Schools tend to block many essential websites for students, for research or learning math formulas. That is why students try to find a way to get past it to access these websites in school. Well, this article is a treat for all students out there because we’re about to list the best free VPNs you can use in school to access anything you like.
Please note that free VPNs come with certain limitations and risks. Therefore, paid options are always better. Paid VPNs don’t come with restrictions and offer powerful encryption to make you completely anonymous.
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation as it can help you access any blocked content at your school including social media apps. You can avail of its 30-day money-back guarantee or 3-month free subscription on its 12-month plan easily for school.It is one of the Best VPN services listed in 2021.
- 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
Why are free VPNs for Schools risky to use?
Free VPNs are free for a reason. Why? Because they come in with a variety of threats to users. Some of these are:
- Free VPNs offer limited bandwidth.
- They offer limited servers with constant lags and buffers.
- They are subjected to ads and display them frequently.
- They store logs and sell them to third parties.
Free VPNs are not what they claim to be. A better option would always be a paid VPN. A paid VPN offers some top-notch security features and thousands of fast servers.
Premium VPNs collect no logs and are completely ad-free, unlike free VPNs. Let’s not forget that these VPNs offer unlimited data for users to enjoy their services anytime they like.
The Best Free VPNs for School in 2021 [In-Depth Analysis]
Here’s our list of best free VPNs that you can use at your school in 2021:
1. Windscribe – Best Free VPN for School
Windscribe is the bestVPN for schools that offers all its unique features with a data limit. This service provider offers a limited 10GB/mo data, but you can always earn 5GB if you post about Windscribe on Twitter. 10 GB of data is more than enough for checking emails and accessing social media. You can also stream videos as well.
Windscribe offers 10 server locations overall on its free version. These servers offer reliable speeds and support P2P. It does not work with geo-restricted streaming services, as during testing we could only unblock Netflix CA and BBC iPlayer on our second attempt.
It does offer reliable speeds so you don’t have to experience any buffering or extensive loading times. And, with a single account, you can connect as many devices as you want.
Windscribe protects your data with features such as DNS/ IP leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, 256-bit AES encryption, along with an internet kill switch.
Windscribe also offers a proprietary feature called ROBERT that is an IP blocking tool and blocks ads, malware, trackers and stops loading compromised domains. There is also a ‘Stealth‘ mode that obfuscates your VPN traffic, disguising it as normal internet traffic.
There is also a chatbot called Garry that can answer queries in case you need assistance. You also get an extensive FAQ section along with installation guides.
For more information, see this Windscribe review.
2. ProtonVPN– Free Unlimited VPN for School
ProtonVPN is a free VPN that offers unlimited data bandwidth for users making it a great choice for students and teachers. You can enjoy the service as much as you like without having to worry about running out of data.
The only downside is that you only get access to 3 server locations – the Netherlands, US, and Japan. As there are servers in the US, you can get an American IP address to unblock US websites in school.
ProtonVPN offers multiple security features such as a kill switch, no-logs, 256-bit AES military-grade encryption, double VPN, and more to keep you secure over the internet. All these features are available on apps for various devices including Windows, iOS, Android, and even macOS. It is also our top choice as the free unlimited VPN for Mac.
While this VPN doesn’t come with an ad-blocker, you can download it if you like. You can also use this VPN only on a single device, so try to get it on the one you use the most in school.
ProtonVPN does not allow torrenting on its free version and it does not work with geo-restricted streaming services. During testing, we could not unblock Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer, and it also offered slow speeds as the websites took some time to load. Its pros still outweigh the cons, making ProtonVPN a good choice for schools.
Learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
3. Hide.Me – Secure Free VPN for School
Hide.Me offers 10 GB of free data per month which is more than enough for light streaming, browsing, and social media. On the downside, you only get access to 5 server locations – Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, US East, and US West.
Hide.Me does offer pretty impressive speeds, so it’s useful for students who want a free VPN for data-intensive tasks such as downloading large PDFs and access social media. It does support P2P and offers a SOCKS5 proxy for safe torrenting.
Unfortunately, Hide.Me 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. You can however access YouTube and other social media platforms with Hide.Me free version.
Some of the standard security features offered by Hide.Me are DNS leak protection, kill switch and 256-bit AES encryption. Free VPN users also get access to the split tunneling feature that lets you choose apps and websites that can bypass the VPN tunnel.
It also offers 24/7 live chat support and a large FAQ section in case you need assistance. You can learn more about this service in our Hide.Me review.
4. TunnelBear – User-friendly Free VPN for School
TunnelBear is the most user-friendly VPN for students as it offers easy-to-use apps for various devices including desktops, mobile phones, and browsers. TunnelBear apps have an appealing GUI with an animated bear burrowing its way through the map as you connect to a server location.
It offers 23+ server locations including the UK, USA, Spain, Japan, and more. TunnelBear does not work with most streaming services, but during testing, I could unblock HBO Max, as it gave consistent speeds as well during the connection.
The only drawback is that you get only 500 MB of data per month and when you are out of data, you will need to wait for the next month for 500 MBs more data. However, this much data is enough for sending emails, browsing, and social media.
TunnelBear is safe to use as it offers plenty of security features such as GhostBear that masks your VPN traffic as regular internet traffic to bypass VPN blocks at schools. It also helps with deep packet inspection (DPI). Moreover, there is a kill switch called Vigilant Bear, and 256-bit encryption for data protection.
You can learn more about this service in our TunnelBear review.
5. Hotspot Shield – Popular Free VPN for School
One final VPN that ranks in our list of the best free VPNs for school is Hotspot Shield. This popular VPN for schools offers 500 MB of data per month. While it doesn’t offer a widespread server network for free users, it is a good choice for accessing US websites as you only get one server location – the US.
Hotspot Shield uses 256-bit encryption for data security with perfect forward secrecy. It also offers a kill switch that only works on its desktop version. Hotspot Shield has a particular encryption protocol called Catapult Hydra that offers impressive speeds to users.
Hotspot Shield does not work with streaming services like Netflix US, Hulu, Vudu, and more. You can, however, stream YouTube videos and access social media with this free VPN in school. Hotspot Shield does not support P2P so you cannot download torrents.
Another downside of Hotspot Shield is that it monetizes its free version with ads so you will get pop-ups and ads every now and then when using the VPN.
Hotspot Shield also offers a live chat feature to cater to your queries. Learn more about this VPN in our Hotspot Shield review.
How did we test the best free VPNs for school?
We tested these free VPNs for school based on the following criteria:
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. 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 You Need a VPN for School
Yes, everyone needs a VPN in school and outside to access websites that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or organization has blocked.
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. It will offer you speedy connections and would let you bypass the restrictions with ease.
Why Do Schools Restrict Various Websites and Services?
Schools restrict these services to keep students focused. If students use social media in school, then they might remain distracted throughout school hours.
While this leads to frustrations among students, it’s only fair for them to do it. Schools tend to block all social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. They also block streaming services like Netflix on the school premises.
Sometimes schools also restrict some educational sites, so students remain more focused in class instead of finding the right hack to the math solution.
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. You should download the VPN 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 wifi.
FAQS – Best Free VPNs For 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.
No, using a VPN at school is not illegal. Most schools have firewalls that prevent students from accessing certain sites on the web, mostly streaming sites. So, using the best VPN for school to access these sites is not illegal, but you might get in trouble if you’re caught.
You can use a proxy service to unblock services on school wifi. 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.
You can use these free VPNs to unblock sites your school has blocked, or access Netflix and any other streaming service. You can also unblock Instagram in school with a VPN, along with other social media platforms and websites.
If you’re unsure about the free options due to their risks, just opt for a premium paid option like ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers top-notch features along with thousands of servers for efficient unblocking of geo-restricted services. You can avail of a 3-month free subscription on its 12-month plan or its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee to enjoy its services in school.