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In today’s digital landscape, the use of VPN is becoming essential for all online users. Online threats are escalating at a sheer volume, and that’s the reason pushing a surge in the VPN demand. Online security and anonymity is undeniable today. Therefore people switch to premium VPN protection. However, the question is can you use free VPNs for online protection? The answer is yes you can. Nevertheless, the thing to remember is that you have to understand that free VPNs always come with limitations such as data caps, slower speeds, and fewer servers, impacting streaming and downloading capabilities.  They will also compromise your privacy with insufficient encryption standards. To help you choose the best free VPNs, I have tried and tested several VPNs. These options prioritize strict no-logs policies, delivering dependable online security at no cost. It is recommended that you always use a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN. For small tasks you can use and rely on the best free VPNs outlined below.

Reasons Why Free VPNs Aren’t Always Recommended

It is because free VPNs typically impose restrictions on various aspects, such as the number of servers, data usage, device connections, and connection speeds. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use high-quality VPNs that are less likely to engage in activities like data collection and selling or distributing malware.

The Best Free VPN in 2024

These are the most reliable free VPN options in our list:

1 Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN is a reliable option for a free VPN, and its simplicity is what I appreciate the most. You don’t even need to create an account to use the service. Simply download the app for your device, connect to a server, and you’re ready to go. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, with a Chrome extension in development. One of its standout features is its ability to bypass geo-restrictions on Netflix, particularly beneficial for travelers outside the US. Moreover, there’s no cap on monthly data usage, allowing for unlimited browsing and streaming. However, it’s worth noting that the speed may not always be optimal, potentially affecting streaming quality. Additionally, free users have access to only three servers, two in the US and one in the Netherlands. To enhance security, Atlas VPN includes a VPN kill switch to prevent data leakage if the connection drops unexpectedly, although users need to enable this feature manually.

2 ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN doesn’t enforce a monthly data limit for its users but opts for speed throttling to encourage consideration of their paid plan, potentially leading to buffering issues. The free version offers access to only three servers: one each in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. ProtonVPN uses the robust OpenVPN connection protocol, along with a kill switch and DNS leak protection, distinguishing it from Atlas, which uses the IKEv2 protocol. Notably, ProtonVPN provides a 7-day trial of their premium plan post-installation, offering features like access to torrenting servers, enhanced security through Tor over VPN connections, and simultaneous protection for up to 10 devices.

3 Avira Phantom VPN

Avira Phantom VPN allows you to safeguard an unlimited number of devices, with its free mobile apps for Android and iOS standing out as particularly impressive. These apps offer a wide array of servers and even support popular streaming platforms, a rarity for free VPN services. Unlike Avira’s desktop client, which restricts server connections to the “Nearest Location” feature, the free mobile apps provide access to servers in over 49 locations, including a streaming-optimized option.  Additionally, both desktop and mobile apps boast decent speeds and support torrenting, with impressive download speeds noted during testing. However, it’s important to note the lack of a kill switch in the free version, potentially exposing online activity once data limits are reached. With a monthly data allowance of 500MB (1GB with email sign-up), larger downloads or extensive streaming may be restricted. Nevertheless, a 7-day trial of the premium version, available exclusively on mobile, offers unlimited data. 

4 Hotspot Shield 

Hotspot Shield VPN is a popular choice if you’re looking for a freeVPN. Their free version is only available on mobile devices and comes with some limitations. You’ll get a 500MB data cap per day and a speed limit of 2Mbps, but you can watch ads to get more data or bypass these limits with a 7-day free trial.However, the free tier only gives you access to one location in the US. On the other hand, if you opt for the premium version, you’ll unlock 3200 servers in 80 countries worldwide. Unfortunately, free users won’t be able to access geo-restricted streaming content or use gaming mode.The good news is that even free subscribers get many security features that paying customers enjoy. You’ll have access to a kill switch, IP leak protection, split tunneling (Smart VPN), and Tor over VPN. Plus, you’ll benefit from the Hydra tunneling protocol known for its fast speeds and awards. If you want unlimited access to Hotspot Shield VPN, you’ll need to subscribe, starting at $2.99 per month. The best part? Each subscription plan comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you peace of mind.

5 Windscribe Free

 Windscribe Free is a strong VPN solution, delivering simplicity and effectiveness. While it may not quite match the performance of top-tier providers, it remains a viable option. Windscribe offers a robust Chrome extension, functioning solely as a proxy without encryption. Nevertheless, it effectively changes your location and IP address, making it useful for bypassing ISP content blocking or accessing restricted websites abroad. One of Windscribe’s notable strengths lies in its expansive server network. With 14 locations across 11 countries, it offers a broader reach compared to other leading providers.While its premium offering is commendable, my exploration of the Windscribe Free version revealed it to be the standout choice among its peers.

Best Paid VPN Providers

These three providers are the best premium VPNs for 2024 according to our research:

1 ExpressVPN 

ExpressVPN provides the most exceptional user experience among VPN services. Renowned for its high level of security, seamless streaming capabilities, and user-friendly applications available across a wide array of devices, it stands out as a top choice. Furthermore, it offers an outstanding password manager feature, ensuring comprehensive security for all user accounts and data. Currently available for $8.32/mo.

2 Surfshark

For individuals seeking a high-quality VPN without breaking the bank, Surfshark presents a compelling option. Delivering top-notch privacy features and impressively swift connections, it competes closely with more expensive alternatives. Its prowess in streaming and ensuring daily privacy is noteworthy, further enhanced by its extensive server coverage spanning 100 countries, ensuring users are always within reach of a connection. What’s more, with its current pricing set at just $2.29 per month, inclusive of 2 months free, it offers exceptional value for money.

3 NordVPN

NordVPN is a reputed VPN service for several compelling reasons. Boasting a vast network of over 6,000 servers worldwide, coupled with highly secure applications and attractive features such as Meshnet and Double VPN, it offers a comprehensive privacy solution. NordVPN is currently available at an affordable $3.39 per month. Additionally, users benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing them to test the service risk-free before making a commitment.

Conclusion

It’s difficult to select the best free VPN in 2024. However, we have done the hard work for you. You can select any of the listed free VPNs with your eyes closed. Moreover, for a better and well-protected online experience, try out the above mentioned premium VPN services. Our top picks for the best paid VPNs in 2024 are ExpressVPN, Surfshark and NordVPN.

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