The Best VPNs for Windows and PC in 2019
In this article, we help you chose the best VPN for Windows. Microsoft Windows is the most popular desktop operating system in the world, which is great for VPN users as it means you will have no problem finding a VPN client for Windows.
All the best services offer custom Windows VPN clients in addition to extensive manual setup guides for Windows.
But why do you need a VPN for Windows? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the most important privacy and security tools you can install on your PC. A VPN can:
- Prevent your internet provider (ISP) from knowing what you get up to on the internet.
- Help protect you against NSA-style blanket government surveillance.
- Geo-spoof your location in order to watch streaming services that block access based on your geographic location.
- Protect you against hackers and untrustworthy router hosts when using public WiFi hotspots.
- Bypass censorship (by the government, your workplace, or school).
- Torrent safely (if your VPN service permits this).
What are the best VPNs for Windows?
Check out the list below for an at-a-glance look at our recommended Windows VPNs.[[post-object type=”best-buy-table”/]]
For more information, please read our full reviews or check out the detailed summaries below.
5 Best VPN for Windows PC
The following in-depth comparison should provide all the information needed about why we recommend these Windows VPNs, and for you to make an informed decision about which one is right for you.[[post-object type=”reviewsc” title=”##”/]]
Why do I need a VPN on my PC?
By using a VPN on windows machines, your data is kept secure and private. There are two ways in which a VPN keeps you secure:
- All of the internet traffic coming and going from your laptop or PC is encrypted. This prevents anyone from tracking what you do online.
- A VPN allows you to conceal your IP address (location). This not only lets you torrent safely but by connecting to a VPN server in a different country you can access foreign (geo-restricted) website services and online video content that would usually be blocked.
Why are these the best VPNs for Windows?
All the VPN services listed above offer great custom clients for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. Most of these clients are compatible with Windows Vista, Windows, 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, although this does vary a little by provider.
We recommend the above services because our rigorous review process has determined they offer a good combination of privacy, technical security, speed, and additional features. We believe all the services we recommend offer great value for money.
By using a VPN on your Windows PC you are able to prevent your ISP from seeing what you get up to on the internet, they also help prevent anyone on the internet from seeing who you are. Privacy-focused VPN services go a step further by keeping no logs that can be used to trace your activity on the internet, and by basing themselves in privacy-friendly jurisdictions.
An adversary will always find it much easier to go after a VPN providers’ logs (if they exist) than try to break modern encryption algorithms. A service with good technical security should prevent IP leaks that may expose your PCs IP address to websites you visit even when your VPN is running.
One downside of using a VPN on your PC is that it will slow down your internet. This is inevitable. Your data needs to travel further because it is routed via the VPN server. In addition to this, encrypting and decrypting your data to keep it secure takes processing power. Which takes time to compute.
Many VPNs have invested heavily in fast server networks that can handle the VPN processing needs of many users at once. The result is that with a fast VPN service, you can achieve 90% or more of your full internet speeds if connected to a nearby server. Please check out our latest speed test results for an up-to-date look at the fastest VPNs out there.
In this increasingly competitive market, it is the additional features which make individual VPNs stand out. These include everything from generous multiple permitted connections, to cunning stealth technologies to free smart DNS services.
Crucially, you should choose a VPN which offers the features you need! Check out our VPN full reviews for the complete lowdown, or our summaries below for the highlights.
Can I get a free VPN for Windows?
If you are searching for the “best free VPN for windows”, then, unfortunately, we wouldn’t recommend free services. However, the free VPN landscape is changing for the better.
Most free services are still very limited compared to their paid for alternatives, but there are now some VPN services for Windows that offer a very acceptable service for free users.
In general, the following warnings still apply:
- Even the best ones are limited in ways that paid for ones are not. This is usually in the form of a limited number of servers, limited bandwidth, or limited speeds.
- There are many cowboy VPNs out there although this applies more to the mobile VPN space than VPN services which cater to Windows users.
Please bear in mind that the only way for a reputable free VPN service to make money is by hoping that you like the free service well enough that you choose to upgrade to paid-for plan.
So stands to reason that the paid-for plan is better than the free one…
For a list of trustworthy free services see our to best free VPN page.
Compare VPN protocols for Windows
When you subscribe to a Windows VPN, you may be presented with a number of VPN encryption protocol options. Here is a rundown of all the protocols.
|Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)||Fast||Weak|
|Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol(L2TP)/Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)||Average||Average|
|Internet Key Exchange v2 (IKEv2)||Fast||Average|
We believe the best all-around protocol is OpenVPN. All of our recommended VPNs support this protocol.
Here we answer some frequently asked Windows VPN questions, sourced from places such as Reddit.
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Is a VPN really safe for windows users?” answer=”In short yes. A VPN will prevent public WiFi hackers accessing your data, and will prevent your ISP from seeing what you get up to online. It does this with minimal impact on your normal internet experience. VPNs also do a good job at preventing websites knowing your real IP address, although they often use a variety of sneaky tactics to track what you do on the web through other means.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”What is the best VPN for laptops?” answer=”Windows is an operating system (OS) – the software which underlies all the other programs you run on your laptop. Most laptops run Windows, and if you are not sure, then chances are that yours does too. This article deals with the best VPN for Windows – be it Windows running on a desktop PC or a laptop (although it does not cover VPNs on the now defunct Windows Phone).” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”What is the best VPN for Canadian windows users?” answer=”Funnily enough, we have a whole web page dedicated to just this subject! Please check out The Best VPN for Canada.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”What is the best VPN for Windows in UAE?” answer=”There is some debate about whether using a VPN is legal in the United Arab Emirates, but that does little to prevent their popularity among those wishing to bypass the UAE’s strict internet censorship blocks. See Best VPNs for UAE for the full low-down.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”What is the best VPN for PC in India?” answer=”Internet use is now pervasive in India, so interest in using VPNs in India is also at an all-time high!. Although Android phones are the most common way for to access the internet in India, full Windows PCs are also very popular. See Best VPNs for India for more details.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Are VPNs illegal?” answer=”No (mainly). In most countries, citizens have a legal right to privacy, and simply using a VPN service is illegal almost nowhere. Please see Are VPNs legal? guide for a list of places where the legality of VPNs is an issue.” /]]
[[post-object type=”accordion” question=”Do you need a VPN for PC when torrenting?” answer=”Yes. When you download a file using the BitTorrent protocol, what you are actually doing is sharing small pieces of it with everyone else who is downloading that same file. A file is downloaded once you have all the pieces needed to reassemble that file. For more information, please see Best VPNs for Torrenting.” /]]