The world is crammed with smartphones and tabs nowadays. They have outdone their predecessors, laptops and desktop PCs when accessing the internet with mobility. Nonetheless, people need a PC for tasks requiring more processing and direct input from users, such as business-related tasks. This is why we are going to focus on the best VPN for laptops in this post.
VPN services today are available for all kinds of devices, from smartphones to PCs. This is a testament to the growing importance and utility of VPNs in the modern world for bypassing restrictions and improving online security. We have tested dozens of VPNs on the market for their speed, security and compatibility and our top recommendation is ExpressVPN.
- 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
- 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
- Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
- 5 Multi Logins
- Zero-knowledge DNS
5 Best VPNs for Laptops [2021 In-Depth Analysis]
Before choosing a VPN for a laptop, you should first make sure that it is compatible with your system’s operating system (Windows, Linux/Ubuntu). There are various VPN providers in the industry, and compiling a list of only the top 5 requires considerable research and testing. The list below will make it easier for you to select the right VPN for your laptop:
1. The Best VPN for Laptops – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for all popular laptops you can get today. It is a super-fast VPN capable of delivering blazing fast speeds without compromising on security.
ExpressVPN works on Windows 10, 8, and 7. It is also compatible with macOS Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, Yosemite, and below. For Linux, ExpressVPN supports Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Raspberry Pi OS, Linux Mint, and Arch.
Needless to say, you should have no trouble using it on whatever OS you’re running or whichever laptop you own be it from Dell, HP, Acer, or even Apple. Its apps are optimized for all popular operating systems. We tested ExpressVPN on our Dell XPS 15 laptop and found it work effortlessly.
In addition to being compatible with macOS, Windows, or Linux, ExressVPN also supports, routers, Fire Stick, iOS, Android, and more.
If we talk about its fast speeds, ExpressVPN has over 94 super-fast servers all over the world. While testing ExpressVPN’s best servers, it gave off a consistent speed of 78.21 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Among all of its servers, its Chicago server offered the best speeds.
Not only that, ExpressVPN offers awesome security features like split tunneling, zero-knowledge DNS, zero logging, and plenty of other features.
Speaking of logs, since ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, it doesn’t have to abide by any mandatory data retention laws. Meaning, its jurisdiction of operation is safe for government surveillance.
As for pricing, ExpressVPN is slightly expensive than some other VPN options. Its cheapest plan starts from $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan), however, its performance unmatched. Also, on its annual plan, it comes with a 3-month free subscription for a limited time period making it even more enticing.
All of its subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re still not convinced, you can avail ExpressVPN free trial to test it before buying.
Check out all the features of this VPN in our full review of ExpressVPN.
2. Affordable VPN for Laptop – Surfshark
Surfshark is the most affordable VPN for laptops. And even with its price, the VPN offers easy-to-use apps and excellent functionality with all software for laptops.
This VPN offers a dedicated app for Windows, macOS, and Linux alike. It’s compatible with all the latest Windows versions including 7 and above. Similarly, using it on Mac and Linux is no big deal at all.
The VPN works great on all the popular laptop brands across the globe, including HP, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, and more. We personally tested Surfshark on an HP Elitebook, and the VPN worked flawlessly.
The best thing about this VPN is that it offers compatibility with multiple devices except for laptops. These include Android, iOS, Fire Stick, Roku, Kodi, and many routers.
While the VPN offers 3200+ servers in 95 countries, we tested many of its global servers to test out its speeds, and the VPN offered us an average speed of 76 Mbps on our 100 Mbps connection on its Toronto server, which was the best speed we could come across using this VPN.
Surfshark’s privacy features are unbeatable too. It offers a kill switch that actually disconnects you from your internet in case the VPN connection drops. It has a proven no-logging policy, ensuring that the VPN provider does not collect any user logs. Other features include AES 256-bit encryption, split tunneling, Whitelister, camouflage mode, CleanWeb, etc.
Surfshark offers unlimited connections on its single account, which might be super-useful if your want to connect multiple laptops or an entire corporate network with one account at budget-friendly prices. It comes at a price of $2.49/mo (Save 81% on 2 Years Plan) and comes with a 30-day refund policy on all its plans.
Check out all the features of this VPN in our full review of Surfshark.
3. The Fastest VPN for Laptop – NordVPN
NordVPN is the fastest VPN in the industry to use on laptops. If you’re looking for blazing-fast speeds on your laptop without ISP throttling or delays, then you need to subscribe to this VPN.
NordVPN is compatible with a variety of macOS’s versions, including Catalina, Mojave, Sierra, Yosemite, and below. It also offers a dedicated app for Windows 7, 8, and 10.
The server strength of NordVPN is quite large, with more than 5500 servers located in 59 countries. We conducted a NordVPN speed test on a variety of servers and it delivered fantastic speeds on every server we tested. The best speeds we came across were 79.57 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection that we got on its server in London.
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN provider that has set a high standard for the whole VPN industry. It offers excellent encryption and security through double VPN and OpenVPN features. The fact that it is based in Panama means that NordVPN leverages the company’s citizen-oriented privacy laws.
It also offers obfuscated servers that hide the fact that you’re using a VPN from your ISP. It further offers an effective kill switch that makes sure that your activity is not leaked to anyone by disconnecting you from your internet if your VPN connection becomes unstable.
NordVPN also connects to up to 6 devices at the same time. Essentially, this means that you can use 6 devices, including PCs and smartphones, etc., with a single NordVPN account. Thus, NordVPN offers great value for money and can be subscribed to at a price of $3.99/mo (Save 70% on 2 Years Plan + Extra Subscription) along with a 30-day refund policy. Learn more about this VPN service in our NordVPN review.
4. User-friendly VPN for Laptop – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN for laptops as it offers easy-to-use apps for all operating systems and devices on laptops. The VPN offers support to Windows 7 and above versions, Linux Ubuntu, Fedora, Raspberry Pi OS, etc, and macOS versions Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, and anything below.
We tested this VPN on a variety of laptops ranging from HP, Dell, Acer, and more to figure out if the VPN causes any functionality problems on any of the laptops. To tell you the truth, the VPN worked great on all the laptops.
CyberGhost is powered by more than 8900 servers distributed in more than 91 countries, which further made us curious to know what speeds does this VPN offer to users on its servers. We tested servers from countries like the US, UK, Canada, Italy, and even India, and the VPN offered above-average speeds on all. However, its server in Montreal offered the best speeds of 74.68 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
As for security, this VPN is equipped with impressive features such as split-tunnelling, automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection. These features enhance users’ privacy considerably, making it much more difficult for third parties to intrude on your data.
The VPN further offers 7 multi-logins and comes at a reasonable price of $2.29/mo and comes with a 45-day refund policy on all its plans, which is technically more than all other VPNs listed in this guide. Learn more about this VPN in our CyberGhost review.
5. Reliable VPN for Laptop – PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN is the most reliable VPN for laptops. This VPN comes with a variety of servers, offers decent speeds, unblocking capabilities, and security to users for laptops.
This VPN offers dedicated apps for Windows 10 and below, different versions of macOS including Mojave and High Sierra, and works with Linux Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi, and more. We connected this VPN to our HP laptop and it worked great. However, we did face slight connectivity issues on a few servers while using this VPN.
With its 200+ servers distributed in 63 countries, you can access any blocked content at decent speeds. We tested various servers of this VPN and most of them gave off similar speeds. However, its server in Miami offered the best speeds of 70 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection among the lot.
PrivateVPN uses AES-256 encryption that is the strongest mechanism currently available in the VPN market. It also offers other security features that include an effective kill switch, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, no logs, and more.
PrivateVPN offers dedicated servers for torrenting. As a result, it is quite a popular choice among users who regularly need to download torrents.
PrivateVPN allows subscription to up to 5 devices at the same. Moreover, it has excellent compatibility with a wide variety of devices and operating systems. You can subscribe to this VPN at a cost of $2.00/mo . It also offers a risk-free 30-day refund policy if you want to test out the service.
Learn more about this VPN in our PrivateVPN review.
How to Choose a VPN For Your Laptop
The essential purpose of any VPN for laptops is to protect you, your device, and your data from potential cyber threats. Whenever you have to choose a VPN for your laptop, ensure that the following features are included in the VPN:
- Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption
- Strict and clear no-logging policy
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Complete and secure P2P and torrenting support
- Extensive and geographically diverse server network
- Strong and stable high-speed connections
Some other complementary features include a choice of security protocols, built-in malware protection, internet kill switch, and split tunneling.
Laptop Associated Risks for Data Privacy
Laptops are prone to security risks and threats that can lead to compromise of data privacy of users. Since laptops are portable, they can be moved from place to place and connected to publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots. These Wi-Fi access points are often unsecured and unencrypted, leading to the potential exposure of user traffic transferred through them.
To ensure that you are routing your data through a safe server, it is important to use a VPN. We highly recommend ExpressVPN for this. It would also be best to use up-to-date anti-malware software to guard against viruses that might steal important information.
Can I Use a Free VPN for Laptop?
Although a free VPN can grant you some level of protection and allow you to mask your actual location and IP address, it will severely limit your bandwidth, restrict your server choices, or regulate your speeds.
While you may be safe to some extent over the internet, you’ll be wasting valuable time as your VPN will continue to buffer while you try to reach your desired destination. The online task that generally requires high-speed connection such as streaming, torrenting, and gaming is better off with one of the best VPNs for laptop, rather than sweating away with a free VPN, as they will surely limit your speed and bandwidth significantly.
Some free VPNs are indeed better than others. At the same time, some of them are seriously lacking in security measures and should not be relied on to keep your data private. Many free VPN providers are caught selling their user’s personal data and internet activity logs to the highest bidders.
Benefits of Laptop VPN (In a Nutshell)
Here are a few key benefits of using a VPN on laptop:
- Improves the security of your laptop.
- Protects you from cybercriminals.
- Guards you against online surveillance.
- Enhances your privacy.
- Unblocks all the geo-restricted websites.
- Bypasses restrictions on online streaming channels.
- Strong encryption & diverse protocols support.
Why Do You Need a laptop VPN?
Laptops, due to their mobile nature, are more vulnerable to hack attacks. Some of them may be fully equipped with anti-viruses, but the increasing cybercrimes have made it compulsory to remain safe even when you are “online.” A laptop VPN gives you the best security and tunnels your solidly encrypted traffic so that it cannot be comprehended.
A laptop VPN also goes past the boundaries of censorship and brings you the blocked websites and channels on your screens. If you find yourself unable to access Netflix or other websites in your region, a VPN for a laptop can be your gateway to all restricted content from around the world.
With a VPN, you can also keep your online activities private. Since a VPN digitally changes your apparent location, agencies or ISP will not determine where you are physically located. In addition, a premium VPN like ExpressVPN does not keep any logs of your activity, allowing you to maintain privacy and anonymity.
(1) Fear of Hacking – Privacy
Who doesn’t like to connect his laptop to public Wi-Fi? Nobody, because it gives you instant internet access and, more importantly, does that for free. But that also makes you and your laptop extremely vulnerable to hack attacks by cybercriminals.
The hackers have waged war against the general internet users. It is nothing less than a cardinal sin to connect to the internet without adequate protection and privacy tools. The hackers steal all kinds of information that may include the victim’s name, address, social security number, credit card number, etc. Getting a VPN for a laptop highly reduces the chances of being attacked by a cybercriminal.
(2) Online Surveillance Agencies
The invasion of privacy by cyber-criminals is understandable to some extent. But, when it is done by online surveillance agencies like NSA and GCHQ, it really makes you question the integrity of the government institutions.
Sadly, we live in a world where others are more interested in your online activities. Whatever the reasons NSA and GCHQ may cite, online surveillance is highly unethical and totally unjustified. Nothing is creepier than the thought of being spied on. But, all of us are subjected to such online surveillance.
Installing a VPN on a laptop can actually help you hide away from the spying eyes of online surveillance agencies while you are connected to the internet!
(3) Bypass the Geo-restrictions
Do you happen to live in a region where popular TV shows or online streaming services are blocked? If you do, you might consider using a VPN for a laptop. It will give you access to all the popular TV shows and streaming services straight away, and you will be able to catch up with your favourite TV shows even if you are on vacation or on a business trip.
Installing a VPN on the laptop will help you connect to the IP address where your desired website or streaming service is available. You can also use VPN services on your laptop where access to popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Tumblr is blocked.
(4) Laptop VPN – Multi-logins
When you are considering buying a laptop VPN, make sure to check the server count and the amount of multi-logins a VPN provides. More servers will give you comparatively more access to the blocked websites, while multi-logins will allow you to set up your VPN on other devices as well.
If you own a laptop, chances are you will have a smartphone, a tab, a gaming console, and a PC. The more multi-logins the VPNs for laptops provide, the secured your devices are against the likes of cyber-criminals and online surveillance agencies.
FAQs – Best VPN for Laptop
Is VPN safe for a laptop?
Yes, a VPN is completely safe for a laptop. In fact, it has become a necessity in today’s global age. With Windows 10 being adopted more and more, its basic antivirus and security features aren’t really enough to keep you safe these days, with cybercrime on the rise. However, it’s always better that you get a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN for your laptop.
Which is the best VPN for Windows 10?
ExpressVPN is undoubtedly the best VPN for Windows 10 right now. Its military-grade encryption, strict zero-log policy, 3,000+ widespread high-speed servers, unparalleled unblocking capabilities, a various advanced feature for extra security and privacy, and a 30-day money-back guarantee makes it our #1 recommended and ideal choice for your laptop.
Do laptops have built-in VPNs?
Yes, Windows 10 does come with a built-in VPN for users. But it doesn’t mean that you necessarily use it. To make the most of your VPN service, it’s always better to have a separate VPN service installed on your device. We highly recommend ExpressVPN for this.
Using a VPN for laptops keeps your device safe and secure and ensures your online identity is safe. It can also help you hide away from online surveillance agencies, and it also gives you access to all the blocked websites.
However, you’d require the best VPN for laptops for this. Among all the VPNs we listed above, ExpressVPN is our top recommendation due to its extensive server network, speeds, unblocking capabilities, dedicated laptop apps, and much more.
The best thing about this VPN is the 3-month free subscription on its annual plan that comes at a significant discount of 49%. With such an amazing deal and top-notch features, what more would one want from a VPN service?
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have got anything to add, feel free to post a comment in the section below.