Virtual private networks (VPNs) for commercial use have grown increasingly popular in the last decade, with a third of internet users hiding behind them for various reasons. You may be interested in joining the club but unsure which VPN service to select. And because there are way more options and features today than 10 years ago, we understand your hesitation.
Checking out free VPN applications and comparing what they offer may be the best first step. Then, you can download and use the service of your choice without the burden of an added expense. Keep reading our guide to help you navigate your way through the best free VPN services on the market.
Having a VPN means increasing your protection against trackers, hackers, and other threats to your privacy in today’s digital world. You will have the freedom to browse the internet anonymously as the VPN encrypts your data, boosting your online security.
Also, with a VPN, your actual location will no longer prevent you from using specific streaming or social media services. VPNs generally provide you with a disguised IP address, which allows you to unblock those restricted sites.
Additionally, you can always download a free VPN application if your budget is tight or you’re not ready to make a year-long commitment. Therefore, you won’t feel obligated to keep that app if it doesn’t suit you. It may be best to take advantage of all the free VPNs from reputable and trustworthy companies until you find the best free VPN.
Selecting the best service can be overwhelming when the market is flooded with hundreds of free VPNs. And all free VPNs are not created equally; some offer more bandwidth and servers, while some work better on a desktop than a mobile device. Here are some things to consider before you download and install a free VPN application:
Subscribing to a free VPN may have some risks involved, but if you do your due diligence, you should be able to select the safest option that suits your needs.
As mentioned earlier, all free VPN services do not provide the same features, and they may have limitations to what you can do online. However, we’ve compiled a list of the best free VPN providers that rank high in well-implemented encryption, speed, and performance. And more importantly, they take your privacy seriously.
Ranked the “best free VPN in 2022” across various leading tech sites, we think ProtonVPN lives up to the hype. You not only get access to three server locations (USA, Netherlands, and Japan), but you also receive unlimited data and strict encryption to ensure your traffic is undetectable. The service is straightforward, even for newbie VPN users, and it works with all operating systems.
This highly secure VPN does not play when it comes to your privacy. The company is based in Switzerland, which means users are protected under Swiss privacy laws and a no-data log policy. There’s also a kill switch if your VPN drops to prevent your IP address from being exposed.
Although ProtonVPN seems to be the whole package, there are some downsides to its free service. There is a cap on speed during peak hours to prevent congestion, but only if necessary. In addition, this provider does not have streaming or torrenting capabilities in its free package, and there’s no 24/7 live chat support available.
Overall, ProtonVPN has the other free VPNs beat with its unlimited data and high-security policy. To subscribe, all you have to do is provide an email address and a username. You may only receive one user license per device, but you can bypass that restriction by using multiple email addresses to sign up for the service on each of your devices.
This provider has the fastest free VPN title because its free version doesn’t cut back on speed as some other VPNs do. Hide.Me also offers:
For a free service, Hide.Me ranks high because of the number of features offered and its performance. There may be a few restrictions, such as a 10GB monthly data allowance and one user license. However, the pros outweigh the cons, making Hide.Me possibly the best free VPN for you.
Atlas VPN may be your go-to provider if you’re looking for unlimited bandwidth and no connection speed limits. Similar to the other two free VPNs, Atlas has a zero-data log policy and supplies:
The disadvantages to this free service are:
Atlas VPN may not be as high-performing as ProtonVPN or Hide.Me, but it still ranks higher than most free VPNs. And it works best on both Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as Windows PC.
This secure, easy-to-use VPN provider made the list because of its ability to bypass geo-blocked sites like Netflix. It’s also pretty strong on the privacy front, has an ad and malware blocker, and provides 11 location servers, including eight US cities, Canada, Turkey, Germany, the UK, and Hong Kong. Because of this type of access, it’s no wonder they can provide exclusive content from Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Windscribe makes it simple for its desktop users to start operating the service through its Chrome extension. And while it doesn’t store data logs such as IP stamps or sites visited, it stores usernames, the servers you connect to, and the data transfer amount only when you’re active. As you log off, the information is erased in minutes.
Windscribe may be the best VPN for streaming blocked content; however, it has limitations like most free VPNs. It only offers 2GB bandwidth per month, which you can bump up to 10GB of data per month if you provide your email address. The speed is also slightly spotty, which may get frustrating if you’re trying to binge-watch your favorite Netflix shows or movies.
Despite these drawbacks and the fact that there’s no 24/7 live chat support, the free version of Windscribe is still a helpful, user-friendly, and secure VPN.
Hotspot Shield rounds out our list with easy-to-use applications, straightforward setup, fast max speed, and military-grade encryption. The paid version may be one of the most popular VPN services on the market, but Hotspot’s free VPN definitely holds its own.
It has versatility as you can easily use it on desktop and mobile devices. Not to mention, it offers 500MB of data per day and unlimited data for macOS users.
Unfortunately, it lacks server locations, only providing free subscribers with one US server. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any live chat support. Other than that, Hotspot Shield may be the best VPN for those new to VPNs.
While some trustworthy free VPNs are out there, reliable VPNs may be more of a challenge to find. As of late, numerous providers are claiming to offer free, high-quality VPN protection, and after signing up, you’re left feeling disappointed by the inconsistent, low-performing service. Therefore, it’s best not to trust everything service providers are selling.
Instead, make sure to research everything you can about the company and take recommendations from family and friends. You can also use this list of the best free VPN services as a springboard to help find a service you can trust.
We understand what it takes to make an informed decision, and that’s why we created this free VPN guide. Check out our site or contact us to learn more about what we do and how we can help you choose products and services with confidence.