5 Best Free VPNs for Streaming in 2024: Intuitive & Fast

Updated on: May 31, 2024
Fact Checked by Hazel Shaw
Gjurgjica Panova Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: May 31, 2024 Writer

Short on time? Here’s the best free VPN for streaming in 2024:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN : It doesn’t have a free plan, but all plans are backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Works with 100+ streaming apps, has the fastest speeds on the market, and offers a smart DNS feature. Comes with advanced security features and user-friendly apps.

I don’t recommend using free VPNs for streaming, as they often don’t work with streaming sites and apps and have slow speeds. What’s more, a lot of free VPNs limit data usage and keep user logs.

Instead, I recommend using a paid VPN, like ExpressVPN, which has the fastest speeds on the market and works with 100+ streaming sites. It also allows unlimited data and comes with a smart DNS feature.

Still, if you insist on using a free VPN, all the VPNs on this list are good picks. They maintain fast speeds, work with streaming platforms almost all of the time, and some even have decent data caps. Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

TRY EXPRESSVPN NOW

Quick summary of the best free VPNs for streaming:

  • 1. 🥇ExpressVPN — Best VPN for streaming (works with 100+ apps and has a 30-day money-back guarantee).
  • 2. 🥈CyberGhost VPN — User-friendly VPN with streaming-optimized servers and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  • 3. 🥉Windscribe — Best totally free VPN with reliable streaming support (+ pretty fast speeds).
  • 4. Hide.me — Good free plan with decent speeds and over 5 server locations to choose from.
  • 5. Proton VPN — Free VPN with unlimited data, very fast speeds, and servers in 5 countries.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Streaming

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Streaming

ExpressVPN is my top pick for streaming in 2024. It reliably works with top streaming sites, has blazing-fast speeds, and offers servers in 105 countries. Although it doesn’t have a free plan, it has competitive plans that include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN has the best streaming support on the market — it works with 100+ streaming sites, including Netflix, Hulu, and Max. I really like its smart DNS feature, called MediaStreamer, which allows you to use the VPN on devices that don’t have support for native VPN apps, like gaming consoles.

When it comes to speeds, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN out there. In my speed tests, websites loaded instantly, and HD and 4K videos played right away. Plus, I also had blazing-fast speeds for non-streaming activities like file downloading and gaming.

I like that ExpressVPN has a split-tunneling feature, which is available on most major devices. The tool increases your speeds by allowing you to choose which apps use the VPN and which ones use your regular network. I tested it by routing my streaming traffic through the VPN, which boosted my streaming speeds by about 10%.

The VPN’s apps are very user-friendly, too. The Shortcuts feature allows you to set up 1-click shortcuts for your favorite apps and sites that appear on your screen after you connect to a VPN server. This lets you launch your favorite streaming services after connecting to ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN is also great for securing your streaming traffic. It comes with an independently audited and verified no-logs policy, RAM-only servers (data is wiped with every server reboot), and full leak protection. Moreover, it has perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption keys for each session.

ExpressVPN has plans that start at $6.67 / month. The long-term plans come with extra months for free, and all plans are backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming out there, as it reliably works with 100+ streaming sites and has the fastest speeds on the market. It also has a split-tunneling feature, user-friendly apps, and advanced security features. Although it doesn’t have a free plan, it backs each purchase with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full ExpressVPN review

🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Tons of Dedicated Servers for Streaming

🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Tons of Dedicated Servers for Streaming

CyberGhost VPN is an excellent choice for streaming — it has 100+ dedicated streaming servers across 20+ different countries. The servers are optimized for 50+ streaming apps like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. CyberGhost isn’t completely free, but it has a free 24-hour trial, which doesn’t require you to share your credit card details. On top of that, its long-term plans have a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

The VPN had great speeds in my speed tests. Websites and HD videos loaded instantly, and 4K videos played with a little buffering in the beginning. However, CyberGhost is still a little slower than ExpressVPN.

CyberGhost has a few other features that are good for streaming as well. It comes with split-tunneling and a smart DNS feature, which allowed me to watch Netflix Macedonia on my Xbox console (and it only took about 5 minutes to set it up on my device).

I’m also a big fan of the Smart Rules feature, which allows you to set up custom connection preferences. For instance, you can set up CyberGhost to automatically connect to a local streaming server and open a streaming app when you launch it.

The provider also has good security for streaming, including RAM-only servers, a verified no-logs policy, and perfect forward secrecy. It also has leak protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks — I ran tests while connected to servers in 5+ countries before I reconnected to a local server and started streaming with this VPN, and I didn’t experience any leaks.

CyberGhost VPN is really affordable, with plans starting at $2.03 / month. On top of the 45-day refund policy, there’s also a 14-day money-back guarantee on its monthly plan.

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Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN is really great for streaming, as it has 100+ dedicated servers for streaming that work with 50+ streaming platforms. It also comes with great speeds, a smart DNS feature, and great automation tools that make it convenient to stream with this provider. It lacks a free plan, but it has a 24-hour free trial and a 45-day money-back guarantee for long-term purchases

Read the full CyberGhost VPN review

Editors' Note: CyberGhost and this site are in the same ownership group.

🥉3. Windscribe — Best Free VPN for Reliable Streaming

🥉3. Windscribe — Best Free VPN for Reliable Streaming

Windscribe has one of the only free plans with streaming support. It consistently works with top streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer. The free plan also gives you access to 10+ server locations.

The provider’s free plan also has fast speeds — websites took 4 seconds to load, and HD videos loaded in 4–5 seconds. The free plan also provides access to split-tunneling, which lets you further boost your streaming speeds. That said, Windscribe is still slower than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.

In addition, the free plan allows up to 15 GB of data per month. Even though it starts at only 2 GB, you can increase your data limit to 10 GB by verifying your email address and to 15 GB by tweeting at the VPN — it’s enough data to stream a few movies each month.

This VPN has user-friendly apps for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and more. All the apps have the same intuitive interface and a large power button for one-click connections. All servers are set in an alphabetized list, so it’s easy to find and connect to a server. Plus, it offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

Windscribe also offers strong security, like perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, and full leak protection.

Windscribe’s paid version starts at $3.00 / month and offers servers in 68 countries, unlimited data, and full access to the ad blocker. However, it only offers a 3-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Windscribe’s free plan works with popular streaming sites. It also has decent speeds, a split-tunneling feature, servers in 10+ countries, and up to 15 GB of data per month. The free plan also allows unlimited simultaneous connections and has advanced security features. The provider’s paid version comes with servers in more countries and unlimited data, but it only has a 3-day refund.

Read the full Windscribe review

4. hide.me — Good Free Plan With Good Speeds

4. hide.me — Good Free Plan With Good Speeds

hide.me’s free plan has pretty decent speeds for streaming — in my tests, HD videos loaded in 2–3 seconds, and 4K videos loaded in 4 seconds. The free plan has 5+ server locations to choose from, so it’s somewhat easier to find a nearby server for faster speeds than with most free VPNs that limit you to fewer locations. You also get unlimited bandwidth on the free plan, which is great for streaming.

The VPN’s support reps can’t guarantee that the free plan works with streaming sites, though my tests showed it working with Netflix about half the time. If you want consistent guaranteed streaming, consider getting ExpressVPN or CyberGhost VPN.

hide.me offers user-friendly apps for most major devices. They come with interfaces that are easy to navigate, and all settings and features have quick explanations. Moreover, I was able to download and install the apps in just 2 minutes.

But the VPN’s free plan has some limitations. For example, it only allows 1 device connection.

Upgrading to hide.me’s paid plans ($2.22 / month) get you access to servers in 54 countries, streaming support, and more. Also, the provider has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

hide.me’s free plan has decent speeds for streaming, but it doesn’t work with streaming sites 100% of the time. It also comes with user-friendly apps and unlimited data. The paid plans provide a much larger network of servers, streaming support, and are also backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full hide.me review

5. Proton VPN — Great Free Plan With Unlimited Data

5. Proton VPN — Great Free Plan With Unlimited Data

Proton VPN is one of the few VPNs that allows unlimited data on its free plan. This means that you won’t have a cap on how much internet data you use for streaming on a daily or monthly basis. However, the free plan limits you to servers in 5 countries, including the US, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, and Japan.

However, streaming isn’t guaranteed to work 100% with Proton’s free plan. For example, when I tested Proton’s free plan, it worked with Netflix only sometimes. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, consider getting ExpressVPN instead.

I also think that Proton’s apps are pretty user-friendly. It has apps for most major platforms, and the installation process only takes up to 2 minutes. However, the free plan limits you to 1 connected device.

Proton’s free plan also has good speeds. During my speed tests, websites loaded in 2–3 seconds, HD videos started playing in 3–4 seconds, and 4K videos played with only minor buffering at the start. However, Proton’s speeds are still no match for ExpressVPN’s speeds.

I also found Proton’s apps user-friendly. It has apps for most major platforms, even for routers. What’s more, the installation process only takes up to 1 minute. However, the free plan limits you to 1 connected device.

Proton VPN has a paid version that starts at a reasonable $4.49 / month. The paid plans add streaming support and servers in 91 countries. There’s also a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans.

Bottom Line:

Proton VPN has one of the only free plans with unlimited data on the market. You’ll also get decent speeds and user-friendly apps, but the free plan doesn’t consistently work with streaming sites. The paid plans come with guaranteed streaming support and a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Proton VPN review

Quick Comparison Table

VPN Starting Price Works With Netflix Smart DNS Data Limit Number of Devices Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month Unlimited 8 30 days
🥈2. CyberGhost VPN $2.03 / month Unlimited 7 45 days (for long-term plans)
14 days (for monthly plans)
🥉3. Windscribe $3.00 / month Up to 15 GB per month 1 3 days
4. hide.me $2.22 / month ✅ (about 50% of the time on the free plan) Unlimited 1 30 days
5. Proton VPN $4.49 / month ✅ (about 50% of the time on the free plan) Unlimited 1 30 days (prorated)

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company

How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Streaming in 2024

  • Look for a VPN with excellent streaming support. The VPN should reliably work with your favorite streaming sites and apps. ExpressVPN consistently works with 100+ streaming platforms.
  • Pick a VPN with a high data usage limit. A low data cap isn’t useful for a data-heavy activity like streaming. I recommend picking a VPN that offers at least 10 GB per month, so that you can at least enjoy a few hours of SD or HD streaming.
  • Consider fast speeds. All VPNs slow down your speeds due to the encryption process, but some even place speed limits for free users. ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds on the market and has no speed limits.
  • Find a VPN with strong security features. All the VPNs on this list come with industry-standard security features, like 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch feature, which disables your internet connection if the VPN connection drops.
  • Go for good-value plans. All the VPNs on this list have affordable, value-packed paid plans as well as a money-back guarantee in case you decide to upgrade to the paid version.

Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN

  • No streaming support. Many free VPNs don’t have streaming support. If you plan on streaming a lot, I recommend getting a premium VPN like ExpressVPN since it works with 100+ streaming services.
  • Data caps. Free VPNs usually put a cap on how much data you use on a daily and monthly basis. If you want to use a free VPN with unlimited data, I recommend getting Proton VPN.
  • Slow speeds. Free VPNs often provide slower speeds than paid vendors. What’s more, many free VPNs throttle your speeds as well, which negatively impacts your streaming.
  • Limited server network. A majority of free VPNs only offer limited server networks, making it challenging to find local servers and achieve fast speeds. The limited network could also force you to use congested servers, potentially reducing your speeds further.
  • Poor security features. Many free VPNs lack essential security features like a kill switch or strong encryption. Without these security features, a third party could track your browsing activity. Luckily, all the VPNs on this list come with top-notch security features.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • TunnelBear. TunnelBear offers a free plan that gives access to servers in 47 countries, and it also works with streaming sites. However, it has a restrictive data of 2 GB per month, which won’t be enough for most streaming activities.
  • Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield comes with a free plan that allows unlimited data and also provides decent speeds (even though it limits you to 2 Mbps). That said, the free plan doesn’t support streaming.
  • PrivateVPN. PrivateVPN works reliably with top streaming sites, has minimalistic apps that are great for beginners, and provides fast speeds. However, it doesn’t have a free plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best free VPN for streaming?

ExpressVPN is my top choice for streaming, as it works with 100+ streaming sites and has the fastest speeds on the market. It also has top-notch security features and user-friendly apps. While it doesn’t offer a free plan, all plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free.

Is there a 100% free VPN for streaming?

Yes, and I think the best one is Windscribe since its free plan works reliably with popular streaming sites and has fast speeds. Moreover, the free plan comes with extra features, like split-tunneling. That said, the free plan limits you to up to 15 GB per month — if that’s a deal-breaker, consider trying a paid VPN with unlimited data instead, like ExpressVPN.

Do free VPNs work with streaming sites?

Most free VPNs have poor streaming support. They don’t work with many streaming sites and have slow speeds that interrupt the streaming experience. Plus, free VPNs put a cap on how much data you use daily and monthly, which restricts how much you stream.

The free VPNs mentioned in this article provide decent streaming support, though I still recommend getting a paid provider like ExpressVPN in the end since you get a VPN that consistently works with tons of streaming platforms.

Can you trust a free VPN?

Free VPNs aren’t completely safe. Many free VPNs lack essential security features, like leak protection, a kill switch, or bank-grade encryption. Instead, I recommend purchasing a premium VPN, like ExpressVPN. It has all essential security features and also comes with full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and an audited no-logs policy.

Quick Overview of My Top Recommendations:

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About the Author
Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: May 31, 2024

About the Author

Gjurgjica is a cybersecurity writer who is driven by her passion for the written word and anything tech-related. When she is not in the role of a Safety Detective, she can be found wrapped in a comfy blanket, binge-watching her favorite shows.