VPN free trial services are necessary for trying out a premium VPN service before purchasing it. With the help of a free trial, you’ll know exactly if the VPN service you’re interested in works with Netflix, Disney Plus, support torrenting, and is it overall secure.
The VPN industry consists of thousands of VPN providers. With so many choices, it is hard to pick just one. Most VPNs claiming to offer free trials offer only limited features such as a handful of servers or use strict bandwidth caps.
But don’t worry, I’ve done all the research for you. For instance, you can opt for ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try it out for 30 days, and if you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund. The good thing about ExpressVPN is that it offers a 3-months free subscription if you go for its 12-months plan. As ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee makes it a perfect free VPN for the first 30-days of subscription, it is also one of the best choices as free VPNs for Netflix.
Although ExpressVPN is the best option if you want to try out a VPN service, I’ve also prepared a list of VPN trial services that do not expect payments upfront in this guide. What’s more, the VPNs I’m going to list today don’t compromise on servers, bandwidth, or premium features.
Let’s quickly compare our top 5 VPN free trial offers:
|Features||ExpressVPN||Surfshark||NordVPN||Avast VPN||Cactus VPN|
|Trial Period||30 Days||7 Days||7 Days||7 Days||3 Days|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
Is a VPN Free Trial that Good?
VPNs that offer free trials offer limited features. For example, if you get a VPN that claims to offer a free trial, you’ll have to deal with:
- Limited time to test it out
- Limited VPN server locations
- Limited features
- Limited simultaneous connections
Money-back guarantees of paid VPNs, on the other hand, don’t come with restrictions. With the money-back guarantee, you’ll never have to deal with bandwidth limitations, and you’ll be able to use it on any device, be it desktop or mobile. With money-back guarantees, you will have to pay upfront for the VPN, but you can try it risk-free and claim your refund within a certain period.
Quick Overview – List of Best VPN Free Trial Offers in 2021
If you are too busy to read the whole blog, here’s a summary of the ten best VPN free trial services of 2021:
|VPN Provider||Trial and Refund policy||Key Features|
|7-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Comes with a 7-day free VPN trial for smartphones (iOS and Android). There’s no free trial for desktop users, but you can still take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to get risk-free access for a month.|
|7-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Offers a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS users. If you need more than a week, simply purchase the full subscription to be eligible for the 30-day money-back guarantee.|
|7-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||7-day free trial with recurring connectivity issues and average speeds. The 30-day money-back guarantee is a much better deal for new users that want to try Avast SecureLine out.|
|3-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Offers a 3-day free trial on Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac, but the trial is restricted in some regions.|
|7-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Offers a 7-day free trial with 50+ servers, encryption, and fast-speed connections. It also supports torrenting.|
|7-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||It offers a 7-day free trial with a 30-day refund policy and can unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc. It also supports P2P file sharing.|
|1-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Offers 1-day free trial that offers dedicated server networks for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, and more. The short trial period is compensated by a genuine 30-day money-back period.|
|30-day refund policy||It offers a 30-day refund policy and can unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hotstar, HBO Now, etc. Has 950+ VPN servers but average speeds.|
|7-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Offers a 7-day free trial with 3000+ VPN servers and a 30-day money-back guarantee. No credit card is required. Provides high download speeds and can unblock Netflix.|
|30-day money-back guarantee||Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with 35500+ servers and high connection speeds. It supports P2P and can also unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more.|
So, here are the free trial VPNs that I found to meet the criteria mentioned above.
Best VPN Free Trial in 2021 (In-Depth Analysis)
The following are the VPN services currently offering a legitimate free version in 2021.
1. Surfshark — 7 days of Free trial with Superior Privacy Features
Surfshark is a VPN provider based in the British Virgin Islands which offers a 7-day free trial for iOS and Android. To test the VPN on the desktop comfortably, users can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee that is completely legitimate.
It is super easy to sign up for the Surfshark free trial. Simply download the Surfshark app on your phone and sign up for the service. Then, pick a subscription plan of your choice. The cheapest you can get is $2.49/mo (81% Off on 2 Years Plan), and enter your payment details. Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, you will automatically activate the 7-day free trial. If you don’t want to subscribe to the full plan, remember to cancel your subscription before seven days, and you won’t be charged a single penny.
The 3200+ VPN servers in 65 countries are highly reliable and offer stable connectivity to users. Nor does the provider impose bandwidth throttling, so users don’t have to worry about running out of data while using the free trial.
Surfshark is not the fastest in terms of speed, but it is fast enough to offer a good experience with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and more. It also supports P2P filesharing for safe and secures torrenting with good enough internet speed. Here are the speed results tested on a 100 Mbps connection.
|US server download speed||24.09 Mbps|
|US server upload speed||87.5 Mbps|
|US server ping||251 ms|
For security, Surfshark offers OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 protocols. With encryption standards of AES-256-GCM and Chacha20Poly1305 and a zero-logging policy (no activity logs saved), you can effectively keep your online activities safe and hidden with Surfshark.
It is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and more. It is also a free strong VPN for iPhone. With a Google Play Store rating of 4.0/5.0, Surfshark has also proved itself to be a reliable Android VPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
It also offers amazing customer service with its 24/7 chat and instruction guides. To find out all the pros and cons of this VPN, check out our Surfshark review.
2. NordVPN — Super-fast VPN with a 7-day Free Trial
NordVPN’s 7-day trial is only for iOS and Android devices. However, like Surfshark, you can obtain a free trial after downloading NordVPN app on your phone and signing up for a subscription of your choice. The most affordable NordVPN lifetime plan currently costs $3.71/mo (Save 68% on 2 Years Plan), which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for desktop users to try the VPN for a whole month.
When choosing a subscription plan, you will need to enter your credit card (or details of other payment options) details while signing up for the free trial. However, you won’t be charged any money until the 7-day free trial period expires.
The free trial version of NordVPN offers all the VPN features that you can expect in the fully paid app. In addition, it comes equipped with privacy features such as a kill switch and Double VPN & Tor over VPN. At the same time, your online security is protected by features like CyberSec and the protocols that NordVPN uses, i.e., OpenVPN and IKEv2. All these features are easy to use, but your connection stability might not be optimal with every configuration.
NordVPN offers 5100+ servers in 60 countries and uses the AES-256 standard for encryption, which is one of the strongest in the industry activities. It also offers great encryption protocols and follows a no-logging policy to protect users’ online privacy while using NordVPN.
In terms of speed, NordVPN is one of the fastest in the industry, and with the introduction of NordLynx, these speeds have only gotten better. Here are the speed results tested on a 100 Mbps connection:
|Download speed||93.5 Mbps|
|Upload speed||87.5 Mbps|
Nor are there any data limits in the 7-day NordVPN free trial, so you can use it to unblock shows and perform other bandwidth-intensive activities to your heart’s content. It works well with services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus. NordVPN also supports torrenting activities of users, having over 700 P2P server networks. It also offers unmatchable 24/7 customer service. Check out all the features of NordVPN in our detailed NordVPN review.
3. Avast SecureLine — 7-day free trial VPN
Avast SecureLine is currently offering a 7-day free trial. You don’t even need to enter any credit card details to get the free trial, and it is available for desktops and phones. This is in addition to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can get the free trial after downloading the Avast SecureLine app. The main interface will have the “Start Free Trial” button. Click it to start your free 7-day free trial and use all features Avast has to offer, but that isn’t saying much. We say that because Avast is not a feature-rich VPN that you might be accustomed to.
Avast is a pretty basic VPN that offers little more than IP address masking functionality. It has a pretty small network of 50 servers in 36 countries. The Avast VPN free trial is free from any data caps, but the connection speeds it offers are a little disappointing.
|Download speed||26.34 Mbps|
|Upload speed||91.09 Mbps|
Avast uses OpenVPN as the tunneling protocol along with AES-256-GCM ciphers. This is good enough for ensuring that you are well-protected on the web. However, Avast VPN has a less than ideal logging policy. For instance, the company will log the VPN server’s IP address you’re connected to, the amount of data transferred, and connection timestamps.
Although Avast is, by all means, a reliable solution for unblocking geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, you can access these services on some of its US servers and watch restricted content without any hassle. In addition, you can also use Avast VPN to access blocked torrenting websites with its P2P servers located in the locations such as the Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Germany, and the USA.
4. CactusVPN — 3 Day Free Trial with Excellent Customer Support
CactusVPN is not as big a name in the VPN industry as other providers. However, it is quite a decent, well-rounded service having what is probably the friendliest and responsive customer support team that I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. In addition, CactusVPN offers a completely risk-free 3-day free trial that is extremely simple to sign up to.
Sign up to CactusVPN, make a new account, and download the CactusVPN app on your device to get the free trial. However, there is a catch; the free trial is not available in every region, but it works for most of Europe and the Americas. Also, you don’t need to add any billing information like a credit card number for the free trial, which is super convenient.
If you need a longer period to try CactusVPN out, you can also capitalize on the completely legitimate 30-day money-back guarantee. In addition, with CacusVPN’s completely free trial, you can unblock Netflix and even download torrents.
The CactusVPN network is quite small, having only 39 servers in 22+ countries. By default, the CactusVPN apps are integrated with the Smart DNS feature, allowing users to access certain streaming services like Netflix. Also, it offers good torrenting support with 12 p2p servers. Check out our review of CactusVPN to find out why you should go for this VPN.
|Download speed||60.15 Mbps|
|Upload speed||66.19 Mbps|
The VPN protocols available in CactusVPN’s service include OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP, PPTP, and AES-256 for encryption. In terms of privacy, CactusVPN is highly trustworthy and has a complete no-logs policy in place. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers (Chrome and Firefox), and more. It is available for $2.77 per month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. AVG Secure — 7-day Free Trial with Good Speeds
AVG Secure is an Avast-owned VPN service and offers the same features and functionalities as Avast SecureLine. The key difference, and most important for us right now, is the lower free-trial limit. In contrast to the 7-day free trial of Avast, AVG offers only a 7-day free trial, though the 30-day money-back period after making your first payment is also available for all users.
But the 7-day trial is still pretty good because it doesn’t require any credit card or billing details for activation. Simply download the AVG Secure VPN app on your device (Mac, Android, iOS, or Windows) and sign up for the free trial as prompted by the app. Full points for user-friendliness.
After activating the trial period, you can connect to any of AVG’s 50 plus servers, most of which offer pretty good speeds compared to Avast VPN, which was quite slow.
|Download speed||51.3 Mbps|
|Upload speed||62.78 Mbps|
The AVG Secure Windows app only uses the OpenVPN tunneling protocol with no option to change it. That isn’t a big problem since OpenVPN is widely considered the best protocol in use at the moment. AVG uses the L2TP/IPsec tunneling protocol for the Mac version, and the encryption standard it uses for all platforms is AES 256-bit ciphers.
The logging policy is not very reassuring since AVG clearly states that they log users’ connection timestamps, VPN IP address, and the amount of data transferred. So if you’re looking for a log-free VPN, AVG won’t quite cut it.
AVG Secure also offers optimized streaming servers, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get it working for any Netflix region that it supposedly supports. However, the VPN does support torrents on eight servers. Its 3-year plan costs $3.75/ month backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more about this VPN in our AVG VPN review
6. HideMyAss — 7 days of free trial with impressive features
HideMyAss is another popular VPN that doesn’t shy away from giving a free trial to users. The trial period’s length lasts seven days, but you will need to provide your valid credit card information to obtain the free trial. After the trial, you’re also eligible for the 30-day refund period.
To get HMA’s free trial, visit the sign-up page, and enter your payment details, including a credit card number. Then, you can create a new account. Wait for the verification email after registering your account on HMA. Note the activation code in the verification email. You will need this code when you’ve downloaded and installed the HMA VPN app on your device (Windows, Andriod, iOS, macOS). It will then activate the free trial as soon as you’ve entered the code.
The network coverage of HMA is quite impressive, having over 1,100 servers in 290+ locations. That’s pretty much every country you’ll ever need to connect to.
The free trial comes equipped with all the features you’ll find in the app’s premium version. However, testing the VPN for speed, we were a little disappointed because the speed results were average and nothing to write home about.
|Download speed||43.61 Mbps|
|Upload speed||39.72 Mbps|
With HMA, your choice between protocols is limited to OpenVPN and IKEv2. These are still two of the strongest protocols, containing modern standards compared to the other protocols that have become obsolete now (such as PPTP and L2TP). For encryption, it uses AES 256-bit like most of the top-rated providers in the industry. There is also 24/7 live customer support.
Although the provider used to keep sensitive user logs such as IP addresses, they have revamped their logging policy, which reveals a much better commitment to respecting their users’ privacy.
HMA also has a good reputation when it comes to unblocking streaming services. You can get access to Hulu, US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more. For p2p filesharing, HMA offers eight server locations to connect to the US, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK. It is available for $2.99 per month only.
7. Ivacy — 24 hour trial with good all-around capabilities
Ivacy is a VPN company that offers only a one day-long subscription. Like some other providers, Ivacy does not demand credit card information when a user is signing up for the free trial. However, you will need to purchase the full subscription to avail of the 30-day money-back guarantee benefit.
There are no bandwidth limitations in the free trial version, allowing users to stream shows and movies by unblocking sites like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world.
The network of Ivacy has expanded to 3,500+ servers now, which generally delivers good performance in terms of speed. We usually received better than average speeds when testing the speed on a few random servers from different locations.
|Download speed||41.75 Mbps|
|Upload speed||84.5 Mbps|
Ivacy offers OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP as tunneling protocols and applies AES 256-bit for encryption. The provider does not retain any sensitive logs that may compromise a user’s privacy.
You can unblock various streaming services with Ivacy’s free trial, including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Now, and Hotstar. There’s also p2p support available in the 1-day free trial, so if you like downloading torrents, you can take advantage of this free trial VPN and get torrenting for one day. Its five-year plan is available for only $1.00 per month. Learn more about this VPN in our Ivacy review.
8. StrongVPN — 30-day refund with an average speed
StrongVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does offer a 30-day refund policy, meaning you can test this VPN service risk-free for 30-days and cancel anytime. It has a small server base, with around 950+ servers in 30 locations.
StrongVPN has a small server size, and almost 140+ servers are located in San Francisco alone. As a result, the speeds are average but not outstanding.
|Download speed||44.6 Mbps|
|Upload speed||41. 58 Mbps|
This VPN uses OpenVPN to tunnel your data packets when connected to the VPN. StrongVPN uses the WireGuard protocol, OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, and more to encrypt your data. The logging policy is privacy-oriented with a manifest inclination towards satisfying the more privacy-conscious users. With StrongVPN, you can connect 12 devices simultaneously.
With StrongVPN, you can access streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer. So, it’s certainly a great option if you’re looking for a way to unblock streaming services. The service also supports torrenting and offers obfuscated servers making it a great choice for users in China. In addition, it is compatible with all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Andriod, iOS, routers, etc.
It is available for $3.99 per month backed up with a 30-day money-back guarantee. With StrongVPN, you also get 250 GB of secure storage as well.
9. ZenMate — 7-day free trial & no credit card required
ZenMate offers a 7-day free trial without requiring any payment details. You’ll just need to provide an email address and confirm it, and your free account will be automatically activated. This Germany-based free trial VPN doesn’t require any credit card details. Once your free trial is activated, you’ll get access to 3800 servers in 79+ countries.
During testing, I was able to unblock most streaming services with ZenMate. However, while I was able to unblock Netflix, I was unable to unblock Hulu. If we talk about streaming quality, I enjoyed a bunch of my favorite shows in HD quality.
As for speeds, ZenMate is quite fast. When I tested ZenMate’s UK, US, and Canadian servers, I managed to get an average speed of:
|Download speed||51.2 Mbps|
|Upload speed||41. 7 Mbps|
If we talk about features, ZenMate comes with AES 256-bit encryption, automatic kill switch, leak protection, unlimited number of simultaneous connections, 24/7 live chat support, and much more. It is also straightforward to use and a great option for beginners.
The only issue with ZenMate’s free trial is that it is only available for browser extensions such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. However, if you wish to try this VPN service for even longer, you’ll love the fact that ZenMate offers an extensive 30-day money-back guarantee and costs only $1.64/month.
10. Private Internet Access — 35500+ servers in 78 countries
Lastly, we have the PIA VPN. This VPN service comes packed with tons of security features and offers a lengthy 30-day money-back guarantee. One of the coolest things about PIA VPN is that it offers 35500+ servers in 78 countries. No other VPN provider in the industry is offering this many servers.
When I was testing Private Internet Access, I streamed many shows on Netflix in HD quality and downloaded torrents without facing any connection issues or slow speeds. Speaking of speeds, here’s how PIA VPN performed on my 100 Mbps connections:
|Download speed||61 Mbps|
|Upload speed||54.21 Mbps|
PIA VPN offers an automatic kill switch, DNS and IP leak protection, malware and ad blocker, and much more if we talk about features.
Overall, PIA VPN gives you complete freedom to test its service risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee and is available for only $2.08/mo . In addition, you’ll get premium 24/7 live chat support and even ten simultaneous connections. Learn more about this VPN in our PIA VPN review.
How to choose the Best VPN Free Trial – Testing Methodology
It’s a lot of work finding and testing VPNs that offer free trials. It took me a month to test over twenty-five VPN services, out of which we selected ten that met our quality criteria.
Here are the rating factors that I used to shortlist VPN free trial offers:
- The legitimacy and length of the free trial
- Fast speeds for downloading and streaming
- Number of servers
- No data/bandwidth caps
- Powerful security features
- Reliability of connection
- Ease of use
- Customer support
- Logging policy
VPN Free Trial Not Recommended
As I mentioned earlier, I tested around twenty-five different VPN services; however, many performed poorly during my testing. Aside from the top 10 best VPN free trial services that I’ve discussed, here’s a quick list of some free VPNs you should avoid if you want a proper free trial experience:
VPN Free Trial vs. Money Back Guarantee
There is a minor but important difference between free trial VPNs and those offering a money-back guarantee. VPN Free trial does not charge you any money until the trial period has expired. However, the money-back guarantee only comes into effect once you’ve already made your purchase.
Generally, it is less risky to use a VPN with a free trial because you haven’t paid any money yet. The chances of being scammed are thus lower. However, with a VPN that you’re counting on to pay you back if things go wrong, there’s always the possibility that it might go wrong.
Therefore, if you think of it in terms of risks, free trial VPNs are less risky than those where only the money-back guarantees are in place.
How to Test a VPN Free Trial
The best way to test a VPN free trial is to use it for a few weeks and see how it performs. Then, using the free VPN trial, you can test the VPN service and see any issues. When you are testing a VPN free trial to see to it fits your needs, make sure to consider the following things:
- The VPN should allow you to connect to both local and international servers in other countries.
- It should help you unblock restricted content. Connect to an international server and try to access Netflix or other streaming sites like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, etc., to check whether the VPN allows access.
- It should offer high-speed connections so you wouldn’t experience any lags or buffer. In addition, you can run speed tests for free and observe its server speeds.
- It should be compatible with multiple platforms, including routers, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc. Try the VPN on different devices and use its app to see if it’s easy to use.
- Make sure there are no connection drops when using the VPN. Also, check how much time it takes to switch to a different server.
Let’s see some frequently asked questions and their answers.
Are VPNs with free trials secure?
In general, yes, VPN free trial offers are secure. The ones that we have recommended above are certainly safe for use since these are time-limited versions of premium VPN apps having a good reputation in the industry.
As such, you get all the benefits and features of the actual VPN app, which means if they’re offering fast speeds, strong unblocking ability, and privacy features, you’re going to experience all of that in the free trial version of these VPNs as well.
Do free VPN trials keep my log?
It solely depends on the free VPN provider log policy. VPN free trial may or may not log user activities depending on the VPN provider’s policies in question. If a provider has a no-logs policy in place, then they’re going to adhere to that policy in the free trial version as well.
Are VPN free trials worth using?
Yes, considering that free trials let you test out all of the features offered by any VPN provider, VPN free trials are worth it. Sadly though, not many VPN providers like to offer free trials.
Do I need a credit card to sign up for these free trials?
Yes, for most VPN providers that I’ve covered in this blog, you will have to provide your credit card details to sign up for their free trial. VPN providers that don’t require a credit card for free trials include Zenmate, CactusVPN, Avast SecureLine VPN, etc.
How do I cancel my free trial during the guarantee period?
Since most VPNs offer extensive refund policies, you can simply contact their customer support via live chat or email to have them cancel your subscription and refund you your money.
Can I get a free VPN trial on iPhone and Android?
Yes, since most VPNs are cross-platform compatible, you can easily get a free VPN trial for your iPhone or Android devices. Surfshark is a good VPN to use with multiple devices.
Can I Access Netflix with a free trial VPN service?
It depends on the VPN provider’s capabilities to unlock Netflix. Free trial VPNs do not always work with Netflix. However, most of our recommended VPN free trial providers do support Netflix unblocking. See the details mentioned under each provider to learn whether they are working with Netflix or not.
Can I use a VPN free trial on a Kodi box or Fire Stick TV?
Yes, you can use a free trial with your Kodi box and Firestick devices. If you have a compatible router, you can easily set up a VPN that offers a free trial and use it with Kodi, Firestick devices, and more.
Can I subscribe to a free VPN trial more than once?
Providers usually require an email address when a user is signing up for their free trial. So, once your trial expires, you will no longer be able to subscribe to it again with the same email address. But if you have multiple email addresses, you can subscribe to a free trial as many times as the number of your unique email addresses.
Can a free trial VPN circumvent censorship?
If the VPN provider has a network strong enough to bypass censorship and content restrictions, then you can use the free trial version to circumvent censorship and access any content of your choice.
Why Should I Get A VPN Free Trial?
VPN free trial offers provide users a great way to test your desired service out before making any final purchase decisions. For instance, if you’re going on a short vacation abroad, you can take advantage of a VPN free trial. While you’re at it, just opt for a premium service like ExpressVPN and opt for its 30-day money-back guarantee. Then, you can enjoy its service on your vacation and claim for a refund once you’re back, but within 30 days.
That being said, finding a legitimate VPN free trial takes a lot of work. For example, it took me an entire week just to test out twenty-five VPN services. Speaking of which, let me know if you found my efforts worth it in the end. I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding free trials. Also, let me know if I’ve missed any VPN you’d like me to mention in this blog.