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Best Free VPN for Windows

Charlotte Darrell
By Charlotte DarrellUpdated
Microsoft Windows Laptop and Desktop Computers

Using a VPN on your Windows computer is essential for your online security and privacy. But can you get a good VPN for free?

There are loads of free VPNs out there but many of them are mobile-only, and, more importantly, not all free VPNs are safe to use.

We’ve picked the most secure free VPNs for Windows and put them in this roundup. These VPNs are fast, reliable, and, above all, they will keep your online data private.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a Free VPN for Windows

  1. Simple and easy to use custom app for Windows
  2. Reliable and fast speeds
  3. Works with major streaming services
  4. Transparent, fair, and privacy-focused logging policies
  5. Useful privacy features
  6. Generous data allowance

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More Information on Our Top 5 Best Free VPN Services for Windows

Ranked #1 for Free VPNs for Windows

Works with

Torrenting

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Intuitive & secure Windows VPN app
  2. Quick local download speeds: 50Mbps
  3. 10 server locations
  4. Minimal logging
  1. 10GB monthly data cap
  2. No live chat support
The Bottom Line

Windscribe Free is the best free VPN we’ve tested and its user-friendly custom app for Windows is a great way to protect your computer without spending a penny.

Local speeds are ideal for streaming and torrenting, but you’ll have to keep an eye on the 10GB monthly data cap, and unfortunately Netflix is blocked.

Most importantly, Windscribe Free’s Windows app is private and safe to use, unlike many other free VPN services. It maintains a minimal-logs policy and comes with a VPN kill switch.

Ranked #2 for Free VPNs for Windows

Works with

N/A

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  1. User-friendly Windows VPN app
  2. Fast local download speeds: 69Mbps
  3. No data cap
  4. Minimal logging
  1. Limited to three server locations
  2. Torrenting not permitted
The Bottom Line

ProtonVPN’s free app for Windows is a top contender – it’s safe, secure, and quick. ProtonVPN Free also offers unlimited data, so you can use it as much as you’d like.

Unfortunately, the free version of ProtonVPN gives you access to just three server locations, none of which unlock streaming services like Netflix. Torrenting is also forbidden.

Nevertheless, ProtonVPN Free will do a great job of protecting your privacy while you browse online. It doesn’t keep any personally identifiable logs and effectively blocks IP leaks.

Ranked #3 for Free VPNs for Windows

Works with

N/A

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  1. Simple, quirky Windows VPN app
  2. Fast local download speeds: 63Mbps
  3. 22 server locations to choose from
  4. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  1. Very restrictive 500MB monthly data cap
  2. Limited customer support
The Bottom Line

TunnelBear Free is a great VPN for beginners who want to try out the Windows app (including all 22 premium server locations) before they commit to the paid plan.

This bear-themed software is super easy to use, and it comes with security essentials like a VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection.

TunnelBear’s free service is pretty fast too, but its biggest drawback is the highly limiting 500MB monthly data cap. Because of that, TunnelBear Free is definitely not a long-term solution.

Ranked #4 for Free VPNs for Windows

Works with

Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Beginner-friendly Windows VPN app
  2. Impressive local download speeds: 75Mbps
  3. Loads of advanced privacy features
  4. Strict zero-logs policy
  1. 2GB monthly data cap
  2. Just five server locations available
The Bottom Line

Hide.me is one of the most private free VPNs we’ve tested. Its simple custom app for Windows comes with plenty of security extras and a strict zero-logs policy too.

We clocked fast speeds during our tests, but Hide.me does say that premium users are given priority during busy times, so you may experience some throttling.

The 2GB monthly data cap is a hindrance, but if top-notch privacy is what you’re looking for, Hide.me is definitely worth considering.

Ranked #5 for Free VPNs for Windows

Works with

N/A

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  1. Simple custom VPN app for Windows
  2. Decent local speeds: 31Mbps
  3. Connect to 25 countries worldwide
  4. Minimal logging
  1. Restrictive 1GB monthly data cap
  2. No kill switch
  3. No customer support
The Bottom Line

Avira Phantom is a decent free VPN for securing public WiFi, and its Windows app is super easy to use.

It’s not very fast and the 1GB per month data cap is restrictive, but Avira Phantom Free will do for general browsing while you’re out and about.

Avira Phantom Free doesn’t log personally identifiable user data, but the free app lacks a VPN kill switch, so it shouldn’t be used for privacy-sensitive tasks like torrenting.

How We Picked the Best Free VPN for Windows

Our top VPN picks all have one thing in common: a simple, user-friendly custom app for Microsoft Windows. They are all super easy to install, with no manual configuration required.

Our recommended free VPNs for Windows offer reliable local speeds without compromising on security. None of the VPNs on this page log personally identifiable user data.

We’ve picked the safest free VPN apps on the market, but they do mostly come with a catch – data caps.

Some are more generous than others, but if you want unrestricted private browsing, streaming, and more you should pay for it. Take a look at our most recommended premium Windows apps.

How To Use a Free VPN for Windows

The easiest way to use a free VPN on your Windows computer is to download a custom app. You just need to visit the VPN’s website and download the software from there.

Before you connect your VPN it’s best to take a look at the security settings and enable the VPN kill switch and IP leak blocking features (if the app has them). If you can choose the VPN protocol we recommend using OpenVPN.

Once you’ve fiddled with the security settings, pick the server location and click ‘Connect’. The closer the server is to your physical location the faster the VPN’s speeds will be.

If you want to set up the VPN manually (without using a custom app), you can check out our How to Install a VPN on Windows guide.

How to Choose a Free VPN for Windows: 6 Tips

If you don’t want the hassle of manual configuration, you should definitely opt for a VPN that has a free custom app for Windows. The VPN should be simple to use, without lacking essential security features like a VPN kill switch.

Many quality free VPNs come with a monthly data cap so that users can try out the software before purchasing a premium plan. The bigger the data allowance the more you can do online with your VPN on a monthly basis.

We’ve tested some painfully slow free VPNs, so make sure to pick one that offers speeds to suit your needs.

You can read the Speed & Reliability sections of our VPN reviews to see how each VPN performed locally and internationally.

If you want the best possible performance, you need to choose a VPN with servers near to your physical location.

Equally, if you need to connect to a specific country to access geo-restricted content, go for a VPN with a server located in that nation.

Most free VPNs don’t work reliably with popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

The Streaming & Torrenting section of our VPN reviews will tell you if they do, but if watching programs and films online with a VPN is your priority then take a look at our roundup of the best VPNs for streaming.

Considering all of your internet traffic is routed through the VPN, you want to be sure that it’s handling your data safely.

We’ve reviewed a fair few shady VPNs that sell personal data to advertisers or send it to China, so make sure the VPN you choose has a minimal, privacy-friendly logging policy.

The less data your VPN collects and stores the better.