A virtual private network, more commonly referred to as a VPN, offers a safer way to browse online. It also gives you access to otherwise geo-restricted sites and protects you from identity theft. However, the challenge is choosing the right free, reliable VPN from the numerous available options.
There are hundreds of free VPNs, but you can only rely on a few of them to offer you sufficient security and access. While paid options are ultimately more effective, a good free VPN can serve your internet needs well.
5 Best Free VPNs
The following five VPNs ensure you have anonymous online activities without paying a dime.
If you’re looking for the best free VPN, ProtonVPN is a great option. ProtonVPN is safe to use and has open-source apps in addition to unlimited monthly data. With ProtonVPN, you’re assured of the highest privacy levels as it is among the top free service VPNs. However, the VPN provides only three server locations and doesn’t work with Netflix, which can be a drawback for some.
- Limitless bandwidth
- Private policy while logging
- Comes with a kill switch for security
- Fast speeds for short distance coverage
- Blocks all torrenting traffic
- No live chat for customer support
ProtonVPN Free is the safest free VPN with an unlimited allowance for free data. You can use the VPN at all times without any worries over depleting your bandwidth. The app also has no ads and benefits from a privacy-friendly logging policy and AES-256 encryption, just like the paid version. ProtonVPN’s free version, therefore, is the best choice for you to anonymize web traffic and secure public Wi-Fi connections.
2. Hotspot Shield Free VPN
Hotspot Shield is one of the best free VPNs, with up to 500MB data allowance per day. It is also easy to use and allows for a Chrome extension. Additionally, Hotspot Shield Free VPN offers incredible speeds, though not as fast as the paid version. You can be assured of maximum privacy when browsing with the Hotspot Shield VPN. It also has slick apps that work optimally.
- Up to 500MB daily free data
- Logging private policy
- Fast speeds
- Professional kit
- Limited to one U.S. location
- Blocks access to Netflix
Hotspot Shield Free VPN users initially had issues while accessing google search with the display of a 403 error. However, according to the most recent research, the company has solved the problem. Many claims also point to disturbing adverts as a means of discouraging free users.
Hotspot Shield is generally an excellent free VPN, but its paid version is even better.
Another top free VPN you may want to consider is Windscribe. You can start by subscribing to the free Windscribe VPN and switch to its paid version when you’re ready. The paid subscription, or Windscribe Pro, offers more benefits, but the free version gives you a 10GB accessible data allowance per month.
- Permits torrenting and P2P on most servers
- Private logging policy allows maximum safety and security
- Works optimally in China and other censored regions
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Slower speeds on long-distance
- No live chat
Both paid and free plans of Windscribe VPN offer consistent speeds anywhere, a varied network of location servers and a wide selection of Windows applications, iOS, Linux and Android. The only difference is that the premium version provides you with unlimited data.
One of the most well-known free VPNs is TunnelBear. The VPN unblocks many streaming sites, including Netflix, unlike many other free networks. It also has many features and a no-logs policy. TunnelBear is the best VPN if you don’t want to commit to a premium one.
- Allows excellent streaming
- Has unique security features
- Easy to install and set up
- Up to 500MB monthly data allowance
TunnelBear is among the safest VPN services, thanks to its standard encryption approaches to enhance your connection’s security. Consider installing TunnelBear if you don’t mind the limited data.
5. Speedify VPN
If speed is an important factor when looking for a free VPN, consider Speedify VPN. The VPN is augmented for faster speeds. The company is based in Philadelphia and enables you to benefit from your accessible bandwidth. With the VPN, you can benefit from its proprietary channel bonding technology that provides super-fast connections.
- Can unblock Netflix, Hulu and HBO
- Fastest speeds on global servers
- Custom protocol
- Strong encryption
Speedify is a decent VPN with a custom protocol, military-grade security features and fast speeds. Thanks to Speedify’s easy-to-use apps on standard operating systems, it stands out from the rest.
The VPN comes with a free 2GB bandwidth for testing its service. You can opt to its premium plan anytime to access the VPN’s unmetered data. You can also benefit from its 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.
Problems With Free VPNs
Free VPNs are better than using none, but they have some downsides. Here are some risks associated with using a free VPN.
- Unreliable service: Free VPNs are not as polished or optimized as paid ones. Additionally, there is no around-the-clock support in case something goes wrong. It could take weeks to get it fixed.
- Speed, data and usage caps: Free VPNs have limited functionality and are limited in terms of speed, bandwidth and data.
- Restricted regional access: Free VPNs are not available in all countries.
- No privacy guarantee: You want a VPN that secures your browsing privacy, but you cannot expect as much from free versions as you would premium ones. You cannot entirely trust a service you are not paying for.
Are Free VPNs Worth It?
A paid VPN can have challenges if you don’t do your homework, but they are more reliable than free ones. If you’re looking for the most secure online activity, go for the paid VPNs. If you want temporary access to privacy, a free VPN will serve you well. However, it might not work for long-term private browsing.
If you want a secure online environment, a good VPN is your means to that end. While you can get a paid VPN, you don’t need to do it because you can get the same security and anonymity you need for free. When choosing the best free VPN, check out the features, pros and cons and go for one that best meets your browsing needs.
Information is accurate as of May 11, 2022.