Ever discovered the term VPN in the network settings of your smartphone? Almost 90% percent of the you might have heard of this term but due to incomplete knowledge of the same, your fingers have never dared to mess with this option. A fear of screwing up the connectivity always forces us to click on the back button. For this article, I tested over 10 vpns in order to hunt the Best VPN for Windows. For the skeptical and the ignorant ones, we are here to wash out any wrong notions you have with this term. Things are not the same as they appear. If VPN to you is an exclamation or an option to never mess with, then the following information for you. A VPN is as innocent as your pug and there is nothing to be scared of it.
For the ones who are still in doubt with regard to this term, there will be a detailed explanation on VPN after I reveal the Best VPN for Windows ;
Best VPN for Windows : Staff Pick
CyberGhost VPN : Overall BEST VPN
Listed as Staff pick for a handful of reasons. Cyberghost has a built-in feature which checks whether website is safe for browsing from its extensive database. They don’t store any logs offering maximum privacy. Other handsome features include Full internet encryption, Wifi Protection and 256 bit encryption. Read all other features.
Apart from this, $2.75\mo for 18 months is one of the best rates in the industry.
Other Runner Ups You Might Consider
Windows OS is ,no doubt, a lot more versatile than Mac. Due to security reasons, Mac does not give you a wide range of VPN services ( or any other software in that case). Also, Windows has the largest user-base in the whole world acquiring more than 80 percentage of the market. Therefore, every VPN provider tries to capture the major portion of market first by introducing the newest services to Windows first and then Mac.
But with so many options available in the market, it becomes a tedious task to choose the right one for you. You can thank us later, first have a look at our recommendations:
This is the fastest VPN available for Windows right now. When it comes to our top pick, the ExpessVPN takes the spot. Based in Britain, this VPN provider offers a mind boggling 148 VPN locations across 94 nations. For the ones who love P2P service, the ExpressVPN fulfills your demands as well.
The presence of the ability to control VPN from browser extensions and split tunneling add to its list of features.
Talking of security, ExpressVPN ensures data security by strong encoding and no gathering of user data. If one encounters any issues, 24/7 customer support is ready to resolve every query.
When it comes to price, the things start to get quite sketchy. For the best service and fastest speed, you need to pay a tad higher than the competition. There is no free trial plan or anything of that sort. However, a 30 day money-back guarantee tries to cover it up. The packages offered are:
- [$6.67 per month] – [$99.95 for 12 (+3 free) months]
- [$9.97 per month] -[$59.95 for 6 months]
- [$12.95 per month]
- 2000 servers
- 148 server locations
- 30,000+ IP addresses
- Supports a maximum 3 devices at a time
2. IPVanish: Best VPN for Torrenting
This VPN is best for the ones who are too much engaged in “torrenting”. The IPVanish VPN has been proved to increase your download speed by 20%.
When it comes to security, this VPN uses a 256 bit encryption technique and has a no log policy which ensures that the company does not spy on your private data.
Pricing of this service is again on the higher side. A 7 day money back guarantee is provided by the firm to compensate for the no free trial. The IPVanish has the following plans for the customers:
- [$4.87 per month] – [$58.49 annually]
- [$6.74 per month] – [ $20.24 for 3-months]
- [$7.50 per month]
- 1000+ servers
- 60+ server locations
- 40,000+ IP addresses
- Can support up to 10 devices simultaneously
- 20% better download speed
- Not so pocket friendly
- Client still needs to do some manual work
- No free trial
NordVPN is known for its best in class security. A unique “Double VPN” service is also available which makes your data to pass through two different VPN’s and thereby making the data even more secure. In addition to this, the user can add an extra layer of security by routing the encrypted traffic over Tor network.
With an easy to use client and a compact interface, the UI is self-explanatory and smooth for the most part ( except some minor lags in some regions).
With a 3 day free trial and a 30 day money back guarantee, this VPN service is more on the affordable side. Talking of the packages, we have:
- [ $11.95 per month]
- [$5.75 per month] – [$69.00 yearly]
- [$3.29 per month] – [$ 79.00 for 2 years]
- [$2.75 per month] – [$99.00 for 3 years]
- 4596 servers
- 62 server locations
- 6 simultaneous devices supported
- Comes with a free trial
- Double data encryption
- Monthly plan is quite expensive
- User Interface needs to be fixed
4. Hotspot Shield:
This VPN service gives manages to maintain the price to performance ratio.
The Client of this VPN provides all the necessary basics but lacks the additional settings. Apart from the server locations, the performance will surely surprise you. You may not notice a much difference in your upload and download speeds, but for the price you re paying, it is acceptable.
If we ignore the monthly plan, which is too much, other plans provided by the company are quite affordable. We recommend the two year plan which does not tend to empty your pockets. All the plans are listed:
- [$12.99 per month]
- [$8.99 per month] – [$53.94 for 6 months]
- [$5.99 per month] – [$71.88 annually]
- [$2.99 per month] – [$71.76 for 2 years]
- 2500+ servers
- 25 server locations
- 5 simultaneous devices
- Fast download speeds
- Number of servers are comparatively less
- Extra settings not available
TigerVPN is for the newbies. If you are an absolute beginner with the private networks, then this is the VPN you should consider. This VPN company is based in Slovakia and uses its own networks, DNS servers and infrastructure for the VPN service. Due to the self-dependency, Tiger manages to hunt its opponents by providing very good results and that too with consistency. This consistency may be a result of the globally available servers.
With the inclusion of a user friendly Windows client and lack of advanced settings, it proves to be the best for novice users. However, the company gives only two simultaneous connection access with its monthly plan. This might prove to be a deal breaker for multitaskers. Yearly plan tends to cover this consequence of the Tiger VPN.
A 7 day money back guarantee and absence of a free trial period might concern some of you, but we recommend you to have a look at the packages before finalizing anything.
- [$2.75 per month] – [$99 for 3 years]
- [$6.67 per month] – [$79.99 annually]
- [$11.99 per month]
- Best for new comers
- 300+ servers
- 62 server locations
- 2 to 5 devices supported simultaneously
- User friendly
- Monthly plan is not reasonable
- Provides basic functionality
- Number of servers are very less
This was all we had to tell you about the best VPN service providers in the market (for Windows). The listings are from newbies and all the way up to the professional ones. Read carefully, research a little more on each and then choose the one which serves your purpose the best.
VPN : Introduction
Ever wondered what the abbreviation stands for? A VPN is elongated as “Virtual Private Network”. Now that we are done with the expansion of the term, it is time to see what it really is.
Internet is nothing but a network of networks, and this network web includes both secure and insecure connections. A VPN is basically a technology that is used to create a safe and encrypted connection on the top of insecure ones. This technology was evolved in order to keep the corporate data safe from the intruders. In a VPN, the data transfer takes place secure tunnels which require certain authentication if anyone wishes to access them. Also, VPN helps to save your personal data by using certain form of encryption i.e., even if someone manages to access the VPN, the data is kept in encrypted form which is again a challenge to decode.
Different types of VPN
VPN’s are basically of two types.
1. Remote Access VPN:
- Allows connection to a private access with remote access enabled
- Connection is made using Internet
- Beneficial of domestic as well as commercial purposes
- Corporate employees use it to access the confidential data remotely
- Private/Home users make use of VPN in accessing blocked sites and bypassing the regional restrictions
2. Site-to-Site VPN:
- Also termed as Router-to-Router VPN
- Mostly used in corporate offices
- Used for establishing connections between the geographical branches of the same firm (known as Intranet Connection)
- Requires two routers for establishing the connection where one acts as a client and the other as a server. A two way validation process sets up the connection for use
VPN protocols are the technologies and services used for a fast and secure connection to the VPN servers. A VPN protocol combines the encryption standards and the protocols used for transmission.
VPN protocols are classified as the following:
1. Internet Protocol Security (IPSec):
- Helps to secure the communication across the network
- Secures the information by sessional authentication and encryption of data packets
- Operates in Transport and Tunnelling mode
- The transport mode is used to encrypt the message enclosed in the data packet whereas the tunnelling mode encrypts whole of the data packet
2. Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP):
- This tunnelling protocol is used in combination with some other protocol like the IPSec to enhance the security of the connection
- The L2TP creates a tunnel while the IPSec handles the data encryption, htereby making the connection even more secure from intruders
3. Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP):
- The PPTP ensures data security by creating a tunnel and encapsulating the data packet
- As the name suggests, it works on Point-to-Point Protocol
- It is used on a wide scale ever since the launch of Windows 95
4. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS):
- This combination makes the web browser to act as the client and the user can access only the specified applications
- The combo finds its main use in online shopping websites and ISP’s
- The web browsers come with pre enabled SSL and TLS due to which they are able to switch to SSL automatically without any manual intervention
- Due to this SSL integration, we can verify the security of a website. In case of an SSL connection, the URL starts with “https” which ensures that the website does not steal or share any personal data without our consent
- It is an open VPN that facilitates in creating Site-to-Site and Point-to-Point connections
- For security protocols, it uses a custom protocol built on the top of SSL and TSL protocol
6. Secure Shell (SSH):
- The SSH is used to create an encrypted VPN tunnel through which the data transfer happens
- A SSH client creates these connections and the data transfer takes place between a local port and a server which is remotely placed. This data transfer is kept safe by the encrypted tunnel
Reasons People Love VPNS
A VPN, as discussed earlier, is a way to hide your data from invaders. Also, it facilitates one by providing access to remote data without compromising on security. Every individual uses a VPN for different reasons. However, the users of a VPN can also be classified into categories, which are:
1. The scholar/ Employee:
- Laden with a bag on responsibilities, this class of people use the VPN service to access the data saved on their organisation’s network
- Usually a company or a school provide a VPN service to them and so they do not actually need to go around a shop for one
- When it comes to personal or confidential data though, the VPN can protect any unauthorised access when they are working on public networks
2. The downloader:
- “Torrent” is the first word that comes on to our mind when we think of downloading anything. This is because of the superfast speed with which the files get downloaded
- However, some legislations have been passed after the controversial movie leaks and this is where the VPN’s come into action
- Despite the strict laws, it is next to impossible to stop downloading files from torrent and you would not to be locked up just for downloading a pirated copy of any latest movie
- The VPN will hide your identity by keeping your IP encrypted and you can continue to be the king of Bollywood in your class
3. The Privacy Defenders:
- The world is filled with scoundrels who are ever ready to pounce on our private data
- Nothing but a VPN ensures maximum protection from such viruses
4. The Media Freak:
- People of this category love to stream online movies but are tired of certain restrictions because of which they cannot enjoy their favourite series on their couch
- Also, for this media hungry crowd, normal public connections can be slow at times which further spoil their mood
- VPN is the solution for the restricted content and speed limits
5. The Hybrid Ones:
- Chances are high that certain percentage of people are a mixture of one or more types discussed above
- For them too, the VPN service can be of a great help whether it is about hiding data, downloading latest games, accessing personal data from your place or watching your favourite TV series for that matter
Summing things up, the Virtual Private Network Service is for every person. It is not a bound service which is only accessible to certain ones. Even if you are a casual surfer or social media superstar, security and speed are your top concerns and VPN guarantees maximum protection of your personal data.
“Okay! Agreed with the points but how to I set my VPN?”…
Just follow the steps:
The VPN services are mostly provided by private companies or by third party vendors like OpenVPN client or Cisco AnyConnect. Not getting in detail regarding the VPN providers for now, let us jump directly onto the steps:
On Windows 10:
- On the Cortana search bar, type “VPN” and search.
- The first option there would be Change VPN. Alternatively, the Network and Settings option in the Settings app can take you there.
- Click on Add VPN present at the top of the window.
- Enter the details of your VPN connection in the screen. Click on the drop down menu under “VPN Provider”, and select “Windows(built-in)”. The VPN type will be set to “Automatic” and Type of sign-in info to “Username and Password”.
- Next, fill up the “Connection Name” and “Server name or address”. This may vary as per your VPN provider. You can contact the provider for more details.
- Scroll down and enter your Username and Password in the input boxes provided. The Username and Password will be given to you by your provider. Click on “Save” and close the application once the details are entered.
- Click on the “Wi-Fi” icon in you notification center and select you VPN. If your setup was correct, the connection should be established fairly quickly.
The process stated works perfectly for PPTP and L2TP VPN connections which are quite easy. For IKEv2 connections, you need to have root certificate (from your VPN provider) installed on your device.
- Go to “Network” under System Preferences in Apple Menu
- Click on the Add (+) button in the list that appears on the left. Click on the interface pop up menu and choose VPN.
- Now, Go to the VPN Type pop up menu and choose the kind of VPN you wish to set up. Name the VPN service and click “Create”.
- Enter the Account name and server address for the VPN
- In the Authentication Settings, enter the information which the network administrator provided you with.
- Click OK and then Connect.
These were the steps to set up your VPN service on either you Windows 10 or Mac OS PC. For using a VPN service, you need a VPN service provider, and this is why we are here.
How to choose the best VPN for you?
With Windows 10, Microsoft has really jumped a lot higher on the security scale. Even after a considerable changes in the system security algorithms, “total security” is something you can never achieve. With VPN’s however, you can be a little more confident regarding the security of your private data.
Nothing in the world is free. We are in a state today where we are charged for every basic necessity. Therefore, the next thing to be reviewed. Proper examination is must in order to make sure that the price is justified. Paying a higher sum may provide you with a richer experience whereas a smaller amount may give you an optimal solution at times.
Choosing the best depends solely on one’s usage pattern. For someone who loves to stream, better speed is required while for a corporate employee, security has an edge. Analyze your usage and then select the best one for yourself. This is the only way in which you can select the Virtual Private Network to make the most of it.
Pros and Cons of a VPN:
Over the decade, the hold of Internet has gripped us very firmly. With internet gaining so much of popularity, usage time of the same has increased a lot. This has led to a considerable increase in the online activities. Our online activities are being constantly monitored by our service providers or by the Government. Due to this, data security and privacy has become a matter of concern.
Recently, we all have heard the data leaked by Facebook. When such an organization cannot be trusted when it comes to our privacy, then it is not a smart decision to rely on our local internet providers. This is where the VPN’s find their use. Let us have a look at the pros and cons of VPN.
1. Data Encryption:
When data is transferred through A VPN network, the data is enclosed in a protected tunnel. The data moving in the tunnel is encrypted which enhances the security even more.
VPN’s provide freedom to media hungry people by enabling them to access the websites which are restricted in their region.
3. Hide Your Identity:
You can download any file you need with your identity hidden. The VPN hides your IP address and does not let anyone trace you. Hence, you can download torrent files without any worries.
If you are anyone that uses public Wi-Fi very often, then a VPN is must to protect your data from the other users connected on the same network. Any of them can be a data hacker. Your security is in your hands.
1. Speed, Cost and Performance:
When your data is encrypted, you need to compromise on speed and performance. There is always a trade-off between speed and security. Also, the cost of VPN at times is very high which makes it unaffordable to some.
The most significant feature of a VPN is its most important consequence i.e safety. Security loopholes are present in the affordable ones. For total online security, you need to pay a handsome amount which isn’t always possible.
There is a wide variety of VPN service providers and it is quite a challenge to choose the right and the reliable one. Many of the apps claiming to be VPN providers for your Android or iPhone are actually fake. One can easily be fooled as they seem to look legit but once you join their network, your private data might be at a great risk. They either share your data with others or blackmail you to send them a certain amount of money to keep your data from leaking.
Data is the most important aspect of any individual and one should never refrain to spend a few bucks on Ad Blockers, VPN services, proxies etc. These services help you to stay incognito while surfing the Internet. Also, never search for free alternatives. Free VPN’s available in the market are nothing but data stealers.
In a nutshell, because of increased traffic on the Internet, data breach is a thing of great concern in today’s world. VPN’s can help you save your privacy to an extent but relying totally on them is not a smart move especially considering the numerous number of fake VPN providers roaming in the market.