A free VPN is an online service that lets people unblock websites. A reliable free VPN service provides privacy and security for its users. By concealing a user’s real IP address (location) they can overcome local censorship and website restrictions, or access foreign services and streams. There are many free VPNs on the market, but most are either rubbish or can’t be trusted. Our experts have tested and reviewed over 150 VPNs in the last 5 years in search of the best free VPNs. These VPNs are secure and will permit you to pretend to be in a different country.
What is a Free VPN?
A Virtual Private Network is one of the most versatile and popular online services in the world. VPNs provide digital privacy for their users by encrypting all their internet traffic. This stops ISPs and the government from being able to snoop on their web browsing habits.
In addition, a VPN is the most liberating service available online. It allows people to conceal their real location (which is also excellent for privacy) and pretend to be in a different country. This lets people access geo-blocked content and services such as BBC iPlayer or US Netflix. A top-notch VPN costs between 55 and 75 dollars per year – which isn’t much to pay considering what you get.
A free VPN is just a VPN service that can be used without paying. However, there are limitations and restrictions involved with free VPNs, and sometimes even risks that must be considered.
Free VPN Vs Paid VPN
Providing fast servers for VPN users to connect to all over the world is not easy, and it costs money. That is why there are dangers involved in getting a free VPN. Most VPNs that are free (even some famous free services such as Hotspot Shield) – have very serious limitations and risks attached to them.
Many free VPNs create a revenue stream by retaining data about their users to sell to third parties, usually advertisers. These cowboy VPN services must never be used for privacy – which is what most people want a VPN for!
What are the Best Free VPN Services?
- Free VPN with 750 Mb per day
- Free Chrome Extension with ad blocker & cookie blocker
- Easy to use
- Fast speeds
- Plenty of features
Hotspot Shield is an awesome free VPN that has literally helped millions of people in their time of need. It was the most used VPN during the Turkey coup and the Arab spring. For free, user's get access not only to the VPN but also a Chrome extension. The VPN permits connections to the US only, but the extension permits connections to 14 countries (but not the US). The result is that for free Hotspot Shield users can unblock content in 15 countries! What's more, Hotspot Shield's free plan lets people have 750 Mb of download use per day. That is a massive usage allowance considering it is free.
Although Hotspot Shield has come under some criticism for serving users adverts, we think that for free this VPN is pretty amazing. If you don't want to be served adverts then by all means opt for a VPN further down this list. However, if unblocking and bypassing censorship are your biggest priorities: this VPN is worth a try! With millions of happy users worldwide, it definitely gets the job done.
Get the best free VPN today!Visit Hotspot Shield »Connect up to five devices!
- Cyber Monday Deal: 58% off annual plans
- Simple setup, incredibly user friendly
- Excellent encryption
- Can connect up to 5 devices
- 500MB of free data every month
- No peer-to-peer (P2P)
- Few advanced settings
- Usage capped
TunnelBear VPN is a free service that constantly impresses people. This VPN is super secure and even opened up its software to third-party analysis this year! The outcome? Security researchers found the VPN to be secure and reliable. It also keeps no logs. The service is restricted to just 500 Mb per month. Despite this, it is brilliant for people who need a VPN in locations with severe censorship and where privacy is essential. It is perfect for securely unblocking news, for example.
TunnelBear has plenty of server locations to choose from, located in 20 countries. Free users may use all of the servers that it offers apart from Australia. This makes it great for unblocking a whole range of websites and services. Having said that, because of the data limit it will be difficult to do much streaming with this VPN company. One of the best VPN providers around and one of the most secure services you will find for free! Finally, this VPN provides fantastic speeds.
- Cyber Monday Deal: 35% off all plans
- Strong encryption
- Servers in 3 countries
- Zero logs
- Highly experienced customer care
- Doesn't unblock Netflix US
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 2 Gb per month of free use with this VPN company. That's a very reasonable allowance, and because of the fast speeds that this VPN provides, we think this is an excellent choice for people who want a complimentary VPN service.
- Excellent for streaming
- Fast service
- Free service
- Useful servers
- Strong encryption
- Logging practices unclear
ZoogVPN is an excellent service that is both secure and free. Free users get to use just 3 servers located in New York, London, Amsterdam. That is a nice spread of servers that will certainly come in handy for geo-spoofing reasons.
Free users get 2Gb of download usage per month, which is better than with many free VPNs. Sadly, however, the firm will impose bandwidth limits at times when servers are too highly subscribed.
A fast service that is great for streaming for free.
- Fast connections
- Excellent encryption for privacy
- Lots of features
- P2P: yes
- No logs
- Fewer server locations
ProtonVPN is a service created by the developers of the secure email service Proton Mail. It is a brand new service that has really impressed us. Encryption is strong and it has a zero logs policy. That makes it exceptional for privacy, especially for a free VPN. This VPN also has no limitations, so if you want a free VPN you can use all the time it is a great option.
As with all free things, there are some drawbacks. For free users get access only to servers in three countries. So if unblocking in particular countries is needed, this VPN might not be the ticket. Overall this free service is blinding.
Free VPN FAQs
Are Free VPNs safe?
If you unblock content in a country where it is illegal, such as Vietnam – and the authorities find out – you could go to prison. That is why it is important not to go for an untrusted VPN that is bad for privacy in certain places. Using a world-class premium VPN will protect you completely, but free VPNs must be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Some free VPNs are only good for unblocking content at times when there are very few risks, and when privacy isn’t an overruling concern (Hotspot Shield, for example). Other free VPNs can be used for unblocking and for privacy: because they provide a limited and restricted free service as an advertisement (loss leader) for the full VPN.
On the whole, it is true that a very high percentage of free VPNs do not provide good privacy. In fact, the only free VPNs that do provide good privacy tend to be ones that are highly restrictive and are only there to entice users into buying a premium subscription.
Free VPN for Torrenting ( P2P file sharing)
When it comes to file sharing on P2P networks you will need a VPN that allows a lot of bandwidth, unlimited data for downloading, and strong privacy for covering your tracks. The reality is that you will not find this on the market. If you want to torrent securely using a VPN – a cheap VPN or a VPN for torrenting will be your only real options.
Free VPN for iPhone and Android
If you’re looking for a free VPN app for Android or a free VPN for iOS (free VPN for iPhone) then you are in the right place. The free VPNs in this article work on both platforms. Simply follow the links in this article to get access to the free VPN app download. However, please remember that any free iOS VPN or free Android VPN will be very limited and could even put you at risk.
Free VPN for Mac and Windows
The recommended free VPNs in this article all provide VPN software for Windows PCs, laptops, and Mac computers. If you only require limited use of a VPN, then one of the private (but restrictive) VPNs in this guide are an option. If privacy is not important to you but you want 500mb of unblocking every day, Hotspot Shield is an option.
Free VPN for Chromebook
It is possible to install some Android APK files on Chromebook. For this reason, you may be able to use an Android free VPN client on your Chromebook. If this is not possible, you may need to configure the VPN manually. Sadly, it is possible that you will need a premium VPN for Chromebook.
Free VPN for Netflix US
Many people only want a VPN to unblock foreign Netflix catalogs. Sadly, even most paid VPNs do not unblock Netflix anymore. For this reason, you will need a very specific premium VPN to watch Netflix US. A free VPN for Netflix is not an option, but a money back guarantee will let you use Netflix US for free!
Free VPN for Kodi
Streaming free content on Kodi can be a lot of fun, but is better done in privacy. In addition, to watch a lot of streaming video content on a Kodi device, you will require unlimited VPN downloads and bandwidth. The free VPNs in this guide may let you get a feel for what using a VPN for Kodi is all about: but you will never get to watch much content because of the free VPN limitations. To watch a lot of extra TV for free on Kodi invest in a premium VPN.
Free VPN for China
VPNs are now banned in China and are being blocked by ISPs and the government. This makes it hard to get – and risky to use – a free VPN in China. A VPN for China needs a lot of advanced features so we strongly recommend sticking to a paid service.
Free VPN for US
If you want a VPN in the US to stop your ISP collecting data about you and selling it to third parties, then a free VPN is not going to be suitable. Hotspot Shield will hide your traffic from your ISP, but they will also provide data to third parties and advertisers that they are affiliated with. This just gives your data to a different firm to sell on.
Free VPN for UK
Anybody looking for a free VPN in the UK will be fine with any of the services in this article. However, if unlimited usage or strong privacy are needed you must take care about which VPN you select. Hotspot Shield Free will provide 500 Mb of use per day, but it will not provide strong privacy. For anybody that wants an unlimited use VPN that provides watertight privacy please consider a VPN for UK or a cheap VPN.
Free VPN for Canada
Using a free VPN in Canada is an option, but if unlimited use or robust privacy is a concern – we urge you to go for a premium VPN for Canada.
Free VPNs: Conclusion
In this article, we’ve described everything you might need to know about using a free Virtual Private Network. These free services have a lot to offer. Our top VPN provides 500 Mb of downloads use per day – but is not good for privacy. The others provide privacy but are restrictive because of bandwidth limits and download limits.
Most free VPNs make a profit from their subscribers by harvesting their web browsing habits to sell to third parties. This is exactly the opposite of what a VPN should do. If you require a real VPN that provides privacy and unlimited use: your best option is to pay for a cheap VPN. If you want something a bit better then consider a VPN for a specific use of your choosing.
All of the VPNs in this article are free, and each offers varying levels of services: so please look at the summaries carefully.
To understand more about Hotspot Shield (and who may or may not want to use it) please read this article in its entirety. Each VPN in this guide provides slightly different features and restrictions on its free service. So please take a good look at the provider summaries in order to make the best decision for your needs.
Finally, remember that these services are free – so if you want to use all of them, go right ahead!