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7 Best VPNs for Windows in 2023 — Laptops and Desktop PCs

There are an enormous number of VPNs available for Windows, so finding the right one can feel overwhelming. However, you need a VPN for your Windows device because it’s the most popular OS, which makes it the number one target for hackers. On top of that, Microsoft’s privacy policy states it automatically collects your data (and much of it you can’t opt out of).

My team and I tested more than 200 Windows VPNs to find the absolute best ones. In addition to their safety and privacy features, I explored their speeds, server networks, and unblocking capabilities. Based on this, I shortlisted the top VPNs compatible with your Windows device (all compatible with Windows 7-11).

ExpressVPN is my top pick because it has robust security features, a proven no-logging policy, superfast speeds, and it unblocks popular streaming sites, like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. You can try ExpressVPN on your Windows computer risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy, you can get a full refund.

Try ExpressVPN Today

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Windows in February 2023

  1. ExpressVPN — Solid security features to shield you against cyberattacks, a verified no-logging policy to protect your privacy, and lightning-fast connections for lag-free streaming on any Windows device.
  2. CyberGhost — User-friendly Windows app with streaming-optimized servers; plus, it has top-notch security features.
  3. Private Internet Access — MACE feature blocks ads and improves loading times on Windows, but it’s based in the US.
  4. NordVPN — Dedicated P2P servers so you can download torrents quickly on your Windows device, but its app is not very intuitive.
  5. Surfshark — NoBorders to use the VPN on restrictive networks. However, it’s based in the Netherlands, which is a 14 Eyes country.

And 2 more VPNs for Windows

Best VPNs for Windows — Full Analysis (Updated in February 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best Windows VPN Great for Security, Speed, and Streaming

  • Lightning-fast connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, ESPN+, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

In every category, ExpressVPN is the best choice for improving your experience on your Windows device. It will keep you safe from hackers, overreaching governments, and anyone else spying on your data. Tons of servers and great unblocking abilities let you watch all the top streaming platforms. Plus, its great speeds will let you stream buffer-free, along with browse, game, and torrent without any delays.

ExpressVPN has world-class security features to protect your PC. With military-grade 256-bit encryption, your online activity is scrambled and becomes almost impossible to read. Its kill switch (Network Lock) acts as your last line of defense — if the VPN should disconnect unexpectedly, none of your data will accidentally leak. Plus, split tunneling lets you choose the traffic that moves through the VPN tunnel, so I can access local news while the rest of my activities are encrypted.

On top of that, it offers IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection and runs its own private DNS servers. I was very impressed that after testing ExpressVPN on my Windows 10 laptop, no leaks were detected at all.

Screenshot of a leak test done on ipleaknet while connected to ExpressVPNExpressVPN passed all of my leak tests on 18 different servers

You can choose from 4 different security protocols with its Windows app: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and Lightway. Lightway is ExpressVPN’s own unique protocol and was my favorite during testing. It was faster than OpenVPN or IKEv2, and it only took 2 seconds to connect, even on long-distance servers.

Strong privacy features and its no-logs policy make ExpressVPN an easy service to trust with your data. It uses TrustedServer technology (RAM-only servers). These are safer because all your previous sessions are automatically wiped each time the server is rebooted. The no-logs policy has been audited and was proven in 2017 — Turkish authorities seized an ExpressVPN server, but they couldn’t find anything because no data was stored.

It’s also based in a privacy-friendly country, so it won’t be forced to record your data. ExpressVPN’s headquarters are in the British Virgin Islands, a country with no data retention laws. The BVI is not a part of the 14 Eyes Alliance (an agreement between governments to share citizens’ information), which shows me the company is dedicated to protecting your privacy.

ExpressVPN has superfast connection speeds. During my tests, I connected to its Chicago, New York, and Dallas servers and found an average download speed of 58.2 Mbps, which is only a 6% drop from my base speed. In one test, the East London server even slightly increased my speeds (and it’s almost 8,000 km away). These speeds let me watch Squid Game on Netflix US in 4K without any lag. This means that you can stream, game, and video chat on your Windows device without slowdowns.

The server network is huge, making it easy to get past geoblocks. It unblocked 9 Netflix libraries during my tests, including the US, UK, and Canada. I was also able to access BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max on my Windows computer. Its servers are also suitable for bypassing network restrictions and firewalls — it even works in countries like China and the UAE.

ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all its 3,000 servers, so you don’t have to waste time looking for a P2P-compatible server. Port forwarding is only offered on routers; it’s a feature that allows some VPNs to download faster. However, it only took 13 minutes to download a 5GB torrent file on my Windows laptop, so you won’t miss it. Plus, you get unlimited data, so you can torrent as much as you want.

I also liked that it has an easy-to-use Windows app. It displays the recent locations you’ve connected to and you can save your favorite servers, so it’s easy to reconnect. You can secure your connection with one click, and the Smart Location feature automatically picks the best server for you based on latency, speed, and location. I found this feature useful because it takes the guesswork out of finding the fastest server.

The only downside I could find with ExpressVPN is that it’s a bit expensive — it starts at $6.67/month. However, I managed to get 49% off my subscription and 3 months of extra service for free when I signed up for its yearly plan. Considering all the plans come with the same features, I recommend the 1-year plan since it’s the best value.

You can also try ExpressVPN for Windows risk-free. With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied. I tested out this guarantee by contacting support via the 24/7 live chat feature. The customer care rep asked about my experience with the service and approved my refund request immediately after. I had my money back 3 days later.

Try ExpressVPN Today

2. CyberGhost — A User-Friendly Windows VPN With Streaming-Optimized Servers

  • Fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 9,753 servers in 91 countries
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost’s Windows app is super easy to use, especially if you want a VPN for unblocking streaming sites. The servers are organized well, and it’s easy to find a specialized server based on which platform you want to access, and in which country. During my tests, I connected to its Hulu-optimized server (in the US), and it gave me instant access. It worked for other popular streaming services too, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. Plus, I didn’t experience any slowdowns or connectivity issues.

Screenshot of CyberGhost Windows app highlighting the streaming-optimized serversThere are specialized servers for more than 25 different platforms

You’ll be able to play games and torrent files quickly using its other specialized servers too. With the US torrenting server, I was able to download files 8% faster than I can with a normal server. The gaming server worked great and made it easy to choose a low-ping server. You want your ping to be below 100 when you’re gaming, so your inputs aren’t delayed and CyberGhost organizes these gaming servers based on ping. I played several matches in StarCraft 2 without any noticeable lag (with a ping of 29 ms).

It has impressive speeds that give you a smooth streaming experience, too. To see how fast it is, I tested its Berkshire, Bucharest, and Miami locations on my Windows PC, and the average speeds never dropped below 40 Mbps. You only need 5 Mbps for HD streaming and 25 Mbps for 4K streaming, so I was able to watch Don’t Look Up on Netflix US in full HD with zero lag.

CyberGhost comes with strong security and privacy features to protect the data on your Windows PC. It offers AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch to keep your sensitive data private. I recommend using the built-in ad and malware blocker; this disables ads and prevents malicious content from damaging your Windows computer. Plus, CyberGhost is based in Romania (not a part of 5/9/14-Eyes) and has a solid no-logs policy. This is where its NoSpy servers are located, which it fully owns and operates for added security.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t work in highly censored countries like China or the UAE. I also find the short-term plans pretty expensive. However, with a long-term plan you can get CyberGhost for as low as $2.19/month. I prefer the long-term plans because they offer the best value and come with an extended money-back guarantee.

You can test all of CyberGhost’s features risk-free with its generous 45-day money-back guarantee on the longer-term plans (you only get 14 days with a monthly plan). After using the service for 42 days, I reached out to support via the 24/7 live chat and asked for a refund. The agent asked me why I wasn’t satisfied but didn’t pressure me to stay. My cancellation was approved in less than 5 minutes, and I got my money back after 4 days.

Try CyberGhost Today

3. Private Internet Access — MACE Ad-Blocker Decreases Load Times on Windows and Removes Malware

  • Military-grade encryption and built-in ad blocker
  • 29,650+ servers in 84+ countries
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up
February 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

PIA MACE prevents ads and malicious content from loading on your Windows machine. To test this feature, I visited an ad-heavy website (Forbes) on my Windows 10 PC, and it blocked most of the ads on the page. I even experienced slightly improved loading times as there was less content to load. So, I recommend turning it on for a smoother browsing experience with added protection against malware.

Screenshot of Forbes website showing how PIA MACE removed the banner adI added MACE to the Quick Settings, so I can turn it on without accessing any menus

PIA offers strong security features to guard your online privacy on all your Windows devices. Its automatic kill switch blocks all your internet traffic in case the VPN connection drops out, while AES 256-bit encryption protects your data from hackers. It also passed all of my leak tests, so you can browse safely without worrying about unwanted data leaks.

It has a large server network that will help you watch geo-restricted content. During my tests, I was able to unblock several streaming platforms on my Windows 10 PC, including 6 Netflix libraries, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. Each one of these sites loaded on the first attempt with its US West Streaming Optimized server and UK London Streaming Optimized server. Hulu wouldn’t work at first, but I switched to its US East Streaming Optimized server and got access.

Speeds are fast enough for gaming, streaming, and torrenting on your Windows device. While testing, I tried 9 different locations: 6 in the US, 2 in the UK, and 1 in Canada. The average speed hovered at 33 Mbps. It's not as fast as ExpressVPN, but I was still able to download a 3GB torrent file in just 12 minutes.

I found it a bit concerning that PIA is based in the US, which is the heart of the 14 Eyes Alliance. However, it has a strict no-logs policy that’s been proven in court, so it’s not a big issue. Since none of your data is recorded, it won’t have anything to share in case anyone did request it.

You can get PIA for just $2.19/month. The monthly plans are much pricier than long-term subscriptions, yet offer the same features. Therefore, it’s better to go with long-term plans since they save you the most money.

Since it’s backed by a reliable money-back guarantee, you can test PIA with your Windows device for free. If you don’t like it, you have 30 days to ask for a refund. To test this, I reached out to support and asked for my money back. The agent over the live chat did try to get me to stay, but my request was approved after I said no. My money was back in my bank account after 5 days.

Try PIA Today

4. NordVPN — Dedicated P2P Servers for Fast Downloads on Windows

  • Dedicated P2P servers designed to maximize performance while torrenting
  • 5,384 servers in 60 countries
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up

NordVPN offers specialized P2P servers, making it an excellent choice for torrenting on Windows. These servers are optimized for speeds and large data transfers so you can download files quickly without interruption. During my speed tests on its P2P servers in the US, I recorded an average of 57.6Mbps, which is only a 7% drop from my baseline connection. This let me download Abilene Town (1.07GB) from The Pirate Bay in 2.5 minutes.

an image displaying a list of Nord's P2P serversFor optimal speeds, connect to a P2P server that’s close to your physical location

Its Windows app comes with strong security features to protect your data. This includes 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch. I also appreciate its Double VPN feature. What this does is route your traffic through 2 servers, encrypting your data twice. This makes it virtually impossible for cybercriminals to decipher your data.

In addition, it uses RAM-only servers and has a strict no-logs policy to keep your online activity private. And it’s based in privacy-friendly Panama, which has no data retention laws. This enables NordVPN to freely honor its no-logs policy without any outside pressure.

Its Threat Protection feature makes it a solid choice if you’re looking for a VPN with ad-blocking capabilities. This feature not only blocks ads but also prevents malicious sites from loading, which improves your browsing experience and bolsters privacy. When I enabled this feature on my Windows laptop, I never had to deal with annoying ads while visiting my favorite sites ( and

NordVPN is great for streaming too, thanks to its reliable server network. During my tests, I connected my Windows 11 laptop to its New York server and could access Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. Similar to ExpressVPN, I could unblock all the platforms with the first server I connected to.

My only complaint is that its Windows app isn’t the most intuitive. For example, I find its World Map interface a bit awkward to use. Plus, it can feel a bit laggy, especially when you’re zooming in and out on the map. But it’s not a big deal since you can always connect to a location from the drop-down server list in the sidebar.

You can get NordVPN for just $3.49/month when you sign up for its long-term plan. This is the one I recommend because it’s way better value than its monthly plan.

Each plan is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not for you, it’s easy to get a refund. To put this to the test, I contacted support through 24/7 live chat and asked for a refund. After a brief chat, the agent approved my request, and I saw the money in my account in 4 days.

Try NordVPN Today

5. Surfshark — NoBorders to Bypass Tough Firewalls on Your Windows Device

  • NoBorders to protect your Windows device on restrictive networks
  • 3,200 servers in 100 countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up

Surfshark’s NoBorders feature uses obfuscation to hide the fact you’re using a VPN. It lets you bypass VPN blocks and tough firewalls imposed by schools, workplaces, and governments. This feature allows access to the “entire” internet, even in countries that censor online content.

The best part is that it activates automatically whenever the app detects any restrictions, so there’s no effort required on your part. But there’s also an option to enable it manually if you want to hide the VPN use.

screenshot showing how to enable Surfshark's NoBorders feature on its Windows appJust keep in mind obfuscation tech can slow down your connection speeds

With its strong security features, your online data is safe from external threats. Aside from essential leak protection and a kill switch, the Windows app also offers a Rotating IP feature. It automatically changes your IP address every 10 minutes while keeping your VPN location the same. This eliminates privacy concerns around having the same IP address for a long time and makes it harder for hackers to track you.

Surfshark offers a fast and reliable server network, making it a viable option for streaming enthusiasts. During my tests, I connected my Windows computer to its Miami and New York servers and recorded an average speed of 54.6Mbps (a 13.5% drop). This is more than double the minimum requirement for 4K streaming. I watched Kaleidoscope on Netflix US in full HD without buffering and unblocked other streaming services, like Disney+ and Hulu.

Its Windows app is easy to set up and use, even if you’re a beginner. It only took me 5 minutes to download and install it on my device. The quick-connect feature automatically picks the fastest available server, which takes the guesswork out of choosing the ideal server. You can even add a server location to “favorites” for quick and easy access.

The problem with Surfshark is that it’s based in the Netherlands. While the country has privacy-friendly data retention laws, it’s still a part of the 14 Eyes alliance. This means that the government can force the company to share user data. However, its server infrastructure has been audited and no data is ever stored.

Surfshark is pretty affordable — you can get a subscription for $2.30/month with its long-term plan. For a small additional fee, you can also opt for Surfshark One, which comes with a bundle of cybersecurity tools like antivirus software and a private search engine.

Its 30 money-back guarantee lets you try Surfshark for Windows risk-free. You can get a full refund if it’s not for you. I requested a refund through its 24/7 live chat and got my money back in 5 days.

Try Surfshark Today

6. IPVanish — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections for All Your Windows Devices

  • Good speeds and unlimited data
  • 2,000+ servers in 75+ countries
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up

IPVanish offers unlimited simultaneous device connections. During my tests, I connected my Windows laptop, Android phone, and tablet to the same Los Angeles server. The connection on each device was established within 7 seconds. Next, I watched YouTube videos on my Android while my Windows laptop was downloading Overwatch. Even though multiple devices were connected, I didn’t experience slower download speeds or buffering on my videos. This is a great feature if you want to share a VPN amongst a large household.

It has good speeds, so you can stream, browse, and torrent without annoying slowdowns. When I tested its servers in Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Mumbai, the average download speed I got was 28 Mbps, which is fast enough for HD and even 4K streaming. The unblocking abilities are also good. While I couldn’t get it to unblock Amazon Prime Video, I could still access many popular streaming services on my Windows machine, including Netflix and Disney+.

Screenshot of a show streaming on HuluI saved its Cincinnati server to “favorites” for easier access in the future

When it comes to security, IPVanish scores top marks. Your connection is protected with AES 256-bit encryption, which is practically impenetrable. This means that you don’t have to worry about hackers and snoopers while using the internet. Thanks to its built-in kill switch, you can easily switch between servers without worrying about your identity being accidentally exposed. It also owns all of its servers, so there’s no middleman who could potentially access your data. While it is headquartered in the US (not the most privacy-friendly country), it's not a huge issue to me because it has a strict no-logging policy.

WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, and PPTP are the six VPN protocols that are currently available. Because it is the quickest and consumes the least processing power for better device performance, I prefer WireGuard. Furthermore, it has a high level of security. To get around geo-restrictions, OpenVPN was occasionally a better choice.

It’s too bad IPVanish doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments for added privacy. However, it does accept all major credit cards and PayPal. You can get a subscription for just $3.33/month. The monthly plan is the most expensive but doesn’t offer any additional features. To get the best value for your money, I recommend signing up for the annual plan.

IPVanish also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I like that you don’t even have to contact support to cancel your subscription. Just log in to your account, select the subscription tab, and click on “I wish to cancel my subscription.” I tried this and got my money back within 6 days.

Try IPVanish Today

7. PrivateVPN — A User-Friendly Windows App That Lets You Optimize Your Connection

  • A user-friendly app with customizable security
  • 200 servers in 63 countries
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more
  • Compatible with Windows 7 and up

PrivateVPN has a simple, easy-to-use Windows app with 2 interface settings: Simple and Advanced. In the Simple View, the VPN will choose the best security protocol for you, and you can connect to a server with the click of a button.

The Advanced View lets you tweak your VPN settings, like switching protocols and changing the encryption level on OpenVPN. When I switched from 256-bit encryption to 128-bit, I experienced an 8% increase in download speeds. This means you can optimize your connection on Windows as per your needs.

Screenshot showing PrivateVPN's interfaceAdvanced View also lets you track how much data you consume

PrivateVPN’s Stealth Mode is ideal for bypassing internet restrictions and tough firewalls. Like Surfshark, it also uses obfuscation to hide VPN use and works in countries like China. I tested it on my public library’s WiFi connection that won’t let me access torrent sites. After I enabled this feature, the torrenting site loaded on my Windows laptop without any problems.

The Windows app comes with a variety of features to keep your online activity safe and secure. These features include strong encryption and an automatic kill switch. The leak protection feature of the app is also very effective, in my opinion.

Speeds are fast enough for HD streaming and torrenting. During my tests, the average speeds clocked in at 24 Mbps on its Manchester, Phoenix, and Japan servers. While I did experience some lag with 4K streaming, there were no issues streaming Netflix shows in HD. Moreover, its dedicated IP/torrenting servers let me download large files on my Windows 10 PC in minutes.

Fortunately, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu could all be accessed thanks to the network's extensive server network. BBC iPlayer, however, was not.

The prices are affordable — you can get a subscription for as low as $2/month. Its short-term plans are more expensive and don’t add any extra features. So, long-term plans give you the best value.

PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans, so you can test it out with your Windows PC for free. To put this guarantee to the test, I reached out to support via the 24/7 live chat and asked for my money back after 3 weeks of use. The rep was very helpful and approved my request straight away. I got my money back in 7 days.

Try PrivateVPN Today

Quick Comparison Table: Best VPNs for Windows Features

The table below displays the most essential features of my recommended VPNs for Windows.

VPN Lowest Price # of Devices  Speeds P2P Support Can Unblock Windows
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month 5 Very Fast Yes, on all servers Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 Yes
🥈CyberGhost $2.19/month 7 Fast Yes, plus specialized servers Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 No
🥉PIA $2.19/month 10 Fast Yes, on all servers Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 No
NordVPN $3.49/month 6 Fast Yes, plus specialized servers Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 No
Surfshark $2.30/month Unlimited Fast Yes, on all servers Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 Yes
IPVanish $3.33/month Unlimited Fast Yes, on all servers Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 No
PrivateVPN $2/month 10 Average Yes, plus specialized servers Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more 7, 8, 10, 11 No

Try ExpressVPN Today

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for Windows

All the VPNs in the list above meet the following criteria. However, if you’re ever unsure what to look for in a good Windows VPN, have a look below at the metrics I used to rank my top picks:

  • Strong security — Your VPN should have robust security features such as strong encryption, an automatic kill switch, a strict no-logs policy, and DNS/IP leak protection. This keeps your data safe from third parties looking to spy on your online activities.
  • Compatible with the latest Windows versions — Look for a VPN that regularly updates its software to keep up with the latest Windows updates. All the VPNs on the list are easy to use and compatible with Windows 7 through 11.
  • Fast speeds — Fast speeds let you play games and stream in HD without lag. All my recommended VPNs had average speeds of at least 20 Mbps in my tests (4 times the minimum requirement for HD streaming and double the minimum needed for online gaming).
  • Large server network — A large server network can help with speeds since users are more spread out, reducing server congestion. Plus, it’s more likely you’ll find a nearby server (which are usually faster).
  • Streaming support — The best VPNs reliably unblock streaming sites like Netflix. This is especially helpful if you travel; you’ll be able to watch content from home no matter where you are. All of the VPNs in this list unblocked multiple platforms, including Netflix, Disney+, APV, and BBC iPlayer.
  • P2P-friendly — If you plan on torrenting, you’ll want to pick a VPN that’s P2P compatible, preferably on every server or with special servers designed to boost download speeds.
  • Multiple device connections — All the VPNs on my list offer at least 5 simultaneous device connections, so you can cover all your devices with a single subscription.
  • Reliable support — The top providers offer 24/7 live chat support. All the VPNs in my list let you contact a support agent at any time.
  • Trustworthy money-back guarantee — Choose a VPN provider that offers a trustworthy money-back guarantee. I tested every VPN in my list to make sure you can easily get a refund if you’re not satisfied.

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a Windows VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a Windows VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because of its strong security, fast speeds, and worldwide server network.
  2. Install the app. After setting it up, launch the VPN app on your preferred Windows device.
  3. Connect! Choose a server and click connect. Your connection is now secured!

Try ExpressVPN Today

FAQs on the Best VPNs for Windows

Does Windows 10 have a built-in VPN?

It has a VPN client, which isn’t the same as a VPN. A VPN client lets you connect to a third-party VPN network separately. You still need to sign up for a VPN service to use it. I tried this once but found the process quite technical and not really worth the effort. That’s why I’d rather use tried-and-tested full-fledged VPN apps. They’re easier to set up and offer a lot of features I consider mandatory like vast server networks, unblocking abilities, a kill switch, and a lot more.

Plus, the built-in client only works for Windows, and with a premium VPN you can protect your phone and the devices with other OS’ you use. The Windows VPN client also can’t access OpenVPN or WireGuard, which are far superior to the older protocols it offers (IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and SSTP).

What if my Windows VPN is not working with Netflix (or other streaming platforms)?

There are a few simple things you can try in case your Windows VPN stops working with Netflix or another service. First and foremost, check to make sure you're using a VPN that's been tried-and-tested to reliably unblock the platform. If you're still having issues getting it to work, some other things you can try are:

  1. Change servers -- Even with the best VPNs, occasionally an IP will get flagged by a platform and blocked. Many VPNs rotate IPs when you choose a location, so you can also try disconnecting and reconnecting.
  2. Switch browsers -- If Hulu isn’t working with Microsoft Edge, sometimes it’ll work just fine on Firefox or Chrome.
  3. Disable IPv6 -- This has helped me access platforms in the past. On your Windows PC, go to Network and Sharing Center, click “change adapter settings”, right-click your connection and go to “properties”. Then just uncheck “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”.
  4. Contact customer support -- When nothing else works, you can always try asking a support agent for tips. At the very least, you can let them know which servers aren’t working, so they can be updated.

What’s the best VPN for Windows 11?

All the VPNs on this list are compatible with Windows 11, so they’re the ones I recommend. However, I suggest you wait until Microsoft has dealt with the issues bound to come up with new operating systems if you haven’t upgraded from Windows 10 yet. Microsoft has already stated that OpenVPN UDP might work a little slower on Windows 11. All of my tests were conducted on a Windows 10 device, and I’ll update it if there are major changes with Windows 11 (although I haven’t noticed anything major as of yet). With that said, I’m comfortable sticking with Windows 10 until the newest OS is thoroughly updated and all major bugs have been fixed.

Should I use a VPN on my Windows PC for torrenting?

Absolutely. Even if you're in a country where torrenting is legal, P2P networks are never 100% safe. Just be sure to get a VPN that supports torrenting because not all of them do. The VPNs on this list allow torrenting — some of them even have special P2P-optimized servers.

VPNs also let you access more torrent sites (some have geo-restrictions or are blocked by network firewalls). A VPN can also help to avoid any throttling attempts by your ISP, so you can get faster download speeds. We don’t condone any illegal activities, so make sure you only download files that aren’t protected under copyright. However, you might think you're downloading legal torrents, but end up inadvertently downloading the wrong file, so it’s best to stay encrypted.

How safe is Windows 10?

Windows 10 is more secure than prior versions, but it’s far from 100% safe. Its basic security features aren’t enough to protect you, especially since Windows devices are a huge target for hackers and malware. Plus, Microsoft makes it clear in its own privacy policy that it will collect your data, so from a privacy standpoint, it’s not a safe OS.

The best way to make sure you’re safe using Windows 10 is to use a VPN with strong security features. This not only prevents hackers from accessing your data; it also keeps third parties, advertisers, governments, and even your own ISP from keeping records of all your online movements.

Can I use a free VPN for Windows?

You can, but it’s not recommended because so many free VPNs are unsafe. It’s always a better option to use a safe and reliable VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee instead. That way there’s no financial commitment within the guarantee period and you aren’t putting yourself or your Windows device at risk.

To elaborate, many free VPN providers have been caught selling their users’ data to third parties (Betternet and Hola VPN for example). Plus, free plans always come with restrictions, like small server sizes and data limits. They also often have weaker security features, and Windows devices are the most popular target for hackers since it has the most users. On top of that, Microsoft states in its privacy policy that it will collect your data. So, more than any other OS, I highly recommend using a premium VPN for your Windows device.

Try ExpressVPN With Windows

Get the Best VPN for Windows Today

With so many Windows VPNs available, choosing the right one can be difficult. On top of that, Microsoft isn’t known for protecting its customers’ privacy, and Windows devices are a big target for hackers and malware. To make it easier to find quality VPNs for Windows, I did extensive tests to find out which ones are the absolute best.

I recommend ExpressVPN because it offers top-notch security, has a proven no-logging policy, is superfast, and offers plenty of servers. Best of all, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee and I tested it to make sure it’s trustworthy. My cancellation was approved right away, and I got my money back in 3 days.

To summarize, the best VPNs for Windows in February 2023 are…

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