Best VPN for Windows 10
Since Windows 10 was released by Microsoft in 2015, millions of users have switched over to the operating system. There are lots of cool new features and security protections given, with the software being updated frequently to fill in vulnerabilities. However, don’t let this give you a false sense of security, especially if you like to partake in activities such as torrenting and video streaming. To secure your connections to different servers, you’ll need a VPN. Having one will allow you to keep web traffic completely private, which includes masking your real IP address from the host sites that you visit. Here are ten of the best VPNs that you’ll find on the Windows 10 platform, software that can also be used on all of your computing devices.
The Advantages of using a VPN on Windows 10
Most of the advantages that Windows carries for VPNs include the amount of software that can be installed on the system. Since the dot-com bubble of the 1990s, Windows remains the dominant program for internet users worldwide. And because of that, you’ll be able to get updates to VPNs fast, and even the chance to try out new features when companies wish to beta test future innovations. Of course, this isn’t guaranteed to happen, but the likelihood of having quick patches from zero-day exploits is significantly higher than what might be provided for alternative systems. Regardless, a VPN will keep all information being sent and received over an encrypted tunnel using protocols such as OpenVPN. Some VPNs may even have their own defenses against malware, blocking you from connecting to sites and applications that are known for spreading malicious code to the public.
More on VPNs
A VPN will also help you keep information from your internet service provider, shielding them from knowing the websites that you visit. Again, this is done through encryption (AES-256) and private remote servers. By private, that means the VPN you’re subscribed to. These servers are public to others that are on similar subscriptions as you but cannot be accessed by anyone that hasn’t signed up for it. And while there are free VPNs that can be downloaded as well, many of them are arguably malware themselves. This isn’t always the case with every VPN, but it would be in your best interest to try out paid applications first. If not, you should research about the freeware you’re choosing thoroughly to see what kind of information will be logged; most of them (free VPNs) take part in some form of logging. The data is often sold to third parties that aren’t even known by the companies that gather the material.
- IPVanish: Location: United States; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (7 Days)
- SurfShark: Location: British Virgin Islands; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (7 Days)
- ExpressVPN: Location: British Virgin Islands; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (30 Days)
- VyprVPN: Location: Switzerland; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (3 Days)
- NordVPN: Location: Panama; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: No
- Windscribe: Location: Canada; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (30 Days)
- Hotspot Shield: Location: United States; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (7 Days)
- PureVPN: Location: Hong Kong; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (3 Days)
- CyberGhost: Location: Romania; Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (7 Days)
- TorGuard: Location: Nevis (West Indies); Kill Switch: Yes; Windows 10 Ready: Yes; Free Trial: Yes (7 Days)
Top 10 Best VPNs for Windows 10 Reviewed
IPVanish is hosted on most Microsoft platforms, including Windows 10. It has the latest protocols and even some that have become used far less such as PPTP. When you first open the screen after installation, you’ll quickly see how easy it is to control and find everything you need to get started. It’s also won’t run your computer to its max, which is a great saver for people that don’t have much memory to spare. When you log into one of the servers, the operation won’t take forever too. Sometimes, having a fast VPN is all that one needs. IPVanish can be described as such and houses great security features to bat.
- The customization options are endless, and advanced users have access to tweak the way the entire VPN functions
- Isn’t a burden on memory (for Windows)
- Wait time for login is only a few seconds, including on slow connections
- The app itself may crash at times
SurfShark main headquarters is based in the British Virgin Islands, a Caribbean territory with a government that is sympathetic to company privacy. This also goes for the VPN. If you browse torrent clients a lot, your primary worry after exposing your IP address should be unknowingly installing malware on your Windows 10 computer. SurfShark will help defend against this by blocking you from entering dangerous websites that could damage the operating system, or open you up to getting personal info stolen. On top of that, there’s a firewall that acts as a more advanced one than what’s provided by Windows, so you can control how every app functions from just the VPN alone. Things might not be so speedy if you use a router to connect, and it’s suggested to stick to the PC application first, before trying a different method to connect.
- Protects all users from malware and hackers with end-to-end encryption features
- Great response time when used on a slow computer; doesn’t lag or drag
- Streaming can be done either on a dedicated VPN or their ordinary servers, with decent functionality
- Using it with a router over Windows 10 may slow download times, especially when there are many users online in the home
ExpressVPN is another app that’s far away from all Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes nations. Also from the British Virgin Islands, the VPN is likely one that you’ve heard of before on the news, even if not realizing it. This is a good thing; most issues that have been brought up by the company are related to their strong encryption and zero logging policies. It’s a trusted VPN by IT professionals and those knowledgeable about software in the category. You could even get past strong firewalls that are commonplace in countries like China, without having your located detected. All this makes ExpressVPN worthy of any consumer that travels a lot or wants the very best in security for their Windows PC.
- Blocks viruses and other forms of spyware from getting onto the computer, acts as an anti-malware program on its own
- The app will never shut down, even when RAM is high
- Has the latest protections for leaks and control of applications through a firewall
- Can be used in nations that have heavy restrictions what’s accessible over the internet
- No bargains to be found of for long time users; costly
VyprVPN does many things right, just like the rest of the VPNs listed. Their major advantages are strong DNS and IP leak protections. Even if your connection is very slow and experiences the occasional drop, your server address will never make it to the sites you visit or your ISP. Thankfully, this won’t happen very often, as the application is built very well and won’t lag the rest of your open programs as you browse. If you plan on using file sharing hosts with VyprVPN, this is really useful, as such clients have a tendency to take up too much RAM. But getting on some of the servers could take a while. And by a while, that means in excess of two or more minutes to establish a link. But if you’re patient, little else negative can be said about VyprVPN, so give it a try.
- Powerful DNS leak shields that score well with third parties
- Trusted among advanced and beginner users for keeping true to its zero-logging policy
- Makes a concerted effort to provide fast customer response times that can solve issues in a short amount of time
- Some servers may take up to a minute before connecting
NordVPN’s servers are exceptionally fast and reliable. They’re a fairly young company as well, only being in existence for about seven years. But since the beginning, they’ve been a top choice for consumers internationally, and their location plays a big part in that (Panama). If you like prompt customer service that listens to their users and responds to inquiries in a timely manner, try this one out first. But be sure that it’s what you want, as there’s no trial period given to customers at all. You can get a “risk-free” period for 30 days, but will still have to fork over funds before starting a subscription. As they say, a few bad apples can spoil the bunch for the rest, and Nord was forced to close their trial after widespread scamming attempts. Yet if you value honest logging policies and fast server speeds, then NordVPN is the right VPN to settle on.
- Located in the perfect place for users that make anonymity a priority (in Panama)
- Award-winning servers that are always improved, and never shut down sporadically
- The company listens to feedback and attempts to improve problems that are brought to their attention
- Their website logs basic information about its visitors
Windscribe has a free and paid version. While both of them are generally well-received among consumers, it’s suggested that you try the paid version before the other. Its free servers are more likely to be blacklisted from certain sites, whereas a paid subscription won’t have any of these problems come up frequently. The main menu for the Windows application is quite small, and you could leave it on your desktop without it getting in the way of other work. As you browse online and visit YouTube or other streaming sites, speed will not depreciate from the rate you may use with an ordinary IP address. Torrenting can be done, but it doesn’t perform the same as streaming. That means you might experience long wait times for files that don’t have many seeders. Consider Windscribe if you’re not adamant on using the program for file sharing but need VPN to access websites with alternative accounts.
- The drop-down server menu is intuitive and keeps Windows desktops free of too much clutter
- Doesn’t lag PCs when users modify the VPN to startup when the computer is turned on; not RAM intensive
- No buffering or interference during music and video streams
- For torrenting, some of their servers may not work as well as others, while a number might not unblock torrent clients at all
7. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield receives generally good press from the media and has a user base that trusts the company for keeping their promise to refrain from logging. The time it will take for downloading and installing is pretty short. You will have the program running on your computer not long after the subscription starts. Streaming music is fast, and there’s no throttling when looking at movies or listening to your favorite tunes with the highest bitrate option. But using torrents may not work as well over Hotspot Shield. There have been reports of
- Quick download and installation time on Windows-based computers, including version 10
- The company website detailed extensive manuals that cover everything from installing a router to safeguarding user privacy
- The VPN is suitable for use over the Tor Network, does not collect browsing data
- Only one protocol is available for all users (Catapult Hydra)
PureVPN has a plan that starts at $2.88 per month for 2 years. If you don’t want to purchase it for that long, you could try the one-month plan that’s $10.95. You can torrent over it, and switching over to from USP to TCP protocols will help circumvent the chances of your ISP throttling your traffic over the network. PureVPN alone does not reduce the speeds of users who share files, so go ahead and torrent as much as you wish with the service. If you do begin with their yearly subscription, it’ll be a pain to cancel. A form must be filled out as a step to complete the cancellation process. For those that don’t like to feel bothered with irritations when deleting an account, then PureVPN is good for the money.
- Plans are at prices that are great for beginners or users that wish to try out more than one VPN
- No vague stances are taken by the company regarding torrenting; works on most clients
- Protects users from denial-of-service and other basic malware threats
- Novice users may require help from the website for setting up the VPN properly on Windows 10
CyberGhost has fast servers from all over, not just in the US and EU. Their Asian locations are great for streaming movies and music, as are the rest. When filling out your information prior to payment, you can buy with Bitcoin or choose PayPal. Credit and Debit are options too, so try the old fashioned way if you’re unfamiliar with crypto. The program will take up some blocks of your RAM, which is surprising for a VPN to require. And starting up torrents may take some time, particularly when the client searches for metadata that’s related to the file your attempting to connect with. But CyberGhost does more things right than wrong, and the service is great for protecting IP and DNS leaks.
- Contains high-bit encryption that makes it impossible to hack through on a shared ISP server
- User personal information is deleted by the company; users cannot be traced, even if the VPN attempted to do so
- A useful kill switch keeps programs and ISP from knowing the VPN server’s address, and any information shared over the network
- The lower the time duration, the more expensive the VPN plans become
Tor Guard receives good reviews across the board, and their customer service reps are friendly and quick with responses. They have live chat, so there’s no need to email anyone if you need to resolve a problem quickly. It’s based on OpenVPN and has military-like encryption. If you’re into streaming video content, 4K is possible, but you’ll need to have a reliable connection from your ISP. Files Sharing might get a bit tricky at times, and long wait times when opening magnet links might frustrate you with some servers. They’re also based in the United States, a Five Eye/Fourteen Eyes country. But if that isn’t a bother, you’ll enjoy TorGuard for a very long time.
- Friendly and helpful customer service representatives that can be contacted live, or through email
- Netflix should work on most of their servers, and possibly even those that have lower connections
- All major protocols are given, to which users have the option to pick according to how they connect to the internet their Windows 10 devices
- Housed within a 14 eyes country (The United States)
- File sharing is allowed, but some servers may not download well on the first few attempts
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the Easiest way to Choose the Right VPN For Me?
One of the first things you’ll want to check for before getting a VPN is whether or not the app will run on your Windows 10 system. More than likely, it will. Windows platforms are usually the first pieces of software that developers tend to create their programs on. You should have no problems finding a VPN on it. But do keep in mind that Windows 10 is still fairly new, so you might run across the occasional VPN that isn’t ready for the system yet. But this will be rare to find. The software was released in 2015, and every VPN reviewed above can safely be put on your computer.
You should also try to figure out what you’re planning on doing with the VPN once you install it. Most VPNs will make this easy by offering a free trial or money back stipulation that lasts for up to 30 days. Do you like to torrent? Be sure that the VPN’s servers are capable of running torrent clients. Sometimes, such information can be difficult to judge, especially if you’re going off customer reviews. Be wary of some of the information you receive about the products; users may air their frustrations out on the company when the real culprit behind a VPN’s file sharing abilities (or lack thereof) could be their ISP.
And there’s also astroturfing, or the act of companies attempting to hide their marketing by appearing as individual customers or third-party evaluators. If you want to be sure that the info you’re getting about a company is coming from a genuine source, just check the history of their posts or blogs. Regardless, try to find out what other people who use your ISP have recommended as a VPN. More than likely, it’ll be one of those featured here.
Additionally, check their logging policy, something you might have to search for on a news website. Whenever new information about a VPN becomes known to the general public, articles will often appear that describes the incident, whether it be good or bad news. One good place to look for updates and general tips is Reddit’s r/VPN subreddit. But if you’re hungry for the latest media on VPNs, a news aggregator would be the best option.
Can I use my Windows 10 VPN on other Computers?
You’ll be able to use the same VPN account on a select number of other devices. If those other computers happen to be Windows 10, then setup will be even easier. Check with the VPN to see how many people will be able to use it, other than yourself. If you live with family or friends and want something that everyone can use, an alternative would be to link your VPN to a router. From there, you’ll still be able to use it on Windows 10 but will have an unlimited number of devices that can connect to the network.
Will a VPN keep other Apps from Connecting over my Real IP address?
It’s strongly recommended that you allow your VPN to function as a firewall on your Windows 10 PC. You’ll have to be sure that the firewall actually works, though. If not, data could leak to your ISP and make them aware of your web activity. The last thing you want is to receive a letter or email that threatens to cut your service off. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to find out how well leak shields will work until you try the VPN yourself. You could test the browser, but you might not be aware of any problems until finding out from the provider themselves.
What are Some Typical Issues/Cons with using a VPN?
If you read up on VPNs for a while, you’ll find that the most common problem among users is the risk of getting blacklisted from some of your streaming accounts. More often than not, users won’t have such an issue come about during their subscription but the chances remain. Another known setback could be speed. If your internet connection clocks at 100 Mbps, your VPN might reduce it to half that amount or more. Again, this could be the fault of your ISP, as some providers are known to throttle web traffic that goes over the User Datagram Protocol, or UDP.
Some VPNs may rely on this to connect to servers, but others may stick with TCP, a protocol that’s used for OpenVPN and works faster over ISPs.
How Can I avoid having My Computer overheat during VPN Usage?
You’ll have to treat your VPN application the same as any other program on Windows 10. That means to avoid having too many programs open all at once. This is the fastest way to get lags and delays, especially if your computer is an older model. VPNs typically won’t take up too much of your drive’s memory, but those with more features could require a bit more space in order to run without slowing down. If your downloading music or movie files with a file sharing program, things could also lag when the apps begin to search for the source’s metadata. All these things are temporary though, and freezes aren’t very common. In any case, the kill switch should help block what you’re doing if you need to shut down the VPN through the Task Manager.
What’s the Best Way to Anonymously Buy a VPN Subscription?
Bitcoin is a good way to do this, but there are other cryptocurrencies with better privacy protections. Regrettably, not all VPNs have caught on to taking altcoins for payment. However, there is one method you could try for making your Bitcoin untraceable. Bitcoin tumblers can transfer your funds into one wallet to another that’s anonymous, and your transactions won’t be able to be seen in the blockchain.
These techniques for payment may possibly be of interest, especially if you’re getting a VPN that’s in the Five Eyes territory.
There’s no doubt that Windows 10 VPNs are a good investment to have on the OS. With so many options to subscribe to, it might seem a little overwhelming to look for just one. But it’s probable that you’ll be satisfied if you chose one of those from the reviews. And there’s no rushing here; many of them offer free trials, so you could go quite a while without subscribing to anything for a couple of weeks.
Realistically, your pick will presumably come to light shortly after test one or two out that you have in mind. You could set up an account for one month or even for a lifetime with some VPNs. To close it out, all of those briefed will make your presence on the internet more exclusive tenfold.