Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (2024)

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The Best Free VPN in 2024: Our Top 7 Recommendations

The best free VPNs offer powerful online security without a premium price tag. But just how useful are free VPNs? Our extensive research has taught us that many of them are dangerous, logging and selling your data or simply not working as a VPN is expected to.

Luckily, there are some secure free VPNs out there. We tested over 16 popular VPN free subscriptions, and below are our best free VPNs for 2024:

  1. PrivadoVPN: Best free VPN for PC and Mac
  2. Proton VPN: Great VPN free plan that offers unlimited data
  3. hide.me: VPN that has very good customer service for free and paid plans
  4. TunnelBear: Free VPN plan that offers a wide range of server locations
  5. Windscribe: Free VPN that is superb for those in need of high internet speed
  6. ZoogVPN: A free VPN that offers a referral program that gives you an extra 5GB for every person you refer
  7. Hotspot Shield: A VPN that provides a high data limit with its free plan

These VPN providers offer excellent protection at zero cost. Unfortunately, they still come with limitations like speed caps and data limits.

If you need an affordable VPN without recommendations, we recommend Surfshark. Surfshark is one of the few premium VPNs that offer a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee! Surfshark is fast, secure, and great for streaming.

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If you want a completely free VPN and you’re not sure which provider is best for you, we’ll help you decide. Check out our list below!

Free VPNs provide secure connections and encrypted data at zero cost. Browsing with these best free VPNs will ensure that your data, activities, and browsing history remain private.

However, totally free VPNs come with limitations. Data and speed caps imposed by free VPNs can limit your streaming, downloading, and gaming. In other words, your online activities are limited when you use a free VPN.

This problem goes away when you choose Surfshark. Surfshark’s best plan comes down to only $ 2.49 per month. What’s more, it also offers a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get extensive use out of this service without ever really paying a cent!

Limited Offer: Get Surfshark VPN’s Free Trial Today!

Want a truly free VPN? Our top choice is PrivadoVPN, which came out on top in our testing and research of the best free VPNs. Keep reading for an overview of every free service we tested and where it ranked on our list!

Why We Avoid Recommending Free VPNs

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (2)

You always need to be careful with free products and services, and VPNs are no exception.

We’ve come across a lot of free VPN services that log your data when they say they won’t. We’ve also found some that flat out don’t work properly, leaving your IP exposed.

Here are a few examples of the shady, predatory tricks some free VPNs have up their sleeves:

  • Monitoring the websites you visit: Hoxx VPN and Psiphon Pro track your traffic and share it with third parties.
  • Lending your connection to others: Hola VPN sells your data connection to premium users, allowing them to share your IP address.
  • Spreading malware: Turbo VPN was flagged for containing adware and harmful spyware.
  • Compromising and leaking user data: SuperVPN, GeckoVPN, ChatVPN, and QuickFox all have a history of compromised user data.

With all of this in mind, we’re hesitant to recommend free VPNs. If you don’t want to pay for a VPN service, we think you’re better off taking advantage of the Surfshark VPN seven-day free trial. You can also use Surfshark for 30 days and get a full refund on the couple of dollars needed to start your subscription!

Get Surfshark VPN’s Free Trial Now!

Our Best Free VPN Services of 2024

If a totally free VPN is what you’re looking for, we rounded up the most reliable options in one list. You don’t even have to provide your payment information or make use of a money-back guarantee. Free really means free with these VPN providers.

FeatureBest Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (3)
1. PrivadoVPN
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (4)
2. Proton VPN
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (5)
3. hide.me
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (6)
4. TunnelBear
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (7)
5. Windscribe
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (8)
6. ZoogVPN
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (9)
7. Hotspot Shield
Free data per month10 GBUnlimited10 GB500 MB10 GB10-50 GB15 GB (500 MB per day)
Countries with servers4770+8421133
P2P traffic allowed
Encryption protocolsIKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPNIKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN, and StealthIKEv2, OpenVPN, SoftEtherVPN, WireGuard, and SSTPWireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 (depending on the device)IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, WStunnel, and StealthIKEv2, OpenVPNHydra, IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard
Operating systemWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Android TV, and Fire TVWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, and ChromebookWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, and Fire TVWindows, Mac, iOS, and AndroidWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Fire TVWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, smart TVsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Extra security featuresKill switchKill switchKill switch and split tunnelingKill switch and advanced encryption for countries with a lot of censorshipKill switch, split tunneling, and ad blockerKill switchIP and DNS leak protection, traffic obfuscation, DNS filtering
WebsiteGet PrivadoVPN
Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (10)
Get Proton VPNGet hide.meGet TunnelBearGet WindscribeGet ZoogVPNGet Hotspot Shield

Our in-depth research has clued us up on the strengths and weaknesses of each of these totally free VPNs. Read on to find out which one fits your needs best.

1. PrivadoVPN: Best free VPN for PC and Mac Users

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (11)

PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN on the market and our editor’s choice. PrivadoVPN promises to keep your identity private, and it delivers on that promise. There are many reasons why this provider ended up at the top of our list, so let’s dive right in.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections1
Server locationsThe US, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, and France
Data limit10 GB per month
Speed capNo speed cap for the first 10 GB of monthly data. After that, a speed cap of 1 Mbps.
EncryptionAES 256-bit
Unblocks streaming servicesBBC iPlayer, Sling TV, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video (but not Netflix US)
WebsiteGet PrivadoVPN Today

Why we recommend PrivadoVPN as the best free VPN

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (12)

Devices: PrivadoVPN has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Android TV. There’s even a Fire TV Stick App, which we thought was pretty cool for a free VPN!

Servers: PrivadoVPN offers many server locations for free users, especially compared to other completely free VPNs like Proton VPN and Tunnelbear VPN. Free locations include:

  • The United States
  • The Netherlands
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Argentina
  • France
  • Brazil

We found PrivadoVPN to be one of the more suitable free VPNs for bypassing geographic restrictions online. These servers mean you can use PrivadoVPN to easily gain access to websites, apps, and streaming platforms that work in those countries.

Fantastic privacy standards: During our tests, we were impressed by Privado’s privacy and security features. This VPN provider is based in Switzerland, which is known for its strong privacy protection laws. As such, PrivadoVPN can guarantee users a strict zero-logs policy, which means that the provider does not keep track of your browsing behavior.

Military-grade security: PrivadoVPN offers AES 256-bit encryption and top-notch protocols like IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN. In layman’s terms, it protects your data properly. PrivadoVPN Free also comes with an automatic kill switch. This means that if the VPN connection drops, it will block your access to the internet, so your data won’t spread online. These are essential security features often found only in paid VPN services. The fact that you get these all for free with PrivadoVPN is commendable.

Works with streaming: PrivadoVPN works wonders with most streaming services. We were able to watch HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime, as well as non-US Netflix libraries. However, like many VPNs, PrivadoVPN did struggle with the US version of Netflix at times. The data limit might result in further struggles, as we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Allows torrents and P2P: If you’re old-school and into P2P file sharing, you’ll be happy to know that PrivadoVPN allows its users to torrent to their hearts’ content. We tried downloading some torrents and didn’t encounter any throttling issues, which made us very happy.

Limitations of PrivadoVPN

Speed restrictions after hitting the 10 GB monthly data limit: This is where things get messy. PrivadoVPN offers unlimited speeds — as long as you stay within the monthly 10 GB data limit.

While most free VPNs will simply cut you off after reaching your data cap, you can still use PrivadoVPN after depleting your 10 GB of monthly data. Even though that’s great in itself, there is a catch: you’ll be limited to just one server and a 1 Mbps connection speed. This is something we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy: agonizingly slow internet! Take our word for it: a 1 Mbps connection speed can be very frustrating, especially when streaming!

No Linux support: We have some harsh news for Linux lovers: PrivadoVPN has no dedicated Linux app. Linux users are better off using a free service like Windscribe.

One connection at a time: You can only use PrivadoVPN’s free version on one device at a time. This means you cannot use the same free PrivadoVPN account on several devices simultaneously. However, you can easily circumvent this issue by creating multiple accounts using different anonymous email addresses.

Overall, PrivadoVPN performed exceptionally well in our tests and has several impressive features you wouldn’t expect from a free service. We also tested Privado’s premium version as part of our PrivadoVPN review, in case you want to learn more!

Verdict on PrivadoVPN's Free Version

PrivadoVPN has a beautiful app, works intuitively, and is fast and user-friendly. It’s currently the best free VPN out there for Windows and Mac, but only for “light” users that stay within the 10GB monthly data limit.

What We Like:

  • Great for privacy: Does not keep user activity logs
  • Lots of servers available to free users
  • Kill switch (Rare on free VPNs!)
  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like:

  • No Linux application
  • 10 GB monthly data limit: when you hit the limit, PrivadoVPN greatly reduces your server options and connection speeds
  • Not great for extensive streaming due to the data limit

Get PrivadoVPN for Free!

2. Proton VPN: Best free VPN with unlimited data and many extra benefits

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (13)

Proton VPN is one of the most well-known free VPNs, with a huge user base and solid reputation. As one of the only unlimited free VPN options, this provider is ideal if you need unlimited data to browse the internet for as long as you like.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections1
Server locationsThe US, The Netherlands, and Japan
Data limitNone
Speed capNone
EncryptionAES 256-bit
Unblocks streaming services
WebsiteGet Proton VPN Today

Why we recommend Proton VPN Free as a good free VPN

Works on many devices: ProtonVPN works well on almost all of your devices. We’ve tried it on Mac, Windows, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, and even on some routers. Extensive device support is not its only perk, however.

Fantastic privacy and security: This popular provider from Switzerland offers user-friendly software, an excellent free package of security tools, and high-level encryption.

Note:

Proton VPN is one of the few VPN apps that are open-source, which means that a community of developers works to improve the software regularly. This process makes Proton VPN safer and more transparent, even for free users. Proton VPN apps are also audited by cybersecurity professionals to guarantee a high degree of online safety.

As you might expect, Proton VPN doesn’t keep any logs of user data. As long as your VPN connection is activated, you’ll be safe and anonymous. In addition to a kill switch, we saw that Proton VPN sports these secure VPN protocols:

  • OpenVPN
  • WireGuard
  • IKEv2
  • Stealth (to help overcome censorship)

No data limit: Most notably, Proton VPN Free has no data limits. That’s a huge thing for us — Proton is the only reliable fully free VPN that offers uncapped data. It also doesn’t have any speed limits, so you can use this free VPN for as long as you want.

Access to the complete Proton security suite: Creating a Proton account gives you access to a whole suite of other security services. These include:

  • Proton Mail, a secure email service
  • Proton Calendar, a feature with end-to-end encryption
  • Proton Drive, free secure cloud storage of 1 GB

If you choose to upgrade to a premium Proton VPN plan, you get upgrades for all these services, making it a great all-in-one online privacy provider.

Limitations of Proton VPN Free

Low connection speeds: Although the free version of Proton VPN doesn’t have a speed cap, it can be quite slow at times. This makes sense, considering the large volume of free users using a limited spread of free Proton VPN servers. Internet speeds can dip as the servers struggle to handle all the traffic.

Note:

The Proton website openly advertises the speed of their free VPN as “medium,” while their paid subscriptions all have “high speeds.”

Lack of server locations: Free users are not spoiled for choice when it comes to Proton VPN’s server locations. We noted 38 servers in the Netherlands, eight servers in Japan, and 22 servers in the US. Since there are only three countries with free servers, we found Proton VPN’s unblocking capabilities a bit limited compared to the free version of PrivadoVPN. Unfortunately, server variety is something you’ll often have to sacrifice when using completely free VPNs.

Get Surfshark for Access to 3200+ Servers at $ 2.49/Month

One connection at a time: You can use Proton for free on one device at a time. Seeing as it’s a free service, however, you could theoretically register multiple accounts with different email addresses. This way, you can protect every device you own with a separate, free account.

No torrent support for free users: Torrent lovers will have a bad time with Proton VPN free as it doesn’t support torrent downloads. This means you cannot safely download files, even from the best torrent sites, when you are connected to a free Proton VPN server. However, we found that if you choose to upgrade to the premium version, you will be able to torrent with Proton VPN.

Lousy streaming capabilities: Are you a streaming enthusiast? If so, we recommend you avoid Proton VPN’s free version. We couldn’t get Netflix or any other major streaming services to work properly when we tested the VPN as part of our Proton VPN review. Proton VPN is useful if you want more privacy, but we’d sooner use Surfshark VPN to reliably unblock streaming services.

Verdict on Proton VPN's Free Version

Proton VPN is one of the best free VPNs currently available, thanks to its great security features and unlimited bandwidth. It’s just not the best choice for streaming or gaming.

What We Like:

  • Unlimited data usage
  • Great reputation for privacy and security
  • Works well on most operating systems (Windows, Apple, Android)
  • Comes with great additional privacy products

What We Don't Like:

  • Limited server selection
  • Low speeds
  • Not good for streaming or downloading torrents

Get Proton VPN for Free

3. hide.me: Best free VPN in terms of customer support

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (14)

Hide.me is a trustworthy VPN that allows P2P file sharing and has excellent free customer support. If you’re a beginning VPN user who likes to torrent safely, we think that this is the best free option for you.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections allowed1
Server locationsThe US, The Netherlands, Germany, and Canada
Data limit10 GB per month
Speed capNone
EncryptionAES 256-bit
Unblocks streaming services
WebsiteDownload hide.me Now

Why we recommend hide.me as a good free VPN

Extra goodies during the first week: If you’re curious about hide.me’s premium servers and features, their free version is all you need. During the first week of your membership, you’ll be able to use hide.me premium with a seven-day free trial. After that, you’ll be limited to the free features.

Great customer support: As part of our review process, we always check a VPN provider’s customer support — and hide.me delivered. The customer support representative was quick to respond to our query, and their advice was on point. If you need assistance, you can count on hide.me to follow through.

Solid privacy protection: Hide.me is a zero-logs VPN that is certified by independent third parties. This means the provider doesn’t store any information about your internet activities, which is good news for the privacy-conscious. Not to mention, hide.me is based in Malaysia, so it doesn’t have to deal with invasive privacy laws like VPN providers that are headquartered in 14 Eyes countries.

Torrent support: In the past, hide.me didn’t allow free users to download torrents. Luckily, hide.me changed this policy, and free users can now download safely via torrent sites. Do keep in mind the monthly data cap of 10GB!

Compatible with many devices: hide.me has an app for most major operating systems, including Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, and even Fire TV Stick. We tested each version while writing our Hide.me review and found that they all work flawlessly.

Decent security and encryption protocols: Unlike many other free VPNs, hide.me offers plenty of different VPN protocols to choose from:

  • IKEv2
  • OpenVPN
  • SoftEtherVPN
  • WireGuard
  • SSTP

Pro Tip:

Go for WireGuard. It’s the most advanced protocol hide.me has to offer and will ensure solid speeds and good protection.

Limitations of the free version of hide.me

Very few free VPN servers: The free subscription to hide.me only gives you access to servers in eight countries: Canada, Spain, the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Singapore. Not very impressive, but it’s still about average for a free provider, in our experience.

Not good for streaming: Hide.me free VPN does not work with Netflix US. We tested this ourselves and weren’t able to unblock any geo-restricted shows or movies on Netflix. The hide.me website mentions that their free version can’t unblock most streaming sites. This is a real shame, but not surprising, considering this is a free service.

Not great for binge-watching and downloading: Another drawback of the free version of hide.me is that it has a data limit of 10 GB per month. If you want to stream or download anything, you will reach this data limit rapidly. If streaming is important to you, a premium VPN option like Surfshark or NordVPN is a much more compelling alternative.

Stream Without Limits: Use Surfshark With a 30-Day Refund Promise

One connection at a time: Similar to most other free VPNs, you’ll only be able to protect one device at a time with hide.me.

Annoying upsells: One thing that made hide.me drop in ranking for us was that it can be pushy with its upsell campaign. There’s always a button that urges you to switch to premium when using the free version of the app. Moreover, if you click on any premium feature, you are pressed to upgrade. Some users might find this annoying — we sure did!

Verdict on hide.me Free

While hide.me’s free version is not the best free VPN out there, it definitely has its merits. It has a relatively generous data limit and is our go-to suggestion for anyone looking to torrent without paying for a subscription.

What We Like:

  • Free premium trial during first week
  • Perfect for torrenting
  • Strong privacy protection and encryption for your data
  • Incredibly helpful customer support, even for the free version

What We Don't Like:

  • Small server network
  • Doesn't work for unblocking streaming services like Netflix
  • Data cap limits the use of this VPN
  • Pushes its premium version through ads

Get hide.me for Free

4. TunnelBear: Best free VPN if you’re looking for many server locations

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (15)

TunnelBear combines a practical VPN with many servers and a fun VPN with a lot of cartoon bears. While it has a narrow data limit, we think that people who enjoy a broad choice of server locations and a flashy interface will have a great time with TunnelBear’s free service.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections allowed5
Server locations42 countries, including the US and the UK
Data limit500 or 1,500 MB per month
Speed capNone
EncryptionAES 256-bit
Unblocks streaming servicesBBC iPlayer, Sling TV, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video (but not Netflix US)
WebsiteGet TunnelBear Now

Why we recommend TunnelBear as a good free VPN

Huge server network: The main reason why TunnelBear is one of the best free VPNs is because of its huge server list. Even with the free version, TunnelBear allows you to choose from all of its available servers in 42 countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Brazil, India, and Italy. They give you the same experience as with their premium version, which is unique among free VPNs.

Many options for streaming: We tested TunnelBear to see if it could unblock online streaming sites with those countless servers. The results were a resounding success. TunnelBear was able to circumvent geo-restrictions from sites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. While it cannot unblock all versions of Netflix, we were even able to enjoy Netflix UK with TunnelBear’s free VPN!

Extremely fun and user-friendly: Who said VPNs needed to be boring? As you can tell from the screenshots we captured for our TunnelBear review, this VPN’s software is fun and easy to use. The visual style is unique and engaging, and the app is very easy to install. Our editors are big fans of all the bear-related puns in this app.

Solid security and encryption: TunnelBear’s security and encryption are also very solid. We noted some great extra features, like a kill switch (VigilantBear) and obfuscation technology to hide the fact you’re using a VPN (GhostBear). Thanks to these, we could unblock more streaming services with TunnelBear VPN Free than with many of its competitors.

Simultaneous connections: TunnelBear Free is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS and can be used on multiple devices at the same time, just like their paid one. Would you like a “bear” on your phone as well as your computer? No problem. Although this might make you wonder… what’s the catch?

Limitations of the free version of TunnelBear

500 MB data limit: The biggest disadvantage we found from using TunnelBear is the data limit — you only get 500 MB per month. Most people would surpass this data limit in a day, especially when streaming. You can add another 1 GB of free data if you tweet about TunnelBear, but that’s not ideal for people looking for more online privacy.

Limited customer support: Customer support is limited for free users, while paying customers get “priority customer service.” So you might have a harder time getting help without TunnelBear Premium. If you’re looking for active customer support, hide.me might be a better option for you.

Torrenting not allowed: Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn’t allow P2P traffic on its servers, so you won’t be able to torrent using TunnelBear.

Can’t unblock Netflix US: Another drawback is that, while TunnelBear did great with unblocking streaming in most cases, it didn’t work consistently. Moreover, we couldn’t access Netflix US at all. Your best bet for that is still a premium VPN like Surfshark.

Verdict on TunnelBear's Free Version

The free version of TunnelBear is high quality, and we love the casual, flashy interface. But it’s only suitable if you don’t mind the tight data restrictions.

What We Like:

  • Big server network: choose from locations all over the world
  • A fun experience with a cute bear-themed design
  • Unblock countless streaming services
  • Strong security and extra features like obfuscation (Rare for free VPNs)

What We Don't Like:

  • Very limited data: you will likely run through the 500 MB in a day
  • Doesn't work with torrenting
  • No access to US Netflix (although you might get lucky once in a while)

Try TunnelBear Risk-Free

5. Windscribe: Best free VPN for fast connection speeds

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (16)

Windscribe is a good, popular, free VPN that works on almost all operating systems and devices, including Linux. It also offers fast servers and a reasonable data limit. We conducted a thorough Windscribe review and found that even the free version mostly lives up to the hype.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections allowedUnlimited
Server locationsThe US, the UK, The Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and Romania
Data limit2 GB to 10 GB per month
Speed capNone
EncryptionAES 256-bit
Unblocks streaming servicesBBC iPlayer, Sling TV, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video (but not Netflix US)
WebsiteDownload Windscribe VPN

Why we recommend Windscribe as a good free VPN

World-class security measures: This service’s security measures are world-class, even though news broke in July 2021 that Windscribe hadn’t updated some of their servers for years. From what we’ve seen, the team has moved past that hiccup and is now back on track.

Works on all major operating systems: A big reason why Windscribe is considered one of the best free VPNs is that it works on all major operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even FireTV Sticks. For Linux users, especially, Windscribe is the perfect free option.

Unlimited simultaneous connections: You can use Windscribe on as many devices as you want at the same time, so the entire family can be protected with just one account. This is a rare benefit that’s usually only seen with premium providers.

Servers in many countries: The free version of Windscribe has fewer options than the paid package. For free users, Windscribe only provides 11 servers in a handful of countries. Paying customers have access to servers in as many as 63 countries. However, for a free VPN, the number of server locations is still surprisingly high.

Fast and seamless browsing and downloading: Windscribe servers are very fast, which is our favorite part of this free VPN. The servers maintained good speeds when we used them for browsing, even while we downloaded a file in the background.

Respected security protocols: As privacy-conscious internet surfers, we appreciate that Windscribe offers multiple strong security protocols:

  • IKEv2
  • OpenVPN
  • WireGuard
  • WStunnel
  • Stealth

Extra security features: Windscribe VPN free offers some great extra security features, like an ad blocker that will prevent ads with malware from reaching your device and a kill switch. You even get a split tunneling option. This allows you to determine what part of your traffic should pass through the VPN, which is something you rarely see in a free VPN.

Limitations of Windscribe free VPN

2 GB data limit: This free VPN service has a data limit of 2 GB per month. However, if you choose to share your email address with Windscribe and verify your account, you get 10 GB a month. As noted in our Windscribe review, we saw no data limits when using the Premium tier.

Keep in mind that this is technically a payment: you “pay” with your email address and get more data in return. Unfortunately, Windscribe can use your data for marketing and might share it with third parties. That’s why we recommend you use a throwaway email address to sign up for Windscribe.

On top of that, it’s important to remember that 10 GB might be enough to scroll through Reddit and Twitter, but not much else. You’ll burn through it pretty quickly, especially if you try to stream movies or download content.

Annoying interface and software: Windscribe’s software is not as easy to use as that of some of the other free VPN providers listed above. Most of the buttons in the software take you to your account page on their website, which feels very ineffective. We would prefer it if you could change your account settings in the VPN application itself.

No Netflix streaming: Unfortunately, we were unable to access Netflix with Windscribe. While this is a downside, it is rare to see a free VPN that can unblock Netflix these days. However, you can easily watch Netflix with a VPN offered by premium providers.

Verdict on Windscribe Free

Windscribe’s free VPN package is really solid, especially if you’re a Linux user. The speeds are great, though bear in mind that the data limits are strict and it can’t unblock Netflix.

What We Like:

  • Windscribe is a true Speedy Gonzales: really fast connection speeds!
  • One of the best free VPNs in terms of security and privacy
  • Has been around for a long time, with countless satisfied users

What We Don't Like:

  • Not ideal for Netflix and other streaming services
  • Interface could be improved

Get Windscribe for Free

6. ZoogVPN: Best free VPN with a ‘Refer a Friend’ program

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (17)

ZoogVPN is a free zero-logs VPN provider with a useful referral program. Unfortunately, its security isn’t as good as that of other free VPNs (it doesn’t use 256-bit encryption), and the free version can only be used on one device at a time.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections allowed1
Server locationsThe US, The UK, and The Netherlands
Data limit10 GB to 50 GB per month
Speed capNone
Encryption128-bit
Unblocks streaming services (Only on premium subscription plans)
WebsiteDownload ZoogVPN Now

Why we recommend ZoogVPN as a good free VPN

Multiple encryption protocols: ZoogVPN is known as one of the best free VPNs because it offers multiple encryption protocols. As a free user, we could choose between IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Paying subscribers have more options, but OpenVPN is good enough for the average internet user. ZoogVPN free doesn’t have as many VPN protocols as some of the other entries on this list, but it’s still secure enough when compared to most free VPNs.

Available for many devices: ZoogVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and smart TVs. This makes it very versatile. We found it a real plus that we could test this VPN on whatever device we wanted, and you can do the same!

Kill switch: While testing the free application of ZoogVPN, we noticed it also offers a kill switch. This feature ensures that all internet traffic is interrupted when the secure VPN connection unexpectedly drops. In other words, it protects your data so it doesn’t leak without you noticing. Excellent news for your privacy!

Limitations of ZoogVPN

Lower levels of encryption: One downside of ZoogVPN free is that it uses 128-bit encryption instead of the AES 256-bit offered by most other VPNs. 128-bit encryption is still good and won’t be easily breached by anyone, but it’s a miss when compared to the other entries on this list.

Access to just five servers: With ZoogVPN’s free package, you can only access five servers: in the UK, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, and Singapore. This is a limited number that didn’t offer us much choice for unblocking websites, even if the server locations are nicely spread out over the globe.

One connection only: You can only use the free version on one device at a time, so if you want to use it on both your phone and your computer, you’ll have to turn it off on one the moment you connect to the other. Cheap premium services like Surfshark offer unlimited connections.

10 GB data limit: ZoogVPN has a data limit of 10 GB per month. Data limits are always a bummer, but ZoogVPN has a nice workaround: every paying customer you refer to ZoogVPN will earn you an additional 5 GB of data, up to 50 GB per month. While 10 GB is a limiting data cap, it’s not as bad as most of the other free VPNs, especially if you have a lot of friends willing to subscribe to its paid plan.

Inconsistent internet speeds: ZoogVPN’s servers are quite fast, as we experienced in our ZoogVPN review speed tests. But when they are under heavier loads, free users will be the first to notice.

Can’t unblock Netflix: When we tested ZoogVPN’s free servers, Netflix did not work, and we experienced considerable lag at times. We also struggled to unblock any other streaming platforms in our routine streaming tests with ZoogVPN.

Verdict on ZoogVPN's Free Version

ZoogVPN might not be the number one VPN on our list, but it held its own when we put it to the test. Despite limitations, it’s still secure and free, making it a solid free VPN option for people who need an internet security boost without cost.

What We Like:

  • Available on many devices and operating systems
  • Kill switch will protect your data at crucial moments

What We Don't Like:

  • Subpar encryption compared to competitors
  • Speeds might drop at busy times
  • Only a handful of servers for free users

Try ZoogVPN Free Now

7. Hotspot Shield: Best free VPN with a generous data limit

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (18)

Hotspot Shield is a popular free VPN with some of the most advantageous data limits. However, it uses 128-bit encryption, and the free version of the app is not very user-friendly. It also caught some flak over the years for its lack of data protection on free plans. Even so, for a free service, we found it to be a solid contender.

FeatureSpecifications
Torrents
Simultaneous connections allowed1
Server locationsThe US, Singapore, the UK
Data limit500 MB per day
Speed cap2 MBps
Encryption128-bit
Unblocks streaming services (Only on premium subscription plans)
WebsiteGet Hotspot Shield Now

Why we recommend Hotspot Shield as a good free VPN

Unique VPN protocol: Hotspot Shield is one of our best free VPNs, as it uses a proprietary VPN protocol, Hydra, which is based on the industry standard of OpenVPN. This is a powerful, secure protocol — something we don’t usually see with free services.

Extra security options: This VPN features other security features not available on most free VPNs. When we put it through testing, we noted IP and DNS leak protection (to prevent third parties from seeing your data), traffic obfuscation (to disguise your internet traffic), and DNS filtering. If you’re looking for a secure free VPN, Hotspot Shield is one of the most feature-rich choices we’ve come across.

15 GB data per month: Hotspot’s free VPN has the best data limits (after Proton VPN) if you add them all up. With Hotspot Shield, you get 500 MB per day, which means you have around 15 GB per month if you use it well. Aside from Proton VPN’s unlimited allowance, this is the most generous free VPN data limit.

But as with every free service, there is a catch. Let’s talk about Hotspot Shield’s downsides.

Limitations of Hotspot Shield

Not the best speeds: Hotspot Shield VPN free had decent speeds when we tested it, but it was not the fastest VPN. We struggled to unblock even a single streaming service, and the speeds weren’t good enough for gaming.

Limited daily data: Your unused daily data doesn’t roll over to the next day of using Hotspot Shield for free. So even if you just used 100 MB in a day, the remaining 400 MB are lost. This might not be a problem if you want to use the VPN to browse social media, but it’s a real bummer if you want to download anything that’s larger than 500 MB. In that case, we recommend choosing a different VPN.

Lots of ads: The free version of Hotspot Shield isn’t too user-friendly. It pushes ads on you, and a lot of users reported random disconnections, although we experienced no disconnects when testing the app.

Data collection: Hotspot Shield has a bad reputation related to user data collection. They had a few scandals in the past, and their current privacy policy is less than ideal. We found it particularly long and wordy, leaving us a little uncertain about exactly how some data, like your location, may be used.

Based in 5 Eyes: Hotspot Shield’s parent company, Aura, is based in the US, a 5 Eyes country with an equally bad record of protecting their citizens’ privacy. But it’s not all bad news in terms of security, and you can find out more about how this VPN fared in our Hotspot Shield review.

Verdict on Hotspot Shield Free

We were hesitant about including Hotspot Shield in this list due to a rocky past and shaky privacy policy. However, some users won’t mind the data sharing on Hotspot’s part as long as they’re getting a functional free VPN.

What We Like:

  • Some nice extra security and encryption features (unique for free VPNs)
  • Decent accumulated monthly data limit

What We Don't Like:

  • Privacy of users is a concern
  • Parent company based in a 5 eyes country (that's bad)
  • Ads! Who doesn't hate them?

Get Hotspot Shield Free

Comparison: Free VPNs vs. Affordable VPNs

Free VPNs are generally limited in some way, whether it’s a traffic cap or speed limit. Premium VPNs, on the other hand, are more secure and offer more options. Let’s look at how our completely free VPN services stack up against Surfshark, a very affordable premium VPN.

FeaturePrivadoVPNProton VPNSurfshark
Countries with servers4770+100
Data10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Speed cap1 Mbps (if data limit exceeded)NoneNone (Retained 95% of our usual speed)
Unblocks Netflix?
Simultaneous connections11Unlimited
Money-back guaranteeN/AN/A30 days
PriceFreeFree$ 2.49
WebsiteGet PrivadoVPNGet Proton VPNTry Surfshark VPN

Of course, the most obvious downside of a premium VPN is its price. Luckily, you can try premium VPN services for free.

You can get a Surfshark free trial by taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. Just ask for a refund before those 30 days are up, and the subscription won’t cost you a dime.

Plus, Surfshark offers a pretty good deal if you decide to invest in a trustworthy VPN: for only $ 2.49 per month, you get all the advantages of a premium VPN.

Try Surfshark VPN Now With a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee!

How Did We Determine Our Top Seven Best Free VPNs List?

Our top criteria for these seven best free VPNs was that they had no direct or hidden subscription costs. VPNs with free trials that automatically turn into a paid subscription were not included in our list.

Additionally, we wanted VPNs on our list that did not collect your information extensively. This is a common problem with free VPNs, so we disqualified any app we found that didn’t take data protection seriously. Here are the other criteria we considered during our research:

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (19)
  • Encryption: A VPN provider needs to have secure encryption protocols and be able to safeguard your data effectively.
  • Data limits: If you use the internet frequently and for data-heavy activities like gaming, you must ensure that a free VPN provider will offer an acceptable data limit to cover your daily needs.
  • Speed caps: Decent speeds are important for most online activities as they give you an uninterrupted experience. A free VPN service that offers that is a winner in our books.
  • The number of available servers and server locations: The more servers and locations provided by a free VPN, the better. This will allow you to access websites that may be unavailable in your location, like a specific streaming platform.
  • The maximum number of simultaneous connections: If you want a free VPN for all your family members, one that offers you the choice to connect many devices at the same time is a sure winner.

Free VPNs vs. Paid VPNs

You need to be careful when using free VPN services. Many free VPNs don’t protect your data properly. These apps may keep logs of your activity or even collect data to sell for marketing purposes.

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (20)

Free VPNs may also request access to all kinds of sensitive information, like your contacts, photos, and social media. Some free providers even infect your device with spyware and other malware.

Apart from these unsettling facts, many free VPNs have other disadvantages that paid VPN services don’t. Here’s our brief overview of the main differences and similarities between paid and unpaid VPNs.

Free VPNsPaid VPNs
Don’t always hide your IP address properlyWill hide your IP address
Lack of extra features such as obfuscation technology, double VPN connections, or split tunnelingSolid encryption (256-bit) and multiple VPN protocols
Often enforce data limits between 500 MB and 10 GB per monthNo data limits
Speed caps are generally enforcedDon’t actively enforce speed limits
Often have a relatively small server network with few locationsMassive server networks, often with thousands of servers
Very low speeds (server overcrowding, limited choice)Excellent speeds due to high-performance server infrastructure
Often, only allow one connection at a timeTend to offer more extra features
Often only allow one connection at a timeAllow for multiple simultaneous connections
Usually, can’t unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix USCan easily unblock all major streaming services
Might sell your data or have questionable data logging practicesUnlikely to sell your data, and many have a strict no-logs policy

As you can see, premium VPNs often offer features and options you’re not likely to get even with one of the best free VPNs. Plus, some paid VPN subscriptions are quite affordable. Best of all, most of them offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them without committing to a plan.

Like with free VPNs, not all paid VPNs are created equally. Some offer strict security features that go beyond the advantages mentioned above, while others might be worse than some of the free VPNs listed here.

At VPNOverview, we only recommend the very best VPN services. If you’d like to know more, you can take a look at our full VPN review ranking list.

Which premium VPNs are affordable?

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (21)

Several VPNs offer very good VPN connections at low prices. Many good cheap VPNs are just as good, if not better, than a VPN with a higher monthly fee.

Here are just some of the most affordable premium VPNs on the market:

  1. Surfshark ($ 2.49/mo): Fast, affordable, and secure, Surfshark’s biggest selling point is its unlimited simultaneous connections.
  2. CyberGhost ($ 2.03/mo): CyberGhost is extremely beginner-friendly and offers special gaming and streaming servers, making it perfect for VPN newbies or younger users.
  3. Private Internet Access ($ 1.98/mo): PIA offers 64971 servers worldwide, one of the biggest server networks we’ve seen.

Want more recommendations? Check out our full list of the best cheap VPNs.

Free VPNs You Should Avoid

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (22)

There are also numerous free VPNs out there that you should avoid. Many aim to track your data and sell it to others. Their usage harms your privacy instead of protecting it.

Some free VPNs even sell your connection to other users. Your bandwidth is given to premium users of the service, who in turn use your connection and IP address as their very own “VPN server.”

Below, you’ll find an overview of some unsafe free VPNs that are relatively popular and why you should avoid them.

Free VPNWhy it’s best not to use it
Hola VPNHola VPN sells your bandwidth to paying users. This enables paying users to use your internet connection to access the web. As a result, your IP address could end up being connected to suspicious activities.
SuperVPNSuperVPN keeps track of your data to fulfill DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) requests. If you’re looking for a way to download anonymously, you’ll be better off with a different VPN.
Psiphon ProPsiphon Pro allows partner companies to track users. It also shares data with commercial partners, other partners, and the Psiphon Pro parent company. In other words, you’ll have a hard time staying anonymous with this VPN.
Touch VPNTouch VPN adds different types of trackers (cookies, pixel tags, web beacons) to a user’s browser and shares data with third parties.
BetternetBetternet allows advertisers, among other third parties, to track user data.
AnonyTunAnonyTun allows advertisers to place cookies and build user profiles.
Turbo VPNThe free version of Turbo VPN is filled with adware and allows advertising partners to place cookies and track users.
Tuxler VPNTuxler VPN’s free version is very unsafe. It collects user data and shares that with third parties. On top of that, it’s also incredibly slow.

These aren’t the only unsafe free VPN providers out there. Many VPNs in the App Store and on Google Play don’t have clear policies regarding data processing and privacy. We recommend sticking to tried-and-tested VPN providers that our cybersecurity experts have vetted.

If you come across such a VPN yourself, always be careful. Don’t assume you’ll be able to browse the internet anonymously with these VPNs. Feel free to let us know in the comments about other VPNs to avoid and help us further protect our visitors.

Conclusion: What is the Best Free VPN?

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (23)

At the moment, our best all-around free VPN is PrivadoVPN. We found this provider to be the absolute best choice when it comes to security, as it has a strict no-logs policy and features such as those that enable torrenting.

Otherwise, Proton VPN is our best VPN if you’re looking for unlimited data. Proton VPN is also your best bet for a free smartphone VPN. If you’re looking for a free fast VPN, Windscribe performed best when we tested free VPNs for speed. TunnelBear is the most user-friendly free option that we found, while also offering the best server network.

The table below includes our best free VPN providers at this moment for specific purposes and criteria:

CriteriaBest Free VPN
SpeedWindscribe
DataProton VPN
Server locationsTunnelBear
SafetyPrivadoVPN
Ease of usePrivadoVPN

The free VPN services recommended in our article support multiple platforms and operating systems. So, whether you’re looking for a free VPN for iPad, Android, or iPhone, our recommended VPN services should work for your device.

However, the moment you start using a free VPN regularly or for streaming, you will quickly run into data limits and speed caps. Similarly, you will often experience restrictions when you try to download shows and movies with a free VPN.

In such cases, we recommend choosing a cheap paid VPN. You can also experiment a little bit with different free VPN trials. Surfshark’s the best choice in this regard.

Get a VPN Free Trial From Surfshark Today!

If you’re looking for a free VPN service, make sure to choose one of the trustworthy providers listed in this article — especially since many free VPN apps in the Play and App Store don’t work properly or are a threat to your privacy and security.

If you want to know more about the best free VPNs for different purposes, take a look at these articles:

  • The Best Free VPN for Netflix
  • The Best Free VPNs for PC

The Best Free VPNs: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about free VPNs? Click on one of the frequently asked questions below to read the answer.

Are free VPNs truly free?

Yes, some VPN providers offer all or some of their services for free. Some decent VPN providers include Proton VPN, Windscribe, and TunnelBear.

Can I watch Netflix with a free VPN?

You might be able to watch Netflix with a free VPN, but it’s not a guarantee. Free VPNs offer just a handful of servers, so Netflix probably has them on its radar already. Some free versions of VPNs, such as Proton VPN and ZoogVPN, occasionally work with Netflix.

But you’re never guaranteed to unblock any site with a free VPN. Plus, none of the free VPNs we tested were able to unblock the US version of Netflix.

If you want unlimited access to Netflix with a VPN (to get access to American Netflix, for example), you’ll be better off with a good premium VPN.

Are free VPNs safe to use?

Some free VPNs are safe to use. However, other free VPNs might endanger your personal information. They won’t make you anonymous, and some will sell your private data to other companies or even install malware on your phone or computer.

If you want to use a free VPN, you should always make sure to pick a safe one.

Do free VPNs sell my personal data?

Some (free) VPNs earn their money by collecting your user data and selling it to other parties. In such cases, you may not pay money to use the VPN, but you do pay with your personal information instead.

Luckily, not all VPNs do this. Proton VPN, for example, has a safe free version, which is supported by their premium service. If you want to know more check out our Proton VPN review.

What is the best free VPN?

There are several good free VPNs that you can use safely, although they often have data or speed limits. Your personal preferences determine which one is best for you. However, Proton VPN might be a good choice as it offers unlimited data.

If you’d rather have a free VPN with many server locations or high speeds, other options are a better fit.

Is there a 100% free VPN?

Yes, there are 100% free VPNs and they’re some amazing ones as well. Our top two picks, PrivadoVPN and Proton VPN, offer strong 100% free VPN plans.

How do I choose which free VPN to use?

If you want to start using a free VPN, the most important consideration is your online security. Can the VPN be trusted? Be sure to look at the various features different free VPNs offer. Many free VPNs have a data or speed limit.

However, it might be worthwhile to purchase a cheap premium VPN, such as Surfshark.

Best Free VPN: Top 7 Free VPNs in April 2024 (24)

Chris Bluvshtein

Senior Journalist

Chris is a tech journalist with many years’ experience covering online privacy and cybersecurity. He’s also a published author and works as a Product Manager for some of the most innovative software development companies.

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