The Best Free VPN Services to use in 2020

Your search for that perfect Free VPN ends here!

by: - Last updated on: September 29th, 2020

Using a 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 in 2020 with more people working from home and also looking to stay entertained. If your need for a free VPN is only to have a bit more security on a 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 a Free VPN?

The need for and importance of privacy and anonymity has grown tremendously in the past couple of years. 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 users 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 Free VPN 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 user data.

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?

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

Are free VPNs bad?

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 services, in particular, most providers 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.

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 users on this scale requires a lot of financial resources. And by offering the 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 a 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 2020.

Windscribe free VPN

1. Windscribe

Windscribe has to be the best of the Free VPN services we have tested. Offering 10GB of data per month with unlimited connections and access to over 10 countries, Windscribe scores over other Free VPN clients. 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.

Windscribe has VPN clients 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 taking 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 users and does an excellent job of providing the essentials of a free VPN service without complicating things. Compared to other VPN services, TunnelBear relies on offering an easy to use service while simultaneously providing anonymity and security to its users.

TunnelBear free VPN

TunnelBear offers a decent amount of data under its free VPN plan, 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.

The only downside to using TunnelBear is the slow-down internet speed when a user connects to a server located at a far off distance. TunnelBear 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 Free VPN 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. 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 the service 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 users 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 in the list.

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

4. ExpressVPN

One of the older players in the VPN game, ExpressVPN is a pretty good VPN option that provides 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 new users 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 users to pay for the paid service using cryptocurrency. The service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, users can try out the service 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 service 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

5. 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 VPN services, IP Vanish 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 with using a VPN, to continue using the service.

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

However, if you still end up not liking the 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, 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

6. 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 service is a bit on the pricey 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 the people just beginning with the VPN. 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 back 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

7. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield used to be a great VPN service 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.

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 out the VPN for free.

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

8. 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 users to pay for their plans using cryptocurrency to provide them with some kind of anonymity and privacy.

Users can opt-out of the plan if they do not feel satisfied with the service with 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

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 VPN.

13. Hide.me – No logs Free VPN, 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 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 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.