I have tested and reviewed more than 41 VPNs. It allows me to prepare a set of ratings, many of you will find beneficial.
This one is dedicated to the services I managed to try without payment during a VPN free trial period. I find it very convenient to try all the functions of the service before being charged for it.
Apart from the availability of a free trial, I’ve also taken into consideration:
- restrictions for a free trial;
- security test results;
- provider’s policy and jurisdiction;
- compatibility with different platforms;
- handy VPN client.
But be ready, some VPNs make potential consumers provide payment details (such as credit card numbers, for example). Frankly speaking, I don’t approve it, after the free trial is over a user is charged automatically!
Here’s what you’ll get to know today:
- Top 5 best VPNs with a free trial
- VPNs that don’t have a trial period
- What do you need to know about VPNs with a free trial?
- Best free trial VPNs according to “Reddit” users
- VPNs with free trial: key highlights
- Compare 5 top VPNs that offer a free trial
I’m against free packages because they frequently make us pay for paid plans. Neither I approve free providers, as they are limited in servers and functions.
Besides, free VPN services keep logs. Whereas they make money on this activity, subscribers lose the hope for secure and confidential web surfing.
VPN trial is a great opportunity to understand if the service is up to the quality or not. Here you will find top VPNs that offer free trial periods for their potential subscribers.
You will also get to know how long this period lasts.
If you would be interested in a certain provider and would like to know how much does a VPN cost, I’ll provide you with this information as well.
Let us start!
1. CyberGhost VPN ($2.75) – 1 out of 41 tested
Having tested this app for 24 hours, I bet you’ll purchase a subscription to a paid CyberGhost VPN service. The features I like most of all are 7 allowed connections (!) per account, 24/7 live chat support, strong encryption and 5944 servers (+NoSpy).
I’ve marked it number one because of:
- During a period of a free trial, I got access to all the functions and all the servers without any restrictions. The speed and bandwidth weren’t limited either (I’ve checked it after I purchased a paid plan). Only manual configurations (for example, for routers) require a valid subscription.
- The app on both gadgets has passed IP and DNS leaks successfully. I used 2 services – IPLeak [dot] net and DNSleaktest [dot] com. I subjected to testing CyberGhost VPN servers in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Sweden. There’re no leaks on any of them.
- The company is located in Bucharest, Romania. I find this location rather advantageous for a VPN service in view of the fact that this country is not a member of the 14-eyes alliance. It made the provider place its super secure NoSpy servers in a special bunker-basement. I’ve checked some of them and can conclude that they work perfectly in terms of security.
- A free trial is allowed for all devices that don’t need manual setup. Among them, I’ve found: macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, FireSTick, FireTV, AndroidTV. However, after paying for a valid plan, you’ll manage to protect any IoT device – routers, game consoles and etc.
- The setup of the apps is automatic. When I opened the site of the provider in the browser, the system has detected my OS and offered to download a suitable app installer. Dedicated applications are available for the gadgets running on both Mac and iOS.I like that the app offers to choose the servers on the basis of their facilities: NoSpy servers, servers for torrenting and servers for streaming. Besides, the Kill Switch is enabled by default all the time. It’s impossible to turn off it, which made my connection protected all the time.
2. SurfShark ($1.99) – 2 out of 41 tested
The provider gives us a chance to try the service without being charged for 7 days. This term is enough to conduct all tests and try all the functions it offers.
Apart from it, SurfShark is good in servers’ diversity (49 countries), an unlimited number of allowed gadgets and round-the-clock online support.
- Before I start exploring its free trial, I have asked the customer support specialist about possible restrictions for this period. The answer was negative. People who make use of SurfShark free trial, get the same service as the paid version offers. The only difference is the limited period of use – 7 days. What I like most of all when using SurfShark free of charge is its CleanWeb feature. It serves to get rid of ads, trackers and all sorts of malware.
- The security tests were passed out successfully. Neither IP nor DNS leaks were observed. It means that SurfShark VPN users can surf the Internet privately. The servers I tried were located in Sweden, the UK, Hong Kong, Brazil, Canada and the USA.
- With the headquarters in the BVI (like ExpressVPN), SurfShark is one of the most reliable VPNs in terms of data security. There are no data retention laws in this region, which has a beneficial effect on its logging policy. The provider doesn’t collect or process activity logs of its users.
- The service is compatible with all platforms a modern human being could require: PCs, smartphones, tablets, TVs and routers (they should support OpenVPN). However, there’s tiny trouble that can be easily solved. SurfShark offers a 7-day free trial only for portable gadgets running on Android and iOS.
When you opt in the free trial, you have an opportunity to use the created SurfShark account on other devices and operating systems. Remember, their number is unlimited. To make use of this option, I had to enter my payment details (I’ve chosen PayPal). If you cancel the subscription before this 7-day period ends, you won’t be charged.
- First, I tried an Android app. I find it very convenient and user-friendly. The ‘Quick connect’ button changed my location in a matter of seconds. I had also quick access to the most popular VPN functions: CleanWeb, WhiteLister and MultiHop. After I created a SurfShark account with a free trial, I ran it on Windows PC. It worked perfectly well. Manual setup is required only for routers.
3. Ivacy VPN ($2.25) – 3 out of 41 tested
This Singapore-based provider supplies its potential consumers with a 3-day free trial. I’ve checked its fast servers located in 50+ countries and can conclude that it proves the claims presented on Ivacy site.
This VPN provider is one of the leaders of the rating because:
- Having tried the service during its trial period, I got access to all the features. However, I had to choose a plan, enter my payment details (e.g. credit card number) and agree with its terms. And only after 3 days, I was charged. I got all the features when trying Ivacy free of charge. However, some functions require extra payment – dedicated IP costs $1.99/mo and port forwarding costs $1/mo.
- I’ve purchased one dedicated IP to compare it with the shared. Thus, I conducted leak tests on different servers using different IPs (11 shared and 1 dedicated). Leaks were not detected by either of the servers I used.
- It can boast of its multi-platform compatibility. Ivacy offers dedicated apps for the gadgets running on macOS, iOS, Android and Windows. Besides, it also can be used on Linux devices, routers, game consoles, smart TVs and even Kodi. However, in this case, manual setup is required.
- I like this app a lot. It’s very handy to choose the servers depending on what you are going to do on the Internet. There are the following modes: secure download, streaming and unblocking. The speed can vary according to the changes in the settings.
4. ProtonVPN ($8) – 4 out of 41 tested
Proton is on the list not by chance. Although the service is not the cheapest one, it provides the facility to make use of its 7-day free trial period for all devices!
Besides, it works with the most popular streaming services like Netflix and is good for torrenting.
At the same time, here’s what makes it number 4 in this rating:
- There are 4 ProtonVPN packages. They all have different capability sets. Among them, I even found a free plan with 3 allowed countries, 1 connection per account and medium speed. The rest 3 packages are paid, but they also differ in the facilities they provide. The one I tried is called ‘Plus’. It offers all the facilities Proton provides people except one – ProtonMail Visionary. Besides, the number of allowed connection is 5 (instead of 10 for ‘Visionary’ plan users). As for the rest, I tried all the functions of ProtonVPN free of charge.
- When trying ProtonVPN app, I’ve used numerous tools to check how secure this service is. I’ve carried out IP, DNS, WebRTC leak tests by means of different tools. Besides, I’ve tested IPv6 connectivity. All the tests were passed successfully. No leaks were detected, which means ProtonVPN is a credible service for 2020.
- The next thing that made me add Proton to the list of best VPNs is its transparent no-logging policy. The company doesn’t collect information about its users’ activities. Besides, Proton is under Swiss jurisdiction. VPN services are legal in Switzerland, which is not a member of the 14-eyes agreement, in addition.
- Having studied the official site of the provider, I’ve found out that it’s possible to run the client on Android, Windows, Linux, macOS and iOS. It’s also possible to setup ProtonVPN on DD-WRT routers. However, manual configuration is required.
- The app is very user-friendly. After I have installed it on my laptop, the system has offered me to take a quick tour to learn more about how to use ProtonVPN. I decided against skipping it. Many non-tech users will find this facility very handy.
5. NordVPN ($3.49) – 5 out of 41 tested
The free trial was heavily abused by scammers. It took a toll on Nord infrastructure and harmed its service in multiple ways. In this regard, the company decided to remove it on the majority of platforms.
Currently, free trial by NordVPN is available on Android and iOS only.
That’s why it takes the last position of my rating.
What I like most of all is its server park – 5194 servers in 60 countries. I also appreciate double VPN. It makes users two times more protected. Nord customer support is a real helping hand when a user faces any troubles. I contacted the support service and got overall answers to my questions (but not the links to similar articles on the site).
Here’s why it’s in the rating despite limited access to its free trial:
- Nord apps are available on the Google Play and App Store. Thus, I’ve managed to run them on my Android tablet and iPhone. The free trial allows trying all the functions of the service. There are no exceptions. However, to set up the application, I had to choose a plan and enter my payment details. Of course, I wasn’t charged, but frankly speaking, I dislike it.
- During my testing of NordVPN on both Android and iOS gadgets, IP and DNS leaks were not detected. I have tested 15 servers placed in different countries (P2P servers were on the list), and all of them have passed leak testing successfully.
- NordVPN is based in Panama. According to the local Criminal Code, it’s prohibited to disclose sensitive information without consent. Such beneficial location influences its logging policy.
The provider states it neither collects nor processes logs about its subscribers. In fact, it was checked and approved by an independent third-party company – PricewaterhouseCoopers AG.
- After I have paid for NordVPN, I was permitted to install the client on 6 different devices. In view of Nord cross-platform compatibility, I’ve acquired a chance to set up it on different platforms: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android TV, browsers and routers.
- There is no need to configure the network manually, as the developers worked out user-friendly clients. I’ve made use of them after I paid for the subscription. The download and setup process takes a couple of minutes. As for usability of the apps, the are perfect – easy switching between the servers, facility to choose servers by category (P2P, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN), inbuilt Kill Switch function and auto-connect. I didn’t have to wait for a long time to establish a secured connection. Besides, there were no connectivity breaks during my tests.
Unfortunately, not all VPNs allow testing their apps risk-free. Thus, for example, you don’t have a chance to make use of ExpressVPN free trial, as it doesn’t exist.
Here are some more examples of VPNs without a trial period: PIA, PureVPN, Browsec, Mullvad.
I won’t provide you with the full list of VPNs without a trial period, as you can read about it in their reviews.
There’s something more you should know about free trial VPN providers. You won’t have to spend much time.
Money-back is a good alternative to a VPN free trial
If you aim to try VPNs risk-free, but the services you are interested in don’t offer a free trial, just pay attention to their refund policy.
VPN providers often allow refund in case users are not satisfied with their services.
However, it’s not all that simple.
Before paying for such service, you are to study its ‘Terms of service’ and ‘Refund policy’. Sometimes, the providers state that refund is possible only when a consumer follows a set of rules.
Here are a few examples of such rules:
- 1 GB bandwidth;
- refund request by email;
- limited refund period.
Don’t forget to cancel the subscription
Sometimes, a free trial serves to understand that this or that VPN app is not exactly what a man needs. Don’t forget to cancel the subscription through your account or email. Besides, it’s very important to delete your payment details if it was required to use them.
Otherwise, you might be charged automatically after the free trial ends.
VPN free trial can be limited
There are VPN providers that do offer free trials with the restricted number of servers or functions, speed or bandwidth.
I don’t recommend to try these services because they don’t provide a clear picture of the service work.
Opinions of Reddit users are always relevant to me. Thus, I’ve used the search request ‘free trial VPN’. And here’s what I found:
I cannot say I’ve found many alternatives to the list I’ve prepared for you. Only Siga VPN was mentioned apart from Nord.
But Siga doesn’t offer a free trial. Instead, it allows using its service free of charge on an unlimited basis.
Scrupulous testing of VPNs gives me every reason to suppose that you’ll like the providers I highlight today. I have picked over the providers that really offer free trials:
- CyberGhost VPN (24-hour trial)
- SurfShark (7-day trial for mobile apps)
- IvacyVPN (3-day trial)
- ProtonVPN (7-day trial)
- NordVPN (7-day trial for mobile apps)
The study of Reddit has shown that users predominantly advise free VPNs instead of the ones I describe here.
I have collected the characteristics in one handy table to demonstrate why these VPNs are on the list of the best services which offer a free trial.
|Free trial period||24 hours||7 days||3 days||7 days||7 days|
|Restrictions for a free trial||No||No||No||No||No|
|Payment details||Not required||Required||Required||Not required||Required|