8 Free VPN Client and Server Software

Virtual Private Network (VPN) software enables private communications over computer networks via a technology called tunneling. VPN software applications include clients, servers and utility programs.

The popular VPN software applications listed below are readily available for free download on the Internet.

The old Cisco VPN client has been phased out (official end-of-life in December 2014) in favor of this newer product. The AnyConnect desktop client runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, while a corresponding Mobile Platform client app is available on Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore. More »

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OpenVPN is SSL-based open source VPN software. OpenVPN runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. More »

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HideIP is a VPN service designed to provide anonymous Internet access based in part on OpenVPN technology. HideIP servers use IP addresses based in the United States and United Kingdom, enabling folks in other countries to reach Web sites that limit access based on address geography. Free HideIP service is available in limited quantity, while the subscription service costs about USD $10 per month. More »

Hamachi is VPN software that uses a mediation server to establish peer-to-peer connections over UDP. Formerly free for use on smaller non-commercial networks (up to 8 users), restrictions on the free download are now more restrictive. More »

The Hotspot Shield Free service from AnchorFree runs on PCs, Apple Mac and iOS devices, and Android devices. It contains embedded advertising banners. The company also offers a paid version, Hotspot Shield Elite, that removes the advertising and includes additional malware protection and other support features. More »

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Apple Mac OS X contains built-in support for virtual private networking. Shimo is a GUI client for Mac OS X computers. The newer Shimo 2 version not only works as a substitute for the Cisco VPN Client on Macs, but it is also compatible with other PPTP, L2TP, and SSH-based VPN technologies including Hamachi and OpenVPN. More »

The free Tinc VPN software enables virtual private networking via low-level daemon/network device configuration. Designed originally for Linux / Unix networks, Tinc also works on Windows computers. More »

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FreeS/WAN is an IPSec VPN software solution for Linux networks. Active development of FreeS/WAN has stopped, limiting the usefulness of this application to students and researchers.