A reliable free VPN is a dime a dozen. 100% free VPN services usually offer limited features, and the ones offer them properly often engage in data harvesting practices. So, since Windows has a history of security weaknesses, you’ll be putting yourself at multiple risks by choosing a free VPN for Windows.
At VPNRanks, we tested 60+ free VPNs to find the most reliable and safe options for Windows. Unfortunately, most providers in the list had multiple limitations, including slow speeds, small server networks, or limited security features. But, we managed to find out 7 free Windows VPNs that were still safer to use than the rest.
If you ask us for our top recommendation, we’d recommend ExpressVPN for Windows. That’s because it offers thousands of servers, robust security features, and blazing-fast speeds. And unlike free options, it doesn’t come with restrictions. It even offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, using which you can test the VPN free for a month.
The Best Free VPN for Windows – In-Depth Analysis
The following VPNs offer free services, albeit with some limitations. If you need full-fledged VPNs with all premium features, check out this article on paid Windows VPNs. Let’s now focus on the best free VPN apps for Windows:
1. ExpressVPN — Best Windows VPN with a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN’s Windows application user interface is so simple that anyone who isn’t even familiar with the concept of a VPN can easily operate it like a pro within a few minutes. It is easily configurable on Windows OS versions 7, 8, 10, and 11 and is available in 16 different languages for native users worldwide. We visited its Settings and changed the language to Korean in just a few clicks.
Moreover, you also get a shortcuts feature that allows you to add shortcuts to your favorite apps and websites to quickly launch them while connected.
ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries along with unlimited bandwidth so you can reliably unblock, stream, and torrent without any issues on your Windows device. During our tests, we could change Netflix region and unblock 11+ libraries pretty easily. We could also unblock Disney+ and Hulu with ExpressVPN without issues.
Moreover, ExpressVPN offers blazing-fast speeds to users. When we tested its US – New York server on our Windows PC, the VPN delivered a download speed of 89.42 Mbps, which had a speed drop of only 11% from our base speed of 100 Mbps.
As for security, ExpressVPN’s headquarter is located in the British Virgin Islands, a country outside the jurisdiction of 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. Its other noticeable security features include AES-256-Bit encryption, a zero-log policy, TrustedServer technology, and Private DNS.
It also provides protection against Log4Shell vulnerability – no other VPN provider has offered such protection yet. Finally, ExpressVPN’s kill switch disconnects you from the internet if the VPN connection drops.
We tested ExpressVPN for DNS leaks to see if it reveals our IP address. When connected to its US server, the VPN did not leak our actual IP at all:
You get all this and much more quickly with ExpressVPN. In addition, it comes with a 24/7 live chat customer support that you can use in case of any queries.
To learn more about this provider, check out our ExpressVPN review.
- Blazing-fast speed on all 3000+ servers
- User-friendly apps for all Windows devices
- Multi-lingual interface
- Unblocks all major streaming services
- Offers unlimited data to users
- Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free plan
2. Proton VPN – Free Unlimited VPN for Windows
Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Windows that offers unlimited data. It’s rare to see a free VPN plan offering unlimited bandwidth and a simple Windows app, but Proton VPN does a great job at offering all that.
It’s compatible with multiple Windows versions like 7, 8, 10, and 11. Once you download its app on Windows, you can click the ‘Quick Connect’ button and connect to the fastest server in seconds.
Unlike ExpressVPN, this VPN offers only 3 server locations in Japan, the US, and the Netherlands. You can try unblocking US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max using these servers. As for us, we could only unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime with Proton VPN. Since the server network is quite small, you can barely torrent with this VPN.
Moreover, the speeds weren’t that great of Proton VPN. Upon testing its US and Japanese servers, we got a speed drop of 35-45%, which was certainly higher than we expected. We didn’t record speeds any slower than 55 Mbps and could enjoy watching an episode of our favorite shows without buffering.
As for security, there are various effective and reliable security features that ProtonVPN offers. These include a no-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, and OpenVPN protocols. The VPN offers Perfect Forward Secrecy for an extra layer of security. This feature changes the encryption keys every time you connect to a new server.
You also get a kill switch that protects your online activities from leaking and DNS/IP leak protection, which protects your IP address at all costs. We conducted a leak test by connecting to its US server, and it did not leak our IP at all.
This totally free VPN for Windows doesn’t offer a live chat option to users. But, you can use its ticketing system in case of any queries.
You can learn more about this service in our Proton VPN review.
- Multiple servers in 3 locations
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime
- Great free VPN for Windows 11
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming platforms
- Saves a few security features for its premium subscribers
3. Windscribe – Free VPN for Windows with 10 GB/mo Data Cap
Windscribe is a free VPN for Windows 7, 8, and 10 with a 10 GB monthly bandwidth limit. Its free version offers you a 2 GB monthly bandwidth limit, but if you provide your email address, you get a complete 10 GB monthly bandwidth limit for your Windows device.
It’s an excellent VPN for Windows that is easy to use. It offers great connectivity, and it’s super simple to establish a VPN connection with any server of your choice.
Windscribe offers servers in 10+ countries, including the US, Switzerland, UK, and Canada. With these servers and bandwidth, you can easily unblock popular streaming services such as Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and more. We tried unblocking various platforms with this VPN but only became successful with Disney+ and Netflix.
Windscribe offers consistent speeds, which were more or less the same as the VPN above. On our Windscribe speed test, we faced a drop of 35%, taking our speeds to 65 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
Moreover, you can use this VPN to reduce your digital footprint. That’s because it offers 256-bit encryption and a privacy-affirming logging policy to ensure your privacy remains safe. It also comes with a feature known as ROBERT, which works as a configurable ad/malicious website blocker, among other uses.
You can access ROBERT through your user control panel on the main Windscribe website. Any change you make to ROBERT will automatically reflect on Windscribe’s Windows app that you’re using.
We tested this VPN for DNS leaks by connecting to its US server. The purpose of this was to ensure that Windscribe doesn’t leak your IP.
Windscribe offers a chatbot, Garry, to whom you can ask any questions you like. But please note that all questions should only be in English.
See this Windscribe VPN review for more details.
- Servers in 10+ countries
- ROBERT feature on Windows app
- Unblocks Netflix and Disney+
- Doesn’t keep logs
- Speeds can be improved
4. Hotspot Shield – Catapult Hydra to Increase Speed
Hotspot Shield is one of the popular free VPNs for Windows that offers the Catapult Hydra protocol for faster speeds. The VPN is compatible with 7, 8, 10, and 11, owing to its native Windows app that doesn’t require any kind of registration. This insanely popular VPN has 600 million worldwide downloads to its name and offers free 500 MB/day bandwidth.
This free VPN needs no introduction. It’s kinda like Conor McGregor, instantly recognizable. And just like McGregor, it packs in a lot. Its apps are very well designed, optimized, and super easy to use with one-click connectivity.
But, it only offers a single VPN server located in the United States. But despite offering one server location, we could easily unblock various streaming services such as US Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Spotify, ESPN+, and more when we tested it.
It further comes with a unique Catapult Hydra protocol that offers decent speeds, which is rare for a no-cost VPN. Speaking of which, we faced a drop of roughly 40% on our office internet connection, causing our speeds to drop to 50-55 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
As for more features, Hotspot Shield offers split tunneling, malware detection, automated WiFi protection, malware protection, and obfuscation capabilities. It even offers military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to keep users encrypted.
We then tested this VPN for DNS leaks. Even with a single US server, Hotspot Shield did not leak our IP address:
That being said, just like any free VPN, this VPN also has a few drawbacks.
Since the Hotspot Shield’s free subscription plan only offers a 500 MB/day bandwidth, it is not ideal for power users. At most, you can stream for about half an hour in HD quality with a 500 MB limit.
Overall, Hotspot Shield is a decent choice for Windows users with low data usage requirements while offering privacy you can trust.
You can check out our Hotspot Shield review for more details.
- User-friendly app for Windows
- Ensures security and anonymity
- Offers the Catapult Hydra protocol
- Unblocks multiple streaming platforms
- 1 server location only
- Cannot unblock Amazon Prime
5. Hide.Me – Secure free VPN for Windows
Hide.Me is another free VPN for Windows that’s actually really secure. This free VPN offers 10 GB bandwidth per month and decent speeds for Windows 7, 8, and 10 devices.
Although it offers a premium version, its free version is pretty spectacular. For instance, it comes with an automatic connect feature on startup, so you don’t have to turn it on each time after booting up your Windows device.
Its free version also offers 5 server locations, including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. During testing, we could unblock different media platforms such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and more. However, not on the first try.
If we talk about speeds, for a free VPN, Hide.Me is average. Upon testing its Canadian server, we noticed a drop of 30%, which is not that much. We didn’t record speeds any slower than 55 Mbps and could enjoy watching shows without buffering.
If we dig more into features, it offers online security and protection with features such as Stealth Guard that offers complete security, a kill switch, which ensures that your online activities do not leak, and split tunneling, which allows you to enjoy a VPN connection and your regular internet traffic together.
It even offers an auto-connect feature that connects you to a VPN server as soon as you start your Windows device. We tested this VPN for IP leaks by connecting to its US server, and here are the results.
This VPN provider also offers 24/7 customer support to users in case they have any queries. We tested their customer service and were immediately replied to.
Overall, it is a great free VPN, and you can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.me review.
- Robust security features
- 24/7 live chat support
- Simple UI on Windows app
- Average speeds
- 1 device connection only
TunnelBear is the best free VPN for Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. It boasts excellent usability and an appealing GUI with an animated bear burrowing its way through the map as you switch server locations. This free VPN offers 500 MB bandwidth per month, but if you tweet about the VPN provider, then you’d get 1 GB bandwidth completely free.
The free account also includes access to 49 server locations, which is pretty impressive. These countries include the US, the UK, Japan, Brazil, and more. With some of its servers, we could unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, ITV, Channel 4, and more during our tests.
As for speeds, TunnelBear offers decent speeds – better than some free VPNs. When we tested its US server on our Windows PC, the VPN delivered a download speed of 45.40 Mbps. Moreover, we experienced a drop of around 55% using our 100 Mbps office internet connection.
Owned by McAfree, TunnelBear is also known to offer a TCP Override setting for its Windows app. This allows Tunnelbear to provide users with a more stable connection using the slower TCP protocol to improve user performance.
TunnelBear uses AES-256-Bit encryption and has a complete zero-log policy to ensure that your actual identity and internet traffic remain anonymous and protected.
We also tested this VPN for DNS leak tests by connecting to its UK server. You can see in the image below that TunnelBear did not leak our actual IP address at all:
The only downside of this VPN is that it offers 500 MB of data per month. If you’re planning a movie marathon, this isn’t enough data because you can only watch one episode of your favorite show a month, and you’re stuck in standard definition.
Also, TunnelBear doesn’t offer 24/7 live chat customer support. However, it does provide email support.
Overall, if your usage is minimal, confined to just casual browsing and unblocking, TunnelBear is a great free VPN option. For more information, check out our detailed TunnelBear review.
- Doesn’t log your data
- User-friendly app for Windows
- Servers in 49 locations
- 500 MB/mo data only
Speedify is a new kid on the block but is considered the best VPN free for Windows 10 and 11, offering a 2 GB/month bandwidth limit.
In addition, with a server network that spans over 35 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Oceania, you can easily bypass various geo-restriction issues.
While the 2 GB bandwidth limitation prevented us from doing a lot of downloading and streaming, we could still unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, 9Now, ABC iview, and more.
Speedify uses a special technique called Channel Bonding. This uses all the available internet connections to give you the highest possible upload and download speeds. Speaking of which, during testing, Speedify managed to deliver speeds of up to 58 Mbps, affecting our speeds by no more than 45%.
The only downside is that it can quickly consume your internet bandwidth, so you better be careful if you are on a limited data subscription plan.
For online security and privacy, Speedify relies on AES 128-GCM encryption instead of AES 256-bit encryption, which is decent for everyday surfing and streaming. If you have an older Windows device, Speedify uses a ChaCha encryption cipher, which gives you 256-bit encryption, and it’s three times faster than many other no-cost VPNs.
While it does retain some information related to the user, it promises never to store any information concerning VPN connection or browsing activity.
Moreover, we tested Speedify for IP leaks by connecting to its Australian server. As you can see, the VPN successfully bypass our DNS/IP leak test:
Speedify allows 5 simultaneous per account. Their customer support can be contacted by emailing them or filling out the contact us form on their official website.
Overall, it is a decent free VPN option. Check out our Speedify review if you’re interested in this provider.
- Feature-rich app interface
- Channel bonding technology
- 2 GB data/mo
- Limited server network
- Lacks advanced features
Quick Comparison Table: Free VPN for Windows PC
Here is a quick comparison table so you can shortlist and download a free VPN for Windows easily:
|Data Usage Limit||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB/mo||500 MB/mo||10 GB/mo||500 MB/mo||2 GB/mo|
|Logging Policy||Strict No-Logs||Strict No-Logs||Strict No-Logs||Keeps Minimal Logs||Keeps Minimal Logs||Keeps Minimal Logs||Strict No-Logs|
|Server Locations||3000+ servers in 94 countries||3 locations (USA, Netherlands, and Japan)||Servers in 10 countries||Servers in US only||4 Countries (US, Canada, Singapore, Netherlands)||Servers in over 49 locations||50+ servers in 35+ countries|
|Sign Up Required||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Windows compatibility||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11||Windows 7, 8, 10, 11|
|Read More||ExpressVPN Review||ProtonVPN Review||Windscribe Review||Hotspot Shield Review||Hide.Me Review||TunnelBear Review||Speedify Review||–|
|More Info||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
How We Tested & Ranked the Best Free VPNs for Windows
To make sure you get a good and well-performing best free VPN for Windows, here are a few essential we bore in mind:
1. No logging policy:
Since the primary purpose of a VPN is to guard users’ privacy, it is important to know how much user data they collect.
Some VPN services have a highly secure logging policy like ProtonVPN and Windscribe. However, some free providers like Hola VPN and Betternet collect more information than they should.
Nowadays, anything less than a dedicated GUI-based app is unacceptable for a VPN. The zero-cost VPN for Windows described above all has well-designed free Windows apps that you can easily install.
3. Limited Bandwidth:
The top free VPN for Windows often imposes bandwidth restrictions. Unfortunately, that can’t be helped. However, you can ensure choosing a VPN that offers a reasonable amount of internet bandwidth, such as those mentioned in this guide.
Some VPNs can slow down your connection speed, preventing you from surfing the web smoothly. The list of VPNs covered in this guide isn’t the fastest in the industry, but you can still get decent enough speeds considering they are free. Just download the best free VPN for PC, and enjoy a stable connection!
Free VPNs to Avoid on Windows
Various free VPNs do more damage than good to users. These VPNs are a disgrace to the privacy of users and put them at risk. These are as follows:
- Hola VPN: Hola is one VPN that needs to be avoided at all costs. When tested, this VPN was found leaking our original IP address to the internet service provider (ISP). Furthermore, it was also found to sell data to multiple third-party sites.
- HoxxVPN: This VPN is known to track all user activities, collect logs, and sell them to third-party websites. It was also discovered that the VPN works with authorities in data retention.
- Betternet: Betternet comes with multiple IP address leaks and slow speeds when tested. Moreover, it’s known to inject malware into VPN apps.
Why Should Free VPNs Be Avoided?
A free VPN works like a tunnel full of holes that can easily leak your IP address and data. Hackers can track your online activities, and prying eyes can monitor and expose your data to various privacy threats. In short, free VPNs are risky and dangerous to your privacy and security.
Still not convinced?
Let’s dive in a bit deeper and see why free VPNs should be avoided at all costs.
1. Tracks, collects, and sells user data:
Reliable and best free VPNs for Windows are designed to offer online privacy and anonymity. They mask your online activities, swap your original IP address, and allow you to get past geo-restrictions.
They also prevent ISPs and hackers from snooping on your online activities. They offer all this without logging any of your online activities.
On the other hand, free VPNs don’t offer any online privacy. To begin with, they log all your browsing activities. They keep track of all the websites you visit, including what purchases you make. Furthermore, they not only collect your sensitive data but also sell it to third parties, which is a major breach of privacy.
2. Leaks your IP:
Paid VPNs create a private tunnel between your device and the VPN server. Everything inside of that tunnel stays hidden from the outside world – preventing hackers and other malicious entities from exploiting your sensitive data.
Free VPNs also create a tunnel. However, they’re not secure at all. To paint a picture, it’s like their tunnel has numerous holes through which your data can leak. Once your data is leaked, it can become a privacy threat.
3. Annoying ads:
Although free VPNs don’t charge you anything, they do make money through advertising. Anyone who has used a free VPN before knows exactly what we’re talking about. When you launch the app, you’ll start seeing all sorts of annoying ads.
These ads are not only annoying, but they can also be a security risk. You see, a lot of ads can redirect you to malicious websites. Therefore, accidentally clicking on a malicious ad can compromise your device.
4. Exposure to malware:
Most free VPNs on the market contain malware. According to research, 38% of free Android VPNs contain malware. If you don’t know, malware can damage your device. It can cause your device to lag or even heat up by running multiple background tasks that can consume your RAM.
Malware can also steal your sensitive information, such as your social security numbers and banking information.
FAQs – Best Free VPN for Windows
Is setting up a free VPN on Windows difficult?
No, setting up a zero-cost VPN on your Windows is very easy since most VPN services offer dedicated free VPN software for Windows. Moreover, the providers also provide guides and tutorials that are very easy and simple to follow.
Is there a free unlimited VPN for Windows?
ProtonVPN is a free VPN offering unlimited data to browse without any limitations on your Windows. Using its unlimited bandwidth, you can use your Windows device without being cut off anytime. That’s a good feature since most free VPNs only offer between 500 MB – 10 GB of data every month.
What is the best free VPN for Windows 10?
ExpressVPN is the best free VPN for Windows 10 PC if you go for its 30-day refund policy. It offers an overall fantastic service with top-notch security, privacy, and speed. But, if you’re looking for a completely free VPN for Windows, then you can opt for ProtonVPN.
Are these free VPNs safe to use for everyday streaming on my Windows device?
Yes, a few free VPNs are safe to use for streaming as they let you access geo-blocked streaming services and keep you secure. These VPNs include ProtonVPN, Windscribe, and TunnelBear.
What is the best free VPN software for Windows?
Here’s the list of the best free VPN software for Windows you can download today:
- Proton VPN: Completely secure with unlimited bandwidth
- Windscribe: Great bandwidth limit and security
- Hotspot Shield Basic: VPN that’s good for unblocking US Netflix
- Hide.me: Great speeds and data for Windows users
Are there free VPNs for Windows with P2P/torrenting support?
Yes, the best absolutely free VPNs for Windows as per our P2P tests are:
- Windscribe: Overall the best free VPN for torrenting
- Proton VPN: A free and safe VPN for torrenting with unlimited data
- Hide.me: A P2P VPN that’s free but with a 10 GB/mo data cap
Are there free VPNs for Windows without registration?
Hide.me is a user-friendly free VPN that requires no registration. This way, no information of yours is shared with third parties. Hide.me offers robust encryption technologies, amazing download speeds, and an easy-to-use client.
Conclusion – Best Free VPN for Windows
Free VPNs are pretty unsafe and may cost you your privacy. While we could list various trustworthy and reliable VPNs, they come with multiple limitations, including slow speeds, data restrictions, and intrusive ads.
That’s why we highly recommend sticking to ExpressVPN. Even though it isn’t free, it offers unlimited bandwidth, fast speeds, and military-grade encryption that you cannot find in a free VPN service. In addition, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can risk-free test the VPN. If you remain unsatisfied, you can claim a refund anytime.
Liked our free VPN for Windows guide? Feel free to comment in case of any queries.