In this post, I’m going to walk you through 17 FREE VPN services you can use immediately .
In today’s world, where most of us spend at least part of our day online, privacy is becoming more and more valued. Whether that’s ensuring that hackers are unable to access our data, or Internet giants like Google can’t track our movements to provide us with an endless stream of adverts.
But which VPN should you be using if you’re looking for a free and dependable service? What are you looking to use the VPN for? How easy do you need to be to access? VPNs don’t make your presence completely anonymous, but they are there to increase your privacy levels when using the Internet.
Here is our list of 17 Free VPN Services that you can use to increase your online privacy:
ProtonVPN is a premium service provider that offers free vpn service with some limitations. Although their premium users can connect to 140+ servers in 16 countries their free vpn plan allows you to connect to 3 server locations. You can connect to: Netherlands, United States and Japan servers.
The connection speed is low compared to their premium plans. You can view my ProtonVPN speed test here. (I’ve tested the free vpn ProtonVPN version).
ProtonVPN is available on all your devices including Windows PC, Linux MacOS, mobile, your router or using any OpenVPN client. What I like about ProtonVPN is that is Swiss-based and a no logs VPN service.
TunnelBear is a VPN service which offers 3 different levels of subscription. The free service is limited to 500MB per month but does include a connection to up to 5 computers, tablets or phones to their global network and support, as it does with the larger premium subscriptions.
They provide AES 256-bit encryption and are available for use on iPhone & iPad (iOS), Android, Mac OS X, Windows, and through browser extension, making them available both on desktops and mobile devices.The downside to the free service is definitely the data cap. For premium plans get a discount using this tunnelbear promo code.
Hide.me is a VPN service which offers both premium and free VPN services. The free services offered by Hide me, do not require the use of a credit card, making them an ideal site for many.
However, their free service does come with some limitations. Anyone using this service is limited to 3 IP locations (either Canada, the Netherlands, or Singapore). Bandwidth is also not guaranteed for free users, although they advise that the VPN will be under 3MB/s. Users are also limited to 2GB of data transfer per month under the free subscriptions.
The Hide.me plan supports PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and IPSec (IKEv1 and IKEv2) protocols. The maximum number of devices that can connect via this service is limited to 1. However, the software can be used by the Windows, Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), and Mac OS X operating systems with ease. Windows phones require manual setup but it is possible to use the software on them too.
Cyberghost VPN is a popular VPN app that has free and premium services. The restricted level of the free services does have advantages over other services.
All Cyberghost’s plans (free and premium) include unlimited bandwidth and traffic, with AES 256-BIT Encryption and an Antifingerprinting System.
Native OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP and PPTP protocols are supported across each plan. However, the free option currently only applies to Windows, Mac and Android.
ZPN offers three different levels of service, free, mobile and premium. Whilst the free VPN option is the most limited, it is a favourable option for those looking to spend a fair amount of time online.
The free service includes the use of 5+ IP connections. Bandwidth is limited, although they do not specify what the limitation is. The data transfer is limited to 10GB a month, and they do not log traffic. P2P transfers are not covered.
Each available plan provides OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec Protocol Support, 99.9% Uptime, and unlimited country changes.
ZPN is currently available on iOS, Windows and Android.
Hotspot Shield is one of the best-known VPN providers. Up until recently, they did not have a cap on services. Their free services are ad-supported.
The free subscription offers one choice of IP country (USA) compared to the 20 virtual locations of it’s free site. They have placed a bandwidth/data limitation on the free accounts as recently as last year, with the cap on Android usage set at 256MB per day and the cap on Desktop is set to 750MB per day, both caps reset every 24hrs.
Protocols covered by Hotspot Shield include IPsec, PPTP, and SSL.
This VPN service is currently available on the Windows Desktop, OS X, Android, Google Play, iOS and Windows Mobile platforms.
Private Tunnel offers users of their free service, 2 GB of Data with the option to earn more by inviting friends, similar to the storage option provided by Dropbox. However, once that data allocation is gone, you do have to provide payment to continue using the service.
Private Tunnel has limited information on its website in regards to the full packages on offer, although it does advise that it is possible to use its service on Windows, OS X, iOS and Google Play.
SecurityKISS is another VPN that provides an easy and simple to understand comparison tool. Their subscription services come in 5 different plans varying from free to ultimate.
The free subscription service includes a data limit of 300MB per day with access for a single device on the plan. Unlimited server switching and exclusive tunnelling are offered to all users. This VPN does not require user registration.
With four server locations available to free users (UK, Germany, USA and France), OpenVPN and L2TP protocols are supported. As are the following platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Hideman VPN’s free package, like it’s premium one, offers support for Windows, iOS, OS X, and Android, but does not support other options. Support provided is limited to E-Mail, Skype, Live Chat, In-App Software, and Jabber.
There are 10 different country options under the free package, via their Hideman App. Users are limited to 2GB of data a month with a bandwidth limit of 512kbit/s.
Betternet is a completely free VPN service that is available on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Android. Their service is kept completely free through use of advertising.
Betternet uses AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN protocols to ensure the anonymity of their users. When using a free account you are randomly assigned to a server in another country, and do not have the option to choose which one.
There is no information available on bandwidth and data transfer limits.
The free VPN service with Cactus VPN is a 24 hour trial, after which you will need to pay to use one of their three data packages. The plus side to this trial though is that it offers access to allVPN servers in US, UK, NL, RO.
Cactus VPN provides SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, SoftEther and PPT protocols. And with the trial you are given access to Smart DNS and Proxy services. Although P2P services are limited to the Dutch and Romanian servers.
Available on the Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, Android, Ubuntu, Chromebook, and Boxee Box platforms and possible to install directly to routers, users may find that they want to extend that free trial to a paid service as you can only run one free trial.
The free subscription service on OkayFreedom is currently offering a limited time availability on data of 2GB+ a month. The free service, like many others is ad supported. The base amount of data is 2GB on the free service, but the additional 500MB can be earned by inviting friends to the service.
Free accounts are limited to use on one device, and the platform is limited to Windows desktop, reducing the customer base.
The use of VPNKeys is supported across all Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple, Mobile and PS3 platforms through PPTP (point to point tunnelling), or via OpenVPN Protocols. It does not require a registered account but does require access to a VPN program through which you can connect to the server.
The connection is through UDP or TCP for the OpenVPN Protocols. Both PPTP and VPN require the use of a username and password provided by the site. The password is updated regularly to increase security.
Shell Fire’s free VPN service offers 128 bit encryption with up to 1000 kb/s speeds. The servers are limited to two, one within Germany and one within the USA but it does allow for unlimited traffic.
Connection is available by either OpenVPN, PPTP, or IPSec protocols dependent on operating system. The operating systems supported include, Windows (from XP onwards), iOS, Mac OS X, Android and Ubuntu.
Lantern is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Android. It is not currently available on iOS. The information on the site is once again limited, but it appears that Lantern is a free VPN application. From the information given it seems that Lantern is suited to smaller downloads rather than for heavy use. Lantern uses a mixture of their own servers and nodes to provide an anonymous service to its users.
VPN Gate is based on SoftEther VPN, a multi-protocol VPN server. It’s site is to say the least, a little confusing, and whilst writing this article it took several attempts for us to access their web page, suggesting that the reliability of the servers is in question.
VPN Gate advises that they offer the following protocols – Supports SSL-VPN (SoftEther VPN) protocol, L2TP/IPsec protocol, OpenVPN protocol and Microsoft SSTP protocol without the need for registration.
This is a completely free service, with no plans to charge at any point in the future. Servers are hosted by ‘volunteers’ (relay servers) which is perhaps where the reliability issue occurs.
They advise that they offer support for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad (iOS) and Android.
The Tor network is not a VPN service, however, it is worth a mention here as it provides a high level of anonymity for online users. The opensource software enables user to connect to the Internet though a distributed network of other users, thereby creating anonymity through a layered encryption service known as Onion Routing. Your internet use (IP address) is logged as that of a volunteer, so there is no way for users to be identified. Hence the network’s popularity amongst dissidents living under restrictive governments.
Tor does slow down connection speeds. The Network asks it’s users not to share files through P2P as it puts too much of a constraint on its infrastructure, causes connection issues across it’s system.
Before finally deciding on which free VPN service you’re going to use, there are a few things which are important to take into consideration, such as how much you’re going to be using it to access the internet, how active you’re going to be and what you are actually going to be using it for. All these factors play a part in determining which free VPN is best for you.
The main reason that the majority of people choose to use a free VPN is usually to get around the issue of governments or internet service providers placing restrictions and censoring certain online content. In this case, most of the free VPNs which are available are indeed sufficient enough for the task, although you will need an uncapped VPN if you plan on using lots of data and being particularly active.
Additionally, a decent broadband connection is also required for efficiency. Without enough bandwidth, the performance of content being streamed, especially high-quality movies and suchlike, can be adversely affected. Streaming content through a free VPN does indeed slow down the connection and combined with internet service providers who throttle the connection, the slow connection can interrupt your viewing pleasure and is inconvenient.
If you plan on being particularly active and using high levels of data then you’re probably better off going with a free VPN that doesn’t have data restrictions and one which is fast. It seems that the two most suitable VPNs for this at the moment are ProtonVPN and CyberGhost VPN. Although there are a huge amount of free VPN services on offer and they are widely available, ProtonVPN and CyberGhost are the two main contenders for a decent, reliable, fast and free VPN service in 2018.
Whilst these two services are free, however, for optimum performance when accessing and streaming censored content through a free VPN with speed and security, nothing comes more recommended than upgrading to a premium VPN package. The free service, although good, is no comparison to the service which is offered with a paid upgrade.