5 Best Free VPN Solutions to Keep Your Business Data Safe
Article 19 from the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights announces: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The Internet provides more or less that right, and using a VPN (virtual private network) is the best way to preserve it.
VPN is a personal guard for your online connection that looks out of your privacy, security, and access to sites.
If you can’t afford premium VPN providers, it doesn’t mean you need to work with an unprotected network and leave your traffic vulnerable to potential threats. Free VPNs are available – some provide only limited data, while others come with free unlimited data.
You’ll find on the market a best free VPN service for your needs, but over time, what was a previously free offering transforms to a subscription-based service or freemium.
How Does Free VPN Work?
It connects your device to a server run by the virtual private network service. All that data that travels between your device and the VPN server is encrypted to ensure that no-one else can view it. Its server runs as a gateway to the Internet, and all your online data is routed through it.
Let’s check out some advantages and disadvantages of using this service.
- Anonymous browsing – Your IP address won’t be visible to websites you are visiting – other than the virtual private network server – to deliver you greater freedom, privacy, and anonymity online;
- Zero cost – It’s possible to enjoy no-fee services in several ways, notably signing up with a VPN provider offering 30-day money-back guarantee, and then claim your money back after 30 days (making it 100% free), or simply choosing the free option of a paid VPN provider;
- No registration – These providers typically don’t require a user to sign up using any of your biographic info, financial info, or personally identifiable data. In plain English, you have much greater anonymity with no pay service;
- Limitation – Free VPNs always limit your usage and the number of servers available to you. They do this to prevent clients from overloading their servers by strict limits on usage capacity and accessible servers. In other words, you’ll have far fewer options available to you when connecting to a VPN service;
- Connection time – Free virtual private network services are congested by their nature. This means that it usually takes an excessive amount of time to connect to the server and the sites you’re visiting. There’re many delays, lags, hanging pages, disconnects, and other interruptions you’ll face. Every free virtual private network provider will slow down your browsing speed – regardless;
- Ads -They aren’t generating direct incomes from users – they’re 100% free – so the VPN provider has to generate revenue from ads. It means that your online connections will be attacked with advertising material. It’s a big annoyance and could be linked with malware, adware, viruses, tracking, and other unwanted cybersecurity threats;
- Security -Since VPNs are provided to users for free, not much time and effort is dedicated to securing these networks. It takes money to build powerful network infrastructure, and free provider aren’t it. Weak encryption protocols often mimic malware, and it affects protection. Hackers and other cybercriminals can easily infiltrate open-source virtual private networks;
- Selling user data –They’re sometimes operated by providers with illegal intent. Therefore, these services can easily track, monitor, and record all of your online communications and sell it to 3rd parties. Remember that companies offering free services need to generate income, and they sometimes do this by selling user data.
Free VPN vs. Paid VPN
Both free and paid VPN services are aiming to provide you anonymity, security, reliability, speed, and customer support. Still, you might expect that a free version isn’t delivering all those promises.
Here’re the main differences between free and paid version.
Security – Many free virtual private networks utilize protocols that aren’t 100% secure. These services employed PPTP VPN protocols, which has proven not to be the most armor-clad as far as security goes. Paid VPNs enable you to use other protocols that tunnel your connection more securely.
Reliability – If you’re using a no pay provider that often means that the servers aren’t up to date and its resources are being stretched to the limit. If you plan to use a VPN to stay secure, you definitely want a paid service. You need a reliable connection that won’t get dropped from one server or kicked to the next.
Speed – A paid version provides you high-speed connection. You’ll swiftly connect to a remote server, be encrypted and anonymous in a blink of the eye. Connecting via a proper VPN shouldn’t be a headache and take forever. A free version can be unstable, and after you’ve finally connected to a server, the connection can be slow and bulky. If you’re seeking for speedy connection, a paid VPN is capable to meet your demands.
Anonymity – The only pitfall of using a paid service is the payment aspect. With payment, you’re also giving a billing address and other personal details. Now, most paid services are going to ensure your security and that the information won’t be shared. A no-fee provider gives you a bit more freedom since you don’t need to register and pay.
The number of servers – If a VPN doesn’t have many servers, you won’t be able to remotely connect in as many places (impacts security and anonymity). It’s best to choose a VPN with a robust portfolio of servers in locations around the globe.
Free VPN services have a limited number of servers since they’re expensive. You’ll find most paid providers have way more servers globally. It should be a positive signal for you to look for as you’re trying to decide which VPN is right for you.
What is the Best Free VPN?
Before our IT experts give you a list of recommendations for the best free VPNs, there’re a few aspects you need to bear in mind, such as security, anonymity, and serve ads.
Below are the 5 best VPN free software for 2022:
1. ProtonVPN – Best Free VPN Software
Based in Switzerland, ProtonVPN is committed to anonymity and privacy, giving free users the same no-logging policy as their paid users.
More flexible than most with no data limitation, the network gives you the benefit of top-notch security but at the cost of speed.
With free traffic merging by a limited number of servers, it’s still ideal for those wanting to quickly check their emails or share photo on Instagram via a public Wi-Fi network.
The slow speed doesn’t make it a viable option for a paid service, but its military-level encryption grades make it perfect for a spot of online banking or anonymous browsing, even in the busiest airports.
- Exceptional security;
- Privacy standards;
- Strict no-logging policy;
- Leak-free connection;
- No ads.
- Slow server speeds;
- Limited device compatibility;
- Limited torrenting available;
- Limited protocols (OpenVPN only).
2. Hide.me – Best Free VPN for PC
Hide.me is a great free solution when it comes to security and privacy. It features a strict no-logging policy, and they’re located in a jurisdiction that can’t legally force them to record your data.
The solution also features a high level of encryption for a free plan. If you’re concerned about privacy, this app publishes a yearly transparency report that details all the data requests that they have received.
Data transferred is protected by AES-256 encryption, and the network uses highly secure protocols like OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec.
Despite the high grade of security, the free version is also surprisingly quick, includes unlimited bandwidth, and doesn’t force you to watch ads.
It’s available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire devices, browsers, and you can even use it with VPN routers. Also, up to 5 devices can be connected right away.
- No ads;
- Unlimited bandwidth;
- 9 uptime;
- 24/7 support;
- Data encryption.
- Below average server network;
- Slow download/upload speeds;
- Limited data transfer;
- Netflix accessibility problems.
3. TunnelBear – Best Free VPN for Mac
TunnelBear is a great and easy to use solution for Mac OS. You just need to open the app, choose a country, and TunnelBear does the rest for you.
You can pick it from 22 different countries around the world, with unlimited server switches available as part of the free package.
There’s an always-on function that means your connection will never drop without warning, while you’re trying to browse a site or download a file.
Similarly, the service’s vigilant mode keeps an eye out for any security problems, automatically informing you of the issue.
It doesn’t monitor your activity or keeps any logs, so it’s a very private service. When privacy is paramount to you, these are great features to have.
The only drawback to this free service is that you’re restricted to 500 MB per month, and you can use your account on just one device.
It means this app might not be your first choice if you want to download files or streaming regularly. Still, for general browsing, it’s speedy and highly reliable.
- No logging;
- No leaks detected;
- Multiple devices;
- No ads;
- Slow speed;
- No Netflix;
- No router installation;
- 500 MB of data per month.
4. BitDefender Premium VPN – Best Free VPN for Windows 10
Bitdefender originally focused on dedicated antivirus software and also offered a VPN in their software package.
BitDefender Premium VPN has a short but clear zero-log policy and doesn’t track your online activity. BitDefender uses the fastest VPN protocol (Catapult Hydra) and most secure encryption standard (AES-256). BitDefender’s VPN controls 27 servers on all continents except Africa.
However, it falls short on privacy policies, speed, and customer support. A free version offers data that is capped at only 200 MB a day with the strong tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN instead of PPTP.
It’s available for all known operating systems, especially for Windows. If you want to use Bitdefender VPN on other devices, such as a router – that’s not possible for some reason, despite the OpenVPN protocol that’s used.
- No IP leaks found;
- Clean installer files;
- Unblocks Netflix;
- No ads;
- Allows torrenting.
- Very slow speed performance;
- Lack of information;
- Limited kill switch;
- It’s not a standalone app.
5. Hotspot Shield – Excellent Solution for Torrenting
Hotspot Shield is a good free VPN service for torrenting and accessing international content. The service allows torrenting on all servers and all device platforms.
This platform is the free version of the Hotspot Shield Premium VPN. You don’t need to input any information to download and begin using their app. Although it’s absolutely free, you’ll stumble upon ads only on the Android app.
The app uses powerful AES 256-bit encryption to secure your traffic. The service also utilizes ideal forward secrecy, a key-agreement protocol that persistently shifts your encryption key.
It ensures that even if your session’s current encryption key is somehow undermined, the rest of your data stays secure.
Same as on the premium version, Hotspot Shield committed to a zero-log policy. This service even confirmed their zero-log policy by a 3rd party independent test.
- Fastest speeds;
- Great user experience;
- Netflix compatible (1/4);
- Torrenting is fully supported;
- Excellent server diversity.
- DNS leak though Chrome extension;
- Catapult Hydra and no Tor compatibility;
- Logging policies;
- Ads on Android app.