Surfing the web without protective tools like VPNs and anti-malware is a risk that you shouldn’t be taking no matter how courageous you are. Privacy breaches have become a norm with countless incidents relating to social media and company data leaks, leaving customers and end-users exposed on the web.
No matter what operating system you are running on your PC, you can’t isolate yourself from the various online threats lurking around on the web. A free VPN for PC should be the first in your line of defense from these threats.
Unfortunately, many free VPN for PC are either scams that may actually violate your privacy and sell your information to advertisers or simply don’t work at all. That is why we recommend users try premium VPNs like ExpressVPN with the best security features.
In this article, we will solely focus on the few 100% best free VPNs for PC that are perfectly safe and available to download.
Best Free VPNs for PC – In-Depth Analysis [October 2021 Update]
After testing 45+ free VPNs, we bring you the 5 best free VPNs for PC in 2021. These VPNs work with Mac, Windows, and Linux.
1. Hotspot Shield – Best Free VPN for PC
Hotspot Shield is the best VPN for PC with 500 MB of free data per day, which is not bad as it adds up to 15 GB of data per month. It offers a dedicated app for Windows PC and you don’t need to register or sign in to use Hotspot Shield.
However, with Hotspot Shield, if you run out of your daily limit, you need to wait for the next day to use an additional 500 MB of free data. With a premium VPN like ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about running out of data.
It does, however, offer only one server location to its users and that is the US. If you want access to other server locations, you will have to upgrade to the premium VPN plan of Hotspot Shield. Another limitation is that Hotspot Shield monetizes its free VPN with ads so you’ll be getting annoying ads and pop-ups after every minute or so which becomes very annoying.
Hotspot Shield offers high encryption protocols and features to keep you completely safe and sound. But, it does come with limited bandwidth and a single server present only in the US. This means that you won’t be able to access any geo-restricted service present in any other country with Hotspot Shield’s free version.
In terms of security, Hotspot Shield is a great option with built-in malware protection and a proprietary Catapult Hydra Protocol that makes sure you get the maximum speeds on your PC.
In addition, the provider uses AES-256 encryption to protect user data from outside intrusions. Most importantly, it has a no-logging policy that guarantees the anonymity of user’s identities and personal information while surfing the web on a PC. With no logs to tie your online activities to your name, you can virtually become a ghost.
2. Windscribe – Secure Free VPN for PC
Windscribe is a free VPN that offers an appealing app for Windows 10 PCs and is also a great VPN for Ubuntu along with the most popular operating systems. You get 10 server locations, some of which support P2P downloads.
Windscribe offers the best security features that a free VPN could offer. This includes no-logs, kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and more. Windscribe also offers a ‘Stealth‘ protocol that obfuscates your VPN traffic, disguising it as normal internet traffic.
Windscribe is compatible with all major devices from Android smartphones to Fire Sticks. Not to mention, its Windows 10 app is user-friendly and super amazing to use.
Although this VPN is quite good for digital privacy seekers, it is unsuitable if you primarily want access to streaming apps like US Netflix, as it is unable to bypass the geo-blocks on these websites.
Other than that, Windscribe imposes a 10 GB/month limit on bandwidth usage. This might seem small at first but compared to most other free providers in the industry, it is actually pretty generous. You can also get an additional 5 GB if you tweet about Windscribe on Twitter.
Windscribe is a great free VPN for PC with speedy servers and reliable security protocols, you can actually use this service on your PC anytime you like. It does come with a data limit, but if you’re willing to take a chance on a free VPN then go for it.
For more information, see this Windscribe VPN review.
3. ProtonVPN– Free Unlimited VPN for PC
ProtonVPN is one of the few VPNs available for free that offers unlimited bandwidth. So, you won’t have to worry about running out of data no matter your usage. However, ProtonVPN does not work with geo-restricted streaming platforms and the free version does not support torrenting.
The major limitation of ProtonVPN is that it only has 3 server locations: the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. It might let you unblock streaming sites, but the connection might not be stable and you might get blocked anytime due to limited servers.
Nonetheless, ProtonVPN is the best VPN free for PC for users that need better digital privacy and surf the web on their PC with better security. Users also get unlimited data with this service which is actually a plus.
It also offers top security features such as a kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and a built-in ad blocker. ProtonVPN is compatible with many devices including your PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Smart TVs, and more. You can only connect one device at a time, as ProtonVPN does not allow simultaneous connections.
You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
4. Hide.Me – Popular Free VPN for PC
Hide.Me is a popular free VPN service that offers 2 GB/month of data for free. The provider offers 5 servers: Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West. It is compatible with torrent websites and allows secure downloads of P2P files.
Hide.Me offers 10 GB of free data per month which is more than enough for light streaming, browsing, and social media. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for unblocking geo-restrictions on most streaming websites. During testing, we did manage to unblock Netflix Canada, but we had to try multiple times before it worked.
Hide.Me does deliver pretty impressive speeds, so it’s useful for PC users who want a free VPN for data-intensive tasks. This VPN offers users 24/7 live chat support and features like zero-logs, making users feel safe using this VPN.
For users that need better privacy and reasonable internet accessibility, Hide.Me is the best free VPN for PC. It also offers IP leak protection and 256-bit AES encryption for data protection. It also comes with a SOCKS 5 proxy and split tunneling for safe torrenting.
To use Hide.Me on your PC, you don’t need to register or create an account. You can simply download its app from the Play Store and connect to a server location of your choice. There is also 24/7 live chat support in case you need assistance.
You can learn more about this service in our Hide.Me review.
5. TunnelBear – User-friendly Free VPN for PC
TunnelBear is one of the most user-friendly VPNs for PC users. It boasts an amazing app with excellent usability and an appealing GUI with an animated bear burrowing its way through the map as you connect to a server location.
It has an impressive network of over 23 servers and follows a good logging policy that privacy-conscious users will find quite reassuring. TunnelBear has servers in the US, UK, Japan, Brazil, and more.
Tunnelbear has an easy-to-use app for PC and other compatible devices. Using its reliable and secure features, you can unblock any geo-restricted site you like. Tunnelbear also works great with popular streaming sites.
The major drawback of this VPN is its small 500 MB/month limit, which can run out too soon. You might be able to access Netflix, but you will only be able to complete a single episode of your TV shows before the bandwidth runs out.
During testing, we could not unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu with TunnelBear. It did work with HBO, but we had to try a couple of times.
TunnelBear packs amazing security features such as 256-bit encryption, a kill switch called Vigilant Bear, and a GhostBear Mode. The GhostBear Mode is used for bypassing deep packet inspection (DPI) in countries with heavy censorship like UAE, China, and more.
This VPN is suitable for those PC users that have minimal VPN usage requirements. In case you’re going to need it for the entire day every day, then Tunnelbear’s free version is not the right choice for you.
You can learn more about this service in our TunnelBear review.
Why do you need a VPN for a PC?
VPNs are becoming increasingly important considering how flimsy user privacy is on the web today. In 2018, over 1 billion records of users online were exposed due to data breaches. It doesn’t matter which device you use to connect to the internet. As long as you are active on the web, you remain vulnerable to trackers and spies bent on stealing your data.
Other than that, VPNs are also in high demand by PC users that want to bypass geo-restrictions on websites and services. Most popular streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, etc. are either completely geo-restricted or offer different content in different regions.
VPNs can change your IP address to any region of your choice, thus giving you the ability to access these services from anywhere in the world on your PC.
Therefore, the value of VPNs is immense for multiple reasons if you use your PC to connect to the web.
How can I get a premium VPN to try for free?
All you need to do is opt for their free trials. All premium VPNs offer free trials or risk-free money-back guarantees so that users can test their service first and subscribe to it once they’re sure that the service is for them.
One VPN that offers world-class security features and always tops the list of the best VPNs is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers a risk-free no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee to users. You can claim a refund anytime you like within those 30 days and ExpressVPN will refund your full amount back.
This best VPN for PC offers the best online security and privacy in the industry and works with all major geo0blocked streaming sites.
Best Free VPN for PC – Reddit
The demand for VPNs from PC users can be judged from the multiple threads running on Reddit with discussions related to free VPNs. Let’s look into the best free VPN for PC Reddit users recommend after their own experiences:
Reddit users have concluded that ProtonVPN, Windscribe, and Tunnelbear offer the most decent VPN services for free to them.
You can easily unblock any website you like using a VPN. A Virtual Private Network allows you to get past the geo-restrictions and unblock any website by connecting to one of their server locations. You can use the best free desktop VPN or any other device to unblock these geo-restrictions.
The two VPN encryption methods VPN providers usually offer are:
1. UDP TCP
2. 256-bit encryption
Yes, free VPNs do not offer the exact same services as paid VPNs. Some limitations that revolve around free VPNs are:
- Limited servers that may be blocked by websites
- Limited bandwidth and slow speeds
- Your internet activity may be monitored
- Logs may be kept
- Your data may be sold to third party advertisers
- Frequent ads
- Inefficient in unblocking services and websites
Not exactly. Although a VPN might claim that it’s the best free VPN for laptops and other devices, it might not offer the security it claims. Free VPNs might store your logs or leak your data. They can also sell your data and activity to third parties. Hence, it’s always better to stick to a paid option than a free VPN service.
It depends on the country you reside in. If you live in countries like the US, Canada, UK, etc., then feel free to use a VPN anytime you like. But if you live in a country whose digital media is strictly monitored, like China or Russia, then using a VPN might be illegal in your country.
Using a free VPN for PC is one of the first steps you can take towards safeguarding your online privacy on the web and attain access to restricted websites. ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee works as the best solution for users that need all advanced features of a full-fledged VPN without paying for one, which can be done if you claim the refund within the first 30 days of purchase.
You can also go with the other options mentioned above, all of which are reasonably capable of making your online activities hidden from third parties.