Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a great way of staying safe online, maintaining anonymity while browsing, and even viewing content or streaming movies and TV shows from other regions. However, hundreds of free VPNs are available today, and unfortunately, most aren't that great. In addition, some of them bombard you with annoying ads and may sell your data.
Finding a free VPN that does not compromise performance and privacy is pretty challenging. Even the best free VPN services tend to limit the amount of data you can use and are likely to be slower than a premium service.
However, if you are tight on a budget and want to avoid shady free services that could be crawling with malware and can sell your data to companies seeking to target users, I have got you covered.
In this article, I have listed the 10 best free VPN services available today, and these are totally privacy-first and don't sell your personal data.
10 best free VPN services
Speedify is an excellent service if you happen to live in an area with a poor internet connection. It can combine all the incoming connections in your place (including Wi-Fi and cellular signals) into a single, stable, faster, and more secure access point. That combination does a good job of offsetting some of the loss of speed that all VPN users have to face.
Speedify’s services are completely free to use; you receive an allowance of 2GB of data per month and don't even need to create an account. The company encrypts all your traffic using ChaCha or AES (depending on the device) and does not keep logs at all.
Other security features of Speedify include error correction protection, packet loss, and automatic failover. Also, you can be assured that Speedify will never sell your data.
VPNBook is another totally free VPN. It has no bandwidth caps or service limitations and offers no premium service either. However, I must mention that it is not suitable for beginners because it comes with no installer, no software, and little guidance. You will simply receive a list of servers, and the rest is up to you.
The app gives you a choice of using PPTP VPN or OpenVPN. PPTP VPN is supported on nearly all platforms, but it is relatively easier for content providers and governments to block. Although OpenVPN is more secure, it requires you to download an OpenVPN client along with VPNBook's configuration and certificate bundles.
As of now, the company has servers in the United States, UK, and mainland Europe.
Avira Phantom VPN
Avira Phantom VPN allows you to protect as many devices as you want. However, its free mobile app for Android and iOS is particularly impressive. It offers an extensive server network, can unblock many streaming platforms, and comes with advanced security features — something that most free mobile VPNs don’t provide.
Unlike Avira’s desktop client that only lets you connect to a server using the “Nearest Location” feature, its free mobile apps offer servers in more than 35 locations – including a streaming-optimized one. All of Avira’s apps keep your online data well-protected with 256- bit encryption, IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, and a zero-logs policy.
Unfortunately, Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t work in countries that restrict VPN use such as China. Also, it lacks an automatic kill switch and gives you only 500MB of data per month (1GB if you sign up with your email).
Proton VPN Free
Proton VPN Free features a well-balanced mix of features, power and app quality. Also, it doesn't pile on the limits and restrictions to try and convince you to upgrade. Thus, it is a free VPN you can use long-term. Furthermore, proton VPN Free offers unlimited data, unlike other free VPNs with data restrictions of 500 MB-10 GB per month. Not only is that convenient, but it is also suitable for your privacy because you won’t be forced to use the VPN sparingly when running low on data. It will always be available when you feel there's a risk.
Proton VPN Free offers all the core privacy features one needs to stay safe online. At 380Mbps, it is fast enough to beat some paid services. However, you will only get access to three locations: USA, Netherlands and Japan. Furthermore, although you can install the VPN on unlimited devices, you can only connect one at a time. Also, you must upgrade to a premium plan to gain access to Proton VPN's specialist streaming servers, P2P support, and bonus extras such as ad and malware blocking.
Windscribe Free VPN is a quality Canadian service with an enticing mix of features. Unfortunately, its data allowance is restricted to a strict 10 GB per month, which is enough to protect most online activity. However, Windscribe has its own plus point as compensation: unlike most free plans that restrict you to only one connection, it lets you install and use it on as many devices simultaneously as needed.
With Windscribe Free VPN, users can choose from 14 locations across 11 countries. It usually offers a speed of around 240Mbps, which is likely to be good enough for most situations. Although it doesn't include the specialist Windflix streaming servers, it can successfully unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Moreover, the Windscribe browser extension blocks ads, trackers, and social network widget buttons that often contain trackers.
Atlas VPN is among the best freemium VPN providers available currently. The free plan provides 5GB of monthly data and offers a decent level of safety. Like most other high-quality VPNs, it uses AES-256 encryption that governments and military organizations largely trust. Also, Atlas VPN states that it doesn’t store any internet activity data or collect logs that would help trace you back, including your actual IP address.
The VPN uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol that offers a combination of the best speeds and security. Apart from providing a kill switch and strong encryption, Atlas VPN allows torrenting on all of its servers. For quicker access, you can enable the option for the VPN to start on launch. Remember that the free version of Atlas VPN doesn’t help you access geo-blocked content on Netflix.
Hide.me Free VPN
Hide.me Free VPN is a decent mid-range service with enough standout features to make it worth checking out. After installing the VPN, you will get 10 GB of data per month and access to five P2P-friendly locations – east and west coast USA, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the free version doesn't support the speedy WireGuard protocol. However, it strives to make up for this elsewhere and offers more options, settings, tools, and tweaks than most competitors.
Its features include auto-connect on accessing untrusted Wi-Fi, split tunneling, custom DNS, a robust kill switch, capable browser extensions, and advanced protocol tweaks. Unfortunately, as of now, Hide.me Free VPN only offers an average speed of around 25Mbps – much less than Proton VPN and other top providers. Nevertheless, it is sufficient for browsing, streaming and most other tasks.
PrivadoVPN does a great job at protecting your privacy. It works smoothly with Windows, Mac, Android, Android TV, and iOS. It comes with a FireStick App that allows you to use this VPN on various smart TVs. Unlike most free VPN services, it also works with Netflix.
With PrivadoVPN, torrenting becomes easier than ever. It offers unlimited speeds as long as you stay within the monthly 10 GB data limit. After that, you shall be limited to one server and 1 Mbit speeds. Moreover, it offers many server locations to choose from, such as Buenos Aires, Frankfurt, Paris, and London.
PrivadoVPN Free also comes with an automatic kill switch, which is an essential security feature you will often find only in paid VPN services. However, it has no dedicated Linux app and you can use the free version only on one device at a time.
Unlike most free VPNs that limit you to a selected few servers, TunnelBear lets free users use its entire network. It has 2,600 servers in 47 locations, including the US, UK, Australia, and India. The free version of the app is a great way to get started if you are new to VPNs with its collection of cute animated grizzly bears and bear puns. As of now, it is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Also, TunnelBear is a remarkably safe choice. It is one of the rare free VPNs that has undergone independent audits of all of its apps. It uses AES 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak protection, supports OpenVPN on all major platforms, and features an automatic kill switch. In addition, its GhostBear Mode allows you to unblock content in countries with restrictive networks. Unfortunately, it is of limited use for downloading and streaming due to its 500MB data cap.
ZoogVPN features multiple encryption protocols and lets free users choose between IKEv2 and OpenVPN. For most users, OpenVPN will suffice because it is a very suitable protocol for security and speed and is the standard among VPNs. The VPN works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android devices.
ZoogVPN also offers a kill switch functionality which ensures that all internet traffic is interrupted whenever the secure VPN connection drops unexpectedly. It is a pretty special feature that only a few free VPNs (such as Atlas VPN) provide. Unfortunately, ZoogVPN uses 128-bit encryption instead of the AES 256-bit offered by other free VPNs. The free version only gives you access to three servers in the entire server network. Also, it can be used on just one device at a time.
Words of Advice
The best free VPNs hide your IP address, securely encrypt your web traffic, and unblock region-restricted content. If you require a free VPN service, I advise you to choose one of the trustworthy providers listed in this article because many free VPN apps don’t work correctly or threaten your privacy and security.