VPNs are essential today. Especially for those who care for their online safety, a VPN can be the deciding factor between privacy and vulnerability. However, many users actively try to avoid using one. Why? Because effective VPNs cost money. Sure, with the advent of mobile technology, online application stores like Google and Apple offer many apps that claim to be Free VPNs. But they reek of trouble. From potential malware to data abuse, we never recommend our readers to try a Free VPN. However, few VPNs are an exception to this. You guessed right! Today we will cover a suite of VPNs that are essentially free to use but with no issues. They are safe, secure, fast, and don’t log data for potential abuse. So if you want t to learn more about the market leaders of VPN that you can use for free on a PC, then continue reading.
Note – We haven’t included VPNs with a money-back guarantee plan because; Essentially, they are not considered Free. In this article, we have included those VPN services that users can use without spending money first.
Paid VPNs v/s Free VPNs:
If you ignore those so-called Free VPNs that infest the online app stores of various platforms, few VPNs offer a “truly free” experience. Instead, most providers offer a time-limited iteration of their service or a version with limited services. Even more, mainline VPNs only offer money-back services and not a Free product. However, there are a few, despite providing a watered-down variant, that does have a Free VPN available for users. These VPNs are free to use. And yes, honestly, there are a lot of free VPNs going around right now, but not only are these the crème de la crème, but they are also the few trustworthy VPNs we can get behind.
The sad truth is that even being free, these VPNs can’t compare with their paid alternatives. Some providers limit the bandwidth under a time/data period, while some restrict you to specific servers. They do it so that the users can pay for an unlocked version of the Free service. Because Free VPNs are limited, there has to be a performance issue.
Why don’t we like Free VPNs?
It doesn’t come as a surprise that we don’t endorse Free VPNs. They are too much of a trap sometimes. With bloatware and adware loaded on the app, a Free VPN can make your device vulnerable to cyberattacks. As opposed to what it is supposed to do. However, even those VPNs that are credible; And come from reputed and trusted sources, despite being free, often limit the services, undermining the user experience. They limit things like
- The number of servers.
- Daily usage
- The number of devices that can simultaneously connect to a VPN.
- Allotted time limit.
Other than that, we are instinctually wary of anything free. Such VPNs for profit even engage in the practice of selling data that can include your PIL, IP address, web traffic, and so on to third parties. And since many Free VPNs are subject to advertisements, there is a fair chance that using them will make you a target of adverts. Thus, many a time, using such VPNs with distinct loopholes in their privacy practices can land you in jeopardy. That is why we find ourselves repeatedly recommending paid services with watertight policies to aid in the user’s online privacy.
Such VPNs may not cost anything, but there is a good reason behind it. The providers are not charities that will let go of a chance to profit. Either by manipulating your data or limiting your experience, they manage to remain in the green. The list today doesn’t include such services that have dubious policies. But remember, even when free, a VPN will cut back on services.
How we selected our best Free VPNs for PC
To present a decent list of potential Free VPNs appropriate for PC use, we considered numerous factors. These factors determine whether a VPN is suitable to use or not. Irrespective of the fact is it is free or otherwise.
The very first thing to consider is the hidden charges that may apply when selecting a Free VPN. It doesn’t solely relate to monetary concerns but also considers the various potential threats associated with lop-sided VPN service. As such, many free services get plagued by incessant adware and bloatware aiming o slow your devices. Additionally, the providers may also engage in the trading of user data to square off their profit. Thus, it is necessary to ascertain the hidden charges a VPN might have before actually employing one.
Similarly, logging policies are the core of a VPN service. It dictates what data a provider will record into the database. At times, a flawed logging policy can defeat the purpose of a VPN. Thus, when choosing a VPN, it is essential to read the fine print. If you can’t find the relevant information regarding the data login policies of a vendor, it is best to avoid that service. A decent VPN will never record your PIL or anything else for that matter. The VPNs on this list have enough credibility to ensure that they do not log user data.
Without sufficient speed, a VPN will have no use. However, it comes as no surprise that most Free services do not offer optimum speed. Some do this to force users to upgrade to premium versions, while some are limited in technology and or funding. A VPN speed depends on various factors. We even have an article on:- how to select the faster servers for a VPN. You can refer to for further details on factors that substantiate VPN speed.
Undoubtedly, one of the driving factors behind a VPN is the security it offers. If the safety is flawed, then using a VPN won help. Now, free services are infamous for overlooking this aspect of a VPN. For instance, most free applications on mobile platforms are over-glorified proxies that do not offer encryption. And even when they do, most are outdated and full of flaws. Thus, when selecting a VPN, one must focus on the grade of security it can provide.
Lastly, we also took into consideration the additional features a VPN might have. Although it is not an essential requirement for a Free VPN, having one or more extra benefits never hurts. Thus, most VPNs on our list come with exclusive features that can enhance the online experience.
5 questions you need to ask before choosing a Free VPN:
To be on the safe side, we have compiled a series of questions a user must ask himself before trying a free VPN. It can mean the difference between safety and recklessness. Additionally, these questions may also guide the user towards the optimum conditions a VPN should adhere to.
1. What is the business model of Free VPNs?
The foremost question one needs to ask themselves is what drove the vendor into providing free service. One must remember that providers are in for the money, and they are running a business that costs a lot. So how are they earning a profit? What is the motivation behind their seamlessly free service? Is it used as a marketing tool to promote their main products? Or is it a trial-based product that will need the payment for further usage? However, the sad reality is that most free providers use their services to engage in data mining. They blatantly covet the user data and use it to obtain riches for themselves.
2. How do Free VPNs protect PCs?
Most VPNs will have PC applications. It will run in the background and encrypt your online traffic. But is it enough? If you are using a premium VPN, you can relax as they come with military-grade encryption with additional features that aid in advanced security. But Free ones are unreliable. Thus, you need to understand how a VPN works towards ensuring your safety before you use one.
3. What do I lose out on by Free VPNs?
“Most free products are faulty!” It is to attract customers towards premium goods. VPNs are not an exception to this rule. Irrespective of providers, almost all free VPNs have similar drawbacks or shortcomings. Some might offer unlimited bandwidth while cutting down the number of servers. While some restrict the amount of time, you can stay connected. It encourages users to revamp their services.
4. What data do Free VPNs log?
Another question to ponder on is regarding login policies. We can’t help but highlight the importance a strict logging policy plays in VPNs repeatedly. Make sure that your VPN doesn’t store your internet activity. Even if they do not engage in data mining, selling/storing user data can be counterintuitive regarding the need for VPNs. So, to escape the potential headache, make sure to check the terms and conditions page of the provider or the End-user License Agreement (EULA). Most providers try to hie the significant terminology regarding their operation within the fine print, so make sure to read it and try to comprehend. The best-kept logs are essentially no logs! Remember that.
5. Can I sign up for Free VPNs anonymously?
Only a few VPNs will allow users to subscribe without proper PIL or cryptocurrencies. It doesn’t hurt to find ad use their services to prevent a potential breach in PIL. Also, some VPNs provide obfuscated services; You can employ them for additional privacy.
Top Free VPNs for PC you can get right now!
This list contains our best 5 VPNs that, for all purposes, are free of cost. We have also included a direct link to their web pages for you to check them out if interested.
The very top of our list welcomes the renowned ProtonVPN. It comes from the makers of one of the most private email services of our time, ProtonMail. The company behind the VPN was founded by like-minded CERN scientists that wanted to bring privacy to every user. As such, the VPN they offer comes without cost, without limits. It is the only VPN on the list that lets you connect to the internet without bandwidth limits or any additional time limits. Subsequently, it is also a complete version and not a trial application. Of course, some advanced features are blocked, and the number of servers you can access is limited. However, for a light user, this VPN can do everything its premium counterpart can do.
ProtonVPN allows users to enjoy a free app due to the subsidization of its paid user base. As such, you can enjoy ProtonVPN without spending a penny. Sadly, we don’t have a detailed ProtonVPN review up on our site. However, you can head to the ProtonVPN website to give it a go! It is Free!!
2. Windscribe VPN
Windscribe VPN is another gem on our list. The provider allows you to enjoy services without any PIL. However, doing so will limit your monthly usage to just 2 GB. But we believe that is enough for an overview. Additionally, you can also use a valid email ID to increase this limit up to 10 GB. Yes, the VPN is one of those that limit your data bandwidth. But regardless, it is a valuable Free VPN as it provides a lot more servers. It also has dedicated servers for your streaming needs, that too at the Free version. What sets it apart from the rest is the ability to unblock Netflix even with the free app.
3. TunnelBear VPN
It made our list due to its uniqueness and brand value. But TunnelBear is known for light usage. However, don’t misunderstand, as it is one of the best VPN out there. It sets you apart from the rest and allows you to be a part of a uniquely created brand. It is simple to use and provides one of the best user experiences in the market. TunnelBear is famous for keeping things straight. It has a fun vibe! Moreover, it allows users a choice between 20 locations, even for the free version. But the service limits the connection data limit at 500 MB per month.
True, it is not enough to enjoy the VPN, but it can aid you in gaining a clear perspective. Also, TunnelBear is one of the cheapest VPNs on this list. You can head to the official TunnelBear website for additional information. Or you can check out our latest review on this provider.
4. Hide.me VPN
The reason we are including Hide.me on this list: it provides 10 GB of data connectivity without cost! No questions asked. And yes, the downside is limited servers and no simultaneous connection. But it makes up for these shortcomings by providing an on the go customer care and allowing exclusive torrent servers. The VPN is one of those rare few that do not engage in throttling and maintains decent speed all around, thus allowing for downloads. The VPN also boats of a No-logs policy that is effective.
True, the data limit is annoying, but VPNs like ProtonVPN are rare. If you want further information regarding this VPN, you can check out our constructive review on the website itself. Furthermore, you can also pay the official website a visit for a quick go before making your minds.
5. Hotspot Shield VPN
The last VPN to grace or list is the well-known Hotspot Shield. Many users hail it as the best VPN for macOS, and we agree that Hotspot Shield is undoubtedly one of the best VPNs for your PC needs. For starters, it does give 500 MB of data daily, completely free of cost. If you add that, it comes to around 15 GB per month, which is second only to the unlimited data that ProtonVPN offers. However, what we don’t like about the VPN is that; Unlike others, it limits the speed of our connection. With throttling, it reduces the effective connectivity to around 2 Mbps. Moreover, the only free servers it provides are USA based which limits the user in many ways.
If you can ignore these limitations, then it truly is a decent VPN to use. To help you make your mind, we have a detailed review of Hotspot Shield available on our website. And if it will help, you can also head to the official website of the VPN to give it a go. After all, it’s free of charge.
Free VPNs with potential that didn’t make the cut:
We have also included these few VPNs that are free to use but relatively less known or with additional limitations that stopped them from making the list. If you are interested, you can find their detailed reviews on our website.
- Speedify VPN
- SurfShark VPN
- Kaspersky Secure Connect