Windows devices are wildly popular, with hundreds of millions of users around the world. But, without a VPN your device is at risk of being hacked, and your online activity is basically public knowledge.
Currently, Windows users constitute around 88% of desktop/laptop owners. And, this is for good reason: here are just some of the reasons as to why Windows devices are vastly more popular than other systems.
- They’re cheaper: This is probably the number one reason why Windows dominates the market. Most people don’t want to spend thousands on their laptop and Windows offers many cheaper deals and solutions.
- You can custom-build your device: If you know what you’re doing, you can custom-build a PC from scratch. This means you can get a superior product at a very decent price.
- More hardware choices: There’s only one company which builds Apple computers – Apple. If you don’t like their designs or hardware options – then you’re stuck. In contrast, there are plenty of different companies which design Windows computers, such as Dell, Asus, Lenovo etc. You can shop around for the computer that most appeals to you and is at a price you’re comfortable with.
Since so many people are Windows users, it’s important to know why you need a VPN that’s compatible with the Windows operating system.
Why You Need a VPN for Windows
A virtual private network (VPN) is a remote, secure network which you connect to via your regular home network. The VPN allows you to send and receive data as if your computer is connected directly to the private network. As well as providing additional security, a VPN also allows you to “geo-spoof” your location by connecting to a server in a different country.
Here are some reasons why you need a VPN:
- Public WiFi: Public WiFi networks are notoriously insecure. It’s far too easy for hackers to intercept these networks and install malware on your device. A VPN can ensure that you are safe, even when connected to public WiFi.
- Streaming: Streaming copyrighted content is illegal in many countries. A VPN can hide your online identity and help you avoid getting caught.
- Privacy: Ad companies and government agencies can track everything you do online. A VPN can hide your identity and allow you to remain anonymous.
- Unblock restricted websites (censorship): Not all countries are free. Some governments actively engage in internet censorship and restrict political activism and other online material. With a VPN, you can easily bypass local censorship and filters.
- Bypass Geo-restrictions: A lot of online content is geo-restricted. This means you can only access it from certain locations. If you want access to the full Netflix library or you want to watch foreign TV channels, you need to use a VPN.
- Location-based price discrimination: E-commerce companies and airlines charge different prices in different countries. These price discriminations are determined by median incomes, supply and demand and other factors. With a VPN you can get the same product for less.
- Geo-targeting: Many websites use geolocation software to track your location. They then offer different content, such as articles, videos, adverts etc., based on your location. If you want, for example, to see the US version of a site, then you need to use a VPN to connect to a US server.
- Online gaming: A VPN is crucial for online gaming for several reasons. First of all, plenty of games are geo-restricted and you need a VPN to get around the blocks. Also, online gaming servers are a hacker’s playground as they are often insecure and all your personal details are on display. With a VPN you can enjoy an unrestricted and safe gaming experience.
- Torrenting: Torrenting is problematic for two reasons. First, your IP address is visible to all other users, and torrenting copyrighted content is illegal. A VPN can hide your IP address and help you avoid repercussions.
Get a Windows VPN
A Windows VPN client is an essential internet tool for any Windows user. However, not all VPNs are equal and it’s important to subscribe only to a VPN which offers top encryptions levels and value for money.
Some of the features offered by a Windows VPN are:
- Ultra-secure network
- Multiple servers in many different countries
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Total online anonymity
- Multiple simultaneous connections
How we Selected the Best VPNs for Windows
We tried and tested all the VPN software for Windows that we could find to bring you the best possible choices. To test the VPNs, we analyzed their features, checked out their customer service, compared their prices and checked the speed and ping times.
Some of the key features we look for in a Windows VPN are:
- Windows compatibility: Obviously a VPN for Windows has to be compatible with the Windows operating system.
- Fast speeds: Most people use a VPN for streaming videos and games. Only a VPN with fast speeds is useful for this.
- Unlimited bandwidth: Similarly, if your VPN service offers limited bandwidth you will use it up very quickly.
- Multiple servers: It’s best to use a VPN that offers numerous servers in many countries around the world. Numerous servers give you the best chance of finding a strong connection, and you may need to connect to many different countries.
- Good customer service: If you encounter a problem with your subscription or service, you will want to speak to someone who can help you. Good VPN services offer helpful, responsive and round-the-clock customer support.
- Strong encryption technology: It’s vital to use a secure, unhackable connection. Cyber attacks are on the rise and, if you want to stay safe online, we highly recommended using a VPN with powerful encryption technology.
- No logs: If your VPN provider logs your internet activity it may be used against you in court. Good VPN services which value their client’s privacy won’t be recording any user data.
#1 ExpressVPN – Our Top Pick For Windows OS
ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for Windows 10 and the best VPN for Windows 7. It offers servers in 145 different countries, it doesn’t retain any logs and it’s fully compatible with Windows.
With ExpressVPN you are protected by military-grade AES 256-bit encryption software as well as IP obfuscation methods. Customer support is available 24/7, as is Netflix and torrenting.
- $12.95 a month
- $9.99 a month for a six-month plan
- $8.32 a month for a 12-month plan
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 NordVPN – Solid, Reliable & Secure
NordVPN is another of the best VPN for Windows. It’s reliable, secure and it can easily bypass geo-restrictions and government censorship. It uses a double encryption method to secure the network and it offers over 1,300 servers in 61 countries. NordVPN also offers many extra features, such as CyberSec (antivirus/ad-blocker), P2P sharing and DNS leak prevention.
- $11.95 a month
- $5.75 a month for a 12-month plan
- $3.29 a month for a 24-month plan
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#3 IPVanish – Fair Speed for a Fair Price
IPVanish is also one of the best VPN for Windows. It uses an ultra-secure 256-bit AES encryption software, and has a strict no-logs policy, DNS leak prevention, and it uses the OpenVPN protocol. With IPVanish you get fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and over 1000 servers in 60+ countries. The set-up is very user-friendly and a helpful customer support team is on hand 24/7.
- $10.00 a month
- $8.99 a month for a three-month plan
- $6.49 a month for a 12-month plan billed annually
For more information on IPVanish features, read our extensive IPVanish review.
#4 PureVPN – Helpful P2P features
PureVPN has over 500 servers in 121 countries. Its speeds tend to be slightly slower than some of its rivals but they’re still fast enough for streaming. It also offers a kill switch, strong 256-bit encryption technology, and complete online anonymity. PureVPN is based in Hong Kong – a country with very lenient privacy laws.
- $9.95 a month
- $7.95 a month for a six-month plan
- $4.95 a month for a 12-month plan
For more information on PureVPN features, read our extensive PureVPN review.
#5 Windscribe – The Best Free VPN
Windscribe is a Canadian-based VPN provider which offers a strong ES-256 cipher encryption, an OpenVPN protocol and even a free plan (limited to 10GB a month). It also provides an antivirus firewall, a double-hop proxy connection, and an ad-blocker.
- Free ‘limited’ plan
- $9.00 a month
- $4.08 a month for a 12-month plan
For more information on Windscribe features, read our extensive Windscribe review.
How to Set Up a VPN for Windows
A Windows VPN setup is a simple and straightforward process. All you need to do is:
- Download the VPN software from the provider’s website
- Run the file to install the VPN software
- Follow the instructions to set up the connection
If you’re wondering how to use VPN on Windows, then worry not! Once the VPN is setup and connected all your web traffic will flow through the private network and not from your regular home network. You just have to press connect, sit back and let the VPN work its magic. Some VPNs allow you to configure which websites you connect to with the VPN and which ones you connect to normally.
Should You Get a Paid or Free VPN for Windows?
Obviously, a free VPN sounds a lot better than a paid one. After all, who doesn’t want stuff for free?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Most free VPN servers have dodgy connections, weak encryption software, and poor internet speeds. Some paid VPN services do offer free plans, but with extremely limited data.
Also, many free VPNs are infected with malware and can expose your online identity and personal information. Paid VPNs are not very expensive, for just a few dollars a month you get a superior, quality service which is safe, secure and reliable.
(Windows also offers its own VPN service which you can connect to in the ‘Network’ section of the control panel. However, this service is nowhere near as secure as a paid VPN, nor does it offer geo-spoofing.)
Get a VPN for Windows
Getting a VPN might sound complicated, but it’s not. They’re easy to run, inexpensive and incredibly important. Even if you never connect to a public WiFi and have no need for geo-spoofing, you are still vulnerable to cyber attacks, hacking and government surveillance. Get a top VPN for Windows now and enjoy a safer browsing experience.