VPNs are an indispensable tool for digital privacy. Sadly not many free VPN services are trustworthy, secure and reliable. We understand, however, that some people want access to a free VPN for security. That is why we have searched far and wide for the 5 best free VPN services of 2016! 5 Best Free VPN Services (October 2016)
What will a free VPN service do?
A VPN service provides you with encryption to secure your data. That means that governments, ISPs, landlords, or anyone else that might be trying to ‘sniff’ your traffic can’t see what you are doing. Furthermore, a VPN allows you to ‘spoof’ your location to overseas. This can allow you to access Geo-restricted content!
No substitute for a paid VPN subscription!
It is important that you understand that although the free VPNs in this guide are the 5 best free VPN service options of 2016, it is also true that being free makes them somewhat limited and restrictive. With that said, these free VPNs have been extensively tested and are well worth using when necessary.
Many free VPNs are a security nightmare. Free VPNs often sell user data on to third parties. Others handle data in an insecure way or provide outdated encryption that can be easily hacked. That is why we must urge you never to download an untrusted free VPN. The ramifications could be serious!
Remember, we highly advise subscribing to a fully featured VPN service. Costs are low, and there really is no substitute for the security that you get with a fully featured VPN!
Here are the 5 Best Free VPN services of 2016. As an extra, we have included some other free privacy options too! We hope that using a free VPN inspires you to subscribe to a fully featured service – because VPNs are AWESOME!!
Best Free VPN Services Summary
Cool design, fun & easy
Apps for all platforms
Great for beginners
Five simultaneous connections permitted
Few advanced settings
TunnelBear is an excellent free VPN service that many people enjoy because of its fun design.
As with all the free VPNs on our list, this VPN is restricted. So, if you use the Internet a lot, then you should probably use a non-data capped free VPNs further down in the guide! With that said, we really like TunnelBear and feel that it is the best all around free VPN in 2016.
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Servers in 22 countries
Highly experienced customer care
Limited to 2GB per month
Hide Me is a VPN provider from Malaysia that offers a free plan. Users can choose from 28 servers in 22 countries. Connection speeds are solid and security is great thanks to OpenVPN encryption. Usage is capped at 2GB of usage per month – a pretty reasonable allowance, and certainly enough to get you some privacy when you really need it, or to unblock websites that are currently unavailable.
Windscribe is an awesome free VPN that we consider a very close second in 2016. Considering it is free, it provides relatively good speeds. In tests reliability was outstanding, and far better than 99% of other free VPNs that we tested. To make it free usage is capped, but the firm allows you a whopping 10GB per month. A pretty huge chunk of usage!
Sadly, there is a second drawback with Windscribe, which is why it places third rather than second. It doesn’t let free users access every single one of ithe servers on its network. Having said that, free VPN users can use the US, GB, CA, NL, DE and HK servers – which is a really brilliant selection of locations!
Windscribe has recently released iOS and Android apps too, though these are not yet available for the free service – we are expecting this to be allowed soon, so watch this space!
Free VPN provider
Plenty of servers
Useful FAQs and customer support
Connection speeds can be up and down
Some queues to get on certain server locations
CyberGhost also provide a free VPN service. The service is pretty good and certainly better than many free VPNs that we tested! CyberGhost also handles user data in a secure manner, which is great!
Sadly, speeds can differ a lot between servers, and people have noticed queues to get on certain servers. The good thing is that you can select between an extensive choice of servers. Encryption is also top of the range. Considering CG is free, we really love it – and if you like having lots of locations to choose from this is a great free VPN!
100% open source (and audited)
Constantly under development
Daily updates and mirrors
Perfect for security
Can sometimes get laggy
No P2P or Torrenting allowed
VPNGate is run by Japan’s University of Tsukuba. It runs on a relay of volunteer computers. The software is open source and receives regular updates to improve it and keep it available for users.
The main reason for the project is to help people that live in locations with strict government censorship. The project also provides daily mirrors to protect users from the main site going down.
Sadly the Uni project won’t allow Peer to Peer, torrenting or other illegal activities. It also keeps logs, and would comply with police investigations if asked. That is why this free VPN is only really for accessing blocked websites, to see news or other information.
Connection speeds can also be a bit iffy, because it is run on volunteer machines around the globe.
Highly secure way to get online anonymity
Easy to setup and use
Not a VPN
Can expose users to criminal activities
As an extra, we have put the Tor network in our guide. Although it is not a VPN, it is very similar. Tor runs on volunteer relays around the world and runs on open source software. It is highly secure due to layered encryption (called Onion Routing).
It functions by encrypting data as it passes through at least three different volunteer machines or ‘nodes’. Every time data passes through an exit node it is encrypted again adding another layer of encryption!
When you use Tor, your IP address appears to be that of a volunteer – anonymizing you from the sites that you visit. As there are so many thousands of nodes, there is no known way of identifying users on the network.
The only real drawback of the Tor Project is that it slows down connection speeds considerably. P2P file sharing is not allowed either as it slows down the network too much. All in all, Tor is a fantastic service that is well worth looking into!
Free VPN Considerations
When choosing a Free VPN you must think about a number of things.
The main considerations are:
a) What do you intend to use your free VPN for?
b) How often are you likely to use your VPN to connect to the Internet?
If your biggest reason for needing a free VPN is to unblock restricted or geo-blocked sites – any of the free VPN services in this guide will do the job! However, if you use the Internet a lot and need privacy and security when you do, then you should go for one of the VPNs with no data limits. Sadly that means you will have fewer servers to choose from, and or a speed cap.
That brings us the second important consideration – connection speeds. Slower connection speeds will be terrible for watching any video streaming video content, or music. So if you want to watch blocked shows, for example, don’t use a speed capped free VPN from our list.
If you tend to use the Internet a lot, every day, then you will likely require a free VPN that is super fast and also has no data caps. Sadly that is not really an option. By using a combination of services, however, you may well be able to find a way to get everything you want to do online done in a secure way!
Conclusion for Free VPNs
In 2016 there is a huge growing awareness of VPNs and the privacy and anonymity they provide.
Unfortunately, although everybody likes getting something for free, truly great VPN services charge a subscription fee. For that investment, users get top-of-the-range encryption and access to a network of lightning fast international servers.
Although there are many free VPN services out there, most of those make money out of their user’s data. This runs in complete contrast to the privacy that top VPN providers pride themselves on giving their users. The difference is truly black and white.
This is a huge security risk and is one reason that we cannot recommend many of the free VPNs on the market!
The VPNs in this list, however, are a good middle ground. The VPNs we have found for this guide are trusted. They do handle data securely and don’t sell data on to third parties. They also provide great standards of encryption. In fact, we are confident that all of the providers in this list are perfect for anybody that requires a free VPN in 2016.
Finally, we would like to remind you that there is no real substitute for a paid VPN. We hope that you found what you need in this article, so enjoy trying out these free VPNs, and be sure to leave us a message if we can help in any way!