Best VPNs for Windows is one of the most commonly searched queries on search engines. Because Windows is one of the most popular operating systems, users have plenty of VPN options to choose from. And if you’re wondering why you should use a VPN on Windows, it makes being online much more secure, you can be anonymous, and you can unblock geo-restricted streaming services.
How to choose the best VPN for Windows
If you’re planning on getting a VPN, there are several things you need to take into account if you want to pick the best VPN for you.
OS compatibility is an obvious one. Because Windows is one of the most widely used OSs, almost all VPNs are compatible. However, if you are using old versions of Windows (e.g. no longer supported ones), it may be difficult to find compatible VPNs.
There are core features that a good VPN needs to have, including military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. Additional features like an adblocker and protection against malware are also great features to have.
- Server count
Most good VPNs will have thousands of servers in many countries. A large network of servers is necessary because users get distributed throughout the network more broadly, reducing congestion. And if you need an obscure location, you will need a VPN that has a lot of servers in many different locations.
What kind of protocol a VPN uses can greatly impact Internet speed when you’re connected to it. It’s only natural that using a VPN somewhat reduces your Internet speed but with most good VPNs, the decrease in speed should be barely noticeable because they use exceptionally fast protocols like WireGuard.
Good VPNs are all paid programs. Maintaining VPN services is expensive, so if you want to use a VPN’s full features, you will need to buy a subscription. Prices are more or less the same for all popular VPNs. It’s also worth noting that if you’re planning on using a VPN for a long time, you should buy more long-term subscriptions because they are significantly cheaper than if you were to pay every month.
Top 4 best VPNs for Windows
If you do not have the time to research hundreds of VPNs available in the market, we narrowed down the list to 4 of the best VPNs for Windows in 2023.
No matter what criteria you use to evaluate a VPN, NordVPN is usually considered to be one of the best VPNs for Windows.
Server count: 5,800+ servers in 60 countries. The large number of servers means there will be less server congestion, giving users a smoother experience.
Security: AES-256 encryption. NordVPN will encrypt all of your traffic with military-grade encryption, protecting it from all prying eyes. An integrated kill switch will disconnect you from the Internet if your connection to the VPN gets dropped to protect your IP address.
Speed: NordVPN allows you to choose which encryption protocol you want to use, and your options are OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and WireGuard (NordLynx). NordLynx will be enabled by default, and it’s considered to be one of the fastest protocols. If you generally have good Internet speeds, it shouldn’t decrease to a noticeable extent when connected to NordVPN.
Additional features: Windows NordVPN comes with two types of split tunneling, and there’s also a Threat Protection feature that will guard you against malware and work as an adblocker.
Price: Subscription starts from $3.19/month. With all subscriptions, you get 6 simultaneous connections.
Server count: 2,200 servers in 52 countries.
Security: AES-256 military-grade encryption. IPVanish will secure your traffic by encrypting it, and prevent anyone from seeing it. There’s also a kill switch that will stop your IP address from leaking.
Speed: IPVanish has OpenVPN and WireGuard encryption protocols, which are both considered to be very fast. Both protocols retain around 80% of your normal Internet speed so you shouldn’t notice any serious speed decreases.
Additional features: IPVanish offers a traffic obfuscation feature to help conceal the fact that you’re using a VPN. There’s also a split tunneling feature if you want to select which traffic gets filtered through a VPN.
Price: Subscription starts from $3.33/month. With all subscriptions, you get an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
Server count: 3,200+ servers in 100 countries.
Security: The standard AES-256 encryption is used for traffic encryption. This is military-grade encryption so your traffic will be concealed from all parties. It also has a kill switch to stop your IP address from leaking.
Speed: Surfshark has two fast encryption protocols, OpenVPN UDP and WireGuard. Whichever you choose, your Internet speed should decrease very little, to the point where it’s barely noticeable.
Features: Surfshark offers Smart DNS, MultiHop servers, camouflage mode, split tunneling, and a Clean Web feature that will block ads.
Price: Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPNs available, with subscription plans starting from $2.30/month. Unlimited simultaneous connections are allowed with all plans.
Server count: 9,600+ servers in 91 countries.
Security: CyberGhost uses AES-256 for traffic encryption, the industry standard. An integrated kill switch will protect your IP address from leaking if you get disconnected from the VPN.
Speed: CyberGhost offers the WireGuard protocol, which is considered to be one of the fastest. If you normally have good Internet speeds, you will not notice any slowdown.
Features: CyberGhost comes with quite a few great features, including a dedicated IP address, an adblocker, and special servers for enhanced privacy.
Price: CyberGhost is also one of the cheapest VPNs currently in the market, with subscriptions starting from $2.11/month. Subscription allows up to 7 simultaneous connections.