Accessible virtual private networks (VPNs) look appealing as they provide free access to privacy tools and location spoofing without any financial cost. However, experts strongly advise against using free VPN services due to the severe security vulnerabilities, privacy risks, poor performance, strict limitations, and overall cyber threats they present compared to paid options.

While attractive in concept, research shows free VPNs frequently have encryption weaknesses, leak sensitive user data, contain malware, sell user information to third parties, and lack essential features to browse the internet safely.

Ultimately, cybersecurity professionals agree that free VPNs fail to fulfill core privacy promises and may even worsen user security. Instead, reputable paid VPNs with robust encryption, strict no-logs policies, reliable connections, and helpful customer support are necessary to use the internet securely.

The monetary cost is worth paying as it eliminates the privacy and security dangers posed by any free VPN. Ad explanation further elaborates: Use a Free VPN?

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network, or VPN, acts like an invisible cloak for your online activity, masking your digital footsteps as you browse the web. By encrypting your internet connection and routing it through remote servers, a VPN allows you to browse the net privately and anonymously.

Your prying internet service provider can’t see which sites you visit or track your location. Whether escaping government censorship, securing public WiFi connections, or accessing region-locked content like streaming libraries abroad, a VPN envelops your device in a protective cover, allowing you to control what information you share.

So, if you value your privacy in our transparent digital age, a VPN helps take back power to browse on your undisclosed terms.

Is There A 100% Free VPN?

Is There A 100 Free VPN

There is no truly 100% free VPN without any limitations. The free VPNs mentioned below offer some privacy and security features but come with data limits, slow speeds, limited server locations, lack of advanced features, and other restrictions.

For example, ProtonVPN’s free version provides unlimited data usage and high speeds but only allows connections to servers in 3 countries. TunnelBear has servers in many locations but caps monthly data usage at just 500MB. Other free VPNs log user data or contain advertising. 

So, while free VPNs can be helpful in some limited cases for complete and secure usage, experts undoubtedly suggest affordable paid options like ExpressVPN and Surfshark. These providers have strict no-logs policies, comprehensive server coverage, fast speeds, advanced features like split tunneling, and helpful customer support.

Are Free VPNs Safe?

The experts believe free VPNs are unsafe if you focus on privacy and security. Most free VPN services have major weak points like weak encryption, IPv6 leaks, malware infections, and even the selling of user data. This severely damages privacy.

Moreover, free VPNs often throttle connection speeds, show disruptive ads and log activity, and lack helpful customer support. By keeping their security flaws and constraints in view, experts warn against depending entirely on free VPNs to safeguard sensitive online activities. 

How can Free VPNs Affect Your Internet Speed?

How can Free VPNs Affect Your Internet Speed

Using a free VPN can considerably decrease your internet speed compared to not using a VPN. Here are some key reasons why a free VPN affects your internet speed:


  • Free VPNs often have fewer servers, which results in overcrowding and slower speeds as more users struggle for the same bandwidth. On the other hand, paid VPNs have more extensive server infrastructure to handle higher demand.
  • Free VPNs typically use weaker encryption protocols or limit encryption strength to maintain resources. The extra encryption processing with a VPN requires more computing resources and can slow down speeds.
  • Free VPNs need to generate profit by showing ads or selling user data. These background processes can limit bandwidth and lead to slow connections.
  • Free VPNs prioritize speed for paying users. They purposely throttle free users’ connections so paying subscribers get faster speeds.
  • Using any VPN adds extra steps in routing traffic through remote servers, which increases response time. This causes some inherent speed reduction, though a swift VPN can minimize the impact.

How We Test Free VPNs?

If you still want to use a free VPN even after reading the drawbacks, here are five key factors to consider when testing free VPNs:


Many free VPN services have security vulnerabilities like weak encryption protocols, IPv6, and DNS leaks that can disclose users’ data and browsing activity. Research has found malware and other security flaws in some popular free VPN apps that could lead to the hacking of devices.

Conversely, paid VPNs offer more advanced security features like kill switches, robust encryption, and leak protection to better safeguard users’ privacy.

Moreover, free VPNs often log and sell users’ data for profit, severely compromising privacy. And they need more bandwidth and infrastructure, resulting in slower speeds that can hamper internet usage. With no customer support, users of free VPNs are also left empty-handed to deal with any issues on their own. So, before choosing a free VPN, check the security features available in its free version. 


Many free VPN services log user activity or sell data to third parties, severely compromising privacy. Key factors when evaluating the privacy protections of a free VPN include:

  • Logging Policies: Many free VPNs log browsing data, IP addresses, and metadata, which can be shared or sold to cybercriminals. Strict no-logs policies like ProtonVPN’s provide better privacy.
  • Jurisdiction: Free VPNs based in countries with strong privacy laws, like Switzerland, help avoid issues with data retention commands. VPNs in “Fourteen Eyes” countries face more legal obligations.

Speed & Performance

Speed and reliability are important factors when evaluating free VPN services. It’s essential to run speed tests with and without the VPN activated to quantify the percentage of speed loss caused by the VPN and determine if it’s acceptable or not.

Many free VPNs deliberately throttle connection speeds and are unreliable for streaming or large downloads due to limited bandwidth. They mainly provide better speeds to paying users, so free users often experience lag, buffering, and frequent disconnections.

The consistency of speeds across different locations and servers should also be evaluated. Free VPNs typically have fewer servers, which can get overcrowded, leading to highly variable speeds.

Reliability for streaming sites, torrenting, gaming, and other bandwidth-specific activities should be tested, as free VPNs frequently lead to capping and throttling. Lack of customer support poses additional issues dealing with speed or connectivity problems. So, be cautious in your selection.


While selecting a free VPN service, look for features like simultaneous connections it provides in its free version and data limits, as caps below 500MB per month severely restrict internet usage. Also, check the server locations accessible because most free versions come with limited server locations. 


Accessibility of a VPN across different platforms is also a crucial factor to consider. So, check the availability of a free VPN across Windows, Android, etc. Similarly, check the response of their customer support service in case of any issues because free versions mostly don’t come with customer support. 

Testing across these parameters indicates if a free VPN can meet privacy, security, and performance needs compared to paid options.

How to Choose a Free VPN?

How to Choose a Free VPN

There are the key factors to consider when choosing a free VPN service:

Reputation & Trustworthiness

  • Avoid typically named VPNs (e.g., “Free VPN,” “Unlimited Free VPN”). Instead, go for well-known brands with paid options like ProtonVPN and Windscribe.
  • Check transparency reports, ownership details, control policies, and logging details to determine trustworthiness.

Privacy & Data Usage

  • Many free VPNs log user activity or even sell data to third parties. Strict no-logs policies like ProtonVPN’s provide better privacy.
  • Check if there are data limits, which can be as low as 500MB per month with some free VPNs, severely limiting usage.

Security Protections

  • Weak encryption and lack of leak protection with some free VPNs result in security vulnerabilities. Paid options typically offer more robust protections. So, they are better to opt for. 

Speed & Performance

  • Free VPNs often throttle connection speeds. Assess loss percentages caused by the VPN to determine the impact on browsing, streaming, etc.

Features & Usability

  • Server location choices, simultaneous device connections allowed, ad placements, etc., affect usability.
  • Lack of customer support with free VPNs gives rise to issues dealing with problems.

Risks & Limitations

  • Increased exposure to malware, identity theft, and lack of usage limits ultimately make free VPNs poor for security.
  • Strict data caps, fewer features, and unreliable speeds mean free VPNs can’t match paid alternatives. They are just a trial to check the service. 

So, while free VPNs are appealing, experts suggest using affordable paid options like ExpressVPN and NordVPN for unlimited and safe usage. So, we suggest free VPN privacy and security demands a huge compromise just in return for saving a few dollars monthly for premium services.

How to Get a Premium VPN for Free?

There is no way to get a premium VPN service entirely for free. The research highlights some options like free trials and money-back guarantees that allow testing premium VPNs risk-free.

Still, ultimately, experts recommend affordable paid VPN services for full, unlimited, and safe usage. Some key points on getting premium VPNs for free:

  • No premium VPN provider offers their full service 100% free without limitations. Free VPNs openly impose restrictions like data caps and speed throttling to urge users to take paid plans.
  • Many premium VPNs offer free trial periods, usually seven days up to 30 days, allowing users to test the full VPN service. These require ultimate payment if not canceled, but some have 30-day money-back guarantees.
  • While helpful for primary use, experts warn free VPN services pose considerable security, privacy, and performance threats compared to affordable paid options like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark.
  • Paid VPNs typically cost $2-$10 per month, depending on subscription length. Their yearly costs provide robust encryption, unlimited speeds, extensive server networks, and helpful support.

So, in summary, while free trials allow sampling premium VPNs, the search results deliberately state that paid services are necessary for complete, secure protection. The costs are effective for most users to gain peace of mind around privacy. Trying to get premium VPNs permanently for free involves unacceptable security risks and usage limitations.

What are the Best Free VPNs?

What are the Best Free VPNs

We have short-listed some VPNs that offer better features in their free trials. So, if you want to choose a paid version for browsing, you can go for their free trials. 


ProtonVPN offers one of the most robust and user-friendly free VPN services with no data limits, speed throttling, disruptive ads, or activity logging. Users get unlimited access to VPN servers in 3 countries with strong encryption protecting online traffic. While paid plans unlock more locations and features, the free version dormantly covers basic privacy needs for casual browsing.

As the free tier of a respected paid service with a strict no-logs policy and ownership transparency, ProtonVPN provides dependable privacy protections without cost barriers. With capable speeds, easy-to-use apps, and a lack of potential restrictions, ProtonVPN’s free offering represents that core VPN privacy tools can be available for all.

The key points highlighted are ProtonVPN’s unlimited free version with solid encryption, no ads/logging, transparency around policies/ownership, good speeds, and usability. It notes how the free tier compares well to paid options for primary usage, concluding that ProtonVPN makes VPN privacy accessible, unlike most free providers. 


TunnelBear is a viable option as it is one of the most user-friendly free VPN services with solid encryption and easy-to-use apps. Users get 500MB of data per month to use TunnelBear’s entire network of servers across over 20 countries.

While speeds may be slow during peak times, the free version admirably meets basic privacy needs for regular browsing. As the free tier of a paid service focused on usability, TunnelBear provides reliable protections without cost barriers. With its charming interface and lack of catches, TunnelBear’s free VPN offering makes privacy tools simple and attainable.

The key points highlighted are TunnelBear’s strong encryption, extensive accessible data allowance, server coverage, usability, and accessibility as a free VPN.


Windscribe comes into consideration by offering one of the most generous and fully-featured free VPN services with unlimited data usage, access to servers in 11 countries, and built-in ad blocking. With no speed throttling, bandwidth caps, disruptive ads, or activity logging, Windscribe admirably covers core privacy needs for casual browsing. 

As the free tier of a paid service focused on usability and transparency, Windscribe provides reliable protection features without cost barriers. With its fun branding and lack of catches, Windscribe’s intuitive free VPN offering makes privacy tools easily accessible to all types of users.

Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN provides a free VPN with unlimited data usage, access to servers in 4 locations, and strong AES-256 encryption protecting online traffic. While paid plans offer more features, the free version covers basic privacy needs for routine browsing with no speed throttling.

As the accessible version of a paid service focused on usability and transparency, Atlas VPN delivers dependable safety protocols without cost barriers. With its slick apps, lack of disruptive ads, and a money-back guarantee on paid plans, Atlas VPN’s intuitive free offering makes privacy different from other free VPNs.


To sum up, it’s not wrong to say that free VPNs may seem tempting, but they are virtual privacy nightmares, as instead of protecting your data, they exploit it. Far from providing a shield of anonymity, free VPNs frequently breach sensitive information, sell browsing data for profit, or even install malware. Their promises of security ring hollow next to bare-bones encryption and suspicious ownership structures optimized for data breaching.

So, while the price is fascinating, free VPNs often compromise user trust and privacy. For genuine peace of mind when browsing, a reputable paid service like ExpressVPN provides robust encryption to hide your digital trail from prying eyes. So, recommends you go for affordable paid versions of reputable VPNs. 

Customer Reviews for NordVPN: In-Depth Review, Tests, and Stats

IR Irina

Can I Just Use A Free VPN?
Connection issues with MLB.TV
So I had some connection issues on my iOS device (iPad) with MLB.TV streaming, and representative named Garfield SOLVED my unique problem that I had spent hours researching and tackling with no luck before today! Garfield was extremely patient, personable, and very knowledgeable. Through multiple approaches and problem-solving steps, he created a solutuon that worked. Way to go, and definitely a returning NordVPN customer here. Thank you, Garfield.
Date of Experience:
May, 2 2023
CH Christina

Can I Just Use A Free VPN?
Prompt customer service
My subscription automatically renewed and a payment was taken, which I didn’t want as I haven’t been using the service. I contacted the company and received a prompt and efficient response where my subscription was reversed and the payment was returned. If only every company was so easy to contact and communicate with!
Date of Experience:
May, 6 2023
MW Michael White

Can I Just Use A Free VPN?
I would highly recommend
Excellent service and easy to use to protect your privacy. I have NVPN on my laptop, iPhone and fire stick, great value for money.
Date of Experience:
December, 15 2023
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