4 Favorite Free VPNs In 2020

4 Favorite Free VPNs In 2020

In Uncategorized by bertie

We’ve warned you about the hidden costs of free VPNs.

But we realize not everyone wants — or needs — to pay. So, we’ve drawn up a list of our four favorite free VPN services that promise watertight security alongside a handful of other great features.

…and while we’ll always recommend that you pay, we’re equally happy to suggest these four VPNs to anyone who prefers the free route — as who knows: you might love the software so much that you’re happy to upgrade (if you decide to go premium, be sure to check our guide to the top five VPN apps in 2020).

For now, let’s see what the free VPNs have to offer.

1. Hotspot Shield Free VPN

  • Devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Servers: 1
  • Data limit: 500MB per day
  • Live chat: No

Hotspot Shield is our favorite free download. The free version includes most of the premium features. It’s easy-to-use. And the 500MB daily data allowance will serve most of your browsing needs.

Crucially, Hotspot Shield is also hyper-security-focused. Its ‘military-grade’ encryption means there’s no need to worry about data breaches or hacks — but where you might come unstuck is on setup. It can be fiddly, which is off-putting to many users (that said, once you’re up-and-running, it is easy to use). You’ll also have to put up with adverts. And you are limited to one server location, which Hotspot Shield will choose for you.

And a final word of caution: to access the free version, you have to complete a seven-day free trial of the premium version. That means parting with your credit card information — not a worry for some, something to avoid for others.

2. TunnelBear Free VPN

  • Devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Servers: 20+
  • Data limit: 500MB per month
  • Live chat: Yes

TunnelBear is a super user-friendly option that works just as well on mobile as it does on desktop. And while it looks less serious in its design, even the free version has some serious bite, especially after McAfee took over.

You might question the need to pay — that is until you use it for a short while. TunnelBear has a meager data limit of just 500MB per month, which doesn’t leave much room for use except for when you need added protection (say, if you’re checking a bank balance, confidential email, or document on-the-go).

It’s certainly not suitable for streaming; it’s barely suitable for work. But if you test it and like it, it’s simple to upgrade to a great paid-for version that removes the restrictions — you can even sign up without a first name, making it easier than ever to get going.

3. ProtonVPN Free Version

  • Devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Servers: 3
  • Data limit: Unlimited
  • Live chat: No

ProtonVPN offers something few other VPN services would dare: an unlimited data allowance without dropping a dime. That’s a huge win for anyone. And it’s not as if it comes at the compromise of security: ProtonVPN is excellent on the privacy frontIt could well be the perfect play if you’re looking for a free option to help with work. Well, it almost is.

Naturally, the free version has limitations, a major one being speed throttling (meaning you suffer a super-slow connection when the VPN is busy with paid subscribers). You can also only use one device (granted: with a server in up to three locations), but these limits aren’t too serious for many. That said, if you run into a problem, the lack of live support is a challenge for most.

Still, with its unlimited data, a strict ‘no-logging’ policy, and an easy sign-up process that needs nothing more than an email address: it’s worth giving ProtonVPN a try — you won’t even see any ads, which is a rarity in the modern age.

4. Windscribe Free VPN

  • Devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
  • Servers: 10
  • Data limit: 10GB per month
  • Live chat: No

Windscribe isn’t as generous as ProtonVPN, but it still offers a lot of free data at 10GB per month. When looked at in the context of its ultra-secure setup, there’s a lot to love about this free VPN service.

Windscribe won’t store your connection logs, IP stamps, or any details of the sites you visit. In fact, the server only logs your username, the details of the server you connect to, and the amount of data you use — but even these details vanish within three minutes of you closing a session.

You can choose from ten remote server locations (including the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, and the USA). And the built-in adblocker and firewall keep those pesky ads from disrupting your concentration. However, the connection speed is very flaky, which can get frustrating if you’re trying to access anything important. 

How To Choose Your Free VPN

Free VPNs are very appealing at first glance. 

However, you need to ask yourself five crucial questions — before you sign up — to ensure you don’t give away more data than you bargained for.

  1. How does it make money? Even free VPNs are a business, and they must make money. Some use a free version to attract new users, but others may sell your data or do something that compromises your privacy.
  2. How does it protect my device? The level of protection determines the quality of the VPN. Make sure any free VPN goes to sufficient lengths to deter would-be hackers from accessing your device.
  3. What don’t I get for free? If you don’t pay, you don’t get access to features. That may mean limited bandwidth, limited locations, or no adblocker or firewall — if you can live without these, there’s no need to pay.
  4. What data does the VPN log? VPNs are about providing privacy. Make sure a free VPN doesn’t store your online activity by checking the end-user license agreement — and if you can’t find the detail, be wary of bad practices.
  5. What does it take to sign up? If you can sign up without giving away an email address or other personal information, you’ll avoid being pressed to pay or being bombarded by ads.

There are benefits to free VPNs. And there are points to consider before you pay. If you’d like free advice, give Mid-coast Tech a call on 207-223-7594 — we can help you decide if free or paid-for is the best option for you.