I won’t be surprised if you never heard of the free virtual private network. Companies like NordVPN or ExpressVPN spend millions to advertise their products on TV and on the internet making huge exposure. Naturally, they can’t be free apps since marketing spend is huge. 

But… free VPNs exist and they bring the majority of premium VPN features. Let’s look at TOP 3 free VPNs that we have tested.

1. ProtonVPN

You must know ProtonMail – a Swiss-made email engine built with a clear goal – secure email communication. So these guys had one more brilliant idea – to build security and privacy-focused VPN.  They did it and the result is awesome.

What we liked:

  • No bandwidth limits
  • No logging policy
  • Military-grade security

What we disliked:

  • Only 3 countries
  • Single device allowed

As usual, ProtonVPN offers a free version of the app for the beginners. Meaning that only 3 countries are available (which might be enough for many users), you can’t use ProtonVPN on more than 1 device. 

But after all, you get to enjoy all the pros that a premium virtual private network brings you – strict no-logging policy, no ads on the app or website, great connection speeds. And sometimes paid VPNs don’t have that! Worth mentioning that free users will not be at top of priority when some speed or connectivity issues will occur.

What devices are supported? – Windows PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

Even though all this might sweet, but the best part is that free ProtonVPN does not cap your data usage. You can watch as many YouTube videos as you want.

If you ever decide to go premium, here are the pricing plans:

2. Hotspot Shield VPN

Hotspot Shield VPN based in the United States is one of the first VPNs on the planet. It has more than 700 million installs already and puts serious numbers on speed tests. 

Of course, this virtual private network is in 14-eyes Alliance which might give mixed feelings for many privacy concerned users. 

Should you compromise your privacy for a rapid and free VPN?

What we liked:

  • Incredible connection speed
  • Great App design

What we disliked:

  • 500MB/day data cap
  • Keeps logs
  • Connection drops

The pricing structure for Hotspot Shield is almost identical to its competition. You have a freemium version with a limited number of countries, an app with ads (different than ProtonVPN), limited device number. But this is okay, and most users should not complain since the VPN is free of charge.

The problem comes quickly if you are a data-hungry user. A great number of people are getting VPN to their machine is due to the fact that it opens various content on the internet and Netflix most famously. 

Now, free Hotspot Shield is capped at 500MB per day so streaming videos means reaching the cap rather quickly. It is the single reason why Hotspot Shield is not the best free VPN in 2019.

Regarding supported devices, Hotspot Shield offers fewer including – Windows PC, Mac, iOS, Android. Linux is not supported as no manual install instructions are provided.

By the way, during our extensive review, we found out that Hotspot Shield also logs user records. So if you do not want to reveal your actual IP address, email address, hardware type and model, OS version, language, username and also network information – maybe this VPN is not for you.

On paid version, fewer records are being logged by Hotspot Shield. So if you are tempted to switch, here are the pricing plans:

3. Tunnel Bear VPN

Tunnel Bear is in the VPN business since 2011, founded by the experienced guys that have worked in Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, and other big names. Expectations for them are high. Let’s see how VPN with a bear in it holds up in a free version world.

What we liked:

  • No logging policy
  • Safe and secure

What we disliked:

  • 500MB/month data cap
  • No Netflix
  • Slow speed

From the first impression, you might think that this is some kind of fun product without any serious commitment to security and privacy (or maybe it’s just me). But actually, Tunnel Bear is packed with features meant to secure your web traffic. 

Even with the free version, you get 256-bit AES encryption, no-logging policy, and DNS leaking-free product.

Again, with Tunnel Bear, the biggest drawback of the free version is the data cap. And if Hotspot Shield capped you at 500MB per day, Tunnel Bear only allows you 500MB per month! You should consider this VPN only if you are not constant use and require a layer of privacy from time to time, in public wifi zone. 

Regardless of what kind of version, paid or free, Tunnel Bear will not unlock Netflix content so keep this in mind if that’s what are you looking for in your future VPN.

Another point worth covering – performance. We did multiple tests with both paid and free VPN version but neither of them had impressed us. The connection was slow compared to their competitors and with drops that occur quite often. 

It’s great that Tunnel Bear offers a free version of the VPN so every user can have good luck before investing in the product.

Have a look at paid version plans before making your decision:

Bonus! Free VPNs worth mentioning

Windscribe

What we liked:

  • No logging policy
  • 10 GB per month

What we disliked:

  • Lack of servers
  • App performance

Speedify

What we liked:

  • Decent performance
  • Military-grade privacy policy

What we disliked:

  • No Netflix
  • Lack of features

Have your favorite free VPN that is not here? Let us know!

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