While it’s easy to find a free VPN, finding a trustworthy one with no hidden costs that will actually let you access Netflix and torrents, plus keep you secure? That’s a lot more challenging. I tested and ranked hundreds of elements across 45 VPN services that claimed to be free, to bring you the ultimate list of the 10 best free VPNs.
Almost every free VPN comes with a catch. In most cases, vendors will limit your data, bandwidth, connection speed, available server locations, and even block you from streaming services. In fact, some free VPNs could endanger your privacy. And this is why I’ve researched so many; the list you’re about to read has only secure FREE VPNs, with no hidden costs, risks, or headaches.
ProtonVPN – Unlimited Data and Servers in Three Countries
ProtonVPN offers a limited free version of its strong premium service. One of its biggest advantages over most free VPNs is that it comes with unlimited data. It is also ad-free, which is a big plus. With the free plan, you get access to servers in only Japan, Netherlands, and the US.
With all of ProtonVPN’s free users connected to one of just three locations, its servers are often overloaded and your connection speed could be slow. You will need to upgrade to a paid plan to stream or torrent with ProtonVPN, but you can still use the free virtual locations to bypass censorship and access geoblocked social media platforms and messaging apps.
ProtonVPN features an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and multi-platform compatibility. The Quick Connect feature connects you to the fastest nearby server. The VPN also offers strong security, including powerful AES encryption and an automatic kill switch. Other features include DNS leak protection and split tunneling support.
ProtonVPN’s Key Features:
Unlimited free data
No-log policy and Swiss privacy laws to protect your anonymity
Robust encryption and an automatic kill switch
Works with: YouTube, Spotify, Kodi
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
NordVPN – Risk-Free With 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
NordVPN isn’t usually free. It’s actually a premium VPN packed with some of the most advanced features. So why are we listing it here with our top-rated free VPNs? With NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee, you can use its premium VPN service for an entire month risk-free. I tested the guarantee myself – there’s no catch.
This is a great option if you only need a VPN for a short period while traveling, or to stream. NordVPN’s security is tough to beat. Unlike most free VPNs that will limit your streaming, NordVPN lets you stream your favorite shows from anywhere. This VPN can access geoblocked content from 400+ compatible streaming platforms. NordVPN actively finds ways to get around ever-developing geoblocks and even works in China.
Other useful features include torrenting support with high-speed dedicated P2P servers, ad blocking, Onion Over VPN, dedicated IP addresses, Double VPN, and more. Of course, NordVPN isn’t free forever, but there’s a lot you can do with it in 30 days. Plus, if you decide you don’t want to give it up after a month, NordVPN offers some of the cheapest long-term VPN plans out there.
Want to know more? Explore our NordVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
NordVPN’s Key Features:
Get 30 days of unlimited data with NordVPN by using its money-back guarantee
5,400+ servers in 59 countries
256-bit encryption, kill switch, and malware protection
Operates outside 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance for total anonymity
Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and hundreds more
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, routers
Windscribe – 10 GB of Free Data Every Month
Windscribe’s generous data allowance makes it one of my top free VPNs. It’s enough to stream in high definition for just over three hours. You can get an extra 5 GB by tweeting the company. You can also “win” an extra 1 GB of free data every month by referring friends. Windscribe boasts state-of-the-art security, with robust AES encryption and support for multiple VPN protocols.
Both paid and free users can access all Windscribe features, including its ad and malware blocker. It’s pretty rare to find a free VPN with this feature, so this is a big bonus. Windscribe also comes with a firewall that blocks all traffic outside the VPN’s secure tunnel in order to prevent unexpected leaks.
As well as limiting your data, a free Windscribe account restricts you to servers in only the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland. A limited selection of servers means you can’t use Windscribe to unblock content from outside these regions.
Want to know more? Explore our Windscribe review to see the full results of our research and testing.
Windscribe’s Key Features:
10 GB of free data every month
Access blocked content in 10 countries
Robust encryption, malware protection, and ad blocking
Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, Linux
Hotspot Shield – Torrent-Friendly VPN
Hotspot Shield offers reliable connections and military-grade encryption. My tests didn’t reveal any DNS leaks, which means it effectively masks your IP address to protect your privacy online. Hotspot Shield is compatible with all major operating systems, has a no-logs policy to protect your anonymity, and offers dedicated tech support. It also offers P2P support for both free and premium users.
Its user-friendly, dedicated apps offer one-click connect, so you can get started without a hassle. The free version comes with limitations. It is supported by ads and gives you only 500 MB of data per day. While this is far too little for downloading large files, you will have no problem checking your email or browsing social media.
Unfortunately, you can’t use the free version for streaming.
Although Hotspot Shield has 3,200+ servers in 70+ countries, the free version only gives you access to the US virtual location. You will be blocked by a Premium Payment Wall if you try to access streaming content with the VPN enabled. Even with only one virtual location, Hotspot Shield can still help you escape government censorship and bypass content filters at school or work so you can access your favorite websites and social media apps from anywhere.
If you like Hotspot Shield Free and want to try the premium version, you can test it out with a 7-day free trial.
Want to know more? Explore our Hotspot Shield review to see the full results of our research and testing.
Hotspot Shield’s Key Features:
500 MB of free data every 24 hour period, which means 15 GB per month
Simple, user-friendly interface makes it easy to get started
Military-grade encryption protects your internet activity
Stable connections ensure lag-free browsing
Works with: YouTube and Spotify
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome
hide.me – Fast Speeds and 2 GB of Free Monthly Data
hide.me offers a stripped back, reliable free service. You’ll get 2 GB of free data every month and all the benefits of hide.me’s user-friendly dedicated apps and tough security. This VPN’s strong AES encryption, automatic kill switch, and strict no-log policy will make sure your browsing remains both private and secure.
With hide.me, you can connect to unsecured public WiFi networks without worrying about spying eyes. hide.me supports multiple VPN protocols so you can optimize your connection and choose the best fit for your device. Other features include IP leak protection and support for split tunneling. You’ll also have 24/7 access to technical support and ad-free browsing.
The free servers are located only in Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. You won’t be able to access geoblocked content from any other countries, like BBC iPlayer. You can use this VPN to get around content filters at your workplace or school, and even bypass tough government censorship.
Unfortunately, hide.me won’t give you access to Netflix. However, it supports torrenting for both free and paid users.
You won’t be able to do too much file sharing with the 2 GB monthly data cap, but the option is still nice. A free account also limits you to one device connection at a time. So, if you’re browsing on your laptop, your phone or tablet won’t be actively protected.
Want to know more? Explore our hide.me review to see the full results of our research and testing.
hide.me’s Key Features
2 GB of free data per month
Free servers in 5 countries
Strong encryption and multiple available protocols
Good connection speeds for quick loading and browsing
Works with: Hulu, iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome Firefox, Amazon Fire TV, routers
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