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5 Best Free VPNs – How Reliable Are They?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are the world’s best digital privacy tool.  Providing a reliable VPN service isn’t easy and the best VPNs charge subscribers for the pleasure. However, we understand that sometimes people need access to a free VPN for privacy and security (or to overcome censorship and geo-restrictions). Here at BestVPN.com, we love VPNs and we firmly believe that everyone should have access to one. That is why we have searched hard for the five best free VPNs of 2017. To help further, we have explained everything you need to know about free VPNs in this article.

A Quick View: the Best Free VPNs

Rank Company Score Free Link
Sponsored Star ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review10/10
30-day no-hassle
money-back guarantee
Visit Site >
Best Seller! Save time searching and get great service with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1

TunnelBear Logo
Read Review10/10
Download Cap Visit Site

2

hideme Logo
Read Review9/10
Download Cap Visit Site

3

SurfEasy Logo
Read Review8/10
Download Cap Visit Site

4

CyverGhost Logo
Read Review7/10
Download Cap Visit Site

5

VPNGate Logo
Read Review6/10
Educational Development Visit Site

B

VPNGate Logo
Read Review5/10
Technically not a VPN Visit Site

Take a Closer Look

It is important to realize that, although the VPNs in this guide are the best free VPN services of 2017, being free makes them quite limited and restrictive. For a much better service, look at these VPNs. However, unlike the majority of free VPNs on the market (which often handle data in an extremely insecure way), these free VPNs are trustworthy, reliable, and have been properly tested by our experts.

Editor's Choice Award

Winner

TunnelBear

5/5

TunnelBear Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Cool design, fun and easy to use
  • Apps for all platforms
  • Outstanding encryption
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Five simultaneous connections permitted
  • ConsCONS
  • No peer-to-peer (P2P)
  • Few advanced settings
  • Usage capped

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

TunnelBear 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 server locations on the network. 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 a bit more by doing some social sharing!

Get the best free VPN today!

Visit TunnelBear »


2nd Place

hide.me

4.7/5

hide.me

  • ProsPROS
  • Strong encryption
  • Servers in 22 countries
  • Zero logs
  • Superb privacy policy
  • Highly experienced customer care
  • ConsCONS
  • 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. Usage is capped at 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).

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’s one of the best all around free VPNs available in 2017.

Visit hide.me »


3rd place

SurfEasy

4.5/5

Best Free VPN Service

  • ProsPROS
  • Easy setup
  • P2P allowed
  • Owned by Opera
  • Easy to use apps
  • Servers across the globe
  • ConsCONS
  • 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 this by recommending the service to friends and family. Their paid plan is quite a lot better, and pricing starts at just $6.49/month.

Visit SurfEasy »


4th place

CyberGhost

4.4/5

CyberGhost

  • ProsPROS
  • No bandwidth limits
  • Solid speeds
  • Free iOs and Android apps
  • Automatic internet kill switch
  • Transparent privacy policy
  • ConsCONS
  • 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.

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!

Visit CyberGhost »


5th place

VPNGate

3.5/5

VPNGate Free VPN

  • ProsPROS
  • 100% open source (and audited)
  • Constantly under development
  • Daily updates and mirrors
  • Reasonable speeds
  • Perfect for security
  • ConsCONS
  • Keeps logs
  • Can sometimes get laggy
  • No P2P or torrenting allowed

VPNGate is run by Japan’s University of Tsukuba. It runs on a relay of volunteer computers. The software is open source and receives regular updates to improve it and keep it available for users.

The main reason for the project is to help people who live in locations with strict government censorship. The project also provides daily mirrors to protect users from the main site going down.

Sadly, the uni project does not permit P2P, torrenting, or other illegal activities. It also keeps logs and says it will comply with police investigations if asked. That is why this free VPN is only really for accessing blocked websites (to access news or other information).

Connection speeds can also be a bit slow because it is run by volunteer computers around the world.

Visit VPNGate »


Bonus

Tor Project

3/5

Tor Project

  • prosPROS
  • Highly secure way to get online anonymity
  • Easy to set up and use
  • consCONS
  • Rather slow
  • Not a VPN
  • Can expose users to criminal activities

As an extra, we have put the Tor network in this article. Although it is not a VPN, it is very similar. Tor runs on volunteer computers around the world and runs on open source software. It is highly secure due to layered encryption (called onion routing).

It works by encrypting data as it passes through at least three different volunteer machines or ‘nodes.’ Every time data passes through an exit node, it is encrypted again, adding another layer of encryption!

When you use Tor, your IP address appears to be that of a volunteer, anonymizing you from the sites that you visit. As there are so many thousands of nodes, there is no known way of identifying users on the network.

The only real drawback of the Tor Project is that it slows down connection speeds a lot. P2P file sharing is not allowed either, as it slows down the network for other users. All in all, Tor is a fantastic service that is well worth looking into!

Visit Tor Project »


This part of the article is designed to explain absolutely everything about free VPNs. If anything remains unclear, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comments section below.

What Is a Virtual Private Network?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that allows people to stay secure and private when they are online. By providing a strong layer of encryption, reliable VPNs let people keep their data private both at home and on public WiFi (where there is a danger of hackers using the same WiFi).

In addition, a VPN lets subscribers pretend to be in a remote location (either within their own country or overseas). Once connected to a VPN, subscribers appear to be where the server is, allowing them to access content that is usually restricted. Best of all, a VPN lifts government censorship, blocks placed by landlords, schools, or workplaces, and also geo-restrictions.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN works by sending all user data down an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. Encrypted data is jumbled up so that nobody can understand it. This means that anyone snooping on your data – be it an Internet Service Provider (ISP), the government, or a hacker on public WiFi – can’t tell what you are doing. This keeps data such as passwords and bank details safe.

By connecting to the VPN server, any websites that you visit think that the subscriber is in the location of the VPN’s IP address. This means that they don’t know the VPN user’s real location. This allows people to access the internet as if they were a resident of a foreign country – which is ideal for people living under government censorship.

Are Free VPNs Safe to Use?

Free VPNs on the whole are safe to use. However, with VPN services you really do get what you pay for. Many free VPNs (like free apps in general) sell user data to third parties to make money. A VPN is supposed to keep your data secure and private, not sell it on.

For that reason, many free VPNs are far from ideal. However, some free VPN services have a good privacy policy, and simply restrict the bandwidth and cap the service with a usage limit (per month). It is the best of those services that we have included in this article.

These free VPNs are all safe to use, but please bear in mind that they are all severely restrictive compared to a paid (full) VPN service. Paid services have more and better choices of servers, stronger security, and provide faster connection speeds for enjoying streaming video.

Can I Use a Free VPN with My Mobile Phone?

All of the reliable free VPN services that we have put in this article have apps for mobile phones. One thing worth remembering is that Android is usually covered more than iOS by VPN providers. However, at least some of the free VPNs in our list do have iOS apps.

How to Set Up a Free VPN

Setting up a free VPN really is a very simple process. To set up a free (or paid) VPN, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Select a VPN service and click through to its website.
  2. Subscribe and download the VPN software for your platform.
  3. Follow the instructions and install the VPN on your device.
  4. Run the app and select the encryption option you want. With free VPNs, it isn’t always possible to select your preferred protocol. However, if you can choose, opt for OpenVPN as this is the strongest form of encryption.
  5. Select a VPN server in the place that you want to pretend to be located and click Connect.
  6. After a few seconds, the VPN will show you that a connection has been established. That means that you can access blocked content AND be secure thanks to encryption.

Paid VPN vs Free VPN

In order to provide a VPN service for free, providers do one of a number of things. Some have a terrible privacy policy that allows them to sell all your connection and usage data to third parties – this is the worst case scenario, and is why people should be very careful when selecting a free VPN.

Reliable and trustworthy free VPNs (like the ones in this article), simply provide a basic service that is restricted in terms of bandwidth (speed) and the amount it can be used. This means that once you have used your quota for the month, you will have to wait until the next month. This is good for trying out a VPN, or light use such as accessing news that is censored where you live.

For more intensive tasks (like streaming), it might not be enough. A paid VPN has no limits. It provides the fastest possible speeds, the strongest encryption levels, and has a watertight privacy policy. In addition, users get access to pro features like a kill switch and Domain Name System (DNS) leak protection (both are easy to use features that add security to the VPN).

Overall, a free VPN is a great way to experience a VPN for the first time. However, free services can give the false impression that VPNs are “rubbish” because of the way that they are restricted. With paid VPNs this isn’t true – you get what you pay for!

What Is the Best Free VPN Service?

The best VPN service is one that promises to keep your data secure, as this is what a VPN is truly about. In addition, the best free VPN will provide access to fast servers that allow users to do the things they want to do online. The best free VPN services will be transparent about the limits and restrictions that are placed on them. Finally, the best free VPN services will use a high standard of encryption, rather than an insecure option.

Free VPN – Considerations

When choosing a free VPN, consider several things.

Free VPN Considerations

The main considerations are:

a) What do you intend to use your free VPN for?

b) How often are you likely to use your VPN to connect to the internet?

If your biggest reason for wanting a free VPN is to unblock restricted, censored, or geo-blocked sites, then any of the free VPNs in this guide are perfect. However, if you use the internet heavily and need privacy and security when you do, then you should select one of the VPNs with no data limits. Unfortunately, that means you will likely have fewer servers to choose from, and/or connection speed restrictions.

That brings us to the second important consideration – connection speeds. Slower connection speeds will be terrible for streaming video or music content. So if you want to watch blocked TV shows, for example, don’t use a speed capped free VPN from our list.

If you tend to use the internet a lot, then you will likely require a free VPN that is super fast and also has no data caps. Sadly that is not really an option, so you may need to think about paying for a pro-service.

No Substitute for a Paid VPN Subscription!

Although the free VPNs in this guide are the five best free options of 2017, being free makes them somewhat limited and restrictive. With that said, these free VPNs have been extensively tested and are well worth using when necessary.

A Warning

Many free VPNs are a security nightmare. Free VPNs often sell user data on to third parties. Others handle data in an insecure way, or provide outdated encryption that can be hacked. That is why we caution against downloading an untrusted free VPN. The consequences could be severe!

Remember, we highly recommend getting a fully featured VPN service. There are excellent cheap options around, and there really is no substitute for the security that you get with a fully featured VPN!

Free VPNs: Conclusion

There is a growing awareness of VPNs and the privacy and security they provide. A VPN is the best personal cybersecurity product on the market, and everyone is becoming interested in what they have to offer.

Sadly, despite the fact that everybody likes getting something for free, truly great VPNs charge a subscription fee. For that minimal investment, subscribers get top-of-the-range encryption and access to a network of lightning fast servers around the world.

As previously discussed, the vast majority of free VPNs provide a substandard service. This runs in complete contrast to the privacy that top VPN providers pride themselves on providing for their users. The difference is black and white. However, for people who in dire need of a VPN, the free VPNs in this article are ideal (because they are trustworthy).

All of these free VPNs handle data securely and don’t sell it to third parties. They also provide great standards of encryption. In fact, we are confident that all of the providers in this list are perfect for anybody who requires a free VPN in 2017.

Finally, we would like to remind you that there is no real substitute for a paid VPN. We hope that you found what you need in this article and enjoy trying out these free VPNs!

Best Free VPN Providers Recap

Rank Company Score Free Link
Sponsored Star ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review10/10
30-day no-hassle
money-back guarantee
Visit Site >
Best Seller! Save time searching and get great service with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1

TunnelBear Logo
Read Review10/10
Download Cap Visit Site

2

hideme Logo
Read Review9/10
Download Cap Visit Site

3

SurfEasy Logo
Read Review8/10
Download Cap Visit Site

4

CyverGhost Logo
Read Review7/10
Download Cap Visit Site

5

VPNGate Logo
Read Review6/10
Educational Development Visit Site

B

VPNGate Logo
Read Review5/10
Technically not a VPN Visit Site

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.

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132 responses to “5 Best Free VPNs – How Reliable Are They?

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.”

  4. 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 🙂

  5. Hi, does Windscribe support torrenting? it sounds like the best choice with it’s 10GB monthly limit and keeping no logs. Thanks.

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. I live in the UK and intend to spend about a month or so in Spain. Could you advise my best option,I would like to access British tv.

    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.

        1. get an android tv box, or install kodi onto a laptop. Use the addon called ‘freeview’ and you’ll get live uk channels from there.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

    1. Hi shirazi,

      BestVPN.com is a VPN comparison and review website. For free VPN, please visit the websites listed above.

  19. @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!

  20. 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 !

  21. 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+++++

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    1. Hi Visitor.01,

      Most free VPNs (including all of the above) do not permit torrenting. I recently reviewed Betternet, however, which does allow torrenting on its free service (which also offers unlimited data).

  25. 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?

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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 🙂

        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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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. you need to uninstall the app first, then use a registry cleaner to remove all registry entries from the windows registry.

    3. 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.

  32. 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 +.

  33. 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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