Best Free VPNs
Using a free VPN is a big risk. If you aren’t paying for it, how is the VPN covering its costs? We highly recommend you use a cheap VPN instead, take a look at our guide here.
While most VPNs are priced under $10/ month, this may be more than some people can afford, so free VPNs are always appreciated. While these are usually limited in one way or another, the ones we’ve selected provide a great service at zero cost.
It’s hard for a free service to compete with a paid one due to the downsides, which we consider for each VPN respectively. However, the services we’ve selected will still help you achieve privacy and security while carrying out your daily internet activities.
It is one of the best Free VPN Provider that we have came across so far.
Positives: no logs; based in Romania; good client; accepts Bitcoin; allows P2P (on paid plans only); shared IPs
Negatives: multiple simultaneous connections only allowed on most expensive plan; speed cap
CyberGhost is a large Romanian company that regularly updates its features and software for both free VPN and paid users. Its security is impressive, going as far as deleting your payment details once they’ve been processed. It’s also working on some security technologies itself and is willing to support promising security start-ups too! Its client and customer support are first class.
While its free service has a number of limitations, including speed, time and advertisements, CyberGhost is superb all round.
Positives: great speeds; five simultaneous connections; easy-to-use software; phone support
Negatives: download cap (more can be earned); no P2P
SurfEasy is a fantastic Canadian company, with aims of bringing privacy and security to the masses, so it’s no surprise that it provides a free service alongside its normal plans. All of its plans come with a whopping five simultaneous connections, sport easy-to-use clients and offer good speeds.
Its free VPN plan is just as good as its normal plan, but does come with a data limit of 500MB (which can be increased to 1.5GB with a few tasks), which is only useful for occasional/normal use. Also, in order to be able to provide the security that it does, no P2P is allowed.
If you’re looking for something different, it also offers a Private Browser USB product, which comes with an initial fee but is valid for a lifetime.
Positives: entertaining; minimal logs; great performance; great clarity
Negatives: limited countries; no P2P; download cap
In many respects, TunnelBear is very similar to SurfEasy: it’s Canadian, for the everyday user and doesn’t allow P2P. Even its pricing is similar for the paid packages. We found TunnelBear’s support to be better, and its client a bit more useful and entertaining.
It provides three simultaneous connections, up to 1.5GB download limit and overall is a very good company for providing a free VPN.
Positives: great software; easy to use; low price for premium and, of course, a free VPN service is available
Negatives: free plan is limited to US servers and advertising is supported
Hotspot Shield is a great all-round provider. It focuses heavily on its always-on protection system that keeps customers safe while connected to the internet, no matter where they are. To this end, it offers an excellent free service, a great application and software that supports all the major operating systems.
On the downside, the free version is advertising supported and you’re only able to connect to its US servers using it – and access to Netflix and Hulu is disabled too. Since it’s designed to be usable by the average person, there are unfortunately no advanced features, and the exact technical details are slightly hard to find out.
Positives: fully open source; constantly being developed; mirror sites and daily updates
Negatives: educational so keeps logs; no P2P; slow speed
The University of Tsukuba in Japan developed VPN Gate, and volunteers run its servers. It’s designed as a distributed VPN system, based on SoftEther, which means it’s fully open source. All of these factors, including its mirror sites and daily updates, mean it’s a fantastic tool for avoiding government censorship.
Unfortunately, this does mean that P2P isn’t really allowed and connection logs are kept for nearly three months from all the servers. Also, since volunteers run it (so you can also participate and run VPN Gate as Server), speeds are unreliable, limited and can change very often.
Positives: very secure way (paid or unpaid) to maintain online anonymity (although bear in mind that nothing is 100% secure); easy to install and use
Negatives: technically not a VPN; slow, no P2P
Not strictly a VPN service, but as a widely used free system designed to ensure online anonymity it seemed criminal not to mention the Tor Network here. The open source Tor client allows you to connect to the internet anonymously through a distributed network (other Tor users) using a layered encryption service known as Onion Routing. This means that whenever you access a website your request will pass through at least three different computers (called nodes), with all information encrypted each time to provide a very high level of security. In addition, because your apparent IP is that of a random volunteer (of which there are literally hundreds of thousands), there’s no way to even determine that you are masking your identity. This makes this service famously invaluable for dissidents living under restrictive governments.
The main downside is that it’s not fast, as your traffic is being bounced around volunteers’ computers across the world. The Tor Network also asks you not to use the service for P2P file sharing. The amount of traffic involved puts a severe strain on the system and damages other users’ experience.
One use the truly paranoid may have for the Tor Network is in conjunction with Bitcoin payments. It allows them to maintain complete anonymity when signing up to and purchasing regular VPN packages.