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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.
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 Japan: Safest Working Options in 2024

Ernest Sheptalo Updated on 1st March 2024 Senior Writer

Finding a reliable free VPN for Japan can be challenging. Most free VPNs have limited servers and struggle to bypass geoblocks, often imposing limitations on data and speeds. Additionally, some free VPNs compromise your privacy by logging and selling your data.

My team and I tested 50+ free VPNs and created a list of safe and effective options for Japan. These VPNs prioritize privacy and offer satisfactory speeds for gaming. While free VPNs typically have limitations, these choices are generally reliable and suitable for various needs.

ExpressVPN is my top recommendation for Japan. Unlike free VPNs, this option provides unparalleled features including top-notch security, high-speed connections, and unlimited data. While it does come at a cost, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. In case it doesn’t meet your standards, getting a refund is easy. 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 Japan in 2024

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Top speeds & security for Japan; risk-free with a money-back guarantee.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Unblocks services & fast torrents; comes with a refund period.
  • Proton VPN
    Proton VPN
    Free in Japan with unlimited data, but limited to one device.
  • Avira Phantom VPN
    Avira Phantom VPN
    Unlimited devices & 500MB/month in Japan, but not for unblocking.
  • hide.me VPN
    Hide.me
    P2P network & 10GB free for torrenting, but no Japanese IP.
Important. My colleagues and I are against breaking copyright laws. The VPNs we recommend below have strict no-logging policies that prevent them from seeing what you do online. You are responsible to follow all relevant rules and regulations.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

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

1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Japan With Impressive Speeds and Robust Security

Best Feature High-speed connections to use Japanese websites and apps without interruptions
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries (including Japan — Tokyo, Shibuya, Yokohama)
Security and Privacy Robust encryption and strict no-logs policy safeguard sensitive information
Works With Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, Sky, NHK, Nippon TV, TV Tokyo, HBO Max, ESPN, and more
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol offers fast speeds for all online activities in Japan. While most VPNs slow your connection, this one is quick enough for torrenting, gaming, or streaming in UHD. During my tests in Tokyo, I measured an average of 88Mbps on ExpressVPN's Japanese servers (you only need 25Mbps to stream in full HD). Connected to the Tokyo server, I had no buffering watching The Naked Director on my Netflix Japan account.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN successfully unblocking Netflix JapanI experienced no stutter or audio delays either

The large server network means that the VPN lets you reliably and safely stream content. While testing the Japanese servers from Tokyo, I didn’t experience any connection issues or delays. My colleague in the US also had no problems watching YouTube TV using a server in New York.

Your information is safeguarded with military-grade encryption, ensuring maximum data security. In addition, the VPN uses Perfect Forward Secrecy which changes the encryption key every 15 minutes. That means everything you do while connected is scrambled, so your online activities can’t be monitored in Japan. The Network Lock (kill switch) feature and IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection ensure that your real IP address stays hidden too.

While the service isn’t really free, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested the refund policy myself by asking for my money back via the 24/7 live chat — the process was easy and I got my refund within 2 days. The VPN also regularly runs deals and offers. By choosing the 12-month plan, I got a 49% discount, 3 extra months free, and paid only $6.67/month. It also offers a 7-day free trial on iOS and Android.

Useful Features

  • Split tunneling. This feature allows you to choose which apps or websites route through the VPN, providing you with flexibility and control over your online privacy.
  • Easy-to-use apps. The VPN has intuitive and responsive apps for all major operating systems, including Linux and Android TV.
  • Audited zero-logs policy. ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy has been independently audited by PwC, KPMG, and Cure53. The VPN is also based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, free from any data retention laws.
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. CyberGhost — Specialty Servers for Uninterrupted Streaming and Torrenting in Japan

Best Feature Optimized servers for fast streaming and torrenting in Japan
Server Network 11,690 servers in 100 countries overall (including Japan — Tokyo), giving you global coverage
Security and Privacy An automatic kill switch and audited no-logs policy to keep your online data safe while in Japan
Works With Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and more
Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost comes with specially optimized servers for quick torrenting and streaming in Japan. With the US torrenting server, I downloaded the movie Night of the Living Dead (1.09 GB) in under 3 minutes. While in Tokyo, I tried the Netflix Japan server and it allowed me to safely watch 4 episodes of One Punch Man with a stable connection.

Screenshot of showing CyberGhost's server networkYou can securely stream from Japan without buffering using these servers

Your data is safeguarded by AES 256-bit encryption and IPv6/DNS leak protection, shielding you from cyber threats. There’s also automatic WiFi protection that keeps you safe on public hotspots in Japan. It automatically connects you to the VPN when an unknown network is detected, giving you immediate protection. When I tested the Content Blocker feature, CyberGhost stopped ads and prevented me from accessing malicious websites too.

Using CyberGhost on any device is a breeze. The apps are intuitively laid out and you can mark your frequently used servers as "favorites" for convenient access. Additionally, you can type "Japan" into the search bar to view all of the VPN’s Japan streaming-optimized servers. Like ExpressVPN, smart DNS and router support means you can also use the VPN with devices like Echo Show and Roku.

While this is a paid service, it’s covered by a money-back guarantee that means you can try CyberGhost for free for 45 days. Just note that this refund policy only applies to the long-term subscriptions (which start at $2.03/month). The monthly plan is more expensive and only offers a 14-day refund period.

Useful Features

  • Gaming servers. As well as servers for streaming and torrenting, CyberGhost has gaming-optimized servers in Frankfurt, London, New York, and Paris. So you can play with your friends at home while traveling in Japan.
  • Live chat support. If you’re new to VPNs, the responsive and helpful live chat support team is available round-the-clock for assistance. I tested it and the team helped me set the VPN up with Kodi.
  • Great speeds. While not as quick as ExpressVPN, the service still offers fast connections thanks to the speedy WireGuard setting. During my tests from Tokyo, I recorded up to 82Mbps on the streaming servers (just an 18% drop from my base connection speed of 100Mbps).
June 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Proton VPN — Unlimited Data to Browse Safely and Without Restrictions

Best Feature Unlimited data for unrestricted browsing
Server Network 100 servers in 6 free locations, including servers in Japan, the US, and the Netherlands
Security and Privacy IP/DNS leak protection and RAM-based servers to secure your data
Works With Netflix Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, DAZN Japan, Hulu Japan, Disney+ Japan, YouTube, and more

Proton VPN offers unlimited free data, allowing uninterrupted online activities without restrictions. This is noteworthy as many free VPNs impose monthly data limits, hindering your streaming capabilities. While testing Proton VPN from Tokyo, I streamed numerous hours of Dragon Ball Super on Crunchyroll in Japan without encountering any usage limitations or location errors.

When testing Proton VPN from my location in Tokyo, the service delivered good speeds. Despite the VPN's claim to cap speeds on its free plan, I experienced minimal impact on my connection. I achieved average speeds of 75Mbps on the free Japanese servers, representing only a 25% decrease. This is notably better than the 50-75% speed drops seen with other free VPNs.

With 256-bit encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch, the VPN has a decent online privacy offering. Proton VPN also comes with multiple protocol options, including the speedy WireGuard, mobile-friendly IKEv2, and security-focused OpenVPN. Plus, its no-logs policy has been audited by Securitum — which is rare for a free VPN.

Like most free VPNs, there are limitations to consider. With the free plan, you don’t get access to customer support and you can only connect one device at a time. This forced me to prioritize either my smartphone or laptop for VPN usage. The free tier also only gives you access to servers in 6 countries and none of them support torrenting. That said, the free servers include Japan — so this is a decent free option for accessing Japanese sites.

Useful Features

  • VPN Accelerator. This feature uses multiple technologies to bypass CPU limitations and enhance your connections, resulting in improved download speeds.
  • No ads. Unlike a lot of free VPNs, Proton VPN’s free version doesn’t bombard you with in-app ads.
  • Open-source app. Proton VPN is open-source, allowing code transparency and community contributions to enhance security and privacy.

4. Avira Phantom VPN — Protect All Your Devices in Japan With Unlimited Connections

Best Feature There’s no limit to how many devices you can use with the VPN at one time
Server Network 1,400 servers in 37 countries — though desktop apps don’t let you manually select a server
Security and Privacy IP/DNS leak protection and free antivirus to protect your devices in Japan
Works With Local websites only

Avira Phantom VPN breaks the norm with unlimited device connections. While in Tokyo, I put it to the test by simultaneously connecting my Android phone, tablet, a friend's iPhone, and a Windows 11 laptop. Despite every device being active, I enjoyed a lag-free experience playing Taiko no Tatsujin on my phone while simultaneously watching TV Tokyo on my laptop. My connection remained around 68Mbps for uninterrupted browsing and streaming.

Screenshot of Avira Phantom VPN successfully unblocking Taiko no Tatsujin app.I had no location errors and my gameplay was smooth

Similar to Proton VPN, the service provides strong online protection. The VPN uses 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy to protect your personal data in Japan and beyond. The VPN also includes a built-in malware blocker and you can configure the app to launch automatically at the system start, ensuring continuous protection. Overall, I had no security concerns while testing Avira Phantom VPN.

One big downside is that the free plan doesn’t let you manually choose a server country on the desktop apps. Avira simply connects you to the fastest server for your location — so you can’t choose an IP address. Fortunately, the mobile apps give you full access to the whole server network.

You can use the service without registration, but that only gets you 500MB/month. If you want to increase your monthly data allowance to 1GB, sign up with your email address to get an additional 500MB of data. Just note that you can’t access customer support unless you pay for a Pro account.

Useful Features

  • Leak protection. The free plan comes with DNS leak protection, which means your DNS requests (that show the sites you visit) are hidden from snoops and hackers.
  • Good device compatibility. You can download Avira Phantom VPN for free on Macs, Android, iOS, and Windows. So you can put the unlimited connections to good use.

5. Hide.me — 10GB of Data and a P2P-Friendly Network for Limited Torrenting in Japan

Best Feature Generous free data offering for torrenting in Japan
Server Network Free servers in 50+ countries (not including Japanese servers)
Security and Privacy AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol for safe connections
Works With Netflix US, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and more

Hide.me gives you 10GB of free data for easy downloads when visiting Japan. The data allowance is just about enough to download a couple of copyright-free movies and TV series. The VPN’s entire network is P2P-friendly, including the free servers (in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Singapore, and France). Sadly, you can’t access the Tokyo server with a free plan though.

The Bolt feature gave me a speed boost for downloading large files without issues. I downloaded a 2GB public domain film in 4 minutes and 40 seconds. Hide.me was also fast enough for gaming during my tests. On average, I measured 60Mbps.

There are powerful security features for safe P2P activity in Japan. Stealth Guard lets you customize when hide.me kicks in to prevent accidental data leaks. Additionally, the VPN provides 256-bit encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and undergoes annual transparency audits for added security.

Screenshot showing hideme's security settingsSome features require you to restart the app to get them working

Like Proton VPN, hide.me’s free plan limits you to just one device connection at a time. This can be a bit frustrating when I want to switch from streaming on my laptop to my smartphone. That said, the VPN still offers great device compatibility and can be used with everything from desktop PCs to Amazon Fire tablets and routers.

Useful Features

  • Multiple protocols. The VPN supports WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and SSTP protocols to suit your online activities.
  • 24/7 live support. Unlike many paid VPNs, hide.me provides 24/7 live chat support to assist you whenever you need it — even as a free user.

Quick Comparison Table: Japan VPN Features

If you're having trouble deciding between my shortlisted services, here's a convenient side-by-side comparison table to assist you in finding the ideal free VPN for Japan. The table emphasizes the availability of free servers, speed, and security, as these are crucial factors for accessing content in or outside Japan.

VPN Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee? Free Servers Servers in Japan? Monthly Data Limit Simultaneous Device Connections Average Speed Signup Required?
🥇ExpressVPN 30-day money-back guarantee 3,000 servers in 105 countries Unlimited 8 88Mbps (12% drop) Yes
🥈CyberGhost 45-day money-back guarantee 11,690 servers in 100 countries Unlimited 7 82Mbps (18% drop) Yes
🥉Proton VPN Completely free 100 servers in 6 countries Unlimited 1 with a free plan 75Mbps (25% drop) Yes
Avira Phantom VPN Completely free 1,400 servers in 37 countries (only on mobile apps) 500MB (1GB if you sign up with email) 5 65Mbps (35% drop) No (but it gets you more data)
Hide.me Completely free 50+ servers in 8 countries 10GB 1 with a free plan 60Mbps (40% drop) No

Tips on Choosing the Best Free VPN for Japan

All the VPNs on my list offer useful features for unblocking websites or protecting your privacy while in Japan. However, if you wish to run your own tests, you can use my checklist:

  • Reasonable data allowance. Unlimited data means you can do whatever you want online, without restrictions — but it’s rare for free VPNs. Make sure the data on offer is enough for your needs.
  • Fast speeds. Your connection should be quick enough to browse or game without any slowdowns. Look for a VPN that doesn’t slow your base speed by any more than 50%.
  • Good server access. A VPN with a global server network lets you access your home apps and services while visiting Japan. Choose a service that has servers in Japan if you want to unblock Japanese platforms, like banking and shopping apps.
  • Robust security and privacy features. To protect your device data in Japan, choose a VPN that provides AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. These features help prevent unauthorized access to your information.
  • Device compatibility. Choose a VPN that works with your chosen device. Live chat support can also be useful for help setting up on any device.

Expert Tip: Most Free VPNs Aren’t Ideal for Japan

The best VPN for Japan should let you safely browse, game, and torrent, no matter where you are. It shouldn’t restrict your server access, speeds, data, or bandwidth. Above all, it should be safe to use — offering you online privacy and protection against cyber threats in Japan.

Unfortunately, free VPNs always have some limitations. Most restrict the amount of data you can use in one month, while others deliberately throttle your speeds to conserve bandwidth for paid users. Some freemium services also limit which servers you can access, which is restrictive when it comes to unblocking international websites and services while you travel.

At best, these limitations might prevent you from browsing, gaming, and torrenting as much as you want. At worst, some free VPNs can put your data in danger:

  • They can have IP/DNS leaks. If a VPN exposes your IP address or DNS requests, your online activities can be visible to your ISP and other third parties, even when your VPN is active. This not only compromises your security but also hinders your ability to bypass geoblocks.
  • They can use outdated security features. Many free VPNs lack essential security features such as a kill switch and some don’t encrypt your data at all (like proxies, Hola VPN, or HoxxVPN).
  • They can contain malware and viruses. Even some reputable free VPN providers have been known to infect their users with viruses and malware (i.e. Cross VPN).
  • They can come with annoying ads. Free VPNs rely on alternative revenue sources since they lack subscribers, often resulting in frequent interruptions by targeted ads.
  • They can sell your data. Many free VPNs lack a transparent no-logs policy, allowing them to collect and potentially sell your personal data — including your IP address and browsing history.

While all of my recommended VPNs are safe to use, the truly free options still come with limitations. For genuinely unrestricted and private access to the internet in Japan, I suggest opting for a safe, low-cost VPN like ExpressVPN instead.

Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN for Japan in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN for its excellent speeds, robust security, and global server network, perfect for accessing Japanese and international content. You can try ExpressVPN without risk (it’s backed by a 30-day money-back policy).
  2. Connect to a server. Choose a location that has the content you want to access. For example, pick Japan from the server list to access Japanese apps and websites.
  3. Start browsing. Enjoy fast and secure internet access in Japan.

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

FAQs on VPNs for Japan

Is it legal to use a VPN in Japan?

Yes, you can use VPNs in Japan. However, it’s important to note that engaging in illegal activities using a VPN is still prohibited. Most pornography and casino/gambling sites are blocked in the country and illegal to access. That said, it’s perfectly fine to use a VPN to protect your privacy while traveling in Japan.

In theory, you could use a VPN to access Japanese streaming platforms from outside the country. However, this goes against the T&Cs of streaming platforms and could constitute copyright infringement. My team and I do not condone any illegal activity.

How can I get a Japan IP address?

You need a VPN that offers servers in Japan. Simply choose a VPN provider that has servers located in Japan, connect to a Japanese VPN server, and your IP address will appear as if you are browsing from Japan. This allows you to access Japanese websites, like shopping and banking platforms, from anywhere in the world.

On what devices can I install a free Japan VPN?

You can install a free Japan VPN on various devices. You just need to pick a free VPN that supports your chosen operating system. The recommended VPNs on this list support nearly every device, including smartphones (Android, iOS), tablets, computers (Windows, macOS), and routers. Most also offer extensions for browsers like Firefox, Edge, and Chrome. Just bear in mind that some free VPNs limit how many devices you can connect at one time.

Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix Japan?

Yes, if you are located in Japan, you can use some free VPNs to securely stream Netflix Japan. But it's important to note that truly free VPNs have slower speeds and data caps, which can result in a poor streaming experience. A quality VPN with a trustworthy money-back guarantee is a better alternative. Premium services have fast speeds, big networks, and no data caps. So you’re guaranteed to stream Netflix Japan from anywhere in the country uninterrupted.

Get the Best VPN for Japan

Many free VPNs for Japan are not suitable for torrenting, or ensuring online safety. They often impose speed throttling, data limitations, and have restricted server options, particularly in Japan. Worse, some free VPNs can pose risks to your safety. However, the VPNs on my list are secure and offer plenty of features for use inside and outside Japan.

My #1 pick for Japan is ExpressVPN. Unlike fully free VPNs, the service does not impose any limitations. It provides exceptional speeds, reliable unblocking capabilities, and top-notch security features — enabling you to access websites and online services within and outside of Japan with ease. Despite not being free, it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you can test ExpressVPN risk-free. If you don’t like it, getting a refund is easy.

To summarize, these are the best free VPNs for Japan...

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 83%!
3
9.2 /10
9.2 Our Score
Save 55%!
4
5.9 /10
5.9 Our Score
Save 40%!
5
9.0 /10
9.0 Our Score
Save 74%!
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

Ernest Sheptalo is a Senior Writer at vpnMentor, and an expert in the field of VPNs. Ernest creates detailed reviews, comparisons, and guides that assist people in navigating the web safely, protecting their online data from theft.

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