Updated on: September 9, 2023
Short on time? Here’s the best free VPN for India in 2023:
- 🥇 ExpressVPN: Even though ExpressVPN doesn’t have a free plan, you can test it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It has virtual servers in India (via Singapore and the UK) that aren’t constrained by India’s strict VPN data retention laws but that still reliably provide you with an Indian IP address. ExpressVPN is also very secure, maintains super fast speeds, and has best-in-class streaming, torrenting, and gaming support.
Free VPNs are convenient, but I don’t really recommend using them. They often lack industry-standard security features, set a limit on data and device connections, or log user data in order to sell it. On top of that, most free VPNs don’t have servers in India.
Instead, I highly recommend getting an affordable VPN (like ExpressVPN). They provide much better value since premium VPNs keep you safe online, let you access streaming sites, and don’t limit your data usage.
But if you still insist on using a free VPN, the ones on my list are all great picks. They provide strong security and privacy, have good speeds, and come with decent data caps.
VPNs Removing Servers From India
Under India’s current laws, VPN servers that are physically located in India must store user data for at least 5 years. As a result, many major VPN providers have decided to remove their physical servers from the country. However, some VPNs (including a handful on this list) replaced their physical servers in India with virtual servers, which are located in a different country but still provide users with an Indian IP address. The virtual servers are not subject to India’s user data retention laws.
Quick summary of the best free VPNs for India:
- 1. 🥇 ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for India (with a 30-day money-back guarantee).
- 2. 🥈 CyberGhost VPN — Excellent VPN for streaming (with a 45-day money-back guarantee).
- 3. 🥉 hide.me — Best free torrenting VPN for India
- 4. Proton VPN — Great free VPN with unlimited data.
- 5. Windscribe — Good free VPN for streaming.
- Comparison of the Best Free VPNs for India in 2023.
1. 🥇 ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for India in 2023
ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for India — while it doesn’t have a free plan, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out risk-free for a whole month. It has 2 virtual server locations for India, super-fast speeds, and industry-leading security and privacy features. Its apps are easy to install and use, and it’s my top pick for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
ExpressVPN offers virtual servers in India via the UK and Singapore, allowing the provider to bypass India’s data retention laws. I conducted multiple IP tests on servers in both locations, and I was assigned an Indian IP address every single time. ExpressVPN also has a massive 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, including many locations close to India like Singapore, Thailand, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.
ExpressVPN also has advanced security tools:
- TrustedServer Technology — By using RAM-only servers, ExpressVPN ensures that all data is wiped every time the server is switched off/on.
- Perfect forward secrecy — This feature changes encryption keys for each session to ensure hackers can’t access past or future keys in order to spy on your traffic.
- Full leak protection — Throughout my testing on Indian (and nearby) servers, I didn’t encounter any DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 leaks. Thankfully, only the IP address for the country where I was connected appeared, and not my actual IP address.
- Split tunneling — With this feature, you can route some of your apps through your internet service provider (ISP) and some through the VPN to help speed up data-intensive activities. ExpressVPN supports split-tunneling on Android, Windows, Macs, and routers.
- Threat manager — ExpressVPN stops trackers from targeting you with annoying ads and prevents you from visiting malicious websites.
- No-logs policy — ExpressVPN doesn’t store any of your online traffic, and its no-logs policy has been audited by independent organizations on several occasions.
ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol helped to maintain lightning-fast speeds. Web pages loaded instantly, videos started instantly and streamed uninterrupted in HD and 4K, and a 25 GB file took about 10 minutes to download, which is really impressive.
I’m also impressed that ExpressVPN is able to access 100+ streaming sites, including Netflix India, Hotstar, and India-based Zee5. Additionally, it supports torrenting on all servers, including India, and works with all of the popular torrenting clients like BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Deluge.
ExpressVPN’s plans start from $6.67 / month. While this price is a bit higher than some competitors, I often see ExpressVPN include extra months for free, and it truly offers amazing value.
ExpressVPN is undoubtedly the best VPN for India. It comes with virtual Indian servers as well as physical servers in nearby countries like Bhutan and Sri Lanka, provides lightning-fast speeds, and includes advanced security features. Despite not having a free plan, ExpressVPN provides excellent value, and all plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can see for yourself if it’s right for you.
2. 🥈 CyberGhost VPN — Great for Streaming (With Blazing-Fast Speeds)
CyberGhost VPN has 25+ virtual servers in Mumbai and is very good for streaming. It doesn’t offer a free plan, but its long-term plans come with an impressive 45-day money-back guarantee.
I really like how CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers for specific streaming services in different countries. These servers are designed to always work with the streaming service and provide optimal speeds for streaming content. In India, there are streaming servers for Hotstar and Netflix India.
In my tests, I was able to connect to virtual Indian servers without any issues, and I was pleased to have a similarly positive experience connecting to servers in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.
I also had really fast speeds on all Indian servers, but CyberGhost is not as fast as ExpressVPN. While I didn’t notice any delays while browsing, videos took 2 seconds to load, and the same 25 GB file took 13 minutes to download, which is still really good.
I especially like CyberGhost’s Smart Rules feature. You can customize the CyberGhost app in a variety of ways to make your experience even smoother. For example, I used this feature to set up CyberGhost to automatically connect to an Indian server upon start-up.
Plus, CyberGhost allows you to split-tunnel apps, but it’s only available on Android (unlike ExpressVPN, which offers the feature on multiple operating systems).
CyberGhost has advanced security features. On top of perfect forward secrecy, strong leak protection, and RAM-only servers, CyberGhost also has Content Blocker (protects you from shady sites) and Identity Guard, which warns you if your email or passwords have been leaked on the dark web.
CyberGhost VPN’s plans start from $2.19 / month. In addition to its 45-day money-back guarantee for its long-term plans, it also has a 14-day money-back guarantee for its shortest plan.
CyberGhost has 25+ virtual servers in India, maintains fast speeds, and has dedicated servers for Netflix India and Hotstar. It also allows torrenting on all Indian servers. Its long-term plans are covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee, and the monthly plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee.
3. 🥉 hide.me — Best Free P2P VPN for India
hide.me is my top pick for a free VPN for India. It has one of the only free plans on the market to allow P2P sharing. It also works with all the top torrenting apps like uTorrent and qBittorrent. The free plan also allows 10 GB per month, which is enough for torrenting small files.
The free plan comes with a server location that is near India (Singapore), which will help you get faster speeds. With the free plan, you can also connect to servers in the US, UK, and Germany.
hide.me has great security and privacy features. The free plan offers advanced features like perfect forward secrecy, full leak protection, and RAM-only servers.
I was really impressed with hide.me’s speeds. Websites loaded instantly and HD videos loaded in around 3 seconds and had very little buffering. A 10 GB file only took around 15 minutes, but overall, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN are faster.
There are some drawbacks to the free plan, though. You can only connect 1 device to the VPN and you also don’t get streaming support for any popular platforms.
hide.me’s paid plans start at $3.84 / month and give you access to 10 connections, unlimited data, servers in 50+ countries, and streaming support. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee on all paid plans.
hide.me has the best free plan for torrenting — it has servers in 5+ countries that support P2P traffic, and the VPN allows 10 GB per month, which is enough for torrenting small files. It’s also fast and comes with strong security and privacy features. The paid version adds even more security features and servers and streaming support. The paid plans are affordable and backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. Proton VPN — Free VPN With Unlimited Data
Proton VPN has a good free plan with unlimited data, which is pretty rare for a free VPN. However, most free plans block features behind a paywall, and Proton VPN is no different. For example, it allows just 1 connection at a time, only provides access to servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan, and doesn’t support streaming and torrenting.
I really like how Proton VPN includes the VPN Accelerator feature on its free plan. VPN Accelerator uses state-of-the-art technology to boost your speeds by up to 400%, especially while connected to distant servers. In my tests, I always had significantly faster speeds with this feature enabled than without it while I was connected to all 3 free server locations. General browsing was very fast, but my speeds with the free plan were nowhere as fast as with ExpressVPN or CyberGhost VPN.
Proton VPN has top-notch security and privacy features, including perfect forward secrecy, full leak protection, and full-disk encryption (scrambles all of the data on the server). Proton VPN’s no-logs policy has been confirmed by a third party, and it issues a transparency report.
I’m also a huge fan of Proton VPN’s split-tunneling feature, which allows you to exclude website IP addresses, as well as apps. However, Mac users will be disappointed as it’s only available on Android and Windows.
Proton VPN’s paid plans start at $4.99 / month and have more perks, including servers in 60+ countries, streaming and P2P support, and 10 connections. All purchases are backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
Proton VPN has a fantastic free plan. It includes unlimited data, great security features, and pretty fast speeds, but you only have access to 3 server locations (not India) and streaming and torrenting aren’t allowed. Users can upgrade to the Plus plan to get access to the India servers, watch their favorite India streaming services, and securely download files.
5. Windscribe — Free VPN With Good Streaming Support
Windscribe’s free plan works with top streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. That’s pretty impressive, as most free VPNs don’t work with streaming platforms. That said, you only get around 10 GB of data per month — that might be enough for a few hours of streaming SD videos, but it won’t allow you to watch a lot of HD content.
I was impressed with Windsribe’s speeds. The servers located closest to us provided the best speeds, so I recommend that users in India first try the server in Hong Kong. To get the fastest speeds, though, check out ExpressVPN.
Windscribe comes with a lot of advanced security features, including RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, full leak protection, split-tunneling, and a pretty customizable ad and malware blocker. However, I wish its no-logs policy was audited.
The provider’s apps are also really user-friendly, as the interface is simple to navigate and there are helpful explanations for pretty much all settings. Also, the VPN’s free plan allows unlimited connections, which is really good.
Windsribe’s paid version starts at $5.75 / month and adds access to unlimited data and servers in 65+ countries. The provider only has a 3-day money-back guarantee.
Windscribe offers a free plan that supports streaming. It also has good speeds, includes good security features, and allows unlimited connections. However, you only get 10 GB per month, which really puts a limit on your browsing and streaming. The paid plans remove the data cap and allow access to all servers. Windscribe backs each plan with a short 3-day money-back guarantee.
Comparison of the Best Free VPNs for India in 2023
|VPN||Free Plan/Money-Back Guarantee||Starting Price||Data Cap||Works With Netflix India||Allows Torrenting in India||Device Connections|
|1.🥇 ExpressVPN||30-day money-back guarantee||$6.67 / month||Unlimited||✅||✅||5|
|2.🥈 CyberGhost VPN||45-day money-back guarantee||$2.19 / month||Unlimited||✅||✅||7|
|3.🥉 hide.me||Free plan + 30-day money-back guarantee||$3.84 / month||10 GB monthly||Paid plans only||✅||1 (up to 10 with paid plans)|
|4. Proton VPN||Free plan + 30-day money-back guarantee||$4.99 / month||Unlimited||Paid plans only||Paid plans only||1 (up to 10 with paid plans)|
|5. Windscribe||Free plan + 3-day money-back guarantee||$5.75 / month||10 GB monthly||✅||Paid plans only||Unlimited|
How to Choose the Best Free VPN for India in 2023
- Look for servers in India or nearby countries. A VPN needs to have servers in India, or fast servers in other nearby countries. ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN have virtual servers in India.
- Pick a VPN with good security features. While many free plans may lack essential security features, all of the VPNs on this list include industry-standard VPN security features like a kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and leak protection.
- Select a fast VPN. All VPNs will slow down your speeds to some degree because of the extra distance internet signals need to travel to VPN servers. The encryption process also contributes to the speed loss. But a good VPN is able to maintain fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting (ExpressVPN has the fastest speeds in the industry).
- Check for additional features. All of the free VPNs listed here offer convenient extras like split tunneling or an ad blocker.
- See if there are affordable paid plans. Since you may consider upgrading to a premium plan in the future, I only recommend free VPNs that offer budget-friendly paid plans.
Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN
- Inadequate security. Be aware that free VPNs often lack even basic security features, leaving your online traffic and IP address exposed to potential threats from hackers, ISPs, and the government.
- Slow speeds. Free VPNs often throttle your speeds, making it difficult for web pages to load or videos to start. Thankfully, all of the free VPNs I recommend maintain pretty fast speeds.
- Blacklisted servers. Most VPNs offer small server networks, meaning they have fewer IP addresses to assign to users. Many sites block commonly-used VPN IP addresses. The top premium VPNs like ExpressVPN typically have thousands of IP addresses.
- No streaming/torrenting. Most free VPNs don’t typically work with Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime Video, and similarly, a lot of free VPNs don’t allow torrenting.
- Data restrictions. Many free VPNs limit bandwidth, typically ranging from 500 MB daily to 15 GB monthly. Proton VPN is one of the only VPNs whose free plan comes with unlimited data.
- Seling your data. Some free VPNs might compromise and monetize your personal data. Ensure your chosen free VPN holds a genuine no-logs policy to maintain your online privacy.
- Private Internet Access (PIA). PIA is one of the best VPNs on the market. It’s very affordable since plans start at $2.19 / month, and it’s also secure, fast, simple to use, and allows unlimited connections. Plus, PIA has a virtual server location in India. Read our full Private Internet Access review.
- Surfshark. This VPN also offers great value for money. Prices start at only $2.30 / month, and you also get good security, fast speeds, and a few virtual server locations in India. Surfshark also allows unlimited connections, which is a nice bonus. Read our full Surfshark review.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- PrivadoVPN — The free plan allows unlimited device connections, 10 GB of data per month, and supports P2P traffic, but unfortunately PrivadoVPN’s free plan doesn’t have servers close enough to India to provide good speeds.
- Hotspot Shield — Hotspot Shield offers a free plan with fast speeds, good security, and unlimited data, but it caps your speeds at 2 Mbps and only lets you connect 1 device.
- TunnelBear — TunnelBear has a decent free plan that includes all of the features from its premium plans. However, you only get 2 GB per month, which is only enough to test out the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are VPNs legal in India?
Yes, but India passed a law that requires VPN providers to store user data on India-based servers for at least 5 years. This triggered some VPNs like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN to replace their physical servers in India with virtual servers, which provide users with Indian IP addresses but aren’t physically located in India. Virtual servers allow VPNs to get around the data retention law and continue to secure their users’ privacy.
What’s the best free VPN for India?
ExpressVPN is my top VPN for India. While it doesn’t have a free plan, it has affordable plans that start at $6.67 / month, and it’s the best overall VPN on the market in 2023. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to try it out risk-free.
If you’re looking for a really good free VPN, check out hide.me. It allows torrenting, has 10 GB per month, servers in 5+ countries, provides good speeds, and comes with strong security features — but you don’t get streaming support and are limited to 1 connection.
Do free VPNs work with Netflix India?
There may be a couple, but most free VPNs don’t allow you to access a server in India. If you are unable to connect to an Indian server, you won’t have access to Netflix India. The few free VPN plans that include access to an Indian server have very small daily or monthly data limits.
The best way to watch Netflix India is to get a premium VPN like ExpressVPN, which has Indian servers, reliably works with Netflix India, has super-fast speeds, and is very easy to use.
Are free VPNs safe to use for India?
The majority of free VPNs are NOT safe to use in India. Many free VPNs lack basic security features, log your data (and sometimes even sell it), or contain malware.
However, all of the truly free VPNs list here include industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy. They also have advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy and extra features such as split-tunneling and an ad, tracker, and malware blocker.