Choose A VPN That Wont Compromise Your Safety
The market is flooded with free VPNs, but many of them pose serious risks to you and your data. Slow speeds, bandwidth limitations, and connection restrictions are annoying having your data logged and sold to generate revenue compromises your data security.
The free VPNs Ive recommended may have some limitations in terms of connections and bandwidth, but they all keep your data safe. Want all the security features without the limitations? I suggest you try out ExpressVPNs advanced features for yourself. ExpressVPN is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can easily get a refund over 24/7 live chat if youre not completely satisfied . I tested it myself and the money returned to my account in only 5 days.
How Choose The Right Free VPN Service
There is plenty of variation even among free VPN services, so it’s a good idea to try a few and figure out which one you like best. A great VPN service should be easy to use and understand, and shouldn’t throw up too many barriers, even when you’re using a free subscription. We highly recommend trying a few services out until you find the one that works for you, especially before you take the plunge and pay for a VPN.
Overall Free VPN Rating: 61/10
We calculate this overall rating based on the following subcategory ratings. Learn more.
- Data Cap:
The free version of Avira Phantom VPN provides a basic level of privacy and security.
It has a privacy-friendly logging policy and strong AES-256 encryption, along with fast speeds and unlimited simultaneous connections.
Avira Phantom Frees simplicity makes it great for beginners, but it does have drawbacks too. There is no kill switch, no customer support, and you cant manually choose which server to connect to.
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How To Get A Premium VPN For Free
Still just can’t quite decide on whether to go for a free VPN or a premium paid-for option? There may be a perfect compromise, as pretty all of the world’s best providers let you try them risk – and cost – free. Our dedicated guide to the best VPN free trials will help you locate one and get started.
You’ll see some familiar names mentioned there. Our #1 one favorite service in the world ExpressVPN tops the list, allowing you to give it a try for 30 days. While the news is even better with the likes of Hotspot Shield, where the money back guarantee extends all the way to 45 days.
It’s worth pointing out that you do have to pay upfront for these services. But they pride themselves on making the money back as hassle free as possible, allowing you to claim a full refund online without trouble.
How To Use A Free VPN On Android
Setting up and using a VPN on Android is very simple. Heres what to do:
If you opt for a free VPN that doesnt come with a dedicated Android app, follow our Android VPN setup instructions.
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Major Risks Of Using Free VPNs
While free VPNs are super tempting to use, you should never look over the obvious privacy concerns. For example, free VPN providers make money by harvesting and selling your data to third-party advertisers. Also, with most free VPNs, youll get limited bandwidth to consume and a few server locations to choose from.
Truth be told, there are a lot of good reasons why free services arent recommended. Consider the following:
- Data retention, sharing, and selling Free VPNs resort to shady practices like selling your data to third parties to make money.
- Malware, invasive permissions, & security problems Research found that more than 30% of the free VPN apps tracked users through malware.
- Speed and bandwidth limits Free VPNs implement bandwidth caps to throttle your internet connection speeds.
- Weak unblocking capabilities Due to small server networks, free VPNs are unable to access geo-blocked websites.
- Unavailability of advanced features Advanced features such as multi-hopping, obfuscation, etc. are almost always unavailable in free versions of VPN apps.
Overall, free VPNs are not ideal for streaming content in HD or sharing large files. For that, paid VPNs such as ExpressVPN are a much better option.
30 Days Money-Back Guarantee
Which Devices Can I Install A Free VPN On
Most free VPNs are compatible with laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones.This list includes free VPNs with apps for many devices, including ones running: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Some of them are even compatible with routers and Amazon Fire TV Stick, while others have free Firefox and Chrome extensions.
Most free VPNs only let you connect to 1 device at a time, so keep in mind that even if its compatible on lots of your devices, you wont be able to connect them all at once.
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Otherwise Good VPNs Not Suitable For Torrenting
Fortunately, not all free VPNs are so bad. In fact, there are some really great VPNs with powerful capabilities and various features. But for some reason, they dont allow torrenting. Here is a list of excellent VPNs that dont work with torrents.
- TunnelBear. It is often referred to as the best free VPN ever speedy, simple, and reliable. Unfortunately, it doesnt support torrenting.
- ProtonVPN. This Swiss provider of VPN software has a lot to be loved for. But torrenting is not allowed.
- SaferVPN. It has a free plan with a bandwidth of 500 Mb monthly and a nice free browser extension that cant be used for torrenting.
- SecurityKISS. The Irish VPN provider that offers both free and paid versions. Unfortunately, none of them allows torrenting.
Free VPNs Simply Aren’t As Safe
As our sister site Download.com previously reported, free VPNs can be very dangerous. Why? Because to maintain the hardware and expertise needed for large networks and secure users, VPN services have expensive bills to pay. As a VPN customer, you either pay for a premium VPN service with your dollars or you pay for free services with your data. If you aren’t ordering at the table, you’re on the menu.
Some 86% of free VPN apps on both Android and iOS — accounting for millions of installs — have unacceptable privacy policies, ranging from a simple lack of transparency to explicitly sharing user data with Chinese authorities, according to two independent 2018 investigations into free VPN apps from Top10VPN. Another 64% of free VPN app offerings had no web presence outside of their app store pages, and only 17% responded to customer support emails.
As of June 2019, Apple reportedly brought the hammer down on apps that share user data with third parties. But 80% of the top 20 free VPN apps in Apple’s App Store appear to be breaking those rules, according to a on the Top10VPN investigation.
In , 77% of apps were flagged as potentially unsafe in the Top10VPN VPN Ownership Investigation — and 90% of those flagged as potentially unsafe in the Free VPN Risk Index — still posed a risk.
On Android, 214 million downloads represent a lot of user login data, culled from unwitting volunteers. And what’s one of the most profitable things one can do with large swaths of user login data?
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Free VPN For Android Rating: 59/10
This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our testing process.
- Data Cap:
TunnelBears free VPN service for Android is ideal for beginners only looking to do a bit of light mobile browsing.
Its not as fast as the very top free VPNs for Android, but its very reliable across its server network almost as quick as TunnelBears Premium version, in fact.
Based on a 100Mbps test connection
Whats The Difference Between Free VPNs Trial VPNs And Money
A free VPN is continuously free with various caveats such as data caps and a limited number of devices. This doesnt usually require you to input many details beyond your email address if that but this lack of commitment also prompts a higher number of malicious VPNs that wont think twice about logging and selling on your data. So, please be careful.
If a VPN offers a trial, it usually comes with all the bells and whistles of a paid subscription but its only free for a short period. This usually requires you to input your payment and billing information, as it will roll straight onto a subscription once the free trial is over. This is becoming less of a common practice in the wake of money-back guarantees, however.
Money-back guarantees are essentially a safety net, letting you claim back the money youve already paid for the VPN up until a certain point this is usually 30 days, but can vary depending on the provider.
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How To Get A Canadian Ip Address For Free
Follow these steps to get a Canadian IP address for free:
1. Sign up for a free VPN .
2. Install the VPN app on your device.
3. Launch the VPN app and log in using your credentials.
4. Connect to a server in Canada from the list of servers.
5. Once connected, you can access any Canadian site you like with your Canadian IP.
Small Server Network And One Device Limit
ProtonVPN Free is very quick, despite its small network of free servers. Currently, it only has free servers in Japan, the Netherlands, and the US.
ProtonVPNs list of free server locations
Speeds do slow down internationally, though.
Connecting from the UK to the Netherlands, our download speeds dropped about 36%. If you live outside Europe, North America or Japan, dont expect fast speeds.
Frustratingly, you can only use ProtonVPN Free on one device at a time. Windscribe, by comparison, allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
or read ourfull ProtonVPN Review.
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Is There A Completely Free VPN
Well, it depends on what you classify as ‘free’. There are plenty of free VPNs that don’t part you from your cash, but you could be paying for them by watching ads or even unknowingly giving them your data to sell.
The best free VPN services tend to be ‘free versions’ that are intended to give you a taster of a paid product before asking you to actually hand over your money. The best providers like ProtonVPNand Windscribedo this by using data limits and server restriction to create an incentive to upgrade. Many people do, which pays for the company’s costs overall.
We’d recommend avoiding any free VPN that doesn’t have a paid option if there isn’t a paying customer-base supporting the development of the software, who knows where the company’s getting its money?
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Best VPN for iPhone & iOS 2021
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Aaron Drapkin –
Aaron Drapkin is a Senior Writer at Tech.co. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol three years ago.As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, The Week, and Politics.co.uk covering a wide range of topics.
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You Can Catch Malware
Let’s get this out of the way right now: 38% of free Android VPNs contain malware, a CSIRO study found. And yes, many of those free VPNs were highly rated apps with millions of downloads. If you’re a free user, your odds of catching a nasty bug are greater than 1 in 3.
So ask yourself which costs less: a secure VPN service for about $100 a year, or hiring an identity theft recovery firm after some chump steals your bank account login and Social Security number?
But it couldn’t happen to you, right? Wrong. Mobile ransomware attacks are skyrocketing. Symantec detected more than 18 million mobile malware instances in 2018 alone, constituting a 54% year-over-year increase in variants. And last year, Kaspersky noted a 60% spike in password-stealing Trojans.
But malware isn’t the only way to make money if you’re running a free VPN service. There’s an even easier way.
The Best Streaming VPN For 2021
VPNs are a handy tool for live TV, sport and streaming services
Installing a VPN has become a key tool for people wanting to stream their favorite content. Whether it’s because you don’t want to miss out on a top show while abroad, finding coverage of sports events not broadcast where you live or just want that extra layer of security, there are plenty of reasons to seek out the best streaming VPN.
Getting a VPN for streaming also allows you to bypass restrictions and access geo-blocked material – like watching shows not available on US Netflix, or streaming the BBC iPlayer when not in the UK.
But not every VPN is made equal, so theres some serious picking and choosing to be done – luckily for you we’ve rounded up the best streaming VPNs after extensive testing.
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Strict No Logs Policy
ProtonVPNs main servers are located in Switzerland, which is a good thing because Switzerland has strict data privacy laws in place.1 Switzerland is also not a member of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes international surveillance alliance, so the U.S. government cannot force ProtonVPN to give up its users data. The funny thing was, theres no data to give up in the first place. The company has a strict no logs policy. They didnt log our browsing activity or any information about our VPN connection. The only information they stored was a single timestamp of our more recent login for our accounts security. Thats hardly an identifying data, so we had no qualms with them logging it. They did, however, store our account information locally on their servers, like our email address, support requests and reports, and payment information once we decided to spring for the premium version, which they claimed to have deleted when we canceled our subscription. This is all normal, though, and believe us, weve read a ton of VPN privacy policies!
Best Free VPN For Android
You may pick the classic ProtonVPN or Atlas VPN as they’re the best free VPNs for Android. Though, there are some other options. For example, Windscribe and Hide.me could also be great options. Though, both are pretty restrictive. Each has a 10 GB data cap but will let you choose from more locations.
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Testing Methodology: How We Tested The Best Free VPNs In 2021
We have tested 60+ free VPNs to bring you the top 10 best free VPNs in 2021. These VPNs were selected on the following performance criteria:
- Security Does it offer 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and secure protocols? Most free VPNs are not secure as they log user data. So, make sure the best free VPN encrypts online traffic using 256-bit encryption and further boosts security with a kill switch, IP leak protection, and more.
- Speed Is it fast or slow for streaming, torrenting, and general browsing? Make sure the free VPN you choose does not slow down your connection speeds by more than 30%.
- Bandwidth limitations How much bandwidth does the free VPN offer? We made sure to include free providers that offer a generous data allowance.
- Streaming Can a free VPN help you unblock streaming services like Netflix? Most of the free VPNs mentioned in this guide like Windscribe work with popular streaming sites like YouTube, HBO, Netflix, and more.
- Compatibility Is the free VPN compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and more? Make sure the VPN you choose offers apps for various platforms so you can easily get started.
- Customer Support Does it offer 24/7 customer support? Make sure the free VPN you choose offers 24/7 support. Live chat support is the most ideal.
How We Test Free VPN Services
We test every free VPN we review regularly. If a VPN service offers both a free and a paid version of their app, we will often test both versions in the same review.
In other words, we put free VPNs through the same rigorous testing process that we apply to paid VPN services.
This includes testing for speed, security, streaming, and P2P support. We analyze every privacy and logging policy in detail, as well as assessing a VPNs ease of use and reliability.
All the free VPNs we recommend meet the following criteria:
- No payment details required at signup
- No user activity logs
- No IP or DNS leaks
- Strong encryption
- Fast speeds with no cap on downloads
Security is especially important when testing free VPNs. Thats because dangerous and ineffective free VPNs are much more common than dangerous paid VPNs.
We make sure every free VPN we recommend is free of malware, actually encrypts your data, and does not collect any compromising information.
Our reviews and verdicts are completely impartial. We never accept compensation in return for positive coverage.
Heres a more specific look at the factors that go into our free VPN testing process, and how we weigh each individual category:
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