10 Best Windows VPNs | Tested for PCs, Tablets & Laptops in 2019

While most VPN services offer a Windows client, only a few are truly great.

We tested more than 300 VPN services in our search for the best VPN for Windows. Our recommendations offer fast speeds, can unblock streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and will keep you safe when you’re torrenting or browsing.

We analyzed every aspect of each VPN, and made sure that each service’s Windows client works seamlessly all Windows versions, including Windows 10, 8, and 7. Plus, their Android and iOS apps mean you can easily secure your phone too.

Our top recommendation is NordVPN.

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NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. That gives you a whole month to test out if NordVPN offers the streaming access, security, and speed you need. Give it a try here. We tested NordVPN’s refund policy, and if you’re not happy, getting your money back is quick and easy.

Windows’ popularity makes it a huge target for cybercriminals. While Windows 10 is definitely safer than previous versions, it’s still full of security issues.

Even though its customizable features seem like a huge bonus, we’re concerned by just how “personalized” Windows can be before you’re risking your privacy. That’s why you should never use Windows without one of these top VPNs.

You can read more about how we tested and ranked these VPNs here.

Short on time? Here’s a summary of the most recommended VPNs for Windows:

    1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Windows is fast, feature-packed, and fully optimized for all versions of the OS
    2. ExpressVPN – the fastest VPN for Windows
    3. CyberGhost – user-friendly VPN with an intuitive interface
    4. Surfshark – unlimited device connections are perfect for multiple users
    5. PrivateVPN – the best budget-friendly VPN available

2019’s Recommended Best VPNs for Windows – Reviewed & Compared

1. NordVPN

The best VPN for Windows is fast, secure, and feature-packed

  • Easy-to-use Windows interface with one-click Quick Connect feature
  • Supports all Windows versions including Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • Unlimited bandwidth with up to 6 simultaneous device connections
  • NordVPN can unblock: Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV
  • Supports torrenting: Yes; dedicated profile for P2P-enabled servers
  • Works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

NordVPN is our top VPN for Windows devices. It’s completely log-free, P2P-friendly, and is safer, more reliable, and more versatile than any other VPN we tested. It’s also fast – we tested it with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other top streaming sites, and experienced zero buffering and almost no speed reduction compared to our speeds without a VPN.

NordVPN operates a huge network of 5,400+ servers in 60 countries. It’s headquartered in Panama, outside of 5/9/14-Eyes jurisdiction, so you know your browsing activity is secure (which isn’t something you can take for granted).

NordVPN secures its users’ data using AES 256-bit encryption. You can further protect your data using its proprietary Double VPN setting – but most users won’t need this extra layer of encryption. NordVPN’s Windows client uses OpenVPN protocol by default and offers a kill switch.

NordVPN works in China and most countries where VPNs are heavily censored due to advanced obfuscation settings. Its built-in CyberSec feature automatically blocks ads, trackers, and malware.

We tested to see if NordVPN can unblock Netflix, and found that it works with Netflix US and most other regions. This is thanks to streaming-optimized servers which can unblock more than 400 geo-restricted streaming services. Its SmartPlay feature detects the server you need to be on to unblock any website and makes the switch automatically.

Don’t use NordVPN if:

  • You want to pay with PayPal. NordVPN doesn’t offer full PayPal support in all countries. NordVPN accepts credit cards, Apple and Google Pay, cryptocurrencies, Alipay, and UnionPay.

If you run into trouble or have any questions, NordVPN offers 24/7 support via live chat.

NordVPN gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Check for active coupons on our deals page.

Get Started with NordVPN NOW!

Want to learn more? Check out what NordVPN users are saying about its service here.

2. ExpressVPN

The fastest VPN for Windows

  • ExpressVPN can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes, on all servers
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN we tested for Windows devices – it was even faster than NordVPN. It’s based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, and its speeds make it a great choice for torrenting, gaming, and streaming in HD and 4K. It offers 3,000+ high-speed servers in more than 160 locations, guaranteeing you truly global coverage. It’s also P2P friendly.

ExpressVPN uses 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and an automatic kill switch. TrustedServer technology uses RAM to permanently delete all the information on a server every time it’s rebooted. This guarantees that ExpressVPN can’t store any user logs.

ExpressVPN provides reliable, high-speed access to all major streaming services, including Netflix US. It regularly refreshes its servers’ IP address to avoid Netflix’s infamous VPN blocks.

You can also use its MediaStreamer technology to stream your favorite shows and movies on devices that don’t support VPN connections, like your gaming console or smart TV.

Don’t use if:

  • You’re looking for a cheap VPN. ExpressVPN prides itself on its premium product – but that means it comes up a little more expensive than other top VPNs (although its hidden discounts make it a similar price to others!).

Customer support is on-hand 24/7 via live chat. There are also thorough setup and troubleshooting guides for each platform on ExpressVPN’s website. Its one-click installation makes it one of the most user-friendly VPNs we tested.

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee so you can try its service out risk-free. Look for current ExpressVPN deals on our coupon page.

Get Started with ExpressVPN NOW!

Take a look at what ExpressVPN customers have to say in these reviews.

3. CyberGhost

User-friendly VPN with an intuitive interface

CyberGhost Devices
  • CyberGhost can unblock: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others
  • Supports torrenting: Yes; dedicated profile and servers
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

CyberGhost operates more than 4,600 servers across 60 countries. It offers 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch. It also boasts a strong no-logs policy and is based in privacy-friendly Romania.

CyberGhost’s Windows user interface is sleek and easy-to-use, making it ideal for both VPN beginners and advanced users. The one-click setup means your Windows device will be protected within seconds. CyberGhost lets you connect 7 devices at the same time.

You can tweak every aspect of your VPN connection using its advanced settings and smart rules. There’s even the option to have your VPN connect automatically when you turn your device on.

CyberGhost offers built-in dedicated profiles that optimize your connection for streaming and torrenting. CyberGhost can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and many other popular streaming services.

Don’t use if:

  • You need a VPN that works in China.

Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat on the website. CyberGhost offers a 24-hour free trial and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (or 14 days for one-month plans). It also offers coupons for generous savings on its long-term plans.

Get Started with CyberGhost NOW!

Click here to read reviews from real CyberGhost users.

4. Surfshark

Unlimited device connections are perfect for multiple users

Surfshark devices
  • Surfshark can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and others
  • Supports torrenting: Yes
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, FireTV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

Surfshark uses military-strength encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and an automatic kill switch. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, far outside of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance.

With Surfshark, you can protect an unlimited amount of devices at the same time. This is useful if you’re a member of a large household, operate a home office, or want to secure multiple devices.

Although Surfshark’s network is smaller than our top three VPNs’, it still offers powerful unblocking powers. In our tests, it was able to access international streaming sites like Netflix, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

Surfshark offers double encryption and strong obfuscation settings. You can choose from several profiles, including No Borders Mode for extra obfuscation in censorship-heavy regions,  and Camouflage Mode to prevent your ISP detecting your VPN connection.

Its CleanWeb technology blocks ads, trackers, malware, and phishing attempts.

Don’t use if:

  • You need to install a VPN on your router. While you get unlimited simultaneous device connections, Surfshark doesn’t include an app for routers.

You can reach Surfshark’s support team via 24/7 via live chat. Surfshark doesn’t offer a free trial for Windows, but you can test it out risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get Started with Surfshark NOW!

Learn more from Surfshark’s reviews.

5. PrivateVPN

The best budget-friendly VPN

PrivateVPN Devices
  • PrivateVPN can unblock: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, and iOS
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

PrivateVPN is our top choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly VPN with tough security. It uses 256-bit encryption and IPv6 and DNS leak protection. Its Windows app includes an automatic kill switch.

PrivateVPN operates 150 P2P-friendly servers across 59 countries. This includes Netflix-optimized servers that can unblock most top streaming services.

This Swedish-based VPN is committed to internet security. Although it is located in a 5/9/14-Eyes country, it has a true zero-log policy. This means it has no information to share with the government even if it’s asked to.

PrivateVPN offers a Stealth Mode which bypasses VPN blocks and deep packet inspection (DPI). This makes it a safe choice for protecting yourself in countries subject to internet surveillance and censorship.

PrivateVPN offers live chat, but only during business hours. When the team isn’t in the office, you’ll need to rely on email support.

Don’t use if:

  • You want a VPN with 24/7 customer service

You can try PrivateVPN risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee. There is also a 7-day free trial you can access by requesting a special code from customer service. PrivateVPN’s commitment to security and high-quality service makes it a great choice for Windows.

Get Started with PrivateVPN NOW!

Check out its customer reviews here.

6. IPVanish

  • IPVanish can unblock: Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting: Yes – but with strict conditions
  • Also works with: macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Routers, Chromebook, Amazon Fire TV
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

US-based IPVanish uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, a strong no-logs policy, and the OpenVPN protocol. The Windows app has a built-in kill switch and DNS leak protection. IPVanish supports P2P connections and offers SOCKS5 for safe torrenting.

IPVanish offers 1,200 servers in 60 countries and a user-friendly interface with 10 simultaneous connections. It can unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but couldn’t stream Hulu or HBO GO during our tests.

IPVanish offers 24/7 customer service via live chat and email.

Don’t use if:

  • You want to stream Hulu or HBO GO
  • You’re worried about 14-Eyes jurisdiction. IPVanish offers a true no-logs policy, but its US headquarters may still worry some people.

IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. It’s important to note that accounts created through iTunes and the iOS app aren’t eligible for this guarantee, so be sure to register using your Windows device.

Get Started with IPVanish NOW!

Find out why its users rate it so highly.

7. VyprVPN

  • VyprVPN can unblock: Netflix and BBC iPlayer Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and others
  • Supports torrenting: Yes
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, QNAP, Blackphone, Smart TV, Anonabox, Tomato, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and ASUSWRT routers, Boxee, Synology NAS, Blackberry
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

VyprVPN is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland. It offers high-end encryption, a no-logs policy, DNS protection, an automatic kill switch, and real-time data display.

VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon technology bypasses restrictive networks and censorship. It scrambles OpenVPN packet metadata to make it look like regular data under deep packet inspection. This is especially useful for users in countries with heavily restricted internet access like China, Russia, and Iran.

VyprVPN’s 700+ servers can unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and almost every other streaming service. Its speeds are good enough for buffer-free streaming.

Don’t use if:

  • You want to pay with cryptocurrency

VyprVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can trial the service for a month. You can get in touch with VyprVPN’s customer support team by submitting a ticket on its web page or creating a post on its forums.

Get Started with VyprVPN NOW!

You can see what other users are saying about VyprVPN here.

8. HideMyAss! VPN

hidemyass devices
  • HideMyAss! can unblock: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu
  • Supports torrenting: Yes
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

UK-based HideMyAss! VPN (HMA) offers an easy-to-use Windows app with a user-friendly interface.

HMA protects your data with 256-bit encryption. The Windows app offers IP shuffling, which switches you to a new IP address after a specified period of time.

It offers three pre-configured profiles:

  • Instant Mode connects you to the best available server.
  • Location Mode allows you to choose a server.
  • Freedom Mode connects you to a server in a country with the least censorship.

HMA operates 940+ servers in 190 countries. Its fast, streaming-optimized servers can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer in high-definition.

Live chat customer support is available during UK business hours. Outside of these hours, you can submit a support request.

Don’t use if:

  • You need a VPN with a true no-logs policy. HMA keeps partial logs.

You can try HMA with a 7-day free trial. New subscriptions include a conditional 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get Started with HideMyAss! VPN NOW!

Click here to read informative reviews from HMA customers.

9. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access devices
  • Private Internet Access can unblock: Netflix US and UK
  • Supports torrenting: Yes
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

Private Internet Access (PIA) keeps a strict no-logs policy. It offers DNS leak protection, supports torrenting, and all its apps come with an automatic kill switch.

The app’s default settings use only 128-bit encryption, but this can be changed. You’ll need to select higher encryption in the settings interface.

PIA’s MACE feature includes an ad, tracker, and malware blocker.

PIA operates 2,500+ high-speed, global servers. We were able unblock Netflix during our tests, but didn’t have any luck with Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or HBO GO.

You can contact customer support by submitting a support ticket through the website.

Don’t use if:

  • You want to stream Hulu, HBO GO, or BBC iPlayer

PIA offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all its plans. This is a great, risk-free way to test the service for yourself.

Get Started with Private Internet Access NOW!

Read our customer reviews to learn more.

10. hide.me

  • hide.me can unblock: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more
  • Supports torrenting: Yes
  • Also works with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, QNAP, Blackphone, Smart TV, Anonabox, Tomato, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, and ASUSWRT routers, Boxee, Synology NAS, Blackberry
  • Kill switch for Windows: Yes

hide.me is offers a trustworthy free VPN service. It’s a limited version of hide.me’s premium account. You’ll receive 2GB of data per month and access to five server locations on one device. This isn’t enough data to stream or torrent, but it’s great if you only need a VPN for a short time.

When you upgrade to a premium account, you’ll have access to 1,400 servers across 56 global locations, including streaming-optimized servers that can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

hide.me uses 256-bit encryption and a wide range of security protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2. It doesn’t keep logs, and the app comes with a built-in kill switch for added security.

Don’t use if:

  • You need to protect more than 5 devices at a time

All premium accounts come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can contact hide.me through live chat, email, Facebook Messenger, and its website.

Get Started with hide.me NOW!

Check out its reviews to find out what users are saying about hide.me.

VPN Features Quick Comparison Table

VPN Money-Back Guarantee Simultaneous Connections Compatible Streaming Services Supports P2P
NordVPN 30 days 6 440+ including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV Yes, on dedicated servers
ExpressVPN 30 days 5 Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer Yes
CyberGhost 45 days 7 Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and more Yes, on dedicated servers
Surfshark 30 days Unlimited Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and more Yes
PrivateVPN 30 days 6 Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer Yes
IPVanish 7 days 10 Netflix US and BBC iPlayer Yes
VyprVPN 7 days 5 Netflix and BBC iPlayer Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and more Yes
HideMyAss! VPN 30 days 5 Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu Yes, on dedicated servers
Private Internet Access 7 days 10 Netflix US and UK Yes
hide.me 30 days 5 Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more Yes, on dedicated servers

How We Ranked & Compared These VPNs

Every VPN on this list has met our strict criteria for selecting the best VPNs. We examined more than 20 factors, including speeds, server locations, P2P support, streaming access, logging policies, price, customer support, device compatibility, intuitive Windows apps, and more.

Here are some of the things we looked for:

Powerful Security

A VPN with no, or low, security measures puts your data at risk. Some untrustworthy VPN providers have been caught leaking data, logging user activity, and even sharing their users’ data with third parties, like Facebook.

All the VPNs on our top 10 list use military-grade encryption and have strict no-logs policies. As Microsoft is based in the US, we gave preference to VPNs based outside of 14-Eyes jurisdiction.

Our top VPN clients for Windows include an automatic kill switch that stops unprotected data leaving your network if your VPN connection fails. These apps will also protect you against DNS leaks.

We looked for Windows VPNs that use OpenVPN protocol as standard. OpenVPN is open-source and regularly audited, so it’s widely regarded as the safest VPN protocol.

Fast Speeds

It’s frustrating when your connection lags, and that’s why speed is such an important part of choosing a VPN.

It’s normal for your connection to slow down a little when you connect to a VPN. Your data has to travel farther to reach the VPN server, and it takes some time to encrypt and decrypt your information. However, this should be barely noticeable when using a premium VPN.

All the VPNs on this list consistently met the speed requirements to download torrents and stream in high-definition during our tests.

Unblock Streaming Services

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu use geo-restrictions to control the content you watch. For example, the Netflix catalog in Australia includes around half the titles available to US viewers.

VPNs mask your IP address to help you overcome geoblocks and stream content from other regions, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

We made sure that all the services on our list could unblock at least one popular streaming service during our tests.

Privacy Standards

VPNs are an important tool in the fight for internet freedom. In countries like China, Russia, and Iran, internet censorship is rife.

While journalists and freedom fighters use VPNs to communicate freely, citizens can also use them to bypass internet censorship and avoid surveillance measures.

We looked for services that can unblock censored websites and avoid detection in the most dangerous digital landscapes. Although not all the VPNs on this list can evade deep packet inspection, we made sure to include a few services that can.

FAQ

Does It Matter If I Need a VPN for Laptop or Desktop?

When you’re choosing a VPN for your computer, your device doesn’t matter. The VPNs for Windows we recommend above have lightweight, easy-to-use clients that work seamlessly on both laptops and desktops.

Are Free VPNs Safe?

All businesses need to make money. If you’re not paying for a service, companies need to find other ways to make a profit.

Many free VPN providers have been caught selling their users’ data to third parties, despite promising top-notch security. Others have been found to install malware and place trackers on your device.

But there are a few trustworthy free VPNs. These are the free versions of premium VPN services that are offered by companies like hide.me.

These free VPNs usually only offer a limited service, but they can be a good option if you only need a VPN for a short time, or you want to trial a premium service.

With so many top providers offering free trials and money-back guarantees, there’s no need to risk your security with an untrustworthy, free VPN. You can purchase a cheap VPN plan using a discount code and get top security for the price of a cup of coffee!

VPNs are legal in about 95.9% of countries. The main exceptions are China, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. In these countries, VPN use is either a legal gray area or illegal for natives.

No matter where you live, it’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the law and your provider’s terms of service to stay out of trouble.

Are VPNs Available for Other Devices, Too?

Yes! VPNs are available for almost every device. The top three VPNs on our list support all devices and operating systems, so you can easily secure your Windows PC, phone, smart TV, and any other device you think needs protection.

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