Die 5 besten kostenlosen VPNs – Wie zuverlässig sind sie? - BestVPN.com
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Die 5 besten kostenlosen VPNs – Wie zuverlässig sind sie?

Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

Juli 3, 2017

What is a Free VPN?

A Free VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a cost-effective online service that provides digital privacy, security, and the ability to unblock and download website content from all over the world at no cost at all.

Running a complementary VPN service isn’t easy. That’s why the best providers charge subscribers for their services. However, we feel strongly that everybody should be able to access a VPN for free when they need one. That is why we have hunted far and wide for the five best free VPNs of 2017. In addition, to make your life easier, this article will explain everything you need to know about free services.

VPN services have quickly risen to fame in the last few years. VPN software gives people the ability to protect themselves and their data from online surveillance by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), governments, advertisers, and even hackers.

VPNs also allow people to unblock website content by allowing them to pretend to be in a different country. This makes them perfect for people who are going on holiday and want to access services from back home. They are also ideal for people who want to access foreign TV streams (or sports competitions). Furthermore, VPNs are excellent for people living under strong government censorship.

In 2017, what’s the best COSTLESS VPN service the online world has to offer?

The providers in this article are the best complementary VPN services of 2017. However, for a full blisteringly fast and fully featured service (perfect for those that want to download a lot of data), please look at these premium VPNs. Remember, unlike most free options, the VPNs in this guide are reliable, secure, and highly efficient. They have all been thoroughly tested by our experts.

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
TunnelBear Homepage
PROS:
  • Simple setup, incredibly easy to use
  • 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

Our review found TunnelBear to be a fantastic free VPN that many people like because of its amusing style. However, this VPN is more than just fun.

This VPN doesn’t keep any logs, which makes it great for security. In addition, the company’s privacy policy is outstanding, making this a reliable free VPN to use for online privacy and security. Another positive aspect of this free VPN is that it gives users access to all of the VPN servers on the network. In addition, those servers are excellently placed. Unfortunately, you can’t use the free option for any more than 500MB worth of web browsing per month. When the data limit kicks in, however, you can earn more data by doing some social sharing!

Try the Best VPN Service Today!

Visit TunnelBear »30 day moneyback guarantee

#2 Free VPN in 2017: hide.Me

hide.Me Homepage
PROS:
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in 22 countries
  • Zero logs
  • Superb privacy policy
  • Highly experienced customer care
CONS:
  • Limited to 2GB per month

hide.me is a VPN provider from Malaysia that offers a free VPN plan. Subscribers can select from 28 servers in 22 countries. Connection speeds are solid and security is taken care of thanks to OpenVPN encryption. Get a whopping 2GB per month – quite a lot of data, and certainly enough to get you some privacy when you really need it (and to unblock websites that are unavailable). It is also compatible with all devices.

As with all the free VPNs on our list, this VPN has limitations. If you use the internet a lot, then you should probably choose a non-data capped VPN. With that said, we really like hide.me – it is one of the best all-around free VPNs available in 2017.

#3 Free VPN in 2017: SurfEasy

SurfEasy Homepage
PROS:
  • Easy setup
  • P2P allowed
  • Owned by Opera
  • Easy to use apps
  • Servers across the globe
CONS:
  • Minor logging
  • 2GB limit on Starter Plan

SurfEasy is a Canadian free VPN provider that is very similar to TunnelBear.

The SurfEasy apps are easy to use, provide you with strong security and solid protection, and are pretty fast. The free version provides you with 500MB of data transfer, and you can increase your data by recommending the service to friends and family. Servers are reliable and the VPN is trusted. However, their paid plan is quite a lot better, and pricing starts at just $6.49/month.

#4 Free VPN in 2017: CyberGhost

CyberGhost Homepage
PROS:
  • No bandwidth limits
  • Solid speeds
  • Free iOs and Android apps
  • Automatic internet kill switch
  • Transparent privacy policy
CONS:
  • Limited locations
  • Advertisements

Subscribing to CyberGhost free VPN is a superb way to introduce yourself to the world of VPNs. There is no bandwidth limit, encryption is similar to that on a premium VPN, and setting up the service is easy. CyberGhost’s user-friendly desktop app makes connecting to the VPN nice and simple - with plenty of servers.

While CyberGhost Free is superb, there are some drawbacks to consider. CyberGhost Free users have in-app advertisements, queues to connect (during peak hours), and limited server locations.

Check out CyberGhost Free for yourself using the link below!

#5 Free VPN in 2017: Windscribe

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

Windscribe is a free VPN that packs a real punch. The free plan allows people to use 10 GB per month, which is a really decent allowance. Security is excellent, because not only does Windscribe provide strong encryption but it has a really admirable privacy policy that protects its users.

The free windscribe plan can only be used on one device, and free users of the service don’t get access to all the servers. However, as this VPN is available for free, this is not a surprise and the servers that users do get access to are located in useful places. Furthermore, Windscribe provides great speeds – which is a real bonus. All in all a superb free VPN that is well worth a try.

What Can a VPN Do?

A free Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an online service that allows people to pretend to be in a different country. In addition, VPN subscribers get digital privacy and online security. Trusted VPNs protect subscriber data both at home and on public WiFi (to protect from hackers) by providing strong encryption.

Once connected to a VPN, subscribers can securely pretend to be overseas to access and download any content.  In addition, a VPN bypasses government blocks placed by landlords, workplaces, and other network administrators.

Is It Safe to Use a VPN that is free?

If you find the right free VPN, then yes, it is safe to use. Sadly, however, there are many free services around that we simply can’t recommend. With VPNs, you really do get what you pay for. Many free services make money by selling user data to third parties. This is a highly insecure practice. After all, a VPN is meant to keep your browsing habits private – not sell the data to the highest bidder.

Many free VPNs have poor privacy policies, outdated encryption, and generally, provide unreliable connections. The good news, however, is that this is not always the case.

Some free services are secure and only place bandwidth and usage limits in order to provide the service for free. In this article, we have included the five best free VPNs of this kind.

These changeless services have been selected because they are safe to use. However, you should remember that they are all restrictive compared to a premium VPN service. Paid services have more and better choices of servers, and provide faster connection speeds for streaming, as well as stronger security.

Finding a VPN that you can trust

There are many hundreds of VPNs on the market. This can make choosing a provider quite daunting. Furthermore, trustworthy and reliable free services are incredibly hard to find.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about getting a free service, what a free VPN is, and how it differs from a paid VPN. We will also describe what a free VPN can be used for.

What makes one VPN free and another one a paid service? Why is it important to avoid some free VPNs? By the end of this article, you will have all the knowledge you need about free VPNs.

Can I Get a Free, Unlimited VPN?

The honest answer to this is tricky. There are free VPNs out there that do allow you to use them without usage limits. Unfortunately, those services make revenue by collecting data about their consumers to sell to third parties. We consider this to be the exact opposite of what a VPN should do. Thus it’s impossible for us to recommend these risky VPN services.

Beyond that, it is true that you will find some free VPNs on this list that don’t have a usage limit and instead throttle the bandwidth (speed) of the VPN. This means you can use it all month. However, the speed throttling will make it very hard to enjoy streaming in HD, for instance.

How Do You Use a VPN?

A VPN works by encrypting all data coming and going from a subscriber’s device. Encrypted data is securely scrambled so that nobody can access it. The outcome is that anyone snooping on your data – be it your ISP, the government, or a hacker on public WiFi – can’t see the web browsing data. This protects vital information such as logins, credentials, passwords, and credit card details.

Furthermore, when connected to a VPN the websites that you visit believe that you are in the location of the VPN servers instead of where you really are. This allows users to access the internet as if they were in a foreign country, which is perfect for people living in a country with lots of censorship.

How to Download & Set Up a VPN that Costs Nothing

Setting up a free VPN is incredibly easy. Just follow this simple walkthrough:

  1. Choose a VPN service and click the link to its website.
  2. Subscribe and get the free VPN download that you require.
  3. Follow the installation instructions to get the free VPN software onto your device.
  4. Run the app and select the encryption option you prefer. We recommend OpenVPN as it is the strongest, but anything other than Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) will be fine.
  5. Choose a VPN server where you would like to pretend to be and click “Connect.”
  6. Once the VPN connection has been established, the software will tell you. From that point on, you can access geo-restricted content securely.

Can I Use a Costless VPN with My Mobile Phone?

If you want to use a free VPN on your phone, any of the services in this guide will work fine. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that Android is usually covered more than iOS by VPN providers. However, at least some of the services in this guide do provide free VPN for iPhone software.

In fact, no matter whether you are looking for a free VPN for Windows, or Mac, there is an option on this list that has you covered! No matter which platform you run, you will be able to access free VPN servers with our recommendations.

What Makes One VPN Free and Another One Paid?

The free VPNs in this guide provide the service as a loss leader in order to entice people into purchasing a premium subscription. That’s why the free services are restricted.

Using a VPN for free can leave some people feeling cold. The experience can be slow and highly limited. Most of the time you will likely get cut off when you are streaming with a free VPN because you reach your usage limit.

With a paid VPN, subscribers get unlimited use of the servers and no bandwidth limits. This means that the VPN is fast and can be used to do even the most data-intensive tasks.

Other free VPNs may be less restrictive in terms of use, but the payoff comes in the form of worse encryption and a insecure privacy policy. Because a VPN is supposed to protect user data, we consider these types of services to be too risky to recommend.

Which Is the Best Free Service?

Generally speaking, the best free VPN service is one that doesn’t put user data at risk in order to provide the service for nothing. That’s why the best free services tend to restrict the service a little. VPNs are costly to run and thus at their very best they do cost a subscription fee.

Remember, many free VPNs are there to collect their subscribers’ web browsing histories in order to sell them to third parties (which is highly insecure). For this reason, if you need free VPN access we urge you to stick to a trusted VPN from this guide.

Free VPNs: Considerations

When you are choosing a free VPN, there are a few key considerations that you need to keep in mind:

a) What do plan to use your free VPN for?
b) How much use do you intend to get out of your free VPN?
Free VPN Considerations

The most important consideration is connection speeds. Slower connection speeds make it very hard to enjoy streaming with your free service. A free VPN that isn’t speed-capped usually has usage limits, so you may not get much opportunity to stream shows with a faster free VPN.

At the end of the day, if you plan to use a VPN all the time to watch geo-restricted streams in HD, or play gaming servers that are geo-restricted, you will likely need to opt for a paid service with a money-back guarantee. That way you can get a feel for a premium service without actually having to spend any money.

A VPN Free Trial?

Some VPNs offer a free trial. These services give you the opportunity to trial a full-blown premium service for anything between three days and a week.

Another option is to pay for a 30-day trial of a VPN and simply ask for your money back if you don’t like it. ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee that it always honors – it is also the best VPN service in the world.

As such, using the free VPNs in this guide is only one option for getting the use of a free VPN. If you decide that you like using a VPN, it is definitely well worth using the free trials and money-back guarantees that the best VPNs provide.

A Free service for Netflix or Kodi

Netflix actively blocks VPNs and it is almost impossible to get a free service for Netflix. However, both Kodi users and Netflix subscribers can unblock streaming content for free using one of many VPNs’ free trials or money-back guarantees. This will allow you to stream as much content as you like for free for around 30 days – and then get your money back. We understand better than anyone just how many people want to find a VPN for Kodi that is free, and for those Kodi users, these VPNs are just the ticket. As for Netflix, a full premium package is going to be the only real way to get the job done, so a 30-day money back guarantee may be the best option for those who want to try a VPN for nothing.

A Free Service for iOS 11 or Android

For people looking for a costless VPN for iOS, the VPNs in this guide are all a great option and will work perfectly on any iOS device. The same goes for Android users: these services are ideal for use on all mobile devices.

A Warning About Free Services

The vast majority of free services are a privacy and security nightmare. Free VPNs often handle data insecurely, provide outdated OpenVPN encryption that can be hacked, and sell user data to the highest bidder. Thus we urge you to think twice before using untrusted free services – the risks truly are massive!

Virtual Private Networks are amazing and even the very best are not too expensive. For that reason, we strongly advise in favor of a fully featured VPN service that will protect users properly. There are plenty of superb cheap services around, and the level of freedom and security you get with a premium service is incomparable to what users get for free.

Free VPNs for Torrenting

When it comes to torrenting you will need a VPN that provides plenty of data usage and good speeds. The services in this guide will certainly get you on your way and will allow you to torrent securely for free. However, it is worth bearing in mind that for those people that want to do a lot of downloading using P2P, a paid service is probably going to be needed in the long run.

Free Virtual Private Network Services: Conclusion

Over the last few years, there has been a massive explosion in awareness about Virtual Private Networks. Due to this increase in knowledge people are looking for recommendations about which service to get in order to protect themselves.

There are well over 850 commercial VPNs on the market and that number is growing all the time. Many of those VPN services lie about the level of service that they provide. They are only there to make a quick buck from unsuspecting consumers.

This article is designed to help people who want to try out a VPN for free to have the opportunity to do so safely. The free VPN services in this article are by far the best options available. They do not skimp on security or sell their users’ data.

In the end, a free VPN will only get you so far. For people who become interested, we strongly recommend upgrading to a paid service such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. There are plenty of cheap options, and even the most expensive VPNs on the market really don’t cost much per year. The difference in the level of service that you get with a paid service, however, is vast.

Finally, we would like to remind you that you are far better off using one or a combination of the free VPNs in this article than you are using one of the many untrusted free services on the market that we have purposefully left off this list. Our recommendations are the best free VPNs on the market, so please stick to these if you value your privacy and security.

Best Free VPN Providers Recap

Ray Walsh

I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. 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.

159 Antworten auf “Die 5 besten kostenlosen VPNs – Wie zuverlässig sind sie?

  1. Hello!
    I write for a friend of mine in Barbados.
    If she were to use a VPN, would there be a problem in allowing her to use Pandora?? Thanks~~
    God bless you for all you do!

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Yes – a VPN should should fine for Pandora – even the Android app worked fine for Pandora last time I tested it. As always, though, do take full advantage of any free trials or money back guarantees to check your chosen service VPN works without issue with any services you want to access.

  2. Your number one pick is NOT SECURE. According to Tunnelbear’s license agreement, they make no warranty or guarantee that your data will be private or secure. Their website describes the program as a means to security, but if you read the fine print, they have no faith in their own program.

    1. Hi KillerofLiars,

      I have just skimmed through Tunnelbear’s Privacy Policy and it looks pretty sound to me (i.e. no login timestamps, no logs, etc.) Can you please pinpoint the clause that is worrying you?

  3. Thank you for this article. I have a question. I live in Canada and I will be travelling to China. Will these VPNs work in the great firewall?

    1. VPNs in China have become highly restricted and as you mention there is the great firewall to contend with. In addition, it is worth bearing in mind that Apple has removed a lot of VPNs from the app store. Sadly, I can’t promise that the free VPNs mentioned will work in China. For a VPN to definitely work in China you should get one with “stealth mode”, this is special VPN tech that disguises your VPN traffic as regular traffic so that it isn’t affected by the firewall. Please look at our best VPNs for China article for more help.

  4. I tried all of the VPNs on this list, they all worked as advertised. The bears are really funny but I particularly liked Windscribe, especially since it offers more free bandwidth than ALL THE OTHERS COMBINED. Why is it #4? Am I missing something?

  5. Hi al,

    All the options 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…

  6. Hi. Loved the article about the best free vpns. I decided to try windscribe* because of the 10GB allowed but they would not let me download a free version to my android. It is a little old, but not only would I a patch/updated to run it I would need pro to do it. So I went with the bear.
    Also, I haven’t searched this site for one(will as soon as I hit send) but if you could do an article about using tor with vpns that would be great. I’m an electromechanical engineer and electronics enthusiast, I knew/know how it all works. But the way and pace which you described everything was really enjoyable to read.
    Great job. Thanks

  7. Cyberghost has done away with the free service. I clicked on your link & it only shows Pro. You might check out VPN Secure. They have a $40 lifetime service & they DO have a free option but it’s buried & you have to re up every 30 days. But it does work. Go to pricing & then show more then way down at the bottom is the 30 day free account.

    1. Hi Bob,

      If you go to the main Cyberghost website you can download the free version of Cyberghost. I have alerted out team to the fact this link points to the Pro version. Thanks for pointing this out. Fwiw, I do not consider a 30-day free trial to count as a “free option.”

  8. Advice please. My husband loves watching TV sport, especially the EPL. We are in Thailand and the authorities have just taken down 365sport.com, which was fantastic and kept my husband sane. If we get a VPN will we be able to connect to 365sport again?

    1. Hi Polly,

      If 365sport.com is simply being blocked in Thailand, then yes, although thanks to bandwidth and speed restrictions, a free VPN is not suitable for this. Use a good paid-for service, but do take advantage of any free trials or money back guarantees before in order to ensure everything is working for you. However… I have just tied to visit the website you mention, and it appears to be completely down. If this is the case, then a VPN won’t help.

  9. Hey, I know it’s out of topic but I’ve been using hide me free Web proxy for some reasons like omegle. For months it worked great but these days, I can’t even access that site. It says error while connecting to server or I can’t even click the start a new chat button. Please help, thanks

    1. Hi Silje,

      A problem with web proxies is that they are poor at handling complicated webpage layouts, and tend to fall flat when encountering things such Flash, Java, and JavaScript scripts (although this not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to security!). It may be that Omegle has changed its website design in a way that a web proxy cannot handle. This should not be a problem, if you use a VPN instead.

    1. Hi Dani,

      In theory, yes, but free VPNs are invariable slow and offer very limited bandwidth, which makes streaming video content. So in practice, no. You are much better paying for a cheap (<€5 per month) premium service.

  10. Hi Douglas
    iam Rodgy from namibia i want to know if there is a vpn i can use in my country for free even for a limited data plan and how do i make use of suck vpn in detail please help me thank you for your time and effort
    will be waiting

    1. Hi Rodgy,

      Any of the free services listed here should work in Namibia, but you will get best performance connecting to a VPN server as close to you as possible. We have a list of 5 Best VPNs for South Africa which would work well for you in Namibia, but none of them are free.

  11. VPN service is important to ensure online security. Many people have the limitation, they can not use the internet freely. So they can use VPN service to unblock any blocked website or blog.

  12. If you have KODI why do you need Netflix?? If you want to use a VPN to avoid paying then why would you have a problem using TVaddons & get a SuperSteroided alternative that will include TV & Movies from all the Streaming services.

  13. I think people really need to work on the definition of “free”. In the case of most vpns I’ve tried, free seems to mean “our service will be extraordinarily slow or have extremely limited data unless you upgrade to premium”. That, is NOT what free is not supposed to mean.

    1. Hi Jack,

      There is no such thing as a free lunch. Running a VPN service is a very costly and time-consuming affair. In other words, it is a business. VPNs that offer a free limited service in the hope that you will upgrade to a premium plan (as you describe) are at least honest about how they monetize their “free” service. Those that offer an unlimited service for no money _must_ be profiting somehow. Like Hola, they could be selling your bandwidth, or they could be selling your data to advertisers. An alarming number of “free” VPNs will infect your device with malware or perform all sorts of other malicious behavior.

  14. heloo sir
    kindly let us know about the status of free vpn anywhere in india
    as we are living in india punjab muktsar since my childhood
    but we have faced a lot of difficulties since our childhood in managing money etc. for paid internet.
    so kindly let us know as it is being depicted at google search about free vpn that are available online anywhere
    that is why we are writing a few sentence to you regarding its status whether it is a myth or reality please let us know how to connect with free vpn and use the same for our study and research related works etc. in our online office i.e. http://www.ahujaonlinesrc.simplesite.com
    thanx
    with best wishes
    AOSRC TEAM

    1. Hi Sandeep,

      As this article explains, free VPNs do exist. But they are either:

      a) Very limited, and exist in the hope that you will upgrade to a paid-for premium version of the service. On the plus side, these VPNs tend at least to be at honest and transparent about how they can afford to offer a free service. All the above services fall into this category Or…

      b) Dishonest. Many “free” VPNs monetize their service by stealing your data, selling bandwidth, infesting your mobile devices with malware etc.

      The simple fact is that running a VPN service is an expensive business, and no-one is going to do it for free. If you are having problems paying for a service because you are based in India, then many VPN services accept payment in Bitcoin or store cards (which can be purchased online from places such as eBay). Mullvad will even accept cash sent by post!

      It may just be the way in which you have worded the question, but just to make it clear, using a VPN will not provide you with free internet.

    1. Hi James,

      Thanks for that. Windscribe Free is available on most platforms. According to its website, for Android, “You need a Pro account at this time. Native Android application is coming February 2017 and will be available for free users.”

  15. Hello, So I was wondering if a site that is blocked by open DNS will be able to unblock once I download a VPN. Im not sure if that can also be one of its purposes of a VPN. If so which one would you recommend? Nothing really explicit really. Just content filtering over news and media in my country. Please reply soon 🙂

    1. Hi m,

      It does allow torrenting on its paid plans. Most providers do not permit P2P on their free plans, though, so this is worth checking.

  16. i visited hide me and registered because it said “always free” but clicking on link on my mail it says We are happy to see you again in our members area. Your Free membership is active and will expire on:
    Sunday, February 26, 2017 4:55 AM UTC

    i have Tor and it really is free,unfortunately for last two days,every site i visited to watch movies those sites say this file is not available for your region ,that’s why i was after another one.please advise me.

    1. Hi h.,

      Well, Tor is an open source project that receives funding from various sources, including the US governmnet. Hide.me is a commercial enterprise that offers a free service in the hope it will encourage you to pay for premium plan. But is does indeed say that the Free service is “Free forever”. I suggest you contact Hide.me about the issue, although I suspect it just means that you need to re-register every now and again.

  17. HI guys i am from pakistan i need best vpn for US. any paid vpn or free plzz tel i am ready to pay but i need good one
    waiting for your repose
    thnaku

        1. Hi Rick,

          We have given a broadly favorable review of ZoogTV if all you want a VPN for is streaming geoblocked content . It’s not a VPN to use for privacy, but it doesn’t claim to be. Thanks for letting us know about it working with US Netflix.

  18. Help me
    Is there any VPN which serves as a browser extension or add-on which unblocks all blocked websites?(Safe and secure compared to hola vpn)

  19. Hi, Douglas. Thanks for all your work and info you provided. I was using TotalVPN and was very happy with their free service. Recently, I was told they are discontinuing their subscriptions and are no longer accepting new paid subscriptions. Are they going out of business? I am sad & disappointed. Total was easy to use, fast (did not slowdown my computer,) and offered 3 servers (Singapore, Amsterdam, & Koslovic.) Being old, poor, & not very computer literate, I was very lucky to have stumbled on TotalVPN. Anyway, I just wanted to give them props and to you too, to let you know that your excellent research presentation is well-organized, clear and very helpful to a lot of people. I will choose one of your suggestions. Thanks, again. Edward

  20. Hello, i m from india, is there any free vpn that gives me a beter annonimity and the company does’nt sell user data guaranteed.
    Plzz help me……… thankxx .

    1. Hi spider punk!!,

      The VPN services listed above will not sell your data, but they are severely limited in various ways. The simple reality is that running VPN service is an expensive business, so the only way to get a good one that can be relied on is to pay for it.

    1. Hi Tony,

      As far as know, all the free VPNs listed here will work in Egypt (I would also add CyberGhost to this list). If you find that any are blocked, we would be grateful to hear about it.

    1. Hi Ron,

      The big problem is that BBC iPlayer is blocking many VPN services. ExpressVPN and AirVPN are both paid-for, but I know they work.

  21. I got interested in VPN’s for privacy when I went to set up IP telephony service. The provider just asked what model router I have and then instantly detected my exact street address from their web site. This is, of course, for emergency service (911) but I was surprised at how easily this was done. I’m sure they needed help from my ISP but what does the ISP do, if anything, to verify that such a query is from a legitimate IP telephony service who has me as a customer?

    By the way, something which I would consider to be of practical value would be to be able to select a VPN server that is in my own time zone. Some web sites are time sensitive. A while back, I was experimenting with TOR and Facebook (among other sites). I noticed that Facebook was showing me ads for sleep medication. I thought that was odd because all advertising on Facebook is targeted. Why do they think I need sleep meds? A few weeks later, it dawned on me that the answer was right in front of me. I made a practice of going to IPIllion.com first to verify that TOR was working. IPIllion is a site which displays the location of your IP address on a map. It was fun to see that I appeared to be coming from Romania, then South Korea, Finland, California… Since these places are in all different time zones, it appeared to Facebook as though I had been awake at all different times of the day and night.

    I am not trying to hide illegal activity. Like you noted, a VPN service is probably not good enough for that. What I would like to do is make things much more difficult for data brokers who may then sell data to anyone, including federal, state, local and foreign governments. I think using a VPN does create some expectation of privacy, at least here in the US. That is important in a legal sense even if it is still technically possible to spy on VPN users with the help of service providers.

    1. Hi James,

      Yikes! I can see why that experience has made you interested in VPNs! Please see my VPNs for Beginners guide for an in-depth discussion on what a VPN can and cannot do to improve your online privacy. Most VPN services run servers from locations all over the word, so it is usually very easy to select one that is in your time zone.

  22. Vyper VPN IS SCAM. Their company Golden Frog sold my data to Paramount Pictures. I got an email from Paramount attorneys in LA, claiming that I downloaded one of their movies. Vyper VPN requires that you pay a year in advance, so I lost half of my money. I replied to Vyper that I will start a legal case against them due to unauthorized access to personal data. Never got a reply, never got another threat, but beware.

    1. Hi red,

      VyprVPN does not permit torrenting, and like every VPN company, it is obliged to respond to a legal DMCA complaints. Many VPN companies stonewall these by the simple expedient of using shared IPs and not keeping usage logs, so they can claim an inability to comply with the demand. This is, unfortunately, not the case with ViprVPN. But it was behaving perfectly legally, and did not “sell” your data. Please see 5 Best VPNs for Torrenting, P2P, Filesharing for a more complete discussion on the subject.

    2. Please do not go around calling legitimate companies a “scam,” simply because YOU didn’t read the EULA before signing up for a service, then completely ignored it. You got yourself into that trouble, red. Vyper had nothing to do with it. Now accept your punishment like a man, and then learn how to read things (especially EULA and TOS) before you randomly click those checkboxes from now on.

      To put it in simple terms: You literally broke the law and breached the service agreement that YOU signed (checked), and then you threatened to sue them over your own wrong-doing. The reason they aren’t replying to you is because they’re too busy laughing at you.

    1. Hi Karthikeyan,

      Because as a team, we decided that the above VPN services are better for this. It should also be noted that CyberGhost does not permit torrenting using its free service.

  23. windscribe rocks. had issues with many vpn companies and their app simply worked, didnt have to do anything or mess with no settings or talk to their support for a week- it just worked. will be upgrading if this keeps up!!

    1. Hi heba?

      ? All VPN services listed here are indeed free (albeit most them are limited in some way). The only exception is ExpressVPN, which is not included in our table rankings or summaries, and which we clearly state offers a 30-day money guarantee instead of being free.

      1. Hello ,
        Thanks for the interesting article .Have you any info re Surf Easy VPN ?
        I’m interested in viewing tv programmes mainly .
        I don’t mind paying a nominal sum but am afraid of getting stuck with the wrong one .

        1. Hi Patsy,

          Please check out our SurfEasy Review. Given that many streaming services are now trying to ban VPN users, it is always a good idea to take advantage of any free trials and/or money back guarantee on offer in order to check that the services you want are accessible. SurfEasy offers hassle-free 7-day money-back guarantee.

  24. As the ISP (or the NSA)can see that you use a vpn, is it possible that you get automatically blacklisted and even if you don’t do anything illegal you draw the attention only by using a vpn?

    1. Hi Hilda,

      Using a VPN is illegal almost nowhere (UAE excepted), and will not get you blacklisted. And to be honest, if you are going to do anything illegal, a VPN is not your best choice of technology.

  25. How is Vyprvpn #1? They log your IP and offer 500MB of free data – total, not even per month like Tunnelbear. Windscribe offers 10GB per month for free and doesn’t log.

    1. Hi Afymoney,

      All the options listed here are free (so no time limits). They are, however, all limited in various ways. Running a VPN service is an expensive business, and no-one is going to do it just out the kindness of their hearts. The reason these options are free is because the companies hope that you will get tired of their limitations, and become willing to pay for a much better premium service.

  26. 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 media 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, but more of these work than VPNs. You might like to check out our sister-site, SmartDNS.com :).

    2. Hi TC,

      I tried most of the ones mentioned in this article, and their service was so-so to horrible. This article is kind of misleading.
      I then tried ActiVPN, which a friend recommended me and it works well

      1. Hi Daniel,

        Running a VPN service is an expensive business, so if you want a free one then you need to manage your expectations.

      2. Daniel,

        How is this article misleading?

        If anything, your post is misdirected. You came to an article on FREE VPN’s and stated their services are poor, just so you could point out that your PAID VPN works better. If you didn’t notice, that is basically the exact point this article is trying to make. He mentioned, countless times, that Free VPNs are incredibly limited. He also mentioned that Paid VPNs are far superior to free ones. So, where did he mislead us?

  27. 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.

    2. I had all my information and even bookmarks hacked into by using ExpressVPN, they even posted mocking comments on Facebook. There are Netflix trying to block VPN yet their script writers and directors are thieves that hack into peoples computers as well as other film companies. Im stuck in a dilemma as I don’t trust any VPN any longer, I don’t think any off them are secure, so your left to deal with random hackers and the film industry just taking all
      your research as they please and than acting like they own the story. There should be more Antimalware companies that are certified that support VPN so you know they will take your privacy serious and not lie or just try to gain extra money on the side, if you think none of these VPN companies have any IT security certificates nobody has investigated them as being legit and your not only paying them given them your details but your data.

      1. Hi Breana,

        You have clearly had a bad experience, but ExpressVPN is a reputable VPN company, and definitely did not hack into your computer and steal information from it. Perhaps these “mocking comments” on Facebook were genuine expressions of surprise and bafflement at this accusation? FWIW, BestVPN.com is currently investigating ways to make the VPN industry more transparent and of auditing providers’ claims. Watch this space.

      2. Shame on you, Breana. Another person making blind accusations toward legitimate companies, simply because they have no idea what they’re talking about.

      3. A good VPN (offers a free trial then paid subscription) is Freedome by F-Secure. The connection was always on and the lag was only nanoseconds for me on an iPhone 5s with iOS 9.0 (didn’t pay to keep it so couldn’t keep using it). Worked with NetFlix, Pandora, and youtube in HD. No free vpn service is going to offer that level of service without data caps. It would be way too expensive…

    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.

  28. @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!

  29. 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 !

  30. 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+++++

  31. 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.

    Cheers.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

    2. Their Manchester servers are painfully slow, no matter which one you are connected to the speed always seems to be 5mbit or less on 200mbit, but a handful of the London ones gave me my full 200mbit….I only used it briefly as I normally use Newshostings VPN service that comes with their Newsgroup access package, Newshosting is far superior.

  34. 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?

  35. 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.

  36. 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

  37. 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.
          #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. When you are talking about the hosting provider being an issue, do you mean a situation where, for example, the owner of the physical location of the servers is aware that a particular server is providing vpn service and they have a firewall which is protecting their network? Then they can monitor traffic in and out of the vpn by looking at firewall logs.

  38. I’m not sure about these VPNs, 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.

  39. 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…

    2. Could you repeat that for other VPN providers also ?? It would be interesting to know if something changes when visiting Windscribe or any other .

      1. I wonder who alexander is? 2 years and all these references online alex alexander.
        None of these VPN are encrypted and it would be amazing to see a “professional”
        VPN service for businesses that need just privacy not downloads or file share

  40. 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. 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 VPNs rely 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.

  41. 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 +.

  42. 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 options 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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