Best VPN with a free trial in 2021

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: May 27, 2021

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Many premium VPN providers offer trial versions for those considering whether to buy the product. It seems like a win-win for customers and VPN providers alike, but it’s not always the case.

Each provider has its interpretation of what precisely a “free VPN trial” is.

How much of the service you will get to experience during the free trial period also varies greatly. Sometimes, providers give you full unrestricted access, and other times the best features will be locked until you fully commit.

You may have noticed that some VPNs offer a free trial while others endorse a money-back guarantee. Essentially, these are the same because you can try the service risk-free. That’s why our Top 10 list below includes providers that offer both options.

Top 3 VPNs with a free trial in 2021

No time to read? Here are our Top 3 free trial VPNs:

#PROVIDERCATEGORY SCORECATEGORY SCORE
1.9.7
2.9.4
3.9.0

Best VPN services with a free trial

We evaluated dozens of VPNs and picked the Top 6 that are worth your time. First and foremost, we checked the duration and the terms of their free trials and the money-back guarantees. Later, we sorted the list according to each service’s review rating and features.

As a result, what you see is six great providers with military-grade encryption, good speeds, no-logs policies, and lengthy free trials. These VPNs also support a range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more.

1. Surfshark: 7-day free trial, no credit card needed, best for daily use

9.7
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
65
Number of servers
Number of servers:
3200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
684 Mbit/s
  • Streaming, torrenting, many devices
  • You first have to activate the subscription on your smartphone
  • Length of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Free trial vs. subscription: no difference
  • Subscription after trial: Depends on the plan chosen
  • Subscription price after trial: Depends on the plan chosen
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, various routers

Surfshark is a fresh VPN provider that is showing VPN market veterans how it’s done. It’s a fantastic all-rounder great for many usage scenarios. This VPN will work wonders for you if you want to unblock restricted content or wish to have a more private browsing experience.

Surfshark has 3200+ servers in over 65 countries, which translates into breakneck speeds. These should be fast enough to stream Netflix 4k (UHD) videos or download torrent files. It has apps for all major platforms so you should be able to set it up on all your household. With unlimited simultaneous connections, it’s brilliant to add a layer of encrypted connection that will keep you safe.

You can test Surfshark with its 7-day free trial on its mobile apps from the Google Play or Apple App stores. Once you’ve registered, you can use the same log-ins to try the service on desktop clients and any other device. The service also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if 7 days isn’t enough to know if you want to commit for more extended periods.

How to get Surfshark VPN free trial

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

2. NordVPN: 30-day money-back guarantee, best VPN overall

9.4
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
59
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5500
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, Email
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
1,251 Mbit/s
  • Unbeatable in terms of privacy and security
  • You have to buy a subscription upfront
  • Length of guarantee: 30 days
  • Credit card needed: Yes
  • Free trial vs. subscription: No difference
  • Subscription after trial: Depends on the plan chosen
  • Subscription price after trial: Depends on the plan chosen
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Chrome, Firefox

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services, and it’s excellent for many usage scenarios. It also has an excellent track record of being the market leader when it comes to keeping the service fresh with new features and more.

Their top of the line security suite was just refreshed with the addition of NordLynx (WireGuard) for Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. Plus, you get access to their vast network of 5500+ servers in 9.6 countries. You can torrent, watch Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or Amazon Prime without any problems.

They don’t offer a free trial in a traditional sense, but you can still try NordVPN for free. Once you buy a subscription, you get 30 days to test their full suite of features. This should be plenty of time to try everything that you want with this provider. However, if you decide to cancel your plan before your 30 days are up, it’ not a problem – this means a no-questions-asked refund.

How to get NordVPN free trial

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

3. ProtonVPN: 7-day free trial, no credit card, best for strong security

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
55
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1200
Support
Support:
Email, knowledge base
  • Amazing security credentials
  • Mediocre speeds
  • Length of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Free trial vs. subscription: no difference
  • Subscription after trial: free
  • Subscription price after trial: $0
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

ProtonVPN is a VPN by the same developers that brought you Proton Mail. If you’ve used their mail service, you should have a pretty good idea of what the VPN might look like. Yes, that means that the only restriction is bandwidth throttling for free users.

Unless you’re planning to stream HD videos, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you. However, the service itself is entirely free. Once you register ProtonVPN’s account, you can use it till the end of time. There’s even an option to try their premium VPN service for seven days that removes said bandwidth limits. It’s an excellent opportunity to compare how the free and premium versions stack up. Any way you cut it, it’s one of the user-friendly VPNs out there.

You can get ProtonVPN’s premium subscription for as low as $3.29/month. The offer is well worth it, but you’ll be able to rely on OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec tunneling protocols with reliable AES-256 encryption whether you’re using the free or paid version.

For a deeper investigation of ProtonVPN, read our ProtonVPN review.

4. PrivateVPN: 7-day free trial, no credit card, best for gaming

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
62
Number of servers
Number of servers:
150
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
132 Mbit/s
  • Gaming users
  • 30-day money-back guarantee canceled if you exceed 100 GB
  • Length of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Free trial vs. subscription: no difference
  • Subscription after trial: Monthly
  • Subscription price after trial: $9.99
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, various routers

PrivateVPN gives you seven days of unlimited use and all features. What’s even better is that you don’t have to add your card or provide any details. This means you’re not risking automatic renewal, which might be a hassle to cancel with customer support.

The only thing you’ll require to provide is your email. It doesn’t have to be your main one, so create one just for the VPN; that way, you’ll skip all the promo newsletters.

Since you get unrestricted access, you’ll be able to connect to any of their 150+ servers in 62 countries. Albeit the network is on the smaller end, PrivateVPN buys internet capacity directly from IP transit providers. This means the speeds are blazing fast.

It also has a Stealth Mode that is confirmed to work in China – just keep in mind to download it before travelling. You can torrent and watch Netflix without any problems. Get PrivateVPN’s free trial with no strings attached and see for yourself.

For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.

5. Ivacy VPN: one-day free trial, best for low prices

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
50
Number of servers
Number of servers:
3500
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Low prices
  • Based in Singapore, a Five Eyes partner country
  • Length of guarantee: 1 or 3 days (depends on device)
  • Credit card needed: No
  • Free trial vs. subscription: no difference
  • Subscription after trial: Depends on the plan chosen
  • Subscription price after trial: Depends on the plan chosen
  • Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Firefox, Chrome

Ivacy is an inexpensive VPN service with an appealing feature list. They have 3500+ servers in over 50+ locations. It’s not the bulkiest of networks, but you should be able to get decent connection speeds everywhere.

Speaking of which, Ivacy doesn’t restrict torrent usage, include malware filters, and doesn’t log any user data. Plus, you get up to five simultaneous connections and a kill switch to protect your data should your connection to a VPN server ever drop.

It also supports a wide range of tunneling protocols, including L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. To give you more flexibility, the service also supports split-tunneling to choose which traffic to route through an encrypted tunnel and which should connect directly.

You can get Ivacy VPN’s free trial if you install it on one of the mobile apps first. It’s currently one day on Android and three days on iOS. This should be enough for most users to test how it performs in their daily usage scenarios.

For a deeper investigation of Ivacy VPN, read our Ivacy VPN review.

6. PureVPN: 7-day trial, 31-day money-back guarantee, best country selection

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
140
Number of servers
Number of servers:
6500
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
135 Mbit/s
  • Country selection
  • Payment details required
  • Length of trial: 7 days
  • Credit card needed: Yes
  • Free trial vs. subscription: no difference
  • Subscription after trial: Yearly
  • Subscription price after trial: $4.16/month
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Kodi add-on, DD-WRT applet

PureVPN has a great 7-day VPN trial, even though it’s not free. The price is only $0.99, and for that, you get full access to what this service has to offer.

This includes torrenting support in most countries and the capability to unblock multiple streaming platforms. Those include not only Netflix libraries in the US and the UK but also BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, among others. PureVPN is also one of the few providers that come with a Kodi add-on that works on multiple devices.

Another great feature that PureVPN has is the extensive location list. While 6500+ servers surprises no one these days, being able to choose from  140 surely does. Of course, not all of these servers are physical, but being able to get an IP of most countries is a valuable asset. You can also toggle the Content Filter to block ads on most browsers before they are loaded.

PureVPN allows ten devices connected at the same time per account. There’s also a 24/7 live chat support at your service. Test PureVPN and see how one of the best VPNs with free trial works in practice.

For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.

What to test during the free trial or guarantee period

The answer to the question above depends mostly on what your needs are. But these two factors are important for all of us: speed and security.

You can test the former using a web-based speed test (like Speedtest.net) and compare the results to your VPN-less speed or other free trials you’re going through at the moment. As for security, make sure you test the VPN for IP address and DNS leaks.

Additionally, check the customer support. Try contacting them via live chat or create a support ticket whenever you have a question (even a ridiculous one) to see their response rate, politeness, and overall quality. You will get a view of what to expect when something crashes in the middle of the night, and you need the service working as soon as possible.

It may or may not be possible to check some of the following with your free trial:

  • Torrenting servers, if the VPN provider doesn’t state that P2P traffic is blocked.
  • Streaming. Unblocking Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer is a constant effort.

VPN Free Trial comparison

Here’s how the providers stack up when we compare their free trials:

Trial durationPrice after trial (for one month)Money-back guaranteeSupported platforms during trial
Surfshark7 days$12.95/monthYesWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, various routers
NordVPN30 days$11.95/monthYesWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Chrome, Firefox
ProtonVPN7 days$5.00/monthYesWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
PrivateVPN7 days$9.99/monthYesWindows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, various routers
Ivacy VPN30 days$9.95/monthYesWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Firefox, Chrome
PureVPN7 days$4.16/monthYesWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Kodi add-on, DD-WRT applet

VPN Free Trial FAQ

Which VPN offers the longest free trial?

This depends on your definition. PrivateVPN has the most extended premium trial for seven days and requires no payment information. ProtonVPN has a free version which has no time limit but has bandwidth restrictions. If the lengths of money-back guarantee count, CyberGhost’s lasts for record-breaking 45 days.

What are the limitations of a VPN free trial?

Most often, with free VPN trials you’ll be restricted to a smaller pool of servers. There could be additional restrictions with bandwidth limits that restrict your speeds up to a certain threshold. Data caps used to limit how much data you can download are also often used to limit how much you could do with a service.

We always advise checking the conditions underlined by the provider on their webpage. There you will always find most up-to-data information which features will be available during a free trial. If you’re already on a free version, it’s also an option to contact their customer service; they will happily provide all the necessary information.

Can a VPN free trial be used more than once?

Practically it should be possible to use free trial multiple times. Usually, this will involve using a different e-mail address for services that don’t require payment information. For the trials that do need your credit card information, you’ll usually need a separate e-mail and a different card to register.

Keep in mind that you could still be tracked by your IP or even the IMEI address of your device. In most of these cases, you most likely are breaching the provider’s terms of service, so you should always do such things at your own risk. In most cases, it’s less of a hassle to just pay for a subscription.

How to cancel a VPN free trial?

Canceling a VPN free trial or using a money-back guarantee is different for each provider. In most cases, you will have to fill out a form that will automatically cancel a free trial. Alternatively, you may have to contact customer support.

13 comments
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  1. Barry Flash

    It seems that ExpressVPN is the best but comes at a price, NordVPN is the best of both worlds, Astrill offers the best 7 day free trial. I couldn’t find a free vpn trial for 30 days, that would have been great.


  2. Eleonor

    Thanks for all the interesting info, both in the article and in the comments. It helped me make up my mind. I first took the vyprvpn free trial, then tried Windscribe for free and then I went with Nord VPN because they offer a great balance between their service quality and monthly price. Thanks again.


  3. Corolar1

    Instead of trying all sorts of free trials I would recommend you just go with a free VPN like Proton VPN or Windscribe. When you’re ready, just get a paid option with ExpressVPN – the best – or NordVPN – second best and inexpensive – and just be done with it. The NordVPN free trial was the best trial because after you tried it you would have seen why Nord is so good. If there was an express vpn free trial for 7 days that would probably increase sales for Express. But then again, people were trying to exploit Nord when they had a free trial so they took it down so… You could basically go from free trial to free trial and then check out some free vpn options and be ok for some time. But, if you need extra protection, for torrenting or keeping your anonymity online, then a paid option is the way to go for sure.


    1. Jamie Marcus

      Both Austin and Corolar1 are right. You can take a lot of VPNs for a free spin but there’s nothing like a paid version. The best free trial is a vpn free trial where no credit card is needed so look around and find some. To get you started, try safervpn free trial and cactus vpn free trial as they don’t ask for a credit card. If you want to torrent then you should probably go with NordVPN (3-year is just $2.99 per month) or if you want to be extra safe, go with ExpressVPN which is more expensive but the best.


  4. Austin

    There used to be a nordvpn 7 day trial which was cancelled like you said. It was a great way to see what Nord has to offer without paying a cent. I’m mentioning Nord because they are among the top 3 vpn services out there for sure. It would have been nice to also get an express vpn free trial since their prices are a bit higher (but they are probably the best out there). For those who want to explore more options, some other interesting ones are: cactus vpn free trial, ipvanish free trial or safervpn free trial. These 3 might not be the best but if you at least want to see the difference between them and others that are better you can get a vpn free trial no credit card needed (in most cases).


    1. Rayenne

      Took the cyberghost free trial and the vyprvpn free trial. The first was just a 1 day free trial which is not much but you can get a feel for it nonetheless. Cyber is good but expensive. Vyprvpn offers a 3 day free trial. They are better in some aspects than Cyber and cheaper. I would be curious to see a cyberghost vs vyprvpn comparison from you guys to see which one is better and in which areas.


    2. Ozyyy

      I took the cactus vpn free trial and it wasn’t that good. Then I tried Proton VPN, the free version and it was better but I still needed something for torrenting. I ended up getting a month with NordVPN and they are stellar. I am tempted to get a 3-year account with them since it’s so inexpensive.

      PS: right now, there’s no ipvanish free trial for PC. I checked.


    3. avatar
      Karol Wojcik

      Hey Austin! Thanks for your thoughts. You’re right, and it seems that more and more VPN services are ditching the free trial option, and I personally don’t see this trend going out. When it comes to the VPNs you’ve offered, all three are pretty good but come with some caveats:

      1. IPVanish free trial is available for iOS users only.
      2. SaferVPN has only a 24-hour free trial and some logging issues, not to mention its ExpressVPN-esque prices.
      3. CactusVPN has the lowest score of all three and also gives only 24 fours to test it. But most importantly, its lack of servers and locations hinders your connection speed.

      But if we were to make a list without the VPNs that offer money-back guarantee only, these three would definitely be on it.


  5. Marcel Frei

    I plan to try out the free trial offered by NordVPN. I’ve heard a lot about them and recently I’ve started seeing TV commercials by them so they really seem to be making a big push for new customers. My main reason for getting a VPN is so I can securely connect to public Wi-Fi or any other network.


  6. Lokmande

    I think that I’ll give Trust.Zone VPN a try. They’re currently running a special that if you sign up for 2 years it only costs $2.88 per month. That’s a pretty good deal even though they don’t have a money back guarantee.


  7. Aaron_Thomas789

    Not all VPN will give you access to free trial. Though the definition of free trial may vary from organization to organization. Good enough, free trial gives an idea of the quality of the VPN before payment is made


  8. Dark Knight

    Free trial is best way to evaluate a VPN. One can firsthand check the availability of features that are most important for oneself. One is in better position to decide after trying out a few available options.


  9. Alexis Thomas

    NordVPN worked for me perfectly well. After enjoying the three days free trial, I decided to subscribe for one year. The customer service support is amazing and helpful. I recommend NordVPN to anyone who needs a good VPN with a free trial

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