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Best-free-vpns

Best Free VPN
There are so many free VPNs out there for both desktops and mobile. However, it’s worth exercising caution as free VPNs lack in terms of security, privacy, and performance. The best VPN like ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers full functionality backed with a 30 refund policy.

With growing cyber threats, the demand for VPNs has skyrocketed. Despite offering less security, limited server selection, and bandwidth, free VPNs are hugely popular. It is why there are thousands of supposed free VPN services online.

But when there’s an endless pool of reliable and sketchy VPNs, how do you decide which best free VPN to pick.

We have tested over 60+ VPNs, both free and paid, over the years. In this article, we bring you the 7 really best free VPNs that are secure and trustworthy. We’ll also try and highlight the key features and limitations of the free VPNs that we have discussed below.

If you don’t want to be bothered by the limitations or privacy risks of free VPNs, we would suggest getting ExpressVPN which offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll be able to test out all of its features, such as unlimited bandwidth, 3000+ servers, military-grade 256-bit encryption, and much more. Another cool thing about this VPN is that it also offers a 3-months free subscription if you go for its 12-months plan.


What are the Risks of Using a Free VPN?

Free VPNs are highly discouraged by most privacy-conscious users. The reason is that free VPNs sell user data to third parties, who then use it to target us with annoying ads. Here are all the risks of using a free VPN service:

  1. Small server network: With free VPNs, you get a poor selection of servers. With an average of ten server locations, you can barely unblock any geo-restricted content with these VPN services.
  2. Bandwidth restrictions: If you’re ready to get frustrated with unjust data limits, then you can opt for a free VPN service. Since it will only offer a limited amount of MBs, you’ll eventually have to subscribe to a premium VPN service.
  3. Lack of advanced features: If you’re opting for a free VPN, then just know that it won’t offer a variety of features. With them, you won’t get split tunnelling and obfuscated servers.
  4. Speed restrictions: Due to traffic overload, the speeds are limited on every server. This can be frustrated while gaming, streaming, and torrenting.
  5. Data collection: Collecting users’ browsing data and selling it to third parties is common when it comes to free VPNs. There are also various privacy breaches associated with free VPNs.

This is why paid VPNs are always the best option. Paid VPNs don’t collect user logs and offer top-notch security features that won’t compromise your privacy. You’ll also get access to unlimited bandwidth, which is perfect for endless streaming and torrenting.


Worth Considering: 30-Day Free Trial of a Premium VPN

Due to all the risks and disadvantages of using the free VPNs listed above, we strongly advise you to opt for a premium VPN service. Amongst all the ones present in the industry, the one we highly recommend after extensive testing is ExpressVPN

While it offers a paid subscription, it also comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee for users to test out all the premium features of this VPN for 30 days. During this period, you can access geo-restricted content, torrent, and play geoblocked games from anywhere in the world using its fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth, You can read our ExpressVPN Review to learn more about this VPN service.

  • 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
  • Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
  • 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
  • Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
  • 5 Multi Logins
  • Zero-knowledge DNS
Excellent - 4.6
Based on 100 reviews

Even within the 30-day period, if you still believe that the service isn’t for you (which we highly doubt), then we’re all set to answer your ‘Which free VPN is best?’ question using the list below.


7 Best Free VPN Services of 2022 – Quick Overview

Here’s a brief overview of the top 7 best free VPNs in 2022:

  1. Windscribe VPNThe Best Free VPN Service. Offers 10 GB/month of limited bandwidth with unlimited simultaneous connections. Offers 10 server locations.
  2. ProtonVPNFree VPN with unlimited bandwidth. Offers unlimited bandwidth for streaming, browsing, and more. Supports 1 device per account. Comes with only 3 servers present in the US, Netherlands, and Japan.
  3. Hotspot ShieldGreat Free VPN for torrenting. Offers 500 MB/ day of free data with access to only 1 server location (i.e., US).
  4. TunnelBearUser-friendly Free VPN. Comes with 500 MB/ month of free data and support for 5 simultaneous connections. Offers access to 49 server locations.
  5. Hide.MeSecure Free VPN. Offers 10 GB/ month of free data and 5 server locations. Allows a single connection on one account.
  6. SpeedifyFree VPN with Fast Speeds. Offers 2GB data/month along with servers in 36 countries. Offers only one simultaneous connection per subscription.
  7. Betternet — Reliable Free VPN for Users. Provides users with a daily limit of 500 MB along with 1 US server on the free plan. Allows users to connect just one device per plan.

How we tested these Free VPNs | FAQs 


The Best Free VPN Services (August 2022 In-Depth Analysis)

After testing 60+ free VPNs on various criteria like data allowance, speed, server access, and security, we bring you the top 7 free VPNs in 2022 that are safe to use. Here is a detailed analysis of these top 7 free providers:

1. Windscribe VPNThe Best Free VPN Service

Windscribe

8.5/10
Read Review
  • Strong Encryption Protocols
  • Free Version Offered
  • 3 Days Money Back Guarantee
  • 50 Server Locations (11 in Free Version)
  • Accepts Bitcoin Payments
  • Offers OpenVPN encryption

Windscribe is absolutely the best free VPN service with no hidden charges or shady schemes. The services offer 10 server locations on its free version.

Its free version offers 10 GB of data per month. To receive the 10 GB data, you will have to register with an email address. Otherwise, you will only receive 2 GB of monthly bandwidth. Additionally, you can also receive 5 GB extra bandwidth by just tweeting about Windscribe.

Almost all the major streaming services are accessible with this provider. In fact, Windscribe is also among the best free VPNs for Netflix. Windscribe also supports torrenting on its free servers and keeps no logs of users’ browsing activities.

windscribe-unblocked-us-netflix

We could enjoy Riverdale on American Netflix for 2-3 hours with Windscribe’s Atlanta – Mountain server

The provider offers a lot of the security features on its free version, including the Internet Kill Switch, ad blocker, and even multi-hop, allowing you to connect through more than one VPN server. Windscribe also offers protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks.

Even though its headquarter is based in Canada, the provider offers military-grade AES-256-bit encryption and a zero-log policy for utmost security and privacy.

It also features a “Stealth protocol” that obfuscates your VPN traffic and makes it look like normal HTTPS traffic. This cool feature allows the VPN to work in countries with high internet restrictions like China.

It is the best free mobile VPN that is compatible with both iOS and Android. It works great with Windows and Mac as well. There are also extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and MS Edge. However, you can only connect one device at a time.

For more information, check out our Windscribe VPN review.

Pros
  • 10 GB data per month
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Unblocks US Netflix
  • Offers a Stealth protocol
  • Supports torrenting
Cons
  • Based in Canada (member of the 5 eyes)
  • No unlimited bandwidth
  • Doesn’t offer WireGuard on free plan

2. ProtonVPN – Free VPN with Unlimited Bandwidth

protonvpn

8.6/10
Read Review
  • Freemium Version to the Users
  • Users can Cancel at any Time
  • In-built Kill Switch
  • Multi-Hoping Capability
  • OpenVPN and IKEv2(For Mac)
  • Tor Servers

ProtonVPN is the most popular free VPN with unlimited bandwidth and data. Its free version offers unlimited data so you can download and stream as much as you want. This is amazing as most free VPNs offer 500 MB to 10 GB of data at max.

Also, free users can connect to servers in three countries (Japan, the US, and the Netherlands) only. It does not work with Netflix, but we could unblock other platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and more. However, you cannot download torrents on ProtonVPN’s free version.

ProtonVPN’s power lies in complete security, offering you military-grade 256-bit encryption and the safety of the OpenVPN protocol. There is also an automatic kill switch that keeps you protected at all times. Another great thing about ProtonVPN is that it’s based in Switzerland, which does not belong to the 14-Eyes Alliance.

protonvpn-no-log-policy

As this free VPN has no obligations to store user data, it keeps no activity logs

Most of ProtonVPN’s features are saved for paid users. Only those who subscribe to premium subscriptions get to enjoy P2P file sharing, NetShield, Secure Core VPN, Tor over VPN, and the possibility to access geo-blocked streaming services.

If you create a free ProtonVPN account, you can only use it on one device at a time. However, its service is great for all. It offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, and iOS. It is also the best free unlimited VPN for Android.

If you run into any obstacles while using the app, you can fill in the support form or explore the self-help section of ProtonVPN. Unfortunately, there’s no live chat support even for paid users.

You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.

Pros
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • OpenVPN protocol offered
  • Allows torrenting
Cons
  • One simultaneous connection supported
  • Servers in only 3 locations

3. Hotspot Shield –  Best Free VPN for torrenting 

hotspot-shield

8.5/10
Read Review
  • Freemium Service
  • 45 Days Money Back Guarantee
  • Kill Switch & Split Tunneling
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility
  • Works with Netflix
  • Supports Torrenting

Hotspot Shield is one of the best free VPNs for torrenting. The only drawback of this VPN service is that its free version only allows you to connect to U.S servers. Moreover, it only allows 500 MB of data per day which is not enough for avid streamers.

Hotspot Shield offers a distinct feature called Catapult Hydra protocol that is designed to offer fast-speed connections on long distances.

During testing, it managed to deliver a speed of 44.63 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. It was more than enough to download torrent files, however, we did run out of daily data very quickly.

hotspot-shield-speed-results-free-VPN

We were unable to use these speeds of the NY server for streaming due to low bandwidth

Hotspot Shield is not a good option for streaming as it does not work with popular services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more. Similarly, with such a low data allowance of 500 MB per day, you can only stream for about 1-2 hours.

Hotspot Shield is safe to use as it offers 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and IP leak protection. With leak protection it makes sure no one can see your online activities, including your ISP.

Hotspot Shield is another quality service that offers impressive features while being easy on the pocket. Although Hotspot Shield’s headquarters are located in the US, it still supports a zero-log policy for its users and protects against all sorts of IP and DNS leaks.

Upon further investigation, we found out the Hotspot Shield does log some user data like timestamps, the device you are using, and bandwidth consumed. However, none of this data can be used to identify you online.

The VPN service’s app is compatible with most operating systems and devices. The sleek and easy-to-use app interface makes it easy to get started on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices.

However, the free version of Hotspot Shield is supported by ads, so it gets really annoying as, during testing, we encountered a lot of ads while browsing. If you want to use Hotspot Shield, we recommend getting an ad blocker, so you don’t experience constant pop-up ads.

For more information, check out the Hotspot Shield review.

Pros
  • Catapult Hydra protocol offered
  • Supports P2P connections
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection
Cons
  • Only 1 server on the free plan
  • Unreliable for streaming
  • Low amount of data

4. TunnelBear – User-friendly Free VPN

tunnelbear

8.5/10
Read Review
  • Multi-Login Features
  • GhostBear Feature
  • Secures from DNS Leaks Issues
  • Offers Little Free Plan
  • Blocker for Google Chrome
  • Compatible with Leading Platforms

TunnelBear is one of the most user-friendly free VPN services that offer easy-to-use apps best for beginners. It features a cute, animated bear that guides you through the app, making the interface very pleasing.

The free version of TunnelBear only allows 500 MB per month of data which is very little for streaming and other data-intensive tasks. If you tweet about TunnelBear or refer them to a friend, you can receive 1 GB additional bandwidth for free.

It is one of the most reliable free VPN services with a lot of servers as compared to other VPNs on this list. It offers over 49 server locations, more than what most other providers offer for free.

tunnelbear-server-list

These servers are available in the US, Australia, the UK, India, and more.

During testing, we got a decent speed of 55.81 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Since TunnelBear has a large server network, you can connect to any server you want, and you will get decent speeds.

Furthermore, it offers top security and greater functionality with VigilantBear (Internet Kill Switch) and GhostBear (for dealing with connection problems).

It is probably the only free VPN provider that has been audited independently. Like other providers on this list, it also uses AES 256-bit encryption and guarantees no data logging.

Although its headquarter is located in Canada, a part of Five Eye Alliance, it has proved to be quite a secure and reliable service for protecting online identity and privacy.

You can use TunnelBear on various devices such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Sadly, TunnelBear does not work with popular sites like Netflix, Disney+, and more. But you can use it for browsing and general tasks.

The most disappointing fact about TunnelBear is that it only offers a 500 MB per month limit. If your VPN usage requirements are met, then this limit is workable.

Still, if your purpose includes streaming, torrenting and P2P download, then you might want to consider subscribing to a premium VPN provider.

You can learn more about this service in our TunnelBear review.

Pros
  • Servers in 49 countries
  • Speeds are not bad at all
  • Internet kill switch offered
  • AES 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • The data limit is too low
  • Not a good option for streaming

5. Hide.Me – Secure Free VPN

hide.me

8.2/10
Read Review
  • Robust Encryption
  • P2P Compatibility
  • Free Package
  • Safe Payment Methods
  • 14-day money back guarantee
  • Easy to Use

Hide.Me is one of the most secure free VPN services that offer 256-bit encryption along with additional features for privacy and security. It offers 10 GB of free monthly data and access to 5 server locations. These servers are located in Canada, the US (East and West), Germany, and the Netherlands.

These servers don’t work with Netflix US and other popular streaming platforms, Hide.Me does support torrenting on its free servers. It supports torrenting but doesn’t have the unblocking strength to work with streaming apps like Netflix, iPlayer, etc.

However, you are limited to the amount of file-sharing you can do with the 10 GB data cap.

In addition, this VPN comes equipped with advanced features such as a firewall (Stealth Guard), Internet Kill Switch, and split tunneling. Hide.Me offers advanced protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, and SSTP for free.

hideme-dns-leak-test

Its IP leak protection feature ensured that we’re secure after connecting to its Massachusetts server

Its headquarter is based in Malaysia, and the service fully supports a zero-log policy for complete anonymity and privacy.

It can be easily configured on Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, or Linux. You can also set up Hide.Me VPN on your Amazon Fire TV and routers. Hide.Me also offers free router configuration files so you can even connect devices that don’t have native support for VPNs like Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more.

There are easy-to-follow setup guides available on Hide.Me’s official website along with 24/7 live chat support. It is fast as we got a response in less than 20 seconds.

You can learn more about this service in our Hide.Me review.

Pros
  • Supports torrenting
  • 10 GB data per month
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther protocols offered
  • 24/7 live chat support
Cons
  • Doesn’t work with American Netflix
  • Offers one multi-login

6. SpeedifyFree VPN with Fast Speeds

speedify

  • Modern Interface
  • Good Speed
  • Channel Bonding Protocol
  • 1000+ Dedicated Servers
  • P2P Compatible
  • 30 Day Refund Policy

Speedify is one of the fastest free VPN services on this list. Speedify offers 2 GB of monthly data. While 2 GB monthly data is enough for web surfing and social media, it is nowhere enough for streaming or torrenting.

It does offer access to more than 1,000 servers across 36 countries. So, you can get the IP address of any country you want with such a large collection of servers. Unfortunately, it does not work with Netflix and other popular sites like Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more. However, it did unblock BBC iPlayer after continuous tries.

BBC-iplayer-working-with-speedify

We faced a few lags while streaming BBC iPlayer until our London#2 was detected

It comes with a unique Channel bonding technology that uses both Wi-Fi and cellular data (4G) to boost your connection speeds. However, you might run out of data as it sends twice as much traffic as compared to a normal connection.

As for security, Speedify uses the latest ChaCha and AES-based encryption, Packet loss and error correction, Automatic failover, and more. In addition to that, Speedify follows a strict no-log VPN policy.

The provider is committed to keeping the free version ad-free. This is great for your security because it means that Speedify doesn’t have to share any of your information with third-party advertisers.

However, it is based in the US, which might be concerning for some users considering America’s data retention policies.

It is currently compatible with all the major platforms such as macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and more.  However, Speedify free VPN can only be used on one device at a time.

Speedify provides support via a knowledge base, social media, and email. However, there is no live chat feature available.

You can learn more about this service in our Speedify review.

Pros
  • Free servers in 36 countries
  • The free plan is ad-free
  • 2 GB of monthly data
  • Channel bonding technology
Cons
  • Doesn’t work with streaming services like Netflix

7. BetternetReliable Free VPN for Users

betternet

7.6/10
Read Review
  • Zero Activity Logging Policy
  • No Bandwidth Caps
  • No Data Caps
  • Easy-to-use
  • Free Trial
  • One Touch Server Selection

Betternet is one of the most anonymous free VPN services that requires no registration. It offers 500 MB/day of data which is not enough to stream HD content or download large torrent files. With this much data, you can only stream for about 1-2 hours.

With a single available location on the free account (The US), you can’t access geo-restricted websites of other regions or countries. However, it does not work with popular American streaming sites like Netflix US, Hulu, HBO Max, and more.

betternet-not-working-with-hulu

Betternet did not work with Hulu due to traffic overload on its only US server

But if we talk about security features, Betternet offers 256-bit encryption, fast speeds, and perfect forward secrecy. It also offers IPSec and OpenVPN protocol with both AES 256-bit encryption and AES 128-bit AES-CBC encryption.

It does lack an Internet Kill Switch feature, which is quite a common feature in VPNs these days.

Betternet also keeps some logs. Its headquarters are located in Canada, which is not ideal for online security and privacy as it is a member of the 14 Eyes alliance. Moreover, it also displays quite a bit of advertisement, which we found quite annoying.

It is pretty decent in performance across popular operating systems such as macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. But with its free subscription, you can only connect a single device at any given moment, which is very annoying.

Also, on its free version, you cannot access customer support either.

You can learn more about this service in our Betternet review.

Pros
  • 500 MB of data each day
  • AES 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • Keeps logs
  • Doesn’t unblock Netflix, Hulu, etc.
  • Offers 1 server only
  • No kill switch feature

Side-by-Side Comparison of the Best Free VPN in 2022

Here is a quick comparison of the top free VPNs in 2022:​

VPNsProtonVPNWindscribeTunnelBearhotspotshieldhidemespeedifybetternet
JurisdictionSwitzerlandCanadaCanadaUSAUSAUSAUSA
SecurityAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256-bitAES 256-bitAES 256-bit
Data Usage LimitUnlimited10 GB/mo500 MB/mo500 MB/mo10 GB/mo2 GB/mo500 MB/day
Server Locations3 locations (USA, Netherlands, and Japan)10 locations49 locationsUS5 locations (US East/West, Canada, Singapore, Netherlands)36 countries1 location(US)
Simultaneous connections1Unlimited11111
StreamingNetflix, YouTube, HBO, CBC, and MoreYouTubeNetflix, and MoreYoutube and HBOYouTubeYoutube, and moreYouTube
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire Stick, Kodi, etc.Windows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOS
Read MoreProtonVPN ReviewWindscribe ReviewTunnelBear ReviewHotspot Shield ReviewHide.Me ReviewSpeedify ReviewBetternet Review
More InfoVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site

Testing Methodology: How we Tested the Best Free VPN Services in 2022

We have tested 60+ free VPN services to bring you the top free VPNs in 2022. These VPNs were selected on the following performance criteria:

1. Security

Does it offer 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and secure protocols? Most free VPNs are not secure as they log user data. So, make sure the free VPN encrypts online traffic using 256-bit encryption and further boosts security with a kill switch, IP leak protection, and more.

2. Speed

Is it fast or slow for streaming, torrenting, and general browsing? Make sure the free VPN you choose does not slow down your connection speeds by more than 30%.

3. Bandwidth limitations

How much bandwidth does the free VPN offer? We made sure to include free providers that offer a generous data allowance.

4. Reliability

Is the VPN trustworthy and safe to use? We made sure to include the VPNs that offer reliable privacy policies and are safe to use.

5. Streaming

Can a free VPN help you unblock streaming services like Netflix? Most of the VPNs mentioned in this guide, like Windscribe, work with popular streaming sites like YouTube, HBO, Netflix, and more.

6. Compatibility

Is the free VPN compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and more? Make sure the VPN you choose offers apps for various platforms so you can easily get started.

7. Customer Support

Does it offer 24/7 customer support? Make sure the free VPN you choose offers 24/7 support. Live chat support is the most ideal.


5 Reasons to Use a Trial Version Instead of a Free VPN?

Free VPNs come with a lot of limitations and question marks. There are plenty of trustworthy VPNs in the market that have spotless reputations. Using a premium VPN is always better than handling your data and browsing history to untrustworthy providers.

For example, in July 2020, UFO VPN – a Hong Kong-based VPN provider that claims to have “no logs” was found keeping detailed logs of its users. The information included account credentials, personally identifiable information, and more.

In comparison, in 2016, ExpressVPN’s servers were seized by Turkish authorities after a political assassination. According to reports, the person behind the assassination allegedly used ExpressVPN to mask his tracks on social media and online. However, the servers revealed no information that could help the investigation, further proving ExpressVPN’s zero-logging policies.

Here are a few reasons why you should opt for a trial version of a premium VPN as opposed to using a free VPN.

1. Free VPNs are NOT safe

free-vpns-not-safe

Free VPNs are simply not safe at all. Why? Because to provide access to secure VPN servers, the provider needs to bear a lot of costs. That is why you as a customer have to pay for the service to cover those costs. So, if you are not paying for the product, it means you are the product. There is no such thing as free lunch.

According to Daniel Markuson, Digital Privacy Expert at NordVPN,

“There is no such thing as a free lunch. If a user does not pay for a service, there must be an alternative price to be paid. And, very often, its privacy.”

According to a study by CSIRO, more than 75% of free VPNs have at least one third-party tracker in their software. These trackers collect a lot of information that is shared with third-party advertisers.

Thousands of apps on iOS and Android stores that account for millions of installs – have unacceptable privacy policies and are known to share data with authorities. Most apps on App Stores are flagged as unsafe.

2. Aggressive advertising

Aggressive advertising is another tactic used by free VPN services to make money. However, free services go beyond annoying pop-ups, and banner ads as most free providers sneak trackers in ads. These trackers can stay on your browser and track your every move.

Hotspot Shield is a free VPN provider that uses excessive ads. In 2017, the free VPN provider was hit with a Federal Trade Commission complaint for privacy violations by serving ads. Researchers also noted that the provider has a backdoor in its systems that is used to sell data to advertisers and uses more than five tracking libraries.

When the news broke, Ars Technia, Hotspot Shield’s parent company, AnchorFree denied the allegations and said that they openly state on their website that the free version is funded by ads.

3. High chances of catching malware

According to research by CSIRO, 38% of free Android VPNs contain malware – despite the security and privacy features they claim to offer. What’s more concerning is that these VPNs account for millions of downloads on Google Play Store.

So, if you are a free VPN user, ask yourself, is the risk worth it? Are you willing to take a chance by opting for a free VPN and getting your credentials stolen?

There have been many instances in the past where Android users have been hit with malware like Joker Malware, FluBot Malware, and plenty more through apps on Google Play Store. That’s not all. In 2019 Kaspersky noted a 60% increase in Trojans that steal passwords.

4. Slow speeds and buffering

One of the major reasons people use a VPN is to access geo-restricted streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, etc., from countries that don’t have access to these sites. But what is the point of a VPN, when it is too slow that you cannot watch anything online, despite a good internet speed?

Performance is another con of free VPNs. Most services only offer a limited number of servers on their free version that are overcrowded with traffic. As a result, you are going to experience extensive buffering with constant connection drops.

Furthermore, some free VPNs are also known to sell your bandwidth. One such example is Hola VPN which was caught in 2015 for selling users’ idle bandwidth that turned them into botnets.

To top it off, popular streaming services routinely block IP addresses of free VPNs as these are easy to identify by the amount of traffic coming through a single IP. Unlike premium VPNs, these services don’t refresh their IP address. That means you won’t be able to access your favorite content online.

5. Paid VPNs offer the best all the time

The good news is that there are a lot of trustworthy VPNs on the market that are solid services with the best security. The best part is that premium VPNs offer a 30-45 day money-back guarantee, so you can use the best VPN free of risks and cancel your account and get your refund.

You can check our list of best VPNs for 2022 that offer the best features with trustworthy logging policies and follow zero-logging practices. If you are looking for something specific according to your device, here are a few guides that you can check out:

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now30 Days Money-Back Guarantee

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN

As discussed above, free VPNs come with a lot of limitations in terms of performance and security. However, it all comes down to personal preferences. For example, if you want a VPN for secure browsing, then a free VPN is a good choice, but if you want a VPN for streaming or privacy tasks like online banking, then paid VPN is the best choice.

1. Speed

The majority of the free VPNs offer extremely slow speeds because they have limited servers that are overcrowded. Paid premium VPNs, on the other hand, offer great performance and speed as they have thousands of servers in various locations.

2. Streaming

Most free VPNs are blocked by streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, and more. Premium VPNs, on the other hand, constantly refresh their IPs to allow you to bypass geo-blocks.

3. Security and Privacy

If you want a VPN for anonymity and online security, paid VPNs are the way to go. That is because premium VPNs like offer no-logging policies, and most are also audited by third parties. Paid VPNs also offer top-of-the-line security features as well.

Cheap VPNs

Most free VPN users hesitate to go for premium VPNs because they believe it requires a lot of investment. However, that is not true. There are plenty of cheap VPN services available in the market that cost you below $2 per month.

What’s best is that for less than two dollars, you can get unlimited bandwidth, access streaming platforms, and much more. Check out our list of cheapest VPNs in 2022.


Free VPNs without Data Limits

Most reliable free VPN services come with data limits since the maintenance of VPN servers and connections costs money. Bandwidth limitations permit users to get to know their VPN service without costing much.

There is one free VPN that comes with no bandwidth restrictions – ProtonVPN. However, the speeds of this VPN can be slow as it offers only three server locations. Even though no data limit may be extremely attractive, traffic overload on these servers would slow down your speeds and ruin your experience.

A major disadvantage of data limits is that they keep you from enjoying a complete movie and TV show as you might hit the monthly limit in a few hours. So, even if speed isn’t the problem, your experience is very short-lived.


Free VPNs without Speed Caps

Since most free VPNs use data limits, they don’t require speed caps. This way, the speeds of these VPNs are great. A few free VPNs do not set speed caps because their speeds are already slow due to traffic overload. However, VPNs like Windscribe offer a decent number of servers, thereby delivering reliable speeds.


Free VPN Apps for your Devices

Most free VPNs offer apps for various devices and operating systems. So you can use them on your computer, smartphone, laptops, tablets, and even Smart TVs.

Some VPNs also offer configuration files for systems like Linux, where you have to manually configure the VPN as there are no apps.

Best Free VPN for Mobile

VPNs on smartphones are becoming widely popular because they not only help secure devices but also allow users to safely access public Wi-Fi during traveling and more. With the best free VPN for iPhone and Android devices, you can have peace of mind while using unsecured Wi-Fi.

However, not all free VPNs have apps for Android and iOS devices, and most contain trackers. But, the free VPNs mentioned above offer dedicated apps for iOS and Android smartphones available both on App Stores and their official websites.

Best Free VPN for PC and Mac Users

Most free VPNs offer dedicated apps for Windows and Mac devices. If you are using a Windows PC or MacBook, there are three ways to use a VPN:

  • Download a dedicated VPN app on your system.
  • Manually configure the VPN on Windows and Mac devices.
  • Use a VPN through browser extensions.

Some VPNs don’t offer apps and are only available as browser extensions. While such VPNs are great for browsing, they only encrypt internet traffic running through your browser only. Therefore, anything you do outside remains unencrypted.

We suggest using the best VPN for PC and Mac that offer dedicated apps for your systems. You can either download the app from the App Store, or from the official website of the provider.

Best Free VPN for Tablets (iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, & more)

Apart from smartphones, VPNs also have apps for tablets running on iOS and Android software. It is just as easy to install a VPN on your tablet as on your phone. Most people use a VPN on their tablet to access restricted content like Netflix, HBO, and more.

As with smartphones, all free VPNs mentioned above have iOS and Android apps for different brands of tablets that you can easily download from App Stores.


Which Free VPN is the Best?

As per our testing, Windscribe is the best free VPN service that is quite safe to use. This VPN offers 10 GB of data per month, along with 10 server locations to choose from.

The data limit is just fine if you want to use the VPN for light browsing all month. However, if you do end up using it all, then you can always get 2 GB of data free by simply tweeting about the VPN service.

Windscribe keeps you secure from DNS/IP leaks. It also offers an effective kill switch to stay secure. Along with Stealth Protocol and MultiHop, it also supports safe torrenting on its network.

However, if you’re looking for a free VPN for gaming, streaming and downloading large files, then we strongly suggest you go for ExpressVPN – the best VPN service in the industry.


How to Install a Free VPN in 2022

Follow the steps below to download and install a free VPN service:

  1. Choose a free VPN. Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, as it offers a 3-month free subscription on its annual plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Install the VPN from the provider’s official website.
  3. Launch the installer and download the app.
  4. Open the VPN app and connect to a server location of your choice.
  5. Browse the internet freely! 

Server Locations Offered By Free VPN Services

Unlike paid VPNs, free VPN providers only let you use a few server locations. For instance, other than TunnelBear and Speedify, all other VPNs discussed in this blog offer few server locations. Check out this table below to get an idea:

VPN ProvidersServer Locations
WindscribeUS, UK, Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, Romania
ProtonVPNUS, Netherlands, Japan
Hotspot ShieldThe US only
Tunnelbear49 server locations including US and UK
Hide.MeUS, Netherlands, Germany, and Canada
SpeedifyNorth America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania
BetternetThe US only

If you don’t wish to deal with limited server locations, you can go with ExpressVPN which offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries.


FAQs – Best Free VPN Services 

Now that you know which free VPNs you can use securely let’s check out some frequently asked questions regarding free VPNs.

Some of the 100% free VPN providers include ProtonVPN, TunnelBear, Hide.Me, Windscribe, and Hotspot Shield, with each VPN offering its unique advantages and features. Here are the top 100% free providers:

  1. Windscribe – The best free VPN service
  2. ProtonVPN – Free VPN with unlimited bandwidth
  3. Hotspot Shield – Great Free VPN for torrenting
  4. TunnelBear – User-friendly Free VPN
  5. Hide.Me – Secure Free VPN service

Some free VPNs may unblock Netflix, but you might struggle while doing so. Also, even if you do end up unblocking the streaming service, you’ll be subject to traffic overload, bad speeds, and proxy errors.

Following are the best free VPNs for 2022:

  1. Windscribe – Our #1 free VPN service
  2. ProtonVPN – Free VPN with absolutely no bandwidth restrictions
  3. Hotspot Shield – Great free VPN that’s quite easy to use and supports torrenting
  4. TunnelBear – free VPN service offering servers in 49 countries
  5. Hide.Me – Secure free VPN service offering multiple privacy features

Free VPNs can bypass geographical restrictions, but they’re quite unreliable in doing so. Due to server overload, free VPNs might crash from time to time. Also, these VPNs might leak your actual IP address to your ISP and government while unblocking geo-blocked content, which can be dangerous.

Windscribe is the best free VPN for torrenting. This is one of the only VPNs supporting P2P connections and offering optimized servers for it.

Windscribe can be called the fastest free VPN service as it offers 10 server locations to choose from. This way, the possibility of server overload is low, and you get reliable speeds on the connection.

No, they are not! Free VPNs are dangerous because they sabotage your privacy instead of protecting it. In fact, a few free VPN services do not have adequate resources to guard your data and are unable to prevent third parties from selling that information for their own revenue.

No, you should always use a premium VPN service for additional security on your Tor browser. Free VPNs are unreliable and may cause more damage than good. This is why it’s highly recommended to get a VPN like ExpressVPN for Tor.

Only a few free VPNs work in China, and fewer unblock Netflix and other geo-restricted content in the country. This is why we highly recommend the best VPN for China like ExpressVPN for staying secure and unblocking Netflix easily.

Wrapping Up

We have discussed the 7 best free VPN services in 2022, with Windscribe taking the lead as it offers 10 GB/month bandwidth, works with Netflix, and is compatible with major platforms.

However, all of the totally free VPNs we’ve discussed in this blog lack some features or the other. We can only recommend using a premium VPN provider like ExpressVPN, which offers all the features that free VPNs lack.

Most free VPN services have bandwidth limitations, show you loads of ads, or sell your data to third parties. If the risks associated with the free VPNs app are too much for you to tolerate, you can always go for a premium option like ExpressVPN which offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can purchase ExpressVPN, try out all of its premium features, and if you’re not satisfied, you can claim a full refund within the 30-day period.

We hope you enjoyed our best free VPN 2022 guide. Cheers!