What to Look for in a Free VPN

Our goal at SafeFreeVPN.com is to help you find the best safe and free VPN options. No matter what your goals are, you deserve honest and straightforward choices. Sadly, many providers in the community claim to offer a free product. However, that is not always the case. You have to look at the details, and we are here to help you do that.

Here are the 5 Free VPNs that we Recommend

Before we go into more detail about what to look for (and what to avoid) when choosing a Free VPN, let’s take a quick look at the companies we would recommend using.

1. PrivadoVPN – 10 GB of free VPN access a month

PrivadoVPN devices

PrivadoVPN is a newcomer to the VPN community. However, the team behind knows what it’s doing. It’s quickly becoming a go-to option if you are looking for a safe and free VPN. With their free plan, you get the option of 10 GB of data per month on a single connection. That covers 12 cities in various counties. While they offer P2P support on the free version, it does not take long to use your limit if you use it for that purpose. We appreciate PrivadoVPN’s efforts in unblocking popular streaming services.

Of course, the biggest difference between Privado’s free VPN and paid plan is the unlimited data. You can use the service as much as you want without worrying about the 10 GB limit. Additionally, you get other benefits. That includes servers in 57 cities and up to ten connections. That is great if you want to protect your family or multiple devices simultaneously. You have the benefit of physical servers and 24-hour customer support, a SOCKS5 proxy, and high-speed servers for $4.99 a month when you buy twelve months. Both versions have a no-logs policy and use Swiss privacy laws. PrivadoVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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2. ProtonVPN – free VPN with limited speeds

ProtonVPN devices

ProtonVPN is the VPN product of the popular email website, Protonmail. The company offers two versions of its service. These are the free version and the premium version. Even though they do not limit data, they limit the speed of their connections to medium speed. That may pose some issues, depending on what you plan to do. ProtonVPN Free is a good option for normal browsing and light web usage. It offers 24 servers in three different countries with a single connection. Paid options for the service vary, depending on the plan you choose.

Starting with the basic ProtonVPN account, you get access to over 400 servers in more than 40 countries. With the two connections for this account, you get access to their high-speed servers and their Adblocker service. Additionally, the basic plan supports P2P usage for $4 a month. The plus account gives you more options. That one includes access to 1500+ servers in 61 countries and up to 10 simultaneous connections. Other features include the highest-speed servers, streaming service support, Tor over VPN, and multi-hop (secure core) for $5.99 a month. They bill both plans yearly and they come with a no-logs policy.

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3. Windscribe – 10 GB of free data each month

Windscribe devices

Windscribe is on the list of being one of the safe and free VPN services. Once you give them with a confirmed email address, they provide you with 10GB a month of data. You get an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, but only access to about ten countries with this one. It performs well, but you get more advantages when using the paid version.

With the standard paid version of Windscribe, you start with unlimited data. You also get access to 110 cities located in 63 different countries. What they call “config generators” come with it. These give you the option to use the OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and the SOCKS5 proxy. The company has a service called R.O.B.E.R.T. that acts as an ad/online tracker blocker. One option you do not see with many providers is the ability to add on a static IP address. You can select residential or data center options when making your choice. Both versions feature a no-logs policy.

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4. Hide.me – 10 GB of free data with 1 connection

hide.me VPN devices

Hide.me is a free service that has been in the community for a while. Because of that, it is one of the more well-known names in the community. As with the other services, it offers a free and premium version. You get 10GB of data per month on one connection with the free version. It supports P2P activity on all locations, but there are only five free servers. Unlike others, they do not throttle their free speeds. However, you may run into lag with five servers, depending on what you plan to do.

The premium version has some distinct advantages. These include more than 2000 servers in 75 different locations, ten simultaneous locations, and streaming support. All accounts offer split tunneling and IP leak protection. If you get the paid account, Hide.me has a 30-day money-back guarantee. That way, you can enjoy the service before buying it and if you do not like it afterward, you can get your money back.

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5. TunnelBear – 500 MB of free VPN a month

TunnelBear devices

TunnelBear is pretty well-known in the free VPN space. That is partially due to the comical nature of their website and apps. If you love bear puns, they offer a free version, a paid version, and an option for teams. All three versions have a kill switch (called Vigilant Bear), split tunneling (Split Bear), obfuscation (Ghost Bear), and launch on startup. Compared to its competitors, though, it offers only a low amount of data for free. Considering that most offer 10GB of data, TunnerBear only provides 500MB a month with their no-logs VPN. All versions offer access to 49 different countries.

As far as their premium service goes, you get unlimited secure browsing with up to five devices. You also get access to priority customer service The company states they are the only consumer VPN company that does annual security audits and publishes the results. If you are part of a team in a work environment, you get a dedicated account manager and centralized billing as well.

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What is a VPN?

The term VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. They are usually services that create an encrypted connection or “tunnel” to secure the data you transfer between your device and other networks. These types of connections have several uses, including protecting your privacy, granting you access to remote networks, and more.

In a business setting, it provides remote access to corporate networks. As major companies push their employees toward work-at-home solutions, they are crucial tools to conduct business. They are often necessities for anyone trying to get into their company’s network.

Because of the added encryption, many users like to bank or shop with a VPN. This is especially true when traveling and using public WiFi networks. In this case, using one will help protect you protect financial privacy and keep your transactions safe.

Depending on where you are or what you are doing, various networks and governments can impose restrictions. Connecting to a VPN can help you get past government censorship and other geo-restrictions. If you want to access content from other parts of the world, using a VPN will help you unblock that content as well. Now that you see the advantages, your next question may be, “Can I use a free VPN, and if so, which one?”

Are all free VPNs the same?

Not all free VPN services are created equally. If you look at the Google Play Store or Apple Store for free VPNs, the 1000s listed will cause you to get overwhelmed with many different options quickly. Unfortunately, most of them are not worth using. Even though an app may have millions of downloads or a high store rating, that does not mean it is safe.

Which VPNs should I avoid?

You want to stay away from completely free providers, ones that only have mobile apps, and ones with strange or obvious names. These include services like LionVPN, Speedy Quark VPN, and many others. In a study of over 200 “free” apps, one organization found that more than 80% are not safe or track your IP address. Be careful if you are going to use one we don’t suggest here.

What to look for in a free VPN service

There are many important things you need to look for in a free VPN service. Many of the free providers are deceptive. If you don’t know what to look for, the “free” service can end up costing more in the long run. Let’s take a look at some of the big questions.

Does the VPN have a website?

While that may not seem like a big deal at first, websites can often help you determine the reputation of the company behind the product. If their site is of poor quality or lacks details about the team behind the product, you can tell it pretty quickly. That may indicate that they have not spent much time developing their product or their service is small. Although a small size may not always be bad, poor websites can signify more significant issues.

How do they make their money?

If the service does not have a paid option, that is a big red flag. Because VPN services are expensive to run, any service that does not have a paid option is probably pushing ads or selling your data to the highest bidder. If you’re goal is protect your privacy then the last thing you want it for a VPN company to track your usage and sell the data.

Where is the company headquartered or based?

Without some research, it can be hard to tell. Ideally, you want to make sure the company is friendly to your privacy rights and in a good jurisdiction. Of course, some countries are better than others. We recommend choosing a VPN outside the 5/9/14 eyes countries if privacy is your top priority. If you are just trying to unblock geo-restrictions then this factor isn’t as important, assuming you are not in a country like China.

Does the service have a clear privacy policy?

We have found that many “free” providers have unclear policies. You want to try to find one that tells you what it collects as well as if it keeps logs on you or sells your information.

If you are still confused or not sure what direction to head in, we are here to walk you through the best options for your needs. Rather than try to include the thousands of free VPNs on the market, we have selected a handful that we have used and trust. They are all freemium products. This means that they offer free VPN access in the hope that you will love the service and device to become a paid member.

Selecting a VPN that pushes ads, gamifies their product, tracks your usage, or is vague in their polices, is a big red flag for us. We will stay far away from these services. Instead, we will recommend companies that are committed to user privacy, transparent in their messaging, and have a clear path to profitability without ads or tracking. Otherwise, if you’re not paying for the product, you may very well be the product.