How can I use a free VPN

Free VPN: These 7 VPN services offer you free protection on the Internet

VPN

Free VPNs advertise with certainty and at no cost. But are these services really safe? We explain to you and show you what you have to look out for with free VPN services.

  • Free VPNs have their price - we'll show you some.
  • Warning: There are tons of dubious, free VPN offers in app stores.
  • Better alternative: money-back guarantee from reputable VPN services.
  • Our recommendation: Established large VPNs such as NordVPN, CyberGhost VPN and ZenMate.

Many VPN providers keep luring people with huge discounts on their monthly subscriptions. Sometimes you pay less than half the regular price.

Our tip: If you want to use a VPN service permanently, we recommend that you take a paid premium version. Current VPN offers can be found in the linked article. The first two of our VPN best list - Cyberghost VPN and NordVPN - are currently represented there with an Easter offer.

"Free" does not necessarily mean "free", there are significant differences between those advertised by providers free VPN services. We therefore start our overview with a diagram so that you know what you are getting into with the respective services.

If you want a quick decision: Use Cyberghost or NordVPN if you need secure access for a maximum of one month. Get ProtonVPN or ZenMate if you want to use a free service permanently and can live with the respective restrictions.

For a short time, fully-fledged and unrestrictedly usable VPN clients.

Features of these VPN deals
  • Without restrictions
  • Full functions
  • All locations

Some VPN services allow you to use the VPNs for seven days or you can try the software and cancel it after up to 45 days.

No costs but restrictions in terms of locations or bandwidth.

Features of these VPN deals
  • Bandwidth limit
  • Fewer locations
  • Mostly no P2P

Fewer server locations and bandwidth or volume limits limit these VPN services. However, these can be used permanently free of charge.

Dubious free offers with unsustainable promises.

Features of this VPN provider
  • Unknown providers
  • Only available in app stores
  • Bad reviews

Mostly as free VPN clients advertised in the app stores. DANGER! If the provider is unknown, dangers can lurk here.

Are you interested in the details: Read on and find out about any restrictions and pitfalls. If you already have a favorite, you can select it directly from the list.

Free VPN services: you have to know that beforehand!

No service is free, somehow you always pay. That is also with free VPN offers the case. In the best case, you only have to live with bandwidth limits, a reduced number of servers, less data volume or with advertising. It becomes negligent when your privacy is endangered or your data is passed on to third parties. This has also happened with some VPNs. We are currently not aware of any cases of the services offered here.

Good to know: What does VPN mean anyway? The term is short for "Virtual Private Network"In German," virtual private network ". This is a self-contained network to which outsiders have no access. This means that you remain anonymous on the Internet and your data is safe.

The latter takes the principle of a VPN ad absurdum - after all, VPN software is always used when privacy is to be protected. The limited technical functions, on the other hand, are quite acceptable, because if the use of a VPN is only necessary on vacation, for example, the limited data volume is hardly a problem.

Beware of dubious VPN offers in the app stores

Danger! In any case, do without the free VPNs advertised in the app stores. Most of the products advertised as "Free VPN", "Free VPN" or "Free VPN" are (unfortunately) mostly far from guaranteeing security. Find out more from us or from other reputable online magazines - if they don't write about the app, there is usually a reason. Then it's: hands off!

In this article we deliberately refrain from borderline recommendations and only show you those free VPNsthat you can safely use and that we also use. These are sufficient for accessing e-mails in public WiFi, allow you to have an undisturbed view of your local newspaper while on the move and do not burden your wallet.

What is not possible with most of the free versions: streaming and torrenting. This sometimes still works with the test versions, all other VPN services principally block P2P protocols or prevent streaming. So let's first take a look at the test versions of two full-fledged VPN services.

Use the test period with VPN providers as the best alternative

The best VPN providers are so convinced of their own product that they offer a full-fledged VPN service for 30 or even 45 days free of charge. We have tested these money-back phases with all services and, in the fastest case, received our money back within less than two hours.

If you are looking for a VPN service and want to convince yourself of the advantages, you should choose this route. So he can test it under real everyday conditions.

The offers from NordVPN and CyberGhost are recommended. Speed, security and ease of use have brought the two VPN services to the top of our list of the best. The money-back guarantee also qualifies these providers for a place in our list of the best VPN free offers. Danger! There used to be a 7-day trial version, this is no longer offered by either VPN provider.

1. CyberGhost VPN

VPN complete: security for everyone

With a huge selection of servers and good speeds, CyberGhost can convince as a VPN service provider. Its use guarantees the highest level of security and anonymity on the web. The up to seven devices on which the service can be used in parallel are also positive. This makes the price-performance ratio at CyberGhost particularly strong.

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CyberGhost VPN offers you a 45-day money-back guarantee. You can therefore test the service for one and a half months and cancel it within the deadline if you do not like it. A chat with or an email to the support are sufficient here - as is the case with all the money-back solutions presented here. During the term you have full access to all functions and server locations. There are no restrictions on bandwidth or data volume. But beware: However, the money-back guarantee only applies to annual packages.

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • All functions and server locations
  • Perfect for a short time, such as on vacation
  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, browser plugins, Fire TV, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox, Smart TV
  • To the CyberGhost offer

2. NordVPN

Leading VPN service with good server selection

With a mixture of security and a stylish user interface, NordVPN was very convincing in the test. The service also shines with numerous supported end devices. In the area of ​​country selection and server speed, the competition does slightly better in some cases. Security fanatics are happy about the double VPN function.

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With NordVPN you can also use all functions and locations without restrictions during the test phase. The money-back guarantee is valid there for 30 days. As with Cyberghost VPN, you have a market leader on offer that confidently gives you 30 days to get to know the VPN service.

  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • All functions and all server locations
  • Full-fledged VPN that can be used for a short period of time
  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, browser plugins and Linux
  • Go to NordVPN's offer

3. ZenMate

Well suited for most users

What we particularly liked about ZenMate was the high server speeds and the functional software. The transparent corporate management should also be positively emphasized. The offer would be even better if the software allowed manual server selection, thus further simplifying the use of streaming services.

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Another alternative is ZenMate. However, you have to live with some restrictions here. The VPN service offers a speed of only 2 Mbit / s and limits the server selection to just four countries. You have the biggest limitation with the supported operating systems, because the free tariff is only available for the Chrome, Firefox and Edge browsers. That's not much, but it is enough for emergency use, for example as a spontaneous travel companion. It is better to use ZenMate in the paid plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • 2 Mbit / s
  • 4 server locations
  • The free tariff is limited in the smart functions.
  • To the ZenMate offer

Our recommendation for a really free VPN

Should you go for a real one Free VPN want to fall back, we currently recommend ProtonVPN. With ProtonVPN you only have three server locations in the free plan and the speed is not the best compared to the paid version, but the service has no volume restrictions and the USA is one of the most interesting server locations in its repertoire. Another restriction: The "Free" version is limited to one device.

4. ProtonVPN

Strong overall performance

Server choices and speeds make ProtonVPN a solid proposition. The service is really convincing thanks to good software and the transparent Swiss company as the operator. It is also one of the few operators that offers permanently functional free versions of its service.

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With ProtonVPN you can only use one device and the location selection is severely limited in the free version, but in principle you get a permanently free VPN client. If the server selection is enough for you and you only need one device, ProtonVPN is the first choice for you.

  • Only three server locations: USA, Netherlands and Japan
  • No advertising
  • No bandwidth or volume restrictions
  • Windows, macOS, Linux, routers, Android and iOS
  • Go to ProtonVPN's offer

5. Surfshark

Unbeatable cheap

The good server selection and the very cheap two-year price are the pluses for Surfshark. In some regions, however, there is a lack of uniformly fast servers. In addition, the software leaves a lot to be desired.

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Surfshark doesn't offer dedicated free VPN plans. However, the service now also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and at around 2 euros one of the cheapest VPN services ever, which can also be extensively tested. Pay attention to this and it is best to set an alarm clock so that you do not miss the termination in case of doubt. As one of the few services that support the new Wireguard protocol, Surfshark is worth a try.

  • No advertising
  • 30 days money back
  • With Wireguard protocol
  • Windows, macOS, browser plugins, Android and iOS
  • To the offer from Surfshark

6. Hotspot Shield

Outstanding performance

Hotspot Shield Premium achieves the optimal combination of speed, security and usability. The only thing missing in the test was the possibility of manual VPN configuration on the router and co. It's a shame that the image suffers from the free version, which has fallen into disrepute due to dubious advertising tactics.

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Hotspot Shield offers a free VPN client with 500MB per day. That is significantly more than that of the competitor TunnelBear. However, you have other restrictions with Hotspot Shield: The app is financed by advertising, limited to one device and streaming or P2P are not possible here either.

  • 500 MB data volume per day
  • Just one device
  • Windows, macOS, Linux, browser plugins, smart TV, routers, Android and iOS
  • Financed by advertising
  • No streaming or P2P possible
  • To the Hotspot Shield offer

7. hide.me VPN

Strong free version

Overall, hide.me offers solid service at a fair price. However, there are minor shortcomings in the provider's software. However, the free hide.me version, which offers more inclusive volume than many competitors, is completely convincing.

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Hide.me has 10 gigabytes of data in its luggage, and the free version also offers good speeds and fortunately no advertising. However, the offer is limited to one device and five server locations.

  • No advertising
  • 10 GB data volume
  • Just one device and five server locations
  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browser plug-in, Linux and routers
  • Go to hide.me's offer

A real free offer from a reputable provider is currently also available from Kaspersky. However, the free VPN service is limited to 200 megabytes per month and only has a few servers on offer, which is why we will not provide a detailed listing here - for the sake of completeness, however, the VPN service should be mentioned.

Free VPN for a specific purpose: our recommendations at a glance

  • Best free VPN service for iOS: NordVPN
  • Best free VPN service for Android: CyberGhost VPN
  • Best free VPN service for Chrome: NordVPN
  • Best free VPN service for Mac: Proton VPN
  • Best free VPN service for streaming: NordVPN
VPN vouchers

Many VPN services offer different discounts and coupons throughout the year. We summarize these for you in our article on VPN offers. This list is updated regularly and clearly summarizes all ongoing actions.

View VPN offers

Alternatives to free VPNs

We have another tip for you! If you just want to surf the Internet anonymously and securely, you can also install the OperaVPN browser. This has an integrated VPN function - but it is more of a proxy. The browser is free of charge, registration and login are not necessary. However, the browser is only suitable for surfing - streaming and similar data-heavy applications are not conveniently feasible with it.

If you have found pleasure in using a VPN service, we recommend that you take a look at our VPN leaderboard. We highlight alternatives such as Tor or Proxy and their advantages and disadvantages in our guide "VPN, Tor or Proxy: The best protection on the Internet". There you can find out how these anonymizations compare to VPNs - some of them you can also use for free.

You don't even know what a VPN is? That is not a problem either, we explained the term and meaning of VPN to you. We'll also give you 7 reasons why everyone always needs a VPN service. Our list of cheap VPNs will help you save money month after month

" Tip:The best VPN providers for more security and data protection