10 Best Free VPN Software Solutions for 2024

Free virtual private network (VPN) solutions are tempting.

They are great options for unblocking region-restricted content, encrypting internet traffic, or protecting your online identity on public Wi-Fi. Best VPNs mask the internet protocol (IP) address of your device. Then, they route the encrypted data through fast and secure networks in faraway countries. The result is improved privacy protection and data security.

When you use a VPN, your IP address is hidden from attackers, ISPs (internet service providers), snoopers, and hackers. 

Buuuuuut, you know how it goes: you get what you pay for. When free VPN services use unreliable and overcrowded servers, you end up with nothing but a sluggish browsing experience. Plus, some free VPN providers are known to sell your data to advertisers or even have poor data security measures in place. Free VPN subscriptions might do more harm than good unless you’re careful.

In this article, we’ve done the legwork to help you choose the best free VPNs that are safe to use. 

These top ten free VPN service providers offer free versions or free trials, along with money-back guarantees. If you don’t want to invest money in products you’ve never tried, these are your best bet. 

Top 10 best free VPNs in 2024

Whether you’re looking for a VPN to browse the internet anonymously or protect your device from a man-in-the-middle attack, there’s a free VPN. 

The free VPN list below contains real user VPN reviews from the best free VPN software category page. It’s important to note that in the context of this list, vendors offering a free trial are also considered free. To be included in this category, a solution must:

  • Let devices connect to private networks using encryption and other security techniques.
  • Provide users with authorized access to private networks and sensitive data.
  • Encrypt data by sniffing network traffic at the packet level.
  • Use tunneling protocols to route connections to secure networks.

*This data was pulled from G2 in February, 2024. Some reviews may have been edited for clarity.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN provides users with secure access to the internet on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Android TV. It offers security features to safeguard you against malware, trackers, intrusive ads, and malicious URLs. Besides offering unlimited bandwidth and fast connection speed, NordVPN lets users choose from 5,600 servers in 60 countries. You can download the free version from the app stores.  

What users like best:

“One of the most impressive features of NordVPN is its advanced data security measures. This virtual private network service uses military-grade encryption to protect user data and offers multiple protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. NordVPN also has a strict no-log policy, ensuring no user data is stored on its servers.”

– NordVPN Review, Abhijeet S.

What users dislike:

“I don’t like the fact that there is a small data limit, and when using a VPN, it fills up fast. I also don’t like the restriction for free subscriptions on where you can access.”

– NordVPN Review, Ethan P.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers a single VPN subscription for all devices. Besides IP address masking, it uses advanced encryption standards (AES) – 256 to protect online activities. Users can also enjoy unlimited bandwidth and choose from VPN servers in 94 countries. The TrustedServer technology is a noteworthy privacy feature that keeps you safe from online activity tracking and malicious sites. ExpressVPN offers a risk-free 30-day free trial along with paid options.

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What users like best:

“ExpressVPN has one of the best applications. You can have it on your laptops – Windows or Mac – and all your other devices. Especially if it’s a streaming device like a phone or tablet, it’s the go-to for safe web browsing. You can get different content on your streaming service depending on your chosen area.”

– ExpressVPN Review, Sam Y.

What users dislike:

“Occasionally, there are connection issues with the laptop version. This happens when the laptop “falls asleep.” The VPN then has difficulty reconnecting and sometimes has to be “repaired” using the Add/Delete Apps function in Windows.”

– ExpressVPN Review, John S.

3. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a high-speed Swiss VPN that shields your data using encrypted VPN tunnels. Moreover, it doesn’t log your online activities or share data with third parties. ProtonVPN is unique because they don’t serve ads even in their free VPN version. Paid version users can enjoy up to 400% increased VPN speeds thanks to their VPN Accelerator technology. You can use it for all devices, including PCs, smartphones, Mac computers, and routers. 

What users like best:

“Unlike most other VPN providers, ProtonVPN offers a free plan (not a trial or demo). While the free plan is somewhat limited, it does provide a great opportunity to try before you buy.”

– ProtonVPN Review, Alan T.

What users dislike:

“Free servers are available but are limited to only three. They need to provide at least 5-10 free servers so that a user can try them out. Sometimes the VPN won’t connect even with a great internet connection, which makes them lose their users, too.”

– ProtonVPN Review, Sai N.

4. Windscribe

Windscribe has a VPN desktop application and browser extension, so you can browse the web privately. It blocks ads and encrypts browsing activity, meaning no one can track or sell your data. WindScribe uses IP address masking to let you unblock restricted content in over 69 countries. Plus, it never leaks users’ domain name system (DNS) information. The free version offers 10 gigabytes (GB) of monthly data and access to more than 10 countries when you register with an email address. 

What users like best:

“I have been using Windscribe for the last two years, and it’s one of the best VPNs available on the web that includes a free plan (offering 10 GB of data every month). The speed is good, and it opens the door to blocked websites. The most beautiful part about Windscribe is that it takes no time to connect with the servers.”

– Windscribe Review, Nadeem Ul Haq M.

What users dislike:

“If you decide to go Pro, the pricing can be quite expensive to unlock all features. The email ticketing system can also be somewhat slow when responding to issues, although it has improved in recent years.”

– Windscribe Review, Daniel A.

5. ClearVPN

ClearVPN is a personalized VPN solution with a strict no-log policy and top-tier encryption. The effortless, intuitive interface makes it easy for users to browse privately on iPhone, PC, tablet, Android, and Mac devices. You can download the free version from the application store that is native to your operating system. 

What users like best:

“ClearVPN helps me provide an extra layer of security for my browsing. Some of the important decentralized applications that I use for my company are sometimes not accessible, so ClearVPN helps me access them very easily. It helps me block ads while browsing content. It’s very cheap compared to other VPNs. I also received an extra six-month subscription for free while opting for the 12-month subscription.”

– ClearVPN Review, Ananthu V.

What users dislike:

“Slower downloads and streaming is what I didn’t like. It also failed to connect me to Disney+ Hotstar successfully. However, Netflix and Hulu work well. I’ve also faced issues while playing Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and testing other role-playing video games.”

– ClearVPN Review, Jerome G.

6. TunnelBear

TunnelBear VPN keeps your online activities private on any network, including public WiFi and hotspots. It uses AES-256-bit encryption to safeguard you from password and data theft. Plus, you get to unblock content in 47 countries. TunnelBear can also be an excellent option for bypassing local censorship. Their global server network ensures no throttling or buffering while you browse the internet, and their free version offers 2GB of secure browsing data. 

What users like best:

“I installed this on my mobile (Huawei) while overseas and it worked like a dream, so easy to use. Nice map interface – select your desired location, and the Bear sets up the connection within seconds and even makes a little roar noise!”

  چرا سرمایه گذاران به بازاریابی اعتماد دارند، اما نه به بازاریابان؟

– TunnelBear Review, Liz S.

What users dislike:

“One aspect that I did not like about TunnelBear is that when choosing where to connect it only allows you to choose a country or zone. However, the application doesn’t allow you to choose which server or IP you want to use. This way, whenever you connect to a country, the application assigns you a different IP address. It can be a great inconvenience if you’re using an application and want to always connect with the same IP address.”

– TunnelBear Review, Richard D.

7. Hide.me

Hide.me is a reputed VPN service provider trusted by 25 million users across the globe. It ensures 99.99% uptime with a diverse network of 2100 servers in 78 countries. The software protects user privacy with multiple VPN protocols and AES-256-bit encryption. Plus, it also offers protection against DNS, web real-time communications, IPv4, and IPv6 leaks. The free version offers 10GB of monthly data and lets you access servers from five locations. 

What users like best:

“I like that when there are disruptions in the VPN, Hide.me blocks the internet connection until you manually authorize it to proceed. This helps against any unsecured connection being met. The pricing is also very affordable, and the number of locations provided is highly satisfying.”

– Hide.me Review, Trisha D.

What users dislike:

“Although this software has a wide variety of servers, their speed is very poor. I did some tests to measure the connection speed, and they leave a lot to be desired.”

– Hide.me Review, Emiliano L.

8. VyprVPN

VyprVPN lets you browse the internet privately with features like split tunneling, DNS leak protection, and a no-log policy. The ، switch feature protects your personal information and peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic by blocking the internet and network traffic in case of VPN disconnection. VyprVPN stands out with its 100+ server locations and lightning-fast connection speeds. Their free trial comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What users like best:

“It’s really quick to connect and offers excellent speeds. Reliable connectivity as well. They have also added support for Wireguard, which is pretty cool. The protocol support is pretty robust, especially their custom-developed protocol called Chameleon, which works pretty well most of the time.”

– VyprVPN Review, Binoy S.

What users dislike:

“A disadvantage of this program is that it has a high cost for users, and many other similar programs offer the same service for a low cost. They should set a reasonable price to have more users enjoying this service.”

– VyprVPN Review, Raymond C.

9. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield’s performance is unrivaled, with 3,200 VPN servers in over 80 countries and over 35 cities. Besides military-grade encryption, it uses a proprietary VPN protocol for fast and secure internet access. You can access at least 800 servers and up to 1 GB per second connection speed with the free version. The paid options let you access more virtual locations and enjoy streaming services. 

What users like best:

“The best thing about Hotspot Shield is that its interface and installation process are very smooth compared to other VPNs. Switching between different countries at a faster speed is an awesome feature. The Hydra Catapult protocol technology enables these features at a much faster speed.”

– Hotspot Shield Review, Qaisar S.

What users dislike:

“The emergency power off switch to disconnect the Internet connection (if the VPN is disconnected) does not work properly. It doesn’t allow me to reconnect Hotspot Shield again without deactivating it first before pressing the connect button.”

– Hotspot Shield Review, Ulises A.

10. Surfshark

Surfshark gives its users secure VPN services with 3,200 bare-metal servers across 65 locations. This VPN solution protects you from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and always lets you change your IP address. Other features include their no-logs policy and high-speed content delivery. Surfshark offers a 7-day free trial for Android, iOS, and macOS users.

What users like best:

“Surfshark is the best VPN I have used till now. I have been using Surfshark for the past 2 years, and it has met my expectations. I have used many VPNs, but Surfshark wins the game here. As a premium customer, I can say that Surfshark will be in the lead in the future. The speed of their servers is almost the same as my broadband speed.”

–  Surfshark Review, Dinakar P.

What users dislike:

“Speed is very low when compared to other service providers. There are fewer servers for paid customers as well. Frequent disconnections and less secure when compared to others.”

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–  Surfshark Review, Sai N.

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These are the best free VPNs you should be using in 2024 for faster internet speeds during anonymous browsing. However, some may limit daily data usage, the number of devices and servers you can connect, and the duration of use. Let’s go over a few frequently asked questions on virtual private networks so you know everything about free VPN solutions before using them. 

The latest on VPN laws:

The U.S. Restrict Act was introduced in the Senate in March, 2023. It aims to review, reduce, and block risky foreign information and communications technology (ICT) transactions. The law doesn’t explicitly ban the use of VPNs. However, individuals using VPNs to access restricted content can be subject to severe consequences under the Act.

Frequently asked questions on free VPNs

1. Are free VPNs safe to use? 

Free VPNs are safe to use but can also put user privacy at risk. Some free VPN services work right off the bat, while others frustrate users. Free VPNs also often limit speed, data usage, and the number of servers and device connections and might hardly unblock streaming sites.

Keep these risks and factors in mind while using predatory free VPNs.

  • Activity monitoring: Some free VPN providers track and store your online activities to sell the data to third parties and marketing agencies.
  • Malware: Free VPNs offer robust security measures, while others can contain harmful malware, including adware and spyware.
  • Data restriction: Free versions often limit your browsing experience with a fixed megabyte (MB) amount.
  • Limited connection speed: Even the best free VPN tools limit connection speeds for free users, preventing you from enjoying a fast browsing experience. Consider running a speed test before you get a subscription.
  • Less freedom to choose servers: You’re less likely to have access to more than five server locations on most free VPN services.
  • Lack of features: Free VPN software options like split tunneling or ad blocking may not offer features.

2. What are the best free VPNs of 2024?

Our best free VPN picks are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN, Windscribe, and ClearVPN. 

3. Is a free VPN app worth getting?

The answer varies depending on how you plan to use a free VPN. It may do the trick if you simply want to encrypt server connection while accessing public WiFi. However, a free solution limits the data you can use, so it won’t help you much if you’re looking to download terabytes of torrent files. 

4. How do you choose a free VPN?

Regarding VPNs, speed and security are the most critical considerations. Examine the VPN provider’s protocols and the number of servers it has. The greater the number of servers, the faster your connections will be. Consider asking the following before choosing a free VPN:

  • Does it sell your data to a third party?
  • Can it avoid fingerprinting and block ads?
  • Does the VPN provider have a no-log policy?
  • Can you sign up anonymously?

These questions will help you understand whether or not a free VPN protects your privacy. 

5. What are the challenges of using VPNs?

With VPN uses, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks.

However, the most significant disadvantage of a VPN is that your internet connection can become slower. After all, your device must first connect to a VPN server before accessing the target website. This minor diversion inevitably takes some time. That is why you should seek a VPN provider with the fastest speeds.

6. Who are free VPNs best for?

Free VPNs are best for unblocking geo-restricted content and protecting your privacy while browsing public WiFi. However, you should think about a paid VPN subscription for unlimited data usage and 24/7 connections. 

7. When might a free VPN not be a good choice?

A free VPN connection may not be a good choice for streaming sites, downloading torrents, or gaming because of data limits or strict data allowance policies.

8. Is there a 100% free VPN?

Honestly, very few VPNs are 100% free. Most of them offer limited trials, money-back guarantees, and a limited number of servers. The VPNs listed above are the best free ones out there. 

9. What is the best free VPN for PC?

NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and ProtonVPN.

10. What is the best free VPN for Android?

NordVPN, ClearVPN, and Surfshark.

Keep your data away from prying eyes

Free VPN software solutions help you protect online privacy, keep data secure, and maintain anonymity. These systems route your data through remote servers so no third-party snoopers or hackers can access, track, or spy on your online activities.

Exploring how VPNs help you browse the internet? Check out how a VPN works to protect your online identity.

منبع: https://learn.g2.com/best-free-vpn