VPN free trial services are absolutely necessary to try 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 though, I’ve done all the research for you. For instance, you can opt for Surfshark which offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day extensive money-back guarantee.
In this guide, I’ve prepared a list of VPN free trial services that do not expect payments upfront. What’s more, the VPNs I’m going to list today, don’t compromise on servers, bandwidth, or premium features.
Quick Overview – List of Best VPNs with Free Trials
If you are too busy to read the whole blog, here’s a summary of the 10 best VPN free trial services of January 2021:
|VPN Provider||Trial and Refund policy||Key Features|
|Get Surfshark||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.|
|Get NordVPN||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.|
|Get CyberGhost||1-day trial + 45-day money-back guarantee||1-day free trial with recurring connectivity issues and average speeds. The 45-day money-back guarantee is a much better deal for new users that want to try CyberGhost out.|
|Get Ivacy||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.|
|Get CactusVPN||3-day trial + 30-day money-back guarantee||Offers 3-day free trial on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, but the trial is restricted in some regions.|
How to choose a VPN for a free trial?
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 VPNs with free trials:
- The legitimacy of the free trial
- Fast speeds
- No data/bandwidth caps
- Powerful security features
- Reliability of connection
- Ease of use
- Customer support
- Logging policy
So, without further ado, here are the free trial VPNs that I found to fully meet the above-mentioned criteria.
Best VPN with Free Trials in Jan 2021 (In-Depth Analysis)
The following are the VPN services currently offering legitimate free trials in Jan 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 desktop comfortably, however, 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. Pick a subscription plan of your choice, the cheapest you can get is $2.49/mo, 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 7 days and you won’t be charged a single penny.
The 3200+ servers in 65 countries are highly reliable and offer stable connectivity to users. Nor does the provider impose any bandwidth throttling, so users don’t have to worry about running out of data while using the free trial.
In terms of speed, Surfshark is not the fastest 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 secure torrenting. 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, you can effectively keep your online activities safe and hidden with Surfshark.
2. NordVPN — Super-fast VPN with a 7-day free trial
NordVPN 7 day trial is only for iOS and Android devices. Like Surfshark, you can obtain the 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, which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for desktop users to try the VPN for a whole month.
You will need to enter your credit card (or details of other payment options) details while signing up for the free trial when you choose a subscription plan. 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 features that you can expect in the fully paid app. It comes equipped with privacy features such as kill switch and Double VPN, while your online security is protected by features 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.
For encryption, NordVPN uses the AES-256 standard, which is one of the strongest in the industry activities. It follows a no-logging policy to protect user’s 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 network.
3. Avast SecureLine — 60-day free trial VPN
Avast SecureLine is currently offering the longest free trial in the VPN industry as it extends to 60 days. In fact, you don’t even need to enter any credit card details at all to get the free trial and it is available for desktops as well as phones. This is in addition to the the30-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 60-day free trial and use all features Avast has to offer, but that isn’t saying much. We say that because Avast is not the feature-rich VPN that you might be accustomed to.
In fact, 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 IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to, the amount of data transferred, and connection timestamps.
Although Avast is by no means a reliable solution for unblocking geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, you can often access these services on some of its US servers and watch restricted content without any hassle. 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 days of 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. CactusVPN offers a completely risk-free 3-day free-trial that is extremely simple to sign up to.
To get the free trial, sign up to CactusVPN, make a new account, and download the CactusVPN app on your device. There is a catch, however; the free trial is not available in every region but it works for most locations in Europe and the Americas. You don’t need to add any billing information for the free trial, which is super convenient.
If you need a longer period to try CactusVPN out, you can capitalize on the completely legitimate 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
The CactusVPN network is quite small, having only 34 servers in 20+ countries. The CactusVPN apps are by default integrated with the Smart DNS feature, which allows users to access certain streaming services like Netflix. In addition, it offers good torrenting support with ten p2p servers.
|Download speed||60.15 Mbps|
|Upload speed||66.19 Mbps|
The VPN protocols available in CactusVPN’s service include OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP, and PPTP, and AES-256 for encryption. In terms of privacy, CactusVPN is highly trustworthy and has a complete no-logs policy in place.
5. AVG Secure — 7-day free trial, good speeds
AVG Secure is an Avast-owned VPN service and offers pretty much the exact same features and functionalities as Avast SecureLine. The key difference, and one that is most important for us right now, is the lower free-trial limit. In contrast to the 60-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 one of AVG’s 50 plus servers, most of which actually offer pretty good speeds in contrast 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. For the Mac version, AVG uses the L2TP/IPsec tunneling protocol 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 to stream optimized servers but we, unfortunately, couldn’t get it working for any Netflix region that it supposedly supports. However, the VPN does support torrents in eight servers.
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 length of the trial period lasts 7 days, but you will need to provide your valid credit card information in order 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. 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, which will 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 190+ countries. That’s pretty much every country you’ll ever need to connect to.
The free trial comes equipped with all the features that you’ll find in the premium version of the app. Testing the VPN for speed, we were a little disappointed because the speed results were quite average and not anything 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, but these are two of the strongest protocols, containing modern standards in contrast 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. 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 the privacy of their users.
HMA also has a good reputation when it comes to unblocking streaming services. You can access Hulu, US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more. For p2p filesharing, HMA offers eight distinct server locations that users can connect to the US, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK.
7. Ivacy — 24 hour trial with good all-around capabilities
Ivacy is a VPN company that offers only a 1 day-long subscription. Like some of the other providers, Ivacy does not demand credit card information when a user is signing up for the free trial, though you will need to purchase the full subscription if you want to avail of the 30-day money-back guarantee benefit.
There are no bandwidth limitations in the free trial version, which should allow users to stream shows and movies by unblocking sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer anywhere in the world.
The network of Ivacy has expanded to 2,000+ servers now which generally delivers good performance in terms of speed. When testing the speed on a few random servers from different locations, we usually received better than average speeds.
|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 do have at it at least for a day.
8. ibVPN — Short 24-hour trial with mediocre performance
ibVPN offers a 24-hour trial period that can be availed without entering any credit card details. Once you sign up for the service, you will receive an activation link for the free trial in your email inbox. You can use the trial on both desktop and mobile devices depending on your preferences.
The money-back-guarantee of ibVPN lasts 15 days, so that will accord you an extra 15 days to test the VPN out.
There are some 160 servers in ibVPN’s network that can be used without worrying about any data limitations. The speeds are average but not outstanding.
|Download speed||44.6 Mbps|
|Upload speed||41. 58 Mbps|
ibVPN uses OpenVPN to tunnel your data packets when connected to the VPN. To encrypt your data, ibVPN implements the Blowfish algorithm with 256-bit keys. The logging policy is privacy-oriented with a manifest inclination towards satisfying the more privacy-conscious users.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t access Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer with ibVPN, so it’s certainly not a good option if you’re looking for a way to unblock streaming services. Having said that, the service does support torrenting and offers many p2p-friendly server locations including the Netherlands, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Finland, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, Latvia, Russia, and Hong Kong.
9. ZenMate — 7 days free trial with 3000 servers
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. Once your free trial is activated, you’ll get access to 3000 servers in 76 countries.
During testing, I was able to unblock most streaming services with ZenMate. While I was able to unblock Netflix, I was unable to unblock Hulu. If we talk about streaming quality, I was able to enjoy 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, live chat support, and much more.
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. If you wish to try ZenMate for even longer, you’ll love the fact that ZenMate offers an extensive 30-day money-back guarantee.
10. Private Internet Access — 17819+ servers and 30 refunds
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 17819+ servers worldwide. Literally, no other VPN provider in the industry is offering this many servers.
When I was testing Private Internet Access, I was to stream a bunch of shows on Netflix in HD quality, as well as download 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|
If we talk about features, PIA VPN offers an automatic kill switch, DNS and IP leak protection, malware and ad blocker, and much more.
Overall, PIA VPN gives you complete freedom to test out its service risk-free. You’ll get premium 24/7 live chat support and even 10 simultaneous connections.
VPNs Not Recommended for Free Trial
As I mentioned earlier, I tested around twenty-five different VPN services, however, a lot of them 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 VPNs you should avoid if you want a proper free trial experience:
VPN Free Trial vs Money Back Guarantees
There is a minor but important difference between free trial VPNs and those offering a money-back guarantee. Free trials do 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. With a VPN that you’re counting on to pay you back if things go wrong, there’s always the possibility that it might actually 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.
Are VPNs with free trials secure?
In general, yes free VPN trials 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?
VPN free trials may or may not log user activities depending on the policies of the VPN provider 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 totally 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 of the 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.
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 VPN free trial on iPhone and Android?
Yes, since most VPNs are cross-platform compatible, you can easily get a VPN free 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?
Free trial VPNs do not always work with Netflix. However, most of our recommended VPNs with free trials 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, then 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 definitely use the free trial version to circumvent censorship and access any content of your choice.
Why Should I Get A VPN Free Trial?
Free trials of VPN services offer 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 with a free trial. You won’t have to pay for anything. I would highly recommend trying Surfshark’s 7-day free trial.
That being said, finding legitimate VPNs that offer free trials takes a lot of work. 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.