Our Top Picks

Atlas Logo
Atlas
4.5
  • Just $1.39 per month when paid triennially
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unique SafeSwap tool automatically rotates your IP address
Cheapest Paid Upgrade
Visit Atlas
When it comes to free VPNs, there are more options out than ever before. Meanwhile, paid subscriptions remove the limitations of free plans and typically come with extra features that aren’t available in the free alternative. A paid subscription to Atlas costs just $1.39 per month when you pay every three years, and there are no bandwidth limits, speed caps, or other restrictions. While $1.39 per month still isn’t free, it’s about as close as you can get if you want an unlimited VPN.

All Atlas subscriptions also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you roughly one month to see whether the platform works for you. In July, its team also introduced a new SafeSwap feature that enables users to rotate their internet protocol (IP) address automatically without having to switch between different servers. Atlas claims to be the only VPN currently offering this function.

If you don’t want to commit to a three-year plan, you can still get access to Atlas for $9.99 per month or $2.49 per month paid annually. Atlas only accepts credit cards, Google Pay, and PayPal, putting it behind competitors that support other payment methods like cryptocurrencies and even cash.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Just $1.39 per month when paid triennially
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unique SafeSwap tool automatically rotates your IP address

Cons

  • Issues with customer support

What Customers Are Saying

While the majority of customers are satisfied with Atlas VPN, a surprising number of users had issues with their customer support. Atlas responded to most of the negative reviews we saw and tried to offer a solution, but it’s clear that subscribers have had relatively inconsistent experiences with their customer service team.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 3 Years: $1.39/month
    • 1 Year: $2.49/month
    • 1 Month: $9.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    32 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.5
ExpressVPN Logo
ExpressVPN
4.6
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Applications for almost any device you can think of
Free VPN With the Most Servers
Visit ExpressVPN
The more servers a VPN offers, the more options you’ll have when creating a connection. Having servers in a larger number of countries also allows subscribers to connect to different locations, which can be helpful for accessing content that’s locked behind regional restrictions for streaming services. With more than 3,000 total servers across 160 locations in 94 different countries, ExpressVPN has the most impressive server collection of any VPN in 2021.

ExpressVPN also supports more devices than most other VPN providers, with clients available for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, Chromebooks, and Kindle Fires. There are also ExpressVPN applications for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and various smart TV systems including Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV. You can even install the application directly on your router to protect every device on your network.

While ExpressVPN doesn’t offer an ongoing free option, all of its subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. After that, you can keep your account open for $12.95 per month, $9.99 per month paid every six months, or $8.32 per month paid annually. Atlas and other cheap VPNs offer significantly more affordable subscriptions, but ExpressVPN is the best choice if you’re looking for as many servers as possible.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Applications for almost any device you can think of

Cons

  • Starts at $8.32 per month after 30-day money-back guarantee

What Customers Are Saying

While you’ll have to pay a premium to keep an ExpressVPN subscription open, it has some of the strongest customer feedback of any VPN on the market. Users are happy with the platform’s reliability and deep collection of servers, ensuring that they’re always able to find a good connection.

Summary

ExpressVPN Logo
ExpressVPN
  • Starting Price
    • One-month: $12.95
    • Six months: $9.99
    • 15 months: $6.67
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Not provided
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    94 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
Hotspot Shield Logo
Hotspot Shield
4.6
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free plan comes with 500 MB of data per day
  • Family plans for $19.99 per month/$11.99 per month paid annually
Best Money-back Guarantee
Visit Hotspot Shield
If you’re looking for a new VPN, you probably want to test the platform you choose before you commit to spending any money. Hotspot Shield gives new subscribers an incredibly generous 45-days to decide whether the service is right for them, more than two weeks longer than what you’ll get with most other providers. Its unbeatable money-back guarantee makes it a low-risk option — just remember to make a decision before the end of the refund period.

Hotspot Shield is also well-known for its support for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus. One difference with other privacy-focused VPNs is that Hotspot Shield’s privacy policy includes references to some logging, which may turn some users away. The platform was also publicly accused of violating its privacy policy in 2017, and it has never undergone an independent audit or taken other meaningful steps to address the allegations.

The free Hotspot Shield tier comes with one device, one location, and 500 MB of daily data. Individual paid accounts are available for $12.99 per month, or $7.99 per month if you pay for a year at a time. All plans come with a password manager plus antivirus software and a spam call blocker, and you can also get a family plan with five accounts for $19.99 per month or $11.99 per month paid annually.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free plan comes with 500 MB of data per day
  • Family plans for $19.99 per month/$11.99 per month paid annually

Cons

  • Some privacy concerns

What Customers Are Saying

Customers and reviewers offer positive feedback for Hotspot Shield’s fast speeds and compatibility with most popular streaming services. However, several publications have raised concerns with the service’s privacy policy and response to allegations filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2017.

Summary

Hotspot Shield Logo
Hotspot Shield
  • Starting Price
    • Free for Basic
    • $7.99/month for Premium
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Not provided
  • Support
    Email
  • Number of Countries Available
    70+ Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
Ivacy Logo
Ivacy
4.4
  • Works with Xbox, Linux, browsers, routers, and more
  • Just $59 for two years of VPN access and 2 TB of encrypted cloud storage
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Best Device Compatibility
Visit Ivacy
Every VPN on this list should work smoothly on Windows and Mac, and most of them are also compatible with the iOS and Android operating systems. However, Ivacy offers significantly more than that including support for Xbox as well as Linux and the Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers. You can also set up the VPN directly on your router to protect all traffic on your home network regardless of the device that’s connected.

While Ivacy’s blog contains a post claiming to announce the release of a free “Ivacy Lite” option, that article came out in 2018 and there is currently no information on the website about any free access. However, you’ll likely have to pay a monthly, annual, or biennial fee to use the service. We were surprised to find this service openly advertised on its blog and yet missing from the rest of the website.

Ivacy costs $9.95 per month when you pay for individual months, but that goes all the way down to $3.66 per month for a full year. Two-year subscriptions are available for a one-time payment of $59, which works out to just $2.45 per month. These plans also currently come with 2 TB of encrypted cloud storage, making it one of the better deals on this list for users who are looking for storage in the cloud.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Works with Xbox, Linux, browsers, routers, and more
  • Just $59 for two years of VPN access and 2 TB of encrypted cloud storage
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Unclear messaging about Ivacy Lite

What Customers Are Saying

Ivacy only has a small number of user reviews, but the feedback we were able to find is generally positive. One particularly popular feature is support for up to 10 devices on the same account, much more than most other VPNs offer with individual subscriptions.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 2 Years: $2.45/month
    • 1 Year: $3.66/month
    • 1 Month: $9.95/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free version available
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    52 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.4
Kaspersky Secure Connection Logo
Kaspersky Secure Connection
4.1
  • Excellent customer support
  • Just $2.50 per month paid annually
  • Decent free plan with 200 MB of daily activity
Best Customer Support
Visit Kaspersky Secure Connection
Kaspersky is one of the best-known names in cybersecurity, and its VPN stands out to us due to its exceptional customer service. The Knowledge Base contains detailed articles about a variety of Kaspersky applications, and you can get support through email, phone, live chat, or even remote assistance — all available 24/7. These outstanding resources and positive experiences from past users make Kaspersky a clear choice for the best customer support of any VPN in 2021.

While Kaspersky’s VPN comes with its own branding and customer service, it’s worth noting that it’s powered by Hotspot Shield — as the Kaspersky website notes, the “Kaspersky VPN uses Hotspot Shield technologies.” Meanwhile, we would expect its VPN to offer similar performance to Hotspot Shield itself. Since there’s no difference in the servers themselves, you’re mostly paying for access to Kaspersky’s support team instead of Hotspot Shield’s team.

The free tier of Kaspersky Secure Connection is limited, with just 200 MB of traffic per day and no control over the server you connect to. Users can upgrade to a paid subscription for $4.99 per month, or $29.99 per year when paid annually, which is essentially a 50% discount. These plans come with simultaneous access on up to five devices.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent customer support
  • Just $2.50 per month paid annually
  • Decent free plan with 200 MB of daily activity

Cons

  • Essentially a licensed version of the Hotspot Shield VPN

What Customers Are Saying

While Kaspersky doesn’t offer its own servers, it’s still an extremely popular option because of its incredibly competitive prices. Even though Kaspersky uses the Hotspot Shield infrastructure, it’s substantially cheaper at just $2.50 per month paid annually compared to $7.99 per month for Hotspot Shield.

Summary

Kaspersky Secure Connection Logo
Kaspersky Secure Connection
  • Starting Price
    • Pro: $20.74/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free version available
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    24 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.1
ProtonVPN Logo
ProtonVPN
4.4
  • No bandwidth limits on free plan
  • Paid access from $48 per year ($4 per month)
  • Apps for Linux, Chromebook, Android TV, and other devices
Best Unlimited Free Plan
Visit ProtonVPN
Bandwidth caps are the most common restriction with free virtual private networks (VPNs), and they can also be one of the most frustrating. Unlike most other providers, ProtonVPN doesn’t impose any bandwidth limits on either paid or free users. While you will be limited to one connection, 23 servers, and “medium” speeds, you’ll be able to upload and download as much as you want without hitting any caps. As such, ProtonVPN has the best unlimited free plan of any VPN in 2021.

ProtonVPN has always had a limited command-line tool for Linux, but its new Linux desktop application makes the service more accessible than ever for Linux users. It also released clients for Chromebooks and Android TV near the end of 2020, making ProtonVPN one of the most versatile providers when it comes to access on different devices.

The three main limitations of the ProtonVPN free tier are servers, simultaneous connections, and internet speeds. The Basic tier comes with more than 350 servers plus a second connection, higher speeds, an ad blocker, and peer-to-peer (P2P)/BitTorrent support for $4 per month paid annually. Plus adds access to all 1,200-plus of ProtonVPN’s servers along with up to 10 connections, up to 10 Gbps speeds, and support for Secure Core, TOR connections, and streaming services.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No bandwidth limits on free plan
  • Paid access from $48 per year ($4 per month)
  • Apps for Linux, Chromebook, Android TV, and other devices

Cons

  • Free tier comes with one connection, 23 servers, and speed caps

What Customers Are Saying

ProtonVPN users appreciate its seamless setup process and the quality of its free option relative to the alternatives. Customers also note that servers are highly concentrated in Europe and North America, with much less availability in other areas of the world.

Summary

ProtonVPN Logo
ProtonVPN
  • Starting Price
    • Free version available
    • $4/month for Basic
    • $8/month for Plus
    • $24/month for Visionary
  • Free Trial/Demo
    7-Days Trial
  • Support
    Email, Ticket
  • Number of Countries Available
    44 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.4
Surfshark Logo
Surfshark
4.1
  • Seven-day free trial plus 30-day money-back guarantee on Android, iOS, and macOS
  • Add on antivirus, identity protection, and private searching for $1.49 per month
  • Whitelist specific websites to avoid routing activity through the VPN
Best Free Trial
Visit Surfshark
While Surfshark doesn’t offer any ongoing free plan, it does offer one of the best free trials and refund policies in the entire VPN industry. The trial isn’t available on Windows devices, but you can currently test out the service for a full seven days on Android, iOS, or macOS at no charge. Even after the end of the trial period, you can still get a full refund of your subscription fee for up to 90 days. Those programs make Surfshark the VPN with the best free trial in 2021.

Users can also bundle the VPN with Surfshark One, a broader cybersecurity service that comes with identity protection and private internet searching. The Surfshark team also introduced antivirus software into the Surfshark One package in August 2021 to make it a more comprehensive solution for internet users. Surfshark One can be added onto any Surfshark VPN subscription during checkout for just $1.49 per month.

The VPN itself costs $12.95 per month when you pay monthly, or $6.49 per month when you pay every six months. Annual plans are available for a lower rate of $4.98 per month, and new customers can also get two years for the price of one when they open their first subscription. Every Surfshark subscription option comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Seven-day free trial plus 30-day money-back guarantee on Android, iOS, and macOS
  • Add on antivirus, identity protection, and private searching for $1.49 per month
  • Whitelist specific websites to avoid routing activity through the VPN

Cons

  • Starts at $4.98 per month for annual plans after the introductory offer

What Customers Are Saying

Surfshark users like the platform’s support of advanced features like split-tunneling and multihop connections. However, a small but significant number of customers report issues with their connection including slow speeds and unexpected disconnects.

Summary

Surfshark Logo
Surfshark
  • Starting Price
    • One-month: $11.95
    • 24-month plan: $1.99/month
    • 12-month plan: $5.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Support
    Email
  • Number of Countries Available
    63+ Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.1
TunnelBear Logo
TunnelBear
4.5
  • Annual security audits
  • Servers in several South American countries
  • Delete account data at any time
Most Transparent
Visit TunnelBear
The most important thing you can do when looking for a free VPN is to make sure you find a provider you can trust. TunnelBear goes further in respect to transparency, undergoing a fresh security audit every year and publishing the results on their website. The audits are completed by Cure53, a German cybersecurity company that specializes in website penetration testing. What you see is what you get, so TunnelBear was an easy choice for the most transparent free VPN available in 2021.

TunnelBear currently offers servers in a total of 41 countries — far more than some of the alternatives, but still well short of top competitors like ExpressVPN (94) and Hotspot Shield (more than 70). Like ProtonVPN, most of TunnelBear’s servers are concentrated in Europe and North America, but there are a surprising number of options in South America including Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.

In contrast to ProtonVPN, TunnelBear limits free users by total bandwidth rather than by speeds or server access. You’ll only be able to use the service for up to 500 MB of monthly data, making it more suitable for testing or extremely light usage rather than anything consistent. Unlimited plans are available for $9.99 per month, $5 per month paid annually, or $3.33 per month paid every three years.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Annual security audits
  • Servers in several South American countries
  • Delete account data at any time

Cons

  • Free plan limited to 500 MB per month

What Customers Are Saying

TunnelBear has received generally positive feedback from both consumers and professional reviewers. It’s also popular for its welcoming, user-friendly design that stands out from most other VPNs.

Summary

TunnelBear Logo
TunnelBear
  • Starting Price
    • Free for limited usage (500mb of secure browsing)
    • Unlimited: $3.33/month
    • Teams: $5.75/user/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Not provided
  • Support
    Email
  • Number of Countries Available
    22+ Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.5
Windscribe Logo
Windscribe
4.5
  • Build your own plan for $1 per location per month
  • No speed caps on free plan
  • Split-tunneling, port forwarding, and multihop connections
Best Free Features
Visit Windscribe
Like all free VPNs, Windscribe’s free option comes with some notable limitations — for example, you’ll be limited to servers in a total of 10 countries and capped at 10 GB of data per month. Even though 10 GB per month is a theoretically lower cap than something like Hotspot Shield’s 500 MB per day, monthly limits are much more practical than daily limits for the vast majority of users. However, its free tier doesn’t impose any speed caps or any other restrictions on use, giving consumers a surprisingly decent option without having to spend any money at all.

While ProtonVPN stands out for offering unlimited data, it also restricts connection speeds for free users, so Windscribe may offer the better free option for those who would rather deal with a limit on bandwidth instead of connection speed. Windscribe also offers helpful features like split-tunneling and port forwarding along with multihop connections, enabling users to send their activity through two different VPN servers instead of one. You can also use the platform to appear as if you’re browsing from the country in which your server is located.

Paid Windscribe plans are available for $9 per month or $49 per year, which works out to roughly $4.08 per month. It also offers a unique “build a plan” program in which each server location costs $1 per month. If you want access to three locations, for example, you’ll only have to pay $3 per month. While that might sound like a good deal on paper, it will significantly limit your connection choices — users on the regular Pro plan can switch between all of Windscribe’s servers.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Build your own plan for $1 per location per month
  • No speed caps on free plan
  • Split-tunneling, port forwarding, and multihop connections

Cons

  • No live chat or phone support

What Customers Are Saying

The main thing that stands out to us when reading through Windscribe impressions is how well the free plan works for the majority of users. While 10 GB of monthly data might not cover consistent streaming or downloads, it’s more than enough for light use and the occasional video.

Summary

Windscribe Logo
Windscribe
  • Starting Price
    • Monthly plan: $9.00
    • 1 year plan: $4.09/month
    • Build a Plan: $1/location/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    1 Day Trial
  • Support
    Email, Ticket
  • Number of Countries Available
    60 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.5
ZoogVPN Logo
ZoogVPN
3.9
  • Just $1.87 per month when paid biennially
  • Get around streaming service restrictions
  • Supports BlackBerry devices
Best for BlackBerry
Visit ZoogVPN
A BlackBerry VPN might not be appealing to most users, but it’s a welcome addition for those who are using the BlackBerry operating system. ZoogVPN is one of only a few VPNs offering dedicated service for BlackBerry devices — there’s even a detailed setup guide on the ZoogVPN website to help you get started. Its unique focus on BlackBerry makes them the best option for BlackBerry users in 2021.

Additionally, ZoogVPN offers 24/7 support through chat, phone, and email, giving customers more options than most other VPNs. It has also received high marks for its performance on various streaming services. While many providers struggle with the blocks these platforms place on VPN connections, PCMag and other publications and users report reliable performance on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and other streaming services through ZoogVPN servers around the world.

ZoogVPN also provides one of the better free options we’ve seen. Free users are limited to three server locations, a single device, and 10 GB of monthly data, but they can still take advantage of most of the platform’s features. Paid plans start at $9.99 when you pay monthly, but you can get a full year at the much lower price of just $2.99 per month. Biennial subscriptions come with an even greater discount, going all the way down to $1.87 per month. Overall, ZoogVPN is one of the top free and low-cost VPNs on the market.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Just $1.87 per month when paid biennially
  • Get around streaming service restrictions
  • Supports BlackBerry devices

Cons

  • Servers in just 26 countries

What Customers Are Saying

ZoogVPN users are happy with the platform’s extremely affordable two-year option and its surprisingly robust free plan. They also appreciate having a VPN that reliably circumvents streaming restrictions, something that most other providers struggle with as streaming services implement new restrictions on VPN connections.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 2 Years: $1.87/month
    • 1 Year: $2.99/month
    • 1 Month: $9.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free version available
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    26 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 3.9

How We Chose the Best Free VPNs

Looking for a free VPN is a confusing process. There are some reputable providers out there, but free VPNs often come with a catch — for example, your VPN might sell your activity data to third parties. Privacy is one of the main reasons to use a VPN in the first place, so having your data exposed largely defeats the purpose of getting one.

To help you find the right free VPN, we focused on a few critical factors. While we were able to identify certain strengths and weaknesses of each VPN on this list, the best option for you depends on what you need and what you’re willing to sacrifice.

How They Make Their Money

Naturally, the first thing we had an eye out for is how each of the providers on this list make their money. If they’re not getting it from you, they’re getting it from somewhere else. The best providers are generally upfront about what they do rather than trying to hide their practices.

The most common way that reputable VPNs offer free services is by having paid subscribers subsidize the cost. This is essentially a strategy for lead generation — in other words, having the opportunity to convert free users into paying members is worth the cost of keeping them active. We’ve noted other business models where applicable to help you understand what you might be getting into.

Limitations

Free VPNs typically come with certain restrictions. Some of the most common limitations include bandwidth limits, speed caps, and access to a smaller range of servers. Some providers offer a limited-time free trial with all of the features that are available with the premium service.

If you only need a VPN for a few tasks each month, bandwidth limits might not be a problem. On the other hand, you might prefer a free VPN with speed caps and no bandwidth limits if you use a lot of data on basic web browsing and other low-impact activities.

Security

Most people want a VPN to stay safe online, but that only makes sense if you trust your provider. Fortunately, some VPNs are taking steps toward transparency by voluntarily undergoing third-party audits of their logging practices or even of their entire code.

While promises of “no-logging policies” are easy to find in VPN marketing copy, they don’t mean anything unless they’ve been verified. We’ve highlighted providers who were willing to have their claims be tested by an independent security expert. We’ve also touched on other relevant security features such as kill switches, anonymous payment options, and 256-bit encryption.