Users often search for free VPNs, whether because they do not want to pay for it or if they only need it once or twice. But free VPNs are quite problematic, which is why their use is not recommended. Instead, you should opt for free versions of premium VPNs. Windscribe, ProtonVPN, Atlas VPN, and Hide.me VPN are great options.
Is it safe to use free VPNs
When VPNs went mainstream and many users started using them, free VPNs also became popular. Free VPNs promise great features and security at no price, and many users get tempted to use them. Premium VPNs aren’t exactly cheap so it’s understandable why some users may use free ones. However, free VPNs are problematic.
If you’re thinking of using a free VPN, you should first ask yourself why it’s free and how it funds its operations. Free VPNs are free because they sell users’ data. They may claim otherwise, but they track users as they’re browsing, collect data, and sell it to advertisers and other interested parties. This is usually explained in Privacy Policies, which is why you should always at least skim through them to see how VPNs handle data. However, it’s worth noting that deceptive VPNs will conceal the fact that they collect data.
Free VPNs are only suitable for use when you do not care about your data and how it’s handled. Instead of free VPNs, you’re better off using free versions of premium VPNs.
How to get premium VPNs for free
There are several ways you can get premium VPNs for free, including free trials and limited free versions.
- Free trials
The majority of premium VNs offer free trials so users can test out the programs before committing to a subscription. Trials vary from 24 hours to 7 days, depending on the VPN.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Reliable VPNs all come with 30-day money-back guarantees that essentially work as free trials. If users purchase VPN subscriptions directly from the VPN provider, they are eligible to get their money back as long as they make the request within 30 days of purchase. Some VPNs even offer longer money-back guarantees. For example, there are VPNs that have 45-day money-back guarantees.
- Limited free versions
There are some premium VPNs that offer limited free versions. Different VPNs offer different free versions, some may limit speed, while others may only allow connection to a couple of servers. Nonetheless, premium VPNs’ free versions are a great option.
Best free VPNs to use in 2023
Proton VPN is one of the best options for users who want an unlimited free VPN. First of all, it’s a very capable VPN that has all the necessary features. It encrypts data using AES-256 encryption, has a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and keeps no logs. It also does not restrict connection speed and uses the WireGuard protocol, which means it’s fast. And unlike many other free VPNs, it does not have a free data cap, so you can use it as much as you want.
Unfortunately, Proton VPN is not great for streaming. With the free version, you can only connect to servers in 3 locations, and because the server number is limited, you won’t be able to access streaming services without them detecting your VPN usage.
Even if you can’t stream Netflix with Proton VPN, it’s still a great VPN that will give you privacy while online.
Windscribe is a premium VPN that also has a free version. It’s an excellent VPN with all the necessary features, including traffic encryption using AES-256, no data logs, a kill switch, and an adblocker. What’s even more impressive is that the free version can unblock Netflix. The only downside is that the free Windscribe version has a data cap. You can use 2GB/month if you do not provide your email address, and 10GB/month if you do. Users who tweet about Windscribe also get a permanent 5GB added to their data cap. The free version allows you to connect to 11 servers.
In terms of speed, free Windscribe is okay. If you’re looking for great speeds, free Windscribe is not ideal.
Atlas VPN is another excellent VPN with a free version. It’s great for beginners because it’s user-friendly. It encrypts data using AES-256, has no speed limits, keeps no logs of online activities, and allows unlimited simultaneous connections. However, there is a free data cap. You will only get 5GB per month, which may or may not be enough for you, depending on what you want to do. There are also only three server locations, one in the Netherlands and two in the US, so you’re unlikely to be able to access geo-restricted content.
If you only need a VPN occasionally, Atlas VPN is a great choice as it’s fast and reliable. And if you’re looking to access full features, Atlas VPN is very affordable.
Last but not least, Hide.me VPN is another great VPN that gives access to premium features for free. It secures traffic using AES-256 encryption, does not track your online activities, has an integrated kill switch, and is fast. However, there are downsides to the free version. Hide.me free VPN has a 10GB/month data cap and only 1 simultaneous connection. You can also connect to servers in only eight countries.
It’s not very likely that you’ll be able to unblock streaming services (e.g. Netflix) with free Hide.me VPN but it’s a good choice for regular browsing.