5 Best VPNs for Windows 10
5 Best VPNs for Windows 10 platform
If there’s one prize that every VPN service wishes to capture, it’s the title of Best Windows 10 VPN. Competition is as fierce as you would expect. For who wouldn’t want to be the Daddy of Windows VPNs?
With a billion devices using the Windows operating system, there is a lot to play for. Inevitably, some VPNs are better than others. And what measures do you use to arrive at such a subjective notion as the best Windows VPN in any case?
The title is slippery to grasp, but plenty are trying with varying degrees of success. For the one that cracks the secret recipe will dominate the market, for sure. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, we have narrowed down the field to five contenders. It’s been a tough job because best is more than just connection speeds and compatibility. There’s a multitude of other factors to weigh up carefully.
For instance, security, privacy, video streaming capability, ease of use, the list goes on and on. Wearing our consumer hat, we drew up the must-haves for a Windows 10 VPN and a list of criteria we are confident you would apply yourself. After much deliberation and arguing, we finally agreed on five VPNs we all said were excellent choices for Windows 10.
What we couldn’t agree on was the exact order. However, we did reach a consensus on who should be declared the best VPN for Windows 10. And the winner is…
Benefits of Express VPN
- $6.67 promo deal
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 live chat customer support
- Ultra-fast servers in 94 countries
- No activity or connection logs
- Best in class encryption and security
If you were to place us on the spot and say definitively which was best, we would come down in favor of ExpressVPN. It’s got the whole package, Windows 10 compatibility, speed, excellent customer service, and the interface is a pleasure to use.
While maybe not the cheapest, ExpressVPN gets its nose in front due to its service level. Others do much the same as ExpressVPN. However, ExpressVPN executes stuff slightly better and with more elegance. It’s a joy to use, especially if you don’t know a DNS leak from split tunneling. Everything just works and works well. In total, it is an enjoyable experience.
So regardless if you are a big torrent fan or a Netflix devotee, ExpressVPN will do the job for you.
Using state of the art encryption technology, ExpressVPN can let you dodge around geo-restrictions and watch all your favorite video streaming services no matter where you happen to be in the world. The service is compatible with all your favs, including Netflix, BBCiPlayer, HBO, Hulu, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, Google, Spotify, etc.
Gamers need not miss out either. ExpressVPN not only reduces ping time and lag, but it also defends against DDoS attacks, unblocks restricted skins and maps, and offers the possibility of getting new games at a discount.
In some countries, social media apps are banned. But no longer with ExpressVPN as its VPN service will make short work of government or organizations bans. No matter whether you are in a heavily censored country or your network is a nanny, you can access Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Benefits of NordVPN
- Easy to use
- Connect with up to six devices
- No bandwidth limits
- No more ISP throttling your speed
- Worldwide access via servers in 59 countries
- Customer support 24/7 via live chat or email
The NordVPN brand has been synonymous with VPN for quite some time now. It’s a go-to kind of VPN when you can’t summon the energy to look elsewhere.
Not that this is a bad thing. Quite the contrary. NordVPN has earned its reputation for reliability thanks to sheer hard work and consistent performance. None more so than in relation to Windows 10 compatibility.
In reality, though, if you can’t get it right with Windows, then it’s time to pack up and go home. It is readily apparent that this outcome has been core to everything NordVPN has done since day one. It’s no great surprise, then, that they are continually cited as one of the best Windows 10 VPNs you can buy.
The whole ExpressVPN versus NordVPN debate was one of our biggest sticking points in compiling this review. There were partisan fans on both sides of the argument, and neither was prepared to concede without a big fight. Executive decisions aside, there’s only a cigarette paper between the two in Windows 10 compatibility and service quality. If they were Formula 1 racing cars, we would be talking thousands of a second between them.
With 5400 servers in 59 countries and best in class technology, NordVPN serves up blazingly fast speeds. Their bandwidth is not capped, so you can freely enjoy the world wide web and all it has to offer as you want.
Such a product offering has led to multiple industry awards and glowing reviews from some of the biggest tech names and consumer PC magazines. And they don’t hand those out at random without first heavily scrutinizing performance.
Benefits of Surfshark
- Unlimited number of device connections
- Access to 15 Netflix libraries
- Ad blocking
- 24/7 customer support
- Stops ISPs tracking your movements
- Prevents phishing, malware, and hacking
Oh, look, there’s a shark in the water!
Fortunately, this particular denizen of the deep doesn’t have swimmers on the menu. Instead, they are zeroing in on the services and price structures of other VPNs.
Surfshark is best known for its affordability. But what is frequently overlooked is how good they are as a Windows 10 VPN. Like their marine namesakes who can’t stop swimming, neither does Surfshark. They never stop either and are always pushing forward through the competitive and choppy waters of the VPN world. None more so than ensuring everything they do is optimized to ensure the greatest possible compatibility with Windows 10.
While carried out very much in the background from the consumer’s perspective, this ongoing quest is reflected in their products and services. What the end-user sees is a dazzling array of features that make other VPN providers envious.
Unlike other VPN services, Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices. So a Surfshark subscription makes for great value for families and tech fans alike. When you tot up the number of laptops, phones, tablets, and so on that’s in one household, it can often be substantial. And that doesn’t include the likes of smart TVs and routers.
Sometimes though, you don’t always want to channel every app and device through a VPN. Surfshark lets you set up an approved list of devices and apps that will divert others to your standard internet connection. It works well with such things as banking apps.
Setting this up is just a matter of toggling a couple of switches and selecting lists of apps and websites you don’t wish to use the VPN connection.
Benefits of Hotspot Shield
- Ultra-fast connection speeds
- Great server coverage
- Rated Number 1 by industry experts on security and speed
- Secure up to five devices
- Optimized for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube, and many more
- HD streaming and unlimited data
Next up on our list without any particular order except the Number 1 spot is Hotspot Shield.
Hotspot Shield is probably best known for being an affordable VPN with blistering fast connection speeds that sports a 45-day money-back guarantee. However, what gets missed in the marketing mix is just how Hotspot Shield is with Windows 10.
It’s maybe not the most obvious of questions for the average VPN consumer to ask. But compatibility with Windows 10 is a vital quality that every VPN should possess. Strangely, considering how many devices use Windows, it is a question that very rarely gets asked. Or even mentioned by the VPN service providers themselves.
It’s all a bit odd when you think about it. Clearly, both sides of the equation take compatibility with Windows 10 as a given. Something neither has to waste breath mentioning at any point in the proceedings.
Still, Hotspot Shield has paid it significant attention, even if they, like their competitors, fail to trumpet that fact. This is the basis of how their VPN service works, maximum compatibility with Windows.
So what else do you get?
Well, there’s the military-grade encryption to ensure complete privacy and security, for starters. Every day Hotspot Shield will keep you safe by blocking some 57 million known malware and phishing sites.
Likewise, Hotspot Shield respects your privacy as they never track, store, or log any identifiable information, including your IP address. They are as much in the dark about your activity as anyone else.
With over 1,800 virtual servers in more than 115 locations – including US cities – the world really is your oyster.
Benefits of IPVanish
- Very secure encryption
- Private IP addresses
- Option to add storage to your package
- It keeps you safe on public WiFi
- Unlimited devices
- Unlimited bandwidth
An American stalwart of the VPN industry, IPVanish has something of a rep as an excellent Windows 10 VPN service provider.
It is chock-full of features and data, with a high level of configuration control for those who want it. Unlike some of its competition where user controls are almost an afterthought, IPVanish hands you the controls. And with Windows 10, you really can be the master of all that you survey. IPVanish is very much tailor made for the Windows operating system and those of us who prefer to have full control.
One great benefit of this Windows 10 compatibility is the kill switch for Windows devices. Unfortunately, it has yet to make it on to the iOS app. But this could well change soon.
We also like the ‘Scramble’ feature; this is a neat tool to hide that you are even using a VPN in the first place. This functionality is very convenient if you are in a heavily censored country like China, for example.
If you were to mark IPVanish down at all, it would be for their interface. All the dials and stats can be off-putting, particularly if you are a newbie. Though it is essentially plug-and-play simple, the number of configuration options can leave some feeling like they are out of their depth.
If you are dubious at all about IPVanish, you may be reassured by their 30-day money-back guarantee. This refund enables you to try the service, check service promises against delivery, and decide whether you are happy to continue with IPVanish. All you need do is raise the issue with the support team before the month is up, and you can walk away with all your cash.
Best VPNs for Windows 10 FAQ
Who is the best Windows 10 VPN?
This is a tough one. We have narrowed down a shortlist of five candidates that we consider to be the best Windows 10 VPNs. However, nudging out in front is ExpressVPN. But all of the five could easily have taken the top spot in reality.
Do I need a VPN that works with Windows 10?
Yes, a VPN that has been optimized for Windows 10 is superior to one that takes a one-size-fits-all approach. In addition to protecting your internet traffic from hackers, including when you are using a public WiFi hotspot, you will be able to view content that’s usually barred in your geographical location.
What do I need from a Windows 10 VPN?
It would be best to look out for a no-logs policy that is externally audited and top in class encryption. Also, check to see if the VPN offers split tunneling so you divert those apps and devices you wish to route through your regular internet connections. Banking apps are one such example.
A kill switch to prevent your VPN connection from being accidentally exposed should be on your shopping list of must-haves.
In addition, be sure to establish that the VPN can access the streaming services you want to watch. Some are better than others at breaking through the defenses of Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Be sure to nail this issue down to save yourself the hassle of claiming a 30-day money-back refund.
The one remaining crucial consideration is how easy the VPN is to use. Ideally, you want a wizard to do all the work, so you forget about it. You only want to do this once and have the app do all the work for you after that.
Are there any free Windows 10 VPNs?
Yes, but the clue is in the word free. Do not expect a full-service experience. What you are going to get with a free Windows VPN is a very much cut down version of the paid-for subscription packages. It’s unlikely to support multiple devices, have a minimal choice of servers, and are likely to have your speed throttled.
It’s more of a taster experience to entice you on to a subscription package. But when many Windows 10 VPN services offer deals for less than $5 a month, sometimes substantially less, it makes more sense to get on board with their standard package. Especially as you will then have much greater access, better connections, the ability to connect multiple devices, better connection speeds, and the ability to access geo-restricted content.
Doesn’t Windows 10 come with a built-in VPN?
It includes a VPN client, yes. You still need to get the connection from a VPN provider. It’s a bit fiddly and not the best. You would be better sticking with the protocol provided by your VPN service. WireGuard is a good one, and so are the proprietary protocols developed in-house by several VPN providers.
Are VPNs not outlawed?
Yes, VPNs are lawful to use in most countries, including the USA. VPNs are privacy tools, and you should give serious consideration to using one to protect your data, identity, and privacy from hackers and trackers. The only legal issues surround what you do with the VPN, such as downloading copyrighted material or engaging in criminal acts.
Almost all VPNs have optimized their platforms to work as efficiently as possible with Windows 10. Given the size of the Windows market share globally, they would be frankly mad not to do so.
As you can imagine, to bag the title of Best Windows 10 VPN is something every VPN on the planet is clamoring to become. The one that does will dominate the market.
This is all well and good. But who gets to define best? After all, it’s a very subjective idea at the best of times. One person’s idea of ‘the best’ may be completely different from someone else’s definition. They both have different needs and preferences.
This was brought home to us in compiling this review. All we could grudgingly agree on who was the winner. And even then, the difference was about as substantial as a coat of paint.
However, we did have a consensus on the top spot; the other four we picked out could have easily captured the Number One spot just as easily.