Proton VPN’s Free Tier Is the Best You’ll Find


Free VPNs are hard to trust. And if you’re going to be using it all the time, it’s best to pay for a trusted and secure VPN so you get consistent speeds and no threat of data leaks. But there might be times when you need to use a VPN for a simple task—to open a page from a different country, maybe, or to mask your location. 

For times like that, and perhaps even as a default option, you can use the free tier of Proton VPN.

Proton’s services aren’t all free: They make money by selling secure VPN, data syncing, email, and password management services. PCMag has given Proton VPN a 5-star rating, and Proton Mail is PCMag’s Editor’s Choice. 

How Proton VPN’s free tier works

There is no real catch here, just some limitations. First of all, it’s truly unlimited, and in our testing, we found it to be quite fast for regular browsing, although it’s not made for streaming 4K video. Even in the free tier, there are no ads and there’s no logging or tracking to speak of. 

There are two big limitations though. The free account is limited to one device (although you can create another account to use with another device to get around that). And second, the free tier lets you connect to only three regions. In the U.S., it randomly connects you to a different state; in Europe, you connect to the Netherlands, and in Asia, you’re connecting to servers in Japan. 

The thing is you can’t really choose the location of the servers (like you can in the free tier of Opera VPN). You need to reconnect each time, cycling through randomly, and Proton VPN puts a one-and-a-half-minute wait time between reconnections. 

But that’s it. If you can get over that part, you can use Proton VPN as your default free VPN on your computer or your smartphone, using two different accounts. The app is fast, secure, and easy to use. You can connect and disconnect using a single click, and the connection does not dip randomly. 

If you want more, you can sign up for Proton VPN’s paid plan which comes down to $4.99/month if you sign up for two years (billed $119.76 every two years). You can also check out other VPN options at PCMag. 

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