Best VPN For Windows in 2024: Safe & Fast

Best VPN For Windows

Best VPN For Windows A virtual private network (VPN) is an excellent tool that provides secure access to your home or office network from any public Wi-Fi hotspot. It not only protects your online privacy but also enables you to bypass geographic restrictions on websites and streaming services. For Windows PC users, there are numerous VPN services available in the market, each offering its own unique set of features.To help you choose the best Windows VPN for your PC, Forbes Advisor’s team conducted extensive research and analysis of multiple options based on factors such as compatibility with PCs, pricing, and other essential features.

With so many VPN providers to choose from, it’s essential to select one that suits your specific requirements and budget.Some key features to consider when choosing a Windows VPN include security protocols, speed, server locations, ease of use, customer support, and price. By selecting a reliable Windows VPN service provider that meets your needs, you can enjoy a secure and unrestricted internet experience while protecting your sensitive data from prying eyes.

About Best VPN For Windows in 2024

Using the best VPN for Windows is a crucial step in maintaining online privacy and security while performing various tasks on your PC. By encrypting all online activities and masking your IP address, VPN software can prevent surveillance, DDoS attacks, and other cyber threats. Additionally, it can bypass geographical restrictions on various online services by changing your location.However, not all VPN software for Windows is equally reliable or effective. Through our testing of approximately 42 services, we found some features to be unreliable or unavailable on Windows.Thankfully, there are several trustworthy VPN providers available such as NordVPN and Surfshark VPN that offer excellent service for Windows users. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the essential features offered by the best VPNs for Windows and analyze their benefits. It is important to choose a VPN provider that suits your specific needs and offers reliable service to ensure maximum protection and privacy while browsing online.

The Best VPN for Windows of 2024

  1. NordVPN: Best overall
  2. TorGuard VPN: Best for streaming
  3. ProtonVPN: Best for privacy
  4. Private Internet Access: Best for speed
  5. hide.me: Best kill switch
  6. Surfshark: Best value

NordVPN

Based in: Panama
Simultaneous connections: 6
Servers/countries: 6000+ servers in 61 countries
Current deal: Get NordVPN, now up to 67% OFF!

Why We Picked It

NordVPN is an ideal VPN for Windows users who prioritize privacy and security. With a plethora of advanced security features such as military-grade encryption, malware blocking, obfuscated servers, multi-factor authentication, split tunneling, dedicated IP address, double protection, Onion over VPN, 24/7 support and private DNS, NordVPN offers an exceptional level of online protection. Additionally, the VPN provider has a strict no-logs policy which ensures that your data and activities are never stored or monitored. NordVPN’s headquarters in Panama also means that it operates outside the jurisdiction of Five Eyes privacy laws. Overall, NordVPN is a reliable and user-friendly choice for Windows users seeking maximum privacy benefits.

Who should use it

If you are a Windows user looking for an affordable VPN service that offers advanced security features, then NordVPN is an excellent choice. With its military-grade encryption, double VPN feature, and strict no-logging policy, NordVPN ensures your online privacy and security. The service also comes with a range of additional security features such as CyberSec that blocks malicious websites and ads, and Onion over VPN that routes your traffic through the Tor network for added anonymity. Additionally, NordVPN has a large server network spanning across 59 countries, allowing you to access geo-restricted content from around the world.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Headquartered in Panama
  • Double VPN
  • 24/7 access to support
  • Dedicated IP address option

Cons

Renewal price is much higher than introductory rates

TorGuard

Why We Picked It

TorGuard is a top-performing VPN for Windows, designed for streaming while prioritizing privacy and fast connections. It offers three pricing plans, each with robust security features such as ad blocking, maximum speed, and encryption using AES-256 with SHA-512. The service supports secure protocols like Stunnel, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 to ensure a highly secure and private browsing experience. In addition, TorGuard allows users to bypass geo-restrictions, providing access to global content that may be blocked in their region. With round-the-clock support, users can expect timely assistance when needed.

Who should use it

For Windows users looking to stream geo-restricted content, TorGuard’s fast speeds make it an ideal choice. With TorGuard’s VPN service, users can bypass geographic restrictions and access content that may not be available in their region. This is particularly useful for those who want to watch movies or TV shows that are exclusive to certain countries or regions. TorGuard also offers other features such as strong encryption and a no-logging policy that ensure privacy and security while browsing the internet.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It’s fast
  • Has a ton of servers
  • Blocks advertisements
  • Attractive pricing

Cons

  • It’s headquartered in a country subject to privacy agreements
  • Short money-back guarantee period compared to its competition

ProtonVPN

Why We Picked It

ProtonVPN is the perfect option for Windows users who prioritize privacy. Operating from Switzerland, this VPN provider adheres to strict privacy laws and maintains a no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities remain private and your data is not shared with third parties. The Secure Core feature directs your internet traffic through privacy-focused countries, providing an additional layer of security in the event of a VPN server compromise. Additionally, ProtonVPN’s Perfect Forward Secrecy ensures that your encrypted traffic cannot be intercepted and decrypted at a later time. Its compatibility with the Tor network also enables easy access to Onion sites. With intuitive native applications and a free version, ProtonVPN caters to the online privacy needs of all Windows users.

Who should use it

ProtonVPN is an excellent choice for Windows users who prioritize privacy due to its location in Switzerland. Switzerland has some of the world’s strictest data protection laws, making it a preferred location for VPNs. ProtonVPN adheres to these stringent laws and regulations, ensuring that user data is secure and confidential. Moreover, the VPN service uses advanced encryption protocols to safeguard user information from prying eyes, providing an additional layer of protection against cyber threats.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Based in Switzerland
  • Routes through privacy-friendly countries
  • Access Onion sites
  • Offers a free version

Cons

Set up took a few minutes longer compared to the competition

Private Internet Access

Why We Picked It

For Windows users seeking fast speeds, Private Internet Access is the go-to VPN service. Its low latency and high-speed connectivity are ideal for streaming, video conferencing, and gaming. The platform is equipped with several security features ranging from malware blocking to military-grade encryption and a kill switch. Additionally, its open-source software makes it easy to customize based on your preferences.Although headquartered in the U.S., which is one of the Five Eyes countries that are subject to privacy laws, Private Internet Access maintains a strict no-logs policy. This means that they do not collect or store any data related to your online activity. In other words, your privacy is well-protected while using their service.

Who should use it

Private Internet Access (PIA) is an ideal choice for Windows users who prioritize high speeds and low latency. With PIA’s fast connection speeds, users can enjoy seamless browsing, streaming, and downloading without experiencing any lag or buffering. Furthermore, PIA provides a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use features that make it a popular choice among VPN users. Additionally, PIA offers various advanced security features like encryption protocols, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch that ensures maximum privacy and anonymity while online. Overall, Private Internet Access is a fantastic VPN solution for Windows users who want reliable performance and robust security features.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Open source software
  • Fast speeds
  • Split tunneling

Cons

  • Antivirus and a dedicated IP address cost extra
  • Mobile apps only have a seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Headquartered in a Five Eyes country

hide.me

Why We Picked It

The hide.me VPN is known for its robust kill switch feature, particularly for Windows users. This feature ensures maximum security and privacy by limiting internet access solely to VPN servers, even if the connection is disrupted. As a result, your real IP address remains hidden, and there’s no possibility of accidental IP exposure. Furthermore, the VPN can be safely reconnected without any risk.In addition to the kill switch feature, hide.me offers several other security layers like Stealth Guard that restricts apps to use only the VPN connection. The setup process is simple, and it is compatible with up to 10 devices. If you’re looking for a reliable VPN that guarantees online privacy while preventing IP leaks under any circumstances, hide.me is an excellent choice.

Who should use it

For Windows users who are concerned about their online privacy and security, a kill switch can be a useful tool. A kill switch is a feature that automatically disconnects your device from the internet if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This ensures that your online activity remains private even if your VPN connection is compromised. Many VPN providers offer this feature, so it’s essential to research and compare different options before choosing one that suits your needs. Keep in mind that a kill switch alone may not provide complete protection, so it’s still important to practice safe browsing habits and use other security measures like firewalls and antivirus software.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Will mask your real IP if connection is disrupted
  • Split tunneling
  • Supports multi-hop
  • It’s fast

Cons

Can’t access geo-locked streaming content

Surfshark

Based in: The Netherlands
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Servers/countries: 3200+ servers in 100 countries
Current deal: Get 79% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE

Why We Picked It

If you are a Windows user looking for an affordable VPN service, Surfshark is a great option. It offers fast speeds and unlimited device usage, making it convenient to use across all your devices. With military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy, Surfshark prioritizes security and privacy. The user-friendly app makes connecting to the VPN easy, while the MultiHop feature provides an extra layer of security. Other features include CleanWeb for blocking ads and malware and Camouflage Mode to mask VPN activity from ISPs.Operating out of the Netherlands adds an additional layer of privacy protection. If you encounter any issues with your VPN connection, Surfshark’s 24/7 customer support via live chat and email is available to help troubleshoot. Overall, Surfshark is a reliable choice for anyone seeking a high-quality VPN service on their Windows device at an affordable price point.

Who should use it

Surfshark is an excellent choice for Windows users who are looking for a VPN service that offers plenty of features at an affordable price point. With its intuitive interface and user-friendly design, Surfshark makes it easy to protect your online privacy and security without compromising on speed or performance. Some of the key features of Surfshark include unlimited simultaneous connections, a kill switch, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Moreover, Surfshark’s no-logs policy ensures that your online activity remains private and secure at all times.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Located in the Netherlands
  • Unlimited devices
  • AES-256-GCM encryption

Cons

How To Choose the Best VPN for Windows

When choosing the right Windows VPN for your computer, it’s important to consider several factors to achieve the optimal combination of privacy, speed, and user-friendliness. Take into account your specific requirements, preferred features, device compatibility, flexibility, pricing, and customer support while exploring different choices.

Assess Your Needs & Goals

Consider asking these questions to determine your specific requirements and objectives when selecting the top Windows VPN for your computer.

  • What are my main security and privacy concerns? It is important to choose VPNs that have military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy to keep your online activities secure and private. Additionally, selecting a VPN based in a country that does not have to disclose your private information, such as the Netherlands or Switzerland, is advisable.
  • Do I need to unblock content and bypass censorship? Seek out VPNs that provide a diverse selection of server locations and are recognized for their ability to bypass geo-restrictions, allowing access to content from different regions.
  • Are fast connection speeds for streaming and gaming a priority? Concentrate on VPNs that prioritize fast connections and offer dedicated servers for streaming or gaming to ensure an excellent experience.
  • How important is ease of setup and use for me? If you want a trouble-free experience, select VPNs that have easy-to-use interfaces, uncomplicated installation procedures, and extensive support options.

Essential VPN Features

Advanced features will come at a higher cost, but most VPN providers include basic features as standard.

Basic Features

  • Encryption serves as the cornerstone of any VPN, guaranteeing the security and confidentiality of your data from unauthorized access. Look for VPNs offering robust encryption standards, like AES-256.A no-logs policy indicates that your VPN provider will not monitor the websites you access.
  • Selecting servers: In order to bypass geographical restrictions and reach content from various countries, a reliable VPN with a wide range of server options is necessary.
  • Device compatibility is essential, and the VPN must be able to function across various devices and operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
  • The accessibility of a user-friendly interface and simple setup process are crucial for a smooth VPN experience.

Premium Features

  • Kill switch: If the VPN connection drops, this feature will automatically disconnect your internet connection to prevent accidental exposure of your real IP address.
  • Split tunneling enables you to direct certain applications or websites through the VPN connection while keeping others on your usual network, offering flexibility and control over your internet usage.
  • This protection prevents potential privacy leaks by directing DNS queries through the VPN rather than the ISP’s DNS servers. DNS leak protection is in place.
  • Support for IPv6: IPv6, the most recent version of the Internet Protocol, ensures complete protection for your IPv6 traffic.
  • Certain VPNs provide dedicated servers optimized for streaming and gaming, delivering improved speed and performance.
  • Ad and malware blockers provide additional security measures to block ads, trackers, and malicious websites, thereby enhancing your online privacy and browsing experience.
  • Multi-hop (double VPN) connections involve routing your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one, thereby adding an additional layer of security and privacy.

Device Compatibility and Versatility

When selecting a VPN that can be used across multiple devices, it’s essential to ensure that the VPN provider offers support for various operating systems such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Some VPNs even provide router installation, which can enable you to connect more devices securely. In addition to device compatibility, it’s also important to choose a VPN that has a broad range of servers from different locations worldwide.Having access to a wide array of servers can help you unblock geo-restricted content and enhance your browsing experience. It is advisable to opt for a VPN that offers numerous server locations and provides unlimited bandwidth and data usage. Moreover, user-friendly applications with simple interfaces are preferred since they make the process easier for beginners. Finally, look for a reputable service provider with a proven track record of providing reliable and secure services.

Cost

Normally, VPNs provide subscription plans that can be charged on a monthly, yearly, or even biennial basis. The longer the subscription, the lower the monthly cost. Prices typically range from INR 415.12 ($5) to INR 996.30 ($12) per month, depending on the plan, your commitment, and the VPN provider. When it comes to Windows computers, getting a VPN won’t cost as much as it does for other platforms like Android or Mac because many providers offer multi-device support with a single subscription. While some providers may offer lifetime subscriptions, these are less common and may have certain limitations or restrictions.

Consider the following to lower your VPN expenses

  • Longer subscription plans: Choosing a longer subscription plan usually leads to a reduced monthly expense. Nevertheless, it is important to select a trustworthy VPN provider, as you will be subscribing to their service for an extended duration.
  • Discounts and promotions: VPN companies often offer sales and special offers, particularly during holidays and special occasions. Be sure to watch for these promotions in order to get a discount on your VPN membership.
  • Free trials and money-back guarantees: Certain VPN providers provide free trials or money-back guarantees, allowing you to test the VPN’s functionality for your preferred sites before committing to a long-term plan. While many offer 30-day money-back guarantees, it’s important to verify this as it may not always be the case.
  • Referral programs and loyalty rewards: Certain VPNs have referral programs or loyalty rewards, which offer discounts or free subscription time in exchange for referring new customers or keeping an active subscription.

It’s important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best, as it could be missing important features, performance, or security. It’s crucial to consider the price in relation to the quality and capabilities of the VPN service.

Customer Service

In the event of encountering any difficulties with a VPN, it is crucial to have reliable access to customer support. Prioritize choosing a VPN that provides round-the-clock customer support via live chat or email, as phone support is not typically available. Furthermore, the VPN provider’s website should contain helpful guides and FAQs to assist users in resolving common issues. Choosing a VPN with exceptional customer support can offer peace of mind and minimize time and frustration in the event of any problems. It is also recommended to review and assess the ratings and feedback of various VPN providers before making a definitive choice.

What Can I Do With a Windows VPN on a PC?

A Windows VPN can offer several benefits to your PC. Firstly, it can safeguard your data and activities from unauthorized access by encrypting your traffic. This ensures that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot track or monitor your online activities.In addition to data protection, a Windows VPN can also enhance your internet speeds by reducing network congestion and latency. By connecting to a VPN server closer to the website you’re accessing, you can experience faster loading times.Another significant advantage of using a Windows VPN is its ability to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions.

With a VPN, you can access websites and content that may be blocked or restricted in your country due to government censorship or licensing restrictions. This provides greater freedom and accessibility for users globally.Lastly, using a Windows VPN can also prevent ISP throttling, which is when an ISP intentionally slows down certain types of internet traffic. By encrypting your traffic, a VPN makes it difficult for ISPs to identify and target specific types of traffic for throttling. Overall, a Windows VPN offers robust security features along with improved speeds and accessibility for users.

What Are the Limitations of Windows VPN?

While VPNs have numerous benefits, they also have certain restrictions that need to be understood in order to make informed decisions and manage expectations when using a VPN. Some typical limitations include:

  • Slower internet speeds: Using a VPN can cause your internet connection to become slower because of the extra encryption and rerouting of your data through a distant server. This decrease in speed may be more apparent when using lower-quality VPN services or during times of high internet usage.
  • Blocked by some websites and networks: Certain websites, streaming services, or networks might restrict VPN traffic to stop users from circumventing geolocation restrictions or violating their terms of service. In such cases, a VPN may not be able to bypass the content or connect to the network.
  • Not a fix-all: VPNs offer a certain level of data and privacy protection, but they are not effective against all cyber threats. For instance, they do not safeguard against phishing attacks, malware, or insecure websites. It is crucial to complement VPN usage with additional security measures like antivirus software, firewalls, and safe browsing habits.
  • Ineffective for illegal activities: Using VPNs does not give you the right to participate in illegal activities. Although they can safeguard your privacy, they will not protect you from legal repercussions if you are found engaging in unlawful actions. Additionally, reputable VPN providers may end your service if they identify any illegal activities.
  • Cost considerations: Quality VPN services are typically associated with a price, as subscription fees differ among providers. Although free VPNs are available, they may lack vital features, performance, or security. It is important to find a middle ground between the cost and the quality of the VPN service.

Methodology

Forbes Advisor analyzed several factors to compile the best VPNs for Windows, prioritizing security features and speed, and considering 33 criteria weighted by importance for small businesses.

Pricing

We examined the listed prices for each VPN, evaluating their initial and maximum prices to determine cost-effectiveness and overall value. Platforms offering money-back guarantees or trial periods were given extra points for offering added value to users. This accounts for 15% of a platform’s rating.

General and Additional Features

We assessed the overall characteristics of each VPN, including anonymous browsing, DNS protection, dedicated IP, kill switch, split tunneling, and multifactor authentication. We also considered additional features such as server coverage across continents, no-logs policy, browser extensions, and simultaneous connections. The features account for 35% of the total score.

Speeds

We evaluated the average download and upload speeds provided by each VPN to guarantee an ideal browsing experience. Forbes Advisor team tests these speeds weekly, and they account for 20% of the overall score.

App Ratings and Customer Reviews

We evaluated the ratings of VPN mobile apps on the App Store and Play Store, as well as customer feedback on Trustpilot, Capterra, and G2. This process allowed us to gauge the overall customer satisfaction and experience for each VPN, with these reviews contributing to 13% of each provider’s score.

Service & Support

We evaluated each VPN based on their customer service and support offerings, including live chat, a knowledge base and phone support. We assigned top marks to companies that offered 24/7 customer support across multiple channels, recognizing that users may encounter issues with their VPN connection at any time and require prompt assistance. Access to support accounts for 7% of the score.

Best VPN For Windows: FAQs

What is the best VPN for Windows?

The ideal VPN for Windows will vary based on your individual requirements, budget, and preferred features. NordVPN, TunnelBear, and TorGuard are among the top choices, known for their strong security, high speeds, and great compatibility with Windows devices.

What is the best free VPN for Windows?

TunnelBear is considered the top free VPN for Windows because it provides a dependable and reasonably speedy service while prioritizing user privacy. It’s important to note, though, that free VPNs typically have restrictions in terms of features, speed, and data usage when compared to paid options.

Does Windows 10 have a built-in VPN?

Windows 10 comes with a built-in VPN, but it needs to be set up manually and only works with certain VPN protocols like L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP. The built-in VPN client is not as easy to use, packed with features, or adaptable as third-party VPN solutions, which are usually suggested for better security and performance.

How do I set up a Windows VPN?

Follow these steps to establish a Windows VPN.

  • Select a VPN provider and register for their services.
  • Install the Windows application provided by the VPN provider after downloading it.
  • Start the VPN app and log in using your account details.
  • Choose a location for the VPN server and then proceed to connect.
  • Upon connection, your internet data will be encrypted, ensuring the anonymization of your online activities.

How do I check VPN connection status on Windows 10?

Detecting if you are connected to a VPN on Windows 10 is a simple task. Simply click on the network icon located on the right side of the taskbar, and it will display “Connected” under VPN if you are connected.

Can a VPN work on my other devices as well?

Certainly, the majority of VPNs are compatible with multiple devices, including Windows and macOS computers, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as routers. Certain VPNs may also be utilized with gaming consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox. It is recommended to visit the VPN provider’s website to confirm compatibility with your specific devices.

Is a VPN really secure?

VPN services offer a considerable level of security by encrypting and concealing internet traffic, as well as masking the user’s IP address. The security level of a VPN depends on the provider, encryption method, and the privacy regulations of its location. It is advisable to select a trustworthy VPN that employs robust encryption, enforces a strict no-logs policy, and incorporates extra security measures like a kill switch and DNS leak protection.

Can I be tracked while using a VPN?

Although a VPN can enhance online privacy and security, it does not offer complete protection against all tracking methods. Advanced adversaries, like government agencies, may still be able to track users using sophisticated techniques. Moreover, a VPN does not safeguard against other tracking methods such as browser fingerprinting or cookies. To enhance online anonymity, it is important to utilize a variety of privacy tools, such as VPNs, ad-blockers, and anti-tracking browser extensions.

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