Tech

12 Totally Free VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy



While almost all free VPNs with unlimited data are scams, there are a number of limited-data free VPNs that really don’t cost anything.


However, free VPNs often don’t stick around forever. Sometimes they change to a subscription model or a freemium model, while some seem to actively compromise your privacy.

But are there any free VPNs that will simultaneously protect your privacy reliably? Absolutely. Keep reading to find out more.

Note: Free VPNs might be OK here and there, but there is no substitute for a paid service like ExpressVPN. Sign up now and receive three months free!


1. CyberGhost VPN Free Proxy

One of the biggest VPN names offers a free ad-supported private browsing plugin.

  • Compatibility: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox add-on
  • Data volume: unlimited
  • Server locations: 8 servers in 4 countries
  • Device connections: N/A
  • Encryption: 256-AES
  • WebRTC Leak/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: No
  • Zero logs: TBC

CyberGhost’s free app is a browser add-on for Chrome (and Chromium-based browsers) and Mozilla Firefox. This means only the websites you view are private – an email or chat client, for example, will not be protected. This is because it’s not a true VPN, but a proxy; however, this might be just what you’re looking for.

We have contacted CyberGhost to check if its main VPN zero log policy covers the browser extension, and await a response.

Suitable for casual users who need more protection online (for example, for online shopping), CyberGhost VPN Free Proxy is no good for Netflix.

Download: CyberGhost VPN Free Proxy for Google Chrome | Mozilla Firefox

Easy to use free VPN from a premium security software publisher.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Data Volume: 500MB/month (increase to 1GB by signing up)
  • Server locations: 1400+ servers in 37 countries
  • Device connections: Unlimited
  • Encryption: “Bank-grade” (probably 256-AES)
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: No
  • Zero logs: Yes

Avira might not be top of your list when looking for a VPN provider, but its Phantom VPN offering is impressive. With more features than most free VPNs, Avira Phantom VPN is available on mainstream desktops and mobiles, keeps you private online, and offers access to over 1400 servers.

A completely free VPN with few restrictions, but VPNBook is unsuitable for beginners.

  • Compatibility: PPTP, OpenVPN, or Outline VPN client, any platform
  • Data Volume: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 6 across North America and Europe
  • Device connections: Yes
  • Encryption: AES-256 and AES-128
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: Yes
  • Zero logs: No (connection logs deleted weekly)

A totally free VPN, VPNBook has a key shortcoming: it’s not particularly user-friendly. With no installer, no software, and scant documentation, it’s essentially a list of servers. You download a bundle of configuration files, then access them using PPTP VPN or OpenVPN software.

VPNBook is the free VPN for techies, basically.

An unlimited free VPN to help you maintain your online privacy, devices for most platforms.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon TV
  • Data Volume: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 3
  • Device connections: Unlimited
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: No
  • Zero logs: Yes

AtlasVPN is one of the best free VPNs with a bunch of desirable features, including apps for Android TV and Amazon TV. Unlimited speed and data volume set this ahead of other free VPNs, although the limited server locations may impact your enjoyment.

A free version of the premium VPN offering 11 servers, no strings attached.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, browser add-ons for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera
  • Data Volume: 2GB/month (upgradeable to 10GB with email, additional 5GB by tweeting, and more with referrals)
  • Server locations: 11
  • Device connections: Unlimited
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: Yes
  • Zero logs: Yes

Windscribe’s free VPN is quite refreshing. While the company offers a premium VPN service, it promotes the free option just as much. This includes options to upgrade the basic 2GB of monthly data with a free email sign up, tweeting, and referrals.

Data volume limitations may limit video streaming, but for other purpose, Windscribe’s free VPN is a good option.

Intended for testing and limited usage, TunnelBear’s free VPN can give you private internet access in a pinch.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome
  • Data Volume: 500MB/month
  • Server locations: 47 countries
  • Device connections: No
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: Yes
  • Zero logs: Yes

If you have very modest privacy requirements, or you’re simply looking to try a VPN for the first time, TunnelBear is a good choice. It’s easy to get started, but note that the limit is a paltry 500MB per month. This is less than the other free VPNs, but the service is good. Note that TunnelBear’s focus is on privacy, rather than circumventing restrictions on Netflix streaming.

A stripped-back free VPN package that will obscure your internet activity.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
  • Data Volume: 10GB/month
  • Server locations: 5
  • Device connections: 1
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: Yes
  • Zero logs: Yes

A Malaysia-based VPN, the free version of Hide.me has everything you need for a secure, private connection. It’s essentially the same as the paid service, except other than lower data volume and fewer server locations.

Additionally, Hide.me openly supports P2P networks, which is always an advantage with VPNs.

A handsome collection of online privacy features for a free VPN.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Fire TV, Android TV
  • Data Volume: 10GB/month
  • Server locations: 5
  • Device connections: 1
  • Encryption: 128-bit
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes (no streaming)
  • P2P: Limited
  • Zero logs: Yes

If you haven’t heard of ZoogVPN, now is a good time to try this free VPN service. A US-based service with apps for all popular platforms, ZoogVPN is suitable for most private internet purposes, albeit with some limitations. P2P and circumventing streaming sites are not supported.

Note that this is the only free VPN in this list that offers poorer encryption than its paid service.

A free VPN is built into the Opera browser, with unlimited data and bandwidth.

  • Compatibility: Any device running Opera browser
  • Data Volume: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 3 locations, 100+ servers
  • Device connections: N/A
  • Encryption: 256-bit
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: No
  • Zero logs: Yes

Built into the Opera browser, this free VPN has no data limits or obtrusive adverts. It makes private browsing a part of the browser experience without forcing you to install extra software or extensions.

Note that if you rely on Opera’s free VPN, it will not protect your privacy for tasks outside the browser. Like the CyberGhost browser extension, Opera VPN is essentially a proxy rather than an actual VPN client.

The free option from this popular VPN company is minimal, and ad-supported.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Apple, iOS, Chrome browser, Android TV
  • Data Volume: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 5
  • Device connections: 1
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: No
  • Zero logs: Yes

A free US-based VPN, Hotspot Shield has been around for several years and remains one of the most popular services.

Recent improvements to its free VPN offering include adding unlimited data. That along makes this a VPN you can consider if you’re unable to pay a monthly subscription.

Handy features for the stripped-back free version of Proton VPN.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
  • Data Volume: Unlimited
  • Server locations: 3 countries, 100+ servers (US, Netherlands, Japan)
  • Device connections: 1
  • Encryption: 256-AES
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes (no streaming)
  • P2P: No
  • Zero logs: Yes

Swiss-based Proton AG is one of the world’s premiere privacy advocate groups. Its free Proton VPN option isn’t as in-depth as the paid subscription, but it offers enough to keep your online activity private.

Proton VPN has a strong reputation, so should be high on your list of possible free VPNs to try.

PrivadoVPN’s free option claims to be the most feature-packed gratis service around.

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV, Fire TV, Apple TV
  • Data Volume: 10GB/month
  • Server locations: “around the world”
  • Device connections: 1
  • Encryption: 256-AES
  • WebRTC/DNS Leak prevention: Yes
  • Virtual IP address: Yes
  • Unblocks websites: Yes
  • P2P: Yes
  • Zero logs: Yes

Another Swiss-based VPN provider, PrivadoVPN states on its website that the free VPN has the same features as the paid version. The only difference is limited monthly data volume and a single device connection.

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN

All the free VPNs we’ve looked at are secure, reliable, and trustworthy names. They value your privacy, and you can be confident that your data is safe while using them. While there is only one 100% free VPN (VPNBook), all the services listed here meet your privacy needs.

To recap, the best free VPNs are:

  • CyberGhost VPN Free Proxy
  • Avira Phantom VPN
  • VPNBook
  • AtlasVPN
  • Windscribe
  • TunnelBear
  • Hide.me
  • ZoogVPN
  • Opera VPN
  • Hotspot Shield
  • Proton VPN
  • PrivadoVPN

However, they are no substitute for a paid VPN. If you are prepared to subscribe, you will invariably get access to more servers, more bandwidth, and more features. If you use a VPN every day, it is probably worth paying the fee.

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