It has been said that the world runs on Windows. For many years, it has been the dominant operating system globally. If they provide software, VPN providers will generally write their software for Windows users first. They also use the Windows version to test new features, because of the diversity with the audience. If you are shopping for a VPN, you want to find a provider that has an easy to use interface, offers great internet security, and has the ability to unblock content that you would not normally get to see. All 3 of those factors, plus a few more, went in to our list for the best VPNs for Windows.
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How do I Find the Right VPN for Windows?
Out of all the Windows users, there are many different levels of understanding. There are also some differences in quality between the various VPN providers. A big part of that, is the software and features offered by one provider over the other. Since all providers write for Windows, you have many choices to make. The first thing you must determine is what your goals for using a VPN service are. Are you going to need simultaneous connections? In that case, you would look in to IPVanish or ExpressVPN. Are you going to be traveling overseas to countries that have restrictive net policies? VyprVPN has a specific protocol called Chameleon that is specifically designed for that purpose.
What are the Benefits of Using a VPN on Windows?
There are a few different benefits you gain by using a VPN on your Windows machine. Let’s discuss the security aspect of the VPN first. The way a VPN works, is by creating a secure connection to a server that may be in a different country. Your data then flows though that connection, and becomes encrypted. Because of the world proliferation, the chance of getting compromised increases by a huge factor. Hackers usually write for products that will cause the most damage. All VPN services use encryption, and they offer it through the use of protocols. By encrypting your data, you are able to secure private and personal data from people that could do you harm. It could be the hacker across from you at Starbucks that is just waiting to intercept your credit card information, login information for your favorite websites, or even your ISP or government. Of course that does not make you invulnerable to specific government targeting. Usually, if they are willing to invest the resources, they can find out anyway.
Another benefit to using a VPN is the ability to get around geo-restricted blockades. Around the world, more and more content is available online. In order to block people from seeing the content outside the area, broadcasters use what is known as geo-blocking. In that same vein, if you are located in a country that restricts your access to sites, a VPN can be used in that case as well to gain access. Here are some examples to give you an idea.
Great Firewall of China – China has one of the most restrictive internet policies in the world. Their blocking is so infamous, that people use a play on words to resemble their famous wonder of the world. They actively block residents from viewing websites that are not government approved. Though they have relaxed some rules, you would not be able see a big portion of the net without a VPN. The Chinese government does work hard at trying to block VPNs during politically sensitive times. Some VPNs have proprietary protocols like VyprVPN’s Chameleon. It is specifically designed to navigate through the Chinese system.
Avoid geo-blocking restrictions – If you want to view content from different areas than you are located in, you will normally be blocked. That is because the software is designed to stop people from outside the area from viewing it. We will use one of our favorite examples to demonstrate, Netflix. Since Netflix has regions all over the world, every region has different rules and selections in their library. For many years, Australians used a VPN to watch Netflix when it was not available there. Once it became available in Australia, many still used their VPN service because the country with the largest number of titles to watch is the US. A statistic we heard was upwards of 200k Australians do that on a continuous basis.
Firewall at work or school – Many offices and schools have firewalls that work the same way as the great firewall does. If you are trying to get around those restrictions, a dependable VPN will assist you. Interestingly, HideMyass was started for that very thing. Their founder did not like getting told that he could not go certain places, so he found a way around that and shared it with his friends as well. Clearly, his desire to get around the rules was a good thing for him. HMA is one of the biggest VPN companies in the industry now, and the company is now part of AVG.
When choosing a VPN for Windows, you need to determine some goals. In the list below, we will give you some things to consider.
- First, does it support all the devices you need it to?
- Does it offer specific software for those devices?
- Can you use more than one connection at a time? You may want to use a VPN that offers more than one.
- Second, Does the VPN provider have a good reputation?
- What are their data collection policies?
- Do they tell you where and how your data is used?
- If you are planning on torrenting, do they allow P2P traffic?
- Where are they incorporated?
- Third, do they offer a large network of VPN servers?
- Where are they located?
- Do they have servers in the countries you may wish to use?
- If you are going to watch US content, you want servers on both coasts.
- Fourth, what sort of logging policy do they have?
- If at all possible, you want to look for a zero logs policy.
- If they do log, is their policy clear?
- Fifth, Does the VPN suit your needs?
- Do you get good speeds from your location?
- Can it help you scale your government firewall if that is necessary?
- Can you access and configure it from your location?
- Sixth, how easy is the VPN to actually use?
- Is the software easy to use for the average user?
- Do they have how-to guides?
- Seventh, is cost a factor?
- Does it support Bitcoin or other anonymous ways to pay for the service?
- What kind of guarantee do they offer?
In conclusion, it all depends on what you are planning on doing with your VPN. If your goal is privacy, all the providers we offer in this post will work well. None of the top three we mention keep logs. If you are using a VPN to unblock content, OverPlay may be a good option for you. OverPlay offers a SmartDNS with their plan, and that features what they call the Jetswitch. That allows for fast switching between different countries, for those that wish to investigate different regions. If you are just watching content, you may not need the layer of encryption. All the VPNs will unblock sites and protect your privacy, though. By using a Windows machine, you have great options.
No matter what your reasons, using a VPN is a good idea. With prying eyes everywhere, and the constant news stories about companies being compromised, protecting your privacy is important. Also, you could gain access to streaming services that are specific to one area, or view content from other libraries from different regions. A great thing is how easy it is to use a VPN now. Gone are the days when you had to have technical knowledge to operate one. The VPNs of today offer easy to use interfaces, and advanced features, especially for Windows machines. Whether is HMA’s DNS leak protection, VyprVPN’s Chameleon protocol, or OverPlay’s Jetswitch, there is a VPN service to meet your needs. All the providers offer a money back guarantee. That should give you enough opportunity to test any of the services you wish to. We encourage you to try any of them for Windows, you won’t be displeased.