8 Totally Free VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy
While free unlimited VPNs for Windows are scams, there are a number of limited-data free VPNs that really don’t cost anything. This article lists the best.
However, free VPNs often don’t stick around forever. Sometimes previously free offerings change to a subscription model. Some switch to a freemium mode. And some seem to actively compromise your privacy.
But are there any free VPNs that will simultaneously protect your privacy in a reliable way? Absolutely. Keep reading to find out more.
Note: Free VPNs might be OK here and there, but there is no substitute for a paid service like ExpressVPN. Sign up now and receive three months free!
Speedify is a unique service. If you live in an area with a poor internet connection, it’s definitely the VPN for you. It can combine all the incoming connections in your home (including cell and Wi-Fi signals) into a single, stable, faster, and more secure access point. This combination works well to offset some of the loss of speed that all VPN users have to endure.
The company’s Starter Plan is entirely free to use. It gives you an allowance of 5GB of data per month. All your traffic is encrypted using ChaCha or AES (depending on the device), and the company does not keep logs.
Other security features include packet loss and error correction protection, and an automatic failover.
Speedify will also never sell your data.
CyberGhost has been at the forefront of the VPN industry for many years. It offers various premium models, but the free ad-supported version is adequate for most casual users.
The free version is only available on Chrome and is bandwidth-restricted. It’s not as useful if you watch a lot of Netflix or you’re thinking about cutting the cord .
Most of its servers are in Europe, but there are plenty of US-based ones available too. Interestingly, the app runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It protects against privacy breaches, censorship, fraud, and third-party interference.
Use Firefox? Check out the best free VPNs for Firefox instead.
VPNBook is entirely free, there are no bandwidth caps or service limitations, and there is no premium service.
That said, it’s not suitable for beginners. There is no installer, no software, and little guidance. You’re simply given a list of servers, and the rest is up to you.
You have a choice of PPTP VPN or OpenVPN. PPTP VPN is supported on almost all platforms, but it’s easier for governments and content providers to block. OpenVPN is more secure but requires you to download an OpenVPN client along with VPNBook’s configuration and certificate bundles.
The company has servers in the United States, UK, and mainland Europe.
Windscribe offers a Chrome browser VPN and a Windows desktop version.
Obviously, the main feature is the VPN network, but from a privacy standpoint, it offers some great additional tools. They include a firewall to prevent exposure of your IP address in case you lose your connection, an ad and tracker blocker, and a Secure link generator. The free package includes all of them.
The free version has a restricted download limit and only offers servers in the United States, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The $7.50 per month pro version adds a further 40 countries.
Hide.me is a proxy service based in Malaysia and offers free servers in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore. The free service supports PPTP, L2TP, IPsec (IKEv1 and IKEv2), OpenVPN, SoftEther, SSTP, and SOCKS.
In mid-2015, the company made the decision not to keep any logs. From a privacy perspective, this is a massive plus point; if there are no logs, there is nothing for unscrupulous authorities to seize if they are trying to track you.
Interestingly, the company also publishes a transparency report—it lists all the authorities that have requested information from them.
6. Opera VPN
Opera VPN is part of the Opera browser. It’s entirely free; there are no data limits or obtrusive ads.
It comes with three main features:
- Hidden IP Address: The software replaces your actual IP address with a virtual IP address, making it harder for sites to track you.
- Unblock Firewalls and Websites: If administrators have blocked certain sites or types of content in your office or school, the Opera VPN will circumnavigate the restrictions.
- Public Wi-Fi Security: The VPN will stop sniffers on public networks from accessing your data.
To turn on the service, go to Menu > Settings > Privacy and Security > Free VPN.
Note: Since April 2018, the Opera VPN app on Android and iOS is no longer available.
AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield has been around for many years. It is still one of the most popular free VPN services among users.
It’s not suitable for users who want to unlock geo-restricted content as well as improving their privacy. The free version only offers US-based servers, and access to services like Netflix , Hulu, and BBC iPlayer is only available to premium users.
However, from a privacy perspective, it’s great. AnchorFree advertises itself as “the world’s largest internet freedom and privacy platform”. They offer lots of privacy tools in addition to the VPN, so you know you’re in safe hands.
If you’re concerned about your data being leaked to governments and ISPs, ProtonVPN provides a solution. It takes more steps than regular VPN providers to ensure your identity is safe at all times.
For example, it has “Secure Core” architecture. It means all your (encrypted web traffic is first passed through its servers in privacy-friendly countries like Iceland and Switzerland before it heads out to the wider web. As such, even if a VPN endpoint server has been compromised, attackers will still not have access to your IP address. As you would expect, the company does not keep logs.
The company also uses “Perfect Forward Secrecy” in its encryption ciphers. It means that your traffic can never be unencrypted, even if the encryption key is somehow compromised by a hacker at a future date.
Lastly, ProtonVPN is one of the few VPN services to offer a Tor connection. You can send all your traffic through the Tor network with a single click in the ProtonVPN app.
At the time of writing, ProtonVPN has almost 500 servers in 40 countries. Supported countries include the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and India.
Which Free VPN Do You Use?
We hope these services have given you a starting point in your quest to find the perfect privacy-based free VPN provider. Remember, there are a few items you should look for while choosing a VPN provider .
If you’re not sure how to set up the VPN of your choice, check out this guide on setting up a VPN on Windows 10 .
Looking for mobile VPNs? We’ve compiled the best VPNs for Android and the best VPNs for iPhone. For your local network, it might even be easier to set up a VPN on your router. Finally, we also compiled the best free VPNs for Linux users .
Getting an amazing deal on a safe VPN is almost as good as free. We regularly update this article with exclusive deals from our top VPN choices.