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5 Best Free VPN Services (August 2016)

These days, VPNs are essential for digital privacy. Cyber criminals are everywhere, and governments all over the world keep passing progressively stricter surveillance laws. On top of that, governments, ISPs, landlords, and geo-restrictions are actively censoring the Internet just about everywhere! It is because of these important issues that people all over the world are turning to VPN providers. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a world-class VPN. That is why we have created this current list of the best free VPN services in 2016.

Naturally, while we do want to give you access to the best Free VPN providers of 2016, it is also important that we carefully inform you about the limitations of those free VPN products. However, Free VPN services come with restrictions. Overall they don’t compare to the type of security you get with a fully featured VPN service. Having said that, in this article we will outline the constraints of each of the free VPNs.

Another important thing that you must remember, is that there are very many free VPNs around that you should never use. Free VPNs often sell user data to third parties, which means that using one is the VPN equivalent of gambling with your digital security. Some services handle data in an insecure manner or provide outdated encryption. That is why we must urge you not to download an untrusted free VPN. The consequences could be massive!

The truth is that we highly advise subscribing to a leading VPN that offers a 30-day money back guarantee (or purchase a cheap VPN subscription). Because there really is no substitute for the security that comes with a fully featured VPN!

Having given that honest warning, we present our 5 best free VPN services of 2016. We hope that experiencing a free VPN encourages you to opt for a more secure option! From everyone here at BestVPN.com; welcome to net neutrality!

Best Free VPN Services Summary

Rank Provider Free Grade Link
Sponsored Star ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN 30-day Money-back Guarantee
Read Review10/10
Visit Site >
Best Seller! Save time searching and get great service from ExpressVPN with money-back guarantee.

1

TunnelBear LogoTunnelbear Download Cap
Read Review9/10
Visit Site >

2

windscribe LogoWindscribe Download Cap
Read Review9/10
Visit Site >

3

CyberGhost Free VPNCyberGhost Speed Cap
Read Review8/10
Visit Site >

4

ZoogTV LogoZoogTV Speed Cap (free only)
Read Review7/10
Visit Site >

5

VPNGate LogoVPNGate Educational Development
Read Review5/10
Visit Site >

B

Tor LogoToR Technically not a VPN
Read Review5/10
Visit Site >

Editor's Choice Award

Winner

TunnelBear

5.0/5

TunnelBear

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

TunnelBear is an awesome free VPN service with a unique and fun to use design.

They don’t keep any logs, which is a great feature straight away. In fact, the entire privacy policy is great and this is a great free VPN to use for added security when browsing online.

The biggest issue with the service is that the free plan imposes a 500MB data limit per month. Although you can earn more usage by doing simple tasks like  tweeting and social shares, so you’ve got to work for the free VPN service. On a more positive note, you are given access to all of the VPN servers! So at least you will have lots of location options. Realistically, however, if you tend to use the Internet a lot, then you are probably better off using one of the free VPNs further up down our list! Having said that, there is no doubt that TunnelBear is an excellent and fun service that many users love!

Get the Best Free VPN Service Today!

Visit TunnelBear »


2nd

Windscribe

4.8/5

Best Free VPN Service

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

Windscribe is a fantastic service that we now consider the best Free VPN on the market. Although it certainly doesn’t provide the fastest connection speeds we have ever seen, considering it is a free VPN it isn’t particularly slow either. Reliability was outstanding in our recent tests and better than all the other VPNs that we checked. As it is a free service, you do get a usage limit. However, you are entitled to use 10GB per month. That is a huge chunk of free usage allowance! Cool!

Apart from the data cap, the only drawback is that Windscribe doesn’t allow free users to access every single one of its servers. However, free users can access US, CA, GB, NL, DE and HK servers – which in fairness are some of the most desirable places on earth! For that reason a Free Windscribe subscription will give most people what they need from a VPN, and it is the best Free VPN service that we were able to find in 2016!

Windscribe has now released iOS and Android apps too, which means that it is available for even more platforms than before!

Considering the cost is nothing, we were super impressed with this free VPN service! So why not give them a go for yourself!

Visit Windscribe »


3rd place

CyberGhost

4.4/5

CyberGhost

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

CyberGhost is another VPN Provider that is well known for its excellent free VPN package. The only problem is that connection speeds do differ from one server to the next, and can get a bit laggy. Also, at times users have experienced a queue to get on their preferred server. Believe it or not, however, compared to other free VPNs on the market it still easily beats other free services. It is also a VPN provider that we trust  to manage your data in a professional manner.

A good thing about CyberGhost is that it lets you choose from an extensive selection of servers! On top of this, the encryption they provide is also top of the range. So while it’s your connection will still be secure!

All in all, there is little difference between CyberGhost and Windscribe. Our recommendation is that if you are looking for faster speeds then Windscribe is the better free VPN. Whereas if you prefer a lot of servers to choose from then CyberGhost is likely the best option. Considering they are free, you could decide to try them both!

Visit CyberGhost »


4th place

ZoogTV

4.0/5

ZoogTV Free VPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Awesome free VPN service
  • Try to limit speeds as little as possible
  • Brilliant customer support
  • OpenVPN encryption included
  • ConsCONS
  • Only three free VPN servers
  • 2GB data cap

ZoogTV is a UK based free VPN service that is really awesome!   You are allowed to use  2GB of data per month, which is a lot for a free service. The firm also promises not to slow down speeds unless it absolutely has to (to provide a better service to paying customers).

The only drawback with this service is that it only lets you use 3 servers, so you are very limited in terms of location choice. However, if the reason you need to use a VPN is to get around ISP website blocks, you will still enjoy this service!

Visit ZoogTV »


5th place

VPNGate

3.5/5

VPNGate Free VPN

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

VPNGate is a free VPN that is run by Japan’s University of Tsukuba. The service runs on a relay of volunteer computers situated around the world. The client is completely open source and is regularly updated and improved to keep it available to the people who need it.

The project exists to help out people who live in locations where the government imposes censorship. It is for that reason that VPNGate receives regular updates. The project also provides daily mirrors in case the main site gets blocked for some reason.

One problem is that because it is run by a University no Peer to Peer, torrenting or other illegal activities are not allowed.They also keep logs and admit they will help the authorities if they have to. This VPN is therefore for unblocking websites, such as news sites and regular legal information that is blocked for some reason where you live.

We also admit that because the network consists of volunteer computers connection speeds are not particularly mind blowing. If you need a free VPN to visit sites that are blocked by your government, however, then this free VPN is a great option!

Visit VPNGate »


Bonus

Tor Project

3.0/5

Tor Project

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

As an extra, we have put the Tor network on this list, even though it is not actually a VPN service. It is, however, very similar! Tor is a network of volunteer relays that runs on open source software that allows users to connect to the Internet anonymously. It is immensely secure because it uses layered encryption known as Onion Routing.

It works by making your data pass through at least three different ‘nodes’. Exit nodes are the name given to the volunteer computers on the network. When your data passes through one, it is encrypted once more. Every additional level of encryption provides you with a high degree of security.

When you use Tor, your IP address becomes that of one of the  volunteer machines – of which there are hundreds of thousands. For that reason, there is no known method of identifying you when you use it. That is why Tor is often used by journalists, political dissidents and even politicians themselves!

The only real problem with Tor Project is that it does slow connection speeds down a lot. P2P file sharing is also disallowed as it would slow down the network too much for other users. Over all, Tor is an excellent service that is worth looking into if it interests you!

Visit Tor Project »


Free VPN Considerations

When selecting a free VPN provider, you must consider a few things.

Free VPN

The most important things to think about are a) what you need your VPN for, and b) how much you are likely to use your VPN to access the Internet.

If you mainly need to unblock sites that your ISP restricts, have regional blocks, or are government controlled – any of the free VPNs in this article will work for you. If you are likely to use a lot of data or need the VPN for privacy reasons, then you should opt for an uncapped VPN.

Your next consideration should be connection speeds. Slower connections will not be any good for watching video streaming content such as BBC iPlayer or geo-restricted sports competitions.

If you usually go on the Internet for extended periods of time, then you will probably need a free VPN that is lightning fast and also has no data use limits, sadly that is not actually an option. However, using a combination of the services that we have highlighted above, you should be able to get everything you need to do done with free VPN protection!

Conclusion for Free VPNs

These days everybody is learning about VPN services and their excellent features! Sadly, the best VPN services charge a subscription fee for providing users with encryption and access to international servers for spoofing your IP address. Although there are some free VPN services out there, many that don’t charge instead sell user data on to third parties. This is a huge security risk and is one reason why we cannot recommend many of the free VPNs out there!

Having said that, we are confident that all of the providers in this article are perfect for anybody in need of a free VPN in 2016. So please be sure to check them out carefully so that you can choose the best one for your needs.

Finally, we want to remind you that there is no real substitute for a paid VPN service. That is because when it comes to VPNs the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is very true! However, we hope that you found what you need in this article. Be sure to leave us a message if there is anything that you need to know!

Best Free VPN Providers Recap

Rank Provider Free Grade Link
Sponsored Star ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN 30-day Money-back Guarantee
Read Review10/10
Visit Site >
Best Seller! Save time searching and get great service from ExpressVPN with money-back guarantee.

1

TunnelBear LogoTunnelbear Download Cap
Read Review9/10
Visit Site >

2

windscribe LogoWindscribe Download Cap
Read Review9/10
Visit Site >

3

CyberGhost Free VPNCyberGhost Speed Cap
Read Review8/10
Visit Site >

4

ZoogTV LogoZoogTV Speed Cap (free only)
Read Review7/10
Visit Site >

5

VPNGate LogoVPNGate Educational Development
Read Review5/10
Visit Site >

B

Tor LogoToR Technically not a VPN
Read Review5/10
Visit Site >



Published 2016-08-04
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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24 responses to “5 Best Free VPN Services (August 2016)

  1. pay for a VPN you free tightarses – you’ll get alot better experience just read da fine print <3 you could get fucked over. my paid is much better than free
    peace

  2. winscribe is the best on the list above. Even tho they are from canada (poutine land😁) 14eyes etc etc illuminati,nsa you know……😏
    Read their p.policy. also recommend users to use revo unistaller which has free version to uninstall any programs it cleans everything to registry to sunfolders etc etc.
    P.s this site is such a good site.
    Found it not so long ago.
    Keep it up and cool……
    Cheers m8

    1. windscribe is not a good option yet , has not the required features , try it does not mean that in case of a real threat it could better than another vpn provider (this comparison is never given nowhere).

      1. Hi, what features are we lacking? We aim to improve, so let us know, maybe its already in the works 🙂

        1. Hi,
          @what features are we lacking? We aim to improve, so let us know, maybe its already in the works.
          #as desktop-user, my opinion is that it should be better if these features were improved :
          – vpn & tor or/and tor & vpn (it is it yet implemented?).
          – vpn & personal password + personal login (it is it yet implemented?).
          – a linux version must be proposed (it is it yet implemented?).
          – a free version without the registration be necessary (it is it yet implemented?).
          – the servers must be not compromised and closed if it is the case (it is it yet implemented?)._ it should be nice if something should appear on the screen alert us that the server is under survey/sized/compromised or under attack but i suppose it is impossible to know it).
          – at least 1 no-log server for the free version (it is it yet implemented?).
          – vpn & game on line (it is it yet implemented?). _very difficult without lag&jit.
          – a comparison between the different vpn provider and an independent audit about their security _ which it works on ubuntu/mint or smartphone can fail on debian or on a blackberry/sony
          i know that windscribe is a professional & active team.
          thx.

          1. Well even paid no log VPN servers, still in a way do keep logs. All VPN companies does keep logs of users one way or another. In a way they could all rent us out to govt, NSA etc. Or given large sum of money by companies.

            Ps- trace the IP of the location you choose and lookup IP Addy or DNS see their hosting sites and go to their site and check out their privacy policy. They sometimes do keep logs even if the VPN provider says they don’t. They buy or rent servers and so on.

          2. Hi AnonNoob,

            Well, companies such as AirVPN claim that all logs are sent direct to a /null file. Of course, a VPN company can choose (or be forced) to start logging at any time, and can always monitor communications in realtime. Third party hosting providers are an issue, but remember that all VPN traffic remains encrypted, and most hosting provider collect only aggregate data. Only the company running the VPN server instance (i.e. the VPN provider) will be able to monitor the IP each incoming connection. It is also worth noting that a few VPN companies operate their own bare-metal servers, and therefore have complete control over their networks.

  3. I’m not sure about these VPN services, are they better or worse? I don’t care for government or hackers getting into my data. But at the same point how do I know some VPN couldn’t take my data too? I also hate anything I install on my computer that won’t completely uninstall if I’m not happy with it. Getting some of these programs off your computer completely is a nightmare, often you need other uninstall programs to get them completely deleted!
    Your review puts Total VPN at the top, yet there seems to be so many complaints that I’m afraid to even give it a try? Will this cause me more problems then it’s going to solve? I wish there was clear answers to what’s safe and honest to use!

    1. Hi Gale,

      Most VPN software uninstalls just fine. Free VPN providers need to profit somehow, and at least the ones listed here are transparent about how they do so – less scrupulous ones will just sell your data, which is why we strongly recommend choosing a paid-for service. As to TotalVPN – yup, we have received many complaints, but it provides the most “unlimited” free service that we know of. You pays your money (or not in this case), and takes your chances. We are, however, monitoring the TotalVPN situation carefully.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

    2. you need to uninstall the app first, then use a registry cleaner to remove all registry entries from the windows registry.

    3. Network connections that are left out should be removed in Device Manager. Please go to Device Manager and click Network Adapters, there you can uninstall them, Cheers

    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.

  6. 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 +.

  7. 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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