5 Best Free VPNs

14 Dec 2014 |

Using a free VPN is a big risk. If you aren’t paying for it, how is the VPN paying their costs? We highly recommend you use a cheap VPN instead, take a look at our guide here.

While most VPNs are priced under $10/ month this may be more than some people can afford so free VPNs are always appreciated. While these usually are limited in one way or another, the ones we have selected provide a great service at absolutely zero cost. 

It’s hard for a free service to compete with a paid one due to the downsides – which we have discussed for each VPN respectively – but the services we have selected will help you achieve privacy and security while carrying out your internet activities. If you do consider getting a paid VPN but are short on cash we would also recommend looking at our Cheap VPNs list.

Summary

Rank Provider Free Review Link

1

CyberGhost Logo Speed Cap 9.8
Read Review
Visit Site

2

SurfEasy Logo Download Cap 9.5
Read Review
Visit Site

3

TunnelBear Logo Download Cap 9.5
Read Review
Visit Site

4

Hotspot Shield Logo US only, Ad supported 9.3
Read Review
Visit Site

5

VPNGate Logo Educational Development 9.1
Read Review
Visit Site

B

Tor Logo Technically not a VPN 9.1 Visit Site
Editor’s Choice

Winner – CyberGhost

CyberGhost Logo

Positives: no logs, based in Romania, good client, accepts Bitcoin, allows P2P(on paid plans only) , shared IPs

Negativesmultiple simultaneous connections only allowed on most expensive plan, speed cap

CyberGhost is a large Romanian company who has been doing fantastic developments lately. With regards to security they are absolutely top notch, going as far as deleting your payment details after it’s been processed, are working on some security technologies themselves and are willing to support promising security start ups too! Not only is their security great, but other areas of their service such as the client and support are also fantastic.

Overall CyberGhost is a great provider, and while their free service has a number of limitations: speed, time, advertisement; it is superb all round.

Try Out the Best Free VPN Today!

Visit CyberGhost »


2. SurfEasy

SurfEasy Logo

Positives: great speeds, 5 simultaneous connections, easy to use software, phone support

Negatives: download cap (more can be earned), no P2P

SurfEasy is a fantastic Canadian company, with aims of bringing privacy and security to the masses, so it’s no surprise that they provide a free service alongside their normal plans. All their plans come with a whopping 5 simultaneous connections, they have easy to use clients and good speeds.

Their free plan is just as good as the normal plan but it does come with come with a data limit of 500MB (can be increased to 1.5GB with a few tasks) which is only useful for occasional/ normal use. Also in order to be able to provide the security that they do, no P2P is allowed. If you’re looking for something different they also have a Private Browser USB product, which comes with an initial fee but is valid for a life time.

Visit SurfEasy »


3. TunnelBear

TunnelBear Logo

Positives: entertaining, minimal logs, great performance, great clarity

Negatives: limited countries, no P2P, download cap

In many aspects TunnelBear is very similar to SurfEasy: they are Canadian, for the everyday person and don’t allow P2P. Even their pricing is similar for the paid packages. We found that TunnelBear’s support is better and their client to be a bit more useful and entertaining.

They provide 3 simultaneous connections, up to 1.5GB download limit and overall a very good company.

Visit TunnelBear »


4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield Logo

Positives: great software, easy to use, low price for premium and of course a free VPN service is available

Negatives: free plan is limited to US servers and Advertising supported

Hotspot Shield is generally a great all round provider with their focus heavily based upon an ‘always-on’ protection system so that the customers can always be safe while connected to the internet – independent of where they are. This is the reason why they have a great free service available to anyone that wishes to use it as well as having great application and software for all major operating systems.

On the downside their free version is advertising supported and you are only able to connect to their US servers using it – and access to Netflix and Hulu is disabled. Since it is designed to be usable by the average person it does mean that unfortunately there are no advanced features and the exact technical details are slightly hard to find out.

Visit Hotspot Shield »


5. VPN Gate

VPNGate Logo

Positives: fully open source, constantly being developed, mirror sites and daily updates

Negatives: educational so does log, no P2P, slow speed

VPN Gate is developed by the University of Tsukuba by Japan and servers are ran my volunteers. It is designed as a distributed VPN system, based off of Soft-Ether, which means it’s fully open source. All of these factors, including their mirror sites and daily updates, means that it’s a fantastic tool for avoiding government censorship.

Unfortunately this does mean that P2P isn’t really allowed and connection logs are kept for nearly 3 months from all the servers. Also since it’s ran by volunteers it does mean that speeds are unreliable, limited and can change very often.

Visit VPNGate »


Bonus. Tor

Tor Logo

Positives: very secure way (paid or unpaid) to maintain on-line anonymity (although bear in mind that nothing is 100% secure), easy to install and use

Negatives: technically not a VPN, Slow, no P2P

Not strictly a VPN service, but as a widely used free system designed to ensure online anonymity it seemed criminal not to mention the Tor Network here. The open source Tor client allows you connect to the internet anonymously through a distributed network (other Tor users) using a layered encryption service known as Onion Routing. This means that whenever you access a website your request will pass through at least 3 different computers (called nodes), with all information encrypted each time to provide a very high level of security. In addition to this, because your apparent IP is that of a random volunteer (of which there are literally hundreds of thousands), there is no way to even determine that you are masking your identity, which makes this service famously invaluable for dissidents living under restrictive governments.

The main downside is that it’s not fast, as your traffic is being bounced around volunteers’ computers across the world. The Tor Network also ask you not to use the service for P2P filesharing, as the amount of traffic involved puts a severe strain on the system and damages other users’ experience.

One use the truly paranoid may have for the Tor Network is in conjunction with Bitcoin payments, allowing them  to maintain complete anonymity when signing up to and purchasing regular VPN packages.

Visit Tor »


Conclusion

When your considering a free VPN make sure that you’re aware of all the restrictions imposed.

We believe that CyberGhost to be the best free VPN provider out there. This is due, not only to the quality of provider, but also since we believe it is the one with the most sensible restrictions. Their speed cap means that you’ll be able to use the service as much as you want while always being protected. Granted you will be disconnected every 6 hours but this shouldn’t be a big downside.

The other VPNs listed also have a great value behind them and since they are all free you can give them a full try before deciding which one you use – absolutely perfect. So if you’re wallet is tight but you’d still like to be protected while on the internet, we’d fully recommend trying one of these completely free VPNs. Have a look below at our summary below in case you haven’t made up your mind yet.

Summary

Rank Provider Free Review Link

1

CyberGhost Logo Speed Cap 9.8
Read Review
Visit Site

2

SurfEasy Logo Download Cap 9.5
Read Review
Visit Site

3

TunnelBear Logo Download Cap 9.5
Read Review
Visit Site

4

Hotspot Shield Logo Some reservations 9.3
Read Review
Visit Site

5

VPNGate Logo Educational Development 9.1
Read Review
Visit Site

B

Tor Logo Technically not a VPN 9.1 Visit Site


Did you like the article? Help spread the word and share!
Written by Peter Selmeczy
I am an engineer by trade and tech geek by night, who's passionate about sharing his knowledge with the people. Find me on Google+.

20 Responses to “5 Best Free VPNs”

  1. Max says:

    Hello,
    Just wondering if Cyberghost works in China.

    Thanks

  2. villa says:

    How can this be the best if there’s no split tunneling.

  3. Shawn says:

    Just like to point out that cyberghost does NOT offer p2p in their free package. You might want to correct that.

  4. Tom says:

    I read that Tor encrypt messages after they receive them from my computer. Does that mean in a public setting, someone could intercept the messages leaving my computer? If so, does VPN encrypt messages before they leave my computer? Please advise.

    • Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Tom,
      Tor encrypts your data client-side (i.e. on your computer), then passes it to a Tor node where is re-encrypted, then passes it to another Tor node where it is re-encrypted again, before passing to a Tor exit node, and thence to the internet. We explain this in more detail in this article (www.bestvpn.com/blog/5888/tor-vs-vpn/), or you can read Tor’s own overview at http://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en. This means that a message cannot be intercepted (unencrypted) when it leaves your computer. VPN also encrypts your data client-side.

      For day-to-day privacy, a logless VPN (www.bestvpn.com/blog/11536/5-best-logless-vpns/) is far superior to Tor as it is much faster, allows geo-spoofing, and P2P is often permitted (depending on VPN provider). If you are after real anonymity, however, Tor is the way to go. If you need a free VPN the ones on this list are excellent choices, but be aware that none of them permit P2P (something you should also not do on Tor).

  5. Alexis says:

    One disadvantage of Cyberghost right now is that their IP is now being tagged as spammed IP. In many website such as craigslist and now FB I can no longer access them.

    Right now, I am looking for a VPN that is not known yet for being a spam IP.

    Thanks.

    • Peter Selmeczy says:

      Hi Alexis
      Thanks for that information, we’ll contact CyberGhost and ask them for feedback on this. It might getting tagged as a spam IP because someone abused their system.
      If you could provide more information on what server, protocol, port you were using that would be appreciated
      Peter

  6. Fred Nerk says:

    For me the best free VPN is zen-mate . Very reliable, no caps and no download restrictions . I guess my main reason for using a VPN is because of the availability of the BBC and ITV Iplayers.
    Others may have other reasons. I dont know about p2p because it is not really my thing. It is a Berlin based company and it really does deserve a mention among the other suggestions you have made.
    Reagards Fred

  7. Jay Beasley says:

    This site is no longer free.

  8. Kishan Makwana says:

    cyberghost works in India or not??? Help anyone….
    Thanks

    • Peter Selmeczy says:

      Not sure what the speeds would be like but yes it should. Since they are free why not give it a try and find out?

  9. مقبلات says:

    Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

  10. Jelmergu says:

    By now(2015) FrootVPN(the one with Pirate Bay support) is no longer free

    • Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Jemergu,

      You are quite right! New FrootVPN customers must pay from $4 per month (although we understand that customers who signed up while the service was free can still access it for free). I will add a not into the article for now, and we will update the whole thing soon.

  11. ;) says:

    Hey! thanks for the article.
    does this mean hotspot shield does protect and allow p2p?

    • Peter Selmeczy says:

      Hi
      No, they don’t but they do provide a free service. You can read their in depth review with more information by following the relevant link.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Support Privacy

BestVPN.com sometimes receives monetary compensation from some listed VPN providers. We proudly donate to:

EFF

privacy international

IDL

Fight for the future

WAIT! 20% OFF AN AWESOME VPN TODAY!
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER AND GET THIS DEAL RIGHT NOW
We have a weekly privacy news summary and will also send you great discounts, coupons and deals on VPN services.
JUST ENTER YOUR EMAIL TO GET THIS DEAL
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.