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The Best Free Mobile VPNs in 2024

If you’re looking for a free VPN for your mobile, you’ve probably noticed that most are terrible. They’re slow, unreliable, don’t have enough servers, and bombard you with ads. 

Don’t worry. We’ve tested more free VPNs than we can remember – on both iOS and Android. Using strict criteria and rigorous tests, we found the five best VPNs for any mobile device. (Yes, only five passed the tests!)

While these offer the best experience without spending any money, they still have limitations. In this quick guide, we’ll show you the pros and cons of each VPN and why you should consider investing a few dollars in a fast, secure premium VPN instead.

Which is the best free VPN for mobile? A quick guide

  1. Hotspot Shield - The #1 free mobile VPN. Patented security, no real limit on bandwidth, fast connections, and it's easy to use.
  2. Hide.me - Secure servers deliver fast, reliable connections and works with popular streaming sites and apps.
  3. Proton VPN - Unlimited bandwidth on a free plan, combined with fast speeds and reliable connections – an excellent VPN for streaming on your mobile.
  4. Windscribe - Large free server network and unlimited device connections. Plus, it supports torrenting for free users.

We didn’t just choose these VPNs because they’re free. Each one passed a series of rigorous tests in which we checked every aspect of its features and offers. 

Only free mobile VPNs with the following features have been included: 

  • No crazy restrictions on free plans
  • Excellent iOS and Android apps
  • Fast enough for basic streaming
  • Airtight security
  • Strict no-logs policies
  • Transparent business practices
  • Good customer support

The best free VPNs for mobile: An in-depth look

Now, let’s look at each VPN more closely to see why they’re the best free picks for mobile. 

To learn more about every VPN on this list (and on the market), check out our in-depth VPN reviews.

Hotspot Shield is our favorite free VPN for mobile. For both iOS and Android, it outdoes every rival on every key metric: performance, bandwidth, security, and much more.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2.99/mth
      76% OFF
    • 12 months: $7.99/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Increased bandwidth if you watch ads
    • Best security on free mobile VPN
    • Works in UAE and China
    • Easily upgrade to paid plan
  • Cons

    • US server only on the free plan
    • 2Mbps speed restriction
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Hotspot Shield Demo

Hotspot Shield Demo Hotspot Shield Demo


Hotspot Shield's free mobile VPN starts with a daily data allowance of 500 MB, but you can extend this limitless times by watching some ads whenever you run out. Any time you want extra bandwidth, just watch more ads. While it's a tedious process, it means Hotspot Shield is one of the few free VPNs that doesn’t cap your data (not really, anyway). 


Hotspot Shield offers free users complete access to its security features, such as 256-bit AES encryption (the same standard utilized by banks, governments, and even intelligence agencies), DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and its exclusive VPN protocol – Hydra Catapult.


Like all free mobile VPNs, HotSpot Shield has some limitations. You only get access to a single US server, and there’s a speed limit of 2 Mbps. While this won’t be fast enough for HD streaming, it's still better than most free VPNs (which struggle to run any streaming full stop). Our globally distributed team tested the server from various locations and found it fast and reliable.


If you decide Hotspot Shield’s free plan is insufficient, you can always upgrade to the premium version, which includes a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Hide.me is the most customizable free VPN for mobile and includes more security features than any other VPN on this list.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $3.84/mth
      62% OFF
    • 12 months: $6.66/mth
      34% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.95/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Highly customizable
    • Works with popular streaming sites
    • Excellent security and privacy tools
    • Fast servers
    • Supports torrenting
  • Cons

    • You must renew every 30 days
    • Difficult to use
    • Only one device on the free plan
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Hide.me Demo

Hide.me Demo Hide.me Demo


As a free user, you’ll be restricted to 10 GB of bandwidth each month. While this is way more than most free VPNs, you’ll still need to watch your usage carefully throughout the month. We recommend only occasional streaming with Hide.me turned on (or go with an unlimited premium VPN like ExpressVPN). 


Hide.me’s free version boasts some serious security credentials. Alongside industry-standard features like 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic kill-switch, and DNS leak protection, you can access Hide.me’s complete suite of premium security tools. We tested the mobile app thoroughly and found it works flawlessly in the background on both iOS and Android. Our location, browsing data, and much more were completely hidden. 


We really appreciate that Hide.me allows torrenting on its free plan – that’s a rarity (even some paid VPNs block torrents). However, with a 10 GB monthly cap, don’t expect to download much.

Proton VPN is one of the few free VPNs that doesn’t limit your bandwidth in any way. That’s not all – it’s secure, fast, reliable, and easy to use.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $4.49/mth
      56% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      51% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
    • Free trial: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited bandwidth on the free plan
    • Works with streaming sites
    • Servers spread between US, Netherlands, and Japan
    • Install on a router to protect your whole network
  • Cons

    • No torrenting on a free account
    • No live chat support
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Proton Demo

Proton Demo Proton Demo


ProtonVPN's free mobile VPN is an excellent choice for streaming. During testing, we connected to the US server and wound up watching half a season of You before we got back to work. The free version is fast enough to enjoy buffer-free streaming on iOS and Android. 


While you only get access to servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan, ProtonVPN works with most streamers in each country. We accessed content on Netflix, Disney+, and many more. However, we struggled with BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Hulu. 


Also, despite offering unlimited bandwidth, ProtonVPN blocks torrenting on its free plan. 


Depending on your needs, you can choose between three VPN protocols – OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv6 – (OpenVPN is the best for accessing streaming content). ProtonVPN offers free users the same security features as the premium plans.

4. Windscribe

Windscribe has a large server network for a free VPN, offers unlimited device connections, and fast connections (outside of peak times).

  • Pricing

    • 12 months: $4.08/mth
    • 1 month: $9/mth
    • Free: $0/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited device connections
    • Fast connections
    • Large free server network
    • Excellent security
  • Cons

    • Difficult to use
    • Based in Canada
    • Chatbot support only
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix

Windscribe Demo

Windscribe Demo Windscribe Demo


Windscribe's free VPN stands out for several reasons. 


Firstly, you get unlimited device connections, which is rare even among premium VPNs. This means you can protect all your devices, from phones to laptops, without spending a single cent. 


Secondly, you can increase your monthly data limit from 2 GB to 10 GB by verifying your email, which only takes a minute.


In terms of security, Windscribe offers military-grade encryption, the WireGuard VPN protocol, an automatic kill-switch, and much more. We tested all of Windscribe's security features and found them rock-solid.


Windscribe's free plan offers servers in 10 locations, much more than most free VPNs. However, while testing them, we noticed significant slowdowns at peak times in their respective countries. We guess the network was getting congested by so many people in such a small network. 


If you need a super-fast VPN, we recommend one of the fastest premium VPNs. 

Methodology: how to find the best free VPN for your mobile phone

If you’re looking for a free VPN for your mobile, you should consider a few criteria when deciding which is best for you. 

Fortunately, we’ve put every VPN on this list through a series of tests using our own strict criteria, so you can use them as a guide. Our criteria for a free VPN include: 

  • Free plans forever: The free mobile VPNs we’ve recommended put no time limits or mandatory upgrades on your free plan. You can upgrade (or not) when you like. 
  • Good iOS and Android apps: We’ve only included VPNs we found easy to use on both popular mobile operating systems.  
  • Fast, reliable connections: We tested each VPNs servers to ensure they’re fast enough for various online activities – including streaming. 
  • Airtight security: Each VPN on our list offers military-grade encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and many more tools to keep you safe, secure, and hidden online. 
  • Transparent privacy policies: We only recommend free VPNs that don’t do any shady tricks like slipping ads onto your browser or selling your data.
  • Good customer support: While free VPNs generally have limited customer support, mainly via email, we only added providers who responded quickly and helpfully to our requests.

To see the complete list, and learn exactly how we test every VPN we recommend, read our VPN review process.

6 reasons to upgrade to a premium VPN 

The free VPNs on this list are, without a doubt, the best VPNs for mobile. However, they’re far from perfect and don't come close to the best premium VPNs in terms of performance, speed, security, and overall quality. 

Even if you’re on a strict budget, we recommend upgrading to a good quality cheap VPN for the best possible experience. Here are a few reasons why: 

  1. More servers: Premium VPNs have thousands of secure servers located across the globe. In contrast, most free VPNs only give you access to a couple of servers. 
  2. Better privacy: The best paid VPNs include a wide range of additional tools that add multiple layers of privacy to your data, location, and browsing activity. 
  3. Access to content: You’ll enjoy uninterrupted access to the best streaming platforms and other restricted content from anywhere in the world, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and much more. 
  4. Zero limitations: Paid VPNs don’t limit your bandwidth or speed. And some, like Surshark, don’t even limit the number of devices you connect. 
  5. State-of-the-art security: You’ll benefit from the huge investment paid VPNs can make into the latest security software, which free VPNs don’t offer or can’t afford.  
  6. Premium support: Premium VPN users get 24/7 live chat support, so you never have to wait in case of an issue. 

To fully appreciate how much better premium VPNs are, and to get the latest discounts, read our guide to the best all-round VPNs. 

FAQs about free VPNs for mobile

Are free VPNs for mobile safe?

In most cases, free VPNs are not safe to install on your mobile. Because free VPNs don’t generate revenue from subscriptions, they often use much shadier tactics to profit from you. The worst examples we’ve witnessed or discovered include: 

  • Inserting dangerous ads on your browsers
  • Secretly harvesting and selling your data
  • Allowing malware and hackers onto their networks

However, we’ve thoroughly tested every free VPN recommended in this guide. In each case, the free plan is meant to preview the VPN’s full, paid subscription. Therefore, they treat their free plans as a marketing tool and don’t try anything shady to profit from them. 

If you’re looking for a safe, reliable, free VPN for mobile, we recommend sticking to Hotspot Shield, AtlasVPN, Hide.me, or the other providers that passed our tests. 

How do I install a free VPN on Android?

  1. Pick a free VPN with a good Android app. We recommend Hotspot Shield.
  2. Download the app from the VPN’s website or Google Play Store
  3. Install it and sign up for an account.
  4. Follow the instructions for configuring the VPN – this will only take a minute. 
  5. Connect to one of the VPN’s free secure servers. 
  6. Re-open or refresh any app or browser running on your device. 

Finished!

The VPN will run in the background, encrypting your data, masking your location, hiding your browsing activity, and much more. 

How do I install a free VPN on iOS?

  1. Pick a free VPN with a good iOS app. We recommend Hotspot Shield.
  2. Download the app from the VPN’s website or Apple’s App Store.
  3. Install it and sign up for an account.
  4. Follow the instructions for configuring the VPN. This should take less than a minute. 
  5. Connect to one of the VPN’s free secure servers. 
  6. Refresh or re-open any browser and app on your device. 

That’s it!

Your device will now be protected, encrypted, and secure from online threats and snooping. 

Is there a 100% free VPN?

There are not many 100% free VPNs that are safe to use, but we’ve found five that you can trust to provide safe, secure, private connections. They are: 

  1. Hotspot Shield: The best free VPN. No real bandwidth limit, and the best combination of speed, security, and reliable connections. 
  2. AtlasVPN: Offers unlimited device connections on a single, free plan. Also includes extra tools like a dark web monitor and malware protection. 
  3. Hide.me: Access fast, reliable servers that work with your favorite streaming sites and video apps. 
  4. Proton VPN: No limits on your bandwidth and excellent connections. Install it on your router to protect your entire network.
  5. Windscribe: Lots of free, secure servers, unlimited device connections, and it supports torrenting.  

We’ve tested each free VPN listed above to ensure they provide a good experience without compromising your privacy or security through shady business practices. Stick to this list, and you’ll have no problems.  

Is Proton VPN free?

Yes, Proton VPN has a free plan. Overall, the free plan is excellent – it doesn’t cap your bandwidth when using the VPN, delivers reliable connections, and it’s compatible with plenty of popular streamers. 

However, Proton VPN’s free plan is still incredibly limited compared to the best VPNs. If you upgrade from the free Proton VPN plan to any premium VPN, you’ll benefit from faster connections, more servers, better security, access to even more streaming sites, and much more. 

Our top VPNs all offer 30-day money-back guarantees, so you can try them out risk-free and see the difference. 

Conclusion

Without question, the five free VPNs for mobile on this list are the best you’ll find. They offer the most security and the least restrictions. They’re also the safest, with no risk of shady business practices putting you at risk.

However, to benefit from the best protection and privacy on your Android or iOS, you’ll need a cheap premium VPN with zero caps on your speed, bandwidth, or usage. The best ones on the market all offer 30-day risk-free money-back guarantees.

So, try out a free VPN for your mobile, but when you’re ready to upgrade, check out our guide to the best VPNs for Android and iOS

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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