Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

July 12, 2018

Trust and integrity – our two core values. For the past 5 years our experts & users have reviewed hundreds of VPNs. Our reviews are never influenced by the industry. We sometimes earn affiliate commissions, which contribute to our fight for a free internet. Click here to find out more.

We all like the idea of getting something for nothing in life, but in reality, almost everything comes at a cost. Yes, there are a lot of free VPNs out there, but trust us when we say – 99.99% of them are a complete waste of time. Best case scenario, you will find them painfully slow. You will barely be able to surf the web, never mind stream video. Worst case… your data could be stolen or sold to the highest bidder.

So is it possible to find a secure, safe and fast VPN without paying a dime? Yes, but they are few and far between and there are a few caveats.

If you’re looking for a free VPN you can trust, you’ve come to the right place. We were the first VPN comparison site on the web. For more than five years now, we’ve been analysing and reviewing VPN technology – it’s all we do. Sure, we’ve been imitated over the years, but our knowledge and experience has never (and will never) be duplicated. Our market-leading tools such as the BestVPN.com Speed Test allow us to put VPNs through rigorous tests. We also take the ‘P’ in ‘VPN’ (private) very seriously. If a VPN does not conform to our high security and privacy standards, it will not feature in any of our recommendations. It’s that simple.

Pick any of these VPNs and you won’t be disappointed. If you’d like to dig down into the details of why we think these are the best free VPNs on the market today, take a look at the list below. We’ll explain the benefits and the caveats of each. However, if you want to cut straight to the chase, we’ve summarized our recommended free VPNs in a handy table at the end.

If you are looking for a full-featured, unrestricted VPN service, we highly recommend you test ExpressVPN. It does cost a few dollars per month but it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can compare its premium features against the free options without risking a dime.

Best Free VPN services: Detailed Overview

10.0/10.0

Not strictly a free VPN but it's superfast and secure

Not strictly a free VPN but it's superfast and secure

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee - APPROVED!
  • Super fast for streaming
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • No Logs
  • P2P: Yes
  • Free for a month
  • Software for all platforms
CONS:
  • Not free but 30-day money-back guarantee

Key information
Server locations: 148 | Server number: 2000+ | Simultaneous connections: 3 |
IP addresses: 30000+ | Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands | Average speed: 57.42 Mbit/s

Works with
BBC iPlayer: Yes | Netflix: Yes | Hulu: Yes | Amazon Video: Yes | Torrenting: Yes

Although it isn't completely free, many people who are looking for a free service do decide to test ExpressVPN using the 30-day money back guarantee. A full premium VPN like ExpressVPN (one of the very best VPNs in the world, if not the best) is much much better than a regular free VPN. This is because it is not limited or restricted in any way.

During the 30-day money back period you get full use of ExpressVPN's 94 servers. You also get the highest levels of OpenVPN encryption available on the market. Speeds are incredible, so you will be able to stream in HD or do gaming... your options are endless. Express is also zero logs so your privacy is assured. At then end of the day this VPN is free for a month, and it will give you a taster of what a premium VPN service is like - it blows all the other free services out of the water.

Finally, you need not worry at all - ExpressVPN ALWAYS honors its money back guarantee with no questions asked.

Subscription options
12 month plan (3 months free) - $6.67 per month (billed $99.95 every year)
6 month plan - $9.99 per month (billed $59.95 every 6 months)
1 month plan - $12.95 per month (billed $12.95 every month)


Information updated: 16 July 2018

Get our favorite VPN today!

Visit ExpressVPN »Connect up to three devices!

10.0/10.0

ProtonVPN is a great free service for the privacy conscious

ProtonVPN is a great free service for the privacy conscious

ProtonVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Unlimited use for free
  • Excellent encryption for strong privacy
  • Lots of features
  • No logs
CONS:
  • Fewer server locations

Key information
Server locations: 5 | Server number: n/a | Simultaneous connections: 1 |
Data limit: None | Jurisdiction: Switzerland| Average speed: 47.39 Mbit/s

ProtonVPN is a superb free VPN service provided by the developers of Proton Mail. It is a secure VPN provider that lets people use the service on an unlimited basis. This makes it perfect for privately surfing the web on a daily basis. So what's the catch?

As is always the case with reliable VPNs, ProtonVPN does want to sell people a subscription to its full premium service. For this reason, it does throttle free-users' bandwidth. This means that the free ProtonVPN service will not provide the speeds necessary for doing data-intensive tasks such as streaming in HD.

Unthrottled, ProtonVPN can provide speeds of up to 104 Mbits per second. However, when it gets throttled we have heard reports of it slowing to 8 Mbits per second and perhaps even slower.

ProtonVPN is a superb free VPN that many people may find useful for unblocking censored news.


Information updated: 16 July 2018

9.4/10.0

Hotspot Shield offers an outstanding free Android app

Hotspot Shield offers an outstanding free Android app

Hotspot Shield Homepage
PROS:
  • Free VPN with 500 Mb per day
  • Free Chrome Extension with ad blocker & cookie blocker
  • Easy to use
  • Fast speeds
  • Plenty of features
CONS:
  • Privacy policy could be better

Key information
Server locations: 25 | Server number: n/a | Simultaneous connections: 5 |
Data limit: 500 MB | Jurisdiction: USA | Average speed: 40 Mbit/s

Hotspot Shield is an awesome free VPN that has helped millions of people in their time of need. It was the most used VPN during the Turkey coup and the Arab spring. For free, user's get access not only to the VPN but also a Chrome extension.

The service permits free VPN connections to the US only, but the extension permits connections to 14 countries (but not the US). The result is that Hotspot Shield users can unblock content in 15 countries for free! What's more, Hotspot Shield's free plan lets people have 500 Mb of download use per day. That is a massive usage allowance considering it is free.

Although Hotspot Shield has come under some criticism for serving adverts, we think that for free this VPN is pretty amazing. If you don't want to be served adverts then by all means opt for another VPN on the list. However, if unblocking and bypassing censorship are your biggest priorities: this VPN is worth a try! With millions of happy users worldwide, it definitely gets the job done.


Information updated: 16 July 2018

9.0/10.0

A free VPN service with an attractive download allowance

A free VPN service with an attractive download allowance

Windscribe Homepage
PROS:
  • Strong encryption
  • Great privacy policy
  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • High transparency
CONS:
  • Limited support options
  • Usage capped

Key information
Server locations: 11 | Server number: 600+ | Simultaneous connections: 1 |
Data limit: 10 GB | Jurisdiction: Canada | Average speed: 30 Mbit/s

Windscribe has always been one of our favorite free VPNs. Compared to other free services, Windscribe gives you more! This is pretty amazing because Windscribe is actually trying to encourage people to buy its premium service.

Windscribe lets people use the free VPN without throttling for 10 Gb per month. Users get access to 11 servers (50 on the premium version). This is a really superb deal because it is a much larger (unthrottled) allowance than you get elsewhere. Speeds average at around 30 Mbits per second, which is great for streaming in HD. What's more, this VPN has strong encryption and keeps zero logs - making it fantastic for privacy. With unlimited simultaneous connections permitted, this free VPN is truly outstanding.


Information updated: 16 July 2018

8.2/10.0

TunnelBear is a simple free VPN with a great Windows client

TunnelBear is a simple free VPN with a great Windows client

TunnelBear Homepage
PROS:
  • Simple setup, incredibly user friendly
  • Excellent encryption
  • Can connect up to 5 devices
  • 500MB of free data every month
CONS:
  • No peer-to-peer (P2P)
  • Few advanced settings
  • Usage capped

Key information
Server locations: 20+ | Server number: 1000+ | Simultaneous connections: 5 |
Data limit: 500 MB | Jurisdiction: Canada | Average speed: 48.89 Mbit/s

TunnelBear VPN is a free service that constantly impresses people. This VPN is super secure and even opened up its software to third-party analysis last year. The outcome? Security researchers found the VPN to be secure and reliable. It also keeps no logs. The service is restricted to just 500 Mb per month. Despite this, it is brilliant for locations with severe censorship and where privacy is essential. It is perfect for securely unblocking news.

TunnelBear has plenty of servers to choose from, located in 20 countries. Free users can utilize all available servers apart from Australia. This makes it great for unblocking a whole range of websites and services.

Having said that, because of the data limit it will be difficult to do much streaming with this VPN service. An excellent VPN provider, and one of the most secure services you will find for free! Finally, this VPN provides fast download speeds of around 25 Mbits per second (average) and 118 Mbits per second (max).


Information updated: 16 July 2018

7.8/10.0

Hide.me is great free VPN for Mac users

Hide.me is great free VPN for Mac users

hide.Me Homepage
PROS:
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in 3 countries
  • Zero logs
  • Superb privacy policy
  • Highly experienced customer care
CONS:
  • Doesn't unblock Netflix US

Key information
Server locations: 3 | Server number: n/a | Simultaneous connections: 1 |
Data limit: 2 GB | Jurisdiction: Malaysia | Average speed: 56.72 Mbit/s

This awesome Malaysian VPN provider has an excellent free service. Although users are limited to just three server locations (Singapore, the Netherlands, and Canada), users get a whopping 2 Gb per month of free use. That's a very reasonable allowance, and because of the fast speeds (up to 80 Mbits per second) that this VPN provides, we think this is an excellent choice for people who want a VPN service for free.

When reviewing Hide.Me, we found the lack of server locations means that it isn't as good for unblocking content from all over the world. If you need US or UK servers please look elsewhere. On the plus side, this VPN has a strong privacy policy and provides robust encryption to keep your data secure.

It is also available on all popular platforms. As such, this VPN is ideal for protecting your privacy both at home and on public WiFi. With one of the best data caps we've seen, we definitely recommend this service!


Information updated: 16 July 2018

Best Free VPNs: Quick View

    • Provider
    • Features
    • Visit Site
    • 1
    • Super fast : ExpressVPN has always been at the top of the game in terms of raw speed!
      Super secure: 256-bit AES OpenVPN encryption ensures no-one can access your data
      Unlimited downloading
      30-day no quibble money-back guarantee: just give it a try
      24/7 Customer support: world class!
    Special Deal: Save 49% Today!
    • 2
    • From the people behind ProtonMail
      Minimal logs so great for privacy
      5 simultaneous connections
      Speeds within Europe are blazing fast
      Secure Core (double VPN) network is fast and… secure!
      P2P torrenting permitted on selected servers
    • 4
    • Free VPN Option: Try before you buy
      50+ Server Locations: Connect to servers all over the world
      Unlimited Simultaneous Connections: Use it on as many devices as you want
      Chrome Extension: An extra layer of security
      Great customer support (But not 24/7)
    • 5
    • Lightning fast servers for data-intensive tasks like streaming
      Easy to use VPN software lets you enjoy your VPN experience every day
      Servers in 20 countries for all your unblocking needs
      Fully featured VPN gives you full control over your privacy and security
      Strong OpenVPN encryption to stop anyone snooping on your web traffic

What are the best free VPN services?

The truth is that very little in life is free and if something sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. There are plenty of providers out there claiming to offer free VPNs, but the vast majority of these providers offer substandard services or have more sinister motives.

Providing a quality service costs money and those costs need to be recouped one way or another. The providers in this list offer free VPNs in the hope that you will eventually upgrade to their premium service. This means that the services and features are restricted in some form. This is the price you pay for free!

The free VPNs listed in this article are completely safe. They are from reputable providers and have been rigorously tested by our team here at BestVPN.com.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the best free VPNs available on the market today.

What is a VPN?

Simply put, a VPN is a technology that allows you to:

  • Protect your privacy by making it impossible for anyone to see what you get up to online
  • Get around blocks and other forms of online censorship
  • Appear to be in another country so you can access services not available in your region
  • Download, torrent and file share safely and anonymously
  • Use public WiFi hotspots safely and securely

VPNs work by creating a private, secure network over a public one (the internet). There are two benefits to this. First, when you connect through a VPN, all your traffic is routed through a secure tunnel. This encrypts all of your data, making it impossible for your ISP, the government and hackers to monitor your activity.

Second, a VPN allows you to unlock restricted content. Some websites and services are blocked by ISPs on behalf of the government. Other services like video streaming sites are geo-restricted for use in specific countries due to licensing restrictions. A VPN can overcome these restrictions by providing you with an IP address in a different region. For all intents and purposes, you appear to be in a different country.

If you’re new to the world of VPNs and would like to know more, we recommend checking out our Beginner’s Guide to VPNs for all the information you need in one handy place.

Conclusion

People often say that the best things in life are free. Unfortunately, this old adage doesn’t apply to VPNs. If you are looking for a safe, secure and fast VPN without any restrictions, the cold reality is you are going to have to fork out a few dollars a month for it. But believe us when we say – it is worth it!

For less than the price of a chai tea latte, you can enjoy the full capabilities of a VPN and unlock everything that the internet has to offer. That’s why we always recommend that our readers take advantage of moneyback guarantees – so they can see the difference for themselves.

However, if you are just dipping your toes in the water or want to use a VPN occasionally for light tasks such as web browsing, the free VPNs in this list will be more than up to the task. 

Finally, remember that all these services are free – so you should try them all and see which one works best for you!

If a free VPN is unlikely to meet your needs, why not try a free trial VPN instead? It’s free – and you get a taste of a premium VPN service for a limited time!