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Monday, July 10, 2017
Best VPN for Windows: Our 5 top choices
This VPN features a well-designed client that offers a wide array of both basic and advanced settings, with enough options to satisfy even expert tinkerers. The service is one of the best for torrenting and other P2P traffic, as well.
In our testing, we witnessed a significant increase in download speeds (close to 20%) which is fantastic, obviously. IPVanish has a firm no logs policy in place, and more than adequate protection with 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols.
The slight drawback is this is a little pricier than much of the competition, and there’s no free trial either. However, IPVanish does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee across all three of its pricing plans. The 1-year subscription clearly provides the best value. The packages available are:
[$4.87 a month] 1-year - $58.14 [$6.74 a month] 3-month - $20.24 [$7.50 a month] 1-month - $7.50
Most secure VPN
Number of servers: 1015 | Server locations: 59 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
Double data encryptionStrict no logs policyOnly one device on the same server with the same protocolFree trial is hidden away NordVPN is a mainstay on many ‘best of’ lists for several good reasons – although the one that matters most is its tight security. The service offers a certain number of ‘Double VPN’ servers which pass your data through two separate VPN servers, not just one, which makes things even more secure. You can also route its encrypted traffic over the Tor network, adding another layer of security, along with the existing KEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols.
The client is easy-to-use, featuring a compact interface that has all the essentials and then some. NordVPN is P2P-friendly and has a strict zero logs policy. The performance of the VPN is above-average, but there is a small fly in the ointment. Namely, you can't connect multiple devices to the same server with the same protocol, which restricts you to four devices per server.
There's a free 7-day trial (but it's tucked away in the FAQ), and NordVPN is rather affordable, offering three plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The best value option is the 2-year plan. The packages available are:
[$11.95 a month] 1-month [$7.00 a month] 6-months - $42.00 [$5.75 a month] 1-year - $69.00 [$3.29 a month] 2-years - $79.00
3. Hotspot Shield
Best balance of performance and price
Number of servers: 2000 | Server locations: 20 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
Perhaps the most questionable aspect of Hotspot Shield is its pricing. There are five plans, including a free plan which only allows you to use one US server (and is ad supported), and a special ‘Lifetime’ offer that's undeniably the best option in the long run. If you don’t fancy that much of a commitment, the 1-year plan offers the best value. The packages available are:
Free Plan [$12.99 a month] 1-month [$8.99 a month] 6-months - $53.95 [$5.99 a month] 1-year - $71.90 Lifetime - $139.99
Best VPN for novice users
Number of servers: 300+ | Server locations: 63 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 2-5
Great performanceFree 500MB/month planOverly basic clientMinimum of two connections This Slovakian-based provider runs its own network, DNS servers, and infrastructure. And this definitely shows as the performance levels were well above-average and fairly consistent when we tested TigerVPN. The global choice of available servers certainly helps the cause here.
The dedicated Windows client is very user-friendly, too. However, it only offers some basic options, with advanced settings being few and far between – but that’s not likely to bother novice users. Another issue with the service is that you only get two simultaneous connections with the monthly plan, which means those looking for a genuine multi-device experience need to subscribe to the yearly plan.
TigerVPN is P2P friendly and it even has a free plan, although a 500MB monthly limit means you can’t do much with it – although it at least allows you to give the service a bit of a try. There are three affordable price plans to choose from, and subscribing for a year gives you the best savings, plus you get up to five simultaneous connections (rather than two), along with bonus features like a password manager. The packages available are: