VPN Gate Review: Is this Free VPN safe to use?


author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 11, 2023

In the age of increasing cyber threats and restrictions, the need for internet freedom and privacy has never been more critical. VPN Gate aims to provide that freedom, but how does it stack up against the competition? We’ve taken an in-depth look to find out.

Summary of Key Features

💸 PriceFree
📆 Money-back guaranteeNot applicable (free service)
📝 Does the VPN keep logs?No
🖥 Number of serversVariable (Volunteer-based network)
🛡 Kill switchNo
🗺 HeadquartersJapan
🛠 SupportForum support, FAQs / Knowledge Base
📥 Torrent supportYes (depends on server)
🎥 Streaming service supportVariable (depends on server)

Security and Encryption

In the digital era, security and encryption are no longer optional, they are an absolute necessity. Let’s take a close look at the technologies used by VPN Gate to ensure the safety of your data.

Used Security Technologies

VPN Gate employs a number of security technologies to maintain the sanctity of your data. SSL-VPN (Secure Sockets Layer VPN) and L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol over Internet Protocol Security) are among the foremost tools used. SSL-VPN is a standard protocol for creating a secure connection over the internet, used by many websites to secure data transfer. L2TP/IPSec, on the other hand, provides double the protection by encapsulating your data twice.

For the technically inclined, understanding that VPN Gate uses such standard protocols can provide an assurance that the service takes your security seriously.

Used Encryption Technologies

Now, let’s touch upon the encryption technologies used. Encryption essentially translates your data into a secret code that is almost impossible to crack. VPN Gate utilizes AES-256 encryption, one of the most secure encryption methods used by governments and agencies worldwide.

Furthermore, the RSA-4096 bit key exchange and SHA-1 authentication add extra layers of security. RSA-4096 is known for its robustness against cyber attacks, making it one of the best encryption algorithms available. Meanwhile, SHA-1 provides the assurance that the data sent and received hasn’t been tampered with.

Principles of Personal Data Protection and Jurisdiction

With privacy being a fundamental human right, the personal data protection principles adopted by any VPN service provider play a pivotal role in establishing trust.

Analysis of Personal Data Protection Principles

VPN Gate champions itself as a proponent of internet freedom, and this commitment extends to its user’s data as well. Following the No-Log Policy, VPN Gate assures that none of your activities are recorded, traced, or disclosed to third parties. This means your browsing history, IP address, or any personally identifiable information remains just that – personal.

However, it’s essential to remember that while VPN Gate doesn’t store your data, the volunteer-operated servers you connect to might record certain information. This practice, albeit uncommon, is something to be aware of.

Company Jurisdiction

It’s worth noting that VPN Gate operates under Japanese jurisdiction, a country renowned for its robust privacy laws. Japan isn’t part of any international surveillance alliances like 5 Eyes or 14 Eyes, which generally means less likelihood of your data being shared with foreign intelligence agencies.

Being based in Japan also allows VPN Gate to sidestep internet censorship issues prevalent in certain countries, providing users with unrestricted access to the global internet.

Server Network

A critical factor in determining the performance and versatility of any VPN service is its server network. The number, location, and speed of servers can dramatically affect your internet experience.

Overview of the Server Network

VPN Gate is slightly unique in its approach to servers. Instead of owning a fleet of dedicated servers like many of its contemporaries, it operates as a volunteer-driven public VPN relay system. This means that individual users around the world set up servers that can then be used by others.

Global Coverage and Availability

This distributed approach provides VPN Gate with an extensive network that covers almost every corner of the globe. At any given moment, there are hundreds of servers available from diverse locations, from North America to Asia, and everywhere in between.

While this model does have its advantages in terms of server locations, it also brings some uncertainty. Servers can go offline without notice if a volunteer decides to stop hosting. Fortunately, with the high number of available servers, you’re likely to always find another option.

Number of Servers

Unlike other VPN services that have a fixed number of servers, VPN Gate’s numbers fluctuate, with new servers continuously coming online and others going offline. This dynamic nature means it’s tough to pin down an exact figure, but generally, you can find anywhere from 4000 to 6000 servers available at any given time.

Server Speed

One key area where VPN Gate can sometimes falter is server speed. Because these servers are volunteer-operated and not owned by a central provider, their speed can be unpredictable. You might connect to a fast server one moment, then a slower one the next.

Server Speed Table in Different Countries

Let’s have a look at some of the average server speeds in a few different countries:

CountryAverage Server Speed (Mbps)

Bear in mind, these are averages and actual speeds can vary widely.

Streaming and Torrenting

The ability to stream and torrent content can be a make-or-break aspect for many VPN users. Let’s see how VPN Gate performs in these areas.


A crucial aspect of any VPN is its ability to bypass geo-restrictions for streaming services. VPN Gate, due to its wide array of server locations, can often unblock these restrictions, offering you access to a world of content on platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

Supported Services

In our testing, VPN Gate proved capable of accessing a range of popular streaming services. However, due to the variability of servers, some may unblock a service while others cannot.

Here’s a brief summary of the services we successfully accessed:

Streaming ServiceAccessibility
NetflixMostly accessible
BBC iPlayerSometimes accessible
HuluMostly accessible
Amazon Prime VideoSometimes accessible
Disney+Mostly accessible


When it comes to torrenting, VPN Gate does offer support. However, given the public nature of the servers and the variance in speeds, it may not be the most efficient choice for heavy torrent users.

Supported Clients

While VPN Gate supports torrenting, the performance can greatly depend on the client and the specific server you’re connected to. Here are some popular clients tested:

Torrent ClientPerformance

Compatibility and User-Friendliness

Compatibility and user-friendliness can greatly impact your VPN experience. How many platforms does VPN Gate support, and how straightforward is it to use? Let’s find out.

Compatibility with Different Platforms

One of the most impressive aspects of VPN Gate is its broad compatibility. As an extension to the open-source SoftEther VPN Client, it supports a wide array of platforms:

  • Windows: VPN Gate seamlessly integrates with the SoftEther VPN Client on Windows. Setup is straightforward, and connecting to servers is a breeze.
  • macOS: For Mac users, setting up VPN Gate can be a bit more involved, but the service does provide a detailed guide to help you through the process.
  • Linux: With detailed guides available, Linux users can also utilize VPN Gate, though the setup process requires some technical know-how.
  • iOS and Android: On mobile platforms, VPN Gate can be set up using OpenVPN Connect or L2TP/IPSec settings built into the operating systems.

It’s also worth noting that VPN Gate can be used on game consoles and Smart TVs through a router that supports VPN settings.

User-friendliness Rating

As for user-friendliness, VPN Gate’s rating can vary depending on your technical comfort level. While the SoftEther client’s interface on Windows is relatively straightforward, setup on other platforms can require a bit more work.

The website, while comprehensive, feels a bit outdated and could be overwhelming for beginners. On the bright side, it provides a wealth of information and detailed setup guides that can make the process smoother, even for less tech-savvy users.

Download VPN Gate

You can download VPN Gate on its official website here.

One of the major selling points of VPN Gate is that it’s entirely free. Yes, you read that right. While this might make you question its quality or safety, the VPN Gate project is run by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, making it a trusted and reliable service.

Customer Support

When using any service, good customer support can make a world of difference, providing you with quick and helpful solutions should you encounter any issues. So, how does VPN Gate fare in this department?

Table of Support Contact Options

Being a free, research-driven project, VPN Gate lacks some of the customer support options you might find with other paid VPN services. Still, they do offer some avenues for you to get help:

Support OptionAvailability
Live ChatNot Available
Email SupportNot Available
Support TicketsAvailable via SoftEther Forum
Phone SupportNot Available
FAQ / Knowledge BaseAvailable

In lieu of direct support, VPN Gate provides a detailed FAQ and document resources that can help you troubleshoot many common issues. For more specific queries, the SoftEther forum can be a helpful resource, as it hosts a community of experienced users who can assist with more complex problems.

Pros and Cons

As with any VPN, VPN Gate comes with its share of pros and cons. These can help determine if it’s the right service for your needs.

Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Free of Charge: VPN Gate is 100% free, making it accessible for anyone looking to add an extra layer of security and privacy to their internet browsing.
  • Wide Range of Server Locations: Thanks to the volunteer-based model, VPN Gate offers server locations across the globe.
  • Robust Security and Encryption: With AES-256 encryption and a variety of secure VPN protocols, VPN Gate provides robust security for its users.
  • No-Log Policy: VPN Gate adheres to a strict no-log policy, ensuring that your browsing activity isn’t tracked or stored.


  • Variable Server Speed and Availability: As the servers are volunteer-based, their speed and availability can vary, leading to potential inconsistencies in service.
  • Lack of Direct Customer Support: Unlike most commercial VPNs, VPN Gate lacks direct customer support options such as live chat or email.
  • Technical Setup Process: While it provides detailed guides, setting up VPN Gate can be a bit more technical than other plug-and-play VPN services.

Description of Pros and Cons for Users

For users, the free nature of VPN Gate and its wide range of server locations make it an attractive choice for casual browsing and bypassing geo-restrictions. The service’s robust security measures also provide peace of mind when browsing.

However, for those seeking consistent high-speed connections, VPN Gate might not be the first choice due to the variable server speed. The lack of direct customer support could also be a downside if you prefer having immediate assistance at hand. Lastly, if you’re not tech-savvy, the somewhat technical setup process could be a hurdle, though their comprehensive guides help to alleviate this issue.

Summary in Bullet Point in Table Format

To summarize, here’s a quick snapshot of VPN Gate’s pros and cons:

Free of chargeVariable server speed and availability
Wide range of server locationsLack of direct customer support
Robust security and encryptionTechnical setup process
No-log policy

Taking everything into account, VPN Gate offers a surprising amount of features for a free service. However, it may not suit everyone’s needs. In the upcoming sections, we’ll compare VPN Gate to other popular VPN services. This comparison will help you understand where VPN Gate stands in the VPN market and whether it’s the right choice for you.


When considering any service, it’s always a good idea to weigh your options. In this section, we’ll compare VPN Gate to some other well-known VPN services: NordVPN, Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN.

VPN Gate vs NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most well-known names in the VPN market. It offers robust security features and speedy servers but at a cost.

Server Network: Unlike VPN Gate’s volunteer-driven network, NordVPN maintains over 5000 servers in 59 countries. This ensures reliable and high-speed connections.

Streaming and Torrenting: NordVPN excels in streaming and torrenting, with optimized servers that provide excellent speed and stability.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness: NordVPN offers dedicated apps for all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even Linux. It’s considerably more user-friendly than VPN Gate, especially for non-technical users.

Price: NordVPN is a paid service, with monthly prices starting at $3.71 (as of my last update in 2021).

VPN Gate vs Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN is a popular choice known for its unlimited device connections and budget-friendly plans.

Server Network: Surfshark has a network of over 3200 servers in 65 countries, offering better reliability and speed compared to VPN Gate.

Streaming and Torrenting: Surfshark does an excellent job bypassing geo-restrictions and supports torrenting on all its servers.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness: Surfshark has easy-to-use apps for various platforms, making it more accessible for beginners compared to VPN Gate.

Price: Surfshark’s plans start as low as $2.49 per month (as of 2021).

VPN Gate vs PureVPN

PureVPN offers a balanced combination of speed, security, and price.

Server Network: PureVPN owns over 6500 servers across more than 140 countries. It provides faster and more stable connections than VPN Gate.

Streaming and Torrenting: PureVPN reliably unblocks streaming services and supports torrenting.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness: PureVPN is compatible with a wide range of devices and has an intuitive interface, making it more user-friendly than VPN Gate.

Price: PureVPN’s plans start at $3.33 per month (as of 2021).

VPN Gate vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is known for its speed, security, and overall high-quality service, though it comes with a higher price tag.

Server Network: ExpressVPN operates over 3000 servers across 94 countries. Its server network is faster and more consistent than VPN Gate’s.

Streaming and Torrenting: ExpressVPN excels at unblocking streaming platforms and provides excellent torrenting support.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness: ExpressVPN offers easy-to-use apps for all major platforms, including some not supported by VPN Gate, like routers and media consoles.

Price: ExpressVPN is more expensive, with plans starting at $8.32 per month (as of 2021).


In this comprehensive VPN Gate review, we have taken a close look at every facet of this free, volunteer-run VPN service. From its security and encryption measures to the user-friendliness of its software, from its server network to its compatibility across platforms, and from its pricing to customer support – we’ve covered it all.

In conclusion, VPN Gate stands as a remarkable testament to the power of crowd-sourced projects. The service is an entirely free, open-source project run by passionate individuals who value internet privacy and security. The VPN offers a considerable range of server locations thanks to its volunteer-based model, with an admirable commitment to maintaining user privacy through robust security and a no-log policy.

However, like any service, VPN Gate has its drawbacks. The speed and availability of servers can vary, and the lack of direct customer support might deter users who prefer immediate assistance. The setup process, while detailed in the guides, could be overwhelming for those not technically inclined.

Overall, if you’re on the lookout for a free VPN service for casual browsing or bypassing geo-restrictions, VPN Gate is worth considering. It may not offer the high-speed connections, streaming service compatibility, or user-friendly applications provided by premium VPNs, but it delivers a decent service level without requiring users to dig into their pockets.

Before we end, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about VPN Gate.


Is VPN Gate safe?

Yes, VPN Gate is safe to use. It employs robust AES-256 encryption and supports several secure VPN protocols. The service also adheres to a no-log policy, which means your activity isn’t tracked or stored.

Can I use VPN Gate for streaming?

While you can technically use VPN Gate for streaming, its performance may vary due to the nature of its volunteer-run servers. Premium VPNs tend to provide better, more consistent results for streaming.

Is VPN Gate really free?

Yes, VPN Gate is a free service. It’s run as a research project by the University of Tsukuba in Japan, so you can use it without any charges.

Can VPN Gate be used for torrenting?

VPN Gate does not explicitly prevent torrenting, but its performance may not be as reliable as other dedicated, paid VPN services. Additionally, as it uses volunteers’ servers, it’s important to respect the laws and regulations regarding torrenting in the server’s country.

What platforms does VPN Gate support?

VPN Gate is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. While setup on Windows is straightforward, installation on other platforms might require a bit of technical know-how.

Can VPN Gate unblock Netflix?

VPN Gate may be able to unblock Netflix in some cases, but its performance isn’t guaranteed. The service doesn’t prioritize unblocking streaming services, and the varying performance of its volunteer-run servers can lead to inconsistent results.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.