Are you looking for a free VPN service? If so you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to take a look at 5 of the best free VPNs in the market. None of them are perfect, but they all have the key advantage of offering free VPN access. There are major risks involved in trusting a company to protect your privacy. We take your privacy very seriously so you will only see the companies we would personally use.
Who do we use for VPN? After using all the free and paid VPN services we use ExpressVPN. The service isn’t free but it’s a good value. The ExpressVPN team kindly offers our visitors 49% off unlimited VPN so the price is just $6.67 a month. I recommend them over any of the free VPN services because they have a no logging policy, advanced features like a VPN kill switch, and large network of fast, reliable, VPN servers.
5 Best Free VPN Services
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All five of the free VPN services we recommend have some kind of limit. Most are freemium meaning that they offer limited service to users in an effort to sell them on premium access. They know how competitive the market is and understand that offering some level of free VPN will help attract new users. That makes sense. Every company needs a path to profit. I would much prefer a VPN that hopes to encourage me to pay for access in the future by offering free VPN access to one that doesn’t have an upgrade path. If they don’t have a way to upgrade to a paid account then I would be very weary of how the company is paying for it.
Editors Choice – ExpressVPN 30 Day Risk-Free Trial
Free VPN services can be dangerous. There have been too many stories of so-called “free VPN” services selling out their users. The incidents have ranged from companies selling members browsing data to computers being used for DDoS attacks. This is why we recommend paying for VPN access. That doesn’t mean you have to shell out $10-$20 a month. The team at ExpressVPN has kindly set up a promotion that gives our readers a 49% discount on their premium VPN service. You can enjoy unlimited VPN from just $6.67 a month.
The ExpressVPN crew understands that new users need time to test their service. In response they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. That gives you a month to try out ExpressVPN risk-free. We use the service on a daily basis and feel confident recommending it. ExpressVPN has a very good customer support team if you have any questions getting started or along the way. They have free VPN apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can connect to over 2,000 servers in 148 locations around the world on up to 3 devices at one time.
TunnelBear Little (Free) VPN Account
We’ve had the pleasure of watching TunnelBear grow over the years. They offer one of the best VPN services on the market and are our favorite free VPN service. As with all our free VPNs, TunnelBear has a limit on the account. You can connect to any of their server locations in 18 countries and enjoy up to 500 MB of data usage a month. The TunnelBear team offers ways to add more free usage. You can tweet about the service to earn 1 GB of data usage. Either way you have free access to their network of VPN servers around the world. Even with the download cap, the limit is high enough to protect your privacy and test the service.
TunnelBear tries to make their client software as easy to use as possible. They have developed a very nice user interface. The clean design includes a simple on / off switch to connect and a drop down list to select a server location. Let’s take a closer look at the software running on Windows 10.
As you can see the TunnelBear client has a similar look and feel to a car radio. You can see whether or not you are connected and the plan being used. In the case of the free “Little” plan which caps at 500 MB a month you can also see your remaining usage. From there you have a drop down box that let’s you select a server location. To connect you simply toggle the dial to ON. To disconnect you just toggle it back to OFF. That’s all there is to it.
The TunnelBear team takes your privacy seriously whether you’re using their free service or upgrade to a paid membership. The client interface is easy to use but that doesn’t mean they missed important privacy settings. The TunnelBear blog will give you an introduction to their more advanced features like Vigilant and IntelliBear.
Windscribe Free VPN Plan
Windscribe launched earlier this year. You have a number of options when using the service. For starters you can download their proxy extension for Google Chrome, Opera, or Firefox. We prefer a full VPN solution and Windscibe has client software for both Windows and Mac. They also have a mobile app for iOS users. Windscribe Pro users can download the StrongSwan client from Google Play to connect to their network. Pro members can also connect via Linux. You can sign up for free VPN access and upgrade at any time. We appreciate that Windsscribe accepts Bitcoin in addition to PayPal, credit cards, and Paymentwall. You will need to use PayPal or credit card for automatic renewals.
CyberGhost Free VPN Service
The CyberGhost team has set aside a number of servers for free users. You shouldn’t expect the same level of service as premium members, but their free VPN is there when you need privacy protection in a pinch. You may need to wait to connect to a server and your speeds will be limited. Otherwise you can expect to have ads display encouraging you to upgrade to a paid subscription. The free version of CyberGhost VPN is available for Windows, Mac. and Android. Their client does a great job of presenting their network and helping you make use of the service without much technical knowledge. CyberGhost has a strict no-log policy that covers all users.
VPN Gate (Univ. of Tsukuba Project)
VPN Gate is an academic experiment that testing public relay servers hosted by a group of volunteers located around the world. The graduate school of the Univ. of Tsukuba, Japan is managing the project. This is the only free VPN server on our list that isn’t sponsored by a premium VPN service. The idea behind VPN Gate is to provide a peer-to-peer VPN network without any central control. That leaves you trusting a lot of people. Namely all the volunteers who are setting up relay servers. I think the idea of a decentralized VPN network is positive but the lack of control leaves some question marks around privacy and inconsistent performance
Sometimes you get what you pay for so be careful when using free VPN services. You might find that while the service is free, you are actually the product. This is especially true for VPNs that don’t have any way to upgrade to a paid membership. You can bet they are making money other ways. Some VPNs will log your usage and sell it off to advertisers, data brokers, or worse as shown by Hola. That is not the case with the providers in our list. They all take your privacy seriously.
I understand if you’re in a situation where you need the privacy protection of a VPN but can’t afford to spend any money. If that’s the case, please be careful when choosing a VPN provider. There have been plenty of services that have gone from very popular free VPNs to villains overnight when users found they were selling off their data or far worse. Hola is a good example The free VPN was selling users bandwidth for use in botnet attacks. Stick with one of the free VPNs on our list and consider upgrading to a paid plan in the future. This will help support their efforts to continue offering free VPN access.