Best Free VPN 2021
VPNs are virtual private networks and are an important tool to have in your digital tool kit when it comes to protecting your privacy. In this review, we address user experience, privacy, data limit and features to help you make the right decision when it comes to your free VPN service.
What are free VPN Services?
A Free VPN is the free alternative to its paid-for counterpart! VPNs are virtual private networks that work to keep you and your information safe and secure from any third parties. When it comes to paid VPNs, ExpressVPN came out on top – but are the free versions as safe and secure as their paid-for competitors? And which ones can compare?
What's on This Page
Free VPNs Have Their Issues
The whole idea behind VPNs is that they help users protect their information and maintain their privacy. VPNs have been popular among people who want to stream content from different geographical regions or access content that is restricted in their areas, but they have so many other uses, like encrypting your data.
So what’s the problem with free VPNs? Well, it’s that they’re free! The companies need to make money somehow, and that’s usually by selling your usage data to third parties, seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Not only that, but free VPNs don’t have the same features as some of the paid-for products and can be limiting.
Top 5 Rated Free VPNs
Best Free VPN for No data limits
One feature you’ll very rarely hear about when discussing free VPNs is unlimited data and ProtonVPN Free has just that, bringing it to the top of the list. This company also offers split-tunnelling and DNS leak protection for its free users.
ProtonVPN offers an impressive number of features, privacy and data for a free product. Their ultimate goal is to get you to upgrade to a paid plan, but you can get by on the free plan, depending on your needs.
By far, their standout feature is the fact that there are no data restrictions, meaning that you can use as much data as you want. You won’t be able to use it for any streaming though because it’s not that fast.
The speed for this feature takes a hit when paying users are on the platform (especially during peak times), as free users get less priority. ProtonVPN also makes it very clear that if you’re using the VPN for streaming, you’re going to have to upgrade to the Plus tier.
The free version has split tunnelling, a feature that lets you decide which apps need to be encrypted and which can connect normally, putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your privacy. It also offers DNS leak protection.
While the paid version gives you a more seamless experience, you can sign up for the free version with a username and email address and try it out, it won’t cost you a penny.
But like they say, you get what you pay for, the server network for the free service is small, with three locations across the globe and customer support could be better.
- Unlimited data
- Privacy first approach
- Easy to use
Best for privacy
On initial sign up for this VPN, each user is allotted 2GB of data usage per month, but by providing an email address you can increase that to 10GBs for free.
The free amount of data is outweighed by a user experience that can be tricky to manage at first. The interface is not super intuitive, and you might find that it takes you a while to find the settings and customize them. If you’re ok sticking with the default settings though, it’s an easy VPN to log in to with the recommended settings and just let run.
The free version uses more than 10 servers, worldwide which is generous compared to some of its competitors. You’ll be able to connect in Hong Kong, Europe and North America, and if you’d like more options, they’re available on upgrade.
The VPN offers some other features that are surprising for a free service: it comes with an ad blocker and even claims that there is no logging of user data. Not bad! Be careful though, because if something goes wrong, 24/7 customer support is not available, so you’ll have to do some trouble shooting or find the information you’re looking for on your own.
- Allows 10GBs of data usage
- Great Privacy
- Several servers worldwide
Hotspot Shield Free VPN
Best Free VPN for Ease of Use
This is one of the easiest to use free VPN softwares on the market. Whether you’re on mobile or desktop, it’s easy to navigate, set up and use daily.
While this is one of the easiest free VPNs to use, it can be annoying at times. The free version only allows users to connect to one server in the United States and serves pop-up ads on Android devices to offset the costs of providing you a service with a price tag of $0.
You’ll also be limited to a speed of 2 mbps on the limited version. While this platform offers a generous 15 GBs per month, that’s not going to be enough if you need the service for streaming or torrenting.
While you won’t get premium version speeds on the free VPN, you will have access to many of the premium features which makes the free version a great testing ground if you’re trying to figure out which free VPN is the best one for you.
- Easy to use
- Many Features
- 15 GBs free data
Best Free VPN for Beginners
TunnelBear is known for its great user experience and fun interface. The app is intuitive and makes using a VPN seriously fun!
TunnelBear connects to encrypted tunnels with just one click. Once you’re connected you can view server locations on the virtual map and pick and choose what locations you’d like to connect through, choosing a location close to your physical location usually achieves faster upload and download speeds. If you’re using this app and feel like it’s slowing down, all you have to do is click the “tunnel” icon and you’ll get a better connection through a closer server location. The free VPN has more than 20 server locations to choose from.
It’s rare that a free VPN will allow you to connect from multiple devices, but here we are. At any one time, you can have up to 5 devices connected, and it even works across most operating systems.
While TunnelBear is super fun and easy to use, you’ll be limited to 500 MB of data usage per month, and if you get stuck there is no live chat or phone support. Another drawback is there could be privacy concerns since the company is based in Canada, a Five Eye alliance member. Companies in Five Eye alliance countries are subject to information-sharing regulation.
- Easy to use
- 20+ server locations
- Connect to multiple devices at once
Best for Fast speeds
If its name didn’t give it away, this free VPN is known for achieving maximum speeds throughout your connection. The software lets you use multiple connections to achieve an optimal speed, for example if you’re on a mobile device, it could use both the wifi and 4G connection!
Speedify sure is speedy when compared to its competitors, using its technology it makes sure that you get the best possible speeds throughout your entire connection time. It also allows 10 GBs of free data per month, like many of its competitors.
For a free software, it has a surprising number of servers. It boasts more than 1000 servers in 50+ locations.
While the platform is fast and gives you free data usage to play with throughout the month, you’re left to your own devices when it comes to customer support. There is no 24/7 chat, so like many of the free services, if you hit a bump in the road, it might be faster to spend some time researching and figuring it out for yourself.
- More than 1000 server locations
- 10 GBs free data
Our Rating Process
We assessed each software based on features, data limit, privacy, and user experience. We scored them each out of 5 points to help you decide which free VPN is the best one for you.
With free software there is often a limit on usage or data, and the need for more will often push consumers to buy the paid-for product – when looking for a free software, it’s so important to understand its limits!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are VPNs that offer free services with no time limit, usually these VPNs will limit data usage per month though. While free is a hard price to turn down, take into consideration what you’re looking for from a VPN and evaluate whether you’re willing to pay for those services. Many paid for VPNs are affordable and offer increased security and more useful features. When it comes to free VPNs though TunnelBear, Windscribe and ProtonVPN have been named as some of the top in the market.
Free VPNs are less safe than paid for VPNs. Always do your research before installing a software on your computer, especially if you’re concerned about privacy. When using a free service, always think about the tradeoffs, how will this company offer this product for free? Often the answer is that your data is being captured and sold to third parties or you are being served with ads.
Most free VPNs have limited speeds and data, so it’s tough to find one that will allow you to binge watch your favourite show! However, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market and has a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you don’t like the service, you can get your money back. Otherwise, if you’re willing to put up with limited speeds and data, TunnelBear is reliable for unblocking Netflix.