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Top 6 free VPN providers of 2019

Last edited: September 17, 2019
Reading time: 14 minutes, 5 seconds

In this article, we will list the best free VPNs. A VPN allows you to use the internet anonymously and securely through an encrypted connection. Most VPN providers require you to pay to be able to make use of their secured server network. But there are some VPN providers who offer a free VPN connection.

When you start looking, you’ll notice that few free VPN services are of acceptable quality. Even the best free VPN subscriptions often have data limits or speed caps. Some providers offer a limited basic application for free, with the option (and certainly the intention) of upgrading this free application afterwards. In this article you will find out which free VPN services there are. Plus, we will recommend some good free VPN services.


Trials with premium VPN providers: worth considering

Chances are that you are looking for a free VPN to browse and download anonymously, or to bypass a block such as those put up at work or school, or a geographic block. Although some free VPNs are suitable for this purpose, not all free services will be able to give you what you need. In addition, we want to warn you that free is never really free. Some free VPNs, such as Hola, sell your data connection to others. Other free providers even record the websites you visit, to sell this data to marketing agencies.

Paid VPNs are generally more secure and offer more options, such as unlimited data, unlimited speeds, proper customer support and access to American Netflix. If you’re simply looking for the best VPN on the market, give ExpressVPN a try. This VPN is stable, fast, and has servers in nearly 100 countries. They have a generous money-back guarantee which allows you to test the service 30 days risk-free. If you register for a 1-year subscription via the button below, you will even get 3 months for free.

ExpressVPN
Our pick
Our pick
Deal:
3 months for free with a one-year subscription
9.5
  • Super fast and simple VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading and streaming (i.a. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, but do want an excellent premium VPN, there is a strong up-and-comer that we can recommend: Surfshark. For just a small amount per month, you get all the advantages of a premium VPN, including a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark
Deal:
Safe and anonymous internet for only $1.99 a month
8.8
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

Fortunately, there are some reliable options if a free VPN is really what you are looking for. You might run into data limits or speed caps, but the free VPN providers in this list are generally decent. The VPNs we will discuss from here on out are completely free. You don’t have register with your payment information or make use of a money-back guarantee. Free really is free with these VPN providers.


The best free VPN

trophyWhat qualifies as a good free VPN? Well, a good free VPN is mostly that what it says it will be: free. Apart from that, there are a couple of things to keep an eye on: data limits, speed caps, the number of devices you can use the VPN on, and the server locations. Free VPNs often have a combination of these downsides regarding data, internet speeds and server availability. As such, the most suitable free VPN depends on your wishes. If you want a VPN that is fast, you should find out if the free VPN service has servers in your country. Do you intend to use the VPN a lot for streaming? Then it’s important to have a large data limit and good speeds. Even though free VPN subscriptions are usually of lesser quality than paid ones, there are a couple that are worth trying.

We will first give you our top 6, in random order. If you continue to read, we will give you some additional information about these free VPN providers.

Our top 6 of free VPNs

Free VPN Provider Speed cap Monthly data limit Netflix USA Downloading Anonymously
ProtonVPN No* None Yes No
Hide.me Yes 500MB No Yes
TunnelBear No 500MB – 1.5GB No No
Windscribe No 2GB – 10GB No Yes
SurfEasy No 500MB No Yes
Zoog VPN Yes 2GB Yes Yes

*ProtonVPN’s free service has a limited amount of servers available. When many users occupy these servers at the same time, which quite often is the case, it can affect your internet speed.

Below is some extra information about all the free VPNs from this list.


ProtonVPN

proton banner

Specifications ProtonVPN Free
  • Torrents:
  • Netflix:
  • Simultaneous connections: 1
  • Server locations: 3
  • Data limit: None
  • Speed cap: None
  • Price: Completely free

ProtonVPN is a relatively new VPN provider from Switzerland. They offer good software and applications, with decent security. The free version of ProtonVPN doesn’t have a data limit or speed cap, although their servers can become very slow if many people use them at the same time. ProtonVPN doesn’t support downloads, but does occasionally give you access to Netflix. They will regularly try to convince you to upgrade to the paid version when you are using their service. ProtonVPN gives you access to 3 servers, which are located in the Netherlands, Japan and the US. You can use the free VPN on one device at a time.


Hide.me

hide.me logo

Specifications Hide.me VPN
  • Torrents:
  • Netflix:
  • Simultaneous connections: 1
  • Server locations: 3
  • Data limit: 500MB per month
  • Speed cap: Yes
  • Price: Completely free

Hide.me offers both a paid and a free VPN. The free subscription gives you access to three servers: in the Netherlands, Canada and Singapore. The free version of Hide.me has a data limit of 500MB per month. Even though the website says it’s 2GB, the software indicates 500MB. In addition, download and upload speeds for users of the free version are capped. This means that if the server network is experiencing heavy traffic, free users will be the first ones to notice this, as paying customers will be prioritized and will enjoy considerably higher internet speeds than the customers using the free version of Hide.me.

With support for Windows, iOS, MacOS and Android, Hide.me can be used on nearly all devices. The service also allows P2P traffic, even with the free VPN subscription. This means that you can download torrents, although you will reach the data limit quite easily. Lastly, Hide.me is not as user-friendly as services such as Surfshark.


TunnelBear

Tunnelbear logo

Specifications TunnelBear VPN
  • Torrents:
  • Netflix:
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Server locations: 20
  • Data limit: 500MB - 1.5GB per month
  • Speed cap: No
  • Price: Completely free

TunnelBear is a strong player in the field of free VPNs. The interface is clean and easy to use, installing it is fast and effortless. Additionally, security and encryption are up to par. The free version of TunnelBear doesn’t cap speeds, however, it does have a data limit of 500MB per month. You can up this limit up to 1.5GB by promoting them on Twitter.

Even with the free version, TunnelBear allows you to choose from all their 20 servers. Your options include the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Italy. We were able to use all the online streaming services that we tried: Hulu, BBC iPlayer and YouTube. TunnelBear is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOs. TunnelBear is quite all right for a free VPN, albeit with some limitations! If you want to download the free version, make sure to click on ‘Pricing’ at the top of their website. That’s where you can select the free subscription.


Windscribe gratis VPN

Windscribe banner

Specifications Windscribe VPN
  • Torrents:
  • Netflix:
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 11
  • Data limit: 2GB - 10GB per month
  • Speed cap: No
  • Price: Completely free

Windscribe has user-friendly software and apps that are easy to install. Windscribe maintains a data limit of 2GB per month. However, you can expand this up to 10GB by giving them your email address. Nevertheless, the average internet user will quickly finish this limit too. The free version of Windscribe doesn’t offer the same level of security as the paid version. Not that Windscribe’s security is lacking—but it could be better.

Windscribe has 11 servers available for its free users, across various countries. This should be plenty for the average free VPN user. What’s more, you can use Windscribe on as many devices as you like.


SurfEasy

Surfeasy Banner

Specifications SurfEasy
  • Torrents:
  • Netflix:
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Server locations: 6
  • Data limit: 500MB per Month
  • Speed cap: No
  • Price: Completely free

Another good free VPN alternative is SurfEasy. It offers decent speeds and is easy to install. In addition, they have high-quality encryption and clearly state not to log any online activities. You can select free VPN servers in Brazil, the US, Singapore, Great Britain, Germany and Canada.

The biggest deal breaker is that SurfEasy IP addresses are blacklisted with some streaming services. Like other free VPNs, there is a monthly data limit of 500MB for free accounts, but BitTorrent traffic is not allowed. That means you can’t download torrents with SurfEasy. SurfEasy is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOs, after registering for an account.


Zoog VPN

Zoog banner

Specifications Zoog VPN
  • Torrents:
  • Netflix:
  • Simultaneous connections: 1
  • Server locations: 3
  • Data limit: 2GB per month
  • Speed cap: Yes
  • Price: Completely free

Zoog VPN is a free VPN service with a reasonably secure connection. Zoog VPN says they don’t log your internet traffic. They do indicate that their paid version is more secure than the free version. Zoog VPN has three servers available for their free users: in Amsterdam, London and New York. The free version can only be used on one device at a time. In addition, Zoog VPN has both a data limit of 2GB per month and a speed cap. This VPN provider is quite fast, but if their servers are experiencing heavy traffic, free users will be the first ones to notice this.


Free VPN vs paid VPN

You have to be careful when using free VPN services. A study among some 300 free VPN applications has shown that a large part of them doesn’t work properly. Access to all kinds of sensitive information (such as your contacts, photos and social media) is requested unnecessarily, and some free providers infect your device with spyware and other malware. As we all make non-stop use of internet these days, it pays to use a good and reliable VPN service.

Paid VPN services will generally be more mindful of your privacy and offer are more advanced level of security, as well as many extra features. For instance, connections are usually faster, you can be online with multiple people at the same time, and have access to streaming services such as Netflix. You can also download shows and movies worry-free and don’t have to be concerned about data limits. Most of these features are not available with free services. What’s more, paid VPN subscriptions have become quite cheap. To get a complete idea of the best VPN services of the moment, we refer you to this overview:

Check out the best VPNs


Cheap VPNs

There are large price differences between paid VPNs. And especially if you are looking for a free VPN, the pricing of some premium VPN providers may shock you. Luckily, there are a number of VPN providers nowadays who offer fantastic VPN connections for very low prices. For a small price per month, you can have peace of mind regarding the safety of your internet connection and data. If you are interested in the best cheap VPN, we recommend Surfshark.


Free VPNs with no data limits

As you’ve seen, most good free VPNs come with data limits. Free VPN users are restricted through these data limits, because maintaining VPN servers and VPN connections costs money. Data limits allow the provider to have you get to know their VPN service without costing them too much. There is one good free VPN without a data limit: ProtonVPN. However, instead of a data limit, the free version of this VPN can be quite slow at times. They hope this makes it less attractive for free users to make use of their VPN connection for extended periods of time. If reduced speeds are not an issue for you, ProtonVPN is certainly worth considering.

A large downside to the data limits of free VPNs is that you can’t watch an entire movie or show through their connection. If you are watching something through an online stream, or even Netflix, you’ll notice that you’ve hit your data limit after about an hour or two already. So, even if the speed of the connection is not an issue, your viewing pleasure will be short-lived.


Free VPNs with no speed caps

As most VPNs already employ data limits, they don’t see a need to also enforce speed caps. As a result, these VPNs are often just as fast as paid VPNs. Some free VPNs choose to not apply speed caps because their free servers are so busy that the connection is not very fast anyway, making speed caps unnecessary. Luckily, there are providers that offer relatively many servers in their free subscriptions, such as TunnelBear, SurfEasy and Windscribe. This means that, even though the VPN connection is free, speeds are still good. Because they give you access to all their servers, especially TunnelBear clearly demonstrates how their paid subscription would work.


Free VPN for all your devices

Most good free VPNs have software that is compatible with the most common devices. This means that such VPNs are easy to install on our computer, smartphone or tablet. Some VPNs even offer software for the lesser-known operating systems, making it possible to even use a free VPN on Linux. We will briefly discuss the various devices below.


Free VPN for your computer or Mac

Most VPNs are available for Windows and Mac, because you can choose from free VPNs with an application for your operating system, but also from free VPNs that come in the shape of a browser extension. Some VPNs are only available as a browser extension, for Chrome or Firefox, for example. This means that they don’t protect everything you need an internet connection for, including torrents and emailing. It does protect internet traffic running through your browser, such as electronic banking.

The various operating systems require different VPN software. Linux users will have a harder time setting up a VPN connection than Windows or Mac users. Installing a VPN on Windows or Mac is usually just a matter of downloading and installing the program.


Free VPN for iOS and Android

In addition to VPNs for desktop computers, VPNs for smartphones are becoming increasingly more popular. Not only do we do more and more things online with our smartphones, we also use them to connect with unprotected Wi-Fi networks more often than we do with a computer. A free is VPN therefore definitely of added value for smartphone users who are out and about a lot. In addition to Windows and Mac, nearly all good free VPNs offer software for both Android and iOS. All VPNs we have listed above as ‘Best Free VPNs’ offer software for both Android and iOS.


Free VPN for tablet

Smartphones aren’t the only devices running on Android and iOS—iPads and Android tablets do too. This makes it very easy to install and setup the free VPN software on both your smartphone and your tablet, as this works the same for both. This is ideal if you want to watch the American Netflix on your iPad. Just like for smartphones, all free VPNs we have listed above have software for both iPads and Android tablets.


In conclusion: What is the best free VPN?

Free VPNs are suitable when you only use them every now and then, and don’t need too much data when you are. For instance, a free VPN is handy to quickly bypass an IP address block. The free VPN services that we have discussed in this article generally support multiple platforms and operating systems. So, whether you are looking for a free VPN for iPad, a free VPN for Android, or a free VPN for iPhone, the above-mentioned VPN services should work for your device. However, the moment you are going to use the free VPN for Netflix or Popcorn Time, you’ll run into issues with data limits and speed caps. Similarly, you’ll experience restrictions for downloading shows and movies with a free version. As a result, you’ll probably end up needing a paid VPN most of the time if you want to download or make use of video and audio streaming services.

It’s not easy to give a clear-cut answer to the question of which free VPN service is the best. Should you want to go for a free VPN service, then make sure to choose one of the providers we have listed. Especially since many free VPN apps in the Play Store and App Store don’t work properly—or are harmful even—we recommend you don’t download the first free VPN that you find. For example, stay far away from the free VPN Hola. After all, internet safety begins with a good VPN, and a bad VPN can have the opposite effect.

Below, you’ll find a table containing what we consider to be the best free VPN providers when considering different criteria:

Criterium Best free VPN option
Speed Windscribe
Data ProtonVPN
Server locations TunnelBear
Safety ProtonVPN
Ease of use TunnelBear
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