Best Free VPNs for Schools in 2023

Best VPN for Schools
Written by: Per-Erik Eriksson

A lot of schools and colleges put restrictions on their Wifi. This is because they want students to remain focused on their academic endeavors. At the same time, they cannot provide good bandwidth for that many users, especially if they are torrenting. 

If you are experiencing bad college Wifi, it is time you got a VPN. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are designed to protect your privacy (location) and ensure your traffic content remains hidden. 

The first is achieved by running your online traffic through a VPN server and assigning your device an IP address different than the one provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The second is achieved by encrypting (coding) your traffic utilizing a tunneling protocol so that nobody but your VPN server can decode it.

One widespread use of VPNs is to unblock popular streaming services in restricted areas. For example, suppose you cannot access Netflix US while travelling in Europe. In that case, a virtual private network will let you choose a US VPN server, making the system believe you are actually in the US. 

In case you don't want to read the entire article, here’s a quick summary of the best VPN services according to our independent tests and research:
  • NordVPN Best VPN for general work and entertainment purposes. I found it to be reliable, high-speed, and easy to set up, and it's one that I use daily for work.
  • ProtonVPN (Free Version) Proton is often referred to as the single most trustworthy company in the VPN business. They focus on security over anything else and offer the best free VPN available. This is the company behind ProtonMail.
  • CyberGhost VPN was voted as the best gaming VPN for 2023 and is one of the cheapest VPN services among the whole top 10.

Best VPN for School

NordVPN Logo

6 simultaneous devices.

  • Fastest VPN 2023
  • Servers: 5300+
  • Countries: 60+

WHY I LIKE NORDVPN 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, making NordVPN an obvious choice for many. They have 24/7 customer support if you need help getting started. Their app is one of the most well-designed apps I have ever used. NordVPN even accepts cryptocurrencies as payment for extra anonymity.

Surfshark logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Best Cheap VPN 2023
  • Servers: 3200+
  • Countries: 65+

WHY I LIKE SURFSHARK: 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.

Cyberghost VPN Logo

7 simultaneous devices.

  • Best Torrent VPN
  • Servers: 7400+
  • Countries: 91+

WHY I LIKE CYBERGHOST CyberGhost VPN is the first choice of many other cybersecurity 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 every-day purposes like P2P-filesharing. Cyberghost VPN also has the longest stretching money-back guarantee at a full 45 days.

Private Internet Access VPN Logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Best Netflix/Streaming VPN
  • Servers: 35500+
  • Countries: 84+

WHY I LIKE PIA VPN: PrivateInternetAccess is at the top of my streaming tests, which is a great combination with their easy-to-use UI, Open-Source software and built in adblocker. PIA is also perfect for those who want to be able to pay with PayPal which for some reason, many other VPN services do not support. 30-day money-back guarantee, multiple Netflix libraries, and extremely affordable are the three main selling points for this VPN service.

Atlas VPN Logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Robust/Security focused
  • Servers: 750+
  • Countries: 43+

WHY I LIKE ATLAS VPN: Atlas VPN is one of the best new free VPN services. With the free version, you get unlimited data, no ads and zero logging. During my speed tests, Atlas VPN performed very well and could compete with mainstream services. Kill Switch, Ad-blocker, and P2P support all included with a regular subscription, which is incredibly cheap for such a robust service.

ProtonVPN Logo

10 simultaneous devices.

  • Best Free VPN 2023
  • Servers: 1713+
  • Countries: 63+

WHY I LIKE PROTONVPN: ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland and is most known for their e-mail service ProtonMail. They currently offer the safest free VPN services on the market. There is also support for TOR usage and P2P file sharing. I highly recommend ProtonVPN if you are intending to do some extensive online sharing. It goes without saying that Proton does not collect logs of any kind and is completely safe to use.

PrivateVPN Logo

10 simultaneous devices.

  • Best VPN for Gaming and Streaming
  • Servers: 200+
  • Countries: 63+

WHY I LIKE PRIVATEVPN: PrivateVPN is the strong underdog in the world of VPNs. With a shy number of servers, it is evident that they are focusing on quality over quantity. Overall, PrivateVPN is a very decent choice of VPN, especially if you had enough of the excessive advertising by some of the other more known brands in this list. Setting up the VPN requires extremely little intervention, and you can even pay with Bitcoin.

ExpressVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best Mobile VPN app
  • Servers: 3000+
  • Countries: 94+
Orchid VPN Logo
One-time fee.


  • Pay for that you use
  • Unlimited devices
  • Pay in Crypto
Hotspot Shield VPN Logo

45 day money-back guarantee.

  • Fastest free VPN
  • Servers: 3200+
  • Countries: 80+
ZoogVPN Logo

7 day money-back guarantee.

  • Great free VPN
  • Servers: 1000+
  • Countries: 26+

10 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best reputation
  • Servers: 91+
  • Countries: 17+
Trust.Zone Logo

No money-back guarantee.

  • Best new VPN
  • Servers: 202+
  • Countries: 41+
iTop VPN Logo

15 day money-back guarantee.

  • Great adblocker included
  • Servers: 1800+
  • Countries: 20+
Speedify Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices simultaneously
  • Unlimited usage
  • 50+ locations
HideIPVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Unlimited traffic
  • Up to 1 Gbps
  • Free trial
VeePN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 10 devices
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Countries: 60+
18 Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices
  • Free trial
  • Countries: 45+
19 Logo
$5.00 /user

14 day free trial/money-back guarantee.

  • Simple Cloud VPN Setup
  • Site-to-site VPN Tunneling
  • Easy Server & User Management
BullVPN Logo

No money-back guarantee.

  • 2 devices
  • Countries: 28+
  • Locations: 100+
SymlexVPN Logo

7 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices
  • Locations: 65+
  • 24/7 live support
iProVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 10 devices
  • Countries: 20+
  • P2P Optimization
SecureVPN Logo

Basic, advanced, and pro plans.

  • Countries: 22+
  • Locations: 36+
  • 24/7 live support
Hola VPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best multi-device VPN
  • Servers: 1000+
  • Countries: 200+


ExpressVPN New Logo

ExpressVPN app is available for Windows, iOS, Linux, macOS, Android, routers, Chromebook and Kindle Fire. The service provider is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries and 160 locations.

ExpressVPN is user-friendly and a great option for torrenting on all of its servers. You can access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Five simultaneous connections are allowed.

The provider is also equipped with 256-bit AES encryption, double tunneling, a private DNS, a kill switch, a threat manager, and Lightway Protocol, which makes the service even faster and more reliable.

ExpressVPN keeps no logs on your traffic. However, it does retain some metadata related to troubleshooting requests. 

Currently, the best deal is the 12 months + 3 months free, which comes at $6.67/month. The provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PrivateInternetAccess VPN

Private Internet Access VPN New Logo

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN is available for Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, iOS, and routers. It has a large number of servers in 84 countries. The service can be used on ten devices simultaneously.

PIA VPN cannot unblock US Netflix, but it is a good option for torrenting, even though its speed tends to change.

This provider is a great student option because of its competitive price. Its best deal is $2.03/month for a three-year plan ($79 per three years). In addition, they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost Small Logo

CyberGhost can be used on iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Android TV, smart TVs, and routers. The company has more than 8,000 servers in 91 countries and 115 locations. It allows seven simultaneous connections.

The provider has dedicated streaming servers and boasts 256-bit AES encryption, an ad-blocking feature, advanced split tunneling, and a kill switch. 

CyberGhost’s best deal is the three-year plan with three months free, which costs $2.29/month. In addition, there is a 45-day money-back guarantee.


Nord VPN New Logo

NordVPN provides exceptional speed for downloading and streaming. This widely used VPN provider boasts over 5,500 servers in 59 countries and can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

NordVPN application is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android, and Android TV, and it can be used on six devices simultaneously.

The company is based in Panama, where it is against the law to collect users’ data without a warrant. Third parties that come into possession of such data are required to delete them within ten days of the users’ request for removal. NordVPN has a strict no-log policy, so you do not have to worry that your information will be sold to a third party.

This is not the cheapest VPN service out there, but it is not the most expensive one either. Currently, its Standard monthly plan costs $11.99/month, $4.99 per month per year, and $3.69 for a two-year plan (plus three months free). 

NordVPN offers different discounts all year round, especially during holidays. There is also an additional 15% discount for students and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark Small Logo

Surfshark also provides excellent speed and lets you access popular streaming services. It has over 3,200 servers in 65 countries and is available for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux and Windows, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. While most VPN providers offer a maximum number of simultaneous connections, there is no such limit with Surfshark.

Its military-grade encryption (AES-256) ensures top protection for your online traffic. The service also includes private DNS and leak protection, obfuscated, RAM-only servers, and a kill switch

Surfshark has a no-log policy and claims not to collect personally identifiable information about its users.

Monthly Surfshark service currently costs $2.49 for a two-year plan. However, students can get two months of service free of charge. 

How to Enable VPN Service on Your School’s Wifi

Most VPNs are user-friendly and easy to set up and use, even for beginners. Here are the steps you need to take to enable your VPN on a school Wifi:

  1. Choose a VPN provider and download the app. (You should do this at home, as most schools ban the use of VPN websites.)
  2. Open the VPN app and choose a server. 
  3. Access the service of your choice and enjoy your favorite content.

Final Thoughts

There is an overwhelming number of VPNs to choose from, and to an untrained eye, they might all seem very similar. The most important aspects of a VPN that students should consider are:

  • Unblocking and torrenting ability,
  • Downloading speed,
  • The size of the server network,
  • The provider’s logging policy.

Top encryption is, of course, understood, and additional safety features are more than welcome.

Since most providers have special offers for students and a money-back guarantee or a free trial, it does not hurt to try out several services to determine which works best for you and your requirements.

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