ProtonVPN Free Review: Unlimited Data, But Is It Worth the Tradeoffs in 2024?

Welcome to another Free VPN review! If you’re on the hunt for the perfect free VPN, you’re in the right place. Before we dive into today’s review, make sure to check out my previous post where I covered the Best Free VPN 2024: A Thorough Exploration and Guide. It’s a goldmine of information that can help you find the ideal VPN for your needs. Now, let’s jump into ProtonVPN Free Review

ProtonVPN – Best VPN for Downloads

proton vpn Best VPN for Downloads

Product Specifications

  • ✅Multi-hop: Yes
  • ✅Camouflage Mode: Yes
  • ✅Kill switch: Yes
  • ✅Split Tunneling: Yes
  • ⛔Netflix: No
  • ✅Torrenting: Yes
  • 🔗Website:


Free VPNs often come with compromises, but ProtonVPN’s promise of unlimited data and strong security features may make it a standout option for security enthusiasts on a budget. Let’s delve into the details to see if ProtonVPN’s free plan is the right fit for you.

The Good

  • No Data Worries: ProtonVPN offers unlimited data, allowing you to download large files, stream, or browse without the fear of hitting a data cap.
  • Strong on Security: The service takes online activity protection seriously, making it ideal for users frequently utilizing public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Easy to Use: The app is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible even for those not well-versed in technical aspects.

The Bad

  • Only Three Locations: Limited server locations may restrict access to niche sites, although it suffices for basic unblocking purposes.
  • One Device at a Time: ProtonVPN only allows protection for one device simultaneously, which may be inconvenient for users with multiple gadgets.
  • No Netflix: The free plan doesn’t support streaming services like Netflix, making it less appealing for avid streamers.

Who is ProtonVPN’s Free Plan Best For?

  • Security-Concerned Browsers: Ideal for users seeking peace of mind on public Wi-Fi while engaging in a mix of browsing, downloading, etc.
  • Budget-Conscious Users: With no data limits, it caters to individuals who want protection without worrying about extra charges.
  • One-Device People: Suited for those primarily seeking protection on a single device like a phone or laptop.

Who Might Want Something Different

  • Streamers: Not suitable for reliable streaming, as it doesn’t work well with popular services like Netflix.
  • Speed Freaks: Free VPNs are generally slower, and ProtonVPN is no exception, potentially frustrating for users seeking high speeds.
  • Multi-Device Households: Inconvenient for households with multiple devices, as it allows protection for only one device at a time.

The Verdict

ProtonVPN’s free plan is tailored for users prioritizing data privacy. If unlimited data and security are your primary concerns, it’s worth trying. However, its strengths lie in these aspects rather than speed or unblocking capabilities.

ProtonVPN Free Plan Detailed Analysis

protonvpn free Detailed Analysis


  • Direct Downloads (Web, etc.): rotonVPN’s unlimited data is its saving grace here. You can download sizable files without fear of hitting a cap. However, expect some slowdown, and be aware of the limited server choices.
  • Torrenting: technically allowed, but the experience will likely be poor. Free VPNs throttle speeds, and only three server locations limit your options for finding a fast connection. Stick to smaller torrent files.

ProtonVPN free for Netflix

ProtonVPN free for Netflix

  • Hit or Miss, Mostly Miss: ProtonVPN explicitly states its free plan isn’t meant for streaming. You might get lucky to access certain regions, but don’t expect HD quality, and be prepared for servers to get blocked over time.
  • For Netflix, I recommend Windscribe Free VPN: Your Gateway to 10GB of Netflix Bliss

Online Gaming

  • Painfully Slow: Most online games need a fast, responsive connection. ProtonVPN WILL introduce lag, potentially ruining your experience.
  • Geo-Blocking Workaround?: Unlikely. Three servers are rarely enough to find a fast connection in the specific region you need to pretend to be in.
  • Recommendations: I tested Hotspot Shield Free VPN for Online Gaming and the result was satisfying, Click the link for more information

Additional Considerations

  • One Device at a Time: You can’t protect downloads happening on your computer and your phone simultaneously. Annoying, but manageable if you mostly download in focused bursts.
  • Security While Downloading: ProtonVPN’s encryption is a plus, especially if you’re downloading on untrusted networks.

ProtonVPN Free vs Paid

ProtonVPN Free vs. Paid

If you like ProtonVPN’s free plan but find the limitations frustrating, it’s natural to wonder what upgrading gets you. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Speed Unleashed: Paid tiers offer significantly faster speeds, crucial for streaming, gaming, and impatient users.
  • Server Overload: Free users only get 3 server locations. Paid plans unlock dozens of countries, essential for accessing geo-restricted content reliably.
  • Streaming Support: Netflix and other services actively block free VPNs. Paid tiers get access to servers specifically optimized for unblocking.
  • Advanced Features: Things like split tunneling, obfuscation, and higher-end encryption protocols are only available in the paid plans.

The Bottom Line: If ProtonVPN’s privacy ethos appeals to you, and you only need the basics, free is great. But power users will likely need a paid plan.

ProtonVPN Free Alternatives

ProtonVPN Free vs Surfshark

ProtonVPN Free vs Surfshark

ProtonVPN and Surfshark both offer free VPN plans but with different focuses. Here’s how they compare:

  • Data: ProtonVPN wins with unlimited data. Surfshark imposes a strict 500MB monthly cap.
  • Servers: Surfshark has a wider free server network, good for basic geo-shifting. ProtonVPN’s limited locations are focused on privacy.
  • Speed: Both will be slower than your normal connection, but ProtonVPN has an edge in general performance.
  • Device Limit: Both only allow one active device. A downside for multi-device users.

The Bottom Line: ProtonVPN’s free plan is better for unlimited browsing and security on the go. Surfshark’s is best for very occasional unblocking needs where speed is less important.

ProtonVPN Free vs. NordVPN

NordVPN is a major player in the VPN world, but their free offerings have vanished. Does that make ProtonVPN the undisputed free VPN champion? Here’s how they stack up:

  • Data: The Clear Winner: ProtonVPN’s unlimited data is a massive advantage. NordVPN, back when it had a free plan, imposed strict caps.
  • Servers: A Matter of Goals: ProtonVPN’s 3 locations focus on security. NordVPN used to offer more free choices, but variety without speed is useless.
  • Speed: It’s a Wash: Neither free VPN will be blazing fast. ProtonVPN might be slightly better, but both will feel noticeably slower than your regular internet.
  • Streaming: Don’t Count on Either: ProtonVPN doesn’t try to unblock streaming. Old NordVPN free sometimes did, but unreliably.
  • Reputation: A Matter of Trust: Both have strong privacy track records, but ProtonVPN’s Swiss jurisdiction may appeal to the ultra-security conscious.

The Bottom Line: ProtonVPN’s free plan is the winner if unlimited data is non-negotiable. It’s also a good choice if you primarily care about basic privacy protection. However, it’s important to remember that NordVPN’s strengths lie in its premium plans. If you eventually consider upgrading, NordVPN might be a better long-term fit.

ProtonVPN Free FAQs

Can I get decent speeds with ProtonVPN’s free plan?

Expect a slowdown, but it’s faster than many other free VPNs. Whether it’s fast enough for you depends on your patience and online activities.

Does ProtonVPN free work with Netflix?

Don’t count on it. ProtonVPN acknowledges it’s not meant for streaming. You might get lucky finding an unblocked server, but prepare for buffering and inconsistent access.

What’s the difference between ProtonVPN free and premium?

Premium unlocks unlimited speeds, more servers, better streaming support, and features like advanced routing. If the free plan limitations bother you, it might be worth upgrading.

Is ProtonVPN’s free version truly safe to use?

ProtonVPN has a solid reputation for privacy and doesn’t log your browsing activity. For general security, it’s good. For ultra-sensitive needs, consider their paid plan with even stricter safeguards.

Where can I connect to with ProtonVPN Free?

You’re limited to three server locations (US, Netherlands, Japan). It’s okay for basic anonymity but rules out accessing content restricted to niche regions.

Can I use ProtonVPN free for torrenting?

Technically yes, but the speed limitations will likely make it frustrating for anything but small files.

How much safer am I on public Wi-Fi with ProtonVPN free?

Significantly! Your data will be encrypted, making it harder for hackers on the same network to intercept your information.

ProtonVPN Free Conclusion

ProtonVPN’s free plan is a powerful tool for privacy-minded users who don’t mind some limitations. Its unlimited data, security focus, and ease of use make it appealing if your needs are basic. However, understand that slowdowns, streaming restrictions, and the one-device rule might necessitate an upgrade to their premium service or investigating a different VPN entirely.

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