Internet users all over the world are increasingly relying on virtual private networks (VPNs) to browse safely, anonymously, and to get around content restrictions in certain countries. All the leading VPN providers offer separate applications for the main operating systems, including Windows and Mac. If your computer runs on Windows 10, Windows 7, or any other Windows version, you’ll need to choose a VPN download for Windows to ensure your virtual network runs smoothly on your device.
Whether your device runs on Windows or any other operating system, there are a number of reasons to use a VPN. These include:
There are 2 ways to set up a VPN on Windows 10. For new users who prefer to connect in seconds and to not mess around with the security settings, the best way is to download the Windows app from your VPN provider’s website. For users who don’t mind spending an extra minute connecting manually and choosing their own security settings, just follow these steps:
Windows 7 users can also connect in seconds with their VPN provider’s Windows app. To set up manually, just follow these steps:
To test the speed of your Windows VPN connection, simply connect to a server and begin browsing. Most paid services offer a 7-day or 30-day money-back guarantee, to protect you if you’re not satisfied with the speed or with any other features.
Another thing to be aware of is WebRTC IP leaks. WebRTC is a free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities, but it can open you up to having your real IP address leaked. All the top VPN providers have tools in place to prevent this from happening. If you wish to check for yourself, most providers have a page on their website where you can conduct a leak test. Simply disconnect from your VPN and open the page in a new tab or window. Take note of any public IP addresses you see. Close the page. Connect to your VPN and re-open the page. If you still see any of the public IPs you saw earlier, you have suffered a privacy leak. You can also conduct this test using a free IP address check from the likes of whatismyipaddress or whatismyip.
Most VPN providers also offer instructions on how to turn off WebRTC and block out even the smallest risk of an IP leak.
Some VPN companies offer free or trial subscriptions, but remember that you get what you pay for. Free VPN services are usually slower, less reliable, and limited to a small amount of bandwidth that last just a few hours or days. If you’re away from home for a couple of days and just need a temporary fix for your Windows device, then you might find a free VPN a suitable option. But if you’re looking for a permanent solution, then we recommend paying a few dollars a month for a subscription from a secure and reliable VPN service.
Windows includes a built-in option to function as a VPN server using PPTP, the point-to-point tunnelling protocol. This is a useful option for people who wish to connect to their home network on the road, play video games on the same network as friends in other locations, or secure their browser while on a public connection. This option is best for advanced users, as it can open your computer up to potential security risks when not done properly.
To create your VPN server in Windows 10, just follow these steps:
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a VPN for Windows, it's up to you to select the right one for your needs. To read more about any of these companies or other top VPNs, read our in-depth reviews.