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Best VPN for Wi-Fi in 2024

Best Public Wi-Fi VPN

If you’re working, waiting for a flight, or simply want to check your social media, public Wi-Fi can give you easy access to the world wide web. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as some parties skulk in the shadows waiting to take advantage of your vulnerable data. Luckily, the best Wi-Fi VPN can prevent anything bad from happening.

A top-tier provider will keep your adventures on the public Wi-Fi private, so no one can snoop around. Additionally, it will secure your devices and eliminate any pesky ads, malware, or viruses that bother you. And if that’s not enough, a VPN can open up a bunch of geo-restricted content you might want to watch.

Best VPN for Wi-Fi: shortlist

  1. The best VPN for Wi-Fi
  2. VPN with no device limit
  3. Affordable VPN for Wi-FI
  4. VPN with superb protection
  5. Wi-Fi VPN with a free version

How to use a VPN on public Wi-Fi in 2023

  1. Subscribe to a top-grade Wi-Fi VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 74% off!
  2. Get the software and install it
  3. Connect to a server nearby for better connectivity
  4. Enjoy public Wi-Fi without any dangers and restrictions!

Check out the best Wi-Fi VPN

Why do you need a VPN for public Wi-Fi?

Firstly, one of the main concerns when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is safety. For the most part, they are unencrypted and vulnerable, so any hacker can ravage your devices and steal your personal information and money. But using a VPN can significantly reduce the chances of your online traffic being intercepted by cyberattackers.

Unsecure Connection without Wi-Fi VPN

Secondly, anyone with a bit of knowledge can see your activities on the web, including snoopers, ISPs (Internet Service Providers), the government, and even shady VPN providers. Thus, they can collect your data and do whatever they want with it. Fortunately, a legit VPN ensures that your information and activities on the web are private, even on a public Wi-Fi.

Moreover, due to certain laws, lots of content globally is geo-blocked. As luck would have it, a top-shelf provider can open up Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, and a plethora of other platforms. And with a multiple device VPN, you can watch them on your phone, tablet, computer, or smart TV.

Lastly, if you’re facing significant speed drops while gaming, streaming, or torrenting, that’s because your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. They usually do that to keep the networks as efficient as possible, but you’re left with lousy connectivity. Hence, to prevent that from happening, a VPN will hide your traffic and guarantee the fastest possible speeds.

Best VPNs for Wi-Fi: overview

  1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Wi-Fi
  2. Surfshark VPN – VPN with no device limit
  3. PrivateVPN – affordable VPN for Wi-Fi
  4. IPVanish – VPN with superb protection
  5. Atlas VPN – Wi-Fi VPN with a free version

Our main priority is your security. Therefore, we picked VPNs with DNS and IP leak protection, kill switches, and military-grade encryptions. Additionally, most providers are among the best no-logs VPNs, so you know your sessions are private.

Plus, all Top 5 Wi-Fi VPNs have extra helpful features, such as vast server fleets, incredible speeds, and bypassing even the toughest geo-restrictions. Not to mention, they offer multiple connections and compatibility with all major devices.

1. NordVPN – the best VPN for Wi-Fi

Top VPN provider
Company location
Company location:
NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
24/7 live chat, Email
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
501 Mbit/s
  • Ultra-fast connectivity
  • Impeccable security & privacy practices
  • Superior against geo-blocks
  • No router app

NordVPN is the best VPN for Wi-Fi as it offers unparalleled security and privacy features. Additionally, it’s the fastest VPN on the market, thanks to the ultra-speedy NordLynx tunneling protocol.

Apart from that, the provider is based in privacy-friendly Panama, meaning that they don’t keep any logs. Additionally, NordVPN’s logging practices have been thoroughly audited and verified twice by third parties, ensuring an impeccable reputation. Furthermore, the service comes with obfuscated servers, meaning that you can bypass firewalls and browse on workplace or school Wi-Fi freely.

Security-wise, NordVPN offers Threat Protection, which fends off any rootkits, viruses, or trackers. Moreover, you can use Double VPN to route your traffic through 2 VPN servers, adding that extra layer of safety. And if something goes wrong, a kill switch will prevent your data from leaking on the web.

NordVPN can also bypass any geo-restrictions with 6300+ servers in 111+ countries. Thus, you’ll have access to boatloads of streaming platforms, like Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Netflix. Plus, you’ll get 6 simultaneous connections that you can use for almost any smart device.

Grab a NordVPN coupon and get the subscription for $3.09/month. All plans are also protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Or, if you want to take it for a spin, try NordVPN out with a week-long free trial.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN – VPN with no device limit

Top VPN provider
Company location
Company location:
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
24/7 live chat, FAQ
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
471 Mbit/s
  • Infinite connections
  • Fantastic performance
  • Rock-solid safety features
  • Unaudited no-logs policy

Surfshark VPN will devour any privacy invaders and wrong-doers on public Wi-Fi networks. And with no device limitations, you can enjoy total safety on the web and share your account with family or friends.

All 3200+ servers in 100+ locations utilize RAM-only technology, ensuring a more private and secure connection. Additionally, the provider has a strict zero-logs policy, meaning that your info won’t end up in the wrong hands. Furthermore, Camouflage Mode (Stealth VPN) will lift any restrictions imposed on public Wi-Fi.

For extra security measures, you can scoop the Surfshark One package that will prevent any cyber threats, biased search results, and personal data breaches. Not to mention that the provider offers a MultiHop (Double VPN) feature that will encrypt your traffic twice, making it impenetrable.

Thanks to the blazing-fast WireGuard tunneling protocol and fantastic ability to bypass toughest geo-restrictions, Surfshark users can stream or torrent trouble-free. You’ll obtain content worldwide, even in highly restricted countries like China or UAE.

Reel in a Surfshark plan for only $2.19/month, protected by a month-long cash-back warranty. Otherwise, you can test the waters with a 7-day free trial. And if you want to find other deals, check out Surfshark’s discount section.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. PrivateVPN – affordable VPN for Wi-FI

Company location
Company location:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
186 Mbit/s
  • Pocket-friendly and effective
  • Self-owned hardware
  • Excellent for streaming & P2P
  • Lacks WireGuard

Another great VPN that can ensure your overall safety on public Wi-Fi is PrivateVPN. It comes with 10 simultaneous connections at a fair price.

The provider buys HQN (High Quality Network) directly from the IP transit provider. Additionally, PrivateVPN manages all 200+ servers in 63+ countries, so you can stay assured that your safety and privacy won’t be compromised. Furthermore, if the provider’s Stealth VPN feature can bypass the great firewall of China, it can surely lift any other restrictions that network administrators force.

What makes PrivateVPN a great choice is that it can bypass geo-restrictions and open boatloads of new content for you. Thus, you can watch HBO Max, Peacock, or blocked YouTube content in 4K. What’s more, a SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding will improve your torrenting efforts significantly.

Stay incognito with PrivateVPN for $2.00/month. All plans are protected by the 30-day money-back guarantee. Moreover, you can test the service with a week-long free trial. Lastly, see other deals on PrivateVPN’s coupons section.

For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.

4. IPVanish – VPN with superb protection

Company location
Company location:
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
166 Mbit/s
  • Unlimited connections
  • Great speed
  • Independently-audited no-logs policy
  • No anonymous payment methods

IPVanish is full of excellent security and privacy features that will come in handy when surfing on public Wi-Fi. Not to mention, you can get a critically-acclaimed VIPRE antivirus that will help you deal with cyber concerns.

Aside from that, all of your devices will be safe as kittens due to infinite simultaneous connections. Furthermore, the OpenVPN Scramble feature will help you sneak through any censorship imposed by network administrators. Additionally, the provider’s logging policies have been independently audited, and just like all top 5 Wi-Fi VPNs, the service doesn’t collect logs.

Torrenters will be happy to know that all 2200+ servers in 51+ locations support P2P sharing. Moreover, the SOCKS5 proxy protects your P2P while everything else goes through regular web traffic. Add WireGuard tunneling protocol into the mix, and you’ll get anything in a heartbeat.

IPVanish will evaporate any cyber problems for $2.19/month. You can test out the service for a whole month due to the 30-day cash-return policy. Additionally, you find other deals and grab a coupon on the IPVanish discount page.

For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.

5. Atlas VPN – Wi-Fi VPN with a free version

Company location
Company location:
United States
WireGuard, IKEv2
Email, tickets, FAQ
  • Free version
  • Extra security and privacy features
  • Boundless connections
  • No router configuration

While Atlas VPN has an excellent free version and is one of the cheapest VPNs for public Wi-Fi, the premium subscription does not disappoint with infinite simultaneous connections and superior web traffic encryption.

For starters, the provider has a great reputation as they don’t collect any logs. Moreover, SafeSwap and MultiHop+ features can alter your actual IP address and help bypass Wi-Fi restrictions at schools or workplaces. Not to mention, Atlas VPN will ward off malware, trackers, or malicious ads thanks to the Tracker Blocker feature.

Furthermore, Atlas VPN will put the whole world at your fingertips, as it can help you sneak through geo-blocks and unlock all major streaming platforms. Additionally, the service is compatible with phones, computers, and other smart devices, such as Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Let Atlas VPN guide you to a safer world wide web for only $1.64/month. You can also try the premium for a whole month, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee. And be sure to check other discounts on the Atlas VPN coupons page.

For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.

How we picked the best VPN for public Wi-Fi

Choosing the right provider by yourself can be mind-boggling. That’s why we analyzed over 200 VPNs and picked the Top 5 Wi-Fi VPNs. And the main aspects we looked into were:

  • Robust security. A safety-first VPN should come packed with top-notch encryption, a solid kill switch, and leak protection. Moreover, some providers got a gold star for extra features, like malware blockers, Stealth VPN, or obfuscated servers.
  • Anonymity. To keep you safe from privacy breaches, we paid close attention to VPNs with strict zero-logs policies. Additionally, kudos to services that are based outside Fourteen Eyes jurisdiction.
  • Extensive coverage. Best Wi-Fi VPNs should offer vast server fleets in as many locations as possible. That way, if one server gets blocked, you can jump to a different one and stream or torrent without any troubles.
  • Breakneck connectivity. A virtual private network shouldn’t slow you down, even on a shared Wi-Fi. Thus, providers with bare-metal servers, WireGuard, and NordLynx tunneling protocols ended up higher on the list.
  • Compatibility. Our VPN choices are compatible with major platforms and devices. Furthermore, all providers offer more than 5 connections for maximum convenience.
  • Affordability. A good VPN shouldn’t be unreasonably expensive. Therefore, all of the services on the list are under $4.00/month.
  • Customer service. All solid providers offer 24/7 customer support with a live chat option. Thus, if your VPN stops working in the middle of the night, you can drop a message to customer support.

How to set up a VPN for Wi-Fi

Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is a walk in the park. However, that park can get very dangerous if you don’t take certain measures. Thus, you have to protect your precious devices and information by installing the best Wi-Fi VPN.

Set up a VPN for Wi-Fi on Windows and Mac

Whether you use your computer for work or entertainment, connecting your device to public Wi-Fi without any protection is a bad idea. Thus, you need an extra layer of security to prevent any privacy breaches or cyber threats.

The only thing that can save the day is the most secure VPN service. And you can get one easily by following a few simple steps:

  1. Choose a solid Wi-Fi VPN. Our go-to choice is NordVPN, the #1 VPN provider
  2. Download the VPN and connect to a server nearby for better connectivity
  3. Join a public Wi-Fi network
  4. Surf the web without any restrictions anywhere!

Subscribe to the best Wi-Fi VPN

Set up a VPN for Wi-Fi on iOS and Android

Smartphones are the most popular way to access public Wi-Fi networks. Doesn’t matter if you use an Android or iOS device, it still requires a VPN to keep any digital problem at bay. Although it’s more complicated to set up a service on your smartphones or tablets due to built-in GPS tracking.

Luckily, with a top-drawer provider like Surfshark VPN and its GPS spoofing feature, you’ll have a secure connection to public Wi-Fi in no time. However, the process may differ depending on your OS and manufacturer. But in general, all you have to do is:

  1. Scoop a VPN that can easily spoof your location. The best one on the market is Surfshark VPN
  2. Install the VPN and join a server of your choice
  3. Modify your account settings or create a new one with any other country as its home location
  4. Join a public Wi-Fi network
  5. Enjoy a trouble-free public Wi-Fi network!

Grab a crackerjack public Wi-Fi VPN

How to bypass public Wi-Fi restrictions

It’s common for school network administrators to block access to social media, streaming platforms, and gaming sites. While it’s understandable why they do this (to prevent you from slacking, of course), you might still want to break the rules and enjoy some well-deserved R&R.

The best way to open up all of those sites is to use a VPN to bypass school Wi-Fi restrictions. It will encrypt your internet traffic, hide your actual IP, and help you sneak through any firewalls.

But not all VPNs are up for the task. Some schools restrict VPN use as well. Hence, you’ll need a premium VPN with a Stealth VPN feature. That way, you can reliably bypass any blocks. And don’t worry, setting up such a service is easy peasy:

  1. Grab a good VPN for school Wi-Fi. Our front runner is NordVPN, now with a massive 74% discount!
  2. Create an account and connect to a server
  3. Join your school’s Wi-Fi
  4. Enjoy unrestricted access to blacklisted websites at school!

Grab the best VPN for school Wi-Fi

VPN not working on Wi-Fi: solution

Let’s be honest, not all VPNs are built equally. Some of them can fail us when we need secure internet access the most. But luckily, there are measures on how to manage such situations. Thus, find out how to fix various “VPN not working on Wi-Fi” problems below.

No connection with Wi-Fi VPN

There are a few reasons you may have trouble connecting with a VPN. Before you throw your whole computer or mobile away, try these simple steps:

  • Check your internet connection. Try loading up a few safe web pages without a VPN to see if they work. If they’re not – your best bet is to disconnect your Wi-Fi network, restart your device, and reconnect.
  • Check if you have the correct ports open. Public Wi-Fi providers can block traffic on a specific port, so try changing your default setting to see if the right one is open for VPN. For instance, if you use NordVPN, you need to open up 443 TCP and 1194 UDP ports for the VPN to work correctly.

No Connectionn with Wi-Fi VPN

Slow connection with Wi-Fi VPN

Another common hiccup is poor connectivity with a VPN for Wi-Fi. Using a virtual private network shouldn’t cause major speed drops, so if you run into this issue, all you have to do is:

  • Run a speed test. Compare connectivity differences with and without VPN software. This will help you determine whether the problem lies with your VPN provider or ISP.
  • Switch servers. Try connecting to a server that’s nearby. Usually, the performance differs depending on user proximity and server load.

Getting disconnected with Wi-Fi VPN

If your VPN stops working, you might be in big trouble, especially on a public network. Fortunately, by making some adjustments, you can ward off such mishaps. Thus, try this:

  • Change your VPN tunneling protocols. VPNs come with different protocols, and some of them might be outdated. Try switching to WireGuard or the ultra-fast NordLynx VPN protocol if you have NordVPN.
  • Change your firewall settings. Some firewalls do not work well with VPNs, so ensure that yours does not disrupt your VPN traffic. Add your VPN software to exceptions so that you won’t need to disable your firewall entirely and lose a layer of protection.

If all else fails

Suppose you’re losing your patience and can’t solve the problem yourself. In that case, you can always get in touch with your VPN provider’s customer support. They should be knowledgeable enough to solve any VPN-related issues 24/7 through live chat.

Otherwise, if they don’t offer you a solution, it’s probably time to switch to a new VPN provider. We highly suggest picking NordVPN, the best VPN for public Wi-Fi. The service guarantees excellent connectivity, loads of features, and an army of professionals that can solve any issues if you ever run into any.

What else can I do with a VPN for Wi-Fi?

The primary use of a first-class VPN for Wi-Fi is pretty obvious now. Mainly, the service will shield you from any online dangers on public networks. To add to this, it will ensure that you’re flying under the radar from the all-seeing eyes of the government and ISP.

Although, there are more ways to utilize a Wi-Fi VPN. With the best provider, the sky’s the limit, as they lend you a hand in many different situations.

Find better deals

A dependable VPN can help you avoid rampant price discrimination. If you didn’t know, hotel, video game, online subscription, and plane ticket prices vary depending on your location and browsing history.

Therefore, grab a VPN that can change your location, hop to a different region, and save money on your purchases. Remember to clear your browser’s cookies and cache to prevent mishaps. Otherwise you can open up a new browser or an incognito tab to surf freely.

Reduce risk when torrenting

If you want to use P2P services, the ultimate torrenting VPN will shield you from any online risks. Without an extra layer of security, your IP address is on display. This might lead to cyberattacks, personal information theft, bandwidth throttling, and even fines or imprisonment.

However, a VPN can fend off any dangers and let you torrent securely. Additionally, it will prevent your ISP from throttling your bandwidth, meaning that you can get your files way faster.

Revamp your gameplay

A well-rounded provider can also improve your gaming experience immensely. First off, a VPN will stop your internet service provider from slowing you down. Thus, you won’t have to worry about constant lags, low latency, or high ping. Moreover, if you want to try out other gaming servers, you can easily do that by switching your location and joining a match.

Safe Gaming on Public Wi-Fi with a VPN

Unfortunately, highly competitive gamers might get furious and attack you with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Thousands of requests per second overload your device and eventually crash it completely. Luckily, the best gaming VPNs are equipped with powerful features that can put a stop to any cyberattacks.

Discover new content

Even on public Wi-Fi, you can turn on your VPN and access geo-blocked streaming platforms. Thus, while you wait for someone or want to relax, you can watch Netflix US, HBO Max, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer with a VPN fit for streaming.

Additionally, it’s great for travelers who miss local content. By virtually traveling to your home region, you can catch up with shows or movies on platforms like Viaplay, Ziggo Go, or Stan.

Best free VPN for public Wi-Fi

Just like public Wi-Fi, free VPNs come with a plethora of dangers. Costless providers don’t care about your safety on the web because most of them will sell your info to advertisers and other third parties. Moreover, the worst VPNs offer next to no security features, so you get exposed to cyber threats.

Additionally, free VPNs for Wi-Fi ruin all the fun. They can throttle your bandwidth, meaning that you’ll get to watch infinite loading screens. Plus, they offer very few servers, which are usually overcrowded by other users. Not to mention, most free services can’t bypass any geo-restrictions, so watching Netflix or playing games on different servers will be impossible.

However, some reliable freemium VPNs can help you browse safely on public networks. They come with a few curbs, but they will ensure maximum security and privacy.

  • Atlas VPN takes the crown of the best free VPN for public Wi-Fi. It comes with the WireGuard tunneling protocol, no speed limits, and 3 locations to choose from. Furthermore, the provider offers tough-as-nails security features, 10GB/month of data, and allows torrenting.
  • Proton VPN offers one of the finest security-first free Wi-Fi VPN services. Additionally, it’s based in Switzerland and doesn’t collect any logs, meaning that your surfing sessions stay a secret. Not to mention that you can find 140+ servers in 3 locations, with no data caps and no annoying ads.

As another option, you can scoop a free trial premium VPN that usually comes with a 30-day money-back warranty. That way, you’ll get all nifty features, unparalleled protection, and the ability to punch through the most hardcore geo-blocks.

Bottom line

A safety-first Wi-Fi VPN is vital whether you are doing some work at a café, browsing at an airport, or streaming while traveling. It will prevent anyone from violating your personal digital space. Additionally, a field-proven provider will encrypt your internet traffic, so no one can uncover your web adventures.

A VPN for public WI-Fi that can do it all is NordVPN. Not only that, but the service can also bypass annoying restrictions, open up loads of new content, and give you access to trouble-free internet.

What public Wi-Fi VPN do you use? Tell us about it in the comments!

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What are the risks of using a public Wi-Fi Hotspot?

There are a plethora of dangers lurking if you’re not using a VPN for public Wi-Fi. The most common ones are theft of personal information, malware infestation, and privacy breaches. To prevent any dangers, choose the safest VPN on the market.

Does a VPN work on Wi-Fi?

Yes, VPNs work on private and public Wi-Fi networks. Moreover, the service works on loads of other types of internet connections, like mobile, broadband, satellite, etc.

Does a VPN protect you on public Wi-Fi?

Absolutely, a public Wi-Fi VPN will keep any threats away while on a public network. It will encrypt your information, hide your IP and safeguard you from any hackers, malware, viruses, or trackers. Therefore, intercepting your internet traffic will be basically impossible.

Does a VPN slow down the Wi-Fi connection?

Yes, a VPN for Wi-Fi can slow down your internet connection if you pick the wrong provider. But with one of the Top 5 VPNs, you won’t notice any major drops, so you can work or stream on a public Wi-Fi smoothly.

What’s the best VPN for public Wi-Fi?

The most secure Wi-Fi VPN is NordVPN. The provider will guarantee your safety and privacy on the web. Additionally, you’ll bypass geo-restrictions and get to see loads of new content.

Can Wi-Fi providers see your history with a VPN?

No, with the best Wi-Fi VPN, the ISP won’t be able to see your browsing history. Your connection is completely secure because the provider hides your IP address and encrypts data. The best and fastest Wi-Fi VPNs will ensure your overall safety with the best security and privacy features.

Can I use a free VPN on public Wi-Fi?

No, we do not recommend using a free VPN on a public Wi-Fi. In fact, using a free VPN in general is a bad idea. They compromise your safety and privacy by injecting malware, collecting your data, and selling it to anyone.

The best option for you is to get a Wi-Fi VPN with a free trial, such as NordVPN. For 30-days you’ll get top-notch safety features, anonymity, and many other handy features.

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  1. mariobro April 26, 2019 at 8:35 am

    I think the things about free WiFi is the fact that if you use it for making any financial transactions, you are at an even a greater risk as compared to those who casually surfs the internet. Now, while many of us use the Public Wi-Fi in times of desperate needs, getting a VPN then and there might be an issue. So, may be just be extra careful when you are forced to browse online. Or, review your internet usage pattern when you are out and consider investing in a VPN

  2. Im50 April 24, 2019 at 4:49 am

    NordVPN is the best option right now especially if you opt for the 3 year option which is very cheap. You can be totally protected with just $3 every month. It doesn’t get any better than this. There are other VPNs that are as good or close to but none have the features plus pricing as this one.

  3. Dr. Julie April 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Everybody offers free wi-fi now. I’ve seen it in fast food restaurants and more retail stores now. I avoid public wi-fi because I’m scared that my phone will get infected. It’s good to know I can use a VPN to safeguard my phone. I’ll have to install it on my phone in the event I’m forced to use Wi-fi when I go out. I like using public Wi-fi about as much as I like using a public toilet.

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