The Best VPN for Laptop
In the past decade, tablet and smartphone usage have increased exponentially. But even with their increased use, laptops remain a popular mobile alternative to the bulky desktop PCs. And honestly, with the slimmer and sleek designs hitting the market every few months, this is expected. However, while they have the edge over desktop PCs, they have a downside – their privacy and security risks are even greater.
Laptops’ portability nature makes them perfect for working on the road. Unfortunately connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots in airports, hotels and restaurants put you at the mercy of hackers looking to gain access to your data. Let’s not even get into how bad things would get if they gained access to your bank accounts or managed to monitor your movements.
And just in case you think these are exaggerations, read up on the stories of men and women who have lost their fortunes to ruthless hackers – the internet is full of them. Using a VPN in your laptop helps you to protect your data via encryption and also makes it easier for you to share and download files online safely.
As you expect, VPNs vary in features, performance, and functionality. We have taken the liberty to highlight some of the best VPN for Laptops to simplify your selection process. These include:
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN for my laptop. The British Virgin Island-based VPN company really knows how to stand out from the sea of competition. It has an impressive server coverage comprising of 148 VPN locations spread out in 94 countries. Since 2009, the company has steadily increased its servers to more than 2,000.
ExpressVPN sports an intuitive UI loaded with numerous features including multiple VPN protocols, server recommendations, and kill switch technology. Its particularly perfect for laptops given the VPN features like split tunneling can be controlled from browser extensions.
On the security front, ExpressVPN offers strong encryption technology including AES-256 and does not log your online activity. With regards to price, though it is slightly expensive than most VPNs, it does offer great value. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a free plan. Nonetheless, you can take advantage of the 30-day money back guarantee that comes with all plans.
- Fast speed.
- Simple and intuitive app.
- Zero logging policy.
- Only supports 3 devices simultaneously.
- No free plan.
- Advanced configuration is limited for advanced users.
This laptop VPN sends a strong message to its competitors with its state-of-the-art features. The company was founded in 2012 by 4 childhood friends and has since grown into a beast in the VPN industry courtesy of its formidable security. The service provides its users with some ‘Double VPN’ servers designed to pass data through 2 VPN servers for an extra layer of security.
Additionally, data is encrypted and passed over a secure Tor network in addition to the L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN, and Kev2/IPsec protocols. With these protocols, your data is secure on all PC platforms including Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
With NordVPN’s compact and easy to use UI, you can access the 4,869 servers in 62 different locations. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN also has a zero log policy. As for pricing, the VPN has a 3-day trial, and its 4 plans are relatively affordable.
- Double data encryption.
- Above average performance.
- Wide and strong server connection.
- Price plans are slightly expensive.
- No free plan.
- The UI has some issues that need fixing.
WindScribe is a Canadian -based VPN provider dedicated to providing users with value for their money. It has 600 servers spread out in 52 countries. It features both premium and free plans. Many users trying out the service opt for the free plan. With its free plan, you get a whopping 2GB which you ramp up to 10 GB month when you register. Also, note that with the free plan you are limited to servers in just 11 countries.
The service has client software for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Additionally, it includes browser extensions for Opera, Firefox and Chrome. As for protection, Windscribe has IPsec/IKEv2 as its default protocol though there is the option for OpenVPN. Unlike most VPN for laptops, Windscribe offers a firewall.
- 10 GB monthly data allowance.
- Offers a free plan.
- Includes a firewall.
- Has impressive performance.
- Its UI is cramped.
- Average speeds.
This is a German and Romanian based VPN. It boasts of over 1,000 servers spread out in 30 countries, and its features are designed with the end user in mind. Now not many VPNs allow torrenting. As such, if you download torrents frequently, Cyberghost is your go-to VPN. Though it comes with a free plan, it is limited to 1 device use at a time, runs at 20% of commercial speeds and has lots of ads. But on the upside, it doesn’t limit data transfer. And also, users don’t have to register to use the free plan.
Some impressive features offered include ‘WiFi protection’ which allows you to define how you will treat different networks and tunneling which has the added functionality of creating IP and host exceptions. With the tunneling feature, email servers are automatically detected and added to the list of ‘protected’ traffic.
- Torrent friendly.
- Good free plan.
- Speeds are above average.
- Zero-logging policy.
- The UI has some irritating faults.
- May conflict with other software programs.
- Limited to 1 device use at a time.
Hide.me is based in Malaysia and owned by eVentures Ltd. The VPN service has 150 servers in 34 countries. Though this is not the largest network we’ve seen, Hide.me makes up for it with fast speeds. Hide.me has both the paid and free plans. The paid plans are Premium and Plus which set you back $9.99 and $4.99 per month respectively. With the free plan, you have access to several server locations from one device at a time. The data is limited to 2GB a month, and the speeds are labeled ‘best effort.’ With the free versions, you will still be safe on the public networks courtesy of the PPTP, L2TP, IPSEC, and SSTP protocols.
It’s also refreshing to note that Hide.me supports torrenting on some of its servers. Additionally, the VPN for laptop doesn’t record your browsing data or connection logs as these could compromise your privacy and security.
- Torrent friendly.
- Free plan.
- Simple UI design.
- Comparatively fewer servers.
- Some protocols are limited to top-tier plans.
- The design is unintuitive.
What makes the best VPN for laptops?
Sure, all VPNs will provide you with some level of privacy and anonymity. But as we pointed out earlier, not all VPNs are perfect for use on PCs. When choosing a VPN for your laptop, there are several factors you need to put emphasis on. These are:
- App quality – this is pretty self-explanatory. The setup of the client needs to be intuitive and easy. After all, who has the time to read through software manuals only to install software?
- DNS leak protection – most laptops, especially those running Windows 10 are vulnerable to this leakage. For this reason, it’s imperative you get a VPN with this feature. A DNS leak will nullify privacy protection as it will send web page requests to ISPs instead of sending it to private DNS servers through VPN.
- Speed and performance – though VPNs reduce internet speed and performance, you do not have one that will take you ages to open your email. Anything that is 70% of the normal speeds is fine.
- Supports torrenting – if you are a sucker for torrenting, you need to protect yourself at all times. Ensure the VPN has servers dedicated to this service.
With the privacy and security benefits, you stand to gain; you cannot afford to use your laptop without a VPN – this much is clear. And with so many options to choose from the above laptop best VPN list helps to narrow things down for you. Considering the above list, you should first try out the first two – ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Though they lack free versions and are comparatively expensive, they do offer value. With the above VPN for laptops, you will enjoy ad blocking, torrenting, multiple device use and P2P traffic.
Thank you for going through our guide. Feel free to go through the site for more great insights on everything pertaining VPNs.