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8 Best VPNs for Windows (PCs, Tablets & Laptops) in 2021

If you’re looking for a VPN for Windows, it might seem like your options are endless. But if you’re looking for a good VPN for Windows, it’s a completely different story.

I put together a global research team and we tested every VPN on the market – more than 300 in total. In our quest to find the best Windows VPNs for 2021, we tested speeds, security, unblocking capabilities, and much more.

We discovered many VPNs that aren’t worth your time (some even put your privacy at risk!), but we also found a few that excelled in every aspect – including fast speeds, access to streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and full compatibility with Windows 10, 8, and 7.

We got the best results with ExpressVPN, and it’s our top recommendation for Windows. Read on to find out why, or try out ExpressVPN for yourself and if you’re not happy, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now!

Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for Windows in November 2021

  1. ExpressVPN – Our #1 pick for Windows provides the fastest speeds, unblocks Netflix and other streaming services, and is currently offering an amazing discount
  2. CyberGhost – A great VPN for beginners (doesn’t work in China)
  3. Private Internet Access – Excellent security features, but not the best choice for streaming
  4. PrivateVPN — Budget-friendly with strong security features, but speeds slow down during peak usage times
  5. IPVanish — Top security features and a user-friendly interface, but based in the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance

3 More VPNs We Recommend | Quick Comparison Table | How We Tested These VPNs

Get ExpressVPN for Windows Now!

The Best VPNs for Windows in November 2021

Our research team tests all the major VPNs on the market regularly and we keep this list up-to-date with the best options for Windows. I’ve tried all these VPNs personally on my own laptop and my Windows tablet, and they’re the only ones I feel comfortable recommending.

1. ExpressVPN – Smooth Windows App With Fast Speeds for Streaming

  • Featured-packed Windows app, compatible with all versions of Windows
  • Excellent speeds
  • 3,000 servers in 90 countries
  • Up to 5 simultaneous device connections on a single account
  • Strict no-logs policy and automatic kill switch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, DAZN, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get ExpressVPN now at 49% off + 3 months completely free!

ExpressVPN provides reliable, high-speed access to all major streaming services, including Netflix US. It regularly refreshes its servers’ IP addresses to avoid even the most stubborn VPN blocks. And it works! When we tested ExpressVPN, we were able to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, and other major platforms, no matter which server we tried.

And ExpressVPN has plenty of servers to choose from – there are over 3,000 high-speed servers in 90 countries, guaranteeing you truly global coverage.

One of my personal favorite ExpressVPN features is its MediaStreamer technology, which allows you to stream your favorite shows and movies on devices that don’t support VPN connections, like your gaming console or smart TV.

As for connection speed, ExpressVPN is hard to beat. We got impressive speed test results from different locations all over the world, and none of our team members complained about lags or buffering. You can see the full results of our tests in our in-depth ExpressVPN review.

ExpressVPN is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands. Not only does it have a strict no-logs policy, but its TrustedServer technology uses RAM to permanently delete all the information on a server every time it’s rebooted. This makes it a great choice if remaining anonymous online is important to you.

In addition, you’ve got 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and an automatic kill switch.

Sure, ExpressVPN isn’t the cheapest VPN out there, but sometimes you get what you pay for. Besides, I discovered a hidden discount going on right now. (Shh! Don’t tell anyone!)

ExpressVPN’s one-click installation makes it one of the most user-friendly VPNs we tested, but if you run into any problems, customer support is available 24/7 via live chat.

ExpressVPN offers a money-back guarantee, so you can test it out for up to 30 days and request a refund if you’re not impressed. I used its 24/7 chat to see how this really works — my cancellation was approved in less than 10 minutes and the money was back in my account in only 3 days.

Get ExpressVPN for Windows Now!

2. CyberGhost – User-Friendly VPN With an Intuitive Interface

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 7,410 servers in 90 countries
  • Optimized servers for streaming and torrenting
  • 7 device connections on a single account
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, iOS, FireTV, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and more
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get CyberGhost now at 83% off! You'll pay only $2.17/month! 

CyberGhost operates more than 7,410 servers across 90 countries.

CyberGhost’s Windows app is sleek and easy to use, and all my teammates agreed that it would be an ideal choice both for VPN beginners and advanced users. The one-click setup means your PC, laptop, or tablet will be protected within seconds, and you can even have your VPN connect automatically when you turn your device on.

If you do have some VPN experience, you can tweak every aspect of your connection using CyberGhost’s advanced settings and smart rules. To learn more about how this could benefit you, read our in-depth CyberGhost review.

Another cool thing about CyberGhost is that it comes with built-in dedicated profiles that optimize your connection for streaming or torrenting. My team tested these options, of course, and most of us were able to unblock Netflix and many other popular streaming services with no issue.

However, my colleague in China had no luck with CyberGhost. Keep in mind that it doesn’t work in China, so if you’re planning a trip, you’re better off with a different solution, such as ExpressVPN.

CyberGhost keeps you safe and secure with 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch. Based in privacy-friendly Romania, it also boasts a strong no-logs policy.

With CyberGhost, you can connect up to 7 devices at the same time. If anything goes wrong, customer support is available 24/7 via live chat.

CyberGhost offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you quite a while to try it out risk-free.

Get CyberGhost for Windows Now!

3. Private Internet Access – High-Speed Servers With Malware Blocker

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 29,650+ servers in 70 countries
  • 10 device connections on a single account
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix US and UK, Disney+, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
November 2021 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 84% off!

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers some solid security features, and its DNS leak protection, automatic kill switch, and strict no-logs policy make it a good choice for torrenting. It operates 29,650+ servers in 70 countries around the world.

If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, however, PIA might not be your best bet. The connection speeds aren’t too bad (you can see the full picture in our in-depth Private Internet Access review), but when my team and I tested it, we weren’t able to unblock every platform we tried. We were able to access Netflix US and UK successfully after a couple of tries, but we couldn’t get it to work with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or Prime Video.

We did like PIA’s MACE feature, which includes an ad, tracker, and malware blocker.

You can contact customer support via live chat or by submitting a support ticket through the website.

PIA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans. This is a great, risk-free way to test the service for yourself.

Get PIA for Windows Now!

4. PrivateVPN – A Budget-Friendly Choice With Tough Security

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 200 servers in 60 countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, iOS

PrivateVPN is a pretty good choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly VPN with tough security. It uses 256-bit encryption and IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and its Windows app includes an automatic kill switch. Although it’s located in Sweden, 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.

This VPN operates 200 P2P-friendly servers across 60 countries. There are also Netflix-optimized servers that can unblock most top streaming services.

The speeds were decent during our testing, but several of us did experience some slowdown during peak times, which was a bit of a disappointment. You can see the full results of our speed tests in our in-depth PrivateVPN review.

PrivateVPN’s Stealth Mode is pretty cool – it can bypass VPN blocks and deep packet inspection (DPI). This makes it a safe choice for protecting yourself in countries subject to internet surveillance and censorship.

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

You can try PrivateVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get PrivateVPN for Windows Now!

5. IPVanish – Top-Notch Security in a User-Friendly Package

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 1,900 servers in 70 countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Routers, Chromebook, Amazon Fire TV
Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021 Deal: Get IPVanish now at 73% off and save up on your subsciption!

IPVanish uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, along with the OpenVPN protocol. The Windows app has a built-in kill switch and DNS leak protection, and there’s a strong no-logs policy as well. It’s nice to have all this reliable security wrapped up in a user-friendly interface.

That said, you should keep in mind that IPVanish is based in the US, so if you’re worried about 14-Eyes jurisdiction, you might want to play it safe with a different VPN, such as ExpressVPN (which is based outside this jurisdiction).

IPVanish’s network includes 1,900 servers in 70 countries. It can unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but couldn’t stream Hulu or HBO GO during our tests. Its speeds were generally fast, but there were a few issues. You can see the full results of our testing in our in-depth IPVanish review.

P2P connections are supported, and SOCKS5 is built in for safe torrenting.

You get unlimited simultaneous device connections on a single account. Customer service is available 24/7 via live chat, phone, and email.

IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. 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 IPVanish for Windows Now!

6. VyprVPN – A Great Choice to ByPass Digital Censorship

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 700 servers in 70 countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, and more

VyprVPN is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland. It offers high-end encryption, a no-logs policy, DNS protection, and an automatic kill switch. You also get real-time data display, which is a cool feature for advanced users.

The proprietary Chameleon technology bypasses restrictive networks and censorship. It scrambles OpenVPN packet metadata to make it look like regular data under deep packet inspection. If you have no idea what that means, no worries – what you really need to know is that VyprVPN is a good choice for users in countries with heavily restricted internet access, like China, Russia, and Iran.

VyprVPN has 700+ servers in 70 countries, and it can unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and almost every other streaming service we tried. Its speeds are good enough for buffer-free streaming – see the full results of our speed tests in our in-depth VyprVPN review.

With the 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try out VyrpVPN for a month. If you run into any trouble, you can get in touch with VyprVPN’s customer support team by submitting a ticket posting on the website forums.

Get VyprVPN for Windows Now!

7. Zenmate – Unlimited Server Switches

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 4,100 servers in 80 countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, Opera, iOS, Linux, and more

Zenmate offers an easy-to-use Windows app, with one-click configuration and a simple three-step setup.

Its network isn’t the largest, but you can choose from over 4,100 servers in 80 countries, and you get unlimited bandwidth and data transfer. You also get unlimited server switches, which can really come in handy sometimes.

There’s a strict no-logs policy, automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection so you’re shielded against any IP leaks, keeping you anonymous at all times.

ZenMate can easily bypass digital censorship restrictions and unblock popular streaming sites. You can also use it for torrenting. To find out what else we liked about it, check out our full ZenMate review.

You can try Zenmate risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you need to contact customer support, just submit a request through the website.

Get Zenmate for Windows Now!

8. hide.me – Limited Free Version

  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10
  • 1,900 servers in 75 countries
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more
  • Also compatible with: macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, and more

hide.me offers a trustworthy free VPN service. You won’t hear me using the words “trustworthy” and “free VPN” in the same sentence very often, but in this case, the free version is a limited version of hide.me’s premium account. You’ll get 2GB of data transfer 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.

If you upgrade to a premium account, you’ll have access to 1,900 servers across 75 global locations, including streaming-optimized servers that can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

While hide.me isn’t bad, if you’re going to upgrade to a paid service, you might want to try a VPN that has more to offer in terms of server network and unblocking capabilities, such as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost.

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 safety. To see how it did in our security tests, read our full hide.me review.

All premium accounts come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free to see if it’s for you. You can contact hide.me through live chat, email, Facebook Messenger, and its website.

Get hide.me for Windows Now!

VPN Features Quick Comparison Table

VPN Money-Back Guarantee Simultaneous Connections Compatible Streaming Services Supports P2P
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, Amazon Prime Video, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and more Yes, on dedicated servers
PrivateVPN 30 days 6 Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer Yes
IPVanish 30 days Unlimited Netflix US and BBC iPlayer Yes
VyprVPN 30 days 30 Netflix and BBC iPlayer Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and more Yes
Zenmate 30 days Unlimited Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO GO Yes
Private Internet Access 30 days 10 Netflix US and UK Yes
hide.me 30 days 10 Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more Yes, on dedicated servers

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now!

How We Ranked & Compared The Best VPNs for Windows

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 mediocre 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 for Windows use military-grade encryption and have strict no-logs policies. We gave preference to VPNs based outside of the 14-Eyes jurisdiction.

We made sure these VPNs’ Windows apps 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, the difference 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.

Unblocking Capabilities

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 bypass geoblocks and stream content from other regions. This means that with a good VPN, you can access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more services from around the world.

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.

Get ExpressVPN for Windows Now!

FAQ

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

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?

Well, the short answer is no. All businesses need to make money. If you’re not paying for a service, the company needs 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.

Not all free VPN providers have malicious intentions, but either way, the service will usually be very limited. A free plan will give you a small amount of data transfer or access to a limited number of servers, so there isn’t really much you can do with them. Some of them will display constant ads, which can get really annoying really fast.

Because of all these drawbacks, I recommend using a tried-and-tested, premium VPN. All of the VPNs on my list have money-back guarantees, so you can use them first before you commit long-term. For example, ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee gives you up to 30 days to explore its features; you can ask for a refund and get your money back if it’s not for you.

Are VPNs Legal?

VPNs are legal in most 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. However, when you use a VPN, your identity and location are safely hidden.

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.

What can I do with a VPN on my PC?

I’m glad you asked! A VPN is the best way to keep your connection and your private data secure, but there’s so much more you can do with it.

A VPN can give you unrestricted access to many different websites and streaming services. Whenever I’m traveling, I use the VPN on my laptop to connect to Netflix, so I can watch the same shows I like to watch back home. But you can also unlock new content libraries and get addicted to new shows from all around the world! Check out some of the best VPNs for Netflix here.

Using a VPN to change your virtual location can also come in handy if you like online shopping. You’d be surprised to find out how many websites display different prices to users from different countries. This is especially true of travel sites that offer plane tickets and accommodation.

I have several friends who enjoy torrenting, and I’m always reminding them that using a VPN while downloading torrents is an absolute must. You never know who might be snooping on your connection, and you can never be too safe.

If you want to find out more about what a VPN can do, check out our VPN Guide for Beginners.

How do I set up a VPN on my PC?

It’s easy! In most cases, setting up a VPN is no different from installing any other kind of software. You just download the VPN of your choice (my #1 choice is ExpressVPN), let the auto-installer do its thing, and you should be good to go within a minute or two.

To connect to a VPN server, all you have to do is open the software, choose a country from the list, and click the Connect button.

Does Windows 10 have a built-in VPN?

Not exactly. Windows 10 comes with the ability to turn your device into a VPN server. I tried this once, but found the process quite technical and not really worth the effort. It can give you an additional layer of security, but it doesn’t do everything else a personal VPN can do.

Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN are much easier to set up. It’s literally a matter of minutes, no tech experience necessary. They also come with lots of great features both for beginners and for advanced users.

You can even set either one of them up on your router, which allows you to connect as many devices as you want through your own WiFi.

How safe is Windows 10?

Windows 10 is definitely more secure than previous Windows versions, but it’s not perfect… far from it. Windows’ basic antivirus and security features aren’t really enough to keep you safe these days, with cybercrime on the rise. Besides, all the different personalization options can start to feel like a privacy violation in and of itself. Do you ever feel like your computer is reading your mind? Well, there’s a reason for that.

The best way to keep your internet connection safe and your private data really private is to use a VPN with strong security features, like ExpressVPN. This not only prevents hackers from accessing your data; it also keeps third parties, advertisers, government officials, and even your own ISP from keeping a watching eye on you.

Should I use a VPN on my PC for torrenting?

Ab-so-lutely. Even if you’re in a country where torrenting is legal, we all know that this popular online activity is never 100% safe. You might think you’re downloading legal torrents, but suddenly find yourself with a lawsuit on your hands for inadvertently downloading the wrong file.

Using a VPN for torrenting comes with a couple of other perks. First of all, you can access torrent sites that may have been previously blocked to you. You can also avoid any throttling attempts by your ISP – once your traffic is encrypted, not even your ISP can see that you’re torrenting. Many users report better download speeds once they start using a VPN.

Just be sure to get a VPN that supports torrenting. You can find a list of the best ones here – some of them even have special P2P-optimized servers.

To summarize, the best VPNs for Windows are:

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