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Privacy is a bit of an internet buzzword these days. Average users are now becoming more aware that the data they transfer across the big bad internet is less secure than they first thought.

There’s a few measures you can take 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed Read More to increase security on your end Public Computers Made Safe - Security Tools and Tips Public Computers Made Safe - Security Tools and Tips Read More , such as installing a firewall 7 Top Firewall Programs To Consider For Your Computer's Security 7 Top Firewall Programs To Consider For Your Computer's Security Read More and blocking known intrusive IP addresses Protect Your Privacy On P2P With Peer Guardian 2 Protect Your Privacy On P2P With Peer Guardian 2 Read More that might be spying on your browsing habits.

The next step for anyone looking to take security to the next level is by using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt all inbound and outbound data.

What Is A Virtual Private Network?

A VPN allows you to connect your machine to a virtual network which in turn encrypts the data How To Make Encrypted Folders Others Can't View with Truecrypt 7 How To Make Encrypted Folders Others Can't View with Truecrypt 7 Read More you send, hiding everything from the public domain. A good VPN will keep no records of your browsing history, meaning you’re essentially an anonymous user.

free vpn

Many VPNs are established for office use, to allow users to log into their workplace network and gain access to services therein. Seeing as you’re reading an article about free VPN services, you’re probably more concerned about security 7 Browser Security Tests to Try Out and Prevent Exploit Attacks 7 Browser Security Tests to Try Out and Prevent Exploit Attacks Read More and how you can benefit from using one.

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Despite the stigma involved with taking such a hardline approach to security, you don’t necessarily need to be using the internet for illegal purposes to benefit. Much like using a proxy How To Create Your Own Online Proxy Server In Minutes How To Create Your Own Online Proxy Server In Minutes Read More , a VPN can also help you access websites that may not already be available in your region.

vpn server

An excellent example of this would be Hulu, and we’ve got a guide about doing it right here How To Watch Movies and Shows on Hulu & Sling from Abroad How To Watch Movies and Shows on Hulu & Sling from Abroad Read More . Many VPN services require payment, but there’s a fair few decent free efforts out there too. Here’s a selection to get you started.

Free VPN Services

It is worth noting that despite the services listed below being completely free to use, many impose restrictions on free VPN accounts. Hopefully this list will at least give you an idea of how VPN works, and how it can benefit you. If you really like the service then many offer competitive rates as well as referral schemes and paid accounts in exchange for advertising space Placing an Ad for Free? Affiliate Programs Don't Always Work Placing an Ad for Free? Affiliate Programs Don't Always Work Read More .

ProXPN

A free VPN service designed for use with Windows and Mac computers. ProXPN works by downloading a small free application from which to connect. The service is also compatible with the iPhone and other mobile phones that support VPN.

Interestingly you can use the iPhone setup instructions to make a connection from your PC, useful if you’re a Linux user.

GPass

The GPass service provides free VPN access as well as an impressive fast web proxy to use directly in your browser. The service is very popular in China where internet censorship is commonplace.

The service seems very hot on security (good job, really), and even goes as far as to recommend an integrity check after you’ve downloaded the software (before installing). GPass is compatible with Windows only, and does not require registration.

CyberGhost

Offering 1GB of encypted traffic per month on the free package, CyberGhost is another Windows-only VPN client. In order to use the service you are required to register for a free account which unfortunately does not allow you to pick and choose your servers.

Ideal for web surfing, but not a dedicated file sharing solution.

AnchorFree Hotspot Shield

Offering a free VPN solution for Windows, Mac and iPhone (and possibly other systems using the iPhone login information) Hotspot Shield boasts “unlimited bandwidth” to those who need it.

vpn server

The service supports itself by providing advertising within web pages viewed using the service, as stated in the terms. A little bird tells me that if you’re a Firefox user you can use the NoScript extension to hide these, although I’ve not tried it myself.

Its Hidden

Originally established as a safeguard for filesharers, Its Hidden offers a competitive free service as well as paid solutions offering better contention (less users per server), professional support and dedicated IP addresses.

Registration is required, and once you’ve signed up you can connect to the service directly through your operating system by following the set-up guide, with no additional software required. The service is compatible with any operating system you happen to be using that supports VPN.

SecurityKiss

The free package provided by SecurityKiss brings you 300MB of data transfer per day, but provides an uncapped line with plenty of speed. You’ll need the SecurityKiss software to access the service, and this is only compatible with Windows.

free vpn

Despite not offering a whole lot of bandwidth, SecurityKiss will suffice in unblocking web services like Skype and YouTube you might otherwise be unable to access.

Best Free VPN Service

Solely for use through your existing OS, mobile or VPN application, Best Free VPN changes its password every 12 to 24 hours to help maintain fairness for users. It’s not the speediest service around, offering only 512Kbit/s down and 256Kbit/s up.

The service doesn’t allow P2P OneSwarm Makes P2P File Sharing Private And Personal OneSwarm Makes P2P File Sharing Private And Personal Read More services (no BitTorrent BitTorrent Etiquette: How to Avoid Getting Banned From Private Trackers BitTorrent Etiquette: How to Avoid Getting Banned From Private Trackers Read More then) but it should suffice if you need to do any covert surfing.

Conclusion

Free things are great, but they’re also subject to a lot of use by the community. If you’re encountering problems with any of the above then you’re just better off moving on and trying another.

If you’re really serious about security (and accessing your home PCs from anywhere) then you’ll probably want to invest in a paid VPN service.

Do you use VPN? Had any luck with free services, or have you gone paid? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: Intro, VPN Overview

  1. queen wiggins
    November 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Hot spot shield only gives you 700mb of bandwidth per day so streaming on your wifi in another country is useless with this free version

  2. guz
    August 26, 2016 at 12:40 am

    most of them are not 100% completely free.

  3. Andre
    May 30, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Majority of VPN listed above are not exising anymore.... It's a pity!

    Currently, every good VPN should offer free trial period! I have tried several - Trust.Zone VPN, hide me, hidemyass and other. Finally, I have chosen Trust.Zone and happy with that

    • Sarah
      November 24, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      is it completely free? & does it offer US & UK IPs?

  4. Gil
    February 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    On of the better free VPNs I've seen and used is zoogtv.com - they offer limited but free plan, ads free.

  5. Raven
    January 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    If it's got a 3-7 day trial before it shuts itself off and starts demanding money, then it's not "completely" free.

    • Tim Brookes
      January 28, 2016 at 3:54 am

      Hi Raven — which service has the free trial?

      This is quite an old article now, and as such many of the services will have changed their plans and offers.

      Tim

  6. Mohammad Faisal
    August 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

    VPN is like must thing for me since I am located in Middle East and they have a thing going on for Skype, Viber and so on. BTW I am on iPhone and Macbook pro. I started with Spotflux then everything was like better then nothing. They even spotflux stopped working. Then made my hand dirty with proXPN and VPN Unlimited. Seriously proVPN is really slow with 1998 user interface. Then through "best free vpn" I found about "free vpn network" dot com. They don't have any application just server information. Since I am a IT savvy it was easy for me to configure vpn on my iPhone and Mac manually. So far its best you can find without spending single penny. Hope it comment will help people who is looking for fast free vpn for a long time just like me.

    -- Cheers mate

    • sandrapiers90
      October 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Hey Faisal, you might wanna try Ivacy VPN. It has great speed, and its iOS app works great! And considering you are tech savvy, you won't be having any trouble configuring it! Cheers back! :)

  7. Tor
    March 11, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Right now you can get a free VPN (torrent allowed) from here: https://www.anonymousvpn.eu/free-vpn

  8. Ian
    January 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Have been using expat shield successfully for a number of years, however, recently it has installed pups and all browser pages revert to the hotspot shield update webpage. This is extremely annoying and time consuming and the only way to get rid of these pups is to run malwarebytes each time.

  9. Dominic
    January 23, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    any suggestion for ubuntu/linux users?

  10. SeraTango
    January 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    There is currently running a campaign on http://www.Leechermods.com where you can get a vpn premium account for free.

  11. SeraTango
    January 30, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    There is currently running a campaign on http://www.Leechermods.com where you can get a vpn premium account for free.

  12. vpn services
    January 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

    We have just launched our VPN services (http://Getvpn.net) and offer free trial accounts. So email us if you wish to try free VPN account.

  13. vpn services
    January 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

    We have just launched our VPN services (http://Getvpn.net) and offer free trial accounts. So email us if you wish to try free VPN account.

  14. Cen Linda
    January 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks for the article!

    I used the last one http://www.bestfreevpn.com to watch youtube, it's cool! I didn't believe there is 100% free VPN forever, but this service actually DOES! They have 800kbit/s guaranteed download speed now (before it's 500Kbit/s), pretty happy free service!

  15. Cen Linda
    January 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks for the article!

    I used the last one http://www.bestfreevpn.com to watch youtube, it's cool! I didn't believe there is 100% free VPN forever, but this service actually DOES! They have 800kbit/s guaranteed download speed now (before it's 500Kbit/s), pretty happy free service!

  16. Reman hemaci
    January 4, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Use this free PPTP VPN service http://www.bestfreevpn.com, it has guaranteed bandwidth for each VPN session, works with my iPad and my computer's built-in PPTP VPN client, through it I can access many free hulu and ABC videos even I am out of US, very nice :-)

    Enjoy!

  17. Reman hemaci
    January 4, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Use this free PPTP VPN service http://www.bestfreevpn.com, it has guaranteed bandwidth for each VPN session, works with my iPad and my computer's built-in PPTP VPN client, through it I can access many free hulu and ABC videos even I am out of US, very nice :-)

    Enjoy!

  18. Piter_berg
    December 29, 2010 at 3:49 am

    very very koon goshadi boro halesho bebar

  19. Varied Vark
    December 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

    VPN technology is based on the idea of tunneling that involves establishing and maintaining logical network connection.
    http://purevpn.com

  20. Varied Vark
    December 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

    VPN technology is based on the idea of tunneling that involves establishing and maintaining logical network connection.
    http://purevpn.com

  21. Adm
    November 29, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Free proXPN accounts don't work with iPhone.

  22. Whpike
    November 29, 2010 at 1:39 am

    just fyi Norton Safe Web blocks access to "GPass" as having threats, I think it was 11 total threats, one being a trojan......

  23. Alex
    November 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    you can use http://secretsline.biz too!

  24. Alex
    November 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    f you want to hide IP address VPN Service would be really useful.

  25. Alex
    November 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    you can use http://secretsline.biz too!

  26. steffan12
    November 19, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I have used ProXpn here in China without any problems or noticeable speed drop, I did have to contact support once, they responded very quickly and solved a version update problem, not bad for free! I highly recommend

  27. Pokemon
    November 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    hidemyass.com i think it s good

  28. Pokemon
    November 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    hidemyass.com i think it s good

  29. Anonymous
    November 18, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Hey how about some linux software. most of 'em here is for windows only.

  30. Valery Ramirez
    November 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    The only service I'been used is the anchor free service and it's great, the only disadvantages that it has are that it disconnect every 4 hours and when I installed, it usually let me use ares but in about a week or two I can't download anything whit ares.
    Whith direct download it works fine

  31. Valery Ramirez
    November 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    The only service I'been used is the anchor free service and it's great, the only disadvantages that it has are that it disconnect every 4 hours and when I installed, it usually let me use ares but in about a week or two I can't download anything whit ares.
    Whith direct download it works fine

  32. bones of Oz
    November 17, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I have tried most of the free VPNs with generally very poor results. I also have tried proxifier with Poxy Find Enterprise and Poxy Checker which gives me about 10000 proxies sorted per country, anon, elite, socks 4 and 5, but a lot of them are suspect for one reason or the other and good only for browsing (never, ever banking etc) or to signup for services in other countries etc. The VPNs I have tested for torrenting are Anchorfree's HSS, VPNtool, ultraVPN, openVPN, proXPN and CGWeb, but none of them were durable or competent even for low bandwidth, prolonged p2p (utorrent). BTW, I have received a few copyright infringement notes *through* my ISP from BayTSP etc, so I needed to use a VPN and I am not in the habit of paying if I don't need to. Guess what? I found an excellent one, and I am just rounding off my Black Ops dl with it :) No more copyright infringements. Now, I'm not going to give away which one it is, but all the clues are in this post (process of elimination etc). Also, to the admin, no use looking at the IP because even though I am using the VPN, I have overlaid an elite proxy chain coming out in Riyadh. I will be interested in feedback on this post. I'm not a troll by the way, I know what I am talking about.

    • Anonymous
      April 10, 2015 at 3:10 am

      I use purevpn premium no problems with it download torrents its fast and safe

  33. Alirezamohammadipor
    November 16, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Free Vpn a month I would like to please

  34. Alirezamohammadipor
    November 16, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Free Vpn a month I would like to please

  35. El Galloviejo
    November 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Anchor Free's Expat Shield claims the following -

    Expat Shield provides acess to all UK-only TV and Radio service such as BBC iPlayer TV and Radio, ITV Player, Channel 4 and others.

    Expat Shield is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. It is available as online installer at the official website, the installation file is around 5 MB in size.

    Note: During installation it will ask you to install a custom toolbar which is not necessary, so uncheck or disable it and proceed with installation process.

    http://www.expatshield.com/

  36. Robert
    November 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    You may want to check out proxy tool FF plugin on top of your VPN services for more anonymous surfing.

    http://proxylist.co/tools.php (Proxy Tool for Firefox)

  37. Anelly
    November 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I use ibVPN. It's not free but it's only $4.95 per month and it worth all money. http://www.ibvpn.com

  38. Anelly
    November 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I use ibVPN. It's not free but it's only $4.95 per month and it worth all money. http://www.ibvpn.com

  39. David
    November 12, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Hotspotshield essentially hijacks your browser though and can spawn embarrassing webpages at anytime.

  40. Frank Merlott
    November 11, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    You might want to try http://thefreevpn.com/

  41. Frank Merlott
    November 11, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    You might want to try http://thefreevpn.com/

  42. Rego
    November 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Yes works in China, but slow. Hotspot Shield and ItsHidden used to work but they cracked down on it. As for Tor, they can only temporarily block it but when you get new "bridges", you can access the blocked sites again.

    You have to be a bit tech minded to set it up. But it's reliable albeit slow in countries where certain sites eg Youtube, FB are blocked.

  43. El Galloviejo
    November 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Stan, Hotspot has consistently allowed me to watch http://www.hulu.com/ outside the U. S. for the several months that I have used it. :- )

  44. Lixo
    November 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Somebody using TOR? I found their website quite interesting and I am considering give it a try. What do you think?

    • Venemous-Byte
      January 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Yea Tor is GREAT!!! I recommend it to everyone, and its makes all your connections Secure httpS:// I use it daily and its one of the most secure internet utilities around just make sure you update it and also get the Tor Bundle it has everything you need to join the TOR community and also it allows you to also enter the uncommonly heard about UnderWeb, DarkWeb, UnderNet, DarkNet, etc. etc. Which gives you access to a whole other side of the Web that newbs don't have any idea about! It's a Hackers Paradise!

  45. Joe
    November 11, 2010 at 10:32 am

    How about the native windows VPN? It's great and doesn't require installing third party software!

  46. eurostar prices
    November 11, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I am using VPN services in my office from a long time and i didn't face any issue yet. I am highly conscious about security factor, that is why i like to use paid services rather than free. Security is indeed main concern.

  47. kn33ch41
    November 11, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Peer2Me is a free VPN with unlimited bandwidth and no cap. I can download torrents at full speed without consequence. They provide you with four dedicated ports.

    It's a French company, but really great. I've been using them for two years without a problem. Top speed is guaranteed!

  48. kn33ch41
    November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Peer2Me is a free VPN with unlimited bandwidth and no cap. I can download torrents at full speed without consequence. They provide you with four dedicated ports.

    It's a French company, but really great. I've been using them for two years without a problem. Top speed is guaranteed!

  49. Stan
    November 11, 2010 at 5:15 am

    I've tried some vpn servies before,
    could anyone tell me, are these services allow viewing hulu.com outside u.s. ?
    thanks.

    • El Galloviejo
      November 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      Stan, Hotspot has consistently allowed me to watch http://www.hulu.com/ outside the U. S. for the several months that I have used it. :- )

      • Stan
        November 12, 2010 at 4:48 am

        Thank you very much, El Galloviejo , I'm going to try it out now =)

      • Stan
        November 12, 2010 at 9:20 am

        It works, free and no need to sign up, thanks again, El Galloviejo.

      • Jonny
        November 15, 2010 at 4:16 am

        What about allowing me to watch the BBC's iPlayer outside of the U.K.?

        • El Galloviejo
          November 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

          Anchor Free's Expat Shield claims the following -

          Expat Shield provides acess to all UK-only TV and Radio service such as BBC iPlayer TV and Radio, ITV Player, Channel 4 and others.

          Expat Shield is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. It is available as online installer at the official website, the installation file is around 5 MB in size.

          Note: During installation it will ask you to install a custom toolbar which is not necessary, so uncheck or disable it and proceed with installation process.

          http://www.expatshield.com/

        • tilli
          December 4, 2010 at 9:28 am

          I don't think you can use Hotspot to watch BBC, because as far as I know, Hotspot provides you with U.S. IP.

  50. Anon
    November 11, 2010 at 5:11 am

    What about proxifier?

    • Anonymous
      November 11, 2010 at 5:37 am

      Its not a VPN service. Also, its not free.

  51. Stan
    November 11, 2010 at 6:15 am

    I've tried some vpn servies before,
    could anyone tell me, are these services allow viewing hulu.com outside u.s. ?
    thanks.

  52. grantdb
    November 11, 2010 at 1:10 am

    I use Comodo TrustConnect for the few times I am on a coffee shop or open wifi connection. It seems fast enough but they do show a small ad in the top of the browser window but as far as I know it is used only to advertise products from Comodo. It's 10gig free per month, registration is required.

  53. Tom
    November 11, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Free is cool but is it safe ? You promote here privacy protection tools. Noone will do that for free. They have to pay for bandwidth and servers which is not cheap at all. So obviously if end user doesn't pay, they need another way to monetize it, a few ways are:
    1. sell your logs to various marketing companies or to various governments
    2. bombard you with tons of ads. Ads are served by ad networks, these networks of course track users. So really there is no privacy. You are tracked whatever you do and wherever you go. Any site you open - they will know about it.

    If you are really concerned about your privacy, you should avoid such free tools and go for a paid VPN or set up your own VPN

  54. Proteo5
    November 11, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Hamachi is also a great VPN software, very very useful.

  55. El Galloviejo
    November 11, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Anchor Free Hotspot Shield has provided me with absolutely flawless service for viewing and at times downloading otherwise restricted video - full movies, TV shows and various types of streaming video. It amazes me that with Hotspot Shield there is so little speed reduction in opening web pages and/or recording what I watch.

  56. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I'm having luck with VPN Steel (which is a free VPN service based on OpenVPN and located in the USA). You can find more info about it, etc. by going to http://www.vpnsteel.com.

    • Anonymous
      November 16, 2010 at 4:09 am

      Anyone have anything to state regarding it?

  57. Tom
    November 11, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Free is cool but is it safe ? You promote here privacy protection tools. Noone will do that for free. They have to pay for bandwidth and servers which is not cheap at all. So obviously if end user doesn't pay, they need another way to monetize it, a few ways are:
    1. sell your logs to various marketing companies or to various governments
    2. bombard you with tons of ads. Ads are served by ad networks, these networks of course track users. So really there is no privacy. You are tracked whatever you do and wherever you go. Any site you open - they will know about it.

    If you are really concerned about your privacy, you should avoid such free tools and go for a paid VPN or set up your own VPN

  58. Sdf
    November 11, 2010 at 1:14 am

    http://www.vpntraffic.com
    why not use it?

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