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The Best 6 Free VPN of 2022 – Secure and Easy to Use

Don’t you hear about large-scale government surveillance now and then? It is not a myth. Whistleblower Edward Snowden told us about this. Ever since then, privacy advocates around the world are spearheading the privacy movement, demanding ‘no privacy breach.’

Unfortunately, the governments of various countries don’t pay attention to what these privacy warriors say. They continue to conduct mass surveillance across the globe in the name of ‘war against terror.’

But people are fighting back, and one of the primary tools in their arsenal is VPN or Virtual Private Network. In case you don’t already know what a VPN is and what it does, I have written a detailed guide that you can read here.

Since Snowden’s stint, many VPN providers have popped up offering premium services that you can buy to hide your online activities. But (yes, there is always that one ‘but’ that shows up) the question that I will answer here is, ‘are there any free VPNs available?’

The answer to this question is quite tricky. It would help if you remembered the cliché saying – “You get what you pay for!”

Okay, now that I have set the expectations right, the proper answer to your question is, ‘YES!’ Yes, you can get free VPNs, and they are genuinely free. You can keep using these free VPNs for as long as you want.

But before you dig into the blurb any further, learn about the pros and cons of using a free VPN. This segment will give you an excellent idea of what you can expect and what you should not expect.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Free VPN

In short, there are more disadvantages than there are advantages. Free VPNs, I believe, are an excellent way to start your experience with VPNs, but their severe limitations get them a big thumbs-down from pro users.

Pros of Using Free VPN

  • You don’t pay anything for using a free VPN.
  • Most of the free VPNs available in the market come from premium providers. The free versions are the scaled-down versions of their paid offerings. So, the free variants enjoy the same security and same encryption technology.
  • The VPN servers that you will get access to follow the same policies as premium counterparts.
  • With a free VPN, you can get hands-on experience with VPNs before you switch to a premium subscription.

Cons of Using Free VPN

  • Free VPNs may have annoying ads. It raises serious privacy concerns because ads gather information on your internet usage habits.
  • Most free VPNs will put a limit on the amount of data you can use.
  • Every free VPN will severely restrict the number of servers available.
  • Some free VPNs will throttle the speed.
  • Most free VPNs will fail to bypass geo-restrictions of streaming services. The truth is, with the limited data, you cannot even think of streaming!
  • Users of free VPNs usually do not get proper support.
  • Free VPNs will usually not give you the choice of selecting from different VPN protocols.

Now that you can set your expectations right, I will start with the list. What you read below is arranged in descending order from worst to best. I saved the best for the last.

#6. Hotspot Shield Free VPN

free VPN

At a glance:

Data allowance15 GB per month or 500 MB per day
Platform supportWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Available serversOne (1)
SupportNo live chat for the free version
Country of originUnited States

Data Allowance – A Severe Drawback

15 GB of data per month may sound like a lot, but trust me, it is not enough. Using YouTube for an hour over Hotspot Shield VPN’s free version will make a significant dent your monthly data allowance.

Worst part?

The daily data allowance is merely 500 MB. What do you think you can do with that? Watch a movie? Not possible!

500 MB data per day is good for light browsing, carrying out some banking or other financial activities online, and unblocking some geo-restricted websites.

That’s the most you can do.

Multi-Platform Support Is, To An Extent, Meaningless

Multi-platform support doesn’t factor in as a big plus because of restricted data allowance. Even if you install the free version on multiple devices running different operating systems, the data allowance doesn’t change.

On the contrary, all your devices will have to share 500 MB of data per day. That’s a severe drawback.

Single Server is Comedy Flick

One server? Are you kidding me?

Did you ever imagine what happens when thousands of free users go online at the same time? The high server load will cripple your internet speed. Frequent connection drops will haunt you even in your dreams.

Ads? Seriously?

It is unbelievable! Trust me! A VPN is all about privacy. Your privacy is breached even by online advertisements. Applications and websites will keep blasting you with ads.

Have you ever wondered how a particular website can show ads about the fancy watch you browsed on Amazon moments ago or the pet collar that grabbed your attention on eBay?

Yes, applications and websites track your online behavior and show ads based on your interest. Isn’t that a breach of privacy?

And Hotspot Shield runs ads in its free version! That’s outrageous!

And that sad story doesn’t end there.

Country of Origin Is A Concern

The company is in Silicon Valley. Shouldn’t that be great? After all, Silicon Valley is the place of great technology innovators!

You are right. What you are missing here is the country of origin. It is none other than the United States of America.

How does that matter?

Did you hear about the 5 Eyes Alliance? Or, the 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes? They are international agreements between five countries, nine countries, and fourteen countries that engage in mass surveillance not only on their citizens but also across the world.

The United States of America was one of the signatories of the initial 5 Eyes Alliance. She remains a member of the other two agreements as well.

I call myself a privacy crusader, and any VPN service that originates in a country that is a member of the alliances mentioned above gets on my radar.

Still Good For A Few Things

So, should you not use it? I will suggest not to if you want to engage in torrenting (which is anyway not possible with the limited data). Basic browsing, white hat online transactions, etc. are just fine. The robust AES encryption of Hotspot Shield will protect your vital data from hackers!

The interface is clean and easy to use. You will not get any hair-pulling setup scenario on any platform you prefer to install the Hotspot Shield VPN application.

Are you looking for more? Sorry to disappoint you, pal! Remember the cliché saying? Yes, ‘you get what you pay for!’

#5. Windscribe Free VPN

free VPN

At a glance:

Data allowance10 GB per month or < 500 MB per day
Platform supportWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux
Available servers10
SupportNo live chat for the free version
Country of originCanada

Data Allowance

Why? Why just 10 GB? That boils down to less than 500 MB a day. With that data allowance, you cannot get any more than occasional protection while transacting online.

If you are happy with that, it is excellent! However, for starters, who want to shop online or send some confidential emails once in a while, 10 GB a month should suffice.

Multi-Platform Support

That’s in line with almost every VPN provider in this world. Everyone wants users across all platforms. This feature is not something that a VPN provider should boast.

Server Availability

If you use Windscribe, you will get a maximum of 10 servers for the free version. You can connect to any. If you are experiencing slow speed on one server, consider switching to a different one. High server load is often the culprit for slow Internet speed.

No Ads Is Good!

Windscribe never shows ads on its free platform, which is excellent from the privacy point of view. Just as I don’t like anti-viruses showing ads, I don’t like VPNs showing ads either.

Country of Origin – Watch Out!

Issuing warnings to others about potential privacy breaches never gets dull with me. So, here is one for you – Windscribe’s country of origin is Canada – a member of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliance.

Yes, Windscribe claims to keep no logs, and hence, country of origin should not be a concern. But, there is no harm in staying alert. You are not going to inspect their server storage to validate their claims, are you?

What’s Good About Windscribe?

Same old, same old! They have military-grade encryption that will protect your confidential data from hackers. They have an easy setup and a clean interface.

What’s great is that the free version comes with an adblocker feature. That’s something you won’t find easily.

#4. TunnelBear Free VPN

free VPN

At a glance:

Data allowance15 GB per month or 500 MB per day
Platform supportWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Available servers20+
SupportYes, live chat for the free version
Country of originCanada

Data Allowance – What’s Up With The 500 MB Fascination?

I don’t get the logic behind this minuscule data allowance. It is the 21st century, where almost everything is online!

And, I shouldn’t be saying this, but these are dark times, and we need to watch cute cats and dorky dog videos to stay motivated. One such video is enough to gobble up the daily data allowance! How will humanity survive with 500 MB a day?

Multi-Platform Support – Umm, It’s Not A Big Deal

If you have multiple devices running different operating systems, this feature is no big deal. In case you use, say, Windows and your friend uses Mac, the feature is excellent.

I already spoke of this above. You know what I want to say.

Servers – Respectable Offering

20+ servers are far better than one server, don’t you think so? At least you can enjoy distributed load and hence, better speed and no frequent disconnections.

No Ads!

Folks behind TunnelBear have at least some sense. For starters, ads are annoying at times. For semi-pros, ads breach privacy. TunnelBear upholds privacy, at least in this segment.

What does that mean? Read on!

Country of Origin

Canada is a member of the 5 Eyes Alliance, and it also signed the 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes agreements. Do I need to say anything else?

Here is a double whammy for you – McAfee Securities acquired TunnelBear. McAfee is located in the United States of America.

I am not talking of a singular office. It is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, USA.

Joke!

Anything Good?

Yes! You can stay protected against hackers trying to get your banking details when you shop online. You can bypass geo-restrictions of websites. Don’t think of streaming, please, I insist! Your data wallet will have a meager 500 MB a day.

Even if you use the free version, you still get access to 24×7 customer support, which is a rare gem in the world of free VPNs.

Finally, like every other famed VPN provider, TunnelBear, too, has a straightforward and clean interface that you will love.

#3. Speedify Free VPN

free VPN

At a glance:

Data allowance2 GB per month
Platform supportWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Available serversAll
SupportNo live chat for the free version
Country of originUnited States

Data Allowance – I am Speechless

I am speechless! Honestly, I am! I mean, 2GB? Seriously?

I don’t even want to go into the mathematics of per day data allowance. Okay, fine! I will give you the data you want. It is 68.27 MB data per day.

Good luck with anything you want to do with that!

Multi-Platform Support

Fine! It runs on multiple platforms, including Linux, but how does that help with 68.27 MB of data per day? Given a chance, I will not opt for Speedify’s free option.

All Servers Available

The question I am about to ask is for people behind Speedify. Really? I mean, what on earth can someone do with all those servers with nearly non-existent data allowance?

Yeah, great! You are offering all servers for both free users and premium users, and I appreciate that, but all it takes to use up 68.27 MB of data in a day is to open four heavy webpages!

As far as I am concerned, your offering is a “pure” bluff!

No Ads – Okay, I Am Impressed

Speedify doesn’t run ads on the free version of their application. That is good! Nothing more to say here.

Country of Origin Creates Suspicion

Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA – that is where you can find the headquarters of the company. So, even if there are no ads, the privacy concerns always keep lingering around.

The country of origin is a member of the 5 Eyes Alliance, 9 Eyes Alliance, and 14 Eyes Alliance. The country has organizations like NSA, CIA, etc. that are known for conducting rampant surveillances without consent.

No matter how much Speedify tries to convince me of the no-logs policy or big lectures on privacy, I will not trust them completely.

Whether you want to use it, is up to you.

Great Things About Speedify

Speedify did come up with a few good things. They have a performance-boosting tech that combines all your available internet connections to give the best performance. They have military-grade encryption, and they offer a straightforward interface.

But all these things don’t culminate into something awesome when you look at the country of origin – one of the founding members of the worldwide surveillance agreement!

#2. Hide.me Free VPN

free VPN

At a glance:

Data allowance10 GB per month or < 500 MB per day
Platform supportWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Available servers5
SupportYes, live chat for the free version
Country of originMalaysia

Data Allowance Is Terrible

Data allowance is the segment where Hide.me could have done better. Mere 10 GB of data a month is not suitable for anything except instances of online shopping or emailing confidential stuff. You can’t even use that minuscule data for video calling.

Multi-Platform Support

You can use the VPN on various operating systems, which is excellent, but the free version will allow you to use the application on only one device.

Servers Are Limited Too

Wasn’t that expected? Free VPNs offer a fewer number of servers compared to their paid versions. I will say that their offering is way better than Hotspot Shield. At least, you will not experience an extreme drop in speed.

What About Ads?

Nope! They will not bother you with advertisements. You are good to go! They don’t have an adblocker feature like Windscribe’s free version.

Country of Origin – In a Safe Heaven

Malaysia is the place where Hide.me has set up its headquarters. Malaysian law dictates that no one can ask any organization to record customer data. So, your privacy is quite safe.

In case you are wondering, no, Malaysia is not a member of 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes alliances.

Good Things?

Now I am bored, but here you go:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • 24×7 tech support even for free users
  • Smart and simple interface
  • No speed throttling
  • No logs

That’s quite impressive for a free version!

#1. ProtonVPN Free

ProtonVPN

At a glance:

Data allowanceTruly unlimited
Platform supportWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Available servers3
SupportNo live chat for the free version
Country of originSwitzerland

Data Allowance Is Unparalleled

You don’t see this every day, do you? ProtonVPN’s free version gives genuinely unlimited data. There are no data caps at all.

But there is a catch! Even though you have unlimited data, you cannot use streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, PlutoTV, etc.

Also, torrenting is not available in the free plan, and neither can you use the Tor network with the free VPN.

Also, ProtonVPN will deliberately throttle the speed. They openly declare it. Only premium users can enjoy high speed. If you are settling for the free version, you will get medium speed.

I am quite okay with those restrictions because there has to be a tradeoff. There will be features available only for premium users. No point whining about it.

Multi-Platform Support

Different users may have different operating systems. ProtonVPN addresses the problem with its multi-platform application.

If you have multiple devices running different operating systems, you may feel tempted to install ProtonVPN on all devices, but you cannot do that with the free version anyway. The free version supports only one device.

Sever Availability

The free version of ProtonVPN will allow you to access only three servers. That’s fine! With streaming and torrenting out of the question, you don’t need access to all servers. On top of that, the servers for the free version have speed throttling in place. You can use only those servers.

No Ads At All

ProtonVPN will not show any ads to you even if you are using the free version of the application. It doesn’t fit well with their privacy commitment.

Country of Origin Is Switzerland

Switzerland often goes by the name ‘Privacy Heaven.’ Switzerland is known for having some of the world’s strongest privacy laws. It is entirely outside the jurisdiction of the EU and the USA.

First thing first, ProtonVPN never keeps logs. Even if they did, no one in this world could force them to hand over your data. Your privacy is stays protected under Swiss law.

Great Things About Free ProtonVPN

You already know what I am about to say, but still, here is what you need to know:

  • Unlimited data (ProtonVPN is the only VPN provider to offer that)
  • AES encryption technology to keep your data safe
  • No logs policy
  • Easy interface
  • Decent speed for a free VPN

Considering all these factors, I will choose ProtonVPN over others if I were to select a free VPN.

Now that you have the list of best free VPNs, you are free to stop reading. However, I will urge you not to do so. I have put in some vital information that you must read. The information below will help you in staying aware.

Essential Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Free VPN

#1. Where is the VPN provider located?

I keep stressing on this particular point simply because of one reason – privacy. We are living in a dirty world where spying agencies are keeping an eye on everything you do in the digital world. It includes sending and receiving SMS, browsing websites, making online purchases, watching videos, and even something as simple as creating a word document.

Do you think Microsoft is not logging anything? They are!

VPN providers can lie, and there is no way you can verify their claims because you are not going to go and visit their server locations physically. Will you? The worst part is that the VPN providers will often create painstakingly long privacy policies, EULA (end user license agreement), ‘terms and conditions’ pages.

You will never even bother to read them. Somewhere there in those pages are the fine prints of how they operate, who they share your data with, and other vital details.

Those located in countries that are members of 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance often have very shadowy policies. No matter how much they shout, they are never outside the law of the land. Even if they say that they do not store logs, it is hard to believe so.

VPN providers located in member countries of 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance often use hard drive storage of their servers. They claim that they wipe off the data regularly, but do they? Have you ever verified such claims?

It is because of this, privacy advocates like myself will always suggest you go for a VPN provider located in a country outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.

#2. What do you want to do with the free VPN?

Your ultimate motive will determine whether you should go for a free VPN or a premium subscription. You should not opt for a free VPN if you want to achieve the following:

  • Stream video content from streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, etc.
  • Download files from torrenting websites
  • Bypass the Great Firewall of China
  • Use split tunneling to selectively protect your data
  • Play online games

A free VPN is okay if you want to:

  • Send confidential emails occasionally
  • Bypass geo-restrictions of certain websites
  • Safeguard your financial data during online shopping
  • Keep your identity safe when you use a public Wi-Fi

#3. What is the business model of your preferred VPN provider?

If the VPN provider you prefer shows ads in the free version of their application, they are compromising with your privacy. Some VPNs like the Hotspot shield displays ads in their app when you use their free version.

What they are doing is that they are allowing third-party vendors to access your data (your browsing habits). It is not good! When advertisers get access to your data, they can do anything with it.

Such VPN providers make money by selling your data. What does that mean? They are no privacy warriors. They don’t care about your privacy. They want to make money, and they do so by fooling you, and by lying to you. Stay away from them.

That’s all! Final advice – select a free VPN wisely.

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