In the current day and age, the internet has become a problem solver for every issue. Be it ordering food from your favorite restaurant, buying your favorite dress, or electronic gadgets. Not only that you can book hotels, flights and train tickets through the internet. Apart from these social media also became an important part of people’s life. They connect and share a lot of information with people on social media on a daily basis. Be it post or status, you are giving out some information about who you are, where you are, or what you like. People are even sharing information regarding their businesses and work through the internet. Almost every application or site is asking you to sign up in one way or the other to use their services. Even though many sites or applications do this not all of these sites need your information to access their website.
While most of the time this is not harmful there are many incidents where people were scammed because of leaked information. Online privacy has become a major concern for many people around the world. According to a global estimate in 2019 more than 57 percent of people in the world are connected to the internet. That is more than half of the total global population. Which means there is a lot of information about these people that is on the internet. No one would know if their personal information was stolen or their accounts were hacked. People may lose their personal information and financial information like bank account details. This will often end with the person losing their money. What if someone told you that all the sites and companies that you are associated with are keeping tabs on you. Whether it is social media or e-commerce sites or search engines all are collecting data on what you are seeing, buying, searching, or posting.
Apparently companies do this to give their customer great user experience by giving them relevant content. Which is true and in fact great to an extent but collection of personal data in the name user experience is what bothers people. As soon as people find out this they immediately become concerned about their privacy online. According to a study, nearly 82 percent of Americans are worried about their online security. When it comes to social media users 80 percent of them are concerned about their privacy online. This is an alarming number and people have every right to be worried as they feel huge corporations will sell their private information to other companies or illegal sources. More people are taking measures to protect their data using different means than ever before. VPN is the top tool among all the techniques that are available today. There are many VPNs in the market that are both paid and free services which help in safeguarding online data privacy
This article is about the best free VPN services that are available in the current market. But before knowing about them one should first understand what is VPN and how it works.
What is a VPN?
The abbreviation of VPN is a virtual private network and that is exactly what it is. It is a virtual network that is created in the public network so that one can use it for their own private activities. What a VPN does is it takes your connection from your local network and connects you to a remote local network through a public network. This creates a virtual network where you operate from the same location of your local area network but send and receive information from the remote network to which you are connected through the public network.
This means that you can be at one geographical location but use the network that is present in another geographical location to send and receive data. The connection is created using a tunneling protocol that is layered and encrypted. This makes it very hard for some to track your actions. VPNs were originally created to protect the confidential data of large organizations but nowadays all kinds of people are using them. Be it people who have businesses or individuals anyone can use a VPN to protect their data and privacy.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of using a VPN.
The most obvious reason for using a VPN is to have enhanced security. A VPN can provide security, unlike any other service. It creates a virtual network that is encrypted so that no one knows who is using the network. This is a great way to stay away from hackers. A potential hacker would never be able to decrypt the network to access the information. The number of cyber crimes and data breaches is increasing every year at an alarming rate. This means that it is better to have a secure connection rather than a regular connection. Luckily VPN provides great security for the users in protecting their online activities.
Many people use VPN to stay anonymous on the internet so that no one would know what they are browsing. Using a VPN you can surf the internet without being traced by any of the websites. This mainly because you will be using the local network of a remote area. Not only that but you can also access the websites and applications that are banned in your country. This is also one of the main reasons for using a VPN that is accessing the data restricted in your geographical location. For instance, Netflix has specific shows or movies that can be streamed only in specific countries. This means a person who does not live in that country cannot see those shows or movies. But if you use a VPN and connect to a local server of that country then you will be able to access Netflix using that country’s IP address. So if you live in a country where there is internet censorship then you can use VPN to bypass internet filters to access restricted content.
If you want to access your data from anywhere in the world you can do it using VPN. Vpn lets you access the information or files from any remote area. Especially if you are travelling to another country and want to access the files in your own country you can do this through a VPN. It will increase the productivity of the employees in a business who don’t have to stay in one location to do their work.
Another reason for using a VPN is that the services are quite cheap. If you are running a business or freelancer you will always be able to afford a VPN service. The amount of security provided by a VPN is far greater than the money it charges in doing so. If you are an individual and you want a VPN for your personal use then there are a large number of VPN services that offer their free. That means you can protect your privacy and remain anonymous without spending a penny.
The following list is not only of the best free VPN but also a list of best free VPN software for windows.
If you are searching for a good VPN service you must have come across ExpressVPN. It is one of the most popular and reliable VPN services that are available in the current market. Though it does not have a free VPN plan it does offer a free trial to check out how it works. The quality of service and features are what made it worthy of being on this list of best free VPN services. ExpressVPN as you know is a virtual private network service that was launched in the year 2009 in the British Virgin Islands. It is often touted as the best VPN service because of its set of features that no other service in the market offers. ExpressVPN has excellent platform support which has applications for Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and some other platforms. This is also the best free VPN for windows. The company offers custom firmware for many of the routers.
- It is very user friendly.
- The setup process is very quick.
- It allows simultaneous connections.
- Offers a free trial.
- It has limited configurations.
Opera VPN is the next VPN service on this list of best free VPN. This VPN service is actually a free VPN service that is offered by Opera which is a free browser. The Opera VPN is a virtual private network powered by surf easy based in Toronto. It is a very simple VPN service that comes with the browser Opera browser. Even though it does not offer the same features that surfeasy’s other products offer it is still very efficient. Opera VPN offers connections to only five countries namely the US, Germany, Canada, Singapore, and the Netherlands. But that does not affect its performance as it has over 500 servers. The easiest way to use the service is through the Opera browser. It offers applications for Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, and Windows which have built-in VPN options. But one has to mind that this service only works for the Opera search engine.
Your privacy is protected only on the Opera browser as it is designed only for it. It does not work with other browsers or applications other than Opera. One of the drawbacks of this is it does not support torrents. This may be disappointing for some but it definitely helps in increasing bandwidth for other websites or applications. The iOS and Android apps of Opera are highly capable of encrypting all kinds of connections. Moreover, Opera doesn’t even ask its users to sign up, you just have to install the application and start using its VPN services for as long as you want. The user-friendly interface and easy accessibility are what make Opera VPN service if you just want to surf the internet.
- It has a very user-friendly interface.
- The service offers unlimited bandwidth.
- It is completely free.
- There is no P2P support.
- It is only available for the Opera search engine.
- The service provides only five locations.
TunnelBear is another VPN service that offers great service to its users for free. It is a Canadian virtual private network company that was founded in the year 2011 in Toronto. TunnelBear was originally founded by Ryan dochuk and Daniel Kaldor it was later acquired by McAfee in the year 2018. Many VPN services try to go overboard by dumping loads of technical information for its users to understand their service. But TunnelBear is not like that, it does not mention anything about any type of encryptions, protocols, or other things. It just focuses on the essential information one needs to know about the service to use it properly. TunnelBear vpn offers both free and paid services to its users. The service offers a network of 23 countries which is not that bad for a VPN. It has options like Brazil, North America, Mexico, India, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Finland.
It is very easy to set up TunnelBear on all of the popular platforms out there. TunnelBear provides custom applications for clients like Mac, Android, and Windows. This VPN service also offers browser extensions for Opera, Firefox, and Chrome. If you are looking for a VPN for windows system then TunnelBear is one of the best free VPN for windows. But understand that it does not work for Chromebooks, Linux, gaming consoles, and some other stuff. Even though it offers a free account it is only limited to 500 MB. Which is very less if you want to surf the internet on a daily basis using a VPN. As long as privacy is concerned it does not collect information about websites you visit or your IP address. But it does record the data like the type of device you are using and its operating system. The VPN service does not offer a money-back guarantee on its paid service which is quite low if you subscribe for a three-year plan.
- It has a no-logging policy.
- The service is easy to set up.
- It provides good speeds.
- It offers only 500 MB bandwidth every month.
- TunnelBear cannot unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.
Hotspot Shield is one of the best free VPN services in the market. It is also one of the most popular and reliable VPN services that are currently available. Even Hotspot Shield offers its services both for free and paid. Hotspot Shield is a virtual private network that was initially developed by AnchorFree in the silicon valley. It was maintained by AnchorFree until Pango acquired it in 2019. Up until eighteen months ago, you could only choose a server from 27 countries. But now Hotspot Shield lets you choose servers from more than 80 countries. All the servers of Hotspot Shield are P2P friendly. The service also has built-in software that blocks phishing sites and malicious websites to keep safe from all kinds of online threats. It has application support for platforms like Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. The service has its own hydra catapult protocol which does not let you set up the service manually.
- It is a very user-friendly service.
- The service is very fast.
- It has the ability to unblock Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming platforms.
- It has poor customer support.
- Hotspot Shield has fewer features.
- It cannot unblock Amazon prime video.
Windscribe is another VPN service that provides great VPN services for free. It is one of the underrated VPN services due to the fact that it provides fewer servers compared to its competitors. But the Windscribe makes up for that through its performance. Even though the free version does not offer as many features as the paid version it still provides good options for a free VPN. Windscribe has a big network compared to many VPN services. It has its servers in more than 100 cities across 62 countries around the world. But the free version doesn’t allow you to access all the servers in the different countries. It only allows you to access servers from 11 countries if you are using the free version. The service offers applications for platforms such as Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, and iOS. It also offers browser extensions for search engines like Opera, Chrome, and Firefox.
Windscribe also has guides that help you to set up Kodi, Fire TV, Nvidia shield using a device that is compatible with OpenVPN. The service provides OpenVPN and IKEv2 support along with AES-256 encryption which is very strong. This helps you to keep your traffic safe from hackers. These technologies even allow you to access information from the countries where VPN traffic is blocked. It has a DNS based tool called Robert which is designed for blocking ads, trackers, malware, and click baits. It offers 24/7 service to its users through an online ticketing system. It also provides iOS and Android mobile applications for its customers. The free version only offers 10 GB of data for every month for its users.
- It can unblock Netflix, iPlayer, and other streaming platforms.
- Windscribe offers a bandwidth of 10 GB every month.
- It has a kill switch that is very effective.
- It does not provide 24/7 customer support.
The next VPN on this list of best free VPN services is Hide.me. Hide.me is a subsidiary company of Eventure Limited which is a company based in Malaysia. This company Hide.me is offering both commercial and free VPN services from the year 2011. Hide.me also has a considerably big network compared to many other services. It has over 1400 servers that are situated in more than 55 countries around the world. Most of these servers are present in Europe and North America. The other servers are present in locations like Japan, Morocco, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. It has a wide range of protocols like SSTP, SoftEther, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and PPTP. Hide.me also provides protection against IP, IPv6, and DNS leaks. The service also has a port forwarding option if you need one. Hide.me offers its services on platforms like Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Windows. Not only that but it also supports gaming consoles, routers, and smart TVs.
- It has great speeds.
- Hide.me is highly configurable.
- It is very easy to use.
- Its kill switch has some issues.
- Hide.me offers only 2 GB bandwidth for every month.
All of the above VPN services have restrictions and limitations when it comes to data usage but Betternet is not like them. Betternet is a very popular VPN service based in Canada. This service is said to have more than 38 million users across the world. Unlike many of its competitors, Betternet actually provides free unrestricted VPN services. Even though it offers a premium plan the service is hugely popular for its free plan. This is because there are no limitations in using this service when it comes to bandwidth. You also do not have to register or give your email address in order to use their services. All you have to do is download the applications for your platform and connect to the servers. It offers applications for all major platforms like Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows. Not only that but there are also browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
- It offers unlimited bandwidth on the free tier.
- The service is very easy to use.
- It has high speeds.
- It cannot unblock streaming platforms like Netflix.
- Betternet includes ads on the free plan.
- It has limited features.
This VPN service is operated by a Swiss company named Proton Technologies AG. It is one of the well known and reliable free VPN services that are currently available. Like many other VPN services on this list of best free VPN services Protonvpn also offers both a free plan and premium plan. Many VPN services claim to their customers that they provide complete privacy but this is not completely true. But Protonvpn is completely different from its counterparts as it has a great track record of keeping the history of its customers private. On top of that, the company has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland where there are strict privacy laws. Protonvpn has a decent sized network with 722 networks situated in 46 different countries across the world. The majority of its servers are located in Europe and the US. Other servers are present in countries like Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.
The other great thing about Protonvpn is that it owns and manages all of its servers. On top of that, the company has its own network through which all their servers are connected to the internet. Protonvpn has a secure core that routes your traffic through several servers before leaving the internet. The service is also P2P friendly and supports 10 devices simultaneously. Protonvpn is also offering native applications for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. The service provides OpenVPN support for Android users and kill switch for Linux clients. The free tier of Protonvpn offers unlimited bandwidth to its users which many VPN services do not do. But you should keep in mind that the speed is not as fast compared to the paid services. The free tier also limits the number of different locations you can choose from. When you are using the free tier you can only choose servers that are in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands.
- It offers unlimited bandwidth for free.
- Protonvpn provides high-quality mobile applications.
- The email support is very slow.
- Its performance is sometimes bad.
Speedify is also a virtual private network service that was first started in 2014. Initially, it was launched as a channel bonding service. It officially became a VPN service in 2016. Due to it’s like aggregation technology it could combine several internet connections. Which in turn increases the speed of the internet connection preventing any failures. This is very essential because when you use any VPN service your internet speed automatically slows down. This happens because of the overhead encryption on your internet traffic. Speedify is trying to combat this by sharing the internet traffic through different connections tethered mobile, Ethernet, wi-fi, and seven other types of connections. If the traffic is moving slowly on one connection it just shifts it to another connection which has maximum bandwidth. Speedify also provides applications for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac.
The service has a relatively small network compared to its competitors. It only has a little over 200 servers which are present in 58 different locations in 38 countries. The service allows you to set up DNS to popular services like OpenDNS, GoogleDNS, Cloudflare, AdGuard, and more. The support for DNS allows you to connect with more places. It lets you connect with places where VPNs are actively blocked. But the drawback with the free plan is it only offers a bandwidth of 10 GB for every month.
- It boosts speed through channel bonding.
- The performance of US servers is great.
- It offers 10 GB bandwidth for every month.
- It cannot unblock content efficiently.
- Speedify has low-level controls.
VPNBook is the final entry in this list of best free VPN services. This a virtual private network service that is completely free of charge. Not only that but it also offers all the essential features one gets from a paid VPN service. This service does not have any limitations on its bandwidth and services. VPNBook is also a swiss based company so you can be assured of your privacy as they have strict privacy laws. If you want to use the service all you need to do is set up the VPN service and get going. Apart from the unlimited bandwidth VPNBook also provides speed that is lightning fast and security standards of a premium plan. It uses OpenVPN that is free of charge and PPT which are part of different operating systems like Windows, Linux, iOS, and Mac. Even for mobile devices and gaming consoles like PlayStation 3 have point to point tunneling protocols.
The users who already have an OpenVPN client on their laptops do not need to download VPNBook. You just have to download certificates and configuration from VPNBook and simply import the settings into OpenVPN. Even though it is a free website it sells some products and displays some ads to monetize them. VPNBook does not have many servers around the world. It has only six servers that are situated in five different countries. Not many VPN providers offer customer support, especially the free VPN services. Here is where VPNBook is different from other VPN services. It provides customer support to its users through emails, twitter, and Facebook accounts where you can send your queries. It uses a strong AES 128 bit and AES 256 bit encryption. The service can unblock the library of Netflix US but not Netflix UK. This is because it has servers in the US but does not have any servers in the UK.
- It has P2P support.
- VPNBook is a completely free VPN service.
- It provides great performance.
- It does offer fewer server locations.
- VPNBook takes some effort to install.
Privacy is very important for everyone in this day and age, especially online privacy. Because people are using the internet for all kinds of activities. People are not using the internet just for browsing the websites. They are using it for shopping, working, availing services, banking activities, and educating themselves. As you are doing all these activities you want your information to remain safe. Because if the information falls into the wrong hands it will lead to disastrous consequences. You can get hacked or the money from your bank account can get stolen. Apart from that, it is also disturbing to learn that many websites and applications are keeping tabs on you. They can easily sell your information to other companies. If you don’t want companies to track your internet activities then you can use a good VPN. VPN protects your information by encrypting your internet traffic. But not everybody needs a paid VPN plan. If you want a VPN just for your daily activities you can use a free VPN service. Hope this article helps you in choosing the best free VPN that suits your needs.