These days the cybercrime is increasing at a fast pace. Even inside the walls of your home, you aren’t safe from this class of crime. Cybercrime it is!! For sure, you must visit those cozy cafes and restaurants, malls, cinema halls, and even your colleges and offices which provide you free wi-fi. You are happy with the services. Who are not? But that can be unsafe for you. These public networks which you access happily can make you suffer because it allows free access to your private information. The reason why people are getting scammed is because of this mostly. Scary, right? How to protect yourself from all this? The Answer is Virtual Private Network. Through this article, we will learn what VPN is and the Top 12 Free VPN Services available.
What is VPN?
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a software that allows user to create an encrypted and secure connection between two interacting remote devices over the internet. VPN intends to offer user privacy (also anonymity) by hiding his/her IP address and security by encrypting data and important information. Apart from these commonly discussed functions, a VPN can also fake the geolocation of a user, allowing access to content available for particular locations only. So how does VPN do all that? Well, it acts as a secure tunnel through which all the user requests travel, making an anonymous and secure connection possible.
Consider the following two scenarios to better understand what a VPN actually does?
Imagine you go to a café. Obviously you won’t sit back after discovering the availability of a free Public Wi-Fi. You log on to your favourite social media network. You start scrolling your newsfeed, send messages to your friends, like the pictures of your favorite celeb and do all other fancy things. So you basically have a great time. However, all this FREE fun can turn into a nightmare! How, you ask? Let me explain. While you access your FB or Insta accounts, the requests being sent from your device can actually be exposed to all the people on this network through the actions of a good hacker connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This is where a paid or free VPN can save you. A VPN, in such a case, can easily hide your identity (by masking your IP) and save your critical information (by encrypting your data).
Let’s consider another scenario. You live in New Zealand (the small island above Australia) and find a new Zayn Malik chartbuster having released in the morning. What you do? With all your excitement, you go to YouTube and try accessing the music video. But instead of the video itself, you are greeted with not so good message, “The content isn’t available in your region.” What you do? Forget the song and go to sleep? NO. A BIG NO. In such situation, you can use your VPN tool to hide your actual location and access YouTube through a fake location from a server based in, say India. This is another classic use of the VPN software – Hiding the geolocation!
Top 12 Free VPN services
So you understood VPN. And now you are excited to find one. Right?
But the question is, how we can avail such services without being charged? To answer this question, Team TR24 has listed the top 12 Free VPN services compiled from various sources.
Psiphon is a free open-source VPN service for providing all the functions of what a normal VPN does. A very unknown name in usual VPN lists out there, Psiphon uses a combination of technologies to provide the desired list. As per the official website of Psiphon, the tool is a circumvention tool that uses VPN, SSH and HTTP proxy to provide the desired results. The tool is available for both PC and Android and boasts of high ratings for both the platforms.
2. Hotspot shield
Second on our list of Top 12 free VPN services is Hotspot shield. Offering 2,500 servers with 70+ locations, Hotspot Shield is considered one of the best VPN available free of cost. It offers 500MB data daily i.e. 15GB per month with fast speed and promised security, and can protect 5 devices simultaneously. But its free service option allows you to access only a few servers and locations. The software is available for PC, Mac, IOS and Android right now.
Visit the official website of Hotspot field for more details.
With a limited server locations, Windscribe offers 10GB of free data per month with a secure encrypted connection. The user will not only have access to different online websites and services, he/she will also be greeted with faster access to the regular platforms. The rating for Windscribe on a simple Google search can be seen above 4.0 in most of the cases. The major difference between the Free and the paid version is the limited countries available in freeware.
Visit the official Windscribe website for further details.
The swiss ProtonVPN makes third on our list of Top 10 Free VPN services. The major reason for this spot is the no data usage limit and no speed limit service to free users. Users of ProtonVPN can surf the internet without worries. However, the downside is that it allows a user access to only single device at a time. Also, it provides only 03 locations to its free customers.
Visit Official website of ProtonVPN for more details.
Though it doesn’t support Netflix, it offers the good free VPN services with a 1GB data limit each month. Speedify operates on 1,000 servers spread across 28 different countries with highly secured network. The software is available over Windows, IOS and Android devices. A simple Google search fetches an average rating of 3.7 – 4.1 rating.
Visit Speedify Official website for more details.
As the name suggests, it hides you well from those who try to eavesdrop while you surf. Hide.me is limited to 2 devices i.e, two devices can access it simultaneously. It offers a 2GB data limit per month which may be very tight but better than TunnelBear. With a free account users have access to only 05 locations worldwide.
For more details, visit hide.me official website.
In the top 12 free VPN services, TunnelBear scores a lower rank due to the smaller amount of storage it provides. TunnelBear provides a very low data limit of 500MB per month, accessible from both mobile and desktop. The highly secured 256-bit AES encryption, however, provides strength to the product. A simple Google search provides a average of 3.5 – 4 rating on various platforms.
Visit the TunnelBear official website for more details.
8. Hola VPN
The Israeli VPN service Hola came to existence in 2007. Even though it has great ratings, as visible through a simple Google search, Hola VPN gained a lower spot due to the set of features for free version. As per Hola VPN’s website, it provides no privacy and SD streaming to its free users. Apart from that it provides limited data access over 50 locations on 03 simultaneous devices.
For more details, please visit Hola VPN official website.
9. Opera VPN
Opera VPN is a free VPN service by the popular Opera browser parent company. It has no limit on either data usage, speed or locations. In fact, there is no subscription version for the same by Opera. It provides access to 25 locations and provide 1,000 servers which offer a very user-friendly secure connection. The biggest downside to this service is the lack of proper maintenance from developers end. As there is no subscription for this VPN, the software isn’t maintained that good.
Visit Opera VPN official website for more details on the same.
10. Betternet VPN
Betternet VPN is another relatively smaller and relatively newer company in the VPN ecosystem. Similar to Opera VPN, Betternet also lacks a subscription or paid version of its services. Though users get unlimited data usage and 10 countries in Betternet, it still lacks quality and online presence like the other VPNs above.
Visit the Betternet official website for further details.
The next in the list is PrivateTunnel, a smaller company out of USA in the VPN market. The relatively smaller and new company, unfortunately, provide a 7-day free trial version only. Though it provides all of the features in the 7-day trial, the absence of a full-time free version makes it a bad choice.
Visit PrivateTunnel official website for more details.
Having access from only 6 locations, VPNBook does provide you an unlimited data services. It is built over a secure OpenVPN technology which has an AES encryption (Advanced Encryption Standard used by the US government). Much like the previous VPN service, VPNBook also lacks backing or a paid version. It has also been rated negatively by TechRadar in one of its reviews.
Visit VPN book official website for more details.
To sum up, a Virtual Private Network or VPN can serve the user in following ways:
● Anonymity: It means even if you are surfing the internet using a public network, it keeps you safe by hiding your IP address which is the key to accessing your information.
● Encryption: It means you and your data are safe as your data and information are encoded in such a way that only authorized parties (decided by you) can access it.
● Bypassing Geolocation Restriction: Thirdly, you would be able to access websites and services which are not available in your region by faking your IP address.
Though we have listed the top 12 free VPN services with so much valor, still we personally recommend you not to use one.
Because though it says that VPN will provide you encryption, anonymity and etc, it is never 100% perfect. There are leakages even from the best of VPNs. Second, in recent times, allegations of data log being created from free VPNs have been rampant in the market. Moreover, sometimes this data is being sold to other vendors by the companies.
Then why we wrote this article?
Yes, there are issues with VPN, but what we need to figure out here is the nature of our work. If it is highly confidential, then we don’t recommend a free VPN or even just a VPN (for that matter). But for ordinary uses, a VPN is a magic and troubleshooter. It can altealst save you from being a low-hanging fruit to security threats.