Why pay for something, when you can get it for free, right? Regarding VPN providers, this rule applies quite well: with the market being overcrowded with various options, we, the customers, can be “picky.” It means the companies in the business are forced to offer better deals than ever before.
Today, we’ll be talking about free VPNs, not free trials of commercial services – the list includes three best picks for Win 10.
Free Vs. Paid VPN Solutions
The most important thing to understand is that a free product can rarely (if ever) compete with a paid solution. There are many limitations that you need to know about.
First of all, most free VPNs come with data caps, meaning you won’t be able to use more traffic during a month/day without being charged. Secondly, the number of available servers is significantly low. And finally, some free VPN providers make a profit by sending their users all kinds of ads from third parties.
You won’t have to deal with any limitations if you purchase a commercial Virtual Private Network. However, the following solutions are quite alright. It all depends on your current needs, of course, but now that you know the limitations, it will be much easier to make a choice.
Top Free VPN Services For Windows To Consider
To find the best free VPN for Windows 10, our experts carefully tested every available product on the market. Proton VPN, Hotspot Shield, and Windscribe turned out to be the most flexible, secure, private, and reliable options. And remember: you can always switch to the paid version(s), but make sure that you really need all those additional features.
With a commercial VPN, the users can take advantage of the free trials (they usually last up to 7 days) or 30-day MBGs (Money-Back Guarantee). As for these free VPNs, they don’t have an “expiration” date. But, again, they have several limitations. Let us talk about every single one in more details to have a better understanding of which one will suit you more.
With 10GB of traffic per month, no-logging policy, torrenting and streaming capabilities, and strong encryption, Windscribe is an all-around robust VPN. The biggest downside is the average speed and below-average stability (that’s because all free users are forced to connect to the same servers). Windscribe is an excellent pick for unblocking geo-restricted content, and while 10GB might not be enough for watching Netflix, that’s still a reasonable cap.
If you’re planning on using this service on occasions and only protecting yourself during important transactions, then you’ll be happy with it. You are free to choose between OpenVPN (the most popular) and IKEv2 (the most secure) protocols; AES 256-bit encryption comes as the default option.
Compared to the previous provider, Hotspot Shield is not nearly as generous. With it, you get 500MB of bandwidth per month, which means no torrenting, or even browsing daily. The good news is – it is much faster than Windscribe (but the data cap won’t allow you to enjoy that speed for too long). Hotspot Shield does feature malware protection as a nice bonus, though.
There’s also a free browser extension that you can download, install, and run within a couple of minutes and access it with one click. Streaming isn’t available with this VPN (yes, we’re talking about accessing blocked content on Netflix and other platforms). P2P is allowed; yet, the dedicated servers are only open for the owners of the premium edition.
In contrast to Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN doesn’t have a bandwidth limit, meaning you can stream for as long as you want. The sad part is – P2P isn’t supported, and torrenting isn’t available. Security is top-notch, and the company doesn’t collect any important logs (only some minor stuff that won’t be able to hurt the users). Low connection speeds are the biggest downside of this VPN.
Moreover, there are only three servers to choose from in the free version, which is the main reason for the below-average performance. For people that prefer streaming over torrenting, ProtonVPN will be the best free VPN for Windows 10, as it is very easy to access geo-restricted content with it. To be able to torrent, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version.
The Bottom Line
This is it for our review. While it’s not very easy to find decent free VPNs these days, the ones we just discussed are worth your attention. If you put unlimited bandwidth first, pick ProtonVPN. Windscribe is a more balanced option, with better connection speeds and a data cap that still allows you to watch some shows and browse the web. And finally, Hotspot Shield is a good alternative, but only for those that use VPNs very rarely.