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Best free to use VPN

Looking for the best free VPN available? New to VPNs and want to try a free VPN before buying one of our recommended paid VPNs? Check out our guide below.

Best free VPN reviews explained

We have tested a range of free VPNs and understand why these are often a great introductory step into using a VPN. Generally speaking in our experience a top free VPN can be hard to come by. Running a VPN is expensive for the companies involved therefore a free VPN server is unlikely to be able to provide fast VPN speeds. Many free VPNs won’t deliver on some of the general features either and importantly may not be up to scratch on VPN reliability and trustworthiness. We have reviewed the best free VPN for windows and free VPN for Mac as well as other popular devices. A free online VPN will enable you to encrypt your data and disguise your IP address. Free VPN software can also help mask your location making a free VPN app a useful tool if particular websites you want to visit are geo-restricted.

What do you need from a free VPN?

We have reviewed the top 5 Free VPN providers based on our strict criteria:

  • Largest data allowances available
  • No payment details required to download free VPN app
  • Privacy orientated log policy
  • Multiple Free VPN server locations
  • Easy to set up free VPN and user friendly interface

Melvyn's top 5 free VPNs

Numbers(One)(7)

Windscribe

Windscribe, our number 1 recommended free VPN, offers a superb all-round setup. It’s pretty fast, keeps no data logs, comes with robust security features equal to its premium service, and users can access a range of worldwide server and city locations. With its very generous 10GB per month data allowance, it’s ahead of most of the free competition, and is perfect for everyday usage and even torrenting.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

With a generous free 10GB data allowance per month, zero logs and robust security features… Windscribe is a superb all-round offering.

Our score:

4.6

4.6/5

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • 10GB per month data allowance
  • Pretty fast speeds of up to 31Mbps in testing
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • A worldwide, city level, server choice
  • Strong VPN protocols
  • No usage logs
  • Torrenting permitted on servers
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
Cons
  • Speeds not quite as fast as rivals
  • Data usage is capped so heavy users can run out
  • Free version won’t unblock Netflix & BBC iPlayer
Numbers(Two)

ProtonVPN Free

ProtonVPN provides one the best free VPN services currently available to the market. Delivering great speeds without compromising privacy, you can connect 1 of your devices to 3 server locations and benefit from their full VPN experience. Should you take out a free version of their service today, you will also benefit from an upgrade to their plus plan for a 7-day test drive which after expiring, will revert you back to the standard free plan.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Great speeds, a totally secure no logs service and no card details required for sign-up… there’s absolutely nothing to lose by trying them out!

Our score:

4.4

4.4/5

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • Protect 1 device with unlimited bandwidth
  • Fast download speeds of 69Mbs
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • OpenVPN Protocol
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
  • Includes a 7-day free trial of ProtonVPN Plus package
Cons
  • Can only connect to 3 server locations
  • Doesn’t work with Netflix of BBC iPlayer
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting not permitted
Numbers(Three)

hide.me Free

hide.me offers the most privacy focussed, secure, zero logs, free VPN going. With lightning fast speeds and an abundance of advanced security features, it excels at keeping your real IP address hidden. Free users can use up to 2GB of data per month whilst accessing servers in 3 different countries. With great user-friendly applications and amazing customer support, if you’re a low usage user and privacy is key, hide.me free is a no brainer!

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Lightning fast speeds, an abundance of security features and awesome customer support… if you can handle only 2GB per month data usage, it’s a no brainer!

Our score:

4.4

4.4/5

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • Protect 1 device with 2GB monthly allowance
  • Super-fast speed of up to 80Mbps during our testing
  • Connect to 5 worldwide server locations
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Multiple VPN protocols
  • Strict no logs policy
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
Cons
  • Server network could be larger
  • 2Gb monthly allowance is very low compared with other providers
  • Can’t reliably unblock US Netflix or BBC iPlayer
Numbers(Four)

TunnelBear

TunnelBear’s apps are super fun, illustrated beautifully and would win hands down in a prettiness contest! They are also not a bad choice for service provider either! With a fantastic choice of 22 free worldwide server locations, a pretty fair zero logs policy and great speeds, if you’re a first timer or looking to test a free service, TunnelBear are a great choice!

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)

Summary

Great speeds, a fantastic array of worldwide server locations and super fun apps… TunnelBear is a smart choice for first timers!

Our score:

4.4

4.4/5

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • Protect 1 device with 500Mb monthly allowance + earn more data
  • Fast download speeds of 51Mbs during our testing
  • Connect to 22 worldwide server locations
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
Cons
  • 500Mb monthly allowance is extremely low compared with other providers
  • Doesn’t work with Netflix of BBC iPlayer
  • No live chat support
Numbers(Five)

Hotspot Shield Free

Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular free VPN apps currently being downloaded and is packed with the same robust security features found in its premium package. Users get a fair 500Mb per day data allowance but can only connect securely to a US server. Despite this, their proprietary technology delivers some fantastic speeds that compete with most premium services so readers shouldn’t be overly concerned about this.

Suggested pros and cons
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)

Summary

Super-fast speeds, slick looking apps and robust security features… Hotspot Shield’s free service is pretty ok!

Our score:

4.3

4.3/5

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • Super-fast download speeds of 79Mbps
  • 500Mb per day data allowance
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • User friendly apps with Chrome and Firefox browser extensions
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
Cons
  • Privacy policy could be stronger
  • Servers located in USA only
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting not permitted
  • Doesn’t work with Netflix of BBC iPlayer
  • 500Mb per day isn’t going to go very far

Free VPN FAQs...

Should I download a free VPN?

The VPN market has come a long way in recent years and there are some good free VPN providers which we have tested and researched in great detail. There are unfortunately many free VPNs online that take advantage of user data for their own gains. Clearly, in our view this goes against some of the principles of what makes a VPN effective, particularly around the user’s privacy and online anonymity that a good VPN should deliver.

Free VPN or paid VPN?
We believe being a free VPN client can be a good introductory step into understanding and using VPN’s. Our recommended free VPN providers come with our backing but clearly in some areas fall behind the paid VPN in terms of VPN features, reliability and security. A free VPN will often come with limited bandwidth and cap speeds. Streaming online content can be a big challenge, for a free VPN netlfix, iPlayer and similar streaming services require more generous allowances. A paid VPN will also have the increased benefits of guaranteed privacy protection due to their stricter logging policies. We have access to some great VPN deals ensuring you get total value for money. Check out our top 5 VPNs here.
What are the best free VPNs for PC and other devices?

There are a number of recommended best free VPN PC compatible for windows and Mac users. A free VPN for PC will however offer less choices as well as free VPN for Mac. Most free VPN services are mobile based VPN applications. You therefore won’t always be able to use a free VPN on multiple devices resulting in the probable need to buy a VPN. There are some free VPN’s available for Mac, PC, Windows Android, & iPhone VPN.

Can I get a fast free VPN?

A free VPN online wont usually provide enough speed for streaming video from Netflix, BBC Player, Amazon video etc. A free VPN for torrenting is also problematic due to being able to download large files quickly and within data usage limits. A fast free VPN requires significant investment from the VPN provider to give users bandwidth. We therefore recommend the above free VPN’s to give users the largest available monthly data cap. Nevertheless, they are free so they could be worth testing on certain devices.

A free VPN will enable fast website browsing if you are struggling to access geo-restricted websites. We do caution that a free VPN may not give you full protection if your local government has blocked certain websites and social media.

Are free VPNs private?

A free VPN may offer some privacy but it is important that they have at least the basic security measures such as Open VPN protocol. They may be useful when using public Wi-Fi and other open networks. Some free VPN downloads are unfortunately scams and should be avoided. You could sign up to a free VPN using a different name and email address, to help increase your online privacy. Ultimately a free VPN doesn’t hide your IP address from them meaning any activity when using a free VPN could still be traced back to you. Often a free internet VPN will have rather lapse logging policies and sell user data on to third parties. We only feature secure VPN providers with strict policies in place and will hide your VPN usage free.

What are the best free VPN apps?

From testing a range of paid for and free VPN providers we have found that often the free VPN will be inhibited by pop up adverts and poor overall design. We believe we have found the most user friendly free VPN’s. They often lack some of our more desired in app VPN features such as kill switches and a large choice of VPN server locations.

Will a free VPN unlock Netflix and other content?

Certain free VPNs will unlock Netflix and other streaming services. As mentioned they will often lack the server capacity and restrict your usage to stream via a free VPN. A free VPN may be more useful for browsing and accessing websites whilst on holiday or working overseas allowing you to log in to services restricted to your home country.

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