Using Free VPNs
Nowadays, VPNs are rising in popularity. As people become more aware of internet security and data protection, many turn to virtual private networks to enhance their cybersecurity. While VPNs are no doubt beneficial, good VPN services aren’t cheap. As such, it may be tempting to download a VPN that’s available free-of-charge.
But, are free VPNs reliable? Can they offer the same level of data security, anonymity, and access to content as their more expensive counterparts?
Generally, free VPN services don’t perform as well as paid ones. But this doesn’t mean they’re entirely useless. While they may not be ideal for streaming content on sites like Netflix or downloading copyrighted content, they’re still useful for things like private browsing. Here are some recommended free VPNs.
1. Should You Get A Free VPN
Before downloading a free VPN, there are a few things you should take note of. Even if a VPN is available to download free-of-charge, they usually come with hidden costs such as ads that are played every time you open the app. Some VPN providers even record and sell your online data to third-party buyers to make up for the costs of providing their services for free.
If you don’t want to worry about all these, purchasing a VPN subscription might be better for you. ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services on the market, but it is on the pricey side. If you prefer something a bit more affordable, SurfShark would perhaps be a better choice.
At $2.50/month, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of services which include unlimited concurrent connection on multiple devices.
But, if you’re still set on trying out free VPNs, we’ve compiled a list of some VPN providers that are workable, safe, and reliable.
3. Recommended Free VPNs You Can Try
i. Hotspot Shield Free VPN
A household name among VPN users, HotSpot Shield Free, is one of the older free VPN services. This VPN supports a maximum of five devices and offers high-quality data encryption. Users can also use up to 500MB of data every day.
Though Hotspot Shield Free’s connection speed may not be as fast as other paid VPN services like ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about waiting too long for your webpages to load.
There happen any information that you should beware of before downloading and using this VPN. As a US company operates HotSpod Shield Free, your data will be accessible by law enforcement authorities like the FBI.
Furthermore, Hotspot Shield Free collects user data such as your device’s operating system, the time in which you used the VPN, and so on. Moreover, this VPN doesn’t work on streaming sites like Netflix, as most of these companies have managed to block free VPN services.
In all, however, HotSpot Shield Free is still one of our recommended choices as it offers adequate data protection, online privacy, and a sizeable amount of data for free.
Another free VPN to consider is Tunnelbear. With its minimal design, TunnelBear’s interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. With 1000 servers in more than 20 server locations, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Operated by tech giant McAfee, you’ll also be guaranteed industry-standard data encryption and protection. To sign up, users only need to provide their email — another bonus if you’re worried about companies collecting your data.
However, the biggest drawback of using Tunnelbear is its 500MB monthly data cap. For reference, 500MB will only allow you to steam an hour of HD video content or surf the internet for a few hours.
iii. ProtonVPN Free
With unlimited data allowance and no ads, ProtonVPN is a popular choice among free VPN users. Furthermore, it’s operated by a Swiss company that has a zero-log policy which means users don’t have to worry about their data being recorded or shared.
One downside to this VPN service is its limited number of servers. With only three servers in Japan, the US, and the Netherlands, you may experience slow connection speeds if many people connect to the VPN.
However, if slower connection speeds don’t bother you too much, ProtonVPN is a great choice, especially with its unlimited data allowance.
A powerful VPN that offers quality data protection and security, Windscribe is another option you should consider when choosing a free VPN. Users can enjoy up to 10GB of free data if they provide their email address when signing up or 2GB if they decide not to.
Windscribe has also been able to bypass some geo-restrictions on Netflix, but user success is varied. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a free VPN to stream content, Windscribe is one of the better options as it’s ad-free and has a zero-log policy.
Windscribe’s interface is a bit complicated to use, especially for new VPN users. However, if you use the app’s default settings, you shouldn’t face many difficulties.
Living up to its name, Speedify is known for its fast performance speeds. With over 1000 servers in more than 50 locations, 10GB of monthly data allowance, stable connection speeds, and premium data encryption, Speedify is a must-try for those looking for a free VPN.
One thing to note is that like HotSpot Shield Free VPN, a US-based company runs Speedify. So, your data might be shared with legal authorities.
Free VPNs are useful for those who want increased cybersecurity and data encryption. However, as most free services come with monthly data caps or hidden costs such as ads and data logging, it may be best to pay for a VPN subscription if these are causes of concern for you.
Furthermore, most free VPNs don’t work on streaming sites so if you’re looking for a VPN that can help you bypass geo-blocks, VPN services like ExpressVPN might be a better choice for you.
Lastly, one question that might be on some people’s minds is the legality of VPNs. You don’t have to worry about breaking any laws if you download and use a VPN. VPNs are perfectly legal. However, using a VPN to carry out illegal activities certainly isn’t. Whatever’s unlawful to do without a VPN, is still unlawful even when using a VPN.