A VPN is an incredible online security tool that allows you to be anonymous online, protected from hackers, and able to access streaming content through a foreign VPN address. To save money, many people look for the best free VPN option that offers all of these benefits – without paying a dime.
Sadly, business rules apply to everything: that includes VPNs. things are free for a reason. Choosing the wrong free VPN service can get you into all sorts of trouble. From slow, congested servers and no access to your favorite streaming platforms to intrusive spam ads and poor data security and data sales practices: free VPNs can do more harm than good.
PrivadoVPN promises to keep you private, and it excels at doing so. There are multiple reasons why this provider ended up at the top of the list. First of all, PrivadoVPN is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Android TV. PrivadoVPN also has a FireStick app, so you can use this VPN on different smart TVs as well. Finally, it can be used with Netflix, which is not common for free VPN services (so it is a huge advantage).
With PrivadoVPN, downloading seeds was absolutely no problem; we tried downloading several different seeds ourselves while connected to PrivadoVPN and the process ran smoothly.
PrivadoVPN offers unlimited speeds, as long as you stay within the 10 GB per month data limit. Note that you can still use PrivadoVPN after completing the 10 GB of data per month. you will be limited to one server and 1 Mbit of speed, but you will still be protected and anonymized.
Moreover, considering that it is a free VPN, there are plenty of server locations to choose from: Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, London, Amsterdam, New York, Chicago, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles, Montreal, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires.
Finally, PrivadoVPN Free comes with an automatic termination switch. This is an important security feature that is usually only available in paid VPN services.
We tested a bunch of the best free VPNs, and out of all of them, Proton VPN Free impressed us the most. As we found, this Swiss provider is a virtually free VPN solution for the long haul, and its excellent privacy and security history addresses many of the concerns that come with free services.
First, Proton VPN Free is different because it offers truly unlimited data – it’s one of the only free VPNs you can really set and forget about without worrying about how much data you’re using. And, with peak speeds of 380Mbps in our tests, you’re unlikely to be slowed down.
While you won’t get advanced features like Proton’s Secure Core server, you’ll still get all the basics like WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols, termination switches, access to the support team via email, and a comprehensive knowledge base. Proton’s standard is zero logging, and you’ll also get split tunnels and useful leak protection. Many paid plans don’t offer this feature – not to mention the free option with unlimited data.
Of course, there are still some pretty big takeaways. You can only access 3 server locations (US, Netherlands, Japan), you can only use your plan on one device at a time, and unlike some free competitors, there’s no P2P support. if you use a streaming VPN, you’re also out of luck with malware and ad blocking not being on the desktop.
However, compared to its competitors, Proton VPN Free is the most comprehensive free VPN download we’ve tested, especially in terms of privacy and security. If you really can’t justify signing up with a paid provider, then we recommend using the service.
Windscribe Free VPN is a premium Canadian service with an attractive feature set that justifies its top three spots.
Data limits are slightly more restrictive than our two top VPNs, with a strict limit of 10GB per month. however, this is enough to protect a lot of online activity, and Windscribe Free VPN has its own bonus points to compensate. Most free plans limit you to one connection, but Windscribe has no limitations: you can install and use it on as many devices at once as you need.
The network is another highlight, with Windscribe Free VPN users being able to choose from 14 locations in 11 countries. This beats PrivadoVPN Free (nine countries), Proton VPN (three countries) and many others.
In our recent tests, speeds were about 240 Mbps. that’s about two-thirds of what we saw with Proton VPN Free, but it’s probably good enough for most situations.
These apps are more about functionality than simplicity, and if you’re new to VPNs, they may seem confusing in some ways. But they’re not difficult to operate at a basic level, more experienced users have access to a variety of tools and features, and our testing shows that they’re also reliable and deliver on their promises.
There are some surprising advantages, too. Although Windscribe Free VPN does not include a professional Windflix streaming server, we found that the service still managed to unlock Netflix UK and BBC iPlayer.
In summary, while Windscribe Free VPN can’t quite match Proton VPN and PrivadoVPN, it comes very close, and the service is likely the right choice for some people.
Atlas VPN is another amazing free VPN for Android devices, but keep in mind that it sets a limit of 5GB per month, so you may want to consider the paid version if you want to stream or download a lot of files.
Other than that, the free Android app allows you to connect to three locations: the Netherlands (Amsterdam), the US (Los Angeles) and the US (New York). You will also have a termination switch to protect your anonymity in case your VPN connection is interrupted. However, your account can only be used on a single device.
Also, the full Android version provides a data breach checker, tracker blocker, and access to over 750 servers in 37 regions.
Atlas VPN is also very secure because it uses AES-256 encryption, implements secure tunneling protocols such as WireGuard and IKEv2, and has a trustworthy no-logging policy.
Most VPNs have a serious vibe to their user interface, but TunnelBear takes a different approach with its intuitive, fun and easy to use user interface. It connects to an encrypted tunnel with the click of a button, and once connected, the application shows us our server location via a virtual map. This is very useful because choosing the server location closest to our physical location usually results in faster upload and download speeds. Whenever we feel slowed down, we simply click on “Tunnel”, an icon representing TunnelBear’s server location closest to us, to get a better connection.
Although TunnelBear is a free VPN, it allows up to five connections at a time. In fact, we’ve used it several times to encrypt our MacBook Air, Android smartphone, and iPad connected to the public library Wi-Fi network. This is another advantage of TunnelBear as a free VPN: It works with all major operating systems for desktop and mobile devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It also has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, which allows us to encrypt only our browsing data, not our entire online activity on our laptop or smartphone.
While other VPNs limit the number of virtual locations that free users can access, we like that TunnelBear lets us connect to more than 20 different server locations. It allows us to choose the closest server for faster speeds and switch to a different server if our current connection is bad. For people like us who are not geography buffs, TunnelBear’s interface makes it easier to see where the servers are located. The interface also makes it easier to find other nearby servers if the nearest server isn’t fast or if you want to change your iPhone’s location to a specific country/region.