What’s The Best VPN for Windows 10?
Choosing the best virtual private network (VPN) is a tough and often an all too confusing process. It’s tough especially because there is no such thing as an absolute “best VPN for Windows 10” – there is only the VPN that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs.
Based on my experience exploring different VPN providers, there are a few that are a good fit for most people*.
* And by “most people” – I mean people who are looking for a modicum of extra security and versatility due to business, travel, and frequenting of public WiFi areas. I do a lot of work at coffee shops, libraries, and airports. I also like to check in on CBC, the BBC, and remove geolocation from several apps. I’m not doing anything illegal or visiting Silk Road or the Dark Web. I’m not sending super-sensitive highly classified information. I just don’t want rando’s snooping on my Internet traffic when I’m away from my home network.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site, including the ones mentioned in this quiz. My recommendations are based on my experiences as an independent paying customer.
Best VPNs for Windows 10
|Name||Best if you want…||Plans!|
|ExpressVPN||…a well-known brand w/ great usability, performance & privacy.||Get Discount.|
|PureVPN||…full-featured, user-friendly w/ excellent pricing.||Get Discount.|
|NordVPN||…fast-growing brand w/ zero logging & user-friendly interface.||Get Discount.|
|AirVPN||…complex VPN offering total control & total privacy focus.||See Plans.|
Other VPN Options for Windows 10
There are a ton of paid VPNs on the market. Here’s a few other popular VPNs that I have personally used / reviewed.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Windows 10
Although Windows 10 is an improvement over its many predecessors, it is still far from perfect. Many security flaws still exist in the operating system, and privacy issues abound. In fact, some of these privacy issues are shared with its old incarnations. Other are new to Windows 10 and exist in the name of “personalization.”
In addition to Microsoft itself, there are also threats in the way of scammers, spammers, and other bad seeds. The operating system has been known in the past as being a prime target for spyware, adware, viruses, and other types of malware. Like its predecessors, Windows 10 is not immune to these kinds of threats.
The threat of government interference and surveillance is also becoming a hot issue. Government monitoring has risen in the years following 9/11, and it’s not unthinkable to believe that the U.S. and other governments may spy on us from time to time.
A VPN will help to anonymize your computer usage and protect you against unwanted visitors to your PC and its internet connection. Whether it be internet service providers, Microsoft, criminal hackers and identity thieves, or the government, it’s a good idea to stay well protected. A VPN is a great solution for people worried about their privacy and security online.
If you’re wondering how to choose the best VPN for Windows 10, keep reading. Below, I’ll go over all the main things you need to think about when choosing from one of the many VPN service providers that exist for the operating system.
What Does a VPN Do?
A VPN will serve to increase your security and anonymity while using an internet connection. Your VPN provider acts like a middleman between you and the Internet. Every Internet request routes from your computer to the VPN before routing to the Internet. If anyone snoops or tracks your connection – all they can see is your VPN connection.
A VPN will anonymize you and help to protect you against hackers on public wifi connections as well as any surveillance from internet service providers and governments**.
**Caveat – Note that no VPN is 100% secure. Your traffic is still routing through a company. Any company can go out of business or go rogue. If you are trying to avoid your American ISP – then you are simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter with the trust of your VPN. If you are a political activist where trust is a life or death situation, you need to be using something like Tor in addition to your VPN. This highlights this section of paid VPN’s unique features, but the point remains using a VPN does not instantly create security/privacy. That is something you do via aligning company incentives (ie, paying for companies who maintain security) & being proactive about your browsing habits.
Surveillance and the collection of personal data are getting much more common – even at the ISP level. Identity theft is also a big concern.
If you want to protect yourself and your privacy better, a VPN may be just what you need. A VPN can anonymize your connection and even make it seem as you are using your device in a different location.
In addition to the increased security and privacy that you can achieve through using a premium VPN, a VPN service can also allow you to access content that has been blocked in your geographic location.
A premium VPN will typically have a lot of advantages over a free VPN. While this won’t be true of all premium VPNs, you should only consider paying for a VPN if they have most of the qualities and features listed below. All VPNs will have differences, but when paying for a service, there are some things that a good premium VPN should have.
Why Use a VPN For Windows 10?
Although Windows 10 may be more secure than past versions of the operating system, it still has many vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Windows 10 is not immune to spyware, adware, and viruses.
“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders) when we have a good-faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”
While Microsoft has quite a hold on the computer world and its operating system is one of the most popular in the world, the company isn’t necessarily completely trustworthy.
A VPN will help to protect against many of the vulnerabilities and security and privacy issues that Windows 10 faces. A VPN service will help to anonymize you from Microsoft’s questionable data collecting practices.
What to Look for in a VPN for Windows 10
Choosing a VPN is somewhat reliant on what you plan to use it for. If your primary concern is security and privacy, you may have slightly different needs than someone who is planning to use a VPN to access geographically blocked content.
Still, there are some common things that you should look for when considering how to choose the best VPN for Windows 10. There are certain features that you should expect a good VPN to have. On the other hand, there are some shady VPN practices and flaws that you’ll want to look out for and stay away from as well.
Does the VPN Keep Activity Logs?
You’ll want to find out if the Windows VPN that you are considering keeps activity logs, and if so, how they are used.
Some VPNs will keep activity logs, but they will be completely anonymous. Some VPNs won’t take any records. Ideally, look for a good VPN service that doesn’t take any logs at all.
Activity logs put you at an extra risk. Some VPNs may even sell your data to the highest bidder to make ends meet. This practice can be a problem with free VPNs in particular.
Free VPNs have lesser standards than premium VPNs. If they aren’t getting paid, they may turn to other options to turn a profit. Choosing a VPN is one case where you often “get what you pay for.”
There is also the possibility that any logs or data that the VPN has taken about you could be seized by government agencies.
Where is the VPN Service Based?
Another thing you want to keep in mind is that VPNs will usually be subject to the laws and restrictions of the region or country where they are based.
As noted above, some VPNs will keep activity logs. In fact, some VPNs may be required to keep activity logs by law in certain countries. You’ll want to consider where the VPN is based to make a great decision on a VPN.
Consider the VPN location when choosing a VPN, and make sure you choose one where the VPNs are allowed a bit more freedom when it comes to the anonymity of customers.
What Regions Does the VPN Have Servers?
If you’re using your VPN to access content in other parts of the world, you’ll want to be sure you know where the VPN’s servers are located. Many Windows 10 VPNs, especially premium ones, will have many server options throughout the world and in many different regions. Some VPNs will just have a few servers.
Make sure that the VPN you choose has servers available in regions that you want to access content. For example, if you want to access content that is only available in the United States, you’ll want to make sure the VPN has at least one server in the country.
How is the Speed of the VPN?
VPNs can make your PC slower since they will make your computer’s connection go through an extra server.
Read online customer reviews to determine if others have good experiences with the speed of the VPN.
You may also want to consider doing a free trial. Many VPNs will have free trials for at least seven days. Taking a free trial is one of the best ways to evaluate a VPN’s speed before committing to choosing a VPN.
What Protocols Are Used?
One of the most popular VPN connection protocols is OpenVPN. OpenVPN which is a popular open-source protocol and software that many good VPNs will support.
Some VPNs will have their own software and protocol that they will use, so for some VPNs, you will have to download and install third-party software to get connected.
Windows 10 also has built-in support for PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and IKEv2 connections. Find a VPN that works with these if you don’t want to download third-party software.
PPTP isn’t recommended because it’s a little outdated and insecure. It’s simply not as good as other protocols you can use these days. If possible use OpenVPN or IKEv2.
How is the Customer Support?
Look for a VPN with awesome customer support, and that is available for contact in many ways. Ideally, they will be available by phone as well as email and chat. Look for a service that has customer support available 24/7.
If you’re new to VPN connections and aren’t tech savvy, you may need to rely on support from time to time. It can be incredibly useful so look for strong customer support when deciding on a VPN.
Some VPNs will also have extensive FAQs and knowledge databases on their website to help you learn about using the service. Look for a VPN with these resources if possible.
Is There a Free Trial or Money Back Guarantee?
Some VPNs will offer a 30-day money back guarantee or a free trial period.
Trial periods are often about seven days which will be plenty enough time to evaluate the features and performance of a VPN and see if they’re going to work out for you. These free trials will give you a chance to test the speeds of the VPNs and make sure that you can get them correctly configured.
A free trial is a great way to make sure a service is excellent and reliable. A money back guarantee can also be helpful, so look for a VPN that has this available as well.
Hopefully, you now have an idea of how to choose the best VPN for Windows 10. Because of the many security flaws and privacy concerns that exist for the operating system, it can be a great move to start using a VPN when connecting to the internet.
Despite there being many options and numerous things to look out for, there are some great Windows 10 VPNs out there. There is surely a VPN out there that will meet your needs and help you keep your internet usage safe and secure from now on. Read more reviews about specific VPN companies or check out the recommendations up top.