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
- Simple and easy to use custom app for Windows
- Reliable and fast speeds
- Works with major streaming services
- Transparent, fair, and privacy-focused logging policies
- Useful privacy features
- 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
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.