Popular free VPN used by millions shuts today due to 'insurmountable challenges', here's what you need to do

an illustration of a laptop, desktop PC, and smartphones running the atlas VPN software on-screen

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Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 24/04/2024

- 17:50

Updated: 24/04/2024

- 17:52

Atlas VPN no longer exists, with millions pushed to an alternative provider

  • Atlas VPN, known for its generous free VPN plan, has shutdown
  • 6 million paid subscribers will be transferred to NordVPN
  • Free VPN users will not be switched to NordVPN automatically
  • Check our guide to the best VPN deals for cheap alternatives

Atlas VPN has shuttered its operation, with millions no longer able to access its service from April 24. Paid subscribers will be automatically transferred to NordVPN for the remaining duration of their subscription — that's one of the best VPN deals around as NordVPN would typically cost more than an Atlas VPN plan.

If you subscribed to a premium plan with Atlas VPN, you should've already received instructions on how to set-up a password for your NordVPN account. You'll be able to use all NordVPN features for the remainder of your subscription period with Atlas. NordVPN offers apps for all of the same platforms as Atlas, including Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad, Fire TV Stick, and dozens more.

a screenshot from the atlas vpn website showing its explanation for why it offers a free vpn

Atlas VPN didn't limit download speeds for its free subscribers, a tactic usually employed by VPN providers to push users to unlimited paid plans


"Minimal data necessary to set up your subscription with NordVPN will be transferred securely. This includes your subscription length and the email address you used to register your account," the firm has reassured concerned subscribers in a blog post about the shutdown.

Atlas VPN boasted 6 million subscribers when it decided to shutter its operation.

Dark Web leak could make all of your passwords POINTLESSThe security company says the decision to shut down its VPN service "was not made lightly" and "stems from a comprehensive assessment of the evolving cybersecurity landscape and our place in it." In a blog post, the VPN provider added that "despite our best efforts and the incredible support of our users, we've encountered insurmountable challenges.

"These include rapidly advancing technological demands, a highly competitive market, and the escalating costs of providing top-tier services. These factors have led us to conclude that continuing to operate Atlas VPN is not sustainable in the long term."


While Atlas VPN charged users for a number of advanced features, it was widely known for offering one of the best free VPN plans on the market. The company would allow users on Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS to access three VPN server locations dotted across the globe (United States of America, Singapore, and Amsterdam) from an unlimited number of devices, and no speed restrictions.

The latter is a key difference between Atlas VPN and some of its closest rivals, which aim to drive up paid subscriptions by limiting download speed and placing data limits on free VPN plans — forcing those who want to use a VPN for streaming or a VPN for Warzone and other popular online games to pay a monthly subscription.

Those who relied on the free VPN plan from Atlas VPN will not be automatically transferred to a subscription with NordVPN. Instead, the company says: "The users of Atlas VPN's free service are invited to try NordVPN with attractive discounts."

Atlas VPN was acquired by Nord Security — the parent company behind NordVPN, NordPass – a popular password manager, NordLocker cloud storage — back in 2021, with reassurances that it would continue to operate independently as a business. With the "insurmountable challenges" proving too much for the team at Atlas VPN, that will no longer be the case.

If you're coming to the end of your subscription and want to find other cheap VPN offers, we've rounded up the best VPN deals available today in an in-depth guide.

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