5 Best Free VPN Services (October 2016)

VPNs are an indispensable tool for digital privacy. Sadly not many free VPN services are trustworthy, secure and reliable. We understand, however, that some people want access to a free VPN for security. That is why we have searched far and wide for the 5 best free VPN services of 2016!

What will a free VPN service do?

A VPN service provides you with encryption to secure your data. That means that governments, ISPs, landlords, or anyone else that might be trying to ‘sniff’ your traffic can’t see what you are doing. Furthermore, a VPN allows you to ‘spoof’ your location to overseas. This can allow you to access Geo-restricted content!

No substitute for a paid VPN subscription!

It is important that you understand that although the free VPNs in this guide are the 5 best free VPN service options of 2016, it is also true that being free makes them somewhat limited and restrictive. With that said, these free VPNs have been extensively tested and are well worth using when necessary.

A Warning

Many free VPNs are a security nightmare. Free VPNs often sell user data on to third parties. Others handle data in an insecure way or provide outdated encryption that can be easily hacked. That is why we must urge you never to download an untrusted free VPN. The ramifications could be serious!

Remember, we highly advise subscribing to a fully featured VPN service. Costs are low, and there really is no substitute for the security that you get with a fully featured VPN!

Here are the 5 Best Free VPN services of 2016. As an extra, we have included some other free privacy options too! We hope that using a free VPN inspires you to subscribe to a fully featured service – because VPNs are AWESOME!!

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.


windscribe LogoWindscribe Download Cap
Read Review10/10
Visit Site >


TunnelBear LogoTunnelbear Download Cap
Read Review9/10
Visit Site >


hide.me Logohide.me Download Cap
Read Review8/10
Visit Site >


CyberGhost Free VPNCyberGhost Speed Cap
Read Review7/10
Visit Site >


VPNGate LogoVPNGate Educational Development
Read Review6/10
Visit Site >


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

Editor's Choice Award





  • ProsPROS
  • Fantastic encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • Keeps no logs
  • Brilliant features & software
  • Transparent privacy policy
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited customer support
  • Newer service (less established)

Windscribe is an awesome free VPN that comes in first in 2016. Considering it is free, it provides relatively good speeds. In tests reliability was outstanding, and far better than 99% of other free VPNs that we tested. To make it free usage is capped, but the firm allows you a whopping 10GB per month. A pretty huge chunk of usage!

Sadly, there are some drawbacks with Windscribe. It doesn’t let free users access every single one of ithe servers on its network. Having said that, free VPN users can use the US, GB, CA, NL, DE and HK servers – which is a really brilliant selection of locations!

Windscribe has recently released iOS and Android apps too, and the best news is that these are available to free users as well!

Get the Best Free VPN Service Today!

Visit Windscribe »

2nd place



Best Free VPN Service

  • ProsPROS
  • Cool design, fun & easy
  • Apps for all platforms
  • Excellent encryption
  • Great for beginners
  • Five simultaneous connections permitted
  • ConsCONS
  • No P2P
  • Few advanced settings
  • Usage capped

TunnelBear is an excellent free VPN service that many people enjoy because of its fun design.

They don’t keep any logs, which makes it great for security. Actually, the company’s privacy policy is really tight – making this a reliable free VPN to use for getting added privacy and security online. Another positive aspect of the free service is that users are allowed to access all of the VPN server locations on the VPN network. Sadly, you can’t use the service for any more than 500MB worth of web browsing per month, when the data limit kicks in. However, you can earn a little more by doing some social shares!

As with all the free VPNs on our list, this VPN is restricted.  So, if you use the Internet a lot, then you should probably use a non-data capped free VPNs further down in the guide! With that said, we really like TunnelBear and feel that it is the best all around free VPN in 2016.

Visit TunnelBear »

3rd Place




  • ProsPROS
  • Solid Encryption
  • Servers in 22 countries
  • No logs
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Highly experienced customer care
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited to 2GB per month

Hide Me is a VPN provider from Malaysia that offers a free plan. Users can choose from 28 servers in 22 countries. Connection speeds are solid and security is great thanks to OpenVPN encryption. Usage is capped at 2GB of usage per month – a pretty reasonable allowance, and certainly enough to get you some privacy when you really need it, or to unblock websites that are currently unavailable.

Another highly impressive free VPN service!

Visit hide.me »

4th place




  • ProsPROS
  • Free VPN provider
  • No logs
  • Strong encryption
  • Plenty of servers
  • Useful FAQs and customer support
  • ConsCONS
  • Connection speeds can be up and down
  • Some queues to get on certain server locations

CyberGhost also provide a free VPN service. The service is pretty good and certainly better than many free VPNs that we tested! CyberGhost also handles user data in a secure manner, which is great!

Sadly, speeds can differ a lot between servers, and people have noticed queues to get on certain servers. The good thing is that you can select between an extensive choice of servers. Encryption is also top of the range. Considering CG is free, we really love it – and if you like having lots of locations to choose from this is a great free VPN!

Visit CyberGhost »

5th place



VPNGate Free VPN

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

VPNGate is run by Japan’s University of Tsukuba. It runs on a relay of volunteer computers. The software is open source and receives regular updates to improve it and keep it available for users.

The main reason for the project is to help people that live in locations with strict government censorship. The project also provides daily mirrors to protect users from the main site going down.

Sadly the Uni project won’t allow Peer to Peer, torrenting or other illegal activities. It also keeps logs, and would comply with police investigations if asked. That is why this free VPN is only really for accessing blocked websites, to see news or other information.

Connection speeds can also be a bit iffy, because it is run on volunteer machines around the globe.

Visit VPNGate »


Tor Project


Tor Project

  • prosPROS
  • Highly secure way to get online anonymity
  • Easy to setup and use
  • consCONS
  • Rather slow
  • Not a VPN
  • Can expose users to criminal activities

As an extra, we have put the Tor network in our guide. Although it is not a VPN, it is very similar. Tor runs on volunteer relays around the world and runs on open source software. It is highly secure due to layered encryption (called Onion Routing).

It functions by encrypting data as it passes through at least three different volunteer machines or ‘nodes’. Every time data passes through an exit node it is encrypted again adding another layer of encryption!

When you use Tor, your IP address appears to be that of a volunteer – anonymizing you from the sites that you visit. As there are so many thousands of nodes, there is no known way of identifying users on the network.

The only real drawback of the Tor Project is that it slows down connection speeds considerably. P2P file sharing is not allowed either as it slows down the network too much. All in all, Tor is a fantastic service that is well worth looking into!

Visit Tor Project »

Free VPN Considerations

When choosing a Free VPN you must think about a number of things.

Best Free VPN Considerations

The main considerations are:

a) What do you intend to use your free VPN for?

b) How often are you likely to use your VPN to connect to the Internet?

If your biggest reason for needing a free VPN is to unblock restricted or geo-blocked sites – any of the free VPN services in this guide will do the job! However, if you use the Internet a lot and need privacy and security when you do, then you should go for one of the VPNs with no data limits. Sadly that means you will have fewer servers to choose from, and or a speed cap.

That brings us the second important consideration – connection speeds. Slower connection speeds will be terrible for watching any video streaming video content, or music. So if you want to watch blocked shows, for example, don’t use a speed capped free VPN from our list.

If you tend to use the Internet a lot, every day, then you will likely require a free VPN that is super fast and also has no data caps. Sadly that is not really an option. By using a combination of services, however, you may well be able to find a way to get everything you want to do online done in a secure way!

Conclusion for Free VPNs

In 2016 there is a huge growing awareness of VPNs and the privacy and anonymity they provide.

Unfortunately, although everybody likes getting something for free, truly great VPN services charge a subscription fee. For that investment, users get top-of-the-range encryption and access to a network of lightning fast international servers.

Although there are many free VPN services out there, most of those make money out of their user’s data. This runs in complete contrast to the privacy that top VPN providers pride themselves on giving their users. The difference is truly black and white.

This is a huge security risk and is one reason that we cannot recommend many of the free VPNs on the market!

The VPNs in this list, however, are a good middle ground. The VPNs we have found for this guide are trusted. They do handle data securely and don’t sell data on to third parties. They also provide great standards of encryption. In fact, we are confident that all of the providers in this list are perfect for anybody that requires a free VPN in 2016.

Finally, we would like to remind you that there is no real substitute for a paid VPN. We hope that you found what you need in this article, so enjoy trying out these free VPNs, and be sure to leave us a message if we can help in any way!

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.


windscribe LogoWindscribe Download Cap
Read Review10/10
Visit Site >


TunnelBear LogoTunnelbear Download Cap
Read Review9/10
Visit Site >


hide.me Logohide.me Download Cap
Read Review8/10
Visit Site >


CyberGhost Free VPNCyberGhost Speed Cap
Read Review7/10
Visit Site >


VPNGate LogoVPNGate Educational Development
Read Review6/10
Visit Site >


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

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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65 responses to “5 Best Free VPN Services (October 2016)

  1. After reading all of this, I am now more confused than ever

    I bought a house in Panama, plan to spend 4-5 months per year there. The rest of the time, I live in the Seattle Washington area.

    Internet service in Panama is limited, advertised (satelitte dish) speed is 4 Mbps. I do not have an option of a wired connection to my modem.

    Things I’m after…

    1) Be able to utilize Kodi to watch US based tv channels. I would also like to watch “U.S. based” Hulu and Netflix, I guess the only way to do that is some kind of VPN…

    2) I bought a new router (ASUS RT-N66U) which I have had Tomato firmware installed. Next step is to figure out what the best VPN would be for my needs…

    3. The VPN I use has to pass thru as much as possible due to only having 4 Mbps…

    Any help would be appreciated

    1. Hi TC,

      In general you are on the right track. Do please be aware, however, that both Hulu and Netflix are trying to block VPN users, so you may need to experiment somewhat in order to find a VPN service that works for them both. You should also be aware that using a VPN will slow down your internet connection, which can cause buffering issues. Sticking to watching SD rather than HD content is probably a must. Please check out my article on 5 Best VPNs for Panama – for best connection speeds connect to a server in Panama.

        1. Hi TC,

          Smart DNS provides geospoofing by resolving your DNS requests at a specified location (the US in your case). For accessing streaming services it can be very effective, and there is less lag as DNS translation is pretty much instantaneous (although the distance you internet signal must travel remains a factor). It may well be a better solution for you than using a VPN. Note that both Hulu and Netflix also try to block Smart DNS services, but more of these work than VPN services. You might like to check out our sister-site, SmartDNS.com :).

  2. Tried all of these, and everything except Windscribe is total garbage. Either too little free data to be even remotely useful (Tunnelbear and Hideme), or speed throttled to a point where its unusable (Cyberghost). I’ll be upgrading when I get my next paycheck.

    1. Hi joe,

      It is clear, then, that your school is actively blocking VPN connections. I am in the middle of writing a guide on How to Bypass VPN Blocks, so look out for that very soon. In the meantime, many of the tactics outlined in 5 Best VPNs for China for defeating the Great Firewall should also be effective at bypassing your school VPN blocks. Do please be aware, however, that you might get into trouble with your school if caught.

    1. Used betternet app, worked until several months ago. `
      Then all of a sudden it stopped working. All connections kept dropping, couldn’t use it for anything anymore.

    1. Hi shirazi,

      BestVPN.com is a VPN comparison and review website. For free VPN, please visit the websites listed above.

  3. @Douglas Crawford : I will float it to the BestVPN.com managment.
    where is the answer of the * BestVPN.com managment pls ?
    where is the list of ‘all the freevpn that you must avoid’ ?
    i would like to know if mine is a good choice or not …

    1. Hi zannek,

      So I passed this along to manegment, and recived the following reply. “We actually have a 5 Worst list on our pipeline – just waiting to be clear on content priorities after the recent content audit, but it could well happen!” So it looks good!

  4. i should not recommend WINDSCRIBE , no !
    As long as windscribe will not follow these simple rules :
    – a free .conf for gnu_linux users
    – at least a server for linux users not based in a compromised country like canada,uk,australia,usa (14eyes)
    – the choice of the surname & the password for linux users
    – to not be on the next list of the free vpn you must avoid
    – a modern & strong (openvpn) encryption protocol for linux users
    A free account for linux users without to be registered should be a must !

  5. Tried all of the companies mentioned here, and Windscribe is a clear winner. The program is the best, soooo simple to use, and does everything for you. Been using it for free for 2 months and will probably give them the money they rightfully deserve. A+++++

  6. Thanks for mentioning that Douglas. I’ll bear it in mind. I’m using Comodo Firewall. Maybe I’ll give another one a go and see if the same thing happens.


  7. Thanks for your reply Douglas.

    Re the ExpressVpn issue – who knows what the cause of the cluster packet loss is. It is disconcerting though when you see ‘100% cluster packet loss’ in the diagnostic logs available to their users.

  8. Alan Turing / Douglas Crawford – re your earlier comments about Cyberghost and their Manchester servers.

    I was until recently a Premium Subscriber. As soon as I noticed that they were routing my traffic through their Manchester server I cut my ties with them for the reasons as discussed above. I’m based in the UK and was very disappointed with this development.

    I’ve moved on now. Have been with ExpressVpn for a while. It’s not a bad vpn, but I have been suffering from a continually high level of cluster packet loss on my connections (often right up to 100% – does your encrypted connection essentially die when this happens?) for a while now. Their support have told me that this is down to the smaller size of some of their servers (combined I guess with numbers of users on a particular server at any given time – again, I’d be grateful if anyone in the know who has any thoughts on this could comment). I’m looking to try a new vpn now.

    1. Hi jimmie,

      Thanks for confirming that this issue also affects premium users. There is also talk of CyberGhost installing a root certificate on users computers along with its software. This a very dodgy thing to do as it effectively gives access to your entire computer. As long as you are connected to a VPN server, the connection will be encrypted. I am a little surprised at the problems you are having with ExpressVPN, as I have always found its performance to be excellent.

    1. Hi Visitor.01,

      Most free VPN services (including all of the above) do not permit torrenting. I recently reviewed Betternet, however, which does allow torrenting on its free service (which also offers unlimited data).

  9. Hi guys please who knows about “JUST FREE VPN” jus wanna give a trial can somebody tell me how safe or harmful it could be?

  10. I am using Cyberghost VPN and although I can choose my IP country, the DNS server is ALWAYS a british server based in Manchester. To be honest I don’t trust a DNS server based in a 5 eyes country. What’s your opinion about this? Is it a dangerous thing or not?

    1. Hi Alan,

      The DNS server should always match the country of your IP address. I also agree that the UK is not a good country for anything to be based when it comes to security. Are you based in the UK? If so, then you are probably suffering a DNS leak. Unlike many providers, CyberGhost does not include DNS leak protection as a feature of its software.

      1. No, I’m a Spaniard living in Spain. I have done the ip leak test several times and it’s ok, but my only concern is that the DNS server is always the Manchester one I told you in my first post. So for example, if I choose a danish IP and I run the test, it shows a IP from Denmark but it also shows this british server as DNS server. Quite weird, in my opinion.

        1. Hi Alan,

          Hmm. That is weird, and I have never heard of this happening before – as I say, the DNS address should match the IP location, or else the VPN is useless for geo-spoofing purposes. Maybe using just one DNS server located in Manchester is a way for CyberGhost to cut its overheads for free users (if you are a fee user)? Have you tried contacting CyberHhost about this issue?

          1. Hi Douglas,

            Yes, I’m a free user. I just talked to CyberGhost support agent via chat and they told me that they have 3 DNS servers: one in New York, one in Germany and this one in Manchester. He also said that the app chooses the server automatically and that it can be changed (to one of their there servers) if the OS allows you to do so. So since my IPad doesn’t allow me to change the DNS server in a VPN conection, there is nothing I can do about it. He was very nice but I keep thinking this whole thing is strange.

          2. Hi Alan,

            Thanks getting back to me on this. Yes, it is very strange, and is not something I have encountered before. Aside from any worries about GCHQ accessing your browsing history through CyberGhost’s UK DNS server, even fairly basic DNS detection will prevent users from geospoofing to other countries. Do you know if it is only free users that are affected by this issue, or paid users also?

          3. No, I don’t know if paid users are also affected by this thing. As I said I’m just a free user who downloaded the CyberGhost app for iOS a couple of days ago after reading your excellent article.

          4. Hi Alan,

            Thanks for all the info you have provided. When I have a moment I may chase this up myself.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

          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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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 +.

  17. 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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