© 2023 CyberNews - Latest tech news,
product reviews, and analyses.

If you purchase via links on our site, we may receive affiliate commissions.

Best VPNs for Windows in 2023


Windows operating system remains one of the most used operating systems and, therefore, an additional security layer is essential. By adding a VPN to your PC or laptop, you can easily mask your IP address, encrypt online traffic, avoid dangerous ads, and generally enhance your online security.

Getting a powerful Windows VPN is an excellent way to improve your online safety. With it, you can also effortlessly bypass geo-restrictions and enjoy global content, such as streaming platforms, whether you’re using Windows 10 or 11.

What’s great is that many VPN providers offer intuitive applications for Windows users. However, the market is so rich that it can get difficult to choose the best provider.

That’s why we’ve tested and listed the top picks of the best VPN for Windows in 2023 below. Continue reading and find our recommended Windows VPN and further information on using a VPN on your PC.

Top 5 best Windows VPNs

  1. NordVPN – best VPN for Windows overall
  2. Surfshark – best inexpensive VPN for Windows devices
  3. IPVanish – user-friendly Windows VPN with a robust security suite
  4. Atlas VPN – best free Windows VPN for safe browsing and streaming
  5. Proton VPN – free Windows VPN with unlimited data

How to choose a VPN for 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.

  • Compatibility. Make sure a VPN application is suitable for Windows generation from 7 to Windows 11. Plus, the more simultaneous connections are allowed, the better.
  • Suite of features. The most extensive suite of features will help you not only to stay untraceable but will also stop online threats, bypass geo-restrictions, and more. Look for VPNs with adblockers to avoid dangerous ads, various types of servers, like obfuscated ones, and even more features.
  • Speed. A 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 guarantees the most efficient security and service.
  • 24/7 customer support. It’s important to have the opportunity to solve your technical issues in no time and without a hustle. Therefore, look for VPNs that provide excellent customer service, especially 24/7 email, chat, phone line, or other options.

The best VPNs for Windows – our detailed list

Picking the best VPNs for your Windows laptop or PC might not be an easy task (there are just so many VPNs that work with Windows OS). That's why we tested and selected the best providers that excel in various areas like features, connection speed, and compatibility with streaming services. Take a look on our findings below.

1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Windows

best vpn for windows
Based in:Panama
Simultaneous connections:6
Servers/countries:5500+ servers in 60 countries
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN with 63% OFF🔥

Of all the best VPNs for Windows PC, NordVPN is the best one for Windows users that want a wide range of features, advanced privacy measures, streaming capabilities, and more. Additionally, its Windows app is super easy to install and use.

Streaming: While testing NordVPN on Windows, we managed to unblock a huge chunk of the most popular streaming platforms. These include Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video. Thanks to NordVPN’s SmartPlay technology, it 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. During our tests with NordLynx protocol, we reached blazing-fast speeds, as well as an enhanced level of privacy compared to the regular WireGuard protocol. NordVPN also uses the latest AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption technology to secure your traffic on Windows.

Interface: Installation of the app on Windows was super easy. It’s compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11, as well as other operating systems, such as macOS, Android, iOS, and a couple of smart TVs. The app is very intuitive from platform to platform, yet, the Windows app offers the richest experience you can get.

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).

Apart from the advanced security suite, the pricing is another thing this VPN is leading with. NordVPN prices start at $3.49/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. All in all, it’s a great VPN for Windows 10 and 11 laptop or desktop 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
Simultaneous connections:Unlimited
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Current deal:🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥

Surfshark VPN is another inexpensive VPN which makes bypassing geo-restrictions on your Windows device easy. With it, unblocking streaming sites is easy and you get the best all-round security for online activities.

Streaming: Surfshark is known to unblock various streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, which our tests have proved right. During our tests on Windows, it managed to unblock Netflix libraries, YouTube, HBO Max, Apple TV, and more.

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 is also one of the fastest VPNs on the markets thanks to a large server location list and a selection of fast protocols available on Windows devices (including WireGuard and OpenVPN UDP). Our tests showed outstanding speeds and steady performance.

Interface: You can use the VPN not only on your Windows but also on Mac, Android, iOS, and some other devices. However, the Windows app is the only one that offers every feature without an exception. Even though the servers' locations map would ease things, it’s still easy to navigate in the app.

Features: Surfshark is a good catch feature-wise. 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.

The next-gen suite of security features isn’t all that Surfshark can be proud of. Another 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 Surfshark’s 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
Simultaneous connections:Unlimited
Servers/countries:2000+ servers in 50 countries
Current deal:🔥Get 66% OFF IPVanish!🔥

IPVanish is a following pick on our list that offers one of the most personalized clients for Windows OS devices. It came up with an intuitive and feature-rich Windows app. We could easily set it up on a device and use features like split tunneling and more.

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 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.

Interface: IPVanish has apps not only for Windows 10 or 11 but also for other operating systems, such as macOS, Android, and iOS. The Windows app offers a clean interface that allows you to customize it according to your needs easily.

Features: 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. It also offers a kill switch, DNS leak protection, a no-logs policy, and other powerful features.

All in all, IPVanish is a strong aspirant as a Windows VPN. The price of this service starts from $3.99/month if you only want a VPN. 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
Simultaneous connections:Unlimited
Servers/countries:750+ servers in 38 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 intuitive and easy 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. As for speed, during our tests we reached good speeds thanks to WireGuard protocol. It's ideal for browsing, gaming, and streaming.

Interface: Atlas VPN could be ranked as one of the most user-friendly apps on the market. The setup was easy, however, the Windows app does freeze from time to time, so it could be improved compared to the macOS and mobile devices applications.

Features: On the Windows app of Atlas VPN, you will also find a lot of features like SafeBrowse (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.

Another great thing about Atlas VPN to add to its list is the possibility of unlimited simultaneous connections. This makes the monthly price of $2.05 seem even lower. Also, a 30-day money-back guarantee 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. Proton VPN – excellent free Windows VPN for unlimited safe browsing

ProtonVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Simultaneous connections:10
Servers/countries:1800+ servers in 66 countries
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN! 🔥

Proton VPN is another great pick for Windows. It has great security features, solid browsing performance, a decent free version for Windows devices, and more.

Streaming: If you're looking for a reliable and fast desktop VPN for streaming and torrenting on Windows, Proton VPN is a great option. The provider offers a very stable connection and over 1800 servers in 66 countries. It’s able to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock libraries of Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more. We didn’t experience any buffering issues while testing Proton’s streaming capabilities.

Security and speed: Proton VPN, like other leading VPN providers for Windows, uses AES-256-CBC encryption ciphers, a functional kill switch, which will secure you from accidental leaks if the connection gets disrupted. In terms of speed, during our thorough testing, Proton VPN performed really well. Thanks to its WireGuard tunneling protocol, browsing and streaming speeds were excellent.

Interface: The interface that Proton VPN offers for Windows users is simple and intuitive. You can connect to the VPN in just a few clicks and the rest is done automatically, which saves a lot of time. Proton VPN also has a sleek design, which is visually appealing and not over-cluttered.

Features: Proton VPN’s app for Windows has the most features of all the apps and is easy to use. The app offers IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard, and OpenVPN tunneling protocols. The settings also include ALternate routing, split tunneling, custom DNS servers, and more.

Proton VPN offers a basic free version. Alternatively, you can try its premium plans starting from $4.99/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, visit our Proton VPN review.

6. PureVPN – security-oriented VPN for Windows PC

purevpn banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Simultaneous connections:10
Servers/countries:6500+ servers in 78 countries
Current deal:🔥 Get PureVPN, now 81% 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. Plus, streaming and downloading content with it went great for us.

Streaming: PureVPN works well with streaming platforms. It unblocks the US library of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. We didn't experience any buffering and the it loaded pretty fast.

Security and speed: 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.

Interface: We found it very convenient that the 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 on your desktop and mobile devices.

PureVPN offers a reasonable price and quality ratio considering all its strengths and weaknesses. You’ll get all of its features for the average price of $2.08/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.

The methodology we used to test VPNs for Windows

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 while testing a VPN on Windows OS:

  • 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.
  • Compatibility. Commonly, a Windows device isn’t the only one that lurks at home. That’s why it’s important that a VPN offers apps for various platforms as well as a bigger number of simultaneous connections. Also, the 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.
  • Value for money. 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.

What can I do with a VPN on 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 2
  1. Allow the app to make changes to your device.
  2. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard.
Installing NordVPN on Win 1
  1. Log into your account and connect to the country of your choice.
Log into NordVPN on Win OS 3

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.

Should I use a free VPN for Windows?

Using a free VPN for Windows devices is a real opportunity. However, we don’t recommend doing it. 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.

Free VPN providers 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.

Finally, lots of premium VPNs offer a generous 30-day money-back guarantee or a 7-day free trial that lets you get the gist of what the service is capable of. Here are some of them:

  • NordVPN. This is the best premium pick with an extensive security suite for your Windows device. You can try its services free of charge with a 7-day free trial or a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Surfshark. Another budget-friendly premium option to test out. Surfshark exceeds in speeds, security, privacy, and other VPN perks. Test it out with a 7-day free trial or a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom line

For anyone who’s serious about protecting their data online and Windows device, a VPN is a must. Navigating through the Internet with a VPN for Windows means you can browse anonymously, bypass geo-restrictions, and protect yourself from various cyber threats.

Meanwhile, our top VPN for Windows NordVPN is targeted toward both tech-savvy users and regular users, there are multiple other options to choose from according to your needs. 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.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked