N.B. Some links in this article are affiliate links, and I may receive a commission for purchases made at no extra cost to you.
Portugal is a really beautiful country, with lots of visitors every year, plus a substantial expat community, so there’s a real need for encrypted, secure internet connections, especially for people on the move.
But are there actually any totally free VPN options that also have servers in Portugal? Is it possible to get an IP address in Portugal for free using a VPN?
As is so often the case with VPN’s in general, the current search results for this are not exactly on point, returning results to VPN’s that are labelled as “free” but actually aren’t, or single companies promoting only their own product.
In this post, I’ll try to stay more relevant by listing only VPN’s that are totally free to install and use (no upfront cost at all), and also specifically have servers in Portugal that can be used for free.
Thankfully, there are a couple of free VPN services here that do have servers in Portugal, though they do have limitations, whether with data use or privacy. However, I’ll run though the main free VPN options I could find for Portugal – PrivateVPN trial, Tunnelbear Free, UrbanVPN and DewVPN – before moving onto some unlimited, Premium VPN options that you’ll realistically need for longer term stays in the country.
Free Option #1 – PrivateVPN Free 7 Day Trial
I’ve updated my article to include this option because it’s the only option that allows you to try a fully fledged, legitimate AND unlimited VPN program with Portugal servers, even if it’s only for 7 days initially.
PrivateVPN are a Swedish based VPN provider who offer an excellent value Premium service, but they also offer customers the chance to try their product out completely for free for 7 days:
Here are some good features of PrivateVPN:
- 200 high speed servers in 63 countries (including Portugal – Lisbon)
- Unlimited server use
- Based in Sweden with strong privacy and consumer protection laws.
- No nonsense, user friendly interface.
- Also despite the cheap price, has an excellent reputation for accessing streaming services.
And also if you decide to upgrade to their Premium version, here are some benefits:
- 36 month plans currently at $1.61/month (effectively 12 months + 24 extra months free). The best long term value on the market.
- 30 day money back guarantee.
For sure it’s only a temporary free trial, but it will give you a good look at how a proper VPN service works, plus their paid plans are the best value on the VPN market. Give them a try and see what you think.
Free Option #2 – Tunnelbear Free Version
We’ll start off with the excellent Tunnelbear VPN service, who do have a free version of their product and also a server in Lisbon, Portugal – perfect!
Click here to visit Tunnelbear’s site. Click the Tunnelbear logo on the top left to go back to the homepage, and click on “Plans”. If you sign up for the Free account, you get 500 MB of data to use each month.
The Free plan is buried away somewhat in the menus and not heavily promoted, as for obvious reasons, they’d prefer customers used paid plans, but you can still find it by clicking back to the homepage and finding the Plans page.
Tunnelbear’s got servers in 49 countries, including in Portugal (Lisbon), so it can be a great option for short term/basic usage. I tested the Portugal server from my location in the UK, and it did work fine, with plenty enough bandwidth for video streaming (but see below for the reason why you’d not really want to use it for that).
It also feels and works like a proper, secure VPN service, with your own IP and no data logging, unlike some other shared VPN services that I’d never use to enter personal data on. It’s not a cheap VPN/proxy hybrid that’s built into a browser and isn’t really secure – it is a fully separate software program you load up and activate, just like a Premium VPN.
However, with the free version, you only get 500 MB of data to use per month. You can tweet at them for an extra 1 GB, but this is your main limitation with this service – you don’t get much data/bandwidth to use. Once you open the interface, there is a data counter so you can see how you’ve got left this month.
For clarity, here’s a quick summary of what you can expect different activities to use in terms of data, given the 500 MB monthly cap with Tunnelbear:
- Basic browsing – Doesn’t use much – 10-20 MB per hour.
- Social media – Uses a bit more – 100-150 MB per hour.
- Multiplayer Online gaming – 50-60 MB per hour.
- YouTube Video (10 minutes):
- 480p – 80 MB
- 720p (HD) – 250 MB
- YouTube video (1 hour)
- 480p – 500-700 MB
- 720p (HD) – 1.5-2 GB
- You can change YouTube video quality using the settings cog in the bottom right of videos.
- Netflix movie
- SD – 700 MB per hour.
- HD – 3 GB per hour
- Ultra HD – 7 GB per hour
- See here for source plus how to change Netflix data usage settings.
Here’s what you could realistically do with the Tunnelbear free version:
- Perfect for short term holiday use (eg. 1-2 weeks or less in Portugal), just logging into your emails once or twice a day, making purchases etc. Any more than 1 week away you might need a Premium service (see last section).
- Very light, basic browsing (emails, shopping, directions, news etc), but you will see your 500 MB/month quote drain quickly – just 16/17 MB per day for a month.
- Anything where you really need a secure connection – making payments, logging into sensitive accounts, entering any other personal information – I’d use the Tunnelbear VPN and not a shared VPN like UrbanVPN we’ll cover below.
- You can use it to keep your connection secure whilst signing up for an unlimited, Premium VPN service that’ll serve you better long term (see section at the bottom).
Here’s what you can’t really use Tunnelbear free for:
- Videos/streaming services/YouTube – uses too much data as indicated above. You’ll run out of your allowance very quickly
- Social media – might get away with a really small amount, but again it can use up more than you might think.
Overall, Tunnelbear’s free version is an excellent, credible starting point to get an IP address in Portugal and a secure connection whilst there. The data limit is the big downside, but you can complement it with our next option below, or go for a Premium service if you need one.
Free Option #3 – UrbanVPN
Now let’s move to the second major free Portugal VPN option I could find, that almost like an inverse of the Tunnelbear service in terms of pro’s/cons – it’s got unlimited use, but the server speeds/reliability and privacy are not as good.
UrbanVPN pride themselves on being a totally free, peer to peer VPN service, using the connections of users to re-route traffic. It’s like the users are each acting as VPN’s for the other users, almost like a crowd-funded VPN service.
They’ve got servers in 80+ countries at present, including in Portugal, an use of all these servers is unlimited and free.
Click here to get started with UrbanVPN
Here are the main benefits of UrbanVPN:
- Totally free to use
- No need to set up any account or provide any details – just download the program/app and get started.
- Totally free and unlimited server use.
- Available for all major browsers, devices and operating systems.
- Has a server in Portugal.
But unfortunately, there are some negatives to the service:
- There are some reviews that report slow and unreliable servers (unfortunately, this is to be expected on free services)
- Zero customer support if the service goes down or you have difficulties (again to be expected with a free service)
- It’s just difficult to know exactly how secure your data is, or where it’s going. Ultimately, security and privacy and too much up-in-the-air with a peer to peer service like this. It’s the same reason I don’t use the Opera browser VPN for logging into really important accounts – I don’t like using generic shared IP address proxies/VPN’s, even if they claim to be “VPN’s”. You don’t know where your data is going, and they don’t offer the same level of security and privacy as a Premium VPN.
UrbanVPN is definitely NOT a 100% confidential, zero logs VPN:
However, that doesn’t actually matter to a lot of users. If privacy is not your main concern, and you just want a VPN with servers in a certain country to access certain websites, then UrbanVPN can do that for you. Just be prepared to have your personal data collected in a way it won’t be if you sign up to a Premium VPN with a no logs policy (see below).
Here’s what UrbanVPN could be good for:
- Video streaming on sites like YouTube (because bandwidth is unlimited), as long as your connection is good enough for it.
- Possibly logging into streaming services that require a Portugal IP address, provided you are happy entering login details on a shared/P2P VPN. However, be aware that these free, shared VPN services RARELY consistently work for unlocking major streaming sites like Netflix or Disney Plus. Even some Premium VPNs struggle to consistently do this, so free VPN’s have even less chance. You might have some success, but I’d keep your expectations low overall, and try a Premium VPN if you’re having trouble.
- Social media account possibly, again if you’re OK with this. Personally I’d only do this if my passwords for these accounts wasn’t used for any other account.
In this way, you could use both Tunnelbear and UrbanVPN to complement each other – use Tunnelbear for really security-essential stuff like logging into serious accounts and making purchases, and just use UrbanVPN for more bandwidth heavy things like streaming, and possibly logging into less serious accounts like YouTube or streaming services (at your own discretion).
Free Option #4 – DewVPN (Free & Unlimited)
This is another option I found that meets the criteria and works in exactly the same way as UrbanVPN above. It’s like a crowdfunded VPN, with users effectively pooling their connections and routing them through each other to create a VPN network, offering servers to users wherever they are needed.
Here are the benefits to DewVPN
- Totally free to download and use for non commercial users
- Totally unlimited use – great for a free VPN
- Based in British Virgin Islands – with no logging data retention laws.
- Fast servers
- Pays for free service by charging a Premium fee for corporate users.
- Available on on all major platforms
- Has a server in Portugal.
- Early reports indicate it does seem to work for streaming platforms
- See here for a useful review.
- Overall, uses the same model as UrbanVPN, but is a superior option based on features and no logging.
The only possible negative I could find is that I’m personally not so comfortable with peer-to-peer VPN networks, much like I said with UrbanVPN. Although DewVPN’s privacy procedures look far more watertight than UrbanVPN’s, I still much prefer the standard VPN model of connecting directly to a server by yourself and not sharing connections with others.
That’s just a personal preference though, and if this doesn’t bother you, then DewVPN can be a great free, unlimited option for you.
Click here to get started with DewVPN
Some Portugal VPN Options That Aren’t Really Free (Or Have Catches)
Let’s clear up some of the inaccurate information that’s currently showing up in search results for “free” VPN’s with servers in Portugal. We’ll quickly list some VPN services that are showing up on the first page, but don’t meet this criteria, or have significant catches:
- UFO VPN – Again shows up a lot and is titled as a “Free” VPN but you can’t get an server in Portugal for free with them; you have to pay for a Premium account. There is a free version but it’s very limited in features and doesn’t have Portugal servers. See here for the differences between their plans.
- VPN Unlimited – Again shows up on the first page, but they don’t offer any free plans. All plans are paid.
- VAP LAT – Does appear legit, but is only available for Android/iOS (App)
- NordVPN – Only offer Premium plans. No free plans available.
- ExpressVPN – Same as NordVPN – only Premium plans available
- ProtonVPN – Have an excellent free version with servers in Netherlands, USA and Japan, but not in Portugal. You need their paid plans for Portugal servers.
We’ve tried to stay directly relevant in this article – only suggesting VPN’s that are 100% free, with zero upfront cost, as well as having servers in Portugal on their free versions.
With VPN’s though, you always get what you pay for, and free services are always going to be restricted and restrictive, whether it’s with data use (Tunnelbear) or reliability and privacy (UrbanVPN).
To get a proper, unlimited, fully secure VPN service, where you know your connection is going to be fast, unlimited and reliable, and your personal data is going to be safe and private, you need to pay for a Premium service.
Some Premium VPN Options With Portuguese Servers
If at some point you decide you’d like to use a VPN in more locations and have unlimited use and better support, you might want to consider upgrading to a paid VPN plan. Users in Portugal are spoiled for choice here, because there are literally hundreds to choose from, all with servers there.
Firstly, Tunnelbear has a Premium plan (with more countries/servers and unlimited use) you can upgrade to for very reasonable prices.
However, we’ve also listed some other Premium VPN services for you to browse through, that also offer Portuguese servers (almost all Premium VPN’s offer IP addresses in Portugal), plus unlimited use and 24/7 support.
Some Premium VPN Services With Portugal Servers (links are affiliate links)
|Provider||Price (12 months paid in advance)||Number of locations in Portugal||Number of Devices Allowed||Main Benefits|
|Private Internet Access||$3.33/month||1 (Lisbon - geo-located)*||10||Review here|
|ExpressVPN||$8.32/month||1 (Lisbon)||5||Good for streaming|
|NordVPN||$5/month||1 (Lisbon - 20+ servers)||6||Double Encryption & Server Choice|
|CactusVPN||$3.20/month||1 (Tomar)||5||Cheap no nonsense VPN|
*Uses a geo-located server, meaning that the exit node is located in Portugal, but traffic is routed through a server in Madrid, Spain instead. You still get a Portuguese IP address.
Signing up for a VPN is usually very easy. You simply visit their site (click on one of our links above for each provider), sign up, pay your subscription, download their product and boot up the program.
Once running you simply select a preferred server location and open the VPN connection. You now have a secure, encrypted connection that will keep all your browsing and personal data safe over public Wi-Fi networks.