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Best Free & Paid VPNs for Windows PC

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A illustration of a Windows spying on a PC protected by a VPN
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
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Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Your PC is the most important device in your home to protect. Whether it’s a family computer, a desktop gaming rig, or a workstation for your home office, your PC is full of intimate personal information that you should keep safe with a VPN.

The good news is that if Microsoft Windows is your PC or laptop operating system of choice, then you’re in the perfect position to choose an excellent VPN. The best VPNs have apps for all the most popular platforms, but it’s Windows where you can usually get the absolute most out of them: all the features, all the servers, and the fastest speeds can usually be found on PC.

A top-rated premium PC VPN can cost as little as just a few dollars per month, but we’ve gone one step further. On this list you’ll find some free VPNs that you can use forever without spending a single cent.

The five best VPNs for Windows PC are:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best all-round VPN for your Windows 10 PC or laptop. Read summary
  2. ProtonVPN Free: The best 100% free VPN for Windows, no payment info required. Read summary
  3. NordVPN: The best paid alternative Windows VPN, with thousands of servers. Read summary
  4. IPVanish: A great no-logs Windows VPN. Read summary
  5. Surfshark: The cheapest high-quality Windows 10 VPN available. Read summary

Compare these VPNs side-by-side with our tool

5 Best VPNs for Windows PCs in 2021

  1. 1. ExpressVPN: The Best VPN for Windows PC

    Simple Windows 10 app, secure & fast connections, and more.

    Ranked #1 out of 69 VPNs for Windows
    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,758 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN
    1. Fully-featured Windows VPN app
    2. Excellent speeds, both long- and short-distance
    3. Unblocks tons of Netflix libraries & streaming sites
    4. No leaks with Lightway protocol & strong encryption
    5. 3,000+ Windows-compatible servers in 94 countries
    6. 24/7 live customer support & 30-day refund guarantee
    1. The most expensive option on this list
    2. No port-forwarding for P2P fans
    3. No extension for Edge Browser users

    ExpressVPN is the best VPN you can buy for Windows. An excellent all-round VPN with no real weaknesses, its Windows app is the best version of itself.

    You get excellent download speeds, useful features, and don’t sacrifice any security or privacy in the process. It’s expensive, but we think it’s worth it.

    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. linuxLinux
    3. macosMacOS
    4. chromeosChromeos
    5. androidAndroid
    6. iosiOS
    7. amazon_firetvFire TV
    8. androidtvAndroid TV
    9. appletvApple TV
    10. chromecastChromecast
    11. rokuRoku
    12. playstationPlayStation
    13. xboxXbox
    14. edgeEdge
    15. chromeChrome
    16. firefoxFirefox
    17. routerRouter
    Data LeaksNo
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    IP Addresses3,000+
    TorrentingUnlimited
    US NetflixYes
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Safe, secure, and private

    Most importantly of all, you can depend upon ExpressVPN to keep what you do on your PC private. Its audited logging policy is proven to not retain any identifiable information. That means what whatever you do on your Windows device is kept secret.

    While you can use firm-favorite Windows VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2, ExpressVPN has now fully rolled out Lightway to its Windows 10 client, too.

    Faster speeds than ever with ExpressVPN Lightway

    In addition to being just as secure as older, more popular protocols, Lightway is the fastest available for ExpressVPN. Over our years of testing ExpressVPN has always been one of the very quickest VPNs on the market, and with Lightway it’s only gotten better.

    We retest ExpressVPN’s speeds by hand, twice a month, to make sure that it’s as fast as it claims to be – and it hasn’t let us down so far. If you’re able to stream in HD, game without lag, and torrent files quickly without using a VPN, then nothing will change when you turn ExpressVPN on.

    Perfect for private streaming & torrenting on Windows

    ExpressVPN is also one of the best services for secure torrenting and streaming with Windows 10. If you’re a Netflix subscriber then you can unlock additional content libraries from all around the world. ExpressVPN also works to unblock other popular streaming sites like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.

    If you use your Windows machine for torrenting then a trustworthy is a must. ExpressVPN doesn’t have P2P-optimized servers – because you can torrent freely on all 3,000+ of them, with no speed or data caps.The only real disappointment here is a lack of port forwarding, although we’ve found out it puts up exceptional torrent download speeds regardless.

    Essential Windows extra features work well

    A part of what makes ExpressVPN such a strong choice for Windows is its simple, clean app. It doesn’t have as many extra features as some other VPNs, but it has all of the important ones.

    Split-tunneling and the kill switch are there, as well as IPv6 leak protection and ExpressVPN-owned DNS servers for maximum security. If you’re a Microsoft Edge browser user then the lack of extension is a shame, although there is one available for Chrome and Firefox.

  2. 2. ProtonVPN Free: The Best Free VPN for Windows PC

    With no data cap you can set-and-forget this excellent free option.

    Screenshot of ProtonVPN Free's Mobile App
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit ProtonVPN
    1. 100% free, forever, with no card details required
    2. The only respectable free VPN with unlimited data
    3. No-logs, trustworthy ownership & great jurisdiction
    4. Pretty fast for a free VPN
    1. Servers in only three countries
    2. No torrenting or Netflix access
    3. Missing extra features from the paid version

    While ProtonVPN’s free offering may not have all the features of some of its rivals, its strongest benefit is unique: a completely unlimited data cap. If you want a free VPN to install on your PC or laptop, activate, then forget about, ProtonVPN free is your best option.

    Cheapest Price$6.63/mo over 24 Months See all plans
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. linuxLinux
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. amazon_firetvFire TV
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. chromecastChromecast
    9. rokuRoku
    10. playstationPlayStation
    11. xboxXbox
    12. routerRouter
    Compatible Windows VersionsWindows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
    Data LeaksNo
    JurisdictionSwitzerland (Privacy Haven)
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    IP Addresses1,077+
    TorrentingRestricted
    US NetflixYes
    SupportEmail & Online Resources Only

    Unlimited data, but no Netflix or torrenting

    Of all the reliable, trustworthy VPNs we’ve tested, only ProtonVPN places no restriction on how much you use it every month. Once it’s installed on your Windows computer you can connect to a server and leave it running for as long as you like.

    Unfortunately, there are still some times when you’ll have to turn it off: when streaming or torrenting. Like so many free VPNs, ProtonVPN saves all of its best servers for paying customers.

    This means that ProtonVPN Free won’t unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or any other popular streaming service. Torrenting also won’t work – we’ve tried, but our P2P client couldn’t even retrieve the magnet file metadata.

    No user logs whatsoever, from a reputable company

    The trickiest part of picking a free VPN is trying to find out if you can trust the company behind it or not.There’s no doubt surrounding ProtonVPN, though. Since the launch of ProtonVPN in 2017, Proton Technologies has proven itself as a privacy-first company you can safely entrust with your data.

    Its logging policy claims not to collect or store any identifiable information from its users, and it was proven to be truthful when it revealed nothing but blank servers in a Swiss court case in 2019. Switzerland also serves as its base of operations, which is a fine choice thanks to its lack of invasive privacy laws.

    Does the basics, but limited versus paid apps

    Of course when opting for a free VPN, there are inevitably some trade-offs. In addition to lacking streaming access and torrenting, ProtonVPN Free also misses out on some of the helpful extra features the paid version enjoys.

    Secure Core servers, Tor Over VPN, the Netshield malware and ad blocker, and a few other bits and pieces are all unavailable to free users. You still get access to split tunneling, IPv6 leak protection, custom DNS servers, and the all-important kill switch.

    The other big loss is the lack of servers. There’s 12 of them placed across three countries: the US, Netherlands, and Japan. Our tests returned good speeds, especially for a free VPN, but if you don’t live anywhere near one of those servers then your own results will suffer accordingly.

  3. 3. NordVPN: The best alternative for Windows 10

    Safe, affordable, and fast, NordVPN is one of the most popular PC VPNs.

    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     94% 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN
    1. Strong logging policy and super-secure servers
    2. Massive, high-speed global VPN server network
    3. Plenty of useful Windows features, including a kill switch
    4. Unblocks streaming sites, plus thousands of P2P servers
    5. Much more affordable than ExpressVPN
    1. You can’t sign up with PayPal
    2. No Microsoft Edge browser extension
    3. A NordVPN server was breached in 2018

    If you want to subscribe to ExpressVPN but can’t afford it, then NordVPN is the perfect option for you. It’s one of the most widely trusted and popular VPNs available, and for good reason. It has a ton of useful features to keep your PC private and secure. Its high-speed global network is reliable, and keeps your data private. Plus, you can torrent and stream freely with it.

    Cheapest Price$3.71/mo over 24 Months See all plans
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. linuxLinux
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. amazon_firetvFire TV
    7. appletvApple TV
    8. chromecastChromecast
    9. rokuRoku
    10. playstationPlayStation
    11. xboxXbox
    12. chromeChrome
    13. firefoxFirefox
    14. routerRouter
    Compatible Windows VersionsWindows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
    Data LeaksNo
    JurisdictionPanama (Privacy Haven)
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    IP Addresses5,515
    TorrentingPermitted
    US NetflixYes
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Audited no-logs policy and a Panama jurisdiction

    NordVPN may be the most widely-advertised, most talked-about VPN available – understandably you may feel a little suspicious. Can you trust it? In our experience, it’s a resounding yes.

    Something we always encourage, NordVPN has been audited by an external security agency. This means that everything it states in its logging policy has been verified as true. In turn, that means that NordVPN doesn’t log anything you do while using its service.

    NordVPN is also based in Panama, which has no connection to national surveillance agencies like Five Eyes or the NSA.

    The only black mark on NordVPN’s record is in 2018, when it suffered a server breach. While they’re never a good thing, the company reacted well to the incident. Its servers are now more secure and anonymous than ever, after an infrastructure overhaul which it’s still in the process of rolling out.

    Huge high-speed server network

    With roughly five-and-a-half thousand servers in 59 countries spread all over the world, NordVPN’s huge network should ensure that you’re always getting the best connection possible.

    There are only two protocols to choose between on Windows: OpenVPN or NordLynx. OpenVPN is a long-time favorite of ours, perfectly balancing speed and security. NordLynx is a new creation, made by NordVPN’s engineers, and it manages to be even faster at times.

    OpenVPN also lets you use obfuscated servers, which are extra-effective at getting around blocked sites (or state censorship, like in China).

    There are thousands of servers that grant you unlimited torrenting and P2P access, plus a small number labeled ‘Onion Over VPN’. These let you access the deep web without having to use a special browser.

    Great for streaming BBC iPlayer, Netflix & more

    If you watch a lot of TV on your laptop or at your desk, then NordVPN has you covered. You can massively expand your Netflix possibilities, with reliable access to nine libraries around the world.

    Our testing also found NordVPN to be the most dependable VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer. Not only do its UK servers work if you’re not actually located there, but it also works for UK users who want to leave their VPN on while watching.

    Lots of features to keep your Windows PC safe

    NordVPN gives Windows users access to its full suite of features. CyberSec is a helpful built-in ad and malicious site blocker. There’s two different kill switches: the standard one, which cuts out your internet if the VPN connection drops, and one which just disconnects certain apps – like your torrenting client.

    ‘Invisibility on LAN’ is a particularly interesting feature for Windows users. If you’re connected to a shared network, like at school, work, or in public, it makes your computer totally invisible to everyone else using it.

    There’s also an ‘Auto-connect on Wi-Fi’ feature that sees NordVPN connect itself to a server whenever you connect to a WiFi hotspot.

    This is all available for a price significantly lower than ExpressVPN on a long-term deal. If you’re feeling thrifty but don’t want to compromise on safety, NordVPN is a top choice.

  4. 4. IPVanish: Best for large households

    Super secure, with 40,000 IP addresses & a perfect logging policy

    IPVanish VPN
     96% 
    (175 user reviews)
    Visit IPVanish
    1. Impeccable no-logs policy
    2. All 1,400+ servers are privately-owned
    3. Perfect for safe & private torrenting
    4. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    1. US jurisdiction
    2. Poor for unblocking Netflix libraries

    IPVanish isn’t just an excellent VPN for your Windows computer, it’s an excellent choice for your entire home. With its unlimited number of simultaneous connections you can install it on every one of your household’s devices to get maximum protection without sacrificing speeds.

    Cheapest Price$2.62/mo for 12 months See all plans
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. linuxLinux
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. routerRouter
    Compatible Windows VersionsWindows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
    Data LeaksNo
    JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    IP Addresses40,000+
    TorrentingUnlimited
    US NetflixYes
    SupportLive Chat

    No logs kept on its 1,400+ privately-owned servers

    IPVanish is one of the most secure, private VPNs we’ve tested. Every one of its servers is privately owned and operated. That means no third parties with access to your data. There’s also no personal information logged whatsoever.

    You may have read that in 2016 IPVanish cooperated with the FBI, revealing user logs in the process. This was a serious black mark against the brand at the time, but IPVanish has since changed ownership multiple times.

    Its current ownership has dedicated itself to restoring standards and securing the anonymity of its users. In our opinion, it’s doing an excellent job.

    Super fast speeds with two safe VPN protocols

    Those secure servers don’t come at the compromise of speed, either. IPVanish has a reputation for being a speedy VPN, that we’ve found to be entirely warranted. Whether near or far, whatever server you connect to should barely affect your download speed.

    It gives you a broad selection of protocols on Windows, too. There are five in total:

    • OpenVPN
    • IKEv2
    • L2TP
    • SSTP
    • PPTP

    While the choice is nice, of those five we only recommend two: OpenVPN and IKEv2. They both strike the perfect balance of security and speed.

    Aside from a couple of essentials like the kill switch, there aren’t many other features to experiment with. Torrenting is permitted on all servers, so there’s no need for dedicated options. Combined with its airtight logging policy it’s actually one of the best VPNs for torrenting out there.

    There’s no streaming servers either – it’s probably IPVanish’s biggest weakness. It only unblocks two different Netflix libraries (US and Japan) and fails with other popular services like BBC iPlayer. This is not the VPN for you if you use your PC or laptop for streaming.

    No device limit so you can protect everything at once

    Ordinarily even the best value VPNs come with a simultaneous connection limit. This means only a certain number of devices can use the VPN connection at once. IPVanish is special in that it has no device limit.

    That means that you have it running on your Windows PC and laptop, your smartphone, and whatever other internet-connected devices you own. Not only that, but you can also share the account with everyone else in your family or household.

    While we’re primarily concerned with how IPVanish performs on Windows, it should also be highlighted how good it is for other platforms, too.

    Seeing as you get licence to use it on as many devices as you like, if you’re a Fire TV Stick user you’re in luck: IPVanish is our top recommendation for the streaming device.

    If you sign up to the best value offer, IPVanish is just $2.62 per month – a pretty terrific deal.

  5. 5. Surfshark: Best cheap VPN for Windows

    Surfshark presents unbeatable value at $2.49 per month

    Surfshark app
     84% 
    (91 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark
    1. The cheapest high-quality VPN on the market
    2. Simple, easy-to-use Windows app
    3. No simultaneous device limit
    4. Unblocks 15 Netflix libraries
    5. Fast Wireguard protocol connection speeds
    6. Strong logging policy
    1. Logging policy isn’t audited
    2. Edge extension is only a proxy

    Surfshark is a Windows VPN that does a lot of things right, but its price is unbeatable. For $2.49 per month on its two-year long plan you get a simple, fast VPN that can protect your PC, laptop, and more, all at once.

    Cheapest Price$2.49/mo over 24 months See all plans
    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. linuxLinux
    3. macosMacOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. iosiOS
    6. amazon_firetvFire TV
    7. androidtvAndroid TV
    8. appletvApple TV
    9. chromecastChromecast
    10. rokuRoku
    11. playstationPlayStation
    12. xboxXbox
    13. chromeChrome
    14. firefoxFirefox
    15. routerRouter
    Compatible Windows VersionsWindows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
    Data LeaksNo
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    IP Addresses3,200+
    TorrentingPermitted
    US NetflixYes
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    The cheapest option with no compromise on quality

    There’s no denying Surfshark’s most appealing feature: its price is simply unbeatable for a VPN of this quality. There’s no cost-cutting or limitations, either – it’s well worthy of its spot on this page.

    What’s more, just like IPVanish you can also use Surfshark on an unlimited number of devices, all at the same time. That means the home PC, your Windows laptop, as well as everything else under your roof needs just one Surfshark account to stay protected.

    Perfect for streaming and torrenting on your PC

    Of the VPNs on this page, Surfshark unblocks the second-highest number of international Netflix libraries (after ExpressVPN). We’ve managed to access 15 in our testing, plus other services like BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sky, and HBO Max.

    Another thing it has in common with ExpressVPN is unlimited torrenting. No bandwidth restrictions and no P2P servers: just connect to any Surfshark server and you can torrent freely.

    Beginner-friendly app & advanced features

    Surfshark is at its best when used on a Windows computer. Its design couldn’t be much simpler, meaning even complete VPN newbies will be able to use it without issue.

    While it keeps the basics simple, there’s still some advanced features for power users to take advantage of. MultiHop bounces your connection off an extra relay server for added anonymity. There’s also a pretty long list of static IP addresses if you want to cut down on CAPTCHAs around the web.

    If you’re eyeing up the Surfshark Edge extension, though, we advise you choose another. It’s only a proxy so, while it may succeed in unblocking websites, your ISP will still be able to see everything you do.

    Fast, secure servers located around the world

    Despite the low asking price, Surfshark is also fast enough to compete with its pricier rivals. Its Windows app gives you full access to its network of 3,200+ servers in 66 countries around the world.

    We’ve found all those servers to maintain excellent download speeds, while retaining no personal logs at all.

    While we’re still waiting for Surfshark to have its logging policy verified by an external audit, you can certainly trust it not to leak or log any of your browsing data. Its privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands jurisdiction is a great choice, too.

The Best Windows 10 VPNs Compared

How We Test the Best VPNs for Windows PC

The most popular desktop operating system in the world, it’s almost guaranteed that Windows will show off the best features of a VPN.

Testing a VPN for PC means exploring every feature in-depth to make sure that it’s fit to protect your desktop or laptop computer. We try every protocol, connect to every server, and toggle every feature to make sure the VPN is meeting its promises.

Here’s our step-by-step approach to testing a Windows VPN:

  1. What’s the logging policy? Does the VPN collect any information from your browser or desktop apps? Is your home IP address kept secret?

    Making sure you can trust your VPN is one of the most important factors when choosing. We perform in-depth research into the companies that run them to find out who’s processing your personal data.

  2. What protocols are used, and does it leak? Unlike some platforms where your choice is restricted, Windows is compatible with the full spectrum of VPN protocols.

    We make sure to test every VPN with every protocol available to find out which is the fastest and most secure. We check for IP, DNS, WebRTC, and HTML5 geolocation leaks to find out if you can really trust the VPN – we even use our own leak testing tool to do it.

  3. How fast is it? Speed is integral to everything you do with your VPN. Safety is important, but if it slows your home internet to a crawl then it’s useless.

    We have two ways of testing VPN speeds on Windows: manual testing and our automated speed test tool. When we test manually we do exactly what you would do at home. We connect the VPN to a variety of servers, visit speedtest.net, and see how big the drop off is.

    Our automated speed test tool, on the other hand, features a selection of the best and most popular VPNs on the market. We have servers located all over the world updating the speeds they record four times a day. You can compare multiple VPN services across multiple locations to find out how they might work for you in real life – try it out and see for yourself.

  4. What is its Windows application like? Your PC is responsible for handling everything you do online, from email and banking to streaming and gaming. It’s vital your VPN is easy to use and equipped with the latest features.

    A great PC VPN will have features like split-tunneling, obfuscation, a kill switch, and more. It should also unblock streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, keep you private while torrenting, and help bypass online censorship. We test for all of this and more.

Are Free Windows 10 VPNs Safe?

If you’re searching for a VPN for Windows 10 then you might be tempted to search the Microsoft Store to see what’s popular. The screenshot below shows what comes up when you do just that.

A screenshot of some of the most popular free VPNs available in the Windows StoreWith a few trustworthy exceptions, you should avoid almost all of those VPNs. We constantly talk about how few good free VPNs there are, and it’s the same for Windows as any other OS.
Some of those free VPNs will be harmless but a nightmare to use – slow speeds, lack of server choice, daily data caps, and things like that. But at worst, some of them will log everything you do online. They might not have a published logging policy at all, nor any transparent information on who runs them.

Instead, take a look at the best free VPNs here. In addition to ProtonVPN, there are a small number of other free VPNs that we think you’ll like. They’re all 100% safe, trustworthy, and performed well in our testing.

Free VPNs to Avoid On Windows

It’s not just no-name VPNs that can be unsafe. There’s a number of popular, well-known VPNs available for your Windows computer that you should stay away from. Here’s two of the biggest names that you should not trust:

Hola Free VPN


Hola regularly appears at the top of the app store, no matter what device you’re using. It’s been downloaded by millions of users around the world, but the fact is that you should never download Hola Free VPN.
Hola isn’t a proper VPN at all. Rather than providing its users with a network of secure, anonymous servers to connect to, Hola instead treats its users like servers. Whenever you connect to an IP address using Hola, you’re actually using the IP address of another user.

This goes both ways of course, meaning that thousands of Hola users could potentially be carrying out illegal online activity using your IP address. What’s more, Hola’s parent company can also sell any ‘spare’ bandwidth from your connection to anyone willing to pay for it.

Hola is not a real VPN, and it is not safe – avoid it at all costs.

Turbo VPN

Turbo VPN for Windows 10
One of the most downloaded apps on the Google Play Store, Turbo VPN is also available on Windows. You should not download it.

Our independent investigation into free VPN ownership revealed some troubling information about the ownership of Turbo VPN and its siblings. While it tries to remain suspiciously anonymous on its own website, Turbo VPN is actually linked to a family of massive corporations with no background in privacy and ties to mainland China.

You shouldn’t trust Turbo VPN with your personal data, as there are no guarantees as to what is being done with it. The free version of Turbo VPN also has intrusive advertising and invasive trackers. Use a proven free VPN instead.

How to Set Up a VPN on PC

Installing a VPN on Windows is quick and easy, even if you’re someone who’s bad with technology.

While there are a few ways you can approach it, we recommend simply downloading from the official website of the VPN service of your choice. In this example we’ll use NordVPN.

  1. If you haven’t already, the first step is to sign up for the VPN. Choose a payment plan that suits you – you’ll save more money by picking a longer subscription.
    The NordVPN subscription selection page
    Once you have an active subscription, click Login from the menu at the top of the homepage to access the member’s area.
  2. Click on the Downloads tab on the left-hand side of your screen. Here you’ll see all the different platforms NordVPN is available to download on. If you’re using your Windows computer to do all this, then the website will automatically recognise that.
    Just click the big button labeled Download the NordVPN app in the center of your screen.
    The NordVPN members download page
  3. Run NordVPNSetup.exe. By default it should suggest installing to what’s known as your ‘boot drive’ – the hard drive inside your computer which you have Windows installed on. This is usually the C: drive. Click Next until you are presented with the Install button, then click it.
    Windows 10 dialog box for installing NordVPN

Once it’s completed installing, click Finish to launch NordVPN for the first time.
End screen of the Windows 10 install wizard for NordVPN

That’s all there is to it. While these instructions are tailored for NordVPN, the process will be extremely similar for any of our highest-rated PC VPNs. Most VPN programs will keep themselves up-to-date as well, usually by asking you to download any available updates when you open the application.

There are other ways you can install a VPN on Windows, although they’re a lot more complex. If you’re curious, take a look at our comprehensive guide on how to set up a VPN on PC.

Does Windows 10 Have a Built-In VPN?

No, Windows 10 does not have a built-in VPN. That said, it does have the ability to use a VPN built-in.

There is a settings menu you can access which allows you to manually set up a VPN connection within Windows 10 without downloading any extra software. However, the catch is that you still need a subscription to a VPN service.

Click on the Windows search bar and type in ‘VPN settings‘, then click the result that appears under Best Match.

Searching for VPN settings within Windows 10

In the next window, click Add a VPN connection. From here you can then add a custom configuration from the VPN you are subscribed to.

The VPN settings screen within Windows 10

The end result of this is almost exactly the same as just using your VPN service’s downloadable client. There’s no real benefit to you to setting your VPN up this way, and it takes much longer – but the option is there if you want to try it.

Additional research by Liam Mullally

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio