Most VPN providers come without free plans. Proton VPN is different as they offer all its present and future customers a completely free plan. This isn’t a scam. It isn’t junk. But, is it really a free VPN? What is written with tiny letters? In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about the free version of Proton VPN. Keep on reading, it is about to get interesting!
We have written a lot of articles warning about so-called free VPN providers. Why is that? There are so many companies and products claiming to be free, but you will quickly discover that you have to pay one way or another. Why is that?
Free VPN providers often make you pay in one of the following ways.
- You are only allowed to use a tiny amount of bandwidth. Once you reach that amount, you either pay or stop using the VPN.
- They install spyware and adware on your device and steal your data and do a lot of harm.
- You can use it for a limited time, and then you have to pay.
The free version of Proton VPN doesn’t fit into any of those categories. Let us take a closer look right away!
Want to try the free version of Proton VPN?
Register a free ProtonVPN account, download the application, and get started.
– Visit the Proton VPN website right now!
What’s up with the free version of Proton VPN?
A few words about Proton AG
Proton VPN didn’t start as a VPN service but as a mail service. Proton Mail was launched in 2014 as a service that would help journalists and others send information without being spied on. But, it wasn’t enough to have a service like Proton Mail. As a result, Proton VPN was born in order to take better care of those who used Proton Mail. You don’t need to use Proton Mail to use Proton VPN, and you don’t need Proton VPN to use Proton Mail.
One of the core values of the company is transparency. This is made much easier as the company is situated in Geneva in, Switzerland, and the employees are public figures (not anonymous). The fact that the company has an office in the EU adds to the credibility, as you can go and visit their offices yourself if you feel like. That is very different from many VPN providers on the Internet that you cannot track down (no matter how much you want to).
- Would you like to hear a TED talk from Andy Yen, the CEO of ProtonVPN? You can do it here.
One more thing that adds to the credibility of the company is the very good reputation of Proton Mail, a service acknowledged by tech experts worldwide.
Is the free version of Proton VPN worth using?
If you are considering using the free version of Proton VPN, the following is what you need to see.
On the left side above, you can see what you get if you pay for Proton VPN. On the right side, you can see what you get if you use the free version. The list is much shorter. Should you be worried? Is the free version enough for you?
Proton VPN has servers in more than 60 countries. But, if you use the free service, you can connect to servers in only three countries; the Netherlands, USA, and Japan. That leads us to the first question?
Question 1: Is it enough for you with servers in the USA, the Netherlands, and Japan?
Why do you need a VPN? This is the most important question. Are you located in a hotel and you want to use the public WiFi network? Are you worried that people will spy on your activities and steal your data? Would you like a VPN that will encrypt your data and hide your online activities? At the same time, you don’t care about where the VPN server is located?
If your answer is yes, then Proton VPN is qualified.
You should be aware that if you are located far away from these locations, your Internet speed might drop a lot as you connect to a VPN server far from your real location. This doesn’t always happen, but often it does.
Some people want a VPN to unblock TV networks and streaming services. Is your goal to watch BBC iPlayer or ITVX in the United Kingdom? Then you can forget about the free version of Proton VPN as they do not provide IP addresses in the UK with the free version. The same is true if you want to watch RaiPlay in Italy or maybe SVT in Sweden.
Would you like to watch Netflix content in the United States, the Netherlands, or Japan? During my most recent tests, the free ProtonVPN servers were blocked by Netflix, but you should try yourself and not just listen to what I write here.
Question 2: Will you do activities that require very fast download speeds?
As you can see in the image above, the free version of Proton VPN only ensures medium speeds. What does this mean? The servers will limit the download speeds you have. This can cause trouble if you want to download large files or do activities that require a lot of bandwidth. This is the theory! I should mention that torrenting/P2P activities are unavailable on the free version. Downloading large files is possible, but you cannot use file-sharing programs like uTorrent and similar programs with the free version.
My own experience with the download speeds of Proton VPN Free.
I have tested the free Proton VPN servers lots of times, and I have had such blazing speeds that make most other VPN providers envious. I have had download speeds above 300 Mbps with the free VPN servers from Proton VPN. What does that mean? To watch a 4K movie on Netflix, you only need 25 Mbps. In other words, I had ten times the download speed required to watch a maximum-quality movie on Netflix.
I also downloaded the installation file for Ubuntu 22.04 (more than 3GB in size), which was downloaded in less than 3 minutes. I had an average download speed of 22 MB per second. I am not sure if this was a coincidence or not, but those speeds were so amazing that I don’t worry at all that the free version of Proton VPN will slow down my Internet connection.
Question 3: Do you need to use the subscription on multiple devices?
Most people use their VPN on only one device. Is the same true for you? Will you only use Proton VPN on one device or at least, one device at the same time? If the answer is yes, the free version of Proton VPN is enough for you.
Do you need to use Proton VPN on several devices simultaneously? Why don’t you create one more free account? If you need to use the VPN on several devices, you can use one subscription on ten devices simultaneously with Proton VPN Plus. That is more convenient, but this limitation will not cause trouble for most people.
Question 4: How important are the extras (malware, ad-blocker, Tor over VPN, Double VPN, unblocking)?
If you see the comparison list between the free and the Plus version, you can see several differences. The Plus version comes with malware and an ad-blocker. Is this something you desperately need? It is very useful, but if you have survived without it until now, it is possible that you can manage without it in the future as well.
One thing that might be crucial is the support for P2P/BitTorrent in the plus version. This is unavailable in the free version, so if you need a VPN to protect you while using BitTorrent, you need the Plus version of Proton VPN.
If you need the VPN to unblock streaming services and TV networks worldwide, the Plus version is needed. You can use the free version and its servers in Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States to unblock many services, but far from everyone (in those countries). Once again, the free version is heavily limited seen from this perspective.
What Proton VPN refers to as Secure Core servers is really what others refer to as a Double VPN. This is the ability to connect to one VPN server and then to another before your activities reach the WEB (your traffic passes through multiple VPN servers). This makes it even harder to track you and adds an additional layer of security.
The last difference is what Proton VPN refers to as Tor over VPN. Would you like Proton VPN to route all your traffic through the Tor network to make your activities even harder to track? This is a great opportunity. But, you will probably survive without it. If security and privacy is extremely important, you should probably use the Plus version. But, if you don’t fear your life is in danger due to what you do online (and what will happen if someone discovers what you are doing), this isn’t needed.
Some other things that are useful to know about Proton VPN.
Proton VPN is very easy to use. They have developed VPN applications for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and also for Linux. Since I am a Linux user myself (and also a Windows user), I am happy to see that Proton VPN has a graphical interface for their Linux client. They have a command line client as well, but if you want it to feel like a “normal” operating system, then you will enjoy the Proton VPN client for Linux with a graphical interface. You can read more about how you can install Proton VPN in Ubuntu and Linux Mint right here.
Proton VPN review conclusion
In this article, I have shared my thoughts on the free version of Proton VPN. Honestly, I am very impressed that they give away such a fantastic product for free. This is a full-scale VPN service that you can use without paying. Of course, it comes with a lot of limitations. But, those who only want online security and encryption will find the free version of Proton VPN to be fantastic.
I was also surprised to see that it worked quite well for unblocking (yes, also the free version). The biggest surprise, however, came as I had blazing download speeds surpassing 300 Mbps on my computer.
Would you like to test Proton VPN yourself? Click the button below to visit the website.
If you purchase Proton VPN Plus, you can feel safe as they protect you with a 30-day full refund policy.
I have now shared my thoughts on Proton VPN in this review. Have you tested Proton VPN? How did you like the service? Were you satisfied with the product, the servers, and the price (free)? I would love to hear from you. Write a comment and let me and all readers hear what’s on your heart!