One of the perks of having Windows as your operating system is that you have a lot of options when choosing a VPN service (or any software, for that matter). Virtually every VPN service caters to users of the most popular desktop OS in the world with a variety of features. However, with a massive selection of possible VPN services, that only makes choosing one more difficult. Luckily, as ever, we are here to help.
How to choose the best VPN for Windows
Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10, is a significant improvement in terms of security and protection. Even so, there are some widely discussed, controversial privacy issues pertaining to the OS, and what’s more you can never be ‘too’ secure, let’s face it.
Then there’s the matter of pricing as not every service is worth the money they’re asking. Sometimes paying a little bit extra ensures a superb experience, but other times a cheaper service provides the optimal quality.
Yes, there are some difficult choices to be made for sure, which is exactly why we’ve done all the legwork and selected our five best VPN services for Windows across various different categories. You won’t go wrong with any of these.
This VPN features a well-designed client that offers a wide array of both basic and advanced settings, with enough options to satisfy even expert tinkerers. The service is one of the best for torrenting and other P2P traffic, as well.
In our testing, we witnessed a significant increase in download speeds (close to 20%) which is fantastic, obviously. IPVanish has a firm no logs policy in place, and more than adequate protection with 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols.
The slight drawback is this is a little pricier than much of the competition, and there’s no free trial either. However, IPVanish does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee across all three of its pricing plans. The 1-year subscription clearly provides the best value. The packages available are:
NordVPN is a mainstay on many ‘best of’ lists for several good reasons – although the one that matters most is its tight security. The service offers a certain number of ‘Double VPN’ servers which pass your data through two separate VPN servers, not just one, which makes things even more secure. You can also route its encrypted traffic over the Tor network, adding another layer of security, along with the existing KEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols.
The client is easy-to-use, featuring a compact interface that has all the essentials and then some. NordVPN is P2P-friendly and has a strict zero logs policy. The performance of the VPN is above-average, but there is a small fly in the ointment. Namely, you can’t connect multiple devices to the same server with the same protocol, which restricts you to four devices per server.
There’s a free 3-day trial (but it’s tucked away in the FAQ), and NordVPN is rather affordable, offering three plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The best and most popular choice is the 1-year plan. The packages available are:
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$7.00 a month] 6-months – $42.00
- [$5.75 a month] 1-year – $69.00
- [$3.29 a month] 2-years – $79.00
Hotspot Shield’s rather colourful client provides all the necessary basics which are simple enough to use, but lacks extra settings options. The low number of server locations doesn’t help either, but what you’ll really like here is the performance levels. This VPN posted some excellent results in our testing, with only marginal latency increase and a bit faster upload and download speeds compared to our normal rates.
Perhaps the best feature of Hotspot Shield is its low price. There are five pricing plans, including a special ‘forever’ offer which is undeniably the best option in the long run. If you don’t fancy that much of a commitment, the 2-year plan works out at just over $2 a month, which is really cheap. The packages available are:
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$3.33 a month] 6-months – $19.00
- [$2.50 a month] 1-year – $29.95
- [$2.08 a month] 2-years – $49.95
- Forever – $99.95
This Slovakian-based provider runs its own network, DNS servers, and infrastructure. And this definitely shows as the performance levels were well above-average and fairly consistent when we tested TigerVPN. The global choice of available servers certainly helps the cause here.
The dedicated Windows client is very user-friendly, too. However, it only offers some basic options, with advanced settings being few and far between – but that’s not likely to bother novice users. Another issue with the service is that you only get two simultaneous connections with the monthly plan, which means those looking for a genuine multi-device experience need to subscribe to the yearly plan.
TigerVPN is P2P friendly and it even has a free plan, although a 500MB monthly limit means you can’t do much with it – although it at least allows you to give the service a bit of a try. There are three affordable price plans to choose from, and subscribing for a year gives you the best savings, plus you get up to five simultaneous connections (rather than two), along with bonus features like a password manager. The packages available are:
- Free plan (500 MB/month)
- [$6.67 a month] 12-month – $79.99
- [$8.33 a month] 6-month – $49.99
- [$11.99 a month] 1-month – $11.99
KeepSolid is one of the best general purpose VPNs out there, performing well in all the key areas. The native Windows client boasts a compact design, displaying important details and having all the basics, while leaving scope for more advanced tweaks. There’s even support for Windows 10 Mobile here, which is a rather handy addition.
The service uses the standard 256-bit OpenVPN security with additional perks like a personal server or a personal static IP available for an extra fee. And the VPN’s performance is good, with download and upload speeds experiencing a mere 10-15% drop compared to our regular rates. That said, those speeds won’t do you much good with torrents as most KeepSolid servers don’t support them.
On the privacy front, the company logs only the basics like session duration and bandwidth use. And as for pricing, this hasn’t scooped our most affordable Windows VPN title without reason, offering a 7-day free trial, and six remarkably cheap plans. The 3-year plan offers the best value, but the 1-year plan is also a great option if you don’t want to make such a commitment. The packages available are:
- [$1.99 a week] 1-week
- [$4.99 a month] 1-month
- [$3.00 a month] 3-months – $8.99
- [$2.08 a month] 1-year – $24.95
- [$1.94 a month] 3-years – $69.80
- Forever – $129.99
Source: techradar – Gadgets
Best VPN for Windows: Our 5 top choices