ProtonVPN Free – unlimited data, 3 countries, no ads
TunnelBear – 500mb free
Betternet – no data limits, 10 countries, ads
Hotspot Shield – 500mb per day, 1 country, ads
Windscribe – 10gb per month, 10 countries, no ads
Opera VPN – unlimited data, 3 locations, no ads
Imagine that you’re sitting at an airport. You’re on your way to a business meeting, but you want to do a bit of work before boarding the plane.
After opening your laptop and clicking on the “Free Airport WiFi” option, you start doing your usual work routine before finishing up a bit of banking and some online shopping. Nothing could go wrong, you tell yourself. Your anti-virus software is updated, the firewalls are up and running.
Everything looks fine and dandy. Inside the plane, you settle in for a nice, cozy ride.
Once you arrive at your destination, a cruel shock assaults you from out of the blue: someone just stole your credit card information.
You ask yourself: “How could this have happened?”
The scenario isn’t unusual. It happens to hundreds of people every day. This type of cybercrime is called a “man-in-the-middle” attack, which often occurs when a hapless individual tries to use a public WiFi access point.
Against such unusual intrusions, you’ll need an extra layer of defense: a virtual private network or VPN.
About Free VPN
In a nutshell, a VPN gives you online privacy and security by extending a private network across a public internet connection. Having a VPN installed on your computer will allow you to access sensitive information from every corner of the globe. Man-in-the-middle attackers cannot hijack your signal because they can’t see your device.
Perhaps you’ve heard of virtual private networks before, but haven’t invested in this service for financial reasons. Such an incredibly-useful application must surely cost hundreds of dollars, right?
Fortunately, most VPNs are quite affordable. Some companies even offer their services free of charge. If you want to protect your online presence from cyber crooks, you’ll want to browse our list of 7 best free VPN services.
Are there truly free VPNs?
Most VPN providers have freeware downloads of their products that offer a minimal but decent layer of anonymity and protection. Keep in mind that these “free” options are often trial accounts. However, there are other companies – such as ProtonVPN – that distribute free VPNs with no limits and no intrusive ads.
Free trials and money-back guarantees
NordVPN, for example, has a money-back guarantee that accompanies their flexible monthly, annual, or bi-yearly payment plans. If you’re not satisfied within 30 days, NordVPN will give you a full refund, risk-free.
IvacyVPN, on the other hand, has a 7-day free trial that can be canceled at any time. Ivacy only charges monthly fees after this period ends.
Free VPN to unblock streaming
In the majority of cases, VPNs can circumvent geo-blocked restrictions. This is because a virtual private network masks the user’s location using custom IP addresses.
You can, for instance, start watching the American version of Netflix if your VPN provider allows you to choose the United States as an alternative country location. Please note that this is only possible if your VPN allows the US to be selected from its list.
To give a sample case: ProtonVPN’s free version provides primary endpoints in the Netherlands, Japan, and America. This means that you can access restricted services in these countries regardless of your exact location.
Most VPNs are available on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices (iOS and Android VPN). Products from companies such as Betternet, OperaVPN, and HotspotShield are available for iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. No matter which operating system you use frequently, there will be free VPN applications in the current digital market that will suit your needs.
7 best free VPN services
According to the majority of testers and reviewers on the web, ProtonVPN’s basic version has one of the best and most stable network performances, high speeds, unlimited FREE bandwidth, and fantastic customer support.
The company’s subscription model has affordable payment plans for those looking to access more privacy features, starting from $5.00 a month and $10.00 a month for its ProtonVPN Plus version.
The basic package allows high speeds on only two devices, while the Plus package grants access to five. For an extra five dollars a month, ProtonVPN Plus provides subscribers a connection to their trademarked Secure Core and Tor servers. Combined with its Swiss-based servers (which are protected by some of the strongest privacy laws in the world), new and experienced users can never go wrong with ProtonVPN.
This company has a strict no-logging policy that values the privacy and anonymity of its user base. TunnelBear explicitly protects subscribers from possible third-party breaches by not collecting IP addresses, DNS queries, or browsing habits. Its accessible and friendly interface also uses the OpenVPN protocol, an industry benchmark for secure private networks.
Combined with the virtually un-crackable AES-256 encryption cipher, TunnelBear presents an alternative to ProtonVPN with a free trial version, a $9.00-a-month payment plan, and heavily-discounted one-year subscription that tops off at 59.99 a month. That’s a steep price cut that’ll save new users more than 55 percent annually.
As a VPN service, Betternet is a hundred percent free to use. Aside from a $35.99 yearly fee for a premium version (one of the lowest in the market), this provider charges no fees from most of its user base. Take note, however, that Betternet’s accessibility comes at a cost – since the company subsists on a mainly unpaid model, it uses advertisements as a financial backbone.
Rated as Fast Company’s 2019 Most Innovative Security Service, HotSpotShield unique Hydra protocol has garnered more than 1.4 million positive ratings on Google Play and the iOS App Store. Customers who want to use a VPN mainly for streaming geo-locked film and entertainment services will enjoy HotSpotShield’s ability to penetrate barriers with its top-notch, military-grade encryption system.
New users are welcome to try their free version. Satisfied customers can upgrade to its flexible monthly plans that start for as low as $2.99 per month for a three-year term.
This unique service provider has a nifty feature that separates it from other VPNs on the market – OperaVPN’s virtual private network is built into the Opera Browser itself. That means no complicated setups or slow installation times. Just log into the browser and starts surfing with ease and privacy. Secondly, just like Betternet, OperaVPN is also absolutely free to use. That means no premium plans, no subscription fees, and no option to upgrade to better features.
When signing up for a free account from Windscribe, you’ll get a sizeable 10GB of data every month. They carry no identifying logs and have an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Beginners who want to test cross-platform VPNs should try this program. Upgrading to a paid subscriber account comes with a lot of perks: unlimited data, high speeds, and access to geo-locked versions of Netflix.
Aside from offering a hefty customer support package and an ad-less experience on their free VPN, Hide.me tosses a handy anonymous proxy browser at no extra cost. Upgrading to the paid version allows access to a total of 1,400 servers in over 55 countries, as well as the patented Stealth Guard feature. Users who frequently go outdoors with Android or iOS mobile devices can choose which apps can or can’t operate without a connection to the VPN. Now you won’t have to worry about your location or ISP getting tracked while listening to Spotify during a jog or a hike.
Where to start
Privacy on the internet is always under threat from malicious cybercriminals and surveillance. As time progresses, VPNs will only become just as essential as anti-virus software.
Why not jump ahead of the curve and invest in a virtual private network today? Securing your digital footprint has never been more comfortable with all the various products floating around in the market. Download one right now – your data and private information will thank you for it.