Trust and integrity – our two core values. For the past 5 years our experts & users have reviewed hundreds of VPNs. Our reviews are never influenced by the industry. We sometimes earn affiliate commissions, which contribute to our fight for a free internet. Click here to find out more.
VPNs are a great option for protecting your privacy, encrypting your data, and changing your geolocation.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason free VPNs don’t cost any money — you usually pay with something else!
In this article, we’ll let you know everything you need to know about VPNs. The pros and cons of free VPNs, and of course, the best free VPN services.
Free vs Paid VPN
As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
On the whole, a free VPN is very much like a paid VPN service. It differs in the fact, that as the name might imply, it’s completely free.
Unfortunately, these are usually restricted in one way or another. There are unrestricted free VPNs but these can be dangerous.
There are three different restrictions – speed, data limits and location. Some might even combine multiple restrictions. Therefore, you’ll be limited to how much, and how practically you can use the VPN.
Even worse, a free VPN could sell your data. This has happened!
There is good news though! With a paid VPN such as ExpressVPN, you can try it for free. All you need to do is cancel within 30-days and they guarantee that you’ll get your money back without any problems! So if you’re looking to just test a VPN, or use it for a short time, then give ExpressVPN a shot.
Best Free VPNs
Here’s what you came for, the best free VPN services. We’ve highlighted the best use for each one so you can decide which one suits your needs best.
Windscribe has always been one of our favorite free VPNs. Compared to other free services, Windscribe gives you more – 10GB data allowance per month! This is pretty amazing because Windscribe is actually trying to encourage people to buy its premium service.
What’s more, this VPN has strong encryption and keeps zero logs – making it fantastic for privacy. With unlimited simultaneous connections permitted, this VPN is truly outstanding.
ProtonVPN is a superb service provided by the developers of Proton Mail. It is a secure VPN provider that lets people use the service on an unlimited basis. This makes it perfect for privately surfing the web on a daily basis.
On the downside, it throttles free-users’ bandwidth. This means that the free ProtonVPN service will not provide the speeds necessary for doing data-intensive tasks such as streaming in HD.
ProtonVPN is a superb VPN that many people may find useful for unblocking censored news.
TunnelBear VPN is a free service that constantly impresses people. This VPN is super-secure and even opened up its software to a third-party analysis last year. The outcome? Security researchers found the VPN to be secure and reliable. It also keeps no logs.
Unfortunately, The service is restricted to just 500MB per month. Despite this, it is brilliant for locations with severe censorship and where privacy is essential. It is perfect for securely unblocking news.
Hotspot Shield is an awesome free VPN that has helped millions of people in their time of need. It was the most used VPN during the Turkey coup and the Arab Spring. Users get free access not only to the VPN but also a Chrome extension.
The free service permits connections to the US only, but the extension permits connections to 14 countries (but not the US). The result is that Hotspot Shield users can unblock content in 15 countries for free! What’s more, Hotspot Shield’s free plan lets people have 500MB of download use per day. That is a massive usage allowance considering it is free.
This awesome Malaysian VPN provider has an excellent free service. Although users are limited to just three server locations (Singapore, the Netherlands, and Canada), users get a whopping 2GB per month of free use at up to 80Mbps.
What is a VPN?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that encrypts your internet connection and allows you to appear in a different location.
If you already know about the benefits that a VPN can provide, then jump to the following headings to find out more about free VPNs – their pros and cons.
If you’re new to the VPN scene, then keep reading. You should also bookmark our VPNs for Beginners Guide for a later date as it contains a ton of information.
With a VPN you are able to unlock content that wouldn’t be available to you. Since you can connect to a server in a different country, internet restrictions become non-existent.
For example, if your government is blocking Facebook, Twitter, or anything else, by using a VPN you’ll be able to access it without a problem.
Furthermore, you’ll also be able to watch services that are only available in other countries. For example, you can watch Hulu and Netflix US. These are just two of the many services you can gain access to with a VPN.
A VPN connection is encrypted. This means that your internet activities stay private.
Therefore, if you’re looking to hide your online activities (be it torrenting or anything else), a VPN will help you out. Whether you’re looking to hide from your government, national agencies, or hackers, a VPN will let you hide.
Free VPN Restrictions in Detail
Here are the service restrictions in detail.
A speed restricted VPN will, as the name suggests, have limited speeds. If you’re using it for day-to-day internet activities then usually it will be fine. However, don’t dream about using it for streaming or torrenting.
A data-limited VPN will give you full access to all server locations and full speed but you will only have a limited amount of data to use. Traditionally between 500MB and 10GB is provided. These VPNs are useful for streaming one or two episodes, and a few uses per month.
A location limited VPN will provide you with one or two locations you can connect to. These are great for day-to-day use, however, the locations are only useful for limited applications. So don’t think you can watch unlimited US Netflix or torrent on a Dutch server. Generally speaking, these will also have a speed or data restriction as well.
Dangers of Free VPNs
The biggest dangers of free VPNs is how they make their money!
There are a lot of free VPNs out there that make their money by selling your data! This makes the use of a VPN completely useless as you won’t be private or secure. These VPNs will also have no issues giving your data to governments – even some paid VPNs have done this!
The most prominent example of this is Hola. Hola used to be the most popular free VPN on the market. That wasuntil it was discovered that it was selling users bandwidth to premium members through their alternate service (Luminati). Thereby you could get sued because someone else was doing illegal activities using your IP and connection details!
If that doesn’t scare you, then we don’t know what will!
What Devices are They Available On?
As with all VPN services, free VPNs are available for all of your devices. This includes PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
If a VPN is only available for one of your devices, e.g. your iPhone, then you should be worried. Any decent VPN that’s generating revenue, should have the funds (and brains) to develop applications for all operating systems.
If you do find a great free VPN that is available on only one operating system, then let us know. A VPN that only works on one OS is a huge red flag in our books.
Free VPN for Torrenting
We would absolutely advise against using a free VPN for torrenting!
In most cases it will be possible; however, with a data limited VPN you’ll hardly be able to download anything. With a speed limited VPN, you’ll never finish downloading anything. Lastly, with a location-limited VPN, you might not be protected!
Furthermore, if you’re a free user, VPN companies have no good reason to protect your identity should the government or legal teams come asking for your information.
Disclaimer: BestVPN.com and its team does not condone any illegal torrenting. Any illegal torrenting you carry out shall be at your own risk.
For more information about torrenting with a VPN, take a look at our best VPN for torrenting guide.
Hopefully, we’ve given you all the information you need to make your mind up about free VPNs.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t use one, just be wary of how you use it, and which one!
If you’ve got any feedback on these, then let us know in the comments.