Technology is an essential part of our life, and we pretty much cannot live without it. We spend so many hours on our laptops and phones, and often our work itself depends on having access to the Internet. A virtual private network gives us the privacy we may need while surfing the web. However, this service is nowadays so sought-after that VPN providers tend to want a fortune to use it.
Moreover, it is challenging to find a VPN that is fast and safe enough to use. Most of the services offered by VPN providers are just too slow and can even cause your computer to crash. That’s why we decided to conduct research and gather the best providers of VPN services that are not only free but also reliable!
What is a VPN?
A VPN (a virtual private network) is a way to get ‘online freedom’ and access your favorite apps and websites wherever you are. It uses a public internet connection to create a private network and mask your IP address. This means that your online actions will be virtually untraceable.
VPNs establish encrypted connections that are super safe and give you great privacy. In fact, VPN services are even safer than secured Wi-Fi hotspots. VPNs basically create a data tunnel between the network you are currently using and an exit node in a different place. This place can be thousands of miles away, and a VPN will make it look as if you are there.
Do I need a VPN
All of the benefits VPNs bring give you the ability to access any website and app no matter your location. This equals the online freedom that we all want. VPN services should be used by everyone concerned about their privacy and online security.
Imagine being on vacation in a different country and using the internet. Unless you log into a private Wi-Fi network that is accessed only with a password, all of your data and private information will be exposed. A VPN allows you to surf the web using an unsecured Wi-Fi network while still protecting your private information.
Moreover, with a high-quality VPN, you can access websites that are available only in some specific regions. Let’s say you are in California. A VPN would allow you to access a website available only in the UK, keeping your web browsing anonymous. The encryption that VPN services provide helps you protect your online activities: purchasing items online, paying your bills, sending emails, etc.
Is there a completely free VPN
Unfortunately, there isn’t a VPN service for free that offers the whole package of reliability, speed, security, and unlimited usage. To take advantage of all those things, you will need to sign up for a low-cost premium paid VPN.
Still, there are some free virtual private networks out there that are definitely worth the try! Some of them are actually free for one month, others are completely free VPN services but do not offer the speed required, and others are easy-to-use free VPN services that offer just a couple of server locations.
To help you make up your mind and find the best free virtual private network for you, we tested more than 20 free VPN services and gathered the best ones in this article. All of them are safe to use, and even though you may have to make a few compromises, we are positive you will be pleased with them all.
You Are in a Hurry? Here Are the Best Free VPNs
Before we take a deeper look at each free VPN, we want to give you a list of the TOP 5 names we are about to discuss:
- Proton VPN
- Hotspot Shield
As you can see, NordVPN holds the number one spot in our list of the best free VPN services. It offers a secure connection, high-end features, good speed, and unlimited bandwidth! Keep in mind, though, that you can use it for free only during the first 30 days, so if you plan on using your VPN free services longer, check our other suggestions!
What is the Best Free VPN
After we tested the leading free VPNs on the market, we are ready to show you our discoveries and thoughts. Aside from the top 5 names we already discussed briefly, we will give you five additional free VPNs that we also liked. Let’s get started!
NordVPN – The Best VPN with 30-day Money-back Guarantee
NordVPN always thinks about their clients. That’s why they often have special offers in-store like the Christmas deal they are currently advertising- 68% off the usual price + 3 free months. This special deal is a 2-year plan that will cost you $89 for the first two years or $3.71 per month. The important part, though, is the fact that you’ll get 3 months during which you will be able to use this VPN for free.
With NordVPN, you will not only protect your data, but you will also get secure access to apps, content, and websites in other countries and even continents. Here are some of the great VPN features NordVN has:
- More than 5400 servers in about 60 server locations;
- One account allows you to use several devices;
- Super-fast connection;
- No bandwidth throttling;
- You can mask your IP;
- Offers extensions to Firefox and Chrome;
- It works with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and more.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
As you already noticed, NordVPN is not exactly a free VPN. However, if you take advantage of the offer we mentioned, you will get 3 months that will be completely free! Moreover, this VPN has a thirty-day money-back guarantee, which means that you can use all of NordVPN’s plans for a whole month risk-free. We tested the guarantee ourselves, and there is no catch!
The normal price NordVPN has is $4.92 per month for one year, which is relatively low compared to other paid VPN services. Even though there is no free version, as soon as the first month expires, you can cancel your subscription! NordVPN is the best free VPN for one month in terms of offered features.
Aside from excellent speed, plenty of server locations, and strict no-logs policies, you will also get your personal IP, the chance to share large files with no hassle, double protection, and browser extensions. We mean, come on…NordVPN even works in China; how cool is that!
You will also be able to stream your favorite shows wherever you are and turn on CyberSec to block annoying ads and avoid malware-hosting sites. In addition, the VPN provider offers other useful features such as Onion Over VPN and torrenting support with P2P servers.
Windscribe- The Best Free VPN in Terms of Network Servers
The thing that impressed us the most about Windscribe was the large network it offered. Windscribe is currently holding servers in more than 60 countries and over 100 cities worldwide. To access all of them, you will need to subscribe to the paid version, but still, even the free VPN service offers a wide variety of server locations.
This is the best free VPN for beginners who have not used VPN services before because it is easy to use and straightforward. Windscribe is also probably the best free VPN when it comes to strong encryption. It uses AES-256 cipher with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA512 auth.
Unlike NordVPN, Windscribe is a completely free VPN, unless, of course, you decide to upgrade to their PRO features and get unlimited data, unlock all of the locations, and blocks ads, trackers, and malware.
- There is a free plan;
- You can add it to your browser;
- Available for Linux, Windows, Mac;
- You can download it on your phone (android, iOS) or even use it on your TV;
- With the free plan, you get 10 locations only;
- You can turn your computer into a secure Wifi router;
- Flexible connectivity.
Windscribe definitely has a generous data allowance. You can calmly stream in high-definition for more than 3 hours, and if you tweet the company, you can get an extra 5 GB. How cool is that? But that is not everything regarding data allowance, though.
If you invite a friend to join Windscribe, this VPN provider will give you 1 GB of data every month for each user you refer. Besides, if that friend of yours signs up for a Pro account, you will get that same Pro account for free. No wonder that this VPN is second on our list, huh?
Windscribe pays great attention to security as well. The VPN provider offers robust AES encryption and even an ad and malware blocker. In fact, both the free VPN accounts and the paid VPN accounts have access to this feature, as well as to the firewall that blocks all traffic outside the secure tunnel of the VPN.
Just like NordVPN, Windscribe has a no-logs policy that protects your privacy. Additional VPN features are split tunneling and forwarding. The desktop app and browser extension are also great touches. Another thing we love about the program is the user-friendly interface of its free version. And, if you need any help, you can always use Windscribe’s set up guides and live chat option available 24/ 7.
Proton VPN- Best Free VPN For People Who Want Excellent Security
Unlike most free VPN services, ProtonVPN focuses mainly on security and safety features. Regular VPN services can easily be compromised should their services be under surveillance. This free VPN service provider prevents this by first passing traffic through a Secure Core network in specific countries like Iceland and Switzerland, which are privacy-friendly.
This means that it is pretty much impossible for your IP address to be revealed even while using the free VPN plan offered by Proton VPN. Here is what you get with the free VPN services offered by the platform:
- Excellent data protection (Swiss privacy laws)
- No logs policy
- 3 server locations
- 1 device
- No speed or data limits
- No advertisements
The free version offered by Proton VPN is great, especially considering the fact that it features unlimited data and impressive speed. However, you get 3 locations only, which, as we all can agree, is not enough.
The good news is that the paid VPN plans are also very affordable. The basic plan costs $4 per month (or $48 annually, which means you can save $12.) With it, you get 2 VPN connections, even higher speed, P2P/BitTorrent support, and access to servers in more than 50 countries.
Since the free service does not allow you to access blocked content and use Secure Core VPN, we would also like to mention the Plus plan offered by Proton VPN. It costs $8 per month and not only includes those two features but also has 5 VPN connections, secure streaming, and 10Gbps speed. All of the paid plans offer users a thirty-day money-back guarantee.
Hide.me -One of The Best Data Allowance
What we really like about this provider of VPN free service is that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get started with it. It is super easy to use and features a no-logs policy, together with excellent privacy protection, secure VPN protocols, and strong AES-256 encryption.
However, the biggest advantage of Hide.me is its data allowance. Hide.me is also one of the fastest VPN providers out there, with more than 1800 servers throughout Europe, Asia, and the USA. Another great news is that it offers 3 affordable paid plans +…drumroll please… a completely free VPN plan.
- 10 GB of free data allowance per month
- Free servers in five locations
- Excellent privacy protection
- No logs
- No ads
- Compatible with: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome Firefox, Amazon Fire TV, routers
When we first tried Hide.me as free users, we were really impressed with its data allowance. Not many VPN providers offer 10 GB of free data per month, so yeah, we loved that fact! However, the number of locations available for free is significantly low, especially when compared to Windscribe and its 10 free server locations.
With the free plan, the number of devices you can use is just one, but this is completely normal, and most VPN providers have the same terms. For those of you who want other additional VPN features such as fixed IP address and streaming support, the paid plans offered by Hide.me will be a perfect choice.
You can sign up for the Premium plan for just 1 month, for 1 year, or for 2 years. The two-year suggestion is the most popular because it is more affordable in the long-term. It costs $4.99 per month, which is a bit higher than the offers of the other VPN providers on our list.
However, if you’re willing to pay the extra bucks, you will get access to 72 locations, 1800 servers, 10 simultaneous connections, and most importantly, unlimited data traffic. You also get a fixed IP address, dynamic port forwarding, and streaming support.
Hotspot Shield- Best for Streaming and Downloading
If you like the sound of the expression “military-grade encryption,” then Hotspot Shield might be just the right free VPN for you. Hotspot Shield allows you to access streaming content and sites all around the world while encrypting your connection and shielding your identity!
The strongest feature of Hotspot Shield, however, is its speed. This VPN provider is about 2x faster than its competitors and allows you to enjoy your favorite movies and TV series worldwide on Prime, Youtube, Netflix, Disney+, and more!
Aside from the fact that Hotspot Shield has a no-logs policy and protects your anonymity, this free VPN is compatible with all major operating systems and offers dedicated tech support. Moreover, both its paid and free plans offer P2P support.
- 45-days money-back guarantee;
- Fast connection speed;
- Internet kill switch;
- Support center;
- Multiple VPN protocols;
- One of the best encryptions on the market.
Now, as much as we love how fast Hotspot Shield is, there are a couple of things worth mentioning about its free VPN plan. First and foremost, it includes just one virtual location- the USA. While it is good that you can “be” in any state while literally sitting on your couch, this is utterly insufficient.
The data limits are not calculated per month, but per day. Free users get a 500 MB data limit per day. As we already mentioned, the connection speed is quite good, up to 2 Mbps (which still cannot be compared to the Ultra-fast speeds, up to 1 Gbps, that paid users will get.)
If you want to take advantage of the 115+ locations that Hotspot Shield offers, you will have to go for their paid VPN plans. The cheapest one costs $7.99 per month (which is a lot!), but you also get a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you basically can try it for free.
The paid plans are optimized for Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Disney, and more and have unlimited data. Moreover, you’ll get 24/7 live chat support, malware and phishing protection, spam call blocking with Robo Shield, and usage on more than 1 device.
Even though TunnelBear didn’t make it to our top 5 list, it is still one of the best VPN for free, so it is listed under number 6. We all know that hackers can steal data and passwords over insecure public WiFi. Well, with TunnelBear, your data will be safe and sound!
TunnelBear has a global server network that will allow you to surf and stream quickly with no throttling and buffering. The company offers one free VPN plan and two paid ones. So, here is what users get with TunnelBear’s free VPN plan:
- 500MB of secure browsing
- No-logs policy
- User-friendly interface
- AES 256-bit encryption
If there is something free users love, it is a fast VPN provider. Well, we can’t really say TunnelBear is the fastest VPN there is, especially when we talk about its free VPN plan. You won’t be able to watch movies or download large files, and your streaming will last about 30 minutes. However, you can tweet TunnelBear and get 1GB extra.
As we already mentioned, TunnelBear has a very user-friendly interface. That means that it is ideal for people who are using VPN service for the first time. Also, TunnelBear allows its users to connect to various countries, unlike most VPN providers. The free version is meant for one device only, which is to be expected and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.
There is a reason why this VPN’s name is precisely this one- Speedify is designed using VPN protocols that make sure your connection is perfect and that you get the best speed possible. Even more, Speedify’s Bonding technology lets you use a couple of internet connections at once. It reduces congestion by splitting your web traffic.
Speedify is actually one of the few VPN providers with channel bonding. This VPN will automatically detect, protect, and prioritize real-time streaming traffic such as live streaming, gaming, video calls, and VoIP calls. The best part is that Speedify wants to make sure people love its free VPN plan, so it offers:
- Use on one device (of course)
- 2 GB data per month
- Extremely secure encryption
- Channel bonding
- Limited server access
- Streaming mode
All of the features we just listed are included in Speedify’s free VPN plan. Aside from the fact that you won’t have to pay a single dollar, you will also get automatic failover and packet loss and error correction.
If you no longer wish to be part of the “free users” team, you can upgrade and pay $2.99 per month for one year, $1.99 per month for 2 years or, $1.50 per month for 3 years (for the individual plan.) With this suggestion, you will get 1 user account that you can use on 5 devices simultaneously, premium server access, unlimited data, and bank-grade encryption.
For all those of you who prefer to use the Opera browser, you will be pleased to hear that there is an integrated free VPN that will make sure you protect your data and privacy. OperaVPN offers unlimited data and bandwidth but it is still a bit slower than we would have liked it to be.
Opera’s integrated virtual private network helps protect your privacy and reduces tracking. Best of all – it’s free. This free version is built in the browser itself, and there are no payments or subscriptions of any kind.
- It is built-in;
- Unlimited data;
- Unlimited bandwidth;
- Malware protection;
- No registration or downloading;
- Compatible with: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS, Linux;
There is two good news here! The Opera browser itself is completely free, and it also comes with a built-in VPN that is entirely free! You literally get the best of both worlds, or should we say the best of “free VPN worlds.”
However, there are a few disadvantages (of course). Since this is a browser extension, this free VPN will not protect any traffic sent from other apps or browsers. In other words, your browser activity will be safe, but your banking apps or emails, for example, won’t be.
Another essential thing to mention is the fact that users can choose from three virtual locations only-Europe, America, and Asia. However, users cannot select specific servers within these three regions, so for all the “streamers” out there, OperaVPN is not really a good choice.
On the other hand, the Opera browser features other helpful tools you may like, such as malware protection and a built-in adblocker. Free VPNs are beneficial when it comes to hiding your identity while using a public WiFi network, so keep that in mind.
VPNBook was actually one of our favorite free VPNs, so the fact that it is listed under number nine on our list should not bother you at all! Unlike most free VPNs, VPNBook is designed with the latest technologies in mind and uses some of the most advanced cryptographic techniques to ensure you are one hundred percent safe while browsing.
VPNBook securely routes all your traffic through an encrypted tunnel and manages to defeat corporate surveillance and bypass government censorship. The company operates out of Romania, which is a privacy-friendly country. Moreover, it does not collect any activity logs!
- Excellent encryption;
- No bandwidth limits;
- Great speed due to the dedicated hardware;
- No restrictions;
- Virtual locations in six countries.
Even though VPNBook does not collect activity logs, you should bear in mind that it does retain some connection logs for about one week or so. Also, VPNBook does not offer dedicated apps for your devices (something most free VPNs do.) Instead, the company offers manual configuration files for OpenVPN.
VPNBook offers both free PPTP VPN (point to point tunneling) and free OpenVPN. The former is supported across all Linux, Apple, Microsoft Windows, and PS3 platforms, so it is widely used. Still, it is also easier to block it, and if your ISP or government blocks the protocol, it won’t work.
That’s why OpenVPN is the better option. It protects your data and is also the most recommended open-source VPN software. Your data won’t be sold to a third party, and your browsing will be completely anonymous. To learn how to download it and install it, you have to visit VPNBook’s website and read the instructions.
BetterNet VPN is ideal for streaming and gaming. Of course, it also keeps your browsing private, which at the end of the day is the most important characteristic of all free VPNs. BetterNet VPN is also compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.
This VPN may be the last one on our list, but it is not the last one in our hearts, so as to speak. It is user-friendly, and you won’t need to go through the annoying registration process that might be expected. You simply download and connect; it is as simple as that!
- 500 MB of free data per day;
- You just have to download it;
- Robust encryption and excellent data protection;
- Good speeds.
BetterNet VPN helps you avoid ISP speed throttling and unlocks all types of sites, including Netflix, Hulu, and more. BetterNet VPN offers both a free V P N plan and a premium plan if you want additional benefits.
The free version of this VPN offers 500 MB of free data per day only and does not allow you to stream, which is a bummer. Unlike other free VPNs we discussed in our article, BetterNet VPN allows users to connect to its US servers only. This means that users won’t get access to geo-blocked websites if, let’s say, they are in Europe.
Still, this free VPN offers good speeds, robust encryption, and reliable forward secrecy. There is no kill switch, though, so this is also a disadvantage. If you want to take advantage of additional VPN features, you can opt for BetterNet’s paid suggestions.
The plan that includes several location options, no ads, a link to up to 5 devices, faster connection, and high-quality support costs $7.99 per month for one year or $12.99 for just one month. As you can see, this is quite expensive, so even though the company offers many great features, affordable pricing is not one of them.
The Bottom Line
Our primary goal is to help our readers, so we really hope this article on the best free VPNs on the market has been of any use to you and you have found what you came here looking for. In conclusion, we would say that even though there are some excellent free VPNs, they cannot compare to the low-cost premium VPNs.
Free VPNs cannot offer the same security and protection of your data as premium services do. Moreover, premium VPNs are definitely better for torrenting support and streaming. Fortunately, many premium VPNs offer money-back guarantees and free trials, so even though they are not in their essence free VPNs, you can try them for free for some period.
Our top recommendation is NordVPN. It is not part of the completely free VPNs, but you can try it for 30 days and use its 30-day money-back guarantee, which is amazing. Moreover, NordVPN often has special offers that include free usage for a couple of months.