A completely free VPN provider that would meet your needs is very hard to find. For that reason, today I will not only go through VPN providers that offer free plans but also check the ones that offer a free VPN trial and provide you with the most reliable option.
I searched for a “free VPN” and “free VPN server” and tested each of the results to provide you top 5 best options.
The main aspects that I will consider while evaluating each of the free VPN services are:
- Trial/Plan length
- Data logging
- IP and DNS leaks
- Security standards
1. ExpressVPN - Best Free VPN
Ranks #1 out of 5 VPNs
ExpressVPN is #1 VPN on my list for a reason. It is offered by the British Virgin Islands-based company Express VPN International Ltd, which was launched in 2009. It's the best alternative to a free VPN you can find because it offers you a 30-day free trial.
ExpressVPN has all the features you need from a VPN service. It offers AES-256 military-grade encryption, has more than 2,000 servers in 148 locations across 94 countries. It’s one of the most widely used platforms you can find.
ExpressVPN is compatible with almost every device on the market, so you won’t have to worry about that.
What is more, when I tested for IP and DNS leaks it came out to be completely clean. It also offers a strict no logging policy, which is one of the best considering its location - the British Virgin Islands, which is known for its lack of data retention laws.
Now, let’s look into Netflix and torrenting - the reasons why most of you read this article. First of all, it does allow torrenting and has P2P support. And what about Netflix? Even though ExpressVPN claims to unblock Netflix, I’m used to checking if it’s the truth.
So, once again, I connected to 5 different ExpressVPN servers and all of them worked!
There’s only one last point to discuss - speed. It is one of the reasons why ExpressVPN is my #1 preference. My download speed after connecting to EU server (from Europe) decreased to 58.44Mbps! It’s amazing, one of the best results I’ve seen so far!
Thus, the list has come to an end, and it was the last VPN provider that I wanted to introduce you with. As I said in the beginning, there were no free online VPN providers worth mentioning, but I believe you made a pretty strong opinion about each of the VPNs in the list.
2. NordVPN - 30-Day Free Trial
Ranks #2 out of 5 VPNs
NordVPN is the #2 provider that offers a free VPN trial for 30 days. It was established in 2012, in Panama, the country that has no mandatory data laws. It has an extremely large server network - more than 5,200 servers in 60+ countries.
NordVPN claims to be the world’s most secure VPN for a reason. It offers OpenVPN security protocol together with AES-256 data encryption.
Sounds like a regular security measurement but there’s something exceptional about NordVPN - it has double data protection, meaning that your data will travel via not one but two VPN servers. Amazing, right?
What is more, NordVPN doesn’t log any of your personal data, only some lesser important information, such as:
- Your service performance data
- Email address
- Payment information, but you can use bitcoins for complete anonymity.
Talking about torrenting and Netflix, it does allow both of those services. I tried to use the US, UK, Netherlands and Canada servers - all of them worked. What is more,
NordVPN has created “special P2P servers” to keep any torrenting activity safe.
As I was testing the speed, I received pretty good results, download speed decreased to 62.06Mbps making it one of the fastest VPNs on the market.
There were also no holes in the security detected. I made sure to test both DNS and IP leaks and none of them were found.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that NordVPN is the most secure free VPN software that you can use for 30 days completely out of charge.
3. Cyberghost - 45-Day Free Trial
Ranks #3 out of 5 VPNs
CyberGhost provides you with the longest free VPN software trial you can ever get - 45 days. It’s great for long trips when you want to manage local content being in another country.
CyberGhost was Founded in 2011 in Bucharest, Romania. It is now used by more than 30 million users worldwide.
CyberGhost has all the crucial features every good VPN must have. It uses the strongest security on the market AES-256 that even banks, NSA and other Government agencies employ.
What is more, I tested if it has any leaks just like every other free VPN to see if there’s anything you should be worried about. And results came out to be negative, meaning that there were neither IP nor DNS leaks detected.
It will also offer you more than 3550 free VPN servers in more than 60 countries. To tell you the truth, it has more than most of the free VPN servers to offer.
Now let’s move to Netflix and torrenting. Is it allowed? Does it work? I checked what CyberGhost says and then tested both of them myself. According to CyberGhost “Hundreds of servers dedicated to torrenting with no bandwidth limit.”
Talking about Netflix, I checked 4 random servers and all of them were working. So, you can get full support for torrenting and unblock Netflix.
Logging policy, which is one of the most important aspects you should always pay attention to. But I can say right away that none of the sensitive data will be collected while using CyberGhost VPN, including IP address, assigned servers, login and logout time, and other important information.
Therefore, you will be as safe as you can ever be.
I told you that everything cannot be perfect, however, in this case, it's different. As I tested my benchmark before and after connecting to CyberGhost, it decreased from 69.89Mbps to 60.53Mbps - less than 10Mbps!
4. Hotspot Shield - AES 256-bit
Ranks #4 out of 5 VPNs
You may have heard that all of the completely free VPNs do not give you the full set of features, Hotspot Shield is one of them. But why is it on the list you might ask?
The answer is obvious, it’s the best VPN provider that actually has a free version. So, even if it’s not as good as other VPNs that offer a free trial, it’s completely out of charge and also offers a free trial for the premium version.
Hotspot Shield was first released as a free VPN in 2008 in California, the US. A little bit later it was split into free and paid (Hotspot Shield Elite) versions.
Let’s take a look into its qualities first.
The good thing about free VPN services is that they do not require any of your personal information since most of the time you don't even have to register and, of course, there’s no need to transfer money.
There’s only one catch. If you want to add multiple devices, you will have to provide your email address.
Hotspot Shield uses AES-256 encryption, which is the most common security standard on the market. It allows torrenting, however, doesn’t unblock Netflix - I’ve tried a number of servers and none of them worked.
Now, let’s see if a free VPN manages to keep up with zero logging policy since most of the free providers fail to do that. To tell you the truth, Hotspot Shield claims to have zero logging policy, yet somehow it looks a little bit suspicious.
It doesn’t surprise me since according to many sources, the majority of free VPNs sell your data to third parties. After all, they need to make money somehow.
Another reason why Hotspot Shield is the best free VPN is that it allows torrenting. Since it uses AES-256 encryption, which is the best on the market (so far), it gives you full protection.
Moreover, most of the free VPNs are very restrictive and gives you very little data. Even though Hotspot Shield is not the free unlimited VPN, you get so much more than most of the free providers can offer - 500MB per day.
Furthermore, Hotspot Shield is quite fast considering the fact that it’s completely free, the average speed was 56.90Mbps, which you probably understand are pretty great results.
Hotspot Shield could be also called the best free unlimited VPN as you can connect to as many devices as you want to - no restrictions.
On the other hand, as the majority of free VPNs, it does not unblock Netflix. So, there’s no completely free unlimited VPN that would give you all. If you came to this review looking for a free VPN service that does, then continue reading.
5. Surfshark - 30-Day Free Trial
Ranks #5 out of 5 VPNs
SurfShark is based on the British Virgin Islands. It was launched only recently, in the spring of 2018 but grows and keeps improving rapidly.
If you choose Surfshark VPN, you get 30 days free VPN service, which is enough to get the feeling of it. What is more, if you’re planning a long trip and want to be in control of the content you’re seeing then choose a free trial.
Now, let’s move to technical details. Surfshark offers IKEv2 and OpenVPN tunneling protocols, which are the most popular amongst VPN providers.
Furthermore, it has more than 800+ servers in more than 50 countries, which are pretty good results, to say the least, but you will see that other free VPN services (trials) can offer more than that.
And that was one of the major reasons I placed Surfshark in fifth place.
Moreover, I tested to see if Surfshark has IP or DNS leaks and results came out squeaky-clean. Furthermore, one of the major aspects that matter when choosing a free VPN software is their logging policy (even if it’s only a free trial) and Surfshark is quite straightforward when it comes to logging your data.
It only collects an email address to manage your account, billing information and diagnostics. Therefore, you’re pretty safe. Note that no logging policy doesn’t mean none of your data will be collected since it needs minimal data to function. You should only be worried about data that could identify you as a person.
Furthermore, Surfshark uses AES-256 military-grade encryption, which is not (yet) breakable. Even if every free VPN provider on my list uses this encryption, I still distinguish it as a major advantage.
There are a few more points left. You probably know that every VPN provider slows down your Internet connection, but the main question is “by how much?” To find out, I always do the speed test. Surfshark revealed pretty bad results.
My Internet connection decreased from 71.97Mbps to 28.05Mbps when connecting from EU to EU server. So, more than two times... Not such good news for Surfshark fans.
Now, what about Netflix and Torrenting? I used 6 random servers to see if it works with Netflix and all of them were accessible!
Then, as I was looking for details on torrenting, I noticed that Surfshark’s entire product is P2P friendly, so you can download files without worrying about your safety.
That’s about it, now let's move to conclusions and clarify everything once again.
All in all, every VPN has it’s pros and cons (except for the last one on the list - ExpressVPN) but it is very difficult to find a capable VPN that would be completely out of charge. For that reason, as you’ve already seen, I provided you with most of the paid VPN providers that offer a minimum of 30-days free plan.
So, even if I do not recommend free VPNs, there are free plans that you can use when traveling from 30 to 45 days. If you want my advice - ExpressVPN is the best offer you can get.