It might end up adding a lot of benefits to your everyday workflow by using one of the best free VPN services. Not everyone who uses a Virtual Private Network wants all that is provided by a paid service, and sometimes the free ones are adequate to get by. We contrasted the benefits between free VPNs and paid VPNs. We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for the right VPN to use.
As of now, we have ProtonVPN, closely followed by Hotspot Shield Free, as the best free VPN option in 2020. When using the free plan, you get unlimited bandwidth on a single computer with ProtonVPN, and Hotspot Shield also provides a generous allocation of space and a rich collection of features.
Free VPNs aren’t for all of us.
A note about free options for VPNs:
There are a lot of great free VPN options (which we highlighted on this page below), but it should be noted that these are not the best choices for all. With free VPNs, you can make some compromises in the overall user experience, but we have also highlighted the best paying choices below if you want to avoid that.
A free VPN is desirable because it means that to use the service you don’t have to pay anything, and who doesn’t want anything for free, right? Well, if you don’t pay for its services to the service provider, that means that the company typically wants the money from somewhere else, because it needs it to remain in operation. That also means taking your data (even the small amount it might have) and running off with it to a third party, which defeats the entire point of remaining anonymous using a VPN.
Furthermore, free services typically restrict the number of devices that you can connect, have very low monthly data allowances, provide fewer server options, among other limitations. It’s always a good way to assess whether a VPN is right for you or not, but for everyone, it might not be a great long-term choice.
We have a full list of our favorite free VPN picks further down, but instead, it might be worth considering one of our favorite paying choices. Without any compromise, these will allow you the full VPN experience, and these top picks are not overly expensive either.
1. Surfshark VPN: Best affordable paid VPN option
With plans starting at around 8 cents a day, since it is a paid service, it’s very hard to skip over Surfshark. It provides a lot of great features that a VPN provider would expect you to have and is super easy to use.
2.ExpressVPN: Best overall VPN for most people
For anyone looking to get started with a VPN, this is our top pick. It provides a great combination of speed, reliability, excellent customer service, and affordability. A 30-day money-back guarantee is secure, so give it a shot today.
3. NordVPN: Top VPN with most server options
NordVPN has an insane number of server locations that you can choose from and is one of the best streaming content unblocking services. It is probably the most well-known brand right now in the VPN space.
Your phone, tablet, PC, and even a gaming console will add an extra layer of protection to a VPN. Over the past few years, and for good reason, they’ve become increasingly famous.
Using a VPN is the perfect way to secure your data when you’re out and about (and even while at home). Through this, the data is routed into an additional server that makes it difficult to spy on or intercept others. There are several options for service, ranging in price from free to a few bucks a month. There are lots of great choices, with Hotspot Shield closely followed by ProtonVPN as our top choice. There are a few variations between each service, so now let’s break down the best free VPN services.
One of the best free VPN for security-focused individuals
ProtonVPN comes from the same people behind ProtonMail, which provides secure email encryption. The business is based in Switzerland and concentrates on everything it does with a security focus. In the free VPN room, it stands out that every month there is actually no storage cap, so you can use as much data when connected to the VPN as you want. But there are a lot of other trade-offs that come with that.
You can only use a single-device free VPN service, and Proton restricts the free plan to be able to choose from only three locations on the server. These servers are based in the Netherlands, the U.S., and Japan. When thinking about what you want to use your VPN for, keep those locations in mind.
Unlike several other free providers, ProtonVPN allows for Netflix streaming, but it seems to be restricted only to original material from Netflix. Since the UK doesn’t have a free server, BBC iPlayer streaming is a no-go.
Although there is no data cap for use per month, during peak hours, Proton deprioritizes the speeds. This means that you will see things going a little slower during the night hours and probably on the weekends than you usually do during the day, but it will still work.
ProtonVPN has a strict no-logging policy, and to get started with it, you need nothing more than an email address. The website or any of the customers do not have commercials. Unfortunately, P2P support is not available, but it has some more advanced features, such as DNS leak protection, alternate routing, and split tunneling.
If you notice the speeds are just a little too slow for you at peak hours, an upgrade might be worth considering, but the free bundle will do just fine for most.
Data limit: Unlimited | Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Available servers: 3 | Support 24/7 live chat: No
- No Data Cap
- To get started, you just need an email address
- During busy periods, free clients are de-prioritized
2.Hotspot Shield VPN
One of the best Overall Free VPN Service
Hotspot Shield is one of the few VPN companies providing its service with both a free and a paid option, and it is one of our top options for the best free VPN. If a business provides both a free and a paid tier, you usually expect the worst because it is encouraged to get you to step up to a paid plan, but Hotspot Shield offers up to 500 MB of data use every day to free customers, the ability to connect five devices simultaneously, a one-click link, and more.
With the daily limits, you max out for the month at about 15 GB overall, which is one of the free VPN’s most generous allotments. This restriction is removed if you step up to the Elite edition. You are also limited to only a few places that the company chooses for you on the free plan, and there is advertising. In most cases, however, this isn’t a big issue.
For many VPN users, something that may be a dealbreaker is that Netflix streaming is not possible using the free Hotspot Shield version, so look elsewhere if that’s your main goal here. With several Captcha puzzles to correct and recurrent 403 errors, we even experienced problems conducting Google searches.
One of Hotspot Shield’s major selling points is just how easy it is to use. You will be able to get set up in just a few minutes, whether this is your first time using a VPN or you’ve used one for years. A simple one-click connection is provided by the business, and both mobile and desktop apps are easy to navigate.
We highly recommend Hotspot Shield if you want to get started with an easy-to-use, free VPN, so give it a shot today.
Data limit: 500MB per day | Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Available servers: 1 | Support 24/7 live chat: No
- Generous Allotment of Data
- The software is really easy to use.
- No streaming via Netflix
- Just 1 server
One of the Best Free VPN to receive additional bandwidth
In the VPN room, Windscribe is a relative newcomer and the company has recently received a lot of attention. The base free plan includes 2 GB of information every month, or 10 GB of information with a checked email address, but we have seen promotions providing up to 20 GB on a regular basis. There are other ways to collect additional information, such as referring to a friend or tweeting about the service. Windscribe will also upgrade yours to an unlimited plan if you refer someone who ends up signing up for a paid plan, which is a nice benefit.
Only because it’s free doesn’t mean that when it comes to privacy and functionality, there are a lot of compromises. Windscribe does not store logs of contacts, IP stamps, or a list of your visited pages. It keeps your username for the time you’re linked to a server, but once you end the session, the data is removed in just three minutes. Did we note that a built-in ad blocker and firewall are also there?
In addition, WIndscribe provides over 10 server locations and supports streaming for Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but in our testing, speeds were not great.
Go ahead and give Windscribe a try now if it sounds like it suits your free VPN needs!
Data limit: 10GB per month | Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Servers available: 11 | 24/7 live chat support: No
- Generous 10GB allotment of data
- You can obtain more knowledge from completing simple tasks
- Session data is removed after 3 minutes of disconnection.
- Built-in firewall and ad blocker
- The app isn’t as quick as some others
While its free offer is much more stringent than some of its rivals, TunnelBear has both a free and a paid tier. When you get 500MB per day on a service like Hotspot Shield, you are limited to just 500MB for the entire month with TunnelBear, which is quite a small amount of information even for light users. It’s very quick to burn through that in just a single day, considering how big web pages are becoming, and auto-playing advertisements, etc, and while Netflix works with TunnelBear, you won’t be able to stream very much on the free plan.
That being said, TunnelBear’s free plan can just suit the bill if you are someone who just wants to have a good VPN option on standby for occasional travel or public Wi-Fi surfing.
You can upgrade your account to a paid option if you like the service and you just need more data allowance. As well as giving you more data, the number of countries available to link to will also increase. Right now, using our connect, which is a huge 58 percent savings, you can sign up for TunnelBear’s paid deals for approx Rs. 350 per month.
Data limit: 500MB per month | Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Servers available: 20+ | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
- User-friendly Applications
- Only 500MB of free data per month
One of the Best complimentary VPN with lots of features
In its free plan, Hide.me already provides 10 GB of data per month, which is five times what the company previously provided. Depending on what your needs are from a VPN, drawbacks such as being able to connect just one computer at a time and only five server locations available make it a little less useful.
The company guarantees that it does not hold user logs or display advertising that can be ways for free VPN providers to make their money from free users. Hide.me is a fantastic way to get started with a VPN to see if it’s right for you, but for those who want to be able to connect to particular servers around the world or use a lot of data every month, it might not be the best choice. To check it out, you don’t need to fork over payment details, either.
Data limit: 10GB per month | Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Servers available: 5 | 24/7 live chat support: Yes
- No logs of any kind,
- Even the free version is ad-free.
- Only 5 server locations can access the Free Plan
One of the best free VPN with high speeds
No one wants to sit down and the main objective of Speedify is to keep your VPN link fast (in addition to an extra layer of security). Speedify says that it can deliver faster-turbocharged speeds by using all of the internet connections available, including Ethernet and a tethered mobile link. In our research, with a fast link and about ~100 MB speeds, we found that to be valid.
Formerly, Speedify allowed its free users to make use of its entire collection of global servers, but it now only grants restricted access to servers, although in several different countries there are still well over 50 to choose from. Other restrictions include a 2 GB data allowance that is replenished on a monthly basis and only one computer can be attached at a time.
If maintaining speed is your main concern, the free VPN plan is worth trying out to see if it works for you, but depending on your needs, the strict data cap may be too much of a trade-off.
Data limit: 2GB per month | Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Servers available: 50+ | 24/7 live chat support: No
- One of the fastest free services for VPNs
- Unblocking on Netflix
- Clear n-log policy clear-cut
- Simple to burn with an allowance of 2GB
- Allows Just 1 device
A free VPN might not be the way to go for you, depending on how much data you use on a regular or monthly basis. For just a few bucks per month, some premium VPN options are open, so maybe you should consider giving up the next cup of Starbucks coffee and instead of safeguarding your online life. We highly recommend ExpressVPN for paying choices. It provides excellent support for customers, an easy-to-use interface, limitless data, and high speeds. You also get a money-back guarantee for 30 days, so there’s no chance of trying it out for yourself now. It’s a perfect mix of all, plus you can save on an annual contract and enjoy an additional three months for free with our exclusive discount.
To help you save some cash on the premium services, you can also check out these amazing VPN offers and we have rounded up the best cheap VPN services as well. Do not worry if you don’t want to pay. Here are the best VPN services for free in 2020.
Things you should consider before using a free VPN:
The best thing you’ll want to consider is that there has a cost associated with it. Sure, here we’re talking about free VPN choices, but nothing is actually free in life, right? With your personal details or use patterns, you could be paying for what you are not paying for with real money.
You don’t have to look far to see any VPN providers use consumer data maliciously or store stuff that the company claims it doesn’t, and there are a lot of businesses doing amazing things at the same time and working hard to protect consumers. Since you can’t see what each organization does with your data for yourself, you must have confidence in the security it provides and feel safe using it.
We’ve assembled a list of a few things to think about while looking for a new VPN. When crafting the list above, we’ve considered all of these and continue to think about them as we look at new choices. When looking at choices not included in our best free VPN list, here are some stuff to think about.
What information is required in order to sign up? Some VPN providers want you to build an account that includes your name, email, and password with personal details, while others will let you use the service without any data. As you would expect, the less data is required, the better. It allows you to keep the service anonymous, and that’s key.
What is the business model? You’d be surprised by how much money it costs to maintain worldwide servers, recruit developers and customer service staff, and other overall expenses. Money has to come from somewhere, and where does it come from if you’re using a free service? In an effort to convert customers to their paid offers, some businesses offer very small free plans, while other businesses will have advertising in the apps or sell user data to recover some of the money. You don’t want to sell your info, so make sure you check this before you sign up for a service.
Through using the free plan, what sacrifice do you make? As previously mentioned, selecting the free option on most plans involves major sacrifices. Others have insanely low allotments of data accessible to free users per month, while others prioritize the speeds of non-paying clients at peak hours. For others, it’s well worth these compromises, and for others, it’s a breaking point.
Does the service record any information? Many VPNs claim to have a no-logging policy, but you’ll need to read the fine print to fully comprehend what that entails. It’s important to make sure that once it’s disconnected, the End User License Agreement (EULA) states that everything from each of your sessions is deleted. You don’t want any traces of it to stick around, because, in the first place, that’s almost as bad as not being safe.
You’ll also want to look at how many servers are open, and where they are located, beyond these main points. If you’re primarily focused on being able to spoof your location to unlock geo-restricted content, knowing where the servers are is important.
What would a free VPN be used for?
When using one of the best free VPN options, you can actually do many of the same things that you can do with the paid VPN counterparts. Feature-wise most of the offerings are quite similar, the differences come more in the little nuances between them all. You can still spoof your location, protect the data being transmitted from your device, and much more.
You make sacrifices like the number of devices you can connect at the same time, sometimes the speed that the connection offers, and often the number of servers that you can pick from. Overall, the free VPN can be used for pretty much everything you’d expect to see a paid VPN provide.
When should you ditch a free VPN and start to pay for one?
For each user, the timing of an upgrade from a free VPN to a paying option is different. You’ll want to look at your user patterns and whether you’re satisfied with your overall experience or feel like there’s a lack of functionality. If you feel that you can use more of the VPN to which you are linking, then the upgrade will be highly considered.
Alternatively, if you just use it while traveling or just attach for a few minutes every now and then, you could possibly survive with a free VPN indefinitely. There is no right or wrong way to do it; it is just a matter of finding out what works best for you.
You don’t have to cross a line in the sand to remember you need to upgrade. When you get dissatisfied with the limitations of your current free plan, or when you see the value of a feature from the paid plan, this is something you’ll want to remember. Paid plans are often available for as little as a few dollars per month, so it might be worth trying it out for a few months to see if it provides a better experience for you.