ProtonVPN Free review

Last updated on 16/09/2019 by Melvyn and co.

Snapshot

ProtonVPN provides one the best free VPN services currently available to the market. Delivering great speeds without compromising privacy, you can connect 1 of your devices to 3 server locations and benefit from their full VPN experience. Should you take out a free version of their service today, you will also benefit from an upgrade to their plus plan for a 7-day test drive which after expiring, will revert you back to the standard free plan.

Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)
Rating

Our score:

4.4

4.4/5
Pricing

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • Protect 1 device with unlimited bandwidth
  • Fast download speeds of 69Mbs
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • OpenVPN Protocol
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
  • Includes a 7-day free trial of ProtonVPN Plus package
Cons
  • Can only connect to 3 server locations
  • Doesn’t work with Netflix of BBC iPlayer
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting not permitted

Introduction

As free VPNs go, ProtonVPN is one the best on offer ticking all the boxes for both privacy and speed. They are a high-speed Swiss VPN service aiming to offer ‘private and secure internet access to all’. It’s is a great option for anybody looking to protect their online privacy for everyday internet browsing or those looking to test out a free VPN before committing to a full premium service.

With their free offering, users can choose from only 3 servers and protect just the one device but on initial sign-up, ProtonVPN generously gives users access to the ProtonVPN Plus package for 7 days, giving you full access to all their servers. Perfect for streaming unlimited geo-restricted content or P2P torrenting!

Even though their service is totally free, they don’t display any annoying ads which can be seen on some alternative free VPN providers’ apps. They also won’t log any of your online activity and provide a totally unlimited experience for data consumption and speed.

When it comes to security, users benefit from the same unbreakable AES-256 encryption to keep your true IP address hidden combined with the same top VPN protocol as found on ProtonVPN’s premium plans.

With a suite of really well-designed applications, ProtonVPN will suit both beginners and the more advanced users. They have extensively simplified the ProtonVPN interface to make it as intuitive as possible – so you can stay protected every day, hassle free.

You can check out our full review here where you can learn about the many additional features and benefits you can get by using a paid for ProtonVPN service.

Pricing

It’s totally free and doesn’t cost a thing! No catches or cons. You don’t even have to add any payment or card details on sign-up either which we’re a big fan of!

We’ve shown pricing for their paid plans below just in case you were undecided or curious about how much their paid services would cost, and for payment, ProtonVPN accept all major credit and debit cards (including American Express), as well as PayPal.

Free plan

$ 0
00
per month
  • Billed $00.00 every month
FREE

Basic Plan

$ 4
00
per month
  • Billed $48.00 every year

Plus Plan

$ 8
00
per month
  • Billed $96.00 every year
BEST VALUE

Visionary Plan

$ 24
00
per month
  • Billed $288.00 every year

Features

The ProtonVPN free service allows users to access three super-fast servers located around the world. One in The U.S. (America), one in The Netherlands (Europe) and finally, one in Japan (Asia). You can protect any one device per user account which isn’t restricted by any data and usage logs… a rare offering on most free VPNs.

It’s performance is backed up with super secure AES-256 encryption, the best VPN protocol and a zero logs policy… all of which make this a really great free offering.

Further security features include the must have VPN kill switch with means should you lose your VPN connection, you are automatically reconnected without leaking data.

Platforms and devices

The free version of ProtonVPN allows you to protect one device per account and their user-friendly apps can be installed on macOS, Windows and Linux operating systems as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. If using a Fire TV (Amazon Firestick) or Kodi is your thing… they’ve got you covered too. It’s also easy to secure your internet connection by pairing your router with a PrivateVPN turbo charging your privacy.

Unfortunately at this moment in time they have no option for Chrome and Firefox browse users but hopefully they will add these in the not so distant future.

Streaming

On first glance, ProtonVPN’s free service is an excellent choice for streaming thanks to its incredible speeds on offer, however, the free version of its service unfortunately does not allow access to popular streaming sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. The likes of YouTube and other popular channels will work fine, but we know most of you will be trying to unlock US Netflix etc!

If you’re in the market solely for a VPN for streaming, we recommend you either purchase a full plan from ProtonVPN where you can effortlessly stream HD content from Netflix, Hulu and other popular sites, or take a look at some of our other recommended providers and try one of those. It’s also worth visiting our best VPN for Netflix page here which lists the most popular VPNs for streaming.

Torrenting​

The free version of the ProtonVPN service doesn’t permit any P2P torrenting activity so it’s a no go for those looking to do so! Their premium plans are however very well set up with dedicated servers for this very purpose. You should always have the protection of a VPN when torrenting and we recommend viewing our full guide here.

Speed

ProtonVPN’s free service offers some of the best speeds going when compared to its free VPN rivals. During testing, we connected from the UK to our closest server (in the Netherlands) and were able to record hugely impressive download speeds of 69Mbps.

Going further afield, speeds did of course decrease, but connecting to the US server from the UK, we found speeds to be hugely respectable at 38Mbps. For a free VPN these results are extremely impressive and compare equally if not better than some premium paid for VPN providers.

Security

The free version of ProtonVPN is highly secure thanks to its strong setup and host of quality features. When using their VPN, your IP address is encrypted and kept hidden by military grade AES-256 encryption. They also use our favourite OpenVPN protocol. Further security features include DNS leak protection and the must have VPN kill switch with means should you lose your VPN connection, you are automatically reconnected without leaking data.

It’s worth noting that if security is your number one concern, their paid plans are exceptionally secure and well worth the money in our eyes.

Applications

The ProtonVPN apps are some of the best we have seen in terms of design and layout and can be configured to suit individual user requirements. They can be downloaded on a whole host of popular devices such as iOS, Windows and Android, and works perfectly on the Amazon Firestick or Android TV.

For ease of use, users can either ‘quick connect’ which will offer great quick and easy protection for the no hassle users simply wanting to keep their browse data safe, or by selecting based on country.

Customer service

At present, support is delivered via email as well as a useful help and support section on the website, but we would like to see ProtonVPN implement a live chat function like most other leading providers these days. In fairness, email responses were quick to be responded to and gave good levels of knowledge and information, but we do feel that they could up their game in this area to keep pace with the very best offered by rivals.

Log policy

ProtonVPN doesn’t log or collect any user data that could be used to identify an individual using their VPN or any activity when connected. Minimal logs are kept which include a timestamp of last successful connection but are overwritten each time you use your ProtonVPN. You can also view this data yourself on the app but we are totally confident that this doesn’t in any way impact on user privacy or anonymity.

Jurisdiction

Well located in the privacy friendly country of Switzerland, it sits outside of EU regulations and any government data sharing schemes. There is therefore no legal reach of the USA or EU, and they can reject any data request from third parties, guaranteeing no online activity can be traced back to any individual user.

The verdict

ProtonVPN offers one of the best free VPN services we have seen. Its main advantages are its excellent levels of speed and the fact that the service is totally unlimited in terms of data usage. Whilst you can only connect to 3 server locations (U.S., Netherlands and Japan), they tick the most important boxes by having a very secure VPN setup to truly keep your IP address hidden whilst operating a zero logs policy. It’s a brilliant option for anyone who’s looking to trial or use a VPN but on a much more casual basis.

Whilst its free VPN offering doesn’t include some of ProtonVPN’s advanced features, you can at least try the full Plus Package totally free for 7 days and benefit from the full VPN experience on sign-up.

It’s frustrating that their free service doesn’t allow P2P torrenting or access to popular streaming content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but you can understand why they hold a few things back for paid users. At the end of the day, a VPN is to keep you safe online and your data private, and this free offering does just that!

Melvyn and the team at comparemyvpn.com rate their product as one of the best on offer for free and you really have nothing to lose by giving it a try! Unlike some free VPNs, you can use it for as long as you wish without restriction and without any nasty catches such as data logging or annoying 3rd party ads.

If you enjoyed reading our ProtonVPN free review and would like to learn more about their paid for offerings, please read our review found here.

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