you really should be thinking about upgrading before anything else.
Are there any free VPN apps?
We, like most others highly recommend against using ‘free’ VPN apps such as hotspot shield and others.
Not only are they slow but they’re also extremely dangerous to your Windows device.
‘Free’ VPN apps have been proven time and again to put your device at risk. This can be from injecting sketchy adverts into your browsing session or even utilising your network to power their paid service.
It has even been discovered that many free VPN apps use zero encryption which puts the data you transfer when using them at even greater risk.
The best bet is to sign up for a provider such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN or CyberGhost VPN which offer you 30, 30 and 45 day money back guarantees. If you dislike the service, then you can get a full refund.
Without question after much testing and deliberation, ExpressVPN is our favourite VPN service for use with Windows in 2020 for protecting your internet traffic.
They offer more features than most and have a whole range of locations to connect to. Couple that with their proven no-log policy and the massive 30-day money back guarantee and you’ve certainly got an all-round great VPN service here.
If you do have some spare time then it’s worth taking a look at all five providers recommended above because while they all work well and do virtually the same job you may find some small differences which benefit you greater.
After all, the five listed above are our top choices and you can’t go wrong no matter which you choose.
Our #1 Recommended Windows VPN
30-Day money back guarantee
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