In a world of targeted ads and intrusive malware, virtual private networks (VPNs) are one of the best ways to keep your online activity secure. VPNs encrypt your sensitive information, such as your browsing history and IP addresses, to protect your data from prying eyes and malicious third parties.

While VPNs are great security solutions, they can be expensive. For the budget-conscious, spending on a monthly VPN subscription may not seem worth it. The good news is that there are a handful of free VPN options that can meet many of your security needs.

In this article, we take a look at four of the best free VPNs available today.

Top free virtual private networks (VPNs): Comparison

Since we’re looking at free VPNs, expect to lose out on premium features found on paid VPN plans. Don’t worry, each option on our list still offers a healthy mix of features despite being free solutions. Consider the features listed below before making your pick:

No logs w/ security auditServer and location countData limitSpeed
Proton VPN FreeYes to bothServers from 5 countriesUnlimited dataSlower than paid plan VPN FreeYes to bothServers from 8 locationsUnlimited dataSlower than paid plan
Windscribe VPN FreeHas no-logs policy; audit yet to be publishedServers from 11 locations10 GB (if you provide email);
2GB with no email
Same speed as paid plan
Tunnelbear VPN FreeYes to bothServers from 47 countries2GBSame speed as paid plan

Proton VPN: Best overall free VPN

ProtonVPN logo.
Image: Proton VPN

Proton VPN has garnered popularity as a top pick for free VPNs, and I see why. It offers unlimited data in its free tier—a big plus since other VPNs include data caps on their free versions. You also get servers from five countries, letting you hide your location and IP address to securely browse the internet.

Another big pro for Proton VPN is that the company is headquartered in Switzerland, a country known for having some of the world’s strongest privacy laws. Personally, this is a crucial value-add since government data requests can still require some VPN companies to disclose data. With its Swiss operation, users won’t have to worry about their data being taken without their consent.

Why we chose ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is our best overall free VPN for providing zero data limits on its service and for its operation in privacy-friendly Switzerland.

Kill switch in Proton VPN Free.
Figure A: Kill switch in Proton VPN Free. Image: Luis Millares


  • Around 80 free servers from 5 countries.
  • Unlimited data.
  • Built-in kill switch.
  • Strict no-logs policy.
  • DNS leak protection.


  • Operates in privacy-friendly Switzerland.
  • Independently audited VPN.
  • No ads on free plan.


  • Fastest speed only available via paid plan.
  • Only 1 device connection.

For more information, read our full ProtonVPN review. VPN: Best for basic protection logo.

For users that want basic protection, VPN’s free plan is a solid option. While it doesn’t let users pick which server location they can connect to, VPN provides unlimited data on its free plan. This means that it can serve as a realistic, long-term solution to protect your browsing data.

I would’ve loved it if’s free version allowed me to at least pick which server location I could use instead of my own IP address. However, I think this is a good compromise since doesn’t have a monthly data cap like other free VPNs.

If all you want is a cost-effective way to encrypt your online traffic without any data restrictions, VPN should be on your list.

Why we chose VPN VPN made the list for offering unlimited data on its free version, making it a decent option for users that only have basic protection in mind.

Figure B: VPN’s free doesn’t allow server selection. Image: Luis Millares
Figure B: VPN’s free doesn’t allow server selection. Image: Luis Millares


  • WireGuard protocol is included.
  • Unlimited data.
  • No-logs policy.


  • No data cap.
  • Customizable desktop app.
  • Independently audited.


  • Only allows for one device connection at a time.
  • Free version includes access to only 8 server locations.
  • Unable to choose which server location to connect to.

For more information, read our full VPN review.

Windscribe VPN: Best for multiple devices

Windscribe VPN logo.
Image: Windscribe VPN

If you want a VPN for your laptop, smartphone and other devices, check out Windscribe VPN. In this list, Windscribe VPN’s free version is the only VPN that allows an unlimited number of simultaneous device connections and comes with a reasonable amount of data. While TunnelBearVPN free also protects unlimited devices, it has a much smaller 2GB monthly data cap.

In comparison, Windscribe VPN’s free version offers 10GB of data for free. While I would’ve loved to see it provide unlimited data, the ability to protect multiple devices is a fair trade-off.

Their free version also includes their domain and IP blocking tool for malware and intrusive ads — a good inclusion, especially in a free VPN solution.

Why we chose Windscribe VPN

We chose Windscribe VPN’s free version since it allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, making it a good pick for users that want to protect multiple devices.

Windscribe’s free plan.
Figure C: Windscribe’s free plan. Image: Luis Millares


  • 10 GB monthly data.
  • Features from the pain plan are also included on the free plan.
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections.
  • Windscribe domain and IP tool blocking for malware.


  • Good option for those with multiple devices.
  • No feature limitations compared to paid plan.
  • No throttled speed in the free version.


  • Still has a data limit for its free plan.
  • Access to only 11 locations.
  • Full 10GB is available only after providing your email.
  • Only 2GB if you don’t provide email.

For more information, read our full Windscribe VPN review.

TunnelBear VPN: Best beginner VPN

Tunnelbear logo.
Image: Tunnelbear

For less tech-savvy users, I recommend trying out TunnelBear VPN’s free version. While it has a 2GB monthly data cap that limits the amount of browsing you can do with it, its user interface (UI) is the most beginner-friendly of this bunch.

In TunnelBear VPN, servers are represented by tunnels and when you connect to a new tunnel, a bear pops up (see Figure D) — hence its name. If you want to learn more about VPNs and don’t want to jump into a very technical VPN interface, TunnelBear’s free version is a good option to try.

Why we chose TunnelBear VPN

We picked TunnelBear VPN for its fun and user-friendly approach to VPNs. Its bear-themed interface may help beginners who are still learning about VPNs as software.

A new connection in TunnelBear VPN.
Figure D: A new connection in TunnelBear VPN. Image: Luis Millares


  • Bear-themed desktop application.
  • Free forever.
  • Annual independent audits.
  • 5,000 servers from 47 countries.


  • Very beginner-friendly user interface.
  • Can be good for less technical users.
  • Intuitive app overall.
  • Can access all server locations.


  • 2 GB monthly data cap is very small.
  • Not many security features included.
  • App itself can be buggy.

For more information, read our full TunnelBear VPN review.

How do I choose the best free VPN software for my business?

When looking at free VPN software, it’s important to understand that you won’t get all the features found in premium plans, such as unlimited data, top-tier security features, the fastest speeds and a full server network.

With this caveat, you can still find a decent free VPN depending on you and your business’ needs. Fortunately, many free VPN providers offer diverse feature inclusions that make the decision-making process easier.

For example, if you just want a set-and-forget free VPN, look for a solution that provides unlimited data. This will let you browse the internet freely, without worrying about exceeding a monthly data limit.

If you want basic protection for multiple devices, choose a free VPN that offers unlimited device connections. While these may have data limits, you’ll be able to protect more of your personal and work devices at the same time.

A free VPN shouldn’t compromise on security. Find a free VPN from a provider that has a good security reputation, undergoes independent testing and offers strong encryption for their platform.

Review methodology

In this roundup of the four best free virtual private networks (VPNs), I prioritized looking at products with the best balance of VPN features despite being free solutions. In particular, I looked at their no-logs policies, the number of device connections allowed and data limits, among others.

I evaluated each product through a combination of first-hand experience and comprehensive research of their features. This involved doing an extensive comparison of each free VPN’s features and how they fared against each other.

I have also conducted full reviews of each free VPN featured above. My findings from these individual reviews were used to supplement my analysis for this article.

Finally, I also considered what free VPNs were best for specific people, use-cases and needs.

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Subscribe to the Cloud Insider Newsletter

This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays