5 Best Free VPNs With Port Forwarding

Best VPNs With Port Forwarding
Written by: Per-Erik Eriksson

Port forwarding, or port mapping, means allowing your device to connect directly to other private or public computers or services by letting data bypass the router’s NAT firewall and directing that data straight to your device.

A router’s NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall is a security tool that protects your device from the wider net. Its function is to compare the information sent out from your device to the data returning to it and to reject all the data that do not match your request. That way, your router’s NAT firewall protects your device from being attacked by malicious internet traffic.

Port forwarding is potentially dangerous because it allows the data to bypass the router’s NAT firewall. As a result, some VPN companies like NordVPN, Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN do not provide this type of service because it jeopardizes what they are essentially about: security.

In case you don't want to read the entire article, here’s a quick summary of the best VPN services according to our independent tests and research:
  • NordVPN Best VPN for general work and entertainment purposes. I found it to be reliable, high-speed, and easy to set up, and it's one that I use daily for work.
  • ProtonVPN (Free Version) Proton is often referred to as the single most trustworthy company in the VPN business. They focus on security over anything else and offer the best free VPN available. This is the company behind ProtonMail.
  • CyberGhost VPN was voted as the best gaming VPN for 2023 and is one of the cheapest VPN services among the whole top 10.

VPN with Port Forwarding

NordVPN Logo

6 simultaneous devices.

  • Fastest VPN 2023
  • Servers: 5300+
  • Countries: 60+

WHY I LIKE NORDVPN NordVPN has long been regarded as one of the strongest brands in cybersecurity. With one of the largest server offerings on my list and support for most, if not all operating systems, making NordVPN an obvious choice for many. They have 24/7 customer support if you need help getting started. Their app is one of the most well-designed apps I have ever used. NordVPN even accepts cryptocurrencies as payment for extra anonymity.

Surfshark logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Best Cheap VPN 2023
  • Servers: 3200+
  • Countries: 65+

WHY I LIKE SURFSHARK: Surfshark VPN is perfect for those who want a cheap and reliable VPN that also has many extra features. "Camouflage Mode" hides your usage from your ISP, "Kill Switch" suspends your connection and protects your information if you temporarily lose Internet access, "MultiHop" to connect from multiple countries at the same time just to name a few. My favorite feature of Surfshark is "Whitelists" which allow the user to exclude specific apps and programs from the VPN connection.

Cyberghost VPN Logo

7 simultaneous devices.

  • Best Torrent VPN
  • Servers: 7400+
  • Countries: 91+

WHY I LIKE CYBERGHOST CyberGhost VPN is the first choice of many other cybersecurity experts, and the reason is clear; they have the most complete VPN service. An incredible number of extra features that are best suited for the more advanced users but also work flawlessly for every-day purposes like P2P-filesharing. Cyberghost VPN also has the longest stretching money-back guarantee at a full 45 days.

Private Internet Access VPN Logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Best Netflix/Streaming VPN
  • Servers: 35500+
  • Countries: 84+

WHY I LIKE PIA VPN: PrivateInternetAccess is at the top of my streaming tests, which is a great combination with their easy-to-use UI, Open-Source software and built in adblocker. PIA is also perfect for those who want to be able to pay with PayPal which for some reason, many other VPN services do not support. 30-day money-back guarantee, multiple Netflix libraries, and extremely affordable are the three main selling points for this VPN service.

Atlas VPN Logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Robust/Security focused
  • Servers: 750+
  • Countries: 43+

WHY I LIKE ATLAS VPN: Atlas VPN is one of the best new free VPN services. With the free version, you get unlimited data, no ads and zero logging. During my speed tests, Atlas VPN performed very well and could compete with mainstream services. Kill Switch, Ad-blocker, and P2P support all included with a regular subscription, which is incredibly cheap for such a robust service.

ProtonVPN Logo

10 simultaneous devices.

  • Best Free VPN 2023
  • Servers: 1713+
  • Countries: 63+

WHY I LIKE PROTONVPN: ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland and is most known for their e-mail service ProtonMail. They currently offer the safest free VPN services on the market. There is also support for TOR usage and P2P file sharing. I highly recommend ProtonVPN if you are intending to do some extensive online sharing. It goes without saying that Proton does not collect logs of any kind and is completely safe to use.

PrivateVPN Logo

10 simultaneous devices.

  • Best VPN for Gaming and Streaming
  • Servers: 200+
  • Countries: 63+

WHY I LIKE PRIVATEVPN: PrivateVPN is the strong underdog in the world of VPNs. With a shy number of servers, it is evident that they are focusing on quality over quantity. Overall, PrivateVPN is a very decent choice of VPN, especially if you had enough of the excessive advertising by some of the other more known brands in this list. Setting up the VPN requires extremely little intervention, and you can even pay with Bitcoin.

ExpressVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best Mobile VPN app
  • Servers: 3000+
  • Countries: 94+
Orchid VPN Logo
One-time fee.


  • Pay for that you use
  • Unlimited devices
  • Pay in Crypto
Hotspot Shield VPN Logo

45 day money-back guarantee.

  • Fastest free VPN
  • Servers: 3200+
  • Countries: 80+
ZoogVPN Logo

7 day money-back guarantee.

  • Great free VPN
  • Servers: 1000+
  • Countries: 26+

10 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best reputation
  • Servers: 91+
  • Countries: 17+
Trust.Zone Logo

No money-back guarantee.

  • Best new VPN
  • Servers: 202+
  • Countries: 41+
iTop VPN Logo

15 day money-back guarantee.

  • Great adblocker included
  • Servers: 1800+
  • Countries: 20+
Speedify Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices simultaneously
  • Unlimited usage
  • 50+ locations
HideIPVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Unlimited traffic
  • Up to 1 Gbps
  • Free trial
VeePN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 10 devices
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Countries: 60+
HideMy.name Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices
  • Free trial
  • Countries: 45+
UTunnel.io Logo
$5.00 /user

14 day free trial/money-back guarantee.

  • Simple Cloud VPN Setup
  • Site-to-site VPN Tunneling
  • Easy Server & User Management
BullVPN Logo

No money-back guarantee.

  • 2 devices
  • Countries: 28+
  • Locations: 100+
SymlexVPN Logo

7 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices
  • Locations: 65+
  • 24/7 live support
iProVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 10 devices
  • Countries: 20+
  • P2P Optimization
SecureVPN Logo

Basic, advanced, and pro plans.

  • Countries: 22+
  • Locations: 36+
  • 24/7 live support
Hola VPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best multi-device VPN
  • Servers: 1000+
  • Countries: 200+

Why Is Port Forwarding Useful?

Port forwarding is often used when people want to connect to their home network through a remote device. This way, you can access your baby monitor or home computer when away from home.

VPN port forwarding is also used to increase download speed or establish a direct connection with a gaming server or a torrent client.

What Are the Best VPNs With Port Forwarding?

Private Internet Access VPN (PIA VPN)

This is a very affordable VPN with solid safety features and top encryption (AES-128 or AES-256). While its default encryption is AES-128, which provides better speed, subscribers can also choose AES-256 when they need better protection. In addition, PIA VPN uses OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols has a kill switch and PIA MACE, a feature that blocks ads and malware.

PIA VPN’s port forwarding feature is limited to one randomly assigned port number per connection. Therefore, you cannot manually choose a port number or have several port forwards simultaneously.

Advantages of Private Internet Access VPNDisadvantages of Private Internet Access VPN
10 simultaneous connectionsInconsistent speeds
Strict no-logging policyFew additional safety features
30-day money-back guarantee 
RAM-only servers 


ExpressVPN is one of the most respectable global VPN providers. Though the provider does not allow port forwarding on apps, you can easily activate it on your router. One benefit of using the VPN on your router is that it provides protection on an unlimited number of devices. In contrast, regular ExpressVPN only allows up to five simultaneous connections.

ExpressVPN uses military-grade encryption (AES-256-bit) and offers a variety of safety features such as the kill switch, private DNS server, TrustedServer technology, split tunneling, etc.

Advantages of ExpressVPNDisadvantages of ExpressVPN
Detailed instructions on opening portsPort forwarding only on the router
P2P on all serversExpensive
Large server network 
Outstanding safety features 


Proton VPN is a Switzerland-based VPN provider with nearly two thousand servers in 64 countries. It provides solid speeds, unlimited bandwidth, the most secure protocols available (OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard), and perfect forward secrecy, frequently changing the keys used to encrypt and decrypt data.

Even though ProtonVPN has a free plan, port forwarding is only available to paid users.

Advantages of ProtonVPNDisadvantages of ProtonVPN
Swiss jurisdictionRelatively expensive
Kill Switch, DNS leak protection, Tor over VPNE-mail customer service
Open-source apps 
Free plan 


AtlasVPN uses AES-256 encryption and IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols. It has over 750 servers in 44 locations and allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

The provider also has the kill switch and several useful features, such as SafeSwap, allowing you to access the Internet from several IP addresses, and MultiHop+, which enables tunneling through multiple rotating VPN servers. Split tunneling and a private DNS are also available.

Advantages of AtlasVPNDisadvantages of AtlasVPN
Safe and reliableSmaller server network
No data capsBased in the USA (New York)
Good torrenting speeds 
One of the best freemium VPN providers 


PrivateVPN is a Swedish VPN provider that has been around since 2009. It uses the most reliable encryption (AES-256), has a kill switch and offers a variety of protocols: OpenVPN, UDP, TCP, L2TP, IPSec, and PPTP. In addition, it features Stealth VPN, a hiding system that hides your traffic from your ISP and other third parties.

PrivateVPN’s server network consists of about 200 servers. Port forwarding is possible through random port numbers.

Advantages of PrivateVPNDisadvantages of PrivateVPN
Solid speeds and unblocking abilitySmall server network
Affordable plansLive chat support is not available
30-day money-back guarantee 

How to Choose a VPN for Port Forwarding?

Because port forwarding can be dangerous, many VPN providers allow limited service, so double-check your VPN’s offer. Also, choose a VPN that gives clear instructions on how to enable port forwarding.

Opt for a VPN with strong encryption (preferably AES), the most secure tunneling protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2), and a strict no-logging policy.

Good speeds and unblocking ability are also a must, and an extensive server network will surely help avoid slower speeds due to server congestion. 

Choose a provider which supports torrenting and allows as many simultaneous connections as possible.

In conclusion

Port forwarding is not the safest online practice. Despite this, many users like to experiment with it because of its benefits. They include increased downloading speed, the possibility of establishing a direct connection with gaming servers, and accessing one’s home device remotely.

All our top VPN choices allow port forwarding in some form. They have excellent safety features to protect you whenever you are online. 


How can I enable port forwarding?

Port forwarding service varies from provider to provider, so it is important to follow your provider’s guidelines on enabling port forwarding on your device.

Will port forwarding improve my torrenting speed?

Yes. Port forwarding is very useful for improving torrenting speed and seeding.

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