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Best VPN Free Trials of 2021

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Illustration showing a piece of cake labeled 'Free VPN' being cut from a cake labeled 'VPN'
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN
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Simon 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, CNet and more. Read full bio

VPN free trials allow you to enjoy the benefits of top VPN services without paying upfront. The very best trials don’t even ask for credit card or payment details.

Trialing a paid VPN means you can hide your IP address, unblock web content, and secure your internet connection completely free.

While using a free VPN is tempting, too many carry privacy and security risks, and share data with third-parties.

Therefore, don’t compromise on quality by choosing a free VPN. Instead, invest in a safe and trustworthy subscription-based VPN service. With one of the VPN free trials below, you can try a top VPN for free before deciding if to subscribe or not.

The best VPN free trials in April 2021 are:
  1. PrivateVPN: The best free trial on all devices. No credit card details required. Read summary
  2. Astrill: Great seven-day free trial with very few restrictions and no payment details needed. Read Summary
  3. ExpressVPN: The best overall VPN with a 30-day refund policy. 100% free trial on smartphones. Read Summary
  4. NordVPN: No-logs VPN with a 30-day risk-free refund policy. Seven-day Android free trial. Read Summary
  5. CyberGhost: Fast VPN with a one-day free trial and 45-day money-back guarantee. Read Summary

The VPN free trials above give you full VPN access for a limited time period. This helps you decide whether to subscribe or not.

A free trial also lets you use a top VPN totally free for a short period of time. This is useful if you’re traveling abroad and want to stream online shows from back home. Or, if you want to use WiFi hotspots more securely in airports, hotels, and cafes.

The VPNs on this page offer both genuine free trials and money-back guarantees. We explain the difference further down the page.

If you’re keen on using a lifetime free VPN, then take a look at these top free VPNs. They’re safe to use, but are limited compared to paid VPNs and free trials.

5 Best VPN Free Trials of 2021

  1. 1. PrivateVPN

    Unrestricted seven-day free-trial that requires no payment and expires automatically.

    Ranked #1 VPN Free Trial
    Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
     98% 
    (1,736 user reviews)
    Visit PrivateVPN
    1. Best genuine free trial
    2. No payment details required
    3. Trial expires automatically
    4. No data caps or server restrictions
    5. Great for streaming, torrenting and Fire TV Stick
    6. Safe and secure, beats Chinese censorship
    1. Inconsistent speeds
    2. No browser extensions
    3. Live chat is not 24/7

    PrivateVPN offers the best genuine free trial. Its trial software is easy to download, and it requires no payment information. There are also no limitations to the trial that make it different to the paid PrivateVPN experience.

    Moreover, the free trial is available on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Fire OS and more. This means you’ll be able to test the VPN on all your favorite devices, with up to five simultaneous VPN connections.

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
    Cheapest Price$1.98/mo over 24 months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    94Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Servers150+
    Compatible with
    1. macosMacOS
    2. windowsWindows
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionSweden (14-Eyes Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaYes
    SupportLive Chat

    Unblocks 32 Netflix libraries

    PrivateVPN’s free trial is great if you want to unblock streaming services all over the world. It’s a very reliable VPN for unblocking Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

    The VPN service comes with the highest number of dedicated servers for Netflix that we’ve seen. It can unblock up to 32 different Netflix libraries, the second highest number after Windscribe.

    Also, PrivateVPN has dedicated servers for Hulu, HBO Max, Sky Go, DAZN, Hotstar and IPTV. We equally like its intuitive Amazon Fire TV app that has the same dedicated streaming servers as the desktop version, unblocking geo-restricted content just as easily.

    However, connection speeds on its dedicated streaming servers aren’t always as strong as we expect them to be. PrivateVPN comes with 150 servers across 60 countries, but the streaming servers are very popular and therefore often congested, resulting in slower streaming speeds.

    Sadly, PrivateVPN has no SmartDNS feature, which rules out testing PrivateVPN on Apple TV and games consoles like the Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5.

    On the plus side, PrivateVPN works extremely well for torrenting. It’s got dedicated P2P servers, a no-logs privacy policy, and an effective kill switch to prevent accidental IP address leaks. PrivateVPN owns and controls dedicated IP servers, and therefore handles DNS requests directly, and not by third-party data handlers.

    A safe VPN that also works in China

    PrivateVPN is trustworthy and safe. It’s security technology will encrypt your data and hide your IP without any complications. We looked beneath the surface and can confirm that it uses the strongest encryption cipher, AES-256. There’s also a reliable kill switch backup to cut your entire internet connection should the VPN stop working, and we recorded no leaks of any kind, including DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC.

    Image showing PrivateVPN's encryption protocols

    PrivateVPN uses the best encryption protocols and ciphers

    We’d like to see PrivateVPN invest in a split-tunneling feature, browser extensions, and other bespoke tools that compares to some of the most extensive packages around, but we were very pleased to see that PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN protocol works to get around the Chinese government’s firewall.

    We have physical servers in Shanghai, and we’ve connected to the Chinese internet remotely to test Private VPNs effectiveness. It works well and reliably, making it one of the best anti-censorship tools and ideal for those looking to access YouTube, WhatsApp, or Wikipedia no matter where in the world you are.

    How to get PrivateVPN for free

    Getting PrivateVPN completely free for seven days is very easy. All you have to do is head to its free trial page and click ‘Try PrivateVPN risk-free’. You’ll then be directed to an online form so that you can generate a PrivateVPN account.

    Insert your email and chosen password and you’ll then be sent an email confirmation. Confirm your address and you’ll be automatically directed towards your PrivateVPN account. There is no automatic renewal or payment details required at any point. You can then download the trial software from the website onto your device of choice, including Windows, Android, MacOS, or iOS.

    PrivateVPN’s free trial login screen

    Once downloaded, launch the VPN application. To log in, insert the email and password that you used to register. Once logged in you’ll be given a quick tutorial. Then, you’ll be granted full access to PrivateVPN with a notification of when your trial expires in the bottom left corner.

    PrivateVPN’s free trial has all the full product features, so you can test it thoroughly before deciding if to subscribe or not. If you do, PrivateVPN is actually one of the best cheap VPNs of 2021.

  2. 2. Astrill VPN

    100% seven-day free trial with no cancellation required.

    Screenshot of VyprVPN's Mobile App
     0% 
    No user reviews
    Visit Astrill
    1. Free trial cancels automatically after seven-days
    2. No payment details required
    3. Works with US Netflix
    4. Fast international speeds
    5. Servers optimized for P2P & torrent use
    6. Works in high censorship countries
    1. Restrictions on available servers
    2. No refunds
    3. Trial not available in China
    4. No native Fire Stick TV app

    Astrill VPN is available to download completely free of charge for a seven-day free trial run on Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS. It’s the best genuine free trial service from any top VPN provider, with a no-hassle sign up that requires no payment details and cancels itself on expiry.

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee No Refunds
    Cheapest Price$10.00/mo over 12 Months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    80Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Servers110
    Compatible with
    1. macosMacOS
    2. windowsWindows
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    Logging PolicySome User Logs
    JurisdictionSeychelles (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaYes
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Extremely strict privacy measures

    Astrill itself is robust, secure, and extremely strict on privacy. It has a no-logs privacy policy, is based in the privacy haven of Seychelles, and comes equipped with a proprietary stealth protocol that makes it one of the best VPNs to work in China.

    Unfortunately, Astrill’s free trial isn’t available in China, which is a shame since it’s one of the best anti-censorship tools out there. While you won’t be able to trial Astrill in China, we do know its premium service works there as we’ve tested the VPN our own test server in Shanghai.

    You’ll still be able to test Astrill’s general performance and it’s a strong anti-censorship tool in countries like Turkey, Russia, and the UAE.

    Fast international speeds

    Its speeds are good too, even in China, thanks to its ‘SuperCharged’ servers designed specifically for the country. Astrill’s international speeds are generally strong across the board, with a high average score of 81Mbps connecting to the US from our UK base. It’s even competing with NordVPN in our speed test comparison tool.

    Astrill has servers in 110 cities across 59 countries, which seems a lot but these are made up of only 350+ IP addresses. Astrill should invest in more IP addresses, even though speed performance isn’t currently being affected by congestion.

    Most of these servers aren’t available on Astrill’s free trial, which restricts the countries you’re allowed to connect to. It would be better to see Astrill offer a completely unrestricted trial period, but this is common practice among VPN providers, and it is the sole limitation.

    Astrill fades the servers unavailable on its free trial

    Astrill has P2P-optimized servers for torrenting and file sharing, it’s useful for Kodi and Linux users, and it works to unblock US Netflix. It’s less reliable on BBC iPlayer, but privacy and security is Astrill’s true strength.

    We’ve never seen any DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks when using Astrill and, even better, it forces users traffic through its own first-party DNS servers. This means that your internet requests are not handled by unreliable third-party servers, but Astrill itself.

    Using the Astrill free trial is an easy and safe way to test the benefits that come with a VPN that takes a strong stance on internet privacy. OpenVPN is easily selected via setting, the trailblazing WireGuard protocol is included, and your traffic is encrypted with the very best cipher AES-256.

    Astrill is a very expensive VPN on its premium subscription; the cheapest price is $10 per month, which is far pricier than anything else on this list. The free trial is the perfect chance to see whether you  think it’s worth the investment, particularly as Astrill has such a uniquely strict refund policy – all sales are final.

    How to get Astrill VPN for free

    Astrill VPN offers seven-days of access to its service with absolutely no data caps or payment details required to sign-up. Even better, you don’t have to worry about cancelling as this trial cancels itself.

    To take advantage of this you need to head to the Astrill free trial page on the Astrill VPN website and create an account. Input your email address and generate a password then you’ll receive an access code.

    Once activated, Astrill gives you daily updates on the remaining days left on your trial. But this is for informational purposes only as Astrill doesn’t charge after the trial expires. Instead, a pop-up will appear asking if you want to upgrade to a full account.

    Even though it’s restricted to a select few servers, the Astrill free trial still allows you to surf the web safely, try its port forwarding feature ‘SmartMode’, or stream online video/audio plaftorms — enough to decide whether this is the VPN for your needs.

  3. 3. ExpressVPN

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

    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,758 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN
    1. Risk-free refund within 30-day period
    2. 7-day free trial on iOS and Android
    3. Best overall VPN service
    4. Impressive international speeds
    5. Audited logging policy
    6. Unblocks 19 Netflix libraries including US
    1. Have to insert payment details to sign up
    2. Must cancel within 30 days
    3. No VPN kill switch on iOS
    4. Fire Stick TV app needs updating

    ExpressVPN is available to use on a completely free seven-day trial for iOS and Android devices as well as risk-free 30-day money back guarantee. It’s fast, very private, and highly secure. It unblocks streaming services with ease and even gets around Chinese georestrictions.

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    88Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Servers3,000+
    Compatible with
    1. macosMacOS
    2. windowsWindows
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaYes
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Fast speeds across 3,000 servers

    Using ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee allows you to use the service without limitations or restrictions, including access to a large network of 3,000 fast servers across 94 countries. In fact, ExpressVPN keeps registering very good international speed results, and you can compare it to other top providers through our speed test tool.

    You’ll also be able to test it across multiple devices and platforms, restricted to five simultaneous devices. This means you can install it across your Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and Fire TV devices. You can even install ExpressVPN on your router, or on your AppleTV and gaming consoles by using its MediaStreamer. 

    Unblocks 19 Netflix libraries

    ExpressVPN is a great VPN for unblocking streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It unblocks 19 global Netflix libraries and easily gets around restrictions on almost all of its US servers. It performs just as effectively with Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and more.

    One thing to be aware of is that the ExpressVPN app for iOS doesn’t have a kill switch, which is a slight privacy concern. Should your encrypted VPN tunnel stop working, without a kill switch you risk exposing your true IP address. Having said that, this is an issue that affects many VPN mobile applications.

    ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPNs around, costing $6.67 per month on its cheapest price. This is why a free trial is so helpful – you’ll get to test its fast speeds, compatibility and ease-of-use across devices, robust security (encryption is via best-in-class AES-256), user-friendly apps and extremely helpful 24/7 live chat customer support. We think you’ll be left impressed with ExpressVPN.

    How to get ExpressVPN on mobile for free

    You can get ExpressVPN for free either by subscribing as normal from the ExpressVPN website and cancelling within 30-days per the money-back guarantee or downloading the iOS or Android free trial from the Google Play or App Store.

    We asked ExpressVPN if there are any instances they would refuse a refund and they confirmed that, no matter what, your refund won’t get refused. This gives you 30-days of risk-free web protection.

    Signing up for ExpressVPN’s seven-day free trial for mobile apps is very easy. Simply, head to the relevant online store and download the app.

    Once installed, launch the app and you’ll see two options: Start Free Trial and Sign In. You won’t need to provide any payment details or credit card information to access this trial on Android devices, so go ahead and select the free trial option and insert your email.

    ExpressVPN’s free trial sign up window

    Once signed-up, you’ll eventually be asked by email if you’d like to continue to an upgraded premium account. You can see how many days are left on your trial period via the Account menu from within the app.

    You can’t purchase a ExpressVPN subscription through the Play Store, but you can through the App Store. If you use the trial for iOS via the App Store you will have to insert payment details and you will be automatically upgraded to a premium account unless you cancel within seven days.

    However, while ExpressVPN won’t refuse a refund, it’s important to note that purchasing ExpressVPN through the App Store makes you subject to Apple’s refund policy and not ExpressVPN’s. In other words, if you don’t want to enter into a contract when using the free trial on iOS, you should cancel your free trial within seven days. 

    To help you, we’ve created a more detailed step-by-step guide on how to use ExpressVPN for free

  4. 4. NordVPN

    Very fast VPN with a seven-day free trial on mobile.

    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     94% 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN
    1. Seven-day free trial available for Android & iOS
    2. 30-day hassle-free refund period
    3. Unblocks nine Netflix libraries including US
    4. Very fast speeds across its server network
    5. Torrenting allowed on most servers
    6. Strict zero-logs policy
    1. Unreliable in China
    2. Limited VPN protocols on Windows & Android apps
    3. Not great for Firestick, Apple TV & gaming consoles

    NordVPN is a verified zero-logs VPN that effectively masks your IP address and hides your browsing activity from snoopers. It can be tested on all devices without restrictions as part of a 30-day refund period or a seven-day free trial for Android

    Free Trial Duration7 Days
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days
    Cheapest Price$3.71/mo over 24 Months See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    93Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Servers5,515
    Compatible with
    1. macosMacOS
    2. windowsWindows
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionPanama (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaYes
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    5,000 torrent-friendly servers

    All of NordVPNs apps are easy-to-use and come with robust security features, including a VPN kill switch, AES-256 encryption, WireGuard protocol compatibility and more.

    You can test over 5,000 physical servers in 59 countries that make up NordVPN’s large server network and you can torrent on almost every single one of them safely and without fear of your ISP spying on you. With DNS leak protection, Double VPN for an added layer of security and a completely log-free privacy policy, NordVPN is great for P2P-activity.

    NordVPN isn’t quite as good as ExpressVPN when it comes to streaming, but thanks to its SmartPlay feature it still unblocks nine Netflix libraries otherwise inaccessible because of content georestrictions, and works extremely well with BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.

    Very fast speeds and easy to use

    NordVPN is fast too, often beating other top VPNs for download speed. You won’t have any issue streaming buffer-free in HD or 4K or performing any other online task for that matter. You can compare NordVPN’s speed to other major VPNs by using our simple speed test comparison tool

    Unfortunately, NordVPN is not quite as powerful at getting around Chinese censorship – it requires a manual set-up and isn’t always reliable for bypassing the Great Firewall. We’d also like to see NordVPN allow its users to pay via PayPal, which is currently not allowed. 

    Despite being one of the most advanced VPNs on the market, NordVPN remains one of the most affordable options if you decide to purchase a subscription once the trial period ends. It only costs $3.71 per month on its cheapest deal, which is great value for a VPN with so many features. You don’t need to be concerned about complexity either – NordVPN is consumer-friendly and incredibly simple to use from the outset. 

    If you do happen to get stuck or want to ask a technical question, NordVPN’s 24/7 live chatbot support is on hand for prompt assistance, or you can send an email. If you don’t like talking to the bot, you can just as easily select an option to quickly get a human support agent. 

    How to get a NordVPN free trial

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

    We confirmed with NordVPN that its money-back guarantee is absolutely risk-free. In other words, there are no exceptions or conditions to a refund request as long as you do it within 30-days. 

    So all you have to do is subscribe to NordVPN via its website as normal and cancel before 30-days are up, which can be done by simply contacting customer support. We wrote a step-by-step guide on how to do this.

    In the past, NordVPN offered a genuine free trial on all platforms but discontinued it after citing “abuse” of the service. However, it later reintroduced a free trial on Android via the Play Store.  To use this, just download and install NordVPN from the Play Store as normal.

    Once installed you’ll be asked to create an account. Unlike ExpressVPN’s mobile trial you need to insert payment details to be granted access. NordVPN will charge you for a subscription after seven days of use, 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. 

    NordVPN free trial sign up

    There are no restrictions but it is limited to mobile devices but we recommend subscribing to the full service and taking advantage of the money-back guarantee, as you’ll need to cancel your subscription no matter what. 

  5. 5. CyberGhost

    Fast VPN with a one-day free trial (and a 45-day refund period).

    CyberGhost app
     94% 
    (308 user reviews)
    Visit CyberGhost
    1. One-day free trial & seven-day trial on mobile devices
    2. Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
    3. Unblocks four Netflix libraries including US
    4. Specialist streaming & P2P servers
    5. Fast short-distance speeds
    6. Huge server park: 6,000+ servers
    1. Free trial could be longer
    2. No optimized streaming servers on free trial
    3. No torrenting on Australian server
    4. Unreliable ad blocker
    5. Doesn't work in China, Turkey & UAE

    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

     

    Free Trial Duration1 Day
    Money-Back Guarantee 45 Days
    Cheapest Price$2.25/mo over 3 years See all plans
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    89Mbps
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Servers6,700+
    Compatible with
    1. macosMacOS
    2. windowsWindows
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionRomania (EU Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaNo
    Support24/7 Live Chat

    Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and more

    It comes with fast speeds, and with over 6,1000 servers in 90 countries CyberGhost doesn’t disappoint for spread or network performance. On its premium subscription, many of these servers are optimized for streaming and torrenting, meaning CyberGhost can unblock four global Netflix libraries, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.

    Unfortunately, CyberGhost has restricted the availability of its optimized streaming servers for those using the free trials. This means you won’t be able to test for yourself whether it suits your streaming needs. But it’s one of our top picks for streaming and is included in our lists of the best VPNs for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Firestick.

    Fast speeds, AES-256 cipher & OpenVPN protocol

    You’ll still be able to test CyberGhost’s usability and overall performance. Speed-wise, CyberGhost is one of the fastest. It can stream HD and Ultra HD very easily, with a good overall average speed loss of 13%. Its international speeds take a dip and ping score could see some improvement, but this VPN is solid for almost any online activity and will hide your IP address no problem. 

    CyberGhost encrypts your data with the unbreakable AES-256 cipher and is equipped with OpenVPN protocol, the VPN kill switch safety net and DNS leak blocking. With these security features, alongside the fact that it has optimized servers for P2P traffic, CyberGhost is a good choice for secure and private torrenting.

    This is a user-friendly VPN that balances privacy and usability extremely well. VPNs don’t get much easier to install and use and the $2.75 per month pricing plan makes it a cost-effective solution to protecting your privacy and hiding your IP.

    How to get CyberGhost for free

    CyberGhost’s one-day free trial doesn’t require personal information or payment details at sign-up. You simply download the software from the website and trial it. However, there are restrictions: you can’t use its optimized streaming servers or manually configure it on routers. This is disappointing considering that streaming is one of CyberGhost’s strengths, but you can still test the software and get a good feel for it. 

    While this one-day free trial is limited to desktop, you get more time if you try CyberGhost on mobile. In fact, you can trial it for seven days on iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets. To do this, you have to download the app from the Google Play Store or AppStore. 

    Like with NordVPN,  you must select a plan before being granted access and you will be charged for that plan after the seven-day period is up, unless you cancel before – which you can do from your device, as CyberGhost explained to us:  

     

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

    To cancel your seven-day free trial for Android, it’s best to follow the instructions laid out here.

    If you need a longer free trial period, we recommend signing up to CyberGhost but getting a refund within the 45-day money-back period. It’s absolutely risk-free as CyberGhost has a no- questions asked refund policy, with no exceptions. A 45-day refund period is also uniquely generous, with most VPN services typically offering 30 days or less. 

    Although, bear in mind that CyberGhost’s one-month plan is limited to a 14-day money-back guarantee, so make sure you choose the longer plans to get the most out of your free CyberGhost trial period. 

VPN Free Trials Comparison Table

In addition to the five VPN services we recommend in this guide, there are several other popular providers that offer genuine free trials.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the free trials offered by major VPN providers:

How We Chose the Best VPN Free Trials

We test and review the VPNs on this page regularly to ensure that all the information provided is correct.

We put the VPNs on this page through our 10-step review process, which evaluates each service’s speed performance, security, and privacy credentials, ease of use, and even each company’s history.

A visualization of Top10VPN.com's 10-step review process

If it wasn’t clear by now, we are editorially independent and never accept compensation in return for positive reviews.

When it comes to recommending the best VPN free trials, we aim to answer the following questions:
  • 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?

It’s rare that a free trial will fulfill every single one of these expectations, but we balance the pros against the cons when we make our recommendations and are confident the ones selected represent the very best VPN free trials on the market.

Free Trials vs. Money-Back Guarantees

There are three ways to use a VPN for free:
  1. Download a free VPN service.
  2. Download a VPN with a free trial period.
  3. Subscribe to a VPN service with a money-back guarantee.

While all three options allow you to test a VPN free of charge for a period of time, there are some important differences that you need to be aware of.

First of all, the majority of truly free VPNs are not safe to use. We’ve done extensive research into over a hundred free VPNs and the threats posed by many of them. They often log your browsing data, share your information with third-parties, or contain malware and viruses.

The only free VPNs we recommend are those from reputable providers that offer a free VPN alongside a premium service. While they are completely free to use, they have significant limitations such as monthly usage data caps, slower speeds, or restrictions on streaming and torrenting.

If you want to try out a premium VPN service for free, your next option is a true free trial. These can span from one day to seven days, but are rarely available for longer than that. The five VPN services we recommend in this guide all come with genuine free trials.

The final 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.

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 has no strings attached and is separately downloaded. Some genuine free trials do ask for payment details, but won’t take payment until the free trial period ends.

How to Get a VPN Free Trial

You can find out if a VPN service offers a free trial or a money-back guarantee by checking the provider’s website, or by reading our VPN reviews.

When it comes to free trials, each VPN service will work differently. For example, AirVPN requires you to contact it so that it can send you an activation code for your free trial. Other VPN providers will have a dedicated free trial page on their official website.

As a general rule, it’s best to get in contact with customer support and ask about available free trials.

If the VPN you’re interested in doesn’t offer a free trial, you can take advantage of its money-back guarantee. This means you’ll have to sign up to the VPN, and the provider will take a payment from you. However, if you contact customer support and cancel within the refund period, you will get your money back.

How to Cancel a VPN Free Trial

If you’re using a VPN free trial, it’s important to know how to cancel your subscription or whether it will cancel itself automatically. In many cases, if you don’t cancel your trial you may end up in a contract with the service provider.

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

  1. No Payment Details Required

    If you’ve downloaded a VPN offering a free trial but you haven’t inserted any payment details on sign-up, you won’t need to do anything to cancel your subscription. The VPN provider will interrupt the service once the free 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 ProtonVPN, you need to sign up to its lifetime free VPN service before you can access the free trial with all the premium features. Once the premium trial ends, you’re automatically returned to the free service with no payment details required.

  2. Free Trial with Payment Details Required

    Some free trials require you to submit payment information in order to use the service. It’s highly likely that these VPNs will 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 a free trial on any of these VPNs you will need to contact support and cancel before the period is up. This can be done via email addresses provided on the provider’s website or support agents in live chat. Some will allow you to cancel in-app, too. In almost all cases, the cancellation process is extremely easy and quick.

  3. VPN Subscription with Money-Back Guarantee

    If a VPN provider takes payment from you in order to use its service within a money-back guarantee, this is usually called a ‘risk free’ trial. In this case, you’ll need to contact the VPN provider within a given timeframe to get your money back.

    The simplest way to do this is to contact a provider’s live chat support stating that you want to cancel the service and get a full refund.

    If the VPN provider doesn’t have live chat support, send them an email instead. The refund process is usually straight-forward with most VPN providers, although some services have specific rules in place. For example, PrivateVPN won’t refund your initial payment if you’ve used over 100GB of data. It’s always worth checking the terms and conditions of a VPN’s refund policy.

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

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.

The major VPN providers that offer free trials with no credit card include:
  • Astrill
  • Avast
  • AVG Secure VPN
  • BitDefender VPN
  • Cactus VPN
  • CyberGhost
  • Encrypt.me
  • Freedome VPN
  • KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
  • McAfee Safe Connect
  • PrivateVPN
  • ProtonVPN
  • SurfEasy
  • TorGuard
  • Trust.Zone
  • VPNSecure
  • Windscribe
  • ZenMate

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’s case, all that’s required to use the free trial is an email address. It’s possible to just use another email address and sign-up for the service again. However, Astrill’s website uses cookies to identify whether you’ve already registered for the free trial and you may get a different page that doesn’t include the free trial option. To get around this, you’ll have to delete your cookies or try a different browser.

Using a new email address and deleting cookies may give you access to free trials more than once, but this requires some effort on your part.

More than that, there’s always the risk that the VPN in question is on the lookout for those who repeatedly use the same free trial and ban you, or stop offering free trials all together. NordVPN cancelled its free trial offer following “abuse” of the service.

We recommend saving yourself the time and subscribing to an affordable VPN.

Do VPNs Actually Guarantee Your Money-Back?

Most VPNs offer ‘money-back guarantees’ but many potential customers are concerned that they actually won’t get their money back. Those listed on this page that come with a money-back guarantee have confirmed to us that they absolutely won’t refuse repayment on any condition, as long as it’s within the refund window.

However, some people report buying a VPN through the App Store or iTunes and finding the refund process doesn’t apply. That’s because applications purchased through those marketplaces are subject to Apple’s refund policies and not those of the VPN provider.

For example, NordVPN includes this information in its 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 via gift card. For this reason, it’s best to buy the service directly from the VPN provider’s website when possible. If you do purchase through another marketplace, be sure to consult its refund policy as it might not be as good as the VPN provider’s.

Some VPNs are stricter than others, too. If they don’t advertise a risk-free money-back guarantee, they might refuse to cancel your subscription depending on your reason for cancellation or initial payment method. McAffee Safe Connect, for example, forces you to telephone its office and give a reason for cancellation.

For the most part, if a popular VPN lists a money-back guarantee then it will be true to its word. Very rarely are users denied a refund within the period of time listed by the service provider.

Which VPN Free Trials Should You Avoid?

While there are many free VPNs that 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 want to avoid free trials that require payment details because it reduces the risk of accidentally falling into a long-term VPN contract. HideMyAss, Hotspot Shield, and NordVPN all offer free trials that require you to enter payment details.

If you’re keen to take advantage of a VPNs money-back guarantee policy, we recommend purchasing the service from the provider’s website rather than a shopping platform like iTunes or the Google Play Store. Refund policies are different when you purchase through another service, so it’s best to stick to the VPN website and you can hold the company accountable to its own refund policy.

What's the Best VPN Free Trial for Netflix?

Many people use a VPN to unlock Netflix content from other countries. A VPN free trial is an excellent way to give you temporary access to Netflix libraries across the globe without committing to a full subscription. If you’re looking for a long-term VPN, a free trial allows you to test whether it will work with Netflix in the first place.

Unblock Netflix from abroad.

Not all VPNs work with Netflix and other streaming services, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision. Our experts have tested dozens of the most popular VPN free trials with Netflix and recommend that you try out:

  • ExpressVPN
  • NordVPN
  • PrivateVPN
  • Surfshark

We also recommend taking advantage of the money-back guarantees that these VPNs offer. This way you get much more time than a typical free trial which is usually limited to between one and seven days.

ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN and Surfshark all work to unblock and stream Netflix. However, CyberGhost’s one-day free trial restricts you from using its streaming servers, so we recommend its 45-day money-back guarantee option for Netflix.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon 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, CNet and more. Read full bio