Best VPNs For Windows (2023)

last updated

December 19, 2023

written by

David Morelo

A VPN can ensure that you’re protected while you’re using any sort of Windows device. Be it a laptop or a tablet, you will be able to surf the web with peace of mind, as your IP address will be hidden and you can take advantage of other beneficial security features as well.

The only trouble is that there are so many different VPNs to select from today. How do you narrow down your search effectively? Luckily, I have done the hard work for you and researched the best VPNs for Windows (updated weekly). 


NordVPN logo

Best VPN For Huge Server Choice

Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 17.09.00

Best VPN For Unlimited Devices

ExpressVPN logo

Best VPN For Reliability

Hotspot Shield logo

Best VPN For Speed

IPVanish Logo

Best VPN For Security Features


Doesn’t Windows 10 already have an in-built VPN?

Yes, it does. Windows 10 has a VPN, which comes with a point-to-point tunnelling protocol, and so it is a great added layer of security. However, that’s all it offers. You are not going to get all of the other amazing features that come with some of the best VPNs on the market today. Plus, the VPN that’s in-built in Windows 10 is quite tricky in terms of set-up. You’ve got to change the network settings and tinker with your router, which isn’t easy if you don’t have some advanced tech knowledge. So, personally, I wouldn’t rely on the built-in VPN on Windows 10.

IS Windows 10 safe?

Every time that a company releases an update of their operating system, they make security improvements. This is most certainly the case with Microsoft and their latest release, Windows 10. Protection and security have been enhanced considerably. However, you can’t rest on your laurels when it comes to security. You need to take action to make sure that you’re as safe as possible when browsing the web, and that is what Windows 10 is all about.

With that being said, it really does make sense to use the services of a quality VPN provider to ensure that you’re protected. Here are my top picks…

1. NordVPN

NordVPN takes the top spot when it comes to Windows VPNs. It simply ticks all of the boxes. You can surf anonymously while unblocking all of the major streaming websites, including the likes of BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Netflix.


What to expect from NordVPN

The network of servers is quite simply huge! There are more than 5,400 NordVPN servers, which are distributed across 59 countries, ensuring exceptional coverage. Locations range from Australia to China, Russia, France, the UK, Canada, the US, and much more. 

One of the great things about NordVPN is that it is based in Panama, which means it is outside of the 5/9/14-Eyes jurisdiction. It has a no-logs policy in place as well. 

This outstanding severe coverage means that the upload and download speeds are impressive at NordVPN. Every time I streamed something in HD I did not experience any buffering or lagging.

Unlike a lot of VPNs out there, you can use NordVPN to bypass the Great Firewall of China. It has obfuscated servers that make your VPN encrypted traffic look like standard web activity. 

How much does NordVPN cost?

Before I reveal more about the cost, it is great to see that there is a 30-day free trial period, meaning you can really test the service and determine whether or not it is going to be right for you.

In terms of pricing, there are three different plans to select from. The one-month plan is billed at £9.20 per month. There is then the one-year plan, which costs £45.43 for the entire year, which works out at £3.79 per month. The cheapest plan to go for is the two-year plan. You have to pay £68.53 upfront with this plan, but it works out much cheaper, saving you 68% by costing £2.86 per month. You also get three months free if you go for this option, so it is a no-brainer.

You can read my review on NordVPN for further in-depth information and analysis.

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2. Surfshark

Although Surfshark is one of the newer VPNs that is available today, it definitely has a lot to offer. I have certainly been impressed with it!


What to expect from Surfshark

Surfshark has servers across 65 countries, with more than 3,200 servers available. Like ExpressVPN, it is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a great location for a VPN, as it is not part of any of the data-sharing agreements. You can also expect an automatic kill switch, a strict no-logs policy, and military-strength encryption.

Surfshark impressed me with its ability to unblock all of the main streaming platforms, from BBC iPlayer to Netflix.

One advantage that Surfshark has over the other Windows VPNs is that you can connect as many devices as you want. Therefore, if you have a big household, you will all be protected with the one VPN account. This can really save you a big chunk of money!

There are a lot of privacy settings and features on Surfshark that I am pleased with. This includes strong obfuscation and double encryption settings. There are also various profiles as well, including Camouflage Mode, which stops your ISP from determining the VPN connection and NoBorders Mode, which delivers added protection in regions that are censorship-heavy. 

How much does Surfshark cost?

Surfshark also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for your peace of mind. Three packages are available, which are as follows:

  • One-month for £9.64
  • Six months for £29 in total, which equates to £4.83 per month
  • 24 months for £44.51, which equates to just £1.65 per month, making it the most cost-efficient option.

You can read my review on Surfshark for further in-depth information and analysis.

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3. ExpressVPN

Another VPN that is a great choice for Windows users is ExpressVPN. This is high-speed, reliable VPN, which works easily on all Windows devices. You can unblock all of the major streaming platforms, as well as making the most of plenty of other exciting features.


What to expect from ExpressVPN

Just like NordVPN, ExpressVPN is in a location that is privacy-friendly: the British Virgin Islands. It really is one of the best VPNs out there in terms of security. It has a strict no-logs policy in place, as well as an automatic kill switch, split tunnelling, DNS leak protection, and 256-bit encryption.

ExpressVPN also features TrustedServer technology, which utilizes RAM so that all information on the server is deleted permanently whenever it is rebooted. 

In terms of server choice, there are plenty. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 different countries, with more than 3,000 high-speed servers to select from. Therefore, you do truly get global coverage with this VPN.

The MediaStreamer technology is one of the highlights of this service. It enables you to stream movies and TV shows on devices that do not support VPN connections, such as a Smart TV or gaming console. 

Finally, speed really is where ExpressVPN stands out. I ran numerous speed tests and I never had any issue with buffering or lagging.

How much does ExpressVPN cost?

There are three different plans available when purchasing ExpressVPN:

  • One-month plan – £9.98 per month
  • Six-month plan – £46.22 upfront (works out at £7.70 per month)
  • 12-month plan – £77.06 upfront (works out at £6.41 per month)

As you can see, it is not the cheapest VPN out there, but a lot of people believe it is more than worth it. Plus, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee for your complete peace of mind.

You can read my review on ExpressVPN for further in-depth information and analysis.

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4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield has long been a popular choice for those seeking a VPN for Windows. It is well-known for having its own protocol; Catapult Hydra. This makes it one of the fastest VPNs, so if speed is what you’re looking for, Hotspot Shield does not disappoint. 


What to expect from Hotspot Shield

While you can expect lightning fast speeds, there are plenty of other benefits associated with this VPN. It has a Windows client that is really easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners. 

One of my favourite things about Hotspot Shield is the SmartVPN feature. This assesses your activity and your location and matches you to the perfect server for you. 

You can also expect an effective kill switch, which is something I always look for in a VPN. This helpful tool means that your IP address will be protected even if your connection drops out.

It is easy to unblock streaming sites like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer. Every server supports P2P too.

If you want to use the VPN on other devices, aside from Windows, do note that Catapult Hydra protocol means it cannot be used on the likes of games consoles and smart televisions, so do keep this in mind. For Windows, though, you’re not going to experience any problems. 

How much does Hotspot Shield cost?

Hotspot Shield does have a free plan, but it is very restricted. In terms of paid plans, there is a Premium and Premium Family plan. The latter provides you with up to five family member accounts. You can save up to 54% by opting to pay for your plan on a yearly basis instead of per month.

You can read my review on Hotspot Shield for further in-depth information and analysis.

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5. IPVanish

If you’ve not come across a VPN that is right for you just yet, why not give IPVanish a try? This is another Windows VPN that I rate highly.


What to expect from IPVanish

Before I go any further, I should get one of the major negatives out of the way. This is the location of IPVanish: the United States. The United States is part of the 14-Eyes Sharing Agreement, meaning it’s a poor choice of VPN location.

If this does not bother you, there is plenty to enjoy about IPVanish. It has DNS leak protection and an in-built kill switch on the Windows app. Other security elements include the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, and the no-logs policy.

In terms of network size, IPVanish has servers in 75 countries, with 1,600 servers in total. Streaming can be a bit hit-miss. I managed to unblock BBC iPlayer and Netflix, but I struggled with HBO GO and Hulu.

How much does IPVanish cost?

Be careful with the IPVanish pricing. They offer either a VPN standalone package or VPN with storage. You can pay yearly, and this will lock in great savings, so I always recommend this. However, do be careful if you go down the monthly route. The first month’s payment is much cheaper, and then the prices go up the following month. It can catch you out if you’re not careful. 

You can try IPVanish without risk, as they provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

You can read my review on IPVanish for further in-depth information and analysis.

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6. ZenMate

If you’re looking for a VPN app that is easy-to-use for Windows, Zenmate is a worthy choice. The set-up only involves three-steps and you can configure the VPN with one click.


What to expect from Zenmate

Zenmate has a moderate network. There are 2,900 servers spread across 78 countries. You can expect unlimited data transfer and unlimited bandwidth. You also get unlimited server switches, which is a nice addition!

Security is another benefit of Zenmate. You can expect DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch and a no-logs policy.

You can use this VPN for torrenting and it is ideal for streaming too, able to bypass digital censorship restrictions effectively. 

How much does Zenmate cost? 

There are three plans available. The first is a free plan, yet you can only choose from four server locations and you’re restricted to 2 MB. Aside from this, you have the Ultimate plan, which costs £1.44 per month. Pro is available for £1.59 per month. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Those prices are based on the yearly plan, which needs to be paid upfront. There are one-month and six months plans, yet they are more expensive.

You can read my review on Zenmate for further in-depth information and analysis.

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7. VyprVPN

Based in Switzerland, VyprVPN is in a location that is privacy-friendly, and it has a lot to offer in terms of security too, making it a worthy VPN for Windows.


What to expect from VyprVPN

In terms of the server network, VyprVPN has over 700 servers, which isn’t the biggest number, but they are spread across 70 different countries.

VyprVPN excels on the privacy front, delivering an automatic kill switch, DNS protection, a no-logs policy, and high-end encryption. 

The brand’s proprietary Chameleon technology is a real highlight for me, bypassing censorship and networks that are restrictive. It operates by scrambling OpenVPN packet metadata, making it appear like standard data under a deep packet inspection. In basic terms, if you’re in a country that censors online activity, VyprVPN is a wise choice! 

I had no trouble unblocking all of the streaming services I tried, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix.

How much does VyprVPN cost?

There are four different plans for VyprVPN, which are as follows:

  • VyprVPN Standard Plan (£6.90 per month or £43.50 per year)
  • VyprVPN Premium Plan (£9.25 per month or £57.50 per year)
  • VyprVPN for Business (Contact VyprVPN for a quote)
  • VyprVPN Business Premium (Contact VyprVPN for a quote)

You can read my review on VyprVPN for further in-depth information and analysis.

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8. PrivateVPN

At an affordable price, I think PrivateVPN is a good choice for anyone looking for a budget solution.


What to expect from PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, which isn’t the best location for a VPN, I must admit. However, it does have a genuine zero-logs policy, which counteracts the location.

There are plenty of good security features as well, including an automatic kill switch for the Windows app, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and 256-it encryption. 

The server network is small but effective, with 60 countries covered and 150+ servers, all of which are P2P-friendly. There are also servers that are optimized for Netflix, which is ideal if you want a VPN for streaming.

One feature I do really like is the Stealth Mode, which is designed to get past deep packet inspection and VPN blocks. 

How much does PrivateVPN cost?

You have the option of a one-month plan, three-month plan, or a 24-month plan. The one month plan costs $8.10 per month. The three-month plan is $15.08 upfront, which is $5.03 per month. Finally, the 24-month plan is $49.68 upfront, which is just $2.07 per month. The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can read my review on PrivateVPN for further in-depth information and analysis.

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9. CyberGhost

With 6,600 servers spread across 90 countries, CyberGhost is a great choice of VPN in general. Its Windows app, though, is very easy-to-use, boasting a sleek design that will appeal to both beginners and more advanced VPN users.


What to expect from CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a very easy set-up, with only one-click needed. It doesn’t get much more simple than that, does it?

If you’re tech-savvy, you will enjoy the ability to tweak every element of your connection with the smart rules and advanced settings. This is something I am a big fan of! 

The good news does not end there, as your connection can be optimized for torrenting or streaming by using the in-built dedicated profiles. This enabled me to unblock virtually any streaming service without problem. However, I have read reports that this VPN does not work in China, so do keep that in mind.

In terms of privacy and security, it is situated in Romania, which is a great location for a VPN, as it is privacy-friendly. There is a no-logs policy, as well as an automatic kill switch and 256-bit encryption. 

How much does CyberGhost cost?

Rather than offering a 30-day money-back guarantee, CyberGhost provides a 45-day money-back guarantee! You can also protect up to seven devices at once, which is more than the industry standard of five.

You have three options with their plans. The first is the one-month plan, which costs £10.89 per month. The second is a one-year plan, which is £41.40 per year, meaning it costs £3.45 per month. Finally, the two-year plan is the cheapest, billed at £69.36 every two years, equating to £2.89 per month.

You can read my review on CyberGhost for further in-depth information and analysis.

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10. Private Internet Access

Finally, another VPN that I recommend for Windows is Private Internet Access. It’s a good all-rounder, although I wouldn’t advise it for streaming. Go for one of the other options if that’s your purpose for buying a VPN.


What to expect from Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has a good server network, with more than 21,000 servers across 76 countries. 

My favourite thing about Private Internet Access is the security features they have. This includes their automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection. They also have a strict no-logs policy. The MACE feature is definitely worth a mention, providing malware, tracker, and adblocking.

As mentioned, if you do want a VPN for streaming purposes, I would recommend going for one of the other nine Windows VPNs mentioned in this guide. I have tried Private Internet Access with all of the major streaming sites. It seems to work fine with Netflix, but I have not had the same luck with Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, which is a bit disappointing!

How much does Private Internet Access cost?

You have three pricing plans with Private Internet Access. The first is the monthly plan, which is £9.99 per month. The second is the yearly plan, which is £32.49 per year, working out at £2.71 each month. The three-year plan delivers the most value, billed at £65 for the three years, which works out at £1.81 per month. You will also get the Boxcryptor Cloud Security License as a bonus with this plan.

No matter which plan you opt for, you will get a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try out Private Internet Access without risk.

You can read my review on Private Internet Access for further in-depth information and analysis.

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