This post will examine the best VPN for Windows 10, walk you through the process of setting up a Virtual Private Network connection, and explain why you should use a VPN for Windows 10 to browse, watch, and download. Additionally, we will identify several VPNs with terrible track records that should be avoided.
While Windows 10 is a significant advance over its predecessor, it has also introduced a slew of new and inherited privacy concerns. While integrated advertising, Cortana, and data syncing with Microsoft servers all contribute to personalizing your experience, Windows blurs the line between customization and privacy. This gem from Microsoft’s privacy statement encapsulates it all:
“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 to enforce our terms of service.”
While the majority of these trackers and telemetry services are deactivated, they might be reactivated without your awareness after an update. Certain types cannot be switched off at all.
Therefore, how can you secure your privacy while continuing to use Windows 10? To begin with, peruse our massive collection of privacy tools; there’s even a section dedicated to Windows 10 users.
Following that, get a VPN. Virtual Private Network (VPN) software encrypts and anonymizes all of your internet activities. This is necessary for P2P filesharing since it prevents your internet service provider from spying on torrents and other downloads. Additionally, it protects you while using unsecured public wi-fi networks and opens geo-restricted websites and services such as Netflix. This can be accomplished by issuing a local IP address close to the streaming servers to which you desire to connect.
We’ve suggested our top recommended VPN for Windows 10 PC users, based on the following criteria:
- Applicant’s quality.
- OpenVPN protocol support.
- Protection against DNS leaks.
- Rapidity and effectiveness.
- Unblocking streaming services such as Netflix is a capability.
The quality of an application is rather self-explanatory. The native Windows client’s setup and usage should be simple.
OpenVPN is an open-source protocol that has been audited. It’s a reasonably quick protocol that is largely considered the most secure and trustworthy accessible. Because OpenVPN is not pre-installed on Windows 10, unlike SSTP, L2TP, and PPTP, these VPN providers must offer a user-friendly program for setting it up.
DNS leaks are a well-known vulnerability in Windows 10, thus VPNs that can prevent them are a requirement. A DNS leak invalidates a user’s anonymity by routing web page requests via their internet service provider rather than through a VPN service’s private DNS server. This enables your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and possibly Windows to monitor your online surfing activity.
Because Microsoft is headquartered in the United States and is known to have participated in the NSA’s mass surveillance program, we prefer VPN providers headquartered outside of the United States to prevent any further conflicts of interest.
Best VPN for Windows 10 computers
Panama-based NordVPN adheres to a fully logless policy, which means that it does not retain connections or use records. Additionally, double-hop encryption, Tor over VPN, and a kill switch are included. All of these features, as well as DNS leak prevention, may be enabled in the app’s settings.
The Windows VPN software is comprehensive but not intimidating for novice users. The server list is grouped according to suggested use–TV streaming, dedicated IP, Tor over VPN, and so on–and each server is ping-tested to see which location has the lowest latency. NordVPN can unblock Netflix.
How we discovered the best VPN for Windows 10
While the majority of VPNs provide a Windows client, only a select handful are worth your time and money. Our technique for determining the best VPN for Windows 10 included evaluating each VPN’s security and privacy protection features. The following is a complete list of what we searched for:
- Servers located across the world: Given that Windows users are found in practically every nation on Earth, having access to a global network of servers makes perfect sense. Typically, the VPN we suggest has thousands of servers. These are available in dozens of nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan.
- Speed: Speed is critical while surfing, streaming, or torrenting on your Windows device. Without them, performance problems such as poor resolution, latency, and buffering are probable. We’ve selected the best VPN for Windows 10 based on our performance testing, and all of them provide unlimited bandwidth.
- Unblocking: We are all affected by region-locked content, especially when it comes to streaming services. However, some users must additionally battle with their country’s severe internet restrictions. We discovered VPNs with the greatest unblocking capabilities only after testing them against a diverse variety of blocked websites and services.
- Security: There are a plethora of security dangers online, ranging from DDoS assaults to viruses. By using a VPN, you can ensure that your data is encrypted and unusable by attackers. Additionally, they offer a kill switch and security against DNS leaks. If that isn’t enough, VPN providers such as NordVPN and Surfshark also provide Double VPN servers.
- Privacy: As mentioned before in this piece, Windows 10 has certain privacy vulnerabilities. If you wish to surf anonymously, a VPN is even more critical. Apart from encryption, we seek VPNs that adhere to a no-logging policy. We studied 140 VPN logging policies and identified those that provide you with online anonymity.
- Ease of use: Regardless of whether you’re using Windows, Android, or another operating system, the VPN program should be simple to use. This is confirmed by our hands-on experience with each VPN’s app. Additionally, each VPN should provide several setup manuals, as well as 24-hour live chat and email assistance.
- Value for money: The top VPN for Windows 10 is reasonably priced. Indeed, it is often less priced than VPNs that lack several of the aforementioned features! To save even more money, you may use the VPN discount coupons listed on this page. Bear in mind that each VPN comes with a risk-free money-back guarantee.
We do not just accept a VPN word for it that they provide the aforementioned. Rather, we fully test each VPN for ourselves as part of our VPN testing process. This enables us to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date reviews possible.
VPNs to evade
When it comes to VPNs that Windows 10 users should avoid, free choices are at the top of the list. We’ve selected a few that the average person would likely discover using Google, but this is true of almost all free VPN services.
We also excluded numerous premium VPNs since they either did not defend against DNS leaks, were situated in the United States, or were both.
If you Google “free VPN for Windows,” Betternet will rank highly. While Betternet does not gather user data, the app is a component of an advertising network that uses your cookies to target you with commercials, videos, and recommended applications. Additionally, it does not safeguard users from DNS leaks. It is not that Betternet is malicious–in fact, its operation is extremely obvious. We’d even endorse the mobile app as a viable free option. However, for Windows, we must answer no.
Hide.me is another free VPN for Windows with a great Google ranking. While it offers some reasonably priced premium plans, the free version restricts speed and data transmission to 3 Mbit/s and 2GB, respectively. Additionally, it does not support OpenVPN, our preferred security protocol. Free users are restricted to three server locations and do not have access to port forwarding (useful for torrenting). On the positive side, Hide.me is entirely devoid of logs.
Hola is a peer-to-peer proxy browser plugin that functions similarly to a free VPN but without the need for centralized servers. Instead, users route their internet traffic via the devices of other Hola users whenever idle bandwidth becomes available. This may make you liable for the actions of other users, depending on your local laws and regulations. Additionally, Hola once hijacked its customers’ computational resources, converting them into a botnet army, to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults on websites and disseminate unlicensed content.
Double-check for DNS leaks
To ensure that your DNS leak prevention is functioning properly, you can conduct a DNS leak test here. Conduct the test with and without your VPN enabled to get a quick readout of the test results.
Are you unable to unblock Netflix and Hulu? Consider deactivating IPv6.
Even if a VPN advertises that it protects against DNS leaks, websites such as Hulu and Netflix can occasionally force a request to be sent over the IPv6 protocol. By default, the majority of VPNs route all DNS requests through IPv4 and avoid IPv6 entirely. However, if your device supports IPv6, this may not prevent an IPv6 DNS leak on Windows 10.
To begin, check with your VPN provider’s customer support to determine if they have servers that unblock US Netflix and Hulu. If it does and you are connected to one of those servers but the site continues to detect your use of a VPN service, you may need to disable IPv6.
To accomplish this, follow these steps:
- In the system tray, right-click the WiFi or LAN icon and select “Open Network and Sharing Center.”
- Click the link for your network next to “Connections” in the window that appears.
- Click Properties
- Uncheck the “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” checkbox.
- To apply the changes, click “OK,” and then restart your computer.
IPv6 has been deactivated, and you should not leak IPv6 DNS queries.
How to configure a VPN manually on Windows 10
The VPN providers simply need the download and installation of software to get started with a VPN on Windows. Logging in, selecting a location, and clicking the Connect button is all that is required to connect.
However, if an app does not suit you, Windows 10 has built-in VPN connectivity that can be set up manually. Since the OS does not support OpenVPN, we propose using L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, or IKEv2. Avoid PPTP; although it may be quicker and marginally simpler to configure, it has known security flaws.
To start, you’ll need to get the following information from your VPN provider, depending on the protocol you’ve chosen:
- IP address of the VPN server
- Secrets or certificates that have been previously disclosed
- Type “VPN” into the search field and click the menu cog to the right of the search results.
- On the pop-up menu, select Add a VPN connection.
- Select Windows as the VPN provider (built-in). Complete all additional fields as necessary.
- Hit Save.
- VPN should now be listed on the VPN menu. Click on it and then hit Connect.
- Wait a few minutes for the VPN connection to be established, and you’re done! You are linked.
- Once you’ve configured your VPN for the first time, you can quickly access it by clicking on the wifi icon in your system tray. It should be near the top of the list.
Methodology for Windows 10 VPN testing
PrivacyExplore VPN reviewers to use, evaluate, and test each VPN we suggest to verify it performs as promised and adheres to our quality criteria. When it comes to Windows VPNs, we pay special attention to the following:
- Data breaches: While connected to VPNs, Windows 10 PCs are especially susceptible to IPv6 leaks. Every VPN is inspected for IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC breaches that might jeopardize users’ privacy. Additionally, all of our suggestions have kill switches.
- Speed: Windows PCs are often used for high-bandwidth tasks. We conduct speed tests between North America, Europe, and Asia.
- App quality: We evaluate each VPN app’s Windows version, taking into account performance, design, and functionality.
- Unblocking streaming services: This year alone, we conducted over 3,000 real-world tests to determine whether VPNs can unblock streaming services like Netflix from throughout the globe.
- Customer support: We call each VPN’s customer support to ascertain their answer quality and timeliness.
PrivacyExplore reviewers will also assess each VPN’s encryption protocol, logging policy, location of incorporation, and ability to circumvent restrictions.
VPN FAQ for Windows 10
Is Windows 10 equipped with a built-in VPN?
Windows 10 comes pre-installed with a VPN client. This is accessible through Settings > Network & Internet > VPN. However, similar to establishing a VPN on a Linux machine, you’ll need to manually configure it to connect to a server. Additionally, the Windows VPN’s feature set is severely constrained, lacking a kill switch and many of the configurable options offered by premium competitors.
Why do my VPN connections break when I put my computer into sleep mode?
When your smartphone goes to sleep, it disables a variety of services to preserve energy. Unfortunately, this often results in the disablement of your network capabilities, causing your downloads to stop and your VPN to be unplugged. Fortunately, this is a straightforward issue to resolve:
- To access the Network and Sharing Center, navigate to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Modify the adapter’s settings.
- Following that, right-click the network you’re currently connected to and choose Properties.
- Choose the Configure option.
- On the right, click the Power Management tab and uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off the device to conserve the power option.
Do I need to deactivate IPv6 in Windows 10 in order for my VPN to function?
Although you are not required to deactivate IPv6, the majority of VPN providers do not currently support it, and as a result, personal information may become apparent to anybody monitoring the network. As a result, disabling IPv6 is a smart option, provided your VPN does not have IPv6 leak prevention. How to do this in Windows 10 is as follows:
- To access the Network and Sharing Center, navigate to the Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
- Change adapter settings in the left-hand menu.
- Locate your network from the list and right-click it to bring up the Properties menu.
- Simply uncheck the Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) box now.
Is Windows Defender equipped with a VPN?
No, Microsoft’s built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, does not include a VPN.
Is it possible to use several VPNs concurrently on Windows 10?
In general, no, you cannot operate more than one VPN concurrently on Windows 10. The majority of VPN clients are incompatible with one another.
Split tunneling may be possible, allowing certain programs to connect to one VPN while others connect to another.
Another alternative is to use a VPN program for Windows in conjunction with a VPN plugin or extension for your web browser and/or a VPN on your wireless network.
Stacking VPNs has the potential to have a significant influence on performance and speed. If you use two VPNs concurrently, for example, your data will be encrypted and decrypted twice and will pass via both VPN servers on its way to its destination.
How can I disable VPN on my computer?
To disconnect, open your VPN application and click the Disconnect option. If you set up your VPN manually, you may disable it using the network icon in your system tray. This is shown by a Wi-Fi or LAN symbol in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
Yes! Using a VPN is legal in all countries, save a few.
Certain nations, like China, prohibit but do not penalize the usage of VPNs.
While VPNs are completely lawful, any criminal behavior you engage in while connected to a VPN is still prohibited. Using a VPN does not constitute a violation of the law.