Top 3 VPNs
Windows might be the world’s most used operating system on desktop but it never made it to the list of the best mobile platforms. Never mind that Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile are fine and capable editions. The problem is Microsoft got stuck in a catch-22 situation. Being late entrants to the mobile market, Windows-powered mobile devices aren’t popular among consumers because there aren’t all too many apps developed for them. At the same time, developers don’t make apps for Windows Mobile because it’s not popular among consumers.
Today, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows Phone combined account for 0.61% of the mobile market share. As if that’s not bad enough, Microsoft shoots itself in the leg by ending support for Windows Phone push notifications. So unless Cupertino does something to turn the tide, we may see that share shrink to zero in the near future.
Nonetheless, 0.61% is still a whole lot of people who rely on Windows-powered mobile devices in their everyday lives. And when they want privacy and enhanced security for their Internet activities, they turn to VPNs.
The overall deficit of apps inevitably affects the availability of VPNs for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. Unfortunately, VPN providers are more likely to make a Linux app than invest in an app for the Microsoft’s unpopular mobile OS.
Not helping Windows Mobile users is the fact that most VPN providers now focus on the open-source OpenVPN protocol, striving to provide the best of security features. But the OpenVPN foundation never got to porting its uber-popular app to Windows Phone while third-party apps for OpenVPN protocol are scarce.
How to Choose a VPN for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile
With all the above in mind, how do you choose the best VPN for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile if the majority of VPN providers flat out ignore the declining OS?
The answer is simple – begin with compatibility. When you’ve picked the VPNs that support the platform, it is easier to zero in on providers that offer a feasible package. That’s how I compiled my list.
Among crucial VPN features, you may want to scrutinize the following criteria:
- Speed, performance, ease of use
- Customer service
- Windows Phone supported VPN protocols – L2TP, IKEv2
- Windows 10 Mobile supported VPN protocols – L2TP, IKEv2, and SSTP
If you want a deeper insight into these criteria, take a few minutes to read my VPN Frequently Asked Questions.
Without further ado, here are my top picks of VPNs for Windows Phone.
PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based company offering an impressive network of 750+ self-managed servers across 141 countries and 180 locations. It is also emphatically zero-logs while it supports just the right protocols you need for your Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile device – L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP, and IKEv2.
If you choose to run it on multiple devices – because you can have up to five simultaneous connections – you can enjoy its OpenVPN on your desktop, too. Notably, PureVPN supports BlackBerry, Roku, Xbox, PS, and whatnot – more than 20 operating systems.
Its speed and performance are superb while P2P is allowed. On the downside, unblocking Netflix US libraries may be a problem, but more importantly, PureVPN is transparent about its logging policies. The provider records the connection timestamps and the total bandwidth consumed. That’s it.
Its monthly plan is expensive at $10.95, but its two-year subscription is ridiculously cheap at $78. Considering the provider has been around since 2007, and your purchase is covered by a 7-day money-back guarantee, it’s a good deal. Better yet, you can buy a 3-day subscription for $2.5 to try it out.
2. Nord VPN
Nord VPN is a steady presence on numerous top VPN lists for many reasons. It bundles hundreds of servers across the world; it allows P2P; it enables gaming and video streaming. It’s great on the security front, too. Supporting SSTP, L2TP, and IKEv2 protocols, it is a hassle-free setup on Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile.
Nord VPN is a Panama-based provider with explicit zero-logs policy and strong encryption. It’s also loaded with advanced features, such as a kill switch, Tor over VPN, anti-DDoS, and double encryption. Of course, not all of the perks are available under protocols supported by Windows Phone, but since you can use it across platforms, you are sure to protect all your devices with this robust VPN.
Nord VPN kicks in at $11.95 a month, but its biannual plan is more affordable at $42 while its annual subscription is a bargain at $69. All plans come complete with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee and offer a 24/7 live chat support.
3. Liquid VPN
Liquid VPN is a US-based company offering some of the best technical specs and a decent 40+ server network covering 20 locations in 11 countries. You can run up to four simultaneous connections, depending on your subscription, and P2P is allowed. Other highlights include shared, dynamic, and modulating IP addresses you can switch while the speed and performance are top-notch.
Liquid VPN supports SSTP, PPTP, L2TP and IPSec and setting up its VPN on Windows-powered mobile devices is easy since the knowledge base is chock-full of guides.
On the privacy front, Liquid VPN is a US company, but it’s transparent about its logging policies - don’t do anything criminal while connected to its VPN.
The provider accepts a variety of payment options, including crypto, while its subscriptions provide a good deal of flexibility. Its monthly plans start at $7 and go down to $4.75/mo in yearly subscriptions, which are covered by a 7-day money-back guarantee. You can also count on a 24/7 support and unlimited bandwidth.
IPVanish supports L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and IKEv2 you need to set it up on Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile devices. OpenVPN is supported, too. It bundles a huge number of servers (850 servers across 60 countries), which are fast enough for online gaming and streaming HD video. P2P is allowed while the provider offers strong encryption.
IPVanish is a Phoenix-based company, but its strict no-log policy makes it a safe bet for most of your typical consumer VPN needs, with the exception of leaking state secrets.
24/7/365 support is top-notch while it is also on the affordable side priced at $10 in its monthly subscription and $77.99 in yearly. A 7-day money-back guarantee is reasonable and you can pay with Bitcoin.
Ivacy is a Singapore provider bundling a whopping load of 200 servers across 50 countries. Thanks to a wide range of supported protocols and strong security specs, you can use it on your Windows Phone. It has a kill switch and supports an impressive array of operating systems, including Linux, Smart TVs, Kodi, Roku, PS4, Xbox, and even BlackBerry.
P2P, streaming, and gaming is a breeze thanks to Ivacy’s speedy servers. You might also appreciate five simultaneous connections it allows, which makes it an excellent choice for families. The company maintains a stringent no-logs policy, too.
It’s also affordable at $6.57 in a monthly, $34.5 in a biannual and $48.96 in a two-year subscription. Their 7-day money-back guarantee is reasonably fair – don’t consume more than 7 GB if you intend to opt out. The company also supports Bitcoin and Paymentwall aside from the traditional credit cards and PayPal payments.
VyprVPN supports L2TP, which means you can take advantage of its many perks on your Windows Phone. The company owns and operates all of its equipment, which eliminates third parties mingling with your data. It also means the performance and speeds are superior with VyprVPN.
The provider doesn’t log usage but does store connection data, such as your source IP address. Even though the lack of a setup tutorial may hold you off, VyprVPN has a 24/7 live chat support and a generous 3-day free trial.
VyprVPN unblocks Netflix US and BBC iPlayer seamlessly, displaying a minor drop in speeds for encrypted connections.
The VPN is property of Golden Frog, a US company incorporated in Switzerland, which is good for your privacy, but you won’t be able to pay with Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN is understandably one of the top picks for Windows Phone users since it supports SSTP and L2TP protocols and offers some of the speediest servers on the market scattered across 87 countries. It also ranks high due to its robust security specs and a fair no-logs policy (they do log timestamps and bandwidth, though). The best part is ExpressVPN is chock-full of setup guides for all imaginable protocols and operating systems, so you will have no problems setting up its VPN on your Windows Phone.
ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support and a 30-day money-back guarantee on its subscriptions and accepts Bitcoin. Its monthly plan kicks in at $12.95, biannual at $59.95, and annual at $99.95.
The company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is not the ideal pick for a whistle-blower, but if you are a regular consumer you might find it a great option for gaming, streaming, and hiding your online activity from snooping ISPs.
It would be unfair to focus on the big players only since a slew of lesser-known providers support protocols compatible with Windows Phone while offering great privacy and performance. Below is my list of bonus picks you might want to check out:
- Perfect Privacy is a Switzerland company operating since 2008. Offering support for a variety of protocols, Perfect Privacy doesn’t limit your bandwidth, doesn’t log your activity, allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections while offering top-notch security and fast speeds.
- Hide.me is an excellent zero-logs VPN based in Malaysia, featuring 115+ servers across 23 countries, support for P2P while seamlessly unblocking all your streaming services.
- VPN4All is a well-established Dutch company incorporated in Seychelles, featuring SSTP, IPSec, PPTP and OpenVPN protocols, solid security, no logs, and 30-day money-back guarantee. P2P is allowed while Windows Phone has its own setup guide.
- Panda Pow is a Hong Kong company supporting a large number of platforms, and bundling servers in 15 countries with support for online gaming and streaming (but not P2P). PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, and OpenVPN are complemented by flawless performance, affordable rates, and great speeds.
- Keep Solid VPN is a U.S. provider supporting a laundry list of platforms, including Windows Mobile. If 1000 servers in 54 countries are not enough, Keep Solid has other advantages – you can pay with Bitcoin, play online, extend your subscription to up to 15 devices, and torrent.
- Proxy.sh is a Seychelles-based company operating more than 300 servers across 57 countries and offering up to 3 simultaneous connections, a $2-worth trial plan, and a long list of perks. The latter include DNS leak protection, SOCKS, Tor, zero logs, and support for Windows Mobile.
It might be tempting to go all-in with OpenVPN due to improved security it provides. But even though you can set it up on most of your devices, your Windows-powered mobile devices will be left behind.
You are well-advised against using PPTP protocol since it is highly insecure. Perhaps, video streaming is the only scenario when it would be viable to resort to PPTP.
For Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, it’s best to stick to L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 or SSTP protocols.
How to Set Up a VPN on Windows Phone
All Windows Phone devices come with built-in settings you can customize to set up a VPN connection without any additional downloads.
Setting up a VPN on Windows Phone is no rocket science. While most providers offer step-by-step guides, others only list server addresses. In the latter case, knowing your setup path will help you get your VPN running in a matter of minutes.
- In Windows Phone, go to the apps list → Settings → Network and Wireless → VPN
- Toggle the status to On → tap Add a VPN Connection → name the profile in the Connection Name box
- In IP address box/Server name, type the VPN server address provided by your VPN company
- Choose the type of your connection based on protocol supported by your VPN provider
- Enter your username and password → Save
- When you need to edit the settings, go to VPN Connection → Properties
- To connect your VPN, go to start menu → apps list → Settings → Network and Wireless → VPN Connection → Connect
Why Use a VPN on Windows Phone
A Virtual Private Network is hands down one of the simplest solutions to protect your Internet activities from snooping ISPs and opportunist hackers preying on easy targets on public Wi-Fi. Additionally, VPNs allow you to:
- Unblock popular streaming services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, iTV, and more
- Unblock US libraries on Steam, iTunes, Google Play and other popular gaming stores.
- Access discounts restricted to specific regions
- Bypass local censorship and get unrestricted access to information and services (Skype, social networks, YouTube)
- Bypass school or office restrictions
- Torrent and communicate safely
- Protect your location and identity
Hopefully, this roundup of VPNs for Windows Phone helps you make an informed buying decision and get a reliable and robust VPN to cover your mobile and desktop devices top to bottom.
We’ve yet to see a decent port of OpenVPN for Windows Mobile, unfortunately. Until then, consider VPNs that offer OpenVPN for your desktop computers and Android or iOS devices, and L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 or SSTP for Windows Phone.
If you have more VPN suggestions for the list, feel free to chime in and leave a comment.