Want to find the best VPN for your PC? Puzzled over a great number of VPN providers and do not know what to choose?

This rating is exactly what you need then!

One the one hand there is no dearth of providers to choose. On the other hand, not all of them are fit for purpose.

The best VPNs for Windows should offer guarantee privacy and security, offer fast speeds and handy application for Windows.

In this regard, I have prepared a list of features that I used while creating my top VPN for Windows.

As privacy comes first, the main criteria are:

  1. User-friendly application for Windows (All top VPNs offer extremely handy software with extra security features.);
  2. No-logging privacy policy (The level of privacy and anonymity directly depends on a logging policy of a provider.);
  3. Successful IP and DNS leak tests (Services that have passed IP and DNS leak tests successfully proved that they are able to hide your IP on the Internet.);
  4. Encryption method (Encryption method specifies how well your data is protected.);
  5. Allows watching streaming services (A good VPN for PC should be able to get past geo-restriction and unblock streaming services. It should also offer proper speeds for streaming.).

The navigation below will help you to go to the definite section of the rating:


Top 5 VPN services for Windows PC

Before giving my top five VPN for Windows, I want to note that I didn’t pay too much attention to the price of the VPN. Free services are also not in my list as they are far from being safe and secure.

It is also worth mentioning that there is no ideal VPN for Windows. Some VPNs are not so fast, others are better in this response. Actually, my primary goal is to help you to get a trustworthy and safe VPN for your PC

What is the best VPN for Windows? Have a look:


1. NordVPN ($2.99) – 1 out of 41 tested

NordVPN takes the first position on my rating because of numerous reasons. Though, the first that matter most is a high level of security that the VPN provides. The service offers such useful functions as Double VPN, CyberSec, obfuscated servers, automatic Kill Switch, Onion Over VPN, etc. It owns 5194 servers in 60 countries.

NordVPN is owned by Tefincorm company and based under Panama’s jurisdiction. The best thing here is that the service is out “14 Eyes” countries. Besides, there are no mandatory data retention laws in Panama. This allows the VPN not to collect and keep connection logs of the users.

Have a look at why NordVPN is a leader of the rating:

  • Of course, it is difficult to find a VPN service that would not have an application for Windows OS. However, our task is to find the best VPN software for Windows. As for me, NordVPN has one of the best apps. It was dead easy to download NordVPN on Windows. It has all essential features that you can change in the settings. The app allows choosing servers by categories. You can also find a server on the map or use the “Quick connect” button to connect to a server automatically. You should have Windows 7 or later to use the application.
    NordVPN application for Windows
  • NordVPN is a service that does not keep any logs. It has a clear and honest privacy policy that is approved by a third company. So, you don’t have to worry about and guess if the service is trustworthy or not!
  • Neither IP nor DNS leaks were detected while testing the VPN on my Windows 10.
  • The encryption method of the VPN will allow you to feel safe while surfing the Internet. NordVPN provides 256-bit encryption and such secure protocols as UDP and TCP are used for Windows.
  • With NordVPN, I was managed to unblock Netflix. It is a good choice for other streaming services as well. Due to a huge number of services, NordVPN is able to provide you with a fast VPN experience. This will undoubtedly allow you to stream high-quality videos.

Read full NordVPN review


2. CyberGhost ($2.75) – 2 out of 41 tested

CyberGhost is a beginner friendly VPN. It is one of the most popular VPN clients among Windows users. The VPN offers 3600+ servers in 60+ countries. The following features are available with the VPN: automatic Kill Switch, unlimited bandwidth and traffic, up to 7 simultaneous connections. The VPN is even compatible with the Tor browser and proxy servers.

One of the main reasons to choose CyberGhost for anonymous browsing is its jurisdiction. The service is based in Romania. So, you may not worry about your data leakage. It will stay safe and secure.

Here are other reasons why the service is the second:

  • CyberGhost app for Windows is just awesome! In my experience, it is one of the best VPN software! It is not only beautiful but intuitive as well. The app is compatible with Windows7, Windows 8.0, and Windows 10. The Windows app allows creating your own privacy triggers! Use Smart rules to choose a website to exclude from passing the VPN tunnel. The app also provides you with the list of the fastest servers, specifically designed locations for torrenting and streaming. “One-click connect” will connect you to the server automatically.
    CyberGhost VPN for Windows
  • CyberGhost is a service with a clearly laid out privacy policy. The VPN does not store logs and does not lie about its zero logs policy.
  • The VPN boasts DNS and IP leak protection functions. The provider is able to hide your original IP address on the Net. CyberGhost IP addresses are shared with other users on the respective server. It allows extending your privacy and anonymity.
  • CyberGhost uses military-grade 256-bit encryption. Windows users can choose between OpenVPN and L2TP protocols. Both of them are considered to be robust.
  • You might have already known that Netflix tries to crack down VPN servers. However, CyberGhost unblocked the service successfully. You will hardly face any difficulties with getting past geo-restrictions with CyberGhost. Actually, CyberGhost is not the fastest provider it has average speeds. Though, you won’t have problems with watching streaming services.

Read full CyberGhost review


3. Surfshark ($1.99) – 3 out of 41 tested

Despite Surfshark is a newcomer on the market, it has already established itself to be a trustworthy and robust provider. Today it doesn’t have a wide server park, it owns 800 servers in 49 countries. It offers a 30-days money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial. The VPN is really cheap. It is undoubtedly a torrent-friendly service. With such functions as Kill Switch, leak protection, and private DNS you will stay secure while using the provider.

The British Virgin Islands jurisdiction of the provider does not require information reporting and storage.

It takes the third position. But why?

  • Surfshark is undoubtedly one of the top VPN apps for PC. The application is extremely easy to install and use. You may choose between two options: full screen or mini mode. On the left, you can find the app settings. Actually, the VPN provides extra security features like Whitelister for apps, CleanWeb, and MultiHop. The last one gives you a possibility to connect to the Internet via multiple countries at once. The software requires Windows 7 or later.
    SurfShark VPN app for Windows
  • I’ve read Surfshark Privacy Policy carefully and found out that the VPN collects the following information: email addresses for account management, basic billing information, diagnostics information. So, can I say that Surfshark is a zero logs VPN? A definite “Yes”!
  • The VPN has passed all security tests successfully. I was not managed to find out any IP leaks. It means I stayed secure and safe while browsing the Internet using Surfshark VPN on Windows.
  • The provider uses only advanced protocols and the most robust encryption known today. The provider boasts AES-256-GCM encryption. For Windows, the following protocols are available: IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN/TCP and OpenVPN/UDP. You can switch between them directly in the Surfshark app.
  • With Surfshark you will be able to unblock and watch streaming services without buffers and lags. The speed test results you may find in my Surfshark VPN review. Here you may also learn that the provider is not blocked by Netflix. I successfully got past geo-restriction and got access to the service.

Read full Surfshark review


4. Private Internet Access ($3.49) – 4 out of 41 tested

Ok, why Private Internet Access is a good choice for Windows users? The first reason is Private Internet Access (aka PIA) is a torrent-friendly VPN that is able to provide you with privacy and anonymity on the Internet. It allows 10 multi-logins and has an unbeatable price if take into consideration all advantages of the VPN. It owns 3307 servers in 32 countries!

The fourth position in the rating because of the following factors:

  • A huge number of PIA users like the dark mode of the software. As for me, the PIA application for Windows is handy and useful. After I had launched the software, it offered me the recommended server. If you are going to choose another location, you have to right-click the section “VPN server”, scroll down the list with the servers and choose the needed one. The Windows app offers to select language, theme; set up your account information, privacy preferences, and connection time. It requires Windows 7, 8.1, or 10.
    Private Internet Access for Windows
  • The VPN is reliable in terms of privacy. PIA does not trace your traffic or communication logs. The VPN stores only your email and payment data. A temporary cookie will be received by those customers who use the control panel.
  • All security tests for PIA VPN were successful. The provider is able to hide your IP on the Internet, making your browsing safe and anonymous.
  • Besides robust 256-bit encryption, Private Internet Access uses the message authentication algorithm. Two modes which are available here are SHA1 and SHA256. The Windows application uses OpenVPN protocol. However, you are also able to set up L2TP, PPTP, and SOCKS5.
  • Private Internet Access allows unblocking Netflix, Spotify and other streaming services. You will hardly face some problems with it. My download speeds with PIA VPN were about 30 Mbps with the server in Europe and nearly 22 Mbps with the server in America. These are the average results. Though, they are good enough for streaming.

Read full Private Internet Access review


5. IPVanish ($6.49) – 5 out of 41 tested

Today IPVanish VPN is popular not only among Windows users. The service was introduced in 2012. It boasts server diversity (1300 servers in 50 countries), multi-platform compatibility, Split Tunneling, and Kill Switch.

Why IPVanish is the fifth? Have a look:

  • IPVanish offers amazing software. Its simple interface caters even for new VPN users. Everything is simple and intuitive. The software offers the “Quick connect” button, you may also use the server list. The general settings of the VPN will allow you to adjust preferences according to your tastes. Windows 7 and higher versions will work with IPVanish.
    IPVanish VPN app for Windows
  • IPVanish does not keep a record of any connection, traffic, and activity data. They only monitor users’ website activity in order to measure the site’s performance and improve functionality.
  • I have tested several servers of IPVanish VPN. And I was happy to learn that the VPN is really reliable and able to hide my real location on the Net.
  • As all VPN providers in my top rating, IPVanish secures users’ Internet connection with the help of 256-bit encryption. The Windows app allows choosing between OpenVPN UDP/TCP, L2TP, IKEv2.
  • IPVanish works with Netflix well. During the testing, I found out that 12 out of 18 US-based IPVanish servers were managed to unblock Netflix content. The speed of IPVanish allows watching streaming services convenient without any buffers.

Read full IPVanish review


VPNs for Windows that aren’t trustworthy

What concerns compatibility with Windows, you will hardly face some problems with getting a VPN for your computer. The main thing here is to find a trustworthy VPN that will ensure your security on the Internet and allow you to surf the Internet fast.

In this regard, I do not recommend you to use the following providers:

1. HideMyAss – lies about its no-logging policy

Despite the VPN claims to have a no-logging policy, one guy was sentenced to prison because the provider handed the information about him to law enforcement. It was in 2011. This case questions the credibility of a no logs policy of the provider.

It is not a secret that today VPN services often lie about their features in order to attract more customers. Unfortunately, HideMyAss is among such services. That is why I recommend you to avoid using this VPN on your Windows.

2. UnblockUS – was accused of selling users’ data

If you take your privacy and security on the Internet seriously, I do not recommend you to use UnblockUS service. It is far from being robust. The service does not meet the requirements of being a trustworthy provider. Besides, all security test for this service showed unsuccessful results. My IP was leaking. This is the vital reason not to use UnblockUs for anonymous browsing.

3. Steganos – too slow

I have no complaints about the security and privacy of the VPN. On the contrary, it seems to be trustworthy and reliable in terms of security. However, I had a bad user experience with this VPN, mainly because of a slow Internet connection. My download speed was reduced by 92%! It made the VPN unappropriated even for regular browsing.

So, speed test results just crossed out the provider from the list of top VPN software for Windows.


What do you need to know about VPNs for Windows?

Windows 10: built-in VPN

The beauty of modern VPN services is that they all provide customers with intuitive and simple apps that make a safe Internet connection easier. However, there are always users who want to set up their VPN manually. The guide, which I’m going to offer, will be also useful for those who prefer running Windows 10 in S mode and cannot install software outside the Store.

Want to learn how to set up VPNs for Windows 10? Let’s dive right in!

  • First, click the Start Menu button and find Settings.Built-in VPN on Windows 10
  • Now click Network & Internet, find VPN.Manual setup of VPN on Windows 10
  • Click Add a VPN connection.
  • Fill in all fields. In the dropdown menu, you have to choose Windows (built-in). In Connection name, it’s better to type the name of the VPN you are going to use. You should also have access to a list of servers of the provider to type one of them into Server name or address. Determine what protocol you are going to choose. Finally, choose sign-in information. Click Save.
  • Now when you go to VPN, you will find your connection, click it. Click Connect and sign in to your VPN connection.
    Connecting to VPN on Windows 10

How to get a VPN for Windows Vista or Windows XP

You might have already noticed that almost all VPN software require Windows 7 or higher. But what if one wants to get a VPN on Windows Vista or XP? Unfortunately, not all VPN Windows apps are compatible with these versions of the operating system. Here is a perfect way out – you can install OpenVPN.

OpenVPN is free software, which is designed to create Virtual Private Network between a group of geographically distant notes over the Internet. OpenVPN protocol isn’t built into Windows, though it’s considered to be highly robust. That’s why this method of getting a VPN on Windows is also a good alternative to built-in VPN on Windows 10.

To install OpenVPN on Windows, you have to download the latest versions of OpenVPN that is compatible with your operating system. Make sure that all the needed components are selected and run the installer.

OpenVPN client for Windows

Choose a folder you are going to install the software. Run the software as administrator. On the bottom-right of your desktop find the icon with a computer, right click it and import files for configuration of a VPN connection.

Setting up Open VPN on Windows

Bear in mind that all configuration files should be located at the OpenVPN → config. In my case: Computer →Local Disk (C:) →Program Files → OpenVPN → config.

Configuration files of OpenVPN

Due to OpenSSL Library and HMAC packet authentication, OpenVPN is able to secure your network on the maximum. The software is immensely reliable and has a huge number of users throughout the world.

The main disadvantage of using this free VPN software for Windows 10, or such older versions as Windows Vista or XP, is that this method is not user-friendly. Being a newbie, one should read various forums to run the software properly. Besides, not all proxy servers compatible with OpenVPN and the latency with OpenVPN can be high as well.


Risks of using free VPN services for Windows

You might think why pay for a VPN if I am able to hide my IP address for free? However, it is far from being the truth. Here are the main reasons why you should avoid using free VPNs for Windows.

  • If you have read my Hotspot Shield review, you know that free services or free versions of paid VPN services can sell your private data to advertisers.
  • They limit the features. You will hardly unblock Netflix with a free VPN, the amount of data will be limited as well.
  • They limit speeds as well. They make internet connection too slow even for regular surfing the Net.
  • They can track your Internet activity by using third-party trackers.
  • If you have opted for a free VPN software for Windows, be ready for constant ads. Ads are not only something annoying and irritating. They are risky as well. They can lead you to a malicious website and reduce your Internet connection speeds.

Best VPN for Windows according to “Reddit” users

I think it would be useful to provide you with information about what VPN services Reddit lovers prefer to use on Windows. I was pretty surprised to learn that Reddit users mention almost the same VPNs that I used in my rating.

Here are some examples:

VPNs for Windows on Reddit

Of course, it’s impossible to create an exact VPN rating of Reddit lovers. However, it seems to me that the most frequently used VPNs for Windows among Redditors are:

  • NordVPN;
  • Private Internet Access;
  • Proton VPN;
  • Betternet;
  • Windscribe.

ProtonVPN is not a bad service that provides customers with professional support, unlimited bandwidth, up to 10 multi-logins and 391 servers in 32 countries.

As for Betternet and Windscribe, they are free of charge. That’s why I do not recommend using them.


Best VPN for Windows: key highlights

In this rating, I tried to cover all the needed information for cautious Windows users. To my mind, NordVPN, CyberGhost, Surfshark, Private Internet Access, and IPVanish are worthy VPN services for Windows that are able to hide your IP on the Internet. They will neither compromise you nor sell your data to third-parties. All of them offer handy and beautifully-designed software for Windows 7 and later.

The table below will show you how to get the best VPN for your version of Windows:

VPN

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

Windows 10

NordVPN

OpenVPNOpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

Manual (IKEv2/IPsec)

application

OpenVPN

Manual (IKEv2/IPsec)

application

OpenVPN

Manual (IKEv2/IPsec)

CyberGhost

OpenVPNOpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

Surfshark

OpenVPNOpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

Private Internet Access

OpenVPNOpenVPN

application

OpenVPN

Manual (L2TP, PPTP)

application

OpenVPN

Manual (L2TP, PPTP)

application

OpenVPN

Manual (L2TP, PPTP)

IPVanish

OpenVPN

Manual (L2TP, PPTP, )

OpenVPN

Manual (L2TP, PPTP, )

application

OpenVPN

Manual (PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2)

application

OpenVPN

Manual (PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2)

application

OpenVPN

Manual (PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2)

In my rating, I also mentioned the providers that are better to avoid using on Windows for this or that reason.

You can also find the information on how to set up a built-in VPN for Windows 10 and what alternatives can you use for Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Read about what VPN services Reddit users prefer to use on their Windows and why free VPNs for Windows are not trustworthy.

Hope this information will help you to secure your Internet connection!


Compare 5 best VPNs for Windows

To conclude I want to provide you with a table that shows the main advantages of VPN providers. These are the reasons why my top 5 VPNs are the best for Windows:

VPN

Application for Windows

No-logging policy

IP or DNS leaks

Encryption/
protocols

Netflix

NordVPN

Windows 7 and higher

+

256-bit/
OpenVPN

+

CyberGhost

Windows 7 and higher

+

256-bit/OpenVPN,
L2TP

+

Surfshark

Windows 7 and higher

+

256-bit/OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec

+

Private Internet Access

Windows 7 and higherOpenVPN

+

256-bit/OpenVPN,
L2TP, PPTP

+

IPVanish

Windows 7 and higher

+

256-bit/OpenVPN,
IKEv2, L2TP

+

Feel free to leave comments below in case you have any suggestions or questions!