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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.
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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 Hotstar: HD Access Anywhere in 2024

Sheharyar Zaheer Updated on 16th July 2024 Fact-checked by Christine Johansen Cybersecurity Researcher

Most free VPNs don’t have what it takes to work with Hotstar. Even premium services struggle to get past the platform’s advanced VPN blocks. In addition, free services usually have very slow speeds and bandwidth restrictions which is not exactly ideal for streaming. Plus, it can be tricky to find a free VPN with servers in any of the Hotstar-streaming countries in the first place.

However, my team and I tested 30+ free VPNs and shortlisted those that can access Hotstar in HD from anywhere. That being said, every free VPN has its drawbacks, like reliability issues, data caps, and limited server options.

From the VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN is my top choice for Hotstar. Admittedly, it’s not entirely free, but it doesn’t limit you like the free options and offers a money-back guarantee so that you can test it completely risk-free. It has unlimited data, unbeatable speeds, and reliable servers that can securely access every Hotstar region, including India. If it’s not for you, you have 30 days to claim a full refund. Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

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

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Fast Indian IP servers for HD access to Hotstar anywhere. Try it risk-free for 30 days.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • Avira Phantom VPN
    Avira Phantom VPN
    100% free with unlimited device connections. Only 1GB of monthly data, though.
  • hide.me VPN
    hide.me
    Customizable settings for better performance, but only works with Hotstar’s UK library.
  • Hotspot Shield
    Hotspot Shield
    Free VPN for Hotstar with unlimited data, but it displays annoying ads.
  • TunnelBear VPN
    TunnelBear
    A user-friendly VPN with a large server network but not the most reliable with Hotstar.
Editor’s note: The VPNs we list have no-log policies, meaning they don’t track and monitor what you do online. It’s your responsibility how you choose to use a VPN. The team and I don’t condone copyright infringement.

Best Free VPNs for Hotstar — Full Analysis (2024 Update)

1. ExpressVPN — Most Reliable Hotstar VPN With Fast Speeds for HD Streaming

Best Feature Fastest VPN we tested; perfect for HD and 4K streaming from anywhere
Server Network Servers in all Hotstar locations, including 2 virtual Indian locations
Data Limit and Speeds No data and speed limits, making it ideal for binge-watching sessions
Free Trial 30-day money-back guarantee
Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds of all the VPNs I tested with Hotstar, making it a solid choice for buffer-free streaming. In addition, it offers servers in all Hotstar regions, including virtual Indian servers. I tested these virtual servers from my location in India and got an average download speed of 121Mbps, which was only 7% slower than my base connection of 130Mbps. This wasn’t even noticeable during streaming.

Image showing the streaming interface of Disney+ HotstarI used ExpressVPN’s India via Singapore connection to watch Taaza Khabar in Mumbai

These fast speeds are thanks to ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol. This protocol is designed to provide stable connections and keep speed loss to a minimum. Plus, it’s lightweight and consumes less battery, so it’s suitable for binge-watching Hotstar on portable devices like laptops and mobiles while traveling.

It’s super reliable for watching Disney+ Hotstar in HD from any location, too. Unlike free VPNs that often require trial and error with different servers and security protocols, ExpressVPN’s virtual servers could easily access Hotstar’s India library every time I tried during my tests from India.

The only problem with ExpressVPN is that it’s not 100% free. That said, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. To put this guarantee to the test, I contacted support via 24/7 live chat and asked for a refund. The agent approved my request right away — no questions asked. I saw the money back in my account after 3 days.

Useful Features

  • Works with other streaming services. ExpressVPN’s India via UK server can also easily access Voot, Zee5, and SonyLIV in HD from anywhere. While testing it from India, I had no problems streaming India’s libraries for Netflix, Prime Video, and more.
  • Easy to use. ExpressVPN has a simple and sleek interface. To watch Hotstar India, it’s easy to connect to one of its virtual Indian servers by clicking the power button. It’s also possible to add a shortcut that launches Hotstar directly from the VPN app.
  • Strong security. In addition to all robust security features like strong encryption, leak protection, and ad-blocker, ExpressVPN uses virtual Indian servers. This is to safeguard the online privacy of its users by removing its physical servers that would otherwise fall under the country’s data retention law for VPNs.
ExpressVPN Offer July 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. Avira Phantom VPN — Unlimited Connections to Stream Hotstar Without Interruptions

Best Feature 5 simultaneous device connections to cover all your gadgets
Server Network 37 free locations on mobile, including Hotstar regions — Singapore, Canada, and the UK, but only 1 free location on desktop
Data Limit and Speeds Decent — 27% speed loss on the nearest server and 500MB per month (1GB if you sign up)
Free Trial Free plan

Avira Phantom VPN offers unlimited device connections to watch Hotstar on any device without disrupting other online activities. Most free VPNs only allow one device connection at a time, so I found this particularly impressive. My UK teammate experienced no slowdowns while testing Avira Phantom VPN, even with 7 devices connected and streaming Hotstar UK.

Image showing the streaming interface of Hotstar UK on Android mobileMy UK colleague reported no buffering with Avira

Avira can securely access most Hotstar libraries from anywhere, but not the Indian one since it has no servers there. It removed servers from within the country when India introduced the requirement that VPNs store user data. Still, it doesn’t even offer any virtual Indian servers, unlike ExpressVPN. However, our global team confirmed that Avira worked with Hostar Singapore, UK, and Canada.

You can only stream for a couple of hours with the 1GB limit, and the desktop app doesn’t allow you to select servers. It only connects you to your closest location. However, the mobile app offers 37 server locations, including all Hotstar locations except India.

Useful Features

  • No signup required. You don’t need to sign up using an email to start using the service. Simply download the VPN app and start streaming. Just bear in mind that you’ll only get 500MBs per month if you don’t use your email.
  • Auto-connect. Avira Phantom VPN lets you connect automatically when it detects a WiFi network, which is useful for safe Hotstar streaming on public networks.

3. hide.me — Unlimited Data for Streaming Hotstar Without Interruptions

Best Feature Unlimited data for uninterrupted streaming of your favorite Hotstar content
Server Network 8 free server locations, including the UK, for safe access to Hotstar UK from anywhere
Data Limit and Speeds Unlimited data and average speeds, but customization options can help
Free Trial Free plan

hide.me offers unlimited data for endless streaming. Keep in mind that once you reach 10GB of used data, you can't manually select your server. However, if the automatic connection is in a Hotstar location, you’re all set for limitless HD streaming. As per our tests, its UK server can access the Hotstar UK website, but is not reliable for streaming.

Image showing the streaming of Saas, Bahu aur Flamingo on Hotstar UKHowever, my UK colleague experienced some buffering throughout the stream

Its adjustable features can help give you a speed boost. For instance, you can choose between 5 VPN protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, and SoftEtherVPN. In my tests with hide.me, I got fast speeds while using IKEv2, but test results can vary. SoftEtherVPN is also useful — it disguises VPN traffic as normal traffic to safely access Hotstar on restrictive networks such as airports and other public hotspots.

Like Avira, hide.me doesn’t offer servers in India. These servers aren’t even available on the paid plan. This means it can’t access Hotstar India, which has the largest content library. However, it does work well for watching Hotstar UK in decent quality from anywhere.

Useful Features

  • Kill switch. hide.me also offers a kill switch to safeguard your online data in case your connection drops unexpectedly. Very few free VPNs offer this feature.
  • No ads. Its free version won’t bombard you with ads, so you can stream Hotstar in HD, free from interruptions.

4. Hotspot Shield — Hydra Protocol for Fast Speeds While Streaming Hotstar

Best Feature Proprietary Hydra protocol for better streaming speeds and stability from any location
Server Network 5 free server locations, including servers in the UK and Singapore, to watch Hotstar
Data Limit and Speeds Fast speeds and unlimited data for streaming Hotstar without any interruptions
Free Trial Basic (free) plan

Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Hydra Protocol delivers fast speeds, even on long-distance connections. For instance, when my colleague speed-tested the Singapore server from the UK, they only lost 37% of their baseline connection, even though this is thousands of miles from them. That’s impressive for a 100% free VPN.

It also offers unlimited data, which is great for long binge-watching sessions. Hotspot Shield’s basic plan offers servers in the US, the UK, and Singapore. However, it only works reliably with Hotstar Singapore.

Sadly, the free version doesn’t offer any servers in India, but the paid one does offer a virtual Indian server location. So, if you want to safely stream Disney+ Hotstar India, you will need to upgrade to the premium version. In addition, the free version is supported by ads, unlike hide.me so you may see an ad or two while using Hotspot Shield.

Useful Features

  • Automatic WiFi protection. Hotspot Shield offers an Auto-protect feature that instantly secures your connection on unsecured networks like public WiFi.
  • Leak protection. It has leak protection to protect your real location and online data from threats like trackers and hackers.

5. TunnelBear — A Simple and Easy App to Connect and Stream Hotstar

Best Feature A very easy-to-use app that’s ideal for beginners
Server Network 47 free locations, including an Indian server
Data Limit and Speeds Fast speeds nearby (23% drop on nearby servers) and 2GB per month data limit
Free Trial Basic (free) plan

TunnelBear’s quirky yet easy-to-use app offers an interactive world map interface. By clicking a tunnel in the country of your choosing, a cartoon bear will dig its way through as it routes your traffic there. You can also choose to use the drop-down menu for manual selection.

In addition, its free plan grants you access to all 47 global server locations on both desktop and mobile. During my tests from India, its India server could access Hotstar, but not instantly. So, it may take some server switching before one will work with the platform. I was also able to watch Disney+ and Netflix India with this connection.

The downside is the 2GB data limit and that it doesn’t work with the UK and Singapore Hotstar libraries, as per our global team’s tests. Luckily, its India library offers the most content, which is the one TunnelBear works best with.

Useful Features

  • Unlimited connections. TunnelBear also offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which means you can watch Hotstar on any device, providing you can get it working with the platform.

Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

Quick Comparison Table: Hotstar VPN Features

The table provided below offers a comparative analysis of the features of the chosen VPNs. It examines elements like connection speeds, the number of servers, the amount of data allocated monthly, and whether it works with Hotstar India.

Speeds Server Network Works With Hotstar India Monthly Data Limit
🥇ExpressVPN Very Fast 3,000 servers in 105 countries, including virtual Indian servers Yes Unlimited
🥈Avira Phantom VPN Fast Multiple servers in 37 locations on mobile; 1 server location on desktop No Up to 1GB
🥉hide.me Average Multiple free servers in 8 locations No Unlimited
Hotspot Shield Fast Multiple free servers in 5 locations No Unlimited
TunnelBear Fast Multiple free servers in 47 locations Sometimes 2GB

Tips on Choosing the Best Free VPN for Hotstar

Below are the standards I utilized to determine my top selections. You can reference this list when deciding on a VPN for Hotstar.

  • Risk-free. I made sure that each VPN on this list is either completely free and doesn’t require payment info or is backed by a trustworthy money-back guarantee. That way, you can try it out without risking your hard-earned cash.
  • Works with Hotstar. My international colleagues and I thoroughly tested each VPN to determine which Hotstar locations they work in. Only the premium VPN works with Hotstar India; free VPNs were limited to Hotstar UK, Canada, and Singapore.
  • Fast speeds. Look for a free VPN that has fast speeds — it should ideally have a speed loss of less than 40%. This way, you can watch Hotstar in top quality without lag. Each free VPN on this list can stream Hotstar in HD without slowdowns.
  • Enough data. The VPNs on this list offer enough data to cover 1–2 hours of streaming. The top 2 VPNs in this list have unlimited data, so you can binge-watch Hotstar without limitations.
  • Compatible with your device. All VPNs on this list work with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices, and you can watch Hotstar on each.

Expert Tip: Most Free VPNs for Hotstar Aren’t Safe

Free VPNs rarely have the security infrastructure that can keep your data secure from online threats like hackers and trackers. Most have weak encryption, while others don’t offer features like leak protection or an automatic kill switch. Plus, there have been cases where the free VPN apps were embedded with malware.

In addition, many free VPNs are not actually free, as most of them generate revenue by tracking your data and trading it with third parties. This data is then used by advertisers to show targeted ads with dynamic pricing to users based on their respective browsing histories.

So, if you truly want to secure your streaming sessions, you can consider using a low-cost premium alternative that adheres to a no-logs policy and comes with a money-back guarantee.

Free VPNs to Avoid

Although a lot of free VPNs are available on the internet, not all of them are safe. I've identified some VPNs that can compromise your online security threats, unlike the ones on my list, so steer clear of these hazardous free VPNs while choosing your VPN:

  • Hola Free VPN. Hola is not even a VPN, it's a P2P network where random strangers share their IP addresses. It lacks encryption, meaning that anyone can connect to your IP and commit an illegal act, leaving you to take the fall for it.
  • Touch VPN. Touch VPN is another example of what you should stay away from. It logs a lot of user information, including your location and device information. The service is owned by Aura and Pango, which own other VPNs that are known for logging as well. It also struggles consistently with DNS leaks.
  • LinkVPN. Its privacy policy clearly states that it can monitor and record your data and share it with affiliate companies. In addition, it seems to have been created by a notorious developer in China who was also responsible for creating other privacy-violating VPNs like SuperVPN.

Quick Guide: How to Watch Hotstar With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN as it has reliable locations in all the regions where Hotstar and Disney+ Hotstar are available, and it has the fastest speeds we tested.
  2. Connect to a server. The closer the server, the better the speeds for HD streaming. Hotstar is available in India, Singapore, Canada, and the UK.
  3. Start watching Hotstar. If you have a Hotstar or Disney+ Hotstar account, you can now watch your favorite shows safely from anywhere.

Editors' Note: Transparency is one of our core values at vpnMentor, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process.

FAQs on the Best Free VPNs for Hotstar

Can I watch Hotstar for free?

Not really. Hotstar India used to offer some select moves and shows completely free but with ads. However, as of April 2024, it doesn’t offer any free content except for highlights of past sporting events and trailers of upcoming content. If you want to watch anything else, you will need to subscribe to a paid plan.

That said, there are still ways to save moneyall of the VPNs in this list work with Hotstar and most of them are 100% free to use. Although my top pick for Hotstar is a premium service, it offers a risk-free money-back guarantee.

Where is Hotstar available?

Aside from India, Hotstar can also be streamed in Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the UK. The platform is now owned by The Walt Disney Company, which is why it’s called Disney+ Hotstar and includes selective Disney+ content.

While Disney+ and Hotstar are a combined service in India, in the US, Hotstar-exclusive content is divided between Hulu, Disney+, and Max. It is possible to watch all Hotstar content in the US with a Disney Bundle subscription, which includes all 3 platforms. Due to censorship laws, Hotstar is not available in countries like Pakistan and the UAE.

What if my free VPN is not working with Hotstar?

First, it’s important to choose a free VPN that consistently works with Hotstar. If your free VPN usually works well with Hotstar but isn’t working now, try the following:

  • Switch to a different server — The IP address of the server you’re connected to may be blocked by Hotstar. In that case, the app won’t show you any content — it just keeps on loading endlessly. Switching to a different server should help.
  • Clear your browser’s cookies — Many websites use cookies that can contain conflicting and unnecessary data. Simply clearing your cache and cookies can provide a cleaner interaction with your VPN and Hotstar. This can be easily prevented by clearing your browser’s cache and cookies or using incognito/private mode.

Is watching Hotstar with a free VPN legal?

That depends. Using a VPN to keep your online activities private while streaming is perfectly legal. It may break Hotstar’s T&Cs and can be considered copyright infringement when a VPN is used to access Hotstar content from a location where it’s not licensed. In addition, some countries ban Hotstar and VPNs entirely due to censorship.

The team and I don’t condone illegal activities. So take the time to familiarize yourself with your local law and Hotstar’s user agreement, and use VPNs responsibly.

Get the Best FREE VPN for Hotstar

Most free VPNs aren’t great options for watching Hotstar due to limited speeds, data, and server availability. In addition, even paid VPNs struggle to work with Hotstar, so the chances of a free VPN being able to do so are not so great. There are a few decent free and safe options to stream Hotstar, however, they all have their limitations.

That’s why I recommend ExpressVPN. It has unlimited data, great speeds, and can access Hotstar from anywhere in HD without interruptions. Even though it’s not 100% free, you can test ExpressVPN out risk-free since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can get a full refund.

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

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
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1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 83%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.6 /10
9.6 Our Score
Save 72%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 86%!
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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

Sheharyar is a passionate tech-writer who believes in the digital freedom and online privacy of all. He regularly tests and analyzes different VPNs to give accurate and up-to-date user-guides and comparisons.

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