Best Free VPN
The best VPNs hide your browsing activity and protect your online privacy, in addition to unlocking content restricted by location. Many free VPNs promise to do all of this at zero cost, but not all deliver what they promise and may even put your safety and privacy only at risk.
Therefore, it is essential to be very careful with free VPNs, as they can pose serious privacy and security risks, and what is cheap can become very expensive.
However, not all free VPNs are bad, and we will show you in this guide the best options for you. Either way, keep in mind that even the best free VPNs cannot compete with paid premium VPNs.
The best 100% free VPNs of 2021 are:
Best Free VPN
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN of 2021. It has a registration policy focused on privacy and robust security features.
The VPNs we recommend in this guide are completely free and safe to use. However, its use is limited, and if you want to have access to more features, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan. See the cheapest VPNs of 2021.
If you want to try a premium VPN for 30 days and get your money back without a headache, click here.
ProtonVPN is the only free and secure VPN that you can leave active at all times. That’s because it imposes no data limits. This VPN focus on security, not entertainment.
You can use ProtonVPN as much as you want, completely free and without ads.
ProtonVPN is one of the best free VPNs available. It comes from a highly respected cybersecurity company, is very safe to use, and all applications are open source. It’s the number 1 free VPN if privacy and security are your primary concern.
ProtonVPN submitted all its applications to a complete security audit of third parties. It has also made them an open source to allow the public to scan them for vulnerabilities. This level of transparency is the gold standard in VPN security and reliability.
You can use the free version of ProtonVPN on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. All applications use OpenVPN, the most secure encryption protocol available.
ProtonVPN is also very private, thanks to its minimum registration policy. Also, the integrated VPN elimination switch protects your IP address in case the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
ProtonVPN is also the only free secure VPN that comes with unlimited bandwidth, so you can protect your device at any time without worrying about using all of your data. It can also be installed at the router level, allowing you to protect all devices in your family.
The free version of ProtonVPN has some disadvantages compared to its paid offer. For example, all streaming and torrent activities are blocked on free servers. The only streaming site that worked was YouTube. Only three free server locations are available and, for this reason, connection speeds may fluctuate a little because of the number of users.
Overall, ProtonVPN is an excellent choice if you don’t want to spend money. Although it lacks many advanced VPN features, it is perfect for hiding your web activity from your ISP and for protecting insecure public WiFi networks. However, if you want to unblock streaming sites and benefit from more advanced security features, like Secure core servers, the paid version of ProtonVPN is worth the money.
Hide.me is a secure VPN with a generous 10 GB data limit.
It is one of the fastest free VPNs over connections in the same country. It also allows for P2P traffic on most of its free servers. However, it does not work on streaming platforms like Netflix.
Although Hide.me does not collect personal data from the web, it maintains temporary records of:
Randomly generated VPN username
Internally assigned IP address (for connection duration);
The total amount of monthly data traffic.
It is not a perfect VPN, but it is a reasonable registration policy that protects your identity and online activity.
Hide.me works on most devices, including home routers. It allows you to use VPN on devices like Fire TV Stick, game consoles, and Apple TV.
Hide.me VPN apps are all secure. They come with the IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Wireguard VPN protocols and, during testing, we did not detect any leakage of DNS or IP addresses.
As it is a free service, only five servers are available, located in the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the United States (East and West).
It can be a problem if you are in countries far from the servers offered because connection speeds may be a little slow.
Unfortunately, this VPN does not unlock streaming content. However, Hide.me is a quick option for using public WiFi safely and making torrents despite the limitations.
Best Free VPN: FAQ
Are free VPNs secure?
Many popular free VPN services can pose severe risks to your online security.
Free VPNs are often filled with advertising or, worse, malware. Many collect and monetize user data by selling it to third parties. A large number of free VPNs also leak IP and DNS data.
Pay attention to the dangers of using a free, unreliable VPN.
Data leaks- Not all free VPNs have strong encryption and a secure server network.
Advertisement – Free VPN services need to earn money to sustain their business. And most do it through advertising and third-party links, which allows you to collect data from users and even infect your computer if the link contains viruses.
Google Comments – Do not trust everything you read, as anyone can write comments, and they are not always true. To check users’ comments, be sure to read VPN experts’ comments, such as ours.
Selling data – Besides leaking data from your connection because it does not have strong encryption and reliable servers, some free VPNs can sell your data to third parties.
Free or paid VPNs
Free VPN service can vary. However, there are significant advantages and disadvantages to using free VPNs:
Free VPN advantages:
No payment details required
No long term commitment
Some allow torrents
Free VPN disadvantages:
Slower speeds and data limits
Few server locations
Rare streaming and P2P support
Paid VPNs have several advantages. Besides having much faster and continuous speeds, they have extra security tools to ensure your privacy and security online, and it unblocks streaming services.
If you want to try a premium VPN, all recommended VPNs on our general list offer a refund period of up to 30 days. See the best VPNs of 2021
How do free VPNs make money?
VPNs are not free to operate. There are development, infrastructure, and personnel costs, to name a few. It is not possible to run a VPN for free.
How a free VPN makes your money is significant. As the saying goes: if you are not paying for a product, you are the product. These are the most common ways for free VPNs to make money:
- Being subsidized by a paid service (another VPN or security software)
- Selling user data
It is safer to choose free VPNs subsidized by paid VPN services. ProtonVPN or Hide.me are good examples. These companies don’t need to monetize their free apps directly.
Other free VPNs generate revenue by displaying ads in their applications. It is more common with free mobile-only VPNs. These applications typically ask you to upgrade to an ad-free (paid) version of the VPN.
Advertisements are not ideal from the point of view of privacy. But many users make this switch to use a free service.
The worst free VPNs make money by selling their browsing data to advertisers and third parties. In the best-case scenario, you have become a product for marketers. At worst, your data is for sale online.
How to use a paid VPN for free?
VPNs typically offer paid money-back guarantees and free trials. You can take advantage of these advantages to use the service for free.
Other paid VPNs, such as the VPNs on our general list, offer risk-free money-back guarantees. When you make your VPN subscription, you will have to pay the amount of the selected plan. However, you will be able to cancel and receive your refund of the money spent within 30 days. Check all the tips in this post.