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We have compared and tested hundreds of free VPN-services to find out which one is the best. For some general purposes, a free VPN will suffice. But, if it is something you will use more than once and if you care about your personal privacy and data then it’s best to protect yourself with a paid VPN service. The majority of VPNs listed here have 30-day money-back guarantees which mean it’s completely free to try them out!
Best Free VPN 2020: Winner
Generally, free VPN services are not that great, but if you really do not want to pay for one then ProtonVPN’s free version is the absolute best you can find. You get unlimited bandwidth and unlimited speed which is very rare. They also do not log your activity, which is even more rare among free services! Best of all, it’s free of ads!
Best VPN Services 2020
🥇 1. UltraVPN
6 months free!
30-day money-back guarantee!
UltraVPN is a very fast VPN service that has focused on user-friendliness and it’s really noticeable when you use it, both on desktop and the mobile app. UltraVPN is secured with “military-grade encryption” according to their website which actually only tells us that the military uses 256-bit AES-encryption. However, that is currently the most secure commercially viable encryption! With just one UltraVPN subscription, you have access to a VPN on all your devices, super easy to set up!
🥈 2. ProtonVPN
2-10 simultaneous devices
30-day money-back guarantee!
ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland and also offers a free version of their VPN which is currently one of the best free services on the market. There is support for TOR usage and also P2P file sharing so if you are a so-called “pirate” then there is no one better service for you out there. I highly recommend ProtonVPN if you are intending to do some extensive online sharing.
Read our full review of ProtonVPN.
🥉 3. NordVPN
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
30-day money-back guarantee!
NordVPN has long been regarded as one of the strongest brands in cybersecurity. With one of the largest server offerings on my list and support for most, if not all operating systems, NordVPN is the obvious choice for many. They have 24/7 customer support if you need help getting started or if need help setting up. Their app is one of the most well-designed apps I have ever looked at and I highly recommend using a VPN on your mobile device. NordVPN accepts all major credit cards and even cryptocurrencies as payment!
10 simultaneous devices
31-day money-back guarantee!
PureVPN is at the top of my speed tests, which is a great combination with their easy-to-use UI. PureVPN is perfect for those who want to be able to pay with PayPal which many other services do not support. Right now you can also get a 73% discount on the 2-year plan. But if that is too big of a commitment for you, you have a full 31-day money-back guarantee!
2 months free!
45-day money-back guarantee!
CyberGhost is the first choice of many technology experts, and the reason is clear; they have the most complete VPN service. An incredible number of extra features that are best suited for the more advanced users but also work flawlessly for purposes like P2P-filesharing. Cyberghost VPN also has the longest money-back guarantee that I have found, which means you have a full 45 days to decide if you want to keep using their service.
30-day money-back guarantee!
ExpressVPN has named itself the #1 VPN in the world and that statement is actually something that they live up to. The 30-day money-back guarantee gives you a great chance to see if ExpressVPN is a good fit for your needs. I strongly recommend to try at least 1 month if you are looking for a versatile service. They support almost every device and operating system available and have 24/7 customer support if you should ever run into problems.
7. IPVanish VPN
10 simultaneous connections
30-day money-back guarantee!
IPvanish VPN is a reliable operator that claims to be the world’s fastest VPN and that statement is not without reason. They are one of the fastest services I have ever tested! With unlimited bandwidth and 256-bit AES encryption, they are difficult to beat for other services in my testing. IPVanish proud themselves as never logging any sort of customer-activity which is a demand that us at VPNetic have set for the operators that we post here. IPVanish is a very affordable program, especially when subscribing for 1 year which currently gets you 67% off!
30-day money-back guarantee!
Surfshark VPN is perfect for those who want a cheap and reliable VPN that also has many extra features. “Camouflage Mode” hides your usage from your ISP, “Kill Switch” suspends your connection and protects your information if you temporarily lose Internet access, “MultiHop” to connect from multiple countries at the same time just to name a few. My favorite feature of Surfshark is “Whitelists” which allow the user to exclude specific apps and programs from the VPN connection! Extremely useful that not many other services offer.
Support for P2P
Up to 5 devices
7 days of free trial!
Avast Secureline VPN is an affordable, simple service that works perfectly for casual usage like Android TV. With world-class encryption and absolutely no bandwidth restrictions, Avast VPN is a service best suited to people who want to stream Netflix from other countries, for example. You can get up to 5 devices, which means you can be protected even when you connect via your mobile phone at airports and other public networks which I highly recommend that you do.
10. VPN Unlimited
24/7 customer support
7 days of free trial!
VPN Unlimited has a lot of extra functionalities such as personal VPN-server and personal IP-address. Their virtual private network is available on all major platforms and they can even assist you with using VPN on your router! With only 1 subscription, you get access to their service on a total of 5 devices, which makes VPNUnlimited a great choice for someone who wants to protect the whole family’s cellphones from hackers on public networks. Another area of use is when the connection is not private and you visit an HTTP-address instead of https. Then it is extremely important that you protect your data!
12. Mullvad VPN
Free VPN Download
A free VPN will not protect your information as well as a paid service will, but if you are only going to use it temporarily and not handle any sensitive information such as your passwords, then it will probably work just fine.
It’s getting increasingly popular to use free VPN-services for streaming but what many soon realize is that it is not worth the risk or hassle with a free service. A free VPN can use your information for advertising at best and in the worst-case scenario, log your activity. On our list of most reliable and affordable services, there is not a single one that uses logging, but this is unfortunately much more prevalent with free services. There is a saying that reads:
“If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.”
Hola VPN is a so-called “freemium” version of a service. Signing up is extremely easy and it is a VPN that we recommend for users who only need to use a virtual private network temporarily.
They have apps for both iOS and Android which makes it a very convenient solution for people who are abroad in countries where certain websites are blocked by the government.
Avast Free VPN
Avast has a 7-day free trial which is perfect for users who need unlimited bandwidth during a limited time period. It’s also a very convenient way to try out the program before you buy it because you are not required to make a purchase.
If you find yourself needing it for more than 7 days, then you are free to either get a subscription or move on to another free virtual private network.
Hotspot Shield offers a free version or their service which is called “Free Proxy“.
While protecting your device from various cyber-threats you are free to use their service while browsing public WI-FIs’. Another great alternative for people who want to use a free service!
Getting started with a free VPN
Every service in our top-list works flawlessly with Netflix. Read our complete guide to streaming Netflix with VPN.
When using a VPN for streaming, there are a couple of factors that are important to keep in mind:
- Is there a limit on how much data you can use?
- Is the speed good enough for streaming?
- Does the VPN-service log your activity?
The answers to these questions are very obvious for paid services. For free programs, it is a different story. We do not recommend using a free private network for long term use.
Free VPN for PC
All services listed here work flawlessly for PC, as it is one of the most common requirements for making our top list of VPN-services. PC is the most commonly used operating system and a service that doesn’t work for Windows is simply not good enough to be listed by us.
VPN for Windows
The best free VPN for Windows that we have tested is first in our list. But the truth is that if you choose a free service then you have to compensate with something else. Often it will be with targeted advertising. In other cases, it may be logs of your activity being sold to third parties.
The best-case scenario when using a free service is them constantly nagging you to upgrade your subscription. In other cases, they may limit your bandwidth.
Free VPN for Mac
9 out of 10 of all VPN services we tested and reviewed work for both MAC and PC. It is very common for operators to develop an application for each OS that exists. The only exception is Linux, where you have to choose a more specialized service.
VPN for Apple TV
ExpressVPN has a very easy to read guide on how to set up VPN for AppleTV. Coincidentally, ExpressVPN is also our first choice when it comes to VPN with Apple TV! They offer very high speed for streaming up to 4K resolutions. The best part is, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Free VPN with unlimited bandwidth
If you are looking for unlimited bandwidth with a free VPN then you need a service that has a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is because it is very common to use bandwidth restrictions with free services.
If you subscribe to a virtual private network and use their 30-day money-back guarantee, you have full access to the program for a full month. This means you have absolutely ZERO bandwidth restrictions!
No advertising, no bandwidth-restrictions, no logs, and no risk at all.
Many users prefer to test VPNs by downloading movies through torrent sites and check the speed before they decide to purchase the service. Some will even venture out on the dark web, but it is not recommended without a paid VPN-service.
Free VPN for Google Chrome
All services listed in our top-list work perfectly with Google Chrome. Almost all of the operators that we tested worked seamlessly in the Chrome browser. The only web-browser we encountered problems with was Opera, which performed poorly when it came to general speed and efficiency tests.
This goes hand in hand with the fact that the Opera browser performs poorly in ordinary performance tests compared to Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
Free VPN for Mozilla Firefox
Hotspot Shield, SetupVPN, RusVPN are a couple of services that we have tested for use with Mozilla Firefox.
All of the services have their expected disadvantages that come with free services such as advertising, but every single one fulfilled their purpose when testing for simple day-to-day tasks like using social media.
However, we quickly encountered problems with all of them when we tried to stream anything over 720p resolution.
The free services clearly do not pass our streaming-tests. However, if you are satisfied with 480p streaming or 720p + with buffering, then a free service for Firefox can definitely work for your purposes.
VPN with Chromecast
Chromecast does not have built-in VPN functionality, which means you have to connect your Chromecast to a virtual router using VPN. This sounds much more difficult than it actually is, but we recommend that you at least have some computer experience if you are going to take on this task.
ExpressVPN has written a well-detailed guide on how to set up a VPN with Chromecast.
VPN with IPTV
When it comes to streaming via IPTV using VPN, speed is of the highest priority. Everyone who has watched online TV knows that buffering and lag is one of the most frustrating things to experience when you are trying to relax with your favorite TV-shows. We do not recommend using a free service for IPTV. This is because it’s very risky for you if the operator log your activity. If they do this then it is very easy for various governments and companies to demand these logs and thus be able to prove that you use services such as IPTV.
Free VPN-service for Android
Our tests have shown that many of the Android VPN services are difficult to use, bulky and slow. But some that stand out are NordVPN and ProtonVPN which you’ll find high in our leaderboard.
We have tested the services on mobiles like Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, and even S10. The only noticeable difference between the mobiles is the speed, which is significantly slower with older cellphones.
For iPhone and iPad
When we conducted our VPN-tests for mobile VPN services, the end result was the same. Free software-providers are almost useless while other well-known operators actually offer a good free product.
We do not recommend using a free VPN for long-term streaming, but it works well for single videos. We encountered problems when using a VPN service for more than 1 hour of streaming at a time, which indicates that either your allocated bandwidth is running out, or the service is slowly but surely throttling your connection. Both are something we have come to expect from free services.
Free VPN tunnel
When you start looking for a VPN it is often because you have realized that you are not as anonymous & protected as you first thought on the internet.
Their first instinct is to find a free service because why pay for something when it’s available for free? As it turns out, it’s not smart to trust a third-party company with your information without a consumer-contract like you get when you subscribe to their service.
Your information is used as a form of payment and can be sold to advertisers by the operators. These advertisers are not always trustworthy. If you do end up using a free version, make sure they refuse to sell your data!
Therefore, it is important to be aware that you are not 100% protected when using a free VPN tunnel!
Free VPN – FAQ
🔒 Are free VPN-services secure?
- No. They can at best protect your data usage from your ISP but often your information is sold to third-party advertisers.
🔒 Are free VPN-services reliable?
- Far from all. The services listed here have undergone hundreds of hours of research and testing to ensure your safety. Unfortunately, we, and sometimes even the operators, do not have complete control over advertisers who use your information with free VPN services.
🔒 How does free VPN work?
- You usually register with your e-mail address or log in with Facebook. Then you can download your free VPN software and start using it. No payment is required, but you will ultimately pay with your personal data instead.
🔒 How do free VPN services make money?
- Free VPN-services often sell your information to advertisers who may use it to deliver targeted ads. However, there are many anecdotes about how personal information is sold to highly questionable companies. Use a free VPN service at your own risk.
🔒 Which free VPN works with Netflix?
- All VPN services listed here work flawlessly with Netflix. This is one of the basic requirements for a modern VPN service, according to VPNetic.
🔒 Which free VPN should I use?
- You should use a VPN that does not log or sell your information.
🔒 Which free VPN is best?
- VPN operators are constantly competing to offer the best free VPN service. But at the same time, they want to make money, so the services usually come with restrictions. The best VPN service for you is highly personal and depends on what you intend to use it for.
A free VPN will never be able to fully protect your personal data. The best way to protect yourself is to use a virtual machine. We will be writing a guide for this later this year so keep an eye out for it on our blog!
SUP46, Start-Up People of Sweden, Regeringsgatan 6th floor, Stockholm
Author Per-Erik Eriksson
Per-Erik-Eriksson is the main author of VPNetic. Everything you read here has been written by him or one of his colleagues. Per-Erik has 10 years of experience within cybersecurity and has previously worked at Microsoft as a software engineer.