It can be difficult for users in Japan to find a good VPN for their needs. Although the Japanese government isn’t too bad for censoring content, protecting your privacy online is always important, and there are certain restrictions that Japanese users will want to avoid.
But what’s the best free Japan VPN? We’re going to take a look at a few different options in this regard and break them down according to price, location, and features. Hopefully we can analyze the possibilities and make a decision about the best free Japan VPN.
The risk of free VPNs
When you’re looking for a free VPN, many of the options out there may not be as powerful, safe, or secure as they claim. Free VPNs are notorious for data limitations, sketchy policies, and scant security features that may end up with your identity or data being revealed.
As such, it is always important to keep these risks in mind when researching the best free Japan VPN.
Hide.me is a great free option that uses strong encryption despite offering lifetime free services with no credit card required. The service employs AES-256 bit encryption, besides offering a wide range of protocols, including OpenVPN, SoftEther, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP.
The service is based in Malaysia, and although there are no strict laws governing VPN usage, and the country itself is not part of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances, there are some concerns about government censorship in Malaysia.
In addition to their strong security, the client also offers an effective kill switch feature, which is important for protecting your identity in case of accidental VPN failure. They have 55 servers in 34 countries, but only 5 of these are available for free users.
Unblocking Netflix content is a no-go with this one, but that is to be expected from free VPN services. Torrenting is okay, however.
If you want to upgrade from the free version, the plus plan is $9.95 per month, and gives you more connection locations as well as a higher data cap. The premium package costs $14.95 per month, and gives you unlimited data and 5 simultaneous connections.
Windscribe is another great option for a free Japan VPN, and is unique in that it offers an unlimited data cap and unlimited connections. The only thing they limit with the free version is the number of country locations you have access to.
The client also includes ad-blocking and tracker-blocking features. This is nice because most free VPN services are kind of deficient in this area. The client employs AES-256 bit encryption, and is very secure, although some users report slow speeds while connected.
The service is based in Canada, which is an okay jurisdiction for a free VPN. Although the country has no strict laws on VPN usage, they are a part of the 5 Eyes alliance.
The premium service costs $49 per year, or $9.00 per month.
3. Speedify ‣
This is one of those options that makes claims you hope are true. Speedify uses an encryption standard they call Cha-Cha 256. They claim that it is even stronger than AES-256, and we are compelled to believe them.
The service has 200 servers in 35 countries, giving users a lot of different options for connecting through their free Japan VPN. The service is based in the US, which obviously isn’t optimal, since the US has a less-than-stellar track record for online privacy. That being said, their logging policy is very minimal, and it is unlikely that users will have to worry when using this client.
If you’re looking to upgrade from the free version, Speedify offers a range of plans for individuals, families, and teams of professionals. In terms of an individual user, the monthly fee is $4.58, while the yearly fee is $63.
4. ProtonVPN ‣
Another great option comes to us from Switzerland. ProtonVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption with OpenVPN, and they have a decently trustworthy no-logging policy. The only thing they log is timestamps from when users log into the service.
This VPN performs very well when tested for leaks, and doesn’t leak any DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 information. Along with the robust encryption, the security standards of this option are definitely on par with the other contenders on this list.
Another cool thing that stands out about ProtonVPN is that they allow for up to 10 simultaneous connections with their paid plans, which gives users a lot of freedom when it comes to using the service with different simultaneous devices. The client is supported on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.
The paid plans start at $4.00 per month, which unlocks all of the countries, allows for two simultaneous devices, higher speeds, and P2P. The Plus plan for $7 per month gives you up to 5 devices, better servers, and some other functionality such as Tor servers. The Visionary plan, for $30 per month, gives you access to all countries, and includes ProtonMail Visionary, their secure email client.
It’s important to note that ProtonVPN’s free service is one of the best free Japan VPN services.
5. ZenMate ‣
This one has a few cool features that make it a good option for the best free Japan VPN, but there are also a few drawbacks, as well. The client itself uses AES-128 bit encryption, which isn’t as good as the typical AES-256 bit standard. They also offer a range of protocols, including IPSec, IKEv2, and L2TP, as well as OpenVPN with their paid version.
The good news is that the free version is effective for unblocking Netflix content that has been geo-restricted. You may have to search for an effective server to do so, but it should work most of the time.
Torrenting, unfortunately, is not allowed on the free version, and is only available if you have a paid plan. The paid version costs $11.99 per month. The company is based in Germany, which is a decent location for a VPN service, although it is part of the 14 Eyes alliance.
This is a good high-speed VPN that gives its users unlimited bandwidth. They also have server presence in a wide range of countries, including Japan, the US, and the UK.
It’s similar to CyberGhost in that it is very easy-to-use. They also support specialized clients for a wide range of devices. They use AES-256 bit encryption over OpenVPN, and they have a strict no-logging policy. They also have a kill switch, which is always a plus, and they seem to be effective for unblocking Netflix.
Although the company claims to have a no-logging policy, their website claims that “advertisers may be able to collect certain information when serving ads from the Hotspot Shield application.” This is a definite red-flag, as it means that the company is tracking your activities in some way.
Plans start at $12.99 per month for their monthly plan. This drops down to $8.99 per month for a one-year subscription, and down to $2.99 for a three-year subscription. All of the plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee. The company also offers a 7-day free trial.
7. TunnelBear ‣
This is a cute option with a very user-friendly interface. This one also uses AES-256 bit encryption, and doesn’t place severe limitations on the free version. There is a monthly 500 MB data cap if you’re not a paying customer, but the client itself is still totally usable and functional without a paid plan.
They also have a competent no-logging policy and a server presence in 22 countries, giving users a lot of options for connectivity. They are under Canadian jurisdiction, which is less than optimal, but is still not bad compared to the US or China.
If you want to upgrade, it will only cost you $9.99 per month, which isn’t bad, and removes that pesky 500 MB data cap for you.
So, which is the best free Japan VPN?
For users in Japan, the best option for free VPNs will depend mostly on the level of security offered, the safety of the operating jurisdiction, and the price, should you ever want to upgrade.
When we look at all these options side-by-side, we’ve found that Hide.me simply has the best bang for your buck.
If you’re in Japan, which of these free VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great free VPNs for Japan? Let us know in the comments below.