Best Windows 10 VPN

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Microsoft Windows has been dominating the operating system market for decades. It’s the most popular and widely used system. And although it took time until users switched to Windows 10, the majority of users now have this OS on their devices.

If you use Windows 10 and want to maximize internet privacy, VPN is the way to go. Virtual private networks boost anonymity and safety but can also secure access to geo-blocked content. That can be important if you want to access different streaming services. But for the best performance, you need the best VPN.

According to our research, ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN you can use for Windows 10. You have other great choices, such as NordVPN or IPVanish. Keep reading to discover the best VPN Win10 options and which one fits you!

Our pick for the best Windows 10 VPN: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN entered the market in 2009 after two technology entrepreneurs designed a VPN service. They wanted to help people protect their privacy and personal data while being online. Today, ExpressVPN is a leading VPN service with incredible value.

The basic features are all there – you get privacy and maximum anonymity when browsing the web. There’s a split tunneling feature that allows you to keep using your default internet connection for some sites and activate a VPN for other websites.

ExpressVPN keeps adding new functions, and the latest is Threat Manager. It’s a tool that helps avoid malware, trackers, and other potential online threats, so you can stay safe while browsing.

Why ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN did great in our tests, with its download speed averaging around 480Mbps. It’s more than enough to stream at the highest resolutions supported by the chosen services.

The safety is also at advanced levels. You can expect IP and no connection logs. The platform secures a lock kill switch, split tunneling, and top-quality encryption. ExpressVPN uses AES-256, an advanced algorithm approach trusted by security experts. There’s an encrypted DNS on the platform’s servers, which not only increases the safety, but also the connection speed.

With ExpressVPN, you can enjoy top-quality streams. Whether you want to watch HBO Max or live TV via Peacock, you can rest assured everything will work flawlessly. But don’t forget to check our Flixed TV guide to confirm when your favorite shows are on so you don’t miss the next episode.

Top ExpressVPN features

  • Flawless performance on Windows 10. ExpressVPN has Win10 officially listed among the supported devices. Apart from the app, you can use extensions for Edge, Firefox, and Chrome browsers.
  • Five devices with a single account. That secures excellent value and ensures you can connect your desktop PC and laptop running Win10. Thanks to support for other operating systems, ExpressVPN will also work on Android and iOS phones and tablets.
  • Obfuscation features and advanced encryption. ExpressVPN uses high-level encryption tools to protect your online activity. In addition to hiding your IP address and mixing your traffic with other users', ExpressVPN encrypts your traffic between VPN servers and your computer to ensure your safety and anonymity.
  • Maximum data protection. ExpressVPN does this by offering a strict no-log policy, masking your IP, and protecting you with a network kill switch. It ensures no one can get info about your internet activity.

Best for bypassing ISP throttling: IPVanish

Enjoying live streaming services involves using a lot of internet data. After your ISP notices that you use a lot of data, they limit your bandwidth. That could lower your streaming quality but also cause buffering and other playback problems.

Our experts confirmed that IPVanish is the best VPN to bypass ISP throttling. It has over 2,000 servers in more than 60 locations. They all offer unmetered connections, so a premium subscription guarantees you can enjoy maximum streaming quality even if watching videos 24/7.

Reasons to choose

IPVanish offers fast and reliable servers for high-speed surfing. Thanks to split tunneling, you can customize when to use the VPN. And if the connection drops, the kill switch keeps you safe.

There’s a convenient feature of activating the VPN automatically after the start-up, which is available on Windows 10. That ensures you remain protected with the VPN even if you forget to connect to the server. Advanced users will appreciate that IPVanish uses multiple VPN protocols. Those include IPSec, OpenVPN, and IKEv2, but also WireGuard. That’s the latest security standard, so you’ll remain safe while browsing the web.

Reasons to skip

IPVanish offers over 40,000 IP addresses. However, you share these addresses with other service subscribers. While this is a common approach, it also means you don’t have a dedicated IP address. Another thing to consider is that IPVanish is a US-based company. Although they promise a no-logging policy, they have an obligation to help authorities when necessary. And some reports mention they had the info ready when Homeland Security asked for it, so the “no-logging” promise is questionable.

Best for speed: NordVPN

For starters, NordVPN has over 5,200 servers in 59 countries. That includes the United States, United Kingdom, France, Australia, and many other locations. Whether you go on a business trip or vacation to another country or simply want to bypass geographic restrictions for other reasons, you’ll be covered.

NordVPN is ideal for Windows as it provides next-gen encryption, obfuscated servers for web activity, and a no-log policy for data protection. They protect your anonymity by changing your IP twice, masking it, and even have a network kill switch for added security.

Reasons to choose

From the perspective of someone who plans to enjoy live-streaming services, NordVPN is an excellent choice. It has fast and reliable servers, the uptime is impressive, and even if a single server in the chosen location loses connection, the odds are you’ll have an alternative available. The speed is also uncompromised, making it a top choice to enjoy top-quality streams.

Reasons to skip

One downside of NordVPN is that it doesn't offer many non-standard VPN servers. If you're looking for the fastest or most secure servers, you may only have a few options to choose from. There are over 300 servers for the Standard VPN section, but only a few servers for Anti DDoS, Ultra Fast TV, Double VPN, Tor over VPN, and Dedicated IP. These limited servers are often heavily used, especially the Ultra Fast TV and Anti DDoS servers.

How to set up a VPN on your PC

You have two ways of setting up a VPN on your Windows 10. You can use the integrated VPN feature or download the third-party app. Find the desired instructions in the following paragraphs!

Install a third-party VPN provider

Third-party VPN clients are easier to use and offer more features. Furthermore, they are specially created by the VPN provider to maximize user experience.

Here are the steps to follow to install a VPN client:

  1. Pick the desired VPN provider. Feel free to check the list above and pick any company from the list. You can also consider some specific uses, such as the best Netflix VPN or the best VPN to watch NHL games live.
  2. Subscribe to the service. While you can also use free VPNs, premium subscriptions offer the best connections, especially to access streaming services like Sling.
  3. Download the client. Find the app for your device, download it to your computer, and install it.
  4. Run the software and connect to the desired server. Finally, open the software and use the chosen credentials to log in. After accessing your profile, choose the desired server and activate the VPN connection.

Use the integrated Windows VPN provider

The alternative to downloading third-party clients is to use the integrated VPN features. Here’s how to activate this function:

  1. Choose “Add a VPN Connection” after you open Network & Internet settings.
  2. You’ll notice the option to use “Windows (built-in), so go ahead and choose it.
  3. It’s now time to complete the profile. Add the desired connection name first to easily recognize the connection.
  4. The server address should be the one received from the VPN provider. You’ll also need to choose the suitable protocol and enter your username and password.
  5. Save the profile, and it should now be available for the VPN connection. Click “Connect” to activate the VPN.

Is the built-in Windows 10 VPN good?

If you have Windows 10 installed, you might have noticed the option to “Add a VPN Connection.” You’ll find it under the Network features. And while this sounds tempting, there’s a huge downside with the so-called integrated Win10 VPN.

The function doesn’t actually offer a VPN service! Windows 10 actually has an integrated VPN client. That means the operating system comes with software you can use to connect to a VPN server. But it doesn’t secure a VPN, which means you’ll still need a third-party service.

Once you subscribe to the desired VPN platform, you get the information required to join the server. Use this information in the Windows 10 built-in VPN feature to connect via a simple click.

Pros and cons of integrated Windows 10 VPN

But what are the actual advantages and drawbacks of using this service? The way we see it, here are the pros:

  • It’s easier. Instead of starting a VPN client, you can pick the created connection and join the pre-set server in seconds.
  • You don’t have to download anything. Some people don’t like the hassle of downloading third-party VPN clients, and they’ll find this a benefit.
  • Excellent if always using the same VPN server. If you always connect to the same server, this will simplify things.

Unfortunately, there are many downsides to the built-in Windows 10 feature. These include:

  • It’s not actually a VPN. You’ll need to register with a third-party VPN service for the connection to work.
  • You’ll need technical knowledge. A total newbie might be confused by some questions during the process of setting up the connection, such as which protocol to use.
  • Each server requires a different connection. You can only create a profile for a single server. So, if you use multiple VPN servers, you’ll need to create separate profiles.

Will a VPN work on Windows 11?

Windows 11 was released in 2021, and it’s the latest operating system developed by Microsoft. Now, this is a fresh addition to the market, so the question is whether VPNs will work appropriately. But the good news is that the answer to this question is yes!

VPNs will work on Windows 11. The system has an integrated VPN feature, just like Windows 10. And the majority of third-party VPN apps will work flawlessly on Win11, too. Most providers made sure they were ready for the new operating system, so they updated their apps to function well. And there’s been over a year since the release, so there was plenty of time to iron out the bugs.

We still recommend checking if the VPN provider lists Windows 11 among the supported operating systems. For example, ExpressVPN clearly states that their app will work on all versions of Microsoft’s operating systems from Win7 to Win11. Once you pick the desired VPN service, check the supported OSs on the official website and confirm your desired device is supported.

Our takeaway: Excellent Windows 10 VPN selection

The great news is you have many VPNs that support Win10 to choose from since it’s a popular operating system. Most providers secure dedicated apps that are free to download and work flawlessly.

ExpressVPN manages to outperform the competition for several reasons. The wide geographical coverage is the first one. But it’s not just the coverage—the servers are also reliable and work flawlessly. They support streaming live TV and VOD services at high resolutions. The uptime is impressive, and a load of added security features maximizes user experience.

IPVanish can be a great alternative since it proved to be great for bypassing ISP throttling. And don’t neglect NordVPN, which has impressive uptime and speed, making it a great choice to stream content.

The decision is yours, but if you want to access streaming services, you’ll need a premium VPN. Free versions are severely limited and often don’t come with maximum security. And you want safety, privacy, and anonymity to be at a top level when browsing online!

Aneeca Younas

Aneeca Younas Author

Aneeca Younas is a graduated journalist with years of experience writing in different niches based in Oakland, CA. She is a huge movie fan that also enjoys watching sports. That's why she spends hours daily using various streaming services. Over the years, Aneeca profiled herself as an expert in cable-free and VOD platforms.

Desiree Wu

Desiree Wu Editor

Desiree is a full-time Honours Business Administration student at Ivey Business School at Western University. She also served as an Editorial Intern at Flixed. Desiree is based in London, Ontario.

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