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Top 5 Best Free VPNs for 2023: 100% Risk-Free Download

Last Updated on 20th May, 2023
Best Free VPNs

Secure Your Online Privacy with the Best Free VPN Service Providers

Looking for a free VPN that won’t compromise your online security? Our expertly curated list of the best free VPNs has got you covered. Find your perfect match now!

Online privacy and security are increasingly important as more people use the internet for everyday activities. With cyber threats becoming increasingly commonplace, it is important to take security measures to protect one’s personal information. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become a popular solution for this problem, however, premium services can be costly. Thankfully, there are many free VPN services available that offer basic features to help keep users secure without breaking the bank.

In this article, we will explore what free VPNs are, how they work, the advantages of free VPNs, the disadvantages of free VPNs, & what are the best free VPN services.

What is a Free VPN?

A VPN is a service that creates a private, encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet. When you connect to a VPN server, your internet traffic is routed through the server & encrypted, so that nobody can see what you’re doing online. This can be useful for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Protect your privacy by hiding your IP address and online activities from your internet service provider (ISP), government agencies, and advertisers.
  • Bypassing internet censorship and accessing restricted content in other countries.
  • Protect yourself on public Wi-Fi networks by encrypting your internet traffic and preventing others on the same network from snooping on your activities.

A free VPN is a VPN service that does not require any subscription fee. Instead, free VPN vendor earns revenue through advertising, ad popups & data collection. The quality of free VPNs can vary widely, so it’s important to choose a reliable VPN provider that offers the security & privacy features as per your needs.

Are Free VPNs Safe?

Free VPNs can be safe, but it ultimately depends on the specific free VPN service you are using; the value of a free VPN depends on your individual needs & priorities. While free VPNs can offer some basic benefits like access to restricted content and some level of online privacy and security, they typically come with limitations & potential risks.

The biggest concern with free VPNs is the potential for data logging & selling user data to third parties. Another main drawback of using free VPNs is their limited server networks, which can lead to slower speeds & less reliable connections. Free VPNs may also have bandwidth caps, which can limit the amount of data you can use each month.

On the other hand, if you’re a casual internet user who only needs basic online privacy & security, a free VPN best suits your needs. Just make sure to choose a trusted VPN provider and carefully evaluate the features and limitations of the service before using it.

Ultimately, if you require more advanced features & higher levels of security, it’s generally recommended to consider paid VPN options. Paid VPNs typically offer more server locations, faster speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and more advanced security features such as Double VPN, Kill Switches, and DNS Leak Protection.

Top 5 Best Free VPN Services – 100% Safe, Fast, and Unlimited

  • ProtonVPN – Only offers servers in three countries.
  • Windscribe VPN – offers 10GB of data per month on its free plan.
  • TunnelBear VPN – Comes with 500MB of data per month on its free plan.
  • Hotspot Shield VPN – Offers 500MB of data per day on its free plan.
  • Hide.me – 2GB of data per month on its free plan

ProtonVPN – Only offers servers in three Countries

ProtonVPN Free Plan Image

ProtonVPN is a popular VPN service that offers a free plan as well as paid plans. The free plan provides unlimited bandwidth but offers access to servers in only three countries: the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. You can connect to ProtonVPN on only one device at a time with the free plan, while paid plans allow for multiple simultaneous connections.

ProtonVPN claims to have a strict no-logging policy & uses strong encryption to protect your online activity. It also uses a feature called Secure Core, which routes your traffic through multiple servers to provide extra security and privacy. However, the free plan may have slower speeds compared to the paid plans, as free users have lower priority on the server network.

ProtonVPN’s free plan offers an affordable VPN service, but if you need access to more server locations or want to use the VPN on multiple devices simultaneously, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Windscribe VPN – offers 10GB of data per month on its free Plan

Windscribe VPN Free Plan Image

Windscribe is another popular VPN service that offers a free and paid plan. The free plan provides 10GB of data per month, with access to servers in 10 countries. It has a feature called “R.O.B.E.R.T.”, which allows you to block ads, trackers, & malware. With the free plan, you can use it on unlimited devices, but you can connect to servers in only a limited number of countries.

Windscribe VPN also offers a strict no-logging policy, which means that it doesn’t collect any user data & activity logs. The free plan uses strong encryption to protect your online activity and prevent hackers and other third parties from accessing your data. However, the free plan may have slower speeds compared to the paid plans, as free users have lower priority on the server network.

TunnelBear VPN – Comes with 500MB of data per month on its free Plan

TunnelBear VPN Free Plan Image
TunnelBear is a VPN service that offers a free plan well as paid plans. The free plan provides 500MB of data per month, with access to servers in over 20 countries. With the free plan, you can use up to five devices simultaneously. It has a feature called “GhostBear”, which makes your encrypted traffic less detectable to governments, businesses, & Internet Service Providers.

TunnelBear free plan uses strong encryption to protect your online activity, prevent hackers & other third parties from accessing your data. It has a strict no-logging policy, which means that it doesn’t collect any user data or activity logs. However, the free plan may have slower speeds compared to the paid plans, as free users have lower priority on the server network.

Hotspot Shield VPN – Offers 500MB of data per day on its free plan

Hotspot Shield VPN Free Plan Image
Hotspot Shield is a popular Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, which offers both a paid & free plan. The free version gives customers limited access to servers in the US and runs ads. With the no-cost plan, users can only use Hotspot Shield on one device at a time, with a 500MB data cap for each day. This VPN also implements strong encryption to protect online activities, thwarting hackers and others who may want to gain access to one’s personal data.

Hotspot Shield offers a feature known as “Catapult Hydra”, a proprietary VPN protocol that claims to provide faster and improved performance. While their free service may have slow speeds in comparison to their paid services, they offer a limited data amount per day to customers using the free plan.

Hotspot Shield’s free plan occasionally for tasks like browsing the web or checking emails may be feasible, that is if you don’t need to do anything data intensive. However, to do more intensive activities with a VPN connection, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Hide.me – 2GB of data per month on its free plan

Hide.me VPN Free Plan Image
Hide.me is a VPN service that offers users options for both a free and paid plan. The free plan offers 2GB of monthly data with access to servers in five locations. However, the free plan allows its users to only use Hide.me on one device at a time. Furthermore, Hide.me utilizes strong encryption in order to safeguard your internet activity & block any external sources from obtaining your information.

Hide.me’s “Stealth Guard” feature masks your IP address and stops websites from tracking you while also adhering to a strict no-logging policy, which safeguards user data and activity logs. However, this free service may cause slower speeds compared with paid plans because free users have lower priority on the server network.

Its free plan is a good starting point for those looking to access a basic VPN service without having to pay a fee. It includes some useful features, however, if you require more data or wish to use the VPN on more than one device concurrently, then it might be worthwhile considering upgrading to one of their paid plans.

Is Free VPN Really FREE?

Yes, free VPN services are typically offered to users at no cost. However, they come with some limitations or conditions attached to their use. For example, they may have restrictions on the amount of data you can use, the number of server locations available, or the number of simultaneous connections allowed. Some free VPNs may also display ads or limit speeds to encourage users to upgrade to a paid plan.

It’s important to note that while free VPNs may be free to use, they still incur costs to operate, like maintaining servers & providing customer support. To cover these costs, some free VPN providers may collect your data, sell user data to third-party advertisers or participate in other shady practices. This is why choosing a reputable and trustworthy VPN provider is important, even if it means paying for a subscription.

Ultimately, while free VPNs can be a convenient & cost-effective option for some users, it’s important to carefully evaluate the features and limitations of a free VPN before using it and to consider paid options if you require more advanced security features and higher levels of privacy.

What is the Real Difference Free VPN vs Paid VPN?

Criteria Free VPN Paid VPN
Cost Free Requires payment, usually on a monthly or yearly basis.
Server options Limited selection of servers located in a few countries. A wide selection of servers located in multiple countries around the world. Some paid VPNs may even offer dedicated servers for specific purposes, such as streaming or gaming.
Connection speed Slower connection speeds due to the large number of users sharing the same servers. Faster connection speeds due to fewer users sharing the same servers. Paid VPNs may also offer faster connection options for an additional fee.
Security features Basic security features, such as encryption and basic protocols like PPTP. Advanced security features, such as multiple protocols, strong encryption, and a kill switch. Some paid VPNs may also offer additional security features, such as split tunneling or double encryption.
Customer support Limited or no customer support. Robust customer support, with options such as live chat, phone support, and email support available 24/7.
Data logging policy May log user data for advertising purposes or to comply with local regulations. No data logging policy, or a strict no-logging policy that ensures user privacy and anonymity.
Advertisements May display advertisements or other sponsored content. No advertisements, or only limited advertising that does not interfere with the user’s browsing experience.
Bandwidth limits Limited bandwidth or data usage, which may result in slower speeds or disconnection. Unlimited bandwidth or higher data usage limits, which allow for faster speeds and more uninterrupted use.
Compatibility Limited compatibility with various devices and platforms. Compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers. Some paid VPNs may also offer browser extensions or other add-ons.
Ease of use May have limited features and be more difficult to set up and use. Typically easier to set up and use, with user-friendly interfaces and a range of features that cater to different needs.
Reputation Some free VPNs may have a poor reputation for security and privacy, and may be associated with malware or other security threats. Paid VPNs generally have a better reputation for security and privacy, as they invest in robust security measures and are more accountable to their users.
Performance Free VPNs may suffer from lower performance due to the large number of users sharing the same servers. Paid VPNs generally offer better performance due to faster speeds, better security, and more reliable servers.
Accessibility Free VPNs may have limited accessibility in certain countries, as some countries may block VPN services. Paid VPNs may offer more accessibility options, including servers in countries where VPNs are restricted, such as China or Iran.
Streaming Free VPNs may not be able to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, due to restrictions or slow connection speeds. Paid VPNs may offer dedicated servers optimized for streaming, which can unblock popular streaming services and offer faster speeds for uninterrupted streaming.
Torrenting Free VPNs may not allow torrenting or may restrict the use of torrenting. Paid VPNs may allow torrenting and may offer dedicated servers optimized for torrenting.

Best Alternatives of Free VPN Services

If you’re seeking more reliable security and privacy than those offered by free VPN services, some good alternatives to consider are paid VPNs, proxy servers, Tor networks, and virtual private networks (VPNs). Paid VPNs offer more comprehensive protection as they tend to employ sophisticated encryption protocols and have advanced features such as kill switches and double-hop connections.

Proxy servers can also provide anonymity but lack the level of encryption provided by a paid VPN. Finally, Tor Networks and virtual private networks provide the tightest security when it comes to hiding IP addresses but is more expensive than a typical free VPN service.

Paid VPN services offer more features & better protection. Here are the Best Paid VPNs currently available that could be a great alternative to free VPNs.

  • NordVPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • ExpressVPN

NordVPN is a secure and trusted virtual private network (VPN) service that promises a strict no-logging policy, top-notch security, access to servers in more than 60 countries worldwide & a 30-day money-back guarantee. With NordVPN your privacy is ensured and it’s easy to unblock websites and services from anywhere in the world. Read NordVPN review.

Surfshark VPN is a top-notch VPN service that provides strong security measures & unrestricted access to servers in over 100+ countries. As an added bonus, Surfshark also allows you to have unlimited simultaneous connections while still maintaining a no-logging policy. But just in case it doesn’t quite meet your expectations, you don’t need to worry – Surfshark also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read Surfshak VPN review.

ExpressVPN is a well-known virtual private network service provider that delivers fast speeds and top-notch security for its customers. It has access to servers in over 94 different countries. Furthermore, ExpressVPN is committed to user privacy, with a strict policy against logging data. Plus, a 30-day money-back guarantee is available for those who would like to try it out yet remain unsure about committing for the long haul. Read full review of ExpressVPN.

Conclusion of Best Free VPNs

In conclusion, free VPN service providers offer a convenient and easy way to protect your online privacy and security without having to pay a lot of money. They have a wide range of features, ranging from basic encryption protocols to more advanced options such as Kill Switch and Onion Routing. The best thing about these services is that they are affordable, so anyone can make use of them. However, it is important to remember that free VPN services may lack some technical or customer support features and come with bandwidth or data limits too, so be sure to read the small print before signing up for any service.

Best Free VPNs FAQs

Are free VPNs dangerous?

Yes, when it comes to using VPNs, many people opt for free ones due to their purported cost-effectiveness. However, this choice can have dangerous consequences as free VPNs may offer uneven performance and security features, or worse, be maliciously designed to harvest data from unsuspecting users. As such, when seeking a VPN, it is important to consider the quality of the product being used rather than simply its price tag.

Who are free VPNs best for?

Free VPNs are best suited for individuals & small businesses who only have a few devices to connect online and don’t need the advanced security features of paid VPN services. They can be helpful in maintaining privacy on public Wi-Fi networks, bypassing geo-restrictions, or simply getting around content filters and censorship. However, due to the limited features and resources, free VPNs may not provide the same level of security or privacy as paid services.

When might a free VPN not be a good choice?

A free VPN might not be the best choice if you are looking for a secure & reliable connection. Free VPNs typically have fewer features, lower encryption levels, and slower speeds compared to their paid counterparts. Additionally, some free VPNs may be collecting user data & selling it to third-parties or using other methods of monetization. For these reasons, it’s important to do your research into the provider before choosing whether or not to use their service.

Are free VPNs legal?

In most countries, yes. Free and paid VPNs are generally considered to be legal, although some countries place restrictions on using certain types of VPN services. It is important to check with your local laws and regulations to determine the proper use of a VPN service in your area.

Can free VPNs bypass geographic restrictions?

The short answer is yes, free VPNs can be used to access content in other countries. However, it is important to note that free VPN services usually come with certain caveats & won’t offer as much security as a premium service. It is always recommended to use a paid VPN when trying to bypass geographic restrictions.

Should I upgrade to a paid VPN?

Yes, you can. While there are free versions of virtual private networks (VPNs) available, if you need features like high-security settings, additional access to more servers, and more bandwidth, it might be worth upgrading to a paid version. However, it’s important to do your research before deciding on which type of VPN best suits your needs.

Can I watch Netflix with a free VPN?

In some cases, yes. However, many free VPNs are not secure & may be, among other things, slow or lack access to streaming services such as Netflix. If you want to watch Netflix with a VPN, you should invest in a reliable paid service.

Do free VPNs sell my personal data?

Yes, free VPN services may collect and sell your personal information as a means to generate income. It is important to read the terms and conditions of any VPN service before using it in order to ensure that you are aware of their policies regarding the use & sharing of your data.

About the Author

Riha Mervana – A Professional Content Writer

Riha Mervana is a professional content writer at SearchVPN.org, with extensive experience crafting engaging and informative content. She has established herself as an expert in the VPN industry, creating content that educates readers on the importance of online privacy and security.