After extensive testing, I found that ExpressVPN is the overall best VPN for Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. The Windows app is simple and easy to navigate, so you can quickly secure your connection and safely browse the internet. ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you’re not satisfied, you can easily get a refund. I tested the process myself and it was hassle-free to arrange over the 24/7 live chat. The money returned to my account in just 5 days. Try ExpressVPN with Windows

Quick Guide: Best VPNs for Windows in 2023

Try ExpressVPN with Windows

The Best VPNs for Windows (Tested January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Strong Security, Fast Speeds, and Intuitive Windows App Interface

Key Features: ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN for Windows with excellent security and privacy features. Its Windows apps have military-grade security, leak protection (including IPv6), and a kill switch called Network Lock. These features ensure all data is secure within the encrypted tunnel, even if the connection unexpectedly drops out. Every server is RAM-based and uses TrustedServer technology — this means the servers cannot store any user data and are wiped clean with every scheduled reboot. ExpressVPN also has an independently-audited privacy policy and is located in the British Virgin Islands outside the jurisdiction of known espionage alliances, guaranteeing your activity is anonymous while connected. In tests, my speed dropped by just 18% on average even over long distances — an outstanding mark that very few VPNs can match. Designed to provide top-tier security without compromising on speed or draining your battery life, the proprietary Lightway protocol provided the fastest speeds on all connections during my tests. This makes ExpressVPN an ideal choice for streaming, torrenting, and gaming on Windows without lag or interruptions. Every server is optimized for torrenting, so it’s easy to find a fast connection for P2P file-sharing. I could download a 40GB file in just over an hour. I also had no latency issues while gaming online, even when connected to regions in other countries. Better still, the Windows app has a great shortcut feature that allows you to access your favorite sites in 1 click. This feature is unique to ExpressVPN and I found it helped streamline my web browsing and app use. While it’s a bit pricier than some of its competitors, ExpressVPN’s longer-term plans offer the best value for money — you can even save up to 49% when you sign up for the 1-year + 3 months-plan. It comes down to just $6.67 per month. You can see how easy it is to download and use ExpressVPN on Windows risk-free as the service is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. To make sure the money-back guarantee works, I tested it myself and I was surprised by how easy it is to get a full refund. I contacted ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat, and the agent processed my request, no questions asked. It took less than 5 minutes of my time, and I had my money back in just 5 days. Try ExpressVPN with Windows

2. CyberGhost — Optimized Servers Ideal for Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming on Windows

Key Features: CyberGhost’s dedicated servers make it easy to stream, torrent, and game on your Windows devices without lag or interruptions. These servers are clearly labeled in the Windows app so that you can connect quickly. Each server is optimized for top performance and regularly tested by CyberGhost staff to ensure a smooth connection. During tests, I could connect to CyberGhost’s optimized servers almost instantly. Popular streaming services like Netflix were easy to access, with no proxy error messages. I also downloaded large torrent files with the dedicated P2P file-sharing servers. CyberGhost even offers optimized gaming servers with low ping in multiple regions, so you can enjoy lag-free online play if you’re an avid PC gamer. To get the best speeds, I recommend using the WireGuard protocol with the optimized servers — I saw a 30% speed boost compared to when I connected to CyberGhost’s standard servers. This ensured my speeds were consistently fast across all connections, with an anticipated drop over long distances. I could stream, torrent, game, and browse on my Windows device without buffering or interruptions. In terms of security, CyberGhost offers top-tier encryption, data leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. I ran multiple leak tests and found CyberGhost kept my data secure within its encrypted tunnel — it even protected me from IPv6 leaks. For additional security when connected, you can choose one of CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers. These servers are physically located in the company’s headquarters in Romania and operated in-house. This means virtually no server downtime and no risk of third-party interference. CyberGhost’s Windows app also has a set of Smart Rules that allow you to customize your online privacy. These include configurations for when you boot your Windows devices and open apps, WiFi Protection to auto-connect on unfamiliar networks, and split tunneling for websites you want to visit unencrypted. I easily set up Smart Rules and didn’t have to worry about connecting the VPN — CyberGhost did the hard work for me. I was also pleased to find CyberGhost has an ad, tracker, and malware blocker built-in to its Windows app. When switched on, the blocker easily stopped me from visiting malicious test sites and blocked pop-up ads while downloading torrents. However, CyberGhost only blocks ads that contain malicious code, so I still saw banners and unskippable ads on YouTube and similar sites. I’d like to see this feature expanded to all ads, as I had to use a separate Edge browser extension to be entirely ad-free. Cyberghost’s plans start at $2.19/month for its 2-year + 2 months-plan. If you’d like to test the service before you buy, CyberGhost offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee period for 6-month+ subscriptions. This lets you try CyberGhost’s optimized servers on your Windows PC risk-free and if you’re not satisfied, simply request a full refund. It took less than a week to get my money back. Try CyberGhost with Windows

3. Private Internet Access — Huge Server Network With Built-In Malware Blocker

Key Features: Private Internet Access (PIA) has a vast server network of over 35000 servers, making it a top choice for global connections on your Windows PC. While many of these are in the US, PIA also has servers in less popular locations like China, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. This makes it easy to access your local content from anywhere. PIA’s servers are reliably fast and connect quickly thanks to its extensive network. It took just a couple of seconds to secure connections, and I didn’t struggle with congested servers at peak traffic times. I ran multiple speed tests, and PIA proved it could maintain fast speeds, although there was a more significant reduction over long distances. My speed dropped by 45% on average —but PIA is more than fast enough for buffer-free streaming, torrenting, and online gaming. I connected with the WireGuard protocol to get the best speeds. I was impressed by PIA’s level of configurability for Windows users. It offers a Command Line Interface for advanced users, letting you program hotkeys, make custom security integrations, and even fully automate the VPN. I haven’t seen this level of customizability from many VPNs, making PIA a solid option for users who want more online security control. PIA also has the standard security features of a premium VPN — high-level encryption, leak protection, kill switch — so it’s suitable for more hands-off users as well. I’m also pleased by the effectiveness of PIA’s MACE feature, which blocks ads, trackers, and malware. Unlike other VPNs, PIA’s MACE blocks all ads and easily barred entry to the malware test sites I tried to visit. Not seeing annoying banner ads or unskippable videos made my Windows browsing much smoother. Despite its solid speeds and top security, PIA’s not the best choice if you want a VPN for streaming on your Windows devices. During tests, my colleagues and I couldn’t access services like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and some Netflix locations. Although PIA is priced well for the value it provides (just $2.19 per month on the 2-year + 2 months-plan), I recommend spending a little extra to subscribe to ExpressVPN if you want a VPN that can reliably access your favorite streaming platforms. If you’d like to try PIA’s huge server network and excellent ad-blocking on Windows, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service risk-free. Getting a full refund is easy if you want to cancel — the live chat agent asked me to troubleshoot any issues, but after confirming I wanted a refund, I got my money back in a week. Try PIA with Windows

4. NordVPN — Premium VPN With Cheap Prices on Long-Term Plans

Key Features: NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market — and you can get super cheap prices when you sign up for a long-term subscription. One thing to note, however, is that when it’s time to renew your subscription, prices do increase quite significantly. I did, however, have issues with using NordVPN’s native Fire TV app. Although it worked and unblocked some streaming services, it sometimes had issues unblocking Netflix US and kept crashing. I also found that NordVPN’s user interface for desktop devices was less user-friendly than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. NordVPN has the following security and privacy features:

AES 256-bit encryptionA kill switch that cuts your internet access if your connection to a VPN server drops suddenlyBuilt-in ad and malware blocker, so you don’t need a third-party ad blockerFully audited no-logs policy (audited by PwC) – NordVPN doesn’t store any personal or identifying data while you’re connected to the VPN

In addition, NordVPN includes Threat Protection that protects you from viruses, infected websites, and trackers – and it works whenever you have the NordVPN app open, even if you’re not connected to a VPN server. With plans that cost as little as $3.49 per month, it’s easy to find a NordVPN subscription plan that suits your needs. You can also stream, torrent, and browse for free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. To ensure that you’ll really get your money back, I tested NordVPN’s money-back guarantee. At first, the support team tried to give me an extended trial period — but they initiated my refund right away after I told them I wasn’t interested in the extension. I got my money back in 6 business days. Get NordVPN today NordVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chromebook, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire Stick, and Android TV

5. Surfshark — Best Value for Money with Unlimited Device Connections and Fast Speeds

Key Features: Surfshark offers the best value for money out of every premium VPN on the market. You can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription, which means you can use Surfshark on all your devices without getting logged out. I tested Surfshark’s simultaneous connections on 2 PCs, 2 phones, a Fire Stick 4K, and an iPad. My connection remained reliable on all 6 devices. Even while I was actively streaming on all my devices, my average speed was 112 Mbps — fast enough for UHD quality. When I saw the price of this service, I thought it couldn’t possibly have top-grade security features for such a low price, but I was pleasantly surprised. Surfshark has the following security and privacy features:

AES 256-bit encryption on all devices, with ChaCha encryption available for Android usersWireguard VPN protocol enabled by defaultDiskless, RAM-only servers to protect your privacy (no data can be physically extracted from any servers)Kill switch (although this isn’t enabled by default)IP and DNS leak protection

Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This feature requires you to enter an extra code before you can log in to ensure that only you can access your account. While Surfshark does have slightly fewer global servers than rivals such as CyberGhost and PIA, I didn’t experience any issues during my tests. I easily connected fast working servers every time, and I had excellent speeds for streaming Netflix in UHD, downloading torrents, and browsing the internet.

You can try Surfshark for yourself with the 30-day money-back guarantee. It has plans that cost as little as $2.05. Requesting a refund is easy with Surfshark’s live chat feature. Although the support team asked why I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had no problem getting my money back (and it only took 4 days!). Get Surfshark today Surfshark works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire Stick, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Android TV, Kodi, and selected routers

6. PrivateVPN — Best Budget VPN for Windows

Key Features: If you’re looking for an affordable and secure Windows VPN, PrivateVPN is the best budget option available. It has plans available for as little as $2.00 on its 3-year plan — a significant drop compared to similar plans offered by other VPNs on this list. This makes it one of the lowest-priced services on the market today. PrivateVPN offers high-level encryption and leak protection that I confirmed by running several leak tests — PrivateVPN passed them all with no leaks. The Windows app also features an automatic kill switch to secure your data if the VPN connection is interrupted. Speaking of Windows security, I was impressed with PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN feature as it obfuscates connections to make them look like regular internet traffic rather than VPN. As a result, PrivateVPN is one of the top VPNs for China as Stealth VPN can help you access content in countries with heavily-restricted internet. The service also takes privacy seriously, with a strict zero-logs policy that doesn’t collect any identifying user data. I was pleased to learn that PrivateVPN has dedicated servers for torrenting, making it simple to connect to a P2P-ready server. During my tests, PrivateVPN’s dedicated servers had solid download speeds around 47% slower than my standard speeds — I could download a 40GB file in around 90 minutes. However, PrivateVPN’s dedicated servers can get full quickly, which applies to the rest of its network. With only 200 servers available, I found there were times I couldn’t connect due to high user traffic. I’d have to either use a different server, often in a different location or keep retrying the connection. To avoid trouble accessing a specific area or visiting a site at a busy time, I recommend you try PIA and its large server network instead — over 63 servers worldwide! I recommend that you  test PrivateVPN’s low-priced Windows service yourself and see if it’s a good fit for your devices. If you change your mind, you have 30 days to apply for a refund. You’ll need to give a reason for the cancellation — I said I no longer needed a VPN, and my refund request was processed quickly. I had my money back in 5 business days. Try PrivateVPN with Windows

7. IPVanish — Generous Connections Allowance to Secure All Your Devices

Key Features: IPVanish is one of the only premium VPNs to offer unlimited device connections. This means you don’t have to choose between your Windows PC and other devices — you can secure them all simultaneously. I was concerned that connecting multiple devices would cause my speeds to slow significantly, but I found IPVanish is reliably fast even with several connections. My speed dropped around 50% with 6 simultaneous connections — fast enough for uninterrupted streaming, torrenting, and gaming on IPVanish’s global servers. The built-in SOCKS5 proxy also helps keep your speeds fast for torrenting. This won’t encrypt your connection (making speeds faster), but I found it hid my personal data so I could torrent anonymously. If your internet speeds are slow, this could give you a boost for P2P file-sharing. IPVanish maintains high levels of security for its users. It features military-grade encryption, data leak protection, and a kill switch (I had to turn the latter on manually in the Windows app). You can also choose from OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. After running several leak tests, I’m satisfied that IPVanish keeps my data secure as I didn’t detect a single leak. I was also pleased to find that IPVanish owns its entire server network. This provides an extra layer of security as it reduces the risk of third-party interference and gives IPVanish complete control of server operation. One small con to IPVanish is that it’s based in the US, a country part of several intelligence-sharing alliances. As written in its DMCA policy, IPVanish is willing to cooperate if an infringement notice is filed against a customer. My team and I don’t condone illegal torrenting, but there’s always a chance you could accidentally download copyrighted content. However, IPVanish’s zero-logs policy was confirmed by an independent auditing firm, which means there is no data to be handed over even if a request comes in. That said, IPVanish’s fast and reliable servers make it a good choice for streaming and gaming on your Windows PC. You can get its 1 year  plan for just $3.99 per month. If you’d like to try IPVanish on your Windows device, you can test the service risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. Try IPVanish with Windows

Comparison Table: 2023’s Best VPNs for Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Windows

I tested more than 30 of the best and most reliable VPNs to find the top performers for Windows and ranked them using the following criteria:

Works on all versions of Windows (with native apps) — All of the above VPNs have a dedicated Windows app that is fully operational on all versions. Strong security and privacy features — Each VPN uses military-grade encryption with data leak protection and a zero-logs policy for secure, anonymous connections. High-speed network of global servers — Windows is used worldwide, so it’s important that users have access to servers in as many countries as possible. I ran multiple speed tests on global server locations, ranking reliably fast connections that provide smooth, uninterrupted online activity. Supports streaming and torrenting — The recommended VPNs can access popular streaming services and have optimized servers for fast P2P file-sharing. Ease of Use — Each VPN is suitable for both beginners and experts provides a user-friendly experience on Windows devices. 24/7 customer support — All VPNs provide high-quality customer support with knowledgeable live chat agents to help with any questions or issues you may have. Money-back guarantee — Every recommended VPN has a tried-and-tested money-back guarantee to give you peace of mind when you make your purchase.

Try ExpressVPN with Windows

3 Easy Steps to Install a VPN on Windows

What’s the best free VPN for Windows?

The best 100% free VPN for Windows is Proton VPN. While it’s a secure free service with unlimited data, Proton VPN doesn’t offer your device the same high-level features as a premium VPN for Windows. It’s suitable for secure browsing, but you can’t use it to stream, torrent, or game online. Plus, free server restrictions mean you’ll experience user congestion at peak connection times. While Proton VPN is one of the best secure free VPNs, it simply won’t give you the same exceptional service as a premium VPN. Instead, I recommend using CyberGhost as it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee you can use as a free trial. You can test every CyberGhost feature risk-free and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied or only need a VPN for a short time. The refund process was easy — the live chat agent processed my request in under 5 minutes, and I had my money back in less than a week.

Can I use a Windows VPN on my Android, iPhone, Mac, or other devices?

Yes, you can use any of the top VPNs for Windows on multiple devices, including your Android smartphone, iPhone, Mac, Smart TV, game consoles, and more. These VPNs support a range of platforms, so you can secure your online connections easily. Even if your device doesn’t have native support, you’ll find guides detailing specific device setup on your VPN’s website. Most VPNs support around 5 simultaneous device connections — if you need more, Surfshark offers unlimited device connections on every plan.

What’s the best VPN for Microsoft Surface?

Based on tests, the top VPN for Microsoft Surface devices is ExpressVPN. As the overall #1 choice for Windows devices, ExpressVPN provides top-tier security and privacy with an easy-to-use interface for your Microsoft Surface. All of the suggested VPNs work well with Microsoft Surface running Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, or 11. The process for downloading and installing a VPN to your Microsoft Surface is the same as on a desktop device, so you can get connected quickly and easily.

Which VPN is safe for torrenting on Windows PC?

All of the top VPNs for Windows allow safe torrenting on their servers, with every connection secured by military-grade encryption, data leak protection, and a kill switch. Some services, like CyberGhost, have dedicated torrenting servers to provide fast, smooth connections for downloading. ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN for torrenting, with P2P file-sharing supported on every server.

What’s the best gaming VPN for PUBG and online games on PC?

The best VPN for online gaming on your Windows PC is ExpressVPN. With super-fast speeds and low ping on its global server network, ExpressVPN ensures you’ll have smooth, uninterrupted gameplay on every connection. It also has servers in 3000+ countries, so you can connect to different regions and play online with friends worldwide. I easily connected to one of the VPNs over 94 servers to play Valorant with friends overseas and didn’t experience any lag or connection issues. As a bonus, ExpressVPN’s military-grade security and data leak protection helps secure your connection from attack when gaming. This shields you from disgruntled opponents launching DDoS attacks or targeting you with “swatting.”

What VPN works with Windows 11?

All of the best VPNs for Windows recommended above support Windows 11. These VPNs have been configured to operate smoothly and effectively with this operating system, making it easy to get total security with the latest Windows versions. If you already have a VPN and update your device to Windows 11, you’ll also have to update your VPN software. Services like ExpressVPN have automatic software updates, but you’ll also find the option to manually check for updates in your VPN’s settings. It’s worth noting that Microsoft has indicated some issues with Windows 11 and the OpenVPN UDP protocol. If you’re connected to your VPN using this protocol, a problem with packet loss can cause your device to operate slower than usual. While Microsoft works on resolving this issue, I recommend you use an alternative protocol like ExpressVPN’s Lightway or WireGuard.

Does Windows have a built-in VPN?

No, Windows does not have a built-in VPN service, but it does have a built-in VPN client. This means you can manually set up a VPN connection without downloading additional software, like a VPN Windows app. However, you still need to subscribe to a premium Windows VPN to access the secure servers — Windows does not have its own encrypted network of servers. Manually setting up a VPN connection through the Windows client requires some technical knowledge. You have to set up connections for each individual server you want to connect to, which is a time-consuming process. Plus, the Windows VPN client doesn’t offer additional security like data leak protection, a kill switch, or malware protection. Ultimately, it’s less hassle and more secure to use your VPN provider’s Windows app.

In most cases, VPNs are completely legal to use. You can use the above VPNs to keep your online Windows activity secure and anonymous. However, you cannot use a VPN to commit illegal activities, like cyberstalking, hacking, or distributing copyrighted online material. VPNs are prohibited or heavily restricted in some places. Countries like China, India, the UAE, and Pakistan don’t permit the use of VPNs unless they are government-approved. This means services like ExpressVPN aren’t available to download there — if you’re traveling to one of these countries, I suggest downloading the VPN before you arrive. ExpressVPN is a top choice for countries with internet restrictions. It has a proven zero-logs policy and military-grade encryption — your online activity is always anonymous and secure when connected to an ExpressVPN server.

Why does the VPN disconnect when my PC is in sleep mode?

When your PC enters sleep mode, it disables many active services to conserve power — including your network connections. This means your PC is no longer connected to the internet and even the best Windows VPNs will be disrupted as a result. If you want to stop your PC from disabling your network (and VPN) while in sleep mode, follow these directions: When I tested this solution, I found that the Power Management tab for my network adapter was missing. If yours is also missing, here’s a way to fix it: Should you not want to change any settings and just let your PC sleep, check that your VPN’s kill switch is active. By using a premium VPN with an automatic kill switch like ExpressVPN, your data is always secure even if the VPN disconnects before your network connection.

Should I disable IPv6 on Windows 10 for my VPN to work?

No, you shouldn’t disable IPv6 on your Windows 10 device, as this can cause functionality issues with the operating system. As many VPNs don’t yet support IPv6, you could experience data leaks when connected to your VPN’s server. However, the VPNs in this article all have IPv6 leak protection to keep your data secure. By choosing a service like ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about any leaks — ExpressVPN secures IPv6, WebRTC, and IP address data, so your information is safe within its encrypted tunnel. I recommend you try ExpressVPN risk-free with your Windows 10 device and see how well it works for you. Try ExpressVPN with Windows

Secure Your Windows Devices With a Premium VPN

There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, and they all claim to be the best option for protecting your PC. To save you time, money, and hassle, I tested more than 30 VPNs to find the top choices for Windows so you can pick the service that’s right for your security needs. After extensive testing, ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN for Windows in 2023. Its fast speeds, strong security, and global server network make it ideal for all kinds of online activities. I recommend you test ExpressVPN with Windows for yourself, and you can do so risk-free as it’s backed by a money-back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, you have 30 days to claim a full refund, no questions asked.

Summary — Best VPNs for Windows PC in 2023