In our daily routines, we spend so many hours mingled with PCs. In an era of technology; we work, watch, stream, and connect through the aid of PCs. While such activities have indispensable priorities in our lives, they also bring about new online threats for our online identities. That is the exact point where we need end-to-end encryption and run our online activities via private tunnels: VPNs.
In this article, I will be covering the best 5 VPN providers for Windows PC users. By picking up one of these VPNs, you will be able to secure your internet connection, keep your identifiable data private, access blocked websites, stream geo-restricted content, and become anonymous online.
A quick look to our handpicked 5 VPNs for Windows PCs
- 1. SurfShark
Based on British Virgin Island: Zero log policy, IKev2, OpenVPN, ShadowSocks protocols, 256bit encryption, private DNS, Kill Switch, third part audit; 60+ country, 70+ Mbps speed; Minimalist Windows PC VPN; adblocker; Starting from 1.99$/month…
- 2. NordVPN
Based in Panama: Zero log policy, OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption, private DNS, Kill Switch, third part audit; 50+ countries, 70+ Mbps speed; User-friendly Windows PC VPN; Starting from 3.49$/month…
- 3. ExpressVPN
Based on British Virgin Island: Proven no-log policy, 5 different protocols with 256-bit encryption, Private DNS, Kill Switch; 90+ countries, 60+ Mbps speed; Minimalist Windows PC VPN; Starting from 6.67$/month…
- 4. CyberGhost
Based in Romania: No activity log policy, OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, 20 Mbps+ speed; User-friendly software; Starting from 2.75$/month…
- 5. UltraVPN
Based in the UK: No activity log policy, 2 protocols with 256-bit encryption, Firewall, 60+ Mbps speed; Minimal VPN software needs further development; Starting from 2.25€/month…
- 1. SurfShark
How I evaluated the best Windows VPN providers
In order to have a complete overview of each provider, I have enlisted four different subcategories to analyze VPNs properly. By combining the features from both the company and software end, you will be able to choose the best Windows VPN service according to your liking.
Privacy by the company and the PC software
Country coverage and speed performance
Privacy means nothing if we cannot get a decent speed performance from a VPN server. That is why I only listed fast and stable providers with huge country coverage. This way, you can stream videos up to 4k, have smooth social media/browsing experience, and download files with the best speed possible.
Windows PC VPN software features
A good VPN should be easy to use. In this list, you will find the most minimal and user-friendly Windows VPNs in the market. No matter you are a tech-savvy or newbie, you will be able to use the VPN service with the least clicks possible. Furthermore, we will also check what unique features each VPN provider offers with their apps.
Pricing and refund policy
Not many people can spare big bucks for online services. That is why price/performance plays a crucial role in our list. I tried to push forward the budget-friendly, professional VPN services with reliable, and long term money-back guarantee options.
5 Best VPN services for Windows PCs
According to the criteria above, I will be analyzing the best VPN providers dedicated to Windows PC users. I will also cover the additional features you will love. Stay tuned!
SurfShark is a British Virgin Island-based VPN provider focusing on ultimate online privacy for its users. The company, thanks to its offshore headquarter, does not keep any activity logs. Secondly, SurfShark gets its services audited by independent security testers of Cure53. You can reach out to this transparent data here.
Speaking of privacy, SurfShark software is bundled with amazing features to keep you off the radar. It has private DNS servers to prevent IP/DNS leaks with the Kill Switch feature. Furthermore, a unique feature “CleanWeb” will remove unwanted ads, trackers, and cookies.
Lastly, SurfShark has two different protocols for Windows PC users: OpenVPN, IKEv2 with 256-bit encryption. Such strong encryption will grant us both security and optimal speed.
People tend to connect to the closest servers to their homeland to get the best speed possible. However, you do not need to worry about it with SurfShark.
Currently, SurfShark operates in 60 different counties. The sweetest part is SurfShark is the fastest VPN provider we have tested so far. No matter which country I had tested, SurfShark gave me the optimal speed performance. The speed up to 70+Mbps will help you download files super-fast, stream 4k videos and browse the internet as if you are not connected to the VPN server. Check our further analysis.
So far, we have analyzed what SurfShark offers to its users. Now, it is time to how the Windows PC software handles these features:
The surfShark Windows app is easy to use. Servers are categorized by Favorite, Locations, Static IP, and, MultiHop. Depending on your server selection, you can connect to the desired location only with two clicks.
In order to get the best out of a VPN service, you can always make some adjustments through their setting sections. SurfShark settings page offers a few, yet effective features for your privacy. As for the noteworthy ones. We have:
- Connectivity where we decide when to start the software, enable auto-connect or Kill Switch features.
- Advanced where you can choose from three different protocols: OpenVPN, IKev2, and Shadowscoks; activate NoBorders feature to bypass censorship in restricted countries and become invisible to devices on local area networks.
SurfShark Windows PC VPN does not offer much of dedicated features. However, the available ones will take your attention. These are:
- CleanWeb: You can block all ads, trackers, and malware attacks.
- Whitelist: You will have to option to limit VPN usage to specific apps.
Here comes the most anticipated part of the SurfShark service. The pricing!
Fortunately, SurfShark is the best VPN provider when it comes to price/performance ratio. It is fast, stable and you can use the service with unlimited devices simultaneously. Under 30 days moneyback guarantee, you can start using this service starting from 1.99$/month.
NordVPN is a Panama based VPN provider offering a variety of VPN apps including Windows VPN as well. Thanks to their offshore base, NordVPN is not required to keep any activity or user logs. Furthermore, they got their service audited and prove their no-log policy by Big 4 company. The audit is only available to NordVPN users in their account pages.
In terms of additional privacy measurements, NordVPN providers dedicated DNS connections and Kill Switch feature to prevent possible IP/DNS leaks. Combined with OpenVPN and NordLynx (WireGuard) protocol at 256-bit encryption, NordVPN offers the best possible security and speed performance for its users.
Yet, is that true? According to our NordVPN review, the service offers an average of 70+ Mbps download speed making the NordVPN second-fastest provider after SurfShark. Additionally, it is possible to get the best speed from all servers around the world. In other words, you can enjoy the utmost speed from 5000+ servers in more than 50+ countries.
No matter how much I love what features NordVPN offers, I do not find its Windows software user friendly because of the huge amount of space covered by an unnecessary server map. Other than this, the Windows PC VPN does the job properly. Let’s take a close look at the basic NordVPN Windows app features:
NordVPN does not have a minimal look. The server map makes navigation harder. On the left side of the software, we have the server listing by dedicated IP, Double VPN, Onion over VPN, P2P allowed locations, and alphabetic order.
You can connect to the server on the map with a single click or search for the desired server on the left bar and double click on the server will establish the VPN connection.
In the settings menu, we have a neat design of preferable adjustments.
- The auto-connect section offers protocol selection, auto connection, and unsecure wifi warning features.
- Below that, we have the Kill Switch feature to shut down internet connection or close a specific app when we are disconnected from the VPN server.
- Lastly, the advanced section helps us choose our own DNS servers, enable obfuscated servers to bypass restrictions, and become invisible on public networks.
There is one any only NordVPN feature in the app, CyberSec. This feature will block unwanted ads and malicious websites when the VPN connection is active. Yet, it is not working properly. Sometimes you have to reconnect to the VPN server to activate it.
Lastly the pricing. NordVPN offers four different plans to its customers. The lowest price starts from 3.49$/month and you are %100 protected under 30 days moneyback guarantee. Furthermore, you can use a single account simultaneously up to 6 different devices.
ExpressVPN is one another British Virgin Islan based VPN provider. Apart from claims, It has a proven no-log policy. Furthermore, ExpressVPN runs its infrastructure on RAM disk technology making the data logs impossible on the server-side. Indeed this technology was also audited and approved by PwC Technologies.
As for the Windows software part, ExpressVPN gathers up its own DNS servers with Network Lock (Kill Switch) feature to prevent possible DNS/IP leaks. Moreover, it has three different protocols to choose from OpenVPN, IKev2, and L2TP with standard 256-bit encryption.
When it comes to servers and their performance, ExpressVPN got your back. According to the latest speed test performance we ran with ExpressVPN, I was able to get 60+ Mbps download speed. And servers in 94 different countries will grant you that ultra-speed performance no matter where you are located.
ExpressVPN has one of the most minimalist Windows VPN software in the market. It is not feature-rich, but it does the job.
Finding servers and navigating between tabs is pretty easy with ExpressVPN. On the main page, we have a huge connect button. With a single click, the app will establish a VPN connection. Just below, you can click on the location and pop up the whole available servers. Either you can search your desired location or select one from the recommended ones.
ExpressVPN option button will bring up all settings dedicated to Windows users. Here is the list what you can play around with the ExpressVPN setting page:
- General settings: You can make use of Kill Switch to prevent leaks and Split Tunneling feature to assign chosen apps to use VPN connection only.
- Protocols will help you choose from 3 different options: OpenVPN, IKev2, and L2TP. I strongly suggest you use Automatic if you are residing in a restricted country.
- Advanced: Here you can optimize the VPN network to get the best speed performance. You can also activate ExpressVPN DNS servers for enchanted privacy.
Minimalism has cons as well. ExpressVPN offers so much on the server and company side. However, you cannot see the reflection on the Windows app. It does not even offer basic features like obfuscated servers, ads/tracker blocking or WireGuard protocol to bypass censorship.
If you want VPN basics and you are not into techy part of the VPNs, you can always go for no-log proven ExpressVPN. Any account comes with 5 simultaneous connections and a 30-day moneyback guarantee. It is noteworthy that ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPN providers in the market. The cheapest plan starts from 6.67$/month.
CyberGhost is a Romania based VPN provider with a minimal log keeping policy. While the company does not keep any of your activity logs, unfortunately, your personal information will be in their database. However, it does not mean that your identifiable info will be visible at some point. The company just has to keep up with the European law regulators.
On the software side, CyberGhost takes necessary precautions to increase your online anonymity. First of all, its Windows app offers two different protocols: OpenVPN and IKev2 with 256-bit encryption. Secondly, These protocols are backed up by private DNS and Kill Switch features to fight leaks.
Moving forward to coverage and speed performance. While CyberGhost server coverage in 90 different countries looks promising, unfortunately, speed performance falls behind its competitors by only 20+ Mbps. Still, this will help you have smooth social media and browsing experience as well as 4k video streaming.
Contrary to the minimal design of other services, CyberGhost offers complex, feature-rich, yet easy to use Windows VPN software.
Navigating through CyberGhost is pretty easy. Categorized servers for different purposes, as well as “double click” to establish a VPN connection make the app undoubtedly user friendly. You do not have to search or contact customer support for a specific server, just choose a purpose in the app and you are all set.
In terms of getting quick help, you can also submit a ticket through the Windows app. As a minimalist design supporter, I do appreciate the way CyberGhost’s neat design combining sophisticated features under a single window.
Similar to other VPN providers, CyberGhost does not offer much of an adjustment in the settings menu either. Still, you can change the language of the software, activate Kill Switch, change protocol, and prevent DNS/IP leaks by enabling private CyberGhost Name Servers.
Speaking of complexity, CyberGhost has some critical as well as unique features to keep its users safe. These are offered under the “Connection Features” menu and follows as:
- Block ads: CyberGhost server-side detection will block all online ads. However, it is not functioning properly. This feature needs improvement.
- Block malicious websites: This will block malicious content before it reaches your browser.
- Block Online Tracking: You can use this feature to prevent Java Script, Social media, or user behavior analytic tracking.
- Data Compression: Compression technology may come handy for mobile users. This will compress the online data before it reaches back to your device saving a good amount of bandwidth.
Here comes the most awaited part. The cost of the service!
CyberGhost offers four different plans. 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, and 1 month. All plans come with 7 simultaneous connections and a 30-day moneyback guarantee. In order to save big bucks, you can go for 3 years plan for as low as 2.64€/month and get 2 extra months free.
*Pricing may differ depending on where you are located.
Relatively new and UK based VPN provider. If I was writing this article a few months ago, I would not place the UltraVPN on the list. However, critical updates on the company and server-side made me do now.
First of all, you cannot expect ultimate privacy with a UK VPN service. Simply you cannot do anything illegal and the company has to abide by rules. On the other hand, UltraVPN does not log your online activities. The software offers IKev2 and OpenVPN protocols with 256-bit encryption. Yet, UltraVPN does not have any self-built DNS service to prevent leaks for good.
When UltraVPN first launched its service, it only had servers in 14 different countries. After serious expansion, UltraVPN now has more than 60 countries. Such improvement also brought about better speed performance up to 60 Mbps download.
UltraVPN Windows app has a minimal design with the basic features.
Firstly, UltraVPN Windows VPN is a new player in the market. As of this fact, the software needs further improvement. While you can connect to the servers with a single click, you have to move down by alphabetical orders to find the desired server location.
UltraVPN passes minimalism tests, yet, unfortunately, it lacks must-have features such as search bar, favorites button for easier server access.
As for the setting, we have four different menus:
- General: There you can check your subscription status and change the software language.
- Connection: In this menu, you can change the protocols between OpenVPN and IKev2
- Startup: You can decide what UltraVPN Windows app should do when Windows starts
UltraVPN has one and only feature: Firewall. Similar to Kill Switch, the Firewall feature will shut down internet connection when you are disconnected from the VPN server. Unfortunately, this feature may become buggy from time to time and make the PC unusable. You may need to restart PC or UltraVPN to fix it.
In order to have a competition in the market, UltraVPN offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee and 10 simultaneous connection plans starting from 2.25€/month. If you just want basic features, decent speed, and minimal design, you can go for UltraVPN. However, if you are up to torrenting, looking for advanced features, please refer to CyberGhost or SurfShark.
In this article, I have listed 5 best VPNs for Windows PCs according to some important criteria such as Privacy, server coverage and speed performance; dedicated Windows app and available features; pricing/performance ratio, and refund policy.
After testing the VPN providers accordingly, I had the opportunity to filter out the less qualified ones. Moreover, this filtering brought about these five VPN providers to the surface: SurfShark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and UltraVPN.
You cannot imagine how it feels living in a country where the censorship peaks to top level. That is why I decided to start VPNxD to fight for true online freedom not for my homeland but for all world. On VPNxD, I am responsible both for reviews and “how-to-do” articles.