Best Free VPN – Top Free VPNs Reviewed 2016

BEST FREE VPN 2016
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Best Free VPN Services 2016

UPDATED: March 3, 2016


It is 2016, and there are more VPN service providers than ever before available today. 2015 was a massive year for the VPN marketplace, with huge increases of individuals and teams choosing to implement VPNs on their devices.

For this reason, I felt it important to make a concise list of the absolute best free VPN services available. Thus, below is a list of the 5 best free VPN providers of 2016 for you. However, before reading on, we highly recommend you consider paying just a little bit for a top-level VPN rather than using a completely free VPN service. 

Why? Because it's unfortunately become common for many free VPN providers to track, steal and sell their users' data. This is how such free VPNs are able to make money to keep their free service running -- by essentially selling their users' privacy. 

Beyond this major reason, free VPNs are also limited in how effective they protect or deliver their service in comparison to paid VPNs.  


We strongly recommend trying out a paid VPN before deciding whether to use a free VPN or not. ExpressVPN are one of the best on the market and offer a 30 day free trial →


With that said, we do understand that most paid VPNs are simply just out of budget for some users. It is for this reason that we hugely appreciate the few free VPN service providers that genuinely strive to deliver a VPN service for free without sacrificing too much with regards to feature and performance limitations. 

The free VPNs we recommend on this page cannot be compared up against paid VPNs, such is the level of difference between the two VPN types. However, the following recommendations will still provide you with a solid level of privacy protection and data security while you browse online. So let's dive in!

Best Free VPN Services 2016 - Overview

RANK

PRICE

VPN PROVIDER

RATING

REVIEW

30 Day Free Trial

↑          MOST RECOMMENDED          ↑

→ CyberGhost is a premium VPN service that offers a completely free plan of their VPN service. This free service is the most powerful, consistent and privacy-protecting free VPN service out there today. What is really great about CyberGhost is the top level of customer support and that it is based out of Romania, so does not answer to strict US or UK privacy laws/jurisdictions.


→ VPN Gate is a completely open source project. It is 100% free and non-commercial -- run by volunteers from all over the world, this VPN service was originally created by the University of Tsukuba in Japan. It's performance is not of the same calibre as the above mentioned VPNs, but it does deliver and is closely updated by its worldwide generous user base.


→ SurfEasy is a VPN service based out of Canada that, although premium, does offer users a free plan. The reason this VPN is not higher in the list is purely because of the somewhat limited number of servers offered to users (and server locations therein.) However, this VPN service is still very good and also has a very clean and attractive interface.


→ TunnelBear is often compared to the above VPN service, SurfEasy, for also being Canadian-based and offering a free service to users. This VPN is one of the most widely-known free services. Although it does not allow P2P file sharing on the service, users do get the option of connecting to this VPN across three simultaneous connections (e.g. you smartphone, laptop and smartTV.) This is another VPN provider that has great customer service and a user-friendly interface.


→ Hotspot Shield is one of the most simple VPN services to get setup and using, in most part due to how lightweight the actual VPN is. However, this ease-of-use and simplicity does result in "blanketing" quite a lot of technical components and settings of the VPN that any semi-savvy user would want to know and manage to ensure their connection privacy and security. 



Now let's look into each of the five recommended free VPNs individually to give you a more detailed idea of each before you make your decision. 

5 Best Free VPNs - In Detail

BEST FREE VPN: CYBERGHOST

cyberghost_logo

Overall Score

Features

Speed

Customer Service

Company Summary

CyberGhost are definitely the best free VPN on the market right now. They are one of the easiest VPN services to get setup with and use. Most significantly, they are able to sustain and improve their free VPN service through the many users that actually use the paid version of the VPN. The fact that so many users pay for this VPN regardless of the free option being available is real testament to how high quality both their free and paid VPN service is. We cannot recommend this free VPN enough.

Homepage Snapshot

Operating System Compatibility

VPN Protocols Offered

L2TP

PPTP

OPEN VPN

Pros

  • ​Zero-logging policy
  • Romanian-based (increased data protection)
  • Uses shared IPs to increase data encryption
  • BitCoin payment accepted (should you wish to try the paid version)

Cons

  • Speed is capped on the free version

The Verdict

CyberGhost offer a free VPN service that is comparable to many paid VPN services on quality and consistency of service. The setup process is one of the easiest out there. This provider regularly update their free VPN service, have brilliant customer support on standby and have the best privacy protection processes in place of all free VPN services out there. As the absolute best free VPN available, we definitely recommend giving them a try!


2ND BEST FREE VPN: VPN GATE

vpn gate logo

Overall Score

Features

Speed

Customer Service

Company Summary

VPN Gate is a non-commercial and completely free VPN service. This free VPN was created as an open source project by the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Every single server offered up by this free VPN are operated by volunteers.

Homepage Snapshot

Operating System Compatibility

VPN Protocols Offered

L2TP

PPTP

OPEN VPN

NAT Firewall

Pros

  • Constantly updated every day
  • Engaged and active community
  • Completely open source

Cons

  • Slow speeds
  • Does not allow P2P activity
  • Keeps logs

The Verdict

Being the only VPN that is completely run and sustained by volunteers, VPN Gate is a fantastic concept. It is a fully distributed VPN system that is based on SoftEther (thus being completely open source.) Users and volunteers constantly put up mirror sites every single day to evade government censorship, which is brilliant. As mentioned, these advantages also produce downsides in the form of logs requiring being kept (because it is an educational service) for up to 3 months. We also experienced big fluctuations on speed and connection consistency, so bare that in mind when considering this free VPN.


3RD BEST FREE VPN: SURFEASY

surfeasy logo

Overall Score

Features

Speed

Customer Service

Company Summary

SurfEasy are based out of Canada and are a VPN provider that, like CyberGhost, offer up both a free VPN and paid VPN service. The free VPN is very easy and quick to setup, with the only real sacrifice for users being the limited number of servers available. Overall though, this is a great free VPN service that is consistent and offers a solid level of privacy protection. 

Homepage Snapshot

Surfeasy shot

Operating System Compatibility

VPN Protocols Offered

L2TP

PPTP

OPEN VPN

Pros

  • Great customer support
  • Multiple simultaneous connections available
  • Speeds are consistently great

Cons

  • P2P activity is not supported
  • Data download cap is placed

The Verdict

Ultimately, SurfEasy are a small Canadian-based VPN service provider with big aspirations of bringing VPN to the entire online world of users. Having their free VPN take on the same fantastic features like multiple simultaneous connections and epic customer support (by phone is offered) is really rare for a free VPN, so we cannot recommend giving them a try.


4TH BEST FREE VPN: TUNNELBEAR

TunnelBear_Logo

Overall Score

Features

Speed

Customer Service

Company Summary

TunnelBear is a Canadian-based VPN service provider that offers a clean and minimal service -- ideal for the novice user who is not too tech savvy. They offer a solid free VPN that is quite similar to SurfEasy, in that users get a great service and support while restricting P2P activity. It's worth noting that this VPN provider's style of branding is really good fun and entertaining!

Homepage Snapshot

tunnelbear shot

Operating System Compatibility

VPN Protocols Offered

L2TP

PPTP

OPEN VPN

Pros

  • Consistent and steady performance
  • Very little logs kept
  • Very simple VPN - ideal for the novice user
  • Multiple simultaneous connections

Cons

  • P2P activity is not supported
  • Cap on downloading in place
  • Small amount of countries offered

The Verdict

As mentioned, TunnelBear is similar to SurfEasy in that they are a Canadian-based free VPN service provider that offers great support and service performance while not allowing P2P activity. One advantage that TunnelBear has is in its approach to user communication. From the website to the VPN application setup and usage; it's an entertaining interaction. 


5TH BEST FREE VPN: HOTSPOT SHIELD

hotspotshield_logo

Overall Score

Features

Speed

Customer Service

Company Summary

Hotspot Shield is a free VPN service that is definitely one of the easiest to setup and use of all mentioned here. This free VPN provider focuses on keeping user interaction with it simple and clean, which is great. However this leaning on simplicity does seem to come at the cost of some important technical information on the service being more difficult to determine. Hotspot Shield is nonetheless a good free VPN service that, in spite of its limitations, serves the end-user well. 

Homepage Snapshot

hotspot shield shot

Operating System Compatibility

VPN Protocols Offered

L2TP

PPTP

OPEN VPN

Pros

  • Simple, intuitive software
  • Consistent speeds

Cons

  • Ads are implemented on this free VPN
  • Server usage is restricted to the US

The Verdict

The real bonus feature that Hotspot Shield has to offer is its "always on" connection protection system which ensures your data is secure throughout your internet connect, regardless of location changing. Their VPN interface is very clean and super easy to familiarise with. We must admit though, that the advertisements placed on this free VPN service are rather annoying and certainly sour the user experience somewhat, in addition to some of the major on-demand media streaming service providers like Hulu and Netflix being restricted from accessing while on the Hotspot Shield free VPN. Overall, however, this is definitely one of the best free VPN service providers out there, hence our including it in this 5 best VPNs list.


5 Best Free VPNs - Conclusion

So in conclusion, we most highly recommend CyberGhost as the best free VPN service provider on the market today. The main reasons for this are because the inevitable feature and performance restrictions placed on their free VPN service are of the most generous and sensible of all the free VPN service providers mentioned in this list. 

Ultimately we recommend giving each of the mentioned free VPNs a try to see which one suits you and your needs best. They are all different in specific ways, just like you - the end-user! They are all completely free, so in the end each of these VPN providers are incredibly generous and sincerely care about protecting the individual users' data privacy and unblocking as much internet censorship as they can. Hats-off to all of them for that!

Always keep in mind that you are naturally giving yourself more restrictions and limitations regardless of the free VPN service provider you decide to go with. As mentioned earlier in this post, we definitely recommend trying out a VPN service like ExpressVPN that offer a lengthy (30-day) free trial so you can get a feel for the unrestricted and limitless power a paid VPN service will offer you. 


Here is our summary of our most recommended best free VPNs one more time, just in case you are still undecided:

RANK

PRICE

VPN PROVIDER

RATING

REVIEW

30 Day Free Trial

↑          MOST RECOMMENDED          ↑

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