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Best VPN for Windows | Top 5 Picks | 2021 Guide

Best VPN for Windows | Top 5 Picks | 2021 Guide
Jordan
Major
Updated: 10 Aug, 2021
16 mins read

Introduction

In this guide, we will present the top 5 best VPNs for Windows users in 2021, outlining the major benefits of each service. You will learn about 5 different VPN companies and their current provision of modern security and privacy features, as well as streaming and torrenting speeds, among other aspects.

What is VPN, and what are the key benefits for the user?

A Virtual Private Network or simply a VPN is an encrypted Internet connection that allows a private web user to gain access to shared or public networks with full privacy protection. To put it another way, a VPN secures your internet traffic by masking your IP address and physical location, hence allowing the user to hide their footprints from any third-party interference.

According to the VPN consumer usage, adoption, and shopping 2020 study, nearly 30 % of US Internet users utilize VPN for personal reasons, while 24 % use it for business. This indicates that VPN offers various benefits for both recreational and professional Internet users who rely on a secure Internet connection to perform their work.

Those who enjoy TV streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon Fire, along with video games, may benefit from unblocking geo-restrictions, allowing them to access content from all over the world. On the other hand, individuals who work remotely can use VPN to access internal corporate servers without jeopardizing the information’s security.

Above all, one of the major reasons why Internet users get a VPN is a growing concern about online privacy and the security of personal information.

The strains of modern life, with people continuously traveling from one location to another for business and recreation, frequently utilizing public Wi-Fi and multiple devices, can result in possible cybersecurity threats. As a result, a reliable VPN can provide the necessary level of protection, allowing the information to remain anonymous and safe.

Best VPNs for Windows – Top 5 Picks

After we’ve established the core benefits of utilizing VPN, we’ll move on to our top 5 VPN services for Windows. However, it is worth noting that in order to provide the most optimal service, each VPN service requires the user to have the appropriate version of Windows installed.

1. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN Windows download page. Source: atlasvpn.com

Based in Delaware, USA, Atlas VPN is a freemium VPN provider with strong security credentials that provides both a free and a premium subscription. Peakstar Technologies Inc. created this service and registered the Atlas VPN trademark in October 2019.

The VPN has over 700 servers in 28 countries with apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows smartphones, tablets, and desktop PCs. Atlas VPN provides an instant-convenient and anonymous online surfing experience that eliminates some technological complexities – notably those that may frighten novices and those less experienced with VPNs – but does not compromise on security.

Atlas VPN professes to be the “fastest VPN for PC,” with no buffering, slowdowns, or other performance problems. 

The style of the company’s mobile apps influences the design of the Windows desktop version, with rounded edges making it more aesthetically attractive. The program is easy to use and browse, and it requires Windows 10 or above to function.

The following are some of Atlas VPN’s main features:

Atlas VPN key features. Source: atlasvpn.com
  • Unlimited devices: Atlas provides infinite VPN protection, which means there is no limit to the amount of concurrent device connections you may establish;
  • Logging: Atlas VPN features a complete no-logs policy, which ensures that no private data is saved. They do not collect personal information, nor do they follow and exploit online user behavior for commercial purposes;
  • Safebrowse: is a security feature that allows you to block potentially harmful websites; if you come across a website on the blocklist, you will be refused access;
  • Data breach scanner: an Atlas VPN tool that examines if your data has been compromised as a result of a data breach;
  • Network Kill Switch: if your connection to the VPN server is lost, this safety feature prevents data breaches by shutting down Internet traffic; the capability is available on all apps, even the free edition;
  • Encryption and security protocols: the service employs military-grade AES-256 bit encryption, which scrambles your data into 256-bit pieces. While the IPSec/IKEv2 secure tunneling technology safeguards users against data breaches such as DNS or IP leaks, as well as connection monitoring and tracking;
  • SafeSwap: your IP address is cycled for the duration of your connection when you connect to a SafeSwap server. To get a comparable outcome with other VPN services, one must disengage and rejoin to a new server each time.

To download the VPN for Windows, click here. Find out more about Atlas VPN products and services by reading our comprehensive Atlas VPN review.


2. Surfshark

Surfshark Windows download page. Source: surfshark.com

Surfshark VPN provides over 3200 servers spread over 65 countries. The service offers advanced security measures, a stable network and speeds, unblocking capabilities, and a strong commitment to client privacy and security.

If you want to spend as little money as possible on your Windows 10 VPN while still receiving a premium service, Surfshark, for less than $2.50 a month, offers most of the features included in VPNs that cost twice as much.

Users receive a kill switch to safeguard them if their connection breaks, a fair variety of protocols, a double VPN hop, and a handy quick-connect button.

Users may also connect as many devices as they like at the same time. In addition, the customer privacy-focused VPN offers one-of-a-kind features and smartly designed apps making the Windows app aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate.

Generally, Surfshark is excellent for streaming, as it unblocks virtually every streaming service accessible. This, along with its fast connection speeds, makes it a highly tempting choice for casual users who only want the peace of mind that a VPN can provide.

The main advantages of Surfshark are the capabilities that are not prevalent in ordinary VPNs. Whitelister, for example, is a split tunneling program that lets you choose which apps and websites use your VPN connection. This is useful since some websites do not allow VPN access.

Surfshark’s main features for Windows users. Source: surfshark.com

The following is a list of Surfshark VPN’s key features:

  • CleanWeb: surf the online in a safe cyber environment devoid of advertisements, trackers, malware, and phishing attempts; 
  • No logs policy: Surfshark’s no-logging policy is carefully maintained, since the company does not monitor, track, or save anything customers do online, guaranteeing that no connection or activity logs are kept;
  • Whitelister: allows the VPN to bypass specific programs and websites, as well as allowing mobile banking apps to operate properly;
  • Kill Switch: acts as a backup in the event that your VPN connection fails. User activities and private information are never made public;
  • NoBorders: Surfshark can successfully function in restricted regions when set to this mode;
  • MultiHop: link via multiple countries at the same time to improve ID protection and footprint masking;
  • Hide IP address: users can safeguard their privacy by masking their actual IP address, which can be traced to their digital identity;
  • Customer service: expert advice is accessible 24/7 by live chat and email, allowing consumers to connect with a specialist;
  • Secure protocols: IKEv2/IPsec is the default protocol for all Surfshark applications. Nevertheless, users can continue to use OpenVPN;
  • Encryption: Surfshark secures users’ personal information with industry-leading AES-256-GCM encryption;
  • Private DNS & Leak prevention: Surfshark uses private DNS and leak prevention on each server, as well as leak protection when utilizing the IPv4 stack;
  • Camouflage Mode: this mode guarantees that even your Internet service provider is unsuspecting that you are using a VPN.

For more information about the VPN, visit Surfshark.com.

To download the VPN for Windows, click here.

How do I configure a Surfshark VPN on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7

Set up Surfshark VPN on Windows

3. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN for Windows download page. Source: protonvpn.com

With over 1255 servers in over 55 countries and a 1,468 Gbps capacity, ProtonVPN claims to be the ‘World’s only community supported secure VPN service.’ 

The ProtonVPN app for Windows is one of the safest and most private methods to browse the Internet. It is open-source, simple to use, full of essential security features, and has been thoroughly audited by third-party specialists.

The Windows app has innovative features that have been meticulously designed to increase your online security.

Proton VPNs Secure Core servers are situated in hardened data centers in Switzerland, Iceland, and Sweden and are subject to stringent privacy regulations operated on Proton’s specialized networks. Secure Core safeguards your connection by routing it via numerous servers before it leaves the network, protecting you from sophisticated network-based assaults.

ProtonVPN is created by the same team that developed ProtonMail, the world’s largest end-to-end encrypted email service. Millions of journalists, activists, and people across the globe rely on ProtonVPN to keep them secure. 

In particular, the app allows you to avoid censorship; if Protons servers are blocked, it can utilize alternate routes to unblock them. Moreover, the service unblocks popular streaming services (Only for users with Plus and Visionary plans).

ProtonVPN features. Source: ProtonVPN.com

The following is a more extended list of ProtonVPN’s key features:

  • Adblocker (NetShield): a DNS filtering application that protects you from malware, stops ads, and keeps website trackers from following you online;
  • Encryption: AES-256 is used to encrypt network traffic, 4096-bit RSA is utilized for key exchange, and HMAC with SHA384 is employed for message authentication;
  • Robust Protocols: the VPN tunnel is protected by the most trustworthy protocols; Proton only utilizes VPN protocols that have been shown to be safe – IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN;
  • Full disk encryption: this capability safeguards server certificates, as well as any other settings and software, kept on an exit server, guaranteeing that attackers cannot access any data saved on it even if the server is damaged;
  • DNS and IPv6: ProtonVPN protects against DNS leaks by routing them through an encrypted tunnel rather than relying on third-party DNS providers;
  • P2P assistance: BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols can be used to share and download files;
  • Tor on VPN: ProtonVPN servers that support Tor allow customers to tunnel all of their traffic over the Tor anonymity network and access dark web sites;
  • Kill Switch and Always-on VPN: ProtonVPN applications offer a Kill Switch and an Always-on VPN capability. If you lose connection with the VPN server, Kill Switch disables all network activity, whereas Always-on automatically re-establishes a VPN server connection;
  • Swiss-based: Switzerland has some of the most stringent data privacy regulations in the world. According to Swiss law, ProtonVPN users are not required to provide any log data history, and the no logs policy applies to all users, including those using their free VPN;
  • Forward Secrecy: if the encryption key from a future session is discovered, encrypted communication from users cannot be collected and decoded later. Each time you connect to a ProtonVPN server, it generates a new encryption key.

For more information about the VPN, visit Windscribe.com.

To download the VPN for Windows, click here.


4. Windscribe

Windscribe VPN homepage. Source: Windscribe.com

Windscribe is a safe VPN service that provides both free and paid apps to let consumers browse the web securely. The Canadian firm is an excellent VPN for unblocking US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, with all versions of the program secured by AES-256 encryption. Moreover, the service is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.

Windscribe’s Windows app has six distinct protocols as well as over 20 different connection ports. WireGuard’s latest next-generation VPN technology, which provides record-breaking speeds, is included. IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP), OpenVPN (TCP), Stealth, and WStunnel are the other VPN protocols. In addition, Windscribe’s firewall, often known as a “kill switch,” uses native OS APIs to restrict all communication outside of the tunnel.

The benefits of using Windscribe for Windows. Source: Windscribe.com

One of the firm’s key features, R.O.B.E.R.T., is a unique, customizable server-side domain and I.P. blocking tool. Consider this a cloud-based firewall that allows you to ban specific websites, particular domains, and I.P. prefixes. The service also has a strong security policy, a privacy-friendly logging policy, and it does not keep any data that might reveal your identity. 

Windscribe’s general features. Source: Windscribe.com

Below are several other features offered by the aforementioned VPN:

  • Extensive Network: servers in over 63 countries and 110 cities around the world;
  • R.O.B.E.R.T.: blocks IP addresses and domains (ads) of your choosing across all devices;
  • No identifying logs: Windscribe cannot individually identify you based on your IP address and timestamp;
  • Encryption: with the highest level of security Windscribe employs AES-256 encryption with SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key;
  • Configuration Generators: construct OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and SOCKS configurations for all of your devices;
  • Split Tunneling: choose which apps go over the VPN and which don’t:
  • Firewall: eliminates all leaks, all connectivity outside the tunnel is blocked;
  • Double Hop: proxy your connection through any two servers on the Windscribe network;
  • Connectivity: connect to a wide range of ports using IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, TCP, or Stealth.

A VPN that changes your IP address will do very little to protect your privacy. With capabilities such as geo-location API spoofing, timezone spoofing, ad blocking, tracking cookie removal, Windscribe’s browser extensions can help you increase your degree of privacy.

For more information about the VPN, visit Windscribe.com.

To download the VPN for Windows, click here.


5. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield for Windows download page. Source: Hotspotshield.com

Hotspot Shield is a VPN service with over 650 million subscribers and 3,200 servers in over 70 countries. Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS are among the platforms and operating systems supported. Hotspot has military-grade encryption for security.

Regardless of the laptop or PC you have, the VPN is simple to use and gives you the access you want.

Hotspot Shield created its proprietary Hydra protocol from the ground up. It provides a significantly more stable VPN connection — not to mention speeds that are more than twice as fast when connecting to long-distance servers as the nearest competitors.

According to Speedtest, Hotspot Shield boosted download speed by more than 26.2% compared to not using a VPN, whereas all other providers reduced speed by at least 42.5%.

Furthermore, Hotspot Shield can provide you access to practically any streaming service, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and others, from anywhere.

Hotspot Shield is one of the best free VPN services on the market. At the same time, its 500MB-per-day capacity is considerable in free standards; it’s nowhere near enough to put the Catapult Hydra protocol to use.

Hotspot’s five simultaneous connections and complete suite of applications will cover all of your devices, and you’ll also be able to employ the SmartVPN option, which works similarly to split tunneling.

If you’re looking for a reliable, super-fast alternative, this Windows 10 VPN is a solid solution.

Hotspot Shield’s features for Windows. Source: Hotspotshield.com

Here are the main characteristics of Hotspot Shield’s Premium version:

  • Privacy first: no browsing device logs. Hotspot does not log data or activity that can be tied back to users;
  • 5 Devices: create an account to connect up to five devices, including your phone, tablet, and TV;
  • Unlimited bandwidth: being a Premium member means you can stream as much as you want with no limits;
  • Money-back guarantee: test it risk-free for 45 days;
  • Customer support: live technical help is available 24/7 for Premium members with any queries or difficulties they may have;
  • Hydra, IPSec, and OpenVPN protocols: Hotspot Shield employs hydra, a one-of-a-kind protocol known for its dependability and speed verified by experts as the fastest, most secure on the market. Additionally, users can connect to alternative protocols such as IPSec and OpenVPN;
  • Encryption: military-grade encryption for privacy and security, blocking 57 million malware and phishing sites every day.

Moreover, Hotspot Shield’s Premium VPN for Windows purchases come with a bonus included with three free privacy and security apps: 1. Password to store and secure your passwords, 2. Robo Shield to identify and stop robocalls, and 3. Identity Guard to defend against identity theft.

For more information about the VPN, visit HotSpotShield.com.

To download the VPN for Windows, click here.


Conclusion

A VPN is a simple way to safeguard your online privacy and circumvent unpleasant internet restrictions. When you connect to a VPN, your online traffic is routed over an encrypted tunnel to a server controlled by the VPN provider. It then proceeds to the web as usual. If you exclusively connect to HTTPS-secured websites, your data will remain encrypted even after it exits the VPN. This may appear easy and even needless, yet it can have a significant impact on your privacy.

When looking for a VPN, users should take extra features such as split tunneling, multi-hop connections, and others into consideration. You may not require these regularly, but they are useful. In the United States, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) possesses extensive knowledge about users’ online activity. Congress has ruled that your ISP may sell your anonymized browser data.  However, if you use a VPN, even your ISP will not be able to track your movements online. 

An advantage of using a VPN is that your actual IP address is concealed behind the VPN server’s IP address. This makes it more difficult for marketers and others to monitor your online activities. Because your data is jumbled up with everyone else’s utilizing the same VPN server, even a devoted observer would have difficulty distinguishing whose traffic is whose.

Ultimately, the best VPN services will be transparent about their strengths and limitations, have a clear privacy policy, and either publish third-party audits, a transparency report, if not both.

The easiest method to find out if a VPN works for you is to test it at home. Check to see if you can go to all of the sites and services you require. Determine whether the interface is functional and whether the speeds in your location are enough. Take advantage of free trials offered by certain VPN providers and if you are satisfied with what you signed up for and, if not, take advantage of money-back guarantees.

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Jordan Major
Author

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.