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3 Best VPNs For Windows in 2021 [+EASY SETUP GUIDES]

From data security to privacy protection, from accessing geoblocked streaming sites to torrenting anonymously, there are plenty of reasons to install a VPN on your Windows 10 desktop. But setting one up can seem a bit intimidating.

This guide will take you through a simple, step-by-step process to set up a Windows 10 VPN app. In case you’re new to the VPN world, we’ll also show you how to get the full benefits of a VPN service and offer you some tips on finding one you can trust.

If you have previously installed a VPN on an older Windows version, you’ll notice some key differences in the setup process, but we’ve got you covered. Your VPN will be up and running better than ever in no time.

Best of all, your Windows 10 VPN has unique capabilities you might not know about. For example, your PC can connect devices like Apple TV and Chromecast to your VPN to unblock streaming services. Read on to learn how!

Quick Look: 3 Best VPNs for Windows 10

Before we get into setup, let’s make sure you have a VPN that actually does what a VPN is supposed to do. Many VPNs slow your connection to a crawl, have ugly histories of data breaches, or can’t unblock Netflix and other popular sites.
Here’s a quick list of top performers in our VPN testing for Windows 10. They all offer dedicated apps for Windows and helpful Windows 10 setup guides. You’ll find more information about them below.

  1. ExpressVPN – Our #1 VPN recommendation for Windows 10.
  2. CyberGhost – CyberGhost specializes in easy customization for your specific needs.
  3. VyprVPN – VyprVPN offers one of the simplest PC installation processes for Windows 10.

Install a Windows 10 VPN NOW!

How to Easily Setup Your VPN on Windows 10

In this guide, we’ll show you not only how to install and set up your Windows 10 VPN but also how to keep the app running in the background, so all your internet activity is safe all the time.

We’ll use ExpressVPN to demonstrate the steps, but the setup process is similar to other top-rated VPNs.

1. Sign up for ExpressVPN on its website, then navigate to the Downloads page and select the Windows client.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN website and where to download the ExpressVPN app for Windows
2. Find the ExpressVPN Setup.exe file in your Downloads folder and open it.


Screenshot showing where to find the ExpressVPN setup client on Windows

Find the downloaded file and begin the installation

NOTE: If a new window pops up and asks, Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?, click Yes.

3. The application should automatically begin installing.


Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN setup client mid-installation

Wait for ExpressVPN to complete the installation process

4. The app will appear on your desktop; open it and click Sign In, then enter your email and password.

5. The app will ask for your activation code. You’ll need to return to the ExpressVPN website to find yours.


Screenshot showing how the app requests an activation code upon download

Your activation code can be found on the ExpressVPN website

6. Once you return to the site, you should still be signed in. If you’re not, simply sign in once more. Then, click Setup in the upper-right hand corner. This will take you to a page where you can access your Activation Code.


Screenshot showing where to find activation code on ExpressVPN website

Click the blue Activation Code, and it will copy to your clipboard

7. Return to the app and paste in your Activation Code and hit Continue. The app will then ask you whether you want it to launch on startup (select OK or No Thanks) and if you want to share crash reports (selent OK or No Thanks).


Screenshot showing how ExpressVPN asks you to launch on startup and share crash reports.

You can help ExpressVPN improve its service by sharing reports

8. Now, you’re ready to use the app. A nearby server location will automatically be selected. The circle with the power icon in the center activates the VPN.

9. When you click Connect, a green meter that circles the button indicates how long it will take to activate.


Screenshot showing how to use connect button on ExpressVPN app.

When the circle turns green, your VPN is active

10. The three lines in the corner show you the Drop-Down Menu, where you can choose different VPN locations.

11. When you click VPN Locations, a new window appears where you can see every server location. Press All Locations to see everything divided by continent.


Screenshot showing how to find All VPN Locations on ExpressVPN app.

All Locations lets you pick the continent of your VPN location

12. Choosing a continent brings up the countries available there. For example, click Americas, and the United States is revealed as an option.

13. If you pick the United States, you’ll be able to see every city with locations. Clicking on the star next to a location will save it to your Favorites.

Note: Some cities have multiple servers to choose from.


Screenshot showing how to find countries and cities in ExpressVPN app.

After you click the United States, every city is revealed

Once you’re happy with your server connection, you can either click Options to further customize your VPN or simply close the app window and start surfing!

14. When you close the application, it continues to run in the background. You can find the app icon by clicking on the “up” arrow in your system tray to see hidden apps.


Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN icon in the system tray.

The ExpressVPN icon is red, and the green checkmark means it’s active

15. By clicking the ExpressVPN app icon in the visible or hidden system tray, you will bring the application to the foreground. Or you can right-click on the icon to Connect or quit the application entirely.


Screenshot showing options after right-clicking on ExpressVPN icon.

Right-click the ExpressVPN icon to show the full app or quit

That’s it! Your new VPN for Windows 10 is now fully up and running and easy to adapt for any online purpose.

If you’re a tech-savvy VPN user and want to fully customize your VPN from the ground up, you can also choose to manually configure protocols. You’ll find detailed manual setup guides on your VPN provider’s website.

Bear in mind, however, that if you configure your connection manually, you might lose the protection of a kill switch and DNS leak protection. These important features ensure that your data never spills onto the public internet without your knowledge.

Benefits of Installing a VPN on Your Windows 10 PC

A VPN will give you access to a huge variety of content otherwise unavailable to you by assigning you a new IP address to change your apparent location. This is great if you are in a censorship-heavy region or want to access geo-restricted sites like US Netflix.

However, most free and low-quality VPNs can’t get past tough geoblocks and firewalls because their IP addresses have been detected and banned. The best VPNs constantly refresh their IPs and use advanced data obfuscation to get you past the blocks.

A top-quality VPN will also keep your data secure and safely hidden from anyone who wants to get their hands on it. By encrypting all your traffic, VPNs keep your ISP, your government, and hackers out of your internet business.

Using a VPN with a Windows 10 PC is especially valuable because you can easily set up a virtual router and extend your VPN coverage to other devices in your home.

A virtual router even makes your VPN connection available to devices like Chromecast and Apple TV that don’t support VPN installation. See one of our virtual router setup guides for all the details – and enjoy skipping half the steps with Windows 10!

The Best VPNs for Windows 10 – Key Features

1. ExpressVPN

Known for its exceptional speed, ExpressVPN optimizes every server for great performance during high-bandwidth activities like streaming and torrenting. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and more allow you to control the VPN right from your web browser.

On the security front, you’ll receive advanced leak protection by default, as well as a Network Lock kill switch that prevents your online activity from being exposed if your VPN server connection drops unexpectedly.

A money-back guarantee lets you use the app for up to 30-days and ask for a refund if you’re not satisfied with the service. However, based on its many glowing reviews, not many users take ExpressVPN up on the offer.

ExpressVPN can unblock:
  • Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, all servers support P2P activity.

ExpressVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers.
ExpressVPN’s latest deal September 2021: Get 3 months completely free on your annual subscription with this current offer! It’s not for certain when this deal will end so it’s best to check the deals page to see if it’s still available.

View ExpressVPN Deals

2. CyberGhost

CyberGhost makes setting up a VPN simple with preconfigured profiles for a variety of different VPN uses. Windows 10 profile options include anonymous browsing, seamless streaming, and extra security for public wi-fi hotspots.

With over 7,300 servers across 91 countries, AES-256 encryption, a wide range of encryption protocols, and very affordable long-term plans, it’s hard to find a reason not to use CyberGhost.

Even better, a subscription of 6 months or longer entitles you to a 45-day money-back guarantee. That’s one of many reasons for this VPN’s rapidly rising popularity.

CyberGhost can unblock:
  • Dedicated streaming profile with servers optimized for: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes; dedicated profile shows countries and number of users.

CyberGhost works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome.
September 2021 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

View CyberGhost Deals

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN makes it simple to get ironclad security for your Windows 10 computer. This highly rated VPN’s customizable kill switch can be set to automatically route all your traffic through the VPN tunnel so you never connect to a public server by mistake.

The intuitive interface makes it easy to activate advanced features such as the unique Chameleon protocol, which disguises your VPN traffic so you can easily bypass blocks on geo-restricted or censored content.

VyprVPN offers new users a 30-day money-back guarantee. Learn more about this unique Switzerland-based VPN by checking out our collection of real user reviews.

VyperVPN can unblock: 
  • Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer.

Supports torrenting: 

  • Yes, all servers support P2P activity.

VyperVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Routers, Android TV, QNAP, Blackphone, Anonabox.

View VyprVPN Deals

Summary

Windows 10 is an advanced platform with unique features and better security than any previous version of Windows. However, no operating system can keep you truly safe from online risks on its own.

Installing a VPN on your Windows computer takes just a few minutes, and it’s critical if you want a secure, private internet connection. The best VPNs for Windows 10 are also powerful tools to access restricted content from anywhere on Earth.

And there’s one more great thing top-rated VPNs do: regularly offer amazing discounts! Check out our latest coupon codes to see how much you can save.

Get ExpressVPN Now!

To summarize, the best VPNs for Windows in 2021 are…

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Ariel Hochstadt, Formerly Gmail Marketing Manager globally for Google, and today web entrepreneur. Ariel is a successful international speaker and author of 3 published books on computers and internet. He is the co-founder of vpnMentor and an advocate of online privacy.

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