One of the perks of having Windows as your operating system is that you have a lot of options when choosing one of the best VPN services (or any software, for that matter). Virtually every VPN service caters to users of the most popular desktop OS in the world with a variety of features. However, with a massive selection of possible VPN services, that only makes choosing one more difficult. Luckily, as ever, we are here to help.
How to choose the best VPN for Windows
Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10, is a significant improvement in terms of security and protection. Even so, there are some widely discussed, controversial privacy issues pertaining to the OS, and what’s more you can never be ‘too’ secure, let’s face it.
- Check out the best VPN services of 2018
Then there’s the matter of pricing as not every service is worth the money they’re asking. Sometimes paying a little bit extra ensures a superb experience, but other times a cheaper service provides the optimal quality.
Yes, there are some difficult choices to be made for sure, which is exactly why we’ve done all the legwork and selected our five best VPN services for Windows across various different categories. You won’t go wrong with any of these.
Best all-round VPN
Number of servers: 1500+ | Server locations: 148 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3
This British Virgin Islands-based provider offers an impressive level of server coverage with 148 locations across 94 countries, and it’s a P2P-friendly service too. During testing, we witnessed very good performance for local servers, with slightly lower but still very acceptable results for long-distance connections.
The client boasts an excellent UI with a bunch of features such as smart location, automatic protocol selection, server recommendation, and much more.
A convenient bonus is the ability to control the VPN from browser extensions, and a special mention goes to the split tunneling feature, which is great for, say, torrenting or restricting the VPN connection to a single browser.
Price-wise, the service sports above average prices (especially the monthly plan), which might put some folks off. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free plan or trial but all the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Out of the three plans, the annual subscription offers the best value-for-money. The packages available are:
- [$12.95 a month] 1-month
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.95
- [$6.67 a month] 12-months (plus 3 free months) - $99.95
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
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This VPN features a well-designed client (although we did find that the Windows client may be more susceptible to network issues than rivals) that offers a wide array of both basic and advanced settings, with enough options to satisfy even expert tinkerers. The service is one of the best for torrenting and other P2P traffic, as well.
In our testing, we witnessed a significant increase in download speeds (close to 20%) which is fantastic, obviously. IPVanish has a firm no logs policy in place, and more than adequate protection with 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols.
The slight drawback is this is a little pricier than much of the competition, and there’s no free trial either. However, IPVanish does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee across all three of its pricing plans. The 1-year subscription clearly provides the best value. The packages available are:
Most secure VPN
Number of servers: 3338 | Server locations: 60 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
NordVPN is a mainstay on many ‘best of’ lists for several good reasons – although the one that matters most is its tight security. The service offers a certain number of ‘Double VPN’ servers which pass your data through two separate VPN servers, not just one, which makes things even more secure. You can also route its encrypted traffic over the Tor network, adding another layer of security, along with the existing KEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols.
There's a free 3-day trial, and NordVPN is rather affordable (aside from the monthly subscription), offering four plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The best value option is the 2-year plan. The packages available are:
Best balance of performance and price
Number of servers: 2000 | Server locations: 25 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
Hotspot Shield’s rather colourful client provides all the necessary basics which are simple enough to use, but lacks extra settings options. The low number of server locations doesn’t help either, but what you’ll really like here is the performance levels. This VPN posted some excellent results in our testing, with only marginal latency increase and a bit faster upload and download speeds compared to our normal rates.
Perhaps the most questionable aspect of Hotspot Shield is its pricing. There are four plans, each with a 45-day money-back guarantee, including a ‘lifetime’ subscription which could work out very cheaply in the long run, if you don’t mind making that much of a commitment. The packages available are:
- [$12.99 a month] 1-month
- [$8.99 a month] 6-months - $53.94
- [$5.99 a month] 1-year - $71.88
- Lifetime - $119.99
Best VPN for novice users
Number of servers: 300+ | Server locations: 62 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 2-5
This Slovakian-based provider runs its own network, DNS servers, and infrastructure. And this definitely shows as the performance levels were well above-average and fairly consistent when we tested TigerVPN. The global choice of available servers certainly helps the cause here.
The dedicated Windows client is very user-friendly, too. However, it only offers some basic options, with advanced settings being few and far between – but that’s not likely to bother novice users. Another issue with the service is that you only get two simultaneous connections with the monthly plan, which means those looking for a genuine multi-device experience need to subscribe to the yearly plan.
TigerVPN is P2P friendly and while there's no trial, there is a 7-day money-back guarantee. There are three packages to choose from, and subscribing for a three-year plan gives you the best savings, plus you get up to five simultaneous connections (rather than two on the monthly plan), along with bonus features like a password manager. The packages available are:
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