As people connect more and more of their tech to the internet - from their phones to their lightbulbs - security software has moved away from the PC and towards covering whole networks. Plenty of us still use a Windows PC for a lot of our browsing though, so if you're thinking of paying for a VPN it's worth picking one that you know works well with Windows.
It also helps that a lot of the tasks you'd want a VPN for - watching region-locked content or browsing the web anonymously - are things you're likely to do from your computer. They're also often the devices most capable of accessing the internet through a VPN without sacrificing performance, and usually a must if you want to play games through a VPN.
If you're simply looking for a VPN at a great price, visit our round-up of the best VPN deals available right now or our pick of the best VPNs for any platform if you want to find out more about how VPNs work.
Should I buy a VPN now or wait for Black Friday?
Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year, and in 2019 takes place on 29 November. We're already seeing some great consumer tech deals and expect them to continue right into January, with Black Friday deals followed by Cyber Monday deals, Christmas deals, Boxing day deals and then we've got the January sales.
That's both good and bad, of course, because how do you know that a product won't drop in price the very next week? The truth is you can never be entirely sure, but we're now close enough to the main event that many retailers have already begun their Black Friday sales. VPN providers are no different.
We've been busy hunting down the best VPN deals so that you don't have to. While prices may go down further for Black Friday, some discounts may also end sooner, so unless you're sure that a product will be discounted it's always best to take a deal at face value: if you think the product is worth that amount of money, go for it. Sometimes it doesn't pay to hold out for something that will never happen.
The prices listed below for each product in this feature are updated automatically, and include the latest early Black Friday deals and sales.
Nord currently sits at the top of our overall VPN chart, and is our first recommendation to anyone looking for a VPN on just about any platform.
Based in Panama, it sits outside of the 14-eyes territories - countries where VPNs can be legally obligated to share customer data with the government - so it's one of the best around for user privacy. It also has a full suite of features, all backed up a user-friendly interface that's among our favourites.
You can currently get NordVPN for just £2/$2.75 per month if you grab its three-year deal, which totals just $99, and makes it one of the cheapest VPNs around per month. Alternatively there's a two-year plan for £2.40/$3.29 per month, a one-year plan for £4.15/$5.75 per month, or if you want to commit to just one month it's £8.60/$11.95.
Read our NordVPN review.
If you want a Windows VPN that's as simple as possible to use, ExpressVPN is probably the best bet. This no-nonsense VPN is as easy as it gets: you can just open the application, click on the big button, and bam - you're protected.
Naturally there are more sophisticated features available too, including a built-in speed test to help you pick the fastest server for you out of the list: more than 1,700 spread across 94 countries.
If you pay monthly it'll cost you $12.95, but that drops down to $8.32 per month (around £6.70) if you're happy to commit to a full year, and we have a special offer that makes it even cheaper by netting you three free months. That's a little more than some rivals, but it's worthwhile for the massive server list and user-friendly design.
3. Goose VPN
Goose is another VPN that's designed squarely with the home user in mind, prioritising a clean, simple UI over cramming in features and options that would only serve to confuse most people.
It doesn't hurt that if you're only an occasional user, you can spend as little as £2.99/$4 a month on the 50GB plan, and there's a 30-day free trial if you want the chance to test it out first without committing to anything.
There are a few downsides - it's based in the Netherlands, one of the 14-eyes countries, and has a relatively short server list across just 27 countries - but if you want a simple VPN that doesn't cost the world, Goose is a great choice.
Find out more and sign up to Goose VPN here.
4. TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear is a VPN like no other, taking its name to heart and letting the bear theme run throughout the software, website, and even support system.
Installation includes steps such as “Unboxing the Bear”, “Brushing fur”, “Cleaning paws” and “Greasing the Tunnels”, with cute bear animations dotting the world map as you connect to different servers.
You don't get to choose which server you connect to - out of 22 countries - and since the company is based in Canada (one of the top tier 5-eyes states) TunnelBear won't be popular with serious privacy nuts. However, as a VPN it's quick and reliable, so it's perfect for anyone who just wants a way to watch US Netflix - especially thanks to the GhostBear feature, which masks the fact that you're using a VPN.
The best value option is the two year plan, at £3.33/$4.19 per month for unlimited data, but you can also pay monthly, or even use it for free if you can stay below 500MB per month.
PureVPN is a great all-rounder VPN that offers serious features to please the power users, along with a few simple modes that should keep regular browsers happy too.
The company is based outside the 14-eyes, which is great news for privacy, though is based in Hong Kong which may ring alarm bells for some. The company offers over 750 servers across 141 countries, which is pretty respectable, along with advanced features like a kill switch and split tunnelling to mask your VPN traffic among other, regular HTTPS traffic.
It's not all hardcore though - there are also simple dedicated modes for streaming, security, file sharing and more, which give you one-click access to the best settings for a given task - ideal for people with a little less technical know-how.
The monthly package will cost you £7.15/$9.95, but you can save 80 percent by committing to our special three-year offer, which works out at just £1.40/$1.95 per month.