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The Best Free VPNs to Protect Your Online Activity
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The Best Free VPNs to Protect Your Online Activity

Sam ChenJuly 21, 2017

In this day and age of hackers, government spying, and Nazi ISPs putting down arbitrary rules on who gets full speed to view which service, having a VPN service is by far one of the most important things to have for anyone on the internet.

While I’m sure we would all run VPNs if we had the choice, the problem with VPNs is that it costs money. At the end of the day, VPN provider needs to pay for bandwidth, servers and technicians to run the VPN server. While the costs for a decent VPN service are generally under $15 per month, paying for a VPN is a bit like paying for insurance. You just don’t really want to do it until it’s too late.

Lucky for you, some VPN providers have found ways to provide you with a free VPN service. Some providers do this by selling your browsing information, which is very valuable to a variety of companies, but at the same time compromises your security as the VPN provider will keep logs of your activity to do this. Other VPN providers have found ways to offer a free VPN service by having the paying members subsidize your usage. While none of us want to be freeloaders, this is much more secure method as it ensures the privacy of the users.

Today we’ll be exploring several of the best free VPN services that provide a decent service while still maintaining your privacy.

 

Windscribe

Windscribe is a Canadian based VPN service which has long been a favorite for those looking for free VPN services. Unlike many other free VPN services out there, Windscribe offers up to a 10GB free data limit which is significantly greater than the 500MB most free VPN services offer. While you’re only limited to 8 of the 45 server locations, Windscribe is still excellent for those who can’t justify paying for a VPN.

Security-wise, Windscribe does not log nor does it store any personally identifying data. The application is also secure against IP leaks. In testing, both the IP address and the DNS information was changed to one from the VPN provider.

Speed Test

Download Windscribe

 

CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a Romanian based VPN service that offers a free plan alongside its paid services. The free plan is unlimited to use with no data limits however, there is generally a wait to use the service unless you’re trying to access it at 2AM in the morning. CyberGhost will also show advertisements for their paid plan for those on the free service, but purchase is not required to use the free VPN service.

Security-wise, CyberGhost does not log nor does it store any personally identifying data. The application is also secure against IP leaks. In testing, both the IP address and the DNS information was changed to one from the VPN provider.

Speed Test

Performance on CyberGhost’s VPN service was the fastest of the free VPN services we tested.

Download CyberGhost

 

Hide.me

Hide.me is a Malaysia based VPN service that has been in operation since 2011. The VPN provider offers both free and paid plans and offers a relatively generous 2GB limit per month. While this isn’t as good as the Windscribe or Cyberghost, 2GB is still better than other free VPN services that provide just 500MB or less per month. The biggest issue with Hide.me is that it doesn’t support the OpenVPN protocol with the free service, which depending on your security requirements may be something worth nothing.

Security-wise, Hide.me does not log nor does it store any personally identifying data. The application is also secure against IP leaks. In testing, both the IP address and the DNS information was changed to one from the VPN provider.

Speed Test

Download Hide.me

 

TunnelBear

Don’t let TunnelBear’s cute sounding name fool you into thinking this is some fly by night operation. TunnelBear is one of the most popular VPN services out there, offering both free and paid services. The free service from TunnelBear offers up just 500MB of monthly data before you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan, but hey at least it was 500MB.

Security-wise, TunnelBear does not log nor does it store any personally identifying data. The application is also secure against IP leaks. In testing, both the IP address and the DNS information was changed to one from the VPN provider.

Speed Test

Performance on TunnelBear’s VPN service was the slowest of the free VPNs we tested.

Download TunnelBear

 

Opera (SurfEasy)

One of the best kept secrets of the VPN world is the Opera browser’s free VPN service which is bundled with the browser. Opera doesn’t even enable the service by default, but it’s there if you look for it.

The Opera browser VPN is provided by SurfEasy, which a VPN provider owned by Opera. The free VPN service is unlimited to use and there’s no wait times or any thing to connect however, it only works with the browser so if you’d like to have something to protect other services such as FTP, SSH, or Torrents, this is not the VPN service for you.

If you need something with protection for other services, Opera browser’s VPN service, SurfEasy is also available in both free and paid versions, but the free version is just limited to 500MB per month.

Security-wise, Opera’s VPN (SurfEasy) does not log nor does it store any personally identifying data. The application is also secure against IP leaks. In testing, both the IP address and the DNS information was changed to one from the VPN provider.

Speed Test

Download Opera Browser

About The Author
Sam Chen
Hardware and Technology Enthusiast. SSD Evangelist. Editor-in-Chief.