5 Best Free VPNs

11 May 2015 |

Using a free VPN is a big risk. If you aren’t paying for it, how is the VPN covering its 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 are usually limited in one way or another, the ones we’ve selected provide a great service at zero cost. 

It’s hard for a free service to compete with a paid one due to the downsides, which we consider for each VPN respectively. However, the services we’ve selected will still help you achieve privacy and security while carrying out your daily internet activities.

Free VPNs Summary

Rank Provider Free Review Link

1

CyberGhost Free VPN 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

Negatives: multiple simultaneous connections only allowed on most expensive plan; speed cap

CyberGhost is a large Romanian company that regularly updates its features and software for both free VPN and paid users. Its security is impressive, going as far as deleting your payment details once they’ve been processed. It’s also working on some security technologies itself and is willing to support promising security start-ups too! Its client and customer support are first class.

While its free service has a number of limitations, including speed, time and advertisements, CyberGhost is superb all round.

Try Out the Best Free VPN Today!

Visit CyberGhost »


2. SurfEasy

SurfEasy Logo

Positives: great speeds; five 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 it provides a free service alongside its normal plans. All of its plans come with a whopping five simultaneous connections, sport easy-to-use clients and offer good speeds.

Its free VPN plan is just as good as its normal plan, but does come with a data limit of 500MB (which 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 it does, no P2P is allowed.

If you’re looking for something different, it also offers a Private Browser USB product, which comes with an initial fee but is valid for a lifetime.

Visit SurfEasy »


3. TunnelBear

TunnelBear Logo

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

Negatives: limited countries; no P2P; download cap

In many respects, TunnelBear is very similar to SurfEasy: it’s Canadian, for the everyday user and doesn’t allow P2P. Even its pricing is similar for the paid packages. We found TunnelBear’s support to be better, and its client a bit more useful and entertaining.

It provides three simultaneous connections, up to 1.5GB download limit and overall is a very good company for providing a free VPN.

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 is supported

Hotspot Shield is a great all-round provider. It focuses heavily on its always-on protection system that keeps customers safe while connected to the internet, no matter where they are. To this end, it offers an excellent free service, a great application and software that supports all the major operating systems.

On the downside, the free version is advertising supported and you’re only able to connect to its US servers using it – and access to Netflix and Hulu is disabled too. Since it’s designed to be usable by the average person, there are unfortunately 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 keeps logs; no P2P; slow speed

The University of Tsukuba in Japan developed VPN Gate, and volunteers run its servers. It’s designed as a distributed VPN system, based on SoftEther, which means it’s fully open source. All of these factors, including its mirror sites and daily updates, mean 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 three months from all the servers. Also, since volunteers run it, speeds are unreliable, limited and can change very often.

Visit VPNGate »


Bonus. Tor

Tor Logo

Positives: very secure way (paid or unpaid) to maintain online 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 to 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 three different computers (called nodes), with all information encrypted each time to provide a very high level of security. In addition, because your apparent IP is that of a random volunteer (of which there are literally hundreds of thousands), there’s no way to even determine that you are masking your identity. This 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 asks you not to use the service for P2P file sharing. 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. It allows them to maintain complete anonymity when signing up to and purchasing regular VPN packages.

Visit Tor »


Free VPNs Conclusion

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

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

The other VPNs listed also have a lot to offer, and since they’re all free you can give them a full try before deciding which one to use. Perfect! So if your wallet is tight but you’d still like to be protected while on the internet, we highly recommend trying one of these completely free VPNs. Have a look at our summary below if 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


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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+.

One Response to “5 Best Free VPNs”

  1. Dennis Thompson says:

    Disregard. There is a Free Plan after you select “My Account” after having created an account.

    You are not banned after-all. My Apologies

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