What is the best VPN for Windows?
We have reviewed the VPNs of ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark. All the major VPN providers have support for Windows. You can easily download the WIndows client from the VPN providers site and install it like any other application. Once you have installed the application you have to sign in. If you don’t have an account you can sign up to the VPN providers and try for 30 day’s. Remember if you want to cancel your subscription you have to get in touch with customer support, because they don’t offer an option in the GUI to just cancel.
Once installed the principle of all the apps are just the same. You can connect to several server locations worldwide and you have some different options. In this review we take a look at the features the VPN providers offer on Windows. Please note that the options may differ per platform. I.e. the Windows platform is more open than MacOS or iOS. If you want to know the options on iOS you can read our review on the best VPN for iPad.
Windows is an open platform when it comes to the applications. So this means almost al the options a VPN provider has to offer are available within the application. Lets start the review.
ExpressVPN Windows application
Installing the ExpressVPN software is easy. Just go to the website and download the latest software. After installing the application you can login to the application with your usename and password or by using a link which ExpressVPN will send by mail. By clicking on the link you activate the application and you don’t have to use user credentials. This makes it much more easier than resetting passwords, etc. Once logged in the VPN looks like this:
ExpressVPN Windows pros and cons
ExpressVPN is very know for their reliable and fast VPN servers. ExpressVPN is very good in censored countries where VPNs are forbidden. The strongest point of this VPN that the VPN is so extremely reliable and the unblocking of content worldwide is so good. In terms of features the other providers NordVPN and Surfshark do a better job. The split tunnel configuration can’t be configured by yourselfs, but if enabled it will whitelist the whole RFC 1918 networks (10.0.0.0/8, 172.16.0.0/12 and 192.168.0.0/16). You cannot manualy configure this based on IP addresses. In the background ExpressVPN offers all the major features like private DNS and TrustedServer which is very good. Overall because of the unblocking of geo-content, torrenting worldwide and the reliability of the VPN we rate ExpressVPN as the best VPN.
The ExpressVPN offers lots of location arround the world. The overall speeds of the ExpressVPN application is just terrific. We tested with a 100 Mbit down and upload speed, from Amsterdam:
USA - NYC
ExpressVPN comes with different subscriptions. Overall the price of ExpressVPN is more expensive as the other VPN providers. If you look at the most important characteristics of a VPN like stability, speeds and reliability we have to rate ExpressVPN very high and would definitly recommend ExpressVPN.
NordVPN Windows application
NordVPN is a very populair VPN provider. Downloading the VPN software of NordVPN is very easy, you can just go to the website of NordVPN and download the application. When using the application you need to login with credentials and a subscription. You can have a 30 day not good money back guarantee. When installed the application you get security tips which help you to configure the application. We think this is a very need feature and helps beginners to have the best security.
Here is an impession of the user interface:
NordVPN Windows pros and cons
NordVPN has more features than ExpressVPN. The most important feature in our eyes is the blocking of advertisements and maclicious websites. But we also like the userfriendly interface where you get tips on how to configure the application. In rare occasions it is helpfull that you can protect your VPN from being seen. NordVPN was also the only application which provides Split tunnel based on networks which you can configure yourself. the Mult Factor Authentication is also a very need feature.
NordVPN offers lots of location arround the world. The overall speeds of the ExpressVPN application is just outstanding, the best we have seen. We tested with a 100 Mbit down and upload speed, from Amsterdam:
USA - NYC
NordVPN comes with different subscriptions. NordVPN offers a very competitive price for their VPN services.
Surfshark Windows application
Surfshark is relatively new in the VPN market, active since 2018. Surfshark offers a very competitive VPN based on features and price to quality ratio. However the application is less smooth than the others. Streaming services work but not alway’s as good as you might hope. From a user friendlyness perspective Surfshark offers a very good VPN. You can download the Windows application from the website and install it like any other Windows application. Like the other applications you need a subscription but you have a 30 day not good money back guarentee as well.
Here is an impression of the user interface:
Surfshark Windows pros and cons
Surfshark offers a VPN with alot of features. It offers more features than ExpressVPN and NordVPN. However we have been using the VPN for a while and the speeds are not alway’s very good. So loading of videos takes a while or you have connection errors. We have seen this with Netflix, Haju and Channel4. This is a big con for us and that’s why we think Surfshark needs to work on better speeds and a better network worldwide. Also the multihop functionality has been very slow in more eastern countries where it is very acceptable in more western countries. Overall if you are not a hardcore user and use VPNs for simple tasks and want to have good protection Surfshark could be very usefull.
Altough the speedtest were very promising and the results below are very good we saw several disconnect errors and crashes of the applications. Please keep this in mind when buying Surfshark.
USA - NYC
Best VPN for Windows - overall conclusion
We reviewed the three top VPN providers ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark. All the three VPN providers offer a very good VPN with worldwide coverage. However their are some differences. We see ExpressVPN offers less features than the NordVPN and Surfshark but is very stable and very good with the streaming services, torrenting and in censored countries. Also the alway’s on, split tunnel and kill switch work very good, and we find these the most important features. NordVPN offers a very fast VPN with a very userfriendly user interface. And then there is Surfshark which is the cheapest VPN but we have notices some hiccups with streaming services.
So if we had to choose a VPN services we would go for ExpressVPN. If your very keen streaming services or torrenting we would recommend ExpressVPN because the speeds are very good and the VPN is very reliable. ExpressVPN is also known to be the best VPN in censored countries.
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