VPNs are now being widely used to defend privacy against Government surveillance and data collection by ISPs. You might have noticed that I’ve recommended not to use free VPNs – but the paid ones.
Well, if you have no issues paying for a VPN – you should definitely do that. But, if you think that using a Free VPN is totally useless – that’s completely wrong. If you do not want to spend a penny but still want to protect your privacy – any free VPN will act as a basic layer of protection.
To be honest, yes, free VPNs could prove to be less secure (the ones which are completely free) but if you want the basic protection against surveillance and ISP monitoring – there are a lot of free VPNs to help the cause.
In this article, I’ll mention several of them for you to try.
Types of Free VPNs
You will find a variety of free VPNs on the Internet. Some promise to provide every feature possible without spending a penny and some tend to limit the features by offering a free version and an option to upgrade the plan in the future.
We’ll recommend you to stay away from the services who claim to provide everything for free. Although, you can stick to the ones we’ve tested and mentioned here.
On the other side, you will have to choose between an extension – that you want to use on your browser or a standalone program.
The extensions available would differ depending on the browser you use. Here, we focus on extensions available for Google Chrome.
And, the standalone programs we’ve mentioned are available across multiple platforms which include Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Best Free VPN Service Providers
A lot of people utilize Google Chrome as their primary web browser. So, in that case, if you want to protect your privacy from the web services that you log in to via browser – the chrome extension will be a perfect fit.
Here are some free VPN options for you to try:
1. Zenmate VPN
Zenmate VPN is one of the most secure free chrome VPN extension out there. I’ve been recommended this to use by a couple of cybersecurity experts. You need to create an account in order to use it.
It offers better security than other “free” VPNs because they limit the download speeds and server locations for premium users. If you’re satisfied with their free plan – you could opt for the premium plan to unlock more benefits.
It does support other platforms (Mac, Windows, Android, and, iOS) and provides a standalone VPN program as well. But, here we’ll keep it limited as a Chrome extension.
Yet another impressive Chrome extension with limited features for the free plan. Of course, just like Zenmate you get unlimited data usage – but you won’t be able to utilize it for Tor integration, fast download speeds, and bypass everything. Similar to Zenmate, you have to create an account here as well – and then you can connect.
I will recommend this to you for browsing purposes only. It’s not fast/secure enough for streaming and unblocking access to Netflix or similar. They have a strict no-log policy and they’re pretty much trustworthy- given their history.
If you are looking for something more capable – but for free – continue reading…
3. Hola VPN
Hola is a pretty popular and controversial VPN chrome extension. It is not actually “the best” free VPN that I will recommend.
But, if you aren’t concerned about IP leaks and strong security – but just want to bypass or unblock certain websites. You can definitely go ahead and try this. Also, you don’t need to sign up! Just install it and start using it!
I’ve observed pretty solid speeds when connected to Hola – but then you need to be aware of its downside – which is security. So, make a wise choice!
But, if you decide to “upgrade” it – I’ll suggest you pick something else from this list that offers premium plans.
4. Betternet Unlimited Free Proxy
Betternet is yet another amazing free VPN service as a chrome extension. It does support multiple platforms – but as a chrome extension, you’ll love it!
Is it good as a standalone VPN program? Well, we’ve talked about it in the later part of this article.
It features a nice user interface and it does not even affect the speed by a big margin. The team is quite dedicated to improve the service – even if it is a free solution. You can opt-in as a beta tester to receive pre-releases and give them feedback – while also signing an NDA to not disclose the new test features to the public.
SurfEasy is yet another popular chrome extension that you might have heard of if you looked for a free VPN solution before reading this article.
Although it is free to use to start with – it does come with a data transfer limit and that might be very less for most of the users (i.e 500 MB).
But, if you want a secure VPN – with premium offerings for a specific purpose (and not streaming), SurfEasy would be a good addition to chrome.
Personally, I utilized it before purchasing a VPN service. So, yeah, I’ve used it for a long time and it’s pretty good.
6. HotSpot Shield
Need a free VPN and without the hassle of signing up? You got it right here.
HotSpot Shield is a quite popular free VPN chrome extension that does not require you to register in order to use the service. Of course, just like any other free VPN, it enforces certain restrictions.
However, there are no bandwidth restrictions here. You get to use it for free – but with a few selected server locations active and all the premium features locked.
Antivirus Bundled VPNs
If you are going to purchase an AntiVirus program or already have something installed – you probably have free VPN included.
You can even download some of them separately for free. Well, these do not offer a lot of features for free – but you can trust these services. So, if you have trust issues with a VPN provider and you just won’t use the VPN while performing a transaction or for communication – you can try these.
We’ve mentioned the best free VPN services available along with the Antivirus program.
1. Bitdefender VPN
If you have a Bitdefender Total Security license active, you can utilize its free VPN service. However, the features will be limited – for obvious reasons.
With Bitdefender’s free VPN, you can browse anonymously with a 200 MB data transfer limit. That’s definitely not a lot. But, if you want to utilize the VPN while making a transaction or sending a message in a secure network – then you could utilize it.
2. Avira Phantom VPN
If you want a little bit more data transfer limit. Avira Phantom VPN provides you with a 500 MB data limit. You get all the functionalities – but the free version lacks the “kill switch” support. Without paying a penny, you can bypass geo-restrictions and also prevent DNS leaks. I guess that could come handy sometime.
Well, that’s not a big deal – but if you really need the Kill Switch feature. You will have to upgrade it to its pro version.
3. Avast SecureLine
If you already have Avast’s ultimate edition active – you’ve already got the Avast secure line VPN as part of the bundle for no extra cost.
However, similar to the VPNs above, you cannot download it for free. But, could utilize the 7-day trial if you need a VPN temporarily without spending a penny.
4. Kaspersky Secure Connection
Similar to Bitdefender, you get 200 MB data limit for usage. However, if you are signed into your Kaspersky account – you will get 100 MB as a bonus and the limit shall be 300 MB instead of 200 for you.
You can download for free without having Kaspersky Antivirus installed. So, it’s definitely an option when you have no other choice for temporary security for a specific purpose.
5. AVG Secure VPN
AVG Secure VPN is not completely free. But, if you want to utilize it as the last resort to access something (unblock a site) – you can download the free trial for a single device and try it out.
You do not need to have AVG Antivirus installed, you can download it separately.
Standalone VPN Programs
Hide.me offers a free plan but you need to register for an account. You do not require a credit card. So, it’s hassle-free. It supports Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. And, also provides a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
You will get limited data transfer quota of 2 GB – which is a decent limit for a good VPN service available for free. In addition, you will be able to utilize 1 simultaneous connection.
The VPN also supports SOCKS proxy – but you need to upgrade your subscription to get the benefits.
2. Proton VPN
Proton VPN is one of the most interesting free standalone VPN services that you can rely on.
I’ll definitely consider this to be one of the most secure free VPN available. However, you get limited features on the free plan. You only get to utilize 3 server locations with a limit of 1 device.
The good news is that you do not have a data transfer limit. So, that’s a plus. Of course, the restrictions on the free plan is justified.
You might notice a significant decrease in the speed – because you get high-speed servers only when you upgrade your plan. In either case, considering its promise for security and privacy with no bandwidth limit, it is a very impressive free VPN program.
It is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux (via OpenVPN).
3. Opera VPN
If you utilize Opera browser – you can already use Opera VPN. If you do not have it installed, you need to download the Opera browser in order to use the VPN.
Yes, this is a Windows-specific VPN available for free with no premium offering. Whatever it offers or the upcoming features will remain free forever to promote privacy and security.
Opera VPN is an exception here. It is not exactly a standalone program. But, you have to install a separate browser – dedicated for the VPN.
4. Hotspot Shield
As we already mentioned HotSpot shield as one of the recommended chrome extensions for free VPN. It is also a good standalone VPN client.
It is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. In addition, you’re also aware of the Chrome browser extension. It is one of the fastest free VPNs out there which you can utilize on any platform – with 1 simultaneous connection active of course. The free plan only promises the best security – but with limited bandwidth.
SurfEasy is yet another popular VPN service which offers a free plan along with premium offerings. Unlike other VPNs, you get 5 devices to connect with – not just one.
However, the data limit is low – 500 MB. So, it could come in handy for some emergency usage. Unfortunately, only the premium plans would help you to block the trackers – so do not expect a top-tier level privacy protection. It is just another basic VPN (considering the free plan) to hide your IP address.
Why Should You Think Again Before using Free VPN?
If you want the basic layer of security to hide your IP address and bypass geo-blocking, we will never recommend you spend a few bucks unnecessarily.
However, if your usage includes torrenting, streaming, and also accessing censored content – you should opt for paid VPNs like ExpressVPN.
In other words, if you expect 360-degree protection for your Internet connection via a VPN – never rely on a free VPN.
I’ll bet on 50% of security (just for the sake of hiding the IP) when you use free VPNs. But, you shouldn’t expect a complete 100% protection if you want to access something that involves some risk – you might want to reconsider.
Now that you’ve known everything about the best free VPNs available for everyday usage – you should carefully choose the one to use.
At least, using a VPN, instead of nothing will enhance your network security and online privacy.
So, make a wise decision and secure your Internet!