best vpn for windows 10

Windows 10 is, by far, the world’s most widely-used desktop operating system. You shouldn’t be surprised by this since it’s user-friendly, highly configurable, and is compatible with nearly all prominent applications. On top of that, it’s also incredibly easy to download and set up.

Sad to say, using Windows 10 comes with several risks. Its creator (Microsoft) has been known to track, collect, and share user information with various third-parties. The most prominent are the governments of Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes Alliance member countries.

The best way to remain protected when using Windows 10 is to have a VPN. However, picking the right one isn’t easy. After all, hundreds claim to be the most optimized for it.

(In case you're in a hurry and don't want to go through all the details, our top recommendation for Windows is ExpressVPN.)

What Is The Best VPN For Windows 10 In 2021?

No two VPNs are created equally. Because of that, we made sure to test every leading service on the market. Here are our top picks.

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. NordVPN
  4. CyberGhost
  5. IPVanish

Let’s now take a close look at these services to understand what makes them great…

1. ExpressVPN

logo expressvpn

Credit: ExpressVPN.com

ExpressVPN has been a leader in the VPN industry for a long time. That’s because it offers the best digital security that money could buy. Moreover, it’s blazingly fast and can unblock almost any streaming service that’s thrown at it.

Its developers worked hard to make it safe. Unlike most services, it maintains a massive RAM-based network. On top of that, it also boasts an independently audited no-logs policy. Due to that, you can trust it to keep your private data secure.

ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption and supports every major protocol, including its own, called Lightway. Sad to say, the service doesn’t provide you with a large set of features. With any subscription, you’ll only be getting a kill switch and split tunneling.

You can use ExpressVPN to unblock nearly anything. The service gets through streaming site geoblocks effortlessly. More importantly, it’s great at leaping over restrictive censorship measures like the Great Firewall of China.

Torrenting isn’t forbidden on ExpressVPN’s network. In fact, it’s highly encouraged. Each of the VPN’s 3000+ servers is P2P enabled, meaning they’re optimized for the job. With all of them, you’ll get to download all kinds of content discreetly and safely.

My experience with the Windows 10 application of ExpressVPN has been nothing but great. It is user-friendly, light on memory, and highly-configurable. The same can also be said for the service’s other available apps on every mainstream platform.

Customer service is clearly something that ExpressVPN focused on. It’s one of the few VPNs that boasts an extensive online knowledge base. Also, it has cordial representatives who are well-trained as well as quick in delivering responses.

The prices of ExpressVPN aren’t the most affordable. At $12.95 per month, the service can be quite expensive for first-time VPN users. Fortunately, having regrets won’t be a problem since there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. Hence, getting a refund is beyond easy.

2. Surfshark

logo surfshark

Credit: Surfshark.com

Surfshark is a relative newcomer in the industry, only being established in 2018. Despite that, it has managed to surpass almost all of its major competitors. The reason why is because it provides great value. By choosing it, you’ll surely get the most bang for your buck.

While it’s small, the network of Surfshark is 100% RAM-based. As such, it’s incapable of storing any kind of information. But, if you’re still scared, you shall be glad to know that Surfshark has a paid add-on neat feature called HackLock. It is an alert system that informs you when your data has been involved in a security breach.

As you’ve probably guessed, Surfshark uses AES-256 encryption. It also maintains support for all common protocols. Besides that, the service also has a kill switch, malware blocker, and solid zero-logging policy. Lastly, you can also take advantage of split tunneling.

Surfshark can bypass any streaming platform geoblock. Additionally, the VPN can provide you with access to any website or online service that’s unavailable in your region. Furthermore, it’s able to consistently hop over China’s Great Firewall.

You’re allowed to download torrents on Surfshark’s network. That said, not all of its servers are P2P enabled. Nevertheless, you still won’t have to go through the hassle of picking one. Your torrenting activity gets detected by the service, and you’re automatically paired with a suitable server for the job.

The app of Surfshark for Windows 10 is superb. It’s beyond easy to utilize, making it suitable for children and the elderly. Apart from that, it allows you to tweak almost every setting imaginable.

While it doesn’t have tutorial videos, Surfshark does have a large online knowledge base you can easily tap into. It also has decent email and chat support. Even if response times aren’t super fast, you’re guaranteed to be given a solution for your problem within 12 hours.

You can buy Surfshark for as low as $2.49 per month. This is great from a value standpoint, especially when you consider that the VPN allows for an unlimited amount of simultaneous device connections. Still, if you ever find yourself in need of a refund, there is a 30-day money-back policy in place.

3. NordVPN

logo nordvpn

Credit: NordVPN.com

NordVPN is the favorite of many experts for good reason. It’s incredibly safe and has the best speed capabilities of any VPN. By choosing it, you can be sure that you’ll have a wonderful internet connection. Everything from gaming to downloading will be seamless.

Before going further, you must know that NordVPN was once hacked. It got compromised by a lone attacker. During the incident, no private user information got stolen. Regardless, the service’s good reputation took a huge hit.

To regain the public’s trust, NordVPN has implemented a bug bounty program and rolled out its own protocol based on WireGuard. In addition, the VPN has also announced that it’ll upgrade its network to a fully RAM-based one.

NordVPN employs AES-256 encryption and defaults to OpenVPN UDP. However, it maintains support for all other major protocols. As mentioned earlier, it even has its own that’s based on WireGuard and is known as NordLynx. Moreover, the service boasts an ad & malware blocker, kill switch, a no-logs policy, split tunneling, and double VPN.

The speed capabilities of NordVPN are unmatched. Part of the reason why is because the VPN has unlimited bandwidth. Thus, it doesn’t put a cap on how much traffic you can route through its servers. You’ll be able to game, browse, and download seamlessly.

Lots of people download NordVPN solely for entertainment purposes. How come? It excels at bypassing the geoblocks of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and all other popular streaming services. The service can also work around the Great Firewall of China with ease.

NordVPN’s app for Windows 10 is by far its best. People of all sorts can utilize it with absolute ease because it’s designed to be user-friendly. Unsurprisingly, it also offers a high degree of configurability. On top of that, it doesn’t take up much storage space.

You can subscribe to NordVPN for a mere $3.39 a month. If anything, that makes it an option for anyone who’s looking to save. Regrets are sure to be nonexistent following your purchase. With that said, you can still get a refund as the VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. CyberGhost

logo cyberghost

Credit: CyberGhostVPN.com

CyberGhost stands out because it has the largest network of any VPN. With more than 7000+ servers, you’ll certainly have no issues with connectivity by choosing it. Besides that, it’ll be really easy to remain under the radar. No malicious third-party shall ever get to compromise your anonymity.

The security of CyberGhost isn’t the best. Its support for protocols largely varies by platform. As a result, you won’t get the same level of protection with every device. Luckily, the VPN has made all major protocols except WireGuard available on Windows 10.

As with all top-tier services, CyberGhost makes use of AES 256-bit encryption. Furthermore, it has an ad & malware blocker, no-logging policy, kill switch, and a load of other features. Some of which don’t come with a base subscription. To avail them, you’ll have to shell out more cash.

I’ve found CyberGhost to be decent when it comes to speed. While it isn’t the fastest VPN on the market, it’s certainly capable of meeting average consumers’ needs.

Streaming and torrenting is a breeze with CyberGhost. That’s because its apps allow you to pick from a list of servers that are optimized for either task. Hence, there’ll be no need to play a quite troublesome guessing game.

CyberGhost is available on all leading operating systems and browsers. You may also install it on compatible routers. When that’s done, it’ll be possible to use the VPN alongside gaming consoles and a plethora of other devices.

The apps of CyberGhost are all great. The service is best experienced on Windows 10. How come? Because there, it supports the most protocols and boasts an easy-to-use application that anyone would enjoy.

CyberGhost can be purchased for as low as $2.76 per month. It’s safe to say that everyone won’t have issues when it comes to affordability. Nevertheless, if you’re ever in need of a refund, depending on your plan, there’s a window of 15 or 45 days to get your money back.

5. IPVanish

logo ipvanish

Credit: IPVanish.com

IPVanish is an established VPN that’s long had an impressive market share. Despite it being based in the United States, it has garnered the praise of enthusiasts. It has great security, a decently-sized network, and impressive native applications.

The main reason why IPVanish is safe is because it uses AES-256 encryption. Moreover, the service supports every protocol you’d want to use except WireGuard. It also has a kill switch along with a firm no-logging policy in place. Sad to say, there is currently no malware blocker available. As such, you’ll have to install another piece of software if you want one.

Don’t expect to unblock much content with IPVanish. During my time with it, I was only able to bypass one foreign Netflix library. In addition, our testers in China have reported that the VPN isn’t capable of circumventing the country’s censorship measures.

IPVanish permits torrenting activity on all its servers. It’s even got a fully enabled P2P network that’s optimized for the job. Thanks to that, you won’t have any issues with finding a suitable location. You’ll be able to torrent wherever you’re connected to.

Speed isn’t something the IPVanish specializes at. When using the wrong server, it’s possible to make your internet unusable. Because of that, I can’t recommend the VPN to anyone that needs the best connection for activities like competitive gaming.

What’s great about IPVanish is that it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections under one account. Therefore, it’s a great option for anyone who’s looking for a great bargain. By going with it, you’ll undoubtedly be getting incredible value.

I personally don’t like the Windows 10 app of IPVanish. But many others do. The reason why is that it displays all the information you need to know in one area. You’ll see everything from your current IP address to your connection’s speed.

Its prices are extremely competitive. For just $8.99, you can purchase a 1-month subscription. Moreover, there’s a 30-day refund policy that enables you to try the service risk-free and get your money back if you get regrets.

Why Use A VPN For Windows 10

Why Use A VPN For Windows 10

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Microsoft actively gathers the information of Windows 10 users. It claims to do this to provide them a better experience when utilizing the operating system. Unbeknownst to many, the company also does this for many other reasons.

First of all, it sells your data to various third-parties, which then send you targeted ads. You should not be astonished by this. After all, every tech company does this to make billions.

Apart from what’s mentioned above, Microsoft also collaborates with many governments. Why? To maintain good standing wherever they operate. Doing so is only good business practice since the last thing a company would want is to be shut down where it operates.

VPNs can protect you by changing your IP address and encrypting your data. When these two things get done, you become virtually anonymous. Determining your location shall be next to impossible regardless of how well-funded infiltrating third-parties are.

Does Windows 10 Have A Built-In VPN?

Does Windows 10 Have A Built-In VPN

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Yes. Windows 10 has a free built-in feature that allows your computer to function as a VPN server. It uses the PPTP protocol and is rather difficult to set up if you aren’t tech-savvy.

The VPN that comes with Windows 10 has several limitations. It can’t bypass geoblocks and will not allow you to work around internet censorship measures. Furthermore, it’s not safe because it is operated by Microsoft and isn’t capable of hiding your IP address.

Get a dedicated VPN that’s got positive reviews. In doing so, you won’t have issues with privacy and security. Besides that, it’ll be easy to gain access to foreign streaming libraries as well as climb the Great Firewall of China. On top of that, all popular VPN services have native applications that aren’t hard to install, configure, or utilize.

How To Choose A VPN For Windows 10

How To Choose A VPN For Windows 10

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Selecting what VPN to go for Windows 10 with is easier said than done. After all, many services have similar specifications that make differentiating them challenging. That said, there are some key things you should take into consideration when deciding which one to get. 

  • Privacy & Security

Privacy and security are two things a VPN must always provide. Failure to do so would render it useless. As such, it would be wise to go with a service that has an excellent track record when it comes to safeguarding its users. It should never have disclosed private data to the authorities or been hacked by anyone.

Always opt for the VPN that uses military-grade AES 256 encryption and supports all common protocols. Moreover, be sure that it has a firm zero-logging policy. Finally, do not ever select a service that doesn’t have features like an automatic kill switch along with a malware blocker.

  • Network Size

Only a handful of services have managed to establish huge server networks. If anything, these VPNs are the most optimal choices for those who value their privacy above anything else when they go online.

A VPN with a larger network size is more capable of maintaining the anonymity of its users. It also offers greater connectivity. This is great for those who wish to access the version of the internet in as many locations as possible.

  • Speed 

Every VPN hampers connection speeds. However, the rate at which services do this greatly varies. Therefore, it’s best to pick a client that’s known for having superb speed capabilities.

With a fast service, you’ll get to browse, watch content, and play online games seamlessly with no problems with lagging. Also, it’ll be possible to download content in absolutely no time. Last but not least, you shall be able to store then retrieve data from cloud storage without problems.

  • Torrenting Capabilities

Torrenting is something that almost every VPN user does. Due to that, you must get a service that’s highly optimized for the job. It should allow downloading activity on its network and have P2P servers. Additionally, it must work with popular torrent clients like BitTorrent like a champ.

  • Unblocking

One of the main reasons why people get VPNs is to unblock content. Thus, your service must be capable of bypassing effortlessly. It needs to grant you access to regionally blocked websites along with foreign streaming service libraries without hitches.

It’s also necessary that your chosen service can leap over the Great Firewall of China. How come? Because you never know when you’ll need the right tool to bypass the internet censorship measures in the country.

  • User-Friendly Applications

The VPN you purchase has to have a Windows 10 application that is user-friendly. It should also be highly configurable and aesthetically-pleasing. Furthermore, the same should also be said for its other native apps. Otherwise, you’ll have an abysmal user experience.

  • Customer Support

One of the necessary evils that all VPN users must do at one point is troubleshooting. For that reason, you should select a service that’s got superb customer support. There must be many avenues wherein you’ll be able to contact it in case of emergencies.

The representatives of your VPN have to respond quickly. Aside from that, they need to be knowledgeable, cordial, and easy-going.

  • Pricing

Nobody has an infinite budget to spend on their VPN. As such, you must go with the service that offers the best value for money. 

Don’t opt for the cheapest one as it’ll most likely skimp on essential features and provide terrible security. Instead, make the investment and shell out as much as possible so you’ll have the best online security.

How To Setup A VPN For Windows 10

How To Setup A VPN For Windows 10

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Setting up a VPN on Windows 10 is beyond easy. Even those who aren’t well-versed with tech can do it without issues. The developers of services made it this way so that everyone can use their products without encountering any hassles.

The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase your VPN then create an account. After that, go to the client’s website and download its Windows 10 app. Once that’s done, the application will automatically install on your computer.

After the application has been installed, open it, then enter your login credentials. You may then head over to the settings and change it in any way that you like. I suggest that you configure the protocol and personalization settings to what’s best for you.

How To Use A VPN On Windows 10

How To Use A VPN On Windows 10

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Using a VPN on Windows 10 is a breeze. Getting the job done takes less than five minutes and can be done by just about anyone. In fact, those who don’t have much experience with PCs are guaranteed not to encounter any problems.

For starters, you have to open your service’s application and log in. Select a server to pair with, then press the connect button. Following that, you should be all set. There are no additional steps necessary.

To make sure your VPN is working, check your IP address. Doing so is easy since there are many free testing software available. We even have our own on this website.

Summary

Before coming to a close, let’s have a quick recap of the five services I discussed earlier. Only when that’s done shall it be right to finally choose one of them. You’re sure to have no regrets after making your purchase.

  1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is hands down the best VPN for Windows 10 that’s currently available. It provides you with the best online security that money can buy. Also, the service is faster than most of its competitors. On top of that, it’s more than capable of unblocking any streaming website library.

An unfortunate thing about ExpressVPN is that it doesn’t have a large set of features. In addition to that, it’s also a bit more expensive than your average VPN service. Hence, it isn’t ideal for those who are looking to spend the least amount of cash.

  1. Surfshark

Surfshark is a prime choice for individuals that aim to get the best value. The service is one of the few that allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections with one account. It’s also extremely safe and fast. With it, troublemakers won’t ever compromise you.

The network of Surfshark is something that it has to improve on. Why? Because the VPN doesn’t have lots of servers. As a result, it doesn’t provide users with many choices when it comes to connectivity.

  1. NordVPN

Any conversation about VPNs would be incomplete without NordVPN. That’s because it’s been a leader in the industry for quite some time. With it, you can expect to have top-notch security along with the fastest connection speeds. Besides that, the service works in China and is excellent at working around streaming platform geoblocks.

Sad to say, NordVPN doesn’t have a flawless track record. As mentioned earlier, it was once hacked. Due to that, a handful of online security experts consider it to be unsafe.

  1. CyberGhost

CyberGhost has the largest VPN network in the world. For that reason, it’s adept at maintaining the anonymity of its users. In addition, the service has a wonderful Windows 10 application that lets you pick from a list of servers that specialize in streaming, torrenting, and security.

One negative thing about CyberGhost is that it doesn’t work in China. While it has a server in the country, it’s not capable of bypassing the Great Firewall.

  1. IPVanish

IPVanish is arguably the VPN to have if you don’t wish to spend lots of money. For a very low price, it offers great security and unparalleled connectivity. Apart from Surfshark, it’s the only service that lets you connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

The speed and unblocking capabilities of IPVanish are abysmal. When using the service, you won’t have a fast connection suitable for gaming or streaming. Moreover, it’ll not be possible to gain access to most foreign Netflix libraries.

VPNWhy Is It Good for Windows 10?PricesLink
logo expressvpnTopnotch security,
Fast speeds,
Great unblocking capabilities,
Easy-to-use Windows 10 app
$12.95/Month
$9.99/Month (6 Months)
$6.67/Month (15 Months)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo surfsharkEasy-to-use Windows 10 app,
Fast speeds,
Excellent security,
Unlimited simultaneous connections,
Great unblocking capabilities
$12.95/Month
$6.49/month (6 Months)
$2.49/Month (2-Years)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo nordvpnGreat unlocking capabilities,
Decent Windows 10 app,
Blazingly fast speeds
$11.99/Month
$6.99/month (1-Year)
$4.99/Month (2-Years)
$3.49/Month (3-Years)

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logo cyberghostVery user-friendly Windows 10 app,
Reasonable prices,
Decent security,
Massive server network
$12.99/Month

14-Day Money-Back Guarantee

$7.99/month (6-Months)
$2.76/Month (18-Months)

45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
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logo ipvanishGreat security,
Awesome prices,
Fully enabled P2P network,
Unlimited simultaneous connections
$8.99/Month
$6.75/Month (Quarterly)
$4.87/Month (Annual)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price

About the author 

Erwin Caniba

Erwin, our Chief Editor, has an established career in digital marketing. Since 2012, he’s always used a VPN. As such, it came to his mind to share his experience with every VPN that he’s used. And so, VPN Thrive was born.