A reliable free VPN is a dime a dozen. But, the question is, is there any free VPN for Windows?
100% free VPN services usually offer limited features, and the ones that they do offer often engage in data harvesting practices.
As such, this is a major problem for Windows users opting for free VPN services. Users have to decide between allowing their privacy to be sold by these providers in exchange for free VPN service access or settling for half-baked free VPN apps that don’t even work as they’re supposed to.
That is why we recommend our free users subscribe to premium VPNs like ExpressVPN.
But in this pile of fraud and substandard solutions, there are very few best free VPN for windows that are completely legitimate and effective, in a limited way, for various purposes.
Best Free VPN for Windows – Quick Overview
Here is a list of all the free VPNs for Windows we recommend:
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 — Amazing Speed + 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
In addition, it is easily configurable on Windows OS versions 7, 8, and 10. With ExpressVPN, You can also share VPN connections with Smart TVs and gaming consoles via Windows devices.
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.
According to your network conditions, the Smart Location feature allows you to establish a VPN connection with the most optimized server.
It operates 3000+ servers in 94 countries so that you can unblock content from all around the world.
A large server network means reliable connections. We could easily unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, BT–Sports, Channel 4, ABC iview, and more during our tests.
Since our average speed was 95.3 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection, we could easily stream all the shows in 4K Ultra-HD video quality.
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, a trusted server network, an internet kill switch (network lock), and a private DNS.
Moreover, it also provides protection against Log4Shell vulnerability – no other VPN provider has offered such protection yet.
A single ExpressVPN subscription offers unlimited bandwidth, data, and five simultaneous connections.
Apart from supporting Windows devices, it is also compatible with other popular devices such as Mac, PS4, Xbox, Android, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Roku, and more.
All that is available for only $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan) with a quite helpful 24/7 live chat customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more about this provider, check out our ExpressVPN review.
2. ProtonVPN – Free Unlimited VPN for Windows
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for multiple Windows versions like 7, 8, and 10. It’s rare to see a free VPN plan offering unlimited bandwidth and a simple Windows app, but ProtonVPN does a great job at offering all that.
However, a drawback of this service is that it offers only 3 server locations in Japan, the US, and the Netherlands. But, despite a limited server network, the VPN could unblock various VoD services, including Amazon Prime, DAZN, Hulu, Hotstar, Netflix, and more.
Its unblocking capabilities ensured that the VPN offers decent speeds to users. We tested all of its free plan servers and enjoyed Ultra HD streaming easily.
As for security, there are various effective and reliable security features that ProtonVPN offers. These include a no-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, ad-blocker, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN protocols.
It also offers a feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy that assigns all its users a new encryption key for each session. This makes sure that your sessions are completely secure.
This VPN 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 ProtonVPN review.
3. Windscribe – Free VPN for Windows with a 10 GB/mo bandwidth
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.
Windscribe offers servers in 10 countries, including the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the UK.
Windscribe is one of the excellent free VPN services for Windows-based in Canada 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.
With 10 GB bandwidth and servers available in 10 different countries, you can easily unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot, Sony Liv, and more.
The Windows app of Windscribe uses OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption and a privacy-affirming logging policy to ensure your privacy remains safe.
Since Windows is not a very privacy-friendly operating system, you can at least protect some of what you can while connected to Windscribe during your online sessions.
It also offers 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.
See this Windscribe VPN review for more details.
4. Hotspot Shield – Catapult Hydra to Increase speed
Hotspot Shield is one of the popular free VPNs for Windows 7, 8, and 10 owing to its native Windows app that doesn’t require any kind of registration.
It further comes with Catapult Hydra protocol that maintains decent speeds on your Windows, which is rare for a no-cost VPN.
Unfortunately, the Hotspot Shield’s free subscription plan only offers a 500 MB/day bandwidth. So at most, you can stream for about half an hour in HD quality with a 500 MB limit.
Another disappointing thing about this provider is that it only offers a single VPN server located in the United States.
However, we could easily unblock various streaming services such as US Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Spotify, ESPN+, and more when we tested the server.
Hotspot Shield uses AES-26-Bit encryption, internet kill switch, and Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol to offer complete online security, privacy, and data protection at super-fast speeds.
Hotspot Shield also publishes an annual transparency report, which is rare for no-cost VPNs. In terms of speed, it offers decent performance but is not outstanding, as is typically expected for free providers.
Overall, Hotspot Shield is a decent choice for Windows users with low data usage requirements.
See this Hotspot Shield review for more details.
5. Hide.Me – Popular free VPN for Windows with a 10 GB/mo bandwidth
Hide.Me offers unrestricted bandwidth and speed for Windows 7, 8, and 10 devices. It also 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.
It offers five server locations with a free subscription, including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. The only limitation regarding the bandwidth is that it offers 10 GB bandwidth per month.
However, it is sufficient for casual browsing, checking social media, and streaming on different media platforms such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Apple+, Crave TV, and more.
It offers online security and protection with features such as AES-256-Bit encryption, internet kill switch, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection.
While Hide. Me’s built-in IP leak protection keeps your IP hidden even if there is a malfunction in the application, its split tunneling feature lets you route some of the traffic over your VPN and the rest through your local ISP internet connection.
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.
It also offers a single simultaneous connection on one account. Unfortunately, this means you cannot use your free account anywhere except for your Windows at one time.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Hide.Me review.
TunnelBear is the best free VPN for Windows 7, 8 and 10. It offers a simple installation process that’s quite handy for beginners. It boasts excellent usability and an appealing GUI with an animated bear burrowing its way through the map as you switch server locations.
Unfortunately, it also offers just 500 MB bandwidth per month, but if you tweet about the VPN provider, then you’d get 1 GB bandwidth completely free.
But, of course, 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.
The free account also includes access to 23 server locations, which is pretty impressive. These countries include the US, the UK, Japan, Brazil, and more.
We could unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, ITV, Channel 4, and more during our tests.
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.
It also uses 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.
TunnelBear doesn’t offer 24/7 live chat customer support, but it provides email support to respond to you within 24 hours.
For more information, see this TunnelBear review.
Speedify considers the best VPN free for Windows 10, offering a 2 GB/month bandwidth limit, and it is also compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10. In addition, with a server network that spans over 53 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.
The only downside is that it can quickly eat up 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.
Speedify allows only a single device connection per account. Their customer support can be contacted by emailing them or filling out the contact us form on their official website.
Explore our Speedify review for more information on this provider.
SurfEasy offers a 500 MB per month data limit with a server network of 2000+ servers in 16 countries. It can easily be configured on Windows 7, 8, and 10 devices. In addition, it allows users to select different VPN locations directly from the home screen.
Unfortunately, the bandwidth limit proved to be a hurdle during our testing. Still, we can assure you that it can easily unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, ORF, NHK, CCTN, and more.
Of course, we had to test the services in low video quality; otherwise, the bandwidth would’ve run out too soon, but it can easily support HD quality streaming without a doubt.
If we talk about the ability to offer online security and privacy, don’t worry. SurfEasy provides security features such as AES-256-Bit encryption, a no-log network, bank-grade encryption, one-click protection, and enhanced tracker blocking.
A single SurfEasy subscription can be connected to five devices simultaneously, but you can also use it on Mac, Android, and iOS as it offers straightforward applications for those devices.
The service also promises a 99.99% uptime, reliable and efficient customer support, and a 14-day money-back guarantee with every premium subscription.
For more information, check out our detailed SurfEasy review
While Betternet offers a dedicated application for Windows 7, 8, and 10 with its free subscription plan, you’d only get 500 MB of bandwidth per 24 hours. So although it’s insufficient for doing anything, there’s a relief that you’ll get 500 MB of bandwidth daily.
Betternet’s free plan only lasts 7 days. Also, it comes with a single server located in the US compared to a premium subscription that allows access to 10 server locations.
These locations include the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, France, Hong Kong, and Singapore, along with unlimited bandwidth.
The US-based provider uses OpenVPN with AES 256-bit encryption and IPsec with AES 128-bit AES-CBC encryption.
Unfortunately, it still lacks an internet kill switch and an Ad-blocker feature.
Even though its headquarter is located in the US, the provider is a complete zero-log VPN and stores no information regarding VPN connection or the user itself.
Its Windows application guarantees a speedy and reliable VPN connection, and it is also straightforward to set up.
However, the free subscription has a few drawbacks: no access to popular streaming services without a premium subscription, annoying advertisements, no access to email support, and only one device per account.
To learn more about this provider, check out our Betternet review.
VPNBook is one of the best free VPN services that doesn’t offer any dedicated application for Windows. Instead, you have to set it up manually using the OpenVPN connection protocol on your Windows device.
While the manual connection steps can be overwhelming for any new VPN user, they aren’t too difficult. Anyone with basic Windows VPN configuration knowledge can set it up within a few minutes.
Since it requires some technical know-how and configuration to get started, VPNBook ranks lower in our recommendations.
Although, its website does provide comprehensive setup guides for Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows 10 that we found very helpful.
It offers unlimited bandwidth on its accounts, and you can connect to 6 different server locations. These servers are located in the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, and Poland.
Like all the other providers on our list, it also uses military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption for securing your online traffic. Unfortunately, we found it to be a little slower than the rest of the providers.
We could easily watch popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Euro-Sports, BFI Player, and more with the available server locations.
All in all, it is a pretty decent option for Windows if you have basic knowledge of setting up manual VPN connections on Windows devices.
Unfortunately, the provider doesn’t offer dedicated 24/7 customer support, and you’ll have to email them in case of any assistance.
To learn more about this provider, check out our VPNBook review.
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:
Top zero-cost 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.
How Do I Set Up a Free VPN on Windows?
How to Choose a Free VPN for Windows?
You should consider the following factors for choosing the best free VPN for Windows for yourself:
- Compatibility with devices
- Robust security features
- Reliable encryption
- Decent server network
- Logging policy
Free VPNs to Avoid on Windows
There are various free VPNs that 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:
1. 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.
This VPN is known to track all the user activities, collect logs, and sell them to third-party websites. It was also discovered that the VPN works with authorities in data retention.
Why Should Free VPNs Be Avoided?
Free VPNs may seem enticing, however, the reality is, they store all your online activities and sell them to third parties who can use your data for any purpose. In addition to that, they do a poor job when it comes to offering encryption that is needed in order to conceal your digital footprints.
All in all, free VPNs are not truly free and they make money by logging your browning habits and selling them to anyone who is willing to buy.
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 the best free VPN 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 IPS and hackers from snooping on your online activities. They offer all this without logging any of your online activities.
Free VPNs on the other hand 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 made. 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. From the time 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 social security numbers and banking information.
Protect Your Windows Device with a Safe and Reliable VPN
Whether you use a desktop or a Windows laptop there are multiple reasons to use the best free VPN for Windows. When you go online, your computer’s IP address gets associated with all your activities.
Don’t know what an IP is?
Well, an IP address is basically a unique identifier for your device. It contains information about your ISP, your location, device, and more. Whatever you do online, it can get traced back to your IP.
That said when you use a VPN, your original IP address gets replaced with an IP address that is not linked to your device. More specifically, you’ll obtain an IP address that is associated with the VPN server that you connect to.
This will virtually mask your true identity online. When connected to a VPN server, no one can track your activities back to you, not even your ISP.
Another reason for using a Windows VPN is to stay safe on public Wi-Fi. You see, public Wi-Fi is an easy target for cybercriminals. Their networks security is generally weak, making them extremely vulnerable to hackers.
When you use public Wi-Fi at a cade or a restaurant, a hacker can intercept your data packets and view all your sensitive information such as credit card numbers and even passwords.
But, when you use a safe and reliable VPN, all of your sensitive information travels through an encrypted tunnel. No one outside the tunnel can snoop or intercept the data traveling within the tunnel. Using a VPN can essentially change public networks into private networks, offering robust security and privacy.
There are various paid VPNs in the industry. However, we highly recommend ExpressVPN due to its super-fast speeds, compatibility with Windows, efficient unblocking capabilities, and secure service.
Free VPNs for Other Devices
Looking for free VPN guides for other devices? Here is a list!
FAQs – Best Free VPN for Windows
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.
ProtonVPN is a completely free VPN for Windows that comes with an easy configuration process and unlimited bandwidth. It’s compatible with Windows 7 and above.
ProtonVPN is a free VPN for Windows offering unlimited data to users. It protects your device, keeps your data private, and offers a simple app for Windows.
ExpressVPN is the best option for Windows 10 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.
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.
Here’s the list of the best free VPN software for Windows?
- ProtonVPN: offers unlimited bandwidth
- Windscribe: offers a 10 GB bandwidth limit to free users
- Hotspot Shield: great for US Netflix unblocking
- Hide.me: popular free VPN for windows, offering 10 GB of data per month.
Yes, at times free VPNs are truly free. However, most of the free VPNs you’ll come across may either be scams or won’t serve as a long-term solution, specifically without costing you a penny. Sooner or later, they’d eventually switch to a subscription or a freemium model.
Using a trial is much more sophisticated instead of a free VPN. Mostly because a free trial means you won’t have to pay for using the services until a certain time period. It gives you a chance to try a VPN and if you’re unsatisfied with the services you can get a refund.
Conclusion – Best Free VPN for Windows
The VPN services described above are all fairly competent tools for elevating your privacy on Windows systems. However, ExpressVPN is the best premium VPN that works for Windows.
You can use ExpressVPN for free of cost for a whole month, as it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, if you hurry up, you can avail of ExpressVPN’s limited time “12 months + 3 months free” subscription.
However, suppose you want to download a zero-cost VPN for your PC for a longer term. In that case, you can consider other options such as ProtonVPN and Windscribe to unblock websites on the internet and maintain your privacy.