What Are The Best Free VPNs for Netflix
Netflix is a comparatively secure site which is generally free of malware but that doesn’t mean your account is safe from hackers nor that you can watch everything you want to.
While common sense will go some way to keeping your account from being stolen, it won’t do much in terms of getting you access to American Netflix from overseas. A VPN, on the other hand, can potentially, do both.
Netflix has been notoriously aggressive in trying to prevent users from accessing content in countries it’s not legally allowed to distribute it, banning many VPNs along the way. Fortunately, there are some, like ExpressVPN, that seem to be able to navigate geographical restrictions in its sleep.
ExpressVPN comes with a standard VPN price tag, however, so those wanting to avoid extra expenditure would far rather use a free VPN for Netflix. But are there any out there that still work?
Best Free VPN for Netflix
#1 TunnelBear VPN
If the sight of a cartoon bear tunneling through a map of the world in search of honeypots brings a smile to your face, you should be using TunnelBear VPN to access Netflix. This is the first truly free VPN to grace our best free VPNs for Netflix collection, although its data limitations make streaming anything somewhat challenging.
The free TunnelBear plan gives users just 500MB per month to play with, which isn’t going to allow you to stream a preview, let along an entire movie. You can boost your monthly bandwidth by tweeting about TunnelBear on Twitter, which will give you another 1 GB to play with, but with standard quality movies weighing in at around 1.5 GB, that will only give you one movie per month, if that.
Another major issue with TunnelBear is that it struggles to keep on top of Netflix’s geoblocks and often falls short when it comes to accessing American content. The main problem facing TunnelBear is that, with servers in just 22 countries, it’s easy for Netflix to identify the IP addresses of its servers and subsequently block them. This is why VPNs with large server networks, like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN for example, can provide more reliable Netflix access.
While at present, TunnelBear isn’t the best free VPN for Netflix, let’s hope it manages to garner a bit more support and start expanding its network with the same enthusiasm as Surfshark. Maybe in the future, TunnelBear might find a way to tunnel into Netflix’s treasured US content and, in the meantime, it’s still one of the best free VPNs even with its limitations. Don’t believe us? Check out our full review here or take our word for it and sign up with TunnelBear today.
Like TunnelBear, ProtonVPN has a free service with limited capabilities but, while TunnelBear limits bandwidth, ProtonVPN limits speed and servers. Obviously, this is a significant drawback for users wanting a VPN for streaming or torrenting.
Furthermore, the free version of ProtonVPN won’t unblock Netflix for you. That makes it a pretty ineffective free VPN for Netflix even though the paid versions do an impressive job of leaping over and squeezing under the restrictions Netflix has in place.
ProtonVPN is a no-logging service that utilizes the same high-grade AES 245-encryption and OpenVPN security protocols as the best VPNs in the world. It offers multiple server protection in the form of its Secure Core servers and includes both a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
ProtonVPN is simple and user-friendly and, even if the free version doesn’t pack enough punch for you, you can still test its full potential. ProtonVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee period during which you can cancel your subscription at any time. Unlike other VPNs, however, ProtonVPN will only refund you for the days you haven’t used, so if you cancel after 20 days, you’ll only get the equivalent of 10 days’ subscription refunded.
If ProtonVPN has whetted your appetite for cybersecurity, sign up today. Otherwise, take a closer look at the pros and cons in our full review.
#3 Hotspot Shield
You’ll be pleased to hear that Hotspot Shield is one of those rare creatures – a reliable, free VPN. It hasn’t always been and some may remember the allegations leveled at it a couple of years ago when the Center for Democracy and Technology accused Hotspot Shield of “unfair and deceptive trade practices”, claiming it “works with unaffiliated entities to customize advertising”.
It seems this matter is still unresolved, although Hotspot Shield’s parent company, AnchorFree, has responded, saying the claims are unfounded and that “… We are reaching out to appropriate groups and remain committed to defending the privacy and internet freedom of all our users.”
While some users may find it difficult to reconcile themselves to the potential dangers of using Hotspot Shield, others won’t be able to resist the high speeds it produces courtesy of its proprietorial security protocol.
Instead of using the standard OpenVPN protocol which Hotspot Shield claims reduces connection speeds, this VPN uses something called Catapult Hydra which, according to David Gorodyansky, AnchorFree’s CEO, makes it harder to censor “because it doesn’t look like a normal VPN”.
Should You Use a Free VPN?
The controversy surrounding Hotspot Shield is indicative of some of the problems facing many free VPNs. After all, if a VPN provider isn’t making money from providing a VPN, where is its profit coming from? Oftentimes, it’s from selling data to the highest bidder. That’s worrying enough in itself, but we’ve got news for you that will keep you awake at night and haunt your time in cyberspace.
According to a recent report, free VPNs for Android are the most dangerous, with four VPN apps found to not only place adverts on users’ home screens as well while the app itself is running in the background. Not only can such “outside ad fraud” drain your system resources, but it is also in contravention of Google Play Store’s regulations.
All in all, the only advantage of using a free VPN is that you don’t have to hand over cold, hard cash for it. Nevertheless, you will end up paying for it in some sense, whether that’s with endless adverts, limited bandwidth, reduced security, or data theft.
Advantages of a Paid VPN
By comparison, the best Netflix VPNs cost just a couple of dollars a month and give you the following benefits, among others:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No logging or tracking
- International server connections
- Fast connection speeds
- No adverts
- Robust privacy policies
- 24/7 customer support
- Access to P2P-optimized servers
- Bypasses geographical restrictions
- Ability to select a location-specific server
Conclusion For Free VPNs That Works With Netflix
While there is more than one free VPN that works with Netflix, those of you wanting high speeds and reliable access to Netflix should look at the paid options instead. Leading VPNs, like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN, are not only affordable but have servers all over the world, meaning you can watch American Netflix from far and wide and even in heavily censored regions like UAE and China.
The best free VPN for Netflix is something of a misnomer as few provide the speeds, accessibility, and bandwidth required for an uninterrupted streaming session. What’s more, many will waste your precious bandwidth by clogging it up with advertising.
Those of you who want a secure and anonymous way to watch Netflix and keep up with the latest weird and wonderful developments in Stranger Things or the next chilling moves of Joe Goldberg in You, it will be hard to resist the tempting offerings of free VPNs.