Best VPN for Windows | How to Use & Setup a VPN on Windows
Need access to the Best VPN for Windows? Well, Microsoft has been a top contributor in the market of operating systems. Its “Windows” product is one-of-a-kind, offering exceptional intuitiveness, user-friendliness, and remarkable support.
However, if you want to secure your Windows OS and boost your anonymity online, you will need a VPN service. By using one, you can cloak your IP address, shift your location, and make it appear as if you reside somewhere else, boosting your anonymity online.
Continue reading to learn about the importance of a VPN, how to configure one on different versions on Windows, and what providers are the best choices for 2020!
Why Do I Need a VPN for My Windows PC/Laptop?
Despite many countries passing laws for more control on the internet and initiatives like the Safer Internet Day (SID) and Cyber Security Awareness Month, many netizens still are not aware how valuable their data and online privacy is.
If you have a good idea about of Geo-Restrictions, Copyright Infringement Laws, and the repealing of Net Neutrality, you can skip this section. For the less informed, I have created a summary concerning the need for a VPN in recent times.
- Hiding your Identity – Prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from learning about your online browsing activities, keeping you anonymous!
- Government Surveillance – Countries part of Fourteen/Nine/Five Alliances indulge in Mass Surveillance. VPNs protect you from their prying eyes.
- Geo-Spoof Locations – Bypass irritating content blocks and geographical restrictions by shifting your location and changing your IP address to a local one.
- Wi-Fi Protection in Public – Bars/Cafés/Restaurants may provide you with internet but they are not secure. VPNs protect you from hackers using public Wi-Fi connections.
- Bypass Censorship – Content limitations set by governments, workplaces, and schools can easily be bypassed by using a secure and powerful VPN service.
- Stress-Free Torrenting – Indulging in P2P/Torrenting can lead to hefty fines from DMCA notices. Using a VPN will hide your identity, fooling copyright infringement hunters.
The Best VPN for Windows 10 in 2020
Windows 10 does come with a trove of privacy issues. The information synchronization with Microsoft servers, the addition of the Cortana assistant, and integrated advertising help in personalizing your experience.
So, without further ado, look at the list of the best VPN for Windows I complied, based on reliability, performance, support, server availability, privacy, and features.
1. Surfshark: Best VPN Service for Windows
Pros: Based in British Virgin Islands (a VPN Friendly Jurisdiction). Budget-Friendly costs ($47.76 for 2 years). Legacy Simultaneous Connections. Surfshark Free Trial.
MultiHop Feature for Boosting Anonymity. CleanWebTM (Ad/Tracker/Malware Blocker). Automatic Kill Switch and Wi-Fi Protection for keeping you anonymous in public.
Cons: Only Static IPs available (Personal IPs missing)
Final Verdict: Surfshark is a newcomer that has quickly spread its wings in the marketplace of Cheapest VPN. Its performance, reliability, and privacy give it a 4.2 rating from BestVPN.co. Much of its reputation is owed to unblocking different streaming platforms, such as:
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Surfshark!
2. PureVPN: Cheap VPN for Windows Users
Pros: Based in Hong Kong (Safe Location). Automatic Kill Switch, Ad blocking, Split Tunneling, NAT Firewall, and DNS/IPv6 Leak Protection. 5 Multi-Logins. PureVPN Free Trial.
300,000 + IPs & 3,200+ servers in 140 countries. Optimized Dedicated Streaming Servers Available. Split Tunneling and SOCKS5 proxy for improved performance.
Cons: Rare connectivity issues on Windows. No free trial available.
Final Verdict: Operated by the GZ Systems and based in Hong Kong (one of the safest internet hubs in the world), PureVPN has its good days and bad days. The VPN has some dissatisfied customers, but delivers great capabilities for unblocking VoDs, which include:
- DDoS Protection Feature
- 3,200+ Servers in 140 Countries
- VPN Hotspot and NAT Firewall
- Multiple Protocol Support
- Allows Split Tunneling
- Free Trial Unavailable
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of PureVPN!
3. NordVPN: Secure & Anonymous Windows VPN
Pros: Based in the safe and secure Panama. Offers a huge database of 5,100 servers in 59 countries worldwide. Supports Six simultaneous connections. NordVPN Free Trial.
Ad/Malware/Tracker blocker. Free trial available. NordVPN allows torrenting and P2P file Sharing with specialize servers available. Offers apps for all platforms/devices, including Android TVs.
Cons: Monthly plan is expensive. Refunds can take an additional 30 days.
Final Verdict: NordVPN earns a rare 5-star rating from BestVPN.co for its Windows capabilities. It offers an intuitive client that boasts strong encryption and offers a ton of useful privacy features, which even help in unblocking multiple streaming platforms, like:
For more information, check out this full 2020 NordVPN review!
4. ExpressVPN: Fastest VPN for Windows Users
Pros: Based in the British Virgin Islands. Offers a 3,000+ servers network in 94 countries and 148 locations worldwide. ExpressVPN Free Trial and 30-day Money Back Guarantee.
Six simultaneous connections. P2P/torrenting support. Users even have a 30-day refund available. Obfuscated servers for bypassing geo-restrictions in countries like Canada.
Cons: No Port Forwarding option. Overall expensive service.
Final Verdict: The BVI-based provider boasts a no logs policy that even shook the Turkish Authorities. It earns a 4.5-star rating from BestVPN.co, thanks to its strong user-base, router compatibilities, ability to unblock all popular streaming services. These include:
For more information, check out this full 2020 review of ExpressVPN!
5. CyberGhost: Great Balance of Price & Value
Pros: Based in Romania (Safe location). 7-day Trial and 45-Day Refund Guarantee (USP of the provider). Huge collection of 6300+ Servers to for unblocking websites and VoDs.
Multi-Logins on five Devices. Mozilla and Chrome Browser Add-ons. Secure Wi-Fi Feature for Security in Public. Automatic Kill Switch and DNS/IP Leak Protection.
Cons: No Port Forwarding Available. Leaks found in Mac client.
Final Verdict: CyberGhost offers great versatility to its users. It has different modes like surf anonymously, unblock streaming, secure Wi-Fi hotspot, torrent anonymously, and unblock websites. The VPN also bypasses bans on Netflix and other popular streaming sites like Voot, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Now.
For more information, check out this full 2020 CyberGhost review!
6. IPVanish: Perfect for Bypassing Censorship
Pros: The service has an extensive spread of 1200+ VPN servers across 60+ countries. It also offers 40,000+ shared IPs for completing cloaking of identity.
You can even establish connections on 10 different devices. Access to features like Kill Switch, IPv6, DNS Leak Protection, SOCKS5 web proxy. 7-day money-back guarantee.
Cons: No Free Trial Available.
Final Verdict: IPVanish is a Florida-based VPN service that offers high level of security, promising to make your real IP untraceable to local ISPs and government agencies.
You leverage unlimited bandwidth with some of the best site unblocking features to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer. The provider also keeps no logs to respect user anonymity.
For more information, check out this full 2020 IPVanish review!
7. Ivacy VPN: Great for Chinese Windows Users
Pros: Based in Singapore (a VPN friendly jurisdiction). Expansive listing of 2000+ servers in 100+ locations. Bypasses content limitations on VoDs. Optimized P2P servers are available.
Cons: No TOR compatibility. No Netflix Streaming.
Final Verdict: Established in Singapore, Ivacy is another safe and secure VPN service. Its location is a plus, thanks to its convenient laws on data retention and internet censorship.
All data is safe under the Personal Data Protection Commission, guaranteeing your anonymity from local ISPs and governments. Monthly pricing starts at $11.95.
For more information, check out this full 2020 Ivacy VPN review!
8. VyprVPN: Delivers Fast Speeds for Streaming
Pros: Headquartered at Switzerland. More than 700 servers in 70 countries worldwide. Multiplatform, multiprotocol support available. Connects to up to 5 devices simultaneously.
Allows users to indulge in P2P/Torrenting. Limited free account available with unlimited bandwidth for streaming/torrenting. Zero Logs Provider.
Cons: No StealthVPN protocol on basic plan. Performance consistency issues.
For more information, check out this full 2020 VyprVPN Review!
9. TorGuard: Delivers Strong Anonymity Online
Pros: The provider is P2P-Friendly. It offers an expansive network of 3,000+ servers in 50+ countries worldwide. Users can establish connections on five devices simultaneously.
Stealth proxy for unblocking random websites. Two-factor authorization available. MITM attack protection. SOCKS5/SSH/HTTP/SSL and various other protocols.
Cons: The Windows Client app sometimes lags. No free trial.
Final Verdict: Based in the US, users may not find TorGuard a trustworthy service. Nevertheless, it has never been caught revealing private data.
The VPN also offers strong OpenVPN encryption, which allows for VoDs unblocking. The only catch is that users will have to invest in a dedicated IP to leverage most of the VPN service.
For more information, check out this full 2020 TorGuard review!
10. Buffered: Unblocking-Focused VPN
Number of Servers: 40+ | Countries: 35+ | Trustpilot Rating: 3.3 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: 8.25/mo. on a 1-Year Plan
Pros: Based in Gibraltar (a safe VPN hub). Bypasses content limitations on Netflix Us VoD service. Offers performance servers in more than 39 countries worldwide.
Connections to 5 devices simultaneously. Live chat support is available and quite responsive. Features like, Auto Connection, Firewall based Kill Switch, and Port Discovery.
Cons: Pricey Subscription Plans. Leaks found in the MacOS client.
Final Verdict: Buffered is transparent about logging some session/connection issues for cooperation with the government in legal cases with a warrant.
These logs are deleted within 30-days. I appreciate the honesty the VPN brings to the product, as it is better than being shocked/surprised later on.
Other Less-Reputed Windows VPN to Consider
The providers listed above already have quite an established reputation in the marketplace. For users craving something unique, I have created a separate listing for some less-reputed options.
The purpose of this is to give my audience a clear picture regarding the various “suitable” options for their Windows Laptops/PCs. I hope they help make the decision-making process easier:
- Avast SecureLine VPN – The popular antivirus program creator has gone the extra mile by offering a VPN product that encrypts and secures your internet traffic. The provider supports a number of locations, which include the US, UK, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Mexico, Czech Republic, and Germany.
- Norton Wi-Fi Privacy VPN – Norton by Symantec is another famous Anti-Virus service that offers a VPN product. The Wi-Fi Privacy is one-of-a-kind, guaranteeing the utmost level of privacy, securing your internet with bank-level encryption.
- Cryptostorm VPN – Based in Iceland and Canada, Cryptostorm is a VPN service that is gaining in momentum. It is the preferred choice for many who share files, tend to be privacy freaks, or want to surf the DARK WEB. Therefore, you can feel assured the provider keeps no connection/session logs.
- HideMyAss! (HMA) – Though HideMyAss is a highly popular VPN provider, many users stay away from it. The reason being their cooperation with legal authorities and providing logs. Nevertheless, if you are just looking for a VPN provider to unblock websites, the provider is not a bad choice.
- UnoTelly VPN – Based in Greece, UnoTelly VPN has grown into a large multinational organization. The provider does not use Google DNS servers. It uses physical hardware to provide you with the utmost level of protection. The client offers exceptional features like kill-switch and a built-in parental control.
- OverPlay VPN – Based in the UK, OverPlay is a relatively new provider in the marketplace that focuses strongly on privacy. It has a large pool of servers around 50 countries in the world, while offering remarkable anonymity, supports unlimited P2P/Torrenting, and even offers speeds as high as 6 Mbps.
- WiTopia VPN – WiTopia is another famous name among VPN providers. It offers a huge server base that provides access to over 40 countries around the world. Users even leveraging high-speeds of 30 Mbps to 35 Mbps on a 50 Mbps connection – depending on the proximity of servers and the websites you access.
- VikingVPN – Based in the US, VikingVPN is a relatively new VPN in the marketplace. It boasts one of the most expensive pricing plans, starting at $14.95 per month. For the high price, the provider does not offer anything distinctive but provides a good and secure overall service.
- Boxpn – Based in Seychelles, Boxpn is a mid-range VPN service that offers a competent service, very fast speeds, and good server availability. You receive over 7 Mbps for downloading and streaming, which is good enough for leveraging entertainment in the form of movies/TV shows.
Configuring a VPN Manually on Different Versions of Windows!
While this guide is about the “Best VPN for Windows”, I always choose to improve the technical expertise of my viewers. Signing up and installing a program is easy. Getting into the specifics helps you understand more facets about what a VPN does.
So, I decided why not help you guys out, looking for manual instructions. Below you can find step-by-step directions for setting up a VPN on different versions of Windows. These include the infamous Windows 10, 8, and 7. I would do XP too, but that would be too outdated haha.
How Can I Setup a VPN on Windows 10
- Click the “Network” icon, located in the Windows Taskbar.
- (Next to the clock at the bottom right corner of the bar).
- Select “Network Settings”, above “Airplane Mode”.
- Select VPN under the Network & Internet title.
- Click on “Add a VPN Connection”.
- Tick the advanced options, if needed.
- You will now be required to enter some information.
- We established a PPTP configuration from freevpnaccess.com.
- It is a good resource for manually setting up VPNs.
- Click on the “Save” button, after filling out all details.
- Return to the previous menu, click on the connect button.
- Enjoy using a VPN via the PPTP protocol method!
How Can I Configure a VPN on My Windows 8 OS?
- Head to the search bar and type in “VPN”.
- Select “Manage Virtual Private Networks (VPN)”.
- Click on the “+” button to add a VPN connection.
- Fill out the information required.
- Find a provider that supports L2TP/IPSec protocols.
- Right-click on “Network” in the Windows Taskbar.
- Select “Network and Internet Settings”.
- Click on “Change Adapter Settings” from the “Status” menu.
- You will find the VPN connection you created.
- Right-click it and select “Properties”.
- Click on the “Security” tab.
- Select L2TP/IPSec from the “Type of VPN”.
How to Setup a VPN on My Windows 7 PC/Laptop
- Head to the “Network and Sharing Center” menu.
- Click on the “Set up a new connection or network” option.
- Select “Connect to a Workplace” to start the connection wizard.
- Click on “Use my Internet Connection (VPN)” to begin the process.
- Type the IP address from your VPN service.
- Enter a name for the connection.
- Click on the “Next” option.
- Enter the relevant User name and password.
- Tick “Remember this password, if needed.
- Hit the “Connect” button!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What to Look for in a VPN for Your Windows PC/Laptop?
Bear in mind that finding one that best suits your needs requires being aware of different factors. So, I created this roundup of features for selecting the Best VPN for Windows 10, 8, or 7,
If the manual process seems too daunting, our readers can always go for a third-party VPN service. I always tell my viewers to take their time, when selecting a provider.
- Provider Location – Depending on a particular country’s data laws, a VPN provider may or may not be able to offer complete protection of your data. This is irrespective of a zero-logging policy.
- Multi-Logins – VPNs are handy tools, but if you can use it on one platform only, things get a little complicated. Look for a provider that grants concurrent connections across multiple devices/OS.
- Server Locations – Go for a VPN service that offers a multitude of server locations available. This makes it easier for you to bypass geo-restricted websites.
- Limitations – Avoid providers that do not offer P2P/Torrenting support, impose a bandwidth cap, or lack the advanced/generic features for leveraging complete privacy.
- Logging – For privacy-conscious users, pay extra attention to zero-logs providers. The best providers will be clear about their practices without evasive fine print clauses.
- Encryption – Military-grade, AES-256-CBC encryption, is the current golden standard for VPNs, complete with Perfect Forward Secrecy.
- Speed – Test different providers for performance before making a final decision. VPNs already drop connection speeds, due to the extra layer of encryption added to the network.
- Price – Reliable providers offer a balance between cost-effectiveness and value. They are also honest about refunds, free trials periods, support, and discounts available.
Are Windows VPNs Illegal in the US?
Though US is part of the five eyes alliance and imposes strict data retention and internet censorship policies, the Government has not yet banned VPN services. You can easily download and install any extension, without the worry of legal hassles.
Is It Ok To Use Cracked Windows Version for VPN?
While there is no harm in using cracked versions of different VPNs, it is usually advised to actually pay the premium. Most cracked files often come packed with tons of anti-viruses and malware, which could corrupt all data. It is certainly not worth the risk.
Is there any free VPN for PC?
If you do not want to waste your cash on a paid subscription, you do have free VPN solutions available. Some of the best options as of recent include Windscribe, Hide.Me, and TunnelBear. You can check this Free VPN for Windows guide for more options.
Wrapping Things Up
I hope this guide helps you find the Best VPN for Windows, based on your needs and requirements. Each name mentioned has been added after extensive research and analysis.
I try being as accurate as possible in my guides, but if you think there are better solutions or encounter any issues/problems, do not hesitate in dropping a comment below!
I will respond personally and try providing as much assistance as possible. Also, help a brother out by sharing this guide, if you find it useful. Thanks in advance