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FREE VPN SERVICES: 5 for Desktops + 5 for Mobiles

Last updated: June 29 2020 By Dean Chester

Table of contents:

Are you looking for a really free VPN?

In January 2020, we’ve updated our rating and offer you 10 good free VPN services at once. We divided them into two categories:

1. Top 5 best free VPN providers for desktop. Not all free VPNs offer their services for Windows and Mac. We selected 5 more suitable providers for these platforms.

 
  1. ProtonVPN: The winner of our rating because of 7-day free trial without speed or features limits. Lifelong free version with 3 available countries.
  2. HIDE.me: A good alternative to a free plan is a provider with 2 GB monthly traffic. Fast speeds and automatic Kill Switch. Email is not required!
  3. Windscribe: Top-notch VPN provider with 10 GB of monthly traffic and servers in 11 countries. Secured connection through 4 VPN protocols.
  4. VPN Gate: 100% free VPN service with no traffic limits and servers around the world. Compatibility with all platforms.
  5. X-VPN: A free VPN provider with the restrictions of 500-1000 MB per session. It’s sufficient for accessing restricted sites.

2. Top 5 best free VPN providers for mobile devices. In this group, all free VPNs, which were the best while testing on Android and iOS, are collected.

 
  1. TurboVPN: Freemium provider that serves to mask users’ activity on the Internet. The tests prove it doesn’t leak IP..
  2. Thunder VPN: A free VPN app for Android gadgets. Servers in 9 locations are available. No traffic restrictions and reliable IP masking.
  3. Hotspot Shield: The free VPN app for Android users is open-ended. iOS holders can test it without payment for 7 days.
  4. VPN 360: A totally free VPN for iOS and Android with the servers in the US, good speeds and reliable IP leak protection.
  5. Freevpn.se: Service that works through OpenVPN client. Good speed is its strong point. There are no paid versions!

The following topics are also covered in this article:

  • What is the difference between paid and free VPN?
  • Why do you need to be careful with free VPN?
  • What are free and paid alternatives to free VPN?

For the first time, we used a groundbreaking method of selecting the best VPN providers - “VPN Spiral”. Due to it, there are no VPNs on Top 10, which:

  • own too weak servers,
  • have a damaged reputation,
  • position their free plan as a free trial.

We highly recommend you to read our section “Warning (IMPORTANT!)” before starting to opt for a VPN service.


What’s the best free VPN service for 2020?

The best free VPN service is now ProtonVPN. Then go hide.me and Windscribe. They are much better than other known free VPNs. These 3 providers are equally well on desktops and smartphones.

In the next sections, we’ll cover these and some other free VPNs in detail, look at their pros and cons, describe their scope of application. But first, let’s figure out the most important thing.

What is a free VPN?

There is a certain confusion around the term “Virtual Private Network” (VPN). It means both VPN technology itself and a VPN service (or a provider) that offers this technology.

The term Free VPN means a definite service that allows using a VPN for free. It is logical to assume that this ability is not time-limited (it’s better to call such a VPN - unlimited free VPN).

Today free VPN is not only a VPN service, which does not charge for its service (there is a limited number of such providers, they are rare now). More often, a free VPN is a free plan of a paid VPN.

The difficulty is lots of unscrupulous providers call themselves “Free VPN”. However, in reality, they just offer a time (1-7 days) and functionality limited free trial. The truth is such providers often require bank cards for registration. They withdraw money at the end of a free trial. Moreover, they do this for one year at once. Here are examples of “free VPNs”.

The ability to use a VPN for free can be provided in two forms:

  1. a full-fledged VPN app that connects to the provider’s VPN servers on its own,
  2. settings for third-party software (VPN client) or the OS. These settings allow the device to connect to the provider’s servers.

Um… Too complicated, you may say.

It is true, time and experience are needed in order to sort things out. We used the “VPN Spiral” method (read about it in our special section) for more than one hundred paid and free providers. We managed to single out those who work honestly. Their software and service installation on a desktop is safe and do not require any extra knowledge.

There are unlimited free VPNs and free plans of ordinary VPNs on our list. They work without time limits. In each paragraph, we describe all their installing and usage peculiarities.

Warning! We cannot guarantee that you won’t be tracked, your private data won’t be provided to third parties, or that you won’t encounter an excessive use of your mobile Internet traffic when using free VPNs.


5 best free VPN providers for desktops

In this section, we enumerate those free VPNs that are suitable for desktops and laptops with Windows or Mac operating systems. These providers also support other stationary devices such as routers, TV platforms, and game consoles.

The majority of them also work on mobile platforms. Read about Android and iOS compatibility in the next section.


1. ProtonVPN: best free VPN

ProtonVPN: The Best Free VPNIn 2017, the team behind the ProtonMail email service launched its own VPN service ProtonVPN. Admittedly, we take any new VPNs, especially free ones, with a great deal of suspicion. Too often do they rely solely on marketing and do not take their technical development seriously.

Two years later, however, we can safely say that ProtonVPN is a professional provider. It created and has been developing a high-quality product that is convenient to use.

We reckon that ProtonVPN’s free version is the best among the providers that offer VPN apps today.

Its main advantage is that it has both a free trial of the full version and a limited free version. The most unusual thing, however, is that these two are combined into one plan.

After you register with ProtonVPN, you get a 7-day free trial of the full version. After that period, the system automatically transfers you to the free limited version.

We won’t enumerate all the features of the trial version in detail here. That information you can find in our review of ProtonVPN (it is linked below). We’ll quickly go through the pros and cons of the free version.

ProtonVPN free version: Pros

+ unlimited traffic

+ acceptable speed

+ best free VPN for PC

+ user-friendly multifunctional apps (with the exception of the app for Mac as it doesn’t have VPN settings)

+ no ads

+ Kill Switch (traffic blocking when reconnecting to a different VPN server)

ProtonVPN free version: Cons

- free version registration is overcomplicated

- only slower free servers in 3 countries are available:

  • United States (US)
  • Netherlands (NL)
  • Japan (JP)

- doesn’t work with Netflix

- no torrenting allowed

- limited app functionality on MacBook

Keep in mind that all the free VPN servers are quick to be blacklisted because of the illegal activities of some users. And the fewer locations a provider has, the worse. To my mind, 3 countries are too few for a VPN but it depends on your goals.

To conclude, ProtonVPN offers a good free plan but the number of locations is lacking. Is it worth it to get the paid version? You can learn it by reading the full review of ProtonVPN.

You can download ProtonVPN for free from its official website, from Google Play Market, or from the Apple App Store.


2. hide.me: easy and efficient free VPN

 hide.me: easy and efficient free VPNUnlimited free traffic is a rarity. Free VPNs that offer limited amounts of traffic at unlimited speed are more frequent.

Hide.me is one such VPN provider. It offers 2 Gb of traffic per month.

But that’s too little, you might say, and it’s true. However, in recent years, the number of free VPNs decreased drastically so even 2Gb isn’t too bad today.

Besides, hide.me has an advantage: really fast (compared to most other free VPNs) server speeds and the possibility to use the service without providing your email address. Also important is the presence of free locations in Singapore and Canada, which isn’t a frequent occurrence.

Hide.me free version: Pros

+ relatively fast servers (2-9 Mbps)

+ kill switch

+ servers in Asia and Canada

+ can be used without registering an email

+ allows torrenting

Hide.me free version: Cons

- 2 Gb of monthly traffic

- no Netflix support

- 4 available countries:

  • Canada (CA)
  • Netherlands (NL)
  • Singapore (SG)
  • USA (US)

We do realize that hide.me offers too little traffic. However, it is a good tool for infrequent torrenting and unblocking websites with predominantly text content.

You can download hide.me for free from its official website, Google Play Market, or the App Store.

Read the full review of hide.me


3. Windscribe: multifunctional free VPN

Windscribe: multifunctional free VPNThe most controversial free VPN on our list is Windscribe.

It has more pros than cons but a single con all but negates all the positives.

But before telling you what it is, I will list the advantages of Windscribe.

Windscribe free version: Pros

+ 10 Gb of monthly free traffic

+ 11 countries available:

  • United States (US)
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Canada (CA)
  • Netherlands (NL)
  • Germany (DE)
  • France (FR)
  • Switzerland (CH)
  • Norway (NO)
  • Romania (RO)
  • Hong Kong (HK)

 

+ wide range of VPN protocols:

  • IPSec IKEv2
  • OpenVPN (UDP и TCP)
  • Stealth (invisible to censorship)
  • WStunnel (invisible to censorship)

+ Choice of the DNS service provider:

  • default ones,
  • OpenDNS,
  • Cloudflare,
  • Google

+ kill switch

+ choice of 10 port variants

+ connection via a proxy

+ all features including the protocols are supported by the app for Mac

+ share a secure Wi-Fi hotspot

What can negate all these advantages? Just a single flaw…

Windscribe for Mac: Con

- speed of 0.02 – 0.6 Mbps

And 0.6 Mbps is a top speed at that. The average is considerably slower.

At times, Windscribe does work and at times, it fails to load websites at all.

We included Windscribe in our Top 7 list for its advanced functionality. However, we can’t guarantee that you’ll manage to get it to work.

You can learn all about its features in the full review. You can download Windscribe from its official website, Google Play Market, or the Apple App Store (for iOS).

Read the full review of Windscribe


4. VPN Gate: great solution for advanced users

VPN Gate: great solution for advanced usersFor the experienced and knowledgeable people, it’s possible to move beyond the use of ready-made VPN apps. For them, a wide list of VPN services that provide free VPN through system settings or manually configured third-party VPN software opens up.

Let’s take a look at what likely is the most unusual 100% free VPN service – VPN Gate.

Its signature feature is the fact that it doesn’t own any servers. In their place, the PCs belonging to volunteering customers are used. If you have a PC or Mac, you can become one of them.

With VPN Gate, you can access the Internet through a “server” in any country where there’s a running computer with VPN Gate’s special app. It is absolutely free!

This incredible user network was developed by the Japanese University of Tsukuba and is very popular in the oriental countries.

You do need some savviness and experience to use it. You can either install an app for Windows, macOS, or Linux or use the settings for OpenVPN, PPTP, or IPsec.

Thanks to VPN Gate’s huge number of users, it’s really easy to find a suitable server location.

There is a significant drawback to it: a specific server may be turned off at any moment. There are servers that are always on. During our tests, we found out that some users show ads when you connect to their server to make money. However, they are in the minority. Most of the servers are just computers belonging to other users.

VPN Gate: Pros

+ unlimited traffic

+ almost any country in the world is available

+ choice of VPN protocols (including VPN Gate’s own SoftEther. Its promotion is the reason why the service was launched)

+ all features including the choice of protocols are supported on Mac

VPN Gate: Cons

- servers can go offline at any minute

- most of the available locations are in Asia

- slow speed on many locations

- no kill switch

- servers keep logs so this VPN isn’t a good fit for torrenting

As you see, not even such a hi-tech free service is without any drawbacks. Indeed, you need to waste a lot of time searching for an acceptably fast server. Even though their speed is shown in advance, that number differs from the real one.

Anyway, VPN Gate is an interesting and unusual free VPN used by several thousand people.

If you are interested in VPN Gate, you may read the full review of it or download the app or configuration files from its official website.


5. X-VPN: good speed, but lots of restrictions

X-VPN: good speed, but lots of restrictionsWe suppose that X-VPN is a good alternative to TurboVPN which is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, mobile devices and has an app for Chrome and configurations for routers. But its desktop version is additionally limited in traffic consumption (500-1000 Mb per session).

Still, it’s hard to say that it’s a VPN: we haven’t found any proves that X-VPN uses a VPN technology.

Pros:

  • Hides your IP
  • Compatible with PC
  • Torrenting
  • No IP leaks
  • Can be set up on Windows, Mac, Chrome and mobile platforms

Cons:

  • Data encryption is not proved (it’s dangerous to use in public Wi-Fi networks)
  • A lot of ads and intrusion of the paid premium subscription
  • Speed limitations and traffic consumption of the free version
  • Works with Netflix only with a Premium subscription (not verified)
  • High prices and low-quality services (for paid tariffs)

X-VPN has been included in our Top 5 mostly due to users’ reviews. It’s good for China and other countries blocking VPNs, not suitable for streaming HD video or watching Netflix. But you will manage to hide your IP and visit blocked sites.

Don’t rely on this service if you need confidentiality and data protection.


5 best free VPN providers for mobiles

In this section, you’ll learn about 5 free VPN services that work well on Android and iOS. We want to emphasize that the top 3 VPNs from the section about desktops are suitable for smartphones and laptops as well.


1. TurboVPN: user-friendly but contains lots of adsTurboVPN: user-friendly but contains lots of ads

Turbo VPN is very popular among iOS and Android users. We thoroughly tested it and claim that TurboVPN is safe and has relatively good characteristics for a free VPN.

TurboVPN is a “freemium” VPN provider. It offers free and premium subscriptions. Its free version differs from a paid one. It contains a lot of limitations and has markedly low speeds.

Through tests, we detected incorrect connections of the Android version with default settings. However, it can be easily resolved by changing the standard OpenVPN protocol to IPsec in the settings.

Read the full review of Turbo VPN

Pros:

Cons:

  • Very slow speed
  • Torrenting
  • Lots of ads
  • Watching Netflix with paid tariffs only
  • Lots of ads
  • High prices and low-quality services (for paid tariffs)

TurboVPN is very popular, but lots of 5* user reviews with no description of the reasons why the service is good at Google Play Market seem to be very suspicious. Usually, it proves the fact that such ratings are fake. It seems that its users are offered to leave a good review in exchange for some privileges.

Still, TurboVPN is not so bad in comparison with other unlimited free VPNs.


2. Thunder VPN: simplest free VPN for Android

Thunder VPN: simplest free VPN for AndroidThunder VPN is very similar to Turbo VPN, but it doesn’t have any VPN connection settings. It is also much slower. Speed tests demonstrated the results from 0.5 to 1.5 Mbps. This makes it impossible to use the VPN for any video content. Though, it will be able to deal with the simplest tasks.

Thunder VPN is a freemium provider which is available only on Android. Its free plan lets getting access to virtual locations in 9 countries.

Thunder VPN claims that it does not save logs. However, it notes that it can break this rule on its own:

Thunder VPN does not as a matter of ordinary practice actively monitor user sessions for inappropriate behavior, nor do we maintain direct logs of customers' Internet activities. However, Thunder VPN  reserves the right to investigate matters we consider to be violations of these Terms.

Pros:

  •  Hides your IP
  • Good choice of countries
  • Unlimited traffic usage
  • No registration

Cons:

  • Low speed
  • Strange logging policy
  • No clear permission for torrenting
  • Does not work with Netflix

Thunder VPN will help you to solve the simplest tasks for free. However, we do not recommend subscribing to its premium plan. It has too primitive functionality at a rather “not low-end” price of $5-9.99 per month.

Official website: thunder.free-signal.com

You can download Thunder VPN using the following link:

Thunder VPN for Android


3. Free Hotspot Shield – 1 location for Android is available

Free Hotspot Shield – 1 location for Android is availableOne of the most popular VPN providers, Hotspot Shield, has a limited version for Android. Only one location in the US with speed 2-3Mbps is available.

Unfortunately, the free app for iOS is available only within 7 days after an unfavorable monthly subscription (more than $12 per month).

Hotspot Shield can be used for torrenting and even promises Netflix compatibility at low speed. However, it doesn’t work in practice.

Hotspot Shield: a proxy error while trying to watch Netflix

Thus, Hotspot Shield has a highly limited free plan. It is on the third place because its free version contains fewer ads than other competitors have.

Pros:

  • Hides your IP
  • Fully free
  • Torrenting is available

Cons:

  • Unavailable for free on iOS
  • Slow speed
  • One location only
  • No VPN connection settings
  • Intrusively offers to use its premium subscription

We consider the free plan of Hotspot Shield suitable only for simple tasks. It seems that it was developed only for one purpose - lure customers to subscribe to a paid plan, which, by the way, is not cheap. Its cost starts at $6.99.

The website of Hotspot Shield: hotspotshield.com


4. VPN 360: good, US location is only free

VPN 360: good, US location is only free

Like most free services, VPN 360 doesn’t offer a desktop version. Besides, only a US location is available. Still, you’ll get speedy connections for iPhone and iPad and a rather user-friendly app. Android users won’t be pleased with such slow speeds. Still, speeds are higher than they are at TuboVPN and X-VPN.

Pros:

  • Hides your IP
  • Good speeds for iOS users
  • Easy-to-use apps
  • Stable apps
  • No IP leaks

Cons:

  • Only US location is free
  • No apps for Windows and Mac
  • No opportunity to watch Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • No reliable protocols like OpenVPN are used
  • Obtrusive ads and pop-ups
  • Overloads your device’s battery

There is nothing more to say about VPN 360. It is not suitable for performing serious tasks like other free VPNs. It’s not stable and doesn’t work in the countries blocking VPN.

You may download VPN 360 by clicking the following links:

VPN 360 for Android
VPN 360 for iOS


5. FreeVPNse: Unlimited free VPN

FreeVPNse: Unlimited free VPNFreeVPNse is the only VPN from our list that doesn’t have VPN applications. Though, we offer only this VPN from ordinary unlimited free VPNs.

It’s easy to set up FreeVPNse for mobile gadgets. For these, there are two ways:

  1. Set up internal VPN protocols of your device;
  2. Install and set up the third-party OpenVPN client.

We recommend using the second method. You can read more about it in the detailed FreeVPNse review.

FreeVPNse has good speeds and a choice of countries. It also allows torrenting in two locations.

The service has 7 websites. Each of them contains settings for one particular country:

  • freevpn.se
  • freevpn.me
  • freevpn.im
  • freevpn.be
  • freevpn.co.uk
  • freevpn.eu
  • freevpn.it

Pros:

  • Hides your IP
  • Good speed
  • Fully free
  • Torrenting is available

Cons:

  • No apps
  • Not safe
  • 7 different websites
  • Requires experience in installing and setting of system apps

You may download configuration files or settings for OS on freevpn.se or their other website.

We do not recommend using FreeVPNse and any other unlimited free VPN for responsible tasks. As a rule, such VPNs store logs and do not have clear logging policies. In fact, they don’t guarantee complete anonymity and may pass personal data of customers to third-parties.


Warning (IMPORTANT!)

Free VPN risk

There’s a serious danger while using free VPN services. To start using VPN, you need to set up special software. VPNs that offer free services don’t provide network configurations if you don’t set up their apps.

Upon that, you risk to set up these types of software along with VPN:

  • trojans,
  • malvertising,
  • riskware,
  • spyware,
  • adware.

(The information is taken from the research by CSIRO.)

Thus, you should be careful while choosing a free service. Don’t set up their software only on the basis of user reviews. They are often fake ratings and reviews. Researches on security often revealed the distribution of malicious software even by those providers with hundreds of positive reviews on the Internet.

Visit our Best VPN and Free Trial VPN sections where you’ll find the lists of secure VPNs that passed all tests. It’s the best alternative to free VPN.

Here is the blacklist of VPN services that were exposed as distributing dangerous software (according to CSIRO research and user reviews from Google Play Market:

  1. Betternet
  2. One Click VPN
  3. SuperVPN
  4. VPN Free
  5. EasyOvpn
  6. Tigervpn
  7. RocketVPN
  8. sFly Network Buster
  9. Fast Secure Payment
  10. EasyVPN
  11. CrossVPN
  12. Archie VPN
  13. HatVPN

Those VPN providers were exposed as malware distributors. We extremely don’t recommend those VPN, no matter some of them are very popular.

It’s worth mentioning that even the best providers of free VPNs make money off advertising: pop-ups, banners, messages. They can embed ads on the websites you visit. Anyway, the amount of ads is amazing!

It often leads to the overuse of traffic and slow network performance.

We don’t recommend you to set up free VPNs on smartphones. Additional ads and monitoring of your activities will not only slow down your connection but also will consume your traffic. You won’t be able to control this process. As a result, it will be more expensive than using a good VPN.

Besides, while installing a free VPN app, you will have to allow access to your photo camera, microphone, gallery, and some technical functions that increase privileges and opportunities on your device.

It may lead to surveillance after your activities without you knowing.

Here is the list of risks while using free VPNs:

  • Malware infection
  • Surveillance of your activities
  • Obtrusive advertising
  • Slow network speeds and performance of your device
  • Overuse of internet traffic
  • Selling your personal data to third parties

Free VPNs: FAQ

When doesn't free VPN work?

So, free VPN performs only basic tasks:

  • Hiding IP addresses;
  • Unblocking sites with text contents (not all of them).

When aren’t such VPNs efficient? The list is far longer:

  • Speedy access to the Internet;
  • Data access;
  • Unblocking streaming services like Netflix;
  • Accessing the Internet from the countries blocking VPN;
  • Stable app performance for a long period of time;
  • Compatibility with Windows 7, Windows 10 and Mac OS;
  • Blocking ads;
  • Anonymous use of the Internet (VPN use without surveillance and logging personal data is meant);
  • Double VPN;
  • Dedicated IP;
  • Configurations for routers and other devices;
  • Saving mobile traffic.

Besides, as a rule, IP addresses belonging to free VPNs are known as their number is far lower than the number of paid ones.

That’s why you will probably fail to unblock some sites that block public the lists of socks and well-known VPN servers.

Nevertheless, Google and other sites using Google captcha (almost all big sites and social networks included), will ask you to confirm you aren’t a robot.

After testing lots of VPNs, we understood what it means to confirm your actions each time you enter information and some other actions, that’s terrible!

Is there a free alternative to free VPNs?

‘’But I want to hide my IP for free, and I’m sure it’s real!’’ And you are right! There three ways of using a quality VPN proxy for free.

  1. Free Trial VPN (up to 30 days)
  2. Use money refund of paid VPNs (up to 45 days)

Free Trial VPN is a free plan of good professional VPNs. It is usually a bit limited. You will use a VPN without ads, securely, at fast speeds for a certain period of time (usually from a few months to a few days).

Still, when a trial period is over, you will have to choose a paid plan or cancel the subscription.

Pros:

  • Good speeds
  • Wide choice of locations
  • Other opportunities of VPNs

Cons:

  • Probably, it won’t work with Netflix (to avoid servers that work for Netflix not being often blocked)
  • The period is limited or no opportunity to use a trial period one more time

Using a money refund of paid VPNs is one of the best opportunities to use Virtual Private Network ‘’for free’’.  You will have the maximum set of opportunities, but some time later (from 7 to 45 days) you will have to cancel the subscription and refund money which will take from 7 to 30 days.

Pros:

  • 100% opportunities of the best VPN, including Netflix and some other additional services

Cons:

  • You will have to pay for the subscription
  • Money refund may take up to 30 days

Thus, there are three ways of using VPN risk-free when you download and set up software that may lead to the overuse of mobile traffic, malware infection and worse performance of your devices.

Where can I download a free VPN?

Depending on the platform you’re on, you can download free VPNs from the following sources:

  • Free VPN download for Windows: from the provider’s official website. For example, protonvpn.com.
  • Free VPN download for Chrome: from the official website of a provider that offers browser extensions. For example, windscribe.com.
  • Free VPN download for Mac: from the official website or the App Store. There are more details in our VPNs for Mac review.
  • Free VPN download for Android: apps of all the free VPNs that support this OS are available on Google Play Market.
  • Free VPN download for iOS: Apple App Store.

Every good free VPN provider has an official website with all the information necessary for a download. To use the app, you need to sign up. Most often, it’s done from the app itself. Otherwise, you can sign up on the official website.

Are there free VPNs for Windows?

There are lots of services that claim to be free and offer software for Windows 7, Windows 10, and older versions.  However, just like with other platforms, it requires a thorough examination. Experience shows that not all of them can complete the VPN Spiral tests.

Most of the providers in this guide are fully compatible with Windows. Moreover, their functionality is the largest precisely on that platform.

Historically, thanks to the universality of Windows, providers develop the most “loaded” software for this OS.

Here is the list of the best VPNs for PC:

  1. ProtonVPN
  2. Hide.me
  3. Windscribe
  4. VPN Gate
  5. X-VPN

All the services mentioned above have free VPN servers.

What free VPN is good for torrenting?

When you download torrents, take into account the following:

  1. You might download copyrighted files and get a warning letter.
  2. Copyright trolls may reveal information about you to copyright holders.
  3. If your traffic is not encrypted, it can be observed by any torrent user within the torrenting network.

You can use any of the three services for torrenting. Still, speeds and stability won’t probably be good if you use Virtual Private Network for free.

We recommend a free trial VPN for torrenting. Good speeds and choice of locations along with no ads will make your torrenting easy and secure.

How to choose the best free VPN for Chrome?

Not all free VPN services are available for Chrome, but still there some free variants. Why use a free VPN for Chrome?

At present, advanced hackers can monitor your browser history which contains your personal information. Not to reveal it, an encrypted VPN connection is recommended.

We recommend only X-VPN for Chrome. Other providers offer either a low-quality VPN app or their reputation is tarnished.

But you can find a lot of VPNs for Chrome among paid VPNs at reasonable pricing (from $2 per month) if you don’t want to use the best VPN for free.

Is there a free VPN for Linux?

Yes, but there are very few of them. Try X-VPN for Linux. Still, we don’t recommend a free service for Linux. We recommend you to read our Free Trial VPN and Best VPN before you set up a VPN for this OS.

Linux is known to be reliable and secure. Don’t compromise yourself by using a free VPN.

Can I use free VPNs in China?

We haven’t found any proves that unpaid VPNs help to overcome the Firewall of China. Many services attract users for installing free apps, but after they do it, they understand that the service is not able to unblock sites in China or it’s possible only with paid plans.

Our VPN researches showed that prices for paid tariffs of ‘’free’’ VPNs are higher than the prices of good paid services, but the quality is far lower.

Even not all paid VPNs will overcome blocking in China that’s why don’t waste your time and use a good paid VPN.

For more details, read our Free China VPN Guide.

What is the best free VPN for Popcorn Time?

Don’t know what stands for Popcorn Time? A few sentences about it.

It is a kind of free media player developed on the basis of the BitTorrent protocol. It is not available in all the countries, which is connected with the piracy (it is believed that there is a lot of pirated content within the platform). It is blocked in the UK, Denmark, Israel, and some other countries.

That’s why you need a VPN for Popcorn!

How to choose?

Free VPN for Popcorn Time should be:

  • not keeping logs;
  • providing strong protocols and encrypting;
  • with fast speeds;
  • available for torrenting.

 Learn more from our review of Top Popcorn Time VPNs.

What is the best free VPN for Netflix?

Netflix is almost the most popular US platform for streaming movies online. Though Netflix is available in lots of countries, Netflix regional versions are different from US Netflix. If you want to unblock US Netflix, you need a VPN app for it.

Netflix company is strict about using the service via VPN and strives to avoid it. Free VPN connections are often not advanced enough and revealed by the company. If a VPN revealed, the user will see the error code: m7111-1331-5059.

My recommendation: try a free version of a paid VPN and subscribe for the paid plan to unblock Netflix.

Get to know more from our review of Top 10 VPNs for Netflix.

What is the best VPN for Kodi?

Kodi is a worthwhile platform for entertaining, which has a lot of functions. I recommend you to use a free VPN for Kodi that will encrypt your traffic and make you private online.

Read my post about free VPNs for Kodi and get to know why to use a VPN for this platform and what VPN is the best for Kodi.

What is the best free VPN for Reddit?

Reddit.com is a cool famous virtual platform where people can discuss and express their opinions on various issues. Reddit users often discuss ambiguous topics that lead to the blocking of the website in some regions. For this reason, a free VPN for Reddit can be applied to access the platform where it is not available.

Another reason to use a free Virtual Private Network for Reddit is privacy. You can hardly know what users there are on the network: common users or hackers. Thus, being private online when you visit Reddit.com is dead important. What is important while choosing a free VPN for Reddit is no-logging policy and strong protocol, for instance, OpenVPN (the most popular and reliable one).


The VPN Spiral method

There are quite a few VPN providers: some sources say, more than 300. But is it worth it to test them all? Our experience suggests that it isn’t. There are obvious signs that it’s better not to get certain VPNs.

Additionally, there are definite patterns that allow us to separate the strong players from the weak. In the VPN industry, it plays a huge part as the weak ones don’t have the resources to support their infrastructure and employ professionals.

During the years we’ve been in the VPN industry, we have developed our own market analysis method. We call it the VPN Spiral. It involves going through a spiral of sorts where weak providers gradually fall out. The more coils of the spiral they take, the fewer VPN providers remain.

At every coil, the remaining contestants are awarded a score based on how well they pass it.

There are a lot of coils. For example, asking if the provider has an official website, testing the app for viruses, seeing how popular it is on Reddit, and many more. At the spiral’s end, depending on the degree of refining, only a few services remain. They are then tested thoroughly. During the test procedures, they are installed on all supported platforms, and all of their available and expected features are checked. We test the servers for their speed and for IP leaks and conduct other tests.

As a result, we’re left with the selected few best free VPNs.

Here on vpn-review.com, we also have rankings dedicated to specific tasks or platforms. To put those together, we have used the VPN Spiral method as well.

Here are just a few of them:

Wallet-friendly VPN providers for 2020
Free Trial VPN: options, nuances, advice
VPN apps for Android: Best and Free
10 Best VPNs for Netflix That Work in All Countries
10 Best VPNs for Torrenting (2020): Up-to-date Rating of 5 Paid and 5 Free Services


Alternatives

Free VPNs have one or more significant drawbacks (often all of the following at once):

  • slow speed
  • limited traffic
  • limited set of locations
  • user tracking
  • log keeping
  • selling user data to third parties
  • no Netflix and other streaming services support
  • no torrenting allowed
  • ads

What can you do if that’s not acceptable to you? Here is our list of Top 3 professional-grade cheap VPN services that come without the flaws above. You can also try them out for free. We assure you that they are worthy of your attention!


the market leader, a 7-day free trial on mobiles

1. NordVPN: the market leader, a 7-day free trial on mobiles

While you can use a VPN with 3,4, or 11 locations and dubious speed, isn’t it better to opt into getting one with 5700 servers in 58 states at the speed of up to 150 Mbps?

NordVPN makes it all possible.

This Panamanian provider (and Panama is a safe jurisdiction) deserves to be placed first among paid VPNs. Still, it lacks free Windows and Mac versions.

It’s hardly a problem, though, if you’re okay with buying a subscription. You can get a refund within 30 days.

Visit NordVPN
Read the full review of NordVPN


super affordable, free on mobiles for 7 days2. Surfshark VPN: super affordable, free on mobiles for 7 days

The best thing about Surfshark is that it is well-suited for the tasks that require maximum privacy and subtlety thanks to its MultiHop technology. It allows Surfshark to create two-server VPN chains in 15 variants.

Besides, it is all-purpose and has virtually the same functionality as NordVPN while costing even less.

As for its free use, Surfshark offers not only a 7-day trial but also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark is based on the offshore territory of the British Virgin Islands. Thus, it is unlikely to be pressured into divulging its users’ private data by governmental agencies.

Visit Surfshark
Read the full review of Surfshark


free trial on every platform3. CyberGhost VPN: free trial on every platform

CyberGhost VPN allows you to install its app on any platform, try it out for free for 24 hours, and forget about disconnections, slow speeds, and a ridiculously small selection of countries.

CyberGhost VPN is a large and experienced Romanian-based VPN service. Romanian personal data protection laws are very strict. It will make your use of VPN unobtrusive and comfortable instead of a chore as is the case with free VPNs.

5900+ servers in 90 countries, dedicated servers for Netflix and torrenting, the kill switch function and many other features including a free trial of the full version make CyberGhost VPN on of the best alternative to free VPNs.

What’s more, it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Visit CyberGhost VPN
The full review of CyberGhost VPN

VPN-Review - Chief Editor
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

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17 user reviews for FREE VPN SERVICES: 5 for Desktops + 5 for Mobiles

VPN Gate logs

Howdie,
First off, nice review! Though I personally don’t really believe in free VPN services, it’s nice to see this kind of a comprehensive report.
As a matter of fact, I have a question about this VPN Gate service. So you write its servers keep logs. But since they’re run by volunteers, where are those logs kept? On the volunteers’ machines or somewhere else by the university itself? Because I feel like it’s a pretty big difference in terms of jurisdiction and what not.

Dean Chester's picture
Bill, indeed, only VPN Gate

Bill, indeed, only VPN Gate has volunteers. It is a non-profit provider. It popularizes the SoftEtherVPN protocol. Because of that, it doesn’t regulate its log-keeping policy and doesn’t oversee what the volunteers are doing. The logs are stored in the files of the app and only on the volunteer’s system.

I'd add one more VPN

Thanks for sharing! But I’d like to put my two cents. I’ve also tried a couple of providers and want to conclude that SigaVPN is worth being on your list as well. First and foremost, this VPN is really good for torrenting because it’s compliant with DMCA. Besides, after several tests, I can confirm that my internet provider is not aware of my online activity (otherwise, I would get a warning letter). It means this free VPN keeps no logs, which is uncommon for free providers. Second, SigaVPN is compatible with all popular platforms. I use it on my Windows laptop and Android smartphone (through OpenVPN connection). No problems at all. And finally, I’m satisfied with PING results (41ms, the server is more than 1000 km from my location). However, the weak side is the lack of port forwarding. But I don’t think this feature is must-have for everyone.

good review but....

Hi! Everything is ok about your review but one thing is controversial – why does Windscribe is listed there? The only thing its free version is good for is Internet browsing. None of its servers (although they have ones in 11 countries) are capable of streaming. They have special servers for Netflix with their paid version. Besides, the price is too high for such a mediocre vpn. Why do I need a vpn if I cannot get access to Netflix content? I want you to remove Windscribe from your list of best free pc vpns as it is not worth mentioning there.

Dean Chester's picture
It's simple, Kate. From a

It's simple, Kate. From a technical point of view, I don’t like free Windscribe as well. However, it offers 10GB of traffic per month. This is more than many competitors do. Some interesting protocols and features are available. Moreover, It’s a very popular VPN

Free vpn with no credit card?

Hey guys! I’m from the country where lots of websites are blocked. Well, I need a free vpn for Windows as I can’t pay for it online. Dean, which of the providers listed in your article don’t require credit card to use it for free?

Dean Chester's picture
Jack, take a look at how the

Jack, take a look at how the article is structured. The first 5 out of 10 free VPNs don’t require you to use a credit card when signing up so any of them can suit your needs.

Hotstar for free

Hi there. Your review is wonderful. I used ExpressVPN for several months for Hotstar service. It's super-duper, though pricey! Now I am looking for some info on how to watch Hotstar in USA without VPN? Are there any ideas?

Remove Facebook

I’m not sure about the best one but I can tell you what the worst free VPN is easily enough. That’s because I’ve had the displeasure of using it for quite a while. Ladies & gents, the worst PoS (piece of software) that was supposed to protect people’s privacy but deliberately failed to do so was Ontavo. Ontavo was a Facebook “VPN” app which in reality was used just to collect people’s data. I read that it tracked you even when it was turned off. I don’t really know what it collected on me but I deleted it as soon as I learned it was a scam. Sometime last year I guess they discontinued it so that’s good. Anyway, I think it will be back at some point, maybe under a different name. Just my advice to everybody: stay away from anything Facebook tries to get you to install!

just a quick question

Hey Dean! I need your help. The fact is that I had a problem with one of the vpns you recommended and don’t have a clue what to do next. So, I got Windscribe (their VPN app) and qbittorrent and started downloading something – everything went good. Then I went away when downloading and after a few minutes my device went to sleep mode, dropping my secure connection. A friend of mine told me that torrenting can bring you into big trouble. Is there something I should worry about? And is the connectivity problem typical for Windscribe? Your reply would be deeply appreciated

Dean Chester's picture
Mike, it’s obvious that your

Mike, it’s obvious that your data was leaked when the system exited the sleep mode. You need to use a kill switch when you torrent and this feature will block all of your traffic until the VPN connection is reestablished.

Internet traffic can be

Internet traffic can be intercepted and abused while using a free vpn for Windows. I do not recommend using it. Though, OpenVPN is a good alternative for Windows. Just download ovpn.cert for one of the VPNGate servers.

Tried Turbo VPN

It seems I’ve scanned all the network seeking out the best free VPN: Reddit, Quora and other forums and rating pages. And Turbo VPN has lots of fine comments. First of all, because it’s really free I suppose. That made me try it. In general, that’s good but the ads made me crazy. If you’re ready for the that’s a good choice.

Speed

In my experience, Proton is the fastest free VPN service out of the ones I tried. Maybe it doesn’t look like it in the short term but it’s like a marathon runner vs. a sprinter because it’s got unlimited traffic per month. So all things considered, I’d go with it if you need a free service.

10 free apps!

You’ve managed to test and collect 10 free VPNs in one place. That’s incredible! I can’t pay for a service at the moment but thanks to you I can try 10 (!) VPNs and hope I’ll find something that’ll meet my needs:)

I choose ProtonVPN

Hey everyone! I know that it’s rather risky to use free services but I tried a free VPN for Windows. Know what? I don’t regret. I’ve subscribed to ProtonVPN. I used it just to unblock some news sites to read news from different points of view. That was the deal. Can’t say anything about the speed because I didn’t watch anything through a VPN network but it copes with the task to unblock sites perfectly!

Money

Yes it does have a good day ?