5 Best VPN for Free Internet – Boost Your Online Freedom At No Cost
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We’ve tested scores of them, and these are the best VPN services we’ve reviewed. If not, you’re in the majority, and that’s a serious problem. Everyone ought to be using a virtual private network, or VPN, whenever they’re on a network they don’t control.
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We’ve tested scores of them, and these are the best VPN services we’ve reviewed. If not, you’re in the majority, and that’s a serious problem. Everyone ought to be using a virtual private network, or VPN, whenever they’re on a network they don’t control. Even among net neutrality supporters—who you might think would be better informed on security and privacy issues—55 percent had never used a VPN. That attitude to the safety and privacy of personal data creates a tremendous risk when it comes to online security.
Public Wi-Fi networks, which are ubiquitous and convenient, are unfortunately also extremely convenient for attackers who are looking to compromise your personal information. Anyone could have created that network, to lure victims into disclosing personal information. In fact, a popular security researcher prank is to create a network with the same name as a free, popular service and see how many devices will automatically connect.
Yet, in a poll we conducted in , only 15 percent of our 2, respondents use a VPN with public Wi-Fi. Even if you’re inclined to trust your fellow humans which I do not recommend , you still shouldn’t trust your internet service provider. In its infinite wisdom, Congress has decided that your ISP is allowed to sell your browsing history.
In a recent poll, we found that 73 percent of respondents had no idea that their ISP was allowed to sell their browsing history. In short, it’s time to start thinking about protecting your personal information.
That’s where VPNs come in. These services use simple software to protect your internet connection, and they give you greater control over how you appear online, too. While you might never have heard of VPN services, they are valuable tools that you should understand and use. It’s clear, then, that using a VPN is a good idea. So we were interested to see how often people use VPNs, and under what circumstances. In our survey of 3, US consumers conducted between September 23 and 26, , more than half of respondents 52 percent said they do or would need a VPN for security purposes.
Yet 48 percent said they have never used a VPN, and 23 percent have in the past but don’t anymore. Just 29 percent—or almost one in three respondents—said they actually do use one. Of those who reported using a VPN, 18 percent said they do so on their laptop or desktop, while just 5 percent use one on their smartphone or tablet. A mere 6 percent said they use one on all of their devices. In the simplest terms, a VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection—which can be thought of as a tunnel—between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service.
In a professional setting, this tunnel effectively makes you part of the company’s network, as if you were physically sitting in the office. While you’re connected to a VPN, all your network traffic passes through this protected tunnel, and no one—not even your ISP—can see your traffic until it exits the tunnel from the VPN server and enters the public internet.
Think about it this way: If your car pulls out of your driveway, someone can follow you and see where you are going, how long you are at your destination, and when you are coming back. They might even be able to peek inside your car and learn more about you.
With a VPN service, you are essentially driving into a closed parking garage, switching to a different car, and driving out, so that no one who was originally following you knows where you went. VPN services, while tremendously helpful, are not foolproof. There’s no magic bullet or magic armor when it comes to security. A determined adversary can almost always breach your defenses in one way or another. Using a VPN can’t help if you unwisely download ransomware on a visit to the Dark Web , or if you are tricked into giving up your data to a phishing attack.
What a VPN can do is to protect you against mass data collection and the casual criminal vacuuming up user data for later use. It can also protect your privacy by making it harder for advertisers to figure out who and where you are. That’s why VPNs are important, even when you’re browsing from the comfort and relative safety of your home.
Who Needs a VPN? First and foremost, using a VPN prevents anyone on the same network access point or anywhere else from intercepting your web traffic in a man-in-the-middle attack. This is especially handy for travelers and for those using public Wi-Fi networks, such as web surfers at hotels, airports, and coffee shops.
Someone on the same network, or the person in control of the network you’re using, could conceivably intercept your information while you’re connected. Our survey noted that just 19 percent of respondents use a VPN while traveling, which is a dismal result from a security standpoint. IP addresses are distributed based on location, so you can estimate someone’s location simply by looking at their IP address.
And while IP addresses may change, it’s possible to track someone across the internet by watching where the same IP address appears. Using a VPN makes it harder for advertisers or spies, or hackers to track you online. Savvy snoops can monitor DNS requests and track your movements online. Greedy attackers can also use DNS poisoning to direct you to bogus phishing pages designed to steal your data. VPNs are necessary for improving individual privacy, but there are also people for whom a VPN is essential for personal and professional safety.
Some journalists and political activists rely on VPN services to circumvent government censorship and safely communicate with the outside world. Check the local laws before using a VPN in China , Russia, Turkey, or any country with with repressive internet policies.
Some services allow peer-to-peer file sharing and the use of BitTorrent sharing. Others restrict such activity to specific servers. Be smart: Learn the company’s terms of service—and the local laws on the subject. While that’s a low number, it may simply reflect the fact that not all respondents have ever used BitTorrent at all. So what did our poll find when it comes to what sorts of online habits respondents actually use VPNs for?
In our survey of 3, US consumers on VPN use and buying habits, we found that a majority—52 percent of respondents—said they need a VPN for security purposes. Another marquee feature of VPNs is anonymous web browsing, yet only the most Big Brother—conscious 6 percent of respondents said they need a VPN to avoid government surveillance. Aside from privacy and security reasons, VPNs are also useful in accessing entertainment content not available in your region by switching to a server somewhere else in the world.
A sizable 23 percent of respondents said they need a VPN to access streaming content such as Netflix or sports, while 4 percent of respondents use VPNs to access adult content. Many providers are capitalizing on the general population’s growing concerns about surveillance and cybercrime, which means it’s getting hard to tell when a company is actually providing a secure service and when it’s throwing out a lot of fancy words while selling snake oil. It’s important to keep a few things in mind when evaluating which VPN service is right for you: Don’t just focus on price or speed, though those are important factors.
Some VPN services provide a free trial, so take advantage of it. Make sure you are happy with what you signed up for, and take advantage of money-back guarantees if you’re not.
This is actually why we also recommend starting out with a short-term subscription—a week or a month—to really make sure you are happy. Yes, you may get a discount by signing up for a year, but that’s more money at stake should you realize the service doesn’t meet your performance needs. Most users want a full graphical user interface for managing their VPN connection and settings, though a few would rather download a configuration file and import it into the OpenVPN client.
Most VPN companies we have reviewed support all levels of technological savvy, and the best have robust customer support for when things go sideways. Not all VPN services require that you pay. There are, in fact, many excellent free VPNs. But all of the free VPNs we’ve tested have some kind of limitation.
Some limit you to just a few simultaneous connections or devices on an account. Others restrict you to a few hundred MBs of data per day or per month. Others limit you to just a handful of servers. Still others do all of the above.
Finding the best free VPN is an exercise in balancing those restrictions. TunnelBear, for example, lets you use any server on its network but limits you to MB-1GB per month.
Avira Phantom VPN lets you use as many devices as you like and any server you like, but also restricts you to MB per month. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield also places no limits on the number of devices, but restricts you to MB per day and only US-based servers.
Kaspersky Secure Connection doesn’t limit your devices but doesn’t let you choose a VPN server—the app does it automatically. Editors’ Choice winner ProtonVPN has the unique distinction of placing no data restrictions on free users. You can browse as much as you want, as long as you want. You will be limited to just one device on the service at a time and can only choose between three server locations, but the unlimited data makes up for all that.
It doesn’t hurt that ProtonVPN, from the same people that brought you super-secure ProtonMail email, is very concerned about security and customer privacy. For those of you who are at least willing to put down some cash, we also have a roundup of the best cheap VPNs. If you’re using a service to route all your internet traffic through its servers, you have to be able to trust the provider. It’s easier to trust companies that have been around longer, simply because their reputation is likely to be known.
In this environment, figuring out who to trust is very difficult. We’re not cryptography experts, so we can’t verify all of the encryption claims providers make. Instead, we focus on the features provided. Bonus features like ad blocking, firewalls, and kill switches that disconnect you from the web if your VPN connection drops, go a long way toward keeping you safe.
We also prefer providers that support OpenVPN, since it’s a standard that’s known for its speed and reliability. It’s also, as the name implies, open source, meaning it benefits from many developers’ eyes looking for potential problems.
Since we last tested VPNs, we’ve given special attention to the privacy practices of VPN companies and not just the technology they provide. In our testing, we read through the privacy policies and discuss company practices with VPN service representatives.
What we look for is a commitment to protect user information, and to take a hands-off approach to gathering user data. As part of our research, we also make sure to find out where the company is based and under what legal framework it operates. Some countries don’t have data-retention laws, making it easier to keep a promise of “We don’t keep any logs.
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July 12, Obaid Chawla Obaid Chawla is a innovation buff with a propensity to debate hard. He has a deep interest in how humans can push things forward in the fourth and final Industrial Revolution and loves covering every single development that takes place! He’s also freelancing in making new friends and communities! Governments, authorities, powerful media houses and even politicians are placing a high number of bans and restrictions on the content accessible in their countries. To bypass these restrictions, acquiring the best VPN service is the only solution.
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Express VPN is another great VPN service provider. They do not have a free plan but they do have 30 day trail plan so you can choose that use. By WirelesSHack | May 7, While testing Express VPN servers in both Europe and the USA they were very fast able to download torrents at high speeds . Will using a VPN prevent you from getting hacked through your computer and phone? Will using a VPN protect my iPhone from hackers?.