With the government blocking and monitoring your logs, and security and privacy at stake, the VPN has never been of great importance. Unfortunately, not many free VPN services are convincing, safe, and reliable. So we’ve searched the web for some of the best free VPNs that are the best of your game.
Click here if you are looking for a simple VPN extension for Google Chrome browser.
How does the VPN work?
A VPN creates a private, encrypted “tunnel” through the Internet to a server. Imagine, you are in China and you want to browse BBC UK, then instead of accessing BBC server from China IP address, you will connect to VPN first, which will change your IP address to UK IP address. And the website will think you are a local visitor.
Related: What is a VPN and why should you use it?
Why use VPN?
There are several benefits to using a VPN service, but the overall advantage is the improved security through data encryption between you and the destination server. Using a VPN, you can improve privacy, remain anonymous on the Web and allows you access geographically restricted content.
Although keep in mind that being free VPNs makes them something bounded and restrictive. Either the speeds are slow, data encryption weak, limited monthly data limits, or ads spoil the browsing experience. Therefore, we recommend that you use a full-featured VPN service if you are an advanced user.
See also: How to access blocked websites at university
Best Free VPN Service of 2016
HideMe is the only free VPN service that allows P2P torrents, and the company claims to be the fastest VPN of all. It has the latest VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP, SoftEther, OpenVPN, SSTP, all with AES encryption up to 256 bits and it doesn’t store log records online, which is really cool! At least this is what they claim.
you get 2GB user data, which is worth it. Since you can always disconnect the VPN once the download has started. In general, if you use HideMe wisely, you can download hundreds of GB of torrent data, from a limit of just 2 GB.
Related post: How to Download Torrents Blocked by Your ISP
- The only free VPN that supports torrenting
- No records are kept
- Service compatible with all major platforms such as Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS.
- Limited to 2GB each month
- The free version only supports three countries: Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore. (No US / UK support)
If you need a VPN to download torrents, Hide.me VPN is the best option.
Zenmate VPN encrypts all your browsing data and channels it through its own cloud. It comes along with a smart feature called EverSecure, which is mainly offered by some reputable VPN providers. It also supports a simple browser-based extension instead of installing software on the computer. The controls are simple and easy to use.
Yet they are really pushing intrusive ads these days, prompting you to buy Zenmate premium.
- You can select multiple servers and their data policy is good too
- Unlimited bandwidth (ads supported)
- Not compatible with OpenVPN and Kill Switch
- Lately, there are so many intrusive apps that it has become almost impossible to use the Chrome app and extension.
If you’re not concerned with features and want a simple browser-based extension instead of installing a desktop client, Zenmate is a perfect choice.
Hotspot Shield VPN is a popular free VPN service with some extra features like malware and phishing protection. The free version is funded by many advertising and many users find it annoying.
However, there is no limit on data usage and speed is fine too.
- No data usage limit
- Protection against malware and phishing
- No need to login
- Available for all popular platforms
- It comes with a lot of annoying ads.
Hotspot shield forces you to buy their elite service and with so many ads you may not be satisfied with your browsing experience, but if you prefer to download rather than browse, it is a great tool to use. Plus, they’ve built quite a reputation over the years, so if you can live up to the ads, it’s good for security and privacy.
CyberGhost is the next best VPN service with no usage limit and the company recently introduced a free version. Like TunnelBear, they also use strong military grade encryption and do not keep user logs. And you get a wide range of servers to select from.
Unfortunately, you may face some speed issues or some queues to connect to a particular server, but this problem is rare and the unlimited bandwidth you get is something you should be aware of.
- Strong encryption
- Wide range of servers
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Service compatible with all major platforms (excluding iPhone users)
- Connection speeds may vary
- Some queue to connect to certain server locations
- Automatically log out after 3 hours of browsing (you can always connect immediately)
- No P2P service for free users
- Although it is the free version, you will have to watch ads.
This is for people who frequently change their servers, don’t have a priority for speeds, and can live with ads.
This is what I use regularly. It’s a great free VPN service with a really simple user interface. Of the company security policy it’s really tight, with no logged user logs and strong 256-bit AES encryption, making it the best free VPN with added privacy and security.
Sadly, there is only 500 MB data limit which is very lower, not even enough for videos. Yes, you get an extra 1GB for social sharing, but again that extra bandwidth can’t be used for video sites.
However, just like HideMe, you can disconnect the VPN once you are connected to the video sites and it will continue to play the video. However, this does not work for some sites (like AMC) that check the IP address periodically.
- Service compatible with all major platforms
- Excellent encryption and reliable for privacy
- Cool, quick and easy bear animation
- 500 MB of limited user data
- No support for P2P torrents
At just 500MB per month, if you watch movies or play a lot of online games, you should probably go for free VPNs with no usage limit. But if you just need to browse or send emails, Tunnel Bear is reliable.
|TunnelBear||CyberGhost||Hide me||Zenmate||Hotspot shield|
|Protocols||OpenVPN / IPSec||OpenVPN / L2TP / IPSec||OpenVPN / PPTP / L2TP / SoftEther / SSTP||PPTP / L2TP / IPSec|
|Operating system / device support||iOS / Android / Mac / Windows / Browser||iOS / Android / Mac / Windows / Linux / Chrome OS / Router / Raspberry Pi||iOS / Android / Mac OS X / Windows / Windows Phone (coming soon)||iOS / Android / Mac / Windows / Browser / Router (DrayTek)||iOS / Android / Mac OS X / Windows / Windows Phone|
|Customer Support||24/7, email, Twitter, Facebook, community||24/7, Email, Live Chat, Twitter, Facebook, Community||24/7, Email, Live Chat, Twitter, Facebook, Community||Email, Twitter, Facebook, Community||Email, Twitter, Facebook, Community|
|When to use?||Secure VPN if only used for browsing||If it can hold ads and few speeds fluctuate, then it’s a great security tool.||Good for torrenting.||Decent app with fewer features but adequate for regular use||Good for download.|
How do I know if my VPN is secure or not?
While using a VPN, any website you visit should be unable to identify your real IP address. So one way to verify the reliability of a VPN service is by visiting IPLeak.net or Doileak.com. If you see your real IP address, while connected to the VPN, then there is an IP leak.
The 5 VPN services on this list are intended for different users. Each of them has pros and cons.
In our opinion, the best is TunnelBear, with its secure encryption policy and no stored logs. However, if the data limit is something that bothers you, then you can give CyberGhost a try, but then you will have to face some ads.
Likewise, if your ISP has blocked torrents, HideMe, with your 2GB user data, should work fine for you.
Did we lose something? Let us know your favorite free VPN in the comments.