Most free VPNs are not safe, slow, or both. However, we’ve found at least five free VPN services that can protect you and still offer good speed. By installing any of them, you can be sure that it won’t include malware or overly intrusive ads.
You don’t have to pay for a reliable VPN. There are free VPN services like ProtonVPN worth trying in 2021.
The top-rated free VPN is ProtonVPN, known for its focus on privacy, usability, and no-logs policy. Atlas VPN is also a great option with unlimited bandwidth, good speeds, and military-grade encryption.
However, if you’re interested in trying a full-featured provider, check our list of risk-free trial VPNs below.
Top 3 Free VPNs for 2021 shortlist
We’ve tested dozens of free services and came up with this shortlist of three truly free VPNs.
|#||PROVIDER||CATEGORY SCORECATEGORY SCORE|
The best free VPN service
The best free VPN for P2P
Generous in features and bandwidth
How to pick the best free VPN
Below you will find our best free VPN services evaluated according to these ranking criteria:
- Data limit
- Server locations
- Unblocking Netflix
- Customer support
The most important one was the data limit because only ProtonVPN and AtlasVPN don’t have one. Also, we checked how many server locations are available. After all, connecting to a country on another continent impairs your speed and latency.
P2P allowance was also considered, given that it’s one of the main reasons people look for a free VPN in the first place, the other being Netflix. Unfortunately, none of the providers are good for streaming. Then we checked the security and privacy credentials, including encryption, tunneling protocols, a kill switch, and a logging policy.
Finally, we evaluated the customer support quality. Most free VPNs will give you email and a knowledge base. However, few also have a live chat, and there’s even one that provides it 24/7.
The best free VPNs in 2021 overview
Here are our top free VPNs that we ranked according to the criteria above. All of them have apps for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and other platforms. Try any of them and secure your device today.
1. ProtonVPN – the best free VPN
Email, knowledge base
- Great security
- User-friendly apps
- Unlimited bandwidth
- One device allowed
- Torrenting not allowed
- Doesn't unblock Netflix
ProtonVPN’s free version has solid security fundamentals: military-grade encryption, OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols, and a reliable kill switch. However, the more advanced security features like Secure Core multi-hop and Tor over VPN are left behind the paywall. But even without them, ProtonVPN has no match in terms of security.
Unlike most free VPNs on this list, this service has no bandwidth limit. Sadly, it won’t let you torrent, but that’s not enough to put this provider below the #1 spot. With that said, European users might prefer ProtonVPN cause it has a server in the Netherlands, with the US and Japan being the other two locations.
Overall, it’s still the top choice for anyone who doesn’t download or stream but uses enough traffic to exceed any monthly limit. You can download the free version on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Unfortunately, you can use the free ProtonVPN on one device at a time.
For $3.29/month, you get the full list of 1200+ servers in 55+ countries plus Netflix, Hulu, and torrenting.
For a deeper investigation of ProtonVPN, read our ProtonVPN review.
2. Atlas VPN – the best free VPN for P2P
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Military-grade encryption
- Automatic public wifi protection
- Easy-to-use apps
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Allows torrenting
- Limited number of locations
- Speed cap
- Doesn't unblock Netflix
Atlas VPN is the free VPN solution that offers what no other does – unlimited bandwidth and P2P support.
This free and lightweight tool will make your connection safe with AES-256 encryption and IKEv2 tunneling protocol. It also protects you on public hotspots, where you’re most likely to use a portable device like a tablet or smartphone.
Even if safety isn’t your primary concern, you could still make use of Atlas VPN. Most importantly, it allows torrenting and is safe enough to protect your P2P traffic. Atlas VPN offers three locations for its free plan users – the US, Japan, and Australia.
While the free Atlas VPN version won’t unblock Netflix, the same can be said about most services. And those that do always have a strict bandwidth limit, which beats the purpose. The connection will be slower, but once again, you should expect that from all free VPNs.
For $1.39/month, you can get the best speeds, unblock Netflix, and access all 700+ servers in 28+ countries. Finally, premium users are eligible for 24/7 email support and unlimited devices.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
3. Windscribe VPN – 10 GB/month and great features
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Excellent security
- Allows P2P
- Unlimited devices
- 10+ countries
- Might unblock Netflix
- Based in a Five Eyes country
- Average speeds
- Limited bandwidth (10 GB/month)
Although Windscribe VPN is based in Canada, a Five Eyes country, it comes with a strict no-logs policy. It’s also the only VPN on this list that might unblock Netflix. What’s more, the free version has a full set of Windscribe’s security and privacy features.
These include a kill switch, ad blocking, secure hotspot (turns your phone into a wifi hotspot), multi-hop, STunnel (Stealth mode), DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection, and timezone spoofing. This is almost unprecedented for a free VPN.
The Windscribe app is extremely well-designed and easy to use. You can download dedicated clients for major platforms plus Amazon Fire TV and Kodi. And now comes the best part – Windscribe has no device limit.
Free Windscribe allows torrenting and even has a SOCKS5 proxy. The biggest issue, though, is the 10 GB/month limit. While you can add an extra 5 GB by tweeting about your VPN choice, you will still want more bandwidth.
For $1.00/month, you will see the bandwidth limit lifted off, in addition to access to 480+ servers in 60+ countries. But most importantly, you will be able to stream Netflix US, UK, Canada, and Japan.
For a deeper investigation of Windscribe VPN, read our Windscribe VPN review.
4. Hide Me VPN – good speeds and 10 GB/month
WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, SoftEther
- Strong security features
- No-logs policy
- Decent speeds
- Torrenting allowed
- Access to only three VPN servers
- Can’t unblock Netflix
- One device per account
- Limited bandwidth (10 GB/month)
Located in Malaysia, a country with no data retention laws, Hide.me VPN has a true no-logs policy. This VPN comes with military-grade encryption and top-notch protocols in WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.
Hide.me VPN is easy to use. There are clients for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick. You can also set it up on Linux and routers. However, free service allows one simultaneous connection only.
Fast speeds, SOCKS5 proxy, and split tunneling make Hide.me VPN a good choice for P2P. Unfortunately, the 10 GB/month limit won’t let you enjoy torrenting to its fullest. As one would expect, this service doesn’t unblock Netflix.
Should you upgrade to a premium plan for $3.00/month, you will get 1900 servers in 75 countries, static IP, and port forwarding. Sadly, premium users don’t get any privileges in customer support.
For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.
5. ZoogVPN – 10 GB/month and good speeds
24/7 live chat
- Kill switch
- Obfuscation (Stealth VPN)
- Allows P2P
- 128-bit encryption
- No Netflix
- One device
- Three countries
- 10 GB/month data limit
Greece-based ZoogVPN isn’t among the most popular providers. However, its free version is definitely worth giving a try.
You’ll get 10 GB/month and pretty good speeds. Unfortunately, that comes with a price – the free version uses 128-bit encryption. On the bright side, ZoogVPN has a kill switch, OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, no-logs, and obfuscation (ZoogVPN Shadowing).
Supported devices include Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Fire TV & Fire Stick, and Android TV. The free version allows only one device at a time, though.
ZoogVPN offers servers in the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. Torrenting is possible only on the former, and unblocking Netflix is unavailable at all.
$1.87/month will give you 26 countries, military-grade encryption, Netflix plus other streaming platforms, and unlimited devices. You should also be prepared for slower speeds due to the 256-bit encryption.
For a deeper investigation of ZoogVPN, read our ZoogVPN review.
Best free VPN video review
Free VPNs to avoid at all costs
While you can reliably use all the best free VPNs listed above, we strongly recommend you stay well away from the rest.
Here are the worst free VPNs that you should avoid at all costs in 2021.
|Worst free VPNs||Why avoid it?|
|Hola VPN||Volunteer-powered P2P network where you share your IP and bandwidth. Collects data.|
|VPN Gate||Extensive logging. Volunteer-powered network.|
|Betternet VPN||Extensive logging. May leak your IP or DNS.|
|Psiphon||Unknown encryption type. Outdated protocols. Poor speeds. Logging and sharing your data.|
|Hoxx VPN||Based in the US. Logs extensively. Cooperates with the government and other third parties.|
|Tuxler VPN||Based in the US. Unknown encryption type. No kill switch. Logs and shares your data. Ads. Slow speeds.|
There are also plenty of bad Android-only VPNs that you should avoid at all costs. Here’s just some of them:
- Easy VPN
- Hat VPN
These free Android VPN services usually have vague privacy policies and log your traffic, along with your real IP. Furthermore, they may contain malware like Trojans, adware, riskware, and spyware.
When using free VPNs, it won’t be long till you start to really notice their drawbacks. These inevitable handicaps will probably make you want to try a premium VPN service sooner or later.
Luckily, most providers offer a chance to try their products risk-free. Usually, that comes in the form of a money-back guarantee though some VPNs still offer free trials. This way, you get access to the full server list, unlimited bandwidth, safe torrenting, and streaming options.
Here are some of the best VPNs with free trials:
- NordVPN – 7-day free trial, 30-day money-back guarantee
- Surfshark – 7-day free trial, 30-day money-back guarantee
- ProtonVPN – 7-day free trial, 30-day money-back guarantee
- PrivateVPN – 7-day free trial, 30-day money-back guarantee
- Ivacy VPN – 1-day plus 7 days for $0.99, 30-day money-back guarantee
- PureVPN – 7-day trial for $0.99, 31-day money-back guarantee
As you can see, you’ll have plenty of time to reconsider and get a quick refund in case you change your mind. You can find more risk-free offers on our best VPN with a free trial page.
Free VPN vs Paid VPN
Comparing free and paid VPNs is not easy because it often comes down to the user’s preferences. Some don’t watch Netflix and couldn’t care less about which VPN is best for torrenting. But for others being able to do these two activities is a make-or-break question when choosing a VPN.
Since paid VPNs have everything that the free ones don’t, here’s what you can get if you decide to upgrade:
- Speed. The majority of free VPNs are plainly slow or slower than their premium version. That’s often because only a few servers are available that get overcrowded easily. Our in-house speed test shows how fast paid VPNs can really be.
- Torrenting. While most free VPNs allow P2P, the speeds will be average at best. Besides, they often lack port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy. Other providers either limit your monthly traffic or don’t allow P2P at all.
- Streaming. Of all free VPNs, virtually none unblock Netflix, not to mention other streaming services. Some do that to push users to go premium, while others have but a few servers that are easily blocked.
- Customer service. Most free VPNs will take their time to answer your questions. Therefore, you can forget live chat, not to mention a 24/7 one. So if a problem occurs, it means you’re probably on your own.
- No logging and no ads. Most free VPNs log extensively and sell your data to third parties. Even if they don’t, you get to see annoying ads all the time. Only a few don’t fall under any of those two categories, and the price of that usually are severe limitations, like the number of GBs per month.
- Best privacy and security. If you want to buy a VPN anonymously and create an anonymous account, there’s no way other than to go for some of the safest providers. They will be registered in privacy-friendly jurisdictions, have their no-logs policies court-proven or independently audited, offer physical servers and features such as multi-hop and Tor over VPN.
Is paid VPN always the better option? Yes, unless you don’t spend much time online and need only basic protection or your budget is too low.
Top 5 free VPN comparison
Now let’s compare our Top 5 using the key criteria – data limit, server locations, and torrenting.
|Data limit||Server locations||Torrenting|
|Atlas VPN||No||3 countries||Yes|
|Windscribe VPN||10 GB/month||10+ countries||Yes|
|Hide.me VPN||10 GB/month||5 countries||Yes|
|ZoogVPN||10 GB/month||3 countries||Yes|
Contrary to what some outdated VPN articles say, no free VPN unblocks Netflix. While it was still possible with a couple of services back in 2020, this is no longer the case. Your best option is to use a free trial or a money-back guarantee of the best VPN for Netflix.
Best free VPN by device
Most of the best free VPNs support all major platforms. In fact, some even let you install the client on Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, or Kodi. Below are our recommendations based on the device or OS.
|Device or OS||Best free VPN|
|Amazon Fire TV Stick||Windscribe|
Cheapest VPN services
Some free VPN users are hesitant to go premium because they think that will be a serious investment. However, the opposite is true. There are plenty of cheap VPNs that are good or even great.
For less than a couple of dollars per month, you can get unlimited bandwidth, P2P support, unblocked streaming platforms, and much more. Check out our list of cheapest VPNs in 2021.
Bottom line: which free VPN is the best?
As of now, ProtonVPN is the best free VPN available. It’s safe, has a strict no-logs policy, and no bandwidth limit.
If your top priority is torrenting, Atlas VPN is your best free VPN choice. It has no bandwidth limit, good speeds, and military-grade encryption.
So as you can see, the answer depends on your preferences. However, should you venture beyond this best free VPN list, don’t forget to consider the following criteria:
- Business model. Most free VPNs are logging and selling your data. If they show ads, it’s less likely they’re selling your information as well. The best option is when a reputable VPN creates a limited free version to promote paid service. But even then, it might be logging extensively.
- Reputation. Many popular free services like Hola VPN have a poor reputation. Ensure you check if it hasn’t been caught in some scandals and what the users have to say about it.
- Security credentials. Anything below AES 256-bit encryption is risky, and tunneling protocols like L2TP/IPSec or PPTP shouldn’t be used anymore. Instead, look for OpenVPN, IKEv2, or WireGuard.
What do you think about our list of best free VPNs? Is there any service that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!
Which free VPN is the best?
The best free VPN is Atlas VPN. It has unlimited bandwidth, good speeds, and P2P support.
Is there a completely free VPN?
All VPNs on this list are completely free. However, some of them show ads or log your traffic in an attempt to get the most out of you.
Is free VPN safe?
Most free VPNs are not safe. Our list provides you with the best free options from reputable VPN providers. All of them are safe to use and have no known vulnerabilities.
How to try a paid VPN for free?
Trying paid VPNs for free is easy – most of them have either a free trial or a money-back guarantee. Check out our list of top VPNs with a free trial in 2021.
Do free VPNs unblock Netflix?
No, they don’t. The only exception is Windscribe, which might unblock Netflix in some countries. Even then, you’d have to deal with the 10 GB/month bandwidth limit.