Privacy of information over the Internet is something that moves farther away the more desperately netizens try to cling to it. No matter wherever you go, it seems that everyone is out to get a hand on your confidential information.
This might seem paranoid, but the fact is, your data really isn’t safe. Recently, concerns have emerged regarding the invasive capabilities of Windows 10. By default, the OS is configured to access and even disclose private information such as emails.
It is only natural to consider getting privacy-enhancing tools like free VPN for Windows as a countermeasure to Microsoft’s spying ventures. You can also go for premium VPN services for Windows PC, this will bring you more features for sure.
Here, I will describe how and which VPNs can make your PC more secure and allow you some of that privacy we all have been pining for.
10 Free VPN Services for Windows PC
VPN services can elevate your privacy by routing your data through private, encrypted servers owned by the provider. You can hide your identity and real physical location with a VPN while also encrypting your traffic with strong protocols.
Free services, however, do not offer the same features and security that premium VPNs do. Nonetheless, there are still some reasonably good providers that offer free VPN for Windows.
Let’s dive in and see which providers are worth checking out.
It has a light-weight but appealing app for Windows and provides good enough speeds. The only disappointment is the 10GB/month limit, which is still pretty good compared to what other providers offer.
- Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec
- 11 distinct server locations
- Good usability
- Speeds less than ideal
This VPN was created by CERN scientists themselves! That surely adds significantly to the image the providers are able to radiate to the public.
ProtonVPN has one of the most beautifully designed clients for a Windows VPN app.
And it gets even better:
You can enjoy unlimited bandwidth for free! This VPN is definitely worth a try if you want good security, no bandwidth caps, and fast speeds all in a single package.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Strong encryption
- Fast speeds
- Only 3 servers available in the free version
Hide.Me is another decent provider available for free. It guarantees zero-logging of user data and provides AES-256 encryption. It comes with a 2GB/month limit, which is the greatest drawback of the VPN. I would recommend it if you occasionally need to use a VPN on Windows.
- Good security features
- Great Windows app functionality
- No-logging policy
- 2GB/month bandwidth limit is too low
This free VPN for PC offers good speeds, as the name implies, and is a good option for users looking for a faster choice. Most VPNs in the low-cost bracket usually deliver poor speeds. Speedify stands apart in this regard, except that it has a 1GB/month bandwidth limit.
- Excellent speed
- Military-grade encryption
- Bandwidth limit of 1GB/month
- Offers 20+ server locations
- Decent security
- 500MB/month bandwidth limit
Read our detailed TunnelBear review for more details.
SecurityKISS offers a dedicated app for Windows PC. The main point of interest about this service is its commitment towards maintaining privacy of users. The service doesn’t even require you to sign-up before downloading it. However, it offers a 300MB/day bandwidth limit which is a disappointment.
- Protects user anonymity
- OpenVPN tunneling protocol
- Decent speeds
- Bandwidth limit is 300MB/day only
7. Avira Phantom
Avira Phantom is the VPN from the makers of Avira Antivirus. It is available for free and can be upgraded to the premium version. Among free VPN for Windows, Avira Phantom offers some of the strongest security.
- 30+ server locations
- Stable speeds
- Good usability
- Bandwidth limit is only 500MB/month
VPNBook offers a completely free VPN software. It is based in Romania and offers two tunneling protocols to choose rom: PPTP and OpenVPN. However, it does not offer an app for Windows or other platforms and has to be set up manually.
- Good encryption
- OpenVPN protocols
- Does not keep logs
- No dedicated apps for Windows
Psiphon is a tool that combines multiple technologies including VPN, SSH, and HTTP to bypass censorship. It can be used as a free VPN service of Windows. However, it is to developed to be used as a censorship bypassing tool and the provider clearly specifies that it should be used as a privacy tool.
- Reliable service
- Good for bypassing censorship
- Simple and usable Windows app
- Does not guarantee user privacy
ZoogVPN provides speeds better than most other free services. It is secure enough to grant you some peace of mind while you use Windows and offers three server locations. The 2GB/month bandwidth limit, however, is too small for streaming or bandwidth-intensive purposes.
- Decent security
- Supports torrenting
- Considerably fast
- Only 3 VPN server locations
You can also find out the best free VPN for Facebook downloading.
Why you have no Privacy on Windows?
Another reason why the system is hungry for your data is its proprietary digital assistant i.e. Cortana. This AI chick feeds and thrives on data; that is the basic principle of machine learning.
This means it will extract from any and every source it finds, be it your text messages, app usage, or device location.
Although users can stop Windows from being too liberal with our data collection, MS has not been entirely transparent when you consider the fact that Terms of Service document is nearly 45 page, 12,000 words long! Moreover, the settings you need to tinker with in order to shut down data harvesting systems in the OS are hardly straightforward.
You can, however, turn off most of this data collection.
How to Control your Privacy on Windows 10?
There are three major functionalities (on the surface, at least) in Windows that use your personal data: general apps, Cortana, and personalize ads.
Here is how you can prevent these from compromising your privacy.
- Open Privacy from Settings. A series of 13 selection screens will appear one by one, allowing you to turn off any that you want.
- Now from “General” tab, you can select which apps you want to allow access to camera, messages, calendar etc.
- You can also turn of Cortana’s data collection from Speech, ink, & typing tab and clicking “Stop getting to know me”.
- To turn off data-gathering for the purpose of ads, you must visit https://choice.microsoft.com/en-gb/opt-out. From there, turn off “Personalized ads in this browser” and “Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account”.
While these changes can improve your privacy on Windows, it is still very much possible that the operating system collects user data from other sources that might not even be controllable for the user.
To enhance your privacy further, there is nothing within the Windows environment itself that can help you. Instead, you will require some outside assistance which brings me to…
It’s ironic that we are living in an age where you pay money for products that we can’t even trust fully. Piracy is hard to hold on to these days and you should take advantage of any decent tool capable of granting you some security. The free VPNs for Windows PC I described above are some of the best tools you can have to thwart Microsoft’s spying attempts on your data.