- Best VPN for Windows 2021
- What Makes a VPN the Best for Windows
- 1. The Best VPN for Windows: ExpressVPN
- Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
Windows is by far the most widely used desktop operating system. Having so many users makes it a magnet for malicious activity, though. Windows machines are targeted endlessly, but you can protect yourself by using a virtual private network. We’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Windows to help you choose one that’s suitable for you.
VPNs can provide many benefits. For example, some people use them to access geoblocked content, or even Skype (see our best VPN for Skype piece). For the most part, though, they’re all about security. You should use a VPN wherever you are in the world. It will hide your online activity and conceal your real IP address, giving you anonymity online.
Though the software comes with security applications and you can tweak Windows’ privacy settings, that doesn’t mean you’re protected. As soon as you go online, you put yourself at risk. Search engines, social media, ad companies and even your internet service provider can collect your data, and some trade it, too.
Tools that protect your data are vital. Even on Windows 10, there are privacy issues, including DNS leakage and extensive data collection settings. You can and should disable some of those settings, but that can take digging and it won’t get rid of everything.
Governments across the globe pass legislation that allows for snooping and they often force ISPs to retain data. The Snowden revelations in 2013 showed just how much surveillance is out there, especially in the U.S., so you want to protect yourself as much as possible.
Plus, some countries don’t have rules protecting net neutrality. That means ISPs can slow down, speed up or even block websites and online services of their choosing. Some may require you to pay for a subscription before providing access.
The Philippines does not have net neutrality and there are many caps placed on mobile plans and the like. You can read more in our best VPN for the Philippines piece.
Perhaps you like to grab your morning cup of joe and spend time checking your email over the coffee shop’s free WiFi. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but you don’t know how secure the connection is, which is another reason to protect yourself.
If you’re into torrenting, a VPN is a must-have for staying off the radar. Most countries frown on torrenting copyrighted material and there can be consequences for doing so, as you can read in our best VPN for Germany piece.
Best VPN for Windows 2021
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 10
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 8
What Makes a VPN the Best for Windows
Most VPN providers will work with Windows, so there are lots to choose from. That said, some are better than others. They may have better features or be more reliable, for instance.
Because Windows lacks privacy, you want a provider that has a strict no-logs policy. That means, unlike Microsoft, the company won’t keep a record of your online activities.
Security is just as important and should be good enough to protect you from hackers and other online dangers, as well as keep you hidden from surveillance. A good feature to have is a kill switch, which will disconnect you if the VPN fails to keep your sensitive data from getting leaked.
Obviously, the VPN will need to support Windows, but its ease of use is something to look at because some providers offer better experiences than others.
It’s a good idea to pick one that has decent speeds, too, especially if you’ll be torrenting. Unlimited bandwidth is helpful, too, because there won’t be a cap on how much you can download.
Other features to look at include the provider’s server network, which operating systems it supports, how many devices can be connected at once, the level of customer service and price, all of which might have an influence on your decision.
1. The Best VPN for Windows: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is one of our favorites here at Cloudwards.net because it’s one of the best VPN providers on the market. It is a great all-around service and an excellent choice for Windows users. ExpressVPN strictly doesn’t keep any logs, too. That means there won’t be a record of your online activities, so even if authorities ask, ExpressVPN won’t be able to hand one over.
Its security is fantastic, with AES 256-bit as standard, plus the option to increase it. There’s also a built-in kill switch for extra protection. It is a great choice if you don’t have much experience using a VPN, too, because it works out of the box and can get you connected quickly.
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN around and doesn’t put limits on bandwidth, which makes it a good choice for torrenting. Switching servers is slow, though. Read our ExpressVPN review for more on the service.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
There are thousands of servers dotting 94 countries, which is plenty. ExpressVPN also works with macOS, Android and iOS, so if you have other devices you want to install it on, you’ll be able to do so. You can have five devices connected at the same time, too. There are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, as well.
Customer support is available 24/7 through email and live chat. The latter is the quickest option, but it can be slow compared to ExpressVPN’s competitors. Still, the staff is helpful and aims to get you settled as fast as possible.
The monthly price is expensive, which is a let down, but it’s worth it for the quality of service. Besides, you can save money by opting for a longer subscription and you’ll have time to try it thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 148 locations
- Slow switch time
NordVPN is another great provider and quite comparable to our top choice, as you can read in our ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN article.
It doesn’t keep logs, so it takes privacy seriously, and its security is among the best. There’s also the option to use double-hop encryption, which adds more protection to the VPN tunnel. A kill switch is provided with the service, as well, so you’ll be safe if anything goes wrong with the connection.
Setup is easy, the client is user-friendly and it has an intuitive layout. There are no bandwidth caps and its speeds are good, but they can get slow over long distances. Switching servers is a breeze, though. Those traits helped it come in first in our best VPN for torrenting article.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
NordVPN has a massive server network that covers 60 countries, so there are lots of choices when connecting. In addition to Windows, it can be used on macOS, Android and iOS, and you can connect up to six devices at the same time.
If you run into problems, you can use the helpful knowledgebase to try to fix common issues. Failing that, you can contact a member of the staff via email or live chat. If you want a quick response, the best option to use is the live chat. Either way will be good, though.
The monthly plan is affordable, but you’d be wise to sign up for a longer period because doing so will save you money. There is a 30-day refund on offer, as well, just in case you take a while to make up your mind. Check out our NordVPN review for more.
- Double-hop servers
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Priced well
- Lack of detail on server location
Its speeds are good, but they can slow down when connecting to a server that’s far away. It has unlimited bandwidth, though, which is good if you plan on torrenting. Learn more about the company in our CyberGhost review.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
CyberGhost has lots of servers in 58 countries. It also supports macOS, Android and iOS. You can connect up to seven devices at once, which was enough to earn it a spot on our best VPN for multiple devices guide.
There’s an extensive knowledgebase online that you can use to try to fix issues yourself, but support is available 24/7 via live chat or email if you need it. Live chat is the faster option of the two.
Its monthly price plan is okay, but you’ll save money with a lengthier plan. You can use the money-back guarantee to see if you like it.
- Automatic kill switch
- 7 simultaneous connections
- No kill switch controls
4. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is another provider that doesn’t log your activity. Its security is decent, but it defaults to 128-bit encryption. It is a good idea to change the setting to 256-bit, but doing so will slow down your connection. There’s a kill switch included, too.
PIA supports Windows and has an easy-to-use client. Its speeds are good, but they can slow down once you’ve increased the security. Switching servers is fast, though, and it lets you connect to another server before disconnecting from the one in use, which is rare. Plus, there are no bandwidth limits.
Other Reasons We Like PIA
It has more than 3,000 servers in 32 countries. Though it’s not as spread out as our other selections, you should be able to find a server that suits you.
PIA also supports macOS, Android and iOS. It’s also the only VPN that can fully support Linux, making it the best VPN for Linux. You can connect up to five devices at the same time, too.
If you get stuck, you can use the knowledgebase for help with common problems. If you still need assistance, you can contact customer service, but only by email. You can read more about that in our PIA review.
The monthly price is fair and you get a decent service for it. To save money, though, opt for a longer plan. There’s a seven-day money-back guarantee, which should be enough time to put the service through its paces.
- Easy & fast server switching
- Mediocre server network
- No live chat support
TorGuard doesn’t keep a record of your activities and its security is among the most customizable around. You can choose from different protocols and tinker if you like. It also provides a kill switch for added protection.
Its easy-to-use client can be installed on Windows. It has good speeds, too, but they can vary. There’s no limit on bandwidth, though, which allows for torrenting. Read our TorGuard review for more on the service.
Other Reasons We Like TorGuard
TorGuard has more than 3,000 servers in 55 countries. It also offers a dedicated IP address if you pay extra. That comes in handy if you want to stream because it gets you into the location you need without issue. The guarantee of getting a specific IP address earned TorGuard the top spot in our best VPN with dedicated IPs article.
You can use it on other operating systems, too. The macOS client is easy to use, but the mobile apps for Android and iOS can be a pain to set up. TorGuard lets you connect up to five devices at a time, but you can add up to 20 more for $1 each.
Help is available if you need it. You can try to solve issues yourself with TorGuard’s online guides and forum or you can use the live chat. The latter isn’t always staffed, though, so you may have to leave a message and wait for a reply by email.
The monthly price plan is okay, but you can save money by signing up for a longer period. There’s a seven-day money-back guarantee, too, so you can try before you buy.
- No logs
- Multiple protocol options
- Difficult to switch servers
Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand the importance of using a VPN. You are vulnerable to hacking, malicious software, surveillance and monitoring no matter where you are. Though Windows may look secure on the surface, it has more holes than a colander.
There are choices to make when it comes to choosing the right one, which is why we did the work for you. You can’t go wrong with any of our selections, but ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Windows.
It prioritizes privacy and security, is easy to use for beginners but also great for those in the know and has many other great features, too. Plus, with its 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no risk in trying it.
If you have recommendations for Windows security, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear them. Why not take a look at our VPN library while you’re here? Thank you for reading.