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The Best Paid & Free ProtonVPN Alternatives for 2022

There are several paid and free VPN options if you’re looking for a good ProtonVPN alternative. This alternatives article will help you find the right VPN for your needs.

Samuel Okoruwa
By Samuel Okoruwa (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-09-19T07:23:56+00:00 Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska

ProtonVPN is a great free VPN, offering extensive security features that give you the ability to unblock sites. It also comes with solid security and protects user privacy pretty well. However, ProtonVPN’s speeds are not the fastest we’ve seen. This pushes it behind some of its competitors and may send some looking for a ProtonVPN alternative. 

Key Takeaways:

  • ProtonVPN is one of the best free VPNs. It offers a lot of quality but falls short in terms of speed. 
  • In this article, we list some great alternatives to ProtonVPN, including our top pick, Windscribe
  • For each alternative VPN, we’ll list their unique features and highlight their standout benefits compared to ProtonVPN.

ProtonVPN is a solid freemium VPN — you can’t beat the ProtonVPN price of “free.” However, if you’re in search of a VPN with faster and more consistent speeds, we’ve got you covered with the best paid and free ProtonVPN alternatives. 

  • Windscribe and ProtonVPN are both free VPNs, and should be expected to come with some limitations. However, if you were to choose between the two, we’d recommend Windscribe, thanks to its generous serving of features and larger number of servers compared to the ProtonVPN free plan, which offers only three server countries and limits your speeds.

  • Yes. NordVPN has better speeds than Proton VPN, as well as more advanced features and a larger server network.

  • Proton VPN is a free VPN that still has some ground to cover if it wants to reach top-tier status. However, it’s one of the best free VPNs, and only falls behind its competitors due to restrictions that come with its free version.

  • ExpressVPN is a top-tier VPN provider with many more features and a better overall performance than Proton VPN, including in its ability to access sites for streaming, as well as speed and security.

The Top ProtonVPN Alternatives

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    $5.75 / month (save 36%) (All Plans)3-day money-back guarantee
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    $3.33 / month (save 67%) (All Plans)
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    • : PayPal, Credit card
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What Makes the Best ProtonVPN Alternative?

In this article, we list five VPNs we consider to be the best alternatives to ProtonVPN. For each VPN service, we’ll talk about their unique features, then dig a little deeper to highlight their standout features. 

  1. Windscribe — One of the fastest free VPNs with tons of features 
  2. ExpressVPN — Fast speeds with impressive streaming performance and security 
  3. NordVPN — A fast VPN with an outstanding proprietary protocol and security features
  4. TunnelBear — High speeds and server count, plus good free plan
  5. VyprVPN — Great pick for security and speed, but expensive

ProtonVPN excels in many areas, so the best ProtonVPN alternative must be of equal or higher quality. We’ll make our case using the same criteria we use to judge the best VPN providers, as well as the areas in which these VPNs outperform the ProtonVPN rating. 

Thankfully, ProtonVPN has excellent security. It uses virtually uncrackable military-grade AES-256 encryption paired with the OpenVPN protocol, as well as well-known encryption protocols, such as IKEv2 and WireGuard. ProtonVPN also adheres to a strict no-log policy, meaning that it does not collect or “log” information on user activity. 

Unfortunately, ProtonVPN doesn’t have the best speeds. When we tested it using speedtest.net, its download speeds dropped significantly in all the locations we tunneled. 

Most of the VPN recommendations perform better than ProtonVPN in terms of speed, so we’ll make that our priority. These VPNs also have robust security features that let users browse the web anonymously and protect their data online. 

Like ProtonVPN, all the VPNs we’ve listed in this article come with the best encryption and protocols for secure connection. They are also no-logs VPNs and have never been caught logging or sharing user information. 

The 5 Best ProtonVPN Alternatives

Below are five best alternatives to ProtonVPN, starting with our top free VPN suggestion, Windscribe.

1. Windscribe

windscribe
Windscribe offers user-friendly apps compatible with iOS, Android, Linux, Windows and Mac. 

More details about Windscribe:

Pros:

  • Several advanced features 
  • Generous free plan
  • Flexible paid plans 

Cons:

  • 3-day money-back guarantee 
  • Cramped user interface 

Windscribe has long held the reputation of being one of the best free VPN services, and has several attributes that make it a great free alternative to ProtonVPN. Besides its excellent speeds and free plan, Windscribe excels in other areas like security, features and the degree of flexibility it gives users. 

On top of the regular features like a kill switch and split tunneling, there’s R.O.B.E.R.T., a custom domain-blocking and IP-blocking tool that helps users block ads and malware, create custom blocklists and browse faster. 

Another interesting feature is the Windows-only “share” tool, which allows you to enable a secure hotspot that can be shared with your family and friends. 

To better protect your privacy, Windscribe uses two proprietary protocols, Stealth and Websocket Stunnel (WStunnel). Stealth is an obfuscation tool that prevents websites from knowing that you’re using a VPN, while WStunnel is a protocol encapsulation tool that lets you bypass censorship and VPN bans in restrictive countries

With download and upload speeds reaching up to 90% of unprotected speeds coupled with a low ping increase of less than 5ms when compared to other VPNs using USA servers, Windscribe is one of the fastest VPNs. These numbers mean that you can access streaming sites, torrent or play games without experiencing any interruptions.

Access Tons of Features With Windscribe’s Free Plan

ProtonVPNAlternative GetWindscribe
Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs, affording you guaranteed security and privacy, along with a generous free plan.

Windscribe’s free option beats the ProtonVPN free version. It is one of the most flexible and generous free VPN plans, with unlimited simultaneous connections and bandwidth, plus 10 server country locations (seven more than ProtonVPN’s free plan). You’ll start with 2GB of data per month, which you can increase to 10GB per month when you confirm your email address.

That’s not all. Windscribe offers some creative ways to add to your monthly data. You can add up to 5GB of data to your free account just by tweeting about Windscribe, and get even more when you use the service’s referral code or participate in a Windscribe contest or giveaway on Reddit and Discord. Read more about it in our Windscribe review.

Free
  • : Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
  • : 15 GB
  • : Unlimited

2. ExpressVPN

expressvpn homepage
ExpressVPN has made its name in the VPN industry, thanks to its quality speeds, security and comprehensive suite of features. 

More details about ExpressVPN:

Pros:

  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries 
  • Reliable Lightway protocol 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No dedicated IP addresses
  • No free plan

ExpressVPN is one of those VPNs that excels in virtually all areas. It is a great alternative to ProtonVPN, thanks to its fast speeds. Beyond that, ExpressVPN is a beast when it comes to security. It offers essential features like a kill switch, AES-256 encryption and open-source protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec), plus its proprietary protocol called Lightway. 

Despite being a relatively new protocol, Lightway is on par with popular established options, delivering high speeds and reliable security. When enabled, the protocol also keeps ExpressVPN in a perpetual active state (always-on protection), reconnecting you to a VPN server whenever you switch networks instead of cutting off your connection. 

ExpressVPN also comes with install options for a wide range of devices. You can secure your internet connection whether you’re on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux or your home router. There are native apps for Fire TV and Kindle Fire, Roku, Chromecast and other smart TV systems, as well as Chrome OS. 

Stream, Torrent or Game at Fast Speeds

expressvpn homepage
Being a premium-level VPN, ExpressVPN easily beats ProtonVPN’s speeds and comes with more advanced security features. 

Not only does ExpressVPN unblock all major streaming services, its speeds are second to none — and are leagues above ProtonVPN — losing only 10% of its upload and download speeds across different locations and maintaining significantly lower latencies than other VPNs. 

With these speed results, it won’t seem like you’re using a VPN while streaming, gaming or torrenting. It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN earns the top spot on our list of best VPNs for torrenting. However, one downside to ExpressVPN is its price and lack of a free plan. You can read more about it in our ExpressVPN review, or try it with its 30-day money-back guarantee

3. NordVPN

cta nordvpn
NordVPN is a leading VPN service known for its top-notch security and overall excellent performance.

More details about NordVPN:

Pros:

  • Very fast speeds
  • Easy to use 
  • 5,200+ servers in 59 countries 

Cons:

  • Costly monthly plans 
  • No phone support
  • No free plan

NordVPN provides a lot of value for the money, especially in the area of security. In addition to the essentials, it comes with a host of advanced features such as obfuscated servers, which help you bypass firewalls used by countries and internet service providers to ban VPN usage. 

The VPN also offers a dark web monitor, a recently launched tool that prevents the dark web from selling your personal information. This feature scans the dark web for stolen credentials and prompts the user to take action if it finds any. 

To further secure users, NordVPN comes with a tool called threat protection (a more developed version of NordVPN’s CyberSec). Threat protection stays on 24/7, blocking ads, pop-ups and third-party trackers that collect your personal information. 

Threat protection also protects your device against malware by scanning downloaded files and deleting the ones it deems dangerous. Once enabled, threat protection secures your browsing whether you’re connected to a VPN server or not.

NordLynx, NordVPN’s Proprietary Protocol

ProtonVPNAlternative GetNordVPN
ProtonVPN kills two birds with one stone with a NordLynx, a proprietary encryption protocol that enhances speeds and security.

NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. This also makes it a great alternative to ProtonVPN, which falls behind in speed. NordVPN displays consistent download and upload speeds when tested across different locations, and is the fastest on a worldwide scale. This makes it the go-to VPN for speed-intensive online activities such as gaming and torrenting.

Luckily, NordVPN is more affordable than ExpressVPN, but it still doesn’t offer a free plan, like ProtonVPN does. However, you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee. Read more about it in our NordVPN review.

4. TunnelBear

TunnelBear ProtonVPNAlternative
TunnelBear has an impressive spread of servers in over 48 countries. 

More details about TunnelBear:

Pros:

  • Inexpensive plans 
  • Free plan on all servers
  • Annual external audits 

Cons:

  • Small server network
  • Poor streaming speeds
  • Inconsistent speeds 

Although TunnelBear doesn’t come loaded with features, it has some proprietary security features that are quite impressive. There’s VigilantBear, which is TunnelBear’s kill switch tool for blocking internet traffic when your VPN connection drops. This is particularly helpful when torrenting or handling sensitive information

TunnelBear also offers GhostBear, which hides the fact you’re using a VPN. This tool comes in handy in countries that ban VPN usage. Furthermore, you can create your own list of trusted networks. TunnelBear will automatically connect only when you’re using a network outside this list, but disconnect when you’re using a trusted network.

Access up to 40 Server Locations 

TunnelBear’s server count is as good as it gets for a free VPN, and reaches some underserved locations like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. The only quibble is its low data limit; however, it makes up for this by increasing the data cap when you tweet about the service.

Tunnelbear for security
TunnelBear prioritizes your security, offering some advanced security features that are quite impressive for a free VPN.

While TunnelBear is not the fastest VPN out there, its security is top-notch and on par with ProtonVPN. Plus, it is one of the best free VPN options available, though we consider it to fall behind ProtonVPN and Windscribe in quality. Although you can access all the server locations, you’re limited to 500MB per month. Read more about it in our TunnelBear review.

Free
  • : 500MB
  • : 5
Teams
  • : Unlimited GB, five devices per user, centralized billing, account manager, price per user per month
  • : Unlimited GB
  • : 5
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5. VyprVPN

vyprvpn homepage
In addition to a long list of features, VyprVPN offers excellent security, privacy and internet access. 

More details about VyprVPN:

Pros:

  • Unblocks streaming content
  • Excellent security
  • 30 simultaneous devices

Cons:

  • No dedicated app for Linux 
  • Very expensive
  • No free plan

VyprVPN comes loaded with lots of features that helps it place near the level of top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. In addition to an automatic kill switch and split tunneling, it also offers advanced features. These include an auto-reconnect option that will restore your connection to the VPN immediately in case your VPN drops suddenly. 

There’s also public WiFi protection that lets you create a list of trusted WiFi networks, so that the VPN can swing into action whenever you connect to a network that’s not on the trusted WiFi list.

Get Stellar Security With VyprVPN 

Like ProtonVPN, VyprVPN has excellent VPN security. In addition to secure VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard, VyprVPN offers a proprietary protocol called the Chameleon protocol, built to bypass internet restrictions such as China’s Great Firewall. 

Chameleon measures up to OpenVPN in terms of security, but it also comes with obfuscation, which hides the fact that you’re using a VPN. This makes VyprVPN capable of breaking through internet censors undetected. 

As an extra layer of security, VyprVPN provides a network address translation (NAT) firewall, which prevents malicious hackers and bots from gaining access to your device and keeps it safe from malware and identity theft. 

ProtonVpnAlternative GetVyprVPN
VyprVPN has some of the best security on the market and is really good value for money, considering its host of advanced features.

Unfortunately, VyprVPN’s speeds are quite inconsistent. Another downside is VyprVPN’s expensive plans. This makes it a much more pricey option to ProtonVPN, which is a free VPN service. However, VyprVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and its plans provide a lot of value for money. Read more about it in our VyprVPN review.

Final Thoughts

The VPNs on this list are at least on par with ProtonVPN, and most have an edge over it. Occupying the top spot is Windscribe, a secure option that gives you access to all its features (with few restrictions) despite being a free VPN. 

We have a comprehensive free VPN vs paid VPN guide to help decide which suits you best: free or paid ProtonVPN alternative.

If you’re willing to consider a VPN besides a free alternative, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for its stellar security features, speeds and privacy. It will bring you a lot of value for money, but it is quite expensive compared to ProtonVPN.

Which VPN makes the best alternative to ProtonVPN? Will you use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS or iPad? Did we miss a VPN you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading. 

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