We’ve tested all major free VPNs to see which are safe and which will work well in the US specifically.
To find the best free US VPN, we look for:
- As few restrictions as possible compared to the premium VPN.
- Range of available US servers.
- Fast speeds on US connections.
- A private logging policy and jurisdiction.
- Access to streaming platforms at home and abroad.
- Torrent-friendly policies and P2P-optimized servers.
- AES-256 and OpenVPN encryption, with no IP or DNS leaks
Here’s a more specific breakdown of the key testing categories that go into our free US VPN testing process, and how much of the overall rating each category represents:
1. Data Cap: 30%
Minimum Requirement: At least 1GB per month.
We Recommend: At least 10GB per month.
Complimentary services from reputable providers inevitably come with certain limitations. This is because they want you to buy its premium version.
When we recommend free VPNs we find those that have as few restrictions as possible.
This means that the data allowance is generous, there are minimal restrictions on servers and security features, and there are no hidden catches.
Some VPNs place data caps of 500MB per month, which is vey restrictive. Others are more generous and go as high as 10GB per month. The very best have no data cap at all, but there aren’t many of these.
2. US Speeds: 20%
Minimum Requirement: Local US download speeds of at least 30Mbps.
We Recommend: Local US download speeds of 60Mbps or higher.
All VPNs slow down your internet speed, but free ones tend to be worse. We rate highly the free VPNs that reduce your normal internet speed the least.
We are constantly running speed tests on our New York server to determine what sort of local connections US users can expect.
3. Number of US Servers: 20%
Minimum Requirement: At least one VPN server located in the US.
We Recommend: Around 10 US servers.
We analyse each VPN’s server infrastructure to determine how many are US-based.
Free VPNs are unlikely to have more than 10 US servers, but the more servers a VPN offers the better its overall performance will be.
The US is a huge country, so we rate highly the free VPNs that have multiple servers spread evenly across the country from coast to coast.
4. Logging Policy: 20%
Minimum Requirement: Anonymized connection logs and no activity logs.
We Recommend: A strict, zero-logging policy and no data leaks whatsoever.
The US has some of the most invasive security laws in the world. So you need a VPN that will protect your privacy.
Security is particularly important when it comes to free VPNs. So many free services don’t protect your data. Instead, they sell your data.
We only recommend free VPNs that are reputable, certifiably safe, and private.
Simply put, the less information it collects, the better we rate a VPN. The ideal scenario is a zero-logs service, but those that do collect data should be transparent and detail exactly what data they store.
5. US Streaming Services and P2P Servers: 10%
Minimum Requirement: Can unblock some international Netflix libraries and allows torrenting.
We Recommend: Accesses multiple streaming services and allows P2P activity on US servers
Many people want a free US VPN to access YouTube or Netflix temporarily. Or they want to watch a show from another country, like the UK.
We test each free VPN with the most popular streaming services to check whether it can unblock your favorite US services while abroad and access content from international libraries.
We test access to Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
We then assess whether the VPN is safe for torrenting. We also measure the torrenting bitrate and quality of the VPN’s P2P servers.