Disclosure: We review VPNs independently, however we may earn commissions if you buy a VPN via links on our site.

The Best VPN Free Trials

8 Comments
Illustration showing a piece of cake labeled 'Free VPN' being cut from a cake labeled 'VPN'
Simon Migliano
8 Comments

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more.

Top VPN free trials let you enjoy the benefits of the best VPN services without paying to test the software.

Some VPN free trials don’t even ask for credit card or payment details upfront.

For a limited time period, you can hide your IP address, use the internet privately and securely, and unblock geo-restricted video content completely free.

Here’s a summary of the best VPN free trials of 2022:

  1. CyberGhost – Best VPN Free Trial
  2. Surfshark – Longest VPN Free Trial
  3. ExpressVPN – Best VPN Free Trial for Streaming
  4. NordVPN – Best VPN Free Trial for Security
  5. PIA VPN – Best VPN Free Trial for Torrenting

Comparison of the Best VPN Free Trials

The table below compares the best VPN free trials based on trial length, usage restrictions, and if you need to submit payment details to get the trial:

All the VPNs above offer genuine free trials, in addition to money-back guarantees. We explain the difference later in this guide.

All VPN free trials have a set duration, though. To use a lifetime free VPN, see our best free VPNs. They’re safe to use, but are limited compared to premium VPN free trials.

Top VPN Free Trials: Summary Test Ratings

Use the table below to see how the top VPN free trials performed in our key testing categories:

Why Trust Top10VPN.com?

Unlike many review websites, we’re completely independent and focused on VPN software. We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing VPN free trials using our VPN free trial testing methodology.

Here is a summary of our key VPN free trial testing findings:

Total Hours of Testing30,000+
Longest Free Trial Duration7 Days
VPN Services Reviewed56
Streaming Platforms Tested Daily12
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed9,500+
Longest Money-Back Guarantee45 Days

The Best VPN Free Trials of 2022

  1. 1. CyberGhost: Best VPN Free Trial (No Credit Card)

    One-day 100% free trial with no credit card details needed.

    Ranked #1 VPN Free Trial
    CyberGhost app
     Rated 4.7 out of 5 
    (338 user reviews)
    Visit CyberGhost

    • One-day free trial & seven-day trial on mobile
    • No payment or credit card details required
    • Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Fast short-distance connection speeds
    • Specialist streaming & free browser extension
    • Huge server park: 8,800 servers

    • Slower than its competitors over long distances
    • Mobile and macOS apps lack key settings
    • No OpenVPN option on Mac and iOS
    • Browser extensions only cover four countries
    • Doesn't work in China, Turkey & UAE

    Overall Free Trial Rating: 9.1/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our VPN free trial testing methodology.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 9.59.5/10
    • 77.0/10
    • 99.0/10

    CyberGhost is a popular VPN service that offers three free trial periods: a one-day free trial on desktop, a seven-day free trial on mobile devices, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

    The service’s one-day free trial doesn’t require any credit card or payment details. There’s also a free VPN browser extension that unblocks US Netflix.

    Free Trial Duration1 Day
    Money-Back Guarantee 45 Days
    Cheapest Price$2.03/mo over 28 months See all plans
    SpeediSpeedBased on 100Mbps local test connection89Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Servers8,800
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Good speeds and access to US Netflix

    CyberGhost doesn’t disappoint for server count or network performance. The VPN delivers good speeds on 8,800 servers in 91 countries.

    On short distances, we registered an average speed loss of 13%. While it can’t match NordVPN’s 1% speed loss, it’s closer to ExpressVPN’s 8% speed reduction.

    CyberGhost’s international speeds aren’t as good as ExpressVPN’s or NordVPN’s, though.

    Nevertheless, our streaming tests confirm that CyberGhost can stream in HD and Ultra HD rather easily.

    The VPN’s premium subscription gives access to servers optimized for streaming and torrenting. Currently, CyberGhost works well with 2 Netflix libraries, Disney+, and Hulu.

    Streaming-optimized servers are even available for free trial customers. There’s also a free browser extension that unblocks US Netflix.

    Using CyberGhost's Chrome extension to unblock US Netflix

    CyberGhost’s free Chrome extension unblocked US Netflix in our tests.

    It’s this combination of factors that makes CyberGhost a top-rated streaming VPN.

    Solid privacy and security features

    CyberGhost’s free trial lets you test CyberGhost’s full suite of features. You’ll benefit from the software’s usability and overall performance.

    The VPN uses a wide array of security and privacy settings that provide solid protection to all users.

    These features include the unbreakable AES-256 encryption cipher, WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols, a working VPN kill switch, and IPv6 and DNS leak blocking.

    In all of our tests throughout the years, we’ve never detected and IP or DNS leak using CyberGhost VPN.

    How to get a CyberGhost free trial

    CyberGhost’s one-day free trial doesn’t require personal information or payment details at sign-up.

    Simply download the software from the website and trial it.

    There used to be restrictions on streaming services, but thankfully CyberGhost has since granted full access to its features.

    While the one-day free trial is limited to desktop, you can get a seven-day free trial on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. To do this, download the app from the Google Play Store or App Store.

    Similarly to NordVPN, you must select a subscription plan to start the trial, and you will be charged after the seven-day period unless you cancel before.

    How to cancel CyberGhost’s 7-day free trial for iOS.

    If you need a longer free trial period, sign up to CyberGhost and get a refund within the 45-day money-back period.

    This risk-free 45-day refund period is uniquely generous, as most VPN services typically offer 30 days or less.

    CyberGhost’s one-month subscription plan is limited to a 14-day money-back guarantee, so choose a longer plan to get the most out of your free trial period.

    For full walkthroughs on every platform, plus all the information you need on costs and cancellation, see our guide on how to get a CyberGhost free trial.

  2. 2. Surfshark VPN: Longest VPN Free Trial

    An excellent VPN you can trial for free for up to 67 days.

    Surfshark app
     Rated 4.1 out of 5 
    (131 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark

    • Seven-day free trial on any device
    • 30-day refund period
    • Can deselect auto-renewal option to avoid payment
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Fast internet speeds around the world
    • Unblocks 10 Netflix libraries, HBO Max, and more

    • Payment details needed on signup
    • Free trial not available via the Surfshark website
    • Cancellation via Play Store or App Store only
    • Kill switch not enabled by default
    • No IPv6 leak protection
    • NoBorders mode not consistent in China

    Overall Rating: 9.2/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our VPN free trial testing methodology.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 9.49.4/10
    • 7.57.5/10
    • 99.0/10

    Surfshark VPN offers seven days access to its service completely free and unrestricted. But, you can only access the trial through the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

    You can also claim a refund within 30 days of purchasing Surfshark – twice. This means you can effectively use Surfshark for free for up to 67 days.

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
    Cheapest Price$1.99/mo over 26 months See all plans
    SpeediSpeedBased on 100Mbps local test connection85Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Servers3,200+
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Wide selection of security features

    Surfshark VPN comes packaged with many additional security features like CleanWeb ad blocking and WhiteLister split tunneling.

    You’ll also be able to use its multi-hop feature, which routes your traffic through two different VPN servers for extra security.

    Android users can even spoof their GPS location using Surfshark’s GPS Override function.

    Surfsharks GPS Override feature

    The GPS Override feature on Surfshark’s Android app.

    Most importantly, Surfshark puts privacy first. It enforces a privacy-first logging policy that only collects minimal anonymous usage data, and publishes a warrant canary to warn about government requests.

    Not only is Surfshark private and secure, it’s also user-friendly and popular with streamers and torrenters.

    Surfshark supports torrenting through a selection of P2P-optimized servers, and the VPN unblocks multiple streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max.

    Also, the service’s Smart DNS tool makes the VPN compatible with games consoles and Apple TV.

    Fast speeds across secure network

    Surfshark is a fast VPN. Although not as fast as NordVPN or Private Internet Access, we’re still seeing very competitive and promising results in our VPN speed test tool.

    Speed performance is fairly consistent across the VPN’s 3,200+ servers, spread over 100 countries.

    Furthermore, Surfshark has recently upgraded its network to RAM-only servers. A completely diskless server network is another big privacy plus.

    Despite all its features and benefits, Surfshark remains very affordable at $1.99 per month.

    Equally, the service appeals to newcomers and more advanced VPN users alike, thanks to its balance of usability, friendly UI, and abundance of capabilities.

    How to get a Surfshark free trial

    To trial Surfshark for free for seven days on mobile, you need to download the iOS or Android app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

    Alternatively, purchase the service as normal via the official website and ask for a refund within the 30-day money-back window.

    On mobile devices, once you’ve downloaded the iOS or Android app it’s as simple as selecting creating an account and selecting Start Free Trial.

    These login details allow you to sign in to any of the Surfshark apps, including the Windows and macOS clients. Moreover, Surfshark allows unlimited VPN connections with one single subscription.

    Surfshark doesn’t charge you at checkout, but it will charge you after the seven-day trial is over.

    To avoid being charged, immediately cancel auto-renewal on your account by contacting Surfshark support — who are very fast in responding.

    If you forget, and your free trial upgrades to a full subscription, you’ll still have 30 days to get a refund, in accordance with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

  3. 3. ExpressVPN: Best VPN Free Trial for Streaming

    The best streaming VPN with a seven-day free trial on mobile devices.

    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     Rated 4.8 out of 5 
    (1,813 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN

    • 7-day free trial on iOS & Android
    • 30-day risk-free refund policy
    • Our highest-rated VPN service overall
    • Unblocks Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu & more
    • Impressive international speeds
    • Audited logging policy

    • Payment details required to sign up
    • Must cancel within 30 days
    • No split tunneling on macOS
    • No Linux interface

    Overall Free Trial Rating: 7.8/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our VPN free trial testing methodology.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 9.79.7/10
    • 11.0/10
    • 88.0/10

    ExpressVPN offers a completely free seven-day trial for iOS and Android devices, as well as risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

    The VPN service is fast, very private, and highly secure. It unblocks streaming services with ease, and even gets around Chinese web blocks.

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    SpeediSpeedBased on 100Mbps local test connection92Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Servers3,000
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Fast speeds on highly intuitive applications

    ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee lets you use the VPN service without limitations or restrictions, including access to 3,000 fast servers across 94 countries.

    ExpressVPN also registers very good speed test results, both locally and internationally. We measured a short-distance speed loss of only 8% while the VPN was running.

    You can also test the VPN on multiple devices at once, thanks to its five simultaneous device allowance.

    ExpressVPN has some of the most user-friendly native applications for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Fire TV. It also has an app for routers, which is a rarity.

    Works with 10 Netflix libraries

    ExpressVPN is a great VPN for unblocking streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max and BBC iPlayer.

    The VPN works with 10 Netflix regions, and easily streams the American library on all its US servers.

    ExpressVPN performs just as well with Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and you can use it to bypass Hulu VPN blocks.

    You can also stream with ExpressVPN using its excellent browser extensions, Fire TV Stick app, or its Smart DNS service on Apple TV and games consoles.

    ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer is in fact the best Smart DNS tool provided by a VPN service. In our tests it worked with most American and British streaming apps.

    We easily unblocked American Netflix on Xbox One using the MediaStreamer Smart DNS tool.

    How to get an ExpressVPN free trial

    You can get ExpressVPN’s seven-day free trial for iOS and Android by simply downloading the app from the App Store.

    ExpressVPN’s free trial sign up window

    Once installed, launch the app and you’ll see two options: Start Free Trial and Sign In.

    On Android devices, you won’t need to provide any payment details or credit card information to access the trial. Simply select the free trial option and insert your email address.

    You can see how many days are left on your trial period via the ‘Account’ menu. Once the trial period is over, you’ll be asked by email if you’d like to upgrade to a premium account.

    On iOS devices, you will have to insert payment details and you will be automatically upgraded to a premium account unless you cancel within seven days.

    Installing ExpressVPN through the App Store makes you subject to Apple’s refund policy. If you don’t want to enter into a contract when using the free trial on iOS, cancel your free trial within seven days.

    If you’re not on an iOS or Android device, simply subscribe to the service on the ExpressVPN website and cancel within 30-days for a guaranteed refund.

  4. 4. NordVPN: Best VPN Free Trial for Security

    Very fast VPN with a 7-day free trial on Android.

    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     Rated 4.7 out of 5 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN

    • 7-day free trial available on Android smartphones
    • 30-day hassle-free refund period
    • Unblocks 11 Netflix libraries including US
    • Very fast speeds across server network
    • Torrenting allowed on most servers
    • Strict zero-logs policy

    • Unreliable in China
    • PC & Mac applications can't be resized
    • Firestick app doesn't unblock Netflix very reliably

    Overall Free Trial Rating: 7.8/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our VPN free trial testing methodology.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 9.79.7/10
    • 11.0/10
    • 88.0/10

    NordVPN is a verified zero-logs VPN that effectively masks your IP address and hides your internet browsing activity from snoopers.

    You can test-drive the VPN on all devices without restrictions using its 30-day refund period, or its seven-day free trial on Android.

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
    Cheapest Price$3.29/mo over 2 years See all plans
    SpeediSpeedBased on 100Mbps local test connection98Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Servers5,613
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    A highly-secure VPN on all devices

    All of NordVPN’s apps are easy to use and come with robust security features, including a VPN kill switch, AES-256 encryption and the WireGuard protocol, branded as NordLynx.

    NordVPN’s kill switch works on Android and iOS, too. Currently, only a few top-tier VPN services offer this across both mobile platforms.

    The VPN software also comes with DNS leak protection, Double VPN for an added layer of security, and a completely log-free privacy policy.

    NordVPN's Double VPN in action

    We successfully tested NordVPN’s Sweden-Netherlands Double VPN servers.

    Very fast speeds across the world

    NordVPN is also one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, with a local download speed loss of just 1%.

    The VPN produced exceptional speeds connecting to distant servers, too. On average, speeds dropped by only 17% compared to ExpressVPN’s 20% and PIA’s 41%.

    These fast global speeds allow for steady HD/4K streaming. NordVPN works with 11 Netflix regions, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max. The VPN works extremely well with Hulu, too.

    All the applications are user-friendly and simple to use from the outset. They’re not as eye-pleasing as ExpressVPN’s, though. Especially the PC and Mac clients, which are rather big and can’t be resized.

    If you do happen to need help, NordVPN’s 24/7 live chat support is on hand for prompt assistance. Or, you can always send an email.

    How to get a NordVPN free trial

    NordVPN offers a seven-day free trial for Android devices, and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all other devices, including Windows, macOS, and iOS.

    To get a NordVPN free trial on all devices, subscribe to NordVPN via its website and cancel within 30 days. This can be done by simply contacting customer support.

    There are no exceptions to its refund policy as long as you request it within 30 days.

    NordVPN once offered a genuine free trial on all platforms, but discontinued it after citing “abuse” of the service.

    The company has reintroduced a seven-day free trial on Android via the Play Store. To use this, download and install NordVPN directly from the Play Store.

    Once installed, you’ll be asked to create an account and insert your payment details. NordVPN will charge a subscription fee after seven days unless you cancel.

    If you forget to cancel, or want to continue with a premium subscription, you’re still eligible to claim NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

    We recommend subscribing to the full VPN and taking advantage of the money-back guarantee, since you need to cancel your subscription no matter what.

  5. 5. PIA VPN: Best VPN Free Trial for Torrenting

    Excellent torrenting VPN with a seven-day free trial.

    Private Internet Access
     Rated 4.3 out of 5 
    (29 user reviews)
    Visit PIA VPN

    • Seven-day free trial across devices
    • The best VPN for Linux & torrenting
    • Huge network of 17,087 servers
    • Very fast local connections
    • Highly secure with a verified no-logs policy
    • 30-day risk-free refund period

    • Payment details required
    • Mac client has usability issues
    • Smart DNS doesn't work properly
    • Fire TV Stick app needs improvements
    • Based in the USA (FVEY jurisdiction)

    Overall Rating: 7.5/10

    This overall rating is calculated based on the following subcategory ratings. To learn more, read our VPN free trial testing methodology.

    • 9.99.9/10
    • 88.0/10
    • 11.0/10
    • 88.0/10

    Private Internet Access (PIA) lets you use its premium VPN software without restrictions for up to seven days, followed by a 30-day guaranteed refund period. That’s 37 days completely free.

    You have to sign up to PIA VPN via mobile, but you can then use the same login across all devices. PIA requires you submit payment information in order to access the free trial, though.

    Free Trial DurationN/A
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
    Cheapest Price$2.03/mo over 28 months See all plans
    SpeediSpeedBased on 100Mbps local test connection93Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Servers17,087
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Verified no-logs P2P VPN

    Private Internet Access Private Internet Access is one of the safest and most private VPNs on the market.

    The VPN’s no-logs policy has been verified by court cases, server seizures and regular transparency reports.

    PIA VPN uses the best VPN security protocols, including WireGuard and OpenVPN, which secure connections via AES-256 and ChaCha encryption, respectively.

    Combined with fast speeds and the fact P2P activity is allowed on all servers, PIA is an exceptional choice for anonymous torrenting and file-sharing.

    Testing how quickly PIA downloads a torrent file

    PIA performed very well in our torrenting tests.

    Large server network and access to streaming

    Private Internet Access has the largest server network of any VPN, with 17,087 individual servers available.

    PIA comes with a number of streaming-optimized servers that work reliably to access all major streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hotstar, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video.

    Sadly, the Smart DNS feature still doesn’t work with streaming apps and the Fire TV Stick app doesn’t have a high success rate accessing streaming sites.

    How to get PIA VPN free trial

    To get PIA for free you need to download the app via Google Play Store or Apple App Store and search for Private Internet Access.

    You won’t see an ad or option for free trial at first, but you will see mention of it once you download and install the PIA on your Android or iOS device.

    PIA Free Trial Sign Up

    PIA’s free trial is only available via mobile devices and on the one-year plan.

    When asked to choose a payment plan, select the yearly option. This is the only way to get the 7-day free trial. The free trial is not available if you select the monthly plan – although the 30-day money-back refund offer is.

    To activate the free trial, you need to insert your payment details. However, don’t worry: you can cancel payment auto-renew as soon as your subscription is registered. We recommend doing this as soon as possible so you don’t forget later.

    With auto-renewal cancelled, your PIA account will deactivate automatically with no payment incurred. You can then also take advantage of PIA’s refund period by subscribing to the service and canceling within 30-days.

Can I Get a VPN Free Trial with No Credit Card?

It is entirely possible to get a VPN free trial with no credit card and no payment details. Below is a complete list of VPNs that don’t require any payment details whatsoever to access their free trial.

The maximum duration of a genuine free trial like this is seven days, which are available from Avast VPN, AVG Secure VPN, BitDefender VPN, and VPN Unlimited.

You won’t be asked to submit any payment details on signup, and you’ll be able to enjoy the full features of the VPN for a set amount of time.

Free Trial vs. Money-Back Guarantee

Free trials and money-back guarantees are not the same thing. The main difference is that VPN free trials do not require a payment method to use the service, whereas money-back guarantees take money from you but guarantee its return within a specified window of time.

To make sense of it all, here is a quick glossary of VPN free trial terms:

  • Money-Back Guarantee: You’ll have to pay for the VPN service upfront but you’re guaranteed a refund within a certain period, usually 30 days. There may be certain restrictions outlined in the refund policy.
  • Risk-Free: You’ll have to pay for the VPN service but you can claim your money back without restriction – there is no risk of your refund being refused, as long as you claim within the time frame.
  • Free VPN: A VPN service that is completely free to download and use without time restrictions. As explained above, free VPNs often come with several other limitations and risks, such as data caps, excessive data logging, or server restrictions.
  • Genuine Free Trial: Many VPNs advertise a “free trial” when they are in fact referring to risk free money-back guarantees. A true VPN free trial won’t take payment upfront, and some don’t ask for any payment details on sign-up.

If you want to try out a premium VPN service for free, your best option is a genuine free trial. The five VPN services we recommend in this guide all come with genuine free trials.

The other option is to subscribe to a VPN service with a money-back guarantee, and then request your money back within the defined refund period. This can range anywhere from seven to 45 days.

Taking advantage of money-back guarantees lets you test a VPN for much longer than a free trial.

However, unlike free trials, you must pay for the full subscription upfront. You must also remember to cancel within the refund period, or you won’t be able to recoup your money.

Most VPN services have no-questions-asked refund policies, however some providers reserve the right to deny a refund under some circumstances.

How to Cancel a VPN Free Trial

If you’re using a VPN free trial, you need to know if you need to cancel your subscription, or if it will end automatically.

In many cases, if you don’t cancel your trial you may end up in a contract with the VPN service provider.

In this section, we explain how to cancel your free trial depending on which option you’ve taken.

  1. No Payment Details Required

    If you’re using a VPN free trial and didn’t submit any payment details on sign-up, you won’t need to do anything to cancel your subscription. The service will stop once the trial period has ended.

    There are some VPN free trials that don’t require you do anything to cancel, but are slightly different in sign-up.

    In the case of Proton VPN, you need to sign up to its lifetime free plan before you can access the premium free trial. Once the trial ends, you’ll return to the free service.

  2. Free Trial with Payment Details Required

    Some free trials require you to submit payment information in order to use the service.

    Most of these VPNs require you to cancel. The VPNs that offer genuine free trials, but also require payment details, include:

    • HideMyAss
    • Hotspot Shield
    • IPVanish
    • Ivacy
    • NordVPN
    • Surfshark

    If you’re using any of the VPN free trials above, you’ll need to contact the VPN service via email or live chat and cancel before the trial period is up.

    Some will also allow you to cancel in-app. In almost all cases, the cancellation process is extremely easy and quick.

  3. VPN Subscription with Money-Back Guarantee

    If a VPN service takes payment from you in order to use its service within a money-back guarantee period, this is usually called a ‘risk free’ trial.

    In this case, remember to contact the VPN service’s support team within the refund period to get your money back.

    The refund process is usually straight-forward with most VPN services, although some have specific rules in place.

    For example, PrivateVPN won’t refund your initial payment if you’ve used over 100GB of data.

    We advise to always check the terms and conditions of a VPN’s refund policy.

    While most VPN services do honor money-back guarantees, some can refuse issuing a refund. However, this is a rare occurrence likely caused by serious misuse of the service.

How We Test VPN Free Trials

When it comes to VPN free trials, our experts test for specific features in order to calculate an overall rating.

For VPN free trials specifically, we measure:

  • Do you need to sign up with payment details?
  • Do you have to cancel manually or does it expire automatically?
  • How long is the free trial period?
  • Are there any service restrictions during the free trial?
  • Does the VPN unblock streaming services like Netflix?
  • Is the free trial available on multiple devices?
  • Is the money-back guarantee genuinely risk-free?
  • Does the VPN service log your activity data?
  • How fast is the VPN on nearby and long-distance connections?

For a more detailed look at our rating system, read the following methodology to learn about each testing subcategory and how much it factors into the overall rating.

1. Free Trial Restrictions: 40%

Minimum Requirement: Access to the majority of the VPN’s servers without speed throttling and a comparable security suite.
We Recommend: No restrictions at all. The free trial works the same as the premium version.

We systematically compare and contrast the free trial experience to the premium account and discover what’s been excluded from the trial run.

The fewer the restrictions the higher the rating we award.

Many VPN trials exclude certain features to encourage subscriptions. This can include fewer global connections, the removal of streaming-optimized servers, or inferior security.

We recommend VPNs that offer the fullest free trial experience.

2. Free Trial Duration: 30%

Minimum Requirement: One day.
We Recommend: At least five days.

Free trials can be as short as one day but some can last up to seven days.

For money-back guarantees, you can expect around 30 days as an average, but some go as high as 45 days.

The more time you are given to experience the VPN, the stronger the rating we assign.

3. Payment Info Needed: 20%

Minimum Requirement: Payment details are taken but you are not charged automatically.
We Recommend: No payment details are required at all.

Some free trials require you to insert payment details to access the service.

But we rate highly those that don’t require any payment information at all.

This way, you don’t have to remember to cancel your account.

If you forget to cancel a free trial that requires payment details, you could be charged.

4. Ease of Cancellation: 10%

Minimum Requirement: Cancellation is easy to find on the account page.
We Recommend: Cancellation is automatic.

Free trials should be easy to cancel. We give the highest ratings to VPN free trials that stop automatically.

For VPN free trials that require payment details, we rank higher those that make cancellation options easy to find.

After we sign up and test the free trials, we inspect and judge the process of cancellation.

If the cancellation process is difficult, or has any hidden catches, we punish the VPN service with a lower rating.

VPN Free Trial FAQs

Can I Use My Free Trial More Than Once?

It’s hypothetically possible to use a free trial more than once, but it would require using new email addresses each time, and potentially deleting your cookies or switching browsers.

In Astrill VPN’s case, all that’s required to use the free trial is an email address. You could just use another email address and sign up again.

However, Astrill’s website uses cookies to identify whether you’ve already registered for the free trial. As such, you may get a different page that doesn’t include the free trial option. To avoid this, delete your cookies or use a different browser.

There’s always the risk the VPN in question is aware of free trial “abuse” and may ban you or stop offering free trials all together.

NordVPN cancelled its free trial following “abuse” of the service, and PrivateVPN repeatedly takes down its genuine free trial to avoid the same issue.

Surfshark VPN lets you use its money-back guarantee twice, so you can actually use Surfshark for free more than once.

Do VPNs Actually Guarantee Your Money-Back?

Most VPNs offer “money-back guarantees”, but potential customers are sometimes concerned they actually won’t get their money back.

The VPNs we recommend that offer money-back guarantees have always refunded us in our tests.

Remember, you must ask for your money back within the designated refund window.

However, buying a VPN through the App Store or Apple App Store means that VPN refund policies don’t apply. That’s because applications purchased through those marketplaces are subject to their refund policies, and not those of the VPN service.

For example, NordVPN includes this information in its terms of service: NordVPN's Terms of Service

In other words: VPNs can’t issue refunds through iTunes/App Store. This also applies to resellers such as Amazon and subscriptions purchased using gift cards.

For this reason, it’s best to subscribe directly from the VPN service’s website. If you sign up via a marketplace, be sure to consult its refund policy as it may not be as good as the VPN provider’s.

Some VPNs are stricter than others, too. If the money-back guarantee is advertised as risk-free, a VPN service may refuse your refund depending on your reason for cancellation or initial payment method.

McAfee Safe Connect, for example, forces you to call customer support and give a reason for cancellation.

For the most part, popular VPNs will honour their money-back guarantees. Very rarely will they deny a refund within the refund period of time.

Which VPN Free Trials Should You Avoid?

While there are many free VPNs you should avoid, the case isn’t the same when it comes to free trials.

Free trials almost always come from reputable VPN companies and are safe to use with no security risks.

Many people avoid free trials that require payment details, because they fear accidentally falling into a long-term VPN contract. HideMyAss, Hotspot Shield, and NordVPN all offer free trials that require you to enter payment details.

As for money-back guarantees, we recommend signing up to the service via the provider’s website, rather than the App Store or the Google Play Store.

Refund policies differ on marketplaces, so it’s best to subscribe on the VPN’s official website to be covered by the company’s own refund policy.

What's the Best VPN Free Trial for Netflix?

Many people use a VPN to stream Netflix content from other countries.

A VPN free trial is an excellent way to gain temporary access to international Netflix libraries, without committing to a full subscription.

A free trial also allows you to test a VPN with Netflix before committing to a long-term plan.

Not all VPNs work with Netflix and other streaming services, though. We’ve tested many popular VPN free trials with Netflix, and we recommend using the below VPNs:

  • ExpressVPN (10 Netflix libraries)
  • NordVPN (11 Netflix libraries)
  • PrivateVPN (14 Netflix libraries)
  • Surfshark (10 Netflix libraries)

If you take advantage of their money-back guarantees, you get much more time than a typical free trial, usually limited to between one and seven days.

If you’re a regular Netflix streamer, we suggest reading our articles on the best VPNs for Netflix, and the best free VPNs for Netflix.