The Best Free VPN Services Of 2024 || VPNRANKS

  • Last updated May 17, 2024
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    Editor

With online dangers rising, using the best free VPN services seems attractive to boost internet security without breaking the bank. But be careful! Picking the wrong one can hurt your privacy as these free versions often come with limitations in data, speed, and server access, which can affect your streaming and downloading endeavors.

Through rigorous testing of over 160 free VPNs, I discovered that “freemium” VPNs are generally the most secure option. These services are best for casual internet users and provide a basic package for free, often with limitations like data caps. But they prioritize strong security and don’t bombard you with ads.

However, for a reliable experience, I recommend trying the ExpressVPN free trial for superior protection. Keep reading to discover the best free VPN in USA and what to consider when choosing a free VPN.


7 Best Free VPN Services of 2024 – Quick Overview

Here is a brief description of the best free VPN services in 2024, focusing on their user experience and performance. This overview will help you quickly identify which no-cost VPN services meet your needs in terms of ease of use, speed, and overall reliability.

Jump To My Detail Analysis of Best Free VPN Services

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Recent Free VPN Updates

I’ve reordered the VPNs listed in the latest update based on recent happenings and testing results. Some of the latest developments within my recommended VPN services:

ProtonVPN offering free servers around elections in countries prone to misinformation, starting two weeks before and continuing one week after, potentially extending further. Additionally, Atlas VPN will cease operations on April 24, 2024, with all current subscribers being transferred to its more popular sister service, NordVPN, for the duration of their existing subscriptions.


While free VPN sites and services can seem attractive for their affordability, I must caution users about the potential drawbacks. Not all free VPNs are secure, and the limitations imposed by free services can sometimes outweigh their benefits.

Many providers impose data usage limits, offer a finite selection of free VPN servers, and may reduce speeds after reaching certain thresholds. The business models of these sites often rely on advertising or data logging, which can compromise user privacy.

Despite these drawbacks, opting for a free and safe VPN with certain limitations is preferable over choosing fully free VPN providers with no restrictions. The key difference lies in the reputation and business model.

privadovpn-free-protocol

Access to WireGuard Protocol on PrivadoVPN needs a subscription.

When choosing a free VPN, consider which limitations you will tolerate based on your intended use. For travelers requiring various locations access, Tunnelbear is the best free VPN to change location, with 40+ free locations. Similarly, for a free VPN to use for streaming Netflix, ProtonVPN is best; it doesn’t throttle speeds and offers generous data.

However, no free VPN may meet your specific needs. Therefore, I strongly recommend a premium alternative with a free trial, such as ExpressVPN, for a more tailored experience.


Are Free VPNs Safe?

Using a free VPN can be riskier than not using one at all when it comes to malware exposure. This is because some free VPNs might include malware or adware, which can infect your device and jeopardize your security. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not all free VPN providers engage in selling your data or exposing you to malware.

Despite these concerns, some reputable services offer a free version, which can be a gateway to their premium offerings. These trusted free VPN options are typically more transparent and undergo regular audits to ensure user privacy.

To ensure a more secure and reliable online experience, I recommend considering free trials of premium VPN services, for instance, ExpressVPN, providing access to the full suite of features without immediate financial commitment.


The Best Free VPN Services [In-Depth Analysis]

To assist my readers in navigating the crowded free VPN list, I’ve extensively tested the best free VPN services Reddit picks for 2024 to bring you reliable services. My thorough reviews cover each top free VPN provider’s performance, and the overall user experience.

ExpressVPN – Best Free Trial VPN

expressvpn-best-free-trial-vpn

ExpressVPN is the best free trial VPN, widely recognized for its exceptional quality and service that is hard to match. Although not a free VPN, ExpressVPN provides a 30-day free trial showcasing its capabilities, often surpassing the best free VPN services.

Servers

With an expansive network spanning across 105 countries, the ExpressVPN servers list provides a vast selection to ensure you can always find a fast and reliable connection anywhere.

Security & Encryption

If you are thinking is ExpressVPN safe to use? Then, let me tell you that ExpressVPN is recognized for its robust security measures. It enhances your online safety by concealing your IP address and utilizing AES-256 encryption, guaranteeing that your data stays secure and private. Additionally, ExpressVPN Threat Manager reduces online tracking and bolsters your privacy and anonymity.

There is also an ExpressVPN kill switch, known as ‘Network Lock“, ensuring no packet of your data leaks if the VPN connection drops. With this level of commitment to user privacy and security, there is no doubt about whether ExpressVPN is safe to use or not.

Streaming

A standout feature for many users, ExpressVPN’s streaming capabilities are second to none. With the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer feature, you can unblock many content platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Max, BBC iPlayer, etc, ensuring you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies without interruption.

bbc-iplayer-in-USA-with-expressvpn

ExpressVPN effortlessly unblocked BBC iPlayer

Speed/Data Limit

ExpressVPN delivers unlimited bandwidth and high-speed performance thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol. During my ExpressVPN speed test, it delivered a download speed of 89.42 Mbps and an upload speed of 84.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.

Expressvpn-speed-test-on-in-USA

These speeds were enough to stream video in 4K quality.

Device Limit

It allows for up to 8 simultaneous connections, making it a versatile choice for users. ExpressVPN’s compatibility across devices and its range of applications for various operating systems, including Linux, iOS, and more, is particularly noteworthy.

Free Trials/Plans

Leveraging its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get an ExpressVPN free trial to see why it’s a top-tier service. While there’s no official ExpressVPN lifetime subscription, their long-term plans offer exceptional value.

Discover all that ExpressVPN has to offer by reading the detailed ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Blazing speeds for HD and Ultra HD streaming.
  • Bypass geo-restrictions on all
  • Full data and device protection against cyber threats.
  • Versatile media streamer for seamless multi-platform streaming
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons

  • Comes at a slightly higher price point compared to other options available
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Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Security

Windscribe-free-and-safe-vpn-in-USA

Windscribeis the best free VPN service for security with no hidden charges or shady schemes. Whether you’re concerned about protecting your data or bypassing geo-restrictions, Windscribe’s robust blend of privacy features and generous data allowance is an excellent choice.

Servers

As for servers, Windscribe offers servers in 11 locations on its free version. These include the USA, the UK, Canada, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Romania, Hong Kong, Germany, Turkey, and Norway.

With servers strategically located across various countries, Windscribe ensures that users can easily bypass geo-restrictions. It is a good free VPN for browsing, torrenting, and streaming content from different regions.

Security & Encryption

The provider offers many security features on its free version, including the Internet Kill Switch, Ad-blocker, and MultiHop, allowing you to connect through multiple VPN servers. It also features a “Stealth protocol” that obfuscates your VPN traffic and makes it look like normal HTTPS traffic.

Streaming

Windscribe’s optimized servers ensure users access all the major streaming services. The free US server of Windscribe works with Netflix well, as I could stream high-definition content without encountering any buffering or disruptions using this best VPN free plan.

Watched-Woh-Killed-Sara-on Netflix-USA-with-Windscribe

I could enjoy US Netflix for 2-3 hours with Windscribe’s Atlanta–Mountain server.

Speed/Data Limit

Its free version offers 10 GB of data per month. You must register with an email address to receive the 10 GB of data. Otherwise, you will only receive 2 GB of monthly bandwidth. You can get 5 GB extra bandwidth on this best VPN for free by tweeting about Windscribe.

When I conducted the Windscribe speed test on a 100 Mbps connection, I got a download speed of 65.21 Mbps and an upload speed of 34.75 Mbps.

windscribe-speed-test-in-USA

With these speeds, I faced no buffering throughout streaming.

Device Limit

Even on a free plan, the VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections to users. While testing compatibility, I was able to set up Windscribe on FireStick successfully.

Its user-friendly interface provides a seamless experience. Apart from that its unique features, make it the best free VPN for Firestick.

Free Trials/Plans

The Windscribe free trial offers 10 GB of data with multiple security features. Users seeking additional features can opt for its affordable paid plans. The pricing is competitive, with plans starting at a reasonable rate of $5.75/month.

In case you face any difficulties, you can always talk to Windscribe’s live chatbot ‘Garry‘ or submit a request. For more information, check out my Windscribe VPN review.

Pros

  • Browser extension with adware and malware-blocking
  • It can be used on unlimited devices for free.
  • 11 free server locations
  • 10 GB free data per month
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Offers a Stealth protocol

Cons

  • Not the fastest VPN
  • Based in Canada (member of the 5 Eyes)
  • No unlimited bandwidth (10 GB monthly limit)
  • Doesn’t offer WireGuard on the free plan

ProtonVPN – Free VPN with Unlimited Bandwidth

protonvpn-best-free-vpn-service-in-USA

ProtonVPN stands out as a totally free VPN with unlimited data, which is a rarity among free offerings. Users have access to a limited number of servers. Still, the commitment to privacy is evident through a strict no-logs policy and third-party audits, positioning it as one of the top rated free VPNs.

Servers

The free version limits users to servers in 5 countries (the United States, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Japan). It still provides a reliable connection for browsing, streaming, and basic online tasks. This makes ProtonVPN an ideal free VPN to use online for various needs without worrying about a data cap.

Security & Encryption

ProtonVPN’s power lies in complete security, offering you military-grade 256-bit encryption, split tunneling, and OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. Use this best VPN free and get an automatic kill switch that keeps you protected.

Streaming

When it comes to streaming, ProtonVPN doesn’t disappoint. Its servers are optimized, allowing users to access popular streaming platforms like Netflix with minimal buffering. That’s why it is the best free VPN for Netflix to enjoy a seamless streaming experience.

proton-vpn-unblocked-netflix-japan-in-USA

For a lag-free streaming experience, I recommend connecting to ProtonVPN’s Japan #51 server.

Speed/Data Limit

ProtonVPN’s unlimited bandwidth supports a consistent VPN connection without hitting a data cap. In my ProtonVPN speed test on a connection of 100 Mbps, the VPN delivered a download speed of 65.12 Mbps and an upload speed of 59.32 Mbps.

protonvpn-speed-test-in-USA

These speeds allowed us to browse and stream without buffering.

Device Limit

Creating a free account with ProtonVPN allows for single-device usage. Its standout feature is the user-friendly iOS app. This accessibility and ease of use make it an excellent free mobile VPN for anyone looking to enhance their digital security.

Free Trials/Plans

ProtonVPN’s free version is quite comprehensive. But for those seeking enhanced features, ProtonVPN pricing plans offer additional benefits like increased speed and access to a wider range of servers.

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

Pros

  • Provides truly unlimited data for free
  • Fully Open source
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • OpenVPN protocol offered
  • Free VPN with Powerful Desktop app
  • Fast speeds

Cons

  • Does not allow torrenting on free servers
  • Unblocking ability is erratic on free servers
  • One simultaneous connection supported
  • ProtonVPN Free trial only offers servers in 5 locations

Hotspot Shield – Decent Free VPN with Hydra Protocol

hotspot-shield-best-free-vpn-for-windows-in-USA

Hotspot Shield is a decent free VPN with unlimited data. It offers a Catapult Hydra protocol feature to offer fast-speed connections on P2P networks and perform various other activities.

Server Network:

Boasting over 3200 servers across 70 countries, this VPN offers extensive global coverage to overcome geo-restrictions. However, it’s important to note that the free plan restricts server access to the US.

Security & Encryption

Although Hotspot Shield’s headquarters are in the US, it still supports a zero-log policy for its users. Suppose you’re concerned about whether Hotspot is shield-safe to use; yes. In that case, it is a free and safe VPN that offers robust AES-256 encryption and DNS/IP leak protection to protect you from cyberattacks and other vulnerabilities.

Streaming

This free VPN in the USA is not a good option for streaming platforms as it does not work with popular services like Hulu, HBO, Disney+, and more. As per my tests, these free USA VPN servers unblock Hulu after multiple tries, which is immediately blocked by the platforms.

hotspot-shield-free-server-unblock-hulu-in-USA

Using the HotspotShield US server, I managed to access Hulu after multiple tries

Besides streaming, it is a good free mobile VPN for unblocking social media on handheld devices. If you want to stay connected without government surveillance, use this Facebook VPN proxy online for free.

Speed/Data Limit

The combination of its proprietary Hydra protocol and unlimited data promises fast and secure connections, making it the best free VPN for Gaming. During testing, it delivered a download speed of 45.63 Mbps and an upload speed of 39.56 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.

hotspot-shield-speed-test-in-USA

These speeds were reliable for gaming.

Device Limit

The VPN service’s app is compatible with most operating systems and devices, especially PCs, Android, and iOS. Moreover, you only get 1 device connection to connect just a single device simultaneously to the VPN.

Free Trials/Plans

While the free version supports ads and limits you to 1 server location, its proprietary Hydra protocol and unlimited data make Hotspot Shield a solid option for those seeking a decent, no-cost VPN solution.

For more information, check out the Hotspot Shield review.

Pros

  • Fast Connections
  • Unlimited Free Data
  • Catapult Hydra protocol offered
  • DNS leak protection
  • Best free VPN for mobile

Cons

  • Only 1 servers on the free plan
  • Ads and Popups
  • Based in USA

PrivadoVPN – Best Free VPN App For Beginners

Privado-VPN

PrivadoVPN is one of the best free VPN services for beginners. It offers easy-to-use apps with a simple yet intuitive design. This best free VPN application lets users stream content securely and anonymously on public Wi-Fi.

Server

PrivadoVPN has a reasonable server network in 46 countries. However, in the case of the free VPN version, you can access 12 server locations using PrivadoVPN.

The servers are spread in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Security & Encryption

PrivadoVPN is the best free safe VPN option that prioritizes privacy and security. It offers AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN, and WireGuard protocols. It also ensures no data logging and includes features like an internet kill switch.

Streaming

Although PrivadoVPN falls slightly short compared to paid providers, its USA free VPN server address excels at unblocking streaming sites, including Netflix and Peacock TV.

privadovpn-unblocks-peacock-tv for-viewers-outside-USA

I was able to unblock Peacock TV with PrivadoVPN

Speed/ Data Limit

Similar to other free VPN services, PrivadoVPN has a data limit. It provides 10GB of data per month at full speed, after which the speed is restricted to a slower ‘emergency server.’

During the PrivadoVPN speed test, I got a decent download speed of 86.5 Mbps and an upload speed of 57.87 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection, setting it as the fastest free VPN in the free VPN market.

privadovpn-speed-tests-in-USA

PrivadoVPN’s US servers provided faster speeds than distant servers.

Device Limit

PrivadoVPN improves device compatibility but still allows 1 connection on a free plan. Yet its seamless integration with major platforms, specifically Mac, ensures a versatile experience. The feature-rich Mac app of PrivadoVPN makes it the best free VPN for Mac enthusiasts seeking a reliable and efficient online privacy solution.

Free Trials / Plans

PrivadoVPN’s free version offers 10GB of data per month and comes with a good set of features, but its premium plans, priced reasonably at $1.99 provide even more. With these plans, you’ll enjoy faster speeds and access to a wider array of servers, making it a great option for users considering stepping up their VPN game.

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

Pros

  • Unlimited data
  • Easily Unblocks Netflix
  • Feature-rich Mac app
  • Boasts impressive connection speeds
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols

Cons

  • Unlimited data but with only 10 GB at fast speeds
  • Mobile apps need significant improvement

Hide.Me – Flexible and Powerful Free VPN

hide.me

Hide.Me is acclaimed as one of the safe free VPNs, particularly for its robust security features. It offers 256-bit encryption and additional features for a secure and private browsing experience, making it a top choice for users prioritizing their online safety.

Servers

As for servers, Hide.Me free provides access to 7 server locations. These servers are in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, and Switzerland to ensure reliable connectivity worldwide.

Security & Encryption

The VPN shines with state-of-the-art security measures, including AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IP and DNS leaks, ensuring your online activities remain confidential.

Its headquarters is in Malaysia, and the service fully supports a zero-log policy for complete anonymity and privacy. Moreover, Hide.Me offers advanced protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, and SSTP for free.

Streaming

While Hide.Me’s free version offers limited streaming capabilities but can still access some geo-restricted content. I could only access Amazon Prime when I tried unblocking streaming platforms with this VPN. However, I get blocked by the streaming platform within seconds.

hide-me-unblocked-amazon-prime-in-USA

Hide.me free VPN server in USA help me bypass Amazon Prime geo-restrictions

Speed/ Data Limit

Hide.Me’s free plan offers unlimited data and maintains commendable speeds, reducing the impact on your browsing and streaming experience. When tested for speeds on a connection of 100 Mbps, the VPN delivered a download speed of 57.16 Mbps and an upload speed of 48.91 Mbps.

hide-me-speed-test--in-USA

Using these speeds, I could enjoy accessing favorite sites easily.

Device Limit

The free plan supports one device connection at a time and can be easily configured on iOS, and macOS. Its sleek and easy-to-use free mobile VPN app interface makes getting started on iOS devices easy.

Moreover, Hide.me also offers free router configuration, so you can even connect devices that don’t have native support for VPNs.

Free Trials / Plans

Hide.Me is a fully free VPN with no credit card required at signup to test its services. For expanded features, users can opt for the premium plans at just $2.22 per month.

You can learn more about this trusted free VPN service in my Hide.Me review.

Pros

  • Great for torrenting
  • Many personal configuration options are available
  • Unlimited data per month
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther protocols offered
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons

  • Not very user-friendly
  • Speeds can fluctuate
  • Doesn’t work with American Netflix
  • Offers one multi-login
  • No Wireguard

TunnelBear – Best Free VPN to Change Location

TunnelBear-best-free-vpn-service-in-USA

TunnelBear is the best free VPN for changing IP addresses, thanks to its user-friendly interface and extensive free VPN server list of IP addresses. It stands out for its simplicity, making it a top free VPN choice for VPN novices.

Server Network

A virtual private network free like TunnelBear offers a server network of 5000 servers across 47 countries. Hence, free users can connect to all 40+ countries and enjoy reliable and fast connections worldwide.

Security & Encryption:

Security is a strong suit for TunnelBear, which includes AES-256 bit encryption, VigilantBear (Kill Switch), and GhostBear (stealth mode) to help bypass deep packet inspection and VPN blocks. It also adheres to a strict no-logs policy, enhancing user privacy.

Streaming

TunnelBear can consistently bypass the geo-restrictions, allowing users to access their favorite shows and movies. This capability extends to more stringent platforms like Netflix, as TunnelBear works with Netflix reliably, broadening the range of content available to users.

tunnelbear-unblock-netflix-japan-in-USA

TunnelBear is connected to the Japan server and provides easy access to Netflix.

Speed/ Data Limit

The free version of TunnelBear provides users with 2GB of secure browsing data per month, which can be a significant limitation for heavy data users. However, the service offers good speeds, making the most of the available data.

During the TunnelBear speed test on a 100 Mbps connection, I noted an average download speed of 55.27 Mbps and an upload speed of 40.21 Mbps, sufficient for streaming in standard definition.

tunnelbear-speed-test-in-USA

This VPN offers the fastest speeds as compared to the other servers.

Device Compatibility & Simultaneous Connection

The free plan of Tunnelbear allows unlimited connections, a rare feature among free VPNs. It supports many devices, including the latest version of Ubuntu, making it the best free VPN for Ubuntu. Moreover, the compatibility of TunnelBear with Kodi offers a streamlined setup process for an improved streaming experience on Kodi.

Free Trial

Its free version effectively serves as a TunnelBear free trial, offering 2GB of secure browsing data per month, perfect for occasional use. TunnelBear provides affordable pricing plans for those needing more data with additional features.

To delve deeper into the features and performance of this top free VPN service, read my TunnelBear review.

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly interface
  • Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
  • Strong security features with AES-256-bit encryption
  • No-logs policy for enhanced privacy

Cons

  • Limited free data allowance (2GB/month)
  • Speeds can be inconsistent across servers

Side-by-Side Comparison of the Best Free VPN in 2024

My detailed comparison chart highlights the performance metrics and reliability of the selected top free VPNs in 2024. The comparison is crucial for users who need a free VPN to connect to different servers or want an unlimited free VPN experience.

VPNs ExpressVPN-logo Windscribe-logo ProtonVPN-logo privadovpn-logo hotspot-shield-logo hide.me-vpn TunnelBear-logo
Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 9
Rating 8.1/10 7.3/10 7/10 6.8/10 6.0/10  5.7/10 6.5/10
Data Usage Limit Unlimited 10GB/month Unlimited 10GB/month Unlimited 10GB/month 2GB/mo
Free Servers paid servers in 105 countries 11 countries 5 countries 12 countries 1 in the USA 7 countries 47 countries
Local Download Speed on 100 Mbps 89.42 Mbps 65.12 Mbps 65.21 Mbps 86.5 Mbps 45.63 Mbps 57.16 Mbps 55.27 Mbps
Ads No No No No Yes (for free Android users) No No
Manual server selection on free plan No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Verified no log policy Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Split Tunneling Yes Yes (For Android and iOS apps) Yes (Available in Android and MacOS apps) No No Yes Yes (Android app only)
5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes Member No Yes No No Yes No No
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, FireStick, Kodi, Roku, and more Mac, Android, iOS Mac, iOS, Kodi and Android etc.  Mac, iOS  Android, iOS Windows, Mac, iOS Windows, Mac, Android, iOS with  Chrome & Firefox extension

Testing Methodology: How I Tested the Best Free VPN Services in 2024

When seeking the top free VPN services, it’s essential to sift through the numerous options to find a trusted free VPN that meets your needs. I’ve taken a deep dive into the offerings of various providers to help you identify which services stand out in terms of reliability and features.

Here’s a breakdown of my testing methodology:

Reliability

I prioritized the trustworthiness of each VPN, ensuring they maintain strict no-logs policies and abstain from harmful practices like selling user data or displaying intrusive ads, which could compromise user privacy.

Server Availability

The number of server locations and the variety of countries available are also considered, as is each VPN’s ability to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming platforms like Netflix. I prioritize services that offer free VPN to USA servers, as these are highly sought after for their content access capabilities.

Security & Technical Features

Despite the common perception that free VPN sites lag in security compared to paid versions, I scrutinized each service for essential security measures. This included the implementation of AES-256 encryption, modern tunneling protocols, DNS leak protection, and the presence of a kill switch.

Speed

Speed tests were conducted to determine whether the free VPN servers could support smooth and lag-free online browsing, streaming, and downloading, which are crucial for a satisfactory user experience.

Device Compatibility

When selecting a VPN service, device compatibility plays a crucial role. I look for good free VPNs that support popular platforms like PCs, macOS, and iOS to offer a convenient solution for connecting to public Wi-Fi networks or occasional VPN access while traveling.

Limitations

I assessed the restrictions imposed by the free versions, such as data caps, speed throttling, and server availability. The goal was to identify good free VPNs that offer daily use features without overly restrictive limitations.

Ease of Use

A user-friendly interface and straightforward setup process were also key factors in my evaluation. I favored only the best free VPN apps that provide a seamless experience for users, regardless of their technical expertise.


Why Using a Free VPN Might Not Be the Best Option?

When using free VPNs, being aware of the risks involved is imperative. Free VPN services can pose several threats to your privacy and security. Here are the key reasons why are VPNs free versions may not meet your expectations:

Risks of Free VPNs

  • Unclear Privacy Policy: Without a transparent policy, the safety of your data is questionable. Moreover, community-powered networks may unintentionally expose your network to risks, so they are best avoided.
  • Unknown Background: Free VPNs with an unknown company background should also raise a red flag as they lack accountability.
  • Potential for Malware: Another alarming issue underscores the importance of ensuring robust security measures before installing any VPN software.

Performance Issues with Free VPN Services

  • Data Limits: A VPN service free of cost may impose data limits to manage expenses significantly lower than the data requirements for heavy usage. For instance, streaming HD video can consume about 3GB of data per hour.
  • Fewer Servers: Free VPN server lists typically offer limited access to a few servers, reducing your options for IP addresses and server locations.
  • Slower Speeds: Due to the high demand for the limited free VPN servers, they have overcrowded networks and slower internet speeds, negatively impacting your browsing experience.
  • Speed Throttling: Free VPNs throttle connection speeds to save bandwidth for their paying customers. My testing and comparisons show that free VPNs provide an average speed of 5-10 Mbps, whereas premium services offer speeds of 50 Mbps or higher.
  • Limited Features: Many advanced features are exclusive to paying customers, leaving free users with a basic service.
  • Device Compatibility: Free VPN services are generally available for a narrow range of devices, primarily PCs and smartphones, excluding routers or smart TVs.

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN – Which Should I Get?

Choosing between a free VPN and a paid service should be based on your specific requirements. A free and safe VPN can suffice for basic privacy needs and occasional use, such as browsing or public Wi-Fi.

However, a premium VPN is more appropriate for demanding tasks like streaming or gaming due to its better speeds, enhanced security, and wider server selection. For those on a budget, a good paid VPN can provide a superior experience to a free version.

Here is a table comparing the features of free VPNs and paid VPNs to help you understand the differences and make an informed decision:

Feature Free VPN Paid VPN
Data Limit Often limited (e.g., 500MB – 10GB/month) Usually unlimited
Connection Speed Generally slower due to server load Faster speeds and more reliable connections
Server Access Limited server options and locations Access to a wide range of servers worldwide
Security Basic encryption and security features Advanced security features like kill switch, strong encryption, and DNS leak protection
Privacy May keep logs or sell data Strict no-logs policies, better privacy protection
Streaming Rarely capable of bypassing geo-blocks on platforms like Netflix Often designed to bypass geo-restrictions with specialized servers
Torrenting Support Usually not supported Support for P2P and torrenting with dedicated servers
Simultaneous Connections Limited, often only one device Multiple devices supported simultaneously
Customer Support Basic or no support Comprehensive support with live chat and email
Additional Features Few or no extra features Extra features like split tunneling, ad-blocking, and malware protection

Redditor’s Reviews and Suggestions: Best Free VPN Services

Here’s what Reddit users have shared about their experiences with the best free VPN services:

  • I’ve been using ProtonVPN’s free tier for a few months now, and I’m really impressed! The speeds are decent, and I haven’t experienced any major connection drops.”
  • “I gave Hide.me’s free VPN a shot, and it was alright. The 10GB monthly data allowance is decent, and the speeds were good enough for basic browsing. However, I did notice that some websites were blocking me while connected to their VPN.”

I agree with the positive review of ProtonVPN; it’s a solid choice for a free VPN that maintains a good balance between performance and user privacy.

Regarding the second review, the issues highlighted with Hide.me underscore the inherent limitations often found in free VPN services. For a more reliable experience, I suggest trying out ExpressVPN’s free trial instead.


More Free VPN Guides By VPNRanks

In my years of writing about online security, I’ve learned that there’s always more to discover, and I’m passionate about sharing that knowledge with you. Beyond in-depth reviews and guides, I’ve curated and delved into various aspects of VPN usage.

Guide Descriptions
Best Free VPN for Android Experience Unrestricted Online Freedom on Android with top-notch VPN free of charge.
Best Free VPN for iPhone Unblock the world of entertainment on your iPhone using my recommended free VPNs.
Best Free VPN for Windows Use the best free VPN for Windows 10 to enhance your internet experience and access geo-restricted content.
Best Free VPN for Reddit Get the best free VPN for Reddit to enjoy uninterrupted and secure browsing sessions.

FAQs – Best Free VPN Services

The best free VPNs of 2024 are as follows:

  1. Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Security.
  2. ProtonVPN – Completely Free VPN with Unlimited Data
  3. Hotspot Shield – Decent free VPN with Unlimited Data.
  4. PrivadoVPN – The Best Free VPN available.
  5. Hide.Me – Flexible and Secure Free VPN
  6. TunnelBear – Best Free VPN to Change location

These are VPNs free from dubious practices like collecting and selling your data.

Free VPNs primarily focus on changing your IP address and often lack extra features such as an ad blocker or a kill switch. They may also offer fewer server options, making accessing content securely more challenging.

No, Free VPNs offer privacy and protection but do not match the comprehensive security features of premium VPNs. Free VPNs often lack advanced security features like kill switches and strong encryption protocols. Some free VPNs might also compromise your privacy by selling user data to sustain their operations, which is less likely with paid services.

Yes, but most free VPNs limit the number of devices you can connect simultaneously. If you need to protect multiple devices, look for a free VPN that offers multiple connections or consider a paid plan.

Yes, ProtonVPN offers a free VPN tier that is worth considering. Unlike many other free VPNs, ProtonVPN’s free version does not impose speed, data, or time limits, ensuring unrestricted usage.

Yes, there are unlimited free VPNs that offer unrestricted data, like ProtonVPN, which provides strong security and fast connection with a no-logs policy, allowing unrestricted internet usage without compromising privacy. Additionally, Hotspot Shield Basic has recently upgraded its service to offer unlimited data on Mac, and iOS platforms, with plans to extend this to desktop users.

Yes, free VPNs can technically bypass geographic restrictions. However, due to their limited server networks, your options for bypassing restrictions are significantly restricted. Most free VPNs cannot unblock popular streaming services like Netflix.

Free VPNs often have limitations such as data caps, speed throttling, fewer server options, and restrictions on simultaneous device connections. These constraints can affect the overall user experience.

VPNs serve a similar purpose to proxy servers but come with additional and superior features. If you’re dealing with a transparent proxy server that blocks access to certain websites, a VPN can circumvent these restrictions.

PrivadoVPN is known for fast free VPN speeds, boasting an impressive average download speed of 86.5 Mbps over 100 Mbps on its free servers, matching the performance of its premium offerings. This significantly outpaces ProtonVPN’s free servers, which offer speeds of around 65 Mbps.


Wrapping Up!

Among the myriad free VPN sites, good free VPNs offer a balance of data allowance, server access, and security features. My research has pinpointed the 7 best free VPN services offering strong privacy and performance.

Free VPNs are a good starting point but lack premium services’ full security and reliability. ExpressVPN, for example, offers premium benefits with a 30-day money-back guarantee, letting users try its premium features risk-free, combining the benefits of a premium VPN with no initial payment.

I trust you found my guide to the best free VPN services of 2024 helpful. Give any of them a try, and share your feedback!!