[Working] 15 Best Free VPN Services to use in 2021

Your search for that best Free VPN ends here!

by: - Last updated on: April 28th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • A VPN allows users to stay anonymous and secure while using the Internet.
  • The use of VPN has consistently accelerated in the past decade but more so after 2020 with more people working from home and looking to stay entertained.
  • Most free VPN providers are unreliable and appear suspicious, but there are a few that actually offer a better experience.
  • To be safe, opt for free VPNs from services that have a subscription fee as well.

Using a completely Free VPN is the best idea if your answer is ‘Yes’ for any of the questions below.

  • Do you have problems opening certain websites like Gmail and YouTube at work?
  • Has your school blocked social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter?
  • Do you require to work anonymously online?

free vpn

The use of VPN has consistently accelerated in the past decade but more so after 2020 with more people working from home and also looking to stay entertained. If your need for a totally free VPN provider is only to have a bit more security on public WiFi, this can do a fair job.

What is a VPN?

At some point in time, a lot of you might have heard about VPN or in some instances, might even have been suggested to use one. But what exactly is a VPN, how does it work, and what can you do with it? To get answers to all these questions, head over to our detailed guide on VPN. In a nutshell, a VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that allows users to access information on the Internet while staying anonymous and secure. You can use it to unblock the geo-restricted or ISP-restricted websites like Netflix, Twitter, etc., hide your browsing activity from ISP, access public networks securely while keeping your personal data secure, or even access your office or private home network securely on the Internet. Using a VPN is, therefore, a safe bet to secure your online activity on the Internet.

how vpn works

Image: Cisco

How to choose the best Free VPN?

The need for and importance of privacy and anonymity has grown tremendously in the past couple of years. While most people value privacy, yet so much of our private information is readily available online, from social media photos to family names and addresses. The details of our lives always find their way into the public eye. One of the surveys found that many people in the United States are concerned about online privacy. While VPNs aren’t perfect, they are one of the easier ways to stay private and seek freedom. Broadly speaking, there are three types of VPNs you can choose from:

  • Free VPNs
  • Freemium VPNs
  • Premium VPNs

You need to understand that not all VPNs are created equal. Before you go grab that free VPN, here are some basic questions you should be asking:

1. What is your business model? No matter if it’s VPN or an email or any service, the first thing you need to ask is “how are you making money?”. There is nothing called free lunch in this world and especially not the case with free VPNs either. There are some who entice customers with a free version or a free trial and then eventually ask them to pay up for a better plan, and that’s perfectly fine. Most, however, will sell user data or provide something to a third party that will, again, compromise your privacy.

2. What’s your privacy policy? One of the basic and primary goals of a VPN is to ensure online privacy. If the service you are using is going to store your internet activity then you’re neither private nor safe. So look out for their privacy policy and seek if they are storing your usage data. Even if it were forced to by court order, a VPN provider with a no-logging policy couldn’t turn over your records because it hasn’t kept any. Note that data collection and retention laws may require some logging by the country in which the VPN is located, so it’s important to know its country of jurisdiction.

3. Can I sign up anonymously? There are some free VPN providers who let you subscribe without an email address. And if you decide to step up to a paid plan, they let you pay via bitcoin. How’s that for privacy and anonymity?

Consider what kinds of online activities you engage in the most as you choose the right free VPN service for you. Do you stream videos? Access sites that contain sensitive information? Send or retrieve large files? Those activities require a VPN and a faster network. The VPN will also need to match your business and/or personal needs in terms of data allowance and geo-restrictions.

Before we go ahead with the list of the best free VPN providers, here are a couple of important things to know.

Are free VPNs safe?

Well, long answer short, most of the free VPN service providers are not safe to use. In fact, a lot of paid VPN services are not perfect (or as secure and safe) as they claim to be. Talking about free VPN providers, in particular, most services engage in some or the other fraudulent activity to offer you their service for free — since everything comes at a cost — and by not paying a premium upfront, you trade the same for your privacy. A few drawbacks of a free VPN include compromises on privacy and security, online tracking, logging and selling of user’s personal data, and malware injections, to name a few.

Premium paid VPNs offer extra security and features, including unlimited data, unlimited speeds, proper customer support, and access to streaming services from all over the world.

When should you use a free VPN service?

While most free VPN services are not trustworthy and appear suspicious, there are a few service providers that do offer a LESS compromised experience [LESS being the operative word here.] For, it is very unlikely for a provider to offer you their service for free since serving millions of subscribers on this scale requires a lot of financial resources. And by offering the VPN service for free and not getting paid directly from the user, they have to resort to some other modes to generate revenue to survive — albeit not as dubious as some of the less trustworthy services. A good practice is to go through the privacy policy of VPN services — the free ones in particular — before signing up. Moreover, to be on the safer side, you should always prefer a free VPN from services that also have a paid subscription.

Best Free VPN Services

Now that you have enough idea about what to look for in a VPN, here is our list of best VPN services to use in 2021.

Windscribe free VPN

1. Windscribe

Windscribe has to be the best Free VPN software we have tested. Offering 10GB of data per month with unlimited connections and access to over 10 countries, Windscribe scores over other services in this list. You don’t need to share your credit card details in order to sign up for the free account. All you need is a confirmed email address. The VPN servers of Windscribe are quite fast, but when the servers are under heavier load, the free users are the first to notice. Mind you, Windscribe has no affiliate program, so this is as unbiased as it can get.

Windscribe has apps for all the major platforms – from Windows to Mac to Linux, from iOS to Android to BlackBerry, from Chrome to Firefox to Opera, from Amazon Fire TV to Nvidia Shield to Kodi, or even routers via DD-WRT and Tomato. The Paid VPN plan starts from $1 per month per location or $9 per month for all locations.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 110+
Countries with servers – 60
Maximum number of devices – unlimited

Availability:
Desktop – Mac, Linux Windows.
Mobile – Android, iOS, and Blackberry.
Browser Extension – Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Plan – Free (10GB per month), Paid (starts at $9 per month).

Download Windscribe

2. TunnelBear

TunnelBear is designed to take into consideration the requirements of an average internet user. It has a friendly and easy-to-use interface that makes it user-friendly for new subscribers and does an excellent job of providing the essentials of a free VPN service without complicating things. Compared to other services, it relies on offering an easy-to-use service while simultaneously providing anonymity and security to its customers.

TunnelBear free VPN

TunnelBear offers a decent amount of data under its free VPN access, which is sufficient to get around most of the casual use case scenarios. Unless obviously, you are streaming or downloading content off of the internet using the service. In which case, you might need to consider upgrading to a premium plan. Several online streaming services including Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Netflix were available while being connected to the Tunnelbear server.

The only downside to using this VPN is the slow-down internet speed when a user connects to a server located at a far off distance. It gives you access to any geo-restricted sites. For now, it provides free US & UK VPN, but that’s more than handy for most people. While the free version restricts data to 500MB/month, you can boost that to 1.5GB if you tweet about the company once.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 1700
Countries with servers – 20
Maximum number of devices – 5

Availability:
Desktop – Mac and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Browser Extension – Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Plan – Free (500MB per month), Paid (starts at $9.99 per month).

Download TunnelBear

3. ExpressVPN

One of the older players in this game, ExpressVPN is a pretty good option that provides a decent high-speed experience without compromising on user privacy. Unlike a few other services that cater to either a new user or a power user, Express VPN, on the other hand, manages to serve both kinds of users by providing a simple and easy to use interface for the newbies and by offering the ability to choose from various options of protocols to the power users.

ExpressVPN

To provide anonymity and privacy, Express VPN allows subscribers to pay for the paid plan using cryptocurrency. The service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, customers can try it out initially and if they find themselves unsatisfied, they can opt-out of the service within 30 days and get a refund for their payment. It’s also the best Netflix VPN option available.

Privacy is among one of the biggest concerns of the company, which is also apparently one of their biggest selling points. One con of using ExpressVPN if you are looking for a Free VPN app is that you are required to sign up with a credit card before starting the trial.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 2000
Countries with servers – 94
Maximum number of devices – 3

Availability:
Desktop – Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Browser Extension – Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Plan – Free (30-day trial), Paid (starts at $12.95 per month).

Downloadd ExpressVPN

4. IPVanish

IPVanish might not be the best VPN service of the lot, but it still manages to cling onto it barely with its reliability, which tops over a few of its drawbacks. Unlike most of the other services, IPVanish is filled with a tonne of features, options, and settings to provide users with absolutely every possible functionality they can think of. However, with so much complexity and features coming in, the service often requires a learning curve, which in some cases becomes difficult for people just starting out, to continue using the VPN service.

The connection speed provided by IPVanish is average, but the connections are pretty reliable, which is what makes it popular among a lot of people across the internet. As mentioned above, IPVanish is full of features, and therefore it manages to keep up to that stature by providing support for the cryptocurrency payment method to its subscribers to pay for the subscription plans.

However, if you still end up not liking the VPN service, IP Vanish has a money-back guarantee that allows you to opt-out of the service within 7 days from the date of payment. For those just looking for a free VPN connection, this offers a 3-day trial.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 1000
Countries with servers – 60
Maximum number of devices – 5

Availability:
Desktop – Mac and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Plan – Free (3-day trial), Paid (starts at $10 per month).

Download IPVanish

5. ProtonVPN

Founded at the CERN, which is considered to be the birthplace of the internet, by some of the famous people in the industry, ProtonVPN has grown out of the popular mail service, Proton Mail. And just like the attention to privacy and security that was taken care of by the Mail service, the VPN is also pretty secure. Though the plans are a bit on the pricier side, that is justified with the use of the famous OpenVPN protocol by the company.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is easy to set up and use, which makes it user-friendly for a lot of people just beginning with Virtual Private Networks. The overall performance is average, and the speed can sometimes turn out to cause an issue, but most of the time, you can use it without any trouble and get most of your online activity done without any noticeable issues. For the first seven days, you will automatically receive a free trial of ProtonVPN Plus. During this period, you will have access to all the ProtonVPN servers and features. And the ProtonVPN trial is activated upon the first successfully established connection. So if you create your account but wait a few days to start using ProtonVPN, you will not lose any of the seven trial days.

After your trial expires, your account will be reverted to the Free plan automatically. With the ProtonVPN Free plan, you will have access to five ProtonVPN servers in three countries: Netherlands, Japan, and the US. Also, you’ll be unable to connect multiple devices simultaneously.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 395
Countries with servers – 32
Maximum number of devices – 10

Availability:
Desktop – Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Plan – Free (7-day trial + $0/month plan), Paid (starts at $4 per month).

Download ProtonVPN

6. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield used to be a great VPN provider until a few years back. However, recent events in the past couple of years have surely hit on its reputation and have indeed changed the perspective of a lot of users towards it. With reports on the company spying on user data to a security flaw in its systems, the company has been struggling to make a comeback. But, as it stands, it seems like the company has taken all the necessary actions required to ensure that the privacy and security of the user are not compromised and that they can use the service without having any second thoughts.

Hotspot Shield VPN

On top of that, Hotspot Shield provides the best money-back guarantee compared to some other services. A full 45-day time frame is what you get to make your mind to either continue using the services or opt-out and get a refund for your payment. In the free version, Hotspot Shield chooses one US-based location for you, and you will have to put up with ads if you are using it on Android. Those on the free plan are only allowed 500MB of data a day, so around 15GB per month. While that may seem restrictive, it’s actually one of the more generous limits among its competitors, compared to one or two above.

The company does not use most of the commonly used protocols and instead depends on a single protocol with support for its own transport protocol enhancement, called Hydra. Yes, there is a 7-day trial period if you want to try it out for free. While it doesn’t have a great reputation for reliably supporting streaming apps like Netflix, it can be used for general privacy reasons. However, there are a couple of concerns. Several elements are logged, including bandwidth used, your OS, the time you connect, and others, and although Hotspot assures us none of that could identify users personally, it’s more than we would like.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 2000
Countries with servers – 24
Maximum number of devices – 5

Availability:
Desktop – Mac and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Browser Extension – Chrome and Firefox.
Plan – Free (7-day trial), Paid (starts $2.99 per month).

Download Hotspot Shield

7. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a powerful yet easy-to-use VPN service that has been around for a long time. It provides a clutter-free and straightforward UI that makes it easy for users to connect to a server without complicating things. From a security standpoint, it uses some of the best protocols and provides automated HTTPS redirection, which ensures that you always connect over a secure channel and have a secure internet connection.

CyberGhost VPN

The service does a great job of un-blocking geo-restricted websites, for which all it requires a user to do is select the service they want to unblock, and the rest is taken care of by the app itself. With the privacy theme in mind, CyberGhost allows its subscribers to pay for their plans using cryptocurrency to provide them with some kind of anonymity and privacy.

Customers can opt-out of the plan if they do not feel satisfied with the experience, thanks to CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee. There is a 1-day free VPN trial if you are looking for one. Note: CyberGhost ended their previous Free VPN plan in November 2018, and since then only offer a 1-day free trial.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 3000
Countries with servers – 60
Maximum number of devices – 7

Availability:
Desktop – Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Browser Extension – Chrome and Firefox.
Plan – Free (1-day trial), Paid ($12.99 per month), Deal ($2.75 per month).

Download CyberGhost VPN

8. NordVPN

NordVPN is undoubtedly among the best VPN services out there currently. It comes with a clean and user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to use it and get the most out of it. Talking about security, there are a variety of security measures that NordVPN takes at the server level to ensure better security to its users. With security tools like secure chat and proxy extensions in place on the server, the company’s intentions on a high-security service stand out from a lot of other big VPN service providers.

Nord VPN

If you want to be assured that your data does not end up in the wrong hands and that it does not get misused, you don’t need to look further and opt for the NordVPN service. What makes their stand on privacy and security solid is the payment method used to purchase plans. Unlike most of the other services, NordVPN offers cryptocurrency payment support for customers to make payments for their plans, which in some ways preserves their identity and privacy by not revealing personal information.

With a fast speed internet, irrespective of the server you are connected to, NordVPN is a great bet and offers unparalleled service. With a 7-day trial, it’s one of the best we have on the list for those looking to access services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others without worrying about geo-blocking.

Key Features:
Number of servers – 5200
Countries with servers – 62
Maximum number of devices – 6

Availability:
Desktop – Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Mobile – Android, and iOS.
Browser Extension – Chrome and Firefox.
Plan – Free (7-day trial), Paid (starts at $11.95 per month).

Download NordVPN

Other Notable mentions for Free VPN services

9. Private Tunnel by OpenVPN

10. VPNBook

11. VPNGate – backed by University of Tsukuba, Japan

12. SecurityKiss – limited to 300MB/day on Free mobile VPN.

13. Hide.me – No logs, 2GB data, no CC required.

14. Speedify VPN – 5GB/month on first month, drops to 1GB/month after that.

15. Avira Phantom VPN Free – 1GB/month of data

That’s all for this list of the best free VPN services.

Do let us know in the comment section below what services do you use on a regular basis and which of our list do you find the most useful. Do you know of any other Free VPN service? Do share it by commenting below. If you see that any of the above services is down or closed, do let us know.

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  1. Personally, I’ve tried Surfshark and ExpressVPN, you do get what you pay for. Recently, however, I got really attracted to the idea of free VPNs, so I gave Atlas VPN a shot. Stable, fast and convenient, sadly not much in-depth analysis to dive into. I’d be delighted if you could cover it in one of your future articles.

  2. VPNs are a reliable way to access the internet and keep your connection private. Creates a virtual point-to-point connection between your device and the Internet and sends your data over an encrypted tunnel. CyberGhost VPN at productscrack can change your IP address to a fake and undetected IP address. In short, CyberGhost allows you to make your best impression on the internet which exactly isn’t.

  3. I don’t really trust the vpn service. It has long been known that their owners can easily access user data without their knowledge. And I don’t want to pay for it, either. therefore, my choice fell on decentralized ecosystems. For example, utopia p2p is a vivid example. These applications do not require the use of personal data during registration, as well as personal information is not stored on third-party servers.

  4. I have been seeing a lot of content about the best VPN services and normally it revolves around the same factors. Why do we not count access to a safer work environment as a factor when analyzing the service? There are many service providers like PureVPN or IvacyVPN that offer this amazing feature