Top 10 Best Free VPN
How Choose the Right Free VPN Service?
The best VPN services
Everything you need to know about VPNs and which to get
Having a VPN helps to make you more anonymous online, encrypts your internet use and lets you effectively trick your laptop or mobile device into thinking it’s in another location entirely.
And it’s the versatility of the best VPNs that have made them such a game-changing bit of kit for laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, streaming devices, smart TVs – even games consoles.
If you’re already in the know about what VPNs are and so, this is the place to discover mini reviews of the best VPNs in 2021 following our most recent round of in-depth testing…
A VPN – or Private Virtual Network – is a piece of software that you can download to your computer, phone and other devices to help you stay more private online.
By encrypting all the data that you send and receive on the internet, VPN services are the ideal tool to ensure that no prying eyes can track what you’re doing on the web.
But helping you stay more anonymous is just one of their key functions – the best VPNs let you trick your laptop or mobile device into thinking it’s in another location entirely, making them a fantastic way to unblock restricted apps and streaming services, too.
best VPN services
- ExpressVPN – best VPN service in the world
- NordVPN – the biggest name in the business
- Surfshark – easy to use VPN that’s great value
TunnelBear is a Canadian based multi-platform VPN provider that offers an excellent service with a sense of humor. It is easy to set up and works on Windows, Mac, OS, Android, and iOS.
TunnelBear’s free plan “little” provides you with 500 Megabytes of free data every month. The plan is a competitive edge as many other VPNs offer instead a 30-day money back guarantee or a limited trial period. Before we forget, tweeting about TunnelBear will earn you an extra GB.
To access their premium services, you need to upgrade to their “Giant” plan for $9.99/month or their ‘Grizzly’ plan for as little as $ 4.99/month paid yearly.
Security wise, TunnelBear does great with OpenVPN protocol, strong AES-256 bit encryption for data retention and SHA256 for data authentication.
The VPN service has servers spread across 20 different countries, including the UK, the US, Canada, Sweden, France, Brazil, Singapore, and Japan. The Australian based server is a preserve for the paid users.
CyberGhost is a great anonymizing tool that’s based in Romania. The VPNs popular free service is available on Windows, Mac, and Android. CyberGhost also supports Raspberry Pi, Linux, and Chrome OS but they require manual configuration. It’s easy to set up and has a user-friendly client.
CyberGhost is fast, reliable and offers protection against privacy invasion. The VPN can help you to browse the internet anonymously, and also spoof your location to unblock restricted websites. They have a strictly no logs policy and their base in Romania, a country with strict privacy protection laws plays well for your privacy.
With CyberGhost, you get access to over 830 servers across 29 countries. The VPN uses OpenVPN protocol, a strong 256-bit encryption for your data protection coupled with a 2048-bit RSA key for authentication. They also allow peer-to-peer file sharing.
ExpressVPN is a leading premium VPN service with a proven track record of providing high-quality service. Though not entirely a free service, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee which means that if you’re not satisfied with their service, you get your money back in seconds.
Express VPN features an elaborate, well-designed website and a user-friendly dedicated VPN client with impressive features. The VPN has blazing fast speeds and is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, Linux, and gaming consoles. Their plans begin at $8.32 per month and all come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Express VPN features an elaborate, well-designed website and a user-friendly dedicated VPN client with impressive features. The VPN has blazing fast speeds and is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, Linux, and gaming consoles. Their plans begin at $8.32 per month and all come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Express VPNs unlimited Bandwidth and ultra-fast speeds will enable you to stream your favorite TV shows and movies in high definition devoid of the annoying buffering. The VPN avails to you the option to choose from 145 VPN locations in 94 countries, which is perfect for unblocking geo-restricted content. Express VPN works with Netflix and is among the few VPNs that can bypass the Great Firewall of China.
Hide.me is an impressive VPN with good performance and strong privacy protection. The VPN is a subsidiary of the Malaysian-based Eventure Limited. It’s easy to install, configure and use. They have an active community that can prove valuable in solving any problems you encounter. Support is also fast and efficient.
The free plan offers 2GB of data which seems reasonable compared to CyberGhost’s 500MB. You are not required to add a credit card or even signup to access the free plan. It comes with limited protocol support and one simultaneous connection.
You can get more than 30 locations with unlimited bandwidth by upgrading to their Plus service at $4.99/month or the Premium plan at $9.99/month for unlimited data transfer, five simultaneous connections, and port forwarding.
SurfEasy is a free Canadian based VPN service that’s associated with the Opera software company. The VPN will help you to browse anonymously, access blocked streaming services, and bypass firewalls. The free plan (starter) offers 500MB of data transfer, but you can get more data by recommending them to your family and friends. They also allow up to five devices on their free plan and locations in 16 countries.
SurfEasy supports Windows, Mac, OSX, Android, iPhone, iPad, Amazon, Opera, and Chrome. They provide you with more than 1000 servers in 28 different countries. SurfEasy has built-in Add Tracker Blocker Algorithm that prevents annoying advertisers from following you online.
The VPN protects torrenting on their Ultra plan by hiding your information without compromising your downloading speeds. The premium plans “Total” and “Ultra” include a seven-day money back guarantee.
Hotspot Shield is a VPN service developed by AnchorFree. The VPN provides carefree web browsing, online security, and privacy. Hotspot Shield is an entry level VPN service that offers an unlimited free VPN service for everyone.
However, free users are bombarded with adverts and content restrictions. You can get rid of the annoying ads by upgrading to their Elite plan. The plan has a unique lifetime offer of $109.99, one year plan for $5.99/month, six months at $8.99/month and a one month plan for $12.99/month.
Hotspot Shield will provide you with servers in more than 80 countries around the world. However, USA is the default location, and so you will need an Elite account to switch to other servers.
What is a VPN?
Short for Virtual Private Network, VPNs are a program or app that allow you to use the internet via secure, encrypted tunnels. So for many, getting a VPN service will be all about privacy – you may want to use them to help keep your online life completely anonymous from prying eyes of your ISP (handy for keen torrenters) or even your government.
But because the best VPNs also let you change your IP address to one in a completely different city or country, these services have taken on a much wider use. VPNs are fantastic for streamers, for example, who want to have access to a whole world of shows and films, or want to watch a sporting event somewhere you ordinarily can’t.
While if you’re on holiday and find your favorite app is banned (think about some of the internet censorship in Cuba, Turkey, China – even Canada), an online VPN will let you use the internet in the way you’ve become accustomed.
Below you’ll find handy VPN reviews of all the best services on the market – with services like Netflix and states such as Russia getting increasingly aggressive against VPNs, it’s imperative to know which provider is strongest. While further down the page there’s stacks more information about the software.
How to set up a free VPN
- Go to the website of your desired VPN and click through
- Subscribe and download the VPN client for your particular platform
- Install the VPN on your device
- Run the app and select your preferred protocol
- Choose the server location that you would like to connect from
- Done! You just spoofed your location.
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Virtual private network
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
The benefits of a VPN include increases in functionality, security, and management of the private network. It provides access to resources inaccessible on the public network and is typically used for telecommuting workers. Encryption is common, although not an inherent part of a VPN connection.
A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.
The best free VPN services
Is a free VPN as good as it sounds?
A free VPN sounds like the perfect solution – complete anonymity online, unblocked streaming sites and the freedom to browse what you want without the fear of being tracked, all without spending a penny.
But is that what you can realistically expect?
It’s important to understand how a free VPN works before entrusting it with your online activity. Knowing how providers can afford to offer a free service in the first place and what sacrifices you’ll have to make in terms of functionality and privacy is essential, and will certainly factor into your decision.
You won’t be surprised to hear that no free VPN can match the very best VPN services, but for casual users they can be a useful tool to have at your disposal.
While it’s unlikely they’ll be getting you access to worldwide Netflix libraries, they can work in a pinch if you want to securely access your email on public Wi-Fi, or do a search you’d rather no one find out about.
Is a free VPN worth it?
If you’re going to get a free VPN, you need to know the facts.
Firstly, they can come with hidden costs – you might get ads injected into your browser or, even worse, end up having your data sold or your device used as an exit node for other users.
If you want the best service possible, we’d recommend signing up to a paid provider. Our top-rated VPN is ExpressVPN, but if you’re looking to save some money we’d recommend Surfshark.
For less than $2.50 a month you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, as well as in-depth features not available with free VPNs.
If you’re dead-set on testing out a free VPN, though, below we’ve rounded up the best five which manage to avoid compromising usability too much, and offer viable alternatives to paid services for casual users.
The best VPN deals can bag you a bargain on a fully functioning service
use the best VPN risk-free for 30 days
ExpressVPN is our top-rated VPN, and it’s the best service on the market. If you’re on the fence about paying, Express offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it out with no risk.
easily the best cheap VPN
If you want a world-class VPN but can’t afford to splash out, Surfshark is a great option. It unblocks all streaming sites and has great privacy features, and at just $2.49 a month, it’s great value. What’s more, it also offers a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.
security-focused VPN giant
Probably the most famous VPN on the scene, NordVPN provides a seriously secure option. It can unblock just about all streaming sites, including Netflix, and it’s not bad value, either. Plus, you’ll be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The best free VPN services you can download today
Truly secure with unlimited data – the best free VPN
We’ve tested a whole bunch of free services, and our ProtonVPN review found that none overall can match the Swiss provider’s seriously impressive feature list and performance.
First up, what sets ProtonVPN apart from the pack is the fact it delivers unlimited data – this is the only free VPN you really can set and forget without worrying about how much data you’re using.
Generous on data, and secure too
Windscribe’s premium service is excellent, and that translates over to its free VPN, too. When you sign up you’ll get the chance to bag either 2GB a month without handing over any info, or 10GB if you provide an email address – learn more in our Windscribe VPN review.
Hotspot Shield Free VPN
Decent free VPN with generous data allowances
In our Hotspot Shield review, we rate the provider’s paid VPN as one of the very best, so it should come as no surprise that the free VPN offering is good, too. Delivering good speeds (although not nearly as fast as the paid version) and a generous 500MB daily data allowance, it’s perfectly usable for keeping you private online.
TunnelBear Free VPN
Great identity protection for free
TunnelBear is owned by none other than security giant McAfee, and with that comes some serious infrastructure and investment – this is no cottage-industry free VPN.
Super secure speed
Speedify, as the name suggests, is a VPN that offers great connection performance across more than 1,000 servers in over 50 countries – and it does so without scrimping on security. You can enjoy a fully encrypted security system while the software’s turbo-boosting technology is able to make sure speeds stay at their maximum possible performance throughout your connection time, and in our Speedify review it delivered speeds of over 400Mbps.
Free VPN FAQs
Who are free VPNs best for?
Even the best free VPN services are only good for occasional use, such as when traveling or in a café. They simply don’t provide enough data usage or speed for 24/7 home VPN connections. If you want to encrypt all your home internet traffic, all the time, you should pay for one of the best VPN services – our top pick is ExpressVPN.
How does a free VPN work?
Free VPN services encrypt your data while it’s in transit, creating a virtual tunnel through the internet. This separates your data packets from the countless others around them until they reach the service’s exit nodes many miles away from where you are.
Not only is the data encrypted, as it would be during a normal secure web session, but the routing information about the sender and intended recipient is hidden as well.
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Why and how to set up a VPN on your iPhone or Android
If security and privacy are important to you, then you need to set up a mobile VPN. This Essential Guide shows you how.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, routes all of your internet activity through a secure, encrypted connection, which prevents others from seeing what you’re doing online and from where you’re doing it. Basically a VPN provides an extra layer of security and privacy for all of your online activities. Want to learn more about VPNs in general?
Why do you need a VPN on your iPhone or Android?
The number one reason to get a mobile VPN on your Android or iPhone is to ensure that you have a secure internet connection. How many times have you walked into a coffee shop and logged in to their free Wi-Fi using your phone?
Perhaps your cell signal was weak, or maybe you just didn’t want to use up data in your mobile plan. The problem is, public Wi-Fi hotspots are not secure, even those that require you to input a password — hey, if you can get the password, so can everyone else. That means any knowledgeable hacker can access any data being sent over that connection, including yours. Setting up a secure VPN on your mobile device ensures that, no matter how you connect to the internet, the information you send will be secure.
Another benefit to a mobile VPN is the ability to enjoy open, unblocked access to content. If you’re traveling abroad with your iPhone, Android, or tablet, you may not be able to access social media sites like Facebook and Instagram or access certain news sites due to censorship issues. Plus, subscription-based video services that you pay for may not be accessible in all areas. Sometimes, with a mobile VPN you can get around location blocks by selecting a U.S. or other “home” server.
What to look for when choosing a VPN provider
Okay, now that we’ve convinced you that a VPN on your iPhone or Android is a good idea, you need to pick a VPN provider. Do a quick internet search, and you’ll realize that there’s no shortage of options — some are free, and some have monthly service charges. While using a free mobile VPN may be tempting, they usually have some limits which can frustrate you. But free mobile VPNs are a good way to try a VPN service in order to select which one you want to buy.
Is it worth using a Netflix VPN?
Globally, adoption of virtual private networks is growing massively. One of the things that makes these applications so popular is that they enable users to improve the online streaming experience vastly. In particular, a lot of people use some of the best VPNs for unblocking Netflix. But what are the pros and cons of doing this? We find out.
Dodging geo restrictions
While Netflix is available in more than 190 countries across the world, there are many places where it can’t be accessed or where certain content is blocked as a result of strict geo restriction laws. In fact, the streaming platform is currently banned in China, Crimea, North Korea and Syria, and due to US government restrictions, it’s unlikely it’ll launch in these countries anytime soon.
If you live in or are travelling to a country where there are geo restrictions in place and want to access Netflix, downloading a VPN is an excellent idea. By connecting to a VPN server in a country where Netflix is available, you’ll be able to dodge geo restrictions and use the service without any issues.
Accessing more TV shows and movies
Even in countries where Netflix can be accessed, you can still be affected by geo restrictions. New movie and TV show releases aren’t always available worldwide; sometimes they can only be watched in a select few countries.
However, you can easily solve this problem with a VPN – all you need to do is connect to a server in a country where the movie or TV show you want to watch has been released. Effectively, these services will give you an even bigger election of movies and TV shows that you can watch on Netflix.
Disadvantages of a VPN
A VPN might seem like the perfect solution to many online privacy problems. After all, it hides your IP address, encrypts your data, and unblocks geographically restricted content. In short, it provides you with safety, anonymity, and freedom.
Why shouldn’t you use a VPN?
Well, everything has its disadvantages, and you should know all of the pros and cons associated with a piece of software before using it. Below, you can read about the disadvantages of a VPN, as well as the shocking difference between free and paid VPNs.
The Pros and Cons of VPNs
Before we dive into the disadvantages of a VPN, you should know that there are many advantages too. In our opinion, the advantages of VPNs far outweigh the disadvantages, as many of the drawbacks are easily canceled out by choosing the right VPN provider.
For example, while some websites block VPNs, some VPNs can easily get around these blocks. CyberGhost is ideal for accessing Netflix in America, for example, even though Netflix participates in actively blocking certain VPNs. Additionally, some VPNs still log your data even when they say that they won’t, but ExpressVPN and NordVPN have a truly zero-logging policy.
Finally, while using a VPN can lead to a slight reduction in your connection speed, this change is usually unnoticeable when you’ve picked a good VPN.
Below, you can find more information about each of the possible drawbacks of a VPN. We explain why you might experience a decrease in speed and how a VPN can cause you to get blocked. Additionally, you can read about the legality of a VPN in different countries.
- 1. A VPN may decrease your speed
- 2. You risk being blocked by certain services
- 3. A VPN isn’t legal in all countries
- 4. It’s difficult for consumers to check the quality of encryption
- 5. The logging and potential resale of your internet habits to
- third parties
- 6. You may experience connection breaks
- 7. An unwarranted sense of online impunity
- 8. Free VPNs: sometimes worse than none at all
What are the Advantages of a VPN?
While some of the disadvantages above might have given you cause for concern, the truth is that there are more pros than cons to using a VPN.
For example, you can access blocked websites in your region, increase your anonymity online, and protect your data with encryption.
What’s more, most of the disadvantages of a VPN are cancelled out when you choose a fast, reliable, and trustworthy provider.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN
for example, do not capture any logs, are lightning fast, and offer excellent speeds across thousands of servers.
Essentially, VPNs are the perfect tool for increasing your personal freedom, privacy, and security online. For more information, check out this full article on the advantages of using a VPN.
What is the Best VPN?
If you’re simply looking for a high-quality VPN and want to avoid many of the potential disadvantages, it’s worth investing in a VPN service like ExpressVPN. It’s not the cheapest provider, but you get a great service and excellent customer support in return.
That’s why it’s our preferred VPN right now.
What’s more, if you’re not completely sold on its benefits in the first 30 days, there’s a reliable money-back guarantee. If you want to download ExpressVPN, simply head over to their official website and follow the simple steps below to download their software:
If you’re interested in seeing some other highly-praised VPNs, check out our up-to-date list of the best VPNs. You’ll also find a quick-reference guide on how to download a VPN in 3 easy steps right here.
Alternatively, to weigh up the pros and cons of each VPN provider, read some of our reviews on the best VPN providers. We’ve done all the legwork for you so you can quickly and easily see the advantages and disadvantages of each VPN.
Final Thoughts on the Disadvantages of a VPN
The main disadvantages of a VPN can be frustrating to deal with, but they don’t necessarily affect most users. The truth is, most problems are encountered when using free or bad quality VPN services.
For example, while VPNs can result in slower connections, it’s possible that your connection speed could increase after connecting to a VPN provider. This can happen when your ISP throttles – slows down – your connection due to overuse.
However, as a VPN service encrypts your data and masks your IP address, you’re far less likely to be affected. In this scenario, your connection is both safer and faster.
How does a virtual private network (VPN) work?
A VPN extends a corporate network through encrypted connections made over the Internet. Because the traffic is encrypted between the device and the network, traffic remains private as it travels. An employee can work outside the office and still securely connect to the corporate network. Even smartphones and tablets can connect through a VPN.
What is secure remote access?
Secure remote access provides a safe, secure way to connect users and devices remotely to a corporate network. It includes VPN technology that uses strong ways to authenticate the user or device. VPN technology is available to check whether a device meets certain requirements, also called a device’s posture, before it is allowed to connect remotely.
Is VPN traffic encrypted?
Yes, traffic on the virtual network is sent securely by establishing an encrypted connection across the Internet known as a tunnel.
VPN traffic from a device such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone is encrypted as it travels through this tunnel. Offsite employees can then use the virtual network to access the corporate network.
What you need to know about the basics of virtual private networks
VPNs seem complicated, but we’ll walk you through the basics of what protections they do (and don’t) offer.
How much does a VPN cost?
That depends on how long you’re willing to commit to one VPN provider. The longer you commit, the more money you can save in the long run. Many VPN providers these days offer yearly plans, two-year plans, three-year plans, or even lifetime subscription plans. However, given the volatility of the VPN market, we do not recommend purchasing a plan that spans more than two years. If you end up going with a yearly or multiyear plan, you could be paying what works out to about $2 to $10 a month, depending on the provider. If you choose a monthly plan, you’re probably going to be looking at about $10 to $15 a month. Go with whatever suits your particular needs and budget best, but remember that more expensive doesn’t necessarily equate to higher quality.
How does a VPN work?
When you connect to a VPN through its app or desktop software, your VPN encrypts your internet connection. As your traffic passes back and forth through that encrypted connection — traveling the virtual tunnel between your device and the server you selected — your online activity and your IP address are effectively masked from outside entities.
Are VPNs legal to use?
In the vast majority of countries around the world, VPNs are perfectly legal to use. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking steps to protect your privacy online, and you shouldn’t have to worry that using a VPN for privacy will get you in any kind of legal trouble. That said, there are countries where VPNs are banned and/or illegal. If you’re using a VPN in a country like China, Iran, Oman, Russia, Turkmenistan, the UAE or Belarus (to name a few), then you may find yourself in legal trouble if you’re caught using a VPN. The irony, however, is that these are the kinds of places that restrict access to certain apps and platforms, which can therefore only be accessed via VPNs. As a result, in those locations, only VPNs that provide obfuscated servers can safely protect your online data by disguising your VPN traffic as ordinary HTTPS traffic.
Will a VPN make me totally anonymous online?
No. And don’t let any VPN company try to convince you otherwise. Complete anonymity via VPN is a common misconception that only breeds a false sense of security. It’s virtually impossible to achieve absolute anonymity online, but that doesn’t stop many VPN providers from trumpeting misleading claims about keeping users anonymous. A VPN is an excellent tool for protecting your online privacy by encrypting the data you transmit through the tunnel, but it won’t be able to make you 100% anonymous online. The digital footprint you create as you use the internet is next to impossible to completely cover up.
Can I get hacked while using a VPN?
Yes. Even though you’re using a VPN for online security and digital privacy, you still need to follow basic security best practices when you use the internet. If you click on a phishing link or download a shady email attachment, you may be supplying your sensitive personal data or giving full access to your device directly to a hacker whether you’re using a VPN or not.
Will a VPN speed up my internet connection?
Generally, no, unless your ISP is deliberately throttling your connection.
The process of encrypting your data coupled with routing your traffic through a remote server — which may or may not be an ocean away — will take some time, and will result in a slowdown in your connection speeds. This is a normal and unavoidable consequence of using a VPN. If you’re using a quality VPN that offers fast connection speeds, however, your speed loss will be barely noticeable.
Can I use a VPN on my phone?
Yes. Basically any VPN provider worth its salt will offer a user-friendly mobile app that you can download to your phone whether you’re running Android or iOS. Although it’s not as objectively secure as the OpenVPN protocol, we’d recommend using the IKEv2 protocol when running a VPN on your phone whenever possible because the protocol is fast, secure and reliable, and it will stay connected even if you switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data. That last point is what makes IKEv2 really an ideal protocol for mobile devices. The top VPN providers on the market today all offer support for the IKEv2 protocol, so you should have no issues connecting via the protocol when using a VPN on your phone.
Critical VPN users
If you have critically heightened privacy needs — whether in the US or a country with internet censorship blockades — you should prioritize security and privacy when choosing a VPN.
- If you want to evade internet censorship, you should use a VPN.
- If you want to bypass firewalls at work or school, or those imposed by the government of the country you’re in, you should use a VPN.
- If you want to access communication tools like Skype,
- Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Viber and Zoom from countries with repressive regimes, you should use a VPN.
- If you’re in a country during any period of political or social unrest when access to these vital communication tools is suspended or restricted, you should use a VPN.
- If you’re traveling and connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, you should use a VPN.
Top 6 Truly Free VPN Providers
Be Careful with Free VPN Services
You always need to be somewhat wary of ‘free’ products and services — and VPNs are no exception. Although some free VPNs will do their job very well, not all of them will be able to compete with paid VPNs.
Many VPN services claim to be free but still take something from you, even if it isn’t money. For example, some free VPNs, such as Hola, sell your data connection to other customers. Other free providers even monitor the websites you visit so they can sell this data to marketing agencies.
In other words, you might think your online life is protected by these free VPNs, but your privacy is actually being compromised even more.
Worth considering: Free trial with a premium VPN for 30 days
Free VPNs generally come with certain limitations. Premium paid VPNs, on the other hand, are more secure and offer more options, such as unlimited data, unlimited speeds, proper customer support, and access to streaming services from all over the world.
If you want to try a premium service for free, there’s a strong up-and-comer we wholeheartedly recommend: Surfshark. For only $2.49 per month, you get all the advantages of a premium VPN. The free trial comes in the form of a 30-day money-back guarantee. Within those first 30 days, you can get your money back without any problems.
If you want to know how you can use the Surfshark money-back guarantee to your advantage, you can check out this Surfshark free trial guide. Or find out more about trial periods with all the biggest VPN providers.
If a free VPN is really what you are looking for, there are a few reliable options. You might run into data limits or speed caps, but the free VPN providers in the list below are generally recommendable and are completely free.
You don’t have to provide your payment information or make use of a money-back guarantee. Free really is free with these VPN providers.
Comparison Table of the Best Free VPNs
What is the Best Free VPN?
After extensive testing, we conclude that PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN service of 2021.
Other good free VPN providers are ProtonVPN, Hide.me, TunnelBear, Windscribe, and ZoogVPN, with each option having its own unique advantages and features.
Our top list of free VPNs can be summarized as follows:
- PrivadoVPN: Best free VPN for Windows and Mac users
- ProtonVPN: Best free VPN with unlimited data
- Hide.me: Best free VPN in terms of customer support
- Tunnelbear: Best free VPN if you’re looking for many server locations
- Windscribe: Best free VPN for fast connection speeds
- ZoogVPN: Best free VPN for FireTV
Picking the best free VPN for you
Free VPNs often have a combination of different limiting factors regarding data, internet speeds, and server availability. In everyday practice, this doesn’t necessarily pose a problem. Which provider you pick is mainly a matter of personal preference.
Do you intend to use the VPN for streaming? Then it’s important to have reliable speed and a large amount of data available. Note that, when it comes to streaming, paid VPN services usually perform better because of their higher speeds and lack of data caps.
Regardless of your purpose for the VPN, you should try to find a free VPN service that has servers in your country and no speed cap. This can be difficult given the limited number of server locations most free VPNs offer, but it’s not impossible.
Verdict on PrivadoVPN
PrivadoVPN is, at this moment, our editor’s choice for the best free VPN. It has a beautiful app; it works intuitively; and it’s fast and user-friendly. A refreshing new player and one to keep an eye on.
Paid VPN vs. Free VPN
Very few VPNs offer a truly free option. Instead, many companies offer time-limited trials or money-back guarantees. The VPNs listed in the table above, however, offer totally free subscription levels.
They aren’t the only ones, but they are the best we’ve reviewed so far.
The Best Black Friday VPN Deals This Week
- NordVPN — $79 for 2-Year Plan – Save 72% this Black Friday (List Price $286.80)
- Surfshark VPN — $59.76 for 2-Year Plan + 3-Months Free (List Price $349.65)
- IPVanish VPN — $38.38 for 1 Year Plan (List Price $89.99)
Private Internet Access VPN — $79 for 3 Year Plan + 3-Months Free (List Price $466.05)
- TunnelBear VPN — $120 for 3-Year Plan (List Price $359.64)
Norton Secure VPN — $39.99 Per Year for 5 Devices (List Price $79.99)
That said, every VPN listed does put some restrictions on its free version. Some services limit the amount of bandwidth you can use in a given period. Some keep the number of simultaneous connections low, generally to one or two. Some restrict you to certain servers, meaning you can’t jump to a better-performing server or easily spoof your location—more on this below. Tunnelbear VPN is a noteworthy exception, allowing free users to access all its servers.
How Choose the Right Free VPN Service
There is plenty of variation even among free VPN services, so it’s a good idea to try a few and figure out which one you like best. A great VPN service should be easy to use and understand, and shouldn’t throw up too many barriers, even when you’re using a free subscription. We highly recommend trying a few services out until you find the one that works for you, especially before you take the plunge and pay for a VPN.