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Security

10 Best Free VPN Services in 2024

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated May 26, 2024

Free VPNs come with a limited data allowance, slow speeds, limited server networks, and limited features, and they often have a small number of simultaneous connections. Therefore, make sure to go into this process by being aware of what to expect. Of course, there are other things to keep in mind, which is why we're here to help. So, let's talk about the best free VPNs.

Running a VPN is a costly endeavor due to high maintenance costs. Instead of charging their users, free VPN services rely on alternative revenue channels. Most free VPNs collect and sell your data to marketing agencies. Also, many inject ads as you browse the Web, and some even serve malware. One thing is clear - free VPNs don't protect your privacy. In fact, they can endanger it.

In other words, free VPNs go against the primary purpose of a VPN service - to hide your data and safeguard your privacy. That's why we recommend going for a VPN free trial instead, which is an excellent way to get premium features for a limited time without any risk. Of course, we hope you'll decide to become a paying customer in the long term.

In this article, we'll talk about the best free VPNs. We'll also list some alternatives in the form of the best VPNs with trials. Then, we'll explain what to expect from a free VPN, how to choose the best one, the limitations and dangers of free VPNs, whether it's a good idea to use a free VPN or not, the differences between premium and free VPNs, and we'll finish with a round of FAQs.

Top Best Free VPN Services - Our Shortlist

  1. NordVPN - Our #1-Rated Best Free VPN Trial in 2024
  2. Surfshark - Free VPN Trial with Tons of Server Locations
  3. ExpressVPN - Free Trial VPN That Prioritizes Privacy
  4. ProtonVPN – Best Free VPN with Unlimited Data
  5. Windscribe – Good Free VPN for Media Streaming
  6. Hide.me VPN – Robust Free VPN Service for Beginners
  7. Atlas VPN - Top Free VPN for Occasional Streaming
  8. Hotspot Shield – Free VPN Software for Any Device
  9. TunnelBear – Completely Free VPN with Premium Features
  10. Speedify – Free VPN That Priorizes Mobile Users

How to Get a Free VPN Trial

To get a free VPN trial, you need to sign up first and then download your chosen VPN application on your device. This is when you can start connecting to servers. Go through the following steps:

  1. Subscribe to a VPN-free trial (we recommend NordVPN’s 30-day risk-free trial).
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Open the VPN app and log into your account. 
  4. Connect to a VPN server that suits your needs best. 
  5. Now, you can browse the Internet from another virtual location risk-free.

Our strong recommendation is to pick NordVPN's trial because it offers countless benefits over any free VPN provider. For example, you get ultra-fast speeds, safe-to-use applications for any device, high-end privacy features, the ability to unblock any site, as well as anti-tracking and anti-malware features.

The Best Free VPN Services in 2024

To find the best free VPN service, you need to base your search on specific criteria, which will allow you to navigate away from unusable and potentially dangerous free VPNs. That said, you'll want a VPN that offers a 100% free plan without any gimmicks. It should offer unlimited or generous data allowance, and there should be support for every major operating system.

Next, you'll want solid VPN protocols, proven encryption, and a no-logs policy. Of course, you'll also want a sizable server network with as many locations as possible. Next, your chosen VPN should bypass any geo-restriction, as well as provide speedy and fluid performance. Don't forget about a kill switch, either, as your VPN should be capable enough to prevent accidental data leaks.

Make sure you get enough simultaneous connections as well. Pay attention to the price in case you decide to become a paying user at some point. Lastly, there should be a generous money-back policy, which will protect your purchase and allow you to try the VPN before committing. And, of course, there should be 24/7 live chat customer support.

Based on the criteria mentioned above, here are the top 10 free VPN services in 2024:

1. NordVPN - Our #1-Rated Best Free VPN Trial in 2024

Editor's Pick
Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Chromecast
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

NordVPN is the best free VPN trial available in 2024, offering an endless list of features that can meet the needs of the most demanding users. It's a VPN with a free trial that you need to activate on Android, it lasts 7 days, and you can use your credentials on other platforms as well. During that time, you get unlimited bandwidth as well as apps for any platform imaginable.

This VPN prioritizes your privacy by offering protocols like OpenVPN and NordLynx, as well as AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption. It's also a no-logs provider with numerous independent audits under its belt. Aside from that, you get 6,000+ servers in 60+ countries, as well as the ability to unblock practically any site or streaming service (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, and countless more).

Also, NordVPN is among the fastest VPN providers right now. No matter if you connect to nearby or remote servers, expect amazingly fast performance. You can also expect your data to never leak on the Web, as NordVPN offers data leak protection systems, among which is a very capable kill switch. There are also anti-tracking tools and even a scanner for malware.

NordVPN gives you 6 simultaneous connections. It's priced at $3.39/month for its 2-year plan, which also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, we're talking about a 100% risk-free trial. Aside from that, expect 24/7 live chat customer support, in addition to support tickets, installation guides, a very active blog, and plenty more.

If you decide to get NordVPN's 30-day free trial, know that you'll get to experience how truly the best VPN available globally should work and perform.

  • Unlimited data and bandwidth.
  • Sizable server network.
  • High-end data privacy.
  • Unblocks any site/streaming app.
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • 6 simultaneous connections.

2. Surfshark - Free VPN Trial with Tons of Server Locations

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Surfshark is an excellent free trial VPN if you need access to tons of locations. That said, know that you'll need to activate this trial on Android, iOS, iPadOS, or macOS, and you get 7 days of use. Of course, you can use your credentials on other devices as well. During your trial, Surfshark will give you unlimited bandwidth as well as apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more.

When it comes to your privacy, this VPN leaves no stone unturned. It's backed by strong protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, coupled with AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption. There's also a no-logs policy, which has been audited many times in the past. Aside from that, you get 3,200+ servers in 100 countries, meaning that Surfshark covers the entire world recently.

This VPN also plays well when it comes to unblocking sites/streaming apps. That also means it's one of the fastest VPNs overall, even though it can take a while to connect at times. There are also data leak protections alongside a kill switch. When it comes to unique features, Surfshark can scan for malware and even offers a user-friendly search engine, helping you avoid trackers.

You also get unlimited simultaneous connections for the price of $2.29/month if you opt for its 2-year plan. Your purchase will be backed by a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, and you'll also get access to 24/7 live chat support.

  • Unlimited data and bandwidth.
  • Ultra-fast and smooth performance.
  • Great for media streaming.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • Can take a while to connect.

3. ExpressVPN - Free Trial VPN That Prioritizes Privacy

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

ExpressVPN is an incredibly capable free trial VPN, which is available on Android and iOS and lasts 7 days. Like other top-rated providers, this one also offers unlimited bandwidth while also offering modern-looking and easy-to-use apps for computers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, and plenty more. Without any surprise, ExpressVPN runs on routers as well.

In terms of privacy protection, you get OpenVPN and Lightway, among other protocols. Those are paired with AES-256, so the integrity of your data tunnel is guaranteed. A no-logs policy ensures that your data will never be stored on ExpressVPN's servers. Also, you get 3,000+ servers in 105 countries, which are powerful enough to bypass even the strictest geo-blocks.

We can also praise ExpressVPN's performance, as it offers smooth speeds across nearby and remote servers. There's also a whole range of systems that protect you from data leaks, with a powerful kill switch being the most effective tool available. ExpressVPN can also protect you from digital trackers and even malware, which are some of its newly released features.

With this VPN, you get 8 simultaneous connections. Everything listed above is available at $6.67/month for ExpressVPN's 2-year plan. Becoming a subscriber is risk-free, as this VPN offers a 30-day money-back policy. And, in case of any questions or issues, you'll get to count on its 24/7 live chat support.

  • Unlimited data and bandwidth.
  • High-end privacy protection.
  • Great for unblocking sites/apps.
  • Smooth performance.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • Limited customization.

4. Proton VPN - Best Free VPN with Unlimited Data

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Proton VPN is the best free VPN service at the moment, featuring a free tier with some limitations. That said, it’s interesting to note that Proton VPN doesn’t impose bandwidth limitations, which is extremely rare to find in the world of free VPN providers. Also, it provides apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even streaming devices.

In terms of security, Proton VPN is among the safest free VPNs. You get a range of protocols led by OpenVPN and WireGuard, paired with high-end encryption, such as AES-256 and ChaCha20. This is also one of the rare free no-log VPNs. However, there are some downsides here, as this VPN has servers in 5 countries only - the US, the Netherlands, Japan, Romania, and Poland.

Even though you can unblock a range of sites with Proton VPN, it's not a recommended option for streaming (applicable to its free tier only). That's because its servers are mostly overcrowded, which means you can't expect the fastest performance. What you can expect, though, is total privacy protection, as you get data leak protection and a kill switch.

Also, Proton VPN gives you a single connection only. You can mitigate that by switching to a paid plan, whose price comes down to $4.99/month for Proton's 2-year plan. It's also backed by a 30-day money-back policy, so you have nothing to lose. Finally, we have to mention that Proton VPN doesn't offer live chat support, but you'll find support tickets, email support, plenty of tutorials, and more.

  • Unlimited data and bandwidth.
  • Proven no-logs policy.
  • Works on any device.
  • Unblocks most websites.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • Servers in 5 countries.
  • Limited performance.
  • Single connection only.

5. Windscribe - Good Free VPN for Media Streaming

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Mac
iOS
Android
Linux
Router
Parallel Connections
Data Limit

Windscribe is a popular free VPN that has a very compelling offer that has its upsides and downsides. Speaking of its downsides, you'll end up with a limited data allowance. More precisely, you get 10GB of monthly data if you sign up with a valid email address. If you want to go fully anonymous, you’ll only get 2GB of data. On the plus side, Windscribe offers apps for any device imaginable.

Even as a free user, Windscribe will give you a whole range of protocols, the safest of which are OpenVPN and WireGuard, which come paired with AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption. You'll be also happy to hear that Windscribe has a no-logs policy, but it hasn't been audited. However, you will get access to servers in 11 countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, and more.

We have to note that Windscribe can perform quite well, as its free servers don't get overcrowded that often. That means you can use it to unblock sites and even streaming apps. While doing so, rest assured that your data is safe from leaks due to Windscribe's advanced firewall that acts as a kill switch. There are also tons of high-end features, but most of those are limited due to the free plan's nature.

Another perk is that Windscribe gives you unlimited simultaneous connections. Of course, to take full advantage of that, you'll need unlimited bandwidth, which you can get for $5.75/month for the VPN's annual plan. However, if you decide to upgrade, know that your refund request will be limited by a period of 3 days and 10 GB of data. There's also no 24/7 live chat support, but email support is there.

  • Servers in 11 countries.
  • Usually performs well.
  • No security compromises.
  • Useful for unblocking websites.
  • Works on any device.
  • Limited data allowance.
  • No live chat support.
  • Limited refund period.

6. Hide.me VPN - Robust Free VPN Service for Beginners

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Parallel Connections
Data Limit

Hide.me is a reputable free VPN provider that has recently improved its offer. Unlike before, this VPN now offers unlimited bandwidth. That means you can leave it running 24/7 without being worried whether it'll stop working at some point. Also, we're happy to note that Hide.Me offers apps for practically any currently popular device.

Also, this VPN used to support OpenVPN only, but now offers WireGuard to its free users as well. In terms of encryption, count on AES-256 and ChaCha20. There's also a no-logs policy, which has been audited once before. Aside from that, Hide.Me will give you access to servers in 7 countries - Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

Hide.Me can also unblock plenty of sites and could be a good option for streaming as well, if you manage to bypass overcrowded servers. That said, Hide.me does come with somewhat unpredictable speeds but could be relatively fast if you pick a not-as-popular location. On the plus side, it offers a kill switch and comes with complete data leak protection.

As a free user, you'll be limited to a single connection only. The only way to go around that limitation is to pay for the VPN, which starts at $2.69/month for its 2-year plan. We'll also add that Hide.Me offers a generous 30-day money-back policy, in addition to 24/7 live chat support.

  • Unlimited data and bandwidth.
  • Wide device/platform support.
  • Audited no-logs policy.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Performance can fluctuate.
  • Single connection only.

7. Atlas VPN - Top Free VPN for Occasional Streaming

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Amazon Fire TV
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Atlas VPN is a relatively new free VPN service with a lot of useful perks. Right off the bat, we'll tell you that you're limited to 5GB of data per month. There's no way to upgrade that limit unless you decide to become a paying customer. That said, know that Atlas VPN offers support for a wide range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and more.

Unlike most other VPNs, this one is powered by IKEv2/IPsec and WireGuard. We recommend going with WireGuard, which comes with ChaCha20 encryption - more than capable of keeping you safe. There's also an audited no-logs policy, as well as servers in 3 countries and 4 locations - the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States (Los Angeles and New York).

Atlas VPN can be quite useful for unblocking websites and bypassing streaming blocks. It's also among the fastest free VPN services - but keep in mind that you'll be limited to 5GB per month. Another perk is that you won't have to worry about data leaks. Atlas VPN is a reputable provider that offers a kill switch, which means there's practically no chance of your data leaking online.

We'll also add that you get unlimited simultaneous connections. If you decide to unlock all its features, you'll need to pay $1.64/month for Atlas VPN's 2-year plan. With no surprise, it's backed by a 30-day money-back policy. There's also 24/7 live chat - reserved for paying users only.

  • Reputable and trustworthy free VPN.
  • Useful for bypassing geo-blocks.
  • Audited no-logs policy.
  • Wide device/platform support.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • 5GB of data per month.
  • Servers in 3 countries.
  • No live chat support for free.

8. Hotspot Shield - Free VPN Software for Any Device

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Parallel Connections
Data Limit

Hotspot Shield is a free VPN client suitable for those looking to get a US IP address. Its biggest limitation is that you get only 500MB per day, which means you can use this free VPN with no payment for a limited time. On the plus side, Hotspot Shield offers incredibly designed applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and plenty more devices.

Unlike most other VPN providers, this uses its own (proprietary) protocol. It's called Hydra, and it's known for its performance and security. Like other private options, this one uses AES-256 encryption. Hotspot Shield also features a no-logs policy. So, you'll end up with a secure tunnel, but keep in mind you'll get a single location only - in the US.

While the premium version of Hotspot Shield is great for unblocking sites and streaming, the free version is not designed for bypassing geo-blocks. For example, accessing Hulu or Netflix will prompt Hotspot Shield to show you a paywall. That said, this is a good free VPN to use for privacy, as it comes with all the necessary data leak protections, and there's a kill switch as well.

The free version of Hotspot Shield supports a single connection only. To gain access to everything it offers, you'll need to pay $2.99/month for its 3-year plan. Another plus is that Hotspot Shield comes with a 45-day money-back policy. In terms of support, live chat is available for premium users. As a free user, you can submit a support ticket.

  • Attractively designed apps.
  • Works on practically any device.
  • Fast and stable performance.
  • Suitable for privacy protection.
  • 45-day money-back policy.
  • Limited daily bandwidth.
  • No live chat support.

9. TunnelBear - Completely Free VPN with Premium Features

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Parallel Connections
Data Limit

TunnelBear is a free reliable VPN that differentiates its free and paid products by way of data cap and not by cutting certain features out. So, the only real sacrifice is the 500MB per month cap (you can get 1GB for tweeting about this VPN service). You won't find any limitations regarding Tunnel's availability, as it works on computers, phones, and tablets.

You'll get to choose from 3 protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2, all of which are paired with high-end encryption. TunnelBear also features a no-logs policy and is one of the rare free VPNs to go through regular independent audits. As a free user, you get access to its entire server network, which includes 5,000+ servers in 45+ countries.

As such, it's obvious that bypassing geo-blocks is possible. The same applies to media streaming, as it can unblock platforms like Peacock, Pluto TV, Sling TV, and similar. It's also a valid option for privacy and data security, as it's capable of creating a leak-free data tunnel. TunnelBear also comes with a kill switch, so you're safe no matter what happens to your VPN connection.

You can also count on unmetered connections (unlimited simultaneous connections). To get more out of this VPN, you can switch to its premium plan for $4.17/month (2-year plan). Sadly, TunnelBear comes without a money-back policy (refunds are handled on a per-case basis). Also, there's no live chat support - you get installation guides, FAQs, and support tickets.

  • Access to 5,000+ servers.
  • Suitable for bypassing geo-blocks.
  • Unmeted connections.
  • Audited no-logs policy.
  • Really simple to use.
  • 500MB of data per month.
  • No live chat support.
  • No money-back guarantees.

10. Speedify - Free VPN That Prioritizes Mobile Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Parallel Connections
Data Limit

Speedify is a peculiar free VPN that works as a mobile-first solution. That said, many things about it have changed in the meantime, including Speedy's monthly data allowance. Right now, you get 2GB of data per month. However, you can also get apps for Android and iOS, as well as Windows, macOS, and Linux.

This VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, shifting between TCP and UDP variants. However, it's designed to combine mobile and regular connections, so it's sticking to a custom protocol. Also, it uses AES-256 encryption and features a no-logs policy (but hasn't been yet audited). You also get access to its entire server network, covering 35+ countries in total.

We have to note that Speedify can bypass some geo-blocks. However, it's really not a good option for streaming or accessing foreign content libraries. That's also because Speedify can be quite slow at times, which is something to keep in mind. It can be used for privacy, though, as it features a range of data leak protections, and there's also a handy kill switch.

With Speedify, you get 5 simultaneous connections. To get more features and unblock everything, you'll need to pay $4.99/month for Speedify's 3-year plan. That plan comes with a 30-day money-back policy, so there are no risks involved. Finally, we're happy to report that live chat support is there, in addition to plenty of other support resources.

  • Reliable mobile-first VPN.
  • Suitable for privacy protection.
  • 5 simultaneous connections.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 2GB of data/month.
  • Can be quite slow at times.
  • Hasn't been audited.

Best Free VPNs: Compared

NordVPN Surfshark ExpressVPN Proton VPN Windscribe Hide.Me VPN Atlas VPN Hotspot Shield TunnelBear Speedify
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 10GB/month Unlimited 5GB/month 500MB/day 500MB/month 2GB/month
Server Network Size 6,000+ servers
60+ countries
3,200+ servers
100 countries
3,000+ servers
100+ countries
N/A
5 countries
N/A
11 countries
N/A
7 countries
N/A
3 countries
N/A
1 country
5,000+
45+ countries
N/A
35+ countries
Ability to Unblock Content YES (plenty) YES (plenty) YES (plenty) YES (plenty) YES (plenty) YES (plenty) YES (some) YES (some) YES (some) YES (some)
VPN Protocols OpenVPN
NordLynx
IKEv2/IPsec
OpenVPN
WireGuard
IKEv2/IPsec
OpenVPN
Lightway
IKEv2/IPsec
OpenVPN
WireGuard
IKEv2/IPsec
OpenVPN
WireGuard
IKEv2/IPsec
Stealth
Wstunnel
OpenVPN
WireGuard
IKEv2/IPsec
WireGuard
IKEv2/IPsec
Hydra OpenVPN
WireGuard
IKEv2/IPsec
OpenVPN
No-Logs Policy YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
Obfuscated Servers YES YES YES YES NO YES NO YES NO NO
Kill Switch YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
Performance Ultra-fast Fast Ultra-Fast Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium-slow Medium-slow
Simultaneous Connections 6 Unlimited 8 1 Unlimited 1 Unlimited 1 Unlimited 5
Supported Devices Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Apple TV
Fire TV
Android TV
Routers
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Fire TV
Android TV
Routers
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Apple TV
Fire TV
Android TV
Routers
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Fire TV
Android TV
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Fire TV
Android TV
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Fire TV
Android TV
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Fire TV
Android TV
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Fire TV
Android TV
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Customer Support 24/7 live chat 24/7 live chat 24/7 live chat Support tickets Support tickets 24/7 live chat Support tickets Support tickets Support tickets 24/7 live chat
Money-Back Guarantees 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 3 days 30 days 30 days 45 days N/A 30 days
Get NordVPN Get Surfshark Get ExpressVPN Get Proton VPN Get Windscribe Get Hide.Me VPN Get Atlas VPN Get Hotspot Shield Get TunnelBear Get Speedify

How to Choose the Best Free VPN in 2024?

To choose the best free VPN in 2024, you need to find one with a generous data allowance, high-end privacy, plenty of servers, and the ability to unblock content - among other things. Here's everything you need to keep in mind when browsing free and safe VPNs:

What Are the Limitations of a Free VPN?

Most free VPNs come with limited bandwidth, small server networks, and restricted performance, and they usually can't bypass geo-blocks. Here's more information on the limitations of free VPN services:

Is It Really a Good Idea to Use a Free VPN?

No, it's not a good idea to use a free VPN. That's because most top free VPNs aren't designed to safeguard your privacy. On top of that, they all come with all kinds of limitations.

In the past, we've seen many dangerous situations surrounding VPNs. For example, there was Hola VPN - a still very popular free VPN. Not too long ago, it was discovered that Hola was exploiting its users by using them as exit nodes for obscure platforms.

We've also seen numerous malware campaigns disguised as free-of-charge VPNs. If you want an example, we have Pirate Chick. What was advertised as a free VPN turned out to be a propagator for the dangerous AZORult malware, stealing sensitive user information.

Are Free VPNs Safe?

No, free VPNs are not safe. You might find one or two with a somewhat satisfactory level of encryption, but that’s it. There's no such thing as a free online VPN that can guarantee the safety of your data.

The biggest reason why free VPNs aren’t safe is that most of them sell their users’ data to third parties as compensation for offering the free VPN service. More precisely, they collect your Web browsing information, which is then shared with advertising agencies.

Also, even the best free VPNs can also inject your device with ransomware. This compromises your device(s) and allows your data to be extracted. Free VPNs usually don’t have any form of encryption, leaving you vulnerable online.

There are a few other reasons why free VPNs are deemed unsafe and risky. Make sure to use the provided link to learn more.

What Are the Dangers of Using Free VPNs?

In this article, we're talking about software tools that directly impact your privacy. That said, here are the most common dangers and downsides to using free VPNs.

Are There Any Free VPNs?

Yes, there are plenty of free VPNs on the market, but we don’t recommend them as they have weak security and privacy features with limited speeds and bandwidth caps. 

With a free VPN, you’ll be able to access some features that premium VPN services offer. For example, you can change your virtual location by connecting to a server in a different country. However, most free VPN providers offer a limited range of countries and servers, leaving you with only a few options - sometimes just one. 

Few quality VPNs offer a truly free option; they usually offer free trials or money-back guarantees that allow you to use the VPN and get a full refund if you don’t like it. 

Most premium VPNs offer 30-day money-back guarantees, but you can also find some that extend up to 45 days. So, instead of using a free VPN that might compromise your identity online, we recommend taking advantage of a premium VPN’s free trial.

What's the Difference Between Free and Paid VPNs?

Even though they might appear the same on the outside, there are substantial differences between free-of-charge and paid VPNs. These differences run wide and deep, and they directly affect your online privacy and security.

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN - Comparison
Free VPNs Paid VPNs
VPN Protocols WEAK STRONG
Encryption WEAK/LIMITED STRONG
Data Cap YES NO (UNLIMITED)
Number of VPN Servers LIMITED THOUSANDS
Connection Speed LIMITED UNLIMITED
Technical Support LIMITED UNLIMITED & TIMELY
Security Guarantees NO YES
Data Logging Policy VARIES NO-LOGS POLICIES
Torrenting (P2P) Support NO YES
Media Streaming Support NO YES

As the table found above shows, free VPNs come with numerous limitations. To avoid expanding this topic, we'll say that free-of-charge VPNs can be used - but only for quick browsing sessions. If you're serious about protecting yourself online, using a paid VPN service is the only way to go.

If you're considering a paid VPN, allow us to give you a recommendation. After testing more than sixty VPNs, our team believes that NordVPN is the best VPN available. Here's how to get NordVPN's free trial, backed by this VPN's 30-day money-back policy.

Do Free VPNs Provide Unlimited Bandwidth?

No, free VPNs don’t provide unlimited bandwidth. On the contrary, they typically have low daily data caps that can dip to 300MB, which isn’t enough to do much of anything. Some free VPN providers offer higher daily bandwidth limits (up to 10GB), but they are few and far between.

Providing unlimited bandwidth is a tough feat for free VPNs because they don’t have the resources to support it. They’d need recurring income aside from what they make on their paid plans. In the long run, providing free unlimited bandwidth is unsustainable.

Are There Any Free VPNs That You Should Definitely Avoid?

The majority of free VPNs aren't safe to use - and we recommend avoiding them. However, there are certain free VPNs that come with a very problematic nature, affecting your online privacy and security.

With that said, we've wanted to draw your attention to several free VPNs, which we believe should be avoided at all costs. Take a look at the table found below.

Free VPNs You Should Avoid
Hola VPN A P2P network, basically. Endangers your privacy and safety.
MySafeVPN A well-known VPN scam. Not really a VPN service.
CrossVPN A malware-infected VPN that could damage your device.
EasyVPN Intercepts your Web traffic to serve ads in other apps.
Phisphon VPN Forwards your data to marketing-related partners.
Inter VPN A fake VPN serving password-stealing Trojans.
Pirate Chick VPN A fake VPN designed to serve AZORult malware.
Hoxx VPN Not a VPN service. This is a proxy instead.
Onavo Protect Facebook-owned spyware. Doesn't protect your data.
Touch VPN Collects and shares your private data.
Archie VPN Proven to contain malware.
SuperVPN Contains malware. Collects your personal data.
EarthVPN This is a broken VPN service, no longer operational.

You should also know that many free-of-charge VPNs are nothing but scams. We've seen that happen many times before, with fake VPN websites spreading malware (while being marketed as free VPNs, of course). This is something you need to keep in mind even with premium VPNs. For example, there was a fake NordVPN website injecting banking Trojans.

Lastly, we'd like to provide a couple of resources to help you avoid the pitfalls of free VPNs. First of all, beware of these VPN scams - often designed to extract your personal data. And also, you'll want to know how to avoid fake VPNs.

Final Thoughts

A free VPN might sound enticing - but remember that free VPNs come with all kinds of limitations, and some can even be downright malicious. Even the top free VPN app is suitable only if you want to do something small, like browsing the Internet or watching a few low-quality videos, as they come with slow speeds, small server networks, and limited features.

That said, we recommend getting a free VPN trial instead. More precisely, we recommend NordVPN’s 30-day risk-free trial, as it will allow you to experience premium VPN features, such as a blazing-fast server network spread all over the world, strong content-unblocking abilities, and impressive security and privacy features, letting you game, stream, and surf the Web without restrictions.

If your mind is set on using a free option, you can try Proton VPN. We believe it's the best free VPN right now, as it comes from a reputable brand and offers unlimited bandwidth. Still, you'll end up with a limited server network and unpredictable performance.

FAQ

Are Free VPNs Legal?

Yes, free VPNs are legal. However, we don’t recommend them due to their limited capabilities. Instead, sign up for a premium VPN that offers a free trial period, such as NordVPN.

Do Free VPNs Work?

Yes, free VPNs do work - but in a limited way. Most of them can encrypt and hide your online data, but they often use less reliable protocols and can be quite slow.

Are There Any Benefits to Free VPNs?

If you have correct expectations, free VPNs can help you protect your most sensitive Web activities. However, you need to know exactly what to expect and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Is a Free VPN Worth Getting?

No, a free VPN is not worth getting overall. Most of them come with low data caps and no security features. Some might sell your data to third parties as compensation for providing a free service. We recommend taking advantage of a free trial of a premium VPN, like what NordVPN offers.

How Do Free VPNs Earn Money?

Some VPN providers will insert ads into the websites you visit. Also, most VPNs collect and sell your data to marketing agencies, which means they don't respect your privacy.

What’s the Best Free VPN Service?

The best completely free VPN service is Proton VPN. It offers unlimited bandwidth, which no other free VPN brings. However, its speed and overall performance are limited.

What’s the Best Free VPN for Torrenting?

There's a small number of free VPNs that support torrenting. Those are Windscribe, Hotspot Shield VPN, and Hide.me VPN. However, all of them come with data caps and performance limitations.

To learn more, here’s our article on the best free VPN for torrenting.

What's the Best Free VPN for Gaming?

The best free VPN for gaming is Proton VPN. However, it offers a small server network, so you'll have a hard time keeping your ping low. You can learn more in our guide to the best free gaming VPNs.

What's the Best Free VPN for Streaming?

Streaming is an activity that requires a lot of bandwidth. On top of that, VPNs use sophisticated techniques to unblock and access streaming sites. None of that is what free VPNs offer - so you have no other option than to use a paid VPN.

If you'd like to review your best options, check our guide to the best VPN for streaming.

That's all for our guide on the best free VPN services. If you have any questions for us, let us know via the comments section below. Thank you for reading!



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