The Best Free VPN for Japan in 2023
When choosing a free VPN for Japan, you need to consider qualities like security, privacy, features, speed and streaming performance. In this article, we recommend seven great free VPNs for Japan based on how they perform in these areas.
If you’re in Japan and you want to use a VPN but are on a budget, it’s likely you’re considering free VPN services. However, not all free VPNs are equal, and many do more harm than good. In this guide, we will suggest the top seven free VPNs that can provide security, privacy — and some that even have Japanese VPN server options to support local IP addresses.
- If you’re trying to bolster your online privacy, or you’re looking to access geo-restricted content from Japan, we’ve recommended the best and safest free VPNs on the market.
- Proton VPN and TunnelBear are all great options that come with free servers in Japan and other countries around the world.
- Windscribe is usually the best VPN with a free plan, but it comes in second place because it does not offer a Japanese server option like Proton VPN and TunnelBear do.
Unfortunately, not even the Land of the Rising Sun is free from cyberattacks. Since 2020, cyberattacks in Japan have been on the rise. These cybercrimes have impacted large corporations, small businesses and individuals alike. A virtual private network is one of the best tools for keeping your personal or business data safe.
In this article, we recommend seven of the best options if you’re looking for a free Japan VPN to protect your online activities. However, if you want a quick answer, the best VPN to use for free is Proton VPN, as it offers strong security, privacy, unlimited data and servers in Japan that can help you access geo-restricted Japanese content.
Yes, there are many free VPN services for Japan. You can connect to VPN servers in different countries by using any of the other VPN services in this article.
Proton VPN and TunnelBear are two examples of quality free VPNs that have Japanese servers included in the free access option.
Visit the website of the VPN you want to use. Create an account and navigate to your account page, where you’ll find the VPN’s client apps. Choose a suitable client app, follow the installation process and you should be connected to a server in no time.
Top Free VPNs for Japan
$4.99 / month(save 50%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
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Average speedDownload Speed93 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms$5.75 / month(save 36%)(All Plans) 3-days money-back guarantee
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$2.64 / month(save 73%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
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- : 10
$8 / month(save 38%)(All Plans) 45-days money-back guarantee
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- : 25
What Makes the Best Free VPN for Japan?
We selected these free services based on factors like free servers, streaming performance, speed, security, privacy and features.
- Proton VPN — The best free VPN for Japan with Japan servers
- Windscribe — Flexible free plans, plus ultra-fast speeds
- TunnelBear — Secure free VPN with a distinctive UI
- Hide.me — A secure free VPN with decent speeds and user-friendly apps
- Atlas VPN — Fairly priced free VPN with many advanced features
- PrivadoVPN — A decent mid-tier free VPN that unblocks major streaming services
- Hotspot Shield — Great UI and fast speeds
Some of these VPN services offer free Japan servers, and all of them offer free servers in a good number of countries around the world. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.
The Best Free Japan VPN Software
Below are seven top free VPNs for Japan. We begin with our top choice, Proton VPN.
1. Proton VPN
More details about Proton VPN:
- Pricing: Free; $4.99 per month (two-year plan)
- Provider website: protonvpn.com
- Unlimited data on free version
- Easy to use
- Free Japanese servers
- Free plan only in 3 countries
Proton VPN earns the number one spot on this list for its generous free plan, strong security and privacy.
Proton VPN doesn’t keep any logs of your online activity, and hence can’t share your data with third parties. It uses only well-vetted protocols, including OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2. Unfortunately, IKEv2 is not available on the Windows app and OpenVPN is the only protocol available for Linux.
This VPN also has very user-friendly apps that let you navigate through the different features and connect to servers in various countries.
Proton VPN can get into most streaming sites with ease, including Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and Netflix. If you’re concerned about accessing Netflix Japan in particular, Proton VPN won’t disappoint.
Quality Free Version
With Proton VPN’s free plan, you have unlimited data with three server countries: the Netherlands, the United States and Japan — with servers in Tokyo and Osaka. This means Proton VPN is the best way to get free Japanese IP addresses.
Proton VPN’s paid plans are in the same price range as some of its competitors, including Windscribe and Hide.me. The monthly plan costs $9.99, while the two-year plan works out to $4.99 per month. You can try out the paid plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Proton VPN review for more details.
- Unlimited GB
More details about Windscribe:
- Pricing: Free; $5.75 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: windscribe.com
- Generous free plan
- Many advanced features
- Stellar security & privacy
- 3-day money-back guarantee
- No Japanese servers
Windscribe is a solid free VPN for Japan. You don’t get a Japanese IP address on the free plan, but there are 10 free servers strategically located in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Romania. This gives users in Japan a wide selection of server locations.
Windscribe’s free plan has some flexible options, making it the best free VPN. It offers 2GB of data per month (which gets boosted to 10GB of data when you confirm your email address), unlimited simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth. Windscribe also gives users an extra 5GB of data for tweeting about the service.
Security-wise, Windscribe is also strong. The VPN supports the most secure VPN protocols: OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), WireGuard and IKEv2. Read our Proton VPN vs Windscribe guide to learn how our top picks compare.
Impressive Speeds for Streaming, Gaming and Torrenting
Windscribe offers fast VPN speeds, even on the free plan. Unfortunately, the speeds are sometimes inconsistent across locations, depending on the protocol you select. It’s best to stick with WireGuard, especially for speed-intensive activities like torrenting and gaming.
The monthly plan costs $9, but the yearly plan gives you a better deal of $5.75 per month when you pay $69 up front. Windscribe also offers a build-a-plan option that allows you to buy server locations individually just for $1 each per month (with a $3 minimum).
The only quibble with Windscribe’s pricing is its three-day money-back guarantee, which is nowhere near the industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee. However, you can use the free plan to test the service. Read our full Windscribe review for more details.
- Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- Unlimited GB
More details about TunnelBear:
- Pricing: Free; $3.33 per month (three-year plan)
- Provider website: tunnelbear.com
- Cheap subscription plans
- All servers on free plan
- User-friendly interface
- Restricted monthly free data
The thing that sets TunnelBear apart from the other free VPNs on this list is that its free plan includes all the VPN’s servers — it offers around 40 locations. Compare this with Windscribe (offers 10 locations for free) or Proton VPN (offers three locations for free), you can see that TunnelBear can provide many free IP addresses for around the world, including Japan.
This means you can access Netflix Japan — but the 500MB monthly data cap means it’s not the best for streaming (though you can increase it to 1GB per month if you tweet about TunnelBear).
Additionally, TunnelBear keeps you safe with adequate security measures. It offers two protocol options on Windows and iOS (OpenVPN and IKEv2), and only OpenVPN on macOS and Android (if you’re new to these terms, you can read our encryption guide).
TunnelBear also offers some basic VPN features, including a kill switch (called VigilantBear) and “fastest tunnel” — a feature that allows you to connect to countries closest to you for faster speeds.
It also comes with advanced features, such as GhostBear, an obfuscation tool that makes it hard to detect that you’re using a VPN (helpful in repressive regimes), and the “enable TCP override” option, which can help boost performance if your connection is slow.
Simple Apps With Attractive UIs
All TunnelBear apps come with a similarly user-friendly interface. Once you launch the desktop app, an animated green map displaying all the server countries — in the shape of tunnels — appears on the screen. The map makes it easy for you to find a suitable server and connect immediately.
The TunnelBear paid plans are among the most affordable we’ve seen. They’re divided into two categories: Unlimited and Teams. The Unlimited plan is $3.33 per month on the three-year plan, while the Teams plan costs $5.75 per month on the annual plan.
The Unlimited plan comes with five device connections and unlimited data. Teams, which is geared toward businesses, includes a centralized system for billing and management and a dedicated account manager. Read our TunnelBear review to learn more.
- Unlimited GB, five devices, priority customer service
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB, five devices per user, centralized billing, account manager, price per user per month
- Unlimited GB
More details about Hide.me:
- Pricing: Free; $5 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: hide.me
- Fairly extensive free version
- Good speeds close to home
- P2P supported in free servers
- Uneven speeds farther away
Although Hide.me does not have free servers in Japan, it is still a decent free VPN for Japan if you don’t need a local IP address. It offers 10GB of data for free, and it has five free servers in Northern Europe and Western Europe.
Hide.me uses some of the best encryption protocols, such as WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 and SSTP. In terms of online privacy, Hide.me is a no-logs VPN and has a clean track record with regard to handling user data. For extra reassurance, Hide.me conducts annual transparency audits to prove that it hasn’t granted any data requests from law enforcement or government agencies.
Hide.me has decent speeds. It barely affects your download speeds when you’re connected to servers close to home. It also doesn’t increase latency by a lot when you’re connected to these servers. However, the download speeds become slower the farther away you are from the servers.
Hide.me makes using the apps as straightforward as possible, from the installation stage to the process of selecting servers. The server selection tray is neatly designed and displays the countries in alphabetical order.
You can also save your favorite servers by clicking the star beside each country.
Hide.me has very cheap paid plans that come with unlimited data, the complete suite of servers and 10 simultaneous connections. The best deal is the annual plan, costing $5 per month. All the premium plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Hide.me review for more details.
- 5 servers
- The 3-year plan comes with 3 extra months free.
- Unlimited GB
5. Atlas VPN
More details about Atlas VPN:
- Pricing: Free; $1.99 per month (three-year plan)
- Provider website: atlasvpn.com
- Unlimited simultaneous devices
- Affordable premium version
- IP-rotating SafeSwap servers
- Only 3 servers on free plan
Streaming-optimized servers and unlimited simultaneous connections are some of the qualities that make Atlas VPN a great VPN service for Japan. Atlas VPN has no free Japanese IP address, but it can be used in the country to connect to servers in other countries. It also offers streaming-optimized Japanese VPN servers on the premium plans.
Atlas VPN’s free plan is relatively generous, offering 2GB data per day for Android and iOS users, and 10GB per month for desktop users. It also doesn’t put a cap on bandwidth or simultaneous connections.
Atlas VPN supports the tried-and-tested WireGuard and IPsec/IKEv2 protocols. It also comes with specialty servers known as SafeSwap servers. These servers rotate your IP address at random while you surf the internet, making you even more anonymous online.
Its only security flaw is DNS leaks, which we discovered when we tested its encryption standards. DNS leaks indicate that internet service providers can track the websites you visit. To prevent this from happening, you should only use Atlas VPN for activities that aren’t highly dependent on security.
Free Streaming VPN
Atlas VPN is a decent free VPN for streaming, although it didn’t make our best VPN for streaming list. It gets into Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney Plus and BBC iPlayer without any video lags or buffering. However, you may not be able to get into Netflix until you’ve tried several different servers.
It’s rare to find a VPN with premium plans as cheap as the ones offered by Atlas VPN. The three-year plan costs $1.99 per month, while the annual plan costs $4.08 per month. Atlas VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to test out the features on the paid plans. Read more in our Atlas VPN review.
More details about PrivadoVPN:
- Pricing: Free; $4.99 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: privadovpn.com
- Unblocks big streaming apps
- Free plan with 9 servers
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Lacks advanced features
Although you can’t get a Japanese IP address on the PrivadoVPN free plan, you can connect to servers in nine other countries spread across the world. PrivadoVPN offers more servers on the paid plan, with hundreds of servers in 47 countries.
Though this VPN provider has a small server network, all the servers are physical, bare-metal servers, which are more secure and reliable (you can read our virtual server vs physical server guide to learn more).
PrivadoVPN has a standard security system in place. It supports well-known encryption protocols, such as OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2, and doesn’t have any obsolete protocols like PPTP.
It sticks to a strict no-logs policy, which means it doesn’t collect any data that can be traced back to a specific user. It’s based in Switzerland, which has some of the world’s best privacy laws.
PrivadoVPN offers good speeds when you’re connected to servers close to home, but struggles with faraway servers, based on our manual speed tests. You can read more about this in our PrivadoVPN review.
Unfortunately, PrivadoVPN doesn’t have many advanced features such as multi-hop servers, malware and antivirus blockers, or dedicated IPs, but it checks all the boxes with regard to basic features such as a kill switch and split tunneling.
Quality Streaming Performance
Speed isn’t the only quality that makes PrivadoVPN great for streaming. It’s also pretty good at getting into major streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO MAX, ESPN and Amazon Prime Video.
At $7.99, PrivadoVPN’s monthly plan is quite fair compared to Proton VPN and Speedify. The annual plan is also pretty affordable, costing $4.99 per month. All the paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read more in our full PrivadoVPN review.
- Unlimited GB
7. Hotspot Shield
More details about Hotspot Shield:
- Pricing: Free; $8 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: hotspotshield.com
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Fast speeds
- Easy to install
- Hydra protocol has security concerns
Hotspot Shield excels in several areas, including user-friendliness, speed and streaming performance. Its free plan doesn’t come with any Japanese IP address, as it only has one server, which is located in the United States. Despite the distance, it maintains very good speeds from Japan on the paid plan.
This VPN lets you bypass geo-restricted content on major streaming platforms with ease. You’ll have no problems streaming Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu and YouTube. Most impressively, it allows you to stream in HD quality without any issues.
Hotspot Shield is a bit different from other VPNs in terms of security, as it only supports OpenVPN on routers. The desktop app comes with four protocol options: OpenVPN, Wireguard, IKEv2 and Catapult Hydra — Hotspot Shield’s proprietary protocol. Unfortunately, the mobile app acts like a proxy without any protocol.
Catapult Hydra is very fast. It beat both OpenVPN and IKEv2 in the speed tests we conducted. You can read our Hotspot Shield review to see how Catapult Hydra performed. The only concern with Catapult Hydra is that it’s not open source, which makes it impossible for security experts to review and audit the code like they can with OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Attractive UI and Seamless Navigation
Hotspot Shield’s apps all have attractive user interfaces and easy-to-navigate layouts. The installation process takes only a short time and is quite straightforward. There’s a big, bold “connect” button, as well as an “auto” tab showing you the list of servers you can connect to.
Hotspot Shield has some of the most expensive premium plans of any free VPN service. The monthly plan costs $12.99, and the annual plan costs $8 per month — more than the best premium VPN, ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review).
However, it’s easy to look past this when its free plan comes with 500MB of data daily, which adds up to about 15GB monthly (the maximum amount of free data you can get from Windscribe). Hotspot Shield also offers a 45-day money-back, which is a rare find, considering that most VPNs only offer 30 days.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
How to Get a Japan IP Address: Free
If you want a Japanese IP address, we recommend choosing Proton VPN or TunnelBear, as they come with free VPN servers for Japan. We’ll explain how to get a Japanese IP address using Proton VPN as an example.
Load the Proton VPN website and create an account. Click on your account page and select the client app that’s suitable for your device or platform. Follow the download and installation instructions that pop up on the screen and you’ll be on the app homepage in no time.
Select a server by either navigating the map in the middle or choosing from the server tray in the left-hand corner. Connect to a Japan server. You should get a new IP address, indicating that your traffic has been routed through a remote VPN server in Japan. You should now be able to access Japanese content on various platforms, such as unblock Netflix Japan.
Free VPNs vs Paid VPNs vs Proxies
The free VPNs on this list are VPNs that base their marketing strategy around a freemium business model, which comprises both free and premium plans. The premium plans support the cost of the free plans, and the VPN companies encourage users to upgrade their plans to access more features, server locations, data amounts and more.
However, many free VPNs are not safe to use. The worst free VPNs will possibly log and sell your data, infect your computer with malware or simply fail to encrypt your connection when it says it will — leaving your activity exposed to your internet service provider.
Paid VPNs are VPN services that offer only premium plans. A paid VPN provider may offer two or more premium plans billed by the month, year or longer. The longer-term plans are typically cheaper because you have to pay for them up front. Paid VPNs usually have a money-back guarantee that you can use as a free trial period to test the service.
Like VPNs, proxies pass your internet traffic through a remote server and assign you a new IP address. However, they don’t encrypt your traffic, and they often reroute the traffic of a specific app or browser because they operate at the application level.
Proxies are not as safe as VPNs because they do not encrypt your traffic. Therefore, it’s better to use VPNs if you handle sensitive information.
Why Do I Need a Japan VPN?
The reason you need a VPN in Japan is the same reason you need a VPN in general — a VPN will encrypt your internet connection and provide security for your online activities.
A Japan VPN either has servers in Japan or allows you to connect to selected server locations around the world from a location in Japan. You can use a VPN with Japanese servers to access Japanese geoblocked content if you’re outside Japan.
The Risks of Using a Free VPN: Japan
Internet freedom in Japan is well-protected, with people not facing internet censorship. Additionally, using VPN software in Japan is legal. While this means you can use a VPN with fear of the government, not all are risk-free VPN services.
Not all free VPNs are equal. Some encrypt your traffic and keep you safe while you browse the web, but there are bad free VPNs that sell your data, infect your device with malware and offer poor security. If you have to use a free VPN service, go for the ones that value your online privacy and security.
Final Thoughts: Best Free VPNs for Japan
We want to help you get a suitable free VPN for Japan that comes with stellar security and privacy and allows you to access geo-restricted content from around the world. We’ve listed some of the best free VPNs for Japan that meet these criteria.
Our top choice is Proton VPN, thanks to its free VPN servers in Japan and a generous free plan. TunnelBear also offers free servers in Japan, but it has a small monthly data allotment. Windscribe offers more monthly data for free, but it does not offer Japanese IP addresses for free.
For similar articles, be sure to read our guides on the best free VPN for Canada and the best free VPN for Australia.
Which virtual private network do you use? Have you used any of these Japanese VPNs? Do you have other recommendations? Can you access Netflix Japan? Feel free to share in the comment section below, and as always, thanks for reading!