In an increasingly complicated world, the internet has become a treacherous place. With more and more companies getting hacked due to a lack of cybersecurity, it’s becoming dangerous to leave your PC, MacBook, Android, iPhone, or windows laptop unprotected. Even with a security system installed onto your device doesn’t mean your device is protected. More and more people are turning to VPNs for an extra layer of security. Especially since many VPNs have an extra functionality of switching around URLs meaning that watching your favorite sports, tv shows, or shows only available on certain regions of Netflix are possible if you live in a country that geo-blocks certain websites or particular forms of content.
In this article, you’ll find the best, free VPNs available out there as well as the pros and cons attached to each of them.
Hotspot Shield Free VPN
Hotspot can support up to five different devices and has 25 different server locations in various countries. The better known free VPN, Hotspot is free to use, but a quick upgrade to the elite version of the app or program allows you to anchor yourself to any of the 25 different servers they have. This will allow you to access anything you want in any country, however, in the free version of the app you’re delegated to one of the locations that Hotspot saddles you with and are even forced to deal with ads.
Using the free version of Hotspot allows you to protect up to five different devices simultaneously. However, they’re limited to 500MB of data per day, roughly 15GB per month. This may sound restrictive compared to other VPNs that are listed below, but it’s a rather generous limit concerning free VPNs. If you’re more concerned about giving your devices an extra layer of protection then Hotspot is the VPN for you. Especially as it boasts a “military-grade” level of encryption for devices that are protected with the program. So if you do any online shopping or banking view any of your devices you’ll always be covered. Hotspot is also user-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about navigating the program whether you’re on your phone or laptop. However, the only con is that it’s little hard starting off with Hotspot as they require you to go through a seven-day trial of the premium version first. A process that requires you to give them your credit card details first if you decide to carry on with the premium version of the program once the trial is completed. Or you can go for the free version once the trial is over.
Read More: VPN Reviews [Updated 2019]
With a cool design and over a thousand different servers available, TunnelBear is one of the highly recommended VPNs that I would recommend using. Acquired by the tech security giant, McAfee, TunnelBear boasts a free and paid subscriptions of their program. The only con with the free version of the program is that you’re limited to 500mb of data per month. While it’s not a great amount to be using the program all the time, it’s great for those who only want an extra layer of security when they want to protect their private information and are looking for a free VPN. Offering a bunch of paid plans that remove restrictions that are typically associated with the free version of the plan, such as the download limit, the number of countries available and the number of devices you can connect to the program. You can go premium with TunnelBear for as little as $4.99 per month, a low cost for unrestricted access to an amazing VPN.
Read More: Best VPNs for Privacy in 2019
A newer VPN on the market, Windscribe boasts a variety of features and even the ability to build your own subscription plan if you don’t like any of the ones they have on offer. Despite being relatively new, Windscribe has a very generous data allowance and a commitment to protecting your data and privacy. It makes it the best VPN around if you’re looking for a free VPN that has more than a 500mb data limit. Getting 10GB of bandwidth per month as standard you can choose from ten different server locations on the free version of the program, so you can select from locations such as Hong Kong, UK, Canada, and the US. To sign up you only need to create a username and a password, an email address is optional but may be necessary if you have a tendency to forget passwords.
Windscribe doesn’t store any private data of its users. Such as logs, IP stamps, or what sites their users have visited. However, when you’re actively connected to one of Windscribe’s servers it does store your username, the VPN server that you’re connected to, and the amount of data that that was transferred. But all of this data is deleted after three minutes after the end of your session. Windscribe has a pretty cool promotion where if you tweet about the provider you’ll earn an extra 5GB of data and you’ll earn 1GB every time you invite a friend to join. An also really cool perk is if any of the friends you refer decides to upgrade to Windscribe’s Pro version (around $4 per month on their lowest plan), then you’ll get access to the Pro version and far more servers than what is available on the free version, meaning you’ll get access to 60+ different servers on the Pro version. If that isn’t enough to tempt you to at least download and give Windscribe a try then I don’t know what will make you try to free version of the VPN.
There are a lot of free VPNs out there, so even though only three were mentioned in this article, it’s recommended to shop around and see which one is the best for you. But when you’re shopping a free VPN there are plenty of things you need to ask yourself:
- What is its business model?
- How does it protect my devices?
- What do I lose by choosing the free version?
- Does the provider log anything?
- Can I sign up with the service anonymously?
With these questions in mind, you can choose a VPN that works for you. Especially one that doesn’t require you to spend a single cent in order to protect your privacy and data, two things that are now often under threat in cyberspace which is becoming increasingly easy to hack. Especially in the past year that has seen more and more reports about companies that were supposed to be impenetrable from data breaches reporting that many of their users’ information has been compromised due to various breaches. Or a world where anonymity and net neutrality are being undermined at a governmental level. With VPNs, you not are only guaranteed a space for safety and security on the internet, but its an essential component in the arsenal for anyone seeking to protect themselves in this time period. So find a VPN that not only gives you the protection you crave and need but offers a variety of functions that you want.
While VPNs are certainly one tool that can help protect your privacy, they don’t guarantee that your information will be private on the internet. We think that people should use VPNs but they aren’t the perfect tool that people often portray them as.
Read More: The Case Against VPNs