The 8 Best Free VPN Services of 2019

Unblock Netflix, use BitTorrent, and even speed up your connection

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Windscribe, "Has a generous data cap, excellent speeds, decent server choice, and a strict no-logging policy."
  • Best for Ease of Use: TunnelBear, "You can get up and running almost instantly even if you have absolutely no prior experience."
  • Best for Fast Servers: Speedify, "Their turbocharging technology can actually increase your connection speed in some cases."
  • Best for Unblocking Streaming Services: ZenMate, "It was actually able to unblock the BBC iPlayer and US version of Netflix in testing."
  • Best for Unlimited Data: ProtonVPN, "There are absolutely no caps on the amount of data you can use."
  • Best for Free Data on Multiple Devices: Hotspot Shield, "You can use the service on up to five devices."
  • Best for Privacy: Hide.me, "They feature a strict no-logging policy."
  • Best for Bittorrent: SurfEasy, "An alternative that allows P2P connections without upgrading to a premium plan."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Windscribe

Windscribe VPN

Courtesy of Windscribe

4.3

Windscribe is our top pick for the best overall free VPN. With a generous data cap, excellent speeds, decent server choice, and a strict no-logging policy, this is the best all-around free VPN that you’ll find.

Most free VPNs place a limit on how much data you can transfer per month, and some also cap how much you can transfer per day. Windscribe has a fairly generous cap that allows 10GB of transfer each month, with no daily limit.

Windscribe also allows you to connect to servers in 10 different countries, with no limits on the number of connections you can establish. Device connections are also unlimited, so you can use this VPN on all the Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS devices you like. It’s also available for Fire TV and Nvidia Shield, and you can even use it with your VPN router.

If you feel like a 10GB data cap isn’t enough, we have other options with more data. Other than that, Windscribe ticks all of the right boxes.

Best for Ease of Use: TunnelBear

Tunnelbear

Courtesy of Tunnelbear

3.9

If you’re brand new to the world of virtual private networks, TunnelBear is the VPN that you’re looking for. VPNs don’t get any easier to use than this, and you can get up and running almost instantly even if you have absolutely no prior experience.

The best thing about TunnelBear is how easy they make it to use their apps and browser plugins. Each app and plugin is designed with a simple map-based interface and features a friendly cartoon bear. Simply click or tap to enable the VPN, tap your desired connection location, and you’re in business.

The app is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and the browser plugin works in Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

TunnelBear does feature a very restrictive data cap on the free version, so this service is best for light or occasional usage. Free accounts receive only 500MB of data each month, with occasional promotions that provide additional data.

Best for Fast Servers: Speedify

Speedify

Speedify

3

Virtual private networks usually slow your connection down, and free VPNs sometimes place artificial limits on your connection speed. Speedify bucks that trend, as their turbocharging technology can actually increase your connection speed in some cases. This feature is available in the free version of the service, which is why it’s our top pick for speediest free VPN.

Speedify has native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and each app has their turbocharging technology built right in. The main purpose of the app is to connect you to the Speedify VPN, but it’s also capable of pooling all available internet connections, like ethernet, Wi-Fi, and cellular, and combining them to achieve the highest download and upload speeds possible.

Coupled with some of the fastest VPN servers in the business, Speedify’s turbocharging technology guarantees that this free VPN won’t leave you trapped in the slow lane.

While free users have the same access to Speedify’s fast servers that paid users enjoy, free accounts are limited to just 5GB of data per month.

Best for Unblocking Streaming Services: ZenMate

ZenMate VPN

ZenMate

3.8

Streaming services that region-lock content don’t like VPNs as a rule, so finding a free VPN that can reliably unblock sites can be a chore. We found that the free version of ZenMate has the best track record and that it was actually able to unblock the BBC iPlayer and US version of Netflix in testing.

The free version of ZenMate places limitations on your speed, prioritizing paid users for fast data, the number of platforms you can use, and the server locations that you can connect to. You also don’t get access to their streaming guarantee, which promises uptime for working streaming services and is only available with their Ultimate plan.

Unblocking sites with a free VPN will always be a game of cat and mouse, with streaming services identifying and blocking them at a higher rate than paid VPNs. Since you can use ZenMate for free, there’s no cost associated with checking to see if it’s working at any given time.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best VPNs for Netflix article.

Best for Unlimited Data: ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

4.6

Heavy data users will want to take a look at ProtonVPN, which takes our pick for best free VPN with unlimited data. Unlike free versions of premium VPNs that severely limit the amount of data you can transfer each month, ProtonVPN places no such limitations. It also has a fantastic privacy policy, which is what the service is best known for.

Most free VPNs cap the amount of data you can use per month, or even per day, and the VPN is no longer available once you reach that cap. ProtonVPN won’t leave you scrambling for a replacement part of the way through a month, as there are absolutely no caps on the amount of data you can use.

With its great record on privacy, and unlimited data, ProtonVPN would be a contender for best free VPN if it didn’t limit you to one device, only allow connections to a limited number of servers, and give paid users priority in terms of data speed.

Best for Free Data on Multiple Devices: Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

3.7

If you use a lot of data on a lot of different devices, Hotspot Shield is a great free VPN with a generous data allowance. Free users are provided with about 15GB of data per month, which beats out most of the competition, and you can use the service on up to five devices.

The catch with Hotspot Shield is that you can’t use your full data allowance however you see fit. Instead of providing you with 15GB of data per month, they actually provide you with 500MB of data per day. The cap resets daily, and there is no carryover. If you need to use more than 500MB one day, you’re out of luck.

If you use about the same amount of data every day, then HotSpot Shield’s data allowance is fairly generous. You can also use it on up to five devices at once, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and the Chrome browser.

Aside from the data cap structure, the only other drawback of HotSpot shield is that the free version includes ads.

Best for Privacy: Hide.me

HideMe

HideMe

Hide.me is the free VPN that takes our pick for the best privacy and security. They feature a strict no-logging policy, and they’re located in a jurisdiction that can’t legally force them to record your data. They also feature a high level of encryption for a free VPN.

If you’re concerned about privacy, and most VPN users are, Hide.me publishes a yearly transparency report that details all the data requests that they have received. Since they’re located in Malaysia, they can’t be compelled to record or release your data, so they don’t.

Data transferred through Hide.me is protected by AES-256 encryption, and the service uses highly secure protocols like OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec.

Despite the high level of security, the free version of Hide.me is also surprisingly fast, includes unlimited bandwidth, and doesn’t force you to view ads.

Hide.me is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire devices, browsers, and you can even use it with VPN routers. Up to five devices can be connected at once.

Best for Bittorrent: SurfEasy

SurfEasyVPN

Surfeasy 

Most free VPNs, and even some paid VPNs, block BitTorrent. Others only allow P2P connections on a limited number of servers. SurfEasy is an alternative that allows P2P connections without upgrading to a premium plan.

SurfEasy free accounts are fairly limited. Free users are limited to 500MB of data, can only connect to servers in four countries, and don’t get access to any of SurfEasy’s advanced protections and features.

Paid users gain access to additional torrent protection, which further hides your identity when using P2P connections, but free users aren’t blocked from torrenting. Free users can also gain access to additional data, from time to time, through promotions that SurfEasy runs.

In addition to working with BitTorrent, the free version of SurfEasy is sometimes also capable of unblocking Netflix, which is rare for a free VPN.

SurfEasy is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and they also have plugins for Chrome and Opera.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular free VPN services on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different services overall, screened options from 30 different brands and manufacturers, and tested 6 of the VPN services themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.