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5 Best VPNs for Windows (2022): Safe, Easy to Use + Affordable

Eric Goldstein Eric Goldstein
Actualizat: 1 decembrie 2022
5 Best VPNs for Windows (2022): Safe, Easy to Use + Affordable

Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for Windows in 2022:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN: Easy-to-use Windows app with excellent security features, blazing-fast internet speeds, and a strict no-logs policy (independently audited and verified). Allows 5 simultaneous connections, has flexible payment plans, and backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Get the best VPN for Windows in 2022 here.

I tested the top 78 VPNs on the market to find the best ones for Windows in 2022. 

But it wasn’t easy. Most VPNs have unintuitive Windows apps, lack necessary security features, don’t have strong privacy policies, or are overpriced. A lot of VPN brands also can’t be used with streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and most of them slowed down my internet speeds way too much.

But the VPNs that made it to this list have user-friendly Windows apps, come with high-level security features, protect user privacy, are able to access many different streaming apps, and all maintain fast connection speeds.

Quick summary of the best VPNs for Windows:

🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Windows in 2022

🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Windows in 2022

ExpressVPN has high-security features, is the fastest VPN on this list, and has an intuitive Windows app. During my speed tests using ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol (which is more secure and faster than other popular protocols like IKEv2 and OpenVPN), ExpressVPN only decreased my download speeds by an average of 18%.

Thanks to ExpressVPN’s fast speeds, I was able to stream content on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and many other apps in high definition and without any buffering. Plus, I downloaded large files quickly — it took me an average of 10 minutes to download a 1 GB file from BitTorrent.

ExpressVPN’s Windows app also offers extra security features, such as:

  • Perfect forward secrecy — Changes your encryption key each time you connect to a server to prevent a third-party from compromising your transferred data.
  • TrustedServer Technology — ExpressVPN stores all server metadata on memory (RAM) instead of on its hard drives, and all of the data is wiped clean after each server gets rebooted.
  • Split-tunneling — Allows you to choose which apps to route through the VPN tunnel and which apps to route through your local network.

I really love how ExpressVPN makes it simple to connect to a fast server from your Windows laptop or desktop computer — just click on the Smart Location feature to find the most optimal server for your location, or you can select a server from ExpressVPN’s list of recommended servers.

I also like that ExpressVPN automatically disables IPv6 traffic and WebRTC leaks, and I found it very easy to enable/disable configurations like automatically launching ExpressVPN upon turning on a Windows device.

ExpressVPN offers 3 payment plans, including a monthly, 6-month, and yearly plan. The yearly plan is the best deal — it costs 6,67 $ / lună and comes with 3 free months. ExpressVPN allows 5 connections, and backs each plan by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is my favorite Windows VPN on the market — it includes excellent security features, is extremely fast, and is very easy to use. In addition to essential privacy features, you get advanced server technology, perfect forward secrecy, and split-tunneling. ExpressVPN works with all of the major streaming services, is P2P friendly, allows 5 connections, and backs all of its payment plans with a 30-day-money back guarantee.

Download ExpressVPN for Windows Now

Read the full ExpressVPN review >

🥈 2. CyberGhost VPN — Best-Value VPN for Windows

🥈 2. CyberGhost VPN — Best-Value VPN for Windows

CyberGhost VPN’s Windows app is simple, intuitive, and really fast — and it comes inside one of the best-value VPN packages on the market.

CyberGhost performed well in my speed tests — it only reduced my average speed by 32%, which is great. I really like how CyberGhost’s Windows app displays the server load percentage for every server (how many active users are connected to a server) so users can easily find the fastest one.

CyberGhost’s Windows app comes with extra security features, such as:

  • NoSpy servers — These servers are built by CyberGhost and operated only by CyberGhost staff, so they provide extra security and faster speeds than regular servers.
  • Smart Rules — This is a really convenient tool that allows you to customize your security and privacy preferences.
  • ID Guard — This alerts you if your email and passwords have been leaked on the dark web.
  • Specialized servers — CyberGhost tells you specifically which servers are optimized for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.

One of CyberGhost’s drawbacks is that it doesn’t work in restrictive countries that censor the internet (like China). If you’re looking for a VPN that will consistently bypass internet firewalls, I recommend ExpressVPN.

CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous connections and offers monthly and yearly payment plans — with prices starting at 2,03 $ / lună, CyberGhost has one of the cheapest deals on the market. CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee on its annual plans and a 14-day money-back guarantee on the monthly plan.

Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN’s Windows app is secure, fast, and affordable. It provides good security features inside an intuitive dashboard, comes with pre-optimized dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming, and includes extras like dark web monitoring. During my tests, CyberGhost only reduced my average speeds by 32%, so I could browse the web and watch videos without lag or interruptions. But unfortunately, CyberGhost VPN doesn’t work in China, so it’s not the best at overcoming internet restrictions. CyberGhost VPN offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on its yearly payment plans.

Download CyberGhost VPN for Windows Now

Read the full CyberGhost VPN review >

🥉 3. Proton VPN — High-Privacy Features + Good Free VPN for Windows

🥉 3. Proton VPN — High-Privacy Features + Good Free VPN for Windows

Proton VPN is really secure, has excellent speeds, a simple Windows dashboard, and it offers the best free plan out there. In addition to standard privacy features (kill switch, no-logs policy, etc.), Proton VPN’s Windows app offers extra features like perfect forward secrecy, split-tunneling, ad blocking, and Secure Core servers (routes your internet traffic through multiple ultra-secure servers).

I also think it’s great that Proton VPN’s Windows app is open-source (so anyone can inspect its source code), and it’s also been independently audited for security risks — which identified mostly minor vulnerabilities that Proton VPN immediately fixed.

One thing I really like is how easy it is to use Proton VPN. The load percentage for each Proton VPN server in the Windows app is indicated by a green (good), yellow (medium), or red (bad) circle so you can quickly find the fastest server. It also comes with VPN Accelerator, which is a very cool feature that uses high-tech tools to increase speeds, especially on distant servers. In my tests, my internet speeds were reduced by an average of 22% — which is good, but slower than ExpressVPN.

Proton VPN’s free plan is pretty decent. It comes with unlimited data, access to servers in 3 countries, and VPN Accelerator, but you can only connect the VPN to 1 device at a time. Some other drawbacks with Proton VPN’s free plan are that it provides “medium” speed and it doesn’t include access to servers that support streaming and torrenting.

Upgrading to Proton VPN Plus (starting at 3,99 $ / lună) adds 10 connections, the “highest” speed, access to servers located in 60+ countries, an ad blocker, access to streaming and torrenting servers, Tor over VPN, and Secure Core servers.

Bottom Line:

Proton VPN is a high-privacy VPN that offers a pretty good free plan. Proton VPN’s Windows app is open-source, it comes with extras like perfect forward secrecy, and has great speeds. Proton VPN’s free plan has unlimited bandwidth and decent speeds, but you can use it on only one Windows device at a time and you can’t access streaming or torrenting servers. Proton VPN has monthly and yearly paid plans that come with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download Proton VPN for Windows Now

Read the full Proton VPN review >

4. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Customizable Windows App + Excellent P2P Support

4. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Customizable Windows App + Excellent P2P Support

Private Internet Access (PIA) has a highly customizable Windows app, provides decent speeds, is fully open-source, and comes with top-notch P2P support. PIA had an average speed drop of about 24% in my speed tests (so it’s slower than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN), but it provided me with really fast connection speeds on local servers.

One of the things I love the most about PIA is how flexible its security settings are. The Settings tab in the Windows app is neatly organized into 7 different categories where you can enable/disable a wide range of features (like the kill switch and split-tunneling) and change advanced settings (like VPN encryption and data authentication). While most users won’t need to change a lot of these settings — PIA sets all of the features to recommended defaults — PIA is one of the few VPNs that gives you a lot of control over various VPN settings and configurations.

PIA is a pretty good choice for torrenting, as it allows P2P traffic on all of its servers. It also supports port forwarding, which lets you connect to more peers to get faster speeds — in my tests, I had 10% faster download speeds when using port forwarding. And I also think PIA is a really good streaming VPN — it works with popular sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, as well as smaller sites like Crunchyroll and VRV.

Private Internet Access allows 10 simultaneous connections, offers 3 payment plans that start at 2,03 $ / lună, and covers each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access has a very intuitive, highly customizable, and fully open-source Windows app, maintains really good speeds, and provides excellent P2P support. Private Internet Access is very affordable, it allows 10 simultaneous connections, and each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download Private Internet Access for Windows Now

Read the full Private Internet Access review >

5. PrivateVPN — Easy-To-Use VPN with Good Security

5. PrivateVPN — Easy-To-Use VPN with Good Security

PrivateVPN has a very user-friendly Windows app, good security, and fast speeds for streaming and torrenting. I really like that PrivateVPN offers two different viewing modes on Windows — Simple View and Advanced View.

The Simple View keeps things very simple. The only decision you need to make is which server to connect to (you can click the large power button for instant connection or manually select a location by hitting the Change button). The only other option available in Simple View is to contact customer support.

The Advanced View adds the options to choose your protocol and encryption levels (256-bit AES or 128-bit AES), enable leak protection, activate the kill switch, turn on Application Guard to prevent specific programs from accessing the internet if you are disconnected from the VPN, and activate Stealth VPN (PrivateVPN’s obfuscation feature that bypasses internet firewalls in countries with online censorship).

PrivateVPN performed well in my speed tests — my speeds dropped about 40%, which is comparable to Proton VPN and Private Internet Access. PrivateVPN’s good speeds allowed me to stream Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and many other streaming apps without any buffering. PrivateVPN also supports P2P traffic on all of its 200+ servers.

PrivateVPN allows 10 simultaneous connections and has flexible payment options, which start at 2,00 $ / lună. All of PrivateVPN’s payment plans include a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

PrivateVPN provides a very simple Windows app, fast speeds, and good security. PrivateVPN has a Simple View that’s ideal for beginners looking for a minimalistic VPN and an Advanced View that provides access to all of PrivateVPN’s features and functions. PrivateVPN is a good VPN for streaming and torrenting, it works in countries that censor the internet, and all of its payment plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download PrivateVPN for Windows Now

Read the full PrivateVPN review >

How I Rated the Best VPNs for Windows in 2022

  • Great security. All of the VPNs on this list include industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch (shuts down your internet access if the VPN connection is interrupted), and a no-logs policy (to prevent the VPN company from recording your internet traffic). The Windows apps I recommend also come with high-security protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and/or IKEv2.
  • Fast speeds. All VPNs will slow down your internet connection because of the encryption process, but the best VPNs maintain fast speeds so you can browse the internet, stream TV shows and movies, and download files as if you’re not connected to a VPN. The VPNs on this list reduced my overall speeds by an average of no more than 42%, which is really good. And all of these VPNs had blazing-fast speeds when I connected to local servers.
  • Ease of use. I only recommend VPNs that have a Windows app that is simple to use. The VPNs on this list allow you to connect to a server with just one click, have intuitive features, and provide an overall smooth and easy user experience.
  • Extra features. All of the VPNs listed here come with additional features — some of them have obfuscation tools that help bypass internet restrictions in censor-heavy countries, split-tunneling to exclude some of your internet traffic from the VPN server, and ad blockers to remove ads and trackers from various websites and online platforms.
  • Good value. I only recommend VPNs that are reasonably priced, have flexible payment plans, accept multiple forms of payment, and back each purchase with at least a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut:

  • BolehVPN. This provider has good speeds, strong security, and decent P2P support. But it says it might turn on logs temporarily if it detects “suspicious activity,” which I think is terrible for your privacy.
  • Hola VPN. Hola VPN is a free VPN that has a terrible privacy policy. It collects and stores personal information like your IP address, the web pages that you visit, how long you spend browsing a certain website, and the dates you access websites. Hola VPN also routes your traffic through a peer-to-peer network instead of using secure servers, replacing your IP address with someone else’s and allowing another person to use your IP address to possibly engage in suspicious or criminal activities.
  • SlickVPN. SlickVPN is secure and allows P2P traffic on all servers, but I don’t like how its server network is small. It also has slow speeds on distant servers. What’s more, it lacks mobile apps, and its desktop apps are difficult to use.

What is the best VPN for Windows?

ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for Windows in 2022. It’s easy to use, has excellent security, is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, works with Netflix and other streaming services, supports torrenting, and backs each payment plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

While ExpressVPN is my top VPN for Windows, there are a lot of other great options available. CyberGhost VPN is secure, fast, and very cheap, and Proton VPN comes with great privacy features (and also has the best free plan for Windows users). Private Internet Access (PIA) allows Windows users to customize the VPN in a lot of different ways, and PrivateVPN has a very user-friendly Windows app with a Simple View for beginner users and an Advanced View for tech-savvy users.

Are there any free VPNs for Windows?

Yes, there are free VPNs available for Windows. But free VPNs usually lack standard security features, have slow speeds, may log your personal data, and set a limit on the amount of data you can use.

But if you’re looking for a reliable free VPN, Proton VPN is my top choice — you can use it on one device at a time, you get unlimited data and access to servers in 3 countries (located in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands), and its Windows app is very easy to use.

That said, I still recommend purchasing a reasonably-priced VPN like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, or one of Proton VPN’s premium payment plans. They’re all secure, fast, good for streaming and torrenting, and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is it safe to use a VPN on my Windows device?

Yes, it’s very safe to use a VPN on your Windows desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. All of the VPNs on this list protect your data with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, secure protocols, and a strict no-logs policy. Most of them also include extra features like split-tunneling, ad blocking, and specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, and bypassing firewalls in restrictive countries.

Does Windows have a built-in VPN?

Yes, Windows has a built-in VPN desktop client, but it’s not the same thing as a VPN service provider like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost VPNThe Windows VPN client is designed to use your device as a VPN server, but setting it up is a very technical process (and you still need to subscribe to a third-party VPN provider for the Windows VPN client to work).

I recommend that you keep things simple and purchase a trustworthy VPN service to be able to connect to one of their multiple VPN servers.

Best VPNs for Windows (2022) — Final Score:

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1
10.0
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3
9.7
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9.5
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9.2
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Despre Autor
Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein
Senior Editor
Actualizat: 1 decembrie 2022

Despre Autor

Eric Goldstein este cercetător în domeniul securității online și jurnalist de tehnologie. El vine cu actualizări ]n ceea ce privește cele mai noi tendințe în materie de securitate cibernetică, pentru ca cititorii să poată naviga pe internet în siguranță. În timpul liber îi place să se antreneze, să se relaxeze pe plajă cu familia și să se joace cu câinele său.