You want to protect your internet traffic by encrypting your data with a VPN? But you don’t want to pay too much for it? Ideally you are looking for a free VPN service. There are some free options out there but it’s wise to remember that nothing in this world is ever really free. Free VPNs generally have some downsides, such as speed or data limitations, or lacking security features. Therefore, in terms of security, quality, speed and user-friendliness, considering a high quality paid VPN service is worth it if you use the internet on a daily basis and want to stay safe and anonymous.
Still, if you are a casual internet user, a free VPN might suffice in helping you browse the internet anonymously. In this article you find an overview of free services that are trustworthy and safe.
Free Trials with Premium VPN Providers
Most high quality VPN services are only accessible with a paid subscription. Luckily, some of the world’s leading VPN providers do offer extensive free trials. This way you can take full advantage of their VPN service and see if it meets your expectations and wishes. No strings attached. We’ll highlight three premium, quality VPN providers that offer such a free trial: CyberGhost, NordVPN and GOOSE VPN.
CyberGhost (30 day money back guarantee)
Number of devices: 7 | Data limit: Unlimited | Speed limit: No | Server locations: 62+ | Price: Free 30 day trial (money back guarantee)
CyberGhost is one of the world’s leading VPN providers, with over 15 million active subscribers. The CyberGhost apps have a clean interface and are easy to use. Furthermore, there is a very extensive server network with fast VPN servers in, for instance, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and Germany.
CyberGhost offers solid encryption and does not keep activity logs or IP address logs. There are apps available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux. You can try out CyberGhost without any worries for 30 days, since there is a 30-day money-back-guarantee. CyberGhost is truly one of the best VPNs on the market, so it’s definitely worth giving CyberGhost a shot. If you want to know more about CyberGhost, check out the extensive CyberGhost review.
NordVPN (30 day money back guarantee)
Number of devices: 6 | Data limit: Unlimited | Speed limit: No | Server locations: 100+ | Price: Free 30 day trial (money back guarantee)
NordVPN is a vastly popular VPN service, with thousands of new members signing up on a daily basis. The biggest assets are the seemingly infinite network of fast and stable servers, state of the art security features and 24/7 customer support.
There are very intuitive and easy to use applications for all devices and operating systems (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and routers). On top of that you can run NordVPN simultaneously on 6 different devices using a single subscription. NordVPN is a high quality but very affordable VPN service, with prices starting at just $3,99 per month. In exchange you’ll get complete security, privacy and freedom for you and your family whilst navigating the internet. Government agencies, hackers, your roommates, your boss and the websites you visit; nobody will be able to observe your internet traffic whilst using NordVPN.
Even though NordVPN is a paid service, they have a very generous refund policy. To initiate the free 30 day trial, you can simply subscribe to one of their plans. You will receive a full refund within 30 days upon request on all plans, no questions asked. Still, the vast majority of people who sign up for the free trial choose to prolong their subscription due the great value for money NordVPN has to offer. Try NordVPN without any risks using the button below:
GOOSE VPN (free 30 day trial)
Number of devices: Unlimited | Data limit: Unlimited | Speed limit: No | Server locations: 40+ | Price: Free 30 day trial
GOOSE VPN is perfect if you’d like to fully experience the advantages of a premium VPN for a full month. GOOSE VPN is actually a paid VPN service, but you can make use of their free trial of 30 days. The only thing you have to do is sign up and pay a very small €0,45 verification fee during registration. You’ll get this money back if the service is not to your liking. Our advice would be to try out the Unlimited package. With the Unlimited package you’ll have no data limit, and you can browse, stream and download in complete anonymity during your free month.
GOOSE VPN is a great provider with fast and stable servers all over the world. Furthermore, they offer great security features and support torrenting and Netflix. You can use 1 subscription on an unlimited number of devices, so the whole family can profit. There are user-friendly apps for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS. If you’re interested, you can have a look at our comprehensive GOOSE VPN review.
Don’t forget to use the discount code SECURITY during registration. This will ensure you get a permanent 30% discount on the Unlimited package in case you end up liking GOOSE VPN and want to prolong your subscription after the free trial (most people do). This way you’ll keep your whole family safe and anonymous on the internet, with a single GOOSE VPN subscription.
Five Free VPN Services
NordVPN, GOOSE VPN and Cyberghost are great premium VPN providers, but apart from the free trial their service is not free indefinitely. Below you will find six VPN services which are in fact completely free. The quality of these services cannot be compared to the premium VPNs we discussed above, which is to be expected when comparing a paid service with a free service. Still, most free VPN providers below also offer an additional paid subscription, so you can always upgrade to the paid version if you want to unlock additional features.
Number of devices: 5 | Data limit: 500MB a month | Speed limit: No | Server locations: 20 | Price: Free
TunnelBear is a well-known VPN provider that offers a free version as well. Their applications are user-friendly and easy to install. Although they have a data limit of 500 MB for users of their free subscription, you can earn 1,5 GB of data by promoting their company on Twitter. TunnelBear really takes your security online seriously. They do not keep logs. Furthermore, they allow free subscribers to make use of all of their 20 server locations, this way you have a lot to choose from. When we tested their services, we could access streaming services like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. Finally, you can use their application on 5 devices at the same time. It is very nice that they do not limit your speed, but again, streaming with that amount of data will not take you far.
Number of devices: 1 | Data limit: 2 GB a month | Speed limit: Yes | Server locations: 3 | Price: Free
Hide.me is another secure option for free VPN users. They have tight security and do not keep logs. In the free version they do only allow you to use 3 server locations, one in the Netherlands, one in Canada, and one in Singapore. Moreover, Hide.me does limit the speed of free users. If the servers are heavily used, the free subscribers are the first to notice lag. You can download via a P2P network with the free subscription. However, with a limit of 2 GB a month you will quickly reach your data limit. Finally, they are less user-friendly as the other free options.
Number of devices: Unlimited | Data limit: 2GB a month | Speed limit: No | Server locations: 11 | Price: Free
Windscribe has nice applications that are easy to install and very user-friendly. They will provide you with 2GB a month though this can go up to 10GB+ if you give them your email address. For the average internet user nowadays, this will not last you very long. Their limited free service does not offer the full coverage security that their paid service does. Thus, the security for the free version is not bad but it could be better. Free users get acces to severs in 11 different countries, which should be more than enough. Furthermore, you can download their applications on as many of your devices as you would like.
Number of devices: 1 | Data limit: 2 GB a month | Speed limit: Yes | Server locations: 3 | Price: Free
ZoogVPN has three servers available to free subscribers. The servers are located in Amsterdam, London, and New York. The free subscription can only be used on one device. The limit of 2 GB data a month will not be enough for most user but it is quite a good offer for a free VPN service. They are fairly fast but will impose speed limits if their servers cannot handle it. ZoogVPN makes it clear that free subscribers have limited content access. Their connection is safe although their paid services offer more in the security department. ZoogVPN says they do not keep logs with any of their subscription types.
Number of devices: 1 | Data limit: Unlimited | Speed limit: Yes | Server locations: 3 | Price: Free
ProtonVPN is a relatively new provider based in Switzerland. They offer nice applications with good basic protection. The free subscription does have a few limitations. They are upfront about the fact that the free version is slower than the paid subscription. Moreover, you can only use the application on one device at a time. There are only 3 server locations available to users with a free subscription. However, this isn’t unusual for a free VPN service. There doesn’t appear to be a limit to the use of MBs but they do actively try to get you to upgrade to a paid service.
Tip: As you have seen, most free VPN services only offer limited data. What you can do is download several VPN services and switch when you have reached your data limit for one provider. This is a lot of work, but if you really do not want to pay for a VPN and you do want to use a VPN constantly, this may be your only option.
Side Note: Hola Warning
Hola is a VPN provider that presents their services as a community-based P2P VPN network. This might sound very nice, but in reality they use IP address of free users to give to paying customers. This way, as a free user, you can get blamed for the online actions of a paying customer. For this reason we would not recommend the use of Hola.
What Does a VPN Do?
A VPN offers a way to go on the internet anonymously through an encrypted connection. Most importantly, you gain freedom, anonymity, and security online. A VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic so nobody can see what you do online. All of your traffic goes through the VPN server, hiding your IP address in the process. Now others will only see the IP address of the VPN server. Because of these measures, you can bypass geographical restrictions, browse the internet anonymously, and stay safe from hackers.
With most VPN providers you pay a small fee to use their secure server network. However, there are some VPN providers that offer a free VPN connection. But how do you know which VPN service is safe and reliable? As mentioned before, the reality is that free VPN services never offer all the benefits of a paid VPN service. If you want an all-round good VPN we would advise you to read more about what a VPN can do for you and take a look at our list of the best VPN providers.
Things to Look out for in a Free VPN
As mentioned earlier, there is always at least one downside to a free VPN service. Free services all have a different focus. If you think you have found the perfect free VPN, be watchful! We will explain what the most important things to look out for are.
Security and Anonymity with a Free VPN
Most VPN providers create their services specifically to secure and anonymize your online actions. A VPN protects your online safety by encrypting all the traffic on your computer. Moreover, with a VPN, nobody can connect your online actions to you and you can browse the internet anonymously. Your IP address that usually shows your location and identity, is hidden. Instead third parties see the IP address of the VPN server you are connected to.
More and more VPN providers have stopped keeping logs. This means that they won’t keep track of the things you do when you are connected through their servers. Some free VPN providers do keep logs, so this is something to look out for if you want to be fully anonymous. Moreover, some free VPN services can even spread malware. Recent studies have shown that over 30% of free VPN apps from the Google Play Store contain malware! So it’s important to choose a safe and reliable provider.
Online Freedom with a Free VPN
Most people want a free VPN to bypass geographical restrictions on streaming services. They want to use a VPN to watch their favorite program when they are away from home or they want to gain access to the U.S. Netflix content. This is difficult for a VPN to guarantee, even for paid services, because of the witch-hunt against VPN providers that is going on. Some providers say that you can gain access to streaming services with their application but it’s often questionable if this is actually the case. A paid service will have customer support that can help you find the right server for your streaming endeavors. Another feature that is important if you want to stream with a VPN is speed.
Speed and Stability with a Free VPN
If you are looking for a high speed connection through a VPN, you should definitely be looking at the paid VPN services. Though, the speed and stability of the free VPN connections is enough to surf the web, it could cause problems if you want to watch a movie or game. Free VPN providers that also offer a paid subscription often slow down the internet of their unpaid users to convince them to switch to a paid service. Furthermore, not all free VPN services offer the possibility to use P2P services to download. Most paid VPN services do give you the chance to download anonymously.
Data Limit with a Free VPN
Almost all paid services offer unlimited data use. Free VPN providers, however, limit the amount of data you can use with their services. If you want to use a free VPN to stream videos or music, you have to keep in mind that these actions take up a lot of data. Most of the time, the amount of data a free services offers isn’t even enough to watch one movie. Again, if you are only looking to browse the internet it might suffice.
Most VPN providers ask for a small monthly contribution to maintain and improve their server network, optimize their security, and offer quality customer support. This way, paid VPN providers can guarantee a certain level of quality. Although paid VPN providers are generally seen as the better option there is a group of casual internet users that are only looking for slightly more privacy. Or you might just want to see what a VPN can do for you but you do not want to pay for it straight away. You can also go for a free trial period with one of the paid services. Moreover, most paid services offer good money-back guarantees so you can cancel your subscription if you find out their service isn’t for you.
It is understandable that if you have only just heard about the existence of VPN services you might not want to spend money on one straight away. However, as you can read in our reviews of the free services, they all have their limitations. The greatest limitation for most of them is the data-limit. We all use our internet extensively nowadays, and anything up to a few GB won’t do to cover our internet use. Again, if you are looking to cover only part of your online activity this might be enough. There is no way of saying which free VPN is the best because every user’s motivation to use a VPN is different. We hope this article helped you find want you were looking for. Stay safe!