We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

5 Best Free VPNs for Europe for Security & Streaming (2024)

Andjela Nikolic Updated on 17th June 2024 Fact-checked by Eric Raue Cybersecurity Researcher

Most “free VPNs” will cost you by limiting your speed and data. Some have even been caught downloading malware to users’ devices and recording their browsing activity. However, there are a few free options I can recommend.

After my team and I tested 43 free VPNs, I shortlisted the most secure and reliable free VPNs for Europe. They all have military-grade encryption and user-friendly apps for desktop and mobile devices. However, the best free VPNs still have restrictions like fewer servers and device connections.

My top pick for Europe is ExpressVPN. It’s not 100% free, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free and get a full refund if you change your mind. Thanks to ExpressVPN's fast global server network, it's possible to access European streaming services, like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, from anywhere and watch content in HD. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPNs for Europe in 2024

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Fastest speeds to stream in and outside Europe uninterrupted. Plus, it's easy to use.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • Proton VPN
    Proton
    No limits on data to browse and game as much as you want without getting capped.
  • Avira Phantom VPN
    Avira Phantom VPN
    Many servers on mobile apps to access European and international websites.
  • hide.me VPN
    hide.me
    Works with many popular European streaming platforms to securely watch from anywhere.
  • Hotspot Shield
    Hotspot Shield
    Proprietary protocol balances speed with security for optimum performance in Europe.
Editor's note: The VPNs listed follow strict no-logging policies, meaning none of your data gets collected or shared. It's up to you to use a VPN responsibly and ensure that it complies with all relevant rules and regulations. The vpnMentor team and I are firmly against breaking copyright laws.

Best Free VPNs for Europe — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Fastest Speeds for Streaming in Europe Without Buffering

Best Feature Proprietary Lightway protocol uses less code to move your data faster
Data Allowance Unlimited
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Max, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, DAZN, and more
Free Option 30-day money-back guarantee
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol offers a fast, secure connection to Europe servers. I could torrent on all servers I tested, and my speeds were always high regardless of their distance. Most free VPNs are too slow for downloading, gaming, or streaming, but ExpressVPN slowed down my speed by only 2% on nearby servers during my tests. It’s also great for gaming — my ping went from 30ms to 35ms, which was unnoticeable during DoTA matches on European servers.

Streaming Type your preferred European country into the search bar to find a server

With over 3,000 servers in 105 countries, it's possible to securely access popular European streaming services from anywhere. This is also because ExpressVPN refreshes its IP addresses regularly, so it can bypass geoblocks without errors.

Military-grade (AES 256-bit) encryption keeps your online identity and activities private and safe. Its no-logs policy has been verified by multiple audits, so it's serious about keeping your data private. ExpressVPN's kill switch also blocks your internet traffic if your connection to the VPN server drops, preventing any accidental data exposure. It passed all my leak tests on multiple servers.

The only downside is that the VPN doesn't have a free plan. However, thanks to ExpressVPN's money-back guarantee, you have 30 days to try it. I tested this refund policy and found it trustworthy. After talking to its customer support via 24/7 live chat, my subscription was canceled, and my refund was processed. The money was back in my account in 2 days.

Useful Features

  • Simultaneous connections. You can use up to 8 devices under a single subscription to connect to servers in and outside Europe.
  • MediaStreamer. This allows safe access to US and UK streaming content from anywhere, even on devices that don't support VPNs (like gaming consoles).
  • Split tunneling. You can route some traffic through the VPN while other apps access the internet directly, reducing the impact on your speed since only some of your traffic gets encrypted.
  • Advanced Protection. This blocks malware and malicious sites from harming your devices, and stops ads and trackers at the DNS level. It also has parental controls.
ExpressVPN Offer June 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. Proton VPN — 100% Free VPN With No Data Caps For Unlimited Browsing in Europe

Best Feature Unrestricted free monthly usage to browse and game without limits
Data Allowance Unlimited
Works With Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and more
Free Option Forever free plan

Proton VPN has a free plan with no data limits, so you can stream and game safely without worrying about being cut off. I didn’t have to constantly check my data usage while testing Proton VPN, which can be very annoying with other free VPNs.

Your traffic in Europe is secured with top encryption protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard. I used the default, which lets Proton VPN choose automatically based on my connection. DNS leak protection is also always on, so you don’t need to adjust anything. Plus, its perfect forward secrecy regularly changes your encryption keys to stay ahead of hackers.

Screenshot of a WebRTC & IP address leak test while connected to a free Proton VPN serverMy real IP address was successfully masked

The free version covers only 3 EU countries — the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania. However, it also has servers in Japan and the US. While its network of free servers doesn't support torrenting, servers are fast enough fast enough for uninterrupted browsing. When I clicked the Quick Connect button, Proton VPN automatically connected me to the fastest available server.

The VPN is easy to use across all major devices. I installed it in less than 2 minutes on my Windows laptop. You can also try Proton VPN's premium features with its 7-day free trial.

Useful Features

  • Kill switch. Automatically disconnects you from the internet if the VPN connection drops, preventing data leaks. You can turn it on by clicking on the light switch icon.
  • Hardware Acceleration. This reduces the CPU load and speeds up data processing, leading to faster performance. It also extended the battery life on my Android phone.
  • Alternative Routing. Proton VPN dynamically routes your traffic through alternative paths to bypass geo-restrictions and maintain connectivity.

3. Avira Phantom VPN — Extensive Network of Free European Servers on Mobile Apps

Best Feature Covers multiple EU countries for reliable access to local content
Data Allowance 500MB per month (an extra 500MB if you provide your email)
Works With YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and more
Free Option Forever free plan

Avira Phantom VPN offers over 45 server locations on its mobile apps, including many European countries like France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. On desktop, I could only use the Nearest Location feature, so I recommend using Android or iOS. You can also protect all your devices simultaneously.

When I tested Avira’s nearest server from the UK, my speeds dropped by 42%. This is much slower than ExpressVPN and Proton, but it was still fast enough for browsing. The VPN uses strong encryption, but there’s no kill switch. It stayed connected reliably during my tests, but a sudden disconnection could theoretically expose some of your personal information.

Screenshot of Avira Phantom VPN's Windows free app versionThe apps for Android and iPhone are sleek and easy to use

The free version limits you to 500MB of data per month, which can only last you around half an hour if you're streaming. Luckily, the data limit can be increased to 1GB with email registration. I could use Avira’s free plan for around 20 hours before I reached the monthly allowance.

Many free VPNs block P2P networks, but Avira Phantom VPN’s free version allows you to download and upload torrents in Europe. The free trial on mobile apps allows you to test the premium version for 7 days.

Useful Features

  • Smart Scan. As part of Avira’s free included antivirus, this looks for network vulnerabilities and privacy issues and changes settings as needed.
  • Malware protection. Blocks harmful software and phishing attempts to protect your devices from cyber threats in European countries.

4. hide.me — Servers in Europe Can Securely Access Local Streaming Services

Best Feature Easily get around geo-restrictions by connecting to a server
Data Allowance Unlimited
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and more
Free Option Forever free plan

Unlike most free VPNs, hide.me can stream European Netflix libraries in HD from anywhere. It offers a good selection of free servers in European countries like Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK. Despite some initial buffering, during tests, hide.me worked with RTL+ and BBC iPlayer.

Streaming The video quality was surprisingly good considering the speed limits

The apps are user-friendly, and protocols have short explanations next to them, so you can pick the best one even if you’re new to VPNs. Although hide.me has a decent no-logs policy, it does collect some anonymized data like assigned IP addresses and traffic data. This seemed a bit worrying, but I found out this is only for performance monitoring and can’t be used to identify you.

The free plan only allows one connection. However, you can set hide.me up on a router to protect all the devices on your network. Detailed installation guides are available on its website.

Useful Features

  • 24/7 live chat. Offers around-the-clock support even for the free version, useful for dealing with time zone differences when you need prompt assistance.
  • Split tunneling. Allows selective routing of your internet traffic, optimizing both speed and security.

5. Hotspot Shield — Fast and Secure Browsing in Europe With Proprietary Hydra Protocol

Best Feature Hydra even works on restricted networks, like school and work
Data Allowance Unlimited
Works With YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and more
Free Option Forever free plan & a 7-day free trial of premium

Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Hydra VPN tunnel uses multiple channels for data transmission, giving you a faster connection than with most other security protocols. Additionally, Hydra's design makes your VPN traffic appear as regular web traffic, allowing it to bypass VPN blocks and deep packet inspection.

The free plan includes almost the same security features as its paid plans. In addition to Hydra, you can choose other popular security protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard. I tested Hotspot Shield’s kill switch by simulating a network disconnection and it worked, successfully blocking my internet to prevent leaks.

Screenshot of Hotspot Shield's free Windows appEnable the kill switch and IP leak protection to prevent leaks

You can connect to servers in Singapore, the UK, and the US for free. Unfortunately, if you try watching popular streaming services like Netflix with the VPN, you’ll be asked to upgrade. However, you can use the free trial to test the premium version for up to 7 days.

Useful Features

  • Auto-connect. Instantly uses the last server you connected to on app launch, saving you some time when you need urgent protection for Europe.
  • Speed test. Built-in tool to measure your connection performance so you can find the fastest European servers.

Quick Comparison Table: Free Europe VPN Features

All my recommended free VPNs are safe for use in Europe, but their compatibility with various online activities varies. The table below compares each free VPN.

Speeds Data Limits Device connections Server locations Sign up required? Torrenting allowed?
🥇ExpressVPN Very fast Unlimited 8 3,000 servers in 105 countries Yes Yes
🥈Proton VPN Fast Unlimited 1 6 locations Yes No
🥉Avira Phantom VPN Average 1GB Unlimited 1 (desktop locations), 49 (mobile locations) Yes Yes
hide.me Average Unlimited 1 8 locations No Yes
Hotspot Shield Fast Unlimited 1 5 locations No Yes

Tips on Choosing the Best Free VPN for Europe

Free VPN features vary widely, so selecting the right one depends on your needs. Here are the essential qualifications I used to rank the top free VPN choices for Europe:

  • Servers in Europe. A VPN with servers in the EU can securely access European content from anywhere. Check the VPN's server list on its website or within its app to see if it has European server locations.
  • Fast speeds. Fast connections are essential for streaming and browsing without interruption. Look for user reviews and speed test results to evaluate the VPN's performance.
  • Generous data limits. A higher data allowance is necessary if you plan on streaming, gaming, or torrenting. Only a few free VPNs offer unlimited data.
  • Robust security features. To keep your data secure, look for a VPN with at least AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNs leak protection.
  • Top privacy. Look for a clear no-logs policy on the VPN's website, to make sure your browsing history and other sensitive data isn't stored.
  • Helpful customer support. While you can reach the best premium VPNs via 24/7 live chat, not many free VPNs offer this option. Also check for other support options like email, contact forms, or comprehensive FAQ sections on the VPN’s website.
  • Entirely risk-free. You need assurance that your chosen free VPN won't unexpectedly charge you. Make sure to read user and expert reviews to avoid untrustworthy providers.

Use Free VPNs for Europe With Caution

Free VPNs aren't always safe for Europe because instead of protecting you, they compromise your privacy and security. Here are key reasons why you should be cautious:

  • They may collect and sell your data. Many free VPNs sustain their services by selling your browsing data to advertisers, compromising your privacy. Anonytun is one example.
  • Free VPNs can leak your info. Some free VPNs, like Cross VPN, have been found to leak users' IP addresses and other sensitive data, exposing you to potential threats.
  • Some free VPNs contain viruses and malware. These VPNs can install harmful software on your device, leading to data breaches and security risks.
  • Some free VPNs come from shady sources. The product development teams for VPNs like Turbo VPN, Hot VPN, and Snap VPN are based in China, which is a huge privacy concern.

While there are free VPNs that provide a safer and more secure online experience compared to the unsafe options listed above, each one has a flaw. My recommendation is to get a premium VPN with a money-back guarantee, like ExpressVPN. This way you risk neither your budget nor your online safety.

FAQs on Free VPNs For Europe

Can I use a free VPN to connect to a Europe server?

Yes, many free VPN services offer server locations within Europe. For example, Proton VPN provides access to servers in several European countries. However, be aware that free VPNs often come with limitations such as reduced speed, bandwidth caps, and fewer server options compared to premium services.

Are free VPNs legal in Europe?

Yes, free VPNs are generally legal in Europe. There are no specific laws in most European nations that prohibit using VPNs for legitimate purposes. A high-quality VPN conceals your online data, so no one can see what you do online. That’s why it’s your responsibility to use VPNs responsibly. Engaging in illegal activities with a VPN, such as piracy or hacking, remains unlawful. Always adhere to local laws and terms of service of the VPN and content providers.

Can a free VPN access US Netflix in Europe?

Most free VPNs don't work with Netflix because they can't get past the platform's VPN-detecting technology. A premium VPN with worldwide servers makes it possible to securely access Netflix US from anywhere.

What is the best VPN for traveling to Europe?

ExpressVPN is recommended as the best VPN for traveling to Europe. In addition to servers in most EU countries, ExpressVPN provides fast connections, military-grade encryption, advanced security features, and the ability to access popular streaming services without causing slowdowns.

If you’re looking for a free option for location spoofing, Proton VPN is also a solid choice due to its unlimited data allowance and strong security measures. However, it is limited to a single connection and fewer server locations, which might not be sufficient for all travelers’ needs.

Are free VPNs safe?

Free VPNs can be safe if they offer robust security features and follow a strict no-logs policy. ProtonVPN, for instance, provides AES-256 encryption and a strict privacy policy. However, some free VPNs have been found to compromise your identity by collecting and selling your data or lacking essential security features. Always choose reputable providers to protect your privacy.

Get the Best Free VPN for Europe

Most free VPNs for Europe lack the security and speed for safe torrenting, streaming, and gaming. I've found a few that work, but they have limitations, such as data caps, fewer server locations, and slower speeds, which can hinder your online experience.

ExpressVPN is the best option for Europe. Despite not being free, it provides military-grade encryption, exceptional speeds, and reliable access to European content, making it worth the investment. Its 30-day money-back guarantee also allows you to try it risk-free.

Can’t find a suitable free VPN? Here are the best premium alternatives…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 83%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 72%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 86%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Andjela is a technology and cybersecurity writer for vpnMentor, dedicated to helping readers protect their privacy online with detailed VPN reviews, testing all features, and providing the facts.

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