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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

7 Best Windows VPNs for PC and Laptop — Tested in 2024

Sheharyar Zaheer Updated on 21st November 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

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 80 providers to find the best VPNs for Windows PCs and laptops. 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 for 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, and fast speeds. Plus, 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 For Windows >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Windows in 2024

  1. Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Advanced security, no-logging policy for privacy, and fast connections for smooth streaming on Windows.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Easy-to-use Windows app with streaming-optimized servers and unique privacy features.
  3. Private Internet Access
    Private Internet Access
    Customizable settings for speed and security balance on Windows, but based in privacy-unfriendly US.
  4. NordVPN
    NordVPN
    Dedicated P2P servers for fast torrent downloads on Windows, but with a less intuitive app.
  5. Surfshark
    Surfshark
    Unlimited connections for all Windows devices, but headquartered in a 14 Eyes surveillance country.

See 2 more great VPNs for Windows

Best VPNs for Windows — Full Analysis (Updated in 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best VPN For Security, Speed, and Streaming On Your Windows Devices

Best Feature Excellent speeds and reliable connections even on long-distance servers
Server Network 3,000+ servers in 105 countries
Windows Compatibility Full support for Windows 7,8,10 and 11, partial support for Windows XP and Vista (manual configurations)
Can Unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, ESPN+, and more

ExpressVPN performed the best during our tests, both in terms of speed and security on Windows. My VPN speeds never dropped by more than 7% compared to my base speed of 125 Mbps in the UK. This is very impressive since most VPNs reduce your speed by 20% to 30%.

This is partly thanks to ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol, which is among the fastest, most secure, and most lightweight VPN protocols available. It’s been independently audited by trusted cybersecurity firm Cure53 two times — once in 2021, and again in 2022. It passed both times without incident, so you can rest assured that it is highly secure. In addition, ExpressVPN’s Lightway uses less battery than other common VPN protocols, which made it ideal for my Windows laptop.

Image showing ExpressVPN speed of ExpressVPN's Frankfurt server in Germany and user base speed in the UKAll of its servers that I tested were able to access geo-restricted content in just less than 5 seconds

ExpressVPN safeguards your privacy on Windows by adhering to a strict no-logs policy stating that it does not record any of your online activity. Its compliance with its policy has also been thoroughly audited by KPMG in 2022, which it passed with flying colors. For added assurance, it uses RAM-only servers that automatically wipe your data upon each reboot.

ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy haven outside of global governmental intelligence-sharing networks like the 14-Eyes Alliance.

My only problem with ExpressVPN is that it’s a bit expensive, starting at $6.67/month. However, it does offer regular discounts like 49% off or deals including months of free service throughout the year, making it more affordable. In general, I recommend the longer subscriptions as they offer better value for money compared to the monthly ones. Each plan comes with 8 simultaneous device connections.

You can also try ExpressVPN risk-free on your Windows device with its 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get a full refund within this period if you’re not satisfied with it.

Useful Features

  • Reliable access to streaming sites. While testing ExpressVPN’s global server network, I easily accessed my favorite streaming platforms from around the world. I could unblock various Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, and Max (formerly HBO Max) on my Windows 11 laptop, all on the first try. Thanks to its great speeds, I could comfortably stream content in the highest quality.
  • Strong security features. ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit military-grade encryption that is further enhanced with perfect forward secrecy. This is where encryption keys are regularly changed — making it even harder for snoopers online to decrypt any usable data. It also provides a kill switch (Network Lock) and leak protection to prevent your data from being exposed.
  • Ideal for torrenting and gaming. All of its servers support torrenting, so you don’t have to waste your time finding servers that allow P2P traffic. Also, closeby servers gave me a latency of just 24ms, allowing me to play Apex Legends on my Windows PC with little to no lag.
  • User-friendly Windows app. ExpressVPN’s Windows app is very simple and easy to use. You can also add shortcuts to your favorite apps, like Netflix, on the main screen of the VPN app.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

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

Best Feature Optimized servers for popular streaming platforms and libraries
Server Network 11,683+ servers in 100 countries
Windows Compatibility Windows 7 (SP2), 8.1,10, and 11
Can Unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, ESPN+, and more

CyberGhost is a top choice if you stream a lot with your Windows device because it has dedicated servers for streaming. These optimized servers are designed to consistently unblock particular libraries of streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, ITV, and more. During my tests, these servers were reliable and could always access the associated content. You can easily find these servers under the “For Streaming” tab on the Windows app.

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

During my tests, CyberGhost had great speeds, second only to ExpressVPN, on my Windows PC, with an average speed of 116.25 Mbps. These speeds were more than fast enough for watching bufferless 4K content, which requires a minimum speed of 25 Mbps.

CyberGhost also offers specialized privacy protection for Windows devices. Its Privacy Guard feature allows you to disable the intrusive and privacy-violating functionalities of certain Windows services. This covers Microsoft Store apps, Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Edge, Windows feature updates, and Microsoft account Sync. This significantly limits the amount of data Microsoft can collect on you from your Windows device.

It has multiple subscription plans — each comes with 7 device connections, but it only offers a 14-day money-back guarantee with its monthly plans. However, CyberGhost offers a generous 45-day guarantee with long-term plans. This lets you try its Windows app risk-free for longer than any other VPN on this list.

Useful Features

  • Privacy friendly. CyberGhost has NoSpy servers that are owned and maintained by CyberGhost staff — unlike most VPN servers, no third-party data center employee will ever have access. This significantly reduces the risk of your data being intercepted and monitored by unknown individuals tampering with the server itself. It also adheres to a strict no-logs policy.
  • Optimized gaming and torrenting servers. CyberGhost also offers gaming-optimized servers which aim to minimize latency. I played COD: Modern Warfare through a nearby VPN server with just 29 ms ping. It’s also easy to find the servers that are best for torrenting, as these are clearly marked.
  • Smart rules. CyberGhost lets you automate the VPN in various ways. You can set it to connect upon the startup of your Windows device, or to only connect when you open a certain app, for example. Another feature I found useful was automatic WiFi protection, which set CyberGhost to connect whenever I joined an untrusted WiFi network.
  • Block content feature. This built-in feature prevents ads and trackers, helping you to achieve a clean and private browsing session on Windows. It also automatically blocks domains associated with malware, minimizing the risk of infection.
February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access — Customizable Settings To Balance Speed and Security On Your Windows Device

Best Feature Customizable encryption and protocol settings
Server Network 29,650+ servers in 91 countries
Windows Compatibility Full support for Windows 10 and 11, partial support for Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8 (manual configurations)
Can Unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, SkyTV, ESPN+, and more

Private Internet Access’ Windows app has customizable security features that can be adjusted to meet your needs. For example, you can choose between 128-bit and 256-bit encryption on your Windows device — 256-bit encryption offers the best security, while 128-bit is less secure but faster. Plus, it lets you choose between OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, with OpenVPN generally being regarded as more secure, while WireGuard is the speedier option. I also like that you can enable MACE with 1 click to block ads, trackers, and malware.

Image showing different customizable security settings of PIAPIA also let me customize my transport protocol, port, and configuration method

PIA also has the largest server network among all VPNs on this list, giving you plenty of choice and flexibility. All the servers that I tested gave me very good speeds, with an average drop of just 9% against my baseline connection.

My only issue with PIA is that it's based in the US, which is the heart of the 14 Eyes Alliance international surveillance network. However, it has a strict no-logs policy. This means that even if a government agency tried to force PIA to hand over user data, there would be no data to give.

You can also test PIA with your Windows device risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t a fan, you can cancel to get a full refund during the guarantee period.

Useful Features

  • Streaming-optimized servers. Like CyberGhost, PIA also offers dedicated streaming servers. These aren’t quite as effective and are only optimized per country, but I had mostly easy access to various Netflix libraries, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.
  • Advanced kill switch. PIA’s kill switch will not allow you to access the internet on your Windows device without the VPN. This is the case even if the PIA app itself isn’t active. This is great for privacy-conscious individuals who wish to avoid accidentally using the internet without an active VPN.
  • Multi-Hop. PIA offers a Multi-Hop feature, where you can route your connection through a SOCKS5 or Shadowsocks proxy in addition to a VPN server. This makes your IP address even more difficult to trace and also hides the fact that you’re using a VPN.
  • Unlimited device connections. PIA generously allows unlimited simultaneous device connections. This means that you can connect as many devices as you like to the VPN without having to disconnect others on the network. This can be useful for large households or small businesses with several Windows devices that need VPN protection.
February 2024 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 82% off!

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

Best Feature Dedicated servers for torrenting
Server Network 6,088+ servers in 61 countries
Windows Compatibility Windows 7,8.1,10, and 11
Can Unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more

NordVPN has specialized P2P servers that are optimized for speedy and reliable torrenting. My average speed with these servers never dropped below 111 Mbps, and I downloaded the public domain film Abilene Town (1.07GB) from The Pirate Bay in just 2 and a half minutes. It also offers 2 different split tunneling options on Windows that lets you specify which apps either work only with the VPN, or bypass the VPN.

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

During my testing, NordVPN's proprietary Nordlynx protocol was fastest. My speeds consistently averaged at 111.25 Mbps (a drop of just 11%), and I never noticed any drastic fluctuations while using it for prolonged periods of time. Its Threat Protection feature is also useful for preventing ads from slowing down page loading times while blocking malware and trackers while you torrent or browse.

However, I didn’t like its Windows app interface. Its world map is a bit awkward to use and can feel a bit laggy, especially when you’re zooming in and out. But this isn’t a big issue since you can easily find your required server via the search bar or by scrolling the server list instead.

Each plan comes with 6 simultaneous device connections. And you can test NordVPN for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not for you, you can easily claim a full refund during this period.

Useful Features

  • Easily unblocks geo-restricted streaming services. NordVPN had little to no trouble unblocking geoblocked streaming services in my tests. I easily accessed Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime on the first try while testing its US and UK servers.
  • Obfuscated servers. NordVPN offers obfuscated servers to hide VPN use. This allows you to bypass tough firewalls and VPN blocks, even on restrictive networks. It’s really easy to use — just connect to one of the obfuscated servers and your Windows traffic will be automatically disguised.
  • Privacy protection. It's based in the privacy-friendly country of Panama, and has a strict no-logs policy. Plus, it has a Double VPN feature, which routes your Windows traffic through two encrypted VPN servers instead of one, providing an extra layer of security and privacy.
  • Onion Over VPN servers. NordVPN offers dedicated servers that are optimized to securely access.onion websites with any Windows browser. This provides you with stronger security since your data is encrypted, and not even your ISP can see you connecting to the dark web.

5. Surfshark — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections for All Your Windows Devices

Best Feature Unlimited device connections so your entire household can connect their Windows devices simultaneously
Server Network 3,200+ servers in 100 countries
Windows Compatibility Windows 7, 8.1,10, and 11
Can Unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more

Surfshark allowed me to connect unlimited devices simultaneously. All of my team connected our Windows PCs and laptops with Surfshark and streamed content on Netflix US simultaneously. Across all the tests, none of us faced any sudden disconnects, or even any buffering issues.

Surfshark’s speeds were very close to NordVPN during my tests, averaging a similar 11% speed drop compared to my base connection. In addition, its servers could unblock regional libraries from multiple streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and more.

Screenshot of Netflix streaming Surfshark let me unblock and watch geo-restricted content without any buffering

The only issue I had with Surfshark is that it’s based in the Netherlands, which is a part of the 14-Eyes Alliance. But that isn’t a big concern since it uses RAM-only servers, and its no-logs policy was independently audited in 2022. So you can rest assured that it doesn’t store any of your activity.

Its 30-day money-back guarantee lets you try Surfshark with 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.

Useful Features

  • IP Rotator. This feature regularly changes your IP address without disconnecting the VPN connection. This makes it even more difficult to track your real location.
  • NoBorders Mode. Surfshark automatically obfuscates your internet traffic to make it look like regular internet traffic whenever it detects restrictions on your current network.
  • Dynamic MultiHop. SurfShark's Dynamic MultiHop feature allows you to route your internet traffic through multiple servers of your choice, providing enhanced privacy and security for your Windows device.
  • Ease-of-use. Its Windows app is also very easy to set up and use. You can easily find everything you need on the main screen — all the server locations, a quick connect button, and a search bar. I didn’t ever have to go through multiple menus just to connect to a server.

6. IPVanish — Owns and Maintains Its Entire Server Network to Keep Your Windows Activity Private

Best Feature In-house server network reduces the risk of third-party access to your data
Server Network 2,200+ servers in 75 countries
Windows Compatibility Full support for Windows 10 and 11, partial support for Windows 7 and 8.
Can Unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more

Setting it apart from competitors, IPVanish fully owns and operates its server network. This autonomy enables IPVanish staff to address any concerns directly, without depending on external providers. Additionally, this approach ensures that no personnel from external data centers can access the VPN servers, effectively eliminating the possibility of unauthorized individuals intercepting or monitoring your data through the physical server.

Screenshot showing IPVanish's no-logs promises and stating it owns all its serversIPVanish’s no-logs policy has been audited and proven

The downside to this is that IPVanish has a significantly more limited server network than most, with just 2,200+ servers across 75 countries. That said, I still got good speeds (averaging 108.75 Mbps on a 125 Mbps connection) in my tests, and I could reliably unblock Netflix US, Hulu, and Disney+. However, it did struggle with Amazon Prime Video, which took multiple attempts to get working.

IPVanish comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In addition, I could simply cancel my subscription by logging in to my account dashboard without ever having to contact support.

Useful Features

  • Multiple VPN protocols. IPVanish offers three VPN protocols — WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. During my testing, I found Wireguard to be the fastest. It is also very lightweight and used the least battery power in my tests.
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections. Like PIA and Surfshark, IPVanish offers unlimited device connections. This gives you the freedom to secure all your Windows devices with ease, without any additional costs or restrictions.
  • Split tunneling. With IPVanish on Windows, users can take advantage of split tunneling to selectively route traffic through the VPN while allowing other traffic to bypass the VPN. This can be useful if you need to access local content or if you have apps that don't work well with a VPN.

7. PrivateVPN — Simple Windows App That Lets You Easily Optimize Your Connection

Best Feature Beginner-friendly Windows app that retains flexible customizability
Server Network 200+ servers in 63 countries
Windows Compatibility Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and 11
Can Unblock Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more

PrivateVPN users on Windows have a choice between the Simple and Advanced views. When you click a button to connect to a server in the Simple View, the VPN will pick the best security protocol for you. Unlike the Basic View, the Advanced View makes changing VPN settings like the protocol and encryption strength options simple.

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

Its average speeds during testing were always around 106.25 Mbps, which is only a 15% loss compared to my baseline connection. While this makes it the slowest VPN on the list, PrivateVPN is easily fast enough for HD streaming and secure torrenting. Additionally, it managed to unblock Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu without much issue — although it failed to access BBC iPlayer.

Its no-logs policy safeguards your privacy. Additionally, it incorporates a feature named StealthVPN that masks your VPN connection as regular traffic to tackle tough firewalls when using your Windows device.

PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans so that you can test it out with your Windows PC for free. You also get 10 device connections with each subscription.

Useful Features

  • Budget-friendly. It only costs $2/month with its longest plan, making it the cheapest Windows VPN on our list.
  • Remote support. In its effort to help beginners, PrivateVPN offers remote control support. This is where a support agent would remotely control your Windows device via Teamviewer to help troubleshoot technical issues. They can even use the same method to set up and install PrivateVPN for you, all at no extra charge.
  • High-Quality Network (HQN). PrivateVPN utilizes High-Quality Network internet capacity purchased directly from ISPs to provide faster and more stable VPN connections to its users. Many other VPNs purchase bandwidth through third-party hosting services, which can be slower and less reliable.

Quick Comparison Table: Best VPNs for Windows Features

The table underneath showcases the most crucial characteristics of the VPNs for Windows that I suggest.

VPN Lowest Price # Connections per license Average Download Speed/Percentage drop (from 125 Mbps) P2P Support Windows
Compatibility
Edge
Browser
Extension
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month 8 120.35 Mbps/
4% drop
Yes, on all servers XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11 Yes
🥈CyberGhost $2.03/month 7 116.25 Mbps/
7% drop
Yes, plus specialized servers 7 (SP2), 8.1,10, and 11 No
🥉PIA $2.03/month Unlimited 113.75 Mbps/
9% drop
Yes, on all servers XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11 No
NordVPN $3.39/month 6 111.25 Mbps/
11% drop
Yes, plus specialized servers 7,8.1,10, and 11 No
Surfshark $2.89/month Unlimited 111.05 Mbps/
11% drop
Yes, on all servers 7, 8.1,10, and 11 Yes
IPVanish $3.25/month Unlimited 108.75 Mbps/
13% drop
Yes, on all servers 7, 8,10, and 11 No
PrivateVPN $2/month 10 106.25 Mbps/
15 % drop
Yes, plus specialized servers 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11 No

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for Windows

Every VPN mentioned in the above list adheres to the criteria outlined. Yet, if you're ever in doubt about the qualities of a superior Windows VPN, refer to the standards below that I utilized to determine my top choices:

  • Strong security and privacy — Your VPN should have robust security and privacy features such as military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Plus, it should have a strict no-logs policy to keep your online activity private. All the VPNs on this list fulfill this requirement.
  • 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. I only chose VPNs that had a speed loss of less than 30% on nearby servers.
  • Large server network — A large server network can help with speeds since users are more spread out, reducing server congestion and slowdowns. All the VPNs on this list have large server networks. Plus, they’re all P2P-friendly, so you can torrent without problems.
  • Streaming support — The best VPNs for Windows reliably access streaming sites like Netflix. All of the VPNs on this list unblocked multiple platforms, including Netflix, Disney+, APV, and BBC iPlayer. Plus, they offer multiple device connections, so you can cover all your devices.
  • Trustworthy money-back guarantee — Choose a Windows VPN that offers a trustworthy money-back guarantee. I tested every VPN on this list to make sure their money-back guarantees are trustworthy. It was easy to get a refund since they all offer reliable customer support.

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!

Windows VPN Not Working With Your PC? Troubleshooting Tips

Should your Windows VPN fail to operate on your computer, multiple factors could be at play. Below are some possible causes and corresponding remedies:

  • Operating system compatibility: If you're using a newer version of Windows (like Windows 11), your VPN software might not be fully compatible yet. Make sure your VPN provider supports your current Windows version.
  • Software conflicts: Some software, especially antivirus programs or firewalls, can interfere with VPN connections. Try temporarily disabling these programs or adjusting their settings.

If you're still having trouble, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:

  • Check your internet connection: Make sure your internet is working properly without the VPN.
  • Restart your PC: This simple step can often resolve many issues.
  • Try different VPN servers: Sometimes, specific servers can have issues. Try connecting to a different one.
  • Update VPN client software: Make sure you're using the latest version of your VPN software.
  • Switch VPN protocols: Different protocols can have different levels of compatibility. Try switching to another one in your VPN settings.
  • Clear DNS cache: Old DNS entries can sometimes cause connection issues. Clearing your DNS cache might help.
  • Contact VPN support: If all else fails, reach out to your VPN's customer support. They're there to help you resolve issues like this.

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. Check for any VPN leaks — It’s possible that your IP or DNS address is leaking, making it easy for the streaming platform to detect your real location. You can use our IP checker to see if this is the case. If it shows your real location, then you have a leak — reset your connection and try again to see if it solves your issue.
  5. 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.

Why does my VPN disconnect every time my Windows laptop enters sleep mode?

Sleep mode closes all network connections, including your VPN connection. In the worst-case scenario, this can briefly leave your real IP address out in the open and your connection unencrypted when your Windows PC wakes back up, as it takes time to reestablish the VPN connection. To avoid this, you’ll have to prevent your Windows device from entering sleep mode. Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen, followed by the Setting gear icon.
  2. Next, click on System, then Power & Sleep.
  3. Under the Sleep section, select the drop-down menu next to "When plugged in, PC goes to sleep after" and choose "Never."If you want to disable sleep mode when on battery power as well, select the drop-down menu next to "When on battery power, PC goes to sleep after" and choose "Never."

After this, sleep mode will be disabled on your Windows device. This means your VPN connection will no longer be interrupted, no matter how long your PC or laptop is left idle. Remember that regardless of the above, you still need to choose a VPN that has been proven to offer reliable and stable connections.

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.

What is the benefit of a Windows VPN for online gaming?

Some competitive gamers trace your IP to find your actual location, both to harass you and crash your internet via DDoS attacks. A quality VPN for gaming on Windows prevents both of these potential issues — your IP and real location will be hidden, and most DDoS attacks will be easily mitigated by the VPN servers.

In addition, using a Windows VPN can allow you access to region-restricted games and downloadable content. Some games, like Call of Duty: Warzone, also limit what regions you can game online in based on your location. With a VPN, you can play with overseas friends and even take advantage of less popular regions to farm stats.

Should I use a VPN on my home computer?

Yes, using a VPN on your home computer is an excellent choice. It provides an extra layer of security by encrypting your data and keeps your online activities private by masking them. Plus, a VPN can help you get around geographical restrictions, letting you access content from around the world. This includes streaming services not available in your area. It's a handy tool for a more secure and unrestricted internet experience at home.

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.

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 2024 are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 67%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 82%!
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Sheharyar is a passionate tech-writer who believes in the digital freedom and online privacy of all. He regularly tests and analyzes different VPNs to give accurate and up-to-date user-guides and comparisons.

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