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The Best Free VPNs of 2021

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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

Lots of free VPNs promise to hide your IP address, unblock region-restricted content, and keep you safe online.

The truth is, most of them simply lack the resources to do this. What’s more, many of them are outright dangerous.

We’ve tested over 100 free VPNs and found that 85% of them pose privacy and security risks. If you’re looking for a truly safe and effective VPN, read our list of the best VPNs instead.

Not all of them are bad, though. The best free VPNs overall are still fast, effective, and secure – even if they can’t compete with paid services.

Overall, the best 100% free VPNs in April 2021 are:

  1. Windscribe Free: The best free VPN overall. Read Summary.
  2. ProtonVPN Free: Best for unlimited data. Read Summary.
  3. TunnelBear Free: Best for server locations. Read Summary.
  4. Hide.me Free: The fastest free VPN. Read Summary.
  5. Avira Free VPN The best free VPN for beginners. Read Summary.

To learn about each of these recommendations in detail, skip to the best free VPNs overall.

We hold these free services to the same high standard as paid ones. We never recommend VPNs that log your activity, leak data, or limit speeds. You can read more about our testing methodology here.

While these five services perform well all-round, there could be a better free VPN for you depending on your specific needs. For example, do you want to access international Netflix libraries, or just to stay safe on public WiFi?

You can find the best free VPNs by category below. For a limited time, you can also use a premium VPN for free using the best VPN free trials.

EXPERT TIP: The free VPNs we recommend are safe to use, but they are limited in their capacity. Most free services will restrict your data usage, block P2P traffic, or suffer from unreliable speeds.

The Best Free VPNs for Entertainment

Find out which free VPNs are best for streaming, torrenting, and Firestick.

The Best Free VPNs by Device

Some free VPNs have limited features depending on your OS.

Find the free VPN services that work best with your device here.

The Best Free VPNs by Country

Discover the free VPNs that work best for the countries you're looking to connect to.

The 5 Best Free VPNs Overall (Updated April 2021)

  1. 1. Windscribe Free: Best Free VPN Overall

    The top free VPN – great for streaming, torrenting, and security.

    Ranked #1 Free VPN
    Windscribe mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit Windscribe
    1. Fast same-country speeds
    2. Works with 10 Netflix libraries
    3. Minimal logging policy
    4. Built-in VPN kill switch
    5. 10 server locations
    6. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    1. Monthly data cap (a generous one, though)
    2. No human live chat support

    Windscribe Free is the best free VPN overall. It’s fast, it supports P2P, and it reliably streams US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It has a minimal logging policy, tight security, and it works on many devices.

    The free VPN comes with 10 server locations and a 10GB data cap. The 10GB data cap is generous, but isn’t enough for heavy internet use.

    Customer service needs improving, too. There is no live chat to help with complex issues, and the online knowledge-base or chatbot can only help with simple queries.

    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMacOS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. amazon_firetvFire TV
    6. linuxLinux
    Data Cap10GB
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    JurisdictionCanada (Five-Eyes Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaUnreliable

    Easy-to-use mobile and PC Apps

    Windscribe Free works well on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Fire OS devices. It has browser proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox, too. Both browser extensions work with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, which is impressive.

    Strong security & great for torrenting

    Windscribe also allows P2P traffic on most of its free servers, which is rare.

    The software uses secure AES-256 encryption and the apps include a VPN kill switch. This is particularly rare for free VPNs, and prevents your real IP address from leaking if the VPN connection drops.

    Windscribe has never leaked IP or DNS data in our tests, and it doesn’t store any logs that would compromise your identity. Altogether, this makes Windscribe Free a fantastic service for security and an excellent free VPN for torrenting.

    Works with 10 Netflix libraries

    Windscribe is the only free VPN that consistently works with streaming websites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. However, its limited speeds and 10GB data cap will restrict the number of movies and TV shows you can watch.

    The free version’s speeds are about a third slower than the premium VPN, and there are only 10 free server locations available.

    These include servers in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

    By comparison, Windscribe’s paid VPN gives access to 110 server locations.

    Consistently unblocks websites in China

    We tested Windscribe Free’s ability to unblock websites in China, and it’s still working. This is probably thanks to its ‘Stealth’ connection protocol, which uses the open-source ‘Stunnel’ algorithm to obscure your VPN traffic.

    The Stealth protocol is only available on the Windows, MacOS, and Android apps, though.

    Windscribe Free works best in China when you connect to the nearby Hong Kong server. It will also work in other censored countries like Turkey and the UAE.

  2. 2. ProtonVPN Free: Best for Unlimited Data

    A secure, private, and reliable free VPN with no data cap.

    ProtonVPN Mobile Screenshot
     100% 
    (3 user reviews)
    Visit ProtonVPN
    1. No payment info on signup
    2. Reliable download speeds
    3. No data cap
    4. Kill switch & DNS leak protection
    5. Minimal logging policy
    6. Privacy-friendly Swiss jurisdiction
    1. Only 3 VPN server locations
    2. Torrenting not allowed
    3. Doesn't work with Netflix or BBC iPlayer
    4. One simultaneous connection

    ProtonVPN is the only free and safe VPN you can leave on all the time. That’s because it doesn’t impose any data limits whatsoever. You can use ProtonVPN as much as you want, completely free, and without adverts.

    The VPN offers reliable speeds, leak protection, and a privacy-friendly logging policy. While it’s an excellent VPN for security, it offers only 3 server locations and it doesn’t work for streaming or P2P.

    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMacOS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. amazon_firetvFire TV
    6. linuxLinux
    Data CapUnlimited
    US NetflixNo
    TorrentingRestricted
    JurisdictionSwitzerland (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaNo

    Focused on privacy, not entertainment

    ProtonVPN is an excellent general-use VPN thanks to airtight security and a minimal-logging policy. Sadly, the unlimited data can’t be used to stream Netflix, or for torrenting.

    The free version of ProtonVPN doesn’t allow torrenting. It also doesn’t work to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and many other region-locked streaming services. The only streaming website that works is YouTube.

    Independently-audited apps

    ProtonVPN has subjected all of its apps to a full third-party security audit. It has also made them open-source to allow the public to scrutinize them for vulnerabilities. This level of transparency is the gold-standard in VPN security.

    You can use the free version of ProtonVPN on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. All of the apps use OpenVPN, the most secure encryption protocol available.

    ProtonVPN is also very private thanks to its minimal-logs policy. Plus, the built-in VPN kill switch protects your IP address in the event of a connection drop.

    Small server network and one device limit

    ProtonVPN Free is very quick, despite its small network of free servers. Currently, it only has free servers in Japan, the Netherlands, and the US.

    Speeds do slow down internationally. Connecting from the UK to the Netherlands, our download speeds dropped about 36%. If you live outside of Europe, North America or Japan, don’t expect great speeds.

    You can only use ProtonVPN Free on one device at a time, too. Windscribe Free, by comparison, allows for unlimited simultaneous connections.

  3. 3. TunnelBear Free: Best for Servers

    Full premium functionality with a small 500MB monthly data cap.

    TunnelBear VPN
     100% 
    (2 user reviews)
    Visit TunnelBear
    1. Full VPN functionality
    2. Consistently good speeds
    3. Advanced security features
    4. Private DNS servers
    5. 23 VPN server locations
    6. No user logs
    1. Small 500MB monthly data cap
    2. Doesn't work with Netflix or BBC iPlayer
    3. Limited customer support

    TunnelBear Free is trustworthy, safe, and ideal for beginners. It’s easy to use and verified to be safe, but it isn’t good for torrenting or streaming. It’s also limited by a 500MB monthly data cap.

    Aside from the restrictive data cap, the free version of TunnelBear is exactly the same as the paid version. That means you’ll get great speeds, advanced security features, and access to lots of worldwide server locations.

    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMacOS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. linuxLinux
    Data Cap500MB
    US NetflixNo
    TorrentingPermitted
    JurisdictionCanada (Five-Eyes Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaUnreliable

    23 free server locations

    TunnelBear Free has one of the largest free server networks. It covers 23 server locations worldwide, just like the paid version. These include the US, the UK and Australia.

    Unlike many free VPNs, TunnelBear also operates a server in India. This is rare amongst paid VPN services, which makes it even rarer for a free VPN.

    A premium VPN with a 500MB data cap

    The only real difference between the paid and free versions of TunnelBear is the 500MB monthly data limit. That makes TunnelBear the only free VPN that gives you a bandwidth-limited full VPN for free.

    500MB isn’t much data at all, though. With this much data, you’ll only be able to use the free VPN for some light web browsing. Ultimately, the free version mainly exists so you can test the paid service before you subscribe.

    Private apps for multiple platforms

    Like ProtonVPN, TunnelBear has commissioned independent audits into all of its VPN apps. In fact, TunnelBear was one of the first services to do this.

    It has also taken several other important additional steps towards user privacy. This includes the use of first-party DNS servers, a VPN kill switch, and the release of an annual transparency report.

    The free VPN apps work on all popular platforms: Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. They all use AES-256 encryption and protect you from IP and DNS leaks.

    Supports P2P traffic, but isn't good for streaming

    TunnelBear Free does not unblock BBC iPlayer or US Netflix. While torrenting is technically allowed on all servers, the 500MB data cap is extremely limiting for file-sharing.

    That said, the free app does give you access to ‘GhostBear’ obfuscation technology. This is useful in high-censorship countries like Turkey, but it doesn’t work in China.

  4. 4. Hide.me Free: Best for Speed

    A very fast free VPN with a 10GB monthly data cap.

    Hide.me mobile screenshots
     100% 
    (1 user reviews)
    Visit Hide.me
    1. Minimal logging policy
    2. Strong privacy features
    3. Good same-country speeds
    4. User-friendly custom apps
    5. No bandwidth throttling
    6. 10GB data cap
    1. Very slow long-distance speeds
    2. Only 5 VPN server locations
    3. One simultaneous connection

    Hide.me Free is a secure free VPN with a generous 10GB data cap. It’s one the fastest free VPNs on same-country connections, and it also allows P2P traffic on most of its free servers. However, it doesn’t unblock streaming platforms like Netflix.

    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMacOS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    5. amazon_firetvFire TV
    6. linuxLinux
    Data Cap10GB
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    JurisdictionMalaysia (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaUnreliable

    Fast download speeds

    Hide.me is a fast free VPN. We experienced a 25% speed loss connecting from the UK to the Netherlands. That’s not bad at all for a free VPN.

    While Hide.me Free doesn’t collect personal web data, it does keep temporary logs of your internally-assigned IP address (for the duration of your connection) and the total amount of bandwidth used per month.

    This isn’t perfect, but it’s a reasonable logging policy that protects your identity and activity.

    Apps for mobile, PC and smart TV

    Hide.me Free works on most devices, including home routers. This lets you use the VPN on devices like Fire TV Stick, games consoles and Apple TV.

    Its apps are all secure, too. They come with the IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Wireguard VPN protocols and do not leak DNS or IP address data.

    Only five server locations

    In addition to its 10GB data cap, Hide.me free can only connect to five server locations. These include the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the US (East and West).

    This is a problem if you’re in India, Africa, South America or Australia. Because there are no nearby servers, speeds will be very slow.

    Not recommended for streaming

    Hide.me’s free VPN app does not unblock geographic restrictions on streaming services. It simply won’t work with US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer. As with most VPNs, it does unblock YouTube videos, though.

    Despite its limitations, Hide.me Free is a good choice if you’re looking to use public WiFi securely and with fast speeds. It’s also a good alternative to Windscribe for light torrenting.

  5. 5. Avira Free VPN: Best for Beginners

    An extremely basic free VPN with a 1GB monthly data cap.

    Avira Phantom VPN Free mobile screenshots
     0% 
    No user reviews
    Visit Avira VPN
    1. Minimal logging policy
    2. Quick download speeds
    3. Strong encryption
    4. Sometimes works with Netflix
    5. Unlimited simultaneous connections
    1. No manual server selection
    2. 1GB monthly data cap
    3. No VPN kill switch
    4. No customer support

    The free version of Avira Phantom VPN provides a basic level of privacy and security. It has a privacy-friendly logging policy and strong AES-256 encryption, along with fast speeds and unlimited simultaneous connections.

    Avira Phantom Free’s simplicity makes it great for beginners, but it does have drawbacks too. There is no kill switch, no customer support, and you can’t manually choose which server you want to connect to.

    Compatible with
    1. windowsWindows
    2. macosMacOS
    3. iosiOS
    4. androidAndroid
    Data Cap1GB
    US NetflixNo
    TorrentingRestricted
    JurisdictionGermany (14-Eyes Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    Works in ChinaNo

    Easy-to-use free VPN applications

    Avira’s free VPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. All of them use the OpenVPN security protocol apart from iOS, which uses IKEv2.

    Its speeds are reasonable, too. Avira Free manages to perform at about 70% of the paid version’s speeds. We measured an average speed loss of 36% connecting to the free VPN from the UK.

    Limited features & 1GB data allowance

    The number of features available is very limited on Avira Phantom Free. You’re automatically connected to the closest VPN server with no ability to select a country. There is also no VPN kill switch.

    If you’re in the UK, you can only connect to a UK server, and in the US you can only connect to a US server. This also means you can’t use Avira Free to unblock region-restricted streaming websites.

    There’s also only 1GB of data available, which doesn’t last long.

    A simple free VPN for torrenting

    Despite its limited data cap, Avira Phantom Free does support torrenting. It’s also secure enough to hide your IP address and mask your web traffic from your ISP.

    1GB isn’t enough to download many large files, but if you want to securely download just one film or lots of music, it could be a good option.

    Doesn't work in China

    Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t work in China or other highly-censored regions. This is true of the paid version too – it simply doesn’t have the obfuscation tools necessary to beat aggressive web censors.

    Overall, Avira Phantom Free VPN is well-suited to beginners or very casual users. If you need to secure your public WiFi connection or hide your IP address when visiting certain websites, it’s a good choice. It’s secure enough to do that, but your free data will run out quickly.

25 Popular Free VPNs Compared

The table below compares 25 of the most popular free VPN services. You can compare them by average speed, strength of security, streaming capabilities, and whether or not they work in China.

Why Some Free VPNs Are Dangerous

Many popular free VPN services can pose serious risks to your online safety.

Free VPNs are often riddled with aggressive advertising or malware. Many collect and monetize user data by selling it to third parties. Hola VPN, for example, was caught selling its users’ bandwidth to botnets.

A large number of free VPNs also have weak encryption and leak IP or DNS data.

In 2019, we tested 150 free Android VPNs and found that over 85% had security flaws. You can see the results of our investigations here:

Not every free VPN is dangerous, though. Some free VPNs are very good for small and specific tasks like browsing safely on public WiFi or accessing a short geo-blocked video on YouTube.

It can be enticing to use a VPN without a long-term commitment, but you should be aware that even safe free VPNs have limitations.

For example, it’s rare for a free VPN to support streaming services or P2P traffic. Most have a reduced server network, and many will limit your speeds or cap your data usage. What’s more, many popular free services are simply proxies.

Here are the potential dangers of using an unverified free VPN:

Data Logging & Advertising

Free VPN services need to make money to support their business. Most services do it through advertising. Free VPN apps with ads have third-party code that can send personal data back to the ad platform.

Some free VPNs even log your web data and sell it to third-parties.

If you are using a VPN to use the internet privately, avoid those that have advertising.

Data Leaks & Weak Encryption

Strong encryption and a secure server network cost money. Many free VPNs are poorly maintained – as a result, they simply aren’t secure.

We see many popular free VPNs like YogaVPN and TurboVPN leak DNS and IP address information. Basically, free ‘VPNs’ like these are proxies that don’t encrypt your data.

Ownership & Accountability

We look into who’s behind each free VPN. Our previous research discovered that 60% of popular free VPNs had suspicious links to China, as well as privacy flaws.

Most of the popular free VPN services on the App Store or Google Play Store belong to companies that do not prioritise user privacy. At the very worst, some of them are actively looking to harvest your data.

How Do Free VPNs Make Money?

VPNs aren’t free to run. There are development, infrastructure, and staff costs, to list a few. It isn’t really possible to run a VPN for free.

How a free VPN makes its money is really important. As the saying goes: if you aren’t paying for a product, then you are the product. These are most common ways free VPNs make money:

  • Being subsidised by a paid service (another VPN or security software)
  • Advertisements
  • Selling user data

It’s safer to choose free VPNs that are subsidized by paid VPN services. Windscribe, TunnelBear, and ProtonVPN are good examples. These companies don’t have to monetize their free applications directly.

Other free VPNs generate income by running advertisements in their apps. This is most common with mobile-only free VPNs. These apps often prompt you to upgrade to an ad-free (paid) version of the VPN.

Advertisements aren’t ideal from a privacy standpoint. But many users make that trade-off in order to use a free service.

The worst free VPNs make money by selling your browsing data to advertisers and other third parties. The best case scenario here is that you’re made into a product for marketers. The worst case scenario is that your personal details are for sale online.

In short, paid VPNs are almost always better than free VPNs. They are faster, more secure, and don’t have data usage limits.

Free VPNs to Avoid

Many popular free VPNs are proven to be either dangerous or invasive.

Here’s a list of well-known free VPNs you should never use:

1Hola Free VPN

Hola Free VPN is one of the most popular ‘free VPN’ services available.

It’s an insecure peer-to-peer proxy network that’s being falsely marketed as a VPN. It doesn’t encrypt or anonymize your web traffic, which means anyone can see your internet activity if you use Hola.

Hola VPN also monitors everything you do online. It tracks the websites you visit and has previously sold user bandwidth without consent. This means Hola VPN is dangerous to both your privacy and security.

2VPN Proxy Master

VPN Proxy Master is a popular but very unreliable free VPN. Its speeds are inconsistent and it has a history of sending confidential user information to China.

There’s no information available about how VPN Proxy Master encrypts your data. The VPN also collects and stores your IP address indefinitely. This makes VPN Proxy Master one of the least private free VPNs we’ve ever tested.

Its apps are also filled with pop-up ads. In short, VPN Proxy Master is not worth using.

3SuperVPN Free VPN Client

SuperVPN Free VPN Client is not a safe or trustworthy free VPN.

Despite over 100 million downloads and lots of positive Google Play Store reviews, there is a disturbing lack of transparency behind the VPN. There are almost no details about the service’s operations and ownership.

Though it does encrypt your data, there is no privacy policy and the app has a series of invasive device permissions.

We even discovered suspicious links to China. Do not use SuperVPN Free VPN Client, or the iOS equivalent, LinkVPN. If you currently use one of these apps, uninstall it immediately.

4Thunder VPN

Thunder VPN is one of the worst free VPNs we’ve tested.

This Android-only VPN uses a sub-standard connection protocol (SSL), and lacks key privacy features. The company ignored our requests for more information about its encryption.

Thunder VPN claims to be no-logs, but that’s an outright lie. It collects your IP address, your ISP, the VPN server location, and similar information.

5UFO VPN

UFO VPN claimed to be a zero-logs VPN, but it was caught storing user logs. It collected personal web usage data, including websites visited, and in some cases plain test passwords.

This is one of the worst things a VPN can do. It totally undermines the anonymity, privacy and security of users.

UFO VPN is a white label VPN product (the technology belongs to a third party). Six other free VPNs use the same technology: FAST VPN, Free VPN, Super VPN, Flash VPN, Secure VPN and Rabbit VPN.

Here is a list of more free VPNs to avoid:

Free VPN Owned By Risks
LinkVPN Jinrong Zheng Unsecure, no transparency, China links
Secure VPN Signal Lab Unsecure, no transparency
Snap Master VPN Innovative Connecting PTE. Limited Unsecure, China links
SuperVPN Free VPN Client Jinrong Zheng Unsecure, no transparency, China links
ThunderVPN Signal Lab Unsecure, no transparency
TouchVPN AnchorFree Extensive logging, Russia links
TurboVPN Innovative Connecting PTE. Limited Unsecure, China links
VPN Proxy Master Innovative Connecting PTE. Limited Unsecure, China links
YogaVPN Yolo Net Technology Unsecure, China links

Many free VPNs have the same owners. These developers intentionally make multiple VPNs to reach as many people as possible. They also use different company names and subsidiaries to avoid scrutiny.

Dangerous new free VPNs appear all the time, and some get popular quickly. Before using a free VPN, research it first. Better yet, ask us for our expert opinion.

How We Test Free VPN Services

We test every free VPN we review regularly. If a VPN service offers both a free and a paid version of their app, we will often test both versions in the same review.

Put simply, we put free VPNs through the same rigorous testing process that we apply to paid VPN services.

This includes tests for speed, security, streaming, and P2P support. We analyze every privacy and logging policy in detail, as well as assessing ease of use and reliability.

All of the free VPNs we recommend meet the following criteria:

  • No payment details required at signup
  • No user activity logs
  • No IP or DNS leaks
  • Strong encryption
  • Fast speeds with no cap on downloads
  • The largest data allowance possible
  • Easy to use with good customer support

Security is especially important when testing free VPNs. That’s because dangerous and ineffective free VPNs are much more common than dangerous paid VPNs.

We make sure every free VPN we recommend is free of malware, actually encrypts your data, and does not collect any compromising information.

Our reviews and verdicts are completely impartial. We never accept compensation in return for positive coverage.

FAQs About Free VPNs

Are Free VPNs Safe?

Generally speaking, free VPNs are simply not as safe as paid VPNs.

If you’re not paying for a subscription, it’s likely that you’re paying with your data.

Some of the most popular free VPNs use weak encryption, leak your personal data, or sell your information to advertisers. This could leave your online activity completely exposed.

Our study of free Android VPNs found that 85% of the most popular free VPNs contained excessive permissions with the potential for privacy abuses. A further 25% suffered from dangerous IP and DNS leaks.

If you really care about your online safety and privacy, it’s recommended to opt for a premium VPN service.

What Are the Limitations of Free VPNs?

As well as their privacy and security issues, free VPNs are usually extremely limited when compared to premium alternatives.

Even the very best free VPN services typically have limited server networks, poor streaming capabilities, and restrictions on bandwidth usage.

It’s likely you’ll experience slow speeds, constant advertising, and difficulty maintaining a reliable connection.

Though some free VPNs are useful in the short-term, their limitations make them frustrating to use regularly.

Can I Use a Premium VPN for Free?

Premium VPNs sometimes offer money-back guarantees and free trials. You can take advantage of these offers to use a paid VPN for free.

Paid VPNs like CyberGhost and PrivateVPN offer genuine free trials. These let you try the full VPN service for seven days without asking for credit card or payment details upfront.

Other premium VPNs, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, offer risk-free money-back guarantees. These allow you to use the paid VPN for 30 days. You will be charged initially, but if you request a refund before the guarantee period ends, and you’ll be reimbursed promptly.

You can find a selection of VPNs with similar offers in our list of the best VPN free trials.

What Is the Best Free VPN?

Windscribe Free is the best free VPN we’ve tested. It’s completely secure, has a private logging policy, and doesn’t leak IP or DNS data.

Impressively, the free VPN also works to unblock US Netflix, and it even works in China. It also allows torrenting and P2P traffic on all of its free servers.

Windscribe Free has a 10GB monthly data allowance, which is more generous than many competing free VPNs.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Torrenting?

Windscribe Free is the top free VPN for torrenting because it has a private logging policy, strong encryption, and it doesn’t leak DNS or IP addresses.

Its 10GB monthly data cap won’t let you torrent many large files though, particularly if you’re also using it for streaming and general privacy.

These issues are very common when you try to use a free VPN for P2P. Data caps make it almost impossible to transfer anything more than a handful of files before hitting the data limit.

Other “unlimited” free VPNs aren’t actually private and either leak your true IP address or have shady logging and business practices. Many safe free VPNs don’t support P2P activity at all.

For a full list of recommended free VPNs for P2P, read our list of the best free VPNs for torrenting.

What Is the Best Free VPN for Netflix?

Windscribe Free is the only trustworthy free VPN that works to unblock streaming content. It works to unblock Netflix in all 10 of its server locations, which is an impressive feat for a free VPN.

Using a free VPN with Netflix and other streaming websites is normally a very frustrating experience. Almost all free VPNs are detected and blocked by Netflix’s filters.

If you do find a free VPN that works with Netflix, the data caps will usually restrict your viewing time massively.

Generally, you’re better off using a premium VPN if you’re looking to unblock streaming services. If you’re determined to use a free service, you can read our guide explaining why Windscribe is the best free VPN for Netflix.

What Is the Fastest Free VPN?

The fastest free VPNs are Hide.me Free and TunnelBear Free. That’s because these VPNs offer the exact same service as their paid versions, just with a very restrictive data cap.

Hide.me’s average download speed is 93Mbps on a local connection, which puts it amongst the fastest VPNs we’ve tested overall. However, once you pass the 10GB monthly data cap, speeds are limited to 3Mbps.

Many free VPN services use speed caps or throttling in order to persuade users to pay for a subscription plan. If the number of servers is limited on the free version, the VPN is also likely to be slower due to server congestion.

For this reason, free VPN speeds vary a lot depending on what time of day you connect and how many other users are connected to the same VPN server. In short, don’t be surprised if you encounter some large fluctuations in speed.

Is Hotspot Shield Free a Good VPN?

Hotspot Shield Free is a very popular free VPN, and a few years ago it was one of the better options available. Right now, it can’t match the top five free VPNs we recommend.

It doesn’t have the streaming capabilities of Windscribe Free or the unlimited data of ProtonVPN Free. It doesn’t support torrenting on its free version, either.

Hotspot Shield Free foes have a daily data allowance of 500MB, which isn’t bad. If you spread this data evenly you could end up with around 15GB a month, which is one of the most generous bandwidth allowances across safe free VPNs.

There’s nothing fundamentally dangerous or ineffective about Hotspot Shield Free, it’s simply not as good as its competitors.

If you already use Hotspot Shield Free and you’re happy with it, keep using it. Otherwise, we believe there are much better free VPNs available.

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