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The best VPNs for Windows PC protect your web privacy and security on your Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11 device.
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VPN software encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a remote server, which changes and hides your real IP address from third parties.
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Windscribe is the best free VPN for Windows PC and laptop in 2023. It provides secure connections, access to 11 server locations worldwide, and unblocks many top streaming websites. However, data usage is limited to 10GB per month.
The problem with free VPNs is that they are often limited by their server network, unblocking capabilities, or data usage limits.
Upgrading to a subscription-based VPN gives you access to a larger and faster server network, advanced security features, better unblocking, and unlimited data.
The absolute best Windows VPN in 2023 is ExpressVPN, scoring 9.6/10 in our Windows-specific tests. Secure VPN’s secure, user-friendly and full-featured PC app outperforms other VPNs in most of our tests. VPN is known for its excellent network speed as well as open and anonymous file sharing capabilities.
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We tested these VPN services on Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, and 11, and any VPN add-on in the Microsoft Edge browser.
Use the table below to compare the top Windows VPN clients based on compatibility, access policies, pricing, and more:
These VPNs are easy to set up on Windows devices, and work great on desktops, laptops, and even Microsoft Surface.
We are completely independent and focus on VPN software. We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing Windows VPNs using our Windows VPN review system to recommend the best.
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Many of these providers are very popular with millions of downloads, but lack the necessary protections and features to qualify as top-rated Windows VPNs.
What we don’t like: CyberGhost is a good service but its download speed isn’t fast enough to qualify as a great Windows VPN. Also, its slow bitrate needs improvement.
What we don’t like: Atlas VPN isn’t very friendly on Windows: the app can’t be resized and the server list is random.
The free version is not as good as the recommendations on this page because of the 5GB data limit.
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What we don’t like: PureVPN can’t unblock US Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, and disabling it isn’t correct. My participation policy also needs to be improved.
What we don’t like: TunnelBear’s limited server network and poor streaming functionality can’t compete with the best VPNs for Windows. TunnelBear Free is a good option with a fixed monthly limit of 500MB.
This includes collecting user data to sell to third parties, allowing in-app advertising, and infecting your Windows with malware.
Free VPNs often lack the security features and functionality of paid VPNs due to lack of investment. This can lead to slow speeds, IP leaks, data leaks and limited server selection.
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What we don’t like: Turbo VPN is terrible for security and privacy. It’s free and our free VPN analysis reveals links to China.
What we don’t like: Avira Phantom is limited to 1GB per month and can’t open streaming content on the desktop.
What we didn’t like: Our review of Touch VPN found that the Windows app couldn’t load web pages – the VPN connection would always drop.
Its Windows app doesn’t have a kill switch or other advanced features, and it outsources your DNS requests.
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Avoid the unsafe free VPNs listed above and consider using one of the top free VPNs for Windows instead.
Our testing is done on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices to determine how each VPN works on different versions of Windows.
To come up with our recommendations, we test each vpn in six different categories, ranking each category out of 10. We combine these scores and calculate the overall rating for the windows.
In the table below, we summarize how the top VPNs performed in each category, as well as their overall ranking:
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Here’s a full list of the categories we examine when finding the best VPNs for Windows, and how much they’re worth overall:
So, we expect to see a higher level of privacy, a larger server network and better features on Windows.
However, this does not have to come at the cost of usability. We offer a free VPN with easy installation steps and intuitive rules that can be used by any ability level. This includes options to adjust the size of the Windows app, pin it to your system tray, and toggle between light and dark modes.
We also like the VPN’s smooth operation on Windows. Windows VPN should be optimized for the operating system, it consumes only a small amount of CPU and memory.
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Finally, let’s consider VPN compatibility with Windows. VPNs that offer a native Windows app and browser enhancements for Microsoft Edge rank highly.
Any VPN that cannot be verified or enters unwanted data will be excluded from this upload by default.
As part of this process, we also reward VPNs that make an effort to make their access policies clear and concise.
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We also appreciate VPN services that have participated in third-party audits. This is where an external agency verifies the claims of the VPN’s access policy. Running these regularly is a great sign of security for a VPN.
Using a VPN will always slow down your connection, and the best Windows VPNs minimize this effect as much as possible.
To find the fastest VPN for Windows, we run manual speed tests every week while connected to a 100Mbps connection.
We test each VPN by connecting to servers in five regions: Home (UK), USA, Central Europe, Australia and Singapore.
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From these results we calculate the average speed loss and assign a VPN rating out of 10.
With a top-rated Windows VPN, you shouldn’t expect a speed loss of more than 20% on local connections and 40% on international connections.
To determine which Windows VPNs work with streaming platforms, we test every VPN on Lenovo T480s weekly.
This involves connecting to different servers in one place to find the best one to open the country’s borders.
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After a VPN has successfully accessed streaming services for four consecutive weeks, we’ll update our review accordingly. This is to avoid inaccurate or inconsistent results.
We also consider stream quality, any buffering issues and if the VPN service offers reliable streaming servers.
The best Windows VPNs unblock multiple Netflix libraries, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. At worst it won’t have access to a single streaming service.
We recommend: Allow streaming on all servers with an active kill switch, high bitrate and log policy.
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First, we measure the P2P speed of the VPN by connecting to a local VPN server through a 1GB file torrent. This gives us the average bitrate for a VPN.
In the system, our test device was connected to a dedicated 100Mbps connection to eliminate potential speed bumps.
In addition, VPNs are prized for all the other advanced torrenting features, such as P2P-optimized server deployment and port forwarding support.
Torrents themselves can use up to 10% of your Windows CPU. The best Windows VPNs minimize this by optimizing its Windows functionality.
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Freemium VPNs almost always impose a free data limit on their users. As with most restrictions on free VPNs, this is intended to encourage customers to upgrade to a paid subscription.
A generous data allowance is essential for handling data-intensive activities such as 4K streaming, torrenting and online gaming.
If you use your data limit, your online activity will be unencrypted and visible to third parties, including your ISP.
Along with our six test models, we consider several factors when determining the best Windows VPN.
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All the VPNs we recommend on this list are secure using strong encryption methods. We automatically exclude any VPN that does not use secure encryption methods or is known to leak personal information.
At a minimum, we expect every VPN to encrypt tunnel traffic using AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN protocols. Top Windows VPNs also come with IP and DNS protection, kill switches, and their own DNS servers. All these steps ensure that you are anonymous and safe online.
We also look for VPNs that ensure a smooth user experience. VPNs that use ads or cracks and pay-as-you-go features are all penalized. This not only hinders usage but also presents a risk to your privacy as VPN service may sell your personal information to third party advertisers.
All VPNs for Windows on this list do not use ads, sell your data, or collect personally identifiable information.
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Finally, let’s consider its quality
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