The 5 Best Free VPNs for Desktop and Mobile


If you want a VPN but don’t want to pay for the subscription, a free VPN is a good choice. They look to perform the same function as fully paid-for services, and at a lower cost. However, you should tread cautiously before downloading. Hundreds of free VPNs are available on the web and in your app store, but the vast majority aren’t particularly good. Some of the free apps spam you with ads and may even sell your information. And if you wanted to use it to stream or torrent, you’re probably out of luck.

Free services also try to limit the amount of data you can use and the speed you can use it, making them nearly useless for streaming video, torrenting or providing an extra layer of dependable protection in your daily online life. Also, don’t expect the same level of quick access support or server coverage as the paying services.

However, if all you want from a VPN is extra protection when you use public Wi-Fi and change your IP to access content, the best free VPNs will meet your needs.

1. PrivadoVPN

PrivadoVPN is a newcomer to our list of free VPNs. With its paid offering, the provider has made huge progress recently, and the free version is no exception.

Although it won’t be able to provide absolutely unlimited data, 10GB every month will be more than enough for most people to have ready on their laptops and smartphones when they need it. Unless you have it on all the time or are unusually large amounts of data for streaming content.

Privado has several server locations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, and this kind of worldwide reach is unusual for a free VPN, so it’s a big advantage. It doesn’t have the quickest server speeds, but it does have some useful features including P2P servers, auto-connect, and a VPN kill switch. Another advantage is that it does not automatically disable streaming. So you can test it out with your favorite streaming service to see how well it works for you.

2. ProtonVPN 

ProtonVPN has a notable feature that there are no restrictions on how much data you can use with your VPN, so you can surf the Internet anytime anonymously and safely.

This service’s free version has servers in three countries: the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. The service is available for Windows and Mac, as well as Android and iPhone apps. We like the ability to turn on automatic connections when you start up your computer on the desktop. Split tunneling and DNS leak protection are also important features given for free.

The free plan has limitations in order to encourage users to upgrade to a paid plan. Free users are given lower priority when it comes to speed than paid customers and has no limitations.  There’s no P2P support, and speeds may decrease during peak hours when there are a lot of people online and paying customers to get priority. And if you want to use your VPN for streaming, Proton makes it clear that you’ll need to upgrade to their Plus plan.

3. Hotspot Shield 

Hotspot Shield’s premium edition is one of the most popular paid services on the Internet, so it’s no wonder that the free version is so popular. For privacy and Internet browsing, those on the free plan are limited to 500MB of data per day or roughly 15GB per month.

If security is your top priority, Hotspot is on the same page as other premium VPNs, offering the same military-grade encryption.  In addition to its security, Hotspot Shield Free got high marks in our testing for its ease of use.

If you pay $2.50 per month for the Premium version of Hotspot, you can choose from 70 countries to anchor yourself to, allowing you to access just about anything you want; in the free version, you’re limited to one US-based location that Hotspot Shield chooses for you, and you’ll have to put up with ads if you’re using Android.

4. Hide.me

Hide.me offers both paid and free VPN services, the latter of which includes 10GB of data per month. There are also limitations: you can only connect one device at a time, and you can only connect to five server locations.

On the good side, Hide.me says that it will not restrict the connection speed of free users, it will not keep any logs or save any user data, and it will not sell any data to third parties in order to make a profit. There are no ads here either, and it even supports P2P on its five free VPN servers.

You can install the software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS and get 24-hour technical assistance even for free users.  In our tests, the performance was also impressive.

5. iTop VPN

iTop VPN is eager and loud about its free VPN service, and it’s indeed a good choice because of its large data usage, fast speed, and dedication to privacy protection.

You can get 20GB of data every month, without asking you to create an account, and there are no ads. The free data is not a small amount and it means you can spend it wherever you feel the need for extra security and be able to access the information. You can choose from six remote server locations in the free version, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, and Japan.

And on the performance aspect, their service is worth a look, as their fast stable VPN servers indeed prove to be beneficial in our tests. Besides, it has strong privacy protection as it doesn’t save connection logs, IP addresses, or visited websites, and it even has an ad-blocker and a browser history cleanup tool for an extra level of protection.