Which company offers the best VPN for Windows 10? What features should you look for when selecting a Windows 10 VPN? Here are our recommendations based on speed, usability, reliability and privacy testing.
Why Use a VPN on Windows 10?
If you just want to see our recommendations, skip to the bottom of this page. Keep reading here, though, for some background about the factors that matter when choosing a Windows 10 VPN.
VPNs help protect your identity and privacy on any operating system. But privacy-minded users will find them especially valuable on Windows 10 in light of the privacy issues associated with Microsoft’s latest OS.
That said, it’s important to understand that a VPN isn’t a one-stop solution for all of the privacy threats in Windows 10. It won’t stop Microsoft from collecting information about your online activity, for instance. To disable these sorts of features, check out our article on making Windows 10 more private.
A VPN will, however, help protect you from some of the privacy risks that come with Windows 10. For example, it will encrypt data sent over your wireless connection if your computer automatically connects to public wireless hotspots without asking you — which is a “feature” turned on by default through Windows 10’s Wifi Sense utility.
Which Features Matter Most for Windows 10 VPNs?
In general, VPNs are not designed to be OS-specific. A VPN that works well on one OS will usually work equally well on any operating system, at least in terms of basic performance (despite what some sites tell you in promoting the services of particular companies for certain OSes).
That said, some VPN providers offer features tailored for Windows 10 in particular. When choosing a VPN for this OS, you should consider:
- The VPN app. Many VPN companies offer custom apps for Windows. (Custom apps are less common for other operating systems.) The quality of these apps is a big differentiator between different services.
- Speed. Windows 10 is designed to be a heavy-duty OS. It comes with a lot of apps built in that demand a fair amount of bandwidth. For that reason, it’s important, when choosing a Windows 10 VPN, to select one that delivers good upload and download speeds. That way, you have enough bandwidth to handle everything that Windows does in the background while also doing what you want to do with your computer.
- Privacy. As noted above, one of the major reasons to use a VPN on Windows 10 is to gain some added privacy, which is missing in the OS itself. So you want to be sure to choose a provider that is serious about protecting users’ privacy and does not keep logs.
The Best Windows 10 VPN: Our Recommendations
Based on the considerations above and extensive testing, these are our top picks for the best Windows 10 VPN:
- NordVPN. This company has a stringent no-logs policy, great speeds and reliable service. (See our review here.) It also offers an excellent custom app for Windows, which makes it easy to configure the VPN to start automatically if desired. Plus, the app offers a very advanced “kill switch” feature that lets you set specific processes to kill as soon as the VPN service shuts off — which is a way to assure that no application leaks information over a non-encrypted connection in case the VPN stops.
- ExpressVPN. This company stands out for having one of the best custom VPN apps for Windows 10. It makes it easy to switch between different types of VPN protocols (you can also have the app choose for you automatically), and you can run a speed test from inside the app. The company’s service is quite solid, too. Most important for the privacy-conscious, ExpressVPN only uses shared IPs, which makes it impossible to trace a connection to a single individual. That’s in addition to having a no-logs policy.
- IPVanish. This company rolled out a new Windows 10 app a few months ago. It’s an excellent custom VPN app that offers advanced customizability, as well as a built-in utility for contacting customer support. Plus, with prices starting at only $6.49/month, IPVanish is one of the least expensive VPNs for Windows 10.
- TorGuard. This VPN provider is on the pricier side compared to competitors, but in our testing it delivered flawless services and some of the best upload and download speeds we have seen. It also offers a custom Windows app. The app interface is somewhat basic, but one of its nice features is that it lets you view connection logs (which show information about your connection to the VPN server, not your online activity). Those are handy if you’re a power user and want to know how your VPN is operating “under the hood,” which can help you get the very best performance.