I love virtual private networks (VPN). VPNs have many functions and uses, but the best use for me is this snippet from Wikipedia, ‘VPN technology is also used by individual Internet users to secure their wireless transactions, to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship, and to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location.’
There you have it. I primarily use VPN to hide my location, not because I am scared of some secret police trying to track me down, but for just one major reason. When I want to access content that is blocked due to my location. For instance, I use VPN to access the BBC’s iPlayer. iPlayer is not Netflix, but they do have some wonderful programs there only those in the UK can watch.
In creating this list of best free VPN services, what I took into consideration is mostly ease of set-up and whether the free VPN service is really free or there are some hidden costs down the line.However, to get the best out of most VPN services, you really have to pay money for their premium services. The Free service even though very functional, have so many limitations and downsides.
Tor is not really a VPN software. So talk about a free VPN service in relation to Tor is stretching what a VPN is. So let’s do a bit of stretching then. If your intention is to hide your location, then Tor browser does the work brilliantly. Yes, Tor is a browser.
I like Tor best because it is completely free. There is no additional fee for a premium service. And it is easy to setup. All you have to do is download the setup file and install it like you would any other software in your computer. Tor would automatically chose the best configuration and settings that is best for your location.
The only downside to Tor is that you can’t chose your location. The browser does that for you. And your location keeps changing with each page you load. Apart from these, Tor is almost the perfect free VPN service out there.
This VPN is owned by a Romanian company with most of its servers based in Europe. But it has a few US based servers for clients. CyberGhost do not take security for granted; going as far as to hide your payment details if you decide to pay for the the premium service.
Whether you opt for the paid or free service, this is one free VPN service that regularly update the software for efficiency and security.
The downside of its free vpn service is that you have to put up with so many adverts which can be quite disruptive when you are working on your pc. Also, after three hours you would be logged out automatically, although you can always try to connect back immediately.
But I would take this as my second pick for the sole reason that the Free bouquet has no limitations on the amount of bandwidth one is allowed. Maybe that is why they inserted the three-hour cut off point for free users.
TunnelBear VPN is a Canadian company with servers in US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Japan. Additionally paid users can enjoy servers based in Australia.
For free users you are entitled to about 500MB of data monthly though you can get it to increase to 1GB through a message on their twitter feed. If you are good with puns, especially puns related to bears, your chances of getting the 1GB lottery is improved significantly.
It is the allowable bandwidth for free users that is a huge negative. 500MB is something you can exhaust in a day streaming some videos. The work around is to have different accounts. But that is too stressful unless you are desperate.