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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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 Streaming — Tested and Updated in 2024

Angela Jovanoska Updated on 20th December 2023 Fact-checked by Kristina Joshevska Cybersecurity Researcher

Using a free VPN to secure your data while streaming usually means a major compromise in the quality of your connection. While there are plenty of free services out there, most aren’t equipped with the necessary features to let you stream smoothly in HD. Luckily, my testing revealed a select few that work reliably with the most popular platforms.

Many streaming platforms offer localized content or are exclusive to certain regions, so which one is best for you depends on your location. Hypothetically, you could use a free VPN to access a platform from a country where it’s unavailable. But that may infringe copyright and would violate the terms of use of most streaming services.

That said, it’s vital to use a VPN for privacy purposes while watching locally-licensed content online, and I recommend ExpressVPN for HD streaming. While it’s not 100% free, it has none of the limitations of free VPNs; you get unlimited data and the fastest speeds I’ve seen. You can even try it risk-free since it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Stream in HD With ExpressVPN

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPNs For Streaming in 2024

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Fastest VPN for HD and UHD streaming with unlimited data and reliable connections.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Specialized servers for diverse streaming sites with a user-friendly app and a risk-free trial.
  • Proton VPN
    Proton VPN
    Free plan with no data cap for endless streaming, but struggles to work with key platforms.
  • Avira Phantom VPN
    Avira Phantom VPN
    Many free mobile servers, including one for streaming, but limited desktop app functionality.
  • hide.me VPN
    hide.me
    Works with select Netflix libraries, but slow speeds if you don’t have a closeby server.
IMPORTANT! The vpnMentor team and I object to copyright infringement. We only recommend VPNs with reliable no-logs policies so no one will see what you’re doing online. That means you are responsible for respecting copyright laws and any terms of use you agree to when signing up for streaming services, including free ones.

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

1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN With The Fastest Speeds to Stream in Ultra HD Without Buffering

Best Feature Smooth streaming with the fastest speeds of any VPN I tested
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries give you reliable connections for watching your local streaming platforms
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers, Fire Stick, streaming devices, routers, and more
Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is my top recommended streaming VPN as it works reliably with most streaming platforms from within their licensed region(s) and offers better speeds than any free or paid VPN I tested.

Thanks to its fast speeds, I never experienced any buffering while streaming. During my tests, ExpressVPN only dropped my speeds by 10% on long-distance servers from Florida to the other side of the US (to 90 Mbps). You only need 25 Mbps for Ultra HD streaming and 50 Mbps for 4K, so it’s more than fast enough to watch your favorite content in the highest quality.

Screenshot of Grey's Anatomy streaming on Netflix with ExpressVPN connected to a US serverI never experienced any interruptions while watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix US from my location in Orlando, FL

It also provides reliable connections for streaming. While testing it in the States, ExpressVPN consistently worked with every US platform I tried it with, including Hulu, Disney+, Max, Prime Video, and Netflix. My international teammates confirmed it works just as well with their local Netflix libraries and other platforms, like BBC iPlayer in the UK and Disney+ Hotstar in India.

You can easily install it on tons of different devices, and it has a dedicated Fire Stick app. Plus, its MediaStreamer Smart DNS feature lets you stream on devices that don’t support VPNs, like Apple TV, Roku, and game consoles. No free VPN offers this functionality.

It doesn’t have a free plan, but it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN completely risk-free for streaming. To test this, I requested a refund via the 24/7 live chat. The support agent approved my request, and I got a full refund 2 days later.

Useful Features

  • Router app. ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs with a dedicated app for routers. Installing the VPN on your router allows you to use it on any device and stream the content that you want. The advantage with ExpressVPN's router app is that it makes it far more convenient than other VPN routers to connect to a nearby server to protect every device in your household.
  • Shortcuts. You can quickly get to watching content on your favorite local streaming apps by adding shortcuts to them in ExpressVPN’s main interface. You can find this setting in the Options menu.
  • Lightway. ExpressVPN’s proprietary VPN protocol offers a fast and reliable connection to streaming sites. It gave me better speeds than OpenVPN, so I recommend using Lightway for streaming.
  • Unique browser extensions. ExpressVPN’s browser extensions work as a remote control for the app. Most VPN browser extensions are very limited or are free versions of the full app. But ExpressVPN’s extension is fully equipped to accommodate streaming binges on your laptop.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Streaming Servers Give Reliable Connections for Specific Platforms

Best Feature Dedicated servers for various streaming platforms
Server Network 100+ platform-specific servers provide fast and stable streaming
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers, Fire Stick, streaming devices, routers, and more
Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost has streaming-optimized servers for most major platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and (HBO) Max. They’re located in different countries depending on where each platform or library is available. I tried the Amazon Prime Video US server and watched Jurassic World Domination without issues. No free VPN I tested from my location in the US worked with Amazon Prime Video.

Screenshot of Jurassic World Dominion streaming on Amazon Prime Video with CyberGhost's specialty US serverThe picture quality remained excellent throughout the whole movie

CyberGhost is designed for ease of use. You can find a server for your preferred platform in the For streaming tab simply by typing its name in the search bar. Plus, you can make the VPN connect to a specific server automatically when you launch the app, so you have fast and easy access to the connection that works best for your favorite streaming site in your region.

Its streaming-optimized servers are fast, too. Speeds never dropped by more than 30%, even on servers thousands of miles from my hotel room in Florida (like Seattle). Plus, I only lost 4% on servers in Miami, which is closer to me.

CyberGhost is not totally free, but it comes with a generous and legit money-back guarantee. Its monthly plan comes with a shorter 14-day money-back guarantee, but you can try CyberGhost out for free for 45 days with longer subscriptions.

Useful Features

  • WireGuard. Unlike ExpressVPN, CyberGhost doesn’t have its own protocol, but it does offer WireGuard, one of the fastest VPN protocols today that provide great speeds for streaming.
  • WiFi protection. You can set CyberGhost to launch automatically when it detects an unsecured WiFi network, so you can stream and browse safely on public WiFi.
  • Server distance displayed. You can see how far away each server is from your location, so it’s easy to find the fastest one for streaming.
February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Proton VPN — No Data Caps With Free Plan For Uninterrupted Streaming

Best Feature No limits on monthly data usage, so you can stream as much as you like
Server Network Free server locations for streaming in the US, the Netherlands, or Japan
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Chromebook
Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee Forever-free plan

While many free VPNs have strict monthly data limits, Proton VPN is one of the few VPNs with no data caps. This means you can stream without worrying about exceeding your monthly allowances and cut your streaming short. Using the free US server from my location in Orlando, I was able to binge-watch my favorite Peacock TV shows without interruptions.

Screenshot of The Secret Life of Pets streaming on Peacock TV with Proton VPN connected to a United States serverThe platform loaded within seconds and the image was crystal clear

The free plan offers servers in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. From my location in the States, I recorded up to 92 Mbps on the US server, which is only a 10% drop speed drop from my base connection. During my tests, streaming platforms loaded instantly, and the picture quality remained consistent. My international colleagues confirmed similar speeds from its Netherlands and Japanese servers.

Plus, you can stream on a range of platforms and streaming devices. There’s a free Fire TV Stick app that will let you stream on your Fire TV or Fire Stick device. You can also configure the VPN on your router.

The only problem is that Proton VPN doesn’t work reliably with popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. However, it let me watch Netflix Originals and a few other local services like Peacock and Crackle without any connection issues. Plus, you can temporarily watch these platforms for free with Proton VPN Plus. It has a money-back guarantee, so you can test it for 30 days.

Useful Features

  • Speed Accelerator. This feature increases your speeds. Once enabled, it significantly boosted my speeds while watching Peacock with the US server.
  • Quick Connect. This feature automatically connects you to the fastest server for your location, so you’ll get the best speeds for streaming in just a click.
  • A large number of free servers. Although there are only 3 locations, you can choose from over 90 free servers.

4. Avira Phantom VPN — Tons of Free Servers for Streaming on Mobile

Best Feature 30+ free server locations to choose from for streaming
Server Network Servers in 30+ countries (mobile), 1 location on desktop (nearest server to you)
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee Forever-free plan

Avira Phantom VPN’s free mobile app includes a streaming-optimized server. Although it didn’t work with many popular platforms, it did let me watch some local US content, like Disney+, Crackle, Peacock, and Netflix Original shows.

Screenshot of Avira Phantom VPN's free server optionsAvira Phantom VPN is the best free VPN for streaming on mobile in your region

It also offers tons of free servers in 30+ countries worldwide, which is rare for a free VPN. Few reliable free VPNs have servers in countries like Brazil, Hong Kong, Norway, or even Spain. This makes it a great option for a wide array of users, as it’s likely that you’ll have a server for streaming within your country. With most VPNs, you don’t get more than 3 free server locations.

Avira Phantom VPN is also unique in that it lets you use an unlimited number of devices with its free plan. This means you don’t have to worry about being kicked out of the VPN connection if you forget to log out on a certain device while streaming your favorite content on another. My speeds were never affected when testing the VPN's nearby servers on multiple devices at the same time.

My main problem with Avira Phantom VPN is that your viewing time will be quite limited, as you only get 500MB of monthly data with the free plan, so you’ll only be able to stream for about an hour each month. You can increase that to 1GB if you register with your email, though.

Useful Features

  • WireGuard support. The fastest VPN protocol is available on the mobile app, so you can get optimal speeds for streaming.
  • Auto Connect. Avira Phantom VPN connects automatically when it detects a WiFi network, making it good for streaming in public spaces.
  • Malware protection. The desktop app offers protection against malicious files and sites. This is a great feature if you stream on sites that contain a lot of pop-ups and sketchy links.

5. hide.me — Free Servers in 8 Regions to Securely Watch Your Local Netflix

Best Feature Works with the UK, Germany and Netherlands Netflix libraries
Server Network Free servers in 8 countries
Compatible With Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers, Fire Stick, routers, and more
Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee Forever-free plan

hide.me offers 8 free server locations — in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, Singapore, and Canada. I tested it with Netflix US from my location in the States, which didn't work, but it did work with Crackle and Crunchyroll. However, my international colleagues reported it worked reliably when they tested it with Netflix UK, Germany, and France from within their respective regions.

Screenshot of The Wedding Arrangement streaming on Crackle with hide.me connected to a free US serverMy connection remained stable while watching The Wedding Arrangement on Crackle from Orlando, FL

hide.me’s free plan supports one device connection at a time, but you don't need to register, so basically, you can use the app on any compatible device simultaneously. You can stream on your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices, and there’s even a free app for Amazon Fire TV. It also offers free browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Similar to Proton VPN, hide.me also offers unlimited monthly data, which is quite liberal compared to the majority of free services. This implies that you have the freedom to stream for as long as you wish, without the need to fret over your remaining data for the month's streaming.

My main complaint about hide.me is that with its free plan, I noticed quite a bit of buffering while trying to stream with its free US server from Florida, as speeds dropped by nearly 40%. That said, my streams improved significantly when I used the East Coast free US server, which is closer to my location.

Useful Feature

  • Free split tunneling. This will allow you to use the VPN on selected apps only, which can increase your streaming speeds.
  • No sign-up is required. You don’t need to create an account. Simply download the VPN app to your device, and you can start using it for streaming instantly.
  • 24/7 live chat. Its live chat is available 24/7, so you can always reach out to customer support if you’re having trouble getting a reliable connection for a streaming platform.

Quick Comparison Table: Free Streaming VPN Features

All the VPNs I suggest are suitable for streaming, although they differ greatly in terms of their speeds, monthly data limits, and the range of platforms they work with. The following table provides a comparison of their features, making it simpler for you to identify the most suitable free streaming VPN for your needs.

Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee Speeds Number of Server Locations Monthly Data Sign-up Required? Fire Stick App Streaming Platforms It Works With
🥇ExpressVPN 30-day money-back guarantee Very fast 3,000 servers in 105 countries Unlimited Yes Yes Netflix, Disney+, Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, BBC iPlayer, Kodi, and more
🥈CyberGhost 45-day money-back guarantee Fast 11,690 servers in 100 countries Unlimited Yes Yes Netflix, Disney+, Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, BBC iPlayer, and more
🥉Proton VPN Forever-free plan Fast 90+ free servers in 3 countries Unlimited Yes Yes Netflix Originals, Crunchyroll, Peacock, Crackle, and YouTube
Avira Phantom VPN Forever-free plan Average Free servers in 30+ countries (mobile), 1 location on desktop (nearest country) 500MB (1GB if you sign up) No No Netflix Originals, Disney+, Crackle, Peacock, and YouTube
hide.me Forever-free plan Average Free servers in 8 countries Unlimited No Yes Netflix, Crunchyroll, Crackle, and YouTube

Tips on Choosing the Best Free VPN for Streaming

There are a few features you should look for in a free streaming VPN. Here are the criteria I used to pick my top recommended VPNs.

  • Free plan or a trustworthy money-back guarantee. I only recommended VPNs with a free version or a trustworthy refund policy. Completely free VPNs don’t require any payment credentials or hidden fees. However, a money-back guarantee is a great alternative for testing the VPN’s full streaming capabilities without any financial risk.
  • Works reliably with a few streaming platforms. Most free VPNs don’t work with streaming platforms, so I made sure every VPN on this list works with at least some popular services.
  • Fast speeds. All of my top VPNs are fast enough for buffer-free streaming. You need only 5 Mbps for HD streaming and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD, and all my shortlisted VPNs are faster than that.
  • Generous monthly data allowances. Streaming requires a lot of data, so you should consider how much monthly data you can use. Most of my VPN recommendations offer unlimited data, which makes them ideal for uninterrupted streaming.
  • Large server network. You need servers in your region to safely watch the streaming platforms that are licensed in your country. Make sure to use a free VPN with a reliable location in the country you’re in.
  • Diverse device compatibility. All my recommended VPNs are compatible with major OSs, like Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Some even offer native Fire Stick apps. If your device doesn’t support VPNs, look for a service with router compatibility, as this will allow you to stream on all the devices connected to your home network.
  • Reliable customer support. 24/7 customer support through live chat is ideal, but if that’s not available the VPN should at least offer support through email or a comprehensive knowledge base.

Expert Tip: Most Free VPNs Aren’t Safe

All the free VPNs on this list are good for streaming and safe to use, but sadly, that’s not the case with most free VPNs. Not only do they not work with most streaming sites, but they may also put your security and privacy at risk. Here are some of the biggest risks associated with using free VPN services:

  • Free VPNs may collect and sell your data. Since they can’t profit from you otherwise, some free VPNs collect personal data, such as your IP address, browsing history, and location, and sell it to advertisers for financial gain.
  • They may contain ads and malware. Free VPNs rely on advertisements for revenue, so they often come filled with ads. These can disrupt your user experience, and some of them may even infect your device with malicious files.
  • Free VPNs may leak your info. Many free VPNs don’t offer strong security features, like a kill switch or IP/DNS leak protection, so they may leak personal information, thus compromising your security and privacy.

Avoid These Free VPNs for Streaming

During my tests, I came across a couple of VPNs that shouldn’t be used for streaming since they don’t work with most platforms and have speeds that don’t even support SD video. Plus, most of them are filled with ads and log and share your data, so they aren’t safe to use.

HolaVPN Psiphon SuperVPN
BetterNet LinkVPN ThunderVPN
TouchVPN VPN Gate CrossVPN
EasyVPN Faceless.me FlinchVPN

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

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN since it works with every streaming platform I tested and offers unlimited data.
  2. Connect to a nearby server. Connect to a server within your country to secure your connection while you watch the local platforms you prefer.
  3. Start streaming. Open your streaming site or app and pick a show you want to watch.

FAQs on Free VPNs for Streaming

What is the best free VPN for Netflix?

All of my recommended VPNs can be used to stream Netflix Original shows, but the ones with forever-free plans won’t reliably work with content specific to your local library.

Premium VPNs are usually far more reliable for watching your local programming and have fast speeds for buffer-free streaming. Plus, they come with trustworthy money-back guarantees, so you can try them without risk and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

Is it safe to stream with a free VPN?

The free streaming VPNs I listed are safe to use. They have strict no-logs policies, which proves they won’t log or sell any of your private data. Plus, they come with strong security features, like military-grade encryption, kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection.

Sadly, the same can’t be said about most other free VPNs. Some of them keep logs of your activity and sell that information to advertisers and other third parties for profit. Many of them come with malware hidden in their apps that will infect your device if you install them.

Is there a free Fire Stick VPN?

Most of the VPNs on my list have dedicated Fire Stick apps, so they’re good options for streaming on your Fire TV device. Simply download the VPN to your Fire device from the Amazon Appstore, install it, connect to a domestic server, and you can begin streaming.

If you want to stream on your smart TV or any other device that doesn’t support VPNs, make sure the VPN you choose is compatible with routers. This way, you’ll be able to install it on your router, which allows you to stream on any device connected to your home WiFi network.

Is it illegal to stream with a VPN?

Using a VPN for streaming domestic content licensed in your region while safeguarding your personal data is legal in most countries in the world. But it may not be legal to hypothetically use a VPN to access content that isn’t available to your region as it may infringe copyright law. There are, however, a few heavily censored countries, like Russia and China, that have banned the use of VPNs.

That said, my team and I don't condone using a VPN for any illegal activities. You can check out our full guide on countries where using a VPN is illegal. You should always read the laws of the country you’re in before using a VPN there.

Get the Best FREE VPN for Streaming

Using a free VPN for streaming is possible, but it always comes with limitations. Most free VPNs don’t work with nearly as many sites as premium VPNs, so you won’t get a secure connection for most of your favorite platforms. Plus, they’re not as fast, so you may experience significant buffering while watching shows.

Although I found a few free VPNs that are good for streaming, my top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It offers fast speeds for UHD streaming and worked with every streaming platform I tested. It’s not free, but it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it without financial risk.

To summarize, the best VPNs for streaming with money-back guarantees are…

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 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 67%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 82%!
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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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

Angela is a tech content writer with a keen interest in data protection and cyber threats. She enjoys researching and writing about the latest cybersecurity trends and believes strongly in the importance of online privacy.

Did you like this article? Rate it!
I hated it! I don't really like it It was ok Pretty good! Loved it!
out of 10 - Voted by users
Thank you for your feedback