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Best free VPNs of 2022


A VPN is an incredible tool for your online safety, letting you be anonymous online, protected from hackers, and able to access streaming content thanks to a foreign VPN address. Looking to save, many people look for the best free VPN option, that would give all of those benefits – without paying a single penny.

Sadly, the rules of business are true for everything: and this includes VPNs. Things are free for a reason. And an ill-chosen free VPN service can get you in all sorts of trouble. From slow, overcrowded servers, unable to access your favorite streaming platforms, to intrusive spam ads and bad data security and data selling practices: free VPNs might do more harm than good.

Best free VPN alternative
A premium VPN is a risk-free solution that will give you complete security and peace of mind. With top safety guarantees and excellent additional features, NordVPN is the best free VPN alternative.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

But if you don’t want to risk your hard-earned money on a product you won’t like, there is still a way. We’ve researched premium VPNs that also offer free trials or money-back guarantees. This way, you can use them free of charge before committing to a subscription which can be cheaper than you think – starting from just a couple of bucks.

These are the best VPNs you can try for free in 2022:

  1. NordVPN – overall best VPN that allows you to try its services for free on Android. You can easily secure your connection and enjoy 5500 servers in 59 locations free of charge for a week. If you want to extend the free trial, there’s an option to use a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark – most affordable VPN service provider with a free 7-day trial for macOS, Android, and iOS devices. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections and also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it on Windows.
  3. IPVanish – an excellent VPN choice that you can use on any device risk-free. You can get access to 2000 servers in 50 location and advanced security features by getting a subscription and claiming a full refund within 30 days.

📢 LIMITED OFFER: Try NordVPN risk-free for 30 days!

What are the risks of using a free VPN?

Before we get into the detailed list of best free VPNs, it’s essential to warn you about the potential risks. Even though getting a free application is always nice, it might come with some kind of catch, and VPNs are no exception:

  • Data restrictions. A frustrating data limit will likely sour your free VPN experience. You'll usually only get a fixed monthly MB amount, which will eventually lead to the purchase of a paid version of the VPN.
  • Speed restrictions. Free versions of VPN services, more often than not, limit the connections speeds. It means you won’t get the performance you most likely need.
  • Small server fleet. You will have a poor selection of server locations. Most free VPN services allow you to choose between three locations, which isn’t enough if you need to unblock lots of different types of content.
  • Lack of features. If you use a free VPN, you won’t get any of the features advertised. Only premium versions of VPN services offer obfuscated servers, split tunneling, or ad blocking.
  • Shady behavior. There’s also the risk of your data being collected and sold to third parties. Invasive ads, privacy breaches, and many other risks are associated with fully free VPN services, which is why all the VPNs we listed are “freemium” – subsidized by the paying customers of the same service.

In short, you have to be really careful when choosing your free application – don’t blindly trust everything a VPN website advertises. In case you're afraid to use free VPNs (better safe than sorry!), you can simply choose a premium VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark.

Pro tip

Looking to go for a premium VPN? We suggest going for options like NordVPN or Surfshark.

The best free VPNs of 2022 – our curated list:

We know how difficult it is to find a good free VPN. That’s why we did all the hard work to make it easy for you.

  1. Atlas VPN – best free VPN service overall
  2. Proton VPN Free – speedy and reliable free VPN
  3. Windscribe Free VPN – best free VPN with servers in 11 different locations
  4. Hide.me Free VPN – excellent free VPN with many features
  5. ZoogVPN – a good private VPN solution
  6. TunnelBear – free VPN service with excellent features
  7. Betternet VPN – free VPN with custom protocols

Below, you see our ultimate list of the best free VPN services for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and other platforms. Download any of these apps and enjoy the perks like unlimited bandwidth and a good selection of encryption protocols.

1. Atlas VPN – best free VPN overall

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:United States
Simultaneous connections:Unlimited
Data cap:5 GB per month
Want to try the premium version?🔥 Get Atlas VPN, now 81% OFF 🔥

Atlas VPN is our current top pick for the best free VPN provider. With the free plan, you get 5 GB of monthly data. And if you wish to remove all limitations, the paid version of Atlas VPN costs only $2.05/month.

Security and privacy: both the paid and free versions of Atlas VPN offer a decent level of safety. Like the vast majority of other best VPNs, Atlas VPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is famously trusted by governments and military organizations. As for privacy policy, Atlas VPN states that it doesn’t collect any logs that would help trace you back, including your real IP address. Also, the VPN doesn’t store any internet activity data.

Performance: Atlas VPN uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol which offers a combination of the best speeds and security. It’s really great that the free version of Atlas VPN has no connection speed limits. However, the fact that the free users share only three locations means there may be issues with overcrowding.

Features: in addition to a kill switch and strong encryption, Atlas VPN allows torrenting (or types of P2P traffic) on each and every one of its servers. You can also enable the option for the VPN to start on launch for quicker access.

Streaming: it’s important to note that Atlas free VPN doesn’t help you access geo-blocked content on Netflix (even though it lets you access Youtube just fine). Thankfully, most servers of the paid version of Atlas VPN will unblock most streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, etc.

Find out more about this provider in our full Atlas VPN review.

2. Proton VPN Free – fast and secure free VPN

ProtonVPN banner
Based in:Switzerland
Simultaneous connections:1 device
Data cap:None
Want to try the premium version?🔥 Get up to 50% OFF Proton VPN! 🔥

Proton VPN is our second choice for the best free VPN services. It is an open-source Virtual Private Network that has an unlimited free version for Windows, Mac, Android, and other devices.

Security and privacy: its strength lies in complete security, offering you military-grade encryption and the safety of the WireGuard protocol. Additionally, the provider has a strict no-logs policy meaning that it doesn’t collect any private user data.

Performance: if you use the free version of Proton VPN, you get to choose a server from only three countries: Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. Keep in mind that the free servers usually have pretty high internet traffic, which means that you shouldn't expect exceptional speeds. If you wish to access all of its 1700 servers in 63 locations, the premium plans start from $4.99/month.

Features: most of Proton VPN’s features are reserved for paid users, such as P2P file sharing, NetShield, Secure Core VPN, Tor over VPN, and the possibility to access geo-blocked streaming services. However, the free version of Proton VPN offers a kill switch to protect you if your connection drops, as well as DNS leak protection.

Streaming: Since the Proton free VPN version gives only 3 locations, you need to upgrade to premium in order to access geo-restricted streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer or Hulu.

Learn more about this provider in our detailed Proton VPN review.

3. Windscribe Free VPN – best free VPN with servers in 11 different locations

Windscribe banner
Based in:Canada
Simultaneous connections:Unlimited
Data cap:2 GB (no email) or 10 GB (with email) per month
Want to try the premium version?🔥 Get 55% OFF with a 1-year plan! 🔥

Windscribe VPN is definitely another provider that can be included on the list of best free VPNs. It’s tightly packed with features and gives 10 GB of free monthly data given that you provide your email address. You can also receive an extra 5 GB by tweeting about Windscribe.

Security and privacy: even though Windscribe VPN is based in one of the Five Eyes countries (Canada), it swears by its no-logs policy. In other words, it doesn’t store and can’t identify your real IP address and connection timestamps.

Performance: this VPN supports the WireGuard protocol and out of 60+ countries offered to premium users, 11 are available to those who use Windscribe for free. That includes Germany, US, Canada, France, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, UK, Turkey, and Hong Kong. Out of these countries, the VPN will suggest the fastest server to connect to.

Features: Windscribe free VPNoffers an effective kill switch, a free SOCKS5 proxy, ad-blocking, the possibility to set up a secure hotspot, and the multi-hop feature. In addition to all this, it gives you lots of freedom to set up your preferences, like launching the app on startup, auto-connecting to the most recent location, and allowing LAN traffic when the firewall is on. Also, there are 25+ languages available.

Streaming: even though it’s widely considered that free VPNs don’t usually unlock geo-blocked content, Windscribe VPN might be able to unblock Netflix given that your desired library is in one of the 11 server locations available for free users.

Read more about this VPN in our Windscribe review.

4. Hide.me Free VPN – great free VPN with many features

Hideme vpn banner
Based in:Malaysia
Simultaneous connections:1 device
Logging:No logs
Data cap:10 GB per month

Hide.me is a free VPN that gives you 10 GB of free data a month together with servers in four countries, including the US. It’s one of the most feature-packed free VPNs.

Security and privacy: as Hide.me is based in Malaysia, it is not required to store any user or activity logs, including your browsing behavior. In addition, the VPN is audited by DefenseCode Ltd., which certified it as one of the most anonymous VPN providers. On top of that, your data is encrypted using military-grade AES-256 encryption.

Performance: users of Hide.me free VPN also have the freedom to choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols and the IP version (IPv4 or IPv6). Also there are four countries to choose from: Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. It is convenient that you can see the ping together with every location, which truly helps you pick the fastest server. If you want to get full access to all servers and use WireGuard, the subscription prices start from $3.45/month.

Features: it’s really nice that the free version of Hide.me VPN offers the same features as the paid one. This means that you can experience the joys of split tunneling, custom DNS, and Stealth Mode without spending a single cent. The apps for Windows and Mac also have a kill switch and also nearly all of Hide.me VPN servers support P2P file sharing, which means that you can use this VPN for safe torrenting.

Streaming: despite the promises on its official website, Hide.me free VPN didn’t manage to unblock Netflix no matter which server I tried. Unfortunately, the same happened with the BBC iPlayer and Disney+.

Check out our full Hide.me VPN review to learn more.

5. ZoogVPN – a good private solution

ZoogVPN banner
Based in:Greece
Simultaneous connections:1 device
Logging:No logs
Data cap:10 GB

ZoogVPN is another good free VPN that allows using 5 servers in 3 different locations, including the US, the UK, and the Netherlands. The signup doesn’t require any payment or credit card details and gives 10 GB of data. You can use this VPN for 7 days for free.

Security and privacy: free ZoogVPN uses the AES-128 encryption for data protection and doesn’t keep any logs. The only thing that ZoogVPN keeps is your email address. However, you can use a disposable email for creating an account, which would make the whole process completely anonymous.

Performance: while using a free ZoogVPN, you will be able to choose from PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSEC and latest IKEv2 tunneling protocols. For the best performance, we recommend opting for OpenVPN.

Features: ZoogVPN free version doesn’t provide advanced features like split tunneling which is available with the paid plan. On the other hand, there’s a perfectly good kill switch and the ZoogShadowing feature which helps bypass restrictions in heavily censored countries. In addition, the Dutch server supports torrenting even in the free version.

Streaming: unfortunately, the free version of ZoogVPN won’t let you get your hands on the geo-blocked content of Netflix and other streaming services. For this, you’ll have to pay at least $1.87/month.

6. TunnelBear – free VPN with excellent features

TunnelBear banner
Based in:Canada
Simultaneous connections:5 devices
Logging:Light logging
Data cap:500 MB per month

TunnelBear is another VPN that has an acceptable free version with access to all of its 1800 servers in 26 countries.

Security and privacy: your data is protected using a military-grade AES-256 encryption and as for logging, TunnelBear doesn’t log your browsing activities. However, they may collect some identifying data such as the cardholder's last name, email address, and in some cases, even your Twitter account handle.

Performance: as TunnelBear doesn’t have WireGuard, nothing spectacular can be said about its speed. On top of that, any speed measurements taken won’t be completely accurate, as the VPN switches between OpenVPN and IKEv2 (on Windows and iOS) protocols on its own accord.

Features: TunnelBear has something to offer that other free VPNs probably don’t. The obligatory kill switch gets taken to a new level with the Vigilant Bear not only killing your internet if the connection to a safe server is lost, but also pausing it while you wait for the server to respond.

Streaming: even though it managed to unblock Netflix, DAZN and Youtube, the free version is still far from being good for streaming. The 500 MB data cap definitely won’t be enough to watch even half an episode of your favorite show. You can only watch popular shows if you upgrade to a premium plan starting from $3.33/month.

Read more about this provider in our TunnelBear review.

7. Betternet VPN – free VPN with custom protocols

Betternet banner
Based in:United States
Simultaneous connections:1 device
Logging:Extensive logging
Data cap:500 MB per day

Last but not least, Betternet VPN offers a somewhat agreeable free VPN service. Even though it has custom encryption protocols you are only given 500 MB of free data per day.

Security and privacy: Betternet VPN may not be the one for you if you’re extremely concerned about your privacy. While it ensures strong security with Catapult Hydra and AES-256 encryption, its privacy and logging policies are something to look out for. Betternet VPN keeps track of your GPS location and gathers info about your ISP. Additionally, they log duration of sessions, bandwidth consumed, and what domains you visited. This is by far not the best example of logging policies. On top of everything, Betternet is based in the US, a 5 Eyes country.

Performance: even though their signature Catapult Hydra protocol and the IKEv2 allow for a fairly fast free VPN, the poor implementation causes speed inconsistencies.

Features: the saddest part about Betternet VPN is the lack of features. The kill switch is only available on Windows. Other OS users are basically left in the dust when it comes to securing connections. However, there is a version of split tunneling, IP leak prevention, and some auto-connect options.

Streaming: Betternet VPN may be capable of unblocking Netflix UK and US libraries. However, when it comes to any other streaming platform, Betternet just doesn’t work, no matter what. Also the 500 MB data cap and inconsistent speeds significantly limits your streaming possibilities.

Learn more about this provider in our Betternet VPN review.

How did we test and rank these free VPNs?

The amount of free data and the selection of countries are not the only factors when ranking the best free VPN software. There are a lot of other important things to consider, and I'll explain all of them below.

  • Security. First of all, most of the VPNs on our list use the AES-256 encryption, which is the current encryption standard used by the federal government and other institutions that deal with top-secret data. We also keep track of the tunneling protocols implemented by the VPNs, prioritizing the most advanced ones like OpenVPN and WireGuard. Unfortunately, most free VPNs don’t let you use WireGuard, leaving it to paid users only.
  • Speed. Speed is yet another important thing to consider when choosing a free VPN. As various factors are bound to cause some speed problems when using a VPN, it is crucial to stick to a service that doesn’t slow you down too much. That being said, most of our top picks performed well in various speed tests. However, a paid VPN will almost certainly have faster speeds than a free one, usually due to offering a bigger server pool.
  • Features. The selection of features also shouldn’t be overlooked when selecting the best free VPN services. Torrenting, split tunneling, and an integrated kill switch are just a few features we looked for in the VPNs we tested.
  • Streaming. Now, about the elephant in the room – streaming services. It’s no secret that most people remember the existence of VPNs only when in need of accessing geo-blocked content. Even though it’s almost impossible to find a free VPN that is not blocked by Netflix, we managed to discover one free app (Windscribe) that can help you access some of its libraries.

How to choose a free VPN?

If you’re new to the field of cyber privacy, making your own decision about which free VPN to choose might be risky. It can be difficult to understand the differences between tunneling protocols, types of encryption, and the laws regarding the logging policy.

However, if you’re determined to find the best free VPN by yourself, here is what you should look into:

  • Privacy policy. See what kind of data the VPN stores and for what purposes uses it. Free VPNs with strict no-logs policies may be hard to come by, but you can find something that's close.
  • User reviews. See what other people say about free VPNs. Visiting Reddit might be a good idea if you want honest opinions on specific providers.
  • Features. Look for the one free VPN that offers the most for free. If you need a VPN for a specific purpose, see if it has specialised servers and features.
  • Bandwidth limits. Most free VPNs have caps on how much data you can use per month. If you want to use a VPN a lot, look for the one that offers the most data.
  • Speed. The speedier the VPN, the better the experience. Most free VPNs won't have as good speeds as paid providers, but you can still find yourself a pretty fast one.

Keep in mind that if a site advertises a free VPN, it doesn’t always mean that the program will actually be free. It might simply offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that you’ll still need to pay for the service first. If you're more interested in paid services, here's our best VPN list.

Video review: Best free VPNs in 2022

How to get a premium VPN for free

Believe it or not, it’s possible to use a premium VPN service for free – at least for a short while. There are two ways of doing that:

  • Trial periods. Some VPN services offer a trial period, during which you can use the tool completely for free. For example, NordVPN offers a 7-day trial for mobile users.
  • Money-back guarantees. All VPNs on this list offer a money-back guarantee, which usually lasts at least 30 days. It’s a great way to test out all the premium features of a VPN, as the money is usually given back with no questions asked. Just make sure to contact customer support in time!
Premium VPNFree trialMoney-back guarantee
NordVPNYes, 7-day (Android-only)Yes, 30-dayTry NordVPN
Surfshark Yes, 7-day (Mac, iOS, and Android)Yes, 30-dayTry Surfshark
Atlas VPNYes, a free versionYes, 30-dayTry Atlas VPN
PureVPNYes, 7-dayYes, 31-dayTry PureVPN
PrivateVPNYes, 7-dayYes, 30-dayTry PrivateVPN

Free VPN apps for your device

Depending on your device of choice, the best free VPN may depend on your OS. Some free options can be a little better on particular platforms and worse on others. To find out which is which, you'll need to read up on how they are different from one another across versions.

Best free VPN for desktop

When it comes to Windows devices, the best free VPNs are ProtonVPN and Atlas VPN. With both, you will be getting unlimited data and bandwidth, which is more than most free VPNs are giving you. On top of that, you will be getting three locations to choose from. Considering that it's for free, this is a superb deal.

And if you're wondering which is the best free Mac VPN, you could read the list on Windows, as the same applies here. The differences in the number of features will also be irrelevant. In the free segment, both ProtonVPN and Atlas VPN will perform almost identically.

Best free VPN for mobile

Regardless of the way you use to access the internet, VPNs work with mobile data the same way as they work with wifi. You may pick the classic Atlas VPN and ProtonVPN as they're the best free VPNs for Android. Though, there are some other options. For example, Windscribe and Hide.me are also worth a shot. However, both are pretty restrictive. Each has a 10 GB data cap but will let you choose from more locations.

The best free VPNs for iOS aren't that different from Android. Atlas VPN and ProtonVPN are the only real choices if you need a safe VPN with unlimited data and bandwidth. Depending on the locations you need, possible picks could also be Windscribe or Hide.me VPN.

Top free mobile VPNs:

Free VPNs without data limit

Right after you start using a free VPN for streaming or torrenting, you will run into data limits and potentially – speed caps. We selected some free VPNs without data limit for a smoother online experience:

  1. Proton VPN. This provider's free plan has unlimited bandwidth and data. In result, your connection can end up being slower. Number of factors can impact the overall speed of a free VPN like big load on the servers you're connected to, the distance between the server you're connected to and your device. The speed of your Internet connection can also impact the VPN speed. Overall, Proton VPN is a good choice if you're looking for a free VPN without data limit.
  2. Ivacy VPN. This VPN provider also doesn't limit bandwidth or data usage per user. However, it's a subject to fair usage. Meaning that session with an excessive load on the network might be considered as unfair usage of the network. Other than that, Ivacy VPN is another great free VPN choice without data limit.

Free VPNs without subscription

  1. Hide.me Free VPN. This free VPN can be used without subscription – it has no-logs policy and requires no registration before use. Also, it offers decent speeds and ensure your privacy with high-quality encryption technologies.
  2. TunnelBear. This is another free VPN without subscription – you can use it on browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and other without registration. TunneBear also implements AES-256 bit encryption that will give you one kind of a privacy.

Free VPNs to avoid

Some VPNs with free versions are notorious for collecting user data. Using such a service not only doesn't increase your online privacy, it actively hurts it. It can be compared to willingly installing malware on your device. Here are the services of which you should steer clear.

Provider's nameThe reason why it's not recommended
Hoxx VPNNot only it's based in the Five Eyes country, they actively collect logs to prevent abuse on their networks. The service also closely collaborates with the government, blocking access to torrenting sites. It isn't the route that you should expect from your VPN of choice.
iNinja VPNA completely free VPN without a paid version, iNinja reserves the right to keep a lot of information on you. It includes your connection timestamps, your personal information, and other online activity logs. When you see that it's a 100% free VPN, this should always be a red flag.
SuperVPNNot that long ago, SuperVPN was hacked. Although that would be a pretty huge problem on its own, it revealed that a service that was supposed to be no-logs was very much the opposite. They kept the connection logs and other data to identify their users and tracked their activity.

Is a free VPN good and worth getting?

Getting a free VPN is worth it when all you need is staying anonymous when using public wifi or when you find a VPN that fits your specific needs.

However, subscribing to a paid service will usually be a better choice. It will give you a much broader range of servers to choose from, better speeds (as some free VPNs don’t support WireGuard), and the possibility to unblock Netflix and other streaming websites.

You’ll also be able to use a single account on multiple devices and use the VPN without worrying about exceeding your monthly data limit.


More VPN guides from Cybernews:


FAQ

Comments

Wendy
Wendy
prefix 2 months ago
I'm considering ProtonVPN but what about Kaspersky VPN? and I'm a bit skittish about personal use VPNs.
Cybernews Team
Cybernews Team
prefix 2 months ago
Hi!

ProtonVPN is a good choice!

As for Kaspersky VPN, it's part of the Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security suites, so it's not free and doesn't have a free version. It also has fewer server locations than ProtonVPN. Besides, Kaspersky has been involved in some scandals - you can read more about it in our Kaspersky antivirus review: https://cybernews.com/best-antivirus-software/kaspersky-antivirus-review/

We hope this helps!
Mert Michael
Mert Michael
prefix 1 year ago
does any free vpn version unblock Netflix? That's the most important thing to me. If there's none, what's the cheapest option? :)
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi there! The free version of ProtonVPN has the highest chance of unblocking Netflix. However, if you're willing to look into cheap paid options, I'd suggest trying out Surfshark or VyprVPN.
linda
linda
prefix 1 year ago
cheers for this free vpn review, it's really hard to find good ones. Are there any vpns that are 100% free without purchasing any additonal stuff?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi there! What you're looking for is an unlimited free VPN, so you can consider getting AtlasVPN or ProtonVPN. However, most reputable free VPNs will also have a paid version - this is how they earn their money. If a free VPN doesn't have a paid counterpart, it might benefit from stealing your personal info.
At
At
prefix 1 year ago
Hello Ruta,
I tried several vpn. I checked the network info on the taskbar for each. For some, the vpn connection flag is active and the original ISP is not active (hide.me). For others, it indicates both as active (Protonvpn). I ask, does this affect encryption or not? Is this a mistake or not? The leak test shows no flow anywhere.

Another question: is vpn software enough or vpn router is important for encryption? The ISP router not secure?

Thanks
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello, thanks for the comment! There’s no need to pay attention to what the icon on the taskbar displays, as it doesn’t actually indicate whether your VPN is leaking. If you want to check for leaks, you should go to ipleak.net or a similar page. If it doesn’t display your original IP address, your VPN is not leaking.

As for your second question – no, you don’t need to set up your VPN on your router for extra encryption. You can do this only if you want to cover a wider range of devices. In other words, using VPN software is enough to stay safe.
At
At
prefix 1 year ago
Thanks. Because it’s strange, some vpn work with two active connection (ISP and VPN network both active) and other only with active vpn and non active ISP. Why can this be? Because of programming?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hi there, sorry for the late reply! You shouldn’t worry about it because, basically, it’s just a Windows bug.
Anibal
Anibal
prefix 1 year ago
Hello
Just looking to read more about this topic.
Do any vpn can be used directly into a router ?
I read it would hide netbios devices connected to router from your isp.
Is it so ?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello, Anibal, sorry for the late reply! I’d recommend purchasing a router that supports VPN connections together with a VPN that has an app for routers (ExpressVPN would be a good choice). In general, getting a new router (not the one provided by your ISP) will prevent your ISP from seeing the connected devices.
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