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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.
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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.

7 Best FREE VPNs for Windows PCs (2024): Fast & Unlimited

Keira Waddell Updated on 21st November 2023 Fact-checked by Ben Lawson Senior Writer

I know how tricky it is to find a trustworthy, free VPN for Windows. Unfortunately, the free VPN market is filled with pitfalls and traps that could put your data at risk. This can be via embedded malware or by sharing your information with unknown third parties. But, I have found that there are some free VPNs out there that you can trust.

My team and I tested 70+ free VPNs to find the best ones for Windows that are safe. All free VPNs have limitations, whether it’s smaller server networks, slower speeds, or a lack of advanced security features. However, my shortlist of the top Windows VPNs will at least offer you basic security and privacy protection, along with usable speeds.

Overall, the best VPN I tested is ExpressVPN. I really wanted to stick with 100% free VPNs, but this one doesn’t come with any restrictions like free VPNs do. You get advanced security features, a huge server network, and impressive speeds. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN out risk-free since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. I even tested it to make sure its policy is trustworthy, and I got my money back in 3 days with no hassle.

Best Premium Alternative for Windows:
Fantastic Speeds and Robust Security

ExpressVPN is easily the best VPN for Windows PCs and laptops — and it can be tried risk-free. Unlike free VPNs, ExpressVPN secures your Windows installation with top-tier encryption and VPN protocols, ensuring your safety from hackers online.

Despite the high-level of security, it’s also far faster than any free VPN. You won’t struggle to play PC games online without lag or stream UHD content, and as there are no data caps, you can always leave it running.

  • Faster speeds and more reliable connections than free VPNs
  • Works great for streaming and torrenting, unlike free alternatives
  • User-friendly Windows app
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free
expressvpn.com

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

  1. Editor's Choice
    Proton VPN
    Proton VPN
    Unlimited data & multiple reliable servers available in the US, Japan & the Netherlands.
  2. Avira Phantom VPN
    Avira Phantom VPN
    User-friendly apps & unlimited device connections. Connect all of your Windows devices.
  3. hide.me VPN
    hide.me
    Great security features, but it doesn’t work with many major streaming sites.
  4. Hotspot Shield
    Hotspot Shield
    Full P2P support to safety torrent on Windows, but keeps some anonymized activity logs.
  5. TunnelBear VPN
    TunnelBear
    Offers free servers in 23 countries, but you’re limited to 2GB monthly data.

See 2 More Free VPNs for Windows

Try a Premium VPN for Windows 100% RISK-FREE

ExpressVPN offers excellent support and user-friendly apps for Windows users. You can try it risk-free since it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN

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

1. Proton VPN — Free VPN With Unlimited Data to Browse Without Disruption on Your Windows PC

Best Feature Unlimited free data to browse or stream as much as you like
Security and Privacy Perfect Forward Secrecy to make your Windows activity even harder to meaningfully decrypt
Data Allowance Only free VPN on this list to offer uncapped data
Server Network 100+ free servers offering access to the US, Netherlands, and Japan

Proton VPN's free version offers unlimited data, so you can securely browse as much content as you want on your Windows PC. This is great because most free VPNs enforce tight data caps. While testing its free Netherlands and US servers, my Dutch and American colleagues recorded speeds below 45.83Mbps, so it was more than fast enough for streaming local content.

Proton VPN speed test results connected to Netherlands servers from the UKMy speeds only dropped 30% with Proton VPN — the fastest completely free VPN I tested

The native app setup is simple and is compatible with most Windows OSs. After downloading and installing the app, I could connect to the fastest server within seconds using the “Quick connect” button. You can also set up split tunneling to encrypt the traffic you want and use your regular high-speed connection for other activities.

It comes with advanced security features that hide your data from prying eyes, such as AES 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and several security protocols (including OpenVPN). Also, Proton VPN’s apps are all open source, so anyone can check for any bugs or problems in the code.

My colleagues tested Netflix using its free servers on their Windows devices, and successfully streamed Netflix Originals with a local VPN connection. However, Proton VPN didn't work with other streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, or Hulu.

Useful Features

  • Perfect Forward Secrecy. This feature forces the encryption key to change with each connection. This ensures hackers can't decrypt past or future sessions even if they somehow managed to get hold of a key — it’d only decrypt a single session.
  • Based in Switzerland. The VPN’s headquarters are in Switzerland (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances). This means that Proton VPN can’t be forced to share your personal information with member countries of this agreement.
  • Plenty of free servers. With over 100 free servers in Japan, the Netherlands, and the US, it boasts more servers than numerous other free VPNs.

2. Avira Phantom VPN — User-Friendly Free App to Keep Your Windows Devices Safe Without Hassle

Best Feature User-friendly app for Windows so you can get set up quickly and easily
Security and Privacy No-logs policy ensures your data isn’t stored or shared
Data Allowance 500MB per month, or 1GB if you sign up with your email address
Server Network Can only connect to the closest available server with the free plan

The VPN provides an easy-to-use native app for Windows 7 and higher, and it's forever free. Setting up on my Windows 10 laptop took just 3 minutes, with no need to provide an email address. I connected with just 1 click by pressing the Turn on VPN button. Avira also allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, even in the free version — I could secure all the Windows devices in my household on a single account.

Screenshot of Avira Phantom's app interfaceAvira Phantom VPN’s monthly traffic gauge clearly shows the data you have remaining

Avira Phantom VPN has good speeds. In fact, during the tests on my Windows PC, my speeds averaged 34.73Mbps (a 48% drop). It also offers P2P support, making Avira a solid option for light torrenting. I downloaded a 100 MB file in under 2 minutes, but the 1GB data cap means you’ll only be able to torrent small files.

Your online data is protected by several security features. The service comes with highly secure OpenVPN and mobile-friendly IKEv2 protocols. It also uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and has a zero-logs policy. When I performed leak tests, no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks were detected. My location and other personal information was always kept private.

One thing to bear in mind is that its Windows app offers only 1 location (the nearest available). If you’re just looking to secure your normal Windows activity, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Useful Features

  • No-logs policy. Despite being headquartered in Germany, a 14-Eyes Alliance member, this VPN has a strict no-logging policy. It doesn't log browsing history, IP addresses, or personal information from your Windows device, making it a good option for privacy protection.
  • Malware protection. With just one click, Avira Phantom VPN's malware blocker can be enabled to safeguard your Windows PC from malicious sites and content, providing added protection against potential infections.

3. hide.me — Solid Security Features to Protect Your Data on a Windows PC Entirely Free

Best Feature Great security features to keep your Windows device secure
Security and Privacy Stealth Guard lets you restrict certain apps to only work when the VPN is active
Data Allowance 10GB per month completely free
Server Network 50+ free servers in 8 countries

hide.me's free Windows app offers strong security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. It also includes Stealth Guard, allowing you to restrict certain apps to work only when the VPN is connected. In my case, I selected BitTorrent — this meant I couldn’t accidentally torrent without the VPN active, placing myself at risk.

Screenshot of hideme's Stealth Guard featureAll I had to do was click “+ Add” and select the app I wanted to limit

I had decent speeds with hide.me. When I tested Hide.me’s free servers on Windows, my speeds were good. On average, my speeds were around 26.42Mbps — a 60% drop from my normal speeds. Combined with the data allowance, you can stream securely for about 3.5 hours in HD without lag.

You can use hide.me’s app for Windows 7 and up. You can also use a manual setup with OpenVPN to use hide.me on Windows XP. This makes hide.me the only free VPN in this list to support Windows XP in any capacity. However, this means you will have to control the VPN manually, which is time-consuming and not user-friendly.

Hide.me offers servers across Canada, the US, the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Singapore, and Japan, but our international team had problems making it work with major streaming platforms local to these regions. That said, I had no problem accessing Netflix Original content in my local library.

Useful Features

  • Split tunneling. Hide.me offers split tunneling, allowing you to set only specific apps to use the VPN connection. I used this to ensure that only my browser went through the VPN, so my monthly data wasn’t used up by background processes on my Windows PC.
  • No registration required. You can use the service without having to sign up or register. This means you don’t need to worry about hide.me storing records of your personal information and contact details.

4. Hotspot Shield — Free P2P Support for Secure Torrenting on Your Windows PC

Best Feature Most free monthly data among free VPNs with torrenting support
Security and Privacy Independently audited Catapult Hydra protocol ensures online safety
Data Allowance 15GB of data per month, but limited to 500MB per day
Server Network 1 free servers in 3 countries

Hotspot Shield supports P2P file sharing and is fast enough for torrenting small files on your Windows PC. During my tests, I had an average speed of 36.72Mbps, which let me download a 500MB file in under 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it only offers 1 free server, located in the US (I’m in the UK, which is more than 5,000 km away). However, you can use its unique Catapult Hydra protocol, which is particularly reliable for long-distance connections.

Screenshot of Hotspot Shield settings menuOnce activated, just connect to a server to activate Hydra

It excels in the security department as well. Its protocol is regularly audited by independent security specialists to confirm the absence of vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the service includes a kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS protection, and Perfect Forward Secrecy. I tested Hotspot Shield on a Windows PC and detected no leaks, so your PC location is entirely confidential.

Another cool feature is that I didn’t need to sign up or register to use Hotspot Shield’s Windows app. This way, you can be sure that the VPN doesn’t get hold of your contact or billing details.

Just bear in mind that its logging policy keeps logs of the bandwidth you consume and the duration of the VPN sessions. That said, all the data stored is anonymized.

Useful Features

  • Beginner-friendly app. Hotspot Shield’s clean UI is easy to navigate — connecting to a server just takes one click. Newbies to VPNs should have no trouble with it. Additionally, it’s compatible with Windows 7 and higher.
  • US, UK, and Singapore servers. Both I and my international friends were able to browse content from all three of Hotspot Shield's server locations without any problems. In my own tests, I had no issues using it with my local Netflix library.

5. TunnelBear — Free VPN with a Vast Server Network for Reliable Connections on Your Windows PC

Best Feature Free tier offers access to all server locations, the same as the paid plan
Security and Privacy GhostBear feature is designed to work even on restrictive networks
Data Allowance 2GB per month
Server Network 5,000 free servers across 47 countries

TunnelBear offers a ton of servers compared to most free VPNs. With 5,000 servers in 47 countries, it’s way easier to find a location close to you (for better speeds). The extensive server network is also beneficial in preventing speed slowdowns due to overcrowding. In my tests, I loaded and streamed high-quality videos without any delays.

Screenshot of TunnelBear's user interfaceYou can also let TunnelBear automatically connect you to the fastest server

Its security features keep the data on your Windows device safe. TunnelBear offers an automatic kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection, AES 256-bit encryption, and GhostBear (an obfuscation feature that is designed to work on restricted networks, such as China).

The privacy of your Windows gadget is robustly safeguarded. Tunnelbear maintains a strict policy of not logging your data, a fact confirmed by independent security organizations.

Unfortunately, the free version has a data cap of 2GB per month. Still, this is more generous than a wide array of the free VPNs available on the market.

Useful Features

  • World map interface. On the TunnelBear Windows app, connecting to servers in specific countries is a breeze through the map interface. Just scroll to your local location on the map and click to connect.
  • TCP Override. If you have an unstable connection, you can turn on this feature in the Windows app’s settings to stabilize your connection. The override feature forces TunnelBear to use a more dependable tunneling protocol (TCP), for a more reliable (but slower) connection.

6. Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN — Beginner-Friendly VPN to Easily Use It on Windows PCs

Best Feature A simple free VPN to quickly and easily protect your Windows PC
Security and Privacy Smart Protection alerts you when you’re at risk of data theft
Data Allowance 200MB per day
Server Network You can only connect to the closest server on the free version

Kaspersky VPN offers a user-friendly and straightforward VPN experience on Windows PC. It offers a simple interface — my friend who has never used a VPN before had no trouble navigating it during my tests. You can also set Kaspersky to launch and connect to a local server upon the startup of your Windows PC. This ensures your Windows activity is immediately and automatically protected.

The VPN also offers good security measures. In addition to using AES 256-bit encryption, Kaspersky comes with automatic IP/DNS leak protection to keep identifying data private. Furthermore, the service employs Smart Protection which alerts you about possible internet threats like unsecured connections.

However, Kaspersky is based in privacy-unfriendly Russia, which is concerning. That said, it has recently shut down its VPN service in Russia and moved a significant part of its infrastructure to the much more privacy-friendly Switzerland, addressing these concerns.

Useful Features

  • Simultaneous device connections. You can use this service on unlimited devices, without having to install it on a router.
  • Smart protection. This service automatically warns and prompts you to connect the VPN if you’re at risk, such as when you’re accessing bank websites or using unsecured public WiFi.

7. Speedify — Bonding Mode Prioritizes Connections for Fast Speeds on Windows

Best Feature Captive Portal Assist for uninterrupted protection on public WiFi
Security and Privacy AES 256-bit military-grade encryption to secure your Windows traffic
Data Allowance 2GB per month
Server Network 100 free servers across 35 countries

Speedify's Bonding Mode combines multiple internet connections into one unified secure connection. By using connection methods such as Wi-Fi, cellular data, and wired all at once, Speedify achieves faster speeds on Windows devices. It does this by dynamically distributing your traffic across these connections. When testing Speedify with Bonding Mode active, I got impressive speeds for a free VPN.

The free Windows version of Speedify allows you to use the entire server network, consisting of 100 servers across 35 countries. Unfortunately, Speedify doesn’t work with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. However, my global colleagues had no issues making it work with BBC iPlayer and YouTube TV.

Useful Features

  • Captive Portal Assist. When logging into public WiFi networks, you’re usually taken to a special portal that doesn’t support VPNs — meaning you have to temporarily disconnect the VPN and leave yourself vulnerable. Speedify seamlessly works with these public WiFi portals, so you never have to leave your personal data exposed.
  • Enhance Streaming Mode. This feature prioritizes streaming traffic over your other types of Windows traffic, reducing the risk of slowdowns and buffering.

Bonus. ExpressVPN — The Fastest and Most Reliable Windows VPN for Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming

Best Feature The fastest VPN to stream, game, or torrent on Windows with no interruptions
Speed Drop from Base Connection Only an 8% drop — the fastest of all the VPNs I tested
Security and Privacy Threat Manager prevents apps or websites from tracking your activity across your Windows device
Data allowance Unlimited for endless streaming, torrenting, and gaming
Server Network 3,000+ servers in 105 that work with Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds of all the VPNs on this list. Our international team tested its German, US, and Canadian servers, and got an average speed of 61.45Mbps. Even on long-distance servers in Australia and Japan, our test showed an average of 58.74Mbps — only a 12% drop from the baseline. Typically, a 10–20% drop is considered normal, so this performance was impressive. These speeds were more than fast enough to stream in UHD, which requires a minimum of 25Mbps.

ExpressVPN speed test results show 8% speed lossMy average speed drop with ExpressVPN was a mere 8%

Thanks to its 3,000+ servers in 105 countries, you can always find a reliable server to browse, stream, or torrent on Windows. During my tests, the VPN worked with my local Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer accounts. The entire network supports P2P activity as well. It even works in countries with online censorship (like China and Turkey). However, my team and I don’t condone any illegal activities, so always check your local laws and regulations surrounding VPN use.

The VPN supports multiple protocols, including its proprietary Lightway. As the name suggests, Lightway is lightweight — it only uses 1,000 lines of code as opposed to OpenVPN's 70,000. OpenVPN is a trusted protocol due to having a good security record over many years, but I still recommend using Lightway with your Windows PC. It’s secure (it's passed independent audits), reliable, and gave me the best speeds.

Setting up and navigating ExpressVPN on your Windows device is easy. It only took me 5 minutes to download and install it, and connecting to a server only takes 1 click. I recommend using the “Launch on startup” option. This will automatically connect you to the fastest server available every time you turn on your PC, so you never go online without encryption. It’s compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11 (and even XP with an OpenVPN manual setup).

Its split tunneling feature allows you to choose which of your Windows apps pass through the VPN. This let me use the VPN connection to watch Hulu securely on my browser, while online games could stay on my low-latency regular connection.

ExpressVPN also keeps your data protected with its secure Windows app. It offers military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch that immediately cuts off your internet if your VPN connection drops. Adding to this is ExpressVPN’s IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection which ensures your true location is never revealed. You also benefit from the useful Threat Manager feature, which prevents websites and apps from sharing your data with malicious third parties.

In addition, ExpressVPN adheres to a trustworthy zero-logs policy audited and verified by independent security companies. I liked that ExpressVPN uses RAM-based servers, meaning your data is inaccessible and automatically deleted with every server reboot. ExpressVPN is also based in the British Virgin Islands — outside the 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction. This means that even if a legal request were made for your data, ExpressVPN wouldn’t have to comply (and wouldn’t have any data to share anyway).

Although ExpressVPN isn’t 100% free, it is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. This way, you can test all ExpressVPN’s premium features risk-free. If you’re not impressed with it, you can get your money back. I tried this policy and asked for a refund using its 24/7 live chat support. The chat agent quickly approved my refund after asking me a few user-satisfaction-related questions. I had my money back in 3 business days.

ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

Quick Comparison Table: Best Free VPNs for Windows PCs

When choosing a free Windows VPN, you’ll need to consider the amount of data you get and what security measures it has so you can protect your Windows PC without slowing down its network features.

VPN Speed Rating Data Limit Per Month Logging Policy Server Locations Sign Up Required Device Limit Windows Compatibility
🥇Proton VPN Fast Unlimited Strict No-Logs 3 Yes 1 7, 8, 10, 11
🥈Avira Phantom VPN Fast Up to 1GB Strict No-Logs Can connect to closest server only No Unlimited 7, 8, 10, 11
🥉hide.me Average 10GB Strict No-Logs 8 No 1 XP, 7, 8, 10, 11
Hotspot Shield Fast Unlimited Keeps Anonymized Logs 3 No 1 7, 8, 10, 11
TunnelBear Average 500MB Keeps Anonymized Logs 23 Yes 1 7, 8, 10, 11
Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN Average 6GB (200MB/day) Keeps Anonymized Logs Can connect to closest server only No Unlimited 7, 8, 10, 11
Speedify Fast 2GB Keeps Anonymized Logs 35 No 5 10, 11
🏆Best Premium Alternative
ExpressVPN Very fast Unlimited Strict No-Logs 105 Yes 8 XP, 7, 8, 10, 11

Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Windows

My team and I used the following criteria during our research to determine which free VPNs for PCs belong on this list. If you’d like to do your own research, feel free to use the following criteria for yourself:

  • Free Windows app. I ensured that all the VPNs on my list are compatible with Windows 7 and up and are completely free forever, with no hidden charges.
  • Servers in the locations you need. If you wish to get an IP address for a specific country, you should check whether your Windows VPN offers servers in that location. Many forever-free VPNs only offer servers in a few countries. For the most flexibility, choose a VPN that offers an extensive server network across the globe.
  • Advanced security features. Windows devices are common targets for hackers and cybercriminals, so it’s really important your free VPN is secure. Each of the VPNs on this list has AES 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak protection. Most of them also offer features like a kill switch or Perfect Forward Secrecy to provide further security.
  • Robust privacy features and policies. I read every logging policy to ensure that none of these free Windows VPNs store your identifiable data. I also checked if these policies were independently audited or proven in court.
  • Fast speeds and enough data. Many free Windows VPN significantly limit your speeds and available data. I checked all the data limits and tested the speeds of all these free VPNs to make sure you can browse the internet without major slowdowns for a reasonable amount of time.
  • User-friendly native Windows app. The VPNs on this list offer a user-friendly native Windows app compatible with Windows 7 and up. I also tried to pick VPNs that didn’t constantly bombard you with ads, or push you to upgrade to a premium plan.
  • Lightweight app that doesn’t use too much CPU or RAM. We monitored the free Windows app for each VPN to ensure that it used minimal RAM and CPU, ensuring that it doesn’t take up all your device’s resources.
  • Supports torrenting. I made sure that most VPNs on my list support torrenting. If you want a free Windows VPN for torrenting, it’s important to check that it actually allows P2P sharing on its free servers.
  • Works with streaming platforms. Most free VPNs don’t work with streaming sites at all, but I made sure to shortlist some options that could at least let you watch your local Netflix library securely.
  • Good customer support. I ensured that it was easy to get in touch with customer support in case you need help. 24/7 live chats are the best, but not all free Windows VPNs offer them.

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a Free VPN on Windows in 3 Easy Steps

  1. [inlineHowToStep id=”0″ name=”Download a free Windows VPN” img=””]Download a free Windows VPN. I recommend Proton VPN because it offers unlimited bandwidth and great security features.
  2. [inlineHowToStep id=”1″ name=”Connect to a server” img=””]Connect to a server. Connect to your local server to keep your speeds as fast as possible.
  3. [inlineHowToStep id=”2″ name=”Start browsing” img=””]Start browsing. Now you can safely browse on your Windows device.

Free VPNs You Should Avoid

The subsequent free VPNs are deemed unsafe and should be avoided. These services have been shown to disseminate your information to third-party entities or come bundled with malicious software and viruses.

  • Hola Free: Hola’s free VPN is pretty popular, but it’s not a VPN. It’s actually a peer-to-peer network. This means that you share your personal IP with strangers, who could potentially use it to perform illegal activities, which could be traced back to you.
  • UFO VPN: This VPN has been found to keep logs of user data, including the websites you visit, your name, IP address, and more. Its privacy policy also states that it might share this information with third parties for a variety of reasons.
  • TurboVPN: Full of targeted advertisements and trackers. This VPN logs and shares your data with third parties.
  • Betternet VPN: It was caught with a high level of malware embedded in the app. Moreover, it keeps logs of your personal information (such as domains you’ve visited, your location, and what device you’re using).

Free vs Paid VPNs: Which Is Best for You?

The choice between a free and paid Windows VPN depends on your specific needs and priorities. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which is best for you:

  • Speeds. Premium VPNS usually offer far faster speeds than free VPNs. This means every internet-connected application on your Windows device will perform better with a paid VPN. For example, you can stream in high quality without issue and download torrents in much less time. Many free VPNs struggle with Windows applications that require a fast internet connection.
  • Security and privacy. Many paid Windows VPNs feature more robust security features, such as the latest and greatest VPN protocols, server obfuscation, and so on. They are also less inclined to log your online activities. While you can certainly find free VPNs that offer similar levels of security and privacy protection to premium VPNs (such as Proton VPN), they are rare.
  • Data caps. Most, but not all, free VPNs enforce significant data caps. Simply streaming for an hour or downloading a 500MB file can use up all your monthly data in some cases. On the other hand, premium VPNs tend to offer unlimited data — so you can do as much as you like without running into limits.
  • Ads. Some free VPNs are ad-supported. This means that your free Windows VPN app may show banner ads, pop-ups, and even full unskippable video ads in extreme cases. Paid VPNs don’t include ads (in most cases), as you’re already paying for the service.
  • Server locations. Paid VPNs typically provide access to larger and more dependable server networks, meaning it’s less likely you’ll run into overcrowded servers. In contrast, free VPNs often restrict users to a highly limited set of servers that are shared by all free users, which also tend to not be well-maintained.
  • Customer support. Most premium Windows VPNs offer more responsive support — some even offer 24/7 live chat. Most free VPNs don’t even offer support services, and for those that do, you may be left waiting a long time for a response.
  • Budget. If you’re on a tight budget, a free Windows VPN may be your best bet. While paid VPNs usually offer free trials or a money-back guarantee to try the service, you’ll still be expected to pay for continued service after this period expires.

To summarize, go with a free Windows VPN if you’re just looking to secure your light browsing traffic. If you wish to stream in high quality or torrent a lot of stuff, you’ll have much better luck with a paid VPN.

FAQs About Free VPNs for Windows PCs

Are free Windows VPNs safe?

Most reputable “freemium” Windows VPNs are safe. These are free versions of paid VPNs offered by well-known names in the industry. They’re usually seen as a permanent free trial, with the VPN provider hoping that you can be pushed to upgrade to the paid version. All of the VPNs in our list of the top free VPNs for Windows fall into this category.

On the other hand, free Windows VPNs from unknown companies that don’t seem to have any clear motive or form of revenue should be avoided. These services usually make their money by logging and selling your personal data. Some may even infect your device with malware.

Are there free VPNs for Windows with P2P/torrenting support?

Yes, but not all of them. Many free Windows VPNs don’t support P2P traffic, but there are a few exceptions. Just keep in mind that the data caps common with free VPNs will significantly limit the amount of data you can download.

Are there free VPNs for Windows without registration?

Yes, some free VPNs let you use them without signing up. This means you won’t have to give out your sensitive personal information, so you can use these services privately. Avira Phantom VPN is a good example of a free Windows VPN that does not require signup.

Is there a free unlimited VPN for Windows?

Yes, there are a few free VPNs that offer unlimited data on Windows. Proton VPN is a good example of a free Windows VPN with 100% unlimited data. You can secure as much of your Windows traffic as you like without running into limits.

Does Windows 10 have a built-in VPN?

Not really, but Windows 10 lets you manually set up VPN connections. I don’t recommend this because manual connections lack advanced features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and multiple security protocols. Plus, you’ll still have to find your own (third-party) VPN service to make it work. You’re better off just using a quality free Windows VPN app since you have to sign up for a service anyway (and they don’t require any manual configuration).

Can I use a free Windows VPN for Netflix and other streaming platforms?

Some free Windows VPNs work with streaming platforms. A few of our top free Windows VPNs can work with your local Netflix library, for example.

That said, many free VPNs generally don’t work reliably with streaming services. You may also only be able to stream for a very limited time in standard definition, due to slow speeds and data caps.

Can I use a free Windows VPN on other devices?

Yes, most free services offer support for non-Windows devices. All of my top free Windows VPNs also offer apps for other popular devices, such as Android, iOS, macOS, and more.

Are free VPNs legal to use?

It depends on local laws. The use of free Windows VPNs to protect your online data is legal in most countries around the world. Only a few countries (such as China and Iran) have banned them or regulate their use, so it’s best to read up on the rules in countries like that before using a VPN there.

Protect Your Windows PC Today

If you’re looking to keep to a budget, all of the free Windows VPNs above may work for you. I’ve confirmed that each of them takes your security and privacy on Windows seriously, and all of them are entirely safe to use.

With that being said, ProtonVPN is my top pick for Windows PCs. It provides a simple and lightweight app, robust security features that compete with most paid VPNs, and unlimited data, making it a great pick for securing all your Windows traffic.

However, if you’re looking to stream, torrent, or play games, I recommend ExpressVPN as the best paid alternative. It offers a much larger and more reliable server network along with far faster speeds, meaning you can stream local content in UHD, torrent without slowdowns, and play games securely at low latency. You can test ExpressVPN risk-free thanks to its 30 money-back guarantee — if you aren’t a fan, you can get a full refund.

Haven't found a suitable free VPN? Check out these best paid alternatives...

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1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
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2
9.7 /10
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3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
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4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 67%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 82%!
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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

Keira is an experienced cybersecurity and tech writer dedicated to providing comprehensive insights on VPNs, online privacy, and internet censorship.

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