Best free VPN 2023

Someone holding a black phone with a blue VPN service loaded up on the screen next to a white cup.
Credit: Petter Lagson

Someone holding a black phone with a blue VPN service loaded up on the screen next to a white cup.
Credit: Petter Lagson

The best free VPN is a simple way to make yourself a little bit safer online, and even gain some useful features in the process.

The best Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are useful things to have as they allow you to pretend to be somewhere else digitally and add extra security alongside what you already have.

As a result, a VPN will usually let you do things like watch another country's Netflix offerings, even while you're abroad. When you're looking for a free one then, you need to check its limitations on usage.

Maybe you can only use it for a certain amount of hours a day, or just a limited amount of data, or perhaps it only grants you access to a handful of serves. These tend to be the drawbacks, but they also tend to be the genuine ones that aren't going to hurt you.

It's also worth keeping an eye on free trials from paid VPN services, or even free versions of those same VPNs. These are generally a lot more trustworthy. Of course, if you don't want to do all of that legwork, you can just read our article on the best free VPN below, and choose one of those instead.

Best free VPNs

  1. Proton VPN
  2. Privado
  4. TunnelBear
  5. AtlasVPN
The Proton VPN logo in black and purple with a triangular emblem on the left side.
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Credit: Proton VPN

1. Proton VPN

Best free VPN overall

Servers: 100+ - Server Locations: 3 Countries - Data Limit: Unlimited - Speed: 380 Mbps - Protocol: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard - Other Features: Kill Switch, Split Tunneling

When you hear the term "free VPN", Proton VPN is probably the first name that you would hear people recommend, and for good reason.

Proton offers unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about running out of protection. And with the max speed of 380Mbps, the service won’t bog you down. Plus, the VPN service has a ‘no-log’ policy - which means the company won’t track your activity.

The basic free version of Proton gives you access to over 100 servers across three server locations - the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. This is a bit limiting, but then again, you can unlock more features by upgrading to its premium service.

With the free version, however, you still get a kill switch, which combined with unlimited data, should ensure worry-free browsing. There’s also split tunneling which makes it easy to pick apps you want to use the VPN with.

In case you decide to switch to Proton VPN’s premium plan, you can access Proton’s Secure Core, a shield that defends you from network-based attacks, the NetShield ad-blocker, the VPN accelerator, and a handful of other useful features.

Read More: Best iPhone VPNs

Privado VPN logo in black with a purple emblem on the left side.
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Credit: Privado VPN

2. Privado

Best free VPN for streaming

Servers: 12 - Server Locations: 9 Countries - Data Limit: 10GB - Speed: 350 Mbps - Protocol: OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec - Other Features: Kill Switch

Privado is another popular free VPN service, and it’s one of the few VPNs that work well with streaming platforms like Netflix. So if you’re on a vacation anywhere on the planet, you still access your regional Netflix.

With that being said, Privado has two versions - the basic free and the premium one with advanced features, putting it in line with some of the best streaming VPNs around. The free one is good too though, offering access to 12 servers across 9 countries, which is quite generous when it comes to free VPNs. You also get a kill switch, which comes in handy.

But of course, it has a catch - you get only 10 GB per month. When you exceed this 10 GB, the VPN will run at a speed of 1 Mbps, which might be slow for a lot of users. Plus, you can only use your free Privado account on one device.

If you’re planning to use Privado regularly, you can consider switching to a premium plan. With this, you can get access to no-log servers across 45 countries, unlimited data, unlimited devices, 10 connections, an ad-blocker, and other advanced features.

Read More: Best Android VPNs logo in blue with a person walking through a lighter blue triangle on the left.
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Best free VPN with ad-blocker

Servers: N/A - Server Locations: 5 - Data Limit: 10GB per month - Speed: N/A - Protocol: OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, SoftEther, SSTP, TLS VPN - Other Features: Ad-Blocker, P2P Support, Kill Switch, Split Tunneling is another free VPN that offers a ton of features in its freemium product. To start with, you don’t have to sign up or add payment details to get started. Plus, it has a no-log policy, so you don’t have to worry about your activities being traced. offers five server locations, which is great, considering that it’s a free. In addition, it provides P2P support in all these five locations. You also get useful features like split tunneling and a kill switch - something that easily rivals other VPNs out there.

Interestingly,’s free version provides you with an ad-free browsing experience, which is rare with a free VPN. Plus, the service promises 'no speed throttling' too, so you don’t have to worry about getting slowed down.

Of course, the free VPN has some limitations, and in this case, there’s a cap on data and connections. The data limit is capped at 10GB per month, which is in line with what other similar services have to offer. Furthermore, you can use the free VPN only on one device.

To overcome these limits and use some advanced features, you can check out premium - which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. With the paid version, you get access to over 2000 servers across 78 locations. You also get unlimited data over 10 simultaneous connections as well as streaming support.

Read More: Best Disney Plus VPNs

TunnelBear logo of a bear coming out of a yellow pipe, all below the blue logo.
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Credit: TunnelBear

4. TunnelBear

Best easy-to-use free VPN

Servers: N/A - Server Locations: 40+ - Data Limit: 500MB - Speed: 300 Mbps - Protocol: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec - Other Features: Kill Switch, Split Tunneling

TunnelBear prides itself on the fact that it’s simple to use, which in our eyes makes it beginner-friendly. And while the VPN doesn’t stress too much on technical details, it has in-depth annual audits to back up all the claims it makes about privacy.

In addition to this, TunnelBear is quite generous with server locations, more than 40 to be precise. The speed is 300Mbps, which is pretty standard for free VPNs.

However, there’s a catch - TunnelBear has a data cap of just 500MB per month, which is less than what most free services offer. But 500MB would suffice if you want to get something done occasionally.

TunnelBear also has a kill switch (named ‘VigilantBear'), which is always a useful feature. Apart from this, the VPN also offers ‘SplitBear’, which is split tunneling. It has a stealth option too that allows you to venture into the regions where VPNs are blocked.

The free VPN is available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, but it can be used only on one device. You can unlock all the benefits by switching to the premium option.

If you’re looking for a free VPN that’s easy to use, TunnelBear might be the right option. However, the cap on data usage is a little too low for frequent use.

Read More: Best Hulu VPNs

A blue character in a dark blue cape in front of a laptop and phone and below the Atlas VPN logo in blue.
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Credit: Atlas VPN

5. Atlas VPN

Best free VPN with unlimited data

Servers: N/A - Server Locations: 2 Countries - Data Limit: Unlimited - Speed: 320 Mbps - Protocol: IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard - Other Features: Two Connections, Kill Switch, Split Tunneling

Back in 2021, Atlas VPN was acquired by Nord VPN, one of the well-known digital security companies. With that acquisition, Atlas became one of the Nord brands, so you can expect quality services. Atlas VPN is also one of those freemium services, so to unlock more features, you will have to shell out some cash. But even with the free version, Atlas has a lot to offer.

To begin with, you get unlimited data and there’s no cap on the speed, meaning you can enjoy a speedy connection. You can get Atlas VPN for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices, although you can use it only on two devices.

Next, it comes with a kill switch, so in case of an unstable VPN connection, you would be shielded. You also get tunnel splitting in the free version, but it’s limited to Android devices.

If you are planning on globetrotting, then you need to check out Atlas VPN’s paid plans. With premium, you can access more than 750 servers across 45 locations on the globe.

Plus, you get 4K-ready streaming without compromising on speed. And of course, you get an ad-free experience, a P2P connection, and a bunch of other features.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

If you've come this far and have a couple of questions - don't worry. We've answered some of the most frequently asked queries below.

Is there a completely free VPN?

While there are VPN services that claim to be free, they are not entirely free. For instance, most of the free VPNs offer a limited 'freemium' version, allowing access to some basic features without paying anything. To unlock everything the VPN service has to offer, you will usually have to pay a fee.

Then, some VPNs offer limited data or speed for free. For example, TunnelBear offers 500MB per month for free. For more data, you will have to switch to premium.

In worst cases, "free" VPNs might display ads, track your activity and steal data. Some might not even provide full encryption and expose your internet activity. So while free VPNs do exist, not ALL of them are genuine or reliable. The best way is to claim a free trial of a trusted product.

Are free VPNs safe?

Genuine, reputable free VPNs are safe. There are some restrictions associated with the free versions, but most of the time, it's safe - if the privacy policy and reputation are clear.

However, if a VPN service seems to be offering extra features or some 'too good to be true' deals, then it's probably risky to use such VPNs. To dodge all these bullets, you can go for a free trial of a VPN.

OpenVPN vs WireGuard - What’s the difference?

Both OpenVPN and WireGuard are mainstream VPN protocols and have similar functions. However, there are some vital differences between the two technologies.

To start with, OpenVPN has been around since 2001, and it provides encryption with symmetric-key encryption and public-key encryption. Meanwhile, WireGuard was launched in 2016 and it uses only public-key encryption.

OpenVPN is flexible and customisable, and it can adapt to changes in the network quickly. On the other hand, WireGuard is simple to set up and faster than OpenVPN.

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