10 best VPNs for Windows in 2023 (both free and paid options)

Ruheni Mathenge Last updated: March 16, 2023 Read time: 33 minutes Disclosure

You badly need a Windows VPN today for multiple pressing reasons. This guide helps you pick only the best option for your PC, laptop, and tablet.

Sneak peek at using a VPN for Windows

Windows remains the most used and hence, the most prone platform to cyber threats. Since it’s commonly used even by home users, kids, and other non-technical users, tracking Windows PCs is one of the most prevalent online threats. Therefore, using a VPN for Windows is crucial to preventing snooping activities. And if you pick the right VPN with a user-friendly interface, you won’t face problems using the app on your PC, even if you don’t know much about the technicalities. This article lists some of the best Windows VPNs you can use today.

Windows is perhaps the most commonly used computer operating system in the world. Like most people, you might not be aware of the privacy risks associated with it. If you look closer at Microsoft’s privacy policy, you will see that it tracks your private information.

In fact, several cybersecurity audits have found that Windows is vulnerable to malware and hackers. Although the company has worked hard to improve its latest Windows 10, there are still some safety concerns. That is why using a virtual private network (VPN) is recommended. It will encrypt your traffic and pass it through encrypted tunnels for safety.

This guide lists the top ten best Windows VPNs, why you need a VPN for Windows, factors to consider when choosing a VPN, and much more.

A quick summary of the top 10 VPNs for Windows

  1. NordVPN –  Our top recommendation for Windows users. Offers fast speeds with watertight security and a zero-logs policy.
  2. Surfshark – Low-cost option for Windows, unblocks major streaming sites, unlimited simultaneous connections.
  3. ExpressVPN – It boasts high speeds, incredible unblocking capabilities, a wide range of security and privacy features.
  4. CyberGhost – Extremely easy to use, massive server network, optimized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
  5. IPVanish – Strong security, unlimited simultaneous connections, unrestricted bandwidth, a transparent no-logs policy.
  6. Windscribe – 10GB free monthly data, in-built malware protection, military-grade security, R.O.B.E.R.T. adblocker.
  7. Tunnelbear – Windows TCP Override, 500MB free monthly data, robust security, bypasses censorship.
  8. Hotspot Shield – Free Windows app, great speeds, 500MB free data per day, works with Kodi and offers advanced security.
  9. ProtonVPN – Unlimited free data, zero-logs policy, perfect forward secrecy, automatic protection, unblocks Netflix.
  10. Hide.me –Unrestricted bandwidth, military-grade encryption, support torrenting, 10GB free monthly data.

In-depth analysis of the best Windows VPNs

1. NordVPN


This robust VPN offers the best and the most customizable desktop clients for Windows users. Also offers task-specific optimized servers without compromising privacy.

servers Currently has over 5,000 VPN servers present in 60 countries
P2P optimized servers P2P enabled servers
encryption Secure encryption AES-256-bit
simultaneous connections Gives connections to six devices at a time
SmartPlay feature SmartPlay feature
MultiHop mode Owns double VPN feature
protection Has solid DNS leak protection
money-back guarantee Take your money back within 30 days

  • Compatible with Windows
  • Fast-speed servers
  • Robust security and privacy
  • Relatively tricky desktop app

NordVPN is the best VPN for Windows and our top recommendation. It has a robust and user-friendly Windows client, and its service has impressive unblocking capabilities. It also offers superfast speeds and competitive plans.

The VPN is compatible with Windows and other operating systems such as Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux. Although it allows you to connect six devices, you can install it on your router to add more devices. This is an excellent way to add gadgets that don’t support VPNs, like smart TVs and PS4 consoles.

NordVPN is one of the most extensive networks in the VPN industry, with over 5,000 servers worldwide. Although most of the servers are in the US., other countries have multiple servers. The company has servers in heavily restricted regions like the U.A.E. and Turkey.

There are also plenty of servers close to China, like Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The obfuscation feature will enable you to use a VPN in these countries unrestricted.

The downside is that NordVPN still uses hard drive storage on its servers. As a result, your traffic data is stored on a physical hard drive until deleted manually. On the bright side, the provider follows a strict zero-logs policy, so you will still remain anonymous. Besides, the company has started adopting RAM on its servers for greater privacy.

NordVPN offers blazing-fast speeds. The Quick Connect feature will identify and connect you to the fastest server available based on your latency and distance. If you still cannot get enough speed, you can connect to nearby servers for improved speeds. Ours speeds dropped by only 2% when we connected to a server a few kilometres away.

The VPN can unblock geo-restrictions of popular streaming services. It has a SmartPlay feature that will easily bypass even the toughest geo-blocks while keeping your privacy and security.

We tested it and easily accessed sites such as Netflix, ESPN, Hotstar, and BBC iPlayer, among others. Most of the servers maintain consistent speeds, so your streaming quality will be in high definition. The VPN can also unblock YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other websites commonly blocked in schools and workplaces.

NordVPN has several P2P-optimised servers to improve your torrenting experience. You can easily access these servers from the app’s sidebar to save time. The VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and data, so you’ll download and share large files. It also works well with all the major torrent clients, including Vuze, uTorrent, and BitTorrent.

This is a formidable VPN service and will handle any online game. We tested it with superfast games such as Doom Eternal and multiplayer games like Call of Duty. The VPN maintained excellent speeds and didn’t leave any room for slow speeds while gaming.

It uses AES 256-bit encryption to safeguard your internet connection and, ultimately, data and activities online. This is high-level encryption with infinite possible codes so that no one will get their hands on your information. The provider combines the encryption with other security features such as perfect forward secrecy, SHA-2 authentication, and a 2048-bit DH key.

While like ExpressVPN, NordVPN does not offer any free trial, but it boasts very competitive plans. The two-year plan offers the best value for money with a 68% discount. Take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service before committing to a plan.