5 Best Free VPNs for Japan in 2023: Safe, Secure & Free VPNs
With a VPN, you can have access to content from anywhere in the world. This is good news for Japanese people living outside of Japan. Ordinarily, you would be unable to access Japanese content from your new location, but with a VPN, that will be resolved quickly. Hence, you do not need to worry about missing your favorite TV shows when you are outside of Japan for a visit or permanently.
Most VPNs come with subscription plans. This category of VPNs is known as risk-free VPNs. These providers offer a money-back guarantee that ensures that you get a refund upon request after choosing a plan. You are allowed to have a test-run of the service for a period of time within which you will be able to access the full range of benefits that the VPN has. Before this timeline is up, if you are unsatisfied with the service, you can ask for a refund. This process is completely risk-free.
However, there is the second category of VPNs where some of these paid providers also make their services free. In this category of unpaid VPNs, you find two types. The first type is a completely free VPN. Here, you would not need to subscribe to any plan before and throughout the time you will use the service. The second type is the free-trial. Although you would not be charged until the end of the free trial period, you would still need to fill in your card details. Below, you will find a review of these two categories of Free VPNs. But first, let’s examine the risk-free ones.
Best Risk-Free VPNs
Overall best in our tests
- Super-fast servers
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Supports private protocol, Lightway
- Money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs available in the market. It ranks quite highly on all counts — security, ease of use, customer service, etc. ExpressVPN has over 3000 servers in more than 94 countries. A good number of these servers can be found in Japan. This is great for Japanese people outside Japan who may want to access Japanese content from their location. With such a spread-out network, you can be assured of better coverage.
ExpressVPN is also excellent in terms of security. It is located in the Virgin Islands. This means that you can be sure that it is not under the 14-Eyes Surveillance, and therefore, is not under any obligation to monitor your online presence. Additionally, the service makes use of military-grade encryptions and protocols. It also provides an internet kill switch that automatically logs you off when it detects unreliable network services.
This provider is also excellent in terms of speed. When making use of the app, you will hardly experience any buffering or lag. More so, it unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and other such content easily. ExpressVPN is a sure bet for accessing any geo-restricted content, regardless of the provider.
ExpressVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee period. As already explained, you can make use of the full range of their services within this window. You are guaranteed a risk-free return of your funds when you request it.
Best offer: $6.67/month (Save 49% + 3 months free)
Definitely the fastest in our tests
- Incredibly fast servers
- Great security features
- Verified no-logs policy
- Unblocks streaming platforms
NordVPN is in the same league as ExpressVPN. No other provider comes close to offering the quality of service that they make available. NordVPN attempts to trump ExpressVPN in one regard — the number of servers it has available. They have more than 5000 servers, but ExpressVPN still exceeds them with its wider country-reach. Some of these servers are located in Japan. Thus, you will have no hassle hooking up to a Japanese server from wherever you are.
NordVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy. This means that they do not keep track of the activities of its users. Thus they cannot be compelled to reveal any data about your online activities. NordVPN also maintains stringent security features, including the military-grade 256-bit AES protocol. It is fitted with a no-leak prevention mechanism. With NordVPN, you can bypass geo-restriction from service providers such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
NordVPN has a relatively easy process for setting up. You only need to download the app, select a server and country of choice. To seal the risk-free deal, NordVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best offer: $2.93/month (Save 64% + 3 months for free)
Best Free VPN for Japan
Apart from the risk-free VPNs discussed above, here are some VPNs that are totally free and accessible from Japan.
Best VPN with a free version
- Free version available
- Strong security features
- Reliable no-logs policy
- Allows Perfect Forward Secrecy
ProtonVPN is one provider that offers excellent service even with its free version. With ProtonVPN, you will not experience any lag while streaming or downloading content. Even more so, ProtonVPN’s free version does not come with a data limit. This means that you will not be forced to migrate to a paid plan once you exceed the allotted limit.
ProtonVPN comes fitted with the highest level of encryption available — AES-256 bit encryption. It has a modern interface that users certainly find attractive. More so, it is easy to use. When you download ProtonVPN, you only need a few clicks before hopping on to the server that you want.
The downside to ProtonVPN is that its free services only support 3 countries. But users in Japan are in luck because Japan is one of those three countries. Hence, with ProtonVPN’s free version, you will hardly notice that you aren’t on a paid plan. Additionally, ProtonVPN has more than 800 servers in 50 locations. This is pretty decent for a free VPN.
One downside to ProtonVPN is that its free version only allows for one device to be connected to it.
Best offer: €8/month (Save 25% + A Free Option)
Best free version in our tests
- Offers a totally free version
- Available in 26 countries
- AES 256-bit encryption available
- Relatively reliable speed
Tunnelbear is one of the VPNs that offer a totally free trial period. You will not be required to subscribe to a plan first.
Tunnelbear performs excellently for any use you need it for. It is excellent for browsing at top speed. There is no cap on your browsing within a period as long as you do not exceed the 500MB monthly cap. It can also get around geo-blocks fairly easy. Thus, regardless of where you are in the world, you will be able to access Japanese content from there.
Tunnelbear is also fitted with the standard military-grade encryption. If you eventually get a subscription plan, it allows you to pay using cryptocurrencies. This is important, especially for those who are security conscious. Paying in cryptocurrencies helps hide your identity even further.
Best offer: $3.33/month (Save 67% + TunnelBear apps & priority customer support)
Best VPN with a free version
- Offers dedicated IP addresses
- Allows torrenting and P2P file sharing
- Great pricing
- Free version available
Trust.Zone is another provider that offers free VPN services. This comes in the form of a 3-day trial period. Trust.Zone sets a 1GB data cap within this period. This limit is actually quite reasonable and gives you enough room to enjoy the VPN service.
Trust.Zone has more than 180+ servers across 91 zones. Some of these servers are located in Japan which makes unblocking Japanese content a breeze. Although the number of servers is not quite high, you can still find one that will serve your needs.
Trust.Zone is any provider that takes the subject of security quite seriously. Located in Seychelles, it is domiciled outside of the jurisdiction of the 14-eyes Surveillance Network. This means that Trust.Zone has no extant obligations to record or release the record of your online activities. Trust.Zone also makes use of military-grade encryption. This further ensures your security while using the VPN.
Finally, Trust.Zone comes with a simple and interactive interface. If you are a new user, you will have no difficulties navigating the platform. With just a few clicks, you can settle on both a country and a server of choice.
Best offer: €3/month (Save 67%)
Easiest to use based on our tests
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Cheap subscription plan. Starting at $6.99, save 22%
The last in this category is UltraVPN. UltraVPN is a provider that has more than 1000 servers in 100+ countries, Japan inclusive. Additionally, it can unblock Netflix and Hulu, although it cannot unblock BBC iPlayer. UltraVPN allows for 3 simultaneous connections.
UltraVPN has fairly decent streaming and downloading speed. The connection is also strong and reliable. They also allow for torrenting and P2P connections and you will not experience any restrictions as you torrent using their service.
In terms of security, UltraVPN also fares quite well. It makes use of the standard military-grade encryption system. Additionally, it has a strict no-logs policy and doesn’t keep track of your online activities. UltraVPN offers a free 7-day trial period. Although the provider only makes available a limited number of servers for the free trial version.
Best offer: $2.99/month (Save 60% + 6 months free)
Are Free VPN Services Any Good?
The absence of payment is one attraction for free VPNs. However, many free VPN services may not provide you with optimum service. Most of them have a limited number of servers, low streaming and download speeds as well as strict data limits. These all come together to make the experience less than pleasurable. These VPN providers spend a lot of money providing these services and look to make a profit from their efforts. These free versions are supposed to serve as incentives. Thus, they do not typically have the full range of options that the paid options have.
However, if you want to enjoy a hitch-free VPN experience, then the risk-free versions are your best bets. As already explained, you will have to be on a subscription plan first. Within the timeframe the provider stipulates, you will surely get your money’s worth. This is because, unlike the free version, the risk-free VPNs allow you the full range of options the VPN offers. You will be assured of quality speed, top-notch security, as well as a sizable number of servers for your use. What is more, you can always get your money back within the guaranteed money-back period. The two risk-free services above offer a 30-day money-back guarantee period. Trying the risk-free VPNs is a great way to access premium services without having to pay for unforeseen online challenges.
Features to Look Out for in a Free VPN
Some features to look out for in a free VPN:
The level of security offered by a VPN is one factor that you should strongly consider when choosing a VPN. After all, the chief role of a VPN is to help you beat detection while using the internet. You should, however, note that free VPNs are notorious for having weak security systems. The protocols they offer can be easily penetrated by a hacker. However, the free VPNs discussed here are equipped with military-grade encryption. On that score, you need not worry.
2. Data Limit
A good VPN allows you unlimited bandwidth. Alternatively, it sets a data limit that is high. This is usually what is obtained with paid VPN plans. Sadly, unpaid VPNs usually have a limit on the data you can expend within a particular period. These data limits put a cap on what you can do with the VPN. Hence, you cannot download or stream large videos in order not to exceed your cap. In a lot of cases, you may find that your activities have been paused because you exceeded your limit. If you intend to carry out a series of activities on the internet, a free VPN may not be the way to go.
3. Customer Support
In choosing a VPN service, the level of customer support provided is very crucial. This is because it is fairly common to run into a few challenges while using a VPN. A dedicated customer support system is thus necessary for resolving any complaints you may have. The quality of satisfaction you obtain from a VPN service may be tied to how effective its customer support is. Thus, while looking to decide on a free VPN, pay attention to its customer support system.
4. Number of servers and speed
The number and speed of available servers is another item you need to check off your list. Providers that have a large number of servers offer you the ease of having options. The higher the number of servers the provider has, the greater the probability of having a server in Japan. More so, server speed is also very paramount when choosing a provider. The VPN servers’ speed usually influences the quality of your surfing and the clarity of your downloads. You can easily switch from one server to another if your provider offers an array of options. You may encounter some challenges here with free VPNs. A lot of providers who offer free versions have a limited number of servers. However, this is not the case with the two risk-free VPNs discussed.
How to Use and Set Up a Free VPN for Japan in 2023
With a list of recommended free VPN services and features to consider before selecting a free VPN, you have enough information to move on to setting up a free VPN for Japan on your device. Below we look at how you can use and set up a free VPN for Japan in 2023.
1. The first step is to select a free VPN service for Japan. You can do that by choosing any of the VPN services above.
2. Once you select a free VPN service, head over to its website to download its application on your device. Some free VPN services require you to create an account before you can use them, so do that before downloading the application. If you can’t find a download for your operating system, you need to check if the VPN service has manual configuration instructions on its website. Otherwise, you might need to choose another free VPN service.
3. After downloading and installing the free VPN service on your device, open the application, and log in with your username (or email) and password (if the VPN service requires credentials to operate).
4. Next, you need to select a server location in Japan or another country if you’re in Japan looking to bypass internet censorship or geo-restrictions.
That is all you need to enjoy feeling safe and secure when surfing the internet with a free VPN in or outside Japan.
Online Censorship in Japan
Internet censorship in Japan is nearly nonexistent as the government largely respects the law on freedom of speech and expression on the internet. However, there have been a few cases of internet censorship in Japan. For example, in 2018, the Japanese government told ISPs to restrict access to manga piracy sites. The main targets were Mangamura, AniTube!, and MioMio. Beyond this case, there has been little or no government interference in the Japanese internet space.
Frequently Asked Questions on VPNs for Japan
Should I use a free VPN for Japan?
No, you shouldn’t use a free VPN for Japan. Some free VPNs will work for Japan, but they are likely to have restrictions. For example, most of them have daily or monthly download limits that prevent you from using more than a certain amount of data. In addition, malicious entities create VPNs to spread viruses and steal data. For example, Google continually removes malicious VPN apps from PlayStore. Lastly, free VPNs are likely not to respect your privacy as they can sell your data to third parties just to make some money. Use any of the free VPNs in this article if you still want to stick to free VPNs.
What’s the best VPN for Japan?
ExpressVPN and NordVPN are two VPN services that we consider to be perfect for Japan. However, ExpressVPN is the better choice if you had to select between them. It doesn’t have more servers than NordVPN, but it is present in more countries, including Japan. In addition, ExpressVPN unblocks many streaming services in Japan, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime TV, etc. Furthermore, you can use it on up to five devices simultaneously and on different operating systems.
Is it illegal to use a VPN for Japan?
No, it is not illegal to use a VPN for Japan. Japan has no laws that condemn using a VPN. In several countries worldwide, it is the same. However, countries like Russia, China, UAE might consider using a VPN against the law as they have either banned it or require government approval for VPN usage. Using a VPN in such countries requires clarity because you can go to jail or pay a fine if you don’t understand the laws.
How do I set up a VPN for Japan?
There is no difficulty in setting up a VPN for Japan. First, you can select a VPN service from any above, subscribe to a plan, and download the application. Once you’ve installed the application, select a server in Japan and connect to it. That’s all you need to do to set up a VPN for Japan.
A VPN can serve many purposes, as already elaborately discussed. Ideally, you should always go for a paid plan. However, if you cannot afford one, then you can settle for a totally free or a risk-free version. Before deciding on either, it is crucial to bear in mind the limitations that come with using the free version. Similarly, you should also pay attention to the timeline within which you can request a refund when using a risk-free version.