The best free VPNs can appear as an attractive option, especially for those new to safeguarding their online privacy. When you sign up for a free VPN, you usually only need an email address and not your credit card information, unlike the paid VPNs. But it’s very important to know exactly what free VPNs do behind the scenes. In simple terms, they encrypt all of your internet traffic, which hides it from your internet service provider (ISP).
They can also move your online presence anywhere in the world by routing your traffic through one of their servers. But these services cost money to run, so it’s important to know how your chosen free VPN pays for itself. If you choose the wrong provider, it could hurt your online security and privacy more than it helps. The best free VPNs usually have ‘freemium’ versions of their paid counterparts. You’ll enjoy some features, but there may be some limits, like how much data you can use.
What is a free VPN?
A free VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a service that lets users connect to the internet in a safe and encrypted way through a server that the VPN provider provides. A VPN’s main goal is to improve your online privacy and security. It does this by hiding your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic, making it harder for hackers and advertisers to track what you do online.
Benefits of using a free VPN
There are some pros to using a free VPN, but it’s important to remember that these pros come with trade-offs and limits. Here are some reasons why you might want to use a free VPN:
🌟 Cost Savings: The most obvious benefit is that free VPNs do not require a subscription fee. This can be appealing if you’re on a tight budget and need basic VPN services.
🌐 Anonymity and Privacy: Free VPNs can help mask your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic, providing a level of anonymity and privacy when browsing the web. This can be particularly useful when using public Wi-Fi networks, where your data is more vulnerable to interception.
🌍 Access to Geo-Restricted Content: Some free VPNs may allow you to access geo-restricted content by connecting to servers in different countries. This can be useful for accessing streaming services or websites that are not available in your region.
🚫 Bypassing Censorship: In regions with strict internet censorship, a free VPN can help you bypass government restrictions and access blocked websites and services.
⏳ Temporary Use: If you only need a VPN for a short period, such as for a specific task or while traveling, a free VPN can serve your needs without committing to a paid service.
Best Free VPNs Comparison Table
The “Best Free VPNs” comparison table gives a full look at the best free virtual private network services. It gives important information like server locations, data limits, speed, and device compatibility, which helps users choose the best VPN to protect their online privacy and get free access to restricted content.
|Feature||IPVanish||Hotspot Shield||CyberGhost||VPN Unlimited||Windscribe|
|Server Locations||75+ countries||80+ countries||90+ countries||70+ countries||60+ countries|
|Simultaneous Devices||Unlimited||5 devices||7 devices||10 devices||Unlimited|
- Strong security features with AES-256 encryption.
- Zero-log policy for enhanced privacy.
- Good server coverage across various locations.
- Fast and reliable connection speeds.
- User-friendly apps for multiple devices.
IPVanish encrypts what you do on the internet and keeps your identity secret. Its ability to unblock gives you access to foreign websites and apps, so you can watch your favorite shows and movies without missing out. The VPN, which has one of the best VPN Chrome extensions, is easy to use and lets you connect to an unlimited number of devices at once. Overall, this is one of the best free VPNs you can consider now.
IPVanish has a policy of not keeping any logs, and the VPN has been checked by independent professionals to make sure it won’t record your IP address, connection time stamp, or internet requests. It has a seven-day trial that you can get from the Android app store. During that time, you can try out its privacy, security, and unblocking features. During the trial period, you can try out the entire IPVanish VPN suite.
- Fast connection speeds.
- Strong security features.
- Reliable server network.
- Supports a wide range of devices.
- No-logs policy.
- Relatively expensive compared to some other free options.
- Limited free trial period.
- Catapult Hydra protocol for fast and secure connections.
- 500MB daily data allowance on the free plan.
- Military-grade encryption for data protection.
- Access to some geo-restricted content.
Hotspot Shield VPN has strong security features like the WireGuard and IKEv2 VPN protocols and its own unique Hydra to protect you from third-party intrusion and speed up your connection. Hotspot Shield VPN combines military-grade encryption with automatic Wi-Fi protection and leak protection. It also has a kill switch and split tunneling options to protect your data when you’re browsing, streaming, or torrenting.
The paid plan for this VPN costs $12.99 per month and lets you connect up to five devices at once, whether they are Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, or a router. The router acts like a multiplier, letting you connect to more devices, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Overall, this is one of the best free VPNs you can consider now.
- Fast and reliable connections.
- User-friendly interface.
- Strong security and privacy features.
- Access to a large server network.
- Free version with limited features available.
- Free version has limitations and ads.
- Premium version can be costly.
- User-friendly interface with one-click connection.
- Servers optimized for streaming and torrenting.
- Robust security features including kill switch and DNS leak protection.
- Limited free trial period available.
CyberGhost VPN is one of the cheapest VPNs, but it has 9,701 servers in 91 countries and 117 locations. It’s also easy to use, even for people who have never used a VPN before. CyberGhost has ad-blocking features, dedicated server locations for streaming and torrenting, and self-managed NoSpy servers that focus on privacy for the best protection. With military-grade encryption, this VPN hides your data, your identity, and what you do online so that no one else can see what you’re doing. It works on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. Still, this is one of the best free VPNs you can consider now.
- Large server network across multiple countries.
- Strong privacy and security features.
- User-friendly apps.
- Dedicated streaming servers.
- Free trial with limited features.
- Limited bandwidth and server selection in the free trial.
- Premium subscription can be expensive.
- 7-day free trial period with unlimited bandwidth.
- Strong encryption and security features.
- Access to a global network of servers.
- Supports multiple devices and platforms.
VPN Unlimited, which is also known as KeepSolid, has great features like strong encryptions, WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 to hide your identity and protect your internet connections so that your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. VPN Unlimited lets you stream your favorite shows and movies no matter where you are. It also has a user experience (UX) that is easy to understand and works on all devices. This VPN can be used by both individuals and businesses because it has different plans for each. Thus, this is one of the best free VPNs you can consider now.
- Affordable premium plans.
- Strong encryption and security.
- User-friendly apps.
- Multiple device support.
- Free trial available.
- Limited features and server access in the free trial.
- Speeds may vary depending on server location.
- Generous 10GB monthly data allowance on the free plan.
- Strong privacy features like a firewall and ad blocker.
- Servers in various countries for geo-unblocking.
- User-friendly apps and browser extensions.
Windscribe is flexible, and it has a lot of features that protect your privacy and safety. The VPN uses strong encryption protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN, and superfast WireGuard along with AES-256 encryption, a 4096-bit RSA key, and SHA512 authentication to keep you safe. Windscribe also blocks ads and trackers that slow down your internet speed, so you won’t have to give up speed for security. Overall, this is one of the best free VPNs you can consider now.
Windscribe VPN also has servers in more than 69 countries and 112 cities, so you can fake where you are and use the internet without being watched or limited. Windscribe has a lot of free features as well. It has no ads, lets you connect to up to 14 locations in 11 countries, gives you 10GB of data per month, and lets you use popular streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer on as many devices as you want.
- Generous free plan with 10GB monthly data.
- Strong privacy features including a no-logs policy.
- User-friendly apps.
- Supports P2P file sharing.
- Affordable premium plans.
- Limited server locations in the free plan.
- Speeds on free servers may be slower.
- Limited access to streaming services on free servers.
How to choose the best free VPN?
There are many free VPN options, and not all of them offer the same level of security, privacy, and features. Here are some tips to help you choose the best free VPN for your needs:
🌐 Research the Reputation: Look for reviews and user feedback about the VPN service. Reputable sources and user reviews can provide insights into the reliability and trustworthiness of a free VPN.
🔒 Security Features: Check if the VPN offers strong encryption protocols (e.g., OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPsec) to protect your data.
🌍 Server Locations: Determine if the VPN has server locations in the regions you need. Some free VPNs have limited server choices, which can be inconvenient for accessing region-specific content.
💨 Speed and Bandwidth Limitations: Understand any speed or bandwidth limitations imposed by the VPN. Some free VPNs may throttle your connection or impose data caps.
Well, it depends on your definition of “free.” There are a lot of free VPNs that don’t cost money, but you could be paying for them by watching ads or even giving them your data to sell without knowing it. The best free VPN services are usually “free versions” of paid products that give you a taste of what you’ll get before you have to pay.
Even the best free VPN services are only good for occasional use, like when you are traveling or in a café. They just don’t have enough speed or data for home VPN connections that are on all the time. If you want all of your home internet traffic to be encrypted all the time, you should pay for a VPN service. ExpressVPN is our top choice.