Is a Free VPN Safe? What’s the Catch?

Free VPN

The best way to complement excellent protocols and encryptions is by having legal security. Checking whether the VPN’s main office is in a country with strong data protection laws is vital. The best-case scenario is that the company isn’t in a country that’s part of the five, nine, or fourteen eyes surveillance agreements.

Versatility and ease of use. Using a free VPN or a paid one with a rough user interface isn’t worth the time. VPNs nowadays can be straightforward, so if you’re unable to access the setting you want in a short time, you should consider another one.

It should be easy to use regardless of the platform you’re using, whether it’s a PC, laptop, or smartphone. The VPN should allow multiple connections as well.

Third-party audited. VPNs can claim anything, but until an independent third-party verifies them, you can only take them at their word. Some companies that have checked VPN apps and whether they keep logs are QSCert, PwC, and Cure53.

Speed. This factor is the most important one for many. After all, no one likes to see their speed slow down due to their VPN connection. As far as the VPN is concerned, you only need to look for a company that offers multiple options. It can prove essential to have distinct configurations to ensure you can have high speeds while streaming, torrenting, or else.

Pricing. The cost is the first thing that many people consider, especially if they’re pondering whether or not to use a VPN with a free version. Most of the time, it isn’t worth using it if you can afford a premium one.

Paid VPNs always have more features and are more reliable than free ones. Still, their price can vary significantly. Check whether they have accessible plans, offer money-back guarantees, and if they change costs after the first month or year.

What Are the Best Free VPNs?

If you’re still considering getting a free VPN, then you should get one of the following. These have a no-logs policy in their terms of service and were audited at some point by a security company or have transparency reports. They have various limiting factors, but they’re the most trustworthy and reliable options available:

Proton Free VPN


ProtonVPN has both a free version and a premium one. This is the only free VPN that offers unlimited data, which is enormous compared to most others that deliver from 500MB to 10GB per month. Also, the premium service is one of the most affordable ones at $5.00 per month. It provides a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.

Still, it has a couple of detriments. ProtonVPN has limited server locations, including the US, Netherlands, and Japan. Regarding speed, it doesn’t precisely throttle it, but it does use a low priority connection that slows down at peak hours when many paying users start to use it.

If you were considering a free VPN for streaming, this one isn’t suitable. ProtonVPN states that you have to upgrade to Plus if you want to use it for that. Otherwise, its performance is irregular.

This provider has a strict no-log policy and advanced protocols and encryptions. It has clients for Mac and Windows and apps for Android and iOS. Overall, ProtonVPN might be the best free VPN available and the most trustworthy one as well.

Windscribe free vpn logo


Winscribe is a decent free VPN that supports most operating systems and devices. It has excellent security measures, but its privacy policy states that they keep some activity logs. These logs include the last time you were active, the amount of data transferred per month, and the transaction ID of your payment (for 30 days only.)

Free users have 11 server locations available that have high speeds and are spread worldwide. You can also use it on any number of devices. However, this VPN provider has a low data limit of 2GB each month which you can increase to 10GB per month if you give them your e-mail.

It isn’t the most intuitive VPN available, but it’s among the best free ones. Windscribe has good speeds but a hindering data limit. The Pro version has a monthly cost of $9.00.

TunnelBear free vpn logo


TunnelBear is a reliable free VPN that has a simple user interface. Installing the software is quick, and the user interface’s style is unique and pleasing too. The security and encryption are up to date, and its free version doesn’t cap your speeds.

In addition, free users can have every server location available, which number up to 26. It’s available for Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, and you can use it on multiple devices. However, TunnelBear has a glaring downside. Its data limit is only 500MB per month. You can increase it by 1 GB by tweeting about TunnelBear, but it doesn’t solve the problem.

It might be the best free VPN for server locations, but it has a pretty atrocious bandwidth limit. You might put it to use in specific situations but don’t think about streaming with it.

Are There Premium VPN Services You Can Try Without Risks?

Testing a premium product might be time-consuming, but it’s the best way to figure out which VPN you prefer. Most of them are more secure, offer unlimited bandwidth and speeds, provide excellent customer support, and let you use them for streaming.

Although you technically have to pay upfront, almost every provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for their paid version. Here are some of the best premium VPN services available that you can try out without any risk whatsoever:

  • NordVPN
  • Surfshark
  • ExpressVPN
  • Mullvad
  • iVPN
  • Private Internet Access

The Bottom Line

Although some free VPNs can keep you safe, such as ProtonVPN, Windscribe, and TunnelBear, the rest of them often raise serious privacy concerns. They can track your information and sell it, contain malware, and even not work correctly at all.

Almost every premium service offers more features than any free VPN. Nonetheless, if you’re still considering getting a free one, you have to take care when choosing. The three mentioned here have a trustworthy free version that’s as safe as their premium ones but incredibly limited in some aspects.

They have limited server locations except for TunnelBear and significantly low data limits except for ProtonVPN. However, none of them keep connection logs, with some exceptions from Windscribe.

Keep in mind that you can access some remarkable VPNs at a small cost and enjoy a safe online experience.


Related Content