Best VPN for Windows (PJ)

The Best VPN for Windows in 2024

Arthur Sabayi
Last update: March 13, 2024

Quick Answer: The Best VPN for Windows

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Windows as it works with Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11. It also offers some of the fastest speeds for gaming, streaming and torrenting, and it has best-in-class encryption for ultimate security and privacy. If you want to try ExpressVPN for free before committing, take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee, which works with the monthly plan.

  1. ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for Windows
  2. NordVPN — Secure VPN for Windows
  3. Surfshark — Most affordable Windows VPN
  4. Private Internet Access — Largest VPN server network for Windows
  5. Proton VPN — Best free VPN for Windows
Overall Rating 9.5 / 10
Get 49% Off ExpressVPN

If you frequently use Windows, chances are you’ve thought of using a VPN to boost your privacy because the internet isn’t a safe space. There’s always someone trying to take advantage of any security and privacy loopholes to get at you which is why you need the best VPN for Windows. However, not just any VPN can reliably protect you, it needs to be one of the best VPN services, which in our case, is ExpressVPN.

A Windows VPN unblocks geo-restricted content using virtual servers distributed in different parts of the world. If you’re an avid Windows PC gamer, you should know a VPN can sometimes improve your speeds by circumventing throttling from your internet service provider (ISP). At the same time, it protects you from DDoS attacks and other cyber threats which is vital since Windows is the most targeted OS by cybercriminals.

Do you have a Windows PC or tablet and want to take your security and privacy a notch higher when accessing your online banking, gaming accounts or streaming services? Then you’ve come to the right place. Strap yourself in and let me take you through the five best Windows VPNs that you can use.

  1. Overall Rating 9.5 / 10
    Get 49% Off ExpressVPN
  2. Overall Rating 9.2 / 10
    Visit NordVPN
  3. Overall Rating 8.9 / 10
    Visit Surfshark
  4. Overall Rating 8.7 / 10
    Visit Private Internet Access
  5. Overall Rating 8.8 / 10
    Visit Proton VPN

5 Best VPNs for Windows 

This article will look at the best features that make each virtual private network (VPN) ideal for Windows devices. This includes security and privacy features, speeds, the ability to unblock websites and ease of use. 

Here’s a quick chart to show how these VPNs compare, then I’ll do a deep dive into each provider.

VPN:Best PriceNetflixSpeedNo-LogsWindows OS
ExpressVPN$6.67 per month✔️Very fast✔️7, 8, 10, 11
NordVPN$3.99 per month✔️Very fast✔️

7, 8, 10, 11

Surfshark$2.49 per month✔️Very fast✔️7, 8, 10, 11
PIA$1.98 per month✔️Fast✔️8.1, 10, 11
Proton VPN$4.99 per month✔️Fast✔️7, 8, 10, 11

1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Windows

expressvpn windows
ExpressVPN supports Windows 7, 9, 10 and 11.
Pros
  • Wide Windows support
  • Fast speeds for gaming & streaming
  • Over 3,000 VPN servers
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not compatible with ARM processors

ExpressVPN is the best Windows VPN and is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11 on desktops, laptops and tablets. It encrypts your entire connection, protecting your personal information from third-party interception and defeating censorship in most parts of the world. However, ExpressVPN isn’t compatible with Windows devices that run on ARM processors. 

Since ExpressVPN hides your IP address so effectively, Windows PC gamers can rest easy knowing they won’t experience DDoS attacks when playing competitive games like Fortnite. The proprietary Lightway UDP protocol, that you can learn more about in our ExpressVPN review, is also one of the fastest, so you won’t see major latencies. The VPN also bypasses speed throttling from your ISP by restoring network speeds to their default levels.

ExpressVPN offers more than 3,000 servers in 105 countries that let you unblock geo-restricted content in many parts of the world (except China, where ExpressVPN struggles). Another handy VPN feature is its TrustedServer technology, which uses volatile RAM-only memory that is periodically wiped to stop any present or future data retrieval. 

You can also use the split tunneling feature — available only on ExpressVPN for Windows or macOS 11 and below — to decide which apps and websites you want to route through the VPN depending on the performance you need. 

ExpressVPN Features Ratings

Overall Rating 9.5 / 10
Get 49% Off ExpressVPN
Our ExpressVPN score
  • Features
    9.8 / 10
  • Pricing
    8.5 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    9.5 / 10
  • Speed
    9.5 / 10
  • Security
    9.7 / 10
  • Privacy
    10 / 10
  • Streaming
    9.7 / 10
  • Servers
    9 / 10
  • Service
    9.5 / 10
  • Apps Support
    9.9 / 10

ExpressVPN Pricing

ExpressVPN is expensive compared to the alternatives. It has three price plans, and the most affordable one is the 12-month option that costs $6.67 per month. It is followed by the six-month plan, or you can use the monthly plan. Every precise plan is covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can try ExpressVPN for free if you opt for the monthly plan.

  1. Best Windows VPN
    Overall Rating 9.5 / 10
    Get 49% Off ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN — Secure Windows VPN

nordvpn windows
NordVPN works on Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11.
Pros
  • Double VPN for extra security
  • Blazing fast speeds
  • Dark web monitor
Cons
  • Double VPN can be slow

NordVPN can be installed on Windows 7 (Service Pack 1), 8.1, 10 (version 1607 and later) and Windows 11. That flexibility combined with its continual app updates and support gives this VPN a better range than many alternatives. When you connect to a NordVPN server, you get full protection against malicious hackers through reliable encryption. 

Speaking of servers, NordVPN has over 6,000 servers in 61 countries. You can unblock restricted content like Peacock TV or Sling TV outside the United States by connecting to a U.S. server. The connection speeds are also among the best. 

If you live in countries with heavy censorship, this PC VPN offers double VPN and obfuscated servers that take your security and privacy to a higher level. Double VPN encrypts your traffic twice for redundant security, while obfuscated servers hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, protecting you from networks that ban VPNs.

NordVPN is equipped with a proprietary protocol called NordLynx, which runs faster than the other protocols in my speed tests. The Dark Web Monitor feature scans the internet for leaked data linked to your credentials and alerts you immediately so you can take appropriate action.

You also get Threat Protection, a real-time shield against malware, trackers and ads — especially important if you frequently use betting and torrenting sites on your Windows devices. Read more on what this security feature does in our NordVPN review.

NordVPN Features Ratings

Overall Rating 9.2 / 10
Visit NordVPN
Our NordVPN score
  • Features
    9.5 / 10
  • Pricing
    8.5 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    9 / 10
  • Speed
    9 / 10
  • Security
    9.5 / 10
  • Privacy
    9 / 10
  • Streaming
    9.5 / 10
  • Servers
    9.5 / 10
  • Service
    9 / 10
  • Apps Support
    9.2 / 10

NordVPN Pricing

The NordVPN Standard plan is the simplest option — including the VPN, malware protection and a blocking tool — with three price plans. The 24-month option offers the best deal at $3.99 per month, followed by a 12-month plan, with the costliest option being the monthly plan. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try NordVPN without any risks.

  1. Secure Windows VPN
    Overall Rating 9.2 / 10
    Visit NordVPN

3. Surfshark — Most Affordable Windows VPN

surfshark windows
Surfshark offers apps for Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11, though Windows 7 and 8 are no longer updated.
Pros
  • Affordable VPN
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • User-friendly interface
Cons
  • No updates for Windows 7 or 8
  • High latency

Surfshark works with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 (Legacy OS), 10 and 11 with unlimited simultaneous connections. You can download the app directly from Surfshark’s website or the Microsoft Store, or you can get the legacy version for old Windows systems. However, Surfshark doesn’t update its Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 apps anymore. You must upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 to get the latest Surfshark apps.

You get over 3,200 servers in 100 countries that let you change your IP address to unblock any content you want. Some streaming platforms I’ve accessed on Surfshark include Hulu, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video and Max. Any server you connect to provides blanket encryption that masks your online activities from your ISP, the government and hackers.

Setting up this Windows PC VPN app was a walk in the park for me. You don’t need to handle any complicated configurations; simply download a compatible version and start using it. All servers are arranged based on location, and you can quickly access static, multi-hop and dedicated IPs from the same list. There’s a paid Surfshark antivirus add-on for real-time virus protection if you frequently download torrent files.

Surfshark’s speeds can also handle bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming, gaming and downloading, and you can confirm the speed tests in our Surfshark review. The fastest protocol available for Windows is WireGuard, which I highly recommend if you don’t want to experience lags and buffering.

Surfshark Features Ratings

Overall Rating 8.9 / 10
Visit Surfshark
Our Surfshark score
  • Features
    8.5 / 10
  • Pricing
    8.5 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    8 / 10
  • Speed
    9 / 10
  • Security
    9.5 / 10
  • Privacy
    9.5 / 10
  • Streaming
    8.5 / 10
  • Servers
    9.5 / 10
  • Service
    9 / 10
  • Apps Support
    9 / 10

Surfshark Pricing

Surfshark is one of the most affordable VPNs around. The Surfshark Starter plan offers the best deal, with the 24-month plan costing $2.39 per month. The next best deal is the 12-month plan, and it also has a monthly plan. All plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try Surfshark and get your money back if you’re not satisfied.

  1. Affordable Windows VPN
    Overall Rating 8.9 / 10
    Visit Surfshark

4. Private Internet Access — Large VPN Server Network

pia windows
PIA works on Windows 8.1 and higher.
Pros
  • Largest server network
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Two kill switches
Cons
  • Doesn’t unblock some streaming services

Private Internet Access (PIA) is compatible with all Windows versions 8.1 and higher, and you can download both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions straight from the PIA website. The main difference between these two versions is that 64-bit systems are faster, while 32-bit systems are mostly found in older versions of Windows.

With over 30,000 servers,you can unblock most geo-restricted content worldwide without suffering slowdowns from overcrowded servers. This is part of how PIA can handle streaming and gaming without buffering and latencies. The RAM-only servers also ensure your browsing data is never stored in any format, eliminating the risk of future data retrieval.

Other important features include split tunneling, which lets you choose the specific apps and IP addresses you want to route through the VPN. Users get obfuscated multi-hop servers and two protocols — WireGuard (for faster connection speeds) and OpenVPN. PIA also features MACE, one of the best ad and malware blockers that blocks threats at the DNS level – more on that in our Private Internet Access review.

Additionally, you get two kill switches: a regular one that blocks your internet when the VPN connection drops and an advanced one that blocks all your outgoing internet traffic even when the VPN isn’t active. I always have those two activated because I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Private Internet Access Features Ratings

Overall Rating 8.7 / 10
Visit Private Internet Access
Our Private Internet Access score
  • Features
    9 / 10
  • Pricing
    9 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    8 / 10
  • Speed
    8.5 / 10
  • Security
    9.5 / 10
  • Privacy
    9 / 10
  • Streaming
    7.5 / 10
  • Servers
    9.5 / 10
  • Service
    7 / 10
  • Apps Support
    9 / 10

Private Internet Access Pricing

PIA has three price plans. There’s a three-year option that costs $2.03 per month and comes with an extra three free months. You can also get the one-year plan or the one-month option. You’re guaranteed a refund within 30 days of buying a PIA subscription, no matter which price package you choose.

  1. Windows VPN With Large Server Network
    Overall Rating 8.7 / 10
    Visit Private Internet Access

5. Proton VPN — Best Free VPN for Windows

protonvpn windows
Proton VPN works on Windows 7 and newer.
Pros
  • Works with Windows 7 & newer
  • Supports port forwarding
  • Free version
Cons
  • Free version limited to five locations

Proton VPN is the only VPN on our list with a free version that works on Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11. In our Proton VPN review, we discuss all the features the free version gives you with the most prominent one being free access to servers in five locations. 

The premium version has over 3,000 10-Gbps servers in 71 countries. This includes Secure Core servers that offer extra privacy by routing traffic through an extra stop in Iceland, Switzerland or Sweden.

For your security needs, Proton VPN packs some unique features. NetShield limits the number of pop-up ads and malware you come across online. The Proton VPN Windows kill switch also has a permanent option that blocks you from accessing the internet if the VPN isn’t connected. This is ideal for forgetful people who may access risky sites while unprotected.

Proton VPN offers port forwarding for those who love torrenting. With this, you can speed up your torrent downloads and online gaming. Regarding speeds, Proton VPN may not be among the fastest alternatives here. However, it’s still capable of buffer-free streaming and lag-free gaming if you combine a fast protocol like WireGuard with a server close to you.

Proton VPN Features Ratings

  1. Overall Rating 8.8 / 10
    Visit Proton VPN
    Our Proton VPN score
    • Features
      9.5 / 10
    • Pricing
      9.5 / 10
    • User-friendliness
      9 / 10
    • Speed
      6.5 / 10
    • Security
      9 / 10
    • Privacy
      9.5 / 10
    • Streaming
      8 / 10
    • Servers
      8 / 10
    • Service
      8 / 10
    • Apps Support
      8.5 / 10

Proton VPN Pricing

Proton VPN offers a free plan, plus three price plans. There’s a two-year plan that offers the best deal at $4.99 per month, followed by a one-year plan and a monthly plan. They are all covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want more free VPN options, check out our best free VPNs guide.

  1. Best Free Windows VPN
    Overall Rating 8.8 / 10
    Visit Proton VPN

How to Choose the Best VPN for Windows

Choosing the best VPN for Windows requires careful consideration, so I used the following key factors to make my final selections. 

Windows Compatibility

The ideal Windows VPN app must be compatible with as many Windows versions as possible. Windows 11 is the most recent version, but some people still use versions as old as Windows 7. 

Most VPNs don’t offer support for older versions, so a VPN that still works with a version like Windows 7 is more reliable than one that only goes as far back as Windows 8. A VPN that supports multiple simultaneous connections is a better fit, as it lets you encrypt more devices using the same account.

Security and Privacy

Windows devices, especially PCs, are used for accessing all corners of the internet, including risky torrenting sites, sensitive banking apps and online shopping. Whatever you’re doing, you need a secure VPN with solid encryption and IP leak protection to keep you safe on any network.

A no-logging policy is another vital component of a good Windows VPN as it ensures no data is ever stored for retrieval, though I’d advise you to check that any zero-logs policy has been confirmed by external sources. It’s a bonus if the VPN has a public WiFi protection feature to control how it should behave when connecting to new, unsecured networks.

Stable and Fast Speeds

Windows PCs are perfect for streaming and torrenting, with some high-end ones designed for gaming. The ideal VPN should have fast download and upload speeds, as well as low latencies. Another bonus is split tunneling, as it lets you only encrypt specific traffic or apps, while letting other activity remain unencrypted.

Unblocking Capability

A good Windows VPN should allow you to access geo-restricted content anywhere in the world. Whether you want to stream services like Hulu outside the U.S. or access restricted PC game lobbies, a VPN with a well-distributed server network will grant you all that and more.

Ease of Use & Affordability

An ideal Windows VPN should be easy to navigate, considering that you probably just want to get online. Its servers should be easy to find and connect to, and you shouldn’t have to dig through menus to access vital security features, like the kill switch and ad blockers. The VPN should also be affordable for the average Windows user.


My VPN Testing Methodology Explained

I mostly use Windows, and I tested multiple VPNs on different metrics with the following methodology.

My PC runs on Windows 11, so I started by checking the Windows version that each VPN was compatible with, going as far back as Windows 7. All the VPNs on this list passed that test. However, some providers like Surfshark no longer provide app updates for older Windows versions, so you might want to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 to enjoy Surfshark protection.

The next methodology I used was speed tests. I’m big on streaming, and the VPNs on this list were fast enough for gaming, streaming and downloading without problems. Some options, like NordVPN and Surfshark, come with specialty P2P servers optimized for faster downloads.

Finally, I ran DNS leak and encryption tests to ascertain whether the VPNs offer the protection that they claim to provide. All the VPNs passed both tests without exposing my IP addresses or the name of my ISP. It’s therefore safe to say that you can browse the internet confidently without worrying about anyone snooping in on your activities with any of these five VPNs.


How to Set Up a VPN on a PC: Quick Guide

Setting up a VPN on your Windows PC is easy. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Open the VPN website to subscribe to a pricing plan that fits your budget.
  2. Download the VPN that is compatible with your Windows version. Ensure that you know whether your device runs on 64-bit or 32-bit before downloading.
  3. Install the VPN and log in using your credentials.
  4. Connect to a server of your choice and start browsing without worries.

Conclusion

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Windows because it is compatible with versions as old as Windows 7, offers fast speeds for streaming, gaming and downloads, and can easily unblock geo-restricted platforms. 

Other alternatives worth trying out include NordVPN (fastest VPN in my tests), Surfshark (affordable price plans), Private Internet Access (large server network) and Proton VPN (best of the free VPNs).

What to you think of my suggestions? Have you ever used VPN software on your Windows device in the past? Was the experience good, or did you run into problems? Leave your feedback in the comment section below, and keep reading our blog for more informative articles.


FAQ: Windows VPN for PC 

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