Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions block various websites to keep their students focused. While this can be pretty frustrating, it can also lead to you being unable to access a few essential resources for research or learning math formulas. If you can relate, then you need the best VPN to use in school to circumvent these barriers.
Remember that the best VPNs don’t mean they’d be budget-friendly. Yes, there are a few reliable cheap VPNs, but if you’re looking for an absolutely free VPN for school, you can find some decent options below.
Before jumping onto the list, note that most free VPNs aren’t actually free. Instead, they place certain limits on bandwidth and miss out on significant security features, like military-grade encryption, obfuscation technology, and a no-logs policy.
This is why we highly recommend opting for a premium option like ExpressVPN. Along with robust security, the VPN also allows you to unblock websites and streaming services across 94 countries easily. Moreover, you can avail its 30-day money-back guarantee or a 3-month free subscription on its 12-month plan easily for school.
- 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
- 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
- Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
- 5 Multi Logins
- Zero-knowledge DNS
However, if you’re still motivated to check out the free VPNs, we tested 40+ free services on our pre-set testing criteria to choose the most reliable options. Following are the best free VPNs for school in 2022!
Why are Free VPNs for Schools Risky to Use?
Free VPNs aren’t safe at all. VPN services have high bills to pay for maintaining their hardware and extensive networks to keep users secure. As a VPN user, you either pay for a premium VPN through its subscription or a free VPN through your data.
Want more details? Let’s get into it.
Most free options do not have the proper security features to circumvent deep packet inspection methods of various websites and services. If you end up finding a free VPN for school computer that can bypass geo-restrictions, then you’ll be subject to server limitations.
Another problem you’ll be facing is speed, bandwidth, and data limits. Most free VPNs offer slow speeds, leaving their free users to struggle with multiple lags while offering better speeds to their premium subscribers.
Various free VPNs cut down on essential security features to save money. This is why they’re unable to keep up with premium VPNs when it comes to advanced security features.
Lack of security features means that you’re vulnerable to malware and other cyber threats or your data can end up on the Dark Web anytime. Multiple free services have also been caught storing user data and selling it to third-party advertisers to generate revenue.
Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN offer features like DNS leak protection, military-grade encryption, and a no-logs policy to keep students safe.
Many free VPNs do not offer compatible apps, so you’re unable to use them on certain mobile phones and newer operating systems. This is why we recommend using the best VPN for school to get supported apps for all the devices you own.
The Best Free VPNs for School in 2022 [In-Depth Analysis]
We tested 40+ VPNs in the industry to discover the reliable free VPNs that work at school. However, do remember that free VPNs come with certain limitations, be it the availability of servers, speeds, and other restrictions.
Our extensive testing concluded after finding out the best free options that can unblock educational websites, calling apps, and social media sites while keeping your identity hidden.
Windscribe is the best free VPN for school. It offers outstanding features to circumvent geo-restrictions along with fast speeds, and a substantial data limit of 10GB/mo. This data limit is sufficient for checking emails, surfing social media, and enjoying 3 hours of videos in HD.
What’s more, is that you may also earn 5 GB of extra bandwidth if you tweet about Windscribe.
Windscribe’s free version has servers in 10 different locations. These servers provide consistent speeds and support P2P connections. We could easily unblock Flickr, Instagram, and Dropbox using this VPN.
In terms of streaming, we could only access BBC iPlayer and Netflix Canada on our second try due to strong VPN detection techniques. When trying to change Netflix region to other countries, the VPN asked us to upgrade and get the Windflix add-on.
Windscribe provides fast speeds, so you do not have to worry about buffering or prolonged load times. When tested on its US server, the VPN delivered an average download speed of 65.21 Mbps and an upload speed of 34.75 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Also, you can connect as unlimited devices with a single account.
Windscribe offers DNS/IP leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy, and an internet kill switch to keep your data safe.
Windscribe also has a unique feature called ROBERT, an IP blocking tool that keeps compromised URLs from loading and blocks advertisements, malware, and trackers. A Stealth Mode is also available, which obfuscates your VPN traffic and disguises it as regular internet traffic.
In case you require assistance, there is a chatbot called Garry that can answer all your queries. You’ll also find a thorough FAQ section as well as installation instructions on Windscribe’s website.
Read out this Windscribe review for more information.
- Servers in 10 locations
- 10 GB/mo data with 5 GB upon tweeting about Windscribe
- Unlimited multi-logins
- Fast speeds
- Headquartered in Canada (Member of the 5 Eyes)
- Doesn’t unblock every streaming service
ProtonVPN is a free VPN for school wi-fi that provides unlimited bandwidth. This makes it an excellent choice for students as they can easily enjoy the VPN service without running out of data.
The only drawback is that you get 3 server locations with this VPN, present in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. With ProtonVPN, you can also unblock Twitter, Skype, Khan Academy, and other blocked sites including streaming services like Hulu and Netflix in school.
ProtonVPN offers poor speeds and the websites take quite some time to load. When we tested its US server, the VPN delivered an average download speed of 43.27 Mbps and upload speed of 21 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. This VPN can only be used on one device at a time, so get it on the device you use the most at school.
ProtonVPN equips a kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, no logs, Double VPN, and other security features to keep you safe on the internet.
This VPN offers extensive guides on its website for solving your issues. Read our ProtonVPN review to learn more about this service.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unblocks social media sites like Twitter and Instagram
- Robust security features
- Offers servers in 3 locations
- Speeds are slow
- Doesn’t unblock streaming services
Hide.Me is another free VPN for students to use in school that’s quite secure. The VPN stands by its name and hides your actual IP address and activities using its DNS leak protection and kill switch (Read more about it below).
Hide.Me gives you 10 GB data/month, which is plenty for light browsing, streaming, and using social media. On the flip side, you can only choose between 5 server locations: Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands, the US East, and US West.
Unfortunately, Hide.Me doesn’t work for unblocking geo-restrictions on most streaming websites. During testing, we did manage to unblock Netflix Canada and YouTube, but we had to try multiple times before it worked.
Hide.Me has amazing speeds, which are suitable for students looking for a free VPN to use for data-intensive tasks like downloading massive PDFs and surfing social media. It supports P2P and would let you bypass torrent blocking easily at school.
We tested Hide.Me’s speeds on its US West server, and it delivered an average download speed of 57.16 Mbps and upload speed of 48.91 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Furthermore, you only get a single connection with this VPN.
Hide.Me’s security features include AES 256-bit encryption and a kill switch, which disconnects you from the network if your VPN connection drops. It offers DNS leak protection, which ensures that your original IP address is not revealed to your school while bypassing firewalls.
Split tunneling is another feature available to free VPN users, which allows you to pick which apps and websites can circumvent the VPN tunnel.
As for customer service, Hide.Me has a comprehensive FAQ section and 24/7 live chat support. Our Hide.Me review will tell you more about this service.
- Offers 10 GB/mo bandwidth limit
- Offers live chat support
- Security features include DNS leak protection and split tunneling
- 5 server locations only
- Single multi-login
TunnelBear is the most user-friendly VPN for students. It provides intuitive apps for a variety of devices, including desktop computers, mobile phones, and web browsers. TunnelBear apps have a visually pleasing interface, with an animated bear burrowing through the map when you connect to a server location.
With TunnelBear, you get only 500 MB of data per month. Once you reach your bandwidth limit, you will need to wait for the next month for 500 MBs more. This much data is enough for sending emails, browsing, and social media. If you’re too desperate, then you can tweet about TunnelBear and get 1 GB of additional bandwidth.
TunnelBear has servers in 49 locations, including the United States, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and others. With this VPN, you can bypass the school’s firewalls and unblock Khan Academy and Dropbox easily.
However, the VPN does not work with most streaming services, but while testing, we could unblock HBO Max, as it gave consistent speeds as well during the connection.
We tested the speeds of this VPN’s US server, and the VPN delivered an average download speed of 54.26 Mbps and upload speed of 31.40 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
TunnelBear is secure to use since it includes a number of security measures, such as GhostBear, which disguises your VPN traffic as normal web traffic in order to get around VPN barriers at schools. There’s also a kill switch named Vigilant Bear, along with 256-bit encryption for data security.
As for customer service, you require logging in to their website to chat with a customer service representative. Read our TunnelBear review to learn more about this service.
- Servers in 49 locations
- Offers decent speeds
- DNS leak protection, kill switch, and 256-bit encryption offered
- Offers 1 GB more upon tweeting about the service.
- Offers 500 MB/mo of data only
- Based in Canada (member of the 5 Eyes)
Hotspot Shield is a free VPN for school for enjoying Netflix during lunch break. The VPN is a good choice for bypassing geo-restrictions and unblocking US streaming services like US Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and more.
Hotspot Shield provides users with 500 MB of data/day. While it does not offer an extensive server network, it is a decent option for unblocking US websites (as mentioned above) because it only has 1 server location: the United States.
Catapult Hydra is a specific encryption protocol used by Hotspot Shield that provides customers with amazing performance and fast speeds.
When tested, the VPN delivered an average download speed of 50 Mbps and upload speed of 35.62 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Hotspot Shield does not support P2P so you cannot download torrents.
For data protection, Hotspot Shield uses AES 256-bit encryption along with Perfect Forward Secrecy. It also has a kill switch, which is only available on the desktop version.
One disadvantage of Hotspot Shield is that it generates revenue on its free version with advertisements, thus you occasionally see pop-ups and advertisements when using the VPN.
To help you with your questions, Hotspot Shield has a live chat feature. Our Hotspot Shield review will tell you all you need to know about this VPN.
- Offers DNS leak protection and kill switch
- Unblocks US streaming services
- Live chat support
- One server location only
- 500 MB data/day
How Did We Test the Best Free VPNs for School?
We set up a criteria based on servers, speeds, unblocking capabilities, security, and more to jot down the best free VPNs that work at school. Following are the details of how we tested each VPN to find out the best free VPN for school:
1. Ability to unblock geo-restrictions:
The first aspect we covered when listing these VPNs was to know if they can unblock restricted services effectively or not. Passing restrictions imposed by schools is a primary motive of this guide, and we cannot go around without covering it.
We tested the free VPNs by accessing various research sites, along with social media apps in places where firewalls blocked them. All the VPNs listed above allowed us to easily access sites and social media apps once we connected them to a VPN server.
A speedy connection is an essential aspect when it comes to finding the best VPN for school. These VPNs undoubtedly offered decent to good speeds on their connections when used.
3. Security features:
The VPNs listed above offer effective security features to all users. These include no-logs, a kill switch, suitable encryption protocols, and so on. We needed to confirm whether these VPNs would ever leak any information, so we went through their features and tested them.
All the VPNs we listed are either completely free or offer a free trial in case the students want it only for a limited time or want to test out the features and service first.
5. Device compatibility:
The free VPNs for schools have specific apps designed solely for devices. You can easily use them on your phone or laptop in school without any problem.
Why Do You Need a VPN for School?
A VPN can be a great choice for circumventing web filters and offering security on untrusted networks, as both of these issues affect students at schools the most. Various institutions enforce firewall blocks to make sure that only the approved and safe resources are obtainable.
Imagine that you need to search a website right before your exam, and you can’t access it just because the school has restricted it. Wouldn’t you want something that could remove this restriction in a second?
A VPN would do this for you. A reliable VPN for school wi-fi will change your IP address to the one available in your chosen city/country and let you access your desired sites easily. Along with that, it will also bypass ISP throttling and offer you a speedy connection.
Why Do Schools Block Websites and Services?
Schools block everything over the internet to safeguard their students from dangerous content. Various sites can be harmful for minors, so schools are concerned about blocking those sites immediately.
Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. are the usual victims, along with social media applications, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. It takes some muscle to circumvent these bans.
The reason for blocking these sites isn’t the only one mentioned above. Schools also restrict certain websites to keep students focused. What we mean is, can you even be focused if you’re scrolling through Facebook during class?
While this leads to frustrations among students, it’s only fair for them to do it. Along with social media and streaming platforms, schools also often restrict some educational sites, so students remain more focused in class instead of finding the right hack to the math solution.
These blocks are also enforced to monitor how much bandwidth is getting used. If students are constantly playing PUBG, streaming videos, and trying to amuse themselves, then the network wouldn’t be able to handle it.
There’s also the significant issue of torrenting. Schools forbid torrenting, and there’s no bad reason behind it. Students often share the PDF versions of textbook with one another, but schools are required to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In case a student’s activity gets detected, there are chances of punishment. However, a VPN will help you stay anonymous and unidentified.
How can you visit VPN websites in school?
There is a possibility that with all the restricted websites, your school has also blocked most VPN sites. Therefore, you should download the free VPN for school on your device at home. If it’s urgent, use your mobile data until the app has been downloaded and then switch to the school’s wi-fi.
Can I Unblock School Wi-Fi Without a VPN?
You can unblock the school Wi-Fi without a VPN, using a proxy service. A proxy conceals your actual IP address, making it look like you’re somewhere else. However, proxy servers aren’t a reliable choice as they lack encryption and the security that VPNs offer.
Even though your IP address is masked, you’re not actually anonymous and anyone can easily trace you. You’d also not be protected against any malicious site or hackers. Check out our proxy vs VPN guide for more clarity between the two.
FAQs – Best Free VPNs For School
Which free VPN is best for school?
Windscribe is the best free VPN for school because it offers fast speeds, reliable unblocking capabilities, and multiple security features. However, it also equips a data limit of 10 GB per month and 10 server locations. This is why we highly recommend opting for a premium VPN like ExpressVPN instead of a free option.
Which VPN is free for students?
ProtonVPN is an absolutely free VPN for students. This is the only free service without a bandwidth limit. However, it does come with only 3 server locations. So, we highly recommend you opt for a premium VPN like ExpressVPN to bypass all kinds of limitations.
Can free VPNs let you bypass geo-restrictions in school?
Yes, free VPNs offer some international servers that let you bypass geo-restrictions easily within and outside school. You can use it to access international geo-restricted sites or streaming apps like BBC iPlayer.
Is using a VPN at school illegal?
No, using a VPN at school is not illegal. As per the law, it’s absolutely acceptable to use a VPN for securing your internet activity. And even though there are multiple websites like Hulu or Netflix that try blocking VPN connections, it’s completely fine to use it.
How do you unblock school Wi-Fi without a VPN?
You can use a proxy service to unblock services on school wi-fi. A proxy service will mask your identity and spoof your location, but it will not offer you any safety. However, keep in mind that proxies are not safe as VPNs because they don’t encrypt your data so the IT administrator at your school can see what you are doing online.
While we’ve jotted down the best free VPNs that work at school, most of them place heavy restrictions on servers, features, and speeds. Various free VPNs are unsafe to use as they lack advanced security features.
So, instead of a free VPN for school, you should look for the overall best service. A premium VPN service like ExpressVPN equips all the robust security features you’d require for sharing files with your teachers, classmates, and study groups.
Along with top-notch features, ExpressVPN also offers thousands of servers for efficient unblocking of geo-restricted services.
You can avail its 3-month free subscription on its 12-month plan or its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee to enjoy its services in school.