Best VPN Services for Laptops
Most of us freely use public internet hotspots and assume that what we’re doing is safe and secure. If you’re using a hotspot that’s un-secure, then you may be inviting potential hackers to access your private data and just think how dangerous this could be if they gained access to your accounts or could monitor your physical movements.
There have even been cases over the years where people have created fake ‘twin’ wireless hotspots which means when you’re accessing “free train wifi” you might be falling into a trap.
The good news is, you can safely use your laptop anywhere you’d like to, even with public wifi, with the help of a VPN.
For the fastest, and most secure, web surfing on your laptop, get ExpressVPN.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to access the internet by safely and directly routing your connection to a server operating from a different location, and hiding your private data.
Not only will a VPN encrypt all of your information online (which basically means that your private data will be hidden from unwanted hackers who are often looking to obtain passwords and bank details) but it will also make it easier for you to share files and downloads online, get around censorship rules, and access services such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer from different countries.
How We Tested
To create a fair VPN for laptop review we’re constantly testing new VPNs to see which is the best on the market. We took the top VPNs available, and rated them based on these imperative criteria:
- Advanced security features
- DNS leakage prevention
- Peer-to-peer torrent sharing
- Ability to access content from any country
- Kill switch which provides security if server malfunctions
- Excellent customer service
- Simple installation and operating system
- Fast connection
The VPN market is constantly changing. To make sure our best VPN for laptop reviews are up to date, we constantly test a selection of VPNs based on privacy standards, security and encryption protocols, ability to overcome geo-restrictions, and customer service.
Best VPN for Laptops
ExpressVPN came out top in our results because its extra security features were second-to-none and made the product well worth the price.
This VPN has servers in over 94 countries and provides a wide variety of browsing options giving you a super fast and ultra secure connection regardless to which geographical location you choose to access the internet through.
We were really impressed with ExpressVPN’s strict encryption protocols which prevent DNS leaking to keep your laptop or notebook extra secure.
Another feature that made this company stand out was their kill switch function should there be a service malfunction and VPN drop-out. Express VPN’s customer service is equally impressive with support offered 24/7 via live chat.
You can subscribe to ExpressVPN for $12.95 a month, opt for a 6 x month package for $59.95 or go for the 15 month package for just $99.95 which works out the best value-for-money. If you’re not ready to fully commit, you can take a 30-day trial – absolutely free.
With great customer service, good-value packages and super secure features we found ExpressVPN to be the best VPN for laptop users.
NordVPN is a fantastic alternative for internet users looking for absolute privacy. NordVPN does not keep any user activity logs which of course means that it can ensure maximum security for its customers. They actually increase their user privacy by “double hopping” – which is basically a neat method which runs your connection through several connections rather than just one.
One of the cons of this service is that this process can alter the connection speed, meaning invariably that it’s slower than competitors.
NordVPN has been designed with the consumer in-mind and its operating system is very user-friendly. This is a bonus for those less familiar with operating a VPN as it’s simple to install and operate.
There are a number of subscription options available including a monthly plan for just $11.95, six month plan for $54.00 or 12 month plan for $83.88. Like its competitors, NordVPN also provides a 30-day free trial, so users can see if this is the best option to suit their VPN needs.
If you want to use public wifi on your laptop safely, without having to worry about your identity being exposed, Cyberghost is a great option.
The VPN company offers more than 5,900 servers, operating from various locations all around the world. You can access content anywhere from your neighborhood cafe, without anyone knowing where you are.
Cyberghost has a strict no-logs policy, so they aren’t collecting your data to sell to advertisers or to give over to governments or authorities.
The company encrypts all of your data using a military-grade AES 256-BIT encryption which uses a 2048-BIT RSA Key.
Cyberghost’s 2-year subscription plan costs only $2.90 a month. A monthly subscription costs $10.99, 6-months costs $7.99, and a year subscription costs $4.99. Every plan you sign up for comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
We have included Surfshark as a VPN provider on our best VPN for Laptops list as it comes jam-packed with features that make it perfect to use on your portable computer.
Firstly, it is hard not to be wowed by the scale of its server network that boasts over 800 servers in over 50 countries. The result is a quick connection that can be almost guaranteed each and every time.
What is also fantastic about such a large and wide network is that it unblocks so many geographical restrictions that are imposed on content depending on a user’s location. It means that there will invariably be a server with an IP address that is useful to a subscriber in terms of what content they want to unblock.
We also loved the inclusion of a kill switch alongside the company’s strict no logs policy. Both these features, combined with some pretty strong encryption methods, make Surfshark very safe to use. The kill switch, in particular, helps to protect identities by cutting the internet connection if a VPN connection with Surfshark also drops out.
The product that Surfshark offers is also very good value for money, especially when you consider all the features that the price includes.
Surfshark is very competitive when it comes to pricing. Their lowest plan starts out at only $1.99 per month.
With hundreds of servers in more than 35 countries, ZenMate is an up and coming VPN service that is perfect for beginners due to its simple interface.
With jurisdiction in Germany, ZenMate has a strict logging policy which ensures that your identity cannot be traced from any of the data collected. There are excellent added features that are on offer like the ZenMate FireWall which blocks malware, trackers and any potential security threats. There is also an Ad Blocker which will protect you from malvertising.
ZenMate also comes with a free seven-day trial which you can use to find out whether ZenMate is the perfect VPN for your laptop. Compatible with all major platforms, you have security protocols like OpenVPN, L2TP, as well as an Identity Shield.
There are a number of plans you can choose from including a free plan. This comes with a 2MB bandwidth restriction and is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera extensions, with servers in four locations around the world.
You can sign up for the monthly service, and you will end up paying $9.99 per month. On the other hand, if you pay for a whole year, it will end up costing you around $4.49 per month, saving you 55%.
The two-year plan costs just $1.99 per month, which is one of the cheapest options in the VPN world, saving you up to 80%.
Securing your laptop with this VPN service means that you will enjoy some of the best security protocols available on the market at the moment. In addition to military-grade encryption, users can also rely on IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN and none of the ProtonVPN servers use the less secure PPTP or IPSec.
From the people that brought you the largest encrypted emailing service in the world, ProtonMail, this Swiss-based VPN service is big on both security and privacy, promising not to “log user activity or share data with third parties. Our anonymous VPN service enables Internet without surveillance.”
There is a freemium version available, with unrestricted bandwidth and three server locations to choose from, the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. Installation is simple, and there is compatibility for all major platforms.
In addition to the freemium version, there are paid plans which are billed annually. You can choose from the Basic plan at $4 per month for two simultaneous connections, the Plus plan at $8 per month for five simultaneous connections or the Visionary plan, costing $24 per month and affording you as many as 10 simultaneous connections. All of these are billed annually and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why use a VPN with your laptop?
There’s a good reason why people use their own VPN with laptops and that’s because using your own personal laptop or business laptop in public is seriously risky.
Using an unsecured public wifi network could mean that hackers in the area can snoop through your private data and could even result in data theft which could be absolutely disastrous.
Even with the rise of smartphones and tablets, laptops are still the popular choice for mobile computing and the risk of your private data being compromised is higher with laptops. It’s simply not worth it.
Using a Virtual Private Network or VPN for laptops is one of the simplest solutions for safe browsing but with so many available on the market it’s hard to know which is the best VPN for laptop use and also how to use a VPN with your laptop.
Can I Use A Free VPN?
While you technically can use a free VPN to access public wifi on your laptop, we don’t recommend doing it.
Firstly, free VPN providers offer very few servers to their users, which means everyone is using the same few. This causes very slow internet connections, downloading, and streaming. You can forget about watching video content, as it will be buffering most of the time.
Second, and most importantly, they are just not safe. Although the users do not pay for the VPN service, the company needs to make their money somehow. Often times, the free VPN provider ends up actually selling your internet data to the highest bidder (this could be an annoyingly harmless advertiser or a strict government authority looking to persecute you for your internet activities).
Also, free VPNs are known to drop out at random, exposing your identity in seconds.
The good news is that most VPN providers offer a free 30-day trial, which normally will require that you sign up with your credit card details. If you are only travelling for a short time, you can sign up for the free trial, and cancel your subscription before it charges you for the next month’s fee.
There are many reasons why laptop users would want to use a VPN but the question really is not can you afford to use a laptop VPN it should be…can you afford not to?! You can never actually know 100% if the free server that you’re using publicly is truly secure.
The only real way of ensuring that your public browsing is 100% safe is to use the right type of VPN for your needs.
We recommend ExpressVPNas the most useful and effective VPN for your laptop.