What Is The Best VPN for
Windows 10 in 2018?
NordVPN is the best VPN to protect your internet connection while using Windows 10. The provider’s high-speed connections, good global server coverage and excellent customer support make it a great way for Windows users to protect their internet connection and hide their online activities.
Security-conscious Windows 10 road warriors will appreciate NordVPN’s ability to protect their internet connection when using open Wi-Fi hotspots.
About Windows 10
Windows 10 is the latest release of Microsoft’s venerable operating system and is a member of the Windows NT family of operating systems. The OS, which succeeded Windows 8.1, was first released on July 29, 2015.
"Within two to three years of Windows 10's release, there will be 1 billion devices running Windows 10," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's vice president of operating systems, said during an April 2015 Microsoft keynote. As of May 2017, the OS was installed on over 500 million devices.
Windows 10 is designed to offer either of two separate user interface modes, depending on the device used. Available are an interface optimized for mouse and keyboard, and a “tablet mode” used for touchscreen devices. Windows 10 can automatically toggle between the two modes, or users can manually switch modes, on 2-in-1 devices that offer both a laptop mode and a tablet mode.
Coming along for the ride is a new default web browser, Microsoft Edge. The new standards-compliant browser offers annotation tools and provides integration with other apps available in Windows.
Internet Explorer is not completely dead, though, as it has been included for compatibility purposes. However, the ancient browser is being depreciated, and updates to the app will no longer be forthcoming.
The operating system further integrates Microsoft’s Cortana, a virtual personal assistant, which debuted alongside Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014. Cortana replaces the usual Windows search feature and supports both text and voice input for searches.
The assistant is integrated with the Bing search engine for web searches and can also be used to search for files, launch apps, set reminders and much more.
Windows 10 also includes “Microsoft Family,” a system of parental controls that allows parents to set controls across all Windows platforms, controlling access to websites, Windows Store purchases and other services.
A new “Wi-Fi Sense” feature, which originated with Windows Phone 8.1, allows users to automatically connect to suggested open hotspots, as well as share their home network’s password with contacts, allowing them to connect to the network on a Windows 10 device without the need to manually enter a password.
A new “Xbox” app succeeds the Xbox SmartGlass app and provides deeper integration with the Xbox ecosystem. The app allows users to browse their game library, as well as view and save the last 30 seconds of their gameplay as a video clip that can be shared via Xbox One, OneDrive and other options.
Top 5 VPNs for Windows 10
Why Do You Need a VPN for Windows 10?
While the Windows 10 operating system is more secure than previous Windows versions, the operating system is still an attractive target for hackers and crooks looking to steal your valuable personal and business-related information.
Users of Windows laptops and mobile devices are particularly attractive targets due to the use of the devices on the road, connecting via unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, hotels and other public areas. Such users can be victims of man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing attempts and monitoring by hackers and government agencies.
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a Windows 10 user can protect their internet connection from prying eyes, keeping their personal and business information, credit card and banking info, and much more safe from misuse.
A VPN provides an encrypted tunnel that wraps your internet connection in a layer of protection. This keeps outside parties, such as hackers, the government and even your own Internet Service Provider (ISP) from monitoring your online activities. (Did you know that your ISP can sell information about your online travels to advertisers? Yup, it’s legal.)
A VPN can also provide a great way to access content such as streaming audio and video, gaming servers, websites and other services that might normally be blocked due to geographical licensing or government restrictions. A VPN allows this by making it appear that your internet connection actually originates from another city, state or even another country. This allows you to access the blocked content.
Choosing the Best VPN for Windows 10
If you’re a Windows 10 user who’s looking for a VPN provider to protect your internet connection, you’re faced with a mind-boggling number of options. While you could simply try every VPN provider one by one, by the time you make a decision, Windows 13 will be available.
Instead, this article is designed to make things easier for you. I’m going to share my top 5 choices for VPNs to use with your Windows device. This will allow you to make a decision from a much more manageable pool of candidates.
In this section, I will list the various features that any Windows user should consider when searching for a VPN service. I’ll list each category and explain why it’s an important consideration. I’ll then list the VPNs that I have previously reviewed and rank them according to their performance in that category.
Of all of the considerations potential VPN customers must keep in mind, the speed of their protected internet connections is certainly one of the top categories. A quality VPN provider will supply connection speeds at least within striking distance of the speeds provided by a user’s ISP.
In today’s 24-hour computing environment, speed is an important factor in any VPN buying decision, ensuring users have fast enough connection speeds to allow for work requirements, such as cloud storage, online apps, audio and video conferencing calls, and more. In addition, leisure activities, such as streaming music and video, and online gaming also require a fast, low-latency internet connection.
Below are the results of the speed test performed at Speedtest.net. The speed percentage is how fast the speed of the VPN connection compared to my unfettered, ISP-connected speeds.
Global Server Coverage
The next important category to consider when mulling over a VPN service for use with your Windows 10 computer is the provider’s global server coverage. Always look for a provider with a large number of servers placed strategically around the globe in as many countries as possible.
Global VPN server coverage is particularly important to users who need access to digital content, websites and other online services that might normally be blocked due to geographical or governmental restrictions. (It’s actually illegal to use VoIP services in some countries.)
The screenshot below shows an example of what comprehensive global server coverage looks like. The provider Hide My Ass! has a large number of VPN server farms spread widely around the globe, covering most of the free world.
Any VPN provider worth its money will provide protection for your identity and your online activities.
This doesn’t mean the way they encrypt your internet connection - although that’s important too. Instead, I’m referring to how well the provider protects your personal information.
Find out where a potential VPN service’s base of operations is. (Some countries are more privacy-friendly than others.) Find out if they keep activity logs, and if they do, find out what information they include in said logs. Also, investigate the types of methods the provider accepts in payment for a subscription. Look for privacy-enhancing subscription payment methods, such as Bitcoin or merchant gift cards.
If you’re connected to a VPN provider and your connection to their servers goes down, your internet connection could be laid open to the prying eyes of bad guys, such as hackers and other unsavory types. A “kill switch” can prevent that from happening.
Most VPNs offer an automatic kill switch that completely disconnects you from the internet if your connection to a VPN server fails. While you do lose your connection, your personal and business data, as well as your online activities, remain safe from the previously-mentioned bad guys.
As this is a binary, “yes/no” type of question, the providers in the table below are listed alphabetically.
Other Factors to Consider
While it would be great to be able to say that money's no object when shopping for a VPN provider, the sad truth is that a good many of us have family and business obligations that make saving a dollar whenever possible an important consideration.
While considering VPN subscription pricing, don’t automatically think the lowest price is the best deal. Make sure the provider you’re considering isn’t cutting corners in important categories like connection speed, global server coverage or customer support just to save a few bucks.
Keep in mind that many VPN providers run periodic deals on subscriptions. While these deals can significantly reduce the cost of a VPN subscription, you may have to commit to a provider for an extended period of time to reap the projected savings. Visit a provider’s website for their current pricing and offers.
Providers also usually offer a monthly subscription option, which can be attractive to those of us on a tight budget. However, it should be noted that the month-to-month option will almost always cost more over the long run.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
In a perfect online world, everything would always work as it should, and we’d never have to contact customer support. Sadly, it isn’t a perfect world out there, and you’ll likely need to occasionally contact your VPN provider’s customer support department.
Most VPN services provide multiple types of customer support. These usually include live support text chat, a trouble ticket submission form and a searchable support library. In the table below, I’ve ranked my top 10 VPN providers according to the types of support they offer, their response times and the accuracy of their replies.
Note: None of the VPN providers listed below offer phone support.