Hotstar is a streaming service that was launched in 2015 to broadcast cricket matches. However, the site has grown and expanded its content to include TV shows, movies, music, and a vast array of other sporting events.
Its popularity has exploded in India, especially because of airing the Indian Premier League. Unfortunately, the site uses geo-blocks to limit access outside of India, Canada, the US, and the UK. That is why you need to use a reliable VPN with effective unblocking capabilities.
If you are on a tight budget and don’t have the funds to pay for a premium service, we got you covered. We have compiled some of the best really free VPNs for Hotstar, pitfalls of using free VPNs, frequently asked questions, and more.
A quick guide on how to watch Hotstar with a VPN
- Download and install the VPN app. We highly recommend NordVPN because of its reliable fast servers and unblocking capabilities.
- Connect to a server where Hotstar is available
- Start to stream Hotstar and enjoy
Best free VPNs to stream Hotstar
NordVPN Main features
- 5,500 servers in 60 countries
- Unlimited bandwidth and data
- SmartPlay feature
- 30-days money-back guarantee
- 6 simultaneous connections
- AES 256-bit encryption
NordVPN is our top recommendation for watching Hotstar. While it is a premium service, it has a very affordable 2-year plan, and you can try it risk-free with the 30-days money-back guarantee. This makes it a perfect solution if you need a VPN for short-term use, like when traveling.
The VPN has a massive network of over 5,500 servers, including 33 in India. You can use the Quick Connect feature to identify the fastest server nearest to your location. It allows you to switch servers easily, so you can switch to another if you get blocked on a particular server.
NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature is designed to evade even the toughest geo-blocks. We tested the few available servers in India and were able to stream Hotstar on most of them. The streaming quality was high definition without buffering or lagging. It also unblocked other streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc.
This VPN has a feature-filled app for Android devices and supports other platforms such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux. It allows you to connect up to six simultaneous connections, making it a good option if you have several streaming devices.
- Affordable long-term plan
- Servers in India
- Split tunneling is not configured on the desktop client
Windscribe – Generous Free Data to Stream Hotstar
Windscribe Main features
- 10 free server locations
- 256-bit encryption
- Ad, malware, and tracking blocker
- 10GB free monthly dataAutomatic kill switch
- Zero-logs policy
Windscribe offers a higher data allowance than any other free VPN on the market. The 10GB free monthly data is enough to stream 10 hours in standard definition. While it is not much, it is enough to watch several movies. In fact, you can get extra 5GB free data for tweeting about Windscribe.
The free version gives you access to 10 server locations. Unfortunately, Indian servers are reserved for premium users but you can access Canada, the US, and the UK Hotstar libraries.
It offers some of the most reliable and consistent speeds, so you will be able to stream with minimal buffering and lag. Even though the Hotstar site took a while to load, it worked perfectly once I pressed the ‘play’ button.
Windscribe is a safe free VPN as it uses AES 256-bit encryption. It also has an inbuilt malware and tracking blocker dubbed as ROBERT to guarantee your safety while streaming. In addition, the feature eliminates annoying ads and popups to give you a seamless streaming experience. Other important features include an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and zero logs policy.
It is compatible with all major streaming devices such as Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Fortunately, it supports unlimited connections to stream with as many devices as you want, which is rare to find in free VPNs.
- Plentiful free data
- Easy-to-use app
- Effective ad blocker
- Provider based in 14-Eyes alliance country
Hide.me – Trustworthy free VPN to Stream Hotstar
Hide.me Main features
- 5 free server locations
- 2GB free monthly data
- Split tunneling
- 24/7 customer support
- AES 256-bit encryption
Hide.me is a great choice VPN to stream Hotstar as it has servers in the US and Canada. It offers 10GB free monthly data, enough for 10 hours of streaming in standard definition.
The best part is that it also unblocks other popular streaming sites like Netflix. On the downside, it only allows you to connect a single device.
The Hide.me app is highly intuitive, and we were able to unblock Hotstar US easily. If you face any issue, you can always contact the customer support through the 24/7 live chat.
Fortunately, the free version does not hold back on the security and privacy of users. You will be protected with AES 256-bit encryption, automatic kill, and zero-logs policy to keep you secure and completely anonymous.
The split tunneling feature will allow you to choose which part of your traffic to encrypt. For example, you can encrypt the Hotstar streaming traffic and other local apps on a regular connection.
- Robust security features
- Intuitive interface
- Unblocks Hotstar
- Some servers are slow
TunnelBear – User-friendly VPN to Stream Hotstar
TunnelBear Main features
- 4,000 servers in 23 countries
- 500MB free monthly data
- AES 256-bit encryption
- 5 simultaneous devices
Many of TunnelBear servers are located in countries where Hotstar is available. In fact, it has servers in India, so you access a bigger catalog and even the Indian premier league.
The downside is that the free version limits data to 500MB monthly data, which is enough for only 30 minutes of streaming in SD quality. However, you can get an additional 1GB extra data if you tweet about Tunnelbear.
It offers consistent speeds to stream movies with minimal buffering. You can connect up to 5 simultaneous connections so that you can stream Hotstar on multiple devices.
The VPN uses top-level security such as AES 256-bit encryption, network protection, and zero-logs policy. This helps to secure your traffic and data to prevent unauthorized intrusion.
- Easily unblocks Hotstar
- Reliable customer support
- Inbuilt ad blocker
- Insufficient free data
Pitfalls of using free VPNs
There are thousands of free VPNs available but are you aware of the disadvantages associated with them?
Most free VPNs are unreliable with inferior features such as limited bandwidth, throttled speeds, and few server locations. Making it worse, they expose you to many risks such as data leaks, identity theft, and phishing attacks.
At the moment, there is no free VPN that can reliably unblock streaming sites. These sites use sophisticated geo-blocks that are very difficult to bypass.
Many premium VPNs use advanced features and constantly recycle IP addresses not to be detected and blocked by streaming sites. Free VPNs don’t have enough resources to change IP addresses regularly, so they are easily blocked.
Besides unblocking geo-blocked content, a VPN is an essential tool to maintain your online security and privacy. So, it is ironic that most free VPNs inject malware disguised as ads. Since these VPNs offer free services, they rely on advertising to make money. Others embed malware in the software to gather your data to send targeted ads. So, instead of providing you security and privacy, free VPNs do the exact opposite.
Bandwidth and data limitation
Some popular free VPNs limit bandwidth and data usage to force you to upgrade to paid subscriptions. For example, Tunnelbear offers only 500mb monthly data, which is not enough to stream even a single movie.
Affect your internet speed
Whether you use a free or paid VPN, you should expect your internet speed to slow. Paid VPNs counter this issue by offering fast-speed servers. However, free VPNs can slow your speed to crawl, making it difficult to stream any content.
One of the main ways free VPNs make revenue is through advertising. The ads are not only annoying but may also contain malware or slow your internet speed. Many premium VPNs have inbuilt adblockers to give a smooth streaming experience. If the VPN does not come with it, you can check out these top ad blockers for all devices.
Best really free VPNs for Hotstar frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Why are most free VPNs unable to unblock Hotstar?
Free VPNs don’t charge for their services, so they don’t have enough resources to update their features. Streaming sites like Netflix blocks your connection if they notice that you are using a blacklisted IP address. Premium VPNs recycle their IP addresses regularly, enabling you to unblock geo-blocked content from anywhere.
What are the risks of using a free VPN to stream Hotstar?
Free VPNs are full of pitfalls that can easily compromise your online security and privacy. Some of them gather and sell users’ data without consent. Others inject malware and trackers to monitor your activities. However, paid VPNs use advanced features to keep you secure and anonymous.
Why am I getting low-quality on Hotstar when using a free VPN?
Free VPNs offer slow-speeds and limited bandwidth, which causes lagging and buffering issues when streaming. Many premium VPNs often offer super-fast speeds so you can stream anything in HD quality.
Free VPNs are tempting because you don’t have to pay for anything. However, they have a lot of restrictions that can limit your streaming experience. The best really free VPNs for Hotstar we have reviewed above are stable and secure but are only viable for short-term use. We always recommend you to use premium VPNs like NordVPN. Although you will have to subscribe, you will get advanced features, high-speed servers, and global server coverage.