Best Free VPN Services: As awareness of cyber risks increases, so does the number and availability of VPN software. To be fully catered for, you still have to pull the trigger for monthly subscriptions. Still, there are also increasingly promising offers in the freemium area that make certain VPN advantages accessible without fees.
The 3 Best Free VPN Services
The VPN field is broad, but the list of services with free versions is rather short. These offers always have certain disadvantages: They usually restrict their users’ data volume, block features, or only allow them to access a few server locations. So you shouldn’t hope for a full-fledged all-around program if you are not willing to pay for your VPN service.
In our top 3, we reveal which VPN services we can recommend in the free segment despite these reservations:
In our large VPN test, it was mainly the performance that prevented Windscribe from achieving a higher ranking. In all other areas, however, the Canadian service made at least a “god” figure. Windscribe can really make a name for itself. However, with its free version: Users have a monthly data volume of 10 GB, distributed across all synchronized devices, at their disposal, and can access ten different server locations. If you do not leave your email address when registering, you will still get a volume of 2 GB.
This makes Windscribe much more generous than many other freemium VPNs, mainly using their free versions as appetizers for the premium features. If you want to protect your downloads with a VPN connection, you could quickly reach the limit, but 10 GB is sufficient for regular surfing. Of course, there are also other restrictions with Windscribe: The dedicated streaming servers are reserved for paying customers.
So, unfortunately, you cannot access Netflix content from abroad.
With its generous data limit and a full feature package in the free version, Windscribe is one of the best free VPN services. If you should decide to pay for premium features, you can put together your subscription flexibly and individually at Windscribe.
- 10 GB data volume
- 10 server locations
- Intuitive app with many features
2. Hotspot Shield
In our test, our concerns about data protection Hotspot Shield moved into the inconspicuous middle field. Apart from that, the VPN service made a good impression: With its fast performance, solid features, and a satisfactory network, the service is a good companion, even if it may not necessarily make it onto the podium of our favorite VPNs.
Because paid premium programs can be found on this podium, Hotspot Shield can stand out from the crowd with its comparatively generous free version. This gives users a solid 500 MB data volume every 24 hours and up to 15 1/2 GB per month. On the other hand, the mobile version provides blocks of 30 minutes to top up by waiting or watching a promotional video.
The data limits are also generous compared to other freemium VPNs. However, there are additional restrictions: for example, video streaming is not possible. If you want to visit Netflix while connected to the VPN, Hotspot Shield asks you to purchase the premium version. Also, there is only one server location available: the United States.
However, these restrictions are common practice with free VPN versions, and providers somehow have to motivate their users to opt for the premium version.
- Up to 15 1/2 GB data volume per month
- User-friendly application
ProtonVPN convinced us in the test with a solid overall package that is more than the sum of its parts and could seriously compete with the big names in the VPN area. Especially the free version makes other providers look like: With Proton VPN, there is no limit, so free customers can also use VPN connections without limits.
Of course, there is a catch with ProtonVPN too. You cannot connect multiple devices simultaneously and are limited to three server locations: the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan. Also, the connections are slower, and Netflix’s video streaming is only possible with the “Plus” or “Visionary” subscription.
If you can live with these restrictions, ProtonVPN gives you unlimited VPN potential without having to dig into your pocket.
- No data limit
- No video streaming
- Only 3 server locations
- Connection with just one device
Most freemium VPN providers set their volume limits relatively low, making their use of a standard VPN unsustainable. Our top 3 is more the exception than the rule in this regard. However, a few other services can be used in more or less scaled-down versions, even without a subscription. You can find detailed reviews of numerous VPN services in our large comparison of VPN providers.
In addition to these freemium programs, there are many completely free VPN services, especially in the mobile space. A search for Free VPN in the Google Play Store brings up hundreds of results. But these providers also have to earn money somehow – at best with advertising, at worst with your data. That is why we have concentrated on the freemium offers of well-known companies in this list. So, be careful when choosing your free VPN provider.
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