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5 Best Free VPNs – July 2016

In 2016 it is becoming increasingly obvious that a VPN service is a vital tool for digital privacy. Hackers seem to be springing up from everywhere; putting your online data at risk. Likewise, governments worldwide are passing ever more stringent surveillance laws that result in citizens losing their privacy to those invasive policies. With these digital privacy issues in mind, we have put together this up-to-date list of the best free VPN services in 2016. So that even if you can’t afford one of the recommended, top quality VPNs  — you can still make yourself secure — something that we strongly believe everyone should be able to do.

VPNs also bypass censorship imposed by governments, landlords, or ISPs – giving you full unrestricted access to the Internet! Perfect!

Of course, even though we do want to review the best Free VPN providers around in 2016, we do ask you to remember that all of the free VPN services on our list do have restrictions, and do not really match the fully featured service of the best VPNs. However, we will carefully define the limitations for each of the free VPNs on our list so that you are fully aware of what you are getting.

We also ask you to remember that there are huge amounts of free VPNs available on the market that are not recommended. Some sell your data on to third parties – a huge security risk. Other don’t conduct business in a secure way or offer inferior encryption that can’t be trusted. For that reason, we urge you not to use an unknown or untrusted free VPN, the consequences could be huge.

In fact, we strongly recommend that you invest in a world-class VPN that offers a 30-day money back guarantee (or at least consider a cheap VPN) because there really is no replacement for a proper service!

With that honest admission out of the way, we are happy to present our pick of the top 5 free VPN options in 2016. We hope that using a free VPN encourages you to seek out the peace of mind that comes with a fully featured package! Enjoy!

Best Free VPN Services Summary

Rank Provider Free Grade Link
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1

Best Free VPN 2016 Speed Cap (free only)
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2

CyberGhost Free VPN Speed Cap
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3

windscribe Logo Download Cap
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4

TunnelBear Logo Download Cap
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5

VPNGate Logo Educational Development
Read Review >
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B

Tor Logo Technically not a VPN
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Editor's Choice Award

Winner

TotalVPN

4.8/5

TotalVPN Free VPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Awesome free VPN service
  • Only limit the speed a little
  • Brilliant customer support
  • OpenVPN encryption included
  • Lots of servers
  • ConsCONS
  • Not much at all!

TotalVPN is a newish VPN company that has been getting great reviews throughout the VPN industry. Especially due to its brilliant free VPN plan. In this review, we will take a look at the free service for you, but we do also advise taking a look at the comprehensive review too.

Total’s free VPN option allows you to sign up and get started really quickly, and from the second you get to their site to the instant you become protected will take no time at all.

Amazingly, this provider doesn’t impose a download restriction with its free option – allowing you to use it as much as you want. Instead, they try to encourage you to upgrade to the paid service by throttling your connection speed a little. This is, of course, completely fair of the company (who prefers you to see the free service as an introductory one) but it does mean that it may be quite hard for you to enjoy streaming HD video content.

Finally, you can only use TotalVPN’s free VPN option on a single (rather than three simultaneous devices allowed on the premium plan). Other than that, Total VPN’s free service has very little to complain about, and we can strongly recommend that you give their plan a try! A trusted provider in the  number one position!

Get the Best Free VPN Service Today!

Visit TotalVPN »


2nd place

CyberGhost

4.5/5

CyberGhost

  • ProsPROS
  • Free VPN service
  • Keeps no logs
  • Robust top-notch encryption
  • Lots of servers
  • Good FAQs and customer support
  • ConsCONS
  • Connection speeds can alter on different servers
  • Some queues to get on particular servers

CyberGhost is also a VPN Provider that is famed for it’s well above average free VPN package. The only slight problem is that we have sometimes noticed connection speeds to get laggy on the various different servers (and some users do at times notice a queue for getting on their preferred server). Compared to the vast majority of free VPNs around, however, it still vastly outperforms those competitors – and is a trusted service – that will manage your data professionally.

CyberGhost also allows you to select from large selection of servers wich is really great. Encryption is also at top industry standard, which means that you will be getting a truly secure connection!

All in all, there is little difference between CyberGhost and TotalVPN, and our advice is that if you are looking for faster speeds TotalVPN is the best option, whereas if lots of serversis your preference then CyberGhost is likely best for you. Considering they are free, you could opt for them both!

 

Visit CyberGhost »


3rd place

Windscribe

4.4/5

Windscribe Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Strong trustworthy Encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • No logs
  • Excellent features & software
  • Very open and transparent
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited customer support
  • Newer service (less established)

Windscribe is a newer provider that gets into this article because it performed excellently throughout testing. Connection speeds are not the quickest that we’ve ever seen, but they definitely are not sluggish either. Also good news; reliability was much better than the other free VPN services that we tested (that didnt make it onto our list). Just like with TunnelBear you do get a data usage limit. However, you are allowed a whopping 10GB per month, which is really quite astonishing!

Other than the data usage limits, the only other real downside is that Windscribe won’t allow users on the free plan to access all of it’s company servers, which means that the service is a little bit limited. Over all, however, we think this new provider does give access to what a lot of people need from a free VPN and we felt that it strongly deserved a place in our top 5 free VPN services for July 2016.

A point worth making is that due to the fact that this is a relatively new service customer support isn’t quite as comprehensive as what you get with some of the other providers. Considering it is free, however; we have to say that we are really impressed with this free VPN service – well worth a try!

Visit Windscribe »


4th place

TunnelBear

4.2/5

TunnelBear

  • ProsPROS
  • Well designed, fun & easy
  • Apps for all platforms
  • To quality encryption
  • Good for beginners
  • 5 simultaneous connections permitted
  • ConsCONS
  • No P2P
  • Few advanced settings
  • Download limit

TunnelBear is a fantastic free VPN provider with an individual, fun, and much-loved look to its software. There is no doubt that this firm’s branding is kind of jokey, but you should not let that deter you because their service is completely professional.

A slight downside is that you cant do P2P because it is based in Canada (and P2P is banned there). However, to make up for it, they do promise to keep no logs at all – excellent! We also really love this provider’s transparency – they do a great job of explaining their privacy policy on the website – great stuff.

The biggest problem (and why it is in third position) is that the free plan does limit you to 500MB of data each month. You can, however, earn more data by carrying out small tasks like tweeting and completing other social shares. As good as that sounds, though, you never really earn that much more data – just a little bit here and there.

With that in mind, TunnelBear’s free service will only be the one for you depending on how you use it. The good news is that you can use all of the firm’s servers on the free VPN package. In all honesty, however, if you tend to spend a lot of time on the Internet, then we have to advise you to use one of the unlimited free VPNs in our article. Still, TunnelBear remains a brilliant, and different service – that lots of users love!

Visit TunnelBear »


5th place

VPNGate

4/5

VPNGate Free VPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Daily updates and mirrors
  • 100% open source (and audited)
  • Constantly under development
  • Good Speeds
  • Great for security
  • ConsCONS
  • Keeps logs
  • Can get laggy at times
  • No P2P or Torrenting allowed

VPNGate is a free VPN that was created and is run by the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The service is operated by volunteer relay computers around the globe. It is also totally open source and checked, updated and improved often.

The project was instigated to help citizens who live in places where the government imposes unfair censorship restrictions. That is why the project is updated regularly, and why they provide daily mirrors just in case the main website gets blocked; to maintain their presence for those people.

As it is a University ran project ; no Peer to Peer, torrenting or other illegal activities are permitted. Also, to enforce that policy they do keep logs, also admitting that if they have to cooperate with authorities they will.

Lastly, due to the fact that the network consists of volunteer machines, it won’t always give you the best connection speeds. If your main need in a free VPN is to get access to information that is blocked by your government, however, then VPN Gate is a perfect option for you!

Visit VPNGate »


Bonus

Tor Project

3.5/5

Tor Project

  • prosPROS
  • Very secure way to get online anonymity
  • Easy to setup and use
  • consCONS
  • Rather Slow
  • Not actually a VPN
  • Can expose users to criminals

As an extra, we have decided to put the Tor network on this list, even though itis not technically a VPN service. Our reason for doing so, however, is that it is an incredibly important free system that gives users access to a high level of online anonymity. Tor runs on open source software that allows users to connect to the Internet anonymously via a network of volunteer machines (other Tor users). It is very secure due to its use of layered encryption known as Onion Routing.

This is how it functions: Any time that you go to a website your data passes through (a minimum) of three different ‘nodes’. Those exit nodes (as the volunteer computers on the network are known) encrypt your data, again and again, each time – providing you with an extremely high level of digital security.

Due to the fact that your IP address becomes that of a volunteer (and there are hundreds of thousands), there is no known method of identifying users. For this reason, Tor is used by journalists, politicians and also political dissidents living under restrictive governments.

The main downside of TorProject is that it does tend to have a big slowing effect on Internet connection speeds. Tor Network also requests that you do not use the service for P2P file sharing. For the reason that it is too demanding for the network as a whole and causes problems for other users.

A final positive aspect of Tor is that paranoid users can use it to buy and spend in the digital currency ‘Bitcoin’. That means that people can stay absolutely anonymous when they subscribe to paid VPN packages, for example.

Visit Tor Project »


Free VPN Considerations

When choosing a VPN provider, it is essential to think about some things. In this part of the review, we will consider all the most important details to help you understand what is available.

Free VPN service providers

When selecting your free VPN, the vital thing is to consider what you will be using your VPN for, and how much you will be using it to access the World Wide Web.

If your main interest is unblocking sites that are restricted by your ISP, regional blocks or the government – then any of the free VPNs in this article will be ok. However, if you intend to use a large amount of data then you will require a VPN service that isn’t capped. Next, you will need to think about connection speeds – slower connections that are controlled by the provider will stop you from enjoying streaming content whether that be streaming video content such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix or geo-restricted sports competitions.

If  you usually go on the Internet for long periods of time, then you will probably need a free VPN that is lightning fast and also has no data use limits. In 2016, we can only recommend the top two VPNs on our list for this – TotalVPN and CyberGhost – so please select one of those if that is the case.

Conclusion for Free VPNs

Here at BestVPN.com we know just how many awful free VPN services are available, and just how dangerous they can be. With that said, however, we are confident that all of the providers in this article are very reasonable options for anybody searching for a free VPN service in 2016. Do be sure to take the time to check out each provider with care to get a well-informed picture of what differs from one to the next. If you do that, you are bound to end up with the right free VPN for you!

Lastly, we would like to reiterate the fact that for for true unblemished privacy and security and the best speeds for unblocking streaming content; in the long run we strongly advise subscribing to a premium VPN package – as there is no way to replace the service upgrade to the VPN package that you receive with a full service. I’m afraid when it comes to VPNs the age old axiom of ‘you get what you pay for’ stands true!

Best Free VPN Providers Recap

Rank Provider Free Grade Link
Sponsored Star ExpressVPN Logo 30-day Money-back Guarantee Sponsored
Read Review >
Visit Site >

1

TotalVPN Logo Speed Cap (free only)
Read Review >
Visit Site >

2

CyberGhost Free VPN Speed Cap
Read Review >
Visit Site >

3

windscribe Logo Download Cap
Read Review >
Visit Site >

4

TunnelBear Logo Download Cap
Read Review >
Visit Site >

5

VPNGate Logo Educational Development
Read Review >
Visit Site >

B

Tor Logo Technically not a VPN
Visit Site >

Published 2016-07-06
Ray Walsh Written by Ray Walsh

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR and I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood and love to listen to trap music.

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11 responses to “5 Best Free VPNs – July 2016

  1. I run WebRoot SecureAnywhere real time shield. It’s interesting that when visiting https://www.totalvpn.com/ and http://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_us I get this:

    Suspicious attack ahead
    Webroot has blocked access to the website you tried to open.
    It has been reported to contain suspicious content.

    It’s as if the sites are designated as suspicious by “the powers to be” to discourage potential customers? Or maybe the sites have been impregnated with malware by “big brother”?

    1. Hi Craig,

      I don’t use WebRoot SecureAnywhere, which makes it difficult to comment. FWIW, I believe CyberGost to be a 100% reputable company, but we have received a lot of complaints about ToltalVPN…

  2. It is impossible to remove TotalVPN.
    The Windows service (named OVPNService) remains there after uninstall.
    Setup files remain there after uninstall.
    The Windows network connection and its tray icon remain there.
    Their chat agents are totally clueless about this. They suggest to remove manually the app in the Program folder, but the app does not install there.

    … and did I mention that all the free servers (just 2) did not work?

    1. Hi antonio,

      That does not sound good. I did not experience the problem, but that might be because I use Revo Uninstaller. As for the free servers, there were 3 of them, and they worked when I tested the service. I must say say, though, that we have received many complaints abut TotalVPN, and I’m sure that our readers are not just making them up…

    1. Hi Maija,

      Most custom VPN clients do not support OSX Snow Leopard (some might, but I know of any off the top of my head). Unfortunately, most free services relay on you using custom software. Just about every paid-for a service (check out 5 Best Cheap VPNs), however, can be manually configured to run on older versions of Mac OSX.

  3. Windscribe is the best provider on this list, by far. Started using it as a free user and upgraded to Pro the next day because everything simply worked. I was able to get started in literally under 2 minutes, which included downloading the software and making an account. Swedish servers are really quick for me, don’t notice any speed differences at all.

    1. cons :
      – tor was not tested so tor/vpn or vpn/tor were not tested too !
      – linux version available on pro-account only
      – port udp or exotic
      – can you play online ?
      – can you choose your own password ?
      – can you try a free account without to be registered ?
      – no killswitch (firewall is given as a better solution)
      – is the addon firefox or the app/desktop were audited ?
      – What is a Secure.link ? i have not clearly understood this feature.
      The professional work of windscribe and the quality of the support are a +.

  4. Total VPN is not free, unless you want your mask to be in Iceland, Russia etc. All US servers require upgrade to paid subscription.

    1. Hi al,

      All the services listed here are very limited, and are offered in the hope that you will spring for a premium plan. Running a VPN costs a lot of money, so it needs to bed monetized in some way. At least the providers listed here are transparent about how they do this…

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