In an era where online privacy and security are of utmost importance, the use of a VPN has become increasingly essential.
For Windows PC users, finding a free and reliable VPN can be a game-changer, allowing access to geo-restricted content and ensuring anonymity while browsing. Fortunately, there are several free VPN options tailored specifically for Windows, each offering unique features and capabilities.
In this article, we will explore the best free VPNs for Windows PCs, providing the information needed to make an informed choice and safeguard online experiences without incurring additional costs.
5 Best Free VPNs for Windows in 2024
Using a VPN is a good way to keep your information safe on Windows when you’re online. If you’re trying to save money, you might want to find a free VPN that gives you both good security and fast speeds.
However, it’s important to know that free VPNs are usually not as good as the ones you pay for. Most free VPNs can be unsafe, slow, or just not effective. Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN for Windows will always give you better security, faster speeds, and an overall better experience.
Still, there are some free VPNs for Windows that are decent. Here’s my list of the top 5 free Windows VPNs in 2024.
1. Proton VPN – Great Free Windows VPN with Unlimited Data
Proton VPN is the best free VPN for Windows. It gives you almost everything you need from a reliable VPN, and it looks nice and is easy to use. Unlike most other free VPNs, Proton VPN for Windows has a good design.
If you like watching videos, playing games, or using torrents online, Proton VPN is fast. It can get around restrictions on many streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu.
This free VPN keeps your internet connection safe using different protocols. It has important security features like a kill switch, which turns off the internet if the VPN connection isn’t working, making sure you’re always secure.
The Windows app also lets you do split tunneling. This means you can use both a secure and a regular connection at the same time. So, you can use the safe connection for games or downloading and still use the regular connection for other things.
- Unlimited data
- Excellent user interface
- Secure protocols
- Free servers limited to 3 countries
2. Hotspot Shield – Good Free VPN for Browsing the Web
Hotspot Shield’s free plan is good for safe internet use, letting you do lots of things like visiting websites, watching videos, and using social media without any data limits.
It keeps your online stuff private with good security features. It doesn’t track what you do online, but it doesn’t have some advanced security features. The free plan can sometimes use a special protocol to get around government restrictions.
But there are some downsides. The free version doesn’t work for streaming, you can only connect one device, and you can only use servers in the US, the UK, and Singapore. Also, you can’t download files using this free plan.
Hotspot Shield’s paid plans start at around $3.50 per month. If you pay, you get faster speeds and access to servers in 85 countries. And if you change your mind, they give you your money back within 45 days.
- Many server locations
- User-friendly and polished client
- Split-tunneling based on domains
- Comprehensive services package
- High cost
- Free version has speed limits and shows targeted ads on Android
- Collects substantial, but anonymous, data
- Lacks third-party infrastructure audit
- Outdated transparency report
- Limited support for WireGuard protocol
3. TunnelBear VPN – Best for Free Occasional Location Spoofing
TunnelBear is a great choice for people who like things simple. If you’re new to VPNs, you’ll find TunnelBear very easy to use. The main screen has a map and a list of servers, and on the left, there’s a panel for settings. Just pick a location, connect to a server, and you’re good to go.
This VPN keeps your connection safe with strong encryption (OpenVPN and AES-256). It also has a tool called GhostBear that hides the fact that you’re using a VPN, which is useful in places with strict internet rules like China.
The Windows app has a kill switch (called VigilantBear), but the split tunneling feature (called SplitBear) is only on the Android and iOS apps. The free version of TunnelBear gives you only 2GB of data per month, which is the lowest among the services on this list.
TunnelBear is not completely free because of its limited data. You can get more data by choosing one of its paid plans. The monthly plan is $9.99, and the best deal is the three-year plan, which is $3.33 per month.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Strong privacy policies
- Regular independent audits
- User-friendly and appealing design (featuring bears!)
- No multi-hop connections
- Split tunneling is not available on all platforms
- Data limit on free subscription
4. hide.me – Best Free Windows VPN for Torrenting
hide.me is a good VPN for Windows that lets you do torrenting and share files on its free version. The free plan gives you access to more than 5 server locations, including Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, the US East, and the US West. However, there’s a limit of 10 GB of data per month, and you can only connect one device at a time.
Even though hide.me’s free plan doesn’t support streaming (although it has 15+ streaming servers), my friend in the US told me he could sometimes watch Netflix US and Amazon Prime US. However, it didn’t work well with Disney+ US, Hulu, and Max.
If you decide to go for hide.me’s paid plans, they start at around $2.50 per month. With the paid plans, you can connect up to 10 devices at the same time and access their full network of over 2,300 servers across 54 countries. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
- Advanced features.
- Support for ten simultaneous connections.
- Well-distributed server locations.
- Strong speed test scores.
- BitTorrent friendly.
- Supports anonymous payments.
- Unusual location selection behavior.
- Lack of specialized servers.
5. PrivadoVPN – Best for Free (Almost) Unlimited Browsing
PrivadoVPN gives you 10GB of free data every month, which is good for watching shows occasionally. If you watch a lot, you might want to try a free service with unlimited data like ProtonVPN.
It’s known for being fast, and while it may slow down your internet a bit like any VPN, you can still watch videos and play games without problems.
The Windows interface looks good and is easy to use. It usually stays above the taskbar but can be turned into a window if you want.
For security, PrivadoVPN keeps your online stuff safe with strong methods. But it’s not the cheapest option. The monthly plan costs $7.99, and the best deal, the yearly plan, is $4.99 per month. It’s a bit more expensive than some other services like NordVPN. Luckily, you can try PrivadoVPN for 30 days, and if you don’t like it, you can get your money back.
- 10GB of free monthly data
- Free servers in 10 countries
- Unblocks major streaming apps
- Lacks advanced features
Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN on Your Windows PC
Free VPNs are often not very reliable and can be slow. In extreme cases, they might even be unsafe. Since free VPNs need money to operate, some resort to stealing user data. In more severe situations, they could infect your computer with ransomware.
Even when they are safe, free VPNs tend to be sluggish and may struggle to unblock websites as effectively as paid VPNs. This is because free servers usually have a high number of users, leading to increased server load and a lack of optimization for streaming.
While it’s hard for free VPNs to match the reliability and performance of premium platforms, the options we suggest in this list come close.
Q: Is There a Totally Free VPN for Windows?
Yes, Proton VPN and hide.me are like totally free VPNs because they let you use as much data as you want. But keep in mind, that most free VPNs, especially the safe ones, might have some limits.
Q: Which Is the Best Free VPN for Windows PC?
Proton VPN is the top choice for a free VPN on Windows. It’s quick, dependable, and provides unlimited data. However, depending on your specific requirements, you might prefer a different service.
Q: Why Should I Use a Windows VPN?
Using a VPN on any device, including Windows, is important for keeping your data secure and your connection private. When you use Windows, you might be sending sensitive information over the network, such as logging into your banking account or making credit card payments.