10 Best VPNs for Windows in 2023 (Free and Paid Options)

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: May 17, 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.

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. ExpressVPN – It boasts high speeds, incredible unblocking capabilities, a wide range of security and privacy features.
  2. NordVPN –  Our top recommendation for Windows users. Offers fast speeds with watertight security and a zero-logs policy.
  3. Surfshark – Low-cost option for Windows, unblocks major streaming sites, unlimited simultaneous connections.
  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. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN new features block logo 120 by 120 now

Apart from its resilient services, premium security, stealth technology, and blazing fast speed, ExpressVPN also excels at offering dedicated, user-friendly PC apps for Windows users.

servers A network of over 3,000 VPN servers in more than 90 countries
encryption Data encryption AES 256
protection DNS/IPv6 is highly protected
P2P optimized servers Supporting P2P connections
network lock feature Functional Network lock (kill switch) feature
Trusted servers nord Enhances security by TrustedServer technology
simultaneous connections Connections limit is five devices at once
money-back guarantee 30-day refund assurance
  • Excellent Windows client
  • Top-notch security and privacy
  • User-friendly and swift installation
  • It does not offer an ad blocker

Next on our list of top Windows VPNs is ExpressVPN. It is the fastest VPN for Windows. This is a jack of all trades; you can use it to bypass geo-restrictions, stream, torrent, and play games securely.

ExpressVPN’s Windows desktop client is feature-filled and intuitive, with some features not found in the mobile apps. It also has a macOS client as well as Android and iOS apps. On top of that, the VPN is compatible with a wide variety of router firmware. This will help you protect all the internet-enabled devices in your household, including P.C., laptops, consoles, and T.V.s.

ExpressVPN operates over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. The majority of the servers are in the US and the UK, although other locations have multiple servers as well. This means you are likely to get a closer server for better speeds.

According to our recent speed tests of top VPNs, ExpressVPN came second after NordVPN. We connected to a server closer to our office, and our speeds dropped by only 4%. The Smart Location feature will automatically connect you to the most optimal server available. You will still get consistent speeds even when you connect to international servers.

Accessing Netflix US will be easy as it has multiple servers there. It can also circumvent geo-restrictions of other popular streaming sites such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney, Hulu, and more. You’ll watch in full H.D. without buffering as most of the servers offer sufficient speeds.

ExpressVPN allows P2P sharing across its entire server network. The provider doesn’t cap bandwidth and data, so you’ll torrent unrestricted. It is compatible with uTorrent and other torrenting clients to offer complete anonymity.

We have seen that ExpressVPN caused only a 4% drop in our internet connection speed. Although many factors can affect your speeds, this is a high-quality service that will handle any game. Try using servers closer to your location for better gaming speeds. This means you’ll play in ultra H.D. as if you are not using a VPN.

The VPN will maintain your security with AES 256-bit encryption alongside SHA-512 HMAC authentication, AES-256 cipher, and a 4096-bit R.S.A. key. There is also perfect forward secrecy that will assign you a new encryption key each time you start a session for anonymity.

ExpressVPN also offers multiple security protocols, such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. OpenVPN is the default protocol, but the VPN will automatically choose the best protocol depending on your connection. With it, you can rest assured you have a secure VPN for Windows 7, 8, and 10 by your side.

One of the most striking features is split tunnelling. It allows you to select the part of your traffic you’d like to encrypt and leave the rest intact. This means you will be browsing locally and through the VPN simultaneously. For example, you can access your online bank locally and encrypt your torrent traffic.

In terms of privacy, the provider claims to keep your activities private. We took a closer look at the privacy policy and found out that it does not collect any logs. The VPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which sits outside the 5/9/14 Eyes countries. The provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which we tested to be a truly no-questions-asked one, meaning you can try the service risk-free.