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Best VPNs for Windows in 2022


A VPN for Windows has become rather a necessity than a luxury. Unblocking geo-restricted websites, hiding your browsing history from the ISP or third parties, and torrenting without risking your privacy are just a few of the reasons for using a VPN on your PC or laptop.

Overall, a Windows VPN can boost your online safety and privacy, and provide you with an unlimited amount of global content

However, it’s really hard to choose the best VPN for Windows 10 or 11 that could work in the most efficient way. To help you make up your mind, we tested dozens of VPNs and compiled a list of the services that ended up as the best VPNs for Windows in 2022.

Top 5 best Windows VPNs

  1. NordVPN – overall best VPN for every Windows version
  2. Surfshark – best inexpensive VPN for an unlimited number of Windows devices
  3. IPVanish – a user-friendly application with a comprehensive suite of security for Windows
  4. Atlas VPN – best free Windows VPN for safe browsing and streaming
  5. PureVPN – the first security-oriented VPN for Windows with an Always-On audit

What to look for in the best VPN for Windows PC?

Whenever you come to choosing the best VPN for a specific case, it’s essential to make sure a VPN has suitable features to offer. Below you will find the criteria that should be followed to get the best Windows VPN.

OS requirements From Windows 7 to Windows 11
Suite of security featuresThe most extensive suites of features will help you not only to stay untraceable but will also stop online threats, bypass geo-restrictions, and more.
SpeedA VPN should always offer you a more comfortable browsing experience and not make it disturbing with slow connection speeds. Therefore, it should have top-notch tunneling protocols, a large server fleet, and a properly managed system.
Pricing A free version is a great way to test the service. And the best money and quality ratio will guarantee you the most efficient security and service.
Money-back guaranteeIf the service doesn’t have a free version, a money-back guarantee is an excellent way to try out what a VPN can offer.

The best Windows VPNs for PC – our detailed list

Even though picking the best VPNs for your Windows laptop or PC is not an easy task (there are just so many VPNs that work with Windows OS), we managed to choose a few that excel in various areas like features, connection speed, and compatibility with streaming services.

1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Windows

best vpn for windows
Based in:Panama
Unblocks:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Youtube
Servers/countries:5500+ servers in 59 countries
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE🔥

Of all the best VPNs for Windows PC, NordVPN has the most intuitive Windows application. For one, it required only a minute of our time to set up the app on a device and connect to a VPN connection.

Streaming: movie buffs will love NordVPN because the service flawlessly unblocks a huge chunk of the most popular streaming platforms. These include Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video. And let’s not forget NordVPN’s SmartPlay technology that lets you watch geo-blocked movies on Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other devices.

Security and speed: When it comes to tunneling protocols, the Windows application of NordVPN lets you choose between OpenVPN and NordLynx (an updated version of WireGuard), while IKEv2/IPsec is available only with manual setup. Thanks to NordLynx, you can enjoy blazing-fast speeds, as well as an enhanced level of privacy compared to regular WireGuard. NordVPN also uses the latest AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption technology to secure your traffic.

Servers and apps: NordVPN has over 5500 servers in 59 countries all over the world. The Windows application is also compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11, as well as other operating systems, such as macOS, Android, iOS, and a couple of smart TVs.

Features: the app crams a lot of cutting-edge features like invisibility on LAN, two types of split tunneling that are only available on Windows, and Threat Protection (which has successfully blocked ads and malware-ridden websites for us during the test).

Pricing: NordVPN prices start at $3.09/month. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who need a little time to make up their mind about NordVPN. Once you subscribe to the service, you immediately get 6 simultaneous connections, which means that you can cover all your devices.

To find out more, check out our full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN - unlimited simultaneous connections

Windows VPN app - Surfshark
Based in:The Netherlands
Unblocks:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Youtube
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 99 countries
Current deal:🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥

If you’re addicted to Youtube (like the majority of us), you’ve definitely heard about Surfshark VPN – the best inexpensive Windows devices VPN. And yes, Surfshark definitely deserves all the praise it’s currently getting.

Streaming: Surfshark is known to unblock various streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, which our tests have proved right.

Security and speed: Surfshark is one of only a few VPNs that use RAM-only servers. It means that none of your data is stored long-term, as RAM-only servers get totally wiped out with every single reboot. This VPN also offers great speeds thanks to a large server location list and a selection of fast protocols available on Windows devices (including WireGuard and OpenVPN UDP).

Servers and apps: Surfshark has 3200 servers in 99 countries of the world. All of these servers are available on the Windows app. You can also use the VPN on your Mac, Android, iOS, and some other devices.

Features: feature-wise, Surfshark is a good catch. And while macOS has two versions with varying features, on the Windows version we could find everything under the same roof. There you get a SmartDNS, double VPN connection, split tunneling, and an ad-blocker. In addition, you can also use Shadowsocks to access websites from restrictive countries like China.

Pricing: the best thing - you can get Surfshark for as low as $2.30/month, which makes it one of the most affordable VPNs available today. Buying any subscription will unlock all the features and applications together with unlimited simultaneous connections.

To find out more, check out our full Surfshark VPN review.

3. IPVanish - a comprehensive Windows VPN application

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Unblocks:Netflix, Youtube
Servers/countries:2000 servers in 75 locations
Current deal:🔥Get up to 69% OFF IPVanish + Antivirus🔥

Now, here’s a VPN that offers one of the best clients for Windows OS devices. I’m not exaggerating - the team behind IPVanish did their job pretty well and came up with an app that will make you wonder why on earth you didn’t download it earlier.

Streaming: in terms of unblocking geo-restricted content, IPVanish also does its job well. It successfully managed to unblock Netflix and YouTube during our tests. However, it failed to unblock BBC iPlayer. Nevertheless, it worked great for us for getting around IP bans in various video games. No wonder why IPVanish also stands as one of the best VPNs for gaming.

Security and speed: IPVanish employs the industry standard AES-356 encryption for protecting your traffic. You can also choose between OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, both of which deliver pretty good speeds.

Servers and apps: IPVanish offers 2000 servers in 50 countries, and has apps not only for Windows 10 or 11 but also for other operating systems, such as macOS, Android, and iOS.

Features: the Windows application of IPVanish is full of useful features and with the number of them, nearly no other VPN can compare. For example, the VPN offers a SOCKS5 proxy that can serve you well if you use torrenting clients often. Next, it has a traffic obfuscation feature that makes it difficult to detect that you’re using a VPN.

Pricing: the price of IPVanish starts from $3.33/month if you only want a VPN. You can also get a bundle that includes encrypted storage, which would cost you $5.50 a month with the yearly plan. In any case, you’ll get unlimited simultaneous connections, which is pretty neat.

To find out more, take a look at our in-depth IPVanish VPN review.

4. Atlas VPN - a feature-rich Windows VPN at no cost

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:United States
Unblocks:Netflix, Youtube, BBC iPlayer
Servers/countries:750 servers in 37 countries
Current deal:🔥Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF🔥

Atlas VPN, hands down, is definitely one of the best VPNs for Windows computers. Its Windows application is slick, intuitive, and a pleasure to use. In other words, a user-friendly interface allowed us to navigate through the app easier and receive a fluent VPN experience.

Streaming: During our testing, Atlas VPN successfully unblocked Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Youtube. It might struggle with some other streaming platforms, but you can always try – Atlas VPN is constantly improving.

Security and speed: you might find it unusual that the Windows application requires 2FA every time you log into your account from a new device. On the other hand, this increases your security, as you will need to confirm the unique code that comes to your email.

Servers and apps: compared to some other top providers, Atlas VPN has fewer servers in fewer locations available – 750 servers in 37 countries. However, this should not deter you from trying it out.

Features: on the Windows app of Atlas VPN you will also find a lot of features like SafeBrowse (basically, a malicious site blocker), SafeSwap (IP address rotation), a data breach checker, and a kill switch. Additionally, you can make the VPN activate automatically each time you turn on your PC.

Pricing: One great thing about Atlas VPN is the possibility of unlimited simultaneous connections. This makes the monthly price of $2.05 seem even lower. Also, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee that will allow you to get your payment back in case you change your mind. Plus, you can use a free version of it!

To find out more, check out our full Atlas VPN review.

5. PureVPN - security-oriented VPN for Windows PC

purevpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Unblocks:Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, DAZN
Servers/countries:6500+ servers in 78 countries
Current deal:Get PureVPN 82% OFF + 3 months FREE

Even though the Windows device application of PureVPN is fairly minimalistic, it’s actually really convenient and highly customizable, making PureVPN one of the best VPNs for Windows.

Streaming: What’s more, PureVPN works well with streaming platforms. It unblocks the US library of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and even DAZN.

Security and speed: the Windows app uses AES-256 encryption and is the first one to have Always-On Audit, which means that a third party can perform a security audit on PureVPN at any given time. PureVPN has an impressive list of tunneling protocols to choose from. These include both variations of OpenVPN, as well as IKEv2. The speed is not as impressive as Surfshark or NordVPN, but it’s still pretty fast.

Servers and apps: PureVPN has a lot of coverage - 6500 servers in 78 locations. We also found it very convenient that a Windows app shows the ping of every server location, we could avoid overloaded servers. The VPN also offers apps for all of the major OS: iOS, Android, macOS, and others.

Features: you’ll find such features as port forwarding and a kill switch. Unfortunately, the split tunneling feature works only on Android at the moment. Luckily, the VPN allows for 10 simultaneous connections, so you can use your account with both your desktop and mobile devices.

Pricing: you’ll get all of this for the average price of $1.99/month if you get its longest subscription. There’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee, which gives you plenty of time to make sure that PureVPN is the best VPN for your Windows device.

To find out more, read our in-depth PureVPN review.

How we selected and tested these PC VPNs

A service doesn’t get featured on our list of the best VPNs for Windows for nothing. It has to meet certain requirements for speed, security, and features. So, here are the criteria that helped us choose the best of the best:

  • Logging policy. No matter how good a VPN might be - if its logging policy is suspicious, we’d never recommend it. As a result, each and every service on this page offers true no-logs privacy policies.
  • Windows client. This should come without saying - to be selected as one of the best VPNs for Windows, a service has to offer a state-of-the-art Windows application that’s not only easy to use, but also pleasant to look at.
  • Speed. Even though using a VPN usually means a slower connection, it doesn’t have to be that slow. Using suitable tunneling protocols (like NordLynx or WireGuard) can drastically improve your experience when browsing or watching your favorite shows with a VPN.
  • Streaming capabilities. Watching movies on your PC is more convenient than doing this on your phone - that’s why the best VPNs for Windows must be able to unblock at least a few streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu.
  • Price. Nobody wants to break the bank for a new piece of software. That’s why most of the Windows VPNs we selected are really cheap, costing only a couple of bucks a month.
  • Customer support. Even though installing and using your new VPN on your PC is a piece of cake, a few questions might still pop up here and there if you’ve never done this before. That’s why having good customer support (preferably, on live chat) is crucial.

Best Windows VPNs compared

Here we’ve put all the essential details of the 5 best Windows VPNs to compare. Take a look down below:

NordVPNSurfsharkIPVanishAtlasVPNPureVPN
Brandlogologologologologo
Rating:4.94.74.64.34.4
Price:$3.09/month$2.30/month$3.33/month$2.05/month$1.99/month
Number of devices:6UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited10
Dedicated IP:YesNoNoNoYes
WireGuard:YesYesYesYesNo
Number of servers:5500 servers in 59 countries3200 servers in 99 countries2000 servers in 50 countries750 servers in 37 countries6500 servers in 78 countries
Free trial:NoNoNoYesYes

Why do I need a VPN for Windows?

Using the best VPN for Windows may bring a lot of positive changes in your life. Let’s explore what you can do while connected to a VPN:

  • Protect yourself while using public wifi. Do you often take your laptop and work at your local Starbucks? Keep in mind that public wifi is usually unencrypted, making your network traffic visible to anyone nearby. Luckily, a VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and keep your personal information safe.
  • Hide your online activities from your ISP. Did you know that your Internet Service Provider can see everything you do online? A good VPN will put a stop to this by making your traffic downright unreadable.
  • Access blocked websites. Whether a website blocks traffic from your country or is simply blocked in your office or school, a VPN will help you access it without trouble by hiding your real IP address and providing you with a new one.
  • Watch movies and shows. This is the reason why Windows VPN usage is steadily increasing every year: some VPNs are able to unblock foreign libraries of Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and other streaming platforms. What’s more, basically any VPN will let you watch Youtube videos blocked in your own country.
  • Avoid bandwidth throttling. Sometimes, your ISP can intentionally slow down your internet connection to regulate network traffic. This can result in a much slower connection than you’re used to, which can be especially frustrating when you’re watching movies or torrenting. Fortunately, using a VPN eliminates this problem.
  • Stop hackers attacking you. It’s known that Windows OS is the most targeted by cyber criminals OS. A VPN with ad blocker feature will block malicious ads, websites, and malware from threatening your online safety.
  • Save money. Using a VPN might save you quite a lot of money if you often buy plane tickets or rent cars. Sellers implement lots of techniques to make you pay more, from price discrimination to browser cookies. A VPN will let you make use of smaller prices by letting you change your location as much as you want.

How do I set up a VPN on my PC?

Unlike Linux, Windows OS is extremely user-oriented. That’s why you won’t have any problems installing and setting up the VPN of your choice onto your computer - especially if you’re only going to use the default app.

In short, here’s what you’ll need to do to have a Windows VPN application up and running:

  1. Choose a reliable VPN. We recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download the Windows VPN app.
NordVPN for Win OS
  1. Allow the app to make changes to your device.
  2. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard.
Installing NordVPN on Win
  1. Log into your account and connect to the country of your choice.
Log into NordVPN on Win OS

However, if you want to set up a VPN connection on Windows manually, check out our guide that explains how to do this in great detail.

What is the fastest VPN for PC?

If you want a truly fast VPN for your Windows device, look no further than the services listed below. Their performance was the best in comparison to all the other VPNs we tested so far:

  • NordVPN. We got really good results with NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol: sometimes, the drop was only 6% from the original speed. The speeds with the IKEv2 protocol were also impressive, lowering the speed by only 7% when connected to the nearest country.
  • Surfshark. Even though Surfshark doesn’t offer an in-house tunneling protocol, its use of WireGuard guarantees minimal speed reduction when connected to the VPN. When we tested it, the speed reduction went from only 6% to 23%.

Of course, keep in mind that your speed results will be a bit different than ours. That’s because they depend on a lot of factors, even though it’s possible to see major tendencies.

What protocols does Windows VPN use?

Not sure which tunneling protocol to pick for your connection? Here are some of the most common VPN protocols you’ll find on Windows applications and how they differ from one another:

  • WireGuard. This is an extremely fast and secure tunneling protocol developed only a few years ago. Some VPNs (like NordVPN) have improved WireGuard even further, resulting in such revolutionary security protocols as NordLynx.
  • OpenVPN (UDP/TCP). One of the most popular VPN protocols in the world, OpenVPN is both really strong and extremely versatile, working on a wide variety of devices. It offers two versions: UDP (which is the faster one) and TCP (whose connection is a bit more stable).
  • IKEv2/IPsec. Used on both Windows and mobile devices, this protocol is both fast and secure. However, it might get blocked more easily than other protocols.

All of the best VPNs for Windows let you choose between a few different tunneling protocols. And the wider the choice, the better, because some protocols might not work with your particular PC as smoothly as you’d like to. Alternatively, you might want to prioritize speed over stability or vice versa, and the possibility to pick one protocol over the other really comes in handy.

However, the one tunneling protocol you should really look for is WireGuard. Right now, it’s one of the best ones the industry can offer, flawlessly combining speed and security. OpenVPN is also a great choice for those who want the highest level of privacy.

Should I use a free VPN for Windows?

No, you shouldn’t use a free VPN for a Windows device. Free VPN services (the ones that don’t offer a paid version at all) might pose quite a few risks to your privacy and your beloved Windows device.

To earn some income, they tend to sell your data to third parties and allow them to interfere with your security. Consequently, it can easily infect your computer with malware, display pop-up ads, and slow down your PC in general.

On the other hand, freemium VPNs are another beast entirely. They simply offer a free limited version as an appetizer to their paid product. However, providers, such as Atlas VPN and ProtonVPN are reliable options to try out. Or even continue using it for free if a small server fleet and a small amount of protected data are good enough for you.

Finally, lots of premium VPNs offer a generous 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you get the gist of what the service is capable of. If you don’t like the VPN, you can simply contact the customer support and get your money back with no questions asked. After all, only paid VPNs can fully guarantee you a strong online protection.

Bottom line

We hope that this article helped you choose the best VPN for Windows, whether you need it for work or entertainment.

Don't forget that, despite all VPNs looking similar on the outside, they might have very different personalities on the inside. For example, some are created specifically for first-time users who only want to unblock the desired content and try out foreign Netflix libraries. In case you're one of them, feel free to check out our beginner’s guide to using your first VPN.

Meanwhile, our top VPN provider NordVPN is targeted toward both tech-savvy users and regular users. It includes plenty of top-notch features and is easy to use.

In case you have any questions, feel free to hit the comment section and I’ll be more than happy to help you!


More VPN guides from Cybernews


FAQ

Comments

Shess
Shess
prefix 1 year ago
I was looking for best rated vpn for pc and I got many answers it being Nordvpn. I also heard about Expressvpn but never about Surfshark and it’s higher in the list. Gotta choose.
smart
smart
prefix 1 year ago
initially i thought that all the nordvpn with major influencers like pewdiepie is just marketing but then i started using it (after switching from a different vpn provider) and omg. its really amazing. quality in every step!!!
regray
regray
prefix 1 year ago
Is it true that NordVPN doesn’t have free version? I saw somewhere they offer free trial with Android? I really wanna try it because of awesome vpn reviews
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi! You’re right, NordVPN has a free 7-day trial for Android. You can get it from the Google Play Store.
pro n
pro n
prefix 1 year ago
i want to find a fast vpn for pc and my pc is quite slow. I saw you’ve written expressvpn is best for slower pc, why?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi! ExpressVPN offers great speeds, which means it won’t affect your internet connection that much.
charles
charles
prefix 1 year ago
Is it true that NordVPN has onion over vpn technology? How do I connect? I can’t find where to click when using Nord application on my computer.
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi, Charles! Yes, it’s true that NordVPN has Onion over VPN. On your desktop app, you can find the option on the left side of the main screen (the one with the map). The feature is under the section Specialty servers, just above the country list.
sir
sir
prefix 1 year ago
hey, quick question. Does NordVPN work with BBC iPlayer? Which servers are the best to connect to? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello! Yes, NordVPN unblocks BBC iPlayer. Simply connect to the UK and it should work for you.
eventer
eventer
prefix 1 year ago
i feel like windows applications always have more capabilties compared to the ones on mac. like more tools, tweaks, more freedom. is that the case with vpn on windows? or are those vpn applications kind of identical now?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello! You’re right – VPNs and other applications often tend to favor Windows devices. If you want a VPN for macOS that has lots of functionality, check out our list of the best VPNs for Mac.
don3
don3
prefix 1 year ago
Currently exploring options for best pc vpn and Surfshark sounds quite good for a reasonable price as well, but after reading the article I’m still unclear about a few things: What does smartDNS do ? And I see surfshark’s con is no SOCKS5 proxy. What is that for ? Does it matter ?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi, thanks for the comment! SmartDNS lets you unblock geo-restricted streaming content on devices that don’t support VPN connections, like some smart TVs or gaming consoles. You can read more about it here. As for the SOCKS5 proxy, it can be useful in cases when you don’t need your data to be encrypted but need to hide your IP address, as it allows for better speeds. It’s definitely not an essential feature!
Gab
Gab
prefix 1 year ago
I’m looking for best vpn for pc windows 10 specifically. Would appreciate your suggestions:)
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi, Gab! All the VPNs mentioned on our list are great choices for Windows 10. However, if you can’t make up your mind, I’d recommend downloading our #1 choice, NordVPN.
Sebastian
Sebastian
prefix 1 year ago
Is nordvpn truly the best rated vpn for pc? Where could I see some reviews and read some more information?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello, Sebastian! You can read our NordVPN review here. Alternatively, you can check out a couple of our VPN comparison reviews like NordVPN vs Surfshark or NordVPN vs ExpressVPN.
Zyrion
Zyrion
prefix 1 year ago
Hi! Which tunneling protocol would you recommend for windows phone vpn? I can see there’s openvpn, nordlynx, ike..not sure which one to go for.
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello, Zyrion! Not all tunneling protocols work with Windows phones. From the ones that are available, you can use IKEv2, which is both fast and secure.
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