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What Windows 10 should I get? Should I buy Windows 10 Home, Pro or OEM? Where is the cheapest?

You are interested in Windows 10, and you want to know how to buy it at an affordable price. Can you get it for free? You can, but only if you buy a new PC or device with Windows preinstalled. What if you want to purchase Windows 10 for your existing computers? Where can you buy it and how much will it cost you? Also, which edition of Windows 10 should you purchase? The answers to these questions are not that obvious, and you need to do a bit of research to answer them. To make things simpler for you, we did some research for you. Here is where you can buy Windows 10 for a lower price:

Do not buy Windows 10 directly from Microsoft. You pay the most!

If you compare the prices for Windows 10 licenses in Microsoft Stores with those found in online retail shops, like Amazon or Newegg, you notice that Microsoft has the highest prices. We made a comparison for you, in the table below, dated July 25th, 2018.

You immediately see you can save ten dollars or more if you buy Windows 10 from other stores. Also, Microsoft does not sell OEM discs with Windows 10 licenses, which can save you even more money.

Where to buy Windows 10: the best offers online

We analyzed Amazon.com, Newegg, and Amazon UK, and we found the best offers for Windows 10 licenses. Browse the links below to take advantage of our research:

  • Windows 10 Home - Download: It is sold for $109.99 on Amazon and Newegg, and you get a genuine product key when purchasing it. In the UK, it is sold for £84.88 on Amazon.co.uk.
  • Windows 10 Home - USB Flash Drive: It is sold for $116.95 on Amazon and at $117.02 on Newegg. You buy a USB flash drive with the Windows 10 Home installation and the product key.
  • Windows 10 Home - System Builder OEM: OEM versions tend to have the most affordable price. For example, it is at $99.99 on Amazon and Newegg. While this version costs less than the other two, you get a copy that is intended for pre-installation on a new PC and cannot be transferred to another computer once installed. It is a good option if you plan to use Windows 10 Home on the same PC for many years to come.

If you are interested in Windows 10 Pro, here are the best offers we could find for you:

  • Windows 10 Pro - Download: it costs $189.99 on Amazon and Newegg. In the UK, it's sold for £151.29 on Amazon.co.uk.
  • Windows 10 Pro - USB Flash Drive: It is sold for $175,16 on Amazon and $199.99 on Newegg. You buy a USB flash drive with the Windows 10 Pro setup and the product key.
  • Windows 10 Pro - OEM: it's sold for $143.49 on Amazon and $142.99 on Newegg. In the UK, it's sold for £125.99 on Amazon.co.uk. While this version costs less than the other two, you get a copy that is intended for pre-installation on a new PC and cannot be transferred to another computer once installed. It is a good option only if you plan to use Windows 10 Pro on the same PC for many years to come.

What is the difference between a Download, a USB Flash Drive or a System Builder OEM license for Windows 10?

When you buy a download version, you get a product key for Windows 10. Then, you have to download an ISO image yourself and then use the key you purchased to install Windows 10 Home or Pro. Read this guide to learn how to download an ISO image with the Windows 10 setup: How to download Windows 10 and create your installation media.

When you buy an OEM version, you either get a product key or an installation disc with a product key for OEM systems. OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer, and it refers to companies that produce computers. An OEM license is meant to be used only on the PC where Windows 10 is installed. It is not transferable to another computer. The other types of license keys are transferable to another computer, as long as the old computer is no longer used after the license transfer. If you purchase the OEM version, and you also get an installation disk, here is a guide on how to install Windows 10 on your PC: How to install Windows 10 using a retail disc, an ISO image or a flash drive.

The USB Flash Drive version comes on a USB memory stick with the Windows 10 setup, and the activation key.

Which version of Windows 10 should you buy? 64 bit or 32 bit? Home or Pro?

First of all, we recommend that you go for the 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and not for the 32-bit versions. You get improved security and the ability to work with more RAM. Couple this with the fact that apps and games work better when using 64-bit and the choice is clear.

Should you buy Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro? If you are are a home user, then Windows 10 Home should be good enough for your needs. However, at times, you may find Windows 10 Pro at a similar price, due to special offers. If that is the case, do not hesitate to buy Windows 10 Pro. The extras included are the following: BitLocker encryption, Hyper-V for using virtual machines, Remote Desktop, the ability to join Active Directories, the ability to defer Windows 10 updates and more. For a more detailed comparison of the features included in Windows 10 Home vs. Windows 10 Pro, read this chart from Wikipedia. Windows 10 Pro is an excellent choice when you are a technical person who uses many of the additional features that are included.

Beware of offers that are too good to be true

When doing this research, we found many offers that were too good to be true. For example, we found a Windows 10 Pro license sold for Windows 10 Home prices. When you see such offers, resist the temptation to buy and do a bit of research. If you look through the comments left by other people, you see that those offers are bogus, and you get pirated product keys for your money, which cannot be activated.

Other licenses cost just a couple of dollars. In that case, if you do not read the fine print, you might learn that you just bought a recovery disc for Windows 10 Home, and not a disc with the Windows 10 Home installation and the activation key. You can create a recovery disc yourself, for free, if you follow this tutorial: What is a system repair disc and how to create one in Windows.

Conclusion

As you can see, you have many options for buying Windows 10. The prices vary depending on the offers that are active at the time that you are reading this article. Do not hesitate to start your search for the best offer using the links we provided. As a disclaimer, if you make purchases using the links we shared, we get a small commission from your purchase, to fund some of the work we do on Digital Citizen. We appreciate your support and do not hesitate to leave a comment if you have questions or issues.