The Best Free VPNs for 2020
Best Free VPNs 2020

It’s tempting to use a free VPN – private web browsing and unblocking websites at zero cost is sometimes too strong to resist.

Why pay for a VPN when you can get one for free, right?

Wrong.

Most free VPNs are slow, riddled with ads (and adware), and many share your data with third-parties, including governments. Some even have serious security flaws, which means they won’t protect your privacy.

What’s worse, more than 500 million people could be using a dangerous VPN without even knowing it.

So, is it even possible to get a secure and completely free VPN?

The good news is yes, it is. We tested over 150 free VPN apps, and our five picks below are the safestfastest and most trustworthy we’ve seen.

But, even the best free VPNs have limitations. For heavy streaming or torrenting, we recommend using a good paid VPN service instead.

Our Selection Criteria for Free VPNs

  1. Doesn’t ask for payment details at signup
  2. Doesn’t collect user activity logs
  3. Strong security & no IP or DNS leaks
  4. Fast with no cap on download speeds
  5. Has the biggest data allowance possible
  6. Easy-to-use with good customer support

Best Free VPN Services

1. Windscribe – 10GB Data Cap

Ranked #1 free VPN

  1. Minimal logging policy
  2. Fast same-country speeds
  3. Built-in VPN kill switch
  4. 10 server locations
  5. Sometimes works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  6. Unlimited simultaneous connections

  1. Monthly data cap (a generous one, though)
  2. No human live chat support

The Bottom Line

Windscribe is currently the best overall free VPN service, hands down.

It’s a very secure VPN that’ll keep you safe online, and it’s also one of the fastest free VPN services we’ve tested.

The free version of Windscribe also has many privacy features – like a VPN kill switch – which we like a lot.

It also doesn’t collect and store any user activity logs, and your connections are protected by AES-256 encryption and the OpenVPN security protocol (IKEv2 is also available).

Sure, the 10GB monthly data cap is a little restrictive, but it’s a lot more generous than other secure free VPN apps.

Worried Windscribe doesn’t work on your device?

Don’t be, this VPN works well on Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

What it doesn’t do very well is unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services. Most free VPNs have the same problem, though.

There’s also no human live chat support – all you get is hit-and-miss chat bot.

Overall, Windscribe is the very best free VPN for casual users or VPN newbies.

2. ProtonVPN – No Data Cap

Ranked #2 free VPN

  1. No payment info on signup
  2. Reliable download speeds
  3. No data cap
  4. Kill switch & DNS leak protection
  5. Minimal logging policy
  6. Privacy-friendly Swiss jurisdiction

  1. Only 3 VPN server locations
  2. Torrenting not allowed
  3. Doesn’t work with Netflix or BBC iPlayer
  4. One simultaneous connection

The Bottom Line

ProtonVPN’s free VPN service is private, secure, and comes with no speed or data restrictions at all.

It just misses out on the top spot as, unlike Windscribe, you can only use ProtonVPN’s free VPN service on one device at a time

You can use the free version of ProtonVPN on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices, and all of these use the most secure VPN connection protocol, OpenVPN.

ProtonVPN is very quick, though, despite its very limited VPN server network of just three countries around the world (Japan, the Netherlands, and the US).

ProtonVPN’s minimal-logs policy means it’s very safe, too, and the built-in VPN kill switch adds an extra layer of protection just in case.

It’s not good for streaming, however, with access to both Netflix and BBC iPlayer blocked. Torrenting is also prohibited on all of ProtonVPN’s free servers.

If you can live without access to streaming and only need to use a VPN on one device, though, ProtonVPN could be a good option for you.

3. TunnelBear – 500MB Data Cap

Ranked #3 free VPN

  1. No user activity logs
  2. Consistently good speeds
  3. Advanced security features
  4. Own its own DNS servers
  5. 22 VPN server locations

  1. 500MB monthly data cap
  2. Doesn’t work with Netflix or BBC iPlayer
  3. Limited customer support

The Bottom Line

TunnelBear’s free VPN is a great choice for VPN beginners who only need to do some (very) light web browsing.

Not only is TunnelBear simple and easy to use, it also has one of the biggest server networks we’ve seen from a free service: 22 countries worldwide, including the US, the UK and Australia.

The free version of TunnelBear is fully functional, but unfortunately comes with a restrictive 500MB monthly data cap. If you tweet about the TunnelBear app you get an extra 1GB, though.

What’s for certain is that TunnelBear cares about its users privacy. Some of the highlights include:

The VPN apps can be installed on all popular platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS and Android) and each app is encrypted with top cipher AES-256.

We recommend TunnelBear to VPN newbies who don’t need a lot of bandwidth each month, otherwise you should opt for Windscribe.

4. Hide.me – 2GB Data Cap

Ranked #4 free VPN

  1. Minimal logging policy
  2. Strong privacy features
  3. Good same-country speeds
  4. User-friendly custom apps
  5. No bandwidth throttling

  1. Very slow long-distance speeds
  2. 2GB monthly data cap
  3. Only 5 VPN server locations
  4. One simultaneous connection

The Bottom Line

Hide.me’s free VPN is one of the most secure free VPNs out there. It has a solid a privacy-focused logging policy and extra security features like a VPN kill switch.

It’s also one the fastest free VPN services we tested on same-country connections. It’s a different story on long-distance connections, though: the speed slowed down to a barely usable level.

You can install Hide.me on all popular devices as well as routers. You can also choose from a range of VPN security protocols (we recommend OpenVPN where possible).

Be aware that there’s a 2GB monthly data cap, which is slightly generous than TunnelBear’s 500MB allowance. Windscribe and ProtonVPN are better in terms of data caps.

Another limitation of Hide.me is that you can only connect to five server locations: the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the US (East and West).

Want to use this free VPN for streaming? Forget it, all major streaming sites block Hide.me connections. Plus you’ll run through the data allowance real quick.

But, Hide.me is a very good VPN for online privacy and security – as long as you don’t transfer too much data.

5. Avira VPN – 1GB Data Cap

Ranked #5 free VPN

  1. Minimal logging policy
  2. Quick download speeds
  3. Strong encryption
  4. Sometimes works with Netflix
  5. Unlimited simultaneous connections

  1. No manual server selection
  2. 1GB monthly data cap
  3. No VPN kill switch
  4. No customer support

The Bottom Line

The free version of Avira Phantom VPN is a simple, straightforward VPN that provides a basic level of privacy.

This VPN just makes this list mainly because of its minimal, privacy-friendly logging policy. It also uses the OpenVPN protocol (apart from the iOS app which uses IKEv2) and yet to be broken AES-256 encryption.

However, we were disappointed by the absence of a VPN kill switch, which all the VPNs above have.

Avira’s speeds were surprisingly good, but you’re automatically connected to the closest VPN server with no ability to select a country to connect to.

Every month you get 1GB of data to use if you provide Avira with your email address. If you don’t, you only get 500MB.

Avira sometimes works with Netflix, and sometimes doesn’t. In any case, you’ll run out of data very quickly.

The bottom line is that Avira’s free VPN is best suited to anyone that wants to occasionally secure their internet connection.

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