Most VPNs are designed to work on several devices and platforms, but usually, the number of tools and the level of security is greatest with Windows VPN versions. However, this doesn't automatically mean that all VPNs are better on Windows. Our tests show some VPNs kill switches don't work as effectively with Windows as they do for Mac or mobile.
A good VPN for PC will encrypt your data and route it through secure servers to hide your IP address (digital signature). This ensures your online activity can't be tracked back to you, and lets you bypass geo-restrictions—accessing content from anywhere.
Since the best VPNs aren't all created equally, our VPN experts test and compare the leading services every day. With TechRadar's 15-year history and our in-depth testing methods, we compared the features, unblocking capability, ease of use, and value for money of top services to create this list. Check out the three best Windows VPNs for PC below:
1. ExpressVPN: the best VPN for Windows PCs
ExpressVPN is our go-to VPN for PC and almost everything else thanks to its easy-to-use apps, super-fast speeds, and excellent unblocking capabilities.
ExpressVPN may be a pricey option, but it more than makes up for it with a built-in password manager, a year of unlimited cloud storage, and an extra 3 months of protection, all for free. Plus, you can see for yourself, risk-free, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2. NordVPN: a full security suite for PC
NordVPN comes with built-in malware protection, ad-blocking, password management, cloud storage, and a whole host of other security features—all at a competitive price.
NordVPN offers customizable pricing plans so you can cut costs and only pay for the services you want. Plus, you can see how it compares to ExpressVPN with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. Surfshark: the best budget Windows VPN
A premium service without the premium price tag. Surfshark isn't just the best cheap VPN on the market, it's also one of the fastest, and much like NordVPN, gives you the option to upgrade to a full security suite.
With unlimited device coverage and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can put it to the test and get a reliable VPN without breaking the bank.
The best Windows VPNs for PC in 2023
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
After our latest round of testing, here are the top five VPNs for PC and Windows.
The best Windows VPN for PC overall
Top-notch security and privacy tools with easy-to-use apps
Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 160 | Also available on: Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Maximum connections: 5 | 24/7 support: Yes | Free trial?: 30-day money back guarantee
✔️ You need a VPN that you can trust with your life: ExpressVPN is regularly audited by independent cybersecurity groups to prove the claims it makes.
✔️ You want to access geo-restricted content: with servers in more countries than any other VPN on our list, you can access content worldwide.
✔️ You need customization: this is a highly configurable VPN that you can tailor for maximum performance no matter what you're doing.
❌ You need a cheap VPN: ExpressVPN is the most expensive service on our list. If you're on a tight budget, you'll get a better deal with Surfshark.
❌ You want the fastest speeds: ExpressVPN certainly lives up to its name, but if you want speeds over 900 Mbps, you'll have to turn your attention to NordVPN or Surfshark.
🔒It's no wonder ExpressVPN is our top pick. From its simple user interface to its perfectly crafted security features and 24/7 support, plus speeds to support streaming and torrenting, it's hard to beat ExpressVPN's quality.
Check out our ExpressVPN review to learn more about this incredible VPN service and see why it's our top VPN for Windows.
ExpressVPN continues to dominate our Windows VPN list thanks to its high-quality and reliable apps, an incredible selection of servers around the globe, and tremendous content unblocking.
Whether you're a new user or a seasoned pro, ExpressVPN is simple to set up and easy to use. With its one-click connect function, you can instantly connect to the fastest server near you. Plus, you can see a variety of recommended server options listed below. If you want somewhere specific, you can change the location to any of its over 160 locations and save it as your favorite for all future sessions.
Other great tools for Windows VPN users include split tunneling, which lets you select apps to bypass the VPN encryption, should you need to access local sites and services. You can choose to either have only specific apps using the VPN or flip it and have everything protected by encryption with your chosen exemptions.
Its browser extensions give you added protection and enable a VPN proxy to help you better unblock content abroad. It works in tandem with the VPN app, so you won't have to jump between the two every time you want to switch regions.
Plus, ExpressVPN offers reliably fast speeds through its proprietary Lightway protocol. More than 20 times what you'd need to stream in 4K ultra-HD. Speaking of streaming, Our testing showed ExpressVPN unblocked Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. It also works with AppleTV and Roku streaming devices, so you can stream your favorite shows anywhere.
Its no-logs policy is also impressive and has been audited by numerous third-party cybersecurity groups. ExpressVPN doesn't keep tabs on what you do online and never logs your IP address.
Expert and friendly customer support are on-hand 24/7 via live chat or email for any problems you might encounter. Alternatively, there are plenty of articles on its website to help with setup and popular use cases. Simply put, ExpressVPN is dedicated to being the best VPN around, and our analysis shows that it truly lives up to these lofty aims.
|Design||Simple, lots of attention to detail, and a clean interface||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Very easy and one of the best for beginners||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Great speeds, but not as fast as NordVPN or Surfshark||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Unblocking||Excellent unblocking across the board||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Regular independent testing supports its claims and its clear policy shows a commitment to protecting its customers||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Always friendly, always helpful, always available||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||More expensive than most other VPN services||⭐⭐⭐|
Best Windows VPN with antivirus
Packed with security features, and great for streaming Netflix
Number of servers: 5,500+ | Server locations: 60 countries | Also available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Linux | Maximum connections: 6 | 24/7 support: Yes | Free trial?: 30-day money back guarantee
✔️ You want extra security: NordVPN offers a full security suite at a competitive price point.
✔️ You need fast speeds: one of the fastest, NordVPN closed over 700 Mbps in our latest speed tests.
✔️ You want to stream Netflix: NordVPN unblocked shows in the US, UK, Australia, and Japan with ease.
❌ You're new to VPN: the map-style interface is a fun differentiator from the competition, but it's not the easiest to navigate for absolute beginners.
❌ You want to torrent: while NordVPN supports torrenting on its servers, it doesn't offer port forwarding.
🔒 NordVPN always scores highly in our tests, and if you want a perfect balance of security, features, and cost, it's well worth trying out.
Read our NordVPN review to find out why NordVPN is such a close second to ExpressVPN.
NordVPN has an enormous global network, with over 5,500 servers in 60 countries. Many of the more popular locations have multiple server locations, so you don't have to fight to get a connection or experience slow speeds because of congested servers.
The Windows client is fast to set up and the map-style interface is a lot of fun for veteran users and comes with plenty of security features, like Tor over VPN and double VPN encryption for greater anonymity. However, this gearing towards the tech-savvy may be a bit overwhelming for less experienced users.
With speeds of over 700 Mbps, you can install it on a router and protect every internet-connected device in your home without being slowed down. In fact, you could all be streaming Netflix in 4K, and NordVPN will still be fast enough that you won't have to suffer buffering.
Our latest tests showed Nord unblocks all leading streaming services, including Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, and BBC iPlayer. Where NordVPN really shines, however, is with Netflix. Topping our charts as the best Netflix VPN, NordVPN unblocked every region we threw at it with ease. You can stream your favorite shows, anywhere in the world with total privacy.
In the wake of the latest round of Netflix account lockdowns, many users turned to NordVPN's Meshnet feature as a means to get around password-sharing bans. It lets you route up to 60 devices through your home network and access your files and apps remotely.
With excellent customer support, customizable pricing plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, NordVPN is only just pipped to the post by ExpressVPN, so be sure to put it to the test and see how the two compare before you commit your cash to one in particular.
|Design||A little busy and uses a map interface that overwhelms some users||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||The amount of info on the dashboard makes it harder to navigate||⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||One of the fastest, easily supports streaming||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Unblocking||There's nothing this VPN can't unlock, its especially good for Netflix||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Just as strong as ExpressVPN, plus it has double-encryption||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Very helpful, and the online articles are easy to understand||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||Though not the cheapest, it's still a great overall value||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
Best cheap VPN for PC
A budget-friendly VPN that offers plenty of features and amazing speeds
Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 110+ | Also available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Linux | Maximum connections: Unlimited | 24/7 support: Yes | Free trial?: 30-day money back guarantee
✔️ You're on a budget: no other service can beat the value-for-money on offer with Surfshark.
✔️ You want fast connections: Surfshark beat out all other VPNs to reach the top of our speed tests.
✔️ You're new to VPN: this is a really simple client to use, and it doesn't sacrifice details for simplicity.
❌ You want a sure-fire kill switch: it doesn't happen all the time, but our security tests show that sometimes it doesn't engage properly on Windows.
❌ You want servers in more locations: Surfshark offers more countries than most services, but fewer specific locations to choose from than ExpressVPN.
Our Surfshark VPN review sheds light on how this low-cost VPN is able to stand up with its more expensive peers.
If you're new to VPNs, Surfshark is a great provider to learn the ropes with. Its easy-to-use apps are absolutely packed with features, and if you upgrade to Surfshark One, you can get a full security suite with ad blocking, antivirus, and dark web data breach scanning to alert you if your information has been compromised.
You can even go a step further and grab Incogni on its "Ultimate" plan, which automatically requests the deletion of tracking information from leading data brokers to help keep your online activity more private in the world of "Big Data."
Surfshark isn't just amazing value for money, it's also our #1 pick for the fastest VPN on the market. With speeds of over 950 Mbps, it consistently maxed out our gigabit testing lines. If you want to do data-intensive tasks like torrenting, gaming, or streaming online, it's guaranteed to take it all in its stride.
When it comes to streaming, this Windows VPN will unblock just about everything. In fact, the biggest players aren't a problem. Netflix in all regions, Amazon Prime, and even BBC iPlayer can be accessed anywhere you travel. 9Now, 10Play, ITV, and All4 are also no match for Surfshark.
Surfshark uses AES-256 encryption for watertight security, but our tests highlighted an issue with its kill switch. It seems to enable just fine, but it doesn't always let us know when the VPN connection has dropped and the kill switch has been activated. Without this notice, we can't be sure the kill switch is working. This doesn't happen every time, but once is enough for us to be concerned.
Customer support is available through live chat, and the site has plenty of helpful articles for setup and customization. With unlimited device coverage, you can protect every device you own, and all of the devices your friends and family own for that matter. We haven't tried to test how "unlimited" it really is, but it's a welcome benefit considering many leading services force you to buy another subscription for additional simultaneous device coverage.
Put the best cheap Windows VPN to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and see why it's one of our favorite budget picks on the market.