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Free VPN Download – Top 5 VPNs for 2021

Lots of websites out there claim to have free VPN downloads, but if you spend any time sifting through them, you’ll soon realize that the VPNs they’re offering either:

  • Can’t be downloaded directly without signing up
  • Aren’t actually free, or
  • Are super low quality and won’t provide the service you’re looking for

In contrast, most of the following VPNs can be downloaded without you having to register personal information, such as your name, email address, and credit card number. This not only makes getting started with your VPN a snap, but also lets you maintain your privacy – which is likely one of the reasons you want a VPN in the first place.

Because most of the VPNs we discuss are free, they’re going to have some disadvantages compared to the premium services you have to pay for. This usually means they either limit your data, in the hope that you’ll decide to upgrade to a paid plan, or they show you ads. (They have to pay the bills somehow, right?)

That said, these VPNs still have a lot to offer. So whether you need a VPN to access geo-restricted content, protect you from hackers, or provide anonymity while surfing the web, chances are you’ll find the right one for you.

1. ExpressVPN

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with ExpressVPN.
We know what you’re thinking. Express isn’t a free VPN. (In fact, it’s kind of on the pricey side.) So what’s it doing on this list?

Well, the other VPNs listed here are all pretty solid, and depending on the reason you need a VPN, they may very well get the job done. But we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t clue you in to a VPN that we know covers all the bases and won’t disappoint.

From proven, airtight security, to unblocking geo-restricted content like US Netflix and websites censored in China, to providing the lightning-fast speeds you need for torrenting and bufferless streaming, Express has all the qualities you’ll ever need in a VPN.

Plus, Express has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can claim a refund if you’re not satisfied.

  • Thousands of servers in 90 countries for incomparable speeds and access to content worldwide
  • Optimized servers, ideal for streaming movies and downloading torrents
  • Military-grade encryption to protect you from surveillance and hacking
  • Proven no-logs policy so no one can track your online activity
  • Compatible with dozens of platforms and devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chromebook

Download VPN

Click here to read a review from one of our experts, and to see what real users have to say about ExpressVPN.

Express is super easy to download and install. But if you need any guidance, just follow these steps.

2. Windscribe

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Windscribe.
Windscribe’s free version has some limitations compared to their paid plan, like limiting data usage to 10 GB a month, and only letting you access 10 servers, which could potentially slow your internet speeds. That said, it still packs some great features.

  • Bypasses the great firewall of China and the US Netflix VPN block
  • Apps for all major platforms, plus router installation guides, so you can encrypt all the devices in your home
  • No logs are kept, so you’ll get uncompromised privacy during all your online activity
  • Kill switch so your IP address won’t be exposed, even if you lose your VPN connection
  • Bonus tools that block ads, remove trackers from social media sites, and disable browser fingerprinting

Download VPN

Check out our expert review and user reviews here.

3. Hide.me

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with hide.me.
The free version of Hide.me allows up to 2 GB of data a month. Although you won’t have the option of using the super secure OpenVPN protocol, lots of other protocols are available, including PPTP, L2TP, IPsec, SoftEther, SSTP, and SOCKS. Another perk is that unlike some other free VPNs, Hide.me won’t bombard you with ads. On the downside, it won’t give you access to US Netflix.

  • No logs on user activity, so they won’t track what you do online
  • Can be used on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • Allows P2P on most servers, so you can download torrents
  • Kill switch that automatically cuts your internet if you lose your VPN connection – ensuring that your IP address never leaks

Download VPN

To learn more about Hide.me, click here to see our expert review and read user opinions.

4. Opera

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with OperaVPN.
Unlike traditional VPNs, Opera is actually a web browser with a built-in VPN. That means that rather than encrypting and running all your internet activity through their servers, the only activity that is secured is what goes through their browser.

Other notable drawbacks when comparing it to some other VPNs, are that it won’t get you US Netflix, can’t be used in China, and doesn’t allow torrenting. Also, although they don’t track your internet activity, they do log some technical details about your device. Still, if you’re just looking to surf the web securely and anonymously, it’s a great tool – especially considering it’s free.

  • Blocks ads and removes ad trackers from the websites you visit
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Secures your web data using military-grade AES 256-bit encryption

Download VPN

Read more about Opera – including our expert review and user ratings – here.

5. Hotspot Shield

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Hotspot Shield.
Hotspot Shield has long been a popular choice among users looking for a reliable free VPN. And given the fact that they’ve been tested, and have been proven to offer some of the fastest speeds on the market, it’s no wonder they have so many fans.

They support their free version by showing ads, but most users don’t seem to mind. That said, if the ads bother you, you can always upgrade to the premium plan.

  • Incomparable internet speeds
  • Allows users up to 500 MB of data per day
  • Compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
  • Supports P2P, so you can torrent to your heart’s content

Download VPN

Click here to read expert reviews and find out what users think of Hotspot Shield.

More Options

Now that you’re done reading about all the pros and cons of the best free VPNs that don’t make you sign up, maybe you’ve decided there are too many cons (which you can read more about here). Maybe you’re not willing to compromise on speed, look at ads, or put a limit on the amount of data you use.

No need to worry. You’ve got more options. That’s because we also compiled a list of the best overall free VPNs – which includes services you do need to register for.

But what if those still aren’t fulfilling all your VPN needs, and you’ve decided you’re ready to invest a few dollars a month and upgrade to a paid plan?

We’ve got you covered there too.

Just check out our handpicked, top of the line VPNs. These will provide you the security, speeds, and uncompromised customer service a lot of the free VPNs lack.

And if you’re looking for a discount, there are a ton of great deals available. So you can still get some of the best VPNs out there, without breaking the bank.

Interested in learning more about how VPNs work? Check out this handy guide.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Sara is a long time writer and editor with a passion for cybersecurity and a superior knowledge of Bitcoin.

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